Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Okay...so this isn't a great picture...but I just had to get a quick post out! The snow has hit, and it is really coming down!!!! This has all happened in about an hour. Crazy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not So Bad, After All

Okay...so Valentine's Day wasn't quite as bad as I had anticipated. For starters, Braelyn actually didn't hate her kitty! Phew. That was a close one.

And I almost forgot...I "made" her this little scarf for her Valentine's party at school.(She doesn't actually like the scarf that much, she's just being charming for the picture.)
It is the easiest thing ever! I just got a yard of fleece, cut a 7 inch strip down the long side, cut little fringe on ends, and then stitched on a felt heart. Done. So easy. So cheap. So fun. (Well, I think so, anyway.)

So...do two homemade Valentines gifts that Braelyn doesn't completely loathe equal one homemade Valentine gift that she kind of likes?
Well, we're moving up anyhow...
Here are our stats:
Last Year: Greatly Disliked
This Year: Didn't Dislike

Next Year I am aiming for Barely Like


As for MY sweet Valentine...look what he bought me! (with the help of a small collection of gift cards)...My first iPod! And it's pink! Perfect!
Thank you, my love!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Done with Homemade Valentine's Day!

Last year I decided to do homemade Valentine's Day presents for Braelyn. Remember this guy? I LOVED how he turned out, but unfortunately Braelyn was less enthusiastic. So, this year I decided to ASK her what species of Valentine friend she would like to have, and I also let her pick out the fabric. MISTAKE! MISTAKE! What do children know?! I should know better!...Since when do we we make crafts that our children actually like?! We don't! We make crafts that WE like and then think our children shameful for having such poor taste. At least that's what has always worked for me. What possessed me to change the natural order of things? Well I have certainly learned my lesson.

I started this little endeavor at about 8pm this evening (Valentine's Day eve). And wrapped things up at about 12:15am.

Um..HIDEOUS! It is a hideous disaster.

First problem...it's a cat! Eew.

Second problem...she chose a light weight fabric, which is really my fault...I should have directed her to sturdier fabrics. Didn't think about that until I was stuffing my pink feline friend and her little seams just started screaming for their lives. Needless to say, I do not get points for construction on this one. Poor baby looks like she's been in a few street fights in her day.

Third problem...I don't really have any idea what I am doing when it comes to making stuffed animals. Not sure why I thought this would be a good idea.

Forth problem...probably should have started sooner. But she wanted a CAT...what motivation was there?

Anyways...here she is. I was too lazy to take real pictures of it, so I just used photo booth.

See my face...DONE. Done with Valentine's Day and cats and ugly fabric. D-O-N-E!
I actually enjoyed putting the face on and her heart tummy and those little details. Everything sorta went down hill when I had to sew her together and then we basically fell off a cliff when I tried to stuff her.
Look...She's got a tail.

So, I'm pretty sure I'm done with this tradition. Especially when Braelyn refuses to hold it and looks at me like, "Please don't make me keep that in my room!" At least maybe now she will have a greater appreciation for the owl! That's something.


Happy Valentine's Day. ;)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Beautiful Meantime

I gave my blog a new name today. The Beautiful Meantime. We are right on the edge of a new season, so it feels fitting to give this record of our lives a new title.

Why the Beautiful Meantime?
I am finding that the longer I know the Lord, the more I long for His return. Sometimes, when I am discouraged by sin, or overwhelmed by all the suffering in the world, or when He has felt particularly near...I get this feeling...a feeling that can only be described as homesickness.
So we, Followers of Jesus, we wait. Patiently, but eagerly.

And that is not to say that we just sit idly by. No...there is work to do. Great and satisfying and eternal work to do. And that is not to say that we do not enjoy the life we have been given. Indeed...we savor it. Every joyful, hard, painful, hilarious, ridiculous, ordinary, scary, blessed, beautiful moment of it.

"And not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:23-28

So there you have it. It's probably Rule #1 that you DO NOT change the name of your blog, but oh well. I did it. I have very understanding, flexible readers. I'm sure it won't be a problem. Plus, most of you are family, or I pay you to read my blog...so you're obligated anyway! ;)

Jenny...Pleasant Places is all yours, Baby! It was great sharing the name with you!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Casey and I just returned from VERGE2010, a conference for pastors and church planters. There was much to learn, and all the lingo and the strategies were all well and good, but before I begin to process all that...I have to repent.

These are the goals I have given myself in "Jesus' Name":
- I need to work on a being a better mom.
- I need to work on being more disciplined.
- I need to watch less TV.
- I need to stop saying cuss words.
- I need to spend more time in my quiet times.
- I need to stop thinking so much about how I look.
- I need to pray more.
- I need to fast more.
- I need to be less selfish.
- I need to be less self-centered. (What would give me that idea?!)

These are the things that I concern myself with day after day. I have shrunk the Gospel into this list of things I need to work on. And while they are important and should be addressed, they are all about ME and I believe I am committing a greater sin by ignoring the truth that people are living and dying everyday without Jesus. And the irony is...is that if I would only participate in the mission that Christ began for us and calls us to...would God not begin to work on my list anyway? Would I not pray more? Would I not fast more? Would I not live my life with more discipline and intentionality? Would I not begin to think more of others and less of myself? Would God not be in the business of sanctifying me for the sake of His Mission? HE WOULD! And what is better is that it would be HIM transforming me and not just me trying harder.

Oh! I repent! I have surrounded myself with lovely Christian women and lovely Christian families and we do so many lovely Christian things together. But I have neglected the lost. I have neglected the Mission of the Gospel for the mission of discovering my own righteousness. There will always be a million reasons to put off doing the work of the Gospel. But there is one reason...THE REASON...that we lay down our silly excuses, we lay down our time, we lay down our insecurities, we lay down our fears, we lay down our lives...and it is JESUS.

As you probably know, Casey and I are beginning a new chapter of our lives. To be honest, there are moments that I am terrified. But, I am excited too, and what is more important, we are certain of the calling. So, as we find a new home and a new neighborhood, as we enroll in new schools, and go to new story hours, and play at new parks, if you are my friend, or if you feel inclined, will you please pray that we will wake up each morning with Christ's mission heavy on our hearts? That we would see as Jesus sees, and love like Jesus loves. That we would love Christ and His Kingdom more than we love ourselves. I desperately covet your prayers.

The sessions from the conference will be online soon, I think. And if you have time, I highly recommend that you listen to Francis Chan's sessions. He (author of Crazy Love) is so funny and so delightful, but he has so much to say, and I think that if you are feeling that maybe you've been missing the point, like I have, Francis will be a great encouragement to you. I will post the link as soon as they are up.

Thank you my friends, for hearing my confession.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I have wanted these for SO LONG! I ordered them off Etsy last summer. Finally had them framed last week. Brought them home today. :::Sigh::: It was worth the wait. I LOVE them!
Just had to share.

OH! And guess what?! When I went to pick them up at Hobby Lobby today, I perused the fabric section, and they are now carrying a new line of SUPER CUTE upholstery-weight fabrics! I was very excited to see that.

Happy day!