in 29 days…

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a few weeks ago i stood bedside & captured some amazing moments while a precious young mama labored & gave birth to her first baby. over & over again i thought to myself, i just did this. i just did this! it was just the other day when i brought my first baby girl into the world. i guess that’s the sign of a good life right? when looking back over all of it, even when along the way there was heartache, hand in hand there is joy overflowing & it all feels so fast. all the simple everyday moments have added up to be a grand & beautiful life beyond all i ever dreamed.

the anticipation & excitement, the wonder & overwhelming joy, the emotion of the grandeur of it all. the beginning of a new family. the beginning of a new & amazing chapter in your story. the feelings of how on earth am i going to do this? the moment when your baby is placed in your arms

& think to yourself its as if she was always here.

during the hours while i captured the birth story i found myself relating not only to the new mommy but to her own mama as well. i’d watch her own emotions as she watched her baby girl labor. i wondered what that must fee like. not only to see your daughter in the pain of labor but to know what lies ahead as she brings forth her own baby.

in 29 days i will watch my first baby girl walk into her own new & amazing chapter.

the anticipation & excitement, the wonder & overwhelming joy, the emotion of the grandeur of it all. the beginning of a new family. the beginning of a new & amazing chapter in her story. the feelings of how on earth am i going to do this? the moment when my baby girl is placed in the arms of the man she will spend forever with. the man who embodies the exceedingly more i prayed for since she was in my womb.

& i’ll think to myself it’s as if he was always here…

~~~

i’d thought i would journal & chronicle all the planning, all the little details, the highs & the lows & all the in-between. and honestly while it’s a bit ( no it’s truly my #1 pet peeve to say this)….ohmygosh we have been so busy!! can all mother’s of the bride who’ve gone before me give a resounding amen?

in all honesty, i also didn’t want to steal any of savannah’s thunder. but i’ll tell you the truth the anticipation & excitement, the wonder & overwhelming joy, the emotion of the grandeur of it all…it has a life of it’s own. it’s been a part of us since new years eve. i don’t know what i’ll do with all the mental energy i’ve used since that day when on sunday morning, august 21, my baby girl will be on a flight out of the country for her honeymoon. they’ll land back in atlanta a week later, pack up their uhaul & drive out the next morning to san francisco…to live. 3000 miles away.

i have much to share over the next several months. i do. really i’ll share about all the things i promise. but first let me answer the question I’m sure you’re thinking after i just mentioned the california gig.

i mentioned that just yesterday i gave birth to my first baby girl. well let me tell ya’ something. that precious brown haired brown eyed girl came out of the womb independent with an adventurous spirit. a nod to me & a nod to her daddy gregg. while i’ve traveled more in the last five years than i did in the previous forty years, savannah’s always had wanderlust. i knew the day would come where she’d drive away. i just didn’t know it’d be quite so far.

since i promised ya’ll i’d be honest, i’ll tell you this…at first i was like what? why would you wanna move this far away from your family…from me?! ( ha. i kid) i knew from before trevor proposed they were headed up & away. ( i’ll share more about all this later…i wanna flip ahead a bit for you).

i began praying a few weeks ago that the lord would help change my heart. & he is. i want to genuinely be happy for them…not let that happiness be overshadowed by the sadness of how far away they’ll be. ya’ll know i don’t like sad anyways. one day i felt he gave me a new song about this new chapter. let me share it with you….this move to san francisco….its a HUGE gift to them. and all good gifts are from Him. it’s a huge gift because they have honored Him in their relationship. it’s a huge gift because they sought Him first.  they’ve purposed to follow Him and i truly see this as Him giving them the desires of their heart. these kids have worked hard. studied hard. dreamed hard. and the opportunities afforded them….it’s a GIFT. and for that i am so happy for them. how could i be sad about their gift? how could i be sad in how He has chosen to bless them? don’t let me fool you, my heart really & truly has switched to seeing this as a gift but of course the hole left behind will be palpable. processing this huge change is not going to be for the faint of heart. we’ll walk through that all together.

i can’t imagine how my heart is going to work through it all. i was caught off guard with how hard it was to send her off to college. this is even bigger. and for longer. and to all the people that say ‘oh it’s just a flight away’ i wanna say seriously. it’s a flight away. a long flight away. a long expensive flight away. the funny thing? when her daddy gregg & i married, our honeymoon was a surprise to me. a trip to san francisco & the wine country. i remember thinking “i could live here”…in just a little past 29 days…so will my baby.

 

~~~

i would love to share her wedding site…the way they tell their story is precious….enjoy here!

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July 22, 2016 - 10:35 am

Maria - What a sweet and special love story! (the Savannah and Trevor one) as well as the (Mama and Daughter one;). I, too, try to steer away from “we’re so busy” but I truly do think you get a “pass” when in prime wedding planning mode. Love it all!! Happy Wedding Month! Congratulations and well wishes to the sweet couple 🙂

July 22, 2016 - 10:41 am

Marcy Norman Cox - Thank you for sharing a bit of their charming love story. Your photography is beautiful, the bride to be is gorgeous and the soon to be groom so handsome. Congrats to the couple and their families.

July 22, 2016 - 1:13 pm

Keely Chumley - Their story is precious and they are beautiful. Congratulations to all of you. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to see what treasures the years behold.

July 22, 2016 - 1:30 pm

Lola - Thank you for sharing, this is so sweet! Congrats to the couple. I wanted to say that I admired them for including our heavenly Father in their relationship they will be blessed! Ecle 4:11,12.

July 22, 2016 - 4:29 pm

Lisa Mothersead - You’re such a sweet mama. 💕 My trick with my (31 and 23 yrs) girls is that I try really to remember where my head/emotions were when I was going through what they’re going through. I feel like it’s acting sometimes but I just really want them to feel comfortable and loved and not worried (so much) about their mama’s needs. You’re doing great!! God bless those two sweethearts!!

July 22, 2016 - 4:31 pm

Lisa Mothersead - try really hard

July 22, 2016 - 8:57 pm

Lori H - I feel like I have watched them grow up, dating, on the blog. They are a beautiful couple inside and out! Our story isn’t the same as theirs, but my husband and I got married at 23 too. Looking back, with my own daughter turning 25 this year, I wonder how freaked out my parents were that we were so young! And this year we celebrated our 30th anniversary – age doesn’t matter. These two young people are obviously so mature and prayed into being! Love their wedding site, and looking forward to the photos you can share. God bless all of you!

hello sweet reader…

2

hello sweet reader… i’ve been thinking a lot about you. i really have. i’ve tried to think about this space here & what i hope it brings to you.

when i first began to write “simple thoughts” and honestly for the majority of the last 10 years since my first post (ten??!!! whatonearth??) i would think of this blog as my journal. my thoughts. my story. my my my —blah blah blah. and while it is my story, thinking of it in that way probably took any responsibility off my shoulders. if it’s just me & mine then i can sorta do whatever i want to with it & it’s not really wrong. right?

i’ve always adored you guys. i have. ya’ll are kind readers. ya’ll have been warm & genuine, you’ve been encouraging, you’ve spent time here & many of you are really real-life connections.

which brings me to where i am this afternoon. ya’ see, over the last few years things in the social media world have changed quite a bit. people are spending much more time on pinterest.  pinterest to me is sorta like justin beiber….all good, but i’m just not wowed…& yes, i realize i’m the only one who feels this way.  instagram has become the homecoming queen of social platforms. both pinterest & instagram are so simple, quick & easy to peruse. kinda like a drive-thru. meanwhile, reading a blog is more like a sit down restaurant and not always very convenient. combine that with the fact that many bloggers have just moved on over to insta because its so much easier. ohmygosh. so much easier. & i’ll be honest with you, there are very few blogs i read these days as well.

so here’s what my hope is for you & this little space. i’m still not ready to completely throw in the towel on blogging. not yet. i’m definitely not a multiple times a week writer. i just don’t have that many things to say. secondly, i do indeed have a responsibility here & a responsibility to you. if you’ve chosen to come here, park your car & c’mon in, i want it to be worth your visit. i’m not promising a big-gun grabber ‘how to’ post a week or a ‘fresh seasonal diy’ for inspiration but what i am promising is that my words here will be encouraging. sometimes light hearted & sometimes perhaps a little heavier but hopefully always encouraging.  i love to share what god’s teaching me & i love to share how he’s a good father to us. i want to share a fun recipe now & then as well as be a cheerleader for a few products that i love. i may talk raising girls & i may talk about loving our men. just like a coffee date would be. simple & thoughtful. i like the sound of that and i hope you do too!   maybe somewhere in the middle of drive thru and restaurant dining. & truthfully, if you want me to share or write about certain subjects please tell me. i’d love to hear your thoughts!  if it’s just easier to visit on instagram, well i’d love for you to join me there!

i have a few things to catch up on over the next few weeks and hopefully i’ll be a little more frequent around here than just once a month. thank you for spending time here!

a few pictures of life lately  a few months ago because i’m that far behind~

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April 21, 2016 - 5:38 pm

Amy Avery - Hey friend, So because I have come here and read your “Simple Thoughts” for quite some time and we have become friends through this very place, here’s what I want you to know as TRUTH. This place here just as it is is AWESOME! It’s awesome because of YOU. You are completely transparent and this place here is not the “I’m gonna change my blog a million times to follow the trends and get more readers” kind of blog. I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOUR BLOG!!! (I’m not shouting, just cheerleading 😉 ) In this very, very, very busy world where everyone compares themselves to each other and the blogs and trends become homogenized, I like to open up your blog and find the “REAL DEAL” which is you and your beautiful heart. So as Billy Joel once so eloquently sang, “Don’t go changing to try to please me, you never let me down before . . . I couldn’t love you any better, I love you just the way you are.”

April 21, 2016 - 5:53 pm

Lucinda - I always love your posts! The pictures and message always make my day.

April 21, 2016 - 8:42 pm

Lori H - Paige,
Glad to hear that you won’t give up on blogging. I will enjoy the blog and Instagram as long as you are willing to share your life and unique perspective with us! I admire the people who still blog – I have to think it is really hard and a lot of work. My sister keeps telling me I should start a blog, but I don’t enjoy writing. I feel like your girls have grown up in front of my eyes. If you ever come to Richmond, VA, I would be honored to meet you! You are such a good person, Paige; that shines through. And no, no one is perfect, but you are perfectly lovely 🙂
Lori

April 21, 2016 - 10:15 pm

Cathy G. - Well I’m reading about 5 blogs now if that…. and your #1…….. Love your style and your faith encourages mine…….glad your not done… Yet 🙂

April 21, 2016 - 11:55 pm

Cindy in Oklahoma - I love your blog… I love your dog… I love your story… I love your style… and if I don’t stop now this may turn into a very corny country song.

You and a few other ladies are my favorite blogs and I check on all of you often… but I’ve also discovered instagram, too, and am enjoying it just as much. I say do whatever makes you happy and satisfies your soul …and that will be enough. True?

April 22, 2016 - 8:27 am

Linda Stoll - Gosh, it’s so very good to see you again …

😉

April 22, 2016 - 9:27 am

Stacie - I have been reading your blog since your oldest was in high school!! Always excited to see your posts and can relate to them in so many ways. There are not that many blogs left from the old days, but I sure am glad you are one of them.

April 22, 2016 - 11:20 am

Terri - so thankful you are continuing your blog. To me, I take away real. Real life, real experiences, real blogging. It is refreshing and real all at the same time. I’ll be here as long as you want to continue. As for instagram…what is that?! sorry, kidding. I know what it is, but don’t have an account, etc.

April 22, 2016 - 12:29 pm

Cynthia - Thank you for years of pleasure. You are always uplifting…share great ideas…good books, fun adventures (Magnolia!!!). I honor the energy that it takes to do a blog…I quit doing it…so, I will probably go to Instagram if you should decide to end the blog journey….but nothing beats your blog. Just wanted you to know. C

April 22, 2016 - 3:19 pm

Peggy - Hey sweetie, first I so get you about Pinterest!! I mean I have an account but honestly it just doesn’t draw me. IG umm it might be my downfall. 😜 You are truly a sweet soul and such an encouragement so where ever you go it’s all good! Love you!! Now it’s time to get in gear so my dear hubby can come home to a tidy inviting home… it’s been a hard day for him. work stuff

April 22, 2016 - 3:19 pm

Diane Zundel - My sweet Paige! My response for you is simple, I just love you, your family and your blog. Just do what you need to, but I will always be here waiting to see the next chapter. You have always brightened my day, sent chills up my back and a few tears, along this journey from the beginning. But, I feel like I have gained a lifelong friend and I am the lucky one. Thank you for always being just you and so truthful and honest with all of us. Life isn’t always pretty little white picket fences, we all have some gravel roads to travel over. And, that is what makes you original and you. LOVE YOU, xoxo

April 22, 2016 - 4:43 pm

Jane @ See Jane Learn - It’s always a pleasure to read your honest blog posts…and see your beautiful photographs! I too have cut back in how many blogs I can read and how many I can write. We seem to have very similar goals:being encouraging, sharing what God is teaching us, ordinary life and talking about favorites. Even if you only post once a month, I’ll be interested to see what’s happening in your “world” on the other coast. Hope the wedding plans are going great! SO jealous you got to go to the Magnolia Silos…

April 22, 2016 - 10:48 pm

Debra - Hello, I have been reading your blog for for the past seven years. I look so forward to each and every post. It’s like opening up a present each and every time. So many times your words have brought me great joy, laughter, tears, or thoughts to ponder on. I am thankful that you have shared your sweet thoughts out loud with all of us. As a mother, wife and lover of Jesus and Seaside. I am greatful for you and your sweet girls & Dan. I truly believe God has given you a special gift to mentor to all of us here on your blog. Thank you for allowing us to have a front row seat to your blog. Xo

April 23, 2016 - 3:38 am

Marcy Norman Cox - Your photos tell a story, your words touch hearts. As the quote says ” it doesn’t matter how many days or months go by, a good friend is someone who can continue the conversation from right where it left off.” Thanks for being that friend and sharing your life through your IG & blog.

April 23, 2016 - 6:55 am

sheri - You are so cute! I think it’s perfect – love that you compared it to a drive thru – I HATE drive thru’s – only exception bieng chick-fil-a – 🙂 Blessigns.

April 23, 2016 - 7:15 am

Jackie Carl - Keep writing! I’ll keep reading! 🙂

I miss my other favorite blogs who have chosen to “move on”.

With Love,
Jackie
Marion, IN

April 23, 2016 - 7:28 am

Jalana - love your blog paige! can’t wait to see the wedding pictures & everything else. coming to the atl to meet you at sugarboo’s one day : ). <3 life is beautiful

April 23, 2016 - 7:52 am

Angela - Ditto to these words. You remain one of my favorite bloggers. I knew from the beginning that you were sincere. Nothing fake about you. Real is my heartbeat. Thankful for your heart and words.

April 23, 2016 - 10:38 am

Jan Fusco - I love the blog posts because you can see so much more. Like all the pictures you just posted. But I do follow you on Instagram so I can catch you there. I’m looking forward to wedding updates. Your one of my favorite bloggers. Do it when you can.

April 23, 2016 - 10:55 am

Pam - Still love reading your blog Paige. I totally get it though. I don’t read as many blogs as I used to. IG and Pinterest are my tos for a quick fix. I still think there is room for blogging, it just might look a little different these days. I can never get enough beautiful photos though so I hope you don’t stop anytime soon.

April 23, 2016 - 11:18 am

Sara - I’m with you in that I don’t read many blogs anymore, but yours is one that I definitely do read when you post (it definitely helps when you share it on fb because I don’t even open my reader anymore!). I cherish your wisdom. Thank you for your willingness to share. And I love your pretty pictures. 🙂 xoxo

April 23, 2016 - 12:52 pm

Kimberly - I’m so glad you will keep blogging, because I LOVE reading blogs!! Most of my favorite bloggers don’t blog anymore or hardly at all– so sad! I love your pictures and your topics. I have little ones– preschoolers and toddlers, and I would love a post from you on what you did to raise such faith-filled girls. That’s what I want for my kids as they grow. Did you do family devotions, get them plugged into youth group or young life– what do you think is the key for your girls walking with God? I’d love your perspective, if you have time and the desire to share in the midst of all your responsibilities.

April 23, 2016 - 2:02 pm

Mickey - I love your posts, doesn’t make any difference what it is about, it always inspires me & gives me strength. So glad you are still in the blogging world but I do know what you mean about Instagram. I have bought a couple pieces of Noonday from you & was so excited to find an ambassador here in Pa. ,sadly she no longer sells it, you will be my go to person. Have a great rest of the weekend. Mickey

April 23, 2016 - 2:46 pm

Kimberly Falls - I love your blog..it is one of the few I still read. It always seems to meet me where I am and I so appreciate your openness and honesty. I know it is a sacrifice so I just wanted to say thank you! Also Isabelle wants you to do her senior pictures so I need to get in touch to see when a good time would be…maybe late summer or early fall?..(I know you have the wedding late summer..how exciting!!!)

April 23, 2016 - 4:50 pm

Lisa Mothersead - I remember first reading your blog a few years ago. I asked my husband about those “things” that people write on-line and maybe they had some about decorating. He said, “blogs”. My decor adventures began. I have read hundreds of blogs, mostly decor, as I made the adjustment to being an empty nester. Your blog will always be my favorite. I am well educated, upper middle-class, liberal, and from the midwest. We only have a couple things in common on paper. But, I have related to so many of your stories, experiences, and joys. Thanks for the blog, in case I don’t get to tell you at some point. (Oh, and my house looks better and more updated, too.)

April 23, 2016 - 7:45 pm

Susie - Paige, I love, love, love your blog. I nelieve all who read it feels like they are part of your extended family. I habe so enjoyed watching your sweet family grow. So happy you are not throwing in the towel!❤️

April 24, 2016 - 8:05 pm

Michelle - I have been reading your blog for about 8 years. It has always been the one blog that I look forward to reading. My favorite posts are about home decor since that is my passion; however, all of your posts are interesting and inspiring. I hope you never throw in the towel with this sweet blog of yours. Thank you for sharing.

April 24, 2016 - 11:52 pm

Kelly - Love your blog for whatever you have on your heart to share, whenever you feel compelled to share. Your words have spoken to me numerous times, encouraging and uplifting, especially as a mom navigating teen years. 🙂

April 25, 2016 - 9:50 am

Amy - I check your blog each week and love your inspiration! Please keep them coming Paige 🙂

April 25, 2016 - 11:40 am

bethanie - your blog was one of the first ones i stumbled upon, and it’s one of the only ones i check in on regularly. maybe because we’ve met and you are as real and precious in person as you are in writing. maybe its our love of our girls and our guy, or our heavenly father…or the grove and all things passion city, or country living fair. whatever it is, dont go anywhere 🙂 xoxox b

April 25, 2016 - 12:27 pm

Curtis - How I have enjoyed the past few years watching you and your family grow up, become beautiful young ladies. Your honest and open approach to your life, and your willingness to share your life has blessed me so much. I totally understand that blogging takes time, and effort, but if you only knew the impact you have on us…. how your Faith, embraces us, and at times engulfs us, making us want to know our Savior more. This little blog is and has been a lighthouse for the faithful, and I know without a doubt a refuge for those seeking it. I will continue to read your musings if you post once a week, once a month every 3 months I do not care I love the way you weave your faith into everything that you do …. so you keep doing what you need to do, and we the faithful will keep driving in, parking our car and in my case sitting with a cup of tea in the winter and a tall glass of ice tea in the summer and read your words of wisdom, all along getting to be a part of your sweet family…. thank you for being you, being sweet, being honest… sending hugs and blessings your way from French Gulch California, Curtis & Sherrie ….

April 25, 2016 - 5:08 pm

Suzanne - Paige, I totally understand what
you are saying. While I love IG, I
do miss the “old days” of blogging
and the connections. There aren’t
a lot of blogs left where people
take the time to make a post special
and meaningful, because it takes
just that: TIME. And time is the most
precious commodity of all, because
we only get so much of it and “life’s
like an hourglass, glued to the table.”
I’d counsel you to spend that time on
what brings YOU the most joy.

Like you, I post infrequently, but I
hope that when I do it’s because
I have something to say that will
lift others and bring me joy in the
process of crafting the message.

We can survive on fast food (IG
and Pinterest), but who wants a
steady diet of that???

Thank you for sharing your lovely
thoughts, photos and most especially,
your kind heart over the years.

xo Suzanne

April 25, 2016 - 5:23 pm

Susan - Always look forward to reading and seeing your lovely photos Paige! You keep it real and yet you never do it in a harsh way and we need more of that these days! People can keep it real and be nice about it, whether you’ve had a bad day or not, telling us makes us believe all the world has problems and issues, but how you deal is what keeps you real! Thank you for all the adventures you’ve taken us on and continue either with your blog or instagram- we love you and will look at all you show us! Keep up all the good works and your such a blessing to see and read whats happening when we aren’t directly in your life!

April 26, 2016 - 9:56 am

Michelle - Oh Paige, I love reading your blog and words. Your heart for sharing God’s goodness and truths. Your beautiful,transparent life is a blessing to me.

April 27, 2016 - 12:36 am

louise - Love your blog. Not absolutely wowed by pinterest or intagram. I like words, want to read, want more meat on the bones than they provide,

April 29, 2016 - 11:58 pm

teresa - Even though you haven’t posted for awhile… I’ll admit, I have checked your blog nightly. This blog is my…. respite. After a long day, then house cleaned, laundry running, gone through the mail, child fed, bathed, story and bed…. this is where I finally come to at night when it’s finally “my time”…. I love your blog, your photos, your golden, yes I miss brinkley, I love seaside, and all your sweet, sweet posts….

May 9, 2016 - 1:01 pm

Janae - AMEN!!! I have been feeling the EXACT same way!!! I think blogs are overlooked these days….we are an instant gratification society….check out insta and we see a snippet (if we want to delve further we can but how often do we really click the blog link?!?!?). But I too am not ready to give up on blogging….
You can’t leave us now!! We’ve watched the girls grow up and now you have one engaged (CONGRATS). We will need wedding deets!!!
XOXO

May 14, 2016 - 9:53 am

AndieMB - I have been a blog follower since the beginning. I still love and read blogs!! Everyday. Please do not stop writing. I follow you on Instagram but to me its just not the same. I agree Pinterest is just ok. Blogs are where its at for me!

May 16, 2016 - 1:42 pm

Amy - I love following your blog….so pleased you’ll keep posting! I would love to know more of your experience with graduation gifts and going off to college. What gifts did your girls love? What gifts did your girls give their friends/fellow classmates? What items were necessities in the dorm? Any other details we may need for this season. Thank you for sharing with us!! Amy

May 26, 2016 - 7:15 am

Amber Summerrow - Good Morning Paige,
I was hoping that gorgeous necklace that you are wearing in the pic with the denim shirt is accessible….Could I ask where you got that lovely piece.

Amber

May 30, 2016 - 1:30 pm

Esme - Please do continue blogging. I have enjoyed watching your children grow.

June 3, 2016 - 11:39 am

Sasha - I just wanted to say hi…. I took the time to come to a few blogs today and I really do love that, just wish I had more time to do it… but youre so right, so few are even blogging regularly, including me! I’ve had a lot more critical comments when I do post so I’m not sure what’s going on there but it makes me pull back further and further. Good grief, especially when I have teenagers now and not only do they read it, but their friends and teachers read it! I just hit delete or else I get a string of drama from well meaning defenders and such. (Do you know what I mean?) Anyway, loved your words and you DO always leave some encouragement. Love that about you and always have.

XOXO
Sash

June 5, 2016 - 12:38 pm

Kathleen - MISS YOU!

June 16, 2016 - 6:59 pm

Lisa Mothersead - 6-16-16
Paige- I wanted to thank you for mentioning Orlando and offering a prayer. I have a (lovely) gay brother who lives in Florida and it just means so much to me that some of my fave’ bloggers are praying for those affected. I just love your home, blog, instagram, family, and sweet heart. ❤️