Avoiding the Challenge

Earlier this week, I discovered a foolproof formula. If one combines homemade French Toast, chai tea and an episode or two of Gilmore Girls, one can achieve a near perfect morning.  I'm sure when I was younger, I thought there was no way adults could enjoy snow (or ice in this case) days nearly as much as kids. Well, news to my younger self, one could argue adult snow days are not only more enjoyable, but far more necessary.

I often joke, with serious undertones, I could teach a course in how to relax. For some reason, many of my friends and coworkers find this a difficult feat. Don't get me wrong. I am very supportive of a productive days at home, and this ice day is no different.  Laundry was done and the kitchen was cleaned, and before the day was over, the Dyson made an appearance. However, I also believe if you have the opportunity to watch Gilmore Girls and to force a blog post, you should take it sans any sort of guilt.

Oh, you're wondering about the "force a blog post" bit? (For the sake of this post, pretend you were.) I don't want to use the overly used term of "writers block" because that would insinuate I was at least trying to write. The truth of the matter is, I've gotten into the habit of actively avoiding it all together. Sure, some of it is the crazed days at work, and the more often than not rushed evenings at home. But more than anything, it's because sometimes I don't feel up to the challenge. If words aren't coming easily, than why force it? If witty, thought provoking posts are no where to be found, why should I go looking for them? Why in the world, do I think this should be a piece of cake? My guess is the great wordsmiths of the world didn't become great in the waiting. They became great by writing.

Sometimes, life is loud and uncomfortable. Chaos is prevalent and words seem scarce, but the thing about writing is it doesn't ask for perfect circumstances. 

Dean Smith once said "There is a point in every contest when sitting on the sidelines is not an option." Now, what I know about this legendary coach is a fraction of what is left learn, but what I do know is this; he left a legacy that exceeds the four corners of the court. If I want to ever be considered a writer, in the most liberal of ways, I need to realize the desire to write grows from actually writing. Beauty can be found in the waiting, however, words may be harder to find. 

In short, this post is nothing more than my jumbled up thoughts somewhat coherently put into writing. If you made it this far, bravo. I leave you with this encouragement...

be more than you are.

be more than someone teaching defensive sets and offensive transitions.

be someone that invests in those around you.

be more than what you do.




January Thoughts

New years are great. They can symbolize bright and shiny things and fresh starts. Who doesn't want that? I support it just as much as the next person, but here's the thing; the fresh start you're wanting? You can get it every day, week and month. You don't have to wait to toss an entire calendar into the recycling bin before getting that newness you are craving.

As I write this it's the first Monday of a new month (I feel the need to clarify this as it may not be by the time in hit the "Publish" button). A month waiting for your effort and desire. I want to approach every day and month with the same hope and dedication January gets. I mean, a lot of pressure gets put on to the first month of the year. Resolutions to change years worth of habits in four weeks. Four weeks of short, dreary winter days. If you can find motivation in those conditions, I applaud you. However, as the saying goes, if you're waiting for the perfect moment, you'll spend your whole life waiting.
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." - Isaiah 43:18-19
Fresh starts and new beginnings are not dictated by the calendar or your current situation. God does not demand a certain amount of time to past before making all things new. He asks only that you forget the things that could weigh you down, recognize what He's giving you and trust. The last one? By far the hardest for me.

Sometimes, fresh starts begin in the desert and wasteland, and though this does not diminish where you're going, trust in the trial is almost never my first instinct. I may say I have faith and I'm trusting in the path the Lord has laid in front of me, but more often than not, my spirit is looking for every other available option.

January was an odd month for me at work, with a lot of unexpected news and unanticipated transitions.  I'll lay partial blame for my lack of presence on that (sounds better than writers block or laziness), but with a pretty spectacular to do list to work on and finalize, I'm excited to start this fresh month of February.

And while odd at work, January was pretty great in every other way. My iPhone has the evidence to prove it!

left: waiting for Eric Church//babysitting the cutest boy in the world
center:celebrating Alisha's 30th with a mellow mushroom man//girls night out//a great book and pretty cup of coffee
right: spontaneous road trip resulting in a visit from the aforementioned cutest boy//Eric Church in Nashville!



30 Before 30 {Part One}

This year, in place of a resolution or two, I decided to create a list.  I'm all for a good list and accomplishing things, and since I currently find myself wishing for more time, I figured I should make the most of the time I have. That said, I want to be ambitious and have purposeful fun in 2015...the year I turn 30.


My "30 before 30" will not change the world, but it may change me in the fleeting days and months I have left in my 20's. Though reality very rarely makes itself known in my world, I had to keep it close by while constructing this list. However, should any of you find yourself with a lot of extra money and you're unsure what to do with it, I can loosen my grip on reality and adjust this list accordingly.

Each item on this list will stretch me in some capacity and I will have to push  myself to do some items more than others. These are not in any sort of order, other than when they popped in my head and seemed worthy enough to make the cut.

So without further adieu, part one of my 30 before 30...


1. Pop a champagne bottle DONE! - December 31, 2014

2. Shoot a gun

3. Take a ballet class

4. Paint a picture

5. Sing in public

6. Cook something new/complex

7. Do 10 random acts of kindness

8. Go somewhere in North Carolina I've never been (suggestions welcomed!)

9. Go camping

10. Learn a Taylor Swift and Christmas song on guitar

11. Play paintball

12. Go four-wheeling

13. Write a letter each month

14. Read 10 books off the Rory Gilmore book list

15. Pay off half of our debt


In addition to reality, I had to keep myself in mind when deciding each of the items on this list. None of these things can be deemed as difficult and some may even view them as boring. To me, however, they're things I have a desire to do. Things I've thought about and never followed through in doing. Some are purely self indulgent. Others are meant to glorify God and encourage others. This is a life "to-do" list, and I am so excited about marking each of these items off.

I'm currently finalizing the second part of my "30 before 30," so if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to share!

Wish me luck :)



Happy 2015 {Five on Friday}!

Happy 2015 indeed! While we're only on the second day of this year, it's off to a pretty good start. Andrew and I spent New Year's Day cleaning and organizing, eating, and watching football and Friends (thank you, Netflix!). I had a fleeting thought to go to the gym, but was distracted by cheese and crackers.

one. We spent time and had a delicious dinner with some awesome friends on New Years Eve. I had to get at least one picture of me in real clothes because after this, we went home and the pj's came on.

two. I'm currently working on my 30 before 30 list and I am happy to report one thing has already been crossed off...popping a champagne bottle! New Years Eve seemed like the perfect time to do this, especially while wearing a Taylor Swift shirt and cardboard top hat. Sophistication personified right here, folks.

three. I've always been under the impression confetti is a pretty common thing. So imagine my dismay and disappointment when both Target and Michael's shattered that illusion. Thankfully, I married the sweetest man ever and he spent his New Years Eve afternoon making a box of confetti for me. I later repaid him by throwing it in the air and vacuuming it up. If that doesn't say "thank you," I don't know what does.

four. All seasons of Friends on Netflix. That's all.

five. Above all, the best part of New Years Eve was ringing it in with the loves of my life!



Turning the Page

Well, 2014 has come to a close just as quickly as it arrived. It seems like I just wrote this post, but apparently, that was 365 days ago.

It can be easy to focus on the things a year wasn't. To point out the things you didn't do or say. However, in doing so, those things wouldn't get done or be said. Fresh starts and new beginnings, I believe, are one of the ways God sheds His grace on us. That with the turning of a page, we have 365 blank ones to do with what we can and will. What a blessing that is! That is what we need to focus on as this sweet year ends; the multiple opportunities we will have in the coming year to serve God more; to give mercy and grace more freely; to love better.


2014 was a fun year for us...
+ We went to Disney World 
+ Survived a road trip that took us through seven states 
+ Spent an evening with Eric Church
+ Went to Boone multiple times 
+ Spent cherished time with family and friends 
+ Grew up a little bit more 
+ Learned to trust God more
+ Had an incredible Christmas
+ We were reminded on a daily basis of just how blessed we are 

I'm looking forward to 2015 and all that it will offer as well as take a way. Andrew and I are striving to live our lives as God has called, and with that, sacrifices inevitably come. 

Another thing I'm sorta excited about/dreading is my 30th birthday (my gosh those are scary words to type)! I'm currently working on a "30 before 30" list and I can't wait to share that with y'all! 

I hope you all have a great New Years Eve and pray 2015 is a blessed year for you and your family!


Merry Monday {2014 Christmas Recap}

There are no more presents under the tree. The boxes and bows have been put away. And everything with an evergreen tree or Santa on it is up to 75% off. Christmas, for seasonal purposes, has come to a close. But the most beautiful thing about the coming of the Lord, is once He is here, He stays. The Son of God did not come for a day or a long weekend; He came for eternity.

Christmas seemed sweeter than ever this year. There was no particular reason for this; I think it's just growing up a little more and recognizing how precious this time of year is and being thankful for all that it surrounds. Words could not do justice to how wonderful it was, so brace yourself for more than few pictures...

Every year, for as long as I can remember, the Saturday before Christmas is reserved for the Christmas party at my grandparents. It's a small group consisting of my grandparents, mom, aunts, me and Andrew, and it something I look forward to every single year.

This is always an afternoon filled with good food and much needed family time. It's calm and sweet and a perfect reflection of what Christmas is and should always be.

Christmas Eve is always our "travel" day...we travel to Winston-Salem for lunch and time with my side of the family before traveling back to Charlotte for what always proves to be an exciting evening with Andrew's family. Though to a degree this day can be a whirlwind, I wouldn't change a single thing. Unless of course I could slow time down...that I would definitely do!

Once back in Charlotte, we had just enough time to pick the dogs up from Andrew's parents and to change into our "tacky" attire for the evening. I realize most find the idea of tacky Christmas sweaters appealing; I am not one of those people...it's too much effort, which is why we purchased these little numbers.

However, as you can see, there were some seriously awesome tacky people roaming through the house on Christmas Eve!

With over 20 people, the evening was loud, chaotic, and overall, pretty spectacular. There was delicious food (thanks to Aunt Gloria), a hilarious game of Dirty Santa and photobooth fun! 

And we obviously had to keep tabs on Santa! It seemed like every time I checked, he was in a country I could either not pronounce or had never heard of. A world geography refresher should probably be a resolution of mine.

Once we returned to our quiet home for the night, we each opened one present and watched this classic!

Christmas day was sweetly spent together. We opened presents in the morning and simply enjoyed each others company. More food was eaten, movies were watched, naps were taken and the most wonderful day of the year was enjoyed.

I was certainly spoiled this Christmas, but this was probably one of my favorite presents.

1989 on vinyl!
I hope you each had a wonderful Christmas! Regardless of the things that weren't perfect, I hope you found peace in the imperfection.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!



Currently {Christmas Eve Edition}

Currently listening to...Chris Tomlin Christmas Pandora station 

Currently drinking...coffee mixed with homemade chocolate in one of my favorite Christmas mugs

Currently waiting on...Andrew to wake up and for all the Christmas eve festivities to begin

Currently savoring...the last few days of the Christmas season and all that entails

Currently excited for...seeing sweet family members we don't see nearly enough

Currently enjoying...the stillness because in a matter or hours, anything resembling stillness or silence will be impossible to find

Currently appreciating...my wonderful husband. Though I always try to express my appreciation for him, he deserves a medal for his sweet patience with me during this time of year and for driving through the rain last night to look at Christmas lights

Currently contemplating...which Christmas movies will get watched today and tomorrow...we still have some classics to choose from (It's a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street)

Currently rejoicing in...But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." - Luke 2:10-11

Currently wishing...you and yours a very Merry Christmas!