Monday, November 16, 2015

So worth the wait

I firmly believe that all little girls at some point in their lives dream about being married.  We picture the beautiful white dress, the handsome groom waiting for us at the altar.  We pick out the flowers, spend way to many hours watching A Wedding Story on TLC.  We make the binders of cut out wedding magazines since we didn't have Pinterest.  We dream, hope and long for that love of our lives.  

I know this is certainly true in my life.  The dreaming, the planning, the hoping, I spent a large portion of my life thinking that when I found that one and we had a fairy tale wedding, my life would begin.  Don't get me wrong, I filled my days with friends and family, with road trips and girls weekends.  I traveled the globe in my single days and lived life to the fullest. But unfortunately there was a little voice in my head that reminded me that I wasn't quite complete.

Around 2 years ago, my perspective changed.  I decided to mute the voice that told me I wasn't enough without a husband and cling to the one that told me He created me for much more.  I started being ok with Brooke and living life that way instead of worrying about what I didn't have. It was time to be comfortable in my own skin, to live life to the fullest in whatever state I found myself in.  

And friends, I was happy.  I enjoyed my friends more.  I spend more time with my family.  I started taking more risks.  It was good.  Life was good.  And then this guy came along....

Out of the blue, a blast from the past.   You see this guy was my junior year prom date.  He was my youth group buddy.  And we hadn't been in touch in almost 20 years.  But for some reason the Lord prompted his heart to send me a silly Facebook message on my birthday.  

And this last year and a half has been more than I could ever have imagined.  This guy swept me off my feet.  His care of others, his sense of humor, his love of Duke basketball, his intense loyalty to the people he loves.  I couldn't help but fall in love with him.  And not only did he bring himself he brought these two into my life. 

As I watched him walk through the journey of being a single father, I fell in love with him more.  When I saw his deep love for his kids, I knew he was the one that I wanted to spend my life with.   And of course I fell in love with these two as well.   I couldn't deny it anymore, I wanted these guys to be my family. 

I think we knew pretty early on that marriage was in our future.  And of course I was an impatient girl who might have nagged a bit about when it was going to happen.  I hinted a lot a little about rings, about being a family.  

And of course in God's perfect timing it happened.  On Saturday evening, he asked.  And I said Yes!  We committed to do this thing called life together.  To celebrate the good times, to learn from the mistakes.  We decided to make a life that would point other to Jesus, to love and care for each other.  We claimed that we would love those 2 precious kiddos with everything we have.  

I wish I could remember every sweet thing he said to me.  But what I do know is this, he told me he wanted to spend forever with me.  He told me over again how we were better together than we were apart.  And I am so thankful.

And as crazy as this might sound, I am so thankful I didn't find him when I was 22 and fresh out of college.  I know there are people that find love when they are young and are happy and married today.  But I wasn't that girl.  God knew my heart and that I wouldn't be ready. 

There is so much more to this story.  And maybe as we go through this engagement journey, I will share more pieces to the puzzle.  But right now I just can't wait to be Mrs. Queen!

Here are a few more pictures from Saturday night, what a magical night it was!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Friday Favorites: Meet my Favorite People

Happy (almost) Friday friends!  I am posting my Friday Favorites on Thursday night because I know I won't have time to post it tomorrow! :) 

I decided to take the summer off from blogging but am so excited to be back!  This week has been crazy as school has started back, but I will admit it is kinda nice to be in a routine.  I am not sure my self agrees though when my alarm clock goes off at 5 am.  This morning I must have been in shock, I hit the snooze for an hour.  

On my birthday I shared a picture that had a lot of my friends asking questions, and I knew a blog post was needed!  So here is a little update on what has been going on with me! :)

A year ago on my birthday I received an innocent birthday message from an old friend from High School.  Just a simple Happy Birthday. Of course I replied which started conversation.  This friend was in my youth group growing up and in fact we went to my Junior Prom together.  I wish I had a picture to show you, you will have to wait for that one.  

So high school friend and I chatted more and more and then he asked me to dinner. Reluctantly I said yes and when we met it was as if no time had passed at all.  He filled me in on his life, on his two children, his family etc.  I didn't tell him this at the time, but man I was nervous.  What was supposed to be a quick dinner turned into a 4 hour dinner.  Later that evening we chatted again and decided to meet up again soon.  And friends the rest is history!  

Today marks one year since what I consider our first date, and it has been the most amazing year of my life.  It's no secret that I have prayed and prayed and prayed for God to bring me the person that was perfect for me.  There were many times of doubting and impatience, times of wondering if that was the path that God had for my life.  I am so thankful that I waited for the one I truly believe God hand picked for me.  And I love that our story started a long time ago and has come full circle! 

I love the way Steven (he does have a name afterall) takes care of others.  I love his encouraging spirit and the way He seeks the Lord to guide Him in all he does.  He makes me laugh, he cares for me well.  One of the things I love most about him though is the way he loves and care for these two...

My heart was not prepared for the love I have for these two blessings!  Gavin and Sydney truly are amazing!  Gavin just started 3rd grade.  He is witty and funny!  Loves to talk and has such a tender heart.  Sydney started Kindergarten this year and is so excited about school.  She is hilarious and independent and has just the right amount of sass!  And they have captured my heart!

This past year has been full of so much love and laughter.  Countless memories made and more to come!  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have these three in my life.  I just can't wait to see where this adventure leads!  

No question that these three are some of my favorites!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's Friday y'all and I could not be more excited! It's not even that I have tons of plans this weekend, I am just excited to know the weekend is here!  Can I get an amen?  

Remember that time I blogged about goals I had for April? Well, I failed at every single one...miserably!  So I am going to take those April Goals and make them May goals.  That works, right?

Here's hoping I am a little more successful this month!

Summer concert season is almost here and I am so excited!  Nothing I love more than great music at an outdoor venue with my some of my favorite people!  This summer's lineup includes Mumford and Sons (yay!!!!), Counting Crowns, NKOTB, and hopefully a few more that I can squeeze in.  So excited!

Here are some throwback pics from a few of my favorite concerts....

I am on the lookout for some easy dinner recipes for busy weeknights.  Can you help me out?  I would love to hear what you are cooking on those super busy weeknights when you might not feel like cooking!  And the key here is easy!  Help a sister out!

This weekend I am so excited about heading to my hometown to breakfast and shop with one of my very best friends!  We are going to an absolutely fabulous place for breakfast, Corner Kitchen in biltmore village. 

And then hanging out in the village for a vintage market to do a little shopping!  Can't wait for a Brooke/Sarai date! :)

I am terrible at making decisions.  And I have a few that need to be made in the next couple of months.  I am always terrified I will make the wrong choice but in this season I am going to trust my heart, spend lots of time in prayer, trust that He is God and He has great plans and just be still.   

Happy Weekend friends!  Linking up with some lovely ladies for this Friday post!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

all the thoughts on a thursday

Well, it's Thursday, so it is time to share all the random thoughts!  Hope you friends are having a great week!  

I'm thinking....

* sharing your heart on your blog can be a little intimidating, but good for the soul.

* the last month at the schoolhouse is CRAZY...that is really the only word to describe it.  But I am trying to hold on, because summer is coming!

* knowing that this weekend I get to meet up with one of my besties for breakfast and some shopping makes this long week worth it...

* making goals for April was good in theory, but I failed miserably.  The temptation is to not set any for May, but I am going to accept my failure and try again.  That's the adult thing to do right?

* that I want to take a fun adventure for my birthday this year...NYC?  Beach?  Something....

* the last of my Easter candy is almost gone, does anyone else love those Sweettart Chicks, Ducks and Bunnies?  I am addicted!

* being loved and cared for is a good feeling.  

* you are braver than you think you are, so take a risk!

Happy Thursday friends!  Hope your week has been treating you well!

Linking up with Meagan and Kristin

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


One of my go to sayings as a teacher is , "You are in charge of yourself."  My students can often finish this statement when the first words are uttered from my mouth.  And really if we are honest, when dealing with elementary aged kiddos, you can guess that I say this a lot! 

This morning, I had to take my own words to heart.  After sharing with a dear friend that I am feeling out of control in some areas of my life, specifically my health and wellness , she reminded me of the word I choose for this year.  PRESENT.  I find it so easy to be present with others, to be there for them, to be present in the fun and excitement of everyday life.  But where I think I struggle the most is being present with myself.  I have a hard time accepting my present.  Living in the present with the current Brooke.  Don't you think this is a struggle for many women?  Our hands are in so many pots, our time is not often our own and we find ourselves feeling out of control in lots of areas in our lives.  Healthy eating, cleaning the house, reading for pleasure, spending time in prayer.  

While my priorities have shifted in the last several months for some very good reasons, I still have to take time to make myself a priority.  I know that when I make the sacrifice to take care of myself I am able to care and love for those people in my life so much better.  It's time to stop spending so much time think about what I want to be, what I ought to be doing and make some changes.  

Even just thinking about this for the last few hours, it has been so easy to let fear creep in, to hear the voice that says I won't be able to do this.  But  for today I am going to choose to listen to the small voice that says I can, I am worth it and capable.  

Thanks for letting me share a little randomness today!  Happy Tuesday friends!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Because I'm Happy.....

Isn't this so appropriate after the craziness that was the Lilly for Target sale on Sunday?  I did brave the rain, early morning hours, and many monogrammed baseball caps to make it to Target on Sunday!  Thankful for my friend Windy who got us a prime spot in line.  I honestly wasn't looking for much, I had ordered online, but scored a scarf I had my eye on and a few little girl things for a cutie I know!  It was crazy though friends, I think the Pink Sunday label is completely accurate, it was so much like Black Friday. 

But honestly, this quote is so true.  And if I am being honest with you, I struggle at being happy.  It's not that I don't want to be happy, it's just that I find myself falling into the habit of looking for the dark clouds instead of the silver linings.  But over the past few weeks, I have been making a conscious effort to look for the positive, to point out the good, and to share the happy!  And you know what, it's working!

I am confident that this will be something I have to make an effort at each and everyday but at the end of the day, the truth of the matter is, I have lots to be happy about.  There are little moments of everyday that bring a smile to my face and those are the things that I really want to focus on.  So cheers to being happy!   Here are just a few of my "happys" today...

* warm coffee with chocolate chip cookie creamer...yummo!
* Having a student get so excited that I opened their car door for them this morning, "Ms. Simpson, I was hoping you would open my door today!"
* Taking my sweet goddaughters to get pedicures yesterday...sparkles for everyone
* Catching up on sending note cards for my April goals, yep, I am behind but I can catch up!
* smiles and laughter
* new music from some of my favorite bands 
* newly announced NFL schedules and already talk about tailgating and fun

What do you have to be happy about today? 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Favorites

I feel like I always start my Friday posts with a statement kinda like this, Does anyone else think this was the longest week ever?   Well, this week did feel super long, I guess the week after Spring Break is supposed to feel that way.  But only 7 more Mondays of school left before a super fun summer.  Can't wait!

Linking up to share some Friday Favorites with lots of fun gals this week!  Happy Friday friends!

Mumford and Sons are coming to NC this summer!  And I am so so so excited!  Fingers are crossed that I can swing tickets today, I am pretty confident that tickets won't be around for long!  I had pretty much talked myself out of trying to go because the concert is on the last week of school, however, after a smart friend shared with me that the concert is actually on the last day of school and the following day is an optional workday...yep, I decided it would have to happen!  Here is a video of their new song, Wolf...

I am always on the lookout for a new show to binge watch on Netflix and when a few of my sweet friends came to visit over Spring Break, they introduced me to a new favorite!  Have you guys watched Damages? It stars Glenn Close, who is amazing and Rose Byrne who played Helen in Bridesmaids.  I am pretty much hooked!  What shows are you binge watching on Netflix these days? 

Lilly for Target....this weekend...that's all!

Lately the desire to be involved in a bible study, small group, community group, whatever you want to call it has been great!  I miss that close connection with people who are studying, worshipping, praying and living life together.  While I don't know what that is going to look like in this season, I am praying that God would open up the opportunity for me to be able to connect with some folks in this way. One bible study I am really looking forward to doing is this new study by Angie Smith.  Seamless is a study of the overarching story of the Bible, helping you see how the pieces are connected into the greater story of Scripture.  Seems like the perfect fit for where I am right now! 

It goes without saying that I have some of the best friends ever, like really ever.  Today I am especially thankful for one of my friends, who now is more like family.  My friend Kristi and I met about 13 years ago when we were both starting as brand new baby teachers.  At an orientation meeting, Kristi approached me and asked if I had any friends here and I said no. Her response is one I will never forget... "Well, Let's be friends."  And from that moment on, she has been a best friend and sister.  

She motivates me to try things I never thought I could do and supports me in those ventures.  Her thoughtful insight and advice are priceless to me and I love the way that she encourages in love and still speaks the truth.  

Her determination to be the best at whatever she does pushes me to want to be a better person.  Our mutual love for the Melting Pot, NKOTB, Scandal and wine have led to so many memories.

We share BFB, Best Friend Brain and can often complete each others thoughts.  Her family loves me like their own and her precious daughters are two of my greatest blessings! Yep, friend, you are such a treasure in my life and today I am especially grateful for you!

Happy weekend friends!  
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