The One which Mimics the Tilt-o-Whirl

Don’t mind the title.
It’s just that this post is completely non-cohesive. 
My reasons for writing are many. 
Here they are in no particular order.
(Because seriously, what would a tilt-o-whirl post be if it was orderly?!)
One.
Because I curled my hair. 
With my new Conair curl-o-matic curling ironing.
Ok, so that’s not the real name. 
But that’s what I’m calling it.
It’s the exact iron I was wanting.
And when Aldi got it in on a special for $7.99–HECK yes. 
That thing was in my cart lickity split.
But then of course I put it back.
Because I can’t spend more than $.99 without triple thinking it over.
But after the “triple think” I decided all systems were go.
I’m so glad I bought this baby.
I had a blast curling my hair with a curling iron that actually stays hot after each curl.
Two.
Because I’m wearing a dress.
And because I’m wearing leggings.
Leggings are THE most comfortable form of clothing ever invented. 
If it were appropriate, I would get rid of all of my pants and only wear leggings for the rest of my life. 
But alas, it is not appropriate. 
Believe me, you should be thanking me for this decision.

Three.
Because my lilac bushes are in BLOOM. 
I heart lilacs.
They smell like heaven. 
And they’re almost that beautiful.
I cut a bunch of buds and brought them inside.
Then I utilized the Kerr canning jars. 
Isn’t that just the prettiest thing you ever did see on a Spring morning?!

Four.
Because it’s officially GARAGE SALE season!
Kevin didn’t work Friday so he willingly came after I asked him in the sweetest manner I twisted his arm/begged and pleaded.
But he really was fun to have around.
I just had to keep my “browsing for browsing sake” to a minimum.
The first sale wasn’t even open when we arrived–oops!
But she was totally fine with us browsing through boxes and such.
For a total of SIX dollars (yes, $6.00!) I came away with:

  • one adorable shimmery teal wallet.
  • one Martha Stewart cookbook (looks like new!)
  • two “gifts in a jar” recipe books (this will be uber useful–what a great way to branch out from the plain old cookie in a jar.)
  • one pair of blingin’ (for me) sunglasses. 
  • and three adorable dresses

One of the dresses fits me perfectly and is super funky and looks adorable with my leggings.
The other two were just right for one of our teens.
I saw them and knew I had to have them for “our girls.”
AJ loved both of them.
They were just right for her.
And she couldn’t believe I had bought her two dresses “just because.”
Best. feeling. in. the world.

Five.

And because I’m in LOVE with my new monogram tote from Swagger.
A couple weeks ago I won a fabulous giveaway over at Kevin & Amanda’s.
A $50 gift card to shop at Swagger.
Awesome!
It took multiple “shopping trips” filled with browsing to narrow down my favorites.
Kevin helped me decide on the final choice and he was definitely right on!
The tote I picked out is adorable.
And durable.
And enormous. yet has little pockets for cell and such.
And the monogram in “hot pink” on the front?
*sigh*
I may have a slight obsession with monograms.
And I thought the “hot pink” just added that feminine touch I was looking for.
Don’t you love it?

And along the way as I made my final Swagger purchase, I had a lengthy email conversation with the owner.
Mandy is wonderful.
She gives the best customer service I have ever encountered.
Seriously.
She replied quickly.
Corrected glitches with class.
And made me feel like I was her only customer.
Which, I’m pretty certain, is not true.
You should definitely consider Swagger for your next gift purchase.
It’s got great ideas for wedding party gifts,
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day,
New Baby Day,
and just-because-I-deserve-a-little-something-special-Day.

Six.
Immediately following this poor lighting photo, I dropped our little Samsung point and shoot on the cement.
It doesn’t work so well anymore.
If anyone is looking to sell their digital SLR (for a price that this cheapskate would consider), look me up!
And this concludes my “most random picture post of the week” post.
OH! 
Just kidding.
But seriously, don’t miss the lovely little “Spring Showers” memories post!

The One with a Walk in Spring Showers

Two years ago at this time, we were getting showered with beautiful gifts and reminded of the wonderful friends and family who support us.
My mom threw a fantastic shower for me at our home church. 
My Brittney planned an awesome shower for me at our home-away-from-home church in Spring Arbor.
And right after that SAU shower, she had coordinated a small private “personal shower.” 
It was a wonderful month spent preparing for the rest of my life. :) 
Kevin and I were married just a week after college graduation.

Walk with me down this beautiful path of blessings, won’t you?

::three generations::
Grandma Mary (Dad’s mom), my Mom, my Sister-ashley, me, Grams (Mom’s mom)
It was a HUGE suprise to have my Grams there! 
She came up from Florida for the celebration!!

::Mom did a great job with the decorations::
she coordinated everything with our wedding colors and flowers!

::Grams helped me clip the stitches to my “something old”::
It was a baby bonnet I wore home from the hospital.
It came with a lovely little poem and instructions to transform it back 
to a hanky to be carried on my wedding day.

::notice those little spices in the midst of the gifts?::
we asked our guests to each bring their favorite spice to help start my spice cabinet.
Best. idea. ever. 
I use many of them every day and LOVED having such a well-rounded spice assortment
(I think I only had one duplicate!)
::Britt was a dutiful co-maid-of-honor::
helping keep track of gifts and givers. 
WOW! look at all those presents!
::And now on to the SAU shower::
Brittney planned an ice cream bar (ice cream not shown) with ALL the toppings!

::scrapbooking centerpieces::
the guests put together scrapbooking templates for me to use

::mingling::

::check out all of my beautiful SAU friends!::
::my moms and me::
(Kevin’s mom on the left; my mom on the right)

::Brittney leading us in some fun games::
one of which involved me answering questions and 
if I didn’t match Kevin’s answer I had to shove a huge piece of bubblegum in my mouth.

::Just a couple hours later we were back to our K-house for my personal shower::
Brooke provided us with TONS of bakery goods from her dad’s shop

::Betsy’s face says it all–the theme of this shower::

::ooooh, candles!::

Thank you, friends and family, 
for helping prepare us for making our own home. 
Without you, we wouldn’t have known where to begin. 
We love you!

The One with the Most Productive Way to Spend Your Time

Sometimes my choices are counterproductive. 
Neglecting my time of uninterrupted devotion with God tops the list. 
I believe I fall into the trap of “I don’t have time.”
I’m a person driven to accomplish. 
To check off the “to do list.”
To work feverishly to finish and move on to the next task. 
Leaving me with no time to sit and savor the presence of God. 
wait.
WHAT?!
Did I really just say that?!
yeah.
I did. 
Because it’s true for me. 
(Though I rarely admit it.)
Maybe it’s been true for you too. 
But this week has been a breath of fresh air. 
Spending time with God has rejuvinated my spirit. 
Now, I must insert an excuse here. 
In the past months I have felt the presence of the Spirit in nearly every moment of my life. 
I’ve been learning the reality of abiding with God
It is an indescribable experience. 
–a connection I pray will only continue to strenghthen.
But that’s not an excuse for not sitting down and resting in His presence. 
Sure, He is with me in the moments of hectic rushing and busyness. 
But he specifically calls His children into a time of quiet with Him.
A time to read His Word. 
To express our feelings, our frustrations, our joys, our concerns on paper. 
To use wonderful tools to connect more with Him. 
–books written by inspired Spirit-filled individuals. 
And most importantly, a time to listen to His voice.
We can’t hear him in our hustle and bustle. 
We must be still.
And today I realized something amazing. 
I am called to spend time with God.
To enjoy His presence.
And in doing so I do not lose “precious productive time.”
In fact every moment of my day becomes even more productive. 
My mind is clear. 
My actions are intentional. 
And at the day’s end, I discover extra time. 
To go on a relaxing walk with my husband and share needed conversation. 
To rest and do nothing “productive.” 
It’s a counter-intuitive dichotomy. 
But God’s way totally rocks.
All of my devotional readings have been hitting this point hard. 
I wonder if anyone else experiences conviction in these wise admonishments. 
“Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him. (that never happens does it?!)
A great many Christian workers worship their work. 
The one concern of a work should be concentration on God.
There is no responsibility on you for the work [you do in His name]; (sweet!)
the only responsibility you have is to keep in living constant touch with God
and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your co-operation with Him. (a high calling, but SO cool!)
Wherever He puts us, our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work.”
“We must build our faith, not on the fading light, but on the Light that never fails.
A Christian worker is one who perpetually looks in the face of God 
and then goes forth to talk to people. 
The characteristic of the ministry of Christ is that of unconscious glory that abides.
The secret of the worker’s life is that he keeps in tune with God all the time.”
And in today’s reading in Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, Jesus said to me, 
“Keep your eyes on Me, not only for direction but also for empowerment. 
I never lead you to do something without equipping you for the task. (Amen, anyone?)
That is why it’s so important to seek My will in everything you do. 
There are so many burned-out Christians who think more is always better, 
who deem it unspiritual to say no. (*ahem*)
In order to know My will, you must spend time with Me–enjoying My presence. (wait, what?! THAT’S my duty?! AWESOME!)
This is not an onerous task but a delightful privilege. (amen and amen.)
I will show you the path of Life; in My Presence is fullness of Joy; 
at My right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
Blessings to you today as you seek HIM.

The One with My [Adorable] Husband’s Walk

[don’t miss out on the great tip on Dropbox in the previous post.]

I have so many wonderful memories. 
Many of them in picture form. 
And I love pictures. 
Always have. 
My sister and I could sit for hours and hours and look through old pictures. 
Having every detail memorized just made it that much more enjoyable for us. 
In trying to decide which pictures to feature this week I had many thoughts. 
And one of them is this:
I simply must go through all of my mom’s photo albums and scan, scan, scan. 
I need those pictures at my digitized disposal. :) 
That said, when I came across Kevin’s portion of our wedding slideshow pictures I couldn’t help myself.
He’s so darn cute
Seriously.
I quickly asked him if he would hate me if I posted the pictures here. 
I thought he might. 
He said he wouldn’t mind.
No really, he did. 
So this is a walk down Kevin’s memory lane. 
In honor of his parents making such an amazing little boy. 
The same boy who became a wonderful husband–mine!
::little baby Kevin. (just days after birth I believe). 1986::

::check out the cheeks on this little man::
(at his second home: Somerset.)
::I love this one with all my heart::
three generations of E. men.

::ok ok. I love this one too::
His grandma tells this story wonderfully. 
He was playing tetherball with himself. 
And the ball kept hitting him in the head. 
And he loved every minute of it.

::add 20 years and you’ve got this summer::

::I need to stop saying “I really love this one” because it applies to all of these::
the suspenders just kill me. really they do. perfection on a 3 year old.

::two things strike me here::
1. he started playing really young. and he was probably decent here. :)
2. ahh footie pajamas. love.
(though they always made my feet sweat. hrm)

:::dad helps Kevin get all dressed up for Sunday morning service::

::his reading skills have always amazed me::
I think he learned to read at 3. sheesh.
He gives Big Bird a lot of credit.

::mmm. popcorn on the plane:::
his lips say that’s some really amazing popcorn.

::no comment on the visored-sunglasses and stylish pose::

::he still loves camping::

::this one may be tied with the 3 generation photo above::
the father-son love here just emanates from every pixel.

::love the cheesy grin. 
love that he’s at SBC again. 
love that he still loves SBC. 
love the Mario shirt.

::again with the facial expressions::
I’m kind of famous for mine as well.
Our children should be…well..entertaining to say the least.
He was very excited about the extra large cookie accident

Yes, there are many years about to be skipped. 
But between the horrors of puberty (his awkward years and mine were frighteningly similar)
and my desire to keep you all awake through the end, 
allow me to fast forward about 12 years. 
This has been my second family since 2004. 
I love them. 
And I love that they have always welcomed me into their family photos.
Even before I took their son from them permanently. *wink*

 ::Niagara Falls August 2006::

::same trip: Cadillac Mtn, Maine::

::marriage day::
they are officially stuck with me.
 
::Detroit Zoo: Summer 2008::


 ::grandparents’ 50th anniversary celebration in Frankenmuth::
Summer 2009

::Easter 2010::
Mom, Dad, and Brian, 
I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me (and for us!)
We love you. 

The One with a Dropbox

Ever heard of Dropbox?

It’s this fabulous online filing system. 
Meaning whatever documents or photos you place in your dropbox can be accessed anywhere with internet access.
You’ll just have to go to getdropbox.com.
But the best part about Dropbox is not the backup saving. 
I think the best feature of Dropbox is the file sharing capabilities. 
Once you have your shared file set up here’s what happens:
When someone joins a shared folder, the folder appears inside their Dropbox, and syncs to their computers automatically.
Did you get that?
It syncs automatically!
Here’s an example of how I use Dropbox shared folders. 
Kevin and I have a shared folder. 
It contains various files we both want access to. 
Most importantly our checkbook register. 
Whenever I balance the checkbook (via Excel) I save it to my desktop.
And then I go into my Dropbox
And save the file in the “Husband and Wife Stuff” shared folder.
And within .005 seconds (yes, that’s accurate) Kevin’s dropbox has been updated to include the newly revised register. 
There is a small dropbox (literally a box) icon on our taskbars. 
Kevin can instantly tell when I’ve just updated or added a file to our folder. 
Because his dropbox shows a loading arrow. 
And then a green checkmark once the saving is complete. 
Another fabulous use? 
Thanks to my brilliant Father-in-law:
Kevin’s family of four plus myself each are a part of the shared dropbox called “Gift Ideas.”
So instead of having to ask each other for gift ideas whenever birthdays, holidays, or “just because I love you days” roll around we just check out the other individual’s wish list files in the shared dropbox. 
And whenever I edit my wishlist (which is a lot), the file is synced to the other dropbox member’s folders. 
Super cool.
(and speaking of wish lists. 
Here’s my tip.
Keep an ongoing wishlist document. 
And whenever you’re browsing the internet or watching tv or daydreaming and you think “Hey! I’d love to have that!” add it to your wishlist!)
And another thing about Dropbox. 
It’s free for 2GB.
And for every person you refer you get a bonus 250MB. 
Up to a maximum of 8GB free storage space! 
So click here and you’ll help me up my storage space. 
And then send an email or a tweet to your friends so you can get more space too!
Dropbox totally works for me!
I hope you’ll try it out!

The One with the Skillet, the Candy, and the Bible

Feeling guilty because you hit snooze 45 times this morning? 
Ashamed because right after you told your husband how much you loved him, you got on his case about leaving his dirty clothes on TOP of the hamper again?!
Well, don’t be! 
Everyone makes mistakes and has those deep dark (or sometimes frightening public) secrets we’d rather no one know about. 
But admissions to such guilt can be a wonderfully freeing experience. 
MckMama and about 200 of her friends think so!

—–

Last week I certainly did not use the same skillet to cook all three meals.
Without washing said skillet in between said meals.
Not me!
I am always extremely sanitary and therefore never revert back to the necessary evils of college dorm life.
And even if I did I definitely would not admit that I was rather thrilled at the convenience of said skillet scenario.
(Did you pronounce that “senAHrio” or “senARio”? The first one is so much cooler.)

Never would I ever race to Meijer the day after a candy-laden holiday such as Easter just to take advantage of holiday candy sales.
Not me!
But, just in case I might possibly do such a ridiculous thing I definitely wouldn’t come home with a bag of my favorite Easter candy–Reese’s Eggs
AND a FORTY-TWO ounce bag of plain M&Ms.
Not me!
I would never splurge on a ridiculously low-priced over-sized bag of my favorite bite-sized candy.
And, well, even if there’s the slightest chance I might buy a 42oz bag of pastel colored M&Ms I certainly would not have almost half the bag eaten already.
NOT me!

pay no attention to the words of THIS blog post in the background.

And finally.

And most embarrassingly.
Or not, since this story is certainly not about me. 
I most emphatically did not have to stop and think where I had last placed my Bible/devotional/prayer journal. 
Not me! 
I am always a perfectly spotless example of what devotion to my God looks like. 
So I’m not completely ashamed by such hypocrisy. 
And though I have plenty of ways to excuse my behavior I am certainly not so convicted that I know better than to try to redeem myself for this. 
Thankfully, my God was not harsh with me. 
He welcomed me back with open arms. 
He’d been waiting eagerly for my wayward spirit’s return.

The One with JM. and Other Intriguing Topics.

I’m just going to warn you straight up. 
My thoughts are quite the conglomeration today. 
There. 
I said it. 
First and foremost a mini rant. 
What am I? A thirteen year old?!
I have more pimples and blackheads on my face now than I’ve had in the last 10 years COMBINED. 
Geeze, Louise. 
I use a blackhead prevention scrubbing cleanser. 
I use astringent (why, I don’t know.)
I moisturize.
I use foundation with spf 15. 
But apparently my hormones are just proving that THEY are ultimately in charge. 
Fine. 
Be that way.
Kevin didn’t work on Wednesday. 
But I think he may have preferred teaching a middle school resource room than what I had him doing. 
I don’t plan “spring cleaning.”
It just happens. 
And I hate it. 
But it just happens. 
It’s actually pretty good stuff. 
Though I don’t think I’ll ever FULLY eliminate processed foods from my diet
or go completely organic
the three main steps to her plan are excellent. 
Remove (the crap). 
Restore (the wonderful nutrients God intended)
Rebalance (how you eat, when you eat, how you sleep and clean and exercise).
(Subtitles are mine.)
All that to say she struck a nerve with me in the cleaning products department. 
Why use a bottle of really frightening chemicals all over the house when there are a few natural items that can clean just as well and with a LOT less risk. 
White Vinegar for example.
And Baking Soda.
These ingredients are seriously miracle products. 
Immediately I remembered a set of books my Grams had bought me. 
Over 100 Uses for White Vinegar. 
And 100 more for Baking Soda. 
The next day I ran to the Dollar Tree and bottle a jug of white vinegar and a squirt bottle. 
I filled it up with a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water. 
And went. to. town.
This mixture is useful for pretreating clothes. 
Washing countertops and leaving them shiny. 
Cleaning fingerprinted walls that have needed to be washed since before we moved in 18 months ago. 
And that’s just what I did. 
I had been putting off that job for, well, 18 months. 
But my walls always grossed me out. 
The previous residents had young kids. 
It shows. 
So I powered through the house with a wet rag and my vinegar/water mist. 
And my gosh do my walls sparkle! 
And the doors. man! I didn’t know our door that leads to the garage could be so white!
What a great feeling. 
But here’s where Kevin comes in. 
Before I was finished with my mini-cleaning spree, I remembered the most dreaded job.
Cleaning the coat closet doors. The ones by the garage entrance. 
Not a big deal?
Think again. 
Whatever genius came up with the idea of making closet door with thousands of slats will rue the day he meets ME. 
Each of the 200 wooden slats was caked with dirt and grime and disgustingness. 
Every single day I walk past it (too many times to count) I think of how gross it is. 
And how I need to clean. 
But then I just close my eyes and keep walking. 
Not Wednesday! 
I sprayed down the first quarter of the slats and started scrubbing. 
Slat after slat. 
And before I knew it Kevin was helping me. 
We cleaned side by side. 
Experienced how terribly dirty the rag would get after wiping just one of these little wooden slats. 
And then it was done. 
It was clean. And sparkly. 
And I was so. happy.

(please ignore that yellow stain. who knows.)
Also on Wednesday I framed and hung the gorgeous photos of my side of the family. 
Remember the ones Emily of Smith Gallery Photography snapped for us?
I found the perfect frames at Walgreens on sale for $2.50-$4.00 and I couldn’t pass it up. 
The hard parts were:
1. deciding where to hang them. 
2. deciding how to hang them. 
After I picked a place I went to work arranging them on the floor. 
Kevin came by and offered a different opinion. 
I liked his thought so I started hammering in the five nails. 
But I didn’t like it. 
So I hammered some more. 
I didn’t like that either. 
But third times a charm, right? 
I. LOVE. it. 
And I even got to incorporate an adorable little shelf that I wasn’t sure I would ever use. 
What do you think?

 ::waiting to be hung::

 ::the newest member of the family and me::
(yes, he’s been in the family almost 2 years now :D)

::how beautiful are they–my parents::

 ::5×7 of my family::

::daddy and girls::
::always sisters::
drumroll please………
::the final product on the wall::
And I’m not done yet, people. 
Wednesday evening our friends, Britt and Nick came for dinner and a much-needed visit. 
We still had Bible quizzing, but we managed to have a great Taco buffet dinner. 
And topped it off with my very first Strawberry Shortcake.
Nick and Kevin played frisbee with our quizzers and Britt and I talked and talked. 
The boys then played some ping pong. 
And Britt and I talked and talked. 
Then they were on their way out and the four of us ended up talking and talking. 
It was lovely. 
I’m so glad they’re just 30 minutes away now. 
Three cheer for friends!
Oh! and one more thing! 
I did Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown today for the first time.
It’s her brand spanking new workout dvd. 
And I think I’m the first one to check it out of the library system. 
But I plan on buying it soon. 
Because I really loved it. 
I mentioned loving yoga, right? 
Well this is all the physical benefits of yoga combined with repetitive movements leading to increased heart rate and subsequent calorie burn. 
So I won’t be doing this yoga workout to relax at the end of my day. 
But I will definitely be incorporating this into my workout circuit.
Ok. 
I’m done now. 
Love you all. 
Peace. 

The One with the Peanut Butter

This is totally going to be a dual-purpose topic. 
I mean, seriously, when is PEANUT BUTTER not a dual-purpose topic. 
I l.o.v.e. peanut butter. 
In an obsessed sort of way. 
As in, if I have the choice between anything versus something with peanut butter the decision is always peanut butter
4 - Four Fridays of CONNECTIONS (forging friendships)
This love of mine has gotten me into trouble in the past. 
Namely during the summer of 2008. 
When my only source of protein was peanut butter. 
And peanut butter just isn’t all that low fat, if you know what I mean. 
We’ll just leave it at that. 
In recent days I have altered my peanut butter love. 
And gone the au natural route. 
I didn’t even think I could like natural peanut butter. 
In fact, I didn’t even used to like chunky peanut butter. 
The grit of the natural and the chunk of the chunky just got in the way of the good stuff. 
But no more!
I LOVE natural peanut butter. 
And here’s how natural peanut butter works for moi.
First of all, it doesn’t have all of those freaky additives to keep it smooth and help it last until the next millenium. 
Secondly, it’s not as sweet as JIF or other varieties. 
This is terrific because it doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels causing you to want more and more AND more peanut butter and still not finding satisfaction. 
Third, it’s amazingly rich
I no longer want to pig out on peanut butter. 
The right amount is just the right amount. 
And the fact that it is a little chunky proves to me that I’m actually eating peanut butter.
Brilliant, people, brilliant!
You may be wondering how to take your natural peanut butter from a hardened block to soft and spreadable. 
Here’s what I do:
Transfer the peanut butter into a storage container with lots of extra stirring room. 
Stir. Stir. Stir. 
Refrigerate. 
When you want to use your peanut butter for toast or the like, simply pop open the lid and microwave for 30-45 seconds. 
VOILA. 
Spreadable natural peanut butter. 
Works for me!

The One with Pop Cans, Chicken, and Rings

A few thoughts.

The first is brief. 
A shout-out to Kentucky Fried Chicken. 
Both restaurants in our town have “Jesus is Risen from the Dead” boldly proclaimed from their marquees. 
Rock on, KFC.
In other news. 
I really do not enjoy depositing pop cans.
I totally understand why certain states have $0.10 deposits on their cans.
It makes total sense.
Give people initiative to recycle.
Like the cart system at Aldi.
Dude, I want my quarter back! I’d better return this cart!
But what I don’t like about the can deposit system is the actual depositing.
At Meijer the deposit station/room (whatever) is located in the BACK corner of the store.
Walmart’s is right up front, but I rarely go to Walmart.
Besides being an inconvenient location, they are dirty and smelly and disgusting.
These rooms filled with deposit machines are always sticky.
Coated with sugary pop.
Your shoes stick to floor.
The place smells totally rancid.
And I’m sorry but a little squirt of Purell post-depositing just doesn’t cut it for me.

All that is assuming you have 24 cans or bottles to return.
Not a fun experience right?
Well, what about returned a couple hundred.
And these cans are not your cans.
Or even your family’s cans.
They are from a multitude of people.

It’s like going through other people’s garbage. 
Blech!
Ich.

But you want to know why I’m doing this?
Because it’s a really cool and simple (though not very sanitary) fundraising idea.
It was brought to me by a youth group student and I thought it was brilliant.
So we have a permanent “can deposit” receptacle in our church.
“Bring your cans to our can.”
It works!
So I’ll stop complaining now. :)

Speaking of the youth group.
You should know what a success our True Love Waits purity ring night was!
We had nine students (2 not pictured) commit to a life of purity.

Hebrew: Sanctified/Purified 
You are called to be sanctified, meaning “set apart” from the rest. Your friends may not understand this. Some may even mock your decision to stay pure. But take heart; you are a child of God; you are not of this world. The challenge is real, but the reward is great.


::students signed a covenant along with the youth directors, Kevin and myself::

Over eleven years ago I made that same commitment. 
In fact, the covenant our students signed were based off of the words I scripted for my own personal decision all those years ago. 
I am so proud of them. 
And so thankful that God is faithful to provide a way out for us in any temptation we face. (I Cor. 10:13)
And people, waiting is totally worth it.
God really does have our best interest in mind. 
Until I say “I do,” I will honor the commitment of purity I make on this day.
I will live a life of integrity despite the temptations that will face me. 
I will look to Jesus Christ to be my faithful lover and my source of strength in moments of weakness.  
I will not bury my passions, but I will strive to keep them safely sealed until the day I can express them fully.  

From this day forward, I will live out this covenant I have made with the Lord Jesus. 
In doing so, I honor my family, my future children, my future spouse, and myself. 
I will boldly live a life proclaiming True Love Waits.

The One with Yoga and Jesus

I have weird interests.
One of which is planning trips.
I love hunting for fantastic deals on hotels and flights.
I love working out logistics.
Thinking of details other people could care less about.
But I don’t like to spend money.
Therein lies the problem.
Planning trips typically leads to taking trips which subsequently results in the spending of the money.
But many times, for me, I just get a little idea in my head.
And I plan and I plot.
And get all excited.
But to no end.
And you know the weirdest part?
I’m ok with that.
I love yoga.
How I have gone this long without experiencing the joy of this exercise I just don’t know.
Seriously.
It’s perfect for me.
It’s not about how you’re moving.
Or how much you’re sweating.
Or how many calories you’re burning.
It’s about how your breathing.
And working towards relaxation and peace.
I am totally always in need of relaxation and peace.
I’m just plain uptight.
By nature.
Or maybe by sin nature.
Either way it’s not good.
But yoga?
It’s good.
Sure, there are some “crazies” out there.
Sure, some of the concepts of yoga are rooted in finding your “inner peace.”
But you know what?
I just need to relax.
And find my Jesus.
And yoga is the perfect way to end my days.
Speaking of which, I’m going to stop writing.
I have a bajillion more things to say.
And I meant to say them at various points during the day.
But I have a list.
And I’ll write it tomorrow.
Or the next day.
And for now, I’m gonna go relax.
Because I have a super lame headache. 
From stress. 
And I’m not even stressed. 
Yeah, that’s me.