Monday, March 30, 2015

the mountains are calling

when i was a little kid, i used to hate hiking. we would go on family camping trips & a little ways into the hike my little legs would get tired. one time i even sat down in the bushes on the side of the trail and poked my lip out to pout, telling my parents i wasn't going to keep hiking. obviously, not my best moment. so for whatever reason, my 7 year old self loved camping but hated hiking.

that actually reminds me of a really funny/ironic anecdote about hiking. when i was a kid, i lived 2 hours south of where i live now. however, where i live now is in the foothills of the mountains, so we used to come up here to camp for the weekend. so, the trail where 7-year-old Robyn sat down, pouted, and refused to continue hiking is very close to where 26-year-old Robyn lives now. 

fast forward 16 years.... 24-year-old Robyn is dating a boy named Thomas. he picks her up one day for a date that he has all planned out. he takes her to this same trail, they hike up to the top and enjoy a picnic lunch. then, he pulls out a ring & asks her to be his wife right there on the mountain top.

later that night, at the surprise engagement party that Thomas planned... Robyn's dad tells the story of the 7-year-old girl pouting and refusing to finish the hike. then, he pauses for affect... and states "i'm glad SOMEONE was finally able to get her up that mountain!" :)

that was a long, round about way of saying that i actually do enjoy hiking now. like, a lot. Thomas & i have already hit up a few trails this spring and can't wait to conquer some tough ones that i've never done! it's so much fun to get out of dodge, spend time in nature, get exercise, and just soak in the sunshine! 

 it was opposite day for us

what about you? are you a fan of hiking or not so much?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

journaling | writing prompts

one of my goals for March is to spend time journaling. i enjoy reflecting on my life and writing my thoughts out in order to process them. but i also enjoy following writing prompts when journaling. just to keep it mixed up a bit & work that creative muscle. 

i am more motivated if i have a pretty journal to write in, so i got a personalized journal from Minted at the beginning of March. (or 2 because let's be honest, it's so hard to pick just one! plus, they are personalized so that is awesome!) i've been journaling in it off & on throughout this month - writing out prayers, processing my personality type, using writing prompts, and plain ole stream of consciousness entries!

it has been nice to set aside time for one of my favorite past times! over the past month, i've been looking everywhere for writing prompts to get inspiration to think & write creatively. i have found tons, but i am sharing my top 10 favorite ones below! so, get to writing!

o1 write about something you frequently forget.
o2 what is the most beautiful sound you have ever heard?
o3 have you ever experienced something that could not be logically explained?
o4 what traffic sign best reflects your life right now?
o5 if you were a book, what section of the book shop would you be shelved in?
o6 if you could live to see any event in the future, what would that event be?
o7 what is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
o8 write a letter dated 10 years in the future (or a letter to your future or past self).
o9 write a story in which your biggest fears happen to your character.
10 break up your life into 3 chapters & give each chapter a title.

do you enjoy writing prompts? what's your favorite one?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dixie's Corner | on getting snail mail

hello! my name is Dixie and i'm a basset hound! welcome to Dixie's Corner - my own special place on my moms's blog where i will let you have the inside scoop on the life of a basset!

my mom is constantly talking about snail mail & until recently i never knew what that was. but guess what? i got my first package in the mail last week and now i know what all of the fuss is about! my package came from & they sent me a bone and a bag of pot pie! all for little ole me to try out! 

here's how it went down:
i came in from the backyard & there was a package sitting on the table with my name on it!

i looked up to mom and asked "is this package for me?" she said it was, so my tail started wagging!

we opened up the package & look at what was inside!! pot pie treats & a stick to chew on! so much yummy in one package!

mom let me sniff the packages to my little hearts content & then she finally opened them up! 

mom & dad have been teaching me some new tricks lately & when i do them, i get a treat. i'm stubborn by nature so up until a year ago, i had 0 tricks in my arsenal. now i know how to sit, kennel up, and stay(sorta)! so mom made me do some tricks before i could try the pot pie, but it was worth the wait! they were delicious!

then she broke out the stick! man, do i love to chew! i chewed on it so long i had to take a break and lick my paws! i keep the stick close to me at all times with my other favorite bone though. just in case someone tries to be a sneak and hide them! (mom & dad think they're funny!)

i love the chew stick & the pot pies! mom never lets me have any of her pot pie, so this is the next best thing! and the stick... has me constantly guessing! is it a stick or a bone? guess i'll keep chewing to figure out the final verdict!

to wrap up this section of Dixie's Corner, i want you to know that bassets can be fans of snail mail also! so until next time, i'll be dreaming of snail mail & waiting on another package!

we received complimentary products in exchange for a review. regardless, all opinions are my own.

what is your most favorite snail mail you've ever received?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

from tablet to table

i received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House for review purposes.

before Thomas & i got married, he didn't have a table in his house. so one of the first things we did when we got married was to move in a table & create a dining room. i loved having a table & eating dinner together. it made our house feel like a home. we also built a coffee table for our living room during our first year of marriage. i loved having a space to sit around and play games or visit with company. there is just something about a table that completes a house.

our word for 2015 is rest & part of true rest is community. so we want to be intentional about utilizing our table. we want our table to be a place that welcomes guests, a place where we have deep conversations, a place where we laugh together, a place where we share parts of ourselves. 

this book focuses on community & identity being found at the table. the Bible is not just a tablet, it's a table meant to gather around. it's a table meant to come alive. we sit at the table of scripture and we learn more about God, then more about ourselves. Sweet makes the point that while we sit in Biblical community at the table, we are being fed as well as feeding. we give to the table and we also receive from it. 

this book describes 3 types of tables - the table at home, the table at church, and the table in the world. the table at home is where we set our boundaries, where we develop our tastes, and where we learn protocols such as grace and slowing down. the table at church is where a diverse community of people gather, bring brokenness, and allow Jesus to be the head of the table. the table in the world is where we display God's hospitality, where we form relationships, and where we minister to others.

there is one model for the table, but all tables look different. maybe your table is filled to the brim with people and laughter. maybe your table is just your family and quiet conversations. maybe your table is you and a few friends having a game night. it doesn't matter what it looks like or how many people are there. extroverts embrace large tables full of people & introverts flourish at small tables, but community can be found in both places. 

what does your table look like?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

October 26th | Part 4

This story is written like fiction, but it is very true. It happened in October of 2012, so some of the details may be a little hazy to me but the story is as accurate as I recall. I wanted to have an account of the craziest thing that happened to me in my life thus far & thought it would be fun to write it in story form. This story is written in parts, so it will make more sense if you read from the beginning!


I walk to the nurses's station and I suddenly realize that I have no idea where my dad and Thomas went to. They probably went to the consultation room, but I'm just really aware all of the sudden that I'm alone. The nurse takes me into the examination room and I meet the surgeon. He does more tests and talks to the nurse.

They are talking to each other like this is no big deal. I realize this is probably common for them, but from my perspective this is a very big deal.

The check up is done and I'm led back to the consultation room where my dad and Thomas are. The doctor says a lot and my brain is trying its best to keep up.

I'm doing a surgery on Monday afternoon and I would like to schedule you for that morning. 

We believe the cyst is the size of a cantaloupe, so this will be major surgery. 

I've done many cyst removal surgeries just like this one. This is not the biggest one I've seen, so you have nothing to worry about. 

My dad and Thomas seem shocked at the size, but for some reason I'm not. They are also asking a lot of questions, but I can't comprehend the words coming out. I'm wondering how surgery is going to fit into school, so I ask This is my last semester in college, will I be able to go back to school by the end of the week? 

The doctor laughs and says If you feel up to it, you go ahead and go back to school. He didn't say this in a rude way, more of a matter of fact way. I don't understand the laughter at the time, but after the surgery I do.

The doctor continues, It looks as if the cyst is inside the ovary and has stretched it very thin as it continued growing. We won't be able to separate the ovary because it is too thin. We'll have to take it out.

I've wanted to adopt kids my entire life, I wonder if this is the reason I have that desire.

The doctor goes over some logistics of the surgery aftermath. I can't drive for a few weeks after the surgery, nor can I lift anything heavy, including a book bag full of books. He tells me that a nurse will call me over the weekend to take care of some pre-op stuff. It is normally done a week ahead of time, but since this is so rushed, part of it will be done over the phone and the rest will be done the morning of the surgery.

He releases us and we all drive back to my parents' house. I know this is reality but it doesn't feel real.

So, I'm having surgery in two days, major surgery. This escalated very quickly. Was I really studying for a test this morning?


[to be continued]

Monday, March 09, 2015

o2 | project 12

Project 12 | a picture for each month of the year

- we aren't really huge Valentine's people. i'm not a flowers and chocolate girl, and we don't enjoy spending tons of money on food. so we do a really low key thing each year. this year we went to the zoo during the day & then ate dinner at Chick-Fil-A that night! they have fresh flowers on the tables so it is kinda budget-friendly-fancy, right? 

- there was an ice storm in SC mid month, so Thomas got a day & a half off work. even though i had to work from home the whole time, it was nice to have him home too! plus, working by the fire in my pajamas is always preferable! we also got fluffy snow the week after the ice, so at least that redeemed the cold weather somewhat. but we both had to work the day we got snow & didn't get to build a snowman!

- my sister in law gave birth to their first little baby boy! Thomas & i have an almost 3 year old nephew on my side of the family & now we have a second nephew on his side! we are excited because little boys are the best! and no, we don't have baby fever (well, i don't). we most definitely have nephew fever though! ;)

Feb 7 - dinner & The Jersey Boys at my parents' house
Feb 14 - the zoo & Chick Fil A for Valentine's on a budget
Feb 18 - date night @ The Peddler (hello living social deals!)
Feb 27 - we became an Aunt & Uncle on Thomas's side of the family!
Feb 28 - celebrated my mom & sister's birthdays

- cuddling & cozy fires
- walks with the basset
- loaded sweet potatoes (heaven on a plate!)
- dance dance revolution
- afternoon coffee dates
- pops of red in the snow
- cuddling tiny humans

- we traveled to Tokyo, Japan for our passport to fun date
- i thought a lot about what it means to be brave
- Thomas & i finished our first whole 30 together & reflected on the journey
- i shared a few great whole 30 recipes: ginger crockpot chicken, simple sesame broccoli, & turkey sausages
- i discovered the adorableness that is The Owl Shoppe

what are your highlights from this month?

Monday, March 02, 2015

monthly goals | march

recap February goals

drink more water
i did drink more water this month & could definitely feel it! i had coffee the first week of the month because you can't turn down Chick Fil A free coffee! :) but the second week i stopped cold turkey & ya know what? i survived! i had one caffeine headache but then i was fine. i am still going to drink coffee occasionally, on those desperate mornings where i just need something to give me that extra jolt. but i am going to stay away from drinking it every single day.

purge & simplify
we didn't really make any progress this month. i had high hopes but each weekend either met us with non-stop plans or sickness. our issue is keeping the clutter away because it seems to keep coming back!

exercise 3x a week
i didn't get to 3 times each week, but i did exercise each week so i call that a win! now to keep it up for every month for the rest of my life! :)

March goals

spend time journaling
for most of my childhood, i kept a journal. i didn't write in it every day, but i wrote in it frequently. i love reading back through those journals and seeing God's hand at work. once i started college, my journaling became very sporatic. now that i'm out of college, married, and work full time i rarely find time to journal. so this month i want to spend time journaling. not blogging, but journaling. find a quiet spot, be still, and just reflect. 

life is overwhelming. it just is. and while my body aches for rest, my soul aches for rest even more. after all of the ups & downs with my job and Thomas's job transition this past year, i just need to allow time to process everything. i want to spend time this month allowing my soul to rest, creating some white space & re-aligning myself to look to Jesus for true rest. 

what are you hoping March holds for you?