Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh How Pinteresting - A Little of Everything

Link up at The Vintage Apple, and check out everyone's cute pins!!

 This is so me...

Just talking about this movie with a friend last night...
Source: via Anna on Pinterest

A whole board devoted to it, and no boyfriend :)
Source: via Anna on Pinterest

I think this is why I have such a hard time blogging...
Source: via Anna on Pinterest

 I like it, and I need a personal shopper...

Lastly, is that not one of the most amazing looking things ever??? Pecan pie cheesecake!

Happy Pinning!!

Skinny Runner Giveaway - Bic Bands

I think I've mentioned it before, but I really enjoy Skinny Runner's blog.  She's funny, she runs a crazy number of miles, and she lives in the land of eternal sun.  Anyway, she's doing a giveaway for Bic Bands.  She's talked about Bic Bands a LOT, and they look super cool, they are a great way to keep those flyaway hairs off your face, and add a little style to your outfit!  Follow this link to enter yourself for the giveaway!

She makes me think...

Do you ever have those people who speak to you?  You read their articles or blog posts, and think, "we could be friends" or "how is she dealing with the same thing".  Lysa TerKeurst is one of those people for me.  Our lives look nothing alike, she is a married mother of 5 who writes devotional books and speaks.  I'm a single accountant.  But when I read her blog, sometimes I feel as if she's writing just to me.  Of course, I know that's God encouraging me, or rebuking me, or reminding me of His love.  I read her book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl and I loved it.  Again, we've lived completely different lives, but she still talks to me. 

Anyway, loved her blog posts both yesterday and today and wanted to share.

The first about letting go of unmet longings, we all have them, different ones, but how do we let go?  My favorite part, the prayer she had toward the end of the post...
"Lord, I sacrifice chasing this so I might more fully and with more focus chase you. I release this grip of desire. I praise you for who you are, what only you can bring, and how you will fill whatever gap this release might leave."

And the second post about taking the path of the easy, and how it's the wrong past.  This is a struggle for me, I can be lazy at times, with most everything, my food, my working out, my cleaning house, my Bible study, and she talks about how picking a pattern of easy can can lead down an ugly path.  Good reminder.

Shopping Time

Have you checked out the deals Amazon has going all week long?  I've already bought my dad some gifts, some toys for my nephew, and a new laptop for me after mine played out on Moday.  They have some neat things available...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankfuls - Several

I think one of my New Year's Resolutions will be sticking with something...

Day 14 - My grad school friends, and email friends, Kathleen and Melissa.  We now only see each other 3 or 4 times a year, but stay connected thru email, and I mean really connected.  They know more about me than most folks.  They make my work days go by faster, and it's really neat to have friends in your field, friends who celebrate your accomplishments, and can commiserate on the bad days.  I love them lots, and I'm so thankful we met and that Melissa didn't jump off the boat the first weekend of school :-)

Day 15 - I'm thankful for the "Lunch Bunch".  This is a group of families that have been friends for years.  When I was a kid, we met at a restaurant every Sunday after everyone was out of church, and sometimes were there for hours (now, having been a waitress at one point, I'm sure they loved us), we spent holidays together, even all went to the beach one year together.  It was families of mostly girls, a couple poor boys in there, and we had a great time together.  Today some of the girls are still some of my favorite people to be around, they love me as I am, and they have always been good to me.  I feel so blessed that we grew up together and are still friends.

Day 16 - I'm thankful for my home.  A roof over my head, a place I can relax, a place I can entertain and welcome others.  It makes me happy.

Day 17 - I'm thankful for another friend named Thomas.  We've been friends a long, long time.  He makes me laugh, he makes me mad, multiple times it's been good that neither of us had a knife, but he makes me think and he's a good friend.  Happy Birthday!

Day 18 - I'm thankful for my brother-in-law.  Other than becoming a Christian, I think marriage is the biggest decision you make, and my sister picked well.  He is a good provider, a good Christian man, a good father, puts up with her :-) and puts up with all the rest of her crazy family.

Day 19 - I'm thankful God saw fit to create me, put me here on Earth, and let me live out this life.  Each day is a blessing, even the ones that draw attention to us getting older.... Happy Birthday Me!

Day 20 - I'm thankful for my grandparents.  I'm blessed I still have all 3 grandparents I had when I was born, and they are all still in pretty good health.  I've learned so much from them, how to handle success and tragedy, how to treat people, how to give, how to be faithful... I could go on and on.

Day 21 - I'm thankful for my cousin, Emily.  Although I've recently fallen off the wagon due to an injury, Emily got me on the workout train with our late night workouts, and then somehow convinced me to join a running program, which I fully intended to hate.  Hate it I did the first few times, and then it became and addiction, and fun addition which included not only getting healthier, but also fun breakfasts with my running friends.  Emily has motivated me to do things I thought impossible.  And God willing, we will run a half marathon together next year!

Are you still reading???  If so, you must be related to me :-)

Save on all that Christmas Shopping

I post this every year.  It has saved me a ton of money, and I'd love to see you save some, too.  It's a little late for most of your Christmas shopping, but I'm still working on some last minute gifts, so I've already used one of the rebate websites today.  I'm an online shopping aholic.  I love online shopping from the couch, and in honor of the start of shopping season, here is how I make online shopping a little sweeter, rebate websites, it's all free to join and use…

Here are the ones I use and a little bit about them

Ebates has over 1,000 stores. Some that I have used include Land’s End, Expedia, OldNavy, Zappos, and Hotwire, all reliable retailers. You just go to the Ebates website, find the store you are making a purchase from and click on the store. Rebates at the different stores run anywhere from 1% to 10%. I’ve been using ebates for maybe 4 years or so, and they’ve sent me over $325 in checks so far.  Below is the link

Shop at Home is a lot like Ebates, lots of the same stores so usually I just check both sites and see who has the higher rebate amount.  So far for this one, I've received over $170 in checks. Link below.

Another I use if I’m really in the mood to check around and see who has the best % rebate back.  I actually used it today, and I've received over $190 in checks from them.

In some other random info, Ebates has recently started doing cash back for a few select Amazon categories, and they are back to doing cash back for eBay, yay!

Hope you enjoy these and make a little money back, it’s lots of fun to get those $10-$20 checks when you aren’t expecting it! Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November Thankfuls - Days 12 and 13

Day 12 - I'm thankful for lazy days with nothing to do except watch football.  They don't happen often, but yesterday was one of those days.  I knocked out a few productive things, but never left the house, never took off my yoga pants, and cooked myself spaghetti (my favorite food)  Everyone should have a day like that every once in a while!!

Day 13 - I'm thankful for my church.  I've attended the same church all my life.  It's interesting to think back on how the church has changed and how I've changed.  After moving back to my small town after college, church has become somewhere to meet new friends, to be encouraged and to encourage, to be challenged, and to serve.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November Thankfuls - Day 11

Day 11 - It's Veterans' Day!!  Today I am so thankful for those soldiers who have and are currently protecting our freedom.  I know I take for granted sometimes the country we live in and the freedoms we are allowed.  Today I am reminded those freedoms didn't come without a cost, without bloodshed, or without great sacrifice.  We are so blessed to live in this country!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Thankfuls - Day 10

Day 10 - I'm thankful for technology.  Today I found out through a blog that a dear friend of mine from college will be moving with her family to Kenya and living out a dream they have had of working in medical missions.  I'm so excited for them!  Through emails, blogs, and facebook, I'm able to keep up with old friends, send and receive encouraging messages, and work from home certain days, all incredible blessings in my life.  
I know technology comes with good and bad, but today I'm thankful for all the good it does in my life!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's Talk Turquoise

I'm linking up at The Vintage Apple...  Today is all things Turquoise, my favorite color!!


Source: via Anna on Pinterest
Source: via Anna on Pinterest

November Thankfuls Day 9

Today I'm thankful for my job and co-workers.  Just left a get together with them, and I'm reminded of what awesome people I work with.  People who care about me, people who work hard, and people who make this a fun place to work.  I am blessed to be in a growing, busy company and to have a job that challenges me and allows me to learn new things.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Thankfuls Days 1-8

I had this idea from all the posts I've seen on Facebook telling what people are thankful for.  From what I can tell, looks like they are posting one each day of November, so I've decided to do the same thing, but on my blog.  I have some catching up to do...

Day 1 - I'm thankful for my God and his Son, Jesus.  It's a blessing to know I'm loved unconditionally.  I have someone to turn to no matter the situation.  To God be the glory.

Day 2 - I'm thankful for my mother, the best person I know.  God blesses us all with talents, I have no doubt one of the talents he gave her was a gift for mothering.  She taught us about loving God, loving each other, and loving friends.  She is always fun, always willing to listen, and just the best.

Day 3 - I'm thankful for my father.  He taught me the value of hard work.  He gave me a love of farming, sports, and business.  He has shown me the importance and value of long-term friendships.  He is generous and incredibly hard-working, and even after living with 4 women, he still loves us.

Day 4 - I'm thankful for my sister, Clair.  She is one of the first I go to for advice, for opinions, and just to talk to.  She is level-headed, unflappable, and most always calm and cool.  She tells me the truth about things, and I need never wonder what she's thinking.  She's given me the coolest, cutest nephew ever!!

Day 5 - I'm thankful for my sister, Susan.  She is upbeat and joyful.  You can see Christ in her life.  She is honest and looks for the positive.  She has such a sweet spirit.  She works hard, takes up my slack on the farm, and can do anything.

Day 6 - I'm thankful for my friend, Jessica.  She always makes me laugh.  We have memories that go back for years.  She is welcoming to everyone, she knows how to make conversation with everyone.  She loves people, and she keeps people together.  She brought me into her family, and gave me a second family.  

Day 7 - I'm thankful for my friend, Martha.  We can be neurotic together, I can be honest with her about everything and she doesn't judge.  She is adventurous, and inspires me to be.  She meets people easily and is loved by those that know her.  She's an excellent beach vacation buddy!

Day 8 - I'm thankful for my friend, Thomas.  He makes me laugh.  He knows what to say when I'm down.  He is, by nature, an encourager to those he is around.  He is full of integrity.  He's dedicated and self-disciplined.  And he teaches me more about football!  

I'm blessed beyond measure to have these people in my life.  I do believe God puts people in your life for a purpose, and I'm so thankful these are the people that have been put in mine.  They challenge me and encourage me.  I see things in them that I want to imitate and mirror.     


Just tried a new recipe for lunch, very good.  I think next time I would like to add portabello mushrooms, but other than that, delicious!!  Here is the link to Skinnytaste.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I am a Christian.  I love Christ, and truly, without Him, I am nothing.  I couldn't face the day, nothing would have purpose or meaning.  Being a Christian doesn't mean bad things don't happen, but it absolutely means we don't have to face hard times alone.  I have met a guy and his wife thru another friend of mine.  I knew they were great people, nice, talented, and I knew they were Christians.  I saw them about three weeks ago, she was getting closer and closer to her due date, and was very excited for the baby to be here.  Two weeks later, at 37 weeks, the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat.  She had to deliver a stillborn child, and they buried the baby two days later.  It brings tears to my eyes as I write this.  I went to the father's facebook page, and started reading.  His tone was amazing, saying they were sad and struggling, but glorifing God in every post.  I messaged him, told him how sorry I was and asked if there was anything specific I could pray for, his response "If you would pray that God would continue to use the death of our son to bring Glory to His name and further edify His kingdom, that would be best".  Today I read his latest post titled "Two Weeks Later".  I don't think he would mind it being reposted here, as his true passion is that others come to Christ so that they can be comforted during their hard times...

"It has been two weeks since October 20, 2011, the day that Halley and I found out we lost our child. I have been reliving the events of that day and my emotions have swelled and burst the wounds I thought were beginning to heal. I remember the medical workers not being able to find a heartbeat, and then driving Halley to Dr. Ghearing’s office. I remember what songs played on the radio on the car ride over. Most vividly, I remember the moment when the doctor told us he couldn’t find a heartbeat during the ultrasound. I was holding Halley’s hand tightly when I felt a dread like flames explode inside my body. I felt everything, but in a way I was numb. I suppose I was in shock. I remember calling my mother and mother-in-law and telling them the sad news we had just received.

From that point, the next three days were a blur of sadness and important events. Halley and I hugged and cried a lot and laughed a little. For the 30 hours we spent in the hospital, we were blessed with excellent care from our nurses and our doctor. I thank God we were also surrounded by the love and support of our family and friends. At last, Halley delivered our little boy. What a bittersweet experience! I was so happy to hold him and dote on him, but I was sad to know that he wasn’t alive for me to teach or play with. In a way, this made the short time I was graced to spend at his side all the sweeter.

Since then, God has used the death of our son to manifest the glory of His name. How I hope God will use his death to touch the lives of more people!

Halley and I have been enveloped by the love and prayers of the people in our area. What a comfort it is to know there are people who care for us! Most of all, Halley and I are comforted by knowing that God is using the loss of our son to bring people closer to Himself.

Many people have asked how Halley and I are doing and at this time in our grief, the heights of joy are higher, the valleys of despair are lower, but overall the grief is becoming more manageable. As I reflect on the events of October 20th, I realize I had no idea how significant the occurrences of that day would be to the rest of my life. I am still laid low by thoughts of the person my son would have grown up to be. I would love to be able to sing with him and play toys with him! I miss him so. How is it possible to miss a person as much as I miss my son, though we never met?

The greatest challenge Halley and I face now is knowing we must begin again the process of becoming parents. We were so close. Halley was due to deliver this Sunday. Though I am forever little Josh’s father, I long to care for and parent a child in a conventional way.

But amidst all of the pain and sorrowful thought, I humbly submit to the Sovereign plan of a Good and Almighty God. The Lord has given to us graciously, and at this time He has chosen to take our son away from us. I am not mad at Him; He knows best. I only bow and say, “Blessed Be Your Name.” As the wounds of my grief fester I am renewed by the power of Christ and the hope of the resurrection. I have a peace in Him who is the fountain of salvation, Jesus Christ.

I would encourage all who let their eye fall on this letter to cling closely to Christ in the midst of suffering. Though you may not be suffering now, make no mistake that those who walk upon the earth for even a small amount of time will find themselves in pain. My wife and I would be without hope or peace if we didn’t have Christ from which to gain strength. I wouldn’t desire any of you to meet a manner of trials without the power of Christ to sustain you. In fact, I don’t know how anyone could endure without the power of Christ! I encourage you to repent and believe the Gospel; If God has not already saved you by His grace. Through Christ you can have this peace—the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Though Halley and I are still in a great deal of anguish over the loss of our child; the source of our strength is Christ. We see more clearly as days go by that God is using our affliction for His glory. God has also bestowed a good gift on little Josh and his parents! Little Josh has bypassed the sorrows of this world and is in in the arms of the Savior. God has brought this trial into our lives to teach us, make us steadfast, and make us more complete for Christian ministry. In this, we rejoice! (James 1:2-4)

Thank you once again for your prayers, and please message me if you have any questions about the Gospel."

Wow, that's the kind of Christian I want to be.  That's the kind of relationship I want to have with Christ.  That's how I want to deal with tragedy and disappointment in my life.  I thank God for letting me read this, for challenging me, for using this precious child's life to make me reflect on my own.  My prayer tonight is for those Christians who are suffering, that they remember where to turn, who is the true Rock in their life... and for those who aren't Christians, that they find this amazing gift we have been given, a relationship with One who loves us to the core, and who can use painful, terrible situations to bring about hope and promise.