Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Costume Reveal

Guys, it's halloween and honestly it's my least favorite holiday. I'm not into scary things, or creepy thing. Haunted house? Heck no! Growing up my family just really didn't do halloween, and neither did Kevin's family. We've done some fun parties with friends in the past but the last two years have been much more chill. There was our last minute creepy bride and groom costume (which is literally the "scariest" costume I've ever done) two years ago and then last year didn't even dress up. In college we were Prince Phillip and Sleeping Beauty (our favorite until this year).

This year we embraced our most favorite tv show characters of all time. If you've read this blog for a while, you've probably learned at some point that Kevin and I are rather obsessed with Boy Meets World. I mean, I even wrote once about how I married Cory Matthews. Last weekend, my office had a halloween party with costumes required so we did it, we dressed up as Cory and Topanga! And it's the best thing ever.

So the outfits were pretty easy to put together. I had the dress from one of my college friends' mom's random consignment store shopping. The scrunchies are from Claire's, I mean where else...haha. The vest, my shoes, and Kevin's shirt were picked up at at Goodwill by my office. Kevin is wearing some of his own baggier jeans and his old basketball shoes. And my hair was done with a small curling wand by the loveliest friends (pictured below) who were willing to do my hair while we watched a movie for nearly TWO HOURS! The hard find was Kevin's wig, I google searched like crazy until I found one. I found it first on ebay and then on amazon. It comes in nearly every hair color you can think of and definitely was the priciest item of the costumes, $12 but worth it!

Dear Cory & Topanga, we love you in Girl Meets World too. Love, your biggest fans

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How to Pass the NCIDQ: Part 5

Today I've comprised all the acronyms I collected throughout my studies. 

  • GA: Gypsum Association
  • ASTM: American Society Testing & Materials
  • NFPA: National Fire Protection Association
  • ANSI: American National Standards Institute
  • ASHRAE: American Society Heat, Refridgeration, AC, Engineer
  • IES: Illuminating Engineer Society
  • TCNA: Tile Council of North America
  • NRTL: Nationally Recognized Testing Labratory
  • OSHA: Occupational Safety Health Administration 
  • UL: Underwriters Labratory
  • CPSC: Consume Product Safety Commission
  • LFC: Life Safety Code
  • LEED: Leadership Energy Environmental Design
  • GBI: Green Building Initiative
  • NAHB: National Association Home Builders
  • Energy*: Energy Star by EPA
  • EPA: Energy Protection Association
  • CHPS: Collaborative of High Performance Schools (California)
  • BRE: Building Research Establishment
  • BIFMA: Building Institutional Furniture Manufacturing Association
  • RFCI: Resilient Floor Covering Institute
  • FSC: Forest Stewardship Council
  • GL: Green Label 
  • MTS: Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability
  • ISO 1400: International Organization for Standardization
  • C2C: Cradle to Cradle
  • SCC: Scientific Certification System
  • SFI: Sustainability Forestry Initiative
  • AHJ: Authority Having Jurisdiction
  • NRC: Noise Reduction Coefficient
  • SRA: Speech Range Absorption
  • CAC: Ceiling Attenuation Class
  • AC: Articulation Class
  • AI: Articulation Index
  • ILD: Indention Loud Deflection
  • IFD: Inedntional Force Deflection
  • MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet
  • AWS: Architectural Woodwork Standards
  • AWI: Architectural Woodwork Institute
  • WI: Woodwork Institute
  • AWMAC: Architectural Woodwork Manufacturing Association of Canada
  • ASAE: American Society of Associations Executives

Those that I saw most frequently come up are bolded. 

God can do anything you know, far more than you can ever imagine, guess, or request in your wildest dreams... Ephesians 3:20

Got questions? Submit them here anonymously! 

How to Pass the NCIDQ previous posts:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Five Fall Favorite DIYs

Guys, it's been a while since I've posted a DIY around here. Some of you oldies know that I used to post them all the time. Can I just tell you something? DIY posts are exhausting! I mean it's really quite enough to do the DIY, let alone document it with pictures, consider what worked and didn't work, edit pictures, and write up a post on it. That takes a lot of time and these days I just barely have time to get DIYs done and maybe share a picture of the end product.

BUT once upon a time I shared some DIYs, specifically Fall related. So here are some of my favorites, some notes on them on what they look like now and links to their original post.

These are my top____ favorite fall DIY's.

#5: Candle Kern Vases

DIY post with instructions
This DIY is so easy. Every year I just pour the kernels into a ziploc bag and store them away. I don't usually light the candles I used in these vases for a couple of reasons. 1. I can keep them year to year and 2. they were from our wedding. This is one of those super easy DIYs that it almost should be considered a DIY. My favorite thing about it though is how much it can change year to year. Like this year I'm using completely different vases(or a platter in this case).

#4: Autumn Paper Banner

Pictured in this post
I don't have a post on this one because I made it last year admist studying. We all deserve study breathers (and thank goodness I passed that sucker this spring, no more studying!). This was a simple DIY but it makes such a big impact. I cut the shape out from scrapbook paper I had, used a vellum to write on for the letters, fasted a brad through them all to hold them together and used mini clothespins to attached them to ribbon(last year)/leaf garland(this year). They're easy to store, I just unpin and lay them flatly against each other and pop them into a ziploc baggie to keep them safe.

#3: Wire & Berry Wreath

Picture sin this post
Yep I still totally love this one. I had a hard time putting it away at the end of last Fall...which basically means that I didn't and I decided it worked for Christmas too. I smiled when I pulled it out of the box this year. This wreath was cheap, super easy, and just perfect. I love hot it looks in an empty frame like last year and this year over our fireplace. Sweet and simple. No complaints.

#2: Fake Monogram Pumpkin

DIY post with instructions
So this one totally came from pinterest. It's a bit of a pain to store, so there's that. I used spray paint on mine and it's definitely cracking in some places. It isn't super noticeable yet so I'm not too concerned but I've definitely notice it get a little worse. Perhaps it just needs another coat? Either way, I'm still glad I made this guy, he looks great on my front porch. Especially on my new crate table Kevin made me!

#1: Book Pumpkin

DIY post with instructions
This is most definitely my favorite fall decor that I have and that I've created. It seriously took forever but it was worth it. My only struggle now is storing it. It's been smushed a little so it doesn't sit as perfectly fluffed out as it did once upon a time, but it still has most of it's shape. Since we moved into our duplex, I've found a better place to store it.

Other Fall Favorites:
Last Minute White Chili 
Football Krispies
Football Season Decorations

In candle news, this one is my new favorite and it's from Target yall! (none of this $30 candle from anthro business)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pack an Encouraging Gift

A while back, my office was finishing a huge project. Two of the ladies I work with were pulling some long days and working their tails off.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Christ calls us to love on our fellow people. The people we work with, the people we live with, the people we go to church with, the people we see at the gas station...all people.

So today, I encourage  you to show some thoughtfulness to someone near you. Pack them an encouraging gift. Or show them love in another way. It doesn't have to be difficult nor expensive. Allow the Lord to steer your heart towards what to give or how to love someone.

Never forget, the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Don't allow him to take precedence in the life of those around you. Be the light the Lord has called you too! Let Jesus reign!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Love Story: Summer Lovin' ?

I'm a little late to posting today...but I took today off work and umm hello?! Taylor Swift's new CD came out so that required a morning trip to Target. And yes, we are on our 3rd listen of the CD right now. Yes, we, Kevin loves it as much as I we shall see at the end of the summer of our love story...

If you're new around here you can catch up here.


It wasn't long until relationships became a conversation between the ladies of the group. I sat silently most times just listening to the stories. I was fairly convinced that I could in fact marry Kevin as opposed to another lady in my group who just wasn't sure yet, or as another one who was rather certain she would. Besides, this summer was going to be the biggest challenge for our relationship thus far, though my interior design major presented plenty of its own difficulties. 

I spent most of my days running between the office, the sanctuary, the field and the cafeteria. My days were long and exhausting but I learned to cherish the moments in the cafeteria. Those, ironically, became the calmest parts of the day for me. Most of the time my face was behind the camera snapping shots, or behind the computer documenting it all with uploads and blogging. But the cafeteria was my opportunity to sit with students and talk to them, learnt their stories, hear their favorite parts of the day and learn where they came from.

Kevin's days were much different, and often times kept us from communication over skype often. My team went to bed LATE, his team went to bed early. My team was on one time zone, his was on the other. My team spent our off day together going on adventures, his team spent their off days relaxing and recovering. My quiet days were his load out/load in days. 

Technology continued to play a huge role in our relationship, because though we couldn't always video chat, we could almost always keep up with text messages and emails. Sharing the precious beautiful moments that only those in Student Life will ever understand was among our favorite topics. I loved finally being able to relate and get why he loved this world so much.

Of all moments of my day, my favorite was worship in the evenings. Watching students worship pumped my heart like nothing else ever. I'll forever hold tight to the pictures I took of their hands in the air or crouched up on their seats, head between their knees. This was what this summer was all about. Kevin and I were growing in our relationship. But this summer was really about sharing Jesus with these precious students, and growing in Christ as His child. That is what would have the biggest impact in our relationship anyway.

I'm sitting outside on the porch of my luxurious condo at Orange Beach, beach team was definitely spoiled with their lodging, with my laptop on my lap, and the cool ocean breeze on my face, and Kevin's face on the screen. It was late for me but we had finally managed to squeeze in some time to chat. His team had already traveled all over and still had many places to go. Mine would be hanging out the beach for some time. Beach weeks were different, they gave me more free time during the day, which presented me more opportunities to try and connect with Kevin or other family and friends. Currently, I'd spent my afternoons writing out that first night we admitted we liked each other. It would be shipped out in a package to my sweet boyfriend shortly. I smiled, thinking of that night and the surprise he'd be receiving soon, as he talked about his day at camp and the day that lied ahead. We talked about our sisters and family before hanging up for the night.

Camp was nearing its end. I was back at the location we were for our first few weeks of camp. My team only had three locations this with several camp sessions, Kevin had many more. In our email chains, we had begun discussing what lied ahead for our future, specifically what our upcoming semester looked like as far as time together. The spring has given us fairly consistent Friday date nights and Sunday night reading time. This semester looked different for me as far as school went and I was afraid it would allow that same time of commitment. I explained this carefully to Kevin in an email. I continued to work on the day's pictures and blogging while awaiting his response. His words floored me and while I had planned on scooting out to the cafeteria next, I opted to head straight to my room instead, in case tears started. 

In so many words, Kevin said that he wasn't sure if that was going to work for him and we could try it but he wasn't sure how long it would last. I read, we shall see but this might mean we will break up. 

I slopped some peanut butter on two white slices of wheat bread and sat on my dorm room bed, lodging at this location was rather different from beach weeks, force feeding myself  the simple sandwich. I glanced at the clock, I didn't have much time till I had to go to worship. I forced the tears away, and sucked air into my lungs in an attempt to steady my racing heart. 

I wrote some words in response, threw my wet hair into a messy bun, slipped my green polka dot dress over my head and ran to worship, using everything within me to push all thoughts of the email aside.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Driving in Cars with Boys

Nearly three and half years ago Kevin and I joined a small group that changed us forever, and we didn't even know it. Right after we got engaged we decided to go to the same church and quickly joined a small group. The group was comprised of all married people, most of them a few years older than us. At the time it was just a great place for us to be invested in, what we didn't realize was how that group would shape us to become leaders of our own group a couple years later.

One of the fun things we learned from that group was doing activities together outside of our traditional Bible study time. Since we meet every other weekend it frees up the opposite nights to do fun events. So tonight, we are going to a corn maze! A tradition that originated from that first group.

This will be Kevin and I's third visit to the corn maze. It changes every year so it never gets old. I can't wait to share this experience with our sweet group tonight.Especially since many of them have never been before.  And with mild temperatures, this time will be like none other! (Yall, tomorrow we have a high of 89! it is OCTOBER!)

In just a few hours my girlfriends will be pulling up to house, we'll get ready together, giggle, laugh, probably listen to some Taylor Swift...our small group will start showing up, we'll pile into cars and proceed to talk and sing our way to the corn maze. Then lose ourselves in the corn maze. The lose ourselves in the corn maze again. Then eat smores by a campfire. Then pile into cars and crash into our beds.

I can't wait.

What are you doing tonight? Have you ever been to a corn maze?

And yes, once again my title has little to do with my post content. Other than we will be in cars with boys. But our plans have nothing to do with the sequence of that movie, Driving in Cars with Boys,...yall seen that movie? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fast Cars & Freedom

A few weeks back now I took a trip to see the youngest daughter of a sweet family friend have her quince. If you don't know what a quinceanera is, I encourage you to google it. It a a drastically short description, it is a traditional 15th birthday party for a young girl in Latin American families. It's a coming out party if you will that back in history signaled the daughter becoming a woman.

The traditions of the party and the ceremony are so sweet and I've really come to enjoy learning about them, and now been able to attend two. Even if my mom and I missed the ceremony a couple years ago for the first daughter, whoops.

This year my mommy and I had planned to fly into Houston and help decorate, set up, and attend just like the last time around. Unfortunately, my mom's doctor advised her not to travel with her back, please continue to pray for healing for her here. With that news and the fact that I was traveling to Houston and not planning on talking to nor seeing a good friend, my heart began to hurt and I was really disappointed.

I went anyway and can I just tell you? I had the most wonderful trip to Houston I've had in a LONG time. No worries, no regret, no concern that I was letting someone down. It was relaxing, peaceful, included good food, a fun party, and some sweet sweet time with some girlfriends. The Lord gave me the best weekend there and while I missed my mom being there and my heart still hurts about the lost friendship, I found freedom and peace that weekend that I was able to bring home with me. Isn't it so sweet when the Lord knows exactly what we need before we do and gives it to us? We sure are spoiled children of the King.

Fast Cars & Freedom played in my car on the way home from Lifestream last night...hence the title of this post...which basically has nothing to do with Fast Cars & Freedom by Rascal Flats (except for mmmaybe there are fast cars in Houston and this weekend was freeing? ...that's a stretch). Random explanation of title over.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Would you take time?

I've been asked a lot about what it's like to work in a private sector since I worked public previously. There are a number of differences but I think one my favorites has to be the camaraderie, honor and fun there is in being in the private sector. Since we are in competition with other firms for work, there is a great sense of teamwork and pride that go into each project.

I can't believe it has almost been a year since I had my first day here. It really just blows my mind!

Today, I'm reaching out to all of you to help my firm celebrate in another way. We have three big projects up for an award this year in Oklahoma and we couldn't be prouder. Would you be willing to take some time to vote for us? Anyone and everyone, anywhere can participate!

It is as easy as 1,2,3 and super fast! Would you take some time?

1.Click this link
2. Scroll all the way to the bottom click, "click here to vote"
3. Submit your votes. Our projects are entries 13, 14, and 15.

Send it to your friends and family & share on social media too please! Anyone, anywhere can vote!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Love Story: Summer Begins

If you're new around here you can catch up here.

Jumbo post today!
Thankfully, the week of Kevin's pre-camp training week, and my week of crazy final finishes on my studio project, came to an end and it felt so good. I drove to pick Kevin up from the airport and took us straight to my apartment where we sat on the sofa, held hands and talked for hours just holding each other.
I wanted nothing more than to be done with school. I was beyond exhausted after my projects and exams were never a strength of mine. Yet, the more I wished away the days, the more I realized that with the end of this week also brought the end of Kevin and I's time together for this semester. To combat the stress of exams and squeeze some final moments together, we took a date to a local park. We decided walked outside the ballparks and playgrounds, taking the long way around, talking about the summer that lie ahead and holding hands. It was so bittersweet, all we had was one more date after this until our summer apart. 
We sat on one side of the booth at Chik Fil A on Main St. in Norman, Oklahoma, eating chicken biscuits and quietly enjoying one last moment alone before a crazy summer apart. The meal and our time ended too quickly. A friend picked me up to take me to Houston for a few days with friends and my dad before I made my way to Birmingham. Kevin, drove home to pack up his car and cried. 

A week later, Kevin picked me up from the Birmingham airport and welcomed me into his world of StudentLife camp. It was the day before we would all file into the StudentLife offices for check in. Kevin had arranged for me to stay in a hotel with some girls. We pulled up to the hotel, right outside of the airport, in a borrowed truck. In less than 24 hours our time alone would be over for  two and half months. Sitting in the truck with the dark sky above us, and the hotel parking lot lights streaming through the windows, we pulled a teenagers-in-love stunt and proceeded to happily make out in the back seat. As he pulled away and I slid into a bed in a room of girls I hardly knew, I smiled and dozed off.
 I felt like a fish out of water amongst all the people happy to see each other again, happy to see Kevin again and so eager about the summer that lie ahead. It was weird to see Kevin away from the people of  OU, he was totally and happily immersed in this group of people. In this place I was seeing Kevin in a whole new way. He had such a heart for these people and this company's mission of sharing Christ with students. I, on the other hand, was terrified. I had twenty people to get to know and a whole new world to learn for the next two and half months. This mass training week would literally be the last moments I would see Kevin face to face and not through a screen, and he was popping around to people and activities like crazy.
Most of my heart eagerly looked forward to the moments with students, but the rest of it was anxious about Kevin and I's time apart. The summer was certainly going to test our relationship. 
My team was set to leave a day before everyone else. Kevin and I sat on a bench and prayed over one another for the summer ahead in the moments before my team's departure. We hugged, kissed and hugged again. He walked me back to my room and helped me get my luggage down to the truck. I got in the van and watched him walk quickly back to his room. I looked down at my phone to see a message from him pop up. He was crying in his room. I was on a twelve passenger van trying to mesh with my new "family" for the summer.

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