Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Talk Tuesday: What's On Your Fall Bucket List?

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." 
 - F. Scott Fitzgerald

The temperatures have finally started to drop here in the south (praise Jesus), and fall is making it's way into the air. It was a crisp 62 degrees while I was sipping my pumpkin spice coffee on our front porch this morning, and I had to put on one of my coziest sweaters to keep comfortable from the cool breeze….but I didn't mind it one bit. 

I was made for fall. There are so many things I love about this wonderful season…the smell of mulled cider and the taste of a baked apple pie, the flickering of candles at night while the fire crackles to keep our toes warm, curling up on the couch with a cup of warm tea and a heavy blanket, the comfort of a big bowl of soup, pumpkins lining the doorsteps outside, the beauty of the leaves, and the beginning of the holidays.

These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think about fall in all of its glory. The coziness of the season just makes my heart smile, and every year, I want to make sure that I soak up all the fall feels. I always make a fall to do list, and although I typically never get around to doing all of them, it's nice to have a running list to help me keep track of all the fun things I want to do during this wonderful season. Here's a few things I have in mind this season -

- go on a fall hike
- visit a pumpkin patch
- make apple cider
- roast s'mores over an open fire
- sip on some fall sangria 
- bake a pie 
- make homemade bread
- try out a new soup or stew recipe
- hang your herbs to dry
- carve pumpkins
- go on a hayride
- go apple picking
- make your own beeswax candles
- volunteer at a food pantry
- go camping
- roast pumpkin seeds
- host a chili cook off 
- decorate with pumpkins and mums
- visit a fall festival
- go camping
- have a Halloween movie marathon
- make pumpkin bread, or anything pumpkin

What's on your fall bucket list?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Favorites

A quiet hotel room, cozy bed, reading my fertility book, and journaling my thoughts. 

Traveling with Chris this week has been so relaxing. While he's been on meetings, I've had time to myself with no home distractions - like laundry, errands, or doctor's appointments. It's just been me and the hotel room… and it's been really nice.

"The 3 C's in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change."

I made a pretty big life change recently, and although it was a hard choice.. I'm so glad I took the chance. 

For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board, Words to Love.

The perfect striped tee for fall layering - plus it's under $20! 

An affordable moto jacket for fall. I was super impressed with the jacket once I saw it in person, and I think it will be a great fall staple.

The coziest sweater for fall - it comes in four colors and is under $40!

simple and elegant table set up that makes me want to throw a dinner party for family and friends.

These wings that look delicious, but are also on the healthier side. I think they will be the perfect game day snack for football Saturdays.

I'm absolutely loving this old hutch - especially paired with all white dishes. Swoon.

In case you missed it, I shared the hardest decision I've ever had to make for Talk Tuesday this week!

How To Plan the Perfect Staycation was a great read, especially since having our own staycation in Nashville is on my 30 before 30 list.

Happy Friday, friends! I want to say thank you for all the sweet messages I have received after Tuesday's post - your encouragement seriously means the world to me!! We are in Louisville, Kentucky this week for one of Chris's business trips, and tonight we are heading to the Lumineers concert. When I saw that they were playing in Louisville, I knew I had to get tickets - they are Chris's favorite band! I hope you all have a lovely weekend. As always, thanks so much for reading. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Plaid for Fall

It's finally here! The first official day of fall, and I'm so glad.. or plaid I guess you could say - see what I did there?! Haha. That's all the jokes I've got for today, folks. But seriously...I'm pumped that my favorite season is officially here. Now if only mother nature would get the memo!!

We are still sweating down here in the south, with 90 degree temps and humidity for dayyys... but I just know we will turn a corner soon (right???). I'm so ready for cool days and that crisp, fall air. Until then, I can still dress for fall and stay cool in this Madewell Plaid Tunic Dress.

Plaid is one of my favorite patterns to wear in the fall, and Madewell never disappoints with their plaid options (I love this shirt and this scarf). In fact, they never disappoint with anything. If I had to pick only one store to shop at for the rest of my life, it would be Madewell.

I love the fit and style of all of their clothes, with this dress being a great example - simple, classic, comfortable. Paired with my favorite lace up flats (which is also a big trend for fall), it made for the perfect casual outfit for an afternoon in the city.

If you had to pick only one store to shop at for the rest of your life, which one would it be??

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Talk Tuesday: The Hardest Decision I've Ever Had to Make

"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same."

I really don't even know how to start writing this post. I came to my favorite coffee shop to write it - in hopes of no distractions at home and because for some reason, I think coffee helps my writing skills.  But I'm on my second cup now and have been staring at the cursor for at least half an hour.

This is a hard post to write for several reasons...but mainly because it's very personal in the fact that I'm sharing details of one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.

I've been avoiding the topic on here all together (even though I made my decision back in June), but my long time, dedicated readers have started to ask, and because I want my readers to know and understand me as much as possible…I have decided it's time to share.

Many of you know that I'm a teacher. I just finished up my sixth year of teaching here in Nashville. I absolutely love teaching - the excitement of back to school, decorating my classroom, giving a child a hug when they need it most, seeing the lightbulb go off when they finally get something, hearing a struggling reader fly through a passage with great fluency… these are just a few of the things that make teaching worthwhile. Bottom line, teaching is my jam.

But I'm not teaching this year…..

We've been going through some fertility struggles for quite some time now (you can read more about that here and here), and that's what ultimately led us to this decision. The spring was very difficult for us, as we had 3 failed IUIs and were told by our doctor that the next step for us to become parents (under his care, anyway) would be IVF.

This news, paired with the every day stress and responsibilities of teaching, really put me in a bad place. The urge to have a baby and become a mother started to consume me. I was taking off work a lot  for appointments with my doctor, and when I was in the classroom, I wasn't focused on being the best teacher for my kids. For the first time in my career, I wasn't enjoying teaching.

That's hard for me to say that out loud, because I know I was made to be a teacher. I was even named Teacher of the Year at my school this past year. It was such a surprise and I felt so honored, but I also felt guilty. I was supposed to be changing lives and making a difference… instead, all I could think about was our fertility journey. As the months went on, the stress of it all…juggling fertility and teaching, took over my life.

At some point, during one of my many crying sessions, Chris brought up the idea of me taking a break from teaching. He went on to explain reasons as to why he thought I shouldn't go back, his number one reason being that he hated seeing me so unhappy and stressed out all the time. The possiblity of not teaching and that stress being eliminated seemed like a huge relief, but I still wasn't ready to say goodbye to what I love doing so much.

I tried to get past this rut that I was in, and I was really hoping that having some time out for summer would help me get back on track and back to the bubbly, excited teacher I had always been. But it didn't. Some things happened within my family that brought even more stress, and as time went on, not going back started to seem like the right thing to do.

We prayed and prayed over this decision, and God started opening doors and showing us signs that it was the right thing for us to do right now. Chris got a promotion at work that would help us financially but also meant that he would be traveling much more. We knew it would be even harder for me to get pregnant if we weren't in the same town the majority of each month.. if you know what I mean! :) Me not going back to work meant I could travel with him when needed.

So, after many discussions and lots of prayers, I finally decided that it was time to take a step back and not teach this year. Do I miss teaching? Yes. But I'm so excited to have this time off to de-stress, travel more with Chris, and to just focus on what's most important to me right now… starting a family.

I plan on doing a complete fertility update with you guys soon… sharing where we are at and what our plan is, but for now I thought it was best to address what so many of you have been asking me. Teaching will always be there, and I do plan on going back one day...but for now, I feel so blessed to have this time away, and hopefully this time will bring us closer to our dream of becoming parents.

What's the hardest decision you've ever had to make and how did it impact your life? 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Favorites

Fall things making their way into our home - this is my favorite time of year, and my home will surely show it … bring on the pumpkins and plaid!

"The true way to live, is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is the everyday things around us that beauty of life lies." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

 I shared that quote on Instagram earlier this week, and I'm still reflecting on it because I think it has so much meaning. It's so important to be more in the moment and enjoy the everyday things around us.

I bought this camel coat for fall and absolutely love the fit of it! I think it will be a great staple coat, and you can't beat the price for the quality!

I saw these mules here and fell in love with them! They will be the perfect slides to wear with your fall sweaters this fall season.

I couldn't help but get a little excited about winter and the holiday season after seeing this cozy shot.

My sister sent me a great read on 10 Reasons Why God Allows Trials and Tribulations  - thanks sis! It was just what I needed to lift my spirits this week!

Happy Friday friends! I hope you've had a fabulous week. I've been finishing up some home decor this week, and I am excited to start sharing some more home posts with you soon! A lot of you have also reached out to me about Talk Tuesdays and if I still plan on doing them… yes!! The one I'm working on now has taken me a few weeks to write. It's going to be a good one, and it will be up on next week -so make sure to stop by on Tuesday! 

We are headed to Charleston this weekend, but unfortunately it's under sad circumstances. One of our good friends lost his father this past week, and we are traveling to be there for a service in remembrance of him. It breaks my heart that our friend had to say goodbye to his father way too soon, but it's during times like these we must remember that God's plan is always greater and that we will see our loved ones again one day. 

What are your weekend plans?
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