Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Would you take time?

I've been asked a lot about what it's like to work in a private sector since I worked public previously. There are a number of differences but I think one my favorites has to be the camaraderie, honor and fun there is in being in the private sector. Since we are in competition with other firms for work, there is a great sense of teamwork and pride that go into each project.

I can't believe it has almost been a year since I had my first day here. It really just blows my mind!

Today, I'm reaching out to all of you to help my firm celebrate in another way. We have three big projects up for an award this year in Oklahoma and we couldn't be prouder. Would you be willing to take some time to vote for us? Anyone and everyone, anywhere can participate!

It is as easy as 1,2,3 and super fast! Would you take some time?

1.Click this link
2. Scroll all the way to the bottom click, "click here to vote"
3. Submit your votes. Our projects are entries 13, 14, and 15.

Send it to your friends and family & share on social media too please! Anyone, anywhere can vote!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Love Story: Summer Begins

If you're new around here you can catch up here.

Jumbo post today!
Thankfully, the week of Kevin's pre-camp training week, and my week of crazy final finishes on my studio project, came to an end and it felt so good. I drove to pick Kevin up from the airport and took us straight to my apartment where we sat on the sofa, held hands and talked for hours just holding each other.
I wanted nothing more than to be done with school. I was beyond exhausted after my projects and exams were never a strength of mine. Yet, the more I wished away the days, the more I realized that with the end of this week also brought the end of Kevin and I's time together for this semester. To combat the stress of exams and squeeze some final moments together, we took a date to a local park. We decided walked outside the ballparks and playgrounds, taking the long way around, talking about the summer that lie ahead and holding hands. It was so bittersweet, all we had was one more date after this until our summer apart. 
We sat on one side of the booth at Chik Fil A on Main St. in Norman, Oklahoma, eating chicken biscuits and quietly enjoying one last moment alone before a crazy summer apart. The meal and our time ended too quickly. A friend picked me up to take me to Houston for a few days with friends and my dad before I made my way to Birmingham. Kevin, drove home to pack up his car and cried. 

A week later, Kevin picked me up from the Birmingham airport and welcomed me into his world of StudentLife camp. It was the day before we would all file into the StudentLife offices for check in. Kevin had arranged for me to stay in a hotel with some girls. We pulled up to the hotel, right outside of the airport, in a borrowed truck. In less than 24 hours our time alone would be over for  two and half months. Sitting in the truck with the dark sky above us, and the hotel parking lot lights streaming through the windows, we pulled a teenagers-in-love stunt and proceeded to happily make out in the back seat. As he pulled away and I slid into a bed in a room of girls I hardly knew, I smiled and dozed off.
 I felt like a fish out of water amongst all the people happy to see each other again, happy to see Kevin again and so eager about the summer that lie ahead. It was weird to see Kevin away from the people of  OU, he was totally and happily immersed in this group of people. In this place I was seeing Kevin in a whole new way. He had such a heart for these people and this company's mission of sharing Christ with students. I, on the other hand, was terrified. I had twenty people to get to know and a whole new world to learn for the next two and half months. This mass training week would literally be the last moments I would see Kevin face to face and not through a screen, and he was popping around to people and activities like crazy.
Most of my heart eagerly looked forward to the moments with students, but the rest of it was anxious about Kevin and I's time apart. The summer was certainly going to test our relationship. 
My team was set to leave a day before everyone else. Kevin and I sat on a bench and prayed over one another for the summer ahead in the moments before my team's departure. We hugged, kissed and hugged again. He walked me back to my room and helped me get my luggage down to the truck. I got in the van and watched him walk quickly back to his room. I looked down at my phone to see a message from him pop up. He was crying in his room. I was on a twelve passenger van trying to mesh with my new "family" for the summer.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I I Shake it Off, I Shake it Off

making : dinner plans for a sweet couple from our life group at our home

cooking : probably a chicken and some quiche

reading :  The Hope Quotient and I just finished The Hundred Foot Journey (good book! I want to see the movie now)

watching: Nashville last night...UMM HELLO dude, just give hayden a chance to be happy puuleeeeaasssee (also, am I the only one who thinks this new singing girl is up to no good?)

playing: Shake it Off and counting down days till T swift's CD is released! I'm half trying to decide if I'm going to make Kevin take me in the morning before work...
also, please watch this:

sewing: nothing new as of late but I am considering making my little cousin an apron for kitchen...anyone know of a a good tutorial?

wishing: that my Dr can adjust my thyroid meds soon and I can actually lose some weight!

enjoying: that I have the next TWO Mondays off, using up those final vacation days

likingThe Neiman Marcus cookies I made last Sunday...yum yum yum

wondering: About what to pick up for my Paisley girl, she turns TWO on Sunday!

listening: to SHAKE IT OFF

thanking: my incredible Savior for always providing.

going: to the game this weekend!!! I literally found out 5 minutes ago

loving: my sweet man and his willingness to help me out with, One Closet to Another that Samantha and I started! Are you following us yet?? We can't wait to post up the goods! Follow us and keep your eye out! (click the logo to take you to the instagram account)

hoping: to make some $ off my art pieces & clothes in order to pay for unexpectedly having to replace Kevin's car. Whatcha think of this newest one?

marvelingat the way the Lord works within hearts

smelling: Paisley Grace, she needs a bath PRONTO...but a better smell is this pumpkin cheesecake candle I picked up from Target last week, yall seriously..love

wearingJeans and my very first OU shirt with my Sperry's...BOOMER SOONER!

noticing: the list of to-dos growing

knowingGod sees me, God loves me, God has me
pinning: recipes to make

gigglingat our blogger video (above)


exercising: by getting with the FriskyFall series by ToneItUp but definitely skipping out on today's work out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Making it Official

Goodness does life bring curve balls! I can't believe a year ago I was turning in my two weeks notice at OU. There are days when I forget about all the tears, or the crazy moment when I accepted the job offer for my current position. This post is still completely relevant to this day even though it was written exactly one year ago today.

Last year we were in the middle of huge life changes with my job, and moving, and Kevin taking his first trip to company headquarters in Japan. This year we are going through new struggles, new hurdles, new challenges that beg us to trust our Lord wholeheartedly.

With family far away (aka, heafty holiday travel expenses), our typical heavy college loan payments, and unexpected expenses under a tight budget the recent months have proved to be a little more difficult financially. The biggest inconvenient expense being that Kevin's car transmission is dying, and since the car isn't worth replacing the transmission (advice from Dave Ramsey) we are starting to save some dollars towards purchasing a new-old car for Kevin in the near future. We have an emergency fund but we put any extra dollars at our college loans each month meaning that our emergency fund is appropriate for our living but not enough to cover a car purchase, even a used car.

So I'm using the talents the Lord has given me and opening myself up to doing some side business. If you caught this post a couple weeks ago, you saw how over the past year I've created over 40 different pencil art wreaths as gifts for people. Now, I'd love to offer up my talents to YOU and yours. 

Each piece is made completely by free hand. I used images on the internet as inspiration but there is no tracing going on here! All of it is done by pencil (unless you want gold accents, I'll use a tiny bit of gold paint for that). Each one is custom, these are not prints. You will receive the authentic piece when you purchase. Send me your favorite quote/Bible verse/your last name initial/monogram/name/anything you can think of for the middle and your favorite colors/flowers/graphics and I'll get to work. Available sizes are currently 8x10 and smaller. Let me know if you have a custom size project you want to talk about. 

Please email me (see contact page) and we can get to work!

Each piece is $25 + $5 of shipping costs. 

This post has lots of examples of previous done work. I'd love to make a special piece for you! Last year these were Christmas gifts for basically everyone in my family. They make great wedding/Christmas/house-warming/Birthday/Baby-Welcoming/etc gifts. Send me your ideas and inspiration today and we can get started!!

To be clear, no etsy shop yet...just doing it on the side right now. So email me!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Love Story: Talking Marriage?

If you're new around here you can catch up here.

Jumbo post today!

My studio friends and I had decided freshmen year that if we ever found a boy who was willing to come up to studio with us or help us on a project than we had the one. And Kevin was doing just that.

We'd had some fun date nights but I had to buckle down and work hard on a big project meaning our time together was rather limited. That didn't stop him from spending time with me though. If I were working late in the computer lab, he was there, and when I had to stay up late working on a model or boards, he was there. With every late night my heart fell for him a little more. Besides, being tucked in at the end of a long day working on projects was beginning to become a requirement.

We said, I love you, more with each day. And I meant it completely. This boy had been my friend just a few short months ago and now he was my absolute best friend and I was growing ever more infatuated with him. Our time together was always too short. Our kisses never long enough. Our date nights not often enough. I was loving dating this guy and adored feeling so precious to someone outside of my family. My relationship with M had taught me so much. We made mistakes and didn't treat each other with enough respect. But this relationship, this time with Kevin was so different and so sweet. We communicated and shared our hearts, and we leaned on the Lord most of all.

The Phi Lamb formal date night was approaching. In December I'd gone shopping for my dress while I was in Houston. My friend and I tried on multiple dresses till I landed on the right one, and then daddy approved and picked up the bill, a birthday gift. I had been planning on making this a special night for us. Having been homeschooled, Kevin never experience prom. I loved prom! M and I had gone to prom together and it was a blast! I just had to make this date party as prom-like as possible.

We arranged to wearing matching colors and select a boutineer and corsage for each other. We went out and bought Kevin his first suit and planned to take group photos at a local hotel with a pretty interior. My girlfriends and I spent the day getting ready, doing our make-up, giggling as we ran across the ends of the apartment. A few of us went out to get our hair done. These moments I wanted to hold onto and never let go.

The smile on his face was infectious from the moment we saw each other all dressed up. Pictures in the car, pictures at the hotel, and pictures on the dance floor all showed the immense joy that we shared that night. He was my prince charming and we had the most spectacular night together. It was better than prom, we were completely smitten.

It was April and summer was approaching. I couldn't believe it but I had been asked to spend the summer with StudentLife camps and Kevin of course had as well. We were put on different teams, which had been expected, and tons of paperwork had been sent our way. Kevin talked about our summer adventure constantly. He was eager to meet his team and spend a summer doing media graphics for students learning about God. I was anxious. A team of twenty-somethings awaited me and I didn't know a single one of them. College had taught me to be more of an extrovert but my tendencies were very much still introverted and the better part of me was freaking out about the summer ahead.

Thankfully, Kevin and I had a few more date nights and time with friends before our departure date came, including a big day for our relationship. We had just received our first piece of mail, addressing us as a couple, a wedding invitation for Kevin's cousin. The same weekend of our 6 monthiversary of dating.

On Saturday, May first we buckled up in Kevin's Saturn and turned on NeedtoBreathe as we drove down I35 South towards Dallas for the wedding. We held hands and talked about the previous few months and the terrifying summer that lie ahead. It would be the longest time apart we would experience thus far in our dating relationship, a big test of our relationship.

As we pulled up the church, he explained that he had been waiting for an appropriate time to give me a special gift. From the backseat, Kevin pulled a small package with a sweet note. Inside was my very own plush penguin. Both him and his sister grew up loving penguins and had their own plush penguins. This gift made me feel so apart of his life. I was welcomed into one of his childhood favorites and in moments I was about to be welcomed into his family, his big family, not just mom and dad. My heart swelled.

We shared a few more sweet moments in the car before we made our way into the church to change and get ready for the wedding. I met a few family members with him before he was whisked away to play usher for the wedding while I hung back with his sister, mom and dad. We sat towards the front amongst family members and watched as the couple said their vows. I sat in the pew and felt and overwhelming sense of excitement and emotions.

I'd always loved weddings but this time was different. This time my heart was completely overwhelmed and I didn't know what to make of it.

I was questioned by uncles, shared cake with his mom, in pictures with his immediate family, and welcomed in every way by the whole family. It was wonderful. Before the day had arrived I was nervous to meet this much family. But now, now I was at peace. Now, I was loving every moment of it.

We had a busy week ahead of us, including Kevin leaving the very next day for an early week of training for camp, so once the wedding was over and we had lunch with his mom, dad and sister we were back in the car to Norman, back up I35.

Kevin got in the car, looked at me and smiled.  I want to marry you, he said. I froze. I tried to speak but no words came and I was silenced. It took me off guard but it was exactly how I felt as well, and that terrified me. We had no idea what the future held but we knew we wanted to continue this relationship the Lord had gifted us. I softly returned the sentiment, and we talked the rest of the way back about his family and the wedding.

On Sunday, I drove Kevin to the airport for his week of training. I had waited until today to give him my gift, a lock of hair. I wrote him a letter describing the tradition of a girl giving her guy a lock of hair and smiled as I handed him the little envelope. He laughed but loved it.

Before he got out of the car for our week apart he said, " I want you, and I'm determined to show you that. I want to pursue you as long as that's what God wants for us and as long as you still want me. I will pursue you. I promise you that now. I'm not sure what that will look like but are the only one worthy of pursuit for me and the only one I want to purse...it's not something I take lightly and I'm not half heated about being in a relationship with you. If I'm with you, I'm going to give it my full effort."

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