Joy in the Harvest.

Recently, I have a lot of people to say to me:

"It sure is an exciting time to live in Mississippi!"

These comments are based upon the fact that the two big state schools happen to be in the top 3 in the college football rankings. As y'all know, State is currently #1 in the country.

We tailgated in Starkville a few weekends ago as we wanted to support the local team, but I literally had NO maroon to wear.

I had to explain to those questioning my apparel, that well, I wake up on Saturdays and..I put on orange. Plus, anything in the red family is just not in my color wheel and most likely never will be. Sorry bout it.

This guy pulls it off well though...untucked and all. Ahem.

Honestly though, football or not, it is an exciting time to be in Mississippi.

I think a lot of times I overlook the sweetness of our life that is now. Always one to look forward to Friday, or our next road trip, or when I get to that place in work, or home, or life in's important to take the time to live in the NOW. In the everyday. Right here at this beautiful season.

In the random get-togethers on Saturday mornings with some best friends and their babies. 
Babies with the most kissable little lips and double chins.

On my everyday walks where look...there's a LITTLE glimpse of Fall!

During the chilly, early morning quiet time snuggles.

In the Tuesday morning (one pump of pumpkin) office surprises.

At the small group turned Bible study with soup by the bonfire.

Under the Friday night lights...where we survived a good ole 'sippi storm.

At the farewell party where we cancelled our dinner reservations and ordered pizza in so that our time together wouldn't be interrupted.

...and the guys could show off their fall-time flannel. ;)

It's a beautiful time of year and a great time to be thankful for all we have.
Yep, there sure is joy in the harvest!

"The people who had been living in darkness
have seen a great light
The light of life has shined on those who dwelt
in the shadowy darkness of death
And you, God, will make it happen
you bolstered the nation, making it great again
you have saturated it with joy
everyone is in full delight in your presence,
like the joy they experience at the harvest"
Isaiah 9:1-3 (The Voice)

Cold Tangerines.

To my surprise and delight, I was given my own copy of Cold Tangerines recently (thank you, sweet Amanda!). I devoured most of it during a pedicure the other week, and finished the rest on my lunch breaks.

As y'all know, I loved me some Bread & Wine, and am always referring to it for quotes and delicious recipes. I loved this book so much as well, and left it highlighted and bookmarked. You should definitely check it out for a funny, enlightening read on faith and living life to its fullest.

I'll leave you with some quotes I loved:

"I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad He gave life to someone who loves the gift, who will use it up and wring it out and drag it around like a favorite sweater."

"When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship,
we bring a little more divine into daily life."

"Today is your big  moment. Moments, really. The life you've been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you've been having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us...pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted."

"You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given today."


So, so grateful for this sweet life we have been given! There is so much to stop and take in, to enjoy, and to share with others. I hope you get a chance to read this and enjoy!

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." 
John 10:10

In the Kitchen.

Hey peeps! 

The weather is finally cooling off, and I've been trying some new recipes that provide comfort without, bloat. ;)

In my seeking, I've stumbled upon some great finds that I'd love to share if you're in need of some inspiration. As always, please judge the food based off the recipe, not my less than mediocre food photography. 

Stacked Enchilada Casserole
Makes a lot and makes for some GREAT leftovers. Also, this is gluten free.

Zucchini Pizza "Boats"
Will make this over and over! Such a fun alternative!

Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Burgers (with Alexia sweet potato fries and kale salad)
I did these in the skillet. Andrew STILL talks about them.

Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake
This was almost too easy. And delicious. I doubled the amount of pasta (whole box of wheat penne) and doubled the amount of cream cheese (1/2 a block). I mixed it all up and put it in a 9x13 baking dish, topped with some italian blend cheese, and baked for 20 minutes. My small group DEVOURED this.

PW's Kale and Orange salad with creamy orange dressing
I'm always looking for new salad recipes, as we have one pretty much every night. This was DELIGHTFUL and I cannot wait to re-make the dressing over and over!

PW's Potato Soup
A classic.

Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole (does not "taste healthy" ;)) *Recommendation though, follow the rice cooking instructions from the box, not this recipe..CRUNCH. The dijon sauce was deliciouuuusss and I might make for other dishes as well.

Spicy Pulled Pork tacos in the Slow Cooker
Another one the small group loved and makes a lot. I froze the leftovers and made burritos with it later.

Have you been making anything good lately?


Chattanooga Fun.

The other weekend we met my parents in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a long weekend/mini vacation.

We had the best time seeing the sights, eating, and just spending time together!

If you're thinking about visiting Chattanooga, here are my recommendations (as pictured above. with links below). Most are food-based, because well, ya know me:

Hennen's restaurant- great service, cool atmosphere, wonderful food, and fun martinis!

Big River Grille & Brewing works- that salad (the chicken waldorf) was oh-so delicious. Oh, and the guys enjoyed the beer sampler!

Hair of the Dog Pub- another fun atmosphere with lots of craft brews on tap...and good food ;) be sure to sit outside on the porch to enjoy the great weather

Duck Boat Tours- fun ride with lots of cool facts about the history of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River

The Walnut Street Bridge- beautiful views of the river and city! we walked through the art district to the bridge, then took the bridge over Coolidge Park to the North Shore area

Stone Cup Cafe- a GREAT little find in North Shore. perfect iced coffee, friendly baristas, and in a neat part of town away from the hustle...

Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls- beautiful scenery and a fun adventure!

We had a blast exploring a new place and hope to go back again soon!

Oh Bethel, Ya do it again.

Hi, friends!

I hope that this week has met you with joy, or that you are choosing joy over what may be trying to take it away. Some weeks are just like that, huh?

It has been a busy one for us (aren't they always after vacation?), but has been so, so good, too.

I am trying to catch up on some blogs- some pics from our trip, some fun recipes I've made, and just some other tidbits...but for now I wanted to share this beautiful song. I just need to share it.

As you all know, I am a huge fan of Jesus Culture and Bethel Music. I mean LOVE. Like get on your nerves talking about them love. Which you kind of have to love them to be committed to their always-six-minutes-and-then-some-long jams. Which for me always turn in to a good fifteen-ish minutes because I am all goosebumpy and crying and needing to listen just a little while longer pleeeease.  

I loved listening to this before work this morning and feeling peace and assurance from HIM. Not to sound like super dork Christian, but do you ever just like to close your eyes and let the sounds and the lyrics wash over you, literally washing out the sounds of your thoughts, your worries, your to-do list? *raises hands like the little wannabe charismatic that I am*

Man, I can't wait to sound like Kim Walker and now, maybe Kristene DiMarco in Heaven! Laugh.


Y'all are the best and I love ya-