Sunday, October 26, 2014

Meet Lolita

Almost a month ago, I was letting Josie out the back door before we went to bed and looked up into our flood light where I saw one massive spider. I, of course, screamed and called for John to come take care of our unwelcome guest. When John came to the door and saw the spider, he very calmly said "oh, its just a garden spider, just leave her alone." And with that, we had a new member of our family.

Dear goodness, if you told me three years ago that part of motherhood would include a pet spider I would have laughed my socks off. But that's what we have. We lovingly refer to her as Lolita. Landon has become obsessed with "Wo-weeda" and every day we go outside to make sure she's still alive and well. It's all very Charlotte's Web of us. 

I did a little more research and it turns out Lolita is an Orb Spider, because she spins her web in a circle. She has already laid an egg sac, which will hatch in the spring. And apparently she will die after the first real frost. So it looks like Lolita's days are numbered....just like Charlotte.

And there's my random post for the day. I felt the need to document our first strange pet though, especially since Landon has taken such an interest in his spider. This is what my life has come to, y'all. Taking care of a pet spider.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Family Pictures | Southport, NC

Y'all. I am so embarrassed that it is October and I am just now sharing our pictures that we had taken almost two months ago. But here they are. I like to think that in the midst of all the fall craziness, this brings back just a touch of summer and oh goodness, does it make me ache to go to to the beach. I love that in North Carolina we get to celebrate all four seasons, but here we are just barely into the autumn season and I am missing summer like it's nobody's business!

You may remember back in August we went to Oak Island, NC for the week for our family vacation. Normally, I pack my tripod and remote along with my camera gear to try and get a couple family pictures to document that yes, I in fact did go on the vacation, despite what the pictures show. You know, its that whole always behind the camera syndrome that some of us have going on. This year, I decided to change that issue. I am so thankful to have some great connections in eastern NC and know a couple photographers that I went to college with. I have always wanted family pictures in Southport because that town is just so dang special to us. Most of the world knows Southport from the movie Safe Haven, but me? I know the other side of Southport. The quite streets with towering oak trees, the quaint downtown area, and the waterfront.

Southport is far more than a vacation destination for us, it is a home away from home. John worked building a neighborhood there for a few years before we were married. He proposed on the Yacht Basin waterfront, and that little town holds a piece of our hearts like no other place in the world. One day, one day, we will live there.

So you can understand why it was such a special occasion for us to take our family pictures in the place we love so much. Our photographer was Katy, from Katy Biagini Photography. If you are looking for an incredible eastern NC photographer, call her. Katy and I met in college at ECU when we were both Young Life leaders. It had been close to 7 years since we had seen each other, but as soon as I found out we were going to be in the area for a week I sent her a message and begged her to take our pictures. Katy is one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and it was such a privilege to have her meet us in Southport that evening. I am beyond thankful for these pictures, and am in love with how they turned out. They are exactly what I envisioned. Katy, if you are reading this- thank you, thank you, thank you!

Hallelujah for Friday!

I'm a firm believer that sometimes, you just need a day off. I have always felt that way. Growing up my mom would allow us to take one "mental health day" a school year. A day when we just needed to rest. We needed to be at home. And we needed to take a break. She would write us a note and say we were "sick" and let us play hookie from school. For just a day. I have always implemented the same rule in my adult life. Sometimes life gets crazy, and stressful, and you just need a break. And that's perfectly okay.

Well, today is said day for me. I arranged to have the day off work, took Landon to preschool, and I'm now home enjoying cup number two of pumpkin spice coffee. I have made it a point to say no to running errands today, and yes to hanging out in the comfort of my own home. Watching the Today Show, catching up on laundry, cooking a pot roast in the crock pot. I sound like I'm eighty. 

I also plan on working on editing pictures over the last month or so, and updating this blog of mine that is so neglected. I have so much to share and catch up on that we've been doing the past two months- hopefully today I can work on all that.

So here's to a mental health day!

Happy Friday!

Friday, October 3, 2014

the importance of rest

The past month has been absolutely crazy for John and I. We are up early, out the door to work all day, and then home to either take care of things around this house where we live currently, or working out at the new house on random things. John spends several hours at the new house almost every night after he gets home from his already demanding job. To say we are tired is an understatement. But we just keep going. Several weekends we have gone to Greenville for football games and to see my sister and brother in law, and when we are home we try to spend as much time as a family as we can before the crazy work week rolls back around. We knew when we signed up to build a house we were signing up for crazy. For long days and tiredness. For weekends that are spent sorting through massive wood piles or moving dirt, or measuring kitchen cabinets.

Yes, I love it. We are thrilled beyond words that we are so fortunate to build our own home.

But yes, I. am. exhausted. 

At night I find myself laying in bed praying, Lord, just give me the energy in the morning to get up and do it all over again with a smile on my face. 

Thank goodness for a God who knows when I am worn out. Thank goodness for a God that gives rest to this weary mama and enough grace to get through each day. Thank goodness for grace. Y'all, do you know that we can't do it all? We live in a world that expects us to be superwomen and super moms and having it all together and look like a million bucks and always have a clean house and well mannered child and never say "no" when asked to do something. We live in a world that demands we constantly be plugged in and busy. There are meetings and dinners, and school parties and social media out the wa-zoo.  I get tired just thinking about it all.

The busier I am, the more I realize the need for a rest and grace and strength that I cannot have separate from Jesus. He is the One that restores. My soul, my body, and my mind crave that time of solitude and stillness. More importantly, time with my Savior. Resting in Him. 

So in this chaotic, beautiful season of life that we are in, I'm attempting to make more of an effort to carve out time and be intentional about turning off the technology and the to do list, and soaking in the stillness and truly resting.  The laundry can wait. The vacuuming can wait. The DVR can hold my shows as long as I need. I am ten times better for my family, friends, and everyone else around me when I take some time to truly rest. 

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

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