Currently…

  • Waiting on my hot tea to cool off so I can take a sip. I swear it’s what gets me out of bed sometimes.
  • Reading The Language of Flowers. It started to get really good while I was reading last night, so I stayed up a little later than I should have reading. Up next for me is Gone Girl, then The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
  • Exhausted from staying up too late reading The Language of Flowers.
  • Needing to do a load of laundry so Ryan’s gameday shirt will be clean for Saturday.
  • Thankful that this is a low-key week after last week. Last week was super busy between work and seeing lots of friends. Good stuff, but my introverted side is relieved this week. I spent all day Monday at home, in my pjs, catching up on TV, reading, and doing a few loads of laundry. It was exactly what I needed.

  • Praying for some friends and family that have big stuff coming up the next few weeks.
  • Looking at Jolene, who is staring at me, willing me to take her on a walk. Love that girl. She went to daycare yesterday and was so tired last night she could barely pick her head up.
  • Wishing our yard wasn’t aerated and seeded and muddy so she could go run around and play like she usually does.
  • Searching for fabric for roman shades for our living room. The windows are bare right now and everyone that walks by can see what’s going on.
  • Dreading the time change in a few weeks. I’m okay with the cold weather and love fall/winter food, but these shorter days put me in a serious funk.
  • Excited about my purchases from the weekend. Rebecca and I went to a few flea markets Sunday afternoon and I bought some doodads for the house. I’m trying VERY hard not to junk it up, but I do like having pretty things around. I’m very happy with my purchases though.

  • Cooking! It has been a very long time since I’ve actually cooked dinner, and this week I’ve done it 3 nights in a row! Monday night was turkey meatballs and sauteed squash and zucchini and some Trader Joes’s vegetable stirfry, Tuesday night was BBQ Sloppy Joes and sauteed spinach, and last night I made myself pad thai because Ryan went to his grandmother’s and trivia. All good, easy, and relatively healthy- the triple threat of cooking.
  • Watching Nashville, Scandal, The Mindy Project, and 19 Kids and Counting (yes, I watch the Duggars and only feel a little shame), and Real Housewives of New Jersey. Also very excited The Amazing Race is coming back soon and Manzo’d with Children is starting.
  • Thinking about this article and wondering how we can incorporate something similar into our lives. I love the idea of gathering people around our table every week, even though we don’t have kids and aren’t starved for community.

7 Things on Friday Because Why Not?

1. On Monday morning, Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, passed away. He was 93. It’s hard to be too sad when someone has lived as long and as full of a life as he did and we know he is with Jesus, but I know he will be so missed by his family, friends, and those who worked with him. He left an amazing legacy with just a simple chicken sandwich. So on Wednesday, Ryan and I drove thru for an Ice Dream cone for him and a sundae for me. It was delicious. Thanks for everything, Truett.

2. Jolene had her temperament test at doggie daycare on Monday and passed with flying colors. She was so exhausted Monday night she could barely keep her head up. Of course, they have a webcam so I spent some of the day watching her. It was so cute. Monday was also my first full Monday to work. I used to go in some Mondays and come and go as I pleased. No more. It was weird, but good. She looked so little in this big bed. She knows where the comfy spot is.

3. The Dawgs play OBC and South Carolina tomorrow in Columbia. I’m nervous, even though S. Carolina hasn’t shown us too much so far. Several people are predicting Georgia in the final tournament, but give me a break. We’ve only played one game. We’ve got a long season ahead of us. I’ve been a Dawg fan too long to get my hopes up like that.

4. This has been one of the lowest key weeks for us in a while. Ryan and I have both been home every night and it’s been nice. Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and we watched the Smithsonian channel’s documentary on it. The people they get on those are amazing- Laura Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick and Lynn Cheney, reporters that were on the plane with the President, his chief of staff. I love that they are doing so much to preserve our history, the good and the bad. Ryan even commented that there were two football games on and we were watching it, that’s how good it was.

5. We FINALLY got our living room and dining room painted yesterday, along with the kitchen ceiling and back door. As soon as I get everything put back on the walls and cleaned up, I’ll take some pictures and post them. But it looks SO much better! It’s just amazing what a coat of paint will do. This is what it looked like when I left for work yesterday morning.

6. Well, I was only going to do 5 things, but then I remembered a sixth! And I can’t believe I forgot this one! Yes, William and Kate announced baby #2 is on the way! So excited and I hope this one will be a girl. I read this week that Diana once mentioned that Charles always wanted a daughter. I’m sure he thinks of Kate as a daughter and Camilla has granddaughters, but how precious would William be with a little girl? And I’m quite sure she would be dressed impeccably.

7. And then I remembered another. I feel like I was in a reading slump most of summer, but I finally abandoned the book I was stuck on and am back at it in full force. It’s amazing the difference a good book makes. I flew threw Insurgent and now I’m reading The Nesting Place and Rebecca loaned me The Language of Flowers and so many people told me they loved it, so I’m excited to see what it’s about. Not much beats a good book.

Happy weekend!


Reductionist

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.”

Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist

In my old age (ha), I’m turning into a minimalist.

Well, not really. I think a better term would be reduction-ist.

It’s not that I want us to live a minimal lifestyle. I just want to live a reduced lifestyle.

Our apartment was teeny-tiny, but I was determined when we moved into our house, not to have an explosion of “stuff.”

We have 3 drawers in our kitchen. And one of them is only about 4″ wide, rendering it almost completely useless. So we have one drawer with our silverware and one drawer with our kitchen utensils. I was looking for a measuring cup and realized we have three sets of measuring cups. Now really, that’s not that many. But when you only have one drawer, it’s too many. Just getting rid of ONE cleared up a lot of space in that drawer. In that same trip through the utensil drawer, I found 4 spatulas. Too many. Now we have 2. I also realized we had 2 spaghetti-strainer-spoon-thingies. Technical term. So to the Goodwill pile one went.

We have empty shelves in our cabinets since moving and I have every intention of keeping it that way. Mama came a few weeks ago to help me paint and just do some other things around the house. She remarked that we needed a drain basket for our dishes and I thought, “Nah. Stacking them on a towel has worked fine for this long. I guess we can just keep doing that.”

I also got rid of my curling irons. I don’t remember the last time I curled my hair, if I have EVER curled my hair. Plus my hair straightener can do it. Multi-use tools for the win.

It’s not just my physical “stuff” either. Y’all, I’m going whole-hog. I deleted Facebook off my phone. (I know. Revolutionary.) I’m unfollowing people on Instagram and Pinterest.

None of these things are that big of a deal. But small steps are better than no steps at all.

We have too much stuff. And when I say we, I mean Ryan and I, and I also mean the average American. Granted, Ryan doesn’t have a ton of stuff. Just 700 gray t-shirts and 96 concert posters. But we still have more that we need. Too many pairs of shoes, too much trash, too many blankets, too many craft items for “just in case,” too many plates and cups, too much food, it’s all just too much. I like nice, pretty stuff as much as the next person. But in the end, it’s all just stuff. And it’s meaningless. What’s the point?

I want to have less, so we can do more. The less I buy, the more money we have to do things like go to Chicago or out to eat with friends or to just plain give away.

I realized the other day that I really am “there.” One of the radio stations is giving away a $10,000 shopping spree. Now, I could use $10,000. There is definitely some house stuff that I could pay for like a bed or curtains or having some furniture reupholsterd. But I just don’t need $10,000 worth of more clothes, jewelry, whatever.

And “there” is a great place to be.


Five Things for Friday

Just a few things to round out your Friday.

1. The Lou and Grey collection at Loft is AMAZING. I’m loving their light and easy dresses and tops. Sadly, I’m on a shopping freeze for the next few months. But someone should buy this sweater because I love it. Beyond perfect for fall.

2. Ever since we got back from our trip, I have not been sleeping well. I’ve had multiple terrible dreams and have just not been able to wake up in the morning. It stinks.

3. Sarah posted this squash recipe a few weeks ago, and every time I think about it, I start drooling. Oh, it sounds out of this world amazing! Squash and bacon, what’s not to love? Too bad our oven has been broken for the last 2 months. :( When you hit the “bake” button, it simply says, “feature not available.” Well, that’s not helpful at all. And when the guy came to look at it, he said, “Wow. I’ve never seen that before.” Not exactly what you want to hear. Thank goodness for home warranties. Anyway, I’ve been dying to bake all the things and this squash recipe is at the top of the list!

4. I read of Facebook yesterday that my favorite Jen Hatmaker is releasing a new, extended edition of Interrupted. I’m so excited! This will be one of those books that I rush to Barnes and Noble to get the day it comes out. Speaking of books, I’m also going to explore the library in our area. It’s been YEARS since I’ve been to a library, mostly because I just love to own books. However, I’ve set a lofty reading goal for 2015 (yes, I’m already thinking about that) and I think the library will be my new best friend.

5. I can’t believe today is already Friday. But I guess that’s what happens when your first work day is a Wednesday. Not a bad thing at all! Happy weekend, y’all!


A Random, Miscellaneous Round-Up

Just a little round-up of some things for your Friday.

1. Kacina posted a quiz on Facebook to find out what character you are from Anne of Green Gables. Sarah got Diana and I ended up being Gilbert. But I think I should retake it because really, I don’t care about arguing or being right.

2. I’ve been told for YEARS that I need to try Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. And the truth is, I was scared. I didn’t want to get addicted to it. Because I know myself. Even after I bought it, I didn’t open it for a few weeks. Turns out, I didn’t need to be all that worried. I don’t hate it, but it didn’t change my life either. It was just ok. In a weird way, I feel like a terrible person and like I let a bunch of people down, but I have enough vices that I can go without one.

3. For the past two weeks, I’ve been participating in Hello Mornings with a group from Kat Lee’s Inspired to Action. Technically, her blog is for moms, but I’m doing it anyway. The premise is you’re in a group of about 15 people and you hold each other accountable by checking in on Facebook or Twitter. It sounds kind of weird, but I’m a total night owl that wants to be a morning person. So this is my way of doing it. I’ve been waking up (and getting up) about 6:30, which is an hour earlier than I used to. It’s nice to have time to do my Bible study, blog, have a leisurely cup of tea and maybe even sneak in a book chapter in the morning. So far, I love it. My ultimate goal is to wake up at 5:45 and have time to go for a walk at 6. I don’t know if it will happen, but I’m going to give it a shot.

4. A few weeks ago, a church on my way to work held a yard sale and I stopped by, hoping to find some lamps or maybe a little chair for our bedroom. Well, I struck out in those departments, but I did find this tiny little peacock chair that was only $8. I just couldn’t pass it up. When I got to a computer, I googled children’s peacock chair, just to see how much they went for. Yeah, Pottery Barn Kids has one that costs over $200. I got a steal.

I think four is enough for today. Happy weekend!

 


Thursday Thought

“The gospel of freedom proclaims that death is an illusion, a phantom, the bogeyman of little children. Death is simply a transition into the one experience worthy of the name life.” Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

For years, I’ve been hearing about The Ragamuffin Gospel and how life-altering it is. I’m finally taking the time to read it and it is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever experienced. When I read the passage above, I audibly said, “Wow.” If you haven’t read it yet, pick it up.


Life Lately

Life has been kinda crazy around here. This is just a recap of almost everything we’ve been up to.

When we went to our final inspection of the house, I took some pictures of the dogwood in the front yard. I am soooo happy about it!! We need to see about the ivy growing on it because I’m scared it’s killing the tree.

After we closed on the house, we had dinner at Marlowe’s Tavern. Their tomato bacon jam is amazing!

I was packing/cleaning up one night and Ryan stuck a hanger over his head. Then he couldn’t get it off. It was hilarious! He finally had to break it to get it off.

In the midst of all of our packing, cousin Heidi’s book showed up!!!! Along with this delicious chocolate. I’m super close to finishing, but I’m waiting for a big block of time. But so far, I have loved it. I’ll give it a proper review when I’m finished, but I highly recommend it. You can pick it up on Amazon!

The Friday before we moved, we had dinner for Kylie’s birthday. It was sooo good, even though I’m terrible about remembering where we’ve eaten. I do, however, remember that amazing caramel cake from Piece of Cake.

Saturday, we headed to Athens for Twilight and for the sorority’s IRD. I miss Athens. I will never stop missing Athens.

For old time’s sake, we went to General’s for a drink. It hasn’t changed a bit. It made me happy. I’m a little crazy-eyed in this picture.

Sunday morning, we were up bright and early to move. Ryan, Ross and I started off with the breakfast of champions- Waffle House.

It was kinda funny seeing Ryan drive up in that big U-Haul.

After we got most of the big stuff moved on Sunday, Ryan and I spent the rest of the week getting all of the little stuff and cleaning. Ugh.

Our last meal at the apartment- Jimmy Dean’s frozen croissants. They were actually really good.

The house right after we moved in. It’s still a mess, but most of this stuff has cleared out. We just have a lot of furniture we need to buy to unpack everything into.

Last weekend, we went to my parent’s for Big Daddy’s birthday. Sunday was our one year anniversary, so Ryan woke me up super early and we went to Waffle House, just like we did the morning before the wedding.

The top of our cake! It was still delicious, even a year later! Of course, Ryan ate one bite and I ate the rest of it. I think I need to try Whole 30 again to detox myself from all the sugar.

On Friday, Ryan went to Shaky Knees and I went to the Braves game with some Sarah, Jamie, Kacina, Brie and Elizabeth. It was raining and yucky before the game, but it cleared up when we got there. Plus our seats were covered.

Saturday night, I headed home for Mother’s Day. It was just the four of us on Sunday and Mama cooked lunch. It was nice how we all just fell back into our routine and sat down in the dining room where we had always sat. I found a few old pictures when Mama and I were going through some stuff.

Chance was buttoning his shirt all the way to the top way before Ryan did it.

It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but the collar on this dress was HUGE. I remember thinking this was the prettiest dress EVER. (I think both of these pictures were taken for the Mr. and Ms. Sweetheart Pageant (that is a hard word to spell) that the Pilot Club put on for a few years. So yes, I was in a pageant once or twice. One year, the girl that won gave us all chicken pox.)

And that just about wraps us up. We’ve had a busy few weeks and we’re about to have a few more busy weeks. It’ll be nice when things relax and we can get the house painted and in order. I think we’re both getting a little tired of living in chaos.