Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's the holiday season!!



Well Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!! What a wonderful holiday season it has been! Jonas and I work our tails off and we needed an excuse to wind down. It was so nice to RELAX!!

These are a few of my favorite things!

Christmas Decorations: If I could keep up my Christmas decorations year round I would. I feel like it makes my home so much more homey. I love crafting and decorating so Christmas allows me to embrace that dork in me! I love our Christmas tree! I am pretty pleased how it turned out. I really wanted our tree to reflect our blessings that we are not deserving of! We have such a GRACIOUS savior and it is because of Him we can rejoice in life all year long!




Christmas Parties: Who doesn't love a good celebration?? We had the joy of attending a tacky sweater party. Jonas proudly wore his $25 Christmas sweater that he got at JcPenney (he is one of those people who legitimately love their sweaters). Everyone else proudly wore their $2 Christmas sweaters from the local thrift stores. Jonas' friend Landon was the most festive of all. We also had the privilege of hosting a White Elephant party! Let me tell you...I love hosting parties! It once again gives me the excuse to let my creativity loose! We had a packed apartment and there are still dishes that haven't been cleaned. It was all worth it!





Of course there was Catch Phrase played.


Jonas one upping everyone with tales from Spring Break 03 in Iraq.



Christmas Pictures: Truly blessed to have such a talented friend in Jillian Zamora. She has a customer for life! I can honestly say I am looking forward to yearly Christmas pictures. It is such a blessing to be able to see the changes from year to year. Here are a few of my favorites from our FIRST Christmas pictures!!





Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.
~Christina Rossetti

Saturday, September 25, 2010

August 14, 2010: Something Beautiful

I know this post is about a month late. I was waiting on our wedding photos before I decided to sit down and type this out.

Our wedding took place in Garland, TX at Northlake Baptist Church. Jonas and I met in the youth group there on a Wednesday night at Soul Food Cafe. We were both baptized in this church. God placed us there to build a foundation in Christ. As for our house, we will serve the Lord. What an amazing Lord we have!!

We will: "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer" Romans 12:12



We will hold this to heart: "He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure." Isaiah 33:6



We pray: "Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word." Psalm 119:37



We will laugh and praise in all circumstances: "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." Psalm 126:2




We will dance when no one is looking



Love never fails.



LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DIY Wedding

I am wayyyy over due for a blog...I know! I was waiting on my beaaauuutiful pictures! I am actually going to break my wedding blog into two. One, for how I pulled off a DIY wedding. Two, my favorite moments from my wedding day!

If you know me at all, you know I am a bargain shopper. I kind of take it to the extreme sometimes. I am a digger, whether it is T.J.Maxx or the Dollar Tree, I know how to stretch my buck! Here are some of my money savers from our wedding!

The arch from our wedding was handmade with love from Jonas' dad. It was made with trellis from Home Depot. He had the rest! The fabric draping the arch was $1 a yard down on Harry Hines Blvd. We got out with 20 yds of fabric for $20...You can't beat that! The average arch standing that tall cost close to $100 and chiffon and iridescent organza fabric can range anywhere from $3-$15 per yard!



Our "bridal cake" was actually petit fours. The average cost for a cake serving is $3.50 per serving. Our cost per serving was $2.00 from Casa Linda Bakery in Dallas. For an approximate saving of $250. Our cake stand was hand made from wood we got pre-cut at Home Depot, 3"wide PVC pipe fittings, and 1" wide dowel rods. I threw on a little Mod Podge and a lace trim for a total cost of $25. The average cupcake stand for 100 servings cost approximately $65 with tax and shipping (Cupcake Tree). This does not include decorating supplies and it is made out of cardboard.



Handmade Boutonnieres!! Early in my planning, I stumbled on how to make flowers out of burned fabric. I was able to make 12 boutonnieres for $20. Boutonnieres on average cost $10 a piece. Total savings: $100

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You will never guess where I got the vases for my centerpieces. Dollar Tree had 9" tall vases. I bought 10 of them. Michael's and Hobby Lobby both priced vases of that size about $10 per piece. That's right...I saved $90. All the flowers for my centerpieces were either on clearance at Michael's or from Walmart. Flowers look less cheap and more vibrant when they are submerged in water. The floating candles were 4 for $8 at Garden Ridge. There were also 10 different vases that Jonas' mom picked up on sale at Michael's. We scattered the vases every other table and it looked awesome! P.S. I still have most of these vases if anyone needs some for anything!


I am not sure where those little swans came from...a little cheesy.

AnyWHO...There are many more ways that we saved that I can not disclose! We were incredibly blessed by our friends and families. It would not have come together without all the helping hands. I felt like my wedding was pretty much perfect. The things that I were irritated about at the moment I can look back and laugh about. So many beautiful memories were made. We are thoroughly enjoying married life. Well worth the wait.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I am too blessed to be stressed!!

Well the wedding is just around the corner. Needless to say, it has all come so quickly. It hit us tonight, just how much money this is all costing. We have been so incredibly blessed thus far. Let me tell you God has provided! Austin Cox is a really good friend of ours. He so very generously offered to design our invitations and provide videography for the wedding. His company See the Beautiful Things is using our wedding as their main portfolio. We were happy to oblige and he was happy to poor his heart and soul into it. Our invitations are even better then I ever imagined. I can only imagine the tears our wedding video is going to bring. If you need an amazing graphic designer, videographer, or photographer, Austin Cox is your man. Another blessing the Lord sent was an angel behind a camera named Jillian Zamora. (James, I haven't forgotten the angel behind the reflector!!:D) Jillian, besides having a beautiful name, is beyond talented!! Our engagement pictures she took moved me to tears. I am SO excited about bridal portraits and the wedding! She is beautifully capturing the best day of my life. I am eternally grateful to her for that.







As blessed as we have been, my sin nature took over tonight. I found my self crying over everything else that we have to pay for. Jonas and I had to sit back and talk about where exactly we are going to have to scale back. I got so overwhelmed and stressed almost instantly. It doesn't help that I had to leave work sick today. I was already a little emotional to begin with. Please pray that I am able to give it all to God. I am way to BLESSED to be STRESSED!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,

I have been writing a lot about wedding stuff so today I wanted to take a step away from that.

Jonas' cousin Staff Sergeant Adrian Gomez, deploys today to Afghanistan. Adrian is someone Jonas admires and looks up to a great deal. It is because of Adrian that Jonas joined the Marine Corp. Ultimately, Adrian has helped to mold Jonas into the amazing man he is today. For that I am unbelievably grateful.

At our wedding, we are going to be providing yellow ribbons.



The Yellow Ribbon

The yellow ribbon is being displayed quite prominently in America these days. We see them tied around trees, on bumper stickers and before our eyes in all sorts of places. The yellow ribbons began appearing in large numbers after the Gulf War when we began sending large numbers of troops overseas to the Middle East. We see yellow ribbons on display all around us today. As a nation and as a community the yellow ribbons are out for all to see. We think of our Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen abroad. They have gone out from amongst us to places far away. Now they are in harms way. Many of them are facing our foes. We remember them. And we pray for their safe return. Please take a yellow ribbon to help you to remember to pray for our troops.


Adrian,

We love you and we are praying for you and your safe return. We are praying for the rest of your Marines that are under your command. We pray a shield of protection over you. We are praying for Mirza, Kyra, and Issac that they may have peaceful and patient hearts while you are away. We are praying for your family and their hearts as well. We love you and we wish you could be with us on our wedding day. Thank you for giving your heart to provide a safe place for us to live. Know, Jonas would love nothing more then to be at your side fighting with you. Get back soon!

2 Samuel 22:3

"my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men you save me."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Worth the wait...

Well this blog is a little bit late. I don't think I can ever have another birthday to top the one I had this year. Jonas and I got engaged on April 4th! He did it right before my birthday party. Short, sweet, and simple. Just a few lines include. "I promise to put God first in everything and constantly pray over our marriage and our family." " I love you so much." " Will you marry me?" We are so very excited to start our life together. We have chosen August 14th as a wedding date! I know...its less than 5 months away. We finally feel like God has given us the timing we have been waiting for.



Planning...

I have to say I am a little overwhelmed right now because I don't have time to sit and relax. I am a little more a head of the game then most in my position. We already have a ceremony venue. All of the bridal party attire is picked out for the most part. Of course, I already bought my dress.( I actually bought it January 31st :P) My flowers and ceremony decor are planned out. Fabric for the handmade boutonnieres has been bought. Invitations are picked out. Bridal Cake and baker have been chosen (We aren't doing a real cake!) We still need to nail down photographer and take care of the reception.

I have always known that weddings are expensive. If I was smart I would have started saving for my wedding day when I was 5 like on Bride Wars. I am praying something miraculous happens financially so we can pay for everything. To be honest I am a half step away from opening a donation fund at a bank.

After a lot of deliberation we have decided to have a dinner at our reception. Jonas will have a lot of family coming in from out of town. We feel it would be rude not to serve them dinner after going out of their way to support us. Finding a venue for the number of people we are inviting has been tough on such short notice. I don't see us getting out cheaper then 10k... I don't know how we are going to pay for it...but I know it will all work out. Its times like now that I wish I had parents with a disposable income. I am grateful for what I have. I have never wanted for anything! I know this will all work out how it is supposed to.



From the walls of Robbins Bros...LETS DO THIS THING!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Romans 12:12

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Such simple words to live by. I love this verse and I am clinging to the hope that it brings. The past few months have been a roller coaster with everything we have going on. I feel beat down. This verse lifts me up when I read it.

Jonas and I have been diligently praying for wisdom and sovereign interference in regards to his school financial situation and a job. Jonas heard that he was going to have to start paying for his school starting April 1. The school has put him through the ringer! When he signed up they told him that the school was connected and he would be able to receive the G.I. Bill to pay for it. Lie. They were never had any connections at all. Then they told Jonas class that since they were the inaugural class they wouldn't have to pay for the school until they received a job. Lie. No one has gotten a job yet. They then told him that he would be able to qualify for Vocational Rehab since he was a disabled veteran. Lie. According to the VA, he doesn't qualify. The school continuously reassured him that he would be able to receive financial assistance. ALL LIES.

I have been telling him the whole time that he needs to be aggressive with them. Jonas has a heart that loves to give people the benefit of the doubt and I love that about him. He contacted the school one last time. He asked if they could lower the payments or even defer the payments until he got a job. Jonas received an e-mail yesterday saying that he owed the full monthly payments of almost $900 starting April 1 and they were not going to do anything to help. How wrong is this??? It is crazy!!

Jonas is in the process of contacting his congressman and lawyers. The school used negligent misrepresentation to get him to sign on to the program. He would have never signed on if they hadn't promised him financial assistance. If this was a field he really wanted to pursue he could have gone to a school in Tyler where they give veterans free tuition. Not only that, but Jonas had already tested with the Plano Police Department and passed. He could have had a job as a police officer in a well paying city. Instead, he has spent an entire year with no job because he was in school.

Thankfully, Jonas got out of their with his CTO for the FAA. He is completely eligible for hire with the FAA. So far that is the only good thing that has come out of this situation. This coming Sunday is selection Sunday with the FAA where they choose controllers for airport openings in the FAA. We are praying earnestly that Jonas is on the list and will be placed soon. We are very anxious to see where God leads us.

Please join with us in prayer for our situation. We have a lot of really hard decisions to make. Including, getting married and trying to find me a car. We deserve the wedding we have always wanted. With this new debt lingering we might have to put it on hold. We so badly want to start our lives together and celebrate our relationship. Please pray for our patience and our finances. We have really hit a brick wall. We love you all.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ephesians 3:14-18

Well, we heard something from the FAA! Jonas received an e-mail saying that he was in the applicant pool this month to be hired in Texas or California. This is the first step made by the FAA in the hiring process! You have no clue how exciting it was to hear that his application had been accepted!! It was also very exciting to know that they acknowledged his request to be located in Texas or California! We have been praying for light at the end of the tunnel for a while now and we finally caught a small glimpse.

The next e-mail he should receive will be asking him to come in for an initial interview. Keep in mind this is the federal government so it is a long process. If he gets hired with an airport he will then report to the FAA headquarters in Oklahoma City. He will be there any where from 3 months to a year training for the airport he was hired. The amount of time there is determined by the type of job (tower, TRACON, or center) and the level of the airport ( DFW: Level 12, Ft.Worth Alliance: Level 5).

We ask you to continue to join us in prayer as he prepares for his career. We are praying for patience and discernment leading up to him being hired. We are really leaning on God to put us where he can use us! We are also praying for our finances. Jonas has had to get a part time job because this is such a long process. He has a few other options that we are waiting to open up that would really help us out financially. We are waiting and praying for God to show us a wedding date! Not that some things haven't already been set in motion ( If you know me at all you know that I am a planner by nature and a realist!! Both a good thing and a bad thing!!:p) We are both itching to tie the knot for more than one reason. Above all, IT IS JUST DANG TIME ALREADY! The last few months our relationship has changed so much. It is so baffling how much God allows us to actually love another person. It is down right beautiful.

So I leave with a verse that speaks well of our life right now...

" When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is." Ephesians 3:14-18

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My FIRST Crafting Adventure!

One Sunday I was bored and just had the urge to craft!! I have seen these cute cross collages at First Monday in Canton, TX. Every time I see them I tell myself I could make it if I tried. So I did! I have to say I am pretty impressed with the final project! This was the first time I have ever done anything like this! I LOVE IT!! Nobody believes I made it...

When I went to Micheal's for the project I was incredibly overwhelmed! I think I spent 2 hours just walking around... I found the jewelry centerpiece right away at the door. Then I found a plain wooden cross on the next aisle. I knew I wanted to attempt to use Mod Podge because I have seen sooo many cute projects with it. I decided before I started my project that I wanted to use blues, grays, and dark brown. I made it for my bedroom and those are the primary colors I used. So the rest I just started pulling together! Paints, stickers,stamps, gems, and stencils. The biggest find for me was a book of cardstock with a vintage theme that ran through it. It really helped me to tie everything together! The last bit I bought was a frame at T.J.Maxx! They are super cheap! This first crafting experience was pretty expensive because I had to buy all the essentials. Now I am armed and ready for my crafting adventures.

Here is the final product!!







Wednesday, February 17, 2010

John 1:16

"From the fullness of Grace we have received one blessing after another." John 1:16

Sunday was Valentines Day and I had to work. I gave Jonas John Mayer tickets for his Valentine's Day present. I get to go too! I am pretty excited I must say! I love John Mayer but not like Jonas! I can already see the excitement in his face! I love that happy childish look of excitement he gets. Its raw emotion from a man who sometimes has a problem showing it in raw form not covered in sarcasm. Last year I had just started a new job so I didn't have any money. I made him a PowerPoint because I couldn't even afford a card. The rolls were reversed this year. Jonas is a little low on funds since we are still waiting on a door to open in the FAA. I wasn't expecting anything at all. When I got home the house was picked up, a movie was in the DVD player, Marvin Gaye Pandora was playing, and dinner was on the oven. I loved it!! I am convinced it was the best Valentines Day we have had because he actually had to put some time and effort into it.




Monday morning I got up early and drove to Rowlett, TX to see Brianna! My best friend was having a baby on Tuesday!!! I still can't believe it! I got there about 9am Monday morning and we didn't stop until we went to bed at 11:30pm. I love that I was able to be there for her, Brad, and Brycen. It was such a special time to be able to talk and prepare for such a big change!

Tuesday morning came quickly! We were up and going at 4am!! I am still not quite sure how my body was functioning!! We called the hospital at 4:30am to make sure they were ready to admit her. We were off to the hospital by 5:30am. When we got there they did not waste any time! She was changed with blood drawn within the first 10min. She had her epidural about 15 min. after that. Anyone who knows me well, knows I DO NOT DO NEEDLES!! I was ready to run out the door when her anesthesiologist walked in! Brad asked me to stay, so sitting backwards in my chair facing the window I heard my best friend get her epidural... They had all of her inducing and water broken by 7:30am! The wait began! Brycen Kellis Malone was born at 5:20pm on February 16, 2010. He weighed 7lbs 5ozs. and he was 19 in. long. Pretty much perfect! I could not be more proud! I can't believe my best friend is a MOMMY! It was such a blessing to spend those couple of days with her, Brad, and Brycen. It will be memories I cherish! I can't wait to kiss that handsome little face!!



Wednesday, I woke up in the middle of the night sick to my stomach! I was back and forth from the bathroom and the bedroom from about 2am-6am. Needless to say, I didn't get to spend my last day in Garland with my best friend and my new little nephew! I drove back to Denton about 3pm. I took it easy on the couch most of the day! Between all the excitement on Tuesday and being sick Wednesday morning I was worn out!! I went to bed about 10pm and crashed!

This morning came wayyy to early! I got to work and found out that Susan the other full time girl had been out sick this week! The new sales associate Niki had been there by herself! I felt bad for her but it didn't last long because I noticed a stack of paperwork about 2 inches thick that I had to tackle! The phone started ringing off the hook and I had a million other things to get done! The clock was at 7pm before I knew it! Jonas had a job interview today at Home Depot and he got the job!!! Then when he got home the U.S. Census recruiting office called to offer him another job!! No, No, NO, don't worry he is still planning on being an air traffic controller! We are STILL waiting to hear something from the FAA! Until then, homeboy needs to make some money!

Saturday flew by at work! We broke 10k for the 3rd Saturday this year! So excited that we are doing well despite the economy right now! I prayed for a fast paced, productive day and God was happy to provide! My feet regretted that prayer later but I felt accomplished. When I got home we got ready and headed to Grapevine to see our good friend Cody Carnes play! If you haven't bought his new EP, please go to iTunes and do so! It is well worth it for less than $5! I also heard Ryan Edgar! He is AMAZING! I was lucky to have been so blessed by two artists! They are both very powerful songwriters who love Jesus. I pray for their success! The Truth is clearly shown in the messages they sing! What a blessing it was to my soul! They played at a birthday party for two of their friends. Instead of bringing gifts they asked you bring donations for Haiti Relief and a company called Project Seven. What an awesome company doing powerful work for mankind!



I think John 1:16 really fits the mood of this week! I have received one blessing after another this week, both good and bad! I don't deserve any of it! Thank you Jesus for loving me when I shouldn't be loved and blessing me with good and bad!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Update on Money!

GOD IS SO GOOD! Jonas and I got the good news this morning that the VA is going to be paying for his school!!!! We are thrilled because that is $41k that we don't have to worry about paying back! We feel so blessed because we know God has been working through this and we truly give all the glory to Him!

I just got off the phone with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. I was denied loan forgiveness and I still have to pay my loans back. There is some confusion about my degree plan and the number of hours I was contracted to and some hours that were supposed to be substituted that were not. I took this as an answer from above! My loan payment has been lowered almost $25 a month. My original quote was $150 a month for a little over $17k. When I called today my monthly payment is now $124.33 for $15,357. I STILL feel incredibly blessed by our Lord! He has provided a great opportunity for me to build my credit without a credit card!! My loan has NO INTEREST ! This is the best situation to have to pay back a college education! It is weird...but I have never been so excited to pay back $15k before!

Jonas and I are so thankful for God's beautiful grace in our money matters! AMEN!!!!

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