Tuesday, February 22, 2011

unloading my iphone pics

Here's a confession for you: I take a lot of random pictures with my iPhone.

And never show them to anyone.

In a moment of boredom the other night, I started scrolling through them all. There are A LOT. Especially of Rudy. He's our baby until our own spawn make an appearance and I'm not ashamed of that.

Anyyyway, there are fun times ahead, folks. Don't say I didn't warn you.


This is our mantel, after a little Spring-inspired sprucing.


So stoic.


My adorable clutch, courtesy of Peggy Ann Design.


I call this one "Duck Hunting"


Lovely Charleston day.


Christmas Square in our sweet downtown.


Waiting for Andrew to get home.


LOVE this pillow. And I'm definitely going to try and make a version of my own.


Um, no Golf Digest (which we don't even subcribe to), Fidel Castro doesn't live here. Communist.


BEAUTIFUL sunset on the drive home.


Andrew is his BFF. I think he's made that perfectly clear.


This is what happens to your Friday night when your husband gets up at 4am all week and works until after dark. Thanks, Navy.


And you, too, can have your very own Christmas statue man. With scary eyebrows.


Best date night ever: shopping for Christmas lights.


Andrew and I live in the same town my parents lived in when I was a little girl. And I found our old house!


How am I supposed to get anything done?


How is HE supposed to get anything done?


This is what happens when I go to Hobby Lobby with my sister-in-law.


Cute little nursery/thrift store that my mom and I found. I wanted to buy every single one of these and hang them in every room of our house.


This is what's directly across from the craft book section of our library. We're a match made in heaven.


One day, my dad was on a business trip in Florida and sent me a beautiful picture of his ocean view. This is what I sent him in return, as the clouds were rolling into my backyard.


Christmas in NYC! New York, I love you.


Recycled World Market bag used for packaging an order! Love!


Big Scary Horse meets Very Cautious Hound Dog.


This is how he sleeps when we travel.


Dinner at Montreux!


Sweet little alleyway where my favorite restaurant lives.


A day on the beach.


This was our first time at Matt's Burgers (for my birthday!) and it quickly became a favorite. I always like to find the burger joint when I move to a new place :)

And there you have it. The pics on my iPhone. Riveting, eh?

Friday, February 18, 2011

from where i sit

From where I sit, the sun is setting over the row of trees in front of me.

My front porch rocking chair is positioned in just the right way, so I can feel the breeze, see my flowers and watch some cute kids playing with sidewalk chalk down the street.

There's a sleeping puppy by my side, his most favorite place in the whole wide world to be. He's a protector, that one.

My husband should be home any minute now, in his dress blues, looking all handsome and charming. I love dress blue Fridays. They make me feel all flustered and stuff.

Someone is grilling out, I can smell it.

And someone else has baked a cake and opened their windows for all of the neighborhood to smell.

My house is clean, and I didn't do it. That one-time house cleaning turned into an every-other-week house cleaning. And I'm so not ashamed of that.

My stomach just growled and it's date night, which means I don't have to cook dinner.

I accidentally napped for two hours today. That was awesome.

The boy just pulled up. He has his shades on and his I'm-too-sexy-for-my-hat-Officer-and-a-Gentleman cover.

I told you. I love Fridays.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

how i became a mrs. (part 7)

In honor of Valentine's Day. And because it's been a while since the last installment. We left off with him turning into my hero - a knight in shining armor of sorts. You can catch up here, starting at the bottom.

That week with Andrew had been exciting, in an uncertain kind of way. Did he like me? Was he going to do anything about it? Wait, did he just touch my hand? All of that stuff that makes your breaths shorter, but in a good, good way.

It was Saturday. He and I were studying at the Student Union and we hatched a plan to grill out before the Duke game that night. That was the first time I remember wanting to look nice for him. That whole week, I never thought twice about make-up I wasn't wearing or the casual t-shirt I had on. It was refreshing to know that this relationship (if you could call it that) was working, we were clicking, without any effort on my part. He liked me for me and I was so attracted to that. But that night, I actually styled my hair and put on makeup and paid attention to my overall appearance.

We ate dinner and watched the game together. We huddled close together and it was starting to become obvious to our friends around us that there was something going on. Chad, who was a leader in Campus Crusade, actually mentioned it when he officiated our wedding. He later shared his ceremony notes with me, in an effort to help me remember every detail of our wedding. Here's what he wrote:
I remember it very clearly - it was almost exactly 2 years ago. I was walking with Andrew, Page and some others to an apartment to watch the Carolina/Duke game. Andrew was in a Bible study that I lead and we had often talked about girls. I knew there was a girl that he had been interested in earlier that year, so I was really surprised as I watched Andrew and Page walking beside each other a few steps in front of me. They weren’t simply walking beside each other, they were walking with each other. There was something different, I could sense it. At first, I thought I was making something up - up to this point I hadn’t heard Andrew mention anything about Page. But, no I was sure of it. There was something going on here. I casually watched them during the evening - the side glances, the wry smiles. Yep, I couldn’t wait to ask him about this. Well, UNC won big that night over Duke. And as we can see here today, Andrew did too.
Cute, huh? I'm all smiley and giggly thinking back to that night. We watched the game and when we beat Duke, rushed to Franklin Street to celebrate with bonfires and general raucousness. I held on to his jacket to keep from getting lost in the crowd.

Andrew and Chad
Andrew and Chad on Franklin Street

The next evening, after we all watched movies together, Andrew offered to drive me home. I thought for sure that he would say something about "us" that night. It had become so obvious how we felt - I just needed him to acknowledge it. But alas, he dropped me off with nothing but a promise to pick me up for another round of movies we'd planned the next night.

What I found out later was that he was planning on asking me out that night and he chickened out :) But the next night, he followed through. As we pulled up to a stop light, I saw him shift (uncomfortably) in his seat out of the corner of my eye. As he was nervously readjusting, he said it.

Wait for it.

The romance is coming

Are you ready?

"How should we proceed from here?"

Oh, my love. You are so, so, very Andrew.

I really wanted to mess with him. Play dumb and say something like, "well, just turn left here and then you're at my dorm. Come on, you've come this way before."

But I couldn't. He was too cute.

I told him that I was crazy about him and that I wanted to know as much about him as possible. He smiled and said he felt the same way. Before he dropped me off, he basically asked me out. Although I don't remember what he said. I only remember that he was dreadfully nervous.

He'd never done this before.

I was the first girl that he liked enough to get this serious about. (No pressure)

Here's the funniest part about that night: within 15 minutes, I got a Facebook email saying that Andrew Castrodale indicated that we are in a relationship. Do you want to confirm that you are in fact, in a relationship with Andrew?

Um. Not really.

I freaked out for a good 45 minutes, telling Martha that "it's too fast" and "he just asked me out" and "I'm not ready for this" and "now everyone will know." But because the thought of telling him that I wasn't ready to make it Facebook-official was scarier than actually linking myself to him on the interweb, I did it. I clicked confirm. And so the whole wide world knew.

For the record, he never knew about that. Until Martha made it part of her Maid of Honor toast. Sweet.

So there you have it. It was fast and furious and full of butterflies and sweaty palms, but it was so perfect.

Stay tuned for more: like how we spent our time doing crossword puzzles and how he told me my nose was big before I met his parents and how I knew I would marry him within a week and how I fell in love with him and how he told me he wanted to marry me and how we almost broke up that one time. All of that good stuff.

It's coming.

But today, I can tell you this. I know he's not perfect, because people aren't perfect and blah blah blah. But to me? He really, really is. And I'm so thankful that he's mine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

staycation 2011 (aka why we're in love with charleston)

Andrew graduates from Power School at the end of this month (yay!) and he'll have a few weeks off before his next phase of training. We had talked about trying to go somewhere during that time but realized that we'd rather stick around here. It'll save us money and there are so many things on our Charleston bucket list, we should try to cross them off while we have the time.

Also, I love my bed. And hotel room floors give me the heebies.

And so the staycation was born.

Why not spend a week exploring this place a little more? We've been living in this beautiful southern town for almost eight months. And we have really, really loved it.

We love how beautiful the mansions are.


And how you can peek into private gardens.


Or sit on a bench to watch the sailboats.


We love the culture.


We love the hidden parks, where we plan to take a blanket and our Rudy and pack a lunch.


And then there's the food. Oh heavens. There are at least 10 restaurants on our list and we plan on trying as many as we can. That will probably be our favorite part.


We're all about taking advantage of our time together these days. Who knows when we'll be able to do something like this again? I don't know, but I'll pretend like it's never. And then every little thing will feel even more awesome than it really is.

Good strategy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

that last post, part 2

It wasn't supposed to have a part 2, but it just happened.

First, let me say this about our home group (aka bible study): it is full of the most honest, sincere, loving and real people I know. I'm blessed to call them my friends.

For the last few weeks, we've been doing a study on temptation. Not necessarily the temptation to sin, although that's been covered, but the temptation to fall out of fellowship with God by not trusting Him to be who He says He is. That's a totally different kind of temptation that I never really thought about.

I've been working through these feelings of anxiety and worry lately. Honestly? Some moments I feel so much peace. And others I have to "take those thoughts captive" (as my Nanny would say) and claim that peace more aggressively.

At our home group tonight, we talked about how God provided manna - daily - for the Israelites. Not weekly, monthly, yearly. Daily. He was essentially forcing them to trust him and rely on him.

This brought to mind a thought that was quite freeing: I need strength only for today.

Today, I will trust God.

Today, I will not fret.

Today, I choose peace.

And joy.

And hope.


When I fret, it's as if I've forgotten that God isn't aware of my needs. He is so painfully aware of them. And it's as if I'm telling Him that I don't believe He'll take care of me. He has always taken care of me. It's as if I have no source of peace. I have the source of peace.

When Jesus was in the desert and met by the Devil, these were the temptations:
  • Would he fall out of fellowship with God?
  • Would he doubt God's ability to sustain him?
I don't (usually) fret about big things like finances or hunger or health or relationships. But what's at stake then is the same as when I fret about the little things: fellowship with God and my faith.

First of all, the thought of falling out of fellowship with my Creator brings tears to my eyes. I don't know who I am apart from that relationship.

But my faith? On some days it's what makes me want to sing to Him, like it's only the two of us. And on other days it's the only reason I can put one foot in front of the other.

My faith that He will sustain.

That He will provide.

That He will love me through the pain and uncertainty and confusion.

That He will be - just be - exactly who He has always been.

So today, I choose not to doubt Him. Today, I choose to remember who He is and cling to that. Today, I choose to let that peace fill my heart.

I choose joy.

And tomorrow? Tomorrow will just have to worry about itself.

Friday, February 4, 2011

on the fears that keep me up at night


I definitely wouldn't characterize myself as "laid back." It's just not who I am and that's okay. It can be a flaw (just ask Andrew, the most patient man in the world) but I really think it can also be a good quality. My kitchen is always clean before I go to bed. I make the bed every morning. I can get a supernatural amount of things done in a small amount of time. And when no one can make a plan, I probably already have one in mind.

But I also overthink things and I'm prone to worry. One time when I was a kid, I heard the people on the news talking about how the next day was D-Day. I didn't know what that meant, but I knew it couldn't be good. So I lay in bed until the clock struck 12:01 a.m. and when the world didn't end, I finally went to sleep.

That's a true story.

I'm anxious. I worry. And sometimes, I'm just fearful. It just starts going and I can't turn it off. I want to know exactly how I will feel, react and behave in a threatening situation so I'm not caught off guard if I find myself there. Sometimes I like to tell myself that I'm just "preparing for the worst" but really I'm obsessing over it. It's so clear to me that it's not healthy, I just have a hard time getting it under control.

For a few reasons, those kind of thoughts have kept me awake at night this week. Lots of if X happens, then I will do Y and if A happens, what if B happens? And then, oh no, what if C happens?

It makes me sad, if we're being honest. It's like I can see my joy being stolen right out of my heart.

So I started talking myself out of it. And it went like this:

You are not in control of this situation.
You will never be in control of this situation.
(You might think you are, but really, you're not.)
But what if A happens?
Then you will be okay. Because you're not in control of this situation.
You were created by Someone bigger than you.
So when you pray those prayers of please keep me safe and please look after us it's really kind of unnecessary because He already is.
You're His, remember?

And so you have peace.

And hope.

You have hope, Page. Hope.

And slowly, the breath I didn't know I was holding is released. And the muscles in my neck loosen.

Because I have hope.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

marvelous prints: new designs added today!

Hey Party People!

I added two new designs to the Marvelous Prints shop and thought I'd post them for you so you can oohhh and aahhh. Just click the picture to go to that listing!

Thanks Sign

I think this little "thanks" sign is so adorable. I might have to make a set for my very own :)

And this design might be my new favorite. The black-on-white is so simple, but makes a statement and I love the birdhouse. It's just cute! What do you think?


Precious, right?

Now get on over to the shop and check out all the other designs. There has to be something in there that you want need ;)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

hey there, february

I just blinked and January ended. March will be here before you know it, since February's the short month and everything (no offense, Feb).

I have a February resolution: to get up earlier.

Waking up stinks, to put it bluntly. It doesn't matter if I get 5 hours of sleep or 10, waking up feels next to impossible when the alarm goes off. I hate it. Hate. But I married this man who has to get up early for work and prefers to get up early on the weekend. And he's ready to go to bed at 10pm and I'm just getting started. Rarely, we'll go to bed at 10pm and I'll just hang out there - wide awake. But usually Andrew waits around on me to get tired, which means that he gets less sleep than is healthy and then I feel bad.

So my February resolution is to get up earlier, so I get tired earlier, so my love can get his rest. I'm sweet like that. And in honor of that resolution, here are some other things I'm looking forward to this month (because you know I heart lists):
  • Seeing every single person on my mom's side of the family for Mike and Mir's going away party. I'm not looking forward to them leaving me for England, but I am looking forward to sending them off in style (and okay, having a free place to stay when they get settled there is worth looking forward to).
  • Bursting with pride as Andrew graduates Power School. And taking him somewhere fancy for a celebratory dinner.
  • STAYCATION 2011! More on that later.
  • New designs in the Etsy shop. Coming up first: Valentine Cards.
  • The addition of a baby to our homegroup. My sweet friend is due on 2/12 and we can't wait to meet this little one!
  • Warmth. Charleston, don't let me down.
  • President's Day! I love the presidents, but I also love a day off from work.
  • Re-reading The Help. Because it's just that good.

February, you might be little, but I like you.

What are you looking forward to this month?

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