Friday Favorites

Hello, my friends! I hope you all have had a wonderful week! It seems like lately the days pass slowly but the weeks just fly by. It’s hard to believe it’s already almost February (wasn’t Christmas like, last week?)!

I don’t always do Friday Favorites, but I just wanted to share a few highlights of this past week!

1 // Last Friday, Winter Storm Jonas hit North Carolina and my job (which almost never closes due to weather, because it’s a service organization) closed early! I was thrilled, because it allowed for a snuggly Friday with my favorite fella and felt like a long weekend (even if only by a couple of hours). We made a big pot of soup and pinto beans and cornbread and snuggled with the pups while watching the snow fall out the window… it made for a wonderful, restful weekend (which we both really needed).


2 // Somehow, in my 23 (almost 24) years of life, I had managed to never see the Harry Potter movies, much to my husband’s dismay. He’s a teacher and loves the books and movies, so he’s been trying to get me to watch the movies for years. During our snowy weekend and into the week, we have managed to watch all 8 of the movies except for the very last one, which we’re going to try and squeeze in this weekend. He had to explain some of it to me, but I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed them (I’m a romantic comedy kind of girl). I might just have to read the books now (although usually I like to read books before watching the movies). I feel like, now that I’ve seen the movies, I’m in some kind of secret club (hahaha!) because I actually understand all the jokes and quotes from the movies I see people posting.

3 // This week, I’ve been looking at Grayson’s baby pictures and thinking about how in less than 5 months, our little man will be here. I wonder if he will look like Grayson? The blue eyes, the sparkly blonde hair, the sweet smile? I’m filled with so much wonder and can’t wait to see what this gift from God will be like. I love him so much already.


4 // Do you ever feel like sometimes, right when you need it most, Jesus puts something so beautiful right before your eyes that you can’t miss Him? It’s easy for me to get distracted with the monotony of my daily routine. I feel like I do the same thing every day: get up, get ready, go to work, drive home, have supper, go to bed… and then wake up and do it all over again. This week, I’ve been specifically asking my Father to show me His goodness and glory in the mundane. I saw this sunrise on my way to work one day this week and it changed my whole attitude. I went from worrying about traffic, my time clock, and having time to stop for breakfast to praising Him for who He is. He’s right there beside us, loving us, preparing the way for us, even in the seasons of life filled with waiting.


5 // One thing I’m especially thankful for this week is community. My church family is just that – a family – and they have taught me more about community than any other single thing in my life. It’s so important to have a group of people to serve with, to learn with and from, and to have surrounding you in every season of life. Some of my closest friendships and most treasured relationships have come from this wonderful community of believers, and that’s a gift that I never want to take for granted. I’m also involved in a Bible study that meets the first Monday night of every month, and although I’m still getting to know some of the girls, it’s already been such a blessing (I’ve only been going for a few months now). I’ve found that if you ask God to surround you with faithful, Godly friends, He will always provide.

6 // This week, a few different people have given me baby things and maternity clothes and it has taken my excitement to a whole new level! I still haven’t bought one thing for our Landon (hard to believe, I know…) but so many dear friends have given me cute things that I can’t wait to use. I am so thankful (who doesn’t love some good old fashioned hand-me-downs?!).

7 // Do you have a list of blogs that you read consistently, every day/week? I do, and my list is growing! I love the blogging community, and although I’ll probably never make big bucks off my blog or have a million followers, I am continually blessed and inspired by the blogs I keep up with. Some are full of deep, inspirational content, some focus on motherhood, and others are simply fun life and style blogs. I love the mixture of topics! These are some of my favorites:

The Small Things Blog // A Blessed Nest Blog // Grace While We Wait // Darling Dearest // Barefoot Blonde // Lysa TerKeurst // Mundane Faithfulness

What are your favorites? I’d love to add to my reading list (comment below).

8 // Today, in the middle of the day, my sweet husband emailed me and asked me if I wanted to go on a date tonight. After 5 years, he still melts my heart with the way he pursues me. He’s the cutest. Chili’s for guac and fajitas could never be as much fun with anyone else!

9 // My cousins, Jonathan and Katie, had their second baby girl today and she’s adorable. Her name is Sara Kate and she was born today at 4:37pm weighing 5 lbs. and 15 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long. I know Caroline is going to make a wonderful big sister.

10 // Last, but certainly not least, I have talked about my obsession with my traveler’s notebook on the blog before (here) but this week, I added a new book and it’s specifically devoted to prayer requests and scripture. I usually mix my prayer requests (and sometimes I like to write scripture) in with my regular journal, but I decided to start a separate book for it. One of my goals this year is to be more intentional and specific with my prayer life. I want to know my Father on a more personal level and I want my conversation with Him to be more meaningful and intimate. It’s so precious to be able and look back at how He’s answered prayers over the year, so I’m excited to see how having everything in one place will make that easier.

I hope ya’ll have a great weekend and enjoy the (somewhat) warmer weather!

Blueberry Crescent Dessert

This is delicious and so quick and easy to make. Tonight, my Mom and I made it with blueberries, but next time we want to try it with peaches. YUM!


  • 8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 package of crescent rolls
  • 1 cup blueberries (washed and dried)
  • vanilla ice cream
  • powdered sugar


  • First, mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until creamy
  • Next, mix in eggs and milk
  • Place rolled crescents in a baking dish and pour blueberries over them
  • Next, pour creamy mixture over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (the top should be golden brown)


  • Serve while warm with vanilla ice cream and dust with powdered sugar


Note: This recipe was adapted from a Tasty video, and did not turn out exactly as shown in the video. You can watch the video here.

Love Does

“God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, ‘Let’s go do that together.’”

-Bob Goff, Love Does

Grayson surprised me with Love Does on a random afternoon when I was in college. I had mentioned that I wanted to read it and he (in typical, thoughtful Grayson-fashion) had remembered. I was delighted with the book and couldn’t wait to read it, but I had no idea how bits and pieces of it would stick with me long after I turned the last page. It is so dense, yet easy to read, so impactful, yet so simple, and so full of truth that you just want to soak it all in like a sponge. I couldn’t put it down. Needless to say, if you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend it.

The quote above has been on my mind lately, especially now that I find myself in a time of waiting and suspense, as the unknowns of motherhood creep closer and closer with each and every day that passes. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that God created me to be a Momma. I’ve known for as long as I can remember that only becoming a Momma would feed that deep, indescribable need of my soul and allow me to fully experience the richness of the world He made. I think Goff’s words portray the softest side of Jesus, when he says that He leans over us and whispers. Wow. Just think about that for a second. The same God who created the massive ocean, the moon and stars, the breathtakingly beautiful mountains… He cares about you. In fact, not only does He care about you, He cares about what sets your soul on fire.

He wants to sit in the quiet places with you, He wants to walk beside you, He wants to run head first into adventures with you. His gentleness is unmatched. His faithfulness is unwavering. His grace is more than enough.

So, what is it that He’s made you to love? What is it that captures your attention? What feeds that deep indescribable need of your soul to experience the richness of the world He made? 

Halfway There!

Since I’m just a few days short of halfway to my due date, I thought I’d do a little recap of what the experience of pregnancy has been like for me so far. Pregnancy is weird, first of all. It’s funny how it can be such a different experience for everyone, which I guess is why I love reading about other women’s experiences.

I am so thankful (and I really can’t say SO thankful enough) to have not experienced any morning sickness. At all. I was so terrified that I would be miserably sick and throwing up constantly and have terrible food aversions, but I haven’t thrown up one time in the last 5 months. I’ve felt great pretty much the entire time, a gift I know is is straight from Jesus. It was interesting to me, when I started asking, that neither my Momma or Grayson’s Momma were sick during their pregnancies either… so maybe I just have good genes?

During the first trimester, I was very tired. I struggled staying awake, especially during mid afternoon, and went to bed much earlier than usual every night. I never really felt rested. Honestly, that seemingly relentless tiredness was the hardest part (physically) of my entire pregnancy so far. I don’t know if it was partly withdraws from caffeine or entirely just caused from the newness of growing a tiny human inside of me, but fortunately that extreme tiredness wore off a good bit with the end of my first trimester.

For the last few weeks of my first trimester, I experienced my first craving: grilled mushrooms. As if this isn’t random enough, it’s especially funny because I hate mushrooms. I don’t know where in the world this craving came from, but my poor husband was up at 10pm grilling whole containers of mushrooms for me many nights for a few weeks in a row. As I entered  into my second trimester, my craving shifted to steak. Steak tacos, steak salad (from Sports Page)… I have wanted it every single day for weeks. There’s a little latino restaurant beside where I work and I even learned how to call in my order in spanish! I’ve heard that craving meat is a sign that you’re having a boy… so I guess they’re right? I reckon it’s safe to say Grayson and I already have a little steak lover on our hands. Oh boy!

I had all these great plans to take cute little weekly pictures holding a chalkboard saying how many weeks along I was every week in the same outfit so I could look back on the progression of my pregnancy (like this), and it just hasn’t happened. I’m disappointed in myself, but it’s hard to actually make an idea like that happen. Instead, I’ve taken a few pictures sporadically. They aren’t alike at all, and I’m not holding any cute little chalkboard comparing my baby’s growth to the size of a vegetable, but I think you can still see the progression of his growth. It’s better than nothing, am I right Mommas?

12 Weeks

This picture is especially precious to me because at this point we had not announced we were expecting yet and we were enjoying a long weekend in Asheville for our anniversary.


16 Weeks


20 Weeks

Actually, this was today… so a little short of 20 weeks, but close enough.


I’m glad to finally be out of that awkward stage where people can’t really tell if you’ve just gained a little weight or if you’re expecting (but they’re usually too afraid to ask). It’s pretty obvious by now that this little baby bump is only going to get bigger, and I’m fine with that. I want to really embrace every part of carrying this little miracle inside of me, because I know that it’s a gift not everyone gets to experience. The fact that God has entrusted me with this little life is the most humbling gift I’ve ever received. Grayson and I hope to have many children, if that’s the Lord’s will for us, but still… you’re only pregnant for the first time one time, so I really want to cherish every moment.

Look at those long legs at his 18 week ultrasound! He’s going to be tall like his handsome daddy!


As I run head-first into the next half of this season of waiting, preparing, and just pure wonder, I want to soak in every moment. I want to remember all the little details. Hearing the sweet hum of his little heart beating, watching the way he claps his hands together on the ultrasound, even the sweet comments complete strangers make…. I want to write it all down so that one day, I can look back on this journey and know without a shadow of a doubt that I accepted the adventure my Father has set before me with grace. His grace.

In the next few weeks, we plan to register and start working on the nursery. I’m having to make a conscious effort every day not to let myself become so overwhelmed by it all that I can’t enjoy it. I feel like I have so many decisions to make, between strollers and car seats and baby monitors and diaper bags and bottles and bouncy seats and high chairs… I know I need to take it one day at a time and not try and do everything at once, so that’s what I’m trying to do. Also, I’ll try and keep the blog a little more up updated with how things are going. Any advice or suggestions from those of you who have been here before would be greatly appreciated, and thank you so much to those of you who have already shared such wisdom with me!

Thanks for reading, friends!



Surprise! He’s not surprised!

Recently, I haven’t been able to shake the thought of surprises from my mind. Some people love surprises, while others hate them, and I tend to find myself indifferent. For me, it really just depends on the kind of surprise. No matter your preference, surprises have the ability to bring overwhelming joy or shock, sadness, and disappointment.

Finding out we were pregnant was a huge surprise that first came accompanied by fear, then an almost unexplainable joy. Fear, although undoubtedly from the enemy, is fairly normal (especially for first time moms) but in my opinion it is a passage to go through, not a place to stay. As we anxiously await the arrival of our little boy, I can either choose to live in fear of the unknowns, the responsibility, and the what-ifs, or I can choose to claim the victory that Jesus has already won on my behalf and trust that I can not only do this, but do this well with His help. He tells us in Jeremiah 1:5 the same truth that remains for our own little ones, He knew us before we were formed in our mother’s wombs and He set us apart for a purpose.

In the midst of so much change, expectation, and surprises, the thought that’s been really resonating with me is that my Savior hasn’t been surprised by any of it. Not one single thing. When we’re amazed or found paralyzed in disbelief, He is steady and unsurprised. After all, He knows the number of hairs on our head. In the good surprises, He’s rejoicing over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17) and in the heartbreaking ones, He is our refuge and our fortress (Psalm 91:2) and will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). What a comfort!

Because I am a planner who likes to prepare and know what to expect, clinging to this truth helps me rely on my Father who loves me and has already written my story. He promises us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a plan for our lives, a plan not to harm us, but to prosper us! That’s such a gift, and we have to hold fast to His promises, instead of letting fear of the unknown creep in and steal our joy.

Be encouraged today, my friends! No matter what surprises you face, our Savior is holding you in His hands and will work everything together for His good for those that love Him (Romans 8:28).


Well, I have to say, I’m a little shocked to be saying those words! For the first several weeks of my pregnancy, I had literally no idea what I thought the baby was going to be, but almost everyone I talked to was confident that it was a girl. I don’t know if I began to get a feeling that it was a girl too or if I just started believing that it was a girl because I heard it over and over again, but I didn’t realize how much I really did think it was a girl until I heard the ultrasound tech say those three sweet little words today that blew my mind, “It’s a boy!” And just like that, our lives are changed forever.


Grayson and I are elated to say the very least! Having a boy first is wonderful for so many reasons, although having someone to take to Appalachian State football games and teach to play the drums are at the top of Grayson’s list. Although we (clearly) have no idea what the Lord has in store for our future, we would love to have a big family and I love the idea of any little girls the Lord gives us later having a big brother to protect them and to look up to.


We are so filled with wonder about what this little boy will be like. I hope he looks just like his daddy. I hope he has his daddy’s hearty laugh, passion for Jesus, and confidence in who he is. I hope he has my Paw’s quiet strength and humbleness. I hope he has Grayson’s daddy’s creativity and passion for making beautiful things. I could go on and on with hopes and dreams for this little boy for days, but what it really all comes down to is our prayer that he have an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus that begins at an early age and never wavers. I hope he constantly craves to be more like Jesus and chases after our Savior with boldness.

I can’t wait to see Grayson with our son. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps, because I know being a daddy is a job he was made for. I would be lying if I said that the thought of raising up a tiny little baby boy to be a bold, Godly man doesn’t scare me to death, but I know that Jesus has given us the greatest gift in this child and we are so excited to embrace this adventure that He has set before us.

We chose the name Landon Aldridge for our son after my Paw, Rondal Gordon Aldridge. My Paw was not only the most influential man in my life, but also my very best friend and loosing him to lung cancer in 2010 was the greatest hurt I’ve ever experienced. I think about him every day and would give anything to share the news of this little one with him. I can imagine his eyes lighting up and that sweet grin that I know would be on his face. My hope for naming our Landon after him is that we carry on the family name and above all, honor the legacy of the greatest man I’ve ever known.

My Momma always makes everything so special, and today was no different. When we got home from the ultrasound, she was waiting with a special gift for both a little boy or a little girl (we waited to tell her in person). I will never forget the look on her face when she turned around in my kitchen and saw me standing there with a cluster of light blue balloons. It was priceless. She was sure it was a girl, until the last few days. I can’t wait to see our little man in this pretty green sweater and matching cap!


The pink outfit I’m wearing here is hers and she wore it when she was expecting me almost 24 years ago. She saved it for me and it couldn’t be more perfect, even if it is pink. How special is it to be able to wear your Momma’s maternity outfit so many years later? She’s timeless. I can’t wait to see her with her grandson!


It’s hard to believe that in just about 21 more weeks, we’ll be welcoming this little love into our lives, into our homes, and into our hearts that he stole the moment we first heard his sweet little heartbeat. Let the adventure begin!


For this child I prayed.

1 Samuel 1:27

Southwestern White Chicken Chili

Last week, after trying this recipe for the first time at Bible Study, I could hardly wait to make it myself. It is creamy and delicious, and really just one of those meals that warms you from the inside out on a cold day. I have had several different types of white chicken chili, but there’s really something special about this recipe. It’s so easy to throw together, too, making it perfect for lazy Sundays after church.



  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans corn, not drained
  • 2 cans Rotel, not drained
  • 2 packages ranch dressing seasoning mix
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • Drain and rinse black beans
  • Place chicken flat on the bottom of your crock pot
  • Then, pour cans of beans, corn, and Rotel on top of that
  • Then, sprinkle onions and seasonings on top of that
  • Stir ingredients on top of chicken, then place blocks of cream cheese on top
  • Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours
  • Use two forks to shred chicken, then stir cream cheese and shredded chicken until the chili is a creamy consistency

Thanks, Macie, for this delicious recipe! It’s one of my new go-to’s!

The Broken Washing Machine

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a lady who was on her way to buy a washing machine.

“Oh no,” I said, “Did yours break?” She explained that all of a sudden, the spin cycle just stopped working so she was going to buy a new one. No big deal, right?

Well, I got caught up in the hustle and bustle of my day and didn’t think twice about the lady and her brand new washing machine until that night when my head (finally) hit the pillow. Sometimes, that’s when my mind works the most, I think, no matter how tired I am.

Why is it that instead of working to fix something, we tend to just back out and want a new one? I wanted to call the lady and ask her if she had even considered hiring a repair man. Had the thought of fixing it even entered her mind, or are we, as a society, so driven by instant gratification and the need to see problems solved quickly with shiny, new replacements that it never even occurred to her? Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never had the financial capability to live like this, but I’d like to think it’s the value I place on people that made this impact me so much.

Now, I’m no longer talking about this lady and her new washing machine. For all I know, she’d had that washing machine for 15 years and it had been fixed several times before she finally broke down and bought a new one. It’s not my place to judge or assume, but God spoke to me about relationships through a washing machine, so how could I not share my heart?

I started thinking about that washing machine like relationships. Sometimes, relationships are hard. They get worn down by everyday life, sometimes they can be frustrating, and they take serious work to maintain. When a relationship is broken, do we try and fix it or do we look for a replacement? What would happen if we worked to repair what’s broken? Just thinking about the amount of broken families that could be prevented, the waste that could be avoided, and the hope that could be renewed through this mentality wrecks my heart. When did we become so carelessly wasteful? When did we become so selfish?

The more I asked myself these questions, the more I realized that I do, in fact, have a theory about this. I think it all comes down to what a person is looking for in a relationship. Are they looking to find happiness through the other person? Is the driving force behind the relationship whether or not they “make each other happy?” If it is, it makes sense for the relationship to be carelessly replaced when things get hard. Our problem is that instead of having a heart of service and devotion and faithfulness, we have become so self-absorbed that we are unwilling to work at relationships that no longer bring us the happiness we expect. This is a heart problem, not a happiness problem. The truth is that true joy and happiness can only come from our Savior, so if we’re looking to find that in a person, we can easily get tangled into the complicated web of recklessly replacing people. Like that washing machine, we won’t even try to fix it, we’ll just move on in search of a new, shiny, updated relationship and expect it to bring us the happiness that can actually only come through an intimate relationship with Jesus.

If you’re in a situation where you’re tempted to throw in the towel (get it, washing machine…) and give up on a relationship that could be fixed with Jesus’ help, I challenge you to seek His face today. Don’t give up. It’s worth the work. Lets strive to have a heart like Jesus, who never gives up on those He loves.

Let Go + Let God

Isn’t it amazing how when you truly let go and let God, He shows you His sovereignty in an incredible way?

Ever since we got married, Grayson and I have really struggled with tithing. As Christians, we believe that we should tithe at least 10% of our income (before taxes), but as each month passed, it seemed to constantly get pushed to the back of our minds or the bottom of our priority list. Either we didn’t think we could “afford” it that month, or we simply didn’t think about it doing it at all, or we found other things to give to and justified in our minds that it “made up” for our negligence.

Over the course of the year, we fully sponsored a child to go to summer camp with our church, we gave abundantly to mission lunches and to our friends that went on mission trips, and we gave to several families in secret when we became aware of a need they were facing. However, as wonderful as all these things are, they should have never taken the place of our tithe. Our church is at such a pivotal place right now of growth and expansion, and we should be giving consistently with happy hearts to further that new growth that Jesus has set into motion.

The truth is that when you first get married, figuring out your finances is hard. Sharing a bank account, learning to budget together, and trying to save takes a lot of work. We are still learning every day and are constantly seeking wisdom and Godly advice from people who have been where we are before.

Although we don’t really make “new year’s resolutions,” one thing that Grayson and I have been praying about is our desire to tithe and decided that this past Sunday, the first Sunday in 2016, we would begin to tithe consistently. This was a real leap of faith for us, especially right after the expenses that come with Christmas. We dropped our money in the plate and knew without a shadow of a doubt that even if it made our bank account tighter, we did the right thing. Jesus always gives you a peace that passes all understanding when you’re in His will.

That’s not where this story ends, though. Even if it was, it would be a story of Jesus’ faithfulness, because He had been working on our hearts for months for us to get to the place where we trusted that we could tithe. But, what makes this story even sweeter is the way that we saw Jesus provide above and beyond what we gave the very next day. On Monday morning, Grayson went back to school and was given money unexpectedly. Then, I went to work and someone paid me back for something that I had totally forgotten about them owing me. These two unexpected things equaled exactly one dollar more than the tithe we had given the day before. Jesus is so good. Then, later that evening, Grayson was given the opportunity to tutor for some very dear friends of ours (and they even fed him dinner), which meant that within one day, Jesus had more than doubled back to us what we had given. Another funny thing about this is that the family who asked him to tutor had no idea about the hand they were having in Jesus teaching us this sweet lesson of His faithfulness.

There are no words.

His provision and faithfulness is sweeter than any gift I could ever explain. It makes me so ashamed of not following Him in obedience sooner, so frustrated at my lack of faith for ever thinking that He wouldn’t make a way and provide for us if we just did the right thing. So far, we’re only six days into 2016 and Jesus has already taught me so much.

I challenge you today, friends, to follow Jesus in obedience. It may not be tithing that you struggle with, like we did, but if there’s any area of your life that you’re withholding from Him with white-knuckled control, learn to let it go. Trust Him. Let go and let God show you that He loves you and wants to give you abundant life. He is the giver of all good things. He is sovereign. By being obedient to Him, you give Him an opportunity to show you His love and mercy and grace in a way you may have never experienced before.

If you’re interested in reading more about tithing, Scripture talks about it here:

Leviticus 27:30-33

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Deuteronomy 26:12-13

2 Chronicles 31:5

Tune Our Hearts to Sing His Grace

My Pastor always says that “disappointments are often God’s appointments.” He says that when something happens or something isn’t going our way, we should ask ourselves, “What does this make possible?”

I was thinking about this on my way to work this morning, a time that I generally hate. I drive an hour to work and an hour home, and it’s easily my least favorite part of the day. I don’t mind getting up early, in fact, some of my favorite days off are spent waking up early, sipping coffee, and taking my time getting ready for the day. I do, however, hate my drive to and from work and find myself in a bad mood because of it quite frequently. Of course, the thankfulness I have for my job far outweighs the annoying drive, but still, this morning I realized how much I let the aggravation of it affect my attitude.

What does my hour long commute make possible? Instead of complaining in my mind or feeling frustrated, what if I spent that time singing praises to the Father, talking with Him, and counting my blessings? What if I changed my attitude so that the disappointment of my long drive changed to an appointment with my Savior? One of the wonderful things about Jesus is that He will meet us wherever we are, whether it be in the car driving down the road, on our knees in the quiet of our homes, or surrounded by other people in church on Sunday morning.

If you’re like me, and you daily face a situation that forces you to choose either joy or frustration, I challenge you to ask yourself what that situation makes possible. Is there an opportunity for you to grow closer to the Lord in the midst of it? I would venture to say that there is, we just have to open our eyes and just like the sweet old hymn (“Come Thou Fount”) says, “tune our hearts to sing His grace.”