Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Still Choose You

Remember when I fell in love with the Civil Wars?  I went ahead and bought their entire album (only $8 on iTunes, and there is also a free EP on their website).

Don't they look like The Nester and Johnny Depp together?  Hahaha, what a funny combination that would be.

Their breakout hit, Poison and Wine, was featured on Grey's Anatomy.  The song is intriguing.  Apparently, a few people with marriage experience got together in a room and hashed out all the painfully honest truths of marriage, and out of that time, Poison and Wine was birthed (read the story here).   As I watched the Poison and Wine music video over and over again, one line kept sticking out to me.

I don't have a choice, but I still choose you.

To me, this is one of the most encapsulating lyrics that summarizes the beauty and struggle of marriage.

It reminds me of the first married fight Herb and I had.  As we talked things through, I found myself thinking, "This is great, we're married now, so we'll have to fix this!"  The security that marriage brought gave me so much hope and confidence.

However, by the next time a situation arose between us, my attitude had grown slightly more sarcastic, "This is just great, we have to fix this."

I used to feel like "choosing to love" seemed so unromantic.

Now I know we are human.  We are flawed.  We are prone to wander.  We will sin.

But ultimately, we made a commitment.  It is a covenant between Herb, God, and I.  I do not have the option of opting out of this.  I have no choice in the matter.  I must do everything in my power to honor my husband and my God.

But yet, everyday, I am still choosing Herb.  Choosing to work through issues. Choosing to put each other's needs above our own. To stand together in riches and poverty.  Walking hand in hand in sickness and health.

Everyday choosing that for better or worse, it's us.

And still, years later, deliriously happy with my decision.

Heard Around Our Parts

I'm not purposely on a blogging hiatus, but somehow it's happened.  So, in a last ditch effort to just blog about SOMETHING, I've come up with some of the funnier things that have happened around here lately.  Enjoy.


Herb (while picking music for church): I think I'm going to do "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever..."
Me: Eh, really?
Herb: ...but do it, really, forever.


Me: Levi, you peed on the potty!  Next time we'll try to get it actually in the potty.

(Preposition confusion comes easily for 18 month olds.)


Herb (in his sleep) starts punching the crap out of his pillow.
Me:  Babe, what are you doing?
Herb (in a sleepy, grunty voice): Struggles!

Cue my hysterical middle of the night laughing.


Me: Levi, what does a cow say?
Levi: Moo.  Moo.
Me: Levi, what does Mommy say?
Levi: Moo.  Moo.
Me: Point taken.  Diet starts tomorrow.


Me (reading Tickle Monster to Levi before bed):  "...I love you so much, I just want you to know."

Followed by crying.  For some reason, I can't get through this book without tearing up at the end!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

One Point Five

Today marks Levi's half birthday - one and half - eighteen months - definite toddler hood.

Half birthdays aren't a huge deal around here, but Herb and I both got to do some special activities with him in the last two days (Herb took him to a hockey game, I took him to an indoor pool, both of which he loved).  This morning we had some very hard to come by family time and all went out for breakfast.

I have been pretty terrible taking pictures, writing in his baby book, and making videos in general, which is a shame because this is a really exciting time in the little dude's life.  Thank goodness for this blog, where I can keep myself updated on his benchmarks and milestones, share that with our family, and have it recorded for later when I get to catch up in his scrapbook.  So, if you're not into "this is what Levi's up to lately" blog posts, check ya later!
Zebra through the months.
Mealtime:  Levi is back to his normal eating whatever we offer him phase.  He went through a picky stage around Christmas, but I think he is back to his usual inhaling self.  It seems like if he is having a picky spell at a meal, if we offer him the spoon so he can feed himself, he jumps on it.  Another thing he loves to do is to dip things.  Apples in yogurt.  Pretzels in yogurt.  Veggies in ranch.  Pasta in sauce.  Apples in ketchup.  If it dips, it works.

Giving kisses
Sleep:  He started fighting the afternoon nap, especially on the days he took a two or three hour morning nap (no surprise).  So after refusing naps for a few days, we are purposefully keeping him awake until after lunch for one nap. Typically, he goes to bed at 8pm and gets up at 7:30am.

Other Developments: Levi loves climbing stairs, ottomans, chairs, and toilets.  He's learning about jumping, and still loves  great splashing session in the bathtub.  Last week he started telling us when he soiled his diaper with one single p word that ends in oopie.   He will sit on his mini toilet, but doesn't really want to do anything on it.  Although, in his defense, he does hiss at the toilet, as if he knows what sounds he should be making on the pot.  Haha.  He has also learned how to hug and kiss in the last month, which his momma loves.

Playing: Levi's top five favorite things to do right now (yes, they are in order):
5. Playing with (crashing) cars
4. Building (mostly throwing or knocking over) blocks and legos
3. Watching Sesame Street (thank you Netflix and
2. Playing outside, with his coupe or swinging/sliding board
1. Reading books

Words words words:  I'm thinking his hard core love of books is really helping his language explode.  It seems like every day there are 10 new words and he's really good at repeating things we tell him to say.  Just for fun, and baby book prosterity, Herb and I made a list of all the words Levi has been saying these days (things that he actually knows, not just repeats):
Apple (bapple) Go Peacock (key-cock)
Baby (be-be) Grandma (Ma’am-ma) Play (flay)
Ball Grandpa (Bam-pa) Poppie
Beep Guitar (shar) Pray (fay)
Belly Hello? Puppy
Bert Hi Shakey
Boo Hockey Shoe
Burp sound Horsie Sock
Bye Hot (ha-ha-aht) Splashie (shashy)
Car Joelle (shell) Teeth
Cheese Josh (chosh) Thank you (dane too)
Choo choo (chooch) Juice Three (tree)
Cookie Jumpy Tooshie
Crash (chash) Knock knock Trash (chash)
Daddy Levi (e-i) Tree
Dah (like boo) Michelle (shell) Uh oh
Dip Mommy Welcome
Elmo (mel-mo) Night night What?
Ernie No
Eye Nookie
Giraffe (chaff)

So, I know I say it at every phase, but this REALLY REALLY is my favorite season of childhood so far.  Happy birthday, little buddy.  I'll save the sappy stuff for bedtime.  We love you!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Civil Wars

You know for being a musician, and music teacher, I really stink at staying current with music.  This morning my facebook feed was exploding with status' (stati?) about the Civil Wars, so I did some You Tube research.

So far, I am loving it.  To me, this is musical perfection.

To Whom It May Concern is the first song I listened to, and it reminds me so much of the heartache I felt in the seasons of my life when I was waiting for Herb and waiting for Levi to come into my life.  Songs like this remind me to look back and thank God for His faithfulness.

Why are you so far from me?  In my arms is where you ought to be
How long will you make me wait?  I don't know how much more I can take

I missed you, but I haven't met you
Oh, but I want to, how I do

Slowly counting down the days till I finally know your name
Oh, the way your hand feels round my waist
The way you laugh, the way your kisses taste

I missed you, but I haven't met you
Oh, but I want to, how I do, how I do

I missed you, but I haven't met you
I missed you, but I haven't met you

Oh, but I want to, how I do

Dear whoever you might be, I'm still waiting patiently

What did you think of the Grammy's?  Have you heard of the Civil Wars?  If so, what other songs should I check out??  I really really really really really need this CD!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Love the Number 12: February

As you may or may not remember, this year I am doing a twelve part series on things I love about the number twelve.  Last month was about January 12, the day Herb and I became "we."

Today I'm going to stick with the date theme, and address another great date in history, February 12.  Sure, it's two days before the day of love and ten days after the day of groundhogs, but more importantly, it marks the birth of one very special dude.

Today, Isaac would have turned 27; later this month he'll celebrate his second anniversary of meeting Jesus face to face. A childhood friend of Herb's, they shared a love for music and theology, and later in life swapped hospital stories after Isaac was diagnosed with cancer during college.  Soon after Herb and I moved back to York, the boys got reconnected, and much to my delight, this time around, Isaac had a special girl by his side.

Jess and I quickly bonded over sickly hubbies, being teachers, and a love for crafts.  Isaac and Jess's wedding was one of the happiest and most joyful events I've ever attended; by far the most excitement I've ever felt at any wedding for two people about to start a life together.

Isaac is so missed, but I love how God has been glorified in his life, and in his death.  I love that whenever people talk about Isaac, there is an underlying feeling of hope, followed by a silly story or "Isaacism." I love that Herb's long time buddy introduced me one of the best friends I will ever know.  I love that God is using Jess (and Isaac's) testimony constantly, especially at Girlfriend Getaway.

I love seeing the transformation and healing that Jesus is doing in Jess's life throughout this season.

Jess is my inspiration for strength, she demonstrates what choosing joy really looks like, she has proved time and again that Jesus is enough.  She is praising God in all circumstances and is truly stronger because of it - physically, emotionally, spiritually.

So today, February 12, I will be extra thankful for two people who have impacted me to the core, and the One who brought them into my life.

(Jess has an awesome blog, Get Busy Living.  Stop by and show her some blog love! To read Isaac's story, click here.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Craft Room That Turned Into A Cabinet

Wow, the weather was beautiful here today!!  Yes, it was February 1, and I was outside, barefoot, in short sleeves, spray painting.  Perfection.

We recently moved into a tiny two bedroom apartment.  I used to have five bedrooms in an 1800 square foot house, so I had one large sized bedroom devoted solely to crafts/office space.

In our new, much smaller, yet closer to everything, and cheaper house, the living room now has five   functions: living room, play room, music room, office, craft room.  I'm super grateful for our affordable housing, but I really hate the look of so many pieces of furniture crammed into one space and pushed up against walls.  And there is just really no way around clutter.  I'm fighting the battle, but losing.

After we got settled in and I realized that I needed some craft storage in the living room, but had no money to spend.  Within a week, I found this beaut on the side of the road!  (It's the cabinet squeezed between the desk and the armoire, behind the little Elmo lover.) Don't you just love its plum color? 


So country, so horrible.

But so incredibly freeeeeee!

Today, my little craft corner got a makeover!!  For $8 I picked up two cans of Krylon Satin Ivory spray paint (although I probably should have had three cans).  The sun came out and I hauled this road side piece of country junk out to the patio.

I used the method of spraying that my Mama taught me - short and quick strokes, several thin layers.  I did 3.5 layers, but honestly should have done 4.  This is after the first coat, obviously before I got my groove going.

The simple wooden knobs were given two coats of oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  I love the way they glisten in the sun - too bad my cave of a house doesn't get sunshine like this!

After the paint dried, I scuffed up the edges, and some of the plum showed through.  Not exactly what i was going for, but I kind of like it!

I think I'd like to replace the o.r.b. knobs with some teal glass or ceramic ones from Hobby Lobby.  I didn't paint the interior part of the open section because I'd like to put contact paper on the back and sides.

One of the benefits of the craft cabinet being squeezed in between two other pieces of (major) furniture is that even though I ran out of spray paint, who cares!  I conserved the majority of the paint for the front and tops that are actually visable.  If we ever move and this piece of furniture is more prominent, I will just grab another can of spray paint and touch it up.  Can you see how the bottom half of the side could use another coat or two?

Levi loves getting in this cabinet, so I invested in some really high end baby-proofing.

And here are some gratuitous shots of the inside of my craft cabinet.

The drawer - tools, vinyl, cricut cartridges

The bottom - ribbon, stamps, stickers, etc

I attached a 3M hook to the left side of the cabinet to hang extra wreath forms and other things that don't fit inside the cabinet that can be hung, like my quilter's cutting mat and plastic guide (what are they really called, mom?).

And that's the story of how I shrunk all my crafts from a bedroom space to a cabinet.  

Well, let's be fair, some of my fabric and sewing notions live on top of the TV cabinet.  See, I told you, clutter everywhere!  Boy, this looks way worse in the picture than it feel in real life.

Oh, and notice the parson desk chair?  I think I promised you the 25 part saga - let's get to that this week, mmmkay?

The Anthro (Mug) Inspired Wreath

Oh, so many stereotypical blogger things on that title.  Have you seen this video?

The back story here is that Jess gave me a mug from Anthropology with an S on it.  It was Aqua and Red, and you know I love that color combo.  Then I picked up a few of them for Christmas gifts; one of them being a B for Becker.

I am so in love with these mugs.

Apparently so is Hollywood.  Look, the M mug debuted on ABC last week in the hands of Snow White on Once Upon A Time.  (I also spotted this monogrammed mug on Snow's nightstand a few episodes back.)
Image Source
Anyway, as much as I really loved my S mug, and the M that Melody gifted me, the color combo of the B mug was just so striking to me.  Teal and mustard.   A total win.

When craft night with Jess came along, I picked up some mug inspired teal yarn from the Dollar Tree.   Did you know you could get yarn for $1?  I also found a small straw wreath form that I got from Salvation Army for $0.50.

Lucky for me,  Jess had mustard colored startched felt on hand - and so graciously let me hack away at it. I wrapped the straw wreath form in teal yarn  (this step takes forever, by the way). I used the felt to create startched flowers and rosettes, using the tutorials linked below.

My only issue now is the wreath is a bit petite to be hanging on a door.  I'm not sure where to hang it.  Any suggestions?