Southern Phrase Calligraphy Print Giveaway

by Maggie Griffin

Today might be your lucky day. 

Yesterday I did a guest blog post on Undomestic Divas, and today they are doing a giveaway featuring these 3 southern phrase calligraphy prints done by yours truly. The winner will get to choose their favorite! 


Erin and Allie, the Undomestic divas, are both Southern gals and I wanted this little collection to reflect their love of all things wonderful and Southern. The top print with burnt orange ombré gouache would be perfect in a baby's room or in your kitchen or anywhere in your home. It measures 5x7" and is calligraphed on thick watercolor paper (it has a bit of a texture). 


This second print is a little phrase I came up with based on all things good and southern. It may be a bit hard to read in the photograph, but it says "sweet tea and Howdy! homemade biscuits and gravy, cowboy boots and my Southern roots." This one has a tiny ombré effect as well and is a burnt orange/tan color. It measures 8x10" and is on thick Bristol paper.


Oh! bless your heart if you've never heard this phrase before. This is everything the south is about--hospitality, blessings, and love. This one not only carries southern loyalty but boasts American pride with patriotic colors. It measures 8x10" and is on thick Bristol paper.


Like what you see?? Head over to Undomestic Divas now for your chance to win! And if you have a custom calligraphy project in mind, leave a comment, shoot me an email, or head over to my etsy shop


Guest Post & Giveaway

by Maggie Griffin

HELLO, readers!

You all know that I don't post as often as I have said that I want to in about a million posts, but I still love writing for you when I can. The blogging world is a very fun place to be. Whether the audience be big or small, it is a cathartic experience for me to write about my world and invite other people in to see it. And, it is just as fun to read about other people's worlds. Books take us to far off places, and I think the same is true for a lot of blogs. We get the chance to read someone's narrative, to see their spaces in the world, and learn about their family and friends. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed what you have seen from my world. It is by no means perfect, but I've got it good; I know that I am blessed beyond what I deserve and I like sharing it. All this to say, connecting with other bloggers is fun, and I have the joy of doing that this week.

Yesterday, I was introduced over at Undomestic Divas by a dear old friend, Allie. A majority of my fondest hometown memories feature our time together and it has been really fun to reconnect through the blogging world. I hope that you will head over to see my post today! Here's a snippet:

That's it. That's all you get. Now you HAVE to go over to Undomestic Divas to see the rest. And be sure to check back there tomorrow because I've got a giveaway going on over there.  The winner will get his/her choice of 1 of 3 Southern Phrase prints. It could be you, you lucky ducks! 

Head over to Undomestic Divas RIGHT THIS SECOND.
And have a wonderful day. I love you all!

Memorial Day Memories

by Maggie Griffin

Memorial Day fell during weekend 3 out of our 5 weekend span of back to back (to back to back to back) weekends in Dallas. We may not have summers off anymore, but every weekend in Dallas feels like a mini vacation to us, and our families couldn't be happier. This past weekend was filled to the brim and packed full with fun and both families. Here's a little recap with a helping of random reviews and a tiny serving of self advertising. 

First, let it be noted that our pups are champions at these weekend trips. Eleanor is finally getting used to sharing the backseat with a GINORMOUS puppy who loves to lick her ear or fall asleep on her or take up the entire backseat. Bixby looks exactly like every teenage boy on a charter bus trip who is passed out on his annoyed neighbor, who is actually sweet enough of a friend to tolerate it, and drooling and sometimes snoring. Hilarious.

And each weekend, I am learning to take less pictures of them in the backseat....very hard for this puppy mom. They may look all the same to everyone else, but I will one day print all of them and make a scrapbook! Puppy's First Car Ride: Volumes 1-42387691. 

Back to the RECAP:

Friday : Upon our arrival in Dallas, we went to Million Dollar Arm at Alamo Draft House with B's side of the family. Byron and I are slightly obsessed with Alamo Draft House. Mostly, I'm obsessed with the Chocolate Espresso milkshake I always order. The movie was so good. Disney + Sports + Underdog Story = WINNING COMBO! (Remember the Titans, anyone?) My oldest sister went to India for a month during college, and I have always been jealous and interested in the county. This was a tiny tourism venture on top of a tear-inducing delight of a film. Perfect start to a weekend. 

Saturday : Breakfast and coffee with my family at Pearl Cup! Best part of the morning besides this self timer photo that is an obvious winner... : On the way over, my parents had been discussing what an Americano was. Readers, it is espresso with hot water. Unfortunately, my mother thought it was espresso and milk. For some reason, my dad wanted something coffee-y even though when he makes my mom a cup every morning, he takes his with lots of cream. After ordering, we inquired about our parent's order as they waited for their drinks and were a bit shocked to hear his answer. Fortunately for comedy, Alix had an Americano. He tried. "Ech." He no likely. But he added enough to make it drinkable. 

As an entire family unit, we traveled to Northpark for some shopping. I was on the hunt for a bridesmaid dress--success!--and I turned my family onto Madewell, my current favorite store. We literally shopped 'til we dropped (save a trip to Breadwinner's for a very tasty lunch). Byron and I collapsed for a few hours--death by sneezing & napping off a headache.  

When we awoke, it was time for a little 'Brinner', breakfast for dinner, put on by our brother-in-law and Byron's mom! Definitely delicious. 

Sunday:  Memorial weekend BBQ: Part 1 : a day at my parent's house! We reunited our doggies with their cousin, Sochi. It was absolutely hilarious. Bixby, per usual, didn't care. Eleanor however went full Doberman on that Pomchi (Pomeranian-chihuahua mix). Eleanor spent the whole day chasing that pup around and under furniture. Lots of cry-laughing plus delicious burgers! We also caught the season finale of American Dream Builders (I'm a huge Nate Berkus fan).  Wonderful day!

Monday: Ooo-wee, I love a 3 day weekend.  We started off at a very slow pace, but our morning coffee quickly sped things up. We took a normal trip to Whole Foods to pick up some things for our Memorial BBQ : Part 2 and we turned around to find a familiar face down the aisle! Our friend, CJ, was in town for a bike race and was hitting up Whole Foods for some groceries not found in Waco. We convinced him to come over for our BBQ--such a fun surprise and addition to our day!

Inspired by a recent photo shoot I did some calligraphy work for, I decided to make special magnolia leaf place cards for our celebration. Once again, our brother-in-law provided the culinary expertise at this event with a brisket from his Big Green Egg. My review: mouth-watering excellence. The boys played pool volleyball and I hung out with the world's coolest 3 1/2 year old in the hot tub. Memorial Day success!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next weekend, we love you Dallas! 

YOU are my greatest adventure.

by Maggie Griffin

lunch dates every day last week. STUD MUFFIN.

With our recent anniversary, we have been a little reflective lately--on how far we've come, on how much fun we've had, on our lessons learned, on our hopes for what's next. 

Right now, we are on a bit of a deadline to figure out what's next. Byron's current research position and our lease end as this year comes to a close. Those events are both months away, but when a deadline involves your house and your main income, it always seems much closer, looming overhead and casting a larger shadow than other smaller deadlines.


So what's next for us? What do we want? We don't know. 
But I have figured out something that makes it all seem less daunting.
Byron is my greatest adventure, and I his. 

I used to think the phrase "you are my greatest adventure" was a little cheesy. I mean, really, whenever we make those big wordy gestures -- "you complete me,"  "you're my everything," "you are the best thing that ever happened to me ever and forever and always and xoxoxo" --it just feels a bit much. But, when Byron and I started to have these larger talks about what's next and where we would be in a few months and a few years, these phrases crept in, because what matters is not our decisions but who we make them with. We may be moving away, and working incredible jobs, and traveling all around the world--and all of that would be amazing, they would be the grand adventures that I always have dreamed of having. But they just don't compare to the guy I'm making them with.

 I wouldn't trade any grand adventure for morning snuggles, and cooking dinner together, and figuring out how to budget and pay bills, and talking about our life together. Byron is the adventure that I choose each day. 

At the same time that I was figuring this out I picked up a copy of Shauna Niequist's, cold tangerines, and read the first chapter that confirmed the great adventure I am with. Here are some excerpts that resonated with me:

I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn't what it looked like in the movies. 

Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. And strung together, built upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person. 

But this is what I'm finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, the best possible way. That thing I'm waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets--this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience. 

That's the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don't even see it, because I'm too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. This big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. 

The life you've been waiting for is happening all around you. 

You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. 

Isn't that some good stuff?! I find it so sad that we default to "the Big Moment" way of life--waiting for something amazing, when, in reality, we get the opportunity to be amazing in every moment. I think this is the problem with lots of marriages, too. 1. We think marriage, not our spouse, will be the big adventure that changes everything, and when it's not, we blame our spouse instead of our view of marriage; or 2. We continue waiting for big adventure after big adventure and are not satisfied with anything, leaving us devastatingly sad with all the little things that can be the most epic adventure of all. 

I am happy to have figured out my greatest adventure sooner rather than later. My job now is to keep choosing Byron as my greatest adventure everyday and not to be sucked in to the lie of waiting for the Big Moment. No matter what decisions we make or where life takes us, I know that I am already living my greatest adventure.