Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Currently.2016.Vol.I



Samantha has given me the bug to start writing again on this little blog. So when I read through Victoria's post, I got the itch to follow the link-up she joined. On a side note, if you don't follow and love Victoria's blog, you need to! I'm convinced we'd be great friends if we ever get the chance to meet. Love her.

What we're eating this week...  I made spaghetti squash this week so that and brussel sprouts have been my lunches, dinners have been salads and other leftovers. I cooked so much last week! I've been working on re-organizing my pinterest food board, and now I'm so excited to start trying out some of the healthy recipes on there.

What I'm reminiscing about... 2015. Man, I've been reminiscing about last year since new years day. It's almost like I'm having a hard time letting go of that year, it was so full of God's faithfulness and surprises. I think it'll be a year I will always remember for that. 


What I'm loving... navy blue velvet curtains. I'm totally infatuated with them and am utterly convinced they need to be in our bedroom. This is both excellent and frustrating. I've never liked our currents, they were a we-got-married-and-now-need-curtains-to-block-the-street-light-out-our-apartment-window curtains, so I'm thrilled that I've finally found something I really love. On the other hand, the ones I've been eyeing are just so dang expensive. Dear West Elm, have a BIG sale on your curtains please.

What we've been up to... we've been watching quite a few puppies while friends go out of town lately, I'm using it as an extra source of income to put towards our college debt, a major goal this year is to pay off more than ever before. It's been fun watching Paisley interact with different pups though. Some she's just LOVED playing with and others, she puts on her granny-pants and sits in her bed ignoring the pup. You know how people say your kids do what you do, I worry that my dog does what I do- impatient/likes alone time/grumpy when hungry.....whoops.

What I'm dreading... I really can't think of anything right now...other than, if the winter season sticks around too long...I hate the cold.

What I'm working on... I've been working, slowly, through a scrapbook with Project Life for our trip to visit Samantha. It's been so fun to remember all those moments that were truly a blast! We've also been slowly re-working our bedroom, the last room in the house that hasn't been touched since the day we moved in together, basically.




What I'm excited about... two BIG things. 1. We're headed to Florida SOON to see my family. Florida is a win and family is a win. I haven't seen my family since last Christmas. 2. Kevin and I have been planning a retreat for our small group over Valentine's weekend. Yall, I'm so excited about this. I've been dreaming of doing this for well over a year now, and I can't believe we're finally here. The cabin has been booked, the schedule set, and now Kevin and I just have some details and surprises to work out. I'm so excited!


What I'm watching/reading... well there's the Bachelor, of course, and Modern Family...basically my two favorite television shows right now. Oh! Downton Abby's last season too! I've been reading through Jen Hatmaker's For the Love. Such freedom from that book, I'm loving it.

What I'm wearing... tights with skirts and dresses because pants get old, and I only have so many shirts that can be worn to work with leggings. Today, I've got on a J.Crew khaki skirt with BCBG tights, Bandolino black booties,  black shirt turtlneck from Ann Taylor and a green cardigan from Target. I bought only one of those items. See the outfit.

What I'm doing this weekend... sweet, sweet time with my family. 

What I'm looking forward to next month... Gosh, hands down the Valentines Retreat I wrote about above. Also, Kevin and I have planned a date night to go get some seafood and start really planning our Hawaii vacation. Insert heart eyes emojii about both of these.

What else is new... Basically, just normal life. Learning to trust God through big decisions, and dream more, and prepare my heart more to hear Him, and to pray specifically. I loved this part of a message I listened to from Matt Chandler this week: "God is infinitely powerful, and intensely personal"




Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Body, Marriage, Travel and Home Reflections


2015 was such a full and wonderful year, we may be a month into 2016 already but when I read The Cream to My Coffee's post recapping her year and looking forward to the next, I just had to copy her. I think 2016 will see some blogging but probably the continued theme of just random times. I want to write when I feel the Lord inspiring me, and when it doesn't take away from time with my husband, or friends. This year I'm working to strengthen friendships around me. So this little place will continue to take a back seat but I'm grateful to always have it here.


Body

2015
My body was a wave of emotions for me in 2015. I began the year frustrated and down about my in-ability to lose weight. I felt so big and so lost. I slowly began sharing more, praying more specifically, and really listening to the Lord's role in this part of my life. On the week I finally commanded His presence in control, the enemy's hold left and I lost four pounds. As the year would pass, I'd lose a total of 22 pounds, a couple pounds less than my wedding day. My confidence is stronger and my understanding of health and fitness is greater. I wrote a whole lot more in this post. I pray that I remember 2015 for the work God did in my body. I also ran my first half marathon, a goal I never imagined I'd make, and I'm pretty amazed by what the human body can do. God created quite the amazing creation in our bodies.
My bestie, Samantha, wrote about her journey here, I loved her post so yall should read it!

2016
This year I am still going strong on my health and fitness plans. I've got a few more pounds to go till my goal weight. I'm really hoping to feel spectacular in my new bikinis for our trip to Hawaii in May. I'm also continually working on my heart in this area. I want to be confident in myself because of the work God has done in me. And I'm also hoping that I can encourage other women that they can reach their fitness goals when they're laced with God.




Marriage

2015
Kevin and I grew a lot over the last year. We had hard conversations, and shed a number of tears. But we also spent many evenings joyfully. We made a goal to make more of our evenings together and we did a pretty good job of it but there's still room for growth here. I think our marriage in 2015 could be summarized by understanding each other better. I feel like we "grew up" some more last year and it brought to light many things in the future that used to feel far and now feel much closer. I'm proud of the tough conversations we had. I worked on being more honest, and Kevin worked on responding more clearly. I'm so thankful for this man.

2016
A general goal is to continue working on making more of evenings together, we recently purchased a puzzle so that's some new fun. I want to work on loving Kevin better through words this year, a love language of his that I feel I can be better at. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Lord grows us as we work through a marriage devotional series in our small group.




Travel

2015
My goodness. When 2015 began we were sitting in our closet, in tears about the potential to travel for a month or several months to Copenhagen, Denmark. Things escalated rather quick and before we knew it, by God's amazing work, Kevin and I found ourselves walking the streets of Copenhagen, on a jet plane to Paris for 27 hours, and catching a train to Sweden. We crossed three countries off the travel list we had yet toe ever create, we had yet to even imagine. We also were able to travel down to see family and friends in the Dallas area several times. Catch up on all our Denmark adventures and my top favorites of Copenhagen here.

2016
Two and half years ago my mom and her now-fiancee told us that we would be receiving his time share in Hawaii in 2016. We thanked them of course but didn't think much of it because, hello, two and half years yall. But here we are, 2016 is here, and the promise has remained in tact. We bought Kevin's plane ticket with his travel miles, purchased mine and set the dates for the time-share. My sister and her boyfriend get to some with us too. Another trip we never anticipated taking in the foreseeable future is happening and it's all because of gifts the Lord has given us. We are inexplicably excited and thankful. We are also heading to Florida soon to see my family, I might take a trip to Nashville, and we might sneak in a weekend in Houston, and New Orleans...so needless to say this year is filling right up with trips. Travel is one of our favorite things and we're looking forward to dreaming more travels up this year for the years to come.

Photo credit: the talented Katie Donnelly




Home

2015
We celebrated two year in our duplex this year, and we still love it here. Kevin helped me swap the layout of the living room, much to my surprise. I was also able to complete my craft room, my atelier, and it's my happy place. I love re-arranging and re-organizing our little home. As Charlotte Lucas said, "it is a true pleasure running my own home."

2016
This year we're working on making our master bedroom more designed. It's always been a hodge-podge of things, cheap things we found when we got married, and things we settled on when we really needed black out curtains at the old place. I've got my heart set on navy velvet curtains and it's been rather tricky to find some in my price range. I'm hoping our landlord finds it in his heart to replace the flooring on our first floor because my desire to clean the carpet by the back door to Paisley's sunless (ie: mud filled or dirt filled) backyard is over. My favorite place to sit in our home is on our sofa, I love watching the sunlight stream in from the front and back windows there, and I love watching little sleepy Paisley in her bed from there. As long as we're in Norman, and still paying off college debt, I really think we'll stay here.







2016 I pray that I learn to trust God's timing more, to rest in His promises, to choose to celebrate in the present, and to love my husband better than ever before in you.

but before I really say goodbye to 2015, my favorite posts of 2015:

Writing from my heart about a moment I'd always dreamed of.
Sharing pictures from a really special announcement.
Some wisdom the Lord shared with me about marking your marriage in love.
Our DC travel guide.
*really so much of what I wrote in March & April*
The sneak peaks into what makes our marriage work.
The first reveal of our Eiffel Tower portrait session with Katie Donnelly.
This stunning wedding because I so loved writing a letter to the groom and bride.
The most honest and vulnerable I've been, writing about my fitness/health journey.
My favorite DIY of the year.
The duck themed baby shower I helped plan.
The travel guide, sorta, that I wrote for OKC/Norman.
The blogger lip sync video.
Things the Lord taught me to develop.
Hosting a football themed watch party to kick off the football season.
Samantha coming to visit me.
Learning to re-adjust my morning thoughts.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Morning by Morning


Life lately has been a season full of learning.


One of my favorite simple memories from Denmark were the bright, quiet mornings. Kevin didn't have to go to work until 9am. We'd sleep until the sun gently awoke us, I'd slide out of bed and open the blinds to reveal the full glory of the rising run and lay in the bed cuddled in the blankets as Kevin got ready. Mornings at home look nothing like that, so these were such precious moments and I soaked them up as much as I could.

I've always been a morning person. Growing up I loved getting up before my family and having the house quiet and all to myself. I found the same true when I would spend the night at my friends' homes, My best friend's house was one of my favorites to wake up early in. Sometimes her parents would still be asleep but most of the time her mom was up and awakening the kitchen, and sometimes her dad would play the piano softly. I loved those mornings.



Every day you are to provide a year old lamb without defect for a burnt offering to the Lord; morning by morning you shall provide it...So the lamb and the grain offering and the oil shall be provided morning by morning for a regular burnt offering. Ezekiel 46:13&15

I think we have a tendency to discredit the Old Testament sometimes. The sacrificial offering rituals were taken away when God gave us the perfect offering of Jesus on the cross yet there is still much to learn from those stories of sacrifices.

Morning by morning the people awoke with intentions to offer a lamb, offer their day, to the Lord showing Him respect and honor. Yall, wow. That had to take some intense intentionality and I'm certain time. I read that verse and was floored by the dedication God was calling them to. It caused me to consider what I do daily to offer God that respect and honor. How do my mornings reflect intentionality to prepare for offering the new day to my Jesus?

The lesson that I find myself learning over and over so often is being intentional. Intentional with my mornings, and my whole day...because bottom line...it's God's new morning, it's God's new day.


In our small group, we've been discussing often what it looks like everyday to choose Christ in our varied workplaces. Do you show joy? Do you participate in gossip? Do you represent hope? Do you encourage unity? Do you demonstrate love? These are the things we've been asking ourselves, these are the things I've been asking myself.

I don't want to waste these days away. If there's something you take away from these tragedies the world is facing right now, realize your days are numbered. You may pass away sweetly in the arms of those you love after a long and well lived life or your life may be horrifically ended. What will you choose to do with each day you've been graciously given?

I encourage you to choose:
to be challenged in your faith
to go deeper in your Bible studies
to seek out knowledge from various teachers
to develope acts of faith
to be self aware (not self absorbed)
to be God centered
to live in confidence
to sow unity
to teach others
because these things will demonstrate Christ!

This list came from a fabulous teacher, Amy Little, as she taught on Hebrews 6 to a group of women on Monday night. I soak up her words every time I'm privileged to hear her speak. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blog Friends Turned Forever Friends


Samantha left on Sunday and I've missed her ever since. Also, since then my allergies have blown way out of control. I can't hardly breathe, and yesterday I spent my work day sneezing gobs of snot onto my desk, too much information? Sorry, I can't even. So, spending time flipping through our smiling faces and fun adventures has been the only thing keeping me going, well and my sweet husband who is the best care taker to this baby-ie:me.

On our final two days, we explored OKC and Norman. While this part wasn't new to me like our tour of Tulsa was, it sure was fun to take Samantha around "my stomping grounds," I got to show her much of just my normal life, and that was the best part.

We slept in a little on Saturday morning, and began the day at a Norman favorite, Syrup. We did a teeny bit of shopping on Main Street, and then we went into OKC. We took the tour of the Overholser Mansion, and then pretty much popped around the city, checking out various places from this post.

On Sunday, we spent the morning talking in bed, just relaxing. It was possibly, my favorite part of her trip. We did the Tone It Up BFF workout together, finally. And the husband took a pretty stinkin' fun instagram video of it. We did a light breakfast at home and spent the rest of the early afternoon showing off campus and munching on Hurt's Donuts, gourmet donuts=a good idea always. We wrapped up her time with a little craft project, of course.

Tone it Up girls!








Our celebration dinner...between the two of us, 29 pounds have been lost over the last year!


Doing work outs everywhere we go















New to Passion, Pink and Pearls?
I "met" Samantha through blogging, three years ago. Over a year ago, we finally met in person in her home town, Virgnia. This year she came to see me for a girl weekend. Never underestimate the power of friendships made through blogging dear ones! You can meet your best friend!



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Touring Tulsa




I've been in Oklahoma for seven years now and until last week had never been to Tulsa, to see Tulsa! It's been on my mind to go for a visit for quite a while now but it took Samantha coming all the way from Virginia to get my booty there.

The first day she was here, I popped her by a couple Route66 stops and we had some tasty meals but on the second day, we hopped in the car after a morning work out, Starbucks in hand, and made our way to Tulsa. Tulsa is only a couple hours north east of Norman, it's a short and simple drive. I did some research prior to our trip and gathered there were two major things on our list: 1. The Philbrook Museum and 2. A walking tour of Tulsa.

We started our day at The Philbrook and just loved it. The Museum was once a home to a wealthy oil business dude. Later in life he gave the home and property to the city to become an art museum. The works of art housed there are fantastic but the home itself is definitely the jewel. The grounds are breathtaking! We spent a good amount of time out there. If you're going to Tulsa, you just MUST put this place on your list!









Next we headed to downtown Tulsa. I had booked us a tour covering the historic favorites of downtown. We met up with Mike from Tours of Tulsa just outside of the Philcade building and started the tour almost immediately. Mike took us through several of the buildings, and took special care to point out design details, something we, as designers, greatly appreciated. We both loved learning the unique stories and so-told-rumors of some of the design decisions made. Tulsa is rather unique in its design and architecture, as all of the buildings were built in the favored design of the wealthy oil businessman who funded the various building projects. While Tulsa is well known for many art deco buildings, there was also a great amount of interiors with heavy European design influences. It was so cool to see each building and how vastly different one was from the other.

The tour was great, not only for the history and fun stories, but we also got to check out special areas in the buildings that we would not have been able to see as just a visitor. Additionally, we both felt there were so many areas that you wouldn't have even known to check out because they weren't in the city guides. Seeing the tunnel systems was one of my favorite parts and definitely not something you see in every city. You haven't really visited a city until you've learned about it and I'm so glad we spent the time to take this tour. Ever since Kevin and I took our first city tour on our honeymoon, I've been convinced that you learn the most about a city through the mouth of an actual tour guide. If you're traveling to Tulsa, I highly recommend you gather a group and give yourself an hour to learn from the fabulous guides of Tours of Tulsa. It was worth every penny.

Mike gave us a few extra minutes of history as we walked with him toward his parking location, and then we checked out some stores before making our way to the Mayo Hotel, Mike said we couldn't miss it. The exterior of the hotel is my favorite but the interior certainly was beautiful. Samantha and I were able to catch a peek into the museum room. The walls were covered with framed photographs of famous musicians and actors that had visited and stayed there. We had hoped to pop up to the rooftop but we're just a little early, we found the ballroom level though and had a good time exploring the empty, beautiful room. I'd never seen such a simple yet ornate ballroom with that much natural light. The room had fabulous views. I could only imagine how beautiful a wedding might be in there.






That's Mike our tour guide!







We spent our last few minutes in the city at Utica Square before we headed back home to Norman. We had a quick bite at one of our favorites, Zoe's and then went to Bible Study. It was so fun to have Samantha at small group. She really got a big glimpse into our normal life that night, and I loved having her there.

I'm pretty sure we both crashed and fell asleep immediately that night. I wish we'd kept track of how much walking we'd done, I'm pretty sure we might have walked an entire half marathon collectively.

More on our trip to follow!


*I contacted Kelly of Tours of Tulsa about a week or so prior to our visit, I'm so thankful for her flexibility. She was so kind in helping us adjust our schedule and answering all my questions. Find Tours of Tulsa on their website (linked above) or on Facebook here. Be sure and let them know I sent ya!
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