Book Review: Happy Wives Club

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

If you've looked around here for any amount of time, you will soon learn that I am a little bit crazy about books. Maybe. I mean, have you ever read 15 books in one month, or 75+ in an entire year, for that matter? Yeah, maybe I'm kind of all by myself on that front. Perhaps. But you know what - that's okay. 'Cause I love it. I am generally reading up to 4 books at a time - a devotional, a women's study for our group on base, a long novel, and a short reader. And by long novel I mean hundreds of pages, like those amazing books that Francine Rivers writes. And by short reader, I mean something I'll finish in one afternoon because it's just oh-so-amazing that I can't help but put it down - just a regular length for everyday books - Like this book I'll be introducing to y'all today. It's helped me a lot, and it's allowed me to re-prioritize different areas of my own mundane day-to-day life and duties, to see how everything I do fits into this life and eventual legacy that Marshall and I are building together.
That books is called the Happy Wives Club, by Fawn Weaver.
Please don't roll your eyes! Hear me out here. Although, when I was getting the upgrade to my smart phone at the Verizon store about a month ago, I was reading this book, and a man next to me was so struck and curious by the title. He said he wasn't sure his wife would read it just because of the title - it seemed a little cheezy, in ways. Perhaps I could see this. But come a little closer, and maybe overlook the title to see the true message, will you? Whenever I had this book with me when I was out and about - waiting for lunch, relaxing at the coffee shop, or waiting to get my phone upgrade - it struck up a conversation - the ONLY book I've ever read that has done so consistently. Having a club for happy wives seems a little silly at first - but is it? Well, no, I don't think it is. With all that negative portrayal of marriage and the daily duties and activities of spouses on the media (I'm looking at you, prime time television, and basically every blockbuster movie out there) it is no wonder, perhaps, that it just seems silly. But it's not--- take my word for it, will you? Or better yet, just keep reading to see for yourself.
Fawn Weaver is a happily married woman and successful in the business world, who was just going about her days, when all of a sudden she realized something - why do so many people complain about their spouses? What's up with the skyrocketing divorce rates, and shows like The Real Housewives of Orange County? (Which, if you watch any of those reality shows, you really should re-think your priorities in life, and what content you are actually condoning...). Everywhere she looked was a negative portrayal of marriage... Something isn't right here.
So Fawn started on a whim, gained a following, and found what she was looking for - happy wives - they exist!!!! Then she left for this book project, on a mission around the world - through 12 countries, on 6 continents, with 1 mission - to find those happy wives out there, and see what it is that sets their marriages apart from the rest. Dozens of wives from all around the world were interviewed for this project, and wanted everyone to know that happy marriages and happy wives do exist -and not without compromise. It takes two to tango, after all. We know it's out there, and maybe we want to commit at an even deeper level to our spouse - this book will show you how everyday couples of every kind of culture beat the odds and are happily married to their best friends, to this day.
Fawn travels to San Diego, Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Croatia, Manila, Perth, Winnipeg, London, and more. She meets everyday women with varying cultures and backgrounds, who all share similar marriage "secrets." This book discovers those stories behind these happy marriages, and is literary proof that happy, healthy marriages do exist - and it's not as complicated as the media tells you it is to attain. Seriously, forget the media! Please - it will do wonder for your relationships and perceptions. Great marriages are all around us when we take the time to search for them. I myself can think of a handful of couples out there who I would gladly interview in a similar fashion for their marriage secrets - they have stood the test of time, and many hardships along the way.
Are you waiting for some of those secrets? Well, wait no further, y'all! Here are 12 secrets to a great marriage which Fawn found in some form in every single couple she interviewed for the project.
 (Note: These are all taken directly from the book, copyright Fawn E.Weaver, 2014. Emphasis mine).
Twelve Secrets of a Great Marriage:
1. Respect - Each couple interviewed had mutual respect for each other in all situations.
2. Trust - Trust was also essential to each relationship, and comes as a natural result of giving each other respect.
3. Belief in God - All couples interviewed believed in God in some form, no matter denomination etc, and have a healthy fear of disappointing God in relation to their spouses.
4. Laughter is the best medicine - Each couple haves fun with each other and laughs a lot - throughout the day, even. They don't take each other or themselves seriously, and have lighthearted relationships in nature.
5. Keep outside interests - Each couple stated the importance of having interests, hobbies, etc, outside of the home and family. A separate identity is important and keeps from congestion, in healthy doses, with the relationship in check.
6. Create a daily ritual - Every couple had a daily ritual they've maintained for decades, as a way to connect daily and keep each other in tune with the other, allowing trust to build each day. This included things like morning coffee, afternoon tea, appetizers each night, etc.
7. Date your spouse - Regular dates are a must at all times, with or without children in tow. Maintain a weekly date night, out on the town or a movie night at home- whichever work best and fits your personalities. All couples continued to date throughout their marriage and impress or pursued each other as they were when dating initially.
8. Support your spouse - Each couple supported one another through school, life changes, career changes, hobbies, interests, goals and dreams, constantly building one another up. It doesn't necessarily matter who is the breadwinner at the time, but that each respected and supported another in all areas daily.
9. Friendship is essential - Above all else, these couples are best friends, and each other's number one confidant. Each have friends outside of marriage, but their number one relationship is with their spouse - no matter what.
10. Nurture your marriage - Each couple interviewed put marriage as the number one relationship in their lives, including relationship with children - your spouse always comes first. Your marriage will always be there; Children won't because one day, they do grow up.
11. No Plan B - Each couple decided at the start that there will be no Plan B, no going back, this is the point of no return! By subtracting divorce from an end to marriage, they found much more patience with each other - disagreements don't need to be solved immediately because common ground can be found over time - they will always be together.
12. Choose your friends wisely - All couples interviewed were incredibly selective about the company they keep; Surrounding yourself with others who build up your marriage rather than attempt to tear it down, for any number of reasons, is a must. This includes others who share the same faith and convictions - people who believe in love and a lifelong marriage were the ones allowed in the couple's inner circle. This also meant sometimes cutting ties with those who were constant Debbie Downers and affected mood, action, words, etc., which in turn affected the marriage relationship.
About No. 12: I cannot stress how important this one is!!!!!!
13. Bonus: Happy Wife + Happy Husband = Fountain of Youth - This one is Fawn's observation throughout the journey: the couples she interviewed are energetic, look young ,and are all extremely active. Research has shown that happily married people live longer than singles, and this truly showed throughout her travels. (Mom & Dad.. I'm looking at y'all here! More on that tomorrow...).
Well, there you have it! The "secrets" to a happy marriage from one of my now favorites books ever! This is really up there on the list, y'all, and yes, that is quite an extensive list of favorites I have. So, what do y'all think? What are your secrets to a happy marriage, or if you aren't married, what do you think would be important?

I was not compensated for this post. Book review posts are all chosen by me via personal interest, and for no other reason. All opinions are my own.

Putting a Face to the Blog

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I recently stumbled upon Jasam's blog, The Opulent Owl, the other week - or rather, she found mine! As I opened my email I smiled, realizing that we have added another San Diego milspouse blogger to our group! Wow, I think we are reaching near 20 ladies now? Such a great group!! I can't wait to see everyone - hopefully most can come - because we have a few fun events planned in the next few weeks which I am absolutely thrilled about!

So as soon as I heard from her, I sent back an ecstatic reply, added her button to my sidebar, checked out her blog, and added her to our little group's info sheet. It's been too sweet to catch up on Jasam's life - she is a Navy veteran turned into stay-at-home mom when their sweet daughter Maylee was born. Oh, she is precious! Little girls are the best. I had the pleasure of meeting her for lunch on Monday, and it was so fun!

Their little family recently moved here to San Diego, so you can only imagine how excited she was about our blogger group - finding military spouses who are also bloggers? Bonus, right?! Someone who talks my kind of language. Anyway. After I got her in touch with our group, at that point the next meet-up was still being planned, so I wanted to get a head start on getting to know her. Enter lunch.

This past Monday we met near downtown San Diego for a fun little lunch! Well, we were originally planning on going to Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens, but the entire venue was closed for renovation until Easter. Mind you, I don't drink, and Jasam wouldn't either with her little Maylee in tow with us, but it is a beautiful venue with outdoor gardens and a large food menu. It sounds like something Marshall and my dad would really enjoy - perhaps next summer when my parents visit! Anyway.

We ended up going to Raki Raki, an amazing ramen restaurant. They specialize in authentic ramen and the infamous "ramen burger," which I decided I will have to try the next time I make it there. I was all for trying out some Japanese comfort food, and it did not disappoint! It was even a little more special, perhaps, because we have quite a few friends who are currently stationed in different areas of Japan - I can't believe they have this amazing food at their fingertips at all hours of the day, it was delicious! I seriously have to thank Jasam and her sweet friend a million times for taking me a little out of my own food comfort zone, because this is a place I know I will suggest for lunch at any point in the future. So do you want to see the restaurant?

The tables were giant hunks of wood, finished. Then there were mason jars all around for drinking glasses, and stools beside them, of course as seats. When you came into the restaurant you would be directed to the table, then someone who works there would give you a bottle of fresh spring water to share (seen here) and the menus. So obviously your pour your own water, and I was so thirsty I thought I'd drink that whole thing in one gulp - but we actually had some left! Anyway. I really liked this little set-up. Especially the part about the mason jars, and wood table. The lamps were a nice touch too! Loved the décor.

The menu was basic, and the lunch special (amazing deal) told me what to order - choose a rice bowl with meat, and ramen as well. This place specializes in ramen, which is delicious, and a million times better than the store-bought kind, as it should be.The rice bowl was delicious too!! There was also orange chicken involved, which I love dearly. So fun to use chopsticks every once in a while.

The ramen was absolutely beautiful. I mean, legitimate ramen - you can't beat that! It's nice to be in an area with so many foreign food restaurants right at your fingertips, and it's fun to be able to explore different world cuisines. This ramen did not disappoint, y'all. I was hooked. We need to get out more! Note that there was also chicken involved (a must, if you ask me) and the broth was oh my delicious. There were of course leftovers (it was HUGE), and the stud ended up having some of it, then I finished it off for an evening snack/dinner. We just snacked last night, and that was fine by me.

It was so great to meet you, Jasam!! Can't wait for the next group event! You know, you can never be sure about meeting strange bloggers on the Internet in real life - what if that's all just a face? But thus far, with all these awesome milspouse bloggers I've met and had so much fun with the past few months - that is far from the truth! It is so nice to be able to put a real face to the blog, and it makes reading their posts that much more enjoyable. I've loved getting to know all of these ladies, and it's nice to have friends all around the greater San Diego area for our time here!
Also, does anyone else catch my American flag infinity scarf? I absolutely love it! I thought it was fitting to wear while meeting another milspouse for lunch, right? Note that this is the same one which the U.S. ice skating team was wearing at the Winter Olympics! I have been wearing it non-stop... 'Merica!

Dressing Up Your Phone: Four Fun Ways To Make It YOU!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Today on the blog is a guest post from Heather over at Shutterfly - a market leader in personalized photo products and services. Maybe you've heard of them.. The most popular item I know of is their photo books - I am actually looking at making one for our wedding pictures! That is, when I have time. Easy access, too cute and so special. They also allow you to design your own personalized photo canvases, metal prints, cards and stationary, and just plain prints to frame. One service which Shutterfly is trying to get the word out on is phone personalization - yes, with your own pictures! Make your phone undeniably yours, no mistaking it! Upload a photo of your favorite place, person, or pet. Or, design your own, with many other fun options. Um, hello, I just got a smartphone recently and have been looking for ways to personalize the case! Perfect. Those fun phone personalization options are the topic which Heather is going to share with y'all today.

So, without further adieu...

Four Fun Ways to Personalize Your Phone

Your slim black phone may be sleek and stylish, but it’s also, dare we say, probably a little boring. Of course, you can get sports-themed, sparkly or colorful cases, or “re-skin” your phone anytime you please with simple-to-apply, simple-to-remove stickers, but the options available are still all fairly, well – impersonal. And in the case of the skin, it won’t provide your phone with much in the way of protection, either.


So what’s a phone-carrying member of modern society to do? The answer – make your phone all about you, just like your wardrobe, your car and your home. Take a look at these four fun options for personalizing your phone.


1)      DIY. Think photos, fabrics and Modge Podge – and use your crafting skills to dress up a simple snap-on case. This way, you’ll get a layer of protection for your phone, a personalized phone case – and have the chance to get crafty with your friends.

2)      Design Your Own Case Online. If you’re not a craft maven, you can leave personalizing your case to the pros. Online designers like Shutterfly offer templates that make it easy to create your own iPhone cases and Samsung Galaxy cases. From pictures of your favorite people or pets, to monogrammed cases and even your favorite quotes, the company – and others like it – lets you choose a look you’ll love, but won’t make you do the work.

3)      Go With Graffiti. If you have a case you love – because it’s protective and, well, already paid for – you can personalize it with nothing more than a set of permanent markers. In this case (no pun intended), think graffiti and design a look that’s reminiscent of the best street art in your city, or another that’s near and dear to your heart. Need inspiration? Check out these pics from The Guardian.

4)      Update Your Home Button. If you’d rather keep it simple and keep the case you have. Some companies offer home button decals that range from sparkly bling to monogrammed, and flowers to sports teams.


After you’ve updated your case, you can also add a little style to your phone with a custom home screen and new icons for your favorite apps. iTunes and the Android Marketplace offer quick, easy, downloads – that are often very affordable or even free – that make changing the look of your screen a snap!

Author Bio: Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression.

Well, I think I'm going to customize a new iPhone case now! This is fantastic! Who knew Shutterfly was such a versatile personalization company? I've recently been taken by monograms, so I will have to dress up a simple case with that via their services. I personally love their frosted glass slim iPhone case with a monogram option above a beautiful beach picture (found here), so this may be the next wardrobe pick for my phone! Go check it out yall!

Taking the Plunge! It's Live!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I knew I needed to change something. It was just starting to get boring, you know? Like I was just lugging around. I needed something bright and exciting. I need to be disciplined with consistently posting good content, but it also needs to be visually appealing. This is my creative outlet, which I love, and I wanted others to want to visit too, you know. Because it's pretty, among other things. It was time for a change. I needed to take a plunge. All I needed was a little push. That will come soon in explanation...
First we have my buttons. With this plunge, I went to Jane at Poppiness Designs because I loved her work with Elizabeth's blog at The Young Retiree. She even wrote a whole post about why she loved it and where the inspiration came from (Hence the idea to write this whole post!) Yes - her design matches her new favorite purse from Stella & Dot! (And yes she is a stylist and got a discount!) All that to say that with her new design, myself feeling like it was about time, and a little push known as winning a giveaway- free ad space on quite a few different blogs at different times - I knew I needed new, cute buttons to bring it all together. I just love this! Since there wasn't a design to go with at first, she chose a fun font, my favorite pictures, and the colors I wanted it to eventually turn into - blue and purple, of course.
Next, Jane was away from the design world for a while, and I was busy staring at my new buttons any chance I got. I just love them. I don't know, something about having someone else make them who actually knows what they're doing is probably part of it. When she came back, she started working on my design. I told her what I knew: I love the colors purple, blue, and yellow. I wanted a clean, white background. Something feminine, something mature. Something beach-y and fun and bright, too. I wanted to keep an element from the header I used to have - the dotted line between our home, Texas, and where we live now, California.  That's kind of the premise of this little blog. You can see she put that as the post divider, and I love that decision! I also really liked the wording I had in the header (yes, I made that on paint a while back) and really wanted to keep that - so she just incorporated those fonts with the title. I love it so much.

After I gave the ok for the basics of the design, she went to designing it. This is the first mock-up. At first glance, I really loved it. Like, I could have never pictured this myself. It's fun and different to have the blurb on the right instead of left side as it was previous, and I really like having our home state as another button choice. I loved the watercolor she added in the font in the buttons, so I knew I wanted that in the design and Jane delivered. How did she get me so well after just reading a few sentences in an email? Then  I thought about it. The wording of the blurb was off for me - let's fix that. Also, why not get a Facebook page for the blog to add to the social media icons? I am getting serious with this little blog, so that's the next step. Added that too. But those flowers at the top? I wasn't sure about that. And I didn't see the kind of beach-y that I was envisioning in the design. I wanted seashells, now that I think of it, in place of flowers. And the idea I had for pictures as different tag categories for each post? Love that, but I know I needed to narrow down my tags and add different pictures. Let's see how these changes went...

Ok, in love!! This is almost exactly how my blog looks now that the design is live, except that there is an extra tag category in there (Pets) - because I write so much about them I have to include it! And the button tags are off to the sidebar. Also soon to be added is a Best Of and Contact page at the top, for mine and readers' favorite posts, plus my contact information. I re-worded the blurb to something I love much better, now that there is time to think about it. And those flowers are gone and replaced with seashells - so much beach-y and so me.  I definitely wanted beach-y, and those shells plus the watercolor and color scheme in general deliver! A Pin-It hover button is also a great idea - Love Pinterest, and it is motivation to post more recipes and crafts! The post font was also changed to make it easier to read. I also added a Facebook page for the blog which is now live (at least right after I post this blog) and linked up with my social media, as you can see. Yes, once I started looking, I found/added a few social media outlets, so you can definitely see that under the blurb. My favorite? Instagram! And maybe my new Facebook blog page with the cutest header. Oh, and the Twitter graphics with the social media add-on are the cutest, too. I might as well show them here:
Of course, I'm not sure why those few screenshots are gray instead of white, but I digress. I'm no computer geek, this is why I went to Jane for a design! This will also be live on Twitter and Facebook by this evening, which is when my page will be live, and I will also post about it when it happens on here (As I am doing now). I've already starting editing it and am very excited/nervous about this big step!
Anything else I missed? Any other steps?
Well, now that you ask...
I am also getting business cards for this little blog. I'm planning on going to VistaPrint online for this. This is something I wish I had at the blogger brunch I went to last month, and something I will be ecstatic to have ready for when I go to a Focus Group in May. And if anything pops up in between all that, such as another San Diego Milspouse Blogger Meet-Up! Many of the other ladies in our group have business cards too, so it's only fitting that I hand them out there. Want to see the proof? Of course the FB url is different - since this blog now has it's own page, and all, y'know!
Ok, now I really do think that's it. Is there anything else I missed? At least not at this moment. Of course the next step is to get the business cards made this week with the files, be sure the new design is updated and perfect on my site, post here about the Facebook page when it goes live and continue to update it, and just stare for days at my new design since I love it so much. Every step of this process has been fantastic. Jane has been incredibly accommodating, and has taken all of my visions and crazy ideas and put them to life. To be honest, I was very vague and unsure of what I wanted when I started this journey, but after seeing each mock-up and design detail, I saw what I liked, what I wanted to change, and what I wanted to add. And Jane delivered, oh yes. I love it. Watercolor, beach, clean, and just plain cute and feminine. Yes, this will be my design for some time! Oh, I love it so!
I mean, really, I've been staring at the proofs and the mock-up site for days. I received this, and had to wait all weekend until I could get a response in and it can go live, so that I can really have my proofs not say "proof" all over them and put it to good use.
What do you think about it all? I, personally, love it!
All images are copyright Poppiness Designs, 2014.

the Word in the waves

Friday, March 21, 2014

Barre class, kona hut for coffee and breakfast, working in our garden, visiting with neighbors, and the beach with scruffy. All in walking distance. Happy, content, and in love with our neighborhood and life. Blessings. I could watch the waves for days - neither of us wanted to leave!

It's been a good morning. We live a blessed life. It's too easy to forget. This is what Fridays were made for.

So with that I need the discipline. The discipline to get up, exercise, spend time with the pup, go to the beach. Soak in the Word. Spend some quiet time with God alone... and Scruffy by my side. She sits there, watches the waves, calms down after a bit, and I sit there, read a little, pray a little, think about our blessings. The beach is my happy place. It's always been - and now even more since it's so near and dear. Oh, my soul. I asked for a home by the water, just a short walk, and Marshall delivered with this find a year ago. He knows my heart and he provides! Oh, that beach. The place I've been trying to go to at least every other day. The place I live for. The place where I meet God, and he meets me, and we have a little talk. This is where I meet him most, where he is most present in my life. This connection. Peace washes over me just as the waves wash over the seashells dug into the sand, and the crabs burrow again into their homes in the sand, trying to stand firm within the ground. This is good. This is great. I live for Fridays, because this kind of a schedule is best for a Friday. The end of the week - a time to relax, recuperate, process what happened this week, prepare for a weekend of peace and love with my husband as he gets home from work. Usually early on Fridays, but it all depends.

It is good, and it is a blessing. All good things, all blessings, come from above. It's easy to forget that when things are go-go-go, and because of this, I need this quiet time by the deep ocean blue, the California breeze, the light sun, the silky yet grainy peach sand. Then I can tackle the day and weekend, because God met me and he is with me. I invited him in, and he guides me through the day, every step of the way. It's a discipline to keep him in the forefront throughout the day, and to praise him in all I do. It's a process, and it's coming by. It will come.

It will be a good day.


Know Your Value

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I realize that father's day isn't quite yet and all that, but this spoke to me recently and I wanted to share it. I know I've heard of this prayer letter before, but it's been a long time since I've given a good hard look at it. A little while ago, I ordered a long awaited t-shirt from Wonderfully Made, an organization dedicated to helping today's young women discover, strengthen, and reclaim their true value and worth. WM has college chapters, conferences, films, and a team of speakers and resources (such as their bible studies to discovering your worth or overcoming your past) that all aide in this mission. Ultimately, they desire to see young women rise up and live lives of true purpose, beauty and worth. And above all, they seek to glorify God and abide in His word. I have been following them for a long while and I pray that you do too - such encouragement and strength, truly.
So I recently ordered that shirt from them, and absolutely love it. It's pretty special to me, but surprisingly I don't wear it that often - on special occasions, perhaps. Thus far I've only worn it to a bible study on a weekday, and the rest of the days it is hanging in a prime spot in my top half of the closet, because, well, I just want to know it will be a good day when I wear it. I can't quite put it to words, but something about wearing this beautiful shirt just to de-weed the garden or write another lesson plan isn't as appealing as perhaps it should be. So I wear it when I know it will be special. Because I don't want to over-wear a loved shirt so much that it becomes not as special anymore, because of the fact that it is worn. Or maybe the fact that it is worn shows that it is so loved. But I'm getting beside myself, here. On to the point...
In the package was this little love letter poem, typed in a font on a two-sided light blue cardstock paper, with another holding a highlight from Psalm 139, the essential basis and mission statement of sorts of the organization. This is what I wanted to share with you; I pray it touches you in some way today. In all that you do, HE is there, HE hears you, HE sees you, and above all, HE loves you - unconditionally, unreserved, forevermore.
Father's Love Letter
An Intimate Message From God To You
My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.

Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.

Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.

Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.

Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.

Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.

Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.

Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.

Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.

1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.

Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.

1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.

Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7
I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…
Will you be my child?

John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad,

Almighty God
Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications

top 10 must have apps

Monday, March 17, 2014

Since I recently upgraded to a smart phone, I have spent some time browsing the app store and figuring out the best use of my time (or not)......

So this is what I came up with: A list of my top 10 apps that I have, and you may want to look into as well!

Here it goes...

Words With Friends
Of course this was the first thing I downloaded - everyone I know plays it, and who doesn't love a game of Scrabble?! I love being challenged every day. To date my best word is "Thrip" and my best game is scored at 305 points. I've got a ways to go!

Find My iPhone
Since I have a knack for losing things, what better app to get than this? I still have to figure out how to actually use this if I do lose my phone, but I couldn't pass up getting it in the first place!

Something I discovered from Elizabeth, this was an app I knew I wanted! The only one I spent a couple bucks on, and will ever do so. Find photo here.

Duh. I can't be a girl with a smartphone and not have instagram! I love exploring all of the filters for my pictures and seeing what other creative snapshots other friends have taken. And I'm ashamed (slightly) to admit that yes, I have started to use hashtags on my pictures, as well.

I call this instascruffy. Our sweet Scruffy Spice is so photogenic.
And yes, she lays down like that on her own. It's so sweet.

This is probably actually the only way I ever use Pinterest! So quick, easy, and streamlined. Not as much of a hassle as using my laptop for pinning things is, either.

Has anyone seen those commercials? This is an app/website that has games which challenge your brain "with scientifically designed training," working on areas such as memory, speed, attention, flexibility, and problem solving. Time well spent!

Definitely a must-have! I am in the process of learning a few new languages, including Spanish, and Italian. You go through the basics, learn phrases, nouns, and possessives, then get tested on it periodically and keep advancing. Such a cool nifty way to learn a language!

This is such a neat little app! Just open it while listening to any song, click the button and it automatically tells you what it is. Amazing. Because they never tell you what the song is anymore on the radio, y'know, at least that you can hear well enough to write it down for later.

Better Homes & Gardens Recipes
The best of the best! Featured, recipe of the day, grocery lists, search for ingredients.. It even tells you prep and cook time. This is how I begin meal-planning! So fun, and it's free!

I'm not sure why this app is only called "coffee" instead of "coffee drink recipes" or something more specific, because it was actually misleading at first. But I love it. Recipes for mochas, lattes, Americanos, mochaccinos, and any other coffee drink you can think of! Love this so much!!!

So there you have it!! What are yall's favorite apps? Any I should be looking at too??

gotta catch 'em all!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Does anyone else remember all that hype from their younger years (say, 2nd grade?) of Pokémon? Cause I sure do! Here in our little nest my husband has recently gotten us hooked on watching old episodes of Ash and Pikachu (It's on Netflix!!), traveling from city to city to beat the latest local Pokémon master. He thinks it's just SO COOL - I mean who would want to travel battling Pokémon at the ripe old age of 9? At least around there. My brother and I even had Pokémon trading cards when we were little and started to collect them - though honestly, Beanie Babies kind of won out the trading card arena in my mind. But we still loved Pokémon. There was even a Nintendo game centered around Pokémon - where you travel to different habitats and take pictures of all of them for points - It was called Pokémon Snap. That was my favorite! And don't forget Pokémon Arena for N64 - an extension (and a fun one at that) where you battle other Pokémon just like on the show or Gameboy device.

So with all this late Pokémon hype in our nest, I am called to remember just how ADORABLE some of these Pokémon are! I mean, if Pikachu isn't your favorite, then there may be something wrong, because he is the sweetest and most electric of them all, not to mention the main man....But there are also some other cute Pokémon that I just have to talk about.

And here they are:

A small, fox-like fire pokemon who is seriously the cutest! Just look at that sweet face and laugh! We would totally take her as a pet if we could, but I guess the next closest (and equally as cute) thing is a real fox... One day. Her greatest abilities in battle are flash fire and drought. It evolves into Ninetails, who is also on my list of faves. And in Japanese her name is Rokon.

Ninetails is what a Vulpix evolves into, and is equally as adorable but also regal. She is a fire pokemon with the same abilities in battle - drought and flash fire. She is covered with a thick, luxurious golden-white fur and has nine long tails, each tipped with pale orange. She also has red eyes which supposedly allow her to control minds. And in Japanese her name is Kyukon.
Pikachu is Ash's main man! He is an electric pokemon who evolves from Pichu when "leveled up with high friendship" and eventually can evolve into Raichu if exposed to a thunder stone. Pikachu's abilities in battle include static and lightning rod. He is a short, chubby rodent Pokémon covered in yellow fur, and its long ears are pointed with black tips. The red on its cheecks just add to the happy disposition he has too! And in Japanese he has the same name - Pikachu!
Charmander is a fire pokemon  who eventually evolves in Charmeleon then later Charizard. He is one of three starter pokemon given on many of the pokemon Gameboy games. He is a reptilian Pokémon who is orange with a cream colored underside, and fire burns at the tip of his tail. That blaze also indicates his health - how neat! Charmanders lives in hot, mountainous areas, but most are generally under a trainer. In Japanese his name is Hitokage.
Eevee is just a regular old Pokémon, and a cute one at that! His greatest abilities in battle are to run away or adapt, and anticipaton. He has primarily brown fur with a cream tip at the end of its bushy tail. He also has short, slenderlegs with three small toes and a pink paw pad on each foot - so cute! Brown eyes, long pointy ears, black nose.. Eevee is most generally found in towns and cities, and has a naïve personality. And in Japanese his name is Eievui.
So there you have it! My 5 top cutest Pokémon that I wish I had as pets... What are yours? Anyone watch Pokémon when they were younger?

happy birthday colin!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

In case you haven't heard...
(Although really, I think this story has gotten far past the interwebs lately-- it was even featured on Good Morning America! And it must be noted that although this "story" gained a larger-than-intended audience - millions, in fact - , that was never the goal of his mother, and I think many agree that GMA didn't handle the situation as well - only looking toward to recognition and numbers, not the reason behind it).

Here is an excerpt:

I am Colin's mom, I created this page (above link) for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin's disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don't like him. So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn't a point because he has no friends. He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office. So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day.

Can we give a mother-of-the-year award to her?!! Seriously! What an amazing mom to do this. Imagine the surprise this boy had when he found out that he had over 2 million friends worldwide who cared to "like" that page, wish him a happy birthday, and send him loads of birthday cards on his special day! Every person on this earth is beautifully and wonderfully made in the image of our God and all deserve a happy birthday! No matter your beliefs, abilities, or lack thereof, people are created for relationships and to be loved, and wishing another a happy birthday is a great start at that. What a way to encourage your son who personally believed that he didn't have any friends and didn't want a birthday party... Every life has worth and value, yall!

Also, feast your eyes on this marvelous cake:

Um.. HELLO.. He also scored a Pokémon and Nintendo cake! This is seriously the best birthday cake I've ever seen.... Our recent rekindled obsession with Ash & Pikachu to come in one of my next posts... But let me just leave it at - this is one lucky, loved little boy.
Let's take this as a prompt to give another who may not be feeling their greatest some encouragement today. Lend a hand, say a few positive words, take out your neighbor's trash, even pay for the couple's drinks in line after you at the coffee shop. You never know when you can make someone's day just by a little act of kindness!
And also, never ever forget to wish a little kid happy birthday. Seriously, kids live for their birthdays. (Yes, even if they are twins and have to share it [plus presents and cake] with someone - I'm looking at you, stud!)

burgers & waxing

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Howdy yall! So, it's about time I post an update about this amazing weekend I had. And honestly, it was good timing, because the stud was on duty providing for us, and I was able to have a great time with other milspouse blogger ladies that I have had SO much fun getting to know these past few months! (and not feel guilty about leaving him at home, y'know) After each fun little weekend we plan, as soon as I leave I start counting down the days till the next one! This little group is such a blessing.

First things first, this past weekend was basically the "storm of the century" in San Diego.. Just a little drizzle and everyone goes completely bonkers! That's southern California for ya! But seriously, it was storming like crazy, palm trees were swaying, and part of the time the wind was so bad and the rain was practically sideways that it was nearly impossible to drive - everyone was going like 30 under, which is unheard of in California (Because everyone here usually drives at least 15 over, seriously) Drivers here just aren't what I'm used to!

So because of that, it was cold and drizzly, and we had to change plans a bit. We were originally going to get together at NTC (Naval Training Center grounds) Liberty Park in Point Loma to take a little walking picture tour and have a few photoshoots (we are bloggers) but that plan was nixed pretty soon. So we met at Starbuck's in the area, then headed over to Panera for a quick snack while we discussed the next few month's events (which I am BEYOND excited for!) then went back to business : We headed over to Slater's 50/50 for lunch, as planned! It's a burger joint known for it's 50/50 burgers: half burger, half bacon. I decided that this spot is a must-do for when my parents come in town next! I actually ate lunch at Panera since we were there waiting for a while, so at Slater's I opted to snack on some sweet potato fries!


After that, we headed over to a waxing party! Jes won a free waxing party at European Wax Center, so we all were able to choose what to get waxed for free. I only did my eyebrows. That hurt enough! I'm just not cut out for it! But how nice is it to get that taken care of for free? I no longer have to sit in front of the bathroom mirror for an hour trying to keep my hand steady trying to pluck in poor light. I am woman! Anyway, a few services were free, then everything else was 50% off, and there was also a discount on products! Here is what I left with:

Exfoliating gel (which literally strips the dead skin away, and its painless!), ingrown hair serum, body wash & body lotion. The latter 3 are a set that helps with the easy irritation of your skin via waxing or shaving! Also the wash combats bumps and blemishes and prevents ingrown hair. And the serum prevents & treats it! How FUN!
So we hung out at the wax center for some time, and soon after it was time to head home! We all left whenever was convenient for us. So since Erin lives minutes from me I opted to ride back with her! And in case anyone wants to know, on the way there, I carpooled with Kara and Elizabeth.
This is SUCH a fun group of ladies and I can't wait till next time!!

a phone that's smart + updated links

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Okay yall, it's official. I'm now one of those people - I have finally caught up to society.

I have a smartphone! I was finally eligible for an upgrade, and spent a long time at the Verizon store yesterday getting it all set up....

Which means that I also finally have an Instagram! You can follow me here, or just click on the icon in my sidebar:

Also, I thought I'd showcase my amazing photo-taking skills with this new phone of mine and share my uploads so far!
Fun beach find today!
Scruffy loves the beach!!
Okay, so these were both at the BEACH! We love the beach. It was so much fun! We (as in Scruffy and I - the stud was at work providing for us, that stud!) walked up and down and spent a few hours there just resting. Oh, sometimes I forget how fortunate we are to live so close to the beach too. It takes maybe 5 minutes to walk there, and it's such a historic little neighborhood, we are really blessed! Scruffy absolutely loves it too, of course. She met a few other furry friends on the beach and had fun playing around. I mean, you can just tell she enjoyed herself, she is practically smiling in that picture above!
Also, so funny, she is scared of bubbles! She doesn't know what they are - there were some washed up on the beach (you know, those left after the tide?) and she sniffed, then jumped, and then began cowering away.. Aw, such a precious pup. And no, I didn't get a picture of it, but take my word for it. She is precious, and she doesn't like bubbles on the beach.
I also wanted to note that there are 2 Bloglovin' pages that link back to this blog. One is with the BlogSpot domain, and one is with the .com url. Please start following this one, if you haven't already! Link is also on the sidebar:
We are so thankful to be able to relax at the beach and enjoy our Scruffy pup! And also to both have the conveniences of smartphones, all that technology stuff, right at our fingertips. It's too easy to forget how God has truly blessed our little lives!
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