Monday, November 15, 2010

I did something that I never thought I would do...

So, I did something this weekend that I've NEVER done before! It has always seemed to go against my nature in the past, but right just felt right! Yep, I painted a room WHITE! Technically it was "Cotton Lent" but basically it was white & I painted that stark, bright color all over my bedroom walls!

I'm notorious for painting anything white a dark or bright color...up until this point in the two houses we've owned I've painted rooms purple, chocolate brown, red, and green. If there was white it was my mission to get rid of it!

But I noticed that as I troll decorating blogs I'm almost always drawn to the pictures of white rooms with white furniture and little pops of color. It feels refreshing and clean and peaceful. So, I decided this weekend that it was time for a change in my bedroom.

I wish that I had before pictures - but here is the run-down.
Walls - Green
Curtains - Navy & with a cuff of off-white floral
Accessories - a mix-mash of whatever I found that fancied me at the time.

My fabulous husband agreed to help paint (this was a serious sign of love because Josh loathes painting).

After painting I completely flip-flopped the furniture...I decided I wanted my bed underneath the windows - again wanting more sunshine in my life!

Then I decided to work on a cute bench I found at a garage sale - I painted the legs a black lacquer...

 ...and I finally put up some curtains that I bought about 6 months ago!

Here is where we are now... makes me happy...

I still need a few more touches (it's still a little too bare for me)...especially over on this wall

Do you have any ideas for me?  Anything you would add?  I'm thinking about some art work that I saw on Etsy - basically I've decided I only want things that I really love...but would love any ideas you have!

Til next time ~ I hope you find something that makes your life feel a bit more refreshing!

Friday, November 12, 2010


A few musings this morning...

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my last post. Your words were comforting & full of wisdom...I agree with Brittany that the gift of our presence is sometimes all that we can offer and yet one of the greatest gifts we can give. Sarah, I agree with you too - this season is definitely a sign to me that most of all I need to get on my knees are pray - really pray for those I love and the pain I see in so many.

After reading my blog, my friend and fellow blogger Jennifer sent me a text about a response I had made to one of her blogs months ago. She was sharing that 2010 she was going to focus on one characteristic of God and asked readers if there was something we wanted Him to reveal to us about Himself. In one word - what did we want to know about God. She texted me that my word had been ENOUGH.

I remember responding to that blog - wanting to really know that He was enough. Needing to know that when all else fails He was enough...mostly because I rarely rely on Him with ALL that I am. So, I think He is allowing me to live this truth out - as 2010 closes...He is making it clear that when I come to the end of myself - my intellect, my answers, my theories on life, etc...He is still there and HE is ENOUGH.

Praying that He is enough for you today too.

On a lighter note - I'm loving this fall weather! Listening to Brooke Fraser...sipping peppermint tea...dancing with my girl...and trying to fight off a cold this morning...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Behind the Mask

I wrote the below blog last night...mostly to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I debated whether or not to share my thoughts and felt like God gave me the green light...and yet, I want to preface these words with my thoughts the morning after - God is good. I still have heart is still mind still does not understand...but my heart very clearly says - God is good.

I pray you find His goodness today as well...and with that, here are my night thoughts:

My heart is heavy…I mean really heavy. And I’m wondering – does anyone else sense this? In the midst of corporate conversation I hear talk of sports teams and babies…the mundane of our lives, and we talk prettily and say the right things and then we go on with life as we know it. But privately…in my office…and on the phone…and in my living room I have had so many heart-breaking conversations lately.

Loneliness and impending divorce. Tales of abuse and the subsequent havoc it has wreaked on lives. Multiple young people coming to confess one night stands and seeking healing to a bleeding heart in it’s aftermath. Diagnosis that seem hopeless and the deaths of parents – young parents…with weeping kids left behind.

Maybe this is just life but I’m not sure. ..maybe it’s different – huge storms across the globe threatening people who have given their lives for others…and a sense that there are other storms brewing in hearts and minds and lives all around me. So my heart is heavy and my emotions are exhausted.

I’ve stopped giving answers of any sort…I’ve stopped trying to say the right thing – and I’m just trying to be Paige. And yet I’m failing at that too – with so many people needing more than I can give I’m literally at that place of saying, “God, not only do I surrender my life, but here are all of these other lives that I often try to fix…I don’t know…I don’t know what to say…what to do…how to help…can you just show up. Can you be there in the tears and in the questions and in those hidden thoughts when smiles on their faces are nothing more than masks? And will you please…please give me wisdom.”

Josh and I preached at our church this past weekend. We told our story of financial failure and I talked for quite a bit about taking off the masks we wear. I talked about how exhausting it is the keep up the charade…I talked about how those masks keep us at arms length from God and those who want to be in our lives. And as I talked…as I shared from my own pain…there were eyes filled with tears…and afterwards I had more than one conversation where there was a longing to know what life might be like without that charade…to be vulnerable and honest…to have permission to speak freely.

Yet today, as I talked with a friend – she challenged me that the idea of taking off our masks is just that – an idea…a hope…wishful thinking that occasionally becomes reality with a close friend. But for the majority of the time the mask has to stay on firmly because people don't know what to do when they really hear of our pain or doubts. I realized that she was right. We don't know how to respond so we avoid asking the real questions - we feel we must have an answer or a quick fix so we content ourselves with talking about the superficial...So here is my attempt to not be a hypocritical pastor…here is what is behind my mask – a heavy heart.

I’m asking God a lot of hard questions this week…hoping He will answer one or two. I have a hard question for you I the only one sensing this? Do see lives bleeding and crumbling around you too? If so, how are you responding? And if not, when was the last time you really tried to listen to what is behind peoples' masks?

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Is Here!!!

Nov. 1, 2010 - I LOVE November!  I love this time of the year - a slight chill in the air, the changing leaves (although in Lubbock there is not much of that), holidays around the corner, an excuse to pull out cozy sweaters, and drink more coffee!  I just love it!  I love that it is a time when we are encouraged to be thankful.  I've recently gone through a season where I was not thankful - mostly doing some complaining to God...and He basically put me in my place - not by telling me that I was wrong in my complaints but rather by making it obvious that there are so many wonderful people and opportunities in my life.
Here are a few things that I'm thankful for at the moment...
123.  Changing leaves

124.  Crisp Cool Air

125.  Knitted Hats

126.  Bright Smiles

127.  A reminder that I love running

128.  A fun race with fun people (Ran the Abilene Marathon Relay this weekend with Erin Murray, Leigh & Becca Archer)

129.  A fun day with my husband (we found that you can find some fun things to do in Abilene)!

130.  Growing Cousins who will one day be a sweet friend

131.  My cousin’s return home (we missed you, Dustin!)

132.  The simple joy of being obedient to Him

133.  Faithful friends and selfless volunteers

134.  Falling leaves (I see them right now out my windows)

135.  Baby Boots

136.  Orange Flowers

137.  Left over Candy

138.  Creative College Kids (our costume theme was "song titles")
 Annie was "Beauty School Drop Out"

 Andrea was "Purple Rain" & Marki was "Tiny Dancer"

139.  Large Crowds rooting on the Rangers

140.  Finding a few others to talk to who don’t really care about the game either

So happy that it is November!  Bring on the coffee, sweaters, and thankfulness!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Things that make me happy!

On Mondays I typically count my gifts in an attitude of thankfulness…and so I’m going to continue my list today by simply telling you about somethings I’m loving right now!  Please be advised some items on this list are superficial...but they make me happy!

113. My new Steve Madden chain sandals…my mom and I went shopping last weekend (haven’t done that in ages) and found Dillard’s fabulous shoe sale. I got an amazing deal on these and I love them…

114. Guacamole – I’m not much of a cook, but lately I’ve gotten on a kick of making guacamole. It just seems to be the perfect complement to so many meals! Plus, who doesn’t love saying the word…guacamole!

115. Hannah Katherine Photography- Miss Hannah took our family pics last Tuesday and although I haven’t seen all of the finished product she has leaked a few on facebook…it is REALLY hard to choose favorites, but this one is a definite favorite

This one is a favorite too...

Oh, and I also love this one...

116. These pictures make me think of another thing I love right now- baby fat rolls. Seriously, the fact that my child does not have wrists but simply a line where the two fat rolls merge makes my heart happy…love those rolls!

117. Prayer – It seems strange to segway from baby fat rolls to prayer…but honestly I’m loving prayer more than ever right now. So often prayer is difficult for me – it has felt rote or distant…but in this season of life it seems to be a part of my everyday life. I find myself talking to God about all sorts of things and as a result I’m also finding a sense of peace and purpose even though I’m definitely not seeing everything I want to see. I don’t have a magic formula – but would encourage others to just talk to God and talk to Him often…

118. The thought of jogging…if you know me you probably know that pre-Selah jogging was very much part of my life. With the pregnancy and a back injury I stopped for a lot longer than I ever planned on it. I have some friends that are wanting to do a marathon relay in October (we would each run around 6 miles), and I think I’m going to do it! I went running yesterday- did 1.5 miles and I felt great! So, I’m excited to reintroduce my body to this thing that was once a huge passion!

119.  Tea Parties - I babysat Madi & Peyton (my sister's girls) one night this week and Madi and I had a lovely tea party.  Sometimes it is lovely to be a girl - to take pleasure in pouring a nice cup of tea and sharing it with other girls (even if those girls are Scarlett O'Hara the doll...and another old scraggly doll that I grew up with)...I ended the tea party with Madi thinking - I want Selah to know the joy of playing simply - without the fancy toys and electronics!

120.. Teaching – I’m back teaching at Pursue Ministry Training School and I forgot just how much I LOVE to teach. So fun to see people learn something new!

121. The Arrogant Texan – so Josh and I and Selah had a family date night on Friday…we ate at home but then decided to go for a walk and a treat! Josh wanted to go down to the Tech area to see what all was going on with the UT vs. Tech game. At 8pm it was pretty tame, but we wandered in The Arrogant Texan which is a super cute candy/ice cream shop. They serve Amy’s ice cream and we ate way more than we should have. Selah loved the bright colors of the candy displays and I liked that it wasn’t a typical place in Lubbock!

122. Rooting for our team. In all honesty, I don’t really care. I don’t care if Tech wins (there are children starving in other countries)…I don’t care if the Cowboys win (there are things I would rather do with my time)…but I do love my husband…and he cares. He cares quite a bit in fact! So, I’m trying to get on the bandwagon and cheer (usually for at least one entire quarter)…and I gave myself props because I dressed Selah up to match her dad…so he knows we both care! (I should also say...I know I am being dramatic - most people I know who love football also care about starving children :))

Any great things that you are loving right now? Let me know!  Would love to find out what makes you happy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Counting My Gifts (#101-112)

It has been far too long since I last counted my here are a few that were on my mind today.
101. Lots of girl cousins that Selah can grow and laugh with

102. Big Bows (although I still try to keep them size appropriate)

103. Long talks on long car rides

104. Sun-burned shoulders & a sun-kissed nose

105. Finding that His answers really are preferable to my wants.

106. Rousing discussions with new people

107. Being okay with the fact that I don’t have the answers

108. A blooming pear tree that we didn’t know existed

109. A little face covered in applesauce

110. Little eyes lighting up as she discovers new joys

111. Watching precious friends say “I do.”

112. Being asked to “be there” for someone’s special day

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One of those moms...

I never thought I'd be one of those moms who said something like...

Today is special...because it is Selah's 1/2 birthday!!!! 
My girl is now 6 months old - oh, how I love her so!

But I am one of those moms now...and I don't care...if you saw this face you would want to celebrate it too!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Have you ever had one of those weeks where lessons seem to abound?  It has been one of those weeks for me - major moments of learning...and yet a week where I feel like God has been whispering step by has been one of those weeks where although it has been painfully hard, I know I'll look back on it as a week where I was tucked under the Lord's arm close to his heart.

Here is a list of a few things I've learned this week:

  1. There is power in vulnerability...especially if it a current weakness rather than something you have overcome in the past...
  2. Listening to a 3-year old talk about dancing princesses will make you wish for simplicity...
  3. Sometimes you are the most effective when you feel as though your emotions are depleted and your strength is used up- it is then that He can miraculously speak through you...
  4. Even the greatest anxiety or unsolvable dilemma can be relieved by kissing a baby...
  5. Embrace interruptions...
  6. And embrace pain...
  7. There is always someone else's situation that will put yours into proper perspective...
  8. Remain thankful...
  9. Sometimes chocolate really does help...
  10. And sometimes cleaning your bathtub really is therapeutic...

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Mema

Today is my Mema's 80th Birthday and I just returned home from her celebration.  She has always been one of my heros.  In her early 30's she became a widow with 4 young children and a farm to run...and she did it!  She ran tractors, haggled with the men, and raised 4 amazing people.

Growing up I spent a lot of time at her farm and still have such fond memories of sleeping in the "green room," playing dress up with her jewelry, learning how to can fruits, and climbing hay bales or cotton seed piles...we would eat pastrami or turkey sandwiches for lunch with Lay's potato chips and tea with sweet n' low all the while listening to stories about my mom growing up.

As I've gotten older I've cherished our conversations - she has loved hearing about my travels and I have loved hearing her thoughts on Scripture.  I feel like we have a special bond, but I have a feeling that each of her grandchildren feel the same.

Her body has become frail over the past few years...I petition God about it often...and yet, her spirit remains vibrant, her love remains steadfast, and her words still bring wonderful guidance.  She is my Mema & I'm so thankful that she is mine.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In Which We Go to Maaaaatha's Vineyard

Hope you enjoyed my pics from NYC!  It was uber-fun although by Monday our sweet family of 3 was also uber-exhausted and oh so happy to jump in the rental car and head up north to Martha's Vineyard...or as my hubby likes to call it - Maaaaatha's Vineyard (saying it this way makes you feel like you belong in this postcard village).

We loved this island - it was picturesque in every was relaxing...and a perfect place to slow our pace!  Although NYC called for strollers with our wee one we quickly realized that the Vineyard was the perfect place for the Baby Bjorn so that Selah could swing her legs and enjoy the ocean breeze!

 How cute is my kid in her hat?!

Highlights from the Vineyard include:

1.  Marveling at Hydrangeas (my favorite flower)

2.  Touring the Island and stumbling across this gorgeous lighthouse

3.  Meandering through quaint little towns (loved this children's book store)

4.  Taking an afternoon to enjoy the beach

5.  Finding a hidden golf course so Josh could continue his quest to play all over the U.S.

(This is the face Josh makes when he misses a putt...he usually makes them)

6.  Taking self-portraits with my baby girl this one...although I didn't quite get her cute face in there this one...we were taking a shopping break this the beach

...and like this one...on the golf course

I is a problem...but I'm thinking this may be how I try and document my adventures with Selah.  Nothing says I'm having fun quite like the awkward self-picture!

So that was Martha's Vineyard.  I have so much more I could tell you - boats on the harbor, delicious seafood, late night ice cream as we sat outside and listened to Selah sleeping indoors, lots of people watching, and good conversations with my smart hubby - Maaaatha's Vineyard will be remembered

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Allens Take Manhattan!

My sweet little family of 3 returned about a week ago from a whirlwind vacation to NYC & Martha's Vineyard...and it was fantastic!  I was a bit nervous traveling with Selah - it was her first time on a plane and I knew that all of our schedules would be thrown out...and yet, true to her wonderful and flexible nature - she was a trooper and was actually the best traveller out of the 10 of us who were there! 

In fact, this is Selah after our long day of plane rides...she was SO happy to just flail around on the bed...and I was SO happy to get a good picture of her beautiful blue eyes!

Here are highlights from NYC

DAY 1:  We started off with a trip to the Clinton Street Bakery since Josh's sister had seen them on food network.  I was game to try whatever (Joy knows delicious food - so if she says it is something we should try you go for it)...Let me just was probably the BEST meal of the trip!

Just look at that excitement on Levi's face...and do you see what I'm holding...yes, it is divine french toast with carmelized bananas & pecans!

Afterwards, we took a boat ride to see NYC landmarks like the statue of liberty
I love this picture of my cute family on the boat!
 Here we are with Josh's family and Lady Liberty!  So thankful for all of them!

After a great boat ride and lots of walking...Lennie & Marcy offered to watch Selah so that Josh and I could have a date night.  I don't have pictures, but our date consisted Italian dinner + the Tony award winning Memphis (where we happend to sit near Jason Segal - it's always so interesting watching famous people) + an aftershow cupcake at Magnolia Bakery (this is one of my most favorite places in NYC & I had to introduce Josh to it) + a late night stroll.  The date was perfect & Selah was sleeping soundly when we got home.  Thank you again, Lennie & Marcy!

DAY 2: Our second day was quite wonderful as well as we strolled through Central Park & then headed to 5th Avenue so that the kids could go to FAO Schwarz & the American Girl Doll store

Although this trip was for the big kids I decided that Selah needed a gift as well so she got a book about NYC & a stuffed elephant - she was ecstatic (can't you tell?)

The rest of the family then went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway (we didn't think Selah could sit quietly for 2+ hours) our cute family of 3 did some shopping.  Hello H&M!  So happy to see you again, Zara!  And I must tell you that although I did recently write a blog about my problem with purchasing shoes...I did, in fact, buy a fabulous pair of shoes (I'll post a pic at a later time).

That evening we took the kids to a crazy restaurant called Mars 2112 - it was like we were eating in Mars (red lights, "aliens" as our servers, etc) and then we went to Times Square so that the kids could see it lit up at night! 

Day 3: We started our day off in Central Park.  Although I've been there a few times before, it was really fun to discover some new things in this expansive and beautiful park! 

We enjoyed seeing the boat house, watching people sail miniature sail boats, the kids got to run around and we even heard a familiy singing the most beautiful songs to the Lord on this Sunday morning.  It was a special part of our time in NYC.

After Central Park we decided to have some lunch and then try out Serendipity where Josh and I indulged in some Frozen Hot Chocolate - delish!

That evening we got to experience both Chinatown & Little Italy!

And then we prepared to move north towards Massachusettes - I'll share some pics from this portion of the trip next.

Overall it was a special trip.  We so enjoyed being with Josh's family - there was lots of laughter, the kids were super sweet, and we realized that Selah is a fantastic traveler! 

Until next time!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Quick Update

As usual, it has been way too long since I've blogged...and in this course of time I have...
  1. Traveled to Tulsa with the hubs to celebrate (his birthday & our anniversary)- Can you believe we have been married for 10 years!  I must devote an entire blog to this topic - it will come soon!
  2. Had way too many conversations surrounding vuvuzellas...Although we did use the iphone vuvuzella app as a way to gauge the appreciation of brainstorm ideas at our zoe leaders retreat...Nothing like a room full of young adults with mobile phone vuvuzellas going off as someone tells Josh and I that we need to preach for a shorter time period to get the point across!
  3. Wrecked the back of my car...yep - and not in a glorious way either.  I pulled out of my garage without looking and hit my mother's car which was parked directly behind me...Not only that, but apparently I am the Mario Andretti of garage drivers because I hit her car with such force that it rolled out into the street!  There were shrieks, arm waving, trying to stop her car, running...all by yours truly!  It was a site to behold.
  4. Played and played and played with my baby girl!  Just love seeing her personality come out more and more.
  5. Watched the rain (I'm doing this now & it is quite lovely)
I hope you have a most lovely 4th of July!  If you are in my neck of the woods - stay dry!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Have a Confession

Mondays are typically when I share my gifts...

And often I try to be thankful for those meaningful moments...those intangibles that are really of value...

But today...I'm going to confess that I'm also thankful for...


I love is a problem really...

so today I'm confessing that although I AM thankful...I may actually have a problem

You see, when you look into my closet you will be greeted with this sight

But then your eyes will travel upwards and you will also notice these boxes

Yes, they are all filled with another pair of shoes...

And you might say, "Paige, that's not so bad..."

But then you will notice something sticking out from under the clothes

And THEN you would look to the left...

And then you might say...perhaps this is a bit much Paige.

Yes, I know. 

Now, as a disclaimer I would like to offer two things:  1. These shoes have accumulated over the last 10 years - seriously, a couple pairs have been in my ownership since the day I got married and because they are simple they have not gone out of style and therefore they remain in my closet.  2. Several of these are the result of a tragedy in my mother's life.  She had to have foot surgery a couple of years ago and the result of this surgery is that she can no longer wear fabulous high heels.  Do not bring this up to her as you may see tears well up in her see, I inherited this shoe problem from my the day that she had to give up her high heels was a VERY sad day (for her).  For me, it was a day of great joy & celebration (although I did feel sorry for my mom).

Now that I have confessed, I would like to state that I am thankful for my shoes!

I am thankful for my latest purchase.  These are my new favorites that I got from Anthropologie.  They were fabulously cheap (and you know, nothing in cheap in Anthropologie, so I felt obligated to bring them home).

I am thankful for these lovely gems that were a part of my mother's collection.  I feel like both a lady & a rock star when I wear them.

I am thankful for these shockingly yellow sandals because they are both comfortable and fun.

And lastly, I'm thankful for my funky boots!  I bought them on 5th Avenue in NYC with my they bring up feelings of nostalgia each time I wear them.

I'm contemplating sharing each week a new pair that I am thankful for...if for no other reason than to remind myself that I do in fact have PLENTY of shoes & hopefully refrain from purchasing another pair...

What do you think?  Should I share more?  And do you have something that you need to confess?
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