Nov 24, 2011

{Happy Thanksgiving}

Today I look to this verse:

 "in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."1 Thessalonians 5:18 

It am thanking the Lord for guiding my steps. He has brought me to this place where I can easily see Him working and moving, showing me how to love and give freely everyday. I have an amazing husband, loyal and supportive friends, the best family in the world, and a warm home. It's my last year of undergrad and there is a whole new adventure awaiting me. God is good.  

I am thankful to be where I am right now, sharing a meal with my family and taking time to rest and reflect on life's blessings. It is a perfect day to celebrate with turkey, green bean casserole, and apple pie. 
What are you thankful for on this Thanksgiving day? 

Nov 20, 2011

{the roles we fall into}

Jordan and I have been reading "Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts" by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott. We really like this book so far, and today we read the chapter about myth one: "We Expect Exactly the Same Things from Marriage."

We each have unspoken roles and rules that we need to discuss and work through together so that little annoyances and problems don't turn into major issues.

Jordan and I have dealt with this very thing in our own marriage. There are roles I naturally assume and things I just expect him to take care of because that is how I watched it being done through my own parents' marriage. What we decided to do was identify the unconscious roles we fall into.

Here is our list:

Jordan's                             Alli's
navigator                          planner/scheduler
money manager               shopper
problem solver                 cleaner
comedian                          organizer/decorator
doctor                                gift buyer
leader                                 cook
secret keeper                     hostess

Do you think this sounds like us?

We also made a list of rules we want to follow. We both came up with five rules that were important to us, and now we have 10 things written down that we have committed to as a couple. Some of them are as as simple as 'always be on time' and 'wash the dishes after they have been used', but they are still important principles that will create a less stressful life and a healthier marriage.

I highly recommend this exercise for every engaged or married couple.

Nov 15, 2011

{marcel the shell with shoes on, two}

Marcel is my favorite character. She's a cute little shell with cute little pink shoes. She makes me and my friends laugh out loud until we cry. We quoted her last year almost everyday after her first video. 

And now she has another one. please, you need to crank up the volume and listen closely, she has a soft voice :) 

"treats and snoozin, snoozin and treats." I love that line. 

Thank you Emilie for sharing this video, I doubt I would have found it on my own. 

Nov 14, 2011

{The Hunger Games Official Trailer}

The Hunger Games Exclusive Trailer Premiere released TODAY on Good Morning America! Gosh I have been waiting too long for this. Now it's going to be even more difficult to wait for the movie release on March 23rd. Still 129 days left to go.


Are you a Hunger Games fan? I want to know.

Nov 12, 2011

{the neighborhood kitty}

This is Moo Moo (I named her). She likes to hang out on our porch and beg for food and love. We think she has an owner, but we aren't quite sure. Moo Moo likes to roll around in the dirt and run inside our house when we open the door. She's a tricky little cat. 

Jordan made this amusing video for me one day when he was home alone and apparently bored out of his mind. 

She's so cute :) 

Nov 11, 2011


November is here! The time has come for snowfall, turkey dinner, cable knit scarves, heavy socks, and gift shopping. By this time in the fall semester my brain gets weak and I stop caring about school. Looks like I'm right on schedule. I am counting down the days until Thanksgiving break when we get to spend five days with family and friends in Battle Creek. Oh, and I am finally getting an iPhone this month!  I will never complain about early Christmas gifts. Thanks Mom and Dad for being the best parents ever. 

I hope you all enjoy your November weather. Have a fantastic weekend! 

P.S. If you live in Marion, you should really come see the IWU theatre production of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I'm doing hair and makeup for the cast, and I would love to see you there. I'm pretty sure you won't leave without a few laughs.   

Nov 10, 2011


The Jacket. 

One of my favorite pieces of clothing for the stylish gentlemen. It can come in the form of a blazer or coat, I don't care. If it looks anything like the photos above... it's a winner. 

On the Christmas list this year: fresh and fine jacket for husband. 

Nov 8, 2011

{The Beatitudes}

Last night, after Jordan and I had climbed into The Cloud, we took a few moments to read The Beatitudes in The Message Bible. I had never read this version of Matthew 5 before. It sounded like a whole new chapter to me. The Message does that sometimes. I asked Jordan to repeat the verses so I could let it sink in again and again. What simple and beautiful truths to remember. 

"When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

 You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

 You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

 You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

 You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

 You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

 You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

 You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

 You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

 Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble."

(From The Message, Matthew 5:3-10)

Nov 7, 2011

Where am I?

Hey, Mr. Shepherd here.

 I am one of four boys. This means that getting married for me meant living with a type of person I have never lived with before…a girl. In my time in this new environment (5 months) some questions have come up:

What is this thing?

What is this difference between “body wash” and ‘shower gel”?

Is there a difference between these two movies?!

Why do we have so much soap?!

Wait what? A bag for…other bags?

Beyond these (and other) questions I must say, living with a girl is pretty great.

Everything is really clean.

Nov 6, 2011


I thought this was sort of funny. 

I am married to a big bearded lumberjack. 

I can't complain though. My husband did all of our laundry today as I was absorbed in blog mode for five hours straight. He also provided lovely musical entertainment via guitar while I brushed my teeth this morning. I am thankful to be married to a man who consistently offers simple gestures of love and kindness, and  encourages the much needed "girl time" when I'm craving to bake treats and watch cheesy movies. 

J-man, I really do love you and your costume. Such a trooper for getting all dressed up and showing your Halloween spirit. 

If you didn't see my costume, you should. Check it out here. 

Nov 5, 2011

{A Cabin in the Woods}

Last weekend we went on a short vacation to my home state of Michigan. We drove three hours with Hannah and Lawson to a little swedish cabin near the lake and right in the middle of the woods. Lawson's parents were there and they welcomed us into their home for three full days of good food and wood fires. I have never stayed in a house with more character; really, this place is the cutest thing. 

Here's what we spent our time doing:

fires on the beach, chinese lanterns, playground playing, mansion viewing, painting and carving pumpkins (for free at an art gallery!), Tapas restaurant, the game of Dixit, crafting, eating eating eating, drinking hot cider, visiting new shops, Oinks ice cream, sleeping in, and reading scripture with the Bunch family.

What a lovely weekend of fellowship and relaxation. Oh, pure Michigan, we love you.