a benediction to repeat

Monday, July 30, 2012

This weekend I helped celebrate my in-law's 40th wedding anniversary.  Hubby and I went to their church (also the church we both grew up in and got married in), took them to lunch and spent some time with them that afternoon.  It was sweet and special and I'm grateful for their 40 strong years together.  While at church, however we had the privilege of listening to the final sermon of the interim pastor, Brett Younger.  He has been with First Baptist for the past year while a huge transition was in the process.  His sermon was funny and relatable but his benediction was what left me challenged.  So I thought I’d share it with you today.  It’s a simple prayer with big requests, and I hope to remember this each and every morning.

Happy Monday!

Antigua Part III Finale

Thursday, July 26, 2012

To close out my Antigua posts, here are some final pictures.  Some are from our trip in town and others at the resort.  All were taken with my IPhone and all represent forever memories.  Enjoy!
I beat up on the hubs in some games of pool.

Giorgio Armani's house beside our resort

afternoon tea by the water

i was in love with all the different colored doors in St. John's

If you really knew me...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

me. circa 1987.

Saw this post from Jenni and then Megan so I’m going to follow suit.  Here goes!

If you really knew me...

You would know that Ruffles Potato Chips dipped in Ranch and chocolate chip cookies are the best snack ever.

You would know that my parent’s veterinarian specifically told me NOT to get a Yorkiepoo because of their unpredictable temperament and the next week I went out and got me my Yorkiepoo.

You would know that my Yorkiepoo is a psycho pup and brings so much joy to our lives.

If you really knew me you’d know I’m a terrible singer but ALWAYS sing happy birthday to my best friends on their birthdays – sometimes in a funky accent.

You would know that I’m named after my Grandmother and my Aunt.

If you really knew me you’d know I love a tall glass of chocolate milk or a warm glass of vanilla soy milk every night depending on the season.

You’d know I’m a terrible cook, but try to pretend I know what I’m doing.

If you really knew me you’d know I hate washing my hair.  Like really despise it.  Because then I have to dry it to make it look decent and not frizzy and ugh, that just takes too long.  So I’m a big supporter of the dry shampoo.

You’d know I love spaghetti, red wine and dark chocolate.

If you really knew me you’d know I have a terrible sense of direction and almost always get lost.
You’d know when I get flustered or frustrated I get short, often with the ones I love (something to work on).

If you really knew me you’d know I’d do anything for my friends and family and I get super defensive when it comes to them. 

You’d know I struggle with fear.  Read more on that here.

You’d know I also struggle with forgiveness and letting go of the past.  I hold grudges and sometimes let the past consume me.  That’s when God shakes me upside down and says “Wake up Child, it has been forgiven.”

If you really knew me you’d know I’m a control freak like no other.  Working on that one too.

If you really knew me, you’d know I have an obsessive compulsive order when it comes to buying clothes.  You’d know I have a few items in my closet with tags on them that are over a few years old (embarrassing).

If you really knew me you’d know that my favorite movies are Grease, Father of the Bride and any Reese Witherspoon movie.

You’d know I wish I knew more about politics and feel completely uneducated when election year comes around.

You’d know that I’m sensitive and often worry too much about what others think.  The tone of anyone’s voice can send me into tears despite the words that came out of their mouth.

Last, if you really knew me you’d know I love hard and I love deep, with no reservations and no hesitations.  And you'd know that I fell in love with my husband years ago, and continue to fall in love all over again when he smiles.

OK, I just bared my heart and soul to you – what would I know if I really knew YOU??

my new baby

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Meet the newest addition to our family - Sienna.  My new Canon Revel T3.  
I fell in love with her a few months ago and was overjoyed when the hubs surprised me Saturday and said it was time to bring her home.  I apologize in advance for the sparse posts this week but Sienna has a lot to teach me.  Happy snapping!

fear no more

Friday, July 20, 2012

my fearless pup

This post is real and this post is vulnerable.  Beware – parts of my soul and my crazy heart and head are on full display.  So here goes.

I have a hate-hate relationship with fear.  I have my whole life.  Fear is something that haunts me all the time.  It’s definitely a struggle of mine.  It touches every aspect of my life – from what I look like on the outside to how I feel on the inside.  I fear what others will think of me or say if I do this, or what will happen if I make this decision.  It’s the constant second-guessing, insecure voice in my head always doubting me.  It’s heightened because I’m a people-pleaser.  I would rather please others and do what they want me to do than make myself happy.  Sometimes this is a good thing and causes me to be selfless in situations where it’s needed, but in others it clouds my judgment and I can no longer see the decision at hand but only what others will think or say.  And fear is not from God.  No.  He does not want us to fear others or our circumstances but instead trust in Him for all things.  But mostly, I choose fear.

I feel like a lot of big stuff is going on right now in so many of my loved ones’ lives – big decisions to be made and big news to share.  Life has been a bit crazy for me too.  Between best friends getting married, bachelorette parties (I’m leaving today for Charleston yay), family cookouts, prepping for work, and the fact that I’ve been an emotional basket case lately, fear has seemed to creep in to most parts of my life.  Fear of not being good enough, fear of losing something or someone I love, fear of what others may think of a decision, fear of God deserting me even.  I lie awake at night sometimes and my head imagines the craziest and saddest possible situations.  Ugh.  It’s disturbing really.  When I put it on paper it makes me laugh, cry and feel kinda embarrassed.  It’s real and it’s honest though.  And it’s this fear that keeps me from enjoying all life has to offer.  It keeps me from relishing in the pure joy of an event or a blessing.  But it’s those times when I have no choice but to cling to the promise that He will never leave us.  I know that fear has no place in my heart.  I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and God does not bless us, and then leave us.  And I know that God does not give us more than we can handle.  No.  He stands beside us and He gives us the desires of our heart.  But why in the everyday musings of life, is it so hard for me to believe that?  I mean truly believe that.  Well, I’m flawed and a mess for sure.  But that will never change.

So today, I choose faith over fear.  I choose to let go of my control-freak nature and stop worrying about what everyone else is thinking.  Despite my disaster-like heart and crazy mind, God has chosen to bless me and put me in situations that are happy.  So I will be happy.  I will not let fear claim my happiness.  And when there are times of sadness and anger, I hope I choose faith then too.

So, God, please keep working on me.  
I’m still a mess and always will be.  
Change my heart and don’t let go.

pure bliss - no fear

be happy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

today i will stop trying to be happy.  today i will stop chasing happiness.  i believe in happiness and i believe in finding and going out and getting your happiness.  but some days you just need to be happy.  stop the chasing, stop the trying and relish in what you have that makes you happy.  today is one of those days.  today i am happy.  happy to be alive and happy for another day.  

happy thursday :)

Cucumber-Cantaloupe Cooler Smoothie

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Found this recipe last week and made it yesterday and today.  This smoothie is refreshing, delicious and packed with nutrients!  Here’s the skinny on my new favorite sipper. 

1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and cubed
1 cup cantaloupe, cubed
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
4-6 fresh mint leaves, or to taste
8 ice cubes
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Combine and blend ingredients until smooth

Serving Size: 1
(12 ounces): 223 calories, 18% fat (5 g), 69% carbohydrate, 13% protein, 4 g fiber, 14 mg iron, 291 mg calcium, 40 mcg folate, 73 mg vitamin C.

flash mob fun

Monday, July 16, 2012

Saturday was one of my favorite. days. ever.  My sweet Anna said "I do" to her best friend and everything about that day - about the weekend really - was perfection.  But one of the coolest parts of the wedding night happened around 9:30 when the bride, the bridal party and some close friends started a flash mob to surprise the groom.  Needless to say, he was shocked, confused and loving every minute of it.  For your Monday pleasure, here is a video of the flash mob on Saturday.

sweet "i do's" to come

Thursday, July 12, 2012

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 
- Matthew 19:4-6

This weekend I will watch my best friend marry the man of her dreams.  I could not be more excited, proud and honored to be standing beside her on Saturday.  The festivities kicked off last night with some serious mani/pedi time and things are only getting better from there.  

Anna & Casey - I love you both and am so excited for your special weekend!

Soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Casey Carrick

Have a great weekend!  I know I will :)

Antigua Part II

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

During our vacay, Matt and I rarely ventured off of our resort.  We had everything we needed right there… and isn’t that the point of a vacation – to RELAX?  So that’s what we did.  All day – every day.  However, there were two instances where we were feeling feisty and decided to go explore away from our compound.  One of those days was our hike to an old fort.  We woke up earlier than usual (don’t worry it was still after 8), ate a delicious breakfast (duh) and met our group for the morning hike.  We walked through a little town where we saw wild animals, school children and the cutest and brightest houses you can imagine.  And when we finally got to our destination – the top of a fort used by the British to fight off the French (who were unsuccessful for awhile) – we were speechless.  For one we were tired, it was hot and the hike was long.  But the view of the island and the sea were absolutely stunning.  Words cannot describe how I felt on top of that mountain.  Everywhere you looked you saw the Caribbean Sea.  It was as if God was saying, “Take a deep breath and enjoy the view… oh and you’re welcome.”  Then we hiked back, were greeted with some fresh coconut water and decided to relax by the pool.  Ah, can I go back yet?  I love these following pictures from that day and I hope you do too....

my cow friend at the beginning of our hike
my donkey friend mid-hike

old beach huts
the fort that was our destination
halfway up the mountain
the stairs leading to the top of the old fort
the view from the top

my other cow friend
yummy coconut water
relaxing by the pool after the hike
watching the sunset

Antigua Part I

Monday, July 9, 2012

One of the things I miss the most about Antigua is breakfast. First of all I love breakfast food.  Growing up we would have breakfast for dinner at least once a week and I can kill some scrambled eggs with cheese and French toast.  So in Antigua we woke up every morning around 9:30 (we were so lazy) with just enough time to throw on our bathingsuits and stumble to breakfast before the 10 am close.  The first few mornings I stuck with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and a croissant or two - oh and the coffee.  The coffee was simply divine at that place.  But about mid-week I discovered the French toast and Matt discovered the crepes. It was over after that.  And did I mention we sat on the ocean while we ate?  We were way too spoiled.

But aside from the to-die-for nom noms in Antigua I also miss breakfast time talks.  I miss looking at my husband, a million miles away from the world, and making plans for the day.  I miss that the only decisions we had to make were when to check out the tennis courts and if we wanted to sail in the morning or afternoon.  The simplicity of life on vacation is magical.  After we made our plans for the day we would usually people-watch for a bit.  Relishing the accents of the British couple to our left and trying so desperately to listen to the Italians to our right.  It was fascinating meeting all of these couples from around the world and breakfast was our chance to watch and smile.  However, most of all I miss our chats.  It seemed like breakfast was our chance to solve the problems of the world. Matt and I would get lost in conversation about politics, food, travel, music and our faith.  It is those deep conversations that I miss the most.  This is not to say that we do not have serious and meaningful conversations at home.  That’s not the case at all.  But it was so nice to be away from everything– from everyone really – and just listen and talk.

We have tried to do that more often on the weekends since being back.  Share breakfast together and just chat.  Put the phones away, turn the TV off and get lost in one another’s eyes and voice.  It’s almost like I can smell the Caribbean Sea again…. Well not really but hearing my husband talk is sometimes just as good J

With that here are some pictures….

there were sea turtles nesting everywhere on the resort

the view from our balcony

our sailing vessel

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