All In


This day has been a long time coming. I can't remember a time in my adult life when I wasn't working towards getting a literary agent. It's an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish—for a number of reasons—and so many wonderful authors end up going on to pursue other, less traditional, ways of publishing because of it. (I am one of those authors, too, as you might already know.)

This Little Light of Mine


I think I may have told you this before, but that won't stop me from telling you again. (Does it ever?)

I love my little girl.

The Victory of Defeat


There is something so whimsical and wondrous about the idea of victory. It conjures images of war heroes and survivors of unimaginable loss, of people who lived to overcome great suffering despite impossible odds.

The Best of 2017

I love to take some time at the end of the year to reflect on my favorite memories of the past twelve months. (And also to appreciate some of my not-so-favorite-but-also-important moments.) So, because I got a jump start on de-cluttering and taking down Christmas decorations yesterday, I have some time this afternoon to do just that.

Here's a little stroll down 2017 Memory Lane...

On January 3rd, my final novel (and the sequel to my first) debuted! It got some really fun and thoughtful reviews, and people seemed to connect with it as much as I hoped they would. I made approximately $47 in royalties on it. 


Later that month, the Falcons won the NFC Championship! We celebrated by screaming our lungs out and also losing our minds when we found out Arthur Blank was gifting every staff member (and spouse!) a trip to the Super Bowl along with the team. 



In February, we mourned. (I'm fine. Everything's fine.)


Lucy also had her first teeth cleaning in February. Our good friend, Jennifer, is a dental hygienist and she helped Lucy feel right at home. (As much as one can in a dentist's office, anyway!)


I took a break from social media in March to spend some time with family and get away from the relentless distraction that is my love/hate relationship with Instagram. I also began working on my nonfiction book proposal.

In April, we went on our very first vacation as a family! Pierce and I have traveled on our own with our church a few times (and once to my friend's cabin) and Lucy has been to the beach on several occasions with family, so it was super awesome to finally have the three of us together on a trip. We visited St. Simons and Jekyll Islands for an extended weekend where we explored Driftwood Beach, went on a dolphin tour, climbed the St. Simons Lighthouse, had dinner with friends, drank lots of coffee (me), and ate lots of good food. I'm definitely looking forward to our next trip together! (More on that in a moment.) I also got two tattoos in April and rejoined the scrolling timesuck that is social media.


In May, my niece, Mary Grace, went to her first prom and we all oohed and aahed as we are wont to do in circumstances such as those.


Later that month, I booked our 10th-anniversary trip to the United Kingdom! We will be spending two weeks touring all of England and Scotland (where both mine and Pierce's ancestors are from) and Lucy will be joining us, as well. (Obvs.) We're taking the trip a few months before our anniversary because we got married in November and trying to get an Atlanta Falcons employee to take fifteen days off during football season is like...well...impossible. I can't wait!


In June, Pierce went to Panama City with our church for the high school ministry's annual beach trip. Lucy also traveled to Panama City with her grandparents that week to visit her aunt, uncle, and cousins. I stayed home and had a terrible panic attack. (Nice segue, I know.) It was simultaneously the most painful and the most tender weekend I had all year because while I was home my best friend, Lauren, gave birth to her first child, a baby boy named Daniel Harper. I got to give him lots of kisses and snuggles while P and Lucy were gone, so that helped :).




In July, we celebrated Independence Day with family and the next week I traveled to Miami with Pierce for his work conference. A big part of why I went was because I couldn't bear to be alone, especially with Lucy, after having such a terrible bout with anxiety just a few weeks prior. Thankfully, because of a million little things working in our favor, I was able to afford a cheap last-minute ticket and my mom stayed at our house to care for Lucy and the animals. I struggled not to have a repeat episode while I was there, but Pierce and I were also able to enjoy some really sweet alone time in the city and I got to have dinner with an old friend while in town, too. Miami is such a beautiful city!


In August, I celebrated my 32nd birthday with breakfast in bed and a girls day at Six Flags! It was pretty much perfect.



The day after my birthday we drove two hours to Cornelia, Georgia to witness the solar eclipse in person! And WOW. So amazing. I was super paranoid that Lucy would go blind so I kept hissing at her to put on the glasses and missed a full thirty seconds of totality, but other than that it was one of my favorite moments of the year. No contest.

Lucy also started playing soccer in August and we deeeeeefinitely made ourselves look like ridiculous Soccer Parents.


At the end of the month, my sweet friend Rosalie released her debut EP and I sang backup with her at the release party! That was a fun night and it made me realize how much I miss performing.


In September, we celebrated Pierce's 32nd birthday, too! He is such a blessing to us. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else.


I also faced my fears about being alone for a weekend while Pierce was out of town. I stayed home with Lucy and had almost no anxiety at all! That was a huge victory for me, particularly in light of what I went through earlier in the summer. Cognitive behavioral therapy and prayer are truly miracle workers, you guys.

I went to a Falcons game in late September with my friend, Brianna, where we ran into Pierce while he was working and he took us onto the field. I saw Devonta Freeman in person and promptly died. I am writing all of this from heaven.


In October, my mother sold the house she designed and had built for us in 2002. We moved in during the beginning of my senior year of high school, and that place holds so many wonderful memories for our family, especially me and my little sister, Kati. It was hard to say goodbye, but it was also time.


In November, Pierce and I celebrated nine years of marriage and had an incredible dinner out at Bones. We devoured delicious steaks and talked about life and Lucy and ended the night with other wonderful things I will not discuss here. (We're married; don't be weird about it.)

We also celebrated Lucy turning four (!) and getting her first haircut.


Lucy was way more okay with it than I was. The stylist even told me she didn't want to cut Lucy's hair. (See before picture below for clarification.) It's now above her shoulders and she looks fourteen. Someone make time stop, please.


Also, my friend Jillian's baby boy, Jaxton, turned one! We met up with them in their hometown and I got to see a whole bunch of my college buddies there, too. We're all mamas now and this picture of us together is one of my absolute favorites. The plaid thing was unplanned and also perfection. Hashtag basic.


In December, we enjoyed the holiday season and did ALL THE HOLIDAY THINGS. It even snowed this month! That was the perfect winter day. I'm still marveling over it.



I began re-working my book proposal a few weeks ago and we spent our Christmas weekend visiting all our extended family. It was a lot of driving, but we are so thankful to have our loved ones close by.




I hope your 2017 was full of wonder and love and goodness. Here's to more beautiful—and refining—moments in 2018!

Making Resolutions, Just For Fun


Okay, I know. It's not even Christmas and I'm already talking about resolutions. I am that person right now. I own it.

It has been said before that we don't have to wait until New Year's to make changes in life, but there is something so renewing about the turning of the calendar pages. This feeling can more than likely be attributed to some facet of my OCD, but starting fresh on the first day of a new month of a totally new year seems so tidy and organized and right. As we near January 1st, and as I reflect on the changes in our home and lives, I've drawn a few conclusions about how I personally want to proceed in 2018 and for...well...ever.

I've been pretty talkative about the way I think of food and waste and health these days. It has changed a ton and keeps changing daily as I examine how my body responds to certain things or learn new information about toxins, climate change, and the impact our economy has on so many others. I've finally got a pretty solid system going—which includes a whole bunch of stuff I've written about in these posts—and now that I'm pretty comfortable in this arena, I want to take my health and eco-consciousness a bit further as we step into a new year.

Onto the resolutions! (Just for fun, of course.)

1) Practice yoga three times weekly.

I've been doing this on and off for about two months and it is THE. BEST. It is also something of a spiritual practice for me, as it is for many, and gives me time to rest and meditate on God's Word. I am going to begin working on handstands soon, so I'll likely have some wicked bruises in the near future.

2) Go plastic-free. *Facepalms*

This is going to be tough. We recycle SO. MUCH. PLASTIC each week, but that is not really helping the problem. The number of resources it takes to produce plastic, ship it, and then break it down and recycle it (where it can only be re-used once) are exponential, harmful, and incredibly wasteful. It's better to simply refuse plastic altogether. I use creamer every day, and even the kind that comes in cartons has plastic lids that are largely non-recyclable, so I'm going to make my own. I've tried this a dozen times before and my creamers are never that palatable. Danielle Walker, I'm relying on you to save me!

3) Go paleo-vegetarian. 

Again, this is a way of eating I've been practicing on and off for some time, but I want to make it permanent. I'm already dairy, gluten, and soy free (with the random exception for holidays or birthdays here and there) so this won't be too terribly difficult. It is hard at family events or if we go out to dinner, but part of eating this way means cooking more at home, as well. (Bonus! This also reduces waste.) I have no moral objections to eating meat when done ethically (and, yes, I believe that's possible) and having clean animal protein in my diet always does wonders for my skin. But I do have objections to the way meat production affects our environment, both in raising it and also in the packaging and waste created as a result. For me, this is just a necessary step towards going plastic-free, supporting local farms, and finalizing how I eat once and for all.

I have a few other resolutions that I think both possible and beneficial for my overall health, and I'll be incorporating these into my daily and weekly routines, as well:

- Stop biting my nails (an accomplishment thirty+ years in the making)
- Speak comfortably in Spanish (with the help of my fluent bff, Lauren!)
- Learn a few more knitting techniques and finish the scarf I've been working on
- Practice the guitar and begin writing music again
- Take dance classes

What will bring me joy and contribute to the joy of others around me? How can I make changes that will also support abundant life for people I may never even meet? How can I, in taking care of myself, care for my neighbors and family? Joy is an essential part of this whole life experience, so that's where I'm putting my focus this year.

What are some of your resolutions for the new year (or just because)? Share in the comments!