Thursday, October 8, 2015

#ThrowbackThursday Part 1

It's Thursday, so here's a special Throwback Thursday post! 

Starting with my sister and I in matching outfits... My mom must have really wanted twins, because she dressed us alike at every possible occasion.

Even matching hairstyles!

My family also really loves the beach. Here's a photo of my sister, brother and me.

This summer, my brother and baby sister took a trip to the beach. This is one of my favorite memories from this summer.

Here's a more recent photo of all of us. Throwback to April when we all met Queen Elsa at my niece's birthday party. (My niece is the little princess front and center!) 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


I got married last month, and I thought for sure that my family and friends would immediately pressure me and my husband to have children. Surprisingly, that didn't happen at all! They've been totally cool about it.

But now I'm I want to have kids? Really? I feel strangely about it. I mean, of course I want a family, but I've lived in fear of getting pregnant for the last 26 years! It'd be so strange to actively try to have a baby on purpose. 

Good thing I won't be doing that for a while.

I'm going to take this year to get to know my husband better and start building our married life. I plan to travel the world and enjoy my time with family and friends - kid free! 

When the time comes for us to start a family, I'll probably still be nervous about it. But it's nice to know that when it happens, I'll have the support of my husband.

Image result for family planning

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Stroll Down Memory Lane

My husband and I are moving to a new apartment, so tonight we started packing up boxes. He did the kitchen and pantry while I tackled the spare room upstairs. As I was sorting through it all, I realized that I am the bearer of most of my family's memories. I have pictures of all of us: myself, my 3 siblings, my parents...

Every family vacation to the beach. Every year of school pictures. Every silly face my brother made at the camera!

It's amazing how looking at old photos can take you down memory lane. I found myself saying 'I remember that!' and wishing I could go back to the old days.

Even more amazing is seeing how much everyone has changed over the years. My younger sister is all grown up now with a husband and child of her own. My brother who used to be the annoying little hyperactive boy is now a 20-year old college student and a fantastic photographer. (Seriously - if you need a photographer, check him out!) My baby sister isn't such a baby anymore; now she's a 7th grader who plays lacrosse and takes guitar lessons!

Just like the song says, "When I look back over my life, and I think things over, I can truly say that I've been blessed."

Monday, October 5, 2015

Strategic Plan for 2015

Let me take the opportunity to explain why I chose family as my topic for the #Write31Days challenge.

At the beginning of the year, my pastor Keith Battle encouraged us all to create a "Strategic Plan" for 2015. He had us write goals and plans for 6 categories: Faith, Fitness, Finances, Family, Friendship, and Fun. (You can watch the sermon here!)

Most of my goals were simple... Regularly attend worship at Zion Church, pay for my wedding without going into debt, stay connected with my church's small group, etc. You know, the stuff I'm supposed to do.

My family goals seemed easy enough, too. (1) Communicate with my family more often (2) Spend quality time with James at least once per week (3) Visit my family at least once per quarter.

While I have been in communication with my family this year, I'm not sure how much of that communication has been purposeful. That could use some work. Hence, part of the reason why I started this challenge. Secondly, James and I have implemented a weekly Date Night to ensure that we spend quality time together. We've done coffee dates, bowling and movie nights just to name a few. Lastly, I'm on track for visiting my family once per quarter, but I'd like to do more of that as well. I got to see all of my family at my wedding last month and man that was a treat!

So there you have it. That's why I'm focusing on family in this blog.

How do you feel about creating a Strategic Plan for the year? Do you think you'll follow it? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

At the Redskins game

My maternal grandmother (lovingly known as Mama) has season tickets for the Washington Redskins in the Club seats. At the beginning of the season, she offered to give her tickets away to family and friends who wanted to attend the games. My husband and I had never been to a professional football game before, so we signed up.

We chose today's game: Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles. We're both pretty knowledgeable about football and we've both played on fantasy leagues before, but neither one of us knew how good this game would actually be! First of all, the seats were amazing. We could see the whole field! And although the weather looked crappy, it was still way better than getting rained on like the weatherman was predicting.

The final score was Redskins 23 - Eagles 20, but man it was a heck of a game! It looked like a shut-out after the first half, with the Skins up 13-0, but then the Eagles scored a touchdown and two field goals within a few minutes into the second half!

Then the Redskins came back with a field goal of their own. Suddenly we had a ball game!

I don't know if it was a combination of the chilly weather or the ref's calls, but something got into our quarterback the last quarter of the game and he wasn't playing so hot. A few short pass plays here and there got us up the field, but it usually didn't result in a touchdown. The home team crowd was starting to feel defeated.

Then, with the Redskins down 20-16, and less than a minute on the clock, Pierre Garcon catches the ball in the end zone - TOUCHDOWN REDSKINS!!! What an exhilarating win!

Hail to the Redskins! Hail victory! Braves on the warpath! Fight for old D.C.!

Mama, thank you for the tickets to this game. James and I had a wonderful time and we are so grateful for your generosity. Love you!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Friends are family, too!

My husband and I just got back from a wedding in the mountains of Maryland, where we got to witness our friends Megan and Brady their exchange vows. It was a beautiful ceremony filled with love. Megan and I have been friends since the beginning of college and it was so amazing to see her today at her wedding. We have all really grown up.

During the cocktail hour, I met up with some of our other friends from college and I started thinking...these folks are more than just my friends. We have a common bond together - we are family.

We all got to talking, and it seems like most of us are living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. So we started making plans to see each other again, y'know, before all of the married couples in our group of friends start having kids!

All of this to say...I spent four years in college with these guys. When I was away from my own flesh and blood, these folks became my family. And 8 years later, here we are, all together again. I wouldn't trade my Virginia Tech friends for anything.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Continuous Prayer

I'll be prayer life could use some work. I tend to keep my prayers very conversational in tone since that's how I feel most comfortable speaking to God. But if I'm having a conversation with a friend here on Earth, I'm pretty sure that I would talk with them about more than just 'blessing my food' and granting me traveling mercies.

And God's not a magical genie either, where I can just ask and have my prayers answered - I know that. But I also know that God responds when you come to Him in desperation, knowing that you've tried all that you can and nothing else has worked. I know that God works best when I humble myself before Him, admit my weaknesses and rely solely on His strength.

I received some bad news today that made me drop to my knees and just pray. I didn't know what else to do. I just stopped and said, "Why God? Why?" I knew there was nothing I could do to change the situation. I had to rely on Jesus.

That's when I realized the power of continuous prayer for my family and friends.

Although I don't have the power to change what happens to my family, I know who does. He holds the whole world in His hands. Shoot - God made the world! It's reassuring to know that He is looking out for every last one of us all of the time. There's no need to worry. God's got us, and He's got the situation under control.

Stay prayerful, my friends!