Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Introducing Miss Lacey and Happy New Year!

*I typed most of this up about a month and a half ago... then, in my typical blogging style, let it sit here and marinate and practically become irrelevant.  But it's my blog and these are my memories so I'm posting it as is anyway.  :)  Just pretend it's from the end of November instead of the end of December.  And hopefully a more current update will be following in a week or two... but don't hold your breath ;)

My sweet little pup has been here for 3 weeks now and I just love her so much!  As always, I thought I'd be a lot better about updating with pics, but honestly, it's just so much more fun to cuddle and play with her than it is to upload all these photos. ;)

Right now she is snoozing away by my side.  She is quite a little snore monster!

These are from our first car ride home with her.  She did so good.  I was worried that she'd be car sick since it's a 1.5 hour drive, but she was a trooper!  She coughed and sort of spit up once, but it was more like drool than anything else.  Then she just curled up in my lap and slept the rest of the way!

She LOOOOOOVES her naps. :)  I think almost all of my pictures are of her when she's asleep.  Partly because its so cute and partly because that's the only time she stops moving long enough to get a non-blurry photo! She has two speeds: 1) super sleepy/zonked out & 2) crazy, hyper, energizer puppy.

Her favorite toys right now are none of the actual toys that we've bought for her, they are empty water bottles that she pulls out of our recycling bin.  She also has a thing for ice cubes as you can see in the video below: 

So cute, right?! I love her to pieces.

Well, there are a million more pictures to share, but I'm afraid I will never post this if I don't stop now.


Also, it's New Year's Eve so I guess I should say something about that ;)

This has been a wonderful year for Doad and I.  We were blessed with a wonderful perfect house at the beginning of the year.  Took a lovely vacation to Canada.  Saw several friends and family members get married.  Welcomed two more nephews to the family and found out that another niece or nephew is on the way.  And of course, we added on to our little family with our sweet pup, Lacey.

God has been super, super good to us and I am so thankful for all that He's done and taught me this year.  I've learned a lot about enjoying the moments I'm in and being content with where I am in life.  I've become more creative and resourceful.  I've learned to take action to pursue my dreams instead of just thinking about them.  Hopefully, I can carry those lessons into this next year and pick up even more good habits.  :)

So cheers to 2014 and farewell to 2013! It's been a fantastic year and I can't wait to see what lies ahead.  Enjoy your celebrations, friends! Stay warm and safe and may God bless you this coming year.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Coming Soon to the J & J Ranch!

You guys! I'm so excited! We're getting a puppy!!

Tomorrow morning, we're bringing home this little sweetie:

I'm dying of cuteness overload.

We started searching for this little girl about a month ago.  The timing just seemed right for us to bring a dog into our family so I went into nerd overload and started researching all I could.  We applied for several that didn't work out or already had an adoption pending when we came across this puppy.  You guys, she is the cutest, sweetest thing ever.  I'm just so excited to bring her home tomorrow and love on her.  Prepare your news feeds for many puppy pictures! ;)

Also, I need help naming her! My indecisiveness is at its worst right now.  Give me your suggestions!

 My current top pick is Lacey, but I'm also considering Penny, Maci, or Josie.  What does she look like to you? I'll take new ideas as well as votes on these names. :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My New Happy Place

I wrote in my last post about the new porch swing that Doad built, but it deserves a post all its own because it's just about the best thing ever.  I've been having my quiet times with the Lord on it and they have just been amazing.  I'm not even sure if I can explain it without sounding crazy, but the times I have spent on that swing lately have just been so precious and special to me.

Twice now I have been praying and journaling about something specifically only to open up my devotion for the day and see God responding with a clear promise from His Word.  I wrote about it in my journal, but I also want to share it here:

   The other day I was praying about Doad and his job and the future.  It's a long story, but basically I have never really thought that he would be there for a long time.  I am praying for God to open up doors for him to find a new job and I wrote this in my journal:

"I don't really know what to ask except that you would just make our steps clear to us.  Give us peace and wisdom as we look to you for direction."

Immediately after that I opened up the devotion for the day and the verse was Jeremiah 29:11-12.  The devotion was all about God's good plan for us and how when we pray to him he hears us and answers.  So reassuring.  And such cool timing.

   So again today I was on my swing, journaling and praying.  This time about a silly mistake I made that could cost me $20.  I even said something to God about how in the grand scheme of things, I know this isn't a big deal, but it was on my mind anyway.  The last sentence I wrote in my journal was,

"Can you please help me out with this?"  

Then I opened my devotional.  The title?  "God Helps His People" :)

I don't know if it's the peacefulness of the gentle swing outdoors and the beautiful weather we're having lately, or that I'm just actually slowing down and spending some real time praying and in the Word.  Maybe it's a little of both.  But I'm cherishing these moments and find myself looking forward to these quiet times each day in my new little happy place.  It's like our special meeting place.

My faith is built up and encouraged by these real ways that I'm seeing God respond in my life.  Some might call these verses coincidences, but I feel like they're whispers from God reminding me that He is real and active in my life and He cares.  Even about the little things, He cares.

Tell me about your happy place, real or imaginary, spiritual or not. 
What brings you to that place of peace and contentment?


Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Randoms

Random thoughts straight from my brain to this page.  Enjoy! ;)

~ This weekend was pretty wonderful.  I visited a friend and her sweet new baby on Friday and then spent the evening at a 31 party thrown by my sister-in-law.  It was nice to have some girl time.  I have been missing that a little more lately since we've moved farther away from everyone.

~ Saturday we went to the first meeting for a church plant that is starting in a nearby town.  Doad's brother and his family are part of the plant and we are considering joining the team as well.  I'm having a hard time putting into words how I feel about all of this.  I've grown up going to pretty much just one church so a church plant is very new to me.  I'm excited about the possibilities and also trying not to create unrealistic expectations.

~ Last week one of my sweet little nephews got baptized.  We partied at his house after the service and... basically, I have the cutest nephews in the world.  I could just post pictures of them all day long.    

~  My friend Tiff is a major Redskins fan so I made her these custom Redskin wine glasses for her birthday!  I'm pretty proud of how they turned out.  Painting is not my gift.  Not even straight lines lol

~ Speaking of my friend Tiff... while she may like wine, she certainly didn't like this little drink.  She hates me for taking this video, but isn't that the whole reason why we play games like this?

... and when I say play games like this, I mean like once a year.  I'm not an alkie, geez guys.

~ And now that I've said that... ... ...have you seen the beer pong table my husband is making?

Sorry, I can't help myself.  Last alcohol related thought for tonight, I promise.

But isn't it cool?  Our favorite restaurant saved their bottle tops for us so Doad could make it all pretty.  He's been glueing for days.

~ He's also been carpentering.  He busted out this swing in like 2 hours the other day and now I have an adorable porch swing.  Handy husbands are the best!

Almost ready to hang it! :)

~ I just need you guys to see these photos.  Seriously, how are my nephews so stinkin' cute?! I just adore them.

I love them so much and I'm feeling especially blessed tonight to know that they and the rest of my extended family are safe and sound at home.  

~ And lastly for tonight, I just want to send out my heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims of today's shooting.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all and I am truly sorry for your losses.  Praying for peace and comfort.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cranky Pants

Ugh! So I'm about to vent for a minute.  Sorry.

Tonight is date night and also the opening game for the Redskins.  Our plan was to make a yummy dinner and watch the game all cozy in our jerseys.  I might have planned to do some blogging while watching the game.  We were gonna win and it would be a perfect date night.

None of that is happening right now.

And now I'm cranky because nothing is going according to "the plan".  :(  I didn't think my expectations were that ridiculous.

Ok, maybe winning the game was more of a hope than an expectation.

But I can usually cook a decent meal for dinner.  We've been using this meal plan I found online with lots of new recipes, but they have all been delicious so far.  Tonight we found the one we hate...

We don't have cable and according to my husband, the home game is not on local tv for the first time ever.  We are watching it bootleg from the laptop.  (#rebels)  And we are not winning right now. :(

Since we're using the laptop to watch the game, the only blogging that's happening is during the two minute commercial breaks.  I had a totally different post in mind, but it's taken me 3 quarters to write this much.  Also, my mouse keeps disappearing so I'm afraid to try and edit photos or upload that awesome video of my friend gagging on a shot.  That video will be going up sometime though, no worries.  Just not tonight.

We're not even cuddling while we watch football.  There's a beer pong table next to me on the bed and Doad is decorating it with beer caps.  I was pretty grumpy though, so I can't blame him.  And the table does look frickin' awesome.  It just wasn't "the plan" that I had in mind.

I wanted to be that awesome wife tonight that cooked that bangin' dinner and made my husband feel loved and appreciated and instead I'm cranky... and kinda hungry.  And not exactly makin' my husband feel all the romantic feelings.

*sigh*  I'm sorry, guys.  This has got to be the worst blog post ever.  I try to keep things fairly positive around here.  But I also want to keep things real.  And this is how I'm feeling right now, I guess I just needed to let off a little steam.  Forgive me?

What are your date nights like?
And how do you blow off steam from unnecessary grumpiness?  :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Business Trip

someecards.com - I'm not perfectOk, I'm falling into that trap again.  I'm not writing anything cuz I don't have time to finish the "perfect" looking post that I've made up in my mind.  But I told myself I was gonna write, perfect or not, so here it is.

Hubby was gone on a business trip last week and worked his tail off (seriously, he went to the job site at 5:30AM and got back to the hotel at 9:30PM, what psycho boss makes you do that?)

Business trips are hard for me in the first place, especially when evening comes.  I just don't do well and it makes me sad to fall asleep alone.  But they're extra hard when the trips aren't going well for Doad.

When he got to the job site, they were not ready for him and his coworker at all (hence the 16 hour workdays to get everything finished in time).  He didn't even eat lunch that week, just Burger King on the way in the morning and then a sit down at the hotel restaurant at 10 at night...  Then he'd go back to his room and work some more.

We'd Skype at midnight while he was trying to get some emails banged out and settle things in the office.  Because, of course, no one was watching his back while he was out of town, so he had clients back home waiting for him to get work done and wondering why it was taking so long.  Ugh!

I know what you're thinking: either he gets paid really well, or he needs a new job!

He needs a new job ;P

someecards.com - There should be a holiday dedicated to all the brave people who show up to work on Mondays.But that's probably not happening anytime soon so we're just trying to make the best of it.  It's strengthened my encouraging skills (I hope!) and it's definitely strengthened his self-confidence skills.  We have both learned a lot through this job and I am thankful that we've been able to grow from it, but I still hate it when he goes on trips.

Thankfully, my sewing keeps me busy and I always do some retail therapy when he's gone too.  (A full closet to balance out the empty, hubby-less bedroom) ;)

So that was my week last week.  Doad is now safely home where he belongs and we are excited to get the weekend going.  We are starting off by taking a couple of friends to our favorite pub tonight and ending with one of my sweet nephews' baptism on Sunday.  With lots of fun in between of course. :)

What are your weekend plans?  
How do you keep your hubby encouraged during tough work weeks?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shop Update!

Yikes, a month without posting!  Sorry guys!  I know I'm not the most consistent blogger (I stink at sticking to a schedule) but I have been more absent than I meant to be lately because I've been busy sewing away and working on some new products for the shop.

I'm so excited to have finally finished them and I hope you love them!

The first new items are these darling headbands.  I'm loving how they have turned out and can't wait to see what you think as well.

Can you tell I like polka dots?!  :)  This blue one is one of my favorites: simple and sweet.

The next items are these button hair clips.  These are my smallest items, but another one of my favorites.  I love how versatile they are.   You can use one or two to clip back your hair, use them to dress up a braid or an updo, or add some flair to your new headband! :)

Lastly, I added one more zipped pouch to my collection.  Again with the polka dots ;) I looooove this fabric combo.  I'm tempted to keep one of these for myself!

Please take a look and tell me what you think.  I still consider myself a newbie and honestly would love to have some feedback.

Do you have a craft/hobby that you'd like to turn into a business?
Tell me about it! I'd love to check it out. :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Garden update


Our garden has been pumping out produce left and right.  I don't know if it's beginner's luck or if we just started off with really low expectations (probably both), but I am so, so proud of our little green thumbs!  Here's a quick recap:

This is our garden newly planted:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 6:

Week 9 (earlier today):

Sorry for the poor quality in some of those photos, but holy cow!  I think there's magic in our dirt - it's like Jack and the Beanstalk out here!  Look at these massive pumpkin vines.

Hubby had to trim them down because they were taking over the whole garden - they almost killed off all our lettuce.

Our cucumbers and squash are even bigger than the grocery stores'.

Green beans galore.


Little baby watermelon.

Sad little peppers that don't want to bear fruit.

I hope this post doesn't come across as bragging, I just can't get over how much we actually grew our first time.  I honestly thought we'd get just a few embarrassing sized veggies and that would be it.  I had no idea that you could actually get this much food from a small suburban garden.

There's such a feeling of accomplishment when we sit down to dinner and see food on our plates that we've worked hard to grow and prepare and cook ourselves.  Hopefully this is an encouragement to others that you don't have to know much about gardening or have a lot of experience before you start.  A little bit of research and some sweat and dirt and diligence can actually result in some homegrown veggies on your table!

Tell me about your gardening experience this summer.
What are your favorite plants to grow?