Month: April 2013

Where I’ve Been All Week and Organization Challenge Recap

This has definitely been a crazy, unplanned week, which explains why I have only wrote one post this week. Like I mentioned in my last post, Ryan’s grandmother, known as Grandma, past away last week. This past Thursday was the visitation, and Friday was the funeral. This was not easy, but it was a celebration because she is in Heaven now. I got to meet some more of Ryan’s family members, which I enjoyed since we are getting married soon! It is always good to know the whole family!

I know bloggers are supposed to take pictures of everything, but this weekend wasn’t a time to take pictures. So there is why I have been so absent in the blogging world, but onto happier things!

Yesterday my Mom and I met with my Aunt Nancy and her sister, Cathy to talk about my flowers for the wedding! Cathy and her friend, Cathy (I know it’s super confusing because both of their names are Cathy!), are going to take care of all of my flowers, which is such a stress reliever for me! I know nothing about flowers, and because they have done flowers for weddings numerous times, I know they will make everything beautiful!

yellow and gray wedding flowers

These are not the flowers we will be using, I just googled yellow and gray wedding flowers so I could put a picture here. 🙂 Source

My Mom and I also went to Hobby Lobby to get some prices for custom framing. I am going to be getting my bridal portraits taken at the end of May, and we want to get one of the pictures framed for the reception after the wedding. My mom and I were pleasantly surprised when we saw the prices because they seemed very reasonable!

I was also excited to see that my bridal hanger came in the mail!

bridal hanger

I was so excited to see this, and I was very happy with the final product!

Ryan and I with bridal hanger

I ordered it from Etsy.com. If you have never checked this website out, you should do it now! It is awesome!

Yesterday I started feeling bad, and I ended up being pretty sick. My head hurt, and I felt nauseous. I slept away most of this morning, and I still don’t feel the best. The only thing I have eaten today is  Belvita crackers. I haven’t been hungry at all, but I knew I needed to try to eat something and see if I could keep it down. Hopefully I am over whatever I have by tomorrow so that I can get back to working out!

Organization Challenge

So I took part in Melissa’s Organization Challenge for the month of April, but I am sad to say that I did not do what I planned to do this month in order to get more organized. 😦 In this post, I wrote about my goal of wanting to become a more organized blogger, and I wanted to start using the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin to organize what posts I  wanted to write and when. The month of April just seemed to get away from me though, and between trying to finish school, plan our wedding, and working to finish my thesis, I just did not have any time. But, this challenge was definitely not a waste of my time! I am still keeping this goal to become more organized in my blogging life, and I am hoping I will be able to meet this goal this summer when I have more time. Thanks Melissa for hosting such a great challenge! 🙂

Questions:

Are you a naturally organized person? I am with most things, or at least I try to be 😉

Have you ever used etsy.com? Did you like it?

Did your week have any surprises for you like mine did, or did it go as planned? 

Praise Him in the Good Times and the Bad

So I have been totally out of the blogging world since Sunday morning. Finally, today I was able to read some other blogs and comment on a few. I will say, I missed reading everyone’s blogs. It’s weird how you form relationships with people who you have never met in real life! But I had been so busy I didn’t have anytime to blog or comment on other blogs. So Tuesday morning I planned to write a post last night about my most recent bridal shower on Sunday. But yesterday, some things happened and blogging or commenting on other blogs just didn’t seem right. My planned post about my last bridal shower will have to wait until later, it might even be next week. For now, I want to write about my need for God’s comfort and faith in His plan.

Jeremiah 29-11

Yesterday morning I was student teaching as normal. That morning Ryan text me, and we got some news that we weren’t going to get to end up living in the town we really wanted to live in. Some things had changed, and the plans we thought were going to be perfect weren’t going to happen. Ryan and I were both really confused by this, and a little upset to be honest. We thought we knew what was best for us, and in our minds moving to this one town would be best for us. This was a reminder to both of us that God knows what is best, not us, and that His plan is so much better than our plan. God sees all and knows all. We do not. Ryan and I cannot see in the future so we do not know what will end up being best for us. I do know, though, that wherever we end up, it will be perfect and it will be exactly where God wants us to be. After all, “Now faith is being sure of what he hope for, and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1. I have no idea where Ryan and I will be living in a few months, but I have faith that God has a perfect plan for us.

Faith in God's plan

Unfortunately, the sad news didn’t stop here. I got another text from Ryan after lunch. His grandmother of 95 years old passed away yesterday morning. His grandmother (called “Grandma” by all of her grandchildren) lived a long, good life, and it was her time to go be in Heaven with Jesus. Although it is sad that none of us will ever be able to see her here on Earth, we need to celebrate her death because she is no longer suffering or hurting here on Earth, but she is in Heaven worshipping God. That is something that is worth our praise! Plus, now Grandma gets to be with her husband, who was taken from this Earth 22 years ago. It is always hard when a loved one leaves us, but when they are a believer like Grandma, it should be a celebration.

When Ryan text me this news I called him immediately to see how he was doing. He as doing fine because he got a lot of his grieving out last week when she was first put in Hospice. But I was still worried about him and everyone in his family.

When I got home, I knew I just needed to spend some time with Jesus. We got some bad news and lost a loved one. It didn’t seem right for me to go on with my day like normal by working out, blogging, and commenting on other posts. I came home from school, read a Proverb, and just prayed. I prayed for God to help Ryan and I trust in His plan, even though things weren’t going according to our plan. I also prayed that God would give us all peace and comfort as we dealt with  Grandma’s death. Nothing just seemed to go right today, and all I could do was let God be my strength, because I didn’t have any of my own.

God is my strength

As I read Proverbs I was thinking about how tired I was, and I knew it was because of my lack of sleep the last two nights. I had been very busy and was running on about 12 hours of sleep from the last two nights combined. I felt like God just wanted me to rest in Him, and for once, not feel like I had to be doing something every second of the day. So I took a 20 minute nap, and this made me feel amazing! God knows what we need, and when we listen to Him, we will feel better.

I usually like my posts to be happy and positive, but the truth is, life is not always perfect and I never want to portray my life to be perfect. Sometimes life is hard and disappointing, and it is these tough times that we give God everything and say, “Lord, hold me up, I need you. I can’t do it on my own. Give me the strength I need. I know you are in control, and I have faith in Your plan.” It’s also these hard times when we have to praise God.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

God’s Word tells us to praise Him at all times. Right now, I am praising God for Grandma’s long, wonderful life. I did not get to know her very well, but I have heard many amazing things about her, and I wish I could have known her better.

I am also praising God that Ryan has a job right when he gets out of college and he will be able to support us after we get married. This is a big praise!

Please pray for us and Ryan’s family this weekend as we go to the visitation tomorrow and the funeral Friday. Those things are never easy. This post ended up being longer than I planned, but I want to dedicate this post to Ryan’s sweet Grandma and the wonderful life she lived.

 

 

Engagement Pictures!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday morning. I just finished watching church online. Today’s message was about parents and their relationships with their children. I don’t have kids, but I still enjoyed hearing the message, and since I want to have kids someday it was good for me to hear.

So today I have my last bridal shower! Last week I had two showers and two weeks ago I had a lingerie shower that Marlee, my maid of honor, had for me. So basically every weekend so far in April I have had a shower, and it has been a BLAST!! So I am kind of sad that today is my last one, but I know that means Ryan and I are getting even closer to getting married, and that is even better! 🙂 (Just in case you are wondering, we get married in 1 month and 17 days!!)

About a month ago Ryan and I had our engagement pictures taken, and in honor of my last shower, I thought today would be a good day to post some a lot of our engagement pictures. Our photographer, Tyler, was absolutely awesome and you can check out his website here.

So here are some of my favorites! You probably don’t want to look at all of them, so scroll through as fast or as slow as you like! 🙂

Becky + Ryan 1 Becky + Ryan 4 Becky + Ryan 12 Becky + Ryan 14 Becky + Ryan 16 Becky + Ryan 26 Becky + Ryan 28 Becky + Ryan 35 Becky + Ryan 37 Becky + Ryan 39

Am I the only one who feels weird taking serious pictures? I feel like this is not natural for me at all, because I a naturally smile. And I would much rather be having fun then acting serious. 🙂

Becky + Ryan 46 Becky + Ryan 50 Becky + Ryan 52 Becky + Ryan 54

Also, since we weren’t taking our engagement pictures until March, our friend Becca, who is a photography major, took our save the date photos. They turned out awesome! You can check out her blog here.

Save the Date

I hope you all have a great Sunday!

Questions

Do you love pictures? I do!

Did you do a Save the Date? Where did you get your idea? I got mine from Pinterest! 🙂

 

Lightened Taco Pasta

Happy Saturday everyone! I have already enjoyed a 7 mile run this morning, and I loved it! I ran without music for the first time in a long time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be doing this more often!

I wanted to share a new recipe with you guys in case anyone is looking for something to cook tonight. I think this would be a great date night at home meal! Are Ryan and I the only ones who like to cook and stay in sometimes for our date nights? 🙂

So I have already wrote in my in one of my earlier posts that most of this past week I have had to eat dinner at the cafeteria because I hadn’t had time to go grocery shopping. I finally got to go Thursday  night, so that meant I actually got to make Ryan and I dinner! 🙂 I had 1 pound of ground turkey meat that I wanted to use, so I started to brainstorm what I could make. I was looking through my Pinterest boards and came upon this taco pasta recipe that I made for my Mom’s birthday last summer. I thought I could lighten it up some to make it healthier and it still taste really good so I decided to give it a try. It ended up being a total success! Ryan went back for seconds, so I know it is man-approved! 🙂

First, bring a pot of water to boil to cook your pasta according to the directions.

Then, ground your turkey meat and cook about 1/2 to 3/4 of a small onion.

2013-04-18 18.37.49 2013-04-18 18.44.04

Then drain off the fat from the meat and mix in some minced garlic and a little garlic powder. After you mix the seasoning in the meat add 1 cup of salsa and one packed of low sodium taco seasoning.

2013-04-18 18.49.16 2013-04-18 18.50.17

Whenever your pasta is done cooking drain the noodles, and save 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set the water aside.

After you have let your meat, salsa, and taco seasoning simmer over medium heat for about five minutes add the pasta, Greek yogurt/cream cheese mix,  plain Greek yogurt, and reserved pasta water to the meat.

2013-04-18 19.00.25

When I was grocery shopping I saw this instead of regular cream cheese, and I was so excited! The original recipe calls for cream cheese, but this has less fat and more protein so I decided to give it a try. It ended up being great! The original recipe also calls for sour cream, and I substituted plain Greek yogurt for that.

Stir everything until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Finally tope with shredded cheese and you will end up with a pan full of delicious taco pasta!

2013-04-18 19.04.54

I cooked some corn and roasted brussels sprouts to go with our meal. I fixed myself a big plate, and enjoyed every bite!

2013-04-18 19.12.00

I also chopped up 1/4 of an avocado to mix in with my taco pasta, and this ended up being a great addition! This pasta is supposed to be made with pasta shapes, but I had spaghetti noodles, so I just used what I had. Ryan and I both loved this meal, and it seriously made so much! We have a ton of leftovers, so this will feed us for many meals. Here is the exact recipe of what I did. If you want the original recipe you can find it here. Let me know how you like it if you try it!

What you need:

  • 1 pound turkey meat
  • 8 ounce small dry pasta shapes (I used whatever noodles I had at home)
  • 1/2-3/4 of an onion chopped
  • Approximately 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic. (I didn’t measure mine out, but I would guess this is about right.)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • 3 ounce cream cheese/Greek yogurt (see picture above)
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Avocado (1/4 per person)
  • Shredded cheese for topping

 

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, keep 1/2 cup of pasta water, and set aside.

 

2. While noodles are cooking cook ground turkey meat and chopped onion over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.

 

3. Drain off the fat and mix in minced garlic and garlic powder.

 

4. Add in salsa and reduced sodium taco seasoning. Let this simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

 

5. Stir in the cooked pasta, Greek yogurt/cream cheese mix, plain non-fat Greek yogurt, and reserved pasta water.

 

6. Stir the pasta until the Greek yogurt/cream cheese mixture is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

 

7. Top with as much shredded cheese as you want.

Now I am off to spend the day with my wonderful Mom doing some wedding planning So fun! I hope everyone has a great Saturday!

What are your weekend plans?

Faith in My Friday

First off, I don’t think I can start out this post without mentioning how crazy this week has been. It truly has been a statement of how lost our world is.  We all desperately need Jesus, but our world doesn’t seem to realize this. We all need to continue to pray for and love for the lost. Jesus wants to use us to reach everyone who does not know Him!

we all need Jesus

I am learning more and more every day just how much I need Jesus, and that absolutely everything in my life needs to revolve around Him because He is all that matters. Ever since my Ryan and I got engaged in August I feel like my faith has really grown because I have had to trust in God so much. There are so many unanswered questions, and I have no choice but to trust in God with absolutely everything. We get married in less than two months, and I”m still not sure where we will live, where Ryan will work, and so many other things. I am naturally a planner, so this is extremely difficult for me. I like to have a plan for everything, but I have learned that my plans don’t matter; God’s plans matter.

trust God

Today in my quiet time I read Proverbs 20 and this verse really stuck out to me, and fit just perfectly into everything that is going on in my life right now.

“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24      

I know this is no coincidence that I read this today. God is telling me that He has a plan for Ryan and I, so there is no point in me worrying or trying to plan out our whole lives. He has a plan, and it is much better than anything I could ever imagine! I mean after all, last year I would not have imagined that I would be marrying Ryan this June, but God had it planned, and I am SO GLAD HE DID!! 🙂

100_2967

Learning to trust God and realize He has a plan means I need to let go of my worries and anxieties and lay it all at His feet. I have desperately been praying for God to reveal what God wanted Ryan and I to do and where He wanted us to live, and this past Wednesday this verse got stuck in my head:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6    

This hit me hard. I don’t need to be anxious. All I can do is pray and know that God will take care of Ryan and I.

power of prayer

Another thing God has really continued to reveal to me all week is the amount of people Ryan and I have in our lives who love us so much and who love Jesus! This truly is such a blessing, and I am so thankful for everyone in our lives. Ryan and I are apart of the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) on campus, and last night we went to the weekly bible study/worship. As we sang songs about God’s love for us I loved looking around and seeing college students pour out their hearts to God in song and raising up their arms in praise to Him. It was such a great reminder of how much God loves me, and how he has placed me somewhere where I am surrounded by others who love God as well! Then this morning I got to spend time with two of my best friends and hear about what God was doing in their lives. It is so encouraging to see my friends seeking God’s will in their lives! I love getting to witness it all!

The closer I get to God, and the more I read His Word, the more I realize that as Christians, we need to constantly be on our knees before Him, humbling ourselves so that whatever we do we are using His strength. I am trying to learn to do this now.

Humble yourself

Questions

What verses have been on your mind this week?

Are you a planner? Do you struggle with letting go of your own plans and trusting in God’s plans?