Wednesday, November 21, 2012

give thanks

I can't even believe that this time last year, the hubbs and I were in Africa missing home. I. just. can't. We didn't have a home to decorate for Christmas...we were wanderers waiting to get back to the States and live with our families for a couple of weeks.

I am so thankful that we have had the joy of experiencing the Fall this year, as well as our culture's shift to the Christmas season. I know that it all can get pretty materialistic...but the holidays are so special to me. I am so happy I get to celebrate ALL of them with family this year!
Our church's Thanksgiving Potluck, the hubbs' birthday cake and my sissy...
ALL on the same day!
So, the hubbs and I are giving much thanks this year to God. We have a wonderful church family, a beautiful home, and I have the perfect job and work family. He has provided our daily bread in every way...we are blessed with ordinary, stable lives...and that in itself is extraordinary. My heart is full.
Our home all decroated for the most wonderful time of the year!
I found this adorable sign here, along with many more printables to go with the theme! And it's FREE!
Stopping to be thankful with co workers and students
For the "So thankful for..." cards, I printed them from here...I plan to use them in a Christmas craft, stay tuned for that one!

May your Thanksgiving Day, no matter where you are spending it, be spent with a grateful heart and joy!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my sister's last twenty

then now
No one could say that your last 29 years were uneventful...I got ME as a sister in these last 29 years...but many could look at your life and who you are today and say that your 30's are going to be amazing...but enjoy your last year as a twenty-something..because it'll be 3 more years until I am in the same age range as you again :)

I love you, sweet sister, and I canNOT imagine life without you!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

it's been a while, my lovelies

I don't know when I decided that blogging wasn't a priority...maybe when I realized I could text people again? Whatever the case, my silence has been unacceptable...maybe not to you, but to me. If I am not sharing about God's love...then what AM I doing with my life? That is the sole purpose of this it's important for me. Sooooo forgive me, all, for slacking...for putting so many other things before sharing.

At the end of grad school, our cohort put together a "soundtrack" of our year to encourage each other through their practicums overseas. I really love's 40 songs of pure hope (and some Justin Bieber). One song in particular has really been speaking to me I hear more and more people being discouraged by the state of our country and world, I feel the need to remind them (or scream at them...yeah, not good) that WE are suppose to be spreading hope...not bringing the, I share this song with you...and if you are in that place where you are distressed over the state of still and listen to the words...and rediscover your purpose in the whole scheme of things...

We are slaves to these age-old afflictions
Fighting for control 'till we fell too far
Pursue desire, ignore our convictions
Only wretched souls beneath the weeping stars

We are calling out in the thick of the war
I am standing down to fight for something more
Would we cease these battles, let this love resound
Still too hard to find our common ground

There's a fire that stays bold and courageous
There's a light to light the way
There's a fire that stays bold and courageous
There's a light to light the way

And we try so hard to heal our diseases
We break to pieces when our hope has failed
Some will live or die without a reason
Such are the seasons, still our faith prevails

We are lost and found and beg to be restored
We keep falling down, harder than before
But love will find a way to give us strength to carry on
Sorrow for now, but someday soon will be gone

There's a fire that stays bold and courageous
There's a light to light the way
There's a fire that stays bold and courageous
There's a light to light the way

So we come and go, it's still a mystery
And we'll be history long before we find
All the secrets since now and forever
We hope for better on the other side

God, hear the cries of Your people!

There's a fire that stays bold and courageous
There's a light to light the way
There's a fire that stays bold and courageous
There's a light to light the way

{"Humanity" by Tim Be Told}

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, June 11, 2012

meet the dog and cat

In my last post I shared about the new additions to our family and how I felt about our acquisitions...and I said I would post a picture...well, here you are! Their first picture together!
Also, I get to announce our kitty's name! The hubbs picked Suri we have Muri and Suri :) Yes, I know we are awesome...

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, June 7, 2012

a dog and a cat

For our 3 year anniversary, the Hubbs and I decided to get a naturally, the week before our anniversary, I brought home a puppy. Muri had a hurt eye, so we knew she would be blind her right eye...but we did not know that she would need to have the eye I brought home a one eyed Chihuahua Whippet puppy...she can be sweet, when she is not trying to bite your face off...I know she will grow out of it, and it is hard not to wish her puppy years away.
Muri is already much bigger than this...and the sock monkey no longer exists :) or should I say .)
So we (or maybe I) decided to go ahead and get a kitty, too, because that was the plan all along...she is still unnamed, but we lovingly refer to her as Kitty Kitty or Meow Bucket. She is super friendly and needy (meaning, she meows for 30 min. whenever she is left alone before she can occupy herself). She is a brown/gray tabby and is super playful.
Muri and Kitty Kitty have not been able to officially meet...we are worried Kitty Kitty will claw Muri's one eye out...and that Muri will bite Kitty Kitty too hard...

All in feels like I have actual the mornings, when I feed them and they both need my attention or when I am holding one and the other follows me whining/meowing, I feel like a mother with small children...and it's kind of funny. I have realized that there is no way I can be a working mother.

I have also learned that biting puppies are very hard things to have patience's a miracle that I still have all my fingers, jewelry, and the diamond in my engagement ring :)

But, in these tiny creatures, I see and feel God's goodness and love...I know that may be weird to think about...but their little heartbeats and personalities...God really did show-off when He made so many different types of animals...all to show His glory and for us to enjoy...and when I look at our puppy and kitty...that thought is the only thing that makes me not feel crazy for bringing them into our home :)

I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.

{Psalm 145}
Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Coke

More Coke from onetimeblind on GodTube.

If you have some time, I highly recommend this skit that our teens (and youth sponsors) enjoyed this weekend at SNU Extravaganza. So much truth presented in the simplest way...

How many times have we squandered our gifts because we wanted someone else's....seriously...we are so foolish. Luckily, God gives us gifts regardless of our shortcomings and allows us to participate in His beautiful and exciting plan...God, help me to appreciate and treasure my 8 oz Coke.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Friday, May 18, 2012

be kind

Incidents happen all the time where we have the choice to be kind and thoughtful or harsh and a meanie head...I hate when others choose the latter...and I am ashamed when I choose to be a meanie head, too...but a simple kind word after you have been a meanie head is appreciated, even if you are never told that it was.

Just a thought.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

love through mistakes

I was reading Jesus Calling, a devotional book, this morning...and today's entry was such a great reminder of God's love for us through our short comings:
Don't be so hard on yourself. I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backwards, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design.

Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. Trust Me, and watch to see what I will do.
{Romans 8:28, Micah 7:7}
I have seen His faithfulness through my mistakes in big ways in my life...knowing that He will redeem whatever silly things I do as long as I am committing my life to Him is so freeing! I hope you can rest in that today.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, April 9, 2012

painting curtains

Alas, here is what I am talking about when I say that I "painted curtains".
My camera does not really do them justice...

I had seen some friends' projects where they pained striped on curtains...and then I saw some Pintrest posts of others stenciling designs on curtains...and I decided, I wanted to go for it. I have had a package of Ikea curtains unopened for over a year...and I knew they would be perfect for what I wanted...I didn't want curtains that took over the design of the entire room...and I didn't want drab curtains that were almost the same shade as the wall color in our painting them was the PERFECT compromise!

I started with these, simple RITVA curtains from Ikea...I have a kind of burlap color which is not available online...
I also have one small window and a double window in my I needed three curtains. Ikea curtains are made where you cut them to the length you need for your window and then use iron-on binding to make a hem at the, I just used the access from both curtains to make a third. It worked out perfectly (and may have been a Divine blessing :))

So, once I sewed and cut the appropriate pieces, I made a stencil. I am a HUGE fan of clover shapes...and since I will probably never get the Van Cleef clover I so desire, 

I decided that the print of my curtains should look like it :) So I searched Pinterest until I found this:
I went into Photoshop and enlarged the image so that one clover would take up an entire 8.5 x 11 page...and that gave me these:
The hardest part of making these stencils was figuring out what to cut out and what to leave...I guess my brain just doesn't work that way :) The stencil on the left was the best.

Then I gathered my supplies...painters tape, a drop cloth, stencil sponges and acrylic paint...I ended up using two 8 fluid oz. bottles of white paint for all three curtains.
Then I got to taping. I would do this inside if you can.
And then I got to painting...making sure to fill in any blank spots on the clover outline left by the stencil.
After letting each curtain dry, I hung them up in our room...and absolutely adore how it looks! When it is day time, the light comes through and the design is a dark outline. 

At night, the white stands out, letting me dream about one day getting a Van Cleef clover. Hey, a girl can dream!

Now we just need my quilt on the bed and some decor on the's coming together...verrryyy slowly...but I like that it is all very intentional.

Another small design element that I really wanted to try was to use matte and gloss paint to create a design on our night stands.
It didn't work quite like I thought...but that is a story for another day...

Thanks for sharing my fun with curtains...let me know if you have any questions!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Saturday, April 7, 2012

love through resurrection

Have you ever thought what would have happened if Christ decided that He didn't want to come back from the dead?

I wonder what kind of temptations the evil one put upon Him to try to discourage Him...maybe he told Jesus that we weren't worth it...that all of the sin that He took on for us would not prevent us from turning away from Him...I wonder if the evil one played some events that are happening today for Jesus to view (not that I think the devil has that kind of power)...but if we believe that God is omniscient, then surely He knew what His world would do without embracing His sacrifice...

But the story of Christ is one full of hope...and that story continues today...with the hope that we all carry with see our families and friends living lives that are surrendered to see God   provide in mighty feel the peace and joy of His presence on a daily basis...and I believe Jesus hopes for us all...He hopes we will finally quit trying to figure it out on out own, and will embrace His resurrection! That same hope He went to the cross for is the same hope He calls us with today...

Thank You for always hoping, and choosing not to give up on me, Dear Lord!

Every year I reflect on my First True Love...and I fall deeper in love with Him...what are you learning about Our Sweet Savior this year?

need some good, fully focused music to reflect on Our Savior's resurection? Check out Under the Radar's Easter Special!

Much love + HE IS RISEN!
Emily Elizabeth

Saturday, March 10, 2012

sew sweet (vol. 3)

After cutting out my diamonds for Side A of "The Quilt"...I pieced them together....
Each 4 part diamond is now sewn together, waiting to be pieced with various white triangles and squares to complete the side...obviously....I am procrastinating :) My first attempt at pattern making will be interesting...
It's a good thing I am not a perfectionist, right?

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, March 8, 2012


So, I finally did it...I opened an Etsy store! Click HERE to check it out! (My side bar button over there ------------> also links to the store)
I am working on adding more things...especially baby items...the difficulty is getting enough supplies to fulfill potential an hour and a half away from craft stores is not the best scenario for a crochet shop owner :)

But, like everything else, I know God sees my efforts and will bless them...He already has encouraged me with my first Etsy order! Thanks are awesome :)

Have any questions or suggestions? Leave a comment!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kony 2012

There are times in our lives that we look at the past and wonder how our world could have let such evil happen...

And every once in a while we are presented with a chance to prevent it because we actually know what's going on...that time is now or take 30 min. to watch this...

My time in Rwanda and World Vision child in Uganda won't let me ignore our chance to end this...there are many evils prevailing in our less is a triumph in the Kingdom!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Saturday, February 18, 2012

sew sweet (vol. 2)

I'm not very good at documenting the process of THE Quilt...but I am trying :)
Here are the fabrics I am starting with...I went to Hancock Fabrics with no idea what I was doing or how much fabric I needed to do it actually is coming along well, though, with what I got!

I made a board on Pinterest to get some other ideas and ended up buying this gray fabric as an accent color for "side B"
I think it really turned out well! I basically triangled 10 1/2 in. squares to form my quilt squares...and since it's King's 11 squares wide and 10 squares long.
One more side to go and I am happy I finally found the most obvious reverse stitch button on my sewing machine after I finished lease one side will be sure to not unravel :/

I'm still shopping around for one more navy and white print fabric for the star...let me know if you find anything cute out there :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, February 16, 2012

room for love (and creating)

I didn't post anything for Valentine's Day because (I didn't feel like it) and it should last all month! And, at my house, it's Valentine's Day every day...well, at least in my craft is some of my everyday decor in my favorite room in our home:
 First and foremost, here is my deer...inherited from my grandfather, because when I was little I must have told him I wanted it :)...his presence makes us fit in a little better around here, but sadly, he does not have a name (any suggestions?) He sports yarn, a scarf and "love"...the perfect combination, if you ask me
 Then, there is my "Chicago Corner" that commemorates my year in Mission Year...I would say that during my time in Chicago is when I really learned what love is...Here you see art from mentally disabled adults that I worked with during my time there and a picture of part of the skyline...and penguins for good measure :)
Last, but not least, my pink sock monkey (who also doesn't have a name...) and some tins from Paris...I love them...

Sometimes I think that my craft room is a little reminiscent of my college dorm room...I guess it was just that cool :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

sew sweet

As the job hunt continues, I have decided to make the most of the time God has given me to work on relationships...and crafty I present to you:  The first one ever (if you don't count t-shirt quilts)

Two things that I love about this project:
1. I am creating something instead of buying it
2. I have lots of wonderful, skilled seamstresses to give me some tips and loan me their quilting gadgets...which is awesome!
 Sketch for the front...I am using white fabric for the majority of the quilt with navy blue with white prints for the star (inspired by The Lone Star Quilt by Bea Spoke Quilts)
The back of the quilt is navy blue chevrons on a white background with one gray or green chevron...not sure yet

There you have it...I'll keep you updated...also, I have made it 1 month without any clothing purchases :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, February 2, 2012

it's the month o' love...

...and I am happy to be putting up some extra of my favorite shape to celebrate the season! I have had to limit myself, however, for the sake of the hubbs...
 These are an all-year-round decoration...but the little hearts on these Rwandan baskets (custom ordered from Azizi Life) are brought out by the crochet decor around the house!
I finally made a crochet heart garland for V-Day...if only the hubbs would let me keep it up all hangs in the perfect spot...the framed out "window" between the dinning room and living room
Finally, I incorporated some hearts onto my china cabinet and added this "Love You" metal sign to the top (which I image the love birds from our wedding cake to the right are tweeting to each other)'s at Hobby Lobby right now, if you love it as much as I do!

It's so wonderful to have a home to decorate and have as a safe haven...we thank God everyday for it!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

oh, hey there

So it's been a while...first of all
I hope that this year is full of moments where you see clearly how much Our Lord and Savior adores you and how He uses you to share His love with others. 

Second of all, I want to share what this year brings for me. 2010 and 2011 brought challenges of their own that the hubbs and I didn't exactly know is we would rise above...but with God's provision and strength, we did some amazing things. In 2012, we look to Him to provide again...not only because we are in a new community ministering alongside a new church, but also because I have decided to take another challenge on...

Not buying any clothes for myself for 366 days (thanks, Leap Year)

This has been one of the things on my "Bucket List" forever...and after unpacking the massive amounts of clothes I had put into storage when we left for Rwanda, I feel that my mild panic attack was a pretty good sign that 2012 is THE year to make this dream come true.

I know it will be hard...I mean, shopping is my favorite hobby (I thought I would be cured of this by now), but I look forward to the personal growth and convictions this year will bring.

So stay tuned,'s going to be an interesting ride :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth