Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Musings

I'm just sitting here, thinking. Do you ever do that? Just sit and think about whatever comes to mind, and that thought leads to a different thought and so is rather engaging.

Have you ever noticed that your attitude makes a difference on what you think about? If you tend to come at things with a positive angle the result is much more pleasant. For instance, if I'm thinking about my family it's easy to think of all the things I wish were true, or that I wish we could be, or the things I want to change. How much more rewarding is it if instead I think about the little things that my family does that make me smile, the fun memories we have, the strong points, how God is going to work in the future...etc. How happy life is if we'll only take the time to notice!

Monkey's are the highlight of a zoo trip.

I just said goodbye to a nice "slower-paced" week...but I've got a feeling that I'm saying hello to a busy one. We've got lots lined up for this week. Last week was good. But this's gonna' be better! I just know it! My goals?

Music. Family. Prayer.

(not necessarily in that order) But the choir-director-person-lady just gave me a load of stuff to work on for piano. My guitar has been pathetically forgotten lately. And my violin...what is a violin? Oh yeah, it's an amazing stringed instrument that sounds incredible...if you practice. If you don't, it sounds like the music to your worst nightmare...kinda.

Sometimes things make me wonder... 

...Like why in the world people find it necessary to write choir pieces that change keys. Perpetuately. And they're not content to use nice keys like D or Eb, but they feel compelled to write half the music with 5 flats, and the other half with 3 sharps...ah well, such is life.

...Like how in the world a certain brother of mine can make me laugh, right when I feel liking punching him. It is highly inconvenient. Actually, I should be grateful...

...Like how a dog always knows when you're having a bad day, or that you're sad, or that you just got hurt. And they think that coming up to you and laying their head in your lap is going to make it all better.

"For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
Psalm 139:13-14

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Happy 27th Birthday, Caleb!

27 random facts

the oldest in our family
the first to get married
graduated sum com laude
play(ed)s the clarinet
just complete his masters degree
has 3 adorable children...with one soon to come in February :)
tutored math at UNO
learned to read by the age of 3
has a funny, quirky sense of humor...that makes me laugh
only boy to play t-ball as a kid
had a severe concussion while bike riding (when I came home I hardly recognized him)
only kid to actually break his wrist
second only to Dad as first up in the morning
views running as his hobby
very diligent
it was love at first sight with his wife (practically)
has been married almost 4 years
quite competitive
juggled full time school and work very well
mapped out Omaha in his notebook at an insanely young age
has a love for music
traveled to Ukraine on a missions trip
plays on a softball team
does a very good job assuming the "oldest child" responsibilities
is very adorable to watch with his kids
seeks to honor God
is altogether an amazing brother

I love you, Caleb!

"So do not throw away your confidence; 
it will be richly rewarded. 
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, 
you will receive what He has promised." 
Hebrews 10:35-36

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A quote, a picture and a verse

Have you ever stopped to think about color? Isn't it wonderful?!? It brings such life to things. Now there is something silently stunning about a black and white photograph, the contrast, the simplicity. But then again there is just something about the vibrancy of color! The joy it can bring to life.

I'm so thankful that God chose to brighten our days in such a way!

And here's a quote that I read today in Streams in the Desert;

"And someday you too will see the glory of God in things you do not understand."

And that goes right along with a verse that stuck out to me this morning as well;

"So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God." Gen 45:8

The story of Joseph (where this verse was taken) is one of constant encouragement, to me, that I can and must trust God, in and through everything.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It practically called my name...

...I had never seen anything like it. It caught my attention immediately. I stood there in the store. I didn't know what to do, I couldn't just leave that beautiful thing sitting there. Yet I really couldn't justify spending the amount given, especially since Bethany and I had already been shopping that morning for a little while. The texture, the was so...amazing! I didn't know I could love a single hair flower so much. And you're probably thinking I'm crazy. Maybe I was, but I couldn't help myself. So I mustered all the self-control that I ever had (and will have) and walked out of the store...without my flower.

And guess what the conversation was about when I got back in the car? haha...

Then I did what I normally do when I'm super excited about something...I text my friend:) And, being the wonderful friend that she is, she quickly caught on to how adorable this flower was, even though I didn't send her a picture. Now she's probably used to the slightly dramatic texts that I send her whenever I get excited and so this could have been one of those times. But again, being the amazing friend that she is, she was able to discern that this was something special. It was beyond exciting:) 

And a couple minutes later I received a text that went something like this "You're birthday is coming up and I've been wondering what to get you. Would this be something that you would like?"

I squealed.

Bethany turned the car around.

Haha...and I couldn't text back my reply fast enough. 


And I got to be the lucky girl carrying this bag out of the store. 

Now you don't have to agree that it's the cutest...but even if you aren't a girl you still have to admit that it's pretty cool!!! And if you don''re the one thats missing out, because everyone knows that;

"Happiness is found in the little things of life"-- like sensational hair flowers that make you smile!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mud puddles

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."

This is pretty much my favorite quote. Because it is so, so true.

But what about when the rain is gone? The initial trial is past, the hard decision has been made, and your left in confusion as to what's next. It's stopped storming, but what's left behind isn't exactly a beautiful rainbow. Sometimes it can be, but this time it's not. Instead a murky, sloppy mud puddle is whats left. And you seem to be standing right in the middle of it.

What now? How can you possibly find beauty in mud? Good question, and I'm asking that myself.

The rain has been good. You'd admit that. Hard, yes, but oh so good. You saw a part of God that you'd never realized was there. You have gazed on His mercy and grace. He has shown Himself true to every promise. But now your life is in transition. Since the rain has stopped it's easy to look around at yourself, your situation and view it as one big puddle. At least it's easy for me...

But that's just it. During the storm we learned to lift our face to Jesus for everything. Who says that has to stop? Just because life is getting easier, in a sense, doesn't mean that we forget everything we learned and revert back to the old ways. No it's time where we start to obey.

It's time to keep our focus on God. It's where we start to apply what we learned. What if I used it as an opportunity to show love? To impact another life. To get outside of myself.

Life doesn't turn happy all at once. It may remain cloudy. But if we remain in Him we will see the sunshine behind the clouds. And we'll play in the puddles because they are the result of a refreshing rain and proof that God was at work. And the murkiness won't get us down, because it's evidence that God is cleansing our life of all the "mud".

And as we meditate on our Saviors face we won't see the puddles as a problem, but we'll pray for rain so God can continue to purify us and make the puddles a clear reflection of Him in our lives.

So keep dancing in the rain, and when it's gone, play in the puddles...

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:1

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers...Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.." 1 John 3:16

Monday, September 12, 2011

A new week

Ok, so I'm getting tired of coming up with titles for my weekly if they seem redundant and as if I don't have any more creative juices in that's true. :) Just puttin' that out there.

And yes, I realize that I missed this last week. And that's what happened, I just plain missed it. I thought about it several times, but this past week was crazy and so my ONE goal would have been; 

Smile and Survive.

And I accomplished that. Well the survive part that is, you'd have to ask my family and friends about the first one. (ok, so that was two, but just think of them as one) And I survived quite well, because here I am about to assign myself a couple more goals for this week. Why am I doing this again? Oh, yeah, discipline. Why can't I just write those words on a note, stick that note under my pillow at night and, wah-lah, a very disciplined Anna wakes up in the morning? Because things don't happen that way, and I'm glad they don't. Think about all the amazing lessons that I would have missed out on if I could teach myself with the note-under-the-pillow-method. 

ANYWAY, if I wouldn't keep getting sidetracked we could get something done around here. Ya know that kind of the story of my life. Getting side-tracked that is. Whenever I start to do something a thousand other little things come storming in...and I get distracted. So maybe my goal for this week should be to stay focused...but how boring would that be:) And I want to make goals that I will be able to actually accomplish. :)

Yes, random picture. But I came across it and wow...what part of that picture is not fun?!? I think this should be my goal for this week. How amazing would that be, to fly through mud on a dirt bike. *sighs a wishful sigh*

Someone once said recently that you turn your dreams into reality by making goals...haha...I like that. But in order to accomplish all my dreams I'm gonna' need a substantial amount of money...and that requires discipline...and that is what this whole goal thing is about right? So maybe I should stick to that...and someday, someday...*basks in happy thoughts of someday*

Now your probably getting really annoyed because I have just drug this post on for quite a while longer than it fact no one is probably reading this...they've probably given up. So since I've already lost my audience why not rattle on even longer...but I won't.

My Goals for this week;

  • Workout 3 times (haha, and I've already done it once)
  • Write a Thank You note everyday
  • Memorize a verse a day from the Psalm our family is doing together
  • Come up with a name for my new website (yes, I'm super excited about this...)
There ya have it. I got it done. And I'm not sure what mood I'm in this morning that prompted such a long and verbose post. But if you have read the whole thing, pat yourself on the back. You deserve a prize. But since I'm saving all my money for my cool dreams...I can't afford to supply prizes for my blog readers. Sorry. 

Have a wonderful, happy day!

Oh, and here's a verse that should change your perspective on life. 

"How great is the love 
the Father has lavished upon us, 
that we should be called children of God." 
1 John 3:1

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Instead of boring you with 10 more posts intricately describing for you the amazing, stupendous time that we had, I just decided to combine it to one big post. Hope you enjoy!

As I said before, Kristina got along great with my little brothers. They just loved her!

 Friday morning landed us at the all-famous Henry Doorly Zoo

I hadn't been to the zoo since I was "knee high to a june bug" and so things were a lot "different" then I remembered. The walks not quite so long, hills not so steep and the animals, though large weren't quite so monstrous and intimidating.

These little boys climbed on anything and everything that appeared to have some elevation to it. 

I loved the giraffes. There is just something utterly cool about them.


Our family used to live at the zoo when I was little. Our grandmother would give us a pass every year and we took advantage of it. In fact I wonder if I could rustle up some "before" pictures to show you...

Anyway, each exhibit held a handful of memories that brought a smile to my face. This bridge was one of them. My brothers used to wait till I was in the middle and then run up and down and shake that rope bridge till I'm sure the zoo staff was afraid that it was going to splash in the water. And to be honest, sometimes I thought I was going to add to that splash.

I love him!

We swung by the airport on our way home and picked up Katy, Kristina's sister, and then headed out to Seward, NE--to give them both a taste of small-town America!

And we had a little fun shopping;)

And jumping...

And a trip to Omaha has to include an afternoon at the Old Market...and the slides!!!

The Upstream enjoying a couple appetizers.

And we  discovered this really cool store...that had frightening hippos hanging on the wall!

My gorgeous friend!

50's diner--this place was so cool!

Every kind of Jelly Belly you could imagine...did I mention that I loved this place?

The "new" pedestrian bridge

Two places at once

I love Omaha!

I love my home! You should come visit...I'll show ya around!

So there you have it. An exciting week packed full of stories and memories to last us till...well, till they decide to come again!

Thank you both for coming--it made my year! Love ya both!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


A perfect summer evening just screams for an outdoor garden party.

Kristina is a consultant for a loose leaf tea business. And so she made this trip to Nebraska not only to visit me, but also to host a Tealightful party. 

Preparing for the party was almost as fun as the time itself.

Chinese lanterns

tissue paper flowers. 

white pendents made from sheets

And lots of pictures from the evening...

yummy food

The place setting--a confusing quiz game;) and Jelly Bellys

One of my adorable friends...

 Kristina explaining her tea's

The weather was delightful, the food was delicious, the tea was refreshing and the company was sensational. It made for a perfect evening!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Softball and makeup

Kristina was here for a week. And we packed that week full. She flew in on Tuesday and we got things started right by heading to the baseball field to watch the boys play in the Father/Son softball game. It turned out that they didn't have enough guys that night so they started recruiting...and I found myself up to bat, wearing a light tan and not very full skirt. It was so much fun!!

We got our energy out that night because the next day found us on a girls lunch date with a friend.

Cheesecake Factory--WIN!

Bekah needed a couple things from the mall so we headed to the new Bare Minerals store. I am a big fan of Bare Minerals makeup and was thrilled to hear that a real store had finally come to Omaha.

The colors were gorgeous! And the selection was enormous!

And the ladies are so sweet and kind, and willing to answer any and all questions regarding their product!

Kristina and I both got an eye make-over and learned a few new tips.

That was our "girly" fling for the week:) And of course it was such fun. 

Those first 24 hours really described our week...flip-flopping from one activity to the next.