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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I've been pestering Will for weeks to write a "guest post" on my blog. I was finally successful in bribing him with chicken spaghetti! I don't know if I'll ever want to write a post after his again, because he's such an amazing writer and mine just doesn't compare! I hope you enjoy his post as much as I do!

Direction. Since we left our home it had been the question that carried throughout the camp. We were safe now, but at times it felt as if we are still held captive by circumstances. There had been so much promised, so much seen; but our patience was wearing thin, and it seemed our time was running out. The journey seemed to be that of a lifetime, never knowing what the next day would bring, always hoping for the day of rest to come. 
But in this desert it is hard to find rest. The water is scarce and the food is always the same. The people grow weary, and understandably so. The thirst. The thirst is almost unbearable. A dry mouth and cracked lips have led only to a dry and cracked spirit. Why must we persist this desert? Why must we suffer after suffering for so long? 
So many questions we ask, so many answers we long to find. We cry out , "WHY?," but there is no response. I myself search the sky for a response, an answer of hope in this desolate place. Looking towards the mountain, my eyes are drawn towards something, something I have not noticed in days. The cloud stands in stark contrast to the deep blue sky, a threatening whirlwind encircling the tent. Strange how things so extraordinary become mundane in this painful life. 
I find myself filled with the desire to return to our former home, at least there we were fed, at least there we had strength. 
In the midst of the cloud and my whirlwind of thoughts, doubting the reason for everything I know, a feeling grips my soul. It is a feeling I've felt before, but it has been some time. Closing my eyes I breathe deep the desert air, and a fresh breeze that wasn't there before. I open my eyes to see the cloud, the great whirlwind, moving across the desert sky. Shouts break out around the camp as families and tribes begin to gather their things. 
The cloud. The presence of God. The reason we are here. In this desert hours seem like days, making it easy to lose track of time and thought. But in this moment, as the cloud begins to move, I am taken aback at the fresh reminder. The Lord is moving us towards His promise. He is our guide, He is our shepherd. Were it not for Him our lives would be worthless, but His promise brings us hope. Chills run down my back as the whirlwind flows across the plains. The voice of Moses pulls my attention away saying, "We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said 'I will give it to you.' Come with us..."

Numbers 9-10, though I have taken some liberties with the text, provides an incredible reminder of the importance of following God's leadership. Though the Israelites found themselves in many a tight spots, they never found themselves alone, but were constantly led by the presence of the Lord. Yes the Israelites made a few mistakes. Even after seeing miraculous works of the Almighty God, they did manage to get some things right. They knew that God was leading them to the Promise Land, and they knew that they had to follow his presence. Numbers 9:23, "At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord the set out." The Israelites never knew how long each stage of the journey would be (Num 9:22), but one thing they did know. The only way to get to where God was taking them was to follow Him. 
We have to reach the place in our relationship with Christ where we become totally dependent on His presence. Ironically enough we live in a "self made" society, the notion that greatness and success comes from the individual. In other words, we are who we are because we made ourselves that way. We desperately need to be reminded day after day that we are simply heading towards what God has promised us. This life is not about making ourselves great, but making Him great. How do we do that? Forsaking the preconceived idea to follow our "dreams" and beginning on the journey of following the presence of God. Without His presence we are doing nothing but wandering around in the desert searching for answers. The comfort we find in all of this is that God holds true to His promises. He will lead you in the right direction. He will take you to your destination. 
In my own life I constantly struggle with where to go next. How to take the next step, how to solve the next problem. This usually brings me to Stress City, as I begin to weigh out all the obstacles and questions that I have for the future. Thankfully, God did not call me to be a problem solver, He called me to be obedient. We are simply called to walk in His presence. Don't get caught up in the little issues that drive you crazy or cause you to worry, rest in the presence of the Almighty. Seek His Spirit and His grace. 
Read Numbers 9-10. Be encouraged, be obedient. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bennett Levi's Sip n See

This past Sunday I helped host a Sip & See for one of my best friends and her sweet baby boy. I volunteered for the task of decorations and I was excited about doing some crafting for this get-together! It was a great turnout and the other 4 hostesses did so great with the delicious food, invitations, and picking out a hostess gift for Brooke. 

I found the link to make these on none other than Pinterest! On the website they suggest making ornaments out of these, but I thought they would look great hanging above the food table. You can find the tutorial and template here. [Warning: these are very time consuming...and a little frustrating when assembling, but the end result is great!]

 This yummy cake was made by Off The Square Catering

This was so easy to make and I think it turned out great. I just cut out the triangles with scrapbook paper, threaded some string through, painted the letters and voila! 

Izzy was enjoying all the attention on Sunday

The color scheme for the Sip & See was blue and brown. We pretty much went off of the cute blue and brown giraffe invitations. I wanted Brooke to be able to keep this for Bennett once we were finished with it and since his room is more of primary colors I made this a reversible banner! I loved the way it turned out!

The back of the blue and brown side

I made some pinwheels and attached them to dowels that I had painted and cut to size and then put them in mason jars. Have I mentioned that I LOVE mason jars?!

The blue stuff is 'Unity Sand' that I found in the wedding section at Michael's! It was inexpensive and served my purpose great!

I've seen door hangers like this at all kinds of craft fairs. I've seen them mostly made of burlap, but I've also seen them made of some type of screen. That's what this is made of: window screen. There wasn't any type of tutorial for this...I just kind of knew what I wanted and went with it. I love the way it turned out and I've even received some orders on door hangers already! Let me know if you're interested in one for your front door or even to hang on your child's bedroom door!

I was trying to figure out what to do for a table runner. One of the other hostesses said she had some white table cloths so I decided to go buy some fabric and just sew one. I found the fabric at Premier Fabrics in Germantown, TN. (I could stay in that store for hours redecorating my house! They have the BEST fabrics!) 

You may notice the giraffes hanging in the background. (I don't think I took a picture of them alone.) I wanted a backdrop for the food table and this is what I came up with. So a few weeks before the Sip & See I started cutting out giraffes. I had a PDF of the invitation with giraffes on it so I was able to take those from that file and enlarge them to cut out so they were the exact giraffe. I cut out two different sizes in varying shades of blue and brown. Then I strung them using some of Will's clear fishing line. I attached them to a square dowel that I painted blue and used to hang across the two windows. 

These giraffes caused some stress in my life. This photo was taken after I had hung the giraffes up at my house so they wouldn't get tangled... That obviously didn't work. As soon as I walked away it fell down. I just had to take some deep breaths over and over so I didn't scream! Ginger looks sort of like I did when I saw them falling.

You can see the giraffes good again in this photo.

All of the food was so good!

This is baby Bennett and his Mommy! What a good photo!

Bennett was so tired after a long afternoon! Isn't he cute?!

Speaking of cute, I just had to add a couple photos of Bennett and big sister, Celia! They were too cute not to post. You can really see Celia's personality in these pictures! I have no doubt that she is going to meet and exceed any expectations of her as a big sister. She is so great and I can't wait to see her grow up with Bennett. Being a big sister to a brother is something special and I'm so glad she gets to experience it!

Aren't these two babies great!? I think this photo of Celia is my absolute favorite!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Happy Wednesday! We're halfway to the weekend!

I love this idea for a dog crate! It would save so much room and even looks cute! Will may have a new DIY coming his way...

I love this idea of baking banana bread in mason jars to give as Christmas gifts! Will and I spent the weekend in Muddy, IL last weekend visiting his grandmother and she made banana my mouth is watering for some more bread right now! Yum!

Love love love vintage pyrex! I always find some I love when we go antiquing, but have never bought any due to our lack of cabinet space...I need to just start buying it anyway and worry about space later! 

While we're on the topic of vintage glassware, have I mentioned that I also love jadeite?? We started collecting it this year. This is one piece that we usually always pick up whenever we go to a new antique store!

Wow...I love this blanket! Think about how comfy it would be to curl up and take a nap with this thing! Unfortunately, it's way out of my price range but a girl can dream can't she? If anyone has an extra $449 lying around you can buy this here!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Veterinary Miracle Worker

 I try not to be one of those people who constantly talks about their dogs and just drives everyone crazy, but that's near impossible for me. I've just got to talk about what went on this past weekend with Ginger B.

On Thursday night we noticed that her head looked like it was twitching every second. She's never done this before so I had no idea what was going on. I finally noticed that her throat/neck seemed to be having spasms which was making her head jerk.

Friday morning I took her to the vet. I'm not naming names, but it starts with Pet and ends with Vax. By the time we left they had diagnosed her with a respiratory infection. The doctor was in with us for only about 5 minutes and didn't run any tests or anything. I'm obviously not a veterinarian, but it just didn't seem right. Nonetheless, I got her antibiotics and went home. 

By Saturday, Ginger could barely walk. It was so sad! It was killing me that she was hurting and I had no idea what was going on! (I guess that's what it's like having a sick baby??) She was just laying down all day. She couldn't stand up on her own and couldn't go up or down the stairs without crying. On Saturday and Sunday I talked to two friends who are vet techs or have been before (thanks Cory and Paul!) and we started thinking maybe Gin had a back injury. And then it hit me, she DID have a back/neck injury!! I don't know why I didn't realize it sooner! After working at a chiropractic office for 4 years in college, you would think I would have realized this right off the bat. Her symptoms were exactly like those of patients I had seen at the chiro. 

Look how sad! She was hurting

For some reason she thought it was comfortable to lie on my side on Saturday
Remi knew she felt bad 
Monday began my frantic calls to try and get her into a veterinary chiropractor. Everyone knew of only one in Memphis and when I called I found out he was booked for the day. And didn't have any openings until Wednesday! I was so upset. I became the crazy lady crying on the phone to the front desk workers. So embarrassing. I cry about everything. I finally called the vet back for the third time to ask them to go ahead and schedule Ginger for Wednesday and to please call me if anyone canceled for Monday. The lady that had answered the phone was the third person I had spoken to and asked me what was going on and to describe Ginger's symptoms. I tried not to be too blubbery and managed to tell her everything. She reassured me that everything was going to be alright and that she would talk to the doctor and call me back. When she called me back, she said that if I could bring Ginger and drop her off then the doctor would see her in between patients. I was so thankful and let out a sigh of relief! 

I picked Ginger up that evening and met with Dr. Parker to discuss what was going on with Gin. He said that he had given her an adjustment and showed me some stretches to do on her neck to prevent and help reduce muscle spasms. Ginger was like a new dog!! She was wagging her tell, prancing around, and just looked like she felt 100x better. So we got sent home with some muscle relaxers and pain meds and an appointment for next week just to re-check her. Dr. Parker at the Shelby Center for Animals in Bartlett, TN was awesome! I was so thankful to find a doctor who cared about what was going on with Ginger and who stayed a little later than closing time to talk to me about Ginger.

Look how happy she looks!

Before and After!
If your dog ever seems to have symptoms like this, remember Dr. Parker and chiropractic care!


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