Monday, November 30, 2015

new year, new jump.

Some traditions are more fun than others...especially the ones where the camera catches you face-planting into the grass. I guess this was to make up for how I wasn't able to jump last year? Who knows. Hopefully next year I won't stop, drop, and roll as dramatically as I did this year, but I can promise you that as long as we are able to jump off of that porch on Thanksgiving Day, we will.

I hope you jumped for joy with thankfulness on that special day, too!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

thanksgiving | then + now.

This time last year, I wore a homemade turkey shirt to draw attention to the life that was growing inside of me. TJ and I both were so thankful for the providence of the Lord as we continued counting down the weeks until the expected arrival of our baby boy, and that thankfulness has exponentially increased each day since this photo was taken. 
This year, we made another homemade shirt but instead of it representing a life, it was worn on one. Our handprints + his footprint made the cutest little turkey, and it was fun to make + even more fun to see it cover the belly of our own little turkey.
Mmmm, I just love the way memory lane collides with the present moment and makes me literally feel the thankfulness well up inside the depths of my soul. That's the best way I can describe what it feels like to be a mama. So. Much. Thankfulness. 
It's the little things like paint under my fingernails, hearing my baby kick his feet on the high chair during Thanksgiving lunch (you know, those same feet that used to tap dance in my belly), watching him reach for his daddy while wishing I could capture that proud look on my Teesh's face and save it forever, feeding him turkey + dressing while remembering when he could barely stay awake long enough to eat an ounce of milk, and so much more that all add up to the big things. The hands that we painted onto Braxton's shirt remind me of the sacred responsibility of leaving God-honoring imprints on his life that was given to us the moment he was born, and his sweet little foot in the center of our hands remind me that he will be impacted by every decision we make. If we ever lose sight of thankfulness, we will lose sight of many other things, too, and I pray that's never a chance I'm willing to take.

Friday, November 27, 2015

thanksgiving | baby's first.

We ate until our bellies nearly popped (twice), loved on (most) of the people who mean the most to us, skipped naps (without any breakdowns, praise the Lord), reflected on how far we've come since this time last year, daydreamed about what next year will look like, spent lots of time thanking God for how perfectly He ordains every moment, and asked Him to keep creating a heart in me that makes as thankful the rest of the year as I am on this one day.

Happy (late) Thanksgiving to you + yours from me + mine! I hope your day is anything but black, and that you catch yourself smiling for no reason at all. Those are the best smiles, I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Our tribe gets together every other Sunday, but this one was extra special because we celebrated Turkey Day with extra grub on our plates! These people are the biggest blessing, and it really is quite overwhelming when I think about how God pours out so much goodness on us all as we continue to grow alongside of each other. Over this past year, we have cried together, laughed together, experienced both tragedy + triumph together, supported each other, ate loooots of good food next to each other, and simply walked through life together, shoulder-to-shoulder. As our group grows, our hearts grow, too, and I constantly find myself thanking God for ordaining these friendships so perfectly. What's better than friends who become family? I can't think of much else.

Each of these faces tell stories of God's sustaining faithfulness in unique ways. These people wear faces of hope. Faces of joy. Faces of transparency. Faces of enduring love. They are reminders of God's sovereignty, compassion, grace, and forgiveness. None of us are perfect (and we would ALL fess up to that without hesitation), but our shared "You too?"s and "I hear ya"s are the kind of encouragement that help keep us headed in the right direction - especially after we are trying to get back after taking a self-prescribed detour. A family on mission, that's what we are to each other. And I wouldn't trade it away for anything.
These people are my people, and MAN do I love my people!

Monday, November 23, 2015

j + c.

This beautiful couple is getting married next month, and our Capstone family recently threw them a tailgate-themed shower to help get them ready for their upcoming adventure as husband + wife. Several tables full of food, a corn hole tournament, intense games of volleyball + Kan Jam, and kiddos running around crazy in the open grass was the perfect way to love on these Jesus-following, football-obsessed, everyone-is-family kind of couple, and that's exactly what our afternoon together looked like. December twelfth will be here before we know it, and we are all pumped to keep counting down the days.

We love these soon-to-be newlyweds so very much!
Twenty days and counting, people!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

all about teesh.

In honor of TJ's twenty-seventh birthday, we had a special celebration just for him at the bungalow! Instead of going out and doing something fancy, his request was a night spent at home with his best girl + best boy (insert "awwwwwww!" here). Braxton and I went to his school to have lunch with him (shout out to Publix for their delicious Turkey Cranberry Holiday Sub - SO good), added a birthday banner + a few balloons to our living room, anxiously waited for daddy to pull into the driveway once he called to say he was on his way home, and then danced and sang to him as he walked through the door. Presents, grilled cheese + tomato soup, homemade peanut butter pie, and endless hugs + kisses + smiles were what this afternoon-turned-evening looked like for us, and the birthday boy was on cloud nine to be at the center of it all.
Twenty-seven has never looked so good, folks!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


With this birthday, the man of my dreams has officially entered into a season of life known as his late twenties. Twenty-seven years ago, a little baby boy was born, and I can now emphasize with his mom wishing that he'd never grow up. I can also emphasize with her protection over him each time I hurt his feelings, made him mad, or crushed his heart, because I am already fighting my lady killer tendencies and Braxton isn't even a year old yet (lawd help me). I've been by his side for nearly half of his birthdays, and each new year reveals countless new things to learn about him as he continues to grow and change. Out of all the things that I adore about this birthday boy, these two pictures capture the one thing I love, appreciate, and praise God for the most.
He spends the majority of his time, energy, and efforts selflessly serving the people his gaze is fixed on (while wearing a goofy grin, might I add). He does everything he can to make sure that we are provided for and taken care of, and he expects nothing in return. The thing I love most about him is also the thing that drives me the craziest, too (funny how that works, huh), because he tends to get so wrapped up in doing, doing, doing for others (especially B + me) that he forgets to simply be, be, be. The newest member of our family has heightened his responsibilities and pressures to do, do do, which has heightened my responsibilities to serve him in love (Galatians 5:13), speak truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and submit to his leadership (Ephesians 5:22). His character is being shaped by circumstances and situations that are strengthening and solidifying his faith while also teaching him how beautiful it is to surrender His family + their well-being to the sovereign God he serves.

Marriage and parenthood are both sanctifying, and if you've ever pursued holiness then you know how trying and difficult that road is. Last year on his birthday, we were talking to an unborn baby inside of my belly and begging him to kick his daddy's face as a birthday present. This year, we are chasing a mobile ten month-old who takes more from us than we sometimes want to give (real talk, people) while still trying to be diligent in making time for just the two of us. Life has changed significantly in the past year and has brought out sides of each other that we never knew existed, and I wouldn't trade the way things are now for the way they were for anything in the world. I had no doubt that TJ would be the best daddy, and I'm thankful that he hasn't let this new role of father take precedence over his role of husband.

I'm proud to call this birthday boy my tag-team partner, the pusher of all my buttons, the pursuer of my heart, my baby daddy, and my trustworthy confidant. He has grown + changed more in this past year than I've ever seen him grow + change, and it has made me love him even more. Brad Paisley was right, y'all...I am constantly thinking about how I thought I loved him then.

Happy birthday to the who brings me life-altering joy, can cause uncontrollable frustration to well up inside of me at any given moment, and has created irreplaceable memories alongside of me for the past thirteen birthdays. Mmmm, I love my Teesh more than words could ever say!

"What I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love you more, but I've said that before."
-Brad Paisley

*photos taken by our sweet friends, Rebecca Bagwell and Sarah Ellen Edwards, in support of Hope Vision Ministry*
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