Monday, July 25, 2011

I Am Blessed

It's been so nice having my Hubby around 24/7. I know that most wives might admit that they get sick of seeing their husband all the time, but for me it has been an absolute blessing! I know I can't get too used to it, but I am definitely enjoying his company while it lasts!

I am very grateful that God has blessed me with such a great man that I am very compatible with. We go together like relish on a hot dog (thought that sounded unique, but you get the idea). Sometimes I get to thinking, "How could I have gotten this lucky? What did I do to deserve such a great guy?" But it's not that I did anything or that Adam did anything, but rather, God brought two people together who are compatible and "meant to be" for each other, which I believe 100%.

In honor of feeling a lot of blessings from God the last couple of days, the song that my best friend and college room mate Christina sang at our wedding, Blessed by Rachael Lampa has been on my mind lately. I grew up listening to her beautiful voice, which she uses for God so wisely. You can listen to this song here, but here are some of the lyrics to the song, which I think will put anyone's life into perspective, as they have done for my life already.

I am blessed, I am blessed
From when I rise up in the morning
'Til I lay my head to rest
I feel You near me
You soothe me when I'm weary
Oh Lord for all the worst and all the best
I am blessed

You've given me joy
You've given me love
You give me strength
When I want to give up
You came from heaven
To rescue my soul
And this is the reason I know
*Courtesy of music-lyrics-gospel.com*

Have a wonderful week, and keep remembering the ways in which God is using people or things to bless your life

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Introducing the "Soon-to-Be" Graduate Zachariah Anthony Cooney

My brother is officially cleared to graduate from APU on July 29th, and I am so excited for him!!! I took some senior pictures for him, since all of my friends who are photographers were busy, and I think they turned out good. Here are few of my favorite shots. I hope you enjoy them.











Congratulations bro, so proud of you!


Recent Projects

The projects I have been working on the last two days have been from left over materials I have had from previous projects. It has been fun finding a way to use the leftover pieces and I think what I have done with them turned out great.

For the first project I used leftover fabric from one of my wedding projects. We used this spunky and fun fabric for the background of a photobooth, although what we envisioned didn't work out the way we wanted, due to wind, lack of height, and a little misunderstanding, but it ended up working out in the end. See our original idea:




And what we ended up doing:



(My favorite picture of my brother during the wedding!!!)

I knew I was going to use the fabric for another project, so I decided to make a decorative pillow case out of it. See



I made the pillow case with a zipper entrance for a pillow form out of this fun fabric. I plan on making one other pillow case with the leftover fabric, but that project is going to have to be on hold, because it was really hard working around all the little circles, although that is why I love this fabric. Can't wait to put this decorative pillow on my bed; it will look so cute sitting on it! :D

The second project I did involved using the leftover fleece from Adam's birthday present (remember that gift). I was at first thinking about making some sort of Americana blanket out of it with my leftover fabric from this project, but I did't think any of the fabrics would look good as a blanket. So, I concluded that I would just make a boys baby blanket out of it using cute sailor material that I found at JoAnn's. I used the sailor fabric for the front of the blanket, the navy blue fleece as the backing, and used red binding for the border. It was my first time using binding, which was a little difficult, but for my first time I think it turned out good. Once I get used to using it, I think I would be more satisfied with the results. But isn't it just the cutest fabric?!? Here is the finished result.





There was leftover sailor material so I plan to make a a bib and a burp cloth with it. I think that would be a great gift set for an expecting sailor's wife. So cute!
Speaking of Sailor's mine is due to come home late this evening, CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!! :D


Monday, July 18, 2011

Whistle While You Work

I got this really cute idea for a craft project when my mom and I went for a weekend and visited her friend. Her friend LOVES Americana decor; her house is full of cross-stichings, quilts, old signs, blankets, pictures, firgurines, flags, anything Americana. One of the decorations in her house, these fabric flags, she made herself when she conducted a women's craft project at her church. They went perfectly with her style and they lie all over her house. These are what they look like. Aren't they cute?!?



Immediately when I saw them, I knew I wanted to make them for my next home. She was happy to give me some of her left over supplies, which made my day! I decided that this would be a cute project to do with my grandmas and my mom. So today was the day we planned on making them, and boy did they come out cute!! I am excited to give you a brief tutorial of the very fun/easy craft project that is good for all ages. Let's begin!

Materials you will need:
1. Americana fabric (You will need two complimentary fabrics)
2. White felt
3. Buttons (any color, or just plain white)
4. Twine or ribbon
5. Sticks (any size)
5. Hot glue gun

First, you decide how big you want your background to be, and cut your felt and one piece of your fabric the same size.

*We couldn't find our pinking shears, but you can also cut around the fabric with pinking shears; it would look so cute! :D

Next, using your hot glue gun, glue both the felt and the one fabric together and then glue to a stick.


Then, cut out a smaller square of the second flag you have chosen and apply it with the glue gun to the right side of your bigger square (In the picture, I chose to experiment and do this flag backwards. I think it looks cute either way). Loop the twine or ribbon between the button holes and hot glue the button in the middle of the smaller square.

There you have it, you are done. Don't you like your outcome?!? Another cute idea would be to add rick-rack or hand-stich a long stich across the stripes part of the larger square, to make the affects of lines. Just be creative! :D

To display them in your home, you can put them in small little vases or in cute little tins (like the one in the last picture). If you do the latter, then you would just need to add some foam inside the tin.

Since this craft is so fun and light-hearted, I was humming and singing throughout its entirety. If I could whistle (good at least), then I would have whistled while I worked :D This song by Chris Tomlin would be great to listen to while you work! He has such refreshing songs that really make you think about your walk with God.


Here are all the ones I have done. This is such a great way to spice up your home with such an easy craft. It doesn't matter that it's American apparel, it's not just a Fourth of a July decor, it's an all year decor! I can't wait to put them in my next house with all my Navy and Sailor decorations!!

I hope you do this craft, you will enjoy it! Have fun! :D

Friday, July 15, 2011

One (Blessed) Year Anniversary

I cannot believe that just one year ago I said two simple words that have changed my life and will continue to change my life forever; "I do." I never would have thought that someone as great as Adam would have come into my life and bless me, care for me, and love me as much as he has/does. He truly is the answer to my prayers from up above. You don't know how many times I prayed for a Godly man to come into my life (I have proof, I used to keep a prayer journal in high school). I waited for him, and I am so glad that I waited for someone as special as him; he has definitely proven to be worth the wait!

Our wedding day was so special to us and it will always be a day that rests closely to our hearts, as it is a day where best friends became companions and confidants for life. Looking over our pictures and compiling our scrapbook (see that here)has definitely brought my emotions and feelings back to the surface. I constructed my scrapbook in a way that Adam could understand my emotions/feelings from our big day, so he could truly know what I was experiencing and how I feel about him and our day. Here are some of my journals taken straight from my scrapbook:

On getting ready for the wedding:
Falling asleep the night before the wedding was a lot harder than I had expected, since I was anxiously waiting for the day to begin. I was anxious for a lot reasons, but primarily because “I am lucky I am in love with my best friend” and “lucky we’re in love in every way” and very soon he would go beyond just being my best friend, but be my companion, lover, and most significantly, my husband. How much more lucky could a girl get?!?

On Becoming a Bride:
It didn’t really hit me that it was my wedding day until I actually put on my wedding dress. I remember while I was putting on my earrings, I caught a glimpse of myself and couldn’t believe what I saw in the mirror; I could not believe that this was me who I was starring at, and this is what Adam was going to see. I know that Adam would have loved me no matter how I appeared, but to know that “my baby loves me just the way that I am” is truly amazing. So glad that he does!

On our first meet:
I was so emotional to have Adam see me for the first time; all dressed up like a princess, for him. He had never seen me like this before and it made the moment all the more special for us. He was everything I could have imagined, and more; he looked so handsome! When the moment came and he turned around, all sense of time stopped; it was just him and I in this moment, as if no one else was around. The moment could have gone on forever, it was that perfect. I wouldn’t have changed anything about the moment; all I can say is that “some people wait a lifetime, for a moment like this.”

On walking down the aisle:
Before the wedding I was pondering on how I would feel walking down the aisle. I couldn’t tell and left it alone. However, when I stood at the end of the aisle, seeing my best friend waiting for me at the end, my heart became overwhelmed with happiness, as I knew that this was a decision in my life that I was so sure on. I felt as if I had loved him so much already, yet knowing that it would grow over the course of our life, is incredible. It reminds me of the song Then, which says “Now you’re my whole life, now you’re my whole world, I just can’t believe the way I feel about you [boy]. We’ll look back some day, at this moment that we’re in, and I’ll look at you and say: and I thought I loved you then.”

Over the past year I can already tell that we have grown closer together as a couple. Not only have we grown to love each other in different ways than we already had, we learned to love each other through the separation that we experienced with Adam being gone in bootcamp and training for the Navy for the past six months. We have learned to appreciate each other, value the time we are privileged to spend with each other (which is so precious) and with that we have learned to not spend our time getting mad over silly things, and have learned different ways to encourage each other. The hardest one of them all, I believe, is we are still trying to learn to keep God the focus and the center of our relationship while we are learning to live without each other for periods of time, learning to be flexible, and learning to love (or hate) not being able to plan out our lives ahead of time. We have not mastered all, or maybe any of these things I have mentioned above, but we are committed to each other and are willing to work hard at them, which is what really counts.

If there is one thing that we truly have learned, it definitely lies within the message that was shared during our wedding ceremony in Ruth. Ruth 1:16 (NIV) says,

"16b Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me."

When Adam first told me he wanted to join the military, I was against it. But I have grown to be at ease with this decision that has changed the direction of our lives, which I believe has been for the better. I definitely have grasped the phrase "where you lead, I will follow." I have moved four times since we have been married, and am expecting another move here soon. However, none of this matters, because there is no place I would rather be than to be with Adam, no matter where that place may be. If there is one thing we have learned from the Navy, it's the power of being flexible. What helps though, is knowing that God has a plan for our lives amidst the chaos of uncertainty. Although to us it may seem like our life currently is full of uncertainties, God knows it all. God has already has a plan for both of our lives since before we were born. Understanding this, I mean truly understanding this, allows me to get through my days easier and has helped me to sleep better at night.





♥ Where we were standing with each other, just one blessed year ago, on 07.16.10. ♥





♥ One Blessed Year later ♥

We already celebrated our anniversary together when Adam came home during the Fourth of July weekend, read more about that on this post, but I thought that Adam and I would not be spending our Anniversary together, but boy oh boy was I wrong!!!! Adam tricked me. He told my old room-mate Christina to hang out with me this weekend (as a plan) to distract me from not missing Adam too much for our anniversary. Oh boy, did she play right along with his little scheme! So, when I went to pick her up from the airport, what she told me, to my surprise I was picking up Adam!!!!!!! What a good surprise! I cannot believe that I didn't see this coming; I really did have no idea!! Of course, we had an amazing time together.


Waiting for me at the hotel; yummy!

On our actual anniversary, we did not really care what we did, we were just glad we were together; I was thrilled!! To our luck, the O.C. fair started on Friday, and I have never gone to it before, so we decided to go. We had a great time. We fed the animals, looked at ice art, at some good food, looked around at little boutiques, and Adam went on his first Ferris Wheel ride (I guess that's a start, right)! :D We had a great time!


By the beautiful ice art




See, he doesn't look like he's about to die, right?

In the evening, we headed down to Canary Village for dinner. We ate at this small authentic Italian restaurant that Adam found online. I am not exaggerating when I say I had the best crab ravioli I have had in my life; sooo good! After we enjoyed a very nice dinner together, a man who rides a Gondola came and told me that Adam surprised with a Gondola ride. I gladly accepted his offer, and we followed him to his Gondola. It was such a nice ride, so romantic! We talked about this last year, what's ahead, and just spent the rest of the time in each others arms enjoying the delight scenery and the lovely moon.


Such a romantic ride ♥

This next year, and forever more, this will always be my promise to Adam:

Our love is unconditional, we knew it from the start.
I see it in your eyes, you can feel it from my heart.
From here on after let's stay the way we are right now,
And share all the love and laughter
That a lifetime will allow.

I cross my heart and promise to
Give all I've got to give to make all your dreams come true.
In all the world you'll never find a love as true as mine.


You will always be the miracle that makes my life complete,
And as long as there's a breath in me, I'll make yours just as sweet.
As we look into the future, it's as far as we can see,
So let's make each tomorrow be the best that it can be.

I cross my heart and promise to
Give all I've got to give to make all your dreams come true.
In all the world you'll never find a love as true as mine.

And if along the way we find a day it starts to storm,
You've got the promise of my love to keep you warm.
In all the world you'll never find a love as true as mine,
A love as true as mine.

*Courtesy of cowboylyrics.com*


We are looking forward to where God will direct us this next year; how He will challenge us, help us grow closer to Him and to each other, and what new things he will bring our way. I already can trust that our future looks bright, as I know one thing for sure: I will always have Adam with me, whether it's physically or in my heart.

♥ Happy Anniversary Adam Brent; love you forever! ♥

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zipper Flowers

What do you get when you combine these materials




(an unused zipper, a needle and thread, a piece of flannel, and scissors)



For some it may be hard to imagine something using these materials, but actually you get beautiful flower accessories, like these I've created

The beauty of these creations is that you can add them to anything: a headband, a hair clip, or even pin it to a shirt, cardigan, blouse, sweater, or dress. The ones I have shown above are not completely finished. Most of them I will make into hair clips, but some I will use as clothing accessories. For example, the white one with the red flower center I will add to a future red cardigan that I am in search of buying, which will make a great addition to the outfit I foresee. To fully complete this foreseen outfit, I will use the red flower in the picture with the pearl center as a hair clip to fully top off the outfit.

Making the flowers is so easy. It really just takes some simple patience, some free time, and some good back ground music (really!!). I have got them down to less then 10 minutes a flower.

First, you take your zipper out of the package (if it is new) and cut both the ends off (you do not need the actual zipper, only if you wish to add it to the center of the flower after completed). You can use any size zipper, it depends on what size you want your flower. Cut a small cirle out of the flannel material, and with the teeth faced to the left, place one half of the zipper onto the flannel and sew up and down twice through the zipper. Like this


Secondly, loop the zipper to look like this (doing whatever size loop you prefer, either big or small).

When you get it to the size you want it, sew the material of the zipper onto the otherside of the material of the zipper onto the flannel circle. Sew twice up and down, so the teeth surround the loop (as shown above).

Next, make another loop across from where you made the first loop; sew twice.


Make the next loop next to the second loop (you can tell which side of the loop to make it on, as the zipper will naturally guide you to the side it prefers. It will be easy to tell).


I have only provided vivid instructions for the first three loops, which should carry you on to the flowers completion. You can choose to make the flower with however many loops you can get. For a 20 inch zipper, you can choose to make 7 loops, and then have a smaller coil in the middle or you could do 6 loops and have more of a coiled center. (Please note: as I learned from experience, if you are making a flower out of a 9 inch zipper, you can use both halves of the zipper (when you cut off both ends) for your flower. You would then make 3 small loops out of one side and then two loops out of another one, and then coil it in and sew it down).

Here is my flower after I have made all the loops I wanted, which is 7.


You can see above that I left a tiny piece of the zipper, thus meaning a smaller center. I turned the zipper around in a small coil and sewed it down. (Note that at this stage of the flower, you may need to use a thimble, as it will be hard to get the needle through the center.) (If you want a larger coil in the center of your flower, then you basically roll the zipper in, and every 2 rolls, sew it down. When finished coiling & sewing it down, make sure your coil is facing upwards).



Here is how it looks so far

At this point it is basically done, all you have to do is secure that your sewing stayed in place, and go back and forth between your stiches on the flannel. Here is what the back of my flower looks like (notice it is all centered in the flower).




Here is my completed flower

It is really cute to add buttons, beads, or rhine stones to the center of the flower (as I did to a few of the flowers above). Also, you could choose to add the actual zipper to the center of the flower, which I did to a few of the flowers above, too. Anything would work and anything looks cute!

If you are looking for a cute craft project to do with a bunch of girlfriends, this is a great idea. It's cheap, easy, and fun to do in the process! I will post pictures when I completely finish them. I hoped you enjoyed this easy tutorial! :D If you would like one, let me know :D










Monday, July 11, 2011

One in a Million

Remember a couple of months ago when I went on a getaway with my mom to Cambria? Well, on our way home I had mentioned that we stopped at this lovely, deserted beach. While we stopped, both my mom and I where in awe at the millions of sea shells that had been washed onto the shore. To anyone that truly knows me, they know I have a heart for nature, but especially sea shells and rocks. I have collected sea shells and rocks since I was a wee little lad. I literally, and I am not exaggerating when I say this, would come home from beach trips with 3-4 bags of rocks and sea shells (seriously!!)!!! It would drive my mom crazy, but I love this creation of God! So, it wouldn't be much of a surprise that I was swept away by the sea shells at this beach.

Anyways, I got to thinking while I sat on the beach looking through the millions of sea shells and rocks that surrounded us. Every sea shell is unique from the next one you find; you cannot find two sea shells that look alike. Each sea shell is beautifully crafted to be one-of-a-kind. It's kind of like how each human being is unique from another. Not one person is exactly like any other person in the world. One could search the whole world to find someone exactly like them, but their search would become neverending. They may find someone similar to them, but similar and exactly are not the same thing.

How beautiful is it to know that God created each and every one of us unique?!? I always find myself standing in awe thinking how much I must mean to God for Him to create me special from everyone else. He took the time to create me in His own image (Genesis 1:27), knowing me while I was in my mother's womb (Psalm 139:13), and still knows intimate details about me, such as the numbers of hairs on my head (Luke 12:7). How awesome is that!?! This really makes me ashamed of all the times I feel as if God is not by my side or does not care about me. But oh how false a lie I choose to believe! God's character is far from that, thankfully! He is always with us, whether we choose to see it or not. His love for us runs so deep down in His core, yet we choose to believe the devil's lies. God is the creator of the universe, the stars & planets, the earth, and every human being; yet He still made the time to create each of us so unique and different. That just blows my mind away!

For Music Monday, I have chosen to share a song by the band Kutless, entitled Sea of Faces. Kutless is a band I have liked for a long time and have also seen perform numerous times at Knotts Berry Farm. The song falls right along the lines of what I was thinking along the beach this day, and beautifully captures God's amazing love for us. I hope you get as much out of it as I did. You can read the lyrics on my blog, or watch the music video here.


I see the city lights all around me
Everyone's obscure
Ten million people each with their problems
Why should anyone care

And in Your eyes I can see
I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world
Lost in a Sea of Faces
Your body's the bread, Your blood is the wine
Because you traded Your life for mine

Sometimes my life it feels so trivial
Immersed in the greatness of space
Yet somehow you still find the time for me
It's then You show me Your love


And In Your eyes I can see
And in Your arms I will be
I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world
Lost in a Sea of Faces
Your body's the bread, Your blood is the wine
Because you traded Your life for mine

If only my one heart
Was all you'd gain from all it cost
Well I know you would have still been a man
With a reason
To willingly offer your life


I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world
Lost in a Sea of Faces
Your body's the bread, Your blood is the wine
Because you traded Your life for mine

Just one in a million faces

*Courtesy of azlyrics.com*

Isn't the song just pleasantly beautiful? I find it to be.



Looking at sea shells on the beach




Unique sea shells I found on the beach. What a beautiful creation of God!





♥ One in a million who God chose to die for and love. So gracious & thankful for that sacrifice!♥


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So Blessed!!

I just have to start this off by saying how richly blessed I am with such an amazing man I have in my husband. He is just the right balance of manly and romantic for me, it's great! I love him sooo much!! Why do I say this,

He planned our whole anniversary weekend!! It was a weekend that only one dreams of OR sees in a movie. However, I got to experience it this past weekend! Instead of staying in the same hotel for the entire time, we stayed in a different hotel each night, which all were surprises to me.

When I picked him up from the airport on Thursday night, to my surprise, Adam led me to the hotel that we stayed in the first night of our honeymoon, the Sheraton Gateway by LAX, where a bed covered in red rose petals awaited for us ♥




Resource

The second day Adam led me to the city of Riverside, where we got to stay at my favorite one of them all...



We checked in at the front desk, took the elevator to the fourth floor of the inn and





walked along this walkway, where I opened the door,




and saw a trail of rose petals that led me




across the room




and to the bed with a card waiting for me on the bed-side table; so precious!


Our lovely view from our hotel room

We walked around the city, ate a lovely dinner, and went to bed. In the morning we woke up and walked around the farmer's market, had breakfast, and went to surprise his grandma Joan. We then went to his parents house and had a family gathering/birthday celebration for him.


Adam with his birthday presents: a Navy blanket, books, gift cards, money, and air plane treats.

We then headed for hotel #3 at the Embassy Suites.




where our room was very colorful, modern and spacious.

We hung out by the pool and spa, had a birthday dinner for him at Dave & Busters, and went to a nice complimentary breakfast in the morning. I can speak for him and say that he had a lovely birthday (mostly because he was with me! :) He definitely soaked up the excuse "it's my birthday."

We then headed to our last hotel of the weekend in Los Angeles, called Hotel Palomar. This was one of my favorite rooms.


It was a very modern and artsy hotel, very colorful and full of "art in motion," the theme of the hotel.




This was my favorite part of the room!!!

We explored the city, walked around looking at nice houses "dreaming big," had a nice lunch and dinner, and spent the day wishing it would never end. Although it eventually had to come to an end, to my regret, we fell asleep and woke up early to take him to the airport. I said see you in 2 weeks to him as I watched him take the escalator up to the security at the airport and drove home awaiting for Fourth of July festivities to begin. What a nice weekend!! We enjoyed something about every hotel. Hotel #1, best breakfast, Hotel #2, best hotel, Hotel #3, best free additives, Hotel #4, best room!! How much lucky could one girl get??!!!?? We definitely had a weekend in paradise with each other. So thankful that God blessed us this last year, and hopefully will provide us with many more years to come!

Love you Adam Brent ♥ ♥