Links I’m Loving

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1. The science of why you should spend your money on experiences, not things. (fastcompany.com)

2. Secrets from the royal kitchen, including the fact that Princess Kate cooks – could I adore her anymore? (glamour.com)

3. Gorgeous watercolor cookies sure to wow any crowd. (jacquelynclark.com)

4. Adorable photos of babies swimming underwater, just because it will put a massive smile on your face. (twistedsifter.com)

5. Five reasons to never leave home without your sunglasses. (oprah.com)

6. The unique power (and great comfort) of a lifelong friendship. (realsimple.com)

7. What does your Google search say about your spiritual life? (relevant.com)

8. I’m definitely trying this recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding for my brother’s graduation party tomorrow. (blueeyedbakers.com)

Shameless Plug: Calm My Anxious Heart

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Hi, my name is Katie and sometimes I have control issues. And worry. And ask “what if?” Sure, I know God is in control of all things but sometimes I kick into power-woman mode and before I know it I’m worrying about a situation as if I have any ounce of control over it. Typically I turn to prayer and my trusty Bible but sometimes it’s nice to have a guidebook of sorts to keep me centered and in the right mindset.

Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow was a book I first read over five years ago when I was living with two of my best friends, Ashley and Chelsea. We had decided to start a book club/Bible study of sorts, so we all read chapters each week and then discussed while we ate assorted snacks, of course. It was nice to be so candid about our biggest worries and fears, and then talk through a gameplan of how to better trust God. It was such a special time for all three of us. Five or so years later we’re all going through our own struggles and we’re praying each other through each one, but again, I’ve found myself struggling here and there with worry. I was packing up my books the other day and what literally fell off the shelf? Calm My Anxious Heart. I picked it up – any excuse to take a break from packing, right? – and was immeditaly reminded of God’s faithfullness and his unique plan(and incredible love!) for all of us.

So why do I highly recommend this one? It’s a book for women of all ages and includes examples from women across the globe. Dillow gracefully covers all topics we all struggle with at some point – contentment, anxiety, understanding God’s plan, trusting God with the “what ifs” and loving the real you. It’s the perfect way to start your morning or end your night – I keep mine on my bedside table and read it whenever I can and it’s been such a blessing to my every day. You in? Buy your copy here. xo

Seven Things

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[ perfect candles for Dad ]

This past week was all about celebrating the ones I love – from birthdays to Mother’s Day to a new job! It was so much fun to spend time laughing and telling fun stories with Mom and Dad all weekend – especially Dad’s breakfast brunch with my brother there, too! I tried my hand at a German Chocolate Cake from scratch and somehow it turned out quite delicious. Like I always say, go big and if it doesn’t work out there’s always the bakery down the street. In between all the merriment, Taylor took me to the driving range to try out my new golf clubs and while I’m no pro yet, I’m starting to enjoy the sport more and more. Oh, and have you seen The Avengers yet? Go see it. Total boy movie but has a little romance in there so ladies, don’t be scared. Have a great week! xo

20150508_223750[ Charlie was unimpressed with it all, naturally ]

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[ We can’t take them anywhere ]

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[ A photo-opp break during golf lessons with Tay ]

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[ Post-brunch napping ]

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[ Making this new adventure official – hello again, TN! ]

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[ The best way to end the week ]

Mom, Thank You

20150508_153134When I was in high school I found a drawer of old pictures in my parents’ formal living room and in that drawer was a box full of pictures from my mom’s high school years. I looked through every one – Mom and her prom date, Mom as a cheerleader at the top of the pyramid, Mom’s senior pictures, and eventually Mom with dad on her parent’s couch. I laughed at all the polyester and the business suit she wore on a couple dates but I mostly focused on a picture of Mom in her cheer uniform. Naturally, we had just had quite the disagreement the day before about the length of my cheerleading skirt. Some of the girls were sporting very short skirts and because I was an insecure 16 yr. old I thought I needed one too…that’s another post for another day. I didn’t understand why she didn’t get it – she had been a cheerleader after all! I believe I ended the conversation with something along the lines of, “you’re ruining my life and you don’t understand anything.”

Fast forward a few years and here I am, looking at the same picture of my mom in her cheer uniform. No longer am I thinking up ways to convince her that it’s okay if I wear one; instead, I’m thinking how beautiful she was then and how not much has changed…definitely not the hair or the sparkle in her eyes! One of the neatest things about growing up is getting to know your parents as real people and becoming friends. I am so thankful for a mother that loves God more than anything, adores my dad today more than the day she married him, and loves others more than herself. She’s the one who taught me how to throw a good party – whether it’s for two or two hundred! – and encourages me to “suck it up” and “remember whose you are” on a daily basis. She held my hand when I broke my ankle, gave me confidence when I had lost mine, and cried in the church pew on my wedding day. Did I mention she orchestrated every detail of my wedding day? That’s the kind of superwoman my mom is.

Mom, thanks for putting up with 16 year old me and loving like crazy despite my not-so-stellar attitude. Aren’t you glad I grew up and realized I don’t know everything? You’re the kind of wise I hope to become, and I’m so blessed to have you in my life. Lord willing, I hope to be half the mother you are one day and laugh as my daughter looks through pictures of me from my high school days.

Everybody, if you’re blessed enough to still have your mom here on this earth, call her. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call. Go a little Danny Tanner a la Full House and tell her how much you appreciate her for so many reasons. And maybe, like me, apologize for how you were at 16. xo

Links I’m Loving

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1. Beauty advice for my daughter. (cupcakesandcashmere.com)

2. Pretty presents for mom, just in time for Mother’s Day. (glamour.com)

3. 20 things nobody tells you when you graduate college. (time.com)

4. Finally, some cards that say what your friend with cancer really wants to hear. (today.com)

5. Check out the most Googled baby names in each state. Did your name make the cut? (hellogiggles.com)

6. How bad is it to fall asleep without brushing your teeth? Spoiler alert: BAD. (askthedentist.com)

6.  Interesting thoughts on the real point of prayer. (relevantmagazine.com)

Shameless Plug: Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These little babies have quickly become a favorite in our house ever since I found the recipe. I’ve altered it some – opting for sugar in the raw and adding in just under half a cup – but these cookies are perfect any way you want to make them. I like to use Jif Naturals peanut butter and sea salt to give that extra pop of flavor. Mix all ingredients (that are probably sitting in your pantry right now), use a cookie scoop or spoon to put the dough on a greased baking sheet, bake for 7-9 minutes (making sure you don’t let the tops get brown), and let cool for about a minute…or if you’re anything like my husband, about 20 seconds. The best thing about these cookies are that they rise just enough to be the perfectly soft, melt-in-you-mouth cookie. These are ideal for when you get a sweet tooth and want a healthy-ish treat or when you want to impress a crowd. Also, great for the gluten-free crowd! Give them a try and let me know what you think! xo

The Newlywed Life: Golf 101

www.caleynewberry.com

When Taylor and I were dating, he often took me to a driving range not far from my place in Nashville and he would spend the afternoon attempting to teach me to hit a golf ball properly. He loves golf and is quite good at it, so naturally I wanted to join in! I like to think I improved a little each time but let’s face it, I’m not known for my patience and I tend to revert back to my little league softball days when I begin to swing.

Fast forward to a few months ago at a beautiful course not far from our place in Kentucky. It was a gorgeous Saturday and we set out to play an actual game together for Taylor’s birthday. He was looking forward to a full afternoon of golf and I was looking forward to driving the golf cart. Oh, and the snacks, of course. We drove over to the first hole and Taylor handed me my driver. Per his suggestion, I took a few practice swings and he was so encouraging – “That looks great, baby!” and “Exactly right, do that every time!” So yes, I was feeling good when I stepped up to the little orange ball. I took a deep breath, lined up my hands and swung away….the only problem was, I hadn’t gripped the driver properly and had flung it high into a tree directly to our left. OOPS. I looked over at Taylor and he was on the ground laughing as my driver fell from the tree, taking a few hundred leaves with it.

It was the funniest thing that happened all day and truly set the tone for the rest of our golf game! I owned it and moved on to do pretty well for a wife just trying to get competitive with her very competitive husband. We both had the best time just being together, and it didn’t matter that I wasn’t remotely as good a player as my husband or if I took a snack break between holes 9-12. Our marriage was strengthened that day and now we love to golf together. I just try and remember to hold on to my driver! xo

Links I’m Loving

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1. 25 ways to savor Spring – I recommend observing #7 every day. (darlingmagazine.com)

2. What to do when you feel overwhelmed. (relevantmagazine.com)

3. Gear up for wedding season by thinking about that wedding speech now. (today.com)

4. Remember when we used to eat Chipotle because we thought it was a healthy choice? Now it really is! (self.com)

5. Easy ways to add color to your home. (cupcakesandcashmere.com)

6. The gaggiest, greatest love story aka an excellent perspective on faith and marriage. (lifeasoflate.com)

Seven Things

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[ This is a common occurrence ]

Let me start off by saying how much I appreciate your prayers for Chelsea and all the support and encouragement you’ve been giving – THANK YOU! Prayer is powerful and love heals so keep the good vibes coming. In between the business of the week we did take some time for some rest and a little fun, including homemade strawberry muffins to kick off strawberry season and a date night with my love where I dominated at the only sport I can come close to beating him; putt-putt. Oh, and I officially switched from six to seven things because seven is the perfect number and I have lots of share. Always. Have a great week! xo

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[ Homemade strawberry muffins to spice up a weekday ]

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[ Buddy joining in my morning stretch session ]

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[ Pink on pink on pink lemonade ]

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[ Fresh irises from the front yard ]

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[ A picture I just found from a date night at PM a couple weeks ago ]

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[ His and Her’s ]

The Newlywed Life: Tough Days

www.caleynewberry.com

My husband is a sensitive man, but out of the two of us let’s face it, I’m the emotional one 99.9% of the time. I cry at the end of movies, in the middle of a sweet song, when I’m overwhelmed with life and I have been known to cry “just because” from time to time. He knew what he signed up for when he married me and somehow he still followed through! With all that being said let’s be real, marriage is a full time gig. 24/7. 365. No weekends off. There are great days where you’re laughing while making a pizza in the kitchen and then there are tough days when your heart is breaking and it’s hard to make it off the couch.

Earlier this week we received news from one of my dearest friends in the world, news that I never dreamed I’d be hearing. Not from her. Not now. Suddenly I was having conversations with Chelsea about chemo and ports and scary things you never want to be talking about with your beautiful friend in her early thirties. It just doesn’t seem fair.

As expected, I’ve been a wreck all week. By yesterday morning, I had told my husband every detail as I knew it, questioned why this was happening and talked through a million ideas of how to help her through every step of the process. Taylor reminded me of so many, including my incredible cousin (!!!), who have beat cancer and encouraged me to breathe normally. There was nothing more to say that would help or change the way I was feeling or what was happening and he knew it, so he just held me and let me cry. We stood in the hallway for what felt like hours and he held me close while I cried and mumbled a prayer for healing for my beautiful friend. He didn’t say a word – he just held me while I let go. Sometimes marriage is simply about being present.

Last night I talked to Chelsea for hours, along with our other half, Ashley, who we conferenced in. We talked and talked about it all – the scary stuff and just life stuff. I’ve always known Chelsea was a tough cookie – we’ve been friends and lived together for the better part of my 20s – but she is approaching next level toughness these days. Her attitude is incredibly joyful and her courage is contagious and I know without a doubt God is going to carry her through this with grace. After we all said our goodbyes and I slipped into bed next to my sweet, half-asleep husband we prayed for complete healing for my beautiful friend, just as we had several times earlier that day and as we will continue to do. For the first time all day I felt at peace, and I knew everything would be alright.

Ladies, I hope you find a partner who will hold you and let you cry. Who will love you when you’re all dolled up and when your mascara is running down your face. Who will pray with you without ceasing, and who will love your best friends the way you love them. I am so incredibly thankful for a Godly husband who is my light and encouragement when I get so caught up in the whys and hows – the questions that don’t need to be answered because we’re not in control. I am eternally grateful for a husband that keeps reminding me God is faithful, my friend is a fighter, and we’re going to pray her through this. Together. xo