Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Administrative Professionals Day

So today was Administrative Professionals Day. I didn't know it until my bosses gave me and the other executive assistant a sweet gift! I got a gift card to North Park (a mall in Dallas) and a sweet note. Kind of a fun surprise :)

So, Happy Administrative Professionals Day! :)


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom(s)!

This week I have the joy of celebrating 2 important birthdays: both of my moms! Yesterday was my precious mother-in-law’s birthday and we got to celebrate her by taking her out for some Mexican food at Uncle Julio’s.
It has been such a blessing to have Susan in my life; having another mom is kinda fun :) It’s hard sometimes to not have my mom here, so it has been a sweet blessing to have my mother-in-law close by. She is a super talented event planner, so we have really had the opportunity to connect on that creative level together. I have even had a chance to help her with a few events, and I really enjoy this time I have with her. It has been fun getting to know her and to hear her stories about Mike! ;) 
And today is my beautiful mom’s birthday! I am sad that I don’t get to celebrate with her in person this year, but I am hoping that this blog post, our phone calls, and our fun surprises serve as a tiny way of showing her how much she is loved and appreciated. Because she is. Very much.

To sum it up: my mom is the best. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. Simply, the best. My mom and I are opposites in every way; I am a Type A, OCD perfectionist who sees the glass half empty, who is incredibly impatient, and who struggles with empathy and mercy. My mom on the other hand is a Type B, easy-going non-perfectionist who sees the glass half full (always), who is incredibly patient, and who exudes empathy and mercy. She is exactly who I need to keep me in line ;) She is my confidant, my encourager, my prayer warrior. She is the voice inside of my head, prompting me to seek Jesus, and she is  the woman of God I desperately want to be.

Moms, I hope you both know how much you are loved and cherished. Happy Birthday!! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Full Weekend

This weekend was FULL. It wasn't quite the weekend of rest I had planned/hoped for, but it was filled with beautiful weather, wedding fun, laundry, sweet friends, and precious family. 

Friday night, Mike and I enjoyed a walk to downtown McKinney to use a gift card that a sweet co-worker had given us. The weather was gorgeous, and it was fun to walk through our neighborhood. We just talked and caught up on the week, admired the historic homes, and just enjoyed our time together. We really love our neighborhood and the fact that we are so close to downtown. When we arrived at Spoon’s, we were pleasantly surprised to find our friends the Kuykendall’s there. We joined them for the tail end of their dinner, which was fun. We walked back home, rented a movie, and relaxed the rest of the weekend.

Saturday was filled with laundry, budgeting, and wedding planning for my friend Daisy…3 things that I haven’t done in awhile. We also got a chance to see our friends the Rays, as I finally dropped off the baby hat and blanket I made for Addie. We also got to spend the evening having dinner with the Rains. We made grilled chicken and spinach quesadillas and just enjoyed some sweet fellowship and a time of prayer with our dear friends. The Rains are the only people we knew when we moved out to McKinney, so we so cherish their friendship, in countless ways.

Sunday was filled with wedding shower prep for my sister-in-law Lindsay. I wasn’t able to make it to her shower last weekend, so I was glad to get to celebrate with her this weekend!

And of course, we had our home church group as well. We are excited about some things the Lord is doing in our group and building some of the ground work for a church plant. Through some relationships we have built, and through the Lord’s sovereign handiwork, we may have the opportunity to connect with a church here in McKinney as we look ahead to what our next steps will be. We have already had initial discussions with leadership and elders, and we are now focusing on some action items and really just committing the whole process to prayer over the coming months. We would definitely appreciate your prayers! Whether we end up connecting with them or not, (and/or depending on what degree we connect with them), it has been encouraging to us both to connect relationally and to share a heart and vision for reaching McKinney for Jesus.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Catch Up, Part 2

I caught you up on the big important things in my last post. But aside from transitioning into my new job, getting more plugged in with our home church, and continuing to enjoy married life, my "free" time has been spent in a number of different ways...

Showers, Weddings, and Babies!
It is officially wedding season, so we are celebrating with several friends as they enter the joy of marriage. I am helping a friend from the 20s group plan her wedding, so I am spending a lot of time working on those details. Her wedding is around the corner (May 12!) so I will be sure to post some pics of what we have worked on for so many months!

My beautiful sister-in-law is getting married in June and I am a bridesmaid in that wedding. It has been exciting to walk through the wedding fun with her, since she recently walked through it with me! Can I just's really fun to have a sister :) Lindsay pretty much has everything under control, but my bridesmaid duties are calling as showers begin and we look at pulling together last minute details. I found my bridesmaid dress and I am really excited to wear it!

And it also seems to officially be baby season, so we are also watching several (different) friends enter in the joy of parenthood. Some sweet friends from our home church just had their first baby, so I have been working on a crochet project for them. I started with this adorable Newborn Cluster Hat. Since sweet baby Adelaide's room is painted purple, I decided to make this hat in soft lilac. The actual size is probably not much bigger than the photo haha. Baby stuff is so tiny and well, adorable.

**A note: I actually made this hat too small the first time around, so I had to adjust the pattern to make it where baby Addie could actually wear it. Guess I'm learning as I go!

Materials: 1 skein of Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly yarn in Soft Lilac
Tools: Crochet Hook Size H, yarn needle
Total Project Cost: $3.00 ($6.00 if you count the fact I made it twice haha)

I also decided to make a blanket and ended up using this Lazy Daisy Blanket pattern from Red Heart. I loved this pattern, and it was SO easy to do. It just took a little longer than expected, but I am so happy with how it turned out!

Materials: 4 skeins of Vanna's Choice yarn in Crisp White, 2 skeins of Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly yarn in Soft Lilac (not quite a full 2 skeins, because I used the leftover yarn from the hat above)
Tools: Crochet Hook Size G, yarn needle
Total Project Cost: $20.00 (I used those 40% off Michael's coupons!)

My dear friend Austen also had a baby shower for her second this past weekend. I didn't have as much time to pull together a crochet project for her, but it was fun to see her and catch up. It amazed me how someone so incredibly tiny (girl hasn't gained an ounce outside of the baby bump) could be so incredibly pregnant. And so incredibly adorable. I wish I had pictures...but alas, I forgot to take them. Again.

iPhone Rewind
In other news, I looked back through my iPhone to see what random photos I took over the past month...

I caved and actually read the book. In one night. Because I was going to see the movie the next day. Props to the author for writing a good story and for the film makers for making a decently entertaining movie. Too bad I just didn't love the premise.

I snapped this photo on the cover of the Dallas Morning News simply because it made me smile :) This has been a really exciting year to be a bear! The Lady Bears went on to become the 2012 NCAA Women's Basketball National Champions. I have always been proud to be a bear; but the victory just makes it that much sweeter ;)

Hehe. This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. My brother, ladies and gentlemen. He didn't lose a bet, but he was trying to "out-stache" a guy on grounds crew. This is what I met when I went to have lunch with him one Saturday. Gotta love him.

I finally made the cupcakes Mike had bought me for my birthday. It was a way to bribe encourage people to come to Bible study that week ;) They were SUPER yummy! And I love how the little sugar dots matched my cupcake stand exactly.

I have been drinking A LOT of Starbucks. I most definitely enjoy the perks of my husband's job! :) It's fun to enjoy these drinks for free or at a deep discount. My new favorite is an iced chai latte. And yesterday I discovered mocha coconut. Not the most healthy. But it sure tastes awesome!

Aww...brotherly competition. Michael joined us for Easter this year, which was really fun to have him come to our home church. We were bummed because we had planned to have an Easter service out at the park, but had to move things indoors due to the weather. So we made the best of things and enjoyed grilling hot dogs and a few rounds of Guitar Hero and Telephone Pictionary. Hopefully we will be able to head to the park for a service soon.

I think that pretty much covers all of the catch up from the past least some of the highlights. Hopefully I can get into a better routine and get back to blogging regularly. I am definitely going to try to be better. :)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catch Up, Part 1

Time flies. I know I am not the only one to feel it, but I just can't believe we're already half way through April. So much has happened over the past few weeks and there just simply hasn't been any time to blog. Which has made me a little sad because I feel like I am missing recording important things I will want to remember later. Oh well. I will do my best to update you on the past few weeks...

New Job
So I am LOVING my new job! I wake up every morning feeling so thankful for how the Lord has provided this perfect job for me. And as I mentioned before, I feel like a completely new person. I am actually rested and I just feel normal again. I am really enjoying my job, and I am again blessed by amazing people to work alongside. I am in a pretty good routine and feel like I have found my rhythm. I still have a lot to learn, but everyone is so helpful and willing to help me. I love that while I have a pretty set routine, I am always doing something different. Meaning, at my old job I pretty much just sat at my desk, worked on reports, and participated in conference calls all. day. long. Here, I am hardly sitting still for longer than 20 minutes. And I really enjoy that! I get to work with a wide range of people from all corners and levels of the bank. And the culture is very much like a mini-family. Which I also really enjoy. I am learning why they were named to the 2011 list of "Top 100 Places to Work in Dallas-Fort Worth" by the Dallas Morning News.

And more than the job itself, there are the sweet blessings of normal life. I can wake up at a normal time, feel rested, and have plenty of time to spend with the Lord, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day. I can leave when it's light outside. I can get to work in 4 minutes (5 if I have to wait on a bus at a stop sign). I can come home for lunch if I want to. I can enjoy random visits from my husband on his way home from work. I recognize that these are a lot of things that most people don't get to have. I don't say them to brag or highlight how awesome my life is right now. I say them so that I can remember what incredible gifts from the Father they are. Because I know that these things are not promised or guaranteed to last. But I want to enjoy and be grateful for them while they do. Because that's what they are- incredible gifts from my Father.

With the start of my new job, I am really starting to enjoy McKinney more. Simply because I feel like I am really living here now rather than just sleeping/visiting. It is really feeling like home, and I am excited about making our life here. We are continuing to meet with our home church, recently moving our meeting time to Sundays to accommodate schedules and families. Mike and I talk all the time about how incredible it is that we look out across our living room and see the faces of now dear friends, people we didn't know existed a year ago. We are beginning to pray through what our next steps as a group are, and where we feel the Lord is leading us in terms of transitioning into an "official" church plant. Through some provisions of relationships in the area, we are excited about how the Lord is working and where He is moving. We would appreciate prayers in that process, as we want to remain faithful and obedient to the Lord's plans and not get excited and jump ahead with our own. It would mean more transitions in the future, so prayers over that are coveted.

Married Life
As of this weekend, Mike and I have been married for 9 months! :) The Lord has really used a lot of varying circumstances to teach me a lot about myself and about marriage. I am learning to communicate better- whether it's through learning how to be a better encouragement for my sweet husband or it's through learning how to share with him how I am feeling about certain things. I certainly leave a lot to be desire in both areas, but I am thankful for Mike's patience and grace as I work on it.

But married life right now is sweet. Part of it is the fact that we moved "away" to McKinney together. We jumped into this new adventure together and get the opportunity to walk through these huge transitions together. Not that other people don't do that. But there is something about moving away to a new city by yourselves and having to start over, build relationships, learn the community together. And  then part of it is the fun of being closer to home so I can enjoy those sweet surprise visits at work, or like today we can have lunch together. I see so much of how the Lord is providing pockets of time for us to focus on us. We're still technically in the "honeymoon phase" and haven't been married long enough for the craziness of life to really settle in. But I see how quickly that can happen. It will be something we will have to work on preserving throughout our marriage. So right now, while things are good and sweet, I am thankful to Jesus for days I can enjoy lunch with my husband :)


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A New Kind of Normal

No. I haven't fallen off the face of the planet :) Things have been busy, but not really any more than usual. I guess it has just been a different kind of busy. Lots of new things and changes. All good ones though! I said good-bye to my old job and said hello to my new one, so the last couple of weeks have been filled with training, getting adjusted, etc.

In a lot of ways, I have been readjusting to life "as a normal person." I know that may sound silly, but the last 8 months have just been...well, hard. Not bad, just hard. With the start of my new job and new working hours/commute, I actually feel like I really live in McKinney now (rather than just sleep here). It has made SUCH a difference. Seriously, I feel like myself again.

Things are GOOD. I promise to update soon :)