Saturday, July 30, 2011

getting deep around here..

I started this blog because I truly felt a prompting from the Lord to do so. I've shared about my little girl, our struggles with infertility, general craftiness, silly little tidbits about me, and little bit of my home...

But what you might not know about me is I tend to be introverted, I worry about what people think of me, I easily isolate myself in a world of creativity, and I can tend to be an over-analyzer, with, more often than not, a script of previous conversations running through my head. So, I was struck yesterday when I read this quote by Bill Johnson:

'If we don't live by the praises of men, then we won't die by their criticism.'

Guess what? Jesus said the same thing about the Pharisees. THE PHARISEES. Sheesh. I hate it when I am convicted of being like those proud, bearded, old-guys.

John 12:43 says, "They COLLECTED the praises of men of men in their hearts more than the approval of God." 

Yikes. The fear of God washed over me as I read this. Conviction set in. My heart is amassing it's own curio case of self-identity based on the opinions of others. 

I know this is happening. I can feel it. Because I've lived with myself for a good while now, I've learned to stop and investigate myself in that moment when I feel a little funky, but I'm not sure exactly why. Lately, I've discovered these little moments are caused by feeling the heaviness of criticisms from others, or from worrying what people think about me. 

Sin is sneaky. This is worshiping the words and opinions of others, just in a different way. I think it's so interesting that a quiet, introvert can have the same heart-struggles as the loud Pharisees. I discovered am a Pharisee on the inside. 

I feel secure in my identity in Jesus (when I am with Jesus); I just need for Jesus to teach my heart that this identity is the same identity that I have with other people as well. 

1 Corinthians 9:1 says "Am I not free? Am I not an apostle of the Lord?.." 

I am free, and I'm ready to feel free. 


Lots of love,

Friday, July 29, 2011

Flashback Friday.

I made her promise to stay tiny forever, but she is growing SO fast. This is my therapy, a picture for each month. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Can you teach an old house new tricks?

I have a thing for old houses. I just love them... but they do tend to offer up some challenges. This is the very first house Daniel and I lived in after we got married. We rented it from the most hilarious 94 year old lady. Paying the rent was a challenging social affair, IF you could get her to hear your knock at the door.

I begged Daniel to rent this teeny one-bedroom house, as opposed to getting an apartment. It had squirrels in the attic, a dryer on the back porch, and an ugly non-functional furnace in the dining room. I took it upon myself to paint the furnace like a grandfather clock, and I hung a clock on the top portion of it.
Hee hee. The address was always wonky.
All of this to say.. the furnace has come back to haunt me at yet another home. And yet again, it is in the dining room. It is functional, but unnecessary since we do have central heat and air. And we could rip it out, but that would be WORK, and we'd have to replace the floor and wall behind it.

So.. I'm thinking of painting a furnace again. Do normal people do this? IS THIS CRAZY?? Internet peoples, please tell me if this is nuts. Should I just paint it white, or do another clock? Any other ideas? Heeeeeeeeeeelp me.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beautiful Blogger Featuring Lauren from Simple Lovelies

Meet Lauren. She is beautiful inside and out.

She blogs about life, and all of the simple little lovelies along the way. Lauren and I traveled to Morocco together during our crazy college years. I think that pretty much makes us travel buddies for life. Now, we are bloggy buddies. Check out her blog at Simple Lovelies; you will be enchanted.

You've already met her son Noah! I did a silhouette of him a few weeks back. Look at what Lauren created with it; it is precious. I especially like how she printed it on some mini-alphabet paper. It gives it a nice vintage-y and worn feeling.

Inspiring. 

Lots of love!
-Lindsey

Monday, July 25, 2011

Piggy Tails.

Eeek. Piggy Tails. Another level of cuteness unveiled.
We are back from Dallas.

There were dirty underwear in the hotel windowsill when we arrived. There was stomping above us all night long. Selah slept on a pallet in the bathtub. We tried our best to have fun and celebrate the end of Daniel's studying for his financial planner examination, but we were tired! 

Now we are back home, and entertaining some house guests. I'm planning a baby shower for my sister, making silhouettes, and trying to stay cool in this heat. It's our 27th day over 100 degrees, in case you were wondering.

That is all.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Friday, July 22, 2011

Trivia! and a Real Food Update.

Do you know what this vegetable is?






It's PEA SHOOTS!  Did you get it right?

I had never tried them until recently; I got these at an Asian grocery store on a big-city adventure. They were delicious after just a quick saute with a little garlic. Yum. They tasted faintly pea-like and fresh. I also put some on a tuna sandwich instead of lettuce. Divine. I just wish I could get some more!!

And now for the REAL FOOD update. I mentioned in this post that we are striving to eat real food, and doing our best to avoid purchasing packaged foods. We are buying raw milk and farm-fresh eggs. Cottage cheese, grains, and other hard cheeses have been our only 'packaged' purchases.

Psychologically, this has been an adjustment.
Budget-wise, this has not been as difficult as I thought it might be.

Lets talk budget first. Our raw milk is $6 a gallon, and eggs $2 a dozen. We are choosing to drink less milk, so we can afford a higher-quality product. Whereas we could guzzle 3 gallons of skim milk a week, we are now down to one gallon a week. I've found that raw milk stretches further, because my body feels like it is getting the nutrition it needs with a reasonable serving size. I skim the cream from our milk, and we use that for making salad dressing, having with coffee, or drizzled over fruit.

Local meat is cheaper and better quality than normal in our tiny town because of all the cattle nearby, so we buy that from our little grocery store. We purchase some produce, cheese and other dry ingredients (oatmeal, brown rice, flour, etc..) in bulk from Aldi (in Dallas) and freeze what we won't use immediately. Otherwise produce is purchased from good 'ole HEB or Walmart. Right now, I am being selective about what items I buy organic, and which I don't. I just follow the dirty dozen guidelines.

Now for the mind games. We didn't toss out the packaged items that we already had in our pantry, so there remains some packaged foods. Triscuits, breakfast cereal, a cake mix, boxed pilaf, etc.. Would you know, that I find myself drawn instantly to the remaining junky food? It's so dumb. I need to reprogram the way that I think about food, and honestly retrain my taste buds. It's like I'm going through food-chemical withdrawal!

Another psychological component is championing this cause within my marriage, and taking ownership of planning and preparing each meal for my family. If I plan and prepare the meals, then most stumbles can be avoided, but if I suggest going out for ice-cream, there will surely be no complaints! What a responsibility!

All in all this transition is going great, and I think it's a lifestyle choice that we can maintain. I want for our family to eat truly nourishing food and I feel like this is just the beginning. If you have any comments/suggestions I'd love to hear them!

Lots of Love,
Lindsey

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Just a little shop update..

I've been busy over here, creating silhouette portraits. I thought you might like to see a few that I have recently completed. I am finding such joy in outlining the beauty of each child

 If you are interested in purchasing one, check out my Etsy Shop.

Just a word of warning, I'm going to be raising my prices from $12.00 each to $18.00 each to appropriately reflect the amount of time I am spending completing each portrait. To be respectful to those of you who may already be familiar with the lower price, I will wait to adjust prices until this weekend. Thanks so much for understanding!

Stephanie's little beauty from Polos, Pearls, and Pacifiers

Jess' little man from IROCKSOWHAT


Cari's sweet little lady

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I swore I wouldn't do it..

You guys, I swore I wouldn't be that mother. You know, THAT ONE. Who puts gigantic bows in her daughter's hair... bows that rival the actual size of the child's head. And then this happened. I'm afraid there's no going back.
I'm cute. Yeah. 

She likes her bow... You can just tell.
I just wasn't prepared for the exponential increase in cuteness quota that I would face as soon as bows entered the picture. I'll do my best to keep this thing under control, Selah. I'll really try, but I have a feeling there will be more bows in your future little lady.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

(A Romantic) Comedy of Errors

My husband is a big guy... 6'6, linebacker type. This is how he describes people when he's talking to me.. in football terms. You should know that he knows EVERBODY. Or, I should say, everyone knows him. When Daniel is relaying stories to me every person gets a height, weight, and hair color breakdown. It goes a little like this.

 Daniel says,"Hey, I saw so-and-so at the bank today."
*my blank face*
"You know..brown hair, 5'10, about 210, stocky build."
*my blank face*
"You know..the tire guy/AC guy/mechanic/old friend/broker/church friend/college buddy.."
*my blank face*

I'm notoriously great with names..Then I just usually shrug and say "Oh really..."

Since Daniel knows everybody, he always has great hook-ups. For painting, car-repairs, you name it--he knows a guy. The thing is these hook-ups don't always work out so well. Don't get me wrong, we have gotten so RIDICULOUS deals in the past, but it doesn't work for everything.

A little while back, Daniel decided that he was going to work his mojo to get me some flowers from 'a guy.' They owned a little gift shop/flower shop in town, and so Daniel called him up and described exactly what he wanted. When Daniel arrived to pick up the flowers, he was horrified. The owner's wife had specially made a FAKE flower arrangement, tastefully studded with flocked embossed roses. Behold the beauty.

Of course, Daniel felt he couldn't say anything, lest he offend everyone involved. Then he dutifully delivered that fake arrangement, plus a bouquet of fresh roses to me at work!  I tossed the arrangement, but kept one petal in our memory book. It still makes me laugh.

Rewind to last week, and Daniel decides to get me flowers again. (Do you see a theme here? He is SWEET internet peoples.) So, it made it all the more hilarious when my beautiful arrangement was delivered (he had it DELIVERED <3 ) , with this card.

The only problem.... his name is Daniel. When I stopped laughing, I almost didn't even want to tell him. Poor guy. He thought that it was funny too, but has sworn off using any (of the two) florists in our tiny town!

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Gussy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I dare you not to squeal.

**Disclaimer: I am not responsible for deaths due to cuteness overload.**

This is my niece, Mercy, showing off her new toddler trick.



GAH. GAH.GAH. That's all I can say. This is the adorableness that we are dealing with people.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Treasure Hunting!

I found some genuine pieces of awesomeness in my barn this morning!!!

I should give all the credit to my sister, Kelley, who called to ask if I had any old doors to make headboard for Mercy. So, a-barn-hunting I went, and I found some treasures for ME, but not any doors for Kelley. Sorry Kelley.

Look at these adorable framed embroidery pieces. I think they'll clean up just fine after a blast from a compressed air can and a soak in Oxyclean.


I should mention that our home, the mother-in-law house, and barn were all the property of the grocery-store owners in town. So, there are piles and piles of old fruit and vegetable crates, and I found these cute cheese trays! I'm not sure what to do with them all..


This is an old grocery cart! It's missing the back wheels, but it's still adorable. I promised this one to my mom. She's going to put in on her porch with flowers in some veggie crates. Perfect!


And finally... the piece that just made my day. In fact, I'm not sure how I haven't seen this before, but there in the dusty corner of the barn was this lovely mid-century piece. I'm sure it was a grocery story display, but I'm going to re -purpose it as an awesome bookself!


How's that for a morning of poking around in my own yard? I love free shopping :)

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bathing Beauty

Yesterday, we had a lazy summer afternoon.. the kind that you enjoy so much you don't even feel guilty upon realizing that you accomplished nothing but enjoyed everything.  

This was the first time for Selah to to sit on the grass semi bare-bottomed. She was fascinated and examined every little blade of grass within reaching distance. I've noticed that Selah is captured by the little details of life, the leaf floating in the pool, the hanging thread from my shirt, the teeniest spot of dancing afternoon light on the carpet. I love stopping to take in the minutia of each day with her.

Eventually though, she decided that the grass was just poky and uncomfortable...

 Later we enjoyed some nice pool time with my mom. Selah seems to really enjoy swimming. She splashes and kicks and tries to put her little face in water... Then she snorts water and decides that wasn't the greatest idea. Then she does it again. My days are blessed.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I love pickles!

Today we went and spent the day at my mom's house. We sorted through some old baby clothes from me and my sisters (Did you know I have sisters?? I have TWO younger ones.) I'll have Selah baby-model some in the future! Then, we went to Jo-Anns fabric, and picked up a watermelon agua fresca on the way home. We always have so much fun together. I love that we all live so close to each other.

Selah had a pickle at lunch today, and you'd have thought this was the most delicious thing she had ever tasted. She gnawed on that thing for at least forty minutes. She even lunged for the pickle my mom was eating with her sandwich! I will file this down in my mommy arsenal for sometime when I need to actually accomplish a task when she is awake.. I don't think I've ever seen her occupied for so long.

This doesn't completely surprise me, because she definitely favors savory food over anything sweet. So far her favorite foods are beans and oatmeal. In fact, I've had a hard time getting her to eat any fruit. Weird, right ?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Infertility you are a suckface.

If you are a boy, or my dad, then stop reading now. This post contains talk about the dreaded 'P' word

For some reason, I was under the impression that I wouldn't have a period for a glorious 21 months when I got pregnant. You know, a blissful 9 months of pregnancy and then another 12 months of breastfeeding afterwards. (Go ahead and start laughing..) The aftermath of childbirth certainly made up for the pregnancy months, I won't elaborate further. I was more appalled though to find that as soon as Selah was 5 months old that my cycle had returned!

Bummer. Breastfeeding, this is the only way you have let me down my friend.

If you are new to this blog (which is new in itself) you may not know, but we had a long and arduous struggle with infertility to become pregnant with Selah. I talk about it a little in this post and this one too. Our story is one of those that all women struggling with infertility hate. I find that funny now. I hated stories of breakthrough, because I was afraid it wouldn't happen for me. Basically, after all hope in medicine was gone, and all treatment thrown out the window, God swooped in and supernaturally blessed us with Selah. Her name means 'worshipful breath' because that is exactly what she was.
                                                                Photo by Tiffany Bonow
Infertility is a nasty beast, and although my days are joyous now, I feel in some ways as though I am just emerging from that four year darkness where every day was a struggle to find even the tiniest bit of joy. Infertility changes you, and that doesn't go away even when you are holding your baby in your arms. If you have struggled with conceiving, then you understand. As much as you may want to leave the past behind you, the world is colored in a different way forever. I'm certain that there are aspects of life with Selah which I cherish one-thousand times more than I would have before, but I also have undo fears of what the future may hold because of my past.

( I just wrote a cheesy metaphor about a rainbow looking different but still beautiful, and then I laughed my pants off about how RIIII-DONKULOUS it sounded!! You are spared; be thankful.)

So, now that things seem to be back to 'normal' with my physical body, which is a separate victory in and of itself, it seems ludicrous not to try to conceive again right away. But here's the thing, I don't really want to be pregnant again right now. This sounds CRAZY to say. Heck; I can't believe those words ever came out of my mouth, but it's really how I feel. I want to enjoy every little moment with Selah; I don't want to be puking my guts up all day long for eight months and miss out on tons of fun with her. I want to get my body into better physical shape. I want Selah to have siblings, but just not RIGHT NOW.

But I'm afraid. Afraid that if we don't do it now, then it will never happen. I'm not sure where exactly to go from here. For now, we're just enjoying today.
Selah's favorite book, a circa 1980's 'Cuddles Looks At'
Lots of love,
          Lindsey

Monday, July 11, 2011

a little shopping..


I'd say 90% of Selah's wardrobe is from thrift stores. Why? The clothes are a fraction of the price and look brand new, that's why! It does take work to visit shops regularly and sift through to find pieces that you really love. That means that days like today, when I just click and buy something, are extra-special!

All that hard work thrifting means that on occasion, I can splurge on a brand-new outfit like this one! This is the darling little number by Acoustic that I got for Selah. ADORABLE. Of course, it's from Zulily. I guess even in cyberspace I can't get away from my thrifty nature.


 Have you checked out Zulily yet?? If not, you really should. They rotate different brands everyday and always have a steep discount on some really nice stuff!

Lots of love!
Lindsey

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fancy Little Ladies and Giveaway Winner!

Folks there is a revolution happening within my kitchen. I'll talk in more detail about it in the future, but for now let's just say that we are striving to only eat REAL food. IDENTIFIABLE FOOD. Food that is not in a box or bottle. That means I use what I can from my garden and other people's gardens/farms. When I shop, I focus on the borders of the grocery store (produce, dairy, and proteins).

I'm not going on a grocery-chucking rampage, but it has been so rewarding so far to focus on truly nourishing the bodies and souls of my family. I'm getting great joy from sourcing wholesome food and watching the pantry transform as I slowly replace the store-bought sauces with those that I've canned myself.
Gorgeous.
Part of this adventure is seeking out local producers and farmers, which is fun!
Kerri, from the blog, Prairie Kerri, is a friend of mine from who we source our milk and eggs. We are kindred spirits and cheese-making sisters (She's going to show us how to make mozzarella soon!).

 I feel good about feeding Selah these eggs, and I love seeing Kerri's little boy excited to get his egg-collecting allowance. It is NOURISHNG for both of our families. And, if that's not enough reason for you, just look at this fancy-pants chicken.

glamour-shot pose

That is one happy chicken. Do you know why? It lives in the Taj Mahal of all chicken coops. Check out this sweet pad! Stained glass, a smattering of antiques, and the ever-necessary flower arrangement. These chickens live the sweet life.

Darling
I wish I lived here!
Isn't it absolutely ridiculous?! I about died from cuteness overload. I wouldn't be surprised if Kerri paints their little toenails!

And now for the GIVEAWAY winner:
            *********CONGRATULATIONS TO*********

Melissa, you are our very first giveaway winner! You were comment #15.
HURRAY! You won a custom silhouette portrait from my Etsy shop. E-mail me at OutofAlabaster@yahoo.com and we'll work out the little details.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Friday, July 8, 2011

Last day of the GIVEAWAY!

 Just a Reminder: Today is the last day to enter our very first giveaway for a FREE custom silhouette portrait from my Etsy shop!
This is Lauren's little man from simple lovelies
The contest closes at midnight tonight, and I'll select a winner using a random comment selector tomorrow morning!!

Check out this post for all the details regarding the giveaway.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Farewell Friends


Today we said our goodbyes to some dear friends. Goodbyes are sad, even when you know change is an integral part of life and so on and so forth…and all those other grown-up things people tell themselves to squelch the ever-rising lump in their throat.

We combated that little lump in the throat feeling with the absolute antithesis of sadness...PIE. yum yum. Hah! Take that sadness. 
Love you.


The special girl requested good old-fashioned pie made the nostalgic way…made with pie filling! So, that is what she got.


 I’ll tell you a little trick though. I use two cans of filling for each pie. One, straight from the can, and the other with the fruit rinsed from the filling. Thatta way there is more fruit in the pie. Sneaky. Also, I sprinkled the top with some Swedish Sugar just for fun. 
The bunting for the pies can be found here. It's a free printable that includes the entire alphabet in an array of color choices. You can spell anything you like! Super cute. 


Pie is a happy dessert. It is honest and sincere. Pie communicates love in a way that cake can only envy. Don't laugh. I'm serious here people. It has been studied with the utmost scientific fervor. Try it for yourself and see :) 
Cake vs. Pie.
Lots of love!
-Lindsey

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vacation is Tough

Yep. That about sums it up.
We had a great mini-vacation visiting my grandparents this weekend, and we are plumb tuckered out! I think the country ways have rubbed off on me a little. We are recovering today, watering the withering plants, and enjoying our front porch.

If you missed the announcement about our GIVEAWAY, check it out here. I'm celebrating my Etsy shop being featured in the 10 Prudent Gifts for Baby's First Year by giving away one free silhouette portrait! The giveaway closes Friday, so don't be shy, go ahead and enter!

**Don't forget you can earn extra entries by posting about this giveaway on Facebook, or Tweeting about it! Check out the details here**

Lots of love!
-Lindsey

Friday, July 1, 2011

Feeling famous.. and a Custom Silhouette Portrait GIVEAWAY!

My Etsy shop was featured on 10 Prudent Handmade Shops for Baby! I'm feeling a little famous and such.
Because I'm in a celebratory mood, I'd like to offer a GIVEAWAY of one custom silhouette portrait. 

Window Gazing
Can you guess who that little sweetie is? It's the same little spitfire who who dunked Selah's prized possession, Mr. Lion, in the POTTY yesterday!  It's none other than my niece, Mercy. These two will have fun together.

AND...

 Selah's dress was featured on a Project Round Up on Prudent Baby! You can check out how-to again here.

Sitting Pretty.
Giveaway Entry Details: 

To be eligible, 'follow' this blog (button on the right sidebar). Afterwards, leave a comment on this page that says, “I followed your blog.”
If you are already a  follower, just leave a comment that says so.
Bonus Entries:
If you REALLY want to win, there are 2 additional ways to gain more chances to win. You can do as many or as few as you like:
  1. Post this contest on Facebook.
    Grab this link: http://outofalabaster.blogspot.com/2011/07/feeling-famous.html
    Attach it as a link to a status update on Facebook
    Then leave a message on this page that says, “I Facebooked it.”
  2. Tweet this message:"Giveaway! Win a Custom Silhouette Portrait http://outofalabaster.blogspot.com/2011/07/feeling-famous.html @LindseyKayC" Then leave a message on this page that says, “I tweeted it,” along with your Twitter @Name.

I'll use a random comment selector to determine the winner next Friday! Good Luck!

Have a great 4th of July!
-Lindsey