Monday, October 1, 2012

Burlap Monogrammed Fall Wreath
Cut burlap into 6-8” long pieces and tie around wreath frame until completely covered. Monogram is made from wooden letters from Michaels that are hot glued together and painted with a gold shimmery color.


Complete our Pottery Barn/boat cleat inspired photo gallery projects in the staircase & upstairs hallway
Prep house and backyard to host a 30+ person rehearsal dinner/bbq for one of my best friends
Plan details of our next trip to Haiti
Celebrate 2 year wedding anniversary


Possibly start an exciting new opportunity  – details to come
Celebrate B’s 29th Birthday!
Host Thanksgiving at our house


16th – Graduate from LSUS with my Masters Degree!
TRY my hardest to enjoy the holiday season – my FAVE time of year!
Discuss adoption plan/timeline with B!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

U-Haul Trucks Can Save a Marriage

An owner of a U-Haul store in somewhere-ville, USA shared this incredible story with a radio DJ and it is one that I will never forget. The owner wanted to express to the DJ how much of an impact this Christian radio station has had on his life as well as many others. He went on to share that every morning, while walking around the U-Haul truck lot, he would inspect the vehicles & set the radios to play on the same station – every day. He said that he had been doing this for years always wondering if this small action would ever have an impact on someone. He had hoped that maybe the songs that played would give encouragement at the perfect moment or perhaps spark interest in someone’s heart who has never heard a song meant to inspire and build faith. The owner continued to tell the DJ how one day a man came into his store to pick up a truck but ended up returning after 30 minutes with tears in his eyes. He seemed to be extremely confused and panicked as he asked the owner what radio station was playing in the truck and what particular song he had heard. He described some of the lyrics in desperation of finding out more about these words and immediately the owner knew what song he was referring to. The song is called “Ships in the Night” by Mat Kearney and the lyrics describe the isolation and hurt that can be experienced in a broken marriage. The customer ended up sharing with the U-Haul owner that he had rented a truck because he was on his way to pack up his belongings and leave his wife and family. He said that as soon as he started driving away from the shop, that this song came on the radio and he ended up pulling over on the side of the road to listen to the words. It was the words of this song that brought him to tears and turn around to the U-Haul shop and give his marriage another chance.

What an incredible story of how our actions can have the most profound impact on a stranger’s life. When I first heard this story I felt so convicted that I don’t do enough. I felt guilty of knowing I am constantly passing by people in the office, at the store and in my very urban, downtown neighborhood who are in great need and that I am just not doing enough. It is difficult to know what we can accomplish when some problems can seem impossible to solve. But this story is a reminder that we can do something and that even the smallest actions can have the biggest impact. A small act of kindness to a stranger can be the exact action that someone needs to help get them through another day or choose between 2 routes that will forever alter the course of their life.

Ships in the Night
Mat Kearney

Like ships in the night
You keep passing me by,
Just wasting time,
trying to prove who's right
And if it all goes crashing into the sea
If it's just you and me,
trying to find the light

Like ships in the night, letting cannonballs fly,
say what you mean and it turns to a fight
Fist fly from my mouth as it turns south
You're down the driveway, I'm on the couch
Chasing your dreams since the violent fifth grade
Trying to believe in your silent own way
Cuz we'll be okay, I'm not going to wait
Have you watched it 14 as it went down the drain,
hip-hop stayed the same and your mom's moved away,
how many of our parents seem to make it anyway
we're just fumbling through the gray
trying to find a heart that's not walking Away.

Turn the lights down low, walk these halls alone we can feel so far from so

Like ships in the night
You keep passing me by,
Just wasting time,
trying to prove who's right
And if it all goes crashing into the sea
If it's just you and me,
trying to find the light like ships in the night, there passing
Me by, there passing me by, like ships in the night.

I'm at the airport waitin' on a second plane had to pack you had cramps and
I was late headed to a red carpet they won’t know my name right ridding in
Silence all that we wanna say bout to bored when you call on the phone you
Say I'm sorry I'll be waiting at home feels like were burning this out on
Our own trying to find our way down a road we don't know.

Turn the lights down low, walk these halls alone, we can feel so far from so
Close. like ships in the night they keep passing me by, just wasting time
Trying to prove who's right and if it all goes crashing into the sea if it's
Just you and me trying to find the light like ships in the night, there
Passing me by, there passing me by, like ships in the night.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I have a confession…over the past several weeks I have gone back and forth between understanding if international adoption is really the route Brent & I should take. Through the power of Pinterest, I have witnessed a few arguments take place following some pictures that I have pinned that support international adoption. These arguments are between passionate people on both sides of the issue of Americans adopting children from other “3rd world” or “developing countries” (Haiti, Guatemala, Africa, etc).
I *thought* I had always understood the debate surrounding this issue. I have already been questioned for why Brent & I would “choose to adopt from another country when there are needy children in the U.S.” and I had assumed that all people who are against international adoption just wanted those couples to adopt orphans from the U.S.  instead of another country. I thought that these people were coming from the same mindset of those that have criticized Brent and I for doing community service overseas rather than in America (of course those people forget I committed 10 months to AmeriCorps NCCC).
But the debate extends far past that. There is an entire argument revolving around taking orphans out of their native country and “forcing” them to live in America thus “losing their culture and identity”. This is a view that I had never considered and one that I actually find valid points in. I have read different people’s opinion stating that the amount of money that an American spends on the international adoption process could help save an entire African village and therefore potentially save hundreds if not thousands of lives in the future rather than a single child’s life. This is a strong, very valid point as well and one that completely flipped all of my ideas and strong feelings of our future plan out the window…for a little while.
But God has a way of reminding me of His plan for Brent & I. I know He plans for us to adopt first and I am still not completely certain if it will be domestic or international. But I know that those who are called to adopt in any country are doing so with the hopes and dreams of providing that child a brighter future and safe upbringing.
Brent & I have been saving up for the past several months for a trip to Africa this summer. We currently don’t have a date of departure or a country in mind, but we are saving. I have a strong feeling that this trip will not only change our lives but dramatically impact our vision for our future family. I pray that God directs us to exactly the people and places that we need to go to so that our vision can become clearer and so that we might have a better understanding of our next step.
Right now I am just continually grateful that I have been given this time to research the incredible amount of articles, blogs, opinions, books, and other sources of information that are available concerning adoption. The world of adoption is so huge and incredibly overwhelming and this time that I have to read, process, pray and reflect on this decision is so important to me.
Links to great resources:
How to answer the question, “Why adopt internationally when there are children here who need homes?”

A VERY interesting debate surrounding the issue with many points of view:

UNICEF’s view against international adoption

Friday, January 27, 2012

So blessed to be stressed

This morning as I was getting ready for work and conducting my normal stalking observation of the latest news on FB, I misread a status that ended up completely inspiring me! How did this happen? Well my klutziness exceeds far past just the physical acts of tripping, spilling, getting my hair caught in sweaters (all the time), etc. There are many times where that endearing ;-) klutz side will affect how I interpret misinterpret things people tell me/read a message all together which may be entertaining for an observer but super embarrassing for myself.
Lucky for me (not so much for you), this story is not an embarrassing one but I am positive there will be many of those to come.
So this status I misread ended up being the very well known quote:
However when I read it my brain somehow interpreted it as “So blessed to be stressed”.
I was in awe of my friend’s perspective as I had never EVER thought to view stress in life as a blessing. But as I continued on my way to work, I started reflecting on the things that have stressed me out this week:
  • The seemingly never-ending pile of cleaning that always has to be done. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming up endless amounts of dog hair from this creature: 

 It never ends!
  • Homework for grad school that is already sucking the life out of me
  • My full time job, my part time tutoring job. Why can’t I just go home after work and sit on the couch and watch trash tv… All. Night. Long.?
  • Traffic. Traffic. Traffic.
Yes, this past week was probably a 3/4 on the stress scale of 1 – 10. Not such a bad week but there were definitely moments of unhappiness and anxiety as little “problems” threatened to ruin my day. But then I think….How blessed I am to be stressed.
  • That never ending pile of cleaning that has to be done exists because we live in a gorgeous home that we never thought we would ever be able to purchase 2 years ago. Those dishes represent the groceries we are able to afford and the food that is keeping us alive. That husky fur that has become a part of our coffee, bedding, home decor? -- well that pup has her own miracle story and she brings us smiles daily!
  • The homework for grad school that is keeping up until 1 am every night is something I should always be thankful for. I never believed I would be able to attend grad school, much less be 2 semesters away from graduation with a 4.0 GPA.  So thankful.
  • My full time job is a job. Period. So many would do anything to be in my position but yet I view it as a burden. So blessed to be able to be stressed about a job at all.
    • Oh and the trash tv part? Thank you God for creating humans that can develop such horrible television so that I can indulge for 2 hours a week in the latest crazies on the Bachelor.
  • And traffic. Ugh now that can be a real stressor. But so blessed to be stressed in my dream car, with air conditioning and music that calms my soul causes me to dance like a maniac.
I pray that I can remember to keep this perspective during the days/experiences that are extremely stressful and difficult to see the silver lining. Every stress or obstacle in our life comes from a gift and I want to remember to always be thankful for those blessings.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

coastal porch swing

Overtime I hope to share some DIY projects that my husband & I have tackled & are planning to take on around our house because setting up our first place together has become something I have completely enjoyed (and am rather obsessed with). We live in a historic neighborhood that has so much southern charm and a real community to go along with it. We know all of our neighbors and are so thankful to have great relationships with them. If God keeps us in Jacksonville for years into the future, Springfield is the only neighborhood to find us in!

One of the unique characteristics about our historic neighborhood are the front porches. Nearly every house has one and it definitely brings people together! I am completely in love with our front porch and am hopeful that we will always live in a home that has one. Here are some of my favorite *dream* porches::

Pinned Image Pinned Image
Pinned Image

We were given great advice when we first got married and moved into our home that we should make sure to have "porch time" before the end of every day. They told us that they do this every day, no matter the busyness or outdoor temperature. They make time to stop what they are doing and catch up with each other on their front porch or just sit outside without saying a word.
We loved this idea but honestly haven't been able to keep up with it very much at all. We purchased 2 rocking chairs when we first moved in but those have definitely been used by myself and my girlfriends more than me and Brent.

Opps :(

Thankfully I received one of the most thoughtful presents this Christmas from my sweet husband! A new porch swing! He had listened to the many times I had mentioned a desire for a front porch swing and printed out 3 different options that he thought I would like. I ended up choosing a white 5 ft swing from that is currently on sale!

It arrived last week and my husband was working late in the evening on Sunday to hang it up for me because of course I had an extra special request for this swing...I wanted it hung with rope please and thank you!

Pinterest got me again and I knew that rope would give the coastal look I was going for instead of chain. Ekk - He wasn't such a fan of that request as it would definitely make it harder to hang evenly. But after seeing inspirational pics like this:::

Pinned Image Pinned Image
Pinned Image Pinned Image

I knew there was no turning back from the rope obsession! Rope also saved us $12 dollars in the end as purchasing the chain with the swing would have been an extra $50.

We measured the length of the porch floor to ceiling and doubled it to equal the length of rope we needed for one side of the swing. It ended up being 22 ft of rope for each side of the swing & $28 total for the 44 ft of rope.

We used this tutorial to help us out along the way::,,20501527,00.html

and now have this jewel hanging on our front porch :) :)

I love thinking of all the memories & conversations that will take place in this new spot and I am definitely more encouraged to stop the afternoon "to-do list" and have "porch time" with my better half.

Where is your favorite spot to disconnect from the world's distractions and connect with your friends/spouse?

Celebrity Marriage...Is that an oxymoron?

Over the past 10-15 years, there have been a few famous couples that I have viewed as the ones who would be married forever. I remember thinking at a young age that if this particular couple were to ever break up, that {in a dramatic voice} I would never believe in true love ever again!!! ::Yes these thoughts may have occured during my teenage years::
Brad Pitt & Jennifer Anniston
Welp, we all know how that ended. Not so great.
I had also viewed this couple as being the epitome of true love and an “everlasting marriage”.
Ryan Phillippe & Reese Witherspoon
Yeah, not so much for those two either.
And  then there is this couple.
Seal & Heidi Klum
A couple that took the time to renew their vows every year in an effort to show their continuous commitment to their marriage. This past weekend they announced that they were going their separate ways as well.
My question is this. How does one stay focused on creating an everlasting marriage when there seems to be no positive examples left in this world to show us how to do it? I am pretty sure I would have a hard time counting on one hand the examples of a happy marriage that I see in my own life. Let me think… Yup, I think there are less than 5 couples that I can think of that are in their older years and are still more in love than ever (one of them being my grandparents).
These thoughts and real life examples can be discouraging and depressing…if we allow them to be. But I choose to believe that my marriage will be different. I choose to believe that I have married the one that God hand selected for me and that everything I have witnessed about “marriage” will help us build something that is the opposite from the world’s view. I believe that Brent & I will be holding hands on a front porch when we are old and gray and we will still manage to have love in our hearts for each other at the end of a very difficult day/week/month/year.
However I know that this will not occur without pushing through the moments that seem unbearable. There will be events that take place that seem impossible to navigate through but I must remember that my husband and I are a team and that we can get through these obstacles together. We must also surround ourselves with the type of people that will be there to support us when we fail each other and make mistakes. Most importantly, we must always have our relationship with our Heavenly Father be our primary focus. Without Him, I have no doubt that we will not survive the challenging years ahead.
It’s going to be hard but there isn’t anyone in the world I would want to experience the ups and downs of life with than the man that God has chosen for me.
What are some of the things you do to continue to grow your marriage and stay connected?


P.S. I love pinterest for the amazing ideas that can be found on there. I have created a board with ideas for dating/marriage including pins for cheap date nights and other activities to do to reconnect with your partner/show them love!   

P.S.S.  One of my Hollywood “example couples” remains intact:  
Faith Hill & Tim McGraw  
Love them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Goals for 2012

Pinned Image
I am not a huge fan of the world “resolutions”. To me that word is a synonym for “to eventually quit”. I don’t know if I have ever reflected on a year where I accomplished my resolutions of “losing 30 pounds”, “journaling daily”, “to stop procrastinating”, or “wake up when my first alarm goes off rather than snooze for 30 minutes”. Yeah, that last one will never be accomplished.
I am however a huge fan of “goals”. I love setting goals that are realistic and can be accomplished over a few days, weeks, or months but not the entire YEAR. 12 months of one goal is crazy talk.
So in an effort to record my goals for the year and hopefully check off a good amount of them towards the end of December 2012, I want to list them here. I feel pretty confident that I can accomplish these and be able to look back on 2012 with thankfulness and gratitude for what I accomplished instead of discouragement.
-       Acquire my Masters of Science Degree in Human Services Administration with a 4.0 GPA … deep breaths….I can do it. I can do it!
-       Find a home church.
-       Get involved with a small group for married couples & one for women
-       Angie & Brent free of credit card debt (or extremely close)
-       Run a half marathon (gulp)
-       Build a veggie garden in our backyard
-       Volunteer with future home church’s youth group or children’s ministry/nursery
-       Go to Africa &/or Haiti on missions!
-       Give Brent a GREAT 29th birthday (since I did not do such a great job this year)
-       Complete all 3 bedrooms in home & staircase. Complete = all items organized, boxes finally unpacked, rooms painted and furniture in place.
-       Land a new job (however if God keeps me in my current position, I will be patient and confident that I have been kept there for a specific purpose and reason)
-       Feel knowledgeable about international adoption & perhaps have a country in mind (!!!!!!!!)

Here we go 2012!