Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pretty Place: Plant City, FL

When Austin was in Florida last week, I got a text from him that said something along the lines of “I feel like I am in an issue of Garden and Gun right now – sitting on the back porch of this little country church looking out at some gorgeous strawberry fields.”  I was green with envy since I was sitting in my office working at the time.  He did come through with the pictures I requested in response to his text, and they only made me more jealous!  Maybe one day we can go visit this cute little Florida town together. 

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Oh, just some sprawling strawberry fields in the church’s back yard.  How picturesque!

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Our church is smack-dab in the middle of downtown Dallas.  Can you even imagine walking out of church on Sunday morning and seeing these beautiful trees and strawberry fields?! 

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Gorgeous, right? 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Day With Katy, Katey, & Katie

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My Saturday started off at the Katy Trail with my friend Cam for a quick run.  Cam and I met in Jackson, but she moved to Dallas shortly after I did.  We have both been here for a while, but somehow we had never ran together before.  Thanks to the suggestion of our precious friend, Rebecca, we finally got our acts together and went for a run together on Saturday.  Thank you, Rebecca, for giving us just the push we needed. Winking smile 

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I had been looking forward to my Saturday lunch plans all week with these two!  Katey and Katie are two of my oldest and dearest friends from Ruston.  Katey lives in Dallas, and Katie lives close-by in Tyler.  I was thrilled that Katie came to Dallas for the day and we all got to have lunch together!  We missed Austin since he was still traveling back from Florida, but it was great to see these friends, as always. 

After lunch I stopped by a baby shower at church before heading to the airport to pick up Austin.  For purposes of this blog post, unfortunately the baby is not going to be named Katy/Katie/Katey… but how weird would that be?! 

Austin and I watched some Friday Night Lights after wasting about 30 minutes trying to decide on a movie to watch.  I thought it was so funny that we could not for the life of us agree on a movie because we had discussed that very same “marital issue” at lunch earlier that day.  Austin had no idea, since he wasn’t at lunch, but Katie and Katey’s husbands both apparently have the same frustrations!  I have just never been a real big movie person for some reason.  Two+ hours of watching something seems like kind of a big investment of time that I’m not always willing to give… Any other non-movie people out there? 

Hope y’all are enjoying your Sunday afternoon!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Some Friday Thoughts

Austin is out of town at his great-grandmother's funeral today, and while funerals are never 100% celebration, from what I can tell this will be one of those "good" funerals.  What I mean by "good funeral" is that she had a long and happy life, a long and happy marriage, and she was a believer.  Everyone can celebrate her life and not wonder whether she is watching from heaven. 

What an amazing gift to leave your loved ones - leaving them absolutely certain of your eternal home.  I never even met this woman, but from what Austin has told me, I will get to meet her in heaven. 

My side of the family also experienced a death this week, so obviously death, funerals, and eternity are on my mind a little more than any other ordinary week.

I suppose (know) that one's salvation is ultimately between the individual and God, but how generous and selfless to leave your loved ones with the peace that comes from knowing someone was a believer, seeing them live out their faith, and being as certain as one can be that they were walking with the Lord during their earthly life.

Just a few thoughts on my mind this Friday morning! 

Thank goodness it is Friday – while my weeks usually fly by, this one has dragged just a little bit.  I am looking forward to a fun weekend and getting to see lots of friends.  Hoping that a combination of a pink skirt, pink nails, a bow on my shirt, and lunch with a friend will make today fly! 

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

National Handwriting Day

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Just a quick note to mark the occasion of this fabulous holiday!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Zoo Day

Austin’s parents and youngest sister Casey came to Dallas for the day on Saturday.  They brought me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. So sweet of them!

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We drove to Grapevine for lunch and to walk around a little bit.  Austin had been up that way recently and thought it would be fun for us to see it and eat there.  It was a very cute area, and the downtown reminded me a little bit of Fredericksburg – lots of cute shops and restaurants.

Casey and I insisted on a Starbucks stop on the way back to Dallas…

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We decided to check out the Dallas Zoo on Saturday afternoon.  Somehow, Austin and I have lived here for almost 2 years and have never been.  We have always said “Oh, we should go to the zoo sometime…” but never actually gone.  The weather was perfect for a zoo day on Saturday, and it was a great way to enjoy being outside and get some exercise!

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This guy looked just a little scary… He also had gray hair and looked like an old man!

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We all were tempted to break out in “The Star Spangled Banner” when we came across this guy. 

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And the best for last – the sweet and cuddly koala bear! 

We highly recommend the Dallas Zoo for a fun Saturday.  And, during January and February, admission is only $5.  Can’t beat that with a stick! 

Our Sunday was spent mostly at church, as usual, and it was refreshing and relaxing – just like a Sunday should be.  We did venture to Best Buy (loathe that place) to upgrade our phones yesterday afternoon, and I’m pretty excited about having the iPhone 4S.  I ordered this cute case from Emily Ley last night, and I can’t wait for it to get here! 

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Good Pictures of Good People

Way back over the Thanksgiving holidays, Austin’s talented cousin Nina took some family pictures for us when we were in Austin.  My thoughtful in-laws had the pictures developed and put on a CD for us and sent to Walgreens here in Dallas, so this week I was dying to pick them up and get a good look at all of them.  I love them, and I’m so glad to have hard copies of so many good quality pictures.  This weekend I plan to replace some of the pictures currently in frames with some of these beauties…

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We are also look forward to a visit with these two tomorrow!  Can’t wait to spend a fun day in Dallas day with them.

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Nina, thank you one more time for the awesome pictures!  Our wedding photographer debacle (a story for another day…)makes me appreciate good pictures like these so much more. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Feeling in the Valentine’s Spirit

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These little guys are quite the welcome addition to my desk this week.  The various shades of pink, red, and white are getting me pretty fired up for Valentine’s day.  My pink nails are also getting me in the spirit! 

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Since Valentine’s Day is still about a month away, I will just enjoy the pink and red until then. Red heart

Subconsciously, I must have been shopping with Valentine’s Day on my mind this weekend.  I came home with a pink pencil skirt and a pink pair of pants!  I plan to sport both items this week to work, and maybe I can convince Austin to snap a photo or two. 

P.S. Did you notice the SNOW behind my hand in the picture above?  Look what we woke up to this morning:

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Quick Sunday Afternoon Project

I don’t even know that I am justified in calling this a project.  But, since it has been on my to-do list for almost a year, I am feeling pretty accomplished.  If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you might have picked up on the fact that my mom sends me a card each month.  Each year of cards has a theme.  2011 was the first year of cards, and the theme was birds.  I’ve featured those cards on the blog before here (the pictures in that post make me really thankful for the camera I have now!).  In 2012, the cards all had some sort of hand stitched element.  Getting my monthly card in the mail is always a day I look forward to each month! 

Ever since the 2011 year of bird cards concluded, I have been struggling to figure out what to do with the cards.  They sat in a box in my closet for more time than I’d like to admit, and I finally decided on a good solution – for now.  One day I might frame them somehow – I think they could be cute in a nursery, maybe?  For the time being, I am thrilled with my quick, Sunday afternoon fix. 

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I simply punched a hole in the top left corner of each card, and used a binder ring to hold them together.  This way, I can flip through the cards as the year goes on – almost like a calendar without days or numbers… A calendar of pictures only!  They are hanging right to the left of my desk where I sit to blog, check email, make lists, and all kinds of other fun stuff.  

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This was such a simple and quick little fix, but it feels SO GOOD to cross the line item of “bird card project” off my to-do list.

Just for good measure and because I was on a bit of a roll, I grabbed a few other cards that I love and hung them on the inside door of my closet.  Cards bring me a whole lot of enjoyment.  Now I can enjoy them as happy little reminders sprinkled throughout the places I spend time on a daily basis. 

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The spirit of starting a new year and getting things done is contagious, and I have been pretty productive with little things like this around the house so far this January.  I hope the motivation sticks around for a while!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

{WILW}

I’m loving that a new year on the calendar means a new year of cards from Mom.  Here is January’s card.

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I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for the next 11 months! 

Although I didn’t make this an official “resolution” for 2013, I am trying to keep my nails painted more often than not.  So far (9 whole days in!) I’ve succeeded, and I’m loving the neutral color of this week’s nails. 

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{Essie “ballet slippers” if anyone is curious}

Yesterday I picked up two new colors, and I also got two new polish colors for Christmas, so I have everything I need to keep these little guys polished at all times.  Oh, and my sister gave me some top coat that has been pretty much life-changing!  Revlon “Extra Life No Chip Top Coat” is amazing.

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New colors: “lollipop” and “mod square”//other polishes are out in a pretty silver bowl for easy access

My last love of the week is this bunny doorstop.  I probably love him a little more than I should.  Austin named him “Bunnicula.”  Doesn’t he look like the cutest little bunny guard the way he is perched?  I think he has really good posture Smile  

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Happy Wednesday from Bunnicula!

Monday, January 7, 2013

a {pretty} perfect weekend

Our weekend was just about close to perfect as a weekend can get.  Saturday was one of the best days we’ve had in a long time, and Sunday was spent mostly at church.  On Saturday, we got to leisurely drink a pot of coffee, read, and we enjoy banana pancakes for breakfast.  Our day also included driving around and looking at some neighborhoods as we start to think about house shopping later this year.  We got to play tennis in our favorite park, and we tried a cool new restaurant with an awesome concept of healthy “fast food.” {The Mediterranean quinoa and the turkey & raspberry chipotle wrap are both pretty delightful.}

Every bit of Saturday was wonderful, but I especially loved getting to spend some time making thank you notes for us to send out this week.  Having a couple of hours to devote to sitting down and making some cards is such a treat, and I loved every minute of it on Saturday.  Now I’ve just got to finish writing the actual thank you notes and get these babies in the mail!     

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Sunday we were encouraged in our Sunday School class, as always, and our pastor outlined 2013 and what it will bring for our church.  We left so fired up for all of the awesome ways God is working at First Baptist Dallas and so excited and blessed to be a part of his exciting time!  Here’s a teaser: this guy will be speaking at our church in April!

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Now that it is Monday evening of our first full work week after the holidays, we are slowly getting back into the swing of things.  I’m so thankful for such a great weekend as the perfect bookend to our holiday season.

I hope your week is off to a fabulous start!