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The Little Things

When I realized that I haven’t posted anything in FAR too long, I also realized that I’m not entirely sure what I wanted to write about to get started again. So I asked my friend Rodney for help and he told me to write about the little things that get me going. I thought it was a great idea!

There are a lot of quirky little things about me that make me uniquely Andra. Some of these nuances only live in my imagination, but there are things I do at certain times of the day to bring a spring to my own step.

1. I’m not addicted to coffee. But about once a week, I NEED a cup of coffee with vanilla creamer and a little sugar, to survive my morning. Either that or I go to Starbucks and get a white chocolate mocha, with vanilla, no whip. YUM.

2. I am not a clean person by nature, but I have tried to make myself into one my whole life. My bedroom or kitchen may get messy at times, but it will not stay that way forever. I become a little whirlwind and clean everything in sight and then promise myself that I’ll never let it get bad again and then before you know it, it’s a freaking mess again! My family gave me a sign when I was a teenager to hang on my door. It said “I cleaned my room yesterday. Sorry you missed it.” It’s so true. I’m just not compulsive enough or anal enough to keep everything spotless, every day. I think that it’s good for me though, because when I get it all spotless, it makes me feel sooooo good. It’s almost worth a little mess for a little while, to be on top of the world when the mess is gone. Maybe there’s more to this, than I know…. ?

3. I am a total grammar and spelling SNOB. I lose a lot of respect for people if they can’t use “their”, “there” and “they’re” correctly. It drives me bonkers when someone says “supposebly”. Folks, let me clear this up for you. It’s “supposedly”. We all have those people in our lives that cannot say certain words correctly to save their lives (bless your heart).

4. I have road rage. There I said it. It’s bad. I don’t see red, but I love to use my horn (I refrain from using my finger). I don’t mean to turn into a different person behind the wheel, but I do. I like to drive fast. I don’t like to be cut off. Lately, I’ve tried to be calmer behind the wheel. I see bad accidents on the way home every day. Like yesterday, I saw a car completely flipped over on the interstate. It’s really scary out there and even if you are a responsible driver, someone else can come along and kill you. Please don’t text and drive. Please don’t email and drive. Please don’t google map and drive. Please don’t facebook and drive. Please just turn up your music and keep your eyes on the road. All that being said, the other day, I had a lot on my mind so I turned on Rascal Flatts’ very first CD, rolled down my windows and got a lot of good thinking done the 30 minutes I was in stand-still traffic. It was actually enjoyable to sit in traffic, listen to good music and be relaxed. Maybe I should try that more often. Perhaps Gary LeVox’s voice is like a lullaby to me.

5. If I thought about it and wanted to spend the money, I’d have fresh peonies or rubrum lilies in my home and on my desk at work, all the time. I’d rather have them given to me. I’ve always acted like I don’t like flowers, but what women HONESTLY doesn’t like flowers? Not a one. Unless she’s allergic or just silly.

6. I love to go hiking. Just me and Jake. Out on the trail, with my camera and a water bottle. My favorite place to go is Eisenhower Park. I love to leave my phone in the car and be alone with my thoughts and my dog for an hour. I haven’t been in a while and I’m aching to go. Soon! And then fro-yo after!

7. I like to play Tetris and I’m the master. When my laptop wasn’t broken, I would play Tetris while I was on the phone with people. It helped me to listen better. I swear, it’s true. But really, I’m awesome. At Tetris.

8. I love, love, love to cook. My favorite thing to make myself is fried chicken or tacos. I could eat homemade tacos every day of my life and never tire of it. I tried a new batter recipe for fried chicken the other night and oh my!! I love to cook for myself, but I love even more to cook for someone else. I don’t often have someone else to cook for, but if you’re ever hungry, call me and I’ll cook us up something yummy!

9. I like jolly ranchers, rather than chocolate. I love ICEE’s, half cherry-half coke/dp. I’m addicted to shopping (my closet is out of control). I don’t like dessert. I like to people watch and listen to strangers’ conversations. I sleep on one side of the bed, instead of in the middle.  I think it’s fun to paint my nails, but it always chips off after a day. I feel naked without earrings. I can’t sleep unless it’s completely dark and completely quiet; you will never see me passing out with the TV on.

In starting this post I had one idea of what I wanted it to be, but as I’ve written it has evolved into something else. These are just a few things that make me unique, but this isn’t the whole story to me. There are a few things in there that are just funny little things that make me happy. BUT it’s not all about me. I challenge you to find the quirky little happiness-es in others’ lives and do something small to make them smile. You can do something to make yourself smile, but there is no greater pleasure than creating happiness in someone else. Make someone smile!!

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Travels

I have traveled here and there the past few weekends and have had a wonderful time on each adventure. The first weekend I went to Houston to visit my mom. She was working there for 8 weeks, only going back to Amarillo twice to spend time with my step-dad. She is glad to be home now! While I was there, we went to a great Mexican food place in CityCentre and met up with one of mom’s best friends, Dawn.

Here is a photo of mom and me before dinner. She says my lipstick is shocking. I like it.

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Here is a photo I took of my lovely mom. And no I didn’t do ANY editing to it. She is naturally this beautiful.

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We got to sleep in, eat at Pappadeaux, I got a pedicure, go bowling, have some bellini’s and talk. Living 8 hours away from her is hard, but spending weekends like that one, makes it easier.

The following weekend the whole fam damily, as we like to call ourselves, headed to Port Aransas for a weekend on the beach. We stayed in an awesome condo called La Mirage. Here is an aerial view of it. You can see how close to the beach it is.

 La Mirage Condos, Port Aransas

Katelyn is a seasoned veteran at the beach. They have been taking her since she was two and she’s always loved it. However, Mack has only been twice and the first time was last year, when he was only four months old. He was far too small to do anything but sit in mommy’s lap. This year he got to walk out into the water, build sand castles with his sister, and just have a good ol’ time! Here is a picture of him riding in the wagon out to the water. He looks a little nervous, but really he just couldn’t wait to get out.

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While in Port A, we ate at a great place called the Venetian Hotplate, where you have to pre-order their lasagna because they only make a specific number. We also ate at my favorite Port A grub station, The Crazy Cajun. They have an awesome boil with shrimp, new potatoes, corn, sausage, and crab. I did something I had never done before, while there; took a moonlit walk on the beach. The moon wasn’t out yet when my walk started, so it was eerily dark out there on the sand with the waves crashing in. The moon finally came up big, orange and beautiful. I was listening to Mumford & Sons Pandora while I was out there and it added a little something extra to my walk. I could see every star in the sky and I got to be alone and marvel at how magnificent our God is. The last place we ate before we skipped town has become our favorite family spot, it’s called Trout Street. This is what I had for lunch, on top of some delightful seafood nachos.

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Below are a few more pictures from our trip. None are edited.

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THEN this past weekend, Sarah and I roadtripped it down to Houston for the Kari Jobe concert. It was truly a glorious time of worshipping God. We heard Warren Barfield who wrote “Love Is Not a Fight” for the Fireproof soundtrack and All Sons And Daughters, who are INCREDIBLY TALENTED!!

We also got to shop at my FAVORITE CLOTHING STORE IN THE WHOLE WORLD: H&M. I spent a little more than I should have, but it was worth it. Right before we got back on the road to come back home, we went to eat at a place called Jus’ Mac. I had the pitmaster which was macaroni, bbq brisket, colby jack cheese, and bbq sauce. AMAZING. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes food…

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This coming weekend I will be traveling home to Amarillo. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Piles

There are so many thoughts piling up in my head lately, I can barely organize and correctly file them away.

Do I respond to that message?

What do I say to the person who has hurt me?

Did I ruin that?

Am I failing?

Are they okay?

Should I spend my money on that?

Do they really think that about me?

Am I smart, strong, or capable enough?

Am I alone?

Are we really going to keep having this same fight?

Did I do that right?

Did I handle this like I should have?

SO MANY QUESTIONS!!

Days like today and yesterday and the day before where I can’t even quiet my mind for ONE second, I feel so overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with every word I want to say to someone who is in need of a response from me or every dollar amount to an unknown expense or the right way to handle someone who has hurt me or someone I have hurt.

It’s tiresome.

I guess the thing I have always been guilty of is over thinking every little minute detail. I think things to death. Most of the time I only obsess over the things that are completely gone from my life, how nuts is that? I don’t know what the answer is. And I won’t ever write blog posts that have all the answers, because I don’t.

All I know to do is map out my mind on paper and get on my knees and ask Jesus to guide me.

Tugging

Every second of my life, I know that God is in me, but there are specific times that I can feel him tugging at my heart, working in me and trying to create something new. I know in the last two weeks, that is the case. I have made so many mistakes lately and each time it happens, Satan has been using those mistakes to pull me further and further down and away from God. I know that God has a plan for even the ugliest things that happen to us, but the challenge is seeing Him working when those negative things are happening. Sometimes it takes a week or two of being down and out for us to get sick of it and figure out that God is waiting on us to empty ourselves of all the dirt and grime in order to create in us a clean heart and rid us of the things that cause us to stumble. God wants to use us but more often than not, He needs to empty us completely before He can fill us back up. Someone called me out and questioned the “good christian woman” that I am, recently, and although I never claim to be perfect, there are things that I have done that in no way glorify God. We all sin, we all fall short of the glory of God, we all need to be forgiven and we are all given grace that we barely deserve. I have hurt people in the past and let them down, but my hope is that they can forgive me and that I can forgive myself. God has a perfect plan for all of us and we need to stop trying to make OUR plan happen and let HIS plan rule.

Sarah

It was SO hot outside, but Sarah and I went out there and took pictures anyway. She was such a good sport. It’s hard to try to look pretty when you’re dripping sweat, but Sarah pulled it off and the pictures came out amazing (If I can say so myself). When you can make someone feel more confident about themselves through photographs, I think you are accomplishing your job as a photographer. I hope that Sarah finds the beauty in herself through these photos. I hope you enjoy!

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My VERY first blog post EVER!

So I’ve been passionate about photography and capturing moments for several years now. I started by working in a couple of studios and then I’ve done some free lance work, but my extremely talented graphic designer friend, Sarah has really motivated me to follow my dream and get my business started. We did a trade; she designed a couple of logos for me and I took some photos of her for her upcoming press release! I will soon be posting some of those photos on here. Having Sarah’s help and encouragement is such a positive force in my life. We all need people who do that for us. Another person who does that for me is my mom. She is the best encourager and pray-er in the world! My hopes for this blog are that it will be a vessle to release my creativity and maybe some who read it and see my photos, will give me a call some day, to do some photos for them!

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