Friday, April 22, 2016

Can you do research?

One of my pet peeves are those that just like to share things on Facebook or Twitter without knowing the information is coming from a trusted source or doing ANY research.

Can I just say... it takes literally two seconds to do a Google search. Try it. It's kinda amazing how it works.
Google screenshot

I have a wide variety of friends due to many factors. I have lived in many states and I'm fairly friendly person. While I was raised in a fairly conservative "Christian" home and I took time in my life to attend an intense 2 years in Ministry Training, so I have a lot of friends along those lines. However, because I've always been outgoing, I have gained friends from very different backgrounds and beliefs. So, I see it from both sides. I see people bashing the liberals and what they feel is immoral or unChristian-like.  Then, a few lines later, I will see a friend on the other side posting things that make Christians or rightwing people like idiots. Either posts make me crazy. Because they aren't helpful. 

Yes. Some are funny and cute. 

But then you get posts that are just completely untrue- yet people share them with conviction. 

So, I just ask friends everywhere. Please. When you see something that upsets you or even something that you agree with- make sure it's at least TRUE. Snopes or FactCheck- heck. Even Wikipedia will give you some information. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Life is not a box of chocolates...

I wish that life was a box of chocolates... or a bowl of cherries... both of those things imply that it's full of sweetness and goodness with a moderate amount of the unexpected. But sometimes, life throws a nasty curveball at you. And you are left completely shocked. It's bitter and sour. It's not chocolate and it's sure not cherries. It's just life.

It wasn't suppose to be like that.

It just wasn't.

This wasn't the plan. 

That's exactly where I am right now. Life is NOT what I expected. It's not full of new and exciting things like it was just a month ago... the excitement has turned to fear. Just as I was getting comfortable, too. Isn't that the way it goes?? You think I'm finally there! I finally figured out this whole "adulting" thing and maybe it's not so bad after all. 

I know at some point, life will reveal why at this time we have had to walk through this at this time. It sure feels like I'm alone, but then at the same time, I have had an amazing amount of people who have rallied behind us. The people who call to simply say "I'm thinking of you" or send an encouraging text.  

I am grateful for my faith, because there is just NO way I could deal with this depression and anxiety without some sort of faith in God. Even if I'm struggling to understand his will and the next step, I have been covered in his grace and mercy every step of the way. I know that at some point he will turn these ashes into something beautiful. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

StitchFix #7... Brought to you by the number $8...

So, this StitchFix box came at a bad time for me. I really shouldn't be spending any money on extras right now, but I had been so busy that I had forgotten it was scheduled until it was too late to do anything about it. As it is, it came and I want to share with you all the lovely things I got! 

Melinda was my stylist once again, and even though I only kept one item, she did a great job sending me things that were within my scope of interest! :) If you are reading this, THANK YOU! If you are some random new Stitch Fix stylist, you have big shoes to fill! Let's begin!

Ignore my hair. Because, it's kinda all over the place.

Stitch Fix Collective Concepts, Katelynn Polkadot Dress, $88
I really wanted to like this Katelynn Polkadot Dress. I wanted to love it in fact. And maybe looking at this picture again, it wasn't as frumpy looking as I FELT like I looked in it. It was lightweight and would be easily dressed up or down. But like I said, I kinda felt frumpy in it. The print was fun, and it totally worked with my desire to have some more black and white pieces. However, my need for black and white has ended and I just didn't LOVE the dress. So... it went back.

Kut From The Kloth Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean $78 & 41Hawthorn Lana Lace Detail Blouse $58.

If you look in my closet, you'd know- this chick LOVES a sleeveless top! However, that's the problem with this top. It's sleeveless. Needing to keep myself in a reasonable budget and thinking about the fact that we are officially into must the dreaded cold weather season... it had to be skipped. Bummer. Because I really liked it. I think this picture makes it look more royal, but in person it is slightly purple-y looking. It's beautiful.

I have been LONGING for a pair of Kut From the Kloth jeans... and I finally got them. They fit PERFECTLY. Except... I don't like cuffed pants really. And I REALLY don't like distressed jeans. I hate the pose here, because you can't see that they were distressed more on the left leg. I'm sorry. My bad! They really are AMAZING jeans. I hope that Melinda can find me some cleaner looking KFTK Jeans for future fixes.

Kut From The Kloth Siena Cropped Pant $58 & 41Hawthorn Moni Geo Print w/Camisole Blouse $58

I have received the Moni top before (That would be in Fix #5!) and I wanted to love it- but that shirt fit funny through the shoulders. I saw this on my list again and I was hopeful that maybe this would work better for me. Sadly... it did not. I loved that the sheer shirt came with a cami and this cami had adjustable straps- WIN! It fits perfectly, as long as I don't raise my arms at all. So sad, because I really love the look of this shirt. 

And last but not least- these amazing Kut From The Kloth Siena Cropped Pants!!! LOVED these. The fit is perfect and they are a great color that I don't have in my closet right now. They fit just as great as the Kate Jeans, but they are a lightweight chino material. Perfect fall and early spring piece for SURE! So, thanks to a credit from a friend starting her StitchFix journey, I bought these pants to add to my wardrobe. You can see with my short legs the "cropped pants" are really more ankle length, but I think it still works. 

So, that's my latest Stitchfix! If you are interested in signing up, please feel free to use my referral link

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Another 5/5 box!

I can't believe that I just purchased EVERY item from my StitchFix! Seriously, this box is great. Forgive the pictures, I was alone and had to set the timer on my camera and I didn't take the time to fix my hair or makeup. You get the real deal me! Haha. 

This Papermoon Pendleton Keyhole Blouse is great. Purple is my F.A.V.O.R.I.T.E. color ever, so this is awesome. I feel like the keyhole is a little low, so I wear a tank under it (I'll show you that later). 

I love this color of this Pixley Maydee Pleat Detail Blouse. It's fun and not something I would typically pick out for myself. This is a funky pose for me here... I apologize. 

Okay, we have two things going on here... The Just Black Dean Skinny Jean (in a deep purple) and the 41Hawthorne Queensland Dolman Jersey Top. I really didn't expect to like the Dolman top, but this one is fitted around the bottom, so it still gives you a figure. 

The jeans are a little snug, but they are skinny jeans and suppose to be snug, right? haha. Anyway, I am trying to lose some weight, and they do fit, but it will fit BETTER in a weeks I think. But anyway, I like them and the color (PURPLE!) is great.

I love a skirt, so this Gilli Melanie Printed Swing Skirt is so perfect. It's a black and tan. I tried it on with the Dolman top- but I plan on wearing a more fitted style shirt in the future. 

I'm so glad I have stuck with my Stitchfix, because I'm getting to the point where I can mix and match pieces to create some great styles! I'm wearing my paper moon top with a tank I got as a layering piece several fixes ago and my Emer pants. Super cute outfit!

I know so many people have struggled with the first fix, but I'm here to tell you if you stick with it and get a good stylist- Shout out to Melinda! You are awesome!- you will be so happy with Stitchfix!
Please consider using my referral link to sign up for your own fix if you haven't already done so! I do get a $25 credit after your fix box arrives, but I am seriously in love with this service that I would promote it even without the credit! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

If a couple buys a house...

The children's book "If you give a Mouse a Cookie" is probably one of my favorite stories to read. Because it's just so darn true. You rarely can just do one small thing without it snowballing. Not that it's a bad thing- but it just shows you that one small action can lead to more and more. 

For me, this was never more evident than when we decided to buy a house. I mean seriously. The whole storyline works VERY well with this adult context added:

If a couple buys a house, 
then they are going to want some furniture.  

And if they want some furniture,
They will probably want a lamp. 

And if you give a family a lamp, 
then are going to want a place to sit. 

And if the wife sits down, 
she may notice the walls need to be painted. 

She will start to question all of the lighting options. 

And she will want some pictures on the wall to look at. 

And if you paint the walls, 
the wife will realize she needs an area rug. 

And when you get to Home Depot to buy a rug, 
the husband will need a grill cover for the new grill that he bought.

And if buy a grill and cover, 
then the couple will have to invite friends over... who are also buying a house. 

Thanks to my good friends Merry, Jenny and Shayna for contributing to this blogpost. And be sure to check out Shayna's blog, Faith, Trust, & Disney Dust! She's a CASTMEMBER at the Walt Disney World Resort, working at Disney's Hollywood Studios Park. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I never want to move again.

Okay, so that's not necessary true. But I never want to pack and load my own crap again. We were suppose to have a moving company come and take care of everything for us... but simply put, it fell through. We had been told it would be covered and then less than a week before the move, we suddenly had to pack ourselves. 

I wasn't prepared for that, because while I had been purging some distinctly unorganized areas of the house, I wasn't really PACKING those areas. Suddenly, my focus had to be shifted and there was just not time to get the house fully ready. One of my best friends was awesome. She came over to help pack and she likely trashed a good bit of stuff when my head was turned. LOL She spent several evenings at my house and was SUCH a godsend. 

So, with limited time to deal with it and pretty tight schedule, we packed and loaded our stuff onto a truck from Old Dominion. Using Old Dominion Household Services was really nice. They dropped off the trailer and we were able to load it ourselves and then we just called when we were done. OD sent a driver to pick it up. And the price for the truck was very reasonable when you consider they would be hauling AND storing it for us until our closing date. No need to deal with the logistics of getting two cars to our new location. 

The hard part was that we had to pack and LOAD it by ourselves. Please. If someone you know is moving. OFFER to help. Hands in the house would have made a big difference. We had one former student and a good friend church show up to help for a few hours, but it could have been so much easier had we had just a few more hands more consistently.  Another one of my girlfriends came to help pack and clean as my husband and I loaded boxes on the second day. 

Luckily, I have the College Hunks Moving Company to help us UNLOAD the truck when we arrive in Nashville. I am looking forward to having them come and help! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thanks EIU, you will be missed!

Our time at EIU is coming to a close. When we moved here in 2012, I was so scared of living in a tiny town. Where there was no good places to eat and the closest Target was an hour away. I couldn't imagine raising my children in such a small community. But now... I'm looking back and I can't imagine the future without this small town. 

It's hard to imagine not wearing blue on gamedays and helping my guard girls get ready in a classroom of Doudna. Fighting over hair bumps and straight or curly hair. Glitter or no glitter. Exploding hair spray bottles. 
Me and my Guard (and Twirler!) girls! 
It's going to be hard to not listen to the fight song echo through the campus as the Marching Band makes its way towards OBrien Stadium from Booth Library. 

It's going to be tough to not have the university president excited to see the band and eagerly try his hand at conducting. It will be equally hard not seeing the smiles on the students faces knowing that the leader of their university cares so much about the school that he would wear a big blue wig and sit in the middle of the student section. 

I'm not sure how to handle the idea of my children losing some of the freedoms that come with a close-knit community. Playing with all of the band kids and enjoying running over to bounce during the long second quarter.  How the EIU Cheerleaders and Pink Panthers always took my girls in as one of their own. 

I'm not going to have explain - for the hundredth time - that the words the band is singing is "You don't want to go to war, with the Panthers- don't start no stuff, there'll be no stuff" to people. 

But the future and the past, at least for right now are very different. There are so many changes going on at EIU. The years we have been at Eastern can never be duplicated. It wouldn't be fair to hold the next director of EIU up to what we have done- because it's not fair for us to hold the students of Vanderbilt to the the students here at EIU. All we can take forward is the beauty of our memories and remember the good times. 

While I know that there were some that didn't like the way things were handled at times, I feel like Corey, the girls and I always handled everything as well as we could. You can never make all of the people happy. I'm sure there are a select few that will believe that our departure will make things better- and perhaps they are right. Perhaps they misunderstood out goals and dreams for this band and these students that we have so loved. We will never change their minds. But that's okay. I'm not taking that baggage with me. 

The moments we have had at EIU will always be so precious to me and that will ALWAYS hold near to my heart. While I still may not know every student by name, they called me Mama Francis, and that fills my heart with such joy and love. I wish each of you nothing but the best. There will never be another group of students that I love like the students I have met here in the last few years. Thank you. Thank you for becoming our family. Thank you for embracing our dreams. Thank you.