Little Moments

I am convinced that beauty is in the little moments. I am also convinced that most of the time, I miss it. This weekend was our first one in awhile without any big plans, and I was able to slow down and actually notice my life rather than buzz through it, anxious to make it to the next thing on the agenda. I am more sure than ever that life really is beautiful if I just slow down enough to notice it.

Some of the beauty that I enjoyed this weekend:

-Waking up to sunlight streaming into our room
-Canopy of bright green trees at Umstead Park
-Stuffed yellow corn arepas
-Cool pool water on hot skin
-The smell of lavender
-Wet beach towel drying over the railing
-Ice cold cantaloupe slices
-Laughing with Josh
Psalm 84:11
-Floral maxi dress
-Multicolored cherry tomatoes
-Stack of new library books
-Creamy hazelnut iced coffee
-Evening strolls in fading humidity
-Morning chats with a best friend
-Old Disney movies on television
-Hands clasped in prayer
-Avocado toast
-Listening to music while I drive
-Sunday night small group

tomatoes

Josh and I are headed to the beach with his family for a few days starting on Friday, so I will be back next week with a little recap. Have a lovely week!

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Did I put the grammatically correct amount of hyphens in this post title? I have no idea. What I do know, however, is that stuffing dates with goat cheese and wrapping them in bacon is an excellent idea.

When my dad asked me to bring an appetizer for his birthday celebrations last weekend, I decided to flip through Bread and Wine to find a recipe. I’m not one of those people who thinks that everything under the sun is enhanced by bacon, but this recipe caught my eye because I am a sucker for anything even remotely sweet and salty. Plus, the fact that it called for only 3 ingredients was nothing to argue about.

recipe

These were a little more time-consuming than I anticipated, but on the whole, it was a relatively simple and delicious appetizer recipe. I definitely want to make these for a Christmas or New Years party- they just have that feel to them!

app

Happy almost weekend!

Loving Lately [#11]

Happy Monday! Josh and I had a fun weekend visiting Lake Norman to celebrate my dad’s birthday. I made a deeeelicious appetizer recipe that I want to share here later this week, but for now, here are a few things making me happy lately:

1. Fresh figs. I cannot explain to you how much I love fresh figs. It must be an acquired taste or something because a lot of people I know don’t like them, but I think they’re actually one of my favorite fruits (besides cantaloupe- yummm). They are only in season for a short time and they cost approximately ten dollars per fig, but it’s totally worth it. Run don’t walk to your nearest farmers market and snag some!

fig

2. The Shauna Niequist podcast. As if I wasn’t already obsessed enough with this lady, she comes out with a podcast! She just recently featured Jen Hatmaker, who is another one of my favorite authors (see #4). I’m pretty sure I audibly squealed with delight when I saw it pop up in my podcasts app. Yay for listening to wise and hilarious people on my drive to work!

shauna-thumb

3. “The Sound of Sunshine” Pandora station. A friend had this playing during a 4th of July cookout we went to last week, and since then I have been listening to it nonstop. One of my favorite songs that pops up is “Life is Better With You” by Michael Franti. Fun + upbeat music is my favorite in the summertime!

4. 7 by Jen Hatmaker. This book is messing me up in the best way possible. Jen basically challenges the American church by asking if we are truly living out the gospel or if we have reduced it to a “self-improvement program” for the rich and powerful. Read this excerpt and then waste no more time finding this book at the library/buying it on Amazon:

“Please, don’t miss it because the American Dream seems a reasonable substitute, countering the apparent downside to living simply so others can live at all. Do not be fooled by the luxuries of this world; they cripple our faith. As Jesus explained, the right things have to die so the right things can live- we die to selfishness, greed, power, accumulation, prestige, and self-preservation, giving life to community, generosity, compassion, mercy, brotherhood, kindness, and love.”

5. So You Think You Can Dance. Disclaimer: I rarely watch TV because it doesn’t hold my interest for very long, but this show is the absolute best. It also reminds me that I am about ten to fifteen years behind on my life goal of becoming a professional dancer (…or at least one who can hold her own in zumba), but it’s still fun to live vicariously through these people. (True story: one year my mom and sister and I went to see the SYTCD tour live and it made all my dancing dreams come true!)

sytycd

Hope everyone has a great week!

Josh’s Birthday Weekend

My sweet husband is now 26! Woohoo! That means I am slightly less of a cougar now. I’ll take it.

This weekend was so full of fun + joy that I felt like it was my own birthday weekend. On Friday evening two of our best friends came over to the spend the night. We grilled out and then stayed up late (well, late for me) talking and playing games. In the morning they made us an amazing breakfast- eggs, monkey bread, and iced coffee. I think I could have that for breakfast every day forever. Then we all went on a morning hike at Umstead!

hike

In the afternoon Josh and I went over to his parents’ house (they live about 45 minutes away from us) for dinner and games and such. Also their new dog is the cutest and clearly loves Josh a lot. 😉

dog1

dog2

On Sunday we did our usual church + prayer group in the morning, then relaxed in the afternoon before small group came over. It was super hot and sunny outside so I went and lounged by the pool and started rereading Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. I don’t know why, but I feel compelled to reread this book nearly every summer!

pool

Ideal weekend. 🙂

Happy birthday, Josh!!!