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Friday, April 29, 2016

5 On a Friday!


Since I have been on my bloggy hiatus, I wasn't sure if Five on Friday was still a thing! But I was so excited when I saw this post from Natasha that showed me it was still alive and well!

{ONE}


Has this felt like the longest week or two ever? Or is that just me??? I think I'm experiencing post wedding blues. For months, my life was planning this event and now I'm just kind of existing. Don't get me wrong, I have PLENTTTTTY I could be doing at work, but instead I'm here. You know those ruts we fall into sometimes. Basically I want to be spending my days soaking up the sunshine on patios with my husband instead of being trapped in my office. I need some weekend in my life!!!






{TWO}


I ordered myself a wand. No, not the Harry Potter kind (even though I do need one of those babies). A curling wand! I had one years ago and could never really get the hang of it, so I gave it away. I feel like I kept seeing all these bloggers and promotions on Instagram for NuMe products and they gave me an AMAZING deal so I took it. It came in last night so we'll see how well I can use it this weekend. Might be a good Mother's Day gift too for anybody in the market! (I got the Magic 25MM in pink!)


Magic Wand 25MM




{THREE}

We are in the midst of house hunting. I say that with both excitement and exhaustion. The housing market is not great in the town we live in. I love looking at houses with potential, but I am just not the fixer upper type. I really want to build a house! But speaking of Fixer Upper, I'm currently obsessed with Chip & Joanna. Late the bandwagon, per usual. They are so funny, so cute, and so talented! What a power couple!




{FOUR}


So even though I'm an old married lady now, I'm still the same old me. Meaning I'm still obsessing over the Real Housewives of everywhere. I wasn't really sold on Potomac, but I am reallllllly loving Dallas! Plus Erika Jayne from Beverly Hills is my new favorite person.  She is absolutely a no nonsense person and doesn't make apologies for who she is. She was a GREAT addition to that cast.
And my RHONY girls are back. i gotta admit that I miss Heather though. And while we are talking about Bravo can I just plug Southern Charm? I swear that's probably one of my most favorite Bravo shows! I cannot get enough of it. OH THE DRAMA WITH KATHRYN & THOMAS!!!!! Something might be legit wrong with me that I am on this level with Bravo. My husband says that Andy Cohen rules my life. It's true, he does.

{FIVE}

I know I've said "my husband" 100x in this post. You'll have to forgive me. I'm kind of obsessed with him. We are newlyweds, you know! So in honor of getting married three weeks ago, here's another wedding picture for you! We are still waiting to get them all back, and of course I'm waiting on pins and needles. I'm sure my time wasting skills will be put to excellent use when those beauties come in. It really was the best day ever!

{Photo Creds to B.Loved Images}

Well there you go! That's my two cents on a Friday! Peace out homies. And always remember Go Vols!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Playing Major Catch Up

Pretty sure I'm a straight up stranger around here these days!! My blog is so outdated, it's like going back in time when I log on to Blogger and look at my draft folder. I don't have a pup anymore so I'm not even sure I can still be THE PINK GROWL - is that allowed?? I do still love pink and gold (our wedding colors!!!) so maybe that's enough to get me by for now.

Currently - I have two posts sitting as drafts about wedding planning. WELP, I got married on April 9th so that's old news now! I can't believe the last time I blogged was in December after we got engaged. Obviously, A LOT has happened since then.

Let's play a little catch up! In November I sold my house, moved in the with (then) fiancĂ©. My house sold much faster than I anticipated and I only moved in with him temporarily to have a place to live. I had no idea in a couple weeks we would be engaged. We got engaged on December 12th after 8 months of dating and planned a wedding in 4 months. April 9th was a special date for us so I was really hoping we could pull everything together in time! The truth of the matter is, wedding planning can be stressful, it can be hard, it can drive you crazy and definitely drive you broke! BUT, it is doable on a tight budget & timeline! People told me I was crazy! I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard "wow you guys are really in a hurry!" or "it's so soon". Yes, we are aware that it's so soon, thank you for the update. It's not that we were in a hurry necessarily. But I'm 31 and he's 33, so we knew what we wanted and when we wanted it and we went for it. It's not like we just met each other either. We never wanted to be engaged for a long time, and honestly I think it was the perfect amount of time! I'm very happy with the way things turned out. And the best part is, now I have a husband!!!!


 {Photo Creds to B.Loved Images}
I look back at my old posts from last year when we started dating, and it's so exciting/crazy/overwhelming/AMAZING to see how things have happened!! All those times I was so stressed about finding the right guy, and what felt like the next step in my life. I had no idea that I would end up marrying someone I already knew (and totally had a crush on for years)! The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways, you guys! Trust me on that!!

I run into people who want to offer me marriage advice a lot. Sometimes more like comments vs. advice. And I think that's great. We all have opinions and I love an honest person who will tell it like it is. However, people can be so negative sometimes! It's disappointing actually. Haters in the grass! To be fair, I don't believe the majority of people mean any harm by it. But it can wear on your nerves when you're on Cloud 9. I don't for one second think that my marriage will be easy or a fairy tale story, but I know that I am hopeful that we will always make it work. I'd like to think that years down the road, I'm not the bitter soul giving out the negative words. I hope that I can take my experiences - even the awful, ugly, knock down drag out ones - and use them for good.

Certain parts of this journey have truly felt like a whirlwind adventure - both in good ways and some bad. Joining your life together with another person isn't always an easy transition and we have a 9 year old child involved too, so there have been some prickly moments. But you press on through the struggles when you KNOW things are right. Today, I 100% stand in a place where I can be fully thankful for all the mishaps along the way because that's how I ended up here.

So there's my two cents. Clearly, I don't have a dang clue what I'm talking about. Somehow now I'm a wife and a stepmom, when usually I can barely make it through each work day :) Such is life!

Missed all my bloggy pals!! XOXO


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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tis the Season for Making Broken Things Beautiful

Where do I even begin with this post??? Well first of all, thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post before Thanksgiving. I have to admit that it ended up being a pretty good Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family. We were all a little worried about how it might be, but in the end, we were able to celebrate each other and our blessings. The only tears shed were during the prayer before we ate when we thanked God for sending us mom to have in the first place.

So now on to Christmas! I have realized something about myself this year... I am embarrassed to say it, but I am a Christmas pessimist. I complain about the season, complain about my family situation and find myself saying "I hate Christmas!" frequently. As much as I try to be a positive person in general, Christmas gets the best of me. BUT WHY? Christmas is NOT supposed to be about me. But I am quite ashamed to admit that I am constantly trying to make it center around me.

I don't have enough money for all the gifts I want to buy
I don't have normal family relationships
I don't have time for 12 Christmas stops
I don't get enough time off work around the holidays
Selfish. Selfish. Selfish.

Christmas tends to make me feel broken. Beat down. Financially broke. Kinda ungrateful. It's ugly. I have come to expect the worst, and that's not really who I want to be. But this year, just three days before Christmas I have  renewed sense of HOPE. Hope in the fact that God is still working all around me - even on the hard days when I feel very far from him. Hope that my family can be restored. Hope that Christmas can still stand for exactly what it should always stand for - even though I try to manipulate the meaning and make it about me. Hope in GRACE!

So this morning, as my attitude was slowing shifting from Scrooge to Buddy the Elf, I had an epiphany of sorts. This IS what the Advent season is about. It's what it's ALL about! Christmas is about celebrating the ultimate gift of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and recognizing that He came to rescue us from this broken world. I read something a couple weeks ago over at (in)courage and it's really stuck with me. I've gone back to re-read it several times, but it wasn't until today that it truly clicked.

Christmas is the ultimate story of hope, of grace, of restoration. Isn't that just the best reminder??

C


My life can feel messy. When the mess feels overwhelming and heavy (which can be more times than I'd care to admit), I tend to completely forget the redemption of restoration. I tend to focus only what is weighing me down, and then I'm unable to feel God around me. Things have changed drastically for me since last Christmas. I went back to reread my Christmas post from 2014 and I laughed a little at how much things have changed. Somehow I always forget how vastly things can change just within a year's time!!

I think slowly, but surely, I am learning these lessons. But I also know eventually that even if this time of year is always a little hard on the heart for me, God's hope of restoration is always always always here. And for that, I am thankful!

Oh yeah - and in case you missed it - this Christmas I am going to be showing off some new bling!!!!! I got engaged on 12/12!! Even though it's been 10 days already, I still can't shake the excitement. I cannot wait to marry this man. I hope he knows how much I love him. Talk about the ultimate feeling of coming full circle with my journey. I can't wait to see what God has planned for us (& hopefully our family) this coming year!!



Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!! I hope you can take a moment to breathe in your blessings and recognize that is always something to be thankful for! I know I will be forcing myself to do that over the next week. XOXO



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Monday, November 23, 2015

Let's Talk Life

Almost four long months have gone by without even so much of a hint of a blog post...
That might be a new record for radio silence around here.

Have no fear, friends, I'm still alive and well! I have missed my blog and my bloggy friends, but I haven't really felt inspired to write about much lately. A million things have happened in my world that have caused me to draft a post, but the words just never seemed to come out right to match how I felt. I hate that too because blogging has always been such a positive outlet for me. I thought I would just try again today. I need a release!

Life always hit me the hardest around the holidays. The past three holidays seasons have been especially hard for me. I've been in a place of trying to heal a broken heart for a while now. And while I do feel like I'm finally healed up from that breakup 3 Novembers ago, the holiday season just always triggers this major anxiety within my heart. I should be excited because it will be my first holiday season with my boyfriend. We have been dating for 7 months now (CRAZY, right??) and there's so much to celebrate there, but sadly I think we are not going to end up together for Thanksgiving and it's really bothering me. I'm feeling Debbie Downer-ish. There are so many reasons why. My family is messy - both sides of it. I don't really feel like I belong within my biological family, for the most part. That's really hard to say - even harder to feel, but it's true. I have always searched for a "family" to adopt me outside of the people who are blood related to me. I have always imagined marrying a guy whose family just takes me in and never makes me feel like an outsider. I desire that so much!

This will be my family's first holiday season without my mom. Some days that makes me feel sad, some days it makes me feel numb, but most days it just makes me feel anxious about how it will be. Last Thanksgiving, I struggled internally with whether or not to even participate in my family's Thanksgiving get together. I ended up going for maybe an hour and it was a complete disaster. My mom had just finished a round of chemo and she was so skinny and sickly. But she was also hurting and not dealing with everything well so she was drinking heavily to mask her pain. She was hammered drunk when I got there and things just went downhill from there. It was a painful time. The holidays are typically a time reserved for celebrating time spent with your family, and it's honestly just a harsh reminder for me that I don't have that. The negatives are weighing me down.

I looked back to my post last year for Thanksgiving, and now I'm sitting here crying as I read these words again this year:
(PS - this is a great one too, Giving Thanks In Sorrow). "When you think you’ll never again be able to sing a song of thanksgiving, try it anyway. Our hearts may not be comfortable praising tragedy, loss, or bad days, but our hearts were created to praise the Hope of Glory."

I am reminded that hope is never in vain. Even when it feels useless, it's not. Even if you have to tell yourself that every second of the day just to make it through. Hope in Jesus is always the only way to survive anything. I might be struggling with the heaviness in my heart right now, but hope is the only way to overcome. I truly believe that! When I focus on the family situation I currently have, the family I want, or the shortcomings with either - I am completely heartbroken. I become overwhelmed when I focus on the things that weigh me down, but I am lifted when I fix my eyes on Jesus and his promises. I cannot even tell you how reassuring of a thought that is to me today.

I went back to SheReadsTruth today for a little inspiration and wanted to share with you what I found. "His promises hold fast, even when your world is crumbling. In everything, He is good. In everything give thanks." Sweeter words have never been spoken. When I feel like I don't have anyone to count on, I have the Lord. When I feel let down by everyone's conditional love and empty promises, I have Jesus who will never leave me and never stop showing me how faithful He is.

Source

I stole this from SRT too because I thought it was a good exercise in thanksgiving. Maybe someone else needs this reminder today just as much as I did.

Let’s actively thank our good God today.
I will give thanks in…
  1. this joyful thing:
  2. this suffering:
  3. this certainty:
  4. this stress:
  5. this injustice:
  6. this sorrow:
  7. this plenty:
  8. this want:
  9. this wandering:
  10. this waiting:

Wishing you all a truly Happy Thanksgiving, filled with warm hearts and full bellies! XOXO


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