Ahhh....Internet Access and a New Blog Post!

Happy last few days of 2010 to you!!!  Crazy!

I just sat down with my caramel machiatto at Starbucks, and my heart skipped a beat as I opened my laptop...internet access!  It's been far too long for a happy blogger like me!  I've also been quite sick with a bad cold the last few days, so this is my first adventure back out into life since Christmas.  Which, by the way, I hope was a very merry one for all of you!!
Though I seriously don't mind being cozy and resting at home, it's great to be out and about, after the Christmas chaos and before the exciting new year.  Of course, however, I don't have my camera cord, so I won't be downloading the pictures I planned for this post.  Next time hopefully!

Christmas break has been quite enjoyable, I have to say. I love having extended time off for some guilt-free relaxation. Here is my randomness…the best way to jump back in –

1. Last week I spent a few days helping my young friend Ellie make a couple super cute pillowcase dresses for her neighbors. We made them without actual pillowcases, and it was my first time making any sort of clothing. We had such a fun time figuring it out, and I look forward to trying out one with an actual pillowcase soon! We basically used this youtube video to walk us through it.

2. My parents and older brother came to stay with us on Christmas Eve, since we were here for the very first service at the multi-site campus my husband has been working so hard to help launch for over a year. It was a prayer and dedication service, and it was really cool to see take place. Launching a multi-site of a church is pretty much like planting a church, which equals A LOT of work. God alone is sustaining the staff, and they are trusting in his timing and provision. I am so proud of Kevin! His role covers discipleship, small groups, new members, men’s and women’s ministry, and I’m sure more that I’m forgetting. He is an awesome pastor!
I’m thankful my family could come celebrate with us, and be here for Christmas morning! A very different but sweet new memory. This was the first time in over 30 years that my mom hasn't been home on Christmas day.  I think it was my first time as well.  Thanks for being adventuresome mom!  We played games, I made our family’s favorite Taco Salad on Christmas Eve, and we enjoyed brunch on Christmas morning. We are heading to my parent’s house in Indiana this week to have our actual family Christmas which will include my younger brother, his wife, and two kids. Let the festivities continue!

3. We celebrated Christmas afternoon and evening with Kevin’s family, which was really fun as well. The meal was delicious and the kids were adorable as usual. We also had quite an entertaining time of playing Catch Phrase. Love that game! This is a picture of the canvas I made for Jallen and Jaxon, my two nephews on Kevin’s side, and some other pics from that day, (courtesy of my bro-in-law from posting them on facebook!) :)

(Lovin' on sweet Jaxon - he's so cuddly with me and I love it!)

(Reading the Christmas Story book)

(Sweet Braelyn patiently waiting to open gifts)

(Kevin playing with...Jallen's toys!)

(Kevin playing with Jax)
4. The bummer side of all this – I have been battling a nasty cold since early Friday morning. Ugh. I have to say I spent several Christmases being sick in some way as a child and even as a college student. Weird, one-time-of-year thing. So the last few days have been spent resting, drinking tons of fluids, eating oranges and broccoli, reading, and hanging with my Gilmore Girls.

5. I know I am failing as an entrepreneur with this headband shop. Though I've sold about 50!  And it's all for a great cause... I so want to tell you about it.  I realize I’m being stifled by my lack of camera skills and web design. Oh, and at home internet access. :) Hopefully that will be returning in about 2 ½ weeks!

6. Speaking of weeks, I only have less than 1 week left in my 20’s!!! Wow. It is really happening. But I’ve been sharing that with you all for almost a year, so I think I’ve almost adjusted. I think I’m actually excited about moving on to what I’m hoping to be some wonderful and wiser years!

I think that’s all for now! I am looking forward to heading home this week for a few days! Our trip will include a joyful stop at my grandma’s, and an annual new year’s party with some of our family’s closest and long time friends. Then on Sunday we’ll have our first church services at the new campus!

Many times in the past couple weeks I have thought and prayed for those I know who are having a tough time during this season. It is a reminder that this world is not our home and a prayer for the hope that comes when we trust in our heavenly Father. Whether experiencing loss or loneliness, God is the only one who knows the whole story, and the only one who can truly comfort. I am so grateful that he does.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13


Quick Catch-up

Hi friends!  Sorry for my blogging absence!  Last week was crazy but also joy-filled.  We are finally moved and super happy about that!!  Long story short, we are crazy blessed to get to live in a beautiful house for awhile - SO much fun!  What a difference from living in an apartment, and what a sweet time Kevin and I are sharing, constantly grateful for the amazing way God has overwhelmed us with his faithfulness and the generosity of others.  Daily we are praising him for answering a bold prayer in a big way!!  And we are encouraging others to pray boldly...trusting in an all-powerful God, and believing in his desire and ability to answer in a big way!

That said, we don't have the internet as of right now, which means I'll have to be a little more intentional about when I post.  I am loving the Christmas cheer, the Christmas songs, and beautiful snow that blessed me with a snow day yesterday!  And I know I promised you a new shop...my goal is to have it up by the end of this week!  :)

Hopefully I'll be back soon. This has been quite an unconventional few weeks for this time of year in my life! But Kevin and I are finally going to put up the tree tonight, as well as make some cookies and perhaps watch a Christmas classic. Joyful! I'm so thankful for the man God has blessed me with - we are loving the adventure, and learning so much along the way!
The last thing I'll share today is a song I'm loving right now - "You're Here" by Francesca Battistelli.  Click here to listen to it.  A beautiful way to celebrate our sweet and mighty Savior during this season!


Miscellany Monday - ONE MONTH TO 30!!!

Happy Monday fantastic friends! And a happy welcome to the new followers who graciously have joined Crazy Joy lately.  Can I just say how much I am loving browsing through all your Christmas posts?!  In the few moments I had last night after a loooong (and I don't mean extra days!) weekend, I so enjoyed the Christmas cheer out in blog world.  Hopefully by next week I can participate a little bit more.  First, here's my miscellany...

1.  One month from today I will be 30!!!  Isn't that crazy????  I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I think pretty good.  Kind of feels like a mile marker in life that I've worked towards.  A sort of 'see ya later' to my youthful ways that hopefully have led to more wisdom.  I've been talking about it for so long as well as considering myself as "almost 30" for quite awhile, so the transition should be easier.  (Although I do hear you wake up that day with more wrinkles, so that should be interesting. :) 

It's been quite an amazing year of saying goodbye to my 20's, that is for sure.  It exhausts and fascinates me just to think of all the different emotions and experiences in my life over the last 10 years.  Some extremely difficult times, some unbelieveably joyful times, and all the times in between.  The theme for sure:  GOD IS FAITHFUL!  I am most thankful for how he has pursued me, and how my relationship with him has grown during this journey.  Besides, how gracious is he to give me the days of life that he has, and the amazing family and friends to share it with.  Ridiculously blessed.  And who knows what new adventures the future holds?!  My birthday will also mark the one year birthday of this blog!  Lots of celebrating ahead!

2.  Craft show success. The craft show this weekend was awesome.  So much fun.  A friend/mentor of mine generously secured the booth for me, and I had the fun of selling my fabric flower headbands!  It snowed much of the night before the event, so the roads were awful, making it a beautiful and perfect Saturday to stay tucked away at home.  That said, the crowd that came to the show was somewhat bleak, but pretty steady.  It was so much fun to see people enjoy and get excited about them.  Kevin was critical in pulling this off...seriously, he's a total Rock Star of a husband, helping me get a vision for the booth, shopping for supplies, creating business cards, AND setting it up for me.  Love him!!!

3.  A new shop coming soon!  All this brings me to my next point....I'm opening an online shop!!  I know I should dedicate a whole post to this, and have a fantastically designed logo to present, but I don't know how to do that yet! (Advice???) My gracious and awesome husband created a big cartel shop for me, and as soon as I upload photos of the headbands I currently have, it will be open for business!  At that time I'll also share the name of it...which is my favorite part!!!

4.  Awesome friends and moving.  All this excitement sounds fun, of course, but I am EXHAUSTED.  I can't even calculate the hours I spent cutting and creating those flower headbands last week.  Very little sleep involved.  On top of that of course, was the joy of packing and moving.  Yikes.  Yesterday a few AMAZING friends helped us spend the afternoon moving in the freezing cold.  As you might know, helping friends move is always an incredible sacrifice of time and energy.  We are beyond thankful.  And although we are tired out of our minds, we are so grateful for what God is doing, how he's providing, and how we are transitioning into the next chapter of our lives.  Almost a month into the 3rd year of marriage, I am loving my husband and this season of life more than ever.

5.  Another big week.  This week is crammed full with a bible study Christmas party tonight, a Christmas Joy event at church tomorrow, a staff Christmas party at church on Thursday, a Marriage event at church on Friday, AND cleaning our old apartment thoroughly while finishing the last bits of moving.  Whew.  Sounds like I need to be sleeping at church with all the excitement going on!  Oh, and of course I'm teaching as usual.  I know it will be a week filled with blessings, Christmas fun, and memories made.  So for a 3rd week in a row, the blog might be a little quiet.  I am hoping to squeeze a couple quick posts in.  If not, I look forward to next week!  Free time returns!!! :)  I'll cheerfully be joining you in celebrating the spirit of Christmas!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters