Sunday, December 28, 2014


I'm going to sound a bit cliche for a moment and say that it feels like I just recapped 2013. My parents did always tell me that time flies by faster the older you get, and I've realized they were right.

(But aren't they always? hi mom and dad. ; ) )

In typical fashion, here's a recap of some of the highlights, complete with pictures:

Jon and I had just started dating when the year began, and I cannot believe we've already been together for over a year now! He blesses my life daily with his servant heart, humor, humility, and handsome good looks. ; )

Lots of fun girls' nights and birthday celebrations for sweet, sweet friends throughout the year

Traveled to Washington, D.C., for a successful work event- my first visit there!

4th annual Kentucky Derby Party for the Think Ahead Group (TAG), the young professionals group I coordinate- every year this event is so much fun (and a whole lot of work), and I appreciate all of the volunteers and my super supportive friends and boyfriend who make it happen!

My little Sooner Sister graduated from OU! Even though I feel like she should still be about 4 years old wanting to steal my Lip Smackers, I'm so very proud of the young lady she has become.

And, my (former but forever) roomie graduated from seminary! After watching the amount of hours she spent studying and writing papers, I knew it was a HUGE accomplishment.

Two members of the Pink! family (from my sorority at TCU) got married! So happy for Meridith & Grant and Callie & Scott and enjoyed our reunions.

Family vacation to St. Thomas.  Absolutely beautiful and relaxing.  I would elaborate, but pictures do it way more justice and I already wrote a whole post on this trip!

Went on a wine tour in Fredericksburg with Jon and a fun group of friends from church. A blast!

Spent Labor Day weekend at Launch. a young adults retreat through my church, and had a great time being stretched a little outside my comfort zone, growing in my relationship with the Lord and creating new friendships.

TCU/OU game with my family- I now look forward to this annual rivalry, and my parents got to wear the house divided shirts Kristen and I gave them for Christmas last year.  And it helped that TCU was the victor : )

I had the honor of being in the house party for my dear friend Kimmy's wedding.  We've been friends for eight (!!) years now after meeting on the first day of TCU band camp where we were both in the colorguard.  Leading up to her fun-filled and beautiful big day we had a fun weekend in Austin for her bachelorette party.


My friend from high school, Kayla, also got married in October, which meant we had a miniature reunion of our high school group.  Loved watching my Kayla Bayla say I do, and realizing that some things never change... #photobombs

Weekend getaway with Jon to gorgeous Colorado- my first time there, and our first big trip together! We had a wonderful time and I won't ever forget what it felt like to be looking out on top of a mountain with him.

Adelphe X retreat- a great time together to just recharge.  Apparently I was really big on visiting Austin this year!

Double wedding weekend with my handsome date- congratulations to sweet Kate & Ben and Nellie & David! 

Started age 27 off in a big way- with brunch with my girls and a surprise party orchestrated by sweet Jon!

A Christmas wedding, spending the holiday with my family, and concluding the year on a two week break from work.  I love my job for many reasons, but this long break at the end of the year is an added bonus!

This was a wonderful year- the best, in fact.  I focused on releasing worry and a need to be in control, and while I fell short many times, the Lord is gracious in giving me many more opportunities to trust Him and be thankful and joyful in all things.  Over and over this year I realized it's okay to not have everything figured out all the time and that I need to trust God, need the people that He's surrounded me with, and need to love others and give them the same grace I've been given through Jesus, even when there's frustration and life presents us all with stressful circumstances and situations we don't understand. It's been a sweet year of growth, new adventures, and happy memories!

Love to you all,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Those who know me well know I love surprises.  I get very into them for other people and usually can barely contain my excitement while waiting for the person being surprised to show up.

Jon, with some help from my sister and friends Jennifer and Valerie, managed to completely surprise me for my 27th birthday.  I had no clue, and I consider myself to be pretty perceptive- and usually am the one planning things given the nature of my job!

I had already been surprised by my sweet work team (they hid in my office and jumped out when I walked in on Friday-- good one, ladies!) and spent Saturday morning at brunch with girlfriends.  The weekend was going great, complete with sunny weather that was drastically different from how I spent my birthday last year.

Jon told me he had a little something planned for my birthday, and all morning at brunch, my friends (knowing about the surprise to come that evening) kept asking me with feigned sincerity what I thought Jon had planned, where we were going for dinner, what I would wear.  So sneaky, all of them!

As he picked me up, Jon told me he was taking me to Patrizio's, the location of our first dinner date and one of my favorite restaurants.  I was excited! As we headed towards Highland Park Village, Jon said we had a little time to kill before our reservation and asked if I'd like to look at some Christmas lights.  One of my favorite memories early on in dating Jon was the time we got hot chocolate and looked at Christmas lights, so I happily agreed-- completely oblivious to the fact that Jon was stalling because our table wasn't ready!

We walked into the packed restaurant, and right as I wondered why Jon was pulling me past the hostess stand without saying anything to them, we rounded the corner to find a huge table of our families and close friends, with party hats and purple balloons, yelling "SURPRISE!"

I was completely shocked and took a good 20 minutes to stop shaking! It was overwhelming in the best way to look down a huge table and see people that I love the most, and to hear from others throughout the night who had wanted to be there too.  The evening was filled with good food, prosecco (my favorite), conversation, and celebration.  I kept looking at Jon in disbelief that he had planned this for me. And I must say, I'm pretty impressed with his event planning skills!
: )

To my wonderful family and friends, thank you for making me feel so loved on my 27th birthday! I am so very grateful to the Lord for each of you and praise Him for another year of life!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

She's Like Texas

She’s as bright as the Dallas sky.
She always holds her head up high.
She loves the company of her family.
She has faith in God’s greater plan.
She trusts I’m a good man.
And that’s why I’ll always believe
She’s like Texas, and she likes me.

Last weekend, my community group, Adelphe X, headed to Austin for our second annual retreat! 

With each of us living a full life, it is rare to find a time outside of our usual Sunday night gatherings to just hang out, have fun, and relax.  We've been reading through Genesis together and were recently reminded of the importance of rest.  God built us to need it and to remind us that we NEED Him. With this in mind, the retreat came at the perfect time.  

When we went on our retreat last year, we had all just met several months prior, so we were still figuring out how to combine so many different personalities and unique girls into one cohesive group.  Our leaders wanted it to be special and filled our time together with activities.  It was great, but what was even greater was seeing how this year, we didn't need any of that.

We were able to just be together for the weekend, with very little on the agenda, and it was pretty much perfect.  Abby's dad was so kind to let us stay at his beautiful home for the weekend, where we were surrounded by nature and horses and the most perfect fall weather.  Abby's little brother also came down for the weekend, and we have him to thank for such gorgeous photos that we will treasure!

We "hiked" up Mt. Bonnell-- which really meant climbing up a few stairs ; )

We ate really well the whole weekend.  You can't really go wrong with bacon or queso or baked pear and turkey sandwiches or turkey chili from the slow cooker. And we ate every meal outside on the patio by this huge tree that looks like the one from Pocahontas.  Soaking up the sunshine and just talking with these girls was probably my favorite part of the weekend.

A little over a year ago, we did not know each other, and now, these are the girls that I do life with.   

Oh sure, we've been through plenty of ups and downs in the past year and a half.  We've experienced conflict and hurt feelings, losses and sorrows, burdens and letdowns.  But we've also shown one another grace and granted forgiveness, celebrated each other, and shared praises and joy-filled days. And we have all grown closer to Christ and helped bring each other a little deeper into relationship with Him.

Thanks for doing life with me, ladies!

Adelphe X forever

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Colorado Getaway

Back in September, Jon sent me an email with the subject line "Wanna Get Away?" that included a whole list of cities with airfare deals, asking me to choose one.

So, get away we did-- to Colorado for a fun long weekend!

A state I've never been to, with incredible scenery and gorgeous weather, with the man I'm head over heels for?  Don't have to ask me twice!

We left on Saturday afternoon when Jon finished class and came home late Tuesday night- just long enough to feel like a vacation before we had to return to our jobs, school for him, and the rest of our normal lives.

I probably drove Jon crazy with the number of times I said something along the lines of, "Look at the mountains! I love the mountains! The mountains are so pretty! Why don't we have those in Dallas?" The beach has always been my happy place, but I sure did enjoy visiting the mountains.

My favorite part of the trip, without a doubt, was hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.  We hiked past three lakes, stopping at many points along the way to enjoy the gorgeous views (and also maybe because I'm out of shape and needed to catch my breath- I'll blame the thinner air!).

As we sat on a large boulder overlooking the expanse of forest, the clouds brushing over the tops of the mountains, the sky that stretched on forever, I breathed in that cool, fresh air and tried to soak up exactly what I was feeling at that moment.  Sitting there with someone I love, so content, being reminded of the beauty and grandeur of this world that God created- it was overwhelming and yet so peaceful at the same time.

While we were in Estes Park, we toured The Stanley Hotel, the inspiration behind Stephen King's The Shining.  I'm a fan of historical sites and also scary stories (a fun fact), so touring it was right up my alley.  Being the weekend before Halloween, there were quite a few Stephen King enthusiasts and some... interesting... hotel guests, but I enjoyed hearing the history behind the hotel's founders, the Stanley's (as in, Stanley Steamer), and checking out the supposedly "haunted" spaces- all in good fun, of course. 


We took a day trip to Vail, where we saw SNOW.  In October!! Jon has heard "remember when we saw snow?!" at least a dozen times already since then.  The drive from Broomfield, where we stayed, to Vail was just a couple hours and incredibly scenic. 

Side note: We stayed at the Omni Interlocken and had a great experience- we definitely recommend it.

Another side note: Waking up every morning and opening my curtains to views of the mountains was awesome.  My morning commute was seriously lacking in scenery the rest of the week!

We started seeing snow flurries as we got closer to Vail, and by the time we arrived, it was 26 degrees and we were thankful for the jackets and hats we'd packed! Since it was Vail's off-season we were among just a few tourists, and it was nice to wander through the almost deserted streets (which reminded me of somewhere in Europe) through the snow flurries, exploring the shops and enjoying a cozy lunch. 

On our last day, we checked out Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater.  It would be so cool to see a concert there! While walking through the visitor center, we listened to a sweet old lady who told us to check out the trail loop that was short and "barely up and down hill" and that she could totally handle it at her age. It turned out to be a lot of up and down and hotter than we'd expected, and we weren't dressed for it in our nice shoes and sweaters! Jon kept saying, "We're almost there babe, just around the corner," and at some point I stopped believing him! 72-year-old lady, consider yourself in better shape than we are. ; ) 

Thanks for a wonderful getaway, Jon! Now, where are we going next?!