Sparkle Solo
Mailing my Valentine’s today.  They get sent to my grandmother, aunts, a few cousins, and my very best friends who are still unattached.  
I seem to be gravitating towards red & pink clothes for the holiday.  
We upgraded our internet & now it hasn’t worked for THREE DAYS
This is an excuse for me to drink a lot of coffee in coffee shops for WiFi 
Making myself NOT Google this cute guy I met this weekend so I don’t obsess
Making myself NOT analyze the message he sent me (too much) 
I’m getting to pray with one of my extreme heros in the faith for three hours 
Deciding if I am going to Nashvegas this weekend
Looking forward to a party tonight at my friends’ house
I’m seriously considering eyelash extensions.  Love them.  
My life is being changed in a theology class studying Christ this semester
  • Mailing my Valentine’s today.  They get sent to my grandmother, aunts, a few cousins, and my very best friends who are still unattached.  
  • I seem to be gravitating towards red & pink clothes for the holiday.  
  • We upgraded our internet & now it hasn’t worked for THREE DAYS
  • This is an excuse for me to drink a lot of coffee in coffee shops for WiFi 
  • Making myself NOT Google this cute guy I met this weekend so I don’t obsess
  • Making myself NOT analyze the message he sent me (too much) 
  • I’m getting to pray with one of my extreme heros in the faith for three hours 
  • Deciding if I am going to Nashvegas this weekend
  • Looking forward to a party tonight at my friends’ house
  • I’m seriously considering eyelash extensions.  Love them.  
  • My life is being changed in a theology class studying Christ this semester

I believe not having sex before marriage includes NOT sexting. 

"I pick up my guitar and start worshiping God and then I’m home. That’s where home should be.  Not in a certain place or in people."

~My wise & brave friend


While eating sushi with a friend, I was so impressed with her revelation of what it means to be at home.  She was telling me that she finds the young adult age to be so transitory and things are always changing and friends always moving away.  Even her life has involved a lot of uprooting during her 20s because she’s lived in three different countries.  

Even if you are moving to do missions and ministry or pursuing a career (or if you are one of those lucky ones who gets to be a tour guide in some exotic locations…are you hiring?!), there is still a huge transition.  I was 25 the first time my company moved me I definitely struggled with homesickness.  

I love the idea that our relationship with God is where we are most at home.  Praising Him and worshiping Him is something we can take with us no matter where we go and something that never changes when our friends move away.  It matters that we seek Him out and feel comfortable in that place.  I absolutely value relationships with my friends and family but know that there are times that they can’t give me everything I need to sustain me.

Home IS where the heart is. 

To Call or Not to Call

 

A few months ago, I had a great day with a #HandsomelyGorgeous guy.  I came home and RAVED about him.  He told me he would call me to go out again, texted me the next day thanking me for a great time, and then dropped off the face of the planet.  I had one more text exchange but he lives in another town and has decided not to follow up with me.  My feelings were hurt but I have tried to be very, very casual about everything. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out but God used it to reorient me to how I should expect to be treated by a guy…VERY WELL and what it feels like to be somewhere with a guy who can hold his own in a crowd. 

So, I just realized that his birthday is today when I looked at Facebook tonight.  Awwwwwwww!  I know that I am absolutely not going to call him but I want to do it.  I almost texted him today just because I was thinking about him.  TRUE CONFESSION:  I didn’t invite him to my Christmas party this year.  I had texted him to see how he was and never heard anything other than Merry Christmas.  I felt that was a sign he wasn’t interested.  Once the party pictures hit Facebook, he wrote on my wall but when I responded…NOTHING!? 

The truth is I had a surprisingly fabulous time with him and it reminded me what a date should feel like.  There was a huge feeling of relief in me to think that I could just have fun and relax. 

SO, do I call him to wish him a Happy Birthday or just text?  Or do I just stick to Facebook wall messages? I’m leaning away from calling.  It seems too much. 

Valentine’s Day Cards

I love sending cards.  Mainly, because I love getting mail and enjoy picking out pretty stationary. Even though I am single, I still enjoy sending Valentine’s cards.  I like the idea that my best friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, parents and siblings know that I’m thinking about them.  Especially on a day that we sometimes measure how beloved we are based on who is showering their affection on us. 

Here are a few Valentine’s Day Cards that have my attention: 

I also enjoy these cards from Rifle Paper Company

Who doesn’t enjoy a red envelope in the mail? 

If this little postman cupid came with a red envelope I’d be sold!  I’m still deliberating…

These cards from My Little Buffalo on Etsy are also unique:

I decided not to send these cards to my video game addicted guy friends even though I think the card is so funny (and true)!  I didn’t want to cause any confusion.  My single male friends go M.I.A. on Valentine’s Day.  I think they are afraid we girls will misinterpret a text or email from them as a confession as undying love.  As silly as I think that is for them to do, they have learned the hard way that we women can let our heart flutter a bit more quickly when Cupid’s arrow is piercing our mind!

Valentine’s Day Mystery Date!

Today, I felt the Lord telling me to drive down a certain street in my town because there was something new He wanted to show me. 

I found this ADORABLE Italian looking village that has just been built and I’d never seen before.  I got out and was having a wonderful time walking around and visiting shops when I saw it…

A CHOCOLATE BOUTIQUE!!! 

They sell chocolate truffles AND you can host “Make Your Own Chocolate” parties!

I took my own advice, asked if they had anything booked for Valentine’s Day (THEY DIDN’T!!!! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!!), and so I told them to put me down for a party of 15.  For $15 a person, you get to make your own truffles with different types of chocolates, sprinkles, salts, and spices and pick out different shaped candy molds.  We’ll have the entire store open just for us and get to play the music we love.  Everyone walks away with 1/2 a pound box of homemade candy! This screams GIRLS’ NIGHT. 

I’m planning to send out an invite “kidnapping” my single girlfriends for a Valentine’s Day Mystery Date.  I decided that, while I am willing to organize the party, I don’t feel like footing the bill for everyone.  Instead, I am just going to add in the invitation to plan to spend $20.

I called one of my married friends to run the idea past her and get a few more ideas.  What I am the most excited about is getting everyone to RSVP by Feb 1st and then getting friends and family members of the girls who are coming to send me Valentine’s Cards for them to open that night.  Won’t that be fun?! 

I want them all to have a pile of letters from people who care about them as a reminder that they are loved even without a boyfriend, fiance, or husband! 

Romance Ruin

Sometimes NOT being afraid to ruining a romance that is already not working is the healthiest decision. 

I was reading an article in Inc. Magazine and this great quote jumped out at me from Chris Mittelstaedt’s story about his father taking a sledgehammer to a car that seemed totaled so it could be driven again.  This was an article on business but I read it and saw RELATIONSHIP.  Particularly mine.

"When he was finished he looked at me and said: ‘If you want to salvage something out of a bad situation, you’ve got to be realistic. Readjust your thinking to the situation. And don’t be afraid to break stuff if you have to—especially if it is already broken’."

As people “in love”, we are often afraid to make changes or ask for what we believe really needs to change for us to feel valued, cared for or just plain LOVED.  We are afraid to upset the balance of the romance’s ship…even if it is just a one-sided love. 

Stepping out is strong and continuing to stay in a situation that is NOT working is seriously detrimental to your self-esteem, heart, and well-being.  STOP.  Okay, that is easier said than done but it is amazing how hard we work to protect what is sick and dying or killing us on the inside than take the chance to change things and let the relationship really live.  It is already badly broken.  Either they don’t love you back or they are not treating you well…whatever it is that is making you so very unhappy and causing your family and friends to BEG you to get that person out of your life (RED FLAG) IS serious and not working.  Do you need to salvage this if you knew that someone or something better is waiting for you on the other side. 

For me, something better was finally allowing myself to be VERY SINGLE.  The guys I loved weren’t loving me back.  They showered me with gifts, praise, time and attention when it was convenient for them but they didn’t make me feel loved, valued and cared for because I need more.  I decided these things had to happen in a relationship: 

1.  Facebook Official - If I am still single on Facebook don’t call me every day

2.  Built in Dates - I shouldn’t have to go places without a date

3.  Tell Me I am Pretty - Easy enough because I am.  If you don’t think so…leave.  I don’t want a BFF.

4.  Do some things you don’t want to do just because I want to do them.

5.  Prioritize Me  Not just when it is ridiculously convenient.

6.  Take The time to Listen to Me  And not just talk

7.  Your Friends Should Know You are Crazy About me

8.  A majority of my friends should enjoy you.

I decided not to worry that I’d never find someone else as good or not have someone to care about me.  The things that matter to me are very important and it is either something the guy I like can do or not do.  Taking a stand for what matters to you in a relationship may make you afraid of breaking something between you but it helps to realize that it’s already broken… You never know if you’ll be salvaging something between the two of you or salvaging yourself for someone who will treat you well. 

AMAZING video on waiting for the right man…and dating the wrong one.

"Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and all he could whisper were sweet, empty nothings." 

UpDATE

Update on #GorgeouslyHandsome:

After not hearing from him for a week and a half other than a comment on a Facebook photo, I broke down and texted him.  I KNOW, I KNOW!!  My best friend told me not to do it but to wait and him pursue me but I thought I had a really great reason. (Don’t you ALWAYS!  Haha.)

He lives in the same town as my parents and, since I am here visiting for a week thanks to an injury, I thought sending him a quick text to let him know I was in town would be a great idea.  I had visions of us watching movies together and having coffee at Starbucks while my sprain healed. 

He was traveling to another city for a long weekend when I got his text.  He was very chatty and we texted back and forth for a bit but it probably wasn’t the best idea.  Then again, how horrible would it have been if we’d been in the same town for a week and I hadn’t bothered to contact him?  Okay, I feel better about texting now! 

I know I have some other things to work out in my heart and this funny, laid back #GorgeouslyHandsome guy may just be a reminder of how much fun being pursued by a attractive man who is into me and I enjoy being with can be.  OR he is a guy that I could really like getting to know better…

Pinterest Love & Wedding Planning

I LOVE Pinterest.  I think it comes from loving beauty and pretty things.  And also loving shopping!  I can "shop" for pictures I like and put everything in one place.  I definitely have used the ideas I have found to put together new combinations with my clothes, throw parties, and find new recipes. 

It is so fun watching friends plan their weddings on Pinterest!  I feel like it is the personalized wedding magazine where every morning I get to flip through photos of my friends’, Amanda and Tara…and Susan and Casey,…wedding ideas.  Fun fact:  I actually was a wedding planner for a while and still have a love for those glossy bridal magazines and attend so many of my friends’ weddings it feels like a part time job. 

I feel closer to my friends as I get to give my ‘thumbs up’ on photos of their floral arrangement and wedding reception ideas while not having to sit down for three hours and discuss it with them.  (When you are a former wedding planner EVERYONE wants your planning skills at their disposal.) I think the whole thing is fabulous fun.  All the bridesmaids are commenting and even the mothers of the bride is signed up for Pinterest and tagging their daughters with pictures of invitation ideas and veils. 

I am still SO unsure how I feel about planning my FUTURE wedding.  It makes me cringe a little when one of my friends, who is single and really wants to get married, starts pinning hundreds of wedding photos to her “Someday” board.  I just hate the idea of everyone who follows their boards watching them plan their future wedding.  Actually, I am just thinking about how I am embarrassed to publicly plan my future wedding in front of all those people.  The point was really driven home when a guy walked up to me at church and told me that he’d just been introduced to Pinterest and was looking at my pictures with his friend. WHAT?!  GUYS OTHER THAN MY METRO DESIGNER FRIEND ARE ON PINTEREST?! 

As a former wedding planner, I don’t sit around planning my future wedding.  I think the best weddings are those that are very specific to the individual couples.  I love the details of themselves each other and their story that bride and grooms put into their ceremony and receptions.  How can I plan a wedding without knowing the groom?  However, I do see the value and having already thought about the type of things you want or tagging good ideas to keep them in one place.  What if you forget about that really creative idea you saw by the time you are sporting a diamond?  My greater fear that keeps me from happily tagging bouquets and color combinations is this:  When you are meeting a guy for the first time, how is he going to feel when he Googles you to find you have tagged 2,500 pictures of your future wedding plans on Pinterest? 

Praying

I told myself that I wouldn’t take his call.  He hasn’t called me since he’s been back in the country on Monday night.  I got one text from him on Wednesday asking me how I was and then no response when I replied back.  You’d think if he was concerned about how I was doing and then heard that I was sick and not doing well that he’d bother to respond. 

I am trying to learn how to walk in forgiveness.  It is easy to say that you live a lifestyle of forgiveness yet each situation has to be dealt with very specifically.  I am forgiving him for not prioritizing me in the midst of a crazy work week for him on top of being out of the country the week before.  However, it doesn’t make me feel good to be pushed aside at a time when I have been in bed for four weeks and when I needed him.  Before he left the country things were hard.  There was one night that he shattered my feelings.  I have spent so much time with him listening. 

I know I can’t keep living like this.  He has broken my heart with neglect and then picks me back up when it is convenient for him.  I absolutely must forgive him.  I don’t want to be held in bondage by my own unforgiveness and sin.  I just wonder if I explain to him that he’s hurt me and why I am phasing him out of my life. Or if I just do it.  To continue like this is to deny my own value and self worth which I don’t want to compromise. I’ve done that too much in the past. 

I want to be gracious and loving yet protect myself at the same time.  Saying that he has hurt me feels like I am begging for attention yet the truth is, if he cares for me at all, he should care how he’s crushed my affection. 

He called me at midnight coming home from speaking.  At first, I didn’t take the call because so much resentment and hurt was rising up inside of me.  Then I felt awful for not picking up.  I called him back and he made me feel worse.  He asked me how I was and then talked about himself only to cut me off to take a phone call from his dad.  When he switched back over to me, he told me he had to go because his father had been in a wreck and, while he was okay, he needed to talk to him. Then he asked me, “Are you doing any better?”  I told him that I wasn’t because that is the absolute truth and not because I wanted him to stay on the phone. He prayed for me and then told me he’d call me on Sunday.  That is TWO DAYS from now. 

I know he had a family emergency.  I am not crazy and I should understand but I always have to understand for everything recently.  And combined with no phone call from him when I am used to hearing from him a few times a week it compounds the hurt. Ministry work is the priority in his life which would be fine if he didn’t manage to make me feel tossed aside in the midst of it when he gets busy.  I tried to work around it a few months ago and offer to drive him to and from the airport on his trips.  I would leave after dropping him off feeling physically sick from hurt.  I feel like I am giving more than he gives.  And that is a sickening feeling because you realize it is that he doesn’t want to give it. 

Giving Myself A Chance

One of the most handsome guys I know asked me out.  Repeatedly for the past three years.  I am so gun shy about good looking guys and relationships that I never take him seriously.  I generally laugh and act like it is a joke.  Then, I get upset that by the end of whatever party I see him at he is talking to another girl.  

If someone else was telling me this story I would say, “It is so obvious that you hurt his pride, turning him down, showing complete disinterest, and he is moving on.”  However, I just write him off as being a player.  And I don’t want to date a player because they hurt you.  Especially Christian players. Then, I talk about him to my friends which only furthers his player reputation in our minds. 

And then there is the insecurity issue that I struggled with.  This guy is so good looking why would he want anything other than friendship with me?  I have a lot of very hot “just friends” and it breaks your heart a piece at the time.  It hurts to know that you are amazing but just not quite pretty enough for them.  I have been through a lot of heart healing in those areas.  I think that is why this time when he asked me to do something with him I actually went.  I’ve learned more about my identity in Christ and how my Heavenly Father loves me. 

It also helped that when I was talking to my dad about how #GorgeouslyHandsome acts my father broke through my mean stereotyping.  He told me that this guy is not a bad guy just because he started talking to other girls when I acted uninterested.  “Sweetie, he wants to met a girl who wants to be in a relationship.  He isn’t a bad guy because he is looking for a girlfriend.” 

So, with the security of my Heavenly Father and the redirection of my earthly father, I decided to take a chance on a spending the day with this guy.  A friend gave me extra football tickets and I offered him one.  I am COMPLETELY anti-asking the guy out.  (Not because I think there is necessarily anything wrong with that for other people. But because the thought of getting turned down or being perceived as overly aggressive aka desperate SCARES ME.)  He was on my mind and I facebook messaged him which turned into him responding that he was in town that night for a concert.  He invited me to go and gave me his number.  I didn’t want to go but decided to call him to say no instead of just email because the show was in two hours and I didn’t want him to feel stood up.  He told me we should get together for dinner or something fun and I mentioned that I may have an extra ticket to the game. 

I prayed that if he was supposed to come with me that no one else I invited could come.  And then I invited over 40 people who love this football team! The tickets cost $950 a seat and I was pretty sure they’d be a hot commodity when offered for free.  NO ONE.  NO ONE.  No one could come.  So I invited him.  I still had two extra tickets thirty minutes before kick off!

We had a fun day!  I enjoy a well dressed man and he looked great.  He told me I was beautiful when he showed up at my door.  I could go on and on but I don’t want to get tooooooo excited.  (Just in case.)  He told me all day what a great time he was having with me.  There was a moment when he PICKED ME UP and carried me to me car!  (I state in my profile I am “slightly overweight so I was pleased he carry me.  Haha!) At the end of the night, he told me he would call me and we would do this again.  And then he kissed me on the cheek.  And texted me the next day to say thank you for the great day.  I have all sorts of slight hopes, concerns and fears that he won’t call or I won’t see him for months YET most importantly I think:

What if I’d never given him a chance? 

Lemon Curry Chicken Recipe & Entertaining Friends

I decided to branch out and try what turned out to be an AMAZING and easy recipe for lemon curry roasted chicken.  I texted a friend and my roommates an invitation for dinner and tackled my first roast chicken.  It was such a gorgeous night that we pulled a table and a lamp out onto our front porch to dinner.  It was so BEAUTIFUL!

There is something about good food, darkness, and low lights that makes sharing your secrets very easy.  Being spontaneous and taking advantage of what you know will be a great experience is worth the risk of getting a text back saying they are too busy to show up or giving up a night watching tv.  In my case, it was knowing it was a gorgeous night, having to cook time to cook and that I’d wanted to have a dinner on the front porch before the weather turned frigid. My friend bought a cherry pie on the way over and everything was delicious. 

This is definitely going into my stash of secret weapon recipes for having people over.  I’m becoming a good cook but I still get a bit nervous when serving other people.  You can never be sure they will like it but it helps when you know something is fantastic.  Here’s the recipe! We couldn’t quit talking about how much we loved it.  If you make it, definitely throw a few extra apples in the pan because they were really good sliced and served with the chicken!

Bon Apetit!

I am ready to embrace the world (along with one of the greatest benefits of singleness) and TRAVEL! 
I am planning some weekend trips and one international one.  I used to wonder how people just flitted all over the place and then it hit me:  They just do it!  Once I started planning trips, I realized that prioritizing my dream to see the world was a great use of this time of my life. I’m not tied down, I don’t have to pay preschool tuition, and I’m still young enough to hike the awesome mountain trails even if I thought they’d have medivac me out a time or two. 
I’ve checked off France, Switzerland, England, Italy, Germany, Bahamas, Egypt, Canada (it still counts!), Vatican City (also counts!), Brazil and the Dominican Republic.  I can’t quit returning to Rome because I adore it but next year I’m branching back out to unvisited countries.

I am ready to embrace the world (along with one of the greatest benefits of singleness) and TRAVEL! 

I am planning some weekend trips and one international one.  I used to wonder how people just flitted all over the place and then it hit me:  They just do it!  Once I started planning trips, I realized that prioritizing my dream to see the world was a great use of this time of my life. I’m not tied down, I don’t have to pay preschool tuition, and I’m still young enough to hike the awesome mountain trails even if I thought they’d have medivac me out a time or two. 

I’ve checked off France, Switzerland, England, Italy, Germany, Bahamas, Egypt, Canada (it still counts!), Vatican City (also counts!), Brazil and the Dominican Republic.  I can’t quit returning to Rome because I adore it but next year I’m branching back out to unvisited countries.

Dating Princes & Pastors

"There’s been a lot of speculation about every single girl I’m with and it actually does quite irritate me after a while, more so because it’s a complete pain for the girls."

~Prince William

I never considered there’s a lot of similarity between dating princes and dating pastors!

Everyone is looking and they always seem to ask the girls about the relationships instead of the pastors.  I spend so much time explaining to people that I’m NOT in a relationship or, better yet, smiling and saying, “We’re good friends but he is very focused on his ministry right now.”  Which is code for, “He is interested enough in me to talk but not enough to commit to dating. Let’s face it, I’m not competing with Jesus. It just doesn’t seem I’m what he’s looking for right now.”