Easter Decor 2014

Hey Y'all! 
I don't know about you, but after last year's Easter falling early on March 31, I am definitely thankful for the later date of April 20 this year!
It just feel more like Spring to me. All of our leaves are completely bloomed and green and the azaleas and dogwoods are still blooming.
For my Easter decor this year I used pretty much whatever I had on hand, meaning I didn't make any special shopping trips to purchase anything new.
Our dining room tablescape:
The gold flatware and the pink tinted glass goblets were wedding shower gifts from my Nana 8 years ago.
My aunt monogrammed the napkins for me several years ago. 
I absolutely adore bows and so I simply cut ribbon and tied bows around each napkin to bring everything together.
I used the petite four dishes, a gift from my mama's cousin, to display a single small bird nest with one pink egg (nests and eggs from Hobby Lobby).
 This is the table setting in our breakfast room: it is a little less formal than the dining room setting.
 The white decorative flatware and gold chevron straws are from Party City.
The napkins were a gift from Busy Bee. 
The Ballard Designs Bee glasses were also a gift from my mama's cousin.
I got the aqua blue glass chargers at Ross 7 years ago for around $4 each.
All of our white plates are the Pottery Barn Great White Collection.
Some of you asked about my curtains on IG, I sewed them myself...another post n that in the future!
 Just a little bunny rabbit here and there.
 Fresh hydrangeas on the foyer dresser.
 A few simple touches in the kitchen.
 Of course we have an Easter cross hanging on the front door because no  matter how cute all the little bunnies and carrots are, the Cross is what Easter is truly about.
Thank you for visiting and we hope you and your families have a very blessed Easter remembering the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made by suffering a brutal death on the cross so that you and I would be free from the bondage of sin.
This year marks my 20th anniversary as a born-again Christian and I am so thankful for the certainty of my future through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. 
To see last year's decor click here.
Also, do you have your Easter outfits all ready to go?!
Brandon and I will be donning our Lilly Pulitzer Nibbles print this year.
He is wearing his blue seersucker jacket with the Nibbles bow tie and I'm wearing the Lucine dress in Nibbles print. 
I love picking out holiday outfits and I can't wait to see what some of you choose to wear as well!


Closet Clean Out Sale

I spent my "iced-in" day cleaning out my closet, again. 
All dresses listed here
Tops, blouses and sweaters listed here
Paypal only. Thank you!


Answering a Higher Calling - The Pearl Event Triple Strand

This post has been a long time coming.
If I'm being completely honest with you, it has been sitting in my drafts for months patiently waiting for me to press the publish button.

I haven't necessarily been afraid, I suppose I have just felt like I was supposed to wait for the right time, for my prompting from the Lord.

2013 was a good year. It was busy and challenging personally, spiritually and in our practice.
Everything seemed to be hinged on a balancing act that I was struggling to perform.
I am very excited to welcome 2014 with it's new challenges, opportunities, and events. 
 I an also very excited to be back sharing in this space. I have missed it tremendously.

I know many of you were awaiting my post on The Pearl Event Triple Strand that took place in Nashville, TN back in May of 2013.
Honestly, speaking and sharing publicly for the first time was very difficult.
But, let me tell you that when God calls you to do something and you are obedient, the walls come crumbling down...in a good way. 
The prayers were felt and heard, my testimony was well-received, and I not only got to meet some ladies that I've been "internet" friends with for quite some time, but I got to embrace them and love on them.
To feel unconditional love after sharing something so personal is something I will never forget.
Each and every person in that room holds a dear place in my heart. 
When I thought I was going to fall after speaking, Sibi and everyone else in that room caught me with their love and prayers.
I am forever grateful. 
I am not ready and honestly, I don't know if I'll ever be, to fully share my story on the internet. 
I know so many of you have asked and I am truly humbled that you would like to hear it; however, I don't feel that this is the time or place yet. 
That being said, I am completely open to speaking engagements at churches, women's groups, women's centers, etc. 
The internet can be a dark place as we are all aware and I don't feel that sharing on the web would be beneficial to my family right now. 
I hope you can understand where I am coming from. 
I did create a short video with some highlights from the event that I am excited to share with you today!
I feel that this was the most effective way to give you a glimpse of just how special and wonderful The Pearl Event truly is.
The music is by Michaela McLaird, who led worship at The Pearl Event. 
I just fell in love with her voice and her music.
The song is called "Every Breath" and her short album called "The Morning Sun" is available on iTunes.
However, I am going to be giving away the album to one of you! 
To enter simply leave a comment below including your email address.
I was quite emotional as I shared and it is by the grace of God I was able to finish as I could hear others in the room sniffling and crying, too.
I could literally feel God's hands upon me as I spoke. 
After I spoke Sibi rushed up to embrace me at the podium and I was certain my tears would flood the room. She then called everyone up to pray over Brandon and me. That was one of the most special and sacred things that has happened to us in our marriage.
God was present and alive in that room that day. 
It was humbling, beautiful and it was real. 
Blown away.

To each of you who came to The Pearl Event, I want to thank you.
Thank you for sacrificing your time, resources, etc. to get to Nashville. 
If you weren't able to make it, I pray that the Lord would make a way for you to come in the future.
To Sibi, Rachel, Cha Cha, Nonny, Susie, Amy, and so many more of you...
I love each of you so dearly and I am blessed to call you friends and sisters in Christ.
You are prayer warriors, you walk by faith, you encourage, you are beautiful. 
Thank you for everything you are and everything you mean to me.
 I also want to thank my loving and supportive husband. 
There are no words to describe how grateful I am for this man. 
He believes in me, he supports me, he loves me unconditionally.
For him to make a way to take time off work when it seems it is impossible to travel with me and help me and take pictures and video tape me means more to me than he could ever imagine. 
I love him eternally.
 Sibi, you are a precious angel to me. 
Words cannot express my gratitude toward you and your encouragement and coaching.
I absolutely adore you and I believe in you and your ministry. 
Thank you for being such a blessing to me and so many others. I love you.

Sibi is the author of Pearl and Grace blog and is the founder of Pearls and Grace Ministries.
To read her post click here.
Rachel, "my twin," where have you been all my life?! The distance between us is unbearable.
I could not even imagine what it would be like to "do life" together...maybe someday. 
You are so beautiful and so inspiring and I am so thankful for you. I love you.

Cha Cha-you have one of the sweetest spirits I have ever known. You are so beautiful and so worthy and your daughters are blessed to have you as their mother. You are dedicated and gifted and I admire you in so many ways. I love you. 

Also, a huge thank you to the photographer, Coleen Verner. She captured the event beautifully!

To God be the Glory for orchestrating this event.
The most important thing was that the love of Christ wasn't only shared that day...it was felt. 
The Enemy certainly tried to destroy, but each of us were steadfast against the evildoer.
Thank you, God, for friendships, for your Word, for your love.
You are the best Father a daughter could ask for and I love you.
Whatever you ask of me, I will have a ready and willing heart.
2104 is going to be amazing.

Remember, YOU are HIS pearl.


Grateful and Humbled

...what I am by each and every single one of your encouraging comments.
Y'all are amazing. 
I sat and cried as I read each comment and felt so unworthy of the time that each of you took out of your busy lives to lift me up and confirm me. 
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
God will bless you for glorifying Him!

I promise I am going to get back into blogging again in full force really soon.
This holiday season is just wearing me out this year.
Our practice is insanely busy, which is a blessing.

The biggest monkey on our backs is that we started a mini-construction project in our home.
The project was supposed to be started and completed back in August, but the contractor/builders did not have their acts together. 
So, after several months of patiently waiting and being in limbo, we started from scratch in mid-November.
 The person who built this house had the fireplace in the great room sheetrocked in so that he could put his big screen tv back in the recessed space...
there is a chimney and everything!
Needless to say, this eyesore has been driving us crazy, so I am looking forward to making it a functional space.

While the workers are coming, the project is taking MUCH longer than planned...because they waste an incredible amount of time. 
Plus, I need to be at home while they are working to answer questions, etc.
I am stir crazy. I can't get anything accomplished.
They say they'll be here at 8:30am and they don't show up until 1pm. 
I'm seriously about to pull my hair out. 
This project was supposed to have been completed by last Friday.
They are nowhere near finished as of this evening.
I'm also scheduled to pick up my brother-in-law at the airport tomorrow as he is flying home for Christmas from Vancouver, BC. 
We had hoped for the project to be completed before his arrival as he probably won't be back for another year, but what can you do?

I know I sound terribly spoiled complaining, and I certainly don't mean to.
I am thankful to be getting the project addressed as we have been saving and budgeting for almost 2 years now.
This project is our Christmas present to each other.
Now that we are finally getting the fireplace installed, it will probably be another 2 years before we can afford furniture for the room. Ha!
Oh, well. I am just thankful to have a home.

Another big hiccup for me has been that I maxed out the storage space on our almost 7 year old laptop with pictures, as well as 2 external hard drives.
The poor little machine was like the little engine that could.
The computer started acting up back in June, and so I've been trying to take it easy on it ever since.
Brandon said we were due for a new computer, so we started saving early in the summer.
Last month we finally got our new computer and it works like a dream! 
I've been going through pictures and familiarizing myself with the updated software and such.
Technology is a wonderful thing, but it is scary how dependent we are on it. 

I also traveled to East Tennessee to share my testimony at a private event last week and I can't wait to share more about it, so I spent several weeks preparing for that during any spare time I had.
God is so great and it's incredible how He orchestrates certain relationships and friendships.

So, that's a really quick update...I promise I'll be back!
I hope y'all are having a very blessed and happy holiday season so far!
Love to you all!!


Breaking the Silence

 This quote moved me. 
Convicted me. 
Summoned me.
(By the way, I love Ernest Hemingway, don't you?)

You may, or may not, have noticed my absence in the writing world over the past several months.
I've posted a few times, but I haven't really "written" much. 
My hiatus wasn't planned, it just morphed into one as time passed.

Looking back, I can think of a few reasons, though the reasons really aren't too important.
I believe the primary reason is spiritual warfare.
Satan loves to whisper lies in our ears and destroy our confidence in our outreach/ministry.
It turns out that this space has been a huge ministry over the years, so it makes perfect sense that Satan would try to convince me that my writing is useless.
That no one cares. That no one reads. That sharing here is pointless.

While I love sleep dearly, I am a night person.
My creative energy comes alive and I usually get my most inspiring ideas after dark.
As such, I typically hear God speak the loudest and clearest to me in the night hour. 
Specifically, during the midnight hour. 
I have been awakened on a few occasions lately.
God has been prompting me to write again. Really write. 

So, when I stumbled across this Hemingway quote, "Write hard and clear about what hurts," I knew it was time to write again. 
I have journals and books of poetry that I wrote throughout my youth and teenage years.
Most of it was about hurt.
Some of it seems dumb and juvenile when I read it now, but I'm so thankful that I took the time to write what I felt.
I wasn't some numb corpse merely going through the motions of life, I was feeling every ounce of emotion that came my way and I wrote about it.
I wrote hard and clear.
I've always been an avid reader and lover of poetry, so perhaps that is an avenue I will reintroduce my right hand to.
There are always going to be people who perceive my life {and probably yours, too} as pretty close to perfect.
{And write snarky, mean-spirited comments telling me so; my advice: STOP READING.}
Don't we all have that tendency? To look at other people's lives through the screen of a computer, smart phone, or tablet and think, "Wow, they really have it together. Their home is gorgeous, their marriage is wonderful, their kids are fabulous, their wardrobe is perfect and the list goes on."
But it's not true. No one has it all together. No one has a perfect life.
My life is far from perfect. 

I am blessed to have what I have and to live the life I live, make no mistake about that.
But, friends, my life is involves hurt, too. Everyone's does.
I don't believe in leveraging hurt or pain, and I also don't want to constantly dwell on my hurt. 
Most people do not want to dwell on negativity, hence the always wonderful social media statuses and pictures.
But, there are times when it's okay to be transparent and share what we are really feeling and enduring...as long as we are trying to overcome and not wallow.
It's also okay to be genuinely happy for someone else and to share their joy even when we really just don't feel like it.

So, even if no one reads or cares, I think I'm back to write again.
Hard and clear. 
Not just about what hurts, but about what and whom heals.
Because the Healer has called me to use my words, to write, to speak truth.
I want to celebrate with words. 


Fall Home Tour 2013

Welcome to the 2013 Fall Decor tour of our home!
Last year's decor was such a hit in this space as well as on Pinterest. 
I think our mailbox image was repinned over 1,500 times that I am aware of. 
There are a lot of pictures, but we have done quite a bit of landscaping this year and what better way to track the changes and progress from year to year than with a gazillion pictures. 
You'll also notice we have quite a few dogs, too.
So, without further adieu, here is our home this fall: enjoy!
 Our General Beauregard was happy to pose for a few pictures.
Thank you for visiting!