Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Girl Loves to Paint...

...and look at design blogs!

I have always loved drawing & coloring, especially back in the day, and I have recently rekindled, I guess you could say, that love for creating. I am also really into design blogs lately. Since I gave up FB for Lent (which is one of the best things I've EVER given up, and will probably try to keep it that way), I have had a little more time on my hands, so I've discovered more blogs. Some friends of mine have recently started painting canvasses, and one even sells her work (and it's awesome!) Thus, my love for painting sparked again.

My small "J" canvas (this is right after painting the last layer, so some spots aren't dried and are darker than others):

This is the first canvas I have ever painted. Hard to believe I've never really sat down and painted on a canvas before, as much as I loved art when I was little. I even took a summer art class while in elementary school, but I'm fairly sure we never painted on canvas. I free-handed the "J", which quickly taught me that free-handing "ain't my thang." I'm too much of a perfectionist. I've discovered a cheapy, easy way to stencil letters, so I will do that for my next project.

Blogs I Have Recently Discovered (that have probably been around fo-eva, but oh well...) :

I'm lovin' these!

I was perusing around Wal-Mart the other day and on a whim, I began looking at the crafts. They had "roll-backed" the acrylic paint, so I thought, "Hey, why not give it a whirl?" Zach had just recently cleaned out the closet in his home office (bless his sweet heart!) and found a couple of canvasses. I had set them aside just in case I was ever in a project mood. Well, that following Sunday afternoon, I was.

On Saturday (the 19th), we went to Chattanooga and spent the entire day. We had such a wonderful time with Zach's mom, sister, brother-in-law, and sweet little nieces! We enjoyed dinner at Zach's mom's new house, and I enjoyed getting to spend time holding little Bailey. Marissa took a pic of me, Ella & Bailey, so hopefully I may post that soon!

Before dinner, we made a day out of shopping and enjoyed lunch at Chick-Fil-A, my Zach's favorite. :) I had actually had a good balance left on my LOFT gift card from Christmas, so I really wanted to use it. It was absolutely burning a hole in my pocket! I wanted a new dress for Easter so badly, but didn't really want to spend the money on something like that I really didn't need. I have plenty of dresses, for crying out loud! BUT, I did have that gift card (that was burning the hole in my pocket), and I began the hunt for "the" dress. I tried on about 5 or 6 different ones, some by grabbing two of each b/c I wasn't sure about the size. I found it! It's actually a fitted dress, which I usually don't go for b/c of my hips, but it worked well this time. Now, I just have to find the perfect shoes. Zach would say, "Just go shop in your closet," which I will probably end up doing, but it's more fun to shop in a store.

On a sidenote, I spent last weekend reorganizing my closet(s). Yes, we have three closets in our house, and I currently take up space in all 3. Wow. I have now moved my shoe shelves (all completely full) to the office closet, and just last night, I moved my bottoms/dresses to that closet, so our guest closet is now EMPTY! Well, the rods are now empty. The top shelves and the bottom floor are a different story! Ha!

...Back to Saturday, after the lady at LOFT rang up my dress, there would have still been an amount left on my card (and we don't want that, do we??), so I quickly grabbed up a necklace I had been eyeing for a long time. Yay!! We then headed to one of my favorite shopping centers there, with a Kirklands, Michaels & Home Goods. I stopped in all three stores. I CANNOT believe I made it out of Kirklands without buying anything. I'm trying to be better. I look around our house all the time and think, " Wow, we have too much 'stuff.'" "Stuff" being things without a purpose- just plain 'ole decor. And lots of it. So, I am trying to cut back. We'll see how long that lasts...

At Michaels, I decided to feed my new-found interest in painting, and bought just a few canvasses and a wooden frame to begin with. We got home rather late on Saturday night, so Sunday afternoon was my time to paint. Zach was entranced by the Duke game that was on, so I left the back door open (the doggies were having a field day playing out in the gorgeous weather) and set up shop on our table on the deck. It was SO WONDERFUL to just sit in the sun and paint. I am definitely going to do a lot more of this during this awesome weather. Painting is such a great release.

Following is a pic of my (unfinished) wooden frame that I painted. This is actually the second design I painted on this particular frame. I'm trying to try new designs and see what I can (and can't) do. This is without the clear gloss, but you get the idea.

Zach's dad took him out on Sunday night, to Outback of course, while I went to kid's choir rehearsal. I know, I gave up a trip to Outback to sing with kids, but they needed me. Miranda actually ended up not being there, so I would have had to be there anyways. We are preparing for our Spring program, so it's crunch-time.

Speaking of crunch-time, my first trio song is coming up this weekend. We've been rehearsing for a few weeks now, so I'm hoping we'll be ready to go that morning. Please say a little prayer for our small groups that will be singing in the coming weeks. We've put a lot of work into these songs, and I hope someone gets a blessing out of them- even if it's just us! I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend. The weekend should be great with warmer weather ahead! I'm so ready for Easter & the gorgeous spring time weather that comes with it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Cancer in High Heels"

First of all, BIG NEWS: My Aunt Renea has been told by her doctor that she is now CANCER-FREE!! She just recently had a bone marrow biopsy and is still waiting out the results on it, but he has told her she is officially in remission. Bless her heart and praise the Lord!!

On that same note, I came across this blog today. It was being followed by a friend, and now I'm following. It's a blog that's too good not to follow! The site is: She titled the blog "Cancer in High Heels"- love it! She has just recently finished her last round of chemo pills and is in remission. I have been looking through her posts today, in between doing work, and I'm hooked. She's such an inspiring and entertaining writer, and I am loving her pics...especially the one at the heading of her blog of her with Tim Tebow. As much as I've already read today, she seems to be a big Tebow fan. Who can blame the girl?? It's not every day you have an incredibly talented college athlete who credits all he has to God. Heck, it's not every day you find a good, Christian man period. I thank God every day for mine!!

I hope you have the time to check out her blog. If nothing else, you'll get laughs out of some of her pics. I hope everyone is having a great week, and if not- hang in there, it's almost over! :) This weekend is Zach's birthday weekend, so it's bound to be a good one! He'll be 27! Time flies when you're having fun, right?

Everything else is going well. Mom & I went out with two of her friends (from elementary/high school days), Kathy & T.C., to Chattanooga to eat at Bonefish Grill on Tuesday of this week. We left work a little early (yay!), all piled up in the car and headed there. Two orders of Bang Bang shrimp (for the four of us to share), bread w/ olive oil, a pomegranate martini, a plate full of fish and crab and mashed potatoes, an a la mode brownie (to share), and a cup of yummy coffee later, and we were stuffed! I told Mom I had not eaten that much, or laughed that hard in a long time. We had such a great time catching up with them and laughing. I love to listen to them share stories! Makes me look forward to the days of doing this with my girlfriends on throughout the years.

Choir is chugging right along. I usually get home around 9:00 or later on Wednesday nights, which is not my favorite, but we get a lot of rehearsing done, that's for sure! I am scheduled to sing in trios on April 3rd and April 17th...thank you, God, for not letting me be put down to sing on Dad's birthday (April 10th). I don't remember if I mentioned that in a previous post or not, but I just didn't really want to sing on that day. I do have a baby shower I am helping to host that day though, so it will be a happy day! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"The Lord of the Small"

As mentioned in my last post, I'm posting the lyrics to this song. The lyrics were beautifully written, but the piano that goes with it makes them even more beautiful. *Warning: Tissues may be needed!

The Lord of the Small

"Praise to the Lord of the small broken things,
Who sees the poor sparrow that cannot take wing.
Who loves the lame child and the wretch in the street,
Who comforts their sorrows and washes their feet.

Praise to the Lord of the faint and afraid
who girds them with courage and lends them His aid.
He pours out His spirit on vessels so weak,
that the timid can serve and the silent can speak.

Praise to the Lord of the frail and the ill
who heals their afflictions or carries them 'til,
they leave this tired frame and to paradise fly,
to never be sick and never to die.

Praise Him, O Praise Him, All ye who live,
who've been given so much and can so little give.
Our frail lisping praise, God will never despise.
He sees His dear children through mercy-filled eyes."

The third stanza gets to me. Every. Single. Time. Just can't get over it. It's the lyrics mixed with the soft piano music that's haunting. I've talked to two friends in choir, both who lost their mothers within the last year or so, and they feel the same way. We look at each other every time we rehearse this, and we all have tears streaming. I've already told them I will probably sit this one out. I may not even want to be in the congregation when this song is sung. I hate to miss choir, but it's not really something I want to subject myself to just yet.

On the same note, I have been asked by our choir director, Roger, to sing in a couple of small groups. Our church has just recently adopted brand-spanking-new hymnals, so he is wanting to use small groups to introduce some of the newer songs to the church. I didn't want to turn this down at all. I love singing! I am just hoping & praying that the schedule works out. He has our groups down to sing all throughout the next two months. I just don't want to be scheduled for Dad's birthday, April 10th. I'm sure it wouldn't really make a difference. I'm usually too nervous to think about anything else when I sing in a small group, but it's just the thought that intimidates me.

On a brighter note, however, youth choir is wonderful these days! The kids are just in really good moods lately, and their singing shows it! We're starting to rehearse songs for their Spring program, usually in May at the end of the school year. Miranda & I have so much fun with that group. It's helped me enjoy my Sundays so much lately, and I'm grateful to those sweet kids for that!

I hope everyone is having a great start to their week! We had a wonderful weekend. This Sunday was Jonathan's 22nd birthday (unbelievable!), so we headed to Birmingham on Saturday to celebrate. His favorite restaurant, just like mine, is Stix, so we over-filled ourselves there. I had some sushi, so I was a happy girl! We shopped a little, and even hit a store that Zach had discovered the last time we were there. It's called Encore Resale, a thrift store, and I loved it! I ended up finding a small table for a plant with nowhere to go that I had been looking for for a while. It was exactly what I wanted!

This Thursday is Mom's b-day, and we already have the night planned. We're headed to Gadsden as soon as we close at work, to shop and eat. Margaritas may also be somewhere in the mix! :)
Happy Birthday to Mom & Jonathan!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Let me start by apologizing to Zach, because I'm sure he'll be embarrassed when he reads this post. He's already harrassed me about this, so I guess this will just make it worse. I told him he won't be laughing and making fun when I'm toned up from doing these exercises. We'll see... :)

I have recently started going to Zumba "classes" at my mom's church. That sentence sounds very strange, I know. Let me explain...My mom's church, Second Baptist, has a big group of women who were interested in this, so they bought the DVD and are now getting together two nights a week to workout. I love it because it's such an informal group, there are no instructors, and we just follow along with the videos. This may also mean that we may be doing some of the moves totally wrong, but hey, if it works, it works!

The main reason I love it is that it's so much stinkin' fun!! There is just something about looking around the room during some of the dances, and seeing my sweet momma & her best friend Carol shaking their "groove thang!" Haha! We laugh every time we look at each other, which is great for us right now. There are a lot of different dances that we have been running through. I love most of the movements to them. Some might be considered a little risque (especially while doing them in the fellowship hall of a church- awkward!), but it really gives you an effective workout. I have been going for two weeks now, and I can already tell a difference. When I wake up the next morning, I can feel pain from muscles I didn't even realize I had.

It's quite humorous just to watch the DVD. There are a lot of different music styles that we dance to, mainly Latino music. It reminds me of Don Chico's, which is really what I need when I'm trying to exercise. There are so many cutesy little tiny things doing the movements with their toned abs out for the whole world to see, which gives us even more motivation to keep moving through the steps. Haha!

I'm hoping we can keep up our little routine of going every week, twice a week. I can see that my house is already showing signs of me not being there three nights every week- Tuesday & Thursday nights are Zumba, and Wednesday nights are choir rehearsal- but, I think it's a great thing for myself & Mom. We're making ourselves healthier & happier, and laughing & having a great time while doing it. What more could you ask for??
There will always be time to clean the house on the weekends. I do miss getting to see Zach more on those nights, but he knows this is good for me. He's been glued to the TV watching Duke basketball anyway, so it evens out. With March Madness coming up, I may never get to talk to him during the week. :)
Everything else is going well. Life is moving right along. It is very different without Dad here. He was always such a constant, quiet presence in our lives, and now he's not here. I miss him, but I know we wouldn't bring him back now if we could. I have found comfort in so many friends that have come to me lately and let me know they share in our grief, and many that know exactly what we're going through right now.

Speaking of shared grief, we have started practicing new songs in choir. There is a new one that Roger selected entitled Lord of the Small. Wow. This song has been somewhat of a challenge to get through for me and some others in choir who have lost someone so close to them. We cry every time we sing it, without fail. I will post the lyrics to the song later on, just because I don't really feel like reading them today. I promise I will share them soon.

So, to leave you on a happy note...I always laugh when I read my best friend Sheena's blog, mainly because of the funny pictures she likes to include in her posts. So, I'm following suit today, just because everyone needs a laugh. To keep with the "Zumba" theme of this post, here's a little jewel I found on Google image search. Enjoy!...and just so you know, this is NOT what we look like when we're "Zumba-ing." We don't get that into it. Guess we're just not good enough yet. :)

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