We’re Getting Married!


Photo by Krystina Olsen

It is with so much joy that I share the exciting news that Dillon and I are getting married! He proposed to me on Saturday and I have felt like I’m living a dream ever since. We have known that marriage is in our future for a few months now, but it is a whole new level of joy and thankfulness now as we share that with the world. I plan to share our proposal story and wedding planning journey over the course of our engagement but here is a sweet snippet of the excitement in the meantime. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

101 in 1001

This project has been on my heart for a very long time, friends, since I first read about it on Em for Marvelous. I discovered her blog – and subsequently the concept of a 101 in 1001 list – just before Christmas in 2013 and was immediately inspired to start one of my own. I had calculated that the end date of my first list would be September 27, 2016 if I began on New Years Day 2014, but I never got around to finishing my list before time began to pass.

I am happy to report that although I didn’t have an official list for that period of time, I coincidentally completed a lot of the goals and dreams that would have been included back then (completing a degree, visiting North Carolina for the first time, attending a Southern Weddings launch party, buy a pair of Tieks, intern with a company I admire (I accomplished this three-fold! The Influence Network, Ruth Eileen Photography, and Life Lived Beautifully), attending Influence Conference, attending Making Things Happen and so on).

Instead of waiting for the ‘perfect’ date to start, I am finally making this happen today, on an ordinary Thursday in October. I compiled my list from lots of goals I’ve been holding onto and then turned to the examples of Emily, Victoria, and Mackenzie for additional ideas and inspiration. Y’all, I could continue editing this list for another 101 days and find things to add and subtract from the existing one, but that is not the point of it. The objective of this project is to complete 101 pre-defined goals in 1001 days, not to limit oneself to only these things, but to have a guide map of sorts for to-be-accomplishments and desires. I’m excited to finally press publish on this and see how much of it I am able to do in the next 2.75 years!

Start: October 27, 2016
End: July 25, 2019

1. Bring a homemade meal to a new mama
2. Surprise a friend with flowers
3. Take my Tappy out for coffee and pay
4. Send 50 handwritten notes
5. Take each of Dillon’s little sisters on an individual girls date
6. Pay for the person behind me in line
7. Support a friend in something they’re doing
8. Establish and stock a ‘happy mail’ station in my home
9. Send a handwritten note of appreciation to ten women I’ve learned from
10. Host our parents for a special meal in our home once we’re married

11. Read the entire Bible
12. Serve as a leader for a student ministry retreat
13. Help lead someone to Christ who doesn’t know Him yet
14. Lead a bible study for a group of girls in our student ministry
15. Plan and host a fun activity for my student ministry girls
16. Work through each of Biblical Letters using the method from Women of the Word
17. Watch/listen to one sermon from another church each month
18. Become disciplined and consistent in prayer
19. Put the Sabbath into practice

Stewardship, Finance, & Organization
20. Cultivate five habits to make our life more green/clean
21. Implement the envelope system
22. Write three letters complimenting excellent service
23. Define time wasters and write out how I will eliminate, replace, or correct them
24. Complete Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University
25. Pay off all existing debts (student loans)
26. Save up and pay cash for my next car
27. Plant a small garden
28. Find a meal planning system and post about it
29. Switch to Gmail

Health & Beauty
30. Learn about and implement dry brushing
31.  Improve my diet to include ample fruits, vegetables, and whole food
32. Build up to be able to successfully complete 3 Tone It Up workouts (1 lower, 1 upper, 1 full-body)
33. Personal
34. Try a Pure Barre class
35. Try a hot yoga class
36. Get up and go to the gym before 7am 3x/week for one month
37. Be able to do all three splits
38. Also be able to do a heel stretch on both sides
39. Complete a quarterly sugar fast
40. Learn how to do three different updos
41. Be able to hold a five minute plank
42. Learn how to curl my hair well
43. Find my ideal skincare routine
44. Find and invest in three lipsticks that suit me well
45. Find the perfect pastel pink, red, neutral and mid-tone pink nail polish

Milestones, Traditions, & Legacy
46. Get engaged
47. Marry Dillon
48. Establish and decorate our first home
49. Take a honeymoon
50. Start a collection of Christmas decorations
51. Chop down our first Christmas tree
52. Establish a family tradition for each season
53. Start sending out yearly Christmas cards once married
54. Buy/Acquire and complete the SW Wedding Day Journal to leave a legacy of our day
55. Create and order an Artifact Uprising album from the first year of marriage
56. Buy something with my new monogram
57. Organize my photos and print favorites
58. Interview my grandparents about their lives and preserve their words
59. Establish repeating traditions and seasonal activities on a special iCalendar

60. Take a course to learn a new skill
61. Watch ten TED talks and post about my favorites
62. Make a list of things I don’t like about myself, and try to fix them
63. Make a list of things I wish I was, and try to be them
64. Make a reading list and share it for accountability
65. Read 30 books
66. Learn how to take and edit better photos
67. Become a morning person
68. Read Emily Post’s Etiquette

69. Be hired for or create a job I am passionate about
70. Master the full alphabet taught by a calligrapher whose style I most enjoy
71. Create and launch a meaningful print collection on Etsy
72. Blog three times a week for three months
73. Be featured on a blog/website I admire
74. Model for a Southern Weddings editorial shoot with Dillon
75. Submit to and be published in Southern Weddings in either print or web
76. Comment on favorite blogs three times a week for three months
77. Join a blog link-up
78. Be featured in Emily Ley’s Simplicity series
79. Post a home tour
80. Dream up a creative blog series idea and implement it
81. Create and post 50 inspiration boards
82. Conceptualize and bring to life a styled shoot

83. Build my closet up to have at least three weeks worth of outfits I like
84. Buy a Plum Pretty Sugar robe
85. Buy a nice clutch
86. Buy a beautiful lettered piece piece for our home
87. Buy/acquire a 27′ iMac
88. Upgrade my everyday bag to a quality leather tote
89. Buy a pair of Jack Rodgers
90. Invest in a DSLR camera
91. Invest in a quality pair of riding boots

Adventures, Experiences, and Celebrations
92. Attend another Southern Weddings Launch Party
93. Rent a Vespa in Bermuda
94. Learn how to dive
95. Eat at ten restaurants we haven’t tried before
96. Get a professional blowout at a DryBar
97. Host a dinner party in our newlywed home
98. Hike a mountain
99. Visit the Triangle, North Carolina again
100. Visit Dallas and take a side-trip to the Magnolia Silos
101. Visit Charleston, South Carolina

Track my progress here.

Chapel Hill + Fearrington Village

I returned home from North Carolina a week ago today and am excited to be back writing on this blog again with a cup of coffee and a fall candle burning on the mantle. While I am still processing all that was covered at Making Things Happen, I want to share the bits of my trip to Chapel Hill (and nearby Pittsboro) that I experienced in the hours around the Intensive.


I arrived at the airport before the sun came up on Sunday morning and was greeted by a band of bagpipes there for Honor Flight. My parents and I attended a send-off for the organization three years ago, so I was excited to find out that the World War II veterans would be on my flight to Baltimore. Everyone on the flight clapped for them and acknowledged their service to our country, making for a cheerful start to the day.


I made productive use of my short layover in Baltimore when I saw that one of the terminals had a Benefit Cosmetics ‘vending machine’. I didn’t know such a thing existed! I had been wanting to buy a replacement concealer and was pleased to discover that I could check an errand off my list between flights.


The flight to RDU was quick, and I gushed to a Raleigh local about how she lived in the best place on earth. When I landed, my sweet friend Carrie Grace picked me and her conference roommate up and brought us to the Carolina Inn. I was so excited to be on North Carolina ground again and thankful for the warm weather.


After we checked our bags at the Inn, Carrie Grace let me pick where we would go to lunch and I chose the Belted Goat at Fearrington Village, a charming little place that my mom and I visited on our trip two years ago. I bought a replacement mug for the one I’ve worn in quite a bit and we both ordered the cobb salad with pulled chicken and egg. It was probably the most delicious salad I’ve ever had. We caught up on life happenings and walked around the village for a little while before returning back to the Inn. At one point, I took a little cotton boll off a bush and tucked it away as a sweet little Southern souvenir.





When we arrived back to the Inn, I finally got to hug my roommate and get settled into our room. We have been Instagram friends for the past three years and it was really sweet to get to actually see her in person and get acquainted before kicking off the MTH festivities. She had placed a few treats from her home state of Oregon on my bed, which made for a very warm welcome. MTH had also left a little surprise at the front desk, which set a warm and welcoming tone for what was to come.


After we talked for a little while, we went to dinner at Spanky’s with a decent-sized group of ladies who would also be attending MTH. I ordered Carolina BBQ with a side of mac and cheese, wasting no time to dig into true Southern fare.


Photo by Carrie Joy Photography


As I got to know some of the ladies at dinner, I shared with them that my one culinary goal of the week was to eat pimento cheese. Little did I know how many opportunities I would have to do so! After dinner we went out for frozen yogurt and more mingling.


Photo by Carrie Joy Photography

When I arrived back to my room that evening, there was a plate of pimento cheese, okra, and candied pecans there to greet me. That is Southern hospitality, y’all. I enjoyed the lovely snack and then took a walk outside and enjoyed the smell of fresh Carolina blooms and mild weather while catching up with Dillon on the phone about my day.



On Monday morning I woke up early to grab coffee at Pittsboro Street Provisions and to start the day off with quiet time in the beautiful lobby. Every corner of the Carolina Inn was filled with design inspiration and an impeccable attention to detail. That morning kicked off the Making Things Happen Intensive and began a full day of hard work without our phones, so I don’t have photos to share from Monday or Tuesday during the day, except this one I snapped of the gorgeous Carolina Inn hallway.


On Monday evening, we went to Top of the Hill restaurant and I ordered the farm burger because it was topped with pimento cheese, fried green tomato, and bacon. I like to eat locally when I travel so I was quite thankful that the menus at each restaurant we visited were not short on Southern food options. Tuesday came upon us with a similar measure of hard work without our phones, but we did get them back at the end of the day and I got to take some sweet pictures that I will save for a later post. A group of us had dinner at the restaurant in the Inn, which served biscuits with honey butter as the appetizer. Y’all, yum. Enough said.

On Wednesday morning I enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in and then enjoyed a hummus and falafel pita at Med Deli for lunch. It was the last eatery I had on my wishlist for the trip (aside from Parker and Otis which was an expensive Uber ride away) so I was thankful to get to experience it.


I took advantage of the sunny day to walk around the UNC Chapel Hill campus (which was beautiful!) and sit on the front porch of the Inn before leaving for the airport. While the main purpose of the trip was to attend the conference, I’m really thankful I got to visit Fearrington and have an abundance of Southern food during my visit too!