Ain’t No Party Like a Baptist Party

PrintThere’s a reason why I haven’t written a post in two months. Well, technically I wrote a few posts in my head during that time. And trust me, they were SO GOOD (kidding). It’s a shame those words never made their way onto my keyboard. But here’s why:

Back in February, my pastor, who happened to be the President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastor’s Conference, called me into his office to ask me if I would do all the social media for the national conference. You know, in my spare time. (laughs uncontrollably)

But here’s the deal – Mr. Right and I are in the midst of saving for something big. BIG. I can’t go into details, but the same week we decided to save for that thing, I was offered this freelance job. And, actually, several others. All in the same week.


Some of our team from the SBC Pastors’ Conference

God was providing.

And so, for four months, I have been working my regular job, and then putting the kiddo to bed, jumping back on the computer, and working until bedtime. Several nights a week. And weekends. And some early mornings. And on three out-of-town trips. Basically working ALL THE TIME. It was exhausting, but I kept telling myself, if God has brought me this work, then he will bless it.

And bless it, he did.


Passion, taking a selfie with my phone

The social media gig ended with a trip to St. Louis this past weekend to live tweet/instagram/facebook the SBC Pastors’ Conference, an event that featured more than 5,000 pastors, plus their guests and church members (I’ve heard estimates of 10,000-12,000 attendees). I got to hang out backstage with the speakers. And Passion Band (they were SO nice… like, SO nice). And I got to sit in a state-of-the-art mobile production trailer and work with some of my favorite friends from our church. It was kind of like sitting in a space ship TV studio. I still have no idea what everybody else was doing in there, but they sounded REALLY smart.


Top: A view from backstage; Bottom left: Me, after working 33 hours in 2 days; Bottom right: Our state-of-the-art media truck

The whole time I kept thinking to myself… here I am, the girl who didn’t grow up Baptist… the girl who hasn’t gone to seminary… the girl who wanted to be a stay-at-home mama…  here I am, the mouthpiece for the entire Southern Baptist Convention.


Left: A selfie with Pastor John Meador and one of our main speakers Derwin Gray, former NFL Player and now Senior Pastor at Transformation Church; Right: Me, totally exhausted and happy at the end of the conference

God uses the least of these to complete his mission. His plans are so much more interesting than our plans. And he cares about the details – like providing for us financially… getting me out of my comfort zone… using my gifts to further his kingdom.

Now I’m back. I’m so excited to have my free time again. Time to write. Time to sew. Time to rest my brain. Oh, how this mind of mine needs to rest.

But man, it was such a fun adventure while it lasted.

Countdown to Cali

Friends, I’m hopping on a plane and headed to sunny California this week! Well, actually it’s northern California, home to gray overcast skies, but it’s California nonetheless.

I’m headed to a social media conference at a winery in Sonoma for a few days. I know, rough life. I’ll be staying in a big empty hotel room, all by myself, with no baby monitor, no barking dog, no chores to do. I plan on doing some deep sleeping while I’m there. I’m going to eat all of my meals with both hands, no juggling a baby and praying she stays happy while we inhale our food.

I won’t have to make a single bottle (although I’ll have all the joys of pumping on the road) or change a single diaper for three whole days.

And oh my gosh, I’m going to be in a hotel room, 1,000 miles from my baby girl. And Mr. Right. And my baby girl. For the first time. And I won’t get to snuggle with her, smell her sweet baby smell, be on the receiving end of her big, open-mouthed wet kisses, or hold her as she falls asleep.

Please pray for me.

We practiced Face Timing over the weekend. First we called Wrenn’s grandparents – she looked confused, as if to say, “How did grandma and grandpa get inside your phone?” She was serious and curious, but not unhappy.

So being the first-time parents that we are, we decided to practice Face Timing with me to see what Wrenn would do.

She had a total meltdown. She did NOT like seeing her mama on the phone without being able to touch her. It was awful. She cried. I cried. And y’all… I was just one room away. I still cried, because the thought of her melting down like that while I’m in California… well, that would break my heart.

Did I mention during all this crying, Mr. Right just laughed? Thanks a lot, honey.

Deep breaths. I can do this. She’s six months old. She has no concept of time. She’s in good hands with her daddy while I’m gone. It’s only for three days. She probably won’t even notice that I’m gone.

Oh my gosh, what if she starts crawling and I miss it? Baby girl, don’t you dare do anything new or cute while I’m gone. And Mr. Right, if she does, don’t you dare tell me.

Really, I’m so excited about my trip that I could spit. I couldn’t travel while I was pregnant because I was too sick to function most of the time (ahh, memories), so it has been almost two years since I’ve hopped on a plane. That’s two years too long for this girl who has traveling in her DNA.

Any advice on how to survive my first trip away? And, any advice for pumping on the road? I’ve got a battery pack for my pump, steam bags for the hotel, a dozen storage bottles and pump parts, and an ice chest for the travel home (Suitcase weight limit? Whatever dude.). I think I know what I’m doing, but if you’ve been there and have some good tips, I’d love to hear them!


il_570xN.553634680_5tueHave you seen my newest print in the shop?

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Our weekend get-away


I’m a bit of a gypsy at heart–I have a NEED to travel and explore and get away from my everyday responsibilities. But a difficult pregnancy meant that the only place we travelled in the past 10 months was a 2-day anniversary get-away (where I was still mildly nauseous). So we were due for a trip, I was off work with maternity leave, and we weren’t going to let a little challenge like traveling with a newborn stop us.

We came THIS CLOSE to booking a few plane tickets to go on a BIG adventure but then we realized that was insane, taking a big trip with a newborn. We came to our senses and came up with Plan B, a trip within driving distance with no agenda.


Y’all, packing for a 5-week-old is HARD!! Thank goodness for a strong husband and a big car. And car adapters for breast pumps.

Mr. Wright, Wrenn, Harley the Wonder Schnoodle and I loaded up and drove 800 miles round-trip to a relative’s lake house on Grand Lake in Northeastern Oklahoma. We split up the drive by staying with our grandmother outside Oklahoma City one night on the way up and back, and while there got to show off this precious baby to all of Mr. Right’s relatives.

I had a very simple to-do list for my lake get-away:


1. Drink my morning coffee on the patio overlooking the lake.
2. Go on a long walk.

I did both, and not a whole lot else. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees most of the time, and we laid out by the pool, cuddled with Wrenn, ate leisurely dinners, went to bed early, and relaxed. I was able to clear my head, come up with some new goals (like start cooking healthy again), and break out of my new mommy fog for a bit.


I came home feeling more like “me” than I have since I got pregnant. In the 24 hours since  I’ve been home I have cooked a healthy dinner, organized my home office, sewn, and taken a bubble bath.

I’m back, my friends. I’m back.


Don’t forget about my  “Fearfully & Wonderfully Made” print on sale – it’s an instant download, which means you can print it yourself – no shipping charges. Sale price is just $5. It makes for a wonderful baby gift.

Give-away winner & an anniversary trip

Hey there blog friends! First things first, let’s give some free stuff away! What a way to start off a week!

Jenny was a Theta with me way back when (how has it been 10 years since I graduated from college?) so it was fun to see her name pop up as our winner. Jenny – send your address to me ( and we’ll get you your free Hallie necklace.

If you didn’t win, you can still head over to Curated by Kelly and do some shopping. She’s donating 50% of her sales this week to charity – what better excuse to shop for some new spring goodies?

On to other news…

Last weekend Mr. Right and I headed out West for a belated anniversary getaway/babymoon. If you’ll remember, I was much too sick to celebrate our real anniversary back in January (I went to bed, alone, before 8:00, so nauseous I could barely function – not exactly what I’ve always fantasized marriage would look like). We have made it our tradition to buy each other a weekend away instead of traditional Christmas/anniversary presents, and last weekend we finally got to do just that.

It was ah-mazing. Thanks to your prayers – and a comfy king-size bed- I slept like a baby, was almost completely nausea-free, and got to enjoy a romantic weekend at a little cabin in the woods with my Mr. Right. And when I say cabin, I should be clear – it was a luxury cabin.

I’m ready to move there.

A proper recap to come, complete with pictures from our new fancy 50mm camera lens that Mr. Right got me as a surprise. That stinker is so full of surprises when it comes to romantic anniversary weekends. My goodness, how I love that man.

Who likes free stuff? And a road trip…

I am thrilled to announce that McGowan Images is holding a contest on their blog for a free Texas Lovely print! Three lucky people will get to win, and I’ve love it if one of my friends was on that list. Go over and share the “thorn” that you are thankful for.

PS – That’s not the BIG announcement. But I’m still uber excited.

In other news…

Last weekend Mr. Right and I headed down to College Station to watch his beloved Aggies whoop up on poor Sam Houston State. We sat about 10 feet below outer space, and parked about 80 miles away. Or so it seems. My cute new birthday boots rubbed blisters the size of Texas on my poor feet. It’s not cute.

After the game we headed to Houston to stay with Mr. Right’s college roommate and his wife, who have sweetly adopted me right into their family. The next morning we woke up and headed to church with Mr. Right’s former boss, who is now working in Houston, and then met up for lunch with my bestie and her husband, who also just moved to Houston to work for a church. A couple of observations:

1. Only a group of three ministers and their wives would get so excited about touring various churches. Things like “We use this system to track attendance!” and “Check out our baptistry!” and “Woah, I love your Welcome Center!” are probably not part of most peoples’ weekend roadtrips. But it was part of ours and we loved seeing where our good friends work.

2. Apparently the new hot game in Houston youth groups is Four Square. It’s a big deal. And the four of us may have had a rousing game at 8:30 on a Sunday night in the youth room, all to ourselves. Stay tuned for a 4 Square tournament party at our home later this year. It’s going to be epic.

3. The other hot youth group game is called Israeli Dodgeball. Or Gaga. It just sounds dangerous.

4. I’m crazy out of touch with what’s cool for youth. And I’m cool with that.

Monday morning I convinced Mr. Right to drive back through Waco so I could revisit the Promise Land… Baylor. I hadn’t even been south on I-35 in about five years, so it was so nice to drive by and see all of the new buildings, and to show Mr. Right my old apartments. Which look even older than when I was there 10 years ago. I can’t believe I was a SENIOR ten years ago. That’s impossible.

I now have a shiny new Baylor shirt and some warm fuzzy memories from that quick stop.

We topped off the night with a sushi date and Twilight, which is how I know my man loves me.

Vacation, Day 2, here we come. Today involves sewing and a birthday party – not a bad day indeed.

Hello vacation!

1. Decorate my house for Christmas (including hanging outdoor Christmas lights like the independent woman I am).

2. Sew new ruffle garlands for my Christmas tree BEFORE decorating my house for Christmas. I’m crossing my fingers I threw last year’s ruffles in a box of Christmas decorations, but I think I remember telling myself I’d just make fresh ones this year. Stupid 2011 version of myself!

3. Eat and EAT and EAT.

4. Have a birthday. Eat some birthday cake.

5. Take a mini-trip to visit long lost friends.

6. Finish a quilt, then start and finish at least one more.

7. Design/print/possibly sew/stuff/address/mail Christmas cards. (PS- If you would like one of these Christmas cards, please be sure to send me your address!)

8. Make my Christmas presents. And try my hardest not to wrap them on Christmas Eve like I’ve done the past TWO Christmases. (organized planner FAIL)

9. Drink at least one cup of hot chocolate. With marshmallows.

10. Snuggle with Mr. Right next to a fire and watch a Christmas movie.

11. Spend quality time with family.

12. Relax. Like, REALLY relax for a change.

Postcard from Portland

I’ve been on the board of directors for The Cowtown Marathon for the past six years, and it is one of my very favorite things I get to do. I’m not a great runner. In fact, I have a love-hate relationship with running–I love what it does to my body, I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from setting an impossible goal and then achieving it. I love the clothes, and watching people cross the finish line for the first time. But I readily admit that I hate the time and hard work that it demands from you. Running is HARD, which is what makes it a challenge. It’s a total metaphor for life.

It fascinates me. And events like this make me want to train for another race.

I got the opportunity to travel to Portland, Oregon for a Race Director Conference for the Portland Marathon this week. A week of sharing ideas with organizers of the nation’s biggest races (like the New York Marathon), rubbing shoulders with former college stars and Olympians and famous running authors (like the guy who invented the run-walk method). I even got to meet Bob Dole’s speech writer.

But enough about running. I also got to enjoy Portland, which is a delicious combination of big city with a hippie flair. A city of bicycles and funky restaurants and great architecture.

By the time you read this, I’ll be watching the marathon finishers from the VIP tent, and then I jet back to Texas for a much-needed reunion with Mr. Right. I adore traveling, but I adore Mr. Right much more. Next time I’m going to have to sneak him along inside my suitcase.

Friday Favorites

I’m sending you a very earthy, crunchy hello from gorgeous Portland. I keep telling Mr. Right I may come home with a nose ring and a tattoo. Which, for the record, is perfectly lovely on some people, but if you know me, I’m a bit conservative scared buttoned up not cool enough to pull that off.

But anyway, today I’m linking up with The Bargain Blonde for Friday Favorites. In particular, here are some of my current favorites for fall. Click on the pictures to be redirected to the original source.

Decorating with pumpkins – this makes me want to host a dinner party.

A free fall printable from one of my favorite bloggers (she draws these herself – crazy, huh?).

I’m thinking of making something like this as Christmas stocking stuffers. I could add a loop of thread and convert them into ornaments (with different fabric of course).

This gal’s etsy shop is like a burlap heaven. I love everything in there.

I love pairing my chambray shirt with skinny jeans and boots. I think I may have to add a scarf as well. I also do the white tank beneath it to hide my hiney in those skinny jeans – glad to know it’s considered fashionable and not just functional.

I found the perfect place to display one of my Texas Lovely designs in my kitchen. Although now I have a hankering to paint that frame and distress it. Hmmm…

I adore the applique on this pillow. It would take me forever, but might be a good ongoing project. Speaking of projects, I’m currently recovering all of my living room pillows. I figured I’d done enough sewing for others, it was time to spoil myself for a bit (besides, they were a bit worn, which is ridiculous considering I sell pillows these days). Pictures to come soon. One is a temporary home for some yo-yo’s I’ve been making for the past year – a definite labor of love.

One of my very favorite things is my newest nephew Jack. You may have prayed for him when he decided to arrive eight weeks early. Crazy thing is, he isn’t even really “due” for another three weeks. Is there anything more wonderful than a preemie baby’s grin?

On the fourth day of being home sick last week I finally had the energy to finish piecing together this yellow and gray quilt. It’s made from the same fabric as the chevron quilt I made last month. I love the endless possibilities that come from piecing triangles.

I had planned to put it in my shop but an old sorority sister with an adorable newborn baby girl called dibs, so it will be headed to Austin just as soon as I can get this gal quilted.

And that’s it! I hope you have a wonderfully fabulous fall Friday.

My Summer Bucket List Update

It’s time for a little Summer Bucket List update (if you’re new, here’s 2011). We have been busy bees over in the Right house, crossing things off our list and dreaming up new and unexpected adventures. We’ve done pretty well, considering summer brought some unexpected new items to the bucket list (like starting a new business, building a patio, and a few other things that deserve their own blog posts). I’m choosing to think of this list as pure fun, and if I don’t hit all the items, then I’m not going to stress one iota. In fact, it’s my goal to add a little slacker-ness to my summer, which is a bit out of my nature. More than anything, this list helps us come up with ideas for fun date nights so we avoid the “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” rut of marriage. Mr. Right and I want to be FUN.

Here’s a list of what we’ve done, with just a few weeks to go before the end of summer.

Eat dinner on a patio

Dinner at the ultimate patio… Joe T. Garcia’s

The at-home version – a leisurely dinner on our back
patio one night while Mr. Right was working late –
just me, my ice tea, and The Bachelorette on my laptop. Bliss.

Have a picnic on Trinity Trail

Trinity Trail is like a little oasis in the middle of the city. If you want 
to get some fresh air, have a CHEAP date night, and enjoy a 
little romance, I highly recommend it.

We even brought Harley the Wonder Schnoodle along.

Learn to bake a pie

I learned to make peach cobbler (from fresh peaches no less!). My
definition of “pie” is something that you’d bring to Easter, Thanksgiving
or Christmas dinner. So cobbler definitely falls into the pie category.
I loved my peach cobbler so much I made it over. And over. And over.

Take a moonlit walk with Mr. Right on the beach

Marco Island, Florida

Wear shorts and heels

I actually did this quite often. Each time I felt kind of silly
but also kind of awesome. 

Ride my bike

I may be one of the few people who has a bike with cup holders.
Don’t be jealous.
Mr. Right and Harley came along for the bike ride
(they go every single morning).

Plan a secret date for Mr. Right

I surprised him with tickets to Concert in the Gardens in Fort Worth. It was
one of the last cool weekends in June before the Heat Wave of 2012 hit.

Hold my new nephew

Luke James, born June 11, 2012

Man, he’s a cute kid.

Go to a Rangers Game

We had a big debate before this game – is it trashy to wear workout clothes 
(running shorts and a t-shirt) to a Rangers game? Do you get a free pass 
if it’s 104 degrees? We chose to go with the all-wick-away fabrics. 
And we chose right.

Rangers lost. But I got a lemon chill. So it was a good night.

Kiss Mr. Right while watching fireworks

Bucket list fail. I have no pics because I was too busy a-smoochin’. And excited because we hosted 35 friends for a fireworks watching party. But trust me – we crossed this one off the list, and have a few witnesses who will vouch for us.

Learn to sew something new

Want one of your own? 

Finish my husband’s quilt

This was a quilt top we bought at an antique mall for $10 – the steal of the century.
The whole thing was hand-pieced, which took hundreds of hours. Mr. Right
picked out the quilt backing (his old sheet from college) and we bound it with
the shirt he bought for his first job at a Young Life camp in Colorado.
The whole thing has a ton of sentimental value.

This is Mr. Right modeling the finished product.

Host a dinner party

We hosted about 27 dinner parties, including one for our visiting preacher 
(that was pretty cool), dinner for about 35 people on July 4th, dinner 
for 15 girls at a bachelorette party, and a bunch with 6-8 guests. 
Each one was a blast – one of the highlights of our summer.

Dip my toes in the ocean

Marry off my dear friend Katie

Photo Source for both photos:
Confession: I’m showing this one because it shows off my calf muscles, which I’ve never had before. Finally, those 800 million bazillion box jumps from crossfit have finally paid off. Oh, and it was a LOVELY wedding.

Do something spontaneous

We did a lot of spontaneous movie/sushi dates. Especially after we 
found out our local movie theater offers $5 Tuesdays. Score.

Get a mentor

Done – but this doesn’t really lend itself to picture-taking.

Cook with vegetables from our garden

Man, those are some GIANT tomatoes, eh?

Get a pedicure

Eat a sno-cone

Make one of the recipes from my Pinterest board

This is not exactly “cooking” but I “arranged” based off my Pinterest board. 
Judge says – good enough.

Eat a candlelit dinner at home
If you don’t take a picture, does it still count? We’ve had a few candlelight dinners including one where Mr. Right surprised me with one (along with a love note). That one was my favorite, and I was way too googly-eyed to remember to take a picture.

Finish writing Chapter 1 of my book

Done – but again, not really photo-worthy

Visit a state park

And here’s what’s left:

Take a photography class
Pre-plan all my meals for one week (confession: I have zero desire to do this, so it’s probably not going to happen)

Go to a museum
Go to a festival
Dance with Mr. Right in the kitchen
Take a road trip

Get a new dog (This will one is probably on hold for a little while)

Have a fish fry (with chicken strips for me, since I don’t eat fish)

Two weeks to go – we’ll see how many more I can cross off between now and then.

Postcard from Marco Island

I just got back from a glorious four-day trip to the beach where I felt like a newlywed all over again. 
Mr. Right had a conference in Marco Island, Florida, and I happily hitched a ride with him and turned it into a mini vacation. Emphasis on the vacation – I did almost nothing but lie on the beach, lie by the pool, sip diet coke and soak up some new books. 
And write. Every morning I took my laptop down to the pool and hashed out pages of my new novel. Did I mention that I finally got the nerve to start the novel I’ve been day dreaming about for years? It’s absolutely terrifying and I’m not yet ready to divulge much about it, but it’s also exhilarating and a bit dangerous – in a good way – to finally sit down and pour out my thoughts onto paper and see where it all ends up. Who knows where that will be.
In the afternoons Mr. Right would join me (laptop-free this time) on the beach or by the pool for more sitting and doing absolutely nothing. I never just sit and do nothing at my house, so this made me over the moon happy. Besides, Mr. Right looks even dreamier while hanging out at the beach.

Two of our evenings were filled with conference obligations (which we enjoyed, the people there were a lot of fun), but one night we had all to ourselves, and Mr. Right cooked up a little plan to wow me right there in Florida. We got takeout Chinese food for dinner (he called it the “best bad chinese food” on the island), and we had a picnic on the dock of a yacht club, watching the sun set into the ocean as we dangled our feet in the water.
It was quite romantic.
And then we topped everything off with ice cream. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Our trip also allowed me to cross TWO items off my summer bucket list
1. Dip my toes in the ocean. This photo shows my toes in the sand, right next to the ocean. The picture of my toes in the ocean makes my toes look funny. And I’m a girl and I don’t want you to see my toes looking funny (I think it’s something about water reflecting light and making things look distorted? I should have listened in junior high science class.). So here are my toes in the sand. But trust me when I tell you that I not only dipped these toes in the Gulf, but I swam all the way to my shoulders. You see, I don’t like to get my hair wet. Even for special occasions like bucket lists.
2. Take a moonlit walk on the beach. We put this off to the last night there (because the other two nights we were in food comas from so much dessert), and on that night it rained. But I couldn’t let a little rain (and mild lightening… mama, I promise it was very mild) stop me, and so we took a moonlit walk on the beach, in the rain. It was like something straight out of the Notebook. It was also my favorite part of the whole trip – standing in the dark, barefoot on the beach, listening to the waves and kissing in the rain.
I wish I had gotten a photo of it, but it would have looked like this:
So instead I’ll leave you with this – an almost equally bad picture of us enjoying dessert, just the two of us, right before our rainy moonlit walk. The quality of the photo may be poor, but it’s a good reminder of a special date filled with big conversations and lot’s of chocolate cake.