What's Up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday? #95750

Wednesday

I know, I know. I definitely ruined any hope of keeping my New Year’s resolution of daily blogging in tact with my lack of posts this past week and a half!!

I don’t even have much of an excuse…so…please forgive me? 😉

Since I’ve last blogged, we have been all over the place – from Georgia to Maine, with Craig in Texas and juts in and out of Massachusetts. Here are the highlights:

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We visited Maine, by way of Boston, once again! This time around, I got to see several of my former Youth Group members!

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This group (and those who aren’t pictured) is what I miss most about Maine! It was so awesome to see them and reconnect!

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As always, especially in Maine, we ate very well! We had the chance to revisit another of our favorite restaurants – Snow Squall. YUM!!

We worshipped at Cross Church the next morning, and then ate lunch at Robert’s Maine Grill – I totally blew my regimented eating plan and splurged on a Lobster Roll….Totally worth every single consequence!

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Since flying back to Atlanta, it’s been mostly business as usual… With a little bit of Valentine’s adventure thrown in… 😉

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My husband sent the most beautiful flowers to my office!! If you ever need flowers in the Atlanta area, Blooms of Dunwoody should be your go-to. Craig uses them every. time. #goodman

He sent me out for a much-needed mani/pedi on Saturday morning, and we had a delicious and romantic dinner at Chequer’s Steak & Seafood. Recently, I have been on a seafood kick – The Metformin I’m taking has really done a number on the list of food aversions I have, and seafood is one of the only things I can stand to eat!

After church on Sunday morning, Craig took me on a beautiful drive up into the North Georgia Mountains, where we ate some yummy sushi and ended up at Yonah Mountain Vineyards!!

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Oh my goodness…GORGEOUS!!!! In short, our Valentine’s weekend was just wonderful and the perfect time to celebrate the amazing blessing the Lord has given us in our marriage!

So see? Maybe we have been a little bit busy gallivanting all over, since I have been blog-absent… Forgive me? 😉

See you tomorrow!! (Promise!)

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TTC Tuesday

In The Waiting: How You Can Help!

Tuesday

Good Morning Friends!

I don’t know how the weather is where you are, but here in Atlanta, we have almost 70* temperatures!! Raining or shining outside, it makes me smile when the weather warms up! There’s just something about not having to have either the heat or the air conditioning on!

Today, on Thank You Jesus Tuesday, I wanted to share an amazing organization with you – and an opportunity to help children. Craig and I have made it no secret that we have been ready (since September 15, 2012) to be parents for a while now, but in the waiting for Jonah…in the waiting for an adoptive child…there is so much we can do to help.

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Dream Weavers of Georgia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of foster children.[Their] goal is to create opportunities and provide resources that promote educational, emotional and social well being of Georgia’s foster children.’

No matter where you reside or how many children you have, you can help Dream Weavers of Georgia’s children, too! Click here to see an array of opportunities to donate money towards new shoes, school supplies, a haircut or even dance lessons for a precious foster child.

In 2014, in the State of Georgia alone, there were almost 9,000 children in the foster care system. For the same year, the U.S. Department of Children & Family Services reported over 415,000 in foster care in the country! Programs like Dream Weavers provide a little light and love for these kids, and you can so easily be a part of making a  difference in a precious child’s life!

If you live in Georgia, there are tons of volunteer opportunities and numerous events throughout the year to participate in! DWOG does an annual Tubing Trip, Pool Party, Fall Festival & Christmas Parade each year for the kids and I’m sure they can never have too many hand on-deck! 🙂

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Check out Dream Weavers of Georgia or do a little research and find out how you can help foster children in your area. Let this be your Valentine. ❤

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My Choice Monday

My Choice Monday: Valentine’s Day Gifting

Monday

Happy Monday!

And what a Monday it has been…! In the spirit of having not gotten anything (work-wise) done today — thanks, in part, to a two and a half hour meeting!!! — I did accomplish one thing.

A very important thing, I might add!

I found and ordered my husband’s Valentine’s Day gift.

That’s right – It’s already February, ladies and gents! No matter how trite you may (or may not) think this holiday is, I will take any opportunity to show Craig how much I love him!

But it isn’t always easy. Men, in general, are not easy to buy for – and my husband is no exception! I’ve done a lot of DIY things for him in our relationship, and this year, I wanted to gift him with something both practical and special.

Trying to find the perfect gift took quite a bit of research, but I wanted to share with you some sites that might make your search for the perfect Valentine’s gift (for your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, or secret admirer) a little bit simpler:

  1. UnCommon Goods : If you’ve never visited this website or flipped through this catalog, you are in for a treat!! There is always something from this store I want or could give to Craig! Think: whimsical & unique.

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2. Man Crates : For the hard to buy for man in your life, you can definitely find a gift for him here – beer, tools, grilling, sports…They have it all.

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3. two chicks & company – Ever heard of the ‘Happy Everything’ plate?? It’s too cute and such a great decorating idea!!! If the special lady in your life loves to decorate for every season but is also crazy busy, this is the gift spot for her! Check it out!!

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Hopefully, one of these stores has just what you’re looking for… If you’re looking for a Christian gift, Christian Bookstore is certainly my go-to!

If you use any of these ideas to find your special someone a Valentine, let us know! We would love to know how it went!

Have a great evening!!

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What's Up Wednesday

You Might Be An Adult When…

Wednesday…you are much too excited about your brand new…kitchen sink.

Here is our old one. I must say, I was not a fan…

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Here is our new sink & faucet fixture!

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Seriously, how much better does that look? I know you are not able to see the rest of the kitchen & the lighting for the picture is horrible, but the backsplash tiles and cabinet hardware really pop with the new sink’s colors and textures! What an easy (we installed this ourselves) & inexpensive upgrade for any kitchen!

In other news, you may have seen these lovely flowers my sweet husband had delivered to me at work for Valentine’s Day:

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I love hydrangeas & tulips…and of course, pink and green…and polka dots! Craig must know me well… 😉

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Our furs spent the night out with their furry friends at the doggie sitter & Craig & I stayed here:

Hilton Atlanta Marietta Conference Center & Resort

If you live in the Atlanta area and have never stayed here…you really should. It’s a beautiful hotel and really, a hidden gem! We had dinner at a newer restaurant in Marietta called “Cosmopolitan”, which was delicious – most especially their dessert which was even gluten-free!

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What a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

*Oh, and I apologize for the misunderstanding! My surgery will be next Wednesday at 1pm. We are soooo blessed with your prayers and support! We love you all!*

Remember – Don’t forget to enter our giveaway while there’s still time! If you have any concerns about not being on Facebook or how to enter, just contact me or Craig.

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Food For Thought Friday

A Match Made In Heaven

Friday2Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all!

In honor of this special day, we are going to share our favorite story with you: Our Love Story. It’s been published as a guest post on The Veil Of Chastity, and is now a ‘page’ on this very blog – just as a reminder to me, as I write each day’s post, of just how WONDERFULLY amazing God is. Oh, His Mysterious Ways… So here goes, Our Love Story – For Your Valentine’s Day Reading Enjoyment:

Our Love Story

I was raised all my life in a Christian home. I always felt like Jesus and I were on very good terms, but one day, in 2008, I felt this need, this overwhelming compelling need to convert to Catholicism. There was really no basis, per say, for it, but I felt God calling me to make this change. If you know anything about me, you might know that I have a lot of grandiose ideas, but not so many of them are seen through to fruition. You see, I’m a perfectionist and if I feel there is one little hint of something having the chance to not being completed 100% correctly, I usually don’t follow-through… Bad habit, I know.

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The Mallory Family

Converting to Catholicism was different though. I went through RCIA with a hunger for knowledge. When my very Protestant family raised concerns for my change, I was able to calm their ‘fears’ very easily and logically. When I was finally a confirmed Catholic on November 22, 2008, there was a sense of peace about me that I had never known.

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Pier’s Confirmation Day at Holy Spirit Catholic Church

I continued my Catholic walk, gradually losing that zeal for the Church I had had in the beginning. Over the years, I knew God had called me to become a Catholic because I was finally able to truly worship within the Mass – a feeling I hadn’t felt in Protestant church in some time, but there was something missing, it seemed. Why had God called me to become a single Catholic? I just didn’t understand.

At first, I thought, perhaps, I was called to become a nun. I reached out to several convents, read all of the brochures and prayed about each of the distinct vocations. But it still didn’t seem like that was where God was calling me. Then, one day, I was at work, and I felt God speak to me – It was more like a gentle nudging really. I was in front of my computer, and I felt God tell me to go to CatholicMatch.com. Seriously. I argued with him, audibly, at my desk for a little while. Then, finally, I gave in.

“Fine.” I said, “I am leaving this in your hands, God. My future spouse is in your hands. I have tried on my own, and I obviously can’t handle this task. You choose for me. You show me who you have in store for my future.”

And that, my dears, is history. I signed onto Catholic Match, and one week later received a message from a guy who seemed genuinely interesting. He wrote me the longest and most beautiful e-mails. It was so painfully obvious that this man truly had a heart for Christ, and when he asked for my phone number later that month, we had dozens of conversations that lasted for hours on end. Never was there a dull moment in conversation. Neither of us are (or were then) self-proclaimed ‘phone people’, but speaking to each other was always the high point of each of our days. I knew it to be true on my end, and it was pretty apparent from his…

I tried and tried and tried to find “the one” on my own – without God’s help. For years and years, I dated guys who seemed to have similar interests; based on ‘attraction’; who just ‘wanted to get married’; who were nice…It never worked. For one reason or another, I wound up 28 years old and scared to death I was going to be {gasp!} 30 and unmarried! That’s when I gave the reins to God, and allowed him to point me in the direction of my soulmate.

From my first date with Craig, there was a tugging at my heartstrings that this one was the one. He took me out for dinner and drinks, and we laughed and talked and smiled at each other across the table for 4-5 hours. A very obviously inebriated man approached our table while Craig was in the restroom, and told me he just wanted to let me know how beautiful I was…Craig came back to this, and told me, shyly, “That man was right. You are beautiful.”

When I got home that evening, my heart was soaring. I felt like a 16 year old girl who had just been asked to prom by the football star – and it never stopped. That feeling is the same one I get even today when Craig has been on a trip for work, and comes through the front door, or when I am almost home from work and know he is waiting for me…I still get butterflies.

Craig planned our 2nd date – we met one Sunday for a Bible Study at the Catholic parish closest to my (then) condo. I thought, then, “Wow. This has God’s writing all over it.” And I was so right. It was becoming glaringly obvious as to why God led me to become a Catholic those 3 years earlier. It was finally clear. He was preparing me for my holy spouse.

Craig and I didn’t even attempt to kiss until our 5th date, two months later… but just one month after that, he told me he loved me for the first time – and it was genuine. We both knew – it was palpable – we had been in love from the first moment we set eyes on one another. He told me later he felt like I could be ‘the one’ even before we had ever met in person. He always made me a priority, and treated every situation we were in and every conversation we had as if I were his future spouse.

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The Dating Days

After eight months of dating, Craig told me, while overlooking the waves on a beautiful beach, that he wanted to marry me, and was actively ‘searching for rings’. On the one year anniversary of our very first date, Craig surprised the heck out of me with the most romantic and well-thought-out proposal, and (after I literally fell out of my chair and onto my knees beside him) I answered him, “Absolutely.”

Right After I Said “ABSOLUTELY!!!!”

Never was there a choice I was surer of. We were married just over 5 months later in a beautiful Catholic Mass, surrounded by all of our family and close friends. We have been blissfully married now for 16 months, and our love only increases day by day. I am blessed with a husband who is truly my partner, my very best friend, my holy spouse. I have every confidence this is the man God intended for me from everything about our relationship, from the fact we finish each other’s sentences to the fact he likes the cake and I prefer the icing. We are absolutely a match made in Heaven, by God.

I think there is no question that along with anything God-given comes superabundance – of things that matter. This isn’t to say that everything is always 100% perfect, or that God answers YES to everything we ask for. We have been trying to conceive a child for 16 months, to no avail. BUT, the faithfulness, the love, the trust, the peace, the joy, the kindness within our marriage and our relationship…It isn’t a human amount. It’s a God amount. And life within a marriage, within God’s plan? That’s like living life, no matter what storms may rain down on you, in a perpetual hug.

It is unbelievably apparent to me we were both hidden by the veil. I was a serial dater, and there were plenty of guys who I ‘could have seen myself with’, but no matter how ‘good the relationship was’, it was only ‘of this world’. Craig will tell you the same thing about his past, which tried to pull him away from the Catholic faith, and it turns out there certainly wasn’t anything ‘other-worldly’ about it, either. Nothing has ever even come close to comparing to the manner in which Craig courted me; the diligence he had to God; the pure love and compassion he showed me… All of it was different and indescribable. NOTHING of this world.

The world may have chosen differently for Craig and I. For Craig, maybe society would have chosen someone more outdoorsy, someone with a love for baseball and a penchant for cold weather (He’s from Minnesota and went to college at the University of North Dakota.). For me, maybe the world might have picked someone who grew up in the South, someone with the same love for all things southern and monogrammed, someone passionate about music and the opera, but even the mere thoughts just break my heart because the world would have been wrong.

God knows exactly what He is doing, and what is best for you. Wait on Him.

Now THAT Is A Match Made In Heaven!

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and a fabulous weekend folks!

xoxo