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Why It Is Okay to be "The Best"....

Work for a cause, not applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don't strive to have your presence noticed, just make your absence felt. -unknown

Im sure that the phrase “Be the best that you can be” is nothing you have never heard before.

Growing up, that phrase is instilled in our heads!! But, did you ever sit there and ask yourself.... 
“what exactly is my best?”

Is placing 1st in every category your best? And, what if it is not?

We are growing up in a society that is cut throat! The pressures of being “perfect” has spiraled out of control and our society’s idea of perfect is almost out of reach.

It seems to be a trending topic with people to compete to be the best... at everything! 

Think about it...
- Best Wife/Husband
- Best Employee
- Best Dressed
- Most Fit
- Richest
- Prettiest/ Most Handsome
- Wittiest

And maybe I listed those because I struggle with those! 
We beat ourselves up because we are not perfect and as much as we don’t want to listen... It is still something that we can not turn off. We believe being “perfect” will end the ability for us to be touched. It will end our hurts... our wants.. Whatever it may be!

But, we should look at our society’s idea of “perfect/best” and look deeper in... Are they/it really that “perfect”???

Striving for perfection is something I struggle with daily... My strive to be perfect at everything I do often leaves me so imperfect, in my eyes, that at the end of the day I am exhausted and sick of trying to make everyone else happy!!!!... 
And, I’m happy to know... I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

So, is it so bad that I want to be “the best”?
Yes and No.

“Best” is defined as of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality.

It’s okay to be the "best".. But, this is where we have to forget every thing we have previously put in our mind about what is of most desirable and we need to define our own best. What are YOU capable of... And most importantly, who we have to back us up to achieve our “best”!

We have to let go of how good we are and decide how good we want to be. At the end of the day, what is going to leave you feeling fulfilled.? 

Letting go of trying to master everything in life... resting assured that the Lord will place you at your best when the time is right.

Comin' Home

Well, I have been to Georgia and their peaches don’t match our smith county watermelons. And, I have traveled to Colorado, but nothing kept me there. 

Alabama has it’s perks, but I’m always happy to see that Magnolia sign.

Arkansas had part of my heart, but the rich cotton lands were more than I could bare.

The only thing that holds a candle to our sweet heat is the sunshine state. 

But, my heart belongs here.

M-I- Crooked letter- Crooked Letter- I - Crooked Letter- Crooked Letter- I- Hump Back- Humpback- I... 

"Home is where the Heart is."- Or, so they say. 

And, I guess the saying stands true.  

HOME- The place where you find comfort and your family. 

My roots are buried deep. 

Home cooking is the best cooking. Stars shine bright at night. The winter is warm and so is the summer. Farmer’s markets become social events. Ladies and Gentlemen still exist. Breakfast consists of Biscuits n’ gravy, Bacon, Eggs, and Grits. Crawfish boils replace Shrimp boils. Everything taste better fried. Fresh squeezed lemonade is good, but Sweet Tea is a must at every dinner. The crack of a ripe watermelon marks the beginning of summer. 

There are so many “homes”. So, what makes it home for you?

It’s the feeling you get when you reach that last stretch of  road that takes you home. The moment you sit back, relax, and open the windows to smell the air that you are so familiar with. The air that brings back the memories of why you love your hometown. And it brings you back to the main fact that Home is where the Heart is...

It’s not a competition among states.. No, it is rather a sense of security buried deep down that make you go “ahhh, home!” 

In that case, the last stretch of I-55 makes me go “ahh, home” 
The air is a little tougher to breathe.. Pine trees aren’t hard to find.. The grass is green and and the gardens are plentiful. 
Often, I say.. “I am so not country”, but it’s when you take me out of the south that I realize... Ok, maybe I am..
My favorite meal consists of butter beans, peas, corn, mashed potatoes, and a huge cut of cornbread (and maybe some fried okra and green tomatoes!)... followed by a huge piece of apple pie and home made ice cream... I don't like southern cooking at all! 

That’s the meal that all southerners would call a ‘Comfort Meal’.. Is it because it makes us feel comfortable??.. Of Course Not!! Usually we are so miserably full that you swear you are never eating again! But, that meal is so “comfortable” to us because that is what we are raised on.  (keep the fat comments to yourself!)

We’re raised to mind our manners. Say Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am. We’re raised to love God and say our prayers. You learn how to pick peas (shell them too!). Bake desserts...... and no matter how many times you try, It will never taste as good as your “Nana’s”! The smell of the air and the nip of the wind direct you! With the first touch of sunshine, it is time to fish... And with the first colored leaf comes football season. We wear shorts on christmas... And, we freak at a snow flake.

Yes, I am from the south through and through.... 

Is that a bad thing? NO! 
It was... It is... and as far as I know.. It will always be home to me.

Does that mean that we can’t make a new home? 

like I said.. Home is where the Heart is.. It is a mindset. How willing are you to accept a new path and adventure? If home is where the heart is then it should not matter where home is, rather where your heart is. 

I think too many times we associate happiness with a particular time and place rather than who we spent that time with!

We can’t dwell in the past, nor can we be anxious for the future. In order to grow, one must step out of their “Comfort Zone” with out totally losing all of their “roots”. 
Taking a piece of home where ever you may move.. because ultimately, this is our temporary home.

"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."
2 Corinthians 5:1

The "All-Dayer"

Bloody Mary's, Bacon, Mimosa's, Biscuits, Sausage, Grits, Cinnamon Rolls, Eggs

What else can you add to that list to make a better "Southern Birthday Breakfast"?!

Okay, maybe we could have added gravy to those biscuits... 

It was a normal Sunday birthday for Chase Brown. -It would be a day spent going to church, eating lunch with friends, and of course spending the day with his awesome wife, Hope Brown!

Little did he know that picking up friends for church would turn into a surprise birthday party!

When we were approached about Chase's birthday, Austin and I immediately decided that a Surprise Birthday Breakfast was in order!
We had been saying we needed to have a breakfast party- Well, here was the perfect chance! 

Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day afterall!

We started the day off with a delicious breakfast soon followed by opening gifts!

Breakfast was not the only surprise for the day! Hope surprised Chase with a trip to Houston to watch Stephen Ridley and the New England Patriots play!!!

The rest of the day was filled with fun, happiness, and friends!!  -As any birthday should be filled with!

-Never a dull moment with these precious friends! In the words of Hemingway, "When you stop doing things for fun... you might as well be dead!"

Here's one to grow on, Chase! 

Alexandra J

"Pinch Me; They're in Love!"

Crawfish. Friends. Beer. and Wedding Gifts.

Can life get much better?!?

Austin and I were blessed with a wonderful shower thrown by some of the best people we know! 

I can't imagine life without these beautiful friends!

Our Southern Crawfish Wedding Shower was held at the Clubhouse overlooking Lake Caroline! 

With our recent bi-polar mother nature, we were unsure if it was going to be freezing or hot! Luckily, the weather turned out great!  It was the perfect night to sit out on the deck and enjoy the company of our loved ones like a true southerner would.... Eating Crawfish!

Austin and I can't wait to share our wedding day with our wonderful friends and family!

Venue: Lake Caroline Clubhouse

Invitations: Emily Ferguson 

Cookies: Lyndsey Dill


After a awful day at work, I came to my gym only to hear Blink 182’s- What’s My Age Again. Ever listened to that song? If your 23.... go turn it on. It could not be more right!

Nobody likes you when you’re 23... 

22.. yep... 23... nope. 

Oh, the glory’s of being 23.

At 23, you are too young, yet you are too old!

You are caught somewhere between being an adolescent and being an adult. And who really wants to be either?!

I have never really fond of becoming an adult... None of it has ever just appealed to me. 
I want all of the perks of being an adult without “being an adult”
I want to have a job, yet I want to work a job that works around my schedule! (yeah right!)
I want to own a home and car, but I don’t want to have to pay for them! (MOM?! DAD?!?)
I want to act grown up and make my own decisions, but I REALLY REALLY need your advice!

I like to dream. Maybe a little too much.... of this little adult land that would be filled with ice cream, pizza, crossfit, pools, and hanging out with my friends everyday! I’m sure everyone dreams a dream somewhat like that... right?! 
However, I turned 23 and... everyone tells me to grow up and act my age?! 


You hit 21 and each birthday seems like just another day. People ask you your age and you have to mentally calculate it before answering. 
I use to think my parents/grandparents were crazy when they couldn’t remember how old they were.... BUT, here I am... and I am THAT crazy!

Things in your life just kind of change..... (and overnight)
-you graduate from college and you realize that you have to start LIFE... Wait, no one taught me about life in school! There was no life course on how to get a job, pay bills, and take out loans.....
-you suddenly start worrying about your future. Not really because you want to, but because everyone around you is constantly questioning you about it! 
*Say you haven’t seen someone in awhile: The first thing they say to you is, “Hey,  what are you doing now... Still in school?.. job?” Like really... I am asking myself the same exact question!
*Do you think you will be getting married soon? (Luckily, I am getting married soon... But, for this is for all of those girls/guys out there that are perfectly fine not getting married at 23!)
*Can you dress a little bit older? Well, what exactly do you define as “Older”?  Because if that means that I have to wear a suit and look 40... then I am out! I don’t look forward to being 40!

Things in your life drastically change when you hit that “awkward” age of 23. Mainly because your job and social status start to define you. You can no longer rely on your parents or how successful you were in high school/college. You are an adult now... Your employer could care less that you were Homecoming queen, quarterback, cheerleading captain, band nerd, etc. of high school stereotypes! What matters is what you are bringing to the plate today. 
And unfortunately, at 23 we are seen as “inexperienced and young” by the older crowd... and “old and washed up” by the younger crowd. 

You are too young to be old and too old to be young.

At 23, you want to stay up all night and have fun... but, your body rejects this!

At 23, you want to be settle down in a career... But, every being in your body is telling you to live your life!

At 23, you want to eat pizza, donuts, and drink coke.... But, your body physically rejects it!

At 23, older people try to look down upon you.... But, you know in your mind that you are more capable of what they say of you.

The list could go on and on... and WHY!?!!!

We are 23... and for some odd reason, that one year age difference between 22 and 24 is HUGE!

23 is an age of CHANGE. 
You start trying to transition into being independent.
You start venturing out and making new friends that fit in with this era of your life.
You suddenly care more about furnishing your home then your wardrobe.
You start noticing your parents were right.... about just about everything!
And most likely, (unless you’re just super 23) then you are going to be moving from job to job in search for one that fits YOU!.... 

I wish that I could say something great about 23, but being stuck in a limbo year sucks!
It is so difficult to yearn for something only to get knocked down to the reality that you are not old enough, yet... 

I think that they should just say “You’re 23... Try again next year!!!

Until next time.. 

Give me sun.. Give me Sand!!

Over the Christmas Break, the Hudson’s took us on a little family vacation!

Snow Skiing!!! 

This was unlike any other vacation I had ever been on. 

Reason 1: I had never been to the Mountains! (Little alone the West!)
Reason 2: It would be my first trip with Austin’s family
Reason 3: I would be traveling in a truck for 19 hours.............

The ride was.... LONG! 
Austin jokes that he will fly me if we ever go that far again! 

I can sum up riding through the West in two words: tumbleweeds and plains

So, I slept... and I snacked... and I slept... and I snacked!

Finally, Austin woke me up... and there were the mountains!! 

It was a gorgeous site. It was almost unrealistic! 

Quite the change in scenery!

Buena Vista was beautiful! The town locals immediately corrected our southern twang of saying BUENA VISTA! 

The next morning we bundled up... and when I say we bundled up, I guess I mean I bundled up!!! (just check out the photos below!)

If you know me.. Then you know that 70 degrees is cold to me! I layered and I layered... and then I layered some more! 

I was still cold!

First on the agenda was ski lessons... or should I say snow boarding lessons. Was I crazy? YES. 

I can barely stand up on steady ground without falling!

So, here went nothing! and... the bunny slopes kicked my butt the first day! I basically slid down it on my butt!

On the other hand, Austin and his nephew were boarding like pros! 

Austin and I had the opportunity to go snowmobiling and eat at a cool local restaurant one day. If you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods, I definitely recommend eating at The Asian Palate! Great Sushi and Great Atmosphere!
We were all surprised at how healthy the restaurants were. There was tons of different restaurants that offered a gluten free or vegan menu. Kind of helps when you have a diverse diet family!

But, A torn ACL, fractured ankle, and messed up shoulder later... I think we have decided to go to the beach from now on!

Give me Sun, Sand, and a Cute Bikini! 

Inward Thoughts: Outward Expression

1Corinthians 6:19
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (20) For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

About two years ago, I (along with Austin) decided to start Crossfit. Little did I know that it would change my entire life!
It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! I felt like throwing up after the first workout, but oddly enough… I wanted to go back the next day. I can honestly say that the feelings have not changed even two years later!
Austin and I were on the “Honeymoon” phase with Crossfit! Anything that other crossfitters said to do… We did! So, we decided to become Paleo.
I remember that when I began my Paleo diet, people thought that I was CRAZY.
I don’t blame them. (If you are unfamiliar with the Paleo diet then click the link!)

I was constantly asked, “Why are you going on a diet?... You don’t need to lose weight.”
I would simply reply, “It’s not about losing weight… It’s about becoming healthy.”

Now before you think that I am this perfect healthy eater… Let’s get real.. I was Paleo for about a good 6 months. Then, it became too hard on my body.
I noticed I was constantly drained at the end of the day. My body wasn’t getting enough carbohydrates for the lifestyle that I led. So, I added more grains...
At that point, I told everyone that I was going to just EAT CLEAN!
Since then, I have noticed myself slowly, but surely, falling back into the unhealthy lifestyle that surrounds our nation.

My body was more confused than ever.
So, I stopped working out so much and tried to start over. Only problem was that I didn’t know how to start over.
I would sit down and write out my diet.. I would try to find the perfect mix of providing my body of the good nutrition along with making sure that I never felt like I was being restricted.
Honestly… that didn’t work either.

The bible verse at the top says that your body is a temple. Yet, every day someone suffers from an eating disorder. Yes… Anorexia, Sports Anorexia, bulimia, and even binging.
I’m sure you are looking at your lifestyle differently now that I said your body is a temple. We are all guilty of tearing ourselves down, physically and mentally. It’s in our nature, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to protect and keep our temple as clean as possible.