Skip to content

they’ll never know it was last minute

February 13, 2013

I’ve been working on Valentines cards for the last few days (I should have done them two weeks ago, I’m behind as always.) I’ll make a couple of one card, then get a new idea and make a few of that, then on to the next. Here are a few of my favorites that you can make in 5 minutes or less.

oh my deer valentines day card 4

image and DIY via chelseadesignlovefest-valentines-anthro21

image and DIY via briyou are my fave valentines day cardsimage and DIY via melanie



sundays are for celebrating

February 12, 2013

Sunday is my favorite day of the week…

We sleep in.

We make a big breakfast that is totally off our food plan.


We grocery shop without rushing.

We watch a movie.

I craft.

Cole naps.


We drink too much coffee.

We go to house-church.

We eat dinner at my parents.

It’s my favorite day of the week.

What is your favorite day of the week? Celebrate it! (you only get one a week.)


“be more quiet now”

February 5, 2013

ikea_trendenser_pure_inspiration_1image found here

A few days ago CH and I spent some time praying together. We have some open-ended questions right now and we simply asked God to show us his will and to continue to guide us.

As we were praying, the Holy Spirit taught me something in a split second. It was as if I was sitting down to coffee with an old friend, one who knows how to speak my language and put me in my place at the right time. He said…

STOP LIVING LIKE YOU HOPE GOD SHOWS YOU HIS WILL. If you’re a Christ-Follower (which I am) then you’re already a part of his story. There is NO need to worry ‘if he’ll show you his will’ or ‘if you’ll figure it out’. All you need to simply do is wait.

You can have full confidence he’ll show you when he’s ready.”

I was cut to the core with the realization that I have spent too much of my life “hoping” I “figure out” God’s plan. It’s truly a lack of trust I didn’t know I had. Sadly, I think this mindset is common (which is why I’m compelled to share this lesson with you). We as Christians sit around relying on ourselves to “figure” out God’s desire for us. In reality God has promised to show us his will, we must simply trust and wait.

Wait? But how long? I’m not sure, but I know an answer is coming. In the meantime I can drink a big cup of coffee, enjoy married life, and say with confidence that I know Christ holds our future.


*the title of this post is a reference to a song by the late David Crowder Band


January 31, 2013

Lara Casey Thank You Quoteimage via lara

When was the last time you made a thankful list? Last Thanksgiving? Kindergarten?

The idea isn’t revolutionary but sadly, I’ve lived most of my life thinking that thankful lists are not for everyday. (I’m talking about an actual list of more than 5 things.) I often think “oh, I’m thankful for…” but I don’t take the time to write it down and/or worship God for his great gifts.

This year I’ve decided to change that. I’m making thankful lists. And I’m going beyond the “I’m thankful for my house” type stuff (not that that is bad!).

Making a thankful list is the perfect prompt for me to reflect on what God has done for me and respond to it.

So my encouragement today, start a thankful list! Reflect on your blessings and respond to God. Maybe your response is a time of prayer, maybe it’s loving your family unconditionally (I’m preaching to the choir here). Whatever it is, do it! Don’t wait for tomorrow friends!


our first anniversary photos by shea christine

January 25, 2013

When our anniversary came around last fall, I realized it was not only a great time to take anniversary photos, but also the perfect time to take our Christmas card photo. I asked Shea Christine  if she would meet us to take a few photos. As always she was a joy to work with and we are so grateful for the beautiful images she gave us to celebrate our first year together.

Shea Christine Anniversary Photos

Shea Christine West Palm Beach Wedding Photography

Shea Christine West Palm Beach Photographer

Shea Christine Photography

Shea Christine Couples Photography

Shea Christine Photography

you can find Shea Christine

online | facebook | twitter

Thanks Shea!


organic avocado caesar salad

January 22, 2013

organic avocado caesar salad This weekend CH and I didn’t have a full schedule (like normal) so we were able to spend time at home together. It was such a treat to be at home together with no plans! I’m not going to lie we spent much of the time cleaning and organizing, but it was still fantastic.

Sunday afternoon I made us a caesar salad with a twist. The idea was inspired by this avocado and romaine salad.

::Organic Avocado Caesar Salad::

Serves 2


1 head Organic Romaine

1 organic Avacado

1 piece of Ezekiel Bread

1 tsp Sea Salt

Homemade Caesar Dressing

Cut the Ezekiel Bread into crouton sized pieces and toast in an oven set to broil. Meanwhile, Wash the romaine and give it a rough chop. Slice the avocado and place it into a large mixing bowl with the romaine. Sprinkle salt over the salad and give it a quick toss, then add the caesar dressing. Last but certainly not least add the croutons.

**For a wheat free & gluten free version of this salad add toasted almond slivers instead of Ezekiel Bread croutons.

::Homemade Caesar Dressing ::


3 Garlic cloves (minced then crushed)

2 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tsp whole grain mustard (I’m not a mustard lover, but you’ve got to try this!)

1 tbsp white vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

fresh black pepper

In a small bowl whisk all ingredients until combined. Chill dressing until you are ready to toss it with the salad.



Pecan Pie in a Jar: my favorite DIY gift

January 17, 2013

Shortly after last Thanksgiving I stumbled upon Williams Sanoma‘s Pecan Pie In-A-Jar. The gift idea was fantastic (especially because I love pecan pie more than most) but the price wasn’t as impressive.

Over the holidays I decided to give pecan pie in a jar a try myself. It turned out to be the perfect holiday gift for our friends.

Pecan Pie In Jar DIY

To make  one Pecan Pie In a Jar you’ll need:

1 Mason Jar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pecan halves

I adapted this recipe from Emeril’s Chocolate Pecan Pie.

Mix the sugars, syrup and vanilla and pour them into the jar. Top off with pecans and that’s all there is to it!

I used white Avery labels to print a design I drew and scanned into the computer.

DIY Pecan Pie In A Jar

Although we gave these for Christmas, they are great gifts for any time of the year and would make great favors too!


download the Pecan Pie in a Jar Labels here

and the Pecan Pie in a Jar Directions

why Urbana quite possibly changed my life

January 14, 2013

I mentioned in my last post that we had some awesome experiences over the holidays.

Over New Year’s CH and I had the privilege of attend Urbana, a student missions conference in St. Louis. While we’re not students anymore, CH went for networking purposes and I went to enjoy the conference.

The conference was quite possibly life changing. Not in a “wo-w that was so cool I just feel like my life is changed” kinda way. In many ways, I was challenged (which is healthy for any type of growth). Here are a few reasons why…

1. Urbana challenged me to think.

While at the conference I had quite moments to think about God’s vision for the redemption of our world and how I can live that out in my own life.

2.Urbana reminded me of God’s unconditional love for me and for the nations.

If you have a few minutes, watch this video below. This short teaching by Ram Sridharan cut me to the core and reminded me that because of Jesus work on the cross, every bad thing I’ve ever done is forgiven.

3. Urbana opened my eyes to worlds of different opportunities to serve God at home and overseas.

Instead of the traditional worship and teaching during the Saturday night session, we packed 32,000 caregiver kits for AIDS caregivers in Swaziland. Each conference attendee had the opportunity to pack two caregiver kits and write thank you notes to the men and women who give of their time to care for those with AIDS in Swaziland.

Urbana12 Join In

Urbana12 Join In

Urbana12 Join In

Urbana12 Join In

Needless to say, I cried a lot.

I have had the honor of caring for my grandfather on several different occasions and I just kept thinking about what it would be like if my grandmother (who cares for him daily) didn’t have what she needed to do so. I kept imagining what it would be like if he asked for a drink and she had to respond “we don’t have clean water”.

So I cried some more.

You can purchase a caregiver kit  too through World Vision.

4. Urbana taught me new ways to study God’s Word.

During the conference we had a chance to study God’s Word through manuscript Bible study. Learning a new way to study the Bible gave me new tools to take on 2013.

My prayer is that the challenge I heard and the things I learned at Urbana wouldn’t be left there at the dome in St. Louis. I’m making a concerted effort to apply these things to my daily life and let life change start now.


what you didn’t see on the blog in 2012

January 4, 2013

Hello All!

I’m back at it! CH and I flew in last night from all our Christmas and New Year’s travels (more on that later). I’m sorry I’ve been MIA over the holidays! In many ways I’m still learning balance even after being married over a year.

Before getting into goals for 2013, new changes for the new year and all that stuff, I wanted to take a quick trip down memory lane and look back at all the highlights of 2012. (I tired to choose photos that didn’t make it to the blog over the year so that you could see more photos from our adventures.)

In February we cruised to the Bahamas and explored Atlantis.The Dig at Atlantis Paradise Island

We celebrated birthdays.



…and my parents 25th anniversary…


…and my dad’s parents 50th anniversary.50th anniversary party

I went back to wearing glasses

We ran away to NYC for a long

We were honored to celebrate the marriage of several great

We hosted/lead a bible study in our homephoto-1

…and several dinner

And house guests, we had them too!photo-6

I’m not about labeling 2012 as a “good year” or a “bad year”, 2012 was “blessed” for me and for you. (Regardless of whether you want to admit it or not.) Each day we receive blessing beyond what we deserve, so I can honestly say as I look back on 2012 it’s not about whether things went my way or not, it’s about being thankful for the ways God chose to bless us.

Thanks Lord, for a blessed 2012! We trust you for a fantastic 2013!

-The Hoppers

christmas cards and apology notes

December 21, 2012

Christmas cards are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. I love sending and receiving them. I love reflecting on God’s faithfulness over the past year as I write our card and hearing how he’s blessed others when reading their cards.
Last year it seemed like a rush to get the cards out being that we had just come back from our honeymoon, so we just sent out a photo with our new address. This year I had more time to put together a newsletter style card inspired by the work of Amanda Jane Jones.
We were blessed to have pictures taken for our first anniversary by the lovely Shea Christine.

Now it’s time for our apology. With about 15 cards left to print, our printer called it quits. (I know it’s a textbook excuse-but it’s true!) Sadly, I’m not just talking about out of ink. Cole and I have worked for countless hours on it and can’t get it to do anything. So all this to say I’m VERY sorry if you are seeing this picture and have not gotten your card in the mail. We are getting them out ASAP.