diy scrabble “love” letters.

On Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated our SECOND anniversary. Hooray! It’s hard to believe we’ve been married two years. It feels more like 20…kidding. Sort of.

I’m very thankful for my husband and the man that he has become. I truly didn’t think it was possible, but I love him more now than the day we said, “I do.” My husband is the perfect man for me and I thank God every night for such a wonderful blessing. I know, I’m getting too mushy. I’ll stop now.

Anyways, since I have this love theme going on in this post, I decided to share a little project I did soon after we got married that I never posted. This project fits perfectly for us, because we LOVE scrabble. We used to play all the time when we were dating and when we got married we asked for a nicer set for Christmas. We even (don’t judge) bought the Scrabble dictionary with a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Weirdos, I know.

I bought the four square pieces of wood at Hobby Lobby for $1/each. I already had black acrylic paint, so that was all the material I needed for this quick and easy project. I traced the letters on the wood and filled them in with the black paint. Then I added the numbers in the bottom right hand corner.

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Now, if you’re a Words with Friends player, you are probably thinking, “I thought L’s were worth 2 points”. They are…on Words with Friends, but in REAL scrabble it’s only 1 point for an L. So my advice….if you are going to make scrabble letters, make sure you check the real game points if you want them to be authentic scrabble letters.

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I hung the letters above the framed picture all of our friends and family signed on our wedding day. It’s perfect there, because it’s not only about the love between my husband and I, but the love we’ve received from friends and family as well. We are so thankful for the tremendous amount of love, encouragement, and support we get from them each and every day!

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Quality Time…’ain’t nobody got time for that’

I got a little crazy last night. I know, I know this is completely out of character for me, but I just couldn’t resist. I took the ‘5 Love Languages’ assessment to find out my primary love language. Turns out I’m a fan of ‘quality time’. It’s funny to me that this is even a love language. How could your love language not be quality time? Doesn’t everyone love quality time with their spouse? I would think if you never spent quality time together, you wouldn’t know the person you are with very well. That doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship to me.

I feel like back in the day, people just enjoyed the company of their spouses. They didn’t have trashy reality shows and iPhone’s to distract them from one another. They spent real, quality time together. They ate meals together without the television on or their cell phones glued to their ears. What has our world become? We have let technology rule our lives. We’ve let it get in the way of those people right in front of our faces.

Plus we’re just busy. Always running, never stopping to appreciate each other. We always have somewhere to be or someone to see. It’s exhausting.

I get it. I’m guilty of it too. I don’t always give my husband my full, undivided attention when he’s talking to me. I sometimes hush him if he’s talking during ‘Revenge’ (don’t mess with me when that show is on!). I sometimes text a friend during dinner when it could have waited until after we ate. I overbook us with too many things in one weekend. I know I have room to improve.

But we need quality time together. We have to make the time to be alone with one another.

But here’s my question to you: can you go an entire evening without any distractions from your spouse?

If your answer is ‘no’, then I challenge you to give it a try. Because quite honestly, the more you show that person he or she comes second to Honey Boo Boo and your precious Blackberry, the more you push him or her away. Eventually they won’t want to spend that quality time with you anymore either and then what will happen to your relationship?

If your answer is ‘yes’, good for you! I challenge you to continue to set aside a night each week where you turn off the tv and your phones and the computer and just be together.

Trust me, it’ll be worth missing an episode of one guy date twenty women at the same time. Anything would be worth missing that. Sorry, Sean.

I will leave you with this video for your enjoyment. You’re welcome.

“I Love You, Because…”

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

This year I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to top last year’s Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt I made for my husband. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but he did love it a whole lot. Ok, our marriage doesn’t depend on awesome gifts or anything, but I wanted to do something equally as special for him this year. So, I searched and searched and searched for the perfect gift to get/make him. Then it happened; I found my pinspiration from a young new mom trying to encourage her helpful husband, found here. How cute is she?

I thought it seemed like the perfect gift for our home. I put my own touches on it, using a different frame, paper, font and felt flowers. I also added to the frame scripture from 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” It is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It’s because of God’s love that I am even able to love my husband. So with that in mind, I can share specific reasons I love him to encourage him daily.

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It’s true. He really does do the laundry every week. I’m so thankful!!

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He absolutely loved it! ::pats self on back::

Enjoy your day, all you love birds!

Ten DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts (for him and her!)

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The most loved and most hated holiday is quickly approaching. Do know what you’re getting your special someone? Do you want to impress the lady or fella you like, but don’t know where to start? Fear not! I have put together this list to help you come up with a guaranteed winner. This goes beyond the gambling chocolates and hearts with weird phrases on them. This is the real deal that shows you put time and effort into this gift. And the best part? You don’t have to burn a hole in your wallet to do these things. Amen!

FOR HER:

Dude in Apron

1. COOK DINNER. Guys, there is nothing more attractive to a woman than a guy that cooks for her. Get a couple steaks and grill them with some nice seasoning and maranade. Look up some recipes for side items (potatoes, corn, green beans, etc), and grab a bottle of wine (try to figure out her favorite if you don’t already know). You can’t forget the most important part though…dessert! Chocolate mousse is the way to a woman’s heart. It’s really easy to make and it’s delicious. Set the mood with some candles and piano music in the background. You could even get cute and make a menu for the dinner and placecards at the table. Oh, I’m getting a little crazy now, but you really can’t go wrong with impressing her on this one. As long as you don’t set the house on fire, I think you’ll win her over.

the clues

2. PLAN A SCAVENGER HUNT. If you want to show your woman that you put effort into her gift, make her a scavenger hunt. Put clues around her place (or if you’re married in your alls house) and you could do this one of two ways: 1.) You could be hiding at the end of the scavenger hunt with flowers/roses or  2.) You could have a gift waiting at the end of the hunt (flowers, homemade sweets, jewelry, etc). It depends on if you would be able to be there when she finds it or not. The clues should have her thinking, but not so hard she couldn’t figure it out. Be creative and put some thought into it. I promise you she’ll be smiling the whole time she’s on the hunt.

personalized-valentine-puzzle3. CUSTOM-MADE PUZZLE. You still have time to make this if you haven’t already. It’s easy. Almost every online picture company has the custom-made puzzles. I have seen them online through Walmart, Shutterfly, and Snapfish. You may not want it to have the saying in the above picture on it, but you could have a picture of the two of you turned into a puzzle. Then on Valentine’s day when she opens it, you can put it together and frame it. Adorable.    223843043950160029_Vnecc9Bn_b

4. SHARPIE COFFEE MUG. Most women either love coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. What’s a more perfect gift for her than a personalized, made-by-you mug?! All you have to do to make this is purchase a plan white (any color really) mug and a black sharpie. Put whatever fits her best…maybe it’s drawing a picture, or writing a quote, or song lyrics, perhaps you could just write, “I love you” on it. After you’ve finished your design, simply “bake” it in the oven at 30o degrees for about 30 minutes (sometimes you have to bake it twice before it becomes permanet enough not to wash off in the dishwasher but I would wait maybe a day to bake it again so you don’t crack it). Once it’s cooled, you’re good to go. She’ll love it. I know I would [hint-hint to my husband ;)].

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5. HOMEMADE SCRATCH OFF. Ready to test your luck? Look no further than the homemade scratch off card (by better homes and gardens found here: http://www.bhg.com/holidays/valentines-day/cards/make-a-scratch-off-card-for-valentines-day/?socsrc=bhgfb0117132) This one will take a little more effort and creativity on your part, but she will fall head over heels for you when she sees how much time and thought you put into this gift. Each of the hearts can have things you will do for her such as: breakfast in bed, foot massage, date night of her choice, etc. Personalize it how you wish.

FOR HIM:

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1. HOMEMADE SWEETS. Men love sweets almost as much as women. Chocolate covered stawberries are a guys best friend. Especially if they are homemade, ladies. It’s not difficult. Buy some strawberries and baking chocolate bars, melt the chocolate and dip the berries in, put them on a platter in the fridge and you’re done. Bam. He’ll love ’em…as long as he likes strawberries and chocolate. If not, you might have to re-think this idea and maybe the guy as well. Just kidding.

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2. MANLY GIFT BASKET. You can make this gift very personalized. If you’re dating or married to him you should know his interests, his likes, his preferred beer of choice…the usual. Ok, maybe he doesn’t drink…I don’t know him, you do. So this is a cute way to get a bunch of his favorite things in one gift. It will not only show that you pay attention to what he likes, but it will also be practical in sense because he loves everything in it. Duh.

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3. PERSONALIZED PICTURE FRAME. If you’re a creative crafter, this is the perfect gift to give your man. You could start from scrath, making the frame from piece of scrap wood and then painting it and adding a picture of the two of you. You could also buy a plain wooden frame from Hobby Lobby or any other craft store and design it how you want. It’s your gift, so you can make it as fun and personalized as you want!

4. 52 REASONS YOU LOVE HIM. Why 52 you ask? Because there are 52 weeks in a year…a reason for every week. 365 would be a little tough, but if you can do it…more power to ya! This is really your call on how to display the reason you love your boyfriend/spouce/lover-and-friend. You can do it on the back of playing cards (because there are 52 cards in a deck, how cool!). You could do it in a photo book and add pictures. Be silly and serious with the reasons. He’ll like hearing both.

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5. PERSONALIZED POKER SET. If your man loves poker, this is a perfect gift for him! I know guys like to get together at certain times of the week/month to have poker nights and do manly things, so if that is the case with him, he’ll love this gift! It’s a little on the pricey side, but if you can afford it I think it’d make a great gift nonetheless.

Have fun with these and enjoy!

If you didn’t find a gift that works for your loved one, maybe this at least gave you inspiration for a sweet and thoughtful gift. You can do it.

1 year down, a lifetime to go.

After one year of marriage we are officially pros, right? It feels weird to say we’ve been married a year. It has flown by, most of the time. I’m grateful for all the time we have gotten to spend together and for this life we get to share together (I can get pretty corny, I know…just wait).

Over the past twelve months we have learned so much about one another and even about our own selves. It’s such an adjustment going from being your own, independent-self to living with another person and having to work together with them on practically everything. I have learned more about forgiveness and submission, true love and respect, honor and trust than I ever thought possible. It’s one thing to know these things are important in a marriage, but to put them into practice 24/7 (especially when you don’t feel like putting in that effort) is truly a challenge.

Marriage is hard. I won’t lie and say everything is perfect all the time and that we never have issues, because honestly…it’s not and we do. I will say, though, that because of this, God’s grace is more evident in my life than ever before. And what a wonderful thing to see. Grace is a beautiful thing. It’s a relief to know that we don’t have to be perfect, to know that our main goal isn’t to look like a Hollywood movie, but most importantly bring glory to God through our marriage and to strengthen one another’s relationship with Christ.

One thing I love about our relationship is how much fun we have together. There is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t have me laughing like a little kid. He always has something fun planned and I love being adventurous and spontaneous with him. We’re our own version of a romantic comedy, only we’re probably the only ones who think we’re funny.

He not only makes me laugh, but makes me a better person as well. He’s always encouraging prayer and time in the Word. He is so generous and caring and he would do anything for anyone in a heartbeat. There are times when I just want to be lazy or let people solve their own problems (how lame of me); that’s not my husband. Never. At the drop of a hat, he is there to help. It always challenges me, which is just what I need sometimes. God knew exactly what he was doing when he brought the two of us together.

I’m so thankful I get to call such a wonderful, Godly man my husband. I’m not an expert on marriage and I probably never will be. I just hope to continue to learn as much as I have this past year and be able to look back on every year knowing we did our best to love and serve one another and the Lord.

Flowers sent to me at work. What an awesome surprise!

Happy one year anniversary, babe. I love you more every single day. Thanks for letting me be your wife.

fifteen fun and frugal dates.

Being young newlyweds, my husband and I try to pinch just about every penny we can. We like to have fun, we like to try new things, and we love adventures. We also know the importance of saving. We want to save as much as we can now, so we don’t have to worry about spending when we have (Lord willing) children. We have become very creative with dates; even before we were married, we would do random things for date nights and I loved it. I decided to come up with a list of fifteen dates that we have found fun and cute/romantic, because really when you go on dates, it’s all about bonding. If you’re as frugal as we are, you’ll love these. As you can tell, we are very much outdoor people. So most of our dates are outdoors. Enjoy!

INDOORS:

1. Rent a movie ($1 section!), make dinner together and watch the movie while you eat. After dinner, make milkshakes.

2. Go to a local coffee house and bring (or sometime they have them there) a board game, such as scrabble or checkers. Split a drink to support the business.

3. (in the winter) Get a gingerbread house kit and build it together!

4. On the weekends, bars have local bands playing (no cover charge usually), go enjoy a show.

5. Get your parents to let you barrow home videos of the both of you growing up. Make a homemade pizza together and laugh the night away.

OUTDOORS:

6. Go play a game of tennis. Look at yard sales and/or thrift shops, I always see raquets there.

7. Find a near-by park with hiking trails. Go on an afternoon hike and pack a picnic lunch. Find a good spot to stop and eat.

8. Get the schedule for your local minor league baseball team and go to a game. Tickets are usually just $5-10. (bg hot rods are $7)

9. Kayak down a close-by river (If you don’t own kayaks/conoes, you probably know someone who does – ask around!).

10. Ride your bikes to the closest gas station, get a couple slurpees and head to the closest park to enjoy them.

11. During the warmer months, find an orchard in your area and spend the day trying different fruits there.

12. Go to the local humane society and walk the dogs and play with the cats.

13. There’s always special deals and coupons at Baskin Robins – check them out, take advantage, and enjoy some ice cream together!

14. Go camping. Most state parks don’t charge for camping and we bought a tent on sale during winter.

15. Drive out to the country and watch the sunset, then star gaze for awhile, enjoying a glass of wine – if you are of-age!

There ya have it. I’ll try to add more blog posts about these as we come up with new ideas. Hopefully you found this somewhat inspirational!

true love.

Happy Valentine’s day!

One of my favorite holidays has arrived. I have a surprise waiting for my husband at home and I can’t wait to share it once he’s discovered it! I enjoy being sneaky and creative and showing him I care. Seriously, I love valentine’s day. But let me be honest about what gets me so fired up for this day each year. I don’t just love it because I have someone to share it with, and I don’t just love it because people show their romantic side, and I certainly don’t just love it for the gifts. So, why is this day so special to me? It’s special, because it always reminds me of an even greater love, one that I will never fully understand. A love so great, it was to die for. A love I can’t wrap my brain around. This love comes from the Lord. He sent his ONLY son into this world, who died for each and every one of us sinners and rose again, 3 days later. THAT is true Love (with a capital L!). God set the perfect example of love for us, because Jesus IS love. He gave up everything for us. So, let us always be mindful of this sacraficial love that was shown for us. And remember, love is something we should show 365 days a year, not just one. Show Christ’s love through your words, actions, and life. Always.

“We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:19

Amen. Enjoy your day!

1 Corinthians 13, Christmas Version

This is something I feel everyone needs to hear at this time of year. A lot of us (myself included) get caught up in the “consumer” Christmas, instead of focusing on what the HOLYday is all about. I hope this helps put things into perspective.

HERE IT IS: 1 Corinthians 13 [Christmas Version]

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend myriad holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.

But giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas

Author Unknown