Monday, July 21, 2014

It's here! It's here! Vacation is here!

Nine days of no work, (mostly) no alarms, visiting loved ones, drinking copious amounts of coffee, listening to podcasts, abiding with my Abide journal from Naptime Diaries, and reading - hopefully lots of reading.

I have a couple of books picked out already:

1. The Vacationers - This one has been all over the interwebs. Bloggers are reading it. Friends are reading it. Now I am reading it - courtesy of the Charleston County Public Library - thanks!

2. The Interestings - A story about a group of friends and how they change and grow apart/closer as the years go on? Sold. It was also the book club book for A Beautiful Mess once. I like having their stamp of approval.

3. Delancey - Written by blogger Orangette, this is basically Kitchen Confidential happening in someone's first year of marriage. I love foodie memoirs and I love reading about marriages. Hopefully, these two marry well - pun certainly intended.

Now, I will be driving A LOT, so if you have any recommendations on favorite podcasts or music - I am now accepting suggestions!

Well, people, it's time to get this party started - over & out. xo.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I'm going on vacation soon.

Charlotte to see Dave Matthews Band with Tonya. Hattiesburg to visit Tom. New Orleans to see Tony and his lovely wife. Atlanta to stay with Amanda and her hubs and drink coffee at Octane.

I won't be alone, but I am going (mostly) alone.

And I think of all the times I've done things like this before and I'm excited to have the time away and to myself. And I'm sad because I think these times end when you get married and have kids and live in a house with a fence and responsibilities. And I'm annoyed because I think of all the things I need to do before I have house guests and all the things I need to pack up and move and clean and paint to move into a new home.

And most of all I'm nervous about having a breakdown so I'm praying for patience. It's not patience with others, even. It's patience with myself. To grow and be and move into these next stages of life. It's similar to mourning, but with much happier results.

I love what my life is and what it's becoming, but I also loved my life before. Do you know what I mean?

Has anyone seen Life Happens? Such a great movie about the way life, well, happens. I think it happens to be quite beautiful.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's not raining, but I can hear the thunder rumble of a quick, but fierce summer shower somewhere in the distance. It's officially the first day of summer, so I guess it wouldn't be complete with an afternoon South Carolina shower.

I just woke up from a nap. Three hours is till just a nap, right? It's nowhere near the called for eight hours of sleep, but it is certainly a little bit more than just a twenty minute power nap.

I guess the first day of summer is cause for a three hour nap celebration. Am I right?

Plus, boy, I was just tired. This week has been a whirlwind of work, wedding, and personal trials.

Anyway, here are some things I've been thinking about this week:

  • McDonald's and their cheeseburgers with those little diced onions. Noms. So, I went there today and ordered a #2. No shame.
  • The Farmer's Market. I bought delicious blueberries and tomatoes and nutty goodness. I also bought some beautiful flowers. And I was accompanied by my lovely and talented friend, Kate. I hope I always live near a Farmer's Market and that I always have such awesome people in my life.
  • Death. A friend's mom passed away this week. When tragedy strikes, what do you do? Nice words are a good place to begin, but then what? I'm so sorry for your loss, dear Jesse. Your mother did such a mighty fine job in her lifetime. xo.
  • Podcasts. I've been listening to Joy and Tracy on the Joy the Baker Podcast. It reminds about ... life! Life outside of work, wedding planning, and personal trials. It also reminds me of California and New Orleans and my deep desire to travel and be near the people I love.
  • Blogs. Blogging. Simplifying. Simple. Let's do it. (This only makes sense to me.)
  • Marriage. Woah. That's happening soon. There are invitations to print and address. And stuff to move. And lives to combine. And woah. If you've ever taken two totally separate lives with two totally separate pasts and combined them into one, then you get it.
  • Bible Journaling. Who has tips? Where do I start? How do I know I'm interpreting it correctly?
  • Cold Brew Coffee. It's what keeps me going. It makes summer the best. 
So, that's it for now. Just a couple thoughts as I wake up from a nap and summer rains rumble in the distance.


Sunday, June 08, 2014

My dad asked me this morning, "What do you want to do?"

I want to drink coffee and share it with others. I want to love on this community and build it up. I want to love on people and build them up. I want to serve with a purpose. I want to be local, but I want travel and share the love. I want to share experiences. I want to network and connect the people I know. I want to uplift. I want to stand behind something I love and believe in. 

That's all, you know?


Thursday, May 22, 2014

I love my iPhone. I love Facebook. I love Instagram. I love iCloud and linked calendars. I'm connected and I've got a pretty high Klout score to prove it.

But, I'll tell you what I'm starting to dislike...


I remember the days that you called and left a message on someone's answering machine and if the tape was out of space, then you were out of luck. Before that people had just call and see if you answered. Before that people had to mail letters. And before that people had to GO TO YOUR HOME (and it was ON FOOT and UPHILL BOTH WAYS) to talk to you. Talk about dedication.

No one does that anymore. No one shows up unannounced or surprises people. No one leaves voicemails. No one writes letters - we hardly write emails - who is going to write a letter?! (Other than Gabe who writes amazing letters complete with wax seal.)

We all text. Maybe we call first, but then we text. And we expect immediate gratification in the form of a text back. Right? You look for those three little dots on your iMessage that mean someone is typing. Heaven forbid they get distracted and those little dots just stay there for awhile.

They're mad at me. They don't like me. They're avoiding me. I said something wrong.


It's sincerely starting to give me anxiety. 

While you're taking your precious time texting back a.k.a. hating me a.k.a. just living your life in a way that doesn't involve your iPhone, I'm over here analyzing it. Not sleeping. Checking my phone over and over again because maybe it's on silent. 

Nope. It's not on silent and there's no message. 
Maybe it's on Do Not Disturb. (zips into settings) 
Nope. Not on Do Not Disturb. Still no message.
Maybe my iPhone is broken. I should turn it off and back on.
(Why is it taking so long to power on?)
Nope. No little red number has appeared next to my messages.
I'm just gonna wait 10 minutes before I check again.
(4 minutes pass.)
This must have been 10 minutes. Oh, only 4 minutes.
No message.
Maybe I should check my iPad messages.

Maybe I should chill the fuck out because I've wasted a massive amount of time waiting for someone who has a life (or maybe actually is avoiding me and I shouldn't be wasting my time with them) to respond to me and I've got nothing to show for it.

We've taken the meaning and work out of communication and replaced it with laziness and anxiety.

Maybe if we stopped texting so much, we'd get on with our lives.

Of course, we're doing this to ourselves and I am the guiltiest of all, but as long as I can't sleep and I'm thinking about it, then I should at least get a blog post out of it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Something a lot of people would never guess about me:

I've run a half marathon.

I mean, if I was playing two truths and a lie and I threw that tidbit in there, then 99% of the time people would probably choose it as a lie. Why? I hate running. And I'm pretty vocal about it.

I don't hate running for the usual reasons. Although I do find difficult, boring and hard on my ankles.

I used to run. A lot. I dated this guy who was a runner. The first time he moved away, I started running to fill the time I used to spend with him so I wouldn't be so sad and so we would have something to talk about in letters, etc. I would run maybe two times a week and do pilates the rest. (Pilates will whip you into some firmness, btw.)

The second time he moved away, he started to run more - I'm talking 8-11 mile runs multiple times a week. This led to him often forgetting to return calls or being too tired to talk for a long time or not having time at all. So, the more he ran, the more I ran. I was lonely and I was angry. Oh, running helped you work off those feelings? Nope. Running made me try to fix those feelings. I shouldn't be angry, I should be proud and understanding. I shouldn't be lonely, I should be working on my own health. My feelings seemed invalid, so I ran to change them. I ran so we would have that one thing in common to hold onto.

I was running 5-7 days a week and 3-5 miles each time I ran. I was fit. I was angry. I was lonely.

I was running to hold onto something that he didn't want to hold onto - for a relationship he didn't want to be responsible for anymore. And we broke up. And it was hard and the worst kind of hurt.

I kept running. I thought if I kept running, then I could fix how hard it felt to be single again. I was still angry. I was still lonely. And I kept running. The less angry and lonely I began to feel, the less I ran, but I still held it in back pocket because I wasn't really over it all.

Finally, in 2011, I ran a half marathon with very little proper training. I ran those 13.1 miles and was tired and in pain, but I felt so amazing that I had completed such a feat. It felt like happiness and it felt like closure and it felt like I would never run again.

And I haven't run again. Not really. Partially because it's difficult, boring and hard on my ankles. Mostly because it's part of a really painful time in my life. It was an activity I used to hide part of who I was and cling to who I wanted to be even though I never really enjoyed it - the difficulty of the relationship or the actual running.

So, I don't do things I hate anymore because I don't want to feel less than me - less authentic.

And that's one of my two truths. It's not a lie.

I don’t want to do it, and it’s really liberating to say no to shit you hate. So you go ahead. You live your truth. I’ll be here, living my truth. - Hannah, GIRLS

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When I go to bed, I'm cataloging the things I did during the day and the things I didn't get to finish. When I wake up in the morning, I'm mentally making a to-do list of what's to come. It's exhausting.

Last night was supposed to be my "me" night and I spent a lot of it working - going through photos and scheduling fb posts. Then I was was flipping my mattress and changing my sheets right before I got into bed (late). What's a girl to do?

Is anyone else out there a planner? How does it work for you? Do you have the ability to slow down? If I don't make plans, will things get done?

Yesterday, I read a post about Spring Cleaning Your Life - I just got rid of a lot of clothes. Now maybe I need to get rid of some priorities or procrastination tools - anything that's not serving my life for the better. (That's so hard to do!) Maybe it's that I need to ADD nothing time/white space to my calendar. Create a space. Hmmm.

Anyway, time to get up and at it. I'm listening to the rain and wondering how long it will last - maybe I'll get to wear my rain boots today!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

I read a lot of interesting and GOOD posts on the internet in the last week-ish, so I'm here to share
with you!

1. Daylight savings time is here and that can make sleep difficult. Here's a list of 10 Sleep Remedies from Lauren Conrad.

2. I love before and afters. I love inspiration and organization. I love Naptime Diaries. Clearly, I love this post - before and after office organization with Jessi!

3. Some words about Amazing Grace - how sweet the sound.

4. 18 Habits of Highly Creative People.

5. 3 things that Create a Meaningful Life - with Donald Miller and Shauna Niequist.

6. Does money stress you out? Look at it in these ways and take a breath.

7. Well, this is just a dream come true by local lovely Olivia Rae James.

8. I bought these to wear for my new job. I love TOMS.

9. Speaking of TOMS - watch this video and get more info here. I ordered the Malawi and add visiting that cafe to my bucket list.

10. This. So many beautiful words from Emma Red Velvet.  And just a side note - this pie looks amazing.

So, if you're off this weekend - you're not working or traveling or planning a wedding (that's normally what I am doing) - then take a look at these words, ideas, and photos from others. Lemme know what you think!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Recently, I attended Storyline Conference with Donald Miller (and many amazing other people) where I learned that if you're not loving the story of your life, then re-write it. Yep. Just change it.

Then, I found this insta pic from a while back that includes my "five core values" and I started to measure the things in my life by them. Is my job in line with them? Are my relationships in line with them? Are the things I fill my time with in line with these values?

I know I can change my story. I know these are five really important values. I'm trying to be courageous enough to do it - to change my story and live these values. I can change what I do and how I do it and who I do it with. I can change the way I speak to people - I want to speak life. I want to show love. I want to hold people closely. I want to live a life that Jesus would be proud of. 

That doesn't mean I'm not going to eff up. I will probably still yell or cry or eat a whole pint of ice cream. But that's ok. It really is. Life is like that sometimes. But living it for something bigger than you really changes your direction and perspective. And, for the first time in awhile, I feel like it's all going to be ok rather than a giant weight sitting on my shoulders.

"Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to people and things that stress you out." - Thelma Davis

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Let's talk about California.

First of all, it is quite the hike. Three thousand miles and five hours in the sky. But it is most definitely one of my favorite places to be.

And after all that travel - what could possibly want more than a California Burrito? So that's what we did - walked around the Gas Lamp until we found the perfect, doors open, sunny spot to eat. There is nothing better than Mexican food in California. And for those of you haven't had that luxury - you should know a California Burrito means carne asada, guacamole, onions and french fries rolled into edible goodness - and we washed it down with my first taste of Horchata.

Fortunately, not the last taste of Mexican food we had during our stay, but some of the last bit of sunlight we enjoyed...

It rained the next 3.5 days we were in San Diego, but it didn't stop us from having an amazing time.

There was still coffee. And acai bowls. There were still walks around the Gas Lamp. There was still Coronado. There was still that time I walked across a submarine and down the hatch and into the torpedo room. There were still giggles and games and Law and Order SVU marathons. There was home cooking and eating out. There was fam jam time in Encinitas. There was not so much sneaking onto the train, but still fear of being kicked off.  There was the FARMER'S MARKET which I cannot say enough about - the almonds, the flowers, the samples, the rain, the peanut butter, the EVERYTHING. (Seriously, if you need one good reason to visit SoCal - the Farmer's Market selection might be it.) There were BBW sneak peeks and purchases. There were the beautiful beaches - the sand that doesn't stick to you. There were SEA LIONS. Arf. Arf. Arf. There was the beauty of the sun setting over the ocean. There was I can't even begin to describe the deliciousness. And oh em gee - the donuts! San Diego Donut Bar is a must.

But most importantly, there was friendship. My friend Megan and her husband Josh opened their home and lives to Nate and me. It is really such precious time we get to spend with the people who enhance our lives so much. I could imagine how crazy my head would be if I didn't have Megan to share all of it with. The beauty of her marriage and the love those two share inspires me to build my life with Nate. And I'm so glad the two of them (Nate and Megan) got to hang out and be friends! Two of my very favorite people in my very favorite city. They took me to "class" every morning and picked me up every afternoon. Such sweet care I was given.

What I'm hoping is one day I can create and offer the same hospitality and beautiful experiences to my friends when they come visit me in Sunny SoCal. I'd love to pay it forward.

For some pics from my trip - instagram!

For more true awesomeness about San Diego read here and here.

For more on my amazing Storyline experience... Check back soon!

Friday, March 07, 2014

I am experiencing serious California separation anxiety. And I miss Megan.

As you may (or may not) know, I spent some time in San Diego last week visiting one of my favorite people and attending the Storyline Conference.

Game changers.

The whole trip: the conference, the city, the friendship, the travel. And sharing it all with Nate.

I want to write about every day, speaker, event, and moment. I will. I hope. I feel like there is too much good stuff to share. (I'll have a day off on Sunday, so that's our best bet!)

What I will go ahead and share are the BIG things that stuck out to me -

1. Jesus didn't hold people accountable; he held them closely.

2. COMMUNITY. How can you over serve the people in your life?

3. Humans were designed to have deep, meaningful experiences. Those experiences are likely not linked to the American definition of success. But know that life is too short and too important to spend your time not being passionate. It is possible to create a new story.

I'll leave you with those nuggets for now.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

At work, we're starting a challenge (tomorrow) - drink.more.water.

The rules? Everyday for the next 28 days (because it takes 28 days to create a habit) you have to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 120lbs then you have to drink 60oz of water per day. 

We're keeping a tally of each day we succeed to help hold us accountable. 

Will you join in this challenge?!

I have started scouring Pinterest for fun ways to jazz up my water - like frozen flower + berry ice cubes... Feel free to share your fun tips + tricks with me! Let the hydration begin!

Monday, February 10, 2014

I still haven't purchased coffee in February. Boom. This is what I call success.

Speaking of successes/failures, goals, intentions, resolutions... (Those are all words that get thrown around a lot during the beginning of a year, huh?) Recently, I've been pondering about all of those words and how to decide on them, set them or measure them. I thought maybe if I could list the things that are most important to me, then I would be able to figure out my goals, successes, intentions, resolutions...

Alright, things that are important to me (ie. the things that make my heart beat faster and my eyes grow wider) in no particular order...

1. Nate
2. Friends/Family
3. Community/Time with the above
4. Jesus
5. Coffee
6. Health

From there I came up with two BIG goals/intentions/resolutions/future successes:

1. Plan my AMAZING wedding to the most AMAZING man I know. (The biggest party I'll ever get to have with my friends & family - it shouldn't be stressful; it should be AMAZING.)

2. Share LIFE on this blog. (That's my life and the things that are most important to me. See above.)

So, that's how I did that. Now, I'm finishing my avocado english muffin dinner (you can eat that for dinner when you're an adult and your other half is at work until ten) and I'm going to watch an episode of Undercover Boss for a happy little cry before bed. (I mean, seriously, have you watched the show? You always cry.) And I'm gonna thank God for every opportunity I had today and then get some good rest.

(Thanks for the Monday Motivation from Pressed Juicery!)

Monday, February 03, 2014

I feel like once February hits, it is no longer a new year. You're already one month deep into the year. (PS. 236 days until I get MARRIED. How did that happen so quickly?!) Anyway, February is no longer the time for resolution making - it is time for action! It doesn't matter how small or large the action/habit/change might be - all that matters is consistency.

Me: This month I'm going to make coffee every day at home... Until we go to San Diego.
Nate: That's cheating. That's not the whole month.
Me: No. It's not. I'm saying I will make my own coffee every day at home until we go on February 26th. That's practically the whole month and I'm making the rules anyway.
Nate: Well, who is holding you accountable? What happens if you don't do it?
Me: Then I have to do it again in March and it's longer than February, so it's punishment.

This is going to stop me from wasting all the coffee I was given for gifts and save me those dolla dolla bills before we head out west! Also, I'm hoping it will create (2014 word alert!) a good morning habit for me. We shall see - definitely ask me how it's going when you see me...

I'm still reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. And I am currently in a music rut. Suggestions, please!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

All I want to do is drink champagne on the California coast, write beautiful things and be with amazing people. Forever. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

I've been thinking about all the things that can be "created" - all of the things I want to create in 2014. And the more I dig around on the internet - the more inspired I become...

I want to create: change. community. the perfect cup of coffee for my morning. a beautiful wedding. memories with friends. a home for Nate & I to live in. a BIG love that inspires others. adventure. income. simplicity. happiness. health. space for a puppy. diy projects. baked goods. consistency in my blog. magic.

I am so looking forward to 2014 for so many reasons.

my word of the year is...