Favorites: The Routine Things

You know how sometimes there are things that are just so a part of your normal routine that you don’t even realize how much you love them? Today’s post is all about me sharing some of my favorite routine things.🙂

morning quiet time.jpg

Mornings kick off with my Bible, prayer journal, She Reads Truth devo, and a reading from Common Prayer (also daily online here). If you are looking for a good daily devotional – I really recommend She Reads Truth. And my husband really likes the He Reads Truth daily emails as well. We’ve been doing their devos for nearly a year now and while some have interested us more than others, we have definitely been blessed by the ministry as a whole. Also, I’ve been digging this smoothie again lately.

the skimm

After quiet time, I take a few minutes to check in on the news. I’ve used several different news sources over the years and theSkimm has been one of my favorites (thank you, Amy for recommending it!). It’s short and to the point and has underlying humor to it. {official disclaimer: if you use the link above to sign up, I get referral points which I think eventually lead to swag, but you guys know that I never recommend anything that I don’t actually use and love myself}

beautyblender.jpg{source}

I only wear make up once or twice a week, but I’ve found the most magic thing that makes me actually enjoy wearing makeup! The BeautyBlender! Okay yes, I know. Everyone else already knows about this, but until Elle from ElleSees really convinced me of how magical the BeautyBlender was, there was no way I was shelling out that much $$ for a make up sponge. And to be honest – I still didn’t at first. I put it on my Christmas wish list, ha! But I was given one and LOVED it. It has cut my make up application time in half because it blends so beautifully and easily. I’ve even bought a replacement one for myself since then which shows how much I love the BB since I spent my own money on it.🙂 I’ve used both the pink one and the black one and like them both! Further Helpful Reading on BeautyBlenders: Why you should give the BB a chance, How to use the BB, and How to clean your BB.

gym selfie

This isn’t actually my gym (this photo was taken from a hotel we stayed in earlier this year), but I don’t have any photos of me at my actual gym so this will have to do.😉 Anyway, time at the gym is another every-day favorite. I typically find myself at the gym for about an hour and a half every day, but it’s not a very intense hour and a half. I walk on a treadmill (with my face in a book) just fast enough to get my heart rate up, I lift light weights to tone & strengthen, and I do simple 10 minute ab workouts. My goal is to maintain my current weight and to keep my muscles (including my heart) strong and toned. So far, so good.😉 If you have questions about my work out routine please let me know! I love to talk fitness!

fitbit on the beach.jpg{Rockin’ my FitBit on the beach last week. And if you look closely you can see Christopher’s clip-on FitBit on his pocket as well.}

My final daily favorite for this post: I love my FitBit. It’s a whole post for another time, but suffice it to say: I have loved having it this year. Competing with my family has been a lot of fun! So, if you have a FitBit and want to compete – I’m in! Let me know and I’ll add you. Unless of course you are going to kick my tooshy on the first challenge we do by running 10 miles and mowing the lawn all on a SUNDAY. Not naming any names coughKRISTENcough. Oh oops, it just slipped out.😉 Just kidding, it was actually really great inspiration for me!🙂

Do we share any favorites? 

Tell me about a favorite of yours! 

Love Rach

Destin Favorites Video

Destin has become a bit of a home-away-from-home for us. Christopher grew up going there as a kid and we have now been there together six times. We’ve fallen into quite the groove of how this trip goes. Even getting there has its own traditions. Leaving Memphis after work, Chick Fil A for dinner, Starbucks Reserve Store for a coffee break, and then crashing at my parents’ house late at night (they live 2 hours from Destin so they are a great place to stay when we get in at midnight so we don’t have to mess with late night check ins). Anyway, I wanted to share ALL of our favorites with you guys, but that would be a very, very long blog post. So I decided instead that I was going to film it. Enjoy!


Note: When I say “the best” this or that, I mean in our opinions based on trying the top rated places so far. Clearly we haven’t tried every single place in Destin (though believe me – we’re working on it!). :) 

Was your favorite part of the video the high five on the beach? Because it’s one of mine! Seeing my expression makes me laugh every time I watch it!😉

Have you been to Destin? Do we share any favorites? And of course I’m always open to recommendations for trying new places if you have any!
Love Rach

Today we celebrate!

Hello friends! As many of you have seen from Instagram, we are currently in Destin celebrating our 8th anniversary so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Just I wanted to pop in and say hello real quick.🙂

us.resized

Destin has been beautiful. As always. This place holds so many precious (and sometimes terrifying, ha!) memories for us. This is our sixth trip here together and it really feels like a home away from home for us. But more on all of that in a later post. For today I want to leave you with a shortened version of our wedding video. Because while we’ve been celebrating for the past five days with this trip, today is the official anniversary day.🙂

Have a beautiful day friends!
Love Rach

Priceless

Earlier this year I got to see For King and Country perform live. I love, love, love them (and can give you a list of favorite songs if you like their sound)! They performed a new song at that concert that I hadn’t heard before and I immediately fell in love with it and came home and started playing it on repeat. Since then I’ve heard this song on the radio quite a bit so I’m sure many of you have heard it. But I want to talk about why I love it so much. It’s called Priceless.

This whole song is about how priceless you are. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve cried (or at least teared up) listening to this song. I think of so many ladies I know and love who don’t see their worth. Of the teenagers I’ve mentored over the past 11 years. And I especially think of my nieces who are coming so close to their preteen years when I know they will be hit with an onslaught of being told by the world that they aren’t enough. I remember those years so vividly. Feeling like I wasn’t pretty enough or funny enough or skinny enough or smart enough or athletic enough. Just mediocre at best. No one special. I battled those feelings through my teen years and really even into college. Today I am confident in who I am and when I look in the mirror I see someone I can be proud of smiling back at me. But I hate that my nieces are at an age where they will soon be walking right into those years.

rae and kenz.jpg{taken earlier this year in May}

My niece, Makenzie, and I have belted out the lyrics to this song together so many times. And I pray, oh I pray, it is sinking deep into her heart. That she never questions just how priceless she is. I don’t see my other nieces as frequently, but I pray that they, too, know how priceless they are.

mal2{taken in a sunflower field yesterday – you can see more of these shots here🙂 }

And my Mallory. So young and sure of herself. Confident that everyone she meets thinks that she is the most special girl there ever was. Precious innocence. I pray that she remembers these feelings of being loved so deeply when the world throws lies at her later in life.

Mirror mirror, mirror on the wall
Tellin’ those lies, pointing out your flaws
That isn’t who you are
That isn’t who you are

It might be hard to hear, but let me tell you dear
If you could see what I can see, I know you would believe
That isn’t who you are
There’s more to who you are

So when it’s late, you’re wide awake
Too much to take
Don’t you dare forget that in the pain
You can be brave, hear me say:

I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you (oh so priceless)
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it’s beautiful
I see it all in you (oh so priceless)

Precious truth. Love this song!

Who do you think of when you hear a song like this?

Do you relate to the struggle I went through of not feeling good enough? Are you still there? Take the lyrics of this song to heart. You are priceless, my friend.

Love Rach

Oh my heart

us in the kitchen2.jpg

This guy. Oh my heart is so full. I wish I had the words to explain what a blessing he is to me. I am so grateful to get to live life with him.

Next week we celebrate 8 years of marriage and I can just barely believe that it has been eight years since we vowed our lives to each other. We were just kids. But we made a great choice in choosing each other.

I met him 12 years ago this month. He claims we met at a party before school started, but I don’t remember meeting him until a couple of weeks later after a movie on campus. Either way, we were fast friends after that movie.

And that friendship has grown into the most beautiful thing.

I keep writing and deleting. Mostly because I have SO much to say. More than you want to read and much of it too personal to share for a public blog. But the snippets I try to write to sum up this wonderful man aren’t near rich enough to explain my heart. So I’ll just leave it at this: I love him and I am so thankful for every day of life with him by my side.

us in the kitchen

Same photo as the one above, but this one isn’t cropped. I love how Oreo is being a creeper in the background. Definitely changes the tone of this photo, ha! But that’s so him. And this is so us. And I love this life we lead.🙂

Love Rach

Back to school for my little loves

swimming

I blinked and summer is over. The kids I nanny and I had an awesome summer together! But now August has arrived and Will goes back to school today and in a week Mallory will start two-day-a-week preschool. So I’ll hardly see Will at all and only see Mallory a couple of days a week. I don’t even want to think about next year when she starts kindergarten. Thankfully they live just a few minutes away from us so I’m sure I’ll still see them some, but it won’t be the same as being involved in their daily lives. Oh the tears… I’m definitely not ready to think about this yet, haha!  On a much happier note, I wanted to share two videos of the kiddos from the past couple of weeks.🙂

In case you can’t understand her. Here’s the beginning dialogue:

Mallory: “Daddy tells me not to sleep in socks.”
Me: “Why is that?”
Mal: “Because only psychopaths do… and we’re not psychopaths.”

Makes me laugh every single time I watch it. She’s just so matter-of-fact about it. Even if she has no clue with a psychopath is. She just knows that she isn’t one and therefore doesn’t wear socks to sleep in. Also, now we all know how her dad feels about people who sleep in socks, ha!  ;)

You guys, this video is the essence of childhood dress up and playing. I just love it. Will came up with the idea and script for this video which just makes it even better. The only thing I did was actually hide Spiderman (they really didn’t know where Spidey was), film it, add dramatic music, and put it together in a video. Side note: in case you can’t hear Will at the 2 minute mark he is looking inside the pantry and says, “If he was in here, he would have a Thanksgiving feast!”

We’ve had an awesome summer! I’ll miss seeing them all the time, but I’m excited to see how much they will grow and learn this school year.

Who or what did you dress up as when you were a kid?

Tell the truth… do you sleep with socks on?😉
Love Rach

Let’s talk about friends!

One of my favorite things is having updated photos of us with the people we love. I’ve talked before about why updated family photos are so important to me, but the same stands true for friends. The thing is, since we see each other every couple of days, I don’t think to photograph those moments. They are just routine. So once a year I try to make a point to get actual posed photos with our friends. Usually this happens at my birthday because we’re all together. And thankfully our friends are really great about it! I joke that one of these days I’m going to have us all in coordinating outfits… maybe next year.😉

besties1

Like I mentioned on Monday, these couples didn’t know each other before this evening (well, two of the couples had met at my birthday party last year when we had nearly 50 people over, but they didn’t get to talk much so this was essentially still a first). Seeing them all interact with each other made me think about how funny it is that in some ways our friends are so different from each other, but in others they are SO the same. One major similarity in all the couples is that the wives are all sugar sweet people. They all encourage me to be a better person and I love that! And the husbands all have that big-brother-pick-on-people personality. Which is hilarious because Christopher is only that way with a handful of people. I’m not sure why we were attracted to so many couples who were so similar in this way, but it made me laugh once I realized it.

with stephen and julia.jpg

Stephen and Julia are our newest friends in the group. Well, sort of. Stephen and I actually first met back in 2008 when we were in graduate school. He went home and told his wife that he had met a girl who he thought she would really like and be friends with. But at the time they lived in another city (he had just come for a short course on campus) so naturally they thought nothing more of it. Until they moved to Memphis two years ago. Stephen reached out to me to ask what church we attended and next thing I knew they were part of one of our friend groups.

We started to get really close to them about a year and a half ago when we started opening up to a few friends and family members about some health issues we were facing. They really stepped up to walk this path with us. Lots of prayer and support from them. Actually this is true of all the couples in this post. When I had to have surgery last year, Julia & Stephen brought us dinner and the sweetest care package. Side note: Julia is an awesome gift-giver. Somehow she comes up with the best ideas that are so perfect for the person! However, Stephen is quite the jokester so in this care package he included a “Mixed CD” that he told me that I would really enjoy. Excitedly I put it in the CD player just to find that there was only one song on it. And it’s a song that drives me cah-razy. I made the mistake of telling Stephen once that I didn’t like the song so naturally he likes to bug me about it as often as possible.😉 And Julia (as a pharmacist) has definitely put my mind at ease many times by answering countless questions for me about medications and interactions and such. :)

with brodie and lyndal

We’ve been friends with Brodie and Lyndal for a little over 3 years now ever since they moved to Memphis. We met through the teens we mentored and instantly clicked! Funnily enough, Lyndal’s OLDER sister and my YOUNGER sister are best friends from college. Which means that I graduated college in 2008 and Lyndal graduated college in 2013 which makes us sound super far apart in age, but I went to college really early (just after turning 17) and Lyndal took a gap year before going to college. So we’re actually only 2.5 years apart. But it’s always funny to me that her older sister and my younger sister were college besties.

For the first two years of our friendship we saw Brodie & Lyndal all.the.time because we worked with the same group of kids. Since my girls graduated last year and Christopher & I moved to a different group of teens we don’t get to see Brodie & Lyndal as often as we used to. Definitely requiring us to be very intentional in order to spend time together. But I’m so glad we’ve made the effort! And like I mentioned earlier, all the couples in these photos really stepped up to love on us while we were going through some tough things. Lyndal is incredibly gifted when it comes to prayer and just from listening to her pray (especially the many times she’s prayed over me) has taught me a lot about how to pray for other people. And Brodie makes me feel like my big brother lives here in Memphis instead of in Colorado. He picks on me plenty and makes me laugh. Brodie, Stephen, and James are all very alike in how they like to mess with people (all in good fun) and it keeps us laughing.

with james and heather

James says the most outrageous things sometimes. The first interaction I remember having with James was when we were still new to our church in 2011 and I was standing by the food at a party talking to a friend when I heard a man snapping his fingers loudly from across the kitchen. Shocked I looked up and he said (loudly) to me, “Woman, make me a plate!” I’m pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head a little at that moment. I laugh now thinking back on it because it is so James. He likes to get to know your personality and then say all the things that would nearly offend you most without actually truly offending you or hurting your feelings. And somehow he managed to convince one of the sweetest women on the planet to marry him.

Heather has the patience of a saint and she is so thoughtful. She is so good about checking in on us any time we’ve had something going on. She’s Christopher’s Primary Care Physician (and she would be mine too if I went to one, but I see a specialist who is keeping tabs on my overall health) and she has answered endless questions for us via text or the phone when we have some sickness or another, but aren’t sure if it requires a doctor’s visit or if we can just wait it out. She has put our minds to ease many, many, many times when we’ve been concerned about something medical. It is so wonderful to have a friend who is qualified to give medical advice and then turn around and let you know that she is praying for you as well.

besties

These ladies have been blessing upon blessing for me over the years. They have listened to us, encouraged us, prayed for us, laughed with us, cried with us, and loved us. I couldn’t pick better people to walk this journey of life with. Oh yeah, and their husbands are pretty great too.😉

Do you take photos with your friends? 
Do you have any fun stories of how you met your closest friends?

Love Rach