I ran across this post that I wrote around this same time last year, and I decided to do it again this year to compare the differences!

Reading: Restless: Because You Were Made For More, by Jennie Allen. This book is incredible. Here’s my favorite quote so far: 

“God is accomplishing a thousand tiny purposes at any given moment around us. There is only so much we can know, but we can leave the stuff we can’t know to God and believe He has it all worked out. It may feel quiet, and we possibly even feel forgotten, but God is moving to work out His plans all around us. What is our part? Trust.” 

Listening to: The Art of Celebration by Rend Collective which just came out yesterday. It is FANTASTIC. Hop on over to iTunes and buy it. Also, Tides by Bethel Music is pretty good. It’s only $4.99 on iTunes. You can’t beat a deal like that. 

Eating/Drinking: Baked Lay’s BBQ Potato Chips and anything caffeinated…I need as much caffeine as possible to survive student teaching. 

Cooking: One Pan Chicken Alfredo.  This is one of the BEST pinterest recipes I have ever made. I will definitely be making this one again.

Running: Every now and then…I had a plan to become better at running this year, but let’s be real, it’s not happening. I ran some the other day at boot camp. I have all these dreams of being a cool runner, but I never put forth the time/effort to become one. Maybe one day.

Writing: Lesson plans, lesson plans, and more lesson plans. And reflections about lesson plans. It’s all about lesson plans. 

Feeling: Ready for spring break, a little sad because Hannah + Jonathan  are moving, and sort of old because Jack turns FIVE in a couple of weeks. Five, people, five. 

Wearing: Gap, Old Navy, or JCrew pants + cardigans. #teacherlife

Missing: Camp, Australia, my besties, and free time. 

Wanting: To have my new iPhone…just trying to be honest here, people. 

Learning: How to trust those around me and how to trust the Lord COMPLETELY. 

Enjoying: Good books, evenings with friends, time at work, and catching up with some of my favorites. 


the season of sweatshirts

Y’all, fall is upon us. Really. I’ve worn a sweatshirt or long sleeve t-shirt the past couple of days (no need to mention that it is freezing in every classroom on campus), and it has been fantastic. I’m planning on breaking out all of the fall decorations this weekend, and I’m excited about hopefully completing a couple of DIY projects (Pinterest inspired, of course) to add some new decorations to my house. While I haven’t broken out the scarves and cable-knits yet and I’m anxious to do so, I am a little sad to say goodbye to summer. Here’s a few snapshots of life post #labordayvacay…

While fall is definitely my favorite season of the year, I’m going to miss sitting outside in the evening and watching the sunset. I hate how early it gets dark now!
This was taken when I babysat for one of my favorite families a few weekends ago. 
Did you dress up like a pirate and get a free dozen of doughnuts from Krispy Kreme? No? I didn’t either, but I have an aunt who is willing to look ridiculous for the sake of free doughnuts. And I didn’t complain!
My aunt was in town for a few days, and it was so fun to spend time with her (as it always is).
This guy showed up at my house on Tuesday night for Bible study since he was back in Augusta for the night. What a FUN surprise!
Andddd I got this today! In less than two weeks, I’ll be in the classroom, doing some teaching. I’m excited yet scared to death at the same time.
Just a quick update, but I knew if I didn’t do this now, I wouldn’t for a long time! Enjoy a few of my newest favorite songs…I know I’m like super behind on these but they’re still some of my favorites

Hannah’s Shower

On Sunday, I threw a shower for my sweet friend Hannah who is getting married in just four short weeks! Not as many people came as I’d expected, but it was so nice to be with most of my best friends from high school, their moms, and the guys’ moms. I do love getting to be with my ACS family. Even though it was small, it was intimate and sweet. There was a time when Hannah asked all of the moms what their advice for a successful, godly marriage would be, and I am so grateful for the conversation that flowed from that question. That was one of those moments that will be etched into my memory forever, and the wisdom those ladies shared was so precious and valuable.

I saw the phrase “From Miss to Mrs.” on Pinterest (of course), and I knew I wanted to use it somehow for the shower. I really like how the mantle turned out with the sign, pictures, and garland.
I went with a strawberry/pink theme. What can I say, pink is my favorite color!
These were supposed to be pinker than they were, but they still turned out cute.
(Rice Krispie Treats are one of Hannah’s favorites). 
Anyone like strawberry cupcakes? I’ve got a billion left over, and I don’t eat them because I don’t like cake.
only missing one
Love this picture Chelsea grabbed of me and my sweet Momma. Could NOT have done this shower without her!
And ending with my favorite…love these girls!

February Fun!

I wanted to post this on Monday, so I could do a “Miscellany Monday” post. But, alas, here we are, on Friday, and I’m just now posting this. So, pretend it’s a Monday and this is miscellaneous and random and has no real flow.

Valentine’s Decorations–my dad gave me that awesome chalkboard for Christmas, and I like the idea of decorating it with the seasons. (It’s also going to be used at Hannah’s wedding. Speaking of Hannah’s wedding, my bridesmaid’s dress came and I’m so excited! H+J’s big day is getting close!!)

I decided to make a journal like this and write it in every day (or every other day) this year after seeing it on Pinterest. I have NO idea where I saw it because I don’t think I repinned it. So I came up with my own, and I just write in it each day, add a few scrapbooking stickers, etc. I’ve been doing this since January 1st, and I JUST realized that I forgot the “e” in the word grateful. I can’t believe it.
Throwback Thursday–hello Robin’s Mom jeans. Don’t ya just love ’em? Circa 1997 people.

MBM–in case I don’t post again until after next Tuesday, happy birthday to the sweet Mary Beth!!

Super Bowl Commercials–What were your favorites? These two were mine.
I’m headed off to DNOW to spend the weekend with my senior girls! I’m excited to spend this weekend with them–one of their last events in the student ministry. Have a wonderful weekend!

Best of 2012

I found a “Best of 2012” post from this blog, and I really liked it. I thought it would be a fun way to recap 2012, so I tweaked it a little bit…

Best Recipe You Couldn’t Not Make Again: Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Seriously one of the easiest yet greatest recipes I’ve ever found. It’s perfect for parties, I absolutely love it, and everyone who has had it loves it too!

Best Book You Couldn’t Put Down: When God Writes Your Love Story
Chelsea suggested this book to me back in the spring, and it’s pretty sad that I just finished it on Thursday. That being said, it really was a good read (even if it took me 9 months to finish it). It was convicting, encouraging, and inspiring. Even if you aren’t in a relationship (like me), it’s great to read for the future, for ways to practice being a good future spouse, and for ultimately glorifying the Lord no matter what your relationship status is.

Best Song You Couldn’t Get Out Of Your Head: My Dear by Bethel Music
LOVE this song. I just absolutely adore it. Go listen to it once and then you’ll be headed to iTunes to buy it. Seriously. One of my all time favorites.
Best Moment: Saying Goodbye In Australia
Okay, I know that sounds pretty ironic, and honestly, I thought the same when I decided to put that one down. But, the more I thought about it, I knew that was it. Throughout the entire summer, I really struggled with getting up in front of people and speaking. It was one of my hardest challenges, but by the time I said goodbye at the church in Australia, I was the one asking to stand up in front of everyone to give my goodbyes. No one was telling me to do so; I was wanting to do so. To me, this was just a small example of how the Lord had changed me during my time there. While it was one of the HARDEST things I’ve ever done, it was one of the best because I could see what the Lord had done in and through me and I could give HIM all the glory! Miss those people so much.
Best Hard But Good: Quitting My Job
Quitting my job as the High School Ministry Intern at WBC was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I loved every aspect of that job, every single thing I learned, and every single memory I made. It was so hard to say goodbye to that comfort zone, but the Lord blessed me so by doing it, and if given the opportunity, I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Best TV Show: Duck Dynasty and Downton Abbey
If you haven’t watched either of these, you’re missing out.
Duck Dynasty=hilarious. I mean, one of the funniest shows in the history of television AND they are Christians. Like legit Christians. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Downton Abbey=phenomenal. It is such a good show, I don’t even know how to fully explain its greatness. Season 3 premieres in the US on Sunday and I’m THRILLED!
Best Gift Given: Casie’s Birthday Present
I have to say, I love giving gifts. It’s definitely my love language, and I love to give something to someone that I know they will absolutely love. For the past couple of years, Drew and I have been going in together for Casie’s birthday so that we could get her something a little more special. This year, we wanted to do something different than the massages, tennis shoes, etc that we typically get her. So, we came up with a certain number of reasons why she is a great person (the same number as the age she was turning), and we put them together in a mason jar. It was so fun to do and give, and I know Casie loved it!
Best Gift Received: Australian Coffee Cup
There is a famous Australian potter named Robert Gordon who makes dinnerware there. The people I did a Bible Study with all summer gave me this adorable coffee mug, which has a peach on it. I love it because it reminds me of Australia, but it also has the peach, which reminds me of my home, the wonderful peach state!
Best Craft Made: Burlap Banners
I enjoyed making my burlap banners for fall and Christmas. They were so easy to make, and I know I’ll be making more soon!
Best Trip/Adventure: Australia
Hands down, one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire life. I loved every moment of that trip, and I cannot wait to go back one day!!!
Best Newly Discovered Artist: The Lumineers
I love The Lumineers, and I love how well known they are now. They are SUCH a good band!
Best Lesson Learned: Giving Up Something Good For Something Better
Sometimes, the Lord calls us to give up something that isn’t bad at all. He calls us to get out of our comfort zones, to give up those things that are familiar to us, those things that are GOOD, because He has something so much greater in store. Even when it’s difficult to say goodbye or do what it is He’s called you to, do it because HE’S the one who knows what the future is. He’s already got it mapped out, and He knows that it’s going to be good!
Best Verse: Deuteronomy 31:8
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” 
While every single verse in the Bible has just the same importance as another, this is the verse that meant a lot to me over 2012. This verse gave me peace when I didn’t know what I was doing next but I knew He’d called me to go to Australia. This verse gave me comfort when I was in Australia, and I was scared to death because I didn’t know anyone or even why I was there. And this verse gave me just what I needed when I left the beautiful country of Australia and came back to Augusta, not knowing what to expect. The Lord hasn’t forsaken me, and He’s going to take me through 2013 just like He did in 2012.

falling into fall

Last year, I was so excited about decorating my house for Christmas that I pretty much skipped over all fall decorations completely. I bought some leaf place mats for the kitchen table, but that was it. I’m not a big fan of Halloween, so I had to do a little searching to decorate for fall without Halloween coming in. Even though it’s not as much as I do for Christmas, I’m super happy with the decorations I have for fall (note: not all are pictured). 
I made the “Happy Fall Yall” banner by looking at Pinterest and at lots of tutorials and taking bits and pieces from each. It’s really simple. I bought some burlap from Hancock fabric for like $2 a yard. I cut out the triangles, and those you can make as small or as big as you want. I then printed my letters at about size 400 font, and this is great because you can use whatever font you want. I cut my letters out with my exacto knife, then I painted where I cut out onto the burlap. I let them dry overnight, and then I hot glued the yarn to the triangles–I folded the top of the triangle over the yarn then hot glued it down. I was really happy with the way it turned out. It’s a little bigger than I planned, but I know how to make it a little smaller for when I do a Christmas one!
I downloaded this Subway Art from this blog. They have lots of great cute ones for all the holidays, and I love all of them!!
Thanks, Mom and Dad for the pumpkin and mums!!!
In other news, Steak and Shake finally opened in Augusta, and we finally got to go! We opted for to-go and sat outside instead of waiting the 30 minutes or so to get a table. Hopefully the next time we go it won’t be crowded!
I promise they were happy to be there, even though two of them don’t look like they are. 
And, because I FINALLY get to share this…my bff Chelsea and I are going to be in Hannah’s wedding! I ran into Hannah last week, and she asked me to be a bridesmaid, but I couldn’t say anything until she asked Chelsea. I honestly avoided talking to Chelsea as much as possible until Hannah asked her because I was scared I’d spill the news! But, now we both know, and we’re so thrilled to get to be a part of Hannah and Jonathan’s special day!!!
Hope you’re having a lovely fall day, friends. After tomorrow, I’ll be on fall break, and I’m SO looking forward to that!

october ramblings

So, to me October means a lot of things. Football, fall, chili, fun decorations, colder weather, more money spent at Starbucks, my mom’s birthday, etc. And the past few days, Augusta has actually felt like fall. I love it. However, I know that living in Georgia means in can be 60 one day and 90 the next. I’m not really looking forward to the non-fallish days.
October also tends to mean midterms. This week is midterm/project week for me. I AM SO READY TO BE DONE. Midterm week also requires a little procrastination, therefore a post about life these past few days seems to be the perfect way to procrastinate for a few minutes.
I hung out with this sweet girl the other day. How cute is she?
The beaver strikes again…I have to say this was one of the most fun nights I’ve had in a while. And how stinkin cute is Harris in his Spiderman costume?
Got to see the best friend! And I just realized we’re wearing the same shoes.
The beaver goes to Sonic!
Please. Stop. Growing. Up. So. Fast.
So, last Thursday, I went to class, watched Jack and Joe for 3+ hours, went back to class, and then came back to watch Jack and Joe for another 4-5 hours (some while they were asleep). This picture pretty much sums up our day. Lots of screaming, but LOTS of fun 🙂
Gross, I know, but my broken/sprained/really badly bruised toe. Of course this happens right when I want to start wearing boots and cute fall shoes but I can’t because it hurts too bad!
This candle from Bath and Body Works just SCREAMS fall. I absolutely love it. Go, do yourself a favor, and buy one of these. You’ll LOVE it.
These are my most favorite recent snack. So, so, so good.
And a few of my most recent favorite pins…