Joanna Gaines for a day

(That title totally rhymes)

If you’re a blogger you’ve seen the Blog-tember challenge going around. I’ve loved keeping up with everyones new posts and thought it would be fun to join in today.
Also having a bit of writers block this morning.

The question for today is: If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

So here I sat thinking about all the famous people I’d want to switch lives with for a day. Because let’s cut the crap, no one says they want to switch lives with someone who isn’t just a tiny bit famous. So I started thinking. Can’t lie and say a Kardashian didn’t enter my mind. Judge me. Then I thought about someone like Donald Trump, then I got tired. Kate Middleton popped into my head, hello princess, but then I thought it was too much.

And then. Joanna Gaines popped up.

1479449_512566855517186_241372928_nYep. Sign me up.

Here’s the thing about Mrs. Gaines. I love her. Everything about her. Her love for Jesus, her love for her family, and can we please talk about her wardrobe for a minute? Every time I watch Fixer Upper I want to know exactly where she got her clothes so I can go find the same outfit. It’s always simple but so well put together. And she’s cool enough to pull off dangly earrings. And obviously her children are old enough and don’t grab them.

I don’t have a really big decorating bone in my body so it would be cool to switch lives with someone who’s DNA is composed of nothing but that. I’d pick up tips, and some shiplap. And then obviously would come back and make my home beautiful.
I’ve never seen or read a bad thing about her online, and that speaks volumes about her character.

A working mama with style? AND she loves the Lord? Yes and yes.

Who would you be for a day?



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A Fall To-Do List


I’m not sure why, but this year I’m totally into fall. I busted out the decorations September 1st, which is really out of the norm. I’m usually a “October is fall”, kind of girl. But not this year.

I’m learning as well that decorating a house with a tiny human is hard. The very little decorations that I have out have already been messed up and eaten. Seriously. I have a pumpkin with bite marks in it. #teethingmonster

So I decided to come up with a Fall To Do list because every one loves lists. And fall.

#1. Get to a Fall Festival.
I haven’t decided which one, because there are about a million around us. But I’ll decided soon. Google your towns name and Fall Festival if you need some help!

#2. Get all the pumpkin candles.
Because it’s clearly the best smell of the season. No thanks, apple cider. Pumpkin spice for me. So far this year Glade has my favorite.

#3. Go on a hay ride.
Em is aware of what’s going on now, so I think this will be so fun!

#4. Decorate pumpkins.
The reality is…I’m not sure this will get done but we will certainly have pumpkins. She’s 1, she won’t know if it’s decorated or not. Maybe stickers this year?

#5. Make caramel apples.
Because they’re the best. For less of a mess, just cut the apple up and dip it in caramel sauce.

#6. More family walks.
Because the weather is about to get amazing down here.

#7. Host a football party.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: football season. Our biggest game happens the day after Thanksgiving (Go Buckeyes) so maybe we’ll do a party for it this year!

#8. Bake all the pies.
Make a goal to bake a new one this year!

#9. Try a spiced cider recipe.
Because we’re adults and we can do that.

#10. Have a least one pumpkin spiced latte every two weeks.
Easy, peasy.

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Friday, I’m in love


Happy Friyay. Here are somethings that have made me very happy this week.

This video of a football team giving a cheerleader battling leukemia, roses.

This book on Steve Jobs. I just started and I’m totally fascinated by him already.

The fact that FOOTBALL is in full swing. And fantasy.


This picture. Ok fine, it’s my kid. But seriously. And Go Tribe.


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Goals for the rest of the year



I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it kicked my butt. I’m also reading a book about Steve Jobs, and I think it would make anyone go, “Yea, let’s do something”. So I’ve got this creative bug going on that I’m demanding myself to do something with.

For the last year, I’ve used the “I’m a mom” excuse. And hello, if you’ve seen my kid it’s fine. She’s been worth setting things aside for (and will be forever, just so we’re clear). However. She’s getting older, which means I don’t have to hold her all the time and she’s content playing on the floor with a toy. Reality: it’s usually a spoon, or a shoe.
Which means mama has some time.

A few short minutes. But it’s time. And am I the only one, or do other mothers totally amaze themselves with how much they can do now in such a short amount of time?

So I’ve decided to come up with some goals for the rest of the year. And share them. Because I keep reading that if you share with people, make your goals known, you’re more likely to follow through with them. Accountability or something.

1. Loose 10 pounds.
Baby weight is a real thing and I’m over it. I realize the holidays are coming and this makes this goal almost impossible. BUT. I really think that if I can make some small changes in my diet and get some more yoga in I can do it.

2. Get the idea with sissy up and running.
I realize this is super vague. But I can’t tell now. You’ll just have to wait.

3. Clean out the garage.
Perfect with Christmas coming, which those boxes take up almost half of my garage. Not kidding.

4. Come up with “Emily Activities”.
She’s getting older and I’m reeeeeeeally trying to keep TV at a minimum. I’ve started a Pinterest board to get some ideas going.

5. Make a to-do holiday list.
My friend Chelsea is spectacular at making monthly to-do lists and I love them. I want to make some lists for the holidays too. Go to a pumpkin patch, see Christmas lights, make hot chocolate. You get my drift.

6. Get established with a regular doctor.
I’m an adult now and I guess this is what they do.

7. Get new glasses.
Because I’m technically supposed to wear them when I drive.

8. Clean out bedside table drawers.
I get that this is something that takes 10-15 minutes. But for some reason I just haven’t done it yet. I’ll guarantee that most of them will be empty when I’m done because their filled with nothing but crap.

9. Get on a blogging schedule and stick to it.
Self explanatory.

10. Read 4 of the 7 books on my shelf.
I have 7 great books sitting and waiting for me to read them. Non-library books, books I’ve purchased. Make it Happen, The Best Yes, Looking for Lovely…you get the point.

So there they are. Ten goals to get through in the next four months.
I can do this…pep talk to myself.

Do you have any more goals for the rest of the year?


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Enough is enough


If I can be honest here, I wanted to name this post, “When life hands you a Shit sandwich”. But choose not to.

Y’all. Life has been just that lately. Last week was the snowball week. Started with one thing, moved right on down the line to the next crap thing to the next crap thing. And then ended yesterday with me forgetting about a photoshoot. Seriously. I just forgot.

I’ve had some super big things happen lately that’s really taken up a lot of my headspace. And not in the good way. Consuming almost every thought I’ve had for almost two weeks now.

And I woke up this morning with the thought, “This has to stop. Enough is enough.”

I’m unfortunately one of those people that lets things play out in their head 100x. Like last night when I talked to my sweet client on the phone after I forgot about them. For the next two hours I played the “what if” game with myself. What if I had just checked those messages earlier, what if I would have just seen my camera back all packed up and ready to go, what if I had set an alarm. I was a mess.

Here’s a real shocker: I can’t change things that have happened.

No matter how much I will it, there hasn’t been a time machine invented, so I’m out of luck.

Life does this to us. Gets in the way, hands us shit sandwich after shit sandwich. It’s just the way it goes. BUT.

And that is a big and beautiful but…lol.

We have the choice to look it in the face and say, “No. No more”.
We get to choose whether we let something consume us from the inside out (bad things) or we just let them go. Giving it up to God.

Something I didn’t do until this morning.

I know. A mess.

But that release. That finally just saying, “God, please take this because it’s too much for me anymore”. Was amazing.

Will I still feel terrible about my shoot, yes. Will thoughts keep sneaking in about last week, yes. But I’m choosing now to say that it happened and I have to move on. Because there’s a whole life waiting for me to live and I can’t if I’m constantly wrapped up in what happened in the past.

So here’s to taking those sandwiches and throwing them right back at life.

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Books I read in August

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I am all about the library these days. We have the cutest farmers market every Friday and Em I get a donut then hit up the library.

Also, if you don’t have the app Good Reads, get it. You can keep track of books you’ve read and want to read, they give you suggestions based on what you’ve read too. It’s nice because I don’t always have an hour to just peruse the shelves in the library.

Back to books in August.

I’m actually finishing The Aviators Wife right now, and technically read a book I had on my September list. But since I’m ocd I’m reviewing that next month. So, while I finished four books, it’s not the four in the picture.

Moving on.

Paris Letters by Janice Macleod
The whole book mirrored the beginning, middle, and end of Eat, Pray, Love. Which I’ll learn later is totally ok (if you’ve read Big Magic you get it). I loved that the author took a while to prepare for her big trip, planning and saving. Not just up and going. The realistic approach. It’s your typical American girl meets Parisian man love story, but I loved it anyways. Because in my mind you can never have enough of those. She paints the most beautiful letters which she started doing in Paris, obviously where the title comes from.
Would I recommend this book: yes. It was a quick and light read, it’s a happily ever after ending about love and Paris. Can’t go wrong.

Bare Bones: I’m not Lonely if You’re Reading This by Bobby Bones
My little sister turned me onto the Bobby Bones Show (a radio show you need to start listening to if you don’t already) a couple months ago and I heard him talk about the book he wrote. I put it on my list but didn’t think I’d find it at the library anytime soon, but I obviously did. Whoop, whoop. His story is incredible. The classic raised with nothing and worked his way up to the top. With so much hard work. That’s America y’all. He’s really funny so I found myself laughing out loud a ton. I also finished the book in one day. Like less than 24 hours, done. It helped that I had heard a couple of these stories on his show, but it also made me appreciate it so much more.
Would I recommend this book: yes yes yes, why are you still reading this and not getting the book? Also. Start listening to his radio show. It’s a “country music” radio show but I promise it’s not all about country music. In fact I love it so much because it isn’t all about country music.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. If you’re a creative person…no, if you’re a HUMAN, I need you to go get this book now. It’s incredible. Her entire idea about how creative we all are is amazing. It’s a book about honing in on what’s already in you, the creativity we’re all born with. She has the most amazing thoughts on creative ideas, in that they come to us and if we don’t use them they leave and find someone else. Dang. She talks a lot about how creativity often get’s put in this little box. If it’s not taking pictures or writing or painting, it’s not creativity. Which is so not the truth. Whatever makes your heart beat faster, gets you excited, that can be your creative outlet. I wanted to underline the whole book, but couldn’t because it’s a library book so I’m going to go buy it myself. If you put it down and don’t and have the biggest urge to create something, than you’ve missed the whole point.
Would I recommend this book: YES.


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Be that happy


This. Is pure joy, ya’ll.

Like, nothing else in the world matters joy.

I need that. And thank God this little girl brings it to me.

Having a baby does a lot to you. Emotionally, you’re a crazy person. Physically, you want to go back in time and slap your size 4 self for ever saying “does this make me look fat?” Mentally, you wonder if you’ve been removed and placed on a different planet. Or again, a crazy person.

But it also brings you so much joy.

Because if you can’t look at a baby smiling in a swing and not be happy, there’s something wrong with you.

I need to choose this happy more. This grin from ear to ear happy that Em has 99.9% of the time. Life is easier and more fun when you’re happy. Look it up, I’m sure that’s a fact.
In a world where there’s so much to be unhappy about, or in my case lately it’s been annoyed it. People, things, situations (looking at you Kaepernick…aka bonehead of the decade). I know I run the risk of beings super cliche right now but I’ll say it anyways, we’ve all got a choice when we wake up in the morning to be this kind of happy, or not.

Do I think we need to disregard our feelings, or not show emotion, no. But I do think it’s silly to let things spiral into a whole day wasted on cruddy feelings.

I get into my own head a lot. Sometimes I blame the fact that I don’t get a lot of human interaction…ok with humans that talk in complete sentences. I think about things, people, negative situations way too much. At the risk of sounding like a crazy person, lately I start singing a child’s television show theme song to stop. Doc, Mickey, Sesame Street. They loop around. I know this is nuts but it helps. Also makes me think of Em, also makes me stop thinking and dwelling on things, also makes me happy.

We all need to come up with ways to get the crap out of our heads. A song, a run, cooking, whatever it might be, find it.

Because we all need to be this happy. Life is too short (there I go clicheing again.) to let it all bother us so much. I’ve got too much to be thankful for, you have too much to be thankful for to spend the day unhappy.

Then He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. – Matthew 18:3

Children just see the happy. They have the utmost joy in sitting in a swing for 10 minutes. Like nothing else in the world matters.

Joy. Happiness. Joy.

Can we all just turn and run from responsibilities, of course not. But we can view them differently. Like we’re about to get on the swings, squealing with excitement. I think it’s juts all perspective, ya’ll.

I want and need this happy.


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10 Things I learned in August



#1. Planning a first birthday a big deal.
From decorations to invites. I’m fine with admitting that I went over board. Because you’re kid only turns ONE once.

#2. Giving your one year old cake is not a good idea.
Yes, the cake smash is adorable. But y’all. Em was up three hours past her bedtime that night. Not worth it.

#3. You can’t “get” everyone.
It’s not that I’m a giant people pleaser, but I try to get people. Like, “oh, I totally get her”. But I’ve learned this month that I just can’t. And that’s ok. People are going to do things you don’t get, that might hurt your feelings. And there’s some times nothing you can do about it.

#4. Giant Balloons are always a good idea.
Would I have picked out the 4 foot Elmo myself? No, but thank goodness daddy did because Em loved it more than any of the toys she got.

#5. There’s no escaping the Florida heat.
I’ve tried it all but I’ve been in a constant sweat for a month now.

#6. Family pictures are defiantly worth it.
And I’m not just saying this because I’m a photographer. But I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have these pictures to look back on. Were we sweaty messes? And did the session only last 20 minutes because Em is one. Yes. But so so worth it. Side note. The above picture is from my sweet friend, Mindy.

#7. I love the Olympics.
I had no idea how much I did before this years Olympics. It’s all we watched for two weeks and I loved every minute of it.

#8. There are so.many.sports in the Olympics.
Twenty eight to be exact.

#9. An almost walking tiny human is terrifying.
I can’t imagine what happens when she’s actually up all on her own.

#10. Spending time with your people is what matters most.
A lesson I think we all know, but need to be reminded of every once in a while.

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The most important job

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Being a mom is a job. Do I think it’s the best and most fun job on the planet, you bet. I might not get paid in dollars, and to be super cliche here I’ll just say it. I get paid in giggles and kisses.
But this is my job.

From the minute I open my eyes, to the second they close.

This weekend we had Em dedicated at church. She of course flashed that giant smile of hers to the congregation, and was the best baby while it all went down.

I have to be honest and say that I don’t remember what the pastor said. The whole day was such a blur and I think I was on emotional mommy overload.

But thank goodness for little sissy’s who videotape the whole thing. Or record…whatever the kids are calling it these days.

I just watched it back and cue the tears.

“Father bless this vibrant and energetic little girl, Jesus spread your strength and courage on her, and bless her in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. And bless these parents Lord for the job you’ve given them”. 

I don’t know about any other parents, but this job brings me so much joy and terrifies me all at the same time. I’ll go ahead and say it. It’s the most important job out there. It’s certainly the most important job I’ll ever have. The choice I’ve made to be a parent, that any parent has made, is huge.

I’ve thought a lot about Ems future the last couple of days. I rented a book on Steve Jobs from the library and told her I wanted her to invent the next iPhone. I realize that no matter what she does, or how much or little money she’ll ever make I can only ask one thing of her.

To love Jesus more than anyone, or anything.

And it’s my job as her mama to show her what that looks like. So that one day, I pray sooner rather than later, she can make the decision to do the same.

“Love God, your God, with your whole heart:
love Him with all that’s in you, love Him with all you’ve got! 
Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts.
Get them inside of you, and then get them inside your children.
Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street;
talk about them from the time you wake up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.
Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder;
inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”
-Deuteronomy 6:5-9 MSG


Is it a lot of pressure on me to make sure my children come to know the Lord so they’ll spend eternity in Heaven with me? Yea. That sentence in fact has so much weight.
But ya’ll. I am honored to have been chosen to be Emily’s mom and get to do this.

Do I want to be a cool mom (and not a regular mom), you bet. Do I want to be known as the fun mom in the neighborhood (who makes the best chocolate chip cookies?), you bet. But.
I’d give up all the cool points and cookies to make sure my children come to know Jesus.

T for time out. If you don’t get the phrases in parentheses I don’t know you.

Some people think it’s force full to push their beliefs on their children. And while I can understand that logic, I want to make sure I use words only when necessary when it comes to Jesus, and always let my actions do the work. We’ll read the Word together but I won’t shove it down throats. But in the end, if it means heaven or hell. I’m going to turn blue in the face if it means pointing them to Jesus.

Being a parent comes with a huge job.

One that I’m honored to have.


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Happy first birthday, Emmy Mae!


I am officially the mother of a one year old. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how this happened. How a year ago we welcomed this sweet girl into the world, and now she’s ready to explore it all.

The last year of my life has been better than I ever could have imagined, and if you’re a parent you get exactly what I’m saying. I’m convinced there’s nothing better in life than being a mom. Even through the sleepless newborn nights, and the teething…I’d do it over and over a hundred times.

I don’t think I understood what joy really meant until Em got here. More often than not we joke that her cheeks must hurt all the time from smiling because I’m not lying when I tell you she smiles all the time. My Instagram isn’t full of just perfectly timed photos, that’s how she is all the time. She is joy. She’s shown me that life is meant to be slow, taken one day one minute at a time so you don’t miss anything.

Because, and I’m speaking from experience here now, it goes by too damn quick.

I couldn’t have ever imagined a year ago, holding her for the first time that this is what life would turn out like. Sitting in that hospital, praying I didn’t have to ever leave, turned into a joke because of how wonderful she’s been as a baby. The fears we had all dissolved after that first snuggle.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I was made to be a mama. And I am so thankful that God has let me be this girls mama. Watching her grow over the last year has been the biggest gift we could have ever been given. From holding her head up, to sitting up, to army crawling, to pulling herself up, and now walking with help. Ya’ll it’s amazing.

Happy FIRST Birthday, Emmy Mae!

We love you more than you’ll ever know!

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