Tuesday, January 26, 2016

About a Dog and a Prayer

This morning I woke up to my smallest dog, Tootie, gagging. She continued to dry heave on and off for a couple hours. Most of the time I'm like 'ehh thug it out homegirl' but something about the way she kept doing it started worrying me.  So we went to the vet.  -___-

She got a quick exam by the doctor and he recommended we do 3 X-rays to make sure she hadn't eaten something that was blocking her up.  I asked him the price (because X-rays = $$).  He came back with an estimate of $300+! I immediately felt my chest tighten and the anxiety rising.  I talked to Lamar about what we should do and went back and forth with the doctor about different options because $300 wasn't going to happen.  We decided to do 1 X-ray and hope that any issue would show and not be hiding in some other view.  The doctor said that if nothing showed in the one X-ray, it was "highly likely that there is nothing there."  So that was the plan... A little over $100 less.  Still a lot, but a much easier pill to swallow. 

When the nurse went to set everything up, I sat in the exam room thinking. I started praying that nothing serious was wrong with Tootie.  I felt worried and anxious about the money. I started thinking about trying to get more hours at the studio. 

Then I had a very important thought.

My God is the owner and controller of everything.  He cares about the tiny sparrow and thus cares about my little dog. He has a plan for my life. Most of the time when I think of God having a plan, I only think about it workwise.  But His plan is for my LIFE. Everything and every part of it.  He has a plan for this particular event.  If something unforeseen should come up in the X-ray, God will guide Lamar and me to the proper course of action.  He will provide the means to handle whatever situation He allows into our lives.  

As I prayed, I began pulling scriptures in.  It was like, "Father, this is what You promised me. This is what You said." I asked for forgiveness for my lack of faith at the beginning.  There is no need for me to be anxious or worried... 'Don't be anxious for anything, but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, bring your requests to God'... God is in control. When I said amen, I felt such a peace.  The tension had left my chest.  The anxiety was gone.  Before praying I felt like I was heading quickly towards a panic attack. This showed me the great difference between trying to handle things on my own versus giving them to God. 

They didn't find anything in the X-ray, so the doctor advised we have Tootie fast for the rest of today and the give her bland food tomorrow.  

Before I could ask anything about what kind of food, the nurse said she was going to find me some free samples.  She came back with two containers of canned food and a bag of dry food.  She gave me enough food for at least 3 days.  Then when I got to the desk to pay, the final charge was $60 less than we discussed! All I could think was... my God is good! 

At this time, Tootie's sleeping next to me. She hasn't tried to throw up since getting home. :) Prayerfully she's done with her antics! 

On another note, normally I have a 'default' way of praying.  Pretty straightforward and basic.  But recently I've been listening to prayers on this app called Abide. My friend Brianna, introduced me to it.  Each morning it gives you a prayer based in scripture.  You can also find prayers for particular topics.  It's a really good app if you are looking to improve your prayer life.  Anyway, through listening to those prayers, I've found myself remembering scriptures more often in my prayers.  I think that's awesome.

That's it. I hope this story goes to remind you that God's got you.  It's up to us to believe it.  I'm really trying to get better at that.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Finally I'm Finished: Calli's Christmas Afghan

I decided, towards the end of the October, to start a stash-busting afghan themed for the holidays.  It's made from a variety of my red and green colored yarns with a beige strand carried through.  I organized the colors from light to dark then dark to light.  At one point in the midst of the red section, I was cleaning my yarn stash and found another ball of yarn that matched.  So I wishy-washed back and forth about frogging back to that color to add the new ball in.  Finally I decided to do it since I was suppose to be stash-busting anyway.  That was quite a gut-wrenching frogging session.  Lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth in real life and on instagram lol. 

crochet christmas afghan, stash busting, yarn stash, yarn, diy, handmade, blanket

Anywho, I worked on it throughout November and finished it a couple days into December.  To be exact (thanks to instagram for helping me narrow this down ^.^) I started "Calli's Christmas Afghan" on October 29th and finished it on December 3rd.  I used up a good chunk of my red and green yarn and about 2 whole 1lb skeins of beige yarn (one stashed one purchased).  O.o That's quite a lot of yarn.  And as expected with all that yarn, the afghan is nicely heavy and warm. 

crochet christmas afghan, stash busting, yarn stash, yarn, diy, handmade, blanket

The finished afghan measures 4.5 feet by 5 feet.  Which is the perfect size to fit over the top of our queen size bed.  It's just enough extra warmth since the nights are getting a bit colder here, and Lamar has totally been hogging it more often these days, lol!  The pattern was super simple.  It's one row of v-stitch (double crochet, chain 1, double crochet in the same space) and then one row with clusters (3 double crochets) in each chain one space.  I love super simple patterns like this because I can go into autopilot very easily. 

crochet christmas afghan, stash busting, yarn stash, yarn, diy, handmade, blanket

I don't often crochet large pieces like this for myself, so finishing this afghan was kind of an early Christmas gift.  I love carrying it around the house with me and we recently took it to Alabama with us.  It is a great sleeping-in-the-car blanket too!  We've snuggled in it outside stargazing and inside watching movies.  I'd say in the couple months it's been finished, it's definitely been worth the hours of work to make it. ^.^  So here is a photo of C.C.A. in its natural habitat on our bed.

What do you think?

crochet christmas afghan, stash busting, yarn stash, yarn, diy, handmade, blanket

Thursday, January 21, 2016

December Daily 2015 Walk Through

We've got a lot of first today! My first "real" youtube video (meaning not a video I posted for storage ^.^) and my first completed December Daily album! Whoop whoop! And I'm glad to say I didn't sound as weird as I expected to.  Yay!

This is a photo of my "filming setup" ^.^ I have my camera tripod on the bed with my ipad balanced atop it and a mug to make sure the ipad stays.  I stood on a step-stool so I could see what was in frame and turn the pages at the same time. Talk about making it work!  I think it game out pretty nicely considering the behind-the-scenes.

I hope you enjoyed the walk through of my December craftings!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

December Date Nights

Lamar and I use to be really good about keeping to our Wednesday date night 'schedule' but we've gotten away from it in the busy-ness of work life.  So to remedy this, I set the December have at least 2 date nights.

Since I was planning to do December Daily, I knew I would want to do photographable things for our dates.  Enter the Downtown Apopka Christmas lights installation!  We had his & hers hot chocolates (mint for him and oatmeal cookie for me) and we went to walk through the park.

December Date Nights Apartment 203 Apopka Florida Christmas Lights Photography Date Night Love Married

It was so much fun!  We took lots of pictures, including a few long exposures... because we're photo nerds after all ^.^  We even recorded ourselves singing carols and sent the video to my parents (who got quite a kick out of our silliness).

December Date Nights Apartment 203 Apopka Florida Christmas Lights Long ExposurePhotography Date Night Love Married

December Date Nights Apartment 203 Apopka Florida Christmas Lights Long ExposurePhotography Date Night Love Married

I love having simple dates like this, where we go out, while still spending one-on-one time together.  Lamar said that's something he loves about me is that I come up with these simple little ideas that turn out to be so much fun.

The next 2 date nights were stay at home movie nights.  One night we watched Insurgent and the other we watched Jurassic World.  Both movies were really good.  Movie nights are always a great goto ideas because you don't really have to plan anything.  Just pick a movie, grab some snacks and get cozy!

December Date Nights Apartment 203 Movie Night Insurgent Divergent Trilogy Tris Four Jurassic World Dinosaurs Raptor Jurassic Park Married Love

The last "date night" we had wasn't an intentional "date night."  Lamar's dad left his Chinese checkers game set after Thanksgiving and one evening I asked Lamar if he wanted to play.  We played two games, both of which I lost... evidently I'm terrible at strategy games! Just terrible!!  Anyway, it was fun to take a spontaneous moment for us to hang out together.

December Date Nights Apartment 203 Game Night Chinese Checkers Board Games Simple dates Married Love

I'm glad I set that date night goal for us.  It definitely stayed in the front of my mind throughout the month.  Now I just need to get on the ball this month as we're more than halfway in and haven't had a date night yet.  Lemme get on this!

What are your goto date night ideas??

Monday, January 18, 2016

Garden Update: We Meet Again Mr. Cucumber

Yes, ladies and gents! This is happening.

I am going in for take THREE- growing cucumbers.  Any and ALL gardening tips/advice is welcomed!! Hopefully three is really the charm.

Contradiction: A How I'm Feeling Post

Recently I purchased the book 'Do What You Are' by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron and it's got me quietly having an identity crisis.  The book is basically a career guide based on the Myers-Briggs personality types.

About five years ago, I was working as a team leader in a call center and in one of our training classes, we took the Myers-Briggs.  My result was: INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging).  The description of that type was/is spot on.  So over the years, whenever I come across anything Myers-Briggs related I'd take a peek at the INFJ section.  Now last night, when I started reading the book, I thought, "It's been a while, lemme find an online assessment and retest myself."  I did two and both came out INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving).  After reading both chapters in the book, INFJ & INFP, I saw that they both describe me...  Um... whaaat??  I mentioned this on my social media asking if I can be a blend of both types, and one of my friends said yes.

Now, that got me thinking.

In high school, I took the left brain/ right brain assessment.  When I finished and we went over the results, I was the only person in the class split evenly down the middle.  Of course I thought I had done something wrong, but my teacher said there are people that are "both" brained.  They are evenly as likely to be "logical" or "artistic". 

When I started college, we took the four temperaments test.  That test told me I was Melancholic/Sanguine.  Which by the administrator's description was sad/happy or even (serious, introverted, moody, susceptible to depression)/(lively, social, carefree, artistic).  At least that time I wasn't the only blended one.  There was another girl and we still call each other sisters to this day :)

Then last night after retaking the Myers-Briggs, I came across the "Top Brain Bottom Brain"assessment (which I'd never heard of before).  Of course I took it :) I felt like that one was more fair because I didn't know what characteristics the top and bottom carried.  My results:  Tendency not to rely on Top/Tendency not to rely on Bottom... seriously?!

So yeah... all this personality hubub has given me a realization.

I am a walking contradiction... but I don't think that's a bad thing.

There are a lot of times when I feel a distinct duality in my thought process or patterns.  When I can make perfectly sensible arguments for both sides of a situation.  This became a huge problem when I was depressed because I would reason myself to a standstill and end up doing nothing.  I remember feeling like there were literally two Caleishas.  Which sounds quite weird, but it was real.  It's good to know that it's OK that I'm not specifically one thing.  My mind contradicts itself.  My personality/temperaments ebb and flow between extremes.  I go from introverted feeling to extroverted feeling...  I'm allowed to be lively and moody.

I think if I can learn how to cultivate both extremes of my personality, I will be better able to find a place to belong.  I'll feel more grounded and less off balance.  And with my 30th birthday right around the corner, this is the best time to be mindfully addressing this.

Websites I visited
The Personality Page
Myers-Briggs Test
Another Myers-Briggs Test 
INFJ Personality Type Info
INFP Personality Type Info
About the Four Temperaments
The Four Temperaments Test
Top Brain Bottom Brain
Top Brain Bottom Brain Test

Friday, January 8, 2016

Listers Gotta List: December 2015 Wrap-Up

I decided to do the December Listers Gotta List (by The Reset Girl) a little differently than the other couple months I made.  This time I used a 6x6 paper pad for each list and created a sort of mini album.  I originally had each page inside the album with my December Daily, but that got too fat too quick!  I really liked how thoughtful I had to be for this project.  I put a lot of emphasis on being intentional with memory keeping during the month and since a bunch of the prompts were memory based, it was nice sit an sift through my brain.

So without more ado, here is my December 2015 Listers Gotta List!  Enjoy ^.^

december 2015 listers gotta list the reset girl scrapbook paper craft diy mini album memory keeping project life december daily
december 2015 listers gotta list the reset girl scrapbook paper craft diy mini album memory keeping project life december daily

december 2015 listers gotta list the reset girl scrapbook paper craft diy mini album memory keeping project life december daily
december 2015 listers gotta list the reset girl scrapbook paper craft diy mini album memory keeping project life december daily

And because I love making them... here's a flip through ^.^  Happy crafting in 2016!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Story Time: Happy Holidays 2015

christmas 2015 memory keeping document project life scrapbooking christmas tree

I love how the year ends with Thanksgiving and Christmas!  It's like, 'Congratulations! You made it! Now eat a whole lotta food with your family!'  This past holiday season was nothing different in that sense.  I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas days with my family and we ate lots of food... albeit later than expected, but what's new?

candid family photos christmas 2015 memory keeping document project life scrapbooking

I did feel different this year tho.  There was a distinct lack of super-christmassy spirit... but I attribute it to the long hours of work at the studio.  Spending the whole day convincing other people's families to smile is quite draining.  But anyway, I made it through!  Yay me!

This December I decided to try my hand at creating a December Daily scrapbook (link) and I'm so glad I did!  Telling a story each day and remembering to take pictures was monumental in me actually making memories of this holiday season.  Now doing the December Daily album was hard!  I'm still working on finishing up the last few pages.  I'll be sharing it on here soon.  ^.^ yay!

december daily 2015 album ali edwards scrapbooking memory keeping project life document photography christmas

Next November/December I want to take even more pictures (God willing) and maybe do some video.  I know that even though I look like a crazy person snapping random pictures of little bits of life, looking back on them will be great.  Lamar really liked looking through the album and he kept telling me how cute I was for doing it.  Maybe next year, instead of only December Daily, I'll make it a holiday album and start it at Thanksgiving and keep on through New Years.  That's really ambitious, but it would be awesome to have!
Some of my favorite memories of this past holiday season are:
1.  quality family time / skyping with my family
2. finishing the breast cancer survivor afghan
3. secret santa with friends and family
4. our christmassy bedroom
5. Ryan white elephant gift exchange
How was your holiday season?  Does your family have any particular traditions?

Monday, January 4, 2016

December 2015: Month in Review

December, like a lot of 2015, was a blur! If not for my memory keeping projects I'm not sure that I'd remember anything... I drank too much coffee, and stayed up too late too often, but in hindsight - it was a good month. Full of good memories.

12/1: Lamar and I took our Christmas pictures. We had lots of fun trying to get the dogs to pay attention to the photographers :)

12/4: Lamar paid off his car!!!

12/5: We went to a Jonathan Nelson concert.  Being in a room full of worshipers is such a special experience. 

12/13: I was playing around at the studio and surprised myself by successfully doing the crow pose ^.^ You really never know what you can do until you try.

12/14: My baby brother turned 21... I guess I gotta stop calling him 'baby brother' nah!

12/15: Lamar and I made 18 months married!! I wrote a couple blog posts about him and us :) <-here- & -here->

12/16: Downtown Christmas lights date night with Babe!

12/22: I got my first Kwanzaa kinara :)

12/23: I put up our little Christmas tree.

12/25: Christmas with family and skyped/facetimed my mom, dad & Andrew.  I missed Aaron by a few minutes :-/

12/26: Delivered the breast cancer survivor afghan to Sarah and Jon. I am so proud of myself for finishing that project!!

12/30: I left my wallet at home by accident and Erica paid for my breakfast :)

12/31: Spent a quiet NYE watching movies with Lamar. I think that's the best way to bring in a new year ^.^

Throughout the Month
1. I was pretty much sick all through December... Ugh
2. I also failed at being a blogger. I only wrote 3 posts! For. Shame!
3. On a more positive note... I kicked butt on my reading goal! I finished 5 books!!

December Goals Review
1. Complete December Daily - mostly done. I have to finish 24-31.
2. Complete Capture December photo a day challenge - I got to the 19th before getting bogged down by the rest of my plans/work schedule.
3. At least 2 date nights with Lamar - Done! We had 2 movie nights and went to see the Christmas lights downtown.
4. Finish 3 books - Done! 
5. Celebrate Kwanzaa with friends - Not quite... Bee and I texted every day but we didn't get together and light the candles and everything.  Better luck next year :)

January Goals
1. Get half way through the Bible (psalm 120)
2. Photograph Grandma's retirement party and make a book
3. Do a photoshoot (fairy bee, newborn, family)
4. Style my hair 3 times
5. Keep the kitchen clean

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Our Wedding Tree: The Chinese Plum

When I moved to Florida, one of the first things I remember being REALLY different were the fruit trees.  I've never lived somewhere that had so many fruit trees just everywhere.  One day, Lamar and I were driving somewhere and he pulled the car over and started picking fruit from this tree on the side of the road.  He got back in the car while rubbing the little fruits on his shirt and started eating them.  I was like, "What is that?! You didn't plant that! Is it safe! What if you're allergic! AHHHH!!!" That was my introduction to Chinese plums or Loquats.  I tried one when we got home (with benadryl close by should the need arise!) They were delicious and I'm not allergic ^.^

Fast forward to March 13th of this year, I planted a Chinese plum seed from my in-laws' tree.  For the first 2 and a half months, it looked like nothing was going to come of it and it even got some sort of mold in the soil.  So I partially chalked it up as a loss, but kept watering it just in case.

Some time in May I came out to see that it had sprouted ^.^  I was super excited about it and showed Lamar.  He was like "YES! Now in 10 years we can have our own Chinese plum tree and get fruit from it!"  He also remarked that since I planted it within our first year of marriage, it can be our 'wedding tree'.  Isn't that sweet!

So here is our Chinese plum wedding tree now.  It's quite a strong little plant and it always makes me happy to see.  Plus I just think its really really cool that I ate the fruit, planted the seed, and then grew this plant!  It's the circle of liiiife!!!

18 Things for 18 Months

Yesterday, Lamar and I reached our 18 month wedding milestone. Hurray! I bought him a cinnabun and put 1.5 candles on it... cuz I'm cute like that ^.^

I also thought it would be cute and fitting to do an 18 things list.  So without further ado, here are 18 things I love about my husband!

1. His dedication:  Lamar has been leading the young adult choir at church for the last few years and even though the turnout is always way less than it should be, he has never quit on it.  (Despite my thoughts that he should, lol)

2. His musical talent
:  I love that he sings and plays the piano.  I think it's really cool how he can pick up songs and separate out the voice parts and teach the choir.

3. The way he supports me:  He is always there to listen to whatever idea I've come up with and always has faith in me completing those goals.

4. His ideas:  Every so often we'll be riding in the car and he comes up with a whole play or book idea, and they're really good.  Now he just needs to sit down and make it happen!

5. His desire to learn:  He loves learning new things and that's awesome in itself.

6. His sweet-tooth:  Because it gives me an excuse to donuts and ice cream ^.^

7. The way he mixes desserts:  When we first started dated, he use to make this "malted milk, ice cream, chocolate drizzled, floating island of happiness" dessert.  I can't even remember what all was in it, but it was ridiculously good!

8. How cute he is with kids:  I love seeing him interact with little kids.  It's adorable.

9. His way of being motivational:  He wants everyone to succeed at whatever they are doing, whether they are his students, friends, or family.  He always has uplifting words to give the kick in the pants needed.

10. His imagination:  This goes along with the ideas, plays, and books he makes up.  I love that his imagination is still active and he hasn't grown out of it.

11. His even keel attitude:  This is something I'm still trying to learn from him.  He has the ability to stay calm in so many situations while I'm freaking out about something that hasn't even happened yet.

12. How he goes along with my photo ideas:  Last year he wore a crochet elf hat in our Christmas pictures... this year he work reindeer antlers... all without complaint.  Well he did wear a shirt that said "please don't make me do stuff" under his sweater... lol

13. He's so encouraging:  I love when he tells me how he interacts with students.  He has a way of encouraging them when they're doing poorly and it endears him to them and they try harder because they know he honestly cares.

14. He's optimistic:  This goes along with the even keel attitude.  He has a way of looking at the bright side almost all the time and you can't help but smile about it.

15. He's forgiving:  This needs no explanation.

16. He's committed
:  He says once he says he's going to do something that's it.  Whether it's our relationship, his work at school, or his work at church.  That is a very admirable trait.

17. He never gets mad at me for having a down swing:  He tries to lift me out of them or get me to see what's actually wrong.  If there's nothing he can do, he just stays nearby.  He never makes me feel bad about it.  And I appreciate that more than words can say.

18. He's so loving: What else can I say? This man is such a blessing!

A bit ago, I was going through some old blog posts from my xanga.com days and I found a list of traits I wanted my husband to have.  It was amazing to see that Lamar possessed nearly all of them.  It just made me even more grateful to God for moving us in such a way to meet. 

Happy 18 Month-TA-versary Love!!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

November 2015: Month in Review

11/1: Fall back... bye bye daylight savings!

11/3: I got a bunch of free 4x4 prints from photobucket!  WIN!!!

11/8: Half way through making 'Calli's Christmas Afghan' (click -here- for progress shots)

11/9: I read the graphic novel "Page by Paige" in one sitting.  It was great!  Awesome artwork too.

11/11: Date Day with Lamar at the Orlando Eye. (blog post -here-)

11/14: We went to Lamar's school to see the Beauty & the Beast musical.

11/21: Received my shutterfly free 4x6 order

11/23: Had a nice date night walking through lit up downtown Winter Garden.

11/26: Thanksgiving! We had a great evening with family and friends.

Throughout the Month

1. Did quite a bit of scrapbooking.
2. During the week of the 15th-21st, I watched Rent (totally and in part) 4 times thanks to the fact that my dear husband kept falling asleep.
3. Got a LOT of reading done! 6 books! Most of them were shorter graphic novels, but a book is a book!  I'm 5 away from my goal!

November Goals Review
1. 2 weeks no soda - DONE!
2. Yoga - Nope... I just need to stop putting this on the list. -___-
3. Finish 3 books - DONE!
4. Control and maintain laundry - Done-ish... I got all the laundry done, but when I was putting it away I ran outta space :( So now I'm a bit backed up again.  *shrug* I tried.
5. Photostory: Photo an hour - DONE! I'll share it soon.

December Goals
1. Complete December Daily
2. Complete Capture December Photo a day
3. At least 2 date nights with Lamar
4. Finish 3 books
5. Celebrate Kwanzaa with friends