Friday Links

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

tumblr_nkrviuqPpc1rt5pgzo1_400It’s Friday! I’m so excited for the weekend.  We’ve got the usual on the agenda—some time with friends, Netflix marathons, good food, sleeping in, and church on Sunday. Have a fabulous weekend, friends! 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.


Friday Links


Hello friends! Friday is here, and December craziness is back in full force. It has been a packed week with Christmas parties, concerts, and special events, and we’re just getting started. Tis the season! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend. XO

For your weekend reading pleasure…

Currently {July}


Reading: Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer.  This month is all about easy, girly beach reads. The beach and a good book top my list of favorite things in the world, and this month I get both.  More on this book (and some other girly reads) in this month’s reading list post!

Watching: Catastrophe. The good news is that Bryan and I found another show that we LOVE.  The bad news is that the first season is only six episodes, so we finished it in about two days.  Catastrophe is an Amazon original rom-com (you can watch it for free if you have an Amazon Prime account) about a couple who gets pregnant during a week-long affair in London and decides to get married and raise the baby together. It was written and created (and stars) by Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, so you know it’s hilarious. It’s also sweet and true and just makes you feel really happy after a long day. Definitely recommend.

Loving: The excitement and bustle of summer. This summer hasn’t exactly been relaxing—we have been SO busy and work has been absolutely nuts getting ready for VBS and all our other summer activities.  But even though we haven’t really slowed down, we’re making sure to pack a ton of fun into our summer. We’ve been spending a ton of time with friends and checking things off our summer bucket list. It’s my favorite time of the year!

Anticipating: Turning 27! My birthday is next week, and it’s one of those big ones where I feel like I am officially going to be in my “late twenties.” Confession: I love my birthday.  I insist on at least a week of celebrations and prefer more like a whole month (which Bryan just loves!), so I can’t wait. Looking forward to celebrating with people I love!

Praying: For peace. This has been my prayer lately—in my heart and with my kids. I’m praying for peace and for God to show me how I can be a part of it.

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Friday Links {Mother’s Day Edition}

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


Hello friends! Friday is here, and we have a busy weekend ahead, including celebrating my awesome mama on Sunday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, too! XO

For your weekend reading pleasure…

  • This story from Dean Nelson on the power of real friendship and the gift of having someone who can see beauty and hope in your life (especially when you can’t).
  • A Mother’s Day thought for those who are still waiting.
  • This super cool DIY project that might be just a tad too complicated for me—but I still need to try it!
  • 100-year-old BFFs discuss pop culture. This is just hilarious. Enjoy!

Currently {May}

largenjkh Watching: Bryan and I just started Veep on HBO, and it is hilarious! We both love it. I always enjoy comedies about the Washington political scene, and this one has some really good characters. I would also recommend The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the Netflix original created by Tina Fey and starring Ellie Kemper (aka Erin from The Office).  Super funny, too. I finished the first season in about two days!

ReadingThe Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn. You guys know I love a good food memoir, and so far this one does not disappoint. Flinn writes about her experience moving to Paris to fulfill her dream of studying at Le Cordon Bleu. It has romance, cooking stories, and my favorite—recipes! I’m only a few chapters in, so I’ll share more about it in my May Reading List post.

Listening: Christy Nockels/Let It Be Jesus. This is my writing/working soundtrack right now, and it just does good things for my soul.

Anticipating: Our two-year anniversary. This month we’ll celebrate two year of marriage, which feels like nothing and like we’ve together forever all at the same time. We won’t be together on the actual day of our anniversary, but I’m looking forward to celebrating with a fancy dinner and making Bryan watch our wedding video over and over—because it’s just so darn sweet!

Loving: Spring (for real this time)! This might be the very best time of the year—the pollen is gone and the weather is pretty much perfect. We’ve got plans to go to our first baseball game of the season this week, and I can’t wait!

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Friday Links

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


Happy Friday! This week was a little crazy trying to catch up from being away for a week, but the weekend is here! Plus, I learned how to use a power saw this week when our church staff worked on a habitat build, so I really can’t complain. I truly can’t believe that May is here already, and we have an absolutely packed month ahead of us (including lots of time with family and celebrating two years of marriage!). Since we have so much coming up, this weekend we’ll be sleeping in, relaxing, and probably watching  lots of HGTV. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, too! XO

For your weekend reading pleasure…

  • This post from Amy Butler about savoring the present. Amy presented these words at the children’s ministry conference I attended last week (more on that soon), and her words are still weighing on my heart. Sit in the reality of what is now. Witness the young lives around you in all the wonder that they are in this moment. See your own life through the lens of God’s creative genius. And give thanks. For what a gift we’ve been given, these lives of ours. Be here now. 
  • I’ve been struggling with how to think and pray about what happened in Baltimore this week, how to wrap my head around all the sides and perspectives and stories. This post from Sarah Bessey gave me words—she speaks with honesty and grace, offering freedom to envision a different kind of world.
  • 10 Habits of People with Organized Houses from The Inspired Room. I love this because organization is kind of my jam. I do a lot of the things on this list, but not #4. I want to change that. I think it would make all the difference, but mornings are just so, so hard!

Friday Links

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

Hello friends! Happy Friday…finally! I’ll be honest—this week kicked my butt. I think it was the time change, but I never quite recovered from Monday.  Still, it was a really good week. Through a little story that turned into something really BIG, God reminded me that people are good and that he is constantly at work in our world, moving and shaping our understanding of what love really looks like. Have a great weekend, friends—and be kind. It will make all the difference. XO


For your weekend reading pleasure…

  • This post on the art of making friends as an adult (and why it feels SO hard).
  • This post from Jeff Goins on teaching shame and the power of being comfortable in our own skin. I LOVE this so much. So much truth in these words. You were told to hide your gift, that the world didn’t need what you had to offer. But those were lies. We all have a great work in us, some unsung song demanding to be let out. Many of us, if we are attentive enough, can hear the music, vibrating in our bones. So maybe it’s time to unlearn our shame, and once again remember to dance. 
  • This honest and insightful post on prayer as a connector from Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary. We’ve all been there—questioning why we pray and if it really matters. And that’s ok.
  • This article on four kinds of introversion. Really interesting (especially for an introvert like me).

10 Lessons on Love from ‘The Bachelor’

In honor of tonight’s season finale, I thought I’d share a few lessons on love from my favorite reality television show. Enjoy. XO


  1. Crazy don’t lie. If it walks like a nutcase and talks like a nutcase, then it’s a nutcase. Is it just me, or were there even more crazies than normal on the show this season? They may be able to hide it for a brief time, but everyone’s true colors come out eventually. When the crazy comes out, just run. It’s not nerves or a misunderstanding—it’s crazy. Run.
  2. Keep your business your business. Your relationship is a private thing, and you should be able to tell your partner something in confidence and trust that he won’t blab it around. I think Chris seems like a really nice guy, but there are a lot of reasons why he’s the worst bachelor ever—like this one. Remember that awful 2-on-1 date when he told Kelsey all the terrible things Ashley said about her. WHAT?! It blows my mind that this man made it to his mid-thirties without learning that you don’t do that. Maybe that’s why he’s still single.
  3. Nice girls finish first. The sweet girls always, always win. And by win I mean get married. If a mean girl does win the actual competition, the relationship never last (exhibits a, b, and c).  Don’t be a mean girl. It’s not fetch. Yep, see what I did there?
  4. Think carefully about your first date outfit. Choose your outfit. Stop. Really think about it. Choose again. Some of the girls—oh. my. word. I know they are trying to stand out and everything, but you want this man to be your husband! His mom is probably watching, and you want her to be your mother-in-law. Use some sense, lady!
  5. Alcohol and first dates just don’t mix. Don’t get me wrong, I love my vino as much as the next girl, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having one or two drinks on a date. But ladies—being drunk on your date is not attractive or classy. If you’re willing to put your whole life on hold and come on a reality television show in order to find a husband, then I think you can go without that extra drink. Keep it together.
  6. Give it your all. If this show gets one thing right, it’s that you have to be all in when it comes to love. These girls put everything they’ve got on the line, and I’ve got to respect that. Being in a relationship takes a lot of work, and you have to be willing to put the other person first. And, of course, when 25 girls are putting everything on the line for the same guy—well that’s just pure entertainment.
  7. Don’t Settle. It always baffles me that every single girl talks about how much she likes loves the bachelor. Every. Single. Girl. That just seems highly unlikely. Yes, he’s attractive. He seems sweet (and also a little dull).  But there’s no way they’re all really interested in him. It’s okay not to like someone. It’s okay to walk away from that relationship.  Don’t let the fear of being alone keep you from settling for less than what you deserve.
  8. Save the drama for your mama. Relationships are hard enough without tons and tons of unnecessary drama. Ever notice how the girls who cause the most drama don’t make it to the finish line (or if they do, the relationships don’t last)? It’s too much, ladies. No one wants to deal with that kind of drama until death do you part—I promise.
  9. Choose a partner who can actually get along with other human beings (not just you). Some of these girls can’t get along with anybody except the bachelor himself. They’re all competing for the same guy, and I get that that particular dynamic causes some issues. But come on! The thing about relationships is that your partner often brings out the best in you…and the worst. If a girl is cruel, rude, and manipulative towards other girls, chances are that she’ll eventually treat a guy that way, too. Basic kindness and compassion go a long way, ladies. As does basic sanity.
  10. Love is hard work—but it’s not a competition. The fact is that the basic premise of this show is flawed.  Love is hard work.  It can be challenging and difficult, and at times you may even have to fight for it. But love is not a competition, and if all you’re doing is fighting and trying to convince the other person to choose you, then it’s just not worth it. You should be someone’s only choice—that’s real love.

Friday Links

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

Give yourself a high five–you made it to Friday! We’ve got a lot going on this weekend. I’m taking my kiddos on a fun adventure tonight and tomorrow is the Duke-Carolina game. Here’s to a happy weekend and a Carolina victory. Go Heels! XO


For your weekend reading pleasure…

  • This post from Emily Freeman on making an undo list. For someone who lives and dies by her to-do list, it takes a lot for me to put it down and give my soul some space to just be. But it is so important sometimes.  It’s a discipline to walk without an agenda, to let yourself carry concerns with an open hand rather than trying to untangle them. 
  • This post from Momastery on families and grace and learning to forgive.
  • This list of awesome responses to sexist questions from female celebrities. All of my favorite people are on this list!