Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Home

You know how when someone is having a rough time and life is just not on there side people suggest a change of scenery?
Well, that is what I have needed for quite some time. I have been frustrated with the blogging process. I have struggled to find my voice, create a space that felt like me, and know what I should even write about. I decided it was time to start over. So, from now on I will be here. I won't be deleting this site quiet yet. But, if you are interested in following me, I would love you have you. If not, its been real :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

24 Karat Gold

Jewelry is often seen as a solid investment. Gold and diamonds are generally considered valuable, conservative investments in cultures around the world. The more pure and perfect the metal or stone, the greater the value that it holds.
Ironically, once it reaches its pure form at 100%, the metals are too soft to be usable. They must be infused with a stronger metal in order to sustain its given shape over time.

I only have a few pieces of valuable jewelry. Mostly because I don't want the pressure of keeping up with investment pieces. I want to enjoy what I have. So, my valuable jewelry includes a string of pearls that I received from my grandfather for my 16th birthday (that I wore on my wedding day), my engagement ring, my wedding ring, and my mother ring.

On my first mother's day, when I still had flabby skin and blood shot eyes (my baby was only 2 months old) my husband bought me a beautiful ring for my ring finger on my right hand. He explained to me that the major events in our lives together are marked by jewelry. He understood how badly I had always wanted to be a mother and he felt that becoming one deserved a piece of jewelry to mark the occasion. He was right, and the ring hasn't left my finger since that day.

Being a mother has been one of the rewarding and refining experiences of my entire life.

I am sure that I am not the first to think, or write these words (please someone tell me I'm not). But, this is one of those lessons that deserves documentation for future reference.

My Buddy is easily in my top two people on the face of the planet. However, I'm not convinced that the feeling is mutual. Which I totally understand, and even expected. What I didn't expect was that my whole being, heart and soul, would be turn upside down and inside out.

My tiny little bundle of joy has grown into a funny, loving, opinionated, independent little boy. I am so grateful for his growth and maturation. However, it seems that every time he reaches a new milestone, I have to prepare for another round of refinement. And another level of understanding God's love for me.

During the up all night nursing and crying stage I learned that this parenting thing meant true sacrifice like I had never imagined before. And in the lonely dark of the middle of the night, I learned that God was there. I felt His sustaining peace and loving presence in a unique way. I had a new appreciation for the fact that God never sleeps. When we awake in the middle of the night crying out for something or someone, He is sitting next to our bed like a young mother waiting for the first whimpering sound indicating that her baby needs her.

When it came time for me to go back to work my dependency on God went to a whole new level. I soaked everyday of my 90 day FMLA leave from work, and when it was time to get back to the grind the hubs and I left our 3 month old baby with the only people we felt comfortable with, our moms. However, even with their awesome track record for raising kids (each have 3 either grown or almost grown offspring) it was still so hard to walk out of the door each morning and leave my baby behind. I can remember praying each day, "Ok God, I know that I can't be there every second for the rest of his life. And even if I was I can't protect him from everything. So, I am giving him back to you. I trust you." I knew (and know) that God created this life and loved him more than I could ever dream. But, what I very wise woman pointed out to me was that God trusted me enough to allow me to take care of His creation. Why was I nervous to hand Grayson over to God? He never messes up. The lesson that I learned during this time is that my little man isn't really mine. He is an incredible blessing that I have been entrusted with. But, the reality is that he is God's. God knit him together, God sustains him, and God is the one that orders his days. I am called to parent my son the way that God parents me and to be a wise steward of the blessing that he has trusted me with.

We have now reached the stage of power struggles, independence and opinions. My little Buddy is his own person and he has no problem with letting that be known. The hubs and I are now walking into a new phase of parenting in which we must learn to discipline in love and because we love him. My little baby has started walking through his own refining fire and most of the time it is more than my heart can handle. But, as I help him to shape his character and learn to make wise choices, the Holy Spirit is quietly speaking to my heart about my own impurities that need to be removed.

I start each day asking God to order my steps and to sustain me through what He has for me. And He daily answers that prayer abundantly. I have learned that like 24 karat gold, we too are not strong enough to sustain our shape over any period of time unless we are infused with something stronger than ourselves. As God works out our impurities, He replaces the spot in our heart (mind, character) that they once held. It is only because of His strength that we can sustain the demands of life without losing our shape.

Understanding this has impacted every area of my life, including my parenting. Living in the reality of God's sustaining grace has giving me peace in knowing that He will give me patience when I feel that I am about to snap, wisdom when I don't know how to handle a situation, unconditional love that will survive a lifetime, and a humble heart that will ask for forgiveness when I make the frequent mistakes that seem to be unavoidable in this life.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

7 Days of Noonday: Day 4

Saturdays. Oh, Saturdays.
The day was you get to stay in your bumming around clothes as late as you want.
The smell of freshly cut grass in the air.
Lunches made of date night leftovers.

Today was a busy cleaning day. We have a very special group of people coming over tomorrow and we want the house to be as close to tip-top condition as possible.

So, when it was time to get cleaned up and presentable I was stoked (does any one say that any more? Please let me know). I wanted to be girly and pretty so I went all out. I even attempted to curl my hair. It is naturally board straight and it is an on going learning experiment trying to figure out new styles.

But, I digress. I was really excited (not quiet stoked :)) about my outfit.

I wasn't sure how many more days with a toddler that my mani would be able to handle. Therefore, I went with a pink shirt that matched my nails. Does any one recognize any of the pieces?

Below is information about the individual pieces that I am wearing in the photo above. If you want to learn more about the artisan that crafted these pieces or if you want to do a little shopping just click the name of the goody right below the picture.

Packaged Pretty Earrings

I have surprised myself with how often I have turned to these little beauties. I originally felt like they weren't really my style. But, I was completely wrong. They are actually surprisingly neutral. I think I have raved about them enough.

Funky Paper Bead Bracelet

This bracelet is the Packaged Pretty Earrings for your arm. It is surprisingly neutral as well and its playfulness is an asset to any outfit. This is one of those pieces that I feel like will also make multiple appearances during this challenge. I am learning so much about how conservative I have been during this fun little experiment.

Embira Seed Necklace

The Embira Seed Necklace provided a little calm in the glorious, colorful storm that is this outfit. The colorful beads are the same paper beads that are in both the bracelet and earrings so it speaks to them nicely, but the gray seeds are a nice balance in all the boldness that is going on. And in case you were wondering this necklace appears to be my little buddy's favorite due to the amount of attention he gave this piece :)

Tomorrow's outfit is a little bit more challenging. I have to wear a bright yellow t-shirt while I am volunteering in the children's ministry. Fortunately for me I have some lovely yellow pieces that have been waiting to make their debut.

Can't wait to share it with you!

7 Days of Noonday: Day 3

I always look forward to Friday mornings.

The hubs is usually home due to his unusual work schedule.

My little buddy is still at my moms house enjoying all the attention and love that is generously being lavished upon him.

This gives the hubs and I a little quiet time to drink our coffee together (on our newly renovated porch, which I can't wait to share with you).

We rock. We talk. We wake-up slowly. Its quite enjoyable and good for almost every part of my day.

The exception to this blissful start is my wardrobe choice and general morning routine.
I get sucked into the rocking and sipping and talking that my whole routine is usually tossed out the window. I quickly throw on whatever I can find and dash out the door to be reunited with my right are (aka: the boy).

This Friday was basically the same, with one huge exception. I had some very pretty accessories that were calling my name.
I wore my typical white t-shirt and shorts. But I think that these accessories are what but this outfit over the top. You know, the whole drab to fab spiel.

Please pretend like you don't see how grainy this photo is. I have a really old iphone and the lens has seen better days. Lets just say that I am saving my upgrade for October when the new model is released.

Below is more information about each of the accessories in the photo above. To find out more about the artisans or to do a little shopping just click the name of the product under the picture.

Sun Disc Earrings

I tend to be more of a white gold or silver girl so these earrings were a different for me. They have made me a believe. I now understand why this shiny, precious medal has stood the test of time. Go figure. These little beauties are simple enough to play a supporting role when paired with a statement necklace. But, they definitely have leading-role potential if you are feeling a bit more subdued. Everything in life needs a little bling and that's just what these disks of perfection provide.

Inca Steps Necklace (Teal)

I that the whole world has been on the Turquoise band wagon for a while. I'm not quiet there yet. But, this teal number I can handle. It is such a unique piece in itself. That couples with the fact that the color is stunning makes this unbeatable. Especial when it is wore with a plain white t-shirt. The Inca Steps Necklace is a great statement piece to add a little pizazz to your wardrobe without having to go out and by new clothes.

The D'Orsay Bangle

This bangle is the "bring it all together" piece. It has hints of the gold from the earrings. It repeats the gorgeous turquoise of the necklace. It has a light and wispy pattern in white that speaks to my t-shirt. I am so in love with this bangle that I am trying to figure out how to give some away at a trunk show. I believe that strongly that everyone should have one of these in their jewelry box.

I am really starting to get into a groove with adding these beautiful pieces into my wardrobe. It is actually making me feel like I need to get cuter clothes that would go better with this jewelry! That is a significant statement coming from a previously under-accessorizer (Why yes! I did make up that term myself. Thank you for noticing.).

I am going to finish working through my look for tomorrow and I am fairly certain that I am going to have to bring back a favorite. I think the new challenge is going to be NOT wearing this piece everyday for the next 4 days! We shall see :)


7 Days of Noonday: Day 2

Thursdays around our home are date night for me and the hubs.

That means that for me, I get to wear pretty dresses and spend a little more time on the hair and make-up. Those are both things that I really enjoy, so needless to say I look forward to this time.

For this particular Thursday I decided to break out one of the hubs favorite dresses. It is a long black and white striped dress that has a bit of a nautical feel.

I didn't quite get enough of the Brightly Colored Acai Rope Necklace in Hot Pink when I wore it on Day 1. I was the perfect pop of color against the neutral but patterned backdrop of the dress. I kept the earrings neutral in color by going with white. But the beautiful feather detail does a lot to bring a little more interest to the whole look (in my humble opinion).

Below is more info about the individual pieces. Just click the name of the item below the picture for a link to the website to learn more about the artisans and to do a little shopping.

Brightly Colored Acai Rope Necklace (Hot Pink)

I think that the pink in this necklace is pretty close to perfection. It is young and playful without being too "little girl" and "bubblegum". Other great minds would agree with me. For example: my newest sister-in-law chose this color for her wedding to Brother. Being the supportive sis that I am, I made sure that I had matching nail polish! Wearing this necklace was the perfect inspiration for a quick little coordinating mani.

I know the positioning is weird and you can only see two of my figures. But, remember I was home alone and you get the basic idea :)

Bone Carved Leaf Earrings

These earrings are even more beautiful in real life. I swear there aren't pictures that do them justice. There is a very good chance that these will become my go-to accessory for those t-shirt and jeans days. They are super light and very comfy to wear too.

Doing this challenge has really pushed me out of my normal fashion box. After just these two days I am already inspired to try some more looks and I can't wait to share them with you!

 I would love to hear more about your favorite go-to accessory. I am always up for learning something new!

Hope you have a a wonderful, colorful day!
(Yeah, I know its cheesy but I just couldn't resist)