Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My 4th Stitch Fix, bummer!!

Since my hubs & I celebrated our 8th anniversary this month, I decided it was the perfect time to have another Stitch Fix  to add some great summer pieces to my wardrobe.  I was so excited when it arrived a day early (!!) which was a lovely surprise.  But, unfortunately, there was only one bright spot in my whole fix.

For starters, the presentation from Stitch Fix is usually lovely.   You open the box, its all wrapped up with their cute logo sticker, everything is folded beautifully, (I always tell myself to stop & take my picture right then, but I'm too excited to look at what I've been sent!), and the colors hit me first.  I am not a bright colors girl, but I appreciate adding in the right dose of color.  Both these bright items were racerback (which I don't like because I'm broad shouldered).  The racerback tank was the green stripe with the pretty pink detail, but the fabric was heavy, and the hem was so strange!!  rose up in the middle & long on the sides.  yeah, not me.  The racerback dress was orange stripe (but not Clemson orange mind you, go Tigers) & IT WAS DAMAGED!  Can you believe it?  The Crochet backing was torn from the fabric on the front strap.  It had a strange waist, and the hem was too short.  Both definite no-gos.

Moving on, there was a beautiful pair of brown linen shorts, but they were too big.  Very nice, but I wouldn't keep them.  Next, a LONG SLEEVE (hello we live in FL and it's crazy hot here) blouse that arrived INSIDE OUT.  I kid you not.  It was actually pretty, but there was no way I was going to put it in my closet till November when it finally got cold enough to wear it.  nope.

I saved the best (and only) for last.  A lovely sleeveless blouse in a gray & teal paisley.  Somebody stop me from wearing this everyday.  It's light weight, with a low hem & and even longer on in the back.  Button up detail & lovely fit.  I love it.  It's a keeper!! (thank goodness!)

I never thought I'd get a Stitch Fix that would be easy to decide what to return.  Until Stitch Fix #4.  It took me all of 5 minutes, when it took me days to decide in the past!  Really glad this one was easy on my wallet, and so happy that I got something I love.

I will continue to schedule a Fix for special occasions; it truly is a lot of fun.  Check out my Fix #1 & my Fix #2 & #3.  Please allow me to refer you so you can try it yourself!  Sign up at Stitch Fix.

****Update: I shared my frustration with the customer service & they replied quickly and kindly offered my next fix without a styling fee.  They apologized for the damaged item & offered a discount if I decided to keep it & have it mended.  All in all, they really do have great customer service.  And I will definitely be getting another fix.  After all, my favorite things in my closet right now are all from Stitch Fix!  Thank you for your great service!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

the desire to rant (on facebook)

I have recently become more aware of my strange desire to rant (on facebook) about meaningless things.  It is really complaining, camouflaged in the guise that if others 'like' it, I am justified in my position.  Or it is judging, condemning, and ungracious.

What do I hope to achieve by posturing my negativity?  validation? (others like it, agree with me)  YES! I am right, correct, upheld!

Does that ever really make a problem better?  If I'm facing something that needs to be resolved, with a friend or family member, does it end our disagreement?

Does calling a third party to ask if I'm right help?

Oh my, isn't it funny how silly that sounds when postulated as a process of resolution?

I would like to propose an alternative: prayer.

Prayers, offered up to the Lord, of the concerns of my heart.  The heart break, the grievances, the injustices.  The big & the small.  What feels ridiculous, always is best taken to the Lord, before anyone else.

Next? then the injured/offending party (or) a trusted counselor.

Sometimes, the mental replay of small offenses make them feel BIG and important, when really, it isn't. I am so grateful for clarity & peace from prayer.

Even when it feels so hard to pray about some things.  I try to just blurt it out loud.  unpretentious.  unrehearsed.  ugly, but honest.

My Lord hears me & I can walk through.  Freed from the mental repeat in leaning on him.  Will I have to do it again tomorrow, or the next day?   yes.   But I will pick up my manna daily.  Fed by the mystery.  emptied & filled all at once.

Thank you Lord for helping me control my tongue.  (not that I have mastered this- I fail more often than succeed)  Thank you Lord for hearing me- in anything.  Even the simple, stupid things that just bug the heck out of me.  Thank you for taking the weight, making my mind light, even without me noticing right away.

Also?  Lord please help me speak words that encourage, bring life, build up, point to you.  online.  to my kids.  to my husband.  to my family.  to my friends.  to my neighbors.  to strangers.  Season with salt these words, let more of my words bring salt & light.  Thank you Lord, amen.

***In addition: I love how the Lord aligns the sermon at church on Sunday mornings, with things that he is working out in my own heart.  Our worship leader & pastor, Brian Wages gave a sermon (7/6/14) that you can find here, based out of Romans 12, but applied as a 'how to' conduct yourself online.  He used the idea, that you can apply the principles of how to conduct yourself as a Christian person in life, the same as you would online.  He also touched on the things that we feel so 'offended' by & what reminded me of my own desires to rant!  Check it out, and be encouraged.  or Read through Romans 12, and add (on facebook) to the end of Paul's exhortations to us on our behavior.

My personal favorites:

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world (on facebook), but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think."  
Romans 12:2 NLT

"Don't think you are better than you really are (on facebook).  Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves..." 
Romans 12:3 NLT

"Don't pretend to love others (on facebook).  Really love them."
Romans 12:9 NLT

"Bless those who persecute you.  Don't curse them (on facebook); pray that God will bless them."  Romans 12:14 NLT

"...and don't think you know it all! (on facebook)"
Romans 12:16 NLT

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The best decade of my life.

Our first not-a-date, Valentine's Day 2004 (it was a date)

2014 has been a milestone year for me.  Matt & I met (really met, after working together Summer Camp 2003) at the Winter Conference for Crossroads World Wide in Gatlinburg, TN over MLK weekend January 2004.  We were engaged over that same weekend, at the same conference, January 2006.  I can't believe we have been in each other's lives now for 10 years!!  (does that make me old? ha!)

Valentines weekend, Boiling Springs Coffee shop! 2004

We have the privilege of celebrating 8 years of marriage this year, and I thought I'd round up some old pictures to enjoy walking down memory lane.  My love & my best friend.

I can't help myself.  Prose brothers, 2004

4th of July 2004, Keystone Heights Beach, FL + Mr. Jim Prose & Riley

Gainesville, FL Fall 2004

Mike & Natassja's wedding!! April 30, 2005

Our last Clemson Football game, 2005

My Dad's engagement pictures for us, 2006

Our 1st Anniversary dinner, San Francisco Bay 2007

My my how time does fly!!  What fun to relive some of our memories, tucked away in my photo album. (yes, the glare is because these are pictures of prints, bad bad)  Cheers to us my dear!  What a fun 10 years it has been, and hopefully many more to come.  Thank you Lord for this wonderful gift, this life lived together.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June in Review...

June!  My little june bugs & I spent lots of time doing the normal, everyday.  

dancing to Mr. Roboto
 Little Calvin was promoted to a big boy seat!  What fun for him.

We were able to celebrate our new nephew coming in just a few weeks!!  My beautiful sis-in-law had a lovely baby shower thrown by her dear friends, and I had so much fun.  I cannot wait to hold that little guy in my arms!!

Our kinda day.

water colors in the garage
popsicles in the driveway

playground breaks while mommy shops

My Grandma used to say 'beauti-ful' and this just makes me think of her.  I adore having meaningful pieces in my home, even ones that come from the clearance section can be very special.

an afternoon with Mimi&Grandpa!

Happy happy Father's Day to the best daddy my boys could ever ask for.  I love having a partner who loves our boys as fiercely & as sacrificially as I do.  Our everyday.chaos. can be overwhelming for us both, but we find ways to dig in & lay aside our own desires to meet their needs.  Are we perfect parents?  nope.  I'm sure our boys will be able to make a long list of our flaws when they're older.  But I pray that we can continue to give them our time, energy, love & commitment.  What a blessing to be given 3.little.boys. to call our own!  What a lovely thing to take a day (at the least!) to celebrate Father's Day.

such a 'normal' picture of these boys!

Daddy spent a week out in TX for work, and we just played with friends all week!  Mommy didn't cook extravagantly, and we did a lot of playing together.

my neighborhood crew

baby bro nap time swim

These boys are so silly.  I love seeing them love each other.  It is painful to see them fight, and none of those pictures make it in the album here, but I am choosing these glimpses of joy & love amid the greater portions of frustrations we face.   Thank you Lord for the joy before my eyes.  Thank you for not letting me miss it as the moments pass by so quickly.

Nothing beats the fresh air of an afternoon walk during a day full of chores.

Cookin' something with Charlotte

the best way to watch cartoons

Our welcome home swimming & picnic for Daddy!!

bath time baby giggles

A fun dinner with Grammy one Sunday evening.  How lovely that a short drive to Palatka gives us the chance to spend time together like this!

practicing his letters. so.proud.
 Our friend Eden came over for the day & the boys had such fun having her!

 We were so lucky that my nieces came through Grammy's house & we were able to go visit for the day!  We have missed you girls!!

photo bomb by Grammy!

What a lovely month.  Happy Summer!!

Mickey's house

We rounded out our FL resident passes right before they expired this year, which sent us the end of May, but boy it was ALREADY.HOT.  ((mental note to self))  We had the fun of having Grammy&Papa go with us, and I think Papa made a good point.  "we live here, we don't have to do this. (come in the HEAT)"  But we braved the heat, made specific stops for indoor attractions, and had a really great time!

The first day we visited the Animal Kingdom, which we hadn't done before as a family.  It was really fun, but it will be easier next time when we have a better idea of where everything is located.  It's funny to me how 'familiar' the Magic Kingdom has become, which makes it less stressful for me when we go (despite the crowds).

We started off in the Dino section after watching Nemo, which was really cool!  The boys got to have dino lunch, dig for dinosaur bones & then ride the flying triceratops with Daddy & Papa.

Papa is so much fun!
Us with the Dog from UP
 My favorite thing in the Animal Kingdom was the Safari ride, which we saw right after the afternoon parade.  James was the sweetest thing at the parades both days, waving to everyone that passed & grinning for  What a lovely memory!!

The Safari was really amazing, and we got pretty close to the animals.  We saw the lion walking around (!) and the rhinos actually delayed our ride because they wouldn't move out of the road, haha!

 The hippo showed us his teeth, not because he liked us.  But I liked him anyways.

And the Giraffes were beautiful, so close, and even had a baby we got to see.  There aren't a whole lot of things more beautiful that seeing these kinds of animals up close!  

We made a stop at Mickey's Safari house (because it had AC) to meet Mickey&Minnie!  The boys were a little shy, but it was still sweet.  Calvin loved Minnie's nose!

We also saw a bird show, which was neat.  They had the birds fly over your head of course & we got to see a Bald Eagle, which was awesome!  I tried to explain how big they were to James, but couldn't quite get him to understand.  Visual aid!!  We ended up our day watching the Bug's Life show (AC) but it was a bust.  Our boys were scared, and James even ran out of the show!  :-(  We won't go back to that one for a while I'm sure.  We grabbed dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, which was so beautiful inside! (but so noisy).  In retrospect, food that was convenient was good, but quiet would have been almost more welcome.  (introvert anyone??)

Our second day we went to the Magic Kingdom we got to ride the new Ariel ride (AC), and it was really fun!  Our boys love the Little Mermaid, and had a big kick out of that ride.  We ran into Gaston, and had to stop for a picture because he was so.funny!

"No one says no to Gaston." haha!! 

We saw the Monster's Inc show (AC) which is always funny and a short line.  We rode the Jungle Safari boat, which was fun for the kids, but was kinda silly after doing the real safari ride the day before.  We took the boys on the pirates of the Carribean, and the only trouble we had was James was afraid of the dark.  Matt (quick thinker) got out the flashlight app on his phone & problem solved.  They really did like seeing the pirates!

We headed to lunch at a quiet spot we found in March, and ran into chip & dale on the way.  Daddy & Papa went to order food, and we stayed to get a picture.  Hayden was feeling very shy, whereas James was ready to stand in the middle & hold hands! :-)

But, Hayden just needed my hat.  Then he was ready to grap Dale's nose.  haha!

 We had a lovely lunch, in a quiet little corner.  We headed to the parade & then the train to end our day.  Hayden's one request was the train ride!  Our little guys had such a fun, full time.

 So happy to have Grammy & Papa with us!

 Both of the little guys went right to sleep through the whole parade, and sweated bullets!  Poor little guys.  When Calvin woke up we had icees to share, but we had eated it all when Hayden woke in the line for the train (!!).  Poor guy, all we had was the end of a frappiccino, which I thought was just whip cream and ice.  So we gave it to him to cool him down.  Needless to say, he did fall asleep on the ride home.  The caffine that was there was enough! oi!  But a fun way to spend the day & many memories made!