A Post Of Thankful

So much has transpired since I last blogged. I guess you could say I’ve been busier living life than writing about it– which is exactly as it ought to be.

Among other things, nearly 8 months ago, I was incredibly blessed to become an auntie for the first time (hopefully first of many)!

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Haylie, my niece, with her Uncle Joel (my brother)

My dad has gone through some job transitions, but thank God, we haven’t had to go through the upheaval of moving again. That has been a blessing for sure! Of course, if we could move closer to our TX family, I’m sure none of us would complain. πŸ˜‰ Especially now that we have a niece/granddaughter. hehe.

And lately, God has been showing me how much He answers prayers– even for “the little things”. It blows me away! We indeed have a GOOD, GOOD Father!!

That’s not to say He doesn’t allow us to go through hard times. Believe me, my life has been rather tough (not compared to some, perhaps)– especially the past year or so. I felt like I was being attacked time and again. –I lost a very, very dear friendship, went through a church split of sorts, dad’s joblessness, sickness, depression, etc. But you know what? I learned to ask God what lessons He was trying to get through my thick skull and then to begin to work on those areas with the help of the Holy Spirit. Boy, has He been working on me!

I asked for patience– I got sick for over a year. I asked for humility– my skin broke out. I asked for wisdom concerning our church situation– I was prompted to leave. God’s ways are truly above and unlike ours. But He has good motives. He can see our future and knows what is BEST! I heard a quote once recently that went something like this [paraphrase]:

“Just because we don’t succeed at something doesn’t mean God isn’t with us. It is entirely possible God is just preventing us from doing that which may harm us in the long run.”

Wow! True *that*! How often have I leaped ahead of God, only to find myself in a hedge of heartache and destruction?! More times than I care to count. And yet, He is faithful. The Good Shepherd comes to me again, lifts me up on His shoulder and carries me back to safety.

 

 

Wedding Stylin’ {Outfits Post}

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A few weekends ago, I went to TWO weddings! It was especially crazy because one was in OK and the other in TX and the first (the one in OK) was one that my sisters and I filmed. But it was fun! πŸ™‚

Here is the wedding trailer for the one we filmed. πŸ™‚

For the first wedding, being it was outdoors, I wanted to wear something cool but not a skirt or dress (because of the wind XP). So, I chose some wide-legged, gray trousers (gift) and a lovely blue blouse and white gathered undershirt (also gifts) and canvas shoes (gift).

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The second wedding was a little more relaxing for me, except in what I wore. πŸ˜‰ haha. Really, not the best choice of clothing considering it was prone to sweat stains. And that sounds gross, but during an outdoor wedding in TX in early September– it’s inevitable. Yeah. Yuck. Oh well. πŸ™‚ I love the dress so much! πŸ˜„ I actually won it in a giveaway from eShakti, but have since altered it– shortened the sleeves and the skirt length. I got the wedges for about $5 at a thrift store and the clutch was a gift from my mom. The necklace was actually up-cycled from some blingy sandals I had. haha. I also made and wore a rhinestone hair clasp in the back. πŸ™‚ 11998606_717156235083483_1470598497_n

I Danced the Night Away…

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Photo credit: Phoebe (my sister)

My cousins, Rachel and Rowena (pictured with me above), had come up to spend several days with us. *That*, in and of itself, was a blast. We lightened our hair (using lemon juice and warm water– and sunshine), played games, went thrifting/garage sale-ing (I know, I know– that’s not a word! :P), and stayed up to the wee hours of the morning– laughing and sharing stories. πŸ™‚

But I think my favorite activity we shared together was the “barn” dance we went to the last night they were with us. πŸ™‚ Think Western film style dances (technically known as “Square Dancing”) and a few “Pride and Prejudice” style dances (that style of dancing is called “English Country Dancing”. πŸ˜‰Β  It was Rowena’s first time to dance, though we had shown her a few tips before hand. Rachel had been English Country Dancing with us before.

On this particular night, we also learned how to polka and do Contra Dancing (similar to Square Dancing, only more confusing, I think).

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Dancing the Dubleska Polka. It was the most fun I’d had in a LONNNG time! πŸ™‚Β Β  (photo credit: the N. family)
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One of the square dances… (photo credit: the N. family)
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It was fun having Jaden (my “little” brother in the orange-y shirt) and Rachel (the young lady in the pale green top) in my group for this dance. πŸ™‚ I also made friends with a few of the other dancers. πŸ™‚Β  (photo credit: the N. family)
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If you couldn’t tell, orange was the theme color. πŸ˜‰ I didn’t have anything orange, so…Β Β  (photo credit: the N. family)
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Dancin’ cousins (photo credit: the N. family)
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Abby (on the left) and Phoebe (in the orange shirt in the middle) look like they were enjoying themselves too! (Photo credit: the N. family)
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This is a classic example of the fun time one has when dancing! πŸ˜€Β  (Photo credit: the N. family)

Spring – What I Think of {Part 3}

IMG_3294Vegetable garden.

I am so thankful for the hard work my siblings and mom have put into our garden– God willing, we will have anΒ abundance of fresh produce in the next few months. πŸ™‚ We’ve already had our first harvest of our micro greens (lettuce), some spinach, and mulberries. Hopefully we’ll have plenty of tomatoes and onions, because those are favorites around here.

Today, I got in the garden and put some stuff down to help the plants be more healthy. I’m not exactly an expert on such things, so hopefully I did it correctly and there will be no adverse effects. πŸ˜‰

Birthday Celebrations

My birthday was on the 5th, but we had the celebration the next day. It was a blast! πŸ™‚

English Country Dancing (thanks to the help of Lydia N. and her sisters)
Jessie B.– a friend from church
Mrs. Y. and Mrs. N. chat while some of the Y. boys play foosball
It was very cute– Ava Y. and Zuriel N. had been chasing each other before this photo, and then they paused for some “refreshment”. πŸ˜‰ They must have been playing quite vigorously! πŸ™‚ And I’m sure that Angie was giving them sage advice. πŸ˜‰ hehe
I don’t usually go for fairy tales, but this photo (at least to me) screams Cinderella and Prince Charming! πŸ˜‰
It was quite intimidating having this crowd of spectators for the gift opening. πŸ™‚

 

Expressing my delight over one of Jaden’s many lovely presents

 

Playing “Uno” after having danced for something like 4 1/2 hours and the opening of gifts. Jaden charms the ladies [and one guy]. πŸ˜‰
Pheebs, Jessie B., C+C and Dad chillax. πŸ™‚ I think Jessie was showing them photos from a recent trip of his.

 

Yours-truly, with Catalina O. (whom I’d not seen in nearly a year) and her sweet friend, Grace. πŸ™‚

Over all, it was a splendid evening, spent with many kind friends (not all of whom are represented in this post).

Long Time No [Hear]…

Sorry folks. Once again, I’ve taken an incredibly lengthy break from blogging. My life has been quite a flurry of activity… I’ve been busy living life rather than blogging about the life I live. It’s rather more satisfying, I think.

I know. Cliche apology.

Anyway, for those of my friends who still like to know what I’m up to, I’m posting a bit of an update about what’s been going on the past few months.

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At the end of the summer, our close friend, Jared C., came to see us before he moved even farther away. Hopefully we will be able to get together with him again soon. : )
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Our youth minister and his wife resigned, so we had a going away party for them. Here is his wife (Hannah– on the right) visiting with one of the church members (Miss Freda B.). πŸ™‚

 

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(At the going away party)– with friends: Angelica, Rosa and Beatriz. πŸ™‚

 

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It’d been something like 6 months since I’d seen my best cousin, Rowena. So we had quite the blast together (as usual). πŸ™‚
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We’re like twins– our nicknames are even that way. πŸ˜‰ ❀
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All of the girl cousins together: yours-truly, Rowena, Phoebe and Abby (both of whom are my sisters), and Rowena’s older sister, Rachel. πŸ™‚
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A journal I made for a friend’s birthday. πŸ™‚
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For our grandma’s birthday, we stayed at her house to paint her house and trim her trees.
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Lovely grandma. πŸ™‚
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Hard-workers. πŸ™‚
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While in town at Grandma’s, we attended a Ranger’s baseball game. My first. And hopefully, my last. πŸ˜‰ I’m not at all a fan of pro-sports!

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At our church’s fall festival– with my sweet friend, Cristin M. πŸ™‚
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So much better– being silly together. πŸ™‚
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The entire David K. family (minus the eldest child– Joel).
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Fun times! πŸ˜€ ❀

I did a little photoshoot with my sweet Cristin. πŸ™‚ Though I took way more than the five below, I thought I’d just post these (they’re my favorites):

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Stunning eyes!
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Such a cheerful young lady! πŸ™‚

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For Thanksgiving, we spent time with both sides of the family. πŸ˜€ A rare treat.

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Mom and her mom. I thought it was neat how their outfits were matching. πŸ™‚
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Jacob (a close family friend) and Jaden (my brother), being silly.. πŸ™‚
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Finally– a non-goofy photo. πŸ™‚
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Cousin Bayle makes cheesecake– which was very sweet, just like her. πŸ™‚
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Phoebe, Caleb and Claudia playing fooseball. πŸ™‚
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More family members visiting. This is all on Mom’s side of the family, btw. πŸ™‚
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My precious little cousin, Tatem. πŸ™‚
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Siblings: Abe, Jill, Jay and Julia (my mom). Sadly, Aunt Jen (the youngest) was missing. :/
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Nick and Bayle, two of Uncle Abe’s kids. πŸ™‚ They are so adorable in this photo. πŸ˜€
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Cousins be like… πŸ˜‰
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It’s never a Russell family gathering without lots of a card games. πŸ™‚
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My darling grandparents. πŸ˜€
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Classy. πŸ˜€
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I just love Poppy’s grin in this! πŸ˜€
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A man to be greatly admired. πŸ™‚ I cherish every precious moment I have with him… πŸ˜€ I really made him smile by telling him that I want both him and my dad to walk me down the aisle– in the event that I get married! πŸ™‚

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Such a lovely couple. πŸ˜€ They’re marriage is 50+ years and going strong! πŸ™‚

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Another cute couple. πŸ™‚

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Uncle Jay’s growing family… πŸ™‚
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Delightful autumn foliage. πŸ™‚
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A serene creek
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Looking epic on a stroll with Grams. πŸ™‚
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Uncle Abe and Mom visit before we had to leave…
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I got to see my best cousin, Rowena, again! πŸ˜€ ❀
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Pheebs, Rachel, Ro-Ro and Jo (me). πŸ˜€
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Visiting with “Aunt” Pam after church… πŸ™‚
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“Aunt” Pam’s nephew, Preston, plays a variation of ping-pong with Abby and Phoebe. πŸ™‚ I joined in later, but was awful at it! XP
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This was later that same Sunday, but this time Abby and Phoebe were playing with the A. siblings. πŸ™‚
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We had a “lock-in” event for youth group. Lots of crazy “fear factor” type of games…

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Our church’s Christmas program was last week… Mady C. and Callie H. chill before the program, which was that night. πŸ™‚ They were both actors for the play. πŸ™‚
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Set decor. πŸ™‚
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Jeffrey C., one of the main actors in the play. πŸ™‚
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Caleb and Claudia came up for the day. πŸ™‚
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Adrean S. (standing) was the main director for the program. I was co-director. πŸ™‚ Quite a job, but fun!

 

Siblings {Outfits Post}

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Top: thrifted

Cardigan: gift (I think)

Skirt: Kohls (I think)

Shoes: borrowed

Hair: done by myself

Rose: from our garden

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Top: thrifted (I think)

Pants: thrifted

Shoes: Walmart

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Shirt: borrowed

Cardigan: gift (I think)

Skirt: gift (originally a dress, but I altered it)

Necklace: made by me

Shoes (not shown): Kohls

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I don’t know the particulars of my brother Joel’s outfit, but it sure was spiffin’!

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Shirt: thrifted

Vest: gift

Jeans: gift

Necklaces: one was borrowed and the other two were made gifts

Hair: by me