Friday, October 31, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 31 - Friday Favs

And the end of the #Write31Days challenge has come!  It's Friday, so time for Friday Favs!

Linking up for Friday favs...with Andrea, Erica & Narci
Last Saturday included several of my favorites...
The weather is cooling off and the morning was perfect for outside breakfast with a friend.  Saturday breakfast is one of my very favorite things and one I miss the most living in the burbs...but it's worth the drive every time! 
My Mom treated me to this new fleece...perfect find from Academy in the LITTLE girls department.  It's Columbia brand and 1/2 the price of Women's and fit me better than any women's Columbia jacket I've ever tried on.  I am tall, so this was a shocker that the sleeves were long enough too. It even has a place for me to write my name on the inside, ha!
Patterned and colored running tights are every where this year and I snagged this pair from my favorite place, Marshall's.  I have a feeling they will be on repeat this winter!   
One of my favorite things about breakfast on Saturday is not being  rushed.  I love to drink coffee when I can sit and chat for a few cups of coffee.  It really is the best start to my Saturday. 

Littles are my favorite and I babysat this sweet boy on Saturday. The gift of time is one I never take for granted and am reminded of the simple joys from children regularly.  We walked to the park, chased shadows and celebrated catching them.  I've babysat since I was 11 or so, and rocking babies has always been my favorite. We rocked at nap time and I was thankful for sweet friends and their families that I get to be a part of. Reminded me of the days of rocking my nephew and nieces! 

Volunteering is one of my favorite things and speaking recently to 4H Leadership Council about Rodeo Houston scholarships brought back so many great memories growing up.  I was a member of 4H Sewing and Horse clubs and there were so many things I learned about responsibility and leadership through participating in 4H (and FFA) so it is great to be able to give back to those organizations.  The amount of money awarded through Rodeo Houston for Scholarships is amazing and to be able to encourage students and talk with parents about the scholarhsips is a blessing!
Big Mama featured this scarf a couple of weeks ago on Fashion Friday. I've been looking for a plaid infinity scarf and it was even on sale so I picked it up.  This was the first time to wear it and I'm very happy with it!  

Thank you for reading!  Connect with me on Facebook or via Bloglovin button on the sidebar!

Have a great Friday! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 30 - Story

It is hard to believe 30 days have come and gone of the #Write31Days challenge.  I honestly wasn't sure I would make it, that I could come up with 31 days of things to say.  I've written most days on the actual day, aside from a couple of days I knew I would be out of town/not at the computer. I've learned a lot about myself, had a lot of great conversations with friends who read my blog and one crazy day a re-tweet brought 1500 readers to my blog. 

I wish I could count how many times I've heard the song "Unfolding" by Steven Curtis Chapman this month, it seems to be on the radio over and over when I'm in my car, and comes on just when I feel a hint of doubt, a little bit down, some sort of why question, what-ifs playing through my head...a lot goes on in a month's time. 

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

I am reminded, this is only part of my story, it has only begun, God has a plan for me, there's so much that is yet to unfold. 
And, it will be a glorious unfolding
I will be amazed
I am going to just wait and see
I have to believe
To hold on to every promise.  

For a #Write31Days recap, click here

My story is so far from over, but I know my story matters,

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 29 - Start Over

One of the classes I teach is typing, my students learning how to type by touch and have a cover over their keyboard.  The playing field in this class is leveled because it doesn't matter your academic skill level, typing is a new skill majority of students don't have other than typing to text and large percentage struggle through learning the keys. 

(In case you are wondering, like my students last year who asked "How did YOU learn to type?" was on a TYPEWRITER. The ancient old machine and God bless my typing teacher who called out letters to us and I can't even imagine how she graded those papers. I can remember not paying attention and typing right off the right edge of the page on more than one occasion though.)

One day I'm going to have an antique like this in my house...

I have a couple of students who try to be "creative" with how they get around using their covers and think I'm not watching or won't see that they are essentially cheating and looking while typing. My students work through lessons in a course and each lesson has a test to move to the next one. One student just asks what everyone else is thinking though "Can I take off my cover for the test, it will be easier." 

A lot of students will get started on the typing test and if they require more than one try to pass the test, they will repeatedly start the test over.  They make a few errors in the first line and close out, re-start the test and some will do that more than a handful of times. I talk to them about working through, continuing to type, mistakes will even out and words per minute will improve, but you can't always restart over and over again. It is a psychological war for most, I tell them the persevere through and type to the end of the time, between 2 and 5 minutes. 

Isn't that how we often approach life. We are drilled how much first impressions count, and if we feel we've messed that up we want a re-do, a chance to prove that maybe isn't who we really are.  When situations get sticky, when we make a bad choice, when we hurt someone's feelings, when we  _____________________________ we want to start over.  Take it back. Erase that. 

But, we can't. 

Much like my students, it's more than a typing lesson, it is a life lesson.  Learning to persevere through mistakes, figure out how to keep going and improve going forward.  Most of the time, the damage isn't so bad.  It's just that it would be easier to start over, but there are consequences to choices we make. They aren't always bad, it just is reality.  

Instead, we have to learn to just move forward. 

The mistakes we make, the lessons we learn and the perseverance through when it is hard, builds our character.  The struggle is part of the story.  They are stories we can tell to others, to help them in learning to move forward. To figure out how to get past being stuck in a start-over cycle that never really moves forward. 
Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."
The next time you're in the midst and feel like a mess has been created, wanting nothing but to erase and start over.  Take a step back. Look at where you are. Figure out how to work through it. It might mean an apology, it might mean fixing a mistake, it might mean admitting were wrong, it might mean doing ________________.  Whatever it is that applies to the situation.   
Ultimately, persevere and keep moving forward. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 28 - Better

Today our Community Partners were at school for our mentoring program, the entire school participates once a month and we have almost 100% of our teachers and staff paired with a community partner who comes in and spends time with our students.  Our topics of discussion vary but are character driven and not academic, in hopes that we develop our students and give them an additional influence into their lives. 

Feedback from today's topic was "deep", "depressing", "thought provoking" when I asked a couple of students throughout the day about their groups.  Some acted like they didn't care, and others seemed to have been impacted. I know that even when it appears students aren't listening they are soaking in what is being said. 

Today we talked about times that you have been singled out for various circumstances, students stepped out and crossed the line when they had experienced a situation.  They looked at who was with them and who wasn't.  Situations like....
  • been teased/called a name
  • been picked last in a sport or game
  • had a crush
  • teased for religious background
  • told you couldn't sing
  • someone you know has a disability you can't see
  • ever felt alone/afraid
  • felt pressure to do something you didn't want to do and regretted it after
  • if you're a guy and have been told shouldn't show emotions
  • been judged for ethnicity
  • had your name mispronounced repeatedly
Students crossed the line repeatedly. We talked about impact of these scenarios to self and impact to others. 

It's not just "teenagers" who fall into the category of doing these things or having them happen to them.  Adults are just as guilty, if not more so. 

I saw a post on Instagram from a favorite teacher/writer...

What if we didn't worry so much about the things we shouldn't be doing...talking down to people, criticizing, gossip, making fun of, and on and on but instead just worried about leaving them better than when we found them. 

I know for me, it makes a difference when someone really takes time to listen, pays attention and also follows up with me when something is going on in my life or they notice me struggling.  They leave me better than they found me. 

It is my hope that I do that to others.  That I worry less about all of the "should nots" and just focus on the should. Sometimes just giving a simple compliment to someone or a smile makes a difference in their day. I know this because it has to me. 

Let's leave them better!

Monday, October 27, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 27 - (un)comfortable

Today was a hard day.  I don't have much to say really.... 

One of my dear school friends mother has been battling cancer, she was told she has 3 to 4 months to live.  One of my college besties was told her Dad's cancer has progressed, that chemo isn't an option any more, that his body is too weak, and the next step is meeting with Doctors to determine his care and to keep him comfortable. 

What about any of that is comfortable?! None of it.  

We knew this cancer was growing, we talked about it at the funeral of my other college bestie's Dad just a couple of months ago. But, we didn't know how soon it could or would decline. These are uncomfortable days, appointments, conversations and decisions. 

Dying I feel like is a hot topic right now, specifically dying of cancer. I just read the interview/article last week of Brittany Maynard who's intending/choosing to end her life this week due to aggressive brain cancer. A story which has sparked lots of debate, none of which I care to give an opinion to. 

We will pray for dignity through the last of their days and for mercy to not be long suffering. Despite circumstance, I am thankful and know that my friend's Mother and my bestie's Father have hope.  Hope in eternity.  Hope beyond this temporary body.  Hope in Jesus. 
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul..firm and secure.  Hebrews 6:19

For that I will rest in.  It is the one part of all of this that can give comfort.

Trusting in Jesus,

Sunday, October 26, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 26 - Real

I have recently gotten to know a lady at my church through my Community Group and the Women's ministry program I am a part of.  She told someone in our discussion the other day about how she had seen me at church and thought I was always dressed up, but got to know me and realized how casual I am when she sees me other days during the week. 

I do love dresses, and this summer while off from teaching most days I was babysitting, poolside, working out or just hanging out at home, none of which necessitated me getting "dressed" up.  There were plenty of summer nights out, but I decided on Sundays, I needed to get it together for church and wear the dresses I had.  

But for all the Sundays that look like this...
There are more days in between and weekends that look like this... make up, Nike Shorts or leggings now that it is cooler weather. The pic on the far right is how I went to the grocery store this morning at 7:20am before coming home and getting read for church. :)

I spend my weekend days as comfortable as possible, usually without make-up, lots of times in a baseball cap or hair in a bun.  Mostly because my hair needs to be washed. (That's another post for another time about not washing your hair everyday.)

There have been many times that I am asked about heading out like this, what if I run into people or am "under-dressed" for somewhere.  I can remember moving to the city and going to The Galleria, where apparently people feel you need to be fashion show worthy upon entrance.  I never felt like I needed to be.  I do love to dress up, I love putting outfits together and creating my style, but I also like simple.  

Since I'm single, the biggest questions seems to be "what if I meet a guy and I'm not dressed up?"

My response...I don't sleep in make-up, if he's the one and I marry him, he's going to see the real me. Why would I never let him see that before? Sometimes you need to be spontaneous and be ready in a couple of minutes, it's not always about what you look like, but being in the moment and enjoying that moment. One of my favorite thing is Saturday breakfast, and if it's a last minute plan, I am out the door within 5 minutes, because the time spent with someone is more valuable than the time spent getting ready. 

Maybe "casual" isn't your thing. You don't ever leave the house without make-up and your hair  fixed.  My thought to you is if that's a cover for something else, it is my hope that you can let the real you shine through.  That you see yourself as the same beautiful and confident when you are dressed up and when you aren't. 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 25 - What I'm Wearing 10.24.14 - PINK OUT

In case you need some inspiration for your closet, my hope is that I can give you some ideas from what I'm wearing. What fits you doesn't always fit me. What fits me, doesn't always fit you. So, we all know the style of jeans that work best for us, the brands of shoes we love, etc. I'm not a "linker" to buy all of these outfits here. Truth be told, a lot of my clothes are many many years old and I pick up things all around the place. I'm don't update my wardrobe every season with the latest and greatest. I don't have Pinterest, so these are just my daily creations. Hopefully you're just inspired, maybe by something you have and didn't think about putting it together or maybe you are just looking for a simple accessory to add in and these posts can give you some ideas.
This week's theme day at school was "PINK OUT" in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, so I decided to wear pink every day!  It is well established, green is my favorite, so I don't have a ton of pink in my closet, but found just enough!
Monday...palazzo pants, denim and oversize pearls!   I found my first pair of these pants a few years ago and simply bought them because they were different AND long enough for me.  I've since added a few more pairs and love them, they are one step above pajamas in comfort and 10 steps above in looking put together.  Unless you don't like printed pants, then maybe they just rank as tacky.  But, I'm ok with that! + black.  I've held on to this pink skirt from the Gap through several moves and closet clean outs, every now and then it's just the right thing I need.  So, it was a definite wear for this week.  These booties are about 4" heel and another teacher commented on how high they were this week, then he was impressed I could also run down the hall in them...not that I was about to be late to my class...

Wednesday was the offical #PINKOUT...I wore one of my Ts from one of the 3 years I participated in the Susan Komen 3 day--a 60 mile walk in support of breast cancer.  I've had a dear friend who fought breast cancer, and WON as well as father of one of my besties...he also WON!  I walked with an amazing group of girls, spent nights in pink tents and the memories of survivors and family members along those miles will always hold special place in my heart.  Threw in a little leopard and floral print tank under the burnout to mix it up. 

Thursday, did you just say leopard?  Yep - again. It (and camo) are a neutral. :)  This scarf has anchors on it.  One of my favorite verses is "We have this hope is the anchor of the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19 and I thought several times about those currently fighting cancer and those who are mourning ones who cancer took too soon.  For all of life's struggle, Jesus is hope and the anchor of the soul. 

Friday, #PINKOUT for football game! Got this T with my besties while in Round Top this year and paired it with jeans, little glitter belt and suede heels.  And, realized on the 5-day picture that I wore a scarf  Welcome to fall in my wardrobe.  Last year a student told me they were going to dress up like me and wear a cardigan and a scarf. It does become my fall/winter work uniform.  :) 

PINK OUT!  For any of you who are fighting or have family/friends fighting Breast Cancer, this is for you!  Wear your pink in support, my prayers that they win the battle and may you always have hope in eternity!


Friday, October 24, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 24 - Friday Favs

...we interrupt the #Write31Days challenge of stories for Friday Favorites!

Linking up for Friday favs...with Andrea, Erica & Narci
Happy Friday!  It has been a regular week around here, 5 work days and all. This week at school was pink out, check back tomorrow, I wore pink every day in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. 
One of my favorite things this week was seeing my nephew in his school program - the 2nd grade was SWAMPY!  They did a fantastic job with cute songs, all dressed up in animal costumes and tons of fun rhymes to tell a story between songs.  He was the cutest frog on the stage! :)
Insert Pic Here
He's my nephew,
not my child, so I
don't put pics of
the Littles (my nephew
+ nieces) on the
Blog.  But, you
can imagine, he
was cute.  :) 
Back to the's a few from this week...mostly about PUMPKINS!! 
Little mini pumpkin patch in the fields of Texas Antiques Week.
Speaking of, did you know PopTarts makes a seasonal pumpkin pie PopTart?  I couldn't bring myself to buy those.  But, I did try the Pumpkin Oreos and they were pretty tasty.  However, I prefer homemade pumpkin treats, pumpkin pie being my all-time-favorite pie and the closest rival is pumpkin roll both of which my Mom will sometimes make "out of season" for me. 
Having a school bestie who loves pumpkin as much as me who also loves to bake more than me and actually does MUCH more than me....I get treats like this at work...pumpkin chocolate chip bread! Since I'm an honorary member by location proximity of her department, I have also had pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and a couple of other pumpkin treats which show up in the workroom! 

I don't have a front porch or yard to decorate with pumpkins, so thought I would give these "pumpkins" a shot...
Shiner Oktoberfest - I like it more than the Blue Moon, but don't love it
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple - I already know I like this, so saving it for last :)
Goose Island Rambler IPA - tasted & poured out, didn't like it at all.
Saint Arnold Oktoberfest - haven't tried it yet
Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale - one step above Goose Island, but didn't love it.
Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat - the best of the ones I've tried to far. 

Before you judge me about my tastes, I'm a simple beer girl, not very often and not fancy "craft beer" which really I sometimes question if it's just all a marketing scheme...none of these are a new favorite unfortunately.

I did pick up some fun decor for my school rooms....Boo to You!

And these glitter pumpkins that I stalked at a local gift shop until they were reasonably priced, which was finally this summer.  Tags on them were $36.99 each which someone has lost their mind over, but I kept my focus and got them both for about $9! #goodthingscometothosewhowait The little Trick or Treat sign was I think $2.  Perfect for the school room!

And, these are not pumpkin, but are sort of fall-ish and one of my favorite snacks.  I find them at Marshall's or TJMaxx and when I find them I buy a couple of packs.  I don't know where you can buy these regularly, but they are delish!!  And, that is coming from someone who pretty much never ate nuts until about a year ago, but I still don't like pecans or walnuts in baked goods...that RUINS them! :)  haha! Cranberry + Almond, that is my favorite combination!

Have a great weekend!  Connect with me on Facebook or grab the Bloglovin button on the side bar!

Here's to all treats and no tricks this weekend,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 23 - The Road

Two years ago at this time I was in Ohio, freezing, working in the Annex building of the Quarter Horse Congress, going into the final weekend of the show and getting ready to head on another road trip to Oklahoma City for Quarter Horse World Show.  It had only been a couple of months since I started life on the road, after losing my job, packing up my apartment, completing Alternative Certification courses for teaching and deciding instead to work for a friend and travel full time. 

The season started working one of my favorite events, Texas Antiques Week, then I made a trip across the country by myself (well, with my dog) from Texas to Ohio pulling a trailer, navigating interstates, gas stations and hotel parking lots that sometimes got tricky.  I didn't really know what to expect in Ohio, we were super busy most days, I made lifetime friends in that month of working together, and had only one really bad day - food poisoning from bad sweet tea. 

Barney's trip looked a lot like this...

And, I wasn't getting away from any hotel room without him...

I did miss home and my friends.  My life had been completely uprooted 5 months prior and I was just trying to go forward one day at a time.  After 15 years in the City, corporate America kicking me in the shins twice, and an unsettled spirit within me, the time on the road - living and working - turned out to be such a great season for me.  I knew I wouldn't do it forever, but I really began to embrace the traveling gypsy life for the season I was in. 

It was always interesting to me the people who "were keeping up with me" while I was on the road via my Facebook.  It was an adventure indeed, and I was always amazed at how many people "wished they could take off and do something like that".  Sometimes I wanted to respond back with the reality, but I usually just smiled, took it in stride and remembered there's been times I wished I wasn't doing what I was or something else "looked" more appealing. 

Don't be fooled, the road can be a lonely place.  Living far away from family and friends and everything familiar.  Though it does offer a bit of an escape, eventually reality sets in.  I knew this season wouldn't last forever, but while it did I would embrace it! Here's where all we set up....

Texas Antiques Week - Round Top, TX
The Texas summer was still in full effect in Sept/Oct.
All American Quarter Horse Congress - Columbus, OH
We got out of town just before Super Storm Sandy hit the East Coast.
Quarter Horse World Show - Oklahoma City, OK
My parents came to see me here, which was a very welcomed visit!
National Finals Rodeo - Las Vegas, NV
No one should be in Vegas for 17 days!
Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo - Ft Worth, TX
If I had to choose another city to live in Texas, Ft Worth would be it.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo - Houston, TX
Perhaps one of the best Rodeo seasons I've ever had, and there have been some good ones!
Capped off seeing George Strait from the 8th row on the floor!
Texas Antiques Week - Round Top, TX
Super fun time with my co-worker in tiny no-named towns.
Living in a Camper in Weatherford, Texas for a bit before the summer run
Season of tornadoes across North Texas multiple days while I was there,
including the one that damaged lots of Grand Prairie
Midwest Horse Fair - Madison, WI
Took a little detour home to Iowa to visit friend from the road. 
Paint Horse World Show - Tulsa, OK
Worked this show by myself, a gym was right beside my hotel which I went to daily
There are so many stories from each of these shows, however, the road was starting to wear on me...the season was coming to an end for me and I knew it was time to get back to what I had set out to do, complete a year of teaching school and earn my Teaching Certificate. 
I wouldn't trade that season for anything.  It was one of the best times of my life.  I worked harder than ever, physically setting up booths, loading/unloading trailers and long show hours.  But, the memories last a lifetime and the friends I made are one of the greatest gifts.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 22 - ESL

I am volunteering once a month with an English as Second Language program and assisting women who are students of the program with conversational English.  I sat in training a few weeks ago, very unsure of how this would go, I've never worked with an ESL group before. 

This week I had my first chance to volunteer with students.  I sat at a table with a couple of friends, a mother from Dubai and her teenage daughter.  They have lived in the US for a year. The daughter attended an American/British International School in Dubai, and is fluent in English.  The mother is from Jordan and her language is Arabic. 

We started our conversation with simple topics and the M&M's game, for various colors of M&Ms give a different fact about yourself.  When the mother responded to "tell something about yourself" with "I don't speak English" and a hearty laugh, we all laughed and she seemed to relax a bit. 

Photo from Joanna Gaines' Instagram
I'm not sure how much my friends and I might have taught her but I learned a few things...

A mother's pride is spoken in any language. She had so much pride in her daughter, her academic achievements and ability to play the piano.  She was just like our mothers and talked about the things her daughter didn't like to do - like cooking or cleaning. She also spoke about her other 2 children, they are triplets, and all of their accomplishments.

Grief is universal language.  We talked a bit about family, leaving Dubai and coming to the US.  Her mother died right around the time she left.  Her eyes filled with tears as she spoke of her.  She still missed her. I get grief, it broke my heart for her.  She is so far from all of her family and anything familiar. 

It is hard to learn something new.  The English language is complicated, I can't imagine coming here as an adult and trying to learn the language.  Or going to any country to learn a language, it does not come natural nor easy to me.  She spoke of friends telling her about this program, the homework she does and her desire to be able to communicate in English.  She was so proud when she could name all of the colors in English and when she turned to her daughter and said she understood what was said in a conversation. 

Hospitality is a gift in any language. She spoke of the dishes she cooks, we talked about the names of ingredients in English vs. Arabic.  By the time we wrapped up our conversation she had the next time we would meet on her calendar and plans to bring one of her signature dishes to share. 

Again, I'm not sure what I taught her, but I know when you sit down to intentional conversation there will be lessons on both sides.  Building relationships is important to me and I was reminded despite speaking different languages we share so many of the same things and the language barrier quickly falls away. She gave me such a high compliment as we were leaving, a hug and told me "she liked me, that I was sweet."  I had to blink back tears.

photo from Dear Lillie blog
You never know what taking time out of your day will do for someone. A mother who loves her children, misses her family and is trying to learn something new...translated words, new words, lots of laughs and it was like we were immediately friends.  It is my prayer that I would always be intentional, seek to understand others and remember time is sometimes our greatest investment. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 21 - Honor

I have really loved watching Sadie Robertson this season on Dancing with the Stars.  She is one of two powerful and influential young women on DWTS this season, I talked about Bethany's anti-bullying message before and I just watched Sadie's performance from last night.  If you didn't see it you can watch it here: 

Sadie was nervous about this dance due to the nature of the dance, a more sultry/sexy dance than other types of dances she has performed.  She is confident and vocal about her Christian morals and doesn't want to compromise herself in any way through dancing. 

The judges comments after the show...

Julianne Hough: "Passionate often goes into raunchy, but doesn't have to be.  This was a beautiful story about falling in love." 

Pitbull:  "Simple but powerful."

Carrie Ann Inaba: "Exceptionally elegant, beautiful, gorgeous and age appropriate."

After their dance Mark was asked about choreography for this week's dance.  He said "Little bit of a challenge at first, but my one priority here is her and her feelings and I want to honor them, wanted to find the perfect balance between being appropriate and still doing the correct dance and I feel like I did that."


It isn't always easy to honor someone. To honor their opinions, their values, their beliefs, it takes work, is not easy, but in the end honor will always pay off. 

Homecoming was last week at our school, and there have been several conversations of students pressured into drinking and or sex, things they don't necessarily want but think they have to do to "keep" whomever they are in a relationship with. 

That breaks my heart.  They are in no way ready for nor is either action going to "save" a High School relationship.  For that matter, it's not going to save a College, young adult or any other relationship.

If you find yourself in a situation where someone doesn't honor you, end it.
You deserve more.

Honor is commanded of us throughout Scripture...
Romans 12:9 "...Outdo one another in showing honor."
1 Thessalonians 4:4 "that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable"
Hebrews 13:18 "Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things."

I applaud Mark for honoring Sadie, speaking that to her and to millions of fans watching.  I hope that message resonates.

Update: Thank you Korie Robertson for this and 1500+ people who read this story!


Monday, October 20, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 20 - Tall

If there is one question that I wish I could have $1 for every time I've been asked it would be...

"How tall are you? Did you play basketball or volleyball?"

My response is typically always the same...

I'm 5'9" and usually wearing heels so I'm 6', and no - I rode horses.

Which usually baffles people. 

But, I wasn't always this tall.  In fact my Mom (who is 5'10") thought I might end up with height from my Dad's side of the family, his mother was shorter and that I would be built like my Mom's side of the family, slender.  However, after my Sophomore year of high school I grew several inches.  I was I guess what you'd call a "late bloomer" and didn't get my height until I was older. 

Most people are shocked that I'm not an athlete.  I guess I'm sort of built like an athlete, but based on height alone it is assumed I would have participated in sports.  I did participate in sports, Little League softball and soccer, where I always had a skinned knee and an unimportant position because I wasn't real into it.  I can remember playing basketball in elementary school and thinking I have no desire to get in the middle of that group and fight for the ball.  It just wasn't in me. 

Just like looking at a book, and judging by the cover we are quick to assume what we think we know about someone just based on the outward appearance.  We take a look, form our opinion and assume we know. 

The conversations that follow when I tell a stranger that I rode horses are interesting.  They are typically in places that lend themselves to quick convo, like an elevator or line in a store.  It often seems that my height was wasted by their facial expression and disinterest in what was my chosen sport.  Other times I have a bit of a longer conversation that leads to someone finding out a little more about me. 

I love the places that riding horses took me...teaching me responsibility, being trusted to hook up a trailer and haul my horse at 16, competing in Miss Rodeo Texas, working at a horse camp for multiple summers, volunteering with horseback therapy, learning courage, learning how to care for an animal and so many other things.  All of which have contributed to the person I am today. 

I've always been one to try to seek to understand someone before I put together what I think are the pieces of the puzzle. It's not always easy, but it short-sighted of me to just judge a life by the cover and not seek to really know someone.  I will say my height has opened up a lot of conversations, ones I never know just where they will go, but I will typically be wearing heels.  Though I love my cowboy boots equally as much!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 19 - Noonday

I've featured several pieces of the Noonday Collection in my "What I'm Wearing" posts and "Favorite Things" lately, I thought I should tell my "Why I Noonday" story...

A few months ago I wrote about items I've purchased in the past that are creating sustainable incomes for people around the world via clothing and accessories.  I have also given some of these items and the gift means so much more when it tells a story and has an impact across the world. 

This summer, I began to read more and more about the Noonday Collection and the stories behind the Artisans creating goods from Uganda, Peru, Guatemala, Haiti and other countries all around the world.  The stories resonated with me, this has a global impact and opportunity to change the future of an individual or their family both now and for generations to come. 

To end poverty.
To create sustainable income and opportunity.

This spoke to me.  I started by just intending to host a trunk show and wrote into Noonday as I didn't know any Ambassador in my area.  After a coffee meeting with a local Ambassador I was really drawn to the message of Noonday.  What started as a fundraiser for adoption has now become a life changer through Artisan groups around the world. I started reading more about the products, the company and the opportunity to promote these Artisans. 
I didn't want to just host a trunk show.

I wanted to be able to share these stories with my family and friends. And, with their friends. I love accessories, I love handmade items, I love a story of hope and I love hanging out with my friends and learning about how we can make a small impact in the lives of people around the world.  We are all called to help the poor and widow, but not everyone is called to visit another country or leave and live amongst another land. 

But, we can do something.  And together we make a difference.

I am grateful to be able to share the stories...the weavers in Guatemala...the upcycled artillery that once represented conflict but now gives hope...the opportunity for women in India who are usually denied entering the education that was denied, but achieved through graduating sewing school....these stories and more deserve to be told.  These Artisans deserve dignity, hope and a future for themselves and their families.  For generations to come. 

We can wear their stories. 
We can share their stories. 

Together we make a difference.  Noonday provides assistance around the world through various, childcare, loans, income and other needs that are met. 

Noonday also embraces the ones here at home who are making a difference and choosing one less orphan through adoption. What began as an adoption fundraiser is still a way to earn money towards your own adoption through an Adoption Fundraiser. 

Together, let's tell their story.  Contact me angie4noonday[at]outlook[dot]com for more information on the Noonday Collection, hosting a Trunk Show, hosting an Adoption Show or just to see my favorite pieces, on Facebook and featured in my Friday Favs/What I'm Wearing blog posts. 

From my Noonday Story book - lettered by me.

#Write31Days - Oct 18 - What I'm Wearing 10.17.14

In case you need some inspiration for your closet, my hope is that I can give you some ideas from what I'm wearing. What fits you doesn't always fit me. What fits me, doesn't always fit you. So, we all know the style of jeans that work best for us, the brands of shoes we love, etc. I'm not a "linker" to buy all of these outfits here. Truth be told, a lot of my clothes are many many years old and I pick up things all around the place. I'm don't update my wardrobe every season with the latest and greatest. I don't have Pinterest, so these are just my daily creations. Hopefully you're just inspired, maybe by something you have and didn't think about putting it together or maybe you are just looking for a simple accessory to add in and these posts can give you some ideas.

Monday...Student Holiday/Teacher Inservice. T is a hand-drawn design from XOXO Art & Co, good friends I made when working on the road.  Also today, a "flat" stack with no center ring, just to change it up from time to time.

Tuesday...Camo Day...Finally my favorite camo vest I got in JULY!!  Since it was camo day I doubled up with my camo shoes too and a little safety orange belt for some color. 

Wednesday...Neon Day, also might have looked like a highlighter.  If I only had the shoes I posted yesterday, they would have been perfect!  Pulled out these jeans I haven't worn in a long time, they are from the Buckle, forgot how much I like them and wonder now how old they might be...possibly 7 or more years...

Thursday - Urkel Day, couldn't do, classic fall, pencil skirt + denim shirt.  Mentioned this shirt on last week's Friday Favorites.  Some mornings require coffee when I get to school.  Fun iron frying pan "Y'all" cup is from the Junk Gypsy company. 

Friday...Navy Out! Pep rally day and I threw in some polka dot socks & a flowered.  

And the week in review...

Friday, October 17, 2014

#Write31Days - Oct 17 - Friday Favorites

...we interrupt the #Write31Days challenge of stories for Friday Favorites!

Linking up for Friday favs...with Andrea, Erica & Narci

Happy Friday! Another week has come and gone.  It's been Homecoming week at school, so lots of fun for the What I'm Wearing post coming tomorrow.  Here's a couple of sneak peeks amongst this week's favorites...
FINALLY...I've had this vest since JULY in anticipation of cooler weather!  I know it will be a favorite and go-to for the cooler months here in Texas.  Often a vest adds just enough warmth.  This one is from JCrew Factory.  I paired it with polka-dots and a little safety orange for color pop.  Speaking of Camo...If Jenna Lyons is on record for declaring leopard a neutral, I want to be on record for declaring camo a neutral.  

Since we're talking camo and it is my 2nd favorite color behind green, last Friday I met up with friends who were dove to shoot a Beretta for the first time and enjoyed soaking up the sunshine, out in the country, end of the week, definitely my favorite!!

Green is my favorite color, specifically bright (read: neon) green.  This week we had neon day, so the perfect day to justifiably/obnoxiously pair a lot of my favorite pieces in that color.

While we are talking about this color, I saw these shoes this week online, WHY do they have to cost $595 Nordstrom!?!?  If you're cleaning the warehouse and find a pair of these laying around in a size 8.5, please contact me.  No worries if they have a few scrapes on the bottom.  These really are my perfect shoe. 

And, since we are discussing green and dreaming...check out this couch featured by Segreto Finishes...AMAZING!! I don't even want to guess the cost of that beauty.  If I had it - it would be my favorite!

Back to reality...aka bargain shopping... 
I picked up this fun notebook paper for my Women's Bible Study notebook on a Target Clearance end-cap for under $1. Definitely spices up my notebook and paper is one of my favorite things!
This week one of my favorite bands was in town, the weather was absolutely perfect for a patio concert.  Just wanted you to be able to share in one of my favorites of fall...patio, bestie, good music, amazing weather...
And the last thing for this week...I picked up a new phone cover ($7.99 at my favorite store Marshall's) and in my favorite color green!  What I love about it most, the message that comes with their phone covers.  Let's disconnect with our phones and connect with people.  Speaking of connected to phone...this week I was jogging, a group of High School girls were taking up the whole side-walk, majority looking down at their phones and not paying attention to where they were walking, nor if someone was in front of them....I jogged right up in front of them, super close, and said "look up" and kept going.  :)  

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