Friday, September 23, 2016

the first date | year six

every september 22, Thomas and i kinda re-live our first date. lucky for us we just went out for coffee, so it is casual and low key. which is perfect because we are casual and low key people! ;) we spent the time reminiscing, dreaming of the future, and laughing along the way. somehow it's always one of our most relaxed and fun dates, which is why i love the tradition!

it's so crazy to have been with someone for five years! (maybe some of you reading this have been married or dating for way longer and think five years is nothing - but remember back to the first time you hit the five year mark with someone!) the passage of time and anniversaries just amaze me everytime. this is by far the longest relationship i've ever been in, once we passed two years, every new milestone is the first time we've been here. everything is now a first for us and it's always amazing to think about, definitely not something we take for granted. 

so five years ago a brown eyed boy and a blue eyed girl sat at a table drinking fancy coffee drinks, with no idea that things would end up here - #fourthyearofmarriage (did i do it right, Julie?!). i also just realized that september 22 is the official start of Fall, so that is really cool. because it is my favorite season, so i love that our relationship ushered it in! my favorite relationship in my favorite season, somethings are just meant to be. #helloimcheesy

it is kindof crazy that so much has happened in 5 years. on our first date, i was a junior in college working towards my degree in accounting, and Thomas was an old working man at an insurance company. now, i'm pursuing my masters degree in social work, and Thomas is still an old working man (haha!) at a law firm, ironically working in the accounting department. well, he can have accounting! ;)

if you would have told me 5 years ago that i would be in grad school i would have laughed at you. i also would have laughed if you told me i would be living in the armpit of South Carolina too, another thing i had no desire to do. and while i don't exactly love the armpit, it is not as bad as i anticipated. oh, and grad school is not so bad either. i mean, it is a LOT of work, but it helps that it is something interesting like social work and not business related. so, here we are 5 years older and on 2 new paths that we never would have imagined. can't wait to see where we are in life in another 5 years! hint hint: hopefully living somewhere without 1000% humidity (aka why i call it the armpit)!

what are some traditions you & your significant other have?!

Monday, September 19, 2016

project 12 | 2016 | part three

i love having my years captured month by month and plan to keep up with project 12 this year in a few different chunks. you can read about January-March here, and April-May here

lol at the baby/daddy photobomb team!

man oh man, this was the last month at my accounting job, and boy was it ROUGH. i spoke a little bit about it in this post. however, i did learn some things throughout the month. so it is always a plus when you can learn something during the hard times! 

we lived with my in-laws during the entire month of June, since we sold our house in May. it was nice to have a break from owning a house for a month, it really helped lower our stress levels. and trust me, there was plenty of other things to stress about like getting set up for grad school, ending a job, getting ready for a move, and saying lots of goodbyes.

June 10 - registration for grad school!
June 11 - trip to Columbia with my parents
June 18 - my nephew's birthday party at the zoo!
June 19-23 - house sitting for my parents while they were on vacation
June 23 - my last day as an accountant!
June 24 - hung out with my family, went to the pool, and to see Finding Dory!
June 25 - trip to Columbia to sign the lease on our apartment
June 27 - lunch with a friend & orientation for my new part time gig (doing the books for a church)
June 28-29 - packed up everything at the in laws for the big move
June 30 - had lunch with my coworkers again before moving


i pretty much spent all month unpacking the apartment in stages, putting together Ikea furniture, organizing the apartment, and resting a little bit too. it was a month off of "work" but there was definitely a ton of work to do so i kept busy!

we did get to take a trip up to Indiana to visit some friends at the end of the month. we have been trying to hang out with them for the last 3 years but something always happens. like when we were supposed to be driving up to their wedding & Thomas totaled our car. so we finally made it happen & it was such a fun trip! we made a few extra stops in Knoxville and Louisville on the way too! 

other than that, we just kinda hung out and enjoyed a relaxing month. we did plenty of exploring around our new town, and claimed some spots as our favorites. like the used bookstore in an old mill, that we went to every weekend to browse! 

July 1 - finished packing for the move
July 2 - move in day! & my in-laws & cousin-in-law stayed the night
July 3 - donation/storage trip with the uhaul
July 4-5 - unpacking/cleaning the apartment
July 6-10 - beach trip with Thomas's family
July 16 - trip to Ikea to get me a desk, so i can be a legit student ;)
July 23 - another trip to Ikea to get a few extra things ;)
July 28-31 - trip to see friends in Indianapolis (with stops in Knoxville & Louisville)


August went by in a blur. somehow the 2 weeks before school started went by way too fast & once grad school started it has been crazy! basically after orientation it was hit the ground running because we had homework to do for classes that hadn't even started yet! but i am enjoying everything so much, definitely learning a lot just learning it super fast.

having a birthday right when school starts really stinks. i had so much to do to get ready for grad school that i really didn't even hardly think about my birthday this year. it just kinda happened & now it's over! that may be a good thing though - i can get away with pretending i'm still 27 for a little while longer! ;) ha!

i was lucky enough to make some awesome friends right off the bat, and we have a majority of our classes together so that is nice. we also all bring our lunch so we have our lunch break together. even though my inclination is to study during lunch because not having enough time is a real thing... it is nice to just have that downtime with friends inbetween 3 hour classes. the classes haven't been bad though, they actually go by pretty quickly because we do a lot of things in groups and the classes are mostly discussion instead of lecture. i thought i would die in 3 hour classes, but we do get a break halfway through so it is nice to break it up some.

August 1 - got & started reading The Cursed Child!
August 6 - some friends stopped by for lunch on their way home from the beach!
August 13 - my family came down to celebrate my birthday & see our new place
August 15-16 - alllllll day long orientation sessions for school! they were intense
August 18 - both of our bunnies got spayed/neutered so they can be friends now!
August 21 - we hung curtains in the apartment! (it made the apartment SO cozy!)
August 22 - classes officially started, no turning back now!
August 23 - i turned 28. man, i'm getting on up there!
August 27 - Thomas's parents came down to see our new place & hang out!

what are some notable events from your summer?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

writing | young heartbreak

sometimes i listen to songs, and they spark something deep into my soul...
and words come out... that's what this is.
try to channel your inner emo/teenage angst for this one ;)

i see you standing there
with your all too brilliant smiles
i can't quite explain it
but they light the earth for miles

i look at you and long to unfold
the mystery that is you
and somehow along the way
you decide you want that, too

so quickly you become
the best friend a girl could find
i can't believe how lucky i am
that i get to call you mine

life becomes an adventure
we get lost in our own little world
things are just so easy with you
it's like we will never come unfurled

you taught me a lot of things that year
as you became my past
i could have loved you forever
but it just wasn't meant to last

you told me you'd always be there
you said you'd never let me fall
but, oh you did, didn't you?
you didn't try to catch me at all

Monday, September 12, 2016

when taking a step of faith gets real

back in April i announced my career change slash life change. i actually named that post "when dreams become reality" but the ironic thing is that at the time i wrote that post it was still a dream. it wasn't yet reality then, but it is reality now. 

it's cool to read back over all of the doors that the Lord opened for this change to be possible. and i remember feeling so much confirmation that this is what we were supposed to be doing. and now here we are, in the thick of it, doing this thing. so, what now? 

it's almost as if trusting the Lord feels easier when you're talking about taking a step of faith, than when you're actually taking the step. because, before it was just something we talked about, now we feel the weight of it. it's become reality, and reality doesn't always feel like dreams. reality is a messy, hard, stressful place. 

i would be lying if i said that i had no doubts since starting this journey. the fact of the matter is that it can be easy to get discouraged when you're in the thick of it. next week we start our internships, and i think a lot of the MSW students feel like we are walking into something we aren't prepared for. it's one thing to discuss theories in class, and to learn about social work, but it's a whole other ballgame to actually be doing it in the world. so now it's real. 

the overwhelming workload of graduate school means that the stress and insecurities have all been brought out. and this is the point where faith matters so much, because without it doubts are all you have. i think it's completely normal to be anxious and unsure at first though. as Aliza so beautifully said in her recent post (which is super relateable to me right now!) "you are, quite simply, at your beginning." so, it's okay to process through doubts and insecurities while following Jesus where He leads you. these kinds of situations are what grow our faith, and challenge us to understand who God is. 

a few things i have learned through this transition of talking about taking a step of faith, to actually taking it:

1. i should be praying through the journey as much as i prayed about the journey. you better believe that Thomas & i spent a lot of time in prayer before we sold our house, uprooted our lives, and made all of the sacrifices we did in order to make grad school a reality. but it would be foolish to just say "ok, thanks God for getting us here" and then peace out. praying shouldn't stop when the journey starts, it is something we should be doing daily anyways, but we need God just as much in the easy times as we do in the hard times. although i have a feeling that even though we went through a lot this past year to get to grad school, that was the easy part on this journey. ;)

2. i didn't get here by my own strength, and i won't get through it on my own strength. this goes hand in hand with the first one, but God is the one who helped me to get to grad school, so why would i think that i've got it now? i need to lean on Him through grad school, and not think that i can do it all on my own. that is how burn out happens!

3. dreams are good, but reality is still hard. it is easy to glorify a dream and to think that everything will be peaches and rainbows. but the truth is that even if you are following your dreams, life is still hard. there are challenging situations in the classroom and in my internship that i will face. but i need to remember to be open minded because the uncomfortable times are when i will learn the most. and it's okay not to have all the answers yet, learning is the things that matters.

4. find your person. when going through a life change like this, it can be easy to stay stuck inside my own head, but i've found that processing things with other people helps tremendously. i've been lucky enough to make a few good friends right off the bat in grad school, and it's been super helpful to speak with them about the transition, as well as hear their struggles and perspectives on their own transition. sometimes it is good to hear that other people are struggling through the same things that you are, and that you aren't alone. also, even though Thomas isn't going through exactly the same things i am, he is my person that i go to for encouragement and a fresh perspective. so it's important to find your person or your people that can be an anchor through this time. 

what are some truths you hold onto in times of transition?

Thursday, September 08, 2016

why i am excited for autumn

do you know Julie from A Hopeful Hood? if not, you should! (yes, i did just rhyme!) she frequently does little list posts, and i am stealing her idea today. :) mainly because i just knocked out 2 journal articles for one class, and started a rough draft for a paper in another class, so i am on a writing roll. plus, i want to procrastinate just a little bit longer before i start reading for my friday class. there is never a dull moment in grad school! 

this past weekend my husband surprised me with a really quick mountain getaway to celebrate my birthday. my birthday is in August, and we had celebrated with family, but he wanted to do something just the two of us. plus, we haven't really done anything fun since moving 2 months ago, and it was due time to just get out of dodge for a bit. luckily i didn't have classes on labor day, so i only had 1/2 the work to get done the week before, meaning i was able to get my work done on friday & saturday, and have sunday & monday free for our trip! 

while we were in the mountains, the weather was cooler than it has been where we live now. south carolina in the summer is always hot, but we pretty much live in the armpit of the state now, so it is super humid all the time. super humid on top of 90s and 100s every day makes you long for autumn like you never have before. so we were very relieved when it felt nicer in the mountains and we spent pretty much all day both days outside. which has got me really excited for when the weather feels that nice here, and i can go outside without sweating through my clothes in 10 minutes. which leads me to a few things i am looking forward to with autumn right around the corner!

1. obviously the first thing on the list is the weather. i love when there is a chill in the air, and those few weeks where the weather is just perfect. it makes me happy to live in a climate where autumn exists, and reminds me to cherish each day, because it will soon pass. 

2. i found a cute pair of boots & a new sweater at a discount store the other day, so i am anxious to be able to wear them. i just feel so much more put together in autumn outfits, since i can accent with sweaters and scarves. plus, having long sleeves on is an introvert's dream!

3. trader joe's apple cider. i am usually not a hot apple cider fan, but Thomas introduced me to trader joe's apple cider and it is seriously the best. we put it in the crock pot & add some cinnamon sticks and it is perfection. plus, it makes the entire house smell delightful! 

4. date nights. these past 2 months as Thomas has been adjusting to his new office, and i've been adjusting to grad school we haven't had a lot of free time. whenever we have had free time, it's been too hot to actually do anything so we generally just stay in. however, with the nicer weather coming we will actually be able to enjoy being outside which has me itching to adventure around our new town some more and create more memories together!

i am also kind of hoping that since the summer is a bit hotter here, that the winter will be a bit less cold also! which means that i may get more than just a few weeks of autumn this year. only time will tell, but here's to hoping!

what is your favorite season? what are you anticipating or dreading about autumn?