Sunday, April 27, 2014



Today's song is my absolute favorite one off the new album. If you didn't listen to it, you totally should. Seriously. It is sooooo good! I'm looking forward to seeing them again when they come to town in the fall. It's still many months away, but my ticket has already been purchased! :)

I haven't really mentioned anything that has occurred over the past couple of weeks, so I'll catch you up a little (in no particular order)...

...Don't make fun of me for posting this picture, but I had to share it with somebody other than Mallory (the girl who cuts my hair). I had my hair in a bun all of last Saturday afternoon while I was working in the yard. When I took the bun out, my hair actually looked pretty good. It would never do this if I tried!

...I went to a freezer meal party & prepared 10 meals that will really come in handy on busy nights:

...On the anniversary of the day that Bailey went to be with Jesus, there was a balloon release at the natatorium.

...We had some beautiful church services during Holy Week! We had communion in remembrance of our Savior, we examined all that Jesus said when He was on the cross, and of course we celebrated His resurrection!

...Dad & Chris met us for the last service on Easter Sunday, and they took us out to lunch!

...I had coffee with my baby brother one day :)

...My birthday girls & I celebrated Amy's birthday by going out to dinner & enjoying dessert at Kyla's house!

...We had dinner at my friend Kim's house & played Apples to Apples with her family & some of their new neighbors! Y'all may have seen the cards I won {that are supposed to describe me?!}

...I did a little scrapbooking at Felicity's {for the first time in way too long!}

Today was our student ministry's dessert auction!! {I've told y'all about it a time or two, which you may remember!} A lot of work goes into preparation for it, but it's worth every moment! Elly & I made our usual Party Balls. But rather than making our usual Dr Pepper Cake, we decided to mix it up a little this year by making the cake into cupcakes instead:

We packaged two dozen of them like this:

My favorite part of the day was when Aaron auctioned off Marcie's Obi-Wan Lemon Squares that are named after Scott (who is affectionately called Obi-Wan by many of our church members). Scott had dropped by the office the other day and asked for a helper to ensure that he won the lemon squares. He was going to be out of town, so he left me with a check and asked me to do his bidding. I couldn't simply bid for him, so I made a little way to bid as him!

{In case you wondered...we won!}

That's all I can think of for now! I hope y'all have a super great week! ♥


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)"

(by MFSB) 

TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) by MFSB on Grooveshark

Today's song was #1 in Billboard's Top 100 when my brother was born. I tried (but failed) to find an appropriate song about turning 40 because...

My brother is 40 years old today!!!

Y'all have seen the following pictures before, but I made this little #TransformationTuesday collage for IG & thought I'd post it here, too!

I have been so blessed to be Kerry's sister & friend for my entire life. He has always been on my side, and I am so grateful for that. When it was trendy to become "blood brothers" with our childhood friends, we pricked our fingers and held them together {as if we weren't already -- legitimately -- blood brother & sister!} He's the one friend I never pushed away during the years when I was afraid to let anyone get too close. I will always treasure the letters he wrote me during college and the military. And I'm so grateful for the many years of drill weekends when he would stay at my home one weekend each month. I'm so glad that we now live close enough to each other that our kids are able to grow up with their cousins.

I am so proud of the man that Kerry is. He has done well with his first 40 years, and I look forward to seeing what the next 40 hold. ♥


Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Buried in the Grave"

(by All Sons & Daughters) 

May your Easter be filled not only with candy and brightly colored eggs but with the love of the risen Savior, Jesus Christ. ♥


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


(by The Paper Kites) 

I finally had a chance to get out in the yard a little bit last week!! Though I know that our winter was nothing compared to some of yours (like Natalie's!), it was harsh for us. Everything is blooming later than usual, and some of my plants that generally stay alive through the winter had died back to nothing. A few of them didn't come back, so I had to fill in some gaps. I moved a few things around and planted some new things. I'll try to remember to take pictures once everything has filled in, but for now, here's a bit of the front yard:

And here's the back:

I added a bit of our leftover stone to this area. It's not perfect, but it'll help keep the mulch in the bed. I plan to do something similar with the stone on the other corner of the back yard, but this is all I had time for over the weekend.

What I'm most excited about is the plant in the corner:

It's a fairly new variety of esperanza called "Orange Mahogany", and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it does! Y'all may recall my excitement over my yellow esperanza that came back from the dead. It has done well for the past few years and is showing promise this year as well. I've been wanting this orangish one since I first heard of its existence before Christmas. I have planted it in the opposite corner from the yellow one, so I can see it when I look out my kitchen door/window. I'm sure I'll post pictures for y'all if she does well!

I also got this neat Bleeding Heart vine:

I've had a hard time growing vines here, but we'll see how this one does...

I haven't mulched the rest of the back yard, and most of my plants aren't blooming back there yet. My Knock Out Roses are about the only thing that's blooming right now:

See those sticks on the right side of the picture? They're from a shrub that I thought was dead. I hacked away at it and planned on digging it up. Then I started seeing leaves all over it! It's actually quite atrocious right now, but I plan on shaping it up a bit when I get a chance. Because I can't pretend that all is perfect, here's how it looks at the moment:

How's that for keeping things real around here?! :)

What's going on in your yard? Are you growing anything pretty right now? Any garden fails (like my horrible hack job)?


Monday, April 14, 2014



By the time most of you read this, NEEDTOBREATHE'S NEW ALBUM WILL BE OUT!!!!! You should go buy it. Right now.

Seriously. What are you waiting for?! ΓΌ

I'm a little late for my Weekend Wrap-up, but the only exciting things I did last week were go to a baby shower for a friend from church and a surprise birthday party for my neighbor (& I don't have pictures from either event). I had hoped to post a bit more about my India trip last week, but I'm waiting on a picture from Coco. Once I get it, I'll post about that. I also plan to tell y'all about a couple of trips I took in March {man, I'm so far behind on all of this!} And I hope to show y'all some pictures from my garden soon!

For now, look how cute my kids are:

They recreated this photo for National Sibling Day/Throwback Thursday, 'cuz they're cool like that.

I hope y'all have a super great week! ♥


Sunday, April 6, 2014

"The Broken Beautiful"

(by Ellie Holcomb) 

I had another nice week! :) For the most part, it was the same as usual. But there are a few things that stand out...

...a major MISspeak that's actually too embarrassing to post in my series!

...dinner with my Dad, P-Dub, Aunt Linda, my cousin Robin and her daughter Kalie {I don't think I ever told you that we're calling my new stepmom P-Dub! It's sort of a long story, but briefly... Lance helped us come up with it. He sometimes refers to me by my initials (AE), so I'll call him L-Dub because his initials are LW. At the Christmas Eve service, Dad had just gotten married. We were discussing the fact that his new wife couldn't go by GG anymore, because that stood for Grandpa's Girlfriend. Dad doesn't go by Grandpa anyways. He goes by Poppy. So P-Dub is short for PW, which is the abbreviation for Poppy's Wife!}

...the Women's Retreat with around 100 ladies from my church!!

Kristin and I rode up to the retreat together on Friday. We talked, listened to good music, and took this selfie (or whatever you call a picture you take of yourself with another person) in a small bluebonnet field on the way up:

We also had a great time on our way home! We ate dinner with Sheridan before heading home, and the three of us enjoyed a hilarious group text that began while Sheridan was in line for the restroom and ended with me nearly wetting my pants! Good times...! ;D

During free time at the retreat, Amy took pictures of several of us acting like kids on the playground! :)

Aside from the silliness, we also enjoyed some delicious food and delighted in God, His Word, and His people. My main "takeaways" from the retreat are as follows:

  • God did not create desires in me that He did not intend to fill.
  • If I go anywhere other than the Lord to satisfy those desires, then I will only come up emptier.
  • God pursued (& continues to pursue) me, even when I pursued (& sometimes continue to pursue) other things.
  • Out of His great love and compassion, God has orchestrated circumstances that left me broken and empty so that I would learn to delight in Him alone.

And all of that goes perfectly with today's song! There really is a beauty in brokenness. I have come to know God so much more intimately through brokenness than I ever would have if I had not been broken. And I am so grateful, because He is so worth it!

I hope y'all have a super great week! ♥


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"To the Ends of the Earth"

(by Hillsong UNITED)

To the Ends of the Earth by Hillsong United on Grooveshark

I'm really not trying to drag this out, but I just now had the chance to write Part Three of my India trip! I told y'all a bit about the multi-day trek there & my awesome teammates, so now it's time to tell y'all a bit about what we did while we were there...

We only thought we were in a remote part of India after the eight hour drive from the big city, but one day we drove an hour or so out then hiked a few hours up a mountain to an even more remote village! It floods during monsoon season. Yet this time of year, we had to hike quite a ways to even find enough water that you could bathe in.

We also...

...enjoyed beautiful weather & gorgeous scenery...

...saw some interesting wildlife...

...ate a lot of rice, dal, chapati, and chicken (&/or mutton) curry...

...encouraged (& were encouraged by) Indian believers...

...clothed widows...

...wore beautiful sarees...

Oh ya, and we hiked in this fashionable combination of kurtis and hiking boots:

(to be continued...)


Photo credit: basically all of the good pictures were taken by Nicole (&/or with her camera and expertise), and the others are from various team members' phones and cameras...