Walking Through Adversity

I can’t believe a year has come and gone since I shared this post with you all.  And here I am, celebrating another trip around the sun.  If I’m being fully honest, this has not been a birthday I have been looking forward to celebrating.  In fact, I had planned on skipping it all together.  And while I’m not quite ready to share my full story with you all here on the blog, I did want to dedicate today’s post to sharing what I’ve learned as I’ve walked through adversity.

This past year was the hardest year of my life.  It was filled with grief and loss, hurt and betrayal, a lot of difficult changes, and a violent car accident, that 4 months later, has left me with lingering health issues.  BUT as hard as this past year was, it was also one of the most amazing and fruitful years of my life.  I developed some of the richest friendships I’ve ever had, I was able to spend an exponential amount of time with my family and my niece, I accepted a new job that was created specifically for me,  and I bought a new home that I love.  I also learned a lot of about myself, what it looks like to persevere, and most importantly, deepened my relationship with Jesus.  So with that, here are the lessons I’ve learned that helped to carry me through the difficult days.  And my hope in sharing this, is that it will help some of you:

  1.  Be gentle with yourself.  When you are walking through something difficult, it’s ok that it feels hard, or even impossible.  It’s ok to take the time you need to grieve.  It’s ok if you can’t get out of bed.  And it’s ok to really feel what you need to feel so that you can process it and move on.
  2. Take care of you.  I learned that I was really good at taking care of others, but not nearly as good at taking care of myself.  And it’s been a fun process to discover what it means to put myself first.
  3. Make appointments with your grief.  This was hugely instrumental for me.  Particularly as I was navigating everyday day life and a demanding career. I found that if I could set aside time to grieve, it helped me to hold things together when I needed to, and kept me moving forward in a healthy way.
  4. Let others help you.  This was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn.  I love to do things for other people, but struggled to let other people do things for me.  But once I was in my car accident and couldn’t take care of myself for a little while, I really had no choice.  It felt vulnerable and scary at first, but it was also an incredible experience to let people in and let them love on me (Matthew 5:4).
  5. Vulnerability is beautiful.  It is so important to be vulnerable and share with the right people.  Being totally transparent with my family and closest friends was not only freeing, but was also incredibly healing.
  6. Make sure you are FULLY known by at least one other person in your life.  One of my best friends says this a lot, and it is so true.  Whether it is a spouse, a friend, a parent, make sure there is one person in your life who knows your FULLY.  Darkness breeds darkness, and the enemy preys on isolation, so it’s important that we live fully in the light and are known.
  7. Joy and sorrow can exist in the same space.  While I had a lot of sorrow in my life this last year, it was also mixed with an abundance of joy.  That felt confusing to me at first.  But once I learned it was ok to feel both at the same time, it made it a lot easier to extend myself some grace and banish the guilt (John 16:20).
  8. We are fully equipped to deal with what happens in our lives.  I had heard a sermon about this once, and it really resonated with me.  And as I look back on the last couple of years, and really on my entire life, I can see the plans that God was laying that would allow for me to be prepared, protected, and able to weather this storm. And even more importantly, come out stronger on the other side (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
  9. Lean in.  We are stronger than we think we are if we lean into Jesus.  If someone had told me ahead of time what would happen in my life, I don’t think I would have believed that I’d get through it.  But I did.  And I am a stronger and more compassionate person because of it.  But that is not of my own doing.  It is because I leaned in hard, dug deep into my faith, and trusted fully in His plan for me (Mark 10:27).
  10. You won’t be in the valley forever.  One day last summer, my brother and I were sitting in his kitchen, and he encouraged me not to miss out on any more of my life and what my future could be because I was too afraid to let go of the past and my own plans for my future. And in that moment, I realized that God was giving me the choice to leave the valley and start climbing my way back to the top of the mountain.  That is the path I chose. And while some days it’s still incredibly hard and that loss still feels unbearable, as I embark on this 36th year of my life, I am finding myself in a wonderful, happy new season.  I have been  afforded a fresh start. I have a heart filled with gratitude. I have a life full of people who love and support me. And most importantly, I am enjoying the sweet moments of the present, and eagerly anticipating what is to come.  Ever hopeful and believing in the plan that God has in store for my life (Jeremiah 29:11).  So cheers to another year, and the adventure, love, and happy times to come…

Top | Skirt, similar, similar(obsessed!) | Heels | Sofa | Black and White Pillow | Rug

And I also want to say THANK YOU for all of your love and support along the way.  Love you guys and am SO very grateful for this community.

xoxo,

Abby

Advertisements

Velvet Jumpsuit for NYE

I had good intentions of bringing you festive and sequin-filled NYE inspired posts all week.  But unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, and I was involved in a pretty major car accident on Tuesday morning. While my car was totaled, I was fortunate enough to walk away from the accident with only a concussion and minor injuries.  And while I am grateful to be alright, it was also a good reminder of how precious life is.

And of course it’s got me thinking.  As events like these often do.  It’s so easy in this day and age to put together and present a perfectly curated life through social media.  But I’m feeling led to share with you guys that my life is anything but perfect.  And if I’m being totally honest, I can also tell you that 2016 has been the hardest, most challenging year of my life.  And I’ve really been struggling this week to wrap my head around how it could possibly be ending with a serious accident on top of everything else. But rather than let myself get down and discouraged (which I’ve totally been doing), I’m reminding myself in times like these, that it’s important to take a step back, take inventory of the blessings you DO have in life, find the joy in the hurt, the laughter in the messiness, surround yourself with those who love you most, and thank God for His grace, protection, forgiveness, and unfailing love.  That is after all, what this holiday season is all about, isn’t it?

In other (more fashion blog-worthy) news, how amazing would this green velvet jumpsuit be to wear to a NYE party (or any other party for that matter)?  If I’m feeling well enough to make it out on NYE this year, this is definitely what I’ll be wearing.  Fingers crossed!

dsc_4726 dsc_4651 dsc_4701 dsc_4668 dsc_4643 dsc_4783 dsc_4666dsc_4776 dsc_4727 dsc_4784

Jumpsuit | Necklace | Sunnies | Clutch | Heels

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year this weekend.  And a huge thank you for your continued love and support, and for making this blog possible.  Y’all have been such a bright spot in my life this past year and I am so appreciative!

Cheers to a better and brighter 2017!!

xoxo,

Abby

 

 

 

Shades of Burgundy

I typically tend to gravitate towards red during the holiday season.  But another great color option (that is often forgotten in place of its brighter counterpart this time of year), is burgundy.  And I am loving the soft combo of this taupe crushed velvet dress back to burgundy accessories and a dark lip.  And would you believe this dress is on sale for less than $30?  It would be perfect for a Christmas or NYE party!

dsc_3774 dsc_3743 dsc_3795 dsc_3771 dsc_3781 dsc_3768 dsc_3767 dsc_3808

Dress (less than $30!), similar | Jacket, also in light pink | Sunnies | Clutch | Heels (old), similar, similar

Happy Friday, sweet friends!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Choker Collar

One trend I’ve been really excited to try this season is the choker collar. It’s a fun silhouette, that in all honesty, makes me a little nostalgic for the ’90’s.  Plus, how could I resist this dress once I realized it had pockets!  It also comes in a ton of fun colors and is less than $50!

dsc_2158 dsc_2154 dsc_2270 dsc_2181 dsc_2267 dsc_2183 dsc_2201 dsc_2286 dsc_2140 dsc_2264

Dress | Bag | Sunnies | Booties (old), similar, similar

Can you believe it’s November already? The end of this year is just flying by!

xoxo,

Abby

 

 

Off The Shoulder

I’m a sucker for a good off the shoulder top.  And Free People has SO many cute ones in their Fall line right now.  I can hardly contain myself.  So if you are looking for a good off the shoulder number, be sure to check out this one, and my other favorites linked below!

dsc_1998 dsc_2098 dsc_2102 dsc_2071 dsc_2057dsc_2111 dsc_2072 dsc_2020 dsc_2104 dsc_2086 dsc_2107

Top (also love this, this, this, and this) | Skinnies | Necklace | Sunnies | Clutch | Heels, obsessed with THESE

Happy Monday, sweet friends! And wishing you all a safe and FUN halloween!!

xoxo,

Abby

Denim Jacket

I love to wear dresses and booties together in the fall.  It’s a definite go-to combo for me.  I also get a ton of use out of my favorite denim jacket this time of year.  And you’re in luck, because not only is it super comfy (with a lot of stretch), but it’s on sale right now too!  A definite Fall staple.

dsc_1952dsc_1868 dsc_1879 dsc_1827 dsc_1871 dsc_1958 dsc_1828 dsc_1832 dsc_1899 dsc_1863 dsc_1956

Jacket | Dress (Hope Avenue), similar, similar | Necklace | Bag | Sunnies | Booties

Happy weekend, sweet friends!

xoxo,

Abby

 

 

 

Peek-a-boo

Since you guys loved this top so much when I posted it on my Instagram, I wanted to share it on the blog today.  The cold-shoulder trend is one of my favorites, and when I saw this cute little number for less than $30, I immediately snatched it up.  It also comes in a pretty nude color, but it’s selling out fast, so definitely grab one while you can.  It’s SO good!

dsc_0576 dsc_0597 dsc_0684 dsc_0655 dsc_0626 dsc_0808 dsc_0748 dsc_0714 dsc_0685 dsc_0631 dsc_0615 dsc_0705

Top (under $30!) | Denim | Necklace | Sunnies | Bag (on major sale!) | Pumps

Happy hump day, friends!  I don’t know about you guys, but I am so ready for the weekend already!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Fall Uniform

This look is a pretty consistent go-to for me during the fall season.  In fact, I’d even go as far as to call it my fall uniform.  And not only is it an easy combo to throw on (while still making you look put together), but it also gives you layering options, keeping you prepared for varying temperatures this time of year!

dsc_0272 dsc_0253-2 dsc_0346-3dsc_0273 dsc_0294-2 dsc_0344-2dsc_0256 dsc_0311 dsc_0338

Tee | Flannel | Skinnies | Necklace | Sunnies | Hat | Bag | Booties

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today!

xoxo,

Abby

Layers

I’m pretty sure the best part about Fall fashion is layers.  I love throwing on a cute sweater, my favorite surplus jacket, and a cozy scarf.  And these booties?  They are hands down my favorite, and they come in a bunch of colors.  Definitely worth every penny.

dsc_6956 dsc_6966 dsc_7017 dsc_7001 dsc_6982 dsc_7032 dsc_7004 dsc_6983 dsc_7036Jacket | Sweater | Scarf (old), similar, similar | Skinnies | Hat | Sunnies | Bag | Booties

Wishing you guys a wonderful weekend!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Bell Sleeves

I am loving this little navy dress.  Not only is it perfectly on point with the bell sleeves, but it’s also a great way to transition the off-the-shoulder trend into the Fall season.  Plus, at only $15, it’s a total must-have.

dsc_6184 dsc_6147 dsc_6182 dsc_6206 dsc_6146 dsc_6145 dsc_6262 dsc_6224 dsc_6195 dsc_6204dsc_6189 dsc_6225

Dress: Shein (only $15 and great quality!) c/o | Choker: Francesca’s | Sunnies: Ditto (rent them for FREE with code: alldolledupblog at checkout!) | Clutch: Patricia Nash | Booties: Jessica Simpson

How are you guys feeling about the choker trend?  It’s really starting to grow on me, I have to say.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

xoxo,

Abby