This Beautiful Life

:: from my heart to yours

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Holy cow I really need to be better at keeping up with you all.

First of all, as a catch up from my last post, the Linger Conference was AMAZING! I could go on and on and on about this, but I think I’ll save that for another post.

What I REALLY want to write about today is that I have opened an Etsy shop! I am SO excited to be doing this and to have a chance to do something great. To start off with I am just making banners for parties, special occasions, and just life in general. What first got me started doing this was making a banner for a friend’s bridal shower back in December. It was so simple, but I loved it. Then I made another one a couple of weeks ago for my future sister in law’s lingerie shower. Again, I really enjoyed making it, and I had TONS of people compliment it. A couple of my friends suggested that I sell it and maybe open up an Etsy shop. So, after contemplating it, I figured what the heck, why not?!

SO… I introduce to you… RossCreated! There’s nothing super creative about the name. My last name is Ross, and I’m creating stuff. Eventually I want to not only do banners, but other cool and crafty things so I didn’t want to limit myself with my shop name. Plus, I just like simple stuff. I am slightly obsessed with Hobby Lobby, so I’m always getting new and fun ideas, it’s just a matter of having the time (& of course MONEY) to do all these amazing things. I’ve always enjoyed making little crafts and decorations for around the house and for friends, and I love this banner thing. I will probably try my hand at making scarves and picture frames and cool stuff like that, but right now I’m gunna start out small and see how things go.

Any advice or comments I would greatly appreciate! Especially if you have an etsy shop. (I want to avoid pitfalls that other people experience to the best of my ability.) So here are a few pictures of stuff that I have made, and click HERE to see my shop!


Love ya’ll!



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Life Lately

So this isn’t a typical blog post, but then again I don’t really have a “typical” kind of blog. I just post whatever my little heart desires. 🙂 Speaking of which, I decided I need to use more pictures, cause I really like pictures. Anyway, to start I am RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED that this weekend is the Linger Conference in Dallas. You can read more about it here. First, I am so excited because my hubby and I get to take an amazing Valentine’s weekend getaway including a fancy dinner somewhere Thursday for an early Valentine’s date. Second, it has been cold in Kansas, y’all I mean COLD. On January 26th it was 62 degrees, and literally the next day it was 25. It basically hasn’t improved in the slightest and it’s snowed a few times. I did get to have a day off because of it though, so I’m trying not to complain too much. 😉 Sorry, got sidetracked. So it’s supposed to be 70 degrees in Dallas on Saturday so I’M SO EXCITED for warm weather! Third, we are getting to visit my sister and one of my best friends on the way down there. Fourth, we get to visit some other good friends on the way home. Fifth, we are staying like a mile away from the Galleria, so y’all know I’m excited about that! Sixth, and honestly the most important, this conference is going to be amazing. If you looked at the website, you might know why. If you didn’t (which is okay if you didn’t) here’s a video to tell you why.

Ahh cue goosebumps… and possibly some tears. I can’t help it, nor do I apologize for it. God gave me a tender heart. This means that I avoid listening to emotional songs while doing my makeup in the morning. I literally started crying while trying to put my eyeliner on because this song came up on my iTune’s radio the other day. Water. Works. BUT the good thing is, God always has a hold of my heart. Even when I tried to run I couldn’t get away. He knows how to get me back, and after I came back last time, there was no turning back.

Boy I am all over the place tonight. Oh well.

Some other happenings in life recently: my puppy is now a little over 4 months old and he is HUGE.

majorYes I just took this picture, and Mr. Ross probably doesn’t want him on the bed, but he’s just so much better behaved when he’s up here with me. 🙂

1425530_10201546085432697_1621428837_nCompared with this tiny baby we brought home on 11/17/13. Just look at his precious little puppy face!

Speaking of Mr. Ross, he is off at some secret meeting somewhere that I can’t know about, and I’m pretty sure he’s planning on surprising me with something. I have absolutely zero idea what he’s up to, but I can’t wait to find out. 🙂

The other big thing happening lately, like within the past few days, is that I have been obsessing over some DIY blogs. Like all my free time has been spent looking at these blogs. One in particular: Domestic Imperfection. She’s pretty much perfect and I am so hoping that I can do half as well as she does with her projects. I actually just bought a little end table today to do some fixing up on to put in our living room. I also found a cheap desk for Cale’s room, and I have a few other things I want to do ASAP.

So that’s all for now I think, and if you read through this long random post I think you’re pretty special. 😉

OH, I almost forgot! Jon and I will be recording a few songs together very very soon and I am SUPER excited about it!

Okay now I’m really done!

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Hold It

ImageI am not a woman of many words… most of the time. Although I am quiet, I am quite the active listener. I take things in, and try to fully process them before I do speak. Sometimes I give off the impression that I do not know how to stand up for myself, that I allow people to walk all over me, or that I am being passive about difficult situations. This is just not the case.

I am fully capable of standing up for myself, and have done so when necessary. I do not allow anyone to walk all over me, I just know when it’s worth it to fight and when it isn’t. Do I ever regret not speaking up? Sure, but I will gladly hold my tongue, think it through, and be prepared if the opportunity ever came up again, rather than to lash out and regret saying something stupid.

In our culture, children, women, and men alike are taught to be aggressive, mouthy, and just downright rude when they don’t get their way. I’m not saying they are always being taught this on purpose, but kids are a lot smarter than adults think. Just like anyone else, they learn WAY more by actions rather than words. Something we must remember is we are always being watched, and some day these children will be full grown adults. That’s really scary when I think about the way I have seen so many children (and even adults) act. This doesn’t mean we aren’t going to mess up, but when we do we should be quick to admit our fault and explain to the children in our lives why that is not okay. Otherwise, our children will grow up to be whiny, manipulative, drama queens and kings.

So why do I tend to keep quiet in difficult situations? For one, I had a great example in my mother who taught me, whether intentionally or not, that I could be a strong, independent woman without spouting off when things didn’t go my way. Second, the bible has much to say about those who choose not to speak, and those who do.

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:2
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23
“The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.” Ecclesiastes 9:17
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” Matthew 12:36

So of course this does not only apply to the way adults interact around children, but also around other adults and in everyday life. We must begin to approach each other the way that we would want to be approached. Don’t go to people with your mind made up that you are ticked off, going to make sure they know it, and going to make them feel as bad as possible so you get what you want.

There are so many people that teach those around them, including their children, that the way to get ahead, to get what you want, and to get people to “look up” to you is to basically bully those around them. However, the bible clearly states this just isn’t the case. They usually look and sound incompetent and annoying. Take some time to get into the word, pray that God will begin to change your heart and the way you approach life. Have a kind heart, and love others as Jesus has called us to, even when it seems impossible. When you let God lead your life, and your mouth, you will have much more

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Here We Are

Another year has come and gone, and here we are already a week into 2014. I’ve seen about a billion posts about resolutions or not making resolutions. Some people have realized that sometimes it’s just silly to make resolutions when you are pretty confident that you aren’t going to keep them. Especially when only like what, 8% of people actually keep them? Resolutions are “dumb.” That doesn’t make YOU dumb if you make them, and even more so if you KEEP them! However, since the majority of people don’t, why not make small goals for the year instead? I have never really been someone to make resolutions in the first place, A) because I have never really had anything I REALLY wanted to achieve that bad that I made a resolution for it, and B) because I knew if I did I wouldn’t keep them like the rest of the world who makes them. So what I decided this year, is to go along with the small goals idea, and I kinda just ran with it and came up with a bunch of small goals. I didn’t give myself a limit of how many I wanted to make, I just thought of some stuff I really wanted my family and I to accomplish this year, and also asked my husband’s input as well. Overall my biggest goal is to by the end of the year be able to look back and be joyful. I want to be happy over all about choices we made as a family and individually and know that we are on the right path.

SO, here’s the list:

1. Be free from credit card debt by the end of March.

2. Start a savings account to go on an overseas mission trip.

3. Pray together every night before bed, read the Bible more consistently, and refine and focus our personal ministries.

4. Do more stuff together and become more organized and tightly knit as a family.

5. Be diligently seeking God for guidance toward our future and where He wants us to be.

6. Make a CD together.

7. Pray that God opens a door for a job and to put me where He wants me.

8. Jon wants to be more intentional to take Cale out to do stuff and to surprise me more.

9. Continue to keep our eyes peeled and be praying about what Jon should be doing for a career.

10. Write a song.

11. Lead a bible study.

12. No pop for six months.

13. Fast food only once per week for six months.

14. Make a point to go out with friends at least twice a month.

15. Be healthier.

16. Run a 5k together.

I’m sure this list will get added onto throughout the year, and we’ll probably fail to meet some of these, but I am 100% okay with that.
I also realize that some of these goals are not “SMART” goals, but I don’t care. I have a point to go off of, and I’ll know looking back I if I am not in the same place I am right now. I will know if I met the goal or not.

If you’re struggling with goals/resolutions for this upcoming year, think small. Think one to two months away about something you want to accomplish. Even pray about what God would have you to improve on. Maybe it’s your relationship with Him. Remember that if something falls through that you were really hoping for, God doesn’t always open doors we want opened, but He always opens doors that we need.

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Do things ever catch your attention in a way they normally don’t? Perhaps it’s something you see on a regular basis, but once in a while you actually pay attention to it? This happened to me today with my wedding ring. You see, when women first get engaged they are CONSTANTLY staring at their ring and marveling at its beauty. We’re all giddy that we are finally starting this journey that we have probably dreamt of since we were 5 years old watching Cinderella. For example, a few months after we had been engaged, we were in the car (I was driving), and we were stopped at a light. Next thing I know Jon is saying, “umm… are you gunna go?” I looked up and there was no one in front of me anymore and the light was green. Then he realized I was paying attention to my ring more than the light and cars in front of me. So I have glanced at, stared at, and lovingly inspected my beautiful ring, but today it caught my eye in a special way.

The kind of way that made me stop and think, “Wow, I am a married woman. I have a husband. I have a step son. Thank you God for blessing me with everything You have.” See, because of some things I was put through in the past, and things I chose to put myself through, I don’t know that I ever truly believed I would have a “happily ever after.” For so long I was surrounded by mediocre “men” (I use that term lightly) who thought more of themselves than anything else.

Now, although I am nowhere near the end, I feel like when I get to the end of my life I will look back and think, “yeah, that is what happily ever after looks like.” The reason is this: Just a little over two years ago I made a decision to stop settling. Around that same time I became reacquainted with an old friend. Three months after that Jesus got a hold of me, and instead of pushing Him away like so many times before, I made the decision to follow Him wholeheartedly. Just two months later, only after God allowed our hearts to be healed, my newly reacquainted friend and I started dating. Thus, beginning this amazing journey of being a wife.

So today I am looking at my ring as a reminder that I not only have an amazing husband who I will love until the day that I die, but also that I have a heavenly father who loves me even more. He loves me enough to have reached down and picked me up when I was too far down to reach up to Him on my own. He loves me enough to continue to pick me back up when I miserably fail in this walk with Him. He loves me enough to keep His promises day in and day out, even when I have been made a liar through my promises not kept. He loves me enough to have sent His only son to die a gruesome and horrific death to save me and the rest of this world. He loves me enough to call me by name, and to listen when I call His name. He loves me enough to see my longing heart be completely filled, and only through Him. He loves me enough to keep my own hopes and dreams alive, while filling me with His own hopes and dreams for my life.

He loves me enough to have given me the most amazing husband, more perfect for me than I could have ever dreamt of. My husband listens to me, takes care of me, showers me with affection, always kisses me goodnight, pushes me to do my best, works hard, takes good care of his son, talks to me about his trials and triumphs, and so so much more. Most importantly, he loves God with all of his heart.  Some of those might seem trivial to some people, but they are so important to me. You see, before I was wrecked and ruined, I had a distant dream of someday meeting the man of my dreams, being swept off my feet, and eventually becoming a wife and a mother. As I grew older it seemed as though I would have to settle for less than because I had made poor choices and let the world overcome my heart for a short time. However, God had much better plans for me!

He whispered into my heart, “Child, this is not the life I have planned for you. Although you have messed up along the way, you have a life full of happiness and joy waiting for you. Open your heart and give your life back to Me. I will show you the way.” He promised to heal my broken heart (Psalm 147:3). He promised to fill me with unexplainable peace and joy (Romans 15:13). He promised that no matter what happened, He would be there to hold my hand and carry me through (Isaiah 46:4). Little did I know it would be such a short time for all of that to come. He kept his promises to me. He always has and always will (Deuteronomy 7:9). Just as my husband and I will keep our promises to each other. As Jon tells people, “either I’m gunna see her buried or she’ll see me buried.” Even though that’s a sad day to think of, it’s the truth. We are so in love with each other, but we also just love each other. It is a choice we make each and every day.

I know that life will continue to bring bumps and bruises, and our family will have plenty of rough times. However, I am positive we will have way more good times than bad and that our “honeymoon period” never has to end. When we fall, we will grab God’s hand together and let Him help us back up. I believe so many people are jaded, and not full of the same hope and joy that my husband and I have.  I always remind myself that I would have nothing without God’s blessings on my life. Even if I were to have nothing, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). My life is not a fairytale, and it is not a Cinderella story. My life is flawed, but it’s perfect in its own way. God has blessed me tremendously, and I am so thankful beyond words. He has huge plans for us, and that makes me so excited to be living my life.

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Although I try my best to be thankful each and every day for what I have been blessed with, today I want to take the time to remember to be especially thankful. First and foremost I am thankful beyond words for God’s grace in my life and for Jesus dying on the cross for my sins. I’m secondly unbelievably thankful for having met and married the most amazing man on the planet. He is absolutely the best husband any woman could ever dream of having and he is completely perfect for me. Thank you Lord. I am so thankful for a great step son, for a healthy family, for having a roof over our heads and never going without food. Last, but not least, I’m thankful for my beautiful mom and the way she raised me, for my brother and sister, for my extended family, for my in-laws, for my church and church family, and for going through every thing that I have gone through that has made me the woman I am today.