gold

As a former gymnast, I am so proud of our women's Olympic gymnastics team.

When I was eleven years old, I sat glued to my television screen as the Magnificent Seven competed for gold. I marveled at Dominique Moceanu's spunk and powerhouse talent (she was my favorite). I wanted more than anything to be just forty-five minutes down the road from our house where the Olympics were being held in our capital city of Atlanta. I did cartwheels and splits and handstands in our living room floor, pretending that I was Shannon Miller. I cried when Kerri Strug messed up her first vault at the finals because I thought all was lost. And then I cried some more when she nailed that unforgettable landing- on one foot- and made history.


And, now, our women's gymnastics team- The Fab Five- has done it again.

Go Team USA!


I love the Olympics. 

our weekends, july edition

This month, we took some random pictures of stuff outside.



We also celebrated a bunch of (read: five) birthdays.


Husband and I decided to start planning for some little Nunnerys. 


I found an amazing pair of moccasins. And wore them almost every day.


The family and I played a bunch of games. Most of them were on screens, but the Hubs and I might have gone old school and played Trivial Pursuit on a board. The results? Pierce 1; Wendi 1. Tie-breaker anyone?








The family came over and Kati's allergies flared up (sorry, Bug).



Laci Lou finally got her own glasses (happy early birthday sweet girl!).




August is around the corner, and it's almost MY birthday month! Woot, woot!

Oh, who's that in my picture? Just Emily Giffin.

I'm still trying to come down from the high that was Emily Giffin's meet-and-greet at Barnes & Noble last night. She told us that that was the same B&N she'd written at when she first moved to Atlanta eight years ago, and that it was also where she went to buy her novel for the first time, telling one of the employees, "This is MY book!" Pretty inspiring.




Not only is she incredibly talented (and gorgeous) she's also super sweet! After a short ten or fifteen minutes at the mic, Emily fielded three questions from the audience and then got right down to business. 

The book signings took almost three hours, but Emily never batted an eye (I was one of the last in line, so I was super impressed to see that she not only looked as fresh as she had when she walked in the door, she was just as upbeat). Emily Giffin is one of the few authors I know of who've mastered the art of social media, and she uses it to her advantage (in the best possible way). I can't tell you how many times she greeted someone by name simply because she recognized them from Facebook or Twitter. She chatted and asked questions and took pictures. It was like every girl (and every boy, too) was her best friend...and not only was she stylish and funny...she was authentic, too.



Two of my favorite moments of the night were when, during her talk, Emily said she "wasn't interested in having my characters win a popularity contest" and also when she remembered who I was from my tweet earlier in the day. I posted a link to my blog post about her stop here in Atlanta and she re-tweeted it to her followers. I was so excited I couldn't help but bring it up when I met her. She smiled and said, "Oh yeah! Wendi!" Totally made my entire weekend!

Maybe one day I'll be at my own book signing, and I'll give another writer that same kind of thrill. Little will she know that it'll probably be one of the biggest moments of my writing life, too.


You know it's a good Friday when you get to meet Emily Giffin

Hi friends!

Guess where I'll be tonight?

At the Barnes and Noble on Peachtree Road.

Guess why?

Because Emily Giffin (aka my most favorite author in the wide wide world) will be there, too!


Her newest release Where We Belong just went on sale Tuesday and, finally, after two long years I'll be in the same city she's in at the same time. She actually lives in Atlanta, too, which has left me hoping for some time that I'll run into her at Whole foods or something but, today, my dream becomes a reality. And I don't even have to make it awkward in the organic fruit section.

(Can you tell that I'm excited?)

I'm hoping I can get off work a tad bit early to head on over there around 5 p.m. when they start giving out wristbands. If not, I'll probably be that girl in the back of the line fidgeting with impatience, hoping that Emily doesn't just stand up and say, "Well, that's it! My hand hurts from signing too many autographs and my cheeks hurt from smiling. Going home now. Sorry if you missed me!"

(Rumor has it, though, that she's super sweet and very accommodating, especially if you want picture re-takes.)

My girl crush on her turned into an all-out swoon fest yesterday when I watched her interview on "The Today Show" and, in response to Kathie Lee and Hoda's rude question as to whether or not it's hard to "have to get through" all those meet-and-greets, Emily looked taken aback and replied, "Have to? It's my honor and privilege to do this."

Go Emily!

Don't worry if you can't make it there tonight. I'll take pictures!

nieces

So I've got four little girls in my life who are pretty darn special.

Mary Grace.

Laci.

Lily.

And baby Savannah.

I have so many fond memories with these little ladies. One is twelve. One will be nine in a week. One will be seven in two weeks. And the latest is still growing in her Mama's womb. 

I've been talking a whole lot about motherhood on this blog lately. But being an aunt has probably been one of the biggest blessings of my life. I've seen how challenging it is to raise a child and I've had the privilege of learning from other people's mistakes until I get the chance to learn from my own. I've watched these girls grow and discover and laugh and love. 

Gosh, it's just a joyful experience. Being an aunt. It's pretty much my favorite.

Some of my sweetest memories are watching them sleep or hugging their little necks. I love when they dream big and tell me stories. They're developing such strong, independent personalities and, yet they're still just babies. But they've got their own styles and they've got their own opinions. 

One is a lover of dolls and princesses and Disney. 

One is a creative spirit who makes her own videos and writes her own songs.

One is a book nerd with a heart of gold.

And one is still in the womb, even now becoming the unique little girl we'll meet in just a few short months.

I hope they know just how amazing they are to me. To everyone. And how incredible their lives are making ours...every single moment.


Girls, if I could tell you one thing it would be this: 

You are WORTHY. 

Not because Aunt Weena said so. Not because your parents said so. And not because you've gotten the approval of the girls in your class, or your teachers, or your friends.

You are worthy because of Jesus.

 He is all the strength and courage of your Daddy. He is watching your pretty Mama put on her makeup. He is that sweet smell of leaves in the fall. He is those laughs you share with Aunt Kati. He's the hugs you get from Mamer, Manny,  Cessy, Syndie and Ellen. He is silly like Pop and Papa. He is that pretty dress you wear or those funky sneakers that just came in the mail. He is hot chocolate and catching turtles in the pond and "serious faces" all rolled into One.


He is everything I love about YOU, my sweet girls. And I know that because He is the One who made you.

Did you know His thoughts for you outnumber the grains of sand? Did you know He knew you before you were born? Did you know your dreams are mere whispers in light of the extraordinary things He has planned for you? 


Love with Jesus is an adventure. It's not for the faint of heart, my girls.

But oh my goodness. You all love adventure, don't you? You climb trees like you were born in them. You skate down sidewalks with no fear. You hop on that crazy ride at the fair and when it's over you shout, "Let's do it again!"

Be courageous like that with Jesus. Let Him take you where He wants you to go. It will be scary. It might even make you cry sometimes. But there's no greater love than that of a Savior who gave His life for you. And that's what He did. He gave His life you.















And one more thing:

If you need my help, don't be afraid to ask. Never be afraid.

I'll be here. Just say the word.

a decision


well, we did it.

the hubs and I have finally decided, after some tears (me) and lots of sweet "can you just imagine?" stories (him) to get off birth control.

somehow, writing it here makes it more real.

we've already told some people (and by "we" i mean me) and everyone is so excited for us. i love facebook, but i usually don't go into detail there about what's happening in my life ('cuz let's be real here...it's facebook and, not only will no one give two you-know-whats, facebook is hardly the place for sharing things like this) so you guys are really the first to know outside my family and friends. i'm glad you're here to be a part of this, even if i've never met you.

blogging has helped give me courage in a way i never expected, and it's bubbled over into other parts of my life. i get to share stories with women who are also young and married and love books and fashion and taking tons of unnecessary pictures. and i'm grateful that they share their stories too because, without them, i might forget what i know about motherhood already and continue hiding out behind my computer. i don't want to be that woman. i want to use this blog as a way to express what's in my heart and soul, not to pretend those things don't exist.

so here i am.

telling you something very intimate and personal.

and now all of you will know that the next time pierce and i have sex it will be totally unprotected.

that's kind of weird (not the sex part; the you knowing part). so maybe i shouldn't have just brought that to your attention.

oh well. moving on...

we made the decision last monday, and it was mostly just another ordinary day. i was on my way home from work, and i used that time to pray, like i usually do. i have a long commute and it's the only real uninterrupted time i get to myself. as it has been for nearly a year now, the subject of babies was weighing heavily on my mind and i just had to talk with God to get through it. i told Him that i felt like peter when he walked on water. i said, "God, i know it's You who's telling us to do this. i know it's what You want. but do You want it now? if You do, just tell me to get out of the boat and i will. but i have to know if it's You or i just can't do it."

in that moment, i felt a still small voice speak reassurance to my heart. He told me that everything would happen in His time and that choosing to be obedient (by getting off the pill) wouldn't necessarily mean i would get pregnant immediately. it might. but it also might not. i simply had to trust that He would be in control.

so, like i usually do after the Spirit pokes me in the gut and says, "hey! pay attention!" i felt better. i was scared (of course) but when am i not?

anyway, i went home and shared all of this with the hubs. he laid his head on my stomach and looked up at me with those sweet green eyes and said, with all certainty, "i don't think you're like peter. i think you're like gideon."

"tell me the story," i said back.

so he did.

gideon was a man whom God had told to free the Israelites from their nasty habit of idol worship, but gideon wasn't exactly certain he was hearing from God. so he said, "i'm going to put out this lambskin, and if tomorrow morning it's wet and the ground around it's dry, i'll know it's God." so that's what he did. and the next morning the lambskin was wet and the ground around it was dry.

well, then ol' gideon decided he still wasn't sure, so he put out another lambskin and said, "this time, if the lambskin is dry in the morning and ground around it is still wet, i'll know it's God." and when he woke up, the lambskin was dry and the ground around it was still wet.

so gideon freed the Israelites from their idol worship and there was peace for the rest of his life, just as God had said there would be.

(please forgive my rough summary.)

"so i'm gideon?" i asked the hubs.

"yes," he replied.

"well then i need a lambskin to test whether or not this is God."

and pierce, in response, did what only pierce can do. he put me in my place. with all the love and patience that only a husband can give to his wife.

"wifey," he said softly, "it's time. this is your lambskin. we've got to let it go."

i wish i could accurately describe the sensation of joy and terror that washed through me at that moment. my flesh was desperately trying to hold onto its fear (and, i have to admit, it's still doing a hell of a good job at the moment) while my spirit sang with relief because it knew, more than i can even consciously admit, that pierce was not only right...he was true.

and here we are. a week and one day later. i just finished my last pack. and my mind is racing almost 24/7.

i think about the pregnancy. i think about wearing cute outfits and taking pictures and journaling. i think about watching my belly grow and feeling my baby kick. i wonder what he or she will look like and i imagine his or her little voice.

i've watched "the business of being born" just so i can witness the wonder of natural home birth (that's what i want...pierce told me i was the one who had to go through the pain of labor, so he was just going to do what i told him to do) and i've also watched the national geographic documentary "in the womb" so i can learn all about what happens during those magical ten months of pregnancy.

and sometimes i cry.

and the other times i get close to having a panic attack.

but, mostly, i just think about what it will be like to be a mother. i imagine what it will be like to watch my husband be a father.

and all i feel is joy.

better


This is a little bit of me today: 


"Better" by Brooke Fraser

Take my shoulder back now
Your head's too heavy for me
Please don't come around here no more
'Cos I asked you to stop
And you wouldn't

[Chorus]
I would give anything to make you better
I would give anything to point you to free
I would give anything to help you realise

I loved you 'til it killed me
So my logic wouldn't hurt you
I know you might blame me anyway
Well I'm sorry, I'm so sorry

[Chorus]
You're not helping yourself to me

I've tried all the things they told me
Trying to close up the wounds left open by you
And if I seem doubtful, distrusting.....I am
You said you wouldn't do it agin
You said you wouldn't do it again

[Chorus]
You're not helping yourself
You're not helping yourself by hurting me

Anything just to try and help you see
You ain't helping yourself by hurting me
Time to let you go, time for you to see
You ain't helping yourself by hurting me


This is also a little bit of me today (and it helps already):


The Cowboy Singer: A Review


Hi friends!

This summer is just flying by, and I've been reading so many good books lately. My goal is to read 100 books before the end of the year, and I'm getting closer but I've still got a long way to go. This week, I finished up Paula Tiberius' newest The Cowboy Singer and I can't wait to tell you guys about it!

Here we go...

The Cowboy Singer: A Summary 

April Sonners figured her love life was on hold indefinitely now that she was about to have a baby while temporarily staying at her grandmother's house (what a turn-on!). Meeting infamous country singer Jimmy Wick may have made her giant belly flip, but she was filing him under a big "as-if". No man in his right mind would fall for a gal this pregnant, and, besides, she needed to focus on herself and the baby. James Warwick (a.k.a. Jimmy Wick) was not in his right mind. His ex-wife was petitioning for full custody of the only thing that made him happy besides playing music, his 4-year old princess, Summer, and the thought of losing her had him crazier than an outhouse rat. His saving grace was his new "friend" April, who he was falling head over heels for. The only problem was April has just been knocked up, dumped, and stranded by the last guy she was with and was in no mood to go down that road again. She was hellbent on getting her life back on track just as James was watching his fall apart, leaving them both caught off guard by an unstoppable romance that would sweep them off their feet.

The Cowboy Singer: What I Think

If you're looking for a feel-good book, The Cowboy Singer is for you. I haven't been on a vacation this year (yet!) but I definitely recommend taking this one to the beach. It reminded me of the Natalie Portman film Where the Heart Is and bore multiple similarities in theme to Emily Giffin's Something Blue. So while the issue of April being left alone late in her pregnancy to start over in a new place is not an original story, it resonates deeply because it's relevant to so many women. It gives us hope that, while some love stories end, there is always the possibility of one that will last a lifetime.

For the most part, this novel is an easy read, but I found it difficult at times to get past the dialogue which seemed very forced as far as vernacular goes. I'm from the South and lots of my family lives in Texas, so here and there the language would read like what someone would stereotypically believes residents of that part of the country sound like. Perhaps I'm too much of a stickler for that, but when I've both heard and spoken it all my life, I can't help but bristle a bit when it doesn't feel authentic.

Overall, The Cowboy Singer was certainly uplifting, and it did for me what many chick lit novels do, which is entertain without actually requiring the reader to wonder how the story will end. The mystery is really all in how the characters get to where they're going. I knew early on that James and April would end up together. That's the point, right? But how the two of them got to that place was a sweet, unexpected journey, especially considering the fact that James was himself a father. That element gave the story a bit more of an edge because I didn't know exactly how their two worlds would merge, even less so when Damon showed up. And, just like I predicted, all was well in the end. But that didn't make it any less wonderful.

Sound like something you'd like to read? Check out Paula's official website here to learn more about this fabulous author or visit Amazon and order a copy of The Cowboy Singer!

Thanks to Samantha and Paula for setting up the tour! I've really enjoyed being a part of it.

if you really knew me...

you'd know that i love a good adventure, real, imagined, or otherwise.


you'd know that my my friends are my family and my family are my friends.




you'd know that i love to be on stage, but have terrible stage fright.


you'd know that i love the little things (and, often, "little things" means animals).



you'd know that i was a band nerd. a big one.


you'd know that, sometimes, just looking at my husband fills me a consuming love and an almost panic-stricken fear of losing him.


you'd also know that we love to be silly. which is why our children will love/hate us.

you'd know that clothes make me happy, but almost nothing makes me as happy as food.


you'd know that sometimes my mom used to call me "Mr. Ed" because i have big teeth. but she and my dad spent thousands of dollars and years on orthodontia, so, unfortunately, i can't really blame all my dental insecurities on her.



happy friday!

tell me about you.

{post inspired by the lovely Casey Leigh}

birthdays and babies


We've had a lot of birthdays over here in the last few weeks and in this week alone we had three (not including the two we celebrated at work, as well!). Apparently, people like to get busy around Thanksgiving.

Monday was Mary Beth's 25th, and on Sunday we had brunch at J. Christopher's with a bunch of her friends from work and church. The food was SO amazing! We didn't really get to spend a ton of time together, so I'll be heading over to her place tonight to make another lovely birthday cake from the box and watch Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (gah, I love that movie!). 








Monday was also my sweet niece's 12th (!) birthday. I just can't get over how lovely and grown up she is. I remember coming home from a day trip to the Lost Sea with my family that summer in 2000 to find my dad's house totally abandoned, save my uncle, Joe, who was vacuuming. After about 15 minutes of conversation with my brother and I, he looked up and said, "Oh yeah! Your sister had her baby!" and we sprang into action. That twenty-minute car ride to the hospital (where I was also born) was the longest of our lives. And MG was such a beautiful baby. She's an even more beautiful young woman and I am so proud of her!

Tuesday was Lauren's birthday, but as you can see from this post we had to celebrate a little early because she left to head back to Panama on Monday. I miss her already!

We also spent some time with Pierce's family this weekend and finally got to meet our little niece, Ashleigh, who will be turning two in November. She is SUCH a doll! Pierce's brother, Quentin, and his wife, Anni, live in Florida right now and Q's been serving overseas for awhile, so it's always a little tough to get together. Pierce and I played with Ashleigh for most of the night, chasing after her in the hallway and playing hide-and-seek. Pierce's favorite game was one where he'd ask her "Ready?" to which she would mimic him and then run head first towards his waiting arms. Baby-tossing would ensue, as would a chorus of giggles. I loved watching them together and getting a little glimpse into what our life will be like with our own children. Can I just say I don't think there's anything sexier than seeing my husband hold a sweet baby girl? When did THAT happen?




I also got to play Cassi in Scattergories (a Nunnery favorite) and we tied! She always beats everyone, and I often take this as a personal affront, being the family wordsmith and all. I can sleep better at night knowing she didn't slaughter me this time. 



Oh, and let me share this little gem with you before I go:


That's Hubby and his big brother, Q, back in the early 2000s. I can't get over Pierce's youthful, gangly self (or the scary resemblance to his brother).