october in the smoky mountains part III

Sunrise on a mountain.

october in the smoky mountains part III

I love sleeping. Sleeping is my favorite. Sleeping has always, without fail, trumped my desire to see a sunrise. Maybe it was the mountain air. Maybe it was my pestering brother-in-law. Maybe it was the photography class and my DSLR in hand. Whatever it was, it convinced me and my even more sleep-happy sister to get up before six AM, change, and climb in the car for a half hour drive up a dirt road in the dark until we reached Max Patch. We then climbed straight up the mountain, stopping multiple times to catch our breath, and found a spot on the summit in the wet grass. Surrounded by people in tents, we waited only a little while before the first rays of light began to peek over the smokies.

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This view was only marred for a split second when I realized I had no coffee. My coffee was sitting on the table beside the front door of our little cabin–forgotten. But then I got lost in the fog and the cold. I accidentally left my tripod at home so I did my best with long exposures. If I could build a home on this mountain and have this view every day of my life, I would die a happy woman.

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When it was time for the sun to pop over the horizon, the clouds came in hard core and we missed that spectacular moment. That’s okay, though. It was still beautiful. Cold–really cold. But beautiful.

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Once the sun had risen in true, I went for a little wander to the other side of the summit to see the adjacent mountains in the fresh light of a new day. On our drive up to the mountains I had discovered Colton Dixon’s song “Limitless,” and every time I looked out on the Appalachians, his lyrics were all I could think of.

“Too young, too old
Too shy, too bold
Too average
To make a difference
The world’s too big
And you’re too small
If you try to fly
You’re gonna fall
They’re shouting
But we won’t listen
We are limitless, limitless
Limitless, limitless
The power of love
Alive in us
Is limitless, limitless
Unstoppable and nothing less
Nothing can hold us down
Cause we are limitless.”

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“No more impossible
So much for too difficult
We know that our God is greater
Wake up you dreamers
Become a believer
This is who we are
Limitless, limitless
Limitless, limitless
The power of love
Alive in us
Is limitless, limitless
Unstoppable and nothing less
Nothing can hold us down
Cause we are limitless
Take away the limitations
When we fix our eyes on You
You flood our hearts with expectation
Lord, there’s nothing You can’t do.”

october in the smoky mountains part III october in the smoky mountains part III october in the smoky mountains part III october in the smoky mountains part III october in the smoky mountains part III october in the smoky mountains part III

Go climb a mountain. Conquer the part of yourself that says you can’t. That says you aren’t good enough. That says people don’t choose you.
You are everything you are meant to be. You are enough. Be the best you that you can be. Make your best mistakes. Remove the impossible. If you want something, go after it instead of hiding behind rational hesitation and excuses.

october in the smoky mountains part III

“Doubt sees a mountain, no way around it
Faith sees a victory, no doubt about it
Fear sees a ceiling, hope sees the stars
Love be the light inside of our hearts
We are limitless.” -Colton Dixon

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We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Surround yourself with people who love you, support you, and are chasing life. I am so grateful to have these two in my life. They have been my everything this year.
“Love makes you want to be a better man–right, right. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.” -Gillian Flynn, ‘Gone Girl.’

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Camp on top of a mountain to wake up, experience and photograph the sunrise together. Life goals. Squad goals.

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I mean… what is life? That there is beauty like this in the world? That we get to wake up and experience this?

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We are limitless. Unstoppable and nothing less.

Until next time,

Jamie

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treat yo-self this Christmas

In the famous words of Tom and Donna from Parks and Recreation, you guys need to treat yo-self this holiday season by taking care of your skin, face, and hair. The air is crisp, the wind is whipping, the parties are popping, and the skin is drying off in flakes the size of Texas. Before you stay out late and decide not to wash off your full face of party come-and-get-me make up, just remember that your skin ages nine days every time you do that. Let’s all make a lady pact to wash our faces, take off our eye makeup, and even apply a mask every once in a while.

Here are some of my favorite (affordable) pamper products you might want to try out this season.

holiday pampering \\ treat yo-self

I personally don’t use a lot of heat on my hair… ever. If you do, I suggest you find a good heat protectant. You should also work a hair mask or extra moisturizing conditioner into your weekly routine. I tend to use Garnier Fructis.

holiday pampering \\ treat yo-self

Coconut oil is my favorite thing ever. I use it every night to remove my eye makeup. It is also a great natural hair mask. If you don’t know all the other amazing things you can use coconut oil for, you should look it up. It is a great natural alternative for a lot a products.
I also use vaseline for a great lip moisturizer or for dry skin areas, especially at night.

holiday pampering \\ treat yo-self

I use all of these Mary Kay products on a consistent basis. Don’t forget to integrate your mask into your weekly skin routine. Despite how busy the holidays can be, take a few minutes a night for yourself to protect your skin. We eat a lot more sugar and other unhealthy things from Thanksgiving until the new year, which can cause extra blemishes if you aren’t careful.
If you’re interested in any of these products, my sister is a Mary Kay consultant. Follow the links below for more information. This is not sponsored. I promise.
TimeWise Microdermabrasion
Clear Proof Acne Treatment Gel
TimeWise Even Complexion Mask
TimeWise Night Solution
Indulge Soothing Eye Gel

holiday pampering \\ treat yo-self

I don’t know about you, but my hands get pretty dry once the weather gets cold. There are a lot of different options when it comes to moisturizer, specially with stores like Bath and Body Works around. I have always loved Burt’s Bees, especially for chapstick. Their hand cremes are also pretty great. The Mary Kay peach Satin Hands set is great because it exfoliates and moisturizes.

holiday pampering \\ treat yo-self

Let’s be real. There will probably be a lot of photos taken for the holidays so if you want to whiten your teeth as well, that wouldn’t be the worst decision. However, be you. Be comfortable. Be happy. Take care of yourself. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.

Until next time,

Jamie

holiday pampering \\ treat yo-self

my iPhone life || october 2015

The month is October. The photos are strictly iPhone. Here is a casual peak into fall in North Carolina.

my iPhone life || october 2015

Beanie weather got me early on. I have been hooked on hats for years.

my iPhone life || october 2015

The siblings invested in this curious contraption for working out. It’s much less creepy than the infomercial and as long as you aren’t being sexually harassed while using it (seriously, watch the Gazelle infomercial), it’s super awesome.

my iPhone life || october 2015

I got the hair dying itch right before we went out of town. It had been three years since I dyed it so this was very exciting and weird. What do you think of dark haired Jamie?

my iPhone life || october 2015

On first arrival to our Cabin in the Mountains Getaway, Coco and I inspected the thing from top to bottom. This is us, having a great time in the itty bitty bedroom I stayed in. She, unlike me, did not like my freshly dyed hair. Probably because it smelled weird.

my iPhone life || october 2015

After climbing a mountain, you must always selfie at the top. Seriously, though–check out that view.

my iPhone life || october 2015

I am feeling like October was selfie month. Here is yours truly just ecstatic to be driving into a mountain town while wearing a felt hat and chilling with family.

my iPhone life || october 2015

On the infamous morning when we climbed a mountain in the dark to watch the sun rise over Max Patch and the Appalachians. How great is our God.

my iPhone life || october 2015

Sisters freezing our butts off on said mountain. Kasey is also taking a selfie of me taking a selfie of her taking a selfie.

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The beauty on the drive home from Max Patch was on another level. Early morning, autumn light streaming in through the leaves of red, orange, yellow, and green as we drove down a winding dirt road in the mountains? Take me back!

my iPhone life || october 2015

This is not Coco posing for a selfie, although you could have fooled me. This is ridiculous Coco who got stuck in the back of the car for the road trip. She was not having it and was positive we were having a party without her.

my iPhone life || october 2015

Hashtag no makeup.
This vest is my new best friend. I got it around Back to the Future Day (the day on which Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel to the future in “Back to the Future,” AKA October 15, 2015) and kept calling it my life vest because I am obviously in the coast guard. If you don’t get the reference, see my previous parenthesis. I digress. The point is, puffy vests are the greatest invention in the history of inventions and you should get one. Stat.

my iPhone life || october 2015

We had an adventure with our neighbor’s dog one weekend. She escaped into our backyard and almost got crushed by over-enthusistic Coco. I rescued her and tried to return her, but her family wasn’t home so she hung out with us for a while. We named her Little Dog, which may have been extremely uncreative but very accurate.

my iPhone life || october 2015

My work apparently has quite a few holiday decorations. Among them was this super fabulous witch hat. Remember my affinity for hats? It doesn’t stop with beanies.

my iPhone life || october 2015

I will leave you with one more photo of the fabulous vest.
This concludes our iPhone display for the month. Tune in next time for some pamper products for your holiday celebrating selves.

Until next time,

Jamie