Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: A Year in Review

2017.  It's end is almost here, & I'm looking forward to the new.  But 1st here's a peek at what happened this year...

January - February:
We celebrate our 1st New Year's together + our 1st New Year's kiss.

We visit lovely Callaway Gardens.

Our 1st married Valentine's Day arrives + my 1st time ever bowling!

I surprise Dan with a picnic at the "Secret Garden" for our 1/2 year anniversary.

We celebrate our 1st St. Patrick's Day together.

I go to my 1st ever hockey game + I love it!

We hike at the "Little Grand Canyon" in Georgia.

 We hike 4+ miles on the Pine Mtn. trail + then visit the "Little White House" in nearby Warm Springs, GA!

We visit the world's largest Lunchbox Museum + have an impromptu arcade date night.

Help hide hundreds {& I do mean hundreds} of eggs at our church's Easter egg hunt.

I have the in-laws over for Easter lunch {+ it goes well}!

Finish up my last day as a school librarian.  This unexpected long term sub job lasts almost an entire year & is such a blessing from God!

Summer break begins for me & we celebrate by heading to the Georgia Aquarium + Atlanta's World of Coke {my 1st time to both of these}!

Explore a couple of cemeteries this month + other unusual places around town.

Have our 1st of many snow cone summer dates.

 Teach the children's Wednesday night Bible study at our church together this month.  {With help from the kids, Dan puts on the armor of God one night, which in this case, is represented by aluminum foil!}

Go on our 1st married double date with sweet friends.

Dress up as Bible characters to help with our church's VBS.

Explore the most epic + sprawling antique store I have ever seen.  Ever.

Swim at our apartment pools {pretty much all the summer months + once on an unusually warm February day}.

Celebrate my nephew's 2nd b-day up in Chattanooga.

Explore old abandoned bunkers in Chattanooga + make all the funny echo noises we can think of in them.

Celebrate our 1st married Fourth of July + send up a patriotic Chinese lantern {which I make a secret wish + prayer on as it disappears from sight} + celebrate with friends.

More long hikes!

Finally get a washing machine!  Yay!  No more trips to the laundry mat for us!

My nephew comes & stays with us for a long weekend of summer fun!

Lots of doctor visits after Dan has an eye scare.  {While it is better (Praise God!), he still has some problems with it.}

I start the school year off with a long term sub position as a music teacher, of all things!

We go out west for an Arizona anniversary adventure + make countless memories there!

We celebrate our 1st year of marriage!

Take a day trip to Macon, GA to explore the Ocmulgee National Monument.

Start a Star Wars movie night tradition with new church friends.

I accept a long term sub position at a rough school {it was only in 1st grade + the teacher assured me she had no major behavior problems}, but I last 6 days... & let me tell you those 6 days were full of prayers + tears + 1 screaming/cursing parent on just the 2nd day.

Visit family back in TN + explore Prater's Mill Country Fair + kiss on a tractor + view stunning Cloudland Canyon + stay a night in my mom's cabin.

Host Star Wars movie night at our place {+ I cook dinner - which seems miraculous for this girl who was afraid to turn on her oven for over a year when she got her 1st apartment}!

Dan & I help out with a game station at our church's fall festival + we dress up for the 1st time together {we're an Oreo cookie}!

We celebrate Dan's birthday with a fancy dress-up date at a new restaurant downtown.

We celebrate my birthday with a day trip to Pine Mountain.

 Finally take the wedding pics I had been dreaming of for over a year + we make memories I won't soon forget.

I start yet another long term sub position {this time at a great school (Thank You, Jesus!)} as a 5th grade reading / language arts teacher.

Enjoy our annual 2 Thanksgivings - 1st with Dan's parents & then with my family.

Continue our tradition of going to see the lights twinkle & glow at Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights.

Dan & I attend a holiday brass concert + a beautifully magical luminary walk at our city's Botanical Gardens.

We get the call that my littlest nephew is in the children's hospital in Chattanooga with a major health scare.  This is one of the hardest things about not living where the rest of your family does, because I so wanted to be right there.  I cry so many tears + pray so many prayers for this sweet little boy of mine.  It felt like we literally asked everyone we could think of to pray for him, & I'm here to testify that prayer changes things & that our God is good & mighty!  Little Miles is now home + healthy!

Dan & I get our tree + decorate it all up.

We continue our annual tradition & ride the Jolly Trolley to see all the sparkle/shine at Callaway Garden's Fantasy in Lights.

Host our 2nd annual Christmas Open House get-together.

Turn the giant elk statue at our apartment complex into a red-nosed reindeer for the 2nd year running!

Enjoy Christmas a little early with Dan's parents & then head up to TN to spend time with my family.

 Put up a tent in our living room {next to our now undecorated real Christmas tree for a little authenticity} & "camp" in so we can check the last thing off our 1 year bucket list.

My Top Favorite Posts of 2017:

In Which I Find a Secret Garden

Our Love Story {In 5+ Parts}

How I Said "Yes" to my {eBay} Wedding Dress!

Our Honeymoon Adventures

Our Arizona Anniversary Adventure

DIY Vacation Memory Jar

The Day the Eggs Made Me Smile

The Gifts in My Marriage

This is Just for Me {& Just Maybe You}

Little Letters // November 2017

Once Upon an Autumn Day

When Baby Fever Hits & You Don't Have a Baby

Thanks for being a reader!  Happy New Year's Eve!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Monthly Recap // December 2017

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 Attended a holiday brass concert downtown together + a beautifully magical luminary walk at our city's Botanical Gardens {both free things we found to do this month}!

 We got the call that my littlest nephew was in the children's hospital in Chattanooga with a major health scare.  This is one of the hardest things about not living where the rest of your family does, because I so wanted to be right there.  I cried so many tears + prayed so many prayers for this sweet little boy of mine.  It felt like we literally asked everyone we could think of to pray for him, & I'm here to testify that prayer changes things & that our God is good & mighty!  After a few days in the PICU he was well enough to go to a regular room & then finally be released!  Thank You, Lord!!!

 Dan & I got our tree + decorated it all up.

 Continued our annual tradition & rode the Jolly Trolley & saw all the holiday sparkle/shine at Callaway Garden's Fantasy in Lights.  Boy, was it cold this year!

 It snowed way down here in Georgia this month!  While it didn't last long {only the morning, really}, we still managed to get out in it + made 2 little wonky snowmen on top of Dan's car + took a nice long while snowflakes were still falling.  It's the 1st time I've ever seen it snow here!

 Hosted our 2nd annual Christmas Open House get-together + had a good turn out.

 Turned our giant elk statue at our apartment complex into a red-nosed reindeer for the 2nd year running!

 Enjoyed Christmas a little early with Dan's parents & then headed up to TN to spend time with my family.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Night We Made Some Christmas Magic

It was last Christmas.  Our 1st married one.  My 1st in a new city + state + away from my family & friends.  It was a hard one for me. {Can I just be honest & admit?} It was way harder than I imagined, but there were bits + moments of magic, too, {& grace upon grace upon grace from that little baby who came to save us}.  This was one such moment of merry magic.  Let me tell you about it...
It was Christmas Eve 2016, but the plan had been hatched weeks before.  A few days time had passed since I had gone out & bought some bright red fuzzy yarn + made a humongous pom-pom ball out of it... all for tonight.  Armed with the wonky red pom-pom + a thing of Scotch tape, Dan & I set out on foot {under cover of darkness} to the big elk statue that guards the entrance to our apartment complex.  This was it.  Operation Rudolph was underway.

We taped that nose on good, even though we kept being interrupted by passing cars - which made us jump down from the statue base & duck down behind it or scurry to an adjacent bench & try to look inconspicuous, because this was a secret mission, after all, & had to remain so.

After it was complete, we stood back & admired our handiwork with silly secret agent grins, not knowing how long it would last {'cause it was Scotch tape & not Gorilla Glue, people}.  Mission complete!

Each day after, the 1st one who happened to drive past the entrance + red-nosed elk statue first would report back to the other if the nose was still there {all of a sudden I want to belt out a Christmas version of the Star Spangled Banner}.  Funny thing was, that thing stayed on for days & days after!  {We did use a lot of tape.}  Finally, a big wind storm came & the nose was no more.
Little did we know, that we unknowingly began a tradition in our house that night - the night we made some Christmas magic.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Our Christmas Traditions

These are the traditions Dan & I have been keeping since we became a family last year...

Celebrate the true reason for the season with our homemade scripture advent calendar!

 Gift each other a special ornament.

 Put up + decorate 2 trees.  A real one in the living room + a faux one in our bedroom.

 Place a nativity scene under one of our decorated trees to remember Jesus is the best gift ever given.

 See all the sparkly lights at Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights + Callaway Garden's Fantasy in Lights.

 Tour all the decorated trees they put up downtown.

 Host a Christmas open house party at our place.

 Drive around & look at all the Christmas lights we can find on Christmas Eve.

 Attend our church's candlelight Christmas Eve service.

 Secretly turn the giant elk statue at our apartment complex into a red-nosed reindeer!

 Spend Christmas Eve with Dan's parents, enjoy our own little Christmas morning time together, + then drive up to spend Christmas day with my family.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

1st Snowfall

Did you by chance read the 3rd little letter I posted yesterday?  The one that started, "Dear Snow..."?  Well, I didn't have to wait long before I got a response in the form of swirling, fat, glorious flakes early this morning!  It's the 1st time I've ever seen it snow here!
Dan had been peeking out the window periodically throughout the night, like an excited school boy, occasionally waking me up with a loud sigh over the lack of snowfall + his rustling of the curtains + blinds.

Finally, early this morning I'm awakened yet again by a giddy husband whose getting dressed faster than I've ever seen {except maybe that one time he overslept for work 😉 }.  It was actually snowing!  Way down here in our city in Georgia!

We made a miniature snow couple on top of Dan's car + caught flakes on our tongue + took a nice long walk out in it.  And while I'm typing this mid-morning, with the snow all but melted away {sorry for those who overslept today in Columbus - you likely missed it all}, I will never forget this 1st snowfall in my new city way down south.

Now, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know...

Friday, December 8, 2017

Little Letters // December 2017

Dear 5th Graders,

The letters you put in my Christmas stocking turned mailbox warm my heart + make me smile.  From your drawings, notes, & funny Christmas questions {like the one above about Santa & his "slay"}... I treasure each & every one & I'll never forget them or you.

Your Teacher,
Mrs. W.

✉ ⏩

Dear Christmas Break,

Please hurry!

Frazzled Teacher

✉ ⏩

Dear Snow,

Could you head our way soon?  Please, oh, please!  We know you don't often travel this far down south, but we miss you terribly.  It's been a long time.

Wishing + Waiting

✉ ⏩

Dear Dan,

I know last December had some rough patches.  Being away from my family + friends + hometown for the 1st time during the holidays wasn't an easy adjustment for me.  Thank you for your patient, steadfast love for me through it all.  I feel better prepared this year.  I love you forever.  Let's make this our best Christmas yet!

All My Love,

P.S.: Meet me under the mistletoe!

✉ ⏩

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for coming down into our messy world & giving us all the sweetest hope ever.  I love You forever!

Your Daughter,

✉ ⏩

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Currently {December 2017}

Enjoying... lots of free Christmas things to do in our city.  We've already been to a free brass holiday concert, viewed all the decorated trees they put up each year downtown, + went to a beautiful lighted luminary walk / open house at the local Botanical Gardens.  If your city has an online calendar, be sure to check it out + keep your eyes peeled for free events this time of year!

Decorating... the apartment up for Christmas!  We got our tree the other day & it's now all sparkly & glowing {still more to do, though}.

Praising Him... for the best gift ever given... Jesus!

Eating... lots of sweets!

Excited... that Christmas break is coming soon!  I've been subbing as a 5th grade language arts / reading teacher for someone on maternity leave.  I love the kiddos truly {some of the sweetest kids ever}, but this is always a challenging time of year.  Any teachers out there hearing me on that one?  {Teacher Confession: Once, when I taught 2nd grade I legit pretended to call Santa in the middle of class & told him he might just need to do a fly over & not stop at my naughty kiddos' homes.  Surprisingly enough some of 'em shaped up after that.  A teacher's got to do what a teacher's got to do.}

Listening... to all the Christmas tunes.

Wearing... cozy stuff, because it suddenly decided to go from 70s to 40s in a day's time.  Say what!?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday Entertaining Tips

Christmas Entertaining Favorites
 Have a designated place to corral coats, etc. This has been tricky in our apt., but where there's a will there's a way.  Create a place/space before guests arrive.

Serve stuff you can make ahead of time & reheat easily!  I made this mistake once when we hosted a dinner/movie night.  We were watching 2 movies {both I had never seen before}, & I decided to serve something that I was actually going to have to cook after the guests arrived.  I missed some of the 1st movie because of this!

 Ask about allergies.  It's no fun for the peanut - dairy - gluten free-ers out there if they've not been considered.  Just leave a note on the invitations for guests to text you any food issues they may have. I have a friend who has the unfortunate pumpkin allergy; it's definitely something I'm glad I know considering all the pumpkin-y treats around the autumn/winter!

 Make sure your home smells inviting!  I'm a fan of Bath & Body Work's Wallflower Plugs, myself {this one is currently permeating our place + they have sweet holiday-themed plugs}.  For more ideas, Country Living has 18 DIY scent projects you can find here.

 Don't have a fireplace?  Turn your TV into one!  There are fireplace DVDs you can find this time of year or look up a video of one on YouTube.  We did this last Christmas & it definitely made things more festive & cozy at our get-together.

 Here's a bonus tip!  Looking for a party theme this year?  Click here for a dozen!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas Wish List

1. That Girl Season 5 DVD Set - This is my all-time favorite retro TV show + this is the only season I don't have on DVD!

2. 'The Best is Yet to Come' Bracelet - This is a sweet reminder of not only my eternal promise in Christ, but the hope I have for Dan & I & the adventures God has still in store for us.  I'd love this little reminder to wear on my wrist & remember always in my .

3. A Journaling Bible - I've been wanting to get into this for awhile now, but never have.  I'm not necessarily particular on the type of journaling Bible {except I'd prefer one with blank sides for my own creativity over pre-made coloring spots}.  {Dan, I think I may have even seen some at Ollie's.}

4. Coconut Mint Drop Shower Gel - I'm a Bath & Body Works fan + have wanted to try this new seasonal scent!  {Dan, I have a coupon for you! 😉}

5. Surprises - Last year was our very 1st married Christmas & I knew almost all of my gifts because I was with Dan when he bought them.  I want some surprises this year!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Date Night Ideas // December 2017

💑 Bake Christmas cookies together + eat while watching some of your favorite Christmas flicks.

💑 Drive around & see all the best Christmas lights in your area!  Try Googling where the top spots are before you go.  FYI, a thermos of hot cocoa for the drive never hurt, either.  Oh, & don't forget to turn up the Christmas tunes!

💑 Start a new tradition together.  Even before kiddos hit the picture, it's important for married couples to begin creating their own special ways of marking holidays.  Two of ours for this time of year are reading daily from our scripture advent calendar & gifting each other a special ornament each year.

💑 Go to a candlelight Christmas Eve service & joyously celebrate the true reason for the season together.

💑 Design & construct a gingerbread house together!

💑 Purchase gifts together for a family in need.  The Angel Tree project, the Salvation Army, & Toys for Tots are 3 of many organizations that you might donate to this season.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

When Baby Fever Hits & You Don't Have a Baby...

You head to Target like usual, with a few things on your list, yet somehow wind up in the baby section.  Next thing you know you're inwardly cooing at the cuteness of some crocheted unicorn bonnet complete with little gold horn + fluffy pink mane. {Be still my !}  You pick it up.  It's only $7.99 {& you have a gift card, after all}.  You put it back.  You pick it up...  Eventually, you find yourself at the checkout with the hat + matching slippers tucked {*cough cough* hidden} under other purchases, because you know, you've lost it, & you're just hoping the cashier doesn't ask who it's for...

Because, honestly, you don't know yet.  You don't know how that prayer in your heart will be answered & when, & you're waiting & praying & doing crazy things, because this possible-one-day baby - this God-made miracle - means so much... even long before conception.

To all you sisters out there who find baby paraphernalia in your carts {+ subsequently hidden in your closets} long before the baby's in your belly, please know this, God answers prayers + His timing is perfect + He has a good plan + He loves you more than words express...  I know that may seem like fluff right now, but it's really not, because we serve a God who keeps His promises, & while no where in scripture does He promise every believing woman a child, He does tell us all things work together for good for us who belong to Him {Romans 8:28} & His ways are perfect {Deuteronomy 32:4}...  In the waiting, I'm holding on to that.  I hope you do, too.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Monthly Recap // November 2017

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 Celebrated my 31st b-day!

Went on a little mini day trip to Pine Mountain & explored the charming shops {for the 1st time} + a few of our favorite overlooks.

 Hosted our 1st dinner + game night!

Took the wedding pics I had been dreaming of for over a year.  Read more about the craziness of that wild little day here, & see a few of the photos here.

 I started a new long term sub job as a 5th grade reading/language arts/writing teacher at a great school.  Definitely a praise!  Thank You, Lord!

Enjoyed giving thanks + food a day early with Dan's parents & then drove up to be with my family on Thanksgiving Day in TN for yet another feast!  Pumpkin pie, you are all mine!  Dan & I worked it off, though, taking our 2 nephews to the playground the next day & wearing ourselves completely out trying to keep up with those little guys!

Continued our tradition of going to Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights.  The chill {i.e.: downright cold} let Dan make use of his trapper hat Christmas gift from last year.  And, no, we don't really have matching hats, I just found that 1 in the gift shop & put it on for a quick pic. 😉

Friday, November 24, 2017

DIY Scripture Advent Calendar

There's no doubt that this is my favorite time of year.  It's such a special & sacred time, & though the world would like to tell you otherwise, it's not really about the stores & the gifts & the Santa guy {though I consider myself  on Team Santa}, it's about the Savior of the world coming to us in tiny baby form on a mission from above to save us all.  It's incredibly radical & mind-blowing to think about, isn't it?  One way we keep Christ at the center of our Christmas is to stay in His Word & this advent calendar helps us do just that {& - added bonus - it looks pretty festive, too}.  Here's how to make it...

What You'll Need:
-a foam poster board {mine's from the Dollar Tree}
-wrapping paper or paint {or some other decorative something to cover your board in}
-small Christmas-y embellishments {think small ornaments, stickers, knick-knacks, etc.}
-tags {there are printable free ones here}
-hot glue
-these Bible verses

Cover your foam board however you'd like {I used book print wrapping paper for mine & wrapped it like I would a gift}.  Print {or create or buy} tags for each day {1-25} & add embellishments.  Print these verses out, cut, & glue to the back of each appropriate tag. {There are only 24 verse selections, so we chose 1 John 4:13-16 for the 25th {Christmas day} + we read the Christmas story in its entirety}.   Punch holes in your tags, add some twine, & tack onto your board with pushpins {add a drop of hot glue to the pushpin for extra holding power}.

I created this advent calendar when I was single & love now sharing the tradition with my husband {somehow it survived the move from TN to GA}!  The daily readings help us focus on the true reason for the season: Jesus Christ.  I think it's my favorite Christmas thing I've made ever {& that's saying something, 'cause over the years I've made a LOT}.

Do you celebrate the advent season in a special way?  Leave me a comment!  I'd love to know more!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gifts // Vol. 19

1,246. safety & health
1,249. chocolate
1,257. Your forgiveness + his
1,267. taking the nature trail down by the creek & hearing the leaves go crunch, crunch, crunch
1,271. safe travels
1,273. my husband's love {always & forever}
1,276. how we went to the field where we got married after church & I told him, "I still do" + his "me, too"
1.280. a night time stroll together with a sliver of a moon
1,286. You, dear Lord, my 1st & truest love {always & forever}
1,295. that You gave us creativity

Happy Thanksgiving from me & mine to you & yours!

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving & His courts with praise; give thanks to Him & praise His name."
-Psalm 100:4

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Little Letters // November 2017

*These little letters are all from the same crazy/beautiful day when Dan & I decided to get back into our wedding attire & take some photos I'd been dreaming of but never got back when we were 1st wed a little over a year ago...

November 18, 2017

Dear Dan,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for not fainting on the side of the road with only me in my wedding dress to catch you.  I just don't think your little wife has that kind of upper body strength.  I'm so sorry you twisted your ankle while running towards the railroad tracks in your nice suit to get our pictures taken.  I'm doubly sorry it made you feel nauseous & see spots {again, thanks for not fainting}.  Thanks for rallying & taking pictures after a few minutes rest back in the car, too.  You are the bestest husband!  I think one day we will look back at this whole thing & laugh.

Your Loving Wife,

✉ ⏩

Dear Sheriff,

Thanks for not taking us in when you found our car parked on the side of the road + us in our wedding attire taking pictures out on the railroad tracks.  You were very understanding about the whole thing.

Kindest Regards & Sincerest Thanks,
Laura + Dan

✉ ⏩

Dear Elderly Couple Driving By,

Thank you for tooting your horn + calling out, "God bless you two!" as you drove past & saw the crazy sight of my husband in his suit & me in my wedding gown out on the side of the road.  Although you couldn't have known we'd already been married a year, you made us smile.  We pray to one day be that elderly couple with a lifetime of memories together, wishing another young couple best wishes, too.

Laura + Dan

✉ ⏩

Dear Sweet Photographer Lady + Daughter,

After the ankle twisting, then sheriff visit, we were a little unsure when we saw you get out of your car & walk towards us down the railroad track.  How grateful we were when we heard you call out that you didn't want to bother us, but just help us because you were a photographer!  Thank you for offering to go back home & get your camera, but the photos you took with Dan's phone were just as beautiful as any we could have hoped for.  You & your sweet daughter helped me move around in my bulky gown & capture memories that will last a lifetime {not least including the sweet memory of your overflowing kindness}.  You made our day!!!

Laura + Dan

✉ ⏩

Click here to view a few of my favorite photos from that crazy/beautiful day!

Once Upon an Autumn Day...


I'd been dreaming of taking wedding pictures on this lovely piece of railroad track for over a year now.  Last Saturday, we got our wedding things back on & finally made it happen!  Click here for more of the story on the misadventure {& adventure} of that lovely autumn day!

Monday, November 20, 2017

DIY Thankfulness Tree

Whether you're hosting a gathering this week & need something simple + festive to spruce your place up, or you're just looking to start a new tradition at your house, this DIY couldn't be simpler. 

Gather small branches & twigs from outside, arrange in a canning jar, & hang decorative tags with blessings written on.  Place a small decorative plate or basket {or whatever you wish} with more tags + a Sharpie or two so guests/family can add their own to the tree.

Praying your Thanksgiving is full of moments where you stop & count up all your blessings!

"Every good & perfect gift is from above..." -James 1:17

Sunday, November 19, 2017

31 {Random} Things About Me

I celebrated my 31st birthday earlier in the month, so I thought I'd share 31 completely random things about me.  Here goes...

1. I became a Christian at age 16 & Jesus is my sweet Savior & most awesome Lord.  I am still amazed I get to call the Creator of the universe Dad!
2. I own a Hello Kitty toaster {& my husband is just fine with that}. 😻
3. Dan & I went to Arizona for our 1st anniversary this year!
4. I met my husband online.  Something I said I'd never ever do.  EverHa ha.
5. I'm a TN girl through & through.
6. I have a thing for Dollar Trees.  Strange, but true.
7. Autumn is my favorite {followed by spring}.
8. Romans is my favorite book of the Bible.
9. My favorite verse is Psalm 27:13, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."
10. My husband turned me into a Star Wars fan!
11. I once got locked in my apartment's swimming pool & had to crawl/squeeze under a fence to escape.
12. I traveled to Scotland completely solo when I was 20.
13. I went back again to visit England {again completely solo} when I was 24.
14. I've waded in Loch Ness.
15. I shopped Notting Hill's Portobello Road Market in London.
16. It's on my bucket list to solve a mystery, ride in a hot air balloon, & swim in a fountain.
17. I grew up on Disney, & Ariel & Rapunzel are my favorite princesses.
18. Last year, one of my Christmas gifts was tickets to see the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid.
19. I don't like seafood or salad.
20. I'm the youngest in my family & my husband is an only child.
21. I have 3 sweet nephews + 1 sweet great-nephew, & I 1st became an aunt when I was 4!  P.S.: This means my oldest sister is a grandma!  Say what!?
22. Target's Dollar Spot is my fave!
23. Ice cream is my weakness.
24. Sara Groves' songs are my favorite.
25. My 1st paying job was at my city's downtown public library.
26. We spent our honeymoon at the happiest place on Earth.
27. My Crock Pot is my kitchen bestie.
28. I played the violin from 5th grade through the end of high school.
29. Christmas is my favorite holiday {hands down}!
30. I have an elementary education degree to teach grades K-6th.
31. I love the retro TV show That Girl with Marlo Thomas.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Date Night Ideas // November 2017

💑 Make a list separately {'cause you both might need some thinking time to get your feelings down} of things that make you thankful for each other, then get together & share them over coffee {or whatever you both like}.

💑 Go fill a shoe box together for Operation Christmas Child {Nov. 13th - 20th}!

💑 Find more ways to get out & serve together.  Soup kitchens, nursing homes, churches, & children's hospitals are always on the lookout for fresh volunteers.

💑 Get in the kitchen & bake a pie together for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving.

💑 Go check out something theatrical together.  Investigate what your area has to offer.  Whether it's a play, poetry reading, or concert... make it a date!

💑 Have a fancy dress up date & get all dolled up.  You don't have to spend tons, just 'cause you're dressed snazzy.  Sometimes just walking around downtown hand-in-hand in the evening & making all the passersby wonder what you 2 are up to looking like you do is enough.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Random Rambles {11.02.2017}

"Control" by Tenth Avenue North - man, this song is speaking to me deep today.  This is my new anthem.  Take a listen here.

▶ I confess, all the Christmas things hitting the stores are making me kinda giddy.

▶ McCormick's slow cookers chicken tortilla soup seasoning mix I randomly picked up at the Dollar Tree the other day, helped me make the most delicious soup ever.  Highly recommend to all my fellow Crock Potters!

▶ My birthday is just 3 little days away.

▶ Dan won a homemade chocolate cake in our church's fall festival, & needless to say it is serious deliciousness {+ I've now claimed it for my birthday cake}.

▶ I want to be wise with my time always, but especially this time of year when WHAM everybody's schedules & to-do lists just grew exponentially over night.  I want to be less rushed & frazzled & more present & rejoicing this holiday season.  Sounds lovely, now to actually go & do it...  God, grant me Your strength + peace.

Last year it did not happen, but 2017 is the year we send out our 1st Christmas cards...  I hope...  Or, at least, I'd like to...  We'll see.  Definitely... Maybe.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Monthly Recap // October 2017

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 Traveled to TN to catch up with some family time + we got to stay a night in my mom & stepdad's cabin.

 Visited stunning Cloudland Canyon & hiked around a bit.

 Wandered around Prater's Mill Country Fair with Dan + my family {+ we might have kissed on a tractor}.

 Went pumpkin shopping together + came home with a couple baby gourd pumpkins.

 Celebrated Dan's b-day with cake, gifts, & a fancy date out to a new restaurant for dinner then ice cream after.

 Hosted a Star Wars movie night + dinner at our place.

 Dressed up together for the 1st time this year for our church's fall festival {+ I DIYed the costumes}.  We were an Oreo cookie!