Thursday, January 31, 2013

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) Lunch dates with my man.  I love it when Lance and I get to meet up for lunch... it's my favorite.  Yesterday we went out for pizza at a nearby local joint... Spinelli's...  It's a favorite among many of our friends, but surprisingly, yesterday was my first visit.  And it did not disappoint... just look at that slice of pizza!!  Good food and good company:)

2) Cozy socks.  I mean, who doesn't like cozy socks?!?  Our weather has been so crazy here lately... 65 degrees one day and 25 degrees the next... but rumor has it that Louisville is going to stay pretty chili for the month of February... and that, my friends, is when you need cozy socks.

3) Community.  I know this isn't the first time I've listed "community" on my thankful thursday list... and it probably won't be the last.  Since moving to Louisville over 2 years ago, Lance and I have been extremely blessed by the many different people we have met and grown close to.  I am so grateful for our friends and community that we are a part of here... both the old and the new.

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

Also linking up with:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

january goal recap...

At the beginning of January, I shared that I would be doing monthly goals this year, instead of my traditional New Year's resolutions.  I'm still pretty smitten with the idea... and I thought it would be helpful to do a brief little recap of how I actually ended up doing on my January goals... for nothing more than some good ol' accountability.  So... here is how January ended up... 

Catching up // on my photo editing.
Not too shabby here.  I finished all of my main photo sessions that I was backed up on... then I also had 2 fairly recent baby sessions, both of which I would love to have edited within the week.  But I'm considering the original portion of this goal accomplished:)

Creating more // time to read.
Yes!  I finished The Lone Wolf by Jodi Picolt mid-January (good read... but not a favorite) and am nearing the end of the final Hunger Games book, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  Two books in one month??  This is a pretty big deal for me, people.

Cleaning out // my closet.
Done. And done.  I did some major purging here and had a super successful trip selling some items at the consignment store.  It was perfect timing because we were able to use my consignment cash as spending money for our St. Thomas trip.  I'll need to do a full closet post soon... but it's lookin' good!

Caring for // my soul.
I don't know if this goal will ever truly feel "accomplished," as I think caring for one's soul is an on-going process... but I definitely took some important steps in January.  For one, a tropical vacation never hurt anyone... and our trip to St. Thomas this month was just what the doctor ordered.  Secondly, I am really working on saying "no"... and simply learning the importance of protecting my time.  And then lastly, but most important, I am trying to make time to read God's word everyday... I can definitely tell a difference in my day when this happens or doesn't happen.

So, there you have it... my January goals recap.  Stay tuned for February's goals on Friday:)

And PS... the ol' bloggity blog hit 300 followers this week... thanks so much for reading! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

he & she {winter edition}

{photo compliments of Firm Anchor Photography}

he is enjoying his new(ish) full-time job.

she is savoring the joys of working-from-home.

he is loving the cold weather.

she is so over it.

they are still tan from their recent St. Thomas trip.

he is working hard to launch the Urban Experience this summer.

she is pumped to have some out-of-state weddings on the books.

he is booking the required doctor appointments for the adoption process.

she is filling out the 70 question self-study for the adoption process.

they are hoping to get their second homestudy meeting on the books soon.

he is happy to be reading non-required seminary material for a change.

she is finally finishing the last Hunger Games book.

they are thrilled to see what exciting adventures twenty-thirteen has in store.

Friday, January 25, 2013

january cards :: a procrastinator's christmas card

January cards.
...aka, we-can't-seem-to-get-our-act-together-in-December-cards.

We love them around here.  We've been sending them out since 2006, I think.  I've always loved holiday greeting cards... both giving and receiving them.  I was one of those bazaar college students that sent out Christmas cards and update letters since I was probably 18... what can I say?  I love a good excuse to put something in the mail.

Our list gets more and more ridiculously out of control every year.  I keep threatening to put a cap on it, but that never happens.  It's a once-a-year mail splurge that I'm totally okay with.

I also have this problem where I want to put a ridiculous amount of stuff on the envelopes... address labels... return address stamps... washi tape... a fun stamp on the back... stickers... you get the idea.  I'm not quite sure what it is that possesses me with a desire to decorate every square inch of an envelope, but I'm working on toning it down.

This year I put sealed all of the envelopes with washi tape, then started stamping the back of the envelopes with a fun little "with love" stamp.  I got about half way through the stack before I realized that I have a serious problem, and decided the washi tape was plenty enough... put.the.stamp.down.

I get really weird about my postage stamps too.  I'm usually one of those obnoxious people at the post office... holding up the line... asking to see all of the new stamp designs... looking for something that might coordinate with this year's January card envelope selection.  Yeah.  That did not happen this year.  Our list was so out of control that I decided it was best to just ask for a roll (or 2) of stamps, rather than a billion little books of stamps.  God bless the USA, right?

It's a big endeavor every year, but one I'm happy to tackle in January... and not December.  And to me, that once-a-year communication with friends and family both near and far is totally worth it.  And of course, I can always count on Little Cat to help out with the envelopes.

You can see 2012's January cards here... and 2011's January cards here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) Island living.  I know I haven't really kept up with my blogging the past week... the above picture is to blame.  I've been too busy sitting by the pool... chatting with my girlfriends... listening to the ocean... catching up on some reading... doing some snorkeling... you know, the usual.  Lance and I were lucky enough to jet off for an impromptu island visit to St. Thomas to visit some very dear friends.  It was such an amazing trip, for so many reasons.

2) Sail boats & snorkeling.  This past week I went sailing and snorkeling... both for the very first time!  Hopefully not my last... It was so amazing!  The water was ridiculously clear and blue and we saw all kinds of fish and coral.  It was such a neat experience!

3) Amazing friends.  And this was definitely the highlight of our trip!  I loved being able to catch up with these girls.  The best part was that it felt like no time had passed since the 3 of us were last together... and that is what I love about true friends.

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

Also linking up with:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) Getting our January cards in the mail.  Woop!  Woop!  Every year my "January cards" get closer and closer to turning into "February cards" ...and this year was no exception.  Which, now that I think about it, this is pretty much why we started doing January cards to begin with... because we couldn't seem to get our act together for Christmas cards.  But never-the-less...

2) My new Project Life kit.  Last year I started using Becky Higgins' Project Life system as an attempt to preserve my memories... and while I may be just a tad behind (try April) on last year's album... I am still feeling confident enough to try again for 2013.  This year I went with the Seafoam edition designed by the very talented Elise Blaha Cripe... and I can't wait to start playing with all of this pretty paper!!

3) Friend's birthdays.  Especially when they turn the same age as me and I'm no longer the lone-31 year old in my friend group:)  This past weekend, we celebrated my dear friend Amanda's birthday, with a fun girl's-night-out dinner... a tiara and necessary birthday sash... and some mad Mexican train dominos.  That's how we do it.

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

Also linking up with:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

work week wardrobe :: january edition

I know what you're thinking... clean hair... real clothes... manicured nails... make-up... "she must be working in Atlanta..."  Yep.  You're right.  Here's my work week wardrobe... January edition:

{Sunday... travel-day}
top: BCBG
pants: Paige Denim 
boots: Apepazza
necklace: Charming Charlie's

top: Cotton Emporium
pants: 17/21 Denim (in black)
ring: James Avery

dress: Merona (Target)
tights: Forever 21
ring: Banana Republic

top: h.i.p.
blazer: Forever 21
pants: 17/21 Denim (in black)
necklace: Pyrrha 

top: Gap
skirt: Michael Kors

top: Gap
pants: Joe Jeans
boots: Apepazza
necklace: Charming Charlie's

Thoughts from last week's outfits... 1) I have a thing for animal prints lately.  2) Why don't I wear dresses more often?  So easy.  3) Confession: I hate tights.  I actually ended up not wearing them on Thursday... but to be fair, it was 70 degrees in Atlanta that day.  

So... there you have it.  Another successful work week at the office... in real clothes.

 Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

change of plans {part II} :: adoption country

Last week I wrote about the change in plans regarding our house...  Well... that was just part I of our major life changes.  I'm calling this post "part II" of our major life changes...  

After being in the adoption process for about 4 months now, we have decided to change adoption countries.  Originally we were pursuing Haiti... and we were pretty excited about it.  Well, the Haiti government has a law that at least one of the adopting parents must be 35 years old... Only problem?  I am 31 and Lance is 33.... yeah, not 35.

Lance and I knew about this law when we started our adoption process, but we had heard that one of two things would likely happen...  1) Haiti would change their laws so that a parent would need to be at least 30 years of age... or 2) there was a loophole around this law if you could prove infertility.  But after 4 months or so, we really weren't seeing progress on either one of those things.  We discussed this with our agency and decided it would be best to change adoption countries.    

Our adoption agency has recommended that we consider either Uganda or the Congo as our new adoption country.  We have been told that either one of these countries will likely have a faster process than Haiti and the financial cost will be about the same.  

Although we were excited about Haiti, I can honestly say that we haven't been attached to any particular country during this process.  I am very thankful for that.  We are ecstatic to meet the future children that God will entrust to us... regardless of what country they are born in.  We trust that the Lord already has our future family knit together... we are simply just waiting to see it unfold.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Happy Friday people.  This girl is so over hotel living... and so ready to get home...

It's almost weekend time... and I, for one, am pretty pumped.  Big plans this weekend... sleep, haircut, nap, photo session, date night with my hubby, sleep some more, photo editing, take another nap, and a much-needed girl's night.  Cannot.wait. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) Tomato juice.  Specifically on airplanes.  I'm not sure why exactly... but I almost always drink tomato juice when I'm flying.  Something about having it on a fold-down tray with pretzels.  I'm classy like that.

2) Sparkly earrings.  I've been on a sparkly earring kick lately.  I got this fun pair for Christmas, then I bought the sparkly earrings from my wishlist the other day... they were on clearance at Target.  I love that I can be in jeans and a t-shirt... add some sparkly earrings... and all of a sudden I'm fancy:)

3) Dates with old friends... and their adorable babies. On Sunday night, my dear, dear friend (and old volleyball teammate) Rachel, and her adorable daughter Lilly met up with me for dinner.  It was so great to see her... and little Lilly is too stinkin' cute!!

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

Also linking up with:

change of plans :: the house

Back in October I did an entire month of posts dedicated to my thoughts on "change."  And I guess some crazy, small part of me thought maybe I could lock up "change" and keep it solely in the month of October.  But if I learned anything from that month of change, it's that change waits for no one.

So, really... I shouldn't have been that surprised when all of our so-called plans got all crazy and... well, changed on us.  It's as if someone put all of our "plans" in a massive shoe box and just shook them all up... shook the crap out of that shoe box.

First up... the house.

Remember that house?  And maybe this post?  Well, several months ago (like 6) Lance and I put an offer on the above house.  Then we waited.  Then a counter offer.  Then we waited some more.  Then another counter offer.  And just when we thought we were getting oh-so-close... the renovation portion of the loan fell through.  And just like that, we were at square one again... 4 months later.

We were trying to get a 203k loan, in hopes of being able to do some major (and much-needed) renovations when we moved in.  But once the renovation part wasn't an affordable possibility, we needed to really evaluate how (and if) we should still move forward.

After many discussions with our realtor and lots of praying, we eventually decided to put the brakes on the house altogether.  Initially we were really bummed about not getting the house, but after our decision was made, the burden that was lifted off our shoulders was huge.  I don't think either one of us really realized how much this whole-house-decision was stressing us out.  This house (and potential move) was having a major impact on several other big areas of our life... mainly adoption.

Not knowing with 100% certainty where we were going to live in the next few months put a major standstill on our adoption process.  We couldn't move forward with our homestudy process until we knew for sure where we would be living.  A delay in our housing situation, meant a longer delay in our adoption process.  Ummmm... no thank you.

So... I'm happy to report that we have gotten comfortable and settled in our current rental for at least another year or so.  Or... at least until we can bring our babies home one day:)  We love our rental... have always loved our rental... And maybe eventually we will enjoy the luxuries of two bathrooms and a dishwasher again... one day, maybe.  But in the meantime, we are excited to start our family in this little home.

settle down, it'll all be clear
don't pay no mind to the demons
they fill you with fear
trouble, it might drag you down
if you get lost, you can always be found
just know you're not alone
i'm gonna make this place your home

phil phillips - home

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

embracing january {monthly goals}

Instead of my typical New Year's resolutions, this year I've decided to do monthly goals.  Something I can measure and reach toward each and every month in 2013.  Here are my goals for January...  

Catching up // on my photo editing.
I'm hoping to have all of my current photo sessions updated and edited by the end of January.  I have a few small sessions at the end of the month, and before I know it, the busy engagement and wedding season will be upon us... and I would love to be ahead of the game before all of that craziness starts:)

Creating more // time to read.
Because I have a lot of travel scheduled this month, this is a very attainable goal.  Statistically speaking, I read twice as much if I am on a plane, than anywhere else.  It's true.  My hope is to finish a complete book this month (for anyone that truly knows me understands that this is a major feat) and start a new one.

Cleaning out // my closet.
My sister started me out strong on this one when she visited in December... now, I just need to finish.  The biggest goal here is to do some serious purging.  This is not a resolution to "organize my closet" but rather to

Caring for // my soul.
My initial thought was to put "caring for my body" here... you know, the likely January goal... and while yes- eating healthier and exercising more are always on the forefront of my mind this time of year... I know the depths of my soul need an even greater care right now.  My heart is yearning for the restoration that only the Lord can provide.  I have been really excited to start a new devotional that I received as a Christmas gift, and am looking forward to letting His word restore my soul... not only in January... but this entire year.

What about you?  Did you do resolutions this year?  Monthly goals?  I'd love to hear...

Monday, January 7, 2013

a very habersham christmas...

Last week I posted about our very Houston Christmas with my family... and right after that, we hopped in the car and headed straight to Georgia for a very Habersham Christmas with Lance's family.  Only problem is... from my pictures it looks like the only people in Lance's family are me and my adorable twin nieces... oops.  Guess that's what happens when your nieces are 4 years old and too-cute-for-words...  We had a blast in Georgia and were as busy as you can be with two 4 year olds and a husband with a stomach virus (or food poisoning... the jury's still out).  Regardless, here is what we did on our very Habersham Christmas...

...we started our roadtrip with a very important lunch stop...

...we opened Christmas presents immediately after we walked in the door...

 ...we got all tech-ie with Uncle Lance and our new Leap Pads...

 ...we made jewelry...

...we took some self-portraits...

...we (as in Lance) got a nasty stomach bug (or food poisoning)...

 ...we played with some vintage Barbie dolls...

...and all their vintage Barbie clothes... 
(I want that striped dress with the red flowers for myself:) 

...we did our nails... 

...we did our nails... with lots and lots of stickers...

...we had a tea party...

 ...we did breakfast at Stoney's (a Habersham staple)...

I swear there were other adults there... but none as cute as my nieces;)  So there you have it... a very Habersham Christmas.