Enduring All Things: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Bittersweet End to February

It's the last day of February. In a way, this month has gone by fast. My husband and brother both had birthdays this month. We got to see Jerry Seinfeld, spent a weekend relaxing in Amish country, watched the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and celebrated Valentine's Day. But it has sorta gone by slow as well because I am oh so tired of Winter and cold and snow. Ugh. Have I complained about that enough yet on this blog??

Anyway, February was great, but here's to a new month!
Lets get on to the Friday count down.

5 Things I've Loved This Week

  • My Chalk Board Coffee Mug I got in Sugarcreek on Valentine's weekend.
  • Snapchats from my brother. Unfortunately, I didn't take any screenshots, but his birthday was this week and he's pretty great.
  • Binge Watching HIMYM on Netflix. Pearson got me hooked. I blame all on him.
  • This awesome 'Home is where the pups are' Phone Background from Venus Trapped in Mars
  • Seeing Jerry Seinfeld live at the Ohio Theatre last night!

4 Articles/Blog Posts I've Loved This Week

  • The Heartbreak of Foster Care (via Daddy's Tractor) This article really got me thinking. It's a good'n but you might want some tissues near by.
  • Contentment and Faithfulness (via The Random Writings) Rachel shares how God is working in her life and changing her plans just like he has in the past.
  • J-Law is Wind Beneath My Wings (via Whispering Sweet Nothings) Shane shares how her and Jennifer Lawrence are a lot alike. I can so relate!
  • 5 Verses to Pray to Grow as a Spouse (via A Beautiful Exchange) This is a guest post from a bloggy friend, Lauren on another bloggy friend, Hayley's blog. Lauren identifies with the struggles to be the wife that God calls us to be and shares some verses to help.

3 Posts I Wrote This Week

  • My solution to dry, winter skin (Tues)
  • If I could have lunch with Julie Andrews (Wed)
  • My uneducated Oscar predictions (Thurs)

3 Things I'm Looking Forward To

  • The Oscars, obvi.
  • Our first (of many) young married couples bible study tonight. We are reading His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

1 Reason to Smile

  • Tomorrow is March which means warmer weather is (hopefully) around the corner. Though I am not getting my hopes up too much.
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Uneducated Oscar Predictions {only the big ones}

I love the Oscars. I love the red carpet fashion (mostly laughing at it). I love the celebrity gossip. I love the awkward acceptance speaches. But most of all, I love trying to predict who will win what and celebrating when my picks win. The only downside is I usually love the movies that The Academy hates and hate the movies the The Academy loves. Why is that? I like to think that I have a pretty decent taste in movies. Sigh. Oh well. I wanted to give you all my predictions anyway. Or at least for the "big" awards because lets face it, I don't know to judge cinematography or production design and I don't watch very many documentaries or foreign language films.
So below are the nominees and my picks are bold.

Best Picture

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips -Pearson and I watched this movie the other night and just loved it. It better win.
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor

  • Christian Bale (American Hustle) -Honestly, this is the only movie on this list that I watched. I didn't particularly like the movie, but Christian Bale did a good job.
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress

  • Amy Adams (American Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) -Honestly, I did not see this movie but I really really want to. I love Meryl Streep and I heard she was great in this.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) -He did such a good job in this movie. I almost felt sorry for him at the end!
  • Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jonah Hill (Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) -It's no secret that I love J-law, but I really do think she deserves this one. She was awesome as usual!
  • Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)
  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

Best Animated Feature

  • The Wind Rises
  • Frozen -I don't think this one is a surprise to anyone. There is some pretty tough competition this year, but I still don't think anything beats Frozen.
  • Despicable Me 2
  • The Croods
  • Ernest & Celestine
So there you have it. I guess we will see how well I did on Sunday. Do you agree with my pics? Who would you pick differently?
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

If Only This Could Really Happen {TGBTL 12}

This week's TGBTL prompt is "If you could have lunch with any blogger, celebrity, or public figure, who would you choose and why?" I've thought long and hard about this one. I even consulted the hubby for help over the weekend. I think I finally decided who I would want to have lunch with...

Julie Andrews
(original picture was from the Rachel Ray show, found here)
Out of all my celebrity obsessions right now, I think she would be the nicest. I would be way too intimidated by Helena Bonham Carter. She is just kinda scary, and she seems like the type who might think I am wasting her time. And I mean sure J-Law would be hilarious but I think she might be a little intimidating too, but in a different way. I would feel way too much pressure to be awesome around her. And Idina Menzel, well I think being in her presence might either enhance my voice enough to give me confidence to sing in front of people more or my voice would be so over powered in one lunch outing that I could never sing with confidence again.

Anyway, I digress. Julie Andrews, while also having a voice to overshadow all others, is very humble and just a great person. I feel like she would make the lunch about me and at least pretend to want to know what is going on in my life. 

Another reason I would pick her is that out of every celebrity that I have ever loved, I have admired her the longest. When I was a child watching Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, I thought Julie hung the moon. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up, and I still do. Not only was she a fantastic singer and a classy actress back in the day, she still is. I love her as the queen in The Princess Diaries. 

Recently I have "rediscovered" some of her work on Broadway and it makes me wish I was around back then and able to go watch her preform in My Fair Lady, and all the others! She really is just a truly amazing person who I have admired and will admire all my life.
Girl Between the Lines Link up
If you could have lunch with any blogger, celebrity, or public figure who would you choose? Go link up with Hayley and Lauren!
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Solution to Dry Winter Skin

*This is not a sponsored post. I just love the products and wanted to share.

So the other day, I realized that I have several Vaseline
® products that I use on a daily basis. Not only are they all Vaseline® brand, they are all cocoa butter flavored. {is it called a flavor when you don't eat it? I guess it could be a scent}. Anyway, I really love this stuff.

This winter has been really tough on my skin. More so than usual. I don't know if it is just because this year has been a harsher winter than usual, or what.

When I discovered the total moisture™ lotion, I was looking for something rejuvenating. Something with a little more substance than the typical lotion. Vaseline®'s Total Moisture™ line focus's on keeping skin healthy. There are three varieties of the Total Moisture™ line; aloe fresh, total moisture™, and cocoa radiant™. What appealed to me about the Cocoa Radiant™ was promise of glowing skin. It's winter and my skin is pretty pasty white right now so I need all the help I can get. I use this all over my body whenever I get out of the shower and on my hands any time I need it.

I use the petroleum jelly mostly on my feet. I get really bad dry spots on the top of my big toes when I wear shoes for too long. I put quite a bit of this stuff right on those spots and on the balls and heels of me feet and put socks on over it to sleep in. When I wake up, my feet are as soft as a baby's bottom. Ok, maybe not that soft, but I can see a major difference. I also use this stuff on my elbows, knees and wrists when they get bad.

And last, but certainly not least, is Vaseline® Lip Therapy®! You guys, this stuff is amazing! I read about this stuff somewhere on the internet a month or so ago, but I honestly don't remember where. After reading about it though, I knew I had to try it. I found it at Kroger with the lip balms near the pharmacy and I am so glad I did. This stuff is like heaven on my lips. I keep this one on my desk and I bought another thing of it in Rosy Lips {instead of Cocoa Butter} to keep in my purse so I could still have the lip therapy® but also have a little color when I am going somewhere. Y'all this stuff is amazing. I can't praise it enough. And that is coming from someone who has to have a tube of lip balm in every room of the house, in her car, and in her purse at all times.

What are some of your favorite skin care products? Any other Vaseline® users out there?
By the way, I'm guest posting today over here on Jess's blog. Go check it out!
Also, happy 21st birthday to my little brother who I can't believe turns 21 today!
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Confession Session

I have an alarm set for 7:30 every morning, but I snooze till about 7:59 (or later) most days. I have to be at work at 8:00 AM, but my office is my spare bedroom.

Because of this, I shower on my lunch break. And only on days that I have plans for the evening. (Unless I don't have plans for like 3 days straight. Then I shower).

Also because of this, I usually work in my pajamas and will sometimes literally go to bed in the same clothes I woke up in that morning having not changed at all.

When I wake up late (read: every day), Pip doesn't get to go outside till lunch time. But hey, he doesn't complain and has never had an accident. He's truly the best dog ever!

I went to the dentist a couple weeks ago for the first time since we moved here. Which was a year and a half ago. I had to get 3 cavities filled.

I haven't been to the eye doctor in years. My contacts are really old and I just keep wearing them and my glasses prescription is even older so I hate wearing them.

I cry at the end of every Full House episode ever.

I am so tired of the snow, and winter in general, that I spent several hours on Saturday looking at 'Summer' pins on Pinterest.

My favorite place to shop is probably Plato's Closet. No joke.

I justify cuddling with my hubby when I should be cleaning or doing a million other things because "family and relationships are more important than a clean house".

I fall asleep in the 2nd Lord of the Rings movie every time I watch it. Every time. I am honestly not sure I have ever seen the whole thing. Wait, I'm sure I did in the theater when it first came out, but that was so long ago I don't remember it.

I haven't unpacked since our Valentine's weekend trip. Yeah, we got back over a week ago.

I am super excited for the Into the Woods movie coming out this year. Like I'm borderline Les Miserables movie excited.

I hate unloading the dish washer so much that I let the dishes pile up in the sink and on the counter till I can't stand it anymore. I finally unload the clean dishes from the dish washer and then rinse, load, and wash all the others. If I would just unload when it is done, I could slowly fill it up again and never have a huge pile. 

What do you have to confess?
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Being a Compassionate Spouse {Guest post}

I’m Amanda and I blog over at Notes from a Newlywed, where I write all about my life as a new wife. I share my views, thoughts, emotions and observations on my newlywed journey. From wedding planning tips to changing my name, having in-laws and trying to be a better wife, and even a few recipes and randoms thrown in there, it's all about what I'm learning along the way. 

Being a Compassionate Spouse

A few days ago, my friend sent me a link to a story on HuffPo with 30 ways to be a more compassionate spouse. Gotta admit: I’m guilty of breaking a lot of these. Chances are, we all are. 

Being a compassionate person, let alone spouse is hard enough. Because we live with our husbands and have grown so comfortable around them, we tend to take them for granted some days. In other instances, we may learn behaviors about how to act in a marriage from our parents or other family members. Heck, blame it on society or TV even. We humans can be impatient, judgmental and selfish characters. But if there’s one person in your life that deserves to be treated the best of anyone, it’s your spouse.

Yes, we also should be good, compassionate daughters, parents, sisters, friends, co-workers, etc., too, but your spouse is the one person you vow (literally! In front of God, and with signed legal documents!) to honor till death do you part. The person you tackle every single day with. The person you love very deeply. The person who deserves the utmost respect and compassion.

My two favorite tips from the article to show your spouse compassion are:

- Listen up and shut up. Oh, we humans have to have our voices heard, but being compassionate is about being there for someone else.
- Admit you're wrong. Swallowing your pride, seeing your screw-up, and being willing to say "I'm wrong," is one of the most compassionate things you can do.

I do think there are many things the list didn't even touch on. For instance, I can be a nag. I focus on the small things and never forget them. Sometimes in arguments I actually bring up that one time years ago when my husband didn't bring the new bookcase I had bought and was sitting in my car till days later. That’s not fair! So rather than bringing up old issues that have nothing to do with the current situation, focus in on the issue at hand, but always do it lovingly.

I am often unfair to my husband. I nitpick. He didn't load the dishwasher the way I like. He took too long to fix the squeaky door. He did X, he didn't do Y. But does that really matter? No. In those moments when I’m nagging or taking my anger out on him, I try to step back and remember what’s important. Is this really a big issue, I ask myself. Could he nitpick about the way I do things? Yes! But he doesn't. If he were gone tomorrow, the least of my worries would be the way the dishwasher was loaded. It’s far more important that we enjoy our time together and strengthen our marriage in a compassionate way. Sometimes I need to eat a big slice of humble pie. And while it’s embarrassing to admit how awful I am at times, it’s the first step to being a better wife.

Just the other day, as my husband was lighting up a cigarette, I almost started nagging once again about how bad it is and that he needs to stop. Which I've done a gazillion times. But this time I thought I’d approach my concerns in a constructive way. I said something to the extent of, “I understand that you smoke because you are stressed and it’s a habit that you haven’t been able to kick just yet, but I am worried that you’ll never quit, and it’s important to me that our future children have a father who doesn't smoke. What do you feel is holding you back? Is there something I can do to better support you?” 

Lo and behold, we had a real discussion about it and I gained a lot of insight into why he’s struggled quitting in the past and how badly he still wants to. In the end, we came up with some new ideas to try and kick his habit and I we really connected about it! If I had opened with “Ugh, there you go again! When are you gonna quit?!” that wouldn't have been compassionate. Finding compromises, ways to communicate effectively, opening up your emotions to connect on a deeper level, really actually listening and simply being there for your spouse is being compassionate. How can you get through life together if you can’t do those things? For me, those are the ways to have a healthy, happy marriage.

In what ways do you practice compassion in your relationships?
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop

It's that time again - time for us to join together as a body of Christ and get to know and encourage our sisters in Christ!  Link up any and all posts you've written in this past week (or dig into your archives!) that are an encouragement for the Christian community!  I can't wait to read your testimonies, find out what God's doing in your life, or learn what you're learning in your quiet time!

Faith and Fellowship Guidelines
1.  Linkup a post (or more than one!) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!
4.  Share this blog hop on social media using #faithandfellowship or pin the button on pinterest.

Simple Moments Stick

Your Host:

Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

Your Cohosts:

      Charlene from From Bisons to Buckeyes    //    Robyn from Invincible Summer

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Letters to the World {Winter Olympics Edition}

Aren't the Olympics great? For the past two weeks I have been watching and keeping up with the Winter Olympics in Sochi and I am just so amazed. During the last Winter Olympics, I was a Sophomore at Harding and had way too much going on to pay attention and actually watch much. I have lots of questions and praises to say to a lot of people involved so I thought I would do a Letter to the World post Winter Olympics style!
Dear spectators on the sidelines that the camera shows every once in a while,
Isn't it cold? I'm looking at you, parents and siblings of skiers! I mean I get supporting your athletes, but I am just not sure I could stand out there in the snow watching for hours. And then there are the people who aren't related and are just there to watch.
Correction, I just saw this article saying it has been 48° in Sochi. I have heard the announcers talking about it being warm but I just assumed their standards were high. I stand corrected.

Dear athletes,
How do you get into these kinds of sports? I mean, curling? When you were little was it always your dream to be an Olympic curler? Or any Winter Olympic sport for that matter. Who came up with Biathlon as a winter sport? And growing up, all my friends played baseball, basketball, football etc. I even had a few dancer friends, but figure skating? Nope.

Dear commentators,
How do you know so much about the sports? "Oh here is where he obviously messed up..." Um, he looks like everyone else did at that same point. I don't see how he obviously messed up there.

Dear athletes from other countries,
How do you know English so well? It amazes me when American reporters interview you after you win a metal and you speak so fluently. I can almost guarantee you that our athletes don't know your native language!

Dear Sochi,
Good for you for hosting. I know we citizens of Western Civilizations have given you a hard time, but I really am impressed with what you have done and I am excited for this to boost your economy! And I am kinda ashamed to say that I had to read this article to come to this realization.

Dear USA,
Why don't we dominate like we do in the summer Olympics? After we dominated in London in 2012, I was really looking forward to Sochi 2014... I mean we are doing OK, but it is more fun to dominate, ya know? :)
Source (standings as of yesterday- 2/19- around noon EST)
Deer Speed Skating,
Why can't you be on TV all the time? Like, seriously. I can watch you guys go around and around that rink all day and I am not joking or being sarcastic in the slightest! I know you guys compete in more than the Olympics. I am sure there are speed skating events going on somewhere all the time. So why aren't they aired in the US?? I would totally watch!
Have you been enjoying the Sochi Olympics? What are some things you would like to say to the athletes?
Thanks for reading!

-If you had a time machine, what is the first place in time that you would travel to? Oh goodness, this is hard.  I would adore being a companion of The Doctor (any other Dr Who fans out there?) and travelling through time and space.  I think I would love to visit the Elizabethan Era (as long as I was royalty) but ask me again in about 20 minutes and my answer will be different.  ;-)
-What is your go-to favorite meal to cook and eat? Definitely Stovetop Mac and Cheese!  I blogged about it here: http://www.simplemomentsstick.com/2013/11/stovetop-mac-and-cheese.html
-If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why? Razzmatazz  - It's an awesome name AND an awesome color!

Be sure to check out these great posts!
~How I am Going to be a Pastor's Wife
~Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Favorite Pins from this Week {TGBTL 11}

Today's Girl Between the Lines prompt is "Share 5 of your favorite pins that you have seen recently."

I don't spend a lot of time on Pinterest anymore. I know, crazy right? I just haven't had time lately and have gotten out of the habit of just scrolling through and repinning things. I do however pin things I from elsewhere on the internet like on blogs I follow. I do this so that I can keep things together and find them again easier. Ironically, all 5 of the pins I picked are ones I pinned from elsewhere on the internet.

This first one is a post from the lovely Samantha @ Life Style Love. She has some really great tips for New Bloggers! Most (read: not all) of them I have learned by now, but they sure would have been great to know when I was very first starting out. And they are great reminders anyway!
Pin // Blog Post
This next pin was sparked by a new blog I discovered this week! I don't know why I wasn't follow Paige @ The Sticky Note Addict before now! I think we are a lot alike and could be BFFs (unfortunately, she has no idea I exist). Anyway, I digress. She posted some ideas for Valentine's Gifts for Your Friends and the first thing on the list was a Maybook Notebook. I thought the notebook was super cute, naturally. So I went to the website and you can customize your own! Too cool! So I created my own and pinned it to my "I Want That!" board to save for later. I have decided that it will be my next journal!
Pin // Website
This next one I saw on Facebook. One of my friends 'liked' it from one of those mommy help Facebook pages. I honestly have no idea where it originally came from and can't find it on Facebook again. I created the pin on my "In the future..." board and I think we are going to do it when we have kids. Isn't it a great idea? I want to write them letters in a journal and keep scrapbooks, but you can send anything with this.
I've been looking at bathingsuits lately because I am so ready for warm weather and summer and laying out by the pool. I am tires of this white stuff all over the ground! It needs to go away! Anyway, I found this suit from Target and I think it is pretty cute while still being modest. What do you think?
Pin // Website
This next one is the handiwork of the brilliant Shane @ Whispering Sweet Nothings. She wrote a perfect post about being Blog-kward and included this little gem. I think it describes blogging perfectly!
Pin // Blog Post
For someone who doesn't spend a lot of time on Pinterest, I think I these five are pretty great! What do you think?
Girl Between the Lines Link up
What were some of your favorite pins this week? Link up with Hayley and Lauren!
Thanks for reading!

P.S. Be sure to check out my guest post on Be A Warrior Queen today! Thanks to Raewyn for giving me that opportunity!
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cara Box Reveal {Winter 2014}

I did a Cara Box swap again this quarter with Wifessionals. You can see my reveal post from last quarter here. This quarter, Cara Box was conducted mostly on Instagram and the partners were picked based on location. So I was paired with two lovely Ohio ladies, Shane (who blogs here) and Lori! I so loved getting to know these two lovely ladies through email and seeing glimpses of their lives on Instagram. I hope to meet up with them each for a blate in the future (blate = Blogger Date).

So I sent a Cara Box to Shane and I received a Cara Box from Lori and oh my goodness was I pleasantly surprised! Lori went above and beyond! I felt so loved. Here is all my loot...
The first thing I noticed was this 'M' plaque. It is so bright and beautiful. It makes me long for spring even more. She wrote est. 2012 because that is when we got married and the back says "Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." I love it!
The next thing I opened was 2, yes two, beautiful scarves! I love them both and have already worn them both. I plan to wear them a lot more as the weather warms up because they are thin spring scarves. Aren't they both just precious??
And of course Lori did not leave out the most important smallest member of the family, Pip. She sent him 2, yes two again, squeaky chew toys. He loves them! As soon as I took them out and squeaked them, he came running and couldn't decide which one to play with so he would try to carry both in his mouth everywhere.
She must have gotten the idea somehow that I like coffee because she gave me a Dunkin Donuts gift card (I love their coffee) and some reusable K-cups for the Keurig I got for my birthday in January!
Next, I opened these 2, yes TWO, beautiful bracelets. Aren't those just the cutest! That is an owl hanging down. And those beads on the other one are vintage and so so cute! I think she may have made these (correct me if I am wrong, Lori) and I absolutely love them!
She also got me two purple nail polishes which I have not gotten to use yet and it is hard to tell the color in the bottle. But she must have done her research because purple is my favorite color.

And last, but not least, my favorite items in the box were a notepad and a journal! I opened the notepad and thought "this is so cute! I can write blog posts ideas. I will keep it in my purse or by my bed." Then I opened the yellow journal with the birds on the front and my mouth dropped open! Is that not the cutest thing?? So the journal is in my purse/on my desk at all times and the notepad is by my bed and I have already filled both of them almost half way up!
It is very obvious that Lori put a lot of thought into this. She read my blog, emailed me questions and liked a lot of my pictures on Instagram. I am very appreciative of the effort she put in to send me the best Cara Box ever! Thanks so much, Lori!

I can't wait to sign up for Cara Box in the Spring! Signups are open March 3-5 and are done completely on Instagram. You do not have to have a blog to sign up. Just follow @caraboxexchange on Instagram and follow the instructions to sign up!
Cara Box
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Monday, February 17, 2014

A Weekend of Love & Birthdays

Today is Pearson's Birthday! He's caught up to me at 24 years old. Man. 24. That sounds so weird. Anyway, since Friday was Valentine's Day and today is the hubby's birthday, we celebrated by spending a relaxing weekend in Amish country!

We drove to Sugarcreek, Ohio (or the Little Switzerland of Ohio) Saturday morning. The drive was so enjoyable but unfortunately the pictures I have are not very good because our windows were so dirty from being snowed on. But here are some anyway.
Pearson didn't want his picture taken // The building on top looked like a basket
When we got there we did some shopping and walking around. We ate stuffed ourselves with some good Amish/Swiss cooking for 2 meals and slept them off in the hotel room to the sound of the Olympics on TV in the background.
The market where we bought some sausage and cheese // our hotel
Somehow the only picture I have of a horse-drawn buggy // Pearson messing around in one of the shops
Sunday we slowly got up and ate a yummy breakfast at the hotel. Since everything was closed because it was Sunday, we set off on another leisurely and peaceful drive home in the snow.
View from our balcony // The place we ate dinner Saturday night // A tree in front of the hotel I thought was pretty with the snow on it
I cant wait to go back! Maybe in the fall when the trees are colorful and there is more to do and see. They have a cool Swiss festival in September. Anyway, it was a perfect, relaxing, much needed weekend. I feel recharged and ready to concur the week! I hope Pearson does too.

What did you do this weekend? Did you celebrate Valentines day?
Thanks for reading!
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day, Schmalentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! I have never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day, even when I had a boyfriend. To me it just involved a lot of pressure to make the day special, find that perfect gift and card and fight crowds at fancy restaurants in which we were uncomfortable anyway.
BUT since we got married, Valentine's Day has been so much better. Now that we are married and live together (instead of living in dorms where the opposite sex isn't allowed to step foot), we can stay home easily and make the day special in our own way. No more worrying about reservations and showing our love to the public.

So, I am looking forward to tonight and this weekend being low key and focusing on my wonderful husband!

On that note, lets get to the Friday countdown!

5 things I'm loving this week

  1. Shirley Temple music and radio shows. After Shirley passed away earlier this week :( I found this playlist on Spotify and have really enjoyed it! I even cried in some of the radio plays!
  2. Vaseline Lip Therapy. Oh my goodness this stuff is like heaven on my lips! So glad I discovered it.
  3. The Olympics. I love turning on the TV and just watching whatever is on. I am always fascinated with all the winder sports like speed skating pictured above. Doesn't it look so crazy?
  4. My flannel shirt I bought to represent Canada at our Olympics kick-off party. I have been wearing this all week to sleep in.
  5. Getting to Skype with my BFF! Unfortunately I didn't take the signature screenshot, so this is not pictured above.

4 blog posts/articles I've loved this week

  1. I love that both Rachel from My Wholesome Home and Elizabeth from Army Ever After did Book Surveys after they saw it in my blog!
  2. Dating Advice From Disney Princesses (Whispering Sweet Nothings)
  3. Marriage is more than coupons (Simple Moments Stick)
  4. A Dad's Letter to his Daughter Written from the Makeup Aisle (Good Men Project)

3 posts I wrote this week

  1. A Wife of Nobel Character (Tuesday)
  2. I Love Chi Omega Pi (Wednesday)
  3. You Know You Married a Genius When... (Thursday)

2 confessions

  1. Right now our kitchen is a total mess because I haven't done any cleaning sense Saturday. It's just been one of those weeks.
  2. I have had time to clean, but I spent that time watching the Olympics and blogging. Oh well.

1 reason to smile

  1. I get to spend this weekend celebrating my husband for Valentines Day AND his birthday! Starting tonight there will be no school, work, or homework (or blogging) until Monday!
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

You Know You Married a Genius When...

Recently, Samantha from Life Style Love Blog wrote a post aboit how she knows she is a hockey wife. Her husband is a hockey player and it runs their lives. I can appreciate her post because I played sports growing up and I know how much it takes over your life. I decided to do my own version because my husband is a genius and it comes out at home.
You know you married a genius when...
  1. Your husband complains about getting an A- in a really hard grad school class. AND that A- actually brings his GPA down.
  2. His undergrad training was in bio-CHEMISTRY and yet somehow he is killing it in the bio-PHYSICS graduate program! How does that even work?
  3. He gets more excited when some 'famous' scientist comes to town to give a speech than when fantastic artists come to town to preform.
  4. You spend most nights watching TV and blogging by yourself because he is still working in the lab or doing homework he has put off because he was working in the lab.
  5. He would rather read scientific papers than the latest young adult novel. Or any novel for that matter.
  6. And when he does read for pleasure, it is usually a textbook or something like extra histories of Middle Earth.
  7. He can go months without picking up the guitar but when he does, he can play all his latest favorite songs perfectly on the first try.
  8. He is the first person you ask about anything; Dates in history, how to spell something, a definition.
  9. His teachers single him out and tell him he is doing great in their class!
  10. He tells you long, elaborate stories about what he did in the lab that and expects you to understand all of it. (I just nod and smile.)
I am sure I am missing some good ones, but I think you get the idea. I am married to a genius. He wouldn't admit that, but it's the truth! And I wouldn't have it any other way!
What kind of person are you married to?
Thanks for reading!

Blog // Bloglovin // Etsy
-What are 3 things you can't live without in your life? The 3 things I can’t live without are- Chapstick, coffee/tea, and my camera!
-What is the best way to spend a Saturday? The best way to spend a Saturday would be to get up early, enjoy coffee during a morning walk, maybe some yoga. Then, to have lunch with the Mr. at some cute cafe’, take a walk to the library, visit the shops along the way. Evening, make dinner and enjoy a movie!
-What physical quality do you look for most in a guy? The physical quality that I look most for in a guy would be a good sense of humor. I’m so thankful the Lord blessed me with The Mr. having such a good personality and a great sense of humor! And he’s so handsome to boot!

Be sure to check out these great posts:
-Touring Europe for 36 Days Using ONE Day Pack
-Harry Potter Lovers Unite
-Are Your Circles of Relationships Beneficial?
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"I Love Chi Omega Pi..." {TGBTL #10}

...there's no other place where I can feel such unity...

Today's Girl Between the Lines prompt is "Share one of your favorite photos and the story behind it." I thought about using one from when Pearson proposed to me, or one from our wedding. I thought about using a significant one from our dating days. I thought about using one from my mission trip to Nicaragua. I almost used one of me and my brother from Halloween or one of our graduations. But I realized I have blogged about all those things before. Then I found this one.
As many of you know, I graduated from Harding University, private Christian school in Arkansas. As fewer of you know, I was a member of the social club, Chi Omega Pi at Harding.

Social clubs are the private, Christian school equivalent of sororities and fraternities. The only differences are that we weren't nationally recognized, we had to use unique names that were in no way related to national fraternities, and we had to follow Harding's rules (no drinking or partying etc.). Now don't you go thinking these social clubs aren't legit just because they aren't nationally recognized. They are pretty tough to get into and they are taken pretty seriously. And some have been around for 70+ years.

Anyway, I digress. This picture was taken in my junior year on rough night, aka club night, aka Friday night of club week or whatever they're calling it now. Students have to go through pledge week (after mixers and visitation) to get into a club, and rough night is the last night of pledge week. In this picture, Nicole and I (and Cassie, can you see her between us?) were already in the club so we got to dress in all black and paint our faces for intimidation factor. I can't tell you what all goes on at ChiO's rough night, but I can say that it is not all about being scary and mean. There is also a love aspect of it and I really wish I could show you all, but I would get sued. So...

Rough night was such a fantastic experience both when I pledged as a sophomore and when I was on the "other side" as a junior and senior. Pledge week was one of my favorite weeks of every year. I made so many great memories with my ChiO sisters. These are memories that nobody will take away from me. A lot of people complain about pledge week club week and the 'hazing' that goes on, but if it hadn't been for that, I wouldn't have gotten as close to my sisters as I did. And that is what pledging a club is all about. These are life-long bonds we're talking about and I am very grateful for that!
Girl Between the Lines Link up
Were you in a sorority or social club in college? Or what's the story behind your favorite photo? Go link up with Hayley and Lauren!
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Wife of Noble Character

Proverbs 31 is known for describing the perfect wife or at least a wife of noble character. Frankly, a few of the qualities listed in the chapter seem a little old fashioned and don't have much baring in our society today. I mean, "She puts her hand to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle." (v. 19 ESV)? What is a distaff and where can I get one? But most of the passage can be practically applied to our lives today.
One verse that particularly stands out to me is verse 25 (above). The picture I get in my mind when I read this verse is a strong, powerful, confident woman who isn't worried about the future. This woman knows what she wants for her family. She knows God holds tomorrow in His hands.

I want to be that woman. I think what is so attractive to me about her is her confidence. She has confidence in God, her future, her family and herself. Sometimes I lack that confidence. Especially in myself. I often find myself wondering if I am a good wife, if I am good at my job, and if I will be a good mother one day.

This concept of confidence in God and not worrying about the future goes along the lines of my 2014 word of the year... TRUST. The woman in Proverbs 31 trusts God to provide and she certainly trusts herself to take care of her family.

This year so far, I have been making myself go to God with any and all  issues and questions I have, no matter how small. As soon as I start worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow, I pray about it. And it's working! Pearson and I are going out of town this weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day and Pearson's birthday. Usually I would be super stressed right now and worrying about what to pack, what the weather will be, and everything. But, I'm not.

I know it is going to be a long ride before I get where I really want to be with trusting God (if I ever really get there), but it's coming. And I plan to work hard at this forever.
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Monday, February 10, 2014

An A to Z Survey... Book Edition

I don't think it is a secret here in blog land that I am a book worm. So when I saw this on My So-Called Chaos, I knew I had to borrow it.

A: Author you've read the most books by:  Honestly probably JK Rowling. Seriously, I don't think I have read 7 other books by the same author.

B: Best Sequel Ever: I usually hate sequels. Even if a series is more than 2 books long, the second one is usually my least favorite. So I can't really think of the best sequel

C: Currently Reading: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

D: Drink of Choice While Reading:  Usually Coffee

E: E-Reader or Physical Book?  I have a Kindle Touch and I read on it sometimes because books are usually cheaper on there and renting is easy, but I still prefer a physical book

F: Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School: Does Mr. Darcy count? Even though he's not in high school? Is that weird?  
G: Glad You Gave This Book a Chance: Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I tried and put it down several times growing up but I'm glad I finally finished it. Fair warning; It's pretty graphic.

H: Hidden Gem Book: The Shack by 

I: Important Moment in Your Reading Life: Probably when I finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone  I was in like 4th grade and I think it was the longest book I had ever read on my own. It was definitely the first time I really fell in love with a book.

J: Just Finished: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

K: Kinds of Books You Wont Read: Erotic Literature (think 50 Shades). No, thank you.

L: Longest Book You've Ever Read: Oh goodness. I really don't know. If I ever get around to finishing Les Miserables then that would definitely be the winner.

M: Major Book Hangover Because Of: The Hunger Games trilogy! I was sad to see it end period, and then you add a depressing ending... oh boy.

N: Number of Book Cases You Own: There are 2 and a half in our apartment but I think there are 2 at my parents' house that hold mostly 'my' books.

O: One book you have read multiple times: The Great Gatsby. It is such a quick, classic read. And I had to read it again recently before the movie came out, of course.

P: Preferred place to read: Outside on the Front Lawn at Harding. Boy I miss that place. Or on my grandma's back porch when it's raining. The porch has a tin roof and the sound is so comforting.
Q: Quote That Inspires You/Gives You Feels From a Book You've Read: "Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" -Albus Dumbledor

R: Reading Regret: Bah, Humbug by Heather Horrocks

S: Series You Started But Still Need to Finish (All Books Are Out): Does Les Miserables count? Technically it is several volumes long.

T: Three of your Favorite Books: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, the entire Harry Potter series,and I can't really think of a third. I thought about it all weekend and  kept thinking of books and I would think "Yeah it was good, but is it really my favorite? I don't know". So I guess I will leave it at 2.

U: Unapologetic Fangirl For:  Nicholas Sparks!

V: Very Excited for This Release More Than Others:  I didn't really know of any that I was particularly looking forward to, but I just looked it up and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige looks pretty good! It comes out April 1st!

W: Worst Bookish Habits: I start a series before all the books are out and then forget important things by the time I can finish the series. OR I read a book and tell the hubby how awesome it is and try not to tell him too much because he HAS to read it himself, but he can't read it till I am done and then I take a long time to read it. I think it drives him crazy. This just happened with the Divergent series.

X: X Marks the Spot, Start at the Top of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book:  Sister Freaks by Rebecca St. James
Y: Your Latest Book Purchase: Allegiant by Veronica Roth (again). But I got a bunch for Christmas that I didn't purchase myself.

Z: Zzzz-Snatcher Book-(The last book that kept you up way too late): 1000 White Women by Jim Fergus. I had to finish it the night before book club met. But the last book that kept me up just because it was so good was probably Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

This was so much fun to do. I love looking back on my life to fill out 'surveys' and one about books is perfect!
What would your answers be to some of these questions?
Thanks for reading!
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