Monthly Archives: January 2012

Year Of Pre-Planned Dates

Remember the link I posted:

A year of pre-planned, pre-paid dates. I loved this idea so much, my gears were set in motion. I made a list of possible dates, activities, supplies needed, etc.  It was actually fun to think of ideas, and the more I listed ideas, the more ideas I came up with!  By the end of doing the date-cards, I wished there was more than 12 dates! (Not that I couldn’t make more, but I figured start with these and save some ideas for next year!)

(Don’t mind the mistake in “snowmobiling”.)

The idea behind these dates is it forces you and your spouse to get out every month, at least.  They are all pre-planned, so no more last minute, stressful ideas.  It forces you out of your element.  My husband and I love to go on dates, but always end up going eat at the same local restaurant!  And all of the dates are pre-paid! So, no worrying about how much the night is going to cost, if you can squeeze it into the budget this month, etc.  I suppose this should have been given to him at the beginning of January, but next year hopefully I can add it into the Christmas presents.  The envelope opening will even be fun for me because I have already forgotten which months are which dates! :)

My husband opened January last night…a bit hesitant as to what it was all about because he thinks my date ideas are Bahamas or Hawaii…ha ha! (Someday when we’re super-rich!) He now understands that they’re just inexpensive (sometimes no expense) dates that I have planned! :)

I am also in the midst of making a Parent-Child date basket. My idea is every other month my husband and I will take a turn taking the girls for a pre-planned “date.”  (January-husband, February-me, etc.) So far, some of my ideas are, playground, swimming, sledding, ice cream, dinner, toy shopping, etc.  It’s just a fun way to spend quality time with the girls and use it as a fun reward for good behavior.


Book Review and Project Results

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered this sewing book. I’ve never owned a sewing book and was interested in what kind of projects it had.  I looked it over when it came in the mail, but didn’t actually crack it open for a while.  There are some cute, simple, quick projects.

The directions are okay to follow.  You definitely need prior sewing and pattern reading experience. I followed the directions pretty close, but was able to throw in my own way of doing it also. I’ve only tried two of the purse patterns, so I don’t have any say-so on the rest of the book.

Below are two of the handbags that I did. The red one I sent to a friend of mine who had her first child after trying to conceive for 7 years! And the black and white one, I use for a diaper clutch for myself. It’s perfect size and my daughter has outgrown needing a whole diaper bag.

I also am on the pre-order list for this sewing book. It doesn’t ship until March sometime, but I’m excited to try some of the projects in it!  By March, I’ll probably forget about it and receive a forgotten “gift” in the mail! :) Love getting stuff in the mail!

DIY Project Links

Here are some projects I plan on trying at some point. Thought I’d share the links.

(click on image to get tutorial.)

And, here’s a good laugh for those of you who have had this happen to you before! When I showed it to my husband, he smirked and said “That is bad when that happens!” Poor guy, he’s had it happen more than once!

Have a great day! :)

MUST READ! Great marriage post!

Here is a great post I came across from THIS site. It has some awesome points about marriage. It’s hard work and this just sheds some light unto why we should keep “working” at our marriage. Just a little system booster that we all need once in a while. :)

my soapbox on marriage…

Over the last 3 months I have been surrounded with marriages crumbling.  From as close as family, to dear friends, to friends of friends, friend’s with couples in their small group, leaders in the church, etc headed towards divorce.  Some of these couples have been married less than 5 months, some 7-10 years. It is astounding.  And ALL of them are Christians.

God calls our marriages to be different.  Don’t hear me saying marriage is always all roses and easy.  Marriage is hard. Marriage is work. But it is glorious work. 
The most common picture God gives us of the relationship between us and Christ is marriage.  He is our bridegroom. The church (Christians) are his bride.  I am the bride of Christ. 

Marriage was the first “institution” God created.  It was a solid and permanent covenant meant to represent or exemplify his relationship with us.  And look what we have turned it into.

Even Christian marriages these days are focused on how my spouse is treating me, what I am getting out of the relationship, if I am happy.  It becomes this scale of how much have I put in vs. how much have they put in.  What if marriage isn’t about “I”?

I am meant to be the tangible love of God to my husband.  God doesn’t have arms and vocal chords here on earth, he has given me a gift and a privilege and responsibility to show Jesus’ tangible love to John.  What a blessing, what a responsibility.  My words have the influence to steer John towards God or away. 

Also, when we stand on the altar at our marriage, I think a lot of people bypass the miracle that occurs.  Do we not focus on the fact that during our marriage ceremony, God actually takes two separate people and makes them one?? The more I think on the concept of one-ness, the more amazing it is to me.  John and I are ONE. One in body, spirit. That is a supernatural miracle.  Try separating two pieces of paper or fabric that you have superglued together.  It is nearly impossible, but at best it is messy.  You end up with two broken pieces, two messy pieces, two pieces torn and tattered.  I think we miss this when we consider divorce as an option.  From what I have heard of friends talking, they see divorce as the easier choice, just an escape from the work that would have to be done to restore, a fresh start, another chance at a better, happier life.  We don’t think about the destruction of our legacy, the separation of oneness that God has joined. You can’t un-one yourselves.  That is why God is so clear on divorce.

Legally our marriage is a “Contract”, but if you are a Christian, it is more so a covenant than a contract.  A contract is an “I will if you will” “i’ll pay this debt if you give me this service” “i’ll give this as long as you give this”. This is not what our marriages are supposed to be. It is a permanent covenant.  God never breaks his covenants. Our marriages should be a reflection of Christ’s covenant with the Church.  He didn’t leave us when we got messy, when we stopped serving him, when we stopped making him happy, when things got messy or hard, when we cheated on him time and time again.  Our marriage is not intended to fulfill our every desire, longing and happiness.  It is to point people to Christ and his consistent and unconditional love for us.

I think so often that we let our marriages fall to the backburners. Our kids take #1, our careers take the #1 spot, our comfort and happiness take #1.  You have to be intentional. 
One thing our mentors shared with us early in our marriage was this
Discuss Daily
Date Weekly
Depart Quarterly

Discuss daily- have at least 30 minutes face to face time (no tv, phone, computer) discussing more than just schedules and how was your day stuff.  30 minutes of heart check, how are we doing check, what is God doing in your heart talk.

Date Weekly- If finances don’t allow for dinner out, or babysitter, get creative. Cook brownies together and eat them on the floor of a random room and enjoy conversation, Give each other a massage, pedicure. Get creative at home. Or just go spend time in a bookstore, coffee shop, walk around the neighborhood, kick a soccer ball at a park.  All free. Do something that reminds you that you just enjoy being with that person.

Depart quarterly- Get away once a quarter, even if just for a day trip (preferably overnight) and enjoy a trip together. Use that time to refocus your goals as a couple, your ministry as a couple, where you are in your marriage, what you want to get better at, how you want to grow spiritually and can encourage each other.  Take advantage of this time more than just a vacation, but do just have fun! This has been such a great one for John and I to make ourselves a priority, leave the kids and focus on ourselves.  Our kids now get excited about this (most of the time) and what a gift we can give them to show them how that Jesus is my number 1, John is my #2 and they are behind him at #3. The minute i get those out of order, we will be those empty nesters that after the kids leave look at each other and say “i don’t really know you anymore”.

Disclaimer: We don’t have a perfect marriage. We constantly work at it, we constantly work through issues. We have been to counseling at one of the harder parts of our marriage and it was such an amazing experience for us.  Everyone needs help. That is why God calls the spirit the Counselor.  Who am I to think I am too good for asking for someone else to speak into our marriage. Marriage is two imperfect people coming together, there are going to be hard times. Be prepared and take even the good times in marriage and work at making it even better. Pray hard against Satan who wants nothing more than to see our marriages end up broken and have divorce be a part of our kid’s view on marriage.

**Please youtube Andy Stanley’s sermon called iMarriage. Thankfully we heard this at our church (Northpoint) in Atlanta around year 1 of our marriage and it set the tone for us.

Living Room Decor

The house we live in is my husband’s uncle’s house–which we rent. I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way as I do, but it’s been hard to put my heart into decorating, painting, etc. in a rental home.

I have just enough decorations to help spruce up the living room…nothing more, nothing less.

Well, in the past couple of weeks, I finally added to my wall decor. Granted, it’s things I made and that can be transferred with us when we eventually move…not like painting walls or anything.

I thought I’d share two of the projects I have been working on and finally finished.

I was given this old 6-frame window, minus the glass. One of the “rungs” was broken and I could not decide what to do with it. Well, it sat for a good 6 months, if not more. I received an e-mail that the site I order prints off of, Nations Photo Lab, was having a sale on their print enlargements. AWESOME. I went bizerk and ordered large single prints of the girls, and this huge (20 x 30?) of them both. Well, if anyone has ever tried buying this big of a frame, you know it’s expensive and hardly worth it! DING DING DING! The lightbulb went off in my head…”THE FRAME!” It ended up being a perfect match…but I had to get glass cut to size.  It turned out great and I’ve been getting many compliments on it! Wish we had a cathedral ceiling…it’d be perfect!


And, this little no-sew burlap banner was just the added touch my plain-jane mirror needed!

‘Love’ it and now my living room is getting a tiny bit more decorated. If this was my own house, it could have a lot more done, but as I said, my heart’s just not in it! :(