Give me faith.

Most of you know that this season has been one of constant demands for me.  The last few days, I’ve honestly felt like I couldn’t didn’t want to keep carrying as much as I am, and to be honest, I’ve felt like letting “the ball drop” in some areas that in any other season, I would seriously cherish.  I’ve really got nothing to complain about, and even though the demands seem to never let up, I have enjoyed this time and all of the challenges that have come with it.  The last few weeks have held a lot of internal searching, and this last week, in particular, has held a few course changing decisions.  The enemy has been ramming CMB and I nonstop with doubt and fear, and I’m sorry to say that the last few days and hours, I’ve felt like I’ve given in to that attack.

But, no more giving in.  Here’s to standing against the fear and the doubt.

This song has been on repeat in my head for the last few days…

“I may be weak. Your Spirit’s strong in me. My flesh may fail. But, my God, You never will.

So thankful to serve a God who never fails.

Madlove.

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Project Two.

Hello friends!

I figured I’d share with you part of my next project.  CMB and I were so blessed to receive a free comfy couch from a wonderful friend of ours.  It fits into our living room quite nicely, but it was looking a little naked.  I shopped around for some durable and fun throw pillows, but I just couldn’t see spending $20 a pillow, which is surprisingly what most stores price their pillows at.  I found a few bargain pillows at some discount stores, but none of them really fit the color scheme that we were looking for and I didn’t want to spend any money on items that I didn’t absolutely love. (Remember, CMB and I are trying to work within a budget for our projects). Anyway, I was feeling crafty one afternoon, and decided to venture over to my favorite craft store to see what I could be inspired to do.  After a few minutes of walking around, I found myself looking at some pretty stinkin’ fun fabrics, thinking of my own fabulous pillows.  I spent almost an hour looking around at different fabrics, trying to find things that “went” together instead “matched.”   After finding two fabrics that I liked well enough to buy (and sending pictures to CMB from mid-aisle to make sure he approved as well) I ventured over to the “stuffing.”  I grabbed a huge bag of white stuffing and headed over to get my fabrics cut.  Keep in mind, I didn’t research a single thing before heading to the store, so this was a huge risk. I had no idea how much fabric I would need, nor did I know if one bag of stuffing would be enough.  I bought 1 yard of each fabric and just one bag of stuffing.  (My wonderful roommate happens to have a sewing machine with needles and thread that she said I could use). I ended up paying $23.21 for my fabrics and stuffing.

Once I got home, I decided to give the whole sewing thing a whirl. (I have basically no experience with sewing.  I always find the cutest projects and ideas, but could never carry them out because I didn’t know the first thing about sewing) Honestly, I was feeling a little intimidated by my grand idea, and I kept telling myself that I had probably just wasted $23 bucks. After a few minutes of fiddling with the sewing machine, my roommate and I deemed it the devil (she doesn’t have a lot of experience with “the beast” either) and I was ready to give up.  My roommate suggested that I try making the pillows by hand, and she even helped me get started.

So, for all of you lovely gals out there who are like me, and follow tons of crafty moms and superstars, but are afraid to give it a try yourself..know this: If I can do it. You can do it. I took tons of pictures of my first little journey with a needle and I’ll try to list out my steps as best as I can.

First, lay your fabric face down on a hard surface.

Use a ruler or a straight edge to measure out two identical squares (or whatever shape you want).  I chose to do two 16 inch squares.  I used a pencil to edge out my shape and it was perfect (no show through worries).

After you’ve drawn out your shapes, grab your scissors and start cutting.

After you’ve cut out your pieces of fabric, lay them on top of each other with the outsides (the pretty part) facing each other. The insides of the pillow should be facing the outside at this stage.

If you’re an amateur like myself, you’ll want to use some straight pins to line all the edges up so that you don’t wind up stitching all over the place.

Here’s a close up of the pins..

After you’ve lined up your pins, it’s time to start stitching.  Thread your needle (pull a piece of thread through the opening at the end of your needle and then knot it off at the end of your piece of thread) Start stitching about 2 inches from the edge of your fabric on each side.

(It might be hard to see the stitches in the picture because they are white, but I wanted to use a thread color that wouldn’t show through when I flipped the pillow inside out)

After you have stitched three sides, pull your straight pins out and flip the fabric right side out.  You should be left with the pretty side facing out and the two pieces of fabric should be sewn together on three sides.  Start stuffing your pillow, but make sure to leave room at the top so that you can sew up the last side.

Now that you’ve stuffed your pillow, fold down each edge of your remaining side.  Use straight pins to hold the folds. (This will help your last side blend in with the other three sides).

Now you’re ready to sew up the last side.  Stitch the two folded edges together just as you did to the other three sides. Remember to take your straight pins out a long the way so that you don’t get a mysterious poke when you lay on them! 🙂

When you have finished stitching the last side, cut off your excess thread and knot it off.  Then throw it on your couch or bed or wherever and enjoy! 🙂

Just a few side notes:

I left off a few things about stitching (such as exactly how to thread your needle, what to do if you run out of thread and need to rethread your needle and begin again, etc.) I would suggest looking up a tutorial on youtube or google, or even asking someone you know.

I haven’t finished all of the pillows yet, but I followed the same steps for each one.  For those of you on a budget, I paid $23.21 and had enough fabric for 4 pillows. That’s about $5.80 per pillow! Take that stinky stores!!

And you might be questioning why I chose that fabric pattern being that it doesn’t seem to really “go” with our couch.  I picked this fabric because it fits with the color scheme that we are planning on using in our living room, and that nice and comfy copper colored couch is going to be getting a lovely khaki or gray covering as soon as some more money finds its way into my bank account! 🙂

Here’s to feeling braver about conquering crafty fears. 😉

Madlove.

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Project One.

Hi friends!

I announced a while back that CMB and I are renting a house (techincally, he’s renting the house..I don’t move in until post vows) and we’ve been trying to decorate little by little.  CMB literally only had three pieces of furniture when he moved in, and we certainly don’t have the money to furnish the whole house at once, so we’ve been bargain shopping like you wouldn’t believe.

Anyway, I found this piece advertised as a dresser on craigslist about a month ago, and we decided to try and make it work as our foyer table. It was certainly an adventure trying to load this into CMB’s car (think telephone wire) and we basically laughed the entire 45 minutes it took us to get back to the house.

We let it sit in the foyer for about two weeks before deciding if it was indeed “our” piece, and it certainly passed the test.

We had so much fun sprucing this bad boy up (although, I would love nothing more than to never have to move him..ever again.) and we’re pretty excited at how he turned out.

Anyway, here is the before picture:

Think poop brown. seriously.

Getting ready for his big makeover.

CMB sanding. This was when we had no heat which is why he’s all bundled up. 🙂

Coat One. This was taken while I was still working on the drawers.  The sides still needed to be painted and they all needed another coat.

The finished product:

The legs still have to be painted as they are still poop brown, but as I said before, I would love nothing more than to never move this beast again, so I’m content with leaving his legs poopy for a few days. 🙂

Here are some detail pictures..

We found these knobs at two of our favorite stores, and we’re pretty pleased with how well they seem to work with our chosen color.

Anyway, there he is in all of his cuteness! We’re in the process of finishing off the foyer area and we’ve actually hung two canvas paintings and put a few decorative things on our table.

We’ve had so much fun with all of our DIY projects and I’ll be sure to share some of our other projects with you guys as we finish them!

Enjoy your Wednesday, friends. 🙂

Madlove.

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Attack.

Last week, I had an upper respiratory infection, and this week, feeling a little better, I hit the ground running. There was so much to do, and too much to be excited about.

Last Sunday, I went with a group of wonderful friends to see The Civil Wars. If you haven’t been listening to their music, you’re totally behind the times, and you’re missing out on some pretty phenomenal talent. It was beyond incredible. They were so fun to watch and we got to witness a pretty cool “moment” in their personal lives. It was amazing and definitely in my top 3 musical experiences.

Road trippin’ with some of my lovely friends wasn’t too shabby either. 🙂 Our four hour car ride was host to some pretty exciting beginnings and closure to some pretty heavy endings. It was exactly what I needed.

Anyway, we have a new project stirring up, and if I had any question that it was right thing to do, God certainly confirmed that it was indeed the right step as my week unfolded.

In a lot of ways, this week was crazy, and not so much in a good way. The devil has certainly been doing his job, and boy have I been feeling his attack.  It seems like night after night it was always somethin’. The cake topper came yesterday, though.

I was out doing my normal Friday stuff, and around 1:15 or so, I very suddenly felt extremely tired. I’m talking like hardly being able to keep my eyelids open. So, I stood up from where I was sitting and I started moving around. Shortly after, I felt the urge to yawn. And so, like any other normal human being, I yawned. Bad.Move. My jaw locked open. (some of you know that this happened almost two years ago while I was doing the very same thing) Anyway, I had to quickly gather up all of my stuff, and get out to my car so that I could head to the ER. I texted CMB as soon as I could sit down, and then I high-tailed it to the ER.  I pulled up to the ER and it was basically like a horror scene from a movie. As I walked it, tears streaming down my face, I motioned to the men behind the check-in desk that I couldn’t close my mouth. Man #1 calmly gave me a number and told me to have a seat, while saintlikeMan#2 gave me a pen and piece of paper and let me write down a message. At this point, my body was basically convulsing, and once I grabbed the pen, saintlikeMan#2 became very aware of this. He notsocalmly took my pulse, and then became alarmed with how high my heart rate was. Naturally, in a situation like this, anyone’s heart rate is going to jump, but mine was off the charts. So, saintlikeMan#2 politely brought me a wheelchair and wheeled me straight on back to a room.

So, I got back to the room, and the nurse walks in and takes one look at me and then calls me by name and immediately begins to help me get comfortable. Turns out, she was my nurse 2 years ago, and never forgot my name. There are no words to describe my relief. Again, this whole open locked jaw thing is extremely painful, and in those moments, having that nurse there who knew me and knew what to do was the biggest sign that Jesus loved me. I tried to explain to her that CMB was coming and she took care of everything. I tried my hardest to relax and be patient. When CMB walked in, I pretty much lost it all over again, but thanks to his comforting nature, I quickly calmed back down and tried to rest. Shortly after, my grams walked in, and she was wonderful.

The nurse/my best friend helped get things moving very quickly and before I knew it, the hippest looking doctor and his super sweet medical student were standing before me explaining how they were going to help me. I signed all of the consent forms and in came nurse/bff with around 5 tubes of meds that I can only imagine came straight from the gates of Heaven. She pumped them into my IV and immediately my body stopped hurting. (For those of you who think medicine is not of God, boyyyyyyy are you wrong.) When they gave me the real drug, I lost all consciousness and when I opened my eyes again, CMB and hip doc where standing over me. I could hear nurse/bff saying that I did very well, and after a few hugs from CMB and checking more than the appropriate times that my mouth was closed, I let out a huge sigh of relief.

After that drama was over, I had some x-rays and apple juice and they sent me on my way. The road ahead is more than likely long, as I will be seeing an oral surgeon as soon as I can get an appointment. But, for the moment, I’m feeling okay, swollen cheeks and all.

Needless to say, it was a crazy day, and certainly an attack as I had to cancel a very crucial meeting. But, meetings can be rescheduled and my God is bigger than any attack, so I’m feeling unshaken and even more motivated.

And, just as the Bible says that God makes all things work together for good, He sure does. Because I was so exhausted after leaving the ER, my Friday night was instructed to be spent laying around at home. Good part? I finished another part of my DIY project for our new house! 🙂

I can’t wait to share those projects with you guys, and I promise I will be…soon! 🙂

Hopefully, your weekends didn’t start off the same way mine did. Praying that you guys have wonderful and relaxing weekends!

And if your week/weekend is sucky, remember, God is bigger than whatever you’re going through. Press in to Him and trust that He’s got you.

Madlove.

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Wedding Shoes.

So, I think my upper respiratory infection is the best thing that has ever happened to this blog.  Apparently, sick days make for better blogging days.

Anyway, I just thought I would share with you guys a little tid bit of exciting news.

After months of hunting around for some cute wedding shoes, I finally found them! They are not what I was originally hunting around for, as they are not heels, nor are they blue, but they are grand. (And just so happen to come from my favorite store with the big red bulls-eye)

Most of you guys know me, and a few of you have the inside scoop about the wedding details, so you know that CMB and I are about as low-maintenance as they come with all of this stuff.  We set a pretty low budget for what has grown into a pretty large wedding, and we’re basically just having fun making decisions along the way.

I’ve honestly not been doing a single thing wedding related in the last month, and being that we only have four months and two weeks until the big day, I suppose I should put my game face back on.

CMB and I have been regularly chatting about ways to cut costs down, while still making our day fun and unique, and to toot our own horns, I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job. We’ve been insanely blessed to have friends and family offer discount or free services, and thanks to our frugal upbringings, we’ve basically spent hours searching for the best bargains. And, surprisingly enough, CMB really does help me with all of this stuff.

*Speaking of bargains, I found my shoes for a grand total of $17.00 (before tax). I’ve never really understood the whole tradition of buying an expensive pair of wedding shoes and then only wearing them once.  Plus, if you wear a long dress, who is even going to see the expensive shoes that you’re only wearing that day? Maybe I’m just not down with wedding world rules, but I’m pretty stinkin’ pumped that I found a pair of shoes that are comfortable, cute, classy, and that I fully intend to wear on the honeymoon and for the rest of the summer!

Anyway, we’re cutting costs in a lot of other areas, and we’re still looking for more ways to cut down on unnecessary spending.

So, how did you guys cut down on costs of your weddings? Did you stay under budget? Wish you would have splurged on something in particular?

I’d love to share your responses with some friends, and of course with CMB. For those of you who message me, feel free to do that for this post as well.

Hope you guys are having a great Wednesday!

Madlove.

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Once More.

I’m laying in bed with an upper respiratory infection, feeling disgusting and extremely sickly, so I’m not going to make any promises that this is going to be entirely coherent.  I’ve got so much to update about, and so many stinkin’ heavy things going on in life right now, that I just can’t seem to sit down and get it out.

For tonight though, I don’t want this blog to be about me or whatever is going on in my life.  I’ve been following the story of the incredibly strong and beautiful Mcrae family for about a year now.  I’ve written about their youngest daughter, Kate, before, and tonight, I’m sitting here heartbroken at the reason for bringing them up again.

Kate has been battling a very aggressive form of cancer for over a year.  Things were seriously looking up for this family, and in the last 24 hours, their world has changed once more.  Kate’s latest MRI revealed that there are new spots on her brain, and the Mcrae family is once again feeling like they’re standing in the the raging storm.

Surprisingly enough, they have been on my heart for the last week. I knew that things were looking up for them, and honestly, I just hadn’t even checked their blogs to see how things were going.  Their struggle with this disease has been one close to my heart for a few different reasons, and reading their posts of how good God has been to them has often reminded me that my circumstances really aren’t that bad and that if they can praise him in the midst of their storm, I can too.

They are obviously asking for some serious prayer and intercession for sweet, Kate.

You can check out their blogs here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mcraekate  and here: http://aaronmcrae.wordpress.com/

Let’s join in with this family and plead the blood of Jesus over this sweet family and the road that they’re walking once more.

Madlove.

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Change.

It seems like since my last post, so much has already changed.  CMB and I were having a heart-to-heart in the car today after church and we were looking back at what our lives looked like a year ago and crazy enough, not a single thing is the same.  It seems like in every area of our lives–jobs, living arrangements, relationship status, circles of friends, dreams, family relationships…you name it, it’s changed in the last year.  It absolutely blows my mind when I think about the last four months and where we’ve ended up. And honestly, I can’t even fathom what life will look like in four more months.  It’s hard to wrap my brain around the idea that I’ll be a college graduate, I’ll be a wife to the man of my dreams, and that we’ll be decorating our sweet little home. There is just so much to look forward to and looking back, there’s even more to be thankful for.

This weekend, CMB and I made a very special trip to Nashville for CMB to take care of some business.  This was the first trip of many and it played a huge part in what our life together is gonna look like.  The weekend held many hours of self reflecting, out-loud-dreaming, laughing, and praying.  We left with a lot of goals to reach and hurdles to jump, but we’re taking it one day at a time.

I’m honestly feeling like we’re at a place in our lives where so much is changing.   It’s hard to absorb the full weight of one change because it seems like before we can take it all the way in, something else changes too.  Most of our new changes have been good far beyond our wildest dreams, and I’ve really been immersed in God’s goodness throughout all of this. CMB and I have been consistently baffled at how undeservedly blessed we are. How could we not give the glory to God? There is no way that we could have made this happen for ourselves..we just feel so humbled and deeply grateful for the blessings we’ve been given.

Anyway, in the spirit of change..I’m super excited to tell you guys that this ole ugly blog is about to be kicked to the curb! It’s in the process of getting a whole new makeover…something I’ve been toying with for weeks and finally getting around to! The new blog will hopefully be much cuter and a little bit more “me.” Looking back at past posts, it seems like I only ever blog when I’m ranting on about something and I’m sure some of you think that I’m always so serious about things. The new blog will be a little more well rounded and will include some more day-to-day things, including our DIY projects for the house!

Speaking of house, (my favorite topic), I have a funny post with some pictures coming your way soon. We’ve been spending pretty much all of our free time there (wearing parkas because we haven’t gotten the gas turned on yet) and I get teary eyed at the thought of how much laughter we’re already sharing there. It holds such a special place in my heart (even though it’s just a silly ole house). We CMB just finished putting together our very first piece of furniture, and let’s just say, it’s not his new favorite hobby.  I personally had a great time witnessing this, and it will definitely be a story we tell for years to come. Don’t worry, you’ll get a laugh out of it too!

We’re about to begin project two and if it goes anything like the first, I’ll have a six pack from laughing so hard…and CMB will probably have even more blisters. 🙂 (helloooo sand paper!)

For now, though, Food Network is callin’ my name. Sleep tight, friends!

Madlove.

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