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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exhale.

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“it’s okay to not be okay.” – exhale by plumb

i first heard this song as it blasted through my headphones on one of my “forced” long runs. yes, forced. there was time i would run every day, whenever i had the time.

that season has come & possibly gone.

with the addition of a night job to my life schedule (circa october 2014) & the addition of the love of my life (circa december 2014), my free time alone time has dramatically decreased.

this is no ones fault. it’s a season. we hear the “season” talk every other day it seems. i like to say “it’s just a season” or “this season will pass” or “thank the good lord above that THAT season is locked in the pretend-it-never-happened-closet.”

so i’m in a season of overdrive. this is not the season where i flourish – but rather – i just barely make it. i go from thing to thing, day to day, & just do.

& just for the record – – i’m not a do-er. i’m a feel-er. i like to FEEL. i like to be “all-in” with everything i do – but during this season – i’m just getting things done. the faster i can get to the place of netflix & couch & ice cream & sleep, the better.

yuck.

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so during that long run – i heard this beautiful song whispering in my ear to “exhale.”

“don’t be afraid. don’t be ashamed.”

i needed to hear that. i feel like that’s the kinda daily reminder that is kinda obvious. it does no harm to hear that kinda thing on repeat, right?

right.

but seriously – i did feel afraid. i felt afraid that i was failing. as an employee, as a friend, as a daughter, as a sister, as a girlfriend. as a human. the fear of failure can cripple the kinda girl who loves attention & loves affirmation & loves feeling accomplished.

i’m that kinda girl. can i get an amen?

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& then there’s the “don’t be ashamed.” that easy peasy reminder that “you are a daughter of the King – what in the world do YOU have to be ashamed of?!”

well – here’s the real conversation happening in my head: how can you NOT feel ashamed? you’re doing nothing. you’re just do-ing. that’s shameful, right?

no. of course not.

but i was believing the lie.

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up until the point where i spilled my guts to the lord.

i said: i hated this season. he said – treasure it.

i said: but remember last year? remember how happy & how successful & how accomplished i felt?

he said – treasure today.

i said: but bring me back to where i was.

he said – treasure Me.

i said: lord, you just don’t get it.

he said – treasure yourself.

it was hard. it’s still hard.

i caught myself remembering & longing for what was instead of focusing on the blessing of now.

each season has its winds, its waves, its growth & its death. each season deserves pruning & planting & patience.

if you’re struggling in a season that you just wish would pass, i’m with ya. but let’s focus on the treasure. has there ever been a season God hasn’t been aware? does he not use every season to bring his name glory? does each season not bring change & new beauty?

i pray that we exhale – we remember – & we treasure.

but let’s not leave it at that. let’s continue to be honest. bc “it’s okay to not be okay.” & my season of “not okay” might be at a different time then your “not okay” season. we don’t have to pretend. we can support each other & break-free from the “everything is okay.” we can scream “it sucks” bc that’s what heals.

let’s love this conversation & this reality enough that we don’t just leave it. let’s for real treasure it, together.

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thrifty tuesday: feeling like jessica day

if you know me, you know my obsession with the tv show ‘new girl.’

like for real obsessed.

today’s outfit reminded me of jessica day & it made me smile.

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outfit deets:

skirt: thrifted// $1 (way too big but i love it)

shirt: thrifted // $2 (target: merona)

flats: thrifted // $1 (charlotte russe)

total damage: $4

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i especially liked my photographer today 😉

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no, but seriously ❤

 

 

 

 

 

april goals.

spring, sprang, sprung.

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after such a L O N G four months of cold, dark, gloom i’ve never been more ready for chirping, sunny, warm, breezy days.

& that’s exactly what today brings.

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i love having goals for all the same reasons that EVERYBODY likes goals. so i won’t bore you with all of that.

what i will do is share my april goals, broken down into specific areas in my life, so as to not overwhelm myself. i’m not trying to change my entire life in the next 30 days, but rather, add a little bit of joy, tweak a few lazy areas & slowly add in some habits that i deserve to be doing.

MINDremembering truth, speaking truth, believing truth / / specifically i need to recondition my mind with the things i tell myself or believe about myself. you know, the negative crappy lies that stop me from being free & crazy & happy. i think the mini goal within this is to wake up every morning & say “I am worth it!” haha how CHEEZEBALL. but i don’t care, i gotta do what i gotta do, boo.

 

body the ever popular exercise goal. we all have one, & with nicer weather, i can’t really get away with anymore excuses. sure, laziness & lack of motivation are easy fall-back excuses, but NO MORE. this month my goal is to run. it’s kinda broad BUT i think it’s a goal i can actually achieve. i LOVE running – it’s my passion. but when my mind isn’t in-check & focused, running just stresses me more than it relaxes me. so i’m not gonna go with “run 3 x week” but just run – could be everyday or once/week.

spirit

 

forgiveness.simple, right? i have people to forgive. of course, we ALL do. ironically, i should be able to take the month of april, forgive those people, & start may with a fresh start. BUT it’s never that easy. ugh. it SHOULD be though. my goal is to figure out what is holding me back from forgiving those people, pray to LET IT GO, & be vulnerable to whatever comes. bc when i ask, i know it will be answered. yikes.

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pick kitchen shelves – buy kitchens shelves – install kitchen shelves / / i have been avoiding this project      for way too long. i blame pinterest. i’ll find the exact style i want my shelves to be, then i scroll though pinterest & find another style. then i give up. i want it to be perfect. i need to let it go & just DECIDE.

 

 

outsideif you know me, you know i’m a little sky-obessed. my goal is to get outside & catch the sunrise & sunset once a week. & while i’m doing that, i need to remember to bring some gloves & a trash bag & clean up the beach. people be SLOBS & i can’t stand it.

 

relationships

 

skype tracy. i promise this is a hefty goal! we live in different countries, have completely different schedules & are in completely different life-stages. so, it’s just harder & harder for us to connect & i need that to change. if i can have a face-to-face convo with her, i know it will bring a smile to face & peace in my heart.

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so here’s my questiondo any of you struggle with perfection? have you been avoiding doing things bc it won’t be perfect?

i get this beautiful character trait from my dad, & although it makes me look laid-back & spontaneous, it actually stresses me out. if you do struggle, let me know how you deal.

happy april. let’s make it a great month!

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guest spot alex: ten things being pregnant has taught me.

meet sweet, alex.

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okkk, wait. i’m getting ahead of myself.

alex recently married the love of her life mike in august last year.

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adorable, right?

alex has never been shy about her desire to have kids. & like most newlyweds, they couldn’t wait to add to their growing family.

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& after a few months of trying, well, she was pregnant.

last weekend i asked alex, like i ask every pregnant person i meet, how far along she is. her response was the typical “blah blah blah weeks.” & if you’ve never been pregnant, you know exactly what i’m talking about. in my mind, time travels in MONTHS, not weeks. so when you say 16 weeks, that means four MONTHS. so just say four MONTHS! i told alex this & she went on to explain the math & reasoning behind the use of weeks vs. months blah blah blah which gave me the brilliant idea to have her guest spot on my blog. i wanna know, as i’m sure you to do too, all the things being pregnant has taught her.

enjoy & please leave lots of love for alex. she’s hilarious & beautiful & just down-right excited to be having her first child!

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1. people will ask if me “are you excited?” ummm, OF COURSE i am excited! & if i wasn’t, do you think i would really admit it?!
2. “morning sickness” does NOT just mean i get sick ONLY in the morning. there is nothing “morning” about throwing up at 9:30pm. yes, pm!
3. people on crack can have a baby, but if i eat a piece of deli meat & some brie cheese, i could get a bacteria infection & lose my baby . . .  says my doctor.
4. it’s much easier for me to lose weight when i’m pregnant than when i’m not pregnant. week 16, down 13 pounds. thanks “morning” sickness!
5. when people ask me, “isn’t pregnancy the greatest thing ever?! i loved being pregnant!” i’m suddenly convinced they are one of those people on crack.
6. everyone, i mean everyone, is a pregnancy expert & feels the need to give me all the advice i never wanted & never asked for. for example:”you should have a natural birth; you will appreciate your mother so much more.” ummm, my mom had every drug available & was high as a kite when i was born. & i intend to be the same way, you know, so i can appreciate her more.

7. the concept of personal space & privacy goes right out the window. for example: people, who have NEVER touched me before, will try & touch my stomach, even though i’m not even showing yet. this goes for complete strangers too. if you didn’t put it here, don’t touch it.

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also! people ask me if i’m planning on breast feeding my child. yeah, if we can leave my boobs out of our conversation & your thoughts, i would really appreciate it.
& finally, women will tell me all about their own deliveries. thank you random woman in the grocery store for telling me about your 4th degree tearing. if you’ll excuse me, i’m just gonna go throw up in the cereal aisle real quick.
8. my husband has become more attentive than ever, & of course, i’m using this to my advantage. if i want a chili cheese dog from 7-11 at 10pm, i just ask & he’s out the door before i can finish the sentence. i’m falling in love with him more & more (except when i’m getting sick & blaming him because after all, he did this to me) declaimer: i’ve never yelled these words at my husband. ever. 
9. i cry at EVERYTHING!!! steer clear of the Sarah McLachlan animal cruelty commercials & anything involving interaction between a baby & their mother. & don’t even get me started on the military family homecoming videos. those made me cry before, now i pretty much end up dehydrated after watching them.
10. if you are lucky, you will still have some friends that won’t sugar coat & tell you straight. shout out my friend dana who told me: “i can tell you that it will get better, but that’s a lie. it doesn’t get better.” i appreciated that SO much more than everyone else telling me it will get better.

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BONUS:

11. two words: pregnancy brain. the struggle is real. i will stop, mid-sentence, & forget what i was even talking about. this happens to my husband on the regular, so our conversations have gotten very confusing & very short. people keep reminding me that i am sharing my entire body, including my brain, with the baby. well, this baby better end up being a genius because he is making me look like an idiot. disclaimer: yes i used the pronoun “he.” we haven’t found out the sex of the baby but it’s easier than writing he/she . . . & i am not going to refer to my child as it.

photo 5huge thanks to alex for being my very first guest spot.

& thank you for reading!

got pregnancy questions? sure! leave them & i’ll do my best to answer them. & by that, i mean ask my 19 friends who are currently with-child.

xo

35 things about me!!

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get to know me & watch this ridiculous video . . . click HERE or on the picture!!

drought.

sike. we aren’t having a drought. no way.

it feels like it has rained the past month. it’s not truth, but it’s what it feels like – – – & sometimes feelings are so strong you start to believe them as truth.

luckily, i remember sunny days & i shut up about the rain.

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day two:

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