Monday, April 23, 2012

It was exactly 3 years ago last Friday, April 20th, that our world swiftly tilted

So last Thursday, April 19th, I paused.

I tried to recollect how I was (who I was?) before April 20th happened. I imagined myself going about my day that was probably nothing far from ordinary. Was I happier? Smile more? Worry less? Calmer? Because that was all before. Before the madness. Before the shatter. Before I ceased to be who I was and started to become who I am now. 

And I think about God, the God of April 19th, and who I thought He was. 

Or more like, who I had made Him out to be.

The God of April 19th looked something like this: He would allow bad things to happen to good people, but not super-terribly-crazy-bad things to happen to anything-above-lukewarm-Christians. Crazy, I know. I probably would not have admitted to believing that, but reaction to circumstance is pretty indicative of what I (and people in general) believe. He was kind and good and somehow it was so much easier to believe because the really ugly-gives-you-goosebumps-nightmares only happened to "other people".

Until they didn't.

And then I was "other people".

And I have come to realize, among many other things over the last three years, that the God of April 19th not only doesn't exist, He never did. I had made for myself a graven image, God as I know Him, instead of the true God that He really is, despite what I want to believe Him to be. And since then, my relationship with Him has become much richer, deeper, and more intimate than I could have ever thought. Suffering takes your heart to places with God that can not be reached in any other way. 

I remember a phrase that I somehow repeated to myself in that ultrasound room when I thought I would die right there of a broken heart: He is still the same...He is still the same...He is still the same. 

And He still is.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Fun & Frugal Hello Kitty Party

It was all about Hello Kitty this past weekend as we celebrated my little girl's 7th birthday. Instead of using the Hello Kitty party supplies available at the store, I decided on a pink, black & white theme with Hello Kitty scattered throughout. It is much cheaper to buy solid colored paper plates (black) and napkins (pink with white polka dots) than to buy the Hello Kitty embellished party ware. We used fabric, sheets, tissue paper flowers, cardstock that we already had on hand to complete the look! For games, we played musical chairs, freeze dance, and pin-the-bow on Hello Kitty. We put on HK tattoos and enjoyed a tasty lunch of finger foods like cheese, sausage and crackers, fruit kabobs, pigs-in-a-blanket, and mini pb&j sandwiches. Everything was designed to be fun, frugal, and well, a little fabulous.

:: Homemade Table Centerpiece - Tablecloth is a flat sheet with a zebra print fabric remnant laid over the top. ::

 :: Hello Kitty Birthday Banner - Created with a Sizzix Big Shot ::

:: Close-up of Hello Kitty on the banner ::

 :: Helium Balloon Bouquets from our local dollar store. I purchased the pink polka dot balloons at a party store & brought them to the dollar store to be filled. ::

:: We played pin the bow on Hello Kitty as a party game. It was great fun! I created this poster using the "grid" method. ::

:: My mantle is ready for the party! ::

:: The birthday girl is ready to party in her HK tshirt and her HK handmade hairbow. ::

:: The birthday girl and her girlfriend who slept over the night before the big party. It's not all the decoration or food or presents, but the special people that make these days extra-special. ::

:: Homemade chocolate cupcakes with pale pink frosting, silver sugar glitter, and candy HK faces. ::

:: HK cake - White cake with fresh sliced strawberries and real whipped cream frosting. ::

:: Make a wish my sweet girl. I hope this day was as wonderful as you are. ::