Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grudge Holding and Other Forgiveness Related Issues

I've never really been one to hold a grudge. I forgive and forget pretty quickly. There have been times in my life where friends/family/co-workers have hurt my feelings and I cry about it and I get mad. But not too far down the line, whether they apologize or not, I get over it. I move on.

Our pastor did an entire sermon on forgiveness this Sunday and for the life of me I sat there in that chair and racked my brain about who I needed to forgive and, um.... I couldn't think of anyone. I know, I know. This is a good thing. And believe me, I'm not complaining. But I was thinking "Surely, someone has done SOMETHING to me that I'm still carrying around". And I really couldn't think of anything that I'm still mad about. Yes, I can think of things that used to really get me all riled up but nothing that I'm holding against anybody.

I believe that this is a trait that the Lord has chosen to give me because I think He knows that my passion levels are THROUGH THE ROOF and I think He knew that if I had the ability to hold a grudge, it would be DANGEROUS. I have a BIG mouth that NEVER turns off and if I was really really mad at someone.... I'm pretty sure I'd be likely to not act very, um.... Christian-like.

I do know people that hold grudges. People that won't forgive... or perhaps can't forgive. I pray that I'm never put into a situation where I find it nearly impossible to forgive someone.

We learned this Sunday about Joseph who forgave his brothers. They sold him into slavery and when he was reunited with them decades later, he forgave them. I'm gonna ahead and venture to say that it was hard to forgive them for that. However, what was amazing is how Joseph turned the situation around entirely. He had every right to spend a lifetime hating his brothers for what they did and what had happened because of it. But Joseph realized that God made good out of the evil. Joseph said to his brothers in Genesis 45:8 "So it was not you who sent me here, but God". Good things had happened because of what his brothers had done. Life lessons were learned. Joseph grew stronger in his faith because of the trials he had gone through.

My point is, the bad thing you went through doesn't have to be all bad. That boy broke up with you and it hurt like heck and made you madder than mad, but you now know what you don't want in a husband. You got fired from your job because your boss was a total jerk and rode your case all the time, but now you are in a new job with a non-jerk boss and you are a boss yourself and know how to treat people. You go through a terrible, tragic, life-altering event in your life, and fifteen years later you meet someone going through the exact same thing who really needs someone to talk to, hold their hand, and pray specific prayers over them that only you know how to pray.

I'm not diminishing what you've gone through. I'm only encouraging you to climb out of the empty well and look for some water elsewhere. Sitting in the dry well and saying "I'm thirsty" over and over again will not bring you any water.

A few quotes Pastor Gregg shared with us:

"Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive." -C.S. Lewis

"A good marriage is the union of two forgivers." - Ruth Bell Graham

"Once a woman has forgiven a man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast." -Marlene Dietrich

General Oglethorpe once said to John Wesley, "I never forget and I never forget." to which Wesley replied "Then, sir, I hope you never sin".

"You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well." -Lewis B. Smedes

This has been a very wordy little tangent and my goal is not to bore you to pieces. I simply want to challenge you to forgive someone that needs forgiving. It is a painful process, and a slow one as well. But I promise you, the one who will feel FREE is you. It's a burden to carry that around with you. A heavy one. LET IT GO. Or, atleast work on it. You'll feel better.

I do have a confession. In the midst of this, I realized that I do hold one, very large grudge. I am forever boycotting the movie "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and I generally do not tolerate Angelina Jolie.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

As Promised- Before & After Photos

There were 3 rooms in our house that needed help. And they needed help badly.

Exhibit A.... my office. Believe it or not, I didn't feel very professional/task oriented with all the various insects and pastel colors on the wall. Not my style.

Dragonflies! Bumblebees! Butterflies! Hooray!

Ah, yes. That is better. A chair to read in.

And my favorite people framed in photos everywhere.

And a desk to work at. With lovely walls in "Whole Wheat". Love. It.

Oh, the kitchen. See, the kitchen wasn't all that bad but it just wasn't my fave. The marroon and white striped wallpaper made it seem like we were hard-core Aggies trying to bring the 12th Man Spirit into our home. Plus, I'm just not a wallpaper person.

The green y'all have heard about so much is now before you. In all of its purity.

Makes me so happy :)


And the worst of them all... the leaf bathroom. It's like one of those Magic Eye things from the early 90's that if you stared at it long enough, an image would appear. If you stared at these leaves long enough, the image you would see is vomit and dog poop.


I think I may take a bath in my jacuzzi tub for the first time ever. That's a bathroom I can actually relax in :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life Update

It's hot here in Houston. Very, very hot. We have a regular temperature of 95 today with a "feels like" temperature of 105. I think the "feels like" temperature is the real tempertature... because that is what it, well, feels like. I honestly feel that when it feels like 105 degrees or higher that we should just have an inclement weather day and everyone should stay home. It's too hot to function, y'all. And my hair... my hair is just a piece of work.

It's been a pretty crazy week so far. Besides the painter finishing up the house, we hosted a going-away party last night for our friends Justin & Julie who are moving to Austin. We had a great time, had a great turn out, and I totally didn't have enough food. People came and they came hungry. I hate not having enough food. Makes me all nervous.

After the party, Justin & Julie spent the night with us. Justin & Grant played Xbox till midnight while Julie and I sat and discussed life in our pajamas. Good, solid girl time. Love it. We really are going to miss our friends and I'm glad that I have family in Austin and they have family in Houston. We should still get to see them fairly often!

As far as everything else in life goes, I am feeling very organized and on top of things for the first time in a reeeaaaallly long time. It's a wonderful feeling and I hope it lasts! The painting in the house is done. This means that the Narnia-leaf bathroom is now soothing and lovely and wonderful. The "dump room" is no longer a dump room and is very organized. There is grass in the backyard and we are getting things accomplished.

All that being said, we are back on the budget kick. Due to the major expenses we've had in the last month or so, I'm starting to bring my lunch again and stop eating out so much. We are turning off lights, using fans instead of the A/C and holding off on purchasing bathroom rugs and towels that I so badly want to purchase. It's time to save, people. Time to save.

But we're good. And we're beyond blessed. Our jobs are going great. We have had some rough spots with work in the last few months but we are happy and loving our life, loving our friends, and praising God in the midst of it.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Below are pictures of my freshly painted kitchen! Keep in mind, the kitchen is painted, but not yet decorated. It is still a work in progress!

All of the different angles made the paint color look different in each picture. It's all the same, I promise. Thank you for all your opinions and help along the way!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blessed Yet Again

And the family continues to grow!

This morning, sweet baby Olivia Claire was born at 8lbs, 3.8oz. She and her mommy are doing well and resting.

Olivia's big sister Emily and big brother Evan can't wait to meet her.... and neither can Aunt Jen & Uncle Grant!!

Praise the Lord!

Monday, June 14, 2010

To Hold You Over

Many of you have emailed and asked me what I decided to do in my kitchen.

Thanks to your many wonderful opinions, I decided to stay green.

And thanks to the amazing Kellie at Joyful Interiors, I chose a slightly different green that made all the difference in the world to me!

The picture in my last post was a pretty green but it was a bit too "apple" green. I wanted something warmer. Something more neutral.

So I went with "Artichoke" by Sherwin Williams and I am so glad I did.

Later this week, I will have a post with all of the before and after photos from all our painting projects this week, including a last minute fun accent wall that I am SUPER excited about... but for now, I give you... the brand new green. The prettier, warmer green.

Can't wait to show you the rest!

** P.S..... I realize that the pics on this post and the picture in the post below this look exactly the same. Believe me when I tell you.... they are VERY different!!***

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hello, Green

If you scroll down a few posts, you'll see my blog about my paint colors.

The painter has been at my house all week, making progress.

Yesterday evening, when I got home from work, I walked in and smelled fresh paint. I practically skipped to the kitchen cause I knew I was finally going to see GREEN on the walls!

And then I did see green on the walls. And then I said "HELLO, GREEN."

My walls are green. They are very, very green.

And then I stood there and silently stared at the walls for 7 minutes.

Let me tell you why I chose the green in the first place.

My home is generally shades of taupe, burgundy, and sage green. I love sage green. It is one of my favorite colors.

The kitchen has white cabinets and taupe-colored countertops. And until yesterday, the walls were covered in a not-so-pretty wallpaper.

The tile in my kitchen is one of my favorite parts. It is a slate tile with several different colors of slate. One of the colors? Sage green.

I thought it would be a good idea to pull the sage green from the tile and paint the walls that color.

I think I was envisioning something a bit darker, something a bit warmer. IT IS GREEN, Y'ALL.

Here's the thing... I actually do like the current color itself and I think it is pretty. I don't know if I need to change it... I really need someone to come over and give me a second opinion. I really do like it... I think I just need some time..... to stare at it.

When the sun went down, I started to like the color more. Since I have no window treatments up right now due to the painting and the sun was beaming through the windows when I walked in, it may have made the color appear a bit more abrasive. A bit more bright. A bit more "HEY THERE THESE WALLS ARE VERY VERY GREEN AND YOU CHOSE THIS BECAUSE YOU ARE QUICKLY BECOMING THE ECCENTRIC LADY ON THE BLOCK!!!".

For today, I asked the painter to not finish the kitchen and start on the bathroom while I make a decision about whether to find a green that is just a shade darker or leave it be.

I am putting this picture up to get your opinions... please know that all the giant candles on the breakfast table are not usually there so don't judge me and be all "wow, she has several candles on her breakfast table, that is odd" when the truth is that they are only there due to the painting situation. They had to be moved. MY BREAKFAST TABLE IS USUALLY VERY PRETTY, OKAY?!

So, what do you think? Opinions PLEASE!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I don't know why, but I feel compelled to share with you a classic Jen & Lindsee childhood story.
As many of you know, Lindsee and I have known each other longer than we can remember. Our parents were great friends (and still are) and we did everything together.

Sometimes we did really, really stupid things.

I recall one incident in particular that will go down in history as a "What were you thinking?!" moment.

Lindsee and I were in the 3rd grade. We lived about 10 minutes away from each other. Our parents were both out at some social event, leaving both of us at home alone with our older siblings.

At some point during the evening, Lindsee and I were on the phone and somehow I came up with the brilliant idea that she should come over to my house.

Problem was.... neither of us could drive and none of our siblings that were at home with us had a driver's license yet.

You would think that we would just realize that we could not make this dream a reality and move on, but oh no. We persevered.

Lindsee had a neighbor who lived next door who was a teenage boy. And he had a driver's license. And a car. And she just went on over and asked him if he would take her to her best friend's house.

And he did.

The funny thing about all this is that I don't think Lindsee really knew the street names of how to get from her house to mine. I'm pretty sure she got in his car and said things like "Now turn right by the school, and then go straight past the McDonald's, and then it's not this street, not this one, not the next one, but THIS ONE, this is her street" or something like that.

So we did it. Lindsee got to my house. And we had a glorious time.

Until Lindsee's parents called their house to check on their kids and Lindsee's brother told them that "Lindsee went over to Jenny's" and then the parents were all "and how did that happen" and then the brother (I'm assuming Brien) told them that she just had the random teenage boy next door that she hardly knew drive her on over.

It was at this point that the phone rang at our house and I answered and my mom said something along the lines of "Jennifer Dawn, you are in hot water". She had never said that before and I really didn't know what it meant but I immediately started crying and giving as many excuses as I could come up with.

I think deep down they thought it was kinda funny.

But boy, were we in trouble :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Give Me a Hug!

I am a bit of a spaz and sometimes I forget that celebrities/characters are not my real life friends, even though I feel like they are.

There are several peple that I feel like if I met them in real life, I would feel compelled to give them a hug.

Will Ferrell would totally get a hug. He pushes my funny buttons. He can just say a random sentence such as "I drive a Dodge Stratus" and then I just cannot stop laughing. Love him.

This is Kristin Chenoweth. She is a broadway star and she is all kinds of cute. I feel like if we were to meet in real life than we would have tons to talk about and we many even sing a song or two together.

This is Dr. Miranda Bailey. She is not real but I would really like it if she were. I would want her to be my doctor. She would totally give me a hug.

Ohhhh Detective Eliot Stabler. The protector. The tough guy. He is all hard and stuff but I think he would give me a hug, if he was a real person.

Amy Adams is very precious and fun and I think we would be good friends.

Amy Poehler and I would sit around and laugh and chat about all the funny moments in "Baby Mama" that I still quote all the time. We would get along great.

Annie Banks-McKenzie. I just need to tell her that she shouldn't have worn tennis shoes on her wedding day. That's all.

Okay this one may seem weird but William Shatner CRACKS ME UP. He is just silly. I would hug him.

I would give Jim Halpert a hug, and not because I am a little bit in love with him.

Hello, this is my best friend, Reese Witherspoon. We hug.

Ladies, I am officially a freak. A stalker, weirdo, freak.
But let's hear it. Who would you hug?

I KNOW I am not alone here.

And if I am alone, please lie to me and leave a comment with someone's name to make me feel better.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Let Me Tell You What's Going On

A painter is coming over.
And he is going to take away all the ugly and put in some pretty.

What does this mean, you ask?


Also, the "Butterfly Room" as we affectionately call it will now be painted a nice warm neutral color. This room is going to be my office and eventually, one day in the very very very distant future it will be a nursery.

Allow me to introduce you to the colors.

This is Sherwin Williams "Whole Wheat" which will be in the Butterfly Room/Study. The hallway is already painted this color so it will just be a continuation.

This is "Land of Liberty" by Benjamin Moore that will be in my kitchen. Isn't it lovely? It makes me happy. And it is going to be beautiful and the wallpaper will be gone and I AM SO EXCITED I CAN'T HANDLE MYSELF.

Annnnnd here is the master bathroom color, "Waterbury Cream" by Benjamin Moore. It is light and neutral and I'm kinda going for a day spa theme and I think that it is a major improvement from the giant leaves that make me think that I am entering the land of Narnia.


When it is all said and done, I will have before and after pictures for you. But until then, join with me as I jump up and down and squeal.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend 2010

I bet you're wondering how I came up with such a clever title for this post. Well, I can't really explain it. It just came to me in a dream. I am a creative genius like that. GENIUS, I tell you.

We went to New Orleans this weekend to see the family. We got to spend so much wonderful time with Grant's mom and dad, his brother and his wife, our niece and nephew, and his grandparents.

Among the highlights:

Sleeping IN.

Watching "The Blind Side" again.

Pedicure, facial, deep tissue massage. All in one day.

Fettucine Alfredo.

Sleeping in.

Brunch at Brennan's in the French Quarter.

An appetizer at that brunch called "Strawberries in Double Cream". LORD HAVE MERCY.

Walking around the French Quarter late at night with our friends Ricky and Olga.

Sitting at Cafe du Monde eating beignets and drinking chocolate milk at 12:30 in the morning.

Watching our sweet niece Emily snuggle up on her Uncle Grant and not let go.

Me and Grant's mom sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee, and discussing how eerily similar our husbands are. It's as if they are father and son or something!

Visiting the WWII/D-Day Museum there in New Orleans for the first time. I highly recommend the museum. Very moving, very educational.

Some GREAT deals at Marshall's. New shoes, new skirt, new shirt. Can I get an amen?!

Sweet, wonderful, non-rushed, QUALITY family time.

We are so thankful for such a long weekend.

Yesterday, my mom got back from Israel. She sounds like she had the greatest time. I almost started crying listening to her tell me all the wonderful things about her trip. I am so glad she got to go. I must admit, however, that I am very glad she is back in the United States of America. It's kinda weird when your mama is so far from home!

Alright, my creative juices have stopped flowing. This genius needs a rest sometimes. Hope y'all have a great day.....Hooray for a short work week :)