When Your Husband Bleeds Maroon

Why are you whooping?

When Your Husband Bleeds MaroonMy husband Jake is my favorite person on this planet. But he’s also an Aggie.

If, like me, you grew up in the great state of Texas, you know that there are two kinds of Aggies, two-percenters and those who bleed maroon. My husband is the latter. Sometimes I think he is the spirit of Aggieland here in Austin.

Growing up, many of my friends were Aggies. Most people in my church and a lot from my school went to Texas A&M and my best friend is a proud member of the fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2011. Aggies have been everywhere in my life but not once has their cult-like brand of enthusiasm rubbed off on me. I’ve never gotten into the spirit of Aggieland.

Funny how that happens, right?

One of the things I’ve learned being married to Jake is that to him, being an Aggie isn’t just about where he got his degree, it’s a huge part of his identity. It’s safe to say his parents brainwashed him from an early age so he’s literally been an Aggie all his life. As such, he doesn’t (like to) miss football games (though sometimes that’s unavoidable) and he’s equally dedicated to the A&M basketball team as well. He even follows baseball in the spring. This kid is committed, let me tell ya.

While I really don’t understand it, I’ve learned that one of the best ways I can love Jake is by prioritizing Aggie [insert sport here] when I can. Recently he had some friends who were kind enough to invite us to a football game on the spur of a whim. He asked me Saturday morning if I would like to go to the game that night and I agreed. While the height of our seats nearly made me throw up, I know how much it meant to my sweet husband to be there. I will probably never get into Aggie sports the way Jake probably wishes I would. But I’ve figured out that making them important in my life (even when I think they’re dumb) is a quick way to my husband’s heart.

Jake and I at Kyle Field

I don’t know if you are married (or will be) to someone like my Jake. But just a quick word of marriage advice: your spouse is not going to change who they are but you can change how you love them. We will always run into things about our spouses that we don’t like whether it’s the way they do the dishes, or how much time they spend watching sports, or that they say “remote” instead of “switch” when referring to the device that changes the channels on a TV. None of that matters, really, but letting these things bother us isn’t loving them, it’s letting the enemy break apart your marriage.

I will never understand my husband’s Aggie-hood but I will not let it be a barrier to our marriage. It’s going to take humility and patience at times but I want to love this man the very best that I can.

Anyways, maybe you have an Aggie in your life that you struggle to relate to (you probably do, they’re everywhere). I hope this little story helps.

If you have no idea about the spirit of Texas A&M, that’s fine too, thanks for reading my really long rant. Let’s be friends!

How to Adult: Hosting for the Holidays

Planning to host friends or family this holiday season and not sure where to start? Here’s some simple ideas to be the hostest with the mostest (even if you have no idea what you’re doing)!

How to Adult: Hosting for the HolidaysWith the holiday season in full swing, it seems like Jake and I have a party or event to attend every other weekend! With so much going on, I’m not sure we’ll get around to hosting anything ourselves this year but getting to be a party-goer so often recently has given me plenty of ideas for being a better party-thrower. Here are a few simple tips and tricks to have your friends thinking you’re profesh at throwing holiday parties!

  • Set the melodic mood – No matter the size or theme of your party, (background) music is super helpful in creating the right atmosphere. Spend some time on Spotify curating a playlist to help the evening flow just the way you envision.
  • Get your stuff clean – I know this sounds incredibly silly but having a clean home is absolutely necessary. Clear the clutter from the main rooms your guests will occupy and make sure your kitchen and bathroom are sparkling. Why did I add kitchen? Because if you’re serving any time of food and your kitchen is a hot mess, it reflects poorly on whatever you just slaved over to serve. Trust me, clean your stuff.
  • Arrange seating – You can take this piece of advice as literally as you would like. My original thought was along the lines of making sure you have enough places for your guests to sit comfortably (my and Jake’s biggest challenge in our 600 square feet). But if you’re having a dinner party, you may want to pre-arrange seating so that your guests have the best time possible. After all, you know your guests probably better than they know each other. If you think people will click, sit them next to each other and watch new friendships form. Similarly, if you think certain personalities won’t work in close quarters, seat them away from each other.
  • Have a place for jackets/purses – This is something small that a lot of people don’t seem to think about any more. Having a designated spot where people can dump their junk keeps your party area looking and feeling cleaner and bigger and your guests will appreciate not having to look after a jacket or carry their purse all evening.
  • Give your guests something to do – I really like the idea of assigning friends or family with certain tasks throughout the night to ease the burden of hosting. If you don’t think it’s classy to assign guests with cleaning or cooking duties throughout the evening, how about assigning a particularly friendly guest with making sure everyone is introduced? Or, if you have a friend with a good sense of the mood in the room, how about putting them in charge of your playlist for the evening? Play up the strengths of the friends or family that you involve and make sure everyone is game for it before the party, but having helpers definitely makes the multi-tasking host’s life a little bit easier
  • Have lighting set the mood – Similar to music, lighting is a huge factor in creating your ideal party atmosphere. Want people to dance? Make it dark and, if you have them, turn on the party lights. Want your guests to participate in a game? Keep the lights bright enough so that they know what’s going on. Not sure what kind of lighting is best? I’d suggest lower light or candlelight because it makes everyone glow and brings people together!
  • Light it up with vanilla extract – This is possibly my favorite trick! Before guests arrive, spray or dab vanilla extract onto lightbulbs near the party area. Do this while the light is off so that when you turn it on for the party, the heat will release the vanilla and make your party smell delicious!

Have any other go-to party tricks? I can’t wait to try these out next time Jake and I host at our place! If you try them before me, let me know how it goes in the comments!

You Are More Than Your Cat-Eye

There’s so much more to girls than our ability to get the perfect cat-eye…although that’s an awesome skill.

You Are More Than Your Cat-EyeConfession: I’m a girly girl who never got into makeup.

I’m not really sure how that happened. I was a cheerleader and a drama kid so I learned those kinds of heavy-duty makeup skills early on. But day-to-day makeup never really stuck with me. I have friends and family who do amazing things with concealer and eyeliner, contouring and cat-eye but I’ve just never been interested. Not because I’m not fascinated by the whole process but because I’ve never felt like makeup-me was actually me.

I remember having a conversation in high school with my friend and her mom in the car and they asked why I didn’t wear makeup and I responded “because I don’t think I need it.” And then immediately regretted coming off so full of myself.

But it’s not that I think I’m a supermodel or anything. I just don’t feel like anything about my face or skin needs to be hidden or highlighted or concealed. I think the real me, with a clean face and sunscreen, is so much more comfortable than makeup-me. And I wish more girls felt the same way in their skin.

I have nothing against makeup. I wear it on special occasions and I totally think it makes women look extra-stunning. What I don’t like is that there are girls who see makeup as a necessity for beauty. Like they can’t be pretty without putting their face on in the morning. This ideology makes my heart so sad.

I hope that if I’m lucky enough to have a daughter she would measure beauty not by makeup and beauty products, but by people’s character, confidence, and loving actions. I think this is an important part of improving this world we live in because enforcing the idea that girls can’t be pretty without makeup is a harmful, deceitful, unnecessary, ugly lie. And girls already face so many patronizing, demeaning lies in this world.

If you are a girl who rocks a killer contour, I envy you. But I also hope you rock days without makeup just as confidently. Take a page from Alicia Key’s book and learn to be comfortable in your own skin, just as God created you. And let’s start working together to create a world where girls see the beauty in health, confidence, and caring for others.

Thanksgiving Day Activities to Fight the Food Coma (That Aren’t Football)

Need some ideas for fun ways to beat the turkey hangover on Thanksgiving Day? I’ve got a few!

Adobe Spark (13)I mentioned last week that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s something about it that I just love. Maybe it’s the family time, or the food, or the fact that there’s no presents to distract us from actually being thankful. Whatever it is, I love it and it’s coming up so fast!

The one thing I’m not a fan of with Thanksgiving is that because it’s not such a fanfare of presents and traditions like Christmas is (at least in my family), we tend to end the day early and fall asleep on the couch.

Now, as much as I love food coma naps, I’d also just like to enjoy more time with my family while we’re all together.

If you’re like me and want more ways to keep your family from whiling away your post-feast hours together and making the most of your day, here are some ideas we can try out this year!

Family Thanksgiving Journal – I just think this would be a cool one to start. My family usually goes around and says what we’re thankful for but what if we wrote it down every year? The idea behind the journal is that you get to look back on past years and be thankful, not just for the current year, but for all the ways God has worked since you started it.

Board and card games – Obviously! My family isn’t huge on board games but they are pretty competitive card players. If it won’t tear your family apart, set up a game tournament and compete for the Turkey Day Champion!

Talk a hike!…I mean, walk – What better way to start working off all that stuffing and pie? Get the siblings together and take a walk to a park or around the neighborhood to get active and fight off that turkey-induced coma!

Scavenger hunt – You could totally add this to your walk and make it a two for one! Someone will have to be in the know about where and what is hidden, but if you play your cards right, you could have the whole family hunting and guessing all day!

Turkey bowling – This seems like so much fun! Grab an extra turkey at the grocery store when you do your Thanksgiving turkey and set up in the back yard for some slippery bowling competition! Fun for all ages!

Volunteer – Get everybody together and serve. If you’re local to Austin, here’s a great organization that will need help on Thanksgiving day. What better way to share a thankful heart than to help those in need!

Set up the Christmas tree – My family typically does this the day after Thanksgiving but it doesn’t hurt to get a head start! How much more fun would it be to set up for Christmas with the whole family together? And how much faster!

I hope these at least gave you some inspiration for new and fun ways to fight the mid-Thanksgiving food coma! Do you have any fun Thanksgiving family traditions to keep everyone awake and together? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

How to Adult: Looking Like an Adult (Even When You Don’t Feel Like One)

Most days, I feel like a hot mess trying to adult. But that doesn’t mean I have to look like one…

How to Adult: Looking Like an Adult (Even When You Don't Feel Like One)Most of my life I’ve looked older than my age. This was cool in high school when everyone wants to look older but is considerably less cool now. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been carded getting drinks and most of the high school girls I hang out with at church are confused about my age because I don’t act a whole lot like the married adult I am sometimes.

I used to think that changing the way I dress would help me to look and feel my own age and it did, just not in the ways I wanted it to. In college, I took my new found freedom of dress (before college I wore uniforms every day for school) and wore all the things I wished I could have worn in high school. While this did make me look more my age, I also found that I wasn’t taken seriously as much as I would have liked.

The way we present ourselves sends a message to the world about who we are and what we want. I’m not saying it’s time to go out and replace everything in your closet with a power suit (although if that’s what you want to do, more power to you…get it? power…ba dum tssss). But I think cleaning up our look with very little effort can go a long way. Even when we don’t feel like adults who know what we’re talking about, we can still command respect with amazingly small changes to our appearance. Here’s what I’m talking about:

  • Wear clothes that FIT. This is a tough one for me since my weight has been fluctuating a lot in the last year or so. I realize that weight presents a challenge to this goal but I promise, wearing the right sizes makes such a huge impact because clothing that is too small or too large tends to look childish. Pick your clothes not by the size number (because we all know those are bogus and there is no standard) but by how they fit your body. This goes for jeans, too. If you find jeans that you love but are a few inches too long, it’s well worth the extra few bucks to get them hemmed to the proper length.


  • Clean your glasses. I’ve worn glasses for the last 20 years of my life so I rarely notice when they’re smudgy and need a cleaning just because I’m so used to it. What I don’t typically think about is that even though I can see through smudges perfectly fine, other people can’t. Keep your glasses clean so that people can easily make eye contact with you without thinking about how nasty your life must be if your glasses are that gross.


  • Keep your shoes clean, too. This is another one that’s hard for me because I kind of love my nasty, beat-up Converse. But they don’t look great. We don’t think about it often, but shoes probably take the greatest wear and tear out of all the items we wear regularly. Learn the proper way to take care of your shoes and you’ll look a lot more like you know things about life than like a grungy, angst-filled teenager (even if that teenager is your spirit animal).


  • Speaking of wear and tear, retire items of clothing that have seen better days. Or at least don’t wear them in public. Items with pilling, fraying, holes, and tears are no good in your efforts to trick the world into believing your adulthood. Even if they’re some of your favorite pieces, it’s time to let go and find new pieces that you’ll love just as much.


  • Roll your sleeves better. I know personally when I roll my sleeves, it’s usually because I’m hot and bothered about something (or because I live in Texas and it’s just always hot). But there are ways of rolling shirt sleeves that don’t make you look like the hot mess you may feel like when you go to roll ‘em up. It’s all about giving off a clean exterior, people!


  • Take off your old makeup. Yeah, I know, you got in late last night and went straight to bed and your makeup this morning actually doesn’t look half bad. Wrong. Your skin does not appreciate when you go to bed without washing your face and overtime it will show. So, not only does day two makeup not usually look super professional, it will incur the wrath of your skin. Keep makeup remover wipes by your bed if that helps and learn about why your face does not appreciate going to bed dirty.


  • Keep hair ties away from your wrist. Oof, this one is hard! I’m so guilty of constantly keeping a black hair tie on my right wrist, I had a tan line there this summer. I’ve heard it’s not awesome-looking to permanently wear hair ties like bracelets but I’m so accustomed to it, I don’t think to look anywhere BUT my wrist these days. However, hair ties have recently been linked to health issues like infections and issues with blood circulation. While you probably have no reason to worry, remember to keep your hair ties clean, wash your hands regularly, and try your best to decrease the amount of time that hair ties stay around your wrist. Also, stretch out new hair ties before keeping them on your wrist so that blood flow is never cut off.


  • Ladies, put your bra straps away. I have always felt like this particular strategy for looking more respectable was a no-brainer but recently, it’s kind of come back in style to expose parts of your bra, particularly if it’s pretty and lacy. Keeping your undergarments under your clothes as they were designed to be looks more like you’re asking to be taken seriously than the alternative. And for that matter, wearing bras that fit well can change your look dramatically, not to mention raise your confidence level. So let your pretty bras be a confidence-boosting secret rather than showing them off to the world and notice the difference in how people react.


  • Do away with chipping nail polish. Clean nails go a long way in presenting yourself well. Chipped nail polish gives off a young, immature vibe so either take the time to keep your nail polish looking salon fresh or make sure to remove it when it starts looking less than. Next time you go in for that handshake with clean nails you can feel a lot more like the adult you are rather than the kid you feel like.

How we present ourselves says a lot more about who we want to be than we realize most days. You don’t have to completely change your personal style to be taken seriously, though. These small little changes can go so far in showing the world who we are and what we want. What do you think? Have you tried any of these on your own? What was the response you noticed? I’d love to hear your stories about this!

Grace and Love For the Holidays

As we prepare to see our families for the holidays, let’s not forget to prepare our hearts to show grace and love.

Adobe Spark (12)Holiday season is quickly approaching and I cannot wait. Cooler weather is coming and with it approaches apple pies, giant feasts, and and the switch from PSLs to Peppermint Mochas! I’m so pumped to get together with my family for Thanksgiving and eat ALL the food. Pretty sure Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I’m here for it.

While I’m stoked to see all of my family together soon, I know that my excitement is not necessarily shared by everyone. For many of my friends, going home for the holidays can be a source of stress and tension. Families are messy collections of broken humans and when brokenness is the center of our family, it’s hard to celebrate and be thankful and show grace.

If this is true for you, I encourage you to read the story of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9.


This story takes place after David is anointed king of Israel. The previous king, Saul, had been trying to kill David for years but instead of killing Saul when he had the chance, David shows mercy to him and agrees to extend grace to Saul’s household once he’s king.

The Summary:

David is coming off of some awesome war victories and is starting to settle in as king when he asks if anyone from the house of Saul is around to show grace and fulfill his promise. He gets in touch with a servant of Saul’s, a dude named Ziba, who has a crapton of kids and servants of his own. Ziba lets David know that Saul’s son Jonathan, who happens to have been David’s bestie when he was alive, has a son who is still alive but he’s lame and lives over in this crap town, basically in disgrace. In fact, the son’s name is Mephibosheth which actually means “seething disgrace.” David is super excited that he found his bestie’s son and asks for Mephibosheth to be brought to him.

One thing to that’s important to understand is that in that time, when a new king took the throne, it was typical for him to kill anyone from the previous king’s household so that there was no chance of rebellion or anyone questioning the rights to the throne. So when Mephibosheth shows up in front of David as someone who technically had a claim to David’s throne, he was probably terrified that this is how he was going to die. And yet he shows honor to King David by paying homage and offering himself to the service of the king.

And David’s response? He stays true to his word to Saul and honors his bestie by calling Mephibosheth by name and offering him a permanent place at his royal dinner table. Not only that, he gives Mephibosheth all the property and resources he acquired from his grandfather Saul when he took the throne and offers Ziba (and his crapton of kids and servants) to work the land.

According to custom, David had every right to kill Mephibosheth on the spot. It would have been easy, the poor guy probably couldn’t run anywhere. David could have done anything he wanted to Mephibosheth and that would have been his right as king.

And because of his parentage, Mephibosheth had every right to try to take back the throne for his family. In fact, Mephibosheth could have totally been awful to David in this whole situation. He could have been bitter and resentful towards David that his whole life had gone to crap, despite his royal blood.

And yet what do we see here? Two men, humbling themselves before each other and showing grace and gratitude.

If you keep reading in 2 Samuel, you’ll find out that David continues to lavish grace and goodness upon Mephibosheth and his family and Mephibosheth’s response is disinterested in worldly possessions and he’s just grateful to be in the presence of David.

Such an awesome foreshadowing of the gospel! As sinners, we don’t deserve God’s grace, we deserve death, just like Mephibosheth. But like David, God just wants to know us and show us grace and bless us beyond what we can even imagine. And when we humbly accept that grace, worldly things become distracting and we find that we just want more of the presence of God.

I hope that as you head into the holiday season with some maybe uncomfortable family situations on the horizon, you remember to give and receive grace humbly. No human on earth will ever be fully deserving of our love and grace; we’re all broken people living this life together until Christ returns. But maybe we can enjoy more of the presence of God right now to make tense and stressful interactions in the future a little less so with a few words of grace and love.

How to Adult: Finding Satisfaction in Any Job

Feeling unfulfilled and/or dissatisfied at work? You don’t have to. Let’s make some lemonade together.

How to Adult: Finding Satisfaction in Any JobOne of the things that I’m most grateful to my parents for is that the raised me to have a good attitude and mindset about the work field. They taught me not only the importance of employment but the importance of being a good employee and what exactly that looks like. My parents also taught me that as Christians, whatever we do, we do it for the Lord, even if that means taking out the trash or cleaning the bathrooms at work.

I’m unbelievably thankful that I am a millennial with a good work ethic and that I’ve been fortunate enough to work at some incredible places with some incredible people. I’m one of the lucky ones who found a job and company that I love and that makes going to work every day easy. But I’ve also had terrible job experiences that I’ve hated, and I know the reality of feeling stuck in those positions, dissatisfied, unfilled, and unappreciated. If that’s you right now, here are some tips to make lemonade and find some satisfaction and fulfillment right where you are.

Focus on what you ROCK at.

Even in my least pleasant jobs, there was always at least one task that I was awesome at, and even if I wasn’t recognized for it, I could have the satisfaction of doing a great job and the knowledge that in some small (or large) way, I was making myself invaluable to my team and company. If you can’t find one task that you get excited about or that you can be proud of, make one up and create a way to play up your strengths. I bet, in the process, you’ll discover some really cool things about yourself and maybe end up developing changes in your position that are a long time coming.

Reflect on Growth and Remember Your Motivation.

Similar to focusing in on your strengths, so much pride and satisfaction can be found in recognizing just how far you’ve come. Think back to your first couple of months in this position and remember the tasks you struggled with. I’d be willing to bet that your day-to-day challenges now are a lot more complicated than they were when you first started. Take some comfort in that. You’ve grown, you’ve faced challenges and come out better from them. And because of that, you know you can continue to face challenges in the workplace with your head held high.

In the same vein, think about your original motivation for taking this job. What were some reasons you accepted it? What did you find most appealing about the position/company/work itself? Sometimes time and negative situations can distract us from how we really feel so remembering how we got where are is a great way to find inspiration.

Hone In on Your Transferable Skills.

I talked about them in a previous post, but in case you missed it, transferable skills are the broader skills you develop in a specific position that can apply to any other position. For instance, a college student who is a summer camp counselor develops specific skills in child care. Child care in and of itself is not necessarily applicable to other jobs they might take, but camp counseling also develops leadership skills such as managing interpersonal conflict, working as part of a team, and problem solving. You can find transferable skills in any position so list out a few you might be developing at your current job, and focus on being excellent in those areas so that wherever you go from here, you will have made the most of this experience.

Be the Force of Change.

If your dissatisfaction and unfulfillment is a result of not feeling appreciated or respected within your company, that sucks and I’m so sorry. No one likes that feeling and because it’s dependent on others around you, there aren’t any practical steps to take to immediately fix it. However, I would challenge you to see this situation as an opportunity to be the force of change in your workplace. A lot of times, if you’re not feeling appreciated or respected at work, it has to do with the culture of your company and, chances are, you are not the only one feeling this way. That being said, company culture changes with the individuals within the company. If you want a more positive, more affirmative company culture, that starts with you. Positivity breeds positivity. By consistently showing honest respect, praise, and admiration to the colleagues around you, you’ll be laying the foundation for creating an environment of respect and support. While it’s easy to sit back and wallow in self pity for feeling unappreciated, the best thing you can do to change your situation is fight back with a positive attitude yourself and watch your environment change around you.

Hold Fast to Your Purpose.

When you are at a place of questioning why you’re in your position at work, remember that God put you there for a reason. When you don’t understand what the point is any more, or you’re frustrated and tired and burnt out, remember that, if you’re a believer, your job is not the thing you do all day from 9-5. Your job is to be an ambassador for Christ to the people around you. Your job is to show your co-workers His love and goodness and patience and peace. Spend some time praying about shifting your focus from the day-to-day practical tasks you face at work to the real reason God put you in that company, on that team, with those people, at this time. I promise, He will be faithful to redirect your thoughts and heart.