Friday, May 31, 2013

FGP shop talk

 
Hey sweet friends...it's time:))  MY SHOP is opening tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.  I'm really excited.  I've been working HARD getting it stocked up for you.  I'm anticipating a busy month because I've decided to take the ENTIRE summer off!!!  EEEEEEEEEEK!!!
 
When I originally decided to take the shop down to 10 days a month I thought it would free up my time and I'd get to do some other things...not so much;)  Which is more than okay.  I'm feeling overwhelmed and blessed by the outpouring of love for this crazy fun cuffing thing I've got going on.  God is so good:)
 
 
 
But it's extremely time consuming, so I'm carving out time to spend with my girlies.  Enjoying them as much as I can:)  We have a couple of trips planned to see friends and family.  I want to purge and go through every nook and cranny of our house. I've got some Shutterfly books I want to make up, some paintings I want to do, and I'll be working a few days a week restocking my shop for the holidays.  SUPER EXCITED!
 
 

It's the final hoorah until after LABOR DAY!  My shop will reopen September 3rd (open the 3rd-10th), the day after the girls go back to school.  So think hard.  Is there anything between now and then you're gonna need a cuff for...a birthday, special anniversary, graduation, Father's day, a splurge just for you:)??


And since I'm expecting a busy month please convo me if you don't see what you are looking for.  I have buckets of belts that are not made up.  I don't have men's cuffs listed, but if you convo me I can make up any size you need. 




My June shop promoters are:
 Layla from the Lettered Cottage and Stephanie Holden from the Honey Pot
Run over there at 8:00 est tomorrow morning for your coupon codes:)







Be a blessing!!!
 






hot tamale weather
getting it done
friends who host a rummage sale and let me crash
a dry basement
hope that springs new every single day...
my amazing customers! thank you SO much!!!


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vera Mae

 

This weekend was soft and sweet and smelled so good.  She cooed and snuggled and melted our hearts.  I'm talking of course about our precious Vera Mae.  I say "our" because we've kind of laid claim on her.  We were there when Alicia and Jarrod announced to the kids last summer that they were expecting.  If you missed that post see it here. They're our stand-in family on the East Coast, so of course little Vera is like a new little family member and we couldn't love her more.


I don't know why, but when I snatched her up and drank her in for the first time I cried like a baby.  It was so emotional.  This little one whom we've prayed for.  Who Alicia and I discussed before they even conceived.  Who I knew was there...before she even told me over the phone!  I knew!!  


And God knew just what they needed.  Even with the question marks and uncertainty that life can throw...and the timing feeling off.  God just knows.  It fits together.  It makes sense...after the fact;)



So this weekend we celebrated her:)
 
We cuddled and comforted.  We kissed her little head and counted all her fingers and toes.  And secretly when we...me and Vera, had a minute alone, I prayed a blessing over her.  That He would keep her close all the days of her life.  That He would cover her with His wings.  That He would shelter her from harm.  That she would never doubt her heavenly Daddy's love...not even for a minute.  Welcome to the family sweet baby girl!  We love you!!!





It was a good weekend...







Be a blessing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
new life
teeeeny tiny fingers and toes
big yawns
tiny little diapers
the girls loving on her
couples massage;)
the corner kitchen...the screen door...girlfriend time
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Friday, May 24, 2013

the perfect storm




I really should be packing...or cuffing or any number of things, but I had this on my heart and I just needed to share.  Yesterday was a doozy.  It started with my little chick getting a horrific nosebleed right as she was getting on the bus.  Blood was dripping everywhere.  The bus was idling...kids were staring.  She was bawling.  You get the drift.  Adrenaline was flowing, came home from that a little stressed, but you know it's life stuff.  You brush it off.  You take a deep breath and you go onto the next thing.


BUT the next thing was a little more stressful.  Our main water line to the house busted, and after hours of being gone I came home to about 3 inches of standing water in the storage area of our basement.  Honey was out of town.  I couldn't find the shut off valve.  Water was gushing everywhere.  I ran barefoot to our neighbors house in a panic.  I put the pipes together the best I could, holding on with every ounce of strength I had while she frantically looked for the shut off valve.  Thankfully the spec house across the street had all the contractors there meeting for some reason.  I had her run and get a man!  He calmly shut it down and had our builder and a plumber there within minutes.  It was such a God thing.   






We had damage.  Our carpet got saturated and will need repaired or replaced.  We lost a few things.  We had a restoration company come in and do what they do.  It will all be okay.  It's only stuff.  Through it all I couldn't help but think of Oklahoma and what they are going through. I'm sure they are sad about their stuff, but I can with all honesty tell you their focus isn't on the loss of their things...it's counting their blessings.  If they made it with their people alive THAT is what they are thinking about.  Stuff is stuff.  You realize really quick what matters and NONE of this does.


There are days that present as a perfect storm.  Every little thing that could go wrong does, but as I was laying in bed last night I could see God's provision through it all. 

At the bus someone had wetwipes. 

The contractors were there and had it under control within minutes. 
 
We are going out of town this weekend.  If it would have been one more day our entire house might have had to be gutted and we would have lost all those memory boxes etc... 
 
Just the thought of that brings me to my knees with gratitude.  God is good...even when it seems unfair or crappy.  He's there in those dark, hard moments.  I can't imagine facing these things...these everyday hiccups without Him.







Be a blessing.
 







restoration people
my precious neighbor who spent hours helping me move stuff out
provision
the chance to regroup and start over




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Thursday, May 23, 2013

kindness matters



I woke up last week alone on my birthday.  Honey was out of town.  It was just me at the crack of dawn...laying there with my thoughts.  It gave me a minute to let it soak in.  I'm 40!  I hit that mile mark.  A new decade... 


It was so funny the night before as I was saying goodnight to my honey I was like this is the last time you'll hear my voice in my 30's.  And as I tucked the girls in I reminded them, this is the last night you'll see your momma in her 30's.  HA!  I surprise myself.  I really didn't think I would be so affected by a number, but I was.  I felt the change.  Not the aging part, but the throttle forward.  That actual propelling...weird!


Anyway I wasn't going to write a post about my birthday.  It's been a week.  I said my blanket thank you's to my facebook, IG friends and sweet blog readers.  I didn't really want to focus on it anymore, but my people went to so much trouble to make me feel special that I can't just skip over it.  SO these pics are just a small tidbit of that. 


I've been going through a little pity party lately.  Feeling lonely here.  Feeling isolated.  And most of that revolves around my work and honey's work.  I was missing my "tribe" in MN...you know that group of women to run around with.  That feeling of belonging.  A sense of home (family) here.
 
 

Then recently I really felt the Lord, almost put His hand on my shoulder and whisper to me that I have LOTS of friends.  I'm seriously blessed beyond measure with amazing women who LOVE me!  ME...just the way I am. 


Sometimes we have our needs met, but it just doesn't look the way we think it should. They may not all live here.  I may not see most of them daily or face to face very often.  An occasional phone call, text or email is just the way it has to be, but I'm surrounded by love.  I need to focus on what I do have.  And what I do have IS a TRIBE!


God has put all sorts of women in my path.  And it astounds me actually that I have peeps in all corners of this world.  He has placed each one of them in my circle for a reason.  They each fulfill a different role and minister to me in different ways.  Even some of you whom I've never met in person mean the world to me!  How crazy is that!!  My cup runneth over.


I'm reveling today in the fact that kindness matters greatly.  That receiving love is a humbling thing...an overwhelming gift.  One that I hope I can reciprocate to all the precious women in my life. 
 
 
 
Thank you all so much for investing in me.  For cheering me on.  For joining my tribe.  Together we courageously swipe on the warpaint of life:))  So glad I'm not alone...never alone.







Be a blessing.
 










friends that sneak and plot
 
feeling overwhelmed by hourly love on my bday...towel found here
owl cupcakes that were a labor of love
liza's advice;)
God's gentle reminders

the gift of another year
for a nation that rallys...praying for you oklahoma!
 
 
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Monday, May 20, 2013

living in the extraordinary

 

Okay friends this is the last of them.  I'm wrapping it up...sob!  I've got to get my San Fran thoughts down or they'll be gone forever. 


So I'm left handed.  You need to know this about me, because it has a lot to do with my personality.  I'm a right brain thinker.  I'm adventurous.  I'm creative.  There's really not much I wouldn't like to see or explore.  I'm artsy, empathic, very in touch with my emotions...I see the BIG picture...I pursue transcendence (according to the internet).  What is transcendence you may ask??  Free dictionary defines it as Being above and independent of the material universe. Used of the Deity. Whoa I like that.  That's what I want...transcendence.  I want to be used of the Deity;)


Our pastor is doing a series on being extraordinary.  I bring all this up because he's been talking about the differences in the right and left brain.  He's been talking about transcendence.  It's been really eye opening. I'm taking notes and I just can't write fast enough.  More on that in a minute...




Our first experiences in San Fran weren't that great.  When we first touched down we were all tired, hungry and grouchy... that's just not a recipe for anything good to happen.  I would be the first person kicked off the island on Survivor...just ask my friends.  My basic needs have to be met or else;) 


So we finally get into the city and go to a place the counter attendent at the rental car place suggested we eat. We went round and round the block trying to find parking.  Then when we did finally find a spot it was metered and we had no change.  They have a handy app for that now, but it was taking a LONG time to figure out, and meanwhile it was kind of a shady area and you get the picture.  Tension was high.  Stomachs were growling among other things.




And then the sniffing started.  Snif, snif...SNIF!!!  My little chick unfortunately got sick the second we got there.  OH MY!  I felt panicky inside.  She's sick and we're in a city, and I don't know where a doctor is and this sniffing constantly is going to drive me nuts and our trip is NOT going the way I want and waaaaaaaa....



So that was the first few hours.  In dire need of a nap we did just that.  We checked into our room,  curled up like babies and slept it off.  After our little siesta we quickly put on our comfy shoes and took off to explore the city.



Little did we know how much walking we'd actually be doing.  Our hotel was downtown by the square.  We took off thinking we'd just hop a trolley and make it down to the touristy stuff...the pier and the wharf.  We walked and walked and walked...and every time a trolley would pass it would the wrong one.


Then we stood and waited and waited for one and it seemingly would never come, so we took off walking again;)  And if you've been to San Fran you know it wasn't an easy walk.  It was STEEP hills and some serious cardio. 

But along the way we saw the crooked street and lots of pretty homes and interesting people.  We walked through parts of Chinatown.  Then not knowing how far we had left we finally hopped on the trolley...paying big bucks and then all of a sudden we were there.  It was almost comical.  Oh well.  That's the joys of vacation. You really don't know what to expect...where to go or exactly WHAT is a must see.  That's the frustrating part.


I'll tell ya right now I'm not a city girl...none of my family members are either.  We love wide open spaces...a slower pace.  BUT it was really cool to see it in person.  The old charming buildings, the bay...the BRIDGE.



I can visualize it all now and that's a cool thing.


 
The Wharf...lots of people watching.
 


Alcatraz...we didn't tour it.  Thought it would be too much for the girls.
 
 
Did I mention it was chilly? 
 
 
Pier 39 and the sea lions. 
 
 
 
Boudin's sourdough bread place...my favorite thing at the Pier.


Then we hopped the trolley car back to the hotel. This was my favorite part of that day.  The city just glowed and took on a whole different look.  It was beautiful.



And then the next day the grouch cloud finally lifted and we set off to explore the Golden Gate Bridge.  And I have to tell ya it was surreal on so many levels.  We are talking giant bucket list item here:)  And just like that it was checked!!!


I literally could have stayed on the bridge all day.  The cars roaring by. The wind whipping our clothes and hair.  The vibrating of the bridge under our feet.  The view!  The realization that we were standing on something I'd seen countless times...that I'd always wanted to drive over.  It was magical.


 After we walked the bridge, we set off for Vista Point.  My girl Carissa kept me in the know and told us it was a must see and boy was she right.  It was breathtaking.


I love that the girls have had these experiences. That we've shared these bucket list things with them. It makes me happy to my toes that they want to capture every moment and photograph as much as I do;)  It's such a priceless gift to pass onto them. One that will make them view every single day differently for the rest of their lives.   


Okay so indulge me a minute, back to my pastor's message...this is life changing.  So he had some great points.  First one was that faith is birthed in God's presence.  He demonstrated this by having the worship team play background music while he was talking and then suddenly stopping.  Obviously there was such a difference in the atmosphere when we were ushering in His presence with worship.  When the music stopped it was like crickets.  We need to draw near and music is key to that.
 
 
His second point was faith goes beyond inspiration to participation. Once we are full of His presence and inspiration we need to get involved in whatever He wants for us.  And this is the kicker...these are the words that made my heart kinda flip...and I quote, "Some of you are waiting on God and God is waiting on you!" 
 
I feel like I've been waiting on God forever!  Show me Lord just what to paint...how to start that book, where to find those people who need me, what am I supposed to do with this next 40 years.  WHAT IF I've been waiting around and missing the TROLLEY!!  What if I need to actually get off my tail and start digging some ditches?? 
 
 
Seriously people my heart about exploded.  We apparently need to move from being inspired and feeling His presence to actual action of some sort.  And naturally my next thought is Lord WHAT IS THAT ACTION?  But shoot if I can't just keep asking that.  I need to find that thing.  Here's what my pastor suggested in finding the thing...
 
 
He said you can't do it for everyone, but you can do it for one.
What angers you?
What brings you joy?
Figure out the answers to these things and then find your purpose.
 
 
 
 
The result will be extraordinary:
You will leave a legacy if you surrender to purpose
Make a contribution
A righteous man will be remembered forever
Rise above self (prov 29:18)
Live an authentic life
 
 
 
Ephesians 4:1
Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.









Be a blessing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
seeing the Golden Gate
sharing these experiences with our girls
a pastor who ignites something in me
California poppies
not missing the trolley car home
BIRTHDAY WISHES THAT BLESSED MY SOCKS OFF!!!!!!
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

my fortieth birthday wish




It's finally here.  I'm officially f-o-r-t-y!!! I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a pivitol point in my walk. I've been blessed to reach the "mid-way" mark. How will I make the most of this half of my life? 



 


There will be changes. BIG changes, and I'm not talking about gray hair, bifocals and wrinkles. Will I fight it?  Will I struggle with letting go?  Will I try and live in the past gripping tightly to what was, or will I bravely forge ahead? 





I feel like a decision has to be made. Will my attitude reflect what's in my heart? Will my heart line up with God's plan and purpose for me? I think a milestone makes us reflect and reevaulate and that's where I'm at. You know I'm a thinker...a feeler;) 

 



This is what I know:

I want to put Jesus first.
I want use my time wisely.
I want to serve others.
I want to find my place in the community.






 


I want to use all my gifts and talents for His glory.
I want to strive to be healthy...mind, body and spirit.
I want to teach my girls what they need to know to be successful.
 


I want to really love the people in my life.
I want to be present.
I want to enjoy every moment.


 
More than anything I want to live with purpose. I want to stretch my arms out wide, tilt my face to the sky, and praise the Lord for this amazing life.  It's a gift...one that could end tomorrow. 



Our pastor did a really cool illustration the other day. He had a really long thick rope that he said represented our lives. At one end he had just the tip taped in red. That red little tip represented our life here on earth. The rest of the rope which would go on for eternity represented our life after death.




It's weird to think that this life...the one we put SO much emphasis on is just a teeny part of our forever... It freaks me out actually. Can't really go there, but I do get the illustration.




And I think the reason I struggle with life changes so much is because honestly I'm holding onto that teeeeny tiny red part a little too tightly.
 
I need to stand back and see the bigger picture. 
 




One that stretches out for eternity. 
 
There's something wonderful that happens when instead of dreading the end...we realize it's only the beginning of something far greater than we can comprehend.  That's how I want to hopefully live the next 40 years.  Focused on eternal things.  Using my time here for His purpose. That's my birthday wish.  Use me Lord!! Show me what to spend my time on.  Show me how to be a blessing.  Fulfill your plan with ME!


 

**All pics were taken along the 101 coastline in Northern California.  Muir beach overlook, Stinson Beach, and Point Reyes seashore and lighthouse.  My favorite part of our trip!





Be a blessing.
 






cows grazing next to the pacific
sand between my toes
blue blue water
the smell of ocean and earth
memories made
40 years...thank you Lord!
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