// “it’s not goodbye, it’s au revoir” //

{a favorite childhood memory with some of my favorite people}


-when Dad drove me to middle school in the mornings, and we would rock out to Thousand Foot Krutch and Disciple and Skillet and all those bands, and talk about everything under the sun, and it was the perfect way to start my days.

-the year that I was homeschooled, and Mom was my third grade teacher, and the two of us going to co-op stuff and her teaching my Old Testament Geography class, and reading about all sorts of fascinating historical figures like William Penn, Louisa May Alcott, and Clara Barton, to name a few. (Mom is by far my favorite teacher I’ve ever had.) Also, around that same time: riding in the car with her and Matt and singing along to our favorite music (ranging from TobyMac to that VeggieTales rock album).

-when Matt was tiny and he and I would come up with all sorts of games to play, and he’d laugh his adorable toddler-laugh, and then we’d watch PraiseBabies or VeggieTales together and it was such a nice way to spend the afternoon.

-when I would go to Grandmommy’s house and we’d sit on her back porch swing in front of the rose trellis, making up songs and stories as we rocked back and forth, and playing dolls in the living room with her until her oven timer went off, and the one time (or maybe few times) when we walked to the grove of trees in her backyard and found her flower garden.

-sitting with PawPaw in his office, and him teaching me how to use a typewriter and some sort of cool huge calculator-ish thing that I can’t remember the name of, and my leaving little notes and doodles in his memo pad, and eating breakfast with him while he drank his coffee early on peaceful mornings, and dancing together at Uncle John and Aunt Christina’s wedding.

-playing the drums at Aunt Laine’s house, and her teaching me all the words and dance moves to Proud Mary when I was just a tiny thing, and her giving me guitar lessons, and all our “you-know-what and you-know-where” days, always.

-walking around Opryland Hotel at Christmastime with Uncle John and Aunt Christina (and him getting me to try a Monster drink, which I shall never do again), with all the fairy lights and warm conversations and laughter, and going with Aunt Christina for ice cream right before school started one year, and when they came to visit over one Thanksgiving and C.J. was content to sit in my lap at Culver’s.

-going to my cousins’ house back when we all lived in Memphis– playing Pokemon with Brianna even though I had no idea what they were, and talking with Danielle about all sorts of things and feeling very grown up, and every time I get to FaceTime them now.


I love you all so much. Thank you for these moments, and for so many more! I treasure them all, and always will.


{I’m rather nostalgic today as I prepare to fly tomorrow}


{love always, Em}

// “all this unbridled joy has given me quite an appetite.” / Downton Abbey Week //


Hello, dear people! The lovely Naomi at Wonderland Creek is hosting a Downton Abbey-themed week for bloggers, and I’m quite excited for it because as I’m sure you all know by now, Downton Abbey is my favorite show, and will likely carry that title forever. Since I leave for Liberty exactly one week from today (at the time of writing this– so on August 25th), and I already know that the next seven days are going to be downright crazy, I wanted to go ahead and write-and-publish my contribution to Downton Week as soon as possible.

As this is a busy time of preparation-to-fly in my life, this post won’t be anything too fancy or long-winded; it’s just a compilation of some of my favorite things about my favorite show. {I don’t own any of the screencaps or edits used.}

{Post-Compilation Edit: Okay, this is turning out to be rather long. Oops. But it’s solely the fault of the pictures. There are SO MANY because Downton is just aesthetically pleasing okay. So, give yourself a few moments to behold the loveliness.}


i. Favorite Characters (It’s actually rather hard to narrow it down.)


Lady Sybil Branson, née Crawley

She is my number one favorite Downton character, always. She’s interested, she’s political, she HAS OPINIONS. And she’s also brave and kindhearted, determined and witty, confident and graceful, intuitive and generous. Mrs. Hughes once called her “the sweetest spirit under this roof”, and really, it’s such a beautiful and honorable compliment to receive, especially considering the number of people who live under Downton’s roof.


Anna Bates, née Smith

Oh, dear sweet Anna. She goes through SO MUCH on this show and yet she’s still tenderhearted and compassionate and optimistic and quietly brave. Anna is by far one of the strongest characters of Downton and that is an indisputable fact. I’ve liked her since the very beginning, and even more now that her story’s come to a conclusion.


The Dowager Countess of Grantham, Lady Violet Crawley

Let’s be honest here: the Dowager is everyone’s favorite character. She’s the source of three-fourths of the memorable, sassy, hilarious one-liners on this show, and it’s beautiful. What I like about her is that you never have her completely figured out; she presents herself as a staunch, opinionated traditionalist, but then she’s constantly surprising everyone by stepping up and supporting family (and a select few others, but mostly family) when they make decisions that are anything but traditional for their class. Her friendship (frenemy-ship?) with Isobel Crawley throughout the series is equal parts hilarious and sweet. I love that she low-key supports Sybil and Tom’s marriage, and then later on becomes a friend of sorts to Tom as he matures and becomes a permanent part of the family. Plus, she gives the BEST advice. She never holds back the truth, that’s for sure. You can just tell that the Dowager cares for people more deeply than she will ever admit, and is something of a wild card of epicness, and that makes her character so fascinating. Dowager Countess? More like Queen.

ii. Favorite One-Liners (Goodness, there are so many.)








There are so many more, but I’ll leave you with these gems for now.

iii. Favorite Outfits (It had to be done.)








iv. Favorite Quotes (The profound and the sweet.)



v. Favorite Moments (Again, spoilers.)8dd83c3bd296be605835264c21802599





vii. And now, just some loveliness.



Thank you for hosting Downton Week, Naomi– and thank you all for stopping by and reading my little blog! I’m so glad to be given a chance to fangirl a bit over Downton before I head off to this thing called “college” and “adulting” and “real life”. 🙂

I love you all, and if you don’t hear from me in this corner of the Internet for awhile, it’s because I’m at Liberty having more adventures than I know what to do with.

God is doing a new thing, and I’m beyond excited to be a part of it!

{love always, Em}

// looking for lovely. //

“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those in which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls on a string.”

// L.M. Montgomery / Anne of Avonlea //



~~what Mom & I did today.


~~finding lovely around lonely corners & in quiet hidden places.


~~lavender. lilac. periwinkle. heather. wisteria. amethyst. {someone who’s more knowledge about specific color names, please tell me which shade of purple this is. xD it’s my current favorite.}


~~a marketplace of craftsmanship & hidden treasures. {and also, a tiny eatery in the back that you sort of accidentally stumble upon while exploring.}


~~we found Wonderland in the form of teacup lamps.


~~one of the many quaint, beautiful churches around the Square. stained glass & flowering trees & steeples.


~~sunshine in storefronts & hints of autumn scattered on the ground.


Thankful for this adventure, and for my lovely mom whom I got to share it with. xx

{love always, Em}

// and what’s more, it’s t r u e. //



There is a place in Kentucky, roughly forty minutes away from the Creation Museum that I’ve mentioned several times before on the blog, that as of July is now the home of a life-sized Ark.

And by “life-sized”, I mean it’s built in the exact dimensions and design that the Bible records Noah’s ark to be. Answers in Genesis is really cool, you guys. (I would love to go into detail on who they are and what they do, but that would send me off on a tangent filled with science and indignation, but that’s not the point I’m trying to focus on today, so instead I’ll just link you there^ and let you explore for yourself. ^_^)


So, the Ark. From the very beginning, my family’s been pretty invested in this; my dad is very passionate about apologetics and Biblical creation, and is a huge Answers in Genesis fan. I am too, for that matter, but Dad definitely knows a LOT more than I do on the subjects. (Sadly, my mind is not very good at remembering all the little-yet-significant details. I’m a big-picture person; I get the meaning and am on board with it, but ask me to explain the factual evidence at length and my mind decides to quit on me. Thanks, brain.)

We followed the Ark’s progress as it was being built, and we even “own” a peg somewhere on the finished product, so clearly we had to go see it for ourselves at some point.

Last Saturday, we took a day trip and drove up to Kentucky to see it– The Ark Encounter. And t’was glorious.


As we waited in line with hundreds of others eager to get inside the Ark (which, praise the Lord that many people are curious about the Truth!), I started thinking about the parallels between Noah’s situation and our own.

No, there’s not going to be a global worldwide flood for us; God already made that promise in Genesis, after the first one. But there are SO MANY other similarities that demand to be talked about. {Read Genesis 6-9:17 if you’d like to look for yourself.}


{There were three decks of the ark we were in, and this is the looking-up view from either the first or second deck. It’s more beautiful than I was able to capture. Ark architecture is lovely.}

~~The Aforementioned Parallels~~

-Noah lived in a broken, evil, sin-filled world. Um, yeah. Same.

-Noah “found favor in the eyes of the Lord” {6:8} and “walked with God” {6:9}. As followers of Christ and portraits of His grace, so do we.

-The thing that God called Noah to do (build an ark even though there’d never been any rain before, ever– and also become an animal whisperer) probably seemed absolutely crazy to him at the time– but he did it anyway. This happens quite a lot to us too; so often God’s plans don’t make sense to us on the front end, but we follow them because we trust the Author of our stories.

-And you had better believe that Noah was scoffed by everyone around him while he and his family were obeying God and building the ark. Guys– the exact same thing is happening with this Ark today. Evolutionists, atheists, and general skeptics are laughing at us for building this ark, for having the audacity to believe in a global flood and young-earth creation and God Himself. They mock us for believing in fairytales and brainwashing children against “science” and “reason”. Oh, how terribly wrong they are. It’s funny– the sad sort of funny– how history repeats itself.

-Yet he used the hundred years he had up until the flood to beg the people to join them on the ark. I can imagine the heartbreak Noah felt when everyone rejected the life they were offered in the form of the ark; it looks a lot like the way our hearts break for the lost today. He knew that there was limited time before the flood came– just as we know now that there is limited time before Jesus’s second coming. And once the flood comes and the door of the ark closes, once Jesus returns and gathers up His people, there is no going back. There’s no time to waste.

-Because the door to Noah’s ark was the door to their salvation. The point of the story of Noah is not death and destruction of humanity, as scoffers are trying to claim now. It’s illustration of our own salvation, a portrait of hope and a promise from God to man that He will make all things new. It was speaking of our Savior before He came. In John chapter 10, Jesus gave a sermon and specifically said, in subtle reference to the flood, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved… {v. 9}”. This is yet another parallel connecting the Old Testament to Christ, and I absolutely love how the entire Bible always points back to Him.

-And after the flood, God made everything new, just as He will do in the end. One day, sin and brokenness and death will be erased for eternity, and it’s going to be more beautiful than any of my human words could ever say.


{This is my daddy. ❤ …And some storage space for small ark-animals, most likely, complete with water and food troughs. Biblical technology is more advanced than we typically assume.}

All of this to say– look at how history repeats itself. Don’t let yourself be discouraged when the scoffers mock you for your belief in the Bible’s truth. Be prepared to defend the Hope that you have, because we know the Way into the ark, and there is such a desperate need to share that with our fallen world. Remember the words of 1 Peter 3:14-15:

“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that it in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”

Ours is a reasonable faith– and what’s more, it’s true.

Stand firm, take up your Armor, and keep the faith. Continue to love like Christ and pray for the lost. Share the Truth with the broken so that they may be healed. Never allow the world to hide your Light under bushels or try to snuff it out. Let your Light shine bright, always.

It’s worth it.

He is worth it.

{love always, Em}