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Sunday, November 13, 2011

meet Amanda

Hey guys! I am so thrilled to introduce you to Amanda from Royal Daughter Designs today!
1. Hi, Amanda! Tell us about yourself & your family!

I want to tell you lovely things about myself:
That I am a wife – in love with a man whom I love so much it hurts.
That I am a first time mom to three foster boys – trying to leave a mark on the lives of three impressionable souls.
That I am a Christ Follower – broken clay in the Potter’s hands.
That I am a creative mind – desperate for more time to create.

But the real me…
The real me is so much more complex than that. The real me is a wife who fails miserably at selflessly loving my husband.
The real me is scared out of my mind and wonders what we were thinking when we agreed to invite a 10, 11, and 15 year old into our home.
The real me can never live a life worthy of the name “Christian.” I fail daily to let Him mold me into the person He wants me to be, all the while trying so hard to be who I want me to be.
The real me longs for more time to create, not because there are not enough hours in a day, but because I am terrible at time management.
I am a country girl, completely enamored with the quiet, simple life of porch swings and hay fields. I am a little too in love with my 14 year old black lab, whom I've had for nearly 1/2 of my life. I bite my finger nails, not out of habit, but because they annoy me when they get too long and I'm too lazy to go find nail clippers. I have been very sick, and am learning to take responsibility for my own health. I'd rather snuggle and cuddle with my husband than go on a date. And when our foster boys tell me, "I love you Miss Amanda," I have to hold the tears back.

2. Would you tell us more about your blog & business?
Royal Daughter Designs began in September (the same month our foster boys arrived) after many of my friends, both in real life and blogging friends, encouraged me to turn my hobby into a business. For several years I've been doing blog designing for friends and family, and in September the Lord opened the door for my to stay home and make RDD a full-time, work-from-home business.

This is one of my favorite {premium} premade designs
Since I have a personal blog, I keep Royal Daughter Designs strictly professional. I share tutorials, so my readers can tweak their own designs while they're saving up for a custom design. *wink wink* I sometimes share about things that inspire me, both in blog land and in real life. I've recently stepped way out of my comfort zone and started blogging about fashion, or my lack there of - it is still "to be determined." (Don't worry, I'm actually  being true to myself, I just jumped on the WIWW band wagon. And since I do wear clothes, I can legitimately say that I'm being true to myself!) And every once in a while I throw in a freebie printable too.

On November 21 I will be starting a brand new, just in time for the holidays series. Christmas Ornament Countdown will feature 30 days of handmade Christmas ornaments and holiday decorations. The best part? YOU can be a part of it! Not only will there be weekly linky parties, but I also have several guest spots available. All the details are right here.

If you want to get to know the real me, check out my personal blog, DAES of Our Lives.

3. What has surprised you most about this life?
You know the proverb, "Man plans his plans, but his steps are ordered by the Lord?" (Proverbs 16:9) I memorized that verse as a child, but the depth of meaning never sunk in until I reached adulthood.

10 years ago I was in college. When I imagined my life in ten years it looked like this:
Married, of course. To a minister. What good Christian girl at Bible college doesn't want to get married to a good godly guy in the ministry?
I imagined I'd have 3 or 4 kids by now. Probably home schooling the oldest. I imagined that I'd find so much joy in cooking and baking, maybe venture into sewing. (Yep, I really did envision myself  being a carbon copy of my mom.)
But life is SO much different. My husband graduates next month with his PhD in Theology and Church History. I'm a graduate student studying Church Ministries, and though he is a minister, he's not pastoring right now. He's a professor at a seminary, where together we have a great ministry - but very different from what I imagined.
We have three boys. Ages 10, 11, and 15. They were not born from my body, but they are definitely born in my heart. I've never carried a baby in my womb, but I daily carry three rough and tumble boys in my heart.
I don't like cooking, or baking, or sewing. I love when my family likes my cooking, but I don't love cooking. And I don't even own a sewing machine, and so far my husband has patched all of his jeans and sewed on all missing buttons.

I occasionally take photos of myself in the kitchen just to prove that I do spend time in there.
So while I imagined life very differently from how it turned out, I absolutely love the life that Yahweh, the King of Heaven, has ordered for me.

4. What is something that you're so passionate about it keeps you up at night?
I am passionate about our boys. Their mom is deceased, and their dad cannot take care of them right now. They come from a rough background. They've seen and experienced things that are not appropriate for adults, let alone children. Their hearts and souls have been broken, and the wounds are still very fresh.
They each carry a deep, unforgiving pain. You can see it on their face.
They are not random boys that the State of Texas put in our home. We've known them for most of their lives. My husband used to be their pastor, and when they were saved earlier this year they asked him to come back to their church and baptize them.

When we found out that they'd been taken away from their dad and then their grandma, our immediate reaction was to have them come live with us. I believe, without question or doubt, that God put that desire in our hearts.

We're not super man and wonder woman, please don't think that. It has been a struggle, the transition from 6 + years of just us to having 3 broken boys in our home has been difficult. But I am passionate about training them in the ways of the Lord. Teaching them His Word. Loving them unconditionally. And setting an example of what godly manhood and womanhood looks like in real life.

5. What is your creative process like when you design?
I love to ask my customers what it is that they're looking for. I usually ask them to send me 3-5 blog designs that they LOVE, and for them to tell me what it is they love about each design.

I ask them if their blog has a theme, and if they have a particular color scheme in mind. If I follow the inspiration that they provide, they are usually super happy.

As I browse blog land, I take screen shots of certain aspects that I absolutely love, and I save those in an "inspiration" folder. Then about a week later I go back and analyze what I love about it, and if I still have the overwhelming "AHH! I love this!!" feeling, I keep the screen shot for future reference. If that feeling is more like, "Aww, that's cute." I usually send it to the recycle bin.

image source

I have an unhealthy obsession with fonts, so I sometimes spend literally hours making random blog headers with new fonts that I've never used before. Every now and then one of those random headers ends up being perfect for a customer.

I also love perusing and picking out color schemes that make me drool. Okay, not really. But you know what I mean.

Thanks Jessi for having me today, and thank you for reading a little bit about me! I'd love for you to stop by my humble little home on the internet and say hello!


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