weekend trip: charlotte

earlier this month, g and i took a road trip down to charlotte, nc. it was our first road trip together – and we now know that i have serious driving anxiety and i should always pack a pillow to sit on for long drives. i’m a super fun wife.

the weather in charlotte happened to drop as soon as we arrived – from like 70 degree sunshine to 50 something gloom. but the sun did manage to peek out for the clouds on our last full day of exploring for which we were quite thankful.

friday was spent traveling to charlotte, checking into our hotel which happened to be hosting many nascar fans for the big race that weekend, and showering before lights out.

saturday morning we woke up refreshed and ready to find some good local acai bowls for breakfast to feel like we were truly living the dream. only to find out that every trendy cutesy place i had bookmarked was about 20 minutes in the wrong direction of where we needed to be at 9am. so bob evans it was! this was surprisingly g’s first time eating at bob evans, yet for me this was a chidlhood favorite. it was delicious and fast.

the whole purpose of being in charlotte for the weekend was for a conference I was attending. you can read all about it in this post. while i learned about all the things, g went exploring the town. he found mcdowell nature perserve and hiked around a bit until the wind just was too cold to bear. on his way back to the hotel he found the billy graham historical library and stopped in for a visit. he came out with a new book and a cute wooden sign for me. he’s so thoughtful and sweet, seriously.

after the conference, we tried to do the cool hip thing and visit the cool hip part of town – but we just weren’t feeling it after walking around and having an hour long wait for a table – or maybe it’s that we just weren’t cool and hip enough? so we ended up a few blocks down at ruru’s tacos & tequila. it was loud yet adorable – we really liked the atmosphere and the food! seemed like it’s definitely a local date night spot for many!

sunday morning was exciting! we had plans to meet up with brittany (longtime childhood friend) at elevation church. it was such a sweet expeiernce to get a behind the scenes look at prep for the service, while meeting some really awesome team members/staff. brittany was such a great host to us and we really enjoyed the experience. elevation is the kinda church you can learn so much from.

the rest of sunday afternoon was spent exploring 7th street market. we had pizza at a local spot and then took the train to southend. g and i discovered were not much of the exploring type – we need a plan, a destination, a purpose. so after walking around aimlessly for a few hours, the hotel was calling our names. lame, we know.

we chilled in the hotel, i probably took a nap, and then we awoke to grumbling stomachs, ready for the next meal. isn’t that just how it goes on vacation? hurrying up to the next time you’ll eat? haha

we stumbled out of the hotel to a beautiful pond with people paddle boating. so cute.

g and i are obsessed with mexican food and even though we had just had it the night before for dinner, we easily said yes to trying out zapata’s. and good glory we are so glad. this was hands down the best mexican food we have ever had. each of our dishes had amazing flavor. we now hold zapata’s at the top of the list, and like i said, we have frequented many a mexican restaurant since our trip, and nothing compares. so delicious.

monday morning, ironically, the weather in charlotte shot right back up to the usual sunny and 70 degrees – but alas we had to hit the road back home around 7AM.

it was fun to get away for the first time since being married. g had really been looking forward to our charlotte trip and would remind me often during the snowy maryland months that we were only xx days away. he’s always so encouraging and hopeful. i love him. would love to return to charlotte for a longer stay with a tad bit more of a purpose – maybe an itinerary created by some of the locals. that’s more my cup of tea. enjoy the pics, y’all!

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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.

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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!

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how to hike

first, make sure your husband is extremely sick.

second, make sure it’s a ridiculously famous holiday where most people DONT do things like hike.

third, bring your new camera and pretend like you’re really good at film making.

fourth, get your shoes SOAKED and walk back to the car, making sure it’s at least 2 miles.

fifth, smile. smile that you get to enjoy the crazy weird moments with the love of your life.

PRESS PLAY BELOW. It’s vlog time!

blizzard jonas

grant & i have spent 54 consecutive hours together (friday @12:30pm to sunday @6pm) & we are still going strong! we have watched plenty of netflix, i’ve learned a few games (sequence & speed) & crushed grant at both. we’ve baked cookies, made homemade pizza, homemade pesto, homemade alfredo, boiled rice, boiled pasta, baked potato chips, done hours of homework (grant), danced in the living room, spent morning devotionals together, watched tons of youtube, prayed for the power to stay on, laughed with delirium, went tubing down our front yard into the woods, went for a walk to the beach, almost fell into the icy bay (alicia). it’s been a memorable blizzard. i’m thankful we didn’t lose power & went kept morale high at camp cardwell. please enjoy our blizzard tubing fun from today. xo

 

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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

PRESS PLAY

the perfect wife

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“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.

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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.

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thanks for reading.

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