Monday, February 25, 2013

guy style//girl style// let there be polka dots.

 Guy: Shirt: Express / Tie: AE / Belt: h&m / Oxfords: Sebago (found here) / Pants: AE / Girl: Cardigan: Banana Republic / Dress: Maurices / Belt: Thrifted / Tights: Calvin Klein (Marshalls) / Oxfords: Restricted / Necklaces: Banana Republic & The Giving Keys (found here) / Sunglasses: Kate Spade

Happy Monday everyone! 
Or almost Tuesday, because there is really only 45 minutes left to this Monday (and probably less once this is published).

Let's talk polka dots. 
Personally, I love them almost as much as I love stripes. And it's really unhealthy how much I love stripes. 
I can't think of another pattern (besides those stripes) that are perfect for layering and perfectly classic. 
And as we longingly look towards those spring days, polka dots just seem to be really transitional. 

And if that isn't enough to convince you to embrace the dot, I'll throw this in for free: polka dots are just bursting with whimsy (in my opinion). 

So much so that I think it's perfectly appropriate to ponder days of old and listen to a lot of Frank Sinatra (or Tony Bennett) while donning them. 
And if you're like me it will make the whole polka dot experience that much more enjoyable.

 Some of my favorite polka dot expressions here, here, here, oh and here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Compare and Despair

I was talking to my brother late one evening about a month ago.
I rocked nervously in a chair located in our backroom. Sitting in the dark I began to cry as I let out what felt like weights that I had been carrying around my neck for months. 
Feelings of inadequacy. Feelings of failure and fear surrounding my health. Surrounding my motivations and goals. Things that had not turned out the way I expected them to. 

I went on to choke out that I saw all these things that others had. Babies. Health. 
The freedom that comes with being able to chose the time you have those children. 
And the purpose behind goals. The purpose behind a career or raising children. 
Neither one that I had. 

And in the midst of my blubbering my brother spoke quiet but firm words of truth.
He told me that I was comparing myself to others. 
I was seeking my purpose in other things instead of finding it solely in my God and having a right heart before Him.
He said that I needed to stop playing that game of  "compare and despair."

Have you heard of it? 

Because I realized I have often participated in this game and the slew of emotions and feelings that go along with it. 
It's a game that I have become better at as I have grown older. 
Sometimes I'm not sure I even recognize that I'm playing or participating in it. 
But, slowly and over time, I can feel the emotional and spiritual toll. 
Quite comparable to chains that become heavier and heavier until all I can do is crawl around on my stomach. 

His words rang true. I was looking at myself and the myriad of situations that I hadn't expected and then comparing them to others. And not always specific people our circumstances. 
But, in some cases, I was simply comparing my reality to the unknown reality of expectation and so many of the lies we hear as woman.
 Lies that are slowly taught and whispered in our ears by the world around us.
Even by the people that are close by.

Believing the lie that we all need to fit into this ideal by this age and have this number of things accomplished by then is not only mocking the plans God has for us, it is quite debilitating. 
It keeps us in bondage. It weighs us down. It keeps us silently ungrateful. 
It makes what we have not enough. It makes us despair. 

We despair because we compare ourselves to an imperfect world that we hold in silent reverence. 
We do this instead of bending our knee to a perfect God that says we can rest. 
That we can find all we need all we are in Him. That we can find more purpose and more joy in living our life to glorify Him than all the world could ever give. 
There is freedom there. 

As woman, we need to kill this burden of our own expectation (or the expectation of others) in our lives. This burden of comparing ourselves. This seeking other lives to live instead of our own. From believing that some how what we have is not enough or not good enough. 
I am learning this too friends. I am learning to expectantly wait and hope on God alone
I am learning that there is no freedom in comparison. 
There is no freedom in attempting to follow the patterns of this world with all it's silent expectations. 
But, I know where there is freedom. I know where these chains can be cast off. 

Whatever expectation you are holding onto. Whatever you may be comparing yourself to. 
Or your situations to. How ever long that despair has had a foot hold in your life.
Lay it down at the feet Jesus and walk in freedom. 
Walk in His grace. 
It's enough.

Monday, February 18, 2013

// girl style (on that Sunday we actually had sunshine)

 Girl:  jean jacket: Gap // dress: Lauren Conrad for Kohls // necklace: J. Crew (factory) // belt: J. Crew (factory) // boots: Target // aviators: Kate Spade

Alright crew. 
I hope your weekend was completely relaxing. 
I am rejoicing over here because even though yesterday was bitterly cold, we had a full day of bright sunny goodness! 
I just love sunshine. It makes any day that much better in my opinion. 
So, yesterday was full of the cheerfulness that vitamin D brings. 

And being that I was (sadly) without my dudes yesterday. All that remains is the girl style aspect of this post.
  How was your weekend? Anything wonderful take place? 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

this might be the winter blues.

Can we just say that it is officially the middle of February? For my mental state at least. 
Here in Michigan winter does not pull any punches. It starts out nice, to the point that you actually consider being friends, and then it usually wears out it's welcome. 
At this point I am mostly longing for more than just one day a week that entails sunshine.
 I can handle the cold...just give me the sunshine.
And it probably doesn't help that every store in my town is displaying brightly colored spring and summer frocks.
 I'm not sure where they are living as of right now. 
But, it certainly isn't the middle of February in Michigan wherever it is. 

 We enjoy a lot of movies during this time of year. And we wander around stores a lot as well. This usually involves some form of coffee. And I have recently taken up juicing. More on that at a later date. 
But, I am simply running out of ideas. Winter is getting the best of me here people.

SO, what are some activities or things you do to pass winter's final stand?
Be generous. Share those ideas that sanity is made out of.


Monday, February 11, 2013

guy style // girl style

 Guy: jean jacket: j.crew/ beanie: target/ boots: jcpenny/ button down: j.crew/ Girl: blazer: banana republic/ top: thrifted/ jeans: j.crew (toothpick)/ necklace: the giving keys/ oxfords: restricted footwear (found at marshalls)

Well this would be the first post to a new feature that I've decided to start over here on this lil' blog. 
It gives me a chance to stretch my creative legs a little and dabble in two things that I really enjoy: personal style and taking pictures. 
I thought it would be fun to feature some guys looking spiffy. 
So, I give to you my brother-in-law: Kory (who has made many a cameo on this space).
He would be my partner in crime when it comes to all things style related. 

The thing is, style is a really a personal thing don't you think? 
Everyone has a different way of expressing themselves through what they wear.
 A uniqueness to them. It's creative. It expresses something about who you are. 
And not to mention, it's just plain fun.

So, this is us having fun.

Friday, February 8, 2013

marshmallow winter

Last night we received (some of us, with open arms) a very large snow storm. 
With a very large amount of snow. About 12 inches to be exact. 
So, naturally Erick and I decided it was a good time to go grocery shopping. 
Because that's just what you do in Michigan. You shovel during the snowstorm. You drive during it. 
It's a Michigan right of passage in a way. 
And there is nothing more magical than waking up the morning after a snow storm, with the sun shining, and beholding everything covered in white. All glistening. All fluffy. It just begs to be played in.

So, from us and our large amounts of marshmallow like substance:  
happy happy weekend friends!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hey, I want to get to know you!

Happy Thursday to one and all!
I was thinking the other day about how I enjoy getting to know people better through random facts about their lives. Whether they are really random or not. 
So, I thought I would share some "random" facts about me and this life that I call my own. 

But, in return I would love for you to share as well! 
In the comment section below go ahead and share 5 random facts of your choosing (or more if you are on a roll. Or less if you become stumped). 

Some ideas: Where have you lived or traveled? What is your favorite food? What is one thing you can't live without? What is a goal you have? 
(go ahead, be creative)

Be sure to also include a link to your blog and/or a link to your favorite form of social media (instagram/twitter/pinterest). 

Here is my blurb of randomness:

1. Erick and I moved to Columbia, South Carolina in August of 2011 and lived there for about 6 months. 

2. I have wanted a puppy for the last six years. Specifically a husky or an Alaskan malamute. I like big dogs.

3. Erick and I got married really young. I was only 19 and he was twenty. This year we will celebrate 7 years of marriage. Which sounds crazy to even me. Time has went so fast!

4. I LOVE cheese. It is my favorite food of all time. 

5. It is one of my dreams to visit Paris. Our little apartment is full of things that pay homage to that.

6. I have lived with juvenile diabetes (type 1) for eleven years. And I wear an insulin pump that most people assume is a pager. 

7. I have one sibling. And so does Erick. Both are boys. So, I get in a lot of guy time. 

8. I enjoy putting together clothes. Personal style is one of my most favorite things. Whether it be gaining inspiration from others or implementing my own. 

9. I have a hard time sitting completely still.

10. Coffee literally brightens my day. I will drink iced coffee any day and every day. Regardless of the snow on the ground outside.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Music Love

I am pretty sure I have mentioned on here before how much I love music. 
There are very few things (in my opinion) that express the depth of emotion and feelings that are in life like music does. 
So, with Valentines Day rapidly approaching I thought I would compose a very small list of some of the artists and their works that have my heart right now. 
Most of them have had my listening ear for a very long time. 
But, I go in seasons of listening to the same few compilations over and over again. 
And believe me, if you are abiding somewhere that is stuck in the dead of winter these tunes will lift your spirits in no time and have you dreaming of sunnier days.  

So, what are you listening to these days? Any tunes that are pulling at your heart strings?  

Friday, February 1, 2013

"That's just what mommies do.."

Those are the words that I have heard spoken from my own mother to my ears many times.
Normally I hear them after she has done something selfless on my behalf.
Or when I am embracing her with the occasional red puffy eyes from crying.

Yesterday, I was in bed 99.9 percent of the day. Sick and very tired.
And here came my mother.
She made me a quiche. With vegetables in it of course.
She washed my dishes. Organized my pantry cupboard.
Folded and cleaned every piece of laundry in this little apartment.
Brought me tea. And organized my entire pajama drawer.
The irony in this is that she did all this after spending time taking care of her own mother that very morning.

I have a selfless mother.

But, whenever I tell her 'thank you' she always replies with "that's just what mommies do."
And I got to thinking about how whenever I am sick I instantly want my mother.
And when I've had a really bad day I instantly want to hear my mother tell me 'it's all going to work out'.
Or when I accomplish something that fills me up I want to share it with my mother.
Somehow the accomplishment becomes more accomplished when she puts her stamp of approval on it.

But, what about all those other things that mommies do. Is their 'job' ever done?
You see, I think (and this is just me thinking) that a mommy must always be just that.

No matter how old her children. They always seem to instinctively and out of love take care of their children.
From emotional strength and support.
Right down to the dishes in our sink.

It's a mystery to me. A profound one. As I am not a mother. Yet.
But, when I see the way my mother demonstrates her "mommie-ness" towards her children. Towards me.
I know that it must be one of the highest callings. To raise children not until they move out.
But to continue to raise them in so many ways even after they are grown.
There must be an inexpressible love there to be that committed and selfless to another human being for one's whole life.

Because under the expression, "that's just what mommies do" is a whole lot of profound love, dedication, and strength.
A bond that just keeps growing no matter how old we get.

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