Enduring All Things: May 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thankful Thursday - God's Creation {Link Up}

I am super excited to be joining Rachel @ My Wholesome Home today for a Thankful Thursday link up! Last year (2013), I did a weekly Thankful Thursday series. I tried to write about something I was thankful for EVERY Thursday, all year long. It was certainly a challenge and I was very proud of how well I kept that goal. However, with the start of 2014, I knew I didn't want to do it anymore because it had gotten to be too much of a hassle to come up with something every week and sometimes I just wanted to post about something else on that Thursday. But I missed it. So when Rachel mentioned doing a Thankful Thursday post just once a month and making it a link up, I was pumped!
Today for Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for... 
God's creation
You know, everything God does has a purpose. So what's the purpose of the beauty of nature? It's for our pleasure. Sure God created nature for the survival of other aspects of His creation. This is evident over and over in Psalm 104. He created the food chain. He clothes and nurtures even the birds of the air and the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:25-34). But he didn't have to make it beautiful and pleasing to our eyes. That part has nothing to do with survival. That aspect was purely for our pleasure because God not only cares about our needs, He also wants us to be happy and fulfilled while here on Earth. How cool is it that we serve a God who cares about that?

And if we're being honest with ourselves, there is no way we can look around at the complexity of nature, and not see God's work and qualities. Phillip Brooks says it rather well in this quote "...From the world we see, hear, and touch, we behold inspired visions that reveal God's glory..." It is so true. I cannot walk outside without being overcome with awe at God's amazing glory, power, beauty, and compassion. Animals and plants glorify Him just by being themselves and doing what He created them to do. It's truly mesmerizing!
So I am thankful for God's creation because I can enjoy the beauty of it. I love being still and immersed in nature. I love feeling God's overwhelming presence all around me. And I love that just by looking around, I have no doubt that Our God exists, created our world, and has some awesome power.
What are you thankful for this month? Be sure to link up below and grab the button to share on your post or side bar to spread the word. And use the hashtag #ThankfulThursdayParty when you share on social media!


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Engagement Photos

It's Wednesday again even though it's only the second work day of the week. That always throws me off! Anyway, as weird as it is, it's time for another Wedding Wednesday! If you've missed them, here are all my #WeddingWednesday posts from the month.
A few months after we were engaged, one of my best friends took our engagement photos. We stayed on Harding's Campus for the most part and ended up not changing our clothes at all, even though we planned to. We had so much fun and I LOVE how the pictures turned out. Kellum is so talented and I am so thankful to her for doing this for us. So here's a little photo dump of the engagements. Enjoy!
Did you take engagement photos? Where they more formal than mine, or did you have a friend do them?
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

10 Things You WIll Never Hear Me Say

  1. I am giving up coffee
  2. This is going to be such a boring weekend
  3. That dog is so annoying
  4. No, I don't want any pizza
  5. I wish I had plans tonight
  6. I'd much rather talk on the phone than text somebody
  7. I don't need my planner
  8. It is so hot outside!
  9. I think I wanna go back to school
  10. Anything that doesn't need to be said
I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Did you spend it with friends and family cooking out and enjoying the weather? That's what we did! Did you thank a soldier or two? I hope so.

Thanks for reading!
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Carabox Reveal {Spring 2014}

Once again, I had some great Carabox partners this quarter! I just love this swap. And guess what! You don't have to have a blog anymore to participate. You just have to have an Instagram account and follow #caraboxexchange. Sign ups for the Summer quarter will be open at the beginning of June. 
This quarter's theme was "hometown," which means our boxes were supposed to be full of things that represent our hometown. I sent a box full of Columbus, Ohio goodies to Savannah. And Heather sent me some fantastic Florida goodies!
Did you know that Publix started in Florida? She gave me a reusable grocery bag. She also gave me some great nail polish! We had talked about how I can't ever find polish that lasts more than a couple days. So Heather found this Gelous base coat that works like magic. I used it as a base and top coat with the Mint Essie she gave me and it lasted more than a week!
I love the EOS lip balm. And I will certainly use the beach defense sunscreen when I start doing more things outside. The soap and sponge are from Tarpon Springs where they harvest sponges out of the gulf! That's pretty cool. I didn't even realize that was a thing! And of course a Mickey dog toy for Pip from Disney World in Orlando! She sent several Florida post cards and I thought this one represented the two of us perfectly! It makes me a little jealous though. I would give up the left side for the right side any time for any price!
Pip LOVES his Mickey Mouse toy! He knew immediately when I took it out of the box that it was for him. He came over sniffing around and then when I squeaked it, he really knew and I couldn't keep it away from him after that!
 These Coconut Patties are from Orlando and they were delicious! I am not a huge coconut fan so I really was surprised at how much I liked them.
And of course, freeze dried ice cream from NASA! This was very interesting. I don't really know what I expected but not this. It tasted like an ice cream sandwich, but it was dry. Not wet. Not cold. But sweet. It crumbled like a cracker, even the ice cream part.
So anyway, as I was saying before, Carabox is a fantastic program that the wonderful and brilliant Kaitlyn created. It's fun to get a box full of goodies in the mail. And it's even more fun to go shopping for someone, thinking of what they like and what could fit the theme. But the best part is, meeting and getting to know wonderful women who live all over the country that you would never know otherwise! I still keep in touch with all my partners from the past. Isn't technology a great thing? 

Anyway, that's my Carabox for the Spring 2014 quarter. Thanks for reading!
On another note, Memorial Day is on Monday. I want to say thank you, first of all, to all our troops. Veterans, active members, those that gave their lives, and all their families. Your sacrifice is unmatched and absolutely appreciated. 

While we're all hanging out at the pool and grilling out with family and friends this weekend, I thought I'd join in on the celebrating and offer my ads for 40% all weekend! So go to my sponsor page and use promo code USA40 for 40% off on any ad space through Monday!
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Letters to the World {May 2014}

Dear Once Upon a Time,
I LOVED your ending. I thought it was cleaver and well played. You got everyone excited for next season. Now we have to wait all Summer, but I don't think you will be losing ANY viewers in the Fall. However, you caused my husband and I to argue... Yes we argued over a TV show... We're cool like that.

Dear Apartment Complex,
Your grass grows really fast. I am sorry that it is up to my knees just a week after you mowed, but that just means you need to mow more often. Please. I have to walk my dog in that.

Dear Husband,*
I am so sorry that I had to go out of town on the week that you have to do the written part of your Candidacy Exam. I am sure you are doing great but I wish I could be there to support you, but I am doing my best from afar. Just know you're number one cheerleader is cheering loud from Georgia!
Dear Meryl Davis (Olympic ice-dancer gold medalist & most recent DWTS champion),
Congratulations! You certainly deserve that Mirror Ball. I watched this season so much more than any other season because I am a huge Candace Cameron fan. But I am so glad I got to watch you and Maks win. I admire your determination to be the best at everything you do. I really enjoyed watching your amazing dancing and your relationship with Maks. Congrats again! It was well deserved.

Dear Coworkers,*
Please excuse me this week. I am not used to being around people all day. If I've been awkward or seemed like I was avoiding you, I don't mean it. Also, I'm not used to waking up so early to get ready and commute to work. That combined with staying up late every night talking with my mom and other friends here, makes for a sleepy Charlene during the day.

Dear Spring,
Thank you for finally showing your face. Now if you could just stay until it's time to change seasons again. Quit hiding. Last weekend, the temperature got down to the 30s and 40s. That's not OK in the middle of May! P.S. I know I talk about this a lot, but it's ridiculous!

Dear Blogland,
Thank you for being so wonderful! I love all the wonderful people I've met and become friends with through you, I love learning tips, tricks, and life lessons from other bloggers. And I love sharing my own heart with you. I only wish I discovered you sooner!

*SIDE NOTE: If you don't know, I usually work at home but this is my week in the office.

What would you write in an open letter to the world?
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Registering

It's Wednesday! That means it's time for another Wedding Wednesday. If you missed them, here are my posts from the last two weeks...
If you don't know, Pearson and I went to college in Arkansas, but we grew up in Georgia. We were getting married at our home church in Buford, Georgia and both of our families and a lot of our friends live there. So it made sense for us to register there. Or at least to register at stores that had branches there. But we were in school at Harding in Arkansas. Of course, I could have registered any time during Pearson's last semester after I graduated and was living with my parents, but he wanted to be there for it. So we did it while he was home for spring break.

We set aside a couple nights that week to go to Target and Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but we looked online first. We had a plan, I knew what colors I wanted, and we took a checklist with us. When we went to BB&B, we had a lady helping us. She took us around each room. We felt sort of pressured and ended up registering for way too much for one store. Later, I went to our registry online and took a lot of things off. It did help a lot to have her with us the first time, though because we had no idea what we were doing.

The next night, we went to Target. We asked if we could start a registry and the girl typed our names into the gun, handed it to us, and let us go. It was a much different experience. But I liked this experience too because we were completely by ourselves and could go wherever we wanted and goofed off a bit along the way. :)

We ended up only registering at those two stores. And we kept adding and taking things off the list throughout the whole process. If we got something that we registered for but the person didn't actually buy it off our registry, we deleted that item. The problem with this was that we could see online what had been bought and sometimes we hadn't received it yet so it sorta spoiled the surprise. 

I also went back to the stores a couple more times by myself after Pearson went back to school. There were some things I waned to change but I wanted to see them first. And that's OK. You can change things up to the day of the wedding if you want.

My Advice: 
  • Go during the week. I've talked to people who registered on the weekend and they were sorry because of the crowds and pressure.
  • Make a plan by looking online first. I can't imagine walking around with a scanner without having any idea what I wanted or without some sort of plan.
  • Don't go for the most expensive or the cheapest version of everything. Find a happy medium. 
  • Don't do it all at once. Make several trips so you don't feel overwhelmed.
  • Try not to watch the registry online if you can help it. Don't spoil the surprise by seeing when something was bought before you get it.
Did you enjoy registering? Did you goof off some or was there too much pressure? What advice would you add to mine?
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Five Signs I'm Not in College Anymore

I've been reminiscing on my college days a lot lately with Spring Sing last month, all the graduations lately, watching the frisbee tournament this weekend, and catching up with my brother who just finished his junior year. The longer I am out of college, the more it becomes obvious that part of my life is over for good. It was a great time, but all good things must come to an end. So I thought I'd share five sure signs that I'm not in college anymore...
ONE // My apartment is a mess a lot of the time because I don't have health and safety inspection every couple of weeks.
TWO // At 5:00 PM I can (usually) put away my work and not think about it again until 8:00 AM the next day. AKA, I have no more "homework" and I don't have to study for exams on my own time.
THREE // I can't just walk down the hall, knock on a dorm room door any time I wanna hang out with my friends. Now-a-days we have to actually make plans to do things.
FOUR // My bedtime has moved up about three hours.
FIVE // I find myself not wanting to wear my ChiO's stuff anymore. I don't want people to think I'm still in college. I never thought I would feel this way. I was always so proud of my club. Not that I'm not proud, it's just not me anymore.
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Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Friday! {Countdown Recap}

Happy Friday, friends!! I've had a pretty great week. No complaining here. We've had some great weather with a few thunderstorms here and there. I LOVE it!
I also love that Rachel from My Wholesome Home has let me write a guest post on her blog today! Go check out my review of a beloved book series!

Now on to the Friday countdown. This week I'm doing things a little differently because I couldn't narrow down my favorite articles to 4 and I couldn't think of a 5th thing I loved. So those two categories are switched. I hope that's OK ;)

5 Articles I've Loved (I couldn't narrow it down any further)
  • This is the cutest and bravest little puppy! (94.9 The Bull)
  • Fantastic thoughts about the Michael Sam situation (Matt Walsh Blog)
  • The sweetest little girl comforting her new born baby sister (Country Outfitters)
  • I am SO excited for this new Harry Potter ride! The cast even got together to shoot more scenes for it! (Complex Pop Culture)
  • A great blog post about how abortion has changes the discussion of miscarriage (ScissorTail Silk
4 Things I've Loved
  • Five TImes August. I discovered him in college when he came to Harding for a concert and I absolutely fell in love with his music. It always makes me just feel better about life. I can't really tell you why, it just does. Anyway, I've been listening to him again this week.
  • #FirstsTotalSocial I LOVED this linkup yesterday. Hellene and Sarah are hosting a monthly #TotalSocial linkup where anyone can link up on any form of social media, not just blogs. Yesterday was all about firsts: first blog post, first tweet etc. You should check out the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
  • My Corn Bag. Have you ever used one of these? It's a bag filled with corn (rice works too) and you stick it in the microwave for a few minutes and it is a portable heating pad! Great for stressed out shoulders, a sore back, or menstrual cramps! I've used it for all 3 this week...
  • Snickerdoodle Coffee. From Amish country, Ohio. We seem to have rediscovered this stuff in our pantry for whatever reason and I love it!

3 Posts I Wrote
  • Not all Heroes are Super & Some Use Wants {Tues}
  • Wedding Wednesday - Asking Your Bridesmaids {Wed}
  • Worship God in the Beauty of Holiness - Psalm 96:9 {Thurs}

2 Things I'm Looking Forward To

  • The Harding University Women's Ultimate Frisbee team made it to Nationals and they are playing this weekend here in Columbus! Woohoo! I got a few Harding people to join me for some of the games and they are going to have the best Cheer section they've ever had!
  • I'm going to Georgia next week for work so I get to see my family and friends there again! I'm so thankful for this job in Gainesville, GA that lets me work from home every day and pays for me to visit some people I love every once in a while. Of course, I have to go into the office and work while I'm there, but I can't complain

1 Reason to Smile

  • God is so powerful and it is evident in the creation around us and yet he loves each of us as his own children and takes care of all of our needs.

How was your week?
Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness - Psalm 96:9 {NIV}

"May God give you eyes to see beauty only the heart can understand. From the world we see, hear, and touch, we behold inspired visions that reveal God's glory. In the sun's light, we can catch warm rays of grace and glimpse His eternal design. In the birds' song, we hear His voice and it reawakens our desire for Him. At the wind's touch, we feel His Spirit and sense our eternal existence.
"All the world is an utterance of the Almighty. Its countless beauties, its exquisite adaptations, all speak to you of Him."
- Phillips Brooks
The world is an amazing place that represents the awesome God who created it. Brooks uses the sun, birds, and wind to show us God's qualities. I would also add that all little creatures show us the compassion of God because He cares for all of them. He makes sure they have the means to survive. The food chain shows God's design and how He has a plan for every living thing. He knew what he was doing, even when he made spiders. Thunderstorms show just a smidgen of His power, but that's enough to know what He is capable of and to remember His promise to Noah about the flood and to us about never leaving or forsaking us.
I just love being outside and being overwhelmed by our awesome God. I see Him in every season, but for me, it is especially obvious in the Spring. I could sit and watch a thunderstorm for hours, like I sort of have today, and just be awestruck. Even though I've seen a ton of thunderstorms in my life. It never gets old because I see what awesome things our God has created and I remember that He created me too. And that He loves me and sent His Son to die for me! How awesome is it that a God this powerful cares so much?

That's pretty awesome if you ask me!
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Asking Your Bridesmaids

It's Wednesday! That means it's time for another Wedding Wednesday. If you missed it, here's my post from last week, Ring Shopping!
These days, there seems to always be a big competition on the cutest and most creative way to... propose marriage, ask someone to prom, announce a pregnancy, reveal your baby's gender, and ask your bridesmaids to be your bridesmaids. I blame the internet. Especially Pinterest. On the other hand, these things can be a pretty big deal. These days, being a bridesmaid is a big commitment financially, emotionally, and time-wise, so you want your bridesmaids to feel loved and honored as much as possible. 

My bridal party consisted of my 3 roommates, 2 other friends from college, my cousin, and a good family-friend. My junior bridesmaids consisted of my cousin, a good family-friend, and Pearson's sister. And my flower girls were my 2 little cousins. Did you get that? That's 12 girls.
So I could use the excuse that I had too many girls and didn't want to spend the money or make that many cute souvenirs or something. But honestly, I put off asking them and ran out of time to do something cute and fancy. I was graduating from college that semester and planning my wedding, OK? So what I did was, one Friday night, I cooked dinner for the 5 girls who were at Harding with me. This is a big deal for college students, you know. And I just asked them over dinner. Lame, I know.

For the girls at home, I waited until labor day when they were all at my grandma's house celebrating (including the family-friends) and I video called them. I asked them each individually if they would like to be in the wedding. Most of them were sort of shocked and flattered and one of them (the youngest flower girl) flat out said no. But she eventually warmed up to the idea and did a fantastic job!

Next, I had to decide who was going to be my Maid of Honor. I think for a lot of girls, this is a no-brainer. And if I were doing it now, it would be. But 3ish years ago, it was a difficult decision for me. I decided to go with Ashley because I knew we had a lot in common and I knew she would take the responsibility seriously, give me her honest opinion, and never make this about her. Even though she was 2 years younger than me and I probably knew her the least (at the time) out of all my girls, I made the right choice. She went above and beyond my expectations, and no doubt, became my bff.
So how did I share my decision with her? Well, I was really nervous about it because it wasn't the obvious choice. One day, me and Pearson were eating dinner with her and Taylor (now her husband) and she asked me who was the MOH. I hesitated, looked to Pearson for support, and said "Well I would really like for it to be you?" She was really surprised. Pretty lame, huh?

Looking back at my wedding planning, this is one of my only regrets. I wish I had made a bigger deal about asking my bridesmaids. I hope they know I appreciate them so much! To see about how wonderfully they treated me the whole wedding weekend, read my wedding series. I couldn't have asked for better girls by my side!

My Advice: Make something special that your bridesmaids can keep forever like what Ashley did when she asked me (pictured below). And take pictures of the ordeal.
A mason jar wrapped in burlap and lace that says "Matron of Honor? Charlene June 1, 2013" filled with Hershey's Kisses
How did you ask your bridesmaids? Did you make it a big deal or keep it low-key?
Thanks for reading! Linking up here.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Not all Heroes are Super & Some use Wands

Are you guys aware of what this week is? This week is finale week. All of the shows we watch religiously are coming to a close (if they haven't already) for the Summer. This is both good and bad. Honestly I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately with keeping up with all of them. You can read about the shows we follow here. And you can add Parks & Rec and How I Met Your Mother to that list. That's a lot. It will feel good to be able to watch whatever we want instead of worrying about what we need to catch up on.
On the other hand, I know that they all will end with big cliffhangers (Like Once Upon a Time on Sunday, am I right?!?!) and I won't want to wait till the Fall to watch again. Also, I know after a couple weeks I will start to miss the characters. Is it sad that I feel like I really know these people and that they may even seem like my friends? Maybe I shouldn't admit that. Oops. 

Anyway, tonight is the finale of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I am psyched! It's gonna be legit. So the other night, Pearson and I were laying in bed - and everyone knows the best of philosophies come from laying in bed and talking - and we discovered that every character in S.H.I.E.L.D. has a twin from the Harry Potter series. Every one. So, I thought I'd share our findings with the world.

Fair warning... SPOILER ALERT!!! If you watch S.H.I.E.L.D, and are not caught up, STOP READING! Ok since we have that out of the way, lets get on to the comparisons.
  • First of all, Skye from S.H.I.E.L.D is Harry Potter. She is an orphan who has been taken in by this group of people. She never feels like she fits in because she didn't go through training at the academy just like Harry didn't grow up in the wizarding world.
  • Secondly, Fitz & Simmons are Ron & Hermione. Now this isn't exact because only Hermione is brilliant out of those two and both Fitz and Simmons are geniuses. But as far as their relationship with each other and how they interact with other characters goes, they are exactly Ron and Hermione (at least from the early books, before they actually started dating ;) ).
  • Coulson of course is Dumbledore. The wise mentor who seems to have lived forever and must be invencible.
  • May is McGonagall. She's seems mysterious and dark at first but it's only because she loves and is protecting everybody else.
  • John Garrett (the head of Hydra- aka the Clairvoyant) is Voldemort.
  • And last but not least... Grant Ward, the double agent, is Snape.
Is your mind blown yet? I mean I could keep going with the minor characters. It's really an uncanny resemblance. 
Do you watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Do you agree with me?
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Obscure Road Trip Essentials

Well ladies and gents, the sun is coming out and the weather is warming up and school is wrapping up (for some people). That means the road is calling my name. As I mentioned in my Spring Sing recap post, I really don't mind driving long distances. But I have to have my road trip essentials, and some of them are a little obscure. I drive long distances so often that I think I've got it down. So here is a list of my essential items. Maybe I've included a couple that you might not think of.
  • Sunglasses: I seriously cannot drive without sunglasses. I would really rather not ever be outside when it's sunny without them, but especially driving.
  • Coffee: I have to have my coffee to stay awake (maybe this one is a little obvious). I always make coffee at home and take it to go when I leave because that is one less cup to have to pay for on the road.
  • Lots of water: It's important to stay hydrated. I really try my hardest to drink the 8 recommended glasses per day so I try to do that when I am traveling too. Yeah you probably have to take more potty breaks this way, but it's good to get out and stretch you legs anyway.
  • Snacks: I always have to have some munchies. Chex mix is always my go-to.
  • CDs: Of course the obvious, music. A couple years ago, when Pearson and I went to my grandma's in Arkansas for Thanksgiving, we made a bunch of CDs to listen to. We haven't made specific playlists since then, but we have our favorites.
  • Books: If I'm not driving the whole time, I have to have a book. Sometimes I feel bad about reading instead of playing road trip games with the driver :) but sometimes I just need some quiet 'me' time.
  • Lip Balm: I have to apply chapstick every few hours. I can't stand for my lips to be dry or chapped at all. So I have to have some with me all the time on a road trip.
  • Dramamine: I get car sick really bad so if I'm not gonna be driving, I have to have dramamine. Even if I don't plan on reading or anything, I still need it.
  • Napkins: Everytime I go through a drive through, I save the extra napkins and put them in the glove compartment in case I ever need them for something on a road trip. You never know.
  • Pillow: This is a given.
  • Pain Killers: I get headaches really bad so I actually have two types of painkillers in my purse at all times; Ibuprofen and Excedrin.
  • Blanket: Again, if I'm not driving, I like to have a blanket because I get so much colder than Pearson. He keeps the air really cold and if he is driving, he needs to be comfortable. So I just keep a blanket in case I need it.
What do you have to have with you on a road trip?
Thanks for reading!

*The Road Trip Essentials Campaign is inspired by Turo (formerly RelayRides), a peer-to-peer sharing car rental service. 
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Friday, May 9, 2014

It's Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday

...everybody's lookin forward to the weekend, weekend...

And now that you're all thoroughly ticked at me for getting that song stuck in your head, let's talk about how glorious this weather's been and how we're gonna all have a fantastic weekend! Whaddya say?

Oh, and how bout I recap my week count-down style? I haven't done that in a while (hehee that rhymed). Ok here goes...
5 Things I've Loved
  • This warm weather: Can I get an amen?
  • My new book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. This book is so good I don't want to put it down. That hasn't truly happened to me with a book in a long time.
  • My Tevas: Yay for finally pulling all my sandals out from the back of my closet and getting back into wearing these Tevas like 24/7. They are so comfortable.
  • My Nail Polish: I got some Essie and this awesome Gel base coat in my carabox last week! My nails are still going strong with almost zero chips after a whole week!
  • My Self Tanner: This stuff is a life saver. I've been wearing shorts and short sleeves the last couple days and guess what, I'm not blinding everybody with my pasty white skin! Woo!
4 Articles/Blog Posts I've Loved
  • Jenny Francis (Venus Trapped in Mars). So this post was technically last week but I had to include it. Sarah talks about not judging a book by it's cover and by book I mean the "popular and (seeming) mean girl" at school. It's worth the read.
  • How I Made Peace with Princess Culture (The Fereralist)If you don't click on any of the others, click this one! I wholeheartedly agree! Let little girls be princesses and stop worrying about the image it's portraying!
  • My Wife has Tattoos: Marriage, New Birth, and The Gospel (Unspoken Blog). This guy gets it. "Today is the day of my wedding. And I'm not marrying the girl of my dreams." Catch your attention yet? Just give it a click.
  • Look Up (Share Powered) < At least that's where I saw it first. This video has been shared all over the internet (which is kinda ironic, but you'll have to watch it to see why). You NEED to watch it if you haven't yet. It could change everything.
3 Blog Posts I Wrote
  • An Open Letter to College Graduates (Thurs)
  • Wedding Wednesday - Ring Shopping (Wed)
  • Communication - Marriage & Relationship Goals {linkup} (Mon)
2 Confessions
  • I don't know how to act when I'm walking Pip and we come across someone else walking a dog. I can never tell if that person wants to stop and let the dogs say hi or not, so I usually just end up awkwardly pulling Pip in the other direction to avoid them. (and sometimes that involves me running into a tree branch).
  • Since we are trying to eat healthier lately (and I never feel like cooking dinner), we had salad for dinner 3 nights this week with different types of meat on top.
1 Reason to Smile
  • It's the weekend and it finally feels like Spring/Summer!!!
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Thursday, May 8, 2014

An Open Letter to College Graduates

Dear Graduates,

You did it! Doesn't it feel fantastic to have this accomplishment under your belt? It should! You've worked toward this goal for years and you've finally made it. You worked your butt off studying for classes, participating in extracurricular activities, and maintaining a fun and fulfilling social life, am I right? So the next question is, what now?

If you haven't found a big kid job yet, you're probably stressing big time, right? I mean you can't live with your parents forever (even if for some reason you want to). Also, you probably have some hefty student loans to pay back. For those of you who do have a job lined up or have been accepted to grad school and maybe halfway know think you know what you're gonna do with your life, you're secretly freaking out too, aren't you?

Growing up is scary. I'm not gonna lie to you, being a grown up can sometimes be awful. You're gonna be out on your own and you have to be responsible for things like feeding yourself, paying bills, and dealing with the IRS during tax season.

But I'm not gonna lie to you and say it's all bad either. Sometimes being an adult rocks! For starters, you make all your own rules. If you wanna go to waffle house at 1:00 AM on a week night, go for it! And personally, I like having responsibilities. They make me feel important and accomplished. One of the best things about being an adult and a college graduate is that people respect you as in equal instead of an immature student. Colleagues trust me to do my work, children look up to me as a role model, and church leaders ask me to help out in a lot of ways. I LOVE it!

So here is my advice to you: If you have no idea what your next step will be and you're freaking out on the inside, don't sweat it too much. Trust God's timing and enjoy your freedom from the corporate or graduate school world while it lasts. For all of you, set boundaries for yourselves. Yes, you've done your time and earned your freedom in adulthood, but don't abuse it and do things you'll regret later. And lastly, be the type of responsible adult that people trust and children look up to. The world is your oyster, take good care of it.

Sincerely, A College Graduate, 2.5 years removed
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Ring Shopping

Well folks, it's May! Do you know what that means? Well, it means a lot of things, but one thing is that it's Wedding Season!! Woohoo! I love wedding season. All the love in the air and the promises people make to each other always remind me of the promises I made to Pearson and to God when we got married. I enjoy reliving that day and renewing my vows in my head.

Anyway, I realized the other day that I have never talked about my wedding planning process on this blog. I started the blog after we got married and I've only gone back and talked about the actual wedding weekend. So this wedding season, I'm gonna do a blog series where I talk about my own experiences while planning and maybe give a little advice to other brides.
When Pearson and I finally started seriously talking about getting married, I sent him lots of pictures of engagement rings I liked. I told him what I had in mind and I really enjoyed looking at all different styles and figuring out what fit my personality. The Summer that we got engaged, we went 'ring shopping' together a couple times before he actually bought one. I wanted to try some rings on and Pearson wanted to get a better idea of what I wanted, but we both wanted him to pick out the ring on his own later without me knowing.
One of the places we went to look was Jared's. And let me tell you, it was NOT a good experience. We walked in and started looking at rings under the glass. Then a worker came up and started talking to us. He offered us each a bottle of water. We told him we were just looking at this point but he made us sit down and get comfortable to talk to us. Strike one. Then he asked me what I wanted and of course pulled out the most expensive rings they had that even came close to my description. Strike two.

Then, when Pearson told him our budget, the guy was the most disrespectful person I've ever interacted with in a professional setting. I mean he was a jerk. He basically found the most plain ring with the smallest diamond in the store to show us what we could buy with our budget. Then he told Pearson that if he really loved me he would spend more on the ring I wanted. I kid you not, he actually said that. Strike THREE. Pearson stood up, said "Ok thanks" and walked out of the store. I followed a couple seconds later after I processed everything. I still could not believe how we were treated. In the car on the way home we decided we would never step foot into Jared's again.
Pearson ended up getting my ring from Guven's a few weeks later. Guven is the last name of two brothers who opened two fine jewelry stores in the Atlanta area. My mom had been going to the one by the Mall of Georgia for so long that Guven knew her by name. So needless to say, he treated Pearson like he should have been treated and made the experience a wonderful one. The ring was gorgeous and so much better than I ever expected! And guess what, he didn't go a penny over budget! Take that Jared's!
Pearson completely surprised me with his proposal. He bought the ring on a Wednesday and proposed on the next Saturday. While I was at work that week, he came to my house and asked for my dad's blessing and showed my parents the ring. After he proposed, I was so surprised at the number of people who knew it was going to happen that week. I got a ton of congratulatory texts within an hour of saying yes. And I was on cloud nine! To read the whole proposal story, click here.

My Advice: Don't be intimidated by a jeweler and don't feel pressured to pay more than you planned to. Be ready to barter. And find a jeweler that you or someone you know trusts and recommends.

Did you go "ring shopping" with your man or did he do everything by himself? Did you have an experience like mine, or were you treated well and respectfully?
Thanks for reading!
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