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Graduation is just around the corner! I wish you all the best in the world, Patrick! Class of 2011! Woo!! Have fun in college!!!!! =)

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While we (Laura and I) were in Ohio last week visiting family, Holy Ghost Tent Revival just happened to be playing a show 15 minutes away a couple nights ago! Hate that! haha! Over the past couple years, we’ve had suuuuch a fabulous time dancing at their shows and hanging out with them. Seriously. These guys are the real deal. We love them to pieces. And every time we see them play they get better and better and better and better and better. It’s pretty ridiculous, really. Here’s a video from last year’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. You can see what I mean. And if they’re ever playing anywhere remotely near you, go see them live. You won’t be sorry and you can thank me later. I’ve seen a ton of bands play and believe me, these guys have energy like no one else.

As I was wasting time on the internets the other day I also ran across a couple new songs by one of my favorite bands ever, The Smart Brothers. For real. It was true love from the moment I first saw them play at the Sunny Side Up Cafe a couple years back. Can’t get enough. By the way, Lou and Jay, Tennessee misses you. And we wouldn’t be offended if you came and visited.

In other news, Droid (my mistreated stepchild) went for a swimmyswim in the lakeylake thanks to my handsome husband for flipping out of his kayak with my phone and now I FINALLY have the… iPhone!!!! Oh, happy day!!

mamaw + papaw:

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Yesterday Laura and I drove to Ohio to visit family for a while. We’ve been to Waynesville more times than we could count, but this time is a little different. Our Mamaw went to stay in a nursing home a couple days ago due to a fall back in February and other complications. For the first time in 57 years our Papaw is living alone. But don’t worry, Operation Cheer Up is in full effect! We plan on taking him out to his favorite restaurant (probably more than once) and watching some baseball and eating lots of Oreos with him. We may even get his photo album out from when he was in the Navy during WWII and listen to all his stories again. Because, really, those stories are incredible. Funny how time passes and things change. Sure, everyone knows they do, but when it really hits home? That’s when you begin to understand. My grandparents have been some of the most influential people in my life, hands down. I won’t go into too many details but they are two, crazy-awesome people. Trust me on this. It’s just difficult to see Mamaw not know where she is or who she’s with due to her dementia. It’s ridiculously hard to see her stuck in a bed due to breaking her arm. Life is so short, isn’t it? Would seem we have no hope, but yet we do! As Christians we have assurance that the one who Created us knows exactly what’s going on. He knows us better than we know ourselves. And He loves us more than we could ever imagine. How incredible to know we have this assurance in Christ!

Many of you have probably seen these pictures of my grandparents before. They were taken less than a year ago. Much has changed since then and it makes me treasure these sweet memories even more.

Side note… My papaw is blind. And right now he is outside cutting the grass on his riding mower. Haha! Maybe I inherited my stubbornness from him?

wppi + lori:

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We rented a little, white Chevy and drove to Red Rock and the Hoover Dam. Thankfully Lori had been to Vegas a number of times and was a fantastic tour guide. This was perfect seeing how everyone knows I didn’t get blessed with much of a sense of direction, if any at all. Driving across this NEW BRIDGE was incredible.

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Made some absolutely FABULOUS new friends at the Airplanes & Blazers partay! But next year I’m SOOO NOT wearing my 5 inch heels. Our feet hurt so bad after a million hours of dancing that when we stumbled back to our hotel room even the carpet on our bare feet hurt like crazzzzzy. I mean, I really thought I might die. Right. There.

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This whole little adventure began because Lori and I decided in 2009 that we were going to WPPI in 2011 no matter what it took. AND WE DID! Yay! I must say, I kinda adore her. She’s an absolutely fabulous person inside and out. I’m ridiculously blessed to call her my friend. Seriously. She’s super awesome.

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Since Laura chose a white dress, cool neutrals were the way to go. I had to kiss my dream of yellow Christian Louboutin heels goodbye but believe it or not I’m okay with this because he makes silver sparkly ones, too. I’ll be getting those. Right after I sell my house and car and first born child. As for bridesmaid dresses, Laura and I both adore J.CREW so naturally it was the first place we went looking. What’s that? A number of different gray/neutral shades on clearance? Caaaaan do! We were throwing dresses up on my Pinterest left and right while frantically calling all the girls, “Listen you HAVE to buy this dress RIGHT.NOW. before it gets sold out!” I can proudly say we were successful and we have a lovely mix of cool neutral colored dresses in different styles. Saweeeet. Done.

Money $aving Tip: Laura and I are HUUUUUGE clearance sale (and thrift store) shoppers. If you’re not super particular about an exact shade/color you can find incredible bargains on dresses for your bridesmaids at places like J.CREW (my fave!!!), anthropologie, Ann Taylor or ModCloth. Best part? Since you saved so much money on your dress you can spend more on SHOES! Here’s an example of this awesome kind of math: I got a $225 J.CREW dress for $41.99 which means I get $183.01 extra for shoes. tahdah!

P.S. I got these color swatches off For real. Their wedding section is truly divine.