Final day for giveaways at April's blog. There are some adorable clip arts to choose from and some cute stamps. I can always use stamps...yeah, right! I just got them out the other day and found some I didn't even know I had! oops! Crafting can easily become collecting, can't it? :) Have a good weekend...I'll be back with some pics (hopefully) next week!
I can't believe the cute shops April has had on her 12 days of giveaways this week! Another great shop was featured later this afternoon! It has the cutest little inspiration packs, etc. Go take a look and try to win yet ANOTHER great giveaway from her! Just when I think my favorites on Etsy is going to explode or reach a "limit", I find more talented people! Does this happen to you too??
Even if you don't sew, you have to admit there are some fabrics that just beg to come home with you or your mouse seems to come alive and all of a sudden it's grabbing that bundle or that yard and adding it to your "cart." All of a sudden your checking out, (whether online or in the store) and you've discovered you'll be adding a new set of colors to your fabric stash. Well, today my friends there is a wonderful place here where you can win a bundle!!! Go now and try to claim it!! Maybe this will be your first stack of fabric or maybe it'll just add some new colors to your stash, but either way, I promise it won't be your last! :)
Ok...sorry for a boring post with no pictures, but guess what?? My hard drive is on the fritz!!! This means all the pics I've taken in the past year and haven't printed are on very shaky ground right now. I'm in the process of backing everything up. So...if you don't back up your pictures, documents, etc...here's my warning...PLEASE DO IT NOW!! When I walked into the Apple store last night and the guy told me what was happening I almost started to cry! I started to think of the pics of my daughter's first haircut, the pics of all my son's firsts while my husband was deployed, etc. So...consider this a friendly reminder to please back up your pics somewhere, and anything else that is important to you. On a lighter note...I have mentioned April's 12 days of giveaways a few times already this week, but the shop featured this morning is amazing and the talented owner of the shop is here in San Diego...yay!! If you love vintage and Christmas and goodies of all sorts, please head over there right now for this amazing giveaway! Thanks and hopefully I'll be back later this week with a perfect-working hard drive.
I personally love my birdcages...they are so cute and whimsical. Yes, I realize that's tooting my own horn a bit, but I really do LOVE them!! Anyways...I'm making up some new ones and put the 2 that are left in my Etsy shop on sale for 1/2 off!!! Please go see them and if they suit you, I'll send them along with a free thrifted vintage ornament!!
Ahhhh...the twinkling Christmas lights, the tree, and the home decor came out this weekend. It is simply magical to watch. I love twinkling lights! Something about them makes everything feel cozy, magical, even emotional. As I watched my 2 yr old son put on ornaments this year and pull out ornaments that were created by his big-big-sister (my step daughter), I couldn't help but get teary eyed. December 12th will mark a year since the decision was made by a family court judge to allow her to move to her mother's after living with her father for 8 years (and with me for 6 years). In some ways I am so happy to have made it through this year, but on some days I can hardly believe that our family has become so incomplete without her here. I put an ornament on the tree that she had made during December of last year at her school. She was smiling a silly 8-yr-old smile that just hit me so hard. I had to go in her room and "let it out." She was so happy here and as I looked at that picture I thought how sad it was that at that moment in time she had no idea how much her life was going to change in the next month. Ok...so I'm getting sappy instead of excited about my tree and our lights, etc. Anyways...she'll be here the day after Christmas this year and hopefully it will be a week of joy and laughter and togetherness. So...to end...it was a wonderful feeling to put up the tree and remind the children of Jesus' birthday, but also a small, sad reminder that our family is minus one until she returns. I pray that although she is far away and in a home so different from ours that she will remember what Christmas is all about and be filled with excitement for her next visit. Thanks for reading my sappiness! :) Oops...pictures are out of order! Oh....and remember I take horrible pictures, so yes...these are the best ones I captured! Pretty horrible, huh? Oh, well...maybe that can be a New Year's resolution! :)
Ok...I have to tell you about this giveaway! And yes...I'm mainly doing it because I want this one, but hey...I've already mentioned that she's doing 12 days (yes, you read that right) of giveaways and many days have more than 1 giveaway!! The one for today is so cute...where do people come up with all these great ideas...and do them so well!! I'll be back later with our Christmas tree post...it's up!! Yay!!
This girl is doing something spectacular this holiday season and I'm determined to be in on it. Go here. Some cool things are gonna be up for grabs (I'll be donating some items)...but this is NOT a normal giveaway...no, no, no. This requires more than a comment, but you will be providing something for others that we take for granted everyday. Go take a look, please? You'll be happy you did.
I love this time of year when all the crafty blogs start doing giveaways! It was this time of year when I originally started following blogs regularly just because it was so much fun to think I might just win some amazing item (or possibly even two!). I have won some things here and there, but never from the infamous Pioneer Woman (the chances with her are like playing the lottery!)...nor have I won anything from this creative girl (who by the way has one of the cutest Etsy shops ever!)....nor have I won anything from this creative girl (who has another Etsy shop that I frequent a lot!). I decided that all my luck is going to change this season because I'm going to try even harder to win whatever is being offered....especially if I love it. Well...there's an great 12 day giveaway over at her blog and the most current offer is from such a cute Etsy shop...you have to go check it out! I'm gonna win this giveaway...but if not...I'd be happy if one of you won it too! :) I'm actually ruining my chances of winning by telling you about it, aren't I?? Oh, well. Go head over there and check 'em out everyday! This girl has great taste! I'll keep you posted on other fabulous giveaways I find! Have a great Friday!
Well, I have to be honest. I stopped posting for a while because....well....I didn't feel very thankful. There, I said it. It was so hard to go to Facebook and read everyone's "thankful posts". I just wasn't feeling it. I thought to myself, "here I am the week before Thanksgiving with my step daughter visiting, hardly any money because we had to pay so much to fly her here, and my husband and I have been fighting over everything." Yes, I was having a major pity party and being totally selfish. If I could only find the words to share with you on how wrong I was to feel so ungrateful! God has done some AMAZING things in my life and our family that I shouldn't let a day go by without thanking him for the life I have. You see, there was a time a few years back when I made a choice that almost made me lose my ability to raise my own children. It was a time when I didn't know if my new husband (very new) was going to stay married to me. Everything was up for grabs. Thank you Jesus for pulling me out of the pits last week and waking me from my ungratefulness! I went to church on Sunday feeling desperate to hear from God and grasp onto to anything and did he ever give me something to go on! Sometimes I think God is so funny how he works. I actually didn't even decide to go to church until the very last minute. My husband had plans to go to a football game and wasn't going to be able to go to church and make the game on time, so I thought I might as well stay home with him, but like I said I went. The whole way there I was speeding because I had left so late and I didn't want to miss more worship songs than I had to...that's my favorite part of course. When I got there I only got about a song and a half and then it was time to sit. I was pouting on the inside. Then the youth pastor gets up to preach (I had forgotten the pastor would be out of town for his daughter's wedding.) I pouted some more. Some more brutal honesty here...I thought there was no way God was going to teach me anything using the youth pastor's sermon....I mean, come on - his sermons are geared towards kids, right? :) Yeah, right. He had the most amazing sermon and at one point he made a side note about the lies that can get in our heads and directly affect how we treat the people around us and how we feel. We know where those lies come from...NOT from God. Then he said this..."You know, the lies that say, "I can't believe you're still dealing with that", "You are the worst person ever", "You'll never be like her/him/them, etc". This may mean nothing to you as a reader of this post/blog, but this hit me like a complete ton of bricks. This was and is me A LOT of the time! But, like he said, these are lies! How dare I let those lies cover up the joy and happiness that Jesus has brought into my life. Those lies are sent to destroy the contentment I should be feeling on a daily basis because my life has been restored! Thank you God for using the youth pastor to reveal this truth to me! Needless to say, I feel more content and thankful this week than I have in a long, long, time. God has totally changed my life and I would be happy to share about it in depth if you are curious about the details. If not, I will continue to post more regularly about my life, my kids, my crafts, etc. Be thankful every day!
This beautiful place we call home for now....San Diego. It is unreal how breathtaking the ocean is and how practically everyday there is just the right amount of sunshine mixed with the right amount of breeze. Being in the military we don't have much of a say of where we get to live, but this has been the best by far. We'd hate to leave here, but we may only have a couple of months left in this place. I'm not going to take it for granted anymore...I'm going to soak it up. Here's some pics I took of the sunset in August...isn't it just surreal?? This surfer dude came out of the water just to sit and watch the sunset. As soon as the sun went down, he got back in. I thought that was so cool....I know, I'm a little sappy sometimes. :)
My beautiful children God has blessed me with! They provide so much joy and energy in this house. I am constantly amazed at what they say, create, and are able to do! Thank you God for allowing me to raise these beautiful children, they truly are a gift from you!
Has it really been almost a month since my last post???!!! AGHHHH!!! Time really does fly. Over the past month, we went camping for the first time as a family (with our Basset Hound), my oldest turned 5, and she got her first hair cut. :( I have a few photos of each of these things. I'm no photographer, but you'll get the point. I put an amazing Christmas bird cage in my Etsy shop last night! It is so cute! I wish I had a better camera or captured it better, but even my husband was amazed! It's almost Thanksgiving and I thought I'd do a "thankful post" each day until then....so, today I'm thankful for an amazing husband who stuck with me through one of the worst times in my life. Thank you God!!!
Ok...so I've pretty much fell off the face of the earth, but I'm back now. I could make up some amazing story of how my husband whisked me away on some amazing European vacation, but alas I was just here...feeling unmotivated to do anything. Yes, I deal with depression and have two little ones at home, but I really have no excuse! So, I'm back and ready to load up my Etsy shop with some fun vintage finds and some Christmas handmade birdcages that in my personal opinion are TDF!!! (yes, that's To Die For in "texting" terms...right?...sometimes I think I'm up on the times, but I could be wrong) Anyways...I'm hoping to get some regular readers here and hopefully you'll stick around to find out more about me! Well, thanks for stopping in and just to include a fun seasonal pic...here are my two blessings!
Ok...so I've actually been back for a while now, but so much going on here that it's been almost impossible to be on my computer for any significant length of time. All is good. Husband is back...yay!! Step daughter is visiting....yay....and baby turned 2!!! Well, my Etsy shop has been a little ignored and that will all change in the next 2 weeks as I add more items and "clean" it up a bit. Oh yeah...so, maybe you're wondering how Hawaii was??? It was everything I'd dreamed it would be!! My husband met me at the airport with a fresh lei (fresh plumeria flowers smell incredible!!) and from there we went to a real luau....beautiful, exotic, intoxicating!! The water there truly is sea-green/aqua/clear, whatever you want to call it, it is beautiful!! We couldn't believe how many people were there with children...we wouldn't recommend it, but then again we were in our own dreamy romantic world! We had a wonderful few days...did some kayaking, hiked up to the top of Diamond Head, and played tourists. :) We got several gifts for our kids and parents and just really enjoyed each other. Now that we are home things are settling down and all of our visitors are gone. My step daughter is here for only 2 more weeks and then back to her mother's home. It will definitely be quiet with her gone, but good for the little ones to start a routine again. I can' t wait to get back to crafting and my Etsy shop!! Thanks to anyone who purchased during my sale and don't worry...there will be more to come!
This will be my view in just 6 short days!! Yay!!! Sorry to leave you hangin, but it was so up and down for a few days that for a few hours I thought it was all over, then it was back on, then it was half on, well anyways...ends up he'll be in Hawaii 5 days early and wait for me to get there and we'll still have our romantic getaway! :) I am beyond excited. I'm at that point where nothing I have to do here at home is even remotely important to me anymore...I'm just trying to get the days to go by as quickly as possible....is there any way to do that?!? So, needless to say my Etsy shop is now 50% off!!! On Friday it will go to 60% off and return to full price the following week. So...what have I been doing to pass the time? Well, I've been getting my step daughter's room ready for her arrival. Lots of Etsy shopping and crafting! I'll show some pics when it's all done (hey....that should take up another day, right?). She will be coming for her summer visit the day after my husband and I return. It will be so nice to have our family back together again....even if it's only for a short while. This will be my view in just 6 short days!!
The most disappointing thing I can imagine has happened and my son's expression in this picture is exactly how I feel. I found out last night that I might not be going to Hawaii after all to be reunited with my husband. This was the worst news imaginable to me at this point in the deployment. The vision of being in Hawaii alone with my husband was all that got me through the last half of this 7 month deployment and now it's all up for grabs due to the possibility of the swine flu on his ship. I got this news via email right before putting my kids to bed...note to self - don't check email before they go to bed. It immediately put me in a very "downer" mood, not to mention extremely irritable mood. The kids seemed to know exactly what buttons to push and boy did they! It was an awful night of me yelling (yes, I do that sometimes unfortunately) and them seeming to be VERY disobedient. After finally getting to the living room without them following me, I sat down and after crying and praying and just feeling so unmotivated to do anything but curl up and die, I realized what an awful example I had been for them in dealing with disappointment. Although they knew little about what I was upset about, my 4 yr old knew that I might not be going to Hawaii to pick up daddy anymore. This was good news to her as she has been very intent on letting me know she's "big enough to go with me to get daddy", but she could also sense that it was sad for me because she mentioned that I should pray about it. I'm sad to say that today wasn't much better for me, but I am convinced that sometimes things happen to us as adults that don't seem to come as often as they did in our childhood, i.e - disappointment. When you're a child disappointment is an everyday occurrence - learning you have to share your brand new favorite toy, realizing that you can't have candy first thing in the morning, and having a babysitter put you to bed when all you want is your parent(s). These are all disappointments that we have to deal with as children, but slowly we become adults and disappointments seem to show up a lot less often and as they do they almost become more difficult to deal with because they're no longer a daily occurrence. So...what do I do now?? I wait. I pray. I ask God for patience and believe that whatever his plans are will be perfect for me. Is this easy? NO!!!! If I find myself getting impatient and easily irritated with my children tomorrow I will take a break and realize that I'm only 31 and Hawaii can still happen at some point in my future. I am also going to remind myself that I live in San Diego - it is beautiful here...all year long! I also know that even though I perceive Hawaii to be a paradise that I long to see, my eternal paradise will be so much more!
Well, if any of you have been following my blog or checking out my Etsy shop, you know I'm having an "anticipation" sale to celebrate my upcoming reunion with my husband after his 7 month deployment! :) So...this week all items in my shop will now be 40% off!! That's a huge discount and I'll be adding some more things later this week, so take advantage of it while it lasts! In case you're wondering...only 17 more days until I leave!! I hope everyone enjoyed this glorious weekend! We are fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood with other military families who really look out for each other and I've never felt "alone" on a holiday while my husband has been gone. We spent the afternoon with neighbors and friends and watched beautiful San Diego fireworks! I have to constantly remind myself to truly enjoy this place because we probably won't be here forever. It is so nice not to have humidity and be swatting at our legs/arms/etc. because of annoying bugs! I've lived in the south too...so I feel for ya'll. :) Oh yeah...the cake pictured here is one I've made a few times from The Pioneer Woman's website from Barefoot Contessa. It is amazing! I substituted strawberries simply because raspberries weren't on sale this week. :) Hey...I'm trying to watch my budget...remember? Oh...and yes...I forgot to put the "stars" of frosting in between the blueberries! Oops...I don't think anyone noticed or cared. :) Enjoy the last couple of hours of the weekend and please take advantage of my sale!
Ok...I know there are some people coming to see what my "Anticipation Sale" in my Etsy shop is all about, so please at least say "hi" while you're here....you might get some freebies if you comment and make a purchase! Needless to say another week (or so) has gone by and the sale is now up to 30% off any purchase in my shop! Yep...only 3 weeks until I see my husband in Hawaii!!! Come on...there's some good stuff in there!! I'm adding more stuff tonight too. I have to save some more for my trip and unfortunately I'm trying to pay off debt. It's bad and I've finally decided to be honest with myself and get rid of it for good! I've been reading all these frugal blogs and books and I'm ready!! It'll be rough, but it's gonna be so worth it! I'll keep you involved and let you know how I'm progressing. I already feel a sense of relief just telling all you blog readers/visitors out there! But, first and foremost is my trip...and no, we really can't afford the trip, but I've already bought the tickets and my husband and I haven't seen each other in 7 months!! Yes...I believe we deserve it...we certainly won't be going on another trip for quite a while. Oh...and no, I didn't have my kids pose just for this post, but it fit so perfectly...she was off to her first day of Vacation Bible School and little brother had to copy her, so they both stood there and waved at me. I know I'm no photographer, but pictures make blogs so much better, right? Ok..now go take a look around my shop...please?? :)
Ok...so on with my "anticipation sale" in my Etsy shop. You can now save 20% on every order. I will send a refund via paypal or you can wait for a revised invoice from paypal. This week went by faster than last. I can't believe in just over a month I will see him.....my husband. I am more nervous, excited, giddy by the day! Ok...that's enough of that. Let's see...what else?? This weekend includes a birthday party, preparing my step daughter's room for her summer visit, baking dessert for a neighborhood pizza party, and church. Father's day will be spent with an older couple at church that are almost like surrogate grandparents for my kids. I encourage everyone out there to find an older couple that can serve as mentors, grandparents, shoulders to lean on in times of crisis, etc. They are so important to us as a military family. We have no family near us, so to have found people like them is a literally a "God-send". Have a blessed weekend!!
Ok...so, today was one of those horrible, rotten, no-good days. It started that way and ended that way with hardly anything in between. The kids were just awful. They were disobedient, mischievous, mean, etc. So...what did the day end like? We ate dinner outside because I didn't want to clean up any more messes and they were given baths at 630pm. At 730pm they were out cold. On these types of days when my husband is deployed and I think I have it way worse than he does....I have to think again. I still get to go to sleep in my own bed and I get to use a real bathroom. I can sit outside in the wonderful southern CA weather and enjoy the sunset. I can wear whatever I want and I can eat whatever I want. I can still enjoy all these things and more on my worst days. He can not. So....I leave you with a request. Take a moment to enjoy your freedoms...especially on your bad days and please remember to pray often for what these men and women are giving up so that we can have an abundant life. I also leave you with what I call my "Top Gun" photo of my husband and a photo of my daughter learning to read. My main reason for the picture of my daughter is to remind me that there are highlights of a week even if there are bad days throughout it. :)
Wow...2 posts in a week....this might be a new record....or rather a new beginning. :) So, my husband has been deployed now for close to 6 months and in a short time (sometime in July) we will be reunited in Hawaii!!! Yes, Hawaii....aghhhhh the epitome of tropical paradise....right? I'm just guessing because I've never actually been there!! My first time in Hawaii will be with my husband of almost 6 years and WITHOUT kids!!! Yikes...it's almost too exciting to think about. It has been consuming my every thought. We try to have a date night every month when he's here, but this will be 4 nights in a row without children and post-deployment. I don't think I've been this giddy since high school about an upcoming event. So...in honor of my fast approaching trip and my endless thoughts of walking on amazing beaches and just being with my man I am going to have a progressive sale in my Etsy shop. Starting tonight, Friday, June 12th and continuing with each Friday until I leave on my trip, I will be discounting my entire shop by 10%. This will be like an exciting count down for me and hopefully fun for my customers as well. Whatever I add to my shop between now and then will be included in the sale at whatever the current discount is. Don't worry...I will let you know when it's the final week. All prices will return to normal after I return from my trip! Oh yeah...don't forget my shop name is Becaruns.
Ok...since my last post, my husband left for deployment, my step daughter has been gone from our house longer than I've ever experienced before, I've started to home school my daughter, I've planted my first flowers in the garden, and I've finally opened my Etsy shop! Whew! Where has the time gone?? Oh yeah...and I turned 31 yesterday!!! Yikes!! For some reason 31 really seems to emphasize that I'm in my 30's now. I can't say I like it yet, but every woman in their 30's say it's way better than their 40's. I'm waiting for that. :) So...my husband is now almost home...yay!!! I'm going to meet him in Hawaii and spend a few days alone before flying back together. We haven't spent a single night alone since before my 4 yr old daughter was born!! Too long, huh? Please give my Etsy shop a visit. Shop name is Becaruns. Yes...tacky, but if I had known I was going to open a shop when I registered with Etsy I would have picked a better name. Oh, well. I'm going to work on putting some new stuff in there. I know my photos aren't great...working on that too. :) Well, here's to a fresh start on my blog and daily posts...I hope. :) Thanks for stopping by! Oh yeah...just a pic of my little ones first thing in the morning admiring their garden outside....and each other...sweet, huh? They're not always like that with each other....keep in mind this was the very beginning of the day.
I'm saved, I am a full-time stepmother, I also have 2 biological children, I have ugly stuff in my past, but I am forgiven, I love my friends, I love God, I love my husband and my amazing children (all 3 of them), I love this Blog thing, I love to bake, hmmmm...there's lots more, but I'll stop there. :)