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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stich Fix No 9

 Stitch Fix number Nine!

I'm pleased to announce that my sweet stylist Catherine was back! She was just on a vacation last month when they replaced her with Margaret.  After reading my blog post last month, Stitch Fix headquarters actually emailed me.  They are top notch when it comes to customer service.  Top Notch.

Well without further ado….here's what my sweet girl chose for me.

This Maxi dress.  I LOVED it.
My husband not so much.
I felt like one of Wonder Woman's sistas who lived on Paradise Island.
This was a keeper but I discovered a spot on the dress. They didn't have another one in stock to replace it and offered a discount on this one but since it wasn't a favorite of Nick's to start with and worried I couldn't get the spot out, I decided to pass on keeping it.  
 I'm totally regretting that decision looking at these pictures. 
Hoping Catherine will send something very similar in another fix.  I love Maxi dresses and this was my first one she had sent.

One thing I have never showed y'all on here are the styling cards they send you with each piece. I keep all of mine and use them for inspiration for outfits with stuff already in my closet.

I thought I'd try to create some of the outfits they suggested using the cards.
Here is the maxi dress.  They paired it with a denim jacket.

I loved the look!  But of course I love my denim jacket with everything so…

 Next up was this tribal print sleeveless top.

It was pretty cute.

This was what I came up with from the card inspiration.
(sorry it's blurry)  I really liked it with the pencil skirt and pumps and probably would have never dressed it up this much on my own.

Next up was this embroidered white tank.  I'm loving all things embroidered right now and this was such a versatile piece!  I had so much fun pairing with different stuff in my closet.  I even pulled out my very first Stitch Fix piece I ever bought!  This great necklace! I love the colors and it works great with the neck line.

 Then I pulled out my "dressier" jeans and my favorite Noonday earrings.  Loved the look.
 How about a bohemian vibe with this great crocheted handkerchief hem skirt?

 Here's the suggestion card for the top,

I didn't have a polka dot skirt but I did have a striped one.

Next up was this great purple swing skirt.  I kept the embroidered blouse on with this first. Catherine suggested pairing the two and I think it looks great together.  
 I also tried it with my jersey dolman top from fix number 6 and with my black peplum top and cheetah pumps.

My favorite was belted with this top from my third fix!  
Here are the styling suggestions. I love it with the red but just didn't have anything in the right style to make this outfit work.

And last  up was my absolute all time favorite that Catherine has ever sent me.
I LOVED the fabric and the retro feel.

It had a classy look and I felt like I could smooge with the fancy folks at Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard or some place like that..The only problem was that is was a tad too short for me. If I even slightly raised my hands, the dress was inappropriate for me. Everything else was PERFECT.  I may have shed a tear when I folded this beauty back up and put it in the envelope.  I'm hoping Catherine can find something similar with a longer hemline.
There you have it.
Fix number nine!  Wasn't it beautiful!
You can check out my other fixes here.
12, 3, 4, 56, 7, 8

If you'd like a personal stylist of your own and start receiving boxes of beauteous stuff of your own right to your door, then click here for all the details.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Saying yes.

Last week was a week of the usual stuff.  Trying to unpack my suitcase from our last revival meeting trip , doing a little housework, answering emails, blogging a little….all the normal stuff. And then I open an email from Noonday and IJM and my heart starts to so this strange thing.
They were sending a team of bloggers…of storytellers.. to Rwanda to be voices of hope. Advocates of justice to the people there.  And they were gonna send one extra person along with them!  They had one spot to fill for one more voice!

Well, first I dismissed it.  I thought how nice for someone to get to do that. But certainly not me.  I mean…I have nothing to offer this team.  I haven't been an active advocate for injustice across the globe, founding organizations and starting ministries. I haven't adopted any children.  I haven't been on a mission trip in a foreign county. Heck I haven't even been on an airplane before! 
 I completely, 100%  am unqualified for something such as this.

But the Lord kept pursuing my heart…tugging at it relentlessly that morning. And even though it made no sense to me whatsoever.  I heeded His nudging.  And I remembered the work He started in my heart earlier this year.

You know how every one chooses a "word" for the year?  They start posting theirs in January and you can kind of feel pressured. Like oh my goodness….I've got to have a word! lol.  I wasn't even gonna go there this year but I had that fluttering…that stirring that comes from the Lord and after several days of praying and reading from His word, I felt pretty confident I had heard from Him.
My one little word for the year was  
"Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43: 18-19

I was hearing Him say to me that He was gonna do a new thing in me.  
A new thing through me.

You see, Nick and I are in a new season of our lives.  We've watched all three of our girl walk down the aisle and become a wife to the man they've prayed for and dreamt about.  It's just me and him at home now and after 25 years of raising children, it's different to say the least.

So here I am in this new season of life.  No more wedding projects to consume most of my days. No more normal demands of a household of  5….four females and one amazing man.   I am totally enjoying this new way of mothering that having grown married daughters brings.  It's a great season.  It's not nearly as sad or lonely as I thought it would be before my girls stated leaving my nest. The relationships have shifted and I'm more of a friend now to them.  It's pretty awesome.

When I started blogging several years it was for my family to be able to keep in touch.  We are all scattered because of ministry and I wanted a place to share pictures and what we were up to. But I had no idea of the community that awaited me with blogging and social media.  
I had no idea of the "new" thing He would do in my heart.

God has used the voices of so many incredible women to make me aware of injustices that I never even knew existed. I love how He burdens each of us differently and when we walk in obedience with passion to the things He's called us each to, then the needs get met.  It's a beautiful thing.  And the way He is using social media to inform His people is crazy amazing to me. I want to be one of those voices that God uses to not only encourage but inform.

Like take Noonday for example.  I stumbled across them through instagram I believe.  I love fashion  and their jewelry is incredibly beautiful.  Then I found out the background of the company and their heart for justice and to help the oppressed.  I began to discover and become convicted of how and where I  spend my money.   You see I'm kinda like a professional when it comes to shopping.  I pride myself in finding the best bargains and lowest prices.  I've been a popping tags long before it was the hip way to shop.  But Noonday opened my eyes to what it means to purchase with purpose and it has changed the way I shop.  They have changed the way I spend my money.  

God has opened my eyes to a new way of viewing the world. Through ladies simply telling their stories,  I have become informed.  And that is powerful. And now that I have been exposed I  need to do something with this information. I can't just go on as normal in my wonderful world the Lord has blessed me with…With my three beautiful daughters who has been given many privileges to  just by living in the country they were born in.  By having two parents who love them and support them and who fed them when they were hungry.  Who have had someone tell them every day of their lives they are loved.  The basic stuff we take for granted.  And now I have grandchildren and I want them to see their Honey not just loving them but loving the world around me. Paving the way for them to be voices too who will make a difference in the lives of the hurting and less fortunate around them.  I want this to be the normal for them.

So last Wednesday when I came across that email in my inbox, I surrendered to the stirring God was doing in my heart.  I laid down my fears and my pride with the whole voting thing knowing how hard it was to put myself out there….and I said yes to God.

I said yes to this new thing He is doing in my life.  I may not have an incredible story of what I am doing to fight the injustice of the world….yet.  I may not have a story of adopting orphans into our home but the burden He has given me to support and encourage those who do grows stronger and stronger each day.  He has given me such a beautiful story to tell of family and restoration and redemption. I love the chapter I am in now and am so thankful for the influence He has given me to share that hope with other families. But I'm also excited about this next chapter He is writing. One filled with a passion to use my voice in a way I've never dreamed of. 

I honestly don't feel worthy to ask for your vote when you read the stories of some of the other ladies who have also felt led to enter.  But really, none of us are worthy.  Any story we've been given has been written by the Author and the Finisher of our faith.   He knows our past and what He's redeemed us from.  He know our hearts today and the insecurities and fears and selfishness that fight to rule our hearts and He alone knows our tomorrow and the next page and the next chapter of our stories.  I rest in that.  I celebrate these women and what God is doing in all of our lives.  I'm thankful He has used social media to wake me up to the needs in the world and to connect me with ways to be a part of the change. I'm thankful He has changed the way I shop and that I can totally make a difference in someones life on the other side of the world just by how I spend my money.

I would be honored if you would vote. 
We are halfway there and it's a close race y'all.  They have arranged the submission gallery in order of the votes received so now you can click on page one and see who is the lead.  The top 7 ladies with the most votes will go on to the next phase.  Then the Story Teller Team will choose three out of the seven ladies and then the voting process will start all over again.   I've watched my spot move all morning long.  So it is close! 
You can vote once a day. I appreciate the time and effort it is taking for y'all to do it!
If this journey was to end today for me I  am already humbled and blessed beyond words of the support.
Wow!  Thank you!

I may not ever make it to Africa while in this life.
But whether there or here, I pray  I will be found faithful.
That's all He asks of us. To faithfully walk through the doors He has opened.

I want to be faithful in the big stuff like Rwanda AND the everyday stuff where we have no idea the eternal impact we are making on a life on a life.  

May we all be found faithful to be storytellers of the hope He has given us.

If you'd like to vote for me, click here or on the awesome button (thanks D!) up there on the top of my sidebar!  Oh and ignore my filthy rug and just focus on those cute feet that are ready to GO! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cow Camp

People often ask me what's our family's "secret".
Like what have we done that makes everyone want to hang out together and stuff.
Well first let me say….grace.  It's totally by the grace of God our family is not on the Jerry Springer Show.
You can check this post to see what I mean.

But if there is another "secret" it is this… being intentional.

We don't just talk about getting together and spending time with one another.
We make it happen. 
And my favorite event of the year is what we affectionately call Cow Camp.

It's where my entire immediate family comes together and we stay in a one room camp house that one of our church families so generously opens to us for the weekend.

Our nephews dubbed it "Cow Camp" because of this..

We share the facilities with these girls.

Cow Camp is nothing fancy but it is filled with fun and is the perfect environment for making memories.

So what do we do all weekend?

We fish.

We play BINGO

We have hula hoop contests..

We swim….

We paint….

We discover…

We hang out…

We pull out the play-do.

We have epic water balloon fights…

and intense bubble blowing contests.

We play with the donkeys

…right off the back porch.

Me and Dave celebrate our birthdays.

and of course they're are s'mores..

We wrap it up with our annual photo session.

I ain't gonna lie…
being intentional takes a lot of work.
It takes planning and sacrifice.
But being intentional means being together.
It means making memories that our family will remember a lifetime
It provides late nights filled with giggles and games and early mornings filled with coffee and conversation.
Yes, it's a lot of work.
But the reward is priceless.

The next few days will be Cow Camp prepping for me and Nick.
We shop, we cook and we get it all set up…

Can't wait for the family to start rolling in.
This year there will be 26 of us.
It's gonna be grand!

And this Memorial Day will also be bittersweet.
It's the day Blake will leave to head off to boot camp.
He will be serving our country in the United States Army and our family could not be more proud of he and Lauren's sacrifice for our this great country we are blessed to live in.

May today be the day you quit talking about getting together with those you love…and you make it happen.  There are memories to be made!

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