Thursday, May 26, 2016

Happy Birth Day!

My brand new baby niece is here! 
She is absolutely perfect, and I couldn't possibly be more in love with her. 
Welcome to the world, sweet girl!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Four Years

Happy Anniversary, my honey! 
I love you more today than I did yesterday, and I'll love you more tomorrow than I do today!
Augustine Grace Photography

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Tuesday Confession

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone uses "I's" in a sentence instead of "my".
For example, "We went to Jenny and I's favorite restaurant."
This makes me rage like few other things in life do.
Please, just take a second to think about what you're saying or, Heaven help, typing before you say it.
Would you say, "We went to I's favorite restaurant."?
No. No, you wouldn't.
So just because Jenny went with you doesn't mean you should say it that way now.
The correct way to say that sentence would be, "We went to Jenny's and my favorite restaurant."
Maybe this seems awkward to you.
But is it really any more awkward than "I's"?!
Stop the madness.

What's your biggest grammar pet peeve?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Favorite Dakota!

Happy Birthday, Dakota! I love you forever!
both photos from 2011--we clean up good

Friday, May 13, 2016

Casual Fridays

Well, I think it's about time for another Currently I'm... post because last time was pretty fun, and, let's be honest, it's easy blog-work. So here we go again!

... His Excellency by Joseph J. Ellis. It's a biography of George Washington, and I have to say I'm really enjoying it. I think it's altogether possible that I will actually finish it within the year unlike another presidential biography I recently conquered.

... Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I actually started reading this book a couple years ago with The Official Book Club, but I tried to read it at a bad time, and according to the bookmark that was still in the book, I only made it through the first two chapters so I'm starting over. Literally just started this one yesterday, but I already tore through the first five chapters. Tip of the cap to you, Mr. Dickens!

... In Their Own Voices by Rita J. Simon and Rhonda M. Roorda. I think I've read one or two interviews since the last time I mentioned this book. It's a marathon, not a sprint.


... that no matter how many raw veggies I eat, I'm still starving after I eat them. Like, I think I could actually be completely full, sit down to eat some carrots, cucumbers, and celery, and then be hungry again. What in the world?! Do they absorb everything inside of you or what? Maybe because I just eat them straight-up, no dip? Can anyone relate to this phenomena?

... that there will never be a perfect presidential candidate, and there may never be an even relatively good one ever again. All I can do is exercise my right to vote and leave the rest to God.

... that getting upset never helps. Frustrating adoption process? Terrible presidential candidates? Car troubles? Bad service when I'm picking up my pizza? If it's big or little, getting upset doesn't help. It doesn't make me feel better. It doesn't change the situation. 

... extremely impatiently to meet my newest baby niece! Come on, sweet girl!

... for a referral. Forever.

... for a certain package in the mail. It's something I ordered WEEKS ago, and it still hasn't shipped. #impatient #butnotgettingupset #noiamnottellingwhatitis


... Papa John's Spinach Alfredo Chicken Tomato pizza. Y'all. I'm addicted to this pizza. I think we've ordered 3 large ones in the last month alone. And Cody hasn't had a single slice of it. He likes his supreme so this is all me, you guys. Don't judge me.

... leftovers. Because obviously I'm not eating large pizzas in single sittings. I do have some self-control.

... Outshine popsicles. Made with real fruit and veggies, thank you very much. Because it's hot in Florida and popsicles are the best cool down kindof a snack, ya dig?

... lifelong friends. Last weekend, our house was full of dear friends that I went to high school with and their families. It's been a decade since we graduated, and we're planning all kinds of fun shenanigans this summer. And these two gorgeous girls that I bonded with for life during the summer of '07 whilst wrangling campers of all ages dropped in for a 4-hour lunch yesterday, and I couldn't have been any happier. So thankful for enduring friendships.

... a brand new picture of our Najati in a hot pink dress. She is precious and growing up so fast! If you don't already sponsor a child with Compassion, I so encourage you to look into it. You will never regret it.

... my house. It's perfect. Just come on over, have some sweet tea with me, and I'm sure you'll love it too. God has blessed me to infinity and beyond. He is so good.

... feed kids who are living in poverty. Just by being silly. Check out what Red Nose Day is all about and join in the fun! It's easy, and you really can make a difference.

What's currently going on with you?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Let's Bust a Recap : The Good Girl's Guide

Oh boy, we're in it now! For those of you who follow my blog closely, you know I've been reading through The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire. Well, I've finished it. And even though I feel a bit awkward discussing this so publicly (I mean, the word "sex" is right there in the title--no avoiding it), I really, really appreciated this book so I decided to soldier on and write a quick recap. Am I making too big a deal of this? I guess I'm just of the opinion that the topic of S-E-X should be private, and our culture has cheapened, familiarized, and devalued sex to a degree that truly is grievous. Is anything sacred anymore? Is there nothing left that still has the capacity to make us blush? I've strayed so far from the matter at hand....what am I even typing? #avoidancetactics

Anyway, I was given this book as an engagement present, and I've just now gotten around to reading it...nearly four years into my marriage. This book was wonderful and practical from start to finish, and I really regret not reading it sooner. In The Good Girl's Guide, Sheila not only shares some *ahem* tips on how to spice things up in the bedroom, she talks about the importance of the spiritual connection, the friendship, and the physical fireworks between a husband and wife. 

What I really found to be so beneficial in reading this book is the way Sheila focused on managing expectations in marriage--particularly Christian marriage. In so many Christian circles (or at least in my case), there seems to be all this pressure to get sex right, to satisfy your husband, to be the perfect wife. And while I understand that all of that is important (except for being the perfect wife--that's just impossible), I don't hear a lot of voices in the Church talking about how difficult becoming one flesh actually is and reminding those embarking on the overwhelming journey of marriage that they have the rest of their lives together to figure it all out. There were a lot of tears (I'm talking ugly, snot-nose bawling) my first year (heck, my first MONTH) of marriage because I was so sure I was screwing it up. I had June Cleaver levels of expectation for myself--hot dinner on the table when my man walked into his immaculately clean home every night with me standing there holding out a cold drink for him dressed up in pearls and ready to rub his feet. And, of course, all the physical stuff would come naturally and be mind-blowingly amazing every single day because that's obviously how marriage works. Oh yes. I expected myself to have it all together from Day One. That's unrealistic. That's soul-crushing. That's a dangerous mentality. (Thankfully, my husband is eternally patient and abundantly kind to me, and he didn't go running for the hills when all the emotions came out.) 

The truth is, becoming one flesh in every sense of the word doesn't happen in one night. Connecting with someone physically, emotionally, and spiritually takes time and effort. Going from taking care of yourself to laying down your life for another is not natural so it doesn't come naturally. But that's the beauty of it, too. Marriage is supposed to be making me more like Christ, and my marriage should be a picture of His relationship with the Church. That's not going to happen in one night. That's going to take the rest of my life.

I'm not saying that reading this book before I got married would have solved any and all of the problems I faced in those first few tender months of being a newlywed (and let's be honest, all the problems I still run into now as a young married woman), but I am saying that reading this book was incredibly encouraging, affirming, and helpful, and I would highly, HIGHLY recommend it to any woman who is about to get married, just recently got married, or has been married for years. If we're friends in real life, and you'd like to borrow it, holla at me. This will definitely be my go-to gift at bridal showers in the future. And for any of you who'd like to get a taste of Sheila Gregoire immediately, check out her blog To Love, Honor, & Vacuum. I'm now a faithful subscriber.

There now. That wasn't too painful. To wrap it up, let me whet your appetite with some of my favorite lines from this book. 

"Many of us live in difficult marriages, but this does not mean that our lives are rotten. We will just have to adjust our expectations for our marriages. It is often in these most difficult situations that God cements couples together in a new way or else draws hurting spouses closer to Him...Marriage is not an easy road, but it is also not one that God asks you to walk alone. Some of us have harder things to bear in marriage than others, but God is big enough to woo you, to help you feel loved, and to let you know that you are precious, lovely, and desirable to Him. So take that resentment toward your husband and turn that energy into prayer. You just may find that God will take you on a new journey that is lovely, though it's not what you originally planned."

"If there are two words not exactly linked in the Christian mindset, they would be holy and hot. I don't think that's because God separated them; I think it's because we separated them...But what does 'holy' sex really mean? And is it possible to be holy and hot at the same time? Actually, I think that's the biblical view of sex. It's purity and passion together, and that's what makes it so wonderful!"

"The key to a passionate marriage is not to be as sexually adventurous as possible, but to be as passionate about God as possible."

"Life is so busy that you can always find reasons for ignoring your husband. Don't accept them as excuses. When you start to see yourself falling into a rut of exhaustion, overcommitment, or worry, it's time to turn more to your husband, not less. Don't live in survival mode."

"Marriage is all about becoming one. But that 'becoming' is a process--it doesn't happen overnight. Sure, it may happen instantaneously in God's eyes, but it usually takes time and effort for us mortals to truly feel 'one': to truly become intertwined in every sense of the word."

"Don't settle for the status quo. You aren't meant to have a blah marriage."

Have you ever read a book that was so encouraging you just had to share it with others? Are there any life-alteringly great marriage books out there that I should look into? Am I the only one who had an emotional breakdown (or two....or twenty) her first year of marriage? Tear up the comment section, y'all, 'cause the only thing I can think of that's worse than writing a sex-post is not getting any feedback on it.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016


You guys, I think I just died. 

Robin Jones Gunn just announced on her blog that she is writing a new 3-book series about Christy and Todd, and it will be called.......(wait for it)..........

The Baby Years!

I can't even.

She hasn't announced anything in such a long time (ever since last August when the third Married Years book came out. I mean, c'mon. that's like, forever), and I'm not gonna lie, I actually e-mailed her and asked if there was going to be another book in The Married Years. She e-mailed me back and said I had to wait patiently for news about new books like everyone else.

Well, I can't say I've been waiting patiently, but this news is so much more awesome than I was expecting! Instead of just one new book (which may or may not have been the last Christy book ever), I've been promised at least three. I'm giddy.

Anyway, I can't wait for the release date for book numero uno to be announced! I hope it will be sometime this year. 
Is my Christy obsession too much for you? Do you have any literary friends that you secretly think are real or that you maybe love a little more than your flesh-and-blood friends? (not that you'd ever actually admit it, of course)