bird poop

so i noticed this morning my car is victim to much a bird poop. gross i know.

but that means that spring is here, y’all.

yesterday was the first true warm day in a while and it felt amazing.

birds invaded the front yard. we leaf blowed the front yard on sunday, unveiling a yard full of untouched goodness. birds spent the day picking and flying; flying and picking — new life, new breath.

i’m doing better – i’m thankful for grief and sorrow. i’m thankful this is not our home. i’m thankful for community. for true community. not just holidays with presents and food, but community – where you have the same outlook on life, the same beliefs, you understand each other and you love each other through the mess.

and it is messy. life is one big pile of mess. sin. are we surprised? is this another flaw of us? that we truly believe life should be without mess? did we think we’d live this life unscathed? no. and i’m thankful i’m learning this at 28 years old. because i know some of you have felt unbearable pain before you were 16 years old, before you were 10 years old. some of you stay in a constant state of pain.

but there is hope. and you need only accept the hope. let it soak into your heart. believe in something bigger than you. it’s scary at first, but what do you have to lose? honestly? is life going your way with YOU in control? like, have you honestly figured it all out?

no. don’t kid yourself.

so why did i wake up this morning at start this blog post? because i like looking back at my honest thoughts. it’s humbling to be real with strangers on the internet, sure. but it’s more about the freedom i feel when i’m honest with myself.

the sunrise was a painting this morning. heaven and earth met with strokes of cloud beauty. this week i will focus on beyond this life. i will feel each and every moment with an eternal perspective. xo thanks for reading.

IMG_1562

lately

lately, i’ve been in the winter funk and ain’t nobody gonna change that. i’ve been trying though – really trying to be grateful through this season. it happens every year, so i really shouldn’t surprised. my husband? well, he’s learning. i keep telling him: “you married me. all of me. even this season of me.”

he’s so sweet and reminds me that “yes, he did marry me.”

this kinda stuff just doesn’t phase him.

god knew i need a man unfazed by my craziness. ha. that made me laugh. bc it’s so true.

here are some pictures from last weekend. not sure the reputation maryland has throughout the country (or even the world!) but we are basically a four-season kinda state with water & woods everywhere you turn. i love it here. it’s so dang beautiful. enjoy!

IMG_0587 IMG_0591 IMG_0592 IMG_0599 IMG_0613 IMG_0618 IMG_0625 IMG_0641 IMG_0646IMG_0651IMG_0657 IMG_0661

 

rachy gets married!

i’ve had the privilege of being friends with rachael since we were in elementary school. she has been apart of the biggest milestones in my life & i’m forever grateful for her friendship.

& she got married last weekend! to the love of her life, pat. it was a classically BEAUTIFUL wedding. i hope you enjoy the pictures, although they do not do it justice.

this was smack dab in the middle of classic southern maryland, surrounded by the patuxent river with an elegant barn setting. rach is actually the first person to have her wedding on this property – & she absolutely nailed it.

being that my wedding is 8 days away, i was in hyper soon-to-be bride mode, taking notes & watching how she did things. my favorite part was seeing how supportive her family & pat’s family were. they were so willing to help & never wanted rachael to stress about a thing. it was beautiful to watch.

#bakerorbust2015

IMG_0175 IMG_0180 IMG_0185 IMG_0187 IMG_0188 IMG_0324 IMG_0191 IMG_0193 IMG_0194 IMG_0197 IMG_0199 IMG_0210 IMG_0214 IMG_0215 IMG_0216 IMG_0218 IMG_0219 IMG_0221 IMG_0307 IMG_0249 IMG_0250 IMG_0251 IMG_0252 IMG_0254 IMG_0255 IMG_0256 IMG_0257 IMG_0259 IMG_0260 IMG_0262 IMG_0263 IMG_0264 IMG_0267 IMG_0269 IMG_0279 IMG_0284 IMG_0298 IMG_0308 IMG_0338 IMG_0309 IMG_0313

so happy for rach & pat!! ❤ can we all agree that rach was the most beautiful bride ever?

ps: if there is one picture i regret not getting, it’s the picture of her jimmy choo’s. what kinda blogger am i?! ugh. they were magical.

 

all photos are mine & were taken on my iPhone 6s.

location: cage farms; st. leonard, maryland

rachael’s dress: alfred angelo

bridemaids dresses: alfred angelo

cherry blossom date.

a few months ago i bought two tickets to enjoy a river cruise during cherry blossom season.

last weekend grant & i took a day trip to washington, dc to cash in those two tickets.

we had such a beautiful day; i enjoyed every second of it.

i’ve got a sweet little vlog & a bunch of pictures courtesy of my photog boy grant. enjoy!

IMG_6583

 

IMG_6523

 

IMG_6522

 

IMG_6518

 

IMG_6513

 

IMG_6510

 

IMG_6526

 

IMG_6499

 

IMG_6594

 

IMG_6593

 

thanks for reading!! xo

https://instagram.com/etleyb/

run. just do it.

sunday sunday sunday. the day of rest, yes?

nah. not this time. this time i was running the nike women’s half marathon! whoohoo!

IMG_9901

my running junk. pretty self-explanatory. i ended up tossing the headband and sunglasses after mile 3. i should have guessed this would happen – i’ve always been a ‘less-is-more’ kinda runner, but i was optimistic i could try & look cute while i ran. that plan failed miserably.

IMG_9948

i gawked at this building like the little tourist i am as we waited for the start of the race. i am positive important things happen in this building daily. it’s gorgeous.

IMG_9949

IMG_9947

at mile 12 moriah peters’ song ‘well done’ came blasting through my ear buds. perfect timing. the lyrics pushed me right to the finish line:

i’m gonna chase You, Lord
i’m gonna show the world Your love, whoa

i’ll run, i’ll run
i’m gonna run this race
to hear You say well done

IMG_9922

& then i was done. my 7th half marathon in the bag. a tiffany’s bag, that is.

& yes — that’s my very first tiffany-esk jewelry hanging from my neck. fancy.

this was my all-time favorite race. nike knows how to bring a half marathon to town. it was so well-organized. i don’t think i’ll ever spend the dough to run it again (SO expensive) but i’m glad to say i ran the 1st nike women’s half marathon in washington, dc.

the route was amazing. the weather was divine. the other runners were SO encouraging & excited & fun. the spectators were hilarious. the music was upbeat. the day was just great.

it will be a while before i race again. i’m gonna take a break on a good note.

all these half marathons have honestly taken the fun out of running. i used to enjoy random runs after work. i miss them. i’m looking forward to the rest of spring being filled with spontaneous runs like that – – where my pace means nothing & the distance is always acceptable. i’m ready for a new season.

my next challenge is to conquer the yoga scene. i find yoga to be a form of torture . . . so it must be good for me.

may – the month of yoga . . . & drinking lots of store-bought coconut water!

photo(6)