Bliss.

This is, happiness!
The season. The friends. The love of my life!

Here’s to 2014! Everything feels so surreal! I have a great job, although I’m still serving in a restaurant…it’s a job, and I make great money! I have great friends who are there for me…whether it  be to vent, to go out to dinner, to go to the dog park, to go get sushi, to catch up with, to have rainy movie days, to dye our hair, or to cut my hair! :) They are there. and I love them! I have a great family, both mine & his! Both there to support me in any endeavor I may find myself in, path I may be strolling down, or jump I may be risking to take. They are there ready to encourage, support and challenge me! And of course I have a great boyfriend! One who loves me no matter what. Who is there to meet my every need (the simple needs of a girlfriend that is) haha. Who tells me I’m beautiful and still seems to sweep me off my feet. One to lay in bed with on a cold afternoon and watch the Lorax. Or to go out and have a fun filled day out and about. One who likes to take me out, and opens my door for me! One who snuggles up close and kisses me softly! One who is patient and loving and kind enough to explain every little part of football, even when I still don’t seem to understand what’s going on. The guy who loves to make me breakfast in bed and wants to take my dog to the park! The guy who makes me smile uncontrollably and laugh with total abandon. Is this real life?? How did I end up this blessed! Trying new things, cooking new things. This is today. This is me. This is my life! And I couldn’t be more grateful!

This is, bliss.

Tis’ the Season!

It’s almost Fall here in the the good ole Tennessee Valley!
And man oh man am I ready!
SO much that the month of September entails!

FIRST, we have my personal favorites…
Scarves. Boots. AND coffee!!
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SECONDLY, we have THE FAIR!
To sum it up=a giddy & child-like me, haha. Where my better half isn’t too fond of mass crowds full of sugar crazed kids and an obnoxious array of smells. He puts up with it once a year just for me to get my fill of funnel cakes, ferris wheel rides, carmel apples {on the occasion} and a plethora of carnival festivities! Can I add how thankful I am for his cooperation and willingness to make me happy! :)

lomo_effect_county_fair_by_nicoleelise-d4jaco3_large large-2THEN we have the season!
the breeze. multi-colored leaves. the 70s. pumpkins. bonfires. spices. & pies.
I am obsessed with this weather, not only is it a best friend to my closet, but it puts me in such a happy mood! I love just sitting on my back porch with coffee in hand embracing the beautifully painted masterpiece surrounding me!
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And of course, I can’t leave out the pies!
I am determined to perfect THE HOMEMADE PIE!
AppleBlueberryBlackberry…I’m all on it!

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Well, here’s to fall!
Grab some cider and toast with me!

APRIL.

Gahh Lee!!!!
I am beyond BLESSED! Literally, beyond. April here we come!!!
It is gonna be the BEST BIRTHDAY MONTH yet! Taking in each day alongside Christ and I could not be happier! We’ve had amazing beautiful weather that makes you wanna just walk around grinning from cheek to cheek! And I have so much support and love surrounding me at all sides! My immediate family as well as my boyfriends family! I loveee them with all of me and couldn’t be more thankful for everything they do for me!! The past few months have been crazy but with them, Jesus, and my friends…I’ve made it!!
Everything has fallen into place all in God’s timing and I’m sooo excitedddd!!!
Geez SO much going on in APRIL! Where do I even begin?!

THE APARTMENT.
So I got the apartment! Whoop Whoop! Move-in day is APRIL 7th ya’ll! I feel like this new place is gonna change my life!! Haha dorky? maybe. But it’s honestly like a whole new chapter. My OWN place. With my little bedroom, bath, living room, dining room and kitchen! Eeek!! Me and Lana doin what we want, when we want! I can’t wait to decorate everything and get settled in! And I’m excited to paint!! Think I’m gonna do some accent walls. But haven’t really decided on what and where. I’ve been doing some apartment shopping (which is soo much fun when you actually have money btw) haha. And Im the proud new owner of pots, pans, tubberware, cutting boards, a couch, and entertainment center!!! Holy cow.
13 days.

    ...       ...

 

BIRTHDAYS.
So people say April is the month of showers. Literally, yes. Figuratively, most definitely! God has been showering me with blessing after blessing, along with HIS grace, mercy, and love! Not only is this MY BIRTHDAY month. But it’s all of the people I love soo much’s too! Christy, bekah, my brother, and my two best friends!! Eeek! What a great month full of JOY, LOVE, and HAPPINESS!
So…TWENTY-TWO! Whooo Hooo!

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Can’t believe I’m in my twenties already, let alone past the age of being able to legally drink. But with this age, and this month. It’s bringing a whole new light to my life. A maturity if you will. A confidence. An air about myself. I’ll be on my own again and this time it’s literally just me.
Well me and LanaRae. haha. It’s a whole new journey! And I gotta admit…IM SO EXCITEDD!! For everything twenty-two has in store! So I’ve been shopping for the apartment so much, making sure I’m prepared and all…I haven’t really gotten to spend any “me” money!

So with it being my birthday…it seems fit to spill my birthday wishes!tumblr_lus0ffrYcf1qdjl1do1_500_largeUmm….YES PLEASEEE!!!
But I guess these are more realistic…haha.
tumblr_mgbrmvPSnv1s2947uo1_500_large755398-10-1339356379087_largeSo if the apartment isn’t a big enough birthday present to myself…I would love a pair of black hunter rainboots!! Also in love with this purple-y down jacket made by Columbia! Umm…maybe throw in some packages of 600 polaroid film, oh and Viva La Juicy! Other than that…just whatever is cute and petite and vintage like or would be good for a new home!
17 DAYS.

RYAN COMING HOME.
Ahh geez. Lets see.
Excited. Nervous. Thrilled. Scared. Can’t Wait. Vulnerable.
It’s been soo long since I’ve seen his face. Since I’ve heard his voice. Since I’ve held his hand. Or kissed his lips. I miss movie nights. date nights. makin dinner together. waking up next to him. snuggling against his body. being the little spoon. makin out. hookin up. going to the park. going to play disc golf. Gosh the memories are endless.
In two days it’ll be a year and a half.
A YEAR AND A HALF!

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Seems like eternity. Gosh, how in the heck did I get this far with someone?!! Only God! Cause He knows me and my heart! The only reason I’ve made it these past three months without ry, is CHRIST. I love this boy with everythingg in me and cannot WAIT for all God has in store for us! The way he wants to lead us, guide us, direct our path! Our relationship is in HIS hands. But like I said I’m scared. Scared of ever being hurt. And nervous. Nervous to allow myself to be vulnerable. Not gonna lie, I dont think it’s gonna be easy what. so. ever. But who knows, maybe everything will be great and go right back to normal with no hesitations. I want him homeeee! The anticipation is killing me!
33 DAYS.

TO BE.

Smile every chance you get.  Not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have.

-Unknown.

This week=crazy!
My expectations have been shattered!
The Lord has done and shown me so many things this week!

I feel loved. I feel whole. I feel NEW!
Sunday is the beginning of the new week.
And my week started with all new wisdom! Wisdom about who I am in Christ, who I wanna be in Christ, and what I want to be for ryan in Christ! To be so blinded by the fact that ryan is gone, I almost missed the biggest picture that God is trying to lay out before me! A picture that will not only help me in this time of need and strengthen our relationship, but strengthen ME!! Wow…hope you’re comfy and settled in a nice little spot, cause this make take a hot second!

So at first I was mad. I was sad. I was angry.
That God would put me in a situation where the (ONE PERSON) who makes me the happiest is a million miles away. With no way of meeting my expectations of always being happy.
FAIL. FAIL. FAIL.
This is my epiphany.
The light bulb that shot off fireworks.
One Person.
He is just one person.
And that my friend, is not right nor fair for anyone!!
I can’t believe I’m the one who was pushing him away, ME!
SINCE WHEN!! Was I this person??
Never in my life have i been a DEPENDENT person.
Never.
And the word itself makes me cringe a little.
Maybe that’s why…maybe that’s why I’ve never fully given all of myself to Christ. The fear of being completely dependent on ONE person. But yet here I am, a person who was depending on one person to make me happy! Ridiculous.

So (whoo hoo) step one admitted.
I’ve been so unfair to completely rely on ryan to make me happy.
Which in the end will just smother him and distance us.
I know, like distance is even a issue right now….
but really, for the long run of our relationship! It’s only gonna make us stronger!
And I honestly have already seen a change, not only in the situation but in me!
I’ve been hanging out with all my friends more, working my butt off, and loving my park days with LanaRae!
Every day has been Christ and Christ alone!! Depending and trusting HIM FULLY every step of the way! I wouldn’t be able to do it without HIM!

Step two, getting into a community. A christian group of people who I can fellowship with and who challenge me to grow stronger in Chirst! Sunday I went with my boyfriends mom to a bible study, hesitant…I was. But OH MY GOSH was it amazing!!!!! Even though the majority of the ladies were married it was such an incredible time of fellowship and digging into their current book, TIm Kellers, The Meaning of Marriage. And even though I’m not married yet…I will be one day and everything they were talking about were things I can apply to my relationship now! Which gets me so excited for the future!! I want to be there spiritually for my husband, and lift him up to God, and encourage him everyday, and challenge him in his walk with Chirst!
Ahhhh!!!
Can you tell I’m excited!!!
God could not have shown up more than He already has! Wow.

So step three, starting to re-mend my relationship with my dad.
Everything is a lot better than it was, and I love my dad
BUT
For now we’re just gonna skip this step….
I still have a lot of praying to do.

Step four, moving out.
Now this has been quite complicated.
But Im just gonna have faith that if this is God’s plan then it’ll all work out and be just fine.

The Color Red.

The past couple years my favorite color’s been red.
To me the color of joy!
Not like a deep burgundy red, more like a bright cherry red.
I just couldn’t get enough of it!
My old bed sheets were my first red purchase.
And each day it was like a burst of happiness!
…wondering if that was the secret to always waking up in a good mood! ha.

But now the color red.
The color of love, romance, and lust.
Has a whole new meaning to me…
It’s sweeped the isles of walmart, target and kroger.
And has definitely weaseled its way right into my heart.
Trying to act like I dont care about valentines day is a lot harder than I expected.
Yeah I can fool anyone at work, being one of the few who voluntarily signed up to work valentines night….might I add that I may have actually been the first one on the list! Awesome, lets make some moneyy. But really. Lets talk about a heartache. Im the lonely girl who everyone knows boyfriend left her here in knoxville while he went off to spain for five months. Sweet. Throw me a pity party pleasee. But seeing all the cheezy boxes of chocolates and balloons and roses. I always end up walking out with tears welling in my eyes.

(why couldn’t God have just made me a boy) Really. No periods. No emotions.

To know i’ll be all alone on valentines just working my butt off to make everyone else’s evening perfect makes me sick to my stomach. Especially while my boyfriend is a million miles away in a beautiful romantic city probably having a lovely sweet wine filled evening with his friends. Once again,,,someone please cue the sad sarcastic sobbing audience behind me.

I just don’t know how well this is all working for me. Distance is not my thing. Nor will it ever be. And to consider long terms here. I dont know if I can marry an INTERNATIONAL business major. That means lots of traveling!! And where I would hope that would mean lots of traveling for me too…I have a gut feeling that means a lot of him traveling and me alone. And not gonna lie, that doesn’t sound too great to me!! At all.

:Sidebar:
So with nothing else to do with my time but drink coffee and knit…..but honestly.
I’ve been running/walking a lot in the neighborhood with LanaRae. And I have to say this has been pretty great for me! I was already a lover of walks, especially since I realized it was vital for my canine companion. But it’s now become a routine. Allowing me to get the daily exercise I’ve been needing and also allowing lana to get all her bottled up energy out! But I’ve recently started leaving my ipod at home. And its been so dang pretty outside, I’ve just wanted to take it all in. Cheezy, yes. I know. haha. But the sundown against all the houses and trees, is so amazing! It feels like God is right there with me!! So with no music slowly but surely making my hearing worse, I’ve started to battle with my own thoughts. Wanting to clear my head and breathe in the fresh air, while also letting a million new thoughts and questions all bombard me at once.
Seeing all the pretty perfect houses makes me want a family more than anything! Anything in the entire world!!! I want a man who’s my best friend, who loves me for me and nothing more, who wants to be there for me when I’m sick, and there to wipe my tears when I’m sad. I want someone who’s happy when I’m happy and laughing right along side me. I want a man who wants to give everything they’ve worked for to raise a family right! I want a man who wants to be a father!! Someone who wants to play tea with their little girl, and throw a football with their boy! I want a husband who puts his family first. Who tucks his kids in with a bedtime story and a prayer…with me right there in the bed with them! I want that smile. That pure and selfless happiness! I want to be a wife! I want to make meals for my husband when he gets home, and have crazy passionate sex! I want to take trips together and enjoying chilling on the couch together just the same! I want to be a mother! Someone who gives with nothing expected in return. Someone who loves unconditionally and prays without ceasing! I want a swing set in the backyard where I can push my kids in the fall while watching my love grill dinner right next to us. I want a family. Soooo bad.
Life’s too short and goes by too fast. I’m afraid of missing my opportunity. I’m afraid he may not want all the things I want. I’m afraid he may not want them when I want them.
All I can do is have faith.
That this is God’s plan and he knows my heart.

I’m just so scared….

In the motion.

So one month down.
Gosh how I wish I was there.
The beauty. The stillness. The essence. 
Maybe one day i’ll be blessed enough to take it all in,
but for now just hearing about it will have to suffice.

So I kinda feel like I’m just going through the motions!
Work. Eat. Dog Park. Eat. Sleep. 
hahah. good stuff.
I’ve actually been taking little adventures with lanarae!
One day we got up early and went on a little walking trail down the street, and then another day we took a trip to the lake and walked out to the pier and they have these cute little benches. It was so peaceful, but very freezing!! Holy moly knoxville is cold. Ha. So ready for spring and summer to get here! Tan skin, skirts, tank tops, windows down, ice cream, pool days…ahh what could be better! In knoxville that is. 
So thankful for family these days!! The love and encouragement to keep my head up and stay strong has been so amazing! I don’t know what I’d do without all the support! But really,, I’d probably just roll over and die. haha.
My mornings are getting back to consistency. Waking up each morning with my cup of joe and Jesus Calling devotional with lanarae against my side have been some of the best spent minutes in my life right now! I couldn’t ask for happier moments!
Ryan is still having an amazing time in every moment of spain! I can tell how happy he is, and how he jumped straight into their world and made it his. It’s amazing to see how embracing a culture that beautiful can start to change someone! In all his pictures he truly looks happier!! But he’s done such an amazing job of capturing his life in spain and putting it into words for us to see and feel the bigger picture, almost as if we’re there too!
Check it out at http://mwalke59.wordpress.com/

So I decided to venture out into the party scene last night and man was that a bad idea. For all of ya’ll who know me and my personality. This is definitely not it. ha. I think sometimes I try too hard to be something I’m not. To try and fit a mold that wasn’t made for me. Last night showed me a lot. I woke up feeling stupid, dumb, empty, shameful, and belittled. Just from drinking! I didn’t do anything bad, I wasnt illegally drinking, and I didn’t do anything that I’d regret…and yet I still woke up regretful! I think I’m done with drinking, ha forever. Minus my occasional strawberry daiquiri, its just not for me. Those people look happy and act like they’re having a good time when really it’s just a whole bunch of emptiness! Like the point where people can’t control their thoughts and actions and four beers down and they’re loose and crazy with all moral boundaries out the window. Thats what scares me. The devil is sneaky. And will find a way to ruin anything good in my life. And I can’t believe I almost gave the opportunity to do just that. Drinking for me is like leaving the door open for him to come right on in and mess everything up. Thankful I had angels lookin out for me and nothing bad happened. But the thought that it could have makes me so mad at myself! I’ve had Christ next to me every step of the way this past month and then one night could’ve ruined it all. Who am I?? 
But today’s a new day and Im so happy for that!! Superbowl sunday and the whole family is together enjoying each others company! So great!! The only thing that could make this day better is if I had my man right next to me gettin our football sundays on. ://

Three more months.

Week One.

So.
Here we are, day seven.
To those of you reading and unaware, my boyfriend left for Barcelona, Spain for five months. He was blessed beyond measure with an amazing opportunity to study abroad in such a beautiful country. Taking classes at the university while embracing every second of the culture. The only downside to this whole sha-bang, is that he is there…while I’m still stuck in the states.
TRAGIC, i know.
But since he’s been gone I’ve had the opportunity to take a closer look at who I am, where I’m going, and what I’m striving to be. It’s almost as if Christ has planned this all out perfectly in HIS timing! Not that I would ever want ryan to leave me again like this or will I ever let him, haha. But since I have no choice and he’s already gone I might as well make the best of it and grow. Ryan being gone has allowed me to really lean on God and have faith and trust that this is all in His timing, His will, and its His plan.
CAPITAL. CAPITAL. UNDERLINE. NOT MINE!!
I have to surrender my everything and hand it over to him. He never intended for me to worry, stress, or be fearful. He would never want me to be sad or alone. But those are all the things that keep running through my mind. The devil has yet to give up and wont back down. But Im putting up a fight and he will not win.

Day seven. And not a day has passed without crying myself to sleep.
Even though I’ve been walking every step of the way with Christ, it still hasn’t gotten any easier that he wont be back tomorrow. Emotionally my heart has gone crazy. Now I’m usually not an emotional girl, I like to think I have some pretty tough skin. Especially for all I dealt with with my dad growing up. But gosh has this destroyed me. It’s pretty easy to go through the day without thinking about it or letting anyone know how bad it hurts. But then when I head home and just sit in my room still and alone…that’s when it hits me. And all of a sudden my strong hard exterior becomes a puddle of tears around me. Now I know this is just because he just left…but honestly he is my everything!! Besides Christ and my family , I want to one day marry this man and consider him a huge part of my life! He means the world to me and always will!! He makes me laugh and brings me joy. He knows how to cheer me up and make me smile. He has been so considerate and loving. So seven days has felt like an eternity apart.

So where he’s being distracted by new places, new food and new people…I’m still stuck in the same ole same ole routine. Minus him! ha. So a bunch of holes where he used to be or where we used to do things. Lovely. But like I said I feel like God has given me this opportunity to really get my own self straight before me and ryan continue on to grow stronger in our relationship. So I’m really gonna focus on my friendships, old and new. I want to re-mend old friendships that I stupidly pushed aside and I want to branch out and make new friendships with girls who can keep me accountable and have similar personalities to mine! And with ry being gone I have no other choice! haha.
SO other than all that…I picked up an extra job so I could stay busy and just focus on making some money and gettin myself a new car and apartment. Wish me luck that I dont go crazy! Ha. Im trying my hardest to have FAITH and TRUST!

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SEVEN.

Seven days.
The amount of space i have between now and when my man boards the plane headed off to Barcelona, Spain!
I can’t believe it’s actually here. To be honest these days were never actually happening in my head. I figured something would go wrong or the t’s wouldn’t be crossed. But here we are. Seven days. All the t’s are definitely crossed and he’s been so blessed to have nothing go wrong with this trip! What an incredible semester he is going to have!! I’m so proud and excited for him to get to enjoy and embrace everything about Spain. It’s a once in a life time chance to get to study and live in another country and I’m so happy he was able to make it all happen!
At this point I’m over being sad. This is obviously part of a bigger plan and if God wants us to work then this will barely be a speed bump! I pray for us. I want to trust and stay strong. I want to let him enjoy every moment and not be crazy! I want to let him do his thing and hope to be a part of it. He will most definitely be missed!!

I just don’t wanna be forgotten…