etsy swap | link-up

where has the month gone?!
it’s already etsy swap reveal day – and what a glorious day that is!
every round megan and i are floored by the beautiful gifts that get mailed to and from strangers across the states AND globe just because.
i mean, who doesn’t like getting gifts just because?

i sent out a package to jenny | coffee and honeycomb | that i completely spaced to take pictures of. this actually seems to be a theme with me and sending out boxes – i never photograph what i send. so i guess you’ll have to head on over to her blog to see all the goodies she received!
shout out to the shops i purchased from for jenny’s package: zen threads // degno di nota // tokyo factory. all lovely shops with beautiful products – make sure you go take a look!

the beautiful woman who received my name was jordan | she who fears | and i was so. pumped. when i laid my eyes on the beauty that she sent. she sent a hand-made (YES SHE MADE THAT!) scripture wood art with some delicious teas. i can not begin to describe how my rustic and earthy heart skipped a beat. i am so incredibly excited to hang the art on a new gallery wall i’m working on – and i only have two bags of the tea left. jordan knocked the ball out of the park with this swap! (she does have an etsy shop, but is not currently taking orders…but maybe if you beg? i would beg for another one of these!)

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megan & i are so humbled, thrilled, and thankful that so many of you participated! 
and lets not talk about how incredibly excited we are to see what all y’all received! 
make sure you link up to your reveal post so we can browse through and see all of the goodies!
<3 y’all! 

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the circle | coffee date

i’m co-hosting the circle with the lovely kiki over at | in its time |  this month.
to say i’m thrilled would be an understatement; because you see, kiki is pretty incredible .
she is beyond talented (photography, graphic design, compassionate heart) and has a true desire to dig into the lives of others. to me – the circle does that. it’s an opportunity to get to know each other on different levels and have fun while doing it.

this month we tossed around the idea of a coffee date because lets be honest who doesn’t love sitting down with a warm cup of joe and a close friend chatting about what makes your heart happy.

welcome to our coffee date, and please join in. 

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+ where are you seated +

at the wooden bar in the library of bake house. the chill is radiating through the windows a little bit – i pull my scarf a little higher.

+ what are you sipping/munching on? +

i’m nursing a delicious chai tea latte. i’m a little bit of a chai tea snob and if a coffee shop offers chai tea on their menu, i’ll judge them on how it tastes – yeah i’m a horrible person. i’m also eating a delicious chocolate crackle cookie – trust me, you haven’t tasted a chocolate cookie until you’ve had one of these.

 + what you want to get off your chest first (feel free to be as deep as you would like) +

whew. can i just say how thankful i am that it is finally wednesday? have you ever noticed how we long for friday to come and yet we whine and are blind sighted when we realize how quickly the year is going? i mean it is already the middle of january! (how did that happen!?!) i’ve also got to be honest and say that my 2013 goal list hasn’t been FULLY pushed into gear. & i’m ok with that, i think we get caught up in this “i have this list and all of this as to change starting january 1!!” personally i think we set ourselves up for failure with that mentality – change, real change, takes time and a constant effort.

also…i’m so glad you’re here – cheesy right? ūüėČ this blogging community, these friendships i’ve built and am developing – i’m in awe of. i never thought that hitting the word “publish” would connect me to so many incredible, unique, selfless individuals. <3 love y’all.

+ if you could choose anyone (besides us of course) who would you have coffee with? +

so many options, i mean really, i have to narrow it down?! i’m going to pick a few (hey i helped come up with the question, i can break the rules!) bryce avary of the rocket summer. my parents – which may sound weird, but since they passed when i was so young there are many questions that i have now that i’m an adult and actually WANT them as my friends.

+ what is inspiring you lately? +

1//2//3//4

everything.
good art, clean lines, white walls, gold accents, blank canvases – there is inspiration in everything.
i really believe that 2014 is going to be a year where i tap into some much needed art therapy. i’ve had someone recently reach out wanting to commission me for a painting (what?! seriously?!) and a few other situations where i’ve been humbled to have people regard what i “do” (pictures, painting, drawing, decorating, writing) as art. i’ve always been fortunate enough to be inspired easily.

+ what are your plans after coffee? +

let’s see – after our coffee i should probably get back to work, i’m sure after all this time i’m late (whoops!). When the work day winds down i’ll be heading to my garage for a good work out session, then cleaning the house, do a load of laundry, read some harry potter, and call it a day.

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we would love for you to join us this month and answer the questions in your own post and link up back here so we can all have one big coffee date!

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September 10…Life Changing Moment.

Q: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn…{i have 2}


It was really hot for the middle of July Рlike really hot.
Mom was at work, my brother and cousin Jade were at the neighborhood pool behind my house. I was sitting in the lazy boy recliner with the tv on eating a big ol’ bowl of ice cream…something I was not¬†supposed to be doing. I heart the front door open – crap mom is home early¬†– I stashed my bowl beside the recliner where it couldn’t be seen, I really didn’t want a lecture. I heard two sets of heels, my mom walked into the den followed by my aunt darlene. “Amy, where are Bo & Jade?” …uhhh down at the pool?¬†i answered. “Go get them please”. I thought i was in more trouble than just sneaking ice cream. what have I done now?¬†I thought as I walked down to the pool.
I got Bo & Jade to come back up to the house – they kept asking me what was happening…I didn’t know, I couldn’t answer. When we got back to the house, Aunt Darlene held jades hand and pulled her to the living room – mom took me and Bo back to her & my fathers room. At this point my parents had been separated for a small season – trying to work some things out together while needing some space to do it, it was a complicated situation. Mom sat down on her bed and put her head in her hands, she took a few deep breathes. I remember her sitting up straighter – looking back now I could only imagine her trying to gain some courage and strengthen her spine to deliver the news. We sat in front of her, Indian style, and just looked at each other. What was going on?¬†Mom took our hands in hers and said “You know I love you…you know Jesus loves you…and you know your daddy loved¬†you…” I was only 13 at the time but I was old enough to pick up on that one small letter…that ‘d’ that changed a word from present to past tense.
She said loved not love.
“Your daddy has gone to be with Jesus – he is in Jesus’ arms.” I remember Bo busted out in to tears; at 9 years old not fully understanding what that meant, but knowing enough to know that Jesus is in Heaven…and that is where Dad must be too now. I sat there for a minute just looking at my mom – stunned, not fully understanding…not really wanting¬†to understand. Does this mean I’m fatherless?¬†Where is my dad?¬†He just wanted to see me a few days ago…but I wanted to hang out with my girlfriends.
The tears came slowly.
I was 13 years old – less than a month from starting high school – and I was now without a father.
Mom had been sick for over 6 months now.
I hated cancer – leukemia.
The summer and fall had consisted of hospital visits, phone calls, and a brief season where she was home for two weeks. I was living with my aunt & uncle some days/weeks and others I was living at home – too anxiety ridden to be away from what was comfortable to me, what was my normal. My grandmother (mom’s mom) stayed with my mom every. single. day while she was in the hospital and my grandfather stayed with me most nights (some other family members/friends stayed other nights). Some nights I remember going to sleep to the sound of an empty house…hearing my own heart beat…wondering what was next.¬†The night before I was at youth group. We prayed for my mom. All of my friends and youth leaders surrounded me, laying their hands on me, prayed for me, my family, my mother. At one point my friend Niki said, “God, if Mrs. Donna is meant to be with you…then that’s ok, she can go be with you.” I remember being furious¬†with Niki, how could she say that…that was like wishing my mom to die. My friend Andrew prayed something similar…I was still angry.
That night I was laying in bed, my next door neighbor aunt Gayle was staying with me that night (my brother had been living with my aunt and uncle), and I prayed to God. I finally¬†understood what He had been pressing on my heart. You see, I was down to one parent – my mom – she was in the hospital for my 16th birthday, promising a “blowout 17th” for the next year. She still heckled me to clean my room…and do dishes, and learn how to cook something other than mac and cheese from a box. She still talked to me about Jesus and asked how school was going – how was I doing with my grades – all while she was confined to a hospital bed.
At this point mom had been in a coma in the ICU for about a month…I hadn’t seen her. I had the choice, but my family warned me that she didn’t look like herself. She had put on a lot of water weight (my mom was a petit 5’3 115lb woman), her eyes had gone from brown to blue, she had lost her hair a long time ago…my mother wasn’t herself. So I didn’t go, I didn’t want to see her like that at age 16.
As I was thinking about all of that, I whispered some words to Jesus.
Jesus…I’m ok if you take my mom.
I don’t want her to be in pain anymore, if she will be better with you in Heaven – then I’m ok with it, I won’t like it, I’ll miss her….I really¬†want her to stay with me and Bo…but I’ll be ok.
I fell asleep.
.
Hands were on my shoulders, my body was slowly being shaken awake, “Amy, wake up”.
My eyelids peeled open, my bedside table lamp was on.
My grandmother was sitting at my side. As my eyes adjusted I looked around my room – Aunt Darlene, Aunt Diane, Aunt Debbie, grandma…my Aunt Darlenes eyes gave it away; she had the same eyes when she walked in with my mother to tell me my father had passed away. My grandmother opened her mouth, “Amy, your mother went to be with Jesus, she is in Jesus’ arms…” I remember becoming fascinated with the popcorn ceiling in my room. “Mom, do you think she heard us?” …one of my aunts said. ¬†“I’m an orphan?”¬†I said out-loud. They all started crying – I started crying. Where is Bo? does he know yet?¬†They told me he was at my aunts house – still sleeping – it was 3am and they were trying to let him sleep some more but they wanted me to know, to wake up. I went out into the den where my grandfather was sobbing, my aunt gayle and uncle dave were crying, my moms boyfriend was there in pieces. I remember going back to my room, sitting on my bed, and being silent for a long time – thinking I’m only 16, what do I do now?¬†I remember 530am rolling around and my friend Ashlee calling to see if was running late or on time since I was her and kaylees ride to school. I told her I wasn’t going – she asked why – because my mom died. She started crying – asking if I wanted her to come over, no, not right now…but thank you. They came over later as did many other friends and family. I won’t go into detail today about when we told my brother later that morning – but that was almost as hard as hearing I was parentless.

Tragedy happens.
Joy happens.
You learn from both.
I’ve learned from both.
I miss my parents – every. single. day.
Some days are easier than others – some days harder than others.
I find solace in the fact that God knows more than I do.
His plans are greater than my own.
And glory was brought to Him through their passings…people heard the Gospel through their lives.
Jesus was preached.
I’m sure people were saved – or put on the road to salvation.
I’ve trusted in God through all of this – I will continue to trust in Him.


Joining jenni today for her blogtember challenge.


The Circle | July 2013 | Creativity

I’m linking up with Kiki & Bailey Jean for The Circle {july edition}.

To find out more about what the circle is; check out Kiki’s description.

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This months topic:

{image borrowed from Kiki}

Creativity is something i’m passionate about. 
I believe we all have it and yet only few really tap into it. 
Why is that? 
Why do we choose to live a limitless life within limits. 
Think about it.
You were created by God in His Image to do mighty things.
Yet we spend our {including myself} days pinning, blogging, watching tv, cleaning the house, daydreaming about the future and going to work. 
How often do we step outside of that?
When was the last time you were creative?
Lets break down creativity.
+ What does creativity mean to you? +
What doesn’t it mean to me?
Creativity comes in conversations with friends, long walks through empty or busy streets, reflective moments with my toes digging into sand/dirt/water/or carpet. Creativity comes in so many different forms; creativity truly has no limits. It means being yourself, in your truest form. Breaking down the walls that you’ve built to allow healing and freedom to enter. Creativity flows through your brokenness, through your joy, through your pain, and through your cherished moments. It is in essence a piece of yourself. It is beautiful, challenging, flawed, and close to perfection.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 

+ How do you stay creative? +
I find that the more i allow myself to reflect, the more creative i become. 
Through my own personal experience i am most creative when it is overcast outside, sitting in a good storm, with something warm to drink within reach. I’m most creative when i’m reflecting on past emotions or situations; when my heart strings have been plucked. 
I force myself to experience things.
Did you see that word; force.
I do. I stretch myself out of my comfort zone and have those tough conversations with people. I make myself participate in events even if i don’t want to. I find time to try something new. Now those things do not happen daily, or even weekly (ha monthly)…but i make it a point to try.

+ Who/What do you draw inspiration from? +

 

Everywhere. From reading books, quotes, or song lyrics. Listening to music and hearing something different; i’ve found that slow/acoustic/classic music helps to get my mind in the right place. Obviously pinterest offers a world of inspiration as well as curbly.com and etsy. I’m inspired by people. I love learning new things and hearing stories about what makes them tick. We are such an inspiring creation; the human race; we are different from everything else…”and it was good”  – God created us to be different, set apart, beautiful. I often fail to realize just how inspiring people are.

+ What is a creative part of you that you don’t share much on your blog? +

Hmm. Well i just recently started sharing my writing {short stories} on the blog…so that’s out i suppose.

This is hard since I believe i’m a pretty transparent individual. 

Did i mention this is hard?!

I paint – but not as often as i would like. 

I can’t sing, but i like to. 

I used to play drums (like 10 years ago), and am looking at taking lessons again.

I like playing with makeup.
I write poetry.
…so I honestly can’t think of something that i already haven’t shared at the moment.

. . .

You should link up with Kiki and Bailey Jean this month (and every month).

It definitely helps to have a writing prompt every now and then…and you get to meet new bloggers!

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The Awkward Years Link Up

Taking Steps Home


Oh Snap! 
It’s time for The Awkward Years Link-Up.
Katie & I had the brilliant idea {read: just chatting about our awkwardness} to embarrass the daylights out of ourselves while asking others to do the same.

Truth is…embarrassment can be fun! 
Not only do you get to re-live some of those horrifying exciting moments, you can as others to join in on the fun times! Woot Woot! So heres to mutual embarrassment & fun! 
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I’ve got to be truthful here – i’m consistently awkward.
From the time i was born, to the minute i woke up today.
I could post a picture of myself daily and point out something awkward about it, BUT 
I embrace it…and love my awkwardness.

My Awkward Years…


We all go through stages…you know sometimes just attempting to follow the ‘trend’. Can i just say what we’re all thinking? 99% of the time that trend will come back to haunt you.

Let’s take for instance my emo/punk/dark days. Yeah…i was pretty b’a. I actually have pictures of me in dog collars and chained pants (jnco’s anyone?!) but i couldn’t locate those on this hunt (i will find them!). So here is a picture of me…posing for myspace pictures. Yes you’re welcome.

This picture kills me every time!
Me & my friend Lauren right before the typical “throw the leaves” picture…mmm look at that outfit, plus a winnie the pooh and tigger t-shirt. Lauren looks cute, as always…oh my fashion sense. 
I’m not even going to justify this picture with a response.
Other than saying: my family loved to put me and my cousin in matching outfits (they still do), and i loved it, and still love it…they just didn’t always love me.
And my days of playing with make-up began….horribly.
Fun back story behind this picture. My mom took it after Ashlee & I watched Moulin Rouge…we thought we would have ‘sexy hair’ and so this is what we came up with…oh and those were our ‘sexy faces’….obviously you can tell why i’m still single bahahahah.
& Just two more for good measure. 
We had a guy who was a police officer at our church and he helped lead in youth group. Every time he came to one of our events we were like “CUFF US AND PUT US IN THE CAR!! TURN ON THE LIGHTS”…looking back now, poor dude having teenagers scream that…definitely not a-ok. whoops.
But it was always fun.
AND there were always other adults there…hense who took the pictures ha. 
So you’re welome…absolutely hilarious! 
At least i’ve lead an interesting life so far…

Make Sure you link-up if you posted some awkward years!! 
Can’t wait to read each post! 

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The Awkward Years…one-time linkup!

I am so incredibly pumped about this link up!!

Katie & I were randomly discussing how awkward we were right now back in the day and we both agreed that not only would be willing to show the world how awkward and terrifying we were; but we desperately wanted to see our blogger friends in the same light.

Taking Steps Home

Next week, Wednesday May 15th, Katie and I are going to show the world our freak awkward flag and most likely embarrass ourselves; but hey we all need to laugh at something right?

So go dig through your closets (or under your bed) and find those old photo albums and shoe boxes full of old notes (am i the only one who still has those?) and start scanning them! 

I can’t wait to see everyone’s awkward days!!

All you need to know:

When? May 15

Why? We know you had awkward years & WE WANT TO SEE IT! ūüôā pretty pu-lease

What? Post some old pictures, embarrassing notes, hilarious memories…do it all! We know you can!


Just to get things started…i thought i’d share this little gem.
& you can bet this isn’t the worst, oh far from the worst…May 15th is going to be a good day.

oh good night…that is…just…wow. i dont even know what to say.
You’re welcome.
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