Thursday, July 28

Chickens, Contentment, and Chocolate

Let's just say last week, this week and next week are more stuffed than the turkey on Thanksgiving Day! There is a whole lot going on in a short amount of time.
  • One trip to Illinois
  • Work Conference in Nashville (where I didn't have enough time to see my friends...sad)
  • Boyfriends moving
  • Working extra days
  • Painting and packing
  • Moving
  • 2 Family Reunions (which I may or may not get to attend)
  • Painting and Unpacking
  • Plus work, puppy and sleep
Ok, I didn't make that to make it seem like I was busier than everyone else. I just really like making lists! But, last week I had absolutely wonderful time at the fair with my family.  Here is a brief recap of a few of the things I experience...

Today as I was reading, I came across this verse:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
~Philippians 4:11-13

It was such a beautiful reminder to be content in all situations. Life can be very full, or it can be very different than you imagined. Or it can be exactly as you planned. Whatever the situation, be content and be thankful. God will always supply what ever you need...He will provide enough.

I am feeling just so blessed right now. I have all that I need and I am feeling very content. Life is good. God is good. My heart smiles.

PS- There is nothing to do with chocolate in this post, so if that's why you read it. I'm sorry.

Monday, July 18

My Favorite Week of the Year

Christmas may be my favorite day of the year...but this week is by far my most favorite week of the year. Ever.

It's Fair Week!

Yep, you're about to find out just how small town/country girl I may actually be. You see...the county fair is a really big deal where I come from. The county basically shuts down. Seriously. Because everyone is at the fair.

I grew up at the fair. I grew up looking forward to fair week more than any other time of the year. It was a time when all my family was together for a week. Grandma now lived just ten steps away, and I was surrounded by friends. Then there is the food, elephant ears, the church tent, corn dogs, cotton candy, caramel apples and, my favorite, orange shake ups. Oh makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

I still love the fair. I love going to the fair. I love walking around. I love the smell of the animals, the noise of the pigs and cow. I love seeing 4-H projects and seeing people I only see at the fair. I love the demolition derby and the draft horse show. I love playing ski ball with my brother (who isn't going to get to come this year because he's saving lives in Ecuador right now). I love walking through the animal barns. I love petting the cow's noses. But mostly I love spending hours with my family, laughing, sitting around, and playing cards. It's my favorite way to spend my time.

Not to mention the pageant. Yep...the county fair queen pageant. I competed in it and was blessed to be crowned queen in 2007. There is a very special place in my heart for it. But that's another blog for another time.

Milking the goat

Tomorrow I head back to Illinois for a few days at the fair. Needless to say...I cannot wait!

Then on Saturday I will be blessed to watch roommate Meg and Kev finally tie the knot!! Woo Hoo!

Then off to a work conference for a few days in Nashville. Whew. Tired just thinking about it. But it's all going to be so much fun.

I will return with pictures of animals...lots of them!

Thursday, July 14

Home Sweet Home

In the past six years, I've lived at six different addresses. For the first 18 years of my life, I lived at the same address. So moving every year has been a big adjustment for me. And in two weeks, I will yet again be changing my address.

I have found that each place I've lived has its own personality. Each with a character of its own and once you move your things and people into each place they become alive. I've learned to purge and pack. Stuff and load. Unpack and organize. Clean and settle. I feel as if I've mastered packing and moving.

Mom and I in my current kitchen
Although I'm not looking forward to all the work that comes with moving, there is something exciting about making space your own. I can't wait to add my personal touch to make my new house cozy and Shanesque. With all that said, I cannot wait for the day when I can find a house of my own. A place where I can come home each day, park my car in the garage, have a yard for Winnie to run around in, have dinner with my family, do home improvement tasks on the weekends, and have lots of friends come to visit. What I guess I'm saying is I'm excited for the day when I can make a home.

Although, that is not where I'm at currently in my life journey, I can look forward to that time. But, for now I have to continue to learn how to be content and I have come to understand the phrase "home is where your heart is". I may not have a home of my own, but home, I have found, is who I'm with. It's the people that make a home, than the structure.

I grew up in a great house on a great street, but it was the people in it that made it home. And someday it will be the people who live there that make my home.

And now some pictures of Winnie...

When she was wittle.
Sweet moments.


Tuesday, July 12

Guilty Pleasure

My guilty pleasure in life is...dah dah dah

Let me start by saying: Yes, I know its a reality TV show. Yes, I realize most of the couples are not together now. Yes, I realize that the ABC producers do a wonderful job at editing.

Now with that out of the way, I can't help it, but I do love the show. I've been an avid fan since Season 1 when Alex Michel broke Trista's heart and picked Amanda Marsh to receive the final rose.

But, I was really ok with that because Trista came back the next season for The Bachelorette and introduced the world to Ryan Sutter. They are the one couple who has manged to live the reality show fairy tale. They're still married and have two kids. Plus, they're just beautiful people.

Seriously, how adorable are they! I was a little bit obsessed with them. Confessions: I taped their entire wedding episodes and probably watched it multiple times. 

I've watched every season, minus one. I chose not to watch it because I wasn't a fan of the bachelor they selected. He shall go nameless. But other than that I've watched everything to when Bob cracked up everyone on the show, when DeAnna managed to make a presence in three seasons, when Jason picked Melissa then changed his mind, to Jake and Vienna's awful relationship, Ali sobbing over Jake, everyone falling in love with single mom Emily who lost the love of her life in a plane crash. To most recently, Bentley leaving Ashley to go "be with his daughter."

Yes, it is just a TV show, but its not to far off from every girls dreams to fly around the world and live a life of being wooed and multiple men trying to sweep her off her feet every time they see her. Although, as I'm maturing and seeing the show for what it is. I tend to be a bit turned off by the fact that one person is in a significant relationship with multiple people, and the other is fully aware of it. Let's be honest...that's not normal and may even be classified as cheating. But who am I to judge, right?!? I still enjoy watching. Like I said...guilty pleasure.

If today I was given the chance to be on the show, I would have to turn it down because I already live in reality. And I'm already am in love...with just one man.

For my momma:

He will cover you with his feathers, 
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
~Psalm 91:4

Friday, July 8

A Great Place to Find Inspiration

There is a reason that I love Pinterest.

It fills me up with inspiration. I see things that make me want to just go and do. Such as things like this...

A cookie surrounding a cookie. Genius.

Or you see beautiful ideas for your home, like this...

Or this...

And makes me want to wear things that look like these...

And bake lots of fun delicious things like this...

I mean really. There is nothing like it. Its my absolute favorite way to spend my time on the Internet. I may even have a Pinterest problem. But for now, I shall enjoy myself and keep pinning away!

Check it out if you haven't. You won't regret it.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, July 5


Call me slow, but as we were celebrating Independence Day this past weekend it dawned on me. It's summertime!

I do realize that it is now a week into July and I am just starting to realize that its summer outside. Now that I am a part of the working world, I spend most of my afternoons in an ice cold office building without any windows in my office. So, I have no idea if its raining or shining.

I went from 20 some years of summers spent outside, in a pool, hanging out with friends, bonfires, camping, nighttime softball games, going to bed late, and getting up late. To being up with the sun (on a good day), getting into the same routine, wearing sweaters all year round because my building is so cold, coming home with minimal time and energy for the sunlight.

Welcome to adulthood, I guess. This is the first summer that I am now working full time, so I feel as though I'm being a big jipped out of my summer. And I am just realizing that my summer is going to be gone before I've even had the opportunity to enjoy it. So it's time to grab hold and enjoy the sunshine! Although, I can say that this summer I am sportin' a pretty decent tan. That's a plus.

Thankfully, this past summer weekend...this is where I spent most of my time.

 With this cute little pup

And this sweet boy

And for now, I make a declaration to enjoy my summer, even if I only have a few hours. I will take the time to do the things that make summer so great. Like bike rides, grilling out, long walks, enjoying the warm weather, and just being outside.

And I also think it's time to make another summer bucket list...