snow day struggles

Snow days are what dreams are made of.
At least they can be.

 A full day that has been devoted to being stuck inside, unable to venture out into the world, unnecessary to accomplish the plans that had been previously laid out for your weekday. Snow days are one of the many joys that go hand-in-hand with being a teacher, one of those simple pleasures you develop as a kid that you don't have to give up, even though you're now a working professional. 

I think today was the first day I haven't utterly enjoyed my snow day. 

It was supposed to be the first day back from a much needed two-week break, a break that was the perfect mix of travel, family time, catching up on chores around the house, and relaxation. A break that I hated to see end, but, honestly, needed to end. {Who would have ever thought I'd say that?!}

I've come to a point in my life where order, structure, and routine are a good thing. I need my days to have a purpose and a goal... so then I can enjoy the days that don't. I've had a few too many of the latter lately, so they're no longer as enjoyable as they were two weeks ago.

On top of itching to get back into the routine of things, another downfall to this snowy day is that I spent most of the day cut off from the world... the world wide web, at least. ;) Our internet just couldn't hold up to those billowy conditions. 

Isn't awful how attached we get? I had a few minor school things that I couldn't get accomplished without it, and even worse, I couldn't appropriately spend my snow day vegging out in front of Netflix. It was a travesty. 

After an hour or so of twiddling my thumbs and trying my darndest to enjoy daytime television, I finally remembered that I had a sewing project I had been meaning to complete. A perfect way to salvage my failing snow day. 

I first made this headband for my cousin, Drakshya for Christmas. I've seen several like it on Etsy or various craft blogs and I always think they're just so cute! Honestly, I almost kept the one I made for Drakshya but be decided against it {what kind of present giver would that make me?!}. Plus, I knew I had plenty of fabric to make another one on another day. So I decided I could wait it out.
I originally started with a quarter yard of fabric, though I'm not exactly sure what material it is... I think it's either velvet or velveteen. Not positive though. :/ 
{my textiles professor would be shaking her head}. 

1. I cut the fabric into approximately 5" strips 2. folded it {right-sides together} 3. sewed up the side and 4. flipped it right-side out. 
Once I had a "tube" I measured it to my head and cut and sewed the ends together. The remaining portion of the tube becomes the bow... decide how big you want it {it sould be double the length that you actually want}, and then cut and sew again. {no pictures for these steps :/}

5. I then made an even smaller tube using scraps {for the middle part of the bow}. Once that is made, position the "bow" piece to where the seam aligns with the headband's seam and wrap the new small tube around the middle. 
6. Sew the ends together and you have a bow on your headband. 7. As a finishing touch, I tacked down the corners of the  bow so that it would lay flat on the headband. 
Clear as mud? ;)
Though this wasn't necessarily the snow day of my dreams, it wasn't all bad. I did get a cute headband out of it and am wrapping it up with The Bachelor premiere... not too bad at all. And looks like I'll have tomorrow to practice snow day gratefulness too. 



2013 was a year of endings and new beginnings. 

I started the year in Columbia, spending just a couple more days with my husband before traveling back to Kansas for 5 more months of living apart. It was a strange feeling because though I wasn't excited about that part of our journey, I had this overwhelming sense of peace and hope. Somehow I knew this was the Lord's plan for us, whatever it entailed. 

Living in Kansas by myself had its ups and downs. I was undoubtably lonely, but I also had the opportunity to deepen some of the friendships I had developed and spend more time at school functions that I normally might have passed up. I also didn't hate the fact that I could eat whatever I wanted for dinner and not have to worry if Derek would like it. ;) {and I might have gotten hooked on broiled portobellos and ate them multiple times a week :/ } Another perk of living alone was that I realized I had so many clothes I could go a month...s? {shhh!} without doing laundry. Which then prompted me to take a few trips down to Goodwill when it came time to pack said clothes!! ha

Aside from the familiar challenge of a long-distance relationship, and readjusting to life in a new city {which definitely isn't all bad!!}, the only truly horrible thing about 2013 is that I lost my dear Ainslie. I know a lot of people don't understand the bond that can develop between a human and a dog, but our dogs are definitely our family. Especially in this time before having real children of our own. Ainslie was such a perfect dog for me and was with me through many challenges. I still miss her terribly. :( 

Of course there was a lot of good in 2013, as well! Finally getting to move back to Missouri to be with Derek {and being so much closer to family and friends than we were in Kansas}, settling in to our new duplex which is so much more homey than our little apartment in GC, experiencing Columbia life {M-I-Z anyone?}. 

We've even already went to a football and basketball game. 

We also bought our first car, I started a new job, we've been getting plugged in to our new church, and I've even made a friend or two. There's definitely some fun to be had in CoMo!

And let's not forget our newest addition, acquired in July...

Reflecting over the past year, I think the biggest lesson I've learned in 2013 is that life isn't perfect {duh, right?!}. We can hope and dream for what's "bigger and better" {in our eyes at least}, but life is still life. 

The Lord gave me exactly what I had been asking for this year... Derek and I have the same schedule {finally}, we live in a "bigger and better" city... in Missouri, I have a job at a larger school {about the size that I've always considered "ideal"}, we found a church that we love, and I feel like I'm developing some solid adult friendships... but guess what?! Life still isn't perfect. And it never will be {until the day we meet out Savior, at least}. 

Though the Lord taught me contentment while living in Garden City, I think I kind of kept it in a box and didn't realize I would keep needing it. The past few weeks I've realized that the sin of comparison and complaining is one that I struggle with and will probably continue to struggle with. I'm challenging myself this year to continue to apply that little lesson on contentment in all areas and situations in my life. 

A few other ways I'm hoping to challenge and better myself this year:

I'm challenging myself to do something with a friend(s) at least once a month. As an adult I haven't been intentional about friendships and that needs to change!! 

I'm also challenging myself to blog at least twice a month. I've come to the realization that regular blogging probably isn't for me, at least right now, but it made me sad that I had recorded so few memories in 2013. I love being able to read back over the past and remember even some of the tiny details I might have forgotten, or to just remember where I've come from and how I've grown. I don't plan on getting super involved with the blogosphere, but I do want to make time for memory-keeping. 

We made a couple financial goals that I'll keep between the hubs and I. They probably wouldn't sound very significant to most people, but they are to us. :)

-Physical Health-
It's so cliche to make health goals, isn't it? I honestly have maintained a decent weight into my adulthood {though sometimes it fluctuates a little higher than I'd like}, but as I've gotten older I realize that exercise isn't just about losing weight, it's about living a healthy lifestyle {yeah, yeah, I realize that's exactly what they tell you all through school, but sometimes it takes awhile to click}. My fitness goal is pretty simple... I just want to find something that works for me. Something that I enjoy and that I'll stick with. And honestly something that doesn't cost a fortune, because quite frankly, I won't pay it! ha All suggestions welcome and appreciated. :)

-Spiritual Health-
I think my biggest goal in this area for 2014 is to serve others more. I need to think outside myself and look for the needs of others. I strongly believe that a big part of worshiping the Lord is serving His people and I definitely don't do that enough. Whether it's opportunities through our church or simple, everyday things, I plan to be more intentional in meeting the needs of others around me. 

I also want to spend more time reading my Bible. The morning devotion time that Derek and I started last year is a great way to start the day, but it often ends up feeling rushed and lacking depth. I want to read more for purpose and knowledge in addition to my morning routine. 

I started thinking about the new year as I was driving home from Marshfield on New Years Eve and got this overwhelming sense that change was coming. It was a surreal feeling and I couldn't help but pray that the Lord prepare me for whatever He had in store. As I continued to think about the changes that will inevitably come this year, I realized that this is the first year in many that brings about a complete "unknown." I'm not expecting to get engaged or plan a wedding, I'm not planning to graduate or get a new job, there's not a big move in my future, and for those of you wondering, I'm not planning to get pregnant {for now at least ;)}. 

This year is a blank slate all around, which is maybe why I was so taken aback by the stirring I felt driving home. Nevertheless, I love surprises, so 2014 is bound to be exciting!!  I hope you're optimistic about your new year too! 


The story of the pew...

Being the Pinterest junky that I am, I have many "projects" stored up in my head to be completed in the unknown future. 

One such project included transforming an old jankity pew into a lovely piece of furniture that looks right at home in the... home {rather than a charming, yet dated chapel}. You know, like these: 

I have loved the idea of having a pew in the "entryway" for quite sometime, but as mentioned above, figured it would be a future project. I mean for one, I don't even have an "entryway" and for two where in the world am I going to get a pew?! 

Well, wouldn't you know it... I found a pew! Not only found, was given a pew!! As in free! 

The church Derek and I attended in Garden City recently bought a church building {we had been meeting in a strip-mall} and thus acquired several old, unwanted pews. After inquiring about purchasing an aforementioned pew, our pastor decided to give us one as a going away present! Yes, please and thank you very much!!! 

We loaded it up in the moving truck first thing and hauled this ugly beast back to Missouri. Oh the possibilities...

Clearly, this wasn't going to work out {though I must admit, the orange started to grow on me} so the deconstruction began: 

I really didn't get too many "in-progress" pictures because I knew this wouldn't be a tutorial. No way!! I did, however, have fun taking a few sneak peaks before it was all said and done. 

You can't tell in any of the pictures, but I actually ended up taking the back/arms completely apart too. This project really became quite the nuisance! I have a feeling I put way more into it than what was really needed and definitely more than I expected! Some of the unexpected extras included adding some paneling to the back to make it look a little nicer and to better hide the left-behind glue texture {sanding didn't really cut it}, as well as adding a piece of trim across a section of the front that wasn't exactly even since it was originally hidden by fabric. 

{above is a far off and close up picture of the paneling that I added to the back and a similar picture, below, of the trim}

I opted to use spray paint on this project, but had the darndest time getting an even coat. I was optimistic because I had seen some successful wood painting projects that used spray paint, but I really think I could have saved a lot of money if I would have just opted for regular paint from the beginning!

Live and learn, right?! 

Ultimately, I love how the project turned out! It definitely isn't perfect and it cost a bit more than I originally expected {which makes me even more grateful that it was a gift}, but I think it's a great addition to our new Missouri home. And hopefully it will one day find itself in our very own entryway! 

If you're curious about any of the specific products I used, feel free to ask! Since this is far from a tutorial I won't bother with all those gory details in the post, but am happy to share my thoughts and experiences if you are planning to complete a similar project! 

I'm sure you're just dying to know what I did with all that extra paneling! Wonder no more... makeshift headboard! I think it adds a little something extra. Better there than in the garage at least. 

{By the way, don't you just love the new A Beautiful Mess app?! Sometimes when I'm bored I play with it without even posting the pictures. Trust me, my life is not interesting enough to be posting pictures to Instagram all the time!! :)}