Friday, June 29, 2012

High Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Lauren again for High Five for Friday.  After our fun weekend on the town, this week felt pretty uneventful.  But there were five awesome things to be excited about anyway!

 Yes, I am starting with Essie again.  I have decided this is my last bottle for awhile. The addiction has to stop!  Anyway, this is my favorite color so far: tart deco.  I've been wanting a pink/peach shade for awhile, and I love it.

***


While I'm on the subject of beauty products, I have to mention this Cover Girl Wetslicks lip gloss.  I bought guava, and it makes my lips so shiny!  I love it.  The best part is that it smells so good, and reminds me of my Lip Smackers days in 8th grade when I had a flavor of chapstick for every mood or occasion.

***

Sunday night when we got home from our trip to Columbus, we went over to our friends Jesse and Rachel's house.  A bunch of the church band members and their wives were there.  It was a beautiful evening, the guys played ultimate frisbee, and the girls watched and chatted.  Later we all hung out around a campfire.  Oh summer nights, I love you so much!

***


I am working so hard on things for the Etsy shop!  I have set a grand opening date of July 9 if all goes as planned.  I will be selling primarily headbands and other hair accessories, plus a few rosette bracelets for the time being.  Rumor has it that there might be a big giveaway here along with the grand opening, so stay tuned for the chance to win some free stuff!

***

5. Number five is a secret.  Ha!  Am I allowed to do that?  I found out some exciting news the other day that just might be a huge blessings.  It is one of those situations where God answered a prayer in an affirmative way.  And when I least expected it, He said, "Here's an even better answer to that prayer!  Surprise!"  As I said on Twitter, He sure knows how to keep a girl on her toes!  Again, stay tuned, because I'm sure I'll be writing about this situation in a week or two.

Have a great weekend, loves!
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Patriotic Luminaries: A Pinterest Project

I few weeks ago, I saw the idea for Fourth of July luminaries on Pinterest, originally found here (this project was not my original idea, nor am I claiming that it was.  I just want to make sure I give credit where credit is due).  I had almost all of the supplies at home already, and the project looked very simple.  Done and done.

It really was that simple.  The only supplies I needed were:

  • A mason jar
  • A small candle to fit inside the jar
  • spray paint (I chose white so I can reuse the luminary at Christmastime, but red or blue would give it a more patriotic look)
  • Star stickers
  • Optional: some kind of cute string, yarn, or twine to tie around the top of the jar. 


And here's what I did:

1. Randomly stick the star stickers on the Mason Jar.  As many or as few as you want.

2. Spray paint the Mason Jar.  Make sure you hold the can back at a good distance to prevent drips.

3. Once the jar is completely dry, carefully peel the star stickers off.  Then tie a pretty little bow around the top if you feel so inclined...



And that's it!  Throw in a candle and you're good to go.  Perfect for Independence Day, or as I mentioned earlier, I'm breaking this out again for Christmas. 

I put it right on my little entryway dresser, along with my patriotic plate and chalkboard. 

And yes, that is my quick, freehand attempt at patriotic chevron. Don't laugh too hard.  I think the "rough" look somehow works with my handmade chalkboard and luminary.
 

And just for fun, here it is in the dark.  My favorite part is that it casts little stars on the wall. Thank you, Pinterest!



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Physical Touch

I'm continuing my love languages series today by writing about physical touch.


I'm going to be honest.  When I first heard about the love languages and what they were (quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts) my first thoughts were, "wait, isn't every man's love language physical touch?"  

The thing is, physical touch as a love language is not necessarily talking about physical touch that is "leading somewhere," if you know what I mean.  It could be as simple as a hug, a kiss, hand holding, or tickling.  

I believe that physical touch is my husband's primary love language.  It is honestly hard to pin down with him, because he is not very open, and he's a little hard to read.  That mysteriousness is one of the things that first attracted me to him, and it is also the thing that drives me crazy after 8 years (funny how that works.  Kinda like how Luke was originally attracted to my girliness, and I'm sure he thought my ditziness was cute back then, but now I think he's kinda sick of it).  I am on a tangent, so let's get back to the focus of this post: physical touch.  

The reason I think Luke's love language is physical touch is because when he gets home from work, I am usually in the kitchen getting ready to make dinner. He almost always sneaks up behind me and hugs me or tickles me.  He has always been a huge cuddler.  He likes to pick on me by poking me or tickling me.  So anyway, if your significant other does these things frequently, their love language just might be physical touch as well.  

I guess the major point of these love language posts is to say that we need to learn our spouse's love language so we can love them the best possible way.  It's hard sometimes, because my primary love language is quality time, and Luke's is physical touch.  We have to consciously remember what the other person needs, because it is not what we naturally give, if that makes sense.  

If you have a spouse whose love language is physical touch, make sure you are holding their hand, hugging them often, and just generally being physically close to them.  And if your love language is physical touch, don't hesitate to do those things to your spouse.  I know when Luke is poking me or tickling me, sometimes I just want to roll my eyes.  But then I remember that he's just showing me he loves me! 

Is your love language physical touch?  If so, do you have any tips for those of us whose spouses have physical touch as their primary love language?


Open Letters

Sorry for the snarkiness of this post.  I couldn't resist.  I am feeling feisty today. ha!

Dear Walmart,

Please stop putting huge pallet displays in the middle of your aisles.  Two carts really can't fit through the aisle at one time, and I feel like you must be breaking some major fire codes.

Thank you,
A disgruntled customer

***

Dear Self,
You hate Walmart, remember?  Why do you keep shopping there?

***

Dear Summer,

Why are your days moving by so quickly?  Slow down! I love your hot lazy days.  And I love your days spent by the pool, and softball games at night.  And most importantly, this girl is not ready for grad school to start yet!!!

Sincerely, 
A nervous wreck of a student



***

Dear ABC Family,

You have stolen my evenings with your addicting show, Pretty Little Liars.  I should have never watched that first episode, because now I am hooked for life.  You crazy plot twists, cliffhangers, and cute outfits keep me coming back for more.  However, I would like my life back. 

Love,
A 16-year-old in a 27-year-old's body


***

Dear Facebook friends,

If I am your friend on Facebook, I am probably also following you on Pinterest.  If I want to see what you pinned, I will go to Pinterest.  No need to post what you pinned on your FB wall. 

And while I'm at it, if you don't like something about your life, then do something about it.  Somebody must have told you that posting every little complaint on Facebook would help you solve your problems, but they were sorely mistaken.  It just makes the rest of us want to block you. 

Thanks,
Your overly positive Facebook friend

***

Dear Twitter,

Thanks for being a million times better than Facebook.  You restore my faith in humanity.

*Hugs*

-Jessica

Monday, June 25, 2012

Columbus Weekend

As I mentioned on Friday, Luke and I spent our weekend in Columbus for Luke's cousins wedding.  We had such a great time!

We stayed at Hyatt Place in Worthington, and thought it was great!  The room was big, and divided into a living room section and a bedroom section.  Luke loved the gigantic TV, and I think I had the best sleep of my life in the king-sized bed.


When we checked in, we received a little gift bag from the bride and groom full of their favorite snacks.  I thought this was such a cute and thoughtful idea! 

The wedding itself was beautiful, and we had so much fun at the reception!  Between the live music, delicious food, and especially the photo booth, we really had an awesome night!  I totally wish photo booths were a thing four years ago when I got married!  How fun...I laugh every time I look at the picture...the arrow sign says, "Is this the Monopoly guy?" It just makes me laugh.


On Sunday we stuck around in Columbus for a while because Luke's aunt and uncle (parents of the groom) treated us all to a delicious breakfast at Mimis on Sunday morning.  I stuck to the diet and ordered an avocado BLT omelet, and it was delicious.



We all (meaning me, Luke and his sisters and brother-in-law) spent the rest of the day shopping at Easton, a really nice shopping center in Columbus.  We had fun at stores like H&M, Crate & Barrel, Francesca's, and Buckeye Corner -- we don't have these places near our house.


The boys (okay, and us girls too) were especially excited to visit the Lego store.  We looked at all the cute displays, and I told Luke we need to hurry up and have kids so we have an excuse to by Legos!  To that he replied, "I don't need a kid to buy Legos!  I'll buy some for me."  Ha!  He was kidding...I think.

In the end, it was an excellent weekend!  Luke has been working some long hours lately at his two jobs, and since my love language is quality time, this weekend was basically heaven to me, getting to spend every minute with him and his family.  I am so blessed.


***


Weeks before our little weekend getaway, I decided I was going to let the diet slide a bit, just while we were in Columbus.  It was a special occasion, and I knew we would be out a lot, and I just don't think it's logical to deprive myself of sugar 100% of the time forever.  So I let myself indulge a bit, got my fix, and now I'm ready to jump head first into healthy eating again now that I'm home.  This is what works best for me, and I've made it my rule that during holidays, vacations, or other special occasions (like our anniversary in two weeks!) I'm going to let myself eat a little something sweet.  I mean, YOLO!

Anyway, here are my three cheats.  Worth every bite, I must say!

Angel hair pasta



A raspberry cupcake, which was also the best cupcake I've ever had.  There were actual chunks of raspberries baked right into the batter, and I thought I was in heaven for a second:


And the grand finale: mocha chip ice cream from Graeters.  If you haven't eaten ice cream from Graeters, you need to.  Chunks of rich, soft chocolate in every bite.



I think this is the way we were meant to enjoy food: not junk and sugar and empty carbs every single day, but healthy food with a treat to look forward to every once in awhile.

What a great weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

High Five for Friday

Finally, it's Friday again!  And I am looking forward to an excellent, exciting weekend away in C-bus (Luke tells me not to call it that, but I just can't help it!).  I'm sure to be reporting frequent updates via Instagram (jessicaw1106 -- follow me!) and the Twit.

Anyway, last week was sort of the worst ever.  Luckily, I am a glass half full person, and have mustered up 5 highlights anyway:

1. I bought a new nail color this week: Essie's meet me at sunset.  Can I just tell you that I'm becoming an Essie snob?  And not just because it's trendy (okay, maybe a little bit) but because it really is the best!  It goes on so evenly, dries almost instantly, and shines perfectly.  I never used to paint my nails much, but have gotten into it this summer.  I've been asked more than once if I've had my nails professionally done (I haven't...not since prom in '03) and I think it's all because of Essie!  I love this new orangey shade.  I think it's great for summer.  The next color I want to add to my collected is turquoise and caicos.



2. I have been loving side ponies lately.  It is hard to figure out what to do with my course, curly hair on bad hair days.  Or *ahem* days when I am lazy and don't wash it (this does not happen often, I promise!). Recently I've been throwing it up in a quick side ponytail, and lo and behold, it actually works with my hairstyle!  ...and now you all are going to wonder if I washed my hair every time you see me like this...


3. I was having a horrible day on Wednesday, but my friend made it all better when she showed me her new kittens.  Please just try and think of a problem that kittens can't solve.  I bet you can't do it.


4. My friends and I have been furnishing and decorating a room for a new Christian home for recovering women.  This project was right up our alley, because we all love to decorate, and the room sort of became like a real Pinterest pinboard.  Ha!  anyway, it has been a real blessing to work on it, and my prayer is that it would be a blessing to the women who stay there too. 


5. We are puppy-sitting Max this week, and he has been fun!  He's a bit "vocal" (yeah, that sounds like a nice way to put it...) but we love him!  He stays at our house 2 or 3 times each year, and it's always fun.  The cats don't think so, but they always get over it!  I will be sad to see him go tomorrow.

Have a blessed weekend!
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Not Done Yet

{Possible tmi ahead}

Twice in the past few months, I've experienced something that I'd never really experienced in our fertility struggle: the 2 week wait.  

What is the 2WW, you might ask?  It's the two weeks after you ovulate when you might be pregnant, but it's too soon to take a home pregnancy test.  

They could probably be renamed: "2 Weeks of Mind Games," or even "2 Weeks of Hell."  But I digress. 

I haven't written much about this, but ever since I've been eating right and taking whole food supplements for my adrenal gland and thyroid gland, my body has been doing what it hasn't been doing for the past 2 years: ovulating.  Not quite as regularly as I should be, but ovulating nonetheless. Which is a big, giant praise!

However, it does mean that I have to deal with the 2WW now.  

Let me quickly describe the 2WW: you spend it 1.) Trying not to get your hopes up, 2.)Getting your hopes up anyway, 3.)Lying awake at night playing the "am I, or am I not," game 4.)Trying to convince yourself that it's too early to take a pregnancy test, and 5.)Being hypersensitive to every little idiosyncrasy in your body.  Rinse and repeat.  

 During my 2WW this month I had many signs of early pregnancy.  The problem with that is that the signs of early pregnancy are also the signs of PMS. I blame Eve for this.  I assume PMS is her fault. I kind of just lump that in with "painful childbirth." (kidding). Anyway I kept going back and forth trying to decide which it was.  

Well let's just say, today I got a clear sign that it was 100% PMS.  Ugh, I thought the fact that I wasn't ovulating was more difficult than if I had been ovulating every month and not getting pregnant, but now I'm thinking it might have been a bit of a blessing.  Twelve 2WWs a year?  Kill me now.  

Anyway, I'm pretty sure yesterday goes down in history as one of the top ten worst days of my life.  I have never felt depressed like that.  Because I had convinced myself that I was probably pregnant, and my hopes were up.

All that to say...I was honestly really mad at God.  What can I say?...it happens sometimes.

I was having a giant pity party by the time evening rolled around.  And I was scheduled to help with a service project last night (some friends and I are helping to furnish and decorate a bedroom for a Christian home for women who are just getting out of prison). 

I drove all the way to the house literally fighting with God in my head, pleading with him and asking him why he chose me (well, us) to go through this when everyone around me seems to be having their second or third children.  I just  kept thinking how unfair it all seemed, and how I would so rather be getting ready for a baby than getting ready for grad school.  I'm just being honest.  And all the while I was kicking myself for being so immature and ridiculous, and wishing I could stop having these thoughts, and just start happily singing along to Pandora like I do every other time I drive my car (yeah, I'm a huge car-singer).  

I got to the house and walked in, trying to muster up a good attitude.  To get upstairs to the bedroom we were working on, I had to walk past the living room.  I stopped in my tracks as I read these words on the living room wall:

(sorry for the poor quality.  It says "Sing Sing Sing - The Lord's not done yet...")

I had looked at those words on that wall before, but I hadn't really seen them before.  It just made my heart stop and brought tears to my eyes because I felt like God let me see those words at the perfect moment.  I had just been struggling in the car over whether I should be happy and sing, or just dwell in my selfishness and foolishness and be mad at God.  And then the writing was literally on the wall:  God wants us to let go, be joyful enough to sing, and know that He's not done yet!

Yesterday I felt like my world was falling apart.  But God was telling me it's all just part of His plan -- the plan that's just beginning.  He's going to use every hurt and every tear for something greater.  If my pain can help even one person, then it's all worth it!  And that is the whole reason I've been so open about this on my blog today.  

I know I was being dramatic and selfish yesterday, but I'm so happy God speaks to us in many different ways. I know that wall decal was placed there to minister to the women who will be staying in this special house.  However, it really blessed me yesterday, and helped me remember that God is up to something.  I just have to let go again, and let Him do His thing. 

I feel like I've written a lot of posts that sound a lot like this one -- sometimes I think we just have to learn the same lesson multiple times.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Words of Affirmation

Every Wednesday for five weeks I'm doing a little series on the five love languages (based on Gary Chapman's book).  Last Wednesday I wrote about my primary love language: quality time.

Just to review, the love languages are: quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. 


Today I want to talk about words of affirmation, and I'm going to start out with a little story about how I failed in the area of speaking affirming words of Luke.  A few weeks ago, we were out with friends.  I was talking about how I have trouble with deadlines sometimes, and I can honestly tend to be a little irresponsible.  I guess I was feeling insecure after saying that, and the way I made myself better was to speak negatively of Luke as well.  I'm not even going to write what I said, because it already made him feel bad once, and I would hate to do that again!

Anyway, my comment was made jokingly, and selfishly to take the focus off of my own faults.  After the words were out of my mouth, I wished desperately to be able to swallow them back up!  I don't even know why I said what I did, and Luke just pretended to be offended but sort of laughed it off.  But I know my words probably bruised his ego a little bit, and I still feel guilty about them!

I guess that is an example of exactly what not to do if your spouse's love language is affirming words.

I'm going to make a bit of a generalization about men. After reading Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs, I believe that affirming words are probably a strong love language for most men.  According to that book, women can show their respect to men by building them up with encouraging words in public.  And respect extremely important to most men...even more important than love.  The book also states that one of the easiest ways to hurt a man is to put him down in front of others.  I have tried to make it a rule in our marriage that I don't put Luke down, especially in front of others.  But I know I (obviously) still slip, and I'm still a work in progress.

All that to say that if there's a man in your life, chances are, one way to show him you love him is to build him up with spoken or written words, especially in front of others.

Make it a goal this week to speak more affirming words to the people in your life!  It may feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it will become.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY Prayer Flip-Book

I've found the best way for me to pray is to keep a prayer journal.  I already wrote a post about the reasons why, so you can read that if you're curious.

In my prayer journal, I usually write out my personal prayer for the day, and then make a list of people in my life who need prayer.  My only complaint is that I was writing the same names down on that list day after day after day, and it just seemed like there should be a better way.

I finally came up with a simple solution to this: create a prayer flip book to keep all my friends' and families' prayer requests in one place.


All you need are index cards, a ring to hold everything together, and writing utensils.  I used Paper Mate marker pens because they are the best things ever.  I am slightly obsessed.


 I wrote the name or thing that needs prayer on the front of the card, and any specific prayer requests on the back.  I left room on all the cards so I can add more requests as I hear about them. 



And just like that, my prayer time just became a little more efficient.  I like this idea, and I am thinking about making a scripture memorization flip book as well.

I think this would be a great idea for kids who are learning to pray.  They could make and decorate their own little prayer flip books for friends and family members.

Linking up here:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Weekend Love

Weekends are pretty much the best things ever, am I right?  We had a pretty busy and fun one around here!


  • We celebrated Father's Day with my Dad on Friday night.  We had (gluten free) pizza and (sugar free) ice cream, and then had a giant bonfire.  



  • During my spare time this weekend I started watching Pretty Little Liars because I found the first season on Netflix, and am completely addicted (*hangs head in shame*)
  • ...and I also worked hard on Etsy stuff.  That's right, I'm finally opening an Etsy shop!  Sometime in the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned!

  • On Saturday Luke and I went to our first wedding of the season for our friends Katy and Adam.  It was beautiful!  I really love weddings.  Our next one is next Saturday in Columbus for Luke's cousin.  We're turning it into a little weekend trip, so I'm excited.  

  • We spent Sunday afternoon at a little cookout to celebrate Luke's adorable baby cousin's baptism.  It was fun to spend the afternoon with family!  Good food and Mexican Train were also involved, to make a good day even better.  All babies, including Lilly, seem to have a fascination with Luke's face. I think it's the facial hair.  Lilly crawled all over Luke all day, and really loved grabbing his face:

What a fun Father's Day weekend!  To end this post, I'd like to wish a Happy Father's Day to my awesome father! ...and to my awesome husband.  While he is not a father yet, I know he'll be the best one ever someday, and that deserves an honorary "Happy Father's Day!" in my book. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

High Five for Friday

I'm linking up again with Lauren for High Five For Friday.  This past week was full of blessings, and here are just a few:


1. I already wrote about this, but I had my first weigh-in for the Prism Diet this week, and lost more than I expected!  I've lost 10 lbs since I started the program, but 15 lbs since last winter when I was my heaviest ever.  I have already reached my goal weight, so I'm just going to work on maintaining now.  Here are before and after photos (the only picture of me since the weight loss was in a dressing room, trying on a dress for my friend Lindsey's wedding, so excuse the poor quality).  I'm on the left in the first picture.  I probably didn't have to tell you that, because Sarah is a stick.



2. Speaking of that dress, it is my second big blessing of the week.  I am in my friend Lindsey's wedding in August, and she told all her bridesmaids to just buy a purple sundress.  And I found mine!  I love the color blocking.  I can't wait to wear it on her special day!


3. Did you make it to Bath & Body Works for their huge sale this week?  I took a little shopping trip the other day and just happened to catch it.  Almost everything was $3-$4 or 50% - 75% off!  I could have easily gone crazy, but I limited myself to two summery hand soaps for my bathroom. 


4. I had fun going out with a couple of friends, shopping for a service project, and then going out to dinner on Wednesday.  While at Target, they told me I had to try Izze sparkling fruit juice.  I know I'm late to the party on this one, but YUM.  I tried blackberry, and it was so flavorful and refreshing. They're naturally sweetened with fruit juice, so they're totally legal on the Prism Diet.  Win.

5.  I'm excited to celebrate Father's Day!  My family is actually celebrating tonight because of a scheduling conflict on Sunday.  We're having pizza with whole wheat crust (my first in about two months) and hanging out at my parents' house.  I am so blessed to have such a great dad!  I made him a little gift that I thought was cute -- I totally snagged the idea from Pinterest, here.

Have a blessed weekend!


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