Happily Ever After

I have always loved fairy tales. I remember having a few books like Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Snow White, etc. I also remember some show where the guy would draw images of the fairy tale as a narrator told the story. Man I wish I could remember who that was. It was awesome. I think he used different chalk or pastel colors. Pretty cool.

Anywho...I just saw this fairy tale quiz that I enjoyed. I only got 8 out of ten right because I was thinking more of the Disney fairy tales instead of the originals. If you start reading the originals some of them get pretty gruesome and weird. Definitely not something I would read to my child at night.

Try it to see what your fairy tale knowledge is.


Celebrate Good Times

So here it is. My 100th post! Everyone please stand up and applaud. Just kidding. Well, if you want to you can.

So I thought for this post I would honor my top four blogs that I HAVE to check and I would recommend that you get their feed as well.

1. Apartment Therapy: Sure I don't have an apartment or live in New York, but this blog is awesome. They have so much great interior design stuff. They have my favorite post series called Good Questions where you can send in a question about your apartment and how you could make something look better. AND the reason it makes the top 3 list is because it constantly updates. I work 8 hours at a desk. In the morning I check most of my feeds and not many update during the day, but I can count on AT to bring me a quick break from the routine.

2. Cute Overload: Who can't check this everyday when they have things like this:

This is also a frequently updated site. I go here and get a quick fix of cuteness and smile at my computer because of the extreme adorableness.

3. Pastor Steven Furtick: Not only is he about to be my pastor, but he is just freakin cool. His blogs are always top notch and so amazing to read. I end up learning something biblical and something life applicable every time I click on the link. And from his site you can go to all the other Elevation related websites that have been made to help other church planters and also let you know what is going on for each series at Elevation.

4. Wade Joye: I know he is my husband and you think that I have to put him on my list, but I am totally serious about you needing to read his blog. He comes back from his week at BigStuf today so you can be sure that after the blog drought caused by his "working vacation" that he will have some new awesome blogs up his sleeve. Seriously, I am truly blessed everytime I read Wade's blog and I love to read how he writes, so will you. This is where you would go to know what music you should check out, how life is in the ministry, and some random life updates. This blog is definitely a must read!

Well, there are my top 4 blogs on my 100th post! I am always wanting to add to my blog feeds so if you have a blog that you think I need to check out then please give me the link in my comments section. Maybe the blog you send will get my top 4 blogs honor in post 200. You never know.


Trash the Dress

After Wade and I said "I do" and were on our way to glorious St. Lucia, Wade's mom took my wedding dress to the cleaners and had it professionally boxed to preserve it. Since we thought we were moving really soon she offered to keep it at her house until we had room for it. Right now 2 years later it is still sitting at her house. One day I am sure I will pick it up and put it in my closest somewhere.
I do wonder why we keep our wedding dresses. Sure it has the whole sentimental value thing going for it, but we put it in a box out of sight. You may say that your daughter or someone you know may want to wear it for their wedding, but wouldn't you want them to go through the whole process of picking out "their" dress (one of the biggest moments for a bride)?
I probably will never do this, but secretly I am wishing I could Trash My Dress. When you start looking at the way these photographers have captured these brides it looks amazing. I especially love the ones where the husband and wife kiss in the water or are in a waterfall. How romantic looking. It shows all this passion that says "I don't care about my dress, only my man!" Ha!
You would have this lasting photo of you having ultimate fun in your dress and showing your hubby that you will never need that dress again.


The Creative Rut

Sometimes you just have a hard time making a really creative design. You will stare at your blank page/screen and wonder where to even start. It happens to everyone and I have some ways that I combat that.
  • Surround yourself with creative objects. My desk is probably the most colorful one in my area. I have these bright face cards on one overhead drawer. I have some postcard paintings on another. I brought in several woodcut prints that I made in college. And I have a large poster on my cube wall. Even my Kleenex holder is bold and colorful. Occasionally, I will look at these images and get a color idea, or font choice, or something from the inspiration around me.
  • Check out other sites. There are a lot of new design things coming out. And you can get an idea from the way a chair is shaped to how a room looks after organization. The colors, fabrics, fonts and design choices other people use can bring an idea out of you for your project.
  • Get other people's input. I go to a site that is only for those who are designing for a church, but try and find a site where people can comment on your work or just browse that site and learn from other people's works. Maybe you can see that two color choices go better together than the one you are using in your project. If you can't find a site, take your design around to your friends. A good design should make sense and look good to non-designers.
  • Do something atypical. I tend to get in a rut when I am doing the same routine over and over. Try sitting on your front porch for one evening and look at nature instead of doing something inside. Grab a camera and take some random pictures. Buy some cheap paint or charcoal and paint/draw something. By doing something that works your creative brain you just might get out of that rut!


8 kids

Last night was night #1 of Wade being out of town. He will be back Thursday night and I hate him being gone! But somehow whenever he leaves I turn on the TV and that is the channel it will stay on all day. Recently (for some unknown reason) I would put it on the Disney Channel. Yes, I know I am 22 almost 23 and that sounds ridiculous, but I guess I enjoyed the clean, comedic shows like Hannah Montana and That's So Raven. But this time I worked a channel that doesn't make me sound 14. I watched TLC.
I guess they had some marathon or something on, but I watched a few episodes of the show John and Kate Plus 8. I can't believe this show. I mean these parents take care of 8 children. Two twins who are 7 now and 6 sextuplets that are 3. After seeing a few episodes and reading the website, you can see that they have trusted God through all this. They love each one of their children immensely and do everything they can to provide a normal life for them. One of the things that impressed me the most was when Kate surprised John with a trip to Key West for his birthday. They left the kids with friends and family members and took off for 5 days. In the show Kate tells how that was a lot of money for them to do the trip since they have to provide for 8 kids, but that she knew it was an investment for their marriage. Even with 8 children she and her husband take time to do some things just for themselves.
After watching the show, I love the idea of having more kids than just the typical two, but I don't think I could handle 8 like these parents can. They deserve some mad props.


Sculpting "the hard body"

When I was in high school I was very athletic. I ran track for three years, played soccer my senior year, was a cheerleader for football and competitive cheerleading. Needless to say I was in good shape because all of those things forced me to be.
But then came college. I put on a few extra pounds and never hit the gym at all. I didn't participate in any sports. I just sat around.

I got back in shape getting ready for my wedding, but then wasn't very regular with it afterwards. Recently Wade and I are really trying to get better. So I thought I would give you some things that are helping me to stay with exercise this time.

  • Find a cardio plan that you enjoy. Wade can be the first to tell you that I HATE cardio. It is something that he had to drag and pull me to. But that made me hate exercising more. So we decided to take our first spin class last week and I loved it. It pushed me harder than anything I had ever done, but I thought it was fun. I have already done the class now 3 times in one week and I look forward to going back. Keep switching up your cardio until you find something that you could go back to with some excitement.
  • Do weights! I know there are a lot of people that think if they go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for an hour then they are staying in shape. Well, one you probably aren't pushing yourself very much and two you aren't doing weights. It doesn't matter if you have to start out doing 3 lbs with arm curls. Actually, 3-5lbs is what I do with arm curls. But that is what is going to start toning your muscles. The cardio is just going to help you see them. Plus building muscle through weightlifting actually helps you burn more calories! You can always get a trainer to show you the best thing for you to do in one session. Or you can check out some health magazines to get some ideas on good weightlifting. I get SHAPE magazine.
  • Find a good time to go. Wade and I have tried going around 6 AM, but it is so hard to wake up. Lately, we have gone right when I have gotten off work and that has worked except I have to take two showers that day. But keep playing with when you are most likely to go. And try to go around 3 times a week to see results. Otherwise, you are just giving your body too much time to recover and it is going to take you forever to get in shape or your body can just get used to what you do and you will just stay the same size. Vary things up and push yourself. You will thank yourself later when look in the mirror and see results.
  • Have a buddy. Going with Wade to the gym really helps me. I don't know if I would have tried a spin class without someone I knew there with me. So it helps to have someone that you can be motivated with. I am going to try and weightlifting class next week with one of my friends because Wade does manly weights. If it wasn't for her going with me though I would be to scared to go in there by myself.
  • If you don't have money, use the outdoors. This is one I don't do, but I thought I would include it for anyone out there. Even if you can't go to the gym you can always take walks/jogs outside after dinner or something. And you can use those magazines to see what you can do at home for weights.

I am still trying to be better at staying in shape, but these few things are helping me sculpt the "hard body." Hope you start sculpting yours!


Pay it Forward

I had one of those "Wow" moments last night.

It all started when Wendy and I got together with our small group girls, well the two that were able to come anyway. We went to TCBY and hung out and we had a great time catching up on what has happened over vacation time and boy drama. One of our girls had to work last night, but fortunately she worked across the street so we walked over so we could see her and gave her a belated birthday present.

By this time it was just Wendy, one small group girl Kathryn, and me. And we were hungry for real food. It just so happened that Kathryn works at The Mediterranean Cafe and they serve healthy options, so we decided to go there. She ran into a couple that she happens to waitress quite often and they looked so happy to see her. She told them she was with her small group and they asked about what church she went to, etc. During dinner I found out that Kathryn had won this prize at school for being a caring, thoughtful, Christ-like person. I was so proud of her. Around that time Kathryn's couple left and told us to keep doing small group because it is such a good thing. How sweet!

We finished eating and were just waiting on our check. We actually thought that the waitress had forgotten to give it to us. She came over after pouring us like 15 glasses of water and said that we could leave whenever because our check has been paid. We were puzzled and tried to get the waitress to tell us who did it. But we guessed that it was Kathryn's couple that she normally waits on.


I think that is an amazing concept. Kathryn had made such a great impression on this man and woman that they wanted to reward her and her small group! How generous of them. It is like one of those pay it forward moments where now I want to do something nice for someone else without them knowing it.

What a great reminder to always be Christ-like. People develop an opinion of you and you want it to be a good one. But what is great is not only was Kathryn showing this great attitude at work where she gets paid for it, she was also showing that attitude at school too. I feel so blessed to have Kathryn in our small group!


Strong, smart, and beautiful

I am going to be totally honest with you. I've been a christian since I was 7 and I loved hearing all the big Bible stories like Noah and the Ark, Moses parting the sea, David and Goliath...you get the picture. But it has taken me up to this year to actually read the Old Testament word for word not skipping anything. I don't even skip over the "so and so begot so and so." And I am loving it. I really start getting invested in the people's stories and I can't wait until the next day so I can read what happens next.
One thing I absolutely love is when God brings an intelligent and kind woman into the picture. I immediately start thinking that God placed her in this chapter so that I can learn something from her. And further more I like it when this woman is one that I didn't know of until now. So while I was reading 1 Samuel 25:1-44 I found dearest Abigail.
The Story: Abigail is married to Nabal, a "surly and mean" man, but she is intelligent and beautiful. David had kept Nabal's possessions safe for months and asks for some food in return. Nabal being the fool he is refuses and David sets out to wipe out all the men in his household. A servant tells Abigail, who takes it upon herself to apologize to David and give him the food he requested. She tells Nabal what she had to do to save everyone and Nabal gets sick and dies. When David hears about this he asks Abigail to marry him. She accepts.

But here is what I think I learned from her:
  • Women can be great decision makers. Abigail is forced to make a quick decision to round up a peace offering to David before he has time to bring revenge upon the men. She doesn't have time to ask anyone else and she does the right thing. In my life, I like it when Wade asks me for advice. I feel strong and intelligent when my incredibly smart husband asks what I think about a situation. The only way I can give good advice is by knowing what solution would honor God and you only know that through Bible reading and prayer.
  • God looks after his servants. Abigail saved her people, but her husband died. Who knows what her story would have been had she just been a widow there. But God brought David back so she could still be supported. My life is a lot different from Abigail's, but I do thank God everyday that he brought Wade in my life. I seriously can't believe that I "got" him. With all the imperfections in my life, I never would have thought that I could marry someone who could surpass all that I ever wanted and would be such a man of God.


It's not all about YOU

I used to think that I was such a positive person. To an extent I still am, but I think that I sometimes let small things creep under my skin.

The other day at church and I was trying to leave early so that I could visit my family which is 2 hours away. I was totally in my own world as I made my way down the hallway to find Wade so I could say bye. When I barely heard someone say, "Everyone looks mad today." I looked around to find out that the person was talking about me because apparently my own little world face looks very serious. I know that this was just a misunderstanding because I wasn't mad at all. As I walked outside to my car, I felt horrible about it. I kept making excuses in my mind that I didn't do anything wrong. But I kind of did.

I think I and probably a lot of other people have turned things to being all about ourselves. On Sundays, I need to be joyful that I am able to be around so many other believers and celebrate the fact that I get to sing with hundreds of others about my Savior. I need to be thankful that I get to hear a sermon that our pastor took hours to prepare. I want to be in awe that so many people volunteer every Sunday to teach the children, youth, adults in their Sunday School Classes. I don't need to be in my own little world thinking only about what is going on in my life.

But it goes farther than that. I have mentioned to Wade a lot recently that I feel like I am always going and always busy. But that fact is I have two jobs that are so amazing. I want to celebrate the fact that God has blessed Wade and I with jobs that have supported us and that are a true blessing to work there. And I want to be at my job and be a total blessing to all those around me. I never stopped to think that my reason for being at both of these places is for the people around me and not myself. So, I have started walking with my head high in the halls and try to make a point to smile at the people I pass. I don't want to be in my own little world that someone can mistake as me being mad.

I think it will be a challenge to not focus everything inward. When you are at church don't think about why someone didn't come say hello...why didn't you? Maybe they need your encouragement. Is it a church where they don't sing your style? Well look around you and know that the words and the attitude are what matters. Celebrate Christ through your heart...it is about God not you. When you are at work and someone doesn't use your idea don't sulk around thinking that they messed up instead be excited to help make someone's idea a reality.
I know this is a work in progress for me, but I truly want to embrace the people around me and start making it all about them.


Jellicle Cats

Well I am back from my adventure to see CATS! My mom, sister and I had a great time and I was so glad that I went.

You need to know that back in the day when I was in high school my sister bought the CATS DVD. Of course for the DVD they picked the best performers for each of the roles and we had very high expectations of what the live version would be. And for the live version I was actually very impressed. We had great seats and everyone's voices sounded wonderful.

However, there were a few things that I thought could have been better. The biggest letdown being the character Mistoffelees (one of my favorite characters). He is supposed to be the most agile of the cats because in his number he does a lot of leaps and turns and toetouches. However, his turns were low, the leaps crooked, and NO toetouches. How sad.

But the showing revived my love for CATS the musical and I really want to have my own version of the DVD now. A CD wouldn't hurt either so I can try and belt out "Memories" in the car by myself.


Check Me Out (Prayer)

And now for another installment of Check Me Out.

Mt. Horeb is starting a new series on prayer which means I have a new series poster to share with you. In this poster I took my own photography, some of you may know the model Will Troutman.

My thought process was that prayer is a communication with God that has gone back thousands of years so I wanted the poster to share that same feeling. However, I didn't want it to look like ancient Greece. Instead I remembered the old books that the monks would write in and how some of their typography was very ornate and the books are very worn from age and use. So that's my thought process and here it is so you can tell me if I succeeded.

Having finished this one means that I don't have any more series posters to do before I leave South Carolina. That seems so surreal.


Pepsi Can

I know that I already posted, but I have another thing that you can vote for.

Vote for the new Pepsi Can

It was interesting that most of the designers were from NY, but there is one that is from the state I will soon live in. Yay North Carolina!

Robots in Disguise

Wade and I hung out with our dear friend Will Troutman last night. It was an honor. He happened to bring over the animated Transformer movie and I watched some of it.

My conclusion is that Transformers are really cool toys. I mean who doesn't want to have a toy that can be a robot one minute and then a moving vehicle the next. But when you put this in the movie it seems sort of weird. Like the Autobots would transform into a car only to ride for 0.6 seconds and then turn back into the robot. It was like they were just giving us a token transformation instead of one that was needed in order to save the universe or something.
But if you can get past that then don't you think it is weird that the Autobots (the good guys) get all the stupid transformations (small cars, microscope, etc) and the bad guys have all the cool ones (jet, airplanes, the "Destroyer").

All that being said, I am excited about the new movie coming out. The Autobots look a little cooler and I think Hollywood can turn it into a blockbuster. I still think the Decepticons win the cool factor with the jet fighter planes.


Chapter 5

I am still going through 1 Samuel and since I am reading it chronologically the plan throws in some Psalms every now and then. I really like seeing what David is going through and then reading what he possibly what he wrote is his "journal" during those specific times.

I just finished reading about when Saul is trying to kill David so Jonathan tells him he has to leave. You know that David had to think that everything was over. He knew in the back of his head that Samuel anointed him as king, but I mean he was running for his life. He had to be freaking out.
We all know the end of the story. Saul dies and David becomes a great king. The greatest king Israel ever knew. And eventually from his line came Jesus. There is no greater honor than that.

So it is easy to think that when you are going through a rough time that there is no way out. You are running for you life and you don't see how God will bring it back together. But you do remember that God has anointed you with a purpose. Just know that God is looking at chapter 48 while you are only in chapter 5.


Thoughts from the weekend

Here are a few random things from the weekend:

  • Saw Ocean's 13 for date night Friday. I think those movies are really funny and I love having so many interesting characters in one movie. It was also the day before Wade's parent's anniversary so we ate Mexican with them and got some ice cream. Here is a pic of Wade and I before our date.

  • I got emotional Sunday morning when some parents brought up their young babies to get a special prayer of blessing. There was one dad who apparently ran to the nursery to get his child and who made it just before the invitation was over. That one made my eyes really water. I don't know if that is just sweet or if God is somehow giving me the baby bug. It is so weird to be like this...I used to never be emotional!
  • On one of my design sites it had a link to a website where you can vote for your favorite new South Carolina license plate. I know I won't be here when the new ones get issued, but it will be cool to see the license plate I voted for win. You should vote if you are a South Carolinian.
  • We had two families come look at our house this weekend. I have no idea if they are interested, but it is nice to know some people are looking.
  • This isn't about this weekend, but rather next weekend. I am going to see CATS with my mom and sister and it is going to be amazing! My sister got hooked on this while she was in high school and everything that she liked, I liked. So we are both pretty excited about getting to see it together.


Ugh! Applications.

I am really excited about moving to Charlotte. I can't wait to find our next house and being involved at Elevation is going to be amazing! But, there is one thing that is not fun at all and that is the dreaded job application process! All these insecure thoughts creep up. Here is what runs through my mind:
-How am I ever going to make it in Charlotte with so many other talented designers
-What if I blow an interview
-Will people even like my portfolio
-Oh no, I have to work on my portfolio!!!

See it isn't going so well in my head. But I know that I have to trust that God has a job out there for me. Right now I have a few places that I am excited about sending an application to.
1. Discovery Place: Their website said they needed a print designer and I am sure that would be one of the funnest environments to work in. Just think of all the little happy kids running around and I would get to design for them!
2. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: Their site said they needed a graphic designer as well and I would be honored to work there. To be able to design things that have real meaning and purpose is something I have longed to do. I told Wade a dream job would be to work at a church and design for them. This would totally be that dream job.
3. Muzak: I have heard that this place is pretty cool. Checking out their website I found a graphic design job and it seems to be such a creative place. It would be cool to work at a music place and design print materials. It seems like it kinda combines everything Wade and I do!

I am still looking for others and I have yet to turn in any applications, but I am scared and excited. We will see what God opens up for me!


The whole world would not have room

I read from 1 Samuel and John today. I think it is kind of interesting because 1 Samuel talked about David, the man after God's own heart, and John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. That is something to strive for.

As I was finishing up John, I read this verse:

John 21:25
25Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Just think we already have the gospels with 4 accounts of what our Savior did while on earth, but John tells us that not even the whole world has enough room to write down all that Jesus did. I think that is pretty amazing. What if one of those things that isn't accounted was praying about you to His Father. Maybe not, but still pretty cool to think about.

The Wade Joye Band

I was looking at Technorati under Wade's name to see what people have up about him and I found this awesome video! Apparently, when he and his band led worship at a conference a girl in the audience (Brittany Pruett) video taped them and put it on YouTube. I love it! She did a good job editing too. And I know all of you are begging to see it so here it is.


Being creative

One of my favorite blogs to check is adgoodness. It shows different witty ads from all around the world. Some I don't really understand, some are just weird, but some of them I absolutely love. I go to this site and I am inspired to think outside of the box and to push the envelope of visual humor.
One thing I think designers do (especially me) is to play it safe. We are asked to come up with an ad for a company and we put the traditional businessman/woman picture with some phrase about being a company that is here to work for our clients or something. Lame-o! That is what everyone is doing and there is no way that that ad will ever stand out among other ads.
However, how can you start to think differently? How can you try to do something no one else is doing when all of your ideas are the same boring ideas?
Well, something I recently purchased was a small sketchbook. I know that this is something that is drilled into you in design classes, but really I never used it. I want to change that. I am hoping to carry this book around to help me write down funny phrases, ideas, paste cool ads, draw interesting things, and collect unusual items. Then when it is time to design my next poster I have a creative book to look through. Right now my sketchbook has only one page filled so I guess I will have to start doing more.
Another problem I have is that I tend to go with my first idea. In school I started this habit of not really pushing through a ton of ideas because I didn't have time. We would have like two days to complete a project and I couldn't "waste" time on brainstorming. But rarely is the first idea the best. Instead it is the idea that everyone else would have for their first idea. So to get away from the crowd try using your 10th or 20th idea. That will been when your brain is pulling out the most random stuff that no one will expect, but stuff that will be noticed.

Even if you aren't a graphic designer, these tips may help you out. In any situation creativity is key. Should you carry around a book to write ideas for new things to implement in your workplace? A place to paste pictures of how you can make the environment around you more creative? A book to write new ideas on how to teach your children? Is there a way you could benefit from more brainstorming so you don't use your first idea? I bet there is and I bet when you start thinking with more creativity the people around you will notice.


The Healer

I was reminded how precious life is the past few days. There is some very serious sickness in our extended family and it is painful to think about. I received an email from someone with the saddest line in it: "I hope that this is not the first of saying goodbye."

I know that the Lord is good and I know that he can bring healing to both of our family members. I am praying that it is in His will to bring these persons out of the storm with a better awareness of what our Mighty God can do. I put my faith, hope, and trust into our Healer.


I'm a girl, finally!

Wade and I are still in the process of making our house look stellar to any potential buyers. Yesterday was deck stain day. Wade's pal Christian came over and from about 5:30 to 7:30 they were busy staining our front deck. It looks absolutely amazing! It now has this rich reddish hue that looks really good with our beige color siding.

While this was going on, I decided to get the grime out of the bathrooms. I had read online yesterday about what gets soap scum and water marks and all that other bathroom nastiness off. And guess what everything said to use...our friend the magic eraser. And it really does work. I cut up one eraser into 4 pieces so that I could get the most use out of it before it is too dirty to keep using. So I worked on our tile grout, the dirt that sits on top of the baseboards, the faucets and the entire bathtub. It took 5 entire magic erasers, but it was well worth it. Now the soap scum is gone and the stains in our tile grout have vanished. And I have realized that if you have an area that you think you could never get a stain to go away then try the magic eraser. In our bathroom we have a floor vent that gets wet from us stepping out of the shower. The vent ended up having rust around the edges and no matter what cleaner I used it never looked clean. However the eraser wiped it up like it was nothing! I love magic erasers. It did remind that things take a lot longer when you have let the dirt accrue over time. Just think how easy it would be if you did that every two weeks. Your bathrooms would sparkle.

I told Wade that I finally feel like a girl. I like cleaning so my house will smell fresh and not have random dust bunnies and dirt everywhere. I am getting the decorating bug and want my house to look like it could be in a magazine. And I want to be really organized so everything has a place and there isn't some massive clutter catch all. Right now we have a few of those, but after the move I want to remedy that. The only thing I don't really have the burning desire to do is cook, but I think it will creep in soon. Something that has been helping me a lot lately is the Real Simple site. Their organizing section is giving me some really good ideas and the cleaning part has already helped me out a ton.