>> memorial weekend

This memorial weekend has been one for the books. It included a one-night stay in a cabin on Lake Ouachita, boating, my first jet ski ride, a drive through my old hometown and time with my precious husband, friends and family.

My sister and her husband rented this lake-view cabin and were kind enough to let us stay a night with them. It was dark when we arrived, so it was hard to see all the beauty surrounding us until the next morning. And since we arrived too late to take the boat out, we just enjoyed the hot tub on the back deck before going to bed that night.

The cabin was decorated in primitive Americana style, and I loved the cozy feel of it. Our bedroom was upstairs loft-style and overlooked the living room.

The next morning I was in awe of our cabin's beautiful surroundings. We got up and ate breakfast then headed out on the boat. We staked our claim on a peninsula and spent some time snacking and just hanging out there.

My husband learned how to drive the boat and did a great job. It wasn't super hot, so riding around in the boat feeling the cool wind on my face was heavenly. I could kick back in a boat and cruise around all day. So relaxing!

Not a lot of people know this, but I have a very unhealthy fear of water. I'm pretty comfortable in a boat because I don't really worry about tipping over. (Canoeing, on the other hand, is a whole different story.) So it was a really big deal that I got on a jet ski and took my first ride. Hubs knew I was nervous, so he took it slow for the most part, but there were times when the water was choppy that I was pretty scared. I liked feeling the wind in my face while cruising over the water, so that made it fun.

Later in the day, some friends from Little Rock that I hadn't seen in a while joined us for some more boating, jet skiing, and time on the peninsula.

Then hubs and I said our goodbyes because we had a trip down memory lane to take. We drove through my old hometown that I hadn't visited in about seven years. I got to see the house I used to live in, the grocery store my family used to shop at, my alma mater, and other familiar places such as an old white church that I used to love taking pictures of.

It felt strange to be back in "the town that built me." The town itself hadn't really changed at all, but I feel like a totally different person than the girl I was when I lived there. I almost feel like my memories from the past belong to someone else that maybe I just a read a book about or something. It was surreal to be back, but I'm so glad I got to go because I don't know if or when I'll ever get to again.

We continued our trip by taking a slightly longer route home, but a special one in that it was one I used to drive between my hometown and college on the weekends. I saw places I hadn't driven by in years but it all looked the same, so the memories just came flooding back. One thing I love just as much as spontaneously packing a bag and heading out of town for an overnight adventure is reminiscing. I love "going back" and allowing myself to remember.

We stopped and ate dinner at CJ's Butcher Boy Burgers in Russellville. It's a staple in the college town in which hubs and I met with amazing food and cute 50's decor.

It was so nice to see my husband relaxing and having fun on the lake and driving me around. I was crazy about his backwards cap because I hardly ever get to see that laid back, fun-loving side of him. He is forced to be so professional during the week, and sometimes he struggles to let loose on the weekends. But I could tell he was letting loose when he was speeding around on the jet ski with his backwards cap. It reminded me of the young man  I fell in love with in college. This trip was so good for both of our hearts.


>> all the latest

To say I'm a little behind on blogging would be an understatement. I feel like there has been so much going on that it's almost useless to even attempt to blog about it all, but at the same time I really don't want to forget anything. It's such an exciting time in life right now.

First, let me flashback to Easter. Each year, I realize more and more how special this holiday is to me. A whole day dedicated to celebrating the resurrection of our Savior...that alone is just so cool. Then there are the other awesome aspects of the day such as family time, egg hunts and church fashion. Yes, I said church fashion. I do enjoy seeing all the springy dresses and pastel ensembles that get busted out for Easter.

This year, after church my family met up at my sister's house for lunch on her back patio followed by an egg hunt for my nephew. I love family time at her house because it's kind-of out in the country, so it always feels like a peaceful getaway when I'm there.


We had planned to take a big family picture in my sister's backyard, but with my brother-in-law having to be at work and my dad not in attendance, we had to forgo that activity. Leslie and I did manage to snag a few cute ones though. (I needed a new framer for a hallway in my house.)

Now onto the next event that I haven't gotten to blog about yet: our second-annual girls' trip to Kansas City for the Warrior Dash. I can't even put into words how fun this trip was. My friends are the funniest females in the USA, in my opinion. So all three days and two nights we spent together were full of belly laughs.

Our t-shirt theme this year was "World's Okayest..." We had a world's okayest fan, friend, athlete, jogger and gazelle.

My friends Becky, Chrissy and Ashley rocked the course, which was spread across a ranch covered in cow manure. They even had to swim across a pond that was 10-feet deep. They are heroes in my eyes.

And while I'm on the subject of running/being athletic/awesome stuff, I want to throw in a quick mention of my second 5k that I ran back in April. It was a Glow Run benefiting a local children's center. From the start of the race, I wasn't feeling it. So I prayed. I ran quicker than normal when I did run and forced myself to power walk when I had to slow down. All I could think about was beating my first time, which I managed to do. I shaved off a little over 4 minutes, and my sister and SIL both improved their original times as well.

 >>insert crappy cell phone pic<<

For me personally, I don't know for sure if I'll ever do another 5k. I can apparently only be obsessed with one method of fitness at a time, and I can feel that shifting towards classes at the gym. I've started taking a Tone & Tighten class and have been insanely sore for the past week. (In a hurts-so-good kind of way.) I'm also looking at starting an Abs & Core class. I've discovered that I love the group atmosphere because I end up pushing myself more. I feel like I should see all-over results from these classes, and that's exciting to me.

Ok, so I think I'm all caught up on the randoms as of late. Just a few more things to note:

>> I am officially done with the Invisalign process! It took about 17 months, and I'm very happy with the results. I've got my permanent retainers in now and my nighttime retainer. I remember the first day I blogged about getting my Invisaligns and can't believe I made it to the end.

>>a little before & after for your viewing pleasure<<

>> I'm growing and learning so much in my relationship with Christ thanks to church, women's Bible study and small group. Been thinking a lot about all the individual struggles we each have and how God wants us to share those with others. God can take any ugly thing and turn it into something so beautiful. In an upcoming blog post, I will be taking off the proverbial mask and sharing my story. Eepsies!

>> In the morning I have my first doctor appointment to begin fertility testing. That journey is starting, and I have a peace about it.

So until next time...let's hope the next post is shorter! ;-)