Tuesday, July 31, 2012

a special thirty-fourth.

He would have been thirty-four today. And we'd probably be having one last family birthday dinner at the Bargerons on Jones Mill before the house sells. There would be lots of laughter and pointless, just-because chatter. We'd all simply be together, and that would be the best part. Any excuse to enjoy a good steak or a juicy burger lures our clan to wherever the food is being cooked, but today would be extra special. It would be usual in the sense that we'd all pick on his love of rare-cooked meat and chuckle at his witty comments that always seemed to bring about the most entertaining responses from Angie, but it would be unique in the sense that we would be able to pick on him a little more because he'd turned another year older. He would just laugh and tell us that we would catch up to him one day. That was our A-Dub, man of few words that frequently surprised you with the wisdom tucked behind them.

We may not have him here with us for this year's celebration, but there will, indeed, still be one. A big celebration with all the people who loved him most. We'll probably cry then laugh then cry some more all evening long, and that's okay because while his body may no longer be tangible, his spirit and our memories of him are. We may mourn because he's no longer with us, but we will forever be grateful that he lived. That we got to watch him live. That we've got so many memories we wouldn't trade for anything in this entire world.

Happy birthday, A-Dub!
You're still touching lives, and we're all trying real hard to keep that tradition alive in your honor.
As long as we live, you live.

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my salvation, he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is me mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O People; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8

Sunday, July 22, 2012

a fifth birthday for trent.

Five years ago on this very day, the twenty-second of July, we welcomed Richard Trenton Chappell into the world. More than that, we welcomed into our heart. Since that day, he has grown to be quite a handsome young lad, and I'm blessed to call myself his aunt. He's wild as can be and rarely slows down long enough to even catch his breath, but we all love him more than he can possibly wrap his cute little head around.

Friday night, we spent a couple hours at Pump It Up to celebrate his half-a-decade-old self, and it was so much fun! After the little ones (and, who am I kidding? the adults, too) jumped for about an hour and a half, we then proceeded to eat pizza and cake and watch Trent open his presents. He got lots of goodies, but more importantly, he had the best time bringing in his fifth birthday.

Happy birthday, little man. We love you!

"Creative play is like a spring that bubbles up from deep within a child."
-Joan Almon

Saturday, July 21, 2012

jones gap.

Today, the Bargerons adventured in another part of creation that we'd never seen before. We recently decided to explore a new trail each month, and this month's pick was Jones Gap. While it wasn't quite as strenuous (also known as producing many near death-like feelings) as Table Rock was, but it was still pretty tough. We chose to see what the Rainbow Falls Trail was all about, and it certainly did not disappoint. It was stunningly gorgeous; worth every uphill trek we made during the climb to the top. We were smitten!

After we headed back down, we chose to travel up the Jones Gap Trail a little ways more to check out the Jones Gap Falls. They may not have been as big as our first one of the day, but they still managed to take our breath away. Teesh even got gutsy and climbed up this one to touch the water as it was falling. My little dare devil, he is.

It was a tremendously successful continuation of our new family tradition, as mentioned earlier, and I'm already anxious for the explorations August has in store! One of the things I love most in this whole world is seeing the Lord's creativity with my own eyes; it pumps me up and makes me so thankful that I get to serve such a big God. Days like this remind me of how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful place, but even more so, they make me so excited to think of how magnificent it will be to stand in front of my Creator and Savior and enter into the most exquisite place ever made, one that I can't even begin to wrap my mind around.

"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice."
-John Calvin

Friday, July 20, 2012

the sixteenth.

On top of all the other countless blessings I received during our anniversary weekend, the sixteenth proved to be the best day of them all. We woke up on the coast and went to sleep back in the upstate, all the while smiling and sharing our favorite memories from the past year. When we walked through the door of our cozy little loft, the first thing I spotted was a vase full of a dozen bright red roses staring at me, making all giddy inside. Teesh got a tackle hug immediately following, and I gave him a smack on the arm for being so sneaky (and cute). As if that wasn't enough, he treated me to dinner at Rick Erwin's. Mmmm! My guy is a professional at spoiling me rotten, I tell ya! I pretended like it was our wedding day all over again (which I make no apologies for) and wore my hair back with my white magnolia holding it in place, my beautiful pearl earrings, and the dress I've not worn since our rehearsal the night before we said 'I do." To finish our wonderful perfect day, we cut into our anniversary cake, and let me tell you--Kathy Norris is a cake genius! While it didn't taste quite as yummy as it did a year prior, it was still absolutely delicious. And don't worry y'all, there was no cake fight this go 'round.

It was oh to lovely to relive that cool July day, and I am fully confident when I say that no anniversary has ever meant more to me than this one. If I love being Mrs. Bargeron this much now, just imagine how much I will love it years and years down the road, after we've had more adventures to tell you about in a single sitting. People say the honeymoon phase will be over soon, but let me assure you of this: Teesh and I will be honeymooners until the day we leave this earth and ascend into heaven. He will always make me weak in the knees, I just know it. And I don't ever plan on getting tired of it.

"Knowing you will be with me in all my tomorrows makes my today so wonderful."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

day two.

Welcome to our second and final day out on the beach celebrating our first year of marriage. It was a huge answer to prayer, considering that it was supposed to storm all day long. There may have been clouds, but let me assure you--they were a blessing since it was so hot out. It only rained for forty-five minutes, which  showed up at the perfect time: right as we were pulling back into our villa for lunch. By the time we were ready to head back to the beach, all the grey was gone from the sky and the next several hours were splendid, much like the rest of our wonderful weekend.

We soaked up the sun (again), used self-timer for the 239348947523rd time, biked a little more than we did the day before, had the best meal of the weekend (besides the Krispy Kreme doughnuts we brought along for the trip, of course), and spent another entire twenty-four hours totally dedicating every second to each other. My favorite part was watching Teesh save the day by rescuing the cutest little boy's kite that was swept up by the wind. I got a small glimpse of him fulfilling the role of daddy, and I would be lying if I said I didn't have a few tears in my eyes as I hid behind my camera lens. It was absolutely precious, and I can promise you that I'll be telling our kiddos that story of their out-of-this-world daddy one day soon. :)

"Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume."
-Jean de Boufflers

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

our little piece of paradise.

This was our first full day on the beautiful island of Seabrook, and I assure you that beautiful was exactly what it was. We woke up to the sun peering into the upstairs window of our cozy villa, spent the next eight hours with our toes in the sand, watched in amazement as dolphins played in the water only fifty yards out from us, ate dinner at a quaint little seafood restaurant in the marina, explored the cutest little island shops, and even had a run-in with a gator in the swamp.

I loved this day so much, but mainly because I got to spend it with my handsome husband. He always seems to make all my bad days good and all my good days great. It's the best thing in the world to share days like this with my Teesh.

"By having good memories on every place you just visit, you are building paradise in your own heart and your life."
-Toba Beta

Monday, July 16, 2012

our first.

This has, indeed, been a year of firsts. It has been the biggest blessing to check so many items off of the Bargeron Bucket List, but I am pretty confident that you can guess what my favorite part of all of it has been. Yep, you guessed it. The best part of it all has been to walk through it all as the wife of the bravest, kindest, most handsome man I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. It's not possible to put into words just how incredible it is to wake up next to the man of my dreams every morning and go to sleep beside him every night. We have cried and laughed and had silly fights and fallen in love with each other deeper and deeper with each passing day. The past three hundred and sixty-six days have been the most magnificent of my entire life, and the best part is that I know it's only going to get better with each day to come.

The Lord has given me countless blessings that I don't come close to deserving. My salvation in Christ is my greatest reason to be thankful, and Mr. Troy Jerome Bargeron easily slides into the spot for second place. I can still remember how nervous + excited + blissfully overwhelmed I was when he asked me to be his girlfriend on September 9, 2003, his fiance on September 4, 2010, and meeting him at the alter at half past noon on July 16, 2011. You may not believe me, but I still get butterflies when he looks at me with those sunflower-in-the-sky eyes. I'm confident that I always will. I pray that I never let a day pass by when I don't show him how much he means to me, and how crazy I am about him. I'll never grow tired of doing life with my Mr. Bargeron, and I pray every day that I get to spend the rest of my days in this beautiful place walking hand-in-hand with him.

Happy first anniversary to my sweet Teesh!

"A successful marriage required falling in love many times, always with the same person."
-Mignon McLaughlin

Monday, July 9, 2012

heavy heart, hopeful spirit.

Death isn't something that I've ever been fond of, but it's something that has continually been a friend of mine. In my brief twenty-three years, it has crept up on me numerous times, and it never gets any easier to deal with. The closer the person is to me, the harder it is to get a grip on reality and to find the strength the roll out of bed in the morning. The more I love them, the more it crushes. I'm no stranger to disappointment and heartache, and I know what it's like to cry myself to sleep to the point where there are no tears left to fall. Three days ago, our lives were shaken and turned upside down. It's hard to put into words just how it feels to receive news that you never dreamed you'd ever have to hear, and it's even harder to describe feeling your heart break into a million tiny pieces seconds later. Gripping my Bible with one hand and the steering wheel with the other, I cried and screamed out to Jesus in the moment. Our beloved Andy was in a motorcycle accident and did not survive. We have all mourned to the point of exhaustion the past several days.

Yet, even in the midst of my sorrow and despair, I find peace in the comfort of the arms of Christ. I believe that lives will be changed for the better through this tragedy. I believe that there is a purpose behind this anguish that is greater than ourselves. I believe that Christ is gracious and merciful, and I will cling to His heart and His hands through this agonizing time. He is the only one that sustains, and I will run to Him, broken heart and crushed spirit in hand, fully confident that He will restore and renew. Nothing other than Jesus Christ, himself, is going to get us through this, and I will not hesitate to give Him all the glory due to His name, even though I don't understand.

Andy, better known to me as A-Dub, will live on inside of each of our hearts and minds; he will forever reside in the stories we tell and the memories that we won't ever forget. I was blessed beyond belief to know A-Dub as a friend and brother-in-law, and I will never think about him without smiling through my tears and thanking Jesus for giving me the opportunity to know and love someone so incredible. My life was changed by this man, and that's something I won't ever forget or take for granted. Not even for a second.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
-Matthew 5:4

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

nada surf.

Ladies and gentemen, this evening was a dream come true. Just me, my soulmate, and several hundred others just like us, all screaming out the lyrics to our favorite songs by our favorite band. As I mentioned previously, it was a dream come true. Matthew Caws, you are so wonderful.

"To make a mountain of your life is just a choice
But I never learned enough to listen to the voice that told me
Always love,
Hate will get you every time.
-Nada Surf

Monday, July 2, 2012


So what if sorrow shakes my faith? And what if heartache still remains? I'll trust you. My God, I'll trust you.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
-Psalm 147:3

Sunday, July 1, 2012

here and now.

The past seven days have been filled with so many little surprises and big joys. I am constantly reminded that I get to live the life of my dreams, which then puts me at a constant state of overwhelming thankfulness. One of my favorite things to reflect on is how fleeting each moment is, which in turn places a whole lot of emphasis on really living in every moment I'm blessed with. I've got an out-of-this-world husband, the most incredible family, the best friends, and more opportunity than I know what to do with at any given time. The Lord has blessed me with so many things, none of which I deserve. He has been so good to me, and it would be a waste if I simply survived through life rather than thriving in it. So, for all those who wonder, that is why I smile. That is why I rejoice in the tiny things that appear to have little or no meaning, because one day I'll look back and realize that all of those seemingly insignificant moments were the ones that have the most meaning. We all will.

So what do ya say we start today and begin anew? What would you say if I challenged you to really live in each moment you're given and dedicate your life to a better one? I say we do it. I say we live a life that we'll look back on in twenty thirty fifty years and be proud of. Write it down, too. Don't forget a single second of it. Let's partner together and learn the true meaning of what it's like to love the life you live. Forget the past, wait on the future, live in the moment.

I'm in. Are you?

"People are always asking about the good ole days. I say, why don't you say the good now days?"
-Robert M. Young
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