Wednesday, September 26

some things you've missed

No, you aren't totally to blame for missing out on the thousands of little details that that have been happening in my life over the past few months (geez). I haven't been sharing, but not because of a lack of effort on your part. Every sweet demanding text message has made me smile and giggle, and then I quickly make a mental note that I'm still not blogging today. Being that it's Wednesday, and the blog world is full of wedding posts--I refuse to be outdone. So besides teaching kindergarteners how to say their s's and r's, here is what I have been up to the since August. 

Choose a date.
Book the church. 
Book the reception venue. 
Book a band.
Take engagement pictures.
Pick out Save the Dates. 
Buy wedding bands. 
Book wedding day transportation (to be completed next week)
Find and order a fabulous pair of shoes. 
Order bridesmaids gifts.
Finalize the guest list. 
Pick out Invitations.  
Order a guest book. (to be completed next week)
Block off hotel rooms. (waiting for calls to be returned) 
Book a honeymoon. (we've chosen a destination! woo hoo!)
Finish our wedding website. 
Meet with Amanda, the wedding planner/savior. 
Order Saves the Dates. (to be completed next week)
Get the ball rolling on bridesmaids dresses. 
Decide on a wedding cake. 

See, I can do this too. 

Two special packages with my name on them have been floating around the country this week. My bridesmaids' gifts arrived today--and I am absolutely giddy about them. And another HUGE package will be arriving at my house on Friday. I'll give you a hint--one of the contents rhymes with "press" and the other rhymes with "nail." Got it? Good. 

And on a completely unrelated note, I'm going to be the proud new owner of an Iphone 5 on Friday afternoon. See ya later Stone Ages. Instagram, anyone? 

Thursday, September 20

where i've been

Having dinner with dad, 

and going to pep rallies, 

and celebrating Bulldog football victories, 

with friends that are close by, 

and old friends, 

and best friends. 

I've been being a bridesmaid, 

and being a bridesmaid, 

and being a bride. 

Be back soon. 

Wednesday, August 8

Meet Martin

This kid started his new job today. After five years of studying, homework, and tests--he is finally an accountant. I couldn't be more proud. Happy first day of work buddy, you're going to be great. 

This is Martin. You've heard about him. I'm marrying him. But you really don't know him. I guess since he went out on a limb and proposed, maybe I should give him a "Meet Martin" tab over on the left. But that's a really big commitment, and I just don't know if I'm there yet. Kidding.

So, Meet Martin. 

-Accountant--as of 8:00 this morning. Need one? I know a guy. 

-Mississippi State graduate. And Sigma Chi frat star. Kidding about the frat star part, but he was a Sigma Chi. And he was the Sigma Chi house dad this past year. But they paid for his school, so that either makes him a genius or a frat star--you choose. 

-Happy, smiley, funny. But don't tell him I said he's funny. Kid's got jokes. 

-Loves Jesus and loves his mom. The two most important things to look for in a man. 

-Reality-TV-a-holic. Although I can't say I'm too far from crossing that line as well.  

-Sports guru. Football, baseball, basketball. It's a good thing we have similar interests. It's a good thing I've cried over watching Mississippi State lose a basketball game. It's a good thing I fell in love with MSU Baseball. It's a good thing I squealed like a child when we got our season football tickets. Because Mr. Tribble, he loves it all even more. 

-Confident, genuine, honest. 

-A great friend. Evident by the 15 guys that will be standing beside him on our wedding day. 

-More fun to be with than a barrel of monkeys. Always up for an adventure. Always ready for a good time. 

The macaroni to my cheese for the past seven years. They've been some good ones. 
Say a little prayer for your new friend Martin today. I know he would appreciate it. 

Monday, August 6

fly away

oh hi... 

 i'm home... 

i finished my finals on friday and closed the book of 'my third semester' of grad school. 

i also spent last week without internet because the dear stranger that i've been bumming off of decided to move away without telling me. 

it is what it is. 

unless i can get arrested or something for admitting that. 

then i'm just kidding. 

i'm in full-on wedding mode during this week of 'summer vacation.' 

last night--i got mine and my mother's entire guest list typed up (minus some addresses), picked out and ordered a precious monogram from etsy, found the beer cups i want to use for the reception (which will be ordered as soon as i get my monogram back), and made myself a hefty to-do list for today. boom. 

and who said planning a wedding was hard? 
kidding again. 

and... dad flew over the house yesterday afternoon. he's so cool. 
happy monday y'all. 
have a good one. 

Wednesday, July 25

if you really knew me...

.. you would know that I'm terribly self-conscious, which makes it so ironic that I write my life for everyone to read.. but would make total sense to you if you could see the number of drafts that are unfinished in my posts list. 

.. you would know that sometimes I like to tell myself I'm allergic to peanut butter, because it smells bad, looks gross, and I probably wouldn't like it if I tried it. 

.. you would know that I talk to most of the animals that I encounter during the day. 

.. you would know that I love to be alone. 

.. you would know that I still haven't stopped looking at this ring on my left hand. 

.. you would know that I don't know my right from left. 

.. you would know that I still don't really know how to do my makeup, and just yesterday I considered going to the Clinque counter and asking them to teach me. 

.. you would know that I would have a bakery if I were ever to become a good baker. 

.. you would know that my closet is organized into cocktail dresses, church dresses, game-day dresses, shorts, pants, jeans, casual shirts, tanks, school shirts, sweaters, and coats.

.. you would also know that all my shoes are simply thrown in a pile in the floor underneath that organized ridiculousness. No, I don't get it either. 

.. you would know that I journal. Not every day. Not anything super important. But in those seasons in life that deserved to be journaled. Go Moleskin. 

.. you would know that I am the only person in America who still doesn't have an Iphone or Instagram. 

.. you would know that I am envious of those who have the confidence to wear red lipstick. 

.. you would know that sometimes I have trouble with eye-contact. And just realized this when I had to work with a client on maintaining eye-contact. Fail. 

.. you would know that I tan too often, and I've become aware of it in the past few years. 

.. you would know that rethink about 75% of the conversations I have during the day. 

.. you would know that I have trouble not purchasing things that are coral. No matter what it is. 

.. you would know that I would wear headbands every day if that was acceptable. 

.. you would know that I'm nervous about planning my wedding because of 'what a wedding should be' in my hometown. 

.. you would know that one of the very few times I feel comfortable talking in front of large groups is when I can talk about Jesus. And I think that's so awesome. 

.. you would know that I would eat sour candy for every single meal of the day if someone could promise me there would be no side effects. 

Wednesday, July 11

a child

I had one of those moments yesterday that made me, yet again, so grateful to be serving such a great God. 

Driving home from class after a near total collapse during the day, a caller on K-Love's afternoon show mentioned that she was so thankful to be a child of God. No further elaboration. No special emphasis. Nothing. But it hit me like a ton of bricks. 

A child. 
In His eyes, I am a child
I'm a child and it is okay if I mess up because that's what children do. 

They aren't perfect. They make mistakes. They drop the ball. They make B's. They forget things. They shatter their favorite glass mixing bowl. 

But they're children. 
Grown ups don't expect them to be perfect. Grown ups don't hold it against them. Grown ups may get frustrated and shake their head but deep down they knew it would happen. Grown ups don't hold grudges. Grown ups just swoop children up in their arms, forgive them, and continue loving them. 

That's what our God is. 

We don't disappoint Him every time we fall short and make a mistake. He isn't mad at us, because we are His children. He knows each and every morning that we will not love Him, others, or ourselves perfectly throughout the day. We just aren't capable of it. 

Because we are children. Making mistakes is expected of us, because we aren't made to be perfect. We are made to be forgiven. And it's going to be okay. 

The Bible doesn't call us His buddies, or His equals, or His 'adult friends' because that is not what we are. We are His children because that's the kind of love that we require. The love that you can only love a child with. The love that wipes away mistakes and disappointments. The love that says "It's alright, just let me give you a hug." The love that says "It's going to be okay, I will pick up the broken pieces." The love that says "It's okay that you don't know, because I'm here to teach you." The love that says "I still think you're great." 

And He simply wants our love in return. The love that children show to a stranger. The love that children show to someone who has hurt them. The love that children live out each and every day. The love with which children blindly love and trust their parents. 

That's all He is asking. 

Isn't that just the best thing you've ever heard? 

Wednesday, June 27

be mine?

I'm coming out of hiding to share with you some really fun news. 

Last week, after much time spent with Elmer's and an Exacto-Knife, I sent out these fun little packages to my sweet bridesmaids and flower girl. 

Ready to make your wedding feel real? Ask your bridesmaids, it'll happen. I promise. 

I've been dreaming about how I was going to ask these girls to stand by us on our wedding day for much longer than I am willing to admit. When I ran across these blank puzzles while browsing Amazon for therapy materials, I knew I had found a winner. 

Armed with a $4.00 pack of blank puzzles, scrapbook paper, scissors and rubber cement, I was on my way. There might have been an easier way to make this happen, but here's how I did it. 

First, I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to the 4 x 5.5 size of the puzzle. I flipped the puzzle and the paper over (with the paper on the bottom) and removed one puzzle piece at a time, tracing the shape of the missing piece onto the paper until I had the full puzzle traced onto the scrapbook paper. 

 The pieces were cut apart and glued to the blank puzzles with rubber cement. I made the mistake of adding the doilies after I had glued the scrapbook paper down--and it would have been much easier to have glued the doilies to the scrapbook paper before I cut it apart. You live and you learn. 

 I used paint pens to write on each puzzle. After the paint dried I gave each one a pretty generous spray with Modge Podge to seal the paper and help the corners stick to the puzzle pieces as much as possible.  

I made these sweet little envelopes from the same package of scrapbook paper and tied each with a ribbon and a tag. 

Finally, I packaged all these little cuties up--plus three doilies with notes about the location and date--in a bubble mailer and sent them out to my sister and friends. 

I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful my bridesmaids are. But I can tell you that Martin and I have been blessed by every single one of them. Y'all are the absolute best, and I can't wait to share our wedding day with you. 

Friday, June 8

one year

In 365 days, I will be getting ready to marry my Mart. 

That really deserves a heart-felt, mushy-gushy post on this fine Friday afternoon, but sometimes the words just won't come. 

Saturday, June 2

{opening day}

This morning, the gates of Camp DeSoto opened and welcomed 240 girls and their families to the summer of 2012. The squealing and hugs that continued all throughout the morning are one of my favorite things to watch. Counselors were waiting patiently for their girls to find out which cabin they're in, and they no doubt laid awake most of the night praying for these girls and their summers. Moms were making beds and unpacking their daughters things, while keeping a watchful eye on their daughter's counselor and trying to learn as much about her as possible. Dads were standing outside, not wanting to get teary-eyed about dropping their daughter off for a month... and some of them just weren't strong enough to stop those tears. 

This simple place in the mountains of Alabama is what keeps some of these girls going during the year. They live for opening day when they get to return to their sanctuary and be with friends that truly love them and love Jesus. Waking up to the ringing of a bell tomorrow and heading to the dining hall for a Sunday morning breakfast is what they've been waiting on since they left the gates last July. 

Being able to pack their trunks and leave the pressures of junior high and high school at home is a gift that I couldn't be more grateful to have helped to give these girls. They get to play, be children, learn and laugh for a month. 

There is no air conditioners or cell phones or Facebook or boyfriends or candy or television. But it just doesn't matter. 

And then there is staff. 

You've never met a more incredible group of women gathered in one place serving Jesus. I am still amazed by the amount of love that I've been shown by the girls that I've laughed and cried with for just a few short months of my life. They've seen me at my best and at my worst, and they're still always there. About 75% of the things these women are asked to do during in the summer are things that they aren't comfortable or confident in doing, but they're willing to step outside their comfort zone to show these girls the love of Jesus. I thank God every day that they hired me to be a part of something so incredible. 

If you're the praying type, keep this little slice of Heaven in your prayers this summer. Counselors will be asked tough questions and have to deal with tough situations. Girls will be homesick and tired. There will be illness and there will be disagreements. But God has brought this community together for the summer for a reason, and I pray that each and every girl hears what they need to hear in their month on the mountain. 

Ladies, I love you all and I would do anything in the world to be there. Be expecting letters and goodies. 

Monday, May 28

{sec champs}

For those of you who don't know, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are your 2012 SEC Tournament Champions. 

Immediately after we beat Kentucky on Saturday, I was on the phone with Mart making plans for our Sunday trip to Hoover for the championship game. We were Birmingham bound on Sunday morning, and met the 10,000+ Bulldog fans at Regions Park to cheer the Diamond Dogs on in a 3-0 win over Vanderbilt. 

The 100 degree weather didn't stop us, and Regions Park looked a lot like our Dudy Noble covered in a sea of maroon and cowbells.

It's a bad day to be a Commodore. 
Congrats Bulldogs. #hailstate

Saturday, May 26

dress shopping

I bought a wedding dress. 

Let me say that again, just because I can--I bought a wedding dress. 

We went to Low's in Brinkley, AR for what we just assumed would a fun first try-on-dresses session, but I most likely wouldn't find anything. Low's is an absolutely stunning, old antebellum home turned bridal salon with white and ivory around every corner. After we met our wonderful consultant, she had me pick out three dresses, each with a different style, to try on first. 

Two of the first three were hilarious failures--beautiful dresses but completely swallowed me up with fabric and poof. But the third was more along the lines of what I thought I was looking for, and it was a helpful push in the right direction. 

I tried on one more dress downstairs that was something I would have never picked out, ever, and when she added the veil I definitely got a little teary-eyed. It was beautiful, and not what I expected. 

So we held on to that one and moved upstairs, where we picked out three more stunning dresses. I tried on the first two, and they were gorgeous. But not knock-me-down gorgeous.  And thennnn.... my consultant just snatched a dress of the rack and stuck me in it. 

And that was the winner. I didn't immediately have that "oh my gosh this is it" moment. It took a little tweaking and twisting and moving belts and tightening, but the more I looked at myself in that dress the more I knew I couldn't see myself in anything else. 

I loved my dress when I left, but I love it so much more two days later. 

I've decided to keep it a secret until next June, but you better believe you'll be seeing every detail when the time comes. 

Holy smokes, I'm getting married. 
Hurry up, June 8, 2013. 

Tuesday, May 22

{thoughts on loved ones}

All of this wedding planning over the past few weeks has led me to spending a whole lot of time thinking about those that I love. Martin, our families, our college friends, our high school friends, my camp friends, my grad school friends, our grown-up friends, and everyone else that could possibly fall into this spectrum. I think about each of them when envisioning what I want for our wedding, because all of the delicious food, great music, and beautiful flowers in the world wouldn't mean a thing to me if our loved ones left the reception without knowing how much each of them mean to us. 

Mart and I are blessed beyond belief with an incredible group of friends, stretching from freshman year friends that have turned into our support system, to sophomore frat boys that have quickly changed from Mart's job to Mart's friends, to 9 girls that I met less than a year ago but have been my rock, to those that have been there for everything since kindergarten. Each and everyone has shaped my life in their own way. But even when I think about the ones that are most important to me, I sometimes question how well I communicate it. 

I am aware of and openly admit that I am not a great communicator. I was raised in the country. I did not have the chance to 'run to a friend's house' every afternoon after school. I wasn't 'connected' unless I really wanted to be. This was all before the birth of cell phones and text messaging and Twitter and Facebook, of course, but I can still feel the force of those days. I enjoy, too much I suppose, disconnecting from the world and diving into a good book. I love my twenty minute drive to and from school without the radio or Ipod. 

But in each and every passing month, my friends continue to spread out. To Atlanta, to Memphis, to Jackson, to Washington D.C., to Oxford, to Chattanooga. I am all too guilty of not making the effort often enough. I am so very grateful that I do have friends that are better than me. And that love me anyway. But still, Kels, come on. You've gotta do better. 

Much too often lately, I've caught myself analyzing what others think about me. What they think about my reaction to this, what they think about the way I respond to that, and how they might have interpreted what I meant when I said this. But really, why does it matter? 

My prayer lately has not been 'to be a better friend' or 'to be less self-conscious' but to love with all my heart. Love better. Love often. That's really all that matters right? Yes, a great fancy wedding and reception and food and flowers is all great and wonderful... but if our guests don't walk away knowing that we love each other and love them--it doesn't mean anything. 

So I'm challenging myself to love better. And making it known to all of you. 
Y'all are the best. 

Thursday, April 19

23 from my 23rd year.

Happy 24th Birthday to ME!

Birthday cupcake :)
If you haven't yet, check out my Birthday Giveaway by clicking on that button.. right there... to the left. You got it. 

To celebrate my 23rd birthday here at The Overflow, I documented my 22nd year in a 22 from my 22nd list. And I loved it. And I've read it several times since then. 

So today, we are documenting the most blessed parts of my 23rd year. 
Ready? Here we go. 

{one} I dressed up as Mrs. Claus and drove a buggy for Christmas... in July

{two} I read and fell in love with The Hunger Games, the Harry Potter series, Water for Elephants, The Praying Life, Crazy Love, and The Jesus Storybook Bible. 

{three} I got some chickens

{four} I got engaged. And I'm getting married. To Martin. What? 

{five} I got pretty good at making balloon arches and hanging twinkle lights. I also got pretty good at leading impromptu dance parties, picnics, games of capture the flag, horseback breakfasts and trips to Alpine. 

{six} I went snow skiing in Breckenridge. And got pretty dang good at it too. 

{seven} I got certified to be a legitimate riding instructor in Sevierville, TN with sweet Annie Kate. 

{eight} I have begun learning to be a good therapist. I've learned what to do and what not to do. I've learned how to prepare and how to document and how to do paper work. I've learned about articulation disorders, language disorders, motor speech disorders and voice disorders. 

{nine} My grad school friends and I started a Facebook group chat. That might not seem very interesting to you, but it has gotten me through a lot. And I am so grateful for it. 

{ten} My house got broken into. And I leaned against my bedroom door while someone tried to open it from the other side. I became eternally grateful for the police force, and I got a taser. 

{eleven} I gained a new family member. And bed buddy. And child. And TV-watching partner. And live-in comedian. 

{twelve} I got a pretty new blog design. 

{thirteen} I went to Atlanta to visit MJ. Three words: Shoot the Hooch.

{fourteen} Mart got to visit Camp DeSoto with me for Family Camp. I got to share the barn and the picnics and the worship with him for the first time, and it was magical. 

{fifteen} I was accepted to and started graduate school at the Mississippi University for Women in Speech-Language Pathology. 

{sixteen} I painted a horse with 10 year olds. And spent a week trying to get the paint off.

{seventeen} I moved into a precious little one bedroom apartment. I learned how to live by myself. I learned how very much I enjoy living by myself. 

{eighteen} I was spent another summer on the mountain, and got the joy of living in the C-Cabin and being the Head of the Horseback program. I quickly fell in love with my angels and most genuine people I've ever met. I found my Saucy, JFo, Sea-Otter, TR, Shu-Shu, Katty Cox, AC, Aimes and Sweet Sarah.

{nineteen} I learned the joy of seeing hard work pay off. I learned that it is not appropriate to cry during therapy sessions. 

{twenty} Mart and I celebrated our six year anniversary. Little did I know....

{twenty one} I got a new best friend. His name is Canon. Together, we will conquer the world. I just have to figure out how to do something besides turn it on. Hmph. 

{twenty two} I met eight, beautiful, thoughtful, brilliant friends who I've shared almost everything with over the past 9 months. I've grown to love each one of them and be grateful for the things that each one of them brings to my life. Their humor, their advice, their encouragement, their fun, their laughter, their companionship, their knowledge, their popsicle sticks and their printer paper. 

{twenty three} I became exponentially more grateful for those that take the time to support me, encourage me, and love me. Whether it is through texts, phone calls, emails, hugs, and blog comments. Thank you all for a fabulous 23rd year. 

Wednesday, April 11

the proposal: part dos.

If you haven't read the first post, start here

So we're hanging out at Martin's 'surprise' party and celebrating with our families, when Mart looks at me and says "We have to go now." Obviously, I ask lots of questions and he answers none of them. 

We drove all the way out to Mart's family's cabin, and when we pull up he tells me that all of our friends are here and they think they're at a surprise party for me. I took off my ring and hopped out with my 'surprised' face on. Apparently while they were waiting, someone suggested that we might be getting engaged--since my birthday isn't until the 19th. After we got out of the car, we let them search for my left hand and then watched the disappointment on their faces as they all walked back inside. Finally someone got brave and said "Well, happy birthday but we thought we were going to tell you Happy Engagement too." I immediately got giddy and pulled the ring out of my pocket, which created mass chaos. It was just as exciting as getting to tell our families, and I wish I had it all on film. 

Sweet Mal even got us a cake.  

Raymond Street family, even Callie made the trip. 

Our best Greenwood friends/favorite newlywed couple, the Belks. 

Martin's secret keeper. He couldn't have picked a better one. 

So thankful that all of our friends made the effort to come all the way to Greenwood, just for a birthday party, and that they were there to celebrate with us after another surprise. We are so grateful for each of you and the things that you have brought to our lives. Whether it's been a 20 year friendship or a 5 year friendship, you all mean the world to us and we loved being able to share this with you. 

And to Mart, you surprised me friend. At some point in the last seven years, I boldly declared "You'll never be able to surprise me" and you pulled out something beyond my wildest dreams. This weekend could not have been more perfect, and I am so thankful for the lengths that you went to for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you more than you know and can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you. 

Tuesday, April 10

the proposal

Disclaimer: There are lots of surprise parties involved in this story, and lots of lies. We do not all lie this much in real life. At least I hope not. 

So last week, while I'm making super awesome plans for Friday night to celebrate Martin's birthday, I get a phone call from Mart's mom telling me all about the surprise party she has decided to have for Martin...on Friday night. Being the very logical person that I am, I stress for about an hour trying to figure out how I am going to get Mart to a surprise party without him a) disappointing his mother during the week by talking about how excited he is to have dinner with his friends or b) throw a fit when his mother asks him to 'run some errands' at 6:30 on a Friday night. So I tell him about the party. 

Good fiancee move #1: Ruining a surprise party that someone has planned for themself. Then crying like an idiot for thirty minutes about it and apologizing. Oh, and remember that text message I cried about last week, that wasn't about a birthday present. 

Friday rolls around. We go back to Greenwood. I am at Martin's house and his mother tells me to come around 6:15 and then she would send him out until his family could get there. Okay, certainly I can handle that because Martin already knows. I go home and shower and primp and put on an American Eagle tank top from 2009 out of my sisters' closet because I didn't like what I brought. I leave for town telling my mother, sisters and dad to be at Martin's surprise party at 7:00. 

Good fiancee move #2: I'm late. I don't think it really mattered, but I was late. And I'm never late. And I picked today to be late. 

So I get to town and Mrs. Pam immediately sends us out the door to pick up a gift for Martin's sister, Melissa {it was actually her birthday on Friday, and Martin 'thought' the surprise party was for her. And I didn't think twice about it} at her best friend from high school's house. Well, this also happens to be the same family that taught me riding lessons since I was a tiny tot. Mrs. Pam mentions that Martin has never seen the barn and Jan said to show him around while we are there. So as we're walking out the door, I casually say "Of course. That's my favorite place in the whole world."

We get there and hop out of the car and I'm snapping away with my new camera, without a care in the world. 

And before I knew what was going on, Mart was on one knee and this was on my hand. 

I cried like a baby. Mart said the first thing I actually said was "Is this real?" He had to ask me to move my hands from my mouth so he could put the ring on my finger. He got me. 

So we head back to Mart's for his 'surprise' party shortly after and I sob all the way back into town. This wasn't helped by the fact that he played "Oh Heavenly Day," "Have a Little Faith in Me," and Train's "Marry Me" in the car on the way home. I just melted. 

We walked in for Mart's surprise party where our families were waiting. His mom, dad and sisters knew. My mom and sisters didn't have a clue. Everyone yelled 'Surprise' and I melted again before I told them we were engaged. It was precious. 

To be continued...