Friday, June 29, 2012

A Light in the Storm


I have been in the midst of a storm this past couple weeks. Something I will choose not to share at this time because life, too, must go on. In fact, it goes on with or without me. The past couple weeks, it essentially has moved forward, while I have stayed still. Not answering emails. Waiting way too long to return texts and voice mails. Indeed life moves forward full force, for, in the midst of this storm, I got a phone call from my mom –

She and my grandma had been in a car accident. Hit by a drunk driver as they were stopped at a red light.

Let me say first and foremost, that by the grace of God, they were not hurt. They were shaken, we were frazzled, the car is in much need of repair, but their lives, their health, and their bodies were spared. For that we are thankful and forever blessed.

I will preserve their privacy and spare most of the details. I will, however, share that getting that phone call in the midst of an already emotional week almost put me over the edge. I felt like all I had asked that week was “What if?” questions and along comes more.  I raced out the door, thankful at least that the accident was nearby so I could be there for support.

But I must have been there for more than support. God wanted me to learn something that night.

As I was standing on the side of the road, waiting for the police to take statements, talking with my mom and grandma, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see the face of one of my neighbors. A nice woman who I mostly saw outside our house. We often chatted in passing; playing with our kids or coming to and from our cars. Suddenly she was there on the side of the road. She had seen me, she said. And stopped.

“You were driving by and saw me?” I asked.

“No.” she said. “I saw you leave your house. You were driving so fast - you never drive like that. I just knew something was wrong… So I followed you.”

Here, I am still flustered and confused. “You saw me leave my house?”

“Yes,” she answered. “I was so worried that something was wrong with one of your boys. It’s just you and your boys, isn’t it? I followed you to see if you needed any help.”

I cannot tell you in that moment how surprised I was, yes, but also how amazed and blessed I felt. In an instant I was in tears for a completely different reason. This woman had seen me race out of my house and took a chance to follow me. To help. Who does that?

In that moment, God reminded me that there are still good people in this world. That yes, some people will hurt you. They will be broken and you can't fix them. They will lie. They will break your heart. They will make choices you have no control over... They will drink and drive.

But, God also put people in this world who are kind. Who are honest. Who know how to love. Who have servant's hearts. Who are a light to those around them.

That night my neighbor, my now forever friend, was a light. A light in my storm.

On a side note: I spent over an hour today answering all my emails. #itsthelittlethings


We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom 5:3-5)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Splish Splash Blog Bash: Summer Threads

Woo to the hoo! Day 4 of the Blog Bash! {Can you believe I have managed to blog EVERY DAY this week!?!} That never happens! Thank you SUMMERTIME and thank you to Kelsey, once again, for planning such a fun week of posts!! Make sure you come back tomorrow for the last day of the blog bash because that’s the BEST day!!! The group giveaway!!! {Yay!}

Today’s theme is SUMMER THREADS. Well, you all know you’ll find me wearing my pink rainbow flip flops {or any flip flops} most days in the summer along with shorts or sundresses. {Love!} Here are some other summer outfits I’ve been inspired by from Pinterest-land:


This outfit is so me! I would love to find a lacy tank top like that!! {If YOU know where to find it - PLEASE let me know!!}

I love the colors in this outfit, even though it’s waaay too hot for jeans here:


And I also love this outfit – especially with the fedora!


I have actually started shopping off of my Pinterest boards lately! {Say what?} For reals! Or at least I'm trying to find outfits close to it. I have shorts like these and now I even have a fedora! lol

I especially get inspired by this girl…

Hey, I’m a brunette – if I buy these clothes I’ll look JUST like her too. Right?… ;-)

But, you know, inspiration comes from all kinds of places. I was at the local water park a couple weeks ago and saw this girl wearing a white crochet bathing suit. It was SO cute I actually stopped and asked her where she bought it!! And guess what, yeah, I did the crazy thing and went right home and bought it for myself! {But, hey, I don’t expect to see her again, so the odds of us showing up at a pool party in the same suit is slim to none.}

And I’m not one for throwing around pictures of me in a bathing suit, but this suit I just reeaally love! 
JuneSummer 003 (2)
Bathing Suit: Diane’s Swimwear
Shorts: O’Neill

Check out that crochet detail!
JuneSummer 003

{Ahem} Note to self:  Dear self, please wear sunscreen, even under the crochet part that you think covers you, otherwise you will end up with a nice pattern of red spots on your tummy… xo

Today was the first time I wore this suit and I kind of feel like it’s more like a cute tank top than a bathing suit! It was also perfect to wear while hanging with the kids!

How about you? What’s your favorite summer outfit? Where do you get your style inspiration from?



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Splish Splash Blog Bash: Summer DIY

It's Day 3 of the Splish  Splash Blog Bash with Tattered and Inked!! Today's theme is a DIY or Recipe!! I chose a DIY project!

I have to be honest, since school/teaching just ended last week, I haven't had much time to work on projects. {Yet!} So, I thought I would share a project that I made last year, a couple months after I started blogging. I'm thinking most of you haven't seen these on my blog AND it's kind of BOTH a DIY and a recipe since you can't really make cake stands without a cake!  ;-)

Just in time for the 4th....

$4 Cake Stands and Star Cake

Seriously – these cost $4! I was planning a pool party for my boys, I needed cake stands and knew I wanted something I could also use for 4th of July, so I came up with this candlestick makeover cake stand:


Here is what you’ll need:
  • Candlesticks - Wood, glass or plaster work best.{Mine were a light wood/plaster}
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Spray paint in the color of your choice {I used Krylon Banner Red and Turquoise ~ I’m loving turquoise as a 4th of July color!}
  • Sealer/Poly to make the cake stand easier to wipe clean. Smile
  • PLATES {I found the plates first and then matched my paint color to them.} Target and Big Lots often have inexpensive plates. I bought my plates for $2.50 each @Target! {See pics of the plates at the bottom of this post.} Here's a pic of the supplies sans the paint and plates. {The spackle was to fill in the gaps from removing the design on the candlesticks; more on that later}:


1. I was so lucky to find these candlesticks at a garage sale! (All 4 for $5! Add that to the cost of the plates, makes each cake stand cost about $4!!) Woot woot!

{Shaped by Grace}

Notice the grape/leaf design thingy on them? Yeah, I didn’t like it either. {At least not for my cake stand! I DID kind of like them sitting by my fireplace though!} Anyways, I spent an HOUR chipping those grapes off with my hammer and chisel, then sanding them down. NO ME GUSTA. I hope you can find nice smooth candlesticks ready to use! If you do, I still recommend a little sanding to prep them, it makes the paint adhere easier.

2. Depending on the finish, spray 1-2 coats of primer. Since these were already white, I only did one coat of spray primer.

3. I sanded a little bit again just to smooth things out and then sprayed on the color! 

4. 2-3 coats of spray paint. {Again, depending on the finish and color of your candlesticks.} I sprayed 3 coats on mine, letting each coat dry before spraying on the next coat. 

5. After the last coat of color is dry, spray on or paint on a sealer. This gives it the glossy look and also will protect it from water. {Please only hand wipe clean. These are not recommended for submersion or the dishwasher.} ;o)

6. As soon as all the paint is completely dry, time to glue on the plates! Here are your options: Hot glue, Gorilla Glue, super glue or Tacky Glue. {I used Tacky Glue.} The glue really depends on the material of the candlesticks and plates you are using. The Gorilla Glue was too industrial for me (it foams up, so using the right amount is key). A hot glue gun is usually my weapon of choice, but it was NOT permanently adhering to those candlesticks!! So, Tacky Glue it was! And, it actually worked quite well – it was easy to use, extremely durable and dries clear! {Follow your glue directions – I set something heavy on the plate to clamp down and help the glue dry tight. Then, let it sit for 24 hrs.}

7. Once your plates are secure and dry they are ready to use and enjoy

Tie a pretty bow around the base and you're done!

Here is the final product! {I'm loving the current trend of turquoise instead of the usual dark blue!}


Don’t forget to put a cake on top. ;o)

{For the how-to on that festive star cake, click here!}

If you make these candlesticks, I’d LOVE to see your final product! Attach a link in your comment below!! Happy {early} 4th of July!!

See what the other fab ladies are making on their blogs today!


Linking up at tatertots and jello!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Splish Splash Blog Bash: Summer Reads

Before you read my list, let me just tell you: I'm an English teacher, and yes, I know I have a very eclectic selection of books! What other collection has vampires, bullying and heaven all in one list? :)

So here we go:


  The Hunger Games Trilogy – seriously, get on it! 

Heaven is for Real - by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
This book is about a 4 year old who goes to heaven while on the operating table and retells his story to his parents.

How We Love Our Kids - By Milan and Kay Yerkovich

Organization books and magazines {because 1. I need it and 2. It’s what my book club is reading.} :)

Some books I would like to read this summer are:

ABRAHAM LINCOLN - VAMPIRE HUNTER, by Seth Grahame-Smith – seriously! A friend let me borrow this and said it is better than it sounds. I’m hoping it’s one of those books that are surprisingly good!

This version:

 And not this one. ;-)


Out of My Mind - by Sharon M. Draper {A book about bullying. It's juvenile  fiction, but still looks good.}

The Marriage Bargain - by Jennifer Probst. This one is about a billionaire who arranges a one-year marriage contract with a book store owner who needs the money for her struggling business. {Hey, a girl can dream right?} lol

See? Eclectic!! BUT I am a firm believer in 2 things:

1. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU READ, as long as you are reading!!! And you owe it to your imagination:

And 2. Reading seriously improves your mind. So turn off that TV and read a book! Trust me -- and this poster:

Hee hee! So sad... you wouldn't want that to happen to YOUR books would you?

So, spill it! What are your favorite summer reads? I would love to add more books to my list!!! :D

Woo hoo for day 2 of the Summer Blog Bash! Click the links below to see what the other party gals are reading!



Monday, June 25, 2012

Splish Splash Blog Bash: Summer Faves

It’s no secret that I LOVE SUMMER! So, when Kelsey from Tattered and Ink said she was throwing a summer blog bash, I said, “Sign me up!” Woot! Woot!

Every day myself and other bloggers will be sharing something summer themed!! And FRIDAY we’re ending the party with a HUGE giveaway!! {I say “we’re” but really it’s Kelsey who organized ALL of this and the giveaway – that makes her pretty awesome in my book!!}

And that girl knows how to party -- doesn’t this all sound like a fun week? I’m so excited to see what everyone shares!

Today, we are starting with sharing our SUMMER FAVES! Here are mine!

Caramel Light Mocha Frappuccino
At only 140 calories, {with no whipped cream} that makes this one of my favorite summer drinks and treats! Oh, and no, my name’s not Joy. I never give my real name at Starbucks – find out why here. {wink}


Camping by the beach! We get to camp right on the sand, ride our bikes on the trails, enjoy the bonfires at night and do a whole lot of this:


Coral and turquoise! Clothing, decor, doesn't matter! Love, love, love!


 Ding Dong Ditching! It's our new summer tradition and we love it!


Smore’s Ice Cream! It’s a seasonal fun flavor and sooo good!

Soul Surfer, The Endless Summer I and II, and we’re hoping to see Brave!

I love ALL games! So it doesn’t really matter, but some of our favorites are Apples to Apples, ImaginIff, XBox’s Dance Dance and Minute to Win It!! 

and Schools Out for Summer by Alice Cooper {For obvious reasons} lol

Strawberries! Great with whipped cream, yogurt or in a smoothie!

 My pink Rainbows! 


How about you? What are some of your Summer Faves? 
Share your faves in the comments below or on my Facebook page

And remember to check out all the lovely ladies participating in the blog bash this week!! Tomorrow we'll be sharing our favorite SUMMER READS!


Inspired yet? Get even more inspiration and share YOUR ideas at my Summer Lovin' Link Party going on right now!  Happy Summer!!

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