That is the name of this little guy.

Why is he named No-10? Because of this...

My family has a very short history of naming our furniture. Well, my dad and I name our cars... but we have one piece of furniture in our house that has a name. It's a dresser, and his name is Fred. Why Fred? Because when Dad was sanding it down after we bought it, he found that somebody (let's face it, it was a kid) had carved his name into the dressed. When Dad stained it, FRED was loud and clear. So, it's never been a "go look in the dresser" conversation for the Deckers... it's a "go look in Fred". 

So, when I decided to do a little re-vamping to my bedside table, you can only imagine my excitement when I found out he, too, had a name. Errr number... whatever. Without further ado, here is the process of giving No-10 a little love...

The new room is close to being complete... as soon as it is, you'll be seeing how No-10, green edition, is fitting in perfectly!



Tacos al Pastor and Mexican Coke. Those are the only words you need to know when you go to this restaurant. Trust.me.

Takoba is a new place that just opened up the first week of July in East Austin. It's on East 7th street. They have their own, huge parking lot... a rare find in Austin, Texas! It's labeled as interior mexican food, but if you are scared of that label, don't be scared of Takoba. In the words of my little friend, Hailey Bloss, this food is "SOOOOOO GOOD." Seriously, Linda and I have gone there 3 weeks in a row... yes, they've only been open for 3 weeks. I think we're about to make some really good friends with the wait staff!

So yes. Takoba. You should check it out. I don't think you will leave disappointed!


Bring it on... line...

I would like to publicly thank my roommate, Linda, for being the ultimate online shopper and getting me hooked. I'm a fan of mail, I'm a fan of convenience and I'm certainly a fan of free shipping and returns. Bring it on... line.

I love books. And, I own quite a few books I have yet to have read. However, this does not stop me from going onto Amazon and making a few wish lists. It also doesn't stop me from deciding to go ahead and just purchase my entire wish list in one, fell swoop. This just creates more books that I need to read... and a little hefty transaction from Amazon. Awesome.

I just couldn't resist these Amazon purchases. Linda found these last Fall, and seeing as how we will probably only be living together until we are 65 or so, I decided that when the time came that we would have to part ways as roommates, I would need my own copies. What can I say, I'm a planner. These are either already on their way to my doorstep or pre-ordered and will be a "surprise! I forgot I ordered this!" package in the Fall. I heart "surprise! I forgot I ordered this" packages! So, with that, I introduce you to the most adorable collection of classic novels ever. EVER.

Emma. Jane Eyre. Pride and Prejudice. The Hound of the Baskervilles. Wuthering Heights. Sense and Sensibility. Little Women.


There are many more... a few Dickens novels, Shakespeare collections, among others. But, I only got the ones that I have read and loved or hope to read and know I will love! Now, I will hopefully never ever think again, "What book should I read?" Oh... and don't worry that I also ordered two others that I'm really excited about...

So, I guess I pretty much shouldn't be watching any TV or having any kind of social life for the next 6 months... yeah right...


the pits.

It's no secret... I'm a HUGE fan of Groupon and Living Social coupons. I cashed in on one of my most exciting coupons yesterday...  

the laser hair removal coupon 

Ahh yes... not ever having to shave my arm pits again? Yes.Please. 3 treatments and those bad boys are exempt from any further hair growth. Done and done. I'm not a hairy person, but if I can save me one thing I have to do a day, I'll take it.

At any rate, I go to the spa place and was met by the most ADORABLE Egyptian lady I've ever seen. She was hilarious and awesome. Not to mention, she thought I was 18... which made me love her more. She immediately made me touch her legs so I could feel what it would feel like and she lifted up her arms and said that she hasn't had to shave in 14 years. My response to her, "Sold.

She took all of 5 minutes to zap at my pits, apparently at a "high voltage" (no, I didn't ask... didn't even want to go there...) When I say zap, I mean mini shocks... when I say mini shocks, I mean "it wasn't the most comfortable feeling in the world". It started smelling like something was burning and realized that it was, in fact, me. Yes, the burning match smell was coming from my skin... or hair... or follicles... yes, a little alarming and awkward all rolled into one. I definitely glanced over to see if there were flames coming from the pits, and to my relief I didn't need to stop-drop-and-roll. Once I was done, I was scheduled to come back in 3 weeks... which by that time I was told, "You will be in love with me, because the hair will not be growing as much or often... it will start falling out... and you will love me." My response: "I have no doubt that I will love you if you make my arm pits as smooth as a baby's butt." I thanked her for thinking I was 18 and shocking me with the ultra voltage and told her to do the same for the next 2 times so I don't have to pay her any more money. She smiled... but I'm gonna make sure she knows I'm serious next time!

So friends, I'm the guinea pig. I'll keep you posted on the pits. And if it works, I may be investing in a lot of treatments in the future. Would that be weird to ask my family for laser hair removal for Christmas?? I'm not above it...


apartment 731 :: journey from then to now

   In August 2008, my life was completely different than now. I was in a serious relationship, one that we both thought and hoped would lead to marriage. But more than that, I had then cancer-free family and friends and I still had my Granny. I had just started a great job back in Austin... and I was back in Austin! Apt 731 was originally a temporary fix to my living situation. By the time we were moving in, this "fix" had grown into a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate. And, by the time we actually made the move, I was literally counting the days... waiting for my relationship to end. I knew that it was where God was leading us. He knew it too. We could both feel it. I even knew that Linda was God's gift to me. My life was about to change when we moved in... and He knew I would need someone to cry to, laugh with, eat with, live life with. My life, my heart, my knowledge, my everything was completely different in August 2008. 
Linda and I moved this past weekend. We moved into a beautiful home that she purchased and she is blessing me with it in the process! One of our best friends, Molly, also moved in with us... and only a few days in, I have absolute joy over where God has brought us. When I went to bed on Friday night, our last night in Apt 731, I couldn't help but reflect, rejoice and be thankful for the journey God took me on while living in Apt 731. 
Besides the ending of my relationship, my Granny, one of the most godly women in my life, passed away 3 months after we moved in. It was a heavy time in my life... and I certainly had my time on my knees just praying my way through the days and weeks. God allowed me those few months to just be... rest... and let's be honest, dwell. But, in November He began a work in me that hasn't stopped yet... He eventually kicked my butt off of the couch, blessed me with incredible opportunities to become friends with some amazing godly women and even begin being discipled. Over the next several months, my relationship with Jesus grew stronger, my love for Him became more intimate and I learned to pray "I trust You" with every breath I took... and take!  I had the blessing of being baptized by my cousin, Blair, and best friend, Beth, in the apartment complex pool... surrounded by my family and friends! 
God taught me, and continues to teach me, about idolatry, loving others more than myself, truly applying being a woman of God as a single, seeing the Gospel in everything I do and observe. He's increased my heart for the orphan, living FOR the city of Austin rather than IN it, being a prayer warrior and for all of the college students in Austin.  He's brought me from some pretty low points, to exciting opportunities and lessons. He's helped me to see that absolutely NOTHING in this world is more important than Jesus, His Salvation and the Promise of living with my King FOREVER. He's shown me that absolutely NOTHING is out of His hands, He's the source of hope, trust, strength and rest. I have had to learn to let go and try to quit controlling situations. This past September, I learned in the same week that my PawPaw and my friend, Fran, both had cancer. I can honestly say that, despite my sadness over the pain my loved ones were having to go through, I loved being able to trust the fact that this struggle had a purpose for them, for me and everyone else that loved them. I'm not saying cancer is a good thing at all, but the journey through cancer has changed both of these people for the better... and it has helped all of us to love and serve better. And, I rejoice that BOTH PawPaw and Fran are cancer-free now! God is good. :)
At any rate, I could spend weeks writing down everything that I've learned while living in Apt 731. But, I feel like the best way to sum up my time living there is to label it as the place of healing. My broken, saddened and confused heart has been healed. There are two or three songs that every time I hear them, I cry tears of joy over the thought of my Granny singing among the Angels in Heaven at the feet of Jesus. A drive by the Capitol everyday gives me the greatest feeling of thankfulness of answered prayers and hope for those prayed that day. The view outside of my office window of the UT Tower makes me feel grateful to be apart of what God is doing at that campus. The laughter I share daily with my girl friends, makes me so incredibly thankful to have a family away from family. Between the beauty and the chaos of this life, I'm reminded of the faithful, eternal love of my Heavenly Father... and I am blessed. So so blessed.
With all of that said, I'm so excited about this new chapter. A new place to live. A new roommate. A new neighborhood. And many other new, "I have never thought I would ever do this" opportunities that are about to take place. (Of course, all of which I will blog about!) So stay tuned... because for some reason, I feel like He's just getting started!  


smoldering stacks.

How many times do we get seriously distracted by the "glittery" things in our lives? How many times do we get distracted by the negative things in our lives? How many moments do we just feel distracted? We get discouraged when something doesn't work out our way. And let's face it, anytime there is worry... there is discouragement. We get discouraged when something, someone or some situation keeps us from trusting God.  So easily we start trusting our circumstances over God...

Isaiah 7:4 reads :: "Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands..."

Ok, so God is speaking to King Ahaz through Isaiah. King Ahaz... not a cool dude. Man, God used Isaiah a WHOLE lot during Ahaz's reign... and Ahaz just wouldn't listen... and definitely didn't catch on.  At any rate, there were some other kings that were plotting to come and destroy Judah and kick (let's face it, probably kill) Ahaz. I've gotta be honest, if I were in Ahaz's position, it would be hard for me to trust in God too. But God's just telling him to Stop. Pay attention. Be quiet. Don't worry. I GOT THIS.

You see, God saw these other kings for who they really were. He knew that their plan wouldn't take off... He knew that they wouldn't come in and destroy Judah or Ahaz. Why? Because He's God. He sees all, He knows all. Ahaz saw these two kings like we see a wildfire. He didn't know when they would hit, where they would go, what damage they would do. But God, God saw them as two little stacks of smoldering fire. They wouldn't spread... they wouldn't do any harm. At all. They would just sit there and burn up... maybe put off a little heat, but that would be it.

God wants us to trust Him. It's so hard to do so when all we literally see is a wildfire. I mean, how are we to know what's a wildfire and what's a smoldering stack? Well... lucky for us, God gives us this advice in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 :: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is SEEN, but what is UNSEEN. For what is seen is TEMPORARY and what is unseen is ETERNAL." We aren't meant to see it all... there's no need in us to. That's what we have God for... to trust... and know that He's got this. Jeremiah 29:11 :: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a hope and a future.

I needed this y'all. I needed to be reminded that God's got this. There's nothing big going on in my life, but I'm waiting for that next step... whatever that is. But, it's great to rest in the fact that all I need to do is

Stop. Pay attention. Be quiet. Don't worry. Trust.

and... maybe I'll even kick at the smoldering stacks, just for fun...