Wednesday, October 24, 2012

shutterfly christmas cards: 4th year!

UPDATE: the lucky (and totally random) winner is comment #10, Katie!  Katie, I've sent you an email! 

i've long been a fan of shutterfly Christmas cards -- this year will be my fourth year using them, so clearly I've bought in.  Tiny Prints is now under the shutterfly umbrella, too, which is a fun addition!

the nice friends at Shutterfly asked if I'd write another post explaining why I use them, giving some promotional information and host a giveaway for some readers!  yes, this is a sponsored post, but the opinions are completely my own.  again, since i've used them four years in a row, it should be clear that i like them just a bit :)


The Christmas Photo Cards are my favorite.  I usually like flat cards that are 5x7, but last year I did chose a folded card that I loved -- plus it gave me space to write a nice-sized note.  Y'all know that being concise is not one of my gifts! :)  Of course, I love to include as many pictures as possible, especially when I have great photo sessions that provide so many to choose from.  They are diverse, include fun fonts, have tons of options based on your specifications, and they always come perfectly printed -- no complains at all in the past 4 years.  Their shipping is fast, too!  Here are my top five -- it always takes me forever to choose!


For some great deals, click here.


$50 off total order (does not include shipping & cannot be combined with any other promos).  Comment with your favorite card's title and I'll choose a random winner by 10/29.


Monday, August 20, 2012

the colors of conversation

I know I have yet to finish and post a blog about this past year's Imago show -- my first ever art-quilt endeavor -- so I'm a little out of order here.  But like that's super surprising with me and this blog.

The theme for the 2013 Imago Holy Week show is PSALMS.  Isn't that great?  So much freedom, so many possibilities!

My sketchbook is already filling up with mini-block drawings, ideas, key words, key verses, music that inspires, commentary from books, etc.  I'm so excited about this project.  I don't have a whole lot nailed down yet (which is good -- I want God to speak more!), but I know this piece will be (1) smaller (sweet mercy!), (2) more of a cohesive collage that tells the story of Psalms, (3) composed mostly of solids if not all solids, and (4) include a lot of new techniques for me (more mercy please!) 

The first challenge? COLOR.

What are the colors of the Psalms, collectively?  Which encapsulate the dialogue between God and man?  Which depict the broad scale of emotions?  John Stott wrote that the psalms "speak the universal language of the human soul."  Rowland Prothero wrote that they "[contain] the whole music of the heart of man."  Similarly, they describe the many attributes of God.  Listener, Healer, Deliverer, Shepherd, Creator, King.

I don't want a rainbow quilt, though.  Sorry, I just don't.  I think it would be distracting.  Gradation is fine -- I love it, actually, but not all of ROYGBIV is going to be on this quilt.  So, my quandry...what do I see as the color scheme of the Psalms and our lifelong conversation with God.  Organic.  Warm.  Varied?

Any thoughts?

If you're on Spotify, I'm creating an "Imago Inspiration" playlist.  Pretty folky and lovely if you're into that sort of thing.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 minutes to blog

- i'm almost ready for the Olympics to be over.  my emotions are about spilled out everywhere.  and so is my eye make-up.

- dang the Today show and their human interest stories at 8am.

- Everett is the best cuddler.  I am one blessed mama to receive the sweetest cuddles, "hug me"s, "please stay"s, and the cutest giggles when we play the game of whispering things in each other's ears and then guessing what the other person said.  Last night he said "do'holes" (donut holes), but I thought he said "feet" -- an eruption of laughter from him that was priceless.  It's our new little mama/son game.  I love it.

- Embarking on month 5 of trying.  I just keep hearing the Lord tell me to cherish the moments with Everett, be in them wholeheartedly and remember that "he is enough."  If I only am blessed with one baby -- that Everett is enough.  (Sucker punch.)

- I hate pregnancy tests.

- I am heading to the River Oaks Goodwill today.  I'm excited. 

- I found sandals at Loft the other day for $4.88.  Don't hate.

- Matt has been making me laugh a lot lately.  Our marrige is in such a good place -- want to savor that.  Laughter helps, for sure.  The man is straight up hilarious.  I'm blessed.

- My arms are sore.  Killed them in class yesterday.  Had a girl tell me I was trying to kill her.  Me too, honey, me too.

- We're getting pictures taken in a couple weeks.  In August.  We must be insane.  I'm already trying to figure out how to keep my hair from fro'ing up crazy and my face from running.  Would I be such a diva if I got my hair and make-up done that day?  I have yet to figure out using the flat-iron to create those pretty curls.



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

where my head is at

excuse the poor grammar.  it's for effect, you know.  lots of great things going on in my heart and head these days -- and I'm thankful.  perhaps it's my new love for twitter.  perhaps it's my being fed up with some things.  perhaps it's a joy that's returning that's been absent for a while.  most likely, it's God's grace to reveal and continue working in my life.  like i said -- thankful.  i'm still not at a downloadable place, mentally, but here's another train of thoughts, or quotes, rather.

People are always afraid of what's different.  - from the movie Cool Runnings

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  - E.E. Cummings

I'm convinced we generally avoid the ambiguity present in biblical texts because we want to avoid the ambiguity in ourselves.  - Jonathan Martin (a new favorite twitterer @renovatuspastor)

Often the questions we fear serve as the road to understanding ourselves and God.  - Christina May Gibson

Most things I've feared never happened; most things I've hoped for did. Fear only has the influence we give it.  - Bob Goff

American dreams are about climbing out of all burdens. And God dreams are about carry a cross and sharing one another’s burdens.  - Ann Voscamp

A theology shaped by mentors all of the same race or ethnicity is an incomplete theology.  - Chris Seay

Leaders see things others don't and then do something about it. - Gregg Matte

Error on the side of mercy. (It's not much of an error.)  - Brian Zahnd

Standing up with Jesus often means standing up against the religious when they've got the rocks out.  - Jonathan Martin

The observer of beauty always receives a passion to share the beauty with others.  - Tim Keller

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.  - John 13:35

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

- Sara Groves, Add to the Beauty

Jesus didn't come to preach a kingdom that affirms these systems, but to preach a kingdom that transcends them... that's counter-cultural.  - Rachel Held Evans

I want to preach that Christian morality is a response to grace, not a means to grace.  - Tim Keller

If we know we are sinners saved by grace alone, we will be both open and generous to the outcasts and unlovely.  - Tim Keller

There is a faint air of superiority in tolerating.  But loving someone who is different from you...appreciating them, that's the goal.  - R. Hamlin

There's a better story
Of true love of true grace
There's the hope of glory
And our first chance to be truly brave
It's the place we're going
When we can't stay where we are

I'm here to re-write this tragedy
One line at a time
Hold on, I'm changing all the scenery
It's okay we'll be fine
Cause we know how this ends
We know there's a better story

- Sara Groves, Rewrite This Tragedy

Let's put aside the labels and just live the gospel.  - Shane Claiborne

...and pretty much anything else by Shane Claiborne.


Monday, July 30, 2012

do not give up, do not give in, do not give out

I am an Olympics fanatic.  That might even be too conservative of a description.  My husband probably things I’m a little nuts about them.  I relish every minute of competition, and the poignant human interest stories – they about do me in.  I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a crier, but during the days leading up to the Olympics and during the Games, I’m two Today Show interviews from being a certifiable basket case with a hernia.  Get me?

There is just something about watching someone or a team of people shoot for the gold.  Growing up, I always loved being a part of a team.  During junior high and part of high school, I swam in the summer for my neighborhood swim team and loved every second --even those 6am practices.  In high school and college, musical pursuits and rigorous science courses were my focus, but I never lost a deeply rooted appreciation for the team concept.  When I first began thinking about getting certified to teach group exercise classes, I was intimidated by the fact that I wasn’t involved in sports.  I was an avid kickboxing class participant and loved the gym, but I gave in to a faulty line of thinking that I wouldn’t make the cut without being entrenched in team athletics.  It look a decade of doubting before I finally mustered up the courage to study, practice, get certified and begin teaching.  One thing that encouraged me to go for my dream was the Fellowship of Athletes Competitors Creed.  I think I attended an FCA meeting once with some friends in high school, but I never heard of their creed until several years later.

I am a Christian first and last.
I am created in the likeness of
God Almighty to bring Him glory.
I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.
I wear the colors of the cross.
I am a Competitor now and forever.

I am made to strive, to strain,
to stretch and to succeed
in the arena of competition.
I am a Christian Competitor
and as such, I face my challenger
with the face of Christ.
I do not trust in myself.

I do not boast in my abilities
or believe in my own strength.
I rely solely on the power of God.
I compete for the pleasure of
my Heavenly Father, the honor of Christ
and the reputation of the Holy Spirit.

My attitude on and off
the field is above reproach -
my conduct beyond criticism.
Whether I am preparing,
practicing or playing;
I submit to God's authority
and those He has put over me.
I respect my coaches, officials,
teammates and competitors
out of respect for the Lord.

My body is the temple of Jesus Christ.
I protect it from within and without.
Nothing enters my body that
does not honor the Living God.
My sweat is an offering to my Master.
My soreness is a sacrifice to my Savior.

I give my all - all of the time.
I do not give up. I do not give in.
I do not give out. I am the Lord’s warrior -
a competitor by conviction
and a disciple of determination.

I am confident beyond reason
because my confidence lies in Christ.
The results of my efforts
must result in His glory.


I love so many parts of this, but the main ideas that propelled me into finally realizing my dream of becoming an instructor were that I was already a part of a greater team, I could compete against myself, and I could glorify God through every drop of sweat, sore muscle and encouraging word I imparted to my classes.  My path in life didn’t take me down an athletics-centered road like the Olympic athletes I ardently cheer for, but it can still make me an athlete for Christ and the community I hope to serve. 

I tell my Godspeed cycling class all the time that there is an athlete in every single person, you just have to find them.  Do not give up, do not give in, do not give out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shutterfly Long Live Summer Contest

Hi Friends,

Shutterfly sent me this today -- sounds like fun and very easy to do!  Especially since a lot of y'all have hopped on the photo-a-day instagram bandwagon.

Summer is here and that means you’ll be taking more photos of your family soon.  Between beach trips and BBQs, photographs are a great way to capture these summer memories.  Shutterfly’s Long Live Summer Photo Contest on Facebook launched on Monday July 9th and it runs for 5 weeks.  Check it out via their Facebook page here: (must use this link)

Long Live Summer – Facebook Photo Contest details (US residents only).  Runs from 7/9 – 8/12.  Multi-week summer themed photo sweepstakes with instant win prizes.  Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever.  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week.  Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.

•       Week 1(7/9): Americana
•       Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors (happening this week)
•       Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun
•       Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
•       Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations

•      Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
•      Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
•      Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page.
•      Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Click here:

Happy picture taking!