Escape to the Sea

by Terrica Joy in

Forever memories.


Those legs.  Irresistible.


I thought it might scare her, the roar of the waves.  Nah.  She was fearless.


In fact, she loved it.


Oh man, she slays me.  Some days I think I just might die from joy.


I'm pretty sure if we lived on the coast someday, she'd be totally cool with that.  She rocks the beach look. ;-)


I used to always take photos of my toes in the sand.  I have shots from beaches literally all over the world.  Those days may be gone...


...I like hers so much better.


Every night I fall asleep thinking I couldn't possibly love this tiny girl any more...


...and every morning I wake up realizing I do.


(love her more, that is)


I can't explain it.  But if you're a moma,  you know.  Even when your heart feels full to capacity, you somehow manage to squeeze in a bit more love for them each and every day.


Our little family.


No doubt, this tiny girl has loads of travels in her future.  She is our daughter after all!  But we're easing her into it.  First long road trip? Check!  She did great.  Next month we'll trial run air travel when we fly to Colorado for a week in the Rockies.  Pending how that goes we have a number of trips lined up over the next several months... just taking it slow.  With a lifetime of adventures in our future, I'm in no hurry.  As long as I'm with these two, no matter where I'm at,I'm one happy girl ;-)


 What did you do for Memorial Day weekend??

New Adventure

by Terrica Joy in

I mentioned in a post a few months back how nothing excites me more than waking in a new and foreign land, the day stretching before me with limitless possibilities.  No agenda, no set plans, just sheer adventure...

And we've had many, that's for sure.  


But I have to say, this little adventure trumps them all...


It's absolutely black and white.  ;-)

More Nashville Love

by Terrica Joy in

Hiking the gorgeous trails around Radnor Lake Nature Preserve.  Breathtaking rolling hills and foliage.  Coffee on the deck at Bongo Java. Grass-fed burgers and sweet potato fries at Burger Up.  Aimlessly roaming the Vanderbilt University Campus. Driving the back roads to friendly local farms for raw milk or honey pick-ups.  Meandering the adorable shops in downtown Franklin.  A morning hike at the Fontanel Mansion followed by a hearty breakfast at the farmhouse.  Taking in the views along the Stone's River Trail in Hermitage...

Not that I need yet another reason to love Nashville, but if I did these newly discovered little gems would certainly do the trick!


The Green Wagon.  They brew their own kombucha.  Need I say more??  I didn't think so.  But be assured there are a thousand other reasons to love them as well: an adorable yard full of organic herbs, loads of local products, an upcoming cloth diapering workshop... I didn't even set foot inside the door and already we're bff's.  (They were closed for the holidays.  My heart literally broke.  I pressed my face to the window pane and pouted unashamedly.  Josh and his mom had to tear me away grumbling my disdain.)

We also discovered this lovely little place for the first time: 


The Turnip Truck.  It certainly isn't new to Nashvillians, but it was new to me!  I never thought I'd say this, but I might like them slightly better than Whole Foods.  Their product quality is fantastic!  And even their hot foods and salad bars are loaded entirely with organics, something you rarely find with the competition.  They have two locations, but I actually prefer the smaller one just around the corner from the Green Wagon.  It feels more tucked away and homey.  Oh, and gluten-free cinnamon buttermilk muffins??  Yeah, enough said.

I still have a quite a few places to tick of my 'Getting to Know Nashville List', like hiking the thousands of acres of Warner park surrounding the old Steeplechase course, or heading out of town bit to explore the 'secret falls' along the Fiery Gizzard Trail.  And I simply must try the organic, gluten free pancakes at Pfunky Griddle.  Their menu looks divine!  I want to explore both Percy Priest and Old Hickory lakes, and definitely grab a coffee at the Frothy Monkey (something I've YET to do in the 10 years we've been back and forth!).  And I want to roam the newly re-done Farmer's Market downtown in full seasonal swing.  We stopped in this trip, but most of it was shut down for winter.  They new facilities and vendors look amazing though!

Oh Nashville, so much to love...

Am I missing anything?  If you know Nashville and have a spot you think I need to add to my list, definitely let me know!

Nashville Love

by Terrica Joy in

We're home from a lovely trip to Nashville!  We celebrated a belated Christmas with Josh's family, spent lots of time cooking and just hanging out together, and wrapped it all up with the sweetest little baby shower at the church where Josh grew up.  We had friends drive in from as far as Indiana and Alabama to be with us, so we also planned a little brunch prior to the shower so we could spend a little extra time with them.  Josh stayed up super late the night before making homemade cinnamon rolls (cause he's a rock star like that) and we all spread out around a huge table filled with breakfast casserole and fruit and literally half a dozen pans of cinnamon-y goodness, and simply laughed and chatted the morning away.  We were so touched they all traveled so far to see us.  Josh kept saying how sincerely loved he felt.  (and how emotional it all made him...shhh, don't tell him I said that though!)  

We truly felt so embraced and celebrated.  I didn't even know half the people who came to the shower (like his childhood dental hygienist, for example!  Or the adorable couple from Jackson who drove 4 hours round-trip just to attend the shower!)  Really??  Only in a small southern town...  I was blown away by the kindness and generosity of so many people who barely even know me, but then again I did marry the most loveable man alive so I guess it's something more like riding on his coat tails ;-)  

And besides all the love and hugs and tears, there were also tons of amazing gifts for baby girl!  We were seriously SO blessed.  I have to show you a few of our favorites soon, but a handful of them are being shipped so I'll wait until I can take photos to tell you about them.  However, while I'm on the topic of gifts... check this out:


My 16-year-old little sister-in-law spent 7 1/2 weeks knitting this adorable blanket for her niece.  7 1/2 weeks!  Oh and um, she didn't know how to knit prior to this project.  She literally learned just for us.  That, my friends, is a labor of love.  We were shocked!  And touched.  And still get all sorts of warm fuzzies every time we look at it.  It's beautiful!  She was also careful to stick to what will be the nursery color palette of creams and ivories.  I so love that ever attentive little artist...

I also learned over the course of our stay that if I said things like, "I'd like a little hat for the baby," or "I think the baby needs a knitted headband," that within a few hours or a day at most, suddenly one appeared like magic!  I had to make myself stop it. ;-)

And talk about another meaningful gift, look at these tiny darlings:


My Dad's baby shoes.  How.  Stinkin'.  Adorable.  My Granny passed them along to me recently in their original tattered little box, complete with a pair of his old diaper pins and a card from his shower stuffed with strips of paper where guests suggested names.  I absolutely love them.  I'm sure they'll find themselves displayed in baby girl's nursery at some point, a reminder of both family heritage and the limitless possibilities of her future.

And one other belated Christmas gift Josh and I both loved instantly:


It's a photo from out Epic Adventure this past summer with Caleb and Dakotah.  We were in London just outside the Tate Museum when I made everyone stop to take a 'shadow family' photo.  Dakotah said she remembers how excited I was about it, so they had it blown up on canvas.  Of all of our amazing travel photos all over England, Holland, and France, this was the one she chose.  It's the one I would have chosen, too.  I simply couldn't love it more.  She knows me too well. ;-)

Did you receive any really meaningful gifts this year??

Encountering God in Playa del Carmen

by Terrica Joy in

Peace laden.  Revealing.  Restful.  Inspiring.  Healing.

My prayer was that it wouldn't just be a trip, but rather a subtle collision, an intimate meeting with the God of the universe.  And it was.  Sometimes it takes getting away from the noise to hear Him clearly.  And I needed to hear from Him far more than I even realized.  

He simply isn't capable of disappointing His children when they cry out with sincere hearts.  He heard me.  He heard us.  And He responded.  Brilliantly, beautifully, perfectly... 


At night I'd curl up in the massive canopy bed with a mug of sleepytime tea, and stare across the palm tops and waves to the hazy skyline of nearby Cozumel.  As I'd drift off to sleep, one specific verse rolled around and around in my heart, day in, day out:

"For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor.  No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly."  Psalm 84:11

No good thing.  Not one single, good thing.

Provision, health, safety.  Insight, direction, peace.  Joy, favor, moments of bliss.  The list is endless.  But for me, specifically, it was hours of quiet with my love... on the beach, lounging on the balcony overlooking the ocean reading for hours, curled up in bed, soaking in the jacuzzi.  It was dreaming of the future, exploring blissful possibilities, planning towards our growing family.  It was long and honest conversations with the Lord, humbly asking questions, waiting for answers, being inspired beyond what we thought possible.  It was sharp and crystal clarity neither of us have had in a long time... and peace.  Sheer, pure, unadulterated peace that could only have come from Him.  It crept up like a silent fog, engulfing us entirely.  It was alluring, enchanting, and we didn't hesitate to fall into it's grasp, letting our hearts and minds settle with childlike trust.

I felt so completely safe and loved, so seen.  I kept telling Josh, "Our Father is so good.  He's so generous to us.  It's overwhelming, almost unreal sometimes.  He is just.  So.  Good."

Life isn't always good.  In fact, it downright sucks sometimes.  We live in a truly fallen, broken, jacked-up world.  It's reality.  But He is good.  We get our hearts broken, our dreams dashed, our hopes pulverized.  But He is good.  We get hurt, depressed, upset, lost.  But He is good.

He is unchanging.  He is forever for us.  He is good.  


And I, well... I am forever grateful.  Astounded by His goodness for a thousand reasons I could never begin to put to words, day in, day out...  I am grateful.

Sometimes, more than anything else, we just need to hear from our Father.  Perhaps regarding something specific, perhaps simply to connect.  If you need that life-giving infusion of Truth, I hope you'll intentionally seek it out.  I promise you won't regret it.  Even a mere 10 minutes of silence and seeking will deeply nourish your soul.

Fishin', Feastin', and a Country Style Pedicure!

by Terrica Joy in

This old train trestle has served as a kind of backdrop of my life for as long as I can remember.  It's where I learned to swim, spent hours fishing and playing and getting in trouble, where I rode my horse as a teenager to let him run far too wildly in the wide open fields, and even where Josh and I spent hours sitting and talking while we were dating.  It's quiet, secluded, and if you ask anyone in Ben Franklin, TX to meet you at 'the Trestle', I assure you they'll know exactly what you mean.  The trains stopped running years ago, but I still remember the days of looking up from the swimming hole below to see an old engine chuggin' by.


This weekend we drove out to my parent's to do a little fishin', and with the drought still in full swing the trusty ole train trestle is one of the few remaining water holes where you can do just that.  My mom, Tirzah and I climbed on the 4-wheelers with Dad and Josh bringing up the rear in the truck, and meandered our way down the old backroads.  It goes something like this: gravel road to gravel road, cross the old rail tracks where the gravel turns to dirt and clods, thru the farmland along the treeline until the road runs out completely, then zig zag your way thru the pasture until the river looms into view.

We parked our rides and grabbed our chairs and poles, scaled our way down the steep river bank and picked out a spot to sit awhile.


Josh was quick to reel in the first catch of the day.  Being the competitive type he was quite proud of himself ;-)


It wasn't very long until we heard the sound of another 4-wheeler drawing near.  My dad never even looked up but stated knowingly, "There's your Uncle Larry." (They well recognize the sounds of each others atv's you know, pick up trucks, dog barks, and shotguns as well.  I'm totally not kidding.)


He wasted no time gettin' down to business.

I sat and snapped photos and fished awhile, but I wasn't getting so much as a bite!  Finally I got up and marched past Josh to the other side of the water, grumbling to anyone listening about how I was going to show them all up.  I kicked off my flip-flops, dipped my toes in the water, and settled in just where the fish had literally been jumping outta the water for the last hour....


...problem was, I found myself quickly distracted.  Notice in the picture on the far right how I'm staring at my feet rather than my bobber like I should be??  Remember the 'fish pedicure' craze that hit a few years ago?  Well, we country folk have had that one under lock and key for generations!  Check it out:


And if you actually go for a swim you'll come out with full body exfoliation.  Like a day at the spa I tell you, except no spa on the planet will ever be this organic! ;-)

Content with my all natural pedicure, I finally gave up and retreated to the shade of the trestle for a snack.  But everyone else was suddenly on a roll!  Dad hit the 'sweet spot' so they all crowded in and started jockeying for position...


After several hours and a nice sunburn I suddenly decided I desperately needed to make a pie, so mom and I crawled out and headed back towards the house.  Tirzah and Josh decided they were finished too, so we left the overall brothers alone in the riverbed with the fish.


The official stats stood as follows:

Josh-FIRST fish of the day

Tirzah-BIGGEST fish of the day

Dad-MOST fish of the day

Me-A fish pedicure

(Plus two soft shell turtles which yes, of course my Daddy cooked and ate.  Apparently soft shell turtles are known for their 5 distinct flavors: Chicken, pork, and so on.  Who knew?!  Ben Franklin folk, that's who.  I admit I caved to the peer 'aka DAD' pressure and tried it, but I couldn't get past the texture...  I immediately reminded him I was pregnant and would gag if he made me eat any more.  There's #2 on my list again, still working quite nicely!)

There was also a lesson in filleting while I napped, and then awoke to a Mom-made feast of hush puppies and fish.  Oh and Josh got his fix of 'shootin' stuff' in the pasture, too.


Apparently cooking the smaller fish bone-in is called 'corn cobbing' or 'corn cobbers' or something.  That term was new to me, however I did not eat a filet with bone and tail.  I couldn't do it.  I'm pregnant, ya know ;-)

So what did you do this weekend??  Anything as fun as fishing and shootin' stuff??