Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

A Thrifty Pregnancy

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2012 at 7:37 am

I think it should go without saying that thrift store shopping rules. If you haven’t ever tried it then you should probably stop reading this post and go discover for yourself how much awesomeness is to be had in thrift store.
As a case study in the greatness of thrifting I offer up my pregnancy.

So the gist is that pregnancy can be really expensive. There are supplements to take, new clothes to buy every few months, and all this new furniture and whatnot for when the baby arrives. This could easily add up to thousands of dollars (for realz, not even trying to be dramatic), but thankfully we have discovered that it does not have to cost that much.

Before I get to the cheap part let me highlight that one thing I am not willing to be cheap with is nutrition. Phillip and I pay a good deal to make sure I am taking the best supplements and eating mostly organic food (the Ben&Jerry’s from last night not withstanding) because that matters the most to us. For everything else though – clothing, furniture, etc. we are mostly relying on thrift stores.

In terms of clothing I have easily spent about $100 in thrift stores and $300 in nonthrift stores. The difference is that my none thrift store shopping has yielded me about 10-12 items of clothing, while the thrifting has probably given me closer to 30+ items. I have bought maternity jeans that would normally run around $40 for $1. Finding so much clothing in thrift stores has been great because 1. We could not afford to purchase everything new and 2. Thrifting fits with our life values of being better stewards of our money, not using new resources from the planet, and more actively supporting our local economy vs a chain store.

In terms of furniture have a look below. We spent $70 for everything you see here. To say we feel blessed and excited would be an understatement. The glider chair was our biggest expense at $25, but just last week we were looking at them at Babies R’ Us for around $300. Ahhhhh!!! Plus, where aside from a thrift store are you going to find an awesome wood and leather rocking horses?

So yeah, God has been very good to us through this thrifting process so far. Having a kid is expensive for sure (Let’s not talk about the health care deductible we are paying right now-ughh), but it can be done without having all the latest and greatest, NEW, stuff. It can be done without going into a materialistic frenzy over a baby nursery. In can be done through trusting God that he will help you find each piece. Piece by piece. in your local thrift store…and often for $7.





In Uncategorized on September 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm


Sometimes at the end of a long work day I need to walk across the hall to Ms. Kate’s office, sit in her swivel chair, say a few choice curse words, listen to her play “blackbird” on her tiny-out of tune-guitar, and remember to look for the graces….

when I look, really look, I find that they are all around me/us.

Dreaming big

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Last year you may remember that Phillip and I worked on this during the months of November and December. Since I can be terrible about sharing on here about things that matter, and great at telling you what I ate last week, all me to catch you up…

The project caught on with several of our friends, including one who gave a generous donation of over a thousand blank Christmas cards, and before we knew it we were passing out boxes of cards to all sorts of people to have them fill them out. I took cards to several parties, and my friends were often gracious enough to set up a table just for people to fill them out. I asked co-workers to participate. My dad asked the people in his office to join in. Several friends got their co-workers involved. At our church’s monthly outreach picnic in Shady Hill we set up a table so that the people there could fill out cards. Basically everywhere I went for a month I had Christmas and holiday cards on me in case there was a chance to grab a message and signature.

And aside from the lady who commented to my father “I’ll buy cards for soldiers but not prisoners” (ugghhhhh) we had a pretty great response from people. I was blessed to see even my friends of different faiths, or no faith, participate.

Though I had been nervous about having enough cards, in the end my family only had to fill out about 300 cards ourselves due to over 1,100 other cards being donated!  And so on the rainy morning of December 21st Phillip and I drove out to the Richmond jail for the first time in our lives. It was/is a depressing place. We briefly met the jail’s chaplain and handed over almost 1,500 Christmas and holiday cards, all with personal handwritten messages.

I later received a letter from the chaplain sharing that no one had ever donate enough cards for every inmate to have one during the holidays. I was excited to be a part of this happening for the first time, but also saddened that it had not happened before then. Leaving the jail I also had this feeling of “there has to be something more”. I mean giving the cards was good and all, but it was still more transactional than relational than I would have liked.

With that in mind this year Phillip and I’s goal is to get inside of the jail. And while I’m not sure this is even possible, I hope to gain access to those in solitary confinement. I’m not sure that I will come bearing a gift of cards, but I hope to come bearing the gift of music. That is almost all I can share about it for now…other than to say if you are my friend, or even live in my town and are a musician, you may be hearing from me soon.

Phillip and I are planning early this year because 1. We seriously did not have enough time last year, and had to scramble like wild banshees to make it happen, 2. We sort of, but in the for real way, have a baby due in the beginning of December, after which I will have a kid attached to my boobs all the time, and be a tired zombie of a woman,  and 3. We are dreaming bigger than last year. Much bigger in fact that just us getting into the jail with some musician friends.

We have a dream to inspire all of our Richmond neighbors to conspire to together in spreading some joy, hope, and love this coming season. This morning my pastor stated that we have all the true riches in the world, and that our calling is to share it with others; especially the poor, downtrodden, and oppressed. In this sucky, depressing, divisive, and important election year we hope to remind people that more important than showing up at the ballot box is showing up in our communities to share the wealth of talent, time, passion, and heart we have.

Dear world my Jesus is not to be found at the RNC or DNC. Jesus is to be found in the daily interactions between you, me, and a world that is full of prisoners, elderly people in nursing homes with no visitors, and Sikh temples and Muslim mosques that are getting shot up and bombed in our own towns.These are some of the people we hope to reach this coming season. These are the people we want to share our wealth with.


So yes, there will be a bigger announcement coming as Phillip and I can put together a more complete invitation to others to Inspire & Conspire with us this coming season. My hope and prayer is that you will want to participate as well!


In case you were wondering…

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm


I am currently a week away from my third trimester!?! How that happened I do not know…well, not quite….

In other news my vagina has officially disappeared. Well it has in terms of I can no longer see it without use of a secondary object. No worries though, trusted sources assure me it is still there.

Also pregnancy has given me dandruff. Pregnancy, or my not washing my hair for four days last week…probably pregnancy.


On a serious note is anyone else tired of waking up to news that someone new has pulled out a gun(s) and killed several people?

Two things:
1. We need a lot more of Jesus in this country.
2. Assert your 2nd ammendment rights and beliefs all you want, but do not try to convince us that guns save lives. That is the biggest lie that provides no solution to all those who have died, or their families that mourn them. It also does not change the fact that I will still have to show up to work on Tuesday to work with traumatized children, half of whose trauma experiences involve guns.

Is it an issue within our hearts that leads us to murder? Yes, most certainly. However it would much harder to act on such murderous feelings we did not have access to hand guns and assault rifles.

So yes, keep buying your guns if you must…But I would invite you to come spend a day with me as I work with a ten year old who now goes to the bathroom on himself daily and nightly, and has panic attacks like nobody’s business following his brother being shot and killed, and his being held up at gunpoint a few months later…or the other kid who is struggling to deal with their sister being shot…or the other kid with explosive behaviors since seeing his dad put a gun to his mother’s head one to many times…or the kid….

For me personally my right to bear arms is not worth the trauma others go through because of mans’ brokeness and easy access to guns.


Wow this post really had two personalities.

I pray we all have a peaceful night. Show as much love as possible…our world needs it.