Leslyn's Lovely Life: 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: How things went.

So I was going to write something really sentimental about this year and how it's flown by... But then I decided I wasn't going to waste time and just get to the good stuff. :) I decided to put things in categories to describe how successful I was in achieving my goals.

THINGS THAT DID NOT HAPPEN

- I didn't reach 1,000 blog followers via GFC. But you know what? I've gained about 200 new friends, and I wouldn't give any of you up for the world. :)

- Run a half marathon- I trained, and waited too long to sign up for one. Then we moved... And then as I was about to sign up for a half marathon, we found out that there was a little Baby J. So I'm thinking that I will start running after Baby J arrives. That should help me lose the pregnancy weight.

- Go on one unplanned trip with the hubs- We went on a planned trip though... So that's better than not having any kind of adventure!

- Reach my goal weight... Yeah, that didn't happen. And I will have to postpone that one for a little while longer. But I've realized that I can make healthier food choices that will set me up for success later on. It's very convenient that I'm craving fruits and veggies during this pregnancy.

THINGS THAT HAPPENED, BUT I WASN'T AS SUCCESSFUL AS I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN (THAT'S A REALLY LONG CATEGORY NAME)

 -Read the Bible more... Yeah, I might have read it more than I did the year before. But you know what? In this "category", there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Always.

- Shop less- the first half of the year, I was KILLING it. Then I got a job at J.Crew. A lot of the things I purchased were on super-sale for me, so that worked out. So the amount of money I spent on myself was significantly less. But I wish I would have resisted the urge to buy a few of the things. Lesson learned: Don't work in retail if you want to stop buying new clothes.

- Spend less time on my phone- Yeah, I spent less time on my phone. But I want to cut back even more... Instead of grabbing my phone as a default when I'm bored, I need to do different things that get my brain going.

-Read 20 books- I read 18.5 books. And of course, I waited until the very end to start the classic books. I had every intention of reading them in the past few days, but decided that family time was more important.

THINGS THAT DEFINITELY HAPPENED, AND IT WAS AWESOME

- We tried a TON of new recipes this year, and it was a blast! I love finding new recipes. So much so that I hardly ever repeat recipes. So maybe I should try to come up with several "go-to" recipes that we can always have.

- We bought a house. And we love it so much. And my bff's boyfriend lives two doors down from us, and we're going to have so much fun with our new neighbors. :) We. Can't. Wait.

- Get an amazing job- to call my job "amazing" would be an understatement. I have never been in such a wonderful working environment in my life. I am so blessed to have such an incredible group of colleagues, and I seriously work with the best students in the world. I never want to leave this place.

- Wash my face before I go to bed- sure, there were a few super late nights where I felt that sleeping was more important than washing my face, but I would say that I washed my face 95% of the time. This is a major upgrade from NEVER washing my face.

- I finished my master's degree with a 4.0. It was tough, but reading that final transcript was SO rewarding.

Well, overall, I would say that I did a pretty good job. 9/13... That's pretty good. Tomorrow, you can read all about my 14 goals in 2014.

How did you do this year? Let me know! :)

xoxo
Les


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Sunday, December 15, 2013

The one I've been waiting for.

"You're going to need to start fertility treatment if you want to get pregnant."

I sat in shock at the doctor's office this summer. Some weird stuff was going on, and I figured I should go in to find out what was wrong. After all, DJ and I were ready to start a family. Never in a million years would I have thought that we would be dealing with infertility.

I told my doctor I needed to talk to my husband about it before we made the decision to start the fertility treatment. We prayed about it, talked it through, and didn't feel a peace about it. The more we talked about it, the more we thought "God is bigger than this problem. If it is in His will for us to have a baby the traditional way, it will happen." We knew that we wouldn't be without a family forever. We have both always felt called to adopt, so we began talking about our options.

Month after month, I took a pregnancy test, and it was always negative. I felt disappointed, hurt, alone, and I questioned our decision to forego the treatment.

Fast forward to my birthday, November 9th. I had been sick in the few days leading up to it, so I had been feeling weird anyways. The morning of my birthday, my husband told me to use the Neti Pot. I made sure we filtered the water (because Mom sent me an article about people dying of a brain eating amoeba, all because they used bad water in their Neti Pot. Thanks, Mom). Then we went about our day, celebrating my 26th birthday. We were having such a blast. Then, my head started hurting and I felt funny. I lost my appetite. I thought "This is it. I'm going to die on my birthday because of a brain eating amoeba." Again, thanks Mom. We went to Wal-Mart to buy groceries for my birthday dinner, and as DJ was checking out, and I said "I'm just going to get a test." The whole time, I'm thinking "Leslyn, you're stupid for wanting yourself to feel disappointed on your birthday. You JUST took a test a week and a half ago. And it was negative. It's going to be negative, like it always is."Apparently, as my husband later told me, he was thinking something along those lines as well.

We checked out, went home. I took the test. It was positive.

Wait, what?

My heart started pounding uncontrollably. I fumbled to find the "instructions" from the test
(because every test is different)- and mine was DEFINITELY positive. I grabbed the test, ran into the dining room where DJ was standing.

"It's positive!!!!"
"What?"
"IT'S POSITIVE!!!!!"
"Wait… WHAT?!?!?!?!"
"IT'S POSITIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"HOLY COW!!!!!!!"

We both FLIPPED OUT. I cried like a baby, we hugged, it was just great. I drank two more giant glasses of water so I could take the second one.

It was positive too.

We went to Target to grab another test, just to make sure that we weren't losing our minds.

And y'all… It was positive too.

Those months of waiting were some of the most challenging months for me- trying to remember God's goodness through it all, waiting on Him, trusting in Him… It was not easy at all. But looking back on it, God waited until the perfect moment. It was the best birthday present. Oh… and get this… The baby is due on DJ's birthday. :)

I can't begin to describe to you how thankful I am that God gave us this little blessing

xoxo
Les

To my amazing friends who have been trying for a baby, or who can't have children- I love you. I am praying for you.  I know how difficult it is to see that negative pregnancy test over and over again. I know how hard it is to be completely happy for friends who announce they're having a baby. Up until last month, that was me. Please know that I am praying diligently for you every day, sister. God is good,  His plan is perfect. 





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Monday, December 9, 2013

A story to start off your week….

Hello, friends!

Before I tell you this story, I need you to understand something. When I tell stories, most people say "Oh, Leslyn, you're exaggerating." And then I somehow find a way to prove that I am, in fact, not exaggerating when it comes to the stories that I tell. I have also been notorious for being told "Leslyn, this would only happen to you." And that statement couldn't be more true. Okay. Just needed to get that out there.

As many of you know, Arkansas has experienced some inclement weather this weekend. Some people were saying it was going to be the worst ice storm we've seen in years, bla bla bla. So I thought to myself, "Self, you probably need to get to a place where the weather won't be as bad." So we packed up the car after the hubby got off work on Thursday, and went down to Monticello (where we used to live, and where his parents live).

The great thing about their house is that they have a bunch of land, so the pups can play and run around like crazy. They stayed outside most of the time, and we brought them in to warm up every so often.

Well, Saturday afternoon, we picked up Chip (the dachsund/yorkie… or Dorkie) to play with him, and we noticed that his stomach was crunchy. Of course, I went into panic mode, and I thought his intestines burst and that he was on his death bed (I have the tendency to think dramatic thoughts… I just don't say them out loud). He wasn't as playful as usual, and it really worried us. We decided we would call the vet first thing Monday morning. We put the pups in their crates that night, and went to bed.

DJ's dad woke us up in the middle of the night, and said that Chip was making some really strange, loud sounds downstairs. So DJ walked downstairs, and looked in Chippy's crate to see what was going on. He noticed that there were tiny rocks all over his crate.

And then he realized it….

Our stupid dog ate rocks. And pooped them out.

That's why his stomach was crunchy.

So poor DJ had to dump the poopy rocks outside, put Chip (who smelled like the poopy rocks) back in his crate, and brought the dogs upstairs to sleep in our room.

Sunday morning, I checked on Chippy. The crate was completely COVERED in poopy rocks. Again.

I've never seen anything like it, y'all.

And I, the sacrificial, wonderful spouse that I am (haha….), volunteered to clean out the rocks this time.

It. Was. Disgusting.

Meanwhile, Chippy was out rock-pooping all over their front porch. I cleaned it up too.

It was a mess.

Later on, we realized that DJ's dad dumped oil from his fish fry in the gravel drive in front of their house, so Chippy must have thought "Hm… This smells AWESOME. Let me eat the fishy rocks!"

I hope that poor dog learned his lesson and never eats rocks again.

Have a happy Monday, folks.

xoxo
Les


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Sunday, November 10, 2013

26...

Year 25 was fun- we bought a house, I landed the most amazing job ever, I finished my master's, we got 2 puppies… It was soooo good.

But I have a good feeling about 26- I can't wait to see what God has in store!

I mean, how could 26 not be awesome… Look at the amazing cake my husband made for me!


That's a peanut butter chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting… All made from scratch. 

I think he loves me. :) 

Anyways, I think that I'd like to do a 26 in 26 challenge… Any suggestions of what I could put on that list? Let me know!

Have a wonderful day!

xoxo
Les

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

4 years ago....

4 years ago today, a boy took a girl on their first date.

She was nervous, and I think he was too.

They went to a fun restaurant, and went to see the Michael Jackson movie (because they're awesome).

She didn't think he liked her that much, because he didn't hold her hand. Until the last 5 minutes of the movie (he later explained to the girl that he didn't want to get clammy hands on their first date).

They stood in line at a haunted house for nearly 2 hours, until they decided to just go back to their dorms.

He walked her to the door. And he kissed her.

She did the happy dance.

Of course, she waited until he couldn't see her anymore to do the happy dance.

And they lived happily ever after.

Mr. Jacks, thanks for taking me on that first date. I think we make a pretty darn good team.

xoxo
Les
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Priorities

Over the past few weeks, I've been feeling very convicted about something, and I thought I would share.

Since school started, I've gotten into a routine of not putting much effort into my home life. Although DJ and I weren't having issues, I wasn't being very intentional with our relationship. On most nights, I would get home from work, we would eat dinner together, and then I would do my own thing (watch Netflix in our room) while he did other things (read reddit/watch vines/watch youtube videos in the office or living room). It wasn't that we were trying to avoid each other or anything, we just got into this routine. This went on for about a month and a half. Suddenly, I realized that I missed my husband... the guy who was just down the hall. However, I didn't really know how to address it.

We went to church a few weeks ago, and they started a series called "No Place Like Home". In the bulletin, they added a 30 day challenge for families. As I was reading through the list, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity for me to bring up my concern to DJ. And when I did, he agreed with me 100%. We needed to change things up, because we didn't want to get to the point where we got used to not doing things together, and eventually put our marriage in a compromising position. We didn't want to forget how much we really need each other.

We decided that we were going to be more intentional in our marriage- instead of watching a movie because we couldn't think of anything else to do, we turned movie night into a fun event- where we experiment with different snacks to enjoy while we watch the movie. Or we would sit down together and research fun things that we could add to our house. We started walking our dogs together. The list goes on and on and on. And you know what happened?

We started appreciating each other so much more than we used to. We enjoyed each other's company more than ever. It was wonderful. And I don't miss watching Netflix as much as I thought I would.

So let me challenge you- what are your priorities right now? How intentional are you in your relationships? If things aren't where they're supposed to be, try a different approach- you will be surprised at how fulfilling it is.

xoxo
Les
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Exciting Announcement

I'm very excited to announce a new blog collaboration!

One of my very best friends and I started The Freckled Blog, and I hope you'll follow us! It'll be an extension of this blog... Except probably even more interesting because you'll be getting two opinions. ;)

Follow us? Pretty please?

xoxo
Les
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our newest addition!







Meet our little buddy, Chip! Isn't he the cutest thing you've ever soon? I'm so glad we had an impulsive moment and decided to find another puppy! :)

xoxo
Les
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

You're Invited


And guess what... If you RSVP to this event, you'll get 20% off of your purchase!!! Just comment below and let me know you're coming!

xoxo
Les
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Friday, July 12, 2013

The Coolest Guy I Know...





It's this good looking guy's birthday today. He has to put up with me every single day, which makes me love him even more. ;) I'm so honored that he chose to do life with me. He's the best. 

Deej- I love you so much. Happy birthday, boo. 

xoxo
Les

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Friday, July 5, 2013

The story of us... Part 7

A few days after my senior recital, DJ =called me around 5:00, and said "Hey, I'm really not feeling well, and I would just about kill for a bowl of Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings. All my friends already left for dinner, and I was hoping you could come with me?"

He's sick, Leslyn. Don't be a jerk, just go with him.

"Okay. See you in a few minutes."

So we went to Cracker Barrel. He really was sick. We ate dumplings, talked about our weekends, and talked about our plans for fall break (we left the next day). And then we get to the cash register. He insists upon paying for dinner. "Oh, really... Please don't do that. I've got it." "No, I want to. I just appreciate you coming with me."

Well, he did kinda make your life miserable when the break up happened. At least you should let him pay for your dinner. And no, this is not a date.

"Okay... thanks." So then, as we're leaving, he says "I have this huge paper that's due tomorrow, and I know that you're a great writer... Will you help me out with it?"

He's sick, Leslyn. Don't be a jerk. Just help him out.

"Okay."

So I helped him with his paper. For two hours. Let me remind you that we are still very much broken up. Once we finish his paper, he says "I could really use a Frosty from Wendy's right now. You wanna come?

Umm... what the crap is going on.... NO. I don't want to go with you. But I really like Frosties...

"Okay."

After we get our Frosties (is it Frosty's or Frosties? I don't even know... this is seriously bothering me as I type this), he drops me off at my dorm.

"Well, see you later."
"Thanks for hanging out with me tonight and helping me with my paper. You're awesome."
I know. You're lucky I am even talking to you after breaking my heart the way you did, jerk dude. 
"Thanks. See you soon!"

What the heck just happened?! I need to talk to somebody about this.

So I went to my friend's dorm room, and we had a 30 minute talk about it. She didn't know how to explain this strange behavior. Then DJ called again.

"I need to talk to you. Right now."
This. Is. Getting. Ree. Diculous.
"Uh.... Okay? I'll meet you outside my dorm"

So we walked. For about 15 minutes. And he didn't say a word.

Wow, I'm so glad that I am taking the precious time that I could be using to study to just walk and say nothing. This is pret-ty darn awesome.

Finally, we sit down on a bench in the music building. Still no words.

"Sooooo..... what did you need to talk to me about?"

"Leslyn, I'm in love with you. I was stupid for ever letting you go. I knew all along that I loved you, and that you were the one for me. I was too stubborn to allow myself to feel that way about anyone. But I want to be with you. I love you."




That's the face I made. No words. Nothing.

"Uh.... Leslyn.... Will you say something."

I love you too and I've known almost since the beginning that I was going to marry you and I am so happy right now that I could throw up!!!!

"I don't know if I believe you, DJ."

Nice... way to play it cool, Leslyn. 

"Let me prove it to you. I'll do whatever it takes."

So we talked about all of the gory details (ya know, the ones I decided not to share), and he walked me back to my dorm. I hugged him.

"So... can I get a kiss?"

This is what I was thinking....




"Nope. Not until I know for sure that this is real."
"But you know that I've never told a girl that I loved her."
"I know that. But I need you to show me that I can trust you. This whole thing will be completely on my terms. Until I'm ready, I will not kiss you. Hugs will have to suffice."
"Okay."

So we hugged. For over a month (I'm so cruel).

But that second first kiss- it was like fireworks. It was the best kiss I've ever had.

Check back soon for part 8.

xoxo
Les
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Story of Us- The one that's hard to write about.

Before I tell you this part of our story, I need you to know that I have been postponing this for weeks, simply because I've been trying to figure out the best way to write about it. So I've decided to only share a certain facet of it. If you're one of my close friends, you know that there is more to this. ;)

When you're in a relationship with someone, you're supposed to get in arguments- you should be comfortable enough around each other to be your true self. Well, with DJ and I, we NEVER got in an argument- I tried to stay calm and under control when he would push my buttons (and did he EVER push my buttons). I didn't want to scare him off by reacting the way I really wanted to. After 9 months of no fighting, and having fun, we realized that we were at a crossroads. Our relationship didn't have much depth at all, and after almost a year, it should have had SOME depth. So, without giving you all of the gory details (that's the whole "sharing a certain facet" thing), we broke up. We both cried. It was just plain awful. I didn't sleep, could barely eat, and was miserable. The thing is that I KNEW that we were supposed to be together. It just didn't make sense.

We didn't speak for almost two months. We saw each other on campus occasionally, and it was super awkward. The night before classes started, he told me that he wanted to get back together, and I told him that I wasn't so sure. So then we didn't talk again. It was so frustrating when we kept on running into each other (oh, the joys of going to a small school). Eventually, I couldn't handle it anymore. So I texted him, and asked him if he would meet me in the parking lot. I looked him in the eye, and told him (and lied): "Look, I don't ever want to date you. But seriously, you were my best friend, and our friendship was too good to let go. Can we just be friends, without worrying about getting back together again?" He said yes.

So then, when we bumped into each other, it wasn't so awkward anymore. We would occasionally spend 10-15 minutes with each other, but besides that, there was nothing else going on. I felt ahuge sense of relief, simply because I didn't feel this anxiety every day about running into him- it wasn't that big of a deal.

He came to my senior recital (his sweet grandma drove up too! It made my day!), and afterwards he took me to Sonic as my post-recital present... His mom called to see how it went, and he told her that I was absolutely beautiful, and that I never sounded better. That's kinda weird when your friend-turned-boyfriend-turned-ex-boyfriend-turned-friend-again says that. But I tried not to think anything of it.

I should have known what was coming next...

And you'll find out what that was next week.

xoxo
Les
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Friday, May 31, 2013

80% of our Home

You're not going to believe this.

I'm actually about to post pictures of our home. It's taken me FOREVER to work up the guts to do this. 

As I said yesterday, this is most definitely a work in progress. There are a ton of things that I want to add (art/photos, rugs, end tables, lamps, etc.), but I know that there are many of you who have begged me to post pictures of our house. So here's what we've got! 


For the most part, I feel like our living room is complete. I think a larger rug would make a huge difference, and we are still investigating a cheap way to deal with that massive (but glorious) window. Any suggestions would be welcome! :)


This antique desk belonged to DJ's grandpa, Daddy Lou. We've had it since we first got married, and we love it. I'm too scared to paint it, so it's going to stay the way it is. :) Also, DJ's mom made that beautiful piece of art for us, and gave it to us at a wedding shower. She's awesome. 


This is one of my favorite views in the house. First of all, my rockstar husband built that coffee table. It's everything that I could have ever asked for. Secondly, I've always loved candles in a fireplace, so I'm very excited that I get to enjoy that every day! Then the box (that DJ's dad built) of hydrangeas on the mantel. It's just perfect. :) 


This is the new couch we bought! It wasn't too expensive (considering the quality of couch we were getting), and it was one of the prettiest ones that we looked at! I'm so pleased with it! And it doesn't sink like the other couches did (a huge bonus). :)


This is one of my "work in progress" stations. DJ's dad built this beautiful kitchen island for us, and now it's in our living room. The apple crate ($4 at an antique store) holds all of our Scentsy... uh... scents? Anyways, we are looking for the perfect baskets to make this space more functional. 


Here's the view from the dining area! Someday (meaning several years down the road), we would like to install two bookshelves on either side of the window and add crown molding for a built-in effect. Then we would want to build a long bench underneath the window to store toys for the little ones.


Here's another project area- I think we're going to add a rug to our entryway.


Here's guest room number 1! We are currently looking for some cute night stands for this bed, so this one has to do for now! DJ built the headboard, and I think it goes perfectly with the other piece of furniture in this room. We're looking for some art to hang on the wall to add interest.


This was a hand-me-down from my mom, and I absolutely love it! We got it from IKEA years ago, and it's one of my favorite pieces in our house. We took one of those $10 Wal-Mart mirrors (the really flimsy ones from college), added ribbon, and turned it sideways for a different look. Eventually, I'd like to add something a little bit larger to hang above the console, but I think this looks adorable for now! 


Here's our little gallery wall! 


So here's the deal with this table and this set of chairs. They work for now, but by the end of the year, we're building a new table. This one will be repainted and moved into my office. I wish it could happen now, but I'll be patient. I know my dream office is worth the wait. Speaking of dream office (and the other guest bedroom), I didn't take pictures of them because the lighting was terrible in there. But fret not- pics will come soon. Also, look at that jute rug under our table. I'm. In. Love.


Here's our little kitchen! And although it's small, we have a TON of storage space, and we love it.


Our little coffee station that we love.


I spy a Luna.


I painted this platter a few months ago, and I always get so many compliments on it! I love painting pottery- I just wish it weren't so dang expensive.


Here's our master bedroom! Those are actually three windows, but the way I hung my curtains kinda make it look like it's one big window. I really like that effect. As you can see ,we desperately need stuff on our walls and a rug, but that's okay. We'll deal with it for now.



The bathroom needs a little TLC right now, so I'll post on it later.

So there you have it! What do you think? Do you have any fun suggestions regarding decor, paint, or furniture arrangement? I'd love to know!

xoxo
Les
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Decorating our home

As many of you know, we moved into a beautiful house in March. It's been my dream home since last July, and the Lord just blew the doors open for us to buy it. It seriously is the most amazing house, and I love every minute that I get to spend in it. Cleaning is something I actually enjoy now, simply because I feel proud of our home (sorry, little apartment, you just weren't cutting it for me).

Speaking of the little apartment (and the rent house... remember that? The one with pink walls and green carpet? That was fun... *shudder*), it was half the size of our house. While the rent house was bigger than the apartment, it had the strangest layout. So when we moved here, we suddenly had 4 bedrooms instead of 2, and a massive living room that needed more furniture. 

This is my moment where I vent for a second... I promise it won't be that bad.

It's discouraging for me to see blogs of homes that are fully decorated. They claim that it cost them just $200 to COMPLETELY redecorate their living rooms. Uh, last time I checked, the paint alone is going to cost that much, if you're lucky. While we have a neutral color in every room of our house, it's a very dark neutral. And I'm not loving it. It will cost us well over a thousand dollars to repaint our house- and that's if we just do it ourselves. It will take forever. 

So here's my promise:

I'm going to post pictures of the house very, very soon. I'll show you pictures of what it looks like right now... ya know, without stuff hanging on the walls, no furniture in one room, everything. Then I'll show you the (extremely, painstakingly slow) transformation. Be prepared for this to last several years. But hey, I guess blogging is all about the process, right? 

xoxo
Les 


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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The story of us... Part 5



So I'm a total and complete rude-face and left you guys hanging with our story. Sorry about that!

Just a quick review of where we left off- we went to see Up with some friends, and I wanted him to hold my hand, and he didn't. Lame-o.

After the movie was over, there were a bunch of us who were walking back to the dorms, and he leaned over to me, and said "I don't want to stop hanging out with you. Let's leave."

So we did.

We went to Wal-Mart, bought pumpkins and carving kits, and I carved a pumpkin for the very first time in my life. Yup. I was 21 years old when this happened. We were freezing to death outside of the student center (because that's the only place where males and females can hang out together at my alma mater), but we had a blast talking, telling stories, and getting to know each other outside of rehearsals. In our conversation, he discovered that I didn't know how to drive a stick shift, and he insisted upon taking me to an old parking lot to teach me.

Let's just say that no matter how hard he tried, I still can't drive a stick shift. Haha :)

Several days later, he sent me a text: "Hey, what are you doing on Friday or Saturday?" I, thinking that he would only want to carve another pumpkin or something, say "Oh, just studying. What about you?"

"I would like to take you out on a date. Dinner and a movie? Friday?"

Y'all.

I literally jumped in the air when I got that text. I mean, it was kinda lame that he asked me out over a text, but at least I could react the way I wanted to, right?

So we went on our first date on October 30, 2009. We went to Genghis Grill, Starbucks, watched "This Is It" (where he held my hand only in the last 10 minutes of the movie, because he didn't want to get in the awkward situation of us having to hold hands when they're all clammy... you KNOW what I'm talking about), and we stood in line at a haunted house for an hour and a half (we left, because we didn't feel like waiting an additional 3 hours). At the end of the night, he walked me to my door, and he kissed me. It was so precious. The next day, we went on another date, and it was so much fun. Our relationship was a blast- there's no other way to put it. We were always having fun together, and it was light-hearted. This went on for 9 months.

Check back next week to find out what happened next! :)

xoxo
Les
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

The story of us Part 4 // Music




So this kind of goes together with the link up.... Today's topic is "Educate us on something you are good at."

Here's Part 4 of "The Story of Us" read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here.

It was Tiger Tunes week. Here are a few of the clips of the performances.

My hot hubs singing a song.



So dreamy, right?

Here are the girls singing Beyonce....



Yes. I'm the one in the green.



I'm telling y'all... it was so much fun.

So Tiger Tunes happened. And as any other former hoho knows (for those of you reading this for the first time, you seriously need to go back and read the other parts of the series. Or else this will seem kinda strange to you), you get a ton of attention the week of tunes, and then your life gets back to normal.

And that's exactly what happened.

After all the hype was over, I thought to myself, "DJ is one of those who will never hang out with you again. I mean, he never did before Tunes, why would he start now?"

And I was partially correct.

I may not have seen him a ton on campus (again, when you're a music major, you live in the music building), but he would send me random texts every so often. He would make up excuses to call or text me (like asking what was happening on a TV show.. he could have easily googled it or watched the show, but instead, he called me), but I never caught on to it at all.

I remember a few weeks after Tunes was over, he wanted to go to the campus movie night, and there were several of us who went together. We watched UP, and I remember distinctly thinking to myself "I kinda want to hold his hand. WAIT! STOP IT LESLYN. You're not going to date anyone, remember? You're going to stay single forever. GET. IT. TOGETHER." So we never held hands.

But after the movie was over, something happened.

Of course you're going to stay tuned for next week to find out what.

BUT I will tell you about my area of expertise- which is music! :)

Here's the thing with music- most of the time, it's something that's a natural inclination. If you want to become a better singer, the best thing you can do is record yourself singing, listen to it again, and see what you need to do differently. If it ends up being a complete hot mess, take voice lessons!! I'm a voice teacher, and I've worked with some cray cray people who can't carry a tune in a bucket when they get started. However, because they get professional training, they improve. And while they may not be the next Mariah, they can at least get through a song and sound decent.

A huge part of singing is CONFIDENCE. I usually don't have a huge personality when I sing, but in order to be entertaining to watch, I have to do SOMETHING. Never just stand still and look bored when you're singing. That's basically the worst thing you could ever do. So get in touch with your inner Beyonce, and blow them away!

Also, if you want to learn how to riff, this is by far my fave video series.


I hope that this helpful! 

Check back next week for Part 5 of "The Story of Us" series, and check back tomorrow for a recap of my week, an extra giveaway, and Day 3 of my link up with Jenni

xoxo
Les
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Story of Us. Part 3

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

After meeting DJ, I immediately thought he was the nicest guy. He was always in a good mood, and was positive all the time. The group of hoho's got together once a week to discuss song selection for the show (we started this in March, and the show wasn't until October. I told you this was a big thing at OBU). I noticed very quickly that we had very similar tastes in music, so he automatically was cool in my book.

We never really hung out outside of those meetings. In fact, I hardly saw him around campus. When you're a music major, you never leave the music building. So I only saw him in those meetings, and we would just engage in small talk.

Summertime came, and we didn't talk at all. I was in Missouri working at a camp (one of the most life-changing, wonderful things that ever happened to me), and I got to the point where I was so satisfied in the Lord that I came to the conclusion that I didn't need a man to make me happy. I was seriously to the point where I didn't care about dying single. I decided at that moment, I would stop looking for relationships and focus on mine with the Lord. There was nothing more satisfying to me.

Hoho's have a certain privilege of moving into the dorms a week earlier than all of the other students. This gave us extra time for dance and vocal rehearsals. It was so much fun. We all hung out with each other all the time- we went to the lake whenever we had the chance (one time. Haha), ate together in the caf (because non of us felt like eating with the athletes who were already on campus) (OBU tries to call their cafeteria "The Commons". It will never work, OBU. It will always be the caf). Once school started, and we had rehearsals every night. It was nuts trying to balance classes, homework, friends, and Tiger Tunes. But I somehow made it work.

There was one rehearsal in particular where DJ was rehearsing his solo (trust me... there will be video of it next week), and the rest of us were watching him. I remember so clearly thinking to myself "DJ is such an incredible guy. Whoever he marries is going to be one lucky girl."

Yup. I thought that. Again, let me reiterate- dating was NOT on my radar. It never crossed my mind that I might want to date him (let alone MARRY him). I guess it was one of those moments where I realized that I had so much respect for him. Crazy, huh?

Before we knew it, it was show time.

Check back for part 3 next Thursday. :)

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Story of Us. Part 2

You can read Part 1 of this series here.

When I transferred to OBU, I only had one goal in mind (besides graduating and all...). That goal was to be a tiger tunes hostess. In the weeks leading up to the audition, I was trying to decide what I was going to sing for my audition. I called on a former hoho, and asked his opinion of me singing the song. He said it was perfect.

I was so excited when audition day came. I could hardly stand it. I actually stepped out of a rehearsal for about 15 minutes so I could do my audition. I played for 3 of my friends, and then I sang "You Found Me" by The Fray. It really wasn't my best performance. It was actually kind of terrible. I walked off the stage, feeling like my goal just slipped through my fingers. It was over. I went back to class (which was in the recital hall), and tried to move on with my life.

Every year, there's an international food festival at OBU. They serve really yummy, delicious treats, and then they decide to go all crazy on you and throw in gross things like cow intestines or snakes. Yup. Anyways, one of my best friends Maggie and I were there. Well then she got a phone call, and she found out she was a hoho!!! I was so proud of her! Then I realized that I didn't have my phone with me. Of course, the panic set in, and I HAD to find my phone. At that very instant. So we left our plates, and ran. I remembered that the last time I used the phone was in the recital hall, so I ran over there with Maggie. When we got there, a guy walked out of the recital hall (we actually ended up dating for a couple of months after this incident... but let's not go there right now), and I asked him if he had seen my phone. He grabbed it for me, and I saw that I had several missed calls from an unknown number.

I made it.

Maggie and I did a happy dance.


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Then my roomie joined us in the happy dance.

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A few hours later, I got an email (and I still have it) listing all of the hoho's. I recognized all of the names. Except for one.... Some guy named DJ.

Obviously I had to facebook stalk him to find out what he looked like.


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Y'all. That boy was fiiiiiine.

A couple of days later, I saw him walking across campus with one of my friends.

"Hey, DJ? I'm Leslyn! We're hoho's together! I'm so excited to finally meet you!"

---

To be continued.
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Where it all began...

I'm going to take a break from the 10 random things posts, simply because I'm experiencing writer's block. Instead, I am going to tell you the sweet, sappy story about me and the hubs. Plus, I've had this empty "Love Story" tab at the top of my blog for a LONG time now, so it's about time that I fix that.

So here we go.

1994.

You're probably thinking to yourself "What the whaaa? 1994?!"

Yes. It all starts there.

A bouncy, chipper 6 year old little girl is about to watch her oldest cousin perform. It's this little thing that all Ouachitonians love. It's called Tiger Tunes.

Every homecoming, alumni gather and watch this incredible performance where the fraternities and sororities social clubs (gotta love the Baptist schools) compete against each other. It gets pretty intense. Just YouTube it, and you'll be blown away.

Anyways, there's a group of hosts and hostesses that performs between every act. Basically, if you become a host and hostess, you're a celebrity the week you find out you made it (February), and then you're a celebrity the week of Tiger Tunes (October). In between those two events, people don't really care. So my cousin was a Host (or as we affectionately call them, HoHo's. Not the most Baptist name, but whatever).

That fateful evening, I was watching the HoHo's sing Bonnie Raitt, do some weird hula limbo thing, motorcycles came out on stage, and I knew.

I was going to be a HoHo someday.

We videotaped it, and I watched Tiger Tunes on a daily basis for 2 years.

I'm not exaggerating.

My brother and I even memorized the HoHo's dance moves, and performed in front of the TV.

Yup.

We were those kids.

Fast forward 12 years.

I go to Belmont University... The place that doesn't have Tiger Tunes. And there was this little part of me that was sad about it. After all, it was my DREAM to be a HoHo. But I told myself I would be able to perform.

In Nashville...

Yeah right. Unless you have some kind of deal, nobody wants to hear you.

Anyways, I left Belmont. Begrudgingly. But then I transferred to OBU in 2008.

To Be Continued....
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekly Outfit

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful, happy weekend!

Here's my outfit of the week:





Dress: Everly // Boots: Belk (similar) // Necklace: Etsy

This is one of those dresses that I'm always nervous to wear, but I really think it photographs beautifully!

Have a fantastic day! :)

xoxo
Les

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

My $40 Mantel Makeover

Hello Darlings.

This photo has been circulating around Pinterest for a while.


Super cute, right? 

Well, I have been longing for the day where we would own a home so we could mount the TV and do this.

Friends, the time has come. We own a home. 

My crazy AWESOME father-in-love (you know, the one who built our island?) made this BEAUTIFUL flower box for us. And it's made out of wood from DJ's great-grandparents house. So pretty, right? 


Once he built the flower box, the hubs and I basically sprinted (or drove... you know... same difference) to Garden Ridge to pick up some fake hydrangeas (Y'all, I'm not about to ruin my white mantle. Sorry I'm not sorry), and two amazing candle holders that were on clearance!

Here's the finished product:



I'm in love with it. 

xoxo
Les

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Dress

Hey everyone!

So my mom is super awesome, and she took me shopping a few weeks ago when I was in Houston. She got me this adorable dress for Easter, and I am in love with it! I can't wait to wear it this summer, and then layer it with other fun stuff when the weather gets cooler... And I may or may not have planned out the potential outfits. Haha!





Dress: J Crew Outlet // Necklace: Mary's Boutique (similar here) // Shoes: Nine West (similar here) // Earrings: Nine West // Lipstick: MAC 

I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! 

See you tomorrow? Same time, same place?

xoxo
Les

P.S. **SIDE NOTE - I totally had a wardrobe malfunction, and had to make a last minute change for my Easter outfit. Of course there will be a post in the future. 


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Monday, March 25, 2013

OOTD

Hello lovelies!

I'm back with my weekly outfit posts!



Dress: TJ Maxx (similar here) // Belt: Vintage (similar here ) // Shoes: Sperry (similar here) // 
Necklace: J. Crew (similar here) 

Have a wonderful Monday!

xoxo
Les
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Dream Job



Growing up isn't as fun as people say it is.

I remember being at OBU, desperately wanting to "be done" with college. I mean, having open dorm rules is super lame, especially when that means that you and your boyfriend can only watch movies in the student center on the weekends (as I said, super lame). However, while I was wishing my college life away, I didn't think about the stresses that are involved with having a career.

As many of you know, I taught in the public school last year. I L-O-V-E-D seeing my students every day, and I loved being a difference-maker. However, the work environment was a nightmare. To the point where I got so sick, and I had to leave at the end of the school year. So I decided to follow my dream of getting an even higher degree, and I enrolled in graduate school. I've learned SO much, grown in every way imaginable, and can't believe that my time as a grad student is coming to an end.

Last October, I found out that my dream job was open, and that the institution was hiring. I got my hopes up. Big time. Everything seemed almost too perfect- the timing of the search to fill the position, the timing of me finishing my degree. I told people to start praying that it would happen for me. I sent in my application, and the waiting game began.

A week ago today, I found out that they didn't want me. I was devastated. I fought tears. THIS WAS MY DREAM JOB.

and i didn't get it.

For some strange reason, once the reality of not getting the job set it, I felt a strange peace, something I was most certainly not expecting, considering the circumstances. It's like I could hear God saying "Just wait until you see what I have in store for you. It's better than what you could have ever imagined."

So now, I am back at square one. I have absolutely no idea where I am going to work next year. As of right now, the thought of teaching again scares me, simply because I don't want to have the same experience that I had last year again. I would be foolish to put myself in that situation. I literally have no idea where I'll be in a few months.

Here's to the unknown, and trusting that God (as always) knows best.
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The big announcement...

We're MOVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Goodbye, apartment life.

Goodbye, shady neighbors who sweep their cigarette butts in our flower bed and play rap music so loud that we can hear it in our bedroom when the door is shut (we share a living room wall with them).

Goodbye, crazy rules that won't allow us to paint. 

Luna says goodbye to having to be on a leash every time she goes potty.

But in all seriousness, I need to tell you the story behind this house. Because seriously, it's a God thing. Through and through.

Last July (a month after we moved here), DJ and I knew we were eventually going to buy a house in this particular area, so we went to a bunch of open houses to figure out what we should expect when we're actually ready to buy a house. DJ's parents happened to be in town, so it was fun to get their input. We probably looked at 6-7 houses, and then we came to this one. I was instantly drawn to the HUGE window (I call it the Christmas tree window) and shutters. When we walked through the house, I couldn't believe how beautiful everything was- hardwood floors, granite counter tops, custom cabinets, the massive master bedroom... I mean, you guys. It was a dream home. And it was in our price range (which was not very high). It has 4 bedrooms, which was so perfect for when we're ready to start a family. It had a huge back yard. It had everything we could ever want. But as I said, it was JULY. We had just moved into our apartments in June. When we left this home, I was nearly in tears. DJ's mom said "Leslyn, God is going to work it out. If this isn't the house for you, He'll make it clear. And if it is, He will make it so obvious that you'd have to be crazy not to get it."

Over the next 5 months, DJ and I would occasionally drive to that town and walk through some more open houses. All of the other houses sold, except for this one. And then the newer houses that we walked through sold. I kept on thinking about this house and mentioning it, but DJ kept on saying "No, we need to stop thinking about this house. There's no way we'll end up there." 

In January, we contacted an agent, told him what our requirements were, and he sent us a list of houses we could walk through. This one was on it. We told him about several other houses we wanted to look at, and I told DJ that I couldn't stop thinking about this one, and he admitted that he also wanted to look at it again. We walked through all of the houses, and were about to put an offer on a foreclosed house. It was bigger than this one, but it was surrounded by super sketchy looking homes, and we eventually found out that everyone in that neighborhood was being foreclosed on. We also saw a foundation problem, and the type of loan we're getting doesn't allow buyers to purchase a home with structural issues. 

That only left one more choice. The house of my dreams (and eventually, DJ admitted that it was the house of his dreams too). 

So here we are, the week that we close. And I still can't believe it's our home. 

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