i’ve got some big news!

 

it’s been way too long since i’ve posted on here, and for that i apologize. lots has been going on between the holidays, weddings, parties, traveling, youth events, etc. perhaps one of the most exciting and time-consuming things in my life is the fact that…

we’re moving!

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after a whole lot of prayer and consideration, second-guessing, and late-night conversations, ike and i have decided that it’s time for us to take a huge leap of faith and move to a city that we’ve both loved from afar. we are beyond excited to take this step because we see it as an opportunity to fully begin a life together, in a place where neither of us have a comfort zone except for each other. we chose nashville not only because it’s an awesome city, but because ike will have the chance to pursue music while i focus on finding a career. 

we don’t take this move lightly, because ike and i have had the most amazing opportunities as single people and as a married couple here in the south atlanta area. the church we attend/work at is full of incredibly loving and encouraging people that we consider family. we have had such great times with so many friends in the past couple of years. we’ve been able to live in a small apartment, in the middle of nowhere, where we’ve enjoyed each other’s company without distraction. we are sad about leaving our loved ones, but take solace in the fact that we’ll finally (hopefully!) have a guest bedroom that y’all can come crash in anytime. 

the big move will be happening in the first week or so of march, so ike and i made a pact to spend as much time as possible with our friends and family before then. so let’s get together! also, if you have any advice on where to live/work/shop/hangout/go to church in nashville, please let me know! we would appreciate it more than you know. 

lastly, your prayers and positive thoughts over the next few weeks are warmly welcomed. we’re anxious and somewhat terrified of moving to a brand new city without jobs, but we’re trusting Him throughout it all. and we’re so excited!

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five things

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preseta few weeks ago, we were invited to a friendsgiving get-together in atlanta. i didn’t know very many people at the dinner, but it was so nice to see a lot of new faces and eat way too much delicious food and drink– like the sangria above.

IMG_0965if you’ve ever paid attention in worship, you’ve probably noticed that a song by Hillsong is in almost every worship set. ike and i were able to see them live with dear friends of ours in atlanta. this picture was taken during my absolute favorite song, Oceans (Where Feet May Fail). if you haven’t heard it, i 100% recommend you download it immediately and put it on repeat.

IMG_0993this was taken at a recent youth retreat at ike’s family farm. the reason it made the cut is because ike noticed after we took the photo that we were wearing the exact same jackets that we wore to stone mountain back in january of 2012, where we took the exact same picture! time has flown.

1417498_10153529029920366_411769263_oemily and i rarely get to hang out these days, so i love the times that we do get to spend together. she came up to thanksgiving at Teresa’s this year and i’m so glad. i am so incredibly proud of how she’s grown throughout the past few years, and how she’s found her passion for occupational therapy. she leaves for africa next month for 3 months, and although i know i’ll miss her and probably worry about her everyday, i couldn’t be more proud of the decision she made to go overseas and help those that are less fortunate.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preseti have recently started obsessing over the idea of decorating for Christmas, but unfortunately this is about as far as i’ve gotten. we’re hoping to get a tree this weekend and decorate it!

giving of thanks

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growing up, thanksgiving never held much weight for me. i knew the meaning behind it, but it felt more like a day where people eat way too much and then sleep all day. boring. but now that i’m older, and married, i’m obsessed with the idea of a family gathering.

when i got married, i somewhat feared the idea that ike and i would have to pick and choose which family to celebrate each holiday with. and inevitably, feelings may get hurt, or we might miss out on funny stories, sweet moments, and memories that we can’t get back. and though i’m sure that will eventually happen, this thanksgiving, we got lucky. my parents and emily will be joining us at ike’s mom’s house on lake oconee for a couple of days.  i cannot wait to be around a big table with my amazing parents and sister, my husband, and my mother-in-law and her husband. but it doesn’t stop there because on saturday, my father-in-law’s side of the family gathers together at their farm and celebrates all day long. i went to the farm celebration last year, just before our wedding, and it was such a great day to be surrounded by wonderful people eating delicious food. i can’t wait to be back.

as my first thanksgiving as a thurston quickly approaches, i’m most thankful to be able to celebrate the holiday with not one, not two, but three beautiful families. what are you thankful for?

a wedding weekend

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetafter taking an accidental hiatus from blogging, i decided to make my first post about the beautiful wedding ike and i attended this past weekend! jonathan, one of ike’s close friends and coworkers, married kristin on saturday at a farm in north georgia. the picture above is the ceremony site, right outside of the barn (which was actually rebuilt this past summer after it burned down). it was a stunning venue and everything was so representative of the bride and groom.

IMG_0821kristin and her dad during rehearsal

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetthese three boys (steven, cory, and jared) provided the ceremony music and everybody loved them!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetthe groom made this nail art himself! they hung directly behind the couple during the ceremony.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetkristin made the lace banner that hung on the balcony! a lot of the decorations were made by the bride and groom.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetthis lady, evanda, was my date during the wedding since both of our guys were in the actual ceremony. she’s the coolest.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetspeaking of my guy, i’m pretty sure i had the most handsome date in attendance. just as we did at our wedding, we stayed on the dance floor the whole night and had such a great time! 

i love actually getting to attend weddings with ike // we typically don’t get to go to them together because he’s always playing on the weekends, so we rarely get to enjoy them. but i can confidently say that he’s a wonderful wedding date!

a weekend at home

this past weekend was spent in my sweet hometown, thomasville. my older sister, jennifer, brought her two babies to town for a visit and i was so glad to see them! i’d only seen vivian (7 months) once, and elliott (27 months) had grown so much since the last time.

Imagehow cute are they? it was ike’s first time meeting his niece, and i think she was a fan!

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IMG_0479it was also emily’s first time meeting vivian!

IMG_0484those curls… swoon.

IMG_0455jennifer and i took the kids downtown for a bit and grabbed a cheese plate at sweet grass dairy.

IMG_0444this sweet thing belongs to our friends, spencer and megan. ike is ford’s godfather, so the two of them have a special relationship. i think he’s ike’s favorite kid!

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another reason for my trip home was that a sweet friend from high school got married! i’ve known joseph for lots and lots of years, and i actually grew up going to church with his now-wife, lori. these two are such a beautiful example of a committed and Christ-like relationship. i’m not sure if it’s because i’m now married, but i shed many, many tears watching these two commit their lives to each other. and how beautiful was the ceremony site?

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since ike couldn’t make it to the wedding, this beauty was my date!

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the forecast showed rain all day, but the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.

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it was almost like a class reunion! it’s a rare occasion that all 4 of us are together these days.

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this was the groom’s “cake,” the largest apple pie i’ve ever seen. it was delicious!

well, that was my weekend! what did you do?

cruisecation day 3

by our last day, all of us were so relaxed and happy that we couldn’t stop talking about our next cruise! day 3 just happened to be the day that we anchored near royal caribbean’s private island, coco cay, boarded a small ferry boat, and got to spend a few hours living the simple life. the four of us claimed beach chairs, ordered delicious “coco loco’s” (kind of like a piña colada but with papaya, mango, and lots of other yummy stuff in it), and enjoyed the beautiful island.

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this was our view of the boat as we headed to the island!Image

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we swam in the water for awhile and managed to spot a small shark and two sting rays, and a crab bit spencer on the toe! the water was so nice, especially once we walked around to another part of the island that was less crowded.

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we didn’t realize until the next morning that we failed to take pictures of our outfits that night! a few other things that happened the last night on the ship: ike serenaded 100 or so people at karaoke with whitney houston’s “how will i know,” we listened to a comedian for a bit, and searched for the midnight buffet but couldn’t find it… so we ordered room service and got steak sandwiches! oh the perks of unlimited food anytime you want it. it was hard for us to go back home and get used to only having one dinner option instead of 5, no midnight buffets, and no room service. Image

this was the view outside of our bedroom window as we got ready for dinner the last night. absolutely stunning.

i can honestly say that it was the best vacation i have ever had, even though i was terrified up until we actually stepped foot on the boat. ike and i were unplugged and able to enjoy each other without any other distractions. we can’t wait to plan our next cruise!

cruisecation day 2

on day two of our wonderful cruise, ike and i headed to breakfast and stopped to take a few photos:Image this is the top deck of the boat, where they had a few of pools, bars, a midnight buffet, and lots of dancing. ImageImageafter breakfast, we met up with spencer and megan at the pool for a bit before packing a bag for our destination of the day: nassau, bahamas! none of us had ever been there before so we truly didn’t know what to expect. when we got off the boat, they ushered us into this colorful building that took you to the straw market, which was full of people trying to offer you a taxi ride, sell you useless trinkets, and more. ike and spencer had previously talked about renting scooters, so when a lady approached us with what seemed like a good deal, we took it. after a chaotic debacle, we finally had scooters!ImageImageImageImagewe rode about 50 miles around the left side of the island (the right side was mainly national forest). we stopped to eat some fried conch and drink local beer, drove some more, explored a pirate cave, swam in the ocean, and on our way back enjoyed a delicious piña colada. it was an awesome day, but i couldn’t help feeling strange about us being there. the island had some truly desolate places, some impoverished places, and then some places of extreme wealth. it felt odd to be vacationing in a place where so many people live day-to-day. however, i enjoyed the breathtaking beauty of the ocean!ImageImageImageImageImageike and i turned our scooter in and headed back to the boat around 5pm because i was feeling pretty sick. i took a hot shower, slept for an hour and half, woke up just in time to watch UGA beat South Carolina (!!!!) and then got ready for dinner. here’s what we wore the second night:ImageImageImageImageour waiter, cajetan, was literally the best. it didn’t matter what we ordered, he would bring us an extra appetizer/entree/dessert. it got to the point where we just ordered two of each course (yikes)! we ate like kings and queens on the cruise.

that night, they held a dance party at midnight on the top deck. they had a huge buffet, a DJ with a light show, and even the ship officers showed us how to gangnam style. it was so much fun! and surreal to think that all the staff were there to make sure that we were having fun pretty much at all times. crazy.

IMG_0169 IMG_0178check back soon for day 3!