Monday, July 30, 2012


With the way I've been cleaning you'd think the Queen was coming to stay with us! (I know, another royal reference. Can't help it.)
But no, better than that; our house guest is my little sister. She will be arriving in a few hours and I just want her to have a good time & enjoy her stay with us. Her trip was kind of spur of the moment, but I'm so happy it worked out for her to come and visit for the week.
I hope to show her a good time in the South.
Hopefully that will include lots of chick-fil-a, hikes with the dogs, & Olympics-watching. So my postings might be few & far between in the coming days, but I'll be back with loads of pictures & stories :)
Have a great week, friends!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

this week

When Kevin is away, a day turns into a week and a week turns into a year.
This has been a really long year week.
But I am so thankful for the little things that made me smile, they make our time sweet even though we are apart.
things like;
random text messages
pictures of where he is staying
quiet evenings to myself to write & reflect
time with friends
& dinners out
And I must admit, a highlight of my week was receiving this picture from a friend. She obviously understands my obsession with the royals! I laughed for a good 5 minutes straight and continue to stare at this in amazement.
(Thank you, Molly)

Some things I am looking forward to this weekend;
Opening ceremonies for the Olympics tonight! If all goes as planned, I'll be settled in with a friend eating some fro-yo while we watch the ceremony.
Having my sister come for a visit. Morgan, (my 2nd sister) will be flying down Sunday and staying for nearly a week. I am beyond excited to show her around and have some time together this week.
And of course; dear Kevin comes home tomorrow! I need to arrange the horse & carriage to be ready for his return!!

linking up with hello hue!

Hello Hue Little Things

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

smiling down

When Kevin goes out of town I tend to become a hermit. It's completely unintentional, but I stay home most nights and just keep to myself. Today is day 2 of a 6 day conference Kevin has in Virginia. And while I do love time alone, it also gets me down sometimes.
I don't know if its the fact that Kevin is away (most likely) or if I'm just being a baby, but I was feeling quite homesick today. Just missing my family and home-things. Also, I'm still dealing with my Grandfathers death. He was my first Grandparent to have lost, and I don't think I knew (or know) how to deal with it completely. The other day I saw his funeral program sitting in our kitchen and I burst into tears. It just doesn't quite seem real.
But I love how the Lord places people in our lives at just the right moments. For me today, that person was a complete stranger. Working in retail I've learned the fine art of small talk. I can't say I'm the best at it, but I definitely have gotten a lot better over the past 8 months.
Today I was making small talk with a lovely couple who were browsing around. I come to find out that they had just been married the previous week! Obviously I launch into SUPER small talk and start asking details. This isn't a subject a chatty sales girl can just pass by!
In time, I find out that the guy of the couple is from Pennsylvania! Ok, this is big, people. In the middle of Mississippi it's rare to meet someone who has even been to Pennsylvania, or anywhere in the northeast for that matter, let alone be a native of my home state!
I'm sure I was talking a mile a minute; but I come to find out this guy is literally from the next town over from mine. And here's the kicker; he went to the same high school where my Grandfather used to substitute teach in the years leading up to his death. What are the chances?! Now, I didn't mention my Grandpa's name to this guy, or ask if he ever taught him in school. I guess I was just overwhelmed in that moment. I know it probably doesn't seem like a big deal to most; but for me, on this day, it felt like such a deep and personal connection.
I mean, I met a girl from Minnesota once in the store and practically hugged her just because of her northern accent! So this guy was like hitting the jackpot.
I just felt like it was a little uplifting moment that I needed. It made me feel so much closer to home, and to my Grandpa. I think he & God were smiling down on me, happy of this little connection they had placed in my path. And I am so thankful, because it's just what I needed today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

moms words

 My sweet mom has recently picked up on this whole blogging thing. She is such an amazing writer, and I have always known that. I loved this post she wrote just the other day. Probably because the topic is so close to my heart. I love the way she tells the story. Read along below, and check out her blog over here.
God has a sense of humor. I am convinced of this. He laughs out loud at us. It’s not the kind of laugh that finds humor in our mistakes, but the kind of laugh that gets a good belly roll out of our ways. God invented laughter; He loves laughter… and so, I’m learning not to be so serious all of the time. As I look back over my life, I am seeing that many things have happened and I’m sure that the Lord is having a tremendously good laugh!! (I’m serious!)
Do you recall my last post how I said I didn’t want to live with “half-naked tribal people”? Well, this had nothing  to do with me being prejudice, or judgmental of such people. It did have to do with my unwillingness to see another’s needs over my own “wants”. It also had a lot to do with me not wanting to be “inconvenienced”. The Lord has done a lot in my heart in the last 24+ years. He’s slowly breaking my heart of stone and giving me a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 26:36) He’s done that a lot by using my husband and daughters.
Even though my heart did not want to entertain the thought of going overseas amongst people who were…. well… different… it seems that since each of my daughters could even talk, they began including in their prayers, prayer for Africa, for the homeless, for the less fortunate… Yes, God was smiling.
When my oldest daughter, Lindsey was only about four years old, I noticed that she had, what seemed to me to be an obsession with African American people. Every time we would be in the company of someone whose skin was slightly darker than our own, Lindsey would stare… but it wasn’t just a childish stare at someone who looked different than herself… it was a stare of compassion… She LOVED African American people.
One day, we were in the store and we were in close proximity to an African American mom and her little daughter who was close to Lindsey’s age. This little beauty had a ton of braids in her hair and so many little beads. Lindsey was enamored. She said quite loudly, “Mommy, I want to look like her!! Mommy, please do my hair like her!!” I tried to explain to Lindsey in the simplest way possible, “Honey, your hair won’t do that.”
As the years progressed and my girls began to grow, their heart for Africa also began to grow. Even though I was unwilling to entertain the possibility of leaving the comfort of my familiar ground and go serve those in another nation- each and every one of my daughters had this growing URGE to do so!!!(Yes, this is where I began to hear God  laughing.)
When Lindsey was 16, she BEGGED us to allow her to go on her first mission’s trip. We agreed. We encouraged her to pray about where to go, and without any hesitation, she said, “I want to go to Africa!!” I began rationalizing this matter with my 16 year old… “Why not go on a trip that is closer (in the same continent or hemisphere for that matter)?” Her response, “Mom, God told me Africa—I must go!!” (Do you hear His giggles??) Me too…
And so Lindsey boarded a big plane and she spent 10 days in South Africa, serving the poor and needy of this beautiful land… and it changed her.
On the way home from the airport, Lindsey chattered a mile a minute. She was already planning a return trip, or possibly serving in this country full time. Even before we arrived home she said, “Mom, I have a lot of pictures to show you, but there is this ONE that I think will be very meaningful to you… I just have to show it to you now.”
Lindsey flashed this incredible picture before my eyes and immediately I cried.. God had sent Lindsey  to Africa, and in this picture she was surrounded by the very people he had placed on her heart as a little girl, and He used these very people to give her a childhood desire…they were braiding her hair. When I saw this picture I saw a four year old who just received the answer to her dreams.
Lindsey was the first to travel to Africa. She went again with her dad a few years later; spending a month in Uganda, serving the orphans. Morgan spent three months last year in Africa. Shortly after High School, she traveled to South Africa and Botswana to serve those suffering with AIDS, the orphaned and the poverty stricken. Ally spent her Christmas break this past year in South Africa serving the orphaned. She plans to return this year again for a longer length of time…. And Erica is asking to go soon, as well…
 And God is laughing… and my heart is now breaking for those “half naked tribal people” whom God loves, and now, so do I.
One day, I too, shall go.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Kevin & I had a dilemma on Wednesday.
It was our anniversary, we both had the day off, but we had no plans!
I think the procrastinators in us both led us to this troubling place.
We wanted to take a day trip somewhere; but lets be honest, they're aren't too many bustling cities in the middle of Mississippi. We've already explored the closest ones; New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, and a few places on the coast. So on Tuesday night, we were literally looking at a map and trying to figure out where we could go with fun things to do!
We decided to head to Tupelo MS. Tupelo is by no means is a bustling city, but it is known for being the birthplace of Elvis Presley! We'd already been there quite a few times, but always with other people. We decided to go, just the 2 of us & take advantage of the bookstores, antique mall, & starbucks :)
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We found Elvis in his home town!
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We found many treasures in this giant antique mall! Kevin's favorite was an old Jim Bean bottle with a trout on the front. (picture was taken directly after I told him we would not be purchasing it). And I just played house & admired cool old dish ware & aprons.
All in all; a successful day trip!
We ended the day with watching our wedding video & The Help. Both glorious DVD's with high entertainment value :)
Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Today we celebrate 3 years of marriage.
the Lord has brought us through a lot in the past few years. There is no one I would rather have by my side through it all. You've laughed with me through the fun parts, and held my hand when it was tough.
We've moved across the country, traveled to cool places, made new friends, and added 3 cute pets to our family! Many things have changed. But your love & the ring on my finger have stayed true.
Thank you for putting up with me when I'm a snarky brat, and for loving me even though I'm not outdoorsy or athletic. But mostly, thank you for being the man that you are. I never wish to take it for granted.

Monday, July 16, 2012

thank you notes

Thank you, weekend, for always being so good to me.

Thank you CJ's pizza for your garlic knots. I have no doubt I will feast on them everyday in heaven.

Thank you husband, for doing manly projects around the house while I lounge and take creepy pictures from a distance.
Thank you Mom, for calling at just the moment I was being dragged into Lowe's against my will. You made that experience bearable.

Thank you matinée movies, for a fun day date on a rainy Saturday. (And for causing me to be mildly obsessed with Emma Stone. no big deal)

Thank you Dirt Cheap, for the endless amount of home goods I can buy on my frugal ladies budget. You have adorned many areas of our home :)
Thank you to husband, again, for purchasing the throw pillows from dirt cheap. Even though you don't see the point of usefulness of throw pillows, you have to admit they're pretty :)

Thank you CVS, for carrying the pedi-egg. My dry, crackly feet are going to owe you big time.

And lastly, thank you puppies; for being the cutest dogs that ever lived. (and for attacking the kid who played a ring & run on us last week.)

Sincerely yours,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

my path

It is our human nature to be judgmental. We judge others based on their appearance, the car they drive, their job title, and about 7 million other things. I think judging other people is maybe one of the most natural things for people to do, whether it's intentional or not. I know I do it more in my everyday life than I care to admit.
But isn't it the worst feeling when someone judges you? Maybe its a weird look that comes across their face, or something they say, but you can totally tell they are sizing you up in their head. The bible says that we will reap what we sow. In other words; if you judge someone, others will be more likely to judge you. 
This is a struggle I face in my own life. I feel like when other people talk & get to know me, they form judgments about me, right or wrong.
But most often times I feel that people judge me based on my path. What I mean by that is when others find out the details of my life (married super young, no college degree, supporting my husband through school, etc, etc) they form judgments. And lets be real, my life is a bit unconventional. I'm the youngest person I've ever known to get married and not be a gypsy freak or mail-order bride. The path that I'm on is different from yours. In reality, who is on the same path in this life? We all live, work, get married (or not), experience things and die at different times and under different circumstances. 
But I overheard a conversation today between people who were talking negatively about someones life decisions & path (which just so happens to be getting married young). It was condescending and I felt hurt for that person, who I've never even met. I felt my face get hot and my palms sweaty. I was overcome with a sense of resentment.
How dare they talk about her like that? Yes, that isn't the path for everyone, but it's her path. How can you say you are better than someone else for being on a different path? What if God were to switch your paths? What then? Would you be silly and wrong for following the path God has for you, even if it meant doing things in an unconventional way?
Maybe this hit a nerve with me based on my insecurities. But I think a valuable lesson is to be learned through this.
I judge others just like others judge me, but on different grounds. For instance; I judge couples who get pregnant right after getting married. I've thought; "married for 6 months..& you're expecting? Are you crazy?!" Again, I think this judgment comes from my own insecurity, because I know I am not ready for that stage of life. But how is that fair to those people? This is the path God has for them. He chose to bless them with a sweet addition to their family. Who am I to judge that? If I judge them and say that is wrong, I am saying the very God who set their feet on that path is bad and wrong.
Newsflash; God doesn't mess up. He doesn't make mistakes. He never needs a do-over. He is perfect, and his plans are flawless. (which is exactly why I don't have any children yet) ;)
I'd like to end with this verse I read in 1 Samuel the other day. It pretty much sums this up perfectly. 
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
(1 Samuel 16:7b) 
Today, I am thankful for the path God has placed me on. It is different from others; but that's alright with me :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Sunday's are the best day of the week. Seriously! I wish everyday could be Sunday. Between worshiping with our church family, to spending time with friends and maybe going out for lunch; it usually turns out to be pretty wonderful.
Here are some snippets from our Sunday.
Kevin and I have been getting into tennis lately. Well..lets be honest, as you can see from the pictures Kevin is getting into tennis and I am getting into watching him play tennis while sipping on a cold drink. But we did play a game of doubles with our friends and I must say I had a few good hits here & there :) But mostly my specialty is letting the balls sail way high over the fence so they land in the neighboring courts. Oops..

 Another lovely thing about Sunday's is meeting with our small group in the evening. We usually eat yummy food, chat for awhile, and have good discussion about that Sundays sermon. But sometimes, like last night, we just hang out and play board games. Last night it was apples to apples; and if you've never played this game I would highly recommend it. It's super fun with big groups of people!
What did you do on Sunday?
Am I the only one who finds it the best day of the week?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

holiday in july

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We celebrated the fourth with frozen yogurt & sushi (in that order), exploring a new town, and taking silly pictures.
There were no hot dogs on the grill, or fireworks; but still a pretty great day.
Oh; and we wore coordinating striped shirts.
A great way to celebrate America's birthday, if you ask me!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pinterest fail.

Ever since I joined the wildly addictive website Pinterest I am hesitant to throw anything away. Like, literally; anything.
I've crafted using things like old toilet paper rolls and ruined articles of clothing through projects I find on pinterest! Old cereal box? It's now a mail holder! Used bottle? Decorative accent piece with handmade flower inside!
So when a coworker was going to throw away a used candle jar I rescued it from the trash bin and brought it home. It wasn't too long after that that I found a thing on pinterest where someone used an old candle jar as a vase.
Voila! I had a project on my hands.

Saturday night Kevin was invited to go fishing with a co-worker. Obviously, he jumped on that opportunity real quick. 
What's a girl to do but stay home, watch the local beauty pageant and pick wildflowers for her candle-jar-turned-vase-pinterest-project?
Unfortunately, the "yard" of our little townhouse row doesn't have quite the selection of wildflowers I was hoping for. (I was thinking The Hills Are Alive, type of thing)
But I made due, and gathered a pretty little assortment of these greens and vine sort things.
I was quite pleased with myself!
Yeah, so it turned out a little more, "earthy weeds" rather than "Spring meadow flowers" but oh well. I was using my candle jar as a vase; I was darn proud!

And then in a couple of hours Kevin got home and wandered into the kitchen. And these words; "Linds? Why is there an invasive plant in our kitchen..?"

So friends, let it be recorded; this is what happens when I try to fuel my pinterest addiction/be outdoorsy. I bring awful poisonous plants into our home.

So maybe I will just go back to using pinterest for what it was originally intended; for me to gawk at pictures of Kate Middleton like a perfectly normal human being.
I mean, seriously.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Whats a blog if not to put your whole self out there?
These are real questions that I get asked constantly in everyday life. Some of you don't know me in real life, so here are the answers!

Q: "How old are you?"
A: 21! My birthday is September 14, 1990.

Q: "And you're married?"
A: Yes! And have been for nearly 3 years now. You can read more in this post about how I deal with people (including strangers) asking me this question.

Q: "How did you and your husband meet?"
A: I met Kevin while we both worked at a colonial themed restaurant in Gettysburg PA during the Summer of 2007. He was working his way through college (and dating someone else) and I needed a part time job about to head into my senior year of high school. We didn't start dating until the following summer after I graduated.

Q: "Where are you from?"
A: I was born in Gettysburg PA, raised mostly in central PA, with a 4 year stint in upstate New York while my Dad attended seminary. My parents now live in York Springs PA, which is about 15 minutes north of Gettysburg.

Q: "I thought you were from Pittsburgh?"
A: Nope! Word circulated around our church that Kevin and I are from Pittsburgh, but unfortunately that is not true. Yes; we are huge Steelers fans (and Pens fans, and even Pirates fans) but we cannot call the steel city our home. (In fact, I've only been there once!)

Q: "Why are you in Mississippi?"
A: Kevin got a great grad assistantship offer from Mississippi State University in the fall of 2010. It was too good to pass up, so we moved here in December 2010 and have been here ever since! Kevin is set to graduate this December with his Masters Degree.

Q: "What does your tattoo mean?"

A: The verse is Jeremiah 1:5-8 which reads;
 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

I wanted to go to Africa for as long as I can remember, even as a child. When I was 16 I was able to travel to South Africa to work with victims of apartheid. Being so young and seeing things I had only read about in books had a huge effect on me and my way of thinking. I fell in love with the people and the culture.
After graduating high school I had the opportunity to go to Uganda with my Dad and work & live in an orphanage there. This experience made me realize more of my love for children, and a calling of missions on my life.
So, in a wrap up; my tattoo symbolizes my travel to Africa at a young age, and the impact those experiences had and continue to have on my life today. You don't have to be a grown up for God to use you!

Q: "What do you do for work?"
A: Right now I work in retail! Never thought I'd find myself in any type of sales position, but it has been a huge learning experience. When Kevin is done school I'd love to go back and finish my degree in Early Childhood Education in PA. That's the plan, anyway :)

Q: "What's the biggest difference between the North and the South?"
A. Uhh.. wow. My answer to this question usually depends on who I'm talking to! Honestly, the weather is a huge adjustment. People in the North don't know what hot is and people in the South don't know what cold is (and I am not happy at all to know about both.) I think Southerners are more likely to be extroverted and friendly, while Northerners might keep to themselves. Northerners are more likely to be up front when they have a problem, and Southerners are a bit more passive about issues (and driving!) All in all, they are 2 very different places. And it makes sense that my sister actually thought she needed her passport to fly here from up north. Hah! True story.

Any other questions you'd like to have the answers to? (It's okay, I'm nosy too)
Ask away, my friends!
I'm an open book...err, blog :)