oh, hey.

So, May is almost over and I haven’t written a blog post since February (the one I posted a few days ago was actually from a post I’d written in SEPTEMBER that had never gotten posted).

Whoops.

Let’s just say that life has been pretty busy. Because it has. I’m learning what things I need to say yes to and what things to say no to and I’m pretty positive that I’ll be learning this forever. I recently saw this note that my friend Hannah wrote right before we graduated high school. She went on and on about all of our friends, and the thing she wrote about me was “who volunteers for everything so we don’t have to”. I’m pretty positive that describes me to a T. So, I’m learning how NOT to do that. Even if I might have FOMO.

Anywho.

Here are some of the things I’ve been up to lately:

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It snowed in March. Because, well, it did. 

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I went to this super cute restaurant with my friends (L-R) Emily, Lauren, and Jordan on St. Patrick’s Day. The picture isn’t perfect, but this will definitely go down as one of my favorite nights in 2017.

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I went to the Mint Museum in Uptown (marking something off my CLT bucket list) with Kelly, and her husband snapped this very spring-ish photo of us!

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Lucy visited for a week. 

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I sort of fell in love with this cute town, which is a good thing considering I’ll be spending lots of weekends there in the future. 

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I was home and managed to grab lunch with this cutie. He CRACKED me up, and I really just love time with him. 

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I also had lunch with this VERY grown up boy. Hard to believe he’s eight. He sat down with me and said, “So, what have you been up to lately?” 🙂 so big!

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We celebrated Easter and had lunch at one of my favorite family’s house. Love these people!

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I marked another thing off my CLT bucket list–going to a Knights game!

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Mom and Dad came up for Mother’s Day!

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My friend Michelle and I matched on our LAST day of teaching Sunday School this year! It was so good, but I’m thankful for the break! 

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We spent Memorial Day Weekend in ATL! So fun to spend some time with these guys. 

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Aunt Ashton can’t believe how big Scout is getting. And how cute 🙂

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We spent Memorial Day saying, “Chin Up, America!”

And I’m saying Chin Up, Ashton to myself as I finish out these last. three. weeks. of school! Happy almost summer!

 

2017 goals

Okay, I know, I know. We’re already about 1/12th of the way into the year, and I’m just now getting to this post. BUT, if you’d had the last 2-3 weeks I’ve had, you’d understand.

I told my friend Kelly at church on Wednesday that “I have no plans! No plans. I might see my parents. I might go home. I might not. No plans! For the rest of the year. No weddings. No showers. Nothing!” [Mom and Dad, I will see you.] Literally, the only thing on my calendar for the next six weeks (besides normal church activities) is to babysit one Friday night. That’s it! 

It’s bliss. 

After a really busy year, I’m honestly super pumped to head into 2017 not having tons of plans. It’s quite refreshing. And it gives me a chance to do all of the things I’ve been wanting to do in Charlotte that I never have before/didn’t get to last year. So, without much more rambling, here are my 2017 goals (because the planner in me can’t have zero plans). 

  • Go to the gym 3-4 times per week. If you’ve ever had the privilege of meeting my dad, you’ve had the privilege of meeting one of the most disciplined people in the world. I have so much respect for him in many regards, but especially that one. You know what I’m disciplined in? Reading a book in a day. Going to Gap when they have a sale. Eating a lemon about once a week. NOT going to the gym. I’m not good at it. I don’t like it, but I want to. So, here’s to hoping that happens in 2017. 
  • Go to the Mint Museum. A goal from last summer that never happened. So, let’s make it happen this year!
  • Write more. I honestly don’t think I have the emotional space to really do this, but I want to try harder to cultivate some time and space to do this. Another area where I need to be more disciplined. 
  • Budget well. Now I sound like a full-grown adult, eh? Well, it’s about time that I really try and manage this better, so here’s to hoping in happens in 2017. 
  • Make strawberry jam. Another one from the 2016 summer goals list (actually, this is at least from 2013 or 2014) that never happened. 
  • Read all of the Little House on the Prairie books. I have a whole lot of classics I’ve never read but have always wanted to. 2016 was the Anne of Green Gables year, so I’m claiming 2017 to be the year Laura Ingalls Wilder blows me away! 
  • Deep clean my condo. Something that just really needs to be done. And well. 
  • Go somewhere new. Where? With whom? Who knows? (This is super vague so that it can actually get done!)
  • Visit my people. I sure do love my CLT community, but I also really love my friends of yore. (Remember that Friends episode where Rachel only knows two time periods? Yesteryear and yore? I digress.) Anyway, I do love them all, and at some point in 2017, I’d like to visit them all. They would be: Kaila + Patrick, Kasey + Aaron + other Greenville people, my cousins, Chelsea, and Casie, Graham, Jack, and Joe. 
  • Grow in CLT relationships. I sure do love my church body. My friends here are incredible. I pray this year will only strengthen those relationships! 

2016 recap

Here are my top moments of 2016 in chronological order (since I obviously love a good recap post, why not?):

January: Turning 24; starting to host my girls’ small group at my house; weathering the winter storm with Mom in CLT; taking pottery

February: Celebrating Mme’s life in Aiken; starting young girls’ events at OBC with sweet friends (I was off social media for this month and can legitimately not remember what happened then.)

March: Becoming a member at OBC; having Kaila up for the weekend; celebrating Dad’s birthday; visiting Kasey, Aaron, and Abby in Greenville; taking Jack and Joe out for an afternoon for their birthday; my friend Maddie moving in; working the Drew Holcomb merch table with my friend Michelle

April: EK coming up for the night/our painting session with Evelyn Henson; Kaila’s bridal shower in Appling; seeing The Oh Hellos with Aaron and Kasey at the USNWC

May: Road trip to DC with Aubrey, Katie, and Maddie; Mom coming up for Mother’s Day; being on the Giddy Up, Eunice book team; Kaila’s bachelorette weekend (this month felt so busy, but I literally have no idea why)

June: Finishing my FIRST YEAR OF TEACHING; #SurpriseBestFriendTrip; surprising Dad for Father’s Day; SLEEPING IN

July: Fourth of July weekend in Atlanta; Kaila and Patrick’s wedding; spending two weeks in Augusta/Atlanta/Hilton Head; Elizabeth’s visit to CLT; SLEEPING IN SOME MORE

August: Olympics party at my condo; my friend Rachel moving in; starting my second year of teaching; Kasey’s visit to CLT

September: Visit home for Casie’s birthday/to hang out with the boys; visiting EK in Greenville; camp reunion at Look Up Lodge

October: Starting to teach Sunday School at OBC; EK’s visit to CLT; lots of time spent with family; Anthony and Kristen’s wedding

November: OBC’s The Table for women; OBC girls trip to Boone; Thanksgiving with Jordan/Sofia and kiddos in Augusta; time spent with college friend in Augusta

December: Christmas pajama party at my condo; Christmas at Oakhurst; CHRISTMAS BREAK; gingerbread house making with the boys/time spent with them plus Casie; Christmas with the fam; NYC trip

2016bestnine: experiences/moments edition

2016 was hard in lots of ways. Sammy Rhodes tweeted that 2016 was what the French call les incompetents (perfect quote from Home Alone). It was a really hard year for me in a multitude of ways. However, it was special, and below are some of the best experiences/moments of the year for me.

  1. Joining Oakhurst: I became a member of my church in March, and I’m so grateful for that place and those people. I could not imagine a sweeter community to be a part of. They are truly my Charlotte family!
  2. Finishing My First Year of Teaching: Wow, was it a year. Everyone always said the first year was the hardest, and my word, yes it was. So glad that is behind me!
  3. Mom Coming Up For Mother’s Day: Mom came up for just one night, and we had a lot of fun! It was really a fun weekend spent shopping and eating lots of good food, two things we do best!
  4. #SurpriseBestFriendTrip: By far, one of the best weeks ever. Kaila and I had a blast driving almost 2,000 miles, sleeping in three different states, paying LOTS of money in tolls, and seeing lots of new things.
  5. Surprising My Dad For Father’s Day: It was super fun to get to surprise my dad on Father’s Day. After driving close to 2,000 miles, I wasn’t planning on spending Father’s Day in AUG, but I changed my mind last minute and it was worth it!
  6. Celebrating ONE Year in Charlotte: Wow. What a year. There were times that I thought I would never make it one year, so I’m so thankful to have celebrated on year in CLT.
  7. Kaila and Patrick’s Wedding: That weekend was so fun! I laughed so much, got to be with some of my favorite people, and watched my best friend marry a really great guy. All in all, a high of this year!
  8. Greenville Weekend: In September, I went to Greenville one weekend to hang out with EK and go to a mini camp reunion of sorts. It was really one of the best weekends of the year–incredibly refreshing and loads of fun. So thankful for those people who are only two hours away now!
  9. Family Weekend: My grandmother fell in late October, and the weekend after her fall, a whole slew of us came to Augusta to see her one last time. I’d had an incredibly hard week at work, so it was hard to get away, but I’m so glad I did. It was really a special weekend with my family!

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Let’s just say this fall has been incredibly busy. So much busier than I thought it would be/than I planned it to be. Needless to say, the blog has been pushed to the furthest back burner of my mind, but I do want to update every now and then. SO, here I am for a quick (bullet point and picture) update.

  • In September, I headed home for a weekend to see my parents and to see these sweet boys play soccer. I also got to hug their mama on her birthday, so it was a win for everyone, really.

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  • The next weekend in September, I headed to Greenville to visit some of my very favorite camp friends. EK and I went to this super cute craft fair (where I got some new wall art which ended up with me redecorating a wall in my living room), and then the next day, we went up to Look Up Lodge to catch up with all of our camp friends. So fun.

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  • Emma Kate came up a few weekends later, and while we didn’t do anything super trendy or fall-ish, it was a fun weekend. We went to Davidson, stopped by a festival of sorts that didn’t meet our expectations and so we then went to JCrew and to dinner. Perfect.

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  • My grandmother recently passed away, and while handling that hasn’t exactly been a fun or easy process, it has been nice to be with family. One weekend, while she was in the hospital, we left the kiddos with the men and went out for some much needed girl time. And shopping. Always shopping.

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  • My friend Anthony, from college, got married the last weekend in October. It was super hot (shocking), but it was so good to get to spend the day with these friends. Love them so!

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September + October Reads: 

 

 

July Recap

July was just as busy as June, if not even more so. I was out of town for almost three weeks in July, and as much as I hated living out of suitcases, it was good to see my people. We laughed and cried and celebrated and rejoiced together, which is always a plus. As good as it was, it’s just as good to be back in CLT, and I’ve declared August a no travel month. Because, let’s be real, I’ve met my quota of miles I need to drive for this whole year in the past two months alone. And then some.

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July started off in Atlanta. I helped move Kaila and Patrick into their new apartment, watched them run the Peachtree Road Race, and celebrated the Fourth by watching fireworks at Lenox.

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The big event in July was Kaila’s wedding, obviously. I like this snapshot from the rehearsal dinner because the three of us are smiling which is what we did all weekend long.

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The morning after the wedding, my mom and I headed to Hilton Head for a few days. We weren’t there super long, but we both got some sun, read a lot, and genuinely relaxed. At least I did.
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I headed back to CLT after two weeks away, and it was so good to be back. I spent time over the next ten or so days catching up with friends, reading (duh), and trying to wrap my mind around the fact that summer is really almost over. And being really grateful for the people I meet with in that courtyard and the buildings around it every week.

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Elizabeth came in town for a few days, and we experienced all things Elizabeth 🙂 (there’s an area of CLT called Elizabeth, so…). It was so fun getting to show her my city and getting to try out some new places!

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More and more new people are coming to Oakhurst, and meeting them has just been so good for my soul. It’s fun to figure out connections, to exclaim “you know her too!!!”, and to fellowship with these new residents of the Queen City. I think my favorite thing may be that we’re all going out to lunch on Sundays after church, and it just makes me smile. I like these people (and others not pictured) a whole lot.

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I was the first dinner guest at the Caudills’ home just last week! I spent a few days in ATL helping Kaila set up her classroom. We also got to see some other friends, and it was fun to have one last trip for the summer!

July Reads: (There seemed to be a theme of the books I read in July of strong female roles or novels that highlighted female relationships (sisters, mother/daughter, etc.). This was not on purpose, but nonetheless, these are some excellent books I definitely recommend.)

  • Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle–This is a memoir about motherhood, written in Shankle’s hilarious style that makes for an easy read.
  • Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin–This was so refreshing to me, and I would recommend it to anyone, no matter how long you’ve been a Christian. It was just a great reminder to me about how to study my Bible.
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah–I read a lot of books. I can typically predict the ending of the book well before I’m done with it. This one? No idea. I was thrown for a loop the ENTIRE time. It’s a novel set in France during WWII about two sisters and their roles in the war. It was so good. Long, but good.