Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thankful Thursday: the one where I met the man I would one day marry

Happy T H A N K F U L   T H U R S A D A Y  folks

i'm so excited it's thursday
for one it means that tomorrow is friday
(insert praising hand emoji's here)
(2) my love comes home from Albania one week from today
and (3) i'm beyond excited for this post
bear with me as i am a bit sentimental at the moment
i think i get that from my dad
(hi dad)

i love looking back on seasons in my life
the good ones and the not so good ones
i love seeing how God's faithfulness
in all circumstances
has never failed
and most of the time that always comes as a surprise to me
i love looking back at times in my life where
my hopes, dreams and hearts desires
were nothing in comparison to what the Lord had in store for me

things like ending up at Cal Poly SLO
(even though i had no desire to go there)
but then i met the most incredible people
then there were trips that i went on overseas that i was terrified to go on
but they led me deeper into a reliance on the Lord
and brought me into relationship with incredible friends
and those relationships have opened up the door for opportunities that would have never
come otherwise
(like meeting more people and traveling to Utah to do wedding flowers)
in all of these situations
Gods plans were so much bigger
soooooooo much
God is always working
He is always up to something
always orchestrating
whether we see it or not

today i am so thankful
that god's plans for my life
are so much greater than the plans that i could ever have for myself

it was 4 years ago
that God began paving the way for something
so great
and so wonderful
gosh and i had no idea what was to come

J U N E  2 3,  2 0 1 3
this was the day that i met the man i would one day marry
this incredible man

and i had no clue
no freaking clue

i never would have thought in a million years it would have been him
was i interested?
did i want to get to know this man more?
was he at all on my radar?
not even the slightest

honestly i can't remember the point at which i first met him
i don't remember our introduction
but i do remember the day

my roommate margo and i had friends staying with us for a couple days
and so after church that sunday
we found ourselves at lunch with some guys from the young adult group

(who are the photo bombers)

we ate lunch at the iron press
then walked around the OC Mix Mart
and stumbled into a cute store that had so many garden knick nacks
and succulents
and suddenly one of the guys we were with was in a picture with me

clearly we can see that he loved me then
i mean what other guy would take a picture with me and a fern??

i don't remember having a conversation with him that day
i don't remember even saying goodbye
but i do remember my roommate margo
taking this photograph of me with my favorite type of fern
and this guy named Robert who jumped on in
(and now that i know him 
him jumping into this picture makes total sense)

it's clear to me now that i was in no way at a place in my life
where there was capacity or space for robert when we met
i had plans and desires and dreams of how my life was going to look
and nothing was going to get in the way of that

but the Lord was already orchestrating
and He was so gracious and gave me a little glimpse into what was to come
even though i was completely oblivious

over the course of the next two years i would see robert a few times
mostly at social gatherings hosted by our mutual friends
he was around
but we weren't friends
we were acquaintances
 nothing beyond a "hey" or a "hi" when we saw each other
the only amount of friendship we had was a Facebook "friendship"

and it wasn't really until the beginning/middle of 2015
my heart started to shift
and that's a story for another time
(blog post to follow)

 i can't believe i'm sitting here writing this post
i can't believe the journey that the Lord has had me and robert on
(and now together)
over the past 4 years
i can't believe that i am thankful for that random day in 2013
i can't believe that i fell in love with
and am marrying that man who jumped in that picture with me
i can't believe how incredible that man in the picture is
(cause i didn't know for a long time)
i can't believe how much God has used robert to 
change my life
to challenge me
to grow me
to show me how much my Savior loves me

 4 years ago
I  H A D   N O   I D E A

im so thankful
so so so thankful that i had no idea then
and i'm so thankful now that i can look back and see the Lord's hand in everything
im so so so thankful that Gods plan has/continues to be beyond what i could have ever
dreamt of for myself
i'm so thankful for all the big 
(and little)
things in my past that the Lord has used to bring me to where i am today
i wouldn't trade them for anything

what are you thankful for today???

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thankful Thursday: the one where gratitude changes everything.

It's been a while.
Almost three whole years.
I'm not sure how, when, or why I walked away from the blogging world
but I guess I'm back
for a little bit at least.
It honestly feels awkward sitting here at my computer typing this
I feel like I've never done this before.
I feel out of place.
Power through Rae, power through!

Ok so I have this framed print out that I found online
(for free obvi)
during the Thanksgiving season a few years back.
I printed it not because it was a free thanksgiving printable
(cause lets be real who doesn't love a freebee printable)
but because I love what it says.

G R A T I T U D E   C H A N G E S   E V E R Y T H I N G
and I really believe that it does.

Over the past couple months I have gone back and forth
between wanting and not wanting to
revisit this blog
But every time I go to the bathroom
or take a shower
or brush my teeth 
I see this phrase staring back at me
and today I finally made a decision
(and ironically it is Thursday)
I am going to *attempt* to bring back
Thankful Thursdays.

I'm not sure what this will look like.
I'm not sure if it will look like it used to.
I'm not sure if I'll do it every week.
But right now I am doing it.

In my current season of life
(the busy season...which i feel like every season of life is)
 I don't want any of the Lords provisions to go unnoticed.
I don't want to loose my gratitude for his provisions because I am
"too busy"
that's unacceptable

So this blog is to keep me accountable
 to keep me grateful for all the provisions God has so graciously given and continues to give. 
(I deserve N O N E of them btw)
The little things.
The big things.
And everything in between.

So with all that being said
 today I am thankful for...

dinner dates
conversations with my mom
celebrating my sweet dad
quick trips to San Diego
celebrating friends and their accomplishments 
(yay lindsay)

car rides down the coast
summer nights
weekend trips to Salt Lake City
(even if I hate them, they are still pretty incredible)

being surrounded by mountains
catching up with friends I haven't seen in a while
meeting precious babies
coffee, coffee and more coffee
celebrating beautiful weddings

playing with flowers
a fiancé who will drive all the way to LAX to pick me up late at night
(even if he is exhausted)...
...and then take me to In n Out
seeing my puppy
(insert weeping emojis here)
surprising friends late at night
angels games
face timing with friends in Florida
my job
my home
my room
my sweet roommates
my car(s)
wedding planning
getting to marry my best friend
(this total babe)

sweet text messages from my friends parents who offer to help with wedding plans
getting to marry my best friend
(i know i said that twice)
trips to home depot
dinner on the patio
that june gloom came and left quickly
sweet, life giving conversations
potting benches
McDonalds vanilla iced coffee
(if you haven't had one you are missing out)
my church
evening walks with  T O N S  of gorgeous blooms

and lastly
I am so thankful for my Saviors immense and radical love for me.
I am so grateful for his abundant blessings in my life
none of which I deserve and yet he pours out his blessings

what are you thankful for today???

Thursday, October 23, 2014

thankful thursday: the one with a half marathon, national parks and tons and tons of tissue

happy thankful thursday friends

at least i think its thursday
to be honest i'm not sure what day it actually is

day 8
 that's what i know
i've been sick for 8 days now
and today might be the worst of them all

i can't remember the last time i was this sick
maybe college when that H1N1 flu was going around my 4th year
that was bad
at least i'm not having to wear a mask on my face
like i did then
that was embarrassing

 there was this really cute guy
he was sitting in the chair next to me
at the cal poly health center
he wasn't wearing a mask
if i remember correctly he was there because he hurt his foot 
or ankle or something like that

i was what you might call frumpy that day
i hadn't brushed my hair in days
i don't think i even had the energy to shower
i was achy and fighting a 103 degree fever
and my face was white
lets just say i was not at my best

the nurse brought me from the waiting room to a hallway that had a couple chairs
she told me to take a seat and wait for the doctor
the only other person waiting there was this cute guy
and my first thoughts after the nurse told me to wait...
 "seriously god"
"you're kidding me right"
"i have to sit with this guy looking like this"
"i'm wearing a freaking mask on my face"
"of all the days to sit next to a cute guy"
then i felt really sick
and defeated and i sat down
and put my head in my hands

all of the sudden
he started talking to me
which really threw me off 
considering the state i was in
i wouldn't even want to talk to me looking the way i did
he was a 5th year engineering student
and he asked me a lot of questions about me
and we both shared a little about what brought us to the health center
eventually i brought up the mask 
how i really didn't want to wear it
but that the nurse told me i had to since i had a fever
(which i had been denying i had for like 2 days)

he looked at me and very gently told me not to worry about it
he got this little smile on his face
and said i didn't need to worry about it
because it really brought out my big, beautiful blue eyes
and his smile grew a bit bigger as his head turned forward
 i definitely smiled a little under my mask
we talked a little more

i can't remember if he got up first or if i did
but i remember 
he smiled at me and told me to get better fast
he was sweet
and i never saw him again
theres like a gazillion other students at cal poly
he probably wouldn't recognize me without a mask on anyway

i was and still am thankful for that moment
that even though i felt like crap
there was this sweet guy who gave me a kind compliment
that i still remember
5 years later
a sweet little gift from the lord in a time of discomfort

honestly i have no idea how that ties into this post
but i thought of it and now i'm rolling with it

this past week
i was really sick
but it was one of the most amazing weeks i've ever had
filled with so many sweet gifts from the lord

to sum it up

last wednesday i got sick
friday i flew to salt lake city and got more sick
saturday drove to maob got even more sick
sunday ran a half marathon and cried because i was sick
sunday and monday explored canyonlands and arches national parks
and was completely blown away with what i saw
and almost forgot about how sick i was
monday drove back to salt lake city still very sick
tuesday evening flew home to la thought i was maybe getting better
wednesday went to work 
{bad decision}
today finally gave in and had to call in sick to work

and let me tell you it was totally worth it

im pretty bummed i was sick for my race
that i had trained so hard for
in no way was i close to a pr
and yes i cried when i came to the end
{slightly embarrassing}
but i ran it and finished it
and saw some of the most amazing scenery i've ever seen
plus i got to watch my good friends absolutely kill their first half marathon
{proud friend right here}

i've been reminded that there are certain things
that our way out of our control
no matter how hard we try to control them
god has purpose in all things
even if i don't see it just yet

so today im not thankful im sick
{lets be real about this}
but i am thankful that despite being sick
god gave me
 precious time with friends
and that we did and saw things that i will never ever forget

i am thankful for the abundant gifts the lord gave me 
during a period of discomfort

today i am thankful for
sweet friends
life giving conversations
the ability to run

arches national park

views that i will never in this lifetime forget
delicious pasta dinners
eating jam on bread 
car ride conversations
the ability to run
these two who cared for me and loved me
so well this past week

traveling and running a half marathon 
with these 4 awesome strain's

my awesome running shoes
encouraging texts from friends and family
starting line smiles
{note the chapped, red nose on the left...}

the onlookers who cheered and gave high fives
somehow making it to the top of each hill
and passing people on my way up
{i know that's not nice, but i can't lie it was encouraging}
the unbelievable views on our race route
{somewhere around mile 6 before the hills began...}

completing another half marathon
running along the colorado river
chocolate milk and beer at the end of the race
burgers and fries
drives in the mountains
fall color like i've never seen before
golden aspen trees

hot tea
hot tubs
shooting stars
tissues so many tissues
cough drops
hand sanitizer
parks and rec
pizza and once upon a time
cool weather
beautiful mountains

each of the people i traveled with
and how well they handled being around a sick person
{you guys are champs}
that so far none of them have gotten sick
{hopefully that's still accurate...}
for six years of friendship with this gem

and for many many more
for adventures that i never thought i go on
for seeing things i never thought i'd see in person
for gods unbelievable and extravagant creation
answered prayers
gods grace and mercy 
and that my strength comes from him

what are you thankful for today?....
lets hear it

Thursday, October 9, 2014

thankful thursday//seasons are a changin

happy thankful thursday friends
oh and happy fall
and happy october
and happy almost 1 year birthday to my baby nephew
where on earth is time going?...

it's hard to believe that it's fall again
{especially when its a billion degrees outside}
i really do love the changing of seasons though
it always brings hope and excitement for things to come

and there's most certainly been a lot of change
 in the past couple weeks
most notably
my brother moving out
thats right
now its officially just me and the rents
and it's a hard adjustment
i really miss him
 i miss the messages he would leave for me to find on my chalkboard
{don't be fooled it wasn't as sweet as it sounds...}
i miss our dinner dates
i miss hearing his heavy feet in the mornings
since my room is directly below his
i miss him barging into my room without knocking
just so he could sit and talk with me
i dont however miss sharing a bathroom with a boy
{we both have different interpretations of the word clean}
needless to say
i miss the guy
and all his shenanigans
 i am a proud big sister
and i can't wait to see all that god has in store for this guy 
down at UCSD

even with loads of change
there is truly so much to be thankful for
and i really believe that it's in these seasons of transition
we can see gods little touches of faithfulness and mercy the most
we see just how much we have to be thankful for

so today i am thankful 
for the changing of seasons
good health
having health insurance
the relationships i have with my siblings
the year i had at home with my brother
that my parents haven't kicked me out of the house yet
that tomorrow i get to see my niece and nephew
{there will be large quantities of snuggling}
that a year ago this month we welcomed davin into our family

visits from my sweet friend margo
thai food
text messages that couldn't have come at a more perfect time
learning about finances
having siblings who are financial advisors
making big girl decisions
dinner dates in the park
midnight flower arranging 
fresh cut flowers in my room

tri tip sandwiches from slo
wearing flowers in my hair
answered prayers
that i can have coffee every morning
that in a week i will be flying to salt lake city
the ability to run
sunset hikes to sandstone peak
with blue moons, apples and beef jerky at the top

friends getting married
friends who love me
ice cold chocolate milk after a long run
joy rides
words of truth
and i am oh so thankful for god's provisions...
...for my new {to me} car
that i got at the perfect time
in the perfect place
for the perfect price
gods hands were all over this one
and i'm so thankful for my brother in law tim
who took a long lunch to come look at the car with me
then left work early for me to take the car to a mechanic that same day
i am certainly blessed with a wonderful big brother

honestly at this point my list could go on and on
so now it's your turn
what are you thankful for today?...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

//Thankful Thursday//

happy thankful thursday friends

this feels weird
sitting and writing this post
it's been an awfully long time since i've done one of these
it feels foreign
so if you're reading this
 forgive me for my jumbled and completely messy
thought process

this month is the one year anniversary
 of moving home
i know right?...
a whole year
wasn't i just moving out of my apartment?

and moving away from these precious girls?

it's odd because it really does feel like just yesterday
but at the same time 
 it feels like a distant dream
a year ago i thought that a year from then
{present day}
i would most certainly have my life figured out

well here is the honest and ugly truth
the past year has been a struggle
actually it's been a raging battle
it's been a lot harder than i ever anticipated it to be
i have never felt more alone
i have never been more uneasy about my future
i'm constantly fighting off thoughts
that i am a failure and a disappointment 
to my family 
to my self
to my god

in all those completely unnecessary
thoughts and emotions
holy crap batman
i'm learning so much about things i never thought i would
God is truly blowing my mind
if i were to sit here and list everything God is walking me through
we'd be here for days
for weeks

for the past year all i've done is compare myself
 to those around me
my siblings
my friends
people from church
the people who come in to my work
pretty much anyone i guess
and it makes me miserable
as a girl i know comparison is something we struggle with
we do it so much
that most of the time we don't even know we are doing it
recently it has been becoming more apparent to me just how much time
and energy i waste comparing myself to others
it's ridiculous

here is what i'm currently walking through
god has created me {and you} to be unique
to be different from every other person on this planet
my story will be different than everyone around me
i will do different things
i will make different choices
and i thank god for that
how boring would it be if we all led the same lives

so this is my life
i'm unmarried
i have no children
i live with my parents
i'm starting my own business and i'm scared
i make tons and tons of mistakes every day
and i have no idea what today
or this next year will bring

i am a 26 year old independent woman
and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that

i'm learning to see that my life is an exciting adventure
with nothing holding me back
im learning that what's good for someone else might not be good for me
and vice versa

i wish i could say that because i've realized how much
i compare myself to others
that means i no longer do it
but it's a daily struggle and fight
{and i know i'm not alone in this}

so today i am thankful for
1 full year of living at home
that my life is unique
that YOUR life is unique
that we all have our own stories
for a job and a paycheck
getting to do flowers for weddings
spur of the moment trips
visiting slo
that this girl is getting hitched

dinner dates with my brother
lunch dates with my dad
visiting friends at work
visitors at my work
late night swims
trips to the getty

the LACMA lights

third wheeling it 
with these two crazy kids

donuts and champagne
monday night girls nights
midnight flower arranging
waking up to the sound and the smell of rain
movie nights
the people i work with
the little girl at my work who told me i was beautiful
the time spent with my small group
my new running shoes

that next month i'll be flying to utah to run a race
a dad who lets me use his car until i find a new one
post it note messages
hugs and kisses from my niece
holding my nephew
wearing flowers in my hair
 and that there is a God who is guiding and directing my life

so let's hear it
what are you thankful for today?....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Freshly Picked//Flower Crown Friday

happy friday friends

as most of you are beginning your weekend
i am heartbroken to say that mine is ending
and tomorrow begins my work week

so in order to forget about my weekend ending blues
i grabbed my clippers
wire and wire cutters
and some freshly cut blooms
my hands went to work
and this is what came about
a flower crown

fresh picks
russian sage
wax flower
dusty miller
seeded cone flower

if i could i would probably wear a flower crown every day
but that might be a bit excessive
so for now we will stick to friday's

happy flower crown friday
and have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

DIY flower crown tutorial-straight from the garden

i don't know exactly what it is
but there is something so wonderful about wearing flowers in my hair

it brings me back to being a little girl
running around barefoot in the yard
picking flowers
making mud pies
it stirs up something in my soul
it makes me long for adventure and wonder

it's romantic
it's magical
it's beautiful

so naturally 
i love the idea of flower crowns for weddings
i can't think of a better occasion for a woman
to adorn her hair with bunches of gorgeous blooms
if i ever get married
you bet i'll be wearing flowers in my hair
forget jewelry
 i'll be accessorising with florals
but until then
i'll just be making flower crowns for others

but if you ever find yourself wanting to make a flower crown of your own
whether it's for a wedding or just for fun
i've got a little tutorial for you
it's literally easy as 1, 2, 3
and it's a bundle of fun
and you don't have to go very far to get your florals 
or even spend any money on them
just step outside into your yard
i guarantee you will have plenty to work with
be creative
and let your inner wild child run free
bringing you back to those daisy chain days

things you'll need
thin green floral wire
millinery wire 
wire cutters
flower snippers
a few of your favorite florals from the garden

florals i cut
maidenhair fern
crape myrtle flowers
privet leaves

step 1. 
use millinery wire. measure where you want your crown to rest on your head. connect the ends of the wire by wrapping them around each other tightly so it stays in place. you now have the base of your crown.

step 2.
 use some small greens to cover the millinery wire. i used herbs from the garden. place your greens around the crown and use your thin floral wire to attach them, wiring as you go.

step 3. 
now attach the rest of your favorite florals

by gathering them and wiring them to the crown just like you wired the greens. you can wire them individually as well as in little bunches, whichever way is easiest for you. 

i chose to do a cluster of flowers just on one side of my crown, but there are no rules. you can place flowers wherever you want on your crown.

once you're done attaching your flowers
you are finished and can enjoy
your very own floral crown.

don't be afraid to be creative
this is your flower crown
let your personality shine through your design
and have fun!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Very Thankful Thursday

happy thankful thursday!

i just happened to glance at the calendar
 and i have no idea where time has gone
how on earth are we in the middle of march already?
wasn't it just christmas?
didn't we just ring in the new year?
anyone else having a minor panic attack right now?
ok moving on...

over the past couple months
i have sat at my computer
and have tried to write  thankful posts
but i just haven't been able to
not because there aren't things to be thankful for
but because i just don't know where to start
 on multiple occasions i have sat staring at an empty screen
with words swirling around in my head
unable to make themselves form coherent sentences

but i think that's exactly where i needed to be
over the last couple months
god has really given me time and space to think
to be quiet and still
to process through just where he has me
forcing me to face a few harsh realities about where my heart has truly been lately
and it's been good
 but real good

god has really been tugging at my heart strings
i've begun to see i'm quick to jump to conclusions and assumptions
i'm so impatient
i can never sit, be still and just listen

i've been learning that recently
i haven't been giving God the space he needs deserves to work in my life
{yes he works despite this}
but i tend to make things extremely difficult
and sometimes more painful for myself

i'm beginning to see the difference it makes
when He is in control
i'm seeing just how different things are
when i don't
and when i do
 let him in to things
the big things and the little things
life looks so different when he is allowed into every part of my life
night and day different
there is power
and joy
so so so much joy
and i could not be more thankful for these sweet gifts

so today i am thankful for so so so much
that every day is new and beautiful
birds singing early in the morning
singing in the shower at the top of my lungs when no one is home
the warmth of the sun on my skin
 the smell of jasmine
the feeling of a breeze blowing through my hair
beautiful rays of sunshine

meeting with brides
booking summer weddings
filling special flower orders
getting to create pretty things with flowers

friday phone calls with my friend erin
my small group
my church
wearing dresses and skirts
building terrariums

dinner parties with friends
trips to orange county
evenings at karaoke bars
coldplay's new song that remains on repeat
lunch at the beach
spending time with my sweet friend margo

birthday dinners
a whole day spent with my three year old niece
which included a trip to barnes and noble to pick out new books
target to get a snack
old navy to say hello to the manikins 
chick fil a for a yummy meal
the park to play pretend
and more hugs and kisses than i could ever want

my sweet nephew and niece
and the way they melt my heart

beer and yahtzee filled evenings with friends
falling asleep to the sound of rain
movie nights
new running clothes
meeting new people
evening coffee dates
friends visiting from utah

trips to downtown la
walks to the park
seeing new sights
blueberry mint lemonade
spending afternoons in venice
walking down abbot kinney blvd
exploring the gorgeous la library with friends

passing exams
getting a full time job offer
{with benefits}
taking that full time job offer
working as a horticulturist
and getting to wear this sick get up everyday

lunch dates in santa monica
sweet memories of a wonderful summer spent in santa monica
trips to the patagonia store
sipping free coffee, using free wifi and perusing a pretty sweet catalog
 at the patagonia store

friends who buy me things from the patagonia store
{thanks michy}
my new patagonia messenger bag that im slightly obsessed with
my bed
the couch
my car
my journal
finishing great books
getting to know people 
taking things slow

i'm thankful for the past couple months
for learning how to let the lord lead
for learning patience
for the true joy that is found in Christ

what are you thankful for today?....