Chapel Hill Bound! My Road to Making Things Happen

I have imagined this day for a long time and am incredibly grateful that it’s here. I am writing aboard my flight from Manchester to Baltimore, the first part of my trip to the Making Things Happen Intensive in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I have been thinking a lot lately of when the seed was planted in my heart three years ago to attend this conference and I think it will be fun to share that and have it to look back on. 

In September 2013, my faith was on fire and my heart was suddenly – and simultaneously – stirred for design, creative expression, and all things Southern. Through a few compounding circumstances, I had decided to take the semester off from school, something that lent itself to lots of extra time for reading the Bible, teaching myself Illustrator and Photoshop, and delighting myself in the charm of Southern culture. My sweet friend Emily passed along some of her issues of Garden & Gun and Southern Living magazines and I was quickly smitten with the charm, tradition, and heart of life beneath the Mason-Dixon. I had developed an entrepreneurial spirit and was eager to combine it with my new interests to do something meaningful, I just didn’t know what that was yet. (I still don’t yet, but I believe I will soon!)

Later that fall brought about a really difficult season of injury and the subsequent road to healing, a time that the Lord used to strengthen my heart and my spirit beyond anything I could have ever accomplished on my own. As He did this, I continued to turn to Him for wisdom and comfort, and He blessed me with something really good in the thick of it. 

At Christmastime, Emily told me about Southern Weddings magazine, describing the beauty of the content and the mission behind it. V6 had just come out, and she picked up a copy for me at the only bookstore in NH that sold it. At that time, I was feeling a restless tension between brokenness I was experiencing and all the unused ambitions in my heart. On a tearful evening in the glow of my Christmas tree, I was craving something more and opened the magazine for the first time, instantly experiencing this heart feeling of ‘YES. These pages communicate my heart so well.’ The design was beautiful, the layouts were warm and inviting, and the message was heartfelt and sincere. I wanted to know the heart behind the magazine, so I grabbed my laptop and Googled the name of the editor in chief, Lara Casey. I was soon comforted and so encouraged to find that she is a follower of Jesus who vibrantly shares the redeeming work He has done in her life. I found so much hope in her story, something I had lost sight of in my circumstances. I explored her website, taking in every bit of goodness that I could, and found that she offers a conference twice a year in North Carolina called Making Things Happen.

I knew at the time that a trip to Chapel Hill was not possible, but a seed was planted in my heart when I felt an undeniable tug to someday attend the conference. Fast-forward through the start of my blog, healing fully from my injury, a trip with my mom to the Southern Weddings V7 Launch Party in North Carolina, falling even more in love with the South, the completion of a degree, two design internships, two back-to-back year-long creative positions (one in weddings, one in design), an incredibly difficult season of pruning and growth, and falling in love with Dillon, here I am today. I can see how God has set the foundation that I needed to get the most of this intensive. 

I have gained so much life experience in the past three years, and have had lots of opportunities to work through and explore some of my creative ideas and ambitions along the way. I believe with all my heart that God had in store for me to attend this conference all along, and I am so incredibly grateful that the pieces all came together to make it possible today, right where I am. I don’t know what’s next, I don’t know where this all leads, but I trust that God does. My heart and hands are open to what He wants to do here, where He wants to direct me, the vision He has for me, every bit of it. As my favorite print from Lara’s shop says: amen, hallelujah, thank you Lord.

Friday No. 3

1. Southern Weddings announced the details of their V9 Launch Party yesterday and I spent about an hour trying to find a financially feasible way to visit North Carolina twice in less than a month. My mom and I attended the V7 launch party in 2014 and that day holds a place in my heart as one of my favorites of all time. Even though it was almost two years ago, I’ve been thinking about writing a post to share that experience, so stay tuned!

2. I added a pumpkin display to my desk after picking them up on our apple picking adventure last weekend. My mom decorated our front steps with cornstalks and set out some autumn scented candles in the living room. The leaves have started to change color all over the state and it most definitely feels like fall!

3. Our young adults group at church gathered for a bonfire on Saturday night with all the fixings for smores. It was really fun to end the week among community and be reminded of how faithful God has been in cultivating that around me this year.

4. I picked up two pairs of these pants hugely on sale from Old Navy, an affordable alternative to the J. Crew Factory Gigi pants. I have shied away from buying ponte pants from Old Navy and Target in the past to avoid pilling fabrics but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of these. I’m excited to pair them with chambrays and tunics as the weather gets cooler.

5. I rediscovered the goodness of this face mask this week when a breakout began to appear. I have been a fan of Acure products for the past couple of years and had purchased this to try in the spring. It’s mild, effective, and has such a softening quality to the skin after using it. I highly recommend!

Linked up with: A. Liz Adventures, Grace and Love Blog, and Sept. Farm

What I’m Packing in My Carry-On Bag

Preparing for trips is one of my favorite things! The anticipation leading up to it is truly exciting, and getting my packing list in order helps me feel prepared. Last September I shared a post of what I was packing for the Influence Conference, and I thought it would be fun to do the same as I prepare for my trip to North Carolina this weekend. Because of the nature of the conference I am attending, I am keeping my carry-on bag simple and only packing items that will help me arrive in Chapel Hill with a clear and focused mind.


I began reading Grace, Not Perfection over the weekend but stopped myself at chapter five to save the rest for my the trip. I’ve decided to not bring my laptop along to eliminate distraction and mental clutter, but I am downloading a playlist to listen to offline and will be able to post from my blog app if I want to share any thoughts during my travels. I’m packing my bible in my suitcase and opting for the YouVersion app in my carry-on to keep my tote bag lighter. I’m packing my journal and my favorite pens for writing thoughts and ideas that come to mind, my Starbucks app with money for a treat, my favorite tinted lip balm to keep my lips from chapping, and Think Thin and Kind bars to have on hand as healthy snacks. What are your favorite items to tuck into a carry-on bag?