Memory Verse Mondays.

I've started a new weekly memory verse list using this list from a popular blogger and thought I would share. I write them on cards and place them in my planner. At the end of the week I stick them in an index card box.

Love y'all-

One Year.

We had a wonderful time celebrating our FIRST anniversary this weekend.

Here's some HIGH-quality photos and riveting stories (laughing) to showcase how we spent it.

We didn't take a crazy trip or exchange fancy presents, but we DID get to enjoy some time off work- spending time outside in the great weather, swapping some letters we had written each other, and chowing down on some GREAT food. It was the BEST just to be together and look back on God's faithfulness and provision over the last year! In our books, it was perfect!

We spent Saturday sitting in the sun in our backyard and listening to music on the porch. Then we went to Anthony's for a delicious dinner. It was the best, as always, (pictured above is a very excited A with his Philly Filet) and we had SO much fun!! I pray that through the years we will still make this quality time, sharing stories and laughing til our bellies hurt.

 We were taking a little rest on the porch Saturday, and I told A how I vividly remember being younger and feeling alone at night, and I would pray. I would ask God if maybe, one day, he would give me a companion of my "very own"...

Glory, glory hallelujah Jesus you are good! :)

Sunday, our real anniversary, we volunteered at church (can you spot my favorite bass player?) and got many well wishes from our closest friends. We even went out to lunch (a rare treat as Sundays are normally "clean out the fridge" days. ha!) and then had a great time with our small group over dinner!

At the risk of over-sharing, I will conclude with this, friends:

Marriage is the sweetest, most rewarding thing I've ever experienced. My husband is my favorite person this side of Heaven. This past year has been my absolute favorite this side of  it, too. I can't wait to do life with my companion all the way to then!

Thanks for reading and loving us!

Ps- If you're engaged and people are spitting that negative nonsense your way (pet peeve). Don't listen to that chatter. Sure, living with another human has its challenges, but it is WORTH it one hundred times over. Even this sometimes Negative Nancy can state that with full confidence. We are living proof that two imperfect people can have a joyful, absolute BLAST of a life together even when life's "hards" get thrown your way. Team marriage!!

A Brief List of Happies.

1. It is a BEAUTIFUL day outside and it's Friday! Yay for official SPRING season.

2.  Our Sunday small group is starting a new book called, "Fresh Air". I found out that it is currently FREE for kindle users. How exciting. :) You can download it too, just click the bolded link.

3. Our ONE YEAR anniversary is on Sunday! I cannot believe it. We have small group Sunday night, so we are celebrating tomorrow with some outdoor adventures and then a dinner at Anthony's (yummmmm) I can't wait!

4. I purchased a fitbit zip and have been having lots of fun with it so far. It is highly motivating!

5. Today, March 21st, is national downs syndrome day. That makes my heart smile.:)

6. I've been married to my husband for a whole year of my life!!!!!!!!!!

Happy weekends, y'all!

Spring Delights.

Last weekend, I was able to take a little road trip to see some friends that I hadn't seen in months! It was so refreshing to take a little time out of town to see some pals and soak up the great weather! Here's some glimpses:

Friday I arrived in Columbia and saw Sarah Beth! 
Loved catching up with this sweet girl and making some great dinner with her and her beau.

Saturday morning, for the third year in a row, we ran in the Get to the Green 10k in Five Points.I always love running past all the darling houses and seeing the fun costumes (although I don't really get in to the whole St Pat's spirit). To me, it's more about the fun first sights of SPRING wahooo.

The rest of the day, we enjoyed some Jesus and tanning time on the patio, shopping at Target and LOFT, and just catching up on life. It was such a beautiful day!

That night we went to Cantina..yum! Love their tres hombres, tacos, and margaritas.

And it truly is a small world. Lazir, one of Andrew's pilot training roomies, is now stationed in Columbia. He met us for dinner and it was so great to see him (check out that March mustache..ay yeee)

Sunday, heading back towards the 'Sip I stopped in Atlanta to see some old law pals. I met Kyle at Five Seasons Brewery Westside. Friends who brunch together stay together!

IF I was able to adequately describe the deliciousness that was this golden tomato bloody mary from the make-your-own menu, I would. But, alas, I am ill-equipped. I also had an arugula and beet salad with blue cheese crumbles and toasted walnuts and lemon vinaigrette. OH MY I am hungry now. Modern southern restaurants are what dreams are made of/heaven. If you're ever in Atlanta, stop by. Amen.

My last stop before home was a bridal shower for Danielle, another law pal and small group friend, at her aunt's in Atlanta. She lives in Florida now and it was sooo good to see her and meet some of her sweet family!

How was your weekend? As an extrovert, after getting all energized from all my social activities, Monday morning actually felt quite amazing! :) I'm so thankful for such great friends!

Thanks for reading! Love ya mean it,

The Beach Trees.

pic via Google

At the end of last week, I finished The Beach Trees by Karen White. A friend from home let me borrow her copy, and I started reading it with no idea what it was about (besides, obviously, something beachy). From its cover, I thought this would be an easy, "poolside"-type read. Well, of course, I shouldn't have "judged the cover". Although it was a light read, this book took quite a few dramatic and suspenseful turns that kept me reading this one way past my bedtime!

The story is about a woman from New York who becomes the legal guardian of a friend's young son after the friend's sudden death. The son's family is all located in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi, so the two head down to the gulf to find family and hopefully, a new normal. In addition to struggling with moving to a completely new place and having custody of a young child (when she is single with neither family nor kids of her own), the main character struggles with recurring memories of a tragedy from childhood. The story focuses on the move to a post-Katrina south and a family with a lot of secrets.

I loved this book for a few reasons. For one, as a piece of southern fiction, it definitely doesn't fail to include plenty of family drama! There are many mysterious parts of the story that kept me guessing and wanting to read more. The author does a great job at developing the characters, both past and present. Lastly, and most likely my favorite part, was the way she describes the scenes of both NOLA and Biloxi.. The landscape and cultures are described with plenty of depth and beauty. Since I visited NOLA this summer, I loved picturing all of the fun architecture, gardens, and of course...the myriad of personalities while reading. :)

If you're looking for a light, yet suspenseful read, try out The Beach Trees and join me in my quest to read more books in 2014!

Ten on Ten: March.

Happy wife. {candle from Aspen Bay in Starkville. incredible.}

Happy Saturday. {discovered City Bagel, also in Starkville. yum.}

Happy weather. {on the new walking bridge downtown}

Happy nugget. {bounced back like a champ after getting spayed}

Happy 40 days of de-cluttering. {following this with some friends}

Happy kitchen. {also doing this cleanout with my sweet sisinlaw}

Happy swinging. 

Happy eating. {similar recipe here}

Happy working. {yes, really}

Happy everything!

ten on ten button

100 Happy Days.


Did y'all read about the 100 Happy Days project {link here}?

I decided to do it along with some friends. The idea is to take one picture of something that makes you happy each day...for 100 days. Yesterday, A and I both got off work early and got to walk around our beautiful neighborhood in the sunshine. This, of course, made me HAPPY. 

I hope you get plenty of happies in this weekend.

We love y'all!

Crash the Chatterbox.

I need to take a moment to talk about the book, Crash the Chatterbox ,by Pastor Steven Furtick.

My mom gave me a copy last week and I've already torn through it. I felt like every page was speaking to me and am so thankful for what I have learned through its words.

Crash the Chatterbox's tagline is, "Hearing God's Voice Above All Others". I know it sounds a little loony to admit, but I have a constant dialogue going inside of my head. It gives me comfort to know that I am not the only one who experiences this. In our society, with all of the media, data input, constant connection to things outside of "our circle", etc, it's common to have so much chatter inside your mind.

In the book, Pastor Steven confronts four lies that this chatterbox likes to push into our heads. Those lies are the lies of insecurity, fear, worry, and shame/condemnation. Well, hello there, familiar "friend". ;) 

The book then shows you, using God's word, how to overpower the lies of the enemy with the promises of God. Feeling insecure? God says I am his. Scared? God says he will take care of me. Worried? God says he has been faithful in the past, and will be in this situation. Ashamed? God says I am a new person in him and can do all things through him. I appreciated the author's vulnerability in sharing his personal experiences in these areas, as well. It made it a little less hard to chew ha!

The book is a short read, but oh-so powerful. This section was particularly freeing for me: 

Starting at the bottom of page 86:

"What if the person closest to me leaves me? (gulp. soft spot. (my assertion))...(or really any other big, scary WHAT IF THIS HAPPENS?)

That would be the loneliest season and most devastating blow I've ever had to endure. For a while I'd probably feel like I couldn't go on. I'd feel like a part of me was gone ...
But even if that happens, God says he will:
Still be the cornerstone of my life
Protect me
Lift my head high
Restore my joy
Give me peace that passes understanding
Put me back together
Open my eyes to new opportunities
Lead me to triumph
Make me wiser and stronger as a result of this trial
Catch me
Help me in my time of need
Hear my cry
Breathe life into me
Cover me
Draw close to me
Send his angels to comfort me"


Whoooa, you mean I don't have to stuff those bad what-ifs deep down somewhere? I can actually talk it out with the Lord and have him remind me that he will be there IF that crazy what-if would actually happen? Amazing. So simple, yet I had honestly never looked at this that way, and it has changed my perspective.

There is so much more packed in to this, especially about quieting the other voices of worry or shame that keep you from seeing and living in God's best. But I don't want to give away ALL the goodness. ;)I won't keep rambling, but please look in to reading this book if any of the above connected with you. If you're not feeling like reading the book, you can also check out the sermons on this book online.

Thanks for listening to my rambles. Have a great day, y'all!

Ham Delights.

It was my turn to bring dinner to my Tuesday night small group, so I decided to make ham delights! It's been cold again, but I'm really tired of my regular soups and chilis, so I went with another form of comfort food. These are ooey, gooey, and delicious...the casserole dishes emptied quickly! ;)

Also, this takes maybe 20 minutes to put together. I made them the night before (picture up top), then baked right before my group. I varied the original recipe by adding onion powder instead of a real onion, and I used more sandwich-style rolls. I served it with a big salad and some fruit.

Here's the recipe:

1 package of dinner rolls (I used Sara Lee classic dinner rolls and they were perfect)
1 stick of butter (nom nom)
1 tablespoon of grainy mustard
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of poppyseeds
1 package of sliced deli ham (1/2 pound)
1 package of sliced swiss cheese (8 slices)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Cut the rolls in half (to make a top/bottom "bun")
Take the tops of the rolls off and set aside then place the bottoms in to a 9x13 casserole dish.
In the microwave, melt the butter
Mix butter, mustard, onion powder, worcestershire, and poppy seeds
Spread the butter mixture on top of the rolls in the casserole dish
Layer ham and cheese on top-- with this step just layer on top of rolls, meaning, there's no need to make individual "sandwiches".
Place top buns and then sprinkle any extra butter mixture on top (optional)

Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Until you see the cheese is melted.

Cut the lines between the rolls like a sheet cake and serve warm.

Note: I also made a pan of these with sliced turkey and they were great as well!


Print Friendly and PDF

Goodbye, Mean Reds.

I am so thankful for the past week.

As admitted in my last post, the winter blues were starting to settle in my heart the past few weeks. Some days, it even felt more like those mean reds. Let me explain:

Have you ever seen Breakfast at Tiffany's? I watched it for the first time at a slumber party in middle school, and quickly fell in love with the movie and with the character of Holly Golighty. Holly's carefree attitude (and impeccable wardrobe) seemed so admirable to me. "It would be SO cool to be in my twenties, living in New York City, hosting cocktail parties in my loft, and going on fun dates with someone as handsome and as well-dressed as poor ole Fred!!" My brace-faced, middle-parted self was quite enamored with the idea.

 Now, I'm in my twenties, I live in a place COMPLETELY opposite of Manhattan, yet I still love Holly. I watched the movie some time last year and thought to myself, "She's carefree, but she's also afraid...she's restless! Like me!" There's a particular scene where Holly tells Fred about when she get's the mean reds. Basically, she describes anxiety to a tee. She's scared but unsure what exactly is scaring her. I mean, if I was living in a messy apartment with unpacked boxes and no job..I would be pretty anxious, too! ;)

Like a much-less petite Holly, that's what I had been feeling these last few weeks. I felt anxious with no true reason to feel that way. It was as if that dern devil kept whispering in my ear, telling me I would never quite get to "there"...and that scared me. With retaking the bar, constantly being reminded that my career must take the "backseat" to my husband's (another phrase that needs to be eliminated from military spouses' repertoire. You have a driver's license, too, girlfriend.), feeling unsettled at work, etc...I needed to go to "Tiffany's". I prayed for the Lord to guide my steps and help me guard my heart in the process. I wanted to find joy in an uncertain season.

THEN, my parents came to visit us here in the 'Sip, where they personally dropped me off at my exam both days, took us out to delicious dinners, and really, just loved on us. My mom and I had a whole day of shopping and sharing wine and laughs. We also shared the happenings, big and small, our lives and what Jesus has been doing in us. It put things in perspective for me and gave me joy.

Then! I had the weekend off, it was 73 degrees, I got to snuggle with Scout, and I started reading Crash the Chatterbox by Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church. I had lots of time to read my Bible on the porch, listen to All Sons & Daughters Pandora, go on a run outside, and even get some iced coffee. I had found my  "real life Tiffany's".

To top off a great weekend, I also had a conversation with a great friend from church who happens to be in a similar situation, and we shared these feelings of restlessness- feelings of the mean reds knocking at the door of our hearts. Where do we go next? What is the godly approach to the stirring up that we feel? Then, we determined, it is OK not to know exactly what tomorrow holds, or to never fully feel "unpacked". We believe in a God who knows the plan, who has already spoken the pages of our lives in to existence, and who planted  these passions and dreams in to our hearts. He has put so much life in to us and has so much in store for us...there should not be room for the mean reds.

Why am I going through all of this? Rambling on? I'm not really sure. But maybe you too are in a restless season. You know that you are blessed, and that God has got it taken care of, yet you're scared. In this, even when things don't seem so settled, or if we find ourselves being scared about what the future holds, let's proclaim these truths, out loud even:

 "HE is before ALL things, and in Him all things hold together."!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God."!

"The Lord goes before you and will be with you; he will never forsake you."!


Then go buy some furniture and give the cat dog a name! ;)

Love ya, mean it-