Birthday Weekend Recap

on airplane

Last weekend we flew to Phoenix for a weekend trip for my birthday!  It was wonderful because we were able to see Brianne and her boyfriend Rob and hang out with them Friday night and Saturday.  Then Saturday night and Sunday we were able to see Josiah’s family who live in Phoenix.

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One of the best things of the weekend? Rental Car upgrade!! It was perfect convertible weather and Josiah loved driving in sport mode.  I may have played the birthday card, but it absolutely worked.  I have never done that before but I can’t say I won’t try in the future 😉  Only if it is my birthday of course!

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Pardon the crazy hair in the face convertible selfie.  I think this is what selfie sticks are for!  We drove around and went to a wonderful Mexican Restaurant called Barrio Queen in Scottsdale.  After that we went to the zoo.  It was my birthday and I wanted to go to the zoo, I do try to go when I can in places we visit.  It was a perfect afternoon as the weather was perfect and it was not crowded.

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I love the giraffes.  They are absolutely incredible.

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I don’t remember what this animal was called but it was really cute.  There was a zookeeper who was feeding some of the other ones.

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The mom was pushing the baby as he swung back and forth.  He wanted to play and she wanted to rest with a blanket over her head.  It was really adorable.  I think we watched them for about 10 minutes.

birthday dinner

It was awesome to get to go out with Rob and Brianne for my birthday dinner.  We went to Hulas Modern Tiki in Phoenix.  We were able to sit outside and it was so nice sitting outside in February!

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The next morning we went hiking.  We stopped in Starbucks first and found some random signs for people to take photos with.  We found two that fit our visit perfectly!

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For the hike we went to a place called Thunderbird Mountain and it was beautiful.  We have cactus in Texas but I forget how big they actually grow to until I am in Arizona.

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When you get to the top there is a nice flag and rocks were you can take your photos as everyone was doing that.  Of course we had to join in and get the photo.

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After our hike we went to Scottsdale and I was able to use my 50% off Kendra Scott birthday rewards.  If you had no idea, when it is your birthday month you can walk into any Kendra Scott and get 50% off any item!  You do have to show them your license to prove it, but how awesome is that?!?  Unfortunately for the rest of the trip I have absolutely no photos, which is horrible of me.  Saturday night we went and had a taco dinner at Josiah’s Aunts house with his Grandmother and cousins.  It was wonderful getting to spend time with them as I really haven’t spent any time with them as they live so far away.  We stayed at his Grandmother’s house and then went to church with all of them in the morning.  After that we had a wonderful Valentine’s Day lunch and ate outside at his Aunt and Uncle’s House.  Again, love being able to eat outside in the middle of February!  Sadly, we then had to head to the airport, turn in our fabulous rental car and take the flight home.  The worst part about the flight was before we even left the pilot told us that there would be some turbulence over New Mexico… wonderful!  Not 🙂  We made it home and now are looking forward to our next trip!

Birthday Weekend Recap

Bible Verses for Strength

Isaiah 4031

The Bible is full of so many wonderful, inspiring verses that we can meditate on to help us during tough circumstances but there are some that stand out as favorites to me and many others.  That being said, the only one our strength can come from is from the Lord.  He is the Beginning and the End and He is who our strength comes from.  It is shown throughout Scripture.  We can surrender our cares, our worries, everything to God and He will provide us with what we need.  Now, as I say that I don’t mean He doesn’t want us to try, because He does.  That is not the point, but where we fall short He will pick us up and carry us the rest of the way.
Probably my all time favorite verse and life verse is Isaiah 40:31- “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.”  What a wonderful thought that is!  To know that with our trust in the Lord our strength will be renewed!
Isaiah 41:10- “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strength you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Philippians 4:13- “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength
 
Psalm 29:11 – “The Lord gives his people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace.”
 
Psalm 73:26- “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my hear; he is mine forever.”
 
Please be encouraged that no matter what you are going through God is enough and will supply your needs.  Philippians 4:19 says, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

 

Bible Verses for Strength

IF:Gathering Recap

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

Last weekend, February 5 & 6, I was able to go to the If Gathering and I am so thankful I was given the opportunity.  The tickets sell out extremely fast for the live Gathering in Austin, TX and I was only able to get one.  In addition, there are also If Locals throughout the world that I was able to go to last year and I really enjoyed that as well.  If you have a chance next year (it is always the first weekend in February), I strongly suggest going to an If Local.

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I can’t possibly even start with a recap for how incredibly amazing the entire weekend was. The entire weekend was spent going through John with four sessions of speakers.  There was live worship from Christy Nickels, Layla De La Garza, Andrews Lage, Tann Smith and B. David Stevens.  They did an amazing job of keeping everyone energized and on their feet.

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The speakers though, oh my goodness, the speakers.  They were i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e!  It was just one amazing talk after another. I am still trying to process what happened this weekend.  Jo Saxton, Jennie Allen, Ann Voskamp and Communion were all Friday night, in addition to some other fabulous speakers such as Jeanne Stevens, Biana Olthoff, and Lauren Chandler.  Everyone’s talks worked so cohesively together.  Eugene Cho spoke Friday night and I had never heard of his book but now it is on my need to read list!  Friday night it took a while to get to bed as I was trying to process everything that had been said and we had been doing.  Throughout the talks we had times when we got into groups and answered discussion questions about Jesus and who He was to us, How we see Him etc. It helped to provide practical application of Scripture and what we were hearing.

On Saturday morning we got right into it and heard some an amazing group talk with Rebekah Lyons, Esther Havens (her photography is incredible!), Margaret Feinberg, Vivian Mabuni.  One of the most touching moments was learning more about International Justice Mission.  They have the 4 R’s of Rescue, Restore, Restrain and Repair.  They are truly doing work for the Kingdom of Heaven and while it broke my heart hearing about it, it was incredibly the work they are doing.

We then heard from Jen Hatmaker, who is as real as they come.  If you have not read her book, For the Love, I highly suggest reading it.  One of the blessings of the afternoon session was Angie Smith speaking.  She was real and raw and wasn’t supposed to speak and then she did last minute.  And it was amazing.  David Platt spoke last.  His talk was something I am still trying to process.  He gave us three things to remember, 1- Recognize the unique place where God has put me, Realize what is at stake in the lives of those around us and 3- Remember the simple purpose God has given us.

The whole conference was amazing, absolutely incredibly.  I think one of my favorite things about it was the fact that it was women from many different backgrounds, circumstances, life stages, everything.  The speakers were single, mothers, married with no kids, older and younger.  They did not just have ‘one type’ speaking but were all inclusive of where you were in your life along with others.  Their talks did not focus on just one stage such as motherhood, or single adults, but the talks went throughout all ages and stages.  There were teenagers through grandparents present and it was absolutely wonderful.

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If you are interested I highly encourage you to check our their website.  There is also IF:Equip which is weekday Bible reading plan with a piece of scripture and then some thoughts to ponder.  It is the same women who put on the IF:Gathering and the God given talent they have to share scripture and encourage is highly evident.

IF:Gathering Recap

Valentine’s Decor

It is no secret that I absolutely love decorating for every holiday.  I wish I could decorate for all of them like we do for Christmas, but unfortunately there just is not that much decor for all of them!  Of course, that does not mean there are not little touches I can do to decorate for the smaller holidays, Valentine’s Day included.

Heart 1

Who doesn’t love the Target Dollar Spot?  This was $3 in the Dollar Spot but I still love it.  I worked on my creative writing and showcased probably one of my all time favorite verses.  I love how this turned out!

Flower Arrangement 1

I’m not the biggest fan of fake flowers, I would much rather have real flowers around all the time but I wanted a little red and white to add to the Valentine’s Day Decor.  The sign is from JoAnns.

Flower Arrangement 2

Valentine’s Decor

Valentine’s Day Pillows

Valentine's Pillows 1

Hobby Lobby has these inexpensive pillow covers you can buy.  When they are not on sale they are $5.00, but sometimes you can get them at half off for $2.50.  You can’t even make them for that!  They all have a zipper in the back.  I purchase them every so often to make new pillows for the holidays.  You may remember my Christmas pillows and my Fall pillows.  I have been meaning to make Valentine’s Day ones for a few years (oops!) but I finally was able to!

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For this one I just cut out 5 hearts and staggered them randomly.  I sewed around them with embroidery thread.

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I wrote love on this one with pencil and then embroidered over it with embroidery thread.  I am so glad I was finally able to knock these out!

Valentine’s Day Pillows

Etched in My Heart Frame –

Etched in my heart frame 1

This post is not sponsored or anything, I just wanted to share this beautiful frame I found from this etsy shop.  I knew I wanted a special frame for Pancake and I could not be more happy with the one I found.  It is absolutely beautiful how it is made and it is wonderful quality.  The best part is that Part of your purchase goes to helping rescued pets find loving homes.

 

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I couldn’t be more happy with the purchase!

Etched in My Heart Frame –