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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Practically Perfect In Every Way.

This year for Halloween, I decided to dress up as Mary Poppins. I sat outside, and handed out candy to over 300 trick or treaters. And I absolutely loved it. 
I didn't want to spend much on a costume, and because I'm pretty resourceful, I didn't have to. 

The white shirt was EXACTLY what I wanted (long sleeves, collared, black tiny buttons, and a ruffle down the middle). I found it at Salvation Army thrift store for only a couple of dollars. 

The black skirt, tights, and little booties were all items from my closet from a couple of seasons ago. 

This cute little bow tie is actually from the infant department at Target. I needed it to be just an inch bigger, so I used safety pins at the end. I had originally planned on just making a bow tie with red ribbon, but I never made it to a craft store this week. 

The make up was fun to do. Foundation was essential for a flawless canvas. Rosy cheeks (of course!), red lip, filled in brows, a simple eye, and lashes finished up the look. 

For my hair, I just pinned it into a low bun. As the night went on, it got a little out of control, but was still cute. 

This hat was also from the infant section at target. I was careful to stick to my budget. :) I just used safety pins to secure these fake flowers and berries I had laying around the house. I just love how it came out. So pretty. 

This "carpet bag" was found at the Good Will. I just filled it with candy, and handed it out from there. 

The umbrella was possibly my favorite part of the costume to make. I used tin foil to create the shape of the parrot's head, then paper mâchéd on top of that, and let it dry over night. I then just painted right on it to create this cute face, let dry, and sealed it with modge podge. 

Because I didn't go to any parties or anything, I just handed out candy from my home, I decided on making a cute measuring tape sign for my front porch. I just painted a board with yellow paint I mixed from other paints I found in my craft room. I let it dry over night, and then sharpied right on it. I wish I would've painted the lettering on, but I was running out of time. 

One man asked me of I was a 1920's inn keeper. But besides him, everyone else knew who I was dressed up as. I heard one little girl tell her mother, "Mom, I really think she is the REAL Mary Poppins. And she lives in our neighborhood! Can you believe it?!" 


{Mary Poppins}

Friday, October 30, 2015

September Adventure {part six}

For the next stage of this amazing trip, I stayed in Houston at my dear friend Katie's house. 

I told her I was just looking forward to rest, coffee, baby snuggles, and big talks. She delivered on all accounts. 

How precious is this bedside set up?! #adorable 

KT also had an extra fan and an extra quilt ready for me, along with a super sweet bag full of goodies. She is the best hostest! So kind and so thoughtful. 

There is nothing sweeter than sleeping 10 hours, and waking up to French press coffee. I used this coffee mug from a shop on Main Street in my sweet town, Clarkston, MI. KT and Jon made pumpkin waffles and bacon. I felt so spoiled. Happy Labor Day! 

This babe is the sweetest. #thosecheeks I was so thankful to get a few baby snuggles in. 

After a day of sleeping in, cozy brunch, sweat pants, baby snuggles, and multiple cups of coffee, I made brownies, ate blue bell ice cream, talked out some really big things, and watched The Office with one of my best girls. Houston is my happy place. 

Can we talk about Blue Bell ice cream for a minute?! BEST ICE CREAM EVER. After my first bite, I was pretty convinced Jesus was calling me to Texas. 

The next day, the babe, KT, and I headed out. We hit Chick Fil A for breakfast (again, is Jesus calling me to Texas?! Because #chicken #wafflefries #sweettea #bestfoodever) We drove by downtown. I just love city skylines. 

We made it to Galveston Island. This might be one of my favorite places. But honestly, anywhere where the ocean is, I am most happy. 

KT and the babe! It was his first time at the ocean. :) 

Happiest in the waves and sand. 

Let's talk about this. Apparently this a Texas thing?! Buc-ee's is a gas station/ convience store. It had 60 gas pumps, 16 flavors of icees, and an entire wall dedicated to soft drinks. There were souviner tees and trinkets, all sorts of groceries, grills, a kids toy section, multiple styles of home decor, regular clothing, a deli section, a camping area, etc. I walked in, and was instantly overwhelmed. I swear, you could probably fit the population of my entire town in there, and have room for more. 

A Texan delicacy. But really they are weird. They taste like caramel corn meets dish soap with a strange after taste. These did not convince me to move south. 

Also in this giant gas station/store, I found skateboards withastro turf. Because?!  

I did purchase this cute Texas shirt because I had been looking for a cute tee, and this was probably the most Texan place to buy one. 

After making "sand angels" on the beach, it's probably no real surprise that when my hair dried, an entire bucket worth of sand fell onto my shoulders. I am a toddler. 

I love Houston. It brought me much needed rest and relaxation. 

September Adventure {part five} {last day in Austin}

I did not want to wake up Sunday morning. I was tired, and just not ready for the best slumber party ever to end. 

Mama kho came into my room, and snuggled with me. I'm pretty sure she spoke sweet, soft words over me, and I vaguely remember drifting back to sleep. 

And then. 

Heaven help us.

The smoke detector started blaring. Apparently the bacon was causing a bit of smoke, and was intent on waking every sleeping soul for miles. I went from dead asleep to climbing over kho, grabbing pillows, flailing about, moving the smoke away from the detectors, and assuring everyone that it will all be alright in about 9 seconds. 

This is verrrrrrry normal behavior for me. Every single time I cook or bake at my house, I have to grab a throw pillow, and flail about until the smoke detector goes off. I have the oldest and crankiest appliances. But I know that my smoke detectors work great. I can also tell which of my friends have been over for dinner enough, because they now know the "grab a pillow" dance while I cook. 

Annaliese captured this beautiful picture of my pillow/smoke dance. #iwokeuplikethis 

Once the excitement settled down, I made myself a cup of coffee, and then grabbed some of the delicious breakfast Melinda had made, and sat down for out last coop meal. 

I then got ready for church/the beginning of the end. Which included packing everything up, tidying our room, and of course lots of tears. At this point in the week, I was over showers, so my hair was not really looking it's best. #dirtyhairdontcare

We went to church at Austin New Church, which is Brandon and Jen Hatmaker's church. It meets in a middle school cafeteria, and it immediately felt like home. 

I rode over with Melinda, and of course we had to take a pic next to this sign. 

Melinda and I sat in the second row, so we were quite close. Worship began, and the first song we sang was "God of this City." I was sobbing as soon as the first chords were strummed. I had just recently left the church I had been at for 25 years, and was really beginning to feel this huge pull towards a new place. I just didn't know where that was yet. This concept that He is the God of Austin, TX and Clarkston, MI and Pontiac, MI and Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Venice Beach, CA and Tokyo, Japan and so many other cities were my heart was, just bubbled up inside of me, and completely overwhelmed me. Every time I visit a new church, I just get so giddy and emotional at the fact that any where I go, people know my Jesus. They know Him, worship Him, and preach Him. Sometimes it looks a little bit different, but we confess the same truths. Ahhh. I just love the Church. She is not without flaws, but she is so beautiful. 

Something that was a little different for me, was that Jen preached. I grew up very conservative on this issue, and so it was my first time ever hearing a woman from the pulpit. Man, oh man. She brought it. It was sooo good. She did call us all out, and said it looked like a sorority house up in there because of the increase in women in the congregation. 

She spoke on being little. 

"...greatness has very little to do with goodness..."
"(The disciples) wanted the crown, not the cross, same as us. They were asking the question of the ages, 'How can we be bigger?'" 
"Jesus calls us ... not to be childish, but to be childlike" "God, make us small 9/6/15" 

After the service, we just all kinda hung out, not ready for big goodbyes. I was standing near Jen, and she started talking to me. She asked if I was headed home that afternoon. I laughed, and joked, "Your 3 hour party has turned into a 15 day trip for me." So she looked at me, and told me, "You go, you travel, you be Jesus wherever you are, and you love well. You are completely unattached! Go enjoy the freedom that comes with it! I'm so excited for you! Go!" She is so lovely. Golly. It is so good to be known and be loved. 

Jen photo bombing Lauren, Erin, and I. 

After church, we went out for Tex-Mex, because #whenintexas. One of my ftl girlfriends saw my posts on social media earlier in the week about my amazement and confusion over the Texas Homecoming Mum. So she brought me one from her daughter's collection. #bless And apparently this isn't even a big one. What. In. The. World. 

Saying good bye to sweet Amanda. 

Loving Mama Shea. So very much. 

Goodbyes are so hard, and I hate them. I think I was crying so much at this point that I moved my glasses onto the top of my head. #heavenhelpme

All checked in at the airport, so I wondered into a book store near my gate, and I saw our sweet little baby we had just celebrated. Sooooo proud. 

On the plane. Missing all of my girlfriends already. 

Houston bound and ready for baby snuggles, rest, good coffee, and big conversations. 

Landed in Houston safe, sound. HUMID and HOT. 


September Adventure {part four} {the party}

Saturday afternoon we headed out to Buda. It was a short drive from the Chicken Coop. 

On our way there, we saw a pony tail. 

Welcome to Buda! 

We met in the Cabela's parking lot, and took shuttles to Jen's. The shuttles were so fast and efficient, but because 240 women were coming, there was still a bit of a line to wait in. I loved it! Walking up to the line, I was greeted with shouts of recognition, as women waved me over, and then hugged me tight. 

On the shuttle, and bound for Jen's! 

First glimpses! 

Jen welcoming us to her home. Seriously. Is this real life?! 

Signing the board. 

I love this girl! This is the lovely Rebekah. She had just returned from her honeymoon the night before the party. 

This one is soooo dear to me. Oh Amanda. I have take her under my wings, and decided to call her sister. She is the sweetest girl I know, and she looks exactly like my best friend from college, which makes me feel young again. 

Jessica and I live close to each other, and have had brunch together before. It was so nice to see her again. 

Another Michigan girl! Sweet heather and I have had lunch together before. This picture was taken hours before her birthday. :) 

Oh Melinda. How I love her so. 

Stef is so dear and so gorgeous. 

Krista. Stef. Me. 

Sweet lil sis, Hannah. 

BFF & I 💛

This woman is like another adoptive mama to me. I am so thankful for her. 

Oh sweet Diana. The only reason I look remotely tall is because I was standing on a chair to prove a point. 

These girls make up some of my very best friends. Hannah, Amanda, Kate, and Annaliese. 

On meeting Jen Hatmeker. 
•She is tall? I am short? Something like that. She had to squat to hug me. She also commented that she could just carry me around, because I was so little. Heaven help me. I probably tried to jump into her arms. 
•She knew who I was, and commented that of course I would have flowers in my hair. 
•She stood there, for hours, hugging hundreds of girls, and making every one feel as if they were the only one there. 
•She is absolute pure joy to be around. 

Jen's gorgeous home. 

After the party, some of girls went out dancing. Because I guess that's what you do in Texas. 

There was pie at the party, but because I was chatting, hugging, squealing, eating, and just buzzing about at the party, I never stopped to eat any. I was pretty bummed. So when I got back to the chicken coop, I went to the kitchen to find something to snack on, and discovered this gloriousness! 

I. Love. Pie.