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Good News For Planners

Today’s good news comes from 1 Corinthians 25: “The foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.”

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I hope this resonates with someone like it has with me today. I’m here in Costa Rica, eating a simple breakfast from a local market and sipping coffee in bed with the ocean outside my window.

This is no Americanised resort-style view. Our hotel embodies the meaning of Pura Vida — set  in the tropical mountainside looking over Santa Teresa. In every sense of the word, we are completely emersed in the “jungle”. Huge spiny tailed iguanas and groups of monkeys eat and play in the trees outside our window. We can see tropical rains producing waterspouts over the Pacific from our balcony. Why is this all so important to mention? Because I had nothing to do with getting here.

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I used to live a much different way. My life was fixed around a realistic formula: “If I do this, than this will happen. If I don’t do that, than that won’t happen.” But what happens when life events don’t cooperate with our formula and the desires of our heart don’t line up with what seems realistic? Are we forced to live a life lesser than what we dream of? I do not believe that this is what God has for us. The Creator of all things did not make such an incredible space for us to exist in, only to be kept in a spiritual or physical box.

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One might think that Ben and I must have so much, or saved for so long, to be able to go on a trip like this. The truth is, we have been praying for opportunity to see the world and our prayers were answered. There was no formula that brought us here. We didn’t have to save, we didn’t need a lot, we relied on the resources of God and His promise to give us the desires of our heart. I mean this from the deepest parts of my being — giving your life plan to God ALWAYS works out better than anything you could come up with on our own.

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This takes time, and no one is perfect. Making this kind of lifestyle change takes discipline because we naturally want to be able to expect what will happen or take what is convenient. But if we’re willing to sacrifice some comfort and focus on God’s peace, which surpasses all understanding, I believe we will find our lives to be overflowing with unimaginable and unexpected blessings – Pura Vida!

Till next time – Ciao!

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Who’s Who of #GirlsNightOmaha

Girl’s Night Omaha is dedicated to supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs. In fact, it all started with an idea to promote friends! Cheerleader at heart, my marketing brain never truly turns off – I am always excited to find new ways to lift up loved ones and missions I believe in.

The event is less than a week away, so here is who you should know to be in the know…

Sara Sabaliauskas – A 30 years young petite fashionista and young professional from the Heartland, sharing her passion for savvy fashion! By day, Sara is an event planner and fundraiser for an Omaha nonprofit. By night, Sara is enthralled in all things fashion and style. She is my partner for all things Girls Night Omaha, contributing her fashionable skills as a style and trend advisor. Like her Facebook page and follow her on Instagram.

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Four Sisters Boutique; Sara Spooner – Inspired by her fashionable grandmother and her three sisters, Sara Spooner opened Four Sisters Boutique in Rockbrook Village in the Spring of 2015. Four Sisters Boutique pays homage to these fashionable ladies by offering contemporary, affordable clothing with the classic touch. Four Sisters Boutique is the perfect shop to find your new style. They will be launching their online store November 1st! Like their Facebook page & follow them on Instagram.

Boutique Owner Sarah Spooner

Guest Speakers Cora and Dana; Talisman – Talisman is a vintage clothing company. Cora and Dana handpick their inventory, selecting only high quality materials and curate items that have a modern aesthetic. Talisman is fueled by renewal, friendship, rituals, gift giving and travel. For the woman who goes camping and tends to her hair, whose style is effortless, but intentional. The woman who swoons for houseplants and dreams of having a garden; Talisman is for you. Cora and Dana will be supporting Sara with sharing Fall trends and styling tips in our runway-style show! They will also be sponsoring a SUPER special giveaway – vintage Dooney &  Bourke bag? Yes please!! Like their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram + Cora + Dana.

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Sponsors – What is an great event without great food, giveaways and swag?? Special thank you to our amazing and generous sponsors!

Becca Marquardt (Salon Z3) – Instagram
Keep Cool Watches – Facebook | Instagram
Haute Bauble – Facebook | Instagram
Inspired Living Magazine  – FacebookInstagram
The Cookie GirlFacebook
Miracle Hill Golf & Tennis – Facebook
Blooms – Facebook | Instagram

Share some love! Make sure you’re tagging #GirlsNightOmaha as well as the coordinators in all of your social media posts. We LOVE to hear and see your excitement and are ready to retweet, like, follow or share right along with you!

I look forward to meeting everyone at the event! Please email TheAdventureCulture@gmail.com with any questions.

Sweet Home Alabama

One thing a lot of people don’t know about me, is that I have an older brother. Andy is 6 ½ years older than me and, since we have different mothers, we have never lived in the same house for more than a season. When I got married, I noticed how big of a difference there was between siblings who grow up together in the same house and those who don’t. Even though Andy and I love each other like brother and sister, we don’t share the same memories and annoyances that most siblings enjoy.

My dad, brother and I at my rehearsal dinner in 2013.

My dad, brother and I at my rehearsal dinner in 2013.

This week I am joining my dad and his older sister on a vacation to visit extended family (whom I’ve never met) and tour their hometown of Leeds, Alabama. I have few experiences in my life that are more hilarious than watching these two grown children pester one another. More than the live comedy, watching them become heavy with sweet nostalgia is a treasure I’ll never forget.

Dad and Susie

My dad & his sister at her wedding in 1979

Dad and Susie

Let me paint a picture: My dad is a 57 year old with abnormal energy, a brain full of knowledge and spirit for tireless pestering. My aunt Susie is a 60 year old, pocket sized, spitfire with the heart of a southern bell and the mouth of a sailor. Take Leave It To Beaver antics and bodily function over-shares, mix in a few hundred swear words and a whole lota laughter, and you’ll have an idea of the free show I’m enjoying.

Before this, I had never been to Alabama. While we drove into town, my aunt shared stories about my Nannie and Papa, her childhood friends, stopping by the local icehouse to make homemade ice cream, and memories of the KKK riding horses down the street. Intense!

Papa Football

My Papa played football for LSU 1951-1953 before joining the Army.

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My great Nannie & Papa’s house is over 100 years old.

Our first stop was my great Nannie and Papa’s (my Nannie’s mother and daddy) home built along the railroad. As a boy, my dad would find a broomstick and hit rocks while his older sister learned to hang laundry from the clothesline out back. They remembered this house being much bigger, surrounded by lush gardens, fig trees and filled with family. No one lives here now and the St. Augustine grass has taken over. The paint has chipped away, the handrails are rusty and the gardens are gone, but the original clothesline is still there and the pecan tree is tall and healthy.

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Confederate flags are a symbol of pride here. There are numerous cemeteries dedicated to confederate veterans, one of which was situated behind one of my Nannie and Papa’s first family homes. 50+ years ago my aunt had tea parties in a stone shed out back, climbed trees and floated down the Little Cahaba River.

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Aunt Susie in a cemetery dedicated to Confederate Veterans

Tea House

The stone shed where my aunt played house.

Stone Fence

My aunt told me she used to walk along this stone fence as a kid

Before visiting my dad’s aunt Carol and heading to Jacksonville, we took a winding road through the Koosa Mountains – all I could think was, “Ben would love to ride a motorcycle through here.” Unintentionally bringing this story full-circle, my family has always shared a childhood photo of my brother. In the photo, my brother is a toe-headed toddler, standing in the mist with a blue umbrella, in front of the mouth of a mountain train tunnel. It’s one of my favorite photos. My dad played here with his cousin as a child, so this place holds a lot of special memory for him.

Train Tunnel

I stood where my brother stood 32 years ago, and tried to recreate the umbrella photo. It’s not the same, but the perfect ending to a touching adventure.

What kind of family heritage stories and traditions do you have?
These are some of the coolest stories we can preserve and share with future generations.