Wednesday, October 30, 2013

the wheatfield



I've been sitting on these pictures since our trip back to Illinois this past summer.  Big chick had told Grandma and Grandpa that's what she wanted when she came home.  Not a special meal or a gift etc...a wheatfield!  That's my girl.  A wheatfield it is.  Of course Grandpa could deliver that;)   

I was holding them back because I thought they would go perfectly with a post about raising up girls.  I've had several people ask me about how we parent.  Tips and whatnot about how our girls have turned out so sweet etc...  And honestly those words haven't come yet.  When and if they do you'll be the first to know;)


Our pastor has been doing a studying on Philippians.  This past week his sermon really touched a nerve.  It was about anxiety.  I struggle with this at times.  We've had several things to be anxious about lately.  We've been waiting for Honey's job pieces to fall into place.  I've been attempting to build this business, and let me tell you I'm a fish out of water training people, working long hours etc...  I'm the girl who never wanted a "career".  I had no desire to work.  I was making things for fun.  It's not that anymore.  It's a job, and even though it's flipped over to a more demanding thing I love it...it just comes with a whole new set of challenges.  I'm learning as I go.


Then there is the constant parenting concerns.  How are the girls doing?  The friendships.  The homework.  Are we giving them enough responsibility, love, care...attention.  You all know it...this pit in your stomach feeling of worry.  Anxiety!!  Life is a lot!  We all have stuff.



My pastor defined anxiety as anticipating the future in the worst possible way and freaking out about it.  Yep that pretty much sums it up!  He said it's caused by having an unrealistic pace, no boundaries, no downtime, and a lack or disconnect with a meaningful community.  When we feel anxious we are often angry, exhausted, worn out, overwhelmed, everyone is out to get you, we can't sleep, we gain or lose weight, we can have physical symptoms.  It manifests itself in despair, fear and worry.  And get this...it's a SIN!


He wasn't downplaying mental illness or any anxiety disorders.  He was directing it to those who struggle with this certain area.  And I have to admit I needed to hear it BAD!  I've never thought of anxiety as a sin.  But when you look at it in that way instead of something that you have to "manage" it changes everything.  I don't want to sin against the Lord, and when I worry or struggle with anxiety that's a lack of trust in a God that I know loves me and wants the best for me.  So through Him I can ask for forgiveness and be freed from it once and for all.  I can...I WILL be an overcomer:))




So how do I overcome that seemingly uncontrollable thing of anxiety?



We need to pray about everything.  
Giving it to Him.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.




We need to train ourselves to focus on good things and more or less capture every thought and shut out the negative.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Obey

Philippians 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.





The God of peace will be with you... Ahhhh those last words.  Yes Lord...God of peace.  I want YOU with me.  Every day.  Every second.  I know you can use me when I obey.  Let the fields be ripe for harvest!












Oh and girls I have to share this.  My sweet niece Brittany got engaged recently.  Her boyfriend of 5 years proposed to her in the coolest way.  Watch this!  You will die.  And if you didn't already share your engagement story on IG I'd love to hear about it here.  Ours was simple, but sweet.  Honey went on bended knee in my parent's driveway.  My mom was peeking out from the kitchen window.  Good times;)  
  





Be a blessing.







brittany got engaged!
 shop is almost ready
leaves are falling
peanut butter bark
big chick learning to cook
palm promises



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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Hope Spoken linkup...



Hey there.  Okay so I'm going to Hope Spoken!!!!  My friend Tamara has wanted to go for the past year and I just couldn't think/plan beyond tomorrow so I was dragging my feet.  Then they started running out of tickets and aaaaaaackkkk!!  So guess what?  WE are going to Hope Spoken in March:))  And just in case you don't know what Hope Spoken is it's a super fun weekend conference in Dallas, Texas with lots of great inspirational speakers and women I can't wait to meet, and well...it's bound to be fabulous.  So yeah!!!  I'm glad we're going.  I know God must have some major goodness for us that weekend.



They asked us to share a little bit about ourselves so here goes:
 
For those of you who don't know me and are just checking in from the link my name is Becky Strahle.  I married my highschool sweetheart 21 years ago.  I'm a momma to two of the most amazing girls ever!  I call them Big Chick and Little Chick on here;)  I make a LOT of cuffs occasionally, and run an Etsy shop called Farmgirl Paints.  And guess what?  I DO actually paint when I get the time:)  Hopefully that long time dream of mine will become a print reality very shortly.  Oh and I've been writing this little piece of my heart for almost 5 years.  YIKES!!    


The thing I'm most nervous/excited about is meeting a lot of YOU!  I "know" SO many of you through blogging and Instagram (my name is farmgirlpaints) so it's exciting and blind-date like and exhilarating all rolled into one.  EEEEEEK!  So there you have it...true confession, hand raised high, my name is Becky and meeting new people scares me to death ha


Honestly I have no idea what to expect on that weekend.  I'm not sure what the topics are or anything, but I know there are some amazing inspirational women speaking and I'm positive their stories on faith and life are sure to start a little fire in me.  So that's what I'm expecting...to come home on FIRE:))  Oh and I really hope that some of the virtual friendships I've made online will maybe go a little bit deeper.  It's amazing how a little face time can grow and nurture that seedling of friendship.


Let's see a weird fact about me...  Okay this is really random, when I was dating back in high school I had two boyfriends before I finally met my honey.  When I had my first kiss with each of them I ran to the bathroom immediately and threw up!  Fast forward to my first kiss with my honey.  We had just eaten pizza.  Major ick breath.  We were at the top of this funky rainbow swirly slide and he grabs me and gives me the most whopper of a kiss.  Like BAM!  And guess what?  I didn't throw up.  It was a sign;)  The rest is history!!





That's what I got.
Be a blessing. 

 
 
 
 
**The conference is currently sold out, but they may be adding more seats.  Keeping my fingers crossed for you.
 
 
 
 
 
 
today's gratefuls...
lunch with brandee
twinkly lights above our bed
first chilly hat day
cracker barrel take out for dinner...chicken and dumplings...comfort food my fave!
 
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

what the 10 year olds taught me

You may see a tiny bit of fear in her eyes, but in all actuality she was terrified to hold those sparklers.  Terrified!!  We made her hold them anyway:/  Oh and that smile at the end...it's fake.  Because I told her to smile!  That's what crazy parents/big sisters do for a cool photo of their girl on her 10th birthday.  It's kinda cruel.  But in the end no one got hurt and now she can say she did it afraid and lived to tell about it right?!!  Geesh!  Slide that five minutes of fun over onto the list of birthday stressors. 


Every year as one of my girls birthdays approach I get an anxious feeling.  I want it to be SOOOO special.   Oh the pressure!!  I think part of it stems from some mommy guilt.  I work at home.  I'm busy a lot.  Distracted too much. 


But I never...NEVER in a million years want to downplay their special day, so I stress a bit.  It's all those tiny little details. And I'm NOT a detail girl.  I want the whole day from beginning to end to be beautiful and dangit I'm not a party planner.  I'm not good at meal planning.  I'm not the mom that makes baked goods after school and has tea parties;)  Wink to my Sasha girl!!  I wish I was.  I admire that effort I really do.  Because I know it's a choice...but I digress.

On her actual birthday we met her down at the bus stop and walked her home.  We had balloons on the mailbox, flowers on the table and in her room.  She opened her gifts from us, and when it was time for her to read Big Chick's card it completely startled me that the tears came flooding.  I wasn't expecting it.  But the words, the sentiment and meaning, is what she needed more than anything:)  Man I love those girls.  What a gift they are to each other.

For dinner we went out to Texas Roadhouse.  The girl likes her steak;)  And then it was home for bed.

The mom who hates to plan, who isn't into the details, decided that an at home party was the way to go this year.  I had just went to that fun Timree Gold painting party out in Newport Beach, so I had a vision of how the table would be set up.  I had a run down on the way she led the class.  I had a gum ball painting all ready and painted.  We were set:))



And honestly the girls loved it.  They all turned out different because of ability etc...  Which is the best part in my mind, because that's what art is all about.  Individuality and self expression:)  BUT when given the choice to do different colors for their machines no one had the courage to break away from the pack.  I think that's a 10 year old thing.  Conformity is safe.  No one wants to stand apart.






This need to be IN with the others and to think alike was also very apparent with the hand raising.  Tamara was there helping me...GOD BLESS HER!  And she picked up on it right away.  Who loves the color yellow?  Hands up.  Who thinks dogs are better than cats??  Hands up.  Just an example;) Then I said who likes me and it was lightning fast...HANDS UP!  Hmmmm...interesting.



What does all this mean?  So many thoughts are swirling in my mind at once.  I'm sure some of it's developmental and social, but what is really mind blowing to me is that as women we obviously still struggle to find our way in this same area. 
 
We still feel the need to be like everyone else.  Because heaven forbid if we don't like to cook, decorate different, weigh more or less, don't belong to a bible study, can't craft to save our soul, don't blog or Instagram, homeschool etc...then we just don't measure up.  We don't quite fit in.  Our hand is DOWN.  And no one wants to be left out or be labeled different or sit on the sideline.  AND apparently this started when we were 10 or so!!  YIKES!! 
 

It's always been a wish of mine that I could get into and enjoy things like cooking, gardening and making beautiful tablescapes etc...  Not that I can't learn, but it's really not my natural gifting.  I have to go with the things that bring me joy and walk in the ways the Lord made me:)  He has a unique calling on all of us.  A unique flavor to our being.  I may have a little more sugar than spice or vice versa, but when it's all blended together we each bring something very special to the table or to the canvas for that matter;) 
 
 
So hands up if you are a uniquely made, beautiful woman of God! 
HANDS UP:))





 Be a blessing.


 





my little chick who blesses me with her tender spirit

this girl who spent her Saturday serving and loving...
sweet fergie who made it through that traumatic day...may many crumbs fall her way
to all the little friends who will come in and out of our girls life...may we be light to them
a cupcake bar!!
Panini press
scary sparklers
self expression
acceptance of ourselves and grace with others


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

life is sweet...the OC trip

 

If you don't like looking at other people's vacation pictures you might wanna move on;)  Just sayin' this one is obnoxiously filled to the brim:))  HA!!!  Okay so girls I feel like I've been to a far away planet.  One filled with strange beautiful creatures, lush plants, over the top restaurants and shopping that just doesn't seem possible...of course that foreign land is actually LA and Orange County and if you haven't been there you really need to see it with your own eyes.  It's so very much like what you see on TV but magnified 100 percent. 

As I was sitting at the airport waiting for my flight to take off I was mentally counting how many times I've been to Cali.  TWELVE!  I've been there twelve times!  And as much as I love the weather and the unbelievable amount of things to do and see I always, ALWAYS feel a little out of my element.  Like I just don't belong.  Maybe on the 13th visit it will feel like home;)


**Little side note...stalker Becky comes out the second my feet hit the LAX airport.  I become "tuned" into all things celebrity and make eye contact with every person I see.  It's weird.  Can't help it.  My dorky side just comes out guns full blaring.  This last time I didn't see anyone that I recognized, but two "important" people got off the plane at the gate I was sitting at.  I didn't know them, but I could just tell they were different.  There was an air.  Anyhoo...they had a driver at the gate!  That means they actually had to pay for him to get past security.  Can you imagine??  Okay so the important people get off the plane and immediately drop their carry-ons without so much as a hello to this poor servant person and walk on ahead with the guy scrambling to grab the bags and catch up.  Can you say rude?  It was slighty disgusting and very much what I imagine is the norm for a lot of these famous people.  Just had to share.


My girlfriend Tracy who lives out there picked me up and she showed me the town while we waited on Lissa to come later in the day.  We walked Rodeo Drive (gawking at the valet drivers)...ate at Sprinkles and then she took me to Pink's.  Pink's Hotdogs is a local legend.  I read about it years ago.  It's a hotdog stand that's been there forever.  People stand in line for long periods of time to get one of their crazy hotdogs.  Imagine avocado and caramelized onion and chili and sauerkraut and all sorts of weird things on a bun.  That's what it was.  I got mustard, ketchup and onion.  I'm boring like that.  It was good.  Different, but good.  The casing was firmer than normal hotdogs.  Okay enough about that;)


After our LA tour Tracy took me home.  This is her sweet place. She loves cloches, crowns and lots of sparkle.  She has a great style, and I have to say she's way up there on my list of best hostess'.  I had chocolate covered nuts by my bed and a bathrobe and slippers to wear.  I felt very pampered. 

And her sweeeeet dog HANK! Oh how he made me feel right at home too.  Kinda fell in love with him.  He would sit right by your arm and keep nudging you until you petted him and when you stopped he'd do it again...and again.  I miss Hank;)  Then he'd curl up on the couch and cuddle with his momma.  Beyond sweet!




Late that first night Lissa finally came.  Come on girl!  She'd been at Disney all day with her parents.  How much fun would that be?  Anyhoo by the time she got there I was TOAST.  I'd been up since 4 am EST...which means 21 hours with the time difference.  That first night was short.  But the next morning more than made up for it.  Tracy took us to the Ramos House in San Juan Capistrano.  Talk about a picture perfect, all things California restaurant AND we got to meet Tracy's beautiful momma.  If you ever get a chance go there!  Beyond good.  GO THERE!


We also went antiquing...she loves me.
 


 
Tracy kept asking us throughout the weekend what our favorite part was and even though I have lots more to show you THIS was my favorite.  One night we just got cozy
 
 
Tracy showed me how to make her delicious caprese salad.  We popped some wine and had our own little tasting.  We lit candles and shared what God had been doing in our lives.  It was beautiful and intimate and very very special.  It's really what the whole weekend centered around and I'll never forget that night.  I love these girls.

The next day we hit Newport Beach.  Think mansions and cottages and lots of moolah all on the bay.  Absolutely stunning beauty.  My favorite memory is singing Chicago's Being Without You at the top of our lungs with the windows down.  Oblivious to all the bikers and walkers:)  Oh and Lissa sitting in the back with her sad mopey I'm freezing face;)  Good times!
 

Newport came with a whole lot of excitement.  Tracy signed us up for Timree Gold's painting class.  I'd never done anything like that before.  SO MUCH FUN!!!  She walked us through step by step and at the end we had our own little...BIG masterpiece.  I think we nailed it. 


That night we hit the uber swanky Javier's.  Uh can you say fabulous!  This is one of the places that made me feel out of my comfort zone though.  Very adult.  Posh.  Fancy people.  Fancy food.  It was so beautiful.  SOOOO luxurious.  They even had a bathroom attendant!! 
 
Is it just me or is that a super weird job.  I can grab my own towel thank you:)  Having someone do something for me that I can easily do myself...like a Valet holding the door open...or two servers at the table at once is uncomfortable.  Is that just my Midwest upbringing coming out?!  I appreciate the attention, but it makes me feel awkward. 


Sunday pretty much blew my mind.  For years I've had the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea on my bucket list.  I'd seen so many shows on HGTV filmed there and I knew celebrities walked the aisles and I'm a dork I know, but I just HAD TO GO!  Tracy kindly obliged.  It didn't disappoint.  Within five steps in I found a belt gal that literally had leather that I was swooning over.  It was incredible.  I spent more than I would have if I'd done all the thrifting myself, but the leather was gold.  You guys will DIE!  I went not expecting that at all.  Talk about a major blessing.

The only downside to the flea is that most of the vendor only accept cash.  I didn't know that.  And since I never use an ATM I couldn't figure out which card and how to do it.  So I had to bum money off Lissa.  I hated doing that.  I was like WHY GOD WHY...I'm at the flea and I can't spend freely.  This is torture.  But it all worked out.  Trust me.  I found my treasures.  The ones I was supposed to get and nothing more:)  And it was a good thing because nothing more would fit in my suitcases.  My carry on (which was filled with belts) alone weighed 42 pounds.  He knew when to cut me off;)


Oh and right after we hit the Luggage Room (SO GOOD) for lunch and drove by the Father of the Bride house!!!  How fun is that!!! 



 
One of my favorite parts of visiting a friend is seeing the familiar, the intimate...cue momma's house.  This is Tracy's childhood home.  Needless to say she gets her beautiful style from her sweet momma:) We also got to drive by her brother's home and her old house in Pasadena. LOVE!


Okay so last day finally.  If you're still with me you deserve a macaroon...just sayin;)

We had to drop Lissa off for an early flight (cue sad face:/), so we hit the amazing Bottega Louie in downtown LA for brunch while we waited for my flight.  Again another impossibly beautiful restaurant with amazing food and gorgeous waiters.  It was straight up out of a movie.  Very French.  Best breakfast I've ever had!  No lie.  That top left picture was a potato cake with buratta cheese, prosciutto and basil.  Sounds weird, but it was perfection on a plate.  Add a little lemon ricotta pancake on the side, and roasted potatoes with asparagus and this girl who really doesn't think about food much at all is all of a sudden a major FOODIE;) 

So there you have it, a beautiful weekend all tied up with string.  Beyond grateful my honey lets me travel.  These occasional mini trips are like an oasis for this homebody farmgirl.  I've been so blessed to spend quality time with my far away friends, to see some amazing things I'll never forget, and to experience Gods goodness in the most unlikely of ways.  Now it's back to work...I've got some CUFFIN' to do!!




Be a blessing.

 
 
 
 
 
**to see more pics of the weekend find
Tracy @lvngprtythings and Lissa @hawaiimama808 on Instagram
 
 




 
Chicago lyrics
avocados, heirloom tomatoes and buratta cheese
laughing til it hurts
sunshine and palm trees
jo Malone orange blossom cologne
treasure hunting
leather GOLD
getting pampered
stories of God's handiwork in a dark cozy living room
HANK
friends who listen to you dream
luggage that made it home
 
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