Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Love

Hoping that everyone has an unbelievably blessed Valentine's Day!
These were my wedding vows, based on 1 Corinthians 13. I hope to live up to them each day of my marriage, and be a woman who honors the Lord in all that she does...

                 "My promise is to let the Love that I have in
 my heart for you this day, grow increasingly more into God's precious
 standard of love. I promise to be patient with you and kind to you. I
 promise to not envy or compete with you or puff myself up in pride over the
 love we share. I promise to not be rude or self-seeking or easily
 angered--*making our home together a safe place for you from the demands of
 your day and the harshness of the world*. I promise to keep no record of
 wrongs, to accept apologies, whether given or not. I promise to be happier
 with a difficult truth, and rejoice in it, than an easy lie that is
 flattering. My love will always protect you, always trust you, always
 believe in you and hope for the best. My love for you will last beyond us.
 It will never give out and it will never fail you."

Aaron's were the same, except he said *"making our home together a safe place where you feel protected, desired and cared for."

Marriage is a blessing that we, having waited ten years to be together, hope to not take for granted. I am giving Aaron a copy of these vows, framed, for our very first Valentine's Day together. It will be proudly displayed in our house as a reminder of what God's Word says about love. He is the AUTHOR of love and the best lover of all time, in that He gave us the ultimate gift, Jesus Christ.

"Snack"- It's What's for Dinner

There are many nights where cooking escapes me, for whatever reason- big lunch, working on other projects, not wanting to heat the house up.... Having a laid back husband, in that case, works out swimmingly. We have developed, early in our dating life, a meal we call "snack" for dinner. It was born out of the days when he used to come and visit me, on his leave from Afghanistan,  arriving at different times of day that weren't necessarily meal times, and he needed 'a little something' to get him to the next meal. I always have certain things on hand- fresh fruits and veggies, but I also have crackers and a hearty dip, be it hummus, or home-made bean dip.
This last addition to the "snack" repetoire included greek yogurt dip, turkey slices, Mary's Gone Gluten free crackers, carrots, celery, red pepper,pears, apples, oranges and cucumbers. It's mostly organic (except things that get pealed anyway) but storebought. I CAN'T WAIT until we have snack this summer, and it is from our very own garden... baby steps.
I think the secret to the success of this meal is abundance and visual presentation. there is absolutely no guilt eating any of this. And cutting up one of each thing, makes it very affordable. I always arrange it on a pretty platter, like the feast that it is. They say you eat with your eyes first, so I like to be conscious of the colors. This could work with a great cold quinoa salad, or bean dip, or anything you have on hand that can be served cold or at room temp. Next time you feel like you only have time to chop- make "snack" for dinner. It's a satisfying way to end the day! (Just make sure you don't wreck it with a huge ice cream sunday later!) But if you do... hey, you've saved the calories where you could! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Schedule, New Year, New Life

So.. it didn't take long for me to figure out that I am not disciplined enough to be productive in my new 'stay at home life' unless I have a plan.
Last week, I downloaded a couple of things that have helped me tremendously. One was a meal planning form. The other was a month at a glance calendar, that was accompanied by a daily schedule.
I sat down and was honest about what needed to be done around this house.
Now, you should know that I am NOT one of those women who LOVES to clean her house, and gets a perverse satisfaction from everything being perfect and in its place. I'm an artist. And though I can't work in the chaos that I have seen tolerated in the spaces of other artists, I am not OCD about mess. I have my breaking points, though. It will usually take a few days of looking at a mess, before I break down and DO something about it. But I decided that it is less stressful to live everyday ready for someone to drop in (instead of praying that they don't go to the bathroom) and to be hospitable, than to wait until someone is coming to visit and stress out, becoming a whirling dervish of clean and order. No thanks.
So this phase of life is about working smarter, not harder.
Plus I have a fledgling business I'll be getting off the ground shortly, and the shop I already have on etsy needs stocking, so I've been hard at work creating. I apparently need to be able to "see" that I have time to fit in everything that I need to do, and that it all works-- stuff for mind, body and soul.
Here's the basic breakdown:
6:15 is gym time with the hubby. Yuck. I will never like this, but have determined it needs to be first to get it over with.
7:30-9:00 I fix Aaron's lunch (yes, I do:)) and get any prep for dinner done. This will only help me later, when it is time call it quits in the studio for the day.
9:00-9:30 is time with the Lord. Bible reading. Worship music. Prayer.
9:30-12:00 House Stuff!! On Mondays I do our bedroom and the laundry. Tues- I do the downstairs floors. Vaccuuming, sweeping or whatever with any of the guest rooms that need anything. Wed is deep kitchen cleaning day- floors mopped and deeper cleaning than nightly straighten up. Thurs. I am off, since it is Bible Study morning with the ladies of Hope. Friday is the WORST. Bathroom cleaning day. Boo. But it helps to go into the weekend with it all done, and I think it will add to my overall peace.
12-1pm is lunch and What Not to Wear (my indulgence)
1-5pm is studio time. Sometimes I forsake other things I may need to do (like if the laundry is all caught up) and work all day. Or go shopping for supplies.
5pm is time to start dinner. Even though Aaron doesn't get home till 6:30, it helps to change gears and get ready.
Friday is date night, so I don't work in the studio much, in the afternoon. I do grocery shop then. It is nice at the grocery store around 2pm.
I find that having the schedule, even if I don't follow it to the letter, helps me so much. It lets me not feel overwhelmed or like I have to "clean the house" all the time. By doing it in bite sized pieces, it keeps everything moving.
I love things that make life easier. And I have to say- I think I'm feeling more from the bathroom cleaning than from this morning's work out. I am going to mess around in the studio and get ready for my date!

New designs!!!

New designs!!!
click to go to my Etsy shop!