Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summer Sets

Time for our July recap! I feel like every time I turn around another month has passed and I am reflecting on all that has happened. In just a few short days, Allie will be back in school starting her sophomore year. Gulp. I just can't even believe it. So here's to our last little bit of summer. It has definitely been a whirlwind!

We spent the July 4th holiday in the mountains of western North Carolina. This is always my family's reunion week and we love being here each year and doing all our traditional things such as driving up to Cataloochee to see the beautiful view and grazing horses from Chattahoochee Ranch.

Lake Junaluska is such a special place for my family. It warms my heart that Zach and Allie love it so much and always want to come here.
One of my favorite things is walking the lake with my camera, always looking for new things and new views of things I have seen hundreds of times. I absolutely adore this lakeside chapel.

Chief Junaluska
Hope. Light at the end of the tunnel. This is a pathway back to our home called Lovely Lane and I do believe it gets lovelier the more overgrown it becomes.

During our holiday at the lake, there was lots of relaxing... lots of this,
and lots of this (Dog Bingo).
Lots of southern food favorites, like bbq from the Haywood Smokehouse
and an Independence Day low country boil!
Reading up. Ha!

One of our favorite things to do on the 4th is attend the cheeseball Lake J 4th of July parade. It is perfectly delightful and ridiculous.
Grandma and Aunt Martha Jane with the premo seats.

My favorite car that is in the parade every year!
Indie girl.
Standard parade vehicle.
Small town class. LOL
More sophistication. I mean, it is the BEST. :)
Happy Birthday America!
On the heels of our family trip, Allie attended Rush, the summer student conference hosted at Perimeter. This conference is really unique in that it is completely student led. From hospitality, to storytelling, worship, tech... if it is something that needs to happen, students are running it. Allie was actually on the Rush Servant Team and spent the week helping with Tech. This was something really outside her comfort zone, but we were so proud of her for sticking with it through all months of training, being willing to learn something new, accept her mistakes and press on to do better the next time. It was a really wonderful experience for her and she can't wait to participate again next year!

After Rush, Al headed back to Alabama for the last two weeks of July while Zach and I hit the ground running. In case you missed the big announcement, we got some really exciting news regarding some of Zach's music. Back in May, we were notified that his song Grow Old was going to be on Florida Georgia Line's new album, Dig Your Roots. Say what now?! We could not believe it! This news came completely out of the blue since Zach had not been working on country songwriting and had not actively pursued a career in this industry in almost 8 years. Back in 2008, he was doing the country songwriting thing in Nashville and co-wrote a handful of songs with various writers. Not long after, life led him in a different direction and the country songwriting thing was put on the back burner. It had always been a dream of his to make a living songwriting while serving the local church through music, but "making it" in Nashville is incredibly difficult. Like, more difficult than you can possibly imagine. Honestly, we pretty much abandoned hope of that ever happening and were really focused on our life in church ministry. I mean, most of his country songs have never even seen the light of day. They aren't demo'd and certainly haven't been presented to publishers/artists so the odds of getting a song cut is like, 1 in a million.

Fast forward 8 years and that back burner dream was barely simmering for us while some of his co-writers had become successful country artists, namely Canaan Smith who is the co-writer of Grow Old. At some point, Canaan introduced Grow Old to FGL and they made the decision to include it on their next project. What's funny about this is that Zach didn't even remember what version of the song Canaan had since he has tweaked lines and phrases over the years. LOL There will definitely be some differences when the final FGL version becomes available August 26th, but nonetheless, we are so humbled and amazed this sweet song is getting shared with the world.

For those that attended out wedding, Grow Old is the song Zach sang at our reception and has always been my absolute favorite from his song catalog. :) This month,  Tyler of Florida Georgia Line posted a short anniversary video and included Grow Old as the soundtrack. It was the first time we heard their version and had hard evidence all this was happening. :)
This song cut has really changed a lot of things for us and opened many new doors for Zach. His passion for writing as been reignited and I am so proud of him for how hard he is working towards this goal, all while balancing family, ministry, and everything else on his plate. He has been writing a ton and spent a week in Nashville meeting with publishers and writing with various songwriters. We don't know exactly where this road will lead, but we are trusting God to open and close doors as He sees fit and use this opportunity for good.

While Zach and Allie were away, I had a solid week to myself. It was weird. Ha! I haven't had 7 days by myself since before Zach and I were married. Besides working, I spent a lot of time cooking (see my previous post) and focusing on my new AIP lifestyle.
I also helped one of my best friends work on her new book proposal and I am so excited for what God has planned for this! It has already ministered so much to me and my own personal journey of faith, freedom, and purpose. I can't wait to see what the future holds for this project!

And speaking of friends, since I was a free bird and could do what I wished :), I drove to Charlotte for the weekend to see some of those nearest and dearest to me. Our community in Charlotte is still so sweet and such a treasure to me any time I am there. I packed out my schedule with coffees and lunches with various friends and even got to visit our old church on Sunday. I took like, ZERO photos while I was there (I don't know what I was thinking), but here's a kinda terrible one LOL of me with my sweet friend Lindsay.
This girl is like a sister to me and it warms my heart her name is even Lindsay. :)

With Zach and Allie FINALLY back home and August on the horizon, we are ramping up for Allie's oral surgery, school starting, and much to come music-wise in the next month. Stay tuned!

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