Apr 30, 2013

dreams, saying yes, an ugly heart and a whole lot of grace - oh and a giveaway

I'm going to apologize right now because this post is a whole bunch of rambling and zero pictures but stick with me, it might be pretty good. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not a great writer but here goes.

If you remember this post I talked about my pessimistic attitude and how it has hindered me from dreaming big dreams. This year has already been a dream-come-true kind of a year and I'm so excited to see God working in all of it.

About a year ago I wrote this post. It was hard for me. I was kind of scared to put it all out there but decided to trust God and say okay. It's kind of funny to me looking back on how fearful I was and yet a lot of those feelings crept on me again recently.

You probably know I have an etsy shop where I sell prints, cards and other things I design. I started that shop a little over two years ago after I quit my job as a senior designer to be a stay-at-home mom. While I love being home with my at-the-time one girl, I missed having a creative outlet. I worked on some contract and freelance work here and there but there was something missing.

I designed some prints for friends and decided to open my own online shop and see if I could sell some, having absolutely no goal or clear vision in mind. It was mainly my little creative outlet and if it helped my family out a bit financially - even better.

Once I opened my shop I remembered how much I enjoyed designing. It was fun because I could do what I wanted and didn't have clients telling me to make changes I didn't think needed to be made :)

I couldn't tell you how many sales I had that first year because I didn't really care. It was humbling and exciting that people liked my work and were buying it!

Last year I felt God calling me to do something and give back. I don't want to list specifics here but I will say that it had to do with 100% of certain profits being given back to Him. I said yes and didn't realize what God would have in store for me.

I wanted to add customizable Christmas cards to my shop but wanted them to somehow bring glory to God so I designed cards with Christmas hymns and Bible verses.

God was good, as He always is and blessed my little shop which in return, blessed my family as I was able to help us out a little financially. I never would have dreamed how much success my little shop had this past year and how many incredible friends I've met along the way through custom designs, stories and emails. God is good.

When it came time for me to follow through on that commitment I made to God, it was hard. I wouldn't say I struggled with it because I had already said yes but my flesh reared up and I was all, "man, I didn't know it was going to be like THIS!" And let's be clear, the success I've had has not been my own. I believe God blessed my shop in that time because I followed Him when I didn't know where He was taking me. However, I would be lying if I didn't feel a tinge of, "I worked so hard," "this would really, really help out my family," or worst of all, "I could really use a new..(insert any material item here)" Know what I mean? But like I said, my yes was already out there and I knew what I had to do - so I did.

A couple months went by and do you know what happened?!

We found our dream land and were able to buy it.

Coincidence? I'll let you be the judge but I believe God is faithful and He gives us what our heart desires. My heart's desire wasn't land. It has been to just have the courage to say yes when He calls. And I do believe God blesses in ways you and I can never even dream - even if it's getting something you know you don't deserve but really, really want.

If the story ended there, it would be pretty awesome, right?

But it doesn't. God is big. God is good.

Remember how I said those fears started creeping up on me again?

Well, I have a variety of prints in my shop, ranging from verses to quotes to lyrics to verses and anything in between. I add prints here and there when I have time but I started looking at my shop and thinking about some new prints I wanted to add when I started having those fears, "of offending someone, getting too personal, automatically having a label on me, my life being put on a pedestal of sorts because people can think you're supposed to be perfect and then letting those people down because it's easy to see my many imperfections, fear of saying or doing something that reflects poorly on my faith and being judged accordingly, not having the answer to a question ... the list goes on and on." 

I wondered if maybe I had a little too much God in my shop for the world.

There. I said it. Hello ugly heart.

And just as soon as I thought it - I smiled, after asked for forgiveness and thanked Him for grace :)

I smiled because God is in my shop. Which is exactly what I wanted from the beginning - to some how bring glory to Him. The prints with His words that He let me design have been bought and hung in people's homes.

What an honor and a blessing. What a crazy thought for this little stay-at-home-mom in Oklahoma that is in NO WAY close to perfect and that in NO WAY deserves the grace He has given me. What a blessing.

After I realized that God can been glorified by a sinner like me through some little graphics I design in a little shop online, I added a new print that came from a quote from "Kisses from Katie." I thanked God for allowing me to spread his love in my shop and glorify Him doing what I love to do.

I just had my 500th shop sale.

And then I had my 600th sale.

I feel I need to be clear again, this is not a celebration about the numbers in those sales - although they have been a financial blessing, it's what those sales mean.

There are over 600 things from my shop that people have bought and even if it wasn't a Bible verse, or hymn or whatever they got - those people may have just seen a little bit of Jesus just from being in my shop.

And that my friends is the craziest thing of all and something worth celebrating.

I don't know what's next for my life or shop, maybe this is where this part of the story ends or maybe there's more to it, who knows. I just pray I'll say yes again. And again. Even when it's scary.

So thank you for sitting through this ridiculously long post and reading my rambles - I would give you a cookie if I could.

Since I don't have a cookie to give you, I want to give someone a copy of the book that has changed my life in so many ways, Kisses from Katie. Katie's words and honestly have taught me more about loving others, parenting, following God and so many other things than any devotional or Bible study I've ever read and I want her words to bless someone else.

If you want a chance at a free copy, leave me a comment and I'll randomly select a winner on Friday and announce the winner Monday. Oh, and please, only one comment per person.

Thanks friends and have a fantastic day!

Apr 29, 2013

hello Monday

I'm going to start by saying my shop and instagram ate my blog. Posting pictures to IG is fast and easy and my shop hit two milestones these last couple of weeks which results in a quiet space here. I'll post more on the shop news later but I do want to say how thankful I am for the amazing customers friends that support my little business.

Anyway, today I'm just going to share some pictures from a while back and just say hi. Maybe I'll catch up this week and post more. Maybe not. We'll see.

my grandma and my youngest enjoying a friday donut date

little girl, big chair

starting her young


"skipping" rocks

garden helper

headband from a friend, get one here

sister's first target milk treat

happy monday

Apr 9, 2013

Spring Shop Sale!

It's time for a spring shop sale!

Today, get 20% off your entire order from my shop using the code GETSPRINGYWITHIT!

I've added some new cards, prints and now some 5x7s to my shop since my last post.

Let's start with the cards.

I think these would make a great Mother's Day card!

She can laugh at the days to come - folded card

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." - Proverbs 31:25

Get it here

oh, hello dear - folded card by recipeforcrazy

Get it here.

And here are the newest prints.

One of my newest faves.

this little light of mine, i'm gonna let it shine - 8x10 print

Get it here.

a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of jesus - 8x10 Print

This one came from reading, "Kisses from Katie" - I think everyone should read it. It's amazing.

Get it here.

You just saw this as a card, but here it is as a print.

She can laugh at the days to come - 8x10 Print

Get it here.

little but fierce - 8x10 Print

Get it here.

I started playing with mixing chalk art prints with patterns and colors like these.

Do small things with Great Love - 8x10 Chalk Art Print

Get it here.

There is nothing that cannot happen today - 8x10 Chalk Art Print

Get it here.

And last up for the prints.

always better when we're together - 8x10 Chalk Art Print

Who doesn't need a little Jack Johnson in their life?

Get it here.

Whew, I think that enough for today but there are several prints I've made as 5x7s too so you'll just have to go to the shop to see those. You can see them here.

Also, just a friendly reminder, Mother's Day is not too far away so you may just want to start thinking about what you want to give those special mom's in your life! Wink!

Oh, and I've been told that the "I get by with a little help with my friends" print makes for a fun/unique bridal shower gift or wedding gift - just throwing that out there!

So remember, all day today, use code GETSPRINGYWITHIT for 20% off anything and everything in my shop!

Apr 8, 2013

Tenacious A's First Birthday

Here's a little recap of how we celebrated my youngest's first birthday.

The start of celebrating came the day before her actual birthday at the donut shop.

Most of you know that I have a little Friday tradition called "Friday Donut Dates" with my oldest. For those of you that didn't know about this, most Friday mornings we find a donut shop, doesn't always have to been the same one, she picks out her donut and then we sit and eat and chat. I usually snap a picture of her at some point in the process.

Anyway, all that to say Little Sister has been along to watch for a year now but has never been allowed her own donut.

Until her birthday.


There's also another tradition in our family that my great-grandparents started - Birthday Donuts. We all, and by all I mean a good chunk of my immediate family, meet at the donut shop, everyone gets to pick out their own donuts and then we sing the Happy Birthday to the birthday boy/girl.


It's a fun tradition and I think my Little Miss was ready for her donut after a year of watching.



We did some celebrating at home with our girl and then we had her party the following weekend.

First party invitation

I like to make the first birthday a little extra special and kind of go all out, for me anyway. Since Easter was the previous weekend I hit up the stores for all the discounted candy and decorations - it was going to be a spring birthday so why not save a little!!

Anyway, I made some food and had a little spread. I also ordered a custom banner from my friend, Heather's shop, CMHandmade. I think it looked perfect with the spread. You may remember it from the pictures my sister recently took for her one year photos.


Oh, and I made these things again but went with springy colors!


Anyway, the highlight of the party came when it was time for the birthday girl to dig into her cake.

We sang happy birthday.


And this happened.


I wish I could embed the video because she seriously sat like that for at least 10 full seconds. I even cut the cake in half and she barely moved.


Finally, she came up for air.


Not for long though.


I eventually took the cake away and she let me know about it.

She opened a few presents and that was that.


First birthday party in the books.


Happy Birthday to my sweet, awesome girl.

And thank you to everyone that celebrated her day with us, whether at the party, by email, text or instagram, whatever, we so appreciate you and you made our girl's day so very special!

Apr 4, 2013

First Weenie Roast at Our Land

It was finally warm enough last week to go out and have a little bonfire and weenie roast at our land.

It didn't take our oldest long to kick her shoes off and get a little dirty.


And we brought our dog, Duncan, along. He was in doggie heaven. Open spaces to run and snacks that the girls dropped to eat.


Who needs toys? Shovel, dirt and sisters - a vision of things to come!


I ventured off on my own little adventure through the land and took this picture to show y'all what we're dealing with. Thick woods.


It's funny the conversations these two have. They make my heart happy.


Little sister found snacks. I mean really, after yesterday's mud face and now this, it makes me wonder who's watching this kid.


Relaxin with a dog.


There's just something extra tasty about bonfire food.


And this girl again. Dancing and singing, "we're cooking hot dogs on our land."


Yep, I dig our land already. Now, just to move there!!

Apr 3, 2013

Our Easter in pictures

We did a little hunting at my parent's house. This year sweet P was old enough to participate so it was really fun to watch her running about looking for eggs.












We had an awesome dinner, complete with smoked ham, turkey and stuffing and all the goodies. No pictures of the food but trust me, my dad can smoke a mean ham.

Then on Sunday, we started the day off at church. Well, before that I tried to get a couple pictures of us but that wasn't on the girls list of awesome things to do that day.

Nothing compliments an Easter dress quite like left over tattoos!


Then we went to church and celebrated Jesus' resurrection. After church the husband and I started talking about how Easter should be one of the biggest celebrations ever. Bigger than Valentine's day, Halloween and maybe even Christmas. I mean, Jesus died for us. Every single person, whether they accept it, or Him, or not. But it didn't end there, he conquered the grave! And that's why we celebrate Easter. It seems, at least to us anyways, that this should be a lot bigger deal.

That's why we're planning some changes next year in how we celebrate. We'll still do dinner, egg hunting and all that fun stuff but we also want to do more. I don't know what that will look like in the years to come but I do know that I want Easter to be special because it is.

Okay, back to pictures.






That is not chocolate. It is mud. Great mom, I know.







My grandpa's expression cracks me up here. So many great-grandkids.