March 31, 2011

the girls

The whole reason I went to NC this weekend was to have a girls weekend. All these crazy girls who have worked with me at camp (or are connected because of it). Together in one place. We've known each other for over 10 years now. Almost all of us have lived in the Cottage for at least a year.

When I was in high school, I would get so depressed because I didn't have great girl friends at school. I wanted someone I could laugh with. Someone I could share my heart with. Someone who would challenge me to run after Jesus.

I wanted a group of friends who just got me. The kind I may not see every day, but would immediately feel at home with as soon as we got together. The kind who told me when I was being stupid, in a loving way, of course. I prayed for these friends daily.

The Lord answered my prayer, but not in high school. It was in college. I found amazing women who loved Jesus and loved me. We shared those college years together and I made some of the most amazing memories of my life.

Leaving college, I was heart broken. Literally. I missed my friends so much it hurt. I hated that they lived so very far away. I thought that I would never find friends again. (young and naive, yes, I know) I was doomed to my lonely high school years forever.

And then God dropped camp in my lap, completely out of the blue just 1 month after I graduated college. In the midst of my loneliness. And not only did He give me the place that I would spend the next 13 years, but He filled it with these amazing people. True friends. Blessings on top of my college friends blessing. Women who love Him and want to serve others. Women who make me laugh and cry and live.

I wish I could adequately put into words the blessing of these friends. I wish I could find the exact phrases that would echo my heart. But I know that's not possible because the Lord's true blessings are beyond words. They are the happy sighs of our hearts when they are content and in full realization of His goodness in our lives.

These girls are just a small peak at the crowd of friends that the Lord has blessed with since those days when I thought I would be lonely forever. A beautiful picture of a compassionate, loving, caring Father who blesses His children with good gifts.

Love you, girls! Miss you already.

March 30, 2011

Ocean love

Just a few pretties from the weekend.

I love the ocean. Love.

The beach is just the most beautiful place on the planet.

Even if it's cold and cloudy.

More to come tomorrow....

March 29, 2011

traces left

I love that our chalkboard wall has traces of friends and family that have been in the Cottage. They leave fun notes. They add to our Classic Movie Friday list (Titanic?!). Or they leave their little hand prints (and this auntie can't bear to erase them). Painting that wall with chalkboard paint is one of my favorite things we've done in the cottage.

The end.

March 28, 2011

This one is totally all over the place

Well, I feel like I'm awful behind, friends.

I had the most amazing weekend with my girl friends. We laughed until we cried and our sides hurt. We ate tons of junk food.. We walked on the (cold) beach and stayed up too late talking and playing games.

So, I have all that to post about. With photos to prove it.

Tonight, I was at a camp fair in my old home town. Got to see a few old faces, which was awesome. We got to talk to some new families about camp, which is always a grand time.

God broke through today. As I was cleaning at work, I was listening to a message via podcast. It was like God tapped me on the shoulder and showed me something that had been in front of my face for a long, long time. A new way to pray about something. A humbling, learning moment. It was amazing and painful all at the same time. Wow.

This weekend....oh, this weekend. I can't even wait to tell you what I'm doing this weekend. It's going to be a crazy, amazing, too-good-for-words type of situation. A pre/early birthday present from the parentals.

And don't you just love that garden in the photo?! Spray paint is like magic in a can. I have to make me some of those beauties.


Cottage Girl

March 26, 2011

made this

Made a new card I love this past week.
Been crocheting up a storm.

March 25, 2011

I'm such a TV nerd

I tried out The Vampire Diaries this week. (thank you, Netflix) It's ok. It's good enough to make me want to watch another disc. However....

All it really made me do was miss Buffy. And Spike. Mostly Spike. So, I did the only thing that would help get that yucky Vampire Diaries taste out of my mouth, so to speak. I watched lots and lots of Buffy while I was crafting. Season 7 to be specific because I love Spike in 7. And I wallowed in the sorrow of another of my favorite shows that ended all those years ago (8!).

All these people who have jumped on the vampire/werewolf bandwagon have Buffy to thank. It was "vampires = cool" years and years ago. And all of us that loved it back then are kinda over that craze now. Give us something new please.

March 24, 2011

Doesn't everyone?

Doesn't everyone celebrate their boss? Show them how much they appreciate him?

We do it with high kick competitions.

Gotta stretch first, so you don't pull anything.

And be careful not to kick anyone in the face at the same time.

And, of course, your roommate has to make a dummy of your boss so you can play a rousing game of Toss Your Boss.

And then leave the dummy sitting in his office in a chair when it's all over.

And that's my week at work, along with the hours upon hours of t-shirt designs and answering phones and a bazillion other things. You gotta find some way to deal with the insanity....

March 23, 2011

wear Hope

My favorite accessory at the moment is this bracelet from Show Hope.

My mom and I both got one when we went to SCC's concert in November.

And they are back in the online Show Hope store, if you want to get one for yourself. A great way to show everyone that you care about orphans. I kinda want another one in a another fun color...

You can read a story about my involvement with Show Hope here and here.

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."
James 1:27

March 22, 2011


Sometimes I can't make up my mind when I go to the library. But I figure it's ok since it doesn't cost me anything anyway. Why not take a little bit of everything? Chances are that only one of these will actually be a great read any way. And if they all are, well, that's what renewal is for.

In other news....

I found the most adorable skirt at H&M this past weekend. A spring skirt. Now, I just need the spring weather to actually be able to wear it.

I'm back in to The Amazing Race after not watching it for about 6 seasons. It's quite entertaining. I forgot how stressful it is to watch though.

Oh, and did you hear who is going to play Katniss? I must admit that I'm quite excited with the choice. While I didn't really like Winter's Bone, I did really like her performance in the movie. She's be great, I think. It's the story/visuals that I'm nervous about. There's no way it will be as good as it was in my imagination.

March 20, 2011


The past 2 weeks, my small group has been in the story of Joseph in The Patriarchs. I must admit that Joseph's story is one of my favorites in the Bible. God has continually used it in my life. Each time I study those passages on him, I learn something new.

But all week, I've had Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on repeat in my head. This one especially for the last 3 days.

It's never ending. Constantly. Mopping today. Singing out loud. Wiping down tables yesterday. Humming. In the shower the day before that. Singing. Walking all over camp while working. Singing again. Working the Giant Swing. Humming quietly to myself.

Is there anything more crazy than getting a song stuck in your head? Why does one's brain do such a thing? Thank goodness it was Joseph and not something annoying like Bad Romance. And yes, I think that is a good indicator of my continual nerd status. Give me Musicals over Top 20 any day of the week, thank you.

March 18, 2011


I recently realized that I my two favorite pairs of shoes have holes in them.
This is most disturbing and saddening.
But then again, it means that I can go shop for new ones.
The hard thing is it takes me so darn long to find one that fit just right.
And by "fit", I don't just mean "fit", I mean click.
Ask me to buy them.
That kind of "fit"...

...and it is about time to break out all the flip-flops and sandals.
Oh, yeah.

March 17, 2011

Green things

I went on a little hunt for things of green today. In honor of St. Paddy's Day, of course. And I've been missing my camera like mad. I just can't seem to make myself go outside to search for pretty light when it's so freakin' cold.

But today was sort of warm. And that evening light, so late into the day, oh, it's heavenly.

I wore my favorite green t-shirt. A bridesmaid shirt from an amazing wedding.

My magazine that showed up in the mailbox today. Hello, Captain Tightpants. I do adore you.

My cellular phone.

The moss is back.

The roses are starting to come alive.

Washed ashore from the other side of the river.

Cap in the sand.

And a great big A.

March 16, 2011

* * * * *

Sometimes God's beauty is just beyond words....

March 15, 2011

pink tape and a book

I've been crushing on hot pink lately. And I think I need to find some tape just like this so I can hang photos in my room. (Cinder block walls = no way to hang anything) The pink would look perfect against my vanilla milkshake walls.

I finished the book late last night. I hadn't been able to put it down since I got it on Friday. A few notes...1.)The cover is totally creepy and doesn't really go with the story all that well. 2.)I will give it props for not being about werewolves, vampires or wizards. 3.)It's the author's first book 4.)It had great potential. 5.)It had great build-up. 6.)The ending was kinda a disappointment though. 7.)I will say that it is the first book in quite a while that I hadn't been able to put down because I wanted to know what happens. 8.)It's worth a read if you like YA novels, but Ender's Game is way better. (duh)

So, now I need a new YA book to read. Suggestions? Anything else good out there lately?

March 14, 2011

23 acres

23 small acres.

Not all of them are pictured here, but mostly.

Sometimes I don't leave these 23 acres for a week. Not on purpose, really. It's just that I get distracted and realize I haven't driven off the property for days.

These 23 little acres are jam packed with memories. There's one in each building and field and corner. The people that live here with me are dear and precious.

All that water. Beautiful, on a calm, sunny day. Sparkling. Grey-ish blue. Lapping at the shore.

I wonder if that's what the people in Japan thought of their little towns. Beautiful sea-side towns. Full of memories and little corners they loved. And full of people they cared about in those houses and buildings.

My heart is just broken for Japan and the tragedy (these videos are haunting) that has happened there. I can't even begin to imagine watching my world wash away right before my eyes. I can't imagine how I would pick up the pieces and live after that. I've just been praying because only God can heal those hearts. It's hard to think about anything else lately.

***photo: taken by helicopter. This photo was donated to our camp by our neighbors that live up the street. They knew we'd love to have it. How sweet is that?!

March 12, 2011

I love it when a movie surprises me

And let's face it. There aren't that many that do any more.

This one
was a delightful treat. Interesting and superbly acted. If you thought Andrew Garfield was good in The Social Network...dear goodness.

I've just got to read the book now.

March 11, 2011


Sometimes I just can't wait until I get home to crack open a "new" book.

I picked this one up at the library today. And I'm presently sucked into its world in the best of ways. It's a mix of Ender's Game, Brave New World and Wall*E. I started reading in the parking lot of the library. It was just too tempting.

March 10, 2011

Match made in heaven

Black and white stripes + tulle = perfectly, perfect dress for me.

And add to that a pink photo booth? I die.

March 09, 2011

yummy favorite


I'm going to do a total nerd post.

I was eating these tonight and realized that I'm slightly obsessed with them.

My favorite fruit, and it's hard to pick just one, has to be the cranberry. I will eat it in just about anything. Muffins, cranberry sauce (chunky style, please!), smoothies, cookies, trail mix, sherbet, salads, cranberry juice (my fave), cereal, granola or just handfuls all by themselves. My favorite brand is Ocean Spray. For some reason, that brand taste different/better to me. I like to buy them (dried) in the huge 48oz bag because I go through them so fast.

My favorite way to eat them is covered in chocolate, of course. Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Cranberries are the best of the best and most addictive. Mmmmm...

March 08, 2011

I miss


And you.

And you two.

Can we please solve this little problem with some quality face time? Please? This whole spread across the entire country thing is not working for me.

March 07, 2011

1 . 2 . 3 . 4 .

I made 4 in one week.
Just couldn't stop.
Still can't.
Already planning and getting ready to start #5.
The plan is to add on a few little pieces to make them pop.
But I'm completely lovin' this color combo.

March 06, 2011

Tonight, I've been....

Listening to the rain on the roof and windows. Is there any more peaceful sound in the world, I ask?

Knitting hat #4. I was halfway done when I realized I messed up a row and had to take out 4 rows to fix it. All is well now. Photos when the light is better. Promise.

Watching the Les Mis concert on PBS tonight. And singing along. I mean, how can one not sing along to those songs? They give me chills. This concert performance isn't as great as the original (which I've seen too many times to count), but still quite enjoyable.

Watching some FNL season 1. The first 4 seasons are on Netflix Instant right now for all of you that need something to watch. Give it a few episodes and you'll be hooked. And the words "Tim Riggins" will take on a whole new meaning.

Killing more stink bugs. I'm so sick of these blasted things.

This week, dare I say, this month, we are entering the danger zone at camp. And by danger zone, I mean crazy, crazy time. Once the weather gets warm, our lives go into high gear. I've been so incredibly grateful for our slow months. This year more than ever. What a blessing that the Lord gives us time to breathe and re-coup. And now, it's back to the crazy until November.

One day at a time. One day at a time....
One day mooorrr-ooorrr-ooor. Sorry, it's stuck in my head at the moment.

March 04, 2011

The return of Friday Finds

I found so many fun things this week. Thought I'd bring back the old Friday Finds and share them with you, dear readers.

This song
. On repeat. Over and over and over. It was on Smallville last week during the best Oliver and Chloe moment ever. Oh, how I will miss this show and those two characters every week.

These photos on The Big Picture of the Nyiragongo Crater. Dear goodness. Volcanoes are utterly fascinating and beautiful to me. I got to visit Volcanoes National Park when I was in Hawaii a few years ago. Jeepers, it was so neat-o.

Elsie's Fight Club chocolate bars. So perfect for a party, no?!

Katie's new post. Talk about convicting. I don't feel like I am even close to being able to understand what this truly means/looks like in my life. I can truly say that Katie's blog continues to challenge and change me just like it did when I found it 3 years ago. Jesus speaks through her words to my heart.

Amazing news on one of my favorite blogs this week. Literal tears of joy and excitement. This family constantly inspires me to love Jesus and the orphan more.

I wanted to dust off the old, film, Pentax I have from the 80's when I saw this from Hula this week. Swoon. And how adorable is that camera?

I'm tempted to take this workshop even though I don't scrapbook. Ali is so inspiring. Her designs with all their details are works of art. Her blog has been one of my favorites for about 5 years now.

Etsy was a treasure trove this week. Wow.
Super find: this shop full of beautiful clocks and watches, two of my favorite things to drool over.

This shop. I fell in love with this, this, this and this. And this I would wear every day. It just feels like the style of this shop is perfect for camp life. Love, love, love. And can't afford any of it....

Nan Lawson's shop. This one is a must. Already planning a spot for it. This one is another fave, but half of the shop is one big fave.

This adorable print from Handz. I think either my nephew needs this.

A tall ship letterpress card? Yes, please!

And a pretty piece for my walls.
Finally, a book to read. Shiver. I finally found another young adult novel that captured my attention. It's kinda disappointing though that werewolves, vampires and fantasy are the only topics that seem to be popular right now. The books stores are full of them, and it's hard to find other genres. Don't people have any original ideas now-a-days? Maybe because I was totally into the whole Buffy-verse all those years ago, but I'm completely over the whole vampire craze. Time for a new theme.

Have a great weekend everyone!

March 03, 2011

exactly what I needed to hear today

I found my self "amen-ing" and laughing out loud and "mm-hmm-ing" quite often. Which is all fine and good except that I had my headphones in and was all by myself cleaning in the Lodge.

This was the word I needed to hear from the Lord today. I shouldn't be shocked when He shows up, but I am. I'm just overwhelmed that He chooses to find me in my need and meet me there.

March 02, 2011

It's been a Jane Austen kind of day

It just never gets old.
I still giggle and melt and cry over it.
After 183,000 times it's still just that good.

Just had to pop in MP after P&P was over.
Next up will be S&S and the new Emma, which has been on our DVR for over a year because I keep re-watching it.

***finished another baby hat with a new pattern. Super easy, simple and adorable. Hat #2 completed while watching P&P. I haven't knit in almost a year because I just couldn't force myself to do it. Now, I can't stop. Weird how you go through stages, huh?

March 01, 2011



Do you ever have those moments when something sparks a memory? Totally out of the blue. You were on a totally different plane of thought/mood/attitude. And wham. Out of nowhere. You are instantly gone from where you are and back to that moment, swimming around in the smells, the sights, the feeling of the objects and the ground around you. Like you are seeing it again through the eyes of your past self?

I love it when this happens to me.

I catch a certain scent in the air and instantly I'm 21 again. Backstage in college theater. I can smell the make-up in the dressing rooms. Feel the energy prickling from the nerves of the actors about to step on stage into the spotlight. The old wooden floor is creaking as I tip-toe around trying not to make a noise. The feel of the jet black velvet curtains that hide the wings of the stage. The stifled giggles and outbursts from the people around me, hushing each other so the audience isn't disturbed. The piano pounding out the soundtrack to the upcoming musical number that is about to go on. The stolen glances at the audience. The energy that exists backstage in the theater like no where else in the whole world. I can still feel it when I smell that scent. The one I can't describe, but only remember.

A few months ago, God brought something back to my memory that I had forgotten since high school. It thrilled me and scared me all at the same time. A past dream that I had long forgotten, packed away and left to gather dust on the shelves of adulthood. And rightfully so. He had other plans for me during these last few years. Plans that I would have begrudged, if I hadn't let go of that dream. And what a wonder I would have missed, if I had held on too tightly to something that He asked to take from my hands.

It's been exciting to consider it all over again. To roll that idea around in my head and pray over it and beseech God over it. Something that I hadn't thought about since I was a teenager, a child. What a beautiful reminder that God is still in the business of dreams and adventures. He's still painting a beautiful piece of art with my life. It may turn out completely different than I ever dreamed, but what an adventure that will be. I pray that I will always be open to the adventure. Open to the risk. Open to the possibility that I have no idea what He will do next. And that I will have the faith to step out in to the unknown and do it.

Adventure is, indeed, out there.

....and to all of you (you know who you are) that are reading this and thinking what I think you are thinking, the answer is no. I'm not. I promise to tell you if and when I am.