Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Photographing December List

My Photographing December Project starts tomorrow.
^Here's the list if you want to join. Of course, feel free to change up the days, use your own picture ideas, and skip :) This is mine, but you can customize it to your life. Have fun and make sure to email me your blog URL so I can see your pictures too! My email address is 

Happy Photographing! 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photographing December Project

As the new girl to the world of amateur photography I read on multiple sites that the more you play around with pictures and settings and lighting and subjects, the faster you'll get better. Now, let's get this straight, I'm not aiming to be a photographer. Just a girl who wants to take her own blog pictures.

With that,  I am starting this photo project for the month of December. 
I've made a list with a specific shot to take for each day and I'll post it here. Also, I'll post the list on November 30 for any of you who want to join me. All I ask is that you credit your project back here. 

It's gonna be fun! 

Happy Tuesday! Eat some tacos. 


Monday, November 28, 2011

The Dream that is Santa Monica

A couple weeks ago I went to Santa Monica and fell in love. 
I've never been an LA city girl. Always more a country-ish, suburbia girl. I wear cowboy boots and leggings and my hair is rarely done up. Pony tails and bobby pins are my BFF's. They hold me together in the good times and bad. 

But my love for home is more than just apparel and hairstyles. I've never really seen a need to leave. I have my family here, my husband, my job, my friends, and memories. A lot of memories. I've always been apprehensive when casual conversations bring up the topic of moving away or relocating. "Me? Nah, I love it here." And I do. But something in my heart is changing. 

On that trip, I feel like my eyes were opened to a whole new world [insert Aladdin song here] of people that I wanted to get to know. People that loved Jesus and people that had no idea who He is. People who loved life and people who had given up hope. I wanted to talk to them, have coffee with them, and buy some of them socks to keep their feet warm. 

I don't really know what all these means, but I'll keep digging. 
Something has been unlocked, but it's still too soon to see what the treasure is. 
A dream has been born, but I'm not exactly sure what that dream is. But I know it has something to do with Santa Monica. So I'll keep praying and dreaming and waiting. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Every Morning

Sometimes I forget that God is actively pursuing me. 

I forget that His love for me is so overwhelming when I stop and think of who He has made me to be in His eyes. I forget that there was never a "good enough" benchmark that I had to meet in order to deserve His love. There was no race I had to run to be accepted by Him. I just was. 

Then this morning, He reminded me. While eating my sliced apples and sipping my tea-cup full of coffee, He reminded me that His love, it never ends. It is new, every single morning. 

I knew that was a verse somewhere in Scripture, so I googled it, naturally, and cried over the whole passage. I wanted to share it with you because I know some of you are struggling with this whole God thing. Others of you, like me, have simply forgotten the depth of God's love for you. And then there may be some of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, but you know something is missing from your life. So be blessed dear friends and remember today, God is pursuing your heart. ~

I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.I remember it all-oh, how well I remember-the feeling of hitting the bottom.But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God.It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times.
When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence.Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst.
Why? Because God won't ever walk out and fail to return.If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. [Lamentations 3:19-32]
For those who identify themselves with God, through His Son Jesus Christ, the mercy and grace and love and faithfulness of God are never ending. Never. Ever. Ever. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Links: Don't You Know It's Christmas Time At All

Oh goodness, the moment I finished my plate of dark meat and stuffing I thought to myself, "It's here, it's really here!" Christmas of course. 

Are you ready? 
I have exactly 1 present bought. My little brother's. I would tell you what it is because he's 8 and doesn't even know I have a blog, but my little sister on the other hand...she's 10 and she reads everything in sight. Even this blog :) She's also not the best secret keeper because she gets so excited. Adorable. 

Here are some favorite reads I've seen pop up this week. Bon appetit! 

-Everyone's all about crafting your own decor these days. This Holiday Door Mat D.I.Y. is a genius idea. [A Beautiful Mess]

-Saw this and giggled. A little overboard but intriguing eh? Which of the Beatles would you kiss? [A Cup of  Jo]

-This post makes me wanna move just because. I'm not, but when I do, this baby is bookmarked. She's calling it a slow jam. [How to be a grown-up]

-Probably gonna make these this year for our Christmas cookie exchange, Christmas Heart Cookies. [Canadian House & Home]

-She's an author with no desire to be published. She writes for her. And she's my friend. (On publication) [No.17]

-Cute girly ornaments made with doilies! I LOVE doilies! DIY Doily Lantern [Glamour and Grace]

-Trying to sucker Ty into watching this movie this weekend. White Christmas [IMDB]

Happy weekend. Left over turkey is on our menu.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hello Bloglovin+

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

So excited that JM is now on Basically, it's a place where you can find all your favorite blogs and read them in one central area. Kinda fun.

Try it.

Let's Give Thanks & Eat Turkey

Holidays bring out the best and worst of people at equal levels of strength. What I mean is, we all love the holidays, but they stress us all out. At the exact same time. Not enough time to cook, the house isn't clean enough, I love baking these traditions, White Christmas will never get old, are my center pieces classy enough? Questions, excitement, questions, excitement, etc. 

And even though this has been a season of great sorrow, I know I still have so much to be thankful for. So much!

For example,
-How Ty & I have gotten to see each other through the prettiest and ugliest parts of life, so far. 
-The unloosing hold that God has on my heart. 
-My new brother and sister [Landen and Jessica] being added to the family!
-My nephews and niece [one due in December and one in March].
-My Mom and Dad whose love for me never changes despite the fluctuating visits home.
-My In-Laws for their continued support and love for ridiculously silly games. 
-Pretty much my whole family, on all sides.
-Sarah Wilson and her genius sugar-free e-book that helped me figure out my health issues!
-A home to live in and our adopted family that built it [Thanks Papa Boyd!]. 
-My job, where I get to passionately sing for a living and the team I get to do it with.
-Creativity, without you I'd die.
-Starbucks, also imperative to my existence.
-The team at She Seeks, and specifically Lisa Whittle, for believing in me as a writer.
-Pumpkin pie, Christmas music, and cinnamon.
-New friends.
-And this blog, because it lets me meet you!

So let's make a deal: How about you and I make a more conscious effort to be overwhelmingly thankful this week, and the next, and the next, and the next...
It makes life just that much more celebratory. 

Enjoy your turkey and sweet potato souffle! 
My favorite part is all the left-overs. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Inspiration: Kate Bosworth & Cher Coulter Tell Us Their Techniques

Remember that one post I wrote about being a fake feminist? Well, I am also a fake Jewelry Lover. 
I love the idea of wearing and fawning over jewelry, I love dreaming about how good Carrie Underwood's black frilly earrings would look on me. But I never try it because I'm too scared. I'm too afraid to be anything different that what I am right now. haha. I like my plain ear lobes, and bare arms. I occasionally wear a trinket necklace or my favorite hand-made cuff, but that's about as daring as I get. 

I don't really know my jewelry style. 
BUT, there's this jewelry company. It's called Jewel Mint and it is amazing. They walk you through a whole style questionnaire to try and figure out your style and custom suggest pieces to you! I love EVERYTHING on my style pallet. 

The creators of this company are Kate Bosworth and Cher Coulter. The cutest ladies with crazy good fashion and style. I loved this video they made on how they get their inspiration and ideas. Though they are making jewelry and you might be making clothes or cookies or books or music, the inspiration technique is the same. 

-Think about the timing of your creations. 
-What season is it? Time of the year? Time of your life?
-How can you rework something that is already created? 
-How can you modify something you already own?
-Look at what is trending
-Make an "inspired by..." piece.

Get inspired sweet friends. Make something beautiful today.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Writing Prompt // God Sees Us

Photo Credit
-Describe a moment you felt like God saw you. Like really saw you.
-If you don't have one, describe what you might think that looks like.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Retreat at the Hot Springs

Women's voices during worship is quite possible one of my favorite sounds in the world.
A couple weeks ago I played at a women's retreat here in town. I never know what I'm getting myself into when I agree to do one of these for a church I'd never interacted with before. I was a little nervous going into the weekend because of the unfamiliarity, but these women made me feel more than welcome. 

They knew how to have a good time and they laughed at all my jokes. Always a plus :)

But more than that, they knew how to worship. Their angelic voices outweighed my own and brought me to tears on more than one occasion. They demonstrated what it meant to worship with abandon, leaving everything at the feet of Jesus. 

I was blessed to have met them. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Rumor Weed

Rumors are rarely good. 

And have you noticed when someone tells you they heard a rumor, most of the time it's said in a suspicious, negative way? Like this: "So, I heard a rumoorrrr..." Slowing speech. Crooked eyebrows. Inquisitive facial contortions. It's almost as if they're trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but not really. Then, if you deny that rumor they're all they believe that the information that passed through {4 different peoples} interpretations is way more believable than the information that came from the very lips of the person whom the rumor is about.

I wonder why is it easier for us to ask around rather than ask a direct question. I understand that maybe back in the day immediate information wasn't easy. Cells phones were non-existent and internet speed was dial-up. But now, we can get answers to any question in the entire world in 3.2 seconds. Everything is an email, a phone call, a text or twitter away. Literally.

I know I am guilty of this human plague we call rumors and gossip. And I confess that. There is nothing I want more security in than knowing we are protecting the integrity of friends. I've been on both sides of the mirror and I don't like either side. 

I was reading in Proverbs and came across these verses that totally convicted me in an urgent, transforming way.

Proverbs 16:28: "A perverse man stirs up dissension and a gossip separates close friends."

My heart breaks at the truth of this verse. Gossip separates. Everyone involved. Some people can argue that gossip actually glues relationships because it gives them something to talk about. Something to connect with. But inevitably, you are never immune from being the object of gossip. It separates.

Proverbs 18:7:  Fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. 
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.

This is true for both parties. The gossipee and the gossiper. So I told Ty today, while doing my hair in the bathroom, I wanted him to keep me accountable in my words and stories. I don't want to spread rumors [intentionally or unintentionally]. I don't want to break apart my friendships because of stupid choice words. If I hear something, I want to go straight to the source. No matter the awkward confrontation. 

If you hear something that sounds fishy, stop it right in its tracks. Or ask the person in question...not the person next to you. And I will do the same.

"Do not repeat anything you will not sign your name to."
~Author Unknown


PS. This is a funny childish reminder.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Links

It's Friday, friday, friday...Did you know tomorrow's Saturday? And yesterday was Thursday? [I wonder if I can get sued for using that line.] Anyways, I have a lot of fun links today. Some that are near and dear to my heart and others are aspirations or inspirations. Happy reading ~ 

I wanna do a music video like this with me and Ty. [Stacy King Official]

Who doesn't like seeing adorable [and funny] wedding moments? [A Cup of Jo]

I put on this conference every year for middle school and high school girls. Our  teaches girls to recognize and go after their dreams. [Becoming Girls]

Who doesn't love Instagram? For all you obsessives out there, now you can do MORE with 'em.

Probably definitely gonna do this for my sister when baby Zeek comes. [The Daybook]

A printable of my favorite line in my favorite kids movie. [The Letter 4]

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today I am in Santa Monica

Today I'm on a mini-vacay/work trip to Santa Monica with some friends. Not sure what we're gonna do yet. Kind of a casual trip. Definitely gonna find me some Gelato for my cheat from #sugarfree plan. It should be fun :) 
Then off to visit a prayer group on UCLA campus. What are you doing today?


Sunday, November 6, 2011

3 Things NOT to Do When Mishap Strikes

I have a funny story.

Our church has a rule that any and every drummer that steps foot onto that platform has to play with a drum condo. Basically, it's a giant plexiglass wall and some baffles on top. Not the most sufficient, but definitely efficient. Until last night. 

Last night, after the climax of the bridge in Hosanna, I heard a loud shatter to what I thought was my left. In formal Worship Leader Training Boot Camp we are taught to be non-reactive. I made that up, there is no real Worship Leader Training Boot Camp, but there is this known law that whenever you're on stage and something goes terribly wrong, just don't react. 

So I didn't. As I proceeded to sing the rest of the song, I thought of all the things that could have just happened. My eyes were closed and I kept them that way otherwise I would have frantically looked around to find the glass. Well, what I thought was my co-worship leader's iPad shatter, was actually the drum shield behind me collapsing on the drummer.

Not only did the drum shield just collapse on the drummer, causing a loud cracking sound, it also scraped the guitar player's hand, flew his stand to the ground and broke some buttons on a monitor. 

I realized it was him when he didn't come in on the build of the last chorus and ended the song rather quickly...

All of this is leading up to this riveting question:

What do you do when a mishap distracts your worship service?

Do you keep going and hope no one noticed? Sometimes I guess if it's small enough. But when it's something like 1/3 of the stage falling apart, you can't really blow that off.

I may not know exactly the right thing TO DO in that situation, but I've been a part of a couple church blunders and I know there are 3 things we should definitely NOT do. 

1. DO NOT Spiritualize it. 
Sometimes this stuff happens and the tendency may be for us to think of all the ways we could fit it into the worship set, but I'd advise you to do otherwise. [Unless you're really quick on your feet and can crack a congregational relevant joke. They love those!] A small part of you, out of panic, may feel the tendency to say something like, "The Enemy is attacking our service and so we will just sing louder..." or something to that degree. Don't do it. It's most likely not the Enemy but rather old equipment, someone's blunder, or just plain forgetfulness. 

2. DO NOT Ignore it. 
If people saw it, acknowledge it. Otherwise there'll be a humongous elephant in the room for the rest of your service and what you thought you were preventing is actually magnified because everyone's thinking, "Are they gonna say something or...." Acknowledge it and it may momentarily ruin the vibe of worship but it'll be better in the long run. 

3. DO NOT Dwell on it. 
Once you've moved on, let it go for the rest of the service. Now, when you're back in the back room go to town with the jokes and story recap but on stage don't mention it after every song because it will re-break the flow. Let it be what it is. 

Do you have any funny mishap stories?? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Links

Happy Friday! Today marked the end of swimming season thanks to the rain, so I'll have to find some new exercise routines. Bleh. Sorry this link post is a little evening-esque this week. Busy bees we are. Enjoy :) (Click the links to read the article each line is referencing.)

-I am going to find a way to take this art course. Even if it kills me...or our bank account. [Jeanne Oliver]
-Do you worry too much? If you're a woman, the answer is probably yes. I know I am. [A Cup of Jo]
-This chica inspired me to do another blog re-vamp soon. Maybe the New Year again!? We'll seeeeeeee. JM E-courses are also sponsored here :) [Sometimes Sweet]
-These photos inspired me to continue learning photography. So clean and pretty. [Katie's Pencil Box]
-For any of you aspiring writers out there, this Writing Spa might be a good investment if you have something already down on paper you've been dreaming will publish itself :) These ladies know what they're doing. [The Writing Spa]

Have a good weekend! Cali weather is finally starting to be seasonally adequate so we're going to drink lots of hot chocolate and listen to some Sinatra. 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Heart Singing // A New JM E-Course

Yes I do. I seriously love singing. I sing all the time and I know most of you do too! 
But there are some of you out there who are thinking, Man I wish I could sing... And I'm here to tell you you can! Yes, you. All of you! 

It's my life mission to prove it. Though some are born with more natural gifting and talent, your vocal chords are just muscles. And like any other muscle, when it's worked out and taught properly, it can be trained to do well. 

This E-Course, I {Heart} Singing, will give you the tools you need to understand the method and magic behind singing [I'll give you a hint, it's not as magical as you think ;)]. It will also push you outside of your comfort zone to connect heart, mind, and soul through song. 

Also incorporated in this course is Journalling. I don't believe singing is just opening your mouth and making beautiful sounds. It's much more than that. The Journal Prompts take you through the emotional development side of singing and music. See for yourself! 

Taught all through video, each session includes an instructional video with me walking you through the lesson, homework for that week, and a journal prompt to complete. Each portion of this course is intricately weaved so that you are engaging your head, heart, and hands through this whole process. 
Sessions Include:

Daily Vocal Exercises
Warming up and exercising your voice is the first and most important rule of the singing thumb. These videos will walk you through 8+ techniques for developing your range, tone, and vocal strength.

1: Everyone Can Sing
In the very first lesson of this course I can prove to you that everyone can sing. In this session I bust some common misconceptions about the vocal chords and whether singing is talent or work.

2: The Logistics of Singing
Just like any part of the human body, there is never just one thing working. It takes 4 of the major organs in your body to make singing happen. Find out what those are in this session!

3: A Universal Language
Ever wonder why people can have strong speaking accents, but when they sing their accent seems to disappear? This sessions talks about music and singing specifically as the universal language.

4: Breathe Like a Baby
We are born breathing correctly. When we grow up, we need more air more quickly and develop new breathing habits. As singers, we have to retrain specific muscles in our body to breathe the way we did naturally when we were born! Weird right??

5: Singing is Listening
Did you know that one of the most important singing organs in your body are your ears?? Find out why! And I promise you, you are probably not really tone deaf.

6: Music Communicates
Music speaks to the deepest part of your soul. It does more than just sound beautiful. It communicates in ways that nothing else can. This session teaches you to do more than just sing. It teaches you the tools and need to communicate through your singing.

7: Meet Stage Fright
Everyone gets it and most people never overcome it. This sessions gives you real practical techniques and exercises, that I personally use, to get through the brick wall of stage fright.

Stories, health extras, wallpapers, downloads, and much more fun stuff for you to play with!

Everyone loves music. Everyone loves singing. That's a no brainer. 
If you more information on this e-course at

$80 I Heart Singing E-Course

Purchase Options

^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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