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Weekend in Waco

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Our weekend started here – yes, for the first time in our marriage, my sweet husband was (finally) able to surprise me! I was on FaceTime with Courtney when he got home from work and once we hung up, I went out to our living room to see how his day had gone. We chatted for a bit before he sighed and told me he left his phone charger in his work truck (not fun when you live on the 3rd floor).
He headed toward the front door and told me he would be back in a minute. I sat on the couch and was looking at my phone when he returned with the most beautiful bouquet I had ever received.

 

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I was humbled as he told me, with tears in his eyes, how much he loved me, how he was thankful for me for following him all the way out to Austin, how he appreciates me as his wife and how he adores me.
This was a sweet beginning to our long weekend.

 

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On Saturday we were up and out the door by 8:30. We were headed to Waco to “celebrate” our birthdays – mine was on Sunday and his is in March. For me, we were headed to Magnolia Market since we’re recent Fixer Upper converts. For him, we were going to see Beautiful Eulogy in concert later that evening.

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When we arrived at Magnolia, we first grabbed some breakfast at Milo, one of the food trucks parked there. Derek ordered the Cripple Creek Chicken Sandwich and I ordered the Farmer’s Daughter.
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The food was made from scratch and was SO delicious! I was excited that mine had purple broccoli and a green veggie that looked like a dinosaur. My husband was thrilled that they had a habanero sauce (he LOVES sauces) so much so that he told me was going to ask about it. He was gone for a while but when he returned, he was very excited because they sold him some of the sauce.
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After breakfast we got in a long line to enter there store. I felt like we were at Disneyland and although the line moved quickly, the store was packed!

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The back section of the store is a warehouse called Scratch and Dent and it features items that are on sale.
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I found this adorable alarm clock and I just had to get it! It was $30 but before purchasing, I did a Google search to see if we could find it elsewhere for less money. The price was pretty much the same at other stores and since we put aside money for the weekend, I decided to purchase it from Magnolia.

 

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As we were in the store I noticed Joanna’s mom come in. We found out from our cashier Courtney (who happened to be from California) that when the store is busy, Jo’s mom will come in and help out. Later my husband even scored a picture of myself and Joanna’s mom and it was awesome! I almost started crying. . . I’ll blame that on the pregnancy hormones. Her mom was so kind and after the picture chatted with us for a few minutes. She asked us, “Where are y’all from?” which was super cute to hear in her Korean accent.

 

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This beautiful Baptist church was across the street from the Magnolia Market so Derek and I crossed over to get a closer look. He thought it might be a good idea to look inside if it was open, which it was. We stepped inside the front door and I said, “I don’t think we’re supposed to be in here. . .” I pointed out to Derek that there was a pile of funeral programs and a blank guest book waiting to be signed. He heard someone playing the organ and we figured it must have been a rehearsal for a funeral. We hightailed it out of there as fast as we could!
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For lunch we stopped at Dave’s Burger Barn for burgers and fries and it was AMAZING! We have a rule about not eating at restaurants that we have at home when we are visiting somewhere new.

 

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After lunch we stopped by Harp Design Co. the shop run by Clint and Kelly Harp. They were featured on Fixer Upper Season One when they purchased their home in Waco. Clint is Joanna’s carpenter on the show.
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Although the Harp’s home looks beautiful, I was a little surprised by the neighborhood it was located in. It didn’t seem like a friendly, safe place to be walking around. Before it was fixed up, it contained bullet holes on the outside, which, when seeing it in person, made sense.
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On the same street as Harp Design Co. was a sign with an arrow pointing to an antique store. We followed the sign and ended up at Show & Tell Antiques, an antique shop hosted in the Dr. Pepper mansion, which used to be owned by the president of Dr. Pepper. The building is 3 stories including the basement and has a stairlift (think Carl from Up) from the 1st to 2nd floor. Of course, Derek had to ask if there was an age or weight limit and when the owners told him “No,” he rode the lift up AND down.

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After the antique store we headed downtown and saw the courthouse which was beautiful. In the park across the way, there was a fun blue piano. I’m not sure why it was there and it didn’t work but it looked pretty cool.

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We stopped at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits for a restroom break (lame, I know) and took a break on the roof top where I was able to rest my feet and we were able to get a good view of the courthouse and the Alico building. Then we headed to Cafe Homestead for dinner. It was really cute and the food was yummy!

 

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After dinner we headed to Common Grounds coffee shop where Beautiful Eulogy would be performing. We parked one spot over from this Baylor Bear. Little did I know that once the concert was over I would be feeling how the bear looked.
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So if y’all know me, you know I don’t like rap. But, I have to admit, I appreciate the work of Beautiful Eulogy and was grateful that was my husband and I were able to see them perform live. While waiting for the show to start, we met a couple named Thomas and Liz and their 2 children who are originally from California and used to attend Grace Community Church. They now live in Dallas and Thomas was kind enough to give Derek his phone number so we can visit them someday! We were truly blessed by the performance and had a great time. The only downside is that it was outside so the temperature was somewhere between 35-45 degrees. Once it was over we were cold and tired and ready to head home!


We walked to our car anticipating blasting the heater only to find that our car was gone. When we had first arrived at Common Grounds, we heard a man knocking on the fence and saying, “Hey!” The man wouldn’t quit so Derek looked over the fence to see what he needed. He happened to be an employee from the Pizza Hut next door and asked my husband to go through the coffee shop, find out who was parked in the Pizza Hut parking lot, and ask them to move their cars since Pizza Hut was going to call a tow truck company to remove all non-customer cars. We were parked close to Pizza Hut but the employee reassured my husband that our car would not be towed. Unfortunately, he didn’t communicate that to the tow truck driver and our car had been towed. Derek and I headed to Pizza Hut to find out what it would take to get our car back. 

Once we entered the restaurant, my husband asked to speak with a manager. Although we were tired and just wanted to go home, we remained calm and talked about how the Lord was allowing this to happen and even though we didn’t know why, we were going to trust Him.
Eventually the store manager came to speak with us. Derek explained that one of the Pizza Hut employees assured us that our car would not be removed and now it was gone. He kept asking the manger what he could do to reconcile the situation but the manager wouldn’t budge. He told Derek that all he could do was give us the number to the tow truck company. Derek told him that we weren’t from Waco, his wife was pregnant (hey, if you have the card, you might as well play it!), and we had no way to get home. I was thinking the least the manager would do is give us a free pizza but instead he told us he would pay the towing fees for our car and have one of his delivery drivers take us to retrieve it. We were shocked!
Derek called the tow truck company and found out that the total for getting our car back was $267.70!
We also had to give the company a 1 hour notice before coming to get our car.
Derek told them we would be there within the hour to pick it up.
We left Pizza Hut in time to make it to the tow truck yard which of course, was in a super sketchy area of town with no street lights. Although we were there within the required hour, we (of course) waited an hour and a half before someone showed up to release our vehicle to us.
The redeeming factor in the whole event was that we were able to not only show the love of Christ to our driver, Nate, but Derek shared the Gospel with him while we were waiting to get our car.
As we departed, Nate thanked Derek for sharing with him and said it was a conversation they were meant to have.
Gosh, I love my husband.
We didn’t get home until nearly two o’clock Sunday morning which was super painful but SO worth it!
This was just one more adventure during our crazy first year of marriage but I think we are learning to just roll with it and trust the Lord.
1 In Blog/ Photography/ Travel

San Antonio // 05.25.15

Okay, so it’s been what, a year, since my last entry? So many things have changed since then, SO many. I met and married my husband Derek (you can read our story here) and moved to Austin, Texas. Yep, I went from a small (and I mean tiny) California town where everyone knows everyone (and their brother) and you really can’t go anywhere without running into someone you know. I’m slowly (maybe) turning into a country girl in a big city (weird, I know, but weird is kind of a big deal here in Austin). 
I’m adjusting to pretty much new everything – home, freeways, friends, weather, stage of life, grocery stores (HEB – no Winco or Ralph’s here #sadface), new job at a *gasp* public school, new church (that I love but it’s still different and I still deeply miss my church back in California). I’m learning that it’s pointless to even own a hair straightener because at 6:00 in the morning the humidity is at 90%. I’ve learned to not take sunshine for granted because I may go without it for up to 2 weeks at a time (and may be woken up by 60 MPH winds outside my bedroom window). There are no mountains here and I can’t just hop on the freeway and head to the beach. 
Let me tell you folks, it’s been hard. 
I had an expectation coming out here that it would be rainbows and butterflies (okay, maybe not) but it has been different than I anticipated. I know it’s good and God is good and He has definitely been using us out here but for me that is separate from the longing I have to be in California. I don’t know if I’ll ever actually get to move back, but I am thankful for what I’ve learned in this season so far. I appreciate Austin because it’s huge and nearly impossible to run into people you know (not that it’s a bad thing – but sometimes the fishbowl lifestyle gets old). I’m thankful that my small group at church consists primarily of people who have moved from Southern California to Austin and they totally get it. I’m thankful for lower rent and no income tax and extremely low gas prices. 
I never want to concentrate so much on the difficulty that I miss out on what God is doing with my husband and I here. 
I am thankful for opportunities we have to go out and explore. Although it’s been hard, it’s also been an adventure and I’m thankful for it. It has caused me to long for eternity with Jesus, where I will ultimately be at home and no longer be in a state of longing. I constantly think about Paul in Philippians 1, who longed to be with Christ but was hard pressed between longing to be home and longing to be on earth to help advance the Gospel.
Here are some pictures from a trip my husband and I took to San Antonio on Memorial Day. It was quite the adventure and as silly as it is, visiting new places has been a good distraction while we’ve been out here because it reminds me to enjoy our time here and to be thankful for the new season of life. 

0 In Blog/ Grace/ Photography/ Travel

Sacramento

I was lucky enough to travel to the City of Trees on Wednesday for my 2nd business trip. There’s nothing like waking up and leaving for work before Starbucks is open. I wasn’t as nervous to fly this time around as I have been reading Trusting God by Jerry Bridges and it has been a great encouragement to my soul. Throughout the flight I was tempted to fear but I had to remember that ultimately God sustains everything and it is under His sovereign control. 
Who am I that He should make more like Himself by allowing me to encounter circumstances that leave me in total reliance upon Him . . .
Leaving San Diego

“Nothing is so small or trivial as to escape the attention of God’s sovereign control; nothing is so great as to be beyond His power to control it. The insignificant sparrow cannot fall to the ground withoutHis will; the mighty Roman empire cannot crucify Jesus Christ unless that power is given to it by God (see Matthew 10:29; John 19:10-11). And what is true for the sparrow and for Jesus is true for you and me. No detail of your life is too insignificant for your heavenly Father’s attention; no circumstance is so big that He cannot control it.”
Jerry Bridges
Flying above the Pacific Ocean
“Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”
Psalm 36:5

Looking up in the Capitol 

The California State Capitol
(It’s way bigger than the White House – who knew?) 
This was my workspace for the afternoon.

The Crocker Art Museum
This was my first time at an art museum 

A painting by Renoir.
Inside the original Crocker mansion which is not part of the museum.

This “tree” was inside the Sacramento airport and was starting to light up as the sun went down. 
This was the most amazing view ever! 

0 In Blog/ Grace/ Photography/ Travel/ Trusting God

Baltimore

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here a few to highlight my first business trip (which was also my first trip to the East Coast. . . I don’t get out much) that occurred back in November.
I went to Baltimore, Maryland for a conference and was so nervous about flying. I am a firm believer that God created gravity for a reason (so why defy it??).
Since the trip, I have flown a total of 3 times in my life.
I was grateful for the opportunity since it meant facing my fears but I was also terrified because it meant facing my fears.
I cried 3 times the day before the trip (I really hate flying!) but I was a big girl and survived the flight there and back and have learned once again, that the Lord is faithful and I need to depend on Him.

I purchased this vintage suitcase on eBay just for my trip –
I always feel like I should be singing “I Have Confidence” from The Sound of Music when I use it.

Exiting the airport in Baltimore – You’ll never know how happy I was to be off the plane!

Sunrise Day 1

I accidentally stayed on the elevator and went up to the 14th floor
{I didn’t realize the hotel had 14 floors}
I had never stayed in such a “fancy” hotel before.

The inner harbor

The USS Constellation

Sunrise Day 2

Shot from inside my hotel room – can you see the reflection?

Wreckage from 9/11

Have accessories, will travel.

I’m not one who cares much for seafood but their calamari strips are amazing!

 
Inside Phillips

The hotel at night – the purple Vs are lights inside the glass elevators.

It was definitely had a  Charlie Bucket feel.

The skywalk

Little Italy

Sabatino’s
My colleagues and I were actually supposed to meet some friends
in DC for dinner but the plans changed last minute.
We ended up eating here instead and I “randomly”
ran into my friend Katie from church!

Vaccaro’s is the best place to go for dessert in Little Italy.