Thursday, January 26, 2012

A lesson in love

As I was going through my evening routine, I was listening to Jason Gray's, "Remind Me Who I Am," and I started thinking about the Valentine's cards and crafts I wanted to work on this evening. Side note: I have never been a big Valentine's Day girl - so the fact that this thought crossed my mind is unusual in-and-of itself.

As the song kept playing on single repeat, I started to think about love, more specifically God's love. The lyrics go, "Tell me once again who I am to you. Tell me, lest I forget who I am to you. I belong to you. I'm the one you love. That will be enough. I'm the one you love."

Can we even begin to grasp the overwhelming love that God has for us? I can only imagine - I know my parents have unconditional love for me. They'll love me no matter what I do - they are my biggest cheerleaders, and I know they always wish they could take away the pain when I'm hurting. I like to imagine, strike that, I know that God feels the same way. I forget that so often though.

Today at work, I was feeling overwhelmed and couldn't shake this heavy feeling that I'd been experiencing for over 24 hours. I got up from my desk, walked to the ladies room, locked the door behind me and just bowed my head in prayer. In that moment of "despair," I cried out to my Heavenly Father. And although it wasn't immediate, I did feel that heaviness release. Isn't it amazing that God can take away the pain when we ask?

Going back to my Valentine's crafts and thinking about love... so many times, we hurt those we love the most. In those moments we are selfish, irritated, impatient, unkind in our words or actions, rehashing the past, etc., but the Bible spells out, quite clearly, exactly what love is.

Love is patient, it's kind, it doesn't envy or boast, it isn't proud, rude or self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs... It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Every day of the year, we can benefit from reading those verses in Corinthians. Just imagine if we all loved each other in that way. Wow, wouldn't that be amazing?

I think I'm in the perfect mindset right now, regarding love, to work on these special tokens for the people in my life. Tonight I'm so grateful for His redeeming Love.

Live life glamorously,
Elizabeth

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bridal Shower

To say that I'm giddy over the upcoming nuptials of my sweet Doublemint is the understatement of the century - or at least the understatement of the evening.

We met for dinner last night, and for two hours straight, we talked non-stop about all things wedding. I told Mere all about the ideas I had for the Bridal Shower I'm throwing for her in Dallas - she loved it, and that got me super excited!!

I've got lists, details, colors, snacks and decor running through my head - and I spent my evening getting organized! My lovely friend (and co-worker), Kelly, is going to design all the print materials for the shower. Even as I sit here typing this post, I'm so excited about the plans that I'm certain I'll have some grammatical errors in it.

Poor Mommacita... I sent her an email detailing all my ideas, thoughts on food and decor and asking her to please (Please, PLEASE) come out for the shower! I wrote the email just like I would have said all of the information aloud - but Mommacita is a pro, and didn't miss a beat! I can't wait for the weekend so I can actually TALK to her about it - Her busy time tutoring is always in the evenings after I'm off work. Makes for very difficult phone time.

I digress.

See what I mean about my excitement?!

Anyway, here is a sneak peek at my organizing tools...









Doublemint and I decided that following the rehearsal dinner, she and I will have a sleepover at the hotel watching chick flicks and making Photo Booth music videos! (aka, pretending like we're still in college)

video

I need to find us some cute matching PJs - anyone have a suggestion of where to look?




Oh how I love my doublemint, and I am determined to be the best Maid of Honor and send her into married life in style and with lots of love!

I'm off to write the text for the print materials - Oh, I'm so excited!!

Live life glamorously,
Elizabeth

Monday, January 23, 2012

Asking for (fill in the blank)

We are going through an awesome series at church right now - it's called Better. "When life hands you choices... choose Better!"

Last week, the focus was "It is better to have less of what doesn't matter and more of what does."

This one got me thinking - I cannot tell you how many times I will walk in my closet and think, "there's nothing to wear." This is a bold face lie. There is TOO MUCH to wear.

Folks, I cannot even open/close my t-shirt drawer without pushing the piles down and "putting my back into it." Time. To. Purge.

Our pastor challenged us to cut back - throw out - turn off.

This week's message was one of those where you feel like the pastor is talking to only you, and you tear up and say, "Okay, Lord. I get it. Could you let me make it to my car before the water works start?" But in my case, I didn't even make it through worship without bawling like a baby. It's true. One of those vulnerable afternoons in church.

Craig talked about how God told Solomon he would give him one wish - and give him whatever he asked for. As many of us know, Solomon chose wisdom. When Craig asked, "What would you choose," one word popped into my head. I knew my answer would be happiness.

I have never been one to dream of fame or fortune - You can ask my mom, I have never been driven by money. Don't get me wrong, I love money, but it doesn't get me out of bed in the morning.

My happiness and enjoyment of my life dictates my choices. I feel run down when I don't have time for myself or time with the ones I love. Lord, I pray for happiness.

I could very easily get bogged down in the sadness that I am so far from my family. I am really struggling right now with contentment. Part of my prayer is that I recognize and cherish the moments that I have on the phone with my parents. Although I can't see them as often as I need, I need to be thankful for the times I have with them, even if it's only on the phone.

Craig told us that those without wisdom are fools, and Fools:
1. Act before they think
2. Spend all they earn
3. Hurt those they love
4. Think they know it all

Elizabeth:
1. Acts before she thinks
2. Spends (saves and tithes) all she earns
3. Hurts those she loves
4. (Sometimes) thinks she knows it all

I am a fool.

But I'm a fool craving and begging for wisdom (and a way to find happiness)

How Fools Get Wisdom (happiness):
1. Fear God
2. Ask God
3. Hang out with Wise (happy) people

Craig said that when he was searching for wisdom, he would read a chapter of Proverbs every day - and he did this for 7 years!

Starting tonight, I am taking the next 31 days to read Proverbs and pray for wisdom.

God is doing amazing things in my life - I just know it - and I sure would appreciate your prayers as I walk this road.

Live life glamorously,
Elizabeth

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm proud

Typically, when you call someone prideful, it's a bad thing. Pride can have such a negative connotation. Well, I object the connotation and say that my pride this morning is nothing but sheer joy and jubilation.

I am so incredibly proud of my cousin, Will-I-Am (you can thank Mommacita for that nickname, love it!), for getting into Chapel Hill! We are going to have the first Tarheel of the cousins!





I could not be prouder of the man he is turning into. Will is kind, caring, a hard-worker, so incredibly intelligent, funny, a good brother and what an athlete! My "little" cousin is taller than me now, and I couldn't be happier about that one too!

He is going to kick butt in college, and I'm sure that my pride will only continue to swell as he continues to do great things.

Live life glamorously,
Elizabeth

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Love List

Tonight's love list consists of the following:

1. White Collar is back! I try to keep my drooling over fictional men to a minimum for M's sake, but I just can't help myself when it comes to Neil Caffrey. Ooh la la. The boy sure is dapper, dashing and scrumdiddlyumcious. I just finished watching this week's episode and I couldn't stop smiling. USA sure does do it right when it comes to their original shows.

2. I am actually using my iPad for something other than watching my TV shows - I'm writing this post!

3. Tonight, I made an oh so yummy meal - accessorized with M's delicious salad. The boy makes candied pecans for it - am I lucky or what?!



4. I opened the door tonight to find my sweet boy standing there with purple tulips - again can we just emphasize how lucky I am??



5. My momma's texts make me smile so wide with all these smilies and other characters!



6. Papas takes care of all my tax concerns and I don't have to worry about it for a second!

7. I am snuggled up in bed getting ready to watch Mad Men, and I'm so looking forward to my conversation time with God tonight.

8. I wrote thank you notes using some of my wonderful stationery and my awesome return address stamper.

9. I work with amazing women that I am proud to call out-of-the-office friends.

10. I'm trying Zumba for the first time tomorrow night with two of said out-of-the-office friends.

Well, that's tonight's Love List - sometimes it's nice to rattle off a few things about life that we love. Isn't it so easy to only focus on the negative?

I hope you can easily fill up a list of things that you love about your life!

Live life glamorously,
Elizabeth

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Up and up

Well, I'm finally on the up and up after being sick since January 1st. I'm still sniffly and sneezy but I no longer feel like I'm about to die - good news, right?!

I can't remember how many of my 2012 goals I've shared, but so far I'm doing pretty well on 2 of them.

1. Get back into Church.

M and I have been going to Saturday night service at LifeChurch and it has been so great worshipping together and discussing the message. We are in a series right now called Better. It's all about when you have a choice in life, choose Better. I'm really enjoying the series and it's helping me do some forward-thinking.

Also, there was a Night of Worship last week at church - an hour and a half of just worshipping and prayer. Oh man, it was wonderful - and desperately needed. M had to give a speech on campus, so I flew solo. It worked out for the best, because I had some great alone time with God.

Towards the end of the time of worship, we all sat to pray silently, and in that moment, I said something to God that surprised me. It was totally a moment of him speaking to me, but using my thoughts as the vessel. It brought me to tears, and I am so thankful for that moment with Him.

2. Cook a new recipe a week in 2012.

To be honest, I have only done 1 recipe so far. With how sick I was last week, a peanut butter sandwich and an omelet were about all that sounded appetizing. But I've got my recipe picked out for this week - thanks to a gal-pal at work!

Speaking of a gal-pal co-worker... Kelsey, from Posts & Pixels, designed GORGEOUS recipe cards for me to use for my 2012 Recipe Challenge - not to mention a great binder cover and weekly recipe sheet. I'm swooning over these beauties!




I apologize for my absence from the blogosphere - this sickness has kept me in a routine of home from work, shower, NyQuil, sleep and repeat. But like I said, I'm on the up and up and glad to be back :) Thanks for sticking with me!

Tonight, M and I are going to see The Addams Family. I have a feeling this will once again reignite my desire to move to NYC - stay tuned!

Live life glamorously,
Elizabeth

Friday, January 6, 2012

It's so easy.

It’s so easy to see the speck in someone else’s eye and not see the plank in your own. (side note: I used to always say the speck of dust in someone else’s eye and the plank in your own – however, I’m pretty sure that isn’t correct. So I’m just going with speck. Forgive me, Lord.)


As an only child, I have always been the apple of my parents’ eye. They even say, “You’re pretty close to perfect.” Momma says the only thing keeping me from being perfect is that I don’t like to pose for Christmas card pictures – but more on that another time.


All my life I have heard how mature I am – or how grown up I seem. To be honest, I think this went to my head a little bit. I’ll never forget a time in college when I definitely got knocked down a peg or two.


Disclaimer: I have a tendency to over-share, but I figure that my life lessons are mine to share, right?


Anyway, I asked one of my college professors to write me a recommendation letter for a summer opportunity. By the time I received the letter from him/her, I had already submitted my application with recommendations from other professors. I figured it couldn’t hurt to open the letter to see what he/she wrote. Oh, how wrong I was.


I vividly remember sitting in my dorm room sobbing as I read the words. At the time I felt that they were so unfair and categorically untrue. I called my mom and told her what I had done. I thought she would be upset with me for “breaking the confidence” of the recommender. But, being the wise woman she is, Momma told me to go to the mailroom the next day and mail that letter home. (Get rid of the evidence, hehe).


I went home for a holiday break a few weeks after, and we discussed the letter and the hurtful words it contained. Momma encouraged me to take the words to heart and show that professor just how wrong he/she was about me.


Hindsight, he/she was dead-on regarding a few things he/she wrote. I did think I knew everything – and I didn’t exactly respect his/her authority the way I should have.


I went back to school with a whole new attitude and demeanor. I can’t remember how the next part came about exactly, it was either midterm reviews or another recommendation letter, but the same professor told me he/she had seen a dramatic difference in how I handled myself in the classroom and was really proud of the maturity I was exhibiting.


The point of telling that story is that even though I learned the lesson while in college, I still struggle with thinking that I’m right or that I’m not immature in any of my actions. We all know this isn’t true.


Another obvious fact, relationships are hard. Really hard. Especially for someone who is an only child, thinks they are always (or let’s say usually) right, has always been told by their parents how wonderful (even perfect) they are, etc. etc. etc. Much less putting two of those people in one relationship – but this is about me.


After a year and (almost) a half of being in my current relationship, I have realized just how immature I have been at times. Now, no recommendation letter has been written – that I know of, lol – but the realization is still a tough one to come to. Especially when the behaviors have become habits. But what’s awesome is that I can change my habits!


I hope you stuck with me on this crazy train of thought post, but lately I just haven’t had the “oomf” to pull out a good blog post, and this one just came to me today.


Call me an over-sharer, too open or too personal, but this is me.

Plus it’s my blog – and I’ll blog what I want to!


2012 is going to be a great year. I just know it. I also think there will be many more of these “revelations” in the year to come – Lord willing.


Live life glamorously,

Elizabeth

p.s. To lighten it up a bit, not sure why Mommacita thinks I won't pose for Christmas pictures... I guess the one antlered Rudolph didn't quite make the "Christmas Card" cut.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Cooking Project

Happy New Year!

I've decided that I am going to cook a new recipe every week in 2012. I couldn't be more excited about this project - and I'm sure my kitchen will like being used more often!

This week's selection is Citrus-Chili Shrimp.



I have to say that my favorite part of cooking is gathering all the ingredients and snapping a picture - that makes me a dork - but this is all about being real folks.



Does anyone else think that food in the preparation stage can look quite unappetizing?



But in the end, the finished project was yum-yummy! Just the perfect about of sweet and spicy. I'd say this first recipe is a keeper!



My co-worker is creating custom recipe cards for me and the 2012 Cooking project! I'm so blessed to work with such a generous and creative gal.

I hope that everyone's new year is off to a wonderful start! I've got my goals set, and I'm looking forward to 2012!

Live life (and set goals) glamorously,
Elizabeth