“ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How well do you know me?

Wow...100 posts!  You know when I started blogging I wasn't sure if it was my thing, and if I even really wanted to.  But somewhere along the way I fell in love with it.  I don't even care if anyone reads my posts (well that isn't entirely true...), but it is a great outlet for me to get out my thoughts.  Blogging motivates me to do the things I say I want to do or accomplish because they are now out there for anyone else to see!  I have to follow through!  I also love sharing things that inspire me...whether they are words, images, etc.  

"A-Z All About Me"

Thank you so much to those of you who have followed me, encouraged me, inspired me. Whether I know you personally or through the blog world your words mean a lot to me.

For those of you who don't know me personally I thought I would do a little A-Z "get to know me" list of things that I love, am inspired by, or silly little facts about me!  I hope you enjoy!

A: Artist at heart. I have no real training, but I have loved drawing/painting since I was a kid. One day I might actually show you some of my work!

B: Born in Santiago, Chile
Due to this fact I have dual-citizenship...now I just need to find the money to travel there!

C: I'm a little Crazy...and I don't care if people know it!
D: Date - My favorite date was when Justin told me he was taking me out somewhere for dinner but wouldn't tell me where. He had secretly packed up our entire dinner, margaritas, blankets, and took me to eat dinner on the beach at sunset! We laid there looking at the stars and talking for hours! :)

E: Elephants.  I used to dream I would have a pet elephant.  I started collecting little elephant miniatures from different countries as a girl and now have elephants from all over the world! :)

F: Flowers. I am turning into my mom! The older I get the more I love flowers and gardening! (This does NOT mean I have a green thumb!)

G: Green.  How I love green! It can be so soothing. The color of new leaves, and baby grass growing at springtime, the color of a bamboo forest, or of Palm leaves! I love the green in nature!
H: Happiest Moment - Probably when Justin told me he loved me for the first time...I still remember the giddy butterfly feeling I had!
I: Interior Style - Anything Southern, Tropical, or Exotic!

On our honeymoon at Montego Bay, Jamaica!
J: Jamaica (That is where we honeymooned!)

K: Kiss. My most memorable kiss would be the first time Justin kissed me. I still remember how soft and sweet his lips felt! :)

L: Lemons.  How I love lemons! I put them on every kind of salad or vegetable. I eat them plain. Unfortunately I am paying the price for this little habit...it destroys your enammel. :(

M: Movie.  Moulin Rouge...but a VERY close second is Pride & Prejudice (BBC version).

N: Not afraid to voice my opinion! 
I think this can be a good and bad trait! Gets me into trouble sometimes. 

O: Ocean - Oh how I love it!  The smell...the sound...the view! I could sit on the beach all day (or patio, deck, balcony, or whatever else you might want to imagine), and enjoy taking the ocean in with all my senses! 

P: Perfume - (winter) Victoria Secret's Very Sexy, (summer) Georgio Armani's Acqua di Gioia

Q: Quiet moments.  I love to find a quite space (my patio, reading chair, hammock, etc) and take time to reflect, think, pray, read, or just listen to the wind and chimes in my back yard.  There is something so peaceful about finding these moments in my back yard. I relish these moments.

R: Read - Favorite read would have to be the Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
It is about a Jewish slave girl who stands up for her faith and gets thrown to the lions in the Roman arenas. An amazing series!

S: Song - Follow Love by FFH
I am starting to think this is my theme song for my life...I seem to move around a lot!   Check out the lyrics here!

T: Terrified of...Cockroaches!  Yuck! I am cringing just writing this!

U: Under the Sun...I love being under the sun, soaking up the rays, feeling the heat! I was born to live in the South!

V: Veggies!  I LOVE veggies! Spinach, Asparagus, Green Beans...you name it! Yummmm!

W: Weakness - DQ Snickers Blizzards! :(

X: I am "x-ing" this question because I can't think of a single thing relevant to me that starts with an X! Haha

Y: Yearn to travel.
I would love to travel to Bali, Greece, and Australia one day.  I also really want to take a cruise to Chile, my birthplace.

Z: Zealous about my husband!
(That can be a good and bad thing...sometimes I allow it to get in the way of other important things, and take to much of my focus. But I am crazy about him!)

Well, hope I didn't completely bore you!  I would love to get to know you more too! Feel free to post a like or dislike of yours in the comments!

~ Elle

Monday, February 27, 2012

Struggling to Cope...

I don't know how much more of this I can handle. My husband has been gone since January 10th. I thought I was doing so well. But it is all hitting me like a ton of bricks this week.  We aren't meant to be separated this long.  It isn't natural.  Especially with all communication shut off. We only get letters, and those are two weeks behind!  
I hate that I barely had time to make any memories with him in our new house before he left. I can barely remember him there.  At one point I loved the new house because it felt so cozy, but now it just makes me feel lonely, and realizing that he isn't around.  I still have 2 1/2 months left before he comes home and I pray this is just a short low point I am going through and will quickly get over it.  I never sleep in the middle of the bed because I don't want to get used to sleeping on my own. I don't want to get used to not having my husband around. I don't want to get used to feeling lonely.  How am I supposed to get used to him being gone?  How do I act like I am fine when I feel like half of me is missing? 
I'm trying to be strong but I will admit I am not feeling strong this week. I pray God gives me the renewed strength I need to get through the next month. Four more weeks till I get to see him...that isn't so long...right?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Redhead or Raven?

Ok, I am in desperate need of your help!  I am going to go see my husband in less than 4 weeks and I need to make a decision!

Let's start from the beginning.  I've wanted to be a redhead for as long as I can remember!  So last summer I decided to go red.  It was a lot harder to keep up with than I realized! 

One, red dye doesn't last as long and your roots show so fast!  So I am always having to dye my hair.

Two, there are a lot of shades of red out there!  I am always trying a new red because I can't remember what I liked and I don't live near my favorite hair stylist!  I really need to find a new one closer! 

So now I am left with a dilemma...do I stay red for the summer or go back dark before I see Justin for his weekend pass?  He said he doesn't care, but I don't know what looks better on me.

Then if I decide to stay red I've got the dilemma of which red! There are obviously more natural reds...

...and then not so natural reds....

Here are some photos of me with different shades of red to help you decide!

 Oh and here are a few of me with dark hair!

So what is your verdict!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pure Joy


a) An Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.  b) The expression or manifestation of such feeling.  c) To take great pleasure; rejoice.  d)  To fill with ecstatic happiness, pleasure, or satisfaction.   

That is what I felt when I got the call yesterday from Justin...pure joy! 
I almost missed it (it was during the 5 min I left my phone in the other room), but thankfully he called my brother-in-law's phone who was next to me!  I had all these things I wanted to ask him but as soon as I heard his voice my brain went blank.  I was just so happy to hear his voice!  To know he was ok and sounded positive.  We only had 10 minutes to talk.  It seemed like we had just said hello when he said he had to go, and that he loved me, then silence.  I cried after hanging up.  
The tears were a mix of joy, sadness, love, heartbreak...I just felt so overwhelmed with emotions. 
The neatest thing in all of this is that the phone call came on our engagement/dating anniversary.  February 18th is when we started dating 8 years ago, and 6 years ago it is when he proposed to me!  So to have him call on that exact day after not hearing his voice for over a month....was wonderful to say the least!

Not long after the phone call a letter came in the mail so that really helped to keep my spirits up!  It was such a sweet letter, and made me want to write him back immediately!  I also watched our wedding video, and wrote another 3 pages regarding my thoughts and realizations after watching our wedding again.  He has always been such a wonderful loving husband to me, and I have taken him for granted way to often! I never want to take another kiss, hug, touch, or act of kindness for granted again!  We wast so much time being selfish, prideful, or being just plain stupid!

Justin was only 21 when we got married, but he has never failed to be a loving husband!

 I have so much to rejoice for, but do I show joy through my attitude and life?  I want my joy to shine out and be contagious!

Here are a few simple pleasures that bring me joy in my life!

Going Barefoot
Sunshine on my skin



The Ocean

My husband...

 ...who always keeps me laughing even when I don't want to!
 How can I not laugh at such craziness?
 (forgive my dogs alien eyes...bad camara)
 I never know what he might do next! 

Think about the little things that give you joy, and the big reasons you have to rejoice!  I promise you there are many if you look for them!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Emotions

Ok, so I thought I would be a lot tougher on Valentine's Day!  I thought Valentine's Day?  No problem!  I thought, no big deal...right?

My day started off bad to begin with. I had a miserable migraine all day.  I took the two girls I nanny to dance class, and all the moms were complaining about there husbands not getting them what they wanted, or not being romantic enough.  I didn't hear one comment that sounded loving and appreciative!

Everything was just making me emotional on top of the fact that I hadn't gotten a letter from Justin in a week.  I felt like we had lost all communication and I was feeling very down.  I prayed all morning that I would get a letter.  It was my only wish.
To get one love letter from him...

When I got home I went to check the mail I didn't see a letter right away and wanted to cry. Then I saw the letter tucked way in the middle, and I DID cry!  Tears of pure relief and overwhelming, unexplainable emotions!  

Then I continued to cry the whole way through the letter! It was a mixture of happy and sad tears.  It was dated 2/14/2012 to let me know he wrote it specifically for Valentine's Day.  It was the sweetest letter I've gotten from him so far.  It almost didn't sound like him.  Justin isn't a sappy kind of  guy, and while this letter was not super sappy, it was sincere, honest, and loving.  It was just what I needed at this moment in time. It addressed all my fears and concerns.  Reading Justin's thoughts made me realize he is going through just as much self reflection as I am.  I am not going to go into detail about everything he wrote in the letter, but he did thank me for always standing behind him, supporting him, and believing in him.  

I can't even explain how much I miss him right now. I feel like half of myself is missing.  This whole experience is an emotional roller coaster ride!  One moment I think I am doing great and the next I'm an emotional wreck! I'm never quite sure how I am going to handle each day!   Justin says I am strong, but I sure don't feel strong at the moment!

I hope my husband is feeling my love throughout all this.  I wish I could tell him in person. For those of you who can, take advantage of it!

 Take the time to tell the people you love how much they mean to you.  Don't take a single day for granted.  Don't hold back.  Don't let your pride or anger get in the way.  You never know when you stop getting chances to tell them!   You never know when "later" is "too late". 

I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day!

~ Elle~

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Made with Love

I am very sad that Justin isn't around to make a romantic Valentine's Day dinner for this year. I do thoroughly enjoy preparing a romantic dinner.  Since I can't prepare one for Justin this year I thought I would share some wonderful ideas for those of you who do have someone special to share it with! 

Start the evening off with this Liquid Sensation: Romeo & Juliet Cocktails

For the Salad: I love these Two Hearts Glazed Shrimp Salad. I think it looks so romantic!

Sumptuous Main Course:  Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze

 If Cheesecake isn't your thing you can never fail with Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!

Don't forget to set the atmosphere! Here are some ideas to help!

1.  Fresh flowers on the table will help with some color and romance!


2. Take your dinner outdoors! 


3. Mood lighting is a MUST!


4. Dining in front of the fire is soo romantic!

Now you better get to planning and shopping! The stores are already a madhouse with Valentine's Day pre-planners! Good luck!

~ Elle