Friday, September 30, 2011

the city flea

i'm a few weeks behind if you can't tell but i hate to miss a thing.  my sweet friend cory sent us a link to the city flea which i think has been running all summer in cincinnati.  from the site it looked like there might be a billion vendors there, and the name 'city flea' gave me hope that we would definitely be treasure hunting [aka gold diggin'].  we were already in nky because this was part of anniversary weekend so why not catch the tail-end of the flea's season.  unfortunately, i'm thinking the vendors may have thinned out and they only filled up one small lot.  i'm not saying it wasn't fun or neat but i didn't find the gold mine i had hoped for.  i really wanted a bench.

we did find one gem...drew lachey. 
i whispered to ben and his brother, "its the guy from 98 degrees", i'm sure i spoke super suspiciously & with all the uncoolness that i have.  i didn't have to guts to go say anything to him.  i have no idea what i would have said.  "nice day for the flea, eh?"

as we left ben said, "all i want to know is why drew lachey is eating hotdogs in an alley."

baaaaahahah to his credit, he was with his kids.  and it was a nice 'alley'.

my only purchases were some $1 books [kind of the opposite of a bench] but i love them anyway.  i love the covers.  all books should be so lovely.

oh, and happy weekend friends.  i hope it is filled with all things great.  i have big and little plans for family time, painting furniture [perhaps], sweet time with benny & friends & even crafting for future parties.  i'm still on a mission to capture life via film.  i'll update soon.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

why we don't go to the store.

so about two or three weekends ago i got some kind of stomach bug.  i mean i was real sicky.  ralphing up a lung, all morning, all day.  went to urgent care [thought i might have toxic shock aka i'm a hypochondriac], couldn't sit in the waiting room so i laid in my car until they called me. i got sick while mr. nurse was trying to weigh me / get my blood pressure.  can't they see i'm dying!  who cares how much i weigh?!  laid on one of those hard beds in the dark, they gave me my first ever IV.  after i felt better i thought "i should have brought my camera."

benny was so sweet to take really great care of me.  he even made me a bed on the floor so i wouldn't keep sleeping on the bathmat.  i really couldn't stand up.  my sweet hubs also went to the pharmacy to pick up all my perscriptions [between a recent visit to the dermatologist and this stomach bug i had like a million rx's to get].  he finally made his way home, eventually i got to feeling better.  i walk in the kitchen and find this:
what in the what!?!
my sweet husband apparently also has a sweet tooth [or teeth]. 
yes that is 4 boxes of little debbie snacks.  yep as tall as me as they sit on the counter.  maybe i cussed.
please note: the 'big pack.'
this is why we don't go to the store.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

3 years of lovely matrimony :: anniversary weekend

so as i mentioned ben & i celebrated three great years of marriage earlier this month.  its funny how it can seem so short and so long all at once.  i guess because we have known each other for so long [pre-marriage] that marriage just seems like an extension of that.

our anniversary landed on a tuesday this year so we took the weekend before, labor day weekend, to be 'our weekend.'  this has been the tradition the past three years and i don't see it ending any time soon.  benny  had family [aunts, uncles & cousins] come in town for the holiday from chicago so for the first part of the weekend we got to be with them.  it was really nice to see them & visit.  ben went laser tagging with the kiddos, pop and uncle & i went to round up groceries with the ladies.  its really fun to be a part of such a hospitable, fun family.  we also got to go for walks and eat lunch with some of our best friends.

we came home sunday afternoon to have some date/alone/anniversary time.  we each kind of planned things for the other & it was really sort of perfect.  i kicked ben out of the house to set up a little something in the living room.  its been something i've been scheming and wanting to give him for months and months.  basically, ever since i saw these pics [below] i've been dreaming of building a fort to play in with my husband.  is that weird? 

anyway, mine wasn't nearly as perfectly executed or pretty but it didn't matter, a bundle of pillows and blankets, poms and sheets and we had a really sweet hangout spot for the weekend.  we ate dinner in the fort, we watched movies in the fort, we slept in the fort [twice two nights...hilarious correction for my friends whose minds are in the gutter, we literally slept, like rem].  quality time is something i really cherish so it was basically pure bliss.

monday morning wasn't exactly as planned since rain just kept pouring but we decided to move along with our day nonetheless.  ben had planned a trip to the gorge for us, a little day hike.  neither of us knew where we were going but it didn't really matter.  it was a wonderful adventure together. 
even in the rain, it was lovely.  God made the great outdoors pretty stinkin' great.  and since it was rainy we basically had the whole place to ourselves.  other than a giant millipede crawling on the hood of my raincoat [i know, traumatic] i wouldn't change a thing.
i only have car pictures because of all the rain.  i didn't want my camera to melt.

eventually we made our way out of the woods and back into civilization.  ben had planned a fancy dinner for us out at malone's and gave me the sweetest gift by picking out a dress for me.  he knew that i'd really love to see what he'd choose for me and he did a fantastic job.  it fit me perfectly and is just my taste.  i got to go out in my spankin' new dress on the arm of the most handsome man i know.  so good.  after utterly stuffing ourselves with some of the best food in lexington and enjoying sweet talks about life and the future we retired for the night knowing full well that we are abundantly blessed.

what a pretty dress right?  i wish you could see the neckline & all but it was too cool to not wear a jacket.

i have a fantabulous husband.  you are so dear to me!  here's to a million more forts, adventures, dates, dances, laughs, drives & dinners together.  you're the best.

30 day challenge: update 1

as of today i should have 11 photos [i think] for my 30 day photo challenge.  i have 3, tomato .. potatoe, right?  maybe we'll pretend that i started 3 days ago?  agreed, ok.  like i mentioned i have a bunch of learning to do & this challenge has already been mighty beneficial. i'm excited to see what else is in store as a fumble through capturing life.  and just fyi, these aren't in order of 'days'.  just shots as they come, from the challenge list.
duh.  my hubs = someone i love.  its really super fun to live with your best friend.  benny was making din din, we had never made chicken in pan that wasn't going to end up as a fajita so he was being an experimenter.  it was sweet. those blurry things in the bottom are tongs.

shot 17 is 'on a shelf'.  my bestie cory got me this bad a typewriter for my birthday [that is juuusst around the corner] and i'm obsessed with it.  it needs a little spiffing up [tape removal, box's currently screwed in?] but it is just darling.  we were wandering around peddlers mall when i found it.  i left it there even though it was the least expensive typewriter i'd ever seen and i super duper wanted one [or twenty].  i told myself that it wasn't a necessity and that i should just ask for one as a gift someday.  we walked around more and more and i got to thinking, well what if whoever i ask can only find those really expensive ones, i don't want other people spending all that.  the little flashing sign in my head kept saying "buy me! buy me!" cory and rach were conspiring with ben to get it for me covertly but after an hour of fixation they just had to go ahead and tell me that i was getting it, benny couldn't keep a secret.  and it was awesome.
shot 1: self portrait is real awkward.  i see blogging girls all over the place that can take pics of themselves or have their significant others take pics of them by themselves.  they look fearless and fun and i felt like "uhh...i'm standing in my backyard taking pictures of myself.  i'm awkward."  oh, and second thought, i need lip gloss.
but i did learn a lot about focusing a picture on timed shots after taking about 20 out of focus shots [see below].  this was the blurriest i got, i'm kind of proud of it.  i don't think i could have this much 'unfocus' if i tried.  i had read how to do this a million years ago at under the sycamore but since i never put it into practice it didn't make sense.  but after battling for a long while i remembered what sweet ashley had explained and it worked like a charm.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

this is my life

this morning.  6:50 am.  grab snacks, mountain dew, bible, bag, purse, camera, keys.  go to the car, the keys only go halfway in the ignition.  the steering wheel is doing that lock thing where you have to jiggle it for the keys to turn.  i keep jiggling but no good.  i'm meeting a friend at 7, i really gotta go.  i go wake up my sleeping bear of a husband.  he's not really happy but he helps his struggling wife start her car, probably thinking i'm a dumb dummy.  he jiggles the wheel. nothing's happening.  he takes out the keys, they go to a different car. 


happy tuesday.  here's some lionel richie.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

oh my sweet carolina

after maybe the sickest weekend of my life i am back in action & PTL, health has come in the nick of time!  tonight i'm hitting the road and heading to south carolina for a weekend full of 'matromony & merriment.'  our sweet friends, andy & shannon are tying the knot & we're so excited to celebrate with them.  i love adventures and am so hyped for this time filled with friends that i love, it will really be precious.  my car is loaded & now i'm just waiting for the clock to say it's time to go.

 and for life is looking a little more like this [below] than that [above].  :)
example #1  this morning's conversation with the bride:

me: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
i wish you could have seen me the last 12 hours
you would have been laughin your butt off...i'm literally craaaaaazy
i cant wait to see you!

shannon: hahaha why so crazy?
me: well i mean just trying to get all collected to leave town for 4/5 days for a WEDDING...bringing goodies from all our friends, meeting with little girls, trying to buy hairspray and then getting scared (can we go to the store together?? ahahah)

Shannon: hahaha yes we can

me: there are just so many. and doni told me a good kind and said target might have it but they didnt so i didnt know what to do. i almost bought one brand that looked nice but wasnt outrageous priced and then i thought it might be for black people hair
so i bought a shower curtain 
images [in random order] a, b, car, fist pump, e, f

Friday, September 16, 2011

photo challenge

i wasn't kidding when i said i wanted to challenge myself & my capabilities.  i don't need to be a pro, i just want to be proficient enough to like my own pictures. so starting today [or tomorrow] this is my goal.  the challenge originated here & i'm obviously a month behind the creator but here goes!  i'm going to accomplish one a day, maybe in the order listed but maybe not.  i don't have much time during the day and shooting at night is difficult [duh] so i may just have to get what i can or double up a few times on the weekends.  maybe this should say shot 1, shot 2, etc. instead of 'day'...that just makes more sense for me, but still i'm going to try and accomplish it in a month.  so on oct. 17 you'll be hearing me pat, pat, pat myself on the back for a job well done completed.  i'll post my shots along the way, if i don't get too embarrassed.  if anyone would like to join me...come along for the ride!  i'd love to see creativeness my friends are cookin' up out there.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


72 hours and no pictures to show.  ironically, after carrying my camera around nearly non-stop for days [in my purse not meant for carrying nice cameras] i did not take a single picture.  i was even looking to take pictures of the most mundane tasks but when it came down to it i was either embarrassed because i was in public or just didn't feel inspired.  i was even prepared to take a pic of me eating my fazoli's kids pizza but the tables full of strangers deterred me.  i know what you're thinking, 'didn't  you just walk around kroger as a horribly dressed man?' yes, yes i did.  but i guess its just different when you're all alone taking pictures of pizza.  i need to get over it and just go for it.

there was an opportunity for the most gorgeous picture 2 days ago, but i left my camera in the car far away.  [go figure]  i was walking through the park with a friend - a loop i had never done before and there were hills & hills full of tall grass.  the sun was setting behind them so the tops of all the little fuzzy heads were glistening.  it really was such a pretty scene.  i'm going to swing back by soon, maybe this weekend, and hope that they haven't mowed all the 'pretties' away.  oh, and that i don't get lost trying to find those hills.  i don't think you can put "hills" into a tom tom.

here's to better luck next time! 

and here are some fails that weren't mine to brighten your day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

well you know what they say... neither.

just stopping by for a little chat.  i felt like heidi klum just then "we're going to have a little chat and then we'll have you come back out".  i don't really have anything poignant or witty or deep to share today but since my posts are so infrequent these days i thought i should record something even if its not the somethings that i really hoped to capture.

so maybe a little recapping & 'chatting' will do until i can really post [whatever that means].

people without iphones are really at a disadvantage when it comes to pictures on the go.  right now my husband is likely screaming at his screen because he desperately wishes he had one.  but as you may know i am real anti the whole data-package-we-can't-afford-slash-being-on-my-phone-all-the-time thing.  the only thing i wish i did have is a sweet camera like that, that fits in my pocket, that i could capture little moments without having to have a bigger camera around, sometimes its just not practical.  but since that is not my reality, and the reality is that i have a super sweet camera that i'm still getting acquainted with i am going to challenge myself a bit more.  i'm going to start lugging this beast around and capture life with it.  those are my favorite pictures, life ones.  that's why i wanted it in the first place.  remember?
sure i'd like to capture extra special events and all but i really just love the pictures that 'tell a story' like ashley ann says.  i'm not really good at doing that [yet] but how will i ever get better if i don't practice!  next monday i'm going to link up [here] for this blogger's photo challenge, i figure that's a great place to start. i just stumbled upon her, dear lizzy and i kind of love her & her hubs.  they really make me want photoshop.  a lot.

we had our first club of the year last night.  i always kind of get a pit in my stomach before club and feel a sense of pressure / stress in preparating for it.  i know the true things about what club is for but i still struggle. i know that it is just a hangout [a divine hangout] where kids can come, feel well loved, have fun, break down stereotypes about Jesus & hear about a God who loves them.  its not about program, its not about being funny enough or having kids think that we're awesome, its not about putting on a show or being the most popular thing - but i get caught up in it being successful or going well [with a distorted, unbiblical view of what is success and what it means to go well].  i'm well aware that i'm living out this flawed thinking but i still have the pit.  i'm praying a bunch that God will renew my mind in that and that for the next 13 weeks my team and myself can go after kids for the Kingdom and not let our own insecurities and pride get in the way.  i hope that God gets all the glory!  if you lead young life and need an awesome reminder of why we run club listen [here].  it takes a long time to load, just wait for it.  i literally could listen to it once a week.

and way more awesome that my pit, was that God was so faithful and sweet to us last night.  there were about 50 kids piled into tommy's garage and it was a beautiful thing.  there were four or more things [events, games, etc.] going on up at the school and i just worried that we had picked a night that people would rather be somewhere else [note insecurities above].  even if it had been 15 kids we still would have been truly blessed to be in the presence of these friends, preaching the gospel of grace.  there were lots of new faces and we had fun together.

ben thinks we have a ghost in the house.  well there may be two, we've had two encounters.  one was about a month ago.  ben kept waking up and asking me if i was awake [which i wasn't, its the middle of the night].  then he claims the bed shook [the same bed i was in] and he heard footsteps, maybe like baby footsteps.  a baby ghost?  is there anything creepier?  once i thought there was someone chainsawing our deck around 2 am and insisted that ben go check and ask them to stop.  so we may have learned that sometimes when we think we're awake, we may not be.  this most recent ghost siting was 2 nights ago.  there was a big 'boom' in the corner of the room.  ben saw that there was lightning outside but insists that the boom was not in fact thunder but instead a ghost or possibly aliens - like an adult not a baby one.  of course.

in other news, two benches i'm seriously coveting:

i have the perfect place in the living room for one of these.  it needs to have a vertical back, or no back at all because it can't stick out very far from the wall since it is pretty close to a doorway.  this needs to happen!

i spent most of saturday this past weekend wearing a mustache and drinking milk while adorning giant boy hightops and a tee that says "i'm here lets party."  we did see family and friends as well as stores full of strangers.  i don't know if embarrasment is the right word.
 at least i got to be a man with my good friend ang :) aka mang

posts to come:
anniversary weekend
dresses i'm excited to wear
[a delayed version of] my favorite excerpt from narnia
a crapton of pictures [this will happen, mark my words...once i take them]

Thursday, September 8, 2011

a mini-blog tour

so a short while ago my sweet friend ang updated my bloggity blog for me through her new design business.  i couldn't be more excited with the way it turned out.  it really makes me genuinely happy to look at this place where so many memories are & will be collected and know that even the tiny details kind of sum up who i am and what i love.

i couldn't get my act together quickly enough to launch the new blog and all the little pieces i had wanted at one time.  it still isn't fully complete but rather more complete than before so i thought i might as well give a little overview for those of you who haven't poked around yet, those who looked around and found blank tabs up until this week or just if you didn't know how [perhaps you're my grandma and never heard of a navbar :)].

i made a little key for you to follow but really if you just click through the pages i know you'd get the jest.  i don't mean to over-complicate. i'm just wordy.  so so wordy.  so anyway....the navbar
[1] home: self-explainatory.  this will bring you back to the home page of {with grace & lace} should you get lost in a jumbled cyber-space knot & not know how to get out.
[2] life with b & j:  this is kind of like an 'about us' section.  an overview of who we are and what we're about.  i wrote this months and months before i had made any other tabs [aka 'pages'] so it likely needs some updating.  i feel like its just a quick snapshot into our lives, hope to make you feel like a friend around here.
[3] built on rock: here i share some details about our faith and really the heart of what we're all about - the intention behind how we live.  i hope to write out some specifics of God's story [which is far more important than our story] very soon in this section - perhaps someone may get to hear it for the first time!
[4] into the kingdom: since so much of our life revolves around our ministry i just wanted to give a little background about young life and why we do it.
[5] contact: how to get in touch with us, we love people!
[6] unlisted: heck yes that is a little bike built for two.  so stinkin' precious.

some other little tid bits located on the sidebar:
this button will just take you to my blogger profile. nothing too fantastic to see but if you'd like to check out a full list of the blogs i follow you can find that here. my 'daily reads' & 'my sweet friends' listed on the right sidebar are a more condensed version of my favorites & besties' blogs too.

and this next little button is especially special to me.  as i'm sure you can read, this will take you to our story, all that lead up to ben & i becoming mr & mrs.! 

my facebook & pinterest accounts are also linked on the right sidebar.  look at me being ms. social media. [i actually hate computers, what a twisted web we weave].

other than that i'm sure you can find your way around, it's not real complicated around here.  my middle name is simple [it's actually ann but you know].  i was just excited by some of the new & updated features and wanted to point them out.  i may add more along the way, who knows what that may mean but yeah, talk a walk around! 

am i missing anything?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

three years ago today...

three years ago today i was on my way to this church...
to primp and prepare
take care of all the little details
try and be just right for my waiting groom
with help & support from so many family & friends
we were 'ready' to become husband & wife.  for always.
 the wait, the anticipation
was finally coming to fruition.
we exchanged vows, promises, prayers & praise
i say again to you today:  i take you, ben, to be my husband, before God who brought us together; to love and respect you out of reverence for Christ. i promise to follow you as you follow the example of Jesus, serve beside you and share in this life the joys of knowing Christ. that through His grace, we may grow together into the likeness of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. ever honoring God’s guidance by His Spirit through the Word and throughout our lives I pledge to you my life as a loving and faithful wife.

we may have exchanged a kiss as well. 
in the presence of many witnesses we made a covenant with each other & the Lord to be united as one.  and have been celebrating ever since.

colossians 3:12-17
"therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. forgive as the Lord forgave you. and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. and be thankful. let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
1 john 4:7-12
"dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  this is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. no one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."


i was looking at you yesterday and in our fort and you asked me if something was the matter.  i was at the brink of tears because i was [am] so incredibly thankful to have you as my husband.  it's overwhelming really.  how is it that God has so graciously saved us from so much and on top of that has blessed me beyond measure with a partner like you?  i don't deserve your sweet patience and your servant's heart.  thank you for the grace & love that you pour out to me even when i'm difficult.  thank you for growing with me, serving with me, dreaming with me and chasing after Christ with me.  [apart from grace itself] you're the best gift i've ever gotten.

i love you dearly.  happy anniversary.