Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Little Brother

It's not your birthday or National Siblings Day today, I just miss you a whole bunch. I would give anything to just spend a couple hours with you, but a few hundred miles are standing in the way.

Tonight I find myself remembering the days when we lived in the same house, and spent so much time dancing around the living room, singing in my car, playing video games, playing hide and seek, and arguing over who would get to sit in the front seat of Mom's car.

I wish I would have realized then that our days of being only a door away were numbered...I would have danced a bit longer...I would have taken another lap around the block to sing a few more songs...I would have hid a little longer, and I would have given you the front seat....actually, I definitely wouldn't have given you the front seat...but you get the picture! ;)

One of my biggest struggles in moving to South Carolina for college was the fact that I wouldn't be there for your last few years of middle and high school. I wrestled with that a lot, and I finally came to the conclusion that it was important for me to show you that following God was of the utmost importance. I needed to show you how to step out in faith, and be brave.

I knew that my decision would be tough to live with, but I didn't realize how heart crushing it would be to come home and see that you had been growing up without me. Once, I came home for a visit and you had gotten glasses...I couldn't believe it. I was mad at Momma for days because she forgot to mention it. I literally cried about the fact that you had had glasses for two weeks! I just didn't want you to change and move on without me.

I always hoped the distance would get easier, but with every new chapter in your life comes something else I am missing out on. I will never fully understand why the Lord called me three hours, and then five, away from you and our family, but I trust that His will is perfect and I trust that in your heart you know I had to go.

We share a bond that is distinct and deep. We have the same parents, the same face shape, and the same understanding that no matter how far this life carries us you will always be my bubby and I will always be your sissy.

Tyler, I miss you every. single. day. I can only pray that one day the Lord's calling will lead us both to places that aren't so far away.

I'm so very glad that my love for you is far greater than 300+ miles<3

Monday, November 10, 2014

Georgia on my mind

Our family and friends have known for quite a while, but we are only now announcing to the world that...

For several months now we have been praying for a specific direction. We knew we were being called out of youth ministry, but The Lord hadn't told us why OR what was next. I think he likes to keep up guessing for a while :)

However, over the past 3 months we have been given a direction and a deep burning in our hearts. It is our belief that The Lord is calling us to church planting! This is a calling that was certainly unexpected, but still very much a blessing. The South Coastal District of The Wesleyan Church has been wonderful with encouragement and prayer. We are so very excited to begin this journey with their support and assistance. We will be mentored at New Rock Wesleyan in Conyers, GA and then hope to be in the first phase of launching by the fall of 2016.

To be honest...we are terrified. George and I both agree that this is by far the scariest thing we have ever done. We have built a life here in South Carolina. We both moved to SC in the fall of 2008. We were in college and we both fell in love with the charm of the upstate. It's so beautiful, and the people here are..well, they are some of the greatest friends we have ever had. The thought of leaving these people and the life we have here is excruciating and the thought of being even further away from my own family is equally as painful.

And yet, I find myself possessing a peace that has been scarce these past few months. Yes, action and change are frightening, but having no direction is far worse.

We have been praying for months that God would provide us both with a job. My husbands more specific prayer has been that God would provide me with a job that I LOVE. I think He has done just that. On October 31st I accepted a Special Education Paraprofessional position at Newton College and Career Academy. It seems to me that I will, in fact, love this job! After my interview I had the opportunity to tour the school. I spent the entire time uttering phrases like "Wow!" "That is SO NEAT!" "Oh, how cool is that?" I'm positive the Assistant Principal thinks I am absolutely crazy, but I couldn't help it. The place is truly amazing and they are doing wonderful things to inspire and prepare students from three different high schools within Newton County.

So, George and I will be moving to Georgia this Saturday! We have only had two weeks to get it all done, and during these past two weeks we have been frantically making lists and packing. It is insane at our house right now. We each go through stages of debilitating sadness and incomprehensible joy almost daily! We are heartbroken to leave friends and friends who have become family. We have built some strong and deep relationships over these past 6 years, ones that have helped to shape us into the people we are today. I will forever be thankful for the people who have listened to us, provided comfort when we needed it most, laughed with us, and prayed fervently on our behalf. You are all wonderful people who I know will prove to be life-long friends. When you find people like this, you don't let a little distance deflate the connection that you have built, you allow it to make it even stronger.

So, please have patience and grace with us over the days to come. We will share our triumphs and defeats with you and we ask that your response would be prayer. We know we are following God's will, and we know the devil will attempt to derail us. We know there are unfathomable trials in our future, but our King will surely fight for us...we need only be still.

Here's to saying no "goodbyes" only "we'll see y'all later"


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Frozen Date!

A few weeks ago I was chomping at the bits to watch Frozen. Seriously, I couldn't stand it any longer! I love Disney movies, and especially Disney movies with stellar soundtracks. :) George was a tad less excited than me, but he still really wanted to see the film!

I asked George a while back what he thought was the most romantic thing I had ever done for him, and to my surprise his answer was this date! I was delighted to know that he enjoys my passion for creating/finding fun dates for us. After hearing his response I decided we were WAY overdue for a creative date night! So, I began planning a Frozen date for the two of us!

If I haven't mentioned it on here before... I LOVE dreaming and planning. There is something so amazing about spending hours and hours composing every little detail in your mind and then watching it come to fruition right before your eyes. Planning a date and seeing it come to life absolutely thrills me, and my husbands surprised reaction melts me into a puddle..every. single. time.

I found lots of free printables online. However, it did take some research on my part because most things are for children's birthday parties and not necessarily what I was looking for...but fortunately most all of the free things I found could be edited and applied to an exciting date!

First, I gave George his invitation to our night of Frozen fun, and then I gave him his ticket to get in! Please note my favorite part of the ticket..."Admit One George." :D

Next I forced him and Mozzie to dress the part and then they had to go hide in the bedroom till I could put up some of my simple decoration, and prepare our frozen hot chocolate. As always he kept sneaking out and attempting to peek at the decoration and dessert!

His face :D

Finally, I let the boys out of lock down and allowed myself to soak up every ounce of surprise written all over George's face! He LOVED everything I did and we both agreed later that night that this would certainly not be our last Frozen date night.

I'm so blessed with a leader who encourages me to be creative, over the top, and passionate about everything I do....I love you George, and dating you is always an exciting adventure.


For those of you wanting to plan your own Frozen event here's where I got my free printables! Also, check out this amazing Frozen Hot Chocolate recipe!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year!

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.Selah
5I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.Selah
6Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

Psalm 32:1-7

This year I am most thankful for forgiveness. Often I don't get it right and yet, Christ still pursues me, forgives me, and comforts me. I am so undeserving of His extravagant gifts. This has been a year of joy, grief, excitement, and change. Through every season of this year Christ has been faithful and present. So, I would consider a year filled with His grace a wonderful one. I wish I could see His plans for my sweet little family in 2014, but I know one thing for sure right now...there will be grace and we will be blessed. 

Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

365 Days of Love

It's been one whole year since I said "I do" to this handsome fella...

We have learned a lot together this past year. We shared some of what we have learned specifically about one another while on our anniversary getaway. These are some of the things we came up with...

What Laurin learned about George:

1. When it comes to covers, pillows, and sleeping space George has to be in control. Seriously, this man is a pillow/cover Nazi! He always has the majority of our pillows and gets super fussy when I "mess up the covers!"

2. He's pretty terrible at shutting cabinet doors.

3. He likes to pretend I don't have him wrapped around my finger, but lets just face it...he will basically give me anything I ask for! However, I try not to take advantage of my sugar sweet hubby who LOVES to spoil me! :)

4. He absolutely can't wait to be a Dad, and that totally and completely warms every single part of my heart.

5. He is gifted beyond belief in preaching. I am amazed each and every time he stands up in front of our church (and others) and allows God to speak through him. The Lord has been so faithful to affirm George's calling this year.

6. He is truly a servant. Since I have started working full time AND doing photography on the side he has almost completely taken over the house work. He also works a full time job...which is all the more reason to sing his praises. He cooks, cleans, and encourages me to no end.

7. He really thinks he is the lucky one. This shows me just how crazy and humble he is because anyone can clearly see I am the one who hit the mega million jackpot! :)

These are only a FEW of the things I learned this past year about my incredible husband!

What George learned about Laurin:

1. She's the encourager I never knew I needed. 

2. She doesn't handle disappointment very well but in devastating situations she's the one you want by your side. 

3. She gets upset when she makes an important statement and I don't respond right away. So, I have learned to reassure her i'm not ignoring her...just calculating my answer. :)

4. She has a sad face that is absolutely impossible to say no's probably the big brown eyes.

5. She is the most gifted photographer I know. She does way more the capture pictures. She uses her camera to tell the story of each person she photographs.

6. She will share almost any food with me. However, All fries are not created equal. She has a fry system that is delicate and can't be tampered with...what ever you do, DO NOT EAT THE FRY SHE HAS HER EYE ON.

7. I love her more then I ever thought I could and I know our love will only grow stronger and deeper through the years. 

We discussed most if not all of these lessons over coffee and cookies at the Biltmore Estate. I will never forget the cool air, the sensational coffee, or the grateful tears streaming down both of our cheeks. Seriously people, we are so very much in love.

I never new how much 365 days of marriage could change me. I see myself differently and I honestly see Christ differently. My husband has shown me Christ every single day of our lives together. No, not every day has been easy...there have been fights, forgiveness, and many doses of humility. I am thankful for each of those instances because I know so much more about grace and devotion now.

My Godly husband has been the most patient and gentle teacher this year. Many times my actions have been far from Christ-like, but he has shown me unconditional love all the same. I can't wait to see how much more he teaches me in our next 365 days. I am so excited about our future because I know it's bright and filled with incomprehensible joy.

Here's to the first 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 min, and 31,536,000 seconds of married bliss.

I love you George Thomas Clackum. You are my best friend, my biggest fan, and the greatest man I have ever known. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you.

Here are a few photos from our 1st anniversary photo shoot!

(A big thanks to Amber at ASB Photography for capturing these wonderful memories for us!)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Weekday Adventures!

Since I just started my FULL-TIME JOB (I know how exciting?) George and I haven't had much time to go and do fun "middle of the day/ middle of the week" adventures. We had gotten use to dating at weird times of the week because we were both working part time jobs, and honestly it was kind of fun to date on a Tuesday morning!

So, this week I have been reminiscing about our recent dates and thought I would (finally) share a little bit about the last few days of July for us!

One week in July (sorry, I can't remember the date!) I decided to visit my favorite dating site, yet again, for a creative "day-date" for me and George. As always, the Dating Divas delivered a date idea I am sure I will use again and again. There is a small zoo located in the heart of Greenville, SC and with the help of some dating extraordinaires I planned a date for us that was both inexpensive and oh-so-memorable! I made my sweet hubby figure out (without the help of the answer key) where our adventure was going to take us! He did really well deciphering the clues but definitely needed help with the spelling of the animal names...lets hope our kiddos get my mediocre spelling ability! ;)

Since July is one HOT month we made sure we got up early to head to the Zoo. We arrived mid-morning and were thankful the sun showed really wasn't too sweltering inside the facility. George decided to purchase the pack of graham crackers offered at the gate to feed and few of the animals without dietary restrictions, and it was quite possibly the best decision we made all day! He wowed all the other giraffe and elephant watchers with his ability to toss the crackers right in front of the animals! Later, when we were on the way home George admitted he felt pretty awesome when people kept saying "Let's give our crackers to that guy so he can actually get them to the animals!" I guess all those years of Frisbee paid off. ;)

Overall it was a pretty spectacular day. We learned the Greenville Zoo is very small, but for a short day-date it's just the right size. We also learned how a tasty snow cone is the perfect way to end a day at the zoo! :) I loved spending the morning going on an adventure with my husband and I can't wait to do it again! Here are some photos of our day...

The giraffe eating the cracker we threw him!

My flamingo! 

Photography has taken me many fun places but on the second to last Tuesday in July it took me somewhere extremely exciting (especially this season!), Turner Field! We have been planning to go to a Braves game for...oh I don't SUMMERS NOW! Thankfully, our wonderful friends from church, Leeann and Daniel invited us to a game. Now, that in and of itself is amazing, but they also asked me to take their engagement pictures before the game inside Turner Field! As you would imagine...we had the time of our lives AND the Braves won. It was so awesome to get to know Daniel and Leeann better, get some great shots, and renew my love for the Bravos!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our day.....

I know, he's totally handsome! ;)

These two got engaged at Turner Field 9-1-12. How awesome? :)

I had a blast photographing Leann and Daniel!