purpose – like real purpose

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

this weekend at church the message is about “the single family.” i’ve been married to grant for 5 short months, so honestly my life has been spent more single than not. y’all know i’m passionate about what a single person is capable of – what a single person can experience during this season, bc that was me. it was my story. i’ve never been shy about how i feel on the topic of being single (just search “single” on this blog & you will see!) there tends to be this invisible timer attached to a single person – as if your time just hasn’t come yet, as if he or she isn’t here yet. now, i’m a newlywed who knows literally nothing on the topic of marriage, but i must say (shout!), marriage won’t complete you. it’s a blessing, absolutely, but it’s no lifesaver. you have purpose no matter what. bottom line. i hope you do feel encouraged that you do matter in the kingdom and god will use you, no matter what your relationship status. remember, he’s bigger than any situation.

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.





for a few weeks now, i’ve had a hard time spending time with God. not proud of it, but it’s the truth. yesterday, i decided to lay down my pain, my anger, my confusion to the side & turn to God. it was honest & real & surprisingly, healing. but I realized putting those feelings to the side is not what He wanted though. He wants to hear those things. He understands those feelings. God is the same yesterday, today & tomorrow. He’s unchanging & He can take whatever I throw at Him. He’s God.


Isaiah 55:9:

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways & My thoughts than your thoughts.

our wedding video!

holy smokes & happy new year!

let’s just cut to the chase – OUR WEDDING VIDEO IS DONE!!!

this is the perfect day. god is so so good to us. please enjoy just a glimpse of all the ways He showed up on our wedding day.

thank you to our amazing videographer Rebekah Larson for your vision & your talent. you have forever captured our perfect day. ‪#‎cardweds‬ ‪#‎yearonecardwells‬


the perfect wife


“there is literally nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so do not expect yourself to do so.”


the other day i was talking to grant about my fear of failing as a wife & how overwhelmed i was at the thought.

i used to have the messiest bedroom growing up; for days – weeks – & my mom would tolerate it. i’m sure she would chat about my messy room with her gal pals at work, & when she would get home, i would have to finally clean my room before i could do anything else. & of course, another couple of weeks would go by & the bedroom would be a wreck again – & thus the same cycle goes round. how exhausting. for us both. my mom – just wanting order – & for the respect of keeping a clean bedroom – & me – who works much better in a messier environment – my thoughts are scattered like my clothes – finding comfort in the chaos – only wanting to take a nap on my pile of clothes. & yet not a day went by that my mom loved me any less because of my many flaws – weaknesses. if anything, she loved me more.

i look at my habits now – & the vulnerability that has suddenly become a requirement in our newlywed household. i’m still messy – i’m still scattered. & now my husband is my audience to this well-known show. my parents & brother were my audience for 18 years & now the audience has shifted. to my one & only. my husband.

it’s hard. they said it would be hard. & they were right. now, grant & i don’t struggle with sharing our space – that’s no problem. it’s vulnerability that i struggle with. but it has nothing to do with grant. that’s the beautiful part. he has created a safe, trusting environment where i can be myself, where i can relax, where i can be comfortable – as a husband should. i struggle with allowing myself the right to truly soak in the freedom. trusting that grant isn’t going anywhere. he isn’t going to suddenly notice a habit or see the messy room & leave me. am i the only one who has feared this?

i can’t be. i know i’m not the only one.


this is the same vulnerability that i have been steadily working on with god for years. for him to see & know me in ways i’ve never allowed anyone to see. to know & S T I L L. still be my God. still pursue me. still love me. still.

i guess what i’m getting at is that during this learning – i may not bloom like i expect. i want to bloom, y’all. i want to immediately have a wife routine, a chore chart, a grocery list, a budget. i want it all – all at once. i want to be the perfect wife.

yikes. i said it. i’ll let those words soak in for a few days. weeks. it’s real & i shouldn’t just sweep it under the rug. i’ve never been the perfect daughter, sister, friend . . . and yet now i want to be perfect at being a wife. i pray this will pass. that i will feel the freedom & the trust of letting go – learning through the mess. maybe even pick up some of the mess along the way.

i’m so thankful for grant – he lets me vent these thoughts and frustrations with open ears – – i love his support for the girl who seems to always be surrounded by a mess. he sees through it all. it doesn’t scare him off – and that is one of the many reasons i fall in love even more each & every day.

it’s ok that right now i’m not in a season of blooming. i will continue to plant & sow into our marriage – into this new role – and see beautiful blooms in their timing.


thanks for reading.

remember: “there is literally nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so do not expect yourself to do so.”

a cardwell christmas: 2015

welp, today went nothing like we thought.


not that we had a ton of plans or anything. as it is our very first christmas together as a couple – we wanted to try to make traditions of our own. this time last year i was spending christmas bouncing from my mom’s house to my dad’s house, texting grant the whole time. he was visiting his family in texas. we hadn’t even been on our first date yet. it’s crazy how much can happen in one short year.


yesterday we celebrated the end of grant’s first semester in college (yes, he’s working full time & taking classes = my hero!) by going to the matinee of creed. it was an intense movie – he loved it. i’ve never been able to stomach fighting (especially boxing) but the storyline was great. then we headed over to outback for a yummy dinner. it was around this time that grant started to feel like major poo. we headed home, in the pouring rain, made our beds on the couch, tried to find it’s a wonderful life on youtube (unsuccessful) & settled on the morrocan christmas episode of the office. why did i just say settle? that was silly. i love every christmas episode of the office – but it’s not as cute & traditional to post all over ig & snapchat – so i’ll reveal it in my blog (shhh don’t tell anyone!)

we had plans to catch the sunrise christmas day. i had done this last year & it was so peaceful & refreshing to start the day at the beach with the sun.

well, as it has been all week, we woke up to a mild, humid, foggy morning. but my champion husband mustered the strength to get outta bed couch & head down to the beach. it was beautiful.

then we opened our gifts – i got him some beard balm, a beard comb & a shirt (the rest of his awesome gifts are still on a truck from new york #wifeoftheyear) & he got us matching qalo rings & A CANON CAMERA. yasssssss my hero got me what i’ve dreaming about for YEARS.


we took the camera out for her very first adventure. i also went hiking last christmas so i thought – hey it’s 70 degrees & i just saw the sun peeking out from the clouds – & grant had been sleeping the day away from the moment we finished opening presents – so i convinced him this was the best idea.

the hike ended up being about 4 miles (#wifeoftheyear) & by the end of it we had sweaty foreheads & wet shoes. i had a great time – the verdict is still out on grant.

we rushed home & i made a delicious curry lentil soup from oh she glows for bae & then we headed over to my mom’s. we had a good time catching up, opening gifts & playing with the crazy cats.

& now we are sitting on the couch while i figure out my new camera & it’s a wonderful life (borrowed from my mom!) plays on the tv as background noise.

my favorite part of the day was reading the christmas story & praying with my husband first thing this morning. it’s not very often we can slow down like we did today & truly enjoy each other & what we’ve been blessed with.


i hope you enjoy my very first canon pictures. i’m so excited about this camera. my blogs will be loaded with pics & my vlog will be fancy & creative.

merry christmas! what was a highlight of your day?












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!





















thanks for reading!! xo