Friday, December 23, 2011

God With Us


Advent: God With Us from The Village Church on Vimeo.

Are you waiting and ready for this Saviour? What a beautiful way to express the Gospel. Enjoy and carry this message with you into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Praise Jesus Christ the Son and God the Father for their magnificent plan of redemption!

Love,
Anna

Thank you, Ruthiey for this beautiful recommendation. Love you girl!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sugar Plum Fairy



I thought this was pretty cool to watch. I love Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and this is a pretty innovative way to play that piece!

Love,
Anna

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Handel's Messiah Flash Mob

Most of my readers have probably seen this before, as have I, but it's definitely worth a rewatch. I love Handel's Messiah and this video just makes me cry. It's so beautiful! I hope you enjoy it!




Love,
Anna

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Am Alive and a C. S. Lewis quote.

Our wedding day. 
So, I pretty much fell off the bandwagon for the last half of November. Part of the reason is Aaron and I went to see my family and the place that we were staying had very slow internet, so I didn't even try updating the blog. Well, I made it through the 30 Days of Thankfulness about halfway! Oh well. I was still thankful and definitely thought about something that I was thankful for each day. 


While we were with my family, my mom and I were talking about how wonderful marriage is and all that I've learned in my 8 months (almost!) wisdom (ha!). During the conversation, this quote came up that I really love and so I thought I'd share it with all of you! I have shared it in the past on my other blog, but I thought I'd put it here this time. 



“What we call ‘being in love’ is a glorious state, and, in several ways, good for us. It helps to make us generous and courageous, it opens our eyes not only to the beauty of the beloved but to all beauty, and it subordinates (especially at first) our merely animal sexuality; in that sense, love is the great conqueror of lust. No one in his senses would deny that being in love is far better than either common sensuality or cold self-centeredness. But, as I said before, ‘the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of our own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs’. Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before the were married’, then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense-love as distinct from ‘being in love’ – is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when the;y do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

~Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, pages 108-109

Love,
Anna

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 15





Today I am thankful for my grandparents. I talked to both sets on the phone today and even though they live thousands of miles away, it helped them to feel closer.

Love,
Anna

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 14


Today I'm thankful for cell phones. I'm sure that sounds like a pretty strange thing to be thankful about, but here's why: I can call my mom or any other member of my family any time because of cell phones. What a blessing! I can also stay in contact throughout the day by texting my siblings. That is why I am thankful for cell phones!

Love,
Anna

Listening to Heartland by Celtic Thunder,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Thirteen

Daria is on the far left with my sisters Cassandra and Tatiana this last week. (Picture taken by my mom.)

Today I'm grateful for a beautiful picture of God's grace and the change Christ can work on a heart. My sister, Daria, who at the age of 15 came to the USA from the completely godless culture of Russia has committed to remain pure until God brings her the right man. To read more, go here: Dinner for Three .

Love,
Anna

Listening to Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Canon. (I know, I know Christmas music already! After tonight, I shall wait till after Thanksgiving.)

Link Love



Love,
Anna

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twelve


Today I am thankful for God's sovereignty. I can completely trust God because He knows what's good for me and He is working all things for my good. Nothing is outside of His control!

Love,
Anna

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 11

Credit

Today I am thankful for new friends and old friends. Aaron and I went to an Owl City concert with an old friend and met her two sisters who quickly became new friends. We had a blast with them. (The concert was pretty awesome too!)

Love,
Anna

Listening to Yacht Club by Owl City

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Ten



Today I am grateful that God is always our Rock. He is the one we can always run to in times of troubles. He never changes and is eternally the same. This is why we should never be anchored in our circumstances, because they will always be changing. Our anchor, our stay, our Rock should always be our God and when trouble comes we will never waver!

Love,
Anna

Listening to I'll Meet You There by Owl City

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Nine

Source: google.com via Anna on Pinterest


Today I am thankful for fellowship with older women. I am doing a study of Carolyn Mahaney's book Feminine Appeal with some women at my church all of whom are older and it has been great! I read this book before I was married, but reading it now, everything is completely different! What a blessing. We met together today to discuss chapter two and the fellowship was so encouraging. So today I am thankful for the fellowship with older women.

Love,
Anna

Listening to Super Honeymoon by Owl City

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Eight


Today I'm thankful for energy. I woke up today with more energy that I've had since before I found out I was pregnant. Therefore I got a lot of much needed things done today, like filing paperwork and Christmas shopping, as well as some ironing and laundry. What a blessing from God!

Love,
Anna

Listening to Refuge Radio

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days Four, Five and Six

Okay, so I'm not doing so well at keeping up with this Thankfulness thing. But I do have to report that I did think each day about what I was thankful for. I just didn't tell you all about it! So I'm going to combine my three missed days into one so that we can catch up!

Source: 20x200.com via Anna on Pinterest

Day Four:

I'm thankful for morning sickness turned all day sickness. Yes that seems like a strange thing to be thankful for, but every time I feel sick I remember that my little precious Pixie is healthy and growing. The nausea is certainly not pleasant and I would rather not feel sick, but the daily and moment-by-moment reminder that my baby is healthy is something I praise God for! (I also thank God for mint tea and peppermints to help me feel better!)

Day Five:

I'm thankful for the blessing of the freedom we experience in America. Aaron and I attended a Secret Church gathering. It simulated the type of meeting people in closed countries experience when they meet for worship. We listened for seven hours to David Platt speak on family, marriage and sex, beginning at 7 PM and ending at 2 AM. It was incredible and very worth it. During that time we also prayed for the persecuted church and so today I am grateful for the freedom we have to go to church in broad daylight.

Day Six:

Today I am grateful for many things but I'll single it down to one: surprises. A friend of ours who lives in Washington state (who was also in our wedding) sent me a box of goodies that he had heard I was craving. It completely surprised both Aaron and I, and so today we are very grateful for surprises.

Love,
Anna

Listening to O Love That Will Not Let Me Go by Indelible Grace Music

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Three

Source: flickr.com via Anna on Pinterest

Today I'm grateful for fall colours. There is nothing like the splendour of the colour in the leaves during autumn! Outside the window in our apartment, there are orange, red and yellow trees and I have immensely enjoyed the lovely handiwork of God every day when I look out the window. I also love the blanket of crackly leaves under my feet during autumn. It's a carpet of colour and it's so beautiful!

Love,
Anna

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Two

Today I'm thankful for my amazing husband. He is always looking out for my needs, even when they inconvenience him, especially now that I'm pregnant! Yesterday, I went for a walk with our puppy for about an hour and then exhaustion hit like a wall, so my sweet husband came and picked me up in the car. Isn't that sweet? He's so very seflless towards me. He stayed up last week until between 12 and 1 am working on a project for work and yet he still made some time for me in the evenings. Aaron truly lives out Christ's love toward me in so very many ways. I am very grateful for such a Godly man as my husband and I'm so grateful for him every single day!


Source: etsy.com via Anna on Pinterest


Love,
Anna

Listening to the Classical Radio Station. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day One

This month, I'm joining Rachel and Jessica at Young Homemakers for their 30 Days of Thankfulness for the month of November. I will try to post every day, but I can't promise because this month is promising to be crazy! I will certainly do as many days as possible though!

Today I'm grateful for the little life growing inside me. Conception is such a mystery. God is the Author of Life and He gives life when it's the right time (even though sometimes we wish it were sooner or later!). This little one is causing many changes inside me, some that are not particularly pleasant, but I am very grateful for the gift of this precious little one.

Source: imgfave.com via Cara on Pinterest


Praising and thanking God for this precious little one!
Love,
Anna

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For My Sister Jaynie



I'm sorry I haven't shared my cello post for my sister in quite awhile! Jaynie, I hope you enjoy this rendition of Carmina Burana! I remember when I played it when I was in the orchestra, it's quite a heart-pounding piece of music!
As for an update on my sister - she will be coming home for Christmas! My family is very excited about this because for a while they thought she would be coming home in January. Make sure you check her blog Lord Send Me for updates on her day-to-day life!

Love,
Anna

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Молитва за сирот-video: Guest Post

My sister Lissie from the blog Impassioned Purity wrote this blog post. She went on a ten-day trip to St. Petersburg Russia to work in an orphanage not to mention the fact that we have nine siblings adopted from Russia. It is very exciting for us to see God working among the Ukrainian church and causing people to rise up and stand in the gap for these children who have no hope. Who better than the Church could take great care of these children, teaching them about Christ and giving them an eternal hope? Praise God! Thank you Lissie for allowing me to reshare this post on my blog! 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This video was created by Ukrainian Christians for Orphan Sunday (November 6, 2011): a day for the church to remember and act on behalf of the fatherless and vulnerable. In the words of Jedd Medefind on the Christian Alliance for orphans blog, the Ukrainian church is "on fire" in its desire to adopt and care for the orphans in its country. *Enter personal commentary: It makes me extremely excited to see Christ's church on the other side of the world passionately living out the Gospel to the needy!*

(The video is called "Prayer for Orphans," and the words at the end basically say that there are more than 30,000 orphans in Ukraine and that each person's prayer can make a difference.)





Is the church in America on fire to live out James 1:27? Please leave a comment if your church is doing something for Orphan Sunday! I would love to hear from you.

~Lissie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Link Love



  1. Who is the greatest? - I REALLY liked the post. Like REALLY liked it. Especially this part: "People ask me sometimes if my hands get tired at the end of the day. My usual reply is, "You know, sometimes they do get a little tired. It's great though because my husband is really nice and he'll give me hand rubs so that helps a lot." Here is a list of several actual responses I have had to that question: 1. "Really? How long have you guys been married? My guess is not very long" 2. "I'll ask you again in a couple of years." 3. "That's nice, enjoy that while it lasts" Is it just me, or is that really crappy? It makes me terribly sad... Sad to think that somewhere in the path of marriage, people stop loving each other practically. Couples stop putting their spouses needs ahead of their own.
  2.  Random Thoughts on Marriage - From the same blog, this is just some thoughts that I felt echoed in my own heart and wanted to share with you all. Don't stop making an effort to look good after you're married! Your spouse is the most important person in your life, why do we feel like we can wear t-shirts and sweat pants around them? We made an effort during the courtship/or dating relationship, why not after you've said the vows? Along those lines, check out this blog with her Frump to Pumps Dressing in Freedom: Frump To Pumps Challeng
  3. How To Make Newsprint Nails - I love doing my nails and I think this is an easy way to go more sophisticated than just plain colour. Thanks Ruthiey for the DIY!
  4.  This Road Called Vida - I've been reading this blog a lot because I like her genuineness even throughout the tough stuff, but ever since I found out I was pregnant, I've been paying even more attention since she just gave birth to her first precious one. 

Love,
Anna

Listening to Fireflies Piano Tribute

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sister-Friends

Once upon a time, I went on a trip with some people from my church and some people from Pastor John Piper's church to help out the people in Pearlington, Mississippi with cleanup from Hurricane Katrina. The half from my church had never met the half from Bethlehem Baptist. We had some awkward first moments but the group pretty much hit it off right from the beginning. I'd like to tell you about one of my dear friends that I met as a result of those two groups coming together.



Her name is Ruthiey. She's quiet when you first meet her, but she has a radiant smile and a delightful laugh that immediately draw you in. She has these lovely eyes that smile all the time. But the greatest thing about Ruthiey? She's an encourager. I never fail to leave a conversation with her without a smile, a lighter step and most definitely an encouraged heart. She always seems to know what to say, what questions to ask, what answers to give in even the stickiest and most unusual of circumstances.



That's not all either! She's very genuine. When you're with her, you never feel like you're with a perfect person because she's honest about her struggles, that life isn't all daises and rainbows and she pairs that wonderfully with the hope the God offers in all of our daily lives. She doesn't just share about her struggles but how she's actively overcoming those struggles with the help of the Holy Spirit. Ruthiey isn't just talk, she gets up and works to change to become more conformed to Christ.

I can't tell you how much of an encouragement, comfort and inspiration this girl is to me. She's simply wonderful. I am so grateful to God for placing her in my life. I love you, Ruthiey girl!
While you're reading my blog, go check our her blog: Color My Life With Love .

Love,
Anna

Listening to Owl City's Halcyon (Pacman)

Friday, October 14, 2011

The New You've All Been Waiting For...

Source: None via Carlee on Pinterest

... go over to my other blog at Young and Married to find out! It's very exciting news!

Love,
Anna

Listening to Sky Sailing's Brielle

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Inspired Life @ Scribbles n' Things


Today, I'm featured over at Scribbles n' Things with Natalie! Go check out my post and the others in the series!

Love,
Anna

Listening to Vivaldi Double Concertos

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

God Is Never Un-Motivated



There are days where it's hard work to simply put my contacts in. The bed doesn't get made, the dirty dishes sit in the sink, and the pile of laundry grows ever taller. Today is one of those days. I think part of the reason everything feels this way is because I woke up sick. I'm feeling better as the day has gone on, but I still feel like normal tasks are just insurmountable. I know I need to do the laundry, or Aaron won't have a clean undershirt tomorrow, but my body just sternly says, "No!".

After a day when I've "had it all together", as in, I taught three violin lessons, went grocery shopping (and didn't exceed the budget!) tidied the house, went through paperwork and generally felt like I looked put-together in my heels and sweater, today is a stark contrast. My to-do list is sitting with my calendar, untouched. I keep telling myself that if I'm not going to do laundry or empty the dishwasher, that I should at least study for my next test, since that doesn't require any exertion. But here I am, blogging.

I don't have it all together. I have my share of bad and hard days, just like any of us. But I know Someone who never changes or has bad days or is unmotivated to get those things on His to-do list done. He never get's frustrated or forgets something, He never leaves something unfinished. I always find that quite comforting on days like this, that God is not like this. He doesn't have something unexpected come up, ever.

So on our days like this one that I'm having now, we can cling to our Heavenly Father who is so far above, better and unchanging than we are. But more than just being comforted, this can urge us to action knowing that with His Holy Spirit we can be like Him and keep going despite our circumstances or how achy our body is or how unmotivated we feel. Because God is so much bigger than all of that!

So off I go to begin laundry and empty the dishwasher. I might sit down after I've done all of my chores to study and rest. And I'll be thinking about how great and marvelous our God is the whole time.

Love,
Anna

Thursday, September 29, 2011

For My Sister Jaynie





Love,
Anna

National Coffee Day

Source: etsy.com via Kat on Pinterest


Well, today is a day to be celebrated! Today is National Coffee Day. I simply don't know where life would be without coffee. People would not wake up or stay up without it. They wouldn't go to places that play loud music and spend hours on their computers there without it. People wouldn't know words like "barista", "venti" or "macchiato" without it (unless you're Italian, that is).

All joking aside, today since it is National Coffee Day, you can get a free coffee at 7-11 or Krispy Kreme. So if you're near either of those, you're in luck! Sadly, I know of no 7-11 or Krispy Kreme in my general area. Or even one far away for that matter. So I'll have to stick to paying for coffee today. But I can still celebrate with you if you get a free coffee. Make sure you check what size is the free size, because if you get the wrong size you might end up paying for it. Oh and if you do get a free coffee today, leave a comment and tell me!

Love,
Anna

Listening to Ballad of San Francisco by Caedmon's Call

PS -  Also, if you wouldn't mind leaving a comment telling me whether you think the blog design change was good, bad or terrible, I would appreciate it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Link Love



  • Abortion, Infanticide, and The United Methodist Church - This article is infuriating and saddening at the same time. What inconsistency! "Isn't it hypocritical to be outraged by a mom who kills her twin babies after they're born, but indifferent to a mom who hires someone to kill her twin babies before they're born? It is, which is why Princeton ethicist, Peter Singer, says women should be given the right to kill their newborns. He points out that there is no ethical difference between killing a human baby before birth and after birth and concludes that since we've already deemed abortion to be morally defensible, the same distinction should be given to infanticide as well." 
  • Here in my arms - Rejoicing with this beautiful family with the addition of their eight child! What a beautiful baby. I love the name they picked out, it has such a beautiful meaning.
  • Meant to Shine  - Another blog by one of my many sisters! Four down, five sisters to go! Just kidding...
  • encouragement - beautiful reminder, photo and song.
  • Family Life Interviews: Carolyn Twietmeyer and Luther and Rebekah Ellis - If you only go to ONE link that I have here, this is the one. (Yes this is another sister's blog!) Very encouraging, even if you aren't considering adoption.
  • Christians as Biscuit Dough - Thank you Ruthiey for sharing this great quote from Jerry Bridges! 
  • Let Us Be Elegant or Die! - Very good reminder for me to be concerned about what's inside rather than the clothes I wear, my nails, my hair, my shoes, my purse......
  • Vows - Last but not least, this post was thought-provoking. Am I true living my vows every day?
Love,
Anna

Listening to Jamie Grace - With You

PS - I can't figure out how I highlighted the whole post, so my apologies but I don't know how to fix it! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year....


Yes and I DO mean Christmas! I have been thinking about Christmas a BUNCH this week. I have no idea why, except that I can't wait for that time to be here. Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year, hands down, no exceptions. It kind of helps that I love wintertime anyways! So, I'm pretty eager for it to get here!

Pottery Barn catalogue is one of my favourite things to receive in the mail. Call me weird, but it is. I pore over the pages, studying each and every item and where it's placed in the picture. I don't think I've ever purchased anything from them, I just love the glossy pictures. And when they already had a section of Christmas decorations in it, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Believe it or not, I've looked at the Christmas section multiple times since I discovered it in my mailbox!

Some Christmas pictures to enjoy so that you can share in my eagerness.




Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pin of The Week





I now have four students and my newest violin student is a five year old, so I figured it would be appropriate to share this adorable pin to celebrate. Yay for new students, five-year-olds named Silas, and violins!

Love,
Anna

One Thousand Gifts


71 music that makes me dance
72 cold mornings
73 phone calls from my sister Jaynie in Central Asia
74 the delight of making Aaron laugh unexpectedly
75 realizing just how much I need God.... AGAIN
76 handwritten notes from those you love
77 the absolute joy of music
78 the life in a bouquet of flowers
79 the awe of God's bigness washing over me all over again
80 pretty nails (Thanks Megan for the recommendation!)

Love,
Anna

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fill in The Blank Friday


1. The best thing I did all week was spend time with my husband! But you know, I think that's what I would say everytime I was asked that question...


2. Listening to quartet music makes me super happy.


3. Pets are adorable, quirky and sometimes irritating. Like when everytime you shower, your dog decides that's the best time to leave gifts on the carpet.


4. God's presence is the best thing about my life.


5. With the cooler weather I am looking forward to fuzzy sweaters, warm cider, cozy feelings in your tummy, colourful scarves, pretty leaves, morning mist, candles in the evening, and finally Christmas!


6. Something that's on my wish list right now is a pair of grey dressy pants. I found the perfect pair at Maurices, I'm just debating whether I should get them or not. We'll see.


7. This weekend I am going to attend a membership class on Saturday for our church with Aaron, go to Bible study with Aaron on Saturday evening and church on Sunday morning, but other than that spend as much time as possible with Aaron!


I hope you all have a great weekend! Enjoy the nice weather before it gets cold enough that you need a coat outside. Remember to keep a heavenly perspective on everything!
Love,
Anna

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bucket List: Twenty.One



I am 21 now. How strange is that? I remember when 21 seemed old, like once you were 21 you couldn't relate to those who were younger. And yet, I feel no older than I was when I was 16, 17, 18... I decided that I would write out some goals that I have for my 22nd year. I have 21 items here so far, but I may add more as time goes on as things come to my mind. I'll let you know when I complete each one! By the way, these aren't in any specific order.
  1. Workout consistently for 30 days (and more!)
  2. Read The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
  3. Memorize Psalm 18
  4. Begin a Bible study on Skype.
  5. Finish my last CLEPs and DSSTs.
  6. Save money to go visit my grandparents in Denver, Colorado.
  7. Fast for a week.
  8. Go to a concert
  9. Begin a Bible study for girls at my church.
  10. Learn how to swing dance with Aaron.
  11. Do 100 consecutive pushups.
  12. Learn how to take better pictures with my Nikon D90x
  13. Learn the solo violin part for Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
  14. Graduate.
  15. Donate my hair to Locks of Love.
  16. Memorize more of Romans.
  17. Run in a 5K.
  18. Become a sidewalk counselor outside an abortion clinic.
  19. Pull an all-nighter just because.
  20. Become a more submissive wife.
  21. Never speak negatively about Aaron.
I pulled the all-nighter the night of my birthday. Aaron and I went to Starbucks to drink some caffeine to help us with our whole night and I walked right up to the register and said, "A Venti cinnamon dulce with two extra shots please!" The look on the barista's face was so funny! She asked, "What are you two up to?" So we told her our plans and she gave me my drink for free! Aaron and I had a good time and got to know each other even better. We ended the loooong night with watching Fireproof again. It's such a good movie. We'll see how I do with all the rest! 

Love,
Anna

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

For Jaynie: Dvorak





I've been listening to this Cello Concerto this week by Antonin Dvorak and especially like the middle movement. It's so long there are two videos for it on youtube. I miss you Jaynie! Don't forget to check her blog and continue praying for her.

Love,
Anna

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Link Love


  • 10 Reasons Why the New NIV is Bad for Women This is a really good article that was shared with me by a friend. I was dismayed when I heard about the new NIV and this article does a really good job of showing just how destructive this step is.
  • Overview - Check out the update from my sister Jaynie! Thank you so much for continuing to remember her in your prayers. She's definitely experiencing adventure and many things that she would never have experienced in America. It's been about a month since she went over there but it feels like she's been there forever.
  • Divorcing Alzheimer's Victims - How sad! This just about broke my heart. Definitely watch the video at the bottom, I want to have that attitude in my marriage! 
  • Salted Caramel Sauce - I want to try this recipe, it looks so yummy and very easy! 
  • Giftaway - Check out this giveaway and read about GiveLove365. 
  • Motherhood Is a Calling - My Mom shared this post with me. I am looking forward to the day when I'm a mommy!
  • Love Tap - This video is cute. Aaron showed it to me from Challies Dot Com.
Have a great rest of the week!
Love,
Anna

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fill in The Blank Friday



1. You should always take time to smile, especially when you're in public. People now just pretend like the person walking towards them in the aisle at the grocery store doesn't exist by not making eye contact. Keep your head up, look people in the eye and smile at them! You never know how you might bless someone with a smile.


2. The joy that comes through, from and because of Jesus Christ makes the world a happier place to be.


3. I can hardly wait for tonight when my Grandma and Aunt Jean arrive to spend the weekend with Aaron and I!


4. Sunday is my favourite day of the week.


5. Something totally dumb and ridiculous that I love is sparkles!! Sparkly nail polish, sparkly eye makeup, sparkly shoes, sparkly shirts, sparkly jeans, sparkly dresses, sparkly jewelry, sparkly hair things and sparkly eyes.


6. If I could, I would visit my family every weekend! I miss them a lot.


7. I rather like the peanut butter fudge that Megan sent me in the mail. Yum yum!


Love,
Anna

For My Sister Jaynie



I laughed when I saw this video. I hope you enjoy it Jaynie!

Love,
Anna

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Link Love


  • This Momentary Marriage - This post is soooooo good!! And in case you're curious, this is exactly the kind of marriage Aaron and I have as well. 
  • This wedding was so sweet to read about! How often do you hear of twins marrying twins? And wow are they going to have beautiful kids, too! I thought the story about the girls' family was very inspiring as well.
  • This was an encouragement for me to be a Radical Blessing to my dear husband. I want someone to be able to call me a "radical blessing" to Aaron.
  • Two babies born this week! What a huge blessing. You can find William Paton here and Rebekah Rosalie here. Praise God, the Creator of life!
  • I just love this adorable picture of my little sister, Oksana.I miss her!
  • Check out this blog: all the leaves are rustling. 
  • Really love this quote about love. It made me think.
  • My sister Lissie posted this video. A good reminder of just how big our God is!
  • Fall! I'm so excited for autumn and can't wait for it's official arrival. I've seen it peeking around the corner, but I can't wait for it to be here completely.
Love,
Anna

Saturday, September 10, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

61 cozy jackets
62 a Salted Caramel Mocha
63 cold rain + the Vitamin String Quartet
64 the smell of new perfume
65 cuddling on the couch
66 MUSIC
67 playing my violin with passion
68 staring at rain out a window
69 Snow (Hey Oh) by the Vitamin String Quartet
70 seeing my husband after a long day without him

Love,
Anna

Listening to The Vitamin String Quartet's version of Hey There Delilah by The Plain White T's

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fragments: Brighten My Life

Waiting in the rain
Dull and dreary.
All alone
You're not here.
Wet on my toes,
In my hair.
But when you come
It's sunshine all over again
You brighten up my life
The sky seems brighter,
Music seems happier
My step more buoyant.
The world is wonderful.
When you're here.
You give my stomach butterflies
All the time.
You put the spice in my life
The spring in my step
The smile on my face
The cream in my coffee
The sparkle in my eyes
I love you.

Love,
Anna
~ Listening to Haven't Met You Yet ~ Michael Buble

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Who Am I?

I AM... an extrovert, a lover of music, and a poet.
I WANT... to share my love of music with as many people as possible.
I HAVE... many adventures I want to embark on.
I KEEP.... every note and card anyone sends me. I enjoy re-reading them at a later date.
I WISH I COULD.... have more time in a day to spend with my husband.
I HATE.... feeling unmotivated and procrastinating.
I FEAR... spiders. It's dumb, but I do.
I HEAR.... the roar on the other side of the silence.
I DON'T THINK... winter is a bad thing. Fall and winter are wonderful!
I REGRET..... placing value on things that have no infinite value at all. Like clothes.
I LOVE... God, my husband, my family, and my friends.
I AM NOT....quiet. Beware.
I DANCE.... when I'm with people I know really well, like my husband or siblings.
I SING.... with every song I hear, even with ones without the words, in my heart.
I NEVER.... am alone.
I RARELY.... slow down.
I CRY WHEN I WATCH.... gotcha day videos like this one. Lucy Lane's Gotcha Day.
I AM NOT ALWAYS... smiley. I know that comes as a surprise to some. I wish I was though.
I HATE THAT... it's easier to gain weight than lose it.
I'M CONFUSED ABOUT... the choices some people make.
I NEED.... God. Every. single. day.
I SHOULD.... be studying right now. But I'm catching up on blogging instead. Oh well.

Thanks to Sarah from Ampersand Photography for this list!

Love,
Anna

Listening to Vitamin String Quartet's version of Fireflies by Owl City

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

For Jaynie



This is a quartet piece, so it does include a cello and because it's a quartet, it reminds of all the fun times I've had with my siblings jamming away with Mozart and Beethoven and look forward to when we can do it again. I miss you Jaynie!

Love,
Anna

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Contentment




What do you long for most right now? I bet you don't think, "If I don't have this - I'll die!" but I'm betting you probably subconsciously feel that you will only be happy if we gain one thing. It could be anything. There are little things we can desire - certain clothes, friends, a certain weight on the scale, cell phone, facebook, texting, etc. But there are bigger, long-term things we want to have in our lives. If you're reading this, and you're single, then I'm sure there's one word you've been thinking as you read this. Marriage.


Yeah I know, you're probably thinking, I've heard that I need to make the most of my singleness etc etc, I don't need another reminder. Oh but I'm going to tell you something you might not realize! The day you say "I do", your life will never, everever be the same. You can never have life the same way as it was before. Now, I'm not saying you're going to look back and wish you could go back to being single. (And if any of you are worried, I'm not wishing that!!) Here's what I am saying: when you get married, you are closing a chapter on your life and you want to have lived it to it's fullest. I wish I had been more Christ-centered in my single years, however short they were. For the rest of my life, I will be a homemaker, and hallelujah, thank you Jesus for that privilege! But I will never have that single focus that being single affords. Paul writes:
"The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband." ~ 1st Corinthians 7:32b-34
Seize the day! God has given you to singleness today, so live whole-heartedly in your singleness and glorify God with your life. Devote your life to growing more and more like Him. Just a sidenote: I'm not saying hold off marriage for the sake of singleness. I'm just exhorting those who are still unmarried to live 100% for Christ every day that God blesses them with singleness.

Guess what? In case you're still thinking, however subconscious it may be, that once you reach marriage you will be content and happy, hold your horses. It wasn't long after Aaron and I said "I do" that the yearnings for precious little ones crept upon me.  Are these bad? No way! They are God-given desires and babies are blessings and gifts from the Lord! But I wasn't content in the gift God had given me of my marriage! I had crossed the proverbial fence to reach the greener grass, only to discover that the next field hadeven greener grass! So you see, I need to learn the same contentedness in my married-ness, as I am exhorting you in your singleness! In the same way that I will never experience singleness again, once I get pregnant, Aaron and I will never have just the two of us. We can never go back to the way it is now. Again, I'm not saying that babies are a bad thing, just like I wasn't saying that marriage was a bad thing: Aaron and I will just never have life like we do now. So, I'm learning to be content in the green pasture God has led me into. Yes, the grass on the other side of the fence may seem greener, but Lord-willing, I will get to taste of that meadow. It will just be in God's timing. Right now He's calling me to be content and live to the fullest the lot He has given me (and oh, is it a wonderful, beautiful lot!)


You know what? I think, once we do have kids, Lord willing, there may be days when I think, "I can't wait till they're all out of the house!" But that's when I need to remember this: this is the lot God has given me now, and my life will never be the same once the kids are all gone. I can't go back to the way it was, with them running through the house and making messes and dirtying laundry that I have to clean up over and over and over again. But then again I will never have their little voices in the night, calling me "Mommy", and feeling grubby fingers in mine, watching them grow up and become Godly men and women.

Live fully right where you are. This is the lot God has given you. Don't let discontentment define your life.

Love,
Anna

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fill in The Blank Friday


1. One of life's most simple pleasures is a walk in the early morning coolness.


2. Unjust accusations and completely skewed thinking make me want to punch someone.


3. I like Rooibos Lemonade at Caribou Coffee because it's sweet and yet it has a bite to it!


4. Puce is a funny word.


5. If I had to choose one beauty product to use for the rest of eternity it would be anything with sparkles. I love sparkles!


6. I'm happy that God gives me second chances.


7. I would never want to forget who I was without Christ. I feel so in awe that He saved me out of all those millions of people He could have chosen, and not at all based on who I am, what I've done or who I'm going to be!


I'm sorry the blog has been rather silent this week. I shall be better next week!
Love,
Anna

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For Jaynie: Moonlight



I have been listening to this off and on for about a week now and I could not wait another day to post this for my beloved sister Jaynie. Enjoy!

I was able to speak with her on the phone this morning (which was her late afternoon) and that was really great. Hearing her voice and knowing she's okay and really enjoying where God has placed her was also very encouraging. I read my Daddy's post A sad part and a new beginning this morning to Aaron and it simply made me cry. To think of my precious Daddy feeling pain at leaving his daughter and also just missing my Daddy so much overwhelmed me! He writes so well and really conveyed the emotion of the goodbye. Please continue to pray for Jaynie, and also my Daddy and my brother Joe as they come home today!

Love,
Anna

Friday, August 19, 2011

Link Love


Design on our wedding program done by graphic designer Eric West.


  1. I wrote this post on the blog I share with Aaron: It's Worth The Wait . 
  2. I read this article and was literally thinking "YES! YES! YES!" the whole time I was reading. Natalie is so spot-on and it's such a great reminder for all of us. My mom calls the desire gone bad idea, "a desire becomes a demand" and that's when your desire becomes a sin. Here is that article.
  3. Check out this post on my mom's blog. I love the looks on both my sister's faces! I miss those two cuties a whole bunch.
  4. I know I already wrote a post about my sister, but here is another plug for her new blog. You can find her blog here. She's been faithful at keeping it updated so far!
  5. I have been on a Steven Sharp Nelson/Jon Schmidt/the Piano Guys listening rampage! Right now, my two favourites are Moonlight and The Cello Song.
  6. This blog post by my friend Ruthiey was especially beautiful. I love the way she phrases things and the sweet and gentle way she treated the woman in the article was touching.
  7. And finally, this recipe for calzones was sooo yummy and really easy. Aaron and I have had these twice, both times making them together and we had a blast. They turned out really tasty too! 
Love,
Anna

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It Is Time



The music in this video may not appeal to everyone's tastes, but the message is powerful and urgent. Enjoy!
Love,
Anna

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For My Sister Jaynie



My sister is on the other side of the world. I've known she was going to leave for a couple months now, but it's still a strange thought. Next time I see my family, she won't be with them. My 18-year-old sister Jaynie is flying to Central Asia to live for the next several months. She is going to be a nanny for two American families there on business. She's leaving behind everything she's known since she was eight years old. None of her family will be there with her, none of her friends. But we know she does not go alone! And we also know that her safety is in Divine Hands. She will be recording her travels and her adventures on the other side of the world at her blog: HERE. She already has several updates, so make sure you read them and please pray for her!



But the other reason I wanted to post that is because I want to begin a weekly post as a reminder to pray for her. Jaynie plays the cello. She has only been playing for three-four years, but she has been very diligent and plays very well now. I miss playing with her a lot now that I've moved away! As part of her going to the other side of the world, she has had to leave her precious cello behind. So, I want to post videos of cello music for my dear sister once a week for two reasons:

  1. As a reminder for me and all of my readers to continue praying for Jaynie.
  2. For Jaynie, so she can listen to beautiful and moving music played on the instrument she loves so much!
So here is the first video of many: 




Thank you for praying and enjoy the music!
Love,
Anna

PS - the pictures are from my wedding in March, Jaynie played on of the most beautiful cello pieces in the world, Saint-Saens' The Swan from The Carnival of the Animals.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

True Beauty





For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. 



~ Audrey Hepburn


Love,
Anna

Saturday, August 13, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

51 late night laughs
52 early morning coffee pick-me-ups
53 anticipation when you're going to see someone you care about greatly
54 curling up next to my husband in the middle of the night
55 dancing around to music and making Mocha dance too
56 Graeter's
57 babies at the zoo
58 the smell of my favourite perfume
59 candles that smell amazing
60 candles that you bought on clearance from Anthropologie

Love,
Anna

Fill in The Blank Friday



1. My most favourite birthday was my 18th birthday. I had all my nearest and dearest friends and their families over (which made for a full house!). Their ages ranged from toddler all the way up to long-time married adult. 


2. My worst birthday was none of them! I am pretty sure I enjoyed all my birthdays. Now, if we're talking about other peoples birthdays, that's a different story entirely.... {is recalling a certain birthday when my family used to only have five people and was located in England}.


3. My favourite birthday memory is on my 13th birthday. My parents took me out for dinner at the fanciest restaurant in town to ask me if I would make a commitment for my future husband to save my heart, emotions and body for him. I did and my daddy gave me a beautiful diamond ring that I still wear to this day!


4. The best birthday present I've ever received was a beautiful heart necklace with a light blue stone in it from my dear husband Aaron for my last birthday. It was so wonderful and special.


5. The best birthday present I've ever given was I'm not sure. I can't recall any birthday gifts over any others. Instead, I'll tell you about what I did for Aaron's last birthday though, I invited his family and a friend over to surprise him. He and I went kayaking for the day and while we were gone, the guests arrived and decorated the apartment. When he opened the door, they all said, "Happy Birthday!" and he was very surprised! 


6. Birthdays are a fun time to celebrate someone, and what a gift from God they are. It's also a wonderful time to bring up favourite memories of other birthdays or of growing up. It's also fun to dig up old photos of past birthdays and see how the person has changed. 


7. My favourite age so far has been 20! Of course, I am still 20, but that's beside the point, don't you think?


Love,
Anna