Friday, March 21, 2014

my week in photos. // 1

Hi!  Remember me?

I'm that girl from this blog who got a new job and has been SUPER busy.  This in turn has caused me to neglect my blog this month.  I am currently working to get a new schedule down. Promise.
Because of the aforementioned busyness, I am presenting you with my week in photos in what I believe will become a normal thing around here. 

Well, I am currently waiting for my new glasses to come in.  I figured that a selfie with my old trusties would be fitting.  They've been good to me, but they are so scratched up now that it's surprising that they are even helping my vision at all at this point. 

 Miss Mattison insisted on practically every toy and stuffed animal she owns to be in her bed for a super awesome slumber party last weekend. By the way, everyone of them has a name.  Every. One.  
The move to my new office was grand.  I'm getting everything all set up.  Of course, no desk of mine is complete without Wonder Woman.  

Of course, my other Funko POP! friends are slowly joining the party.  The Force is very strong in this office.

I absolutely LOVE riding around with the mister is his big ol' truck.  I don't even know what we were doing...or where we were going here.  Isn't that sad?  
I'm getting old.

Well folks, I'm off to enjoy my weekend!  I'll be doing the music thang in Denison this weekend. Anyone else have big plans? 


Friday, March 14, 2014

8-bits of awesome.

Each week I talk about 8 things that I find to be awesome.  Whether it be geek news, things to be added to my ever-growing wishlist, funny pics or some rad new'll find it weekly here at The Shiny Happy in my

And here we go:

  • Can you truly pass up seeing The Boss cover Lorde!?  No.  No, you can't.  Springsteen's cover of "Royals" is pretty sweet.
  • Ever wonder which superhero you resembled the most?  For me, yes...everyday.  I thought I was Wonder Woman.  Apparently, I'm Captain America.  I can live with that.  Which Superhero Are You?
  • My friend introduced me to MOG this weekend.  Anyone else using this?  I might be hooked.  Especially since I haven't gotten on the Spotify wagon yet.  Which is better?
  • I seriously died laughing when I saw this.  This is so me...sorry.  Pin for the win!
  • I have been obsessing over this watch for too long.  Ugh.  It must be mine...soon!  I just have to win a little from the lottery first...
  • I have big plans to go to  my very first Dallas Comic Con in May.  I can't stop thinking about it.  Anyone else going to be there?
  • I have a new love in the form of an Etsy shop.  Everyone should check out House of Darkly.  So many wants!!!  Especially the 8-bit Geek necklace!!
  • It's Pi Day!  Pi Day!  3.14 Pi Day!
Alright! And that's a wrap on this week's 8-bits! What things are bringing the awesome to your life this week? Let me know by sharing your links in the comments. I can always use more awesome.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

weekend recap...on wednesday.

Apologies for the lag, my friends.  I started my new job and am currently getting my routine down.  I had big plans to post on Friday, but I forgot that I would be leaving out that day for a girls trip to Broken Bow, Oklahoma. 
Oooh, yes. Girls Trip!
My awesome friends from the old job back home invited me out for a weekend in an amazing cabin.  *sigh*  Just what I needed.

What a view, right!?
I seriously love me some cabin living.  I'm ready to go back now.  I'm thinking the next trip will be with the mister though.  It's about time that we took a little trip and got away.
But!  Back to the trip. :)
It was awesome to reunite with my hometown friends again...and go back to being "Rowdy".  I miss being "Rowdy".  I love my's just me. 
Well, we definitely had too much fun.  We even managed to get out and hit up The Blue Rooster's 2nd Annual Crawfish Boil while we were there.  Yeehaw!!

I made a new friend...
 Good grub and large metal chickens?  I'm down.  Plus, I'm always down to contribute my artwork to a butcher paper tablecloth.

Rowdy Row in true comic book fashion.  BAM!
 During our photo shoot outside of The Blue Rooster, we were photo bombed by Uncle Phil's look-alike.  A little unnerving when he didn't smile.  The product looks like what would have been our last photo before being kidnapped by his mountain man self.

Tell me I'm right....
Luckily, we lived to tell the tale.  We also lived to make it back to the cabin and prepare a huge spread for our "Last Supper." 

Can I just say that I huge fan of weekends full of shenanigans?  Because that was this weekend.  I'm ready for the next reunion.  I miss my friends already.
How was your weekend?  Hopefully just as amazing as mine...  Let me know!
Anyone ever been to Broken Bow?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

getting to know me: my story

With the launch of my new blog/design, I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell my story.  The new blog name has a double significance.  It not only reflects the main theme of my blog posts -- shiny and happy -- but it also reflects a brand new, shiny happiness that I've just recently acquired.  Here is the story of my journey to The Shiny Happy.

Sometimes you reach a point in your life where there’s so much to say.  I’m there.

Where exactly do you start telling a story that has been unfolding for years?  Should you be completely transparent with your feelings and risk the vulnerability?  I sit at the crossroads.

One path seems safe.  A road where I “beat around the bush” and offer vague answers to all the questions being tossed my way.  The other takes me on a journey of openness and honesty, being real & hoping it can help someone else in a similar situation.

I know to expect criticism.  While my intentions are not to “air out dirty laundry”, I realize that some may see it that way.
But I have to realize that this is my story, too.

My ex-husband and I met on a bus headed to church camp when we were both just 9 years old.  Fast forward 10 years later and we were going on our first date on a hot, summer night in July.  We were engaged in October and got married in March. 

Life began just as it usually does for most newlyweds.  We skipped through without a care in the world.  Life was perfect and we were young, dumb and living on love.

When you’re that young, you typically ignore warning signs in relationships; especially in marriage.  Your mother can make comments about things that “don’t sit well with her”, but you ignore it.  At that age, your rose-colored glasses portray such a foggy depiction of what’s real. 

It's truly a life-changing day when you finally realize your worth.

As much as I hate to admit it, it took me a little longer than most to come to this realization.  I've been known to be a people-pleaser.  My tendencies to take flight from confrontation transferred into friendships and even marriage.  I lived in constant fear of someone not "liking me" as if it would be detrimental to my livelihood.  Thoughts about my own feelings or needs were consistently placed on the back-burner in order to keep others content.  And honestly, I was quite comfortable with life.  My belief was that by making everyone else happy, that I had found true happiness.
Boy, was I wrong.

A little over a two years ago, the happy little world that I had built up came crashing down all around me.  Oddly enough, I was shocked as I scrolled through emails and instant messages on my husband’s laptop.  If I'm really being honest with myself, I saw it coming many months before.  His disinterest in me practically announced itself on a daily basis.  But again, I was a pro at avoiding confrontation...believing foolishly that if I ignored it, those red flags would just go away.  Never leaving his phone lying around.  Coming home late.  The box of condoms found under the car seat.  But now,  emails with names and dates going back two years made everything almost tangible. 

Nonetheless, I felt completely blindsided by my situation.  My first reaction was to withdraw myself.  Once a social butterfly, my days now consisted of coming straight home from work and just sitting in the same chair everyday.  I had no desire to talk about it.  No desire to even be around anyone.  I was tired of pretending that I was alright.  Tired of being strong.  My mind was locked away in a prison of "what if" questions whose answers I was terrified to know.  I could leave, but “what if” he doesn’t care enough to come for me?  The fact that I even had to ask that question should’ve said it all.

Despite the train wreck that was now my marriage, I chose to stay and attempt to work things out.  As if it was even possible for things to get worse, they found their way to accomplish that.  Instead of improvement, communication had shut down completely.  Requests to attend marriage counseling were repeatedly shot down.  Next, his Facebook marital status was deleted, along with every picture of me on his profile.   The man who I lived with and shared a bed with was deleting me from his life.

Had it not been for amazing leadership in my life, I could have lost myself during that time.  Their phone calls and encouragement helped me keep my head.  I'm so thankful for their hands in my life.

It was one of those phone calls that sparked something in me one Saturday night.  I answered and heard the voice on the other end ::
"Amber, I need you to get up, get dressed and get out of the house today."

As much as I hated to, I did.

I spent the night surrounded by my amazing friends.  Maybe I wasn't as talkative as usual, but I was doing a lot of thinking.  However, it was one pressing thought that would not leave:
"What makes me feel as if I don't deserve to be happy?"

As much as I wanted to convince myself that I wasn't miserable, I just couldn't.  I knew that what I needed was not unreasonable.  I needed to feel loved. 
If that was the case, then why didn't I feel like I was WORTH the effort?
It was then I realized that I DID believe I was worth it.  I was.  I still am.
But to make the necessary changes to find that, was what hurt the most.  I found that sometimes in order to gain what you're worth, you have to be willing to take a risk.  And so, I did.

If I'm being completely honest, I didn't get the answer I expected.  As a matter of fact, it's not at all like I thought it would end up.  The last effort was one sentence.  “Either we go to counseling, or I think I need to leave.”  The reply also came back as one sentence.  “I think that would be good.”  I flew home to Texas and he didn’t call.

Even after facing my fear and confronting him, I instantly began reflecting on my worth again.  My brief moment of courage had quickly dwindled and sent me spiraling into an abyss of self-consciousness.  My mind wavered to the point where the only thing I felt was uncertainty.  But again, my amazing leadership took their time to counsel me throughout my confusion and I began to realize that I was worth so much more. I realized that I deserved better.

I'm amazed at the transformation that I've seen in myself since coming to this realization.  I’m also amazed at how God truly worked things out.  I have been so blessed to have a man come into my life, which truly loves me and shows me that on a daily basis.  I am blessed to have a love that I thought only existed in the movies and fairytales.  I never knew what I was truly missing until now. 
And even more, do you really want to know how God has His hand on our lives?  Eight years ago, I lost a child to miscarriage.  My husband and I were never able to conceive after that.  Fast forward to today.  I marry my amazing husband and become a stepmother to his beautiful daughter.  8 years old.  Born in the same month that my child would have born. 

God is truly amazing.  I am humbled that He cares enough for me, despite my inconsistencies, to continually pour out His blessings in my life.  Even when I feel as my life is a shattered mess, He sees me as something of worth. 

While I still struggle with self-consciousness, I find myself stronger than before.  It’s easy to allow intimidation and fear to keep us in a prison of unhappiness.  The thing to remember is, the minute you negotiate your self worth and accept less, you say to the world that you are not worthy of anything else.
But for me?  Never again.  I may have been knocked down time and time again, but yet, I rise.

I deserve more than I've allowed myself to receive.  I deserve happiness.  I hope that I can encourage others to rise from their situation and accept the good that He has prepared for them.   

I’m so thankful that I now understand that I deserve to be loved.  And for the first time, I truly am.

“Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to his good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself.” – Ephesians 1:9