October 22, 2014


Happy link-up day, friends! Amy and I have had a blast with this swap, and we are so thankful for all of you who signed up and participated! I hope you had fun shopping, found some new favorite Etsy shops, and made new friends in this community. There are some real gems out there!

Now on to the fun part! I finally get to show you everything I gave and received! Snail mail is one of my love languages, so getting to send thoughtful gifts and receive thoughtful gifts in the mail kind of makes my day...or my week.

I was assigned Laura of According to Laura Jean, and I had so much fun shopping for her! Fun fact: earlier this year, we found out that Laura knows my little sister Mer who is getting married in a few short months! The world is seriously small. Anyway, Laura loves a mix of nature, feminine style, and outdoorsy things, so I put together an eclectic box for her that hopefully she enjoys!

Moose Tea Towel | Gingiber
Autumn Note Card | Everyday Love Art
Vincent Van Gogh Print | Rivers and Roads
Jane Austen Post Card | Pemberley Pond

My Etsy goodies came from Jenna of Dearest Love. Fun fact: I actually know Jenna in real life!  We got to go to the Maiedae Mixer together as well as the Renew Retreat. I love becoming real life friends with my blogger friends! If you don't know Jenna, you should take care of that ASAP. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She is so kind and thoughtful and an incredible baker. She made the most scrumptious nutella bread while I was staying at her house for the Mixer. Yum. I still dream about that goodness. 

Jenna picked out some of the cutest post cards from one of my favorite etsy shops! See, I told you she was thoughtful. :) Check out what all she sent me! Thanks, Jenna! :)

Scenic Post Cards | 1Canoe2
Tinsel Twine | Thatch & Thistle
HEY Note Cards | Target

This swap was so fun, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! If you weren't able to participate this time around, don't fret! Etsy Swap will be back in the spring, so please join us then! For now, check out everyone's Etsy posts to see what they got! XOXO.

October 21, 2014


I just spent a beautiful weekend in the magical Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with a bunch a women I had never met in real life. Ha! It was so wonderful getting to finally meet friends who I had only ever known via blogs and email.

It was refreshing to sit on the spacious porch, rock in a rocking chair, spend time in the Word, share stories with new friends, and gaze out at the mountains. The trees are just starting to turn, some more than others. I especially love when the leaves have completely changed and the world is on fire with brilliants reds and oranges and yellows, but this part of the season has it's own beauty as some trees change and others hold on tightly to their green foliage. It creates a great contrast of colors. The change is more apparent as you drive through the national forest under the canopy of the trees. I highly suggest taking a trip to see it. :)

We had such a great time hanging out at the cabin, getting to know each other, eating delicious food, shopping in Gatlinburg, and taking a million pictures. You can send emails, like instagram photos, and leave comments, but nothing beats spending time together in person. The stories of you and me come alive when we sit down to have real conversations. I loved getting to hear parts of stories I'd never heard before and sharing struggles and hopes and dreams with one another. That is where true friendship begins.

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, Gatlinburg, Hiking

Autumn, Leaves, Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg

I'm so thankful to have met the people I know through blogging, and I love that I've been given opportunities to meet those brave hearts in real life as well. Can't wait for more get togethers in the future! Stay tuned for more goodness about our weekend in the mountains! XOXO.

October 20, 2014


1 | Etsy Swap.  My Etsy goodies arrived this week from my swap partner, and I squealed with joy! Ahhh! I can't wait to share everything with you during the Etsy Swap link-up. It is on Wednesday!! Dont' miss it. :)

2 | Noosa yoghurt. My best friend introduced me to this goodness, and our Costco finally started carrying it! I'm so excited. I've only tried the raspberry so far, but I hear the lemon is so delicious!

3 | Blogger retreat. I was in Gatlinburg all weekend in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. What was I doing there? Meeting lots of bloggers I'd only ever known via the internet. Ha! It was such a blast getting to hang out with those women and hearing more of their stories in person. I have SO many pictures to show you from the weekend, so stay tuned!

4 | Hiking adventures. Before we headed our separate ways, Amy, Meg, and I drove through the Great Smoky Mountain National Forest to find the trail head for Laurel Falls. The drive was GORGEOUS, and the hike was just as beautiful. I loved exploring with those friends!

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Using technology to connect.
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October 17, 2014


1 | I am a night owl.
Now you might think this means that I like to stay out super late, but no no no. I like to be home at night and stay up late in the comfort of my own house. I'd like to clarify that just because I am a night owl does not mean I get a lot done at night. Haha! I hit a wall at about 10pm where I can't focus enough to get much done, but I'm also not tired enough to go to sleep. It's a problem, guys.

2 | I cry when I get excited.
Okay, so you may already know this about me, but I get teary eyed a whole lot...especially when I'm excited. And I get excited about a lot of things...friends having babies, anything related to Disney, all things Narnia, a really spectacular song, getting to see long-distance friends, and sunsets all day every day. The list goes on and on. Really, if I'm below a 3 or above a 7 on the emotional scale, I've probably got tears in my eyes. ;)

3 | My 5 year old self wanted to be a nurse.
This dream quickly changed when I got a little older and realized that I get a little queasy at the sight of other peoples' blood. For example, this one time several years ago, my mom had an unfortunate splinter accident and had quite the whopper of a splinter go all the way through her finger. I blacked out. Enough said. Nursing career dreams were over. 

4 | Rarely do I ever wear earrings.
I got my ears pierced when I was thirteen, and I wore earrings all the time until basically the end of college. I just decided that they were too much of a nuisance to bother with all the time. They get caught in my hair, sometimes they are heavy, and they irritate my ears. So now I just wear them for special occasions. 

5 | Cooking is not one of the things that I love.
I know, I'm southern. Aren't all southern women supposed to love being in the kitchen all day?? Nope. I don't. It's just not my passion or hobby. The idea of "cooking for fun" is just not my thing. I'd rather be outside. That is why I don't write a food blog. Haha!


October 16, 2014


Two years ago, the Waldo Canyon Fire swept through Colorado Springs and Pike National Forest, leaving widespread devastation. As I sat at home in Tennessee obsessively watching the Colorado Springs news, praying for my friends' safety, and grieving the loss for so many, the drive up Rampart Range road came to mind. That beautiful respite I loved so much. I wondered if the flames had touched it and what it would look like after the fire had passed.

The landscape still carries the scars of the fire, and some would look at those scars and only see something ugly. But if you look closely, you will see something beautiful. You'll see new life and new growth. Green grass, beautiful flowers, cute baby aspen trees. Beauty rising up out of the ashes.

I was reminded that Jesus always uses everything for good, and sometimes He burns away areas of our lives that need to go so that new and better things can live and grow. So that WE can grow. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that Jesus sees me and my scars and he calls me beautiful and honored and loved. I am thankful that he makes all things new. Remember that today, brave hearts.