Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My toughest struggle in this pregnancy so far as been fear. 

{7 week bump}

Fear of miscarriage. 

That my baby isn't growing right. 

That I might not be doing everything right to help this little one develop. 

Fear of the unknown, where I'll give birth, where we'll be in the next few months and years. 

I've never felt so fearful as I have in the last 7 weeks since we found out we were pregnant. It all really boils down to the loss of control. I can't control how my baby is growing, what will happen over the next 27 weeks or how my body will react. I can't control my husband's orders, when we have to leave loved ones here in Hawaii or which state I'll get to have my baby in. Rarely in my life have I been so out of control of the circumstances. 

And it's been stretching me. And I've had to learn a lot about leaning on God. Because I have no control, but He has every control over each minute detail of my life (and yours). Several weeks after we found out about our baby, it dawned on me that I could potentially continue in this pattern of fear for the rest of my life and my baby's life. I realized that even if every detail of my pregnancy went smoothly, that it wouldn't stop there. I could fear for my child's life even after birth, when I have even less control, and I know that I don't want to live a life of fear. 

If my Father cares about the sparrows that flit around outside my studio window, why do I find it difficult to believe that He is caring for our little one and that He is perfectly crafting plans for us? The thing is, I know this Truth in my head but sometimes it takes a lot of work for that to penetrate to my heart of hearts and to affect the way I view my circumstances. Lots of memorizing and re-reading Bible verses, long conversations with God and with Chris. And I think it's going to just be a continual struggle to cast aside fear and take on the peace that God wants so much for me to be covered in. 

Do you struggle with fear? What are some ways that you personally find helping in choosing peace? 


Monday, January 30, 2012

aloha style: i've got the monday... purples?

cardigan:: {stolen, er borrowed from my sister's closet}
dress:: {o'neill}
belt:: {forever 21}
purse:: {navy exchange, bueno}
flats:: {probably payless, they're old!}

Monday Blues are kind of non-existent around here lately. 

Usually, it's tough to go back to a normal work week after a blissful weekend on the beach with Chris. Thankfully though, a few circumstances make it just a bit easier these past few months. Chris has a pretty low stress job now with bosses that are generally considerate and eager to help him learn. Compared to his last job on the ship, this is one is literally a God-send. Knowing that he's happy to go back into work on Monday makes the day so much easier on me. Also, each Monday, I gain one more week in my pregnancy! Today I'm 13 weeks and entering my last week of the first trimester! Looking forward to that each week makes Mondays pretty exciting. 

Hope you've been able to shake off a bit of the Monday Blues by now! What do you look forward to each week?

PS. This may be a new favorite outfit. It's so comfy, colorful and there's plenty of room for that baby to grow in there! 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

it's the little things:: ballet slippers & renewed creativity

Sometimes I have too many little things to fit into a blog post. This week is one of those times. I just feel blessed. Amidst some arguments with Chris, a crazy pregnancy moment, nasty headaches and the fact that our orders/plans for the next few years are once again up in the air-- there are so many little (and big!) things that have left me smiling this week. 

... a new favorite nail polish shade. Ballet Slippers from Essie is a sweet baby pink and I love love love it. 

... a brand new notebook (a gift from my brother-and-sister-in-law!) from wit and whistle. I love the anticipation of the blank pages and scheming up how I want to fill it.

... On a whim this week, I rearranged my studio. My sawhorse table is now right under the big window and I get so much light. I love it. This quick rearranging did a lot for those creative juices in my brain (ew, brain juices... sorry....). I haven't really been doing much crafting lately, but I have a few projects I'm working on now and it feels so good to be creative again.

Sometimes it just takes looking for the little things in life to turn a week around. What are your little things this week?

I'd love for you to link up below! Pleeeeeeease (please, please) pay attention to what you are linking up. I've had so many people link up completely irrelevant posts lately and it really confuses me. I knoooow you know how to read. ;)  I just wanna see the little blessings that made you smile this week.

party rules.

1. Only link to your specific blog post, not to your blog's main page. See here for more explanation. 

2. Grab a button and/or include a link back to this post so your readers can come see what the fun is all about! You can find the code for the button on the sidebar or on the "little things" page.

3. Make sure you visit (and comment) on other posts linked up-- what fun is a party if no one talks to each other? Make some new friends! 

4. I reserve the right to kick you out of the party if you aren't playing nice-- so make sure your post is relevant to this party and is actually a "little things" post (ie. no giveaways, random posts from last month, etc.).

win your choice of blowfish shoes!

You've seen me wear my Blowfish Shoes in a few of my outfit posts and if you're like me, you may have a looong wishlist of their gorgeous and comfy boots, flats and shoes! They've recently previewed a few of the gorgeous spring shoes and you guys-- you are going to love them. Bright colors and floral patterns-- you know I'm all about that.

Soooo, guess what? Blowfish is giving away a pair of free shoes (winner's choice!!) to one of you- my gorgeous readers! (Even my precious international readers, woo-hoo!) Wanna win? Keep reading to see how!

Mandatory entry::

Visit Blowfish Shoes and pick out your very favorite pair of shoes. Leave a comment here telling me of your choice. 

**Optional entries::**

'Like' Blowfish Shoes on Facebook!  (Leave a separate comment here for an entry.)

Follow BlowfishShoes on Twitter! (Leave a separate comment here for an entry.)

Giveaway closes on Wednesday, February 1 and winner will be announced Thursday! 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

oh baby:: 12 weeks!

Yesterday I might have had the most ridiculous pregnancy moment so far. Not only did I have a splitting headache all day, but all I could think about eating for dinner was a warm, fresh French bread loaf and some brie cheese. While Chris was at the commissary, I texted him a list of a few requested items, including that brie and bread. Apparently though, I sent it to my friend Michelle, who was not doing any sort of grocery shopping for me. Chris got home later and I went out to the car to meet him and he told me I hadn't texted him any sort of list. 

I burst into tears. And sobbed for a good 20 minutes. 

The ugly cry, friends. Over cheese. 

My poor husband. 

At one point he was concerned as I was sobbing and asked if I was okay, as I seemed to be in extreme pain. I just sobbed to him "No, I'm just dumb and pregnant!!" 

And so, the pregnancy hormones have definitely kicked in. And that is why my eyes may look a bit puffy in the photo above. I had just dried my tears 5 minutes before. 

Another "milestone" I've hit (besides the pregnancy meltdown) is that I've been wearing my Bella Band (and Be Band, from Target) every day. This thing is awesome. I can use it to hold up shorts and pants that won't even zip anymore and it's incredibly comfy. 

Despite some ups and downs this week, mostly I'm just joyful that we made it to 12 weeks and are this close to finishing up the first trimester! We already love this baby so much and can't wait to meet him or her.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

fresh paint:: vintage inspired florals and cupid's arrows

Ok, I promise I won't make it a habit to post two times day. I guess I just have a lot to say this week. :) 

Just wanted to pop in and show you the new paintings in my shop! Lots of Valentine's inspired arrow artwork and some sweet floral designs inspired by vintage floral fabric! I love envisioning the super happy homes these paintings will one day end up in.

Cupid's Arrows on 6x12 canvas

Cupid's Arrows II on 9x12 canvas

Tweet- Tweet in the Meadow on 8x8 canvas

I Picked You Some WildFlowers on 8" round canvas

I Love You 2x2 Magnet// Surf's Up 6x12 canvas
// Vintage Inspired Click-Click 8x8 canvas//Vintage Inspired Sew Cute 8x8 canvas

Stop by the shop to take a look and take 10% off with the code FRESHPAINT10 at checkout! 


aloha style:: just use your imagination.

headband, button down, skinny jeans:: {forever 21}
cardigan:: {who knows, a million years old}
flower pin:: {craftee mcgee}
Saul flats:: {c/o Blowfish Shoes}

Ack, these photos bug me so much. I gave the camera to Chris on the wrong settings so everything is way blown out and overexposed. I did my best to salvage them, but they look funky to me. Oh well, I'm not the kind of blogger to not publish photos because they aren't perfect. Things get screwed up sometimes and I always do my best to be real with you guys. Just use your imagination-- my button down is a really pretty shade of lavender and my cardigan is a soft cream. Thank goodness for Picnik though. 

Which is opening a whole can of worms there. I'm assuming most/all of you have heard of Picnik shutting down in April. So sad. I seriously do all my photo editing for my blog and shop on there. I feel like I need to go through and edit every single one of the photos on my computer and hard drive before April. I'm considering saving up for Photoshop since I haven't come across any comparable photo editing programs. You might be needing to use your imagination a little more once Picnik closes and my photos go back to the dark ages later this spring. 

Ahem. Anyway. Today I'm finishing up some Valentine's paintings and putting those babies in the shop. I also plan on chowing down on some scrumptious homemade macnut pesto pasta for lunch and maybe even showering somewhere in there. 


Monday, January 23, 2012

so, you're coming to oahu?

Aloha friends! Lately I've had some of you emailing me asking for some tips on the best things to see and do on Oahu. I thought I would share with you what we think is the best way to enjoy the island. Below are some of our favorite beaches, restaurants, spots on the island. Obviously, it's not a comprehensive travel guide, just some of our personal faves from our 2.5 years here and the places we take our friends and family when they come to visit for the first time. 

Most people coming to visit will be staying in Waikiki. This is the city/touristy area of the island, filled with hotels, bars, restaurants and beaches. While you're sure to have a blast if you stay there, you will not get the full Hawaii experience unless you are able to rent a car and explore Oahu. So please don't be afraid to venture outside of Waikiki! Get out of town and take in the island. 

The North Shore  is a must. It's about an hour or so drive from Waikiki (depending on traffic) and it's really beautiful. It's probably one of our very favorite places on island. Haleiwa is the little town up there that has some fun shops and restaurants. 

You've gotta get shave ice ( most tour guide books say go to Matsumoto's but it's almost always crowded so we like Aoki's just down the street). Get the ice cream on the bottom, it's so worth it. 

There is a tiny sandwich shop called Storto's  and we love to go there and get subs on sweet Hawaiian bread and then take them to the beach down the road for a picnic (or sit on the picnic tables outside the restaurant and watch the chickens on the property!) The half-size sandwiches are enough to fill Chris which is saying alot-- that boy eats so much. 

Our friend recently went from selling his amazing Thai food  from a food truck to owning a small restaurant in Haleiwa. At his restaurant, Opal's, you'll find some of the best Thai food you've eaten (and we should know, having just traveled to Thailand last spring!). Opal will take great care of you, even if you've never tried Thai food before and his young son, Lio is sure to be a source of entertainment while you eat. 

On Sundays, from 9am-1pm, the Haleiwa Farmer's Market  is the place to be. Fresh bread, sweet orchids, small artists and produce farmers occupy stalls at this small market. You'll find the best pesto ever (ever, ever, ever) in one of the booths-- look for the macadamia nut pesto and grab a jar or two!

Also on the North Shore, you can often see lots of  turtles  on the beaches or in the waves. Poipu Beach often has lots of these big guys laying on the sand and was the site of the Survivor Lost camp when they were filming there. It's pretty hidden away but you should be able to find directions if you google it (it's right past Haleiwa). Another good place to see turtles is at Lanikea Beach. You'll see a huge crowd there-- you can't miss it!

favorite beach on the island is on the North Shore and that is Waimea Beach. It's the site of the huge surf competitions in the winter but the waves are super calm there in the summer. When the waves are just starting to get big, the surf is fun to swim in and bob up and down on. There is a fun rock to jump off into the water. Parking is limited but the beach is huge so it never gets very crowded. Go early in the morning to get prime parking. 

On the other side of the island, there's a pretty little town called Kailua. Kailua has lots of fun shops and restaurants as well. And Kailua Beach Park is a beautiful beach, though it can be windy sometimes (this is on the windward side of the island so it tends to be windier and rainier than the other side). It's a popular site for kite surfers, which are fun to watch and probably would be really fun to try if you dare! 

 My VERY FAVORITE restaurant on the whole island is in Kailua. This tiny crepes place is called Crepes No Ka 'Oi  -- it's divine. Get the Berry Heavenly crepe (ordered with a side of nutella!)  for some sweet decadence, or go before 11am for the Ultimate Breakfast crepe, which is filled with potatoes, eggs and hollandaise sauce. Yum. 

As far as hikes  go, there is a little hike on this side of the island (near Kailua) called the Pillbox Hike or Lanikai hike. It's pretty easy and is along a ridge right on the ocean. The views are amazing, especially at sunrise. You have to park on the street by a golf course to get to it. I'd recommend wearing tennis shoes to hike, but I've done it in slippers (aka. flip flops) without much trouble. 

Also, Maunawili Falls hike is on this side of the island and that's a fun one. If it's been raining at all, the trail is completely muddy and you probably won't last a few minutes without slipping and sliding. The trail is pretty jungly and leads to a water fall that has a 10 foot and 40 foot jump into a deep pool. It's usually pretty crowded, which makes it not our favorite hike, but still lots of fun. Make sure you wear clothes and shoes that you don't mind getting coated in mud!

If you are a beginner surfer and want to try it out, there is a beach called White Plains (or Barber's Point). It is a good beach for beginner surfers -- lots of families and military, pretty calm waves, no big rocks. You have to have a military ID to rent a board though. You can rent boards without a military ID in town (Waikiki/Honolulu) but sometimes the local surfers there get a little territorial. I wouldn't be worried about going surfing in town, but we always take people to learn at White Plains.

If you're an experienced surfer, Chris' favorite surf spot is Lani's (Laniakea) on the North Shore. This break is located between Poipu and Chun's and is good right break with deep water. He usually sees lots of turtles while surfing out there. It's great for head high waves to 2x overhead in the winter. 

One thing I tell everyone they most do is take part of the day to drive  around the whole island. This should take you about 2-3 hours (again, depending on traffic) but it will give you a better appreciation for the island as a whole. The roads that go around run literally feet from the water and the sights are amazing. You can take Kamehameha highway almost all the way around. 

Other favorites:: 

Makapu'u Lighthouse & tide pools

Sandy's Beach

Pearl Harbor Memorial

Spitting Caves

Shark's Cove for snorkeling

I hope this was helpful for those of you traveling to Oahu in the future! There are lots of great things to do and see not listed on here, so be sure to talk to others and look up more info online or in travel books! 

Do you live on Oahu? Have you visited here? What are/were some of your favorite spots and activities on the island? Let's keep the info flowing in the comments below! 

Also, if you have any questions, leave me a comment and I'll reply below. 


a few changes. (simplifying and growing!)

Helloooooo! Hope your week is off to a great start already! I just woke up a little bit ago and am relaxing in bed, munching on crackers and willing this nausea to leave me alone for the day.

Thought I would update you on a few things going on around here. I posted here about my word for 2012-- "grow". I've been thinking a lot about that and what it means to me, practically. Growing doesn't always mean adding more on, or getting bigger, but sometimes in order to grow, you have to prune away the unnecessary or the things that keep us from growing. Sometimes you just have to simplify to make room for new growth. 

In light of that, I've decided to do away with sponsor feature posts.  I love being able to support and give greater exposure to my fellow handmade artists and bloggers, but right now, I feel like the sponsor feature posts are taking away from what I really want to post about --  our life, our baby, my artwork, creative inspiration, etc. I will still be taking new sponsors each month, but the sponsorships will remain sidebar space only, for the most part. For the time being, I've dropped the prices a bit, but since I haven't raised them at all since I started offering sponsorships (and I have 10x the traffic now), they might be going back up a bit in the future.

**edit--  I do have a few more sponsor features for my awesome January sponsors, but after that, they'll disappear... ;)**

I also will not be doing any more "call for sponsors" posts. These posts also take away from my posting time and I figure that the people who really want to sponsor can easily figure out my information. Plus, they're kind of awkward to post, so nixin' those babies. 

If you want some more info on sponsorships and the new changes, check out my sponsorship page here. 

Thanks for all your support and understanding. It's not always easy making the "pruning" kinds of decisions (actually, it's not easy for me to make any sort of decision!). 

I hope you are getting excited for the BIG changes coming this way very soon. Aisle to Aloha will be changing its name and look in the very close future and I have to tell you that I'm ecstatic. I'm having a blast working with the talented Oana Befort on the graphic changes. 

Here's a tiny sneak peek! Can't wait to share the new name with you and make the big change! 

Ok, now that business is out of the way-- watch for a post later today all about our favorite things to do and see on Oahu! 


Friday, January 20, 2012

it's the little things:: our own basil & happy artwork

Agh, I'm sorry I've been so sporadic on what time I post the linkup lately! I've been trying to stay off the computer while Chris is home lately, so if I don't get it done by the time he comes home from work on Thursdays, I usually don't have a chance to post it until Friday mornings. Anyhoo, thanks for your patience and for joining me here each week to share about the little things that have made us smile this week. 

Chris has been working on his "farm" as he calls it a lot lately. ;) We have pots with fresh basil, mint, bell peppers, chili peppers, cilantro, and lemongrass growing in our backyard. I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce yesterday and loved using our own fresh basil from the "farm" in the sauce. The aroma of those freshly picked herbs is so heavenly. 

We bought some good olive oil and macadamia nuts the other day and plan on trying our hand at some "mac nut pesto" this weekend! :) 

I've been slowly working towards getting our bedroom together. Of course now that we're only months away from moving, it seems a bit pointless, but I know I'll carry over most of the elements in our future homes. I love having a bright space filled with happy color. These two prints below are right across from our bed and greet me each morning when I poke my sleepy head out of the covers. The one on the right is from Katie Daisy, who is one of my very favorite artists, and the one on the right is from our good friend here in Hawaii, Nick, who is a graphic designer and sells his awesome prints in his Etsy shop, Everything is Jake

More details and a full  bedroom tour is coming up soon! 

A few more little things that I don't have photos for but made me smile nonetheless::

... My car passing the safety inspection without a hitch recently. What's even better-- we don't have to deal with any registration or safety inspection stuff here in Hawaii again! Hallelujah!

... Listening to recordings of old hymns from when Chris lived in Fiji. The joy on his face hearing his host family and the people he loves there singing and worshipping made my heart leap.

Now it's your turn. What are the little things that made you smile this week? Post about them on your blog and link up below, or tell me in the comments!

party rules.

1. Only link to your specific blog post, not to your blog's main page. See here for more explanation. 

2. Grab a button and/or include a link back to this post so your readers can come see what the fun is all about! You can find the code for the button on the sidebar or on the "little things" page.

3. Make sure you visit (and comment) on other posts linked up-- what fun is a party if no one talks to each other? Make some new friends! 

4. I reserve the right to kick you out of the party if you aren't playing nice-- so make sure your post is relevant to this party and is actually a "little things" post (ie. no giveaways, random posts from last month, etc.).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

oh baby:: 11 weeks!

blouse and green jeans:: {forever 21}
belt:: {target}
bracelet:: {actually a necklace I bought in Spain}
ring:: {american eagle, a million years ago}
wedges:: {payless}

I'm not normally planning on doing outfit posts and baby bump posts simultaneously, but it just worked out that way this week, so for now, you get a two-fer. A double whammy. 

I hit 11 weeks on Monday! Right now, I feel like my bump just makes me look as if I ate a large lunch. So I've been wearing things a little on the flowier side until I feel like the bump looks like baby and not tacos. 

Yesterday, we got to see gummy bear again. The nice thing about having some fertility issues is that we've gotten more ultrasounds than I think many women have through their whole pregnancy, just to check on how the babe is growing. I'm so thankful for that and it's really helped to ease my mind. 

I'm in awe of the way Chris is taking care of me. Some days, this nausea (not to mention exhaustion and headaches) has me knocked out on the couch, with no desire or energy to do anything. He has been preparing every dinner, without complaints (except when I'm just too picky and won't decide on what to eat!) and cleaning up afterwards too. I have to take my thyroid medicine on an empty stomach, so each morning, he brings my pill and water in first thing so that I can eat something as soon I wake up. He's been so understanding if the house is wreck all week and gives the baby pep talks to give mama a break every now and then. I really am so thankful for that man. 

He's also said some pretty funny things:: 

(a few weeks ago)
Chris:: Aw, your baby bump is so cute already. 
Me:: Um, pretty sure that's just bloat right now. 
Chris:: Oh, hm, that's not as cute. 

After worshipping at our church, which has incredibly loud music. 

Chris:: So, does the baby have ears yet? Maybe we should put noise canceling headphones on your belly! 

Thankfully, I seem to have found some good methods for keeping the nausea from being too bad, but it would definitely help if I could just cancel out my sense of smell for the next few months! My gag reflex is way too sensitive. Chris said the word "chicken" the other day and I gagged and said, "Please don't say that word." He looked at me like I was completely whacko, which I definitely feel sometimes. ;)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

berry crepes, sunshine and a bump.

I wouldn't say this pregnancy is kicking my butt (I know many friends who have had it way worse than I!) but I'm definitely over this whole nausea thing. Especially because I feel like it has kept me from being able to be productive-- I've been a bit slack on the blogging and painting lately. It didn't help that Chris so kindly "lent" me his cold over the weekend, either! 

So today, our post is brought to you courtesy of the camera on my phone. I usually try to spend more time taking pictures with my DSLR than my phone, but thought I'd share a little slice of our life lately through the eye's of my phone camera. 

(top to bottom, left to right)

enjoying a sunny day at North Beach, K Bay//
 relaxing on the drive up to the North Shore // 
relishing 5 minutes of having a clean studio // 
whooping Chris in dominos-- 113 to 0 //
 sneak peek of new Valentine's paintings coming soon! // 
Mumford & Sons lyrics painted for my sister in law //
 more beach time! // 
delicious Berry Heavenly crepe at my favorite restaurant on the island // 
watching Chris surf on the west side //
 itty bitty 11 week baby bump! 

I'm hoping to get some more painting done today and have my first appt with my official OB (instead of the fertility specialist we've been seeing for my first two appointments) later this morning. Thankful Chris can go with me because otherwise I'd probably get lost in that hospital. What are you up to today??

PS. I've enabled threaded commenting! So, you'll notice that the comments are now embedded below and you have the option to reply to specific comments. If you'd like notification of replies to your comment, click the "subscribe by email" link on the right side of the comments. :)


Thursday, January 12, 2012

it's the little things:: kona mud pie ice cream & baby's first portrait

This linkup/series continues to make me grin. I love taking a few moments to think about the small blessings in my week that have made me smile and made the week just that much better. This week has been filled with lots of little things and has left me feeling grateful, loved and oh so happy.

... sweet indulgences. I have been known to find pretty much any reason under the sun to indulge. Deployed husband? Check. 100 sales? Check. No sales? Check. Pregnant? Oh, yes, definitely check. Cuz you know, the baby wants ice cream, right? ;) And this is the best ice cream eveeeer, my friend. Roselani's Kona Mud Pie.

... tiny surprises in the mail. My little brother bought me these earrings from joojooland on etsy for Christmas and they finally arrived the other day. The packaging was adorable and I am in loove. Thank you AJ! 

(He doesn't read my blog, so I could probably say all sorts of embarrassing things about him... but I'll refrain. ;)

... baby's first portraits on the fridge. I love seeing our ultrasound images on the fridge door every day. The top one is at 7 weeks and the bottom is at 10 weeks. So thankful for technology that allows us to see that gummy bear grow.

Got little things for the week? I'd love for you to link up! Or share what made you smile this week in the comments below. Have a beautiful weekend!

party rules.

1. Only link to your specific blog post, not to your blog's main page. See here for more explanation. 

2. Grab a button and/or include a link back to this post so your readers can come see what the fun is all about! You can find the code for the button on the sidebar or on the "little things" page.

3. Make sure you visit (and comment) on other posts linked up-- what fun is a party if no one talks to each other? Make some new friends! 

4. I reserve the right to kick you out of the party if you aren't playing nice-- so make sure your post is relevant to this party and is actually a "little things" post (ie. no giveaways, random posts from last month, etc.).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Thank you so much for all the sweet comments, congrats and prayers on the news of our little babe! We really feel so blessed that our babe is so loved already and it's so good to be able to share this new adventure with you, finally!

I do know, however, that not every woman will be cheering and squealing with delight at my pregnancy announcement. Why? Because I have been that woman whose heart sinks when I see yet another bump reveal. I understand being conflicted between feeling ecstatic for a newly pregnant friend and sobbing ten minutes later because "When is it my turn?"

My whole life my only "career goal" I've ever had was to be a mom. Oh, I had dreams of being a teacher, an artist, an actress. But I always knew in my heart that I was meant to be a mama. Growing up in a family of 7 kids can do that to a girl. My crazy, happy family gave me a desire to have my own one day. My own strong, faithful mama showed me how it's done. Playing with my nieces and nephews, I'd think about the day when I got to add my own kiddos to the mix of cousins. And marrying Chris solidified my heart's desire to grow a family with this amazing man of God. 

Our path to pregnancy was a tough one, though I'm sure not as tough as many of yours. Along the way, I was diagnosed with hypothryoidism which was screwing with my cycles and throwing a wrench in our plans. I was thankful to get it diagnosed and treated but it was frustrating to be given a diagnosis for something that will follow me throughout life. Thankfully, after a few tries, we've found a good dosage of drugs that keeps my thyroid levels in check. 

After months of me questioning God's timing and a year of trying, Chris and I headed into the doctor's to figure out what the heck was going on in our bodies. I was hit with yet another tough diagnosis, this time, one that shook my world. The doctor told me that I had PCOS, which is basically a hormone disorder of varying degrees that makes it very difficult for some women to conceive and impossible for others. I had no idea where I landed on the scale and I shook with sobs for days as I faced what I thought could be the end to my dreams.

As we shared our diagnosis and struggles with some close friends and family, we were flooded with prayers and encouragement. As painful as it was, I prayed that God would use our situation and use me for His glory. But I was hesitant to do that. I did not want to be an "infertility" blogger and was honestly rather mad that I had this new label.

 As December approached, we started to discuss drug treatments that would give us an edge on that conceiving thing. I prayed and prayed about it and as much as I was dying to become pregnant, I just felt an unease about the drugs. I asked God to be clear with me, if He was giving me these doubts and as I lay in bed praying one morning I heard loud and clear, "Just wait". I've never heard God so clearly before and I didn't know exactly what "just wait" meant but I said "Okay, God, we'll wait on the drugs."

Little did I know that He was really saying "just wait" for that positive test. Because within the week, I started to feel queasy and after hesitantly taking a pregnancy test on Monday morning, I crumpled to the floor in sobs as I saw those two clear lines show up. After countless negative tests, all I could do was lift my hands in thanks to God. We are still praising God for his timing and the miracles he works.

So, to my friends still waiting.... I just wish I could give you a big hug and tell you that I know it sucks. I won't say "Oh, it will happen", because the truth is, I don't know. But I know how hard it is to see so many friends announce their pregnancies and to still be patiently waiting for your turn.

I'm not one to throw Bible verses at a situation. I know that sometimes that's the last thing you want to hear. But not only do I want you to know that I know it sucks, but I hope to offer some encouragement as well. And the He is the best Encourager I know.

" I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong, take heart and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 27:13-14

I am confident that God will bring goodness into your life even through these struggles. He's got plans for you-- awesome, beautiful, good plans. Take heart, dear friend.

(And if you got through the longest blog post ever-- thank you. :)


Monday, January 9, 2012

oh baby!

We're having a baby!! Chris and I are both over the moon ecstatic about our little one and we can't wait to meet him/her in August. We've waited a while for this and I am so in awe of God's goodness and his perfect timing. I just had an appointment yesterday. I'm 10 weeks and my doctor said that everything looks great. We got to see our little gummy bear, see and hear his/her heartbeat and watch him/her squirm around. So amazing. I haven't been feeling real amazing, which may explain how quiet it's been around my blog and shop lately. I've been feeling pretty sick, which oddly enough is actually comforting, knowing that my body is working hard to grow this little one. Prayers are definitely appreciated and I just can't tell you how excited I am to finally share our news with you-- it's been so hard to keep this secret! 


Saturday, January 7, 2012

silver & honey giveaway winner!

Hi guys! Just popping in because I realized that I totally forgot to pick a winner for the Silver & Honey giveaway this week! Whooops!

So, without further ado, the lucky girl who will be receiving these pearl and pyrite earrings is... 

Congrats Margaret! Shoot me an email with your contact info and I'll get you in touch with Stephanie! 

If you didn't win this week, make sure to stop by Silver and Honey anyway and peruse Stephanie's gorgeous jewelry. You may want to put a few things on your Valentine's Day wishlist! 

Have a great weekend, friends! 


Friday, January 6, 2012

it's the little things:: bloggy friends & lost and found

It's Friday, party people! I know that the first week back after the holidays is always tough, so take a deep breath and relax. Or kick off your shoes and dance around the room. Or both. Whatever. 

It's been a little while since my last Little Things linkup. I've got lots to be thankful for over the past few weeks. Here are a few great ones from this week. 

... meetups with blogger friends! I got to meet Aime for coffee yesterday and we sat in Starbucks for almost four hours chatting about everything under the sun. Three years ago, I would have totally balked at the idea that I could share my heart over coffee with someone I'd only met on the internet. This online community leaves me speechless sometimes. 

... So, the other day, on his day off, Chris spent the afternoon washing, scrubbing and cleaning out our filthy car. That was a blessing in and of itself-- to have a squeaky clean car this week-- but what really pushed me over the edge into glee was that under the driver's seat, he found a lipstick tube I've been searching for for about two years. My friend and makeup artist gave it to me after doing my makeup on our wedding day and it's always been my favorite lipstick. To have it returned to me after such a long time made me smile really big this week.

What little things have made you smile this week? Link up your posts below! 

party rules.

1. Only link to your specific blog post, not to your blog's main page. See here for more explanation. 

2. Grab a button and/or include a link back to this post so your readers can come see what the fun is all about! You can find the code for the button on the sidebar or on the "little things" page.

3. Make sure you visit (and comment) on other posts linked up-- what fun is a party if no one talks to each other? Make some new friends! 

4. I reserve the right to kick you out of the party if you aren't playing nice-- so make sure your post is relevant to this party and is actually a "little things" post (ie. no giveaways, random posts from last month, etc.).