Enduring All Things: June 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Make a difference by loving your neighbor

I am jumping on this link-up a little late. In fact, this week is number 14. Whoops. Not only that, but they start on Mondays so I am even almost a week late with this one. BUT it is only ever other Monday, so I am good for another week.

Anyway, the wonderful lady at Simply Free does this link up every other Monday where they answer real questions about life. As in, not "What's your favorite ____?" or "Tell me something about yourself."

So this week's question is "What does it mean to you to have made a difference in this world? What are you doing to achieve that change, and how has it been made possible?"

Pretty deep, huh?

A lot of people think that to "Make a Difference" means we have to affect a lot of people on a large scale. A few things that come to mind are, long term missions in a foreign land, holding an influential position in a firm or organization, being a public figure, and spending lots of money on charity or the 'less fortunate'. But what if you don't have a ton of money? What if you don't know somebody to get you into politics (that is how it works nowadays, right?) or TV? What if you are too young and don't have enough experience to have an influential position at work? What if you have ties here in the US keeping you from long term missions? Well then, I guess you can't make a difference, right?

YOU can make a difference. I can make a difference. Anybody can make a difference. All you have to do is LOVE others and show that love on a regular basis.
I am serious. It's that simple.

Or is it simple?

Loving everyone all the time is hard, but if you want to make a difference in this world, this is where it starts. Not to mention, Jesus commanded it. [Matthew 22:39 among others]

First of all, I found this little graphic to help get our minds on the right track.

I have compiled a list of some of my own ways to love your neighbor regardless of race, religion, past, lifestyle, and sexuality. (Disclaimer: to love someone is not the same as approving of their actions or beliefs etc. Jesus didn't discriminate based on any of the above. He loved all, but he didn't condone sin either, and we should do the same)
  • Give what you can. You know the guy that's always on the corner of that exit with the sign that says "Hungry" or something to that effect? Try to have some kind of snack or a food gift card in your car that you can give him when you see him. This isn't a bank-buster and you can rest at ease knowing he can't use money you have given for drugs or other not-so-wholesome things.
  • Give your time. So you don't have a lot of money to give to people less fortunate than you? That's OK, volunteer your time instead! Pearson and I have volunteered with a group from church at the homeless shelter in Columbus. We also do a clothing drive every October. There are plenty of other opportunities.
  • Smile. You can always smile. Even to strangers. Even when you're not in the mood. I mean how hard is it to smile and wave to people you pass? You never know who's day you will make.
  • Make small talk. This one is hard for me. I am pretty shy. But how hard is it to strike up a conversation with the person in front of you in line at the store? What's the worst that can happen? This tells them that they are important enough and worth a conversation.
  • Going along with the above, when you ask how someone is doing, mean it. You know the conversation... "Hey, how are you?" "I'm fine, how are you?" "I'm doing well, thanks." end conversation. No more! Lets try this instead... "Hey, how are you?" "I'm fine, how are you?" "No, I mean really, how are you? How are your kids? What's going on in your life right now? Can I pray for you or with you for anything?" and then listen to what they have to say.
  • Be a shoulder to lean on. If you have a friend or someone you know going through tough times, don't just say "I'm hear when if need anything." Be there. Go over and sit with them. Pray for them. Call them up and pray with them. Take care of the kids without being asked so they can sort through stuff like funeral arrangements or whatever is going on. Do whatever needs to be done. Use your brain. You can think of things they would love help with even if they don't ask.
I think that if we love our neighbors we can change the world to become a better place. A friendlier place. A happier place. One loving person at a time.

Now I know this post was supposed to be about me and what I am doing to change the world, but honestly, I am not doing a great job of it right now. Lets all try to make a difference in our neighbors' lives by showing our love every day.

What are some other ways to love our neighbor that I have missed?

Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thankful Thursday: We are not perfect

Today for Thankful Thursday, I am thankful that
I am not perfect...
And, God doesn't expect me to be!
God does not expect me to be perfect. At least not on our own. We need to be blameless to enter the Kingdom, but He has a plan to make us blameless. His only Son humbled himself and came here and suffered all so that His perfect blood could wash away our sins. Therefore, we are perfect in the sight of our Father. Praise and thank God for that!

Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Spiders Can't Fly!

Today for Thankful Thursday I am thankful that...
Spiders Can't Fly
Spiders Don't Fly

Last night, I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed and a HUGE relatively large spider crawled across the bottom of the towel hanging on the doorknob. EEEKK!!! I screamed. Pearson came running in bathroom and I told him what happened and that it was now behind the towel and showed him with my hand how big it was. He went to get a cup while I watched for it to come out from behind the towel. When he came back and moved the towel he said "Oh, it is not as big as you said." He trapped it, then got a shoe and killed it. I did not want to go back into the bathroom and I couldn't go to sleep. Let me tell you, I have killed plenty of spiders in my life. Some have even been as big as this one. But I think what freaked me out about this one is that it was in the bathroom, as far away from all doors and windows as possible. Where did it come from? Are there more? It was by the door to our closet. (You can walk through the closet from our bedroom to the bathroom). Are there more in the closet? Am I never going to be able to wear anything that comes out of that closet ever again? Probably. Does this mean our apartment is messy and inviting to spiders? Ugh.
[We decided that this weekend we are going to go through the closet, take everything out and clean it out]

Anyway, later Pearson said, "Hey, you know, at least spiders don't have wings." Oh my goodness! Yes. Thank you, God, for not giving spiders wings! I am being completely serious. I said a prayer thanking Him for this.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. I am also thankful for Pearson and his spider catching/killing abilities.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Learning from the Unexpected

Today is the third installment of the From one Year to Beyond newlywed linkup.
Newlywed Bloggers Linkup
You can read my thoughts on funny moments from the first year and hardest moments from the first year from the last two Wednesdays. Today's topic is "What have you learned from the unexpected and how have you grown as a couple during the first year?"

Kinda like I mentioned in the hardest moments post, we haven't really had many things happen unexpectedly in this first year. I mean it was hard at times, but I expected it. We were going to be living together and sharing everything from a bed and toothpaste to a checking account and rental agreement. Not only that, but we were moving 600 miles away where we hardly new anybody. I expected it to be hard, but I had full confidence in us as a couple to get through it together.
The unexpected in the first year of marriage
What I didn't expect going into this was how much of a tole this whole chnage thing would have on me/us emotionally. First there was the fact that I wasn't planning a wedding anymore. I wasn't counting down. I wasn't finding good deals on decorations or sending out schedules to my bridesmaids. There was nothing definitive in the future with a tangible date to look forward to. A graduation, a wedding, and a move across 3 states were all pretty big things to count down to and then I had nothing. My life seemed almost empty. I was working from home (aka never leaving the house) and making dinner for us but that was about it.

I always work better under pressure. This was true growing up playing sports and in my procrastination all through school. So, I thrived when planning a wedding. And sure it was nice at first to not have homework all the time and not running around every day setting things up, but I soaked it up a little too much and as a result, I got lazy, gained weight, got bored and a little depressed and caught up on a bunch of TV shows that don't really matter.
couch potato making
I didn't know what was wrong or how to express how I felt. It basically just turned into Pearson and I getting on each other's nerves with almost everything we said or did. This is when we started really doing more things outside of the house. We got involved more at church. We had people over (planning things helped). We did new things around Columbus. We were in a new place for goodness' sake. We needed to explore!
Buckeye's game
Us at the OSU game when they beat Perdue in overtime.
All of this helped, but I think the most important thing was learning what the other needed. Pearson was used to sitting at home and watching TV a lot. I was used to going out and doing whatever. There have been Saturdays where we literally did nothing all day and it drove me crazy, but that was normal for him. We had to learn to find a balance.
The unexpected in the first year of marriage

Also, we are two very different people who handle every situation very differently. We have had to learn to put each other's reactions in perspective with what we had learned about each other. I now know that if Pearson gets mad and yells at the TV when playing video games, that is normal and he is not going to have a terrible night because he lost. He knows if I get quiet after something is said or done, it is just because I am thinking, not because I am mad at him and not going to talk the rest of the night. Along with having different reactions, we also have different needs. We need to be comforted differently. We thrive off of different praises and affirmations. We are still learning what the other one needs and this will be a long process but we are improving every day.

Here are some other more specific (and for the most part, less drastic) unexpected events...

  1. Disagreeing on little things that I assumed we were on the same page with. (I.E. how to hang ornaments on our Christmas tree, whether or not we will help our kids pay for college, visiting family during the holidays, leaving the washer/dryer and dishwasher on while we are out of the house, how to fold towels, washing dishes)
  2. Grandaddy Harris (Pearson's grandfather) passed away somewhat unexpectedly last month. We dropped everything and drove the 13 hours to Valdosta, GA. It was certainly tough on Pearson as a man to be able to show his emotion, but it was good to see family and to be there to celebrate this man's life. Pearson spoke at the funeral when they opened it up and that was good for him too. Grandaddy was a great man and this is just the beginning of a lot of heartache we will go though as a couple. I learned a lot about how Pearson deals with grief through this and I feel I will be able to help him more in the future.
  3. Being a grown up and having to deal with things like moving, changing my name, paying bills, setting up the internet, decorating our apartment (we are so not getting our damage deposit back on this apartment). I knew these things would be hard but sometimes it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong does. But because I have a fantastic partner by my side through all of it, I have extra confidence, a reason to keep trying, and someone to laugh at myself with. This makes everything better and worth it.
Us with a stubborn gorilla at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
I am still 120% positive that I am married to the most fantastic man in the world. I know that there will be unexpected or hard things that continue to come up in our life after this first year of marriage, but I am ready to tackle the challenges with my best friend!

Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weekend Upgrade Update

So this weekend was pretty sweet. It was the first time we didn't go somewhere or have to get up early on Saturday in a long time. So we took advantage of it.

Friday: we went to the drive in theater. It was $9.00 a person for 2 movies, and they show movies that are in theaters now. There was a concession stand with drinks, popcorn, hot dogs etc., but we could have brought our own food too. It's a pretty sweet deal. We saw 'The Internship' and 'Now You See Me'. They were both really good. We sat in our comfortable seats in the car and tuned our radio into the station for the movies. And the best part was, we could talk and stuff because we were in our closed car. Pretty sweet. We will definitely do it again.
(I got these pictures from their Facebook page.)

Saturday: Pearson had to go into the lab. Boo. So I got some stuff done around the house.
  • I made this awesome earring holder.
  • I cleaned the apartment
  • I painted my nails
  • I put Christmas lights up on our patio.
We got the furniture a little while ago and there's more about the grill below.
When Pearson got home, we ate dinner then went to see 'Man of Steel'. I have to be honest, it was a letdown. I was expecting it to be really awesome. The previews made it look awesome. Christopher Nolan produced it and wrote the story. He did so well with Batman. But it was just too much. There was way too much fighting and destroying of buildings and not enough story telling. It got to be ridiculous and at one point, Pearson and I looked at each other like "Is it really not over yet?" And they didn't explain a lot of stuff. It is kinda sad because Superman was already probably my least favorite superhero out of everybody in DC, Marvel, and everything, and now he is even further down on the list, if possible. It isn't his fault. Poor Clark.

Sunday: We went to Church and heard a fantastic Father's Day sermon. Then we came home and had breakfast for lunch and went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. We love that place, and we possible went a little crazy. But the produce just looks so good there. Anyway, we have decided we are going to try the Paleo Diet. We aren't gonna go crazy and buy the books and completely cut everything out, but we are going to use it as a guideline to healthier eating. This is why we went to Trader Joe's instead of Kroger this week.

After Trader Joe's, we went to buy a gas grill that we had been eyeing at the Kroger Marketplace across the street from our apartment complex. We went to get it and they were completely out of the one we wanted. They didn't even have it on display anymore. So we went to Home Depot where we knew they had one a lot like it, but we wouldn't have a coupon for it. :/ So we bought the grill and brought it home.
After evening church service that night, we put the grill together. I guess you could say we were in "home improvement" mode or something, because we rearranged the entire living room to better accommodate the patio door. Here are some before and after pics.
Basically we switched the love seat and recliner. And moved the TV and stuff over.
(And those are curtains on the floor in front of the window)

The new console table behind the love seat. I love this!
We also got curtains for the patio door but we haven't put them up yet because we have to buy extenders to let them clear the blinds on the door.

Anyway, it feels good to have gotten all this done this weekend, and to have time to see movies and chill a little. I believe next weekend we are gonna plant some flowers in the little flowerbed we have in the patio area. I am so excited that the patio is becoming presentable and enjoyable. I love being outside and having a comfortable, inviting space makes all the difference.

Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Dad

Since Sunday is Father's Day, and I won't be able to see him, today for Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for...
My Dad

My dad has been there for me through everything. He raised me as a Braves fan. He coached my softball team. He made me go to Church and taught me wrong from right. He took me on mission trips and helped my write my Lads to Leaders speeches. He disciplined me when I disobeyed and pushed me when I needed it. He walked me down the aisle and gave me away. A lot of who I am today-the decisions I make, the attitude I have, and my confidence-is because I had a fantastic dad involved in my life who showed me what to do and told me he was proud when I lived that way.

I love you, Dad, and I am truly thankful for you! Even though I am married and live 9 hours away from you, you are still my Daddy. I look up to you and appreciate you probably more than you will ever know. I am glad to make you proud and to know that you love and support me from Georgia. I miss you! I wish I could celebrate Father's Day with you.

Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hardest Moments of the First Year

It's time for part 2 of the newlywed linkup "From one year to beyond"...
You can read my post from last week here.
Today's topic: The Hardest Moments of the First Year.

If we're being honest, our first year has really not been that hard. I mean sure there have been tough moments. We aren't perfect, and we do argue, but for the most part, being married hasn't been a horrible adjustment. I think the fact that we dated for 6 years before we got married, we both lived on campus at Harding, and we went home to the same home town helped in that regard. We were already pretty used to each other even though we hadn't technically lived together. We both have great, supporting families and friends. When we got married, we didn't want for anything. The amount of bridal gifts we received was overwhelming. We knew where we were going after we got married. Pearson had been accepted to the Biophysics graduate program at OSU. I was going to keep my fantastic job with M3. We had no real worries about our future.

However, the biggest problem for me was.... Moving to OHIO! Hello!

I had lived in the south all my life. I grew up in Georgia and went to college in Arkansas. My family lives mostly in Georgia and Arkansas and the rest basically just live in Tennessee and Louisiana. That is both sides of my extended family. There is not one person that I know of related to me living above the Mason-Dixon line.

More Ohio memes here
Anyway, I was all worried about living here and having no country music or cowboy boots. I was wrong. Basically, the only difference was the weather, which I'll admit was pretty tough to get used to.

But what was hard about moving here was the fact that our closest family is 600-some-odd miles away, and we hardly knew a soul here. When we first moved, church was awkward. We didn't belong. We had both gone to the same church back home for so long that everyone knew us and our families. We had life-long friends there. It was home. It was comfortable. We left that far behind when we moved all the way to Ohio.

But we found a great church and from the outside looking in, there seemed to be so many people our age and in the same "stages of life" as us, but they were all friends already. We didn't know whether to go to the college class {where there were freshmen-5 years younger than us} or the young adults class {where there were couples with kids in school}. We were in between. This was hard for me because I am not very outgoing and not good at making friends anyway, and frankly, I don't like change. I liked my comfort zone and having my friends that already knew everything about me, but I knew I would feel alone if I didn't make an effort to meet people. As the year went on, we made ourselves get involved and do things. Now we have great friends! They have seriously taken us in. It took a little while but it was worth it.

We love our church family and our friends. Life is a lot different from having my family live a few miles down the road or going to church with my grandma's life long friends, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Starting over with your life as a new married couple is good in a lot of ways. We learned to lean on each other more than we would have with our family close by. We did fun couple things that we wouldn't have done if we went out with our old friends every Friday night like we did before we were married. Looking back, I can definitely see God's hand in this. I love everyone in my life here with all my heart. And I guess Ohio itself isn't so bad after all.
This was the hardest adjustment for me by far, but here are some other less dramatic moments:

Messy living. I'll admit, I am not the cleanest person in the world, but compared to Pearson {and most boys, I'm sure}, I am spic and span. There are times when I feel like I am literally following Pearson around the house cleaning up after him.

My communication. As I have said before, I am an introvert and would usually just prefer to keep things to myself. Pearson is the complete opposite. {By the way, according to Myers Briggs I am an ISFJ and Pearson is an ENTP. Exact opposites in every aspect}. It drives him crazy when I don't immediately want to talk about problems or express to him what is bothering me. Sometimes Usually, I just want to think about it for a little while and not burden him with it.

Privacy. When we first got married, Pearson was so excited to live with me that he followed me everywhere. Everywhere. Even the bathroom. I couldn't stand it. I told him I needed a little privacy and we eventually worked it out. That is part of the communication thing too.

So while there were some tough times in our first year, we just had to work through them and we are a stronger couple for it. And besides, the good certainly outweighs the bad.

Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Special Day

June 11 is very special to me...

First of all, on this day a few years ago, Jolene Todd was born. Happy Birthday, Mom! You are my best friend, mentor, and mom. God certainly knew what he was doing when he put me in your care. I cannot imagine how my life would be without you in it. You are a lot of the reason I am who I am today. And I think you did a pretty good job raising me. ;)

This day is important secondly because it was on this day 7 years ago that Pearson asked me on our first date. We went to see "Cars" later that week. Before that we had been talking and flirting a lot and after that we sorta became boyfriend and girlfriend, so when we finally 'DTR'ed, we decided June 11th would be our anniversary.
Homecoming Junior Year- The earliest pic I have of our dating days.
I know of several other birthdays today and a couple wedding anniversaries. It looks like June 11th is a day for celebrating!

Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Singing

Today for Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for...
Songs of Praise

I am thankful that God commanded us to sing. For me, singing is a great way to express praise and thankfulness to God. Words cannot describe how awesome He is, but having words and notes on a page to follow, helps me get in the mind set of worshiping Him. Not only that, but the songs are also uplifting to each other. I am always encouraged by the words in the songs, and by how beautiful they sound. Lastly, I am thankful for how they teach us. There are tons of scriptures that I know because of songs we sing. There are ideas and phrases found in hymns for almost everything. If you are ever doubting, hurting, or upset, there is almost always an encouraging song for the occasion.

Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I live for little moments like this...

Emily at Newlywed Moments and her husband had their one year anniversary last week and she has joined up with several other newlywed bloggers to start a weekly marital advice linkup, "From One Year to Beyond". Since we are newlyweds with our first anniversary coming up next month, and I currently am looking looking for some fun blogging topics, I thought I would join in.

Today's topic is Funny Moments from the First Year!
Oh boy, where do I begin? The beginning, I guess...

Funny Moment #1: For our wedding, we wrote our own vows. We worked on them separately, but we read each other's before the big day just to make sure they were even, if you will. Pearson's vows were very well written and so, so sweet! During the ceremony while reading them, he stumbled on some words. If you know him, this is probably not very surprising. The funniest part though, was how when he couldn't get past a phrase, he stopped {in front of 300+ people, mind you} and said, "Oh whatever..." then picked up where he left off. Everyone {including me} laughed, and the preacher said, "That's the first of many 'whatever's'."

Funny Moment #2: We went to the Bahamas for our honeymoon. On the last night, we did a dinner cruise. I was under the impression that this cruise was going to be a romantic, watch the sunset, fancy dinner type cruise. Nope. It was more of a party boat. Anyway, Pearson competed in the limbo and came in second place! So when the hostess asked for couple volunteers next, of course he insisted we do whatever she had in store. He was on a high from the limbo. It turns out, we were entered in a dance contest... against all African-American, and very talented, couples. Oh boy. Well, we held our own and did what the song said... The winner was determined by applause from everyone on the cruise and sure enough, we won! {out of pity, I'm sure} And what did we win, you ask? A bottle of cheap rum! Hmm... at least it is a funny story we will always have.
The people at our table were kind enough to take pictures
Funny Moment #3: After we moved here, Pearson and I started doing monthly "Mystery Dates." One of us plans a surprise date and blindfolds the other, only telling them a time and what to wear. The next month, we switch rolls. In September, I found a drive-in theater online {I have always wanted to see a movie at a drive in} and told Pearson to just be ready by 6:30 Friday night and to wear whatever he wore to school. We drove to south Columbus with a cooler full of food hidden in the trunk and pulled up to see that we were the only people there and the drive-in was very sketchy and in what seemed to be a shady part of town... We decided to forget it and go home to watch TV. At the time I was pretty mad because we drove all the way there and the date was ruined. But looking back, it is funny. We also found out that during the summer months, lots of people go and it is not sketchy at all, so we are probably going to try again.

Funny Moment #4: Speaking of mystery dates, in October Pearson took me to Lynd's fruit farm to pick apples and pumpkins. After that, we decided to go to Sonic for happy hour. We turned off the car and enjoyed our drinks. When we were getting ready to leave, the car wouldn't start. The engine wouldn't even turn over. Luckily some of the guys who worked there had jumper cables and helped us out. We immediately went to get a new battery and the guy who replaced it was a hoot! He took over an hour to replace the battery and talked the whole time. He told us tons of Army stories and made a horrible situation enjoyable.
Funny Moment #5: This next moment happened in April {hint hint}. Pearson was at school and he doesn't get cell service in the Physics building, so I sent him an IM on Google Talk. I said "I have something to tell you. I don't really know how to tell you and I really wish I could call you..." Then I sent him a picture of a positive pregnancy test that I found on the internet. He called me a few minutes later when he got the message and I didn't answer because my phone was on silent. Finally I called him back and the first thing he asked was "What prompted you to take the test?" And I couldn't keep it up long so I said "What prompted me? Well, um... you see, it's April first and... APRIL FOOLS!!" We stayed on the phone for a little bit and before we hung up he said his heart was still racing. His reaction was perfect even though it is probably one of the oldest pranks in the book for newlyweds who are not planning on having kids for a while.

Funny Moment #6: Last but not least, this one happened this weekend. We went to Memphis for my best friend's wedding. Sunday we got a late start on the 9 hour drive home. We stopped at a gas station to fill up before we hit the road. Pearson had been driving but I was going to take the first leg of the trip. While he was in the bathroom, I took the driver's seat and put my keys in the ignition. He got in the car and we took off. About an hour down the road, I decided I had to stop and get a drink to help me stay awake. When I got back to the car and put my keys in the ignition, Pearson said "Wait, you're using your keys? Where are mine?" To which I said "I don't know!" We tore apart the car looking for them. Finally, we called the gas station and the lady checked the bathroom and all the pumps. Nothing. We thought about it and came up with the conclusion that he threw the keys away. He had a lot of thrash {and his keys} in his hands when he got out of the car at the pump and just threw it all away. There were keys to the OSU Physics building, and Pearson's office and lab on there. So we drove the whole hour back to the gas station and someone had dumped 3 bags of wet soil into the trash can. Who does that? Pearson dug through the soil and sure enough, there were his keys. Then he washed his keys and hands up to his elbows. Again, this wasn't so funny at the time but it was hilarious shortly after we got the keys back.
Us at the wedding :)
There were many other funny moments this year, but I tried {and failed} to keep it to 5. There is almost never a dull moment in my life and I am most grateful for that!

Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Bucket List

Now that the month of May is over, I feel like I can breath again. With lots of graduations, showers, weddings and a funeral, I felt like I couldn't stop for one minute. The month of June is going to be a time of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation before we hit the pavement again in July. Here is what July looks like: Pearson's family is coming to visit the first weekend, our anniversary trip is the next weekend, and more weddings the next four weekends in a row! (Yes two of those weekends are technically in August, but you get the picture).

Now that I can breath again, I am going to try to blog more than just the weekly Thankful Thursdays. I thought I would start with a fun post of my bucket list. Here are 20 things I want to do before I die.
  1. Read Les Miserables- I am about half way done and I started in February. I am taking it slow and have even taken a couple breaks, but as long as it gets done before I die, I will be happy.
  2. Read through the Bible in a year. I cannot believe I have never actually gotten all the way through.
  3. Travel to Europe (preferably on a mission trip).
  4. Memorize an entire book of the Bible. Or 2 or 3.
  5. Go on a cruise (preferably Disney).
  6. See Wicked on Broadway- This is most likely going to happen next month! I am psyched!
  7. Be able to play the guitar well.
  8. Meet Jennifer Lawrence and/or Julie Andrews (I had too many and had to consolidate)
  9. Go para-sailing.
  10. Be part of a flash mob- I missed my opportunity at Harding :(
  11. Swim with Dolphins.
  12. Be retweeted by someone famous!
  13. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. And the statue of liberty.
  14. Take a cross country road trip.
  15. See where Jesus walked while physically here on Earth.
  16. Sit on top of the Hollywood sign.
  17. Ride in a submarine.
  18. Chaperon a youth mission trip.
  19. Be a mommy and eventually a grandma.
  20. Visit Hogwarts. Though I guess Harry Potter world would work too.
What's on your bucket list? What else do you recommend I add to mine?

Thanks for reading!
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Monday, June 3, 2013

Matron of Honor

Now that my best friend's wedding is over and surprises have been revealed, I wanted to share some of what I did as Matron of Honor, as well as some pictures of the stunning bride, gorgeous wedding and the whole weekend!

Let me start by saying I am so honored to have had such an important roll in this wedding. I am very blessed to have friends in Taylor and Ashley and I am so glad Ashley trusts me with this roll. It was such a fun, exciting, perfect weekend and a beautiful wedding. I am proud to have been a part of it.

Well, I got to Memphis about 11pm on Wednesday night. I flew stand-by with a buddy pass from my grandpa (you can read about how and why I can do this here). The problem with flying stand-by is you don't always get the flight you want so I unexpectedly had a 3 hour layover in Atlanta. But it worked out! :) When I got to Memphis, Taylor's grandparents picked me up from the airport and took me to the church building where everyone was still setting up before turning in for the night. Ashley and I didn't leave till after midnight and the whole drive (about 30 minutes) back to her house, we passed a yawn back and forth. Needless to say, the weekend started off on a tiring note and I have no pictures of that day.

The next morning, we got up and got ready to go to the Church building again to help decorate. I put on an Atlanta Braves t-shirt. For some reason, Ashley and Allison both had to wear Cardinals shirts. I can't decide if they like my style and wanted to imitate or if they were trying to offset the Braves with Cardinals attire. (Atlanta won that night and St. Louis lost- Just a side note).

We did some more decorating and ran some errands.
I had a little fun with the lace.

When more of the girls got there, we put on our tiaras and the t-shirts I made and headed to dinner at Huey's and a Memphis Redbirds game!
Friday, we got up and went to the bridesmaids' luncheon. The house where we were was so cute and had gorgeous decorations.
We had our nails done.
Then we headed to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was outside and it was so so cute!
After the rehearsal and dinner, the girls headed to the hotel for a tad more partying before the big day.
We all signed an apron for her and gave her a recipe book filled with recipes from us all.
Then Saturday was the BIG day! (dun dun dun).

The first stop was of course Starbucks!

Then, we got our hair done. While at the salon, I gave her my gift which was a special box with memories from the time she was engaged; shower invitations, save the date, wedding invitation, luncheon invitation, rehearsal dinner invitation, thank you notes, and a photo album with pictures of her and Taylor from this year.
Then, we headed to the church building to finish getting ready and start taking pictures.
Then the ceremony finally began! Followed by the beautiful reception!

In my opinion, the whole thing was perfect. I hope the beautiful bride felt the same way!
Love you Ashley! (but I know you won't see this for a while! Have a wonderful rest of your honeymoon!)

And P.S. Not only were our bridesmaids' dresses exactly the same, but our wedding coordinators were both named Cathie/Cathy, our hair dressers were both named Sarah, and our photographers were both named Erin/Aron! How crazy is that??
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