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Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Shenanigans

Happy Memorial Day friends! And holla for a 3-day weekend for me. Gotta love a good, long weekend. Whether you're grilling out with family, digging your toes deeper into the sandy shores, or resting from a long week, always remember why we are celebrating Memorial Day.
We can celebrate Memorial Day because men and women have sacrificed their own lives so that you may live freely. Keep their family and friends in prayer on this day {and every day} as they continue to try and live life without that person. Thank the good Lord for their sacrifice!
In other news - we're counting down to our beach trip with my family to the Gulf Coast. Ya'll, words cannot fully describe the magnitude of our excitement to be slipping away. I love traveling anywhere but my heart and soul will always lie in the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico. We're eager for the easy days where the hardest decision will be which fruity drink will I choose today.
Praise be to Jesus {cue raised hands emoji}.
Would it be weird if I started packing now for the trip? No? Okay then, glad we're on the same page. Thank you Lord, for blessing me with a man who loves the beach almost as much as I do. Almost is the key word here.
a little throwback of baby Hunter and baby Kelly to 4 years ago

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A time for everything

My goodness, it feels good to be back to life and reality. I'm one of those people that craves routine - I love the mundaneness of waking up each day for work; I love my job; I yearn for busyness.
So when I had to step away from it all middle of last week, it was necessary and so worth it. My family lost my sweet grandmother. God took her quietly in the night, as my aunts sang Amazing Grace to her and read bible verses. We were able to spend time with her, recount memories, say our goodbyes.
There was one point during the visitation that I stepped out to use the restroom. As I was coming back in, I was in such awe of the amount of noise and laughter and love that filled the room. As she laid in her casket looking so pretty in pink, her family and friends stood around her swapping stories all about her life.

I thank God daily for sending His son Jesus to die for us on that rugged cross. Because of His love and mercy, I will be seeing my sweet grandma again. I fully believe that in her last few hours with us, God sent angels to be with her, to guide her through the process. I also wholeheartedly believe my grandfather welcomed her with the biggest smile and said, "Damn doodle, what took you so long? Welcome Home!"

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Love letters + Life Before Marriage

My sweet and gentle giant,
We always comment on the speed of time - how it passes us by so quickly. What they say is so true. Time flies when you're having fun. So if that old adage is true, then we must be having buckets and buckets of fun!
I've been learning the in's and out's of being your wife and helpmate. How it's okay to lead and carry you at times, because honestly, it's too much to carry the weight of it all, all the time, by yourself. So God has been showing me how to be the best helpmate I can be, and how to be proud of it.
We've watched our spiritual walks slowly grow but we know that it'll never stop. And I LOVE that we seek Him together. Maybe that's why time has been flying by for us... We've found so much joy in seeking Him again, together. Let's never stop seeking Him together, or each other. I love you madly and truly, Hunter.
Always your faithful helpmate,
I'm guest posting over on Leelee Finds Herself blog today. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Soul rejuvenation

Lovely weekends tend to make Monday's just a little bit harder to come back to. Whether it's time spent with family and friends, or celebrating the little moments, creating memories for years to come can always make for wonderful weekends. We had just that - little moments with old friends, God-moments with new friends, laughter, sun {maybe some sunburn}, and a few more laugh lines on our faces.
We spent Friday evening and Saturday evening with friends - old and new. I'm part of a very small bible study group; it's just me and 3 other gals. We do life together, study the Word intently together, pick each other up, encourage each other throughout the week. A fun fact about our group: we absolutely do not meet unless every person can attend. It creates accountability and reliability between each other.

Now ya'll know, my sweet husband is quite the country boy. He is everything country and southern and my my, he's all mine. HA! We decided to go bass fishing Saturday morning and really enjoyed our little bit out on the water. We caught a few bass, some tree stumps, and sun rays. I love watching him in his elements and he loves teaching me a thing or two.
God really has a good sense of humor and has a knack for orchestrating folks getting together. My sweet uncle and aunt (hey uncle Steve and aunt Jenny!) were traveling through our area a few weeks ago so naturally, we met up with them over lunch. They mentioned getting in touch with a friend of theirs who runs the local Young Life here. We said sure, not sure what would come of it, knew in our minds there was no way in heck we would be leading anything because, duh, we had stepped down from youth leadership just a few months back. But we thought sure, let's meet the guy and if anything, establish connections.
We had dinner with the fella, his lovely wife, and their adorable children last night. Ya'll, God's a hoot. Really, He is. We instantly connected and felt God's presence was with us through the entire meal and conversation. We swapped stories and promises of more to come. Hunter and I are eager to see where this leads and love to serve. Prayers would be much appreciated!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Blogger Intro's of sorts

The sweetest gal in all the land (hi Em!) eagerly approached me and a few other amazing girls to compile our lives together with the intentions of introducing or re-introducing ourselves to our fabulous readers. So let's see, a little bit about me...
I'm a late-twenties, southern-living gal who simply cannot get enough sunshine, husband-lovin, pup kisses, and some good Gospel. This little blog of mine has been around for give or take 3 years and I love it! My mother does too and I'm pretty sure she's my biggest fan (hey mom!). I've been happily married to this hunk of a man for 1.5 years and he is literally my better half.
 God knew what He was doing when he lumped us together to do this wild thing called life. Our pups are some of the goofiest fur-babes around and as much as they drive me crazy, I couldn't imagine our home without them.
 I love the Gospel with all my sinful, human heart and I legit can't get enough of His good word. I thank God every day for the arduous and glorious sanctification process that I go through, and I fully believe in loving others like Jesus does. You can find me sipping on sweet tea or coffee (with wayyy too much sugar) any given day #needtodrinkmorewater. I'm convinced that chips and salsa are a must-have staple in every home and I'll tell you that you can't find true, southern cooking anywhere else but in the south. Sorry northern folks, you really just can't compete with all our lard and sugar.
I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Florida and it's where I call home. I crave the sand and waves, but love a good mountain view. So that's just a snippet into my exciting life!
A few more randoms about me:
Where was the last place you traveled to?  Let's see - this past Saturday I traveled just a jump, hop, and a skip to a small town west of us to check out a neat festival. As far as further than that goes, Atlanta would have to be the last place. Lucky for us, we'll be traveling just a couple of hours down to the coast for a vacation in the near future!
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are three materialistic things you'd want with you?  Oh my. Underwear because uhm, hello. Deodorant because the smell of me after a few days alone would kill me. And my bible. Might as well pull a John and get really in tune with God because bless my heart, I'll need something to keep me sane.
When was the last time you tried something new, and what was it?  Hmmm... I'm always trying new recipes so I would say that. It was a couple of days ago. Ya'll are going to gasp but I cooked country fried steak, but not fried. I know, I know. My southern ancestors are rolling in their graves.
If you knew you could not fail, what is the one thing you would do tomorrow?  Pshhh why wait for tomorrow when I could use today to try flying. Not in an airplane, no. More like bird-style because hey, I can't fail ;)
What is your earliest memory?  Well, considering I can't remember anything to save my life, I would have to say all the Disney trips I took with my family. When one lives in Florida, one has annual passes and visits Disney an unnatural amount of times.
If you could only eat one thing the rest of your life, what would it be?  Chick-fil-A. Plain and simple. Or chips and salsa.
Do you like your first name and why? If not, what would you change it to?  I actually really do like my first name. I even like my second name and kept it when I got married.
If you could give yourself one gift, what would it be?  Transparent moment - the gift of being debt-free. I cannot wait for the day!

Would you rather be the person asking the questions in a conversation or the person answering them?  How ironic I'm answering questions here because I'd rather be the one asking them. I love getting to know more about people, their life stories, etc.

If you had to live in a place where only one season existed year-round, what would that season be?  Well considering I live in Florida and we really only have two temps here (slightly warm versus hot as crap), I would have to say spring time. I absolutely LOVE how everything is so green and bright and pretty and allergy-filled. Totes makes my eyes water. Ha!

If money was no object, what would you do all day?  Since it's summerish time here and I've been bitten by the beach bug, I'd spend my days on the coast. Preferably the Gulf of Mexico coast because #whitesand.

One of the greatest things with blogging are the friendships that are formed. It's so awesome when you have gals that are rooting for you, praying over you, and just sweet as can be. Be sure to check out these gals!

CASSIE: Sage the Blog
Would you rather be the person asking the questions in a conversation or the person answering them?
I’m a complete introvert and have been told that I don’t talk about myself very often, so I guess that implies I would rather be the person asking the questions in a conversation.


If you could give yourself one gift, what would it be?  
Without fail, it would be self-confidence.  I constantly second guess decisions and choices and don’t attempt new things because of a fear of failing or judgement.  Truth be told, I could fail and be judged and I would be ok.  Self-confidence would give me the edge I need not to care about those things and would enable to me to live free of doubt, fear, and feelings of inadequacy.

AMANDA: Knock on Wood
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would totally be cool with eating pizza for the rest of my life. You can switch up the toppings and essentially have something different each day. Plus you still get all of the food groups!


If you knew you could not fail, what is the one thing you would do tomorrow?
I’ve always had the dream to be a wedding planner, but I would love to work with all types of events. I have a love of details and creating beautiful memories, so I would give it all to be an Event Planner and have the opportunity to make special moments for other people.

MEAGAN: All the Joys
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are three materialistic things you’d want with you?  
A camera with unlimited memory, chapstick and a Kindle preloaded with hundreds of books.  (too much?)


If you knew you could not fail, what is the one thing you would do tomorrow?
I would do web development/design. It is a dream of mine, but I'm struggling to find time to study and perfect it!


Where was the last place you traveled to?
San Francisco! In February I took a long weekend to visit my BFF from middle school, and meet her new baby. It was my first time on the west coast and I fell in love! San Francisco is so different from NYC and London (both cities I lived in for a while) but it’s an awesome city in its own right. And the FOOD….I will definitely be back!

CHRISTINE: Christine Everyday
If you knew you could not fail, what is the one thing you would do tomorrow?
I would go skydiving! That’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and if I knew for sure that I wouldn’t crash-land, I’d totally sign up.

EMILY: Ember Grey
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are three materialistic things you'd want with you?
A notebook, pen, and Sun-In. (Obviously.)

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Festivals + Dedications

I'm not even going to say it. Yes, actually I am. HOW IS IT ALREADY MONDAY?! Okay, that's all.
What a glorious weekend for the books, huh?! Between the beautiful weather and time spent with friends and family, I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.
My little buddy {Jep was in the front seat next to me}
Saturday was spent roaming the streets of a local town, checking out the local vendors selling their goods and wares. It was so neat seeing some friends and their adorable little shop - be sure to check out their website here for all the adorable things!

I couldn't help myself - I bought the hometown sign
 Coffee was had and later in the evening, a marriage was celebrated. My brother's lifelong friend married his beautiful bride and it was such a joy and honor to witness the sweet event. Not to mention, my brother looked rather handsome in his suit.

Me + brothers + sis
Sunday came along as beautiful as ever with a baby dedication of our sweet friend's little girl. Ya'll, I'm absolutely smitten with this little gal. We celebrated mothers and grandmothers at our home with all the southern fixins' - fried chicken, tater saled, coleslaw, and rolls. Of course I didn't get a single picture with any of the ladies but hey, life was being lived.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Table + Marriage

Shortly after Hunter and I were married, we took on the wild notion that we wanted to build a kitchen table for our home. Something that would last us years, sturdy in every sense of the word. We wanted a style that exuded simpleness because that defines who we are.
After searching around for a design that we felt we could accomplish, we visited our local Home Depot to purchase all the materials. As our eyes roved over the various shapes, sizes, types of wood, our hearts settled on pieces and parts. I was the visionary - I saw the final picture, the end piece; Hunter focused on the details that would comprise our wood work. Much like our marriage, I see the end design all placed together nice and neatly, not entirely sure what all it will take to get there, while he reminds me, shows me, and guides me on how to get to that end piece.
We laid out our wood panels on the rough concrete driveway, debated length x width, concurred with each other on various things while disagreeing on others. He allowed my jumbled words to so poorly describe my dreams and visions - and he shuffled about ensuring they would come to fruition. I held the pieces while he operated the tools because I trust him more. I trust that he will align the boards properly, guide the screws into each little nook and cranny, all while I watch with glee and follow his lead.
Sanding and smoothing out the rough patches commenced thereafter. Paint and a light staining was applied to the bare wood pieces. Seeing something so clean and plain become a vision I had imagined, all done by our hands, was exhilarating. I already knew exactly where this table would go in our home, the artwork that would hang around it on our tan walls, and the mix-matched chairs to accompany it.
We chatted lightly over the memories that were being made and would be made at this table. We would wine and dine, host and boast, say our prayers over this table. We would make hard decisions, laugh over frivolous things, shed tears in each others' presence. Our children would learn "please" and "thank-you's" here; how to eat properly with an occasional food fight because spontaneity; homework would be fussed over and noodles will be glued to construction paper. Spills and stains will mar parts of it. Dogs will eagerly await from under the table while we not-so-secretly slip food down to them. Life, marriage, family, love has been and will be lived and celebrated over this farmhouse style kitchen table.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

It is well

Happiest of Monday's and happy May people! Can I just take a sec and talk about how it skipped from somewhat comfortable spring days (read: 3 days of "spring") to oh-my-gawd-I'm-melting hot. Yep, Florida is back in action with its blazing hot days.
We've been busy bees in our lives. This past weekend, we celebrated a sweet friend of ours and all her accomplishments. Ya'll, my gal graduated college, turned another year old, and had a baby all within the last few weeks. She's a rock star!
Sweet friends of ours are tying the knot next year and Hunter and I were proposed to to stand next to them on their big day. We are so honored and humbled by their love and friendship. We can't wait for April next year! #MeetTheSewells
We've been working on lots of house projects - growing a garden (I'm literally dying over the fact that I haven't killed a single thing), making our backyard an oasis, contemplating repainting our living room (don't read that part Hunter), and just really enjoying making our house a home. As I always tell folks, our doors are always open; just knock ;)
God has also been opening and closing doors for us and we're really excited to see where He leads us next. We're starting a new chapter in our book of life and I can't wait to share with ya'll soon (read: no babies). Embrace the joys and wonders of a new day!

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