Life's great journey is made up of day by day delights.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The "C" Word

The "C" word is not a very long one. The word itself is not comlicated to pronounce. With those two facts alone, it should be a simple word. But when one hears the "c" word, things can change in an instant. The word may not be long but the list of worries that goes with it is. It may not complicated to pronounce but it is gut-wrenching to say. The "c" word is most certainly not simple.

Yesterday, I found out that my dad has cancer. From the moment those words left my mother's lips, I have felt like I was truly in a bad dream. None of it could possibly be real. Over and over in my mind I say, "Dad has cancer...." but I can hardly wrap my mind around that and can't even say it out loud. Even now, although stinging tears are rolling down my cheeks, there is a part of me that is in complete shock. I could list all of my worries and concerns for you but instead let me list another "C" word (or rather a name) that moves me more than "cancer" does.


Although the hearts of my family and I are shaken (and yes, scared), I am so grateful for Christ who is blessing us with unimaginable comfort. Amid the fear and heartache, there is peace. A peace that passes all understanding. A hope that allows us to rest in a Father who is also the Great Physician. A certainty that this did not take Christ by surprise but is rather a part of His divine plan. The scriptures and songs that are flooding my heart are overwhelming. I'm so grateful for that! Just another way that God shows His love for His children. Yes, the "c" word is terrifying but Christ and His love is so much more powerful.

Enjoying this song because it's putting my heart into praise mode where is exactly I need to be in a time like this!

John 14:27:

"27.Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Playing Dress Up

For ladies, I don't think playing dress up ever really stops. It just evolves in each stage of life. In the younger years, for example, I would take almost every article of clothing I or my mom had and combine it with everything else I had then I'd enter my imaginative world and act out the character I felt I had best represented. I'd pretend I was anything from a princess to a spy to, believe it or not, a lumber jack! hahaha (such a weirdo!) Thankfully, I had a willing brother who was eager to go along with that idea! We'd haul the wood we had "cut" around in our little red wagon and after a "long day at work", we'd come in from "the mill" (or whatever lumber jack's work in), and warm up by drinking some hot "coffee" (a.k.a. hot chocolate) all the while sporting whatever plaid patterns I could get my hands on! Even then I was very detailed. But I digress...
Then, when the awkward stage came in full swing (felt like an eternity...sometimes I wonder if I'm still in that stage), I was just trying to look like everyone else. Still a form of playing dress up but kind of for the wrong reasons.
And finally, I am at the stage of my life where I "play dress up" for all the right reasons. I love clothes and I especially love when I feel I have pulled together that perfect look! Nothing better, right? Being able to express my personality through my style makes me feel invigorated and like I have an easy creative outlet. Sometimes, though, my creative bug is also a diva and wants to buy all of the latest and greatest (and usuallymost expensive) clothes. Hubby is there to squash the diva-tude. What a dear! Sooooooo how do I get my fix? How do I get those creative juices flowing?
Ladies, what if I told you I found the world's biggest and best closet? One with endless possibilities and an endless budget? One where you don't have to spend a penny? Follow me to the land of Polyvore.... is truly my latest obsession and I have been on there almost every night this week. I found it on the wonderful site (don't even get me started on that site! Pinterest = love) and have been hooked ever since. Basically, it is a site where you can create outfits and post them to sites such as Pinterest. it's great because you can create whatever look you want and never have to shell out the cash! Sure, I don't actually get to own the outfits but seeing them put together is gratifying enough. They have items listed from Target to Chanel! Oh the Chanel! This wonderful site is like playing dress up for adults! Here are a just a few of the ensembles I've created thus far....

This site is bah-nana's (in the words of Rachel Zoe)! If you need a creative outlet via fashion, this is the place! It's even helped me get more in focus of what my style is, what I want it to be, and how to get there....well the cheaper version of "there."  So go check it out, tell me what you think, and show me those fab outfits you've designed!! Have a great day! :-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Peach Cobbler

Fall is in the air and that makes this girl one happy camper! Fall is probably my all time favorite season.....the nip in the air, the artwork of changing leaves falling from the tree's, the clothes, the colors, the smells....clearly, I love it all. I can't get enough! Good thing the season has just started. I have plenty of time to get all of those things in before.....(drum roll please).....CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-) One thing about fall I don't love, however, is pumpkin flavored items. I really enjoy the smell of, for example, a spiced pumpkin candle but a spiced pumpkin latte? Not for me. So how do I get that color scheme into my yummy treats?? Hmmm....well a trip to the local farmers market inspired me to get my orangey-ish color without going for the gourds!...which technically a pumpkin is a gourd-like squash but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?

Peach cobbler isn't exactly a brand new concept but this simple crisp is just the autumn, pumpkin colored comfort food I was looking for! The farmer selling the famously fuzzy fruit said it would be his last for the season which made me happy I was able to grab about eight of those little gems before the rest of the crowd got to them. I have to admit...I almost didn't make this because the peaches were so amazingly juicy. I gobbled up about every other piece I would slice because I simply couldn't resist. Shhh! It'll be our little secret. ;-)

WARNING: None of my measurements are exact because I just kind of "wing it" till I get the desired result I am looking for.
8 peaches
1 stick of butter, softened and cubed
1 - 1 1/2 c. sugar
1-2 c. oats
2-3 tbsp. cinnamon
*I'd recommend also adding a little nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.. Peel and slice your peaches, place in a bowl and set aside (sometimes I add a light cinnamon and/or sugar mix to the peaches depending on their natural sweetness and tenderness.)

Mix together remaining ingredients in medium bowl....

I actually use my hands because, for me, it makes it easier to mix and tell if I need more of one thing or another. Place peaches in a buttered dish. I first typed "Place peaches in a buttered fish." You all would have stopped reading, wouldn't you? haha Crumble the oat mixture over the peaches and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is toasted & crunchy and the peaches are tender.
Simple but oh so sweet!
What is a favorite fall time treat of yours? Are you pumpkin lover or not? I feel like I am the only one that doesn't like the taste of pumpkins so if I am not alone in this, PLEASE let me know! We can start a support group! ha!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

White Chicken Pizza

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you! I can't believe I haven't already since it's a fave of mine. Why is it a favorite? Well every gal loves a quick and easy recipe, right? This recipe is both of those plus it's tasty which turns it from just convenient to AWESOME.
I wish I could say I was the mastermind of this fab pizza pie but I'm not. I am, however, the "tweaker". I have a tendency to take a recipe and pitch what I don't like while adding what I do. That's one of the many things I love about a recipe like this---it's flexible enough to be what you want it to be. Just like my bacon ranch chicken subs! Take away the ranch, add some honey mustard and bell peppers and you've got yourself a whole new sandwich! Easy recipes like these help me get a hot meal on the table without breaking  a sweat, all the while making Hubby think I am Super Woman. And Ladies, isn't that what it's all about? ha!

To make White Chicken Pizza, it goes a little something like this....
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Pre-minced garlic
1 Pre-made pizza crust (typically found in the Italian section; I use Mama Mary's whole wheat thin crust)
Mozzerella or Parmesan cheese (freshly grated if you do Parmesan)
Pre-cooked chicken strips (usually used for salads or wraps)

Melt butter in sauce pan along with the olive oil. Once melted, add garlic and cook for up to 1 minute being careful not to burn the garlic. The point is to soften it, not blacken it. Ask me how I know! ;-) Lay pizza crust on a pizza stone or baking sheet. Spread the butter/olive/garlic mixture on the pizza crust then sprinkle with cheese. Shred the chicken into smaller pieces and sprinkle on top of cheese followed by more cheese then sprinkle basil on top of that. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Voila! It is literally that simple. Serve it with some fresh veggies or fruit (to make up for all of the cheese) and you've got a delicious, easy meal. I made this tonight and served it with fresh tomatoes that I bought at the local farmers market yesterday morning. Delish!

Let's get a close up of those beautiful tomatoes, shall we?

Deep red and superbly scrumptious!
What are some go-to easy meals that you treasure? Feel free to share the recipes!:-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Secret Weapon

That's right. I have a secret weapon. FOR DUSTING LAMPSHADES! Totally cool, I know. I came up with this about a year ago but I'm willing to bet that someone else has thought of this already and you all probably know about it (probably have for years) so it won't be that impressive. Regardless of the "wow factor", I have decided to share this little gem with you today anyway. It's just a helpful tip to keep your house looking extra spic-n-span without using harmful cleaners or taking up a lot of time.
I personally hate seeing dust. ANYWHERE. Hate. It. In the past when I've noticed dust on a lampshade I've tried anything from wetting down a cloth to wipe the fuzz off or using a vacuum. Both got rid of some but usually with a downside as well. The vacuum is just awkward to use on a lampshade and the damp cloth would kind of spread the fuzz around elsewhere on the shade. Annoying. Then one day it hit me.....

OF COURSE! A lint roller. How could I have been so blind?? For whatever reason, I had reserved the lint roller in my mind as only for clothes. So once I wrapped my mind around this concept, I took that bad daddy to a dusty shade and started rolling. BAM! The dust was gone. POW! The lampshade looked awesome. All you need to do is....

Roll away....

Then give a hearty laugh of victory! You got those little dusties for good!
I also use this technique to dust our ginormo speakers for our tv and cd player. Such a lifesaver! It's fast, easy, and cheap. Within a few minutes you can take your cleaning regimen up a notch with minimal effort! Superwoman status will be achieved in no time with simple little tricks like this. Give it a whirl and let me know how it works for you!
Have you tried this before? What other tricks have you come up with to take your clean house from good to great?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Front Porch Fabulousness

So many home improvement projects flood my mind on a regular basis. "Let's see I need to paint this, move that, change everything in the bedroom..." You get the point. Unfortunately I have really weird work hours that hinder me from being able to let it all loose the way I want! Needless to say, when I get the chance to tackle a project, big or small, I am all about it!!! A few weeks ago, I finally got to complete a front door....area? I don't really know how to phrase that. But I do know how to show you (see below).

I actually have this picture titled as "Eck! BLEH!!" in my computer because that is how I feel every time I see it.
I HATED the light and I especially hated how about 10 years worth of dead bugs had collected in the bottom. And do you see that lightbulb? BLEH!!! I despise those bulbs for 2 reasons: 1. They are ugly as sin and 2. MERCURY!! Heard of it people? Not a good thing.  NOTE: Eric bought the house when he was 20 (amazing, I know) but he left a lot of things as they were (i.e. hideous lamp and rusted mailbox...have I told you about the coach curtains? Another day, another blog). I have a vision for our home and this was definitely not part of my vision. Do you ever have some idea eating away at you till you can't take it anymore and you just have to do it? Yeah, that was with me. So what did I do?

I unscrewed those bad-daddy's and cleaned them up! Then I sanded them with an el cheapo sanding pad I bought at Wal-Mart.

THEN I sprayed away! I thought a nice coat of Rust-oleum would do the trick. If you have been around blogland for even just 5 minutes, you've seen this stuff. For a good reason too. IT'S AMAZING. Plain and simple.

Then I let it dry for about 2 hours.....

And now I am LOVING my finished product!
Yes, I realize that I could have just purchased new number and a mailbox for a few dollars but I thought "Why do that when I can buy a can of spray paint and use what I have?" I did buy a new lamp but it was only $10! It's very simple but our front door/porch area is tiny. I did not need anything to overwhelm the space. This picture also doesn't do the lamp justice. It does have some very cute details and the glass is "seeded glass" which I l-o-v-e. Let's take a look at the before and after, shall we?

Ah, much better! :-) For little money, I helped give our house an upgrade which it desperately needed. I'll be posting a few more pics of various other projects I am tackling to give our sweet, little home some BIG TIME (and super easy) curb appeal! Stay tuned!! last time.....

Home Sweet Home

What home improvement projects have you tackled lately? What do you think of the new....area? Help me think of a name, will ya? haha

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just another manic morning....

Yesterday I had one of those mornings. The kind where I wake up later than I want. The kind where, because I wake up late, I miss going to the gym. The kind where my hair is like, "PSH! I don't wanna be straight. I'm rocking my own look today." Yeah, I gave my hair a voice. Might as well if it makes its own decisions, right? My hair was supposed to be straight....... Needless to say there were curls everywhere. It was the kind of morning where my only clean shirt for work has a HUUUUUGE hole in the elbow so I have to wear an awkward, oversized cardigan over it. The kind where I finally feel composed, set off to work, and see some bright RED and BLUE lights flashing behind me. The kind of morning where I cry while the nice police officer looks me up in the records but I wipe away the tears before he can see me because I don't want him to think I'm pulling "the crying girl" gig. The kind of morning where I get to work, hair crazier than before, and I spill my coffee on my shirt. Ya' know...the one with the hole in it. But that kind of morning turned into a day where I come home and find my husband as sweet as ever! <3 It makes the crummy day seem done and totally worth it....till he tells me I had a speck of spaghetti sauce on my cheek. Was it there all day???............yep. Did my customers most likely see it? Oh yeah.  Awesome. Good thing I get a do-over today. :-)

Have you had a morning like that? One where nothing major goes wrong but is filled with little annoyances? SHARE! :-)


Monday, May 9, 2011

A Hypochondriac's Point of View

The past few days Hubs and I have been very ill. We've been pretty pitiful. He is a day ahead of me in the healing process so he has been taking the reins of being the caregiver in our house. I don't know what I would do without him!......Oh wait. Yes, I do. I'd google my ailments. AND FEAR FOR MY LIFE.
Website: Please select your symptoms.
Me: Well...uh....let's see. A sore throat, ear pain, body aches, chills, fever, headache, and coughing. Oh! And this weird thing where my vision out of my right eye is very blurry. Probably unrelated but let's just throw it in to be safe.
Website: Rate the severity of your pain from moderate to severe.
Me: Severe. Definitely severe. I think I'm dying.
Website: Have you recently been exposed to someone with an infectious disease?
Me: ....what? Maybe....I....I don't know. Why?
Website: Here is a list of possible conditions:  Viral pharyngitis, strep throat, mononucleosis, laryngitis, tonsilitis, acute sinustis, common cold, dust exposure, indoor allergens, smoke exposure, heartburn/GERD, shingels, scarlet fever, epiglottis, mumps, thyroid cancer, hiatal hernia, bird flu
Me: SAY WHAAAAAAT???? Scarlet fever? Cancer? bird flu? GERD?!?!?
Website: Please list other symptoms. Are you currently panicking?
Me: Yes, of course!
Website: How about hyperventilating?
Me: Well I wasn't but now that you mention's {gasp} getting {gasp} harder {gasp} to {BIG gasp} breathe.
Website: Are you breaking out into a sweat?
Me: Yeah, the hyperventilating kind of brought that on..........
Website: Well it's what we suspected. You're a goner.
Me: Oh my word!  I knew it! Farewell cruel world! {cue dramatic, old school death scene}

Ok, so maybe it didn't happen exactly like that. I just feel so awful that I think it's causing me to become delirious. BLAST! I knew I forgot to add something to the symptom checker.
Well, I am going to go nurse myself back to health while I wait on Hubs to get home. A good movie, some tea, meds, and a second opinion are just what I need right now!....Eric jokingly calls me his "little hypochondriac." Hypochondriac. Hmph! I don't know where he gets that idea from! ;-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuscan Bean Soup

Major changes have been made in my household as of late. Sick of feeling sluggish and bogged down by the food we eat, Hubby and I have ventured into the land of Good Food. Organic, gluten-free, no GMO's, and no High Fructose Corn Syrup are just some of the avenues we've been traveling down. And let me tell ya'! It's been a great journey so far.
Well except for last night. I made, from scratch, Tuscan Bean Soup. Nothing but goodness in it....oh well....goodness and spinach. Although Hubby expressed strong focus to eating right and trying
things he didn't like, when push came to shove, he chickened out opted to eat something else. Something less....spinachey (word?!? I'm going with it.) Silly Hubby! ;-)
Disappointed but not deterred, I instead invited Mom over for lunch today. I thought she would enjoy the meal plus I needed a guinea pig. :-D The menu consisted of:
*Tuscan Bean Soup
*Grilled cheese sandwiches with a twist = I used gluten-free white rice bread, mozzerella, and red onion slices. This was the first time I tried using gluten-free bread. The consistency is definitely and maybe slightly more dry than your typical bread but overall it's delish!
*Fruit = strawberries & kiwi's...seriously, you can't go wrong with that fruit combo! So good!
The meal was a major success! Super filling but afterwards we had tons of energy and did not feel heavy after eating. Do you know what I mean by heavy? Like the Titanic was served to you and you ate every bit of it + dessert. Yeah, no Titanic feast here. Just good and good for you food! The recipe is not my own, although I wish it was. I found this great recipe at This site is amazing and has been a huge help to me!

A lovely half eaten sandwich....what? It was really good. I coudn't help myself. ;-)

May not look scrumptious but believe me! It's yummo to the max! I really talk like this? Note to self: Find less cutesy, descriptive words.
I encourage you to check out Kitchen Stewardship and to try this delicious recipe! You and your body will be glad you did!

Have you tried any new recipes lately? Let me know! I'd love to try it out too! Have a terrific Tuesday! :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Nameless Dish

Budgets are a great thing! They keep one organized and, obviously, on top of their finances. But what happens when one runs out of money from their grocery budget for the month?? They are left to dig through their cabinets and refrigerators, praying to make something edible. What would you do if that happened to you? Scream? Panic?! Curse the day you spent too much at the grocery a few weeks ago?!? "Why did I have to buy that extra (fill in the blank)????"  Years ago, Mom ran into the situation and created a dish called macasagna. It was really good and is now one of our family faves!

As you can already imagine, this happened to me just this past weekend. Hubby and I are very strict with our cash budget system....meaning, if we run out then we are out until the next month. Not like we couldn't just go and use our debit cards. BUT discipline is key! And apparently I forgot that last month because when I looked in my grocery envelope it was empty! So what did I do? Looked at what I did have and got to work. Lo and behold! We had some sausages in the back of my meat drawer. Perfect for grilling! Meat? Check. Side had some mashed potatoes mix, 1/2 cup of sour cream, ranch dressing mix, 1/2 a bag of bacon bits, and some cheese. TADAH! I had my side dish. A little thing I like to call....well, I don't actually have a name for them yet. If you come up with one, let me know! ;-) Here's what I did:
1. Made the spuds according to directions. Spread half of the potatoes in a casserole dish. Set aside.
2. Mixed together the last bit of sour cream I had with the ranch dressing mix. I then spread that on top of the potatoes and spread the remaining potatoes on top.
3. Then I sprinkled the top with the cheese and bacon bits.
Into the oven (you could also use your broiler) it went. I kept it in there till the top was melted and the middle warm. *I personally prefer homemade mashed potatoes but the box mix was all I had.* Sure, there are a few things with the dish I would tweak but all in all I was a happy camper with the way it turned out! Hubs was too which is always an A++ in my book!

What dishes have you created out of desperation? Were they awesome? Were they awful? Are they now a regular at your home?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Farmers Market Morning

In my efforts to build a healthier and happier life for my husband & I, I visited my local farmer's market for the first time this morning. It was a cold but beautiful morning to try something new!

Just a few of the vendors
Apparently there were not as many vendors as there will normally be but even still I loved going! There were several booths with herbs and plants, 100% natural meats, and baked goods. One booth in particular caught my interest and that was M.J.'s Magic Elixir stand. Great name, huh?  The ladies there were so friendly and really knowledgeable about, not only their products, but why their products are better than the ones traditionally sold in stores. They make all natural cleaning supplies which is right up my alley! Their cleaners smell great and work wonderfully! I bought the Disinfectant, Multi-Purpose Cleaner in the Fresh Squeezed Lemon scent. FABOO!!

So why the visit?
1. I want to support local farmers and companies. Whatever happened to that idea, anyway??
2. Most have organic, all natural, good clean items (no pun intended....well kinda)to sell. No icky chemicals for this gal!
3. It's a great way to get know people in your community!
4. What better way to kick off your morning than by taking a walk in the cool morning air?
5. You can find products you may not normally find in your regular grocery store. This is a great platform for people to be creative and to also have the opportunity to profit off of their originality!

If you haven't tried your local farmers market yet, get out there! Give it a whirl! It not only will benefit you but the people there. It's a win-win! Have a great morning! :-)

Have you tried a farmers market before? What great things have you found?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Seventh Generation

Have you ever stopped to read what is in some of your household cleaning products?? Try it some time. It will shock you especially if you read into the effects of some of the listed chemicals. I mentioned a while ago how I am reading a book called, "A Complete Idiots Guide to Green Cleaning." This book has really opened my eyes to some of the long term effects of the products I use. Now, in an ideal world, I would be able to make my own homemade soaps and cleaners, grow my own organic garden, and make my own clothes......but let's face it! An ideal world is not what I ,or many people I know, are living in. So it's nice to know that companies like Seventh Generation have my back!

I really L-O-V-E this company! I mean, check out their mission statement:

"To inspire a more conscious and sustainable world by being an authentic force for positive change."

That's the kind of person I want to be and the kind of products I want to use! They are really open about the products they have and how they operate. Such frankness is really appreciated in a day and age where literal toxins are hidden by friendlier, less threatening terms. And a big plus!!! COUPONS!!! I've said it before and I will say it again--I love a good coupon! And it's so easy! You can actually just go to their site and, like everything else they do, it's right there in the open. No digging around on the site to find the good stuff. Finding coupons on natural or organic products can sometimes be difficult so I count my blessings when I can find them! Seventh Generation is reasonably priced too so that also helps in my efforts of being more green and providing a healthier environment in my own home.
My current fave product?? Their Lemongrass & Clementine Zest dishwashing liquid. It smells so good and really does an A++ job of getting my dishes clean!
Two things I would encourage you to do: 1. Read the labels on your current products and research the effects. 2. Try Seventh Generation! You will be glad you did....especially after completing step 1!
What are some products you have tried lately that are both good for you and the environment?
*Seventh Generation did not compensate me for mentioning them. They have no idea who I am. But I love their products so I'm going to blog about them anyway! :-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Praying for the Strength

Lately, I have found myself praying for strength. Big things, small matter the size of the matter, I need some major uplifiting. Some may find that a sign of weakness to be looking up towards Heaven for answers, but as I sit here, curled up in a blanket on my couch listening to the cold rain pouring down, I find that to be a joy. A joy because the burdens that are on my heart don't have to be mine. And I don't have to have all the answers. And I don't have to muster up this false sense of self-sufficiency when it's not really there. I can be myself to my Father and say, "I'm worried and I'm stressed and I can't do this! But I know YOU can. I know you will bring me through this time of heaviness with an
outcome of singing your praises!"
It makes me think of a chorus I often sing to myself (am I the only one who sings out loud when alone??)...

It's for my good and for His glory
This trial's not the end of the story
There's a bigger picture God alone can see
Faith will take me through this sorrow
For I know He holds tomorrow
And he assures me it's for my good and for His glory!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 10th, 2010

April 10th, 2010 was the most special day of my entire life. On that day, I married my best friend. I never imagined I could love one person so much and love them more & more each day. But I do. This past year has been the most amazing of my existence. I have learned a lot about myself, my husband, my family and friends and my Lord. There have been bumps in the road but only the natural kind that most overcome and soon forget. When I think over this past year, what comes to my mind is waking up in my husbands arms, long conversations over dreams and goals, countless hours of laughter, happy tears, bonding, praying together, and so much more! Honestly, such a wonderful life is not something I feel I deserve but somehow the Lord saw fit to bless me beyond my wildest dreams. Eric means so much to me and is so good to me. I just pray I can be a worthy help meet. One that continually strives to be a Proverbs 31 woman (even though failure is a daily occurence), honoring God and blessing her husband. Although this year has been one of complete happiness, I must admit! I can hardly wait for each year that passes. Each year where Eric and I can grow closer and closer to eachother and to God.

And last but not least, some more of our songs. Some are from the wedding and some are just ours. Enjoy!
"Be Thou My Vision" (not this exact version) was played during our prayer together
"Dawn" was played before the ceremony. It's from Pride and Prejudice, my all-time favorite movie and book!
"Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis Presley was played during our first dance. <3
"For Ever and Ever Amen" by Randy Travis. Eric sings this song to me all the time...but kind of in a corny, silly country twang. I'll take what I can get. haha
"Higher & Higher" by Jackie Wilson
"Just You And Me" by Chicago. Another song Eric sings to me!
"I Can't Help Myself" by The Four Tops...what can I say?  We like to kick it old school!
"At Last" by Etta James....this song kind of sums it up! "My lonely days are over and life is like a song!"
"You're My Everything" by The Temptations...yet another one Eric sings to me. I'm a lucky girl!
"Your Precious Love" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Those are just a few! How long have you been with your special someone? Do you two have any songs that you call "ours"?
P.S. Non-sappy, mushy gushy, lovey dovey posts soon to come! ;-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wedding Showers

Just wanted to share some of the special moments from my wedding showers!

And just in case you thought I didn't have more songs......enjoy! :-)   

My Big Blessings, Part 3

I'm almost done, I promise. It's like I'm the girl that wins at an awards show and they have to play the music to get her shut up! And cue the music...

Juan and Jill
I have to give a shout out to Juan, Jill's husband. They drove all the way from Alabama and not only that but he hung out with the girls and helped the day before! You should have seen him! He was carrying pillars into the church and speaking Spanish to Ashley's baby. It. Was. Awesome. Thanks so much, Juan! It was wonderful having you there!

Big thanks to Blaine who helped Don with the music and who drove Eric & I to the reception! We really appreciated it!
Nick, Jake, Hubby, Chad, Davis, and Nic
Eric had some great groomsmen! Nick and Chad are his brothers. Jake, Davis, and Nic are long time buddies. I know Eric really appreciated them coming (Nic came from Cincy) to be there to support him. It was so fun for me to have them there as well! I got to know them a little better and through the experience, I got to see Eric through their eyes which was great!

Ashley and I
You know how I mentioned you need to have another brain when planning a wedding? Well here is mine! Ashley is a really dear friend to me and I appreciated everything she did. I'm kind of a perfectionist and it's hard for me to give up some control, especially when it comes to something big! I can't just let the details go to just any one. When I started the planning process, I kept thinking, "I really want to ask Ashley to be my planner but I don't want to bother her." SO silly! As soon as I asked she accepted. I literally yelled, "WOOHOO!!!" when she told me she would. She put in so much hard work and effort and thought and detail (and the list goes on & on) to make sure my day went smoothly. And it did! If anything did go wrong, I had no idea. What a relief! I was able to truly soak in all the special moments of the day without worrying about when pictures would be taken or when people would walk down the aisle! Through the experience, we grew even closer and I am so thankful we did! I could not have imagined my day without her there!  P.S.- Check out her adorable blog @ You'll be glad you did!

High five for the best bridesmaids EVER!
To me, it was never a question who would be in my wedding. I'll try to keep this short...."try" being the key word. Starting at the bottom and going clockwise is Jacqueline. That is my cousin and the closest thing I have to a sister! We have been through so much together and have some of the craziest memories. We just always click and she can always make me laugh! When I'm hanging out with her, it's like we are 12 years old again-singing and dancing! Moving on is Chrystal (her dad is Pastor Salazar). We've been friends since highschool and were, most likely, separated at birth! She has been a real friend to me and I am so thankful for her, as I am the rest of these lovely gals!I love that, 11 years later, we are still great friends! Then there's Jill!! <3 her! She and I became extremely close after I graduated highschool. I would spend most of my free time with her and her bff, Karen. I have so many funny stories stored in my head because of her. I was so happy when she got married but heartbroken because when she said, "I do", she moved to a far off land called Alabama! So happy her and Juan were willing to drive all the way up. Amber is the next gal pal you see and she is simply amazing! We met sr. yr. of highschool through Chrystal at church, worked together for 7-ish years and have been through a lot together! We have laughed and cried and eaten a lot of Ramen noodles together!! I wish everyone could have an Amber! And last, but not least, is my "twin". Karen. I met her the same time I met Jill and for years we were always together. She makes me laugh so hard and I truly treasure our friendship. And if you ever are in the mood for popcorn, chocolate covered strawberries, or any kind of cake- she is your girl! All of my bridesmaids helped sooooo much with the wedding and threw me some amazing bridal showers! I had sooooo much fun with them! Every single one of them has been a true friend to me and honestly, I could not ask for more. They mean the world to me!

I know all of these posts have been ridiculously long....I'd apologize but....nah! All of these people mean something to me and deserve to be recognized for being AWESOME. These posts were called, "My Big Blessings" for a reason. :-) Thank you for sticking with me through each novel post. There will be some more wedding posts to come for Sunday is my anniversary but they shouldn't be this lengthy! Until then, goodnight and sleep tight!

My Big Blessings, Part Deux

Wow! Getting even closer to date of our one year anniversary! I'm so looking forward to this weekend with my Hubby! While we are cruising around town, we will probably be listening to this song. Enjoy!

As I reflect back on our wedding day, I am reminded of all the amazing people that helped contribute and make our day special!

They are a-mazing!
 These folks pictured above are amazing people. There is no other way to say it. From encouraging to helping plan to working their tooshies off at the reception, they made our day so wonderful! They decorated the whole reception hall, helped serve food and drinks, and cleaned up afterwards. Some of them aren't even pictured. My family and I could not have done it without them! They're all long time family friends that seem more like family. We are so blessed to have them in our lives!

I just had to post this pic of my mom and her bff's!

Pastor Mitchel and Pastor Salazar
Both of those men have been extremely influential in my life, from the time I was a teenager till this day. I couldn't imagine my wedding day without having both of them there. Pastor Mitchell has been an amazing, godly Pastor to my home church since it's start and has been such an encouragement to me. Eric and I really cherished the time we had with Pastor during our premartial counseling. He really shared some amazing truths to build a strong marriage. Pastor Salazar, or Papa Salazar as I call him, has been in my life since I met his daughter in highschool. The whole family has been hugely influential in my life and I am sooo very thankful to have them in my life! To have them there, performing the pastoral duties at our wedding, was so precious to me. Also, the choir director, not pictured, helped by doing all of the audio. I really appreciated all of these gentleman taking time out of their busy schedules to be there!

My little cutie pies!
Introducing.....Hannah and Wyatt!!! Hannah is my cousin and Wyatt is Eric's nephew. They were the perfect addition to our wedding day and I was so happy to have them enjoying the day with us! Aren't they adorable?

Ok, I know I have a picture of my whole family on the day but I can't find it. AH! A little alarming but since I don't have a picture, I do have my words (insufficient as they may be.) Everyone in my family played a part in my wedding day. My Nana made my beautiful veil, helped, and gave me such encouraging words. My brother helped with so much the day of! He has such a servants heart and just did whatever was needed. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone in between mean so much to me. To see them there, had my heart at the point of overflowing!

Penney and Dave, amazing people
Photo courtesy of their Facebook page! haha
 When it came time to plan photography for the wedding, to say I was "stressed" was an understatement. Everything was so expensive and so involved. I almost threw up my hands and said, "Pull out the Polaroid!" Then there was Dave. He is the dad of two of my besties (more about them later). He stepped up and was so truly spectacular. I mean...out of this world awesome. Dave put so much thought into all of the pictures, planned ahead, and spent the whole day (& rehearsal) snapping away! THEN (yes, there's more) he put all 700+ pictures on cd's (each labeled). AND THENNNNNNNN, he video recorded our wedding ceremony. I told you! He is awesome! He did so much more than I ever expected. Being able to look back at these pictures and video, a year later, is such a wonderful delight! SUCH A BLESSING!!!

OK, let's take a breather before Part 3 comes along! Are you ready for it??