Thursday, December 17, 2009


Have you heard of

Amanda takes handwriting samples and creates custom fonts for you to use on either your blog or word processing programs. I spent a little bit of time downloading a bunch onto my computer last night (and I used "Nikki" to type my Christmas letter!) and then a little bit of time changing my blog over today. Amanda does a great job of explaining this complicated process very easily and even I figured it out!

Best part, all of these fonts are free! So, check out and enjoy some super cute fonts yourself!

Thanks Amanda - you rock!

$ Mrs.BigTime

Yucky December Day

I'm home sick from work today. I don't think I have the flu, but I was feeling terrible yesterday and needed another day to recover. I don't really know what's going on but I couldn't shake a feeling of overall "yuckiness." I think I am (was?) exhausted and my body was giving out. All I had energy for yesterday was sleeping and even after a monster nap I still woke up tired. Sometimes a girl just needs a break, right? After another full nights sleep has helped make me feel more normal, but I am thankful I took today to recoup. I've been snuggled up with Ben under my new warming throw (love it!) and it's been good for my body and my soul!

On a much more exciting note: I have a college Junior in the house! Ben just completed finals week and I could not be more proud of him! This last term was very tough academically and he was juggling school, work, music, Bridger and me. Despite his often overflowing plate, he did wonderful and was present for every aspect of his life (his challenge historically has been focusing everything he has on one specific section and neglecting the others). I am so thankful for his hard work and dedication and, like I said above, I am so proud! He now has a little break for Christmas and I am thankful for some time of togetherness, rest and relaxation. (p.s. I think the photo on the left is really funny - it looks like it could be the cover of "Field & Stream" if only Bridger's head was a deer's head or something).

Speaking of Christmas, we're ready! Last Christmas was tough for us (we were broke, I had to work and times were just tough), but we're really excited this year. Our living room is decorated and I love it! We've got a few presents waiting to go under the tree but will have to wait a few days because though Bridger has been pretty good leaving the tree alone, I don't know how well he will do with shiny presents under there too!
I am just about done with our Christmas cards this year, I just have a few more to address.

Oh and Bridger - holy moly! This guy is getting huge! I mean common, where is my tiny little snuggly puppy? Who is this monster of an adult dog?!?

Well, I have a batch of cards ready for the mailman and a cup tea calling my name - check 'ya later!

$ Mrs.BigTime

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I $ Work

It's 2:11 am. I'm awake. Actually, I'm at work (what the heck?!? They were short-staffed, I love overtime - it's a win-win!) and have just passed through my first bout of "Holy moly what was I thinking I should be in bed sleeping!" Two and a half cups of coffee have successfully gotten me though my first 3 hours here and with 5 more to go I thought I'd write a quick blog. I don't have a whole lot to write about, but maybe a little list of things I love is a good place to start. In fact, since I'm at work, I'll make my list about this 2nd home of mine.

1. Brand new Sharpies. Pointy tip. Dark ink. Perfect. I always have one in my pocket, that is, until I misplace it/lend it/leave it in a room and it is lost forever. Thankfully, we always have a nice stash and my pocket doesn't stay Sharpie-less for long.

2. Children who don't run away, throw humongous fits or spray bloody-snot boogies at me. I love those kind of children.

3. Knowing what the heck I'm talking about (in regards to medical stuff, obvs). Lots of time I don't, but sometimes I do and it rocks.

4. Working with cool chicks (and one cool dude).

5. Scrubs. They're just one step away from PJs and I like that.

6. Coffee. I'm a nurse, I work long hours, it's totally cool to be drinking coffee any time of the day.

7. 3 days a week. That's it. My requirements are fulfilled. I can (not that I do) have between 5 and 7 days off in a row without taking vacation time.

8. Overtime. I can pick up extra shifts and get lots of bang for my buck - literally. The only downside is that OT is feast-or-famine. Right now it's a feast and my bank account (and office full of new furniture) is thanking me.

9. Treats. May God bless the wonderful people who leave candy/cookies/cakes for us. My gut isn't necessarily thrilled about this, but my sweet tooth is happy as a clam.

10. Saying big words in normal conversation (and knowing what they mean) (I could just say "hole" but "ostomy" is cooler; and common, why say "heart stuff" when you could say "angina"!)

$ Mrs.BigTime

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Not me!"

I'm not an avid "not me" doer, but I have some time today and thought I'd join in!

By saying I "have some time today" must mean that I have done my laundry, put it away, cleaned the dishes, vacuumed the floors and showered, right? I would never spend the one day I get to myself this week blogging and catching up on Desperate Housewives. Sacrifice my house just so I can have a lazy morning doing fun things? Nope, not me! A good psuedo-housewife would never do that!

While attempting to make chili this morning I definitely did not find two packages of ground turkey had gone sour because I had failed to freeze them in time. I also did not consider trying to "save" the second pound and almost cry as I finally dumped it in the trash. I am not so irresponsible with our resources that I let perfectly good (and delicious!) meat go to waste simply because I forgot to take it from the fridge and place it in the freezer. Nope, not me!

I certainly did not forget to send my cousin her birthday card and it is not still sitting on my kitchen table waiting to be finished. It also is not sitting right next to her daughters (whose birthday was in September) unfinished birthday card. I wouldn't forget birthdays and I wouldn't delay in sending cards to my loved ones. Nope, not me!

And because everyone knows that the best way to a mans heart is though his stomach, I'll let you know what I didn't make as my very first meal for my sweet husband. After a long day of physical labor at work, I invited my handsome new boyfriend over to my dorm to have dinner. I wanted to make him something warm, hearty and good, but of course, I was a broke college student so I had to get creative. But, being the amazing wanna-be wife that I was, I wasn't going to let that stop me. Of course I whipped him up something amazing, that's what any good potential-wife does, right? I would NEVER think Rice-A-Roni with canned chicken would be a good meal for a hungry man. No one would want to marry a girl who made him that, right? I absolutely threw something better than that together, I certainly don't blush when I think about it now. I'm not thinking now that that may be why Ben does most of our cooking...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Love Saturday

I haven't posted lately, heck, I don't ever post often. Anyone reading this should be used to that.

Life has been busy. Chaotic. Overwhelming.

Ben's back in school and I'm working as much as we can. For some reason my body just shut down yesterday. My tonsils swelled, my nose was stuffy and I felt like I could vomit at any second. It took everything I had just to stay awake, so I tried to sleep. I laid on the couch all day. I just needed rest because I feel much better today.

Today, the sun is shining, birds are singing and golden leaves are glowing. Breakfast is cooking upstairs, Bridger is playing and my favorite man woke me up with kisses.

Today is a beautiful day.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Missing my hubby

Ben is on a 6 day (Holy Moly! 6!!) day backing trip with his BFF David and I'm home alone. Alone! Well, Bridger's here, but he's not the best conversationalist. I've had a nice time and have been thankful for some "me" time, however, today is day 4 and I am SO ready for my husband to come home. I miss him. I am tired, I am lonely and I enjoyed my 1.5 th glass of white wine a little too much. Oh, and I was peed on twice today. Yep. URINE all over my legs TWICE! Ugh!

Is it Monday yet?

Friday, August 7, 2009


I probably had 6 inches cut off. No tears this time, I love it!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Life as of Late

Well, again, it's been a while since I've posted. We've been busy enjoying our summer and trying to keep cool despite this unbelievably hot Oregon summer. These past few months have been jam-packed with one thing after another and we've only now began to settle down. Right now, Ben is upstairs practicing for a youth conference Pearl Bridge is playing at and I am thinking about how awesome our Father is and how abundant His blessings are. I must admit that I am feeling guilty with the realization that my laziness has prohibited me from really seeing what He wanted me to see. I'll try to explain more as I type.

Let me back-up a little. This past spring our nation's economic downturn started to really affect us. Ben's company down-sized and was unable to provide work for him and my hospital severely cut back on any and all overtime, leaving our monthly income significantly less than what we had been used to. We began cutting back on unnecessary spending and quickly realized that we needed to do something more drastic. I accepted the possibility of moving from our beautiful house (which we absolutely love) sooner than Ben did. In fact, Ben was dead set against moving at first. I began secretly looking at apartments and townhomes but became discouraged at the lack of options (very dirty, very small, very shady areas, gross, gross, gross). With the hundreds of postings I looked at, I didn't feel peace about any of them. Despite my lack of suitable housing finds, I kept feeling the leading to pursue moving so I kept working on Ben. After a day spent golfing with his friend David, Ben finally agreed that moving wouldn't be so bad, but we'd have to move to Troutdale, not Gresham and we'd have to be saving a significant amount of money a month in order to make traveling to Portland for work and school worth it. Oh, and pets had to be allowed because if we were sacrificing, we'd miles as well get something we really wanted out of the deal.

The day after we had this decision I found a cozy little place in Troutdale. It was the first place that had potential. We toured the place a few days later. It wasn't nearly as nice as our current home, but it was clean, quite and about to get a facelift (new carpet, paint & tile) but it was very, very tiny. As in 700 sq. feet. Tiny. However, the landlord was nice and we could tell that she liked us. We went to our car to talk and I was surprised by Ben's enthusiasm and readiness to apply. Our applications were quickly accepted and they even agreed to allow us to have a pet (we didn't know they weren't allowed when we first saw the place) and build a fence out back if needed. A few days later we signed the papers and were set to move in a month later (a day before we had planned to go back to Montana). After signing we then made a trip to Ikea to plan, as we would have to figure out storage solutions because all of our furniture was too big for the teeny place. We were pumped on our drive home. We felt peace and excitement. We felt like we could breath, and that we had been given a huge break. We were apprehensive in a lot of ways, but we felt totally blessed.

During the time we were waiting for our application to go through we had been researching dog breeds to see what kind of pup would do well in a tiny home but still be rough & tumble enough to take hiking and camping. We had decided a Miniature Australian Shepherd would be perfect and even began typing our 8-page adoption application process (the application said it would take 3-4 months to go through). I had also been looking on Craigslist just to see what kind of things were on there puppy-wise. The day we signed the papers and went to Ikea, we talked about a puppy the whole way home. When we got home I got on Craigslist (just to look) and amazingly, since there is rarely posting for young puppies, I saw an ad for a 12 week old pug/australian shepherd mix. I immediately emailed the girl, with no intention of ever hearing from her. The ad has been posted 45 minutes already and I was sure he'd have already been taken. 10 minutes later my phone rang. My email had been the first she'd received with 9 following within minutes. We were shocked. Ben agreed to go look at him, since we didn't think we'd actually get to take him home. We'd have to meet the owner, she'd have to like us and then see other options. We figured it was safe to go meet him and let his owner know that we were potentially interested. But, just in case, we stopped at the ATM. Just in case.

The situation in meeting the girl and the puppy were a little sketch (she didn't have a phone we could call and we were meeting at a mall parking lot), but we were willing to look past it. We prayed on the way over. Prayed for wisdom, peace and a clear answer whether to pursue this puppy or not. We knew that we were bringing a member into our family and we wanted it to be a dog we could love that way for a long time. We also decided that if either of us had any doubt when meeting the girl that we would decline our interest immediately.

Anyway, we get there and a few minutes later we see a young girl carrying a ball of fluff towards us. When she go to us she immediately handed him to me and I was in love. He was so small, so soft and so sweet (I know all puppies are that way, but he was pretty wonderful!). We spoke with the girl and felt reassurance about the situation because she seemed to know a lot about puppies and about him. She had a paper with photocopies of his vaccines (sketch, I know) and a bag of his toys and food because she was ready for him to go home with us tonight. I was giddy, but Ben was pretty quiet. We went to the car to talk and I was expecting my wise husband to harness my excitement and tell me that now was not the best time for a pup and that we should wait. However, he was totally into this pup. He wanted him too. We both agreed that though the situation was not as professional or legitimate as we had hoped it would be, that the girl seemed trustworthy and that neither of us had bad feelings about her. Bridger (as we later named him) was ours.

We stopped at PetCo and Wal-Mart on the way home because we had nothing for a puppy and our home was definitely not puppy-proof. We were so excited when we finally got home because all we really wanted to do was sit down and get to know our new baby. He was perfect. Cuddly and sweet but still feisty and playful. We were so in love!

We began preparing to move, but it was very slow going. Little did we know that our plans would soon change. Throughout our process of deciding and preparing to move we absolutely felt the Lord's calling to do so. It was bittersweet in lots of ways, but neither of us doubted our decision. We were excited to downsize and to save money, but it was hard to think about leaving the home we loved so much. This was the first home we spent as a married couple (well, next door was, but we consider them about the same) and we had beautiful memories here. We also had a wonderful landlord who, despite us moving out, exchanged a month of rent for Ben working on the foundation below our house. That was such a blessing! Well, one day, while working on the house together our landlord gave Ben a proposition. He said that he was having difficulties renting the house and that he was bummed to see us go. Ben spoke frankly and said that it all came down to finances and our desire for a dog. Our landlord then said that he would have to lower the rent anyway and asked him how much we would be able to pay if we were to stay here. He also said that if we stayed, we could have a dog. This totally took Ben by surprise. He was talking a mile a minute when he picked me up for work. We crunched the numbers and figured that if we were to pay $900 a month we would make up for our travel expenses and be able to stay here and still save money each month. Ben met with our landlord the next day and told him our price. We were pretty sure that it would be too low and that we would be moving anyway. However, not only was our offer good, our landlord said, "How about $875? $875 and a pet and you'll stay?" Oh my gosh! Not only that, but since we were staying, our landlord offered us another month free rent in exchange for Ben's work down below. Needless to say, we stayed. We didn't have to pay for moving, we received 1/2 our deposit back on the other house and we didn't have to buy new furniture or appliances.

This entire experience was a total God thing for us. Our faith was tested when we were asked to move. We were willing to sacrifice our space and our situation in order to be faithful with what He has given us. However, in being willing to do so God gave us everything we wanted and more. He allowed us to stay in our beautiful (big!) home with a puppy we are crazy about and still be able to make ends meet each month. Now, our financial situation has not magically improved. It is a huge blessing to have our rent cut, but we are still working on being responsible with what we have. We are working on paying off our debts and trying to transition to a cash budget. It's a slow process and a long road, but we feel so blessed to not be traveling alone. God has purposefully set us on this road together and He is leading the way. He is marking our steps and holding us securely in the place where He wants us to be. Despite all I have seen, I still have to remind myself that sometimes. It's almost easier to not think about it, to take everything for granted and just be lazy. I have to consciously remember that I am blessed beyond more than I can dream. I have to make myself put God first (a constant struggle) and myself second. It saddens my heart that it is a struggle even when I know we have been given so much.

So, I'm still working. I'm still trying to figure out who I am and who He wants me to be. I'm making an effort to be more for Him and less for me. I want His joy and His blessings to shine in me. Please pray for me, as I am lazy and easily distracted. It's so easy for life to get in the way, and I am trying to battle it. No, I'm not trying hard enough, but I will start. I have to remember that His grace is sufficient for me and that His perfection makes up for my inadequacies.

Please Lord, held me be the woman you want me to be. Help me to encourage others in this hard time and help me to shine Your amazing love. Thank you for all we have been given, we are blessed beyond measure. Amen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2 Years!

Happy Anniversary to the man who continues to take my breath away and melt my twitterpated heart.

I love you more now than I did on the day we said "I do." You fill my life with joy. You are my best friend, my wonderful lover and my perfect partner.

I still can't help falling more and more in love with you!
Happy anniversary sweet baby!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We are a family of 3!

Meet Bridger!

This sweet boy is an 11 week old Puggle/Mini Aussie mix who is perfection on four paws. He is the cutest, snuggliest, sweetest puppy either of us have ever had. Oh man, we love him so much!

♥ Mrs. G

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not me!

Today is my first time participating in MckMama's "Not Me Mondays." I don't remember how I found her blog, but I did and I've been praying for her little MckMuffin as he has battled with weeks of SVT and other heart "stuff" (says the peds nurse - shamful, I know). Thankfully, he's home now and the happy meal is back together again (seriously, these kids are super cute, check out the blog and see!). Anyways, MckMama is all about being totally, completely, and brutally honest, so she created "Not Me Mondays" so we could all confess what we absolutely did not do this week! It's refreshing to see other women living perfectly put-together lives, just like I do every day.

Here goes nothing...

Last week I most certiantly did not leave work early under the pretence of visiting with out of town friends, only to go home take a 3 hour nap with my hubby. It would be irresponsible to use 4 of my 4.32 comp hours to go home and take a nap - I'd never do that!

I did not indulge in margarita after margarita for Lisa's birthday on Friday night, I also did not follow my margaritas with a Ruby and I did not end the night lying in bed with a bag of Cheetos. That being said, I absolutely did not go out the next night to celebrate Jenny's bachelorette and did not have 3 (3.5?) Long Islands which did not result in me dancing (ha! I don't think I can call what I was not doing "dancing" after that many drinks!) the night away and stumbling home at 3:30 am. Nope, that doesn't sound like me at all! I'm a virtuous woman who practices sobriety and clean-living all the time.

I have not been trying to talk my husband into moving to (duh, duh, dun!) Gresham in hopes of us saving money so that we can eventually buy a house someday, and I sure didn't use the proximity of Dairy Queen as a tool to sway him in my direction. I also didn't hope spending the afternoon golfing with his BFF would help convince him that a move to the "East side" wouldn't be so bad. Oh, and a blizzard and a bag of balls certiantly didn't do the trick and we're not touring a potential townhome soon.

I did not fall in love with the curly-haired baby at my friend's house yesterday. I did not spend her entire nap staring at her, and I certiantly did not poke her gently so she's wake up slightly and use that as an excuse to pick her up and let her complete her nap on my lap. Nope, not me!

I do not have piles of laundry waiting for me downstairs. I am not procrastinating by reading blogs. A responsible housewife would not do that.

I am not wondering if it's ok for me to eat lunch this early. I am not a fatty like that. I only eat small, low-fat meals every 3-4 hours. I would never make a grilled cheese only 1.5 hours after eating breakfast. Never.

I did not think confessing like this was fun and I probably won't do it again next week!

♥ Mrs. BigTime

Thursday, April 9, 2009

As the laundry piles...

It never fails to amaze me how much laundry Ben and I have, and also, how terribly horrible we are at actually doing it. You'd think we'd learn: doing little loads all the time is much better letting is all pile (quite literally) up. But nooooo! We let it pile...and pile...and pile...and pile! I really should take a picture of the mess we have downstairs, but I'm too ashamed. Only my beloved and I shall know the utter chaos we choose to live in. It's okay though, I have five days off, I'll do the laundry in that time, right? Of course! So, naturally, I wait until 7:30 pm the night before my stretch of work to start on the monster job of folding ALL of our clothing, and I'm obviously dilligently working as my sweet husband is out serving our Lord. Yes, yes, yes, I'm dilligently tackling my project...I'm just taking a break...a blog break.

I'm taking a break because as I was folding Ben's jeans I found a pair I swear he hasn't worn in years (yet they are in our pile of just washed clothes...hmmm...). I looked at them and thought "What jeans are these? Calvin Klein? He doesn't wear these anymore. He hasn't worn them since we first started dating. Actually, these are the pants he wore to meet me for the first time!" That thought instantly took me back to February 8th (I think!) 2006. After 5 months of emailing long-distance I was finally going to meet my "internet buddy." To prepare, my friend Jenny skipped our nursing class (I don't actually remember this detail, but I'm sure we did, it's so something we would have done) and made out way to the mall just to get out. I'm also sure we were both broke, so naturally, we made our way to Clinique and drowned our I'm-a-poor-college-student woes with some bronzer and lipgloss. We eventually made our way to the Gap and Old Navy where I found an adorable pink shrug that would be perfect for the evening - which was not a date, just two friends meeting for coffee. Not a date. Oh, and yes, I'm pretty silly and remember exactly what each of us were wearing that night. You may call me lame, I'm dealing with it. Anyways, as the afternoon went on, I was calm and not at all nervous. Time started inching closer to the appointed meeting time and I began getting ready. It was almost time. I wasn't nervous. The time was here...any minute now. At this point, news of my meeting my internet man was out and all the girls on my floor were expectently waiting to see what this mysterous man looked like. Most curious was my good friend Ashley, who happened to have a room overlooking the parking lot. Ashley served as lookout that night. I still remember her sitting ontop of the window sill looking out and squeeling as every car entered the lot until finally: (mini-yell) "He's here!...and he's hot!!" I was calm up until that moment - then a million butterflies erupted in my stomach and I began to shake. My phone rang. "Stephanie, it's Ben, I'm here." I made my way downstairs and opened the door for the handsome man waiting for me. He said "Hi, I'm Ben." I said "I know." (with a BIG smile) He started to shake my hand and I said "We should hug" and we did, right there in the doorway (literally, he was still holding the door). Then, I said, "I'm so nervous!" I took him upstairs and introduced him to my suitemates and let the others get a glance at my hot-stranger-internet-man. We made our way down the block to Starbucks and once we sat down with our lattes (actually, I had a chai and he had a drip coffee) the conversation began to flow and every ounce of nervousness faded. It was as though I was sitting with an old friend (and old friend I was very, very attracted to) and it was perfect.

It still is perfect. Well, maybe not "perfect" perfect, but perfect enough.

This has been a tough season for my internet-man and I. We have been challenged in more ways than we imagined, but it's humbling us and helping us to see our multitude of blessings. It's hard to stay calm when I don't know what tomorrow will bring and when we are totally out of options, but I know that our God is an AWESOME God and that He is mighty to save! I've been using those verses, among others, as my mantra of faith. I know that He who has begun a good work in us will continue it until completion. I have hope and I have faith. Our Father is a provider of much more than simply the basics. He gives joy in the midst of suffering and hope when there seems to be no physical way. I love that even in hard times He helps us to see the sweetest moments in our lives and lets us savor them again and again.

I am so thankful for every gift that I have in my life. I feel so unworthy to be as blessed as I am, and I know that every trial we are going through is also a gift from Him. He is strengthening us, and refining us by fire. I pray that through these times we are able to be used for His glory. I pray that we are good stewards of this life that he has given us and lights to those in much darker situations than ours. God is my provider, my strength and my song. I pray that my actions, my words, my thoughts and my life reflects His grace in my life. Every day, no matter what.

God is good and only good.

Be blessed and filled with joy...

Mrs. BigTime

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Beautiful Day

The sun is shining in Portland! It's beautiful and I'm so thankful for a break from the often-present gray. My absolute favorite part of my house is its windows. We have 4 skylights and windows on 3 of our 4 walls. It is so peaceful in our living room when the sun is shining. Everything is soft and glowing. It's warm and peaceful. I've had many days since living here when I just sit and soak it all in. Days like this refresh my soul.

These last few weeks have been really busy for us. We celebrated both of our birthdays with a trip to Vegas, which was super fun. My dad surprised us and came out to visit too. It was so good to see him! Our birthday celebration didn't end there however, next up was a wine night at our house (also, super fun, we have to have another one again soon!), a birthday party at a friend's house (we have 5 end of Feb/March birthdays in our group of 8 friends!), then we had Ben's sister Hannah out to visit (the same weekend we hosted some of my friends & their family while they were visiting their neice who was sick in the NICU at DCH), I went back to Vegas with some girlfriends for a conference, Ben had finals, Pearl Bridge put the finishing touches on their CD, then to wrap things up, we celebrated another friend's birthday at a Blazer game (my first. We had a catered sky box - so, so, so fun!). Whew!

March also presented us with a huge struggle. As mentioned in the previous post, our friend Nathan was released from this world and taken to be with the Lord. Our hearts ache for his family, who demonstrated amazing grace and faithfulness in the midst of this tough time. Pearl Bridge had the opportunity to play at both of his memorials, which was such a blessing. The spirit of the Lord was so very present as we worshiped. Our hearts were aching, but a presence of joy filled as we knew Nathan was sitting in the hands of our sweet Father. We know that hearts were touched, not only by the loss of this boy, but by the peace his parents and siblings demonstrated as they comforted others while dealing with their own grief. We don't always understand why tough things happen in this life, but it is our prayer that God be glorified through this loss. Ben also had the opportunity to record bass on a beautiful son that Nathan's brother wrote for him. I wish I had the link to it...I'll search for it and add it later. It's beautiful.

Pearl Bridge has been hard at work for the past few months finishing their first recording, and I'm so excited to say that it's done! Their self-titled EP will be released a week from today at Radiant's Easter service (Radiant is pastored by John and Pam Vredevelt, Nathan's parents). You can check out some songs from the CD on Facebook or Myspace.

Well, I should wrap up, since that handsome man of mine is finally ready to go out and enjoy this spectacular day with me.

Oh, one last thing: Congratulations to my sweet friends Jen & Ben who delivered this beautiful baby yesterday:

Welcome to the world baby Sterling! You are so loved!

- Mrs. BigTime

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Prayers Needed!

Nathan is a 16 year old boy with Down Syndrome who needs your prayers right now. On Sunday night he became separated from his chaperones at a basketball game and wandered onto the freeway and was struck by 2 cars. He is now fighting for his life at Emmanuel Children's Hospital.

Nathan and his family are very dear to our hearts. They are some of the most amazingly kind, loving, faithful & faith-filled people we've ever met. Please pray for freedom and for our Saviour's will to be done with Nathan's sweet life.

You may check out his website here.

Thank blessed.

Mrs. G

Monday, February 16, 2009

Crafty Tuesday

I follow a very sweet homemaking blog, hersoutherncharm, that is hosting "Crafty Tuesdays" where we are to show off some crafty items that we've made throughout the week/month/year. I am not the craftiest, but I do enjoy being creative and using the cute stickers and papers I've collected throughout the years. I inherited a bunch of scrapbooking and cardmaking materials from my Grandma Clara and I've really enjoyed taking up one of her favorite hobbies - card making- and making it one of my favorites as well. I made a few this week that I forgot to take pictures of, but more will come soon, I'm sure.

My first project this week was a baby shower invitation sign for my friend Jen. For all showers at work we post flyers in each break room, so I made two of these signs to hang. The picture doesn't really show detail, but I think they came out pretty cute! I'm hanging them tomorrow morning, I hope Jen likes them!

I am a card person. I love Hallmark and can spend hours looking for the card that says exactly what I want it to say, and I really feel joy when I find the perfect card for my someone special. My husband however, is not a card person. Where I think the card is often the most special part of any gift, he thinks it is a waste of paper and has said many times "Why do I need to buy a card to tell you exactly what I can say myself?" Darn logical brain of his.

With Valentine's Day coming up I knew I had to get the perfect card for our second VDay as man and wife, however, I know my husband. He would not appreciate a store bought card as much he would one hand created by his loving wife. He would be hurt that I would make cards for my friends and family, but not for him, even if the card I bought him was "perfect." So, I let go of trying to find the perfect verse inside the most perfect card and set off making my best friend a card perfect for him.

Ben is logical, he is not frilly or frivolious. He is smart and sensible and values natural simplicity. I think I hit the nail on the head with this...(please excuse the poor picture quality - taken with my phone)

He also surprised me with a card he made himself. He is a little ashamed of the quality of his card - did I mention my husband is a perfectionist? - but I love it, and I love him.

That's it for now, I'm up way too late, as usual, and my body is longing for sleep. I hope your Tuesday is crafty!

- Mrs. G

I love one-dish dinners!

As I have said before, Ben does most of the cooking in our house. I can cook, but he can cook better! When I do happen to prepare dinner it's usually one of my standard, go-to, easy-peasy meals that we've had a million times (and it's usually Mexican...mmm...I love Mexican!). I tend to crave meals that are one-dish wonders - soups, chilis, goulash, casserole, dishes where you get all the flavors in one forkfull, where my sweet husband is more of a meat & separate side dish kind of guy.

I came upon this recipe a while ago (I thought it was here, but I searched and searched and couldn't find it, so I'm sorry, I can't give credit to the original creator!) and have been wanting to try it. I finally did so tonight and I'm pleased to say it will be part of my rotation from now on.

Artichoke Chicken
1 can artichoke hearts
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Breadcrumbs, if desired for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients except chicken in a medium size bowl (I chopped the artichokes in my food processor before mixing them with everything else). Place chicken in oven-safe baking dish. Cover chicken with artichoke mixture. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve over rice or noodles.

Delicious, easy-peasy and a perfect the one-dish wonder!

Mrs. G

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I love this man.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Peace in this Place

I love reading blogs. One of my new favorite hobbies is to get lost in the maze of blog-land. I often do so with some sweet worship in the background and I am again reminded how blessed I am. I don't update my blog very often. Sometimes I'm intimidated at the creativeness and beautiful writing of some other girls, and sometimes I just don't know how to put my feelings into words. I suppose this is more of a diary/journal and a place to put my thoughts and share my heart - this is my place. My little piece of the online world. 

I am thankful for my life. Ben and I are in such a sweet place right now. I have a wonderful schedule at work where I am able to push my days together in one week and have the following week off. This coincides nicely with Ben's schedule. He only has class two days a week, which leaves us with a couple of full days together in the middle of the week. It's such a blessing to be able to enjoy quiet days together when the rest of the world is spinning crazily around us. 

I love that it's just us for now. Yes, I desperately want to be a mom - I see a baby and my heart yearns for one of my own. Then I look at this sweet man I get to have all to myself and I am thankful for the time we are able to dedicate to one another only. I know that God is working on both of our hearts, preparing us to be parents - and it will take a long time! I am learning how to put my husband first more and more. By nature I am very selfish and immature (shh! Don't tell Ben I know this about myself!). God is teaching me how to handle disappointment with grace and maturity, and how take responsibility for my own actions and faults before passing them onto someone else (mainly my husband). I also believe he is softening my fiercely independent husband's heart towards a baby. We have a lot we want to accomplish before we make our twosome a threesome, and I am learning how to rest in this time, in this place.

I have always struggled with wanting to be two steps ahead of where I am. This impatience has caused me to overlook the blessings and joy that were in my current situation. I don't want to let that happen now, or ever for that matter. I remember a sweet moment just before I met Ben. I was in England feeling homesick, impatient and lonely. I wanted so badly to be in love and married. I remember walking across my room when the Lord stopped me and so clearly said "Stephanie, I have you right where I want you. Your future is in My hands, do not worry or fear. Have peace in this time." I heard Him and listened. I finally surrendered my worry and anxiety and felt a wave of overwhelming peace fill my soul. It was only a short time later that Ben emailed me for the first time - and I instantly knew that he was a gift and proof of provision. 

It's hard to juggle joy in a current situation and anxiety for the future. Maybe that's why I'm not supposed to. Matthew 6:34 says "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." I'm working on it, and I'm not alone. God continues to bless me with little gifts, such as my sweet hubby pulling me closer and snuggling me tighter, to encourage me and remind me to be still in this moment. Have peace in the place and be joyful where I am - where we are. 

Ok, I'm working on patience, but does anyone have suggestions on how to impress this point onto future-grandmas? ;)

Have a sweet day my friends,
Mrs. BigTime

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Woman I was Created to Be

With the New Year a few days behind us, I've been thinking a lot about my life with particular interest in my personal spiritual walk. Like I said in an earlier post, I'm not usually big on resolutions, but this year has proven different. I've set a few goals for me to work on, and they're not only for this year, but for the rest of my life. First and foremost, I want to become the woman God created me to be. This is a big, big, big task. I believe God put me on this earth for a purpose, and by not creating daily alone time with Him I am not living up to that purpose and only experiencing a fraction of the blessings, peace and joy He wants to give me. If my daily spiritual walk is not aligned with His path for me, I am not acting, thinking or being the woman He wants me to be. I have more to offer, but I need to work at it.

An area in my life I have been challenged to work on is my marriage. More specifically, my role as a wife. I've known since I was a little girl that I wanted to be married, and that I would love being a wife. I romanticized what a marriage would look like (think 1950's/June Cleaver-esque) and just knew I'd thrive within my much-anticipated role. However, here I am, and my life looks nothing like I'd imagined it would. The image I had in my head was fake and unrealistic, my life now is very real. I do try to be a "good wife" but more often than not I am just me. I prefer my cozy lounge-pants over jeans and seize every opportunity to get that stinkin' underwired contraption off my chest. I only wear make-up if I'm going out, and I pretty much consider the "messy bun" my signature look. I don't make dinner daily, in fact, Mr. G does most of our cooking, and my kitchen is often messy (it's tiny so it doesn't take much). I'm still working on the laundry, and I'll do cartwheels the day every piece of clothing is washed, folded and put away. I may not be the wife I thought I'd be, but one thing is for certain: I LOVE my husband. I know our relationship is a gift from God and I am so thankful for it.

I've come to understand recently that though I may not ever be the wife I thought I'd be, I absolutely can be the wife and woman God wants me to be - and I'd rather be that!

One of my favorite things to do is to surf and through that I've developed the hobby of blogging. I love to peruse different blogs from women across the country. I get recipies and decorating ideas from them and sometimes even encouragement. One blog in particular, hersoutherncharm is very encouraging. The Southern Housewife has loads of wisdom and encouragement on the role of a wife, and I've enjoyed reading her posts. Through her site I found "A Wife's Biblical Submission" an online bible study going through the description of a woman/wife in Proverbs 31. I've read through the site and have decided to start my year by becomming a biblically submitted woman. I want to be a woman after God's own heart, and I believe this study will help me to strengthen my marraige, my sense of worth as a woman, and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I am looking forward to the challenges and growth this will provide, and I am ready for them all. I am ready to begin becomming the woman God designed me to be.

Now, for the women of the study, I will give a brief introduction of myself: My name is Stephanie am almost 24 and have been married for a year in a half. My husband Ben and I were married May 27, 2007 on a riverboat the day after my graduation from Nursing School. I am currently a Nurse at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, OR and Ben is a full-time student studying Industrial Design at the Art Institute of Portland. We do not have children yet, and are planning to wait a few more years until we add some to our family (I'm thinking 3 years, he thinks 5...we'll see!). I am starting this study to become a better wife to my husband, and a better daughter to my Father. I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and instinctively look to my husband to fill the voids and fears in my life, and I know I will never find fulfillment and peace without looking to God first and foremost. I hope to grow in faith, wisdom and peace on this journey, and I also hope to bless my husband in the process.

I will close with my study verses for the week:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

- Mrs. G

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2009 already, in fact, I can't even believe Christmas has already came and gone! We had a very simple holiday this year. We were unable to travel to visit our families because I had to work on Christmas day (where I saw the best Santa I've ever seen!), so we spent our second Christmas as husband and wife cozied up at home, just the two of us. We decided to not give each other gifts this year and we both really enjoyed the simplicity and ease of not having to worry about shopping/finances/lines/crowds and we were able to take time to focus on what Christmas is really about - the gift of our Saviour. We celebrated on the 24th by cuddling in front of a fire enjoying some wonderful food and movies. We also enjoyed the snow that threatened to bury us in our house. The "Artic Blast" that hit the NW this past month was an awesome experience. Though traveling in the snow and ice proved to be a huge challenge (our city just isn't equipped for snow), I loved it! A sparkling white blanket of snow is so beautiful and peaceful, and nothing feels more "Christmasy" than snow, just ask my Mountain-Man husband! Once the snow cleared my dad, brother and sister were able to drive up and spend two days with us, which was wonderful! We rang in the New Year with some close friends. The six of us couldn't get too crazy since I had to work in the morning and one of the ladies is preggers, but we did manage to get in a pretty rowdy game of Scatergories! ;)

I wanted to do a month-by-month "Year in Review" but as I started I realized I couldn't remember when specific things happened. So, I decided to just list some highlights of 2008.
  • I had to work NYE and NYD, so Mr. G planned a special surprise night for me. He filled the bathroom with candles and drew me a bath. I think the story is even more special and memorable because while he was running the bath for me we ran out of hot water and he had to make trips up to the stove to boil water just to keep the water warm for me. He still gets embarrassed about the whole thing, but I love him even more for it.
  • First Valentine's Day as husband and wife. I was hoping Mr. G would remember to do something special, and I kept trying to give him opportunities to do so, but he wasn't taking them. Just as I was feeling bummed and annoyed a delivery man arrived with a gorgeous boquet of roses and a beautiful note. I cried.
  • We celebrated my birthday at the coast. We had a romantic dinner at the same restaurant we ate at on our honeymoon and took a bubble bath in a tub that didn't run out of hot water.
  • In May we went to Eagle Crest for a marraige retreat where Pearl Bridge got their first taste of touring together and we found out how much Jodi likes Jaeger.
  • My sweet grandma Clara passed away in February. Her passing certiantly isn't a favorite memory, but her memorial was a bittersweet time for me. While we missed the woman we all lost, my family was able to come together and honor her memory by doing the thing she cherished most: spending time together. On this trip Mr. G held a baby for the first time (swoon!).
  • We drove up the coast of California, spending a beautiful night and morning exploring Monterey.
  • In June we loaded up the Honda and took our first "family" camping trip. We hiked, fished and toasted marshmallows over the fire. Oh, and I'll never forget the "shower" Mr. G made - there's nothing quite like being buck-naked in the middle of the woods!
  • We spent a wonderfully relaxing weekend crabbing with the Browers in September.
  • Twilight. Enough said.
  • We made the transition from East Hill to Portland Foursqure.
  • Pearl Bridge offically became "Pearl Bridge"
  • We moved next door. Short move, lots of work, way worth it. I love our new place!
  • My dad and his wife came up to visit. We thoroughly enjoyed the Hefeweizen at Edgefield!
  • Tim and Jon came to visit.
  • Hannah came out for Thanksgiving.
  • We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at the Beckman's.
  • I lost my first 15 lbs.
  • I set up my craft "station" and began making cards.
There are many, many more memories that I hold dear to my heart, but these are simply some of my favorite.

I've never been big on making New Year's Resolutions, but I think I'll make a few now. Nothing unobtainable, but good goals nonetheless.

1. Get down to a healthy BMI.
2. Exercise 3x/week.
3. Finish "The Power of a Praying Wife"
4. Journal at least once a week, if not more.
5. Sew something (maybe an apron?).
6. Get/make curtains for our bedroom.
7. Finish wedding scrapbook.
8. Go to bed at a decent hour, especially on nights before work.

I really should get going. It's only January 3rd and I'm already failing on most of my goals, especially #8!

...Mrs. Big Time