May 28, 2013

Instagram Snapshots :: Spring 2013

1. A weekend away in Asheville. Michael had a conference so I tagged along! We hiked, toured the Grove Park Inn where the conference was, spent time in downtown Asheville, and had the best pizza of my life.
2. New summer bedspread! Our room tends to get really hot in the summer, so I swapped out our down comforter for this lightweight quilt I found on online. Of course that meant I needed new sheets as well. I love the fresh, white look and it's nice to have something different after almost 3 years of using the darker blue duvet gifted to us for our wedding.
3. We love when college friends get married, because that means it's always a reunion! It was so fun to see some good friends who I hadn't seen in a while, especially the one who recently had a baby!
4. This is actually from when my sisters came to visit in February. So ridiculous.
5. One of our gorgeous spring days here in NC! I hate having to work during weather like this.
6. We went camping in Tennessee and even though the weather was terrible we had a blast. It was pouring on the second night, so we opted to stay in a hotel that night, but it was still a lot of fun! We treated ourselves to crepes in Asheville on our way home. Mmm!
7. Trying to get fit for summer! This has been an ongoing process since January, but with the recent weather and the purchase of new running shoes it has been much easier to want to get outside and be active!
8. Some snapshots from our vacation to Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. That place was heaven, I tell you! Read the recap here.
9. I took the plunge and threw my first surprise party ever for Michael's 27th. He may or may not have had a few clues, but overall the party was a huge success and we had so much fun with our friends who came to celebrate with us!
10. This is the best roasted veggie combo I've made, I think ever. Broccoli, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes! It also helped that I used regular olive oil instead of extra virgin. See why in this post by Chris Loves Julia.
11. We had a family wedding to go to in Charlotte last weekend, so my whole family got to go out on my in-laws' boat on Lake Norman for the afternoon on Sunday. It was a perfect day. I am so sore from wakeboarding, but I am really amazed that I could still do it!
12. We sorted through all of my late grandpa's old pocket knives with my dad's family. He had quite the collection and it was neat to see all the different places he had collected them from.
13. Spending time with my mom and sisters cooking a Memorial Day feast was exactly how I wanted to end my 3-day weekend. So much fun to be with them & all of my dad's family!


Want to follow along? Check me out on instagram.

May 22, 2013

On Being a Grown-up

A conversation with my niece while playing with play-doh:

Her: "What's a wild animal we can make with the red play-doh?"
Me: "Hmm. A bird? What about a red bird?"
Her: "No, a wild animal!"
Me: "Haha, okay... maybe a fox?"
Her: thinking... "Laura, can you make me a fox out of the red play-doh?"
Me: "Maybe, I'm not sure I know how."
Her: "Of course you do!"
Me: "Why?"
Her: "Because you're a grown-up, and grown-ups know how to do everything."

Kids say the darndest things. It's especially funny when they say them with 100% confidence. What's weird is that I actually remember thinking that as a little kid. Grown-ups knew everything. They were confident in all that they did, and their knowledge was infinite. I never once thought that my parents had questions or insecurities about their life, their jobs, or raising their kids. I used to tell my dad he should be the president because I really believed he would be the best at it. I know now that he would probably hate it, because he takes  f o r e v e r  to make decisions (I mean come on, engineers are just not made to be politicians). My mom always knew the right words to say when I needed help or I was frustrated or I didn't know what to do in a situation (she still does). But I know now that she has a lot of doubt and insecurities about her own decisions. It was a weird feeling when I realized that.

And here I am. A "grown-up," living life and making decisions for myself and with my husband, confident in some of those but unsure about a lot of them. I think the hardest thing about becoming an adult is realizing that you never reach that feeling of having it all together. I always pictured that feeling being a given when I got older. It's almost like I expected to feel the transition from child to adult. When I graduated college, things definitely felt different but that was mostly because I moved away from friends and the weight of the responsibility for my life finally hit my shoulders for good. But I did not feel any more confident than I felt when I left for college at 18. I still felt insecure, unsure that I was making good decisions, and waiting for that aha moment when I finally could have it all together. That feeling never came. In the past three years I've grown and changed, and while I don't feel completely confident in all I'm doing, it's nice to know that I'm not alone. I think what's changed is my perspective more than anything. I've come to realize that we're all in the same boat, wondering if what we're doing will turn out okay. There's comfort in that.

The thing is, it's in those moments where I have to make tough decisions, that I have experienced the most growth. Yes, I rely on help from the Lord and from people I trust around me, but still a lot of things in life are simply moments where I have to take a leap of faith. I've learned to jump wholeheartedly into the unknown, and trust that I'll know what to do when I get there. And if I don't, I'll improvise.The more leaps of faith I take, the less timid I am. When I look back and see how I've grown, I can confidently say that I am not the same person I was three years ago - in a good way.

I am thankful for growth. I am thankful for change. And I am thankful for a world that pushes me to make decisions that I don't want to make, because I am a better person for it.

May 20, 2013


Well, we pulled it off. We surprised Michael for his birthday, and I think we got him (mostly!). There was lots of planning involved - hiding food and decorations in random places in the house and in other people's houses, and soliciting help from others because let me tell you, it's hard planning a surprise party for someone you live with! Michael turns 27 on Wednesday, so I wanted to surprise him on a birthday that wasn't supposed to be a big one. He was mostly surprised (even if he wasn't totally, he had a great reaction) and he was definitely excited to see so many people at our house to celebrate his birthday with him. He was also really surprised that I asked his parents to come up for it, too. So glad that I could make him feel special! A word to the wise: have your surprise party for someone at a different house than the one they live in. It would make it so much easier to get things set up ahead of time. But I'm so glad I did it and thankful to all the friends who showed up to make it memorable!

May 16, 2013

Little tidbits

photo by Blythe K Photography

Little City Radio. Just listen. So good! Thank you Kate & Anna for enlightening me.

+ Ghettofy your twitter. Search your @ twitter name and see your twitter feed look gangsta. Hilarious!

+ This TED Talk. Seriously inspiring. Don't waste time in your 20s - make them count!

+ The First Love sermon series my church just finished up last weekend. Every single one is solid truth for relationships, for those single or married. I really loved this series, and I love my church!

+ Just recently started following Our Freaking Budget and I love it already. It's all about being smart with your money. I'm on board with that.

The difference between olive oils. This explains why I'm always burning things on the stove but not getting them fully cooked. Extra virgin is not always the "right" oil to use.

+ I'm pretty overdue for a new computer - my laptop is the one I got for my first year of college and it's almost 7 years old. I'm just grateful it's lasted me this long! So I ordered a new computer this week (thanks to Michael doing hours and hours of research). Bad for the bank account, but totally fun for me. I'm hoping I get it in time for the weekend so I can get it all set up!

+ On the menu for this weekend: BBQ pork in the crockpot, mac & cheesepink lemonade punch, and spending time outside. I hope it's good weather!

I'm really, really, really ready for Friday. Who's with me?

May 14, 2013


Last week we were on vacation. And when I say vacation, I mean we went to one of the most relaxing, beautiful, quintessentially southern places we've ever been to. And it was glorious! Michael's granddad was generous enough to host a vacation for the whole family down in Bluffton, SC at a magical resort (and I don't ever use the word "magical" lightly) that was basically a little Southern town right on the water, with a similar feel to the little town of Beaufort. We stayed in the cute little village in one of those old, southern style homes with a big huge porch and wide planked floors.

We biked, we kayaked, and we climbed tree houses. We saw alligators and green lizards and dolphins. We lounged by the pool and roasted s'mores by the fire. We did some serious front porch sittin'. We played with our nieces and nephews, who are all too much fun! It really was the best week ever.

Most of the time, I am ready to come home after a trip away from home. Not often do I wish I could stay on vacation because I like being at home where I'm comfortable and have my things and my routine. This was one of the few places I've been where I just wanted to stay forever. It just felt like home. I felt like I was in a dream, and I literally did not think about work or everyday stresses at all the whole time we were down there. Even though it was hard to leave, I came home feeling rested and just all sorts of good feelings inside. And that, my friends, is how a vacation should leave you.