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Friday, January 20, 2017

Plum Paper Review (and coupon)

Basically all I wanted for Christmas was a Plum Planner. In an attempt to get organized, that was at the top of my list, with accessories and different colored pens to embellish the planner with coming in a close second.

And here it is!

I loved using the website to customize just what I needed. Prepare to spend some time trying to choose- especially on the covers. There are so many pretty options. I think in the end, I had "built" 3 different planners.
I ended up ordering a 7x9 12 Month Planner with the Horizontal: Notes & Days format. I added dispersed notes pages, anotber section of notes, and the meal planning section.

I am an avid note taker and part of what I wanted this planner to serve as, was a sermon note journal. So now I have the availability of writing down my sermon notes in my Planner and being able to access them at any time during the week... Because ideally, this planner is never leaving my side.

And so far, it is going well. We are a few weeks in to the new year, and I am loving embellishing, coloring, doodling and note-taking!

The only negative (and it's only a negative because this thing is honkin'!) is that it's a beast. It's over an inch thick and it's heavy. I almost would've liked a disclaimer that it was going to be a big as it ended up being... but that just means that I have extra space for note taking and such. I like to take notes (can you tell?).

Anyways, I am super excited to use all of the sections and be organized and make plans for next year's planner, because I am sure I will be ordering another!

Oh, and their customer service is great!
The kind folks over at Plum Paper gave me a coupon code to pass on to my readers. Just enter the code WHISPER10 to receive 10% off your order through March 31st.

Happy planning friends! 😎






Are you in?


I'm trying to be better at listening to God and being aware of signs. I think I am in the midst of one right now, and there are a few areas where it could be playing out.

I am struggling with our LifeGroup. As leaders, I feel like we are fully vested in this opportunity and that we were called to be leaders for our small group. We are new at this, but we are trying. The problem is that I feel like our Groupies are trying less. And part of me is fine with that. They are just part of the group, so they are allowed to come and go as they see fit. I want them to feel welcome and like they are a part of something, and if they aren't, I can accept that and hopefully point them in the direction of a group that can. I just need to know where their head is and what direction they want to go. And currently, communication is not a strong suit... Just last week, I sent out a jovial email prepping everyone for that Sunday's meeting. It was to be thr first of the semester and we still had a few things to work out - namely where we would be meeting. Well, we didn't hear from a single couple until the day before, and that was to say that they couldn't make it.
I was so discouraged... And I still am.

So yesterday as we were driving to work, I came to the conclusion that I just need to know if they are in or out of wanting to be a part of our LifeGroup. And I started thinking of the Coheed and Cambria song "Favor House Atlantic" which has that exact line in the song. That was basically my theme song for yesterday.

And then, on the way home, we saw a new billboard. And I kid you not, the only thing on it is "Are You In?"


At that point, I was starting to listen. Apparently, you have to tell me a few times before I really hone in. 

Is the question for me? Am I in? Or is it something I need to ask others? Are they in?
Gary did do the obvious and did ask me if I was in. And I am. As I told him, as leaders, I feel compelled to be here and available for anyone who needs a person. I want us to be that person for someone. And I think we can be.

Anyways, this morning I was watching coverage of Trump's Inauguration, and the anchors were talking to a Trump rep (I think- I wasn't paying super close attention to who he was, or what he was talking about) and it showed his office. In the background on a credenza, there were two piles of paper. One was labeled "In" and one was labeled "Out".
I kinda froze. There was yet another reminder of this question. That's 3 times in just over 24 hours.

What does it mean?
I'm listening.
Help me hear and follow your path.

Monday, January 2, 2017

So good to see you!

I posted on my facebook page that the New Year holds a certain magic to it. You can feel it in the air. Eventhough it is essentially just the next day after the last, it is also most certainly a new beginning. There is hope and promise and magic in that. I love all that it stands for, and for that I must say that 2017, it is SO good to see you!

I wrote down 3 resolutions in my quick memo...
- Exercise more
- Be more giving
- Practice my craft
There are others, don't get me wrong. But these are the ones transcribed and thus made real by further blogging about them.
And each deserves further explanation or involved telling I'm sure, but for today, just the transcribe is enough.

-----

I think I killed one of my orange pots yesterday. The big one. The Brunswick Stew one. The boil-all-of-the-bottles one.
I was making some collard greens, to go with the New Year's meal, and I was trying a new recipe (because I failed to write down the reallt good one years ago - must stop not doing that) and about 1.5 hours in, it became painfully apparent that the recipe did not allow for enough liquid. The greens were burning. Bummer.
I tried to not take tha as an omen for the year to come. And instead, we forged forward. We paired the slightly burnt and overly salted greens with some better-than-usual black eyed peas, pork steaks, and dryer-than-normal cornbread. Not sure what was up with that meal. It started so good and I had such high hopes. Maybe I'll try to recreate it again soonish.



It did happen though. Efforts were made and the best of intentions were had.
And for that, the New Year is off to a good start!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Favs from Nola

I was looking through some old photo albums today and ran across my album from our trip to New Orleans from 2011.
Man have we changed. Ha!
I went back and read my blog from the trip (I was in the middle of my 365 project), and it's amazing what you remember vs. what you record.
I recall New Orleans being quite "seedy", but there is a whole bunch of beauty to the place.

Anyways, here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.
So much to see. So much history.



Metairie Cemetery

The "Fallen Angel" statue lives here.

::Fallen Angel::





Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Rant and Randomness

I have become quite deliberate in my old older age.
I am very conscious about what I put out in to the world and what I expect from the world in return.
I respect the rules of karma and divine paths and faith, and count on them to see me through my days.

I have issues with evil, bad guys and hurting for intent. I also recognize, however, that they are a part of the world, and therefore are a part of the plan. And there is a plan. And that plan is from God. And eventhough they seem awful, there are a series of checks and balances, ebbs and flow, that make the world what it is.

It is hard to fathom the plan in the midst of heartache or anxiety or worry, because accepting that the heartache, the anxiety, the worry is justified... is rather troublesome.

That's why I try my best to not put those things in to the world, and to not surround myself with those things. Which again, can be hard.

Today has been funky.
I am in a fight with my hubby right now.
It's revolves around his Christmas gift to me. And not necessarily the gift itself, but the fact that he thinks he heard one thing when I didn't say it.

He got me new Pioneer Woman pots and pans for Christmas. It's a large set that includes a jumbo cooker with a lid, an iron skillet, and 4 or 5 other pieces. And while the set looks really nice, and it's a pretty blue, we don't need new pots and pans. And I have an issue accumulating things just because. Like I said, I've become quite deliberate. He thinks I asked for new pots and pans at some point, which I didn't. Our pots and pans are fine. We need a new jumbo cooker, which I had mentioned, and I believe he mis-took that mention as pots and pans (plural). Which is completely unfounded...
So that lead to our fight.
I feel like I have to ask him to listen to me so that I can grab his attention for a moment.
Otherwise, he hears parts of sentences... and parts of sentences incorrectly.

And what makes it even worse is that we are both too stubborn to back down. He is adamant that I said we need new pots and pans, where I am adamant that I wouldn't have said it... because we don't need new pots and pans. Why would I say we need new, if we don't?
And he said that when he got me the gift, he wasn't even that happy with it.
And he said that it was really more of a gift for him, since he is the one who is doing the most cooking right now.

At any rate, we talked/fought the whole way to work this morning and then we left it up in the air like that. Usually we will talk or text or send each other link on Facebook Messenger...
But today has been quiet.
Which makes me think that he is mad too.

-----

I am in desperate need of some quality time with him, without any distraction. With a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old, that is hard to do. Most days, I spend my evenings nursing Courter, putting Penny to bed, and falling asleep early. We both work full time and leave the house before the sun comes up. Our days are long and hectic, and I have very little "me" time, let alone time with my husband. Maybe the new year will bring a moment to slow down and catch our breaths and focus on each other.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas Adam

Tonight I asked G if it would be weird/okay if we didn't get to see Santa this year. He reassured me that we did not need to and that it wouldn't hurt anyone if we didn't. I felt a sort of immediate relief at that. I find myself needing the picture of the two kids sitting on Santa's lap to share with the world. But then I'm like... "for what?". And I'm not sure if it's slightly bah-humbug-ish, or if I'm struggling/coming to terms with the consumerism of Christmas, or if I need to take a break from social media so that I can stop comparing myself and my family to others...

But anywho, back to today and back to Santa. For the record, we tried. We had plans to go to a Christmas-lit hayride tonight, and Santa was to be there, so we were all set! But then the plans changed for the other half of our party and we are post-poning it a week. That meant no pre-Christmas Santa. So today, after being cooped up at home with a toddler ailed with strep and a hubby trying to work, I decided that we would pick up the baby from daycare, venture to the mall, pop in for a quick minute to see Santa, then be on our way to get the rest of the things done (because if you know me, you know that there are always things to be done). Well that plan went about as well as the rest of my day. Read not.

The mall was packed! The line to see Santa was super long! The only store we needed to go into for kid pajamas (thanks to a gift card) was also packed and lacked the cuteness that I was hoping for. No go. So with babies in hand (albeit slightly tired and hungry), we made our way back to the car, through the sea of people, up the escalator with a stroller, and out the closest door we could find.

Total bust.
No Santa. No PJs.

We opted for the Arby's for dinner. It has an extra large dining area and is never busy, so we don't feel weird about Penny running amuck. Which she enjoys doing btw. Then we hightailed it to the Hobby store, picked up one gift, then made it home.

And now everyone else is sleeping.
I can sit. The only sound is the breathing of the souls in this place, and the slight whoosh of the ceiling fan above me.

I feel like I need to pray and re-center. I heard once that when things seem to be going wrong, find God. Make Him the center and ask Him to direct. Today was definitely one of those days where things were going wrong. But it's okay. It's just a day. Time moves on.

Image: @andrearhowey (Instagram)

I saw this verse (different translation) on the back of a pick-up a few weeks ago and it has kinda stuck with me. I am all about believing that God has a path and that every moment is part of that path, but I need to be better about trusting and seeking His will.

Maybe a resolution for 2017?

At any rate, tonight is Christmas Adam. Adam was before Eve. 😜 I saw someone mention that on social media and hearted it. That's a good way to end today. Tonight we shall dream, and tomorrow shall be welcomed in all of it's glory. 

Merry Christmas Adam!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Dreams

Something that I tell people about myself is that I go to sleep to dream. I love them and have always been fascinated by the mind's ability to create these fantastical stories. Sometimes I will go through spurts where I will have very vivid dreams nights in a row and other times, there will be a dry spell.

You have to wonder at their purpose.
My mom gave me a really good dream-symbol book (Mary Summer Rain's Guide to Dream Symbols) years ago that has shed some insight, but still you wonder. I love being able to recall them and find wonder in how quickly they will dissappear. I can remember sitting in bed after waking from a dream and literally feeling the dream leave my mind... my mind trying desperately to cling to any detail or trace of memory that would give me some respite. But sometimes they just go and are gone forever.

But sometimes they stay.
And if I'm smart, I'll take note.
Because I love them.

Some reoccurring dreams from my past:
- Being followed by the witch-lady from the Sword and the Stone (animated) down a cobblestone street with thatch-roofed houses.
- Teeth falling out.
- Driving off of a cliff (before we traveled to Slovenia) and falling toward a field of green grass.
- A night circus-like party out in the country where everyone parked among the field and the building was falling apart and made of tin roofing pieces, old screens, and vintage signs.
- Parking decks that would change shape and levels.
- Mountain-top lodges at the top of a mountain that seemed hard to summit.
- Kissing someone backwards while traveling up an escalator in the middle of a mall with great natural light.
- Airplane travel and airports I've never been to.
- An old friend who was as illusive in person as in my dreams.

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You were wearing red Chucks and before I woke up, you said "any other questions before signing off?" It was like an instant message that popped up in front of my dream.

It made me wonder if you do own a pair of red Chucks. And when it comes to unanswered questions, yes I do.