Well friends, the summer is over. I know that fall doesn’t officially start until September 22, but let’s be real… it’s over.
and yall… It was a GREAT one!
let’s take a look-see in the rearview mirror:
I kicked off the summer with a trip to Houston to celebrate my dear friend Melissa’s wedding.
Wedding #1. You might want to keep a running count, my friends…
Many trips to the Tyler Farmers Market happened. Peaches and Blueberries, yall. Does the body good! And the people watching? Don’t EVEN get me started.
Got a little bit of hangtime with the new Forge class at Braums. nom nom. Ice cream, talking about the Forge and making new friends… what’s not to love?!
In late June, I traveled back to Houston to celebrate my Dad’s 50th birthday. The fun part? No one knew I was coming. Our dear friends who hosted the party knew I was on my way, but other than that everyone was clueless. Even my mom, which is a BIG DEAL YALL. All that morning as I drove through the Houston rain we were on the phone as she told me she hoped the rain would stop and I LIED telling her how beautiful it was in Tyler. Pshaw. I was in the Woodlands, battling rainy traffic and only 45 minutes away. Want to know how the surprise went? Check out the video link below.
I felt so treasured that day. Never for a SINGLE second did I wonder if I would get an over-the-top, exuberant reception from my parents. I knew that the scene above would play out JUST like that. What a gift to have parents who love and celebrate your presence! If you know me as a personal friend, you know that I love to greet, celebrate and cheer-on my friends with MUCH gusto/chutzpah/gumption/etc… Now I have video proof that I learned from the best celebrators around. If there’s one thing I’ll never lack in life, it’s cheerleaders. Love you mom and dad!
Throughout the summer I went on many many super fun date nights/breakfasts/park lunches. My favorite? Probably getting to do breakfast trail ride at Pine Cove one morning at the Bluffs. Its been a dream of mine since I started working at camp and heard about the EPICNESS of the breakfast… and people, it did NOT disappoint!
All right folks, you ready for it? Wedding #2! Our Forge class traveled to Little Rock, AR to celebrate Reece and Meredith’s wedding. Reece and Mere were BOTH in our Forge class, so we saw this happen from the beginning! Reece and Mere both live in a way that honors the Lord and draws others nearer to His grace, so I can’t even imagine the impact that their unity and “one-ness” will have on those near to them! We kicked off the weekend by going to the CUTEST bachelorette party I’ve ever ever been to (see picture above), which included lots of crafty decorations, mason jars, fun games and LOTS of squealing giggles.
Eventually we made our way to the beautiful wedding venue. BREATHTAKING! Ever since doing the Forge, wedding vows and the covenant of marriage has taken on a whole new weight and I can’t help but get teary during weddings.
Clearly, I’m a fan of Mere’s stanky leg. Then we danced the night away! Time to celebrate, baby! This reception was just a BLAST. It was the most of my Forge class that had been together in a while, and getting out of town allows for focused time together. This quality time girl LOVES that!
Next up! Wedding #3- The Smithson Wedding.
This one was a BIG DEAL people. Amanda Neely and I have pictures together when we were two-years-old in the church nursery. Best friends all through our growing up years, then we both took off to big fancy universities and made new communities. However, Amanda is that friend that I can call and talk to, no matter how long its been. Every SINGLE childhood memory includes Amanda in the picture, so I was honored to be there on her wedding day. We traveled down to Hunstville after church and met my parents and old friends for a really sweet celebration.
Gas tanks were emptied.
Sometimes you just end up having too much fun talking and dancing on a road trip to remember that you were on “E” as you rolled into the wedding. oops. Praise the Lord for gracious parents with a gas can who were also at the wedding. Stories are for sharing… right?
Time for some VAY-CAY! Jesse and his family hosted a group of us for the weekend so we could relax and enjoy Schlitterbahn. One day of waiting in line for the great rides and floating around on tube chutes, the next day we parked it in the sun to read, talk and float the lazy river right in front of us.
One night, we went to eat at the Grist Mill in Gruene, TX. The atmosphere at this place is EXACTLY what I would’ve hoped and dreamed it would be. Live music, lights strung in the trees, chalkboards, mason jars, chicken fried steak, good drinks and my friends… living the dream. Later we went to Jesse’s house and watched the DVR-ed Olympic Opening Ceremonies.
Skip the parade of nations? #duh #winning
Skip ahead when things got really strange? #duh #thanksLondon
My roommate, Emily, finished her Masters so her wonderful sister, Lori, put together a really fun party on the rooftop at Jakes. Jakes is a really neat place in Tyler that doesn’t feel so… Tyler. I got to put my crafty hat on and do some centerpieces and things! I’m so proud of Em and really excited that grad school means we get more play time. Play time is the best.
Next up! Wedding #4. Ryan and Summer! Again, another Forge reunion moment. Ryan started dating Summer when we did the Forge, so we got to see the beginnings of this relationship too! Summer became one of my dear friends when I moved to Tyler last year. Although I’m glad she and Ry FINALLY get to be together… I sure do miss my friend!
This summer I had the privilege to spend a good amount of time with each of these three women in all sorts of different places. They all love Disney, food and crafts, so I thought “why not get these people together and have some fun!?!”
So we did. Paper roses were made, Enchanted AND Tangled were watched.
“wait. Lacey. You’re losing your mind… You skipped Wedding 5 entirely. Not that I’m like… complaining because I really don’t CARE that you went to eleventy billion weddings and now own stock in 35.4% of Bed, Bath and Beyond…. but I do want to make sure you UNDERSTAND that you SKIPPED wedding 5.”
Let me explain. Wedding 5 was one that I didn’t really attend as a guest. I just helped out. But I count it in the wedding count because I was there for the ceremony. Just no picture evidence. Okay? Great. Moving on.
Wedding #6! The Carter wedding. PARTY OF THE YEAR. I mean, everyone was there. Everyone danced. Everyone ate dessert. I had so much fun. I mean… we got to throw our dance party glow sticks at the bride and groom on their way out. So FUN!
To kick off a new year with our volunteers the Bethel Family Ministries team hosted “On Your Mark.” It was a night full of fun games, skits, food and lots of other things to rally our volunteers together. Probably one of my favorite things I’ve been a part of while I’ve been on staff at Bethel. I love planning events and seeing it all come together. Lots of work, but totally worth the time!
Even when things are really fun, thing must be put on hold to acknowledge the sad moments. Late in the summer, my aunt passed away after battling cancer for three and a half years. She was an incredible woman and mother, I feel so blessed to have been her niece. My aunt has this KILLER pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Pumpkin cheesecake is my favorite dessert ever and Aunt Elizabeth knew it. Every year she would make one for the family at Thanksgiving, but one year she made an entire extra one just for me. Just me! I took that sucker back to Baylor and ate it all by myself. over time. not much time… but IT WASN’T ALL IN ONE SITTING OKAY!?
Aunt Elizabeth was the one you really wanted to draw your name for Christmas presents. She was thoughtful and thorough. If your gift needed batteries, she made sure to include them with the gift, or have some nearby. Aunt Elizabeth, Uncle Robbie and her three girls (they all are just a little bit younger than me) came to my Baylor graduation. I’m tearing up now just thinking about it… that’s not a quick drive, and they are busy people. I will forever feel honored that they came to acknowledge my achievement. Elizabeth’s daughter, Laura, just started her first year at Baylor and this Bear could not be prouder. The week I spent in Houston with my family for Elizabeth’s funeral was sweet and so meaningful. Jorey just moved back from California and we finally got to spend time together as a family. The time with our extended family was so healing and really necessary too. We really only see each other during the holidays, but this time of tragedy and working through loss together created a sense of unity and togetherness that I haven’t felt with that side of the family very much. While we were mourning together, it was good to simply be with one another. Life together.
Eventually I made my way back to Tyler, back to a REALLY busy week!
Let’s talk about one of the most exciting life things right now. Remember my friend Val? You already know Roomie Emily. Well NOW it’s roomie Emily AND roomie Val! That’s right. While I was in Houston, Val moved in and joined the Sarasota crew. This was in motion for a while and had all sorts of anticipation going for it. Since then, we’ve been having a blasty-blast. So, come on by and we’ll sit on the couch and watch some tv all together. But don’t you DARE bring peanut butter M&Ms into this hizz-ouse because OUR DIET STARTS TODAY.
okay, fine. bring the M&Ms, but leave those chips at home! Moderation, folks.
Let’s talk about birthdays. I LOVE THEM! and Val’s was on August 28th. She turned… 28! GOLDEN BIRTHDAY! I missed most of the celebration, but was there in spirit with yummy treats. Val loves the movie “UP,” so these cupcakes had to happen.
not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of this lil’ creation. UP house at the bottom? marshmallow fondant. tastiest play-doh EVER.
“Lacey, if you love birthdays so much why did you miss most of Val’s birthday celebration? That’s pretty lame of you. Geez.”
Well. A certain someone was flying in from Europe and I was waiting at the airport hitting refresh on this little app screen about 45 times a minute. That’s why. and there was MUCH rejoicing!
I got my hurrrr cut. I know you can’t tell. But I SURE can. and the bangs are taking some getting used to. If you see me with a handband on and the bangs in hiding its most likely because mutiny happened that morning and I didn’t feel like going all Mussolini on my hair. Democracy baby.
SEPTEMBER 6! Oh the fun to be had on this day!!!! Again, the birthdays. I LOVE THE BIRTHDAYS. and I’d been looking forward to this one for a while. A few months ago I realized that Pentatonix was going to be in Dallas on Jesse’s birthday, so we got tickets and our friends Rachel and Loren decided to join. After lunch together and some glasses shopping, we headed out to Dallas. People, the concert was everything I hoped for! Pentatonix won The Sing Off last season. While they are an acapella group, they are unlike any acapella group I’ve ever heard. Their sound is powerful and arrangements are so creative. We were so excited to see them live and the show was pretty small, so it felt like we were VIPs. AND WE WERE because they gave Jesse a birthday shout-out from stage. #boomshakalaka. Later that week, the celebration continued with birthday dinner and then a fun games/dessert party at the guys house.
The NEXT DAY (yeah, best weekend ever) we got to celebrate our friends Chris and Ashleigh’s upcoming wedding at a really fun couples shower. Between the sweet view, corn hole game, cowboy boots, good food and football, this evening was very “Texas Forever.”
Every good thing has to come to an end… right? The summer closed out with an incredible weekend beach trip with a few of my Tyler favs. Two days of laying around in the sun, eating at fun places and getting some time all together before the fall busyness kicks in.
Wedding #7 is this coming weekend and I’m sure there will be lots of fun fall things to blog about! If you’ve stuck through this post until the end… you get the gold star of friendship.
Way to persevere.
Come by sometime, I’ll give you a cookie.