April 30, 2014

Meet the Flowers.

Lately it has been shocking me that Sean and I have been married for close to 8 months. I mean seriously, WHERE does time go? I remember waking up the day of our wedding with an anxious, happy yet nervous mix of emotions. I remember my sister and I putting on my dress. I remember peeking though the blinds of the church to see if I could spot Sean standing and waiting for me. I remember walking down to him, looking like a giddy girl. Time seriously flies too fast sometimes. 

With all my thinking about it, I realized I didn't have a post that could be found with our love story on it. Totally not cool. So...here is my favorite love story (yes, cheesy, but totally true)
In 2007, I met Sean through one of our mutual friends at the young age of 16. I know it is so cliche when people say they experienced love at first sight....but believe me, its totally true. You can call me crazy because yes, I was so young. How did I know what love was? 
But just believe me on this :) 
When I first met Sean, there was something about him that just drew me in like a gnat to a bright light (beautiful, southern analogy right?)
We spent about two weeks together and he asked me to be his girlfriend January 2008. I can't tell you how excited I was. It was one of those really weird excitements where you shake your arms and squeal a little (don't act like you don't know what I am talking about)
(Our first picture together. Ugh, it was definitely that teen awkward stage)

To fast forward a bit, we dated all throughout high school and first college years. 
Then on December 26th, 2011, we had a very special Christmas. 
We went to my all time favorite restaurant, J. Alexanders 
(if you have never been, go right now, I mean right now) 
Afterwards, he took me downtown which is my favorite spot in the entire city. We walked around on Main Street which was gorgeously decorated with all of the Christmas lights, Christmas music playing and the crisp winter air. Next thing I knew, he was on one knee, flashing this gorgeous ring in my face. From there, it gets a little blank. I was so excited and emotional that I don't remember what I said back, but apparently a "yes" was thrown in there somewhere 
I had always been the one who thought I would have a huge wedding 
(I'm talking like 500 people, flashing lights, helicopter transport...you get the idea) 
However, as I started planning, I realized how much I didn't want anything but a small wedding. This was a shocker to not only me, but the whole girl society. I know what you are thinking...what girl wouldn't want a huge, dazzling wedding?! I guess you could blame it on the fact that I was beyond ready to finally start my life with my best friend. I mean come on, TWO, almost THREE years of being engaged people. The last thing I wanted was so plan this ginormous wedding. 
Plus working a full time job and attending school full time turned me into one of those MEGA bridezillas. Seriously, my mom and sister couldn't stand to be around me 
So, with a simple wedding I went! 
We finally became one on September 15th, 2013. As I mentioned, it was so simple which I believe made it more romantic and personal 
(I am totally not saying anything bad about big weddings. I think all weddings are beautiful in every single way and whatever you want, you go for! It is an extremely special day and should be absolutely perfect for any bride) 
We only had family members who attended and we all gathered at a BEAUTIFUL church. For our reception, we all went to dinner and it was the most perfect day of my life. 
He is my best friend. The one who constantly keeps me laughing. He challenges me, encourages me and supports me.  He is such a perfect gentleman and will do anything in life to make sure I am happy. He shows me the love of Christ and I can't wait to spend forever with him. 

April 24, 2014

Wife Diaries // Vol. 1



Last night I pulled out the letters Sean and I wrote to one another on our wedding day. I will never forget reading this letter with the highest amount of joy and excitement. I was about to be his official wife. A dream I had since only a few short months after us dating.
Yes, I knew that early :)
As I was laying on the couch, I read this letter over and over again. 
Then I read my letter I wrote to Sean and I can tell how extremely excited I was. 
Major chees-er over here. 

After reading, I stopped to think about the whole idea of marriage. Some days I feel like it hits me harder and harder that we are actually married. Am I the only one who does this? I guess because we waited two and a half years after we were engaged to actually be married. So now that we are , it just seems so surreal sometimes. 

I often reflect on myself when it comes to being a wife. There are two passages in the bible that I adore and try to strive for. I want to be a wife that Christ instructs me to be. Not a nagging wife full of to do lists and not to do lists. Not a wife that controls the house and makes the calls. Not a wife that has little respect for my husband. That is so opposite of how a godly marriage should be. I dream to be a wife that is instructed in Proverbs 31: 10-31

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praiseat the city gate.


...and I love love love Ephesians 5: 22-33 

22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- 30 for we are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

I have always looked at these verses as instructions on how to be a wife. I am to submit to my husband in everything. I am to be his helper. I am to have nothing but love and respect for my husband. In a way I treasure both of these passages. I spent a lot of time in them before we were married but now I feel as if I need to spend more time in them than before. 

I will admit, marriage can be hard and some days its really tough. Marriage is basically a huge learning process. I have learned that I am SO selfish a lot of times. It is sometimes hard to submit when I have something else in mind. I have learned that it is important to put every single feeling on the table, never hold anything in. Communication is literally a huge key to a successful marriage and it is something I work on everyday. I had to transition from the times of only worrying about myself to worrying and caring for another human being. Also, I had to remember that nobody is perfect. I am by no means perfect, my husband is not perfect, nobody is perfect. I can't explain how important it is to never compare your husband to someone else's husband. Never say "he doesn't do this so he is not good enough." Who are we to try and claim anyone as not good enough? Luckily when we work together, marriage is absolutely beautiful and such a blessing from Christ. It is way better than I had ever imagined it to be. 

What are some of the things you strive to do as a wife?

xoxo
Lauren 






April 22, 2014

DIY // Chairs.

I love home decor. I mean I LOVE home decor. I constantly move furniture around to make our home look fresh, I constantly think of new d├ęcor ideas for our home and I love taking junk-y furniture and making it beautiful. I love decorating and making a cold space into a warm, cozy place that I like to call my home. 

If you think you may like the idea of remodeling furniture, GO FOR IT! Seriously, I just started remodeling an old china cabinet one day for the heck of it...and now I cant stop. I am constantly paining or coming up with new ideas for every single piece of furniture I have.
Also, if you are wanting to start remodeling furniture, go to some yard sales! Don't worry about quality. Most of the time when I buy pieces from yard sales, they need some tender loving care with some sandpaper. But, yard sales are a great place to find all types of furniture and it is always so important to stay in a small budget!

These two chairs I purchased at a yard sale about a year or so ago.  I paid only $ 7 for both which I thought was a steal!

What you will need
- chairs that need to be refurbished, painted and made beautiful
- sandpaper to make the chairs smooth
- any color paint that you would like (just go for the quart size, you will have plenty!)
- any fabric that you choose
- a screwdriver to take the seat off of the chair
- a staple gun to attach the fabric to the seat cushion
- your favorite tunes to listen to
- oh, and a glass of sweet tea. because you can never do a project without it :)
Starting out, they were old looking with horrible seat fabric. Just blah and boring. But, they only needed a good cleaning and I was able to get to work pretty quickly :)
PS- Please forgive me for my lighting. I have no idea what was going on with my camera. 
First, I removed the seats from the chair. If you have a chair you have been wanting to fix up, this is very simple. Just take a screwdriver, flip the chair over and unscrew the bottom screws. 
 I am pretty sure it took me thirty minutes to pick out a paint color. 
I am one of those people who will take ten minutes to order at a fast food place because I think it has to be the perfect choice. 
Yes, horrible.
For this, I just chose a small 32 oz can of a very, very baby blue. To some it may look white unless you really take a hard look at it. 
I then took a trip to Hobby Lobby for some fabric. It took me what seemed like 40 minutes to pick out fabric. But they have SO MANY CHOICES. So I had an excuse this time :)
After the painting, I let it dry and then took a staple gun and surrounded the existing fabric with the new fabric. Sometimes, people completely throw out the seat and start fresh with a new seat but the seats on this chair were in great shape so I felt no need to completely start over with a new seat.  
I LOVE the way the chairs turned out!
 They now have a new home in our very front room. 
.....and then my OCD self had to do something with that small table in the middle.
Plus, who doesn't love some pale pink?
PSS- Also, please excuse that light outlet back there. Currently searching for new ones
PSSS- For some reason my lighting made the chairs look splotchy and unfinished on the bottoms. Please ignore :)
There you have it sweet ladies! Super simple and a wonderful first project to start on!
Thank you so much to Stasia for allowing me to share my DIY today!
I would love for you to head on over to my lifestyle blog and travel along with my husband and I as we take on this huge adventure that we all call life :)

XOXO
Lauren

April 16, 2014

Wife cooking on a Wednesday

Cheesiest post title ever? I thought so too :)

Today I wanted to share a little recipe with you because it is fabulous and I just have to share the love.
My sweet friend Victoria blogs over at Bible and Baking and posted this wonderful recipe one day.
(seriously, check out this girl's blog. She has a huge love for Christ and she is one amazing cook! I just want to sit in her kitchen and learn her ways)

If you know me, I don't cook much. I don't know why but I have a hate/love relationship with cooking. I guess I am worried I will be a really bad cook? Who knows. But when I cook, its like a super special day in the Flower's home. Horrible I know! Sean loves to cook so normally he cooks the dinner for us. But we were just blessed with him receiving a new job a few days ago. He will be working late a lot of nights so now I will take over the cooking. (As I should be, I KNOW!)

This recipe was perfect for me. It was simple yet so delicious! It is a simple mix of peppers, onions and sausage

Step one: Ingredients
1. 1/4 to 1/2 of an onion
2. Two bell peppers. You can use any color but I picked my two favorite, yellow and red
3. Olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
4. Lawry's Seasoned Salt. 
5. Lemon Pepper Seasoning
6. Uncle Ben's Roasted Chicken Ready Rice
7. 1/2 a can of peeled tomatoes. I used diced peeled tomatoes but only because it was an accident. Victoria     used whole peeled tomatoes which I would recommend for this recipe. 
8. Polska Kielbasa. YUM!

Step Two: Chop your peppers
You can chop them any way you would like rather it be a long way or a short way. 
After you chop up your peppers, you want to then chop up your onion. 
Step three: Olive oil
Next, you want to coat the bottom of your pan with olive oil. Then throw in your bell peppers and onions. Let them cook on a medium to high heat but remember to stir frequently. 

After about 5 minutes, add in a good sprinkling of your Lemon Pepper Seasoning. This stuff is so delicious! If you have another seasoning that you prefer, try that as well! 

Step four: Chop up your Polska Kielbasa
 Again, you can chop this up however you would like. I decided to go with thicker pieces. 

Next, put your Polska Kielbasa in with your bell peppers and onions. Polska Kielbasa is already cooked through so all you have to look for is a little brown sear on the meat. 
After you put your Polska Kielbasa in with your peppers and onions, add in your Lawry's Seasoned Salt. 
It compliments this meal so well!

Step five: Add in your tomatoes
 After cooking the meat, peppers and onions for a few minutes, throw in your tomatoes. Since mine were diced, I put a good amount in there (a bit more than half the can) 
Again, I would go with the whole tomatoes instead. 

Step six: Add in your rice. The easiest part. Just open the bag and pour it in! 
It takes no time at all for the rice to cook through. 
After you throw in the rice, let everything cook and simmer together for just a bit. 

And TA-DA! 
It makes one colorful, quick and YUMMY recipe! It took me about 20-25 minutes to cook. 
Husband ate and ate some more so he definitely approved.

 Step seven: After your bellies are full, snuggle with your husband and sweet kitty on the couch.
If you have any wonderful recipes to share I would LOVE to try them! Hopefully I start to gain a love relationship with cooking. I think it is a fear of my food being horrible or giving my husband food poisoning. Tips, tricks, share your ways ladies!


xoxo
Lauren 

April 15, 2014

Refreshment.

 Do you ever have those days where you need and crave to write...but you don't have a particular subject to talk about? Feeling that today. And its totally okay :)

Lets call it a picnic date if we shall (because its warm and coffee is for the cold right?)

Lately, life has been smooth sailing. I am feeling reassured to stop thinking about controlling things myself because Christ always knows what is best for me. I am holding, clenching, squeezing on to Him with every plan throughout my life. And I absolutely love it. He has given me such a relaxed feeling at this particular moment in my life and feeling close to Him is the best, most gratifying feeling in the world.

With Easter approaching, I am really diving deep and taking time to focus on what the true meaning of Easter is. Sean and I have been asked to attend church with a group of our friends this Sunday and I cant wait to fellowship with one another. I cant wait to sing praises to Him and remember how special Easter is. I simply want to praise and praise more. 

I have been having baby fever spurts again. The thought of starting a family so young is sounding so pleasing to me. 

Lately I have been stepping out of my comfort zone and going with my own little "say yes project" thanks to my sweet friend Amber from mr thomas and me, Yesterday I was asked to be a model for a wedding show coming to town. To get my hair and makeup done. To walk around wearing bridesmaid and wedding dresses. It sounds like a dream to me because I am literally obsessed with wedding dresses. But it is way out of my comfort zone. I am no model and I have zero idea of what I am doing. But after reading Amber's blog for so long and her say yes projects that she completed, I immediately said yes. Something new, something exciting :)

Jesus Calling. The most beautiful daily devotional I have ever read. I have to make myself put it down and not go on to the next day. If you have never heard of this devotion or read it, please go get it now. It literally feels like Christ is talking to you and you forget that its just a book. Seriously, go right now. 

My little sister has been melting my heart. Yet, seeing her grow up makes me want to throw up. I feel like she is my own child sometimes and I will probably be a wreck when she graduates and leaves for college in a few years. Our relationship has been so strong the past year. Even though she is almost 16, I can see that she has an old soul in her which I adore. She has such a strong love for others and she inspires me to be a better person. Her relationship with Christ is growing stronger day by day and I treasure the heck out of that girl. The world better watch out, she is going to be the best doctor anyone has ever seen :)

The weather (except for yesterday with all the storms) have been beautiful down here in the south. Spring is finally approaching and for the first time in months, I just stopped and laid on the concrete. It was so refreshing to feel the sun beaming on my face. To feel the crisp wind as it blew my hair. It was perfect. People that drove by probably thought I passed out or something. But hey, I couldn't stop myself :)

I have been walking or running every single day for the past two weeks. It has felt amazing! It is time to let all the winter splurge eating, hot chocolate drinking go away. Time to get healthy and refresh. 

With a new season approaching, I want to enjoy the simple things more than ever. I want to chill out with stressing over this world and want to be sure I treat each day as a gift. I want to take more photos than ever and start scrap booking the simple events in life like bike riding on sunny days, picnics, our walks in the park, etc, etc. They may seem a little uneventful now but I know later on I will treasure every moment. 

Oh and one particular subject that touches my heart. My neighbors have a five year old little boy. I supposedly am his girlfriend and he brings me flowers (weeds from his yard) everyday. 

This may be the most un-eventful and random blog post ever but I am already feeling better for sharing my thoughts on this little blog here. Thank you for following me and sharing your friendship. As I always say, you ladies mean so much to me and thank you for everyone who is a new follower. Love you all! 

xoxo
Lauren

God With Us by MercyMe on Grooveshark

April 2, 2014

Coffee Date // Vol. 1

Coffee and coffee dates. The taste, the smell, the coziness and the time spent with a wonderful friend. Everything is perfect about it. Well....at least if you add a ton of creamer like I do. 
Healthy right?
This morning I am linking up with my dear friend Rachel for a virtual coffee date. We really wanted to take this time to open up and share everything we have in our cup. After reading Rachel's coffee date post this morning, I realized like her, I never want anyone to come to my blog and think "wow, that girl has it all together!" Sometimes, it is easier to post about the good things and not the hard things. 
Because who wants to think of that stuff right?
As bloggers and ladies in Christ, I think it is very important to tell it all and let others give you the encouragement that you need. So, lets grab some coffee and have a talk. 

The first question most people ask their friends on a coffee date is "how is life" or "how are you doing" Well, normally I would throw out the traditional "i'm great, how are you?" 
But lets be honest, are things ever 100% perfect? 
heck no. 
I am doing pretty well. This weekend I was lucky to get many things done around our house like ripping up the last bit of carpet, moving furniture and redoing furniture. It was a nice, relaxing time finally getting the last bits of our home done. It left me feeling refreshed which I definitely needed because lately I have felt like I am drowning in a pool of nothing but stress. Remodeling our home. School is coming close to being done for the semester which means many projects and assignments are due. Work has been very demanding and a tough place to be in lately. The only thing that seems to keep me going is the thought of our anniversary trip in September. No phones, work, school, nothing. I have found my faith very weak and a bit of a distance from Christ. In all, it seems like March was a bit of a gloomy season. 

But with Spring approaching and being in the month of April, I feel a bit of a refreshment. Something about a new month really makes me feel better about any situation I am in. I often stop myself and wonder what He is trying to teach me through all of this stress. All that pops in to my head is  learning to be content, patient and build stronger faith. I have to reassure myself to put everything in His hands because with Him, all things are possible and everything will be okay.

On a happy note, marriage has been better than ever. It feels so good to finally be in a home with my husband where I have his shoulders to lean on 24/7. He is the most supportive and loving person I have ever met. I don't know what it is about that boy but he can make me forget about any stress that I have going on. 
Yes, it is a little uncomfortable admitting ways that we are struggling. But luckily I have an amazing group of you ladies who I know could encourage and help me any day. I am so thankful for you all! Sharing our stories help us admit our weaknesses and make us realize we just need to bring it all to Christ. It makes us aware that we need nothing but Him and in Him alone, we have everything. 
Oh Simple Thoughts

April 1, 2014

A little seriousness in all the fun.

Today is finally here. The day I have been talking about over and over like on this post and on this post and this post. If I have driven you crazy, I can't say I am too sorry because this is something that everyone needs to hear about :)


Today begins the month long journey of love. A month to show others how much you care about them. A month to encourage others during a hard time. Also, it is a month to encourage ourselves. To be Christ-like and to feel good within ourselves.

Questions you may be asking yourself:
1. Is it too late to join? No way! Even if it is April 20th, it is never too late to join.
2. How do I get started? All you need is some paper and a pen. Start with anyone you want and write away.     Let them know how much they have someone to lean on and do nothing but encourage them no matter if       they are going through a tough situation or not.

I have also thought of another idea to do for this month. A lot of times when I am at school (in the ladies room) I will see these small posters posted on the back of the door. The posters are for girls that need help with abuse, whether it is mental or physical. These posters also have phone numbers listed at the bottom which the girls can pull and call. Often times, almost all of the numbers are pulled. It really is a sad sight to see that so many girls need these phone numbers because they are going through some type of abuse and some really hard times.

This had me thinking, rather than only encouraging others that we know, why not encourage these girls who probably need the most encouraging right now? I could never imagine what they are going through and this is why I plan to write these random girls some letters and post them on the top of the posters. I think it could make a world of a difference for them. As I always say, you never know what they could be going through. One letter of encouragement and a feeling of love could be a feeling they are likely to never hear.

I would love for you ladies to join along with me. This is more than a fun event. It is a time to really share the light in a world that has so much darkness. Remember in Matthew 5: 14-16 "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Let us all get together as one and create one huge impact for April 

xoxo
Lauren