{Pensacola Do} Weekend + Links

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What did you guys get up to this weekend?! I finally made it home friday evening and just laid low with the Hubs as I was still feeling pretty crummy. Yesterday I worked and then met John and some friends across the park at the Pensacola Bay Brewery! The weather was so lovely, the perfect evening to sit outside and catch up with friends over a drink. From there we all headed to Dharma Blue for a delicious dinner, and then home to watch Captain Phillips. Not a bad saturday night for having just been laid so low by a serious cold..

Reunited with this beaut, and it was the best. 

Reunited with this beaut, and it was the best. 

After church today we ran by Fresh Market to pick up a yummy picnic of rotisserie chicken, heirloom tomatoes, feta, and a few crusty baguettes to sandwich all that deliciousness, and then headed to the beach at Fort Pickens for the afternoon! Seriously, today was one of those great salty days, the days I dream of in the dark of winter, the days that leave you toasted and mellow but satisfied after being by the sea. Some days it is so hard to feel content in the moment, but not today. 

Happy girl on the beach

Happy girl on the beach

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Here are some links for everyone who isn't quite ready for the weekend to end or would enjoy a few more minutes of escapism. 

  • We all know English and Spanish are the most commonly spoken languages in the US, but this map shows which languages come in third in every state...it's pretty interesting. Texas- Vietnamese? Who knew..
  • She has done it again! My seriously talented bestie Lindsey's DIY rug was featured on Wayfair this week! How cool is that?! I am itching to read her tutorial on Mac & Marlborough and make one for our screened in porch after we refinish the furniture. 
  • Our wonderful wedding photographer, Leah Haydock, was featured on ShotKit last week! If you are at all an aspiring photog or even just a novice constantly trying to pick up tips and tricks (like me), ShotKick is a cool site that profiles photographers from all the around the world, and what they keep in their bags. 
  • I love love LOVE having fresh flowers in the house, and am working on my arranging techniques. This tutorial looks fabulous, I can't wait to try my hand at it!
  • I just discovered the Hemsley + Hemsley blog this week and let me tell you--these girls rock.  I want to make every. single. recipe. Everything just looks so yummy and fresh, exactly what I have been craving lately.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Peace be with you,

Emily

Happy Sunday!

Snapped a picture of this corner while downtown on friday because there is something about the colors that seemed quintessentially "Pensacola" to me...

Snapped a picture of this corner while downtown on friday because there is something about the colors that seemed quintessentially "Pensacola" to me...

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you have had a fantastic weekend! We sure have! We celebrated our friend Cort's birthday friday night at our apartment, which was a blast. The best part was that his girlfriend, Katherine, came all the way from San Diego to surprise him! The look on his face was priceless. It was so special to have John's wonderful friends, who have become my wonderful friends, over to our apartment. As I was standing by the stove I looked out into the living room and saw six happy men and one lovely lady kicking back and enjoying our home. I remembered that we take pride and put effort into making our home comfortable and cozy not just for ourselves to enjoy every day, but to share and invite people into

The Birthday boy and his wonderful girlfriend.

The Birthday boy and his wonderful girlfriend.

Got to use one of my favorite Christmas gifts for the first time on friday night! 

Got to use one of my favorite Christmas gifts for the first time on friday night! 

This morning I have to admit that I was fighting a rare impulse to want to ditch church, but John dragged me out of bed. (And so one sharpens another...) Boy, am I glad he did. When we arrived at church we realized that there was a guest speaker today, a Chinese Pastor named Shi Weihan. Shi Weihan was tortured and imprisoned in China for distributing bibles and heading a house church. He served his time from November 2007 to January 2008, and then from March 2007 to February 9, 2011. As Pastor Shi shared with us his story, through the mouth of his young daughter, Lily, we were so humbled by his faith in the midst of persecution. While Shi was imprisoned, his wife continued to preach in his place every Sunday in their church. Meanwhile, at one point Shi was put in a detention center of the highest security, and every one of his cell mates was there on the same charge: murder. Slowly but surely, Shi shared the Gospel with each of his cellmates, and each one met the Lord. 

I could write pages about what we heard today, but instead I am just going to share one more story of Shi's time in prison. While imprisoned outside of Beijing, Shi was made the leader of his cell. So, he oversaw and made sure each prisoner in his cell stayed in line essentially. Beijing can be very cold in the winter, similar to New York, and many of Shi's cell mates did not have enough clothes to stay warm. He wrote his wife and asked for her to send him more clothes, and she, thinking he just needed more clothes, quickly complied. When he received the clothes he distributed them to his cell mates, but it was no where near to enough. After receiving two or three more post cards asking for clothes, his wife realized what he was up to. She then asked their church to give, and clothes began arriving for Pastor Shi by the load. His guard, who was stumped by Pastor Shi, took notice and came to speak with him. He asked him if he kept asking for more clothes because someone in his cell was bullying him into giving them up to others. Shi replied, no, in fact he had asked specifically for his cell mates. His guard was uncharacteristically moved by Shi's compassion, and told Shi he had never met anyone like this 'Pastor man.' 

The next week his guard returned, and brought his own old clothes for the cell mates. 

The week after that he invited Shi into his office to ask him about his faith, and where his joy and peace came from. 

A few weeks later he gave Shi a bible he had confiscated from another Christian prisoner, so that Shi could begin having bible study with his cell mates.

By the time Shi was released, his friend the Guard had given his life to Christ. 

Hearing Pastor Shi and his daughter speak today only did more to confirm the tugging on our hearts that John and I both cannot deny we feel towards China. Hearing Shi speak, with John quietly translating beside me, gave us unspeakable hope, and overwhelming joy. As we walked to the car John turned and said to me, "Makes me can't wait to go back."

Happy Sunday everyone. Be grateful today for your loved ones. Be grateful for the snow up North. Be grateful for the winds whispering of Spring down here in Pensacola. Be grateful for the blessings you have been given, and share them. 

Here are some fun weekend links to check out if you are having a lazy Sunday afternoon:

  • We are heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras at the end of the month, and since we are going to meet our good friend Austin's family, I've got hostess gifts on the brain. Check out this awesome list from Refinery29. I'm digging the incense pyres, recipe cards, and rose gold salad set...
  • Feeling crafty? Check out my best friend Lindsey's awesome blog Mac & Marlborough. She made me that great cheese platter from earlier in the post! I love what her latest post says about Valentines Day. 
  • I've been studying this book from the editors of Garden & Gun. Its chockful of fascinating southern history, recipes, and sage advice on things like manners and hostessing. Would be a great hostess gift as well!
  • Looking for a little inspiration in the midst of winter blues? My friend Lily has the most beautiful instagram. See for yourself--follow her @lily_shiland

xoxo

Emily