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Saturday, September 29, 2012

My adventure in the great, wide somewhere

I asked for adventure didn't I?

Well, we made it to Michigan. Praise Jesus for his protection over our 3 day journey. We left Saturday and pulled into town on Monday afternoon. We stayed in hotels from Saturday night until Friday when we moved into our home. We were pretty tired of eating out and not having any of our own things, but to be honest not too much has changed. We and the dogs and our 2 car loads of stuff made it to Michigan but the rest of our things have not. The coast guard "moved us" and the moving company will not be delivering our furniture and boxes until Oct. 9. They picked everything up from Denton last Thursday so I'm hoping it gets here early. I can't see how they would drag that trip out to almost 2 weeks, but maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. 

So we have TX summer clothes, essential bathroom toiletries, our computers, a few books & DVDs, a file of important documents, and dog food. When we got here we had to purchase a pot, an ironing board, a mattress, and a small tv, you know... the essentials, to hold us over until our real stuff arrives. I am so excited for our couches and router to get here. Right now I am sitting on the floor to be on the internet and my back hurts after a while of this. I'm looking forward to having wireless internet so I can use my laptop from my comfy couch. 

Crockett has been working a lot, leaving me alone most days and many nights. The transition has been difficult at best, but I am trying very hard to look on the bright side and find what God has for me here. I miss my family and friends. I miss my community in Denton. My church, my sisters, my job. My house. I miss having a multitude of restaurants at my fingertips (mainly Chick-fil-A and Whataburger) and WalMart 5 minutes away. I miss sushi and going to the movies. I miss Texas... so much.

Oscoda, Michigan...

My new home.

It's weird to think I'm going to be living here for the next 4 years at least. It definitely does NOT feel like home yet. It's just so odd to think ahead with this place in mind. My first teaching job will probably be here. Our first child will probably be born here. The idea of my child not being a Texan hurts my heart. Let me tell you about this place we call home...

Oscoda is home to 900 people. (There were more people in my high school.) We have one K Mart,  McDonalds,  KFC/Taco Bell, Burger King, and Subway. There are no coffee shops. The main attraction (that houses the RedBox) is Family Dollar. There is one movie theater that shows one movie once a week. (Currently showing The Odd Life of Timothy Green) There is no vet. There is one bowling alley. (We haven't been in, but it is called something or another bowling lane so I wouldn't doubt if it literally has 1 lane.) There is a tiny put put place that looks to have about 6 putting greens. It takes about 10 minutes going 25- 35 mph to drive through the entire town. The nearest city is over an hour and a half away.

And the bright side (I told you I'm trying...)

There is a gorgeous lake (Lake Huron) visible from "downtown" and it is breathtaking to be standing on the shore with your husband as the moon is rising. The sky here is INCREDIBLE. I know this sounds silly, but I am obsessed with the sky here. I don't know if it's because we are hundreds of miles from a city or what, but something makes the clouds here stunning. (Besides God of course) Fall is approaching and the leaves are starting to change colors. My favorite is this bright shade of red that I have never seen in nature before. It is unbelievable. (I think one of the bushes in our front yard is going to be this color!) Christmas trees grow wild here and they are everywhere. (Including 3 in my back yard.) The high temperature has been in the low 60s since we got here and I have taken up hot tea. There are black as night squirrels (Crockett calls them demon squirrels.) and I think they are so neat. Chipmunks live here too. 

This is the red tree I was talking about. They aren't this red all over yet; I found this picture online, but I will post one I see as Fall progresses.

Right now I'm adjusting to life away from everything I know and love, but I am taking refuge in my God who has never left my side. It is incredibly comforting to know that he is still God. He will always be God no matter where I am or how I feel. I am grieving my losses right now, but I know that right around the corner are better days. God has something in store for me here and he is going to use me in a big way. There is a reason for everything and in every season of my life I will praise the God who gives and takes away. I can't wait to plug into a church here and worship in community again.

The past 3 years of my life have been pure joy and happiness. My "trials" were nothing compared to this. I am running completely on faith right now and I can say it is well with my soul. I am growing with my Father and I am so thankful for that. 
"In Christ alone I place my trust and find my glory in the power of the cross. In every victory let it be said of me my source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone."

This week I'm taking my camera out to get some pictures of this place. I'll have them up soon.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Movie Review: Katy Perry, Part of Me

Let me preface this with my feelings on Katy Perry before I saw this movie. I <3 kp="kp" nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

My feelings now? The same. :)

This girl makes awesome music. She has an incredible voice. And not just on the radio, her live voice is outstanding. She has raw talent. She writes, she sings, she dances, she's got it. She is a great performer. And she is beautiful on top of all that. I really have always liked her music and the fact that she and Michael Jackson are the only ones to have 5 hit singles from one album speaks volumes about her popularity and talent.

Now, on to the movie. 
It was super cute and real. I am still shocked she put so much of her personal marital issues into the movie. I'm so glad she did because it just proved she is a real girl with real problems, but her vulnerability was surprising. There is one scene that gave me unbelievable respect for her. In the midst of her divorce and her heart breaking to a million pieces she was a crumbled mess of tears and incoherent sadness. She was laying on her make up chair just crying and clinging to a necklace given to her by her husband. Her producers, managers, and all the people in charge were at a loss. Katy was supposed to go on stage and perform in minutes. They kept asking her what she wanted to do. They told her she could cancel the concert. But she didn't. She got herself together and stood on the platform that would bring her to the stage, crying the whole way. She honestly looked like she was going to collapse. And then she took a minute, gathered herself, put on a smile and the platform began to rise on stage. My heart has been there. Completely destroyed and wanting to crawl into a hole and disappear. There is no way I could have ever been as courageous as she was. As sacrificial as she was. The dedication she has to her fans is unreal. 

Go see the movie. You won't regret it. (Plus you get to listen to a lot of KP music!)

Here's the trailer for you.

Fill in the Blank Friday

1.  My first memory is    I have no idea. I have lots of memories from when I was little, but I have no idea which one was my first. Do people actually know what their very first memory is?? 

2.  My first love was   complicated. The first person I loved did not truly love me back so I'll answer with the first real love I experienced that was mutual, my husband. He was the first person to love me for who I am and not what I could do for him and how I make him feel. He loves me sacrificially like Christ loves the church and I am the most undeservedly blessed woman to walk this earth.

3.  My very first favorite color was    again... do people actually know this?? Let me tell you, I taught preK, kids like all kinds of crazy colors when they are young. I remember liking pink when I was 5, but if that was truly my first favorite color I have no idea.

4. The first time I really felt like a "grown-up" was when     ok, apparently I don't pay attention to "this is my first time to experience..." I have no idea when the first time I felt like a grown up was. I know that things that have made me feel grown up were moving out, getting married, starting college, paying bills.

5. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is   pee.

6. The first CD (cassette tape, record, etc...) I ever bought was    my first CD was Ray Boltz. My mom had a lot to do with that purchase.

7.  My first car was  Big Red! O how I miss Big Red. A red Chevy S10 that lasted me 6 years after the 10+ yrs it was my uncle's. I did so much growing up in that little truck.

Link up with Lauren @ thelittlethingswedo

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

Time to Link up with Lauren @ thelittlethingswedo

1.  Something I am very proud of is     my marriage. I don't take credit at all, but it's one of my biggest blessings. With Christ as the center my husband and I have been so blessed to be on this journey together. God is so good to both of us, beyond what either of us deserves.

2.  My favorite thing about myself is   my eyes. I really like having green eyes. Also, I like my handwriting.

3.  My favorite color for fall is    orange! But that's really my favorite color for any season. I just really love orange.

4. Something I've been learning lately is      to trust in God's plan and to relinquish my own. I think I'm constantly learning this one, but lately it's been very present. I have all these ideas about how my life should look and what it should be. God is constantly reminding me to surrender that to him.

5. A book I am reading now/have read recently is   I just finished "The Host" for the second time. It was so good... again! If you want to know more go check out my book review here.

6. My favorite Pandora Station is   MercyMe Radio.

7.  This weekend I will   be unpacking what little we brought with us to our new house in Michigan!

Book Review: The Host

Let's go ahead and get this out of the way. Yes, to answer your question, I did buy and read this book just because Stephenie Meyer also wrote the Twilight Series. I'm not ashamed. I happen to really like that series and when I was finished I wanted more. What I found was The Host.

It has NOTHING to do with the twilight books, vampires, or werewolves. It does, however, have a whole lot to do with aliens.

Don't let that discourage you!!

I often find myself getting slightly defensive when I'm telling people about this book so hear me out. (I haven't even gotten my sister to read it yet for goodness sake.)

This book is AMAZING. Seriously one of my favorites. Even if you did not like Twilight or even if you became someone who hated it because it was suddenly the cool thing to do you might like this one so I highly recommend you give it a try. I once met someone who absolutely refused to read the Twilight series saying that there is no way it was anything other than garbage because she had heard that a 100+ yr old vampire fell in love with a teenager and that is just deplorable. This infuriated me! Because while yes, technically that is what happened, if she had actually read the book she would have an understanding of that relationship.
I can understand how different story lines can seem unattractive to your imagination, but if a book is wildly popular I'd say there's probably a reason why and if someone you know personally encourages you to give it a try knowing your taste in books, you should probably listen.

I say give The Host until chapter 4. If you aren't hooked by then put it down and call me crazy.

So here's the basic idea: Set in the future, Earth has become inhabited by an alien species. A species whose entire existence is to take other species' bodies and use them as their hosts. They choose their host species and planet carefully and then they set up a peaceful overtaking. Most of the time the hosts never see it coming and once a soul, as these creatures are called, is inserted into it's host body the original person is erased.

But what happens when a human saw the invasion coming?

Melanie, a rebel, is caught and upon insertion isn't erased.

Wanderer, the soul inserted into Melanie's body, awakens to find she isn't alone in her mind. Not even close. Melanie is just as present in her head as Wanderer is. Melanie's human emotions are stronger than any other specie's capacity for feeling Wanderer has ever felt. She soon finds herself conflicted between what she knows to be truth and what Melanie feels. The feelings are so deep and strong. Do they belong just to Melanie? Or to the body itself meaning Wanderer too?

The journey Melanie's mind takes Wanderer on leaves her conflicted about which species she belongs to and questioning all she's known about right and wrong. Is the love she feels for Jared her own or just the feelings Melanie has for him? Are they separable anymore or are they both doomed to share one body and one love forever?

This book will have you guessing to the VERY end. You won't be able to put it down until the mystery is solved. It's adventurous, romantic, suspenseful, and fun. I dare you to read this book and not love it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

She Reads Truth

I've started reading Galatians with She Reads Truth.

Here's how it works:

1. Each day we read a section of Galatians. (They are following a YouVersion Bible reading plan, but the blog has the passage for each day so I just go there to find it.)

2. After reading and before reflecting/journaling we read the blog for the day. It has questions to ponder based on the passage and some good insight on the verses.
3. We go to twitter with something God put on our hearts or what we learned from the passage using the hashtag #SheReadsTruth.This way all the women who are doing this study can follow what God is doing in our lives and we can encourage one another.

If you want to check it out you can do so HERE Don't forget to register on the website so your picture will be on the feed of women participating. Many are praying over those faces daily!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The End is Here!

The end of summer. The end of my time in Texas. (for now) The end of being separated from my husband. The end of being unemployed. (hopefully) The end of my time taking care of my sister and nephew.

It's been a crazy and wild past 3 months. So much happened. I found out my sister is expecting baby #2. Crockett went to boot camp. My sister began having complications with her pregnancy and moved home so I could help take care of my 1 yr old nephew. I quit my job. We found out the baby is a BOY. Crockett graduated from boot camp. We cancelled our move to California. (Crockett changed jobs in the CG) Crockett spent an extra month in NJ on medical hold. I went on a cruise with my family to Mexico. Crockett got his orders for East Tawas, Michigan.

So here I am. Reflecting on all that has passed and getting ready to go pick my husband up from the airport so we can move tomorrow morning. We get to start our 3 day journey (dogs in tow) bright and early. It's mind blowing how fast things can change. I've always heard, "If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans." I know that God's plans are much bigger for me than my own and I'm so grateful he's been teaching me to relinquish control of my life and my circumstances. This summer would have been that much harder if I had been desperately trying to forge my own path. I can honestly say I have enjoyed resting in God's peace knowing it will all be ok. Of course I had my days where I stressed about the details and was anxious about how things would line up, but I feel  like I've gown so much in the last 12 weeks or so just resting with my father. It has been a huge blessing to be in a season of turmoil and feel total peace within.

As excited as I am about moving to Michigan and finally living with my husband again in our own home and experience a northern fall and winter, I am very sad to be leaving my family behind in Texas. 

Here are some pics from my wonderful month and half with Noah & Sister.

Find a cuter kid. That's right; you can't.

1. Husband bought me these adorable heels from JCP while he was home on leave. Have I mention I am spoiled rotten?

2. Sister's complicated pregnancy leaves her dizzy and out of breath if she exerts too much energy. Even simple things like walking will exhaust her. She wasn't too excited about having to ride in the motor buggy; I on the other hand would milk that!

3. My little nephew on the way!! :) I can't wait to hold him.

So long Texas. You will always be home and I will carry you in my accent heart.

Fill in the Blank Friday

I'm linking up with Lauren again! Check out her blog and all the link ups @ thelittlethingswedo

1.  Right now the weather where I live is     nice. We're having a cold front here in Texas and it's making it bearable to be outside. Who knows how long this will last though. However, tomorrow I am moving to MICHIGAN and am very excited about the current weather there. High in the 70's, low in the 60's. Sounds like perfect fall weather to me.

2.  The best piece of advice I've been given is   Let Jesus be your God. This wasn't necessarily advice I was given, but more of how I was raised. I learned very quickly that I make a terrible God and so do boys. When God is in control life is better for everyone involved. (And I don't mean on a happy/emotional level. I mean on an inner peace/joy level.) When I try to be in control something inevitably goes terribly wrong.

3.  My most favorite person in all the world is    my husband. There is no one on this earth I love more, enjoy spending time with more, cherish more, respect more (although my mom is a very close second), or trust more. God is number one in my life and Crockett is number two. Nothing (not even kids) will take him from that spot.

4. If I were to have a "mission statement" for my life, it would be    "Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your life, in your love, your faith, and your purity." - I Timothy 4:11-12 I strive to make much of Him and less of me in all that I do.

5. My most favorite item in my closet is   my blue and white striped flats. I got them from JCP this summer and they are my most favorite shoes EVER.

6. The best cure for a bad day is   worship. No matter what is wrong or devastating or frustrating in my life, I have yet to find anything that worship does not fix. When I worship my Savior I am reminded that no matter what is going on here on Earth my heart is fixed on things unseen. When I praise my God for saving a wretch like me it doesn't matter what is wrong around or in me, all that matters is that I am His and He is mine. I am brought to my knees by His grace and mercy and thankfulness, adoration, and love pours out of soul. Nothing sets my perspective right like focusing on what truly matters.

7.  Today is   a day for rejoicing! My darling husband is coming home from New Jersey and tomorrow morning we will begin our 3 day drive to Michigan. We are finally going to be living together after nearly 3 months of separation due to the military. My heart is on fire today.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


My very favorite time of year is among us and my favorite way to celebrate fall is to decorate my house. Each year my husband and I buy one new piece of fall decoration to add to our collection. This way we didn't spend too much of the money we didn't have our first year of marriage and by the time we have grandkids we will have a gorgeous house at fall time. For this year's new piece I made this easy and simple wreath. This was my second attempt at wreath making and it could not have been easier.

I found the wreath itself in the dollar section at Target for only $2.50. They can be really expensive at craft stores so I snagged it up really fast. Next I bought the ribbon, the small pumpkin, & 2 pieces of the berry limbs from Hobby Lobby. (All of which were on sale getting me out of the store for less than $8.) I spray painted the T white and when it was dry added a layer of varnish since it will be outside. Next, I hot glued everything in place and added the bow for the final touch. It was seriously the easiest thing ever. About 20 min. worth of work including dry time and all for about $10? Yes please.

My first attempt at a wreath did not turn out quite like I was hoping, but I'm fond of it none the less. For this wreath (which I made as a Christmas gift) I used one pinner's suggestion of foam tubing from a hardware store as the base of wreath. As you can see, the tubing does not make a complete circle. It's a little off, but if you don't mind that then I suggest using this method. Craft circles for wreaths are around $5-8, I got 6 ft. of the foam tubing for $1. I cut the tube to the length I wanted and used packaging tape to make the "circle."

Update! I heard through the grapevine that if you cut the foam tubing all along the edge so that the diameter of the tube is no longer connected, but could theoretically be folded flat fixes the non-round-wreath problem. After you make the cut, allow the flap to overlap until it makes a circle! Clear as mud? Ok, great!

Next I wrapped the burlap around it, hot gluing every now and then to secure it. (I got the burlap on sale for $.83!) I painted the C and added varnish since a wreath is typically exposed to the elements. I added the bow on top and then began my work on the fabric flowers. I had left over fabric from a skirt I made so there was no cost there. This is the video I followed for the flowers. (Warning: I used hot glue because I didn't have any fabric glue. It worked just as well, but I burned myself with EVERY single one, there really is just no way to avoid it.) It took me a minute to get the hang of this, but once I did it went quickly; I could have been spittin out fabric flowers all night!