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Friday, July 29, 2011

My office is moving today.  Moving is the absolute worst, especially when you are responsible for moving 50 people.  I wish I had time to write to you more about my heart and my head, but my exhaustion and preoccupation is getting the better of me this morning.  I need a vat of coffee and a nap.  Please forgive my absence.  Monday I will return with something lovely.  In the meantime, remember this post does not reflect my love of blogging or my love of you for reading my ramblings :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunshine on Saturdays

Sometimes I honestly feel like the only things I need to be happy are sunshine, a good cup of coffee, and the company of a wonderful person.  This past Saturday, I felt happiness from my head to my toes.  Bill and I went to Kean coffee and sat outside with flip flops and sunglasses on. 


My long yellow skirt and white tank top hung loosely on me in a way that made me relax and sink into the situation.  The smile on his face when he looked up at me made me happy to know he was excited just to be next to me.  He read the Wall Street Journal and I read a lovely book my mom gave me for Christmas. 


It really is simple things that make life great.   After we finished our coffee, we strolled hand in hand down the street just to walk… no destination in mind.  I love to just be.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Soccer, British Breakfast, and a Great New Hangout!

This post has been a little delayed, as the pictures were not taken on my camera and Mikaela and I have had a tough time getting our internet set up over the past few weeks!  However, it is here now :)




Two weekends ago Mikaela's family was in town and Bill and I joined them at a restaurnt in Santa Ana, CA to watch the women's World Cup soccer team play Brazil in the quarter finals and from the moment we walked in I knew it was a great decision. 



I love soccer fans, SO MUCH.  Bill is a huge soccer fan, and these men and women were cheering and screaming and chanting and yelling at the televisions and the refs and drinking beer at 9 am.  It was fantastic.  The game was highly intense and back and forth and came to a shoot out and the US came out on top!  The celebration was epic and I literally couldn't get enough of it.  I always want to watch soccer that way!  I've never been so proud to be wearing a US jersey (that Bill got me when we were watching the world cup) and getting super into a game :)


This place is fantastic and while the pictures make it look empty, the entire bar area was packed :)  Everyone who works there has an accent and the food is authetic British cooking.  In our traditional meal we had baked beans... FOR BREAKFAST!  I epicly failed at getting pictures.  There are none of other people being outrageous and none of the food, but hey... I'm telling you about it anyway! The next time you are trying to decide between going to a pub to watch a soccer game with a million screaming fans or to stay at home, GO OUT!  Their energy is contagious.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger - My Experience Doing Hot Yoga...

I arrived 25 minutes early (as my groupon directed) and got a brief explanation from the woman with the accent at the front desk.  "Have you ever done hot yoga before?" - "No" - "Ok, your whole goal today is to make it through the entire class."  I wanted to ignore her from that moment on... of course I would make it through the class.  She then went on to explain dizziness is normal for first timers and to sit down as much as I needed to.  I felt a little insulted until about 25 minutes into the class when I felt like I would pass out.  I had a little pride check, I have a lot to learn!  My respect for those who do yoga grew ten fold yesterday, and I have since done research and decided to take all 10 of my hot yoga classes in the coming weeks very seriously and get the most out of them I can!  If nothing else, I will definitely be sweating out all my toxins and getting the full health benefits of the program (which I will explain in one moment)...


First of all, if you think yoga is a joke and for those spiritual types trying to center their chi, you would be in for a rude awakening in a hot yoga class.  The room is 105-110 degrees and 40% humidity.  Each class burns from 300-1000 calories (depending on your body type and level and obvious other factors).  The heat loosens your muscles which enables you to stretch far beyond your normal capacity.  In contrast to the other types of yoga classes, the heat of hot yoga loosens muscles and increases the amount of calories burned during other types of yoga session of the same length. Practitioners of hot yoga claim that regular practice will normalize weight, improve muscle tone, and help you enjoy vibrant good health and well-being.


The benefits of Bikram yoga can be summarized in:
  • improving of muscle strength
  • better cardiovascular workout
  • protecting the muscles allowing for deeper stretching
  • encouraging detoxification through open pores
  • encouraging better circulation
  • making fats in the body more fluid and more easily cleared from the body

Learning about the benefits of this type of exercise only motivated me more (I was pretty awful!), but my goal will be to make it through every exercise and be unbelievably hydrated before my next class.  I am excited to have a new exercise in front of me and to have something that challenges me in a physical way.  Not to mention, I felt like a new person when I walked out of the studio.  There is something motivating in being awful at something, but the release of toxins and cleansing of the pores is no joke!  1 class down, 10 to go.  Here's to hoping it gets easier and eaasier for me and I feel better and better over the coming month.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Vibrant Celebration of Victory...

I have been researching festivals in different nations, mainly out of curiousity, but also out of sheer enjoyment of finding out what other culutres celebrate on an annual basis.  My sister, Joy, has mentioned wanting to do a trash the dress photo shoot (one day in her future) at the Festival of Colors in India, so I thought I would see what it was all about.  What I found was both exciting and entertaining.

Every year, Hindus greet the turn of winter into spring with a splash of color -- in some areas, a geyser of color. They call their celebration the festival of Holi, and Hindus across India and throughout the world share prayer, camaraderie, special food, and a general sense of mischief as they douse each other in dyes and colored water. The large festival has roots to many Hindu legends associated with the triumph of good over evil. One of the best-known stories tells the tale of the demoness Holika, who tried to kill Prahlad, the son of the demon king Hiranyakashyap, for refusing to worship his father. Instead, Holika is consumed in flames, which is replayed each year with bonfires and effigies, before the celebrants break out the hues and cries of the festival. - Lloyd Young taken from Boston.com 

You want to see some pictures?  These were all stolen from various places online, and they ALL make me want to stop typing and immediately go to visit this fascinating and cheerful culture.  This festival is so vibrant and I love how much history surrounds something so fun.  The celebration of the triumph of good over evil is something I agree should be constantly applauded and we should all enjoy the victory every once in awhile :)





Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Floating Lanterns and Fascinations...

I am a little ashamed to admit I have been following the Bachelorette this season.  However, I do want to justify my actions (for those of you that instantly rolled your eyes).  I am fascinated by the psychology of this show, and also by the quest for love that people think can be fabricated and discovered over three or four spectacular days together.  I could go on and on, but the reason I preface my post with this tangent is to say, that I saw a couple of the participants on this show partake in an event in Thailand that I found myself wanting to get more information on, and when I did it did not disappoint.

They took part in a Floating Lantern Festival in a small Thai village.  When I looked up this festival, I found that there is one in Thailand where the lanterns float in the air and one in Japan where the lanterns float on the water.  Both fascinate me and intrigue me. 


The floating lantern festival in Thailand looks overwhelmingly amazing.  In the show, they painted wishes on them and let them float into the sky.  I read that the Thai culture also uses it to symbolize sending your worries and problems up and into the universe far away from them.  It takes place in Northern Thailand around November every year. 


The Japanese Bon Festival takes place on the 13th to 16th of July or August (depending on the calendar your go by).  The belief is that these floating lanterns floated down the river guides the spirits of the departed back to the other world.  The white lanterns are for those who have died over the past year.  Traditionally, Japanese belief is that humans come from water, so this festival returns them to where they came from. 

I would love to see both of these festivals.  Tradition fascinates me and I wish that American culture had more symbolic meanings in their cultural traditions.  I intend to develop my own traditions with meaning for my family one day.  Until then, I will read of what other cultures do and continue to be fascinated by them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

He Leads Me Beside Still Waters, He Refreshes My Soul...

So yesterday's post and today's go hand in hand.  Over the last couple months I have challenged myself physically (and mentally) to get healthier.  I have lost ten pounds and been actively seeking out healthier ways to prepare dinners and learn what will treat my body well.  It has been really eye opening to be reading the ingredients on packaging and realize that some things I considered healthy or at least "not bad for me" are in fact part of the problem.

This life style is starting to become a second nature.  It is less stressful, and unlike many who diet, I do not see myself putting the weight back on.  This lifestyle shift brought to my attention my need to focus on a few other areas.  While my career snapped into focus and I had a list a mile long of things I could do to advance myself both financially and emotionally, I realized that my spiritual life needed attention as well. 

Before I get my real estate license, look into other options in my current company, pour myself into presentations and resume updates, and generally setting my sights on promotions and change at work, I wanted to set some spiritual goals that will put me in the right mindset to tackle those other tasks with Christ's purpose for my life at the forefront of my mind.

With that said, I have signed up to read the Bible in one year through Bible Gateway.  I receive an email everyday with a reading assignment and I focus in on what it says and devote just 20-30 minutes on really understanding and concentrating on its content.  I had a friend when I was younger who used to say, "If you give God his time, He will give you your time."  This proved true time and time again. I have been meditating on this simple truth, and am bringing it to you all now.

Making him a priority will center my focus and give me clarity in my next steps as an individual, with Bill, and with my life path.  One of the mnay verses I read this morning was the 23rd Psalm, and my prayer today is for God to "Refresh My Soul."


"He Leads Me Beside Still Waters."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Psalms 20:4

 May he give you the desire of your heart
   and make all your plans succeed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

September Cannot Come Soon Enough!

I am planning an upcoming trip at the end of September to Boston and Maine, and I am already on the edge of my seat in anticipation.  We are going to see the Red Sox play the Orioles at Fenway Park, we are going to tour the Sam Adams Brewery, and we are going to walk the streets of Boston and enjoy the accents, culture, and company.



Next we will head up the coast to Maine where we will go shopping in Portland, have clam chowder in Bar Harbor and of course cook our own lobsters and sit on a deck with a glass of wine and great conversation.



I am so excited!  I have been to Maine and Boston once before, but I feel like I did not appreciate the simple beauty it all had to offer.  I can't wait to be with my family and my boy in this wonderful part of the country, feel the crisp air, and smell the fresh seafood. 

Come on September, Get Here Soon!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No-Cook Meals From Real Simple

I have to admit I have not tried any of these recipes, but they are looked so light and delicious I had to share!  Real Simple Collections are one of my favorite places to look for recipes and ideas because they cook the same thing ten different ways or they give you ideas for holidays and themes and everything under the sun.  The magazine is also great, and I love flipping through it's lovely pages :)  Here is just a sample of what they are highlighting today, but make sure you check it out for yourself!

They are all No-Cook for your simple enjoyment!

Lemony Shrimp Salad with Cous Cous

Lemony Shrimp Salad With Couscous

Ingredients

1 cup couscous
kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds cooked peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 pound snap peas, trimmed and cut into bit sized pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup town fresh basil leaves
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grate lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup very hot tap water and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, snap peas, tomatoes, basil, scallions, oil, lemon zest and juice, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and toss to combine. Serve over the couscous.

Peach and Raspberry Parfaits

Peach and Raspberry Parfait

Ingredients

2 Peaches, cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice and let sit, tossing once, for 20 minutes.
  2. Scoop the ice cream into bowls or glasses and top with the fruit mixture.

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Grapefruit Salad 

Grilled Mahimahi With Grapefruit, Avocado, and Watercress Salad

(allright - this one has one element of cooking)

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds skinless mahimahi, cut into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
1 grapefruit
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 scallions thinly sliced
2 bunches watercress, thick stems removed (about 6 cups)
1 avocado, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 baguette, sliced (optional)

Directions
  1. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Rub the fish with 1 teaspoon of the oil and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Grill the fish until opaque throughout, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
  3. Meanwhile, with a knife, cut away the peel and white pith of the grapefruit. Cut the fruit into ¼-inch-thick rounds.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, honey, scallions, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
  5. Divide the mahimahi, watercress, avocado, and grapefruit among bowls and drizzle with the dressing. Serve with the bread, if desired.

I can promise you I will be making all of these in the not-so-distant future.  Report back if you try them and like them!  Enjoy the summer and cool off friends :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Song For Bill...


We're adrift on a sailboat
My love is the sea
Yours is the horizon
Constant and steady

You set my limbs locked hard afloat
Lifted my lonesome sails
The tide is out, the moon is high
We're sailing

Darling, your love is healing
It makes the bitter sweet
Warms the winter to spring again
Secures the colds defeat

We're cutting anchor
Casting out into the glorious deep
The tide is out, the moon is high
We're sailing

When we've succumb to decrepitude
Still our love will remain in its youth

The tide is out, the moon is high
We're sailing
We're sailing
We're sailing

~ Brooke Fraser - "Sailboats"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Practice Kindness.

 For some reason, I feel like I need to carefully choose my words today.  Articulation is under-rated, but I want to make sure I am clear.  Lately, I have been thinking about excusing our behavior.  I cannot tell you how many people say, "I've always been this way," or, "I'm never going to change," and that is all they have to say about a bad habit or misunderstood ideal that they know is off.  Seriously?  

Just because you or I have a natural inclination to something does not mean that you have to be that way; it actually doesn't even mean that it is easier to be that way, because you can constantly be hating yourself for the way you are.  I'm not even sure what triggered this in my mind, but I just can't believe what people excuse in their own day to day.  Ignorance, racism, rudeness, crudeness, violence, anger, and a million other tendencies and attitude problems.  I do not understand the lack of desire to fight these inclinations.  If you hate something about yourself, why leave it that way?

As I type this, I realize I am being insensitive to some, but to most it is a call to stop complaining about how you wish you were nicer or more generous, and just be those things.  I know the way you are brought up changes things, but it does not have to control you.  I know I sound like a broken record, but is it such a high calling to treat others with the respect they deserve? (especially those who openly claim faith).  Go out of your way for someone who you are not that close with and expect nothing for it. Stop acting like you deserve the world for driving a few extra minutes.  Stop wanting someone to re-pay you.  Generosity extends beyond tithe... it is a way of life.  Have an open door policy.

I guess I will stop writing about these items when I no longer see them as a problem with anyone in my life.  I know I have work to do as well, and I charge myself to be less selfish with my time constantly.  The rest of this week holds fluffier posts about happy things, but the only way I can write about those is by carrying around a clear conscience.  I hope you feel as though you treat others fairly and with respect and love always, and if you do not feel like you are doing an adequate job, I hope you stop shrugging it off and start changing your hearts tune.


Friday, July 8, 2011


Happy Friday Everyone!  I have a full day of work ahead and then I'm taking Bill to a drive-in up near LA tonight.  I promise to report on it all next week!  I hope you have a lovely weekend filled with sunshine and BBQ and I pray you each are blessed with something unexpected that warms your heart.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

My New Friend... Spoon!


I have always loved bunnies.  They make me all giddy and silly and I get down and talk to them like they are babies.  After I leave their presence I want one always, and when Mikaela and I talked about our new place I told her how important it was to me to get a bunny to keep that smile permanently on my face, and she said she was down, so Spoon came into my life!


This particular bunny is so happy :)  He runs around in circles and love being in the sunshine.  He makes me laugh, but also loves to snuggle while I watch TV.  Bill and I got him a little play pen and a few toys (as you can see the carrot above).  I think what is most important is that Bill also loves him and can't get enough of his little face!


I'll make Bill and Mikaela take a family photo soon, but as for now here is me and Spoon loving each other.  He makes me so happy and I have already fallen for him, and it hasn't even been a week!  


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Never Win Anything...

It has always been a dream of mine to be published and to have people read my words as a professional.  If I could do it all over again I might have gone to school for photo journalism.  If you follow my blog at all, you know I enjoy writing alot!  I recently entered a Memoir writing contest for an internet publication entitled Womens Memoirs and by golly they picked me! ;)  While they did not give me the first place prize, I can tell you with a great amount of pride that I will be published in the fall. Just click here to see My Name on the Contest Winner's List.  The title was chosen by them, and not something I would have chosen (lesson learned), but it still gives me goosebumps to be chosen out of hundreds of qualified applicants.

Since you will not be able to read my story directly from Women's Memoir's right away, I've decided to post it here.  The pictures following will be published with the memoir itself!  Remember, this is just one person's vision and view of the story and the way I experienced it all.  I hope you will find joy in it, but also understand the lessons I learned and the trial I was put through.  It was a tough spot in my life and something that taught me a ton about myself, about relief work, and about living with a chip on your shoulder.

So... without making you wait any longer, here is my memoir...

The idea of traveling to Africa seemed like a dream come true to a girl who grew up with a Pollyanna attitude and a smile on her face.  Packing my bags made my heart flutter.  Water seemed more refreshing.  Flowers were more fragrant.  Life felt purposeful.  I could not sleep the entire 30 hour trip because  I could barely contain my excitement.  I naively thought I was finally going to have a chance to “change the world” and be a part of something bigger than myself.  Shortly after I walked out of the plane and across the jet way, it became apparent that not only was it not that easy, but that I was in way over my head.  I had never felt so overwhelmed and alone.  My passion and purpose were viewed as an annoyance by my fellow travelers, and I felt a lack of ability to express myself when I generally have words flow off my tongue gracefully.  I thought we were all on the same page when we left sunny Southern California, but tension rose as each day passed by.  Sensitivity and patience were lacking on all accounts.  It was not the trip I had pictured nor the experience I would have chosen.

When it came to the local people, matters only worsened.  The way I ate, the way I slept, the way I sat; they were all pointed out and laughed at.  I felt like an alien.  I could not even wash dishes without a hundred children peeking their heads in the hut and mocking me.  I was literally in a village of strangers.  No one understood me and I was an anomaly.  Simultaneous to my alien status, they seemed as though they came from another planet as well.  They ate with their hands and cooked over a fire.  They chanted and danced and jumped up and down all the time for no reason.  The stench of the camp was a mixture of body odor and rotting garbage.  Why had I volunteered for this?  How did I end up here?  Frustration began to creep into my heart.  I hated not being able to communicate, and on this particular day, I had been waiting to go to bed to escape the scorn of everyone surrounding me.  Now that I was finally here, I realized all I wanted was familiarity.  I selfishly wanted to sleep in my own bed and forget this whole adventure had happened.  I was reaching the end of my rapidly fraying rope.

As my mental temper tantrum took over, I looked around the roof of the straw and clay hut with mice crawling around the upper rim and focused on the thin white net that separated me from these creatures.  The heat overwhelmed me and, at times, I felt dehydrated and close to passing out from the intensity of it.  My many attempts to fall asleep failed as I constantly felt like something was crawling on me.  The radio seemed to be screaming once popular American music, and the speaker lay just beside my head giving me the closest proximity to the heat and the music.  They both pumped their poison to my body continuously.  The course material of the bed scratched against my bare legs and I winced whenever I touched the thin shear netting.

I lay with sweat dripping down my face and I began to grasp the difference between what I needed and what I wanted.  I was not hungry, thirsty or in danger – I was just uncomfortable.  My basic human needs were met.  So why did I feel such a lack of freedom?  Does freedom equal control?  Somewhere in my mind I was equating the two.  I decided in a split second that being outside of your comfort zone should not make you feel impaired.  This entire concept was brought to a head, as this was how I was spending the 4th of July in 2009.   The 4th of July is generally one of my favorite holidays, but this time around I was not watching fireworks and eating hot dogs.  I was spending time in Sub-Saharan Africa learning to appreciate my freedom, independence, and blessings as an American.  While that is not why I went, it is one of many things I was learning to take from it.  I guess it is one thing to say you appreciate what you have, but it is an entirely different thing to experience the life that has been handed to others and see the beauty in their simplicity. 


As these concepts and thoughts rushed through my brain, I felt a calm wash over me.  I had the freedom to decide how I was going to react to a situation that was not only out of my control, but also one that was not ideal for my personality and range of comfort.  I had the freedom to decide how I was going to deal with unfamiliarity.  I could decide my own destiny by using the independence I possessed to tackle any situation I was placed in.  It did not matter how I got in this hut with the mice and the roaches and the strangers.  What did matter was what I took from it and the attitude I approached life with from that moment forward.  No matter what situation we are faced with in life, we have the freedom to choose how it affects us.  I fell asleep with ease shortly following this list of realizations, with a full heart and head.  It’s amazing what heat and mice can stir up in your soul…


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Without Further Ado...

It's finally time!  Here are a few pictures that give you a better idea how our place turned out.  I highlighted some of my favorite areas of the apartment.  If you wanted to see more angles, I apologize.  I just wanted to give you a taste of how lovely it all turned out and how well it all works together.




Our dining room.  How wonderful it all turned out!   The mustard yellow shelf, the wine rack and wine glasses out in the open, the chalkboards and cork board could not have turned out better.  Mikaela and I had a vision for it all, and I think it turned out just the way we wanted! The bottom of the wall being brown is perfect, and it came that way.  It really adds an extra touch of hominess :)




These are Mikaela's new couches that she brought from a friend.  They are SO comfy.  She also re-covered the throw pillows with fabric we picked out together, and I have to say they turned out amazing.    Someone was getting rid of the giant mirror at my work, so I took it on and Mikaela painted over the gold to make it dark brown and then we painted some frames Stephen gave me for Christmas the exact same color so it all goes together and matches.  They are supposed to remind me of where I come from (Baltimore), where I have gone (Italy), and where I am going (Greece and Seattle - One Day)...


These suitcases sit directly below the frames Stephen gave me and I love them. They were each purchases seperately, but I love how the stack turned out.  We are looking for a globe donation for the top of this stack, but in the meantime the frame picture of a map taken in Uganda will have to do!  The bright colors and fantastic prints fill my heart with joy at every glance.


Oh the bathroom... I never like to look at pictures of other people bathrooms, so use your imagination... there is a toilet and a cute shower curtain from World Market.  Outside the bathroom door sits this wall display.  The colors of my towels remind me of summer and watermelon.  The pictures of Mikaela and my travels framed here are always a gentle reminder that we have seen some of the world and somehow they hug me and remind me I will see more of it.  


As we walk in our front door this cute little guy hangs to catch our keys.  I found this by a dumpster, and with a fresh coat of green paint it was ready to go.  



I have always wanted an open kitchen, but in the many apartments I have lived in it has been hard to come by.  I finally have one!  We can cook and hang out with our friends without having to shout.  Mikaela and I picked out the fabric to re-cover these barstools.  I love them and can't stop looking at them.  I love how everything is not matching, but works together incredibly well.

I guess you can tell that I love our new place!  It is colorful and fun and so perfect for us.  We are happy and healthy and well.  Come visit if you are in the area!  I would love to show you more in person :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Week Of News Ahead

I cannot believe the number of things I have to tell you this week! However, I am making myself take the day off to celebrate the fourth with exercise, friends, and family. When I return Tuesday you will finally be able to see our new place unveiled. This week you will hear of a new gadget I have acquired, a fantastic furry friend, and some surprising news even for me :) I can't wait to fill you in on it all, make sure to check back every day this week and have an amazing fourth of July!

Friday, July 1, 2011

All I Really Need...

Well, I guess you will just have to keep waiting for pictures of our new place, because I do not have them to share yet!  This week has been exhausting and relaxing.  Having our own place is a dream come true and I think it is exactly as we both pictured it.  I feel so at home already and tomorrow marks one week.  We both keep saying, "I just love it all so much."

Last night Bill and I made dinner, got in the hot tub, and returned to the apartment to play cards and drink tea with Mikaela.  It is hard to explain why, but last night was so perfect to me.  It is all I really want in life.  Just having my boy and my bestie sitting at a table, drinking tea, laughing, and talking were amazing and lovely and everything I wanted our new place to be.  I know the next 14 months (the length of our lease) will be so incredible, and just shraing with these two, our friends, and our families is honestly all I need.

I'm sorry to give you only half a post, but this is straight from my heart.  I can't wait to have friends and family around our dining room table with wine and delicious food and laughter and candles.  I can't wait to host parties for silly reasons and to share our space with all our friends.  I know alot of milestones will happen under this roof, as Mikaela and I continue to discover who we are, and I know our place will hold so many dear memories.  I ask each of you to pray for us as roommates and for our home as a place where everyone feels welcome and restored. 

You are welcome in our home :)