Monday, August 27, 2012

weekend recap

Really, let's just be honest with ourselves. I say "weekend" recap, but my life is really all one big never ending weekend right now. I rarely know what day it is and I don't look forward to Fridays anymore, because well-- Mondays are just as good. 

But seriously, we had a great weekend. Lots of roadtripping and boating and beaching and familying. What more could one ask for?

Date Night! Indian food, good conversation, planning our Japanese adventures, and dreaming big. I adore this man. 

My sweet husband treated me to a manicure, just cause. I thought I would give shellac another try, even though I was pretty sure I hated it // and then, I remembered I still hated it.

Spent a couple of wonderful days at the beach with my mama, can you see the rainbow? // I am a sucker for a good sunset. And this one was great.

My mom likes to work out at the beach. I prefer to just lay. So biking is our meeting place. Low impact, still enjoyable. I can still instagram while participating, and I don't even have to wear tennis shoes. 

Brian and I got lessons in pesto making and pickling this weekend. Yum.

Ahh, a day out on the boat. Our generous family here loves to take us out on their boat, and we kindly oblige. 

On Sunday we got some great family time during the dedication of the newest baby on Brian's side of the family. We got to hangout and talk about married life with newlyweds, Leighton and Ashley. We really love these two.

And then we made our niece and nephew take 100 pictures with us. Erin and Niels, sorry we always take these pictures that make your kids look like they are ours. But see, that's the joy in aunt and unclehood. Let the parents do the dirty work, and then claim the kids when they are being all cute. 

And that there is our weekend. Happy Monday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

i guess we're beach people now

Lots of our weekends here in Jacksonville are spent at the beach. Just relaxing, reading, refreshing and recalibrating (see how I did that? That was very baptist preacher of me). Except that we also eat a lot and I wanted to include that, but it didn't start with an -re. 

My wonderful parents have this great place on the inner coastal that's less than a two hour drive from where we are living in Jacksonville. It's just so easy to jump in the car and spend a night or two in a different place, out of this marine town and out of the hotel room. So easy in fact that this is exactly what I'll be doing this week. Brian starts a 3 week intensive supply course, and my dad is out of town, so I'm meeting my mama at the beach! Don't mind if I do. 

We also have some family on Brian's side that live about an hour away. They have been SO incredibly gracious and generous to bring us into their home, make us meals, take us out on their boat, and give us a place to relax. 

We are truly blessed by the people in our lives that love us so well. 

And yes, Brian likes to read and walk. It's cute. He learned that from his parents.

Oh who is that? Just your 2016 Olympic kayaking team. Look at that form..

Thursday, August 16, 2012

on waiting

I really am trying hard to cherish this time, where life for me is slow and easy. I am SO, so quick to always want what's next; the next thing, the next place, the next group of friends, the next role in life. 

When I'm in bad perspective and I look at my life right now, it seems like wasted time. Two months in an unknown place. Not quite long enough to make really strong friendships, but too long to not try. No job, no place to cook for people, no home to clean. I mean really, someone cleans my room everyday and I am trying to complain? 

Satan is so tricky. 

And then! I remembered this. 

Those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings
 like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;  they shall walk and not faint. 
Isaiah 40: 31 

and this

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! 
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Psalm 27: 14

Those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength. My study bible says that to renew one's strength is to find 
endless supplies of fresh strength

Fresh Strength. I need that. Everyday.

So here I am, in my waiting room. Trying hard to be where I am, where the Lord has me.  And believing hard that God is storing up endless supplies of fresh strength in me for what's ahead. Believing that there is something great waiting for me in Japan. And oh, how sweet of the Lord  to give me this time. To be. To refresh. To store up strength. 

And yes, I could be filling my time with things. Ok things. Maybe even good things. 
But to store up strength for the best things? I think that's what God has called me to right now. 

And so, that is what I will do. 

Feel like you are in limbo? In an in-between? Remember that God doesn't waste time. 
He doesn't put you somewhere without a purpose. He has plans. Believe that today. 

THIS sermon series, so good. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

boulder (colorado trip, part 2)

As I mentioned in my Denver post, I came to Colorado to visit friends AND go to the wedding of Brian's closest cousin. Long story short, it was super sad that Brian didn't get to come as he was a groomsmen in the wedding, but couldn't get his leave approved. But, hey! I still got to go, and I had a blast with all of the cousins. 

Boulder is gorgeous. The views are absolutely stunning. 

This bride and groom are pretty stunning too. We love you Leighta and Ashley!

I wish I had more pictures to share of the actual wedding (honestly, I just wish I had pictures of cousin Blake and I dancing.. cause we were REAL good), but I was too busy dancing and having fun to take pictures.

I had such a wonderful time being around Brian's family and really find myself loving all those crazy, fun people more and more as they continue to feel more and more like my family. They truly have taken me in as one of there own, and have loved me since the day Brian and I started dating. Extended families can be a tricky thing to navigate early on in marriage but luckily for Brian and I we are so blessed to have such wonderful, loving, supporting, welcoming families-- on my side and his! 

And obviously, the Harding cousins are really attractive people...

You are welcome for this, Kyle and Marg.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the mile high city

(forgive the amount of pictures in this post. I am on a "document every second on my life" kick.)

Oh, Denver. How I love thee. 

With your gorgeous views, NO humidity in August (my hair thanks you), and your expansive coffee and food selection
-- how could I not love you?

Months ago when we found out Brian's cousin would be getting married in Boulder in August, I decided that I would head out to CO early and spend some time with awesome friends that live in Denver. I have a whole group of college friends that moved out to Denver to plant a church in the heart of the city. It was so awesome to get to see their every day life, watch them live intentionally, and hear about how God is moving through their new city 
that they now call home. 

These friends are the real deal. Doing ministry in their every day lives, living out the life that God has called them to. None of them are on staff with the church-- just moved out here to work real world jobs. To meet people and bring them around the body of Christ and advance the kingdom of God. Nothing fancy or flashy, just working hard to make their life rhythm one of intentionality and influence. It's an honor to know people like them. During my time in Denver, I felt challenged and inspired and spurred on to live out what I feel like
 God is calling me to in my every day life. 

I love Starbees as much as the next person, but it was so fun to visit any and every local and unique 
coffee shop I found in Denver. Each one with different character and a totally different vibe. 

Oh, the food. I. Ate. So. Much. Honestly, I think I ate every meal and drank every cup of coffee with a different friend. It was so fun, and delicious. I didn't have a single bite of bad food. 

This would be the day that my sweet friend, Teresa, and I set out to hike for a little bit. However, the sky looked pretty threatening and dark-- so we settled for margarita's instead. 

Coffee date with my newly married friend Natalie. So fun to talk about and encourage each other in our marriages. I felt challenged to love Brian better through our time together, Nat. I love you!

 I got to have lunch with my LONG time childhood friend, Kristen! It was a spur of the moment decision to meet up and I'm so glad we did. Always fun to reminisce with friends that knew me before I was mature.. wait, I'm still not that mature. // Found my fave restaurant in Denver, for obvious reasons. Okinawa!

Teresa and our UNC friend, Lyndsey, took me to my first Colorado Rockies game. Honestly, the game was pretty boring, but I got a hot dog,  awesome sunset, and lots of good laughs with these girls out of it, so it was worth it! 

Took a good, long walk around Sloan's Lake with Stephanie on my last day in Denver. It was a perfect day, with an awesome view of the Rockies, and even better conversation with this gorgeous girl. 

Lunch date with Stew-- always a good time with this girl. Obviously, we love each other. More now than we did that summer that we lived together and fought a lot. But look at us now! Stew, you are a treasure. One of the most generous and loving people I know. I'm so thankful to know you!

And laaaaastly, Sydney. Sydney actually lives in NC, but in true Syd fashion called us all and was like, "hey, i'm in Denver, wanna get lunch?" Love you Syd, so glad you were randomly driving through CO.


Well, congrats on making it to the end of this epically long post. Long story short-- I am now begging my husband to move to Colorado when we get back from Japan. It's such a great place, with even better people. 

Denver friends-- thank you for making time for me, taking me to lunch, taking me to dinner, taking me to coffee, showing me your favorite places, letting me sleep in your bed and on your couches, driving me all around your great state, etc. etc. I love you all!