Must Haves: Spring Edition

Hi friends!

In Texas, there are no distinct seasons (except for hot; hot is definitely a season of it’s own.) And lately, I’ve been thinking about what products I find essential when it gets warmer here. I love reading other bloggers’ seasonal favorites, so I thought it would be fun to make my own list!

Without further ado, the four items I currently cannot live without.

1. Sparkling Water

I know, I know, sparkling water is a ~trendy~ favorite these days, but for years this has been a drink I adore. I get some fizz and flavor without actually drinking a bad-for-you soda. My mom and I are both in love with the HEB brand of coconut flavored & grapefruit flavored sparkling waters. They are AMAZING (and much cheaper than La Croix.) But I will splurge on La Croix every once in a while. I also normally have some Topo Chicos in my fridge (lime is my favorite!)
                                                      

2) Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Baking Soda Cream Cleanser

It’s a mouthful to say, but this is by far one of the best cleaning/polishing products I’ve ever used! It is the only cleaner that has successfully removed burnt on stains from our stove top, is perfect to wipe down the sink when you’ve finished a load of dishes, and did I mention that the Lemon Verbena smell is to. die. for. I don’t know about y’all, but a fresh smelling home totally uplifts my mood and gives me a sense of relaxation.  I got mine at Target for $2.99, and a little goes a long way so it’s worth the buy any day of the week. (Not being endorsed, just seriously love this stuff!)

3) Thayer’s Witch Hazel

My skin has always been incredibly sensitive. Put too much product on, and I have breakouts for days. If I don’t put on enough lotion, my face becomes the Sahara desert. Don’t even get me started on scented facial products (I learned to stay away from those a looooong time ago!) But I found a product recently that has been totally revolutionary for my finicky face – Thayer’s Witch Hazel. Not only do they have an unscented type (yay!) but it is also alcohol free (double yay!!) Facial products with alcohol never mix well with my skin. I am able to clean, tone, and refresh my face without worrying about the side effects. With all the harsh chemicals in normal toners and witch hazels, I love being able to make a good health and beauty decision for myself by splurging on this brand (most toners are only a buck or two.) It’s super refreshing on a hot day – I just pour a few drops on a cotton ball and swipe around my face. For y’all with less picky skin than mine, they have scented varieties that smell amazing, like lavender and rose petal. I got mine on amazon for $8 but Target also carries this product.

4) Chacos

This has been true for a while, but I live in my chacos. I even converted my husband over, who now wears chacos every chance he can. Not only do they come in a cute prints and patterns, but they are soooo easy to slip on in a hurry and are comfortable for hours on end. They get a lot of hate for not being *cute* but I rock mine proudly! Even though they are a pricier buy (most run for around $100-$120) they are shoes that I will buy again in a heartbeat once my current ones have worn out. Did I also mention that they last for waaay longer than most shoes these days? I had my previous pair for over 6 years!

Thanks for reading!! Let me know if you use any of these products, or if you have any suggestions for products I might be into. I love sharing tidbits of my life with y’all

Have a question? Contact me at jess.lanmon@gmail.com

Want to know more? Visit my about me page.

Want to chat? Reach out! I love hearing from y’all.

 

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prayers on paper

Recently, I’ve come into the habit of journaling my prayers. Maybe it’s my inner English major coming out,  but there is just something special about writing out my deep, inner thoughts. I believe that we love a good God who listens to our prayers, even if it’s not how we might typically ‘pray’. Writing down my prayers helps me to focus on Jesus and to stay present. It also reminds me that Jesus is constantly working in my life. I can look back a few months and see what I was praying about, and how God has answered that prayer (in whatever way) today, even if it’s not the answer I was ‘hoping’ for. And then there are some things that I am still waiting on God’s answer for. But it reminds me that God is not deaf to our prayers. I just have to be patient.

All that to say, being engaged, I have taken care to carve out deliberate time to pray for mine and Kyle’s future marriage, and for Kyle as my future husband. In an attempt to be vulnerable, I am going to share one prayer I recently wrote out. There are many reasons why I want to share. Ultimately, I believe that to reach others we are called to be vulnerable. We are not called to fake perfect lives. We are called to admit that we are inherently flawed, but that we have a perfect God. I also know that sharing prayer can be scary. I mean, do any of y’all remember sitting in Sunday School and being called upon to pray? I don’t know what y’all did, but I would straight up panic. It’s scary to talk straight up from your heart. When that would happen to me, I would often give a generic prayer so that I wouldn’t have to be made uncomfortable, I wouldn’t have to be vulnerable. You don’t want to say the ‘wrong’ things. You don’t want to pray about the ‘wrong’ things. You don’t want to be judged.  But once again, we are not called to comfort as Christians – we are called to much more. And with Jesus, he doesn’t care how ‘fancy’ our prayers are, he just wants us to sit and talk with him, to acknowledge him, to thank him. He doesn’t want the perfect prayer, he just wants us to pray. img_7324

……………

“Jesus, thank you for Kyle. Thank you for giving me a soon-to-be husband who knows my heart so well. He is someone who truly loves me more than he loves himself. When I look at Kyle, I am reminded of your faithfulness. I am reminded of the promises you make to your people. He is much more than I deserve most days. Something I love about Kyle is that he always reminds me that his love is unconditional. We might be arguing or upset with one another, but he always reminds me “Jessica – when I say ‘I love you,’ that is not only when times are good.” The love he shows me each day is a gift.

Jesus, I pray that Kyle is constantly reminded of how much love you have for him. I pray that he will turn to you first when times are hard. I pray that struggles in our life will strengthen him to be a stronger leader for our family, and for those around us. I know how hard it is to be a man in today’s world, there is pressure everywhere to be a certain ‘type’ of man. Constantly remind him of your will, Jesus, molding him into the man who you know he will become. I pray that as his (future) wife, I will always be reminded of the trust and respect I should have for him on a daily basis. I pray that as we live our lives, that we will run after you faster and faster until we fall into your arms at the end.

Jesus, I can’t wait to be his wife. The anticipation is insane. You know my heart, you know how deep my love runs for him. He will be the best husband for me.  And one day, he will exceed all expectations as a father. Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that I get to have Kyle. Thank you for loving Kyle. Thank you for changing his life as his Savior. I am literally pumped to do life with my best friend every day. I am the luckiest.”

……….

Honestly, I am still jittery when I write my blog posts. It is HARD being open with everyone on the internet. It’s hard not knowing what others might be saying about what I post. No one wants to be laughed at or judged for what they think. But I am not called to comfort. I am called to live for Jesus, and to let his word saturate into every aspect of my life. So if I’m going to blog, you better believe that I’m going to blog about what Jesus has done for me.

I challenge everyone to show vulnerability in their lives this week. Whatever that may look like for you, there is no wrong answer.

xxoo, Jessica

 

Our Story

Hello again! I haven’t posted in almost three months. Between working and wedding planning, it’s been difficult to make time for the fun things, like blogging! Hopefully with this next semester coming, I’ll have more to update on. Yesterday (the 13th) was mine and Kyle’s SIX. YEAR. ANNIVERSARY. Like, I am in complete awe at the life we’ve had together, and how much life we have ahead of us. So in honor of our 6 year mark, and today being 5 months away from the wedding, I have decided to post the story of how we met & how Kyle proposed. You can also find this on our wedding website (theknot.com/us/meetthelanmons).

13988167_10205414372557515_2180570983594476771_o(It’s crazy what going from 2010 ->2016 can do!)

                                                                ……….

Kyle & I first met in Sunday School, the middle of our 8th grade year. I had just moved from Weatherford, TX to Valley Mills, TX and we were visiting FBCVM for the first time. I never would have guessed that I would be meeting my future husband that very day!

We didn’t talk much that year, but when we entered 9th grade we had a math class together (which wasn’t a surprise because we both went to a very, very small high school.) We ended up sitting close and throughout the year we developed a growing friendship. He always helped me with homework, and I realized that I had a huge crush on the boy who was really, really good at math. Later we realized that during this year we both liked each other, but being high school freshman, we were too nervous to admit it!

The summer before 10th grade is when we developed our friendship to a deeper level. That summer we were in the same friend group, so we were spending time together almost every day. All summer long our group went to movies together, swam in the creeks, and attending our church’s youth camp. I got to see Kyle’s heart throughout the summer, and I am so grateful that God gave us that sweet, sweet time to become friends first. At the end of the summer we were finally able to tell each other how we felt, and on August 13th, 2010 our life together officially started. I know people say that on the wedding day is when a life with someone starts, but ours started a long, long time ago.

We continued to date all throughout high school – it was hard to find us apart! But we were (and continue to be) each other’s best friends. Even from an early point we both knew that we never wanted to be apart, and I continued to hear God’s voice telling me that Kyle was someone worth holding on to. So when we both neared the end of our senior year, we chose colleges. Kyle chose Baylor, and I chose Arkansas – 8 hours away. I couldn’t explain it, but I knew that Arkansas was where I needed to be. I was scared going so far away from my family and from Kyle, but God has done beautiful things through us both because of our obedience to his plan. Long distance is a hard reality, but we were both determined to make it work. By no means are we experts on long distance, but it has taught us to love and treasure the time we do have together more than ever before.

Kyle & I had come to a point in our relationship where marriage was something we deeply wanted. All throughout long distance we knew marriage was what we wanted, but throughout this past year we continued to talk about it and to pursue the idea on a real level – not just a fun future idea. I knew that we were going to be engaged at some point in the near future, but little did I know, Kyle had been planning the proposal starting in November 2015 when he bought my engagement ring.

This past February, Kyle had a trip planned to come to Fayetteville for the weekend, but I didn’t know anything like a proposal was going to happen, I just thought it was going to be a relatively normal weekend. He got to Fayetteville on a Friday night after his classes, and in the morning he took me to my all-time favorite breakfast place, Grandma’s House Cafe. It’s an adorably quirky diner nestled in the depths of the Ozark Mountains. We were so happy to be together, I think we laughed the entire hour that we were there! We looked out the windows upon the gorgeous mountains, and admired an older couple eating together. I remember talking about how one day, we would be just like them – old, married, and happy!

Later on that day after a bit of relaxing, we drove an hour and a half to Whitaker’s Point, a breathtaking lookout upon the mountains. Kyle & I both have a love for the outdoors, and we’ve both remarked on how close we feel close to God when we’re breathing in fresh mountain air and surrounded by His creations. We hiked to the lookout point, talking and pointing out the beauty of the evening. Little did I know that I was about to be proposed to!

Once at the top we stood, smiling and at complete peace. It was a moment I will truly treasure forever. We were hugging and watching the sunset as he began to tell me the kindest words that I will also, cherish forever. Kyle then got done on one knee, asked me to marry him, and I said YES! We were both laughing and hugging and completely overwhelmed with love for one another. Little did I know, he had invited a few of my dear friends and they popped out from the bushes with their cameras! From that point on the night was a whirlwind of joy from calling our families, going to dinner, and then enjoying a surprise engagement party!

Kyle is the most selfless, kind-hearted, Jesus loving man that I have ever met and I am so lucky that he chose me to be his wife. He serves me on a daily basis, and his heart towards the lost, broken, and sinful is something that I can only hope to have. We are excited to have the opportunity to spread the gospel of Jesus through our marriage, and to learn to love each other and God more than ever before!

Thank you to the family, friends, and loved ones that have poured into Kyle and I throughout the years. We are so grateful for y’all and cannot wait to celebrate together on our wedding day. More than anything, we are thankful for a God who pours out His perfect love onto us day after day. Marriage will truly be our greatest adventure.

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