Tuesday, May 21

Tunes for Tuesday: Ahmir

So there's this group called Ahmir.  R&B group.

I grew up listening to countless groups of boys who love to sing.  And while I admit that I fell victim to groups like NKOTB, I'm actually talking about the fact that I LITERALLY grew up surrounded by boys who love to sing.  I'm the daughter of two music teachers.  Go figure.

So, it's safe to say I've heard more a capella singing than the average person.  It's also safe to say that in the hype of the Boyz II Men era,  I heard more than anyone's fair share {save my parents, of course}.

Well, somehow, this group has managed to impress me.  I'd not only enjoy hearing them sing.  I'd like to sing with them.  Ladies & Gents, I give you Ahmir . . .

To see an amazing performance, check them out on Jimmy Fallon {5/20/13} along with The Roots!

Friday, May 10

Best thing I've seen all week

I love John Krasinski.  I'm in total denial about the end to The Office.  He recently was on Jimmy Fallon {my favorite late night show}.  This magic happened . . .

Wednesday, May 8

Adopted. Chosen. Redeemed.

THIS is my future.  THIS is heaven.  I can't wait.  I just hope my husband knows what he's gotten himself into.

SO amazing.

Whenever I think about the fact that my son or daughter may already be born - may already need a home, I can't take it.  All in God's timing.  I'm so thankful to be God's chosen daughter.

Saturday, March 23

Words on my Walls

Happy Spring!!  Every year when spring arrives I get giddy.  I love springtime, and I'm always convinced it's my favorite season (until Fall shows up, and then Fall is my favorite - I go through this debate every year).

With the new season gearing up, I'm wanting to "renew" my surroundings.  The house we live in is a blank canvas - the walls are white, and the owner prefers we don't paint.  This is fun in a way, but I admit after living here over a year, I've officially decided I don't like white walls.  Too bland for me.  But, I can't change it, so I'm doing the next-best thing: adding more/new decorations.

I recently spotted a DIY project over on one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess.  The project was to hand-paint a phrase on a wall.  I love the look of it, but can't get away with it in our current home.  So, I adapted the idea for our place.

First, I had to decide what words or phrases I wanted to use.  Adam and I are both big fans of the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.  I sifted through some of my favorite quotes and settled on this one: "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read.  Once does not love breathing."  Solid choice, right?

Next, I had to choose my materials.  I bought a simple blank canvas and a black paint pen.  The canvas was on sale at Hobby Lobby.  I seriously love HL.  Anyhow,  I considered colored ink, but quickly decided that when we eventually have our own home, who knows what color the walls with be, and I want this piece to adapt well to other spaces down the road.

Finally, I was ready to create.  I knew I was going to do it freehand, but didn't want it to look exactly like my handwriting, so I put the phrase into "Jane Austen" font on my computer and used that as a guildeline.  It barely took me 10 minutes.   I didn't plan on the wording to line up exactly the way they did, but I still like it.  Here's the finished product:

Simple, but I'm happy with it.

Sunday, March 3

Something borrowed, something blue

I don't know what the weather's like where you are, but the past few weeks have been filled with cold, windy, and cloudy days.  Not my favorite.  Last weekend I had the joy of traveling to Savannah to participate in a bridal styling photoshoot with my friend, Jaclyn.  The photoshoot was scheduled for Sunday, and we were a little nervous when it poured all day on Saturday, but the weather couldn't have been more perfect that Sunday afternoon!

I was particularily excited about this photoshoot because it was at one of my favorite places: Wesley Gardens.  Wesley Gardens has been a place of refuge and retreat for me throughout the years.  I have many fond memories of this quaint spot, so adding this photoshoot to the list was so fun!

Jaclyn is a woman of about a million talents, but today's focus was on the wedding veils and belts she makes by hand.  So pretty!  All of these pictures were taken by me with my little iPhone, but I think they give you a really fun glimpse into the day.  I had the honor of doing makeup for the three models for the photoshoot.  If you or someone you know needs makeup done for an upcoming wedding or event, contact me!  It's one of my favorite things to do!  

Enjoy the pics!

Laura Sue & Jaclyn Marie

The model sitting is wearing the "Laura Sue" veil.  Not that I'm partial . . .

Mint in your sweet tea.  Only way to do it.

Hard at work!

We couldn't have planned this - the petals were just like that when we arrived!

This is what happens when you ask me to model.

Favorite shot of the day.

Monday, January 28

This one's for the teachers . . .

From what I can tell, people go into the teaching profession for a myriad of reasons.

Me?  I became a teacher because I love teenagers, and because I knew - without a shadow of a doubt - I had the capability to impact my kids for the better.

About two weeks ago I was told, "You might have been able to influence [your students] in the moment, but you probably didn't have an impact that would last through the years." *This is a paraphrase, but essentially what this person was telling me.

This person didn't mean to offend or upset me, but wow.  How ignorant.

Fast forward to today.  Today, through the magic of Skype, I entered a high school classroom to hear a student read her letter to me, thanking me for the impact I had on her while she was in my class.  The current teacher had students write letters to people who had influenced them for the better, and this student chose me.

When she was in my class, D. was a freshman.  She was full of spunk, smarts, and attitude to boot.  She was part of a crew of girls who all aspired to be cholas.  They had no clue they'd met the HCIC.  Needless to say, it was challenging to have them all in the same class.  There was a lot of "tough love" shown on my part, but I knew that she was better than the choices she was making.

In her letter today, D. explained that it was during a parent-teacher conference that my words really struck and caused her to start changing her path.  I had no idea that I had impacted her in this way.  Now, three years later, she's sharing that there's no other teacher she'd rather write about.  Wow.  I was in tears.  Now, because she listened - because she made a choice for the better - she is well on her way to making her family proud of the young woman she's becoming.  Very few students thank their teachers, but that doesn't change the fact that there is a powerful relationship there and no matter how hard it is with certain kids, it's worth it.

Both of my parents were teachers.  To this day,  their former students still seek them out to thank them for all that they did.  Not all kids recognize when they're being loved, but they remember it.

If you're a teacher, it matters.  It doesn't matter if others don't get it.

In closing, some classic Taylor Mali. {A little "French" at the end, so you're warned.}

Friday, January 18

Never meant to fit in

So I've never been one of the cool kids.  I've never seemed to fit in completely anywhere I go.  At times, it made me sad.  Other times, I was more than fine with it.  Sometimes it's the way I dress.  Sometimes it's the way I talk.  Music preferences.  Opinions.  Etc.

I think I'm coming into a renewed season of being unapologetically me.  You see, where I live, I'm surrounded by people who like to fit in.  Maybe you live in a similar place.  Maybe you're blessed to live somewhere where people are encouraged to be themselves - to be individuals.  In Savannah, I felt the freedom to be me.  I currently live in northeast Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.  There's a whole lot of "keeping up with the Joneses" and such going on up here.  I'm not a fan.  I've offically decided to stop feeling like I need to be part of this group.  For the record, I'm not really thinking of specific people - it's more of a mentality, if you will.

I think we all struggle not to compare ourselves to people around us.  It's so easy to look at someone else and assume her life is so much better - so much easier, less complicated, less dramatic, more blessed - than mine.  What a lie.

I think I got caught up in this "adult" idea that my life is supposed to look a certain way by now.  I should have 2.5 kids.  Own a house.  No debt.  Solid savings in place.  Be well travelled.  Be crazy successful. At something.  Anything.

Yeah.  Ok.

Those things would be nice, but who along the way told me my life was less if I didn't have these things by now?  And in all sincerity - kudos to anyone who's already gotten there or is closer than I am.  Truly.  I just find it tiring to feel - what is it? - less of an adult?  not as accomplished?

God didn't make me to fit in.  And I've never liked being told what to do.  How did you learn to ride a bike?  My dad tried to teach me.  I think I was around 8 or 9.  The lesson lasted about five minutes.  I decided I didn't like the way he was teaching me, so I told him to go home.  I would figure it out by myself.  And I did.  

Today, I'm rejecting the lies.  Ha.  As many of the kids I still fiercely love would say, "I'ma do me."  God has more than equipped me for the calling he has on my life.  I don't need to worry about what other people think I need or what they think I should be doing.

I know this isn't my typical style of entry on this blog, but I wanted to share.  Don't get me wrong - the lighter things I tend to post are most definitely me being me - I love to stop and smell the roses.  I just figured someone might read this and think, "Yes!  Me, too!"

Thanks for reading :)