Monday, August 29, 2011


So, I realized during the sermon on Sunday that I've been hiding things from those most dear to us. Well, Brian and I as a couple have been.  Pastor Peter talked about how we need friends, family to hold us accountable.  Also that we need to be honest not only to ourselves but to others also, and that sometimes the hardest way to be honest with ourselves is to be open and honest and communicate that honesty with others.  So here goes.

Brian and I are struggling financially.  It's not to say that we're not blessed -- we certainly are in every aspect of our life.  But are we perfect? No.  Are we comfortable? No, we're not, actually.  It is humiliating and disgracing and incredibly embarrasing to say that we're living paycheck to paycheck right now with bills, car payments, and credit card bills lining up.  I'd love to blame the credit card debt (which is not an extravagant amount, but it's still there) on the move...but I can't.  It's 100% my fault.  Brian's so much better at getting his paid off than I am...and I'm the one always griping about it.

It's hard for me to even click "publish post" for this.  Part of me is screaming, "Don't! Don't let anyone know! Just keep on pretending everything is great!" And the other, holy-spirit filled part of me is saying, "Part of being one of God's children is understanding and experiencing humility on a regular basis." So here I am, Lord, humbling myself before you and all of my friends and family, all those that I hold close and dear to my heart.  We need prayer, we need advice, we need counseling, anything that will help us out and bring us closer to God.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Edens Edge Concert and Japanese Memorial

So I meant to post this last week, but I've been crazy busy this week.  So here's a summary:
Because Brian's grandmother (obachan) in Japan died, we decided to go to the Japanese Garden at Normandale Community College as a kind of way to pay our respects. Considering we all don't have two grand each to go to fly to Japan.  Here are a few pictures from that trip:

It really is quite a beautiful place!  We got some silly other pictures, but we decided to keep them on FB for friends :)
After that, we went to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill to see....EDENS EDGE!! Okay, well, Roxie and I went to see Edens Edge. Brian went for the ribs. Of course. :) I was SO excited to go see this band, because their songs are so catchy and fun, and I love it! I bought their EP on iTunes a while back and of course knew *almost* all the words to their songs, so it was a blast being able to sing along with them!! The best part? Being able to meet the band afterwards!! Hannah Blaylock, Cherrill Green, and Dean Berner are all so nice and I'm fortunate to have had the chance to meet them! Hannah saw me and said, "You're my front row girl! I had so much fun singing along with you!" and gave me a big hug.  One of my top ten moments of 2011, for sure. Here are some pictures!

All in all, it was a great day!!! :) I'm so glad to have such great memories! God sure has blessed me :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A very full day

So today was pretty eventful for different reasons. The first, is quite obvious; I updated my blog and customized it so it screams "AMBER"! I even MADE the blog title at the top. I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself and my mad photoshop skills. I'm going to have to learn more soon, but I'm happy for now :)

Secondly, my husband and I found out that his obachan, or grandmother in Japan passed away today.  My mother-in-law is super upset, of course.  I lost my dad when I was 15, so I know exactly how she feels right now.  The only bad part is that she just became a US citizen, which means that she doesn't have her US passport yet.  She's going to petition to the passport office to see if she can get an emergency passport so she can go to Japan for her mother's funeral.  My thoughts are with Chiaki, Shingo, and Toshiki. I hope that Ojichan is okay.  He's in a nursing home over in Japan and hasn't been doing very good the last couple of years.

Let's all say a prayer for the Owada family tonight.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My poor sewing machine

So here I am Monday night, feeling quite ambitious and wanting to finish machine quilting my baby quilt, right?  Well, the needle tension has always been off on my sewing machine that I purchased in January, so I decided to try to fix the bobbin tension.  Logical thing to do, right? WRONG. Not only did I screw things up, I totally delayed my quilting ambitions. =( Fail for Amber.

I went ahead and took it to a sewing sales and repair shop that has been around for 40+ years and has this amazing reputation.  Well, I go there and of course two things happen. 1) It's pouring rain out. and 2) My stupid locks on my car doors are totally screwed up, so I have to unlock it from the inside while getting drenched. Yay.  Went in and filled out the paperwork, and the older gentleman that owns the shop started talking with me because I was checking out the machines.  I totally loved this one machine that was made for both sewing and quilting, but had quilting more in mind because it had a longer arm on it.  Totally cool right? He said he'd offer me a great trade-in value for mine...and the price would be $3000 for the other machine. Holy man! I mean, I understand a shop owner has to sell his stuff, but talk about an expensive sewing machine!  Maybe if I win the lottery someday I'll go back and say, "SOLD! I'll take it!" but since I don't play the lottery...I don't think it'll happen. 

But the guy totally made me smile after we were chatting for a while.  He said, "Be careful out there, you're a sweet girl, and you know what happens to sugar in water, right? It dissolves." Ha. Totally  made my day.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


So yesterday I had my craft subgroup over at my house (even though the lovely Jana was the only one to show up -- that's because we ROCK IT) yesterday, and I asked her to be my accountability partner.  I need someone to help me stay focused on the Lord and keep me going to church weekly, and to share my experience with and such.  She kindly accepted :)

Anyway, so the first step was for me to go to church.  I told her I love going to church, but I don't like waking up *early* on Sunday.  Okay, granted it's not early if you're going to the 11 AM service, but still. I like sleeping in on the weekends.  So what did I do? I went to the Saturday night service with her, of course!  I found out that the church is having a "Riverboat Prom" type of thing this weekend, and I was SO EXCITED because I REALLY wanted to go.  I never went to my prom, and I thought it would be a lot of fun!!

So I get home, talk to my husband, and talk him into it.  He's not a big dancer.  But I succeeded :)  Come to find out this morning...that it's on Friday night.  Which totally stinks because I already bought tickets to go see a show for my new favorite band Edens Edge. Never heard of them? Go here. They're amazing! And I had to talk my husband into going with me to that! Oh well.

I'm kind of bummed out, but I'm still excited to go see my favorite band. 

P.S. I'm about halfway done with the quilting itself of the baby quilt.  Pictures will be up after it's been binded and washed.  I'm using chalk to fill in the stencils and it's going okay for my first time quilting.  Hopefully I can finish it today. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

God is GOOD!

To start off this post,  I'd like to inform all of you that Brian and I have been struggling financially these past two months with the big move and everything. I said a long time ago that it's not expensive to move-- well, oh boy, I was WRONG.  Brian and I couldn't buy groceries the other week, and because we had to throw a lot of food away when we moved, we really didn't have much in the fridge.  So, of course, we have been praying every day, "Please, Lord, please help us financially.  We lift this struggle up to you that you may provide for us."  So, getting the mail on Thursday, we received a piece of mail from "Minnesota Revenue".  This kind of scared me -- because my husband has his own eBay business, and if you make more than 20K a year, they will start taxing you.  That's what I thought it was.  To my surprise, I opened it up and there was a check to Brian and I.  I almost cried, I was so relieved.  I've been living paycheck-to-paycheck to pay the bills and such, and this was such a huge relief off of our shoulders.  Praise God!!

On another note, my craft group is meeting at our new home today! Wohoo! It's kind of exciting, even though there only may be one person that comes over, I'm excited!  Now that I have almost all of my craft stuff out and organized, I'm debating on whether or not I should keep working on my cross-stitch or if I should try to finish the baby quilt with the owls on it.  It's basted and waiting for me. *le sigh*  I just don't know how to work the "freehand" foot on my sewing machine yet, so I'll have to figure that out.

On ANOTHER note, I was so excited to find this other blog by this AMAZING woman that challenged herself, starting March 5th this year, to NOT look in a mirror for a WHOLE YEAR. How crazy awesome is that?  You'll have to go check out her blog.  How inspirational, in my opinion.  Us girls look in the mirror way too often, I think.  I check myself out while shopping, in the bathroom, etc.  I look in the mirror too much!  I did make a post to her, and SHE RESPONDED WITH A NEW BLOG POST! I am so honored.  Here is the link to her response post!

Hope all is well! I'm off to grab some new books from the library (#12 and 13 in the current series) and get some eggs from the store since I want waffles for breakfast :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Parched for creativity...

So as of right now, for how much I've been working, most of my free time is spent reading this awesome series. I'm currently on book 11 out of 20.  I started them in the beginning of June.  What does this tell you?  I'm addicted.

Now, don't be alarmed, because I have been working on that needlepoint!! But during the move I got an eyeful of that pink owl crib quilt that I need to finish.  I know, I thing at a time.  I'm so bad at starting things that I finish.  Except books of course. 

I've decided that for the needlepoint that I'm going to take a picture of it each time I finish a color.  Which means that...this could take a while.  Well, I'm out of creative juices for today, so I'm going to lounge on the couch and watch So You Think You Can Dance...which is fun to watch the dancing, I fast forward through the "judging" though.  Booooo-ring.  Then it's up to bed for the night and reading under the covers with my booklight...hehehe. I'm such a nerd.

In other news-- my low back pain that I've had for the last 10 years flared up last weekend.  So much so that I had to call in sick on Monday (not yesterday, the week prior) and go to the MD.  I never go to the doctor. For anything.  My parents were both RN's so that pretty much took care of everything that was ever wrong with me. Except broken bones and things of that severity.  Anyway, the MD did a couple of tests (and I'm super out of shape by the way, and not by any means limber at all either) and said, "Why on earth haven't you come in sooner? You need to go to physical therapy at least three times a week or so for this.  I'm astonished you haven't been in sooner."  He also gave me a Rx for a muscle relaxer and an anti-inflammatory (kind of like an NSAID - aka ibuprofin, but stronger).  I couldn't believe it -- this is the first time in ten years I was pain free for more than a couple of hours.  I am not taking the muscle relaxer unless I absolutely need it because it makes me super drowsy if I take the full dose, and kind of loopy.  But I know I need to get physical therapy for sure -- my consultation is on September 13. We'll see what happens!