A Modern Day Fairy Tale: February 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Celebrating National Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Once upon a time...
Today, February 26, is National 'Tell a Fairy Tale' Day. With a blog title like mine...how could I not participate in such an event!? I know some of you know this story well, but I'm not sure I've ever really shared the story as to where my blog got it's name. While I do love fairy tales (and have an obsession with Disney princesses), that's not the full story. So, in celebration of this day- here is my personal modern day fairy tale:

My fairy tale started when my home church got a new preacher, Steve. Until that point we'd been going through musical preachers, but finally we'd found a great one. He had a step daughter Bethany just a few years younger than me and during a church lock-in where we were the only two who managed to stay awake all night, we quickly became the best of friends. We were soon inseparable. I spent most of my days at her house, and when we weren’t together, we were leaving tons of comments for one another on Myspace (back when everyone actually still used Myspace!). She had recently reconnected with her half brother Matt who was a Marine in Iraq at the time. He spotted my picture from one of the many comments I left and thought I was cute…and he told her so. Soon, she decided to play matchmaker and we started talking over MSN messenger. Soon, we were talking daily and while I had no intentions of falling for him (after all, I didn’t believe I could handle the military life), you truly cannot help who you fall in love with and I fell…hard and fast. Before we’d ever even met in person we were talking wedding plans. Most thought we were crazy, especially since I was always very practical and never jumped into anything so quickly without overanalyzing it to death, but when you know you've met the right person, there is no denying it and no distance or amount of time makes it any less real. 

Time seemed to pass slowly, but finally it was time to meet face to face. I knew he was planning something special but I didn’t have the slightest idea what it could be. I waited (impatiently) at his mom’s house with the rest of his family for him to finally arrive. After being told he would be awhile longer, imagine my surprise when his reflection suddenly appeared in the mirror in the entry room of his mom's house. He was wearing his dress blues, looking very princely and carrying a pillow. On that pillow was a single red rose and a pair of ‘glass’ slippers. My absolute favorite fairy tale and Disney princess had always been Cinderella (it was more of an obsession to be honest), and he knew it! He soon whisked me off to the ball (Marine Corps Ball that is!). We married soon after and have been living our happily ever after ever since. Over five years later, I still love him just as much as I did that day and I am truly blessed to have found my Prince Charming and to be living our very own modern day fairy tale!!
Marine Corps Ball 2006

One of my favorites.

And they all lived happily ever after...

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Beginning Of A Brand New Adventure!!

It's finally official- my wonderful husband is an 8411. For those that don't speak military, he's officially a Marine Corps Recruiter! He graduated yesterday and did amazingly well in his class- I could not be more proud of him and I have no doubts he will make an amazing recruiter. He loves the Marine Corps, so who better to recruit new Marines than someone who loves it!?

If you're familiar with recruiting at all, you've likely heard a lot of horror stories about it. We've heard them all too. It's a tough job with long hours, a lot of pressure and few days off. It can be really rough on some families. We are however very excited about this new phase in our lives, and have chosen to think positively. We are used to my husband working long hours, but at least for the most part he should be home every night and most importantly he will be safe, no deployments for the next three years. After 4 deployments in 8 years (one of them a year long), a break is most certainly needed!! We will also be a mere 3 hours from family!! Living away from family has to be the most difficult part of the military life, and after 5 years, it's going to be great to see them much more often! So while we are sure this will be an adjustment as we settle into the new life as a recruiting family, we pray for this to be a positive experience for us all!!

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God." - Ruth 1:16

And because I've been slacking on pictures lately, a few pictures from Matt's graduation:

Accepting his 'certificate' (it was actually empty haha)

My lovely little family. I love this photo of us!

And another...I have to say I think this new dress from Shabby Apple is my new favorite thing in my closet-I love it!!

And just because I love my new shirt and had to share:

I love my husband. Wives, submit to your own husband as is fitting to the Lord. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22,24

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

(in) real life conference

Have you heard of (in)courage? This is one of my absolute favorite blogs, and a daily read, full of encouragement and inspiration. I LOVE it!

In April, they are hosting a wonderful conference, that sounds like it could be a wonderful experience for anyone able to attend. I know what you're thinking, that sounds expensive- tickets? travel expenses? so on...BUT that's what's so great about the (in) Real Life conference: the event only costs $10 (which includes t-shirt and card pack) AND there are meetups all over!! If there is not one in your area YOU can host! How wonderful is that? It's such a great way to meet up and connect with some amazing women local to you. If you'd like more information about attending or hosting, head over here for everything you will need to know! If anyone decides to go, I would love to hear how your experience goes!! At the very least, I definitely recommend you check out the blog...you'll be happy you did!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Scripture & A Snapshot: 1 Corinthians 1:4

I am linking up again this week with Scripture and a Snapshot with a verse that is very fitting for what has been happening in our life lately, as well as appropriate for today, Autism Sunday, International Day of Prayer for Autism. (You can read more about that here, in my post from a year ago.)

As many of you already know in a few short weeks, we will be making our way across the country to our new home in Indiana, where my husband will be recruiting. It's a very exciting time for us, moving a mere three to four hours from our families, but also a very sad time as we say our goodbyes to those that have made our lives so wonderful here in California. This week brought on the first of these goodbyes as Shaun had his final ABA session with one of his wonderful therapists. As I searched through my cards for an appropriate 'thank you' card, I stumbled on a Dayspring card featuring this verse. There could not be a better sentiment to express how we feel about all those who have touched our lives here- friends, teachers and therapists alike.

Looking at where Shaun was just a year ago, and where he is today, it's hard to believe he is the same kid. Even just a few short months ago, I could never have imagined having the wonderful, back and forth (with minimal assistance) conversations I would be having with him today. We would ask questions and hope for a response, period. Over time, that response came as a one word reply and finally, most often now comes as a complete sentence. This is all because of the support of his wonderful team, I could not have asked for better. Not only are they great at what they do, but they all truly love Shaun and go above and beyond to help him to be his absolute best. It's not an easy job, as anyone familiar with Autism could tell you. Being hit, kicked, bitten and having toys thrown at you is not a job that many could take on...but they've all stuck with him and gotten him to this point.

Words cannot fully begin to express the gratitude we feel. We truly do thank God for them daily- when we see Shaun playing pretend, watch his mind process questions and come up with his response...when he tells me he feels sick, or happy, or sad, or scared. When he simply says to me, 'Mommy, I want..." or "Mommy, can I have..." Though we say goodbye now, we will always carry with us the impact they have made on our lives, and for that we are so very grateful.

Thank you God for blessing us more than we ever could have dreamed.

"Every time I think of you...I thank God."- 1 Corinthians 1:4, The Message

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!

As some of you reading this may already know, I recently stopped fighting the temptation and joined Pinterest. For those who aren't familiar with the website, it's basically an online pin board where you can pin ideas from all over the web- home decor, craft ideas, fashion inspiration and so much more. It's also VERY addicting, which is why I resisted for so long. But as our move draws near, I'm super excited about the idea of decorating a new home and decided I could use some more ideas!! And I've found plenty!!!


I love the idea of decorating with old windows...I've wanted to do something like these for some time...I just need the windows!!

Love the look of this for my bathroom...would match wonderfully I think!!

Source: houzz.com via Randi on Pinterest

There is nothing I don't love about this kitchen!!

Source: bhg.com via Randi on Pinterest

A few cute playroom ideas!

I could go on ALL day...so many wonderful ideas!! But I'll stop here...for now! If you're on Pinterest, you can follow me here. If you're not, but would like an invite, leave your e-mail in a comment and I'll send you one! Feel free to leave the link to your own as well, I'd love more people to follow!! Happy pinning!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: 'House of Secrets' by Tracie Peterson

From the Publisher:
When her father orchestrates a surprise trip to the summer house of her childhood, Bailee Cooper is unprepared for what follows. What is intended to be a happy reunion for Bailee and her sisters, Geena and Piper, quickly becomes shrouded by memories from the past.Together again, the three sisters sift through their recollections of fifteen years ago...of an ill mother, and of their father making a desperate choice. They vowed, as children, to be silent--but one sister believes the truth must now be revealed. Yet can they trust their memories?Mark Delahunt arrives in the wake of this emotional turmoil. Determined to win Bailee's affection, Mark becomes the strong fortress for her in this time of confusion, and what was once a tentative promise begins to take root and grow. Caught between the past and an uncertain future, can Bailee let God guide her to heal the past and ultimately to embrace love?

My Thoughts:
If I had only one word to describe this book, that one word would be WOW! Seriously, this was an amazing book and I'm so glad to have been given the chance to read it! There were so many things going on throughout the book, that I don't even know where to begin!!
Can you imagine growing up with horrible family secrets, only to discover many years later that while there were many, many dark secrets, that original secret was not what you had once believed? That is exactly what happens to Bailee and her sisters in this story. Growing up, they believed they were keeping an awful secret to protect their family. The secret had haunted all of the sisters throughout their life, so when their dad invited them back to their old summer home where the event had happened many years earlier, they decided to confront him. What they discovered instead were the secrets of their mother's mental illness. While this answered many questions, it also lead to many, many more. The book beautifully deals with their struggles to come to term with the many secrets, and God's place in it all.
I feel like I can not say much more without giving too much away, but it is certainly an amazing read. I could not put this book down and wanted more once it was over. I did feel perhaps the ending was a bit rushed, though I am happy with the outcome regardless so it didn't really affect my opinion of the book overall. I definitely recommend this book to all.

*I received a copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Home ♥

One week ago, we found out where we are moving to...so why I haven't I posted!? Well, perhaps I was trying to figure out a creative way to break the news...or maybe I'm just a huge procrastinator. Most likely, it's a little bit of both. But either way, I will just come out and tell you now: we're heading home!!

Okay, not quite home. I'm originally from Southern Indiana, my husband is from Southern Illinois, but compared to California, we will be home!! We're moving to Indianapolis!!!

I truly love California. I love the weather. I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing the gorgeous ocean view. I love our amazing friends we've made here. I love Seaworld. I love Disneyland...all wonderful things, that I will miss greatly. But there is certainly nothing better than being close to family!! While we've had many great experiences during our time here, we've also missed a lot of important events. Weddings, funerals, births. It's during those events that the distance is the hardest. I think this will be the best place for us, and I am excited for the great things I know are coming our way.

We greatly appreciate all of the prayers that have been sent our way regarding this placement, God has certainly listened!! And we appreciate the continuing prayers for this move. We are not yet certain exactly WHEN this will happen, but likely in about a month. Moves are stressful, but at least this time we know its bring us home!!