Archive | April, 2013

The Best Weekend Ever

30 Apr

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So it was the best weekend ever! At least for me. I am happy to announce that I am the future Mrs. TJ Young. Bless his heart. It’s no secret for anyone who has known me that I’ve been waiting for this day for a while. He’s been pestered, and harassed, and shown rings and pestered some more. 

It was actually about 3 years ago to the date that I met him for real. I had known him through a friend, but I was taken at the time and so was he and we just didn’t ever conjugate a friendship. In April of 2010 we both found ourselves newly single and we were both with our respected churches attending the State Fine Arts Festival. He came into the same room as me and my friends excitedly were like “hey, he’s single go talk to him”. I’m like “no, that’s not what I do”. I went and talked to him. From there we started talking back and forth though Facebook, till I finally gave him my number and well the rest is history. 

In December of 2010 we were on a date at the Summit in Birmingham. We had been dating for real since September and I knew this weekend he was gonna drop the L word. As we were walking down this pretty flower path, he bounced ahead of me a little ways to this pinnacle in the path and stopped. My little weird excited self bounced right on ahead of him and kept walking. When we got in the car he told me he loved me for the first time (I did say it back). He was sorta bummed that I bounced ahead of him and ruined his pretty spot to say it so for 2 years I’ve been ragged about it.

ImageThis past Saturday we were back at the Summit. He planned the date, which is weird since he never really cares and insisted we go to Barnes and Noble first. After we left there he wanted to walk back down the path to go “look at Toms” and as we reached the top of the stairs I noticed a fairly large crowd chilling at the pinnacle in the path. It took me a second but I finally realized I was staring at the smiling face of our friend recording us, while her husband played his guitar. Up the stairs ran her little boy dressed like Jack Sparrow carrying a jar of dirt (I’m a huge Pirates of the Caribbean fan) He handed Tj the jar of dirt and when we reached the pinnacle he stopped, pulled the ring out of the jar of dirt (It was in a box) and asked me to marry him. Yes he did give me a hard time about not stopping there 2 years ago, but I we finally said our “I love yous” and he put a ring on it. Here’s a link to the video, though sadly it’s a little hard to hear and see so back story helps. 

God truly knows the desires of your heart. I couldn’t have imagined that Tj would make me as happy as he does. Before him, I dated a guy for about 4 years. When that ended I really didn’t expect to meet anyone else that would get me. I can honestly say, Tj gets me better then anyone I’ve ever known. He even has a fohawk, which was my little teenage dream. He more importantly has a call of God on his life that he seeks to always follow. I couldn’t be more blessed.

We’re working on plans and a date, but mostly we’re enjoying this new stage in my life. Be prepared to see wedding inspiration and what not (I promise, this won’t turn into a wedding blog) Also note girls, that ring was ordered from EidelPrecious on Etsy. It’s a sapphire (but shhh.. no one can ever tell) so more bling for less. It’s absolutely gorgeous. 

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Aside

Mr. Willie

30 Apr

So every now and then auto tune does a gem. I was shown this video last night of a Walmart Greeter in Arkansas, Mr. Willie. I think I was suppose to laugh, but I actually teared up. Why? Because he’s so joyful and happy and does his job with enthusiasm. How often do we complain about our job. I’m not going to lie but being a door greeter isn’t on my list of fave jobs to have. But can you imagine how happy we would all be if we put this kind of joy into all the work we do, even the simplest of things we feel are not important. Mr. Willie, thank you for being a ray of light.

Choose Life-Tips for Wholeness

27 Apr

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“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”

This past weekend I spent some time in the Smoky Mt. National Park. There’s a place me and my family go to where you can grill out along the river. There’s just something about being there that soothes my soul. We ventured out on a small hike up the trail and as the elevation rose the sound of cars eventually were drowned out by bird chirps and other rustling nature sounds. The air is crisp and energizing. It’s in moments like these I feel truly like I can grasp life.

You see, I’m a health knowledge addict. Really not sure how I got on that train but it’s a crazy ride. If you’ve ever dived into the study of healthy eating you’ve experienced the crazy debates of what’s considered right and what’s wrong. There’s so many rules of eat this, don’t eat that, yes it’s a veggie but it’s really a starch and forget about it if it isn’t 100% organic grown in a unpolluted vacuum somewhere on Mars. It gets quite stressful. So, I finally set down and made out a list of easy principles I (and you) can apply to our lives to make them wholesome.

1. Be at Peace with the Lord. Now I don’t know what your religious standpoints are but for this principle to apply to you it’s important to understand that I believe we were all created by God for a purpose. I think one of the most important things we can grasp in the world is that we are here for a reason. God is for you and has a plan for your life. When we doubt ourselves or let fear take over, we ultimately short change ourselves. I’ve been reading a book about how spiritual disobedience can cause not only a spiritual hiccup, but can lead to poor health.

One quote in particular that stood out to me in the book is, “Nutrition is not a substitute for obedience.” That really pricked me, as I noticed I was more concerned with how to eat and live my life then who I was as a person. It’s an interesting statistic (and I get that those can mean nothing sometimes) but I’ve read in many places that close to 80% of all illness has a root cause of fear, stress, or anxiety. That’s crazy! But think about it when you’re always fearing the worse or running 90 to nothing, you’re spiking your body with all sorts of neurochemicals that only belong there in really serious fight or flight type situations. Over time, your body lacks the peace and rest it needs to repair itself and ultimately your immune system takes a beating. That’s why it’s so important to be at peace with the Lord, to know He is FOR YOU and has a plan for your life. Things like unforgiveness, bitterness, and self-hatred HAS TO GO. Remember STRESS is bad.

2. Eat Whole. Now going back to the quote where nutrition is not a substitute for obedience, I do believe that we should be good stewards of our body. If you’re not sure where to begin on an health journey, or the idea of sitting down to a plate of just veggies freaks your meat loving heart–Baby Steps. Start by making tiny changes and keep going. Mess up–KEEP GOING. If you’re looking for good recipe ideas you can follow my pinterest board EAT WELL.

Start by watching food labels. A good rule of thumb is to simply eat less processed foods. I get most of us don’t have the time or energy to make everything from scratch, but I beg of you to start trying to make more from scratch. You’ll find as time advances, the box stuff won’t cut it and your wallet might be happier. (Note: this isn’t always the cheaper route, but it could save you money down the road from having to buy medication) Avoid things that are excessively processed, anything high in sugar that’s not from nature (fruit), and for the love of life please avoid artificial flavors and colors.

3. Eat your veggies. I’m not saying to not eat meat, but I do think it would help folks out to reverse the mentality that meat is your main course and veggies are sides. Sure there’s organic and conventional debates but goodness gracious if you’re eating something naturally green over something dyed green you’re heading in the right direction. One thing that’s helpful when it comes to deciding where to spend the extra money on organic is the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

4. Drink more water. I know it’s not real tasty, especially if you like coke or coffee but your body sure likes it. Being hydrated is key to staying focused, energized, and satisfied. Sometimes when we’re hungry, we’re really thirsty. And sad fact, coke and coffee actually dehydrate you.

5. Be adventurous and have fun. I think all to often we live in the safe zone. But who remembers those moments? Now I’m not saying to go jump off a cliff in Brazil, but get out of your box every now and then and let loose. I’m not an advocate for Transformers, but I politely humored my friend by watching the first one with them and a scene as always stuck with me. When Megan Fox and Shia Labeouf are about to get into their robot car, she’s like, “um and do what” blah blah blah and the best line in the whole series Shia comes back with, “In 50 years wouldn’t you like to say you got in the car?” Bam. You can watch the scene here cause I’m sure I butchered it.

5. Get some sleep. Remember your body needs rest. In the world we live in that’s a rarity but your body will give out if you don’t stop.

6. Reduce clutter. When everything around us is junked up, so are our minds. It’s a stressor just looking at the disarray around us. I’ll admit this blows my mind, but Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home, says that her family of 4 has created only one handful of trash in six months and aims at zero. WHAT? That’s extreme and remember baby steps here are important, but reducing clutter and trash isn’t just good for the environment or our wallets but getting away from a chemical overdose is good for you. Here are some tips she provides on her blog.

If you’re made it this far down, I appreciate your patience as I know this was a lengthy post but I hope that these are some tips you can apply for living well and wholeness. One of my favorite blogs and video series to follow is Christa Orecchio, founder of the Whole Journey.  Also, I’m working on a logo for a series that my friend Anna Wight is heading up. She’s hosting a seminar in July for any of you who are local to Alabama.

And finally, if you like the image above you may purchase it on my Society 6 page (Free shipping thru this weekend). It comes in a few different sizes and I think the pillows are pretty rad. Society 6 does make a bulk of the profit off these but any profit that I do make will be donated to Convoy of Hope. There are two background options, trees (shown above) and the grand canyon. If you have an idea for a solid background or anything, hit me up.

New in the Shop: Graduation Cards

25 Apr

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I’m excited to announce that this fella finally made it to the shop. So if you have a scholar in mind, I hope this (A2) card is the perfect match. Limited supply available here.

ImageThe inspiration for this card came one day as I was browsing through my local flea mall. I stumbled upon this little dude and immediately fell in love with it’s face. For $1, I knew he was coming home for me. As I investigated the figurine I noticed the bottom of the books said weather owl. That’s a little odd, so I googled it and turns out these must have been popular back in the 70’s or so and actually contained a paint film that changes colors as the weather changes. Pretty rad right? However, time has taken it’s toll and the paint is long gone. So it’s just cute and served as the perfect little poser for me to paint my scholar owl above.

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You Are More Beautiful Then You Think

17 Apr

http://www.upworthy.com/2-people-described-the-same-person-to-a-forensic-artist-and-this-is-what-happene?g=4&c=ufb1

I’ve always heard, I’m my worse critic. Dove has a new campaign video that shows how we literately are our worse critic.

Laugh Without Fear

17 Apr

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In light of yesterday’s tragic events (seems like that’s a daily statement), I wanted to share something that I ran across today on Pinterest. The print above was in my feed and the last line jumped out at me. She laughs without fear of the future. You know how hard it is to not worry about the future (maybe you do, but for this hypochondriac it’s hard) But to laugh without fear. You see many of us can deal with things, press through, shake it off. But how often do we have the confidence to laugh, to be joyful when so much around us looks dim. It seems that people only become crazier. No longer do people do tragic events to point out some flaw in our society or some extremist is trying to make a point (these reasons are sad enough), no people just want attention. People just want to make a name for themselves in the worse way possible. Because worrying about the state of the economy, the state of healthcare and social security wasn’t enough. 

I’ve never been a doomsday person, but the truth is my hope in the future cannot rest on anything other then the fact, my God is larger. If you’re younger then 55, the future looks a little shady. Who knows when the economy will boom again, who knows if social security will still be around when I get there. Who know if our healthcare system will become excellent or impossible to get care when needed. Face it, our world needs a lot of reform. 

Sorry for the rant, but the point is this. We must laugh without fear of the future. The goal in life is to enjoy every moment. Find the good in the day. Start with the fact you woke up and took a deep breath. And trust that no matter the future, our God is bigger. It’s a scary world, but we can have confidence. You must choose confidence. You know that laughter is one of the best medicines. When we allow fear and worry to carry us, our immunes systems actually weaken. Don’t give into fear. Laugh. 

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Post-it Note Arcade

11 Apr


I’ve always been amazed at the patience people have when dealing with stop motion graphics. This video however utterly blows my mind.