Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ice Storm 2013 = New Bathroom for Me!

If you read my last blog entry you found out I joyously have a bit more time on my hands these days; and in case you don't know me too well then let me tell you extra time means I get a LOT done.  I'm not really very good and just "sitting around and eating bon-bons" as my husband would say.  Even when I am watching TV I like to be "doing" something.  So for some Christmas presents I have been making creations which is what dominated most of my time while iced in alone for four days (can't show you those yet, maybe after Christmas I'll blog about those).  Phil, my husband, works in an ER about an hour away so that means a couple things...
1. He HAS to go to work.  You can't really call in when you work in the ER.
2. You also can't drive back and forth when it is super icy and it's midnight so he stayed in a hotel and the dogs and I hunkered down trying to keep warm.
Arden was not a fan of the ice.

Frozen things are cool but I couldn't stay out long I'm a wuss. 

Thankfully, before the ice storm hit I had purchased lot of craft supplies and paint supplies.  I got the idea in my head that our main bathroom needed to be jazzed up.  So I went out on a limb and bought a gallon of fairly bright teal paint and got busy.

That's my before and after show and tell... 

I kind of love it and it makes me happy so regardless of if you like the change or not - I do... and it's way better than when we bought the house.

I know what you REALLY want to see is what it looked like when we first moved in.



I know it was special... we should have kept it. ;P
(It was hand stenciled and I totally felt guilty painting over it... BUT...)

After the bathroom was finished I had barely put a dent in the gallon of paint (oops - should have bought a quart) but I decided why stop with the bathroom so I painted our laundryroom/garage door.  I have dubbed it the "bant door" (combo of front and back... which in hind sight we have another backdoor so maybe I need to rethink this) as it functions more as our front door than our real front door. so maybe it should be dubbed "frage door" or "froge"... oh my.  Maybe I should just show you.

And now I must leave you with one final ice picture.
Doesn't our house look so great all decked out for Christmas with the pretty ice reflection.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Change is in the Air

The past few months have flown by in a sort of whirlwind that has almost had my head spinning.  In fact, my last blog was in August and let me tell you since then my world has been rocked.    Let me give you a little update.

As you may know this year Phil and I were blessed to take several trips.  Starting in April we went on a cruise, followed by a weekend in May to Boston and then in July we went to Hawaii.  (I haven't yet blogged about Hawaii... but it's coming don't worry along with TONS of photos.)  These trips were truly amazing, fun and eye opening for me.  Within all of them there was a massive reoccurring theme that "something in my life had to give".  As we would approach returning from these trips rather than having a sense of excitement to return home I would panic, melt down and become very anxious that I was returning to a stress level that wasn't healthy and was in these moments crippling.  As the realization settled over me that I was over-committed, over-stressed and I was the only one who could change that.  So I began to pray, talk with Phil and walk toward making changes.

In September I finally decided that it was time to step away from my full time job. Over the past couple years I have been growing my freelance client base.  It is a dream of my to work from home doing freelance and potentially (Lord willing) one day being home to raise kids.  The decision to leave my full time job was not an easy decision.  I have been with the company for 5 years and have grown my position from basically the ground up.  The company branding and marketing are in a lot of ways "my baby" and it is never an easy transition to pass the torch.  So that being said, the actual transition has taken some time.  After giving notice I stayed on in order to continue working while a new person was found and hired.  So my last official day was Oct. 31. It is sort of hard to believe that I have let go but by the wise words of a friend I was reminded that drawing boundaries is important and healthy.  So I drew the line.  AND NOW.... I am a full time freelance designer! WHAT!  freak out. (in a good way)

I feel so blessed to have this chance to follow this dream and thankful for a husband who is supportive and loving and able to carry the majority of our financial responsibilities.  I'm so grateful that he was able to pursue his dream of being a PA and now I can follow my dream of being a freelance designer and photographer.

The most amazing part of leaving my full time job is that I am no longer driving to Ft. Worth EVERYDAY! My hour plus commute each way is a burden I have gladly thrown to the wayside. Though I must admit I think I will miss listening to so many audio books.  (Audio books were my way of coping with road rage... and for me it works to keep my blissfully entertained and unperturbed by annoying - rude drivers.)

Things I have already learned:
  • It is still important to get up and get ready for the day...sitting in PJs all day doesn't make anyone feel good about themselves.
  • I still have to set a schedule because freelance can be perpetual hours.
  • Windows 8 sucks...haha just a little random free one for ya.
So if you want to check out my design website here it is.  ConstanceRayDesigns.com

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10

Friday, August 16, 2013

5 min Friday - Small...

It's that time again.  Five Minute Friday.  Last week I had a little more to say than 5 minutes of writing so I took a pause to blog about that.



I don't realize how doing the smallest things impact my daily life.  Well I don't realize it until I'm not doing those small things - like putting a dish in the dish washer after eating or throwing a box in the recycling. Those seemingly obvious actions are almost "no brainers" BUT when you don't do them WOW do they add up.  Recently, and let's be honest, for some time I have been stupidly busy.  I mean dumb.  It's my fault of course but when you are so busy that you start the dishwasher on a good day two weeks ago and haven't had any time to unload it for the next two weeks, it's not a pretty sight.  When the dishwasher is loaded with clean dishes you stop doing the small chore of loading up the dirty dishes.  Honestly I guess that's how life is on the whole - if you stop doing the small little things it becomes one be giant mess!  So with that said big changes are in the horizon for me.  And hopefully they mean that I will get myself together and do those seemingly small things that truly have a big impact.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Choosing to Not be Offended

WARNING: This may be offensive to some.

It's interesting to me how easily offended we are.  Mostly I mean women.  I know we are in general emotional creatures; we have hormones that tend to fluctuate (uh em... I mean rage), we are sensitive in a way men simply can't understand.  But ladies, why are we so easily offended?  Our toes are so easily stepped on.  Our feelings are so easily crushed.  Our hearts are so easily shattered. AND goodness knows our soapboxes are ENORMOUS!  Maybe I am stepping up on mine now but I hope that I am speaking in love and that it falls on soft hearts and open ears.

Let me first start with some scripture just for a little context and perspective.
A person’s wisdom yields patience;  it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.Proverbs 19:11
Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble. Psalm 119:165 
But he said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-10
These things are not easy, I'm not saying it is, especially in the midst of trial, insecurity, or "being wronged" etc. But we are souls created for community and if we constantly allow ourselves to be offended then we are building a wall that will not be easily broken and ultimately we will be left lonely in this world.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.Proverbs 18:19 
My husband likes to say, "People are doing the best that they can."  I have struggled with this so much in the past few years and only recently is my heart softening toward the idea.  This idea though is a turning of ones heart away from selfish feelings and a sense of justice always needing to prevail. 

Think of what has offended you most recently.  Was it just a random passing comment, a compliment that you found a way to manipulate into negativity, was it someone else's inability to see your perspective, were you overlooked?

Some common examples that come to mind are:
Do you buck up anytime unsolicited advise is spoken your way? (As women we do this offering of advise constantly but I think more often than not we rear up when the same advise is offered our way.)

Are you struggling with something someone else isn't and let their joy build up to where you think they are deliberately flaunting it in your face?  News Flash:  They aren't!  They are just happy about a blessing in their life.  Rejoice with your friends. 

"You don't work" - but you are a stay at home Mom. But if someone says, "You don't work"  does your heart flare? 

Someone says, "You are so skinny" - if you are thin do you think that it is a rude thing to say? You have to know they are just trying to compliment you.  Why turn it?  Even if you are thin for a medical reason or it was a source of bullying when you were younger.... they aren't bullying you now why let old insecurities burden friendships or relationships now.

Were you inconvenience by someone's thoughtlessness and left to stew in your own pity party?  

Here's a little funny:

(You know why things are funny?... cause they're kinda true)

So all in all, we need to CHOOSE to not be offended. Because when our focus is Christ we are spurred toward love.  We see the wonderful grace and mercy we have been given and we walk in that truth. Let's step down from our soapbox(es) toward each other into community.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak,slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 min. Friday - Story



Like every story my story will have a beginning, middle and end.  Now 30 I feel as though I am at the beginning of the middle.  Hopefully that is a good description because I feel as though I am age wise smack in the middle of it.  But accomplishment wise I feel like a newbie.  What story is the middle of my life going to tell?  My plans were to have children.... uhhh and then I didn't really plan much else.  That's a funny thing about my story, probably most all of our stories.  We don't generally plan the way they actually go.

Well now I am 30 and don't have any children, I would like to but God and time will determine that.  I do have decisions to make though.  Decisions I feel that will alter my story and I want that to be for the good.  I have realized my story thus far has been full, riddled, if you will with stress.  I have been a stress ball for as long as I can remember (elementary school) and that's no exaggeration.  My current life is full of stress, I commit too fully and now I want the rest of my story to be of something else.  Not stress.  Faith?  yes  Hope? yes Ministry? yes Family? yes Friends? yes  Designing? yes....

I guess I will have to go back to good ol' moderation!


Something I have learned in my two FMF posts.  I am a SLOW writer.  Sheesh.  Hope I don't ever have a goal of writing a book. :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

5 min. Friday - Beautiful

Okay, so here is the deal I said I was going to join in this and so today I am actually doing it.  I have felt so busy lately that I haven't blogged at all.  BOO!  But today I join in and this link up I think is definitely worth it. Check it out by clicking the image below.
Today's prompt.


This is an easy topic for me to talk about today as I have been pondering it a lot in the last few weeks.  I have been struggling with the feeling of inadequacy and the sneaky lies that come with being envious of others. I feel other designers create more beautiful designs than me, have more creative thoughts, other girls are more beautiful (without even trying), everyone seems to have such beautiful families and I find myself so lacking it is overwhelming.  And then of course I remember I am just as God has made me.  I work for His glory, I adorn the body He has given me not to expose it to this world but to equip it and glorify Him. And I wonder can my wicked heart be satisfied?


well that's it.  Unedited and just my ramblings of introspection.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Potential Roller Coaster

PREFACE/DISCLAIMER:  I reread and tried to edit this post but it is sort of beyond editing, it's insane.  Enjoy.

I have found almost everything humorous today.  I have giggled, chuckled, almost cried laughing at multiple things throughout the day; and if I'm honest this isn't my typical state of being.  I would say today things just happen to be funnier than normal but I don't think that is the case.  I can truly say I am a little worried for tomorrow.  It kind of is like when you know you are "homoronally" pissed and irritable   You know it but it doesn't change the fact that your are still pissed and irritable   Well today I was the opposite of that.  Everything is funny.  Here are some examples.

While reading a blog this ad popped up:

I couldn't stop laughing.  I mean is this using sex to sell or humor???? I mean really?  This is like a cologne ad but the guy is holding salad dressing.  I'm not really dissing it I mean heck I remember it and even paid attention but nevertheless every time I look at it I laugh.


While doing a little internet research at work I ran into this beauty (yeah I research weird stuff sometimes so don't ask how I got here...that's marketing for ya.)

I mean SERIOUSLY!!!!
Here are a couple of my favorite comment responses:
"You should not have to teach cool, and wearing a backpack on one shoulder does not constitute coolness. Try again."
Source(s):My brain.
"cut one off dumbasssss"   (sorry I just couldn't bring myself to edit it)
Well anyway I thought it was ridiculously funny.  I mean someone really asked this question.

And then there was this:
At one of my favorite shopping sites (where I purchased my iphone case) is having free shipping so I thought I would check it out... and found THIS!!! WHICH is AMAZING and I want it... and I couldn't stop chuckling.
Because don't you just seriously feel like this sometimes!  Just say it.  Go on now.  "NOPE."
AHHHHH I love it!

Even this morning, as I was watching the footage of the lady who found her dog mid interview in Oklahoma had me cracking up and really that's inappropriate.  But she said, "I was sitting in the bathroom and ... felt the stool come up".  It's not my fault. That's a funny homonym especially to me since I have never called a toilet a stool.  LOL... oh my!

I'm not just all jokes here I have been praying and feeling weight for the loss suffered in Oklahoma today. I know there has been great pain for so many there. I shared the last example because it epitomizes the manic hilarity I have felt today.

I think those who know me would think it reasonable to say that I'm generally not a silly person but more serious even more Eeyore-ish than even I would like but heck not today... so watch out tomorrow my hormones may be out of control. And what goes up must come down... right. See Eeyore.  heehee

So anyway, this has been my day.  Full of laughs of this I find ridiculous and funny.

One more laugh for good measure:
This sucker literally (and yes I do mean that properly) had me covering my mouth at work to stifle my full on belly laughs.
READ the POST - the whole thing had me cracking up

I hope at least one had you laugh... so I'm not just crazy.