Saturday, January 14, 2012

Some Things I Learned in 2011.

It would be an understatement to say that I learned a lot in 2011.  This past year has truly changed me for the better.  This is just a short summary of some very important things that I have learned:

I learned that even though my life didn't go as I planned, I'm okay with it.  
It wasn't in my plan to get pregnant when I was 18.  It wasn't in my plan to become a single mother.  It wasn't in my plan to have joint custody with a person that I couldn't trust.  It wasn't in my plan to have to deal with not only the physical, but the emotional hurt of the whole situation.  It just wasn't what I had planned.  God clearly had something planned though.  It was His plan for me to have a beautiful son, Caleb.  It was His plan for me to be a single mother, and meet a wonderful man that would love not only me, but Caleb too.  It was in His plan for me to have wonderful people in my life to help me deal with the pain I was experiencing.  He had a plan for me all along, and it took a long time for me to realize that, but I am truly happy.

I learned that I do deserve love.
For too long I believed that I was unlovable.  I felt like the bad decisions of my past made me used, dirty, and broken.  I had a baby with someone that never truly loved me, and it hurt.  I let myself believe that if someone would not treat me the way I deserved in a situation like that, than no one ever would.  Let me just say that sex before marriage DOES effect people whether they immediately realize it or not.  Not only can it effect you physically, but it leaves emotional scars as well.  I had had enough of the hurt, I was exhausted.  I had to realize that I did have worth, and I did deserve to love and to be loved, and that I deserved better.  That's when God brought my boyfriend Matt into the picture, and he loved me for the person I had become, not the person I was, and it was amazing.

I learned that not all guys are the same.
Life isn't like the movies.  Watch any chick flick and you can immediately spot which guy is going to break the main girls heart.  You immediately know who the jerk is, the bad guy, the villain.  Life isn't like that, and unfortunately I learned that the hard way, a few times.  So I just convinced myself that that was just how it was, guys were just jerks.  I'll admit that when Matt and I started dating I had my guard up, I was waiting for him to turn into a jerk, and it just wasn't happening, which was even scarier.  He didn't tell me what I wanted to hear just to get what he wanted.  He didn't criticize me to make me feel like I couldn't do better.  He respected me, he was kind to me, he was there for me.  Girls: there ARE good guys out there.  Do not settle for less than you deserve.  Do not give yourself away easily.  It is worth the wait, I promise.

I learned that anxiety is all in my mind and to calm down, because God is in control.
Caleb goes to his dad's house every other weekend.  It sucks.  For a long time I was so paralyzed by my fear when he was gone that something terrible would happen that I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sit still, I would worry myself to the point of making myself sick, and I hated being in my house because of how unsettling it was.  I would pop xanex to try and calm down, sometimes it helped me sleep, but it didn't really ease my mind.  Like many situations in the past few years, I decided to turn to God.  I came across Philippians 4:6-7 that says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  So that's exactly what I did, I presented my anxieties to God, and I felt better than I ever had taking a pill.  It's a continuous thing though, Caleb goes over there every other weekend, which means that every other weekend I am presenting my anxieties to God, and he has and continues to bring me peace of mind.  Even though I am not with Caleb on those weekends, God is, and I know that he is watching over him.

I learned that praying is important.
Everyone has struggles.  Everyone has a story to tell.  Everyone has something they are dealing with.  Whatever it is, pray about it.  I have prayed more this year than I ever have before.  He has changed my situation, my mind, and my heart.  I have learned that it is just as important to pray when things are going well as it is when things are not going well.  God has changed not only my life this past year, but he has changed me as well.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

that's not very ladylike.

I love that scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie gets soap in his mouth for saying "oh fudge" (except he didn't say fudge!).  I remember getting soap in my mouth also as a child and being told that my language was "not very ladylike!"  Yet, what I was saying then, seems to have become the norm nowadays.  Women today, not only on TV but in society also, have become so vulgar, that sometimes it makes me cringe.  I'm not saying I have never cursed or told a dirty joke in my life, but so many women are taking it way too far.

Why do women feel the need to be so vulgar?  Is being "ladylike" out of style?  While reality tv isn't the only thing to blame, I feel that it has played a huge part.  Let's talk about the trashiest show out there, Jersey Shore.  While most women don't aspire to be like the women on Jersey Shore, (and if you do, I'll be praying for you), some people have become numb to the foulness of the show, and frankly, it's disgusting.  In one episode Snooki said "I will pee in a bush.  I will poop in a bush.  I will hide in a bush.  I do f***ed up s**t, I don't know what's wrong with me."  In many other episodes she is constantly talking about her vagina like it's another person and is constantly calling the other girls in the house "bitches and whores".  I'd like to wash her mouth out with soap if you ask me.  These girls have no respect for themselves, and to be honest it's not funny at all, it's just sad.

Women are trying to be so vulgar because they think that it's funny, but just because you say something crude doesn't mean it's witty.  Women hear men make crude jokes and try to become equal to or even surpass their levels of crudeness because they think that it will earn them respect.  It really has the opposite effect, being crude and vulgar all the time just shows guys that you are immature and disrespectful.  Guys aren't attracted to the girl who curses or farts more than they do.  Guess what, everybody poops, but that doesn't mean guys want to hear you openly talking about it!  Even if you think you're being hilarious, chances are, guys don't think it's funny at all.  Women are trying too hard to be like men.  Why can't we just accept that we are women and act like a ladies?

I'm not telling you to never curse, or never tell a dirty joke again, because sometimes it's actually funny, but c'mon girls, have some class!

Friday, November 25, 2011

give thanks.

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff thats getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust you know exactly what you're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff you use
lyrics by Francesca Battistelli

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.     1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  His love endures forever.    Psalm 107:1

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.      Colossians 3:17

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DIY: pretty holiday nails

I read a blog post the other day by Whitney Port about awesome nail trends. (you can go to her link by clicking here)  My absolute favorite was her spin on french manicures where she used glitter for the tip instead of white.  I didn't really want to pay to go get them done somewhere, so I decided to try them myself at home!

Colors by OPI: base polish- "bubble bath" and glitter polish- "mad as a hatter"

The first step I did was apply the base color "bubble bath" (it's even a great color just to wear by itself as a nude):

I then waited a few minutes for the base color to dry (I am very impatient when it comes to letting my nails dry!) I tried a few different techniques for applying the glitter but the one that worked best for me was applying it with toothpicks, it allowed me to be more precise and make the line look a lot more clean than just using the nail brush:

Once the glitter dried I also applied a cheap clear top coat that I picked up from the drugstore and I was done!  I think they turned out pretty cute, and really fun for the holiday season!  You could always experiment with different polish & glitter colors too!

Hope I gave you some pretty ideas to try on your nails for the holiday season!  And if you do send me pics!  I'd love to see what you come up with! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Place Cards

I made these place cards for thanksgiving dinner this year, my inspiration was the pine cones and my love for vintage looking scrapbook paper :)

I made 25 place cards in all, each with a different vintage background, it was a little time consuming, but easy enough that I could watch a movie while making them :)

Pine Cones (of course!), scrapbook paper, craft eyelets, paper puncher (for the corners of the name cards, and also for the leaf design on each card), ribbon of your choice (I used a thin copper colored ribbon), thin sharpie.

The first thing I did was cut out the paper for the cards.  The vintage scrapbook paper I used for the back was cut 2" by 3", and the white front that I wrote the names on was 1" by 2", and then I attached them together using double sided tape.

I then pulled out my paper punchers (so handy!) and punched off the corners of the vintage scrapbook paper and I also punched out the leaf design that I attached to each card.

Next, I attached the eyelets to put the ribbon through, the eyelet kit I have is from the company stampin' up, but you can get them at most craft stores, they're easy to add to the card, and a lot prettier than just using a hole puncher.

Next, I hand wrote the names on all of the cards, I like hand writing just because it seems a little more personal, but you could very easily print it off the computer, your choice.

Last, I tied the place cards with ribbon to a pine cone and voilĂ„! Done!  

*A little finishing touch that I added to each card (that isn't visible in the picture) is that I stamped Colossians 3:16 which says "sing to the Lord with thankful hearts" on the back of each place card.
Hope I gave you some cute ideas, have a wonderful thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

wonderfully made.

I read an article the other day that really stood out to me.  I, like most girls, grew up playing with barbie dolls and dreaming that one day I would literally grow up to be a barbie (ridiculous, I know).  In the article I read from O magazine model Katie Halchishick poses to show what someone would have to go through to get the 'perfect' Barbie body.  Here's a breakdown of what she would need on just the upper half of her body: brow lift, jaw line shave, rhinoplasty, a cheek and neck reduction, a chin implant, scooped-out shoulders, a breast lift, liposuction on her arms and a tummy tuck...  Um, OUCH!  Let's be serious, this model Katie is a beautiful girl, who does not need a single one of these procedures, but it's so crazy that those are the things that this beautiful girl would have to go through to look "perfect".

Our society today is OBSESSED with perfection.  It drives me crazy.  Society has this image in their head that "THIS is what beautiful is."  I'm sorry, but the world would be a pretty boring place if all women were made from the same mold.  

Pslam 139:14 says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."  The verse does NOT say I am fearfully and perfectly made.  I had a hard time believing that I was wonderfully made after I had my son, Caleb.  Let's face it, you will never find a barbie with a stretch mark.  It was very difficult for me to accept my "post baby body" even though everyone was telling me I looked so great for having had a baby.  As much as I wanted to, I just could not accept their compliments.  It's difficult to realize, but your body is temporary, and sometimes it serves a greater purpose.  The best example I can give you is Jesus, the one person that was ever made perfectly.  Before His death, His body didn't look so perfect though, He was whipped and beaten and disfigured but His body served a greater purpose, to give us eternal life, in the same way that my body, and so many women out there who have had babies have been used to give life.

I use to strive for perfection, it was exhausting.  It did not make me happy and I was left feeling unfullfilled. Instead I had to realize that true beauty comes from the women that realizes that God has made her wonderfully and loves and accepts her body, "flaws" and all.  Don't get me wrong, there are still days that I am way too hard on myself, but I have to remember that I am beautiful just the way that I am.  Love the person that God made you to be, not the person that society tells you they think you should be.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dear You, Sincerely Me

Remember when people use to write letters instead of just constantly texting each other?  I have always just loved getting letters from friends & family in the mail!  My latest project has been hand making cards and sending them, its so much fun and so easy to do!

For the cards that I make the materials I use are: construction paper, paper punchers of different shapes and sizes, stamps & ink, a glue pen, and scissors, and then I just get creative with it :)

Here are a few that I have made this week, hope I give you some fun ideas! :