{Husband's Birthday!}

Yesterday my sweet husband turned 26!  Holy smokes we are getting old.  In just over a week I will be 25.  Yikes!  I kind of like the sound of these numbers though.  They seem so substantial.  We're not just out of college anymore, we're married, have full time jobs, and a sweet border collie.

This weekend we enjoyed the beauty of the lake house for Ryan's birthday celebration!  Ryan could live at the lake house if I, and his parents, let him.  He thinks we should open up a restaurant or take over the one currently sitting in the marina which is well... poorly run and a bit expensive for burgers and what not.  I will give it to them though, the food has gotten a tad bit better since last lake season.

It was a little chilly, but naturally that didn't stop our little water puppy.  She had an absolute blast swimming to get the Frisbee, running with Gabi, Mama and Papa Nabors' new pup they found at the lake house, and pretty much constantly playing in the water.  Boy was she tired when we got home!  So much fun!

Though it was pretty overcast, Ry and I did go out on the jet ski once.  It was my first time to wear a long sleeved t-shirt on the jet ski, I'll say that much.  It was a blast though!  I have missed lake fun!  I am getting sooooo ready for sunshine, boating, skiing, jet skiing, tubing and everything fun about the lake house.

Ry's parents made a delicious meal for us Saturday night to celebrate Ry's bday early, complete with his favorite strawberry cake and a warm chiminea burning beside us.  They gave him a custom pair of cowboy boots for his birthday which he gets to design, and a giftcard to Richardson Bike Mart since he's been mountain biking a lot.

Jetta and Gabi playing in the water.

The weekend came to an end and we had to head back to Dallas, but the next day, Ry's actual birthday was so fun!  I made him his favorite meatloaf that I've blogged about before with twice baked potatoes, homemade salsa, guacamole, corn, fruit salad, and of course a white on white cake. {Call me Mrs. Meatloaf}  We had his parents and my parents over for dinner which was so fun to celebrate in our home with them.  What a sweet life we have. :)

I gave Ryan this really fancy flashlight he had been wanting, and a brick at the new Baylor Stadium.  Our legacy is now "forever immortalized" there.  Haha.  Jetta Belle, sweet puppy, gave her Dad a memory card for his Go Pro camera so now he can show us where he's mountain biking!  Rounding up the birthday gifts was a Patagonia shirt from Bass Pro, AR lighter (hehe), Dr. Pepper bbq sauce, and a Guns and Ammo magazine from my Mama, and a Bass Pro gift card from my Pops.

I can't speak for my hubs, but I think it was a pretty successful birthday and each year spending them with him gets a little sweeter.  I am truly loving being married to this man of mine.  Happy Birthday Ry!  We love you!
Happy Birthday love.

{Sarasota Sun}

Day 2 started off with waking up, out of our respected twin beds you know since I messed up the booking the night before and La Quinta only had those for us, haha.  We hopped in the car for another 4 hours, missing our baby girl Moosie, and with a few more bathroom stops than the other since my bladder was not having it Day 2.

We made it to Tampa and picked up Ry's mom and sister who had flown in (smart move!), and headed to sunny Sarasota.  Britt had to rush to the rehersal, but the rest of us got ready adn then headed to the rehersal dinner at Tommy Bahama's.  Yummy!!  There, Ryan and I met our new sweet cousin, Elise, and had fun hearing toasts to the happy couple.  We decided to grab some beers and play cards in our hotel room which we shared with Britt (so fun!) and call it a night since she had to be up way early the next morning for wedding festivities as a bridesmaid.
Cards with this beauty.

Day 3 started early!  Britt needed to be at the hair salon, and since neither of us enjoy functioning without coffee we found the cutest coffee nook, conveniently named The Coffee Nook, :), grabbed some coffee and headed there.  I headed home, enjoying the pretty Sarasota sights, went jogging on the treadmill, and showered, all while my sweet husband snoozed.

We met his parents and uncle for lunch at a BBQ joint, (BBQ in Florida?  Funny.) and enjoyed the patio with them while eating some, I'll give it to them, delicious bbq.  Not long after that we had to get ready for the wedding and reception so we got dressed and headed to the church.  It was a lovely ceremony, celebrating our sweet cousin and her new hubby.  The reception was a blast, complete with photobooth (so you know I was in hog heaven!), open bar (yum!), delicious buffet (yum!), cute little flower girls to swing around, and dancing the night away with my husband and his family.  What a blast!

Wedding reception with my handsome husband.

Sunday morning we went to the Ritz Carlton beach club, where Tim's, the groom, dad lives.  We had an excellent brunch on the beach, played some volleyball and swam before we had to hightail it to Tampa to get Britt and Mama Nabors to the airport.  After saying sad goodbyes we started for the LONG drive back to Texas.  It was not nearly as excited as heading there, but we did stop and see some baby gators and get some fresh orange marmelade.  The drive down the Florida panhandle felt like forever, but it was nothing compared to the last 4 hours of the trip since we were so eager to get home.
Baby Gators at the Florida Citrus Station.

All in all, I love traveling with my husband, and weddings mean so much to me after saying "I Do" to my love at our own.  All the emotions, and excitement, and love that radiates around weddings makes my heart do flips!  So, while we won't be roadtripping any time soon, except to the lake and back, we enjoyed it fully!

Florida sunset.

Honoring Mama Nabors' wishes and staying safe and holding hands. :)

Alabama wildflowers.

{Roadtripping - Day 1}

The Newly Nabors officially embarked on, and more importantly survived, their first road trip!  Yes, I believe I would deem this our first official road trip together - I can't bring myself to count all the back and fourth we did between Waco a road trip, though some might I suppose.

For starters, you might ask us, "Why on earth would you drive to Florida when you can hop on an airplane and be there today?"  Well, to that we would say, neither of us were very proactive in the searching for tickets, and when we began to they were well over the budget we wanted to spend.  Like... between airfare and hotel accommodations, we could have taken an all inclusive trip to Mexico!  With that being our reality, we geared ourselves up for a great time on the open road!

We trekked to sunny Sarasota, FL for the hub's cousin's wedding.  We left last Thursday, our first sunny day in a while, but boy was it chilly.  It definitely excited us for Florida where the weather was promising.  We had a hard time saying bye to sweet Jetta Belle, some of us more than others, caughhusbandcough, but we let her out in the back to enjoy the sunny day, knowing we left her in more than capable hands.

[I need to put our leaving picture here]
I was clearly the more excited of the two. :)

It was exciting to finally be on the road, with my Diners, Dine Ins, and Drives app and handwritten notes jotted down, iPad for playing, books/magazines for reading (when they weren't making me car sick), and the excitement of OUR first road trip.  I'm beginning to love calling things "ours".  Possessive, I know, but have you seen my hubs?  He's cute! - and I'm beyond proud to call him mine!

Our first stop was just inside the Louisiana border.  I, of course, had made a giant roadie coffee and whatdyaknow it left me needing to go pretty badly!  Ryan was "happy" to stop since we had atleast made it out of Texas.  That and I might have ruined his seat if he hadn't let us pull over.  I did offer to drive next as a consolation prize.

Our next stop happened in the happening (I use happening loosely - very loosely) city of Monroe, LA.  Ryan and I had planned to stop at the Duck Commander warehouse, duh, and pick up some Duck Dynasty gear/seriously hope we would see someone from the show.  It was clearly a long shot, and we didn't see anyone, but it was totally worth it.  It dissipated the stress of traveling and, for Ryan, my driving a little bit anway.
[I need to put our Duck Commander pic here]
Here's us out by the awesome signage.

Bearded Deer on the Wall at Duck Commander.

Made it to Mississippi!

We had planned on eating at Food Network recommended places along the way and back, but by the time we reached Monroe it was already 2 or 3pm with the first Food Network restaurant still being about an hour or 2 away.  So, we decided just to snag something quick and head back out again.

The rest of the day puttered along with minimal stopping, mainly for gas refills, until we arrived to Mobile, AL.  We were en route to head to Manci's, featured on DDD, when I saw a sign for flaming oysters at the Bluegill Restaurant.  Flaming oysters - yeah, it caught your attention too, right?  I mentioned it to Ry and said, we can go there if you want.  It seemed to be just along the access road, while Manci's was about 10 minutes out of the way, and Ryan did his fake crying thing and said, "Poohoohoo, I never get to had eated flaming oysters."  Y'all it's so great and hilarious when he does this.  Since I didn't particularly care and thought either places sounded good we detoured our previously planned Manci's dinner and pulled into the Bluegill parking lot.

Upon pulling in and parking, Ryan was not overly impressed with the restaurant from the outside.  I have to say, I wasn't either, seeing as the restaurant was placed next to two story, plantation-style seafood restaurants and this was just a single story building with not an overwhelming amount of curb appeal, but we were willing to give it a try!  After all, the sign said it had been around since 1958!  We went in and enjoyed possibly one of the best meals ever, and were soooo glad we stopped.
Flaming Oysters!

My crab cake sandwich and lick-your-bowl sweet potatoes.
Full and happy we started again for Florida and made it to Jacksonville, FL which felt like forever away!  I will admit too, it was raining like crazy on and off and I was starting to get REALLLLLLY sleepy, so around 1 am (Florida time - 12 pm Dallas time) we called it a night and stayed in the La Quinta.  We were using Ryan's Priceline Negotiator app and in my sleepy stupor I accidentally booked our room for the next night and not the current night since it was past midnight.  Grrr.. luckily they had a room, but it had two twin beds instead of a king.  Ryan walked in and said, ummm are you trying to tell me something?  It was a good laugh and we were both so tired and still had 4 hours to go in the morning, we didn't care.

Up next on the blog... Sarasota, the wedding, and the return!

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual warfare is something my community group has been spending a lot of time discussing lately.  So much so, that we're reading all about it in our Revelations study.  (We have been doing the Life Change Series - I highly recommend them!)  It looks like this:
It's amazing to me how as I've been studying it, I am more attune to it.  It is everywhere from my own life and within my family, in the lives of my community group, our country, and across the globe.  It's saddening to me, but I am studying up so I know how to be armed against it.

Lately I've had this recuring prayer, that the LORD would clothe me with everything I need to go into battle.  While I don't know what that battle is, or what my purpose will be, I have a thirst to know and be able to recall, scripture and fight for my LORD.  Let me just tell you, it is incredibly exciting to know the LORD is up to something.  :)

In discussing this recurring prayer on my heart with a friend, I found myself telling her part of me feels fired up and ready to take on whatever comes my way, and the other part of me is thinking, "what the heck are you asking to be tested for?  What if you fail?"  She reminded me that if I stay behind my Commander in Charge and continue to seek Him for guidance, how could I fail?

As for my thirst to know scripture, she reminded me how important it is to know scripture and it's truth.  Satan loves to take little nuggets of the truth and coil and twist them into something far from the truth.

My human flesh tends to gravitate towards compassion for people, heavily leaning into and relying on emotion to help make my decisions.  I have been praying to be less of a people pleaser, and to start really deciding what I think about things on my own.  Too often I find myself agreeing along with something somone says, not even stopping to think and process.  I'm also one of those who tend to see the LORD as the loving, compassionate, kind lamb and less of the wrathful, judgemental, jealous, almighty God that He is.  I've prayed to have a more balanced view of this, and so maybe that's part of this too.

While I don't know what the LORD is equipping me for, or why I have been feeling as though I am being trained, I am embracing it with open arms and enjoying the joy the LORD is bringing me in feeling so close to Him.  Praise!
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