Shout out to my new fave ENGAGED couple!

I’m getting a new sister because my brother is getting married!!!!  He seriously couldn’t have picked a better girl.  She fits in so well with our family.  :)

She’s really sassy…

and awesome…

they’re really cute together…

I think her only TWO downfalls are she loves the biebs…

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AND SHE DOESN’T LIKE TAYLOR SWIFT….  How could you not like T-swizzle?  When I found out she didn’t like Taylor, I was like ‘uh I don’t think we can be friends… just kidding… but not really… but I’m totally kidding…errr”

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I’ll get over it.  Someday.

But the fact is they’re AWESOME together and I can not wait for their wedding and for her to be my sister-in-law!!!  I love you Katie!!!

{all these pics are from katie’s facebook- fanks meeps!}

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Haiti changed my life.

I’m probably going to ramble a lot but I just feel like I need a brain dump.  There are so many times since being back when I just want to cry.  Yeah.

So I went to Haiti this past week.  We went on a medical and construction missions trip – I was on the construction team.  People have been asking me how the trip went and I don’t even know what to say.  There is no word for how I feel.  I’ve heard about culture shock but never really understood or experienced it.  I have definitely been struggling since coming back.  I feel guilty for what I have and the way I live.  My shed in the backyard is a palace compared to the way 95% of Haitians live.  I saw a pile of magazines on my floor that I plan on throwing away and I thought that Walencia, a little girl I met, would love to have those magazines to read, or look at pictures or even use them to make necklaces.

There is an organization called The Apparent Project where Haitians get 80% of the sales from their jewelry/artwork (go and buy some  jewelry!).  This is one good step being taken in Haiti to get people on their feet.  Not even back on their feet because most people never were.  There is such poverty in Haiti I can’t even describe it.  Most live in mud/stick houses that have big, gaping holes in the sides with tin roofs that have holes which were created from the rain beating down constantly during rainy season.  It’s amazing because right now- it is so dry.  So much dust and no rain.  Yet during rainy season the rain doesn’t stop.

We fixed a roof for one lady who has tuberculosis.  Her 4 children also have TB.  They all sleep on one double sized mattress.  I get to sleep on a king sized mattress.  Guilt.

And I know that some of you won’t be able to understand.  I didn’t understand before I went.  My boss, her husband, my Granny and brother have all been to Haiti.  I’ve heard them tell stories about the amazing things they have experienced there.  I enjoyed the pictures and the stories but after a while it went in one ear and out the other.  There is no way to understand what is going on until you go somewhere like that and experience it yourselves which is why you. should. go.  I just had the best, eye-opening, life changing week of my life.

Haiti has made it so hard to adopt children.  They want to keep their people in their country so bad that it seems like they would rather them die in their country than have a better life in another.  I was offered a little boy named Jou.  Seriously, his cousin was trying to put him on the truck with us, begging us to take him.  I would have taken him if I wouldn’t have been arrested at the airport.  His mother and father are dead and his cousin is raising him.  I mean seriously, I used to watch those starving orphans on TV and not have any compassion towards them.  Did I not think they were real?  I don’t know.  But they are real.  Jou is real.  I hope I can use my experience and let that change my world view and how I live.  I never want to forget this feeling I have.

I can not wait to go back.  Brandon and I loved it so much that we want to start a group.  Everyone should get to experience what I did last week.  It is amazing how little they have yet they are so joyful.  Everyone is always smiling.  Wherever we were, we would wave and say “bonjou” or “bonswa” and they would wave back and smile.  If we did that in America, we would get the weirdest looks.  We’re all so consumed with what we’re doing and where we’re going that we forget to smile and be nice.  It’s amazing how a simple smile affects someone.  We were all so happy this past week despite the living conditions and poverty that was surrounding us.

God is doing such amazing work through so many people there.  There are 4 missionary couples that work for CSI (Christian Services International).  Greg and Cathy are running the guest house we stayed in.  Greg helps organize all the groups coming down.  Tim and Toby run the girls home next to Greg and Cathy.  They have adopted 20 Haitian girls.  They are trying to educate and raise them to love and to give back to their country.  Jeff and Jean live next to Tim and Toby.  Jeff runs the construction crew and also ministers to the community (he was a pastor and owned his own construction company back in the states).  We worked with Jeff all week.  His wife, Jean is a teacher for a Haitian school.  She drives 11 miles to go to school which takes her over an hour!   There is so much traffic and the roads are so bad!  Tony and Tracy run the clinic next to Jeff and Jean.  One of them will usually stay back at the clinic while the other will go with the mobile medical groups.  They do charge their patients because they said their services are much more valued when the Haitians have to pay.  After the earthquake, there was so much free healthcare that most people don’t want to pay anything now.  Yet if they were to offer free healthcare from the clinic, it would be worthless to them.  So they try to charge just a little bit so that the Haitians can have some sort of ownership.

I went thinking I was going to make some people better and fix their houses but I think I got more out of week than I gave.  God is using something awful like an earthquake and bringing so much more to Haiti.  The day after the earthquake there were thousands of people in the streets praising God.  I’m pretty sure that would not have been my reaction.

Well writing this post was exhausting.  I didn’t even say half of what I wanted to say but hopefully you got a little glimpse into what we did last week.  Sorry for all the rambling.

Have you ever been on a missions trip or anything like this before?  How did it affect you?

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Sew… I made a lot of baby things

First of all, let me forewarn you – this is a long post. :)

I’m finally getting around to posting about the quilt my mom and I made for my sister, Courtney back in November.  To say that Courtney is obsessed with Lilly Pulitzer is an understatement.  The whole nursery is full of Lilly colors, clothing, well almost everything is Lilly, except the bed.  I don’t think they make Lilly furniture but if they did, she’d buy it ;).  She even had a Lilly baby shower!  Are you surprised that she is naming her daughter Lilly?  You shouldn’t be.

Anyway, I got this idea a while back that I wanted to make something special for her but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do.  I think it came to me when I was looking through pinterest and I saw these really pretty quilts.  I thought, ‘Hey, I’ve made a quilt before and I can do it again!’  Granted, it was a t-shirt quilt.  Much easier to make because they’re meant to look ‘comfy’ (aka not perfect).

So I called my mom because she knows how to sew.  I mean my Nana was a wedding dress maker.  She agreed to help me but it wasn’t until after we finished it that she told me she thought it was going to look terrible!  Thanks, mom!

It took us two weekends to finish.  We set up sewing boot camp in her kitchen.  We laid everything out to see what we had to work with.

I didn’t take any pictures of the fabric cutting process but basically I took a transparency sheet and cut it into a 6″ square.  I wanted my finished fabric square to be 5″ so that gave me a 1/2″ seam allowance on each side.  Most seasoned seamstresses work with 1/4″ seam allowance but I was just leaving room in case I had any sewing mistakes.  :)  I laid the 6″ see-through square on the fabric and when it looked like it would be a good square for the quilt, I traced it with a fabric pen and cut it out.  I did that 63 times.  Whew!

We ended up with 9 rows of 7 squares.  My mom and I pinned each row together, pretty side to pretty side and then sewed them together.  After each row was done, I went and ironed the seams apart so that they would lay flat when we added the batting and back piece.  When all the rows were done, we started sewing row 1 and 2 together, row 2 and 3 together, etc…

Next, we laid the fabric for the back of the quilt ugly (haha that’s what I call it) side up, making sure that we had a few inches more than the total width and length of the front side of the quilt.  We then laid the batting on top of the back fabric and then the pretty part of the quilt went on top.

The next step took the longest.  Basting.  We took a contrasting thread (black) and sewed the 3 pieces together.  You could definitely tell the difference between what my mom did and what I did.  Her’s were in a nice line and mine were in crazy zig zaggy lines.

After that was done, I got to ‘quilt’ the pieces together!  I decided to follow the pattern on the front.  I just ‘stitched in the ditch’, meaning I sewed on every seam.

After I was done quilting, we trimmed the excess back fabric around the edges and my mom pinned the binding on.  She was working on that while I was quilting.  So I don’t really know what she did.  This means next time I’m making a quilt and don’t know how to bind, guess who I’m callin?

Here’s a picture of the quilt before we (and by we I mean my mom) hand sewed the other side of the binding.  She’s a good mom, huh?

I made a few other items as well.  I was in charge of one of the shower games, Pin the Dress on the Baby.  To make the game, I printed out a picture of a baby and a dress that fit her.  Before I cut the fabric, I scanned them in and printed them on card stock.  Then I traced the dress onto the card stock and cut ’em out.  Since I was in the sewing mood, I sewed a little seam around the edges of the paper dresses.

After Pin the Dress on the Baby was done, I moved on to burp cloths!  I made 5 for Courtney and 5 for my friend Marcie who had her baby on January 4th!

My mom MADE the baby’s outfit!  It has capped sleeves and everything!  When Courtney opened it up, she thought the outfit came with the baby!  I made that little pillow to go in her rocker.

You shouldn’t be surprised to find out that it took me almost as long to figure out how I was going to wrap the gifts as it did to make them.  My boss came up with the awesome idea to use burlap.  When I was having it cut at Joanns, the lady cutting it asked what I was going to do with it.  I told her I was going to use it wrap a present.  And she looked at me and said, “Hmm, well I hope whoever you give that potted plant to has a green thumb!”  I just stared at her because at no point in our conversation did I say that I was giving a potted plant.  I then tried to correct her and tell her that I was actually wrapping a baby quilt.  I think that was too much for her because she just shook her head in disbelief and said, “mmmhmmm.”

I think they turned out pretty well.  I had to hot glue (hahaha) the fabric together to get it to stay put.  Tape was not an option.  Needless to say, watching Courtney try to open them was pretty funny.  People just open presents way too fast these days.  They need to learn to enjoy the moment.  Oh yeah, I made those little L gift tags out of left over fabric.  I couldn’t use just any ole store bought tag!

I might have teared up a bit when she was opening the quilt…  But I’ll cry at any random commercial so that isn’t saying much.

I love how everything turned out and I hope Lilly likes it too!

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Midweek Confessions

I decided to join the midweek confession train.  Woo woo!  Elizabeth started midweek confessions over on  E, Myself, and I .  You should go there for a good laugh – especially her post on Wellies.

I’ve felt very blah this week, probably because I’m getting sick but things are just getting to me and I’m gonna get them off my chest.  So THERE!!!

-I really don’t like when people talk about someone else by saying “whats her face.”  Can’t you just say, “What’s that girls name?” or somethin’ like that?  For realz.

-This:

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-I am getting sick right before I go on a trip.  Awesome.  This always happens to me.  I shouldn’t be surprised.

-I go out to eat a lot.  I am recently realizing this because most of my daily pictures are from the restaurants I’ve been to.  Seriously, check it.  I need to get back on the Weight Watchers train.

-Is there a book called ‘Blogging for Dum Dums’ or “WordPress for Dummies’?  Because it seriously has taken me days and asking, no bugging, several people about how to do this linky party button thing.  Right, Dorsa?

-Brandon’s and my secret obsession is LMFAO- particularly ‘I’m sexy and I know it.”  I want to randomly yell “leopard print pants out of control!!!”  Pretty much all the time.  I’d be lying if I told you ‘I’m sexy and I know it’ wasn’t my alarm.

-I miiiight be getting new furniture for my family room soon.  Like this year.  I. AM. SO. EXCITED.  Granted, it will probably be December when that happens but still!  One of our friends even said, “Yeah, you could stand to get new furniture.”  Geez, so that’s what you all think!? But you don’t need to tell me, I know we need new furniture- it’s just I don’t have a tree that grows dolla dollas.  And not that I’ve found a dolla dolla tree – it’s just time.

So that’s that.


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Hunger Games, baby!

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I can not wait for the Hunger Games movie to come out.  64 days.  It’s on my google calendar.  I’m not ashamed.  Stephanie (my SIL and bfftoofr (best friend forever the only one for real (i’m copy writing that btw, we totally made that up))) and I were talking about the premier and the possibility of dressing up.  Which was probably more my idea than hers to dress up.  I’ll probably have to convince her and beg.  Blah blah blah.  All the cool people dress up for movie premiers, right?  I think I should be Catniss because I’m athletic and (did) have long hair and I’m overall awesome.  Seriously, how awesome would it be to be in the movie theater and all of a sudden my girl on fire costume lights up.  Wow, I’m sounding pretty cool right now.   Anyway, she wants to be Catniss and wants me to be Rue.  I mean I can scale a tree pretty quickly- a quality of Rue AND Catniss so I could go either way.  Needless to say, I’m super excited.  And I got even more excited because I saw this on pinterest today!

Hunger Games nail polish collection!!!!!!  I’m trying to decide which color to wear to the premier!  ;)

I am loving:

If you haven’t read the Hunger Games trilogy, GET ON IT!   They are SO good.  I mean one time, I was running on the treadmill at the gym (reading on my Ipad- I make my font really, really big) and I was at such an exciting part of the book that I threw my hands in the air and screamed.  Whew! they are so good.  Maybe I’ll read them again before the movie comes out.

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14″ Lighter

I did it!  I got 14″ of hair cut off!  I also completed numero uno on my 101 list!  Brandon was there with me taking pictures and posting a play by play on facebook. Here are the before shots:

So when I am nervous/bored/whatever I pick my fingernails to the degree that my mom named me miss picky when I was little.  yea.

Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long.  Jason, my new stylist (I make it sound like I’ve had a lot of stylists.  I’ve had 3 people cut my hair in my life.  One was my mom, 2nd was her hair stylist who did my first Locks of Love haircut and the 3rd was my sister-in-laws hairstylist.  I love her but I figured I should try to find someone here and not 3.5 hours away.  Maybe I’ll get my hair cut twice a year instead of once a year.  Yea.  Probably not.), walked out to meet me and take me to his station.  We talked for a minute about what I was thinking/wanting then he gave me a head massage.  Hello it was awesome.

I’m probably laughing at Jason because he told me his dogs names are Coco and Chanel.

Filling out the Locks of Love application!

Haha.  I had to show you this awesome picture because it looks like I have a sweet slicked back mullet and maybe a dash of front mullet as well.  This hairdo accentuates my ears and makes them look especially large.

This is my I’m-not-sure-what-to-think-just-yet-so-I’m-going-to-smile-and-try-to-make-it-look-like-I-love-it face.

Me and Jason

The after shot.  I didn’t love it right after the cut but it was great after I styled it the next day.

This is my do after I styled it.  Less product = better.

Boop.  The end.

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Homeschool hair be gone!

So tomorrow is the day.  I’m going to get my hair cut.  I called today to make an appointment for the end of this week or next week, because that’s what I was mentally prepared for but noooo the only appointment they had was tomorrow.  AHHH.  So I’m going to get my locks chopped. This is how long my hair is right now.  Long, I know.

This is kind of what I’m going for: shoulder length, maaaaaaybe bangs but they would be side swoopy-ish, and I want to be able to wear it curly or straight.

Cast your vote on which one you think I should do and bangs or no bangs!

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Which hairstyle is your favorite?  And which do you think would look best on me?

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