Monday, January 30, 2012

Random Outfit Post




Wore this last Thursday.
Trying to be better about taking outfit shots... and actually posting them.
But, you've heard this before. *smile*






pulling it all together...
polka dot dressy/tunic-y/top: H&M sale, got on our Vegas trip last June
gray skinnies: H&M sqin, quite old, newly patched (Thanks, Carolee!!!)
gray cardi: I Love Ronson, via Goodwill
belt: asos boyfriend belt (I need to punch another hole in it. Felt like it was slipping down all day.) Loved it on Love, Maegan. Snatched it up when she alerted us it was on sale.
boots: vintage, say they're from Greece, found at XS Threadz (Local resale shop with good finds if you're willing to hunt... which I am.)
pink lace-topped socks: Claire's, 10 for $10 sale, also have in gray
pearl earrings: Nate's grandmothers, wore in my wedding
gold ring: Grams'
leather bracelets: same I always wear
hair: washed and air-dryed the night before, clipped back because I didn't want to bother
necklace: gifted from Lisa Leonard Designs (and God... seriously... if you've heard the story, then you know), their Captured Heart necklace... love, love, LOVE this. If you live by me, you see it around my neck all the time. The ones you'll see online don't have anything inside the heart (they actually have double hearts). But I had wanted all four kids' names AND the hubby's on it. My friend Kelly suggested I put Nate inside the heart. When I emailed LLD to ask, they thought it was a great idea and did it for me!
Here's a closeup...




People often ask, "How do you pull an outfit together? I wouldn't even know where to start."
With this, I hadn't worn my polka dot top in a long time and I wanted to put it with the navy boots. After starting with that, I just pulled other things around it. The top looks a bit billowy over jeans, hence the belt. (Remember this trick? Man, I guess I do wear that cardi a ton. Thanks, Tammy! You're the one that convinced me to get it.)

The lace on the socks is supposed to stand up, but it always falls down. So I wind up not wanting to fight it all day and just start with it down. This way it looks more like a boot topper... or a garter... which hadn't occurred to me til someone pointed it out.  =^)
My friend Suzanne suggested I starch the lace to keep it standing up.
Brilliant.
I'll try that next time, because I think I'd like that look a lot better for this. Seriously, I was in a hurry here and didn't even have time to bother.




I remembered I wanted to show you the awesome scarf our friend Jake brought me from Qatar! He came back from deployment the night before I wore this outfit, so I ran and got it to take a couple more shots.
It's pashmina and feels heav-en-ly, I tell you.
(Plus, I love the purple with the pink. Of course.)
Thanks, Jake!!!




I think I may title that last photo "Desperately Seeking Lipgloss."


Realizing I mentioned a lot of friends in this post. Sure am thankful to be surrounded with amazing ones.


And, as I was walking in from my little photo shoot, I caught my reflection in the window. It looked kind of ghost-y. Ooooooooo... okay. Well, maybe not so much in the photo. But it did in person with the light how it was.
(You can even see Jordan sitting inside working on his homework.)




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Friday, January 27, 2012

On Mentoring




(January is National Mentoring Month.)
Nearly a year ago I had the privilege of listening to a casual exchange between Mary Graham, Michael Hyatt and Luci Swindoll on the subject of mentoring.
The set up was great, because it was really just a conversation directed by questions from Mary.
(And it was hilarious, because anything involving Luci can never be too rigid or serious.)


Michael talked about the importance of mentoring, the intentionality behind it and the investment that both the mentors and mentorees put into it. He has a group of men he mentors every year. They read through books, meet regularly as a group and are expected to really invest in that time.
It is extremely intentional mentoring, with men applying to be in the group and him accepting them.
He spoke of how some have sought him out and asked to be mentored, but there was no connection and they didn't put forth the energy or investment to actually get anything from the mentoring relationship.


Luci talked of how she had no idea why she was even in on this discussion... but then proceeded with thoughts on imparting wisdom that concreted the "why."
She said she never set out to intentionally enter into a relationship in which she was mentoring a younger woman.
It just happened.
In fact, when someone thanked her recently for being a mentor, Luci had responded in a, "What? Huh?" kind of way.
Like Michael, Luci has also had women seek her out and ask if she would mentor them. She spoke of how she did meet once with one woman, but there was no connection... it didn't flow naturally. So, she didn't meet with her again. But, there were some young girls working at Women of Faith that would just happen by her office to chat... or they would come over in the evenings to hang out. This relationship produced great conversation, where Luci would share her heart and thoughts on life, and the girls would listen, ask questions, and glean.
So, when one of these girls referred to Luci as her mentor, Luci was kind of shocked, but thought, "Well, I guess I am!"


My point in bringing up both of these approaches is that neither are wrong and both are right. 


I am becoming more and more aware of the three levels of friendship we need to have in our lives.

1. We need to be hanging out with and pouring into those around ten years or more younger, listening to them, encouraging them and sharing what we've learned.

2. We need to have friends around our same age and place in our walk that we can hang with and just talk about the journey with.

3. We need to have those who are around ten years older and up that can pour into us; listening to struggles, praying with us and imparting what they've learned along the way.


But what I'm also aware of is God will bring about these relationships based on our personalities and how we best function.
For some, it's going to be very orderly and scheduled, like Michael. God laid it on his heart to start this group, and so he did. It's proven to be very successful, and the relationships coming out of it are lifelong. He has also intentionally sought out men he respects whom he wants to learn from.
For others, it's more directed by who we're around often, who we mesh with and how things naturally flow, like Luci.
In both cases, Michael and Luci are taking the wisdom they have gained and the knowledge God has entrusted to them and passing it along. They are being intentional in the time they spend, but both in different ways.


This is far from a new concept. In Titus we see that older women should encourage younger women in their walk with Christ. We see Jesus pouring into his disciples all through the Gospels. Paul pours into Timothy and raises him up as a leader of the early church, through both time together and letters. (Hanging out and email?) These relationships were both intentional and natural.
Just like Michael intentionally started a mentoring group, and brings in men he knows will invest and click.
Just like Luci found younger women hanging around, wanting to hear what she has to say and just share life, so when they show up at her door she takes time to do just that... share her life.


I have some young girls that come over and hang out. It hasn't been something I've pointedly said, "Girls, we are going to hang out at this time and discuss these subjects." But, it's just happened as I've opened up my house and God has arranged our schedules.
Sometimes there's six of us gathered in the kitchen.
Other times one will text, "Are you home?" and be at the door within three minutes.
The other day I was chatting with one of them and she said something about, "I'm so glad you're my mentor." I kind of paused and thought, "Hmmm... well. I guess maybe I am."


I've had a younger friend ask if I would have an intentional relationship with her, where she was inviting me to speak into her life as we met every few weeks. I was honored, and we've been doing that ever since.
But, on the flip side, there was another friend who asked the same thing, and after one time of getting together I knew we weren't clicking and intentional investment from me was not going to be fruitful for her for that season.
We haven't met again in that capacity.



Mentoring, being mentored and friendships change with life's seasons.
Being a military wife has meant moving from place to place. Some seasons I've had a woman (or a few women) I can meet with, have coffee with, who will pour into me, encourage me, allow me to glean from them.
There are also seasons where I haven't had someone in the flesh, right there. This is when it's been helpful to have "mentors from afar." Women of Faith has been that for me, so have books, blogs and other resources from amazing women like Holly Wagner and Christine Caine
I think often we almost have a pity party that we don't have anyone pouring into us, when we need to take some initiative and start pouring into ourselves! And then when we have a season where a mentor/friend is there, we need to cherish it and glean all we can. (But that doesn't mean we stop pouring into ourselves with great resources!)


The whole point is, ask God to bring people into your life who will pour into you. Pray about it and follow where He leads. Sometimes you'll be the one showing up at someone's door, seeing if they have time to chat. Other times you'll be the one with people showing up at your door.
And some seasons God will lead you to set a time and place and be intentional about who is there investing and being invested in.
You will find great resources, because God is so faithful to lead you to what you need most.
But remember that, while intentionality is good, we should never force a relationship somewhere it's not intended to go. You can't invest in someone who doesn't want to be invested in. You can try, but it's fruitless. It's always best to follow where God is leading and invest (and be invested) in that.


God's desire is for us to share life. With each other... with Him... through all the seasons.








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Monday, January 23, 2012

Random Outfit Post... or, What I Wore To A Funeral




In early December an odd day happened along where I attended a Memorial Service for a loved friend that morning and then drove from there to a funeral I had been asked to sing at.
I say odd because, well, that just doesn't happen.
I sat and listened to two services for people who had loved Jesus and shown that in their lives. They were more celebrations of God's goodness amidst tears of mourning the loss of this world. 
There's nothing like someone else's funeral to hold up a mirror to your own life.
And what made it more of a revelational day was that we had our first Wonderland performance that night.
The irony was not lost on me, and I think I had a more profound sense of enjoying life's moments the rest of that weekend.


One of the questions with these kinds of things is what to wear. Gone are the days of all black, but we also want to be respectful of the grief that is present.
Especially with standing in front of everyone (I sang the hymn "In The Garden"), I wanted to make sure my attire was appropriate for the occasion, but still something I was comfortable in and... well... me.








Man, I really look somber in these shots. I truly did have a lot on my mind and heart.

pulling it all together...
dress: Max Studio, bought at TJ Maxx years ago. Have almost gotten rid of it a few times because I don't wear it that often, but it's a really great staple to have for occasions such as this.
gray tights: Calvin Klein, from Costco. These are SO nice.
boots: B Makowsy, from the Opryland Hotel. Been wearing a ton lately.
gray socks: Target. $1 sock section... which I think they raised to a $2 sock section.
scarf: Street vendor in NYC.
jacket: Can't remember brand. A friend has it right now. But it's wool/cashmere blend and was free at XS Threadz. Found it online for around $240 at Nordstrom. Heh-heh-heh.
pearls that you can't see very well: Cheap bracelets, Grams' necklace and Nate's Grandmother's earrings (that I wore in our wedding).
hair: Wave was still there from Wonderland dress rehearsal the night before, so I just let it fall where it wanted.


Normally, people would go with black tights and a regular heel. I chose the boot because it was a bit more unexpected, but still completely appropriate. The gray mixed up the textures/dimension a bit, and adding the sock was just more of that reasoning. Which, I actually think the sock looked better in person. Doesn't translate as well in the photos.


What to wear to a funeral?
This worked. Well.


And, even though I was pretty sober with thought, I'm never too sober...







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Saturday, January 21, 2012

UPDATE: LIFE




So, I realize I haven't posted much in the last couple of months. What a wonderful whirlwind it's been with holidays and family and friends and events and...
Here's a pictorial update on a few things I've intended to blog on, and then time swept forward.
(If you follow me on twitter, some of these are repeats.)
(And, yes. This post title is totally a take-off on Desperation Band's new independent release, UPDATE: LIVE. Awesome raw worship, people! Download it and just let it play. It will change your atmosphere. That is a promise!)


Mom and Dad came for Thanksgiving. So, Mom and I hit the new H&M in Denver. Because, of course we would!




Wait. This one's more like us...




Rosie had a friend, Molly, over for Thanksgiving week.





Wait, again... this one's more like us...
(Ian had to sneak into the pic. Shocker.)




We got to meet Wally and Katie Rose from the Wally Show! They came to our amazing friends' Chick-fil-A to meet and greet.
What was so cool about this is the kids got to see authenticity defined. So often when you meet public personalities they're distant or come off with a better-than-you air.
Wally and Katie Rose were so down to earth and normal, just like you were chatting with a friend you ran into. Jordan and Brit came away beaming, and I could tell it was one of those my-kids-have-been-impacted-for-the-better moments.
(This is also a post I've been meaning to do. A person's character is often revealed not in how they treat adults, but how they treat kids. These guys were AWEsome! The White House is a fan for life!)




We really, really love Chick-fil-A.




Then came the decorating of the house and the White House time-honored tradition of The Hanging of the Husky Ornament.




There was snow. And I was happy.
(Here's the Random Outfit Post this was taken from.)




Our church brought back Wonderland this year, and it was SUCH an honor to be a part!!! I got to play an unconfident nerd turned God-confident girl, dance around and change outfits mid-song and sing O Holy Night during the nativity scene. I was a bit emotional during that last part.

In fact, I still am.


Fun practices...




Incredible drums...




Rachael's hair curled and piled high, so she could show me how to be "Popular"...
(If you didn't see it, you may not get that. *wink* )




Fun times to share with my family...




And Pastor Brady and I were very excited about it all...




Brit had her Level 5 State Gymnastics meet, where she got 3rd on bars and 5th on beam.
Her team, tebowing...




Our amazing roomie, Hanna, came with us and celebrated the victory!




Since it was in Boulder, we visited the Celestial Seasonings tea factory afterward. I've always wanted to go on the tour (because they're my FAV) and never did when we lived in Denver. I grew up sipping Sleepy Time Tea that Mom would make. Dad would build a fire and Mom would bring us tea with real tea cups on a tray. It was always so special.

We rocked those hair nets, I'm tellin' ya!




Throughout the Christmas season, the manger was repeatedly ransacked by Bionicles.
Mary and Joseph couldn't stand their ground, but baby Jesus was fine.




After Wonderland and Christmas parties were over, Kim, Denise and I decided to escape the fast pace with a few days in the mountains.
There was much sleeping, laying around in jammies, and zoning out on iPads...






Kim trying to embrace nature.




Excited to be away from it all, if only for a few days...




Girls. Snow. Boots. Fashionable. (But not snowboots.)




I was SO excited to get to attend my FIRST professional football game, courtesy of our friend, Elizabeth!
What a fun, fun, fun experience. They lost, but it was still a.w.e.s.o.m.e. I may have to admit that I'm now hooked. So, if anyone has any Broncos tickets they would like to give me...




(Yes, I got a picture of Tebow, but it was so blurry it wasn't even worth posting.)



Nate's parents and brother and sis-in-law came for Christmas, with London and brand new baby Quinn in tow.
Brit was quite smitten.




With a big snow came the discovery of a great sledding hill.









Christine and London got in on the action.




Watch out for snowballs coming your way...





Christmas Eve services with the whole family.




The girls posing while we're waiting for Nate to pull the car up...



But, ALAS! (again) These are more fun...







Rosie getting into the Christmas spirit...
hee-hee-hee.




The children were nestled all snug in their beds...




Christmas morning, waiting for the signal!




After opening stockings, Nate and I went to spend some time with our New Life fam for Christmas Sunday service.
What a special way to celebrate the birth of our Savior! 
Capturing the moment with Amanda and Andrea...



We then went home and opened presents (most pics were crazy and blurry) and stuffed ourselves full and laughed ourselves silly while playing Taboo with our new junior high youth pastors, Brandon & Octavia. So thankful for family and friends!!!



A few days after Christmas, the whole White House decided to do the Incline!
Nate and Taylor showed me the Cave at the top...




Capturing the moment on the way back down Barr Trail...



And because everything in life is better with theme music...



No, really. I mean it.









Team Green Jacket tebowing...




Many games were played over Christmas break...




And just a few days ago I had the awesome opportunity to record vocals for Group Publishing's 2013 VBS curriculum. So much fun!!!
(By the way, if your church uses Group's 2012 VBS curriculum, you'll see me on some of the vidoes! Two on the Babylon music dvd and one on the Sky music dvd. They were a BLAST to film.)




But those are just a few of the fun moments we've been having, are having and are continuing to have! I'll be posting more soon on other White House happenings, as well as CRAZY amazing adventures that God is leading our family on in the very near future.
Adventures YOU can be a part of!


Happy 2012. There is SO much in store this year! I'm expectant.
Are you?



(My favorite time of day, on a clear night, in Colorado.)


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