Thankful.


God's grace
It honestly amazes me. I am so unworthy of His never ending love but he is constantly giving it to me. I feel that the Lord has been absent from my writing a lot lately and I hate that. I want His love and life to be in everything I share and say here. He is my heart and I want that to show with this blog. I want the happiness to be shining through Him and for the struggles to be secured by Him. I want everything I do to be connected to His love and His grace. I am so fortunate to know this overwhemling and peaceful type of love that our Father can only give. I'm so thankful for that every single day.


Peter
That man. He is a good one and I am constantly amazed at his goodness. No, he isn't perfect… there are flaws, but those aren't meant to be shared here. I am a firm believer that those negative things should stay within your home behind closed doors. Something for a husband and wife to work out together, alone. I'm not broadcasting our negative attributes as spouses here, but I do love to share the wonderful things about him because he deserves to be doted on.
He is easy. Easy to love, easy to like, and easy to be around. I recently had a conversation with one of Peter's friends that has known him for a VERY long time and he said some things that made me feel like a proud wife. He complimented him in ways only a true friend could. Said things that I know are true because I live with him. He is a GOOD person. Easy to love, easy to like, and easy to be around. I'm so thankful to have a husband that makes life easy in the best way possible, but not by giving me what I want, or telling me what I want to hear. He pushes me, he asks the hard questions, but he also makes it so easy to give everything I can back to him. That man. He is a good one and I am so thankful that he's mine.


the unknown
Life as a type A planner can be hard sometimes. I like to have everything neat and organized in my planner but I know that my plans only mean so much. I know that HIS plans are in control. My whole future has already been written, which is comforting. I truly am thankful for the unknown ahead of me. The questions aren't scary because I know who answers them. I know that I can only plan so much, so the unknown ahead is exciting.


family
Not only am I thankful for the family of two that we have created in this past year as husband and wife, but I am thankful for the combination of our families. I have loved gaining a second mother. I love having sisters now, and more brothers. It is so amazing to have over 30 something cousins now, when I only had two before I said I Do. Family is such a beautiful thing and the way that we can grow with two families becoming one is a true gift from the Lord.


my mom
And speaking of family… I honestly don't know what I would do without my Mom. I'm thankful that I never went through that normal phase in life when it was cool to hate my mom. She has always been my best friend. The one person who I could tell anything to. She loves me like no one else ever could, or ever will. It is a deeper kind of love that only a mother can know. I look forward to knowing that kind of love because she did it so well. With every year that I live, I am reminded that she will always be there. On my side, by my side and always there for me.
I'm also extremely thankful for the amount of love that she has for Peter. She loves him like a true son. She supports us and I know that she would do anything for him. That is such a wonderful blessing.


girlfriends
I was told that my friends will cut in half after becoming a wife but I am so happy that this has not proven to be true. I love the girlfriends that the Lord has blessed me with. I love that we share the same heart beat for His Kingdom and we can be transparent with each other. We can vent, share our dreams, share our fears, and openly share anything else because we know it is a safe place. I love doing life with the core set of women in my life.


Grace Church
Oh, our church and how we love it. We are always learning new things to apply in our life from the biblically orriented teaching. The community that we have created there in the past two years has been so wonderful and I miss the weeks that we don't meet for our bible study. And the sweet kids, the precious (and sometimes roudy) three year olds that we teach every other Sunday have blessed my heart so much. I went into the teaching with Peter thinking that it would help cure some of the baby fever but it has done the exact opposite. I can't wait to have babies and see how their hearts will grow because of the teaching our church gives. It is a beautiful thing!


my job
I've started to say this little quote when I talk about work... "I don't hate Monday mornings, but I really love Fridays", and I think that is a beautiful place to be. I spend more time at work than I do at home, so I'm glad I love it. I'm thankful for the impact that I make during the day and the people I have around me. I know that is a true gift!


this space
Over the past several years this blog has evolved. It has changed into some things I thought I wanted, and I've realized just recently that I don't have to try so hard. This place shouldn't feel like a second job. It is a safe place for me to share myself and if that means not posting 5 days in a row or even taking two weeks off, that is okay. I'm so thankful for a husband that keeps me in check when it comes to my blog, also. He reminds me that I shouldn't care about how many clicks I have in a day - but focus on showing His love, grace and His story within our life here. Everything is for His glory, and I'm so happy that He gave me Peter to help me remember that.


Happy Thanksgiving, loves!
Hope you are surrounded by loved ones and filled with His love today!!
...and need stretchy pants for all that food, of course ;)

{Photo above is property of Living on Cloud Nine blog, 
& artistic property of Red Apple Tree Photography}

7 Things You [Maybe] Didn't Know About Me // One Lovely Blog Award


I was nominated by my sweet friend, Cassie from Sage the Blog for the
One lovely blog award! Thanks for the love!!!
Here are seven things about me that you might not know....


1//  I really love celebrity gossip, and I really wish I didn't. 
E!News is one of my favorite shows.

2//  I get really hyper before going to sleep for some strange reason?
Peter really doesn't understand it.

3// I'm not a huge fan of breakfast, I hardly ever want it.

4// I love to entertain because service is one of my top two love languages.

5// but my first love language is gifts, not expensive gifts - 
just little cards or even a cup of tea without asking for it.

6// speaking of cards, I could spend hours in a card shop looking through every single card.

7// I completely ignored my husband when I met him for the first time, it wasn't until our second meeting that he caught my attention.


rules:
--You must display the award logo at the top of your post
--You must thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog in your post
--You must add these set of rules to your post so that your nominees will know what to do
--You must add 7 facts about yourself into the post
--You must nominate 7 other blogs and leave links to each of them in your post
--You must let the people you have nominated know that they have been nominated
--You must follow the person back who nominated you on Bloglovin’ and GFC (if you have one)

nominations:
Bailey Jean // BRAVE LOVE
Lauren // LOVE LOLA
Wendi // WENDI NUNNERY
Bethany // LOVE BURTS
Kiki //IN ITS TIME
Christina // CAROLINA CHARM

Crafting and Wrapping.

You may recall some fun Fall Crafts from back in September at my Mom's house, so we clearly wanted to work on some Christmas crafts together! Whitney had her heart set on some square wreaths for her windows (which turned out SOOO cute!!) and my Mom worked on a beautiful reindeer art piece that isn't quite finished yet. I couldn't figure out what kind of craft I wanted to do so I decided to start on my Christmas wrapping, instead! Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things to do and since I fell in love with several paper choices a couple weeks ago in Atlanta, I was dying to get started! 


Some snacks, crafts and a lot of laughs! 
A very fun night with two of my favorite people :)
I'm so glad we will make this a yearly tradition!

Do you have any Christmas traditions that you look forward to? 

Weekend Essentials.

During my weekends I have several things that I love to happen! 
I like to think that they are my Weekend Essentials & make my weekend complete...


1// dinner with Peter.
It doesn't happen every week but most Fridays are his deal. He works half days on Friday so he has time to go to the store, pick up some food and prepare dinner. It is one of my favorite things since being married. Coming home after a long week and soaking in some quality time with Peter around our kitchen table. I do all the cleaning afterward to say thank you, of course! (ps, five dollar chickens at Earthfare on Fridays!) 

2// saturday morning coffee and breakfast.
I'm not a morning person so the fact that Peter wakes up early is a huge benefit for me! He let's me sleep in till around 9:30 and when the coffee is hot and ready I make my way downstairs. It really is the only way I can make myself get out of bed. It also doesn't hurt that Peter likes to cook some yummy breakfast for us!

3// laundry.
Ugh... it has to happen, right? I try my best to keep the laundry done during the week but most of the time I end up doing it on the weekends.

4// church.
My favorite part of the weekend! We love our church so much and I look forward to Sunday mornings. We also teach a class of three year olds every other Sunday, which is a ton of fun! We are learning about Abraham right now and completing a study through Genesis.

5// preparation.
At the end of every weekend I love to look through my planner for the week and make sure I have everything in the front of my mind for Monday. Appointments, meetings, dinner plans... this always helps me welcome Monday with a happier heart.

6// paint my nails.
It sounds silly but one of my favorite parts about the weekend is sitting down and painting my nails. I usually make a hot cup of tea, figure out which color will be best for the week ahead and enjoy a little "me" time.


Link up your very own Essential List with The Circle!
I loved reading all the fun lists so far... 

In Its Time

I'm also co-hosting with Oak & Oats today, so check that out!


Every Monday I host a link up called Week's End! It is a place for you to link up your favorite post from the week and meet new bloggers. I love community and think that we can all learn something from each other! This week Living on Cloud Nine is my co-host!

If you are wanting to join the co-host line up, you can sign up here and use code: WEEKSEND for 25% off any Oak + Oats packages.

Living on Cloud Nine is a blog where Cassie loves to share all the many things that make her life full of love and happiness. She loves to smile and laugh but most of all she desires to share all that happiness with the world, because it is a gift from the Lord. Living life with passion for His Kingdom and for the people He has placed in her life & finding that little bit of happiness in every single day.

RULES!!!!!
1. Link up ANY POST from last week!
2. Make sure it is a POST and not your BLOG URL. We love your blog but we want you to share a post.
3. Click on one, two, three, or more posts and LEAVE ENCOURAGING COMMENTS. The whole point of this is to find new blogs, make new friends, and all that good stuff! You MUST read the post right before yours and comment.
4. Follow Oak + Oats and Living on Cloud Nine

Epiphanys Corner // a giveaway {CLOSED}


I am so in love with this piece of artwork for Christmas! When I saw it on etsy for the first time I knew I wanted to offer it as a giveaway. I love clean and simple pieces that make a point. Oh, come let us adore Him is one of my favorites songs during Christmas so it only made sense to have this in our home. I'm not quite sure where I will use it since I have a strict, no decorations before Thanksgiving rule, but this spot is a nice option. Krystal from Epiphany's Corner was such a dream to work with and I love all of her designs. I will definitely buy something else soon!!


So, here are the fun details! Make sure you enter the giveaway below, there are a lot of options so you can collect as many points as possible. I will directly contact the winner a week from today, and they will also be announced below. Good luck!!! 


Girls Night and Dancing.

No, we did not go to a club to dance. We did something so much better.... happy hour (five dolla drinks, holla!) at High Cotton in downtown Greenville which included the best shrimp and grits in all the land. Then we walked to the Peace Center for some dessert and a little bubbly before watching the amazing dancers from So You Think You Can Dance. We seriously felt like 16 year old girls in High School again. It was so much fun!

It was so nice meeting a new friend, 
and stealing this picture she took with her phone!
Thanks, Lexie!!


The dances were even better live and you could tell they had perfected every single move during the tour. It was so neat to see my season favorites (Jessica & Zack) perform right in front of my eyes! Our seats were great (10th ROW!) and we screamed like little girls at all the amazing moves. It was really awesome to see my favorite performances from the year live also. (This one & this one, since I know you are interested... oh, and this one made me cry, it was so beautiful!) It was a great night and now I'm even more excited about season 12!

spilling my brain.

this photo has nothing to do with this post.
I just really like it.... :)

....on to the random things that are filling my head, lately.

1 // i can't wait to wrap Christmas gifts
I was a little worried that my heart was dreading the Christmas decorating and preparations this year but something has switched in the past week. I'm ready. Like, trying my hardest to hold back until after Thanksgiving since that is a BIG rule in the Eliya house. So, the weekend after thanksgiving.... oh, you better believe Christmas is happening in our house. The mantle, the staircase, the front door, the tree and all the gifts underneath it. It's happening! Oh, and I'm soooo happy with how our Christmas card turned out! Can't wait to send them out soon.

2 // not really feeling the style posts, recently
It's a lot of work!! I love fashion and I have so much fun putting together outfits but I've realized recently that is not where my passion lies with this blog. I want this space to show me, not what I wear. I want my words to do the explaining. I want to share my life and write about it. So, I'm not saying that there won't ever be any style related posts but they will be taking a back seat. Over the next few months I plan to dig deeper and start fresh with a new outlook in January. I'm looking forward to it!

3 // getting back in the gym yesterday was great
My legs hurt. My arms hurt. My abs hurt. All of it hurts, which makes me so happy!!!! It feels good to get back in the swing of things after a couple of weeks off. Of course, I wish I didn't take those weeks off, but it happened. I didn't plan on it... life just gets in the way sometimes, and that's okay. I'm back at it, so it's all good!

4 // the year 2015 is coming and I'm so excited
I can't believe it will be 2015. My ten year High School Reunion will happen next year. WHAT?!? That is crazy. I'm so excited to see what the new year ahead will hold. I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be the best yet!

5 // this cold weather makes me very happy
I've heard some complaining about it but I would take a cold day over a hot & humid summer day, hands down! Give me boots, scarves, jackets and any other kind of layers and I'm a happy girl.

{Photo above is property of Living on Cloud Nine blog, 
& artistic property of Red Apple Tree Photography}

Week's End.


HIGHLIGHTS:


Shopping and spending time with my grandma and mom over the weekend! It was nice to check off a lot from my Christmas shopping list for so many special people and make some new memories with these women. At one point during the weekend, the three of us were walking down a side walk - me, my grandma, then my mom - when a man said, "three generations??" with a smile. It made me super thankful that I get to spend time with my mom and grandma. It is a blessing, that's for sure! 

Eating breakfast at the amazing, Flying Biscuit, yesterday morning!!


WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED LAST WEEK:


- I can't wait to try these Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls soon.
- Crazy about these pretty plants for my kitchen!


Linking up with Oak + Oats Week's End link-up!
Check it out and share your favorite post from last week :)

Sweater Weather.


I've been told I have a polkadot addiction, but I think there are much worse things to be addicted to. Something about a polkadot print makes me happy, it's just fun. Ya know? So when I saw this sweater at a Banana Republic outlet I wanted it BAD. I was strong, I didn't give in, the price was still a little high. Then my second trip to a Banana Republic outlet was a much happier experience since the sweater was 50% off!! I snatched this baby up so quickly. Now I only wish I would have bought two since they had so many color combinations... it is so comfortable!!


sweater // Banana Outlet
shirt // Old Navy
jeans // Old Navy
glasses // Kate Spade
necklace // Forever21
earrings // Old Navy,
bracelets // Forever21 
shoes // Off Broadway (similar)



Linking up with Living in Color Style & Stylin in St. Louis 
for the weekly trend, sweaters.

Also linking up with Perfectly Coutured & White Coat Wardrobe
for their Three-fer Thursday.
& lastly linking up with Sincerely Jenna Marie!
Thanks Ladies :)

Lately.

Busy. That is the one word I would use to describe the past few weeks. Naturally, a lately post is needed....

We were so happy to have some sweet friends over with their little boy for a pizza night.
I have to say, it is super fun to have friends with babies. It might not help out on the "baby fever"
but I will give all the cheek kisses I can.


Speaking of that wonderful fever, one of my best friends just announced she is pregnant.
I am so stinkin excited for her and Cody. It was also a lot of fun to surprise her with a Birthday lunch
and then watch Katie and Cody surprise everyone with their announcement in return!
& I loved designing the chalkboard for their big reveal to the whole world!


Some more celebrations happened for another friend that is getting married!
My mom and I were so excited to surprise Jen with a little get together with some girlfriends.
(I'm a big fan of surprises... in case you weren't sure about that)


My grandma's 80th birthday party went so well and everything turned out beautiful!
It was so much fun to see her excitement with every thing and spoil her a little bit.

Busy, but wonderful weeks!! I'm excited to see how the rest of 2014 will finish up.

Fun Facts.

A few months ago I answered 25 Questions about myself and I loved doing it and now that it has been a little while, I thought I'd try another set of questions. I'm a HUGE fan of Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere (if you haven't checked her blog, do it NOW!) and after taking a look at her Fun Facts I thought I'd like to answer the same questions about myself! So, here we go…..



Nicknames people call me//
I get Cas sometimes... and the hubs calls me babe.

Favorite thing in my house//
my dining room table. It was the best find ever and I love it.

Pet peeves//
when people are late.

Worst habit//
procrastonation.

Go-to drink//
spicy margarita, Mmmmmmm!!!

First celebrity crush//
Christian Bale as Laurie in the 1994 version of Little Women.

My guilty pleasure//
Netflix Binge when Peter is out of town for work.

Three all time favorite TV shows//
Parenthood, Breaking Bad & House of Cards

Fictional character you would want as your best friend//
Hermione Granger... that would be pretty awesome, right?

If you could take only one candy to a desert island//
Sour Patch Kids.

What are your answers??

a date night at home.

And here we are with the last set of pictures.... I didn't intend for this week to turn into a "look at me and my hubby, every single day" kind of thing but it happened. Ooopps, hope you all can forgive me. I just couldn't wait to share all of these and heaven knows I couldn't share them all in one post. That would be over kill for sure!

Anyways... One of my favorite things about marriage is having date nights at home. Before we were married we didn't really have a chance to cook dinner together and sit down at a table alone for a date. I love nothing more than cooking dinner while sipping on a glass of wine with my hubby. Getting a little dressed up, throw on some jewelry and spritz some perfume. (then run upstairs and wash your face and put on your PJs before turing on Netflix, duh.) I knew that I wanted Red Apple Tree Photography to capture this, because this is "us". Minus the PJ part, of course. ;)


{Photos are property of Living on Cloud Nine blog, 
& are artistic property of Red Apple Tree Photography

So thankful for this man, our house and the love that we get to share in it.
The wine, pasta and couch snuggles are pretty awesome, too!

Also check out our Backyard Photos & our Eating Cake Photos!!
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