Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Sometimes, as much as you might see something approaching, it’s hard to accept that it’s actually happening when it finally arrives. Life is busy, things are happening and time moves fast. Truly absorbing a situation requires being still long enough to piece together the reason and really acknowledge the big picture. That’s not always easy and this is one of those cases.
Though my grandmother’s health has been declining over the years and has gotten worse lately, it’s difficult to imagine my world without her, even as I’m sitting bedside with her, coming to terms with the fact that it will soon be time to say our final goodbyes. This woman has taught me so much about life, love, family, hard work, dedication, humor, manners and proper grammar. She is a true Southern belle who taught English and Math, raised three boys with my granddaddy and managed to be one of the first women to graduate from FSU Law at the age of 42, all with never-failing class, style and faith. She is and will always be one of my biggest inspirations.
Take a moment to be still long enough to love those around you, let people know how much they mean to you and thank the good Lord for the beautiful life he’s given us.
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Have you written down your new year’s resolutions? Do people still do this? I figure the more I write down, the more I feel compelled to actually do what I say I plan to. It seems like most attempts don’t make it far past January, so I’m hoping I can make these stick, make lots of progress and check as many of these off my list in December as I can. Wish me luck!
Happy New Year!
I love the holidays. I love days off work. I love leisurely afternoons involving sunshine, picture perfect beachside towns and my sweet little girl. Most of all I love that I was able to combine all these with the treat of having my sister in town, even if it’s only for a few days for Christmas. We’re so much alike, we’re practically twins. We finish each other’s sentences, make the exact same sounds at the same moment, laugh alike, talk non-stop and can just as easily sit in silence knowing precisely the thought the other has. It’s glorious. I recommend everyone have a sister.
This Tuesday was unlike most. Instead of emails, meetings, conference calls and deadlines, the day included sleeping in, a much-needed pedicure, a tasty lunch in Grayton with Jennifer and Mike and rolling around Seaside’s lawn watching clouds and people, without a care in the world. Actually, our only worry was deciding who had enough room for dessert and who would walk across the lawn for Dawson’s yogurt. In the end, we all did and we all went. Ahhh. What a life. I wish all my Tuesdays were this fancy-free.
|Emery slept through most of our pedicures
|…decided she likes limes
|Jennifer and Mike
It seems we’ve been going a million miles an hour, with holiday parties, festivities and the accompanying hoopla on top of business as usual. (Yes, I said hoopla.) It’s been exhausting. Fun, but exhausting. I’ve been relying heavily on Coffee Frappuccinos, which I’m sure I’ll have to give up in January. For now, those and home-brewed cappuccinos are keeping me awake and mostly sane.
Did you just realize there are only four days til Christmas or is that just me? Eek! Here’s a run-down of a few pretty sweet things currently on my radar and/or to-do list:
1. Make more of this. Did I mention it was a hit at the holiday office party last week? Not only were people impressed that it wasn’t store-bought, but it was tasty, too. It’s a great thing to pile in a jar, tie a ribbon on and give as a gift, which is exactly what I plan to do.
2. Finish my holiday shopping. I’ve been web window shopping at Taigan. They have an impressive collection of chic goodies including this for me, this for Emery, and this for Hunter. Yes, please!
3. Try this hairstyle… and get it right. I’m so boring when it comes to styling my hair and this is already on my pre-New Year’s list of improvements.
4. Follow cool people on Instagram like @manrepeller, @dannijo, @alice_olivia, and @zooeydeschanel. It’s pretty cool to see the personal and quirkly photos people share. Kind of like a more streamlined version of Twitter.
What about you? What’s on your list?http://web.stagram.com/n/dannijo/
Took a little time out yesterday to enjoy a fabulous evening in Grayton Beach. All I can say is Sam Bush
+ Red Bar
= WOW what a night! You may recall that the Red Bar is no stranger to musical super talent with Sara Evans popping in to sing some Patsy Cline
and Jason Aldean showing some love on CMT
. Word got out that he was going to pop in and jam out Sunday night and that he did.
My friend Jess with Proffitt PR
has been working with Sam this weekend for an event and even got to witness some musical synergy as he and local musician Donnie Sundal recorded some tracks yesterday. What a talent Sam is. He’ll be back at the beach in January for the 30A Songwriters Festival
(along with 100+ other artists), so this was like a festival preview (without all you visiting fans). There’s something about live music that always gets me. It adds a little buzz to the air and a feeling of excitement, like anything can happen. Add fun players like Boukou Groove, amazing guitar talent, sweet lyrics and an awesome intimate setting like the Red Bar, and it feels like magic. It was truly enchanting and soulful and magnetic all at once. It’s safe to say this Sunday Fun Day hit the perfect note.
Don’t miss the video at the end!
|Jami and Jamie!
|Ainsley’s new toy
And… I’m off! I’m en route to Music City for less than a handful of days to meet with a few journalists and bloggers on behalf of South Walton. Sure it’s work, but it’s also a mini-escape. These days I don’t have much time for moments on my own outside of the midnight to five AM window. I’m not Superwoman or Supermom or any other person with extraordinary powers. I’m just trying to figure it all out and get as much done before I crash face-first into my comfy bed each night.
|via Twitter, @NashvilleGulch
Here are a few things I’m looking forward to when I’m not working:
1. Trying as many of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recommendations from here and here as I can. She lived in the Gulch area (pictured above) while she was filming Country Strong and lists places like Whiskey Kitchen, City House, Frothy Monkey, and Imogene + Willie as must-visit Nashville stops.
2. Enjoying real fall weather that involves a jacket, boots and piles of multicolor orange and yellow leaves.
3. Squeezing in as much shopping as I can, naturally! I have Emmaline, H. Audrey, Haven and almost anything in the Green Hills shopping area on my list of places to browse. There is even a newly opened Tory Burch store!
4. Last but not least, catching up with friends. I have plans to meet up with my friends Michelle and Logan while I’m in town and I can’t wait!
Not sure how much time I’ll have to see these sights, but I”m going to try my hardest. Let me know if I’ve missed anything major. Hope all of you lovelies have a wonderful week. Adios for now!
What a busy weekend this was! I love action-packed days full of friends and fun, but man, does it wear me out! Sometimes it’s hard to remember that we used to spend every non-work day out and about, from one event to the next, flying by the seat of our pants, heading in any direction we wanted, meeting friends at all hours of the day or night, fast forwarding through work, not to make it to Friday, but only to 5 since we could just as easily do on a Tuesday what some reserve for Friday and Saturday. Apparently, I’m not as much a night owl as my former self, though I’m pretty sure a husband, a baby and longer work weeks factor in somewhere. We’ve gone from late nights involving bars and beer bottles to late nights involving lullabies and milk bottles. Such is life.
This weekend was a return to the old days. Fun with friends, drinks in hand, hopping from one activity to the next. The good times kicked off with a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon at Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest in Sandestin, one of our sponsored events at work. It’s always such a fun event and I was a little sad I couldn’t attend last year (hello, baby on board!), so I was excited to make up for lost time this year. We met up with Cassi and Travis and made the rounds from tent to tent, checking out the selections, sipping, sipping and sipping more. It was wonderful.
Before we knew it, though, it was time for a quick change and a short drive into Destin for Ash & Claudia’s wedding. We swore we would be back after the wedding to dance the night away and keep the night going as long as we could.
Have I mentioned that I love when Hunter wears suits? I think they’re growing on my country boy, but I’m not sure he would admit it. He definitely wouldn’t let me sneak a picture of more than our shoes.
The wedding ceremony was lovely; I always love watching the first dance and remembering ours.
We sat next to Amanda and her husband Chris, who I found out were expecting. So excited for them! As we have experienced, a baby has the power to change your life completely in the craziest most amazing way possible.
A few hours and a few drinks later, we decided to hit the road. We didn’t stay out as long as we planned and we never made it back to Baytowne to meet up with Cassi and Travis (sorry guys!). We sneaked out a tad early to have our own little date night, just the two of us, reminiscing on those days before promotions and more responsibility, before diapers and a baby, and before we had a clue that those fun Fridays (and Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) would take us as far down this lovely road as they did. So happy they did. I love you, babe!
What a wonderful and relaxing day I had yesterday! It was the first day of my twenty-eighth year and I so relished kicking my feet up, floating in the pool, spending a lazy day at our new home and being treated to a fabulous dinner by my handsome husband. Life is surely sweet and I’m currently riding a blessed sugar high.
We spent the morning in the pool, splashing in the water, laughing and watching the clouds roll by. It was heaven. Emery was well slathered in sunscreen and her bright pink hat while I was hoping for a sun kiss.
How cute are those pink ruffles and giant chubby cheeks?
It takes her a little while to decide that she likes the water, but once she does, she can’t get enough. She even tries to lick the water droplets off the float or her hands.
After lunch we took a family ride in the mule down to the scuppernong vines. Hunter’s grandparents owned a nursery years ago and still pride themselves on the variety and deliciousness of these succulent fruits.
We eat them right off the vine.
…and take a bowl-full home to snack on later.
Hunter had to stop at one of his deer food plots and toss out a new bag of corn.
He takes his hunting preparations very seriously.
Meanwhile, Emery and I hang out in the mule and she sees how tightly she can ball her fists.
Then we head back to the pool. It is August after all and just under 100 degrees. There’s our house in the distance! Can you see it?
More fun in the pool, this time without the pink ruffles.
Before I knew it, the day is done and we were dropping off Emery at my parents’ house. Being treated to a romantic date with my hubby was just what I needed!
The sunset over the bay was gorgeous!
Of course, we had to stop at Bud & Alley’s before dinner to watch the end of the sunset and reminisce.
It wasn’t all that long ago that we were enjoying our second first date at the rooftop bar and even less time since this handsome man was down on one knee with a shiny ring in his hand. It’s definitely a special place for us and one full of fond memories.
Cheers to all of the fun we’ve had and all the fun to come! (If you’ve never tried the Mo-garita, you’re missing out!)
We went on to dinner at V Seagrove and proceeded to indulge in more tasty cocktails and delicious food than two people should be allowed to enjoy. Our taste buds and bellies were happy!
We love to support local farmers and fishermen!
Our seats were at the Chef’s table, which overlooks the kitchen and gives an amazing, fast-paced show of organized chaos while we ate. I loved it!
After an appetizer of shrimp…
… I had the tuna…
… and cheese grits…
… while Hunter had what he said was one of the best steaks he’s ever eaten. (And he’s eaten a lot of steaks!)
By the time dessert rolled around, my iPhone died and I was enjoying myself way too much. It’s probably better that there isn’t photographic evidence after this point. It was a wonderful dinner with my man, a perfect day with the family and a birthday treat I was so thankful for.
Yes, this will be me before you know it. Just replace the chickens with hunting dogs. That’s right, we are moving to the country! Hunter’s parents bought a house on the water where they can park their shrimp boat and we are selling our house then moving into theirs. We had been talking about the possibility of this for awhile, but you know, I had a baby and other things going on, so I wasn’t really focusing on moving. What seemed like overnight, his parents were closing on their new house, starting renovations and friends of ours are buying our house. Now we’re looking at packing up and moving out in a few short weeks. It’s all very stressful and exciting! Since their house is much bigger (with over 100 acres, I might add) and slightly more of a farm house, we’ll be getting lots of new additions in the living room, kitchen and bedroom to fit the new house. I have furniture, paint color, rugs and more to shop for! I love this part!
Sure, our new pad is a little closer to the other end of Walton County and I’ve never been much of a country girl, but I’m excited about styling a new place, making it home for our little family and working to be more like Pioneer Woman. (Oh, if only I had her cooking skills!) I’ve already started pinning lots of country chic and modern farm house inspiration. Stay along for the ride and pray I don’t get too much mud on my heels, bless my heart.
image from wideopenspaces.squarespaces.com via Emily Paben on Pinterest