Exciting Blessings

It’s been a hard but blessed year. It’s amazing to see how God leads us through the valleys. I hate having to go through the valleys,  the hard times, but they are necessary to get us from one good pasture to another. I’m so glad I have the Good Shepard to follow.

Blessing: moving back to Oregon

Valley: leaving a dream job

Blessing: seeing family everyday

Valley: the search for an apartment

Blessing: finding a job

Valley: the job was the most stressful and unhappy job I’ve had

Blessing: the amazing people I met and lessons I learned at that job

More blessings:

God’s timing is perfect! I interviewed for a nanny job last week and was offered the position with the same hours and pay that I am making now! I get to start caring for them in a couple of weeks!

More good news, we are buying a house! A tiny little place that needs a lot of love. I’m so excited to share the renovation with you after we close in a couple weeks!

Our Little House

Capture the Moment

I’ve been interested in photography for a long time and ever since high school I’ve been the one people hand the camera to at parties. I don’t have the best memory but I love life and photography offers the ability to capture the moments I won’t easily remember 10 years from now.

I ordered this book Capture the Moment by Sarah Wilkerson and it has re-inspired my love for photography. This hard back book is beautifully laid out and simply organized. Every page is graced with gorgeous pictures from female photographers from around the globe. At the end of each chapter are “Creativity Exercises” that call you to put into practice what you learned in the last chapter. The chapters are simple, more about the pictures than the words, which I like because most photographers are visual and don’t want to read long wordy how-to’s, we want to go out and do! This book is perfect.

Beginners and alike professionals will enjoy and benefit from this book!

I received a copy of Capture the Moment in exchange for this review from bloggingforbooks.com.

All ideas and opinions are my own.

Inside the Criminal Mind

Not everyone will enjoy this read but I found it fascinating. Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton E Samenow attempts to explain the thinking patterns of criminals and why they are that way and he does an excellent job.

My love for the TV show Criminal Minds prompted me to request this book from bloggingforbooks.com. Maybe I should have gone to school to to be a psychologist because I love learning about how people think and how that influences their life decisions. As I said before, not everyone will find this book enjoyable but anyone could pick it up and understand it. Inside the Criminal Mind is well organized, informative, and easy to read. While I would put the reading level at about 12 grade, it isn’t for the paranoid personality or the weekend fantasy reader. For those intrigued by how the mind works and have been curious of what makes criminals tick I highly recommend this book.

I was given this book by bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Learning to Sing

You are my hiding place. You protect me from my troubles and fill me with songs of salvation.” Psalm 32:7

I feel like I’m coming out of the valley of the shadow of death. That sounds dramatic, I know. It’s been a rough but very blessed year. Family deaths, illness, surgeries, and runaways. Learning to trust God all over again when He moves us across country again to live at our parents for three months. Learning to find contentment in Christ when He calls me away from my dream library job into another that always leaves me stressed. Learning that I have to stop focusing on the valley and start looking at my Shepard.

And as I start looking at my Shepard I see how these things have shaped me, grown me, and blessed me. I start to realize that His blessings are not always packaged in sunshine and glitter but that He always provides. How beautiful is the hand of the Lord.

My friends, God is good.

Monday Morning Mug

Welcome back to the week friends. I hope this Monday morning finds you well. There’s not really anything to update you all on, which is nice since the beginning of 2015 was crazy, stressful and sad. Life has settled into something of a normalcy again. Jeff is going to his classes and applying for summer internships and I am working full time. We are still looking for a place to live. We’ve applied a couple places and we are on the a few waiting lists but we’re still waiting…

Also- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY! I Love YOU!1604779_10201616397160632_1626578817_n

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Here are some fun finds from this week:

So I made this faux thin mint cookies this weekend and they are Ah-MAZ-ING! 

Okay, so I’ve been on a chocolate kick… I finally tried making brownie in a mug and it was also wonderful. The nice thing about this one is that you only make one serving – which is good because I LOVE brownies and would eat WAY too many with a normal batch.

I enjoyed this article. I wonder if I would be able to make it through a week of my hubby dressing me? I think so, he’s pretty observant and gives me good opinion, I just might need to go through my closet first…

Monday Morning Mug: Baby Themed

Good morning friends! I’m settling in to my new job and enjoying having a 9-to-5-with-weekends schedule. Even though I am struggling to force myself to work out after work (see my goals in my last post) everyone in the office eats pretty healthy which is helpful.

Here are some baby themed finds from this last week  (I have some killer baby fever and I miss my nanny-babies something terrible.)

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 Indiana looks to be first state with “Save Haven” boxes to save babies from abandonment. I’ve seen articles of similar boxes saving babies in Asia– it’s brilliant! 

In the last year a few of my dearest friends have suffered a miscarriage. I wish I had been there for them more. This blog post also delves into the issue of abortion and how it has hurt those mothers who want their babies but have miscarried. Please read. 

A Christian perspective on having children: Having Babies in Opposite World. Love this. 

Now, just to clarify, I am NOT pregnant. I want to be, I’m excited to be, but right now the timing isn’t quite right. We have been praying and waiting to know when the right time is. Until God tells us differently, or surprises us, our plan is to wait to have our first child after Jeff graduates from law school so that (hopefully) I can be a stay at home mom.

ca71d109cd4ad4960a484e25d91f684fHave a happy Monday y’all!

2015 goals

Most blogger write about their New Years resolutions or word of the year in the first week of January. Then there’s me… Un-motivated, stressed out, and indecisive.
I have made goals for this year and maybe it’s a good thing I’ve waited this long to share them with you – maybe it will inspire you to continue working on your own resolutions.
Here’s a page out of my journal:

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1.) Read 20 books. Last year I read 18! Right now I’m not reading anything… But I have lots of choices on the shelf!
2.) Lose 15-20 pounds. I really struggle with eating healthy and correct portions and I’ve been “retired” from competitive track for long enough that I’ve lost all disabling of regular exercise. I’ve been fighting this get-healthy battle for a few years. I wrote a heart-revealing post last year called My Unhealthy Idolization of a Necessity.
3.) Find a job I love. God has blessed me with a job! I’m not sure I love it as much as I loved being a nanny or working at the library, but this job is paving the way for us to have the jobs we desire- Jeff: a lawyer. Me: a stay at home mom.
4.) Spend time with God everyday. I’ll be honest, this wouldn’t be a goal of I was good at it. I need God’s grace everyday. This week I’ve rarely sat down with the Word or prayed beyond “lord help me through this day.”
5.)One photoshoot a month. Photography is a creative outlet for me and a fun way for me to serve and get to know others. I had a Photoshoot yesterday with a sweet little group.

What are some things you are working on this year?