My senior year of high school I attended a model United Nations conference at Washington & Lee University. I don't remember the issues we discussed or even the country I represented, but I do remember meeting a sweet and friendly girl named Ashley. Thankfully we became friends on Facebook after the conference ended because it's allowed us to stay in touch over the last 6+ years.
When I was thinking of encouraging ladies to feature for Coffee Dates, I kept coming back to Ashley. She is one of those people who encourages you without even meaning to; her cheerful heart and her optimism are contagious. I smile each time she comes up on my newsfeed because I love to see the most recent photo session she's posted, the latest project or trip she's taken part in, and the sweet words she's spoken about her husband. You'll see what I mean when you read this post - she truly is a light.
Ashley is a newlywed, a grad student, and a photographer (she and her husband, Ty, partner together as a photography and videography team at Herrinton Weddings). Grab your coffee cup and enjoy some time getting to know her this morning!
What is in your coffee cup this morning?
A little breakfast blend straight from my sweet Keurig.
What is the first thing you did this morning?
Wake up, pack Ty's lunch and make his breakfast. This is a daily ritual that I enjoy so much! As soon as he goes off to work I get started with my day; settle down on the couch with my own breakfast, Bible, and the sweet silence of morning. Later I kick it with the Today Show followed by Kelly and Michael to catch up on the news before I head to work.
What is something you've been loving lately?
A girls group that I'm a part of is going through "Your Beautiful Purpose" by Susie Larson. This is the first book that I have ever read that has convicted my soul so deep, caused me to cry until I could barely see the words on the page, and ponder the depths of my purpose all at the same time. It's a beautiful example of words that have been so absent from my life as I've searched for the Lord's leading in this next season. I'm also loving Rick Warren's "The Daniel Plan". Rick shares some bomb diggity recipes that Ty and I are loving as we strive to weed out processed foods and dairy. It's a process and we haven't quite weeded everything out yet, but it's been interesting learning how to feed your body well mentally, spiritually, and physically. This totally makes me sound like a bookworm, which I swear I'm not! So in an effort to normalize this response let's just say the weather has been AWESOME!
What is something you struggle with and what are you learning as a result?
Being fully present. I never had an iPhone throughout college and when I was overseas for a year I didn't have any type of connection to the outside world except through my blog and Facebook every now and then when we had internet. I remember feeling distant and craving that connection but somehow... I survived without it. In many ways the absence of a smart phone was so freeing. And now that I have one, I often feel that I am too connected. I think I use my iPhone, Instagram, or Facebook as a way of putting off things that I really don't want to do or as a time filler. However, once I realize an hour and a half has gone by since I picked up my phone, I get disgusted with myself. This season of Lent our pastor challenged us to not just give something up but think about an area we need to grow in and strive to discipline ourselves in that area. He shared that so often when we give something up, we crave and lust after that thing throughout the 40 days until we get it back. Once the 40 days are over, we go right back to that thing we gave up as if we never did. So I've challenged myself to be more present. I'm learning how selfish I can get with my time when I'm wasting it and how much more I can get done when I prioritize and leave the iPhone off.
Life can get stressful. What are some things you do to simplify?
Organize! Life just feels so much simpler when things are in their place in our house. I love everything about an organized closet, tidy kitchen cabinets, and I believe in no such thing as a junk closet. Somehow our guest room has turned into such, which really means we need to throw some junk out! I'm also a big list person and will definitely write things down I've already completed just for that little extra pep in my step!
And just for fun, what is something that made you smile this week?
Tuesday night Ty and I cheated on our Daniel Plan and went to Sonic for limeades and to just shoot the breeze. I kinda felt like we were dating again as we sat outside under the umbrella while the server roller-skated our order out to us. Our lives are about to get crazy busy as we begin our wedding season. Little spontaneous trips like this remind me how precious and important the simple things are in life.
Go ahead and hop on over to Ashley's blog, follow her on Instagram, and like Herrinton Weddings on Facebook. Wedding season is about to start, and you won't want to miss out on all of the beautiful things Ashley and Ty have in store!
Friends, I'm so glad you stopped by to hang out with us this morning. Happy Friday!