If I ...
1. didn't feel guilty when I bought myself things I don't need
2. had a lot of cash
I would have a closet filled with boots.
Here are the ones I would have bought on black friday or cyber monday.

But because I...
1. don't have rain-boots and it's going to start raining soon
2. I don't have much cash
I used a gift card to buy these on sale at Nordstrom for $40!!

1. Steve Madden Troopa 
2. Steve Madden Cablee
3. Steve Madden P Lakke 
4. Steve Madden Tsunamii


the light at the end of the 2 week long tunnel.

I can see it.
My 2 papers will be turned in by Thursday at 2, 
then I have two finals next week and I will be done until January!
That's my light... it's so close!
Until I'm basking in that bright happy vacation light, 
I'm hanging on to the hope that is found in the comfort of these Christmas-y, cozy pins.


Fall Photos by Geri!!

I have no words.

We had so much fun taking these photos up in Solvang with Geri, she was a riot!
If you remember, I won a giveaway photo shoot on her blog me and him a few months back.
Between trying to avoid the bees in the apples and the spiders in the trees,
she captured quiet a few special moments!
Thank you sweet friend! You are seriously gifted.
Her lovely website can be found here.



Look at some of the wonderful things I've found of Pinterest this week.
I can't want to be done with fall quarter in a few weeks so I can get started on my crafting!

Source: etsy.com via Kristen on Pinterest

What do you think? Would you make any of these thing?
Are you crazy about Pinterest like I am?

cozy yummies.

I am really short on time this morning but because I didn't get anything up yesterday... I'll type quick!

Have you seen Sarah's blog My New Roots?
It's amazing! A friend of mine was telling me about it over dinner a few weeks ago-- raving really-- she just kept saying
"Kristen it's the best brownie... and its RAW!"
To which I replied:
"What are here tricks??"
The best part is, she gives you ALL OF HER TRICKS!
Anyway. Last night I made this little number, and it was delicious! Gluten Free and better than the original.

Coziest Banana Bread (recipe adapted from My New Roots blog)
¼ cup milk of your choice (almond, hemp, cow, goat, soy…)
6 Tbsp. olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups mashed ripe bananas (approximately 5 medium bananas)
2 cups flour (I used GF Bisquick Mix)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
1 cup chopped nuts + seeds (I used pecans because that was all I had but you could put in any combination of nuts and seeds)
¾ cup chopped dark chocolate (1 standard 100 g bar) – optional (I used semi-sweet chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Line an 8” x 8” cake pan or loaf pan with baking paper, or lightly oil and dust with flour, shaking out excess.
3. Put the milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and bananas in a blender and blend until smooth.
4. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Add banana mixture and combine using as few stroked as possible. Fold in nuts and chocolate.
5. Pour into a cake pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time varies greatly according to oven – mine takes about an hour, but this recipe suggests only 30 minutes. Check periodically after the half hour mark.)



footprints in the sand.

This poem is really well know, but I thought I would still post it here because 
it has played such a significant role in my life.

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. 
Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. 
For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. 
One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, 

he looked back at the footprints in the sand. 
He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. 
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. 

LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. 
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! 

During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, 
it was then that I carried you.

-Carolyn Carty, 1963

Was 14 when I got that tattoo on my left foot, I had just started to walk with the Lord.
But I had read that poem over and over and over again since I was in kindergarten or first grade. 
It was written in really delicate calligraphy over a picture of a beautiful beach with rocks like you find up north and footprints on the sand. It hung in the bathroom of my Grandma Judy's house, 
where I lived for about 4 years as a young girl.

I remember every time I was brushing my teeth before bed I would look at it, I would quickly read over it and feel comfort, an odd sense of security and peace, but I didn't understand it.

My parents had left when I was 3, to serve a 7 year sentence in federal prison.
I don't have any recollection of hearing about God during those years.
And although I was reading this poem and I suppose at some level believing it was true, I was too young to comprehend what it meant and was never told what it meant to "follow" Him. 

It wasn't until I was 14, a freshman in High School that I can recall being introduced to the Good News. 
And when I heard it, it clicked, I thought of the poem that had produced feelings of security for me for years.
I looked back over all the pain I had suffered in my seemingly short life: the abandonment, the abuse, the loneliness, the broken promises, the unmet hopes... all of it. 
And I KNEW that although I hadn't know God, He had known me, and he had carried me

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds [...]
Your path led through the sea, 
your way through the mighty waters, 
though your footprints were not seen"
-Psalm 77: 11-12 & 19

I rejoice in this biblical truth still, when I look down at that tattoo I am reminded that he carries me. 

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
-John 14:18

"...For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, 
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..."
-Jeremiah 29:11

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, 
"I will rescue him; 
I will protect him, 
for he acknowledges my name. 
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble, 
I will deliver him and honor him. 
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
-Psalm 91:14-16 

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds [...]
Your path led through the sea, 
your way through the mighty waters, 
though your footprints were not seen"
-Psalm 77: 11-12 & 19


Camera+ lately...

fall bulletin board in my classroom-- so darling!

awesome barn we found on our drive to Solvang a few weeks ago for a photo shoot with Geri... those photos coming soon!

Pastor Britt Merrick speaking to the body about baptism
Nicholas and Tyler preparing to dunk some brothers and sisters.

Baptisms from Reality on Vimeo.

what a blessed life we have.

you probably didn't know.

For as long as I can remember I have had a major love for the Olsen twins.
I remember in high school watching their movies over and over again with girl friends, we knew that they were silly but we just loved Mary-Kate and Ashley.
I was inspired by their sense of style.

Not much has changed, except I don't watch their movies anymore...
I still think they are stunning, effortlessly so.
And they still have an incredible eye for fashion.

Source: tumblr.com via Kristen on Pinterest

What about you? Olsen fans or no?


Joy ride.

California coastline. Beautiful!

I love this guy.

It's gonna be a beautiful weekend :)


Simple things.

Sweet blessings to you this Friday!

I sure am enjoying mine...


dangerous dreaming.

All men dream, but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds,
wake in the day to find that it was vanity:
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
for they may act on their dreams with open eyes,
to make them possible.
[T.E. Lawrence]

Have I mentioned I want to own a bakery?
Here are a few pins that inspire me...

Shade Parade.

I just had to share this. Everything about it makes me smile--
**make sure you turn of the playlist at the bottom of this page before pressing play**



Casey over at TheWiegands posted this earlier today and I thought it was worth sharing.
*This post is for people who read their favorite blogs daily via facebook, twitter, other people's "blog rolls" or maybe just look them up daily but aren't actually following.

I have had a lot of people tell me that they like reading my blog or a certain blog but don't know how to "follow" or maybe are unsure of what "following" a blog is. So here ya go...
What is Following?

If you have a favorite blog and want to let the author and readers know that you are a fan... you can do that by "following" their blog.

I think it is a nice way to say we "support" you and what you have to say!
You do not need to have a blog to follow one. So following isn't just for bloggers, it's also designed to make it easier for readers to keep tabs on their favorite blogs.

Also, you can choose to follow publicly or privately.
So select how you'd like to follow the blog, then click the "Follow this blog" button.


It is that simple, you are now a follower of the blog! If you elected to follow the blog publicly, your profile picture will be displayed on the blog with a link to your Blogger profile.

That's it :). Just a little fyi !

If you have a number of blogs you enjoy, go follow them...it will mean a lot to those writing them, a good way to send support their way.
Also, if you follow a blog that you think others would benefit from, you should post about it...share the love. Even if you don't know the author personally, and possibly have never even commented on their blog before....you never know who you will be blessing/ helping!


My crutch = duty

I read this last night in John Pipers book When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy, its an excerpt from a letter from C.S. Lewis to "Joan" a child who wrote him on July 18, 1957.

"Provided the thing is in itself right, 
the more one likes it and the less one has to 
"try to be good," 
the better. 
A perfect man would never act from sense of duty; 
he'd always want the right thing more than the wrong one. 
Duty is only a substitute for love (of God and of other people), 
like a crutch, 
which is a substitute for a leg. 
Most of us need the crutch at times; 
but of course it's idiotic to use the crutch when our own legs (our own loves, tastes, habits, etc.) 
can do the journey on their own."

That's how I feel after reading and re-reading this quote.
Absolutely wrecked.

I have 'loved' in a really warped and disgusting way... I thought/still think(?) that it is best to "try to be good" and disregard feelings of like or dislike because they were fickle, fleeting and unreliable... 

Now I'm 23, married, and find that I don't know what love is.  I only know how to act our of a "sense of duty". I only know how to use my crutch.

I'm a big broken mess. Jesus please be near.
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