Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shop Love: Marigolds - South Bend, IN

Back in April, I had the bright idea to hit up a few of my favorite shops in South Bend, take pictures, and then blog about them. Well, April turned to May, and now here we are towards the end of July. I recently found out that one of them is closing its doors. So, I thought I better get this post up here, so you can support this adorable store before its gone! I won't bore you with chatter. Take a look at this sweet little shop, and then read some good news at the end!

Okay, so the good news...you have until August 1st to pop into Marigolds and get some super cute merchandise at an amazing discount! Also, you can still shop Marigolds at the South Bend Farmer's Market and at upcoming shows! It's sad to see such an adorable shop close its doors, but I totally understand, and the freedom that comes with it, is amazing! I'm sure Mari will feel inspired in new ways and bring us some amazing new goodies to the farmer's market.

Follow Marigolds on FB for upcoming deals and merchandise. You can visit the store at 722 E. Jefferson Blvd, South Bend, IN.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

A Surprise Party for the Books

When it comes to blogging, my motto is, better late than never. I turned 30 the day of my husband's surgery, May 19th. He was feeling pretty bad about this ahead of time, so he planned me the best surprise party evah!!

It was the most swoon-worthy and beautiful party! The setting was at my lovely friend, Ann's, beautiful front yard out in the country. China and gold plated silverware. Perfect weather. The tastiest of food. And most importantly, my most dear friends.

I really had no clue! Marty totally pulled this one off! And, yes, surprise parties are slightly awkward, because I think everyone stared at me for 10 minutes.

I couldn't stop smiling!

There was even the most adorable kid's table with mac n' cheese for the picky eaters. Ehem...my children.

And there's the man who pulled this whole thing off! A night I will surely never forget.

Love all these fab people who made my night so very special! This was such a group effort, and I loved hearing who made/brought what.

I look at these ladies and realize how very blessed I am! They are all so unique and special to me. And to top it off, crazy creative to boot. Ann is my partner in crime for the Madison Road Market. Lindsay makes beautiful hand stamped jewelry and cuffs. Shalmai is a painter and photographer. And my dear sister in law, Annie, is the owner of Furore Photography and superb at making me beautiful nieces!

This made 30 not seem so bad! If 30 involves being surrounded by amazing friends and family, then I'm all in!

Like I said, I couldn't stop smiling! And, yes, I ate every dessert that was offered!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Straining with Eyes Wide Open

We've made it home, and apparently I'm capable of driving on large highways for multiple hours. I feel like that's going to bite me in the bum when we head to Florida in a few weeks. We came home and realized we were more exhausted than we thought. We've been laying around, folding laundry, unpacking bags here and there, and laying around some more.

Yesterday, I felt a blessing pour over me that God had preserved my emotions and strength while we were gone. Don't get me wrong, I was tired, but not the kind of tired I felt when we got home a couple days ago. The boys were good while we were gone, and yesterday, all kinds of crazy broke loose. I felt humbled by the fact that God knew exactly what I could handle while we were gone.

It's only been a couple days, and I'm trying to take in all that just took place. What a whirlwind!

I'm digging deep and searching my heart to find out what I can take away from this week. I want to learn from my life and the situations that God has placed me in. It's much easier to move on and not look back, but I'm straining to find the lesson in it all. Straining with eyes wide open.

While the week was primarily about the guys, it was about me too. And not only me, but my boy's lives, and the nurses that we came in contact with, and even working in the lives of those who read our story on FB.  God's waiting to teach us and mold us, we just have to be willing to stop and listen.

As I think back, two words come to my mind.



PEACE: As I think back to the morning of surgery, I felt so calm. Almost oddly calm. I don't think the slightest bit of me was worried. I felt that I may have looked slightly insensitive, while others were crying. And trust me, I am a crier. This is where I stood in my mind and heart: 

 This situation is of God, and whatever happens is of God, I will not be shaken. I had come to terms with the fact that if something went wrong, it was God's hand that allowed it, and it would be part of our story.

Blessed: Many times we think of blessings as material possessions, tangible goods, or people in our lives. But this weekend, I just felt blessed. In a way I maybe have never felt it before. People have commented that they pray that we will be blessed by this selfless act of love. And, I felt it. The whole week, I felt so in position with the will of God, that the blessings seemed to just pour over me. I can't even type this without tearing up, because it was so real, and I honestly can't exactly explain it. 

So where does this leave me? Honestly, still tired, but my cup is overflowing, right alongside my laundry basket. I feel challenged to live with eyes wide open in the big and in the mundane of life. There's a lesson to be learned at Mayo Clinic and at the grocery store. There are people that need to be touched in a hospital waiting room and at the park. I am praying for opportunity! I am inspired by my husband, and I long to be used in a way beyond my comfort zone. It's a scary prayer to pray, but I am confident that peace and blessings are right within my reach, as long as I am smack dab in the middle of His will, as scary as it may be.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

What to do when your husband starts giving away body parts.

Life this very moment, has just become a little unpredictable. And, I'm happy to say I welcome it! I have peace, almost to the point of feeling that I'm being insensitive or not truly grasping the magnitude of the situation. But I literally just opened up Jesus Calling and read, "I will guide you step by step as you bend your will to Mine. Thus you stay close to Me on the path of Peace." I have full confidence, that this peace is from God. So let me back this truck up, so you can jump on for the ride.

That's my husband right there. Well, duh, who else would I be smooching? I haven't talked a whole lot about him on here, but this post is inspired by him. A year or so ago, he found out that one of his best friends from high school was in need of a kidney. Without even a second thought, he raised his hand to be tested. I was a little hesitant. I hate to say, even deep down, probably wanting him to change his mind. I felt slightly offended that I wasn't considered too much in the decision. Looking back, boy am I glad that my selfish attitude didn't change the situation. Now you have to understand that my husband excels at most everything he does. So, naturally I think I knew he would be the match. Of course the Lord gave him the perfect kidney. The Lord gave me what experts would probably call perfect cellulite, because you know there probably is such a thing, and I'm probably the winner. But, he gave my husband the kidney to give to his friend. I felt like when he came back from his first big round of testing, it was no surprise that he was the match. 

We knew the day would come for the transplant to actually take place, but for some odd reason, I thought/hoped maybe it wouldn't. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't against it, maybe just a little fearful and trying to hold onto something that he doesn't actually need. Well the day has come, and this Monday, the transplant will take place. 

So, how did I get from a little fearful and selfish, to full of peace and joy over the situation? I feel like God has been growing me this year. Primarily through the Bible study that I was a part of. Looking back, I feel like God knew I was ready for this to happen now. And, I'm forever grateful to see that God cares about me, in spite of my failures. It's amazing to me that God is willing to make himself known and speak to us, even when we are still so far from perfect! I've seen how God ordained this situation and made my husband the one who can help his friend. I've seen God working through him and his friend. I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm not fearful, because I am confident that God knew my husband would be at Mayo Clinic on May 19, 2014, giving his kidney to his friend. I believe He knew this even before he was conceived. If this is God's will, I want to be in it no matter what trial it may involve. 

We have family and friends who have been a little fearful about the situation and concerned that some day he may need his other kidney. My husband's response is that we could play the "what if" game all day long. This is a divine appointment, right here, right now, and we don't want to miss it. I'm so grateful that my selfishness didn't make us miss it. I've learned a great lesson of submission and heeding to the fact that the Holy Spirit may be telling my husband something and that I will hear it eventually, once I come along for the ride. And, boy have I.

So how can you pray? We would love to feel your prayers on Monday!

  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors and that this would be a simple procedure and that all would go well.
  • Pray ultimately that TJ's body will accept the kidney, and that he can begin to feel so much better!
  • Pray for a quick recovery for Marty and that his mind wouldn't be filled with work related stress. I pray that this time for him would be relaxing and a blessing of rest, in his otherwise jam packed schedule. 
  • Pray for TJ and his wife as they will be at Mayo longer and away from their kids. Pray that loads of friends and family would offer them help during this time!
  • Most of all, pray that God's glory would be made known through TJ and Marty's testimony. We aren't to just move on and have this as a "remember when" story. This is now part of their story, which God has written. It's time to share!
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We are so excited to let God use us, even when it disturbs our normal routine.  

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

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Monday, April 14, 2014

A Day Well Spent - Ikea Style

This weekend was full of sunshine, 70 degree weather, and a trip to Ikea with our best friends. You really can't get much better than that. Oh wait, we also ran into Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and H&M. So, I guess it can get better. My husband would gladly add eating at Bass Pro Shop as his highlight, I am sure of it.

I am thankful for my love of vintage now, because I know that it saves me gobs of money when I walk into Ikea. It's really just a bit too modern for me, although I can totally appreciate it. We only spent $50, which has to be a record for us. Here's what I got.

These huge baskets were only $10 and perfect for corralling all the junk under the boy's beds. The new rule will be, what fits in the basket, can be under the bed. And then every so often, we'll have to go through the basket. Love my hoarder children!

No children were hurt or injured in the making of this photo.
Perfect size for capturing small children or even an 8 year old who is on the tall side!

I was in need of a little more green in my home, and at only $2.99, I couldn't resist.

Loved these turquoise towels, perfect pop of color in my kitchen. Loved this tray as well.

I think straws just make a mom more fun. So, I bought us a pack of colorful straws. Suddenly I'm super mom for $1.99.

I also snatched up one of these systems for a future project. 

The ride home involved laughing till you cried, hooting and hollering, jelly bean eating, and obnoxiously loud singing. That's my kind of day!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Banner Tutorial

I've decided that the only blessing in taking a dog out to go to the bathroom, is to find out what the weather is like. If it's raining or a blizzard, it's so not a blessing. But this morning, it was a sure fire blessing, when I realized the weather was all kinds of amazingness wrapped into an 8:30 potty break for a dog. It feels like we've finally made it to the other side of winter. That's something to be praised. We made it! We do every year, but this year was especially trying. I feel like we should get a reward of some kind, and I'm not talking about a fancy snow shovel for next year. Think dreamy exotic vacation. Anywho, I'm on a major tangent that must end promptly, so I can get on with my super easy tutorial for you all. 

How about a sunny banner to match this amazing weather today? Let's get started!

Gather up some random scrapbook paper, washi tape, and paper doilies. This is all stuff I had on hand, which made it super fun! Free is always best!

I traced inside the doily there, to get my scrapbook paper the right size. See my pencil lines in there? 

Washi tape from Target dollar bin. Major score! I also cut out polka dot and stripe paper for a little subtle diversity in my banner.

Add a little heart for a little extra kick. Grab some cute string from the same Target dollar bin.

And voila! You've got yourself a banner!

Hang it from your favorite spot and smile the day away!

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