back in the blogosphere!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I know I have been missing from the blogosphere basically this whole summer.. Well, lots of things have been going on. Here is a quick little update before I get more indepth about summer travels and the SpouseLink conference in later posts. Things have been quite busy with painting, grad school, traveling, and continual spring cleaning (seriously).. so I'm finally back! To an extent.

First, Marshall & I celebrated our 3rd anniversary recently! 8.14.11 we were married in his hometown and have been enjoying every minute since then. It is hard to believe it's been 3 years!! But then again, time flies! I wrote a little bit about it in my last post and also, one our 1-year anniversary, posted wedding pictures here.

I am still painting and selling in my Etsy shop!! Feel free to visit & let me know what you think!! This Snow White canvas was a custom order for a friend of a friend & I love how it turned out! I also sold a Frozen print & have been giving some away to get my little shop's name out. I think soon is about time for a giveaway.. what do you think?? Your choice of a framed print of a painting, or maybe a custom order with a 12x16 canvas?? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! I would love to get a bunch of us bloggers together (especially if you have an Etsy shop, small business, are a consultant, or the like) and do a collective giveaway and post about all this fun stuff.

We have lots of books; this is one of 2 bookcases, both of which are jampacked with our reads. We love the wedding photo canvas my parents gave us that's on top, and Trouble loves being perched up there to see everything that's about in the living room. Yes, this happens daily.

This also happens daily: Scruffy Spice loves sitting in the windowsill/couch to look outside at all hours of the day, and makes the sweetest faces. We are just crazy about our pup! It's wild to think that we've had her for over 3 years now..

Also, yes, I am chugging along in grad school. These are the books I have been studying for 2 of my grad classes, and I'm a couple weeks in already. I have to work ahead since we will be going out of town soon, so within the next few days I will already be past midterms! (Thank you 8 week sub-terms!) Doing these classes online is really nice to be able to go at my own pace and work ahead if needed. I've also started a program to get my certification through the state of Texas, since that's home and where we will be once Marshall gets out in the future. It is a little surreal! A year from today I should be knee deep in student teaching/interning, and am very excited! In the meantime, working at the preschool is so fun! Those kids make it worth it and I didn't realize how much I would love that age group!
Ok, so some of these things I may have already touched on the other week. Next Im hoping to do a recap of our time at Disneyland, and finally of the SpouseLink conference. I promise I'm trying to be more disciplined in blogging consistently!!! Goodness, there is my word-of-the-year again: discipline. Until next time, here's a sweet picture we got of us at Disneyland! We went for our anniversary/birthdays and loved it. And I haven't even gotten to the part about the hotel on the grounds we stayed at....

during the hiatus...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Oh, I have been a bad blogger. I haven't spent some real time in the interwebs for weeks! (Months!) So here I am, and I promise I will try to be more consistent. This here is a little update on what's going on in this nest, and a way to ease myself back into a groove with this whole thing.
First, summer travel updates will come later. Because today is our anniversary - 3 years! Oh, it's hard to believe sometimes. Well, you know. It feels like it was just yesterday that we met - let alone get married - and then, it feels like we've known each other for-ev-er and maybe a bit too well. But we still surprise each other every day, and I know this will always be the case, even when we're old and gray! At least, while Marshall is actually home, since he's been away a lot lately with work. So when he gets back in a few days, we will really celebrate our anniversary - I think a trip to Disneyland is in order! We still have 2 days of our hopper passes to use within the next month before they expire in the next fiscal year, which is very soon. We will see what happens! I know this seems like it's all over the place, but here are a few of my fave photos over the years:
Wedding: 8.14.11

Wedding: 8.14.11

TBS Family Warrior Day (before graduation): September 2012

Elaina (Marshall's twin) & Dylan's wedding: October 2013
Ok, so only a handful of photos, because my favorite photos of ours are already on this site probably in the about tab, or any of the other pages with our love story I wrote out. Anyway. Happy Anniversary to my love! Never would I have ever thought that I'd meet my husband at a bar in a college town, of all places. I know it's because of our time in AIM (Aggies in Mission, on campus) that we started dating and built our relationship on a strong faith and identity in God - first and foremost! He is why we are here today. Never would I think that God would lead me to a club to meet my future husband, but hey, He works in mysterious ways, right?! More than we can fathom, indeed.
So, enough of that for now, I guess. I still need to get back into a writing groove. I've been writing in a journal lately - there is just something about pen and paper that you can't ever attain in the blogosphere interwebs, so that's part of the reason I've been absent. I decided during my hiatus that I will blog what I want on my own terms, and will not do any giveaways or product reviews unless it's something wholeheartedly that I believe in and that aligns with what I write (military life, married life, books, beach, crafts, pets, family, health, etc). Which means, I will mostly be writing book reviews on here periodically of my own accord, and if it happens to be of another nature it will align in this and be noted.  I even took a quiz and it said I was destined to be a writer. Time to take this little blog, and my journaling, a little more seriously.. We will see where that leads me!
Now that's out of the way....
I'll start getting ready for GRAD SCHOOL to start MONDAY! Eeee! So excited and nervous. I am taking 3 classes this fall in preschool/early childhood to finish with a graduate certificate in December. One more semester of school - bring it on!! It's been nice having a free summer ( I haven't had a school-free summer since high school, and that was still filled with marching band ). Honestly, it's been really weird not being in school. It's just a comfort thing I guess, I like being in school - having that schedule, always having something to read and savor, and all of that. So I'm excited to say the least. And maybe eventually I can add on to these 3 classes and finish it for a master's......eventually. But for now, this is more than enough! Below are the books I am very excited to get into, for 2 out of 3 classes:
Also, I'm certified to teach Pre-K to 6 in ACSI schools!! Which are nationwide. Which is awesome. And this is also framed by my diploma. Photo of that to come eventually. This took forever to get here, because as you can see, my name was misspelled. I finally got the correctly spelled certificate a week ago. This one I received a few weeks ago, which was still months after graduation. But nevertheless - it's here - and I'm certified! At least partly, cause there are many more credentials I need to get before I'm at any school, but this is a good, big step!

And now that I'm writing again, I have been painting again! I am working on silhouettes (always), pet pop art, and scripted monograms, this one is for a nursery. I need to dull down the background to make the script more prominent, but it's getting there. I am crazy about these Disney silhouettes!! In earlier posts, and in my Etsy shop, you can see Belle and Ariel which I've already done. After I finish Snow White sometime this weekend, I'll make my way through the rest....
And if ANYONE likes what they see and are even remotely interested in a painting (or print of a painting) for yourself or a friend, please feel free to message me, comment here, email, or search on my Etsy shop!! Link in tabs and on the sidebar. Once these paintings are finished they will be listed as examples in the shop, and a print of Snow White will be available as well. Feel free to give me more work to do (love painting!) and place an order!! Let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to work something out with you to fit any budget, timeline, or vision.

And of course, a beach picture. Because we live in southern California, and from our home we only have to walk 8 blocks to get here. Past a "highway" and some train tracks. Scruffy loves it so, and I sure do too! Also, by the train tracks there are bunches of groundhogs, and Scruffy gets all worked up, wanting to run around and chase those little creatures. She loves walking to the beach! But refuses to get anywhere near the water... we're working on that. Look a how happy that pup looks, though. That salty air and the sound of her waves just get to her- she has the biggest smile at the beach.

I aim to be back more regularly now! So until next time... I will be stating grad school and painting away!

..and here we are

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Well, here it is. After about a month and a half, I've come to realize that it's about time to get back into gear and end that blogging hiatus I went on. And there's been a lot of affirmation about it in the past couple weeks... I just had to get to a point where I would be in the right kind of writing mentality I suppose, because yes, I have missed writing. It's not that I haven't been able to, or haven't had anything to post (to be honest- there's tons! summer travels, book reviews, so much). I think it's more because of what I mentioned in my last post at the beginning of the summer- I just needed some time to focus on Marshall and I once he got home, and for some thinking time to myself. To take a break from this online world, and figure out what's next after graduating this past May. Also, the fact that Marshall was away for a while at the beginning of the summer just added to that lack of motivation. Many trips were taken to Downtown Disney and the beach to just get out!

So... affirmation. It's not a word we use too much, but it's there. When I hear that I always think of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman... One of them is words of affirmation. Last time I took that quiz, after we first moved to the west coast, this was tied as one of my top love languages. So... cool. I guess it makes sense, then, that because I was constantly asked about my writing, blog, and painting - by strangers and family alike -  that I finally realized it was time to get back into it all. Words of affirmation were/are just what I need/ed.

For instance, I know my dad has been asking about my writing - instead of being public lately, I've kept a few notebooks whenever I could. But I just got out of "that zone" for a while since summer has been extremely busy with family visits, Marshall gone periodically, and whatnot..... Motivation was close to nil. It seems like every few days since July came around (wait.. it's August already?!!) someone has asked me about my writing and painting. I haven't painted since the beginning of the summer, post-finals. But I am about to start that again, this week! So Chelsea and Holly - if y'all are reading this - those pet paintings are already traced (oh, they have been for months!) and will be finished (finally) soon!! I know it's taken forever, it feels like.

And yes, I was asked about this little ole blog at least once a week- by a friend, a family member, an email from a stranger, or a comment from a reader. I even met Diedre today about the local (soon-to-be-planned) If: Gathering (y'all gotta read Jennie Allen!) and she asked about my blog, since my email was linked to it. She is a part of the gathering in the Bay Area and was down here to visit with family. It was so nice to just chat! Since moving out here, and especially being so close to downtown, I've been much more open and approachable. I think a lot of it has to do with taking Scruffy for walks (she is a people lover, for sure), being downtown so much with the hustle and bustle, and also finding solace in coffee shops and book shops, asking like-minded people questions about their reads or drinks. I love to talk about books, coffee, and the beach, so y'all, if you're looking for a conversation starter, start there! (These are a few of my favorite things... Anyone catch that?)

As I said, after the beach, I met with Diedre - she is so sweet! I hope I can visit her when/if we make it up to the Bay Area! - Then I even went back to the beach for a little bit of last minute summer reading, and oh, was that refreshing. There is just something about the ocean. I just can't get enough. Afterward I went downtown to pick up some jewelry, did a little bit of walking around ,and also went to the Succulent CafĂ© - absolutely in love with this place- for a little bit of pondering and to finally buy some succulents to display in the window above our sink. I am crazy about it. Pictures will be coming soon.

So that was my day - wait, just my morning! I feel like it should already be dinnertime with everything I feel like I've done so far, but it's only lunch time. Funny how that happens. Now on to the rest of the day.. Writing, reading, and painting. Love that this is my life right now!
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