15 August 2014

the time i shaved my head

things i can't understand #mikebrown

As I write this, there is a "Peaceful Protester" standing less than one minute down the street asking for Justice for Mike Brown.
These are photos from a city not 15 minutes away from my house right now....

First of all, let me say, I can't even begin to understand everything that is going on with the whole situation that is happening here in St. Louis.  I know that it's heartbreaking. I know that it makes me sad every second that I see something about it online or the television.  I was in complete shock when I saw with my own eyes, down the street, as I drove home from work today... heartbreaking my friends.
I hate that this has become a race thing... and it has. I have heard comments from people in public that make me want to throw up.  Apparently, they don't see my precious little brown baby at my side.  
I had someone really close to me say, "Well, if you saw those two men walking down the street, wouldn't you be scared?"
No, no I wouldn't.  I see people like that everyday walking into my school, kissing their kiddos goodbye as they leave the building for the day.  To me, that's a dad.  That's someones son.  That is a man who has a family and people love them.
I am soooooo color-blind.  I just don't see what some people see I guess.  
My good friend Katie wrote a post about white privilege, it's eye-opening; its amazing.  It has brought so many feelings to light for me.  (Please go read it)
Just like Katie mentions in her post, many questions were brought to our attention during the countless home-studies and social worker visits before and during our adoption process of Amelia.  These questions all circled around the one resounding theme "Are you prepared to raise a black child in your white home?"
Of course we can!!
We have hundreds of books on trans-racial adoption and children's books with titles like "The Skin I'm In."  I had done a ton of research and even took a class on caring for Amelia's hair type.  Most of her baby dolls and toys are light-skinned to match her.  We have plenty of close friends and a church family full of color surrounding Amelia. 
But being the peace-loving, hippy mind-set girl that I am I was never prepared for things like this.  Katie put it into perspective for me with this one post.  One day, someone will immediately judge my daughter just because of her skin color. One day, when she isn't walking through a store and holding hands with her white mother and her white father.
Again, I have no idea what really happened this past weekend in Ferguson.  No one REALLY knows quite yet.  I do know that violence is never the answer.  HATE is NEVER the answer.
My heart is sad.
Please keep the STL in your prayers friends.
Here's a little photo from a shoot Amelia was in this past month...

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate
only love can do that."


20 January 2014

My Friend Martin.

You know he is my favorite.  You know he is my hero.  I listen to his speeches in my spare time and revel in the fact that his heart for Jesus was so BIG.  Today I am leaving you with my favorite excerpt from my favorite speech:

"But that isn't what Jesus did; he did something altogether different. He said in substance, "Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you're going to be my disciple, you must be." But he reordered priorities. And he said, "Yes, don't give up this instinct. It's a good instinct if you use it right.  It's a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love.  I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do."
And he transformed the situation by giving a new definition of greatness. And you know how he said it? He said, "Now brethren, I can't give you greatness. And really, I can't make you first." This is what Jesus said to James and John. "You must earn it. True greatness comes not by favoritism, but by fitness. And the right hand and the left are not mine to give, they belong to those who are prepared." 
And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.
And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great,  because everybody can serve.  You don't have to have a college degree to serve.  You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace,  a soul generated by love.  And you can be that servant.
I know a man—and I just want to talk about him a minute, and maybe you will discover who I'm talking about as I go down the way because he was a great one. And he just went about serving. He was born in an obscure village, the child of a poor peasant woman. And then he grew up in still another obscure village, where he worked as a carpenter until he was thirty years old.  Then for three years, he just got on his feet, and he was an itinerant preacher. And he went about doing some things. He didn't have much. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family.  He never owned a house. He never went to college. He never visited a big city. He never went two hundred miles from where he was born. He did none of the usual things that the world would associate with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. They called him a rabble-rouser. They called him a troublemaker. They said he was an agitator.  He practiced civil disobedience; he broke injunctions. And so he was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. And the irony of it all is that his friends turned him over to them.  One of his closest friends denied him. Another of his friends turned him over to his enemies. And while he was dying, the people who killed him gambled for his clothing, the only possession that he had in the world. When he was dead he was buried in a borrowed tomb, through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today he stands as the most influential figure that ever entered human history. All of the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of man on this earth  as much as that one solitary life. His name may be a familiar one.  But today I can hear them talking about him. Every now and then somebody says, "He's King of Kings."  And again I can hear somebody saying, "He's Lord of Lords." Somewhere else I can hear somebody saying, "In Christ there is no East nor West." And then they go on and talk about, "In Him there's no North and South, but one great Fellowship of Love throughout the whole wide world." He didn't have anything.  He just went around serving and doing good.
This morning, you can be on his right hand and his left hand if you serve.  It's the only way in.
Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life's final common denominator—that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don't think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, "What is it that I would want said?" And I leave the word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long.  And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. 
I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. 
I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. 
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. 
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. 
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. 
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. 
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.  I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen) And that's all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he's traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.
Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world."

13 January 2014

DIY Fridays.

Hey guys!! I just wanted to let you all know that among other things, I do post some pretty sweet DIY projects over on Mini (my other blog) each Friday.  Last Friday, Amelia and I made these adorable paper straw necklaces.  Head on over to Mini to see the full tutorial!! 


12 January 2014

The Living Room

As you may or may not know, my little family moved into a new house this fall.  It has taken a LONG time to get things even starting to look the way we want it.  This house is amazing but it needed a lot of work (which honestly was a prerequisite for me.  I love a project).  So, at the very end of October we moved everything from our condo into the basement of this house We also set up a bed for Adam and I and Amelia's crib in the basement and we each had one box that we basically lived out of for about a month and a half while construction was going on our upstairs.  We redid the floors (twice!  They installed the wrong floor the first time around), reacousticed the ceilings, all new light fixtures, all new appliances, new vents, and had the entire inside painted white.
As soon as we got the upstairs back in working order, a sewer pipe in our front yard burst causing our basement to flood (with a ton of our stuff still down there).  So yeah, it's slowly but surely coming together.  Today I thought I would give you a peek into our living room before and after.

This the living room before.  It was beige and carpeted. The room is huge and the owner before  had it laid out kind of weird.  He had a living room space and then in the back of the room he had an antique hoosier cabinet used as a bar of sorts.  We knew we wanted to use that extra back space as a dining room. Here is it so far:

So as you can see we wanted to have our whole house flow with the Mid-Century Modern feel that we both love so much.  The paint, flooring, and positioning of furniture really opened up this space and brightened it as well.  I am still working on some art to hang on that back blank wall by the dining room table and some more art behind the television but other than that, this room is pretty close to being perfect in my eyes.  Here are some closer up images:

I still have so many projects planned for our home and I am so excited to be able to share it all with you through the process.
Any art ideas for my blank walls?  I would love to hear them!!

07 January 2014

Amelia's First Snowman

These photos are NOT from this insane "polar vortex."  It has been way too cold to take my baby outside to play in the snow this week.  BUT, seeing as snow is all around, it made me think back to a couple of weeks ago when it snowed here, and wasn't in the negative temperatures.  
I have never been a fan of the snow.  Even when we were little my sister was racing out the door to go sledding and I was asking my mom if I could stay inside and help make the hot chocolate.  It's just not my thing.  I think it's beautiful for about 30 minutes, and then Im over it…I can't help it.
Fortunately, my east-coast husband was more than up for taking Amelia outside for her first snow play experience.

I mean….how cute can one little snow bunny be?

They shoveled our porch together.

Threw snowballs at each other.

And built her very first snowman together.

It was so sweet and I am so happy to have been able to snap some photos of it!!
But seriously, enough already with the snow and cold…no bueno.


05 January 2014

Project Life 2014

I am so excited to be doing this project again and to be back on track with this project.  I do have to say that I haven't completed the last three months of 2013 yet (yikes).  Things got super crazy with the move and then our basement flooded and a lot of my PL stuff got damaged so Project Life has been on the back burner.  My game plan though is to do an October November and December highlights only.  It would be insanely hard for me to try and remember every detail from those approximately 10 weeks. This way I can do an October section with the highlights from that month and then the same with November and December.  That makes the whole thing more manageable for me which also makes it more probable for me to complete.  "Simplifying" my friends :)
Now, on to 2014…
My cover page is sooo not original. I saw Elise's cover page, fell madly in love with it and couldn't get it off of my mind so I used her triangle concept :)

I wanted to make sure everyone from my little family was included, our photo of our city, and then some of our favorite things.  It really turned out cute I think.  I also added a lot of 3D elements to this page to make it even more special.  The first page of any book is a big deal :)
On the opposite of this page I added black and white images that I created or found on Pinterest with my One Little Word.  Again, this is something that I always like to highlight in my Project Life Albums (see 2012, and 2013).

Then, on the page to the right of that I did a large photo of our family to document our little family of 3 in the beginning of 2014.  Also, I ended up adding this so that Week One of 2014 will start on a  full two-page spread :)

The first year that I did Project Life, I didn't really use a "core kit" or a specific type of Pocket Page to create my book.  Last year, I stayed with one type Pocket Page and also stuck with the theme of the Seafoam Core Kit.  This year I decided to "keep it simple" and go back to not using a certain theme.  I don't' want to feel limited to a color scheme.  I actually have three different core kits now that I will pick from and continue using random papers from around my studio space.  I do however, love sticking with one particular type of pocket page and will probably stick with the Design A pages for MOST of 2014.
I am happy to say that my week one spread is soooooo almost finished.  I just need to add a bit of journaling and photograph it :)

Would you like to know more about Project Life? You can read all about it here. You can also check out more of my Project Life pages right here!