dat RING

Monday, April 6, 2015


{photo credit: me}

i'm engaged!! it's awesome and crazy and unreal (in the best way) and happy and sappy and exciting. and about a million other things. it's been almost a month since dan asked me to marry him. we were hiking in the north carolinas mountains and took a rest on a fallen tree. he told me it was time for a snack, and i got really excited because me and snacks be real tight. i saw him grab something out of his bag and then he climbed up next to me and there we sat side by side. he looked at me and said some really beautiful, wonderful things that i can't recall for the life of me, (that thing they say about everything being a blur during moments like this is true) and then the words "will you marry me?" landed on my ears. "yes yes yessssss."

dan is my encourager, supporter, spiritual leader, partner, adventure buddy, and best friend. he listens to me, is patient with me, and make me laugh. he knows i like to be silly and acts goofy with me on the reg. he loves the Lord and encourages me in my walk with Jesus.

when dan and i first started dating i told him i had a a "four seasons rule". basically, i wanted to date for a minimum of one year before taking any further steps. i would recommend that rule to anyone (although i know a lot of people who have dated for a lot less time who have wonderful, thriving marriages). to be honest, i had a lot of fears about marriage that i had been harboring for a long time. fears that started small and grew into big walls. fears that sat dormant because there was no pressing reason to have to work through them. dan became that reason. in him, i saw potential that i had never seen in anyone else. dan was encouraging when i told him i wanted to see a counselor about my fears. he supported my decision to work through the insecurities i had about marriage. we read through books together, shared many conversations and prayers, and talked through these issues with trusted friends and family.

it has been an incredible thing (to say the least) to see how the Lord has worked in my heart and mind about what marriage is and what it isn't. i think our culture has this mostly backwards. marriage is not simply the pinnacle of a romantic relationship. it is not for our personal happiness and fulfillment. it is not our end all be all. it does not fade into a fuzzy happily ever after, after the words "i do". marriage is to make us holy. marriage is to inspire us to love our spouse like Christ has loved us. marriage helps us take our eyes off our own self-centered mindset and rework our brains to think of someone else.

when you look at marriage that way, it changes everything i think! for me, the pressure lifted and i am excited as i think about my future with dan. i think we make a good team. and a cute one, too!

we are slowly but surely starting to plan for our october wedding. yes, this october. (everyone seems shocked that we are only giving ourselves 6 months?) some of it stresses me out, some of it excites me. i think i will be more than ready for the big day come october. let's get this party started already!

any of you married peeps have any wedding planning advice for this newb? what to do/what not to do? do share!

few things are needed

Monday, February 16, 2015

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i've been thinking a lot lately about the story in the Bible about mary and martha. (luke 10: 38-42) the story goes that the sisters opened up their home to Jesus as he was traveling. one sister, mary, sat at the feet of Jesus and simply basked in his presence. as he talked and shared, she listened with rapt attention.

the other sister, martha, is what i picture as a chicken with her head cut off. the passage tells us she was "distracted by all the preparations that had to be made." she ran here and there making sure everything was in its place. i can't say i blame her. if i were in her shoes, i think i'd be just a frantic to make sure everything was prepared, clean, organized.

the passage continues with martha finally coming to a point of exasperation. she complains to Jesus that her sister has done nothing to help her and that she has been the one pulling everything together while mary simply sits in his presence. Jesus calls to her by name, "martha, martha". he tells her that she is worried and upset about many things but only one thing really matters. he points out that what her sister is doing-resting in His presence-is far more important than the to-do's that she is consumed with.

this passage became very real to me a few weeks ago as i related exactly to martha. i had been in this frustrated rut at work trying to figure out the balance between people vs. my tasks. it seemed that i couldn't get a single thing done without getting interrupted by someone or something. i was short with co-workers, i was hurried with patients, i was agitated with myself. i kept trying to give it over to the Lord but not even an hour into my workdays, i found myself back in my black hole.

one day, in the midst of the phone ringing and patients checking in and out, i noticed that a co-worker was standing at the front desk having a conversation with a friend. immediately i was annoyed. here i was running around trying to get everything done and my co-worker was more focused on an unnecessary conversation. i rushed by her in irritation hoping she might take notice of my exasperation and rush to my aide. she continued talking.

later that same day i was driving home from work, going over the events from the day. in what i have been referring to as my "epiphany moment" the story of mary and martha entered my mind. it doesn't happen very often that i relate so closely and completely to a passage of Scripture, but in this moment, that's exactly what happened. i was martha. it was scary obvious. my attitude, my actions, my exasperation were all exactly the same as hers.

my frustrations over the previous weeks had been stemming from my ill-aligned priorities. i was placing projects over people. i was focusing on the task and excusing the people in front of me with the wave of a hand. "can't you see i'm busy here?" "don't you see that i have a million things to do and being present with you is not one of them?" i cringe as i think about my actions. here i am trying to live as a witness in my workplace, and i am not accepting the opportunities for conversation and relationship when they so frequently present themselves.

since the Lord so clearly brought this to my attention, He has been helping me on a daily basis to place people at the top of my to-do list. some days it is still a struggle. some days i have a pile of papers on my desk that i just want to whittle down. but i remind myself of the two sisters and i know which one i want to be.

thank you to my co-workers who have put up with me when i've been at my worst. and thank you especially to my dear co-worker who took time to have a conversation with a friend during a busy moment.




internet gems. part nine.

Monday, February 9, 2015

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it's monday, and we all know what that means. we all need a good old fashioned pick me up. how about some fun links to distract you from your monday blues? onward!

square hold and circular shapes. (you can thank my mom for this one.)

DIY concrete hexagon coasters

this girl's tumblr. just go.

this one you will have to do a little work on: go to pinterest or google. type in "bacon egg cups". find the recipe with the best looking picture. make these for breakfast. (i am going on week two with these guys. so easy and so good.)

babies eating ice cream.

customizable key tags. some of these are pretty awesome.

spoken in the shop, volume 20

paper arrows to make and use on valentine's day. anyone can play cupid.

i recently bought this pair of grey slip on shoes, and i love them so much. then i saw this post and it just confirmed the whole thing for me, ya know?

all of the prints in this etsy shop. i also follow this girl on instagram, and she and her family are pretty darn cute. insta: @love_sarahjoy

what have you guys been finding across the web these days? i feel like i am out of the loop so please fill me in if there has been some huge viral video going around. i need to know these things.

is your monday better now? maybe a little?

music for your monday

Monday, February 2, 2015

{photo credit}

i've been listening to some great new music this past week, and i want to share my discoveries with you all. only one of the artists is really brand new to me, but the other artists just released new albums which is always a treat.  yay music! 

medicine: drew holcomb and the neighbors

i don't remember when i was first introduced to this group, but it was love at first listen. they have what people refer to as an "americana" sound (whatever that means). sort of country minus the whiney twang plus folksy guitar rhythms? who really knows. but man they are so good! i have seen them in concert twice, and each time i smiled and danced the whole way through. this album is not my all-time favorite, but it's still a great collection of songs. drew's voice is deep and scratchy and soft and loud in all the right places. 

then came the morning : the lone bellow

my boyfriend really likes this group, especially the lead singer, zach williams', solo album. we saw them a few months ago at the hall river ballroom, and they put on a pretty fun and upbeat show. they had the crowd dancing and singing along. i downloaded then came the morning over the weekend to give to dan, and now i have a copy for myself. (love when presents for other people turn into presents for yourself...) they played a few of their new songs at their live concert but most of the songs are totally new to me. excited to listen to the album in full.

the art of celebration : rend collective

it still boggles my mind that my mom was the one who introduced me to this band. when she first told me about them i didn't rush to youtube to check them out. i think i had to read about them on another blog before i actually looked them up. it's not that my mom doesn't have good taste (she does), it's just that i didn't want my mom to be more hip than me. how can my mom know about a band before i do?! but, alas, she proved her coolness by introducing me to this group of christian irish hipster musicians and their amazing sound. we just went to their concert this past friday, and it was such a wonderful experience. basically, it was a night of worship where the whole crowd stood and sang along with the band. their song "art of celebration" is one that i am really liking. 

james bay 

dan and i have this running joke that he can never find an artist or a band that i have not heard of. he always tries to find some new music for me and i respond "oh them? yeah, they're pretty good. where have you been?!" it's pretty cute, but i am happy to report he succeeded this weekend! james bay is an english musician, and i can't stop listening to two particular tracks from his upcoming album chaos and the calm. they are "let it go" and "hold back the river". you must go and listen to them! i've been listening to them so much that i haven't even checked out any of his other albums. 

do you guys have any new music that you've been enjoying lately? i'd love to know! i have been going through emma's january playlist song by song, and i am liking what she has listed. go check it out if you have a few minutes! happy monday, y'all. 

while i was gone

Monday, January 26, 2015

{photo credit: dr. ellis}

a few things have happened while i was on blog break.

i participated in a holiday market with my friend emily, and it was the best market i have done thus far! tons of traffic and lots of other awesome vendors. looking forward to doing a bunch of new craft markets this new year!

{photo credit: me}

watched a few packers games. i am a newly converted packers fan thanks to my handsome beau. he explains all the things to me.

{photo credit: me}

decorated a teeny tiny christmas tree with my roommate.

{photo credit: me}

spent a weekend in charlotte with my best girls. we always have fun.

{photo credit: kelsey}

spent new years evening with this guy. we went out for early dinner and drinks with my family which was super fun. then we watched the clock strike midnight on our phones and said yay and called it a night. we are not big news years people.

{photo credit: picture this photography}

my brother got married to sweet hannah. sister-in-law gained.

lots of happenings! 2015 is off to an exciting and busy start. the week of my brother's wedding was especially busy with get togethers with the family, decorating the venue, the rehearsal dinner, and last minute wedding day errands. by 7:30 the night of the wedding, i was completely exhausted.

with that said, i think i want this year to be somewhat focused on simplicity/minimizing. i mainly think of these words in relation to my belongings, but i want these words to bleed into my personal life as well. i do like having activities throughout the week, but i find that i have a more clear mind when i don't have something going on every single night.

i would like to be more aware of creating a balance between planned activities and nights of rest. and when i do have nights with no plans, i would really like to be better at time managing my hours of freedom! (is anyone else really bad at that?) and when i do have planned activities, to make the most of them. community is so very important, and i am guilty of getting so wrapped up in my little world that i can lose touch with friends on a weekly basis.

does anyone else have a main focus for this year? do you guys set resolutions or focus on one main theme? i find that focusing on a particular word really helps me accomplish my goals. it just seems to allow room for trial and error (and success).

ok. enough rambling. off i go to do some reading. (another one of my goals this year: read more!) i am currently reading building a home with my husband by rachel simons. it's about her and her husband's home renovation but also about life and relationships and memories. it's my january book, and i am more than halfway through. i better pick up the pace if i want to finish it before next week!

happy monday, loves.



january mix

Monday, January 19, 2015

{photo credit: me}

better late than never, yeah? MUSIC.

january mix

10,000 emerald pools : borns

mikky ekko : pull me down

winter : holly conlan

kasper : sea wolf

comrade : volcano choir

to just grow away : the tallest man on earth

in your arms : chef'special

pompeii : bear's den

shuffle : bombay bicycle club

ways to go : grouplove



sugar

Wednesday, January 14, 2015



this video is super fun and cute. i just found it yesterday, and i love watching it! i got an itunes gift card for christmas, and i think i might know what my next song purchase is...

any good songs you're jamming out to lately? i need some new recommendations. i'm heading over to noisetrade to check out their newest free music. if you haven't been to that site, you MUST. it's the best thing on the internet. besides buzzfeed and this blog that is. but mostly buzzfeed because you realize at this point that i can't be trusted to post consistently.

happy hump day, y'all!
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