Monday, October 24, 2016

thoughts | what is your biggest strength

q || what is your biggest strength...

i think my biggest strength is honesty.
it is also my biggest weakness.

over the years i've learned how much authenticy is lacking in our world.
so i've always strived to be authentic and present things as honestly as possible.
i've found a kinship with Paul from scripture - his bluntness and just matter-of-fact words resonate large with me.
i have noticed that i struggle with the balance of presenting my authenticity to others in the most loving way - but i think God has been transforming me to learn the timing of when to deliver with bluntness vs softer edges - but it's still hard.
i'm the type of woman who just tells you like it is.
if i don't agree - you'll know in one form or another.
and as a believer in God - i truly take scripture and that siblingship in Christ thing to heart.

i desire honesty with myself.
me and Jesus have it out a lot.
and i spill my guts out to Him all the while soaking in the forgiveness and the wisdom that only He can bring.
it's a beautifully real thing. difficult as nails - but i'm so thankful for that unshakable honesty that Jesus dishes out.

i desire honesty with others.
this one is hard; because not everyone wants to be honest with themselves - let alone others.
i'm an over-sharer and i expect others to be the same way.
expectations are rarely close with reality and often they leave you wanting.
so when i expect a certain level of honesty from other people i interact with and don't receive it - it just kind of shakes me up inside.

i think the more i realize my strength - the more i realize it's also a struggle for me to accept the strengths of others that are different from mine.
if we really were honest with ourselves we all have to be sharpened.
there are qualities that i have that are beautiful - and there are qualities that still need refinement.
and in my refinement process i crave that grace while i hustle to become more and more like Jesus.
i need to be more willing to offer that grace to others.
especially Christians - as we are all hustling to be refined in some capacity.

so while thinking of my strength today - i realize how delicate the balance is from strength to sin.
it's easy to be prideful and say "i'm honest and others aren't" instead of being thankful that my heart is bent towards authenticity when i live in a world of manipulation. so i guess this whole stream of consciousness i'm spewing out is to remind you that even in your greatest strength - look for the areas of refinement.

location | salem, massachusetts
hat (similar) | jacket (similar) | shirt

psstt..i got this prompt from hello neverland - she is amazing.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

travel | leadville colorado

history, old towns, mining, and girlfriends.
it's what this day (and dreams) was made of.
leadville, CO was full of some of the nicest people, delicious burgers, sweet antique shops, and great exploring.
it made me think about the good ol' days that i didn't get to experience as an adult.
as great as technology is - it kind of chains us down and makes us always connected. instead of being fully focused on the moment - we focus on a screen. so being able to walk around with friend and snap pictures and just enjoy that small town feel.

location || leadville, CO
outfit details: denim jacket (c/o) || lace top (c/o) || natalie borton necklace (c/o) || target moccasin booties (kids)

are you a small town explorer?
are you an antique shop lover like me - i seriously could have bought that entire store, especially the deer head! can get 10% off of your order of a natalie borton piece using this link

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

journey | when you feel stuck

i recently posted this image on instagram/facebook to keep things real.
i've been struggling.
over the last few months i've just been so unhappy.
my stomach has been incredibly bloated (like 2-4 inches depending on the day), i've been sluggish, and i have just not been trying to eat and be healthier.
i would watch what i ate for a few days, and work out for a few days - thinking that would do it. i knew it wouldn't - i know the process and how much effort it takes. i even JUST talked about this weight gain struggle back in february. it is so dang hard.
i lost about 2 lbs the other week - and just gained it back.
and i get dressed in the morning - nothing fits right - and i am unhappy with where i am.

this time last year i was KILLING it in the home gym.
i was able to lift great weight, run faster, do more burpees, squats, and pushups than i can now.
it just sucks.
i KNOW that i have to keep pushing forward - and it takes time and effort and being steadfast in it.

i just feel stuck.
like - i start doing something right and then life happens and i get off track and i'm right back at square one. it gets disheartening...and even more so with my wedding right around the corner. i am my own worst critic - and i do a great job at beating myself up. and i realize that those actions are even more unhealthy than not eating right and exercising.
so i'm really working on changing my self-talk.
to move more.
to eat healthier.
to pray more and lean on the Lord for strength and the drive.

i just needed to get this off of my chest - to remind myself and y'all that everything in life is a process and requires a lot of hard work. i can get back to where i was this time last year - it will just require hard work and discipline - two things i really do need to practice more.

but we can do this.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

travel | twin lakes - colorado

there is something so enjoyable about exploring new places - especially when friends are involved.
beth & meg took sam & i to twin lakes colorado and the entire way my mouth kind of just hung open at all of the beautiful yellows. twin lakes was something out of a storybook - the beautiful water surrounded by the mountains and crisp yellows and falling leaves, ah it just stole my heart.

do you want to know what one of the best parts were?
we all love taking pictures - so no one got annoyed with taking 1,000 images. i also really enjoyed seeing all of my friends different picture taking techniques - it was like a mini photography course.
we may have all turned into popsicle sticks while we were there - because y'all it was freezing.
truly i thought my little bum was going to turn to ice and make me sink to the ground ;)
it was all worth it - hiking around in the cold with these ladies laughing and making memories.

location | twin lakes, colorado

what do you and your friends like to do together?
does anyone else explore like we all did - or maybe you like to jump and dance around like crazy.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

birthday advice | year twenty eight

i'm a lover of traditions...
...and the last three years i've written posts on my birthday sharing some advice i've learned as i walk through life.

year twenty seven.
MAN. some big stuff happened in this past year.
i learned a lot of lessons and i really feel like it was a year of 'growing up' for me.
i learned about the comparison game, i hiked my little heart out, i finally crossed something else off of my home list, i soaked in the small moments, and felt the sharp sting of friendship, i traveled like crazy and even got engaged! <3
all in all - this year was amazing.

so here is a little advice from me to you...

1 || your attitude makes a big difference.
2 || chase your dreams.
3 || joy isn't just a feeling


1 || your attitude makes a big difference. 
i wish i had learned this years ago. well, maybe if i'm being honest i've always been learning this and will continue to walk through it. while we can not always control what happens in our lives we can control our reactions to them. i've really felt like the Lord has been chipping away at some hard-rooted attitude struggles. instead of me focusing on all the bad i'm trying to constantly remind myself that there is so much good, and joy, and love around me. even if the bad stuff is really BIG...i can still have a joyful attitude.

2 || chase your dreams.
we all have those little dreams hidden within our hearts - and most of us try to bury them deep inside in hopes that they don't get crushed or ruined or we find out it's not really dream-material. can i just encourage you to push past the fear and give it a try? for so many years i've felt like my dreams are stagnant and lame and the more i've looked into them and found how awesome they are more and more new dreams come to light. i dream of owning a mountain house, of being a great photographer, of hearing peoples stories and connecting with them...i dream of so many things. and it is ok to chase after them!

3 || joy isn't just a feeling.
this has been a hard, hard lesson for me to learn.
for so long i've tied 'joyful' to a way of feeling - and in the past few years my worldview of that has been drastically changing. joy does not come from emotion; it doesn't come from great situations, happy days, beautiful memories, or hopeful moments. it comes from the Lord - and it is rooted deep within you - and as you cultivate it (think of it like flexing and strengthening a muscle) it becomes more and more grounded and firm. so that even in the hardest of times, your joy radiates through to others. to me joy and hope and patience and steadfastness all walk hand in hand.


since i've given you some advice, i would also love to share some things i've learned this year...

// when God is bringing something to fruition - don't run from it.
// you can be creative without having to force it.
// i absolutely love having blue hair and i hope to bring it back next year!
// if i put weight on - i can work to get it back off.
// i love my family.
// i am excited to move somewhere else - if you've known me for any length of time you'll know how HUGE this is.
// i can laugh until i cry - multiple times even in one day.

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