Monday, December 31, 2012


This post is a very rough draft. But really, it coincides with how my year went, so it seemed inappropriate to change it. Enjoy! :)

Oh, 2012. What a year. I can, with certainty, say that I am very happy this year is coming to a close. 2012 was a year that challenged me and hurt me and stressed me out. I can say, now, in retrospect, how unhealthy I was this year. Not just physically, although I most certainly was, some through no fault of my own. But mentally and definitely spiritually. Sure I got married to the most amazing man in the universe, and sure I made new friends, and yeah both sister in laws had two gorgeous new babies this year. Yeah, I made the decision to move jobs, and I made the very scary decision to write quite possibly for a career. I worked out a bit and ate a little better and read some really good books. I saw some great movies, learned how to be a better friend, and ate at new restaurants. But to be honest, I didn’t like who I was this year. For the majority of this year, I felt angry, stressed beyond belief, and disappointed. Disappointed and stressed because I wasn’t spending my money wisely, I wasn’t writing and I wasn’t being a good friend. I wasn’t eating real food, I was sleeping all the time, and I was reading novels just to distract me from my predicament. I was confused, and sick, and stressed, and did I mention stressed?

The stress played a huge part in my story this year. Since January, I have been sick 10 times. No I did not mean to type 1. I got seriously ill, with the flu, bronchitis, several stomach bugs and sinus infections, and even had high blood pressure. I’m 22! I moved twice, once due to my parents getting a new house, and the second time because I got married. I was promoted to a new job, made the enormously hard decision to suspend my education in college for the time being (which ultimately took away my everyday Pilates class I had enrolled in), planned a wedding, and spent 2 months of the summer running a day camp site with 100+ kids, all of whom could use a good lesson in discipline. A month before we got married, the apartment complex we had been planning on moving into suddenly was “full for the next year” and we had to find a new apartment. That day. We found one, in a less than nice area, but with a washer and dryer, and dishwasher, so we didn’t complain. The wedding came and went, in it’s beautiful way, and we spend that weekend in a charming bed and breakfast not far away from where we live. Then, it was back to the grind. 40+ hour work weeks, and the task of trying to manage our time and money well. I stopped sleeping well, and found myself crying all the time. I called in sick to work countless times, just because the simple thought of going to work made my head feel like it might explode. Just typing this paragraph makes my head hurt. I read novels to distract me, surfed the net to find things to buy, and drank coffee to survive the days. I ate less good food, and more bad “food”. I stopped going to coffee dates, slept in on Sundays way past the time when church was starting, and all the while, I stopped believing that my life would be different. I knew that wasn’t true, but because of the amount of stress and sickness and change I experienced, I literally felt like my life would always be a crazy cycle of excuses, sleep deprivation, tears and worry that shocked me with how strong it was. I wasn’t myself and I wasn’t doing anything to change. I was avoiding everything I could and ignoring anything I couldn't.

Until. I quit my job. I decided, for many different reasons, to leave the place I had worked for four years to find something new. I needed to change my story. I needed something scenically and atmospherically different. I needed new faces, new procedures, new everything. I still loved to work with kids, so I applied to a school 30 minutes away from my house. I sent in my resume at 10 o’ clock on a Monday night, and Tuesday morning at 8 am, I got a call for an interview. I interviewed, they offered the job, I accepted. I gave my two weeks, trained and went to work somewhere else. This may not sound like an amazing decision, but for someone who for so long couldn’t make a decision without at least a month’s thought, this was monumental. I felt free. And excited. And of course very nervous. But very at peace with my decision and what was to come.

Up until this point, my prayer life had been sporadic at best. I was not consistent. I prayed prayers that started with “God, thank you for everything you’ve given me, but….” I forgot how to live my prayers, to talk to God like He was a friend instead of my genie. I asked him to make me feel better, to stop making me crazy and to please just give me future plans so I could stop worrying. I was a mess, angry with Him for making me so stubborn and confused as to why I wasn’t hearing Him. Eventually, after some talks with my amazing husband, a sermon preached by Steven Furtick that talked about gratitude, and a conscious effort at my spiritual well-being, I began to feel a tingling of hope. I began to laugh more, sleep a little better, and talk more about how crazy I had been acting. I began to hang out with friends, and eat better and drink more water. I began to pray. 

2013 is a welcome change. I need change, small, healthy changes. This year I will work out consistently, I will eat better, and I will be pray. I will write, I will read books to enjoy them, and I will build relationships. I will watch less TV. I will spend less money on silly things. I will live a better story. I will finish Storyline and write more meaningful stories with my life. I will because I have to in order to survive. In order to live and live well. I will, because I need it and He needs it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

We were willing.

Hello friends!

Today I am writing to you from my most favorite spot in my apartment. On my big comfy couch. (Anyone remember The Big Comfy Couch on PBS? I just loved that show!) Our couch was given to us by a very sweet couple who was needing to move out the huge couch from their garage. It was a blessing when it came about because for one, we did not have any living room furniture and two, they were willing to give it to us. For free. I don't know if you know this, but FREE is a holy word when you are getting married. The couch is huge and comfortable and roomy. It's a beautiful tan color, with plenty of room for sleeping (I call it my Sunday nap couch) and cuddling. :) Anyhow, as I sit on my comfy couch, my husband is glued to the TV, watching football. Alas, the time has come when Saturdays are filled with college football mania. And I am okay with it, until October. By then, I'm over it. I don't care what OU is ranked, who will go to the Super Bowl, or if what'- his-face from that team will go to the NFL, I just want to watch Doctor Who all day. (The Doctor returns TONIGHT, on BBCAMERICA. Too bad I don't have cable. Maybe I can convince the hubs to let me buy them all on Amazon?!) Football is lost on me, I am afraid, when British TV comes out with something new.

Back to my real reason for writing....

Last Friday, my sister, best friend and I had the amazing opportunity to go see Jen Hatmaker speak at a church in our area.  If you have not ever heard of/read anything by Jen, you are seriously missing out on a hilarious, faith-driven, did I mention hilarious?, woman. She is a mom of five (two are adopted from Ethiopia) and the wife of a pastor. I found out about Jen through my blogger-friend Natalie Lloyd, who recommended her bible study books to me. Ever since I did that study, I was hooked. Jen writes in such a friendly, hilarious, understanding way and her advice on faith is so real and relevant. The girl knows her stuff. Anyway, about a month ago, my sister's husband texted me about his anniversary gift to her, which was to pay for her to go see Jen Hatmaker speak. He asked if I wanted to go and without hesitation, I said yes. I got online, signed up and counted down the days. Right after I had gotten married, I began reading "7" by Jen Hatmaker that just rocked my world. Her writing inspired and convicted me and challenged me to change the way I live and view my "stuff" and resources. So when I found out about her speaking event, I was thrilled to hear her story in person. And we were not disappointed.

 We arrived right on time to the event, where we ate some amazing food, and talked excitedly about maybe getting to meet Jen. We went straight to the book table and looked through all the ones we possibly wanted to buy, when all of the sudden, there she was. Sitting down, eating, and talking to a sweet fan. I excitedly slapped my sister on the arm, and whispered that Jen was sitting right over there.  We all turned to look at her, and wondered whether or not we should try and talk to her. Maybe get an autograph. Or a hug. Whichever. We decided to wait until after the event, just to give her time to eat. And build up our nerves.
We found our seats, chatted, and waited for what seemed like forever for the event to start. And friends let me tell you, she was worth the wait. I can't tell you the last time I laughed so much. Or the last time I felt so moved by the Spirit to really live the way Jen challenged us too. Her words, just like her writing, moved, and inspired me to live a different, better life. She was so real, but so intent on us knowing that we only have so much time to live the life Jesus wanted. The life He spoke of, not the one the religious leaders or hypocrites tell us to live. A life based on loving people "where they are and how they are" not with the intent of just changing them to be a Christian. She challenged us to find our mission, the area and the people in our live that need hope, and someone to know that they are for them, and that love is not something you have to earn. She challenges us to be a people who weren't set on sticking to our guns, but putting them down, willing to listen to and help heal the people who have been hurt by the people who claim to love them. Jen is a powerful speaker and force in a world of people who are losing faith in the Church.

At the end of her speaking, Jill, Tiff and I rushed out to buy books and get them signed. We took a picture with Jen and thanked her for her time. It was an amazing night, being in a beautiful church, surrounded by women who were all in love with Jesus, and looking for something to inspire them.

So Jen, if you read this, thank you for your time and your faith. You inspired us to be better and love better and I thank you for speaking the truth that was on your heart.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

P.s. Platform 9 3/4 is a busy place today. See you on the Hogwart's express? ;)

Links: Jen's Website

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Love song summer.

Listening to: Charlie Brown by Coldplay. (Played about a million times at our wedding. :)

Wow, has it been forever since I have posted on here. A wedding, work, and life will do that to a girl. :) I plan to make this blog a place of peace and inspiration, more for myself, and anyone who feels like reading. Work and school this fall will inevitably make me feel like a crazy person, so hopefully this will help me to escape and breathe a bit.

It seems fitting to make my first post "back" about my wedding day.

I married the man I have been in love with for four years (Will be five years in August!). We met as lifeguards at a local pool in the city, sixteen years old, shy, funny, and both passionate for Jesus. We spent that summer getting really tan, going on a sand dates, flirting, and talking for hours on the pool deck. On August 5, 2007, Tucker asked me to be his girlfriend, very sweetly and nervously. I said yes and from that day on, we lived life together. We went to a countless number of movies, ate at Earl's Barbecue about ten thousand times, spent lots of time at each other's houses, and frequented our local Starbucks. We lived at Border's bookstore, went on a family road trip to Tennessee for his brother's wedding, and started attending church together. We served together, laughed together, shared loss together, learned how to listen to each other, had college classes together, and learned how to make a relationship strong and loving. We learned to fight fair, to ask for forgiveness, to speak when needed and when to keep silent; we learned how to compromise, to stand firm in what we believe, and that people all change. We are different from our younger selves, but not by much. We are wiser and more mature and healthier. We know how to save money, make a budget and prioritize time. We still go on dates, take time for ourselves, and learn from the Godly examples of marriage and relationships all round us. We still attend the same church, pray together, and try our honest best to put God first about anything else. Five years ago, I never thought I would be married at 21. I had met this incredibly cute, sweet, amazing guy and I was head over heels for him, but I was in no way thinking about marriage. But after being with him for a couple of years, I began to think about what it would be like to spend the rest of my life with him. The idea thrilled me and scared me, and I worried quite a bit about it. I prayed, and journaled, and daydreamed, and prayed. I realized, after months of worrying if I was ready for such a commitment, I finally made a decision. God brought Tucker to me for a reason. We were placed at the same pool, in that same summer, in that same city for a reason and there was no ignoring that. I loved him and I knew that, and knowing both of those truths, I knew I could marry him without a doubt.

The same year I decided that, Tucker asked me to marry him. July 1, 2011, on a very hot summer day, in the same park where we met, I said yes to an amazing man of God. After almost of year of planning and stressing and saving and stressing and more planning, the day came.

I still keep thinking about how perfect that day was. Friday, June 1, 2012. It was a cloudy, rainy, high seventies kind of day (which if you live in OK, that is not normal for a summer day). I personally love the rain and both Tucker and I were kind of excited about the weather. (Before you girls freak out, our wedding was indoor, and the sun came out several times that day, so we were able to get beautiful pictures. :) My sister and I got up early and went to the hair shop where one of my beautiful friends did my hair for the wedding. Then we ran to Target (me in my veil-earned lots of funny looks) and got lunch at Panera. Then came time for us to go to the church. Let me talk about the church for a moment. Tucker and I began attending in 2007 when we met. Originally, we started going to their Youth services on Wednesday nights, but after realizing how much we loved the church, and after convincing our parents, we began going on Sunday mornings as well. We made friends and mentors within the church and began serving, each in our own areas. I serving with the 5th and 6th graders and Tucker on what we call the Host Team, being a friendly face on Sunday mornings as a door greeter. It seemed like a fitting place to get married; at the place where two young people, passionate about God, found a church where they felt free and more in love with God and each other. The decision was made.

Back to the wedding day....We arrived at the church at about 2pm that afternoon and being that the wedding wasn't due to start until 6:30, we had plenty of time to relax. My bridesmaids arrived and we began taking pictures. Our photographer was amazing. I mean, amazing. Her name is Esther, and peeps trust me, the girl can take pictures. She is brilliant and we were so excited to have her as our photographer. (; Seriously?! She's good.) After pictures, we ate, and hung out until it was time to go. I put on my beautiful, (cheap!) dress, and checked hair and makeup one last time. Now, up until this point, I wasn't nervous. Maybe it helped that for one I am a typically very laid back, calm person and two, I am not crowd shy. Everyone lined up and the procession began. Our grandparents and moms were escorted in (to "No Such Thing As Time" by Elenowen--Tucker and I only agree on a few bands/singers. Elenowen is definitely our favorite!) and all the bridesmaids lined up. My sister kept running around behind me, fixing my dress, and right before she went in she smiled a knowing sister smile, and walked on in. I took my dad's arm and stepped up to the door. My heart might have exploded at this point. At the perfect point in the song,  ("There's a Place for Us by Carrie Underwood--For Narnia!--Was suggested by my mother in law, after watching Voyage of the Dawn Treader, that this would be the perfect wedding song, and as soon as she said, I wanted to use it. Thanks, Ellen!) we walked in. And EVERYONE was crying. I wasn't, which sounds bad, but I never cry when I am happy. But everyone else does apparently. I saw Tucker, and my pastor who were both teary eyed and we finally made it to them. Then my dad gave me to Tucker, and from then on, I have been in his hands. :)

The ceremony was beautiful (and short! ;) and the rest of the night is sort of a blur. We took lots of pictures, ate, danced, laughed, talked to as many people as we could, and listened to toasts by our friends. We left the wedding loaded down with food, gifts, and lots of well wishes from our families. It was the most perfect day. Beautiful, and focused on the most important thing: the gift that marriage is between two people who are committed and dedicated. It's been almost two months since that day, I am more in love with Tucker everyday.
Hope you enjoyed my novel of a love story. I'll post more about the honeymoon, and my summer later on. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

because I can think of nothing else.

Hello friends! 

As you can probably tell by my no-postage on the blog-eth, school has begun so I have been in a whirlwind of syllabi, new professors and getting my body back to working out (which, after a holiday, is not an easy task. Especially if you, like me, tend to be lazy :) But I have been up to so much good stuff, besides class, that I thought I should tell you about it. So I'll start with a few things that have made 2012 start off plentifully good.

1. New books. 
Since January 1, I have read three books that I must tell you all about. The only one I won't include in this list is Wuthering Heights, which I am slowly making my way through. That's sort of a book I put down, and come back to. But I will finish! :) Okay so let's see..let's start with Peter. 

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
I absolutely adored this book. Think Hugo (Peter is an orphan, who has a knack for thievery), Narnia (there are plenty of talking animals) and The Magician's Elephant (for the way it pulls at your heart). Peter is a blind orphan, who lives only by stealing. He is the best thief that ever lived. He reminds me so much of Hugo except Hugo wasn't as good at stealing :) The story is a fantastic book if you need a little adventure at the moment. I absolutey adored it. 

Here is the actual summary:   
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.

Next up, The Apothecary.

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. 
I had picked this book up several times in B&N but always ended up putting it back. So I was stoked when I saw it in my library a few weeks ago. It's set in London, narrated by a girl who is oh so teen, but now in an annoying way. The story combines Communism, an apothecary, a boy, a girl, a magic book, bad men, Russians, war, and missing people into a story that keeps on building. Definitely an easy, fun read.The illustrations and cover are probably my favorite part of this book.

Summary: "It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster."

 Onwards to...

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
This book I bought on Friday, started reading Saturday and finished Sunday. It was that good. Probably the best YA book I have read in a good while. It's beautifully creepy, and one of the only books that actually gave me chills at the creepy parts. Set in a place called Near, next to rolling hills and a beautiful moor, a secret is kept by the wind. A stranger has appeared and something bad is happening to the children of Near. It's a perfect winter read, and I am obsessed with it. :) I'm sad I finished it already. Will definitely be on the lookout for V. Schwab's next book. 
"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
There are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy."

Gorgeous, right?!?!

2. Downton Abbey. 
Only one thing to say, if you aren't watching it, do so. It will rock your world. 

3. I am currently reading Mark Batterson's "The Circle Maker" and peeps let me tell you, it is good. If you ever struggle with prayer and faith, or praying bold prayers (who doesn't?) this book is for you. I am on Chapter 4 and will probably re-read this book several times this year. Amazing writing. I've always been a M.B fan so it's hard not to love everything he writes. But this book is particularly very good. :) Go get it. 

4. They are putting in an Anthropologie in OKC! Um, hello?!?!? My sis, myself, and our beaus are going this weekend to scour the masses. I am on the hunt for one of these gorgeous mugs. I have the big white monogram one, but they are so dainty and pretty. 

5. One last thing. I am excited for this. 
I just love her hair!! And that accent is wicked. :) It's coming out the month I get married, so that makes it all the better!

What's got you on the right foot for 2012? I'd love more book suggestions! 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


(Courtesy of the New York Times)

Dear 2012,

I do not know all you have in store for me this year, but I pray that it will be a year of adventure, love and learning. In 2012, I will get married, become an "aunt" to two beautiful babies, continue on through college, and learn what it means to share a life with another person. I will watch countless movies, read phenomenal books,drink lots of tea, and hopefully even travel a bit. I will spend lots of time with my friends, family, and many quiet hours in bookstores. I will look to God for everything. If 2011 taught me anything it's that the only thing I can do is to trust that He really is good and that He really will be with me wherever I am. God has shown me how much and how strongly He loves me, and I am so undeserving. My mission is three part for this year. I have a 5-year journal that I write in everyday and the question for January 1 was "What is your mission?" I don't like making "resolutions" because 1. I never keep them, and 2. Resolutions resolve. Life doesn't really ever resolve. So instead I have a mission. A mission sounds so much more adventurous and fun. and that's really how I see my life anyway. So, my mission.

Part 1. I do not believe, in any way, that anyone is undeserving of love or friendship. I do not believe in a grace-less way of living,and I fear that my heart is heading that direction. I want to be open and honest with others, loving them the way Christ loved, loves and will love me. This goes for anyone and everyone I meet.

Part 2. I am not confident in my abilities. I shy away from trying new things, meeting new people, or branching out. I know that I can do things well, but the fear of failing at them prevents me from even trying. And that kind of life, my friends, is boring. Beyond boring. I'm done being afraid. I want challenge, and newness, and life.I want to experience everything, travel, draw, write, create and feel. I do not want my life to be mundane, and unexciting. I want to live is every sense of that word.

Part 3. I want my life to represent the One who gave it to me. I want my love for others to make them braver, stronger, and determined. God inspires me to be better everyday, and I believe that the best people in our lives do the same. I want to grow, learn, lead and love.

My mission is to experience my life as fully as I can while I am here. I am not meant for this world, and my soul craves the home it belongs to.But while I am here, I will try my hardest to make this life as much like my home as possible. :)

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

I pray that your 2012 is bold, adventurous and full.