Yesterday was the official start of our vacation and it began with us driving to NJ to have brunch with our family before we drove to NYC to visit my some of my oldest friends. We had a wonderful time eating a ton of food, walking around central park, & just catching up on each others lives. It was a great start to our vacation! Here are some photos documenting our day:
Jenna Marbles would be so proud.
In the coming days we will be headed to Long Island, and then NC for a week of adventures, relaxing, and lots of eating.
Hope you're enjoying however you're spending your time =) -N
In between packing, vacationing, and moving, I decided that I'm going to be doing a little construction on the blog. Great timing, right? I'm not that tech savvy, so with the help of my husband (who is basically good at everything) my friend Dan (who is a computer programmer, as far as I'm concerned) I'm going to try and give this blog more of a personal touch as well as some handy buttons and nick-nacks.
That being said, please don't mind the mess and the occasional 'broken links' you may find. Also, feel free to let me know what you think about the changes and definitely offer suggestions if you have them!
Hopefully I/we can have this done within the next few days, but no promises ツ
This summer my dear friend Kate (who I've mentioned before) is working with a church in order to help strengthen their youth ministry. She is just the girl for the job and I know that God has called her there for a reason, but that also means that she had to move a little over an hour away and live in the community in which she is working. Since she is living quite a distance and working very often (either hanging out with students, or planning events in her awesome office,) we don't have many opportunities to get together or share what is going on in our lives.
Thankfully, Kate has just enough time to be my pen pal for the summer and it's definitely one of the greatest things I ever been a part of. (No, I don't mean world-changing, earth-shattering greatness, just personal greatness... or secret awesomeness as Bob Goff would put it.)
Having a pen pal has really helped me grow in several areas:
1) It keeps me accountable about starting something a sticking with it. (I mean, if she wrote to me, and I never responded, that'd be pretty lame.)
2) It helps strengthen our friendship and allows us the opportunity to share in each others joys and struggles. It's helped make me a better friend, for sure.
3) It gives us the chance to pray for each other and not only get closer to God, but also help develop compassion and thoughtfulness within ourselves.
4) It encourages me to be open and honest about my strengths and weaknesses.
5) It gives me something to look forward to. Whether it's a bad day, or just a boring day, knowing I have a letter coming soon with the experiences, thoughts, and prayers of someone I love is exciting! Plus, it's great to get mail that isn't a bill or an unwanted catalog.
6) It gives me the chance to reflect on my week(s) and appreciate all of the things I was able to do.
7) It's a great way to get creative and have some fun - take a look at some of our beautiful correspondences:
If you've read through all that, then you've pasted the first test - you're ready to be a pen pal!
(Just kidding, none of our letter are actually that long.) Anyways, I encourage you to find someone, near or far, and start writing! -N
I've been wanting to order "moving announcement" cards for weeks now, but I just couldn't bring myself to spend the $40+ dollars they would cost. I had found some really cute options on Shutterfly which is a great site for photo albums, cards, etc. but for something as small as moving, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I still wanted to figure something out though, because I love the function they serve of just getting your new address to everyone, minus the overwhelming amount of phone calls or text messages.
Well, as I was avoiding packing yesterday, I decided to try making my own.
Here are the two that inspired me:
And here is what I managed to throw together in about an hour:
Keep in mind, I had big dreams for these little cards, and I do not have any fancy programs - just the good old Microsoft Paint. Well, that and my all time favorite font site. (Seriously, I use it all the time and the fonts are FREE!)
I printed them on white card stock which I had lying around, and I am really happy with how they turned out. In fact, I love them even more than the two that I found online. Oh, and did I mention that the cost of these beauties would only be about $3 if you had to buy your own card stock? Yup.
Wishing I could have graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and Elementary Education...
In preparation for our move, my mind has been running 10,000miles per minute about how I will decorate each room. Of course, then I always remember our space, budget, and the fact that Dave and I don't always see eye to eye when it comes to decorating - but let's forget about all of that for now, okay?
My most recent thought was about how our walls are white, and our carpet is really pale, and I'm not quite sure if we can paint yet, so I am trying to come up with creative ways to warm up the space (before we're even there, I know, I'm a little crazy). Anyway, I was thinking about area rugs, which would be a no-brainer if we had hardwood floors, but alas, we do not. So, I spent some time thinking about how they would look on already existing carpet. Then, I Googled it. (duh.)
Based on what I found, I totally think it could work - here are some of my current inspirations:
What are your thoughts on "Rug on Rug Action"? Do you approve?
All this packing while Dave is at work is totally worth it after finding this gem:
I have no idea that this picture existed.
We had cameras on all the tables, but my mom got the photos developed for us while we were on our honeymoon, and I totally missed this one! Boy, am I glad I found it. Not only was my husband cool before Pinterest (haha) but it is this kind of silliness and playfulness that I love so much about him & I'm so glad to we'll be celebrating our 2 year anniversary in just over a month.
Also, we'll be in our new home in a great new city - which makes all of this even more worth it:
I'm making pretty good progress, don't you think?
Well, I should get back to packing, or cleaning, or whatever else needs to be done!
I know it's almost a week since my last post, but I've been so caught up in reading that I just can't seem to stop! Let me start by telling you that I haven't always been interested in reading. (I'm almost ashamed to say this, as a future teacher), BUT! better late than never, don't you agree? Anyway, it's as if I'm trying to make up for all the lost time that I've spent not reading.
Here are all of the books I'm currently reading - hopefully one will catch your interest and I can spread this reading bug that I've got.
As you can see, my interests are really quite varied.
I have The Hobbit (a classic fantasy), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (some young adult literature... which I actually read for the first time in middle school), Free Market Environmentalism (which is a really interesting read about, well, Free Market Environmentalism. In layman's terms, an effective and realistic approach to appropriately caring for the Earth).
I'm also reading two inspiring books about Love - but not the mushy kind. Small Things Great Love & Love Does are really about defining "love" as a verb and taking action with anyone and everyone around you. Both written by Christian authors, but applicable and valuable to every person in the world. In a nutshell, image how our world would be different if everyone thought and acted out of love? Crazy, I know.
Well, I'm going back to sipping my Chai and reading my books.