Choosing Joy

{dress  // necklace // shoes //  }
One time my mom and sister were wearing maxi dresses and walked into a Forever 21.
There was a little boy there who gasped, and said “look mom!  princesses!”  
i love them, maybe just for the princess vibe they give off, and as you’ve probably begun to notice from my instagram feed – Maxi dresses are my basics.
And this pretty one is going to be on rotate in my summer wedding wardrobe.  
I wore this dress this past weekend to a benefit where my in law’s danced in a “dancing with the stars” sort of way.  They actually competed against one another!  They did such an incredible job.  
A couple of years ago my father in law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  We were all heart broken.   Hopeful, but heartbroken.  But he wasn’t!  That man has an indestructible positive attitude.  
It was inspiring to watch.  I couldn’t help but be a bit confused at times…
 How can you be happy?  choose joy?  
But that’s just what he did!  chose joy.  instead of fear, anger, pity.  He held onto Hope.
What a way to live.    
On saturday he danced.  Cancer free.  
With a BIG smile on his face.
And it makes all of us smile too.  
He doesn’t just have joy, he gives it away too.  freely.  

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  • Reply Chelsea Stephens

    Oh, that is a gorgeous maxi and you do look like a princess.  I love the story about the benefit.  I hope that I could handle something so big with an amazing attitude.  Thank you for sharing. xo

    May 21, 2012 at 11:27 am
  • Reply Jennifer Sanzo

    Great story and great dress!

    May 21, 2012 at 11:38 am
  • Reply inhonorofdesign

    The dress is stunning on you my dear.

    And wow, what a testimony to a positive and powerful attitude in life.
    Choosing joy today:)

    May 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    Wow, pancreatic. what a battle. I'm happy he fought that hard battle and chose joy. I know a little boy fighting the same cancer and hopefully he can be dancing one day cancer free!

    May 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm
  • Reply Brooke @ Silver Lining

    So beautiful! Love the lighting, love the dress, and of course it wouldn't be anything without a stunning model.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Theelegentlifeofe

    Aww, I love the dress!


    May 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply The Yuppie Files

    My aunt is going through her third bout of cancer, this time in her brain. My mom talks to her all the time & I'm amazed at how upbeat she's remaining since she's now fighting her 3rd separate cancer. I believe she's what you described as choosing joy & its such an inspiration to people like me who whine over the littlest things. 

    Great post! 

    May 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply Candice

    Maxi dresses are my fave! You do look like a princess..always. 
    Aww I love the story about your father-in-law! So inspiring..choosing joy is the way to go. 

    May 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply corey melke

    what a beautiful post.  i had a similar experience this weekend.  choosing joy is definitely my new motto.  positive attitude.  always.  thanks sarah

    xoxo from trinidad

    May 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm
  • Reply Lyndsay

    You look lovely in your maxi dress! That's amazing that your father in law has recovered!

    May 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm
  • Reply 17 Perth

    Beautiful post–choosing joy above all else–fear or anger or pity. He must have an incredible spirit and faith—Praise God he is healthy today and teaching all of us a lesson. 🙂

    May 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm
  • Reply Lynzy

    That dress is a dream! Saving that bad boy to my wishlist for sure.

    That is amazing that your father was able to fight through pancreatic cancer, and even more amazing how strong he is for the family. Pancreatic cancer is so often one of the worst cancers to fight through- which shows your father's resilience even more! <3

    xx Lynzy 🙂

    May 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm
  • Reply Alex Hubbard

    Beautiful dress for a beautiful night! It sounds so lovely 🙂

    May 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm
  • Reply jillian

    WONDERFUL news! and a beautiful post! xo

    May 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Glitterista

    So glad to hear your father-in-law is doing well now, and your dress is gorgeous! Love the princess story. 😉

    May 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm
  • Reply Erin

    I once wore a maxi dress to work and my coworkers 3-year-old son walked into my office and said, "Are you a princess?" I laughed and said, "Yes." He was amazed. LOL Kids are just too dang adorable. And maxi dresses are the best.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply Kenzie R.

    That is a gorgeous dress! I've been on the fence about buying a maxi dress, but I think I might pick one up soon. That's awesome to hear about your father-in-law doing well! 

    May 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Chanel

    I wear a gold disc necklace that my mom made that says choose joy. I heard a boy who was orphaned and living in war torn Africa say that choosing joy was the only way he could go on. It struck me and made me feel I was more responsible for my own joy as per a better understood perspective of gratitude for all God's given. 

    May 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm
  • Reply Nicole Marie

    So happy for him and your family… such a good reminder

    May 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    What a beautiful way to live!  You hear so often that happiness and positivity, choosing joy, can make such huge differences in people's health and life.  So happy for you and your family that he's doing well.  God is so good.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm
  • Reply Allienotsally

    Such a beautiful reminder to choose joy. 🙂 Plus your dress is stunning! I love floral. 

    May 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm
  • Reply Cbellhaw

    Great post and beautiful dress!  

    May 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm
  • Reply Mrsyellowribbon

    Beautiful maxi! And beautiful message! Your father-in-law seems like a very special man 🙂

    May 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm
  • Reply Nosy Rosie

    My Aunt has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it has been a very rough road so far.  This story gives me more hope!  Thank you for sharing. 

    May 22, 2012 at 1:30 am
  • Reply Morgan Brooks

    Stunning post. You are such an inspiration, as a person and a blogger.
    It would mean the world to me if you could check out my latest post!

    May 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm
  • Reply Sara Louise

    And you look like a princess in your maxi dress too!
    Today, I'm going to choose joy 🙂

    May 23, 2012 at 4:47 am
  • Reply francesca

    this is beautiful. its important to remember to have and give job everyday. thank you for this.
    great beautiful blog btw!

    May 23, 2012 at 6:55 am
  • Reply Megan

    love this post. love you. love your FIL. and love your necklace 😉

    May 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm
  • Reply LeeLee

    Lovely maxi dress. 

    May 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm
  • Reply Kate @ Daffodils

    So glad your father in law is better. What a wonderful message. And I too am a huge fan of the maxi

    May 30, 2012 at 3:10 am
  • Reply Whitney Cosgrave

    what a sweet sentiment. I'm glad your father in law is okay!

    May 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm
  • Reply Franziska

    Your cancer free dancing story made me sad and super happy at the same time. I'm so happy for you and your family that he made it through the unfairness that is cancer. A great man I know died last week after the kidney cancer spread to his brain. Hearing stories that some people make it through brings me such happiness.

    June 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm
  • Reply Sienna

    so I'm just a little bit in love with your hair

    June 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm
  • Reply I'm Sydney.

    Joy is the most wonderful thing. The Bible says to always be full of joy!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:47 am
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