Welcome to my blog!

So the truth is that trying to survive in our world as a woman is hard enough at times but toss in some Christianity and you got yourself quite a challenge. My name is Miranda and welcome to my blog. I recently married the love of my life and went from the single life to the newly married adventure. I'm sure my upcoming writings will dive into this new and exciting stage of my life. Sometimes life is quite funny, sometimes it's downright entertaining, and sometimes it can get a little bit more serious. I love God and want to live a life that pleases him but that sometimes is easier said than done. :) So join me as I walk through the trials, struggles and joys of life when the only thing that works is a little chocolate and a lot of faith.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Days of Christmas

Christmas is full of special times, great memories and heart warming traditions. This year is a little different as Joe and I have begun our own family. It means in addition to treasured time with family and friends, we have the opportunity to begin new traditions and build our own family memories. It's exciting!

I love hearing about how Joseph celebrated Christmas and then combining the things that we both love about the holidays. This year he told me how their family put out their nativity set but kept baby Jesus hidden until Christmas morning. My family never did that but I thought it was pretty cool so it is now part of our new Christmas Traditions. My family always decorated for Christmas with balloons and I think my darling husband thought it was a little weird but when we put the balloons up this year I think he really liked them. I love the blending of not only 2 lives but 2 cultures. I feel so blessed.

Well, since we both love Christmas we decided to make every moment count so we came up with a plan to celebrate our countdown to Christmas beginning today and here it is, our own 12 day countdown.

12 Days of Christmas

Day 1. Go light hunting
Day 2. Watch fave christmas movies
Day 3. Visit friends
Day 4. Play board games
Day 5. Ministry night. Make something for the neighbors and friends
Day 6. Christmas date night
Day 7. Make each other a card or gift
Day 8. Christmas shopping
Day 9. Make and decorate cookies
Day 10. Go on an out of town Christmas adventure
Day 11. Christmas Tree Party
Day 12. Church and family

Not sure if we will switch things up depending on how we feel, the weather (if we get snow I want to build my first snowman) or other opportunities that may arise. Either way, we are gonna make this season fun and enjoy each other and the people we love. Above all that we are gonna give God the glory for it is a season to remember the great gift of our Savior, who makes this all possible. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Marriage Adventure

I can't lie, it feels like my honey and I are still on our honeymoon high from Disney World. Can you blame us? That place was magical. Funny how that was the place I wanted to honeymoon at when I was a little girl. I mean dinner at Cinderella's castle, front row seats for the wishes fireworks show, soaring over the world, boat rides, dinner in Paris, space exploration, a safari adventure...if you haven't been to Disney...what are you waiting for? Anyways, truth be told it was an amazing time and even though the vacation is over, the honeymoon is just beginning :)

The first few months of married life is an adventure. Call it a season of surprise and glorious disbelief. For instance I was surprised when I discovered boxers in my laundry for the first time and realized they belonged to my husband. Lol! They made me giggle like a school girl with a secret crush. Well to be completely honest it was still surprising that I had added trips to the laundry mat to my weekly itinerary. Gone were the glorious days of laundry fairies...I'm still mourning that loss by the way. :(

Getting married is big. You spend a major portion of your adult life dreaming about it then one day you wake up with a gorgeous, snoring man next to you and a ring on your finger and you think "I'm married!" There are a lot of changes. The life that was mine (to a degree) no longer belongs to me (Pastor Dave warned me about this). Well actually God's Word is pretty clear about stripping away selfishness and becoming one. That sentiment is wonderfully epic and newlyweds can't wait to embrace the ideal but the reality is that human nature is pretty selfish. In addition to that comes the bonus of the self absorbed and self focused society that we live in. To sum it up, a successful marriage takes going against the flow, hard work, lots of love and a continuous flood of forgiveness.

Believe me I am just starting on this journey and I have far to go but I already recognize how important these things are if our marriage is going to be extraordinary. Joe and I have already encountered many challenges in our short time together but by the grace of God we get through them and grow more in love every day. There is something that takes place when you love someone so much and desire to see them happy, it should drive you to sacrifice your own needs so theirs could be met. Oh but hold on now, here's the wonder in that: when both people try to bring joy to the other and take care of them, both wind up with their needs met, their joy overflowing and a marriage that's full of passion.

If the flames of your marriage are burning bright, praise God! If not...what can you do today to stoke the fire?

Catching Up

Hello wonderful friends. Obviously it has been way too long. I admit I took a break from writing my blog as I tried to wrap my head around the newly married life. It has proven to be quite the adventure by the way. More than I could have ever imagined. So now that we recently celebrated our 6 month anniversary (I know right, can you believe it?) I figured it is about time to get back into telling about this amazing journey that God has us on. It's 'us' now...I love that! Can I just say it is so exciting to be married to the man that God hand picked for you. Quite frankly there was no one else on this planet who would have so willingly embraced my 'princess' heritage and actually love every second of it. I mean every day I'm still amazed that Joseph is my husband. Ooooooh there's so much to talk about. And since I am recovering from surgery and the removal of Frank the fibroid and all his cronies, I can totally catch you all up on some of our marriage adventure...well with bathroom breaks of course :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Great Apartment Hunt

So as Joe and I prepare to embark on the great marriage adventure, there are so many things that need to be done and so many changes that have to be made. I’m not just talking planning the wedding ceremony and the reception, but all the life changes that come with it. One of the biggest ones is moving in together. Joe and I both live with our families currently so either of us moving in with the other was out of the question. :) (We are trying to avoid conflict and possible death at all costs). Haha!

It’s been an interesting journey. The first apartment we looked at (and I use the term ‘apartment’ loosely) was a dark slum with questionable black paneled rooms (literally), and a tiny fire escape window (put in for insurance purposes). We agreed that we felt like diseases were crawling on us from just standing there. It was a dirty death trap. Crazy! I’m shocked this guy even listed this. Next we encountered a higher end apartment(the higher end part being that it was on the 3rd floor of this very green building). Well the apartment was what is referred to as an ’efficiency’ apartment. In the real world 'efficiency' translates to ‘small’ with 'midget-like' qualities. But the apartment wasn’t half as interesting as the eccentric landlord who talked non-stop for like an hour and kept trying to give us coffee (not Timmy H’s buddy!) Strike 1! Regardless, we found him to be an intriguing guy until we learned later from someone who knew him that he was slightly psychotic. 2 down.

We looked at several others including one that was actually quite nice but was located in the middle of 'no where in particular' and was situated above a commercial garage. It had a rubber roof (i.e. weird, ugly and flammable). Uh no! Another one we felt like maybe someone might have been killed there and the body buried in the tiny crawl space beneath the living room (creepy) or hidden behind the dated wood paneled walls. Another one smelled interesting, like a combination of a neglected retirement home and death. Plus the amazing green checkered bathroom was slightly deterring.

Probably one of my faves was the one where the kitchen cupboards started way above my head so that literally I would need a step ladder to reach – anything. I reckon the saloon doors leading into the living room was a downright mighty fine addition but seemed entirely out of place. (It looked like the old west crashed into someone's living room).

The truth is sometimes in life good things are harder to come by like finding a decent apartment. We have to wait on God. The question is do we give up cause it’s too long a wait? Is it too difficult to trust? Or do we just settle for something cause we are not sure something better is going to come along? I admit the apartment search was getting daunting but we kept looking and finally when all hope seemed to be lost we found an adorable 2 bedroom apartment that was clean, roomy, modern and even has a balcony. Oh and wait, the best part is we walked in and it felt like...our first home :)

The lease is signed! God is good! Hang in there if you are trusting Him for something at this point in your life and we’ll let you know when our house warming party is.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ode to Joe

It’s funny how planning a wedding can make a person with a usually sunny, glass half full sort of disposition, (namely me), suddenly become slightly neurotic, irrational and emotional as the smallest things mushroom into major crises. I will confess that I have had my share of irrationality in the last few weeks…I hate admitting that but I can almost guarantee there will be other moments before this wedding is over. All I can say is thank God for Joe, he is my rock and literally has averted so much disaster and death (to others) it’s just been amazing.

For starters, Lori, Kimmy and I spent hours putting together our invitations one evening. They were sooo pretty and I was sooo excited to send them out…only to learn that when people received them they were all smudged. Crisis! I mean I bawled my eyes out because well you only send your invitations out once and here is the thing I figured people would be so horrified. Well my darling Joe spent a few hours convincing me that people were not going to hate me for a smudged invite and that we should put an announcement on FB and offer to send replacements. Well I just kept thinking what a bad impression it made but surprisingly people were quite ok and more people were excited about coming to our wedding than they were on dwelling on the unfortunate ink story. Go figure!

The List! Of course I have a little more than 2 months to go and it’s like I have 2 million things that need to be done and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere so I decided to do a list. Which in essence should have made me feel better since it was so thorough and I had a clear grasp on what I had to do. Instead the list struck a panic chord in me and turned me into a cranky no fun person until Joe reminded me that he was there to help. Whatever I needed him to do he would do it. Assign him jobs. We had a lot of people who were willing to help and I didn’t have to be superwoman. He also reminded me of the very important factor that God was the One that brought us together and He would provide for this wedding. All these things I knew but somehow I can’t remember them in the midst of wedding mania so I’m glad he helped jog my memory.

Then there was of course the shoe crisis. Let me say when you find the perfect dress and veil and tiara, naturally the perfect shoes are the next step… (Haha get it?) Anyways, so I’ve been searching for weeks to no avail until I ended up in Pittsburgh this past weekend at JC Penney and found the perfect pair. They were silver, cute, part glass, real Cinderella stuff here. I was reveling in finally finding shoes when I came to discover they were the exact same ones that my sister got to wear in the wedding. Talk about devastating. I mean the bride can’t and I repeat can’t wear the same shoes as her Matron of Honor. Just not right. So I sat at Olive Garden crying my eyes out because of course this was akin to the end of the world while my Joe got online, found a bunch of adorable wedding shoes and started showing me a few and before long I picked one I liked and he had it ordered, all before his phone died. Crisis averted. Once again, there was my amazing fiancĂ© saving the day.

So, the fact that Joe is my future husband was obviously no coincidence. He can ease my fears and calm my nerves like no one else and is always placing God at the forefront. God’s plan! What more can any woman want? :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Adventures in Wedding Planning - The Dress!

Since my proposal (which was pretty incredible by the way,)  I have found myself immersed in the wedding planning frenzy that every bride lives and breathes in the months preceding the big day. Planning a wedding is an experience. It is an adventure in the land of halls, lace, flowers, pictures, stationary, dresses, parties, gifts, themes, decisions, favors, music, video, shopping, menus, in-laws, cakes, desserts, sparkling drinks and money. I tell you what, you learn a lot about people really fast during such times as these. Lol! I am happy to report that my groom-to-be has been quite agreeable (and rational) through this process which has been great for me during a few hair pulling moments. Haha! I praise God for him every day.

However there are so many experiences that accompany all these decisions, some pleasant, some…not so much. Take gown shopping for instance, it should be a thrilling and exhilarating experience right? Well this was not the case when I visited David’s Bridal a couple weeks or so ago. I walked in as a new Bride-to-Be thinking “This is awesome, my second bridal appointment. How fun!” That was until I was greeted (I use this term very cautiously) by Atilla the Hun at the front counter who immediately escorted me over to her desk to sign some paperwork where we were joined by an ill dressed woman who apparently was supposed to be my consultant and her greeting was one of slight exasperation over the amount of ‘favorites’ I had. What happened to “Congratulations!”? Or some other semi-human greeting. After that ‘Miss Pleasant’ escorted me to the closet section or ‘dressing rooms’ as they called it.

So now the topic up for discussion is how many inappropriate questions and/or comments can take place during a single bridal appointment? I am glad you asked because apparently more than any new bride bargains for -:

- Well, there are a lot of dresses on your list, I’ll see if I can find some of these
- Do you want me to help you or one of the people you brought?
- Well maybe if you used a push up bra…it would work better
- Well it’s big, so…
- You really want to try this?
- That’s how it’s made I don’t think it could be adjusted
- You aren’t really tall enough for that dress
- I’m running out of options I don’t really know what to pull for you
- You should probably go look on the racks yourself
- No we don’t have that dress
- I’m not sure they have it at our other location either
- If you need something I’ll be around

(Then poof! She vanished!)

I need a push up bra? Really? Let me say she literally pulled the dresses onto me, zipped it up and opened the door and out I went to the world of harsh lights and no pedestal. And she just stood off to the side. No assistance, no suggestions or anything, just tapping her ugly shoes on the rug till I was done. That was quite possibly the worst 2 hours of my retail life.

Disillusioned we left to go eat and what do you know? Out of nowhere across from our restaurant was the bridal boutique of this designer I love. 2 hours later I had ordered the dress of my dreams, veil and tiara and had one of the most amazing experiences ever complete with tears and my own video recorded ‘say yes to the dress’ moment. So much so I almost forgot the nightmare that was my earlier appointment. It’s funny how God can turn a situation around and work it out for good. Wait, not just good…better than you can imagine! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Change is Good!

As most of you know by now, I am engaged to be married to the love of my life Joseph Turner. How surreal it’s been after dreaming about being in this place for so long. God in His amazing grace has blessed me beyond what I deserve. However, I’ve had rollercoaster emotions to go along with it and a thousand questions. The other day I was having a minor meltdown as the prospect of all the upcoming changes loomed in front of me. I mean I’ve lived at home for…well let’s just say a lot of years, been responsible for other people. Now, here I am on the verge of getting married and taking on the responsibility of my own home and a husband.

A husband! No longer do I have to report to anyone except him. Naturally I wonder about so many things; am I going to be a good wife? Am I going to disappoint him? What’s it going to be like to share a home with him? What if he doesn’t like my decorating ideas? What if I don’t like his? What about my cooking? Are we going to travel? When will we move? How will we handle issues that arise? Then even before that there is the actual wedding to be concerned about. How’s the engagement party going to go? Or the bridal shower? Are people going to show up? Is it going to be a beautiful day for our wedding? Is it going to be memorable? Is everyone going to be blessed? Questions! Questions! Questions! It’s a good thing I have my amazing fiancĂ© to reassure me that it’s natural to be nervous but these changes are all for the better. Whew! Or else I may have lost a lot more hair from pulling them out.

Let’s face it change is scary. It’s the fear of the unknown, that taking a leap of faith and trusting to land on solid ground. So far God’s hand seems to be on this upcoming marriage, from meeting each other, through our courtship, the proposal and still now as we plan to spend the rest of our lives together. It’s been a magnificent whirlwind to be caught up in. We both recognize that we are just recipients of God’s goodness and His unconditional love and it is our prayer that we don’t waste a second of His gift. 


Miranda Tom