Category Archives: Life as I know it

01/19/16

Life lately…

Wow!

It’s been a while since I have written or checked in here. Life has been completely exciting, busy, stressful, tender, and beautifully messy all at once. Maybe yours has too? Well, the Lord never promised that the road would be easy,  but He did promise to walk it with us, didn’t he?!? And I am truly grateful that He does. My life continues to be such evidence of that.

Maybe you will allow me to catch up with you a bit?

For New Year’s my sweet little family and I ventured to Hilton Head Island, SC, truly one of our favorite places of respite and renewal. And early on January 1st, despite the dreary weather, we suited up in our rain coats and went for a walk on the beach.

BEACH 2

Such sweet family time out on that sea shore.

BEACH 1

And each year, we rededicate our years to Him, as a family. We joined hands in the living room of that little seaside condo and prayed for one another, for our broken hearts to be mended from this previous year, for Him to renew purpose in each of us, and that we continue to seek Him always first above all other endeavors, desires, or dreams. Grateful for parents that desire more than anything else, for our family’s cornerstone to be built upon His rock, upon His promises.

BEACH 3

Just a few short work days into the New Year separated the sweet roomie and I from our 2nd annual Disney trip!

This year I challenged myself to the 10k. Every mile was magic, with the exception of it being very, very wet.

RUN

I just love the way I feel at Disney. Who doesn’t love reverting back to their 11 year old self every now and again?

DISNEY1

DISNEY2

DISNEY4

And as always, this girl and I pack it all in & have an absolute blast while doing so!

DISNEY3

DISNEY5Seriously.

We stayed at the Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and it was absolute perfection. One morning while enjoying coffee out on our balcony, the Lord met me in all His prolific beauty. I just sat there, incredibly grateful, marveling at His abounding goodness & grace already so apparent to me in that very first full week of the 2016.

coffeemug

I often feel like He gives me a word, or even a few words each year as part of my focus in my walk with Him. And this year, it is Brave.

Be bold.

Raise your voice.

Develop life-long learning.

Do things you never expected or considered, and give Him all the glory.

I remain expectant of all His has and all He gives.

Continue to follow along with me, in this #YearofBrave.

Onward!

And then, that brings me to this past weekend where I stood by the side of one of my dearest and most-cherished friends as she pledged her love, loyalty, and heart to the man of her dreams.

My sweet Sarah got married!

WEDDING4

Here we are pictured with the lovely bride in the atrium of their church directly following our first rehearsal.

The church was absolutely beautiful with the stained glass windows, a tremendous organ, and a long, long, long tiled aisle. Very Sound of Music, if you know what I mean. I kept waiting for someone to start humming a few bars from “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”

WEDDING1

My 3 best friends in this entire world. Without them, I am not fully me. Grateful for their love and investment in me these past 11 years.

WEDDING5

Watching her step into that crisp white dress was something out of a dream.

Isn’t she just stunning? And oh so giddily happy!

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And so were we!!

sksisters

We had plenty of Sigma Kappa representation and had an absolute blast at the reception. Love in the Dove ladies! You all hold my (lavender) heart!

WEDDING3

Great story about the above picture… we are all 3 in our grandmother’s furs. It felt so luxurious, so old Hollywood, and the absolute epitome of glamour.

So, congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. James Rumph! It was an honor to celebrate by your side all weekend, but it is even more of an honor and privilege to be your friends through all of life’s ups and downs.

I love you!

So, thank you for indulging me in a little catch-up time and for forgiving my leave of absence these last 2 weeks.

Can’t wait to see what else 2016 has in store…

#YearofBrave

xoxo…

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12/29/15

52 in 52 Weeks | My Year in Review

Inspired by fellow blogger and style icon Ray at Four Seasons Fabulous, I challenged myself back in January of this year to the “52 in 52 weeks New Years’ challenge”– a mini-bucket list of sorts of things I would like to accomplish this next year.

The goal was to cross one off the list each week of the year.

Items ranged from self-improvement, health & wellness or beauty. Things I wanted to learn, places I wanted to visit, things I wanted to do, or explore. Try a couple of firsts, then try them again! Do some things just for fun or for no reason at all… just because it was on my list! Do some things for others, make a difference, be a force for good.

At the end of the day…. Just be me!

So, here it was. Typed out in Black & White. {I have crossed out and italicized the items I successfully completed this calendar year.}

  1. Read Gone with the Wind. 
  2. Finish counting my 1,000 Gifts journal, challenge from Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts study {I’m a little over halfway there!}
  3. Take a pastry class at Cook’s Warehouse. Always wanted to know how to make the perfect pie crust!
  4. Run in Disney Princess 5K this February. What fun Katie & I will have! Plus, it’s at Disney World. Brings out the inner-Princess in all of us.
  5. Continue to run. (pt 2 of the goal above) Don’t give up! This is more about introducing another activity for life-long fitness.
  6. Visit Fantasyland while at Disney theme parks
  7. Lose weight, feel great, feel confidant. It’s so much more than a number on a scale.
  8. Visit a new state.
  9. Take up knitting… yet again.
  10. Make plans to return to Europe in 2016. Start saving!
  11. Develop good financial plan for myself – have a better grasp of healthy finances & finances that honor God.
  12. Introduce a new food to my diet. Maybe kale or cauliflower. For instance, these last few years, many have been added to the ranks- grits, butternut squash, quinoa, salmon, avocados, etc.
  13. Re-organize my closet.
  14. Donate clothes I am no longer wearing/will not wear.
  15. Get a massage.
  16. Go for a hike on Kennesaw or Stone Mountain.
  17. Go to a yoga class.
  18. Try going vegetarian for a month or so.
  19. Get on Instagram.  
  20. Complete teeth whitening system.
  21. Rock vintage shade of red lipstick.
  22. Plan a weekend away for my sweet girlfriends.
  23. Learn to bake bread
  24. Try a new restaurant every month of the year- 12 new restaurants!
  25. Make effort to blog 3-4 times every week for the entire year.
  26. Buy a DSLR camera
  27. Take up photography- not seriously, just as a hobby.
  28. Unsubscribe to all my junk emails
  29. Get ahead for busy work weeks by prepping food and dinner ideas over the weekend.
  30. Go see a musical at the Fox Theater.
  31. Finish hanging all my artwork in the apartment.
  32. Take a Zumba class.
  33. Give up Coke Zero for a month!
  34. Host a casual dinner party. Or two. Or three.
  35. Collaborate with another blogger this year.
  36. Have daily quiet time
  37. Journal more!
  38. Paint my nails once or twice a month.
  39. Treat myself to regular pedicures in the spring & summertime!
  40. Send 10 notes this year to friends, family, coworkers, girls in small group just because you want to say “hi”, encourage them, offer them advice or solace , or just because.
  41. Pay for a stranger’s order behind me in line
  42. Read a biography. Queen Elizabeth? Abe Lincoln? Audrey Hepburn? I haven’t decided. Suggestions please?
  43. Make it a habit to work-out in morning before work rather than in the evening.
  44. Unplug for one solid period of 24 hours— no phone (only in case of emergency of course), no internet, no facebook, no nothing!
  45. Learn how to tie a tie.
  46. Update to new iPhone.
  47. Start a new blog series (any suggestions of what you would like to read?)
  48. Mail a care package.
  49. Plant herbs.
  50. Increase my daily water intake.
  51. Cut down on amount of TV watched. Limit yourself to 2-3 shows to watch per week.
  52. Visit a holistic healer about my allergies.

So, this truly was the ultimate in accountability. I have had a few of my friends ask me this past week, “How’d you do on that 52 in 52 this year?” I laugh and tell them pretty good, but there are definitely a few items that will have to roll over to 2016.

In fact, a few of the girls in my ladies small group and I met up a few nights ago and went ice skating at Piedmont Park here in Atlanta. And while resting after our “rink time”, one of the girls suggested we all choose one thing we wanted to do or try next year and we would all do it together. So, we have 6-7 new adventures already planned for 2016! And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So, to backtrack to 2015, here are some of my highlights from what is now being called “The List.”

Katie and I ran the Frozen 5K at Walt Disney World back in February of this year and we plan to return this January for the 10K and Half Marathon.

frozen 5k

Any adventure with this one is a good one! And running has been a real challenge for me and I hope to continue getting better & better in the future.

I seriously don’t know how I went so many years without reading this…

gone with the wind

Gone with the Wind is without a doubt one of the greatest American novels of all time. It was an absolute pleasure from cover to cover.

I was immersed in pre and post Civil War South.

I visited 2 new states this year — Missouri & California!

marroon 5

This crazy roomie of mine and I went to Kansas City, MO for a girl’s weekend in April to see Maroon 5 in concert. All I can say is anytime Adam Levine and I are in the same room together- it’s money well spent.

BEVERLY HILLS

Beverly Hills 2

And Beverly Hills & Orange County, CA with these two precious people… what can I say?!? Ridiculous amounts of both work & play and it’s always fun when we are together!

Beverly Hills hotle

Beverly Hills 3

And we all piled in one room at the Beverly Hills Wilshire {Umm hello?!? Pretty Woman!} and that was an experience I will not soon forget!

And not on my “list”, but was certainly a highlight from the year…

CHARLES MARTIN

Mom and I attended a book signing with one of our favorite authors, Charles Martin, and it was such a pleasure to meet him, listen to him speak and share his heart and what he’s been working on. And as an added bonus, he came to my place of business the following week and I hosted he and his boys for lunch and a guided tour.

Thankful for his voice in contemporary fiction! If you have never read anything of his before, you should pick up one of his books right away. They are always deeply moving and touching.

I joined Instagram this year!

IG

Yep, Instaless-Jamie no more! And I have really enjoyed sharing everyday life with my friends, family, and followers. Follow me @jamiek924.

I did successfully try at least 12 new restaurants this calendar year, one per month, if not more. And they are all over the US of A!

But, just maybe I could share a few of my personal favorites for my local Atlanta readers?

Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano 

Wow! Amazingly fresh, classic Italian comfort food served family style. A real treat on the Westside.

Don’t miss the Sicilian Lemon Chicken, their signature dish! But, bring someone along that you love as their portions are huge and can easily feed 2 people. A great crowd-pleasing meal.

BarTaco

An inventive and creative Mexican meal with an amazing outdoor and indoor seating area right in the heart of midtown! Don’t miss their guacamole with salsa verde & chips, their Baja Fish taco, or my absolutely favorite, the grilled corn with lime, cotija cheese, and cayenne pepper. A spicy treat!

Bellina, in Ponce City Market

Ponce City Market is a recent discovery of mine & I am absolutely hooked! It is the heart of the Atlanta retail & culinary scene with purveyors and vendors alike. Where else can you get a hot Hop’s Chicken sandwich, a King of Pops popsicle, and buy a pair of Frye boots?

Come to Ponce!

But, I must say, Bellina is something to experience with its hand selected charcuterie, cheeses, handmade pastas, sauces, and soups. Absolutely delicioso!

Yeah Burger 

I appreciate a really good, honest, well-made hamburger. And when it’s done right, there is nothing I crave more!

My favorite burger in Atlanta is at Yeah Burger in the Virginia Highlands off Highland Ave and I fix it up good with pimento cheese and a savory bacon jam. Absolutely mouth-watering! And their sides? How about Hand-cut kettle chips, fried pickles with spicy ranch dipping sauce, or crispy brussel sprouts topped with goat cheese? Forget about it!

Supper Club 2016 anyone? Sign me up!

Can’t wait to see what 2016 bring our way… many more adventures in store!

xoxo

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