Wednesday, March 31, 2010


that I have the absolute best boyfriend in the universe.

I went home from work early on Monday afternoon due to feeling queasy and nauseous. Assuming that I caught the awful stomach bug that Ben had for a few days, I went home terrified and not wanting to do the awful throw up thing. Ugh. Ended up staying home all day Tuesday as well to get rest as I was still feeling pretty rough.

Sweet Ben came over while I was asleep and set all of this up on my kitchen counter...

taken via blackberry

The trash bags were something I had run out of and needed. So thoughtful. He then made me a bowl of soup and sat with me.

This morning I awoke to these along with the sweetest card ever...

taken via blackberry

Blessed, spoiled, lucky- call it what you like. I personally prefer blessed. He does spoil me, undoubtedly. I love him. He kills me with kindness every day. I am just absolutely smitten.



I've been feeling rather inspired lately in the area of decor. I'm loving that I have my own place to decorate and make "mine". It's so much fun!

I recently purchased this lamp from IKEA and hung it in the corner of my living room. I love it. I only paid $1.99 (er, my sweet Ben did actually) for it due to it being returned and having a tiny chip in one of the pieces that was way easy to repair. Love it. Love my living room. Love decorating.

Below are some inspiration photos I found for what I want to do with one of my walls. I got this amazing photo frame at IKEA as a centerpiece...

I've been collecting photo frames and mirrors of all shapes and sizes from thrift stores and believe it or not, I have purchased some really amazing pieces and have spent under 10 dollars for all of them. I'm a huge advocate of thrift stores and love finding one-of-a kind treasures such as this very chair that I purchased at GOODWILL last week. Not even kidding. 20 bucks for this gorgeous antique that I just absolutely adore!

I'm using these pictures as inspiration for my photo frame wall that I will be working on, hopefully this weekend.

image found via google
image found via google

image found via google

image found via google

I just love the diversity and feel that this idea gives. So unique and different, yet it totally works. Love. Can't wait to do my own. I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished product.

My sweet Ben also bought me an antique dining room table as well as two really unique antique chairs that I am just estatic about. I will post pictures soon. They need some TLC and we'll be working on them together as a project. I love that he likes to do these things with me. So precious. He's just too wonderful for words.

This is so fun!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, March 29, 2010


A most lovely weekend, it was.

I spent Saturday with Ben's mom. It was so nice to have girl time while Ben and his dad went and rode their dirt bikes. Saturday night we all went out to the beach and ate at a new magnificient seafood restaurant on the beach, The Grand Marlin. The food was divine.

Mama Teresa (Ben's mom) and I at dinner.

After dinner, Ben and I went and walked on the pier. Despite the freezing cold wind whipping my hair in my face (as pictured below), it was quite a lovely stroll. Nevermind Ben's hitler stache. ;)

Sunday was the best. We went on a picnic and it was perfect! I loved it. The weather was lovely. We walked downtown hand in hand for quite some time and just enjoyed each other's company. We ended the day by going to the mall and then snuggling up on the couch together and watching movies. My absolute favorite kind of day with my favorite person.

Here's to Monday. Luckily, this week is only a 4 day week as we have Good Friday off.

Hope you all have a most wonderful day! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Birthday in Charlotte.

As I mentioned previously, I took about a billion pictures while I was in Charlotte for my birthday week. It was the most wonderful time. My family, friends and sweet boyfriend went above and byond to ensure that it was a most memorable week. I seriously left feeling so refreshed and loved. Leaving was rather difficult after such an amazing time, as you can imagine. I wouldn't have changed a thing. We practically celebrated my birthday all week long. Kind of ridiculous, huh? My family is the absolute best and I miss them more with each passing day.

Here are just a few of many pictures.

Sisters reunited. :)

My sweet Mama, sisters and I at Five Guys. I've never had a better burger. Not even joking. Delicious.

Daddy's girls. He's really into his shades. Ha. Gosh, I love my Dad.

Hannah and I trying on ridiculously overpriced sunglasses at some ritzy store in the city.

My love and I

On my actual birthday, we went and explored the city of Charlotte. It's seriously one of the cleanest and prettiest cities I've ever been to. I love the vibe there. So fun.

We had dinner at PF Changs. My favorite. Mom, Dad and I.

Ben and I while we waited for nearly an hour to be seated.

"The Kids"

Ashton and I with our Volk Family. Love them all so much. They are so full of life and joy. We've practically grown up with them.

Sweet Emily and I.

Jonathan took some pictures of me in a wheat field behind their house on the day of my birthday party. We had so much fun doing them but I couldn't stop laughing for some reason. I always feel silly posing alone in pictures.

Jonathan and I with one of the incredibly delicious and beautiful cakes he and my mom made.

There are still more pictures from my party I want to post. Coming soon! :)

Happy Thursday everyone!

P.S. I added some pictures to this post, if you're interested. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

photo sesh.

While Ben and I were in Charlotte, a very dear friend of ours did a little photo shoot with us. Jonathan Volk Photography, if you're interested. It was SO much fun and the outcome was very pleasing, in my opinion! And no, these are not engagement photos. ;)

Here are a few of my favorites.

Laughing, naturally. He cracks me up!

I just love this guy ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Is this thing on?

I'm back!

My trip to Charlotte was beyond amazing. There are simply not enough words for me to describe how incredible it was. I am so blessed.

It was so difficult leaving. Way more difficult than I thought it would be.

I'm super homesick. More so than I even was before I went to Charlotte. I just miss my family and seeing them every day.

Oh the pains of growing up.

Anyways, pictures coming soon. There are hundreds, so I'll have to go through and choose. That will be difficult.

Hope you all had a fantastic week! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2 days.

In 2 days, I'll be on my way to Charlotte, North Carolina!!!

Ben and I are driving up there for my birthday and will be there for an entire week! I can't even tell you the excitement, anticipation and joy that my heart holds. I'm about to explode.

I can't wait to be with my family. I just simply cannot wait.

It's going to be a tremendous week, indeed.

My birthday is this Tuesday and my dear family has already planned all sorts of festivities. So sweet.

I can't wait until Saturday! We're leaving early and stopping in Atlanta to spend time with my friend, Beth and go to H&M. I've never been to an H&M and Ben insists that I experience it.

So many exciting things that this next week holds. I get a whole week off of work, I get to spend time with the people who mean the most to me, birthday celebrations, shopping, city life, mama's cooking, thrifting, game nights, etc.

So excited. I am so blessed to have been given this time off of work!

Oh and not to mention- Spring has Sprung! The weather here is absolutely perfect today. Thank you Lord for blue skies, birdsongs, sunshine and warm breezes. Perfect. I'm in love. This is such a refreshing time of year, especially after the unusually frigid winter we experienced this year- even in the south.

So thankful.

To celebrate spring, I did just a little shopping and in doing so purchased this dress.

I also spent nearly an hour curling my hair- we went out to a fancy schmancy place for my friend, Katie's birthday. 4 couples. Date night. Dressed up. Such fun. I hardly ever fix my hair. EVER. I'm lazy. I just let it air dry and be wavy 99.9% of the time. So, when I take the time to fix it, its a big deal!

My dear and I at my friend, Katie's birthday dinner on Saturday night. :)

Now, I need to get to work. It's extremely hard to focus on work right now. My mind is already starting to get into "vacation mode". Focus, focus, focus.

Much love!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Beauty in the Broken.

Broken, shattered I've become. I've come to realize that, that is in fact what I need to always be. I don't have to be perfect and put together all the time. He loves me the way that I am and He made my imperfections- to Him they are beauty. The moment I begin trying to impress others in my human-ness and hiding that which he created me to be, is when my beauty fades. My beauty is in my brokenness. Humility is what He desires to clothe me in, for He is humble in spirit and we are to imitate His character. My prayer is that I would remain broken, beautifully broken and so wonderfully imperfect because that is when He takes over and uses me in my inadequacies. I am overwhelmed and so at peace with His methods. They may not always be the easiest but they are the truest and most defining.

Somehow, uniquely, God desires to use those difficult moments of our lives to bring forth something extraordinarily beautiful. Even the natural creation attests to this truth. In fall, we marvel at the gorgeous, lush and burnished orange, brilliant red, and bright yellow leaves, even as that beauty belies the slow and gradual death of those leaves. Winter buries those leaves under the cold, dark blanket of snow and frost. And yet, death brings forth life. Spring bursts forth year after year with jonquils, iris, lilies, and all the beautiful pastels of new life.

During a time of deep despair and suffering, King David wondered about God's ability to be present in his dark places-to bring about beautiful redemption in the midst of brokenness. He cried out to God, "Will your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Abaddon? Will your wonders be made known in the darkness? And your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?" (Psalm 88:11-12). David wondered about God's work in his life-had he been abandoned? Was God still guiding him even in the deepest, darkest places of brokenness and fear? And even in those places seemingly forgotten, would God continue to make things right? David struggled to see how beauty could emerge out of brokenness. And yet, he later affirmed in Psalm 139, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there... if I say, 'surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,' even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you."

It is in those dark places of brokenness and suffering that God brings forth luminous light so that even the dark is illuminated.

Thank you Lord for breaking me, even when it hurts and even when I oppose.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
-Psalm 51:17

Thursday, March 4, 2010


*This is something I wrote last year but really pertains to my current state and situation that I figured I would add to it and repost it.*

Don't we all wish to dodge and escape the bruising and bitter obstacles that life constantly throws our way? I've yet to meet anyone who seeks pain or who enjoys pain. Pain causes us to react in ways in which we never thought capable. Pain has the ability of surfacing what it is that is truly inside of us. Despite its unpleasantness and tang, pain is an important part of the existence of humans. Pain is healthy. It inevitably makes us stronger. It assures us that we're alive and it arouses our senses.

Our lives are too difficult, too easy- a paradox of crippling proportions. We're often bombarded with unfortunate circumstances that inflict a deep sense of dissatisfaction and simultaneously crush our spirits. Whether or not it pertains to our personal lives, spirtual lives, financial lives, or family lives etc. As human beings, it is impossible for us to completely avoid grief.

To forsake the painful necessary is to embrace a deadly pleasure. What I mean by that statement is this- Pain and grief are vital for our growth and maturity. If we very well shun that which is causing us to thrive, grow and progress then we will do just the opposite. It is imperative to accept the fact that there will be situations that will cause you great agony but just as important to remember that momentary afflictions do not ultimately have the ability of defeating you. You determine.

Basically, if all you ever had was good, how would you know what was bad? Without the lows, you have no way of knowing and appreciating the highs.

Life is brought forth through immense pain and agony. The perfect example for me to give in this case would obviously be birth. We all know that labor during childbirth is extremely painful and uncomfortable, almost unbearable. (I realize that I have not experienced this first-handedly but we all know it's truth and fact) It's somewhat complex but it's evident that through pain, life is brought forth.

You will find that the way out of the pain is through it.

There is really no easy way out. Quite often, we seek an escape route and in the end it tends to only cause us more grief. In times of great turmoil, it's natural to want out but there is a process that must not be aborted. Time is the essence of what will spring forth from your hour of utter darkness and suffering.

I have to focus on the positives in my life- I am dating the love of my life and he is a rock and treats me better than I deserve to be treated. I have a large, loving, supportive and amazing family who stands by me, counsels me and encourages me. I am blessed with an amazing job with amazing benefits. I have loving friends and though most of them live in other parts of the US, they are always there and are always willing and able to talk. I am blessed. God has blessed me immensely and shown me love and grace like I've never seen before. Now is a time for me to take my focus off of what is trying to kill my spirits and deter it onto the joys and loves of my life.

I'm choosing to accept this pain as a blessing and commit to renewing my heart and mind. This is a conscious effort I have to make due to the fact that I am not the type of person to just brush things off and not let them affect me. I am so easily affected and influenced. My mind can be a prison that so easily cripples my emotions and state. I can't allow myself to sucuumb to this. I simply can't. Whatever the case, it still hurts me so badly and only time and God himself can heal these wounds. I surrender. I can't carry this on my own. It's simply unbearable.

I am simply learning the oh so bitter lessons of life by way of experience and I will come out stronger.

"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn. My God, do you learn"
-C.S. Lewis

"After we have suffered, the God of all grace will restore, establish and strengthen us. God promises us that our suffering will ultimately be followed by glory." -1 Peter 5:10

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And so I return...

With a most heavy heart. Details are not to be disclosed due to protecting rights and identities but I feel absolutely crushed.

And no, this has absolutely nothing to do with my sweet Ben. In fact, he has been a wonderful source of strength and support for me during this time.

I once heard a quote that went something like this...

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

Sound familiar?

I've found myself in a grueling situation as of late. Probably one of the most intense, heartbreaking and upsetting situations I have ever been placed in. Moreso because of the longevity of my relationship with certain parties involved.

All I know is that I detest being lied to. Point blank. Deceit is one of the most ultimate betrayals to me and how I got sucked into this, is beyond me.

At this point, I'm simply hoping and praying that a sacred friendship can be salvaged although I fear it could very well be too far gone and that so breaks my heart.

Perhaps I'm being a little too honest here.

Praying and seeking wisdom and a pure heart above all things.