Friday Links

Friday Links are a round-up of my favorite posts/videos/projects/photos from around the web. 


Happy Friday, friends! This has been a week of rest for me—catching up on everything on my to do list, reading good books, and just letting myself be still for a bit. And I have loved every minute of it. Next week we’re headed off on an adventure, so we’re prepping for that and crossing our fingers that the snow doesn’t mess us up too much. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! XO

For your weekend reading pleasure…


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Things I Love {Durham}


I love to travel, but I think there’s something to be said for taking the time to be a tourist in your own city.  I love where we live, and there are so many fantastic restaurants and fun things to see and do. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite spots in Durham:

Places to Eat:

Mateo: This cozy tapas restaurant is perfect for date night. It truly reminds me of being back in Spain—the food is fantastic and it’s always loud and crazy. Be sure to make a reservation!

Gonza: There are a ton of really good Mexican places in Durham, so it was hard to pick a favorite. Gonza never disappoints. The vibe is sort of dark and weird (which is actually pretty fun), and everything I’ve ever had there was wonderful. Best thing on the menu? Nachos with steak. YUM.

Rue Cler: This is my favorite brunch spot in Durham.  Really cozy, french vibe with a yummy croque monsieur and the most amazing beignets.  If I can ever drag Bryan out of bed early enough to make it to brunch on a Saturday, this is where we go.

Geer Street Garden: This is one of our favorite casual, outdoor places to eat.  Order “The Pile” and thank me later. After dinner, you can walk over to Fullsteam Brewery for a drink and games!


Things to Do:

Chapel Hill: One of the best things about Durham is that it’s right next door to my absolute favorite place in the world—Chapel Hill.  I love spending the day in Chapel Hill walking around campus, exploring Franklin Street, and visiting the basketball museum.  If you happen to be there on a day the Heels are playing, get tickets to the game….doesn’t matter what sport!

Durham Bulls: One of our favorite spring and summer activities is taking in a Durham Bulls game. The games are always a ton of fun, there’s a great community atmosphere, and you’ll have a view of the gorgeous Durham skyline as the sun sets over the city. Bonus: They have a sweet fireworks show on Friday and Saturday nights!

DPAC: One of the best things about this area is the emphasis on the arts and culture.  There are always great shows and concerts happening, and DPAC is a great place to catch a really high quality production (it is where I first fell in love with Wicked). We’ve also seen some great shows at the Carolina Theatre.

Don’t forget to set aside some time to just explore downtown Durham.  We love walking around the 21c Hotel (which houses an awesome modern art museum), playing games at West End, and finishing the day with a drink on the rooftop of the Durham Hotel.


On Change


This month I left my job. I recently accepted a new position as Minister to Children and Families at another church, and I’ll start there in February.  It’s a church I love and know well—the church where we got married and where I had my first experience in ministry.  It’s a church that holds a very special place in my heart, and I’m thrilled to be going back there.  Even still, leaving was incredibly hard. I’m attached to my kids, and leaving meant saying goodbye to them. I know that I won’t get to see them continue to grow and learn new things about God and how much he loves them. I know I won’t get to experience the fruit of what I’ve been building, and that is a hard thing to lose.

Change is like that, of course. It almost always involves saying goodbye. Sometimes the things we say goodbye to are things we need to let go of for one reason or another. But sometimes they are wonderful things. Sometimes we have to say goodbye to something we love, something that has made our lives richer and better, in order to create space for something else.

Change is a part of life. Life is always moving, and that is part of what makes it so beautiful.  As we grow, we are constantly reweaving the way we think and understand the world. If are moving forward, we are opening ourselves up to change. But it’s not easy.

I love the way my favorite writer, Shauna Niequist, talks about change:

This is what I’ve come to believe about change: it’s good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it’s incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God’s hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. I’ve learned the hard way that change is one of God’s greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we’ve become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I’ve learned that it’s not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God’s graciousness, not life’s cruelty.

She’s right, of course. Change is hard and painful and scary, and that’s where I am right now. I have felt God in every step of this process, and I know that I will look back on this season of change with deep gratitude. But for now I’m somewhere in between. I’m grieving the goodbye at the same time I’m looking forward to the next chapter. And all along the way I’m learning again that change is the hardest kind of gift. 

Friday Links

Friday Links are a round-up of my favorite posts/videos/projects/photos from around the web. 


Hello friends! I hope your new year is off to a great start. It’s the first Friday of 2016, and we’re celebrating by going to spend time with some of our favorite people this weekend. We’ve got some really exciting things coming up this month (and life is about to get crazy), so this weekend is all about relaxing and spending time with people we love. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Happy Friday (and happy 2016)! XO

For your weekend reading (and watching) pleasure…


*Photo Source

2016 Inspiration Board

Happy 2016! It is hard to believe that we’re already a few days into 2016. I feel like it was a just days ago that I was thinking about my goals for 2015. But here we are in a new year with new goals, new challenges, and new possibilities. I have loved reading about other people’s goals for the new year, what they’re hoping to achieve, and how they plan to do it. One of the trends I’m really loving this year is the idea of an inspiration board for the year. I’ve never made one of these before, but I like the idea of something visual to focus on as I think about the year ahead.  I have a feeling 2016 is going to be an incredible year—we have some exciting things already in the works and some big changes coming our way (more on that soon!). So here’s to another year—I can’t wait to see what you bring us, 2016!


From top left: Eiffel Tower via Huffington Post; Michael Rettano; Puppy Love; Lovely Words via Tumblr; Best Friends; Writing Inspiration; Home Sweet Home; Books and Coffee; Servant’s Heart; Kid’s Ministry