i think it's safe to say that my twenties haven't quite turned out how i expected they would. looking back, i can't say exactly what i expected, but i've spent the last few years feeling stuck in one place. unsure of what to do next. frustrated. perhaps i've watched too many lighthearted movies featuring kate hudson in the prime of life, living in a beautiful manhattan apartment that would more than likely rent for about $3000 or more a month, working at a chic job doing something glamorous, dating matthew mcconaughey and spending two full hours looking bouncy and glowy and drinking martinis and wearing manolos. apparently in my younger years i thought that was what being twenty-something felt like. (although i'd gladly date ryan gosling over matthew mcconaughey. or zac efron...thoughts wander...but i digress.)

in all honesty, my twenties aren't that unlike kate's. i have a great family and truly excellent friends. i have a cute house. i spend at least a few evenings a month at happy hour. sometimes i eat brownies for dinner. i work in uptown charlotte. my hair is kind of bouncy. i own a pair of kate spade shoes. i'm actually almost like kate hudson. minus the handsome fellow. and the expensive apartment. and the tan. but despite this truth, i often don't feel like i thought i would in my twenties. i start comparing myself. i dwell on what i don't have. i don't have a husband. i don't have a high-paying job. i don't have a retirement plan or stock options. i don't own a house. i don't have any manolos. i don't have a tan. when i compare myself to where so many others are at this age, i freak out a little bit and wonder what i'm doing with my life. why God hasn't opened more doors for me. if i'm going to let my twenties pass me by without ever enjoying them.
i still remember the moment, last august in southern pines. i'd come to visit the lovely lacey and her family in the dead of summer and we did what we do every time we we're together: starbucks. i had just ordered my grande-iced-coffee-with-a-splash-of-soymilk and set my straw tote on one of the leather armchairs. i was wearing this dress and despite the horrible temperatures, feeling kind of fancy. from a few feet away came this voice. "where in the world did you get that dress!?" i responded. we started chatting. within moments, i was having an extremely comfortable conversation with this girl that i'd never met. talking about crafts and blogging and our lives. i was drawn in by her warmth and enthusiasm. we exchanged info. we became virtual friends.

since that time, i've read sarah's blog pretty regularly. she is completely passionate about ministering to twenty-something women. never in my life have i had such a random encounter with a complete stranger that i have been so certain was ordained by the Lord. while we haven't seen one another since, she has ministered to me in more ways than one, and i'm so grateful that i was able to meet her that day. we keep in touch every so often through facebook or twitter, and as of about a month ago, she published a book! a legit book. a sold-at-barnes-and-noble-and-on-amazon-book. i remember her telling me that day we met that she was writing a book (in fact, she was working on it at the time). i remember thinking i'd be interested to read it. and i finally got my copy tonight and am so excited to join the online study that she is hosting on her website. while i don't often get excited about books that can be bought at the christian bookstore (and feel terrible for even admitting that, but it's true), i feel certain that God has selected this book for me during this time and i can't wait to see what i learn through it. sarah is extremely genuine and extremely passionate and i have a tremendous amount of respect for her. if you're a twenty-something girl, you should join us for the study! you can buy the book here and you can sign-up for the online study here. hooray!

i'll be twenty-seven in a month. this makes me want to throw-up and cry and eat a lot of cake all at the same time. i am thankful for people like sarah who remind me that slowly approaching thirty is okay. that i'm right where i'm supposed to be, in the hands of the One who created me.

images 1.zap2it 2.eloranicole


well, hello, friday!

would anyone else like to agree with me when i say this has been the longest week? oh my goodness it is about time friday rolled around. today i took a half day at work despite the unbelievable list of to-do's and deadlines looming because my pretty friend lacey (of the famed humming right along) is in town to play! hooray! we went to the gavin degraw/colbie caillat concert last night thanks to some free tickets i won on the radio and we plan to spend the weekend hanging out and eating loads of junk food, which is essentially the best part of our friendship, we are great at doing nothing together and still having fun. we both very much like pajamas, swedish fish, wine, wine coolers, boxed wine (don't knock it til you try it), pizza, ice cream and chai lattes from dilworth coffee. since i have nothing of consequence to share today, here are a few links that you might enjoy:

the colorful jen ramos is making me want to paint.

the glitter guide turned one this week. if you don't read it you should. one of its founders, taylor sterling is my ultimate style inspiration/girl crush.

in the celebration of father's day, watch jimmy fallon dance like a dad. guaranteed to make you laugh.

concert with gavin degraw renewed my love for him last night. he is so great live. check out my favorite gavin song, a lesser-known one.

finally, for those of you that took the time to call, email or message me after my rather melodramatic post on wednesday, thank you. your encouragement is such a blessing to me. ♥

happy weekend! 

image via laurel from iiiinspired


growing pains

so there's this cursed disease in baseball, named after former pittsburgh pirates pitcher steve blass. eight years into his major league career, blass suddenly and inexplicably lost his ability to pitch. he struggled through a season walking batters left and right, spent another season in the minor leagues trying to find his mojo, and then retired. doctors and psychologists could find no reason for it, no solution for it.

now i know what you're thinking. self-professed-girly-girl-who-couldn't-give-a-flying-rip-about-baseball returns suddenly to blogging with a useless sports story, but bear with me.

i think i have steve blass disease. in blogging. in life. lately i feel like things that i used to enjoy, things that used to come easily to me have suddenly become stressful and difficult. i hate all my clothes. my house is a mess. my blog is, quite obviously, neglected. i think i'm over-thinking things. i think i'm putting a lot of pressure on myself. but try as i might, i can't find my mojo. it's missing somewhere. i want to blog, i loved to blog, but lately i think about my blog a lot but can't seem to find the words or inspiration to translate those thoughts into actual posts. i read a lot of other blogs, most of which have a massive following and endless creative posts and i just feel like 'what's the point?'. i know i shouldn't blog for the readership, and i can definitely say that i never have, but i have been having trouble finding the joy in just doing it for myself lately. the same goes for shopping and getting dressed every day, decorating my house, cooking, crafting. i can't find the the joy in doing any of it. i spend each friday making ambitious plans and eagerly anticipating the free time i'll have to do things over the weekend, and spend each sunday evening frustrated and depressed that i haven't made the time to do any of it. it's not that i don't have the time, it's that i'm not making the time. and that's the worst part. i feel like my funk is about 90% my fault.

so in short, i haven't felt like myself for the past few months at all. i don't like my job and can't seem to focus on tasks, i'm exhausted all the time, i miss blogging, i need to move but haven't found any apartment that is worth the effort, and most days i dislike what i'm wearing and feel quite frumpy and unattractive. i know none of these things are a huge deal. that they shouldn't necessarily impact my overall happiness, but put together they do. and quite honestly, i don't know how to snap out of it. i often feel lately that i see others living full lives while it's just passing me by. i feel like i'm in a holding pattern for something, but i don't know what. one thing that i've found in talking with friends and reading blogs is that most of our insecurities and frustrations are shared - that generally when we feel alone in them we aren't, and i'm hoping that's the case here as well. that i'm just in a completely normal my-little-brother-just-got-married-and-is-blissfully-happy-and-all-my-friends-are-having-babies-and-getting-married-and-buying-new-houses funk. so i'm forcing myself to be honest with myself by writing about it and hopefully pushing through it by doing so. one thing i know for sure is that i haven't been seeking the Lord in this nearly as much as i should be. i plan to focus on that pretty heavily over the next few weeks, individually and through an online bible study in conjunction with my friend sarah martin's new book stress point (more on that soon, but you should join us!). i am excited to see the way the Lord uses this time to make me stronger, draw me closer to Him and help me find my mojo again.

the reason i know about steve blass disease is because this american life did a story on it recently. i was fascinated with the concept and the interviews discussing how and why it occurs and how to overcome it. throughout the years, many players have suffered from it. some have overcome it, some haven't. one of the primary psychologists interviewed in the story recommends that instead of examining and trying to improve the elements of one's ability to play (stance, movement, angles, etc.) to focus the mind on something else while playing, something completely unrelated to the game itself. he suggested that the brain and the body already inherently know how to execute the steps and that players are essentially over-thinking the process. he felt that at some point, when a player doesn't expect it, things will suddenly click into place again. i gathered from this that the best way to overcome a funk is not to stop the things that are difficult, but move forward regardless of whether we feel they are as good as they once were. and try not to over-analyze them in the process. so my blog posts might be uninspired for a while. my clothes may look less than cool and my house might be a disorganized mess, but i'm hoping that even though steve blass didn't overcome his own funk, that i'll find myself again on the other side. i'm pretty eager to be back in the game and back on the mound again.

image of crystal meers via closet visit