Insignificant Details of November

Each month I will write down some insignificant details that happened.  Some months it will be each day and some months it will be a summary.  This is so that I can see the insignificant details that God is working together in my life for His story.  They usually aren’t big events, but God is working in all of the details big or small.

The details:

November 1- The in-laws came into town to visit and watch the boy.

November 2- Date day with my hubby.  Massages. Sushi. Despicable Me 2. Pasadena. El Cholo Cafe. Yogurtland.  Time spent with my hubby without the boy.  It was a gift.

November 3- Malibu. Paradise Cove Beach Cafe.

November 4- An answered prayer.

November 5- Prayers from a friend.  A church friend helping me with something important. A mild panic attack that reminded me that God is with me at all times.

November 6th- Peace for something coming.

November 7th- Student lunch with some previous graduates that are reaching unreached people groups.  So encouraging.  A tough conversation that closed a door for me.

November 8th- Broomball and old friends coming into town.

November 9th- A day with the boy, shopping and getting stuff done.

November 10th- Almost finishing the boy’s room.  (he is almost six months old).

November 11th- Foundations breakfast and dinner.  Seeing God work in the lives of students.

November 12th- Getting broken by my physical therapist and knowing that I am slowly healing from giving birth to the boy.

November 13th- An encouraging conversation at work. Seeing the body of Christ work. Total body pain from physical therapy. Making cookies for my man.  Running into my friend Alison at Cost Plus after talking that day about missing her.

November 14th- Free blogging with the hubby after he cleaned the kitchen for me. Snuggles with my boy.

November 15th- Dinner with family, a funny movie, the end of a long work week.

November 16th- Visiting the library, park and having my son see ducks for the first time.  Rolling around on the floor playing as a family.

November 17th- Getting to grocery shop alone.  Taking a 1.5 hour nap on the couch.

November 18th- Discovering the music of Ellie Holcomb while giving my boy zerberts and listening to him laugh.

November 19th-  A huge answer to prayer for my hubby and I. Hanging out with Elyse, videoing my boy laughing while bouncing in his jumperoo.  Snuggling with him while he cries.

November 20th- A crock pot meal, baby falling asleep easily, a great discussion with the hubby about our future.

November 21st- Another crock pot meal, some shopping for the roommate’s birthday breakfast and dinner.

November 22nd- Two of my favorite people’s Birthdays! Clean bill of health for the boy at his six month appointment.

November 23rd- My boy’s 6 month birthday and a party for our roommate.

November 24th- Day at home, watched an excellent sermon on podcast, asked for forgiveness from hubby and received it. The boy tried solids for the first time.

November 25th- An amazing day at work with the boy.

November 26th- Time to myself at night.

November 27th- A half day and preparing for Thanksgiving.

November 28th- Being about to play football with my hubby’s family.  Introducing my boy to a side of my hubby’s family that I haven’t seen yet, thankful hearts.

November 29th- A great deal on a gift for my boy for Christmas. Getting to visit the Getty Villa with my inlaws.  Seeing an ancient artifact of a King mentioned in Scripture.

November 30th- Movie date to Hunger Games while my in-laws watched the boy. Turkey “leftovers” that I made fresh.

There are so many insignificant details this month that have helped me grow and helped my relationship with the Lord grow. If I hadn’t been keeping tabs on each day this month I could probably have said that I didn’t see God do much.  I would have stayed in my full-time wife, full-time mom, full-time job fogginess and wouldn’t have seen the little things that added up to my story of what God has done.  He has blessed me with in-laws that drive 6 hours to watch our boy so that the hubby and I can go out.  He has started to put pieces together for changes that are coming with my family. He is working.  God is showing me in the little things what I have missed about His tender love.  He is the only reason that my life makes sense.  I so often forget that He is working in all things.  He hasn’t forgotten about me. That is a truth that I need to remind myself of each day.

The Insignificant Details: Jumpkick and Kickstarter

I have developed a love for Kickstarter.  There is something about helping someone have a dream come true that I just love.  I got hooked on Kickstarter because a show that I have always loved started a Kickstarter to get a movie made.  (Veronica Mars).  I was able to become a backer and the movie is in the process of being made, it felt amazing to support something that I had hoped for.

My hubby loves Kickstarter as well.  He has backed two different board games that we hope to play with our boy some day.  Robot Turtles, a game that will teach our son the basics of computer programming and a game called Kings of Israel which should help our boy understand the Old Testament a bit more.

I have some friends who are amazing at building websites, programs, etc.  A while ago I was talking to one of them at an event.  He mentioned that they were building a website called Jumpkick which helps people to find Kickstarter projects that they may want to support. Well, the website finally launched earlier this week.  I excitedly went and checked it all out.  

While browsing I saw a graphic for a “Rising Star” (now “Overachiever”) that had the tagline, “I wrote 10 brand new songs with scripture woven into the melodies. I need your help to record & share them. Let’s make music together!”  It was for an artist named Ellie Holcomb.  Someone whom I had never heard of.  I clicked on the graphic and was led to her Kickstarter page.  I watched her video and fell in love with what I saw. 

Jumpkick Screenshot

I quickly went to youtube to try to listen to some of her other music.  The best way that I can describe what I heard was that it was balm to my tired and weary soul.  Honestly, I haven’t been doing well lately, I am tired, my relationship with God has not been where I want it to be and I needed to hear Biblical truth.  Her music offered that, constantly reminding me of who God is.  It was an amazing time of worship listening to her music and connecting with God. 

Some people could say that it is all a coincidence.  I firmly believe that this is God working out a lot of insignificant details (Kickstarter, Jumpkick, Ellie Holcomb) to bring me hope and peace and a worshipful heart this past Monday night.  God is so good and He wanted to get my attention.  He did.  God is working out all the insignificant details of our lives. He is so good.

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack for a Boy’s Nursery

Ombre Dresser Collage

When deciding how I wanted my son’s room to look I was unsure. I know that I didn’t want animals or sports so most of the bedding/decorations on the market were out of the running from the get go.  After lots of looking around the internet and baby nursery design sites I decided on a blue travel themed room.  I will post more of the before and after of the boy’s nursery but this post is strictly about the dresser.

I visited pinterest and blogs about refinishing furniture, tried to find something that I could refinish and then ended up buying an unfinished Ikea Tarva Dresser to paint.  I was 8 months pregnant at the time and decided that it would be easier to just be able to paint without sanding.  On Pinterest I kept seeing all of these cool ombre dressers.  I decided to try the trendy ombre and see how it turned out.

This is the ikea tarva dresser right after assembly.
This is the ikea tarva dresser right after assembly.

The assembly took me around 5 hours I believe (I was super preggo at the time).  If you ever buy something from Ikea, go to the parts department before you leave and get the little fat screws.  Yes, ikea furniture comes with all the screws but there is something about the short fat screws that leaves me so frustrated.  They strip pretty easily and I wished that I had a few extras while putting this baby together.  It would have saved time and stress.

After it was together, I just started to apply the paint with a brush.  (For those of you concerned about painting as a pregnant lady, I only painted outside in our backyard.  It was very open and breezy so I didn’t have to worry about paint fumes).  A great tip is to buy the middle of the road brushes.  I didn’t and wish that I had brushes that were better.  I am too cheap to buy the most expensive brushes, so I would recommend getting some that are right in the middle of the price range.  I had gotten paint chips (are they still called that) at Home Depot and had picked my favorite three colors.  I also got 2 paint samples of their white.

3 paint samples of different blues that I loved and brushes.
3 paint samples of different blues that I loved and brushes.

Again, buy the good brushes (I didn’t).  The white paint sample didn’t need to be mixed, I literally picked it off of the paint sample shelf.

Behr Premium Plus from Home Depot
Behr Premium Plus from Home Depot

I didn’t prime at all but just started painting. (UPDATE: I would recommend priming all of the dark wood knots that are naturally in the wood.  After a year, they are starting to show through).  As I painted I worried a bit about the color as they always look a bit different.  The colors that I picked were (lightest to darkest) Ocean Tropic, Warm Spring and Planetarium. I believe that they are all Behr paints.  The colors were great.  

I painted the drawer and let them dry and then did a second coat. I only painted the drawer face and left the rest unfinished.  You have to be careful around the edges as paint will pool there.  My hubby helped with painting the dresser white.  We moved them to the garage after they dried and before adding the poly top coat.   We used this for a top coat.   Also, for the Polycrylic, make sure that you use a brush specifically for that.  This part may be a bit expensive but that is okay.  My hubby did the Polycrylic because we couldn’t really find anything online about a pregnant lady painting with it.  We figured better safe than sorry. We waited overnight for it to dry and then my hubby did another coat.  (2 coats paint, two coats poly give plenty of time for it to dry between coats).

I looked all over for dresser knobs that I like, but I wasn’t in love with anything and the frugal part of me was screaming out, “They came with the dresser already, just use those.” I ended up dipping the wood knobs that we received with the dresser in white paint, setting them on foam plates and then dipping them again (the foam plates are essential here because you can peel the knobs off of the foam, but you would just rip paper plates).  After they dried I screwed them onto the dresser and I felt like they completed the dresser in a great way.

With that said, here is the finished product.  I love how it turned out.

Here it is! The finished dresser!
Here it is! The finished dresser!

Dresser Picture

The Post I Have Waited My Whole Life to Write

On October 14, 2011 at 3:15ish, my best friend, Ryan, asked me, Nicole, if I would be his wife. I told him yes. This is the story.

We have had a family trip planned for awhile. Ryan’s family are close and they like to get together. His cousin Laura and her husband Jason work at Hume Lake and were able to get a cabin for a discounted rate, so they decided to get together at the cabin. Not all of the family could make it, but there are ten of us here.

We all arrived around 11:30am. We enjoyed lunch together and after lunch walked around the lake. It is about a 3 mile walk and with the early morning wake up to get to Hume I was pretty tired. We got back to the cabin and everyone decided to go to the lake to canoe and paddle board on the lake. Ryan and I were both tired and decided to stay back. I was thinking I was going to get a nap in. I was wrong. =)

We cuddled for a bit and then Ryan told me to close my eyes. I said no. He said, “Please close your eyes.” I did it and said, “I don’t want to close my eyes.” In that moment I knew what was coming. He opened his bag and scrounged around in there for a little bit. Time stopped. He told me to open my eyes.

In front of me was the man that is my best friend. A man who loves God so much and desires to serve Him with his whole life. A man whom I love. A man who treats me better than I have ever been treated. A man who loves me.

He was on one knee. He had the ring box open (I didn’t look at it at all). He said, “Nicole, will you be my wife?” I said “Yes.” I then said, “Here?” and “Are you kidding?” He asked if I liked the ring. I told him that I didn’t look at it yet. He told me to look at it. Honestly, the ring is perfect. It is beautiful and I love it. He slipped it on and we became engaged.

I proceeded to do something that I now call the creepy laugh. I sat on the couch and laughed in a way that I never have, I also had to do deep breaths. At one point, Ryan looked at me and said “Do you need your inhaler?” The laugh was so weird but it is a hilarious part of the story. I didn’t cry instead I just did a creepy laugh.

For those of you that have known me for a long time, you know that I didn’t expect anything to happen like this. I did think that I wasn’t going to get married or ever be loved by a man in this way. I waited and prayed and hoped for this moment, but honestly I didn’t think it would happen. I love him, he loves me. We are going to get married. If you had told me last October that I would be engaged a year from now, I would have said, there is no way. That is impossible. But God, in His infinite wisdom and timing has done this. To God be the Glory. There is no one else that could have weaved such a beautiful and perfect relationship between two people that love Him and desire to serve Him in every possible way for the rest of their lives. God is faithful. God is good. God is loving. God is personal. God is perfect. God is gracious. God is patient. To God be the Glory.

Here are a couple of pictures of me right after Ryan and I were engaged.

Engaged Couple Photo at Hume Lake

One Month

Edited to add: This is all I wrote for this blog. It wasn’t finished, but I think it is cute now that I will be becoming a McGladdery. (10-18-2012)

It has been one month today. One month since you told me you liked me and my world changed.

It is one month today and I am sitting in your brothers old bedroom at your parents house. In the last three days I have met almost one full side of your family. (Two more tonight and then two more that I will meet in the months to come). And the thing is, I want them to be my family. I want to be a McGladdery.

Part Two

To Read Part One click here.

The girl responded, “Graduation is over tomorrow and then life will be less stressful.” She was trying to avoid his eyes so that he wouldn’t know that he was the cause of some of her stress.

The boy then blurted out, “So, I really like you” emphasizing the word really. The girl wanting to guard her heart looked directly in his eyes and said, “Okay.” The boy looked back at her with caring eyes and said, “I really like you.” She knew at that point exactly what he meant and it was too much for the girl to take.

She looked at him and said, “I really like you too” and laid back on the couch covering her face. It was too much for the girl. He was too great, he was too caring, he was too perfect. It was more than she could take thinking that her prayers may be answered and that someone so great could care for her.

The boy grabbed the girl’s hand, affirming that this did just happen and that she didn’t imagine it all.

The girl had hoped for weeks that the boy would tell her how he felt, but for some reason him blurting it out surprised her.

The boy looked at the girl who promptly covered her face. He said softly to her, “I need you to ask me or tell me everything you need to say so that you can go home and sleep through the night tonight.” Little did the boy know that there wouldn’t be much sleep for the girl no matter how much they talked.

The boy and the girl spent the next hour talking about many different things. The girl had been so guarded that there was a lot to say. She was so overwhelmed and for at least half of that hour she had her face covered by her hands which made the boy smile.

That night the girl had one request. A hug from the boy. She had wanted one for many months but was so glad that she could finally have one from the boy. The boy that really liked her. That night ended with a hug and with both the boy and girl experiencing more joy and excitement than they had in a long while.

20 Days

It has been 20 days. 20 days since you said “I really like you” and I said, “I really like you too.” Some of the newness has worn off, but the feeling that this may be forever hasn’t.

I am surprised by the things that I forget when I am with you. Recently, I have forgotten that you are one of my best friends who I can tell anything to. I forget that I love talking with you and sharing with you what is going on inside my heart. I am sorry that I don’t give you information as readily as I should. I never thought communication would be hard for me but it is.

I learned that today when you asked me what drinks I wanted at my birthday. I knew right away what I wanted, but debated in my head whether or not to tell you. I didn’t know if I should tell you because I didn’t want to inconvenience you at all. I ended up telling you exactly what I wanted and it hit me, I don’t have to do life all by myself anymore.

For so long if I wanted something I had to figure out how to do it. Now, I have someone who wants to do nice things for me. I am slowly figuring out that I don’t have to do everything on my own. It is freeing and scary at the same time. I know it will take me awhile to figure out that you want to do both normal and nice things for me.

I appreciate your kindness as I rebuild my worldview. Having one person care for me like you do will take some time to get used to.

It has been 20 days. We have seen each other for each of those 20 days and honestly I don’t know how I am going to go for one day not seeing you. I am glad that I don’t have to find out for 18 more days.

When do I do my laundry?

So approximately 11 days ago I got a boyfriend. Life has changed so much since that point. There have been amazing changes but I am now beginning to see some problems in my coupledom. Here are three that I have found so far.

1. I don’t know when to do laundry. For some reason, I can’t figure this one out. I remember that before I was a couple I used to do it on Saturdays or Sundays. Since I have been a couple I have been with him for most of the day Saturday and Sunday, usually at his house. I WILL NOT ever do laundry at a boy’s house. That only leaves me with weekdays. However, I am with him during work, during lunch and most of the time after work. I get home late and have no desire to do laundry. So, when do I do it?

2. My busy schedule just got doubled. Turns out my boyfriend is very busy as well. We are now meshing our two schedules into one and that leaves us leaving certain events early and arriving at certain events late. We are now trying to function with one calendar. It is challenging to say the least, but in the 11 days so far we have made it work.

3. Similar to the laundry problem, I am not sure when to grocery shop anymore. I used to go at lunch time or after work. I used to plan it out and go to different stores. I was a machine. I now can’t figure out when I should go. This has resulted in me eating out a lot because I don’t actually have food in my own house.

So the boyfriend and I talked about my need to do laundry (I brought it up, don’t worry I wasn’t smelly yet). We figured out a time that would work out for me to do it at my home when he was over. So, last night I did laundry…now I just need to figure out when I can put it all away.

Part One

“So I don’t want you to be stressed anymore.” said the boy.

The girl didn’t know what was about to happen or how life was about to change. She had years of broken hearts, unrequited longing and loneliness. Over the past two months her heart had opened again. She could talk, laugh and share things with the boy that she hadn’t been able to in the past.

The boy wasn’t her “type,” he wasn’t what she was looking for or expecting and that is why she started opening up. She felt comfortable with him and didn’t view him as a threat. She was honest with him and completely herself. They both loved Jesus and served the Lord together.

Two months ago there was a talk, a three hour talk where both the boy and the girl wanted to know more about the other. A three hour talk that they each shared their lives with one another, they talked about where they had come from and how it led them to where they are now.

The next week they talked again for an hour and a half until the girl got scared that if she stayed longer that she would never want to leave. She knew that she liked the boy but couldn’t allow herself to believe that maybe the boy might be interested in her.

The friendship between the boy and girl continued and they started relying on each other more in their service to the Lord. They also started communicating more through text message. The girl praying the whole time that God would take the feelings that she had away. Prayers that went unanswered.

The girl and boy planned an event together, working together seamlessly and having fun serving their guests and helping each other in the kitchen. After the event the boy started to spend more time complimenting the girl. She ignored the compliments but wondered, “Could he actually mean them? Does he actually feel like I do?”

The girl started to worry and stress out more than she should. She found her heart racing and was unable to eat or take care of herself very well due to stress. The boy took care of her the best that he could. She blamed it on the stress at work, but the boy knew. He knew she was stressed about him which a week later led to the sentence, “So I don’t want you to be stressed anymore.”

I’ll be found in You

when the world has fallen out from under me I’ll be found in you, still standing When the sky rolls up and the mountains fall on their knees when time and space are through I’ll be found in you

Those are lyrics from Shadowfeet a song by Brooke Fraser. Lately my world has kind of changed a lot and although it is great and I am excited about where God has me, it is so challenging and hard. I feel like my worldview has been rocked to the core and so much that I have believed about myself for years is having to change quickly.

It is the best possible thing that God has done for me recently. He is calling me to live as He sees me not as how I see myself. Honestly, it has been stressful and overwhelming. Each day I am working through another insecurity, fear, or lie that I have believed for so many years. I feel that this is one of the side effects of being single for so long. I didn’t have anyone to tell me that I was believing lies because mostly I didn’t tell people the extent of the lies that I have believed.

This morning I was reminded of this song. I think I have listened to it 10 times so far this morning. I needed the reminder that no matter how much my worldview is being rocked, I can still be found in God. He is bigger than my worldview, He is bigger than my insecurities or fears. The song goes on to say, “You make all things new.” That is what He is doing in me right now, He is making me new. I just need to remember to be found in Christ alone. Through Him I can stand on a firm foundation, not on the foundation that is being rocked, but one that is firm and solid. This brings me peace. God is changing me but He is with me in the changes. He is allowing me to still be standing. He is loving me right now, and I need to rest in His love.