Friday, December 19, 2014

Coffee with my Lord | Promises from God's Word

Good morning, sweet friends! It is a beautifully chilled and gray day today -- my beloved is out gathering the last of his Christmas list and so I am sitting in an unusually quiet home with tea in one hand and a few encouraging verses next to the other.
God is so good, isn't He? Faithfully, He meets our needs and with a gracious hand our wants are often met too. Beyond our imagination is His love and mercy and wisdom. A simple lesson I have been learning is to look to our Heavenly Father for His promises and to cling to them; a simple practice I used when I was a newborn Christian but for some reason allowed to fall to the side in the latter years.
The good news is that His promises are never ending! We barely have to part the pages of His Word before words of promise pour out. Promises of life, freedom, victory, mercy, love, security, and justice have been preserved for our generation; there are also other promises: judgment, His second coming, and discipline. Thankfully, what seems like negative promises actually bring comfort to the believing soul. There will be a day of judgment, but it will be tempered by the blood of Jesus who I plead. There will be a day when Christ appears, but praise God!, I will be prepared to meet Him with a heart washed in the blood and a life transformed by His power. There will be discipline in this life, but it is only the gentle, correcting staff of a shepherd Who watches yearns for His sheep to walk in the path of life.  Yes, the Bible is full of promises I need to cling too!
Psalm 62 had a few promises which encouraged my heart -- I hope they encourage yours as well!
What promises do you find yourself clinging too? Maybe there is a special promise you have been reminding yourself of lately? I'd love to hear it!
Also, don't forget about the giveaway tonight! I can't wait to make you and your mailbox happy!
Love and blessings to you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

8 Surefire Ways to Love Your Mate this Holiday Season

Christmas is such a special time but often the joy and simplicity of rejoicing over the Lord Jesus' birth can be frantically forgotten when busy schedules and overwhelmed spirits clog our minds. Being newly wed, I am learning how important it is to purposefully connect with my husband amongst the busyness that accompanies the wintry, festive days of Christmas. Here are eight ways I've discovered to love your mate during the holiday season -- I hope these ideas can inspire all, fire-up busy, holiday-happy wives, and encourage my single sisters as well!

1. Do something special

    I have found that loving my husband can be as easy (and sweet!) as remembering to keep our lives special. Does he take a lunch to work? Maybe tuck a holiday-themed love note next to his bologna and pickle. Perhaps your beloved is working late hours into the cold evening? He may enjoy coming home to a warm, favorite meal of his. There are so many ways you can purposefully remind your love that he is special and that you appreciate him!

2. Communicate

    We all know that communication is key for a happy, peaceful marriage; but, how much more when the holiday season has you both running in all directions? Lately, we have had to communicate (and re-communicate) our expectations, hopes, and plans for visiting family over the next few weeks, how to manage our budget, my starting a college class/finishing my associates degree, ending a part-time job (and how to go about it), a friend's out of town wedding, and how to make the most of my sister's flying from Arizona without being away from home for two weeks straight (that is a hard one!). Communicating with your spouse your hopes and desires and listening to theirs is a surefire way of making them feel loved and wanted -- even in the midst of a busy schedule!

    Also, it is really important to communicate with family and friends too! There is nothing like bringing a can of cranberry sauce to the New Year's Eve party when you were supposed to bring two casseroles and pie. Be honest and open about expectations and you'll be sure to avoid silly misunderstandings!
3. Date him

    Dating you're hubby is an incredibly fun and easy way to stay connected this holiday. If the holidays are making your budget tight opt out of over-spending and purpose to be with each other in other ways. My husband and I love to go grocery shopping together ... we normally make a day of it by hanging out at his favorite video store and then browsing the beautiful aisles of Hobby Lobby, making my crafting-heart rejoice! I know one couple who have made it their habit to go for coffee and dessert. Button up and go for a walk, listening to each other's hopes and dreams for the future. Finally, don't forget how fun a Star Wars marathon and freshly popped popcorn can be.

4. Be kind

    It seems elementary but being kind is important and easily forgotten (at least by this goal-driven, sometimes moody, first born ;). Complement him. Refuse to nag over unfinished projects. Don't run him over just because your mom is coming over and you want everything perfect. Practice unconditional respect and forgiveness. Most of all, bless him with you're kind, loving, consistent smile and mood ... he will appreciate and notice it!

5. Do not assume the worst

    Remembering that love thinks no evil is an incredible way of loving your mate this season. It can be so easy to assume the worst of your spouse and let negative thoughts gain ground ... especially when the holiday festivities tend to add stress to all-ready crowded days. I really struggle with this. Thoughts like:

What did he mean when he said that?

What does he think of me?

He doesn't seem to be in love with my idea so he must hate it and I hate that he gets to be the boss and why can't I make my own decisions!

(see how quickly assuming the worst can develop into a hard, unloving, untrusting attitude?)

Yikes! Instead of ripping the poor, unsuspecting man's head off, learn to put a stop to the negative, assuming thoughts.  I've noticed that men (particularly my man) say what they mean and mean what they say. They don't play word games.

Plus there is nothing wrong with asking "What exactly did you mean by _____?" nor is it bad to sweetly say, "Babe, I don't think you meant to hurt my feelings but when you said _____ I felt really hurt." :) Communication is key, remember?

6. Pray together

   The couple that prays together stays together -- especially during the holiday season. Praying with your husband is a surefire way of reconnecting your two busy souls into one likeminded blend. It is a precious time when you set aside the stresses of life and look to your Heavenly Father as one. It is a time for rejoicing and practicing thankfulness. A time to lift worries and needs before the throne. Most of all, it is a time of unifying your hearts and reminding yourselves that together you are heirs of the grace of life.

7. Laugh

    Remembering to step back from the busyness of life and laugh can be a strong way of loving your mate! In the midst of tight budgets, traveling to see family, deciding on which (multiple) church/school functions to attend, and the normal day-to-day activities that battle for your attention it is easy to forget to laugh together. But taking a moment to laugh together is a fun, cheap, easy way to remember the important things in life. So go ahead -- have that pillow fight, reminisce over your first Christmas and the cute, albeit, bare Charlie Brown tree you shared in the crowded apartment, and smash the sugar cookie into his adorable face. Because, let's face it. If you aren't having fun together then all the busyness and stress isn't worth it. :)

8. Step back

    Finally, one last, surefire way of loving your mate this holiday season is to simply step back from it all. Depending on your season of life you might not be able to make it to every get-together, every musical, and every gift-wrapping fananza. And that's okay. There is no medal given out for having the busiest schedule. There is, however, many golden moments which result from simply stepping back from some of the busyness and focusing on you, your spouse, your family and, most importantly, remembering the Reason for the season.

There you have it! Eight surefire ways of purposefully loving your mate this Christmas season! What are some ways you purposefully connect with your spouse? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Love always!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Time | Giveaway, Goals, and Gleanings

Hello, dearest friends!

Oh, what a terrible blogger I have been -- the last few weeks have been full and bright and busy. We've been blessed with holiday feasts and family, guests camping out on our couches, shopping sprees, and work. I have projects, dreams, and goals bubbling out of my ears! Shall I press on and finish my teaching degree or simply rearrange my credits and get an associates degree and TESOL certification? What about my plans for designing and printing invitations as a small business? My children's book? This multi-tasking, list-making, dreaming girl doesn't quite know what to do. Of course, my disciplined, project-finishing stud of a husband is right: just start on one thing and finish it. Oh, if only it were as simple as that, am I right? ;)

In the mean time I'm busy wrapping presents, babysitting, and sending you a Christmas gift!

Well, at least one of you. :]


It would make me so happy to send one of you this lovely, Thai, handmade bracelet as a special holiday treat! To let me know you'd like to enter this bit of Christmas fun please comment below and share one of your favorite Christmas memories. On the eve of Friday, December 19th, my hubby and I will draw a name and announce that night. Oh, I am so excited ... there is nothing more joyous than giving a specially wrapped gift to a friend.  This is not a promoting giveaway -- simply a way to give to one of my readers; do feel free to share with your friends ... it is always fun to share joy.

So, my darling peoples, please share your happiest, best memories of Christmas ... I'll be counting down the days!

Merry Christmas, lovelies!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Evening Cozies

Winter time evenings are wonderful blessings, aren't they?
Sometimes they are full of mountains of laundry, mopping floors, and wiping down dirty sinks.
And sometimes they are full of hot coffee, good reading, painting, and quiet moments with the Lord.
I really do enjoy both.
Especially when they end with evening snuggles and kettle corn.
What are you doing this evening? What keeps you in these snowy, lovely nights?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November | Or How I Survived the Feeling Tsunami in October

Hello, dearest readers,

Yes, I am alive.

I know it seems like I have fallen from the face of the universe and I imagine how difficult it must be for you to go for days without hearing from me -- those long days without reading something fran-tastic (fantastic + frannie = fran-tastic. ;) must be as difficult as trying to properly clip your toenails when the clipper's handle keeps slipping off ... you all have experienced that haven't you? It's excruciatingly annoying.

. . .

Yes, I am alive.

I've just been oh-so stumped at what to write. Our home is beginning to feel more and more like home -- so much scope for the diy imagination. Of course there was my melt down over the hot-glue gunned, burlap banners but I think that is a story for a different day.

When I haven't been busy at home diy-ing, baking, enjoying a (wonderful, five day!) visit with family, or substituting for a music teacher (fun!) I have been babysitting a two year-old named Calvin who loves to play cell phone, dance and try to eat paint.

October was a very good month full of answered prayers, memory making, Gilmore Girl watching, and married bliss. There were also days, d a y s, when I struggled with
f e e l i n g s. Feelings were out of control, out of balance, and out of the will of God; ugly feelings like loneliness, fear, and anxiety. I even found myself looking for hormonal excuses and eventually asked my beloved, "What's wrong with me!?" The dear, wonderful man answered in his gentle, good way, "I don't know. Why don't you try to find out. Look deeply." Within minutes I had my answer: I had let some unfounded fears nibble away at my peace and security and I was looking for something, anything, to fill that. So today has been spent in looking at the Christ who loves me so much and in repenting at the lack of faith and trust I have in His goodness.

He is so good.

And I am so blessed.

So, without further ado, I am ready to start my November with a bang. Here are my five goals and five favorites for November:

:: Study the three books of John and keep up with my devotional reading
:: Finish our Christmas list
:: Practice, every day, the awareness of the presence of Jesus Christ in my heart, home, and marriage
:: Pray to know God's will for my attending college, online classes, finishing my teaching degree and, while waiting, to begin the process of contacting schools for the upcoming spring semester
:: Practice hospitality at least twice this month (hard for this new, introverted gal!)
:: Pandora's Christmas stations. I am so enjoying holiday selections from the Mannheim Steamroller station and Steven Curtis Chapman station.
:: Diana Hagee's Submission and How I Conquered It -- a fun, challenging, encouraging reminder of God's will for us wives and how we can live it out
:: Homemade crescent rolls ... yum!
:: Pumpkin candles and pumpkin lattes ... 'tis the season for these favorites of mine
:: I Will Carry You by Angie Smith ... a must read, faith-building story about a Christian's couple's pregnancy journey and the "sacred dance of grief and joy" God gently leads them through. Such a blessing to me!
just one more 
:: All your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does — that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness.
 -Diary of St. Faustina, 1486 (shared by our friend Miss Emily :)

Dearies, I'd love to hear about your November plans and favorites.
With love!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Coffee with my Lord | Resting In His Unfailing Love

Hurrah for sticking with a post series!

(No, really ... HURRAH! I hardly ever stay consistent with my endeavors.)

Today, dear friends, I am sipping a cup of black coffee and rejoicing in the God Who makes all things new. Recently, I came to my beloved and asked him to forgive me for a few pre-marriage offences I had committed against him. I was amazed when he asked for my forgiveness for the very same things. My eyes filled with tears as I gave my handsome man a hug and we both praised God for working in our hearts individually before bringing us together over the same issue. What a good God we serve. He is always faithful to chasten His children. Unlike us, He will not overlook sin. He knows that the cost will be far worse in the end. I am so thankful that He means for us to be truly holy, righteous, and pure -- praise God for Jesus' unspeakable gift of being able to live like we should!

Today, I aim to lift my eyes to the hill and rejoice in the God Who fights for me, for us, and rest in His finished work.

What has the Lord been teaching you over your cup of coffee? I would love to hear!

With love,


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tea and Me | On a Cold October Evening

|| Put the Kettle On can be found here ||

"The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness." P.G. Wodehouse


It's not normally for me.

Because I prefer my coffee ... in a cute mug ... hot and fresh and black.

But my consumption was exceeding the proper amount.

When my husband came home and found me floating in a sea of hot, brown deliciousness (again) he asked me to consider the alternative.


Ew, I said. It will have to be filled to the brim with milk, I said. Impossible, I said.

Yesterday's cup was awful, plum awful. It was too weak, too diluted, too cold. Never again, I said.

And then today came with its cool weather, fresh, homemade cookies, relaxed schedule, and mocked me. I had to find a caffeine free, hot beverage since my coffee consumption had already been had at 10 am -- so I gave tea one more try.

And somehow I enjoyed it.

So here's to my new relationship with tea -- may it never overstep the strong memories coffee and I have and may it always be there on cold October days.


Here's a bit of cheesy/romantic/tea fun ... I'll be sure to try this out on my hottea tonight. ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Photo Gallery and a New Home

Hello, dearies!

Yes, that's right -- we've left our bungalow for a one mile trek across town and a two room rental that nests at the end of a street. Brown walls and creamy white trim have been making Dalton and I feel warm and comfortable in this new space. There are no leaky sinks, no leaky roofs, and no leaky sewage pipes -- blessings indeed! Though we loved our last place, our honeymoon home, it is so nice to have a dependable landlord and the knowledge that, unless the Lord moves us, we can plan on settling in.

So without further ado, (and because I'm about to put my feet up, turn the Disney music up, and drink my coffee up) show yourself around!

Our living room is so spacious! Perfect for guests and (maybe one day) babies to wonder around in. There is so much room in comparison to our last rental that we are able to enjoy ample seating space -- both couches and ottoman fit nicely! 

Of course you want to see the toilet room -- don'cha? This bathroom is such a treat to Dalton and I -- the walls are not crumbling and the vanity isn't moldy -- two aspects we were happy to leave behind and there is plenty of space for us both to get ready. Although, I do miss the "closeness" our tiny bathroom seemed two bring. ;)

The bedrooms are very roomy and we're loving the carpet! These shots are of our room ... isn't that closet dreamy? The little signs hanging from the closet say good night -- the prefect touch of shabby/rustic/romantic. (Can you spot the creeper? ;)

I know what you're really thinking ... "Very nice, Frannie. But where do I sleep when I come to visit?" (Because ya'll know you're cordially invited if ever you happen to be scadaddling through Jefferson City.)
Well, sweet friend, there is no where for you to rest -- at least not now. The spare bedroom (which I am so loving!) is currently overflowing with crafting materials/innumerable sets of glass dishware (from our generous wedding guests)/work out equipment. However, it is my goal to have this room tidied and ready for happy, visiting souls by tomorrow. :)

As you tour the last bit of our happy home you'll find yourself in the kitchen -- and what a fun place to be in! I am loving the fresh cupboards, the pretty counter top, and the deep sink ready for washing dishes. I must confess that I do miss (very much) the lovely cabinets my beloved painted in our previous rental. They were beautiful labors of love! All in all, I am very much enjoying my updated kitchen -- I cannot wait to have family and friends over for coffee made in this very room.

We are still so overcome with awe at our living in this home -- our last place, though very dear, had become a sort of burden with the many maintenance issues and our landlords lack of dependability. We are so honored and praise God for sending us on in His way and timing! Thank you, Lord!

With love to you all!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The DIY Bug and 6 Awesome Cures

I've been bitten by the DIY-bug -- you know, the one which seems to bite when the craft budget is low, possibilities endless, and your sewing machine rests 153 miles from your aching fingers. Thankfully, we don't let limitations hold us back (do we?) from accomplishing the making of beauty. It may mean hemming with a hot glue gun, crafting cards from the most obscure cuts of paper, or repainting a frame with chalkboard paint but we get it done (unless, of course, a couch, bowl of cookie dough, and Les Miserables happens to be available ;).

In honor of the crafting-bug I present you with several amazing sites and my favorite tutorials -- read 'em, enjoy 'em, and marvel at the creativity bursting from your screen. I promise these ladies will spark the DIY flame in you. Maybe then we will avoid gobbling cookie dough this afternoon ... then again, maybe not. ;) 

|| I am crazy about this no-sew burlap curtain -- what an adorable way to dress up a window! ||
|| I love Chelsea's site and as a renter I love her down-to-earth advise on sprucing up your home! ||
|| I loved these curtains and plan on trying my hand on them soon! ||
|| Open, rustic shelving has been on my mind a lot and I love these beauties! ||
|| Don't you just love this drum light made from basics like canvas and embroidery hoops? ||
|| Yes, I'd love to learn how to make adorable and affordable curtains! Wouldn't you? ||
What sort of "bug" has bitten you lately? The travel bug? The holiday decorating critter? Or maybe its something as great as the Anne of Green Gables bug? Whatever it is I would love to hear about it! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Coffee with my Lord | Starting Up

There is nothing better than a clean, joyful, loving relationship with Jehovah God. And early mornings and hot coffee and good friends -- wonderful blessings I enjoy. And that is why I am beginning a new (and hopefully consistent) series on Of Mess and Glory. I want to share what the LORD is doing in my life (and hopefully hear what He is doing in yours too!).

Lately, the Lord has been gently spanking me; chastening me into a closer walk with Him. His word says in Hebrews 12,

" ... My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."

Having grown up in a home where Mr. Spanky (the household spanking rod) was a regular, well known member, I know that spanking hurts. But nothing aches more than an uncleared, sin-filled conscience; nothing is heavier than a heart burdened with sin; nothing destroys more than a lack of justice.

Thankfully, our Abba Daddy always pursues us. He faithfully chastens our proud and stubborn hearts desiring that we allow His proddings to lead us to repentance and freedom.

Last night, as Dalton and I watched a movie about Cain and Abel, we marveled at a new thought for us. After murdering Abel, Cain was rightfully punished for his sin; yet, God still showered mercy upon him by placing a marking upon him and promising to avenge him if ever another man killed him. Even in sin, God maintained a relationship with Cain. It was Cain who left the presence of the Lord. Sin requires a punishment ... it always has and always will. But, in His tremendous mercy, God has met the requirement of our sin -- through the death of Jesus Christ. Justice was met. My punishment has been given ... to Someone else who willingly stood in my place.

I am so thankful that I can repent of sins and be forgiven ... because God mercifully and justly provided a sacrifice for me. I am also thankful for God's chastening hand -- even though it often hurts, His faithful proddings sow seeds of revival and repentance in my heart.

So, dear friends, how has God been leading in your life? What new lessons have you been taught? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Hoping your coffee is good and your heart at peace,


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Decorating | On A Budget

Fall is rapidly approaching -- beautiful, cool evenings are closing warm, harvest-filled days, chestnuts are covering my favorite sitting spot, and leaves are changing into their very best. 
Happily, the fun doesn't stop outside the door! I love bringing Autumn's beauty into our home: creating a place full of comfort, peace, and refreshment simply by decorating. However, no matter how much I love browsing Hobby Lobby's aisles, we , as newly weds endeavoring to stay faithful to our budget, couldn't convince ourselves to spend $40 on one wreath (no matter how cute it was!).
What's a girl to do?
Hop over to Pinterest, browse DIY books, and put her creative genius glasses on, of course!
Join me as I share my joys of decorating on a newly wed's budget ... if anything, you'll have fun chuckling at my attempts!

My momma always decorated her front porch with the seasons ... a tradition I cannot break! Utilizing an old pair of mud-boots, pinecones collected on a neighborhood walk, a sprig of fabric leaves, and your own chalkboard greeting is a fun way to welcome guests in.
Oh, and then there is our very important friend, Owl. He was very delighted to be given the seat of honor (protecting the basil, of course). To add some spice and texture I used a few of the tree rings I asked Dalton to cut for me last year. :)  

Collected chestnuts are scattered gingerly along the living room windows and splashes of orange and red leaves (and the occasional flash of golden rod) help tie the room together. Of course the coffee table has a few books begging to be read but this time they are accompanied by the ever-available (and free!) chestnuts, leaves, and Dalton's beautiful black bean candle. We had collected wax from previous candles planning on reusing it for some craft. Earlier this week, my beloved had a blast drizzling wax over the dried beans --the way the wax melts round the beans creates a very beautiful and unusual candle. :) 

The hope chest in the dining room is covered with our beautiful table runner given as a wedding gift along with various jars tied with twine and filled with chestnuts and tealight candles. Beside the candles is the adorable harvest blessings pumpkin we found in our local Walmart. We also bought a white pumpkin from Aldis --this is Dalton's favorite purchase! He absolutely loves it!
(Pssst ... want to know how to drive your husband nuts? Buy into the idea that using tree branches as a floral arrangement is cute, ask him to gather said branches, then place the arrangement in a prominent place of the house. Say, the dining room table. (See above.) I promise you, if he is anything like my man, he will never run short of  hate-speech against your super cute, totally DIY, free, fall find! And, if you're anything like me, you'll be sure to get a good chuckle ... because you know its not going anywhere! ;)

Remember the fabric balls my mom and I made for Fourth of July? I recovered the balls with a different fabric and gave them a home on the bakers rack. It's a super easy, fun, and affordable way to bring splashes of color into your home.
I am so thankful for the many blessings Autumn brings and I cannot wait to see what the coming months surprise us with. In the mean time, I hope that our home and all my little, sometimes silly, touches create an atmosphere that speaks of love, peace, and most importantly,  a God who loves.
What are/were some ways you made your house a home when you were a newly wed? (Or a poor college student, or a single mom, or a stay-at-home daughter ... ;)
I'd love to hear about it!
|| This week I linked up with A Blossoming's Life's Monday blog hop ... Wow! Big things are going on! ;) Head on over and see what other amazing, crafty things are happening around the world. I know I will be! ||

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why I Never Get Bored

Growing up we were never allowed to be bored. If ever my siblings and I happened to utter that terrible word our mother was quick to offer her usual phrase of inspiration:

Don't tell me you're bored or I'll let you wash the dishes!

You can now see why we always found some way to entertain ourselves.

Thankfully,  now that I'm a grown adult and no longer live with my mom and her inspiring threats, I still have an anti-bored weapon. His name is Dalton Duncan.

Yes, married life often provides me with great (sometimes embarrassing) entertainment. Here are a few of my knight-in-shining-armor's shining moments:

1) Once, upon finding several adorable mushrooms my husband insisted I take pictures of him pretending to be using an umbrella.

2) Date days often involve some kind of fun, creative plan of his (he really is the more creative one in the bunch). Like the time he sent me on a huge scavenger hunt or that awesome day when we secretly drove to our parent's homes and gave them a good surprise.

3) Dalton hates getting his picture taken; actually, he hates cameras in general. He thinks they are over-used and take away from the moment ... two legitimate reasons. Nevertheless, I insist that we must gather some sort of proof that we are in fact married and having the time of our lives for the Facebook world. So, to accommodate both of our desperate pleas we've found a satisfying middle ground. I get to take pictures if  A) I tell him first B) he is doing some sort of pose.

Here's the proof:

Here he felt it appropriate to mock the "Men Working" sign

Interpretive dance with hot-mits

He thought getting a whole loaf from Panera was an amazing feat

4) Scene: Sitting on the couch enjoying a good conversation, Dalton leans over as if to kiss his bride ...

Me: *Yelling!* "Dalton, stop sucking on my nose!"
Dalton: "Hehehehehe ..."

5) I think Dalton is convinced that whenever a male applies shaving cream to his face his wife also should be covered in like manner.

6) Scene: My mom, Dalton, and I are finishing a nice, meaningful conversation in the dining room. Dalton rises, plays around with his Ipad, and then sits on the floor looking as if he is meaning to do some leg stretches. We look. He stretches out his legs like a grasshopper and rubs them together while his Ipad plays cricket sounds in the background.


7) Upon finding stray turtles on the street Dalton likes to offer bits of lettuce to the newcomer:

8) Scene: Enjoying a conversation with guests in the living room. A momentary silence.

Dalton: "Do you see those two owls on the bookshelf?"
Guests: Nod with interest
Dalton" "I carved those out of the prison soap." Grins with happy jubilance.

(Dalton has a love for mixing up conversation ... he feels that the world spends too of its time talking about normal, empty things and believes that one of his missions in life is to liven and stir people up in good, fun ways. It makes me smile.)

9) On early mornings when Dalton is already up he will very gently carry me to the living room couch, gather my pillow and blanket, snuggle me in and proceeds with his activities. It's a special, fun, unique way to sleep in. :)

10) Scene: Dalton's mother's hair salon. Telephone rings. Dalton rises to answer the phone:

Dalton: "Dalton's House of Ecstasy, Dalton speaking."
Me: *Face palm and extreme blush* "Dalton!"

I am so thankful for my funny, original man. His extreme, unique personality has often astonished my shy, safe personality ... needless to say, I've blushed and sputtered more in the last year than in most of my life! But I can say I have been better for it!

What crazy/funny things do your family members do? Or maybe you're the more original one in the family? I'd love to hear! 

p.s: This post was largely inspired by Rachel from The Random Writings of Rachel. I have always found her Angelism posts to be hilarious and realized that, I too, have a few stories to tell. Why don'cha hope on over to her blog ... I know you'll love it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Today's List

:: source ::

It's a great day to be alive.

I mean to really, really be awake and alert and in awe of this world.

In our area of Missouri a nice chill has fallen over the land along with an overcast gray sort of sky. It's time for leaves to begin changing colors, pumpkins to adorn porches, and scarves to make an appearance ... at least I think it is time.

So in honor of this day (and because I'm suffering from an acute batch of homesickness ... but wait, my home is here ... why are hearts so contradictory?) I'm purposing to be alive and awake and in awe of this time. I'll do some thorough cleaning of our small bungalow, listen to this lady's play list, sing worship songs, watch Sense and Sensibility, and give thanks;  for things like a husband's gentle love, clothes to wash, and a Redeemer.

What is your part of the world looking like? How are your spirits doing? I'd love to hear.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Seven Marriage Facts I Can't Keep Quiet About

I thought I knew everything (or almost!) about marriage. I knew all of the Scripture written on two becoming one.  I had observed and spoken with several happy couples asking for their keys to success. My parents themselves were a great picture of matrimony. But experiencing something is a whole lot different than dreaming about it. Here are seven things I've learned since saying "I do" that I just can't keep quiet about!  

Marriage is way better than you have ever imagined

Marrying Dalton is the best decision I ever made. Life has been so fun ... I mean, every thing is better when you're living life with your best friend. I wish I had known just how wonderful marriage really is ... I hope our marriage is a constant declaration of how great and good God is.

Change is okay

I've written a lot about this but I cannot  emphasize this point enough. Marriage changes you ... and for the better. I am so thankful to God for molding and shaping my life (some times in ways my flesh finds uncomfortable) through our marriage. But it was really hard for me to accept that it was okay for change to happen. Really hard. 

Babies don't just come after having sex

(Goodness gracious! Did she just use the s-word ... yes, my dear, she did ;-) 

This seems like a funny point but it really is important. All my life I had an idea that babies were so easy to make ... it simply isn't true! And this can be very frustrating for the young, hopeful couple. Don't fret those first (and second and third and ...)  negative pregnancy tests and late cycles steal your joy ... learn to enjoy the days fully without frustration taking over. I promise you, that is the better way of making days joyful and good! 

Your body will change and adjust

So. Incredibly. True.

This is totally important. I had no idea that marriage would effect my body as it has. Emotions, chemicals, and hormones are all working on overdrive ... and I mean it!

 If you're anything like me you like having a certain amount of control over your own body ... so when you cannot explain the weird crying spells, do not understand your body's off track cycles, and feel like a fifteen year old girl all over again ... pour yourself a cup of coffee, kiss that amazing man of yours, stop apologizing, and relax. It's normal and you're doing an awesome job as a wife. 

It takes time

I wish I had known (more fully) this simple truth: A good marriage requires time. This is really important to remember. Some days marriage can be really hard ... like bickersome, miscommunication, unmet expectations hard. But then there are those magical days when it blending our two lives into one seems as natural as can be. 

So when it gets hard just keep on loving that great man of yours. Like some of my favorite characters say, "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it?" Time always brings new beginnings.

There will be days when you feel scared to death 

I know this may sound like a disagreeable statement but I firmly believe that everyone faces this sometime in their marriage. It's a facet of love. After all, love, at the end of the day, is a renewed, conscious choice for your beloved. Good marriages are simply two committed souls choosing to pursue one another.

And there will be days when you wonder what in the world you were thinking. It could be hormones or maybe an unresolved argument or maybe your business went bust or maybe a child is sick ... no matter what the problem is fear will always try to use it as an entryway. It's a feeling -- something you should never build on.

Don't let it. Nip that fear, that nagging worry, in the bud. And then do something great for your spouse. Bake them cookies, give them a hug, or pray for them. I promise that that conscious action of love will whip fear in the backside and tell it to crawl back into the hole it came from.

And days when you know you made the best decision ever

Marrying my husband has brought so much joy and beauty into my life. I know God better because because of it. Life have so much more meaning because we are one. I laugh more. I smile more. Life. Is. Good. There is sweet, growing, beautiful peace which permeates our entire home ... and I'm so thankful for this chance of loving my man and journeying life together always.

So, there's 7 things I simply can't keep quiet about ...  if we were to meet for bagels and coffee you'd think I couldn't talk about anything else. Which thought resonated with you the most? Or maybe there was something else you discovered? I'd love to hear from you!! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Part of Me Missing

I miss my husband and I'm not ashamed to say it. 

But there was a time when I was ... When I couldn't stand to reveal to the world my need and desire for my one and only (or for anyone to be honest). 

You see, I grew up in a world where independence was looked highly upon ... No need for WWIII to break out just because daddy was away on a business trip. And I am so thankful for that--I'm glad that I learned not to fall to pieces when family members were away from the nest. 

Unfortunately, the independence I learned to value and appreciate created in me a distaste for anything dependent. Which can be a hazardous mixture in marriage. It isn't fair to your other half when you are okay with wanderlusting the globe alone and unattached; and, though it may reassure your traveling mate that you'll be okay when he or she is away, it doesn't speak love to be so nonchalant and capable when they're away. 

Everyone wants to know they are wanted.

Everyone needs to know they are needed. 

It wasn't until a friend told me that it was okay to feel lonely when separated from my beloved. That it was normal to feel like half of me was missing ... since half of me truly was. Freedom broke out in my heart. It's okay to need someone; to not want to leave without your other half; To miss others. 

So here's to missing my husband ... May the interestate grow smaller and smaller in distance and the home lights burn brighter with each passing mile.