Pie

20140209-081740.jpgDays with friends are good. Days with friends that revolve around food are better. And finally, days with friends that will soon be moving to Georgia are so fun and a little sad… but ultimately awesome because we couldn’t be happier for their new opportunity.

We love this little group of Truett friends and have so enjoyed having them close by in Houston. It’s always such a nice escape to get away for the day and explore new places and restaurants. But really we just go to see them. We always look forward to the conversations, the telling of seminary memories and the laughter we know will come in abundance.  This group is a safe place. A table around which we can do everything from flush out frustrations to share dreams of the future.

Can’t wait to see y’all on ‘Honey Boo Boo Goes to Church!’ Dinah, you better drive to Lufkin for the viewing party. Thanks for such a refreshing day, y’all! And for the thousands of calories. I enjoyed every single one! 20140209-081748.jpg

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Thanksween

Well, Mo and I are no longer on speaking terms after she said Opal isn’t very cute, but…20131027-223542.jpgThree cheers jumps for Mo and Kari’s annual trip to Lufkin!! I’ve said before that friends taking the time to come east means the world to us. We are constantly driving near and far to see people, so when people come to us, we feel so special. Unfortunately Walker wasn’t here on Saturday, but Jared filled his manly presence, and I’m also noticing he got the most camera time.

Kari and Mo sewed these awesome Thanksween t-shirts. Notice they match! And there I am wearing a plain black v-neck they brought me because they got tired : ) I’m still laughing about that. downtownbookstoreLast year the weather forced us to stay inside and knit all day, but this year Kari only knit in our down time. We spent the afternoon walking around downtown and popping in the coffee shop, used bookstore and antique shops.20131027-223655.jpg20131027-223753.jpgThe clear skies had a chill in the air, and since we are pretty much obsessed with our new lights, it was the perfect night for an outdoor dinner and movie. Jared whipped up a Wild Rice and Kale Chowder while Kari and I worked on the caramel apples. Mo took her role as photog. 20131027-223824.jpgThat cat is lucky to be alive after he tried messing with Kari, but I guess he won her over considering he cuddled in her lap for the entire movie. 20131104-174634.jpg20131027-223851.jpgapple laughsjared appleAs we sat around the table warming ourselves with hot chowder, we kept repeating “this is perfect!” The atmosphere took on somewhat of a whimsical feel, but it had much more to do with the companionship than the twinkle lights. Kari and Mo are two of the wisest and most genuine people I know. To be in their presence is to feel comfortable, hopeful and safe. Their conversations are meaningful and uplifting, their words are encouraging and intentional, and their laughter is deep. It was such a refreshing weekend, not because of what we did or where we went, but rest was found in the simplicity of reuniting with good friends. Jared and I were so happy to spend the day with you. We miss y’all already! Come back, and maybe Walker will grace us with his presence. movie copy

The Ramirez Family

We probably just experienced the most emotion-filled weekend of our lives. We drove to Waco Thursday night to start the celebration for Casey and Brittany’s wedding. Five minutes after arriving, we received a shocking call that our good friend had become very ill. Our friend Seth flew in from Canada to perform the welcoming part of the ceremony since Brittany’s dad was officiating but needed to walk her down the aisle. On Friday night at 10:30, Seth received a phone call that a student in his college ministry had suddenly died. He flew back to Canada the next morning. Casey and Brittany asked me to fill in for Seth, leaving me incredibly honored and beyond terrified. But all went well and I did great. The wedding was wonderful, and we rejoiced with the new Ramirez family as Walker stood beside him as best man. Plus there was a giant vat of banana pudding! Sunday morning we drove to Lufkin to drop off precious Opal and then made our way to Houston to be with our good friend. At 8 last night we pulled back into our driveway- physically and emotionally spent. Exhausted in every sense of the word.

We don’t feel old enough to have weekends like this. We rotated between laughter and tears and sometimes both at once. Simply said, it was a hard, hard weekend. But looking at these pictures I see just how good it was, too. We have the best support system known to man. Our friends bring such joy to our lives, and we are so thankful for this short little seminary reunion. We couldn’t be happier for Casey and Brittany, and when y’all get back from Mexico, I hope you see just how privileged we felt to be a part of your special day. Here’s to more reunions!

Here’s a few of our random, posed and slightly blurry pics from the weekend! reunitedjaredbesties3bestiesbesties1welcomemcwilliamsflowerschrisbestmanbristersboyzcake

Oh Chris

This is beautiful and so is the author. Just read it. And be grateful that she has found the words to say what we’ve all felt at different points in our lives. Some of us more recently than others. Every word leaves you screaming in your head ‘yes, yes, that’s me, yes!’ And then read the rest of her blog, because it’s just as good.

Why We Want to be Busy by Christina Gibson

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I would also recommend taking and international trip with her. Israel will never be the same. Grateful to call you friend. And roomie.

‘You Frill Me’ Giveaway!

Hey peeps, I’m trying to help you out!

I follow a blog called You Frill Me, and they are offering an incredible giveaway!

This blog is co-authored by a girl who went to seminary with me, and I’ve literally liked every single outfit I’ve seen her in. It’s a fun space that documents the little extra ‘frills’ in fashion, design, cooking, etc. that make life more interesting!

Go check out their giveaway, follow the instructions, and win (hopefully)! Who wouldn’t want to redesign their closet in an eco-friendly way?!

photo via here

 

#normannanigans

Remember that time Truett started taking over Oklahoma?

Last weekend I road tripped myself up to Norman to visit some of my favorite friends from seminary. Or really just some of my favorites in general. Cara Jane and I practically lived the same life for 3 years, so the realization that we hadn’t seen each other in 10.5 months was too much to take. Only solution: put on my big girl panties and make the drive!

Luckily, everybody I know seems to be moving  to the sooner state. I thankfully spent some time with Lauren before she moves to China in a week and with Dinah who I hadn’t seen in two whole weeks!

Our weekend was filled with cool temperatures, walks and talks, healthy food, calling professors who have yet to call us back, Parks n Rec, and experiencing a spiritual transformation by seeing the movie remake Sparkle! That might seem like a dramatic statement, but I loved this film! #imisswhitney! Other highlights included being presently surprised with the beauty of the OU campus and getting to see the OKC bombing memorial at night time. I’ve never had much desire to visit Oklahoma, but I kind of secretly fell in love and can’t wait to go back!

Cara Jane. Dinah. Lauren. Chris. Thanks for being my friends! I am grateful for each of you. You are welcome in Lufkin anytime. Like, I’m free tomorrow…

Until next time, Bye-bye lil’ Sebastian!

Travel. Loved Ones. Life.

These past few weeks have been a traveling fiesta- just the way I like it. I tend to get claustrophobic if I stay in the same place with out some sort of exploration every once in short while. After Lubbock, we had a busy Sunday in Lufkin and then hit the road toward Nashville with our graduated seniors. Country Music Hall of Fame. Night time zip-lining. Pancake Pantry. Burger Up. Beth…

Straight from Nashville to Dallas, I was gifted with a girls weekend at the lake with some Baylor buds. We took the boat out, ran out of charge on the bad boy, cooked healthy meals, relaxed relaxed relaxed, caught up on life, and of course let the laughter spew from our hearts at every chance.

Next stop: Tucson with a sprinkle of Phoenix. I exchanged a boat for an airplane and headed home to the padres, the puppies and the besties. I’m already ready to go back.

Final stop: Houston. I parked in Lufkin Friday night, greeted the husband and kissed the pup just in time to glue myself to the opening ceremony of the Olympics! We headed to Houston, along with other seminary friends, on Saturday to witness our friend, Amanda, become ordained to the ministry.

I love traveling. And I love my family. And my friends. And my dogs. Most people might feel exhausted after 3 weeks of non-stop travel in 3 states/6 cities, but I find myself rejuvenated. And grateful.

Wacation

Last weekend we went on Wacation. Somewhere between a vacation and a staycation–we went to Waco. Our initial purpose was to attend Connally graduation where some of our favorite 18 year olds graduated. Our third graduation to attend in the last two weeks. These are some special youth from Walker’s church in Waco. Then, one day without consulting me Walker took Sunday off and decided we were going to have a mini vacation. After my “wait, you didn’t ask me?” and “what? that’s not the plan. you can’t change the plan!” I jumped on board.

We are in the middle of busy season. Actually, we’re transitioning from really busy season to super busy season. Spring is quite the feat for youth ministers. Between the baseball and softball games, scholarship and award ceremonies, dance shows, graduations, senior lunches and videos, and surgeries (gosh Lizzie, so high maintenance), we have been running around like crazy. Times all those activities by 2 since we have 2 high schools. There were a couple weeks where Walker didn’t come home until 9:30 every single night. Youth, if you ever doubt your youth minister cares about you, he does.

Now we enter super busy season. Camps. Walker and the youth will be on the move this summer as they head to Louisiana, Belton, Lubbock and Nashville. Not to mention all of their events around town. If anybody wants to come visit me, or wants me to come visit them, I’m all in! I know how to travel, too!

Realizing we needed to take a weekend just for us, we spent our three precious days in Waco. Walker’s parents took pity on us and got us 3 hotel nights so we didn’t have to inconvenience our friends as we always do. They also babysat Opal giving us even less responsibility! Thank you!

We loved our weekend away even if it wasn’t really away. Highlights:

1. Giving Opal hugs and kisses and then not knowing what to do without her.

2. Graduation and celebratory dinner afterwards. Lots of laughter and reminiscing.

3. A run in Cameron Park.

4. Exploring the new outdoor store in Waco. Walker wanted a bike. I wanted bubble tea.

5.  Shopped around a real mall!

6. Ate dinner with Seth, Meredith and Monte before they move to Vancouver, Canada!

7. Ate too many sandwiches at a graduation lunch.

8. Saw Snow White and the Huntsmen…in the movie theater’s new leather seats!

9. Went to the Farmer’s Market!

9.5 Common Ground with Chris.

10. Drove to Dallas to visit Lauren before she moves to China. Went to fun ‘make your own pizza place’ followed by some freaking good cupcakes and then a food coma nap.

11. Met up with Jared and Gabby to eat Lauren’s goodbye (‘birthday’) dinner. Said goodbye. Sad face.

12. Rescued Dinah’s missing kitten.

13. Worshipped with our Waco church family.

14. Ate Jason’s Deli for Walker’s sake.

15. REUNITED WITH OPAL!!!!!!!!!

We are grateful for a few days of rest and a few days of together time. Feeling a little bit more prepared for the upcoming summer of chaos.This time Waco, Next time Spain! I Wish!

I think a friendship is strong when it includes napping together.

They slept like this on the ride home to Lufkin. THE cutest.

a graduation and an engagement

Last weekend I ventured to Waco for Truett graduation as a lot of the people I came in with were walking across the stage. Friday night actually turned into a double celebration as Mo got engaged right after the ceremony! Plus I got to spend the weekend with some other favorite people of mine. Thanks, Danielle, for letting me stay in your spare bed. I always love spending time with the Barretts. Wish I had more time to catch everyone!

Said goodbye to my lil fam.

Went on a Friday morning walk with these two cuties (yes, one is wearing a tiara) and their mom. Much needed exercise. Much needed convos.

Waiting for graduation to start.

Happy graduation!

The fiances!

Some of my favorite people in da world.

A blurry Team Hoyt celebrates! Israel forever.

Friends.

Swings and Family Pics

Jared, gracious as always, let us sleep on his couch for our one night in Waco. Before we got on the road back to Lufkin, Jared and his girlfriend, Gabby, accompanied us to Cameron Park on an afternoon that was probably a little too hot for our baby girl to stand. Here is what unfolded:

Thanks to Jared for taking our impromptu family pictures!