Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Toby's Tails

As we come to Holy Thursday of Holy Week and come very close to Easter, I thought I would share with you this reflection on The Passion from The Word Among Us, which is a Catholic devotional magazine and website. I think it is great for us to sit down and really focus on this Holy Triduum and realize how much Jesus sacrificed for us by dying on the cross.


God Loves You!

That’s the message of the Passion.

Why did Jesus die for our sins? The answer was like a flash of sunlight illuminating the faith of the Church: because he loved us!
“Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:2); “the Son of God … loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20); “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
It is an indisputable primordial truth pervading everything, and it applies both to the Church as a whole and to every individual. St. John the Evangelist, the last to write his gospel, dates this revelation back to Christ when he was on earth: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends” (John 15:13-14).
This answer to the “why” of Christ’s passion is really final and allows no further questions. He loved us because he loved us—that’s all there is to it! In fact, there is no “why” to God’s love; it is a free gift. It is the only love in the world that is truly and totally free, that asks nothing for itself (he already has everything!) but only gives. Or rather, he gives himself. “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us… . We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:10, 19).
Jesus, then, suffered and died freely, out of love. Not by chance, not from necessity, not because of any obscure forces or historical reasons overwhelming him without his knowledge or against his will. If anyone asserts this, they are nullifying the gospel, removing its soul, because the gospel is nothing other than the good news of God’s love in Christ Jesus.
Not only the gospel, but the entire Bible is nothing other than the news of God’s mysterious, incomprehensible love for people. If the whole of Scripture were to start talking at once, if by some miracle the written words were transformed into speech, that voice would be more powerful than the waves of the sea, and it would cry out: “God loves you!”
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa writes, teaches, and preaches on the gospel. This selection is from The Fire of Christ’s Love, a collection of meditations from his annual Good Friday homilies to the pope and his household. To buy the book or read another excerpt, please visit The Word Among Us Bookstore.

Have a wonderful Holy Week and a Blessed Easter!







Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DIY Day and a College Reunion

Monday night, I got to go visit one of my really good college friends, Jessi after work! We had a good old sleepover and got to hangout yesterday! It was so great to catch up and spend some time together. Since we don't live in the same town anymore and both seem to lead pretty busy lives, we don't get to see each other as often as we would like.

Here are a couple pics of us, since I failed to take any on my visit...




Love her and so glad I got to go visit! 

And, while I was visiting, we decided to do a Pinterest project. I've been wanting a new lampshade for our living room, so I saw an idea and decided to try it!

My supplies: yarn, fabric, and a hot glue gun.

My plain lampshade before we started.

I started by wrapping the yarn around the top and bottom, 
using hot glue frequently to keep it in place.


Then, we added three fabric flowers, which we made by twisting and wrapping the fabric, again using a lot of hot glue to keep it together.

The finished look, back on my lampstand when I got home! I think it turned out pretty cute!
What do you think? Does it look ok or does it need anything else?




Monday, March 25, 2013

On to the Sweet Sixteen + Madness Standings



After just a few days, we are down to 16 teams in the NCAA tourney, here's who is left and how they will matchup in the next round:

MIDWEST
#1 Louisville vs #12 Oregon
and
#3 Michigan State vs #2 Duke

WEST
#9 Wichita State vs #13 La Salle
and
#6 Arizona vs #2 Ohio State

SOUTH
#1 Kansas vs #4 Michigan
and
#3 Florida vs #15 Florida Gulf Coast

EAST
#1 Indiana vs #4 Syracuse
and
#3 Marquette vs #2 Miami


And...the reason you probably opened this post in the first place, our updated Blog Madness Bracket Challenge Standings:


FollowtheRuels

Remember...
The winner gets a $30 Visa Gift Card and ad space from these 7 awesome blogs:


Friday, March 22, 2013

And the Madness has officially begun!


Day One of March Madness is over and Day Two is here!

My brackets are doing okay after day one, but there were a few upsets, which always make the tournament exciting, such as...

#12 Oregon over #5 Oklahoma State

#9 Wichita St over #8 Pittsburgh (not too crazy)

#14 Harvard over #3 New Mexico (that one hurt my bracket)

#12 California over #5 UNLV

So, on to Day Two, and I get to watch two of my favorite teams today!

Go Jayhawks and Bluejays!!



How is your bracket doing??



FollowtheRuels

If you linked up and joined our Blog Madness Bracket Challenge, you can see how you're doing in the standings by clicking here!



Thursday, March 21, 2013

I'll Take One of Everything

Toby's Tails

Linking up for Thursday Thoughts, and here are the thoughts on my mind today...

It's officially Spring, and although the temperatures are not yet "springy" in Nebraska, I'm craving a good Spring shopping spree! But, until I have the time and a free day to do so, here are some of the things on my list for my Spring and Summer wardrobe!

Teal shorts from Delia's


Coral dress from Francesca's






Cute casual outfit from Pinterest





Source: southernpiphi.tumblr.com via Chelsey on Pinterest
                                                         Fun bright crops from Pinterest



                                 White blazer with a colored tank underneath from Pinterest

                                 Where is your favorite place to shop for spring clothes?
                                                                Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

No BlogHatin here...all Bloglovin!


I'm joining the Linkup with these lovely ladies to get all of our blogs switched over to Bloglovin'!

I'm slowly starting to figure out how to navigate the Bloglovin' site, so if anyone has any helpful tips, please let me know!

I did find it nice that I could get my reading list from Google transferred to Bloglovin' without having to do them all individually. And I did get the Bloglovin' widget added to my sidebar, so people can follow me from there if they want!

So, go ahead, follow me through Bloglovin', along with the awesome hosts of this linkup!!

And don't forget that TODAY is the last day to join our Blog Madness Bracket Challenge!


FollowtheRuels

Click HERE to enter your bracket!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Challenge America



Any of you Biggest Loser fans?? Ryan and I have been watching this season, and I just love the show! It's so inspiring and amazing to watch the transformations of all of the contestants! And this season, their theme was to Challenge America to be healthier and also tackle childhood obesity.

Last night, the Biggest Loser Season 14 finale was on and the winner was...

DANNI!!!

She lost 121 pounds, 46.9% of her body weight!!

I loved Danni on the show, she was so competitive and fun to watch! And I think I liked her because she is close to me in age also. Even though Danni won, all of the contestants did so awesome and it was really neat to see their before and after pictures.

And I loved the trainers too, although I wonder if I could make it through some of their workouts. And I'm pretty sure Jillian could make me cry, she can get pretty scary intense sometimes!


Look at those faces!! YIKES!


Speaking of crying, since I am a woman, I cried during multiple episodes this season when things got emotional on the show. Ryan sat next to me and laughed, but I don't care, these people and their stories just really got to me some weeks.

Were you happy with the winner? Any favorite parts from this season?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans + Blog Madness

Linking up my Shenanigans with Sami!





1. Walk with my husband Thursday evening outside.
2. First use of our grill this year, yeah! (the wonderful cook)
3. Our delicious meal.
4. Spent my day Friday subbing at my mom's school, and got to go on a long walk with her after school.
5. Watched The Lucky One with my mom and a couple friends.


6. Got to go on a nice long run Saturday with my running buddies, felt good! Less than 50 days till the half marathon.
7. Helped our nephew Cael set up his Thomas the Train set.
8. Celebrated our niece's birthday!
9. She's 2!
10. Spent the day at our hometown Catholic school fundraiser.

That was my weekend!

I'm finally on Bloglovin, so go follow me if you wish!


And, a few blog friends and I are hosting a Blog Madness Bracket Challenge, go find out about that by clicking here!




  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blog Madness Bracket Challenge


Are you a college basketball fan? Or do you just put up with it because the man in your life is? Well, regardless if you are a fan or not, Jessa, Lindsey, and I hoping to make March Madness even more fun for you! We are hosting a blog bracket challenge for all of you during this year's NCAA tournament!

We are hosting the bracket challenge through Yahoo!. If you are the big winner, you will win a $30 Visa gift card and ad space on 7 awesome blogs.

1/2/3/4/5/6/7

Here are the rules:
1. Sign up here. You can log into Yahoo! with either your Yahoo!, Facebook, or Google log-ins.
2. Enter your picks (you can get your sports-loving husband to fill it out for you) by 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, March 20th.
3. Add your link below so we know how to get in touch with you if you win.
4. Check back to see how well you are doing!

That's it!

Of course, we would love it if you would follow along with us through GFC, Twitter, Bloglovin, or your social network of choice, but it is not mandatory. Also, feel free to grab a button and put it on your blog so people know you are participating, and maybe engage in some friendly smack-talk.

Good luck!! I'll be cheering for the Kansas Jayhawks and Creighton Bluejays...what's your favorite team?



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Thoughts and It's Ok

Linking Up today with Amber, Neely, Jaime and Jamie!

Simple Southern Ways

Its Ok Thursdays

Yeah! It's my Friday today and I'm super excited for a three day weekend! If I can just make it through work today, I will be golden. And we are finally supposed to be getting warmer weather in the next few days, so I'm ready for it to melt that snow we got and move on to Spring!

Did you guys hear that we have a new Pope?!? He is Pope Francis, and he is the first pope from Latin America. You can go find out more here!

Here's a few things that have been ok with me lately...

IT'S OK...

...that I'm excited for our St. Patrick's Day food day today at work, I'm bringing these delicious crockpot meatballs

...that I'm happy my team won our volleyball league tourney last night for the second year in a row during the spring session

...that I am dreading the cleaning I need to do around our apartment soon

...that I'm super pumped for Selection Sunday and March Madness, so many great basketball games coming up (Go Jayhawks and Creighton Bluejays!!)

...that I'm really wanting to go spring clothes shopping after seeing some great posts about new spring attire

...that I ordered some new subway art prints, and I'm excited to use them to decorate for the different holidays

Thanks for stopping by!!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My #1 Relationship

This weekend at mass, the priest had a really simple, yet wonderful message in his homily! He reminded all of us there what we should already know and made us profess it to multiple times during his talk...

My #1 Relationship is with God!!

I know that I constantly need work on this. Some days, I can truly say this, but some days, I fail at even getting close to this. In his homily, the priest reminded us that God should always be first in our lives. Everything else should revolve around Him and our relationship with Him. If He is our #1 relationship, then all of our other relationships will go better.  Another anology is that our relationship with God is like a wagon wheel, Him being the center support and everything else like the spokes. 

In order for God to be my #1 relationship, I need to spend time talking to him all throughout the day, constant communication! This could be through prayer, reading Scripture, spiritual music, meditation, or just silent listening. Some days, I do a good job of praying and talking to God during the day and giving Him enough of my time, but other days I put things such as work, friends, money, TV, internet, or my phone ahead of the Lord.

I think it is important to set aside a specific time each day for prayer or Scripture, so that it becomes a routine for us. I try to do mine right away in the morning to start my day with the Lord. That way, I do it and don't leave it for any leftover time later in the day, which I tend to put towards other things or just make excuses that I don't have time.

Anyone else struggle with this or have suggestions to remember to pray more throughout the day? I do a pretty good job in the morning and right before bed, but it's the time inbetween that I have trouble with.

As the priest told us, when things in our lives aren't going how we would like them, it's time to step back and see where God is, because if he's not our #1 relationship, that's probably why everything else is out of place.

May God bless all of you and help you to keep Him #1 in your lives!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Liebster and Versatile Blogger Combo

Rules:
  • thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • include a link to the person who nominated your blog
  • select 15 blogs/bloggers that you have recently discovered or frequently visit and nominate them for the award.
  • include a link to all 15 of the blogs/bloggers that you want to nominate.
  • and lastly, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.


RULES:
1. Link back to the person who nominated you
2. Write 11 facts about yourself once nominated
3. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you
4. Come up with 11 questions for the 11 people you nominate

First of all, thanks to these lovely ladies for nominating me!!
Toby's Tails
Jaime @ Toby's Tails


Simple Southern Ways
Jamie @ Simple Southern Ways


AL
Danielle @ Sweet Pea Pod
 
So...I'm going to sorta combine the two in my post, so here goes nothing!
 
Facts About Me:
1. I have now been married for almost 10 months, yeah!
2. I love to read, especially anything with suspense or murders.
3. I'm a big KU basketball fan, Rock Chalk Jayhawk.
4. I'm a very picky eater.
5. I love anything pasta related, it gets cooked in our house alot.
6. My favorite sport is basketball.
7. I love Pinteresting ideas for my future dream home
8. I wish I could stay at home and do crafts every day.
9. I enjoy the Ellen Show very much, it makes me laugh!
10. Cookie dough and me get along very, very well.
11. I secretly wish I had a personal fashion guide to tell me what to buy and what looks good.

Answers to Jamie's questions:
1. Favorite Mascot?! Lil Red from Nebraska
2. Favorite Food and/or go to restuarant?! Ruby Tuesday
3. If you were in a burning fire and had to take one thing other than people or pets, what would it be?! My Laptop
4. What's the longest road (car) trip you've ever been on? from Nebraska to New Orleans, about 18 hours
5. Why do you enjoy blogging? Meeting new people and learning new things
6. What's something on your bucket list?! Go to Europe
7. What's your biggest fear?! not living life to the fullest
8. What's your favorite past time?! going on a nice walk/jog outside
9. How do you relax?! with a good book
10. Favorite accessory? :) currently, a black cross bracelet I have
11. Why did you start blogging and do you feel you have a theme, what is it?!
I started because a friend encouraged me to, and it's a great way to post things about what's going on with me


Answers to Danielle's questions:
1. What is your dream home? an open floor plan and a huge porch and deck
2. What is your favorite song and why? right now, I'm loving "Strangely Dim" by Francesca Battistelli 
3. Who is your celebrity design alter ego? (ex: Nate Berkus, Martha Stewart, Holly Becker @ Decor8, etc). not really sure
4. What is your favorite blog post you have ever done and why?
hmmm... I think that's a hard choice, probably any of my linkups because it's fun to linkup and see what others are up to
5. What are 3 of your favorite blogs and why do you love them?
not going to pick only 3, because I love different things about all of the blogs I read
6. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
since July of 2012, and for why I started, refer to question 11 above
7. "I'll ----------- if it's the last thing I do". enjoy life
8. Best vintage or decor find of all time? didn't find it, but my friend painted a saying on an old window for us for our wedding and I love it
9. What is a home trend that you have tried/followed that you've regretted? ??
10. Who is your favorite author? probably J.K. Rowling
11. Favorite Pattern? if I had to say right now, I would say stripes

My Questions For You
1-Favorite Easter candy
2-Best thing you're looking forward to about summer
3-Are you a baker or a cook?
4-What's the best vacation you've been on?
5-Favorite restaurant 
6-Earlybird or nightowl?
7-Favorite movie
8-Best thing about blogging
9-Iphone or Android?
10-Pepsi or Coke products?
11-What is a goal you have for this year?

And finally...
MY NOMINEES:

Ashley @ Ash Ann Pow


Thanks for reading this looonnnggg post! And go give some support to my nominators and nominees!


 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

Monday is looming again and I'm not excited about it... but I am excited about having a great weekend, so I'll share that with you!



Friday...

We went to watch the state basketball semifinals that our hometown team was playing in, and one of my cousins is also on the team! After the game we went downtown with some friends to celebrate and drink!

A popular drink at the bar we went to, known as "Elk Creek Water"

A few of the friends I got to catch up with this weekend, as I failed in taking pics with the rest of them.

Saturday...

Saturday was spent at home doing alot of laundry, dishes, and I baked some chocolate chip cookies.



Saturday night, we had supper with some of my aunts, uncles and cousins before the game. Then we headed to the championship game at the Bob Devaney Sports Center! The Jaguars played a great game and won the state finals!! It was very exciting as it was the first year of our consolidated school with the town 6 miles down the road from ours! 



Photo thanks to the http://www.journalstar.com

Sunday...

Sunday we slept in, which felt wonderful and then had a lazy day! We watched the Creighton basketball team win the MVC tournament! And we chose not to go outside at all, thanks to a crappy snowstorm/blizzard that decided to come through the area and was much worse than the weather channel expected.




Photo thanks to http://www.omaha.com


Summary:

Friends + Family + Basketball + Relaxation Time = Awesome weekend!