Good and Perfect.

I'm finding it particularly easy to be thankful nowadays. I feel like the Lord is handing me my dreams, desires and even my self-indulgent wants on a silver platter and His goodness and promised blessing for life is undeniable. I have time galore to pursue music, creativity, reading, songwriting, even organizing and tidying up is a joy! Josh and I have been able to take elaborate vacations for a fraction of the typical cost through special circumstances. And in my pregnant state - unable to savor my beloved wine - food is taking on a whole new level of awesomeness.

It's times like these when normally my ridiculous human nature starts to kick in and I'm sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for some sneaky enemy to slink into the picture and rob me of my blessing. While I know this is entirely possible and there is in fact an enemy out there, i've decided this time I'm choosing a different path. I'm relishing in the blessing.

I'm treasuring the sweet moments that God is dropping into my lap prior to the craziness I know that a newborn will bring. I find myself more and more often sighing my prayers to God asking Him to stretch my heart and mind to be able to hold onto these moments so I can not only remember them for years and years to come but be able to truly appreciate, comprehend and soak in His infinite goodness in the moment of blessing

I know God is good apart from the circumstantial things of this life and I know a lot of people will think this mind frame is selfish, shallow, or needlessly extravagant, but right now, I'm choosing to praise instead of negativity. I'm choosing thanksgiving instead of grumbling. I'm choosing to celebrate the good life! Thanks God for good circumstances. Favor. Finances. Family. and above all - your abundant everlasting love. Shaba.

Giving thanks for:
My Hubby
Little Bébé
Good changing table/dresser finds for our nursery
Pretty hotels
Delicious food
Arrington Vineyards
Whole days spent at the pool
Painting with Water color
Songwriting inspiration
Musical ability
fairly cheap car repair
Sisters I'm friends with
Parents I cherish
In-laws I adore
Nieces and nephews galore
Plans for baby showers and trips with family in the fall
Long dinners catching up with friends
Cute vintage clothes
Chick-fil-a special promotions
My Etsy Store/a creative business outlet
DSLR cameras
Air conditioning
Learning French and dreams of a life
Elaborate displays of God's creation in sunrises and sunsets.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.



Hopefully not all of my posts will be baby related. In fact I'm kind of getting sick of them myself, but yesterday I spent way too much time playing on polyvore and exploring laybabylay.com for nursery inspiration.  (If you haven't been there - GO! It's amazing) 

Since we will be doing a gender neutral room we thought a Narnia theme would be perfect. Not just The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - cold winter Narnia, but all 7 books Narnia. I need to reread them for a bit more inspiration, but here is where I've landed to start. 

Kind of woodsy and natural but bright with brown and white as the base colors and green, yellow, and robins egg/turquoise as the accents. 

The Narnia map was the main inspiration for the room. It was a special garage sale find that Josh and I came across over a year ago. Bought it for $3 and found out later it's worth hundreds - Pretty exciting! It's much brighter in real life. The lake nearly matches the blue in the rug I chose. 

I have a question for other mamas though...

What do you recommend when it comes to a chair in the nursery? Did you find your glider/rocker super important or is it OK to have a normal non-rocking/gliding chair? I really like the green accent chair and think it would be practical for repurposing post-baby, but I don't want to regret it at 3 am 6 months from now when I have to stand and sway to get baby back to sleep. Advice?


The Names

When Josh and I got our fluffy puppy child 3 years ago it took us quite a bit of time to pick the name...and by us I mean me. Once we had a picture of our little pooch it was all I could to keep myself from scouring baby name websites every waking moment. I made lists like crazy. I'm pretty sure apple and peanut were on there right next to Chloe and Sophia. It was fairly absurd the sheer vastness and range of name types I had on my list. The prospect of naming something was sort of  fulfilling a childhood longing of mine....

You see, I have 3 sisters and I'm pretty sure none of us could ever agree on pet names no matter how many family meetings were held with the nameless animal in the center of the room. (Things got so bad at one point that we ended up calling our family cat - Kitty which then morphed into Ki Ki.) Most of the time my parents would default to one child...*Ahem*...emily! (Who i believe named tucker AND dolly)...or they would just name the animal themselves.

Anyways - Josh pretty much shot down every puppy name I came up with which was devastating but mostly motivating my search for the perfect name. A few days before we went to pick her up Josh and I were driving in the car and he said "what about willow?" 


I loved willow trees...the new pup had long willowy hair. it was a cute semi-uncommon name. Voila! Our dog was named willow...Willow Cotton to be exact. (Cotton came later once we discovered she liked to eat cotton balls...plus her chin kinda looks like a cotton ball)

So when we finally became pregnant it was sort of surprising that we settled on a boy and a girl name as quickly as we did. I know I had floated the names out there a while back, but never got a 100% yes or no response from Josh, so it was still up in the air. But once we joyfully celebrated the news of being pregnant and decided to wait to find out the sex of bébé these names just felt right. We are waiting on announce the middle names upon their arrival - mostly because they are pretty out there and hippie-like and we don't want ridicule or other opinions to sway our choice. 

Sooooo drum roll please! 

The names we've chosen for our coming little one are......

Meaning: Happy or Fortunate.

Meaning:  Season of Rejoicing. Jubilation. Joy.

There you have it. Our new little one - boy or girl - will carry the name of gladness and cheer.




The rains have finally soaked the earth after a long dry season where the land seemed to constantly cry out in thirst. The long awaited quenching that finally covered middle Tennessee over the last few days in the form of scattered thunder storms parallels my heart and it's need for refreshing to come.

I really haven't spend much time in blogger land sharing the ache that was in my heart while Josh and I tried for over a year to get pregnant. I was afraid to bear that part of my soul for with me, once it's on paper it becomes real, and once it becomes real I have to allow God to poke in the place that hurts the most. When in reality being transparent and allowing God to touch the wound is really where healing begins.

So I ran from sharing. I ran from allowing others to be a part of my story and pretended like month after month didn't carry worry and devastation. I pretended like it was no big deal...and we were "trusting God" when really deep down He felt further from me than the moon and I wasn't sure if the promises that in good times seem so easy to cling to and spat off to others were really ment for me in the dark.

We were in limbo waiting for the next chapter of our lives to begin and like many of you know, you can't force your way into God's timing. I needed God to speak. I needed Him to give me a vision. I needed him to help me dream. And dream we did. He brought me out of the darkness and truly gave me a peace about the season I was in. I was in the simplest way of saying it - transformed. My heart became glad and I found purpose and life again through Love.

It was in this peace that God answered. The dessert was all but forgotten as Josh and I parachuted into a new land, with new jobs, and no jobs, and dreams, and creativity...when God opened the heavens and let it rain. And the land that we voyaged to was green and lush and full of life! He brought us into wholeness as individuals and as a family and then put the cherry on top and said - Oh and remember that baby you wanted? Here you go!

We're pregnant! 13 weeks and 3 days to be exact! In counting back to conception (if that's not awkward for you) God opened my womb when I finally truly had peace and really did trust in His will being good and perfect. Thank you Jesus for answered prayers and a season of Joy that is beyond comprehension. We are waiting to find out Boy or Girl till the bébé arrives - but we have perfect names picked out. (I'll reveal those soon!)

So I'm moving forward more than quenched, but actually full to the brim at this point and ready to let the inflow that God has given me become an outflow to the Kingdom. Learning that vulnerability with myself, others, and God is good because when authenticity and an open transparent heart combine...He comes like the rain.

I encourage you all to not shell up  your story, but share it. Share it with close friends and family. Share it with God and allow yourself to process in whatever way possible. And when it makes sense share it with the world - you never know who's heart may be touched by bearing a genuine heart.


Travel Bugs

Life has been full to the brim lately. I'm carrying my glass carefully so as not to let a single drip of the sweet nectar fall to the ground.

Josh and I have been travel bugs.

We celebrated our 5th anniversary with a road trip to New York City with several pit stops on the way to and from. Nashville to Columbus to drop off Willow with my parents. Columbus to Bethel, CT to visit a dear friend Chelsea and an added bonus of Matt stopping through from Boston, as well. Filled with a home cooked meal, late night talks, quaint town life, a ruckus polo match, and many trips down memory lane.

On a train from Bethel to NYC where Josh and I did everything under the sun in 3 nights and 4 days and savored every last moment together. Shopping, espresso shops, the staten island ferry, brooklyn bridge, times square, Rockefeller center, the statue of liberty, New York style pizza, metro rides galore, a broadway show (yay bucket list check off!), the 9/11 memorial, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, classic NY style bagels and so much walking my feet and legs may or may not have fallen off.

Back to Bethel from NYC to get our car and then onward to Philadelphia for a whirlwind 3 hour visit with my cousin Kira eating a philly cheese steak, seeing old town, the liberty bell and discovering Rita's Italian ice (i'm salivating thinking about it...). Then pressing on into the wee hours of the morning back to Columbus to rest a day from our travels and soak up some Mom and Dad time and pick up our dog-child before heading back to Nashville.

Our actual anniversary isn't till July 6th, and I know with only one income right now the trip was a bit of a stretch. But I'm so thankful that I'm married to a man who values the vagabond heart as much as i do and knows that while travel isn't always convenient, cheap, or easy to make happen, it is always worth the memories that are made.

Here's to 50 more years, my love. And a much bigger glass and heart to hold what is to come.