|26 in the Mix|

As I am approaching my 26th birthday tomorrow, I looked back on pictures of birthdays past. As I looked through the memories, I can remember lessons I learned during those stages of life. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time!

Lesson #1: To get the ideal birthday picture, position yourself smack dab in the middle of a group and then prop your leg up for good measure.
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Lesson #2: When planning a party, matching visors are a necessity.

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Lesson #3: When choosing a party outfit, a vest is always clutch.

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Lesson #4: Keep friends who agree to dress up with you and go out in public.

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Lesson #5: There are places that always feel like home and people feel like family. Go there often.

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Lesson #6: Learn to listen and value what your friends say.

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Lesson #7: Eat cake the size of your face.

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Lesson #8: Don’t start going to the tanning bed… Ever.
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Lesson #8: Find friends that love you in your mess not just your best.

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P.S. As I look back on birthdays from the past, I am keenly aware at how graciously my dad didn’t just share his day.. He gave it up completely! Thank you dad. I’m sorry you had lambchop themed birthday parties to celebrate your day too! I am so thankful to share Oct 4th with you!

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| Get Your Fall On |

This past weekend was a Mary Poppins kind of weekend. Practically perfect in every way. 

After a very busy couple of months, this past weekend all of my favorite things collided. Long hours, full days, crisp air, pumpkin candles, and time passing movies that provided such rest. Now I can’t live every weekend like the last, mostly because I would get bored. But it was such a needed weekend of productive rest (is that event possible?!).

Fall is my absolute favorite. Every year when spring hits, the prettiest flowers start tellin me lies of how I could love another season more than fall, but the second that the temperatures drop, my neighbors light a bonfire, and country music sounds even better in the company of boots and scarves… I know… I know fall is home.

In attempts to a simple season and using things I already had, I was thrilled to only have to buy 2 $5 pumpkins and then use supplies of old that never found a home. (You know that time you buy 32 white feathers when you actually only needed one. I won’t confess what Alex said she would done if she just needed one feather!). But as if I didn’t already bleed black, white & gold… It was time to get my fall on. 

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fall3Now come on and pop on by, we will drink cider and watch Hallmark (that’s the rules). 

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Credits: canvas painting inspired by Lindsay Letters… LOVE her stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston Weekend: Living & Loving Now

Weekends like the last are some of the sweetest in life. A spontaneous trip to Charleston turned into a mini college reunion and my heart was just overjoyed. Seeing so many faces I hadn’t seen in 2 years and spending intentional time with friends that I have had that length of time in way too long, was just what this girl needed.

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Our days were filled with laughter, long versions of what is going on (cause when time isn’t an issue… you need ALL the details), and heart challenging convos that leave me thinking long after our time is over.

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What’s next? When are you getting engaged? When are y’all having kids? Are you staying in Charleston? Are you staying in Raleigh? How long do you want to work at ______ job? As a collective group of girls this weekend, we shared how these questions have constantly bombarded us…. probably longer than we realized and definitely longer than we hoped. Not necessarily asking each other these questions, but realizing how much of our lives have been & will continue to be in a phase of what’s next. 

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There were times this weekend where people would genuinely be excited to hear about life & how its been the last few years. I love those times. Other times where I felt the need to justify, make up, or ask their opinion on what I should be doing when I felt like my answers just couldn’t satisfy their quest to figure us out. Those times I love less but at least they care to ask. And then the best of times where the friends you wish you could hug everyday, squeal when they see you, rejoice in seasons of joy & mourn in seasons that you wouldn’t choose…. those are the friends that stick. Not because they make it easy. Honestly, sometimes their questions are the hardest and their approval is the most desired, but in the end you love each other through the mess, the questions & the trials of the “what now” not necessarily consuming conversations of “what’s next”. 

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I left this weekend with not only more insight to my friend’s hearts, but also lessons learned from the seasons they are in. From the realities of dating, the lessons of marriage, inconceivable futures, job searching, moves across town & some times states… all of the seasons we are in challenged my own heart.

Instead of asking people the what’s next, I think sometimes throwing in a “what do you love right now?” would throw us off and sometimes instantly change our perspective. I don’t believe I have good perspective on my own… I believe that only comes from the Lord because my nature is to see the bad or the times I am not getting my way. But I do think the effort of practicing to see good perspective comes with choosing to think on those things.

I LOVE right now because: 

  • living with 11 housemates 
  • working with people I love and a great boss (most of America can’t say that one… I know I have a good thing where I am at) 
  • a nephew to adore… (fingers crossed I hear my name or some version of it soon…but i love the season he is in now) 

I have no idea what’s next. And I LOVE that. 

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|Overcommitment to Fear of Commitment|

The self acknowledged, ridiculous 10 month long search for tennis shoes has ended. 

I am fully aware of how ridiculous the amount of time it has taken me to land on a pair of shoes. I didn’t have lofty expectations that I would find a pair that would make me fly or fix my hair for me in the morning.. but I did however find any reason to not be satisfied with any pair I saw (and eventually bought). Thats right, landed on a pair around month 7, when I went to put them on at home, the color scheme didn’t match any of my workout clothes. OBSURD. The audacity of the tennis shoes to not color coordinate with my wardrobe, how dare they. I really know how to be committed to never wanting to commit. 

So naturally I returned them and continued the search. Finally, one of my peoples on Instagram (that I don’t know in real life) posted a pair that she wanted so naturally because I think she is cool, I wanted them. I found them, bought them, love them and have thrown away the box so I can’t return them. 

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Now I know I need to examine my heart because clearly this pattern is pointing to a bigger issue (no, tennis shoes were not the first victim of my purchase scrutiny).  But for now, I’m hollering a hallelujah and amen, the shoe search has come to an end. 

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Peace Out No 1: Paint

Coming in August, I get the joy of living in a house with a group of girls that I can’t wait to live with! This house has had several girls come through it that I love. I actually came to it my sophomore year of college and if you would have told me then that I would live in it one day, I would have laughed (mainly cause that meant I would have to move to NC…well, that part is done!). 

More coming soon on the The Peace House and the girls I will be living with, but for now… I am thrilled to get to make some updates to this place as we make it home. 

Peace Out to the Peace House No. 1: Paint (shocker… we chose grey. It might be my favorite color)

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First step: done. Now to get the old furniture out and ours in. Hurry quick August. 

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Camp Aunt Jilly |2014|

I’ve waited all year for Camp Aunt Jilly. This was a weekend that was thrown out at first as just a fun idea, but that fun idea just blossomed in my heart as the perfect time for me to spend with my only nephew.

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I sometimes go overboard with ideas, but I just couldn’t stop pinning. One day at work, Emerson’s camp romper came in the mail and as I was showing one of my co-workers, she said “is he into this?”. He’s 1, mind you. So I giggled knowing she wasn’t serious, and said no, but he will be one day! Then I just truthfully told her, “loving Emerson, is just one more big way of me loving my sister”. By loving her child like he was my own, planning time to spend with him, rejoicing with her in the exciting times and giving her a hug when its hard being a mom… I am loving her. I’m not always good at it, but I am thankful for Emerson, because he gave me one more (REALLY big and really cute) reason to love my sister.

What a crazy, and in many ways unexpected weekend Camp AJ was. Here’s just a glimpse into the festivities of camp.

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Emerson Grey- sweet boy. I LOVED our weekend together. I pray it is the first of many Camp AJ’s. You were so snuggly, and playful. Easily entertained by Winnie the Pooh & Elmo. You didn’t want to be put down for a second… but I didn’t mind 🙂 . You had a massive day of blowouts, which included one explosion landing on my arm (ask your mother, she will remember). You had your first taste of cheesecake. And the highlight of the weekend was your duck face. You constantly practiced your duck face 🙂 Love you, E. 

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|The Hair Fail of 2014|

I’m not one to shy away from doing something different with my hair. Typically I am too cheap though so it ends up me convincing Al to take some bleach and discretely add a little hair flare. 

Well…. last week, I was so done with my hair and needed it chopped off  barely trimmed with drastic layers, that I was desperate for any sort of change. I hate spending money on hair and didn’t want to go to my regular salon so I went with one of the hair schools in the area. I’ve had my hair cut at these schools for several years now and generally they do a good job. I thought though, to make it extra different I would get a few strands of color put in. So I poured through the pages of Pinterest and found the perfect picture that I knew my hair would look nothing like, but maybe she would get it somewhere near the same family? After the 4 hours in the salon, the instructor asked if there was anything I wanted to change… “um yes sir, everything”. But instead I just said “nope, looks great” which is code for “get me outta here!”. See for yourself. 

I title this picture: “the hair that never was mine”

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PicMonkey CollageI title this picture: “the hair that was my fix.” 

image-2One box of $3 color later, it at least doesn’t look like my hair got caught in a washing machine full of bleach. I like brown, I think I’ll stick with brown hair. Happy leave your hair alone Friday to me!

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