Thursday, December 31, 2015

2 0 1 5 // a year in review

simply put: twenty-fifteen was the best + craziest year of my life.

i started out the year as a single, small town oklahoma girl.
i'm ending the year as a married girl living in the big (to me) city of wichita, kansas.

new last name.
new city.
new state.
new church.
new job.
(then a better job.)
a new life.

i cannot look back on this year without tearing up + praising God + thanking Him for the good fruit. sure there were hard times, but those moments strengthened my faith. i serve a mighty God who deeply cares for His beloveds.

this time last year, i was feeling so lonely. i remember telling God that after deciding to not date for a few years - i was ready whenever He was. when i reflect on those moments, i imagine God throwing His head back laughing at me. never could i have imagined signing up for a dating app + meeting a guy + driving two hours on the weekends to see him in another state + getting engaged a month and half later + eloping in vegas two weeks after that + moving to another state.

what a crazy-beautiful year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2 0 1 5 >> A PHOTO REVIEW


valentine's day with my man  //  our vegas elopement  //  bliss
magical  //  total nerds  //  coffee date at verita
birthday trip to the mountains  //  vacay pose  //  our first christmas 


blooms on the front porch  //  spring delights  //  random flowers in a parking lot
beautiful flowers  //  summer blooms  //  flowers in colorado
weird flower at the lake  //  sunflowers by the water  //  flowers from my lover 


raindrops  //  sunset and dead blooms  //  spring delights
palm trees in vegas  // greens at the zoo  //  weird flowers at the lake
dead sunflowers  //  fall leaves in our backyard  //  pine cones 


i said YES!  //  ahhhh, such a fun moment  //  my tyler bear
adventuring in colorado  //  fishing  //  visiting the fam bam in oklahoma
baby milo  //  selfie under the pine tree  //  epic moment 


our first date!  //  pretty ring and spring florals  //  downtown wichita
camping  //  PENGUINS!  //  the drive-in
mountains  //  saturday mornings at verita  //  optimus prime 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

currently // DECEMBER 2015


eleanor & park
big little lies 
someday, someday, maybe: a novel


-  how to get away with murder
-  parenthood

give me suggestions on shows, guys!


*  2016 goals, ideas, quotes, etc.
*  all the bullet journal things.
tidbits of wisdom


caramel macchiattos are still my jam at the moment.
hubs also make a delicious caramel latte.
peppermint mocha from verita coffee co.


ever be - kalley heiligenthan
good good father - casting crowns' version

this playlist on spotify

season two of the serial podcast


my new job! that handsome bass player i call my husband. our new puppy and our tyler bear! this advent season. caramel macchiatos. twinkling lights. veggie lasagna. saturday mornings with hubs. bullet journaling.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

happy bits.

//  when i interviewed for my new job, i walked in the house to these beauties. jared was so excited about my interview that he bought me celebratory roses. two hours later, i got the job offer!

//  tyler bear. i call him that because he's just a big teddy bear. he is such a great dog - super chill, loves everyone, and is our new puppy's best friend.

//  my baby milo. look at him! ahhh, those eyes. he is adjusting so well to his new life with us. he is constantly making me laugh. the first couple days were different for me because i've never had a puppy, so it was kind of like having a baby - up every two hours, crying, etc. but by the weekend, he was getting more comfortable with his new surroundings.

//  my first real tree ever! picking out and decorating a christmas tree with my husband is something i did not take for granted this year. it's our first christmas together. when we were dating, i mentioned how lonely i had felt last christmas. when the holiday season started, he remembered that conversation and said, "now you'll never have to celebrate christmas and thanksgiving alone anymore." cue all the heart eyes and happy tears.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

weekly musings.

//   i've come to the realization that blogging regularly is not going to happen anytime soon.

//  periscope is my new favorite thing right now. i haven't recorded anything, but i love jess connolly.

//  jared and i have been married for eight months. EIGHT. MONTHS. blows my mind, y'all.

//  at any given time, i have five to seven tubes of lipstick, balm, etc. in my purse.

//  I FINALLY GOT A NEW JOB! i start tomorrow. [no more customer service for me!]

//  sometimes i have to remind myself that it's just a moo point.

//  jared makes the best lattes. one day we will own a coffee shop. we'll sell cake, too. #iheartcake

//  we bought a puppy! his name is milo.

//  i am so, so excited about our first christmas together.

//  i am obsessed with this pinterest account right now.

//  this video on bullet journaling is everything!

//  how is it already december first?!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CURRENTLY // november

COFFEEING  //  i initially labeled this 'eating' and then 'drinking', but let's be honest - coffee runs through my veins. y'all. lately my favorites are a hot caramel macchiato with an extra shot or a pumpkin spice frappuccino.

EXPLORING  //  i haven't had much time to explore my new city as of late, but i have this thing lately with going to the library or driving with the windows down while enjoying a coffee or random saturday drives with no destination with that handsome hubs of mine. as cliche as it sounds - it's the little things. those tiny moments remind me to stop and soak in every little bit of life, even if it's going to the grocery store or driving around for fifteen minutes because we can't decide on what to have for dinner.

WEARING  //  boots because duh - it's fall. i have yet to unpack/organize all my clothes since moving into our house five months ago. maybe it will be finished by the end of the month.

READING  //  "yes please" by amy poehler. "we were liars" by e. lockhart. "liars, inc." by paula stokes.
"where'd you go, bernadette?" by maria semple.

MAKING ME HAPPY  //  answered prayers. my husband. all the fall things. worship. lattes. my sweet nieces & nephews. cake. coffee. cuddling. date nights. watching movies. reading. days off in the middle of the week. brunch. kind words. library browsing. pineapple. the holidays. bullet journaling. surprise trips to oklahoma. goofy snapchats. watching hubs play his bass in the praise band.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

CURRENTLY // september 2015.

EATING  //  pineapple. watermelon. grapes. so much fruit, but it's refreshing and better than the crap i've been putting in my body lately.

WATCHING  //  the final season of gilmore girls. ahhhhh, i don't want it to end.

READING  //  my current favorite blogs at the moment are my favorite adventure, mr. thomas and me, & jess connolly. these voices are authentic, real, and don't give me tips on how to do this & that so they can gain followers and high page views.

SIPPING  //  a hot caramel macchiato with a triple shot. vanilla bean frappuccinos with a triple shot are also my jam right now.

WRITING  //  in my bullet journal. every random thought + idea + happy note + everything in between is recorded in that notebook. it's the best system i have ever tried!

PINNING  //  all things related to bullet journaling. good quotes like this + this + this. all the fall things.

MAKING ME HAPPY  //  good coffee & deep convos with hubs. gilmore girls. autumn-like weather & cozy sweaters. date night. netflix & warm blankets. bullet journaling. glitter nail polish. sunflowers. driving with the windows down. cuddling with jared. sooner football. saturdays off work. sunday afternoon naps. hilarious talks with mama. twinkling lights. camping & bonfires with friends. mums. rainy mornings.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

colorado trip in photos.

hiking views. 

i had a bad cold and was struggling during the hike, so my brother-in-law got me a hiking stick. 


hiking with that stud is so much fun. 

hiking up seven falls. 

seven falls. 

breathing in that mountain air. 

14,110 feet high. the most stellar view i've ever witnessed. 

pikes peak. 

pikes peak. 

the balanced rock.  

that light is dreamy against the rocks. 

 garden of the gods was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

vacay pose! 

it was forty degrees on top of pikes peak!  

climbing rocks at garden of the gods. 

cave of the winds.  

so thankful for a husband who takes me on a trip just to celebrate my birthday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

tidbits of life.

//  jared took me to the drive-in a couple weeks ago. it was my first time ever! we stocked up on tons of snacks + candy + cream soda. i LOVED it so, so much. i cannot wait to go back!

//  delightful flowers. beauty is everywhere, even in parking lots.

//  jared and i took a walk around sedgwick county park over the weekend. we walked over this cool bridge, and i knew i had to snap a photo. one of the things i love most about my marriage is how no matter where we are or what we're doing, we can talk about anything and everything.

//  my current obsession: caramel frappuccino with a double shot of espresso, no whipped cream.

//  these lovely flowers lined a sidewalk so beautifully that i had hubs pull over so i could take a photo.

//  wings + sweet tea + football + a handsome date = all the heart eyes.

//  a snapshot from our walk. for a park that's in the middle of a city, it is so picturesque. i cannot wait to have a few sessions there when i get my photography business up and running in the future.

//  pretty little flowers.

//  downtown wichita. this was a random shot that i snapped as we were sitting at a stoplight. i love my city.

Monday, August 17, 2015

MONDAY TRUTHS | volume three.

the last several days have been weird and crazy and insane. between work and some tough family stuff back in oklahoma, i was feeling overwhelmed. and then i remembered a song we sing at church that says, "the joy of the Lord is our strength." i started singing that line over and over again at work.

lately i've been walking in circumstances instead of faith. reaction has replaced grace and human opinion was valued over God's Word. but friday night, i declared aloud that the joy of the Lord is my strength. He is my portion. i will praise Him with every breath in my lungs. like a sweet woman at church always tells me, i am blessed and highly favored.

the joy of the Lord is my strength. amen.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

CURRENTLY | august 2015.

EATING  //  all the things. HA! but seriously though. i have gained over ten pounds since jared and i have been married. it's insane, y'all. we are trying to get back on track with healthier eating. motivation is what we need, and we're getting there.

WATCHING  //   hulu is AWESOME. like, what was i doing with my life? i am on the last season of gilmore girls! i really, really don't want it to end, so i am stretching it out as long as i can. we also watch 'rules of engagement' a couple nights a week. i think that show is hilarious!

READING  //  i am so excited because i got a library card! i haven't had one since i was in middle school, and i was just as giddy to get it as i was back then. i need book recs, people! when i'm at the gym, i need something to occupy my mind instead of OH MY GOODNESS, I'M GOING TO FAINT.

SIPPING  //  caramel frappunccino with a  double shot of espresso, no whipped cream. they are my jam, y'all.

WRITING  //  in my bullet journal. i am so dedicated to this creative system. i record almost anything and everything that happens throughout my day. it has been super helpful in my productivity as well as documenting everyday tasks to remember and reflect.

PLANNING  //  our trip to colorado! oh mylanta - i am ecstatic for this. i have never been to colorado. i know it's beautiful, but what i'm looking forward to the most is the weather. light sweaters, hollllaaaaa atcha girl.

MAKING ME HAPPY  //  that handsome hubs of mine. daily convos with my madre. being silly while grocery shopping. kind people at work. my co-workers. coffee. our dog, tyler. exploring wichita. hubs pulling over so i could take a photo of flowers. random talks as we run errands on saturdays. hardwood floors. peanut butter. my best friend asking me to be a bridesmaid! gilmore girls. a good workout. finding a cute pair of jeans for twenty bucks. movie nights with hubs and our friends. blogs + blogging. more coffee. and finally - the coming of fall. i haven't allowed myself to utter those words until recently. i want to enjoy this season. this literal season - summer. i don't want to always be looking forward to the next thing. i want to soak in the present and all its little beauties and happenings. but after mowing last week, i counted fourteen mosquito bites, so COME ON, FALL.

Monday, August 10, 2015

MONDAY TRUTHS // volume two

galatians 5:13 - "for you were called to freedom, brothers. only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

SERVE ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE. serve others with joy. serve one another - even when they are not so nice. serve others with a smile. serve one another - even when life is hard. serve others with kindness. serve one another - even if they are rude.

sometimes people suck. sometimes people have really bad days. sometimes people are just plain mean.

even so - serve others with grace upon grace.

serve others in the everyday moments of life
even if you don't want to. even if they are mean. even when you're tired.

serve with love and grace and kindness. shine your light for all to see.
that light - no matter how thick and deep the darkness is - always shines brighter in the dark.

Monday, August 3, 2015


i read this quote recently + it has radically changed my daily life.

how much time and energy have i wasted on insignificant moments that have no value? this one life i have is far too precious and fleeting to let circumstances dictate my mood + emotions. [my time is better spent reading, writing, or fueling my creativity.]

instead- i make a conscious choice to look at a situation for what it is. most of the time, it's so minute in the grand scheme of all things. these days, people get offended about eeeeeeeverthing. let's channel that energy into something meaningful.

be the change you want to see instead of just complaining about how things need to change.


monday truths is a series on this little blog. we all need truth in our life. not fluff. not feel-good nonsense. but hard-hitting, soul-feeding, life-giving truth. each week, i will post a quote, scripture, or word of truth to get you started for the week ahead.

my hope is that you will remember these little tidbits of wisdom throughout your week when lemons or curve balls or whatever random object gets thrown your way because, hey - that's life.


this post became a pinterest gold mine! i have more views + pins on this image than any other posts combined! i have updated it with a new graphic to include the source. i cannot believe i made a graphic that ended up becoming so popular, only to not include my website on it. [humbled, party of one.] here is a new graphic for those who want it!


Saturday, August 1, 2015



-  four months of marriage.
-  random flowers behind a building. beauty is everywhere.
-  pretty plants.
-  a snippet of my bullet journal.
-  kansas skies.
-  the best mocha from one of our favorite coffee shops in wichita - verita coffee company.
-  pretty summer wildflowers.
-  tyler looooooves his car rides. [and taking snapchats with mommy.]
-  these pretty vines are growing on our front porch and i find their simpleness so beautiful.


//  celebrating my mama's birthday in oklahoma with family, friends, food, fireworks, and freedom.
//  lots of weekends spent hanging out with friends and making fun memories.
//  going on a random date on the east side that will always be a favorite memory.
//  starting a bullet journal. [best. idea. ever.]
//  drinking way too many frozen cappuccinos from quiktrip.
//  becoming more familiar with my job.


y'all, where did july go? for real. this year is flying by and i'm learning to take in each moment of every day. even those hard times - i still find myself with a joy unspeakable. God has been working in my life and on my heart. i start each morning with my hands lifted to heaven, giving that day to the Lord. this seemingly small action has radically changed the rest of my day.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015


what i'm about to type may come as a shock [or blaspheme] to those who know my passion for planners.

i do not use a planner anymore.

this is a crazy statement. never did i think those words would form a sentence from my mouth. but it is true. i haven't touched a planner in weeks. at the beginning of july, i started keeping a bullet journal. [i highly suggest watching the video.]

i started this daily practice because i needed a way to get everything out of my head throughout the day. a planner doesn't really allot for that purpose, so i was always dissatisfied with the layouts. then i stumbled upon the bullet journal website and now those planners are collecting dust.


i have several sections throughout the bullet journal:

DAILIES  //  there are twelve of these pages. [one for every month of the year.] i use this space to write one line about each day of the month. 

MONTHLIES  //  this page is designated for goals and lessons learned throughout the month. 

WEEKLIES  //  [aka: my favorite pages] these are where i document my weeks. i use this space to write tasks, quotes, scripture, happy lists, funny happenings, and adventures. 

BILLS  //  these two pages are for our monthly bills. i have each payee listed along with the due date and amount due. 


like in the video, i numbered my pages and created a key. 
square = task
heart = something happy
triangle = events, happenings
star = notes, scripture, quotes, funnies, etc.

what i like most about this system is that it is highly customizable. i plan to adjust these pages as i go and add more sections. this bullet journal is the best idea ever. okay, maybe not ever, but it sure gives me all the heart eyes every time i pull it out of my purse. 

 this is my pretty bullet journal. it's a moleskine. i use the dotted version, which is great because it gives me a slight guide to keep my lines straight, but doesn't overwhelm the page when i want to get outside the box. 



 a portion of a WEEKLIES page.

 i add fun things to the left side of the page. ticket stubs, polaroids. washi tape, drawings, one-liners. post-its. i do this because the moleskine journal pages are so thin that i can't write on the back. [well - i could, but my perfectionist self cannot handle the ink bleeding through the pages.]  

another WEEKLIES page

Saturday, July 25, 2015

life lately.


over the course of two months, i had seven migraines. before this period of time, i don't think i've had seven migraines in my entire life. to say i was frustrated was an understatement. i felt so utterly helpless, wondering if the rest of my days would be spent in pain and on meds. and then a lightbulb finally went off in my head [after husband finally convinced me, that is] and i realized it was the birth control i've been taking. i stopped taking it, and so far i have been migraine-free. PRAISE THE LORD!


i'm going to be real with y'all  - i haven't posted a lot on instagram lately because i don't have any recent 'pretty' pictures to post. while there is nothing wrong with curating a cohesive and aesthetically appealing IG account, i ventured into a strange notion that posting snippets from my everyday life would cause others to jump ship. guys - i was concerned about losing followers. so lame. so petty. blahhhhhhh. when did i get this notion that i had to post only pretty nature photos? when did i put so much pressure on myself to have the 'perfect' photos? that's silly and exhausting.


jared and i will be married four months on monday. what the what?! i feel like i've known him my whole life instead of just six months. marrying him was one of the best decisions i have ever (and will ever) made in my life. i am learning so much through our marriage and about myself in this season of life. it's incredible and crazy and better than i imagined it to be.


one of my goals for next month is to blog at least twice a week. i don't have any topics in mind, but i know i just needs to get my creative juices flowing. i started a bullet journal, and i cannot wait to share it. it has changed the way i plan. truth be told - i don't use a planner anymore. at all. ever. my bullet journal is that awesome.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

june 2015 favorites.

-  beautiful flowers on the edge of the lake.
-  three months of marriage with that handsome husband of mine!
-  sunset at the lake.
-  oh, scooter's. you know the way to my heart.
-  our new favorite coffee shop, verita.
-  chai latte with a shot of espresso.
-  taken the day we moved in. oh, those hardwood floors make me have all the heart eyes.
-  when i married jared, i got a dog in the deal. tyler is the best!


//  starting my new job at the credit union. gosh, this was an answered prayer!
//  going to the zoo because jared knew i would love the penguins.
//  getting glare-resistant glasses due to migraines. i'm nerdy-chic, y'all!
//  jared and i made the decision to start eating better and working out.
//  bbqs with good friends.
//  started a 'dailies' notebook. [i cannot wait to share this.]
//  moving into our house and making it a home.
//  celebrated husband's 31st birthday. gosh, i love him!

MOVIES  //  TV  //  MUSIC  //  BOOKS

jurassic world  >>  i remember walking out of the theater and thinking, "so. awesome."
x-men: days of future past  >>  i've never watched the x-men movies. i'm a fan now.

rules of engagement  >>  this show is hilarious!

touch the sky  >>  hillsong united
shut up and dance  >>  walk the moon
forever  >>  kari jobe  [that entire album!]

ha, what's a book? what is this 'reading' people speak of? kidding. i might start the harry potter series again. truth is that i am so busy lately. and i laugh at those times i've said that before. umm, no. i was not busy then. HA! but working a 'real' job now, working 40 actual hours as opposed to four days a week leaves little time for reading.


well, well, well. after weeks of adding "write a blog post" to my to-do list, i can finally check it off. HA! this month was insane. i mean, the last six months of my life have been nothing short of insanity, but june was full of it. new job. new home. challenges with migraines. ahhhhh. i look back though and see God's divine fingerprints woven into the days and moments. i came home and cried into jared's arms after work because i had already suffered three migraines in ten days. the lights at work are so bright. and you know what he did? took me to the eye doctor RIGHT THEN. [reason #34 why i love living less than one minute from the mall + reason #153982 why i love that husband of mine.]

as i re-play the month of june in my head, i see an overwhelming theme of grace in every aspect of my life. in my faith. in my marriage. in my relationships. in my job. in my friendships. in every little thing. it makes my heart want to burst out of my chest when i think about all the blessings in my life.

Monday, June 22, 2015

LIFE LATELY // june 2015.

y'all, i'm still alive. promise.

married life is great. actually it's better than i ever dreamed. that husband of mine is incredible - so sweet and kind and patient. we will be married three months on saturday. THREE! goodness. it seems like just yesterday we hopped on a plane to vegas. since the last time i blogged, we moved into our home. it's just a two-bedroom, but such a great starter home for jared and i. there are dreamy hardwood floors and a large backyard for tyler to play. y'all - i love having a space of our own. i have already rearranged my closet twice. ha! i still have moments where i'm like, "oh my goodness - i'm married. i have a husband! what the what?" my heart could burst with the amount of love i have for that man of mine.

this past weekend was so hard. after 16+ years of pure entertainment, our family cat, boomer, died. i am so incredible grateful for all the years we had with her in our lives. though my heart is broken into a million little pieces, i smile when i think about all the joy she brought to our lives. prayers of comfort would be much appreciated.

my new job at the credit union is going well. i am becoming more and more familiar with everything as the days progress. i love getting to know the members and interacting with them throughtout the day. the people i work with are so encouraging and helpful, so that's a major plus.

i really, really want to blog more. i miss this space and i miss the blogosphere. i miss social media and connecting with people all over the world. i am trying to find that balance. truth be told, i feel like i'm living a new life now. the things that mattered several months ago don't really hold substance now. but the one thing that has stayed the same is the need to create. it may not happen as frequently as i'd like, but nonetheless, it's still there.

Monday, May 11, 2015

everyday moments: celebrating + praising.

after over a month of searching and applying to countless job after job. after weeks of expectant and sometimes teary-eyed prayers, i finally have a job! PRAISE THE LORD!

i start training for my new job as a teller at a credit union next monday. i am SO excited!

i texted jared the great news once i left the interview. to celebrate, he bought me a chai latte with a shot of espresso on his way home from work. i may have teared up a little when he walked in with that scooter's cup in his hand. he is so thoughtful and sweet.

Monday, April 27, 2015

one month of marriage + #morethanaframe + joy

there is a great new community blossoming. the hearts behind #morethanaframe [amber + cassie] came together with the idea of community and invited us to become part of it. i have this thing about instagram communities: I LOVE THEM. connecting with women all over the world makes my heart happy. this week's theme is JOY. guys, i'm "joyfulamber" on social media, so this is obviously screaming my name. literally. 

it has been a month since jared and i got married. what a whirlwind my life has been! 

[that's an understatement, y'all. i met him in january. got engaged in mid-march and married him two weeks later. 
oh, and i moved two and a half hours away to a new city and a new state the day before we eloped in vegas. WHAT the WHAT?]

through all the crazy and unknown and excitement, i have this certain joy that isn't some fickle emotion dependent on circumstances or situations; it's a deep, quiet [and sometimes beautiful, wildly loud] confidence in Jesus. 

in who He is. in what He has done. in what He is doing. in what He will do. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

exploring vegas.

we arrived in vegas on friday afternoon and spent the evening preparing for our wedding. we married under the stars in a twinkling-lit gazebo. [photos to come!] on saturday, we explored vegas from the moment we woke up until the moment we had to board the plane at 1 am. here are some photos i took as we ventured around our hotel as newlyweds! [the luxor hotel is amazing, people! we highly recommend it.]

 the luxor hotel

 the luxor hotel

 palm trees

 the luxor

 our hotel

the view from our hotel room

another view from our hotel room


new york, new york 

the luxor 

 the MGM 

the view from our hotel at night 

the vegas show, KA  
[one of the coolest things i have ever watched!]

 more palm trees

 one of the greatest moments of my life! 

 new york-new york hotel

  new york-new york hotel

 new york-new york hotel