Monday, July 29, 2013

My Guilty Pleasure

Normally on Monday night we're at my mother-in-law's, and I have to catch up on my TV watching on Tuesday night. But tonight Derrick had to work late, so I'm snuggled on the couch...

Watching the Bachelorette. 

I watch every time. I love it. And I hate it. I think it's ridiculous but, like a train wreck, can't help but watch.

So, here are my thoughts during a typical Bachelor night...

Seriously, does anyone think this actually works?

What do they do in the fantasy suite? And do they do it with all three finalists? Gross.

This is not the real world, people. Why don't they ever have a date to Taco Bell...or Subway...yum, Bojangles...?

Break to fix a grilled cheese. 

Desiree is kind of boring. Is that just me? 

Are sunglasses not allowed on this show? 

Making out on the beach may look romantic on camera but would NOT actually be fun.  

WHAT is that high-pitched shrill in the background? Not okay.

Do they seriously expect him to know - after 6 weeks - that she's the one he wants to spend forever with...Seriously?

I just don't see her with any of these guys. They're definitely no JP and Ashley. 

Did I actually just say "they're definitely no JP and Ashley". Oh my word. 

Is it Chris Harrison's goal to make everything seem like the end of the world? It's okay, people, there is life after the Bachelorette. It's called "The Bachelor" or "Bachelor Pad". Chill.

If I were one of the other guys and saw how much she thought she loved Brooks, I'd be done. No need to waste my time wanting someone who wants someone else. 

Brooks will probably realize later that it wasn't just Desiree that he isn't's girls in general.

Why is it okay for Des to break all of their hearts but it's the WORST THING EVER for one of them to actually be real and honest and break up with her? <That's real life. Deal with it. 

I'm not a critical person. This must be how I get it all out. 

Dear Desiree, this is not a "poor me" moment. You've had a free 6 week vacation with 20 good-looking guys. Reality check. 

Awkward 10 minutes of watching her cry. And now him cry. These guys cry more in one night than Derrick has in 4 years. 

Commercial break. 

Awkward 10 minutes of watching her cry. And now him cry. These guys cry more in one night than Derrick has in 4 years. 

I just realized I wasted 30 minutes of my life. Thank you, reality tv. 

Next week is going to be more crying and awkwardness and crying, isn't it? 

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Derrick and I are blessed with some incredible friends, and there are seasons in life where we get to catch up with them and spend time reconnecting. Recently has been one of those seasons...

Last Friday night, we had our first small group outing - going to see Wreck It Ralph with our whole group. It was a great time to catch up with each other outside of our bible study and worship time. Our Hope small group is amazing, and we've quickly clicked and became a family.

Tuesday I got to have my weekly (or more recently every other week) lunch with Bethany. Bethany is my third cousin, but she's been one of my very best friends since 6th grade. She's beating cancer and growing stronger. 

Tuesday night Derrick and I met up with my best pal Whitney (best pals since 4th grade) and her hubby Aaron. They live an hour away, so we try to meet up in Raleigh for dinner once a month. We love catching up and laughing as they recall summer stories and share their passion for ministry and marriage. 

This weekend Jessi & Evan are in town! 
Jessi has been in my life since elementary school, but she's been one of my best friends since high school. We were in each others weddings, even though she and her hubby live in Ohio (soon to be Massachusetts!). I hope one day they'll move south again!

Tuesday night I get to fix dinner for a couple at our old church who just had their first child. Zach and Diana have an amazing energy about life and love for the Lord. I'm excited to love on them and see baby Laurel! 

Thursday night Derrick and I have our first babysitting gig (don't tell the parents its our first one ;). We're hanging out with the cutest three kids ever. Our small group leaders and friends - Jason and Diana - are amazing parents and have created some pretty awesome little ones. I'm excited to spend time with them. 

And next Saturday Derrick and I are roadtripping to Charlotte to see my friend Carrie - who I've known since 2nd grade - rock it as Jo in Little Women. She's always been a wonderful actress and director, so I'm excited to see her in action. Our friends John and Jessica will be going too - so we'll get to catch up with them and make some new memories! 

God has truly blessed us with some amazing friends, and it's nice to have time to celebrate that. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I said "No".

I just said no to something today.

This is a big deal.

It was something people thought I would be good at. Something people needed me to do. Something that even came along with a little money. 

And I politely but firmly said no. 

I don't say no. Unless it's part of the phrases: "no big deal", "no problem", or "no worries"...I want to help. I want to be needed. I want to be productive. Even when I may want to say no, it doesn't happen. 
Until now...

So, how did I come to learning this important word and actually using it?

In the spring, I allowed myself to say "yes" to one too many things. Sure, they were all worthy causes. But I soon found myself dreading many of my responsibilities and sick and tired of being sick and tired. Being burnt out, and having a spirit of exhaustion, is no way to live life - and doesn't allow you to invest yourself fully to any of your responsibilities. I'm still struggle daily on this one.

In the past few years, I've learned the importance of knowing your priorities. This doesn't necessarily make things super easy, but it helps. And I choose to make a lot of things a priority in my life.
Quiet time with God. 
One-on-one time with my husband. 
Weekly time with our family. 
Dedication to church, our church family and worship. 
Time with our awesome friends whenever we can coordinate schedules. 
Campbell, my students, my boss and my co-workers.
 My home - making sure it is in-order, running efficiently, clean and cozy. 
These are the things that I have chosen to prioritize in my life, and I have to be okay cutting out other things.

Dreading weddings
The thing I said no to was being a (weekend) wedding coordinator at Campbell. Something it seems like I would be good at, sure...
but weddings are actually something that I'm not that crazy about. I appreciate them. I love seeing people's personalities come out in their wedding. And I love that weddings represent a commitment to marriage. But all of those things are because I love people as individuals and I love marriage. But I don't love weddings. I think people spend too much time and money on them - when they should be focused more on the marriage. So, I knew that I would be giving up more weekend time to do something good, sure, but something that I would end up dreading. And I'd much rather dedicate my free weekend time to my own marriage, loving on others in my life, taking care of my home, etc.

So I said no. 

It's still hard to admit, but I think I'm glad that I did.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Song of Psalms

At church last week, we were challenged to read through the Psalms in a month, which fell right after I had just finished 1 & 2 Samuel and fit in perfectly with my goal to read through the Old Testament in a year. God's timing is always perfect.

So I began delving deeper into the heart of David. The Bible app on my phone is awesome, because I can listen to apx. 6 chapters on my way to work. Then Derrick and I listen together, take notes and talk through. It's been an amazing lesson for me. 

So far, after 38 chapters, I've learned that David is great at two things that I'm not so great at: being honest with God and praising God passionately. 

Being honest with God. 
So many times I hide my struggles and feelings to the point that I hardly even know them myself. I package them nicely, ignore them, see no point in sharing b/c God already knows or figure God has better things to do than to listen to me complain. 
But none of that stopped David. When he was angry, he was angry to God. Even when he was angry with God. When he felt far from God, he said so - and begged God to draw near. When he wished bad upon someone, he admitted it. When he felt lost or lonely, he poured his heart out. He knew God knew, and He knew God cared - so he said so. 

Praising God passionately. 
I think David is the best praiser in history. No matter what his psalm, his prayer, his poem was about - no matter what depths of despair he was in - he always brought it back to praise. He always acknowledged God as God, Creator, Sustainer, Avenger, Refuge, Judge, Father, King. He danced for God, sang for God, shouted for God - no matter what other people (even his wife) had to say about it. 

So many times, my prayers are "God bless so and so", "God heal...", "God use...", "God show...". And those are great. We should ask God to move. And believe He'll do big things. 

But sometimes, we should just bask in the praise of how awesome God is. Tell Him all the things You love about Him. 
Adore Him. Acknowledge Him.
 And sometimes we should just share our heart - vulnerable and real.
 He already knows, so don't be afraid to say so.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fall's not that far...

Two weeks ago, I looked at my schedule and saw free days and clear skies after Orientation weekend (July 12-13). I was excited about the possibilities.

Today I looked at my calendar...and saw fall.
It's crazy how quickly the calendar becomes full these days.

Of course, many of my coworkers choose these next two weeks to vacation. And many of my friends have been vacationing all summer - traveling to exciting locations, family vacations, camps, etc. And, while I'm inwardly struggling with the desire to get away,
Derrick and I do have a calendar full of exciting things ahead... 

We are officially done with Campbell Orientation, 
my middle-of-summer marker. I love having the opportunity to hang out with and get to know our future students. They're so eager and excited, their future right around the corner.

July 19-21
This weekend we get to go see Wreck It Ralph
 at Koko Booth Ampitheatre with our awesome church small group on Friday night. (Yep, I love Ralph). 
On Saturday we have a birthday party for an adorable two year old. Then we're planning to hang out with Derrick's dad and sister :) And on Sunday we'll be watching the little ones at church!

The 24th is the sister's birthday! 
I'm sure there will be a lot of good food that I am happy to help eat.

July 26-28
This weekend is double exciting because some of our best friends from Alabama (Joel - Derrick's best man - and his beautiful wife Ashley) will be up! We always do late night dessert with them when they're here. 
AND Jessi (one of my bridesmaids and best friends since high school) and Evan will be in town from Ohio! I love weekends full of catching up with dear friends.

August 2-4
(whoa, August already?)
We'll be checking out our first First Friday in Raleigh with our small group from church, and then Derrick and I are headed to Charlotte. I'm excited to see one of my other dear friends Carrie portray Jo in Little Women, and then Derrick and I are going to enjoy the city...

Then my birthday and the students coming back will be right around the corner....

Then September and Visitation Days and cookouts and my family's long awaited mountain trip and my dad's birthday...

Wasn't it just Memorial Day? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sizzling Summer Series: Confidence and Creativity

After all this time of sharing with you, this is my last official post in our sizzling summer series...I'm sad to see it end but soon my other random musings will be back. 

 If you haven't read the other 4 posts in this series, here's what you should know before we dive in: 

I've joined forces with some of my best wifey-friends to write these posts.  Our thoughts, ideas and experiences are mixed in together -
 as one - so you will have no idea who is credited with what :)

1. We believe that God created sex as an act of love, intimacy and connection  (and baby making) between a husband and a wife within the union of marriage. 2. If you have had sex outside of marriage, we believe in a God who loves redeeming and restoring. 
3. We realize that our experiences aren't everyone's.  We also realize that we're all still pretty much in our newlywed stages so we aren't experts.  But it's our heart to share with you.

Alright, let's talk about being confident and creative. 

Of course, as Christians we need to be humble in Christ... But when it comes to sex, be confident. Your husband picked YOU to marry. Out of all the girls in the world - he picked you. He wants you.

And, if you take care of yourself, he likely doesn’t notice those flaws that you worry about. He thinks you're amazingly sexy. Isn't that such a compliment? Shouldn't that inspire you to give him what he so longingly desires? It’s free. I can give him this awesome, free gift at any time it's possible! And he'll love it. 

Put on whatever makes you feel sexy, whether that's lingerie, a flattering dress, a tank top and undies, whatever! The sexiest thing for his is to see you feeling confident about yourself. Thinking to yourself, wow, I am sexy. When my husband sees me he is going to be thinking of nothing else.

Also, I know a lot of ladies would rather not do certain things because it's "just not me". Of course it's not you in regular life! Try crazy things - mess up your hair, put on really dark eye make up, wear stockings, wear an emphasizing bra, dance for him, whatever! Go for it! Even if you think it's not your personality, just try it. Ask your husband what he'd like or surprise him and gauge his reaction. It can be really fun if you just go for it with a carefree attitude and aren't be afraid to laugh at yourself. 

Here are just a few simple ideas for married women:

Make a basket of sexy surprises for him.

Give him a book of coupons - that can be redeemed anytime.

Dress up in an outfit that reminds him of a special time in your relationship – but turn up the sexy with makeup, hair, undergarments or lack of…

Turn off the lights, turn on the lights, light candles…

Pick a certain perfume that you put on to get him in the mood – and only then.

Play music – it helps set the mood and it also keeps your mind, as a woman, from wondering to all of the things you could be doing instead.

Buy him “sexy” boxers that he can put on to show you he’s in the mood. 

Read Song of Solomon together.

Laugh a lot. If it doesn’t go as planned – it’s okay. Your husband is your best friend –be silly.

Try somewhere new. The closet, the couch, the kitchen, the car…

Have a code word or phrase that only you and your husband know that refers to sex…this way you can send him sexy emails or texts without the worry that someone else might see :) Yes, send him suggestive text messages.

Most importantly – find what works best for you as a couple. Find what you both enjoy. Find the timing and rhythm that works and make it a priority to do so.

Thanks for sharing in this sizzling summer series on sex!  I hope you learned someone or felt inspired. All of the ladies and myself are so glad we could give you a small glimpse into our "panty party" conversations, and we truly hope that this was encouraging as a woman and a wife.  
Yep, I'm pretty sure anything I post after this is going to be boring in comparison. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sizzling Summer Series: Companions

I took a break for Orientation, a conference in Philadelphia and a relaxing weekend with my hot husband. Now, I'm back. If you missed my first three posts on marriage and sex, take a minute to check 'em out: 

#1. Coming Content
#2. Communication
#3. Cause you love him...

 If you haven't read the other 3, here's what you should know before we dive in: 

I've joined forces with some of my best wifey-friends to write these posts.  Our thoughts, ideas and experiences are mixed in together -
 as one - so you will have no idea who is credited with what :)

1. We believe that God created sex as an act of love, intimacy and connection  (and baby making) between a husband and a wife within the union of marriage.
2. If you have had sex outside of marriage, we believe in a God who loves redeeming and restoring. 
3. We realize that our experiences aren't everyone's.  We also realize that we're all still pretty much in our newlywed stages so we aren't experts.  But it's our heart to share with you.

 Now, on to the importance of companionship.

This may seem out of place and PG compared to my last post (don't worry, the next one will spice things up again), but I promise it is important and very relevant... 

The ladies who have contributed to this series have been my friends since elementary, middle, and high school. It's rare and an amazing blessing only from God. We used to wonder how we’d fall in love, who we’d marry and what marriage would be like. We’ve been through a lot together – and talked through everything together.

For four years, we’ve been gathering in celebration of each woman’s upcoming marriage – in the form of a lingerie shower (or “panty party” as Derrick calls them).  And, on top of that, we’ve met every few months or more just to catch up, laugh together and talk through how things are going. These women inspire me, they encourage me and they – without even having to try hard – keep me accountable. I think my husband would say he’s very thankful that I have these women in my life – because they remind me of what it is to be a modest, kind, thoughtful and sexy wife. 

My hope is that you too have friends who you can talk to about anything. A group of ladies that you can laugh with, cry with and talk openly about things with (all of those hanging prepositions are killing me, but I'm just going to go with it...). Sometimes our conversations are silly, sometimes serious and sometimes downright blunt, TMI.

It’s so important to have a close female friends you can talk to about your struggles. Don't just accept the problem and bury it; find encouragement. Most of the time, you’ll find that you aren’t the only one who has struggled with a certain issue. Or you’ll find inspiration to move past that issue. And, when you’re in slump, they can give you confidence and creative ideas (our next post focuses on those ideas).

If you don’t feel like you have a group of godly women to talk with, talk to an older woman in your church or someone you look up to. Or let me know – I’d be happy to talk to you, pray with you or get you in touch with one of these other ladies to talk with. 

Don’t ever talk to someone of the opposite sex about the intimate aspects of your marriage, your husband’s flaws or struggles within your marriage. 

Is there someone who came to mind when reading this but you feel you've lost touch? Call them, send a text or facebook message...invite them out for coffee or dinner. Is there a new friend you'd like to get to know better? Now's the chance. Don't miss it.