Missing Home

(Note to the reader: This was written a month ago, but not published until now. A lot of times if I’m feeling really emotional about something I’ll write and then let whatever I wrote sit for a bit, giving myself time so it’s not so raw and seeing how things develop first. This is one of those I think can still be published as is even without a resolution, a little later than written, to give you a snapshot into some of the journey that is moving.)

Always tough to write when you’re feeling in kind of a low spot, but I’m a firm believer in keepin’ it real and sharing the whole journey rather than just the highlights. So the truth is that in moving, there are good days and bad days.

Some days I love all of the new experiences, adventures, and places to explore. On others, I have to fight the temptation to want everything to go back to the way it was.

Because here’s the thing: I know God lead us here. He wants us here for some reason, and He said it was to bless us. There’s definitely a purpose for us being here, and I need to be really careful that I don’t fall into the trap of wanting what’s behind or becoming ungrateful, because God has given us so much in many miraculous ways.

But there are some really hard days where the homesickness just aches, and I think God understands those moments, too.

To be honest, those sorts of days are more common right now than the exciting days. I know those will come, but when everything is unfamiliar to you and the only person you’ve gotten to know is the lady at the DMV… it’s a tad depressing.

It’s weird things that will trigger it, too. Things you’d never think you’d miss, or maybe that you’d never realize you’d miss.

Hardest of all has been leaving my nephew Boe behind.

I used to see him at least once a week, and until now, have been there for every major milestone. I was there when he was born, there when he took his first steps towards me from his mama, and there for his first birthday. Now that his second birthday is this month and knowing that I’ll miss it… it’s really hard.

It’s things like only being gone a few days and seeing a little boy around Boe’s age with eyes just like his in a hotel breakfast room. I had to get up and leave before somebody wondered why the girl with the haggard appearance was crying over her cereal.

Or hearing an orange juice commercial that was Boe’s favorite because of the jingle in the background and having to fight the tears that suddenly come up.

Or just normal “Whoa, it’s different,” type stuff like writing a new address on an envelope or hearing the local news and doing a double-take because it isn’t Colorado. It’s kind of like the feeling of getting new clothes and being excited for them, but finding that they just don’t fit quite yet. You’ll probably grow into them, but for right now…

And oh, my gosh… if I could only tell you how many times I’ve dreamt that we were packing and having to leave our home back in Colorado, over and over again.

Basically, this place isn’t “home” yet. I have no doubt it can become that one day as we make memories and friends, but for right now, we live in what isn’t our “forever home” yet. We go to a church, but we don’t know a single person there. We’re starting to learn where a few places are, but there’s no one there to share them with, and it basically feels like one long vacation of feeling as though you’re just visiting.

You should have seen me the other day watching Inside Out, whose main character Riley also has to deal with a recent move.

The ending scene in that movie… dang it if I didn’t cry over a children’s movie!

But like Riley, I know things will eventually work out. You don’t have to worry about me, because I promise I really will be all right! 🙂 As I said before, there’s just good days and bad days, and I think both are important to feel.

So for today…

I just miss home. I really miss my friends and family. It makes me a little sad.

And I look forward to the day when my definition of home can expand to two states instead of just one.

 

 

First Impressions

Just for fun, I decided to come up with a “Texas First Impressions” list! I thought it would be really interesting in a year’s time or so to see which of these have changed, and which have remained the same.

There’s more “First Impressions” than I can even name, but for now here are just a few:

1) Pretty place. 

It’s a different kind of pretty than Colorado, but it’s still pretty. If most of Colorado is all about the mountains, here they’re all about their rivers. And water happens to be one of my favorite things in nature, so I am really enjoying that!

One of the coolest things about the house the Lord got us to rent (see the story here) is that there’s a park with a river only residents here in the neighborhood have private access to. So not only did the Lord get us the perfect place to meet all our needs, He found us a place with a private park we could go and relax, too! It is so restful and beautiful, and I love it!

My Ducks 2

River in the evening.

 

Shadows and Shore 2

Shadows and light.

 

Leaf 2

A change of seasons.

 

Reflections

River in the fall here. Err… winter, I guess.

 

Train of Thought

Journaling one day in front of the river and the train trestle.

 

Front Yard 2

The new front yard for now.

 

Trees 2

The gorgeous, fairy tale-like trees our rental house is in the middle of.

2) Kind, polite people. 

You hear about “Southern Hospitality” all the time, and I have thankfully seen that in action a time or two already.

Here in Texas they are really, really good at fine service and follow-up. When we first got here everyone in the family except for me got pneumonia, which meant they all had the chance to “test” out the hospitals here. What was really neat about it is that the doctors themselves call the very next day to see how you’re feeling, if you have any other questions, how your experience was, etc.

Our jaws nearly dropped at that! In Colorado, you’re lucky if you can even get a nurse on the phone if you have any questions, and even when you do, they can often be irritable about it.

As much as I don’t want to offend my Colorado peeps–we really can be rude and not very friendly. It’s a fact.

P.S.  I could really get used to being called “Ma’am.” Though I know I don’t even look like I’m out of school and am used to being passed over and not taken seriously because of it, I’ve been called “ma’am” several times here. And it is such a refreshing thing! They say it as a term of honor and respect, a verbal cue that they take me and my opinion/experience seriously, and, yeah. It’s just refreshing and feels lovely.

3) No such thing as “lone stars”–they’re everywhere.

Okay, I’m probably going to make some Texans mad (so it’s a good thing I don’t know many yet!), but you do not have any “lone stars.”

They are everywhere.

On every flag, building, license plate, business, houseplant, and pet.

On my way here alone, I counted two hundred and ten.

I know the history of “the lone star.” Buuuut, I gotta tell ya, it has ceased to be “lone.”

You’ve heard of glitter guns? Ah, Fuhgeddaboutit. Star it. All of it.

(And let me just cliffnote this by saying I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this too in a year or so, which means I don’t have any room to talk! 😉 )

4) Texas scent.

Texas smells different. It’s kind of a musty, wet smell that never goes away.

It’s probably because of the humidity and all that, but I have to be honest and say that it isn’t my favorite. I’ll probably get used to it, but for right now… yeah.

The perpetual smell of barbeque, though–that I can live with!

5) Cultural diversity.

There are many different people from many different kinds of cultures here, and I never realized how much I enjoyed that until I experienced it.

Being in church with so many different skin colors and nationalities all praising the same God and acting as the family the Bible calls us… so neat and powerful!

6) Places to GO and things to DO.

Good golly, probably one of the biggest differences, right here! Every week they have something new going on!

Back in Colorado where we lived, there were probably five major events per year that I can think of at the top of my head, and most included lots of traveling: the fair (in town), the Craft Fair (30 minutes away), the Hotel Colorado tree lighting (40 minutes away), Country Jam (an hour away), and the X-Games (an hour and fifteen minutes away.)

Here the town has already had three really big “fests” in just the couple of months we’ve been here, and there is always something to do or some new place to go, even without traveling! And if not, there’s a major city only thirty minutes away.

The first couple of weeks, my mom and I were marveling that we didn’t have to travel an hour just to get to church or find a Hobby Lobby. Both were just here! (I can remember when our old town finally got a new movie theater that didn’t have a stain on the screen, and how the opening day of our first ever Wal-Mart was like the first stop on a Queen tour.)

I never knew how much of a tiny town I lived in until I moved here, and so far, I really like it!

I don’t like the extra traffic and living more in the country is still preferred, but having access to so many different things is a lot of fun.

7) Everything’s bigger in Texas–including the bugs. (And except for the deer.)

Seriously. I have seen more bugs in just the few months I’ve been here than I ever did living in Colorado. Wildlife of all kinds flourishes here.

The deer here though are hilarious. Compared to Colorado’s type of deer, they are the scrawniest, teeniest little things I have ever seen.

Don’t get me wrong–they are extremely cute! I just don’t really even know if you could call them “deer.” Maybe an above average-size chihuahua?

8) The weather. 

The difference in weather is probably one of the most obvious ones. I thought I’d rarely be cold, but that has turned out not to be true.

I still wear sweaters occasionally and have to have my space heater on pretty much every morning. (Thank you, Dad, for having the foresight not to throw it away in the move!)

However, I can pretty much wear my trench coat and be just fine. No more big, bulky snow jackets for me!

And no. Snow. Or snow driving. Or slush or ice or frozen car doors.

Ah! Thank you, Jesus!

I actually got a teeny bit sunburned the other day. In December.

Such bliss!

9) Later dinner?

The verdict is still out on this one. I have no idea when people eat dinner here. The few times we’ve been out at restaurants around what our usual dinner hour is (6:00 or 6:30), they’ve been completely dead.

…I guess those cooking shows weren’t kidding about “slow roasting” their meat?

10) No kiddos around. 

This is actually just a personal difference rather than a cultural one. But from the time I turned 14 until now, I have never not been around any kids. I have always had a baby on my hip– the baby(ies) have just rotated throughout the years. My first job was as a mother’s helper, and I’ve worked with kids ever since.

Only a few days into the trip out here, I found myself marveling at that. I’d forgotten what it felt like. For the first time in ten years, there was no little person hanging onto my arm, clamoring for my attention.

My appendages were remarkably light. There were no little voices fighting, pointing out things excitedly, crying, or asking questions, it was just quiet.

I had this realization sitting in a hotel breakfast room as a family of five sat at the table across from me.

I was in readiness mode, my head flying up when I heard the kids talk or the baby cry, ready to get whatever it was they needed, whether it was food, a hug, an answer to a question, a diaper change, discipline, or engaging with them as they talked and played.

…But, they didn’t need anything at all from me.

No one needed anything from me, and I didn’t have to have all senses tuned to the baby’s cry or kid’s chatter or any possible danger they might put themselves in, because they weren’t “my” responsibility.

So weird! I was the person on the other side of the room for once, free to do whatever I wanted really, just eating breakfast.

It’s been a long time since I’ve only had to be responsible for my own welfare, so it’s definitely been a new experience for me in the few months we’ve been here!

So there you have it! Ten first impressions.

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back to document more of life here soon!

Getting There

Getting there… oh, man! Haha. It was a trip, let me tell ya.

Though I haven’t talked extensively about the reasons for us moving here on the blog, some of you know that we did simply because God asked us to. Which is an awesome story in and of itself, but for now suffice it to say that we’d never been to Texas. Had no reason at all to move here. No jobs lined up until a little less than a month before, no place to stay, nobody that we knew. But we trusted God to provide.

On the day my parents visited Texas for the first time, this was the sunset that night from our house in Colorado. I have never seen a more brilliant sunset. If you'll look closely, there's also the bottom of a rainbow. I took it as a sign from God and reminder of His promise that good things were on the horizon for us. It was a holy moment I can barely describe.

On the day my parents visited Texas for the first time, this was the sunset that night from our house in Colorado. I have never seen a more brilliant sunset. If you’ll look closely, there’s also the bottom of a rainbow. I took it as a sign from God and reminder of His promise that good things were on the horizon for us. It was a holy moment I couldn’t even begin to describe.

Panning out.

Panning out.

And He did provide. Because of that, I think it ticked the enemy right off, and he did his best to keep us from getting here.

Starting with packing. Not only was it right up against the deadline of when we had to be out, but my new brother-in-law crashed his bike and ended up with a sprained foot the day before we needed to start packing. Since my dad has a weakened pituitary from a tumor he had, too much stress or exertion could cause his sodium levels to get critically low and put him in the hospital again, so as far as heavy lifting went, we needed the help.

My dad called in a favor with a friend of his who sent his son and some of his friends to help in return for payment. Unfortunately, these kids weren’t really interested in helping, whispering about how lazy we were under their breath, knocking our furniture around, and purposefully feeding the pizza we’d provided for them to the dogs.

So that was a bust.

But the Lord moved in even that, and a friend of my younger sister’s came to help us instead. This guy was absolutely incredible and one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. More than that, he was honorable and worked with integrity.

Close to my age, he’d had a rough life. Coming from a broken family and bullied in school, he got to the point where he didn’t want to take it anymore and fought back. Unfortunately, fighting back is also what got him sent to juvie.

But it wasn’t how he wanted to be known and he tried to make a new name for himself. His girlfriend and him had a child, but they broke up, and by the time he got to us, the girlfriend was refusing to even let him talk to his son over the phone. He couldn’t find work because of his record, and though we didn’t know it at the time, he’d already bought the pills to take his own life.

In his own words, he was “about to give up on God.”

But here’s what I love about my Lord: our God will not give up on us. 

We had no way of knowing what it would mean for both our paths to cross. We thought he was a tremendous blessing God had provided to us, but in the extravagant way only the Lord can work, He helped us be a tremendous blessing to him, too.

And there, in the back of a trailer crowded with furniture and on a simple lunch break, my dad shared his testimony and ended up praying for him as tears streamed down the young man’s face.

It was enough to convince him not to give up on God or himself just yet.

The whole thing just left me in awe. God’s perfect timing. The way He’d orchestrated everything from the beginning–worked everything towards good even down to the disrespectful kids who’d knocked our furniture around… so that he could knock on the door of a beloved son’s heart, instead.

So many variables that could have changed everything…

But how good is our God?!

That was an awesome way to start, but it was the first of many battles to be won.

The view across from our house. Something I will greatly miss!

The view across from our house. Something I will greatly miss!

Front yard.

Front yard.

The Ponderosa Pine in our front yard.

The Ponderosa Pine in our front yard.

Bye, home! You've been good to us.

Bye, home! You’ve been good to us.

Packed, ready to go, and hitting the road.

Nearly packed, ready to go, and hitting the road.

Finally we were on the road, but getting on the road was just the beginning.

Our first stop that night was in Salida, Colorado, but with a huge trailer and car dolley, there is not a lot of places to park. On top of that, my mom had gotten sick on the way over with bronchitis and was absolutely miserable.

For me, one of my favorite Colorado landscapes: horse pastures with mountains in the distance. :)

For me, one of my favorite Colorado landscapes: horse pastures with mountains in the distance. 🙂

Crazy curvy Colorado roads!

Crazy curvy Colorado roads!

It took us until 8:00 that night to be able to find a place, and I tell ya, we felt every bit like Mary and Joseph finally finding an inn that would take us.

Our next stop was Dalhart, Texas. Sweet people. A cricket underneath my pillow at the hotel and cricket poop on the pillowcase, but you know. Sweet people.

Welcome to Texas!

Welcome to Texas!

First glimpse of those Texas prairies!

First glimpse of those Texas prairies!

First Texas train!

First Texas train!

First Texas sunset.

First Texas sunset.

Then Lubbock, Texas, which was my favorite place to stay because it was the most… well, civilized. No crickets or cricket poop. Just nice, starched white linens and plenty of amenities.

Finally, we made it to Junction, Texas, which was just a few hours from our final destination.

And have since come to call, “Cricket Junction.”

Nothing else says “welcome to Texas” like a cricket apocalypse, after all.

They were everywhere. The carnage was insane. I am not kidding when I tell you that there were literally black clouds of crickets all over the parking lots and outer walls of restaurants. Even in some of the restaurants!

In our hotel room alone we killed five, and my “creep-o-meter” went way off when I saw three of them skittering around in the light fixture of the bathroom, casting shadows around like King Kong’s kin.

I don’t mind crickets normally, but this… they were taking it too far.

It even creeped my dad out, so he called the motel owner to make sure and not damage the fixture as we got them out.

The owner was a very nice Indian guy with an accent who just also happened to have a stereotypically high voice and one fear: crickets.

But he came prepared. His weapon against the foul beasts? A broomstick.

As my dad outlined his plan for the demolition of the insects, the owner followed along, nodding nervously until my dad finished. Clearing his throat, he voiced his one concern: “But they jump.”

Cue the crickets.

My dad gave him the look only my dad can give which is basically a stare that says “you’re an idiot,” but demonstrated his Christian maturity by saying with only a little sarcasm, “Yes, they do.”

Seeing that he was on his own, my dad carefully unscrewed the light fixture.

One dropped out, and the owner squealed and jumped back like any good little Indian girl would, holding the broomstick at arms’ length like a shield.

I only barely managed to hide my laugh behind my hand.

(And by the way, it’s a trick I’ve learned from my mom that when things are stressful or going wrong, your best recourse is to laugh. Following that advice, this trip was a comedy club on wheels.)

I thought the troubles were over then, but oh, no.

No sooner had we gotten on the road just hours away from our destination than we got a flat tire on the trailer. I loitered around outside for a while as my dad tried to fix it, but the moment I saw a spider the size of Godzilla eating a cricket (and doing so with nauseating vigor), I decided the car might make a better waiting area.

After an hour of trying to fix it, my dad finally conceded defeat… and we found the 24-hour repair shop across the street.

They fixed it in fifteen minutes.

Really?

It was back on the road, and finally–we made it! One problem solved.

New problem: how not to be homeless?

We made it to our destination on a Sunday. Dad had to be at his new job by Thursday, so ideally it would be a good idea to find a place to live before then. Ideally, it would also be nice not to burn up cash residing at a hotel for the rest of our lives. Or finding ourselves beneath a bridge.

…Ideally.

So we got in touch with some realtors with a pretty demanding checklist: a rental that allowed two cats and two dogs. (Oh, did I mention we completed this trip with two cats in a cage in the backseat? Which, P.S., our cats are not Celtic music fans. They’re generally kind little things, but blast some bagpipes and they’re Hitler in fur. Just sayin’.)

Big enough for the trailer.

Big enough for Mom, Dad, Alicia, Jesse, Mackenzie, two cats, two dogs, and me. (What can I say? We’re the Beverly Hillbillies.)

In our price point.

The realtor had the perfect place in mind for our checklist. Probably the only place that would fit our needs.

But a block away from trying to show it to us, our realtor got the call that the house had just been rented out.

Are you kidding?!

We were all fighting discouragement and frustration by this point. Four non-stop, stressful days of packing. Leaving behind decades-old friendships, an 18-year-old home, and my little sister Rachel and one-year-old nephew Boe. Five days of travel. Now two days staying in a hotel. All solely on God’s promise. But when would we find a place to stay?

But as my dad likes to say, “God is never late, but seldom early.” Just as we were beginning to lose hope, we got another call:

“Actually, the people who were gonna get the house fell through. Do you guys still want to take a look at it?”

Yes, and thank you, Jesus!

It was perfect. Small, but it met every one of our needs. And would take the dogs, which was almost an impossibility for any rental. That’s God, all right!

It was another excruciating day as we struggled with jumping through hoops and finishing paperwork online that kept giving us technical problems.

I’m tellin’ ya, I think one of the reasons all of that happened was so that we could give all the glory to God, because there is no way we could have gotten into that house on our own. Having never been to Texas. Just calling up a realtor. Not knowing the area. Having it fit our checklist. Needing it by a certain time. Having the paperwork of the other renters fall through. Almost having ours do the same.

But God can do the impossible and is faithful to His promises, and one day before my dad had to start his new job… we got into the house!

Cue the hallelujah chorus.

And it was even better than we thought.

But I’ll save the rest of that for the next post, “First Impressions.” 🙂

‘Till then!

Last Days in Colorado

Be prepared for a lot of pictures, because the last couple of months in Colorado were so busy, I got very behind! So now I’m just stuffing them all into one post, even though there’s a lot I could say about all of the memories represented in these photos.

One of the first goodbyes I had to say was to my friend Erin at her going away party as she prepared to live and serve in Africa for a year.

It was a really bittersweet time knowing she was called by God and would be such a blessing to the people there, but also knowing how much we were all going to miss her and the blessing she’d been to us. I also knew it was very likely I would have already moved by the time she got back, so this was going to be one of the last times I’d be able to see her for a very long time.

Definitely hard!

In July

The lady herself posing with my godmother growin' up, Darcy.

Erin and my godmother, Darcy.

Guest of Honor

Photo garland of fun times spent with Erin.

Photo garland of fun times spent with Erin.

Friends from our Bible Study Group.

Friends from our Bible Study Group.

Canvas guest book with well-wishes for Erin.

Canvas guest book with well-wishes for Erin.

Lissa, Erin, Darcy and I--amazing friends and a force to be reckoned with! ;) Miss them all tons!

Lissa, Erin, Darcy and I–amazing friends and a force to be reckoned with! 😉 Miss them all tons!

Next was my older sister’s bridal shower as she prepared to get married in August, just one month before we were set to move. (Now you know some of the reason I was too busy to update!)

The centerpieces for the wedding we all helped make. Glass bottles with rubber bands wrapped all around, then spray painted with silver glitter.

The centerpieces for the wedding we all helped make. Glass bottles with rubber bands wrapped all around, then spray painted with silver glitter.

The bride-to-be opening her gifts!

The bride-to-be opening her gifts!

Alicia at Bridal Shower

Gorgeous sis!

Next there was a fundraising gala for the private school I’d both attended and taught at…

Good friends Vonnie and Tessa!

Good friends Vonnie and Tessa!

A very fun night!

A very fun night!

Watching an alumni video I was really blessed to help organize for a school I really love!

Guests watching the alumni video that we debuted that night!

Friends and two of the alumni who appeared in the video!

Friends and two of the alumni who appeared in the video!

In August

Then the wedding!

Alicia getting ready for her big day! :)

Alicia getting ready for her big day! 🙂

Her bouquet and ring.

Her bouquet and ring.

Sneak Peek...

Sneak Peek…

The gorgeous venue.

The gorgeous venue.

Dad walking her down the aisle.

Dad walking her down the aisle.

The ceremony.

The ceremony.

I now pronounce you husband and wife, and not a dry eye to be seen!

I now pronounce you husband and wife, and not a dry eye to be seen!

My niece Mackenzie, new brother-in-law Jesse, new niece Destany, and my sister Alicia.

My niece Mackenzie, new brother-in-law Jesse, new niece Destany, and my sister Alicia.

The entire wedding party!

The entire wedding party!

My sweet Nana and Great Aunt Sandy checkin' out the merchandise. ;)

My sweet Nana and Great Aunt Sandy checkin’ out the merchandise. 😉

The whole family!

The whole family! (Minus Boe man, my baby nephew.)

The reception with my younger sister Rachel, Mom, and friends Carsyn and Shannia. :)

The reception with my younger sister Rachel, Mom, and friends Carsyn and Shannia. 🙂

The Cake!

The Cake!

Mr. and Mrs.!

Mr. and Mrs.!

And before we knew it, it was already time to say our goodbyes.

Last coffee date with Christina, Jakota, Tela, and Lissa.

Last coffee date with Christina, Jakota, Tela, and Lissa.

Coffee Date 2

Sayin' goodbye to Bekah and the girls.

Sayin’ goodbye to Bekah and the girls.

Girls and Me

Cassara Peeking

Drivin' around!

Cruisin’!

Last time tucking these sweeties into bed for nap time. Definitely started to lose it right about here!

Last time tucking these sweeties into bed for nap time. Definitely started to lose it right about here!

Last time reading a Bible Story before nap.

Last time reading them a Bible Story before nap.

Not fair how much I already miss everyone in this shot! <3

Not fair how much I already miss everyone in this shot! ❤

A

A “last outing” with Tessa for church, coffee, and trip to WholeFoods to try as many things as we could in their pastry case.

Tessa showing off some of our spoils from the day!

Tessa showing off some of our spoils from the day!

I was taking pictures of the enormous red velvet cupcake I got when I saw this lady wearing a Colorado state flag shirt and had to take a pic.

I was taking pictures of the enormous red velvet cupcake I got when I saw this lady wearing a Colorado state flag shirt and had to take a pic.

Some sweet friends hosted a going away party for us, and a lot of the families I've babysat for over the years were able to come. This is Leah and Chase, minus their older brother Mason.

Some precious friends hosted a going away party for us, and a few of the families I’ve babysat for over the years were able to come. This is the adorable Leah and Chase, minus their older brother Mason who was off playing somewhere else. 

Bailey and Daniel! Two of the sweetest people you'll ever meet.

Bailey and Daniel! Two of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.

Me and my girls! Nephew Boe is there in the corner, too.

Me and my girls! Boe man is there in the corner, too.

A lot of the pics turned out blurry that night, but two of my best buds! (And little buds. :) )

A lot of the pics turned out blurry that night, but two of my best buds! (And little buds. 🙂 )

Sweet girl Lillian who I've also had the opportunity to watch! Her mama and good friend Lissa hosted the party.

Sweet girl Lillian who I’ve also had the opportunity to watch! Her mama and dear friend Lissa hosted the party.

Miss this lady!

Miss this lady!

Could a girl ask for a better group of friends? From L to R: dear friend Lissa who blessed us so much by putting the party together, Christina, me, Jakota who helped host, and Tessa.

Could a girl ask for a better group of friends? From L to R: Lissa who put the party together, friend Christina, me, Jakota who helped host, and Tessa.

How do you describe having to say goodbye to so many precious and amazing people? I can tell you truthfully that almost every person pictured in these photos were a part of being the Body of Christ to me and of loving me out of some really dark times, even when they didn’t know it. I just hope I was able to be the same kind of blessing to them that they were to me!

The going away party that night was one of the most loved, blessed, and honored that I have ever felt. Tessa even made our family a beautiful canvas guest book that I forgot to take pictures of in the hustle and bustle of everything, but I’ll take pictures again once we start finding everything and make sure to post them!

All-in-all, what can I say about my last days and year in Colorado? For one thing, it was packed full with beautiful souls. Some of the kindest, selfless, and most generous people you’ll ever know.

It was an amazing, very blessed time, and to sum it all up: it was all about the adventure of love.

The love of the Lord.

Learning to love and be loved…

And loving every minute.

Bloom (Part Two)

As I started on this new journey of seeing myself through the Lord’s eyes (find part one of this journey here), I began to pray for the Lord to lay His vision for me upon the canvas of my heart. I envisioned myself coming to Him with a blank slate, without any pre-conceived notions, and just simply asking Him to show me what He had planned for my life.

Not long after I started praying that prayer, a phrase came to mind:

“Bloom: Where you are, as you are.”

I loved the concept since it encompassed everything the Lord had been teaching me, but I wasn’t quite sure how He wanted me to apply it. Maybe a nonfiction project?

So I set it aside to mull on for later.

Shortly after that, my friend Tessa and I joined an online Bible Study together called Becoming: The Unfolding of You, where women first uploaded videos of their testimonies followed by a video with a craft tutorial of some kind. We both loved that combination of creativity and faith, and unbeknownst to us, in two different states God began laying the same idea on both of our hearts.

As soon as Tessa returned from visiting family, we talked about the study over coffee. Without even meaning to, somehow I found myself blurting out the very idea I’d only thought of once: “You know, with you wanting to lead a crafting class of some kind lately and me wanting to teach on God’s Word, it would be cool to do something like the Becoming Study ourselves.”

To my surprise, Tessa grinned. “Really? I was thinking the same thing!”

A light bulb went off. “There was this idea I had, about a book, but maybe it was actually for this…”

And Bloom Women’s Retreat was born.

Bloom Header

It was a crazy idea from the get-go, which only convinced me even more that it was from God. There was opposition from a lot of sides, not least of which was my own family trying to warn me of the very real possibility that no one would show up.

Which they were absolutely right about. It was a huge possibility.

But I knew that this idea was not of my own making, and it burned so strongly in my heart, I couldn’t let it go.

Even if just five women showed up–what if those were the five God wanted to reach?

There were many times Tessa and I lost faith and almost gave up on the whole thing. But every time we grew discouraged, God would send something or someone to show us we were on the right path.

Amazing things such as a Chaplain having a Word of Knowledge for me about the retreat, a dear friend volunteering to be Worship Leader for us after we’d given up on being able to afford one, and finding the perfect venue after our first choice fell through.

But all that wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have anyone to come.

Months earlier in the stages of planning, Tessa and I had both agreed that five women would be our minimum, fifteen maximum. It just wouldn’t make sense with any less than five because of the way we had structured it as well as the time and money we were pouring into the two-day retreat.

But with just a week out, we only had two women signed up.

As it ticked closer, Tessa and I both started to worry. Had this been a terrible idea? Had we missed God by so much? Was my family right?

The night of the registration deadline, I said a prayer. Lord, I believe that this idea came from you and that you can bring the women who need to hear this message even now. But we need at least five to be able to make this work. 

Lord, if this idea is from you and you still want us to do this retreat, please give us those five women before the weekend is through.

Before the weekend had even started, we had five women signed up that night.

But the external opposition couldn’t even compare to the internal battle going on as I thought about sharing my testimony for the first time.

How could I have been so stupid to think that I could do this? That I had anything worth saying to anybody and was ready for something like this?

The absolute vulnerability nearly had me shaking with fear. I was already panicking with stage fright, and I wasn’t even in the room yet! Knowing it was getting out of hand before we’d ever even started, I took a deep breath and envisioned myself holding up the shield of faith (Eph. 6:10-17) to stop the devil’s fiery darts of fear from hitting me.

God interrupted then and gave me His own vision: Me holding up that heavy shield of faith, but with His strong right hand cupped underneath my elbow, helping me hold up the shield of faith.

Immediately flooded with peace, I laughed.

I was not alone in this! How silly of me to think I was. Not even in having enough faith to see it all through. Even with that He was there to help me!

Nor was I doing any of it in my own strength. I didn’t even have enough strength to hold up “the shield of faith”! It was both a funny and encouraging vision as I realized the disconnect between how I was viewing things and how the Lord was. It all looked insurmountable to me, but to God, all He had to do was lend just a touch of His strength.

The day of came, and I found myself looking out at the faces of eleven precious women.

Women I was expected to lead when I’d never done anything like this before. My hand holding the mike began to shake– a warning sign of nerves I was very familiar with.

No. Not this time, Lizzie, I reprimanded myself, bringing my other hand up to cup the shaking elbow and grip it firmly. You’re fine.

Peace filled me once again and I spoke with a strength not of my own making as I talked about my favorite subject–the love of God and of how it can transform a life.

Only later did it occur to me: one hand rising up to cup the shaking elbow while the other held something else–it was the vision God had given me! Holding up the shield of faith with His strength underneath supporting me.

It had come to pass, and I knew it wasn’t actually myself who’d had the insight to grip the arm failing in strength and courage, but the Lord’s Himself.

The rest of the retreat was an absolute blast as together we worshiped, made crafts, and studied just what it means to be a woman who blooms where she is, as she is.

It was a day I’ll always remember, but then, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking!

Getting ready for Bloom that first day! From R to L: Tessa, Creative Director, me, speaker, Rebekah, Worship Leader, Erin, amazing friend, attendee, and helper. Dear friends to me, all, and I felt so blessed to be able to do this with them. Such beautiful, talented, and strong women of the Lord!

Getting ready for Bloom that first day! From L to R: Tessa, Creative Director; me, speaker; Rebekah, Worship Leader; Erin, amazing friend, attendee, and helper. Dear friends to me, all, and I felt so blessed to be able to do this with them. Such beautiful, talented, and strong women of the Lord! I couldn’t imagine anyone else I would have rather spent the day with.

Welcome to Bloom!

Welcome to Bloom!

Rebekah leading us in Worship with her beautiful voice. We were so blessed to have her!

Rebekah leading us in Worship. We were so blessed to have her!

Sharing my testimony and explaining The Bloom Board.

Sharing my testimony and explaining The Bloom Board. (Which I’ll explain here too later. 😉 )

Break time! Getting to know one another.

Break time! Getting to know one another…

...having fun...

…having fun…

...Having fun and taking selfies!

… and taking selfies!

Tessa leading us in our first craft! How to make wreaths with coffee filter flowers. So much fun!

Tessa leading us in our first craft! How to make wreaths with coffee filter flowers. So much fun!

Choosing ribbons for our wreaths at the hot glue gun station.

Choosing ribbons for our wreaths at the hot glue gun station.

The finished product!

The finished product!

The next day's crafts were necklaces and paintings, which everyone had a blast with!

The next day’s crafts were necklaces and paintings, which everyone had a blast with!

Busy workin'.

Busy workin’.

One of my necklaces. Our theme verse was Proverbs 31:25:

One of the necklaces I made. Our theme verse was Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

The other necklace I was able to make through Tessa's awesome guidance!

The other necklace I was able to make through Tessa’s awesome guidance!

All of the Bloom women with their finished paintings! We each commented on how fun it was that we were all inspired by the same example, and yet, our paintings turned out so differently! But each of them were just as beautiful in their own way. Just like how God works with us!

All of the Bloom women from day two with their finished paintings! We each commented on how fun it was that we were all inspired by the same example, and yet, our paintings turned out so differently! But each of them were just as beautiful in their own way. Reminded me of how God works with us!

One of the most powerful moments at Bloom for me came with something we called The Bloom Board, which was basically a visual way of sharing testimonies.

One side was labeled “My Story,” while the other said “His Glory.” On the first day, women were encouraged to leave one word that either used to describe them or that they wanted to leave behind on the “My Story” side. The next day, they were then invited to leave a new word that described them now.

Bloom Board

Taking it all in when the days were finished… tears filled my eyes and all breath was stolen from me.

Each and every woman I met had been such a delight, such beautiful and amazing people. So to take in their words from the first day…

Things such as “ASHAMED”, “Used for one thing,” “Unworthy”… none of the women I’d met were deserving of these words, and how heartbreaking it was to realize they thought of themselves this way.

Stories

But what joy and what freedom the other side promised!

His Glory

I prayed it then, and I pray it now, that those women continue to live by the words they placed on the second side of that board, and not the first.

When we let Jesus into our lives, miracles happen. Lives are changed. People transformed.

So for whoever reads this today, I hope you know that the same can happen for you. That He is the God who redeems our stories, and that you?

You are His masterpiece. 

I thought I’d keep a good thing goin’, so if you feel like it, I’d love if you commented on this blog post with your own “Bloom Story”!

To get ya started, here’s mine:

My Story is that I was rejected.

His Glory is that I am loved.

Ask me about it sometime.

I’d love to tell you.

Group Photo

Bloom (Part One)

Ugly. 

Invisible. 

Too sensitive. Too timid. Too everything. 

Reject. 

Joke. 

They were words that described me for far too long.

Looking out at the room full of women, I shared my testimony, or what I was calling “My Bloom Story.” Tears filled my eyes at God’s promises coming true, and thankfulness and joy welled up in me until I wanted to burst with praise.

But it wasn’t always that way. 

Before I was there, leading a room full of women in studying God’s Word and teaching about His love for them, I was in a hospital room with my dad.

Fallen on a sidewalk with a bleeding knee, and failing in my final year of college.

A grave site of a friend.

Sitting behind a group of people who’d left me out again, convinced nobody would even miss me if I were gone.

And finally, alone in the parking lot of a theater… wondering how I’d do it if I were going to.

They were dark, painful years, and it was a battle even my own family didn’t know about, with losses and victories no one was aware of.

I was enslaved in that dark depression, so fearful and ashamed to let anyone know I doubted God’s love or how deeply my self-hatred went.

But it was Jesus who met me in that hospital room when no one else would, and it was Jesus who bandaged my knee on that sidewalk, and it was Jesus who wrapped His arms around me one night as I lay on a living room floor and cried out, “God, hold me,” because the inner pain was so intense.

I just needed eyes to see.

This blog, while documenting my final days in Colorado, has also been about something much more…

It’s been about documenting God restoring my joy. 

For over a year now, God has been using plant analogies with me to help me understand my relationship with Him, and though I didn’t realize its significance at the time, even this blog ended up being named after a flower!

One of the analogies the Lord gave me that helped the most as I started off on this journey of healing was this:

“Just because a rose takes a while to bloom, does that make it any less of a rose?”

Before I could grow past the depression that held me captive, I first needed to understand the depth of God’s love and grace for me as is. That He saw me not as the broken person I saw myself as, but as the “rose” He inherently created me to be.

Until I was “…rooted and established in love,” (Eph. 3:10), I had no hope of stepping out into all that He had for me.

And He showed me that love, so relentlessly and faithfully until one day I realized: Jesus really did die on the cross, for me. 

And it changed my life. It saved my life.

One definition of “bloom” says this: “prosper or flourish: to reach the fullest stage of development or maturity.”

Though I don’t believe I have reached “the fullest stage” and won’t until I’m in heaven, because of Jesus’ death on the cross I now know another truth: “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree. They will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our GOD.” (Psalm 92:12-13.)

Against all odds, He has caused me to flourish, and I can tell you truthfully that I no longer struggle with suicidal thoughts. It would make your jaw hit the floor if I could tell you everything He’s done!

From having the courage to try new things and being able to laugh at my quirks, to re-discovering my love of creating, to re-discovering love at all through the course of this blog–the Lord Himself has “restored, confirmed, strengthened and established me,” (1 Pe. 5:9-11), and it is such a beautiful thing. There is so much cause for joy!

But I’m writing today because maybe you feel as I did. You might be as close to giving up as I was in the parking lot that day, wondering why you’re even here, and feeling just as invisible.

But dear heart, trust me, hear me–you are not invisible to the Lord of all the earth. Your name is written on the very palm of His hand, the Bible says, He numbers every hair on your head, and He died for you because He loved you. He died to set you free.

If you feel undeserving, if you want to believe that but aren’t sure you can–good! You’re on the right path.

And I understand. I was there too.

But it’s so important that you get it. It’s imperative you don’t miss it:

Grace? Grace is for the undeserving.

Grace is for the broken, and the sinful, and the doubting.

Grace is for people just like me and you, because people who don’t deserve grace are the only kind that exist.

Grace is a gift.

But like any gift, it has to be accepted first to be able to do you any good. 

If anything I said rings true for you today, then this is my prayer for you:

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:16-19.) 

Let your new life start here, today. May you experience joy and freedom as you have never known.

And as you go through this life, my greatest prayer for you is this:

May you do more than just survive.

May you bloom.

Captured Moments: A Day on The Farm

Over the summer, I babysat for a family who live in a farmhouse that was built in the 1920’s. I loved every aspect of it… from etched glass, to weathered paint, to playful barn cats… everywhere I looked a story was waiting to be told! So here’s just a few of The Captured Moments. Come along with me for a day on the farm!

Weathered paint.

Weathered paint.

Mr. Boomer, my happy charge! :)

Mr. Boomer, my happy charge! 🙂

Farmhouse and clothing line.

Farmhouse and clothing line.

Another view of the house.

Another view of the house.

Discovering pine cones. :)

Discovering pine cones. 🙂

Very Colorado-like, I feel... pine cones and pine needles.

Very Colorado-like, I feel… pine cones and pine needles.

Really neat, big tree.

Really neat, big tree.

So stereotypical! Silly barn cat teasing the dog. :)

So stereotypical! Silly barn cat teasing the dog. 🙂

Silly cat still teasing dog.

Silly cat still teasing dog.

...Aaaand, barn cat teasing the baby. ;)

…Aaaand, barn cat teasing the baby. 😉

Gate to the house.

Gate to the house.

Look at that little red hand!

Caught red-handed!

Haha, that poor dog getting teased again by another cat! You can tell who runs the farm. ;)

Poor dog getting teased again by another cat! You can tell who runs the farm. 😉

Beautiful etched glass.

Beautiful etched glass.

Horse trailer.

Horse trailer.

Love the sun glare and stone of this barn!

Ivy crawling up the side of the brick barn. So much history!

Boomer lookin' contemplative.

Boomer lookin’ contemplative.

Hm, should I go?

Stopping to consider...

The road less traveled.

Yeah, I think I'll do it!

Love this shot too. The stone, the history... love the tree in the background as well.

Such a farm dog. ;)

It’s good to be a dog.

Vibrant pop of color against that dusty dirt road!

Vibrant pop of color alongside the dusty dirt road.

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Captured Moments: Dandelion Dreamin’

Boe’s eyes light up as he watches dandelion seeds get carried away in the wind for the first time, and I smile.

With an official contract for the house and a closing date of September 1st, I’m feeling so many things. Excitement and hope for the future, joy and gratitude at God’s promises being fulfilled, but even more so today… melancholy and apprehension at all I’m leaving behind.

My childhood home. Friends and family and friends who are practically family. Mountains and… the tears bite at my eyes…

Boe. 

Ask me to leave anything else, Lord, but to leave this little guy, this piece of my heart behind… whose heartbeat I heard before he was even born, who melts me with every gleeful cry of “LaLaa!” as he runs into my arms, who cries when I even try to leave the room…

So many unknowns. Going to a place I’ve never seen, with a culture I’ve never experienced, knowing absolutely no one…

How can I ever do this? How do I let go? 

I pluck my own dandelion as tears fill my eyes.

It’s scary, Lord. Soon I’ll be completely without a home, a job, a church, friends, or anyone I even remotely know. Like Abraham, you’ve asked us to go to a land we’ve never seen and that you’ll show us once we get to it. Which is terrifying. Even harder is all we leave behind. 

But yet… 

A Bible verse springs to mind as I twirl the dandelion in my hand. There is a time and a season for every activity under heaven. Both a time to uproot, and a time to plant…

Ah, Lord, that’s a good way to put it. So much uprooting. 

And yet…

He makes everything beautiful in its time. 

A measure of peace comes into my soul as I realize I won’t be letting go…

I’ll be handing over. 

To the One who knows my needs before I even ask and who saw my every day before it had ever happened, whose thoughts toward me outnumber the grains of sand and who asks us to cast our cares upon Him because He cares… I steal a glance at Boe… are His arms not better than mine to hold the thing closest to my heart? 

Oh, Lord, it’s so hard. He’s so little. He won’t understand. I love him so much.

But you have proven yourself faithful time and again, and you have won the right to be Lord over my life. I’ve made the mistake of not trusting you so many times. So… He’s yours, Lord. The fears, the worries, the pain in saying goodbye… I give them all to you. Thank you, Father, for even being willing to take them at all. He’s always and ever belonged to you, and I know He’s safe and loved in Your embrace. 

‘Though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be your name.’ 

I blow the dandelion seeds into the wind, and with them I release the worries and a prayer… not letting go, but handing over. Something I’ll need to do more than once. But for this moment…

I hold Boe close, and we smile as we watch the seeds twirl their way to heaven.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

It’s a promise we can count on.

This was Boe's first ever experience with a dandelion. I did my best to get a shot of him blowing one, but he was way too fascinated with my camera as well to get any great shots. :)

Whoa, what is that?

View from the playground area at our house on a cloudy/almost rainy day.

It's all in the details.

Eyelashes and Discovery.

Boe's turn to take pics!

Baby selfie! (Totally not prompted, by the way. He just did this on his own.)

Baby selfie! 

Slide time!

Catching up on Captured Moments, Pt. 2

In Part One of “Catching up” (which you can find here), I talked about how April was full of the beauty of the human spirit and the relationships we share. One example of that was getting to give back a little bit to the dear people who were my godparents growing up. They are people I look up to and will dearly miss once we’re gone. They are another second family, and friends/mentors like them… they’re pretty much irreplaceable. Both of our families have walked through so much together, and I’ll tell you, in the midst of traumatic events, your mind takes snapshots in a way we never do when things are going well, and back when my dad was in and out of the hospital for two years… their bowed heads praying with us, hands extending compassion, or even just a McDonald’s sandwich when we’d forgotten to eat… their love and kindness make up a lot of those snapshots.

Jesus is so evident in their lives, and I really do aspire to be like them.

Likewise, I’ve talked before about my beautiful friends Rebekah and Keith and how we’ve also walked a lot of life together in just three years. When their youngest daughter Syreah was born with some abnormalities, I watched as their world crumpled around them and they went from planning their futures to planning surgeries, from being teachers to having to be taught how to address their tiny daughter’s needs.

So when we got together to celebrate Syreah’s FIRST birthday… you can bet it was a special day. Thinking of what a fighter she is, of how far she’s come and still has to go… of what a beautiful family they are and how much strength it’s taken to get here, and yet, still smiling by the grace of God.

These are The Captured Moments:

Pink bows and dancing feet. :) Good representation of these two! These two sweeties are constantly in motion. Cassara is the dancing feet in the background, and Syreah is the one leaning down to pick something up.

Pink bows and dancing feet. 🙂 Good representation of these two! These two sweeties are constantly in motion. Cassara is the dancing feet in the background, and Syreah is the one leaning down to pick something up.

Also a very good representation of sweet Rebekah. Head thrown back in laughter, and arms always open. :)

Also a very good representation of sweet Rebekah. Head thrown back in laughter, and arms always open. 🙂

Aw! Man, do these girls know how to melt me! :) Caught Syreah toddling over to give me a spontaneous kiss, WITHOUT prompting. :)

Aw! Man, do these girls know how to melt me! 🙂 Caught Syreah toddling over to give me a spontaneous kiss, without prompting. 🙂

Awesome big sis Cassara. :)

Awesome big sis Cassara. 🙂

You are so loved, Miss Syreah! <3

You are so loved, Miss Syreah! ❤

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Syreah! We thank God for all the ways He's blessed you so far and blessed us through you, and we pray for all the many ways He'll bless you yet.

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Syreah! We thank God for you!

Next up was a fun trip to the big city to celebrate my dear friend Tessa’s birthday. Tessa has been wanting to go and see a musical production for her birthday for probably the last three years, and this year we were finally able to make it work! We went to go see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and had a blast.

The birthday girl! :) We got stuck on the way there in traffic, so when stuck... take pics!

The birthday girl! 🙂 We got stuck on the way there in traffic, so when stuck… take pics!

Our view for probably 30 minutes. Also, Borris the Buffalo from some of Tessa's earlier travels. :)

Our view for probably 30 minutes. Also, Borris the Buffalo from some of Tessa’s earlier travels. 🙂

We made it! :) Gonna miss this girl.

We made it! 🙂 

DSC03743

The moment you find out one of your best friends won’t protect you from a gang of ushers coming to tackle you for your camera, and end up taking a shot of your dress instead so they won’t see the flash. (It was intermission. Totally permissible, guys. 😉 )

Next up... The Cheesecake Factory! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake = my favorite. <3

Next up… The Cheesecake Factory! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake = my favorite. ❤

Happy Birthday, Tessa!!

Happy Birthday, Tessa!! Thanks for all the laughs, all the hours-worth of coffee chats, and for being the awesome-caring-creative-talented-funny-thoughtful friend that you are! 🙂 

 Definitely two birthdays to remember!

Catching up on Captured Moments, Pt. 1

So many fun moments happened in April I haven’t been able to keep up with them! So rather than several different “Captured Moments” posts, I’m doin’ two “catching up” ones instead. 🙂

You’ve heard me talk a lot on this blog about the beauty of nature. Even more beautiful to me is the beauty of the human spirit and the relationships we share (all of it a reflection of our Creator). Many of the Captured Moments in April have to do with just that.

First there was the surprise home visit I was blessed to help orchestrate for the dear people who were my godparents growing up. Carsyn has been out of state for college and wasn’t able to come home for Spring Break. But through a lot of prayer and the collaborative help of her brother as well as others, we were able to fly her home to surprise her mom and dad for their 50th and 51st birthdays (which are only a day apart.) They are some of the most loving, giving people I know, and your jaw would drop to the floor if I listed all of the many ways they have helped so many people around the community without ever expecting a thing in return. So it was such a huge honor to be able to love on and give back to them for once with a surprise they never saw comin’! 🙂

The box we wrapped Carsyn up in. :)

The box we wrapped Carsyn up in. 🙂

Unwrapping...

Unwrapping (co-collaborater Jordan is in the back filming 😉 ) …

SURPRISE!

SURPRISE!

Embrace

This smile, right here. Doesn't get anymore real or beautiful than that.

This smile, right here. Doesn’t get anymore real or beautiful than that.

That was a pretty hard one to top, but Easter this year was downright amazing, too. It started out with a bunch of daffodils I’ve come to see as “my miracle flowers,” because although we’ve never planted daffodils, they appeared out of nowhere one winter when I needed a sign of hope the most. They signified new life to me, and daffodils just happen to be one of my favorites. Somehow I knew they were planted by God Himself as a reminder of His tender love and care for me, so I was in awe when not only did they bloom again this year, but they also bloomed a few days before Easter… with a card that had blown right next to them with a message I needed to hear:

Exactly the way I found it, with the card just laying open as though God knew I'd happen upon it and wanted me to read.

Exactly the way I found it, with the card just laying open as though God knew I’d happen upon it and wanted me to read.

Message of love.

Message of love. Know that when God made YOU He had a purpose and plan for your good!

Close-up of the dainty beauties.

Close-up of the dainty beauties.

That very same day was egg-dying day, so you can bet I was feeling inspired!

What my mom called

What my mom called “The Flapper Egg.” First time I ever tried anything other than just dying the egg! Decopauged pretty paper onto it, then hot glued ribbon, a vintage button, and a feather around the outside.

The Easter Bunny somebody was so sweet to give me just a few days before, proudly toting his new treasure!

The Easter Bunny somebody was so sweet to give me just a few days before, proudly toting his new treasure!

With a daffodil slung across your shoulder and an egg in your basket, it's time to get to work!

With a daffodil slung across your shoulder and an egg in your basket, it’s time to get to work!

Just playing with different ways of arranging spring mementoes.

Just playing with different ways of arranging spring mementoes.

My next creation... bold in blue!

My next creation… bold in blue!

All together.

All together.

The Minion Egg from Despicable Me a friend gave me the idea for! Just dip in yellow and blue, glue on googly eye, and draw with sharpie.

The Minion Egg from Despicable Me a friend gave me the idea for! Just dip in yellow and blue, glue on googly eye, and draw with sharpie.

My sweet and silly egg-dying-partner-in-crime! :)

My sweet and silly egg-dying-partner-in-crime! 🙂

Mackenzie's

Mackenzie’s “dork egg.” 😉

So much fun, and such a character, this girl.

So much fun and such a character, this girl. 🙂

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!