{barefoot blue jean days}

The long, sunny days of summer here in the Sunny South are nearly gone for the year. We’ve been blessed with an unusually cool summer, and it has made the days much more pleasant.


A panoramic view of our back yard.

Lately, I’ve been able to do a lot of the work for my job whilst sitting out on the back porch. On this particular day, I had a vintage-y Sprite in an old-fashioned glass bottle to keep me company.


(note the project that is going on the tables in the background. We always have a project or two going ’round here! =] )


I’ve been able to squeeze in lots of violin practice… and mandolin practice….and piano practice…

One of my favorite parts about it being cooler this year is that it has been actually quite pleasant to sit out on our porches. The fresh air has been absolutely wonderful!

This was a beautiful full rainbow seen late one afternoon at the very back of our property. I love rainbows. How can one doubt the existence of a wondrous Creator God when there are such lovely displays of His creative handiwork to be seen everywhere!

Last, but not least, this is our home as seen from our pasture area. I love walking down there and looking back up to see our house, especially at night when the lights are glowing in the windows. We are so very blessed. <3

{A new friend}

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably noticed a new friend of mine hanging around.

Meet Stanley, the cello:

He and I are in the process of becoming a bit better acquainted.

To this day, I’m still not sure what exactly possessed me to add him to my collection of other instruments, but I’m so glad he is here. I decided while I was working the election polls last time that I wanted to spend my poll-working money on something interesting.

Stanley is pretty interesting, in my opinion anyway.

I love listening to the mellow sounds as they pour off the strings….


The self-timer went off before I was ready, but the sun was so interesting behind the cello that I decided to keep the picture. :)

I can’t wait to learn to read the actual cello sheet music! I’m playing some by ear right now, but my cello book is supposed to be here any day. It’s thrilling to have a dream come true! Playing cello has been something I have wanted to try for a very long time. I’m so thankful that the Lord allowed me the opportunity to acquire one. :)

Haste to the wedding!

It’s hard to believe that Josh and Kylie have been married now for nearly three weeks!

Here are some of my favorite photos and moments from the rehearsal dinner and wedding day:

{rehearsal dinner}

This was our very first time to plan a rehearsal dinner, and we wanted everything to be as perfect as possible. Mama put a lot of time and effort into making all of the little details really come together! :)


Getting the car ready to load folks and stuff!


Silverware all rolled up and ready to go


The bride and groom


Preparing for dinner to start


These luminaries were one of my favorite parts of decorating!


Rehearsal dinner programs


Beverage station


Coffee bar


and creamer!


Food… glorious food

Everything went so very well. We are thankful that the Lord gave us a lot of grace and allowed us to knock out the tasks that needed to be finished with minimal issues, and we were able to clean up and get home at a reasonable time, which was nice.

Sleep was not to be had for a while though- when we got home from the rehearsal dinner, Jon’s eyeball was swollen out of the socket…. I’ve never seen anything like it! One of our dear friends was watching our littles during the rehearsal dinner, and she kept everything under control until we were home. Daddy ended up taking him to the after-hours emergency eye center, and they determined that it was most likely a bug bite. Yes, it was *ON* his eyeball. In the meantime, while they were gone, my dear grandfather (who was staying the night with us), my dearest mama, and myself had the opportunity to look through old family photos and Grandaddy was able to tell us a lot of stories and background behind each one. I’m thankful for the time spent with them, although I would have definitely preferred it not having to happen because Jon was hurt! :S By the time we got everyone settled in for the night, it was just after 1:00am. We decided to call it a night and planned to get up around 7:00 the next day.

Which would work perfectly, except that my mind was running about 300 miles a minute. When this happens, you are looking at your bed lamp and you realize that it looks a little bit like Pacman.

(Yes, you can question my sanity.) :)

{wedding day}

And thus, the wedding day dawned bright and early.

First things first.

COFFEE. After a night like the previous one, I’m pretty sure nobody minded that much.


Hello, beautiful. <3

Next, it was time to start getting ready before loading up to head to the church. I started with Jessica’s hair and makeup:


Everything seemed to be going well!

(did I mention that Mama made the hair combs?? :) )

After the rest of us got dressed (minus the bridesmaid’s dresses… they wrinkled if you looked at them the wrong way! We opted to change into those at the church) we grabbed a quick lunch and packed up to head to the church.


Jess and I, just before the ceremony

These next pics are the photographer’s proofs. I didn’t really have time to take photos throughout the day until later.


Kylie getting ready


Bridesmaids’ first glimpse of Kylie


Two of my handsome brothers – best man and groom


Details on the bridesmaid flowers – pre-ceremony


Kylie’s dad sees her for the first time pre-ceremony


A quiet moment


Josh and Kylie share a prayer before the ceremony

Let the ceremony begin!


My grandfather and Kylie’s grandmother take their seats


Kylie’s other grandparents make their way to their seats


Matthew escorts Mama and the littles into place


Atticus seats Mrs. J (Kylie’s mom)


The littles are watching very patiently


Joshua and Daddy take their places

(bridemaids/groomsmen)


Atticus and Lydia (Kylie’s siblings)


Jessica and Matthew


Me and Joshua’s good friend, K


Jacob and Denalyn (Kylie’s sister) – Best Man and Maid of Honor


In place and ready!

(here comes the bride)


First glance at Kylie!

(ceremony has begun)


Daddy opening up with prayer, saying a few words, and asking “who gives this woman away to be married?”


Josh and Kylie sharing their very first kiss


Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Lambert!

(formals)


The Lambert and J family


The newest Lambert family picture! (Kudos to anyone who knows everyone’s names! ;))


Josh and Kylie


Josh and Kylie


Josh and Kylie


Josh and Kylie


Bride and Bridesmaids


Bride and Bridesmaids


Groom and groomsmen


The whole gang


\o/


The rings


Got caught wearing cowboy boots to the reception. :D


Bouquet toss

{what we did to their car}

It’s still hard to believe that they are actually married! The day was absolutely beautiful and I hope that they have a wonderful marriage with many delightful and blessed years to come. <3

Kylie's younger sister, Lydia, video-journaled the day if you'd like to watch. :)

This was the official “live-stream” – it’s still incredible to see just how many people have tuned in to watch Josh and Kylie get married. We are so blessed to have friends who live all over the place. :) (start the video at 19:25)

More updates on our adventures to come soon. Many blessings to you, my dear friends!
~Court

Life

It sneaks up on you when you aren’t even looking.

I haven’t really had a chance to update the ole’ blog in a while. We have been so. very. busy!

I’m in the process of getting a couple of blog posts ready to go up so that y’all can see some of our recent adventures. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and sent a message or a text to check on us! We are doing quite well; just staying incredibly busy, as I mentioned earlier. I’m going to try to do better about updating the blog now that life seems to be calming some. :)

Stay tuned!
Miss Court

Just a dream

Time for another “lots of little random tidbits” update! :)

We’ve been rather busy lately. Lots to do, not so much time to get it all done.

I’ve been taking on some new responsibilities with my job, and between training for that stuff and actually working, that’s taking quite a bit of my time. I’m learning a ton, but it has definitely been different for that to be my primary focus every weekday. I’m also learning that I can get a whole lot done before 8:30am, which is when I officially clock in each day. I’ve been waking up most days before my alarm clock goes off at 6:00am, so that’s providing a pretty early start. I’m not a morning person, but the adjustment has went better than I thought it would.

When you get up early, you have time for extra things, like exercise

and target practice. :)

Of course, there are the more “normal” happenings going on as well. Working the election polls is something that I have really enjoyed doing for the past several elections, over the last 4 (nearly 5) years. Before you work, they have all of the poll workers come for a class up at the courthouse so that they can be trained for the jobs they will be filling that day.

I love our county courthouse. :)

We went ice skating with some friends. Everything was absolutely awesome EXCEPT for the music being played over the loudspeaker…. ’nuff said. :p I was really happy to NOT get injured this time. :D

We’ve been working on “prettifying” things and getting them all spruced up…

which has meant spending a lot of time in my little herb garden. <3


Just me, the pothole diggers, some great music and skeeters. Welcome to Bama. :)

Hanging laundry.

Going to Lowe’s, our home away from home.

Drinking coffee.

Dancing!! We are still very much enjoying attending the occasional dance class or ball. Joshua took this video of everyone dancing the Barn Dance at a recent fundraising ball we attended :) If you fast-forward to 1.22, the actual dancing has begun. The beginning of the video was everyone getting in the right place to get started. How many Lamberts can you spot? :D

We are having so much fun, and now, we are teaching my parents how to swing dance in preparation for Josh’s upcoming wedding/reception. :D

Oh, did I say wedding?

This happened:

It looks like I will be having a sister joining the family soon! Please keep both families in prayer as we sort through everything needing to be done to get the wedding planned. This is a first for both families, and we are learning quite a bit as we go.

Let’s see… we’ve been painting!!


clearly.

Art class…. always an adventure! My poor teacher says I strive for perfection too much and need to be more messy and freer (yes, he uses the word “free-r”). I showed up for class with the above-pictured paint covered hands, and that wasn’t messy. I’m a little bit scared to know what his idea of messy is! :S

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet someone we have only known thus far online. Well, Josh knew her, but I and the rest of my family hadn’t yet met her in person. We were able to have her, and the S family (some friends of ours) as well as Josh and his fiance, Kylie, over for game night this past Friday. It was so much fun to visit and get to know her better! (I know I said it already, but it was really great to meet you, K!) :)

We also noticed the first growing tomato in our garden this past week!

On a different note, I am so thankful that the Lord has brought closure to a situation that has been weighing on me for a while. Technically, it was resolved ages ago, but it was a burden that I have been continuing to carry, and the Lord saw fit to bring resolution and complete closure in the most unexpected of ways a few days back. I could literally feel this particular burden be lifted off of my shoulders, and the wonders of God’s grace and mercy pour over me. I am so thankful for His continued faithfulness. <3


Jess snapped this pic for me. I got like 5 feet of air that time!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” - Lamentations 3:22-23

May the Lord open your eyes to His wonderful grace, and the many blessings that he pours into your life each and every day, both the seen and the unseen things alike. <3

~Miss C

Good to be alive

Back once more with another story of grand and unusual adventures! :)

3 weeks ago found me taking another road trip with a couple of girlfriends to go and visit the Pie Lab in Greensboro, AL. We’ve been planning to head down there now for some time, and finally got our schedules to coordinate so that we could go.

Welcome to Greensboro, the Catfish Capital of Alabama!

We took some time to drive around and see some of the beautiful old homes in the area.

Because this was a historic district, many of the homes are historical landmarks, and a few of them were actually under restoration/renovation when we drove by.

Greensboro. Land of the free, home of the….. dinosaurs?? Do you spy our dino friend in the pic below?

Some of the really cute sights of Downtown Historic Greensboro:


(I love horseshoes. :) )


And old buildings.


Be still my <3


Found in one of the little shops

We’re here! :)

It was such a cute place.

Lunch!


They serve their drinks in mason jars. <3 <3 <3

PIE!!


I ordered a piece of peanut butter chocolate pie- it was SO good!

The Pie Lab was really a neat place. It is a historical building that has been restored, and their goal is to bring more conversation and social life to Greensboro, all while serving delicious pie. It was a delight to visit, and I definitely hope to go back at some point.

After finishing our pie, we headed off to our next adventure….


Driving through miles of Alabama farmland

to Uniontown, AL, home of the closest stockyard to us.

This was my first time to visit a stockyard, and WOW was it interesting. We watched several cows and calves be sold, and then we went out on the catwalk overlooking the stock for sale or in the process of being sold.


Told y’all I’ve got a thing for horseshoes. :)

After staying at the stockyard for a while, we drove through miles and miles of Alabama farmland, checked out some more historic houses

And landed in Newberne, AL, home of Auburn University’s Rural Studio.

Rural Studio is an undergrad program offered by Auburn University for the architecture students there. One of the biggest projects they have been working on lately is something called the $20k houses. These are houses that can be built for $20,000, and all of them feature a built-in tornado shelter. They have a lot more information on their website here.

The next couple of pictures are of the housing that the students live in, called the “pods”.

As it would turn out, Rural Studio is responsible for quite a bit of renovations going on in downtown Newberne as well.

Here is a little peak at the inside of their classroom building, located on the main street that runs through Newberne:

I’ve always been super-interested in the study of architecture, so I really loved seeing all of the house models in the classroom there:

Afterwards, we wandered into the old-fashioned general store located next door, and I purchased an old-style vintage looking Sprite in a glass bottle. More on the Sprite later. :)

When we finished up, we drove miles and miles through Alabama farmland,

saw a rainbow,

and the Lord kept us safe through our return travels. Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

(More posts to come… still quite a bit behind! :) )

Space Oddity

I have deemed this year my year of big adventures.

My most favorite kind of adventure is the one that contains two words. ROAD TRIP! I reckon I’ve got a rather strong case of wanderlust at the moment, so I was super-excited to hear about this particular weekend plan.

Mama had purchased a couple of Groupon deals for some of us to go and see the Ave Maria Grotto, located up in Cullman, AL. We made our plans on a Friday night while we were coming home from a ball (more on that later), and left the next morning around 9:30. I was so excited to do all the driving…it added a lot to the adventure for me!


Jess took this photo of me on the way up. :)

If you’re not familiar with the Ave Maria Grotto, they have a website that explains what it is here.


We’re here!

The miniatures are all absolutely incredible. Here are some of my favorites:


Leaning Tower of Pisa


Montserrat


Looking on


Caught with a camera. :D


A statue of the man who built all of the miniatures – Joseph Zoettl


A view of several of the miniatures built into the side of the hill


Matt and Tim enjoying the day

and of course, there is the special chipmunk crossing area.

After we walked through the grotto, it was time for lunch!

Which was root beer, potato chips and a sandwich (not pictured). Random fact about me: I *LOVE* root beer. Especially the A&W brand. :D

When I went to the Ave Maria Grotto several years ago with my grandmother, we also visited the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament over in Hanceville, AL, as they are somewhat close in proximity and they are both sister-sites. I decided to take my group over to visit since we were already so close.

The castle on the grounds…. it’s a gift shop, but it looks pretty neat both inside and out.


Door handles


Josh with the door handles


Timothy!


Found my “knight in shining armor”! :D

(Back outside)


Jess and I on the grounds

They don’t allow photos inside the actual shrine at all, but I can share a funny story. We were walking around inside and just enjoying looking at the beautiful architecture, and we realized we had just walked up on a tour that was in progress. We all sort of looked at each other, and then decided to join the tour group. It was neat to get the back story on different things that were there, and we got to see a lot more than we would have been able to see otherwise, which was absolutely fantastic.

After all of that walking, we were pretty tuckered out. We knew we needed to be getting back so that we could help with church preparations, so homeward bound I headed. I noticed the fuel was starting to run a bit low, but thought there was plenty to make it back to our house. And then, I realized there was a Flying J right on the way home, so we probably should get some gasoline.

Josh teaching Jessica how to pump gas:

The real reason I picked the Flying J? The COFFEE.

I don’t have my frequent coffee drinker card for them for no reason. ;) All 6 of us were able to get huge cups of coffee for a total of $8.00. Sweeeet. I love Flying J.

I proceeded to drive barefoot all the way home. It was pure bliss!

All in all, it was a fabulous day spent with some of my very favorite people. <3

I would have never dreamed how many new things the Lord would bring into my life throughout the past couple of months. I had been praying for some very specific direction over what it is I should be working on and pursuing, and also that the Lord would bring new opportunities for learning and growth as the days go by. Last year was a year of trying to stay above the water as we were being hit with many, many difficult circumstances, and many of them all at once. This year feels so very decidedly different. Every single day seems to bring something new! There have been some challenges to be sure, but in general, it has been a wonderful year of learning and adventures thus far. I can’t wait to see what else the Lord does as He continues to show His hand at work.

(more updates to come! I’m super behind! :P)

~Court

Oh, oh these are beautiful times…

Owl City released a new song about a month ago, simply entitled “Beautiful Times”.

Some of the lyrics seemed to apply to different things we’ve been experiencing, or that I’ve been thinking or working through personally.

When did the sky turn black? / And when will the light come back? / We all suffer / But we recover
Just to discover life where we all are / I fought all through the night / Oh oh, but I made it alive
The sun’s startin’ to rise / Oh oh, these are beautiful times / This fight of my life is so hard, so hard, so hard / But I’m gonna survive / Oh oh, these are beautiful times…

Life is beautiful. The rough times, the good times. The difficult times. The easy times. Everything in between.

The Lord is bringing me out of what has been a very rough time in my life. I’m so thankful for the journey- for the learning experiences and growth that has happened as a result of what He has been doing.

Life is a highway

Wow, what an amazing past few weeks. The Lord has been faithful to guide us through more rough areas and happy events alike as we continue to traverse the crazy road of life.

Spring has changed to summer, as it always does about this time in Alabama. We had a day this past week where it was already in the upper 80s, and we hadn’t even made it to May yet! :D All of the sunshine has been a blessing for our growing flowers, and the extra rain has been a blessing as well.

The most exciting “happening” lately has been bringing home Baby Lambert #13, Owen Elias. <3 As a matter of fact, I happen to be holding the baby guy right now while I am typing out this post. He has been such a good baby. We are so enjoying the blessing that he already is in our home.

I truly believe he is one of the most precious gifts of healing that has ever been given to us. This past week marked the 1st anniversary of my grandmother’s passing away, and while it was still excruciatingly difficult, I think focusing on the fact that God had sent this perfect little baby boy to our home helped ease the pain. We were focused on the precious gift of life, and less on loss through death. The Lord is so very faithful. He knows exactly what we need when we need it. <3

The next latest happening is that my brother, Josh, found a house. Last week found us getting him moved and helping him start to settle in.

It’s been odd not to have him here. We had gotten in the habit of making our coffee at about the same time in the mornings, so we would often trade stories and jokes for a bit. We’ve always been really close, so it’s definitely been different not having him here at home. I’m very excited that he found a house, and that he is enjoying the area and making sure everything is just right, but I still miss him. Change is hard, but I’m confident that this particular change is for the better. :)

Getting Josh moved in meant stretching out of my comfort zone a bit… I’ve been learning how to do some haulin’, driving our trailer back and forth to different places this week as we have had a significant amount of things to move to different places.

Once we got Josh moved in, I had to go and pick up a filing cabinet at a semi-local auction house, and then, today, I took 740 pounds of junk to the local landfill, which is roughly 45 minutes away.

All was fine and good until I got home, and while I was backing the trailer up into the spot, I ran over a piece of glass and it put a hole in one of the trailer tires. Not my brightest moment. :p It has been a lot of fun to learn how to drive though, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to try something new.

Then there was our kitty, Lyle. Lyle got hit by a car this week, and unlike our other animals who have been hit before, he survived the hit. I called our favorite vet to ask for advice as to what to do, and he walked me through a few things. Lyle was meowing and meowing, but it wasn’t his normal meow. I assumed this was because he had been hit, so I wasn’t paying as much attention to that while I was trying to figure where all he was bleeding and if any bones were broken. While I was on the phone with the vet, I realized Lyle had bitten completely through his tongue, and that his tongue was actually stuck on his teeth. I pulled his tongue up and over his teeth, and he immediately stopped meowing. The next order of business was his left eye, as the pupil was significantly less dilated than the pupil in his right eye. Our vet told me it was most likely from head trauma, and that he thought we could wait and see how he did, since I couldn’t find anything broken and he was still completely responsive. We decided to follow the advice of the vet and put him in a laundry basket in our basement, and he pretty much slept through the entire first day. By that evening, his eye was completely normal, and by the next day, he was eating soft cat food and meowing to be let out of his box.

He has made an amazingly miraculous recovery! I think the Lord knew that we still needed him in our lives. You see, it will have been a year this next week since he first arrived at our house. Our other kitty, Graysie, was ran over by car and killed at this time last year, just days after my grandmother had passed away. We were incredibly upset. Within the next week, someone came and left Lyle and a bowl of water in our front yard. The Lord had sent us a new cat! He adopted us right away and has become a family pet. I’m so thankful that the Lord chose to allow him to live through being hit- it would have been really hard to lose him in the anniversary week of him coming to be with us! He is truly our little miracle kitty. :)

I think that is all for this post. I’m going to be blogging soon about our latest road trip! :) Many blessings to you, my dear friend.
~Court

A thought or two on Godly friendships

Blogging over at Meditations of His Love today! :)

romans155-6smaller

“For many, many years, I prayed that the Lord would send me Godly friends.

Over the past couple of years, the Lord has been so very gracious and answered my prayer in abundance. He has sent specific people into my life at the most perfect moments.

When it seemed as if my family and I were the only ones walking along a particular path, He sent a special group of friends to me that I “met” online. I’m still writing back and forth with several of those ladies, and each one of them hold a special place in my heart. There were many times when I would be having a particularly rough day, and I would have a letter or email from one of them in my mailbox or inbox. It literally brightened my whole day! These ladies have shown the love of Christ to me in incredible ways, and while many of them I haven’t yet had the privilege to meet in person, I pray the Lord will allow me to meet each one of them if it is His will.

Along with these special online friends, over the past year especially, He began to bring ladies into my life that I see in person quite often now. It is so wonderful to get together with them and simply fellowship, or if the situation arises, to stop and pray for one another. There have been a couple of girls in particular who have literally stopped what they are doing right then to pray for me, and making it a point to encourage me if I had been struggling with something. They have prayed faithfully and diligently for us as my family has walked through some rather difficult situations over the past year, many of them making themselves available to help with things as we have had needs arise.

It’s really made me think a lot about the blessing that the Lord has given us through Godly friendships, so I was excited to see that our topic for the month here at Meditations of His Love is “Godly Relationships”. I’m going to focus specifically on Godly friendships today.

In the scriptures, there is a lot of value placed upon having Godly relationships with others.” Click here to read more!