new things.

First things first!

I would like to give a big thank you to my wonderful, fantastically talented husband, Andy! He’s completely responsible for my adorable new blog layout. All I did was tell him what colors I like and said make it “cute” and “vintagy” and he did the rest.  (Just a little plug… check out www.andycrum.com to see some more of his awesome work!)

So.

You may have been wondering where the heck I have been and why I haven’t been posting for the past 80 days or so. (Or maybe you haven’t really minded one bit at all! haha)

It’s because I’ve been learning some new things.

I wish I could say I was learning fun things like how to speak French or how to hand-dye silk with household items or how to make a crown roast. Maybe those things don’t sound that fun to you, but I promise they are a lot more fun than the new things I have been learning.

You see, after all the hustle and bustle of just getting married and setting up house and getting a new puppy sort of died down, and Andy and I began to get in our groove of daily living as married folk and parents of our sweet furry baby, and I could come down off my bridal high and focus on things other than getting boxes put away and making sure our  puppy was fully house-trained… I started to pray. I started to pray because marriage and being a puppy-mommy made me start to realize a lot of really great things about life, but also a lot of not so great things about my own personal shortcomings.

New things.

Things I hadn’t really noticed about myself before.

Levels of selfishness I didn’t know were inside of me because I hadn’t ever had to take care of a husband and a house and a dog before. (Doing all three at once can be really hard sometimes…I’m SO not ready for kids!) Splashes of immaturity as it came to my attention that I fought like a child instead of handling myself like a woman when it came to disagreements between Andy and I. I realized a lot about the fruits of the spirit being displayed in my own husband…  peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control… and really began to see some areas in my life where I needed to grow.

So I prayed.

And I prayed.

And I prayed some more, asking God to help me grow. To change me, make me more like him.

And over the past 80 days or so, I feel like my life has been an emotional roller coaster as God began pruning me and is continuing to do so. In John 15:2 it says: “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” And even though some of this pruning is on my good, fruitful branches, it’s all been somewhat painful. Needless to say, I have cried more and felt more and talked more and prayed more than ever before. And I’m learning new things!

New things like how not only should I be a picture of Christ-like love to my husband, but to ALL the people in my life.  Like it says in Matthew 4:43-44;  “You have heard that it was said,’You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” A lot of times that’s going to  mean that I have to step-up and do or say things that I don’t want to. Especially when it’s regarding people that aren’t my enemies! People that are my brothers and sisters in Christ! 1 John 4:20-21 “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” That one really hit hard. I feel really bad for Andy because I was laying in bed one night quietly reading the scriptures and came across those verses and just started sobbing. (Must’ve been pretty freaky to have your wife reading next to you one minute and sobbing the next!) But I was sobbing at the realization that by being angry and hateful (even if only in my heart) toward my brothers and sisters did not go hand-in-hand with the love that I say I have for God… the most important love in my life.

Anyway, I’ve just been so up and down and feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck that I just couldn’t come up with anything worthwhile to say in a blog entry. Nothing that I felt would be encouraging. And I didn’t want to get on here and type up some long sob story about how so-and-so hurt my feelings and I’m angry because I didn’t get my way.  Because in reality, the only thing that would produce would be more hurt feelings or people feeling sorry for me.. and I don’t want that. I want to be an encouragement, a light, a reflection of who Christ is in my life.

So, I hope that somehow my pruning encourages you. The pruning that occurred because I saw some wonderful things in my husband that I didn’t see in myself and I asked God to change me.  Now I can see far beyond my own hurt feelings and selfishness. I can see so many new things about how He is shaping and molding me to be more like Him.

I want to see some more fruit grow. So if pruning is what it takes, that’s what I want.

I hope you do too.

Love,
janine

new year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome 2011! I’m excited.

I’m excited that I got to kiss my husband and sip champagne and enjoy the company of friends and celebrate the beginning of a new year! I love the celebrating part of ringing in a new year. I love the celebrating part of life, in general. That’s probably why it has taken me two full weeks to make time to post here… because I’ve been enjoying the preparation and celebrations of Christmas and the new year with my family and friends and Charlie too!

It’s always fun to reflect back on the past year and think of all the great things that happened and talk about how this coming year is going to be even better. But quite frankly I don’t want to bore you with all the details of the past year, like how I started a new job and got married and got a puppy and all that stuff. Most of those things you already know. I want to talk about 2011.

I know what you’re thinking. Or at least I’m going to pretend that you’re thinking the same thing that I’m thinking.

A new year means a new year’s resolution. Now, usually I don’t like to make resolutions for the new year because I don’t like to tell myself I’m going to do things that I know I’m not really going to do. Like… getting up at 5 am every day to run and do yoga and eat salad 3 times a day so I can lose 10 pounds by the end of the week. I don’t really think that would work, so I don’t recommend trying it. It sounds like it would just make me tired from having to get up so early. And besides, it would mean I’m missing out on valuable snuggle time with Andy. Not worth it!

But this year, I’m going to try something new. I’ve got some things I have been meaning to do that I just haven’t gotten around to either because I have been too busy or I have been too lazy or a combination of the two.

So the first thing is that Andy and I are trying to eat healthier. Well, actually we are trying to lose some weight because marriage has made us… happy. And by happy I mean, we have been eating way too many cookies. I’m sort of excited, I know it’s only the first day, but this eating healthy thing is already working because there won’t be any more cookie swaps until December and we are out of eggs so I can’t make any more cookies anyway. However, this also means we are breaking one of our cute little traditions of eating milk and cookies after dinner each night… it’s okay though. We are replacing that tradition with a new habit of delicious fruit smoothies for dessert.

Quick tip on making fruit smoothies: If your blender is like mine and gets exhausted by doing too much work, use frozen fruit so you don’t have to crush up a bunch of ice! Tonight our smoothies were made of frozen raspberries and blackberries, banana, and v8 splash. Delicious and nutritious and satisfies even the most insatiable sweet tooth!

The other thing that I’m doing is that I’m FINALLY setting up my etsy account so I can start selling the things online that I make. For those of you who don’t know what etsy is, take the next 30 minutes (because it will take you at least that long once you start looking at cool things) and check out www.etsy.com. It is a website where people can buy and sell anything that is vintage or handmade. It’s super cool and I highly recommend you to take a peek if you don’t know about it already.

My precious computer savvy husband encouraged and helped me to set up my etsy storefront today so my plan is that this week I’ll be getting my first batch of items up for sale! I’ve already been working hard on some new projects so I will be sure to keep you updated!

I’m excited about eating healthier and getting things rolling with etsy, but I’m very not-excited about what we have to do tomorrow.

We will be de-Christmasing our house. All of my santas will have to go back up in the attic, all of our cute ornaments are being boxed up and put away, and the saddest thing of all… our tree will be taken to the curb. Good thing I took pictures!

Christmas with the Crums

Happy New Year!

Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep!

Love,
janine

redhead.

Here’s the thing.

There are chocolate chip cookies in my kitchen that just came out of the oven and their glorious scent is creating concentration issues for me… I’m also having a hard time typing without getting chocolate on the keyboard, so forgive me if it seems like my mind is all over the place for this post.
However, I believe I can compose myself long enough to give you a few of my general thoughts toward my mammal-defining trait. Like most things in life, (laundry, cooking, shaving) I tend to have a love-hate relationship with my redheadedness. You see, I wasn’t one of those lucky redheads like my sister whose hair came in red the first day it started sprouting. No, I was bald until I was two and then had this blondish-bronzy-mouse colored hair which sometimes decided to look red, but mostly looked like I liked to spend a lot of time in the pool.  Not necessarily a terrible thing, but when I was in the eighth grade and my hair fully turned the coppery shade of red it is now, it was somewhat of a shock. Not only to myself, but obviously to my classmates who weren’t very courteous in the way they pointed this out to me. So, naturally, identifying with the strange mass on my head didn’t come… well, natural to me.

I have come to terms with my redheadedness (for the most part) but I did have to be educated on what it meant to be a redhead and here are a few things I learned along the way:

1) Being a redhead means that you will never get a tan. So, when all of your blonde or brunette friends go to the beach during summer vacation and they ask you to come with them, be prepared to look like a stockholder in Sun Pharmaceuticals Corporation because two bottles of Banana Boat SPF75 may not be enough for the week long trip.

2) Being a redhead means that you will cringe every time someone refers to you as having orange hair.  Non-redheadians… it is true, though most red hair may actually look a nice warm shade of coppery orange, and resembles itself more closely to Crayola’s definition of orange than red, it’s red. It really, really is. I promise.

3) Being a redhead means that you will be asked if you are “fiery”. I have never quite figured out if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it seems to me that it is bad. I believe the assumption is that if you have red hair then you must have a quick-tempered nature. Personally, I don’t think my quick temper has anything to do with the color of my hair.
And for your personal viewing pleasure, a trip down memory lane:

the folicular pigment transition.

Put on your sunscreen.

Love,
janine

an introduction.

So, I’m acutely aware of the fact that this first post is supposed to be epic. As I’ve heard, starting a new blog is always supposed to begin with some amazing biographical introduction that will draw in readers from all walks of life and from every corner of the earth. Unfortunately, if that’s the kind of awe-inducing epicness you were hoping for, I apologize in advance for your tears of disappointment and am happy to take a moment to pause while you grab yourself a tissue — or a few squares of toilet paper if you’re too cheap to buy kleenex like I am.

Now that you’ve had a chance to compose yourself, let me tell you a few things about myself and what I’m doing here out in the wide open blogosphere.

I’m a twenty-four year old, redheaded newlywed with a BFA in painting, unraveling the joys of adulthood. After nearly a quarter of a century’s worth of living and breathing on this earth, I feel like I’m just now beginning to understand the beautiful aroma of contentedness. And I’m having a blast living in it.

I’m learning that life is full of mystery and joy and blessings and disappointment and beauty and love and many colorful things and that’s what I’m here to write about. My life: the mystery, the joys, the blessings and disappointment, beauty, love, and colorful things that have brought me to where I am today. Along the way hopefully I’ll remember to share current and past art projects I’m working on, recipes I’ve indulged upon,  stories about the people I love and the blessings I encounter each day.

Most importantly, I’ve come to realize that life is much fuller, funnier, and livelier when we build relationships with the people around us and learn from the experiences we have with those folks. That being said, I’d love it if you’d let me know your thoughts about my artwork, or if you try a recipe and you think it needs a touch more cinnamon, or if a story about the people or blessings in my life encourage you in some small way… because I’ll tell you the same.

Enjoy yourself and smile at a stranger today.

Love,
janine

yep this is me... smirking for a quick self-portrait against a green painted wall.