Wednesday, June 27

be mine?

I'm coming out of hiding to share with you some really fun news. 

Last week, after much time spent with Elmer's and an Exacto-Knife, I sent out these fun little packages to my sweet bridesmaids and flower girl. 

Ready to make your wedding feel real? Ask your bridesmaids, it'll happen. I promise. 

I've been dreaming about how I was going to ask these girls to stand by us on our wedding day for much longer than I am willing to admit. When I ran across these blank puzzles while browsing Amazon for therapy materials, I knew I had found a winner. 

Armed with a $4.00 pack of blank puzzles, scrapbook paper, scissors and rubber cement, I was on my way. There might have been an easier way to make this happen, but here's how I did it. 

First, I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to the 4 x 5.5 size of the puzzle. I flipped the puzzle and the paper over (with the paper on the bottom) and removed one puzzle piece at a time, tracing the shape of the missing piece onto the paper until I had the full puzzle traced onto the scrapbook paper. 

 The pieces were cut apart and glued to the blank puzzles with rubber cement. I made the mistake of adding the doilies after I had glued the scrapbook paper down--and it would have been much easier to have glued the doilies to the scrapbook paper before I cut it apart. You live and you learn. 

 I used paint pens to write on each puzzle. After the paint dried I gave each one a pretty generous spray with Modge Podge to seal the paper and help the corners stick to the puzzle pieces as much as possible.  

I made these sweet little envelopes from the same package of scrapbook paper and tied each with a ribbon and a tag. 

Finally, I packaged all these little cuties up--plus three doilies with notes about the location and date--in a bubble mailer and sent them out to my sister and friends. 

I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful my bridesmaids are. But I can tell you that Martin and I have been blessed by every single one of them. Y'all are the absolute best, and I can't wait to share our wedding day with you. 

Friday, June 8

one year

In 365 days, I will be getting ready to marry my Mart. 

That really deserves a heart-felt, mushy-gushy post on this fine Friday afternoon, but sometimes the words just won't come. 

Saturday, June 2

{opening day}

This morning, the gates of Camp DeSoto opened and welcomed 240 girls and their families to the summer of 2012. The squealing and hugs that continued all throughout the morning are one of my favorite things to watch. Counselors were waiting patiently for their girls to find out which cabin they're in, and they no doubt laid awake most of the night praying for these girls and their summers. Moms were making beds and unpacking their daughters things, while keeping a watchful eye on their daughter's counselor and trying to learn as much about her as possible. Dads were standing outside, not wanting to get teary-eyed about dropping their daughter off for a month... and some of them just weren't strong enough to stop those tears. 

This simple place in the mountains of Alabama is what keeps some of these girls going during the year. They live for opening day when they get to return to their sanctuary and be with friends that truly love them and love Jesus. Waking up to the ringing of a bell tomorrow and heading to the dining hall for a Sunday morning breakfast is what they've been waiting on since they left the gates last July. 

Being able to pack their trunks and leave the pressures of junior high and high school at home is a gift that I couldn't be more grateful to have helped to give these girls. They get to play, be children, learn and laugh for a month. 

There is no air conditioners or cell phones or Facebook or boyfriends or candy or television. But it just doesn't matter. 

And then there is staff. 

You've never met a more incredible group of women gathered in one place serving Jesus. I am still amazed by the amount of love that I've been shown by the girls that I've laughed and cried with for just a few short months of my life. They've seen me at my best and at my worst, and they're still always there. About 75% of the things these women are asked to do during in the summer are things that they aren't comfortable or confident in doing, but they're willing to step outside their comfort zone to show these girls the love of Jesus. I thank God every day that they hired me to be a part of something so incredible. 

If you're the praying type, keep this little slice of Heaven in your prayers this summer. Counselors will be asked tough questions and have to deal with tough situations. Girls will be homesick and tired. There will be illness and there will be disagreements. But God has brought this community together for the summer for a reason, and I pray that each and every girl hears what they need to hear in their month on the mountain. 

Ladies, I love you all and I would do anything in the world to be there. Be expecting letters and goodies.