Enduring All Things: April 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thankful Thursday Party - April 2015 {link up}

April (and March) hasn't really been the best month for me in a lot of ways. I've been really busy with trips to Atlanta for work, a wedding and all sorts of things in between. And in about a week, we'll be heading to Searcy for graduation. I feel like it never stops.
And I still feel like I'm in a rut. I'm stuck at home all day while Pearson works crazy hours. And it's still cold here! If you know me, you know how I feel about that and how it's relevant to this post.

Anyway, with all that being said, I've neglected to take care of myself physically and, more importantly, spiritually. Before this week, I don't remember the last time I sat down and read the bible. I certainly haven't prayed much. Of course I pray before a meal and before bed but those are typically almost memorized prayers, you know?

It's just not been a priority. And that's unacceptable. But you know what? God forgives me. He understands and He is happy that I've recognized this problem and I'm trying to fix it. He know I'm human. After all, he created me. And he created mankind. I think he knows our nature.
What I am trying to say is that though I have fallen short, God forgives me and shows mercy. And for that I am forever grateful. I am thankful beyond words.

What are you thankful for this month? Be sure to link up below!
Thanks for reading!
We have so much to be thankful for and a lot of us take that for granted. Lets change that! I bring you the #ThankfulThursdayParty linkup with Charlene @ From Bisons to Buckeyes! We will be writing about what we are thankful for and linking  up on the last Thursday of every month. I would love to have you and can't wait to see what you're thankful for in your life! 
  • If you're interested in co-hosting, please send an email to Charlenemarie11@gmail.com.
  • Also, if you aren't getting my email reminders about this link up and would like to, please let me know in the comments or send me an email for that as well.

Host: Charlene- Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest || Co-Host: Brita: Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest
Linkup Rules (Guidelines):
  1. Follow your host and co-host
  2. Link up your Thankful Thursday Party post, NOT your blog URL
  3. Use the hashtag #ThankfulThursdayParty when you share on social media
  4. Grab the button and display it on your blog so others can join the party
From Bisons to Buckeyes: Thankful Thursday Party

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marvel Movie Marathon - Project Date Your Husband April

As many of you (hopefully) know, Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron comes to theaters on Friday. And as I'm sure a lot of you know, Pearson and I are Marvel nerds. We own DVDs of almost all the movies, we've watched every episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. and we own some paraphernalia. So of course, we've already got tickets to go see the new movie this weekend.
We really wanted to see the midnight showing Thursday night. When we finally admitted that we shouldn't do that, we wanted to see it first thing Friday night. But instead, we did the responsible thing and got tickets for Saturday before noon because morning tickets are almost half price. UPDATE: We decided at the last minute (about 10:15 Thursday night) that we couldn't wait till Saturday and checked to see if there were tickets available Thursday night. We saw the 10:45 showing! We are still going on Saturday too because we have those tickets... Yeah, we may be crazy.

Anyway, I think it goes without saying that we're a little excited. So Friday, I suggested that we watch all the movies this week before seeing the new one. We watched one on Friday, four on Saturday, two on Monday, and one last night. We watched two episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Sunday. Now we just have one more movie to watch and last night's S.H.I.E.L.D. episode.
I almost forgot how great these movies are! I'm falling in love with all of them again. I think we should make it a tradition for whenever a new marvel movie comes out. What do you think? Or at least when the other Avengers movies come out.

Are you a Marvel nerd? Are you seeing the movie this weekend?
Thanks for reading!
Project Date Night Linkup
Linking up with Elizabeth for Project Date Night
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Monday, April 27, 2015

How I'm Doing With My Word Of the Year

Just like most of blog-land, I chose a "word of the year" to live by in 2015 and hat word was learn. Now, I've referenced my word of the year in some of my relationship goals posts since then, but I've not said much else about it. So I thought it was about time to share a little update. I have learned a lot in the past 4 months, but I'm not sure I learned any more than I would have if that weren't my word of the year.
But I wanna share what I've been learning anyway. 

About God:
I am always learning about God. Or at least I do when I read his word and study. I haven't been doing much of that lately, but I did learn a few very significant things back in January and February when I was doing well and keeping up with reading the Bible in a year.

I learned that it's OK to ask God why. Job asks God what he has done and why he is seen as a target several times throughout the book. One place it shows up is in chapter 7 verses 19 through 21. I've always thought that we shouldn't question God, which is true, but even Job, a wonderful man of God, questions at times.

Also while reading Job, I learned that Job wants Christ! In Job 9:32-35, Job wishes there was an arbiter between him and the Almighty God so he could talk to God without fear. We have that! Christ came to fill that void! Just try to imagine how our faith would be without that. Pretty cool, right? I seriously learn and discover new things every time I read a passage
About Myself:
I really need to work on focusing. I always have to be doing several things at a time and it's starting to annoy me! I should have been born in the 1800s. I am LOVING Little Women and I recently actually read Pride and Prejudice in it's entirety. And the fact that the simple life of the 1800s is so appealing to me means I should simplify my life and focus on one thing at a time!

I am an introvert true and true. Ok so I didn't learn that this year, but what I did learn is that as much as I like being alone and staying home, I still get stir crazy. Now that I don't have my own car and I work from home, I've learned that even I need to get out every once in a while to stay sane. Also, I learned that I suffer from a noticeable degree of seasonal depression and that these Ohio winters take a tole on my attitude.

I really enjoy classic novels and other realistic fiction such as historical fiction. I don't like fantasy and sci-fi much anymore. I don't like Dean on Gilmore Girls as much as I used to. And I love Marvel (that is all of Marvel: The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., X-Men, Spider-man everything!) more than I thought.

About Pearson:
I actually have learned about my husband quite a bit. I know what he's working with and I even know some actual terms. The other day, I was comparing Pearson to Chandler Bing and I pretended to be Pearson talking to his work in Chandler's typical banter and I said, "Could you show, any less signal?" And "Could you be any less aligned?" I was pretty proud of myself and so was Pearson!

I've learned that he has a hard time leaving work at work and that when he gets totally stressed out, he needs to get completely away from it all for a weekend and if that's not possible, he needs to be fully engulfed in binge watching a show on Netflix. Also, if he gets real upset and frustrated and says he wants to quit, just wait a day or two. He doesn't mean it. I actually got worried a couple times but I know not to believe him now.

I've learned that he would actually root for Florida State over University of Florida if they played this year! Can you say shocked?!

Other People:
Some people quietly leave a huge impact on this earth. They may be meek and subtle and you never quite know the impact they've had until they're gone. When Nicholas died last month, the stories that were shared and people who were impacted was overwhelming.

Some people will always judge before getting the whole story. Most recently, I was judged for getting married at 22. This lady was not having it. She was right period. 22 is too young and that is just ridiculous. Oh come on! She doesn't know me or my story. She cannot just say that. Rude.

I have learned a lot about creating automated test cases, but it hasn't really been much of my own research. I basically ask a question when I need to. So I've not been so great about learning when it comes to work. But I will learn a ton when I finally move to Development which should happen in the next couple months! Woo hoo!

I made a new years' resolution to to read 15 books in 2015 and that 5 of them would be non-fiction. Well, I read Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers and The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I also started (and stopped) reading Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank and Happy Wives Club by Fawn Weaver, both of which are non-fiction. And I am almost done with Little Women, which is a classic. I didn't put it in my resolutions post, but I want to read more classics this year. The point is, I am not on track for my goals. But I'm gonna step up my game. Especially over the summer when all I want to do is sit outside and read.

What have you learned this year? If you chose a word of the year, how are you doing with it?
Thanks for reading!
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Happy Friday, everyone! I am super pumped to co-host the Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop with Susannah this week! I haven't been good about linking up here in the last few months, but I've always loved coming and reading some encouraging, faith-based posts. It's a wonderful community so I encourage you to take a look at some of the wonderful posts below and link up one or two of your own faith-based posts!

Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.

2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.

3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Your Host:

Susannah1Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

This Week's Cohost:

From Bisons to Buckeyes is a platform for one young wife to inspire other young wives to keep God first and their husbands second in their lives. This blog is a place for married millennials to find marriage tips, ideas for dating your spouse, and advice based on biblical principles. In a world that's constantly telling us our marriages are bound to fail, From Bisons to Buckeyes believes that a happy, godly marriage is possible with a little work.

Last Week's Most Viewed Post:

The Best of Baby

Susannah's Blog Post Pick:

A Lot of Little Bit of Love
My Mum is Homeless and I Feel Helpless

Charlene's Blog Post Pick:

Queen K Smith
First things First: You are Enough

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Peony Project - Peace

Wanna know something I've noticed about myself lately? I have to constantly be doing something multiple things at once. It's very tiring and it's getting worse.

If' I'm watching TV, I'm also playing games on my phone.

If I'm working out, I'm also listening to music, and thinking about what I need to get done that day.

If I'm reading (which doesn't happen as often as I'd like), I stop at the end of each chapter to check social media.

If I'm doing the dishes, I have my Chromebook sitting on the counter with Netflix on.

If it's a not-so-exciting day of work, I listen to an audio book or radio show on Spotify.

I even get bored while talking on the phone and find myself putting it on speaker so I can play a game  or browse social media at the same time.

Basically, I didn't make any progress toward a more simple life like I talked about in my last Peony Project post. I'm starting to annoy myself so I know it's annoying to others. I just can't stand to be idle. If I can't even focus on one task at a time, how will I ever be able to be still and find God's peace?
God wants us to be still and let him surround us (Psalm 46:10). I can't remember the last time I was still and just sat in God's presence. I haven't read my Bible in longer than I care to admit. I only truly pray and spend time talking to God when I'm laying in bed at night and can't sleep. I love working or reading to the sounds of a rain shower or thunderstorm, but I can't remember the last time I truly sat down and watched a storm and was mesmerized by God's awesome power. That used to be one of my favorite things to do!

I was reading Little Women on the plane on Sunday (that's the only time I really get any good reading in because I'm isolated from cell service and internet) and I came across the part where Amy sets up a little chapel in her closet at Aunt March's house so she can go and be alone with God to pray for Beth who was sick with Scarlet Fever. What a great idea!
I want to set up a "chapel" for myself. I don't want anything elaborate, but I want a space that's only to be used for meditation, prayer, and biblical study. I think it will really help cut back on distractions. But where? My apartment is so tiny. We have the bedroom which can't be isolated for only meditation. There's the guest room/office which I use for work and blogging. Then the kitchen, living room, dining room, and bathroom all used for other things.

I suppose I could set up a corner in the living room but I still think there will be distractions. Maybe I'll find a spot outside, but I'll probably still get distracted. I love nature and now that it's getting warmer, I want to spend as much time out there as possible.

Maybe it's more of a time issue than a space issue. Maybe I need to set aside a block of time out of my day to sit and be still with no distractions instead of designating a block of space. I'll turn off my phone, close my computer, and hide my books. I'll sit on the couch with my Bible, lay in bed and pray, sit on the patio with a journal, or go for a walk while listening to worship music. However I want to "be still" that day, I'll do it for an allotted amount of time.
I think I'll start with 15 minutes. I don't want to start with too much, get discouraged and quit. Now to only decide on a time of day. Lunch? Right after work? Before bed? As soon as I wake up? I think I'll do it right after work. Or maybe I'll exercise right after work and as soon as I finish working on myself physically, I'll work on myself spiritually. We'll see how it goes!

Here's to finding God's peace that passes understanding. I truly think I will be happier, I won't get so worked up about little things, and my life will be better in so many ways if I could just make this a regular practice in my day-to-day routine. To simply sit in peace is such a foreign concept to me and I'm working to change that.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27 ESV
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 ESV
10 Be still, and know that I am God... Psalm 46:10 ESV
How do you find God's Peace in your busy day-to-day life?
Thanks for reading!
Linking up with Betsy for the Peony Project.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tell Me About Your Town - Earth Day Edition

This is my first time linking up with Amanda for "Tell Me About Your Town" and this month's theme is "scenery/weather/climate" in honor of Earth Day tomorrow.

I don't think it's much of a secret that I basically hate Ohio winters. I was born and raised in Georgia and went to college in Arkansas. So when we decided to come to Ohio State for Pearson's grad school, it was a bit of a shock. That first winter was brutal (and it was the most mild of the 3 winters we've lived here).
The first time it snowed, Pearson and I bundled up in our best southern winter gear and headed out to work on a snowman, throw snowballs at each other, and treat the snow like the rare delight we always knew it as. But we soon realized we were the ONLY people outside. And our apartment complex actually has a lot of kids. Why weren't they outside playing in the awesomeness?? We then realized that snow in Ohio was over rated and annoying. Not fun.

Shortly after that, I bought a couple wool coats, wool socks, snow boots, and plenty of fleece lined leggings. I can actually walk around pretty comfortably in the snow now, but it's a pain to put it all on every time I have to take Pip outside.

I do however appreciate the beauty of the snow (I just wish I didn't have to walk around in it 3 or 4 times a day with a dog). Winter is typically a dreary time anyway as most of nature either dies off or hibernates and most people just stay inside, but the snow highlights God's creation so beautifully. It's a little ray of happiness in a time of seeming darkness.

After winter, I think we sort of skip spring usually. Well maybe we get a small spring but last year it snowed again on April 15th. Not only that, but I don't have any allergies here in Ohio like I did in Georgia. That's not spring to me. But I do like the showers and thunderstorms we get on occasion.

Summer is pleasant. Sometimes I wish it would get hotter and stay hotter longer so I could enjoy the pool and other summer activities, but I know I shouldn't complain about not having scorching, Georgia temperatures. We went to a graduation cookout last year in the middle of may and I froze in jeans and a hoodie. In MAY! No thank you!
However, fall here is BEAUTIFUL. It may make up for all the things I hate about all the other seasons. The trees are gorgeous and stay colored for a long time in the crisp cool air. I love picking apples at Lynd's fruit farm. There's the incredible Circleville pumpkin festival. And all the wonderful sights like Hocking Hills are so much prettier in the fall. I've always loved fall but I do even more so now that we live in Columbus.

All in all, I'm glad to live here because of the people I've met. And there are so many fun things to do with the zoo, the Clippers, the Blue Jackets, Shakespeare in the Park, Cosi, and I could go on. I just wish it was a little warmer.

Tell me about your town? What is the weather like? What's your favorite season?
Thanks for reading! And happy Earth Day!
Amanda Moments
Linking up with Amanda and Mary Keith for Tell Me About Your Town.
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Letters to the World {April 2015 - Link Up}

It's time for some more letters to the world! Don't forget, this is a link up now and will be open for a week so grab the button, write some letters, and link up!
Dear Gilmore Girls,
How are you so addicting and so good? I can't stop watching. And lately I've been getting so emotional with the show that it's almost like these things are happening to my real life friends. I guess that's kinda sad but props to you for creating a show that does that to people. Why did it ever go off the air?

Dear Pearson
I really miss you when you work so much. And when I'm in Atlanta. I can't wait to get to a point in our lives where things slow down and we can actually be together more often than maybe an hour per day between 11 PM and midnight.

Dear #30PhotosInBetween,
I love this Instagram challenge! It really is challenging me to be creative and post more pictures on Instagram. I look for possible photos everywhere and always try to get the best angle. I rack my brain to think of perfect and creative shots for each of the prompts. I have never used instagram this much and I have never had so many likes and comments on my photos. It's great!

Dear Once Upon A Time,
Bringing Zelena (the Wicked Witch) back was genius. I think she was my favorite villain. But the way you brought her back was even more brilliant! I was shocked for sever days after that episode. And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. The writers are geniuses!

Dear Josiah Duggar,
Congrats on your courtship with Marjorie Jackson. She is precious and I am so excited for the spotlight to be on one of the male Duggars again.

Dear Spring Sing,
Oh I so wish I could have been there this year. I mean some of the shows were Willy Wonka, Disney, Harry Potter and Star Wars. If you know me at all, you know how much each of those things means to me! This was the first time in 7 years that I wasn't in Searcy to see the show and now is when you all decide to do those shows?? Ugh!

Dear Thunderstorms,
I love you. So many people hate you but I love you. I love watching you. I love working to your sounds with the windows open. I'll admit being out and about when you hit unexpectedly often not to fun but sometimes I like to purposely go outside and play in you. Most of all, I love you because you are not snow and you represent spring!!!

What would you write in an open letter to the world today? Link up below!
Thanks for reading!
From Bisons to Buckeyes: Letters to the World

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Feelings

I thought I'd do something a little different for today's Friday Five. Erica from Looking to the Stars does a "Friday Feelings" linkup every week so I thought I'd combine that with Friday Five for a little change. Here goes!
ONE || Refreshed
At the beginning of the week, Pearson and I were coming home from our weekend trip to his cousin's wedding. I felt so refreshed and ready to start the new week after the break!

TWO || Happy-cry. Is that an emotion?
I watched this video and it made me so happy that I cried. It's a good one. You don't want to miss it! And let me know if it reminds you of Monica and Chandler's babies :)

THREE || Stressed
I have been unnaturally stressed this week. We didn't really budget for out weekend in Valdosta this month and we're trying to save up for another car. Plus I am so busy this month it's sort of ridiculous (as I talked about last Friday). And not having a car and being stuck at home while Pearson works till 10 PM certainly doesn't help.

FOUR || Happy. Laughing
You have to watch this video (below)! I love The Avengers and I love Family Feud. In fact, we watched probably ten episodes of Family Feud at Grandma's house this weekend. But this is priceless.

FIVE || Excited
It's finally the weekend! This week has gone by slowly for some reason even though I didn't work on Monday.

How have you been feeling this week?
Thanks for reading!

Looking to the StarsTHE GOOD LIFE BLOG  Bright on a Budget
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

My 10 Favorite Blogs

Some of these are bloggers who hardly even know I exist but I love their blog and stop by to read every day. Others have become very close friends of mine in the blog world so I included them even though they might not blog very often or don't have the most popular blog out there. And some are in between.
So here they are in no particular order (the little blurbs were either taken from their blogs or are direct quotes the bloggers have shared with me for a guest post or spotlight)...
  1. A Prioritized Marriage: "An inspirational blog based on making marriage a priority through every stage of life."
  2. The Random Writings of Rachel: "On any given day, if you come by my blog, you might find yourself reading about the latest prank Angel pulled on me, my passionate love for the pair of wedge sneakers I bought for 75 cents, a recent Mandarin fail, or the bizarre sentence I overheard while eavesdropping at the grocery store."
  3. A Beautiful Ministry: "A blog about finding beauty in the every day Ministry of Motherhood."
  4. Simple Moments Stick: "My heart behind my blog is to connect with other women around the country (and world!) to love and encourage one another"
  5. Elizabeth Loves Blog: "This blog is a compilation of my many interests and I love sharing my thoughts, passions, and creativity with my readers."
  6. The Samantha Show: "I blog about anything and everything from fashion tips to parenting advice to heartfelt rants and more. I pride myself on being honest and telling it like it is; no sugar coating here."
  7. Venus Trapped in Mars: "Laughing is my cardio so I hope you came ready to work out"
  8. Two Martinis: "This blog is full of my own thoughts about marriage and motherhood and life in general, as well as some tips and tricks I've learned along the way. I hope to inspire you to live with intention, in whatever stage of life you're in!"
  9. The Artsy Cajun: "A lifestyle blog where you will find a bit of everything from photography, DIY tutorials, recipes, and travel tips!"
  10. Helene In Between: "I wanted [my blog] to represent me. My life, what I love and really... everything in between. So Helene (pronounced like Hell - Lean) in Between was born."
I hope you'll check out these lovely ladies! They've all inspired me along the way in one way or another. What blogs do I need to add to my list? Who are your favorites?
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to Use Your Cousin-In-Law's Wedding as an Excuse to Get Away

Once upon a time, I was a little down in the dumps about life and Pearson was working his tail off all day every day in the lab. We were both in a rut and desperately needed a break. We needed to get away and relax. We needed some uninterrupted time together and we needed to recharge. Well, wouldn't you know, Pearson's beautiful cousin, Kayla decided to get married on this perfect weekend right in the middle of our little rut! Thanks, Kayla!

So we decided sort of at the last minute to make the trip all the way to Valdosta for the wedding this weekend. We weren't going to at first because it was such a long way for just a weekend but then we thought, why not? We have the vacation time saved up. We have a dependable car. And as I've already said, we needed the time away!

So we packed up the car early Thursday morning, dropped Pip up at the boarding place and embarked on our 13 hour (each way) road trip for the long weekend.

Here are some tips for the next time you use your cousin-in-law's wedding as an excuse to get away (because I know this very specific scenario happens oh so often!)

  1. Pack a book. I started Little Women on the trip and I spent a lot of relaxing time reading both during the 30 hours on the road and at while hanging out at Grandma's house!
  2. Pack more than one pair of jeans. I only packed one pair and they got washed in Grandma's washer twice. Once because I did yard work in them and got all sweaty and once because they got Diet Coke spilled all over them (I won't point fingers at my mother-in-law for that one).
  3. Pack shorts if you're going to South Georgia. I forgot that just because the temps haven't gotten over 60 much here yet doesn't mean it's like that everywhere. I cleaned up Grandma's yard in 90 degree weather while wearing jeans.
  4. Pack more than one set of lounge-wear/pajamas. Along the same lines as above, I only took one pair of pajama pants and that's all I had to wear around the house too. Especially while I waited for my jeans to be washed.
  5. Find out as many plans as possible before hand. I packed 3 dresses. One for the rehearsal dinner, one for the wedding, and one for church just in case. And I ended up only wearing one. We didn't go to the rehearsal dinner and we left Grandma's house before church Sunday morning to make sure we got back to Buford in time for church Sunday night so I didn't need a dress for that either.
  6. Take Dramamine in the car. This is a must for every road trip for me but especially if you're gonna be spending a total of 30+ hours on the road.
  7. Take pictures of beautiful scenery on the trip. I only took a couple. Apparently I was asleep for the prettiest parts of Tennessee.
  8. Take pics of the mundane. Especially if you're gonna blog about it. I have no pictures of the yard work or reading or watching TV. That's a little understandable, but I also have no pictures of people. Like at all.
  9. Take at least one good pic of the bride for heaven's sake. Like I said, I have no pictures of people.
  10. Take a pic of your party at the wedding. I'd say our crew cleaned up pretty good but do I have any pictures to show it? Nope. I should have at least had someone take one of me and Pearson. Bad blogger award goes to me for sure on that one!
  11. Make sure you're abs are in shape. If your family is anything like my in-laws, there will be lots of laughing over the dinner table and the card table.
  12. Bring your hubby. This is a given but weddings always make me feel sentimental. The vows remind me of the vows we made almost 3 years ago and I am just so overwhelmed with joy to be married to my best friend.
  13. Be prepared to meet new family and friends and be reunited with ones you haven't seen in a while. It doesn't get much better than that!
I really hope this helps and that you can learn from my triumphs and my mistakes and be well prepared for your next wedding weekend getaway!

And for your viewing pleasure, here are the few pictures that I took that turned out decent.
The only decent shot of the scenery on the road and my reading material for the weekend.
The beautiful ceremony under the Spanish Moss.
The Reception. Hey I actually took a pic of the happy couple walking to the reception!
Thanks for reading!
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Five

Happy Friday! This month is turning out to be a very busy one. So I thought I'd take this Friday to share with you all the things I have going on in April. Just in case any of you are interested.
Easter Sunday Selfie!
ONE || Easter
Our Easter weekend was pretty good. I went shopping all day on Saturday while Pearson worked. Then we went to church Sunday morning and spent the afternoon doing our taxes. Then we celebrated with some frozen yogurt! I'm so glad Pearson didn't have to go into work on Sunday.
My frozen yogurt for celebrating Easter and getting out taxes done!
TWO || Kayla's Wedding
Right now we are in Valdosta, GA. Pearson's cousin will be getting married tomorrow so we are here for the celebrations. We both needed to get away from everything and this is the perfect excuse!

THREE || Atlanta for Work
Next week I'll be going back to Atlanta for half the week for work. They needed me back so soon to help train someone to take my spot when I move to development. Let me just tell you how excited I am to move to development. It's what I went to school for and it will be so much more interesting than what I'm doing now! So I guess I'll endure another trip to Atlanta to help the move happen soon.

FOUR || Baby Shower
When I come back from Atlanta, I'll be hosting a baby shower for my good friend! We can't wait to celebrate Ashley and Baby Sands!

FIVE || April Showers and Thunderstorms
This isn't really a single event but can I just say that I'm loving it! I love opening the window in my office and working to the pouring rain. And watching thunderstorms has always been one of my favorite things! I love seeing the awesome power of God demonstrated in the lightning show.

So what's going on with you this week or month?
Thanks for reading!
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG  Bright on a Budget
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Review: The Storyteller

I am a member of a very laid back book club consisting of women in my church. And when I say book club, I mean a bunch of us meet once a month, sort of discuss a book for like 30 minutes and then have girl talk for a couple hours. Everyone is invited and you don't have to read the book to come. Then, right before we all leave, we decide on a book for next month. I LOVE this book club.
But I have to admit, our meeting in March was a little different than it has been in the past. We actually discussed the book. A lot. Like the whole time we were together. You see, in February, we "read" The Story Teller by Jodi Picoult. I put "read" in quotes because I think a total of 3 people actually read the book. So they (I didn't go to the meeting in February) decided to read the same book again in March so more people could get a chance to read and discuss it because it was that good. So, I figured I should give it a try. I had no idea what it was about. None.

Well, it was about The Holocaust. But in a round about way. The main story was about a 25-year-old "Jewish" girl today who recently lost both of her parents. I put "Jewish" in quotes because she comes from Jewish heritage but she is not religious and makes sure people know she is NOT Jewish. She blames herself for her mother's death. She is a loner. She is a baker. She only comes out at night. And she doesn't think she deserves any better.

But suddenly, Sage's life is turned upside down when she is approached by a man who was very involved in The Holocaust and he's singled her out because of her Jewish heritage. And there's also someone else in her life who, she was surprised to find out, had a lot to do with The Holocaust.

I'll stop there so I don't give too much away, but it was such an intriguing story. I should say stories because there are really several stories intertwined in the book. And there's a bit of a twist at the end that left me stunned to the point that I couldn't sleep.

I have recently discovered that I really like historical fiction. And in particular, I'm enjoying World War II and The Holocaust stuff. I recently read The Book Thief, Margot, and Number the Stars and I recommend each of these to anyone!

Also, I think I'm going to write more book reviews on the blog. After all, I'm slowing down on blogging which gives me more time to read. And there's something about warmer weather that makes me want to sit outside with a good book and there's also something about April Showers that make me want to curl up with a book next to an open window where I can hear the rain. Anyway, I've been reading a lot lately and want to share my findings with the world! I hope that's OK with you readers!

Have you read The Storyteller? What did you think? How about any other Holocaust fiction?
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Supporting My Husband - Marriage & Relationship Goals {link up}

If you read my post on Thursday, then you know this hasn't been the greatest time in my life. And let me tell you, the weekend didn't get any better. But the point I'm trying to make is that I didn't do too well on my relationship goals last month.
But the weekend made me realize something. I was being very selfish. I was sitting there complaining when Pearson is the one who has to stay in the lab all hours of the night. He is pushing through this very difficult grad school and he hasn't gotten to see much of me either. It's not like he wants this. So I'm adding another goal this month and that is to be supportive of him.
So what does this look like? Well I'm really not so sure. But I know that I'm gonna be on his side no matter what. 
If he calls me in the middle of the day to complain, I will listen and support his decisions. I may offer some advice, but I will not belittle his issues or defend anyone else in the situation.
I will show him I love him by doing things for him like bringing him lunch (which may be hard seeing as we have one car right now) or giving him a back massage or a back scratch.
I will always be happy he's home and greet him at the door. I will be his shoulder to lean on.
I will tell him how proud I am of him and that I believe in him and I know he is so smart and he can get through this. One day he will be a doctor and I will be a Mrs. Doctor! 
In addition to being supportive, I still want to keep the date night goal. Pearson's primary love language is quality time so when we do get a little time together, I want to make sure it's quality time. No more just sitting on the couch watching Netflix. I'm going to incorporate some of these spring date ideas that I came up with last year. 
What are your relationship goals this month? Be sure to link up below!
Marriage & Relationship Goals

New to the Marriage & Relationship Goals Link-up? Goals help our relationships grow stronger and get better with time as well as help us to continue moving forward and avoid the "ruts" of life. This link-up was created in hopes of inspiring your relationship with your significant other no matter your chapter in life and love. We would love for you to join us in making the things we do in our relationships intentional. If you would like more information, click here.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Life Update

So I thought about doing a Personal Goals post today like I typically do toward the beginning of the month, but I'm just not feeling it. In fact, I'm not feeling much of anything lately. And I would have just put a big FAILED on all of my goals for March.

So instead, I thought I'd just talk to you for a little bit (whoever you readers might be). I've been a little down in the dumps lately. And I know I really have no reason to be. I have a wonderful life. A very handsome and loving husband. A fantastic job. A great home. A cute furchild. Plenty of wonderful friends. And I'm saved by the Grace of a risen Savior! What more could I want?
But it's just been one of those seasons, you know? After Nicholas passed away suddenly a few weeks ago, and I spent a week in Georgia, I've just been thrown off of all my goals. And I hate that. I feel like I'm in a rut in so many areas of my life.

Pearson has been staying late at the lab so often that sometimes I forget I have a husband. Ok, that's an exaggeration. But he did stay in the lab overnight twice last week. And he slept all day the day in between when he was home. These days it is typical for him to get home around nine or ten (and that includes the weekends). The only way he gets home any earlier is if he knows we have something planned that night and therefore gets to work by 5:30 am so he can be sure to be home in time.

And have I told you that we only have one car right now? Pearson's 1995 corolla finally bit the dust and we're trying to save up to buy another decent car so we don't have another car payment to pay. That means that I am quite literally stuck at home all day every day while he takes our Rogue to work. I'm tired of it. I am tired of the cold. I just want it to be spring already and stay that way.

So anyway, this is why I haven't published anything on the blog in a week and the last thing I published was a Thankful Thursday that I had to publish because I host the link up.

And I'm sorry if I sound like a Debby Downer or sound ungrateful. I'm really not. I know how blessed I am. And I'm still trying not to take those things for granted. It's just life gets a little tiresome sometimes and I needed to get these things off my chest. And I know I don't really owe any of you an explanation, but I felt like I needed to give you one.

And you wanna hear something ironic? I wrote a post very similar to this one exactly a year ago! So I guess the end of March/beginning of April is typically a trying time for me. Who knew? lol I think that means that the weather has a lot to do with it.

Anyway, I've decided that starting next week, I am going to get back on track with all my personal goals. I may modify them a bit. Like reading the bible in a year... I might be so far behind that catching up is impossible but we'll see. And as far as blogging, I'm not gonna stress about getting tons of posts out. I will blog when it comes to me and not worry when it doesn't. How does that sound? And don't worry, I'm still doing the Marriage & Relationship Goals link up on Monday with Amberly so be sure to come back for that!

Thanks for reading and putting up with me lately. I love you all!
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