One kind of cool thing about me is that I have attended the same church my whole life. Minus, the years I was in college, I have always attended the First United Methodist Church here in Stuttgart. The community is and my church family is so loving, not to mention supportive, it blows me away. I feel so fortunate to have grown up in this church with these people who have in turn helped me grow.
This past Sunday my church family and I said goodbye to Brother David Bush and his family. Brother David has been with us for 9 years, which is the longest stay than any other pastor I can remember us having. He has been with us through many important life events like weddings, funerals, graduations, baptisms, confirmations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. He has cheered many of us on and been there for this church family 24/7 for the past 9 years. That is a large task. I could think of no one better for the job!
Brother David has one of the biggest hearts out of anyone I have ever seen. It truly is such a cool thing to see. I always loved coming home and going to church on Sundays because I knew Brother David was going to make me feel so welcome. Sometimes, even calling me out in front of the whole church. A lot of the time if he had an inkling I was going to be at church he would make sure and wear purple (go frogs) just for me! I loved going to church because you just knew you were going to leave with your heart a little warmer and smile a little brighter. Brother David is just contagious like that!
When I was graduating from high school, at our church we have a senior Sunday honoring those graduating where seniors have the opportunity to speak. I did a PowerPoint presentation mainly to keep me from getting emotional, but Brother David loved it. I called out and talked about my top 10 favorite things about the church. To this day Brother David still references the "seating chart" I informed the church we have every week. The seating chart will be changing a little with his family not in the crowd, but we are so excited for them and their next chapter in life.
It is evident that God places people in our life at the right time. Brother David is a shining example of that. We will miss you, Brother David. Thank you for all the memories, love, laughs, lessons, and moments you made us all feel closer to Christ. Your impact and footprint will forever be at Frist UMC Stuttgart. I, along with many others, are very thankful for that footprint!
Southern and Thankful
Do you know what today is?
I will give you a hint...balloons are necessary!
Yep, so you probably guessed it... todayis Southern and Thankful's 4th Birthday!!!
That means that 4 years ago on this day I came up with this insane idea to start a blog. Fast forward to today- 7 different t-shirt lines, over 1,000 shirts sold, hundreds of likes / comments (thank you thank you) 2 straight years of blogging EVERY SINGLE DAY, and tons of love- Southern and Thankful has had quite the impact on me and hopefully others. I pray for this brand often and each time I ask that God takes it and helps it to serve whatever purpose he believes best. That has always been my prayer and hope for Southern and Thankful. I have always given it to God, trusting that he will show me the route and direction it needs to go.
I cannot even begin to explain how grateful I am for the supporters, strangers, friends, and family who have been the biggest cheerleaders. All the likes, comments, shares, purchases, and overall thoughtfulness of others has overwhelmed me over the years. Thank you all SO much.
Normally, on this birthday I announce some new product or sale. This year, I am doing something a little different. Last week, Instagram released a new feature called "Instagram TV" where individuals can have a channel and upload videos. I have been comparing this to YouTube channels in my mind. I have never been big on seeing myself on camera or hearing myself talk, but a few people have encouraged me to try it, so I am giving it a go!! Again, I am new to all of this, but this channel will give me a fun space to talk about what I am thankful for somedays instead of writing it out... it sounds pretty neat to me!
Also, thank you to Mrs. Misti Coker for calling and singing Southern and Thankful Happy Birthday. Literally the voice of an angel. Not to mention it made my day!
To find the Instagram channel make sure your app is updated in the App Store and then click the orange button next to the blue inbox button. You should be able to find mine there, or go to my Instagram account and click the "IGTV " icon. YAY!
I hope you guys will head on over to my new Instagram channel, and mostly, I hope you guys will like it. Doing something new is always a little scary, but also fun! Here goes...hope you will “go” with me!
Lastly, you know my saying...there is always something to be thankful for and today, that is YOU! Thank you for celebrating Southern and Thankful with me for 4 years!
Southern and Thankful
Two words: spontaneous trip
I have been meaning to write about my most recent trip a few weekends back, and I here I am, finally finding the time to do so. After graduation, it was like BOOM suddenly things changed. Everyone seriously like woke up the next day and started making moves. I quickly decided I wanted to do the same. When all was said and done I found myself back at home, boxes with my things piled high to the ceiling in my room, eating lunch at the usual spot with my best friend since birth, Stephanie.
Funny thing… Stephanie and I both graduated from different universities with the same degree and both of us are currently unemployed. I like going places with her because when people hound you about what you are up to post-grad you don’t look as bad when there are two of you! So like I said, we were at lunch just catching up and what not. I randomly started talking about how I was seeing Taylor Swift (my favorite artist of all, as if you didn’t know) in the fall, but wanted to see her before then. I just couldn’t wait that long! Anyway, one thing led to another and the next day we had airfare, a hotel, and tickets to see Taylor Swift in Chicago a little over a week later. So spontaneous! We both kept kind of laughing at how quickly the thing came together. We kept saying, “I can’t believe we are doing this.”
We had a blast in Chicago. The weather was incredible- low 60’s. I had been once before and Stephanie had never been. We saw the famous bean, got the most delicious deep-dish pizza, shopped, got drinks at a rooftop bar, and mostly tried to make the most of our quick trip to the city.
Now, I am going to refrain from going on and on about the concert, BUT it was out of this world. If you have never seen Taylor Swift live… DO IT. Buy your tickets now. She is an entertainer like no other. I am so passionate about it. I just want everyone to experience what it’s like to be in the same room, with 52,000 other people, as she performs. We had great seats that were very close up. It started to rain and we got to dance in the rain with her. She said she hadn’t played a show in the rain in so long. You could tell she was genuinely excited to be there, in that moment with us. Stephanie and I, but mostly Stephanie, made signs and painted jean jackets. I honestly wish I could relive that night over and over again.
I am leaving out a lot of fun details like the waiter, Brittany, who we loved. And let's not forget the thunderstorm we had to talk home in after the concert with no rain jackets or umbrellas at all. RIP to our cool light up signs we made. I've never been so wet. What I really just want you to know is that I highly recommend taking a spontaneous trip as soon as you can. Stephanie and I have been the best of friends since I can remember. We have been fortunate to travel to other fun places together, but I will never forget the laughs and the memories we made on this trip. I love how it came to fruition as quickly as it did and how needed it was in both of our lives at this time.
Bottom line… do something spontaneous with the people you love. It’s not a treatment or medicine prescribed by the doctor, but it totally should be.
Southern and Thankful
Y’all…I am so saddened by the suicide of fashion icon, Kate Spade, earlier this week. Being a male, I do not know much about Kate Spade as a brand, but I know it has been very successful over the years and people love it. I think when most people saw this news their first reaction was,
“Kate Spade? No way!”
How could such a fabulous women with such success and fame be in such a dark place that she could take her own life? It is heartbreaking really. By the way, this is not the first time we have seen a case like this. Do you remember the sudden death of Robin Williams? I believe the important thing to take away from this is that mental health does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter who you are. It does not matter how much or how little of something you have. Kate Spade “had it all” , but none of these things matter when you are sick. Kate was not selfish. Kate was not weak. Kate was not crazy. Kate was sick. I can understand that and I have seen it first-hand. I was again extremely sad to see that today, Anthony Bourdain, former CNN reporter committed suicide this morning. He was a wonderful storyteller and, like Kate, will be so missed. Mental Health matters and it comes without warning.
No one can really imagine the pain her family is going through, not to mention her precious 13-year old daughter, unless you have been in that tragic situation. Please join me in praying for her family, friends, the fashion community, and also for those around the world who may be struggling and after hearing this news, might tragically see it as an answer for them…which by the way, it absolutely is not… Suicide is talked about right now because a woman /man of celebrity was the victim of it, but the reality is it is happening every single day. This is a problem in our world and in my opinion, something that needs to be talked about more, not forgotten as the headlines fade. Mental health needs to be at the forefront of our conversations, and accepted for what it is… completely normal. Hug your loved ones extra tight today.
If you or someone you know is struggling please do not be afraid to reach out to your friends, your family, me, or the National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255
I know during some of my dark times, I didn't want to ask for help and I didn't want to call a hotline number. However, everyone is different. Do not be afraid to speak up and show love. I am grateful for each one of you.
Southern and Thankful
EXCITING NEWS FRIENDS!
I’ve been meaning to write a little something…sharing my news…but I have kind of been on the run the last week (by the way- sooooo fun…I can’t wait to talk more about my latest adventure, but first things first). Last week I was given the opportunity to start a summer internship with a great group of people at Campbell Ward in Little Rock, AR. They are a public relations and public affairs firm located in Little Rock right around the corner from the capitol building. They (I guess we now lol) do a lot of work with different agriculture groups and companies as well as some work in the political world. Here’s a little blurb about them:
“Campbell Ward is a bi-partisan, state and federal public affairs and public relations firm operating on a case by case approach that achieves optimal results for each specific client. Our firm provides widespread solutions to effectively address client concerns while identifying new ways to succeed and help create a comprehensive strategy.”
They provide services ranging from media relations to political action committee management as well as special events coordination/marketing to stakeholder mapping / public engagement. This is honestly super exciting to me! As you can imagine, I am soaking it all in. I started this past Tuesday and I am already learning so much, especially about agriculture in the state of Arkansas. Did you know that Arkansas is the number one rice producing state in the nation? That means this state produces more rice than any other state in the country. I have grown up around rice my whole life but never realized how important that statement really is. Super cool!
Take a look below at the fun socks they gave me on the first day. How cool are those??
I have been kind of laughing at myself because never did I think after graduation I would be working in Little Rock, Arkansas, talking about agriculture and/or politics in the office place. It is just a small reminder that God works in oddly, yet perfectly powerful ways. I am thrilled to be here this summer with these people that are so kind, fun, intelligent, and generous with their time and knowledge. It is also greatly comforting to feel like I am not wasting time, to have some small resemblance of a schedule, and to have a little bit of a purpose. I am also looking forward to where God is leading me. All I really have to do, and you too for that matter, is follow.
PS- Keep me in mind for further job opportunities as I will be looking for something more permeant as the summer ends AND if you are ever in Little Rock and want to grab lunch… HIT ME UP!
Southern and Thankful
Blessed is an understatement when it comes to my life. Each and every day I am amazed by God's steadfast love. In return, I have claimed this space to show my thanks and whatever else comes along the way. A recent graduate from Texas Christian University who loves any creative insta post, all donuts, and dress pants that make you do a double take. I pray God has a grand purpose for me and I plan to get there with a little Southern and a lot of Thanks! Join me!