Thursday, December 19, 2013

The "Giving Back" gift guide

I love giving gifts... I don't think there is anything better than finding or making the perfect gift for a loved one to exchange this time of year. There are tons of gift guides bouncing around the blogosphere this year, and I wanted to make one of my own... with a little different focus. Everyone knows the whole Toms "one for one" deal, and I love that so many other companies have followed this model to make shopping doubly wonderful. Here are a few of my picks for gifts that give back... and I'm not talking about re-gifting!

1/ Headbands of Hope
This particular headband is the "Natitude", named in honor of a sorority sister of mine who found out as a college freshman that she was battling ovarian cancer. I am happy to report that she has now been cancer free for a year! The founder of Headbands of Hope is a student at NCSU who used a summer internship to change the lives of so many children battling cancer. For each headband purchased, a headband is donated to a girl who has lost her hair during chemo and $1 is donated to St. Baldrick's Foundation for cancer research. What an incredible way to share hope and joy with those you love!

2/ Heifer International gift of farm animals
For just $20, you can buy a flock of chicks for a family in need that provides nourishment and sustainable income. My home church has always been involved with this organization, and I think it is such a wonderful idea to give a gift like this in someone's honor. Wouldn't it be kind of fun to all chip in and buy a camel?! Guess what day it is, indeed!!

3/ WritefullyHis stationery
A dear college friend and sorority sister of mine started her own "one for one" stationery company, WritefullyHis, after being inspired while studying abroad. Grace's company has exploded in just the past year- what started as a simple operation stamping quality paper and collaborating with photographers to create beautiful cards has turned into a full-blown business complete with custom wedding paper, wholesale options, and a beautiful pop-up shop in the downtown of our college town. WritefullyHis strives to give back by providing children in Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda with writing supplies to help them learn, grow, and make a difference through their own education.

4/ Lily and Laura beaded bracelets
I never head about these beauties until I made it to Raleigh, and I swear they are everywhere! When I worked in retail ladies of every age loved going through our bowl of these colorful bracelets. Not only are they gorgeous, but each unique bracelet is handmade by a special group of women in Nepal who are fairly compensated for their work and have the satisfaction of creating beautiful artwork that helps support their families! Chances are a boutique near you carries them so load up!

These are just a few ideas for all you last minute shoppers like myself- I love getting more gift ideas from readers. What are your favorite options for gifts that keep on giving?! 


Friday, December 13, 2013

5 on Friday: 30 Days of Thanks Edition!

For this edition of "5 on Friday" linkup with Darci, April, Christina and Natasha (thanks ladies!), I wanted to continue on and work towards 30 Days of Thanks" challenge! I never intended on having to continue into December for this series, but I'm fine with it- it's more time to really appreciate my blessings past Thanksgiving and on into the Christmas season :) But I'm not going to lie- I'm ready to do some Christmas posting! Let's get going then!

I am thankful for the kiddos in my life. When we first moved to Raleigh, we knew almost zero families. Today, after almost 5 months here, I am blown away by the love we have been shown from so many families in our little neighborhood area. That's one of the most wonderful things about our home in Raleigh- it is part of such a community. First our neighbor with two little boys reached out to us, and I began to sit for her. Then she referred me to multiple other sweet families and now I am so overwhelmed by the kindness of the mamas who let me take care for their littles and the joy that these kids give me! I'm not ready anytime soon, but they make me so excited when the time will come to have my own kiddos! 

I am thankful for cozy winter nights at home. More specifically, dinner with my husband and Netflix marathons. There is nothing I love more than coming home and making dinner with Andrew and either doing our respective work we need to get done in the evening or hanging out on the couch with a "new" episode  on Netflix. Our latest addiction? How I Met Your Mother. Past favorites are too numerous to count: Mad Men, New Girl, The Office... who needs cable!? 

I'm thankful for my new business. Seriously, this is the happiest I have been in a long time and I am so thankful that I took the plunge and put my heart into Shut the Front Door! {burlaps by ryann}. My friends and family have been SO good to me during the holiday season... I even had to stop taking orders a week ago in order to guarantee I could get everything done by Christmas! If you haven't yet, go "like" my FB fan page! Here are a few of my favorite holiday creations as of late: 

I am thankful for NC State University. This week Andrew finishes up his first semester of grad school and I could not be more proud of him. I am so glad he found a great architecture program with classmates he likes and supportive professors. He's done so well and I know his hard work will really pay off!

I am thankful for the Trio! As I eagerly anticipate heading back to SC next weekend, I must say that I am SO looking forward to reuniting with my two best friends. We're pretty used to being spread out, considering we each went to different colleges, but I am about to burst from being away from them so long! Their recent visit to Raleigh just wasn't enough. I am so grateful for their constant encouragement and love, especially as we all struggle navigating the waters of post-grad life. If you're reading this, P and Nat, I'm coming for ya SO soon! In honor of the happy reunion, here's a Christmas throwback picture from high school:

I promise I love them.

Happy weekend, friends! 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: Wofford College

Anyone who knows me even remotely well or has been reading this blog for a decent amount of time knows my intense love of my alma mater. Just this past May I graduated from Wofford College, and I am still just as thankful for my experience there as the day I graduated!

This picture was taken my senior year of high school at a Spring Hospitality Day on campus- I was SET on becoming a Wofford Terrier and couldn't wait to get on campus! I look so little here, I can't believe it! 

I am thankful that my parents encouraged me to attend my dream college. I am thankful for receiving scholarship that made this decision much easier for them. I am thankful for a learning environment that welcomed my "undecided" freshman self and challenged me academically each day, leading me towards a passion for writing and a declaration as an English major. I am thankful for the incredible faculty and staff that encouraged and challenged me to become a better person and a better leader. I am thankful for the incredible travel opportunities to travel all over the globe studying with Wofford professors and some of my best friends. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as Vice President to an incredible group of Greek women. I am thankful for the place where I met some of the most wonderful friends I could ever imagine having. Most importantly, I am thankful for the community that Wofford provided everyday and still does. 

I can name very few professors that would dress up with their students at an annual college golfcart racing event... but Dr. Ware, next to me in the silver shorts, really embraced it!

Tailgating traditions at Wofford were the best. 

I am so honored to have been chosen to represent my sorority and the college as a whole my senior Homecoming!

What a joy to celebrate graduation from such an incredible institution with my closest friends!

Wofford was perfect for me. I loved the fact that you actually said "hello" to whoever you passed on the sidewalk between classes. That classes sizes were intimate, allowing for more than just simply student-professor relationships, but real conversations and even hugs for the favorites after advising sessions. That you knew the sweet old lady working at the on-campus coffee shop. That I had the opportunity to eat lunch with the college's president. That I was able to learn and grow in an environment that made me a better person, a better leader, a lover of learning, and a part of something much bigger than myself. 

Dear old Wofford, hail!


Monday, December 9, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: good health

Crazy enough, a miserable sick day yesterday prompted this post. You remember that episode of How I Met Your Mother when Ted claims he's been "vomit free since '93"? Well, I also had a solid record until yesterday-- I'll just leave it at that. I wasn't sure if it was food poisoning from my caesar salad the night before or a random stomach bug, but either way I spent my day napping, drinking ginger ale, and ironically, watching How I Met Your Mother. I was able to stomach a whopping meal of chicken noodle soup and 5 crackers yesterday... not exactly the way I was hoping to drop a few pounds before Christmas!

Okay, I'll stop the pity party because I'm actually doing really great this morning. I am rested, eating solid food, and able to go on a massive post-sickness cleaning spree. I am so thankful that Andrew was around all day to take care of me. Despite juggling preparations for his big final review for his first graduate architecture studio, he was always so attentive asking if I needed more fluids, something to eat, help getting something, etc. I am thankful for his selflessness that most definitely helped me feel a million times better today.

On a grander scale, I am so grateful for my overall good health. Other than the occasional day or week with a little sickness like yesterday, I have never dealt with a serious illness or condition. I am thankful for the good health that so many others are not fortunate to have.

However, that doesn't mean illness hasn't touched my life. I never knew my grandfather because he was taken before I was born due to leukemia. I lost one of my very best friends just two months ago to epilepsy. I've seen grandparents suffer from the health effects of old age. However, I've also seen the power of prayer at work. I've seen a sorority sister diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a sophomore celebrate a year cancer-free. I've seen my sweet little neighbor who is only a freshman in high school endure the hurt and pain of pancreatitis-- multiple surgeries, feeding tubes, month-long hospital stays-- and still claim in every Facebook post that the Lord is good! I am so humbled.

I am thankful for the access to medications, treatments, and doctors that provide incredible care. I am thankful for the means to use these resources for continued good health. May I never take for granted the blessings of good health for myself and those I love!


Friday, December 6, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: social media

Before you scoff at this post, hear me out. I know many of you fellow bloggers and blog readers are all about some social media, but you're probably thinking I'm crazy for writing a post about how I am thankful for it. I will admit it- at times I have an unhealthy obsession with social media, but there are some distinct advantages to living in the age of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

Especially now that I have graduated and moved out of state, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep in touch with my friends and family. I try to make an effort to call my best friends and close family members, but it's hard to stay in contact even with the best of intentions. As much as I'm shying away from Facebook these days, I just can't get rid of my account because it is one of the main ways I can really see what's going on with my 239480 family members (slight exaggeration, but not much...) or my high school friends, or the friends I met at the Passion Conference years ago... you get the picture!

And if it weren't for social media, I wouldn't have the opportunity to get to know half of the lovely blog ladies that I now call my friends! I am so thankful to see the hearts of so many wonderful women through their blogs and have the opportunity to understand a little more about their lives and what is important to them through their social media handles! Can I get an amen, friends?!

In honor of my thankfulness for social media, here is my life lately according to Instagram:

If you haven't heard, go check out this post about my newest business endeavor! It has been such a blessing to make my burlap creations for friends and strangers alike! I have been working like a crazy lady to get burlap ornaments and hangers made before Christmas- I've even had to post on my Shut the Front Door! {burlaps by ryann} FB page that I cannot take anymore orders to be made in time for Christmas! God is good. 

I never really did a recap of my Virginia Beach trip, but I was so excited to have the opportunity to visit with my Little and also surprise my Grandlittle at her basketball game! 

Of course- obligatory roadtrip selfie! We had such a wonderful time visiting with our families over Thanksgiving break. I'm already ready for Christmas!

Ta Da!!!! Introducing our very first married Christmas cards! I wish those things weren't so expensive because I want to be able to send one to ALL of my friends... blog friends included. I guess this will have to do for now, though! Know I had the best of intentions in sharing Christmas cheer with y'all :) 


Monday, December 2, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: family

Unintentionally, I've dropped the ball a bit on my "30 Days of Thanks" blog post series. I realize that we are already into December (but really, how did THAT happen!?) but who says I can't be thankful on into December as well? The past 10 days that I haven't posted have been busy, but in the best possible way. Busy pursuing new hobbies, preparing for new opportunities, and spending time with the people I love most over a long Thanksgiving break-- all things I am thankful for! Let's get on with it, then!

Those who know me well know that I'm an only child. Since I don't have any brothers and sisters, my extended family is extremely important to me. I'm very close with many of my cousins- something I've only just realized is relatively rare! I am one of 16 grandchildren on my mom's side of the family- crazy, right?! I'm especially close to my cousin Sarah, who is only two months older than I am. We grew up doing gymnastics and dance together, were on student council at rival high schools, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding! Most of my mom's side of the family is still in the area of upstate SC, so we all get to see each other pretty regularly at Thanksgiving and Christmas- such a blessing! A few of us (like myself) have moved away but we aren't far enough that we can't come back and visit. It's also so fun to have everyone together for cousin weddings- there are so many of us, that there is an average of one every few years! 

I'm so lucky to have both sets of grandparents in my hometown as well- my mom's parents, my Nana and Papa, live 10 minutes from my parent's house. My dad's mom- my Mimi- also lives closeby, in an independent assistant living facility. Though my Papa Bill passed before I was born, I am so blessed to otherwise have healthy, loving grandparents that I truly enjoy spending time with. We don't get to see my dad's side of the family as much since they are spread around the lower state, but we always pick up right where we left off when the family gets together! 

I am so thankful for the quality family time I was able to enjoy over the Thanksgiving holiday and I'm already excited for Christmas get-togethers!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: girls' weekends

This weekend I am thankful for girls' weekends... because as you read this I am hitting the road for one!

Before I know it I will be here


Hanging out with this beauty

...and I could not be more excited!

I am so ready to spend the weekend with my sweet Little in her hometown- I haven't seen her since the wedding weekend. There's just something wonderful about getting away and having a weekend of girl talk, wine and movie nights, and lots of quality time. Happy weekend, friends!


Friday, November 22, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: faith community

Today I am thankful for a faith community. I grew up in the same church all my life- it's the same church that my dad was born into and my grandmother played the organ at for years until she retired just recently. I went to kindergarden with the same kids I went on senior high mission trips with. The girls on our church basketball team (always a highlight of the year!) had been playing together forever and had special plays down pat. I am so thankful for the loving faces at JKPC that have seen me grow, let me babysit their munchkins and been my best friends. Youth group and sunday school were always the highlights of my week. I am so thankful that I had such a wonderful church experience as I muddled through the awkwardness of middle school and the uncertainty of high school. Even once we all made it to college, we would meet up every few months at different campuses for Bible study and reunite over dinners on our breaks.

Just a few of the basketball ladies!

Classic Christmas pageant- I'm Mrs. Claus wearing the red shirt in the middle!

Youth group seniors celebrating high school graduation!

This faith community defined me for so many years, and it was so hard to leave them in college to find a new church to visit and a new group of friends closeby to share my struggles and keep me accountable. If you remember this post, I shared how important the faith community and ministry of RUF was and still is to me.

Now that we are in Raleigh, one of the most daunting but most exciting adventures is finding a faith community that we are comfortable with here as a couple. Surprisingly, that process was a little easier than I thought it would be. We were plugged in to a wonderful church downtown here and though we don't know many people there on a super-personal level, we feel so welcome and so loved every Sunday morning. More importantly, we are so happy with the Gospel- focus and style of worship at our newest church home. Earlier this week, a sweet friend I met through the church invited us to have dinner with her and her husband. We had the best time! Just another reason to be thankful for faith communities and the encouragement and support they bring.

I think the blogging world is a sort of faith community, too. Wouldn't you agree? I am so thankful for the wonderful, faith-driven, Gospel-loving women I have "met" through blogging. We all have challenges and we're not perfect, but we have each other and faith in our incredible Creator to see us through. Amen, y'all! :)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

30 days of thanks: books

Today I am thankful for a temporary escape from a crazy world through the pages of a book. I studied English literature in college, so of course I love books- all I did was read them, analyze them, critically think about them, and write papers about them for four years!

Even when I was younger, I loved reading. My mom and dad would read to me before bed and even before I was able to read on my own I would memorize the pages and call them out if they tried to skip parts to rush along my bedtime! Once I was in elementary school, some of my favorite books were in series- Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, and so many more. I have always grown up with a love of reading.

I would much rather lose myself in a book before plopping in front of the television to watch a show or movie. There's just something about immersing yourself in a storyline, empathizing with characters and feeling the tension of conflict, the sadness of tragedy or the awkwardness of a silly encounter in a chick lit book. I just love borrowing a book from a friend or downloading a new title recommended to me for my Kindle and sitting down with a cup of coffee. Little things like that bring me so much joy, so today I am thankful for peaceful moments getting lost in the words of a book.

What books do you just love? Recommendations from friends are the best!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: new beginnings.

Today I am thankful that each day is a new one. It's been a rough few months but I'm going to keep moving forward. I've already made some changes for my general happiness and well-being and my newest goal is to use my time well. I want to go on walks. I want to have a quality phone conversation with a best friend at least once a week. I want to spend more time in prayer and in the Word. I want to go have coffee with a new friend. I want to make our home more "homey". I want to do fun, new things with Andrew. I want to put a dent in my Kindle book list that has been untouched for too long. I've learned many things this month, one of which is that life is too short not to DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. Simple as that.

I want to take some time to regroup and do just that. I am thankful for the opportunity to refresh and begin anew. I'll keep you posted- I'm already a million times happier just thinking about doing all these things. Things are already looking up. Cheers to a new day!


30 Days of Thanks: Reformed University Fellowship

I'm not even sure if I will be able to put into words how thankful I am for the subject of today's post. Especially since I have graduated, I am thankful for the ministry of Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) and how it shaped my college experience and influenced so many wonderful friendships. 

RUF at Wofford College came on campus my sophomore year, however, I didn't really get involved until my junior year when I was finally unimpressed and unhappy with the other campus ministry I was involved in. A huge reason that RUF means so much to me is that the whole experience was shared with Martha. She was the one who made me promise to go to the first Large Group with her, then small group, then soon enough we were 100% involved in and dedicated to RUF. Martha and I had a special bond through that experience, and I am so thankful for the many times evenings we spent together at RUF bible studies and social events. The peak of our RUF involvement came our senior year, when we got involved in Ministry Team which enabled us to really learn the philosophy and theology behind Reformed University Fellowship and how we could better serve our campus. 

A huge reason for the success of RUF at Wofford and the reason so many of us love the ministry is this guy right here. Believe it or not based upon the picture below, but our campus minister, David actually really cool. Martha and I had a very special relationship with David. All three of us would always look forward to the frequent HM (sorry, it's an inside joke!) lunches on campus, that were, of course, never in the campus life building game room because according to Marth, that was "social suicide"! 

I'm so extremely thankful for the community and ministry of RUF at Wofford. Each of the wonderful people I have met though it have given me unending love and encouragement that I never take for granted. I'm thankful for RUF's mission to "reach students for Christ and equip students to serve" in order to share the Gospel on our campus and beyond. It was such a joy to have the privilege of serving as emcee for Large Group meetings my senior year and seeing the incredible growth as we had to continue to move rooms and add chairs to accommodate new students every week. 

I could go on and on about how my RUF experience shaped my spiritual life and my relationship with Christ, but that's something I'd rather chat with you about over a good cup of coffee :) College is such a unique time and I am so thankful for the RUF community and the truth it has provided me with even as I live beyond the gates of Wofford.


Friday, November 15, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: a brief intermission. and forgiveness.

You guys. I'm not going to lie. 
This "30 Days of Thanks" thing is really hard. 

I'm halfway through and struggling a bit. And no, it's not hard in that I can't think of 30 things I am thankful for. Actually, it's quite the opposite. I haven't been the best in planning my posts like I had originally hoped, which then leads to me just throwing some words in a blog post and not truly giving justice to the thing/person/whatever I am thankful for. Totally NOT the point of this whole blog challenge I have given myself.

So, I'm going to do a little re-evaluation. I will still post 30 things I am thankful for, but I may not necessarily have one for each day. These past few days have been madness and sometimes the last thing I want to do is get on my computer (even if it is for a well-intentioned post!) when I could be spending quality time with the hubs or something of that nature. That may mean that you'll get two, maybe three posts in one day that I am inspired and have time to write. Sorry I'm not sorry. I just want to truly be able to dedicate enough time so each thankful post that it is worth my time to write and yours to read. I can't truly explain how thankful I am for certain people, places, experiences, and things if I don't fully dedicate myself. 

Thanks for cutting me some slack at the halfway mark, y'all. I really need to be able to put as much into this challenge as I was hoping to get out when it was put on my heart.

So, today, I am thankful for forgiveness. On many levels. I am thankful that even though I mess up, life moves forward. I am thankful that I have people that love me even when I don't do it just right. I am thankful for a Savior that shows me the ultimate meaning of forgiveness despite my ugly sin, selfishness, moments of unbelief, and inherent self-serving nature. Sometimes that really blows my mind. As hard as I try to be, I am far from perfect. And it's okay. Because I am forgiven.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: the "necessities"

It's cold in North Carolina. And I'm not ready for it. 

This is what's happening outside my front door. Not okay. 

Today I am thankful for a warm, welcoming place to call home. A cold snap has hit the South, and it's frigid days and nights like these that I cannot get thought out of my head that there are many out there who are not able to simply stay warm. It breaks my heart. Today I am especially grateful for a warm meal, a home with heat, and a cozy blanket to snuggle up under when I get in bed tonight. 

To me these things are necessities, and these "necessities" are not available to all. I've done a little research and am really wanting to donate my unworn sweatshirts and "old" fleece jackets that I seem to have a million of. I'm thinking of getting involved in the Raleigh Rescue Mission coats & blankets drive. Have you ever been involved with an organization that has done a similar collection? 

How do you like to give back during the holidays? I always love to have new ideas!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: artistic outlets

Today I am thankful for my creative juices. Since I was little, I've always been an art lover. I used to do oil paintings and in high school I loved painting canvases with quotes to decorate my room. 

I don't really know how I started, but within the last few months I began making burlap door hangers. At first I just wanted a pineapple burlap for my door, then my mom saw it and wanted one, and then her friends were interested, too. Pretty soon I was churning out a few burlap door hangers every few weeks, and I began to really love it. 

So here I am today, excited to announce a little side project of mine.... 

I'm taking crafting to a new level and going to see what this burlap biz is all about! Crafting and creating are so therapeutic to me and I just love to come home from work and paint these and other pretties!

I'm really excited for the holidays to come because I've already started plans for Christmas themed decor-- I'm thinking angels, ornaments, reindeer, and more! I have also created burlap ornaments that are a great custom smaller gift to give. Be sure to like my Facebook fan page if you want regular updates and get in touch if you think you might be interested in a design for yourself or as a gift! I think I'll post some of my favorite designs on my blog so no worries if you're not about that Facebook stuff :)

I'm thankful for the resources and the artistic inspiration that pushed me to create "Shut the Front Door! {burlaps by ryann}". Here's to creativity!


Monday, November 11, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: our military.

I am going to join the masses today in expressing my gratitude for the many brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. I come from a line of many brave men who served in WWI and Vietnam, and one particular soldier, my cousin's husband currently serving in Africa, especially has my thoughts today.

If your husband, brother, sister, father, grandfather, or best friend have served or are currently serving, I am so thankful for them. I will never truly understand the extreme sacrifice these individuals endure but I certainly admire their strength and fierce loyalty to our great nation. God bless America and those who defend our freedom today and everyday.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: encouragement

Hi friends- I'm a little late for today's thankful post, but I'm actually really glad that I didn't get around to today's post until now. I have been messaging with a dear friend from Wofford who writes at Hello Amanda Phillips about everything from grief of losing a friend to being unsure about God's plan for my life to how much we love Greenville, SC. Today Amanda posted a blog that I just had to share.

Click on Amanda's blog button to get to this post called "Why Your Pain Hasn't Been Taken Away Yet". Amanda has been through a lot and is not only a friend, but an inspiration for me. No matter if you're like me, dealing with the loss of a friend (whether recently or in the past), facing an unknown future in terms of a job, watching a loved one suffer with a sickness, or just wondering when whatever hurt you're feeling will end, read this. You know what? Even if you're not hurting, please read this. It will prepare your heart for the day you do hurt. I promise.

to read the post, click Amanda's icon. 

This quote especially stood out to me:

"I used to pray for all the hard things to go away. 
But now I pray to be able to face hard things that will and do inevitably come with magnanimity and grace, dignity and poise, and most of all, with faith and honesty.
And that I'll still feel so sure, no matter what, that God is still good."

Thank you, Amanda, for your encouragement, openness, and honesty. I am thankful for that today. 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: my best Wofford friends

Today marks a month since Homecoming weekend at Wofford and the weekend I will never forget. Part of me can't believe that it's been four weeks since I lost one of my very best friends, and the other part of me feels like this has been the longest month of my life.

I love this picture. What a radiant smile and radiant red mane... Marth was always so proud of it :)

I have always been thankful for the special young women in my life that I met through my years at Wofford, but I am especially thankful this year. Martha included, each of these women have been there for me since day one in the freshman dorms, laughing over ridiculous dance parties, sharing Burwell brunches, taking walks around campus, celebrating spring break everywhere from Myrtle Beach to St. Martin, and getting each other through those those academic weeks from h-e-double hockey sticks that you think might just break you. 

As hard as it was deal with loss on a weekend that should have been so joyful, I am SO grateful to have had my best friends by my side when we found out the tragic news of Martha's passing. What incredible, strong friends that I have that can cry together, grieving loss, but also laugh remembering the many blessings that Martha brought to each of our lives. I am so thankful for my group of best friends from Wofford who I still talk with almost every day. I love having catch-up conversations with them, and though we are all working and going to school in different cities, it makes our reunions so much sweeter. 

Junior year Spring Weekend

Graduation Weekend

The apartment girls before Baccalaureate service graduation weekend

Senior spring break in St. Martin

Senior sorority bid day

We love Wofford football!

My sweet blog friends, never take your friendships for granted. I encourage you to call your best friend from high school and hug your old college roommate extra tight when you see her. Friendship is a treasure and a blessing and I am so thankful for the wonderful friendships I will surely carry with me for the rest of my life.