March 25, 2014

One Year Anniversary Planning.

This April will mark 7 months of being married to my soul mate. 
7 months already!?!
It is so crazy to me how quickly being married has gone by but my goodness it has been the best 7 months of all our six years together :)
All I have been thinking about for the past month is our anniversary trip for this September. We are planning one week of nothing but relaxing at the beach. One week with no work, no emails, no phone calls...just focusing on each other. Paradise!
BUT a few days ago I had this brilliant idea. 
10 points for Lauren!
Just kidding, 20 points for Pinterest. 
We will be at the beach on the actual date of our anniversary so what a better way to spend it than an anniversary shoot??
I will put on my wedding dress, he will put on his casual wedding wear and we will have one beautiful photo shoot! I am so excited I cant even stand it. These are the photos that I am really looking to get 
 The photographer (we will hopefully be going with) emailed me about also including a "trash the dress" shoot towards the end. Apparently its a big thing for a one year anniversary shoot. 
How could I turn that down?
So there will be a lot of dancing and water involved :)
And I cant forget about what in the world I plan to do with my hair. Something with volume and a relaxed but pretty curl like Ms. LC and Heidi (and that flirt advice though)
Decisions, decisions

I just want a fat pile of nothing but romantic, fun, good hair photos with a lot of cuddles and dancing. 
I am pretty sure I am the cheesiest romantic around but I simply cant help myself 

xoxo
Lauren 

March 20, 2014

A little baby talk.

I have been asked by a lot of you ladies about our baby plans. Between all the questions and our families constantly urging us to have babies today...here it is :)

All you married ladies ever have random hits of baby fever? I do a lot. But between a full time job and full time college, I already lose enough sleep. Plus, Sean and I have only been married for 6 months. I really think it is important to spend time with your husband and cherish time together first. 
However, I have plenty of friends who had babies at the beginnings of their marriage and they absolutely love it. Nothing wrong with that. It is all an opinion and personal choice. 
I see babies as an absolutely beautiful creation and blessing from Him. Babies are perfect and I want to be fully prepared for ours. I want to give all my time to my husband and baby. Not school, not work...all family. 

BUT, I do see myself preparing for our first baby...on like a daily basis. 
Does that make sense?
I constantly catch myself making decisions based on our little family we will have one day. Sean and I were looking at cars one day and I had to check the back seat to make sure it was secure enough for a car seat. I throw most my paycheck into savings so we will be more financially prepared. When searching for our second home, I want a huge backyard where we can have tea parties (fingers crossed) or spend hours playing with toy trucks. I want a big tree for a swing and the list goes on and on. Plus I can't wait to see my husband be such a loving dad. It makes my heart melt thinking about it.
You married ladies know just what I am talking about! 

Also, Pinterest only makes things worse for me. I constantly see things like this:

....and I'm all like OKAY IM READY!

But then I have to snap myself out of it.
So when will we start our little family? Not sure just yet. I plan to have all my kids by the time I am 30
(23 as we speak so I am good on time right?!) 
Lately I have loved the idea of having 4 kids. Not sure why because in the past, I only wanted two. But the idea of a huge family sounds so, so wonderful. I know it would be hard work but to be a mom surrounded by a loving husband and four precious kids sounds like a dream. I always think of and get so inspired by this wonderful family who is very dear to me:

I mean seriously, how adorable are they?? Lets hope after 4 kids, I look as great as this lovely lady does! 

So yeah, that is our plan for now. I want to be the best mom and wife to my little family. I want to fully appreciate every middle of the night snuggle, every laugh, every tooth coming in...everything. I want a clear mind without the thought of this homework or that project due by tonight. 

Even though I am not ready at this particular point in my life, I am so ready for lovin on some babies :)

xoxo
Lauren 

March 17, 2014

Only 15 days!

en·cour·agegive support, confidence, or hope to (someone).

April is only 15 days away. WHAT?? Did March fly by or what? With April approaching us, I can only think of two things. 
Loving and encouraging. 

Have your heard of Rave Ministries? I am working side by side with this lovely group of ladies on the HUGE promotion of our April campain, AprilRAVEs. 
You can read more about it on my post right here

As I am getting ready to enter this month of encouragement, I am continually thinking of verses to relate to the month. These are verses for the encouragement of others, and also ourselves. Lets be honest, there are some days when I need nothing but Christ. I can get so tied up in these worldly things and I can easily feel anxiety, worry, greed, hate, stress, etc, etc. 
FOCUS on Him. 

Verses for encouraging others

Ephesians 4: 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 

Proverbs 10: 11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three stands is not quickly broken. 

1 Thessalonians 5: 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 

1 Peter 4: 8-10 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. 

Hebrews 10:24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Colossians 2:2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

Main verse to focus on- Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three stands is not quickly broken. 

This is so strong to me. While reading all I can think about is the fact that we have NO idea what someone else is going through. I was driving down the road the other day and ended up being stuck in traffic for what seemed like eternity. I was looking at all the cars and I was thinking, all these people are here with different lives and I have no clue what situation each person is dealing with. A small letter of encouragement to just one person could change a lifetime for them. I have heard of people who are contemplatingn suicide but there was just one person who encouraged them and changed their life for foever. I have heard of people who have a strong drug or alcohol addiction but becauase of one person, their life changed forever. I want to be that one person. I want to help someone on their deepest and darkest days. 

Verses for encouraging ourselves 

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 46: 1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth may give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake their surging. 

Psalm 16:8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. 

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Psalm 120:1 I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.

Psalm 121: 1-8 I lift my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you day by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore 

Main verse to focus on: Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

This is perfection. I would sticky note this on my head everyday if I could. We can do everything and anything through Him. I mean, how powerful is this small verse?? Anytime you feel overwhelmed and at the lowest of lows, think of this. Say it to yourself over and over again. Say it out loud if you have to. I promise you, this verse will work wonders. 

If you would like to join in on AprilRAVEs, take some time and think about these verses to yourself. I am not only taking April as a time of giving, but also receiving from Him. There is a lot of learning that will happen next month. We are the hope for this world. Let our lights shine even in the darkest places. 
Lets get ready for this :)

xoxo


We Are by Kari Jobe on Grooveshark

March 14, 2014

The Flowers Home // Inspiration Board.

Do you ever get that strong urge to decorate and do it over and over again?
I have that urge almost everyday. 
Anyone know of a perfect job to decorate homes all day??

This week I have really been focusing on my den area. It is where our company spends the most time and therefore, it is the most important room for me to keep "perfect." 

My den purchase list:
- new tv stand
- new couch
- sofa table
- new flooring 
- some sort of chest to put in the awkward spot of our den

Small list with large costs. As I have mentioned, I am all about saving the money so I have been saving up in my house budget for a few of these items. The first ones I want to conquer are a new tv stand and a new sofa table. Totally wanting new floors too but we are waiting until we purchase our home in the next few weeks. EEKK :D

 We have a larger sectional in our den and see that sofa table peeing behind? LOVE
Looking for a similar style to this, only dark brown. 
As always, I check with Target first. This is actually a bookshelf but I like the idea of it being a tv stand. Plus it is 30% off right now. 
BOOYA!

This is the original tv stand I wanted but considering the price difference and the one pictured above, not sure if it is my first choice anymore :)

I cant wait to take photos and show you all. I also am planning a little "what I purchased for our home today" post for all you ladies who are looking for home decor. As soon as I am off work today, I plan to hit Target for a tv stand and perhaps a thrift store for a sofa table. 
Any ideas on where to purchase some items for good prices?

Also, for all you sweeties who have asked about Sean, he is doing great! The infection is out of his bloodstream and his hand is almost completely back to normal. Yall are the best!

xoxo



March 12, 2014

One unexpected and scary birthday weekend.

You know how they always say "make it a birthday weekend you will never forget"
Yea...that clearly happened this weekend

Sunday was a perfect day. Were talking 72 degrees, small breeze and nothing but sun. Sean has been itching to work on our backyard. We received patio furniture from his mom and we have a large port that we plan to decorate and make it a nice hangout.
Both of our pups were outside enjoying the day and one of our cats had ran outside as well. Long story short, Sean grabbed the cat to bring him back inside, dogs scare the cat, cat bites down on Sean and wouldnt let go. So, Sean comes in with a deep hole in his hand from the cat. I take him to the bathroom, run water over it and then pour some alcohol over it to try and get out as many germs as possible.
We had planned to take him to the doctor the next day but it seemed like his hand was getting worse and worse. So off to the minor med we went.
This was taken like two minutes before he passed out. 
Yea, rough night.
 The doctor told him that the bite was turning into an infection and that if we see red lines on his forearm the next day, go straight to the ER. 
Luckily, I had taken a caregiver leave at work and I planned to go later in the afternoon. But Sean woke up and we noticed two red lines going up through his arm, right under his armpit. Off to the ER we went. 
Five hours of waiting, they put him on two IVs and said it was a bad bacterial infection that had gotten into his bloodstream 
(between the rocks, dirt and cat mouth...ehh)
They were concerned with how quickly it spread but luckily after the two IVs, we noticed his lines were getting lighter. Yesterday they were completely gone. Praise Jesus! 
Today he is back to the doctor for a checkup and hopefully we will hear nothing but good news. 
Definitely a crazy but blessed birthday weekend
and yes, I will never forget it :)

March 7, 2014

The only thing I want..

........to do this weekend

Is watch a TON of chick flicks.

Dear John
The Notebook
Safe Haven
The Lucky One
Twilight 
The Vow

Am I right or am I right??
When I say I am a hopeless romantic... I am literally a HUGE hopeless romantic. 
Nothing makes my day like a picnic, long walks on the beach, cuddling on the couch watching love stories, forehead kisses, notes left in random places....you get the idea. 
Birthday weekends call for what we want to do all weekend right?
My poor husband. He may hate me by Monday :)

xoxo

Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg on Grooveshark

March 4, 2014

Transitions for the 23rd Year.

Birthdays....one of the most exciting days out of the whole year
A day we feel loved, appreciated, important and spoiled
This Saturday I will be turning a whopping 23. For some reason I feel like I should be turning 26...23 seems so young right? Is this my old soul coming out in me??

As I get older, birthdays are more about transitions to me. Transitioning into another year of becoming a woman, a better wife, closer to becoming a mom....and with this birthday, I really want to focus more on these transitions.
(These could also be included as my March goals) 

1. Become healthier. This winter has been a rough one for me. I have done little exercise between school and only wanting to stay under the covers for warmth. I have eaten out more times than I wish to think about. I have eaten way more sweets than I want to mention. I really want to change this. I need to be healthier for myself. I want to run, I want to eat the meals that make me feel great and I want to say NO to chocolate cake (a little unrealistic?)

2. Be more content. The older I get, the more I get to see how blessed I am. Oftentimes, it is hard to forget about these blessings. I want to be content. I want to only see what I have, nothing that anyone else has. I feel like this is something I need to remember over and over. I could put a sticky note on my head that says "always remember to be content."

3. Better myself in school. Seriously, this is a big one for me. School has beaten me up so far. I am in my upper degree classes and I have crammed so much into my head about becoming a perfect manager, how to do give interviews and more calculus than I ever want to see in my life. I want to better myself with school. I want to push myself harder and really do the best I can do with these classes.

4. Help others. I feel like I often let these opportunities go. I want to help others. I want to volunteer and be a shoulder to lean on for someone else. I want to build relationships so nobody will feel alone. Nothing is better than helping someone because as I have said before in my AprilRAVEs post, you never know what anyone is going through. Helping others will change something inside of you and only make you feel happier with yourself.

5. Be more dream driven. A lot of times when I think of something I really want to do, like photography, I am the first one to criticize myself the hardest. I will think, no matter how hard I practice, I will never be as good as this person or that person. Luckily my hubs has my back for this one. He constantly encourages me with photography and keeps my spirits high. I want to practice and practice and follow these photography dreams than shoot them down.

5 topics to think of as I enter another wonderful year of life. 5 topics to grow as a better me.
23... I am ready for you. 





March 2, 2014

AprilRAVEs

Happy Sunday sweet friends!
I hope you all had a beautiful Saturday with this incredible weather like we are currently having in the south!
It has been in the 60's today....but we have an ice storm warning on Monday
Hello there flu season!

ANYWHO

I have some VERY MEGA exciting news to share with you lovely ladies! I have been teaming up with Rave Ministries for a couple of months and I have been asked to help lead a campaign this April which I am SO excited about!
Before I announce the info, let me give you a little background. Rave ministries is a ministry that was created by girls, for girls! They desire to create a community of girls while sharing and leading in the ministry of Christ. The mission of Rave is to give girls a desire to live a life worth RAVEing about and to know that a life in Christ is ANYTHING but dull!

Perfect or what??

Here is the deal:
This April, we are doing a campaign called "AprilRAVEs". It is based off of Isaiah 55 and it is a whole month of nothing but encouragement! We want to start this trend and make it HUGE! 
For 30 days, commit to extravagant praises towards others. Write a hand written note to encourage someone every day during the month of April. After you write the letter, give it, email it, mail it, stick it on a car....whatever you can think of. Isaiah 55 talks about sowing seeds. With this campaign, we are all sowing seeds of pure encouragement. 

You NEVER know how large of an impact this could make on someone's day. Everyone knows the saying "April showers bring May flowers." Think of the campaign in this way. You "sow your seeds" of encouragement for the month of April. Then think of how encouraged everyone will be in the month of May! 

If you have heard of Rave Ministries in the past, you have probably heard of No Makeup November. This campaign was about girls committing to wearing no makeup in the whole month of November. Instead of focusing on ourselves, our appearance and our outward beauty, focus on Christ and see yourself as beautiful the way Christ sees us as beautiful. It created an enormous impact that you can read about here, here, and here. With AprilRAVEs, we are trying to gain a strong (and stronger) impact than No Makeup November. 

I would highly, highly love if you joined along with me on this. It would not only make others feel good, but it would also make you feel good about helping someone else. If you would like to join along with us on this campaign, use the hashtags #aprilraves #extravagant and comment below!

1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. 4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples. 5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor." 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."