Birthdays, Dirty Laundry, Flannel and Jesus.

What are you thankful for today?

I’ve spent this morning thinking about all the ways that life is a little richer today……

1 // This little munchkin turns TWO years old today. He’s probably the first baby I was a really big fan of — and the first piece of faith that, yeah, having my own kid one day is going to be REALLY awesome. Happy Birthday, Ev! You ain’t a baby no more!

THE CUTEST CHUNK.

2 // Yesterday I spent 10 minutes in Bath & Body Works sniffing all of the fall scents. I spent a long time with Flannel. It’s a small thing and totally a luxury, but few things have the calming effect on me that fall candles do. I can’t wait to get some. And then get more to share the joy with my loves.

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3 // Speaking of flannel, it’s almost time to wear it. THANK the heavens. I’m soaking in every last second of sub-70-degree weather out West while I can. The 10-day forecast for Atlanta still has 90-degree days and I won’t let that steal the joy of wearing a sweatshirt today. The start of a changing season always makes me feel grateful that we get four.

4 // My mom is a nurturer. She gets joy from taking care of her family and doting on each of us. I know that there are many days I took for granted her tidying up behind me, paying attention to setting the table, keeping us in clean clothes and always asking about our comfort. “Are you cold? Do you want a blanket? Do you need something to drink?” But as I get older I’ve started to recognize that through her action — she also taught me a little something. Now that I’m a little older I recognize all the effort and appreciate all the gestures. And I notice that I’m starting to enjoy doing the same. It’s 9 a.m. in Portland and I’ve done a bunch of loads of laundry for Andy. And honestly? It just makes me feel love to do it. ❤ Few things feel more womanly than feeling love folding underwear.

A picture. Cause we’re cute.

5 // NBC letting Kathie Lee honor her husband on air the way that she wanted to–sharing faith. I know that this is news from earlier in the week; but it’s stuck with me each day. It raises the question “would you do the same?” I’m a Christian. Would I be brave enough to ask to share my husband’s testimony on network television? I would hope so. But I think one of the greatest parts of her address from earlier this week is likely the bravery that led her share those words. I want to have faith like that: unashamed, unbound and unfiltered. I want to not “expect people to be offended.” Or “expect standards to not allow it.” If you want to talk about Jesus; talk about Jesus.

Twenty five.

Twenty five.

Well that year went by quickly, right? Just yesterday it seemed like I posted the 25 by 25 list and hoped and dreamed and wished that the next year would be one of the fullest, best and most adventurous yet.

Safe to say it was.

It was the first time in years that I had challenged myself to take control. Figure out what was missing and stop moseying through life.

I traveled. All over. Serious travel bug. Nine new states. Montreal, Canada.

I wrote in new places and publications, and created a new blog.

I took acting classes. I started teaching myself to play the guitar.

Listened to new music from all over and read a hand full of books.

Ran a half marathon and found two new churches.

I was spontaneous. I simplified. I spent a lot of time with Ashley and got myself to best, healthiest place I’ve been mentally, physically and emotionally.

I invested myself where it mattered and when it mattered most; and I found myself cherishing every relationship I had a little deeper.

I took a gigantic deep breath, weighed all of the pros and cons, gave many a tearful hug and left North Carolina in the rearview mirror to go back to school; to move 15 hours away and to take on a new chapter without a second glance.

I swear I’m the happiest that I could imagine today. Big smile and all.

You know, there were things to be worried about when I moved. Would I make friends? Would I like the city? But in retrospect it’s funny to think that I thought about those things. But never actually worried about them. Lucky me, because I never needed to.

After a month in Boston I was able to spend my 25th birthday feeling so much love from far away and right in Boston. Cards and messages from friends and family around the South. And yet somehow was also surrounded by Boston friends and new roommates. It’s pretty incredible how much of a new life you can put together in such a short period of time.

God’s definitely been watching out for me.

25 is going to be pretty amazing. How do I know? Goodness, look at the last year of preparation. : )  If anything, I feel like 25 by 25 was the introduction and now we’re getting to the good part.

What comes post 25 by 25? Maybe this list I talked about a long time ago. Or maybe a break to focus on school and you’ll just get normal updates from me. Regardless, the blog isn’t going anywhere.

So, here’s to 25 more years of adventures and love and progress. You know, that’s really all I could ever dream or ask for.

Today is good.

A best friend turns 25! Wow, over 20 years of friendship. That’s some longevity.

Dinner and drinks with good, new(ish) Winston-Salem friends. I’m always thankful that I have found good people here. It’s funny how close I feel to some new friends that I’ve only had for a few months. Best friend level, folks.

The tent is officially by the door.

There are bags of healthy snacks for the road trip.

Brother is coming to Winston tomorrow.

I had another day off of running and my legs, feet and tush finally feel normal again. No soreness, aches or pains. Darn you, hills.

There are multiple tabs on my computer open for diners, drive-ins and dives around Charleston.

Also, the weather forecast for the weekend is looking up!

Not to mention, a group of good friends from college are planning a June beach reunion.

And then lastly? Tomorrow is my Friday.

Boom.