Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Wedding That Rocked My Socks Off

I am usually not a "I just went to a wedding so I will post all my pictures on my blog" 
kind of girl. However, this venue of this wedding was beyond cool for a wedding...
and the bride is one of my oldest friends and favorite people ever.
Plus, look...does she totally rock or what?
Ok, I'm setting aside the fact that there was some gospel R&B all up in the ceremony,
it can still rock, right?
Aren't her shoes Sa-WEEEET? Doesn't get much more Kat Von D-ish than that? Wink.
totally dug the pinwheel theme too.

love my tattoo loving friend xoxo
Trin and I have been friends since she was in 3rd grade, I was in 5th grade.
Thanks to her, I always "went out" with boys 2 years younger than I.
Some how we always managed to share boyfriends and music, even though we 
were so much different. And we still laughed at all the same dumb stuff.

We weren't exactly ALWAYS close, with life driving a wedge in between us. Haha, I'm kidding.
We never really fought, ok, except that one time...She knows the time.
Anyhow, life, marriage, college, blah blah blah...all that shot by us, touching base now and then...
and little would you know years later we would end up bawling our eyes our to each other.
Not because we missed each other, just because we thought we had lame lives. 
Or something like that.

I'm sorry, but I'm coming back to this hotel. Maybe for a vow renewal or something. I'm creeping on 20 years already.
Basically the only person I really knew was my sister. Thanks Jen, for making it look like I had a friend.
 Right after high school, we spent morning, noon and night together for like an entire summer...
Ok, that sounds strange. But we really did. It was so pathetically sad. 
The constant joke was that we had no friends. Once we told her mom about it. 
Her mom goes "You have friends."Trin's reply "Who? Jesus?"
Ok, maybe it was funnier at the time. Probably.

We had a posse at one time. A posse of alternative loving, hardcore rocking,
skateboard riding, grungy wearing cool hipsters with baggy pants.
The only problem was Trin had a secret. 
In her words "You guys were decked out in flannels listening to Nirvana, while I was secretly listening to Tupac and doing drive-bys." THIS is why I love Trin. That's like my favorite quote of all time. She told me to write a quote book, because I'm always jotting down random conversations 
and quotes. Her quote will be in "said" book.

This is what I do at weddings. At least weddings with cool mirrors like this one.
Anyways, I love you Trin. I am so happy for you that you found someone that totally
gets who you are, and is seriously so much like you. I really love it. I'm serious.
I wish you & Eric blessed lives & I know you you'll prove Love
where love 'seems' defenseless.
So thankful God is so merciful and can bring restoration & happiness to us all.

Oh, and thanks for choosing a super sick venue where I can take sweet pics of myself
in the mirror in my down time...
Ok, that totally wasn't me to say sick. I know. Yeah, I did that for you.

Oh, and p.s.s....I'm thinking up a new logo for the super shades stationary club, 
so when you get some free time, I wanna throw some ideas at ya.

Ooops, almost forgot about this one. Can't forget my Smyth photo. wink wink.

Click here to ENTER MY GIVEAWAY at 3 Four And Under
$15 Forever 21 Giftcard & October Ad Space

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One Girl, Two Vlogs (Represent/Girl Behind The Blog)

$15 Forever 21 Giftcard & October Ad Space 

I'm a girl who loves to vlog. So a few months ago, when I was approached by Allison from
Sweatpants and High Heels to help her Co-Host a Vlog link up where we give our story 
of how knowing God has changed our lives in under 5 minutes...
As scary as this can be, I was all for it. So those of you here today for
Represent: Take One, welcome to the first vlog in this series...
I am so honored and glad that you have chosen to join us.
Us being Myself, Allison, AND ALSO the lovely Sarah from The Fontenot Four .
And I am so excited to watch your videos throughout the week!

But then I saw that Ashley from 5ohWifey announced her monthly Girl Behind the Blog to go live the same day, with her co-host being one of my favorite bloggers, Erin from Sweetness Itself.
So, how could I miss out on that? It's easy. I couldn't. I never do. So I did two vlogs =)

1) I did the Girl Behind the Vlog video like 12 times and I couldn't NOT cry for 
some reason. Finally I made it through this one with no tears.
2) However, in both videos, I sound weird. I have a lisp. I mean, I really don't,
but something is wrong with my camera, so I sound like I do... Sorry.
3) If you are still looking for tears, you may want to stick around to hear a little more into
my story ON my Represent vlog, because you may or may not see me get all choked up.
4) I never stick to the time limit as much as I try and as much as I edit. Ugh. Sorry.
Just sayin.

If you are here to link up with Represent, grab a button, follow each of the girls Allison and Sarah if you
get a chance, and link yourself up!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Are Words Really Necessary?

This is a great quote, I believe in it. I believe we are to live our lives so that others see
the love of Jesus shining through our actions.
However, I think it has the possibility to give the impression that words are never necessary.
When in fact, words have their time, and their season.
God spoke the world into existence.
Let there be light. 
Let dry ground appear.
Let there be a space between the waters...
Proverbs 18:21 says "Death and Life are in the power of the tongue."
Words have the ability to lift up, or the ability to destroy.
So there are those moments when it's not only in your actions, but in what comes 
out of your mouth that has the ability to reach a life or touch a heart.

And we,  Sarah from The Fontenot Four, Allison from Sweatpants and High Heels and myself
are giving you the chance to speak up and use your words
in a vlog. Take 5 minutes and share with everyone your story of how you met Jesus.
There may be somebody out there who needs to hear what YOU have to say,
and only you.
For more about this new VLOG link up called REPRESENT, 
click here!
We go live ONE WEEK FROM TODAY! Wednesday, September 26th!

Going to leave you with this song, about letting our lives display the love of Christ.


Friday, September 14, 2012

I Wish You Knew

a photo i took in door county, wisconsin this summer
I wish you knew that God is so faithful.
I wish you could understand the trouble I have seen,
and how I have come out alive.
I didn't want to come out alive.
I practically begged to die, so I didn't have to do it myself.
But God, he knows me better than I know myself.
I wish you knew that no matter what you go through,
you can have and will have that ever present help,
in your time of need.
What is your need?
Do you need joy
A friend
Healing in your body
Healing in your heart
A relationship to be restored
Because he is here, he is there, right where you are.
But the question is: are you willing to ask?
He said seek and you will find,
knock and the door will be opened,
ask and you will recieve
Don't be too proud
Dont feel like you are too far away
or that you know too little about God
Don't feel like because you have had too many questions,
or you are unsure about who he is,
that he won't hear you.
He will. He does not lie. He does not change.
Lately I have felt lonely. I go through spurts.
Highs and lows.
And i've forgotten to go to my source of friendship,
joy, and peace of mind.
How is it that I think i have it all together
so much so, that i forget to ask for his help?
I wish more of you knew, what I know.
That he loves you. He loves me.
no matter what
no matter who
no matter when.
He has not changed. We may change.
We may goes through ups and downs,
questions and answers,
trials and triumphs.
But He does not change.
I wish you knew that  I love you too.
That I am here for any of you.
If you want a friend, I am here
If you want prayer, please ask me.
If you want to laugh, I try to do that too.
As long as you know, that I am not perfect.
And the joy I experience,
it comes from within.
It comes from the Lord.
I wish you knew.
You can have this joy too.
The lonliness, the sad times, the struggles...
all pale in comparison to when I let him know.
God, I need your help. I am sorry I didn't ask sooner.
I am sorry I tried to take this upon myself,
when you told me to cast my cares on you.
I wish you knew too,
to give it to God,
whatever it is.
He is real. You've wondered. Weren't sure.
But he is.
I am proof his love exists.
His patience & kindness.
His help is here.
I wish you knew.

Have a beautiful weekend, friends.

I linked up with Alissa for Coffee Date on Rags to Stitches
and Casey Leigh for What's On My Heart

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Indian Summer

I didn't grow up on an indian reservation, like my mother did.
Or like many of my cousins and relatives did.
Adapting to the "being native" thing is still new to me.
I grew up attending pow wows here and there, but never participating.
So, this is all recent for me, but it's something special, ya know?
Something I want to instill into my children.
Their heritage and culture.

Can I just say that I am completely obsessed with some of these costumes?
I love mine. It's my first. Hopefully of many more to come.
My AMAZINGLY talented cousin, Lydia made it for me.
Her and my aunt did it all, the beadwork, the ribbons, everything.
In fact, she makes her own. EVERY YEAR!
They are all so extremely beautiful, aren't they?
SO rich in color and tradition and culture...

These pictures are from last week, September 9, 2012.
A local festival called Indian Summer. 
I mentioned in THIS POST that Milwaukee's summers are filled with festivals.
Each one embraces heritage and culture.
Italian, Mexican, Polish, Greek...and so on.
So, this past week, I decided to join in the fun and dance a little for the pow wow.
Really, there were competitions. I have very little clue what I am doing,
but I have fun with my kids dancing the "all nations" dance,
in which they invite anyone out to dance, costume, native or not!
It's a lot of fun!

For more NATIVE HISTORY AND PICS of mine, check out this post HERE!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

50 Shades Of Stupid

Even know I am going crazy right now, my kids have been driving me bonkers 
all day long. I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna write about the stupid things I do.
Did I just say "even know" and not "even though"....
Ohhhh, you thought that was a typo didn't you?
Oh no no no... that's how I say it.
Please do not even tell me YOU never say anything stupid.

Welcome to 50 SHADES OF STUPID!
The Brand New Link Up where we tell on all the stupid things we do and say!
Now, it's YOUR turn, Grab a button, tell me something dumb you did last week,
last month, last year, 14 years ago...or maybe something you do regularly!
I am ready to get my giggle on. You know, the giggle you get when you are alone.
At your computer. Smiling like a monkey. That giggle.
Grab a button, link up, follow me and my co-host  this week, 
which is L from ALL GLORIOUS WITHIN and make us laugh!

Here's a few more of mine!

THIS ONE I didn't even realize until a week ago when I was babysitting.
My daughter and her two friends were playing wedding.
One of the little girls starts singing "Here comes the bride."
In my head I was singing along with it and I sang "All dressed and wide..."
Meanwhile she sang, "all dressed in white..."
ohhhhhh... is that how it goes? I always wondered why we would sing
about the bride being 'dressed and wide.' 

Here's a facebook status of mine. From a few weeks ago.
That awkward moment when you're a pedestrian approaching a corner the same time as 
2 vans full of firefighters and they wait for you to cross the street. But instead of crossing, 
you look down and pretend you were turning the corner, going down the street they are on...  
Until they are out of view, and then you cross the street & say to your dog 
"let's go this way instead" just in case the firefighters that are now a block away saw you
they might be able to 'hear you' and they would know that you simply 
"changed your mind." Yeah, that.
It's true. I actually did that. What?

I got far more embarrassed in jr high and high school than I do now. 
 Now I am willing to admit what a dweeb I am. Then it wasn't so funny. Like that time 
the teacher asked me to read a 'math problem' out loud and I did and it said something like 
Sam had 16 lbs of sugar, etc. Only I didn't know lbs stood for pounds. 
So instead of saying 16 lbs, I said 16 labels.  I heard kids snickering, and I was like  
"What? 16 labeled." It's labeled 16. I mean, 16 with a label. You know..." 
Yeah, I made it worse. Shoulda just left it at 16 labels and been done with it.

What STUPID things have YOU done?
link up, follow my co-host and I, and grab your button! 
And if you'd like to co-host some week, shoot me an email!!
I'd love to have you!


Monday, September 10, 2012

I AM Small, I AM Nothing, I AM Nobody

I have a little confession to make, nothing too exciting, most likely
over the top ordinary & boring, yet I'm going to put it out there,
well, for the sake of this post. ;)
I constantly struggle with letting everyone and everything but me define my worth!
Please tell me I'm not the only one!
Have you ever done that? I mean, I don't purposely tell myself, "Ok today, you 
are worth 17 cents, because this person didnt pay attention to you..." or 
"today you are worth $15 bucks because you got a great compliment!"
but nevertheless, I do it in my own little way.

I let my circumstances, comparisons, and the way people treat me...
(even if they don't even mean anything by it or realize they did it)
define how I feel about myself. And I realize that is SO wrong for SO many reasons.
But we all do it at times I think. We let the fact that we live paycheck to paycheck,
or that our ex-boyfriend crushed us, or that we had an abusive childhood,
or maybe that some super amazing blogger didn't respond to us...
suddenly make us feel sort of "unworthy."
Unworthy of what? Unworthy of life? Because that's just silly, isn't it?
Yet, I struggle with this, I swear, daily!
I get this overwhelming feeling of "small." I'm just this small person, 
not worth someone else's precious time or I dont have the big bucks to do certain
things I would love to do, so life must immediately be chalked up as boring or mundane.
That's not true.
There are only TWO things that can determine your value:
YOU and GOD!
Well, God created you with intent and purpose. 
Have you ever created something you love...
and were so proud of your work ....and then just trashed it?
No! You created it for a reason and you love your work.
It's easy to see what God thinks of us and how much value he places
 on our lives if you just look...
" She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far Above Rubies or pearls."
(prov. 31:10)

Bur for some reason, we don't want to believe that.
We are the ONLY other person that can determine our worth.
We can believe what we want to about ourselves!
And not only that, but every experience, sadness, rejection, hurt is only a
jumping off point to help others and speak value & truth into THEIR lives!
Do you realize that?!
EVERY SINGLE hard time you have been through..
have you been through a miscarriage, have you been broken up with,
have people talked bad about you, have you felt neglected or ignored,
have you struggled with money, have you lost your job,
have you not done as well in school as you would have liked, have you felt lost in which direction to take for your life, have your children got into trouble...
whatever it is that has got you down...take those experiences...
and instead of letting those things eat away at your worth, use them, grow from them,
and encourage others who are going through the same things.
Personally I think the highest value is on those who've helped others.
Those who have been through all kinds of crap in life, but refuse to let the "crap" define them...
and instead they love others. They are an encouragement to others!
And if you use those hard experiences, those rejections as a jumping off point
to be a HUGE blessing to another person, then YOUR VALUE is far above 
what you could ever dream! Especially in the eyes of the person whose life
you spoke into. Trust me.
Even this post, is me, taking those bad thoughts about myself, those worthless 
thoughts, those down and out, guess I'm nobody type thoughts that try to 
bombard my mind...and I'm turning them around to encourage YOU to 
do the same thing. You get what I'm saying??
There is PRICELESS TREASURE right there, in You!
Even though I have struggled with this throughout my life, 
I refuse to let myself be valued in the eyes of another.. or in the eyes of what "I think"
another is saying. My heart is to LOVE ON PEOPLE,
and make sure they know how precious they are!!

Congrats to Kim D who won the Messy. Dirty. Hair. Giveaway. 
Email me asap!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Influence Pre-Conference Meet & Greet

Um, so apparently I am out of the loop. 
I had no idea there was a Influence Meet & Greet link up thingie today and I had already put up a new post today about my NEW HAIR HERE today! 2 posts in one day? That's ok, right?
For those of you who don't know, yes I have committed myself to going to a blogging
conference rooming and driving with people I have never met.
Is blogging that big of a deal to me? Am I that passionate about it?

Anyways, I'm sorta in the middle of a bunch of work for my church,
so I am going to fly through this quick.

Get To Know Me:

1) Hi, I'm Julie. Wow. Exciting name right? Wouldn't Julianne, or Julia be better.
I always wanted a little more pizazz to my name. Nope, I'm stuck with Julie.
A name straight out of the 70's. Oh Gosh, did I just say that? The 70's!!!

2) I'm kind of a brat and sassy. But my heart is big. I am a super huge believer in encouraging
the beauty and talents and gifts in people, because if people don't believe or know how
vital and unique and important their qualities are, they might give up on them.
I don't want that. Do you? You can see what I mean HERE

3) I survive having 3 kids by writing (or typing out) down the conversations we have or they have with each other, on a regular basis. Sometimes you can breeze past some of the things that kids say,
but not me. I need to find humor it it. Need to. I mean, for my sanity. Not kidding.
Like this post HERE

Two Things I am looking forward to About the Conference:

1) Of course to meet YOU! I think everyone says this, but I had no idea so many amazing girls blogged, but more importantly I had no idea the community behind it. It's not just social media,
nor is it just about "MY" blog...but I've made so many friends who have encouraged and
lifted me up. I've met a couple in real life so far, but I am looking forward to meeting
so so so many more of you in just a few weeks! Mothers, missionaries, college students, youth pastors, wives, business owners and all around gorgeous gals whom I've grown to love.
I mean that!

2) Because blogging in itself was stepping outside of the box, I think actually doing this, going...
with a bunch of people I never met is a NEW step for me. Rooming with girls I have never met, driving down with a couple of Wisconsin girls I don't really know.  WOW, huge step!
It's an adventure. And it wasn't easy for me to swing the money for it, so I feel like it will be worthwhile in many ways...both to step outside the box out of my shy and comfort zone,
but also learning to use this huge online tool to help others! Exciting!

One thing I can't leave home without:

Um, clothes?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Don't Tell Me!!!

I love Arthur. You know Arthur...from King Of Queens.
He has all these weird quirks, which are hilarious for TV.
One of my faves is actually when
Arthur is being told something random & not really a big deal at all and he yells,
"Don't Tell Me!"

My hubs likes to say that a lot to me and of course I laugh every time.

Is it totally just me, or do we all have those moments when we swear
WE ARE RIGHT or no one is gonna tell us nothin...
 or we have a hard time letting it go until someone will admit 
"Yes, you're right." or perhaps you can convince them to say "I was wrong."
I'm one of those people that will annoy the heck outta you. I have this obsessive need to 
get the facts straight and for other people to do it as well,
and for some reason exaggerated truths or portions of truth BUG me like crazy.
It's one of my weird quirks I guess you could say.
Grrrrr....Lame right?
Hope I'm not the only freak out there.
Example. Nine years ago, when my sister had her baby on May 3,
her due date was on May 16th...
She kept telling people that he was 3 weeks early.
Well, me, being the brilliant mathemetician that I am could not handle that.
I mean, in the mind of me, I'm thinking..."Do the math.
He was born 13 days before his due date, which means he wasn't 
 even 2 weeks early. Which means he definitely wasn't 3 weeks early."
She obviously didn't do this on purpose. 
But does it really matter? No. 
Do I obsess over trying make sure the facts are correct? You know it.
I must have "argued" over this 20 times with her. Yeah, I'm a little dumb like that. Meh.

I will roll my eyes at you all day long until you make sure you admit
had your facts wrong. I'm not really sure why I do this, to be honest. 
Anyone who knows me well can tell you I'm totally telling on myself right now.
(I like to be real, people. Take it or leave it. xoxo)
I really drive myself crazy, because I know what a geek I must come off as to other people,
always trying to correct people. I''m very "Ross" like..

This weird obsession is semi beneficial though when people are gossiping.
I've mentioned this before, but the whole
"I think they think this because someone might have did this..."
thing drives me bonkers. I'm not even kidding. If you tell me something,
I can guaranteed you that in the back of my mind I am thinking,
"Okay, were you there...or is this just what you think MIGHT have gone down?"
I want FACTS, baby. Show me em'. Then maybe I will believe you. =)
You will rarely catch me exaggerating except when it is to be funny or tell a story
and have people laugh. If I'm discussing something real, 
I want to have all my stories straight. 
I'm pretty sure I don't do this to prove that I am right, necessarily...
but to prove that everyone else that thinks they are right, are actually may be wrong.
I know, I know. Who cares?
Here is where this weird quirk comes in handy. In a good way.
(It may sound contradictory, but I dont think it really is.)
I am usually more than willing to admit when I, myself, am wrong,
 because it bothers me something crazy when other people don't.
I  always ask God to show me when I am not right in something I do or say,
if an attitude I carry about someone or something is negative or bitter.
I always want to be teachable. I want to advance in life.
Learn from my mistakes. Admit to faults and being human.
And to say "You know what, I shouldn't have said that, or done that...
or even thought that. And the fact is, I messed up."
I was talking to my brother in law the other day about a situation...
and I  told him "the thing with us is, we know what our screw ups are."
It's not always fun to have people find out about you, or to have admit you have messed up,
but I never want to believe that I am perfect or right all the time, because if I'm perfect,
then perfection is sad. And sorry. And pathetic.
I want to be teachable.

I want to always count on God to show me where I can better myself,
where I can fess up to my mistakes and imperfections to help others, to help myself.
(uh, like this post maybe??)
"Teach me Lord, to always be willing to learn, to admit I am not perfect, I'm not always right,
and to realize that no matter who I am, what my background, how much I have studied,
where I went to school, how much I helped people, loved people, loved YOU...
help me remember that I, myself, am still human...
and I will always need you to show me what is next.
 to admit to myself, to YOU and to others that I messed up,
I am not perfect, and most importantly, that I need a savior."

This doesn't mean I don't strive to please and honor God, daily. Because I do.
But in striving to honor and please God, it means you have to let yourself
learn some tough lessons sometimes. And grow from them.

In what ways can you ask God to help you? 
Do you consider yourself teachable?
Are you always willing to learn from your mistakes, perhaps listen to others words?
Or are you like that little kid who holds your hands over your ears,
or like Arthur who doesn't want to hear it and yells "Don't tell me!"
when someone tries to tell you something that you don't want to hear?
That's icky, right?
I can tell you from experience, its not fun having a friend approach me about something that
I know is true, but I do not want to hear.
I've had some moments where I have got extremely hurt and ticked at friends
who have addressed me about things they see in my life (they did it out of love for me).
One time in particular it wasnt until years later where I admitted to her,
 "Hey remember that one time you said this?
Well, I was offended because you were stepping on my toes. God was convicting me.
But in the end, I took it to heart."
 If you are willing enough to swallow your pride for 2 minutes, you can take great strides in life 
at simply being a better person, because you allowed yourself to be taught.
And it's always a great thing when you can admit to someone else,
that you "needed to hear that."

Humbling ourselves and letting God teach us through whichever means
he needs to reach us (many times that is through people close to us)
is a first step to high honor in our lives.

Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.-James 4:10

The fear of the Lord is the instruction in wisdom, and before honor comes humility.
Proverbs 15:33

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