Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Bigger Picture (& an accomplishment)

My kids usually walk to school (What a blessing that is!) but with Brit's broken foot I drove them this morning. 
(And yesterday morning. And I will again tomorrow. And every day 'til she's better.)
Something about her walking on crutches on a snow and ice covered sidewalk downhill and then uphill has made the kinder, gentler mother side in me come out.

This morning there was the usual line of cars waiting to turn into the parking lot and pull through the Kiss-and-Go lane in front of the school.
Everyone is always very civil about it, and although it takes a bit, it really isn't that bad.
From the street out front there was the line to turn right into the school drive, and then I was in the line coming from the opposite direction, so I was waiting to turn left.
This means I needed to wait for a break in the line that's turning right, make sure the drivers pulling out of the school drive are going to stop for me, and make sure there is no one coming straight through, because they have the right-of-way.
Yes, very complicated.
(I told Brit to remind me tomorrow to go the other way so I can just turn right into the drive.)

Everyone is so nice and lets everyone else in and it's all very orderly.
Well, there was a woman in the opposite line turning right into the parking lot (so she had the right-of-way), and she stops to let me in.
This was very nice of her, but there was a car coming straight that also had the right-of-way. They weren't going to stop, so I couldn't go.
But she couldn't see them since they were coming up from behind her, so she's nicely motioning for me to go in front of her. But I couldn't go!
Then she makes a stern face and waves even harder for me to go, but the other car was still coming so I couldn't go!
Then she glares at me and jabs her hand in the direction of the drive, but my motion to her that there was a car coming probably just looked like I was pointing at her.
So she throws her hands in the air, rolls her eyes, shakes her head and pulls her car into the drive.
The car going straight passes me, I wait a couple more cars, and then pull into the drive when the next person pauses to let me go.

It sounds confusing written out like this, and the whole incident only took a few seconds in real time, but it kind of made me stop and think.
I was frustrated at first with the woman because she was frustrated with me for not going, but I couldn't go because of the other car!
Then it made me laugh because she couldn't see the other car! She was just trying to be helpful to me, and instead wound up exasperated because it seemed to her like I was being difficult and not accepting her help. But she couldn't see the bigger picture!
Then I wondered how many times in life have I done this to someone else?

Meaning well, I try to help the other person. But, I can't see the whole picture. I can't see what's coming. But they can. So, they don't take my help, and I wind up exasperated with them thinking, "Fine! Ignore my gesture of goodwill! Whatever!"
When, really, if they accepted my help they would wind up in a much worse situation.

If I would have pulled forward just because the woman was motioning me to, I could have caused a serious accident! But she couldn't see that at all!
Had she known, she would have never motioned for me to go.

It was just a good reminder that sometimes we don't see the bigger picture, but maybe someone else does.
Maybe not all the time, but it does happen.
Instead of taking it personally, we can choose to change our perspective and simply know that we're offering what we can offer, but not get hurt or offended when someone else doesn't take us up on it.
It doesn't mean we should stop offering.
It doesn't mean that woman should never stop again to let anyone in the line.
It just means that maybe it wasn't the right timing for that person.

We don't always see the bigger picture, but God does.
Our job is to keep offering, to keep giving, to keep helping...
not to get offended when someone doesn't take us up on it.

Anyway, a longer than needed story to communicate a thought I had this morning while sitting in the Kiss-and-Go line at the kids' school.


And, just so it is brought to the attention of anyone who has been keeping record, today is the last day of NaBloPoMo.
AND I MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!
(Here is where I have the song from Nathaniel the Grublet in my head. "We play a risky game. We made it and we made it in record time...") 

I blogged every. freaking. day. in the month of November.
And one day I even blogged twice!
I'm very proud of myself.
And, whereas at the start of the month I was singing Whitesnake's Hear I Go Again, I am ending this month by singing (What else?) Queen's We Are The Champions.
Because I am one.
So it's only fitting to offer for your viewing pleasure...
(I love the whole full-body unitard, complete with scoop neck and chest hair... and that he doesn't sing into the mic for the whole first verse.)

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Monday, November 29, 2010

A White House Tradition

Our very first Christmas I gave my dear husband a gift I knew he would like greatly.
We were newlyweds and money was tight, so I was thrilled when I found this small token of my love that showed I really understood my new husband and what he loved.
Our first married Christmas morning my hubby unwrapped, much to his great joy and delight, a University of Washington Huskies ornament.
Because he is from Washington. And he is a Huskies fan.
Little did I know that small act would start a tradition... one that is continued year after year (much to my dismay).

The Husky Ornament is the first thing that goes on the Christmas tree before it can be decorated... and the last thing that comes off the Christmas tree before it comes down.
During the off season, it is kept in its original packaging.
The tradition claims that The Husky Ornament must be hung from the highest branch facing the front of the Christmas tree, and no other ornament is allowed to hang higher.
Since the ornament came into The White House fifteen Christmases ago, this is the fourteenth Christmas that has seen this tradition.

(Gee, whatever would we do if The Husky Ornament got crushed one year amidst the boxes in the garage? That would be great! so very, very sad.)

This year I happened to capture The Hanging of The Husky Ornament and thought I would share.

I am now fully convinced our family is nuts.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lanvin for H&M

Once again, why in the heck isn't there an H&M in the greater Denver area?
Get with the program, people!
Ikea is opening Fall 2011. You're behind the game.
(I've written them twice.)

Anyhoo... I thought I'd post the video of the new Lanvin for H&M collection.
You know that's all the rage. What with the long-dead sagging economy, fashion houses have been designing affordable pieces for mass retailers.

Probably only a few of my readers will even be interested in this, but the eye candy is so incredibly rich I just couldn't resist!
I love the way they've mixed the outrageous colors/patterns and over-the-top accessories of the 80's with the bold shoulders and strong cuts of the 90's.
(Look! Pointy-toes!)
And we all know what a sucker for visual texture I am, since we've discussed that recently.
The collection is like a bowl full of gumdrops and lollipops paired with a strong cocktail... shaken, not stirred.

To view the complete collection of drool-worthy-but-still-out-of-my-price-range items, go here.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dear American Public,

I know you're all about privacy and equality and safety from exploitation and freedom from typecasting.
And really, I am too... in most circumstances.
However, I think you have forgotten. You must have, otherwise you would not be so outraged right now.

You must have forgotten about this*.
*Warning, contains graphic and highly emotional content.
You must have forgotten that there are people, countless evil people, who have the sole desire of killing us.
Killing you.
Killing your children en masse.

On this Saturday after Thanksgiving, let's be thankful for the freedoms we have.
Freedom to board an airplane and travel cross country to spend holidays with families.
Freedom to fly to other countries for vacation or work or school.
But, let's remember that these other people have that freedom, too, which is why we must be ever-vigilant.
They will use their freedom to take away ours.

Yes, I believe that government administrations and hired safety contractors should conduct themselves in a way that is respectful of American travelers.
Yes, I think they should be courteous and helpful.
And I, too, am quite apprehensive about invasive scans that somehow wind up on the internet for the world to see.

However, the world also watched al qaeda slaughter our citizens on 9/11,
and the world is watching us now complain of the inconvenience of our safety.
The world watched us tear Oliver North to pieces in a courtroom years ago because he was trying to take out the very person that called for and commanded this attack on our nation...
and we declared it wasn't a big enough threat.

I know some of you are pregnant and a body search can be humiliating.
But there are young girls in the Middle East who claim they are pregnant so no one will search for the explosives they have shoved into their body.

We must be thankful for our freedom, but we must not forgot what will happen... what has happened... when we don't allow for processes that help maintain our freedom.
We have enemies, very real enemies, that want nothing more than for us to fall into our everything-fast, never-slow-down, never-invonvenienced mentality...
because then they'll be able to slide through, too...
right beside us, as we walk glide through airport security.

You must have forgotten why we do this, why we must go through this.
Take a moment to remember, because my freedom and the freedom of my children depends on it.

An American Citizen

I awoke this morning to find this. He lived 30 minutes North of where I grew up in small town Oregon.
We must not live in fear, but we must be vigilant.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Fashion Tip Friday: The Magic Scarf

While waiting in line at the Colorado Springs airport recently, I noticed a large sign in the gift shop for Magic Scarves.
They obviously really wanted people to buy them, so a young woman on the poster was modeling some of the various ways they suggest you could wear a Magic Scarf.
Because *in theory* it can be worn in a variety of fashions... hence the magic. *wink*

Upon closer examination of the poster a loud thought overtook my brain:
"Dear, goodness.
Please, no."

Now, before I progress, I will tell you that I own a few Magic Scarves.
Given, I haven't worn them in quite a few years, but there was a time they were all the rage.
So, please don't think I am bashing Magic Scarves for all you Magic Scarf owners.
(Although, I will say that at this particular point in fashion history, there could be better options for you to choose from.)

I actually broke rank in the waiting-to-get-through-security line just so I could go and take these pictures of the poster... while everyone else watched with looks of why-in-the-heck-would-she-give-up-her-place-in-this-long-line-to-take-a-picture-of-the-Magic-Scarf-poster.
But I just got out my camera and tried to hold it steady through my giggles and the ignoring of aforementioned looks.
(If anyone would have asked, I would have gladly advised them. But, no one did... and I try not to give unsolicited advice... except in Goodwill... when someone is hunting for shoes.)

See the nice young woman? See how she's saying, "There are so many ways to wear the Magic Scarf! It's practically endless in possibility! And that's why it's magic!"

Now hear me saying, "Nooooooo!!!!!!!!!"

Just because something can be worn a certain way does not mean that it should.
See how her hands are clasped in front of the Magic-Scarf-As-Strapless-Shirt option?
Read: If I move my hands my shirt will fall down.
And the Magic-Scarf-As-Strapless-Dress option?
Now that could be very awkward.

The thing is, Magic Scarves do not hold themselves up.
And when stretched out, THEY'RE SEE THROUGH!
They're crotched, people... there are holes!
(Tip: Which is why the Magic-Scarf-As-Skirt option also does not work.)

Hey, I'm all for Magic-Scarf-As-Shawl and Magic-Scarf-As-Cape-Type-Thingy.
(Yes, these are the official names... in Angela Land.)
In fact, the shoulder option can look down right fancy with a glittery broach securing one side.
And, you know what?
I'm even all for Magic-Scarf-As-OHMYGOSH-Scarf, because they're fuzzy and warm.

But, please, as my fashion tip to you, do not try and make it a stand-alone article of clothing.
It just. doesn't. work. people.
No matter how many airports you see that sign in.
(Because I saw it in almost every airport I went through on my trip.)

(And if you want to be really entertained, you can visit their website. Because, evidently, many things are magic... and all you have to do is add the word "magic" to the name of the item for it to, indeed, become magic! Like Magic Crush Shirts, Magic Slinky Tops, Magic Slinky Pants, Magic Shawls, and even a *gasp* Magic SNAKE... which could actually be kind of neat. But the pictures of their models that look like the heads were cut-and-pasted onto the bodies are not neat... which is the "really entertained" part... if you're really entertained by that kind of thing... and by the usage of the word "neat.")

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 at The White House

There's no better way to spend the day than with friends and family we're thankful for.
From our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.
~The White House

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So many of us are walking around living our lives in an "Am I called?" state of mind.
We wonder if there is any specific purpose for us. We're confused about what we're supposed to be doing in life.
Our vision seems hazy, and in that there is no real vision.
Not for future.
Not for now.
Not for what we've been through in our past.
We feel like we're floundering in a way, kind of on this mediocre roller coaster ride... waiting for things to speed up and get exciting... hoping that they will... but with this thought somewhere in us that the exciting ride "must not be meant for me."
So we meander through life, watching other people on the thrill ride, wishing that was us... but settling for a mundane everyday that is often brought low through frustrating emotions and unexpected (yet anticipated) dips.

But what if we lived our lives in a different state of mind?
What if we clothed ourselves in truth? Outfitted our minds with the gear that says "And we know that in all things God works for the good for those who love Him, who have been called according to to His purpose." Romans 8:28


We should not live our lives in an Am-I-Called state of mind, but instead in an I-Am-Called state of mind.


...according to His purposes if you love Him.
Did you hear that?
He has a purpose... for you!!!
Not a vague, wandering, hazy kind of purpose, but a driven, you were created for this, point-blank purpose.
He placed specific strengths and talents and gifts and skills in you to accomplish the purpose you were created for.

There is a thrill ride, an extravagant roller coaster, with crazy heights and insane loops and, yes, even some scary drops... that we can ride with confidence and joy knowing our God is with us on the entire thing... and that we are right smack in the middle of His plan for our life.
Not a boring, mundane everyday plan, but a thrill of an adventure!!!

Choose to walk out your everyday knowing that YOU ARE CALLED and just watch at how your perspective starts to change, how your experiences will begin to morph.

It's not, "Am I called to go talk to that woman who seems to be hurting over there?"
It's, "I am called to go talk to that woman who seems to be hurting over there! So I'll go."

It's not, "Am I called to step in and help that organization that's been on my heart?"
It's, "I am called to take care of the widows and orphans. So I will."

It's not "Am I called to do _______? I've always been drawn to it, but I'm not sure."
It's "I am called to do _______. I'm drawn to it because my Creator created me with the exact set of strengths and skills that will meet that need and fulfill that vision."


Live your everyday knowing that YOU ARE CALLED, whether you feel like it or sometimes not.
YOU ARE CALLED, according to His purposes.
YOU ARE CALLED to make a difference and be light to the world and embrace what He has put in you.

Now go and walk it out.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Outfit Post

I wore this last week.
I was feeling very Thanksgiving-y, and to me these are very Thanksgiving-y colors. *wink*

pulling it all together...
Shirt: Goodwill. (Vintage, maybe?)
Vest: Forever 21
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind, a Mother's Day gift quite a few years back.
Boots: Thrifted
Accessories: I think I'm wearing cheap-y gold hoops & Grams' little gold ring, but you can't see them.
Hair: Day three of curls.

I was going to wear it without the vest originally, but it was a tad chilly so I decided to throw on the extra layer.

I love my hair like this!!!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Florida & Friend(s) & Blessing

A couple of weeks ago I flew to Florida to speak at a women's event...
which just so happened to be at my very wonderful friend's church. *wink*

So, we got to play!!!

Thursday we went to a super fun restaurant and got to eat right on the water!
The food was yummy... and the seagulls thought so, too.

Christian and I were afraid.

Okay, fine. Maybe we were just silly.

But there was lots of laughing, and crazy Tammy decided to see if a seagull would take a fry out of her hand.

Tammy passing on her soda addiction to her boys.
(I kid! I kid!)

Friday morning after having breakfast with an awesome new friend, we went and walked the Navarre Pier. So beautiful it was!

Look! You can see the fish in the water!!!

After I took that video we walked down to the end, looked over the edge and saw so many jellyfish dotting the surface of the water!
Then we saw some dark shapes carousing just under the surface and realized they were stingrays!
They almost came to the very top, but stayed just beneath.
THEN... then, then, THEN someone must have thrown a fish back into the water because there was this big commotion below.
There were lots of brown fish with black spots that looked like baby Tiger Sharks, but I think they were sucker fish.
THEN we saw it. A much larger shape came up and started thrashing around in the middle of them and we realized it was a shark!!! Gray on the top, white on the bottom. The rounded large head and the pointy fins. SO cool!
Then when the stinky fisherman heard us talking about it they said, "No, there wasn't a shark. Those are just sucker fish. Sharks do come by here, and if you stay long enough you'll see one. But that wasn't a shark."
Well, phooey on them. They didn't see what we saw and it was too a shark.

Friday evening was Soup for the Soul (Southern Style).
photo by: the incredible Jamie Anderson

I ate wonderful soup.
I met wonderful new friends.
photo by: the amazing Jamie Anderson

And I had the incredible honor of sharing my heart with these women!
(Hey! Look! I'm talking with my hands! What a surprise.)
photo by: the awesome Jamie Anderson

It was wonderful, wonderful.
And it always amazes me how I go somewhere to pour out... and I'm the one who gets poured into.
God is so cool like that.

Saturday both the boys had soccer games.
Caden sat on my lap while we cheered for Christian.
Well, some of the time. The rest of the time he was running around with a cape around his neck

Silly faces are required.

That afternoon some of Tammy's incredible friends took the boys so we could go to the beach by ourselves.
And if you know Tammy and she's ever told you about her beach...
here it is:

I had to take some video, because it was so amazing!
(Beware, it may make you dizzy.)
But, can you see all the shells? Washing up in the waves? It was just unbelievable!
This was the same beach where God helped me find all those amazing shells before, when we were visiting Nate and he had to leave to drive back to Tampa.

My loot:

One of my favorites:

And then suddenly it was Sunday evening and I had to get on the airplane and come home.
We were sad about having to part, me and my amazing friend.

But so happy to know that God's plan is for us to live this life together... changing the world together... even if it's from different parts of the country.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010


It's not that it was some big deal, it just made me stop and think.
It took me to that place where I realized how fast life moves forward,
and we think the present will last forever... but suddenly today is yesterday.
It was just one of those small events that grabs you, shakes you, and wakes you up to the reality of now.

Because I came in the kitchen the other day, and found the Blues Clues bowl broken.
Someone had dropped it on the floor, nothing dramatic. No tears. No one was in trouble.
But, it affected this mother's heart in a different way.
It wasn't just a broken bowl, it was the reality that we no longer have toddlers in this family.
That we don't need to replace it with another plastic bowl with tv show characters on it...
and that Blues Clues has long since passed in this household.
Memories of all the years pouring milk and cereal... mac-n-cheese... spaghetti... dry cheerios.
Everyone's pretty self-sufficient now, which seemed to happen without me fully noticing.

There's a part of me that will miss the Blues Clues bowl.
It was from back in the Steve days. 
(Only some of you will get that.)
And just like he moved on, so do children.
They become bigger children, and then pre-teens, and then teenagers.
To them it was just another broken bowl...

...to me it was the end of a season in my life.

(But the Veggie Tales plates/cups/bowl are still going strong.)

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Saturday, November 20, 2010


This morning Nate and Taylor got up way too early for a Saturday morning and headed to the Junior High City Wrestling Championships.

And, let me tell ya, I'm one. proud. mama.
Because my oldest boy wrestled his way through the bracket, and then BEAT the ONLY guy that has 
beat him all season... to win it!!!

Oh, my goodness. It was insane.
Seeing your child go all out, one-on-one, with someone else's child.
The grit. The sweat. The determination.
To the death. Okay, maybe not quite that far, but still...

So, only a few of my readers will even be interested in these, but I video'd the matches.
(Ummm... you probably want to mute the sound. I got really loud. Not meaning to. It just happens when he's wrestling. It's pretty hard to control, fyi. Which is why sometimes the camera gets shaky, too.)

Match 1:

Match 2 (where it lasted about 12 seconds):

Match 3 (where you can see an epic body slam, and the other coach trying to argue it after the match):

The Championship Match (crazy tough... and I get a little loud):

My boy on the top of the stand for the 150lb. weight class:

Taylor with one of his coaches... and what a handsome coach he is! *wink*:

Proud mama alert! Proud mama alert!

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Friday, November 19, 2010


I am SO excited because there is something I have been doing for over a decade that has changed my life.
Changed. My. Life.
I can hands-down honestly tell you that I would not be the confident, faith-filled woman I am today without the foundation this has been over the last ten years.
(Okay, mostly confident and usually faith-filled.
We all have our moments. *wink*)

And, guess what????
YOU can come experience it WITH ME!!!!!!
(Do you see why I'm so excited?)

Women of Faith is coming to Denver in 2011 (Like they do every year.) on September 30th and October 1st and I've signed up to bring a group!
I desperately want to get a group of my girls together to come and be a part of this thing that has impacted my life.
We'll laugh.
We'll cry.
We'll even go shopping on the 16th Street Mall Friday evening during our break.
(And I'll probably try to convince you to buy something you're not sure of, but I know it will look great on you.)

It's been quite a few years since I've led a large group to the conference,
but this year as I sat in the arena, I knew, knew, KNEW I was supposed to for 2011.
It was like God whispered in my ear, "You see what this has done for you? You have to share it. You have to show other women."

The event is all day Friday and all day Saturday,
with lunch provided both days and a fun dinner break Friday evening. (Wherein comes the shopping. Hee-hee.)
The theme for our 2011 event is Over the Top, and you know I'm passionate about living a full life that is WAY over the top!!!
The speakers are amazing, and have truly been mentors-from-a-distance for me over the last decade.
Patsy, Sheila, Luci, Marilyn, Mary.
(Like, they're my girls. I have their back, you know?)
And, this year Amy Grant is going to be there! (Remember? She's one of my "people." I die.)
The worship team is beyond what I can describe here...

...and they wear really great shoes.
Which, yes, I had to take a picture of. (You know me. This should not surprise you.)

And the cost for all of it is only $89.

I so want you to sign up to come with me!
But if you don't live 'round these here parts, you've got to attend in the city nearest you... because it will change you.
As I said, I'm a group leader this year and I only have so many tickets! So, go to my group's page, Stilettos and Grace (What did you think I'd name it?) and sign up to come with me.
The great thing is you can pay online.
AND, if paying all at once just isn't feasible, you can pay a little at a time!
(I know. Awesome, right?)

Moms with daughters, why not bring them with you?
It could even be a Christmas gift. I'm telling you, it will be so worth it.

In the words of my awesome friend Kristen, who came this year for the first time with me, "If I would have known it was like this I would have come a long time ago!"
(Here we are at the 2010 Denver conference.)

Last year I went with another awesome-awesome friend, Karen, to the 2009 Denver conference.
(My eyes are puffy from crying. You're ignoring that. *Jedi mind trick*)

And the worship team was cute and great then, too... still with their footwear that should seriously be in my closet.

And Nicole C. Mullen was there. Like, right there with her incredible dance team of teens she mentors.
(So was Steven Curtis Chapman. Wow. Can't even describe it.)

And here is my dear, dear Mary Graham. She's the President of Women of Faith and freaking ROCKS!!!
(Did you hear that, Mary? I used the words "freaking" and "rock" to describe you. Oh, yes I did.)

And the year before THAT, I crashed the 2008 Anaheim conference with some of my all-time favorite lay-days.
You can read my post on that here.
(Lalena, me, Amber, & Tammy)

Me with the marvelous Mary again.
(Because she seriously is one of the most inspiring women. Ever.)

And, look who Amber and I snagged!
(I love you, Patsy!!!)

And before that it was Anaheim 2007, where God reached down and touched me in the deepest of ways, gave me the most personal of gifts, and I got to meet for the first time two life-long friends that were already that before we met.
And before that was Anaheim 2006, where I was thrilled to have my amazing sister come with.
And then it was Denver 2005, where I took a group of 20 or so fun girls.
And then it was Denver 2004, where I convinced a few precious friends to join me. (Hi, Julie! Hi, Vonnie!)
And then it was Billings 2003, where I cried my eyes out to Babbie Mason's "Standing in the Gap" as I hugged my group of 50 or so women knowing I wouldn't be with them the next year because we were moving.
And then it was Spokane 2002, with a group of beloved girls from church.
And then it was Billings 2001, where it was my first year as a group leader.
And then it was Spokane 2000, my first Women of Faith conference, where I sobbed uncontrollably when I met Point of Grace and again in the car ride home because I was pregnant with Brit and those hormones just do the most crazy things and as such gave my friend Cindy Litzinger joke fodder for years to come.

Okay, okay.
I'll stop.
But the whole point is, you really should come with me if you at all possibly can.
God has met me time and time again at these events. I am fully convinced that He plans such sweet moments and divine appointments for me at the conference every single year.
I come anticipating something wonderful, and I leave blown away that He has once again filled me with exactly what I needed for such a time as that.
So, go to my group page and sign up as soon as you can.
Come with me.
Let your life be changed alongside mine.

And, I'd just like to publicly say a huge thank you to Caroline Livergood, who convinced me to come to that first conference back in 2000.
God knew I needed this desperately in my life as a solid foundation through so many military moves and life changes...
as my home when I felt like I had none.
I've never been the same woman, and it's because of what you started when you invited me.
Thank you.

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Fashion Tip Friday: Visual Texture

I think too many people are afraid of texture.
We all say we love it, but we're unsure of how to use it, how to mix it.
Stacy & Clinton talk about it, and fashion mags seem to mention it a lot.
But what does it mean and what in the heck are we supposed to do with it?

I am a HUGE fan of texture when it comes to fashion and interior decorating. BUT... but, but, BUT I'm not just talking texture that you can feel with your fingertips.
Because that's what we think of, right? A soft cotton mixed with denim mixed with a nubby tweed?
I'm also talking about visual texture. Fabrics and designs that play with your eyes and kick the Outfit Interest Factor up a few notches.

For example:

I wore this the other day.
Now, if it was just a plain tee with a knit cardi, the outfit still would have been a fine one.
But, the huge face on the tee really mixes things up, and adding a lace cardi and a bright scarf is what brings in the visual texture!
Do you see?

There's a depth to it that wouldn't exist otherwise.
You totally know what I'm talking about, you just may have never thought of it like this before.
It's what can separate an okay outfit from a wow-I-actually-really-like-that-outfit.
(It's also the trick rock stars use on stage. Think Steven Tyler's leather pants, patterned shirt and the scarves on the mic stand.)

Here's another detail I love about this: the back is cool, too.
Because my hair is shorter (which we'll discuss in a minute) you can really see the design of the shirt through the lace and it simply adds something extra.
(Stacy & Clinton always say that it's every bit as important to check the back of your outfit as well as the front. We forget this... which is how we wind up walking out the door with our slips showing and a dryer sheet clinging to the back of our shirt.)

But, remember when you're going for visual texture, you don't want to mix too many different shades. The made tones here are a bit understated: gray jeans, a gray tee, and a taupe cardi.
Those are pretty darn neutral and boring on their own, but they tie together and give a foundation so the visual texture isn't too overwhelming.
The graphic print. The lace.
It wouldn't work if I was wearing all brights. Instead, the scarf is the pop of color, along with the girl's red hair on the tee.

pulling it all together...
Tee: Acquired by my friend at Goodwill (when I was with her). Coveted for over a year. Given to me last week. (Eeeee!!! Thanks, Tammy!)
Lace cardi: JUST got this at Target on super-sale. Love, love, LOVE!!!
Denim: H&M... the ones I wear constantly.
Scarf: From an awesome friend's (Hi, Trevor!) time in Italy. (Pink AND silk. I die.)
Boots: Thrifted
Shades: Wal-mart aviators. Five bucks. Can't go wrong.
Earrings you can't see: Huge rhinestone drops from a boutique in Oregon.
Hair pin: Sak Saum
White gold ring: Grams' diamonds, my design.
Pink Lipstick: Stiletto from Victoria's Secret. That makes me giggle.

Now, for the hair...
I did the whole rollers thing again. Because I wanted to. And because I could.
It's so much fun to mix things up from time to time!
But, the thing with the curly hair is that it just adds another texture!
Now, if I was going for a minimalist look, I could have used this same theory and made everything similar textures in monochromatic shades and sleeked my hair straight.
See how your hair can be an accessory?
(Actually, it always is, whether you think of it that way or not. Which is why it's so important to keep that updated and in a style you like. It makes a difference in the way you feel, whether you'll admit it or not.)
I wanted the whole curly thing, but in more of a bob. So where some of my longest layers hung down in the back, I just rolled them up and pinned them under the mass of curls, making it look like a shoulder-length 'do. So fun!!! Some strands hung down, and that just added a bit of a messy feel I was fine with.

A funny thing with the hair. So many women have said, "Oh, I love it! But, I could never do that."
Well, why in the heck not?
You've told me because your hair wouldn't take it. (Not likely.)
Or because you're just not adventurous like that. (But you want to be, so start!)
Or because it wouldn't work with your personality or your day. (Why not?)
I'm just hearing so many I-would-love-to-but's.
Girls!!! We only have one life! Why not step out and try what you've been wanting to try???
Cut those bangs.
Dye your hair.
Get the really funky layers.
Go curly for a day.
If you don't like it, well, it will grow out... or wash out... and you can wear hats and hairbands in the meantime.
But, wouldn't you rather take the risk than wonder your whole life what something would have looked like? 
If you would have loved it?

If you like this, go to Sally's, buy some small foam rollers (With the satin wrap. Trust me.), shower tonight, put a curl enhancer cream in your locks, wrap them tightly around the rollers (Use all the rollers!), make sure it's dry in the morning and if not give it a few blasts with the dryer, let it cool, take them out, fluff as desired with your finger tips.
If the front part poufs up and bothers you, then just pin it to the side like I did here.
Curly hair tutorial here.
Bobbed hair tutorial here.

We're all so afraid of stepping out and trying new things.
Because someone will say I can't or I shouldn't be or it's not me or...
But once you step out, you'll love the feeling of freedom that comes from it.
And you'll do it again.
And again.
And again.
And then it won't be so much stepping out anymore as it is normal life for you.
And then you'll hear someone saying, "Gee, I love that, but I could never..."

And that's when you turn to them and say, "Well, why not? Come on, sister, let's try it!"
And that's how the world changes.

Okay, that was a rabbit trail from outfits with visual texture, but I think it was a needed one.
"I have come that you might have life, and life to the full."
John 10:10
Don't box God in. And don't box yourself in when you're walking with Him.
It's about freedom and confidence in who He's created you to be and what He put in your heart to love.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Still Counts

I realize that yesterday I slid my blog post in just under the wire.
And today is even more so.
But, barely on time is still on time. *wink*

The thing is, I love people. 
And today my day was full of that.
Incredible small group this morning.
(Love you girls!!!)
An hour with my hubby between when he woke up from sleeping off last night's shift and headed out the door to coach wrestling.
Met an amazing friend at Starbucks.
(Buy one holiday drink get one free from 2-5pm through Saturday!)
Ran something by another super-cool friend's place.
(Because it was her birthday, and these things need to be celebrated.)
Picked up Brit and ran down to her physical therapy appointment.
Raced back to try to catch Taylor's wrestling match.
(Barely missed it.)
Raced home to have five minutes with Nate before he left for work.
Busted it to choir.
Hung with my choir peeps 'til late, and then remembered I had a pie to make for Brit's Thanksgiving Pie Tasting thing tomorrow at school.
I'm typing this out as it's in the oven.

I so love my life.
Some days are faster paced than others.
(Like today.)
And I feel so blessed that I get to do what I love, which is to spend my days with people.
Because I love people,
which means sometimes my blog posts will slide in just under the wire...
which is still on time...

And because posts are better with pics, here's one to let you know that there may be a rule in our house about not decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving... but no one ever said that rule applied to your own person!
Christmas attire: appropriate all year long.

(I'm really tired right now. Like, really REALLY tired. And happy.)

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Better than...

Amy Grant is one of my "people."

You know, those people that have influenced your life so greatly even though you've never met them or had a personal relationship with them?
The select few that you'd give nearly anything just so you could chat with them over a cup of coffee?
She's on my list.
(Which I mentioned here.)

Recently she's come back onto the music scene with one of the most powerful songs I've ever heard.
Truth. In melody.
Because life is life.

The first time I heard this I was driving in Florida last spring with Nate.
We were in his rental car and it debuted on the radio.
As we pulled through a drive-thru I just sat silently and wept, unable to speak.
(Rare, I know.)
I'm convinced her words slightly altered the shape of my heart forever.
(I'm not being dramatic. Listen and you'll know.)

So, when they announced at Women of Faith that Amy Grant will be at next year's conference, a gasp escaped my mouth. 
And I again began to cry.
Not because I'm star-struck.
Not even because of her musical gift.
But because she is a woman who has lived it... walked it... and chosen to stay standing.
Chosen to tell the story.
Chosen to be real, so the rest of us can find the courage to do the same thing.
Like I said, she's one of my "people."

Please take a few moments and listen.
The story the video tells is powerful, but the words are even more so.
Let them penetrate your heart... and maybe even slightly alter the shape of it forever.

(If you would like to come to Women of Faith this year with me and hear Amy and a few other women on my "list," I'll be posting details in the next few days of how you can do exactly that.)
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