Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful to be a Christian

This post is a bit late considering Thanksgiving was Thursday, but it's never too late to be thankful for something. 

It all started on Tuesday when Ellie showed up at work.  I'm not sure if I ever told all of the blog readers the whole story, so I guess I need to back up even further than Tuesday.

HMMM…let’s see…how far back should I start? At the beginning? Ok…

Let's go back to the summer of 2010. I had just returned back to work after a week at church camp. We had a big meeting that morning and they announced that ‘today was the last day to let your manager know if you are interested in going to Kuala Lumpur to help train.’ I went straight back to my desk, texted Gary and sent an email to my manager letting him know I was interested. The text I sent Gary said something like, ‘Wanna live in Malaysia for 6 months?’ He texted back ‘we could talk about when I got home.’ I was so prepared with my pro/con list when I walked in the door to find him lying on the couch. I closed the door, dropped my bags and got ready to present my case when he interrupted me with a hearty, “LET’S DO IT!!” We jumped and down and were so excited!! Of course then came the not-so-fun part of getting prepared and actually getting picked to go. I ordered my passport right before they upped the price, which only meant disaster and a long wait. I was finally pulled into the meeting with the manager and she offered me a 2 month span, but that just wasn’t good enough for me. I asked if I could go for the 6 months. Her face instantly went to shock and she asked if I was serious. She said she would have to get the approvals through, but she didn’t see why not. She then proceeded to ask several other people to go for the 2 months and the torch finally landed on Ellie. She left a few weeks before I did and was obviously there when I got there. She is a super fun girl to hang out with and has been traveling out of the country for years with her family. She isn’t new to long plane flights or hanging out in different cultures, so naturally when our team in the US was faced with having someone stay in Malaysia for 18 months she was the first one that popped in their heads. Gary, Jonathan and I were home for 2 weeks when she packed her bags to stay for the long-term.

Back to current day…

She came into the office on Tuesday and I asked her all about Malaysia. She said she liked it, her apartment, the people, but she just wasn’t happy. She has had some family members come and visit her, but it really hit her when her cousin was there and called her out. She told her she didn’t seem happy. That’s when Ellie realized that she wasn’t. She had a meeting with the ‘big’ manager when he was in KL to let him know that she would either have to quit or they would have to shorten her contract. I was completely shocked when she was telling me all of this. They ended up shortening her contract by 5 months and she will be home for sure at the end of March. She was able to come home for 2 weeks for Thanksgiving and that is why she was here (plus her boyfriend works with us). I was telling Jimmy, my car pool buddy, all about this and as soon as I was done with the story the first thing out of his mouth was, ‘Is she a Christian?’ Now, I’m not completely sure of Ellie’s spiritual beliefs, but I do know that she didn’t attend church the while we were in Malaysia together. My eyes lit up when Jimmy asked that question. I seriously hadn’t even thought about it, but the only ‘family’ she has over there are the people she works with, whereas when we were there we had our church family. That does make a huge difference. I have no doubt that I would miss my family if I was away from them for 18 months, but being surrounded by other Christians makes things like that so much easier.

I am so thankful that I can go anywhere in the world and feel at ‘home’ because of the family that God has given me. It is something most people don’t have and I took it completely for granted while in Malaysia. I love all you guys at the Wangsa Maju church and we miss you very much!!! You truly are and will always be part of our family!!

Kimberly (and Gary)

Kisses from Katie

I was introduced to this blog while I was in Malaysia.  Katie doesn't post daily, weekly or sometimes even monthly, but when she does post it's inspirational!

She is a 21 year old single mother to 14 little girls in Uganda.  She brings them into her home and loves them like they are her own.  She is an incredible writer and I'm sure her book is extremely inspiring. 

Like so many things I have referenced before, this video is an incredible!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Home for the Holidays Part 2

The next project I had was to make a ruffled tree skirt.  The tuturial this girl has is pretty good, but I did run out of fabric.  I think I made my ruffles too big or too small or too something because I had to get more red fabric and be very frugal with the burlap towards the end.  I did not do the white and burlap, but red and burlap.  It took me three evenings after work to finish and I honestly hope I never have to do it again, but it was worth it because I LOVE the way it turned out!!!

I meant to take pictures along the way, but I forgot until I got about half way done...

My sister said her text looked like it was white and pink, but don't worry it's red and burlap.

You can tell my last burlap layer is a little slim, but once it's under the tree you can't tell.  There is also a random piece of red fabric sitting on the right side, don't worry it was taken off after this picture was taken.

This picture isn't that great, but here it is under my tree :). I didn't even want to put my presents that are already wrapped under the tree because it would hide my cute skirt. They are currently stuffed right beside the couch so the skirt is still visible :).

More Christmas transformations to come!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marriage Retreat at Fall Creek Falls

A couple of weekends ago we loaded up the car, drove to Fall Creek Falls and enjoyed a GORGEOUS weekend!!! The past few years our church has offered a marriage retreat that another local congregation has been doing and this is the first year Gary and I were able to go. Let me just say that I hardly had a dry eye the entire weekend. Not because mine and Gary's relationship has been struggling, but just thinking about how much I love him and what he means to me. The lessons were focused on 'remembering your first love.' Danny Camp did a wonderful job delivering the lessons!!!

One of my favorite parts were the 'knee-to-knees,' which is when you sit with your spouse and pray together. I loved sitting there in a room full of other couples and completely focused on us. He would whisper his prayers and I love to hear Gary pray anyway, but this seemed so much more intimate between the two of us and with God. I'm sure if anyone peaked in our conference room when we were in our knee-to-knees we looked extremely silly, but I bet to God it was beautiful!!

We had some free time on Saturday and if you have ever been to Fall Creek Falls you know that the only thing to do is go to the that's what we did!! 

Pictures compliments of Rachel's camera

Don and Lori Winningham.  This is one of our elders and his wife.  We ran into them on the trail and snapped a shot of them at the falls.
Lee and Rachel weren't able to go down with us (see the crutches), but we got this cute shot at the top!

We were driving around and came upon this prime spot!!
This is my favorite picture!!  Thanks Rachel!!

We both talked about this retreat everyday afterwards and we CANNOT wait until next year!!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Home for the Holidays

I am soooooo ready for the holidays!!!  When I say holidays, I really mean Christmas!!!  Remember where we were last Christmas??  It was GREAT celebrating with the Clayton's last year, but I have to be honest I really missed decorating my this year I'm making a winter wonderland!!!  I have snowflakes galore and I can't wait until they are hanging everywhere.  I have a lot of ideas that I'm going to create, but I just finished took a picture of one last night...

This is an absolute HORRIBLE picture and I'm actually not even done with it yet because I intend to add more buttons and such, but I LOVE the way it turned out!!!  I got it from none other than pinterest.  My paper isn't as christmasy as that one, but I still love it and I'm not complaining at all!!  I think this might go in my guest bedroom to spruce it up a bit because the colors match that room the best!! 

Keep your eyes open for more crafty holiday goodies :).


Friday, November 11, 2011


The guys at work think it's HILARIOUS to pull pranks on people.  This morning they came in saying one of the other guys was getting engaged this weekend so we needed to decorate his cube.  Well, long story short we found out they were joking about that and while the culprit was away at lunch we Biebered him...

It was a good time!!

Happy Friday,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Susan G. Komen - Race for the Cure

A few months ago I got a text from my college roommate, Rachel, asking me if it would be ok if her and her new husband came to stay with us because they were running the breast cancer 5k in Nashville.  She then proceeds to ask me if I want to run with them.  I had just started running and actually just a few days later I signed up for the warrior dash, which by the way was my first 5k :).  So, a couple of Friday's ago (the friday before Halloween) Rachel drove up to spend the night.  Jared ended up not coming because he had to go back to Denver for some school stuff.  She and I hung out like old times and I even kicked Gary out of our bed so she and I could have a slumber party!!!! 
The race started at 9-ish and we got there a little early to see all of the festivites.  However, there were just too many people (and dogs) to really see anything. 

A few pre-race pictures...
Brett and Jessica (thanks to Jess we have all of these pics :))

Me and Gary

Rachel and Lee

The racers!!
Jessica, me, Rachel, and Rachel

We inched our way up to the 'start line' (start line is a relative term considering we were still about half a mile away from it) and were surrounded by either survivors or those running in memory of someone.  My heart sunk and it took all I had to hold in the emotion.  Before the gun was fired I felt like we needed to say a prayer and of course the girls were all about it.  We prayed for the survivors of breast cancer and those that have survived a friend or family member that has been taken by breast cancer.  To read some of their posters and things they were carrying was incredible!!  It amazed me how many people in our area have been affected by this disease.

Our goal was to finish the race in 45 minutes because we knew we would probably walk some.  Jessica didn't even want to sweat, but that didn't happen after the first 2 minutes of running.  We would have reached our 45 minute goal had we not stopped for me to take a picture with...
SANTA and his pink beard!!!!

We had a great time and I'm looking forward to next year!

Gary and me post-race!


Friday, November 4, 2011

The Genius that is my Grandmother!!!

I have been planning on making an ornament ball wreath for quite sometime.  I'm honestly not sure what has taken me so long to do it because even though it was time consuming it is pretty simple.  I didn't realize, but I already had all of the supplies in order to make it.  I pulled out my big Christmas box of goodies last night and I knew I had to make it.  My Grandmother had given me several things in the past few years that she was no longer using as her decorations.  She doesn't know that I tweeked them a bit, but I'm pretty sure the crafty woman would be ok with it.  I pulled out the wreath that she had made I don't even know how long ago and realized I could use that as my base for the ball wreath.  I meant to take pictures the entire way through, but as you will see I got distracted and forgot. 

This is a picture of all little do-dads that were connected to my Grandmother's wreath...a little outdated.

This is what the wreath looked like once I removed all of the little do-dads.  It was made, get this, with a wire hanger as the base and then plastic pieces wrapped and tied around it.  I am pretty sure I said about a TRILLION times last night what a genius my Grandmother is for thinking to make a wreath out of wire hanger...can you say CHEAP!!!!!

Here's the close up of the hook to prove it's a wire hanger.

There was a little bit too much fluff going on for me to cover with the ornaments I had, so I made a huge mess around my garbage can and ended up with this as my frame.
Once, again I want to point out that my Grandmother is a genius!!!

And the wire wreath with fluffy plastic wrapping is transformed into a beautiful ornament wreath!!!

Here it is hanging on the inside of our door.  I mean seriously you can use the, already there, hook from the wire hanger to hook it on the wreath hanger...have I mentioned what a genius my grandmother is??

Just for kicks and grins here is the genius herself, Grandmother!!  This picture was taken at her 80th birthday party just a few weeks ago.  Our backdrop is the quilt she made me.  She is super crafty and she doesn't even know what Pinterest is!!!!

Happy re-creating from old crafts,