Friday, April 29, 2016


My sister came in town (for 1 day) to meet Simon. It was a Thursday so Marlee was in school, but she brought Ansley with her. Ansley and Ruthie played dolls all day! I met them after work for a little bit and then my mom, Jessica, Ansley, and I went to dinner. Ansley is getting so- big! I don't know how I feel about it!

The weather was perfect this weekend! It was mid-80s all weekend, so I think that summer is officially here! Saturday, I met some friends at Slider Inn for a Jameson Slushie- which I 100% recommend. Then we went down to Loflin Yard. Such a cool venue. Live music, drinks, food, yard games. And it's kid-friendly. If you haven't checked it out, you totally should!

I am totally a morning person. And I love a good to-do list. This totally describes me. Not all of the Type A qualities apply to me 100%, but this one does. Here's the rest of the list if you want to read it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Good Fight

Fighting is good. And this is coming from someone who typically does not like confrontation. But I have been thinking about it a lot recently. Thinking about how important it is to have models of healthy relationships and that includes fighting.

I have had 2 conversations recently about this. One I was talking to a friend last week about random things, but the topic of relationships came up. His parents split up when he was really young and he was raised by his dad. He has talked about how it effects his views on lots of different things in life, but I think that fighting is one of those things. Another conversation I had was with a friend who has had some issues marriage and this person made a comment that "we never fought before we got married!"

I saw my parents being loving and affectionate and I am grateful for that. But relationships aren't always all flowers and rainbows. Because of that, I am even more grateful that I was able to grow up seeing my parents fight. To see my parents stick it out and argue through issues instead of giving up and walking away is even more valuable than just seeing the good times. It's easy to be loving when things are going well, but I am thankful that I got to experience them disagreeing and working through problems- to see them fighting well and choosing each other.

A lot of people think that there shouldn't be conflict in a "good" relationship and they are therefore quick to question things and more willing to walk away when things don't go as expected. I think that fighting is good in a relationship. Learning to fight well is a skill and it takes practice, but if it's the right person, it's worth it!

* Take this for what it's worth. It is just my opinion. I am perpetually single, so maybe I have it all wrong. Ha!

Monday, April 25, 2016

30 x 30: 30 x 30 Debt

I had a plan to get out of debt. I really did. And it was a good plan. Until it wasn't.

My plan included living with roommates to keep rent down so that I could put all my extra money into student loans. They were all supposed to be paid off by next summer. Then I was going to start saving all that money for a down payment on a house.

One of my roommates told me that she was moving back home to Kentucky this summer and so my house search started. And, well, you know how the story ends...

All that to say, this goal isn't going to happen. I love my house, though, and I was planning to buy one eventually anyway, so I'm okay with it.

I haven't crunched all the numbers to see how much I can keep paying on my loans and when they will actually be paid off. Maybe I'll do that tonight! I do love a good budget!

And another obligatory house picture. It's worth throwing away my budget, right?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Smiles

God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear but when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13

Friday, April 22, 2016


We went to the YoungLife Taste of Memphis. It was a fundraiser for Memphis Urban YoungLife. There was a silent auction and wine pull. And food from various local restaurants. So good! It was a lot of fun, even if I was exhausted! (This was the day after Simon was born)

Ruthie wanted to watch some George. She also asked for some hot chocolate. Zeke told her that she could take her drink into the bedroom. Meredith was worried about it so she asked me to go check on her. This was the setup that Zeke had made. I love it. She looks like such an old woman in her rocking chair with her blanket and cocoa!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Simon Ezekiel

Simon is here! And my cousin is a rockstar!

I have had so many friends have babies in the past few months. And I heard them talk about their pregnancies or discomforts all the time. Meredith was more tired the past few weeks, but I watched her chase Ruthie around. Sit on the floor to sort papers and then jump up to get something from the other room- multiple times- without any hesitation. I went over to her house to see her on her due date and she was out in the backyard pulling weeds. Rockstar!

And now Simon is here! He was late, unlike Ruthie, who was a week early. I think this is going to be foreshadowing of years to come. Ruthie is an early bloomer in everything (except for height and weight!) and I think that Simon may be more relaxed and wanting to do things at his own pace.

He was born on Wednesday, April 13. Meredith sent a text to my mom and I around 8. She said that she was starting to have some contractions and she wanted us to be on standby. My mom asked if she wanted us to come over and she said "maybe." I got dressed, packed a small bag and headed over to her house. I got there around 9:15 or 9:30. My mom had just gotten there and so had one of Meredith's friends who is an L&D nurse. She was having pretty regular contractions when I got there. Every once in a while, she could sit through them but most of the time she had to stand up to help her get through them.

After a little while, she thought that she was going to be sick so she went to the bathroom. Then she decided to take a shower to wash up and announced that it was time to go to the hospital! We loaded up the car and left her house a little before 10. Her OB told her to tell the desk that she was about to push when she got there so they would get her back faster. Good thing she did that because, by the time they took her back and checked her, she was already 8cm!

We hung out in the room talking and answering questions for the nurses. And taking multiple phone calls from my aunt who was in the car with my cousin and frantically trying to get to town worried that she was going to miss the birth!

But she made it. She got to the hospital at about 11:15. Meredith starting pushing at 11:26. 10 minutes and 4 pushes later and Simon was here! And he is precious!

Insert adorable baby picture here*

The rest of the week was kind of a blur. I went back to my parent's house eventually and got about 2 hours of sleep before I got up, took my dad to the airport, ran home to throw on scrubs, and went into work to round. I saw patients as quickly as I could, left work around 9:30 and went back to the hospital to see Meredith and Simon.

Ruthie came up to the hospital later that afternoon to meet her baby brother. She held him and took some pictures, but I think she was more excited about having all the family together and having all her favorite people in one place giving her lots of attention- and a few gifts too.

It's been a fun week. They came home from the hospital on Friday. My aunt went home Saturday afternoon, but couldn't stay away and ended up coming back in town on Sunday. I have only missed one day of going over to see him. I'm trying to go by after work as much as I can to help out with Simon or play with Ruthie or bring anything that they may need.

He is definitely a second child. He is so calm and relaxed. He rarely cries and can sleep through just about anything- including Ruthie stomping and yelling and running around the house. He's wonderful and I am in love already!

* Meredith is not a huge fan of social media so, while I have 800 pictures of him on my phone, I am going to respect her privacy and not post his picture online.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Smiles

So we do not lose heart... we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Friday, April 15, 2016


It's been a little while... and apparently I don't take very many pictures... Oops!

The young adults at church had a cookout. We all brought our own meat and the guys took charge of the grill while the girls made some apps and hung out and talked. It was a great, relaxing time with friends. We have decided to make it a monthly event. (At least for another 2 months or so. Then I propose it turns into a pool party. And then later firepits in the fall!)

Singles group was cancelled last week, so we decided to move the party to the patio. We met at Cafe Ole for dinner. And drinks. And the sweet tunes of Charvey Mac! The weather was perfect and the sweet time with friends was great!

This past weekend was a-mazing! The weather was glorious! Springtime in Memphis is my favorite time ever! Memphis Made (a local microbrewery) was debuting a new beer so they had a big event. Jenn and I got there right at 12 to make sure we got a commemorative beer glass. They had food trucks and free popcorn and live music. We hung out enjoying the sunshine and the company of friends. We ended up staying there all day. We finally decided to leave at 7, when we relocated to Nextdoor to watch the Grizz game. These are the days that I want to last forever!

Born and raised! Love these girls so much!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

House Hunters On Speed

It's been a wild, crazy journey- and it's not over yet. But I want to get it all out before I forget any of it...

I had been casually looking at houses for about a month. Nothing too serious, just seeing what was on the market. My realtor set up an account for me and sent me daily emails about new listings or any status changes. I had looked at a couple houses that I thought were cute, and every house that I was somewhat, maybe interested in had a contract pending within 48 hours. It's a crazy market right now!

So this story all started one Thursday afternoon. I got the email from Melody about a few new houses on the market. I sent her a quick text asking if we could go see 2 of the new houses. She wasn't feeling great. She had been sick, but she set up appointments for that afternoon. It was rainy and kind of gross, but my mom and I met at the first house after work at 5:15.

I walked in and immediately loved it! The kitchen has been totally redone, the bathrooms have been updated, and it had lots of windows and great natural light! We talked about it some and I decided to go ahead and place on offer on it. Then my mom and I went to get drinks before I met some friends for dinner.

My realtor called to go over the contract. I signed and then we waited. We didn't have to wait too long though. They responded pretty quickly with a counteroffer. And that's when I freaked out!

I started to have second thoughts. Not because I didn't love the house, because I did, but because all of this was so out of character for me. I am not one to act quickly. I'm a processor. I like to lay out all the options and weigh the pros and cons. There was no time for any of that. I called a friend freaking out and he came over and rubbed my back while I stress-cried and tried to talk it through with my parents. Melody said they needed an answer by 11:45. I just felt uneasy. I can't put it into words. I needed more time.

So I called her and told her to tell them no. They had 5 showings scheduled for the next day. Five! And it's a great house. I knew it was going to sale quickly. Melody told me that it was the best house that she had shown all year and if I said no to the counter, that I was going to lose the house. And I still said no...

I thought that was it. I went to work on Friday morning thinking that I had lost the house and would be starting the house hunt over again...

Melody called around 8 on Friday morning. The seller's realtor had called her to see if I had changed my mind. I asked her if there was any way my dad could come see the house. I knew that it looked beautiful, but my dad is so meticulous and particular about everything, I knew if there was a major problem with the house, he would find it. She called and arranged it and he met her over at the house before the first showing. I was nervous and called him multiple times while he was there to see what he thought of it. He finally called me when he was finished and told me that if I really liked it, he thought I should go for it. That was huge! My dad can be pretty skeptical about change and big decisions- especially involving me, so I knew he really liked it.

I called my realtor right away and told her to go for it. This was around 11am. She said that technically the counteroffer was only good until 11:45 the night before so we would basically be starting over. Don't forget that there were 5 showings that day. My realtor and I talked about it. We assumed that they would sit on my offer all day, wait until the showings were done to see what other offers they got, and then start a bidding war. I wasn't willing to do a bidding war, so I still thought that I was about to lose the house.

Melody called me around 1pm. She said that the seller was in surgery (medical professionals, FTW), but it sounded like he was planning to sign the offer. I started to get excited, but not too excited. It wasn't official yet. Until I got the text.

At 2:20. Almost exactly 21 hours after I walked in and saw the house for the first time. It was a crazy roller coaster of emotions for those 24 hours. Sheesh!

I had the home inspection last week. I was a little nervous about it when I walked in and Melody told me that they had 2 backup offers on the house. Seriously?! Did I mention that the market is insane right now?

The inspection was intense. He looked at everything and told me everything that was wrong with the house. As I was walking through it with him, I was getting nervous. The list just kept growing! I started to wonder if I had made a mistake. Then after it was over, he told me that the house was great. He said that when he heard where it was, he was worried that it was going to need a lot of work, but that the house was better than 90-95% of the older homes he inspects. What?! How bad are these other homes?

I got the report a few days later. As I was looking over it, I felt a lot of pressure not to ask for too much. There were multiple backup offers. Worse case scenario: I ask for things to be changed, they say no and walk away from it all because they have a better offer. So much stress! But I asked for what I wanted- including something that my realtor said was definitely not going to happen. She was worried that even asking for it would make them mad and they would give me less than they otherwise would. I asked for it anyway.

After really thinking it through and praying about it, I decided that I was going to ask for what I wanted and if they weren't willing to give it to me, I would have to make a decision from there. I also came to the realization that, as much as I loved the house, if something didn't work out, I was okay walking away from it. Once I came to that decision, it made things a lot less stressful!

I got the amendment to the inspection request back this week. They agreed to everything except the one thing that my realtor knew they wouldn't. I decided that I'm okay with that. I'm still glad I asked for it. It's something that I will plan to do pretty soon after I move in, but I'm okay with it not being done. I really feel good about things.

I met with the lender yesterday. My dad came with me. We discussed a couple different options and decided on the best way to go about the loan. Next up comes the appraisal.

I need to meet the insurance agent next week to talk about homeowners insurance and bundling my home and car insurance. My last State Farm agent was great. He used to call me on my birthday and stuff. He really was "like a good neighbor." He died of cancer a few years ago and the new agent is not super impressive. She does her job, but doesn't go above and beyond like Ray did, so I'm not too bummed about switching to someone else.

Once that is over then I just wait. Closing is not until the end of May, so I feel like things have moved really fast and are about to come to a halt. During that time, I plan to keep saving money. I've been stalking various websites for furniture. And I'm looking for a dog!

Big changes are coming! Look for your invitation for the housewarming soon!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Way, Truth, Life

I read something the other day and it scared me. A lot.

I have talked about Glennon in the past. She has a powerful story and is so vulnerable and honest about her story and how God is working in and through her. But the other day, she posted her response to a letter and it made me sad. And it scared me to think about all the people that read her blog and know her story and are so deeply influenced by her.

Here is a link to the post if you want to read it. But my concern and fear is that it screams pantheism and universalism. I agree with so much of what she says. We are called to love the poor- to care for the widows and orphans. We are called to be gracious and loving and compassionate and to help God's kingdom come here and now on earth as it is in heaven. But our actions are not simply because it is the "right" thing to do. Our actions are a response to the love of Jesus. Because He extends grace to us when we are so unworthy, we in turn are gracious with others. Because He loves us when we are completely unlovable, we respond with overwhelming love towards others. Because He has compassion on us and forgives us even when we sin in unforgivable ways, we can forgive others. If we view everyone like they are made in the image of God (because they are!), think about how much our actions would change!

We don't love out of obligation. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) But while God is loving and kind, He is very clear that we must worship no other gods. He is a jealous God*. (Exodus 34:14) He is also clear that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6) That's not optional. We are called to daily deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24) It's not easy. It's not always popular. And it can seen exclusive.

I get it. There are a lot of people out there that claim the name of Christian, but are not living out the gospel. That can be confusing at best, and polarizing, to nonbelievers. There are also a lot of pharisaical people who are trying their best to live out "religion" without God. Those people have always been around. Jesus speaks directly to them throughout the New Testament. That can definitely turn people off from what they think Christianity is.

I understand that Christianity is not "politically correct" because it is not accepting of all viewpoints and ideas and journeys. And so I understand that Glennon doesn't want to offend anyone. But what she's doing is dangerous! Her influence scares me.

Jesus clearly says in Matthew 7 that there will be people that call Him Lord and that claimed to do good and perform miracles in His name that at the end of their lives will hear Him say "depart from Me. I did not know you." (Matthew 7:21-23) That scares me. It causes me to reflect on my own life and my actions and motives.

We will all stand before the Father and give an account of our lives. I pray that I live a life marked by the love of Jesus- a gospel-centered life. I pray that I can stand before the Lord and hear Him say "Well done, my good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21)

* I am very jealous! But I just remind myself that I, too, am made in the image of God and therefore share His characteristics. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Smiles

Do not be afraid... I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.
- Genesis 15:1

Thursday, April 7, 2016

He is Risen

I hope that everyone had a good Holy week and Easter Sunday! I spent the weekend relaxing and hanging out with family. I didn't get to go to a Good Friday service because, you know, work. And my church's service was at noon so that obviously didn't happen.

Saturday was a gorgeous day! I got to work out and then get some things done around the house. Then I met my mom and my aunt over at my cousin's house to hang out and play with Ruthie a little bit. My mom, aunt, and I decided to run over to the bar (Houston's) for something to eat while my cousin dyed Easter eggs. Dinner was delicious as usual- and entertaining once my mom left and a slightly inebriated man tried to hit on my aunt! When we finished, we went back to my cousin's house to pick her up and then drove out to the 'burbs to meet my parents for mass.

We started outside and then they lit candles and a fire and we walked into the light. It was a really beautiful service. But it was so long. It was the Easter vigil service so three and a half hours later when we left at midnight, we were all ready for bed!

Sunday morning, I slept in and then my mom met me at my church while my dad went to Fellowship and my cousin's went to the Episcopal church with his family. Ha! We just want to cover all our bases, I guess. It was a good service leading into the period of Easter celebration.

After church, my mom and I met my aunt over at my cousin's house to do some organizing and then we went to grab something to eat and went to look at some houses. My aunt is an HGTV fanatic so she is very excited about me buying a house!

We met back up with my cousin after that and decided that we all needed naps. Sunday afternoon naps are my favorite! When we all woke up, we helped organize the nursery. We moved some furniture around and helped set up the crib. It's starting to look put together! I can't wait to meet Simon!

It was a busy weekend, but lots of fun and a great time with family! We missed my sister and her family though (They had been out of town for Spring Break the week before and just gotten back to Nashville; so they did not make the trip to Memphis).

Monday, April 4, 2016

I've Been MIA

I have lots of things that I want to write about and have even started multiple posts, but then I get distracted or haven't made the time to actually sit down and finish them. So, I apologize. But they are coming. I still want to finish the post about Easter and talk about running and eating and respond to other blog posts. Oh yeah, and I'm buying a house! I will write all about that soon. I want to get all the details out while they are fresh in my mind, because it was a whirlwind of a 24-hours!

Posts are coming, I promise. I'm going to try to get back on some sort of a schedule. Try... I make no promises about that. We'll see...