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Monday, October 31, 2016

Life lived with {OTHERS}

This past weekend, we hosted a BBQ/housewarming party at our house. The whole get-up was complete with cornhole games, bonfire and s'mores, and the best dadgum BBQ you have ever tasted. Of course we had football games on in the background - what kind of southern people would we be if we didn't have football on?? Bad southern people, that's what.
We spent yesterday in one of our most favorite little towns - Thomasville, GA. Friends of ours welcomed us with open arms and yummy pizza. If you're from the area or traveling through, be sure to swing by Buzzery's in Boston, Georgia. You've never had pizza like this one. I'm sure folks from up north would laugh at it, but then I'll laugh at your adorable attempts of trying to cook southern food. HA! #butterislife #wefryeverything
As we were traveling back home yesterday, we couldn't help but just sit in awe and wonder at the blessings we have in our lives. The love that we receive from family and friends; our home and the safe haven it provides; the church family that surrounds us with support and love. It's all rather overwhelming when you take into account every.little.thing that God has done for us. Even on the stinkiest days, we still can say that God has been and is too good to us.
So remember this friends as you make your way to work, school, or toting kids around today - life really is beautiful. Sometimes, the moments aren't so great or the situations aren't so great. But life is way too short to be lived unhappy, negative, etc. Learn to embrace each moment as they come, whether it be blessings or learning curves for the next chapter in your life.
Happiest of Monday's and happy Halloween!

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Letters to Hunter + half a {decade} of LOVE

My sweet Hunter,
Tomorrow we will celebrate 2 years of wedded bliss that have been thoroughly enjoyed. We'll celebrate our laughs shared over the past 5.5 years, our memories that we've created and treasured for our sustenance, and we'll embrace the beauty that is another day in our lives. We always comment how our time together has felt so quick and gone-in-a-minute. Yet, we feel like we've been side by side for eons.
Over the last half decade we've shared grief in loss of family members and friends. We've learned how the other grieves, mourns, recovers. In the last few years I watched you handle your mom going through chemo, the prayers we prayed together {and that we're still praying}, the hope we've held out on. We know that God is always good. I'll forever remember the first time you saw your mom without hair - the way you embraced her and loved on her. That's just one of the many ways I saw your soul shine through.
We've learned how to agree to disagree on various things; how to fight {if you even want to call it that} fairly; the patience that goes into loving each other's flaws every day. You've learned that I'm not the happiest of humans when I'm hangry {it's a real epidemic, ya'll} and I've discovered how stress can affect your mood. But we wrestle through those areas and come out on the other side, hands held tight to each other.
Hunter, I wouldn't want anybody else by my side to do this thing called life. Life is hard, ugly, mean, cold; but you make it soft, beautiful, kind, and warm. My days are filled with laughter and joy because of the care that you show me. You remind me that it's OKAY to sit and not fret over the piles of laundry growing, or the dust bunnies in the corner of the room. Other times you buy into my madness and utterly surprise me with your small gestures of helping me with things around the house. You know my love language like the back of your hand.
And I know your love language - Words of Affirmation. Boy, your heart soars and thrives on kind words, uplifting phrases, sentences that make your heart go pitter patter. I'm here to tell you now and every day - I love you Hunter. Thank you for leading me in all the many ways. Thank you for always striving to be better, do better, love deeper, grow in life. You are one hell of a man, husband, son, brother, brother-in-law, son-in-law, and one day, father. You are such a blessing in my life and many others. I truly cannot and will not imagine doing life without you.
I've loved you from the beginning, always have and always will. My heart is yours forever, gentle giant.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A shot of espresso

DRINKING// Grande iced caramel macchiato from Starbucks. It's literally my crack, ya'll.
READING// A perk to having a mom that works in a high school library is the fact that I have soooo many books at my disposal. I'm a book nerd and love a good novel over a movie any day. Right now, I'm reading Iron Cast and so far it's pretty good!
PLANNING// A pumpkin patch day this Saturday afternoon. I love everything about Fall - the colors, smells, weather, foods. You name it, and I love it. For me, Fall is so refreshing and a time of renewal for my soul.
DREAMING// Of many different things. But the most practical at this point is dreaming of some good BBQ. We're having a house warming cookout next weekend and I cannot wait to chow down.
HOPING// Honestly? Hoping for patience with a few things in my life. I struggle daily with the art of patience - I'm a go-getter and I like to get things done and move on to the next task. I'm learning to be patient, to rest in the moments, and to not fret over things well beyond my control.
SMILING// Over the sweetest husband of mine. I know I brag about him a lot but he's worth it. His kindness, quirkiness, and the ability to get me to loosen up and laugh at the little things really make each day wonderful. I pray that every person has a Hunter in their life. After {almost} 2 years of marriage and 5.5 years together total, I couldn't imagine my life any other way.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Blues

Well not really the blues. It just sounded good for the title... HA! Have you ever had to come back to work to take a break from your weekend? No, just me? Well then.....
This weekend was packed full of time well spent with friends, family, shopping, celebrations, and maybe one slight near meltdown. Can I just say this really quick from the starting gate? I'm seriously beyond #blessed to have the girlfriends that I have. For example, I was able to spend time Saturday (hey Kate!) with one of my sweetest friends. When we get together, we're like Maryanne and Wanda (Dixie Chicks anybody?); peanut butter and jelly; Bert and Ernie.... You get the gist. She and I can be real and honest with each other - it's entirely refreshing.
Anywho's, we went shopping, enjoyed lunch, laughed hysterically over the littlest things, tried to wrap our heads around people's ways (still can't wrap our minds around some things), and just enjoyed each other's company. Saturday evening was spent with new friends (for me) in celebrating a sweet guy leaving to go overseas for work. He's going into a country where there's not a lot of peace at all right now so we're all praying for his safety. Some amazing conversations were had over wings, stories were swapped, and God connected us with new people in such a unique way.
Sunday was spent celebrating a sweet momma's baby boy soon to be here. Ya'll, tears were shed for this miracle baby. I absolutely love celebrating new life, old life, any kind of life. Ironically so, we spent Sunday night searching for our hound dog, Jep. It was one of those moments where he was just being his breed and decided to chase after something (probably deer). After about 3 hours of searching, he came right back home to the dog whisperer (my father-in-law) like he had only been gone for just a few minutes. Bless my soul, I think I aged some.
Hope each of ya'll had a glorious weekend!

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

{Prayerful} Life

I fully believe that there is power in prayer. Just the other day, a sweet friend of mine and I were talking about prayer requests. We were checking in with each other and just seeing how the other person is doing, if there is anything in their life or marriage that needs prayer. And I got to thinking about how easy it is to forget that praying really can do some wonderful things.
If we were to pray boldly, can you imagine the amazing works that could happen not only in our lives but others as well? I feel like we, as Christians, have stuck praying on the back burner and it's one of those things that we'll pull out when we really need something to work out for us. It's that calling card that's only used once a month (if that) just to see if that "genie" God can work His magic. Harsh? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
I want to encourage you to pray today and to pray with boldness, love, and a sense of friendship. How does any relationship/friendship work in this world? We talk to each other, call each other, text each other, send each other memes (this is life). So why is it so hard to talk to God the same way? Maybe because you can't see Him necessarily, or maybe because you feel like you can't hear Him.
Talk anyways. Pray anyways. Do it anyways. You'd be amazed at the change that would come about. Would it happen overnight? Probably not, but everything is in God's timing (it sucks, I know, but He is smarter than us). You say prayer doesn't work.... I say show me. 

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Gratefulness + Birthdays

I realized as I was brushing my teeth last night before bed that tomorrow (today) is in fact Monday. Didn't I just leave work a few hours ago on Friday?? I digress. Of course the saying is true - "Time flies when you're having fun."  We must've had lots of fun this weekend!
I love how God always brings beauty from pain. He is faithful and good and loving - thank goodness for Him. He always brings people into our lives at the right time and for great purposes. We were introduced to a sweet couple through one of Hunter's best friend (hey Cody!) and it's one of those things where you feel like you've known each other all your lives but you've only just met in the last couple months. Their heart for God, ya'll, it's contagious. I'm so grateful for their friendship and connection!
Today is my baby sister's 18th birthday. Let's just let that sink in for a minute..... HOW can she be 18?! She's the baby, the munchkin, the little turd. She cannot be 18. But she is and I'm so so SO grateful for her and her life. I'm so thankful that her birth mother chose life for her and gave my sister the chance to be a beautiful young woman, and a sister to me. Erin, we love you more than words can say.

I truly hope each of you have a wonderful Monday. I leave you with these lyrics from a song we sang yesterday in church: "I lift my eyes up. My help comes from the LORD." Wherever you may be in your life, whatever you are going through, always seek Him. Lean into Him. Hunger for Him. And KNOW that you are loved tremendously.

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey
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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

His + Hers

Last night, I finished a project that I've been putting off until we got through with moving. If you haven't picked up on it yet, my husband is an avid hunter and fisherman. It's only appropriate that his name is Hunter. Some perks to dating a hunter include things like (but not limited to) having all-natural meat in your freezer, lots of me-time when he goes hunting, and his prized trophies on your wall....
God love that man and his trophies.
When we moved, the first thing Hunter did was take his prized trophy, Fred (yes, I named him), around to each room to decide where he would go best. The living room wall was the lucky winner. So I jumped onto Pinterest to find all ideas possible to incorporate Fred with some cute, farmhouse style flair. And this was the end result....
It got me thinking though, about how this scenario is a great depiction of marriage. Marriage is all about compromise, bending a bit, meeting your partner halfway to try and find a happy medium. Don't get me wrong, I love Fred and I'm so proud of my husband for his trophies. But I love Fred so much more with a cotton wreath around him.
If there's ever any advice I can give to somebody starting out in a relationship or newlyweds - be willing to bend and compromise. The look on your spouse's face when he sees his trophy on the wall is enough to make you want to hang more (slight kidding, we don't have the room honey #tinyhouseliving). But be willing to give because at the end of the day, it's just a deer mount and his happiness is so much more important.
Now I've just got to figure out how to incorporate ducks into all of this.........

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Gratefulness + Country Living

Happiest of Monday's to ya'll! It's been a hot minute since this blog has received any attention but for good reasons. If you haven't heard...
We've moved! A couple of weekends ago, we packed up our little 3/2 townhome in the city and moved to a quaint 2/1 in the country. And it is quaint! But we're so in love with where we are and all that we get to experience with this new place. I thought I was raised in the country but ya'll, this is country country. As is, Comcast doesn't even service us because we're so far out.
It has literally been about 2 weeks of moving, unpacking, relocating, shifting, sweating, maybe some swearing.... But we really couldn't have done it all without the help of family and friends. We've had to be very creative in our storage and style of this home because it's much smaller than where we were. I love that we've had to donate a lot of our things because it reminded me how materialistic we can become.
As I mentioned, we really couldn't have done it without people. From the heavy lifters to the unpackers, to folks that have literally just given us items to help us with designing our home in a more efficient way, to the people that have prayed for us and asked about us... Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. Those simple words will never truly convey how much love is in my heart for each of those folks.
Fun fact: Hunter and I will be married for 2 years this month. Where has the time gone?!

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

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