1. Tis the season for moving the party outside! Here are five tips for entertaining outdoors. (self.com)
2. 14 Things All Southern Women Know To Be True. (thoughtcatalog.com)
3. Find Out What Your Name Would Be If You Were Born Today. I’d be Allison. (time.com)
4. Looking for an easy summer meal with minimal prep? I made this Giada dish last night and we’re still talking about it! Also, it’s healthy but still has two kinds of cheeses. (foodnetwork.com)
5. Turns out, movies are good for your brain! (glamour.com)
6. 10 Indoor Plants You Can’t Kill. Supposedly. (stylemepretty.com)
7. Made an uh-oh at work? You can recover! (dailyworth.com)
[ Diagon Alley at dusk is magical ]
This past week the whole family + a good friend of Nathan’s headed to Orlando, more specifically Universal Studios and Harry Potter World, all in the name of Nathan graduating college! We realized once on the plane – after my preacher husband was searched for far too long because they wrongly identified him as a convicted felon with a warrant out for his arrest – that was the first time our whole family had flown together. Crazy! We had so much fun exploring the parks, drinking plenty of butter beer (too sweet for me), getting plenty of pool time and laughing 24/7. We were so thankful for beautiful weather – it only rained one afternoon – and relatively light crowds since most are still in school for another week! Whether you’re a Harry Potter super fan, like my husband and brother, or just think it’s neat, like me, you need to plan a trip to Hogwarts soon! As you can imagine, I took plenty of pictures and wanted to share some of my favorites.
I feel like this trip was the official start to summer and this week it’s back to real life aka packing up our Kentucky house! We’re so excited about making the move back to Tennessee and starting this new adventure but let’s be real, moving is not the most fun. At least we have each other and the cutest furry helper! Have a great week! xo
[ Easily the funniest part of the whole trip ]
[ Still getting used to seeing my new last name and I love it ]
[ The boys and their butter beer ]
[ Dad and Tour Guide Mom ]
[ Proof that I (almost) beat my husband at a heated game of putt-putt ]
[ Boarding the Hogwarts Express ]
[ Breakfast with all the wizards and witches all week ]
[ So much love…and mist ]
[ Perfect end to a great trip ]
Hi, my name is Katie and sometimes I have control issues. And worry. And ask “what if?” Sure, I know God is in control of all things but sometimes I kick into power-woman mode and before I know it I’m worrying about a situation as if I have any ounce of control over it. Typically I turn to prayer and my trusty Bible but sometimes it’s nice to have a guidebook of sorts to keep me centered and in the right mindset.
Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow was a book I first read over five years ago when I was living with two of my best friends, Ashley and Chelsea. We had decided to start a book club/Bible study of sorts, so we all read chapters each week and then discussed while we ate assorted snacks, of course. It was nice to be so candid about our biggest worries and fears, and then talk through a gameplan of how to better trust God. It was such a special time for all three of us. Five or so years later we’re all going through our own struggles and we’re praying each other through each one, but again, I’ve found myself struggling here and there with worry. I was packing up my books the other day and what literally fell off the shelf? Calm My Anxious Heart. I picked it up – any excuse to take a break from packing, right? – and was immeditaly reminded of God’s faithfullness and his unique plan(and incredible love!) for all of us.
So why do I highly recommend this one? It’s a book for women of all ages and includes examples from women across the globe. Dillow gracefully covers all topics we all struggle with at some point – contentment, anxiety, understanding God’s plan, trusting God with the “what ifs” and loving the real you. It’s the perfect way to start your morning or end your night – I keep mine on my bedside table and read it whenever I can and it’s been such a blessing to my every day. You in? Buy your copy here. xo
[ perfect candles for Dad ]
This past week was all about celebrating the ones I love – from birthdays to Mother’s Day to a new job! It was so much fun to spend time laughing and telling fun stories with Mom and Dad all weekend – especially Dad’s breakfast brunch with my brother there, too! I tried my hand at a German Chocolate Cake from scratch and somehow it turned out quite delicious. Like I always say, go big and if it doesn’t work out there’s always the bakery down the street. In between all the merriment, Taylor took me to the driving range to try out my new golf clubs and while I’m no pro yet, I’m starting to enjoy the sport more and more. Oh, and have you seen The Avengers yet? Go see it. Total boy movie but has a little romance in there so ladies, don’t be scared. Have a great week! xo
[ Charlie was unimpressed with it all, naturally ]
[ We can’t take them anywhere ]
[ A photo-opp break during golf lessons with Tay ]
[ Post-brunch napping ]
[ Making this new adventure official – hello again, TN! ]
[ The best way to end the week ]
When I was in high school I found a drawer of old pictures in my parents’ formal living room and in that drawer was a box full of pictures from my mom’s high school years. I looked through every one – Mom and her prom date, Mom as a cheerleader at the top of the pyramid, Mom’s senior pictures, and eventually Mom with dad on her parent’s couch. I laughed at all the polyester and the business suit she wore on a couple dates but I mostly focused on a picture of Mom in her cheer uniform. Naturally, we had just had quite the disagreement the day before about the length of my cheerleading skirt. Some of the girls were sporting very short skirts and because I was an insecure 16 yr. old I thought I needed one too…that’s another post for another day. I didn’t understand why she didn’t get it – she had been a cheerleader after all! I believe I ended the conversation with something along the lines of, “you’re ruining my life and you don’t understand anything.”
Fast forward a few years and here I am, looking at the same picture of my mom in her cheer uniform. No longer am I thinking up ways to convince her that it’s okay if I wear one; instead, I’m thinking how beautiful she was then and how not much has changed…definitely not the hair or the sparkle in her eyes! One of the neatest things about growing up is getting to know your parents as real people and becoming friends. I am so thankful for a mother that loves God more than anything, adores my dad today more than the day she married him, and loves others more than herself. She’s the one who taught me how to throw a good party – whether it’s for two or two hundred! – and encourages me to “suck it up” and “remember whose you are” on a daily basis. She held my hand when I broke my ankle, gave me confidence when I had lost mine, and cried in the church pew on my wedding day. Did I mention she orchestrated every detail of my wedding day? That’s the kind of superwoman my mom is.
Mom, thanks for putting up with 16 year old me and loving like crazy despite my not-so-stellar attitude. Aren’t you glad I grew up and realized I don’t know everything? You’re the kind of wise I hope to become, and I’m so blessed to have you in my life. Lord willing, I hope to be half the mother you are one day and laugh as my daughter looks through pictures of me from my high school days.
Everybody, if you’re blessed enough to still have your mom here on this earth, call her. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call. Go a little Danny Tanner a la Full House and tell her how much you appreciate her for so many reasons. And maybe, like me, apologize for how you were at 16. xo