message monday

I know I said that the changes would come after the new year; however, I don't like things to begin in the middle of the week. (I know, a touch OCD.)  So we begin with "Message Monday."  It is more or less self-explanatory - a message in Scripture, poetry, quotes, lyrics, etc that has stood out to me.  As it is New Year's Eve, I thought I would share this pretty quote I found on pinterest.

Have hope
Try new things
 Be active
See the good
Say, "I love you" more
Challenge yourself
Choose to be happy
Eat better
Enjoy today
Forgive more readily
Read more often
Become your best you

"For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.' "
Jeremiah 29:11-13

You may know the first verse, but my personal favorite is the last two.  He hears our prayers when we call upon Him, and we will seek and find Him when we search with all our heart.  It is so incredibly beautiful and precious to me to know that in this chaotic world that He knows the plans and that He listens.

I hope you all have a safe, happy New Year.  I pray we (myself especially) turn to God with all our heart.

Much Love,



So I have been thinking, and I mentioned this quite briefly in the previous post.  I think it is time for a little structure for the blog - instead of just my rantings twice a week about something that is or has been driving me crazy.  So I worked up a little schedule to include some of the things that have been the most well-received here on the little blog.  

I am not at all sure if I can keep to this aforementioned schedule, but it is worth a try.  So here it goes - 

Monday - Message
Tuesday - Thrifty Tuesday
Wednesday - Wardrobe
Thursday - Throwback (I may have stole this from Instagram, but hello, history major!)
Friday - Favorite Things

I have left Saturday and Sunday free to just leave room for randomness, and if I am honest there is only so much structure for this girl!

Just trying to remind myself change is a good thing - 


happy and merry

Well it's officially cold now in south MS, and it's officially the day after Christmas.  Figures!

Anyways, we had our family Christmas celebration on Sunday so that we could all celebrate with Papaw, spend as much time together as possible, and not have to rush off to another holiday get together.  It was a perfectly lovely day that began at church with Christmas brunch.

I kind of love the simple decorations - made the paper christmas trees thanks to Pinterest for inspiration.  We followed it up with our usual trip to Papaw's for Sunday lunch.

Madi is growing so fast - I can't believe little girl is four now!  After lunch we went to Mom and Dad's for present time that went by so quickly that I didn't get a picture.  Madi said, "this was the best Christmas ever."  I have to agree with her.  When it got dark we all went for a stroll in Mason Park.  Borrowed this pic from Brit!

Yesterday,  Candace and I went to Mom and Dad's because of the weather, and you're always safer at your parents' house.  It makes even the worst things better!  We were very blessed not to have any terribly severe weather in our little community, and I pray all of you were safe.  So I will just leave you with this!

Oh and btw, a few changes coming to the blog in new year.  I think it's time for a little structure!



Until now, I have been silent regarding the massacre in Newtown, CT because I have simply do not have words to describe the kind of evil that possessed that young man.  I was and continue to be heart-broken, furious, disgusted - and those are the emotions I can express in words.  I feel like crying and have throughout the weekend to think of precious babies being exposed to such malicious depravity.  Being in the school system, I think, makes this even more of a horrible reality because you realize this could happen in any school - your school, my school.  Then I begin putting names and faces, very personal names and faces, with who it could have been, and that is more than my soul can bear.  It hurts my heart.

One of the blogs I subscribe to described it as a snatching away of innocence right here at Christmas - a time for celebrating the innocence of children.  I think of it as the worst nightmare you can imagine and not being able to wake up from it.  It's one of the things you wish you could "unsee" or "unthink."  

Immediately I knew we had to do something - I had to do something.  So yesterday, a few of us at our church took some time to pray for the families of the victims as well as the young man who was the perpetrator.  The verse I shared with them is Psalm 34:18,

"The Lord is near to the broken-hearted,
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

That is my prayer for everyone involved, even for those of us who are suffering from a distance, that we turn to Christ as He is the only one who can carry hurt like this.  I have seen many posts on facebook about how we should let Christ back in our schools.  If you think for one instance that He requires our permission to be in a school or that He was not in those classrooms in CT, then your God is not as big as mine.  I think perhaps we as Christians should wake up and learn His character so that His words come out of our mouths and His actions are our actions.  He is there - perhaps we should start listening.

I include myself in every part of this - so my challenge for myself and for anyone reading this is to stop and listen, to pray.  Our prayer vigil was at 3:30 yesterday - so I am going to set an alarm on my phone for 3:30 pm everyday to stop and to pray for these families, for our nation, and that we remember that Christ is with us. I am asking anyone reading this to do the same - it can be anytime that works for you.  

I also think we can honor those who lost their lives by celebrating the love and joy we have in our own lives - not to take any of our blessings for granted.  To look at the children in your life and remember they are precious gifts from God.

I leave you with this - 
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins,they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.  Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.



So yesterday was a big day for me - my 29th birthday!  I have always enjoyed my birthday - in a house with 3 girls, one single day where we had to do exactly what I wanted with no compromise was rare and perfect.  Now as I am getting older, people like to joke with me that I am getting old - gray hair, close to the big 3-0, etc.  I know some women who stop celebrating their birthdays because it means you are getting older, but I don't think that will be me.  I am pretty sure that won't be me.  I love birthdays - come on people, an excuse to get presents and eat cake?!  How can you go wrong with that?

On the more serious side - birthdays are excellent time markers.  They allow you to stop and take measure of the life you have lived in the past year.  Are you where you wanted to be? Are you the person you thought or hoped you would be?

Last year for my birthday, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do in the coming year.  And I really didn't even look at the list after I made it until just now for a refresher.  The only things I accomplished on the list were the some of the superficial things - like planting flowers for our balcony or getting a tan.  I want this year to be much different - perhaps not quite so superficial but a little more meaningful.  They say wisdom comes with age - knowledge you may have at quite a young age but wisdom is knowing what to do with knowledge.  I may not have all the answers, but I am becoming more aware of who I am, what I want,  and what needs to change.

First and foremost I want my life to honor God - everything comes through that filter.  I want to live a life of integrity where my actions line up with my beliefs (thanks to John for that one).

Second, I want to love.  His mercies and love for me are new everyday; therefore, the love and mercies I extend should be also.

Third, I want to be a better steward of the gifts and abilities I have been given.

Finally, days are gifts - precious gifts from God that we are not promised.  I believe that rates a celebration unlike any other.

I must say, "thank you so very much" to all of you who wished me a "Happy Birthday" yesterday.  To complete this I will leave you with a few pics of birthdays past.


have a cookie!

When I was a little girl, my favorite place to be during the holidays was the kitchen with my Mamaw and Mom.  Mamaw spent many hours making desserts for our family dinner and for others in the community, and as long as you were not in the way you could stay and watch while she worked.  Can I tell you something? There is nothing like the smell of red velvet cake straight from the oven and no memory so precious as the ones featuring that kitchen.  

Now I have found that I love to bake - cakes, pies, cookies.  There is something precious about cooking for someone.  Recently I found a recipe for Tea Cakes that belongs to my great aunt, and I wanted to try it out. I don't think I have ever made anything completely from scratch, so it was a challenge and an adventure for me.  I think they turned out well, and as Candace is addicted to anything resembling a sugar cookie, there were very few left.

Looks pretty good huh?

I believe that recipes are sacred - not secret.  Sharing recipes in my family are sharing a part of yourself with others, it's almost like passing down the stories from your grandparents that are part of your family's history. So I thought I would share this one with you.  Oh and the cookies are to die for - try them for yourself.

1 stick butter (softened - not melted)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix butter, sugar, egg, and oil together.  Add flour, baking powder, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Roll batters in balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Press flat with hand.  Bake at 325 degrees for 12 - 14 minutes.  Remove cookies immediately from cookie sheet.  (I don't know why exactly but that is what the recipe called for!)

I hope you enjoy!  

BTW you can totally change the flavor of these tea cakes by just making a few adjustments.  For example, instead of vanilla extract try almond (1/4 tsp) and add chocolate chips - it will change your life.  I also think it would be good to switch the white sugar for brown sugar and add oatmeal and raisins.  

I pray that your holidays are filled with great memories, wonderful food, amazing family and priceless friends.
Oh and share a recipe or two!