Friday, January 30, 2015

When Mercy Rains - Book Review

Here's a fun fact about me: I love Amish culture. Not really sure where this fascination came from but for as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with the Amish. As I got older I learned there was a whole genre of books about Amish culture. Amish Fiction. So when I signed up for Blogging for Books . One of the genres I could choose from was Amish Fiction! Holla!

Turns out When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a Mennonite Fiction book. Ya know, what? That is completely ok because this book is so good! I really really loved it! Once I started reading it, it was really hard for me to put it down. I'll be honest a lot of Amish Fiction books are kinda predictable. Within the first few chapters of the book you think "that relationship will get mended" "They need to be together" "she's going to end up Amish" But this book really surprised me. Just when you thought the story was going to zig - it zagged! 

The story is a beautiful picture of God's forgiveness and his restoring Love. The characters in the book all went through some real ups and downs that were revealed through some unexpected plot twists. 

This book is part of a Trilogy and the whole time I was reading I kept imagining myself closing the cover writing my review and then quickly signing up for the next installment. Until I finished the book - flipped to the last page and those dreaded words "Coming Spring 2015!" It's not out yet!? That ain't cool, man! Kim Vogel Sawyer did a very nice job of setting up the next book without really making it super predictable of just how the story will end up. 
I can't recommend this book enough! Even if Mennonite/ Amish fiction isn't your thing - this could be the perfect gateway book! 


Have you ever read Amish or Mennonite Fiction? What did you think? What is your favorite genre of books?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

6 Super Easy Tips to Help you Organize a Tiny Bedroom & Closet

Let's be honest here - my house is not clean all the time. I love having a clean and organized room but somehow - my room is not always like that. Friday I cleaned and organized my room and came up with BLANK tips to help you organize yours. Even if you have the tiniest closet - like I do.
1. A place for everything. In our house we have this issue of what to do with our pillows when we take them off the bed at night to sleep. It drove me nuts because they would just end up on the floor wherever they landed when we flicked them off. So I grabbed a basket we used for weights and decided that at night we would put the pillows we weren't using in there. So that way they had a place.
We went from:
To:
I married a guitar player which translates into: Picks everywhere! He can never find any so he buys more. I decided to take an empty watch box and toss all the picks in there. Now whenever I see a pick on the ground, the coffee table, or while I am doing laundry I just toss in in the box. 
2. Make use of space. Philip loves hats and I love how stinkin' cute he looks in hats, so he has a lot of hats. But we have a small room and an even smaller closet. So there is no way to put the hats. We had nothing hanging on the wall about Philip's dresser so I decided to make use of that space and hang the hats.
Before:
After:
I am so happy with the way that it turned out.

3. Make it Easy for yourself I am a lazy person. I wish everything was organized but the actual effort it takes everyday...woof. So here is what I do - I make it really easy for myself. Going back to tip#1 make a place for everything...even within your drawers. In my drawers and in my cubbies everything has a place. So when I am folding laundry I put everything in piles of which drawer and which pile they go in.
Then I take it to my room and it takes 4 seconds to put away because everything is in small piles and everything has a place. I just stick it there. The inside of my drawers look like this:
4.Don't be afraid to rework things. Recently our closet was just out of control. 
Nothing was in the right cubbies, sweaters were falling on the floor, nothing fit in the assigned cubbies.. it was bad. 
I went through everything we had and recategorized it. I hung up all of Philip's pants that are not jeans. I went through my sweaters and folded the ones that were being difficult. 



5. Change out clothes with the Seasons. When the seasons change our closet has to change. There is just not enough room in our closet for our summer and winter clothes. In the summer our bulky sweaters and heavier pants get put away and shorts and tank tops get pulled out. I always forget about the out of season clothes until I pull them out again. It's like getting a whole new wardrobe every season for $0!!

6. Be nice to your future self. Like I said I tend to be a little lazy at times and I just don't feel like folding my jeans and putting them away. But I have to think about my future self. My future self does not want to fold all my jeans and put them away. My future self does not want to rehang my earrings I wore last week. So be nice to her - do it now! And then your future self won't have to!

The rest of these pictures are just pictures of before and after of me being nice to my future self.

Befores:




 Afters:








What are your tips?? Would you use any of these?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Winter Outfits

It is no secret that I have been doing a Photo Challenge with Stephanie for the month of January. I decided to use a group of my outfits and go out in the snow and take pictures. I have no idea how in the world fashion bloggers do this on the reg. I felt so incredibly awkward. 


 Lauren Conrad Leggings and Sweater.


 Old Navy all day.


 In an attempt to do a yoga pose, I look like I only have 1 leg.
 Oh, person off screen, you are so funny.





What have you been wearing this winter?

Monday, January 26, 2015

There is a Snake in my Basement!!


Alright I am just going to cut to the chase. There was a snake in my basement on Friday. 
Friday I was on a cleaning and organizing rampage. I was determined to deep clean and organize my whole house. So I took my guest room comforter and sheets down to the basement to wash them. 

I turn on the light and I see a snake coming out from under the washing machine. I froze. The snake froze. I turned around and ran upstairs. 
Philip was in a dead sleep because he was sick. I walked as calmly as I could into our room and said "I just need you to know there is snake in our basement." Groggy, he looked at me and said "what?" I said "I just need to know if you put a rubber snake in the basement, because technically it never moved" "No I didn't put a snake in the basement"

So Philip woke up, put shoes on and grabbed a snow shovel.

I followed him down the stairs - filming the whole way. He turns the corner and says "Oh there is a little guy" 
I see that the snake had slithered a few inches away. Here is a picture of the beast:
Alright..here is the same picture a little zoomed in.
I understand that it looks like a worm. But it is a SNAKE. And it was in my basement. In the dead of winter. In all of the scenarios I have played out in my head about what I would find in my basement, I never pictured a snake. Burglars, intruders, raccoon, sure. Snake? Never. 

Philip used the shovel to whack the snake. Below is the video of that moment. When you hear my scream - you will hear the scream of a calm, cool, and rational person.  video

After a while the snake started fighting back so Philip had to crush it a few more times. I said, with all sincerity "Amen! Crush the head of the serpent!!" 

I called 2 exterminators. The first one said "it's probably just a fluke and I don't think it came in through your sump pump"  the second one said "there is definitely something weird going on here - it for sure came in through your sump pump"

So, what your saying is, you have no idea. Awesome.
I googled it. Apparently garter snakes don't hibernate and after they hatch they separate from their mother. The website said if there's a snake in winter he's probably trying to find somewhere to hibernate. THAT IS NOT ANY BETTER!!!! What if I didn't find it?? What if, in the spring, a giant snake slithered UPSTAIRS and into my kitchen. I would die.

For the foreseeable future I will not be going to the basement without the supervision of Philip. I also am 99% sure I am going to have an exterminator come and check out my house...every few days... I can't live like this! Clearly we have to move!

Have you ever had a SNAKE in your house? What did you do??? What would you have done if you were me??


Friday, January 16, 2015

5 things Baby Fever Sufferers Understand



It is no secret that I have Baby Fever. I regularly day dream about having a baby. These are 5 things that I think are super common for Baby Fever Sufferers like myself to go through.

1. I want the bump. Every time I have a carb heavy meal I catch a glimpse of my little food baby in the mirror and just oo and awe at it. Little Baby Breadstick looks good on me! I really only gained the weight in my stomach - from the back you can't even tell I am pregnant. 
Everyone knows someone who is the cutest pregnant lady, ever. If you don't just get on Pinterest and search "Pregnant Fashion" Baby Bumps are frickin' adorable! 
2. Every time  I see a sleeping teeny tiny baby I think "I want one that looks like me!" I'll be honest the crying ones don't make me want one as much. But it's the teensy tiny, itty bitty, fresh from the oven, all they do is sleep- those ones, that is the kind I want in a "Mary and Philip please" So I have 1 nephew and he looks like my side of the family! He is literally the cutest baby in the whole entire world. 
Here's a story. The other day my whole family was together and I was holding TP and we were next to Philip. (I think Philip is super cute and hot) My husband has a nose, and he is Polish... Ok well TP leaned over and kissed Philip's nose. Just kissed it. I can't deal with that cuteness. My heart melts. 
3. Going in a store that sells baby shoes is too much. Let's get real here, anything small is adorable. Baby shoes, little onesies, little hates, little gloves. I can't deal with them. They are overwhelmingly cute and small. 
4. There are those kids that make my uterus ache. There is a family at our church who give me the worst baby fever ever. The dad works on staff with my husband they have 2 little blonde daughters. Philip and I are blonde so I am pretty much banking on having a blonde baby. And these girls, oh my gosh, they are the cutest. They dress insanely cute, they're blonde, they love to listen to the band at church and they dance the whole time. Since my husband is a worship leader - I can't take it! It's like looking into the future! 
5. When I think about labor I think "eh I'm actually ok" I try to be informed about labor. Labor is horrifying to me so I want to prepared. I ask all the women I know about their labors, and I read a lot of blogs where women tell their birth stories. This is when the Baby Fever starts to break. Even hearing about epidurals makes me feel weak at the knees. I hate spines, I hate needles the combination of the too is nauseating. Hearing about 30 hours of terrible and intense pain, the tearing, the pushing, the pooping, then the whole facade starts to fade. I think to sum up my fears in one picture it would be this:
This is actually a picture of our dear friend's baby, Josie. She is adorable and so much fun! Thank you Rachel for letting me share this picture! 
So that's it. 
Do you have Baby Fever? Do you agree with these? What did I miss?

That Friday Blog Hop

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Your Husband Can't Read Your Mind


I have only been married a year and 7 months. But in this short amount of time I 
have learned so much. So much about myself, my husband, marriage, life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness. Maybe not quite that far. But the biggest thing I have 
learned in this time is, simply put: Men can’t read minds. Whoa. Mind=blown. This 
message just got driven home this past weekend.

See, I have been extremely busy lately and my husband has been going above and 
beyond helping pick up the slack I have been leaving behind me. But somehow on 
Sunday afternoon all that got washed down the drain. I got home from church 
before he did and I started cleaning the house for small group. I started noticing the 
recycling wasn’t in the bin, the house hadn’t been swept, the bed wasn’t made. Etc, 
etc. So, obviously, I got really annoyed that he hadn’t done these things. 

Let me answer what you may be asking; No – I had never asked him to do those 
things. And Yes – I was getting mad at him for not doing them.

In retrospect this doesn’t make any sense. I had never asked him to do those things, 
I know it isn’t his personality to do those things, but I was still mad.
I’ll skip to the end where I ended up crying because I felt so bad that I was just the 
worst wife ever. [I am really sounding overly emotional here – this is not my 
proudest moment]

Philip forgave me because he is amazing and he loves me. But I really learned a 
lesson. Philip can’t read my mind. He can’t see my thoughts and know what I expect 
from him if I don’t tell him. 

God has been working on my heart lately, teaching me how to be a more patient 
person. Sunday when I was in the midst of my hissy fit over nothing I could hear him 
saying “aren’t you glad you have a husband to help you? Aren’t you grateful that He 
takes care of you everyday? He works hard to provide for you, doesn’t he? He may 
forget to do things, or not clean everything you know, but he is still there.” 

Ouch.



So this is my point: Let’s be grateful for the men we have.  Let’s not hold them to a 
standard they know nothing about. Let’s love them for who they are, the way they 
are; because they love us that way. Even though we are emotional and irrational, 
and we do stupid things sometimes. They give the most comforting hugs, the most 
sincere compliments, and they are truly gifts from God.

Am I the only one who is guilty of this?