Thursday, January 31, 2013

Throw Back Thursday: Sporty Spice.

Today, Maddie over at Thriftary has a Throw Back Thursday Link-up.  It's fun to look at everyone's awesome pictures.  Head over and take a gander, if you will.

(She's also designing my blog and I CANNOT wait to show y'all)

(Yes, I took this picture with my phone from my scrapbook.  And yes I went outside to do it.  And who cares if I was in my robe?)

A few things I'd like to point out:
1.  My sister in the pic?  Today's her birthday!  Happy b-day T-Bird.
2.  I hated soccer.  Too much running.  I scored one goal my whole career (1 season) and it was for the other team.
3.  Notice my shoes are velcro and not cleats and pink.  My parents were smart to not invest, I guess.
4.  In the picture, I feel like I look a lot like my nephew, Griffin. 

Happy Throw Back Thursday! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY Linen/Room Spray

In an effort to save money (and be more natural), I've been making cleaning products for almost 2 years...ish.  I recently found great deals on essential oils on Amazon and I jumped on it.  (Plus, I paid with Cashback, so it was like free money.)  

I got 3 lavenders, 2 of rosemary, 2 of sweet orange, and a eucalyptus.  Our mailbox smelled yummy. I use essential oils for my deodorant and detergent and I wondered what else I could make.

I was out of linen spray, so I thought I'd start there.  It is crazy easy (and crazy cheap) and I just had to share!  I used this recipe, but there are plenty to choose from with similar ingredients.  

(FYI: some say to use vodka, if you have that lying around.)

You'll need:
- essential oil of your choice (I chose lavender)
- spray bottle with fine mist spray (I used my empty one)
- isopropyl alcohol
- distilled water 

Mix one part essential oil, with one part isopropyl alcohol and 5 parts distilled water.  Swirl to mix.  

It's that easy and IT WORKS!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Christmas 2012...better late than never

Yes, I know it's almost February.  I'm a bit behind.  

We were blessed to spend our holidays with the fam in Texas.  This year was a bit different, in that we had our family Christmas at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine.  It's a little like Vegas for Kids.  They thought of everything possible to make sure the yunguns are always entertained. Here's some of my favorite shots. (The rest of the pics are on my Facebook.) 


The Howlin' Tornado slide?  Awesome.  But, the first time I rode it the young kid manning the slide that had a bit too much power lifeguard at the top made me go backwards!  After I told him I didn't want to.  At one point, actually several points, I thought I was going to die.  Maybe not die, but definitely get seriously injured. Trent still laughs about what my face looked like.  And, turns out my Uncle Gene was right when he told my dad "to wear a diaper on that slide."  I could've used it.  Not really.  But almost.

Christmas Eve we took Nana (it's also her b-day) to candle-light service at my childhood church.  I love it.  I hadn't been in forever and Trent had never been to the church either.  It really is beautiful.  I always cry when the packed church sings Silent Night with candles held up.  Wonderful.  Afterward, we went to, of all places, Chili's for some grub.  It took forever and we got a free dessert. (Score.)  We also got Nana a dessert and sang to her.  I don't think she was super thrilled about it, but oh well.  Then we went to her house so she could open gifts.

So many memories in that living room.  Her tree is my favorite.  She has a story for every ornament and I am lucky enough to have a few she's given me for our tree. 

And Daddy there?  He has sat there since pre-1980.  I know this for sure.    Probably in that same position.  Poised ever so comfortably.

We headed to my parents house and Mom started cooking for the next morning.  Hidden apple coffee cake and breakfast casserole is tradition for Christmas morning.  (And yes, I told gluten to shut up when I ate it.)  We ended the night watching Christmas Vacation.  Nothing says "Happy Birthday Jesus" quite like that movie.  Am I right?   

Christmas morning, my mom and dad exchanged gifts and I was Santa =)

Daddy and his Floyd Casey Stadium memorabilia.  

I was explaining Mom's gift.  She loved it.  It was a moment.  (They are 9 wooden blocks, letters and scriptures, that you can arrange to spell different things.)  From DaySpring.

Family movie time! Blurry picture time!

Christmas night the Selfs came over and spent the night.  (The Barlows couldn't because it was their Christmas with the other side of the family.)  The older nuggets played Kids vs Parents against, well, their parents. Duh. It was adorable.  They won!  Smarty pants. 

And then Nathan and Caleb played chess.  

After the kiddos had had their share of donuts delivered by Paads we just hung out.  The boys loved flying their new helicopter!  

Griffin wanted Julie and me both to snuggle him while he watched a movie.  He said, "this is perfec!"  I mean, melt. My. Heart.   

They were about to leave, so Elliot and I were enjoying some hang time.  Love that girly girl!

We absolutely adored our time with my side of the family.  I get attached and so I always cry when I leave.  I'm sure I always will.  We left and headed to Amarillo for NYE... 

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Nobody EVER says NEVER to Sally O'Malley"

Last night we were in bed looking for something to watch on Hulu.  

We would channel flip, but we don't have cable and the few channels we do have stopped coming on in our room and so we have a big, useless TV in there that can only be used for dvd's and so we have to put the laptop on some kind of stand (usually the cajon or a road case and sometimes the guitar case) on the bed in order to watch some shows. And it's kind of annoying. 

These are very real first world problems.

   So, anyway, those that know me, know I adore anything SNL, especially Miss Sally O'Malley.    

Might I remind you of my 2009 homemade Halloween costume?

I gave it my best Goodwill shot.


This Sally O'Malley video was recommended by Hulu and I am so glad it was.

(Go ahead and give it a watch)

When it was finished, after we had collected ourselves, Trent said something that warmed my heart.
He said, "I can't wait 'til you're 50-years-old!  It's going to be the best year ever."

Becuase you know why?  You can guarantee I'm going to be kickin' and stretchin' up a storm.  For realz.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

2012...Let's reminisce.

It's that time of year.  The time when I look back at the previous year and answer some fun questions.  Last year was the first time I did it and I thought it was a good time, so I've decided it will be a yearly thing.  You can read about 2011 here.

I've added *same answer* for those responses that did not change.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
mc'd a live record, started playing percussion for Trent, started tweeting, first time to sing in a microphone on stage with Trent, FaceTime, changed my license to a state other than TX, went to Ohio and had Skyline Chili, went to Great Wolf Lodge, stopped the gluten

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
We started 2012 with business and personal goals and we accomplished each one!  What a year.  I also wanted to read more scripture and we did that too!  Turns out, Trent's a fan of Beth Moore.  And we've started this year with similar goals as well.  Hoping for a great 2013.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friends are still cranking them out.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Trent's grandma, Gran Bonnie.  Such an amazing woman who is missed and spoken of with fondness.  Read about her here.

5. What countries did you visit?
*same answer* No new countries yet.  Here's to 2013, right?

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
This is our year of community.  We've been church hopping for two years and have decided to find a church home and meet new people.  

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Jan 4th:  Trent's Live recording, March 6th:  2 years married, April 13th:  the day "Beautiful You" was added to radio, August (something):  when "Beautiful You" hit the top-10 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
getting up on stage with my man, going gluten free (is that an achievement?), getting a song to Christian radio and it reaching the top-10 as an independent artist, and some fun crafts!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I still didn't finish the rug from Haites.  Here's to 2013, right?  And my Thanksgiving sweet potatoes.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing serious!  Hallelujah.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
some cheap stools on Craigslist and I got the TOMS I always wanted!  Ooh, and some bright blue high heels.  And I'm real excited about my new turquoise skinny jeans/leggings/jeggings.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Radio promotion and gas

13. What did you get really excited about?
some of my favorite bloggers tweeted me back, and so did Dave Barnes, the whole radio process, a Christmas tour, seeing family, dressing up for Halloween, Trent's brother getting married, my new tattoo (which has a funny story behind it.  And you never want a "funny story" for a tattoo).

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Duh.  "Beautiful You."  We owe a lot to that song.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Definitely happier. *same answer*
– thinner or fatter? I accidentally lost about 15-ish lbs when I got off the poison gluten.
– richer or poorer? We have a bit more money in the bank than last year.  

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I have no regrets!  We prayed a lot, loved the Lord and each other.  But, I could stand to read more.  And I should probably floss more.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Sometimes, I can be a bit negative.  And I can complain.  For the most part, I keep that behavior for Trent's ears only.  Bless him.  So, less of that. 

18. How did you spend Christmas?
My parents took us all to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX.  So fun.  I swear I almost died on a slide.  Not really, but I felt like I could have.  I will blog about it soon!

19. What was your favorite TV program?
We are still LOVING Parenthood.  Also, Nashville started in 2012 and we're digging it.  And HEEEEELLLLLLO... Duck Dynasty.  Can I get an amen?

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Hunger Games!  And I finally finished the last of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.  Finally.  

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
John Mayer's Born and Raised record, Marc Scibilia's self titled EP, Charlie Peacock's No Man's Land record, all things Mumford and Sons

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
We love us some movies.  Moonrise Kingdom was probably our favorite.  I wish I could say Lincoln, but we haven't seen it yet!  (It's on our to-do list for this weekend).

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32.  We went downtown, Trent got us a hotel room, and I had a crown of balloons made for me by a pirate on stilts.  Fun times.  (Read about our birthday weekend here.)

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I can honestly say I had a great 2012 and wouldn't change a thing. *same answer*

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
- Trying to be trendy in Nashville and realizing that I'm just not that trendy...and not hipster, either. *same answer*

- I will say, that I've decided that my home decorating concept is along the lines of "a shabby chic mexican restaurant threw up on mardi gras" and "if there's an empty wall, hang something"

26. What kept you sane?
prayer, my man, wine.  *same answer*

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
We were reminded that God will provide and He is sovereign.  Unfortunately, I have been reminded that sometimes people are crazy and cruel and hateful, but you have to love them anyway.  And comparison is the thief of JOY.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The First Merry Little Christmas Tour

I'm sure most of you know, this Christmas season was Trent's first Christmas tour!  And so that means it was mine, too.  We settled on the name "Merry Little Christmas Tour" and started booking shows.  

We decorated our tiny cozy apartment right after Halloween (don't judge; we had to get in the spirit) and started working on the songs.

 (After we decorated I got my craft on)

The first show was in Trent's hometown of Amarillo, TX at Paramount Baptist Church.  All the family came and OF COURSE I didn't get a picture.  Arrrrg! Before the show, we did some press and promotions at Amarillo Globe News and Channel 4.

Sound check.  

Trent busted out a brand-spankin'-new outfit.  I documented.  

We got a new (huge) banner and a new t-shirt design.  I also put Christmas decor on the table, but you can't see it.  

After Amarillo, we headed to Arkansas for a week of shows...

FUMC Fort Smith

Ashley and Stephen Moad (worship pastors).  We got to talk about Arkansas State, which was super fun.  Turns out, Ashley and I were there at the same time!  And, I'll have you know, the four of us did not coordinate our clothes.  It just happened.  And I like it.

Rudy Baptist.  Oh, this church.  They warm our hearts every time we go.  Janis and Justin Martin:

Kibler Baptist.  We love these people!  There's something in the water, though. LOTS of babies.  I even got to hold one =)

Next was Hays Chapel UMC.  I have no pictures.  However, there were two older women that were at the Kibler show the night before and they drove an hour to Hays Chapel so their grandsons could see Trent.  These women were adorable.  I told them they were officially groupies.  They giggled, though I'm not 100% sure they got my joke.

We had a day off, then headed to Siloam Springs to Christian Life Church.  I had to take a picture of this room we were in (that was fully stocked with yummy snacks).  Because... Phil and Kay Robertson (that's right, the same Phil and Kay from Duck Dynasty) have sat in the very space we occupied.  I could feel their presence.  Not really, but it was still cool.

It was the first show I sang into a microphone!

Before we left Arkansas, we got to get our transmission worked on.  Oh joy.  After lots of car jargon was tossed around between Trent and the mechanics, it turned out to be not a big deal.  Thank God.  And thank you Wilcox Transmissions!

Back to Texas!  A little break before the next show.  We had lots of time with family (stay tuned for that) and even had a picnic.

Stillhouse Baptist, Belton, TX.  Small country church with big hearts.  They were so sweet!  They really got a kick out of my foot tambourine!

And the pastor came to the next show to give us a magnet.  And I LOVE magnets.  Like, for realz.  I do not adhere to the "no clutter on the fridge" philosophy.

And another couple came to the next show and gave us a Christmas CD.  The generosity and kindness of strangers is such an awesome reminder of God's love for us, isn't it?

The next show was at FBC Belton.  My whole family came out.  Which was both heart warming and rapid heart beat inducing!  They were front and center! And OF COURSE I got no pictures!!!  We totally needed some merch volunteers, but oh well.  During the show, Trent shared a little bit of our story with the congregation.  About the fact that without FBC, there would be no us.  Had Trent not met Matt and Stacie (10+ years ago in College Station, TX), who now live in Belton and go to FBC, where my sister and brother-in-law go, who invited me to go with them after I moved home, which got me connected with Stacie, who said Trent and I should meet, there would be no us.  Anyway, Trent told that story, which made me cry which made him cry, and made my mom cry.  It was a moment. (Whew!  That was wordy). 

My nephew, Noah, drew Trent some pictures.  Melt my heart...
"best singer ever, thanks for coming to sing, go Trent, Gloria"

After about a week off, we headed to FBC Troy.  Here's Whitlee Casey (great voice) and his girlfriend.  

We left that night and drove to Fort Worth for the last show of the tour (sniff, sniff) at Hulen Street Church.  Great people!  We will totally go back.  Here we are with Wes (pastor) and Aaron (worship pastor).  Trent and Aaron matched, hence my pointing.  Blue shirts, jeans, black converse.  I offered to go buy Trent a tie.  It made us giggle.  The congregation giggled, too, when Trent said, "I promise Aaron and I are NOT in a boy band." 

The first Christmas Tour was a new experience.  It was fun and rewarding and we look forward to next year and many more to come!  If you didn't get to see a show, here's the set list:

O Come All Ye Faithful
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
I Pray on Christmas
Beautiful You (original)
Into Orbit (original)
O Come Emmanuel
Heavy Load (original)
Joy to the World medley 
O Holy Night

Stay tuned for more Christmas/New Year's blogs!