Monday, March 31, 2014

Celebrate Good Times: A Weekend Recap

This weekend was a weekend full of celebrating some of my very people!  And it was so much fun!  I love spending time with my family and friends and this weekend was full of just that!

Friday night was super low key, because honestly I am old and by the time Friday comes around I just exhausted.  Around 10:00 Friday evening, I remembered I had not even eaten dinner.  I am actually pretty surprised I made it til 10 o'clock that evening.

I was supposed to run a 5K on Saturday morning but it was raining and I opted to stay in my bed.  Running is hard enough, and running in the rain sounds pretty miserable!  Thankful that my friend Kristi is already on the hunt for another 5K for us to do together!

Saturday's celebrations started with a birthday brunch for my sweet friend Amanda!  She is such a dear friend and I am so glad that our paths crossed a few years ago!  She is more like family and those are the kinds of friends that make my heart super happy!

We had quite the spread for brunch and it was all so good!  We had a waffle bar (including Funfetti waffles), fruit tray, muffins and the most delicious breakfast casserole!  And I might have had some yummy coffee with a little Bailey's mixed in!  :) 

After we ate til we were so stuffed we headed to the movies to continue the day of celebrating Amanda!  Such a fun time with some of the best friends a girl could ask for!  So thankful for my Hickory family!

The celebrations continued on Saturday as I headed down to Forest City to see party with my Grandmother!  What a little fireball!  I love this lady so much and I will say if I look this good at 87 I will be thrilled!

We went to eat Mexican and spent lots of quality time with the family.  It was such a refreshing time. I am so blessed to still have both of my grandmothers and love soaking up time with them.  My favorite cousin Billy Mac was in town and that made the visit even more fun.  He decided he wanted to spend the night at Mamaw's and we had a great time!  I love that little guy.  This is certainly not the best picture of me, but look at how cute he is! :)

One of the highlights of Mamaw's birthday celebration would be the amazing cake my sweet friend Kathryn made!  Check out her blog and leave her some love!  She posts the most amazing recipes and ideas.  No doubt she is one of the most talented people I know from foodie to hair dresser to wedding planner!  She does it all!  I mean guys look at this cake...She is taking orders for Easter, I can honestly say it was one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had!

My weekend was fantastic and then this morning I was greeted with this sunrise.  This week has to be amazing right? 

What did you do this weekend?  I hope you all have an amazing week friends!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wise Words Wednesday: Fear Not!

Lately I have really been battling with fear.  Not like the kind of fear I have for opossums, but the kind of fear that will cause your heart to skip a beat, make you sick to your stomach, want to cry kinda fear.  If I were to tell you the things that have brought on some of these crippling feelings  you might not think they deserve the kind of reaction they have gotten.  And you are probably right.  I tend to fear the things I honestly have no control over.  Things like people's reactions to me, situations I can't fix, irrational things.  But I do know there are some things that I have a healthy fear of, and I think that is an ok thing.  My goal is to really stop thinking about the things that might go wrong, how people might perceive me, how foolish I might look, and focus on the journey, the dreams, the hopes.  I can only imagine that will be a much more productive way to look at things!  

Here are some wise words about fear...

This one really spoke to me this week.  I know the dreams I have in my heart are put there for a reason, it is time to pursue them, without fear!

What a question!  What would I do?  What would my life look like?  

I love this promise from scripture.  Yes friends, perfect love does cast out fear!

I hope you will start living in that truth!  Have a great week friends!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

It's Friday!  This weekend is packed full of some fun celebrations and I am pretty excited! Kicking things off tonight with a Girls Night with some of my favorites, tomorrow celebrating one of my best friends birthdays and Sunday celebrating with one of my favorite three year olds!  Bring on the fun!

Linking up today with the Five on Friday gals!

{O N E}

Last weekend my mom came to visit. I really do love my time with my mom.  As cliche as it sounds she really is my best friend.  I am not sure what I would do without her.  On Saturday evening, we headed out to dinner with some of my other best friends to catch up and celebrate cute little Tali and her new glasses.  We all decided to wear glasses to help Tali feel more comfortable, even Brookie wore her "glasses"  So much fun!  I love these people!

{T W O}

I had the privilege of teaching a class at a local university last semester to a great bunch of senior education majors.  They are all in the midst of their student teaching and were not able to take their college spring break since they are on public school system calendar now.  So to help them start spring break right, I had them over for so ice cream sundaes!  It was such a fun time of laughing and catching up with them on how teaching is going.  I am so thankful for the chance to get to know them.  Wish I had taken more pictures!  

{T H R E E}

I am having a group of gals over tonight for a Girls Night Game night and I am pretty excited!  Every time we get together it is so fun.  Lots of laughter, good food and wine, of course!  I can't wait to catch up with some of my favorites.  Pretty sure we will have to play the Game of Things...have you played?  So much fun.  I need to fix an appetizer for tonight...any good suggestions?

{F O U R}

I am currently reading Divergent and am loving it.  Have you read the series?  I have heard mixed reviews about the last book, in face some of my friends have told me that they didn't want to see the movies because of the the 3rd book.  Are you planning on going to see the movie?  I will probably wait til I finish the book!  Looks like it could be a great movie!

{F I V E}

Have you ever met someone and you just know you should have been friends forever?  That is really how I feel about my friend Windy.  We have some mutual friends and have probably been stalking each other on Facebook for a few years now.  When I changed jobs this year, one of the many perks was getting to work closely with her!  And man, I am so glad!  We have the most fun together when she is at my school, lots and lots of laughter.  We compare crazy car stories, in fact she created Broken Down Car Bingo for us.  So funny!  Well last night we were able to go out for a little Girls Night and we had so much fun!  I am beyond thankful for this fun, spunky friend!

Have a great weekend friends!  Cheers!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Change is Not my Favorite

First off, happy first day of spring!  It was so lovely to see the sun shining today!  I am hearing rumblings of a possible snow event coming next week?  Please say it isn't so!  Fingers crossed it misses us.  

I like my world to be stable.  When I find something I like, I stick with it.  Change make me nervous, it is scary.  I don't like the unknowns that change brings about.  This year I made a big change, I left the place I had worked for 12 years to start a new adventure.  I miss those people, I miss those kids, I miss those hallways, but it was time for a change.  

The first few months in my new place were hard, they were lonely.  I didn't have people yet.  I was the new gal on the block and at times I wasn't sure if I would find my place.  As I get older I realize how hard it is to break into other people's social circles.  Many days I was frustrated and not sure if I had made the right choice.  

But the good thing about change is it gives you the opportunity to get to experience new things, meet new people, and make new memories.  And over the past few weeks, I have just been really thankful for all this "new"!  I am excited about the opportunities at the new school and what the future holds.  I am feeling blessed and cared for by some amazing new friends.  I have been amazed at how paths have been crossed and people have come into my life.  

This change has also made me appreciate and value those old relationships as well!  I miss my people.  But with this change it has made me be more intentional in keeping up with those dear friends.   The beauty is that I have deepened those relationships and love those friends in a whole new way.  I think there will always be things I miss, but am thankful for the new level these relationships have taken!

Maybe this will be a season where I learn not to fear change so much.  I am starting to see the blessings that come along with it!  Who knows what the future might hold?

What change are you facing friends?  Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wise Words for Wednesday

Nothing like a little alliteration to get this blog post started out right!  I love to Instagram!  No question about it, in fact you can see all my Instagram gems on the sidebar of the blog!  And if you don't follow me, well you should do that!  Every Wednesday you will see all kinds of Instagrammers adding this hashtag to their photos...#wcw.  Well instead of Woman Crush Wednesday, I am going to start Wise Words Wednesday here on the blog.

I love quotes and other people's words. They inspire me, cause me to reflect and ponder.  So each Wednesday I am going to share a few of my favorite quotes with you!  Would love if you joined me on your blog by sharing some of your favorite words too!

It just so happens that my quotes from this week come from some of my favorite books.  Such truth in these words!  

What are your wise words for this Wednesday?  Have a great week friends!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Clean Out

My mom loves the show Clean House.  Not sure if it is on anymore,  but yet again Netflix saves the day as many of the seasons can be streamed.  When my mom comes to visit she loves to get her Niecy Nash fix and binge watch some Clean House.

I secretly think she is trying to send me a message when she watches the show.  We all know I am not the most tidy person in the world, my house is not nasty but it has lots of treasures...everywhere!  A few weeks ago, I made plans with some friends for them to come for a weekend visit.  nothing gets me more excited than company!  One of my friends who is coming,  Alisha has never been visited my precious little house before.  While my couches are very comfy, I wanted her to be able to have the real guest experience, so I decided that I MUST clean out my guest room.  This is a big deal, as my guest room door has probably been closed for the last 5 years.  I only open it to throw something else in to be hidden.

I knew I could not do this task on my own, so who better to enlist for help than my own person Niecy Nash, my momma!  And y'all she jumped at the chance to help with this adventure!  I am talking took days off of work and everything to clean out this room.

Normally I have a hard time parting with my things, yes I know they are just things.  And as my mom reminded me over and over this weekend, I have the memories in my heart but sometimes you just need the tangible reminder.  But I have to say, mom really put her Clean House skills to work because this girl got that room clean!  2 truck loads of treasures to Goodwill later and I can officially say my guest room door is open!  Is it perfect yet, nope.  But is it almost there, you bet!

As I thought about all those things I got rid of from my spare room, I wondered about all the other things I needed to clean out from my life.  Maybe not physical things but things that are cluttering up my head space and keeping me from opening the door to new and exciting adventures, to happiness, to many other blessings.  I know that my life is cluttered, because of my own doing.  I dwell on an unkind word from a friend or a coworker.  I find myself stuck in the past thinking about mistakes or bad choices and find it impossible to move forward.  I disregard examples of God's love, care and grace for me because I choose negativity over the blessing.  I guess just like my spare room needed a clean out, I need to think about me in that purging as well!

It all points back to that word I picked for word of the year...LESS!  I love how I see it in the everyday tasks and the full trucks pulling out of my driveway!  What do you need to clean out friends?  I know it is still a work in progress for me!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Hot Jalapeno Corn Dip

Today we were blessed with a snowday.  Nothing like staying in your pajamas, taking naps, watching TV and eating yummy food.  If you know me, I love dips.  All kinds, dips make the world better!  So I went into my kitchen to see what I might whip up to enjoy on this impromptu day off.  And the result was amazing!  

This Hot Jalapeno Corn Dip is delicious!  It would be perfect to take to a gathering of friends, a cookout or to make for your family.  Here is the recipe friends, make and enjoy!

Hot Jalapeno Corn Dip


2 cans sweet corn, drained

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I used the ones in a jar that you might put on nachos)

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

dash of hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream, mayonnaise, spices, hot sauce

Fold in corn, jalapeno peppers, 3/4 cup of the blended cheeses

Place in greased 2 qt. baking dish and top with the remaining cheese

Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly

Serve with tortilla chips

Enjoy this yummy treat!  What are your favorite dips?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Giving Up

Growing up in the Southern Baptist church, I never participated in Lent.  I don't remember as a child really thinking about the days that led up to Easter.  After participating in a life changing retreat when I was in high school, I became more aware of the tradition of Lent and the idea of contemplating the sacrifice that Jesus gave.

For the first few years of participating in the giving up of something for Lent, I am not sure I really got it.  I gave up red meat one year, was that really a sacrifice, not so much.  One year I gave up saying an annoying phrase I had picked up, did it bring me closer to God, not really.  Last year, my focus changed as I decided instead of giving up something, I would add something to my life.  I decided to be more intentional intentional with my time, my words, my giving.  It was a great experience for me, as I saw the Lord bless me as I was more intentional in loving the people around me.

If you have read my blog for a little while, you probably remember that my word for the year is LESS.  My thoughts on Lent go hand in hand with my word for the year and the meaning behind it.  My ultimate goal is LESS OF ME and MORE OF HIM.  Isn't that what Lent is about?  Getting rid of those things that keep us from fully knowing and understanding how deep His love is for us.

I haven't decided what I will give up or take on this Lenten season and maybe I won't do anything. I want to be sure my heart is in the right place.  When I stop and think about it though, I am pretty sure there are some things that all of us could stand to give up everyday that would make our days a little LESS about us and a little MORE about Him.

Maybe it is time we give up...

Guilt- the past no long binds us...we are free and free indeed!

Doubt- God is who He says he is and He can be trusted.

Impatience- Although I get really frustrated when people say this to me, God's timing is perfect.  He certainly sees the big picture when my view is so narrow.

Comparison- Oh, so much easier said than done.  We all are blessed with unique gifts and talents, why not focus on fostering those in yourself and using them to love and care for others. 

Self-Pity- No doubt we all go through valleys where we feel like holding the world's largest pity party, but no need to dwell there, we are more than conquerors!

Excuses- The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, take that first step to whatever journey you have before you.  

Fear of Failure-  I used to tell my students that mistakes are stepping stones to learning, learn and move on. 

Worry-  Stop trying to have control of things we can't control.  He takes care of the birds, how much more does He care for you.

Unworthiness- You are beloved, cherished, delighted in, cared for, and most importantly loved. 

Maybe this is more my list than your list.  I know that if I truly gave these things up, my life would be full of more joy, peace, kindness, generosity, happiness, love.  And those things sound so much better. What is time for you to give up?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

And the winner is...

Happy Saturday friends!  I love a relaxing weekend, and that is just what is going on in my house this weekend!  No big plans, Netflix, relaxing...perfect way to regroup for the week.

I got really excited about this blog giveaway.  I love being able to share things with people, especially things I love.  It brings me a lot of joy to be able to bless others.  One other reason I loved this giveaway was the fact that both Rebekah Lyons and Ellie Holcomb were aware of it.  When I tweeted about the giveaway, Rebekah Lyons, the author of Freefall to Fly immediately favorited my tweet and shared it!  I am not going to lie, I felt a little like a celebrity!  Once I saw that she had noticed it, I decided to reach out to Ellie Holcomb and see if she would autograph the CD for the giveaway.  She quickly responded and was happy to send me an autographed CD for the winner.  How cool is that!

So now to the fun stuff...Congratulations....

So happy for my dear friend Alisha!  I just love this girl and think this is so appropriate that she won this giveaway after she just shared a guest post on my blog this week!  Alisha, I will be in touch about where to send your goodies!

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway and especially for those new readers!  I am excited about a giveaway I am planning with two real life and blogging friends that will be coming up later in the month!  Stay tuned friends!

Have a great Saturday!
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