October 30, 2012

Choose your life

image via

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about being intentional. Every choice we make in the moments, shape our days, and shape our lives. Even our non-choices are in fact, choices. Choosing not to do something is choosing something else, and in essence, choosing against that something. If we're not careful, we can unintentionally say no to things that we don't even realize we're rejecting. Scary.

Am I alone in this? I think in this era of our culture, it is so easy to not think about our choices. We are so distracted by all the things around us. When we're in line at the grocery store, sitting at a red light, waiting on a friend at a restaurant - whenever we have any dead time - we are checking our email and our Instagram and Twitter feeds. We choose distractions, instead of reflecting on our choices, past and present. We don't just sit and think. I am just as guilty of this as the next person. What impact does this have on us? On our relationships? On society?

I want my actions to be intentional. I want them to mean something. Even my non-actions. I don't want to look back at this decade in my life and think, why did I do that? Or, why didn't I do that? I want to know why, because I thought about it.

In a practical sense, this might mean choosing to call a friend or family member to catch up when I'm tired from a long day at work. Or, it might mean leaving my phone and computer in the other room while I spend quality time with my husband. It might mean asking someone hard questions that I'm really not sure I want the answer to. It might mean investing money in a non-profit or ministry instead of investing in my wardrobe or my home. It might mean spending a couple hours baking alone simply just to slow myself down.

Whatever it is, I don't want it to just happen. I want to choose it.
Or not choose it.

"In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life."
- Mumford & Sons

October 29, 2012

Restfully busy

This weekend was a busy one! Friday night we visited with family in town (and got to love on our adorable niece and nephews). Saturday morning we got up early and made the trek up to Charlottesville with friends for some apple picking! We were nervous about the potential hurricane weather, but it ended up being fantastic. We drove 3 hours up there for just one day, but it was amazing and I'm so glad we did! We picked apples, sipped on cider slushies and wolfed down apple cider donuts, toured the downtown and drove through the pretty campus of UVA. We ended the day with a satisfying dinner at a local brewery before heading home.

It was a wonderful and full weekend, but busy.  I only had a few short hours to myself, that were divided between Sunday afternoon and late Sunday evening. While I could have spent that time indulging myself in my latest read, because "I deserved it," I decided to tend to mundane chores around the house. And it was surprisingly... fulfilling. After cleaning up the disaster of my bedroom, running a few loads of laundry, cleaning the kitchen, making coffee for the morning, and packing Monday's lunch, I didn't feel exhausted. I instead felt so satisfied and even rested and ready for the week. All I was wishing for was some time to relax, but that wasn't what I needed. I'm glad my subconscious knew better. I went to sleep last night feeling exhausted from a good weekend, but relaxed and prepared for the week ahead!

And that's very important, because we've got apple pie to bake.


How was your weekend??

October 18, 2012

Scenes of Fall

You guys, fall has come in full swing. And I love it! Last year I felt like we almost didn't get a fall. It was so warm here in NC all the way through November, and it didn't even get that cold all winter. I hardly got to wear my favorite sweaters. But this year... this year has been wonderful already. We have crisp, cool days & evenings. The leaves are already starting to change. It's made me feel right about putting my wreath on the door and decorating my house with pumpkins. And that I have! I also made a batch of these earlier this week. At last, we have a real autumn season.

To continue with the spirit of fall, last night my friends and I got together to carve pumpkins and eat pumpkin cookies. I think I have maybe carved a pumpkin only one other time in my life. It was so much more fun than I imagined! I wonder why I haven't done this every year? We had such a fun night! I am so thankful for these ladies!

I thought we had such a fun array of designs. Everyone's was so different!

Now my mouth is already watering for Thanksgiving food. What have you done to celebrate fall?

October 15, 2012

Home reveal: Kitchen

So remember where we left off? A few weeks ago we were looking at the living room and dining room, and now I've finally photographed the kitchen. This room was probably the one that came together the fastest, since there wasn't much furniture involved. I did change things around a lot at first though, like the stuff in the cabinets and the appliances on the counters. It's always so hard to figure out how to organize a new and different kitchen! Let's take a look at what it's looking like now...

Of course since we're renting I have no say in what the kitchen looks like, and while it's a little dated with the wallpaper, the stainless appliances and white corian counters make up for it! And at least the wallpaper is neutral. The blue tile is also not something I would pick, but it somehow goes with my kitchen colors and I love that it's unique and a little old feeling.

One thing that was tough to get used to is the lack of a pantry. My apartment had a great pantry in addition to a good amount of cabinet space, so coming to a kitchen with the same or maybe less cabinet space and no pantry was tough (my New Yorker readers are probably laughing at me). Those baskets that I found at Michaels were perfect for storing our coffee/tea on the counter and snacks above the fridge. We also ended up buying a small cabinet at Home Depot for extra food storage, which helped a ton. It's sitting in our dining room right outside the kitchen door.

This is probably my favorite thing about this kitchen! I don't love how it's closed off from the living room area, but this breakfast nook is its saving grace. I really love having a mini table where we & our guests can eat meals, or just hang out while there's cooking going on. I also like having wall space to hang things. Our old kitchen didn't have any wall space!

So that's the kitchen. Maybe in another month I'll post pictures of another room. Just kidding! I'm hoping to post more in the next week or two. Get ready!

Also, for those of you who care, here's a source list:
Table & chairs: Craigslist find
White desk organizer: Pottery Barn
Red pitcher: HomeGoods
Glass canisters: Ross
Baskets: Michaels
Rugs: HomeGoods
Extra cabinet: Home Depot (Martha Stewart brand)

October 12, 2012

Happy Friday!

It's Friday! Whew! SO thankful that it's here. Work has so been busy this week, and we've been busy too. This weekend I'm looking forward to having the time to finish a couple projects in our house. I'll share soon! I'd also love to do some fall shopping. I feel like I only own spring/summer colors and it's time to change that! And baking apple pie... that's also on the list.

I've been running low on blogging inspiration lately so let's call on some from others...

+ If you'd like some fun music for this beautiful Friday, check out Anna's playlist! That girl is just so creative. Seriously, you should look at her photos. She's quite the photographer. And her happy attitude is infectious!

+ The woman at the well story told beautifully and real. Annie's writing is so fantastic! I just found her blog recently and I've loved every post.

+ A wonderful reminder that we were created to create.

+ I've been reading a book called Feminine Appeal with some friends, and though it's geared more toward wives, it's a really great read for any woman. So many challenges to live in service instead of the way we selfishly want to.

Happy weekend!

October 3, 2012


Okay, so I know it's been a while since I posted anything here. Lately I just can't get my act together and I've found that I've been desiring to do other things than sit in front of a computer and write. Not sure why, but I'm telling myself that it's okay. People and life are more important than the internet. Going outside and taking in the beautiful sunsets and crisp air is what I need right now. Connecting with friends & my husband is what I need right now. Spending time with Jesus is what I really need right now. And that's all okay.

At some point I'll get around to finishing our home tour. Don't think for a second that I've forgotten! You know you still want to peek in our kitchen, back patio, office, and guest bedroom. You just might have to be a little more patient though, as living life takes priority over blogging about life [sorry I'm not sorry].

Some things I've recently been thankful for:

+ Spending time with family. I got to see my mom and sister 2 weekends in a row! That's something special.

+ A college football game that gave me an opportunity to reconnect with college friends

+ Little reminders of God's promises, like this beauty that showed up last night

 ... and sunsets like these that keep happening just outside my kitchen window

Life sure is beautiful, isn't it?