A few weeks ago, you probably saw on social media, that Darian and I ventured west for a bit. We flew into Las Vegas then drove up through parts of Arizona and Utah, making a pit stop in a small town called Moab. Now, you may be familiar with this little town due to its popular hiking trails and national parks. I, on the other hand, was slightly new to this area and was not really sure what to expect upon my arrival.
There are times when my mind is seriously blown at the creative things in this world. I mean, think about it. People had to take the time to invent something in order for us to use it. Their mind drafted up an image of a space or an object that, at the time, probably sounded crazy to everyone else around them because no one had ever SEEN it. Isn't it crazy how much we truly depend on our sight? Without being able to see, feel or touch something we panic at the thought of taking the leap. But the reality is, without that leap and without that faith, no one will be able to experience our thoughts for themselves.
I think most of you know this about me, but I am blind as a bat. Seriously, CANNOT see. Unfortunately, I started to realize this on the tennis court when that little yellow ball would be pretty fuzzy on the other side of the net...and I do not mean physically. Once I started losing matches due to my inability to see, I finally admitted defeat and went to the eye doctor. Now, I was about 12 years old when all of this went down (5th grade?), so you can imagine, I was TRAUMATIZED at the thought of getting glasses. I had just started at a new school, I was about to get braces, I mean...pretty much my world was ending. SO, with that being said, I opted for contacts. And from that point on, I very rarely wore my glasses in public. In fact, most people didn't even know my eyes were bad. Until lately.
So lets talk about that comfort zone for a second. You know, that area that you tend to hang in until you are pretty much drug out into that awkward space...yeah that one. We all love our comfort zone. I mean, why leave it? Why take ourselves out of something we are used to and put ourselves into a situation that makes our hands start to sweat? I will go ahead and answer these questions from my perspective...I probably wouldn't leave. I am guilty. I am guilty of pitching my tent in my comfort zone. And y'all...it is a comfortable tent.
GIRL BOSS. We have all heard the term. Some might be annoyed by it, some probably have a coffee mug or two with these words in bold letters. It is definitely a common thing in today's society. But how do you truly define the term? Is it simply for those who are literal bosses? Women who run their own companies and manage a staff of people who work FOR them? Or do you apply the term to your best friend who you pretty much think is just the coolest person on the planet? Well, I think it can go either way. Let me talk to my girl bosses out there for a minute (yep, that means you).
It is official guys...summer is here! It has been SO hot (almost unbearable) here in Louisiana but I am actually okay with it! You know, summertime means a lot of things for me that I love...1) my birthday, 2) pool time and 3) VACATION! How can I complain?? No but seriously, there are just some things I love to do in the summer so I figured I would round up some of my favs and share them here!
So let's talk about why I really went to California. Yes to se my girls. Yes to see cool places and take cool pics. Yes to the blog thing. BUT, the trip originally came to be when we were discussing the Hillsong Colour Conference. Four those of you who are not familiar, Hillsong is a church in Australia that has probably one of the most well-known worship teams with some of the most well-known worship songs in their repertoire. I grew up in my church at home listening to, and singing their music because it wasn't just church music...it was worship, which I love. Anyways, back to my story. This conference, put on my Bobbie Houston (one of the head pastors of Hillsong Church), was two days dedicated to women who love Jesus. And y'all, when I tell you this place was full of these women, it was so full. Women from all over. Different races, different backgrounds, different stories. But we were all there for the same thing. To share in our love for Jesus. To worship. To repent. To grow. And it was unlike any other.
I am sure you have probably been able to tell, but I have a lot of weddings happening in my life right now. One in particular is for my main girl, Darian. As you see EVERY DAY when I post on social media or the blog, Darian does a lot for me. A LOT. Words cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for her, which brings me to this season in her life...it is my turn to do something for her. With that being said, I am showering her with wedding fun, from bridal showers to bachelorette parties, and have been thankful for Basic Invite and their beautiful invitations!
Four years. I cannot believe we have been married for four years. It is crazy. Crazy to think that it was four years ago that I was planning our wedding, fitting my dress and preparing my vows. Crazy to think because it seems like it was just yesterday, but also feels SO long ago. But it is true. It has been four years since we said "I do." And I have to say it has been fun. I won't lie, it hasn't always been easy. People weren't lying when they said marriage was hard. It definitely is. I have definitely had my moments. Some where Jon Luke probably wanted to strangle me and walk out the door. Some where he thought I was being unreasonable. Some where he had had enough. And visa versa. There have been moments I have been terrified. I have been confused. I have felt that it was never going to get better. But we are making it. Making the most of this crazy adventure. And having fun.
A mere two weeks in to the New Year and I am tired people. How is that possible? I feel like I do my best to rest and have time to myself but it feels like I can never catch up. But lately, it has been mostly about that. Just catching up. I have tried to recover from our Argentina trip, do (several loads of) laundry, clean the house, plan content, and get ready for upcoming travels. I know I do this to myself so please do not mistake this for complaining. I love my life and I am so thankful we are able to do the things we do. I just need to rest a little more!
What do you think of when you hear the word INTENT? What initially comes to your mind? For me, for whatever reason, I think of passion. There seems to be a difference in just doing something to do it, and doing something with intent. When there is intent behind it, there is more of a drive; a true desire to complete the task. Right? I decided to Google the definition of the word INTENT and these were some of the answers I got from the world wide web:
Happy New Year!! Can you believe it is 2018??? I know I can’t but I am definitely excited for this new year! This past year brought some beautiful, yet challenging, moments with it but for the most part was one for the books. JL and I were fortunate enough to see more of the world together, which I will always cherish. If you remember, we traveled with this family to Alaska back in the summer. This trip was so much fun, not only because we were venturing through a new place, but because I was able to watch his family venture. They live in a small town so things that I take for granted while traveling, meant so much to them, creating good reminders for me. We also added Lake Tahoe to the list recently, as a new skiing spot. Typically in years past, we have skied in Winter Park, Colorado, but I have to say, Lake Tahoe was BEAUTIFUL. And of course we made several trips to the beach because, what would summer be without the beach?
In the spirit of Christmas, I'm still working on gift guides! For this one though, I have a helper...and he's pretty great. Both Jon Luke and I worked together to put together this "Gift Guide for Him," because naturally, he needed to have a say in what you should get your guy for Christmas. But whether it's for your special someone, your brother, your dad or your best friend, keep reading to see some great gift ideas for him! Jon Luke might even make his writing debut here!
Happy Friday everyone! We did it, y'all. We made it to the end of the week and to DAY FIVE of Gracefully Taylored's Five Days of Fitness! Today, I want to tell you all about my Kayla Itsines BBG workout. I jumped on the Kayla train about three years ago and do not regret it one bit. I had seen her/her client's results on her Instagram account and always thought, "WOW! This is amazing," so I bought in to the craze. I bought the original Bikini Body Guide workout (before the App came out) and did the twelve weeks guide. Y'all...I saw serious results. Now I can buy the 12-24 week PDF or I can keep using the App but I love this workout!
For as long as I can remember, I have always been intrigued by boxing. I tried kick boxing classes throughout high school and college but never stuck with it until recently. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to add to my everyday workout routine. Apparently I had some anger built up because I decided that I just wanted to hit things, which made me look in to boxing again. I found a local gym and decided on personal training sessions so that I could get the most out of my time in the ring. Y'all, I have to say...I LOVE IT. I have become even more interested in the sport of boxing because there is so much more to it than I thought! From foot placement to which punch to throw next, you do actually have to think about what you are doing. And while I am not planning on getting in the ring for a true fight anytime soon, I do love the act of "training" for something. My coach keeps me motivated, I feel confident, and it really is a great stress reliever!
So I have to say that one of my favorite things to do fitness wise is to just go on a run. For whatever reason, I find it so peaceful. This is my time. My time to worship, my time to reflect, my time to think. Just my time to be with myself, no distractions...just running. Truthfully, I was not much of a runner until I graduated from college. My first year of graduate school I decided I wanted to run a half marathon. And not only did I want to run a half marathon, but I wanted to run it in San Francisco. Yep...hills. This meant I needed to train. A LOT. It was really during this time that I realized how much I loved running. I spent a lot of time running the plains of Auburn and truly loved every minute of it. So now I like to find route, but I also just like to go. Just run. And see where I end up, and how far I can go.
Well it's DAY TWO so you know what that means right?!? It is time for me to introduce another workout that I choose DAILY to stay in shape. Today, it is all about Pure Barre. And to start, I actually have a funny story about how I started taking Pure Barre. I was in class during graduate school, secretly working on my wedding website, while my professor spoke about something I obviously was not paying attention to. I was newly engaged and a newly retired tennis player with a bum knee and mission to fit into my wedding dress. True story. Thankfully, there was a girl in my class who was teaching at Pure Barre and she invited me to try a class. While my initial reaction to her invite was "I was not a dancer," she quickly convinced me that was unnecessary. I figured if I didn't need to be a dancer then this would be easy right? I mean, I was a Division I tennis player. Yeah...wrong. I could not stop shaking. So needless to say, four years ago I started Pure Barre...and now I'm addicted.
It is here! Gracefully Taylored's Five Days of Fitness. I have to say that I am really excited about this series. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life so when it comes to sharing things on the blog and being real with you all? This is perfect. Honestly, Jon Luke and I were sitting on the couch one night talking about things I could do on the blog and he asked why I didn't put more fitness content out. The more I thought about it, the more I began to ask myself the exact same question. Why don't I share more of this? So, this is me sharing. I am going to start with a week devoted to all things fitness. From the workouts I choose to stay in shape, to the fashion, even creating a gift guide for those who have fitness lovers in their lives! It will all be here over the next few days and I am excited to share!