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Shiplap built-in: The look without the commitment
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» New Orleans: Graduation and Vacation
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» Dog Therapy: Why kids and pets belong together
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» Commuting in the 2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring
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» REVIEW: Nashville’s Nutcracker 2016
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» Ethiopia Trip (pt. 1) and The Day of Hope
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» Break forth like the dawn: Anxiety vs. Joy
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» 2016 Holiday Gift Guide (and Giveaway!)
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» 3 things you need to help survive Winter
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» I Want to Be Brave

Shiplap built-in: The look without the commitment

We are all tuned in to Joanna and her shiplap ways. But honestly, I’m a bit daunted by the idea of doing an entire room in shiplap. We all remember what happened with paneling right? It was cool… until it wasn’t and that stuff isn’t fun or cheap to pull out and replace. So despite Joanna and her charming renovations I’m not convinced we should all shiplap with abandon. That said… I did really want a bit in my house. It fits the style of my home and the decor… which my good friend has described as coastal farmhouse with an international flair. That was really kind of her. Mostly, I have a mix of old things I’ve painted with treasures from my travels to[…]

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» New Orleans: Graduation and Vacation

In December we headed to New Orleans for a long weekend full of good food, good times and a little graduation pit stop for me. If you have followed the blog this year you know that we left New Orleans in 2008 just as I was wrapping up my Masters degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Fast forward to 2016 and I finally applied for graduation and finished what I started (you can read the full story here). We absolutely loved living in New Orleans and couldn’t wait to get back and spend some time in the city. As always, it did not disappoint. Being a visitor in a city we used to live in was super fun. We flew down (Southwest points for[…]

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» Dog Therapy: Why kids and pets belong together

It’s New Year’s Eve morning and I’m happily snuggled on the couch with four kids and two dogs. Coffee has been poured, daddy is catching up on sleep and my computer is in hand. Saturday mornings are often blogging mornings for me… but this morning I asked the kids to help me out, to choose today’s topic, and they immediately suggested that we write about the newest member of our family. A 50-pound lab mix from Lifehouse Pet Rescue. Wrigley (you’re welcome Cub’s fans) is approximately 11 months old and all puppy. He needs a lot of attention, training and rope-pulling time. Our 6-pound toy poodle is quite disgruntled by his presence and his persistent sniffing of said poodle’s bottom. They are truly a comical pair. It’s[…]

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» Commuting in the 2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring

I am blessed to work from my home office. Apart from a few weeks in Ethiopia and Uganda here and there you can typically find me working away under a heated blanket on my couch. I love it, but I also miss office life from time to time. That’s why I love getting the chance to spend a week at the America World corporate office in D.C. Not only do I get to spend time with our staff, but I also get to take in the sights of beautiful Washington D.C. On my last trip in I had the chance to give the 2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring a spin… and I’ll tell you… it was hard going back to my Honda Odyssey. 2017 Mazda3 Grand[…]

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» REVIEW: Nashville’s Nutcracker 2016

NashvilleBallet.com Nashville Ballet combined with the Nashville Symphony celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with the ninth season of Nashville’s Nutcracker. This incredible performance has become a family tradition for us, however this year “family” meant some of our closest friends sans boys. With three families represented, we all had our own reasons we needed to be there. What a great way to get swept up into the Christmas spirit. Most of the girls had attended this show at least once before but they still absolutely loved it. Every year they notice something they didn’t catch the year before. We loaded up the van, grabbed a quick lunch, and headed to TPAC’s Jackson Hall. The matinee show is great for young kids as the[…]

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» Ethiopia Trip (pt. 1) and The Day of Hope

As you may know, this has been a busy season for me… leading with an unplanned surgery, my last semester of graduate school, and a trip to Ethiopia with One Orphan. Many people have asked about the trip but it takes a while to process (as it always does) and I’ve already had to leave again for a quick work trip to D.C. Please read the information below about The Day of Hope (today!) followed along with some pictures from my recent trip to Ethiopia taken by photographer Daniel Hobbs. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sure to share more! Today is the day the Day of Hope: America World and One Orphan invites you to join as we continue our mission to care for[…]

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» Break forth like the dawn: Anxiety vs. Joy

I’ve always considered Africa to be female, with her mountainous terrain and lush, green rolling hills juxtaposed with desert expanses. Like a woman she has mastered the art of multi-tasking by sustaining various forms of life and  ground. She is wise and ancient, she holds secrets and gives life. Specifically she gives me life. From a young age she beckoned me and I listened. Year after year I’ve traveled there. I want to say journeyed but in-flight movies and decent food take the journey out of the trip. Mother Africa fills me up, gives me purpose and confirms the ache in my heart when I’ve been away too long. It’s embarrassing, honestly, the way my Western ways are shattered when I visit. I’ve learned so[…]

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» 2016 Holiday Gift Guide (and Giveaway!)

Without fail gift-giving becomes a chore as each Christmas approaches. We try our best to purchase toys that won’t end up in the trash or Goodwill pile before winter break is even over. We also strive to find gifts that create interaction and experiences rather than providing just one more thing to sit on a shelf. This year, we’ve had the opportunity to check out some different options that might not necessarily be on your Black Friday ads or the standard Lego/Xbox/American Girl, but are definitely worth considering. We’ve created a series of posts for varying ages, just click on each link to access the lists and feedback. Check out these Holiday Gift categories: Ideas for Liam (Pre-K Boy) Ideas for Charlotte and Lola (1st –[…]

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» 3 things you need to help survive Winter

So far, we’ve had a very warm fall, and I’m okay with that. But I know evil Winter is lurking in the shadows. The picture above is not an exaggeration, it’s how I really feel every year during this dreaded season. Before we head into the thick of it, I’ve already started to prep… not my wardrobe (although that’s important) but my bedroom. There is only so much hot coffee and tea that one can drink so here are a few things that we’ve added to combat the oh-so-real winter blues. 1. Withings Aura w/ Sleep Sensor Rise and shine. When it’s cold out, I never want to get up and out of bed. The Aura (by Withings) has an awesome alarm feature that increases[…]

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» I Want to Be Brave

On August 22nd I had surgery to remove one of my parathyroid glands and the benign tumor that it contained. Surgery went well but recovery did not. Weeks passed and left me extremely fatigued, dizzy and weak. I could barely make it through work and get dinner on the table. In fact, on most nights I didn’t. It became clear that my body wasn’t liking the new calcium levels and just wan’t going to cooperate for awhile. During this time it was also discovered that I have a very narrow chest that actually traps my heart, in a way. It’s not a serious condition but it explains why I pass out easily. I could barely make it through work and get dinner on the table.[…]

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