Monday, March 21, 2011

Doggie Bed for Marin Dog

We have become those people. We went from very normal, newlywed couple to totally obsessed puppy lovers.

Us before:

Look how happy we were. Completely into each other... We only had eyes for each other...

And then... there were three.
I'm talking about the dog, not the snowman. 

We welcomed Marin on New Years Eve. And 2011 was forever changed. We adore her. We probably talk more about our dog than any other topic. Like I said, we have become those people.

But we love her.

She has made us so outdoorsy. She now has her own backpack. She has a traveling water bowl. And we frequent the park at least 5 times a week and we watch less TV. She's made us better people!

So of course, she deserves a cute doggie bed, right?!

Here's what our little Marin dog slept on before. Ugly. Old. Green and cream.

She needed an update, but not a crazy, expensive one. I decided to make her a pillow case basically to hide the old comforter. I busted out my old sewing machine, had my wonderfully talented husband help me plan it out and went to town. I broke a needle in the process, but everyone survived. 

We now have a lovely gray and black extra large pillow case on our living room floor. I know it's not that difficult, but I am pretty proud of my novice sewing skills.  I even monogrammed it for her. 

How could you not love her?

I love basically free and super cute-- that applies to little Marin and her bed!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Springtime Crafts

Spring Break is heavenly. The teaching profession gets a few bonus points for the vacation time it allows. My life slows down. My time with my husband and dog increases. My house gets some much needed attention. All is well in the world.

Plus, spring break equal craft time in my mind. Last year, I was diligently planning our unforgettable wedding, so little crafts fell by the way side... but this year, we made up for it!

I'll start by showing this lovely whirly ball craft. My adorable husband saw this on a blog and thought of me and graciously said he'd help me do it! Amazing!

This was cheap, fun, messy and really easy. We got the idea from this fun diy blog. You'll need to have on hand:

cotton yarn--white
petroleum jelly
corn starch
warm water
Elmer's glue
tarp or drop cloth
broom or stick to hang balloons from
clear, finishing spray paint

Dog in the middle of your work space is not required. 
We blew up the balloons, spread out the tarp, and rigged up a broom hanging system between two chairs. Evan comes in handy for moments that require "rigging."

You mix up the corn starch, glue and water in a bowl. It gets really sticky, but it does all wash off, so don't worry. Rub the petroleum jelly on the balloons so that its easy to get them out at the end.

We cut really long pieces of yarn and dipped them in the mixture. This is where the two people really came in handy. Evan dipped the yarn and I started wrapping it around the balloons.

This is part way through. We ran out of goopy mixture, so we had to pause while I mixed up more. 

Once you finish wrapping, let them dry overnight. Then comes the fun part! You pop the balloon and pull it out of your new, lovely whirly ball!

Take them outside and spray them down with the clear finishing spray and voila! Fun, cheap, easy decorations! 

We decided to hang ours from a corner in our living room that needed a little love. But, the blog that gave us the inspiration shows them sitting in bowls too. I like them white, but I might end up spray painting them a fun color someday.

Little corner of happiness. 

We had fun! Hope you guys get a chance to try it out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Letting Go

So much has been going on in our lives lately it seems. I don't have much to show for it, but change has been the constant theme of the past several weeks. I'll get to some of the changes later on... but as always, I feel like what the Lord has been doing in my heart is weighing heavier on me than the actual, physical situations.

For those of you who have read my ramblings from the beginning of Little Black Dress until now (Mom, Dad), then I think you'll agree that I often have to relearn the lesson of being okay with not being in control. I love for things to happen the way I plan. I've struggled with this since my early days when it played out in being a bossy big sister. And today, in marriage the struggle seems to get uglier and ickier as my sin rears its hideous head right in front of Evan. Control, wrapped up in pride, with a helping of selfishness on the side is not the most attractive thing. You can ask him, I'm sure he'll agree.

Evan and I talk about holding everything in our lives loosely, with an open hand, because ultimately the things in our life is not what we are about. What really drives us, satisfies us and gives us joy is Christ. Last night, I was reading John 6, and remembering what JR Vassar preached on a few weeks ago. In verse 26, Jesus is talking to a crowd that has followed him and calls them out for wanting what He gives more than who He is.

"Jesus answered, 'Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.''”

We've all heard the cheesy sayings, "Love the Creator more than the creation." "Love the Giver more than the gifts."

Obviously, if its stamped on coffee mugs and wind chimes, then I'm not the only one who struggles with this concept. 

Do I really love God more than my life? 

Do I really trust Him to provide the very best for me?

As I've wrestled through my doubts and lack of faith, God has been gracious to encourage me. Through Evan. Through my parents. Through David Platt and his book, Radical. It has been a season of growth. Uncomfortable and Painful. Humbling and Good. 

The changes that face us include job changes for Evan and myself. I am no longer coaching cheerleading. Evan is most likely moving on to a new youth pastor position at the Met Church in Keller. We have the possibility of moving houses and letting go of the Village Church. 

Excited. Scared. Anxious. Curious. 

I am, on any given day, a mixed bag of emotions. I am very thankful for my God-fearing and following husband and our very understanding and supportive community; they make it so much easier to trust the Lord and take a leap of faith. 

As this new journey continues to evolve, I'm sure I'll have more junk surface in my heart, but for now I am confident in Christ. John 15 says that apart from Him we can do nothing. All other ground is sinking sand. As out of control as I may feel, I'm choosing to plant my feet firmly on Him and watch as He works things out.