Food + Fellowship: Another Sunday Gathering

If there is one thing I want to be remembered by, it is for having an open and loving household. My mom recently shared how every Sunday at their house growing up included having people over for meals. She said my grandma cooked the best food and that my grandpa was always inviting people in. It was sweet to hear that piece of her childhood, and I am excited that my children will have similar memories of their Sundays at home. 

You can always find Elsa curled up under the table when we are in the dining room. She's done that since she was a puppy and I love that goofy trait of hers. This dinner was my husband's homemade manicotti, fresh salad and warm bread--aka, pretty much ALL my favorite foods. If you didn't know, my husband has his own website where he shares recipes, and you can check that out here. Our friends Tim and Stephanie joined us, and it was an amazing afternoon of food, fellowship, and lots of full bellies. 

I always like to have fresh flowers in the dining room (thanks, sweet husband!) and you can always find Humphrey, our Lab, begging at our seats. We have a full house, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Five pets, two kids, friends here often, and us: a husband and wife who have been married almost NINE years! (How did that happen?!) 

When we finished eating, the kids got to coloring. I'm obsessed with their artwork, and love watching how their drawings develop over the years. 

What do you love about Sundays? Anything cooking in your house this afternoon that you want to share?! Leave a comment below with your favorite dishes, and some of you have asked for recipes from past posts; feel free to e-mail me anytime or let me know of a specific dish to post for you. Happy weekend, friends. May it be as yummy as ever! 

A Tribe of Radiance

A long time ago, I submitted my first few articles to a blog called The Radiant Life Blog. Lo and behold, and much to my surprise, the founders e-mailed me some of the sweetest notes of encouragement and chose to publish them. Little did I know that as the seasons changed, that I would eventually be asked to be a columnist of an online magazine for the Motherhood section, by one of those same women. 

The Radiant Life Blog over time took some drastic changes. Founder Kelsey Chapman, stuck with the title Radiant for her current magazine, and after this weekend, I absolutely know why. Through Kelsey, God chose women from all around the globe to join together for two whole days to discuss dreams, visions, goals and share creative inspiration. 

"Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." -Psalm 34:5

Who would have thought, because I sure didn't, that so many women could be so diverse, all with incredibly unique stories and backgrounds, to share in one single vision: to empower women, near and far, all while seeking the Lord. 

Friday night I made my way to Nashville where I would be greeted by the sweetest, most genuine ladies who I am now blessed to call dear friends. On this Radiant Retreat, we shared our stories, what makes our hearts skip a beat, and then we laughed--a LOT. 

Amongst my notes of what I plan on saying yes to more, I wrote, "intentional and authentic friendships..." For the first time in just a really long time, I felt a sense of community that I've been lacking. As I sat in the middle of the living room couch, surrounded by these Godly women, I saw God's vision for my life come even more clearly in my head. "If I had unlimited resources and funds, I would own a horse farm, get paid to write and take pictures, and empower women and youth," I jotted. 

One way that I realistically plan to empower women is to continue writing two columns a month for Radiant. Am I the expert in Motherhood? Of course not! But I do feel called to be a mom and every single day I am so thankful that God chose ME to mother the two incredible children that I am. I also feel so blessed that walking beside me are 14+ contributors, writing about marriage, dating, fashion, beauty, whole living, fitness, music, and much, much more. It isn't ourselves that we are striving to work for though, it's 100% our Creator, who has helped make Kelsey's dream a reality. 

We aren't perfect. We don't have all the answers. We are going to mess up, make mistakes, and be in need of lots and lots of grace. But my Lord HOW beautiful that all is, am I right?! If you haven't yet made our way to Radiant Magazine, please go NOW. Check out ALL the lovely contributors that are there thus far; curl up in your favorite blanket with a cup of hot tea and read the wide assortment of columns and articles that await. 

A very special thanks to Meredith, who opened up her GORGEOUS home all weekend long, where she provided us with fresh linens, comfy beds, and lots and lots of coffee! I absolutely adore you, Girl, and am so thankful God intertwined our paths!