i'm one of them!?!?!

I love starbucks. There’s no denying that.

But I never thought I was one of those complicated drink orderers until today when the girl read off my drink (I have no idea if I’m saying this in the right order) :

Grande Decaf Three Pump Extra Hot Peppermint Mocha

I know it can get more complicated, but I don’t think my drink order has ever been that long.

And ya know, I have to honestly admit, there was an ounce of pride as I stepped forth and claimed that drink as my own.

And it tastes pretty darn delicious too.



image found via weheartit.com

Not really sure how to start this post, other than I’ve just been stirring on these things today. There are things about myself and who I am that I want to change. Before anyone gets to the end of this and thinks I’m being too hard on myself, please let me say I am an advocate for change. When a person doesn’t strive to change and grow, he gets stale and crusty. Ick. So don’t read this as a list of complaints about myself. Read it as a prayer list, if you will. Without further ado, here are things I’m working on/trying to change:

-My temper. I have a hot one, let me just say that. But in the past couple of years I’ve discovered that my reaction to situations that fire up my temper is a choice. I don’t have to blame it on myself—e.g. “that’s just who I am.” I can choose to act differently. For some blog-worthy examples, see here and here.

-Being a little messy. It’s ok sometimes. Sure, I prefer it when the house is tidy, dishes are clean, and things are put away. But the act of letting go and realizing that it doesn’t have to be like this all the time has done wonders for my sanity. In fact, I’m sure if you came over to my house right now, you’d find stacks of mail, the ironing board left out, dirty dishes in the sink, clean ones on the counter, goodwill piles in random places, a near-trashed closet, an unmade bed, and who knows what else. But I’m learning to go with it. And I’m sure once this little one comes, I’ll have to learn to go with a lot more. *grin*

-The way I disagree with people. I have to admit, I have not even come close to mastering this is the least bit. When Chris and I went through our pre-marital counseling, we took a strengths-finder test, and I discovered that one of my top strengths is belief (those of you who know me probably aren’t surprised at this). Unfortunately, I don’t argue well if you disagree with me. For some reason I just have the toughest time not telling people how it is or how it should be. The worst part for me is my attitude in situations like this. I tend to come off hurtful and rude. See, belief in itself isn’t a bad spiritual strength. But I know when it starts hurting people, something needs to change.
*disclaimer- I’m not really talking about basic spiritual beliefs that no follower of Christ should ever sway on. I’m talking about the less serious issues in life. the gray areas where it really is ok to be on either side of the fence.

-My thoughts. I really honestly wish that intentional thinking came naturally to me. But too often, I just let me mind drift aimlessly. You know what I’m talking about? It’s kind of hard to put a finger on. But to have intentional thoughts for me, to have my mind purposefully centered on something, takes effort. Yet I still want to strive for it, because I believe this is one of the ways that life can be experienced more fully.

Well, I’m sure there’s more. But here’s to change. Change as the Lord leads. Change that only HE can make through us.


i hate blog titles...

Ok, as if you haven't noticed...my blogging schedule is like a roller coaster! Haha. Do I even need to mention that we’re pretty busy this time of year? Well, we are. *grin* Add up Advent services, making Christmas presents, buying Christmas presents, Chris’ birthday….Well that there is enough. Plus still trying to take time to r e l a x and remember what this season is truly about.

This might be the most heart-grabbing, truest statement I've read in a while. Thanks, Annalea, for sharing.
. . . though this season may stretch us, it was never meant to
be a burden — Any weight of Christmas is of this world and all the
weightlessness of Christmas is the Grace of the Wood with the flesh wrapped over

While these days are spent with my mind wrapped around what I have left to make for Christmas, I can’t help but let my mind drift to my after-Christmas list of stuff I’m dying to make. Since I can’t share what I’m currently making (ya’ll didn’t really think I’d let you get a sneak peak at your gifts, did you!?), I’ll just let you see what I’m drooling over…

Emily-this piece of art is beyond beautiful. i loooove it.

Janie just welcomed her new little babe into the world this past weekend. She knits and sews and is uber talented. Isn't this little birdie patch adorable?

i don't know where i found this, but i love the simplicity of this nursery.

this yo-yo pilllow is definitely on my "to-make" list for the spring.

So there ya have it. I'm still alive. All is well. I can't promise another blog post soon, but then again, who knows :) Love you all. And thank you for your kind comments on my last post :)


well folks....

Chris and I are expecting a baby next MAY!!! We are going to be people parents, not just doggie parents, and we're totally stoked about it. I'm almost 15 week along (yah 2nd tri!!), for those that are wondering, so we've known for a while. No baby bump to show yet, but once there's any bit of something, I'll snap a pic and show ya'll.

So I have to share this funny story....
Chris was pretty skeptical of this test (even though that is a dark pink test line, if I've ever seen one!), so I actually took three tests. Well, those of you who know Chris won't be surprised by the fact that HE wanted to take one of the tests. My last one was from the Dollar Tree, so only a dollar. And if that's what it takes to proove it to him, fine. Well of course, there was only one line. DUH. So I went about my business, whatever I was doing, and then like, 10-15 minutes later he looked at the test and was like, "Oh my gosh, babe! There are two lines, I am not even kidding!" Sure enough, I look and there was a second line, only it was like, dark gray. I, however, immediately dismissed it as an evaporation line (what the test line turns into if you look at it outside of the correct time frame). I’m not stupid :) Anyway, later that night before we were going to bed, he confessed to me that he drew that line on with a sharpie.

Yes, that is my man and the father to my unborn child. I love him to death. *grin*


Rag Rug

This is one project that took a loooong time, but I am so glad I pressed on and finished it. I made this from three twin sheets, two of which were the same pattern. (Amazingly, I found those two matching ones at two separate thrift stores!) I just have to show you a close up, because I love the yellow pattern so much...

So here it is, two-thirds finished. I cut the sheets in strips about 1.5 inches to make "yarn", then crochet it all together with a large hook. I think a lot of rag rugs are done using a different technique--not necessarily crocheted--but those result in a circle rug, and I wanted a rectangle.

Here's the end result, displayed in front of my kitchen sink! Best thing about these rugs is, the more you wash them, the softer they get over time. Cool huh?
I'm so happy with how it turned out :)


Livy's Letters

My wonderful friend Lauren has a baby. Her name is Livy. She turned one a couple of weeks ago. I seriously can't believe it's been a year already since she was born.

This baby girl is such a genius that she already knows her vowels. Yeah, mmm hmm. So I thought I'd make her some softie fabric letters to help her learn the rest of the alphabet :)
I used Jessica's pattern for the rag rug quilted letters from over at Happy Together. If you haven't checked out her blog, you totally should. She's got tons of awesome tutorials.

Happy Birthday, sweet Livy!! I love you!


while he was out...

this is what kept me busy. well, one of the things, at least :)

autumn thank you cards for a friend. i made twenty! i do realize the text is backwards....chris took his camera on his trip, so hopefully he'll come back with some good pictures of the west coast!! for now, an iphoto...

my thankful list for today:
-Chris is coming home! t-minus 1 hour...
-Christmas decorations are up, and we're setting up the tree tomorrow!
-Got to see my family this past weekend which was so wonderful. i love you guys!
-the life of Chris' Uncle Warner who passed last week. What a man of God. We're praying his witness and testimony will be used to touch lives!
-yummy teavana tea. so delicious and full of flavor.
-free $10 at kohls--no strings attached.
-thanksgiving is this week! that means family and good food :)

what are you thankful for??


because i miss him...

i will look at pictures from the past and smile because i love him so so much :)

prom alternative- junior year. we had been dating for maybe a month. can you sense the ackwardness?? haha, i love it.

prom alternative- senior year. much better. we match- so cute :)

aquire the fire. chris ripped his pants in a very unfortunate spot. i sewed them up with my emergency sewing kit, but he ripped them open again. from here on out he teased me that i wasn't a very good sewer...

sophomore year of college-singing karaoke at a jazz band party.

junior year of college- chris moves to nashville. i think this picture is from valentine's day.

rehearsal dinner for our wedding. so happy. :)

basically, i really like him. thanks for letting me indulge :)


dear blog...

i love you and i miss you and i'm sorry i haven't written in so long. if you could please get a hold of my life and make it slow down, i could dedicate some more time to you.
thanks and be back sometime later...



i made him another shirt.

it was time. i craft sooo many girly things/things for myself/ gifts for girls, that it was time to make another something for my hubby who puts up with my crazy craftiness. :)
this time i tapped into his love for music. hubby is always playing his guitar. i love it. :)

I actually used the same design as annalea, whose blog you should totally check out. i just found it and am totally loving her beautiful kids, home, and heart. she made this shirt for her little boy, and I loved the design. perfect for my guitar-loving hubby.

rockin the new shirt and beard.

i also added my own personal touch to the back. this is the type of acoustic he plays. (Larrivee- please don't sue me)

on the back, right under the neck.

now here's where maybe you can help me. he likes his shirt, he really does. but he's not sure about the design because it doesn't have a sound hole. i personally really like it without, but he just wants to make sure people know it's a guitar.

it does.....right?? :)


some new things.

just thought I'd share a few new things real quick...

grass i won at our church auction. they're in chalkboard clay pots, how awesome?!

pyrex score thrifting last weekend. what a beauty!

cabinet makeover! it's amazing what scrapbook paper and a little ModPodge can do...

a close up.

that's it for now! Back to some late night crafting!



Dear Coffee- I love you and I hate you. I have a feeling it will always be this way. Right now I love you, and thank you for your existence. I go in such spurts with my coffee drinking. I try to give it up because I don’t want to be dependent on something so powerful as caffeine. Caffeine headaches are the worst. They always make me feel like somebody is just squeezing my brain as tight and as hard as they can. Ouch.
I try to give it up because every now and then I’ll get convicted and feel like it’s a luxury. You see, I’m a coffee snob. I like good coffee. Folgers and Maxwell house don’t really cut it for me. I also like cream in my coffee. Ok, well let’s be honest…I like coffee in my cream. Chris says I’m not addicted to the coffee but the sugary stuff I put in my coffee. Well ya know what? Who cares! I like to enjoy my coffee.

.the perfect morning.
About a year ago I had this random bought of not wanting anything to do with coffee. I actually thought I was pregnant and it was a food aversion. (obviously, I wasn’t) But I wasn’t going to force myself to drink coffee. I put up with the headaches and even wasted several pots because I would make some and try to drink it but I just couldn’t. After that I decided I would only drink coffee if I was going to enjoy it.
Let me be honest, again. There is just something about a cup of coffee and good conversation with a friend. I love that. It is music to my soul. It is one of those things that I would rather do than just about anything else on a Friday night. Forget the movies, forget the shopping mall, forget eating at a fancy restaurant…give me coffee and a friend.

.let's enjoy coffee here.

One quick story….
My mom l o v e s coffee. I mean l o v e s. One time, not too long ago, my cousins and I were playing catch phrase. It was my little cousin Jared’s turn. He took one look at the word and exclaimed, “Oh! Aunt Renae drinks like, five cups of this a day!” the word was coffee. *grin* I love you, Mom. (ps- let’s use our friendship mugs for tomorrow morning’s coffee, and then we can think of each other and it’ll be like we’re sharing a pot together, sound good?)

And finally, I must share my newest love—Coffeemate’s Coconut Crème Creamer. Oh my lanta. You should know, I do not, repeat—do not like coconut. Honestly, I don’t really like anything coconut. But I saw this on a blog not long ago and thought I would give it a whirl. Heck, it’s only $2.50 and you only live once. I seriously think this is my new favorite. It’s no joke, my friends, the stuff is delicious. If you don’t want to buy a whole container of it, please drive to my house and we can have coffee and good conversation and you can try my newest love.
Anyone up for that?? Great. Can't wait to see you :)

all images found via google and weheartit.



image found via google images

An excerpt from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young:

I continually call you to closeness with Me. I know the depth and breadth of your need for Me. I can read the emptiness of your thoughts when they wander away from Me. I offer rest for your soul, as well as refreshment for your mind and body. As you increasingly find fulfillment in Me, other pleasures become less important. Knowing Me intimately is like having a private wellspring of Joy within you. This spring flows freely from My throne of grace, so your Joy is independent of circumstances.

Waiting in My Presence keeps you connected to Me, aware of all that I offer you. If you feel any deficiency, you need to refocus your attention on Me. This is how you trust Me in the moments of your life.


monkey monkey

A friend at church is due any day now with a baby boy. Of course when she said his room was being decorated in monkeys, I couldn't resist trying my hand at embroidery with this cute little monkey face.

Can't wait to meet baby Malachi!



Today was an inspirational day. All day, just, inspired.

It started with Nie's bed. lol. Not sure why, but I feel in love with this lovely comforter and the fabulous mix of pillows atop.

Next came this glorious collection of mugs from luvinthemommyhood that just made me want to sip my coffee all day long.

From there I found a whole slew of projects I want to start next. This one I've actually started tonight...

And these, I'm not sure if I'll ever get around to, but I think they look stellar.

and if I get brave, one of these days I might try my hand at this. *grin*

good night ya'll!


Coffee Date Dress

yet another dress refashion from the goodwill...
I bought this a while back, loved the color, loved the fabric, and knew I'd find something just right to make with it.

yikes that picture is scary. if you'll notice the bottom...I threw it in the washer and dryer (apparently it was lay flat to dry) and the dress shrunk but the lining didn't. perfect though, cuz now I can just wash it normally :)

I followed this idea, but not the exact pattern. I'm pretty pleased with the results! A perfect summer dress!

a close up of the front.


a while back I bought this dress at the goodwill. My first refashion of it was quite unsuccessful, as it hung in my closet for about 4 months, not worn once.

then I saw Dana's tutorial for a summer skirt, and thought this would perfect.

I'm super excited about the outcome! It's fun, comfy, and cute! :)



after chris's t-shirt re-vamp, I started thinking of other ways I could add a little pizzaz to a plain shirt. this was the first idea that came to mind for my brother: tetris. we used to play this game on our individual game boys for hours on end. i wish i had a picture scanned in that my mom has of us huddled under a light while intensely playing this game (guess the screens weren't bright enough?) anyway, much to my pleasure, i found out that my brother still plays this game, nearly every day. *grin*

happy birthday brother. i love you.



While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I just got done listening to a podcast of a sermon on Hosea from my brother and sister’s church. If you are not familiar with the story of Hosea, please go here, and be prepared, because it is gut-wrenching. For now, I won’t go into depth about the story but to say it is speaking straight to my heart. I think if we’re all honest with ourselves we can find ourselves deep within the life of Gomer. Why she would seek satisfaction and fulfillness outside of her husband is almost silly when you read the story. You read it from the outside and think, ‘Come on, Gomer. Get with the program. You’ve got the best life with your husband, Hosea!’ But when I start to look at my own life and how I so casually let my heart wander to things of this world that will never fill me like my God does, it begins to resonate a little more clearly. Why would I let anything but my Husband (that being God, my friends) fulfill me and satisfy me? He is all I need in this life. He is my home, my stronghold, my everything.

I think of this beautiful image of Hosea buying his wife back: I picture him moving through the crowd, throwing up his auction paddle for the highest price. “She’s mine,” he says. And stepping up to the block, he scoops his wife into his arms and takes her back to where she belongs. She is home. The name Hosea means salvation. Folks, Jesus is our salvation. He begs to lead us off the auction block. My friends, He has bought us for a price, that is His life.

Pardon me if I am somewhat scattered in this. It’s just that today I have felt refreshed in the reality that Jesus gave His life for me. In this sermon, the speaker notes this verse: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Now I have always read this with the emphasis on Christ died for us, which is no doubt, awesome. But today, the word still jumps at me. It’s not just that Christ gave up his life after we came and repented. For it is easy to love when you are loved back. But no. Christ died for us while we were still sinning. What kind of love is that? I can hardly wrap my brain around it. But I believe with my whole heart that that is the love of the God that I serve.

Be blessed, my friends.



I’ve sort of let myself throw a pity party this last week because of coming back to work from vacation, having so much to do, being tired, blah blah blah…and it’s ridiculous. So what better solution than to make a list of things that make me happy and things I’m thankful for *grin*

The fact that I am healthy enough to accomplish the tasks on my to-do list (trying to be positive, see?!?)

The sun is shining today. After two days of dark skies, it is quite pleasant.

Miss Kensie Reese, Chris and I’s first neice! His sister gave birth to this beautiful babe out in California a few weeks ago.

Green smoothies! More on this to come.

New chapstick. I bought three kinds. Blistex, Burt’s Bees, and my favorite, Yes to Carrots. I think it’s a new line at Target. Crazy, huh?

Kylee has inspired me to eat healthier. I’ve been reading and researching up and down, and I feel quite inspired.

Get to spend time with a cousin tomorrow. I miss her lots.

My sweet little puppy. I taught her ‘lay’ and she caught on really quickly. Next up to teach her not to do every single trick in the book when she sees me with a treat.

Coffee with good friends.

My bff, best hubby ever, C-topher.


my dreadlock journey

that’s right, dreadlocks. and this is the start of my journey. I’m not really sure how long it will be, but for this time of my life, it is right. it is a journey because it is a process. they don’t just happen in the few hours it took to backcomb, or even over a few days. I’m not really sure how long it will take my hair to ‘lock up’, but i’m assuming it will take a good bit of patience. and i could definitely use that, don’t cha think? *grin*

So why did I get dreads?
Easy answer: I like the way they look.
Slightly more complicated, but perhaps more noteworthy answer: I’ve felt a driving force in my life recently to simplify. We as a nation, a people, even right down to me and Chris are so incredibly blessed beyond imagination. And I am so grateful, but I’ve just felt the need to simplify. To get rid of the extra things that could sometimes be called clutter. Quite honestly,this should be a whole nother blog post, which maybe I’ll get around to sometime. But for now, my dreads and why they are simple...Well, the maintenance at the beginning might be a bit more than I’m used to, but this is an in-for-the-long-haul type of deal. Eventually, I’ll be able to get to the point where my hair maintenance is virtually nothing. It will be a glorious day. And it will be simple.

I’ll be keeping track of my journey here, so feel free to check back to see the progress.

If you have any questions at all, please just ask. I’m happy to answer any questions brewing in your mind :) :)