Meet Me



Hey Y'all! I want to thank you for visiting me at Southern Soul Mates. We hope you feel right at home here and that you'll come back and visit soon!

I am a Georgia peach, and the wife of a Veterinarian.
I am from Dahlonega, which is a beautiful little mountain town in Northeast Georgia.
I lived in Athens for 4 wonderful years while I attended the University of Georgia.
I lived in Daisy, about 40 minutes west of Savannah for 2 years.
South Georgia is God's Country. I love it there.
I now live in Middle Georgia just outside of Macon where my husband and I purchased a veterinary practice in February of 2012.
We have 4 dogs (a pug, a yellow lab, a lab-German Shorthair Pointer, & a mutt) and 3 cats.
Yes, we are crazy and we live in a zoo.
I majored in Fashion at the University of Georgia.
All things coastal and Southern are my true loves.
I am a true creative personality type, so I dabble in a little bit of everything: cooking, gardening, designing, decorating, photographing, painting, writing, sewing and scheming more projects that may never reach completion.
You can only imagine the toll Pinterest has taken on me.
I don't know if it's making me or breaking me.
A little of both, I suppose.
 I am really just a simple Southern girl from the country, and it doesn't take a whole lot to make me happy.
At the end of the day, I relish in sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair
reflecting, seeking humility and giving thanks to God above.

To learn more about how and where I grew up, you can read about it here and here!
To hear me, you can watch this video from May 2012.

Here is a little bit of our story as a couple: After being in a few long, serious and immature relationships, I was finally single as I began my freshman year of college. I had publicly proclaimed on a number of occasions that I was so glad to finally be free to focus on my education and my life, and that I had no intentions of marrying before I was 30. God must have laughed because I met Brandon at the beginning of October. We saw each other at various social events over the next month before going out on our first date (which I did NOT know that it was a date at the time). By the beginning of December we had fallen hard and fast. We knew from the get go that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We were engaged the following June, and 13 months later we were married in a beautiful beach ceremony on July 8th with all of our closest family and friends. I was 20. He was 23. We were young.
Many people speculated and doubted we would have a lasting marriage. After all, I was still in college, and he would be starting his freshman year of Veterinary school a month after our wedding. No doubt that we had what appeared to be a long road ahead. But, God is so very good and He is always right. His timing is perfect. I stayed very involved in extra-curricular activities, was a full time nanny, and graduated with two degrees during the first three years of our marriage. Brandon was a true leader in his Vet school class serving as an officer in multiple clubs and boards, and excelled in his studies. We served on 3 Veterinary missions trips together, had a fantastic church family and small group, and made the very best friends anyone could ask for. We made the best of having very little money and enjoyed almost every second of it. Before we knew it, 4 years had come and gone and all we had were the memories and our diplomas from the University of Georgia for proof. We had defied the odds. When it came time for Brandon to search for a job, we prayed that God would open the doors that needed to be opened and close the ones that needed to be closed. We wanted to go where He would send us, be His hands and feet. In a rotten economy and in a poor market for mixed animal practitioners, Brandon had more job offers than anyone else in his class.  We had choices, yet we wanted to go where the Lord was calling us. We felt overwhelmingly blessed. 
After graduating, we moved away from everyone we knew to a beautiful farm in rural Southeast Georgia so that Brandon could practice mixed animal medicine. It was during that time that God really grew us as individuals and as a couple. We had no one but each other, and honestly it was wonderful that way. We both come from very large and close-knit families, so it was hard for everyone.  My degree was in Fashion Merchandising, so clearly there were no jobs for me. I suffered through my second miscarriage 6 months after our move. I felt lost, unproductive, and like a failure. There were some very dark days where we questioned our decision to move, but every time we did the Lord showed us that we were exactly where He wanted us to be. To pass the time, I went on farm calls and emergency calls with Brandon, and I will always treasure those memories of just the two of us riding down the flat and straight South Georgia roads in an old diesel truck. There was no rat race, no mall, no chain restaurant, not even a Walmart in our town. But there was such beauty in God's creation. God had stripped us from all  material distractions and provided a gorgeous canvas to paint our days onto. Our dates included watching the sunset over cotton fields from the bed of a truck, tending the farm, picking muscadines, and riding around listening to country music.  Just the two of us and our brood of animals.
After a year I finally got another job as a nanny for two precious families, so I kept 4 beautiful children. I became very dedicated to a women's Bible study of Beth Moore's Breaking Free. I joined a Zumba and a bootcamp class and worked out 5 days a week. I was finally feeling like I was contributing to society again. Though we had grown to love where we lived, we knew that we ultimately wanted to own our own veterinary practice and it wasn't looking like it was going happen where we were. We had been praying again, for the Lord to send us the right opportunity. Several opportunities came and went. Some were devastating when they didn't pan out. Right after Thanksgiving of 2011, we received a phone call from one of Brandon's former professors about a practice for sale that he said he thought was a perfect fit for us. The following week we visited the practice, and 3 days later we made an offer.
We also made on offer on a house on January 8, 2012 and we closed on February 8. We closed on the practice February 29, 2012. We moved from Southeast Georgia to Middle Georgia to a new small town where, once again, we knew no one. And just that quick our lives changed drastically once again. We knew that God had orchestrated every single detail as always. He makes no mistakes. Clearly, we have experienced a lot in our 6 1/2 years of marriage, and I'm so thankful that I started my blog 6 1/2 years ago to document our journey!
I say all of these things to each of you for several reasons.
-If you are single and still waiting for your Prince Charming, I want to encourage you.
Don't compare your journey to anyone else's. God knows exactly what and who you need and when you need it. I truly believe that when you meet the One God has chosen for you that you will know and it will be different than anything you've ever experienced. You will know what peace is and you won't remember how long it took to find it. Again, His timing is perfect. 

-If you are currently engaged or newly married, congratulations! 
Marriage is a journey, not a destination. You will both change over time, and you will have to learn how to adapt to one another over and over again. It's not always roses and butterflies. It's reality, it's having some arguments, it's shedding some tears, it's baring your soul and your core with one another-the good, the bad, and the very ugly. But, the important thing is to focus on the laughter, the joy, the building and the growing. It's important to learn how to apologize and learn to love one another according to your love languages despite your flaws. By the way, I highly recommend reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, if you haven't! For us, simplifying is what really gets us on the same page when the world around us is spinning like crazy. Our favorite dates are still those same simple ones we shared on a farm in Southeast Georgia. It can be so easy to get caught up in the rat race, schedules, and managing work and social life. You'll have to learn what is too much and how to say no to the rest of the world without feeling guilty. I don't believe that God wants us busying ourselves so much, even if we try to justify it by going to 3 or 4 different Bible studies a week. God wants us to spend time with Him, but He also wants us to nourish our marriages. After all, our marriages are symbolic to Christ's relationship with the church. He wants us to honor that.
Keeping God at the forefront of our marriage has no doubt been the key to our success thus far. Some other things that work for us are:
-We always sit down and eat supper together at the table every single night and have since we got married. There is no tv, no music, just us. We always pray before we eat and it's just a time that we can spend together without any distractions. If another meal works best for you and your spouse, then try to make that happen at least once a day whether is't  breakfast, lunch, or supper.
-We don't really have designated "chores." By that I mean, I can run the lawn mower and take out the trash and he can run the vacuum cleaner and mop and vice versa. We both contribute and help do everything depending on what needs to be done when and who has the availability to do it.
It eliminates a lot of arguments when both people are capable and willing to help.
-We love to do outdoor activities together, such as yard work, hiking, swimming, exercising and sightseeing. That's a great way to improve team work skills and improve our health together.
-We both love to cook, and the cooking works the same as the chores. Sometimes we prepare meals together, sometimes he does, sometimes I do. It just depends on our schedules.
-I try to maintain a very clean, orderly, and decluttered home. Owning a veterinary practice is hectic and busy and chaotic. Our home doesn't need to be any of those things, which means I don't decorate with loud colors, and I try to create a calm and soothing environment. It really does help our stress levels! However, if you and your spouse work in a cubicle, it may be best to have a home filled with vibrant colors!
-We have strong friendships with several other couples, as well as accountability partners.
I personally don't believe your spouse should be your accountability partner for everything. Ladies, you need a girlfriend for this, and guys need guys for this. I think Andy Stanley did a sermon and mentioned this several years ago. You also might consider having some mentors. Perhaps a couple that you admire that can guide you when you need it.
-We love to do missions work and community service together. It just really brings you back down to Earth and reminds you of all you have. It also solidifies how much we love serving others and want to give back. When you are focused on being servants, then it's hard to focus on the things that you are not happy about in your life, and maybe that changes your attitude a little. It's great to humble yourselves together.
-Try not too take life so seriously that you forget how to laugh and let the little things go.
Some of our most ridiculous arguments have been over silly things that I can't even remember. 
As time passes you become better at not sweating the small stuff, I promise. :)
-Even if a time comes that you are so upset about something and you think that your marriage can't be mended, IT CAN BE. It's not easy, but it's worth it. Try to remember what brought you together to begin with. At the end of the day, there is no one else that I would rather be sharing my life with than my husband. God can heal anything if we are willing to do the work required in His name. And when He does heal, it's the most beautiful thing you've ever experienced. 
-Being open to following the Lord's calling, whether it be moving to a new place, joining the missions field, or starting a new career, is the most rewarding and liberating thing you can imagine. It's not always easy to follow the Lord's calling, but you are content in ways you never dreamed about.

If you hung in there this long, thank you! I know I'm always looking for ways to improve my marriage, so I hope this has helped at least one of you. Time is fleeting and marriage is sacred. I pray that wherever you are in your relationship, that God would bless it and that it would flourish in an abundance of ways! Much love and many blessings!
"So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:6

21 comments:

  1. Love your blog and all of its content. I just discovered it tonight and have spent a good 30 - 45 minutes browsing it. I love that you share your faith with the world with confidence. I can't wait to explore more of your posts and read new ones!

    Lyndsi

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    1. Thank you so much, Lyndsi!! You are precious!! xoxo

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  2. I saw the picture of the vet student's groom's cake on one of your posts. My son is a vet student at UGA and getting married in June. I would love to know who made that cake - can you share (jdodd884@gmail.com)?

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    1. Hey There!! I responded to your email a while back and never heard from you. I hope you got your cake worked out!! Thank you for asking!! xoxo

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  3. I just had to comment to and say Hi! I just love your blog- you are adorable and your pictures are beautiful!! I am from Knoxville (Go Big Orange!) I'm also pug lover & owner and fellow 30-A lover! I was there for a blissful week this summer and I was so excited to see your gorgeous photos and recalled going to many of the same places. The whole place is heavenly and I celebrated my 30th Birthday there!! So glad I found such a sweet Southern blogger!

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    1. Hey Megan!! We have so much in common!! Pugs, Knoxville and the Big Orange, 30A! I'm so glad you found me, too! You're a doll!! xoxo

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  4. hello ! i love your blog, and your style, and i love your pink cowboy boots in your picture .. where did you get them/?!

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    1. Thank you so much!! You are too sweet!! They are Tony Llamas and I got them at a store called Boots Etc. in Commerce, Georgia! xoxo

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  5. I just had to tell you that the new addition on the sidebar of Dr. Pinson with the little pug is so precious!

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    1. Thank you! I love that picture! I don't know what I would do without my pug! :) xoxo

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  6. I found your blog through pinterest and absolutely love it! My fiancee and I just moved to Macon this October when I took a job as the assistant barn manager/coach at Wesleyan College. I love all of your fashion and decorating ideas!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm so glad you found me :) Such a small world!! Your job sounds like so much fun!! We'll have to stay in touch! Thanks for introducing yourself!! Have a very Merry Christmas!! xoxo

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  7. Hi Cherish... Nice to meet you.... loved seeing the pix of your home and your grandma...

    I think you just may have some information I need. I'm from Washington State and planning a trip to the South... Have always dreamed of going to Savannah, but haven't settled on that yet. Can you tell me the prettiest.......most Southern ........and best shopping spots? I've been planning this for a long, long time and really need some direction... if you can help, that would be SUPER...

    Thanks in advance..

    Spencer

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    1. Hey There! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! You are going to love Savannah if you choose to visit! It's impossible not to!
      Here are some fabulous restaurants:
      -The Olde Pink House is my very favorite, Vic's on the River, Elizabeth on 37th, The Mansion at Forsyth Park, Garibaldi Seafood, The Lady and Sons, Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room (ps-if you eat at any of these during lunch it is more economical and it's the same food that's on the dinner menu) Belford's is a rip-off for the amount of money. The Pirate's House is a famous Savannah restaurant-but, we never ate there. They have a horrible food score and it looked gross. Vinnie Van Go-Go's is a great pizza place with outdoor seating and is dog friendly (they only accept cash payment, though).
      For dessert: Back in the Day Bakery, Lulu's Chocolate Bar, Leopold's Ice Cream (has sandwiches, too) are both out of this world.
      -River Street is fun to take a stroll down just for the experience; however, it's very touristy and I don't recommend any of the restaurants on River Street. Just the candy shops for pralines and such :)
      -Make sure you spend time in Forsyth Park-that was one of our very favorite places when we lived there. It's so beautiful.
      -If you go on a tour look up "Savannah Dan." He is legit-a local and knows his stuff. He can do tours that are more historical or one that's focused more on the ghost stories of the most Haunted City in America.
      -Most of the shopping is on Broughton Street and also cute boutiques on Whitaker Street near Mrs. Wilkes. Kitchens on the Square is a really cute store that has great stuff for the kitchen. Of course, my favorite stores are TJ Maxx, Marshall's, and Homegood's, and the ones in Savannah are awesome!! They are really close together, too, and not far from the historic district on Abercorn. There are lots of great places to shop on Abercorn-your chain stores and the mall, too.
      -Of course, there are carriage rides and riverboat tours, too. Also, Bonaventure cemetery is absolutely beautiful and is a short drive out of the city toward Tybee on the Wilmington River.
      -Tybee Island is about 15 minutes east of downtown historic Savannah and is a neat little place with some shops and a few restaurants. You can also tour the lighthouse there.
      Honestly, my favorite thing to do in Savannah is just walk around each of the squares and admire the beautiful homes and flowers and trees. Savannah's trees make the city magical. There are many historic homes that you can tour as well.

      Charleston is another lovely Southern City. Honestly, if you're going to come all this way you should plan on visiting both cities as they are only 100 miles apart and are dotted with multiple beautiful Southern Coastal towns along the way.
      -Charleston has better downtown shopping than Savannah, in my opinion. Most of the shopping is on King Street.
      -The Battery in Charleston is so picturesque with beautiful homes.
      -There are numerous divine restaurants in Charleston, too. Magnolia's, Amen Street Bar, Blossom, Slightly North of Broad (SNOB), Husk, Hominy Grill, Jestine's Kitchen, and more.

      New Orleans is a blast, too, and is a good day's drive from Savannah, but totally doable. I could write a book on each of these cities. But, if you have to choose, I would definitely choose a trip and see Charleston and Savannah as opposed to just New Orleans. The cities are much cleaner, and you get to see a lot more between the two.
      I hope this helps you make your decision!

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  8. I just came across your beautiful blog through Pinterest. I was looking at "Southern Kitchens". Even though I'm 17, it feels so good to just imagine. Pinterest is like my vision-board for now & the future. I am ALSO a native GA peach ;) Nothing like home. I actually grew up in Norcross, then moved to Loganville when I was 9. I'm living in Sunny FL currently, but hoping to go back home for college. There's so many places I'd love to visit in GA, especially Savannah! We have the same tastes in color schemes! I absolutely LOVE turquoise! My entire room has turquoise elements, even down to my clothing! ;) It's so refreshing to see how you've talked about college, relationships, marriage and God... Very inspiring! Thanks so much for creating this blog... Take care! <3 Xoxo! - Kendolyn.

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    1. Kendolyn, thank you so much for taking the time to introduce yourself and comment and for your sweet words!! Yay for being a Georgia native!! I love Florida, too, though! :) Isn't it wonderful to find someone you have so much in common with?! Kindred spirits! I am so excited you found me and I look forward to getting to know you! Blessings and love to you!! xoxo

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  9. I'm so happy I've stumbled across your blog. As a soon to be wife, I love reading your tips and points. Nick and I are currently in NC and being away from family really made us grow even more. We depend on each other and not use our families as a crutch. Definitely a follower and I can't wait to read more about you!

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    1. Hey there! I'm so happy you are enjoying reading! Thank you so much for taking the time to introduce yourself! I look forward to getting to know you! Best wishes to you and your soon to be husband-I know it can be tough being away from everyone you know, but it can be a real blessing, too. It makes you a stronger unit! :) Blessings and love to you both! xoxo

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  10. Wow how have i not found your blog before?! you are so pretty and i love your style! i also graduated in fashion merchandising. still trying to find god's calling for me since there aren't any fashion jobs around me in a small rural town..i love your clean eating posts! i have been trying to get healthy and they have motivated me so much. i love your posts! i'm so glad to have found your blog! Xoxox

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  11. I just found your blog through the Southern Blog Society! I'm originally from Macon, so I had to check out the blog from Forsyth... way to represent Middle Georgia ;) I've loved looking through your blog and reading about your marriage {we're celebrating seven months today}! Can't wait to follow along!

    love, Rachel www.atwelladventures.com

    ps - I'm a Blue Willow china lover too! That's one of the styles we registered for!

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  12. I found your blog today in the absolute most random way #nwyld. Random right? But God works like that! Your beautiful words about our Amazing God and his timing really touched m heart today and I want to thank you for that! I also think you have given some great advice on marriage and live! Thanks for being so open! I am so excited to add your blog to my daily reads and start following your journey!

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I sure do love hearing from y'all-you make my day!