Thursday, January 19, 2012

Never Stop Praying

 Photo Credit : Me

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why We Did A "First Look"

To keep sane during planning and preparation of the wedding day, I spent a lot of time in prayer and made it clear in my head what was most important for me for our wedding day: That I marry Chris. Period. This helped me ward of silly issues and it kept things in focus. If something popped up I could just go back to what really mattered- that at the end of that day, I am his wife.

Being around Chris helps keep me level headed. So, I knew on the wedding day with the chaos and stress that others may unintentionally heap on me (and it definitely happened) that seeing Chris before the wedding would calm me and bring back in to focus the purpose of the day. And it definitely was the best choice we made for the whole day (other than choosing Chris as the groom, of course).

With a first look, we had a moment alone before the crazy, busy day. Because we did this instead of waiting to see each other at the altar, we were able to wipe away each others tears of joy, giggle together, hug and whisper I love you's. Talk, pray over each other, and calm each other before everything went in to full swing.

And it didn't take away from the ceremony one bit. We both still teared up at the altar.

Photo: Hard - 2 - Hold Photography

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Photo: Holly, friend

We had a one sided argument yesterday. It was one sided because he was gracious, merciful, patient, and loving. I was disrespectful, unloving, and not the wife I want to be.

It was one sided because I became hot headed, gave way to the silly alternate reality in my head, and started spouting off accusations and "you should have" and "I always." As soon as much of it had escaped from my mouth, I immediately ached inside because I realized how sinful I was being. So what did I do?

I got madder. Of course. Blamed more. Brought up old stuff. What did my husband do?

Say he was sorry. Rubbed my shoulders. Told me he loved me.

He killed my pride with kindness. I broke down later, apologized, and repented for my sinful heart and disrespectful attitude.

My husband showed me a picture of how one can act like Jesus when faced with someone who is sinning against you. I hope he never has to show  me that again.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Husband makes Ukuleles

Yes, yes he does. And he loves it.

Not only does he build these, he also makes custom wooden guitar picks.

They are beautiful. When he decides if/where he will sell them, I will share that information.
Believe me, you will be interested in them.

DIY I Spy Game

At our wedding, we wanted to make sure everyone was entertained and that the guests were interacting with each other. So, in the wedding researcher, we came across the "I Spy" game and loved it.

First was getting disposable cameras. My dad was able to get a ton! These had paper covers, so I clipped those off and traced them onto brown paper bags. Then, I made little flags to remind guests to use flash and little felt bunting with jute to attach it to the camera. To personalize them a bit more, I used the design that we put on our invites, the program, and the napkins. I had it turned in to a stamp and just stamped the camera. I wish I had thought of doing this before I cut them out, because that would have made the process a bit easier.

If you decide to use the cameras with the sticky covers, there are a lot of templates on the web. Just remember that each camera is different and you may need to further customize the template. I preferred using the paper bag to paper because it shaped nicely to the disposable camera. I didn't have to work really hard to get the right folds this way.

The I Spy game was great because it had people of all ages at the wedding using the cameras, hunting for good shots, and talking with each other.

I believe people had fun with it, don't you?

A Glimpse

Catering: Brides Mom, Maid of Honor's Mom & Grandma, Friend of the Bride and Groom
Cake: Maid of Honor's Mom

Dog Toy Dilemma

Meet Lola.

Lola is an Australian Shepherd (and there are theories about what she may be mixed with, although our vet believes she is all Aussie).

Lola loves her toys. Chris and I got her when we were first engaged. My sister rescued her and already having a dog, couldn't take her. We fell in love instantly. If you are a pet owner, you know how easy it is to figure out their likes and dislikes. Lola tends to enjoy things that squeak. If it is a toy that has fuzz inside, her sole mission is to pull all of it out. 

As she has grown, the time in which it takes her to completely destroy her toys has become shorter and shorter. So, Chris and I thought that giving her more toys at one time would help all of them last a bit longer. If Lola has no toys, she tends to get bored and starts chewing up other things (magazines, decor...).

Pictured above is Lola with her Christmas presents. We had high hopes for that squeaky, rubber chicken because it had no fuzz inside and had thick rubber. It is now without feet, and a head. The sock monkey lasted a little longer than expected, but it is now turned inside out. the rings lasted less than a day (that was very unexpected)- Lola pulled off the fabric. The bone is still kicking, though. She only plays with that if another dog shows interest in it.

So, Chris and I are at a bit of a loss. Any suggestions for dog toys that will last? 

Excited About Engagement

When Chris and I got engaged - we were just excited. We weren't going to take engagement pictures until meeting with the lovely ladies from Hard - 2 - Hold Photography. We got a great deal from them and they have a truckload of talent to boot. If you are getting married, having a baby, or want some family photos  and live in East Texas, you should look them up. They took all of the photos at our wedding and these fun engagement pictures.

Save a Chair

Before I moved out of the dorms and into an apartment, I had a lot of planning to do. The apartment I was moving in to was already fully furnished, but after seeing pictures, the colors were very monochromatic. So, I wanted to find a chair. My criteria for said chair were: pretty color, patterned fabric, no arms.

After searching and searching, I couldn't find a pretty chair that was in my budget! So, I discussed this problem with Chris (my then boyfriend, now husband), and asked if he believed it wouold be possible to just redress an old chair. He said we could do it- easy.

This sent us to his parents barn (his mom is in the sale of antiques and enjoys finding old furniture and bringing it new life). There, we found a chair.

 Looking at its bare bones, this chair had a solid frame. That was all that was essential. So how did this turn in to a gem of a chair? If you have a chair similar to the one we found, you will want to add support in the back. We had scrap pieces of lumber, so we found one that was long enough and was a few inches across (we settled on a scrap piece of 2x4). If your chair has a good frame, this is what you will need:

Cotton Batting
Several yards of a fabric of your choice (measure, but I suggest always getting 1 extra yard)
Decorative Tacks
Wood Stain or Paint

This is how we did it:
1. Removing the seat of the chair was pretty easy. There were 3 screws from the bottom that held the seat at the corners. We removed these, then searched in our odds and ends parts for another matching screw so that we would have the necessary 4.

2. Next, we cleaned the chairs frame. It was riddled with spider webs, dust, and buildup one would find on anything that has been hanging out in a barn for a while.

3. Sanding the chair was fairly simple and only required a low grit sandpaper. I am always tempted to skip this step, but remember when ever you are working with wood that the sanding part is critical to ensuring your paint or stain sticks.

4. A dark wood stain was applied next to the base and legs of the chair and left to dry for the time required by our stain. While that did its thing, I moved on to the fun part...

5. If you are doing a project similar to this one, I recommend covering the seat of the chair before covering the back. It is much easier and you feel quite enamored with how wonderful your unholestry skills are. This gives you the needed confidence to complete the rest of the chair. First, pull off the old fabric on the seat. If you are lucky, it is like ours was and just held on with staples. So, I pulled those buddies out and went on a journey with the chair. There were 3 separate fabric covers on our seat - a vinyl, an ugly floral print, and a dingy solid color fabric. We pulled out all of those and the old, lumpy cotton batting that made the seat comfy.

6. Lay out your new, fluffy cotton on the seat. Measure the seat and give yourself atleast 2 inches all the way around to secure the fabric. Remember to measure twice and cut once. The easiest way for me to secure the sides of the fabric to the bottom of the seat were to center the fabric over the cotton batting on top of the seat form, pick a side, and staple it down. Then, I pulled the fabric taut and stapled the opposite side. Do the same with the rest of the sides of the chair, ensuring the fabric is taut and smooth.

7. The back of the chair was more difficult. Keeping the seat of the chair unattached, and of course after the stain has dried, Measure the fabric. I measured mine in a way that came from the back of the chair to the front to give me seams on each side of the chair.

8. After wrapping the back in cotton batting to make it comfortable, I draped the fabric over the chair from front to back. If this sounds confusing, let me try to explain this another way. If you want your chair to have the decorative tacks and seams symmetrical on both sides, your fabric will be cut in a rectangle. If you stand behind your chair with your fabric, you will lay it across with the shorter sides of the rectangle going across the front and back and the long sides of the fabric on the sides of the chair.

9. Begin by pulling the front flap of fabric around to the back on the bottom and secure the corners with regular tacks. Then secure the back flap. I folded the back of the fabric over to keep the frays from being exposed. Then, I used the decorative tacks across the back to secure the back, folded flap over the fabric from the front. Be sure to space them out.

10. The sides can be tricky. Just make sure you pull the fabric taut and fold both sides the same and it will turn out great. Folding the fabric over onto itself should also be done to hide the frays of the fabric.  Place your decorative tacks evenly down the side.

11. Finally, secure the seat onto the base of the chair.

Here is how ours turned out-

 It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot doing it. But it was very worth it. It was just what my first monochromatic apartment needed. When we did this chair, I did not have a sewing machine and was too lazy to hand stitch the sides. On the portions of the tutorial where I was to just fold over the fabric, you can actually do a quick hem across and that will make it easier to tack it down.