December 26, 2008

a very merry christmas sing-a-long...

when i was little, we always had a crowd at our house on christmas night. after all the presents were unwrapped and the dishes were cleared it was time for the music to begin. we had stacks of song books, lots of singers, a piano and some trumpets. it was a good time.

a few years ago we decided to start recreating this great tradition. i brushed up on my accordion skills, my cousin monte very wisely decided to marry a professional musician, and my uncle mick was put in charge of the percussion section. i know many of you wish you could have been here to witness this in person, so here's a little glimpse to satisfy your sing-a-long craving...

video

and here is my uncle and i in a piano duet...

video

December 17, 2008

special delivery...

if you’ve been checking your mailbox in anxious anticipation of my christmas card, i’m sorry to say you may be disappointed. i’m breaking tradition and blogging my card this year, so here it is for you to enjoy.


this season i’ve been especially mindful of the realities of life; people who are hurting in the midst of a time of celebration and joy. even though holidays are especially difficult for some, i think these hard times actually make the birth of our savior that much sweeter. the other day i heard a chris rice song on the radio and i haven’t been able to get the words out of my head:

tears are falling, hearts are breaking
how we need to hear from God.
you’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting
welcome holy child.

how great it is to be able to rejoice in that fact that even in the midst of a life on earth that is often hard, our savior has come. he didn’t come to make our lives perfect, but he does bring us hope. so welcome holy child…we’re so thankful you came.

enjoy this celebration of the birth of our savior, and treasure the time you spend with your family…it’s a blessing.

merry christmas!

love, shelly

December 14, 2008

an idealistic dreamer...

remember those great conversations in college, where you would sit around for hours talking to these interesting and wonderful people you were lucky enough to call friends? the topics could be anything…life, love, theology, the future, changing the world and of course brainstorming for the next great prank. time was never a factor. these convos could happen at any hour of the day and last an infinite amount of time. (because conversations such as these were often much more important than going to class)

these days, these conversations are fewer and harder to come by. at times it seems as though life (aka adult-hood) had taken over. i came across this quote about ‘growing up’ the other day, “it’s hard to determine whether we are settling for less or if we’re coming to a healthy understanding of our place. it’s not that we don’t still have the desire (to change the world), but maybe the world we have desired to conquer has changed or grown smaller.” for me it’s really hard to tell the difference, at least for myself. when i look at the lives of my friends, i can see how they are still making an impact with their lives, even in the midst of the everyday tasks of working and/or raising a family. but it’s harder for me to look at my own life objectively and decide if my desire not to settle for less is legit, or if i have unrealistic expectations of what life can/should look like.

any thoughts?

December 5, 2008

why i love my friend...

it is kim's birthday today...she's thee decades old. there are lots of things i love about her, here are thirty of them in random order.
i love kim because…

she is a great teacher
she loves the lazy river
she is really good at fake laughing
she is very passionate about the jayhawks
she screams a lot
she is an avid gambler
she gets very hyper about winter weather
she loves to help people
she is digging herself out of the hole
she is extremely generous
she smiles a lot
she experienced new life ranch with me
she loves Jesus
she listens to ‘gangsta’ music
she is really good at making new people feel welcome
she makes me laugh
she took me to las vegas
she is infatuated with chris brown
she likes to be spoiled
she likes to spoil other people
she knows what it’s like to lose a parent
she is really good at wii bowling
she is easily excitable
she is a good wedding date
she loves little black kids
she is really good at accessorizing
she makes life fun
she genuinely cares for people
she understands
she is there for me

November 27, 2008

how i spent $0.86 on black friday...

i've been working the walgreens circuit for a few years now and i've recently decided to delve into the world of cvs-ing. and yes, that is a verb. there's this whole sort of 'cult following' on the web where you can find tips and info on how to get the best deals by combining coupons with store specials. i won't bore you with the details (unless you're interested, and in that case, just ask!) but i do have to brag a bit. the black friday sales presented my biggest challenge yet and with my mom as my sidekick, i went, and i conquered! i purchased all you see below with $11.77 of existing ecb's (ie. store credit) that i had acquired, only $0.86 cash, and i still left the store with $11.95 in ecb's to use in the future! this is so fun!!!

p.s. if you're interested...check out www.iheartcvs.com ...it's my favorite resource.

October 30, 2008

another grand opening...

hopefully you've been able to check out my etsy shop, which i officially opened a few weeks ago. and just today i've opened a similar shop at big cartel. it's a lot like etsy, though i don't think it is as well known. also, big cartel doesn't charge any fees to post items or when you make a sale. so that's a bonus. mostly i'm sharing the info just to get the word out about big cartel, in case anyone out there wants to give it a go!

October 23, 2008

frequently asked question...

when i'm catching up with friends i haven't talked to in awhile one of the questions i am most often asked is "do you have any trips planned?" so in an effort to keep everyone informed, here's a little preview...
a couple days after christmas i will be heading south to help with construction of an orphanage in guadalupe, mexico. it's a random group of some sbu friends and some people i've never met before. we'll be working with tapestries of life ministries on what will be the largest orphanage in mexico when completed. for this trip i'm looking forward to getting back to my habitat roots and getting my hands dirty, as well as some quality time with old friends.

then next summer my mom and i will be joining a group from calvary, my home church, to go to malawi, africa. that's right...africa!! i've always wanted to take a mission trip to africa so when my mom saw the announcement in the bulletin, she just signed us up. we'll be working with some missionaries through the african bible college in malawi. i haven't been to any team meetings yet (seeing as how they are held in st. louis) so i don't have a whole lot of details yet, but i do know we'll be doing a vbs for children affected by hiv and aids. and something about a safari. i'm anxious to find out more about what exactly i'll get to do on this trip, but i'm of course looking forward to a trip with my mom. and since we are tentatively scheduled to arrive back in the states on july 14, just in time for my birthday, i can officially say i've been to africa before i turn the big 3-0.

October 14, 2008

francis howell viking football...

i have a new favorite football player (come to think of it, i didn't have one to begin with)...matthew (one of the florida kids) is a freshman at my high school and is playing football. monday was the one and only game i'll get to see this year, so i had to pack a lot of spirit into that hour and a half!! i'm sure matthew was really pleased, and not at all embarrassed, by my artistic sign and the fact that i was frantically waving it around while screaming "go 43", and "good job 43" for the entire game. i didn't earn the most spirited pommer trophy two years in a row for nothing!

jacob, me, and gracie with a very tiny matthew in the background

October 12, 2008

i want to go back to the beach...

my to-do list for the past week:
  • float in pool
  • play in ocean
  • look for seashells
  • eat lots of snow crab

my mom and i spend the past week in pensacola beach, florida with friends from church that we've known forever. this was our second year to go on vacation together and it was quite fun.

here we all are


this is jacob and i on jet ski day in the bay


one night we drove into pensacola to eat at mcguire's...they are really famous for having great burgers. they also have a very cool tradition...everyone who visits is welcome to sign a dollar bill and staple it to the ceiling. they have over $550,000 in dollar bills, and that's not a typo. there is money everywhere!! i think i could live on their dollar bills for the rest of my life. of course we didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to leave our mark in history, so we all signed a bill and up it went.

this is jacob stapling our dollar to the ceiling for all eternity


this room looked like it was a recent addition, and didn't have nearly
as much money in it as the rest of the place

also, if you ever eat here, be sure to go to the bathroom...i won’t spoil the surprise and tell you why…just go.

here is one last picture of my favorite coast line on planet earth

October 2, 2008

open for business...

that's right folks, my etsy shop is officially open for business!! for about a year i've been making notecards and some other small gifts from my photographs, but haven't really had a convenient way to sell them...until now!!

etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade (direct quote from the website) and it is very cool. of course i'd love it if you come visit my shop, but either way it is definitely worth your while to spend a little time browsing. they have a lot of great stuff, but be careful...it's addicting!

September 23, 2008

the story of stuff...

over the past few months i have become a bit of a tree hugger. no, i haven't started a compost pile in the backyard (though i did get a "keep it clean, keep it green" t-shirt for my birthday), but i am more aware of how much, and what, i throw away. the fascinating thing that i quickly discovered is that my insane frugality happens to go hand in hand with being kind to the earth. the less stuff you buy, the less stuff you have, the less stuff that gets thrown away. the less you drive, the less gas you buy, the less pollution goes into the air. it's simple math (though i don't think the grammar exactly works).

yesterday i came across this cool video, that i think it worth sharing. it really makes some interesting points and will hopefully encourage people to stop and think how their personal decisions affect not only the earth, but more importantly, our fellow humans. it's about 20 minutes long...which i know may seem impossibly long for some of you (especially the moms out there), but if you're going to be blog surfing or facebooking anyway, you might as well have it playing in the background!

September 17, 2008

frolicking in the fabulous fall...

today i got to play with sophie at deanna rose farm and eat a delicious chick-fil-a lunch...it really doesn't get any better than this. thank you missy for coming to play.

we are big fans of water splashing

September 15, 2008

plethora of pictures...

in case you haven't yet noticed, there's a new addition to my blog...my little flickr badge. i just finished adding a BUNCH of pictures to my flickr account, so if you haven't visited in awhile, come on over!!

September 7, 2008

what constitutes a puposeful life...

*warning* - this post may be longer and deeper than most, proceed with caution

i've been thinking a lot lately. lots of ideas and pondering floating around in my brain. even though i knew these thoughts were all connected, i was having trouble making sense of them. thoughts about our purpose on this journey of life. i had tried to articulate a few of these thoughts to friends, but didn't really get anywhere. then wednesday night at bible study i had a breakthrough of sorts...i finally found a question that encompasses a large quantity of these thoughts. what constitutes living a purposeful life? my insane, type-a personality would really appreciate it if God would come down from heaven with a to-do list for each day of my life. then i would clearly see what i need to do, or not do, and go about the business of being purposeful. unfortunately for anal retentives like myself, this is not the case.
at the risk of sounding cliche, i'll point out that i do know the christian life isn't a list of do's and don't's...it's about relationship. it's dying to myself and allowing Jesus to live through me...as if my fleshy self isn't even present. that sounds all well and good and i would like to be signed up for that. but then i wake up the next day and realize...i have no idea what this really looks like. i mean in the every day...going to work, getting gas, talking on the phone, etc, etc. i know we are to eat, drink, etc. to the glory of God, but how exactly do you do that?

here's where i get up on my singleness soap box. please don't mis-understand, this really isn't a pity party. do i want to be a wife and mom someday? yes. but i am happy and content with my life at the moment. (disclaimer: this does not mean that i don't still have bouts of envy for the married folk, but all in all...i have a pretty great life right now) the thing is, day to day "purpose" seems easier to come by as a married person. those little things that have to be done everyday, like cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. are not just mere chores anymore, but a way to honor your spouse and show love to them. you have a built in opportunity to put someone elses needs and desires above your own. (i realize this is often easier said than done...) add some children in the mix and your purpose/serving ratio shoots off the charts. but what about us single folk? i don't really have anyone elses opinion to put before my own in deciding what to eat for dinner. if my laundry basket gets a little fuller than normal, no one else is negatively affected. do you see my point?

which brings me to the ever evasive question...what does a purposeful life look like in the every day?

August 27, 2008

mixin' it up in macon...

last weekend i headed to the south for some good 'ole family time with the broomes. i got to spend time with a wonderful friend and her cute kids (and fred). joshua and anna bell made me feel very loved.

we had an extra fun treat when connie, another sbu friend, drove down from south carolina with her mom and sweet little josiah to spend a day with us. it had been a long time since i'd seen her, so i really appreciated her making the drive!

connie . lindsey . shelly



aside from connie's visit, we spent the first 90% of our time together just lounging around, playing with the kids and eating home-made candy. (which is a fabulous way to spend some time) then on the last night we really kicked it into high gear and got the party started. we ate barbecue at sticky fingers, did some 'free' cvs shopping, and sipped pina colada slushies while watching re-runs of the office. i also got to throw in some dave ramsey advice, which made me so excited, this happened...

(as i'm sure you can imagine, fred could hardly contain his excitement when i suggested this)


thank you broome family for a wonderful visit!!

August 14, 2008

miss vacation america...

my good friend from bible study just bestowed this title upon me today via e-mail. i like it a lot and have to admit that i kind of wanted to show it off. but i'll also use it as a segway into my fun news...one of my photos from my recent trip to england was selected for an online guidebook! it's called schmap, and my photo is used to advertise the cherwell boathouse restaurant. the picture is below, and you can link to the website if you click here. i didn't get paid or anything, but it does make me feel a little famous.

on another note...I LOVE THE OLYMPICS!!! i don't even know how to explain how much i love it. i always start to think about how cool it would be to be an olympian and walk in the opening ceremony. then i research obscure sports and daydream about going. i mean really, how many people can there really be going out for the badminton team?

August 2, 2008

take me out to the ball game...

i'm a little ashamed to say that until tonight, i had not yet been to the new busch stadium. i know, i know...how can i even call myself a st. louisan? but lucky for me my super cool aunt and uncle came to the rescue this weekend with free seats in the best buy suite, compliments of the casino queen. the cards weren't able to pull out a win, but they are still my favorite anyway.


me and uncle mick

me and my mom inside the suite


the whole gang

uncle mick, aunt linda, mom and me

July 24, 2008

i'm still here...

i've been racking my brain for something interesting to write, but i guess i've been going through a bit of a dry spell. i did have a birthday last week and i turned the big 2-9. next year should be a blast. (i haven't yet decided if that statement should be sarcastic) i had lots of free "birthday club" food from various restaurants and kim took me to a water park. don't really have any birthday pictures, but here's one from the fourth of july.


also, i want to wish a fabulous little person a very happy half birthday. tori michelle is half a year old today! her big sister sophia got an "i love shelly" shirt for her half birthday, but since that is available for hand-me-down-ing i got a little creative for tori and made her a "T" pillow. happy half birthday my sweet friend!

this is sophia sporting her shirt when she was about a year old

July 6, 2008

28 things you always wanted to know about me...

  1. where do you shop the most: hyvee
  2. what kind of shampoo do you use: whatever i get free at walgreens
  3. what sport do you dislike the most: the fantasy kind
  4. what are you most scared of: spiders, snakes and mice
  5. favorite restaurant: kathy’s pasta in bolivar
  6. favorite fast food: white castle
  7. favorite tv show: past – the cosby show; current – the office
  8. rolling stones or beatles: duh…beatles
  9. best bed sheets as a child: they are white with a map of the hundred acre woods on them (that is where pooh lives)…and i even had to save up and buy them with my own money!!
  10. who is your loudest friend: this girl named kim
  11. what movie have you seen the most: back to the beach
  12. what foods do you dislike: sushi and other things that don't taste good
  13. what is your favorite chip flavor: ummm…popcorn
  14. favorite sandwich: the cheapest one on the menu (sad, but true)
  15. what characteristics do you dislike: not considering how your actions affect others
  16. favorite item of clothing: currently my new life ranch flip flops
  17. if you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go: to hawaii with kim
  18. favorite sport to watch: the olympics and march madness
  19. how do you release anger: i usually don’t, i just fume silently
  20. do you untie your shoes when you take them off: they aren’t tied to begin with
  21. if you were another person, would you be friends with you: of course...we would have so much in common!
  22. what is your least favorite thing about yourself: i don't know if it's the absolute least favorite, but i don't like it when i get uptight about stupid things
  23. what is the worst injury you’ve ever had: getting kicked in the leg by a horse
  24. what are your favorite smells: coconut and sunscreen (which means i especially love coconut scented sunscreen)
  25. what is your favorite kitchen appliance: it's not really an appliance, but my favorite kitchen utensil is my stove-top popcorn popper
  26. if you could have a super power, what would it be: well, this really isn't a super power, but i used to think it would be cool if there were magical scissors that would make things real when you cut them out of catalogs
  27. what is in the trunk of your car: my awesome chair with a footrest, sleeping bag, pool raft, jumper cables and a frisbee
  28. when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up: i used to want to go to clown college (yes, it's a real thing) and be in the circus

June 29, 2008

happy first birthday to you...

happy birthday to my dear friend sophie!

her birthday hat
(it has one candle on it, but it fell over)

oh those eyes

mmm...cake

who do you love?

June 25, 2008

she's my cover girl...

today i had the honor of taking sophie's one year pictures. luckily we picked the hottest day of the year so far, but she was a trooper. here are a few of my favorites!

June 22, 2008

kids camp 2008...

i've spent the past week at one of my all time favorite places...camp! i was at kids camp with calvary (stl church) using my mad assistant nurse skills. there was a lot of fun to be had...though it's a little hard to explain if you weren't there. i also have a new favorite song, but you'd have to see it complete with the actions to really appreciate it. (click here for a sample)

even though i don't see them very often, i really enjoy spending time with calvary people during the week. since i've been support staff the past couple years (as opposed to a counselor) i get some extra 'adult' time to chat with some of the pastors and leaders that are there. they are some fun people let me tell you, and they can really make you laugh.
cute little ben & me
(don't tell but he's my favorite!)

mom & me

June 8, 2008

meinhardt clan...

i have the best family. i love my family.

i just got back from a weekend of family fun. every two years my mom's family gets together for a little vacation at the fabulous lake of the ozarks. we spend a few days eating, listening to the stories of the elder members (also known as the 'super delegates' during the family meeting) and then we eat some more. i made a few fun treats to suprise everyone with when they arrived, including these cool water bottles...are you impressed?


we have these old family movies we watch when we're together and some of the footage is of the six elder cousins bowling in grandpa's basement. so thanks to my cousins monte and heather, we set up a virtual bowling alley and introduced the old folks to the wonderful world of wii. i fear the still shots don't quite do the night justice, but we did manage to score some quality video of them!


and here's the whole, lovely family!

June 1, 2008

moberly or bust...

saturday we road-tripped to the wedding of josh and gina littrell. it was a great day...which is pretty much a given for me when you mix weddings and great friends. here are a few pictures for those of you who couldn't make the trip.
mr & mrs littrell

ali . shannon . shanna

rachel . theresa

nate . matthew . andy . jake

zach . sydney . erin

May 27, 2008

don't know much about history...

...but i do now!! i have some movie recommendations for anyone interested. they're not movies i plan to own, but watching them greatly increased my historical knowledge.

the first is charlie wilsons war, which is based on a true story. it is set during the cold war...which i now know is when the soviets invaded afghanistan because they wanted to take over the world (shelly's paraphrase). it also gives a glimpse of how afghanistan became the kind of country it is today. i had to pause this movie a few times to get some explanations and to look at maps so i could understand everything, but it was well worth it. **disclaimer - there is a very adult scene at the beginning...watch with caution**



soon after you've seen that, watch (or maybe read) the kite runner. it chronicles the life of a man who grew up in afghanistan and shows how the country changed beginning just previous to the cold war and ending in present day. it's kind of a heavy movie, but very worthwhile to see a glimpse of what life was and is really like for the afghan people.

May 21, 2008

there's no place like home...

after a busy couple months of travel and such, i'm glad to be home for a long stretch (well...long for me). i love getting to visit and spend time with far away friends, but sometimes there's just no place like home. this past saturday it was so great to sleep in and lounge around the house...doesn't that just feel nice?

here's a little picture of home...and one of my favorite things about being at home (that would be kim)

another great thing is having time at home is getting to do random fun things, like be on american idol!! yep, that's right...i'm famous again. (well, you probably didn't see me, but i can point to exactly where i was in the crowd!) we went down to the new power and light district in kc for the "official" david cook watch party. i must admit i am a total fair weather fan...i do not watch the show and i didn't vote once. but i can tell you i was doing a LOT of yelling and jumping when his name was announced!!


May 11, 2008

california dreamin...

as you may have figured out from the last post, i spent the last week with some of my favorite friends. tara and i met my freshman year at sbu on the croatia mission trip and we've been friends ever since. naturally when they got hitched, matt had to be my friend too! i really can't say enough how much i love this family...tara and i are like twins separated at birth (if you think i'm cheap and overly organized, just imagine me times two) and even though matt is outnumbered when i visit, i think he actually gets more excited than anyone else! they now have two beautiful daughters who love their aunt shay-shay and i was getting to meet tori michelle for the very first time. here's some pictures of the fun...

shelly and sophia


tori michelle

who do you love?
it took a lot of self control to not post a billion pictures of these cute girls, but if you want to see more, feel free to check out my facebook album.