ten day challenge: eight fears, seven wants

Aug 30, 2011

What a whirlwind of a week! I'm into the second week of my new job and really enjoying it. However, it's been an adjustment trying to fit in work, workouts, and things to do at home. I've given myself a break on writing for the past few days- just haven't found the energy. However, I've missed writing and am ready to get back to it! I find that it actually is relaxing if I make time for it.

Back to the "me" challenge- I've decided to do two days at a time. I don't want this thing to drag on forever!
If you're linking up, so glad you've decided to! I've enjoyed reading your posts and learning a bit about you.
Eight Fears.

one. I'm so scared of heights. I can't even walk near the railing on the 2nd floor of the mall without feeling shaky and unbalanced.

two. I'm scared I won't be a good mom. I see my imperfections and I'm afraid my children will get all my bad qualities.

three. As silly as this sounds, I'm afraid that I'll let myself go and eventually be overweight once I have children. I truly feel depressed at times when I feel that I don't look my best - which is dumb because my value is not to be determined by my physical appearance - but I just can't seem to overcome that. I'm working on it.

four. I'm afraid of something terrible happening to my husband or family members. Sometimes I play those things out in my head and actually tear up at the thought. It's unhealthy, I know, but I truly am scared of a life-changing tragedy happening. We're being honest here, right?

five. I'm scared of being in a bad place financially. Money stresses me out and as the one who takes care of the financial things in our house, balancing the checkbook, making sure bills get paid, etc, I tend to freak out when I feel that we aren't secure enough or don't have enough in savings. Even the thought of debt stresses me out. We don't have bad spending habits at all and have a financial plan in order to be debt free within two years - I need to get a grip!

six. I'm afraid that M will stop loving me. I see so many bad marriages around me and I'm afraid that if I'm not daily vigilent, our marriage will turn out like theirs- all because of selfishness.

seven. I'm afraid that I'll get to the end of my life and wish I hadn't rushed through it. I'm afraid I'll not fulfill the purpose God has for me and have just sailed through life doing meaningless tasks and worrying about petty, earthly things.

 eight. On a lighter note, I'm scared of needles and blood. I get weak in the knees just thinking or hearing about blood or needles. And don't even say the word "wrist" and "needles" in the same sentence. I might just pass out!

Seven Wants.

one. I want to be a good wife and mom. I want to be the woman my husband feels like he can confide in, find strength and encouragement in, and love with all his heart and the kind of woman my children will want to be. I want to be kind and show grace to my husband and children because God showed me that same grace.

two. I want to be more faithful in my Bible study and prayer life. I hate how many distractions I let take the place of my time with the Lord.

three. I want to be easier on myself and not feel like a dissappointed when I can't be perfect or even good at something.

four. I want to try new recipes. Lately I've been fixing the same old things and I'd LOVE to try some new, different foods. I'd also like to to bake some more complicated things.

five. I want to be more outgoing. I tend to be more introverted and shy away from situations where I feel self-conscious (ex: a new workout class at the gym where I don't know anyone, etc). Because we're in a new town, it's been hard to make friends. I complain about it, but shy away from situations that might help me meet people. Sometimes I even don't put effort into friendships I already have. I'm bad about calling them which I hate because I truly love them and care. I'm going to try to be better!

six. I want to travel overseas. I want to see different cultures and enjoy different foods. I really hope that we'll be able to travel at some point.

seven. I want to know that I'm making a difference. With my job. In the lives of family and friends. For the Lord.

Alright, time to link up!

ten day challenge: nine loves

Aug 24, 2011

one. I love when M touches or plays with my hair. It feel so good and feels so affectionate.

two. I love going to see movies- I could go to the theater every night if there was something good playing!

three. I love Italian food!I could have Fettuccine every night!
four. I love my planner. Yeah, I know that's crazy, but I love being organized and detailed.

five. I love trying new restaurants. I don't eat fast food, but I could eat at a restaurant every night if money (or weight!) wasn't an issue. I love it! 

six. I love taking a hot bath with a glass of wine. 

seven. I love to get out and travel! Even if it is just into town for some ice cream! :)

eight. I love conversations with friends and family that leave me feeling completely understood.

nine. I love moving furniture around...often! It feeds my need for change.

What are your nine loves? Link up below!

ten day challenge: ten secrets

Aug 23, 2011

Well, yesterday was my first day of work! At this point, I've still got a long way to go before I get my own full caseload. Yesterday and today I shadowed with another Case Manager and am slowly learning and taking in all there is to know about what I will be doing. I truly haven't enjoyed most jobs I've had to have, but I have a great feeling about this one. It truly fits me very well. I'm excited to slowly get more responsibility and start helping and connecting with clients and their families.

I got up at 5am yesterday because I had to be at the Nashville office to sign papers and make the job official. Today, I got up at 5am again, ate breakfast with my husband, and went to the gym. I had a great workout and was able to shower there and go straight to work. I really enjoyed that! I'm usually NOT a morning person, but I may start making that a habit! 

All that to say that this week and next are going to be pretty busy and if I keep up with this gym routine, I'll be worn out when I get home. Natasha over at Hello! Happiness is doing her own 10 Day Challenge, pictured below. Because I KNOW my brain will be overloaded already these next couple days and next week, I'm going to do my own version of the ten day challenge. You'll get to learn a little about me and I won't have to come up with something to write about every day!  Here goes! Feel free to do your own version and link up below!

one. I wish I would have been disciplined and talented enough to finish my Music degree so I could be a Music Therapist. 

two. I am insecurely self-conscious and self-critical to a fault.

three. I hate seeing other people on their phone all the time, even though I'm on mine probably just as much.

four. I keep having a reoccurring dream that I am giving the bird to people I'm mad at. 

five. I still can't call my family without tearing up or crying after we hang up because I love and miss them so much.

sixEven though we're trying to pay off our loans before we start a family, I'm still disappointed a tiny bit every month..

seven.  I secretly wish I was a country music star.
eight. I'm self-diagnosed with OCD. It's that bad, ya'll. 

nine. I have terrible self-control when it comes to sweets.

ten. I believe conspiracy theories. 

Like to participate? Go ahead and link up below and share in the fun!

pinteresting fashion.

Aug 18, 2011

Because I can't think of anything else to write about, I'm going to resort to posting some of my Pinterest fall fashion inspirations.

Can you tell I'm ready for the crisp air, the comfort food-scented candles, and sweaters? I LOVE fall!







 I'm LOVING all of these styles. I love that they all look comfortable, cozy, and warm! Although I love Fall, I can't take the cold weather very well and I've never known how to layer properly and stylishly. I mean, I know there are more important things in the world than what I'm wearing, but I just figured I'd share the styles I enjoy.

simple pleasures

Aug 16, 2011

Today, I'm soaking in the simplicity of having the windows open, a cool breeze through the house, a good book, a delicious smelling Scentsy burning, and a $5 bouquet I treated myself to at the grocery store. 

Perspective goes a long way. 

not so miscellany monday: lake edition

Aug 15, 2011

 Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
M's brother has been visiting since Thursday and just left this morning. We had a great time. My dad's twin brother lives an hour away and has a site near Kentucky Lake at Land Between the Lakes. We spent Saturday mostly around the house, and wanted to do something fun since Will was here. Sunday morning we got up early, M fixed us breakfast, and we hit the road bound for the lake.

We spent about five hours out on my uncle's pontoon boat. The guys waded in some shallow water near a little island for awhile until my uncle's friend and his family met us. We decided to go to a nearby cove and found a nice spot where the water was deeper. My uncle's friend has a super nice wake boarding boat and after an hour or two of swimming and relaxing, he took his wife out to board and M and his brother went along. Before I knew it they were out on the water, too, and surfing behind the boat. They were pretty good! They both grew up around water so I know they loved getting back out there!
 The lake was absolutely beautiful- blue skies, cool breeze, perfect temperature water. 

While the guys were out on the boat, I laid out on the pontoon boat, soaked in too much sun, and read The Help. I'll have to review the book in full when I'm done, but I didn't want to put it down even after the first couple of chapters! I'm determined to read it before I go see the movie. I've heard it really does provide some good context for the story and characters.
I'm so glad we ended up at the lake for the day. I was able to revive my tan, relax, spend some time with my family, snap some pictures, and read a great book. 

Now onto a fun announcement for this week! You may have seen the party button on the left of my page. That is a link to my friend Kristin's blog, Vignettes. She just recently switched  from blogger to create her very own website, including her blog, a community site, great recipes, and her awesome shop! 


So, head over there right now, follow her, and join the blog-warming party. There will be prizes every single day and some great posts! 

Last time I was in Virginia, Kristin and I were able to get together and enjoy some conversation and some tea at Starbucks. We met at ten and before we knew it, it was one! We had chatted for 3 hours! I've heard that's a good sign of a good conversation- and it definitely was. Kristin is so sweet and has some amazing ideas on how to really create a blogging community. Click on over and have fun this week -what a great way to find a new blog, meet other writers, and even possibly gain some readers!

Last, but not least, I just HAVE to show you what M's brother made us and brought with him from Virginia this weekend. As you may have seen in my previous posts about our new house, it's old and although it has some character, it needs some work. As you walk into the side entry-way of our house, the washing machine and dryer are on the left and there's a huge empty space on the right. It has been full of clutter and junk since we moved in. It has been so easy to just sit things down in there and forget about them. I've always wanted a piece of furniture to put there with a space to hang things and a place to put shoes. I found a picture of what I had in mind and M's brother took that and made it a reality! He even helped me paint it on Friday while M was at work. I can't even tell you how much I love how it turned out.
  Isn't it amazing? I plan on sanding the edges some to make it look vintage and worn. I'm so excited to have it in there...it really does complete the space and give us something to help organize all of our shoes and jackets, etc.

Needless to say, it was a really great weekend. Don't forget, head over to Kristin's and join the party! Have a fabulous Monday!

weekend market

Aug 13, 2011

This morning we woke up, M cooked breakfast, and we headed out for the local Farmer's Market. Because our town is small, there were only a hand-full of vendors. We were able to get a watermelon and some corn, squash, okra, garlic, and onions. I love buying local. I love knowing that our money is going to support small-town farmers and gardeners.
This lady makes and sells sterling silver pendants and other jewelry. I wasn't going to get anything, but a pendant caught my eye and for the great price of $25, I couldn't pass it up. 
 M's tomato plant has done really well this summer, even with some "forgetting to water" spells and some crazy humid heat. We were able to pick these tomatoes this past weekend. 
 Relaxing Saturdays like this make me pine for fall even more. We're dying to be able to open the windows and let a cool breeze float throughout the house. Only a little while longer...

Mirror, Mirror

Aug 11, 2011

As much as I've LOVED married life, it has truly been a learning experience already. M and I have had so much fun spending our time together, making a home together, and setting goals for our future. I love M so much and couldn't imagine sharing my life with anyone else.

The pastor who married us always said that he never realized how selfish he was until he got married. And even more so when he had children. 

That has truly been the case for me. I've never considered myself an extremely selfish person, however, I do sometimes act with only my own benefit in mind.

Some recent times of reflection have made clear some things about myself that I am glad have been uncovered personally.

Unconditional love is hard. It requires complete selflessness and grace. It requires daily intentional living- intentional reactions, intentional decisions, intentional surrender to Christ. 

M & I don't really argue. We disagree and both love to debate, but big arguments rarely happen. However, there are times in our relationship when we both get comfortable and don't put forth the effort that the other deserves.

Selfishness and conditions kick in so easily. I find myself being so quick to have feelings of anger or bitterness. I sometimes find myself basing my actions toward M according to how I feel that he has treated me for the day or what he has done for me. 

When I realize this, I'm so disappointed in myself. I'm a follower of Christ. I should love because He first loved me and gave Himself for me. 

I must remind myself so often that I am not showing the unconditional love of Christ. He commands that for believers. He commands that for wives and husbands. We are to love as Christ loves the church.

My responsibility as M's wife, as his best friend, as his love, as his sister in Christ is to DAILY die to self and find ways to serve him and put him first. 

I hate how easy it is to be selfish. What a battle against flesh every single day. 

The beautiful thing about marriage? I truly believe it is the relationship that is most like a symbol of our relationship with the Lord. Although both husband and wife are human and imperfect, marriage should be a safe place where you know you are loved and accepted for who you are. Christ died for us. We should die to ourselves with the intention of esteeming our spouse and meeting their needs. DAILY. 

One of the things I look up to most in my husband? His ability to forgive and forget. I am so thankful for M's example in that area. 

That is almost a foreign concept to me. I've always struggled with holding on to hurts and wrong done against me. I say I forgive, but secretly hold on to it in the back of my mind just in case it happens again. I can use it as base on which to pile on layers of blame.

What if Christ had done that to me? What if he had said, "Well, I forgave you for your sins and I became your righteousness and all, but really, Kelsea, this is too much. I just can't help you here". 

I think so much about the love of Christ in comparison to marriage. If Christ treated me like I sometimes treat M -I'd have run out of "forgivens". I'm so thankful that no matter how many times my heart turns cold or I emulate the exact opposite character that is Christ, He still forgives and loves me beyond comprehension. My sin is as far as the East is from the West. Wow. How do you even begin to live that out in life? It's so much easier to hold on to it. It's so much easier to act on the emotions of your flesh.

The answer is DAILY walking with the Lord. It's funny how I struggle so much with these things around the time that I am most negligent with my time with the Lord.

Christ's unconditional love should propel me to show that to others, especially my husband. I can't do this alone. I can't be the kind of wife I need to be without first loving the Lord with all of my heart and allowing his love to permeate all aspects of my heart and life. 

I despise finding this in my life, and know that unless I surrender daily, it will only take a stronger foothold on my life. I am resolving now to try to fill my life with as much of the Holy Spirit as I can.

Every moment of my life should be viewed through the lens of Scripture and the realization that although I don't deserve Christ's love, He loved me even in my filth. 

Oftentimes, personally, I talk but have a hard time living it out or taking full-on action.
So, how can I practically and intentionally love M, no matter what? How can I esteem him and show love, even when I am hurting or feeling neglected? 

Those are the things I plan on asking the Lord to reveal to me. I don't believe it's  just a simple attitude change. It is choosing to respond a certain way. It is choosing to say certain words and hold back others.

1 John 4:15-21
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is [a]born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested [b]in us, that God has sent His [c]only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has [d]for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear [e]involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also."

It is choosing to love. It is choosing to let the Spirit change you.


Aug 10, 2011

I'm LOVING: memories of the weekend! We had such a great time at the cabin. It was so great to see my parents and get a little R&R. The cabin we stayed at was so nice and cozy. We ventured out to the outlet malls in Pigeon Forge for an hour or two then just went back to the cabin to relax and grill out. Here's a few pictures from the fun weekend! 

My friend Grace, Me, and my Mom.
My sweet parents - we're lucky if we can get my dad to smile instead of make some contorted face!
M & Me
We seriously know how to make a mess!

Pool Games!

I'm LOVING: precious time spent at home. I ended up coming home with my parents for a few days and am going back to Tennessee with M's brother tomorrow morning. It's been a good past few days, but I am really missing my husband and mostly ready to be back. 

It's been nice to spend the evenings with my parents and relax. That is the time I miss the most- just being at home in the comfort of where I grew up. I love the way I feel when I'm back home and all the memories that comes with being here.

Yesterday I visited my friend Beth and met her sweet little angel for the first time. Little miss Kendall was so tiny and adorable. I know by the next time I come home, she will be SO big! I didn't snap any pictures for privacy reasons, but she is probably one of the cutest little newborns I've seen! I just kept thinking..."one day..one day..". 

I'm LOVING: that I am FINALLY meeting up with Kristin from The Veranda. 
She and I met for the first time at a mutual friend's annual Andy Griffith Party. Around that time I had just recently begun blogging and found her blog through a "like" on Facebook. A couple weeks after the party, I think it was, we put two and two together! She lives close to Roanoke and so do I - just from opposite ends! We've been meaning to get together and chat over coffee for awhile, but my schedule kept getting in the way. She suggested a meet on Facebook when she saw I was in town and I'm so glad she did! Looking forward to it today!

What things are you loving? Are you finding time in your day to sit back and recognize the good things? 


Aug 5, 2011

Ever since I found the store, Restoration Hardware. I've wanted to re-decorate our entire house. It's such a mature look, yet rustic and relaxed. 

Instead of buying pillows and spending hundreds of dollars, I bought the fabric and iron-on-paper and went to town!

Here were the results (excuse the poor picture quality and lighting)

I'll eventually change the yellow pillow- but for now- one project at a time!

I printed the images from online- the clock one from a google image search and the bicycle one from a $1 download from Etsy. 

This was a fun project. They look great with a lot of the vintage items we have in our living room, including an old 50's Singer sewing machine, an antique typewriter, and an old trunk we're using as our coffee table. 

And while I had the sewing machine, I made my friend Beth's sweet little girl a tiny little dress. It's pretty rough looking, but cute! I'll post a picture after I give it to her next week!

We're leaving this weekend to meet my parents in Pigeon Forge for the weekend and then I get to go home with them for a few days! Pretty excited about that, although I will miss M while I'm gone. However, I won't miss the chores, housework, cooking, and staying home alone most of the day.

Next week's post you don't want to miss?

A recap of Grace's and my TOUR OF THE GRAND OLE OPRY! 
Have a great relaxing weekend!

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Aug 3, 2011

I'm LOVING.....that I have been blessed with interviews and job options. As much as I see statistics about unemployment, I feel so thankful to the Lord that He has brought these opportunities into my life.

I'm LOVING.....that my sister's days off got approved and she'll be able to visit around the same time as my parents in September! I miss her so much and will be glad to have her here for a few days.

I'm LOVING....Charming Charlie! I first went to the store in Northern Virginia, but have since been going to the one at Green Hills Mall in Nashville. I'll admit- the Green Hills Mall has tons of stores that are a bit above my price range. You know when there's a Tiffany & Co in the mall that you're talking high dollar. Anyway, Charming Charlie is an amazing store full of accessories that are SO affordable! And the great thing is the entire store is grouped by color so if you need to accessorize a certain outfit, they make it so easy to find something! 

I'm LOVING....that I'm a fan of JJ Heller on Facebook because she posted a link to her blog today! Can you say wonder-woman? She has an amazing voice, a strong testimony through her music, is expecting, has the cutest little girl, and probably quite a bit of money, but her blog is all about DIY projects and finding good deals. She can do everything! She sews her little girls clothes, she paints art on her walls....everything! I know I shouldn't compare myself to others, but I'll admit I did feel a bit insecure after reading her blog and seeing her many talents. On a positive note, she has inspired me to start sewing again...and more than a square pillow! I'm envisioning baby clothes, clothes for me, etc. Now to find a cheap sewing machine that works!

I'm LOVING....Pinterest! Below are some of the cute outfits I'm excited to try in the fall. I've pinned them to my "My Ideal Wardrobe" Board. 
LOVE the boots with the leggings and wrap dress...and no, that isn't me in the picture.
LOVE this outfit- it's so casual but still looks mature enough.
I LOVE jeans with white shirts- such a nice contrast. The belt adds such a great touch and tucking the shirt in adds a classier look to a more casual outfit!

 I'm LOVING....gaining new followers! I've gotten several very positive comments on some recent posts and it really does feel good. I often wonder if anyone ever reads my posts or what they think- so it's been really uplifting to get some positive feedback. I'm up to 43 followers! I'm no Kelly Hampton with almost fifteen thousand followers or Ree Drummond with even more, but as long as I'm writing to enjoy it - I'm just happy when others can enjoy it, too!  

I'm LOVING....taking pictures! I'd love to add more pictures of me and what goes on in my life to my posts. I think it makes the blog a bit more personal. However, I'm still working on not being afraid to bring my camera in random places. I mean, I can't get pictures of "normal" life if I'm not willing to bring my camera in to places like a nightly run to DQ or to a cool restaurant we hit up for lunch. I'm working on it. I KNOW it will be easier to do once I have kids, because they can be my excuse. But for now, I'll work on becoming as good as Kelly Hampton and Pioneer Woman. Maybe ONE DAY I'll be able to do EVERYTHING! ha!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!


Miscellany Monday

Aug 1, 2011

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

As I mentioned last week, I went on Friday to pick up my friend Grace. We had a pretty lax weekend with some big city thrown in!

Saw an EXCELLENT movie...

Ate at a great restaurant called Burger Up, previously reviewed by the popular Olivia over at everyday musings .

If you're ever in Nashville, make it a point to stop by. It'll be the best sweet potato fries and non-greasy burger you've ever had, plus the coolest atmosphere! 

As much as I just LOVE interviews, I'm ready for this job thing to get a move-on. Right now they're in the background check stage. So I'm pretty sure job offers will come from both places pretty soon. Just got to wait and in the meantime pray for wisdom to make the choice between the two.

Because I've been missing home recently, my thoughtful husband suggested that I go home with my parents when we meet them this coming weekend to get Grace and take her back home to Virginia. M's brother Will is coming the following weekend to visit so I'll just ride back home with him. It'll be nice to be home and spend some time with my parents.
I'm also excited because.....

My friend Beth had her baby! It's a sweet baby girl and I can't wait to meet her and hold her! Both mom and baby are doing great and get to go home tomorrow if all is well. 

I got some EOS lip balm in the check out aisle at Walmart about a month ago and LOVE it. It feels so good on my lips and is easier to apply than lip balm in a tin- less messy! I highly recommend it!

Pretty boring Miscellany Monday, eh?