Every day in May (favorite photo)

today i’m sharing a favorite picture of myself and why! i’m much more caught up in the memory of a photo rather than how beautiful it is.. i was between a couple pictures, the other ones i prefer to these for purely aesthetic reasons 🙂 ..like being tan, eyes actually showing and not disappearing into my cheeks hehe or lighting, blah blah blah. but when it comes down to it, i have to say that as far as meaning goes, these take the cake!
for one, because is this is our true personality together.. casual (me no makeup and james slightly beard-y), very silly, lots of laughing (cause of tickling, yeah we’re five) and joy (we are emotion-filled ones us mastriannas).
we had also just moved into our apartment in the cutest little area in capitola village, we had hardly unpacked and had a humongous stack of wedding presents to be opened and tons of things to do, but we were so goshdarn excited. it was all so surreal, finally we were in our home, married (as opposed to living across the state and being long-distance, barf) and our life as the mastrianna family was really beginning. oh yeah we were also a little clueless and sorta poor hehe.. but it didn’t really matter because we were so absolutely happy 🙂
what about you? is the meaning in a picture more important than how you look?

Every Day in May

the challenge calls for me to ‘sell myself in ten words or less’ whew!! i’ll do a list because lists are my jam. + yes, the ‘worst traits’ are easier, but it’s wonderful to see what people say are ‘best traits’ 🙂
+goooooofy (see image)
what about you?? favorite trait about yourself?? and yes, this is an exercise in narcissism 🙂

Wedding weekend

thought i’d share a couple cute photos of our friends wedding last weekend, and ps woooot—yay weddings!! they threw the most fun one ever. there were three musical numbers (yes three, i’m not kidding!), a lot of cuteness (cause it’s mawaige), a lot of heartfeltness and a lot of dancing. and by dancing, i mean best dancing evahhh!!

and by best dancing evahhh, i mean that i met my dance match on the dance floor. he is five, has memorized all (allll!) the just dance moves in every version possible and if you even try and mimic him, you will sweat, buckets of sweat i tell you! kids are my favorite sorts of dancers, period.

weddings, new last names, dancing, love. i just love it all.



every day in may (people i think are over the moon wonderful)

well here i am again! hope you are having a beautiful sunday slash cinco de mayo, it’s a little rainy funky out right now, and when there is rain, it is always a good time to reflect (and given the day, maybe eat chips + salsa)—at least i think so!
this next one’s fun because i get to talk about love for friends in general..and i love that! here it is: Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don’t have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member.
i could go on forrrrevvvver about this topic and the people that come to mind. so i’m not going to stop at one.. these are some of the people of blogland i think are over the moon wonderful and some of my favorite things about them.


bloggin soul sista katie from katie did what: i absolutely love katie’s sweet, thoughtful disposition on life, our mutual love for pirates booty and all things california. she also has the biggest heart and stinkin adorable style!
super mama lindsay from for love of grey: lindsay is a mama to twins, yes twins! and one of the most disarming people to be around, absolutely loving, care-taking and so easy to chat with (like we did today!) .. i am so happy she’s sharing all her mama tips on her blog, too!
oh so stylish and beautiful hearted laura from laura unrefined: oh laura! laura is effortless in every sense of the word, in her style (which is so cute, check out her store stylefox!), her heart for people and her contagious joy. an absolutely beautiful person inside and out!
the most kind hearted anna from dear friend blog: anna is one of the sweetest people i’ve encountered in blogland! she is kind in every sense of the word and an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent person with such valuable things to say. i hope to have brunch with her one day!
the lovely encouraging becky from basically becky: becky is exactly that! so encouraging, so full of joy, a woman of faith and boldness. she also has a knack for making you feel so built up and loved which makes me wish i could be around her all the time.
the thought provoking (and amazing singer) marie from ‘ello honey bee: marie is like renaissance woman, she is so talented! marie is a beautiful, smart, sweet and hilarious lady! i also absolutely love reading her thoughts on books, music and more.

A favorite quote

hope you’re enjoying your saturday friends! soo.. i don’t know if i’m going to be able to keep this up people, but for now, it’s really fun 🙂 learn more about where the following prompt comes from here or click the fun blob on the left! Day 4, Saturday: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it:
Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law. romans 13:8
james and i love being youth pastors to the high-schoolers of our church family. it also challenges us in many ways—body, soul and sugar intake. it’s easy to get caught up in how things are done. i can hear about all the crazy events that some people do and think.. are we missing something?!
not to say that we’re boring (i don’t believe we—eeespecially my husband—could ever be described as such) but our focus isn’t in events and in pizazz and bright lights, our main goal is that the youth know they are loved, supported, known, celebrated and becoming more and more the people God created to be! since that’s our goal, it’s not so much about how big we go, but more about building relationships.
that’s the reason i love this verse/quote/scripture. at the end of the day, apart from all of the odds and ends and details of life, i am thankful to know that fulfilling my purpose has to do with loving others. the midst of all that is life, i know i can usually figure that one out—a smile, a hug, a compliment, an encouragement..
can you imagine how beautiful it’d be if we all acted as if we were only in debt to one another in love?! beautiful indeed 🙂

A bearded update

le hubby is out of town this weekend to celebrate our friends’ getting married out in the mid-west (yay friends!) so i thought it a perfect time to do a little check in on the beard [or the ‘glory’ as he likes to refer to it]. here are the last updates should you be interested. ps. yes this is a rather odd practice..mapping my husband’s beard movements. but alas, he is rather engrossed in all that is ‘beard’ and we don’t have kids or pets yet..soo yup 🙂

+beard was removed for a wedding last month
+on that day there was much weeping & gnashing of teeth
+recently added to the arsenal of beard care and hygiene: beard oil by sam’s natural
+it has been given full permission to grow til september
+we’ll just have to take that one day at a time
+it is still using
+beard coverage complete, over and out!

Wedding shower

last weekend, i got to help celebrate a friend’s bridal shower—yayyeah! i love bridal showers, and all that has to do with showering friends with gifts to get them ready for a new time in life. i remember feeling like all of the wedding events were such a blur, a wonderful blur but everything was foreign. it still felt so upside down to be showered so [soooo] much, amazing too.
i was so grateful for all those who kept us afloat through the whole process and could not believe how much we received from people, actual tangible things [like furniture sets and such!] and all the love, too. a love blur! because of it, i wait with bated breath for bridal showers because i love to give out myself some of the love and pillows and aprons like we so generously received. yay for being showered and only eleven days left til our dear friends kevin + kayli get marrrrried!

James’ letter of love

james wrote this letter for our church bulletin a few weeks ago. it was to add to the “letters of love” series..i love this man! enjoy.. (ps view mine here)
1 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV) “And I thank Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry…” 
December 2010..
The paper was tightly wrapped, crinkled, barely concealing the size of the box in which I was about to rip into. As I tore the paper and shredded the box, I thought to myself, Christmas! …My favorite time of year! I opened the box and fixed my eyes on a miniature gorilla ornament. He was muscular and his large arms where extending down, firmly gripping free weights. I smiled at this present (mainly because I love to work out 🙂 not just for its appearance only but for what the giver proceeded to share with me when he watched me open it.
STRENGTH, he explained.
The Lord has given me the spiritual muscles to carry what was in front of me. As I started to cry (yes, I am a crier) he explained how he had to buy the gift twice, for the first one broke. He handed me the first broken ornament and it was only the hands of the gorilla holding the weights and the body disconnected. At this moment The Lord spoke to my heart…”James, this is what your life (ministry) will look like when you do it on your own.”
– – – –
Several months ago began a season of blessing and turmoil. I had old wounds opened up in my immediate family that led to doubts creeping in about what I believe. Fear, Pride and Anger (the usual suspects) were all too familiar in tempting me to be my own strength. But not so long ago I opened the middle drawer of my filing cabinet, the drawer was stuck. As I pulled, wrestled and yanked the drawer open I caught myself looking at the broken ornament from two years ago. In a flash I felt The Lord tell me that “He alone has enabled me, and He is the provider of our (Casey and I) life.” I quickly looked up in my Bible the phrase I heard in my heart from the Lord.
I found 1st Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry…” It stuck out to me like a sunny day in June in Aptos 🙂 I immediately held on to the promise, that it is the Lord who enables me to do anything and not my own effort, that God has considered me faithful, so I get to have confidence in my speech and leadership. And last but CERTAINLY not least God has brought me into His ministry.
I don’t have to doubt where I am or what I am doing but know it is “The Lord working in me and through me for His good work and pleasure” (Philippians 2:13) and that’s to love the people in front of me, one day at a time! Alongside the tough circumstances also came blessings! I have enjoyed my first year of marriage (now on year two), Casey and I were invited to be apprentice pastors on the Pastoral team. The Nation is developing and the youth are discovering who God is and who He has made them to be (not to mention being back on campus!).
One thing has truly been solidified this year: God is good and will always have good things for us!
Bring on 2013! with love, james