I had the pleasure of visiting my family in South Louisiana for 10 days this month and I was so excited that it happened to fall on my birthday! How great is it, even when you're 29.2 years old, to spend it with your parents? AMAZING! I always love the food, the company, the waves from random people, the feeling of knowing you are back in your roots that really speaks to my heart. This trip wasn't any different. What I could have done without was the humidity! Whew, it was hot down there!

Although I didn't get to take as many touristy pictures this time around, I did manage to grab a few of the randomness!



 







How many of you live far away from family and how do you celebrate your visits?? I'd love to hear your stories! Comment below!
Sharing a little family love...

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Hey y'all! Today is the day for my very first Cara Box reveal! I was so excited for this. Not only do you get paired up with two amazing ladies, you get to swap gifts and that's half the fun!

I was paired up with Sandy and Amanda . I wrapped up a cute Stages of Life box for Sandy, then Amanda sent me the most amazing box. This way, you get to know two different ladies! Such an awesome plan over at Wifessionals. Go sign up for the next Cara Box!

Ok, the big reveal! Amanda really out did herself with my box! Check it out!



She totally got me! An original water color from Poppy and Pinecone of Hawaii, where I met, fell in love with, and married my sweetheart, my first H initial coffee mug! I LOVE mugs! Super cute navy, white and hot pinkish/coral scarf that is so light and comfy! Cute blue butterfly note book and pens so I can jot down ideas on the go! Then there is the adorable photo box and bright Aruba Blue nail polish, along with her letter. I mean, I know I will be bias because this is the first time I've ever participated in any sort of gift exchange, but this box rocks! I can't say enough on how Amanda brightened my whole MONTH!

I can't wait for the next Cara Box opportunity!

Cara Box Reveal

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Wow, what a whirlwind few days! While you read this, I am away celebrating out very first wedding anniversary! Yay for celebrations!
So, the final recap of the marriage and relationship goals. I has been quite a month to start this, but I'm sure this was God's work to test me and push me closer to him, and for that I am thankful!
Oftentimes,  I don't have an aggravation stage. It's calm happy shiny mood then full flame on mad mood.  I can count on one hand the times I've had a full flame on with Husband, but I really wanted to work on that and being the submissive wife this month. I don't want any full flame on moods at him. And  boy, have I ever had to work on it THIS month.
Aside from traveling, which causes stress, I also had to work on our communication while away. Husband isn't one to talk your ear off in the first place, and to get him on the phone is even harder.  So I've really had to focus on the amount of time he can give being enough for me.  I guess sometimes we don't always get what we THINK we need, but it ends up being exactly what you REALLY need. Isn't that the way it always goes?

This month has pushed be beyond my comfort zones and made me truly analyze myself. Once my trouble areas were pointed out, I stuck my nose in the bible and didnt come up for air until I knew how to work on and deal with being the Godly submissive wife! I'm truly thankful for this August monthly challenge and can't wait to start another one!

How did y'all do on your challenges?




Marriage and Relationship Goals Link-up Mission Statement: Monthly Marriage and Relationship Goals are simple goals that we, as wives or girlfriends, can personally make each month in order to strive for the very best in our relationships without ever growing complacent in serving our significant other. Overall, the link-up portion of this series will serve to facilitate accountability as women join together to share encouragement and inspirational motivation for completing challenges each month by beginning with broad goals and working through each week creating more specific goals. At the end of the month, we will summarize what was accomplished, the successes we've had and what we could have done better. We would love for you to link up with us and share your posts each week as we strive in different ways to serve our significant other with more intentionality and purpose.


Marriage & Relationship Goals




"Not setting goals and objectives for a relationship is like a ship setting sail for the land of nowhere in particular"
Rules
1. Follow your hosts via GFC or Bloglovin'
2. Post the Marriage & Relationship Goal button in your post or on your sidebar
3. Link up your relationship BLOG POST
4. Visit other blogs, find inspiration for future goals, and encourage the other women in their quest to achieve great things!


Final marriage and relationship goals

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Hi everyone! This morning, I'm sitting in my own living room, drinking coffee like it's going out of style! While doing that, I need to update y'all about the semi-silence on the blog lately. For the last 10 days, I was in Bayou Country A.K.A. South Louisiana, visiting my family. I had a BLAST and ate way too much awesome Cajun food! It was a much needed family time and I loved every minute!

Arriving back to Chicago-land last night at 9pm, Husband scooped me up from the airport and brought me home, where I proceeded to jump straight in the bed and have a good nights sleep! Nothing beats your own bed, am I right?

This morning, I find myself unpacking my suitcase and then packing it back up so we can head to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to our first wedding anniversary getaway in a few hours! I am so excited to be spending 4 uninterrupted days with the love of my life just relaxing, enjoying each other's company and exploring the cute little city! Don't worry, I plan on taking LOADS of pictures, including a recreation of the picture below with our hands! (Can't remember where I found this picture to give proper credit, if you guys know, please let me know so I can link back to them!)




I have much to tell you guys when I return, so be ready for multiple posts and picture dumps towards the end of the week. Also, my Cara Box arrived and my sweet sweet partner, Amanda @ SpeculatingJokebird that was paired with me really went above and beyond with my gifts! She totally got me! So that will be coming up Thursday/Friday-ish. I can't wait to update you guys more and catch up!

Until then guys!

A little coffee and a little update

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Hi everyone! Time to recap week 2 progress for my August monthly marriage and relationship goals for the second week.  This week was fairly easy as I was only home for 3 days and then left out of state. Currently, I still am out of state, but I still think it is a perfect opportunity to do some over-haulin' of myself while I'm away. Mainly, the changes need to be with myself so why not take advantage right? So, for the end of week two, I'm still trying to concentrate on submission and exactly the wife I want to be. Somewhere between the modern woman and the 1950's housewife.

Currently, my guy is home taking care of himself, and I can't help but feel a little guilty not being able to do things for him like cook him meals, making sure he has everything he needs, those types of things. So I'm thinking that I must be making progress if I feel the twinge of guilt for not being there!



To sum it up, I am using and studying everything i can find in my bible on how a woman should be, and how a wife should be, so I can be the best I can be. And that's the ultimate goal everyone seeks. It is a goal that's not too shabby to strive for!

How are y'all coming along with your monthly marriage and relationship goals coming along?





Marriage and Relationship Goals Link-up Mission Statement: Monthly Marriage and Relationship Goals are simple goals that we, as wives or girlfriends, can personally make each month in order to strive for the very best in our relationships without ever growing complacent in serving our significant other. Overall, the link-up portion of this series will serve to facilitate accountability as women join together to share encouragement and inspirational motivation for completing challenges each month by beginning with broad goals and working through each week creating more specific goals. At the end of the month, we will summarize what was accomplished, the successes we've had and what we could have done better. We would love for you to link up with us and share your posts each week as we strive in different ways to serve our significant other with more intentionality and purpose.


Marriage & Relationship Goals




"Not setting goals and objectives for a relationship is like a ship setting sail for the land of nowhere in particular"
Rules
1. Follow your hosts via GFC or Bloglovin'
2. Post the Marriage & Relationship Goal button in your post or on your sidebar
3. Link up your relationship BLOG POST
4. Visit other blogs, find inspiration for future goals, and encourage the other women in their quest to achieve great things!


Monthly marriage and relationship goals- week 2 recap

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Flowers, ahhh, I love flowers just about as much as I love music. Flowers just make me smile, they are gorgeous. My grandmother loved flowers too. Except she loved the artificial kind, and she wanted them in every square inch of her home, and she made that happen! My only problem with this is I have allergies, bad allergies. So I can't have a house full of them like I want. And I'd probably just kill them anyway. Maybe I water too much? I'm not sure, but I just thought I'd share a few of my favorite flowers with you.

 Fabric Rosettes-- They count right?


Lilac cuttings off of my Mother-in-Law's lilac bush, gorgeous!
 
 
 
 
My poor little flowers at our apartment in Hawaii, they died soon after.
 
 



And finally, my wedding bouquet & lei.

 
Isn't it interesting how we use flowers to commemorate special occasions? Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, any special day, we use flowers to feel special. 
 
What are some of your favorite special occasion flowers?
 
Flowers

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I am the type that gets distracted easily from things. Bible study is no different. I've tried this method, and that method. I've tried listening to what so-and-so does, and tried that. On average, I can hang for a week on something, then poof, I'm over it. Study method, not the bible, just so we are clear. :) I see some people just grab their journal, their bible and go to town. Not this girl.

That being said, I have probably 4 bible study guides that I don't like or they didn't hold my attention. Maybe there isn't hope for me finding just ONE method and sticking to it. Some days I like to read through a chapter like a regular book, just zoom right through. Other days, I pick apart individual verses, word for word and meditate on those. Or have a list of different verses that I will study. But there isn't a rhyme or reason to this. I will literally flip the bible open and whatever page it lands on is what I study.  I think to myself, this is ridiculous!



I am certain that I'm one of the few weirdoes that do this and I know I need organization... badly! I must admit here that being raised Catholic, there isn't so much emphasize on studying your bible this way. Or maybe it was just my Catechism teachers didn't teach us how to. But after going to a few Christian Non-Denominational churches, I see a big difference in the bible study. So I'm new at this, and maybe that's my whole problem. No one has sat me down and said, this is how you study- you do A, B, & C. Then again, not one way will work for every single person, right?

The question remains, how do you study the bible? Please share your methods with me!
How do you study the bible?

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I participated in a monthly challenge, you can read about it here. It basically wanted you to focus on something for a month and report back every week, then again at the end of the month. I choose to be more submissive to my husband, to step back and let him lead me.  let me tell you one thing, this isn't easy for my personality! But this week wasn't all that bad! We didn't really have anything going on this week so I didn't feel the need to jump in and grab the reins from him.  I'm sure it will happen eventually, and I'm just praying that I know my triggers so I can stop myself before that happens! 



Disclaimer: I do feel like this may not have been the perfect month to start this, because I will be out of town for a bit. I love to travel but if I get delayed or a hiccup in my plans happen, I tend to get Type A personality pretty darn quick. So in that area is something I can practice on. Practice makes perfect right? I'll keep on practicing until patience and submission are as natural to me as eating crawfish. :)  But, when I get back, we celebrate our one year wedding anniversary on a little getaway! Yippeee!


Recapping- This week went pretty well. It was more of getting my mindset to understand this concept of submission, and that I won't be the boss of things ALL the time. I also studied a lot of Prov. 31, trying to adapt it to my life and my marriage. Overall,  I'd say things went A-OK!

Are you participating in the challenge? How is it going for you?






Marriage and Relationship Goals Link-up Mission Statement: Monthly Marriage and Relationship Goals are simple goals that we, as wives or girlfriends, can personally make each month in order to strive for the very best in our relationships without ever growing complacent in serving our significant other. Overall, the link-up portion of this series will serve to facilitate accountability as women join together to share encouragement and inspirational motivation for completing challenges each month by beginning with broad goals and working through each week creating more specific goals. At the end of the month, we will summarize what was accomplished, the successes we've had and what we could have done better. We would love for you to link up with us and share your posts each week as we strive in different ways to serve our significant other with more intentionality and purpose.


Marriage & Relationship Goals




"Not setting goals and objectives for a relationship is like a ship setting sail for the land of nowhere in particular"
Rules
1. Follow your hosts via GFC or Bloglovin'
2. Post the Marriage & Relationship Goal button in your post or on your sidebar
3. Link up your relationship BLOG POST
4. Visit other blogs, find inspiration for future goals, and encourage the other women in their quest to achieve great things!
Monthly Marriage and Relationship Goals- Week 1 Recap

1

I wanted to share a little Sunday Inspiration with you guys. This picture was taken by my parent's home in South Louisiana. We were riding on the back of a trailer while my Dad was pulling us on his tractor. :) Pretty country, I know. But the roads were flooded and I REALLY wanted to take the opportunity to capture the sunset. Hope you guys had a good weekend!

Sunday Inspiration

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//As my 31st Birthday is around the corner, I thought of doing a 35 Before 35, since I missed the whole 30 one.  35 Things to do before age 35. Sort of a less dramatic bucket list, but still things that I've wanted to do. Here goes... in no order what so ever...


1. Run a marathon.
2. Visit Canada
3. Read at least a book a month for a year.
4. Try every single Teavana tea they have on that lovely wall.
5. Cut down TV time to 2 hours per day. Listen to Christian music instead for background noise.Music part is done! 
6. Learn French. At least enough to carry a full conversation. (Not Cajun French, but REAL French)
7. Be able to unplug from technology each "weekend" I have with the Husband.
8. Participate in a craft fair of sorts.
9. Go to a blogger conference.
10. Have the perfect eyebrows!
11. Memorize at least 50 Bible scriptures that mean the most to me.
12. Raise $1000 for charity
13. Donate $1000 for charity
14. Get 1000 hits on my blog   as of 9/19/13 I have over 2100 hits! Boom!
15. Complete a one month picture challenge.
16. Do a double digit mile hike EVERY MONTH for a year!
17. Learn how to make fresh pasta
18. Make a cookbook- for friends, not going to me a millionaire off this one!
19. Stop drinking soda completely. Done! Not as hard as I thought.
20. Loose 20 pounds.Also done! I have more to loose, but it is slowly coming off!
21. Celebrate our 5 year anniversary.
22. Blog 4 times a week for a year.
23. Get baptized!
24. Visit South Africa, Australia, and Argentina to see our wonderful friends!
25.Spend the majority of a day in New Orleans exploring.
26.Go to an LSU game with all my family.
27. See the Northern Lights
28.Get my theology degree
29.See Chicago like a tourist
30.Have a fruitful garden (even if it's only a container garden)
31.Get a dog, or cat Adopted sweet Ginny 9/7/13!
32.Visit New York City
33.Find our perfect weekly restaurant and go to it for a year.
34. Perfect my Gumbo recipe
35.Make a fabulous bottle of sangria.New meds means no more drinking, so this one is out by default. 

I may or may not add on to this list as I think of things over time.  What are some of your smaller goals that you set for yourself?

Have a great weekend everyone!
35 Before 35

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 So, I've linked up with two amazing women, Kayln and Amberly to do a Monthly marriage and relationship goals challenge, and I think it will be challenging, but fun also!

OK, so the idea behind this is glorious! I'm forced to sit down and think about what I want to work on in my marriage and I am held accountable for it once a week then at the end of the month. Perfect right? I HAVE to do this or you guys can rag me about it. :)

Sitting here thinking about this, my main trouble is submission. I know, I know- it sounds so 1940s. But my Bestie (another Jessica) and I were just having this discussion last week. A guy seems all macho and tough, but if you continually railroad him about things, he will start to feel emasculated.

Now, for a little back story. I have an introverted personality to everyone. Once you are in my life for awhile, I'll bring you into the inner circle. It sounds crazy, but it's how I work. There's probably only 10 people in there right this moment. This is something I have to pray about and know that if God continually brings people in my life that I need to trust they aren't some serial killer who's out to get me but a friend, and I'm working on this folks ;)

Anyway, so to the inner circle people, I am not so introverted. I realize I am like a freight train when I'm on a mission and I'm a total fixer. One of the inner circle people brings me a problem, I will railroad everything in my path- and theirs, to fix this as fast and as efficient as possible. This being said, it's no different from how I handle things with Husband. And moving to a different home is one situation where this comes out in me. Husband, on the other hand, is as calm and cool as a cucumber. Now, me being me, and him being him- I will run slap over this poor guy and not even notice until he stands in front of me, telling me to slow down.

So for me, submission to my Husband is not like, "Oh yes Sir, would you like me to rub your feet, Sir? Would you like me to be your human foot stool Sir? No, submission to me is calming down, and waiting for him to take control of a situation and lead me. Now, if I still think I know a better way of doing something, I will speak out, but in a calm way. A way he will not feel like I'm railroading him, or in a way where he will feel as if I'm his helpmate, like God wants us to be. Oftentimes I think, OK God wants us to be the quintessential submissive wife (Eph. 5:22-23) Which tells us to be submissive, but not HOW to be. And I think that is because no one cookie cutter way is going to work for everyone. I think it should be your own ideas. You know yourself best, you know what you struggle with in your marriage or in your personality. I know we all can look back at Prov. 31:10-31 and kinda see what a perfect wife should be all about, but you have to relate that to your own life, and find the weak points and make them strong.

For the monthly challenge, there isn't really a list, per say, that I can come up with to help me with this. Submission is my main goal, and I will update every Tuesday about how this is going for me and if I see a difference in Husband.

What are some of your ideas about being the "Submissive Wife"? I'm all ears!















Marriage and Relationship Goals Link-up Mission Statement: Monthly Marriage and Relationship Goals are simple goals that we, as wives or girlfriends, can personally make each month in order to strive for the very best in our relationships without ever growing complacent in serving our significant other. Overall, the link-up portion of this series will serve to facilitate accountability as women join together to share encouragement and inspirational motivation for completing challenges each month by beginning with broad goals and working through each week creating more specific goals. At the end of the month, we will summarize what was accomplished, the successes we've had and what we could have done better. We would love for you to link up with us and share your posts each week as we strive in different ways to serve our significant other with more intentionality and purpose.


Marriage & Relationship Goals


"Not setting goals and objectives for a relationship is like a ship setting sail for the land of nowhere in particular"
Rules
1. Follow your hosts via GFC or Bloglovin'
2. Post the Marriage & Relationship Goal button in your post or on your sidebar
3. Link up your relationship BLOG POST
4. Visit other blogs, find inspiration for future goals, and encourage the other women in their quest to achieve great things!
Marriage and Relationship Goals- August Challanges

8

Currently I am:

Reading- My bible, as always, then the book A Woman after God's Heart, Catching fire- before the movie comes out. My personal favorite way to experience a story- Book first, movie second.

Watching: or should I title it: Current Netflix Obsession because lets be honest, I don't just watch a show. I am non stop devouring that thing until it's dead- aka no more seasons left. And THEN, I go through withdrawals until something else comes in and tickles my fancy. The circle starts again. So- Current Netflix Obsession- I haven't found one since I finished the latest season of Heartland... but I am on the hunt!

Organizing- My craft room. Lets face it, no matter how pretty you stack your fabrics, one idea will set a fabric tornado off in there and it's a disaster area. I should put FEMA on my speed dial kinda disaster. :)

Projects- Personal- Sewing covers onto couch pillows, making straps and bible covers for family.
               Professional- Designing new bible covers and camera straps, trying to research the best                               dried lavender for numerous projects- no luck yet.


Interested in:  Finding a good charity that I can volunteer in. I would love to do humane society, but being allergic to dogs and cats, that's not gonna happen! Maybe Habitat for Humanity? Don't get me wrong, there are so many charities out there that need help, but I need to help one physically.
I do support the Wounded Warrior Project since my oldest brother Chad is a Wounded Warrior. And every sale I get on Etsy, a portion goes to them- so thank you for ordering!

Frustrated with:  Laundry. Every. Day.  Since our washer is a stackable one, the washing tub is microscopic. Literally, I can fit one outfit of the husbands in there, and if it's lightweight fabric like trousers, then I can put a towel in and that's it! That's the whole load right there. Needless to say, I am washing at least 2 loads of laundry a day. Bleh-- Apartment living at its finest right?

Eating: Red Velvet Chocolate Covered Cherries from Albanese Candy .... You don't even know how amazing these are.

Drinking:  Dragon Fruit Devotion tea from Teavana, deeeelicious!

Thinking about:  Trying to use all of my fabric scraps for new store items, and the cutest fabric combos possible, and making meals to freeze for the Hubs while I'm away so he doesn't starve to death.

Praying For: Family and friends, of course. And for it not to be so face melting hot when I head to South Louisiana in 2 weeks.

What are you guys up to? Comment below!


Currently I am: August Version

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Everyone has read or watched Eat, Pray, Love right? Unless you're a guy, and you don't have a girlfriend or wife that made you watch it with her. In which, you're excused. Well, the great Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorite writers. I am currently subscribed to her Facebook, email, and check the website at least once a week. Told you, she's an amazing writer, and I can legally stalk her :)
Anyway, I had noticed people sending her pictures of jars decorated all sorts of ways, and writing "My Happiness Jar",  so I investigated.

Turns out, Elizabeth invites everyone to decorate some sort of jar and every time you get a little piece of happiness in your life, write it down on a scrap of paper and put it in your happiness jar. You can take it out and read it anytime you'd like.

Whoaa! Wait, what?? I thought more about this whole beautiful concept and of course I over analyzed it and even brought the Hubs in on my inner rambling. What if we never put anything in it? what constitutes a happiness feeling on a scrap of paper? Is it big things? Little things like not burning dinner? I mean whattttttttt doooo I put in thereee?? Hubs, being my rock, the calm to my self inflicted storm simply said, you put in there what ever you want that makes you happy- it's your jar. BAM! The rough waters calmed, the tsunami receded.  Oh, how I love that man.

SO! back to the story, as I was doing the tutorial on how to make your own chalkboard  & chalkboard paint here, I decided to decorate my happiness jar. The jar itself is a cleaned out jar from my favorite candles- the brand is Circle E, they are out of Texas. And for a long while, you could only find them in Texas/Louisiana area. Now they're online! Check them out! My favorite scent is Peace.  I mean, these candles came into my life and anchored themselves so far in that at the current moment, I am sad about being Circle E candle-less. I'm not sure if that's even a word, but we're moving on...





So, I painted the jar, and all is well! We or I- because Husband really is a man of few words, am starting to get in the habit of putting things in there. Funny sayings that make us laugh, weird things we do that gives us the giggles, of course big things like the thought of our little anniversary getaway coming up... just any and everything that will gives you the warm and fuzzies.

Now, I should note here to be sure that you explain it a bit. I plan on starting our Happiness jar over every New Years Eve, and reading all the "Happies" in it, and then dumping them out to make room for new Happies. But I will most likely forget the details of why "Snorted last night - woke us up laughing" was so amusing and made the cut. :)

Now it's your turn Friends, will you make a happiness jar? What qualifies something to go in the jar? and when will you read your Happies and start the jar over? I can't wait to hear what y'all will say! Comment below!
What is this Happiness Jar?

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