summer bucket list

 Being a lover of lists, it only makes sense to welcome summer with a bucket list.
(Yes, it's still Spring, but I'm boycotting this season for making me so sick.)

Can't wait to get this summer started and start checking things off!

What's on your summer to-do list?


mini messages

Dear Spring in Tennessee,
When I said I loved you, I lied. That was pre-allergy attack. Now, as I've been sneezing enough to break my back, I kind of hate you. The flowers and warmer weather are nice, but you're dead to me.

Dear Father,
I'm so, so, so excited for your visit next week! We are long overdue for a daddy-daughter date!

Dear Mother, 
Please don't get too jealous while Dad gets to spend a week with your favorite child. We will miss you so big, I know it! I promise, all we'll talk about is how much we love you and how beautiful you are and how miserable the visit is without you.

Dear Vicks Sinex Nasal Decongestant,
Um, you're awesome.

Dear Husband,
Thanks for willingly moving to the couch during this sickness. And for buying me the special kleenex that doesn't hurt my nose.

Dear Storm,
I love rain, thunder, and lightening. But, I hate damages. Let's make a deal. You bring all the storm like qualities, without the storm consequences. Deal? Deal.



reading// the book of James. Preparing for our newest "Axios" study. Man, this book is in your face. I love it.

eating// a strict, lean meat-veggies-and fruit diet. (With a few reasonably proportioned cheat meals.)

watching// the endless DVR'd shows. New Girl, Mindy Project, Once, Giuliana and Bill, etc.

listening to// Us, Jillian Edwards, The Inlaws, Johnnyswim, and The Honey Trees.

cooking// barbecue pulled pork for a dinner party tonight (see, cheat meal.)

thinking// Husband needs to wake up so we can go ride bikes (and by bikes, I mean our tandem.)

wearing// my staple uniform of leggings, an oversized sweater and hair in a top knot.

waiting// for the next step (metaphorically speaking.)

hoping// to be back in the classroom next year.

wishing// my nose would stop. running. Also, that this itchy throat and watery eye thing is just my body playing a joke on me, because I refuse to be sick again.


joy filled friday

1 Easter Sundays with family 2 whoever invented the DVR 3 the "h a p p i e s" board on my pinterest 
4 cursive handwriting 5 boyfriend fit jeans 6 floor to ceiling built-ins 7 handmade dolls 8 slouchy sweaters 9 ukeleles 10 the fact that overalls are coming back in style

Happy weekend, y'all!


DIY: hand painted mug

Step 1: Grab a ceramic mug. This particular one was left at my house after a visit from some friends (thanks, guys!) But, you can get some from any dollar store/Wal-Mart/Grandma's cabinet.

Step 2: A lot of websites claim Sharpies will do the trick. I've used both and ceramic paint pens have lasted through many dish washings. Sharpies can scratch easily and eventually wash off completely. I bought this pen at Wal-Mart for $3 and some change. (They have different color choices, but during the heating process, the colors fade slightly.)

Step 3: Draw/write your little heart out! I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest. It perfectly blends the nerd/gangster in me. If you're nervous about your artistic skills, don't worry! Mess ups can be washed off with a sponge (before baking.) I personally, love the imperfect handwriting/pictures. Learn to love your art!

Step 4: Place the mug in the center of your oven before heating it up. Because it's ceramic, you have to be careful switching from cold to hot too quickly. Unless you want cracked ceramic, (that's a whole other DIY.)

Step 5: Set the oven to 425 degrees (with the mug already inside.) Once it heats up, set the timer for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Leave in oven to cool completely (I usually crack the oven door open.) Run through the dish washer once and you're all set!

Tips: Practice writing on paper before you write on the mug.
For best results, use a ceramic paint pen.
Be careful with the paint pens, they can squirt out too much paint if you press down too hard.
Mug will be hot, hot, hot. Use an oven mit. (Duh, Lauren.)


joy filled friday

1 after work snuggle time (give me a down comforter, my nook, and 2 puppies...perfect)  
2 "Wicked" (saw it this week..amazing!) 3 playing Scrabble with Husband (even though he makes up words and I usually quit before finishing the game) 4 spring time in Tennessee 5 HGTV (all day, every day
6 any and all fairs/festivals 7 curled hair (when I actually do it) 8 milkshakes (Husband makes the best) 
9 pillow talks 10 clorox wipes (I seriously wipe down everything with those things.)

Happy Friday!


dreams vs reality

Often, my days are spent dreaming.
I'm not working my "dream job."
So, I dream about the day I'm offered one.
We're not living in "our" home.
So, I dream about the day we own one.
I don't have a family.
So, I dream about the day that will happen.
Dreaming can be fun.
It can be innocent and fill you with hope.
But it can turn quickly and fill you with discontent.
Reality comes in and ruins the wonder filled dream land.
No longer do you just dream, you desire, you envy.
Living in dreams doesn't mean you have to be out of touch with reality.
Living in reality doesn't mean you have to be negative and hopeless.
I believe there's a healthy marriage between the two.
An equal amount of room for both, in one mind.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity;  she can laugh at the days to come."
Proverbs 31:25

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans."
Proverbs 16: 3

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
Romans 12:12

"We have this hope as anchor for the soul, firm and secure."
Hebrews 6:19

mini messages (collision student ministries edition)

Dear Collision,
Thank you for making my life as "youth mom" so crazy enjoyable.

Dear Ohio,
You were the perfect place to start "Project Impact" and I'm so thankful for God putting our churches together. Also, I love all your geese.

Dear Girls (Axios and beyond,)
We've come a long way in the past year, and I'm grateful for the genuine hearts that I see every week. You make my heart smile BIG. Always remember, we're a team...not enemies!

Dear Easter eggs,
I never want to see you again. Also, why can't you be easy to stuff? (But thanks for giving us a reason to sit and talk with each other for hours...and hours...)

Dear Boys,
Every single one of you reminds me of my brother and his friends and I love it. I believe there's no such thing as too many brothers. Ya'll take care of our girls as your sister in Christ and continue to step into the leadership role God has for you.

Dear Youth Pastor,
You're hott and I love you. (We're married, I'm allowed to say that.) You're also built for this "job." You challenge and love with your entire heart. I'm so proud of you.