Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm Moving

Well just my blog that is! I love this blog. I will keep it up so that I can refer back to the miracles and messages that God taught me over the past 2 years. But as I began redesigning the blog I figured the whole platform was changing and I felt led to focus more on the design side of things. Of course, as always, God is the center of my designs and will continue to try and glorify him through my work.

So drum roll please.... Announcing my new blog Redesign That!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year Just Do

First of all, sorry for my extremely delayed blog post. Much to the dismay of Kitty Lynn, we traveled the majority of December visiting residencies and family across the southeast. I feel like this is the first official week of the New Year for me.

I finally have started back with my internship, got a 2 to 3 day a week part time job and enrolled in my first online design course. I felt like now that I embraced 2011 mid January it was due time to discuss resolutions.

I have also begun training for the Mercedes half marathon again and I have about 5 weeks to go to race day. I currently have a 10 miler staring me in the face this weekend. As much as I dread these long runs I also enjoy them for several reasons. Often they push me, they allow me some time alone, I feel better or healthier after my runs, I get to check out the crazy fashion of Tuscaloosa co-eds (Uggs and Nike tempo shorts really??) and other times I just listen to upbeat music and zone out. But it was recently during one of my runs a verse popped into my head over and over again.

James 1:22 (New King James Version)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

I couldn’t shake the verse the whole run. In between a Ke$ha song and a Muse tune I did my best to meditate on what that means. Being a doer vs hearer and what that means to me in 2011.

According to the usa gov website here are the following top 10 resolutions.

* Drink Less Alcohol
* Get a Better Education
* Get a Better Job
* Get Fit
* Lose Weight
* Manage Debt
* Manage Stress
* Quit Smoking Now
* Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
* Save Money
* Take a Trip
* Volunteer to Help Others

Notice a trend among the ten resolutions listed? They each start with a verb that requires action. Something that involves doing. Get, Lose, Manage, Quit, Go, Stop, etc…

I think I am guilty of being a hearer and not listener. Blake can attest to this. I think same goes for my spiritual life. I tend to be someone who hears but doesn’t do. I want to change that in 2011. I want to be a doer! I want this New Year to be about doing.

Redesign: So I never read Eat Pray Love nor did I see Julia Roberts eating, praying and loving across exotic parts of the world but I definitely saw the book cover everywhere. So with that same idea in mind I decided to recreate with my own version of: Run Pray Learn.

In 2011, I want to Run not only on the streets surrounding my home but into the arms of my Heavenly Father.

In 2011, I want to Pray. I want to fall at the feet of God not only for life’s big decisions but in my daily walk.

In 2011, I want to Learn not just about graphic design but about who the person of Christ is and how I can become more like Him.

So there are my resolutions. I will be a Doer not a Hearer. I will Run Pray Learn in 2011.

I got the great idea from this cute blogpost to frame my resolutions like she did. So I will be checking out Hobby Lobby in the near future for the perfect quirky frame for my faux book cover resolution.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Perfect Christmas Tree

Today was the day we were going to get our Christmas tree. I have pictured this day in my head for quite some time. The weather is perfect. It's a nice mix of dreary December day with a romantic chill in the air. It smells like winter. I had always envisioned us waking up early. The new bride and groom getting out of their bed and sleepily walking into the kitchen, fixing coffee and sitting in their pajamas in the living room. The groom catching up on his sports center while the new bride grabs her computer to read the latest celebrity gossip.

They both eagerly get ready and dressed as they head out to pick their perfect Christmas tree. The bride wears her skinny jeans tucked into awesome "over the knee boots" (an early gift for herself perhaps) and a cozy turtleneck with an expensive cardigan she won from Lucky magazine. The groom is wearing his classic look, jeans and a plaid button down with converse. Very "jock hipster" as Dwight described Jim on The Office.

The couple would hop in their car, turn on their heated seats and head to the outskirts of town, maybe to a tree farm or over to the local charity tree sale. They would both be in their newly married world giggling and enjoying this time in their lives. Perhaps the bride would try and steal a kiss in between the trees or grab her groom's hand as they find the right tree to celebrate their first Christmas as husband and wife.

Then once the tree was picked and placed on the top of their car they would head back to their darling duplex for an afternoon of decorating and memory making. Just the two of them in their cozy home, adding lights and ornaments to their very first tree. They would set up the digital camera and take pictures by the tree, drink eggnog and and listen to Christmas music. Today would have been the day we were going to get our perfect Christmas Tree.

However, as some of you know, Blake has begun his residency interviews and over the course of November through January we will travel over 7,400 miles by car and plane visiting possible residencies. It seemed crazy to try to get a tree when we won't really be home to enjoy it during the month of December. So I have decorated our duplex and put out the small fiber optic tree on our dining room table that my Mom gave me forever ago. I have sacrificed not having a Christmas tree. It's really a small price to pay for our future. And I can have that same romantic day next year in our new home. And hopefully some day I can have that same perfect day as a family with our kids in tow.

I got to thinking about the amount of travel Mary and Joseph did during this time of year and 7400 miles in the comfort of a Honda Accord or Delta Airplane is nothing compared to over 100 miles on the back of a donkey full with child. But even more so, the fact that the Word became Flesh and left the realms of glory to dwell among us. Christ took the form of an infant, relying on someone else to feed him, burp him, clean him and provide his basic needs. He did all this so that he could ultimately one day find the Perfect Tree to lay down His life for me. What an eternal price to pay for our future! What an amazingly romantic day Christmas truly is.

John 1:14 (New International Version, ©2010)
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

So as you gaze at your own Perfect Christmas tree or perhaps your small fiber optic mini tree don't forget that this season is more about the other Perfect Tree.

Redesign: Obviously we will be traveling so much this season so please accept this little holiday card below as our Christmas Card. I would have loved to printed this out and mailed to all of you complete with our own little Christmas Tree. Maybe if I get a wild hair in between our trips I may print a few out! Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Design (with purpose)

While I was engaged I went to so many wedding blogs.  Almost every blog had new ideas and inspiration for my own wedding. There is a whole other world of really talented, creative people out there. Most of them are like 10 years younger than me and way more computer savvy.

Wedding blogs became a gateway drug to all blogs. I found photographer's blogs, stationary blogs, event planners, homemakers, fashion diva's, you name it and I probably found their blog.  Most of my internet "favorites" are other people's blogs.

I love to peak in on someone else's happy life. I love to see what a cute girl on the other side of the country baked today. I love seeing what some girl in the Big Apple stepped out of  her house wearing. I don't even know her and I am checking out her amazing fashion sense, nail polish or shoe closet.  I like reading about some amazing, exotic hotel in wine country that some lucky blogger was able to check out for the weekend. I gush over a newborn that belongs to a cute married couple living on the beach while running an interior design company. Seriously, it's an addiction but yet these people let me into their lives via a blog.   (Uh i realize i do the exact same thing by the way.)

During one of my days scouring blogs, I ran across a tour of a stationary designer's studio. I loved her style, the atheistic of her office space and her attitude.  My favorite thing was back in her office above her desk where she did most of her actual designing there was a piece of art that read, "design like you give a damn."  (Sorry for the language.) But it stuck with me.  Sadly, I have no idea what blog it was, where I can find it or if I dreamed it up. 

But something about that little phrase really stuck. Don't just haphazardly splash some lines on a page, design like you mean it, like you care, frankly, like you give a damn darn! So thus begins my career change. My hope to establish myself as a graphic designer who cares, who has a focus. 

My life currently is in a very odd phase.  It's a good phase just odd.  For the first time in my adult life, I am unemployed.  I have worked at least one job, typically two, since I started college.  And now here I am with no job at all. However, it isn't a bad thing for a lot of reasons. (On the exact same week I worked my final day at my job in Birmingham, Blake tore his ACL and will have surgery next Friday-totally different story but he's doing okay just keep us in your prayers!). 

I am still taking classes at least through the end of this semester and I found a pretty amazing internship at an ad agency.  I recently realized I am doing as much as I can to immerse myself in designing.  Instead of just being a Real Housewife of Tuscaloosa I decided I would make a mantra for myself: Design  (with purpose).

So that's just what I am doing right now. I am designing with purpose. I am trying to be as focused as possible on channelling this free time to create, dream, design and grow.  Of course I have anxiety about money and keeping afloat through the end of the year.  But as always, God's timing is perfect because this enables us to get through Blake's surgery, recovery, the holidays and all the travel that comes with his residency interviews.

Of course this Design (with purpose) not only is about my career but also about my walk with God. I want to be His Design (with purpose). I want to seek His will for my life. I will admit that isn't always easy. Sometimes I feel like I am just floating along. Praying here and there, reading my Bible when I need too, going to church when we can.  But that isn't what the Christian journey is about. It's about purpose and glorifying God through our jobs, daily life, service, and relationships. We can have purpose in the here, now and not yet.  Living in the moment and building up treasures for the not yet.

Philippians 2:13 (New International Version)
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Colossians 3:23-24 (New International Version)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Redesign: Besides my school work and the work I do at my internship, I also give myself a few side projects to get my creative juices flowing, to test my skills and to keep me designing. First I wanted to create something I could tack up on my fridge or at my desk to encourage me to keep going so I came up with the little layout below.

Then the next item is an inspiration board I am working on with a friend. (You know who you are!!) We are trying to come up with a logo for her new business venture. It's definitely in the early planning stages but the inspiration board has helped us both as we try to give the logo purpose and a focus!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trick or Treat

I know this is a few days overdue but I think since there are still pumpkins and spooky decorations garnishing doors on my street and candy in my kitchen it seemed timely. Halloween is somewhat of a controversial subject among believers so I am going to not even touch the topic as far as "is it or is it not okay to participate."

All I know is that in 2nd grade around a certain holiday week, at my Christian school we had a spelling test. The book had the word Halloween as one of our spelling words but the teacher changed it to Christmas so as not to offend some students. So being the studious 2nd grader that I was, I studied only the words on our test. Then I got sick on the day of the test and had to take the make up test. Would you believe the word Halloween was on our make up test?? Seems totally unfair. Even to this day I want to find out where Mrs. Weaver is and ask her about this injustice. Needless to say, I did not know how to spell Halloween, missed it on the test and still often misspell it to this day. Thank goodness for spell check!

Other than misspelling the word, Halloween brings back fun memories of dressing up and trick or treating in our childhood neighborhood.  Usually there was a little chill in the air, and Mom would make us eat dinner before we could go out and gorge ourselves on candy.  Dinner was always something easy like grilled cheese and tomato soup or hamburger soup.  There was always that one house that was scary to walk up to and had some hidden person ready to spook you before you rang the doorbell.  There were the kids that were a little too old to be out getting candy and they always rang the doorbell way after you were already home counting your candy.  You had the people who parked their cars on your street and let out a van full of kids to raid your turf's sweets.  The memories go on, not to mention the costumes.  I think I was a Pound Puppy, cheerleader, ballerina, Raggedy Ann, a box, little orphan Annie, and a cat, to name a few.

 Even now adults get really into the holiday.  Dressing up as a celebrity, movie or tv character, or even newsworthy reality stars seem to have been the top picks this year.  Why do we like retreating back to our childhood holiday?  Is it for the candy? The adrenaline rush of being a tad bit spooked?  Feeling childish?  I think there is something nostalgic about the fall and winter holidays that bring out the kid in all of us.  We get to fall back into the mindset of an easier time and let some of the worries of the world fall off our shoulders.

It would be nice to have the innocence and naivety of a child.  To not be held responsible for knowing the consequences of eating all your Halloween candy in your room long after your parents have gone to bed.  But sadly, we can't act like kids and get away with anymore.  We must increase our knowledge and behave as such.  We can't throw caution to the wind because that's what we did when we were in 2nd grade and nobody got mad.  Our words, our thoughts, our reasons and our actions all have adult consequences. 

Same with our faith.  We must put away or stop falsely relying on our "children's church" knowledge of the Bible and put into practice the amazing abundant life that Christ had in mind for us as we grow in our walk with Him.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

-1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (NRSV)

Just like Paul tells us in the above verses.  We put away our childish actions and see more now as adults and if we continue to abide in faith, hope and love we will begin to fully realize what is in store for us as children of God!

So I can still get dressed up or eat one too many pieces of candy this fall but I need to also know that my 2nd grade faith needs to grow up so I can begin to know more of the full faith, hope and love that God has for me.

Redesign: Something about the fall makes me want to carve pumpkins, eat chili and throw a party. I think these two invites would be pretty fun for just such a get-together.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I have really been feeling the urge to nest lately. We are finally unpacked and moved into our new place and even though we may only stay for just one year I am ready to nest. I want to make our darling duplex as much of a home as possible. I want to hang pictures on the wall, frame photos from our wedding day, buy new art, and decorate each room with a cohesive theme.

It probably doesn't help that I also have a very close friend who is expecting. I am by no means ready to launch myself into motherhood but looking at fabric choices for her nursery or possible furniture and other items to decorate with made me jealous of her nesting project. After we spent a weekend together at an art festival, shopping at several baby boutiques and comparing fabric samples, it was time to finally nest.

We have a very old house. It was built in the 1920s so we can't nail anything into the plaster walls. So in the midst of Blake trying to study for his test, I was making him hang artwork attached to fishing wire strung from hooks in the crown molding. It was a tedious task but so far we have 3 pieces of art hung in our living room. One room down and about 4 more to go. Thank goodness Blake is tall!

So what exactly does this "nesting" thing mean? Why do we do it? Why do we try to settle in? How do we nest?

Dictonary.com defines nesting as the tendency to arrange one's immediate surroundings, such as a work station, to create a place where one feels secure, comfortable, or in control.

For advice on nesting there are several places to look online. One popular site is TheNest.com. A website dedicated to love, living and life for the newly married. It's an online community that is similar to theknot.com. It describes itself as your 24-7 virtual married best friend that offers advice on everything from how to get your permanent roommate to pick up his dirty socks, to how to inspect a property when you’re buying your first home, to foolproof recipes for entertaining the in-laws.

And to go even a step further Nesting Newbies "for a home tweet home" is a digital magazine with online cooking segments, and informational blogs aimed at showing those who are new to nesting how to cook, entertain, and decorate. Also, I just so happened to win a huge prize pack from them for the month of October so I'm pretty pumped to get my swag in the mail and use some of the cool items to start nesting with.

Is nesting spiritual? Is it right to want to settle in and find a secure place? Is it okay to make a place feel like home? Actually YES! The answer can be found in Psalm 84.

Psalm 84
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

What a beautiful picture of nesting. The sparrow and swallow nest, they find a place to call home, where they can have their young, a place near His alter! We must separate the ideas of nesting here on earth vs nesting in the eternal. Tomorrow my kitchen-aid, new artwork and pottery barn duvet may all go up in smoke and I will feel empty and deflated. Yet, if my nest is found in His dwelling place, His alter, then may I continue to praise the Lord.

So while I may be nesting in my little duplex with Blake and Kitty Lynn, I will strive to continue nesting in the eternal house of God. It is the only place that I feel secure, comfortable and in control when my Father is in control.

As a part of my "redesign" I am going to try to incorporate a few of my own designs that apply to each post. Below is a welcome new baby card and an invite for a baby shower. Hopefully my collection will continue to grow as I grow as a designer!


Hello...hello out there? So sorry to have neglected the blogging world but I felt like anything I had to say fell short. I obviously got married, moved and began a new chapter in my life and realized this blog no longer served the purpose. I never blogged without reason before. I never came online and began talking unless it was because the Holy Spirit led me to type. Typically with each update of my parents there was a lesson or trial I too was experiencing.

I didn't want to just begin blogging because it's what married girls do. Or because it was time to talk aimlessly about my "new" life. I wanted a purpose and reason to type/talk to y'all.

And so a month passed, then another and now 3 months. Yep, 3 months ago today I said "I do!" It was an amazing day and has been an amazing journey thus far. God has definitely showed me many things about life through the eyes of marriage that I'm sure I will talk about on here at some point.

But I felt like the blog needed a redesign. It seemed a bit stale. Not that I didn't love having my parents on the header but it was comfortable. As in our Christian lives sometimes we need a redesign, something different from the comfortable. We need something to jolt us into that first love we experienced long ago when we decided to take the plunge into this relationship with Christ.

So welcome to my redesign. I have a new background in my signature color of course. I have a new little blurb about me and I also have a new perspective about life. This journey will always be about God in everyday life and circumstances. I'm ready to see what he has redesigned for us together.

Sorry if I have lost some of my 3 followers along the way but feel free to come back. It's an open dialogue and let's begin redesigning together!