comfort in times of tragedy.

Doesn’t it always seem like when it rains, it pours? Like, one minute there is nothing really going on in your life and then all of a sudden you feel like every five minutes your being told something awful. It’s interesting, because I feel like the Lord uses those times to teach us trust, patience, and ultimately to grow in Him. I wouldn’t say that things in my life have gone terribly wrong, but I do feel like my prayer list has doubled in the past week. So much has been placed on my heart lately and most of it involves tragic situations – at least through my eyes.

A couple of weeks ago one of my best friend’s mother-in-law was in a horrific bicycle accident. She wasn’t wearing a helmet (which is unusual for her) and she must have lost balanced and flipped over the handlebars. Her name is Diane and she is one of the sweetest, most compassionate, most Godly woman I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Anytime I am around her I can see the light of Christ in her. She is so giving and encouraging and loving. I can only imagine what her family is feeling right now.

She is still in the hospital, but improving on a daily basis. We constantly get prayer updates from her husband, Tom, and it’s encouraging to see her improvement over the last few days. It is going to be a long journey ahead for her and her family. I feel that the Lord has given them peace and comfort at this time and that is also encouraging to see. They are such a faithful family and I am certain the Lord is going to provide for them and take care of the situation. We serve an unfailing God and his plan is perfect!

But as I said, I have a lengthy list of prayers right now. One of which includes my in-laws. My husband’s 97 year-old grandmother (grandmom as we called her) passed away two nights ago. The funeral is this Friday. Grandmom was such a great woman. She was always so kind to me and always remembered exactly what was going on in our lives. It was amazing to see how sharp her mind still was in her 90’s.

Another sweet thing about her is that she gave my husband her wedding rings a few years ago when he was ready to propose. We were not able to use the exact ring, since her fingers were swollen at the time and they had to cut the band, but we were able to use the main stone from it. I absolutely adore my ring. I am so thankful for her generosity in giving those to us. They mean so much to me and I am looking forward to the day (Lord willing) when I can pass it along to either my children or grandchildren.

I know that grandmom is in a better place now, because she was an extremely faithful Christian and devout Catholic. I have been through losing a grandparent and I know that it’s not easy, but we are very thankful that God blessed her with a long, healthy life. We will all miss her.

My husband and I lead the youth group at our church. We have an amazing group of kids and we love them and their hearts. One of the guys from the group, lost his mother to cancer a few days ago. I’m sure it’s been tough for him; I can’t imagine losing my mother, especially as a high schooler. I pray that this tragedy would strengthen him in his faith in Jesus Christ and that he would grow closer to him at this time. The funeral is this weekend and we would have loved to be there to support this young man, but unfortunately we’ll be out of town for grandmom’s funeral. He’s a great kid and always makes us laugh. I hope that he’ll find peace and comfort in the Lord.

Death is hard to deal with. Suffering is hard to deal with. And I’ll admit, trusting in the Lord can be hard as well. But prayer is the most valuable thing we can do in times of hardship and tragedy. Prayer isn’t ‘worrying before God’. Prayer puts worry to rest (Philippians 4:6,7)! Faith-filled prayer is steady and rock solid and knows what it is praying about.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of this.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

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diy monogrammed headboard.

Finally!!

I say finally for two reasons. One, we finally have our headboard complete; and two, I’m finally posting pictures of it. It took me forever to complete the project from start to finish. Sometime back in the spring of this year (after about eight months of marriage), I realized that our bedroom was missing something. (It took me long enough, right?) Well, we were missing a headboard for our bed. Headboards are expensive, so I searched for ideas for creative headboards, and while most of them were cute and original, I just didn’t think they were for us. I took it into my own hands, once again.\

Here is what we needed to complete our homemade headboard:

  • A piece of plywood (be sure to measure your bed beforehand so that you know how big to make the piece)
  • A bag or 2 (your call) of “sew-in fleece” material (for comfort if you lean up against it at night to read or something)
  • Material (make sure you get the material a few inches bigger then the board so that you can stretch it over the edges and the staples will be hidden)
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Fabric paint and sponge paintbrush
  • Stencil

So, we started out with our piece of plywood from Lowe’s and cut it to the measurement that fit our bed. We then covered the board with the sew-in fleece material.

Next, we stapled the coral material to the plywood. This was a little more difficult than it sounds. To keep it from having waves in the front, we had to pull extremely tight around the edges. It turned out exactly how I wanted it to.

Then I printed off a cursive letter “L” on my computer and traced it onto thick contact paper and cut out the L. I taped it to the headboard and as I painted the letter I held down the side so as to not let any paint drip past the stincel. I was really afraid it would do that, but not a drop was out of place!

I used a sponge paintbrush to apply the fabric paint. I let it sit for a minute or two before pulling off the paper. It turned out better than I could have hoped for. I’m very pleased with the final project.

For those of you who pay attention to detail, I realize that the picture frames may not be centered with the bed, but we moved the bed to the right a few inches to fit my night stand in between the wall and the bed. I wasn’t about to move the frames just for a few inches.

That’s all it took, folks. $10 and a couple hours later, we had a headboard! It was that cheap and easy.

oh, just makin’ dreams come true.

Twenty-six years ago today an adorable baby entered this world. Come on, I’m not that conceited. I’m talking about my husband here. I love birthdays. There’s something about them that just excites me (even if it’s not mine). I love giving gifts. My gift to him this year was tickets to a Notre Dame football game. He has been a huge fan since he was a kid. He has always said one of his ‘bucket list’ items is to attend a ND football game in South Bend, IN at the ND stadium. That, folks, will be taking place on November 3rd. Notre Dame is playing University of Pittsburgh. I am so excited to have the opportunity to do this with him.

I bought the tickets a couple of weeks ago on stubhub. It must have been through a season ticket holder, who wasn’t going to be able to make that game, because he didn’t have the actual tickets yet (they get them once the season starts). They will be mailed to us sometime before the end of October. Since I didn’t have the actual tickets to give him on his birthday, I made some on Microsoft Word. I put them in his birthday card. I really don’t think you can tell they are fake unless you knew or look really, really hard. Not trying to toot my own horn or anything. But really.

i should make this my career.

I also made him a cake that I (attempted to) make look like a football field. Keep in mind, I’m not a professional cake baker/decorator so cut me some slack when judging the cake.

For the cake, all I did was buy a box of cake-mix (milk chocolate) and added 3 eggs, 1 1/4 C of water and 1/3 C. vegetable oil. This made it extra…damp? (I despise the ‘m’ word – I can’t even type it) I mixed up the batter, lined a 13×9 pan with wax paper (as to easily transfer it from the pan to the cake carrier) and poured in the mix. Baked at 350 for 25 minutes (may vary from oven to oven). Poked a toothpick in and it was perfect! Then I took vanilla icing and green food-coloring and mixed them together for the grass field look. I then used white ‘writing’ icing that I had left over from a previous dessert (it doesn’t expire…kind of makes you wonder what’s in it) and made the lines on the field out of that. It was super easy (especially when you don’t make anything from scratch! haha). And that’s about as creative as I get.

We went to church tonight and then afterwards, went out to eat with some friends to celebrate. We enjoyed mexican food and football field cake. My favorite.

birthday boy.

Needless to say, he loved the gifts! He is really excited to go to the game. I just wish we didn’t have to wait 2 1/2 months now. Now starts the planning for an adventurous weekend in Northern Indiana. Maybe we’ll even make it to Chicago since he has never been there. We’ll see.

medical center 10k classic.

I realized the other day that I am very unhappy with the amount of motivation I have to excercise. I ran the KY Derby Mini Marathon this past April (you can read about it here), so I was highly motivated to run almost every day leading up to the race. Who wants to show up on race day and not be able to finish it? Not I.

I told myself I’d be an idiot to run another mini marathon, after practically dying at the finish line, so I got the brilliant idea to do half of a half marathon, also known as a 10k. I’ve never done one before, so I am excited to take part in it. For all you non-runners out there, a 10k is 6.2 miles. You’re welcome.

Every year Bowling Green hosts the Medical Center 10k Classic in the fall. I signed up for it with just a little over two months to get my booty in gear train.

I have run a little bit since the mini and I even ran a 5k with my dad in June. But I really wouldn’t say I’ve been consistent in running. Now that I am signed up for a race, I know I can’t say, “Eh, I don’t think I’ll run today, maybe tomorrow or next week”. I have set a goal time of one hour for myself. That would put me at just barely under a ten minute mile. For me, that is definitely do-able. And after missing my goal time by four lousy minutes at the mini, I am really determined to do it this time.

With all of that being said, here is the training guide that I will (do my best to) follow for the next couple of months:

If you would like to join me for the race, you can visit this website to register. Good luck!

diy hidden litter box.

When you live in a small apartment like me and my husband, you don’t have a lot of space for extra things like… say a litter box. I researched hidden litter boxes on various department store websites and there were few pieces under $50, some even more than that. Come on, I love this cat, but I wasn’t about to pay 50 bucks just so Pepé le Pew could poop in style. I decided it would be easy enough to make myself.

So, the hunt began for the perfect furniture piece to turn in to our little feline’s potty. I looked at yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets and just couldn’t seem to find what I was looking for. Everything was either too wide, too long, too much open space, or too down right ugly.

But thanks to a friend who came through for us in the end, we found our piece! We got a call asking if we wanted some furniture from his apartment that he was moving out of and was no longer in need of. I mean really, when do the Leachman’s ever turn down free stuff? So, we graciously accepted. The small, white cabinet was a little different from what I originally had in mind, but I told myself to stop being so stuck up about it and make it work. So I did.

My husband used some manly tools to measure and cut a hole in the side of the piece. And there you have it. That’s it. Easy as pie and it took about 10 minutes, cost practically nothing and looks great!

In the end, it turned out better than I expected. Once she gets bigger, we might have to upgrade to a bigger furniture piece and container, but for now it works great. Here are a few more shots of the litter box. This first one just shows the cabinet with the mat  next to it, that catches the extra litter on her paws.

We bought a plastic container at Wal-Mart for $2 and filled it with kitty litter. We cut the front of it so it would be short enough for her to get into. It works perfect for her and she has done really well with it.

And this is a view of it with one of the cabinet doors opened. We left it open the first couple of days to make sure she remembered where it was. She’s very smart and has gone to it every time.

I’m glad it worked out. It will be nice to have the litter box hidden, being such an unattractive feature of owning a cat and all.

She gets really feisty sometimes, but she’s a kitten so I know she just wants to play. I get frustrated when she claws at my toes and fingers and tries to bite them, but how can you stay mad when she does this?

BFFs.

introducing: pepé le pew.

Yesterday we brought home our seven week old kitten, Pepé. She is the sweetest thing ever. Yes, I said she. I know Pepé le pew was a boy skunk, but we had already picked out the name, thinking we were getting a boy, but then ended up with a girl. She was much cuter and cuddled more than her brothers and her sister was all black (i know that’s mean, but the name wouldn’t have worked with an all black cat). So she was the lucky winner…

the cutest kitten ever.

She is the comic relief of the household thus far. Earlier, she was playing with a little toy that has catnip in it and she flipped off the couch. She has been running around chasing and pouncing on nothing for the past hour. It’s hilarious. She is very energetic and it’s entertaining. Who needs a TV with Pepé around?

She cuddles with me a lot and falls asleep on my lap almost instantly when I pet her. Last night I was petting her as she sat on her back legs and her eyes started to slowly close causing her to fall sideways. My laughter scared her and woke her up, but it was too funny not to laugh.  She sleeps a lot (i know, get out of town, right?). But she’s so cute when she sleeps, that I love it when she does.

I can’t get over how tiny she is. It’s hard to tell in pictures, but she is about the size of my two hands cupped together. I just hope she doesn’t grow up too quickly. I want her to stay little forever (i can only imagine what moms feel like, haha). We love her already and are so thankful to have her. We just pray that she adapts well to our apartment and doesn’t get too lonely/scared while we are at work. Also, that my allergic-to-everything husband isn’t affected by her. So far so good (crossing fingers!).

Welcome home, Pepé! I hope you’re ready to be spoiled rotten.