The other night I was at happy hour with some girlfriends and we we're talking about how we met & got together with our husbands/boyfriends when my one girlfriend asked me if i'd written about mine + Taylor's story on the blog yet and I realized that I hadn't! So today I thought it'd be fun to share our crazy little story with y'all!
Our story is crazy indeed and I love it - I smile every time I think about how we got together and how God put each other in our lives and eventually brought us together.
It's a long story to bare with me :)
Let's begin with a little important backstory . . .
During my senior year of high school I had decided to go to this little college up in Idaho and when it came time to move up there, my parents and I packed up all of my things, filled the car and made the 20 something hour drive up to Idaho.
We didn't have a chance to visit the school prior to me going there and so everything I knew about it was based off of what we'd seen online and in pictures . . . well let me just say that the school looked like the pictures for the most part, but the town DID NOT. The town was bad . . . real bad. But I kept a positive attitude, moved my things into my new dorm and met my sweet new roommates. I even remember going out with some of my roommates that first night.
But that next morning, my parents came to my room and told me straight up that they didn't want to leave me there . . . however if I really wanted to stay they would have let me and I would've gone to school there.
Well I didn't go to school there. I chose to go back home and find a new school and figure out my next plan - I just knew in my heart that this wasn't where I was supposed to be.
So with ONE DAY until what was supposed to be my first day of my freshman year of college actually ended up being me and my parents back in the car headed home to Colorado.
I was sad, confused, scared and felt completely lost.
But on our way home we stopped in Missoula, Montana to stay the night since it was a perfect half way point in the drive. I vividly remember that we were at this little hotel and my dad brought in this city map and said, "Hey Em. There is a college here - you want to go and check it out?" And I was like, NOPE!
I was over it. Done. Didn't even want to go and look. I just wanted to go home.
BUT my dad wanted to see it and so I went . . . .
And I'm telling y'all that as soon as I stepped foot onto the University of Montana campus I knew that this was it.
This was where I was supposed to be and my heart new it.
We walked all around the campus that day and I just fell in love with it. Then we looked around at the town and I fell in love with that too. I fell in love with all of it.
Somewhere and somehow we got to talking with someone in admissions and I explained my recent situation and explained that I wanted to go here. Whoever it was that we talked to was an angel - she sent me home and told me to apply to the school as soon as I got home and so I did just that. I'm pretty sure that as soon as we we got home I threw my bags on the floor and I applied to UM.
The next morning I received an email saying that I had been accepted to The University of Montana for the current Fall Semester.
Talk about an amazing blessing and miracle.
I didn't even bother unpacking and one week later we were back on the road headed for Missoula, Montana!
I was assigned to a dorm on the sixth floor of Aber Hall and as soon as we got there we began moving in. I was placed in temporary housing for the first couple weeks that I was there until they found a permanent spot for me.
I could've been placed in any dorm on campus, but this girl on the sixth floor had a roommate that just never showed up and I ended up being placed in her room and we became roommates. That was in 2010.
Here we are, my roommate Elyse & I, at my wedding in 2016
God works in mysterious ways, y'all. It's just so cool.
So anyways . . . one night there was this event happening on the 11th floor and Elyse and I went to check it out. We were sitting at this table when this boy, Taylor, who was one of the RA's in Aber started talking to us and asked me, "where are you from?" and I couldn't hear or understand him to save my life so I said "what?" and this went on for three or so more times until the point came when my roommate, Elyse, looked at him and said "She's from Colorado!"
I couldn't even tell you what was happening on the 11th floor that night, but for whatever reason I've never forgotten that short conversation.
So the year went on and I did my thing - went to class, hung out with friends, did homework, went to football games, etc.
That boy Taylor, the RA, and I became friends. I would always wave to him whenever I'd walk in the building and he'd be at the front desk. Sometimes we'd chat. We'd say hi when we passed each other on campus.
We didn't really hang out, but he was always sweet and I liked talking to him. We were friends.
We began talking a little bit more second semester and became better friends. He asked me to fill in on one of their intramural softball games one time. We would chat over Facebook. I'd go down to the desk and visit him when he got bored.
My friends thought I'd liked him and I denied it over & over again.
By the end of the year we had become good friends.
I made him take this picture with me just a few days before I left, ha!
Freshman Year - 2010
As much as I loved Montana I decided to transfer home to Colorado - it was just too expensive and due to my situation I wasn't able to get a lot of scholarships so I decided to go home.
I'll never forget this next part. Taylor hates this story and I LOVE it.
My parents came to pick me up from Montana and Taylor just happened to be at the desk when we were moving out and I was so excited to introduce him to my parents - apparently I'd told them a lot about him . . . so I introduced my parents to Taylor and all Taylor did was look up, throw up his hand and say "Hi".
I can't even explain how bad it was y'all! I was apalled and I made him come out from behind the desk and say hi to them and I'm almost certain that in that moment he hated me, ha!
And that was my parents first impression of Taylor Baldwin . . . and one of my last impressions of him before leaving.
And that was it. I moved back home to Colorado and Montana was in the past.
Taylor & I texted quite a bit after I left and we continued to talk over the years. He told me how he had liked me that year me but because I was leaving he never did anything about it, however we both wished we had since we realized at that point that we both had liked each. But what could we do now? That opportunity had passed.
. . .
3 or so years later I decided to go to a school in Minnesota and so in December of 2013 I got a plane and was headed to Minneapolis. As soon as I landed in Minneapolis I opened my phone to a snapchat from Taylor that said "layover at MSP . . . " and all I could think was "no way . . . "
Almost 4 years later and here Taylor & I were in the same place at the same time. How is that possible?
Before I even had time to think about it, I called him up and asked if he was still at the airport and he said he was. So I grabbed my things and told him to stay where he was and that I'd be there in a few minutes.
Our gates could not have been further apart . . . I walked, and walked and then walked some more and then there he was . . . 4 years later and there was Taylor Baldwin.
We hugged and chatted for a few short minutes and then we even made sure to take a picture, because this was monumental y'all!
Our visit was short and sweet. We said goodbye and then I left and headed off to school in Winona.
We ran into each other at the airport in December and then the fall semester had just begun at Winona. Taylor & I had started talking more and we were actually talking a lot at this point. Texting almost everyday. I had been asking him to Skype for the last four years and we just never did, but then this time he wanted to. So we Skyped for the first time and we talked for forever - and then we skyped again later that night because the couple of hours that we had talked earlier in the day just weren't enough - that night he asked me if I'd like it if he came to visit me . . . and I of course said yes :)
So in November of 2014 Taylor flew out to Minnesota for the weekend to visit me . . .
. . . and we were so happy!
The weekend passed by so fast and it simply confirmed that we totally adored each other - for whatever reason, we met 4 years earlier and something sparked in us and it never really faded.
So on the last day that Taylor was in town we sat at a coffeeshop and we talked about what we should do . . . do we date? do you we try this long distance thing when this is the first time we've really seen each other in 4 years? Or do we just stay friends and leave it at that?
Well we decided to just be friends - it seemed easier that way and so that's what we did. He kissed me goodbye and he left and I immediately went and saw my friends. Thay all asked me if I was crazy and what I was thinking letting him leave that way . . .
Later that night once he got back home Taylor called me and laid his heart on the line for me - I'm not going to share it all, but he really told me right then and there that I was the one for him, that we were meant to be together and that he wanted to be with me - nothing else mattered, we could figure out the rest and all that mattered was being together.
It was then and there at midnight or possibly later and over the phone that we decided to start dating.
. . . .
Taylor was living in Florida at the time because he was in grad school there and so over the year we each flew back and fourth between Florida and Minnesota so that we could see each other.
That year he came home to Colorado with me and we spent Christmas & New Years Together
- New Years Eve -
That summer Taylor proposed . . . .
And I said YES!
. . . And we got married a little over a year later in September 2016
And that's our story!
Our story is crazy, but I love it so much. Now that I've written this and had time to reflect on how we met I am simply awestruck at how everything happened and how God brought us together in his timing. Taylor & I were chatting last night and we both said that had I stayed in Montana and we dated that next year, we don't think we would still be together. And of course that is just our assumption, but I believe that God introduced us when he did and he brought us together when he knew that our hearts were ready.
I have always loved our story - it's my favorite one to tell and as I was sitting here writing this yesterday I realized all of the sudden that it was 2 years ago yesterday that Taylor came to visit me in Minnesota and we started dating . . .
What are the chances that my friend would tell me to write about our story on the blog this week - the same week that Taylor & I started dating just 2 years ago . . . .
All I can say is that God works in mysterious ways.
Happy Friday, friends!
Happy MONDAY friends!
Why is it that the weekend always flies by? It often feels as though it's over before it's even begun . . . but, regardless of how fast it goes, I love it none the less. And I'm grateful for it too, which leads me into this . . .
I am grateful everyday for a lot of things - even with all of the hardships that life can offer, the blessings far outweigh any number of obstacles that life can throw my way.
Growing up, my parents we're always quick to remind me that whatever it was in my life that had me down or had me upset, they helped me to find all of the things that we're good - they taught me gratitude.
And so with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I thought what better time than now to reflect on the things that we're most grateful for and to do that I've decided to do something a little fun . . .
- A 4 Week Journey of Gratitude -
Over the next four weeks my hope it that together we can reflect on the things that we're most grateful for and how to seek out gratitude & thanksgiving even in the face of fear, worry, struggles and trials.
And with that being said, I have dedicated this week to my husband Taylor and our families, because there isn't a day that goes by that I am not 100% grateful for them.
Meet my precious family . . .
There is nothing more precious in this life than the people in these pictures - everyday I feel so abundantly blessed that we get to call these people our family.
These are the ones that helped make us the people we are today - they raised us, grew up with us and loved on us since the beginning.
We share in each others fears, hard times, failures and struggles and we share in each others joys, successes, celebrations and happiness.
We go through life together. Everyday.
As I'm sitting here writing this I am grateful - Grateful for the things that our families do for us everyday, but in these past few months I have felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude toward these people.
I'm grateful for parents who buy us Thanksgiving dinner, because we can't make it home to spend it with them.
I'm grateful for siblings who give up their Christmas presents so that instead they can bring us home for Christmas, because that is more important than presents ever will be.
I'm grateful for parents who spend their money to help us get by when we don't feel like we can.
I'm grateful for siblings who sit on the phone and listen as we call them in tears.
And i'm grateful for siblings who call us and put the little ones on the phone just so we can hear their sweet voices and tell them that Uncle Tay & Untie Em love them.
I'm grateful for it all.
I don't know what we did or why we deserve to be loved so well by so many people, but we are and it amazes me every single day.
Life moves so fast and we so easily get caught up in the day to day craziness that we forget to acknowledge how blessed we truly are. We don't have everything, not even close, but we are surrounded by love and it's enough.
We don't live close to any of our family, and perhaps that is why I feel so much gratitude towards them because we don't get to see them everyday. Whatever it is, I am thankful for the gift of gratitude and for the ability to appreciate and cherish the people who have loved, and continue to love us so well.
My hope is that you are surrounded by love and that you surround others with love, because there really is no greater gift than to be loved by someone.
And speaking of love - my husband, Taylor, loves me so well & that is something that i'm grateful for everyday. I know I talk about him a lot on this blog and I've mentioned so many times how grateful and blessed I am by him. He is my everything to me - I can't imagine a better person to do this life with.
You know what Taylor said to me on our way home yesterday? We were talking about Thanksgiving and he said to me, you know I was thinking that we should take our Thanksgiving leftovers, put them in tupper wear, add a fork & a knife and then hand them out to the homeless people on the street . . . I'm telling you guys that my heart almost burst out my chest.
That's his heart - he has the sweetest, kindest, loving & most pure heart.
I'm grateful for a lot of things about my husband. He does our dishes. Our laundry, He helps clean the house. He spends two hours in 90 degree weather while wearing a flannel & jeans so that we can take our Christmas photos. He went to Church with my every Sunday since the day we started dating although he hadn't gone before. He commits to do a 6 week marriage course with me. He lets me watch a Hallmark movie even though a football game is on.
I will often talk about Taylor with friends, co - workers, etc. and the thing I hear most often is, wow he does that? I wish my husband did that . . . Taylor loves me BIG and he makes me feel special everyday even when he doesn't realize it.
His heart is just so full of love and just thinking about it brings me to tears, because he really is so special. And as much as I love everything about him and am grateful for all that he does, I am especially grateful for his heart. He shows me everyday, even multiple times a day, how to love others better and how to find and embrace the good in everything.
If I say something negative, he is the first one to jump in and call me out and tell me to change my way of thinking. If i'm down, he picks me right back up and shows me how I'm blessed. When i'm scared, he comforts me and shows me that it's going to be okay.
I know that I don't express my gratitude for him enough - and this is part of my goal in this challenge, to help us realize and recognize those people and things that we are so grateful for and to show that gratitude to them in whatever way is possible.
Even the littlest gestures can make a difference - As I wrap up this post, I'm thinking of ways that I can express my gratitude to all of these people that I've just talked about - they have done so much for me and now it's my turn to humbly show them how appreciated, love and cherished they are by me and I challenge you to do the same.
Comment below and share who you are grateful for!
Be grateful my friends.
- XO -
Hello & Happy Friday!
Today, I want to talk about music . . . music has always been really special to me. My dad was the same way - music just spoke to him, like it does me.
While in Church growing up, I would listen and hear what was being said, but the music was always what spoke to me most and and I'm still that way.
The other night, Taylor & I were at a high school football game and after halftime right before the boys were going to run out onto the field, the song The Boys of Fall by Kenny Chesney began to play - it was playing while the boys we're chanting in a huddle and while the smoke blew out of the tunnel - they ran out and began warming up, the cheerleaders were getting ready to go and coaches were making their way to the field all in the midst of this song. I just looked around at all of the different things happening around me and listened to the song and took in the whole moment - for whatever reason, it almost brought tears to my eyes. There is just something about stopping and just taking a few minutes to embrace all that is around you and completely take in those few moments in time.
After the song was over, I asked Taylor if he thought that the whole moment was as cool as I thought it was and he didn't say that it wasn't cool, he simply just didn't think it was anything special, or even a moment as I would call it - he, probably like a lot of people, didn't even acknowledge the moment. I don't know why I, or my dad, love music like we do or why is affects us the way that it does - all I know is that it speaks to my heart.
Have you ever heard the song Life's A Dance by John Michael Montgomery? If you haven't than you should, i'll even post it below so you can take a listen. I've heard this song so many times, I know the words and can sing along to the whole thing. I love the lyrics and you'll see why . . .
The longer I live the more I believe
You do have to give if you wanna receive.
There's a time to listen, a time to talk.
And you might have to crawl even after you walk.
Had sure things blow up in my face,
Seen the longshot win the race.
Been knocked down by the slammin' door.
Picked myself up and came back for more.
Life's a dance, you learn as you go.
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don't worry 'bout what you don't know,
life's a dance, you learn as you go.
Like I said, I know this song, I've listened to it for years & years - but about a month after our move to Austin it came on the radio and I really listened to the words and I was amazed at how true those words were to our current situation.
You see, Taylor & I did really well for ourselves last year. We both had really good jobs and for only being 25 & 26 years old, we felt like we we're doing pretty darn good at this thing called life.
And then we quit those jobs, packed up all of our things, moved across the country, depleted our savings, Taylor began school full time and we both got part-time jobs . . . .
To say that our life did a complete 360 would be an understatement
While I listened to that song, Life's A Dance, I heard the words you might have to crawl even after you walk . . . and I just sat there in complete awe - I felt as though he was speaking directly to me.
Last year we walked, and at the time it felt as though we ran, but now here we are just trying to get on all fours and crawl.
Our life has changed and for a while I'd been bummed out and just wished that we could be back in the same place that we were in last year, but we can't - at least not right now and that is okay.
I have learned that it is okay to crawl after you walk and instead of dwelling in the past, we have to learn how embrace this new chapter of life, because life is about embracing the imperfect and embracing the things that you can't change - at least for right now.
Taylor is in an great PT program, he loves his job and I love my job. We're really happy and in the end that isn't that all that matters?
The other night we drank a bottle of wine that cost $3.98 and we laughed because we actually really liked it - that, my friends, is what life's about.
Money is really nice to have, it allows you to do a lot of things, but money won't buy you happiness and you can be happy knowing that the most important things in life don't come from money.
One day Taylor & I will be back to where we want to be, but that day isn't today and it may not be for a while. But if this change in our life has done anything to us, it has given us time to think about our goals and allow us to start dreaming BIG dreams.
If you're not where you want to be, don't dwell in the disappointment and struggles - be thankful for the blessings that you do have, work hard to get where you want to be and don't ever forget that . . .
Life's a dance, you learn as you go.
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don't worry bout what you don't know.
Life's a dance, you learn as you go.
. . .
Keep on dancing my friends
- XO -
Life's A Dance by John Michael Montgomery
Have you ever thought about who inspires you?
The other day Taylor & I were talking and out of the blue, I asked him - who inspires you?
I don't really know why it was on my mind or what prompted the question, but I loved that we talked about it.
And so, Taylor & I chatted about those people that inspire us. The ones that make us want to be better, live better and love better.
Today I thought it'd be fun to share with you who inspires us and maybe, just maybe they'll go on to inspire you too.
Sit back, relax & enjoy!
First and foremost, my parents. I was incredibly blessed when it comes to my mama & daddy - growing up, my mom was always home when we were. She was at every school function, she helped with homework, she taught me to pray, she loved me BIG - She was everything you could wish for in a Mom and more. All of our life people would ask what we wanted to be when we grew up . . . I wanted to be a singer, an actress, astronaut, meteorologist, fashion designer and wedding planner, but there was nothing more that I wanted to be than a stay at home mom, just like my mom. Still to this day my greatest desire is to be a mom - a stay at home mom and I can thank my mom for igniting that spark in me and showing me the value and beauty of motherhood.
My dad. My dad is by far the hardest working man I know - He worked every day, but never missed an event of ours whether it was a tennis match, choir concert, football game, 6th grade play - he was there for it all. Something that I won't soon forget. Family always came first for him.
No matter how exhausted he was from work, he always put my mom and us ahead of himself. Talk about a selfless and humble man - he would do the laundry, the dishes, help with our homework, be at parent teacher conferences, play in the snow with us and was always there for us.
My dad never had the opportunity to go to college - he worked as a Fedex Courier for most of his career, but a few years back he had the desire to earn his college degree and so while working full time, raising 4 kids and maintaining a marriage, he decided to go back to school . . . This past June he graduated from the New England College of Business with his Bachelors Degree.
My dad was just a few years shy of retirement at this point, he didn't need a degree, but he wanted one - I remember he once told me that somebody can take everything away from you, but the one thing that they can never take is your education.
To watch my dad cross that stage and receive his diploma at over 50 years old was by far one of the most inspiring moments of my life - you can give me all the inspiration books, quotes, cd's and talks you want but nothing will ever top that moment.
As I sit here writing this all I feel is grateful - grateful that God blessed me with these two people who showed me how to seek out the meaning and beauty in this crazy life.
Whew! Alright . . . if you know me than you know that I love to follow bloggers - I love following their lives and I'm constantly inspired by how others live their life. One of my favorite bloggers is . . . Mix & Match Mama.
I love Mrs. Shay Shull and her darling family!
Meet the Shull's!
One of the first things I do in the morning is read my blogs - it's like reading the newspaper for me and I love it. This is one of the blogs that I read every morning. With all of the negativity in the world, Shay is like a breath of fresh air. I have come to adore her blog - she invites you into her life and you can't help but to just fall in love with her precious family.
Aside from her having a darling family, fun ideas, cute clothes, yummy recipes & fun giveaways - there is so much more that draws me to her blog & her life. Funny as it may sound, she is one person that I am undoubtably inspired by.
She has a profound and true love for God and she isn't afraid to share it. It seems to me that these days God is simply just pushed out of our lives - he isn't talked about and as disheartening as it is, it feels as though Christianity has become something to be frowned upon these days . . . especially in the eyes of celebrities, the media or simply anyone that has some sort of platform and voice.
Shay's love for God shines through her and her family and that is really inspiring to me. Every morning when I read her blog, I leave feeling inspired, whether it be about God, fashion, a new recipe, fun ideas and just hoping that I win her next Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway - fingers crossed ;)
I love Mix & Match Mama for so many reasons - check out her blog and I'll be that you'll leave feeling inspired.
Mix & Match Mama Blog
Mix & Match Mama Instagram
Mix & Match Mama Facebook
Alright . . . I know that this isn't going to surprise any of y'all and that's okay - Chip & Joanna Gaines. I am constantly inspired by these two . . . like many people I am inspired by Joanna's talent, her eye for detail, Chips laid back attitude and their goofy, loving relationship. Those things are something to be desired - but more so than that I am inspired by their hearts, their values, their fierce love and commitment to each other, their commitment and love for their kids, their humility & gracious hearts and their strong desire to serve God and share his love and message with the world.
I have always been wildly inspired by people who completely let go of their life and leave it in the hands of God - these two did just that and they are the living, breathing example of what happens when you put God in the driver seat. God's plans for us our so much greater than our wildest, craziest and biggest dreams . . . think about that - Joanna wanted to have a home decor store and she did - The Little Shop on Bosque. After a couple years, she heard God tell her that is was time to close the shop and raise her babies - and although it felt as though she was shutting down her dream, she did it anyways, because she knew that this was God's plan for her - God has something bigger and better in store for her, something that neither her or Chip could have ever dreamt about.
Most of you know where this story goes - That Little Shop of Bosque turned into the Magnolia Silos, a place that 30,000 people come to visit EVERY WEEK.
- Let God lead the way & watch what happens -
I also want to talk about Chips book real quick, because if you're looking for inspiration this is it. This is by far one of the best books I've ever read and I would highly recommend it - Chips words cut straight to the heart and you finish the book with a new outlook on life. Chip sees the world in a way that is so special and it's truly something to strive for.
I was deeply inspired by his book - his outlook on life, his love for his wife and kids, his faith in God, his desire to keep going when times get tough and his fearless, optimistic outlook on life are all together inspiring.
You can read my thoughts on his book here and you can order the book here!
. . .
I also wanted to post Joanna's testimony here, because out of all the things that these two have done - this is one that I have been the most inspired by and I hope that you are as well.
Taylor. My sweet husband. There are so many things that I love about him – but one thing that has always stood out to me is his ability to see the good in everything, whether it be people, a situation or life in general. I notice him doing it daily and it’s a quality that I strive for and am inspired by time & time again.
I feel like I am always so quick to judge and make assumptions, while Taylor doesn’t – he thinks bigger than that and even in the messiest situation or scariest person, Taylor seeks out the good. He reminds me daily of how we are seen in God’s eyes – we aren’t perfect, but God chooses to see the good in us. How amazing is that? I pray everyday that God continues to work in my heart and that one day I, like my husband, choose to seek out what is good.
On another note – Taylor is passionate and just seeing him talk about his goals, his job, & career, leadership, friends, family, us and our future is completely awe inspiring. When he drives to & from work, instead of listening to music he is listening to podcasts and being inspired, challenged and driven to reach for his goals. He takes up leadership roles at school and work, because he loves being a leader and he is good at it. People look up to him in so many aspects of his life, including me – He loves his friends, family and me fiercely. He values relationships and he is give 120% in whatever it is that he does. He tells me daily how inspired he is by these people that he follows and that he hopes to be like that one day . . . what he doesn’t realize is that he is already doing that – it may not be in the form of a podcast, blog or at a conference with 10,000 people, but he is doing it in the lives of those closest to him.
I find inspiration everyday through my husband and my goodness, what a blessing that is.
That’s it friends – all of these people inspire me daily. I read a lot of blogs, follow a lot of people on social media and am surrounded by friends & family – I am inspired by so many people and I wanted to compile a short list of others that I am inspired by, because my hope is that you’ll be inspired by some of these people just as I have been.
- Carrie Zimmer –
Carrie is a photographer in Arizona and her Instagram page is by far my favorite to follow. To start, her family is absolutely precious, her photography is beautiful and dreamy, but her words are what bring me back time and time again. She often posts a picture and will have a lengthy caption to go with it, She is mama to 3 girls and a wife to her husband – marriage & motherhood are bound to bring you trials and triumphs and Carrie loves to share about both of those things - I don’t even know her personally and I can tell you that she has a heart of gold. It shines through her and her family and it really is something to beautiful to witness.
Mrs. Carrie Zimmer inspired my marriage blog with her #marriagemonday posts.
Go & give her a follow here!
- Jefferson & Alyssa Bethke –
Okay this is sort of a recent thing, but in the past couple of months I have totally come to adore these two and their family. Jefferson & Alyssa are the sweetest couple that has created a marriage course to help others succeed at marriage. The joy that comes from these two will just make your heart burst – without even intentionally doing so; they show me daily what little things I can do to make a difference in my marriage. Simple things like the way that they interact and treat each other is inspiring to me – I think to myself, what can I do to make Taylor even more happy and joyful? What things can I do to make him feel loved, honored, appreciated, cherished and adored?
They have a new book out called Love That Lasts – I haven’t read it yet, but I’m hoping to soon and while I can’t give a review, I’ve heard so many good things about it so go & buy it now!
Follow Jefferson here & Alyssa here!
- Kirk Cameron –
Speaking of marriage . . . Kirk Cameron has been a pretty regular form on inspiration in both Taylor’s life & mine recently. For those who don’t know, Taylor & I recently completed a six-week marriage course (which you can purchase here) by Kirk Cameron and his wife, Chelsea. The class really changed our life and I am just beyond grateful for that – I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but you can read any of my 7 marriage course posts below:
Lesson 6 & Reflection
- Our Families –
And finally – I couldn’t finish off this post without talking a little bit about our families, because in all honesty, they are some of the ones that inspire us most. Both mine and Taylor’s siblings are amazing – each one of them have worked so hard to get where they are today. It doesn’t get more inspiring than that – I think I can speak for both Taylor & I when we say that we couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve all accomplished and how they they’ve created these beautiful lives.
And of course our parents – our parents are the ones who built us up and helped form us into the person that we were meant to be – they’re the ones who inspired us growing up and taught us things like the value of hard work, loving your family first, how to play baseball and how to love your siblings, because one day they will be our best friends.
I am so grateful to my parents, and Taylor’s parents, for being such extraordinary examples of inspiration and teaching us how to live this life full of love and gratitude.
- XO -
I've been meaning to do this post for a while and I'm so excited, because I've decided that TODAY is the day!
Every once in a while I love doing a 'life lately' post that lets you in on our life and I get to tell you a little bit about what we've been up to aka our life lately - So today I'm sharing all about our first couple months in Austin . . . our first months of being official Texans . . . And I'm going to start by saying that we love Texas!
I've learned a couple of things in my short two months here:
1. Texas is HUGE . . . I mean, y'all, half of our drive here was within the state of Texas, which was just utterly and completely mind blowing.
2. Texas (I can only speak for Austin) has SO MUCH FOOD - We've had a few visitors already since moving here and the one thing I say over and over again is that there is so much food here . . . Taylor & I have a list the size of Santa's Christmas List of restaurants that we want to go to.
3. Trees, Trees & more Trees . . . again, I can only speak for Austin here, but um hello TREES . . . One of Taylor's concerns moving here was that he was going to miss the all of the trees and the green, well that won't be a problem - We've agreed that we think there are more trees here than in Seattle. So crazy and unexpected!
4. People are so nice here. They talk to you like you're family and they would simply give you the shirt off their back. I''ve lived in quite a few places and I've encountered a lot of nice people, but nothing like here. This place is special - perhaps that is why I have come to love it so much.
Now that I have that out of the way . . . on with our life lately!
One of our first days here we wandered around the streets of downtown - we visited the famous 6th Street, Congress Avenue & South Congress. So many cool things to see and not to mention that downtown Austin is so pretty!
Austin is also home to A LOT of fun murals - this one ( I love you so much ) was located down on South Congress
( 1300 S. Congress )
You could spend a whole day just jumping around to all of the murals around here - I've compiled some of my favorites & their locations - A definitive must for any visit to Austin!
Let me introduce you to my sweet friend, Aleysha! We met through our husbands who are in the same Physical Therapy program here and she has become a total & complete blessing . . . Taylor's PT program is demanding and it takes up a lot of time so it's great to have a girlfriend to hang out with and go through the experience with. Our guys are in class this weekend and its this girl and myself against the world every other weekend for the next 4 years ha!
These are my people - Aleysha & her husband Derek.
This night we went COUNTRY DANCING and I loved it . . . however, Taylor & Derek weren't too keen on it. I think it grew on Taylor a little bit - we took some lessons and learned how to do the Two - Step . . . I have a feeling we'll be back at it again soon!
This was at Mavericks Dance Hall and it was so fun!!
Okay I'm gonna bet that most of you won't know who this is, but you should . . . This is Suzy Bogguss and if you know me than you know that when other kids were listening to Nsync, Brittany Spears, etc. I was listening to 90's country, aka SUZY BOGGUSS!
She is one of my all time favorite singers - Taylor always laughs at this story from when I was a kid . . . I used to sit at the top of the stairs of our old house and I would just play her CD over & over again on my boombox . . . y'all, I loved her so much and she is still a favorite of mine to this day.
Anyways - one of the first days that we were in Austin we were walking around downtown with my parents and my dad stops in his tracks and tells me to look over at the theatre and when I did, I just about died . . . Suzy Bogguss was playing a show that month. I looked at Taylor and was like, UM WE HAVE TO GO!
So Taylor being the best husband ever bought us tickets for our anniversary and I'm not even kidding when I say that it was one of my favorite concerts EVER. There must have been less than a hundred people in the theatre and it was just Suzy Bogguss and two members from her band on stage. It was so personable and intimate - I loved it.
And the best part? She came out to the lobby after the show and we we're able to meet her, take a picture and get two signed CD's. I'm giddy just thinking about it again.
BEST. NIGHT. EVER.
I've posted one of my favorite songs of hers - take a listen!
Aces - Suzy Bogguss
Over Labor Day we went down to the river and went Kayaking which was SO FUN! I think it was only 20 dollars or so for both of us and a 2 hour rental - so fun!
We've checked out some cool bars and this one quickly became a favorite of mine - It's called Moontower Saloon, the atmosphere was too cool, plus there is this super cute mural outside of the bar. It's a big outside bar with lights strung all over, picnic tables, bonfire pits, corn hole, volleyball courts and live music. I mean how fun is that!?
A couple weekends ago we took a weekend trip up to Waco, Texas for the Magnolia Silobration! My parents and Taylor's mom all came down for the trip and it was SO FUN!
You can read about our whole Silobration Weekend here ;)
We've heard all of this talk about the Texas State Fair and so of course we had to do it . . . although I have to be honest with y'all - I don't think we did it well at all . . .
We decided that since we were already half of the way to Dallas from Waco we might as well go to the fair following the Silobration, and I think that was our first mistake.
All of us had been exhausted and worn out from the weekend, plus we were with our parents who we're already worn out and we didn't plan AT ALL.
I looked up the fair after we went and realized that we missed a lot of it . . . so next year we may have to try again and I need your recommendations, so Texas fair goers, please share your fair wisdom - we need it!
The other night we wanted to go to a high school football game - there is this high school just a couple miles from our house so we went to check it out and we loved it. I mentioned earlier that people here are so nice, and the people at this game might have been the nicest people I've ever interacted with. We're headed back Friday for another game!
I'd like to introduce you to my co-workers aka The Sanderson Sisters.
When you get to dress up as Hocus Pocus at work you know you have a good job.
Oh and speaking of the Holiday's . . . we began decorating our house for CHRISTMAS on Wednesday!!!
We turned on the Christmas music, hung the lights, put up our stockings and put our Christmas village up. It may be 85 degrees here, but that isn't stopping me from getting in the Christmas spirit.
I'm telling you that if we didn't insist on getting a real tree, we would have one up this very minute.
- Current Mood -
And that's our life lately!
I've compiled a short list of some of our favorite Austin & Texas things to do, places to eat, etc.
Things to Do
Walk around downtown Georgetown
Shop & Walk around The Domain
Kayaking / Paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake
Places to Eat
Rainey Street Bars
- XO -
I'm Emilee. 26. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
S O C I A L