Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bailey's Beach Bachelorette Bash

How's that for some alliteration? I spent the weekend in the lovely city of Charleston celebrating the last few weeks of Bailey's singleness. 
It was a crazy weekend but a blast, for sure.

We all branded ourselves with flash tats…

And did some typical bachelorette party games and activities…like a lingerie shower, dancing, and plenty of girly games…

And some hilariously not-so-typical bachelorette party 8 am beach workouts (helloooo all college athletes!) and persuading the pizza delivery boy to pretend he was a stripper!

We spent plenty of time catching rays on the beach…

And not enough time exploring the beautiful city of Charleston… 
(I can't wait for my next visit!)

One hilarious part about the weekend was the altheticism and height that were present in this group. Almost everyone there (of course myself, but at least i am tall!) played college volleyball. And every girl was nearing 6 feet tall, too, so we were a sight to see!

All that to say, it was a wonderful celebration and I cannot wait for Bailey and Max's wedding in a few short weeks!

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I am loving this new Coke campaign with the names on the bottles, but, as I have been many times before, I was annoyed that my double name would never appear on a coke bottle.

After a long morning of testing training for my research position at Vanderbilt, I was walking to my car to run a few errands during my lunch break today. And I stumbled across this.

I examined the line and the vans, trying to figure out if I could get a free coke. (It has been almost 100 degrees in Nashville this week!) And, low and behold, not only could I get a free coke, I could get a free personalized coke!
 I immediately hopped in line and typed "Laura Grace" into the computer when it was my turn. And, of course, this was too good to be true. Only names recognized in their "name dictionary" were able to be printed. 

Fortunately, they had a cool Photobooth to make up for their lack of creativity in the name department!

And my lucky friends, all of the ones who I had plans to see tonight, got a personalized coke. And I got two to fit my name in.

And, in honor of seeing my BFF Alison tomorrow, after nearly a year, I got this one! More to come on our weekend in Charleston later.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Words to Live By...

We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it. –Madeleine L. Engle

I heard these words spoken at a funeral last week. And they stuck with me. You can read the whole eulogy here, but this quote really does sum up the life that I feel called to live.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When it rains, it pours...

Its been a rough few days here at The Grut. The expression, "when it rains, it pours..." has taken on both literal and figurative meaning here lately.
(dark picture to emphasize how I am feeling these days…)
Figuratively, we were all enjoying the end of summer until Rita and Livvy both completely shattered their phones, Camille and I both came down with a miserable sickness, and the downstairs flooded.

Literally, when it has rained over the past few weeks, we have noticed little puddles coming up from the tiles downstairs. When the territial downpour happened on Sunday morning, I stepped out of bed onto a completely soaked floor. My purse was wet, my blankets were wet, my entire floor was wet.

I completely understand that life could be worse, and these little setbacks are small in comparison to some. But it is frustrating. And disheartening. And annoying.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Family Dinners

Everybody loves a home cooked meal. But, a home made dinner that is enjoyed on porch during a summer evening, surrounded by family is inevitably going to be pretty great. And that is what went down at the Carroll household last night.

Spending time with the family has gotten more rare, but also more exciting, as we have all grown up and scattered!

This weekend, both boys were in town with their girlfriends, so I was happily 7th wheeling with the fam (minus Ali and Jonny, who would've made me an even happier 9th wheel).

Per usual, my parents prepared an amazingly delicious meal!

It was a lovely, lovely summer evening!

And I am very thankful for my sweet family.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


In counseling school, readings and professors and text books often talk about the idea of "mindfulness". Yesterday, when expressing my stress to my personal counselor, she, too, brought up the idea of "mindfulness". Supposedly, it looks something like this.

I thought this idea was new to me, over the last year or so, but I recently realized it is just a different word for what I have always been taught as "prayer". In the christian sense, "casting all your cares on him, because he cares for you" (I Peter 5:7) is the idea behind mindfulness. But it provides deeper meaning. And more substantial backing for where to direct your thoughts, stressors, and anxiety.

Which reminds me of one of my all time favorite verses, which also happens to be, regardless of what you believe, a good mantra for everyone to live by…

In this world, I constantly find my mind full of stress, plans, to-do lists, wishes, and countless other worries. It is my goal, as my life quickly becomes busy again, to direct my thoughts towards the things that matter. I challenge you to do the same.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Reinstating Roomie Dinners

We used to rotate who cooked a homemade meal every Tuesday night, but we have let busyness take over the past few months. And, as of our delicious fajitas last night, we are starting the tradition back up!
Stay tuned for some delicious meals at The Grut.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Nashville Rooftop Party

In honor of the Pitches winning the championship, our teammate Evan hosted a party on his roof last night. It was cool to have a view of the Nashville skyline. As much as I love nashville, I really don't spend much time downtown, and this location felt so urban, which I loved. And, of course, it was a blast to be outside on a summer night, enjoying the company of fun friends!

And, considering I haven't had a free weekend in Nashville in nearly three months, this was a fantastic way to spend my free Friday night!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Feelin' Like a Champion

When Lauren and Michael invited us to join their summer kickball team, we had no idea how much fun was in store. Pitches Be Crazy was certainly a highlight of my summer. While the games were competitive and wonderful, the new friends, "pitch" meals at el stuffed pepper, and the fact that we were the ref Jamie's favorite team were far more entertaining than the actual kickball matches.

 Losing our first six games in a row, we stepped it up the second half of the season and came back to win the champtionship in a double header last night...Worst to first!!

Here is the chronology of pictures we have of the season...

And if you can't tell, the last one is when we had just won the title!!

Pitches, we are a dream team!