{take me home, country roads}

The Lord has continued to be gracious in bringing new opportunities to learn and grow over this year. My latest adventure? Driving to Georgia to meet my penpal and her family at her wedding! 😀

Originally, Mom and I were going to drive over there, but plans needed to change for a few things. Long story short, Matthew and I made the drive instead!

Before setting out, I took a look at the possible route scenarios and decided on the one that would take us south of Atlanta rather than through it, especially since I hadn’t yet driven in a state other than Alabama, and I’ve heard lots of stories about GA driving. :S

It told me it would take just over 4 hours to get there. Sounds good to me!

Meet Dale.

Dale was found the night before we left in a bag of misc. dollhouse furniture that Mama had purchased. When I saw him, I thought it might be fun to take a picture with Dale everywhere we stopped. :)


Up early to get everything together!


First things first. Getting the maps together and setting up the GPS!

Next, we went to Walmart to grab some snacks and lunch supplies, and then we topped off the air in the tires. Let’s do this thing!

I have no photos between this and actually attending the ceremony, because it took longer than the GPS said and there really wasn’t anywhere to stop to grab a good picture. We stopped at a gas station to change clothes once we made it to Perry, but we were in such a hurry to make it to the church on time that I didn’t take a picture. :(


Waiting on the ceremony to start


Dale on Main Street!

This was the beautiful church where they got married. It was so lovely!


Dale visits the church!


Dale arrives at the bride’s home!

These are all photos from the reception. I truly think this was the *most* beautiful and touching wedding I have ever been to! I am so thankful that I was able to attend! It was a wonderful blessing in so many ways.

This photo is of another one of my online friends, Julia!! :) We’ve written back and forth online for a while now, so it was *so* very exciting to find out that she would be one of McKenzie’s bridesmaids and that we would be able to meet in person!! :) We decided that we are definitely going to have to get together sometime so that we can just sit and chat. It was an absolute delight to meet her!

This next photo is of my penpal McKenzie, her new husband Daniel, and myself. It is still so surreal that I have finally met her in person!! We’ve been writing back and forth through the mail and online for years and years. She has been such a wonderful friend. I actually think of us more as long-distance sisters instead of just penpals! 😀 She has been right there for me during the good times and the more difficult ones. Our two families have been through several similar difficult situations around the same times, and the Lord has used her and her family to be a major encouragement to my family and I. I am so thankful that the Lord chose to bring her into my life those many years ago! It has been fun to essentially grow up together. We were mere babies when we started writing back and forth. 😉 I am so very thankful that the Lord provided this opportunity to meet her and her sweet family!

After a while, it was time to leave. Matthew and I had to make the trek back to the Lambert Estate.

While driving down, I realized that we were in huge stretches with absolutely 0% cell coverage, with really nowhere to pull off and stop for help if we ran into trouble. A lot of it was just rolling cotton fields and forest land, which was incredibly beautiful, but I didn’t really want to go that way in the dark. :s After thinking about it during the ceremony and reception, I decided to go with the original Google maps suggested route, which went right through Atlanta.

So, we got back on the road and stopped at my beloved Pilot truck stop for a quick clothing change, gas tank refill and coffee stop.


Dale pumps gas!

After that, we got settled in, popped in a “The Afters” album and made our way up to Atlanta. I knew that once we were successfully back on I-20, I wouldn’t need the GPS anymore, and that I would know exactly which interstates to get on to get back home. With that in mind, I began to pray for peace and that the Lord would keep His hand on us as we made our way into and out of Atlanta. I’m very thankful for the GPS- it told me exactly which lane to get into to make the transfer out of the 6 possible lanes that were available. I can see that it would have gotten somewhat confusing for this backroads country driving gal without it. 😀

Once we made the transfer to I-20, I decided that the next stop would be at the state line, which is precisely what we did. I hopped out and was trying to grab a picture of Dale with this teeny tiny little Alabama sign, and the ranger on call walked over and told me about a much larger sign in front of the actual rest stop building. Hurray!


Dale in front of the “Sweet Home Alabama” sign!


Dale grabs an Alabama state map!

We had a very uneventful and pleasant journey back to our house from there. Traffic was flowing quite nicely and it was fun to pick out familiar landmarks in the dark!


Dale makes it home safe and sound!

We made it back home around 11:30 that night, and I was finally in bed by about 12:30 pm.

I didn’t actually get to sleep until around 2:30 though. I was too excited and wound up! 😀

I thoroughly enjoyed making the trip with Matthew. We had so much fun talking and laughing and just enjoying the day. I can’t wait for our next adventure! :)

God is so good. It is still surreal to think back and realize that we did make this trip, we did meet all of those wonderful people and we did make it back safe and sound after our marvelous adventure!!

{life happenings}

And thus, life continues to roll on at the Lambert Estate.

I’ve still been spending a lot of time with Stanley. I’m not sure if my love of the deep and melancholy notes will ever go away. I always feel much more “cool” with the cello in my hand than I do without the cello in my hand. I guess it’s because it’s so big. Who knows.

What else have we been up to? Well, we painted the church eating area about a month ago. I posted the following picture and caption on my Instagram stream. 😀

So we went to church this morning and immediately following the fellowship meal we changed into painting clothes and started painting our church eating area and everyone was pitching in and doing their thing and I was painting like a boss until I stepped backwards into a pan of paint and it got all over my pants and shoes so I had to take my shoes off and paint in my socks and then my socks were stuck to my feet because there was paint on them too and then we kept painting and taping and painting and taping and painting and taping and then we were cleaning up and so I was finally able to pull my socks off of my feet and then I drove home barefoot in the big van with the radio going full blast and that is why I call myself the Awesome Courtney Lambert and you now know the story behind the name.

It was a lot of fun, and it looks SO much better now than it did.

Oh, we made fried green tomatoes!!! We hadn’t had them in a very long time, and the last time I actually had them, they were terrible. Never count on a restaurant to do something that is best done by the southern cook at home in their own kitchen. 😉

There have been to-do lists made and worked on:

Laundry washed

Sunrises admired

And then there was Ultimate Frisbee. Well, let me back up. We recently came back in contact with a friend of Daddy’s that he grew up with. As it would turn out, as the Lord has worked in both of our families, we’ve become incredibly like-minded and had no idea! We’ve actually been to many of the same social events over the past couple of years and didn’t realize who they were or how our families were connected. Recently, they were at an event held by some other friends of ours and put two-and-two together. Since then, our families have been enjoying getting to know each other better and have thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship. God is so good!!

Their family invited our family and some other like-minded folks out to a local park one recent Sunday afternoon. And that, my friends, is how I ended up playing Ultimate Frisbee for the first time. I’m still not exactly sure what we were doing, but I figured that as long as I ran with my team in the direction that they were going, I couldn’t really mess anything up. I’m not particularly good with sports or outdoor competitive games, but it was actually a lot of fun! The next few pictures were taken by another friend who was there.

Yep. I’ve totally got this. Not.

:)

I’ve been able to get some more trailer-hauling experience lately as well. These photos are from our most recent dump haul. We’re still working on getting construction debris and leftover junk from the previous owners out of our driveway. It’s a slow process, but I am very thankful for the hauling experience. You never know when that might come in handy!

Last week, we were able to visit the zoo one last time before our passes expired. It was so much fun!


packing the coffee – love using mason jars for this!


Go to the zoo to see animals- have your picture taken by a minion!! I love minions. :)

Mama and Daddy actually brought me this folder from one of their more recent shopping trips. Isn’t it cute?? 😀

Well, I think that’s all for this particular post. Stay tuned for the next post about getting to meet two of my sweet friends in person and about driving across the state line for the first time! 😀

{adventures in art class}

Just a little peek at art class…

Every Friday, we attend an art class held at the little library down the street from us. Our art teacher, Mr. Elam, always brings a smile and a very quick sense of humor to class with him. Each week is truly a new adventure!

These days, he has been working with me to learn how to do watercolor paintings. The pictures above show progressions of a couple of different ones. The one pictured below is the most recent one that I have completed:

He has been teaching me to use many of the art supplies that my grandmother used. It has been amazing to think about how she used to paint with the various paints and brushes that I am using now. In many ways, it makes me feel closer to her. <3

{my adventure book}

(working on updating the ole blog today. 😉 )

If you know me, you probably know I am a huge fan of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. I enjoyed the movie so much, that I saved my pennies and dimes and purchased the Bluray combo pack the first week it was released. :)

An added bonus to the specific Bluray combo pack that I purchased was the inclusion of a coupon for a free photobook from Shutterfly.

I knew exactly what I would be using it for.

Introducing:

My Adventure Book – Volume 1

I’m planning on this book being the first of several volumes. I really enjoyed working on the photo layouts and writing the journaling to go alongside the photographs! This first book chronicled our trip to the Creation Museum in KY, the side trip to Nashville that we made on the way home from KY, my trip to TX with Daddy, the trip to Gulf Shores that Josh and I made, the trip to the Pie Lab that I made with my sister-in-law and one of our good friends, and the trip to the Ave Maria Grotto that me and several of my siblings made.

Shutterfly did an amazing job with the actual printing, binding, colors, etc. I can’t wait to work on the next volume! :)