Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Facepalm : Hair Edition

I got my hair cut the other day.  The girl who greeted me at the door complimented my long curly hair.  "It's just gorgeous," She gushed, "I wish I could get my hair to look like that!"

As she cut and styled, she went on to give me tips.
"Never brush through your hair after you get out of the shower, it will damage it."
"Don't use hairspray, it dries it out and makes it crunchy."
"Using a quick spray of cold water at the end of your shower will help tame the frizz."

We had been talking about curly hair care for a while, and I finally said, "I'm glad you know about curly hair!  It's always hard to find stylists who understand that cutting curly hair is different from cutting straight."

"Oh, my natural hair is exactly the same as yours.  It's long, thick, and super curly," She said, waving a strand of her stick-straight hair at me.  "I just flat-iron it every day because I can't get it to do anything."

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Study on First Step Expressions

There's a lot floating around in a 10 month old's mind when she takes her first steps.  Our sweet Kayleigh's walking adventure began on July 27th.  Here are some of the expressions that flitted across Kayleigh's face while she practiced some more on Grammy and Papa's lawn on Saturday :)

Tentative, but oh-so-proud

"I've totally got this!"


"Walking is hard."


"Oh, look!  Grass!"

Cheering up

"I'll do it tomorrow."

"Watch out, Tomorrow!!"

"I'm gonna walk all over you!"

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Glimpse into Paul and Bethany's Wedding

Paul and Bethany's wedding was not only deeply moving and wonderfully memorable, it was also flat-out gorgeous!  Here are some of my favorite pictures from their special day.

What a lovely day!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Worth Fighting For

Handsome Man and I went to the most beautiful wedding on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to sharing some of our pictures with you later this week, but today I want to tell you about my favorite moment during the ceremony.

Paul and Bethany wrote their own vows.  They were beautiful, unique, and heartfelt.  Something that I found very striking was that they both ended their vows with the same phrase.  I wish I had it word for word (I'll ask them in two weeks when they get back from their honeymoon!), but it was something to this effect:

I promise to put God first, to love you with His love,
and I promise to fight for our marriage.

I love that.  These two aren't coming into marriage all starry-eyed expecting that it's going to be easy.  Four years in, I can tell you that it isn't.  Marriage takes work.  It takes commitment, perseverance, and more love than you could ever think it would.  The promise to fight for your marriage shows that you know that it's worth it.  This couple has many growing days ahead of them.  Days when they will be stretched, days when outside elements may leave them shaky.

But when you know that something is worth fighting for, you protect it with everything you have.

Paul and Bethany weren't expecting that their vows would be put to the test before their wedding ceremony was even over, but during the lighting of the Unity Candle, something beautiful happened that everyone in attendance will remember for years to come.

Wind was swirling around the beautiful hill above a vineyard, and the Unity Candle wouldn't stay lit.  The pastor tried over and over again to light the wicks, but as soon as he backed away for the bride and groom to do their part, the fire would extinguish.  Paul and Bethany tried to shield the candle from the wind with their hands, but it was no use.

Next, Bethany picked up the hymnal that was beside the candle and used it to protect the fire, but the wind still blew out the flame before they could do anything.

They were at a loss.  As hard as they tried to shield their wedding candle from the wind, they couldn't do it on their own.  The wind was too strong, coming from every angle, and the two newlyweds couldn't protect their precious candle by themselves.

It was getting to the point where we were starting to feel sorry for them.  Every wedding has its little quirks, the things that don't quite go as planned.  And it was looking like  the story of how their Unity Candle wouldn't light at their wedding was one that Paul and Bethany would be telling for years to come.  

Just when I started thinking that they were going to give up and continue with the wedding sans candle, the bride motioned to their wedding party, "We need to huddle!"

And with that, ten bridesmaids and ten groomsmen encircled Paul, Bethany, and their Unity Candle.  They formed a tight circle, linking arms and huddling close.  They were not about to let the wind blow their friends' candle out.

Everyone let out a chuckle when they saw Bethany's "two thumbs up!" from behind the wall of friends, but the beauty of what had just happened didn't disappear.

When the wind threatened to extinguish this bride and groom's symbol of unity, they did everything they could to protect their candle from it.  And when the two of them were not enough, twenty of their best friends stepped in to create an impenetrable barrier, protecting it for them.

Isn't that beautiful?

Too often, we try to do things by ourselves.  We're this world of lonely people floundering around thinking no one else can understand.  But when we are surrounded by loving, supportive friends, even the worst storms in life won't be able to take us down.

I'm glad that Paul and Bethany have that figured out.  With a love founded in Christ, invested in each other, and surrounded by friends, their marriage is off to a beautiful beginning.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Etsy + Olympics = Let the Games Begin!

I love it when the crafting community bonds over a common theme, and right now, London Olympics 2012 is all over Etsy.  Check out some of the fun finds!

I love this hand embroidered hoop from Sew Faithful

This London-themed cosmetic bag from JordaniSarreal is just the cutest thing!

What little girl's heart wouldn't go pitter-pat at the sight of PheePheeBowtique's little bow?

If you collect Olympic pins, this adorable apron from Foodphyte is just the thing

This necklace from Natalie is the perfect way to show some Olympic spirit

I love this London-themed bunting from SewSweetViolet.  It's the perfect party decor.

Something about this print from HopSkipJumpPaper makes me happy

This onesie from Tees2TakeAway seriously cracks me up.  I wish Kayleigh had one!

These patriotic cupcake toppers from Pics and Paper are so fun!

And I wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't share at least one crocheted item--how clever is this little Olympic Rings Cap?!?  Made by Lina.  I love it :)

Are you excited about opening ceremonies tonight?  What's you're favorite Olympic even?
  Share with us below!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Post in Random Form

♥ I ate 3 or 4 of my friend Stacey's Swedish Brownies tonight, and even though I'm  d e a d  tired, I think I'll be zaney-wide-awake for a while.  Stacey is only days away from the due date of her sweet baby girl, and I'm so excited to meet little Sabine Ann!
♥ ESL teaching + VBS + exhaustion from last week is kicking my butt.  I'm so excited to leave it all behind next week and go on vacation with my beloved little family.
♥ Kayleigh got to play with her little buddies Jacob (3) and Caleb (1) today.  They were listening to country music while playing in the boys' room, and Kayleigh started dancing to the radio.  She kept dancing right through the commercials, to which Jacob shook his head and said, "That's not even music!"  It cracked me up :)
♥ Over the weekend, we were away for 39 hours to go up north for a friend's wedding.  Out of those 39 hours, we spent 25 of them driving.  Whew!  I drove through the night after the wedding on Saturday to get us home in time for church on Sunday.  I've been dragging ever since.
♥ ^Makes me realize that I'm not as young as I would like to think.
Flowering Tree Botanicals just announced that you can get 20% off everything in their shop by using the code "brambleberryrocks" (expires August 1st).  I'm compiling a list of things (like thisthis, and definitely this!) that I can't wait to get! (don't forget that you can still enter Happy Homemaker Me's Flowering Tree Botanicals GIVEAWAY!)
♥ This has been my last week of teaching ESL for this summer.  I'm doing one American holiday a day to help teach them about American culture.  Today is Thanksgiving.  Seeing a handful of tiny Chinese kids wearing pilgrim hats and feathered headbands is totally going to make my day!
♥ I've got so many fun craft posts that I want to share with you...and of all things, lighting is keeping me from it!  I only get good photography light around 7am in our apartment, and lately I've been rushing off to teach instead of sitting down with my camera.
♥ Bible study was last night.  I'm so thankful for our wonderful group of friends.  It's always such an uplifting, wonderful evening.  Also, I think Wednesday nights are the hardest I laugh all week :)
♥ Today, our sweet Kayleigh Girl is 10 months old.  My goodness, we love her so much!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Funny Food Face

Looking for the Flowering Tree Botanicals Giveaway?  Click here!!!

My girl loves to eat.

"So big!"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Our Little Copycat

Kayleigh is at such a fun age right now.  She loves to imitate, and it's so much fun to see what she has learned to do!  I was updating her baby calendar a few minutes ago and just had to share two of my favorite moments from this week.

The other day, Kayleigh had only been in her crib for naptime for about 10 minutes when a fire engine raced down the street.  She hadn't made any noise, so I wasn't sure if she was already asleep.  I held my breath and listened to the baby monitor, waiting to see if my light sleeper had been awakened by the siren.  I had to smile when I heard Kayleigh's little voice ringing out over the monitor:

Then at church on Sunday, the little old lady sitting next to us in the pew coughed twice.  Kayleigh's big blue eyes looked up at the lady, studied her for a minute, and then Kayleigh coughed.  Twice.  And then her funny little face looked up at the woman, broke out into a huge smile, and laughed.

What a ham!  I love this girl :)