Sunday, September 15, 2013

Adventures as of Late

The photos above were taken by my friend Trinity on one of our Saturday adventures, that of which I will be writing about soon. She recently wrote a post on all of the fun things we've been doing and you should check out her blog when you get the chance.

Friends--I know, I know. It's been a long time since I last wrote. Seasonal blog posts, I'm telling you. Apparently I'm all about that life. As I mentioned in one of my older posts, there are so many snippets of memories and stories in my head that I cherish, and in times like this, I wish I had written them down. I'm the kind of person who strives to enjoy moments as they are happening and truly appreciate them in the present, and keep those memories to share when they should be shared. My life has been a roller coaster lately, to use the most cliche metaphor. But here are some bits + pieces of my life that I thought I'd share with you.

My poor little car has been broken for the past two weeks and that's been a burden and a blessing
concurrently. I drive a green mini cooper, and I swear that thing is literally the vehicle version of me. Thankfully, my red schwinn Ruby is faithful through and through every morning at 8am. But honestly, not having a vehicle makes you realize the things you take for granted and the things you're missing out on. We had our first 70 degree day here a couple days ago and if I would have driven my car to and from class that day, I most likely would have just talked about how nice it was outside. But I actually get to feel it every morning and truly appreciate my favorite days of the year.

Lately, I've been abounding with inspiration from my surroundings. The other afternoon I was sitting at my desk, tucked away in the secluded, seldom-visited corner of campus where I work. Everyday I get to come in and fulfill design requests that I essentially have free reign over, listen to great music, and be with pleasant people all while working at my own pace. And as I was sitting there on that Wednesday, I was overcome with immense joy. A knowing, contented, fulfilling joy that I can't honestly explain in words. This feeling confirmed that I was, and am, indeed in the right place and doing what I was created to do for the glory of the Lord. I've been getting so much positive feedback from others about my work, I'm not sure what to do with it all. I just smile politely and say a simple thank you, that person probably never knowing how much a small compliment means to an overly sentimental person like me. I truly believe that you should do what makes you happy. That statement is said all of the time and may be overused, but it's extremely true. And maybe you haven't found what that is for you yet, or maybe you have. But you'll know you have when even the smallest task you do brings you joy and you feel like you're making a difference, even if it's in the tiniest way. Maybe it's that child you are spending quality time with, or that business plan you've crafted for the betterment of an organization, or that speech you've written to inform or inspire. God uses people in numerous way that we can't even fathom.

It's not all perfect though; to be honest, this past week has been somewhat difficult for me. Yet, I have found hope in each day. I've been reading the "Jesus Calling" devotional and every single reading has been directly applicable to my daily circumstances. My friends continue to amaze me as they speak truth into my life without fail. God's grace is boundless--my only hope is to emulate that in my daily life and through the encounters I have with people. It's as simple as that.

I have so many more stories to share, and I hope to write about them sooner than later. Thanks for reading, I appreciate that you took the time out of your day to hear about what God is doing in my life and maybe you can be inspired to do whatever it is that brings you joy.

"The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Numbers 6:25-26.
(From the September 15th reading of Jesus Calling.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Room Tour

This week I thought I'd share with you all some bits and pieces of some things that make up the decor in my room. Most of the things in my room either come from antique stores or were belongings of my grandmother, which I truly cherish and am so lucky to have such special family heirlooms in my possession now. I think it's so wonderful how decorations back then have come back in style and can be used in many ways today. I hope you enjoy these photos and are inspired by different ways to decorate your own space!

Isn't that old piano sheet sweet? I hope you all have a blessed week and are inspired by something you love!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Sweet Saturdays

This past Saturday was so wonderful, I had to tell you all about it. I got up early to hop the local farmer's markets in search for this week's goodies, and I think my favorite part was seeing all kinds of friends I knew shopping as well. It makes me happy to see all these people supporting local businesses. Later that day I went to The System to get my hair cut and colored by my friend Amy. She did a wonderful job and I ended up getting an ombre that starts at a darker brown and fades to carmel. Man, do I love it. The rest of the day was truly a sweet saturday- I met up with my dear friend Tessa who has become one of my closest friends as of recent. You can check out her instagram here! She is so wonderful to be around, she is insanely encouraging, and we always have something to talk about. We had a great dinner at a local Italian place named Bambinos and ordered some wonderful items off of their summer menu. They do not disappoint! And then we headed over to the Pickwick area an explored a bit. We stopped at a sweet Homegrown Foods store that reminded me of my morning.

We then stopped at a local sweet shop, Elle's Patisserie. Tessa is great friends with the owners and we chatted with the workers for a while. But most importantly, we enjoyed their Lavender Iced Coffee, which is to die for! Elle's is truly a delightful little spot and I'd encourage anyone who'd like a sweet treat and a friendly face to stop by there.

We then ventured over to the park with our blankets, watercolors, and iced coffee in hand for some painting, which was so much fun! Phelps Grove park is a quaint little spot with families running around everywhere. I'd like to go there more often.

The last photo is the beginning of my creation. I hope you all found your Saturday to be sweet!


Thursday, July 04, 2013

Favorite Things // Neon Edition

Here are a few of my recent favorite things, but with a touch on neon! The bright color trend is becoming really popular in the summer months and I can't complain. As much as I love muted or pastel colors, I love my neon.

1) This Home Tweet Home key holder is precious from Modcloth.
2) I absolutely love Salt Water Sandals and I've been dying to get a pair.
3) Ruche has this wonderful Heaven on Earth eyelet dress. If you haven't checked out Ruche, you need to!
4) This. Wall hanging. Is. Amazing. Available through New Friends.
5) Urban has the best home decor, don't they? Wood Box. (on sale too!)
6) This bag is perfect if you want to add that summery touch to your outfit. From Anthropologie.
7) These fun sunnies from Modcloth.
8) I've wanted one of these darn Pantone iPhone Cases forever! They are so neat!
9) These recipe cards are seriously my favorite and are made by rifle paper co. Perfect for your kitchen.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Growing // A Reflection on the Past Year

Sometimes when I try to write things, I'm not even sure where to begin. There are so many snippets of memories and stories in my head that I cherish, and in times like this, I wish I had written them down. Maybe there's a reason for that though. Maybe I'll think of those memories in a different time when I need them more than I need them now. I think I am the kind of person who strives to enjoy moments as they are happening and truly appreciate them in the present. In light of this past semester (and year, even) I believe I did just that, and often. I believe I was woven with heartstrings for appreciation of wonderful moments, more so than most people. Maybe that's just they way I am, or the way I was made. I truly value each day that I'm alive, and each moment I get to spend with the people I love. It's a heavy happiness that weighs on my heart in the best way possible.

School can be tedious. Work can be boring. But people are not. People are not boring. They're made up of intricate stories, feelings and thoughts that can be shared, hidden, displayed, or expressed to other people. That fact that I get to do life with these people--these awesome, influential, inspiring people that I call my friends--makes me extremely grateful. No matter the level of friendship, each person I have encountered this past year has made me a better person, or has given me a new perspective on life.

And from that, I have grown in so many ways. I look back at old pictures from last spring semester and think, "Remember when we did that? That was so long ago!" when in reality, it was just this time last year. But so many things can change in a year. And they have! I'm not sure how to recap it in any other way, so here, it begins.

The Lord worked wonders in my life this past year, as he always does. Did I think this time last year that I would have a job as a part of the University Activities Council, booking bands, putting on film discussions and student showcases? Not necesarily. I remember one of my dear friends who had this job when I was a freshman, and I thought I could never do what he does. Well here I am, in the job, having the time of my life and influencing campus as best as I can along the way. I've learned more than I could ever imagine this semester, and connected with so many people through this amazing opportunity.

And the weddings. My goodness, the weddings. Who knew I'd be attending 4 weddings this summer (and be bridesmaid in one of those) of my closest friends? It's so crazy how fast things move in college. In life too, but really, in college. I couldn't be happier for one of my best friends, who I will have the privilege of supporting on her big day, as she gets married this June. I wouldn't have it any other way, though. I love seeing people in love, and weddings are giant parties of love. And those are my favorite kind of parties.

I've learned so many different things and had wonderful experiences--how many times can you say one of your friends wrote a play, and then got to come back and have it put on for everyone to see? A beautifully written play, mind you. And how many times do you get to see Local Natives, front row, in Nashville, singing along every word with your best friends? Only once, and it goes by the name of Spring Break. Positively the best show I've ever been to, words can't describe that weekend and how much fun it was. And I can't even begin to say how many times we spent at iHop, McDonalds, or just driving around town listening to good music. I have those McDonalds games memorized and I'm not even ashamed. Well…only a little bit. Anyways, towards the end of the year, the all nighters are really the greatest thing ever. So many stories of adventure, stargazing, conversations with friends, long drives, and sunrises go down in my history book as the most memorable moments I won't ever forget.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I've learned a thing or two about forgiveness, relationships, friendships, and people in general. I'm extremely thankful for good people in my life who are still so great to me despite decisions I have made that affect them. I wouldn't be the person I am today without their genuine friendship extended to me. The ups and downs of this semester have brought me closer to the Lord in numerous ways, I couldn't begin to list them if I tried. In light of all of the good times, I am extremely thankful for the hard times. Because without them, the good times would have absolutely no meaning. And those good times are something that I live for.

I'm still very unsure on what the Lord has planned for my life, and I question that daily. Who am I going to date? What job will I have? Where will I live? But the one thing I will take away for every experience that has happened this past year, is that God is in control. He knows what's best for me and His plan is ultimately the perfect plan for my life. All of the things that have happened and that will happen, work together for my good. And I fully trust Him with my everything.

As always, thanks for reading, and be blessed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Winter Stories

Well, it's time for my seasonal blog post! Really though, it seems as if I only post once every season. But hey, that's alright. I don't usually make new years resolutions, but I do want to keep up with this blog more often. This time of year seems like the perfect time to write because it's chilly outside and all anybody wants to do is stay inside. So here I am, sitting in the Starbucks cafe at Barnes and Noble recapping my past week or two.

I traveled to Ohio to see my family again this Christmas. Even though we don't have a very large family, I can always find something to do there. It snowed a total of 12 inches while we were there and not many more things make me happier than a good amount of snow. My grandma has a wooded area behind her house, so it was fun to do some adventuring through the snow to take some photos and enjoy the rare sight. While we were there I finally got to see my cousins; I had not seen them since last Christmas. My youngest cousin, Ryan, is possibly my favorite person in the entire world. He's eight years old now and my aunt and uncle adopted him from Ukraine when he was about two years old. His hair is so blonde and he still has a little bit of an accent when he speaks. It's precious. I really wish we saw them more often because I think Ryan misses me. A couple days after Christmas, we were all eating dinner and he suddenly crawled up into my lap, sighed, and said, "I just really miss you."And he told me all about his school, and his friends, and his favorite things and it made me so happy. When they were leaving, he shouted over everybody to me, "I'll love you and miss you forever!!" Heart. Melted. I luff him so much. Seeing him was probably the highlight of my entire week there.

I then rode back to St. Louis and my parents dropped me off at my friend Trinity's house. I've blogged about St. Louis before, and I don't know why, but I just really enjoy St. Louis! Maybe it's because I don't usually travel to other places besides Springfield and Bolivar, but next to Kansas City it is one of my favorite places in Missouri. There are so many cool things to do there, a lot of awesome stuff to see, and a ton of photo opportunities. Pictured above are the teapots from the London Tea Room. That place is precious and the food is wonderful. And it's London themed--who doesn't enjoy that? I'm glad we stumbled across it. We went to other various places--the Galleria, St. Louis Art Museum, Forest Park and The Old Spaghetti Factory just to name a few. The art museum was probably my favorite because art is cool, right? Right. We then met up and spent the night at our friend's house about an hour away. Needless to say, I love those people. Sometimes we like to play this old game from the 90's called 'Dream Phone' and it's hilarious. We like to replace the names of the guys on the board with names of guys that we actually know and that makes it pretty interesting.

On Sunday we were all invited to the wedding of our friend Ronni and the wedding was here in Springfield. They chose the Savoy for the venue and it was perfect, as is every wedding that's ever been there. I didn't take any pictures which I sort of regret, but it was so much fun anyways. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was so much fun because of …well, dancing. Dancing is actually the best, especially at weddings because everybody is dressed nice and it's great when all of your friends are there. I love weddings so much.

These past few weeks have been actually quite wonderful. A lot of my friends here are going back to their schools this weekend, while I still have another week of break left. I'm cherishing every moment of it and realizing how important friends are to me. I can't express that enough, ever. As always, I hope you find this season to be treating you warmly. Don't worry, I will be planning to post more often :)