Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

Since my aunt no longer needs surgery, Peter and I had an unplanned and unexpected long weekend at home.

I worked for 3 hours on Thursday and was home by lunch time. We spent the afternoon at home checking out what was on daytime TV. We met up for dinner with Jeff at Mad Mex in Robinson and then did some shopping at Ikea and Kohls. We weren't out too late and were home by 9 PM to veg out.

We didn't have any plans for Friday because we were waiting to hear from my Aunt. It was still up in the air as to what was going to happen next. For all we knew, we could have been driving out to Cleveland later that day. I was able to watch Ellen and Rachael Ray for the first time in...years? When we spoke to Paula in the afternoon and heard of the great news of her not needing surgery, we were suddenly aware that we had a wide open weekend ahead of us. We decided to make the most of it and headed out to lunch and to be-bop around Monroeville. We went to the Olive Garden for lunch and were so glad to just have a random Friday afternoon free! We ran some errands, did some grocery shopping, and enjoyed being able to be together on a weekday. That evening we made dinner at home and rented two movies. It's been a long time since we watched back-to-back movies! It reminded us of our college days. :) We rented "Red" and "Takers" - both good movies!

By the time Saturday morning rolled around, I felt like it should've been Tuesday. Having so much extra time at home and with Peter was fabulous! We enjoyed another relaxed morning together. We ate breakfast, did some laundry, and watched "Armageddon". I forgot just how much I loved that movie! We were invited to the Benders for dessert and games that evening and added last minute dinner plans with my brother and his fiancee before that. We met Mark and Jackie at Yokoso, a hibachi place at the Waterfront. We ended up being so late to get to the Benders. We had a 6 o'clock reservation, but weren't seating until 6:30. We arrived at Matt and Erin's closer to 8:30 than the planned upon 7:30. The Balkeys and Alldrins were there too and we had a fun time hanging out and playing "Mexican Dominos" and a homemade game called "Fish Bowl". Both were new games to us and we loved them! Erin also made an awesome Chocolate Raspberry Trifle dessert. It was deeeeelicious!

After church and a congregational meeting, we spent the afternoon at home. I did some cleaning while Peter went to pick up our new TV stand. We spent the evening making Asian Chicken Salads and watching the Oscars.

I am so thankful for an extra, extra long weekend. Since we were originally going to be out of town, we had no plans and were open to whatever. We were able to meet up with friends/family a few times, eat yummy meals, do a little shopping, run some errands, and so some cleaning. Productive and fun all in one (long) weekend!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend Shopping

This weekend while I was out and about with my hubby, I snagged a few things to use my Kohl's gift cards on.

I'm super into ball stud earrings right now. I feel like all of my dangly earrings are getting caught on scarves, in my hair etc. The studs are great and super cute! I have some silver ones that I constantly wear as well as pearl ones from my sister's wedding.

This isn't a great picture of them, but I love these bronze ones. They are slightly different colors so I bought both! haha

For $1.20 per pair, it was a great deal! My plan is to possibly paint a pair black. I've been looking for black ones to no avail. I don't know how painting a pair would work, but for $1.20 I figured it was worth a shot! Those red/yellow stickers closely compete with Target's red stickers...

I also got this cute Chaps skirt for $6. It's got a great paisley pattern that should (hopefully) be easy to pair with several different options for tops.

This dress isn't from Kohl's, but I saw it at Target and thought it was so cute! It will be cute with boots and a sweater in the fall/winter and sandals in the spring/summer. Love that! I'm somewhat embarrassed to say, but I paid full price for this. I honestly can't remember the last time I paid full price for clothes...?? It was too cute to pass up. I figured I'll wait to see if it goes on sale/clearance and get a price adjustment. If not, then I think I can afford to "splurge" every now and then.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tile Coasters

Remember my snowman coasters?

Well, while I was in Lowes today to pick up some more blank coasters, I found these beauties! They are 4 inch square tiles and were on clearance for 30 cents a pop! I scooped up four, put felt feet on them and now have great everyday coasters.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Change of Plans

Well, my Aunt Paula was originally scheduled to have open heart surgery yesterday to replace 3 of the 4 valves in her heart. She went to Cleveland Clinic on Sunday and had a few days of tests. On Wednesday, the surgeon decided that she needed to do a stress test before he would do surgery. She did that this morning and in a very dramatic change of events...she no longer needs surgery at all!! We are so thankful to God for this blessing and she's never been more excited to go back to work. I can't fully understand how one cardiologist said she needed 3 of the 4 valves replaced to another saying no surgery is necessary at all. The good thing is, I don't need to. We are trusting the Lord and thanking Him for this surprise!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchen Shelf Rearranging

This evening I was at Ikea and picked up two more jars for the shelf in our kitchen. I've had this one for my chai mix for a few months and wanted to swap out the tin canisters for some clear jars.

Cute, no? For now they house my chai mix, pumpkin creamer, and hot chocolate. :)

I used up the rest of an Ikea gift card that I had. I'm so sad they aren't doing "Social Media Saturday" each month anymore! How am I going to score great freebies at Ikea now??

Poppy Plate

I've got so many gift cards in my wallet. For so many different places. It actually makes shopping fun since I don't have to spend my own money! haha

While in Marshalls this morning, I saw this cute plate. I love the colors on it and the scalloped edges.

I also love the price tag - $2.99!

I've been rearranging some things in our dining room and think this plate will make an awesome addition. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fun New Stuff

This weekend, Peter and I did a bit of shopping. We didn't have anything specific that we needed to get, but just wanted to go out and browse and see if we stumbled on anything good. I love shopping trips like this because it seems so much more relaxed than if we're looking for something specific. Maybe because when I'm searching for something specific, I can never find it...

A few weeks ago we were at Marshalls and I saw a case that I almost bought for my phone. It was only $8 and I was going to have Peter check it out, but forgot to before leaving. It didn't matter to me since I wasn't in need of a new case (even though my current one is cracked from the many times that it's been dropped). This weekend I was back in the same Marshalls and wanted to see if it was still there...and it was! And it was on clearance! It is the gunmetal grey colored case on the right in the picture below. $6 instead of $8. Sweet! But then I stumbled upon the rust orange case for $4! One of my favorite colors and even cheaper! Double sweet! For a grand total of $10 (plus tax), I got two new cases for my phone. :) They are incase brand, which my hubby tells me is a good brand. And they slide on just like I like. It covers the sides and the back, but isn't too bulky and doesn't cover any of the screen/buttons. Perfect! It's not often that we find something "decorative" for me, "practical" for Peter, and cheap! What a trifecta. Peter should be proud of me for just using the word "trifecta".

I've been using the rust colored case for a day and already love it! It's like having a new phone! :)
I currently have about $50 in Kohl's gift cards and merchandise credit from Christmas, etc.. Usually I find a ton of great things at Kohl's. I know I just have to hang onto it and great things will come in time, haha. I did manage to use $7 from the $50. $3 was on this adorable little "love" plate. It was a valentine's clearance item at 80% off. So cute!

The other $4 was on this bracelet (also 80% off). I plan to remove the flower charm from it. I received this great Stella and Dot bracelet for Christmas from Matt, Ruthann, Wesley, and Zack. I love it and wear it all the time. I've been so tempted to get the turquoise one, but am hoping it goes on clearance eventually. $34 is just not what I spend on jewelry. I know, I'm cheap, haha! For now, this little $4 beauty will do me just fine. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

A few bible studies ago, I discussed some of my striving issues. I also discussed my thoughts of being in a dry period of my walk with God. The more I talked about it with Peter on the way home, the more I was able to dig into this feeling of being somewhat disconnected.

Disconnected to what?

Life, basically.

It's not that I'm "going through the motions", but it's almost as if I have so much going on that I'm only allowing myself to be partially invested in everything. I've always been what I consider to be an independent person. In the past I've built up walls to protect myself. I try to be strong for others. I realize that sometimes it's hard for me to just allow myself to feel. To have raw, beautiful emotion. I've noticed this the past few months and have been in thought and prayer about it.

I think part of the problem is that I get in the way of what He is trying to do. I think I also tend to subconsciously deflect feeling too much. My natural tendency is to justify everything, push away what I think might hurt me, and sweep things under the carpet.

What if I stumble, what if I fall?

What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?

Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

Is this one for the people, is this one for the Lord?

Sometimes I buy into the enemy's lies. Lies that my life has to be perfect and I have to have it all together. Lies about myself, my marriage, and God's love and mercy.

It's amazing how many things have "come up" in the past few weeks about this. At the woman's heart breakfast, my friend, Steff Knabe, did a good job summing it up. She was speaking about her own struggles, but it really resonated with me. I need to "stop worshipping myself and lay myself down to Him". Easier said than done.

I feel God working in this area of my life. I'm not sure where it's headed, but I know it'll be good (Romans 8:28).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Church - early service style

This morning Peter and I went to the early service at Hebron. We've never been, but wanted to get a head start on our drive to Clearfield for the day. There were several times during the service where someone announced something along the lines of this not being what they usually do. With each mention of that, I got a growing feeling that God had us at this service for a reason. There are no accidents with God. While we "planned" on the early service to make it to Clearfield earlier, it wasn't really our plan at all. It was His. And I'm so thankful.

It's been a long time since a church service has moved me to tears. The Lord works in mysterious ways. He revealed Himself to me in a new way this morning. I may not be "feeling" how I think I should be, but that doesn't mean that God isn't working. Even during a "dry" period. I need to just continue to lay myself down and allow Him to work. I need to get out of His way. It was so moving and encouraging to see the body of Christ come together at church this morning. God heals. He heals physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I have a refreshed and renewed spirit this morning.

Our God is greater.
Our God is stronger.
God you are higher than any other.

Our God is Healer.
Awesome in Power.
Our God.
Our God.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


  • to exert oneself vigorously; try hard: He strove to make himself understood.
  • to make strenuous efforts toward any goal: to strive for success.
  • to contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete.
  • to struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance: to strive against fate.

I strive. Not always in a good way. I strive to be a good wife. A good Christian. A good daughter, sister, and friend. The list goes on...
But what is my motivation?
Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
My motivation should always be to please God. To do all things for His glory. I often fall short of this, though. Many times without even knowing it until after I've done something. So often my striving turns to proving.

  • to give demonstration of by action.
  • to show (oneself) to have the character or ability expected of one, esp. through one's actions.
Did anyone else see actions twice there? I use my actions to try to prove myself. I cook and clean to "prove" I'm a good housewife. I try to attend all family get-togethers to "prove" I'm a good daughter, sister, aunt, etc. I do my work twice as fast as my co-workers to "prove" I'm a good employee. But what if I don't do one of these things? Does it make me a bad person? Does it mean I'm not as loved by my husband? By God?
Romans 8:38-39 declares that nothing can separate us from the love of God! Nothing I do, or don't do, will make God love me any more, or any less.
All of these actions, this "proving" of myself, is foolish. Satan uses my good intentions and desire to please God to quickly turn it into a problem for me. Satan puts thoughts of fear and doubt around me that for some reason, in certain times, can seem so much easier to believe than the Truth. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a good wife, Christian, or anything else. But striving and "proving" is a danger-zone for me. I can quickly put a lot of unnecessary and burdensome expectations on myself. I need to constantly check my motivations for doing things. I need to make sure that I'm putting all of my efforts into bringing glory to God, not to myself.