Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Shades of Gray

For 31 days I have worn this dress 31 ways, hence the blog post title. Today I chose to become Anna Wintour, Editor-in-chief of U.S. Vogue. Happy Halloween!

This month has been a challenging one, and not because I was stuck in one dress. As my regular readers know, my husband has been out of a job for the second time this year, for the past 7 weeks. This has been a brand new and shocking challenge to us. Looking back, I am glad that I had this project to distract me from the stresses of bill paying, living off of our savings account, and not knowing what is coming next. 

Today started off a little rocky, but a stream of events happened that rocked my world. Throughout this crazy scary time, I have been very focused on what I should do to "fix"things since my husband was out of work. I interviewed for two jobs thinking that if he didn't have one, I should- as my business only brings in a small supplemental income. As of now, neither opportunity has panned out for reasons other than my skill set or talents. But, I felt rejection. 

In my mind: I couldn't help, I wasn't good enough, I have been out of the "corporate world" too long, etc. 

A very dear friend sent a devotion to me this morning that had me in tears, literally weeping. It talked about how we manipulate situations. We may know how to sell and idea, go the extra mile, and strategize to make our plan seem wonderful. These things aren't bad, but what if we use these skills and talents outside of God's will? To push past God's timing, God's direction, and God's plan to teach us things in the process? 

The author of the devotion, Lysa TerKeurst wrote: "Now, I can rest in the assurance that if something is to be, it isn't up to me. It's up to God. It's not that I just sit back and don't pursue things. I do. But I give what I can give without manipulation. And then wait for God to give what only He can give. So, if He makes it happen without all of my chaotic self-effort, then I will know it is His best. And if it doesn't happen, I will thank Him for saving me from myself."

Well, He saved me from myself this morning. After waking up totally defeated, I prayed the prayer again. God, what do I do while I am waiting, what is my purpose? 

Later this morning I went my son's Halloween party at preschool. I was crafting with the kids and a sweet little boy looked up at me with sad eyes and said, "My mom isn't here today." I responded, "Buddy I know she wants to be here, maybe she had to work." He said, "Yes, my mom is always working." Already emotional, my eyes filled with tears. Right then I had my answer from God. He wants me to be available to my kids during this season and trust HIM to provide the perfect job for my husband.  

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE don't take me wrong. I know that many moms need to work and would LOVE to be at a school party in the middle of the day, or spend the summers off with their kids. I don't even begin enter the debate of stay at home mom verses working mom. I support both and I believe everyone makes the choice that is the absolute best for their families. This was just the message that I felt I was being sent, for my situation specifically. I felt relief, I felt peace. And you know what, my husband got a call today too, and a door is opening. I couldn't feel more certain of who God is, and I assure you if you are waiting on something, hang in there. If you look to Him, He will save you from yourself.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 30-Still in the Dress

One more day to go. I must say this dress has been a good choice. It's comfortable, washes well, and it has held together perfectly. It will stay in my closet along with my blue dress from last year, unlike the first two dresses I chose. After hiding it in the depths of my closet for a quite some time, I have a good feeling I will wear it again. It's been good to me.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 28-Bright Lips and Big Blessings

Bright lips provided by Dior, Rose Harpers. Big blessings provided by the Lord above. For the past few weeks I have been telling my husband we need to have the brakes checked on our car. Especially since it is our only source of transportation right now. We took it in late last week, and come to find out we have been driving a death trap. The brake booster was bad and needed to be replaced immediately. Imagine my unemployed husband's anxiety waiting to find out how much this was going to cost. Would you believe that we are still under warranty, and that it even covered our rental car? It's true, and that's exactly how this little problem was resolved. Once again, during this trial we were reminded of how God provides. So grateful.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 25, 26, 27-The Mini Getaway

Day 25
Day 26
Amazing Chalk Walk Art Festival, Clearwater Beach
Marriott, Sand Key 
My Monkeys
Day 27
Sometimes you just have to get away. So that's exactly what we did this weekend. As much as I am surprised at what we can live without, having only one car over the past 7 weeks has made me a somewhat of a prisoner to my home.

Add my husband's company car for the past 18 years to the list of items I took for granted. 

The kids had a day off on Friday. So that, coupled with some Marriott Rewards points was all the excuse we needed to blow this popsicle stand. The only thing I didn't escape was this dress. Four more days to go!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 24-It's Fall Yall!

Day 24 and we finally have a cool breeze! Headed to a little town carnival and then to mom's for homemade vegetable beef soup, and fresh baked bread. A fall tradition, and one of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 23-Tights

There was a teeny tiny chill in the air today-so this called for tights. I paired my plumb tights with my blue suede shoes and threw on a statement necklace. I love that my dress has pockets, have I gone the entire month without mentioning this? As tired as I am of this dress, the pocket factor may just encourage me to wear it again in the future. Maybe I won't set fire to it after all. Ha!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 22-The One Pic Wonder

For those of you who have to work with a tripod, you will understand my frustration this afternoon. The clouds, the angle, my hair, the way this shirt was falling on me, etc. I couldn't get a good picture to save my life. I am convinced my neighbors think I am either nuts, or completely vain standing outside taking photos of myself all of the time. This was the best I could do today, my one pic wonder.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 21-Layer it On

Much like layering this dress, I feel like life is coming at me in the form of layers lately. As soon as I take a layer off and feel like I can breathe, it's time for another layer (or struggle) to be thrown over my shoulders.

Life, much like this dress, can be suffocating at times. There are twists, turns, miscommunications, uncomfortableness, and hurt. But in all of it, I stand here in my layers knowing that it is all going to be good in the end.

Isaiah 26:3-You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith, for they trust in you.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 20-Are We There Yet?

Although I am thankful for this dress and this project, I am ready to see the end of October. I felt so much better when I ran into a fellow dress project participant and friend this morning at church. The first words out of her mouth were, "I'm over this dress!" I laughed and was so relieved to hear I wasn't alone. We laughed about washing it at random and weird times, and I told her my story of wanting to set mine on fire. It's moments like these that put a smile on my face and will keep me wearing the dress, for 11 more days.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 19-Saturday and Missing Sanity

My husband pointed out that my blog posts have been rather short lately. I think that is due to my missing sanity. The days keep running together, and I have nothing inspiring to say. Friday my son had an allergic reaction to his antibiotic, he is covered head to toe in hives! Last night we got zero sleep trying to keep him comfortable. I am hoping for a better night tonight, and something inspiring to say soon. Until then; this dress is keeping me posting, even if the content is not great. I am thankful for this project, 12 days to go.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18-Function Over Fashion?

Today, I went function over fashion. Nothing fancy...but I can kick and stretch! I almost felt like I was wearing pants. What a nice change.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 17-Shine On

Today I have my shine on. You know what they say, don't ever let anyone dull your sparkle! I had the pleasure of presenting to a group of youth pastors today, promoting Culture Rock. This event empowers teens and connects them with their parents. With recent bullying events in our community making national news, there is no better time than the present to be in support of an event like this. It's not about being perfect, but being prepared. I am so excited about how God is going to unite us to make an impact.

Matthew 5:16-"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16-Perfect Picks

This scarf was NOT the perfect pick today. It was itchy, and hot. But I picked the perfect time to run the lake, conveniently meeting up with a friend halfway. She's much faster than me and pushed me harder than I would have pushed myself, thanks A! My family and I also picked the perfect pumpkin together today. I love sharing holiday traditions with them. Although I gag on scary decor, I love a good pumpkin and I am a sucker for a great stem. As you can see, this one is perfect.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 15-Fake it Until You Make it!

Sporting pink pumps for breast cancer awareness!

Let's be honest, some days you just have to fake it until you make it. Whether it is styling a dress for 31 days, or slapping on a smile when you feel like crying. Today I did both. Cheers to small victories. Oh, and today marks the halfway point-15 days to go.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 14-Finding Beauty in Booties

Lately, in effort to combat worry, I have been doing my best to focus on the beauty of little things. Today, I found beauty in my booties. It may not be cool enough to layer this dress, but I can bust out my booties.

Focusing on the positive has really helped me. I still worry, lash out, or feel irritated at times. But reminding myself of all of the good that is surrounding me whips my thoughts right back on track. I have so much to be thankful for.....and theses booties were made for walkin', so that's just what I'll do!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 13-Beaded Bib

Day 13, and I have absolutely nothing to blog about but a beaded bib necklace. The couch is calling my name, happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Super Casual Saturday

Birthday parties and family dinners call for casual. I threw on a tank and my rubber flip flops and called it a day. Enjoy your weekend, hope your weather is as marvelous as ours is today!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Muffins With Mom and Moment of Insanity

Insanity: the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind. Synonyms: dementia, lunacy, madness, craziness, mania, aberration.
 I confess, I had a moment of insanity this morning. As I slipped on my October dress, I vividly pictured myself setting it on fire. It is only day 11, what is wrong with me? How could I already be reaching the point of burnout? 
Well my sweet K saved the day by inviting me to her school for muffins with moms. I mean really, how could this NOT turn my day around? 

As you can see I held it together and the dress is still intact. 20 days to go. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 10-Undercover

Today the dress is undercover. It's under the cover of a skirt. I repurposed this skirt a while back by ripping out the tan lining, and I love to wear it over leggings. Today, it worked great to turn my short gray dress in to a long dress. It's still too warm here to layer much on top, so I thought I'd layer on the bottom. Creativity would come so much easier with some cooler temps. This happens every year, #floridaproblems.