Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Finish This: Week Forty-seven

So thankful to be linking up with our fabulous hostesses: Nicole at Three-31, Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, and Lisa at Coastlined.

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is going around the table and saying what we are thankful for. I know it's cheesy, but I love celebrating all the good things in our lives!

My most memorable Thanksgiving was hopefully not tomorrow - I'm hosting for the first time! My mom is helping me, but I am definitely cooking a turkey in the morning... gulp.

My favorite Thanksgiving food or dish is mashed potatoes, all day, every day. Bring on the leftovers!

I'm so thankful for my family, friends, and a gracious God. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not Alone Series: Thankful

Linking up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe for this extra "grate{ful}" edition of Not Alone Series!

In what ways are you thankful?! Write about anything you want under this theme. Do you have any family traditions that help you to be mindful of the blessings in your life?

Yesterday I posted my list of some things I'm thankful for. Today I'll share some traditions from my family. First, though, will you join me in a moment of prayer for the city of Ferguson and our nation? Jesus, please comfort those who mourn and bring peace to those who are angry, and help us find a solution that is a win for everyone and brings glory to You. 

Traditions: my family likes to go around the table and say something they are thankful for - I know, how cheesy and sentimental and awesome, all at the same time. We also will play a game after the meal: dominoes, hand & foot, UNO, etc.

My family is pretty fantastic, and I am so thankful for them!

Monday, November 24, 2014


I'm sure that this week is going to be both full in general and full of Thanksgiving posts....and I don't care. Here are ten things I'm thankful for this season {no particular order}:
  • the mercy and love of God
  • the opportunity to pursue passions #DoulaAdventures
  • good health {and good healthcare when the health isn't good}
  • my fantastic family

  • the opportunity to pursue passions #DoulaAdventures
  • excellent books
  • wonderful friends

  • a great job with my favorite bosses ;)
  • a warm home in which to spend Thanksgiving with my family
  • this awesome blogging community :D
What's are you thankful for this season? 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Finish This: Week Forty-six

Um, Thanksgiving is next week. Ca-razy!

Speaking of crazy, it's that time of the week to join our crazy-awesome hostesses: Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, Lisa at Coastlined, and Nicole at Three 31.

If I could fly to any destination tomorrow, I'd go to Kentucky, no question. I spent two fantastic Thanksgivings with my Kentucky families, and I'm missing them a lot this month!
If I *had* to fly internationally, I'd head to either Berlin {again} or London. I hear that London during the holidays is amazing, and my eyes have only seen the inside of Heathrow Airport, so I'd go in a heartbeat. 

My best advice for traveling is be nice to the people helping you travel, no matter how tired you are or how delayed your flight is. Most of the time, the airline employees are doing their best to help you, and if you are nice to them, the whole situation is that much smoother. 
It is not the flight attendant's fault that the plane's windshield cracked in Denver; the passenger next to you may not know that his bouncy leg is preventing you from sleeping. Ask nicely, fake a smile, and focus on your destination!

I like to travel because I love both visiting old friends and making new friends/acquaintances on the journey. I also love experiencing places I've previously only ever heard of or read about, like Prince Edward Island or the Berlin Wall or Pompeii. Traveling makes me gape in wonder about the history that's happened in each place. 

That's a wrap, friends. Tune in next week for the Thanksgiving Edition - gobble gobble!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Not Alone Series: Prayer

It's Tuesday again! Joining the link-up hosted by the wonderful Morgan at Follow and Believe & Jen at Jumping in Puddles

How do you pray at home? Do you have a special place in your house? How do you make that area special? Comfy chair? Prayer cards? What suggestions do you have to make a home alter? If you don't do this, in what ways can you begin?

Laura shared a picture of her bed, and I'm tempted to do the same. When I wake up, sometimes I turn on a chapter of the Gospels to listen to as I get ready will myself out of bed. I'll pray in my bathroom while I get ready for the day, especially for friends when they need it.

I also pray in the car, and not just the "God, help me" as I avoid stupid drivers. I pray for the future and about decisions and problems and people. 

At night, I'm back on my bed, journalling. It is my goal to journal at least 3 times a week, but that has not always been my habit. I love journalling my conversation with God, and it's awesome to look back and see what God has done in response to specific scenarios and prayers.

I really like what my roomie Catherine said about prayer: God is not a genie, and the Psalms are a great place to look for "templates" for prayer.

Thank you, Jen and Morgan, for these prayer accountability partners! I'm excited for that, because who does not need more prayer in their life? 

Amen! :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Focus on the Awesome

Thank God it's Friday.

This week has not been the most fun ever, so I'm choosing to focus my 7 Quick Takes on ways this week has been good and why this weekend is going to be awesome. Check out Kelly {our wonderful guest host} at This Ain't the Lyceum for all the link-up fun.

1. Haters gonna hate, but the soundtrack of my week has been Christmas music. Kelly Clarkson, Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, even Andrea Botticelli have made this rough week a bit more bearable. Thank you, musical geniuses, for singing happy songs so beautifully.

2. My sister Jayna came over on Monday night, which is always fun. When we were at the grocery store getting hard cider, she introduced me to Strongbow Gold, which may or may not have bumped Angry Orchard into Third Place in My Heart. If hard cider is your thing, I recommend you give Strongbow at least one try. It's super yummy.

3. On Tuesday, I had a mole removed {side note: I love my dermatologist. She made the whole needles/surgery/stitches thing so painless and pleasant, and her staff checked on us like 4 times after I said I was feeling a little lightheaded. If you're in the area, I highly recommend her!}, so now I have stitches and a huge bandaid on my left forearm.
I was feeling good last night, so I ventured out to Zumba. Just to be safe, though, I didn't really use my left arm, because stitches breaking open and blood gushing was something I avoid AT ALL COSTS.
So I one-armed Zumba, and afterwards my instructor told me that she would have me teach sometime, because if I can one-arm class, then no one else has any excuse. Ha! Good one.

4. After work today, I am heading east over the mountains to visit Dahlia. Hooray! She is just lovely to be around. We can fly across the continent or sit on the couch all day, and either way we will have fun together.

This weekend, we are planning on scrapbooking and crafting. AJ, your Christmas present will hopefully take shape this weekend!

5. Speaking of Christmas presents, I'm feeling really on top of it this year. I have gifts for 2 out of 3 sisters already, and several yarn-related gifts are already finished. The gift I'm most proud of, though, is for my grandparents {trusting that they a) do not know this blog exists and therefore b) will not be reading this post}.
My sisters and I are using Shutterfly to create a photo book of the four of us. I only need two-three more pictures {ahem, sisters} and this album will be complete! My goal is to order it by Thanksgiving, so we are rocking it out.

6. The best part of my grandparents' gift is that we'll be able to give it to them in person. My family is traveling to the Frozen Tundra on the 26th to spend a few days with my mom's family! I'm really excited about this, and I'm already worrying praying for good traveling weather. Because of some health issues, my grandparents haven't been able to come out and visit us since I graduated from high school, so this is quite the exciting visit. Any upcoming holiday trips for you, dear readers?

7. Finally, coming back full circle to the week/weekend/awesomeness thing, I am spending Sunday afternoon with a friend looking at apartments for her and her new job! It's very exciting - this is a fabulous new job and totally in line with her passions and calling, and the apartments we're looking at are really cute.

This week hasn't been the best thing in life, but there have been some light spots and this weekend is going to be fantastic. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Finish This: Week Forty-five

It's Wednesday! Has this week felt 10 times longer than normal??? The answer is exhausted yes. BUT! To help us through Hump Day, we have this link-up hosted by Nicole at Three 31, Becky at The Java Mama, Lisa at Coastlined, and Jen at The Arizona Russums.

The best physical feature on my body is all of me, because any one part of me alone would be awkward, lezbihonest. My favorite feature is probably hair, because my leg hair doesn't show, I like my eyebrow shape, and the hair on my head is thick and healthy.

The best physical feature on my spouse's body is yet to be determined, but I'm sure I'll appreciate all of him.

These last few weeks of prompts have been short because we're working on our Year in Review post. This is a huge monster post of like 5 billion prompts to answer, and our hosts are being kind and giving us more time to work on that post. Email Nicole if you want to participate in the Year in Review - hurry, you'll need all the time you can get to "finish this" boatload of prompts!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not Alone Series: Help!

Holycowit'sTuesday.Whew! Linking up with Morgan at Follow and Believe and Jen at Jumping in Puddles for this week's Not Alone Series.

What ways do you run to implore the Lord's help when you are struggling? Do you always spend time in Adoration? Do you dive into the Bible? Automatically go to Confession? Could you be better? How? And what about those times when things are good and you are joyous? Do you still give the Lord your time?

Yesterday... Monday from hell, friends. In the office and in my community, it was a horrendous day. Was I asking Jesus for help, wisdom, direction, peace? That would be a hell yes. Was I still frustrated and sad and hurt and angry? Another hell yes.

As much as I would have loved to sit down and pray quietly for several minutes {or days}, that wasn't an option. Work still has to be done, the world still turns, and sometimes your sister's car breaks down and you end up skipping Zumba to give her a ride. As Forrest Gump says about bad things in life, "It happens."

K now let's be really real. I have lots of room for improvement in the Scripture-reading and praying departments. My default exclamation is four letters long, which is too short for "Praise God!" My first thought when something goes wrong is "ugh," not "Jesus, help me." And when something goes right, it takes far too long for me to remember to thank God. 

Am I getting better? I hope so. Do I have an action plan? That will be one of my goals for 2015, but I am not going to wait 6 weeks to start adjusting my reactions. Help me out here, blogging friends - how do you change your defaults?

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Best Weekend

People. Halloween 2014 was quite possibly the best weekend I've ever had in my adult life. I have not stayed up so late, laughed so hard, or loved my friends so much.

First things first: Cami and I "Cage-ified" Samara's apartment. Yes, that does mean what you think it means. We decorated covered Samara's apartment with Nicolas Cage. Some pictures were hidden in plain sight, and others, well, others haven't been found yet :D

this is the first one Samara found

not even wine was left un-Caged

We carved an attempt at a Grumpy Cat pumpkin... no judging. Our combined carving skills were all at least a decade old, and we realized halfway through carving that the template was not symmetrical. Oh well. 

Samara and I went to pick up pizza after Grumpy was finished, and we counted 8 "Elsa" princesses in town. And between our parking spot and the pizza place, we found a gelato shop...which we promptly added to our agenda and purchased Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chai Latte. Oh my goodness, it was amazing. 

After dinner, we began costume and make-up preparations. Who did we dress up as? Allow me to introduce you to Taylor Swift, Lorde, and Meghan Trainor!

We went to a local pub and met some of Samara's friends, and our table entered the pub's costume contest. Guess who took first place? Not us. But we got second place, and look at what we won:

Yes. We won a hand. A gross, nasty hand that already has caused trauma and laughter. We also won a gift certificate to the pub, which we put to good use right away. 

Once we got home and out of our costumes, we watched the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who. Such fun!

Saturday morning, we got up and on the road to Portland. Brunch, bookstores, and the best pop album of 2014 were the highlights - can you say Taylor Swift's "1989" album!? Have I been listening to it nonstop since Saturday? Unashamedly!

Sunday was a chill day with church, leftover Chinese food and gelato, and a Seahawks game at B-Dubs. After the game, we said our farewells and Cami and I trekked back north {listening to "1989" all 4 hours}. 

In text, this weekend may not sound very amazing, but it was. Cami and Samara and I are so comfortable and hilarious together, and spending time as the three of us was so wonderful. We talked about literally everything, and I loved how we all were able to take care of ourselves {with classes, homework, etc.} and each other so easily. We are seriously fun. 
I love us!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Finish This: Week Forty-four

Celebrating/enduring Hump Day with this awesome link-up hosted by Jen at The Arizona Russums, Nicole at Three 31, Lisa at Coastlined, and Becky at The Java Mama.

{Kids} makes me smile because they are hysterical. I love how they are determined either not to wear any clothes or only one specific item of clothing. I love how they mispronounce words. I love how they get excited about anything and everything.

I put my trust in Jesus, friends, and chocolate, in that order.

I don't want to have regrets about not trying something; I'd rather have failed attempts than zero attempts.
As I write this, I'm thinking I say that's what I want, but is that how I live? The answer is: sometimes. I'd rather try and make a new friend than not have any - that's an area of strength. However, I hate failing, so lots of times I won't even try, like a new recipe or new hobby - this is an area of weakness. So... I'm working on living it.

There you have it - check out the link-up for more!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Not Alone Series: Good Ol' Deal Breakers

Linking up with the faithful Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe!

We have chatted about our deal breakers/non-negotiables before, but how do you keep from letting your standards fall? What prevents you from just dating any guy out there? What keeps you going?

Can we get real for this post? How many of us make this face when a TDH walks in?

Like, wowza. I would totally make that face if Benedict was in my vicinity, lezbihonest. 

But hold the phone - does that TDH love Jesus? Because no matter how cute he is, cuteness is not going to sustain a relationship for any amount of time. And neither does niceness or money or sweet wheels or a rocking job or a vacation home in Spain. Jesus is the best foundation for any relationship, and really the only One upon which I want to build a marriage. 

My list of deal breakers is pretty short, and so is my list of keeping up standards. It's all pretty simple, really. 

What about you? Join the conversation and the link-up over at Jen's