words for my birthday

I'm 24 today. I was thinking about what I hoped for and who I hoped to become during a twenty fifth year of life [other than my ongoing obsession passion for becoming a floral designer].

And then I developed a little writer's block. Thankfully, I am a self-professed over-pinner and tend to geek out over a well-written quote. There's proof of that.

// Loving Jesus //

// Living Life //
// Links here! //

Hope you feel inspired and slightly cheesy. Happy Last Day of January!


cinnamon almond granola

This is a big day, y'all. I finally made granola that I really liked and that I didn't burn.


I kept it simple with two of my favorite things - cinnamon and almonds - and wanted to share!

Cinnamon Almond Granola

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup wheat germ [optional]
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt [unless you are using almonds that are plenty salty]
  • 6 tablespoons oil [I used canola]
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cups almonds [I chopped 3/4 of mine and left 1/4 whole]
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Combine oats, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt
  3. In a separate bowl, combine oil, honey, sugar, and almond extract
  4. Combine the honey and sugar mixture with the oat mixture until well coated [I like to leave some clumps]
  5. Spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes
  6. Stir and flip the granola and add the almonds
  7. Bake for another 10 minutes, watching closely and stirring once more half way through the cook time
I keep it in a big sealed Pyrex container. It's breakfast. It's a snack. It's dinner. It's awesome. Hope you enjoy!


a pre-baby dinner party

I admit that the pumpkins and leaves will look very much out of place now that we are in the middle of January, but I couldn't let this go undocumented. Especially since it was one of my favorite nights since, well, ever and spent celebrating one of my favorite people ever!

The weekend before Thanksgiving, it just so happened that all of my best hometown girls and myself would be home and able to host what we called a pre-baby dinner party for Abigail and Baby A. Now I am the first to realize that this style of baby shower is not always doable. Sometimes you have to invite 75 of your mom's friends to bring you diapers and swaddling blankets because they have known you since you yourself were in diapers and swaddling blankets. And even though I love a good classic shower, this night worked perfectly for us.

We kept it small and intimate and as simple as possible - just mom's and daughters and a couple extra important loved ones in Abs' life [we missed you Cheryl and Tay]. And because our honoree resides far north of the Mason-Dixon, we wanted to make sure she got her fill of Southern comfort food.

Once everyone filled Mom's kitchen and keeping room, we drank sweet tea and devoured Hannah's ridiculous baked brie and set the table and buttered rolls. We took turns admiring Mom's chicken-frying skills and filled the buffet with our potluck contributions.

And once we had tucked ourselves around the table, we found time for those priceless life updates, for re-telling our favorite stories, and for hearing new ones that are sure to be added to that list. There was time for seconds, dessert [and seconds on dessert], sweet little baby gifts and pictures with more out takes than not. And though there was no baby bingo, I like to think that Baby A was properly celebrated in between bites of fried chicken and in the murmur of conversations heard from the kitchen while clearing plates. Which, I will always remember, were promptly interrupted by a fit of laughter. It was probably something Hannah said.

Please excuse the poor quality of these last few photos. I did something funny to my camera settings as I'm still learning to speak Canon. The quality of people that I got to share the photos with exceedingly makes up for it.

Congrats to Abs and Ben and the whole Willson family! And hurry up, Baby Anderson, we can't wait to welcome you into this loud and loving clan!


a whirlwind wedding weekend

After we got our full brain function back from our wonderfully exhausting weekend in Providence, D and I joked that this must be what it's like to take a quick weekend trip to Vegas. Sans the hard partying, I guess. And there was no gambling to speak of. Except who thought Chris would combust first from pure joy of having so many loved ones in one place.

With so many Baton Rouge friends making the trip to Rhode Island, the wedding being in the hotel where everyone stayed could not have been more perfect. It made the weekend seem mercifully long, providing time for all of those conversations you never seem to have over the phone or email. It provided time for getting updates on how daily life has changed since we last laid eyes on them and for talking about how it's expected to change in the future. Which it always does, as we've all learned.

What I've learned from weekends like this, and what I hope I always remember, is that they are always worth the time and the expense to go. Especially after moving, that time to be with those that have been such a sweet part of our lives is priceless. And any effort to stay in contact with them and to let them know that we are not only interested in their lives when we live within driving distance is worth it.

We spent the weekend either bundled up to face the snowy streets of Providence or nestled around various tables engaged in four or five conversations at once or celebrating the union of our dear Chris to his new bride. There was even a little time to sneak in a meeting Mandy who asked that I coordinate her wedding in March [which I could NOT be more excited about].

And after everyone headed home on Sunday morning, D and I explored beautiful Providence and hoped to blend in with all the cool Brown students on campus. I don't think we succeeded. It was probably the camera.

Cheers to Chris and Hannah on their new marriage! You're going to love it. And thanks to everyone we got to spend the weekend with. It truly was priceless!



With a whirlwind of a weekend immediately following the new year, I'm setting a few resolutions a week late. I'd gladly trade one of 2013's fifty two weeks of [hopefully] healthy habits for our quick New England trip that we drug ourselves home from early this morning. But more on that later.

1) Read more regularly. I certainly love to read, but currently at a sporadic pace with no habit of always picking up a book before bed or any other time. Currently on the list:

-Creative, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Cho

-When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey [a yearly re-read]

-Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist [when it fiiiiinally comes out]

-George and Laura: A Portrait of an American Marriage by Christopher Andersen [almost finished!]

-So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore [since I've been meaning to read it for the last three years]

2) Make the bed everyday. Not most days, but everyday. Along with that, there's hope to follow a quick daily cleaning schedule and seriously declutter.

3) Be more intentional with encouragement whether it is in the form of a note, a gift, a text, or simply using my words more intentionally and in the moment.

4) Get involved in our new church. We think we may have finally found a new church home in SC. I should say The Lord has graciously provide one for us!

5) Have no addictions but Jesus. I'm looking at you, carbs and sugar.

6) Continue to pursue these career dreams of mine.

Happy 2013 fellow bloggers and blog readers! It's going to be a great year.