everyday inspiration

Posts tagged “love

2017: my year in pictures

J A N U A R Y 
birthday celebrations in Vegas

F E B R U A R Y 
the best tour guides + the best pizza in Chicago

M A R C H 
feeling fancy at NWA fashion week + the first of many trips to minneapolis

A P R I L 
the month of amazing concerts – radiohead + blink 182

M A Y 
always one of my favorite months of the year – mother’s day + weddings + anniversaries + beer festivals

BEST VACATION EVER #HotarmansItalianCahoots, Part 1 + Part 2

J U L Y 
someone turned 30 (not me) + fun family reunion in portland

 A U G U S T
a mother-daughter trip to pioneer woman’s ranch + my favorite puppy turned 5

S E P T E M B E R 
labor day weekend NYC fun + polo in the ozarks

O C T O B E R 
a work trip to virginia with some pretty sweet views + won halloween (again)

the best girls weekend in LA

D E C E M B E R 
celebrating the season’s best with my favorite people

xo xo


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Oh, Baby

Let’s go ahead and get this out there – I’m not pregnant. But that’s exactly what this post is about.

Here are the facts: I’m 26, Husband is 28. We’ve been married for 4 1/2 years. We always had a 5 year plan – Go on a big, two-week European vacation (done), then start trying to have kids.

If you had asked me two months ago if that was still the case, I would have said yes. I had baby fever like you wouldn’t believe. One of our dear friends had her adorable baby boy several months ago, and of course that made my fever skyrocket. Everyone around me was getting pregnant, and I thought I was so ready. There was just one little problem, Husband was not ready. (That might be a problem, right?)

I fought it. I knew I was right, that we were ready, there was no time like the present, we weren’t getting younger, etc. etc. I was devastated that I so desperately wanted a baby at this moment and Husband wasn’t quite there yet.

Then I got some wise words of advice – Pray for God to align your hearts.

So I did. And you know how they say, “Be careful what you wish for”?

A month ago, we went on a trip of a lifetime. We enjoyed every minute of the trip and every minute with each other. Then we came home and I realized something, I wasn’t ready to have a baby. I was enjoying this precious time with Husband so much, and there were still so many adventures for us to go on.

God sure did align our hearts, but He aligned mine to Husband’s, instead of the other way around which I was POSITIVE would be the case. God’s pretty funny, yeah? I know this was His plan all along.

It’s easy to get frustrated when people around you want you to have a baby, and talk about it or ask about it a lot. But then I realized something, we are SO lucky to have those people in our lives because they love us and are just excited for us. We are SO lucky to have two incredible families within 20 miles of us who will be there for us every step of the way once we do get pregnant and do have a baby.

So no, we will not be having a baby soon, but you can keep asking. Because I will not get frustrated, but instead, with a genuine smile will say, “Not right now. I’m enjoying time with my Husband.”

xo xo


The only constant is change.

My mom is getting re-married in February.

The end of January into February will be a rush – from a golden birthday bash, into a weekend in Vegas with my new sistahs (we’ll get into that), straight into the wedding weekend full of everything wedding, including a big brunch at my house on the wedding day.

But I’m stopping to breathe, think and write about it – my catharsis.

I found out a few months ago, so I’ve had some time to really process. I’ve processed day and night, in tears and in smiles, with friends and in solace.

Y’all know I don’t sugarcoat these things. I haven’t sugarcoated my year and the difficulties I’ve gone through while losing my dad. So I’m not going to sugarcoat this. It took me a while to understand. It took some words of wisdom from wise people, some prayer and a lot of love.

A few thoughts from the small-minded, selfish head of mine:

Why so soon? What’s the rush? What does this mean for me? Who are these new people who will be my family? How am I expected to interact with them? How long will it take until everything feels comfortable and normal? Will it ever feel comfortable and normal? Am I disrespecting my dad? How can I move on? How am I the only one who seems to still be grieving? Why can’t I move on?

But, here are a few things I’ve learned over the last few months (again, thanks to wise people, prayer and a lot of love):

Life is short. We’re meant to love. We’re not just meant to love only once in our life, but potentially more. We just have to open ourselves up to it. Why would I ever stop love and happiness in the life of one of the people I care about the most?

God knows what he’s doing. He purposefully puts people in our lives for very specific reasons. God cares for my mother and know what she needs at this time. Who am I to say that God’s timing is incorrect?

Everyone grieves differently. This one has been such a hard lesson for me to learn. If I’m still crying and upset, I don’t understand why you’re not. If I don’t see or hear you talk about it, I think you don’t care abut it. Not everyone shares their feelings publicly like I do, so I can’t then assume they don’t have feelings.

But, here’s the best news of all – my mom’s fiance and his family are the best possible people I could ever ask for to become family. Seriously. I’m not exaggerating. If I didn’t believe that, I just wouldn’t say anything about them at all. I consider myself beyond lucky – I now have 4 incredible families I get to call mine: the wonderful Appletons, who I spent the majority of my holidays with growing up and will always love dearly; the beautiful McLaughlin/Woodwards, who I’m enjoying getting to know more and more in my adult years; the fabulous Aldermans, who have openly embraced me into their family; and now the Nelsons …

Not only do I now have another great male figure in my life, who is an amazing man of God and gives terrific advice and sermons, I now have sisters – as an only child, something I only DREAMED about when I was young, but knew it could never possibly happen. I’m reminded of the Bible story of Sarah giving birth to Isaac at age 90 – when she heard this was to happen in a year, she laughed because she thought it was impossible, but the Lord said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

So here we are, almost a month from the wedding. Our families have integrated seamlessly. We’ve had Thanksgiving together and Christmas together. We’ve gone pole dancing together and had incessant group texts together… AND we’re going to Vegas together the weekend before the wedding to celebrate (“the sistahs” – me, mom and the two sisters E + K).

As husband said as we left Christmas dinner, “If you were going to add to your family, these would be the people.”

Thank you, Lord, for providing love and happiness for my mom. Thank you for providing sisters (and their amazing families) who are thrilled to be part of mine and husband’s new life stages (babies… soon! disclaimer: not currently pregnant) to share their advice, hand-me-downs and endless love.

But most importantly, thank you, Lord, for helping me through this constantly changing thing called life.

xo xo

You’ve Got the Love I Need to See Me Through





Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying “Lord I just don’t care”
But you’ve got the love I need to see me through

Sometimes it seems the going is just too rough
And things go wrong no matter what I do
Now and then it seems that life is just too much
But you’ve got the love I need to see me through

Time after time I think “Oh Lord what’s the use?”
Time after time I think it’s just no good
‘Cause sooner or later in life, the things you love you lose
But you got the love I need to see me through

* * *
Happy second anniversary!
I love you, husband. Always & forever. xo

You can see a snapshot of our wedding in my post 5.28.11.

Happy {early} Mother’s Day!


I know it’s not Mother’s Day quite yet, but I’m doing an early tribute since my mother will be in Costa Rica for Surf Camp next week. Let that sink in. My MOTHER will be in Costa Rica for SURF CAMP. How. Awesome. Is. She. I’m vowing when I’m her age to still be fun, spirited, energetic, adventurous, lively, brave, strong, inspiring.

She sent me this video of Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, another dynamic mother-daughter duo. I wanted to share the video because its an example of a fun, close relationship similar to ours.

I love you, Mom! Rock those waves for me! xo