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Sep 2, 2014 I Heart Succulents

if you've stopped by heavens to betsy in the past or follow me on pinterest, you may know that i love succulents.

i just find these plants to be so pretty, simple, and a great way to bring life to a room!  last summer, i created my own little succulent gardens in tea tins, and this summer, i worked on propagating those succulents.

my little collection has grown over the past year, and they just bring me so much joy!  some of my plants are still pretty leggy, so more propagating is definitely in the works, but i still love them just the same!

do you have any plants that you love?  do you have a green thumb or do you struggle to keep plants alive?

Sep 1, 2014 What My Heart Is Grateful For...(Plus a Giveaway!)

happy labor day, friends!  as per usual, i'm joining in with emily over at ember grey for grateful heart monday!  every monday, we post about things that we're grateful for.  and friends, can i just tell you that i have never participated in a link-up this faithfully in five years of blogging!  so what i'm saying is that you should join us!

and on this holiday monday, here are a few things that i'm grateful for:
a monday off
some shopping with my mama
having just a few days left with aj
a trip to the beach this weekend (and the 260 teenagers we're taking with us!)
a trip to boston next week
that my parents are able to go out of town this weekend
a great dinner with family last night
ice cream cake (duh)

and the last thing on the list...the birthday countdown is officially here!  i have one more week of being 24...(holy cow)...and come next sunday, i'll be a quarter of a century old.  why does that feel really old?  i know its definitely not, but for some reason, it just does...maybe its one of those milestone birthdays or something, cause ya know, now i can rent a car!  (also, if you can't tell...i really love birthdays!)

so go check out grateful heart monday, and read some of the posts that are linked up and maybe even link up a post of your own!  i promise it'll offer some new perspective to your week!

and finally, i've joined up with madison over at wetherills say i do to bring you an awesome giveaway for your monday!

along with some fabulous ladies, we are giving you the chance to win a fotostrap customized camera strap ($85 value)!  i've personally been swooning over these camera straps for a while now, and am so excited to offer one to a lucky reader!

fotostrap giveaway
rachel rewritten // a beautiful exchange // two places at once
annie mayzing // seasons with the strattons
heavens to betsy // oh simple thoughts // wetherills say i do

fotostrap camera strap giveaway!

enter to win below! entries will be verified, giveaway ends 9/6 at 12am est. play fair & good luck!

Aug 29, 2014 Summer Goals, Revisited

back in june, i blogged a list of all of my goals for the summer.  since summer is coming to a close, i thought i'd revisit those goals and see how i did!  here goes....

by "community", i mean goals that i have for spending time with or doing things with or for other people…
travel!  day trips or long weekends…i want to get out of town this summer! // went to the beach, nyc, philly, nashville, boston...pretty good summer!

have good conversations…dig deep // spent some afternoons with friends grabbing coffee

go to a concert or two (starting with onerepublic at the end of this month!) // onerepublic for the win!  amazing show!

be an encourager // i hope i did this....though i know it's still something i'm working to develop!

go on a few fun dates with aj // one republic, jimmy fallon, a few dinner and mini golf dates

spend a lot of time with family // i didn't see my brother as much as i would have liked, but i spent a good deal of time with my parents!

my personal goals revolve around things i need to do for me

read…work my way through my stack of unread books  // i won't cross this off because i only kinda did it...i may have actually added books to the stack

take time each week to sit at a coffee shop and write/blog // it wasn't always in a coffee shop, but i did make intentional writing/blogging time this summer!

get into a better devotional routine // total fail.  ugh. 

knock a few diy projects off of my list // ugh again.  not really.

clean out and thin out my closet and room  // it's still a work in progress but i got rid of a few big bags of clothing!

save money like crazy  // maybe "like crazy" is a bad term...but i did do a fair amount of saving! 

circle some big goals/dreams in prayer and see where God takes them! // this was all about the peony project, and i'm super excited about where it's heading!

learn to rest and abide // why is it so hard to slow down??

have tech-free days  // not exactly.  i really need to schedule these.

i started setting some serious wellness goals for myself this spring, and i want to see those continue!
train for a half marathon (and run 13.1 by summer's end!)

eat better // nope.  fall?

adjust my mindset to stay inspired and motivated // this summer was a roller coaster.  i spent too much time disliking my body and feeling lazy and sluggish instead of inspired and motivated

workout at least 3x per week // didn't exactly happen.  oh well...i need the routine and schedule of fall!

go on lots of walks with aj // mission accomplished!

bike with my dad as he trains for his 150 mile ride this fall // we went on a few rides, but his health wasn't the best this summer

juice a lot // nope.  fall?

wear sunscreen regularly // i was so good at the beach this year!  i didn't get burnt at all!

did you make goals for your summer?  how did you do?

Aug 28, 2014 Adventures in Nashville, Pt. 2

on our second day in nashville, we got to be total tourists!  even though none of us are big country music fans, we decided to go to the country music hall of fame so that we could tour rca's studio b.  studio b is the only studio that you can tour in nashville and is also where elvis recorded about 75% of his music.

it was so cool to be in a studio with so much history, and our tour guide was incredible. she told story after story about artist after artist, and was so personable and entertaining that it was easily the best tour i've ever been on.

the hall of fame recently acquired a historic print studio.  hatch show print has been printing posters using letterpress and moveable type for over one-hundred years.  as a total font nerd and lover of letterpress, i was in heaven in their shop and peeking into their studio!

even their logo is glorious!

finally, after spending a good amount of time downtown at the museum, we took a cab out to the opryland hotel just to walk around and to have some dinner.  this hotel is massive and gorgeous and amazing!  if you ever have the opportunity to take a stroll through it (or stay at it!) take that opportunity!

what are some of your favorite cities to visit?

see day one of our adventures here!

Aug 27, 2014 Dear College Freshman Self....

it's the end of summer, and there are tons of kids getting ready to head off (or head back) to college.  aj's getting ready to head into his senior year at berklee in boston, and i'm so ready and excited for him to finish school!

but all of this college talk has me thinking about what i wish i had known as a freshman.  i chose to go to a school 6 hours away in massachusetts, and while i loved my school, i was a wreck my first year.  i was so homesick; i went from graduating second in my class in high school to a 3.14 gpa my first semester of college; the planner in me was in a panic when i couldn't decide on a major.

this was my 18th bday....surrounded by my floor mates

so, here are a few things i wish i had known heading into my freshman year...

you might get a c...or even a d (gasp!)....and it isn't the end of the world.  learn from it, grow from it.  one not-so-awesome test isn't going to sink your entire college career.  and besides, that's what grading curves are for!

you might change your mind....and that's ok.  discover what you really love, not what you love the idea of.

you're exactly where you're supposed to be.  sophomore year, you're going to freak out about your future.  but just hang tight....the next two years are going to be even better than you ever imagined.

someday, you're going to miss living in massachusetts.  yes, even though it's six hours from home.  and yes, even though there's a solid foot of snow on the ground at all times from december to february.  and yes, even though it rains all spring.  and yes, even though the salt air is going to allow rust to set in on your new bike.  you're going to miss living five minutes from the beach and twenty-five minutes from boston.

take this time to learn to lead and learn to press further into jesus.  know that even when you can't see three steps in front of you, he can see the whole journey.

at some point along the way, you're going to give some things up and start some new things.  you're going to stop playing field hockey.  you're going to discover photography.  you're going to start blogging!  just own it all.  it's all good.

junior year, you're going to live in a house with a bunch of wonderful people.  cherish this year.  you'll also attend most of their weddings after college, and each one will be a wonderful reunion.  they'll be some of your best lifelong friends.

no matter how hard it seems at times, no matter how bad you feel like you're doing, trust me, you'll get through this in splendid fashion.  and it really will be some of the best years of your life.

and here's just a little peek into your future:

with some of my closest friends at our senior formal

the girls from my apartment my senior year

oh, and even three years after you've graduated, life is still going to look so different than you planned.  here's the thing though, you need to learn to stop the planning.  or don't, i guess, but at least just hold those plans loosely.  because life is a crazy, wild ride, and you're never going to be able to know or predict or feel completely sure of what's around the next bend. and that's the joy and wonder of it all, but seeing it that way is a choice.  it doesn't come naturally.

i'm excited for your (our) future.  even now, i don't know what all it holds, but i'm excited.

love, me
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