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A GREAT WHITE NORTH

This year, for a Christmas present to ourselves/D’s mother, we decided to visit Chicago over New Years. And yes, as the December date crept closer and closer, I did wonder why on earth we weren’t going for the Fourth of July, I’m so glad we went when we did.

Up until very very recently, I hated all things winter and anything cold. Now I see that I was wrong. Winter can be magical. Winter is full of sparkle and glow and crackles and steam and fuzz and thick knits and paper and goodness. D and I had the best time catching up with a dear friend, meeting new faces, drinking way too many warm beverages, and dancing in the snow. (and by that…I mean I loved dancing and squealing and playing in the snow while D and his family laughed at me from inside).

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chicago 3The Navy Pier was probably the sight I was most excited to see, and it was pretty great. We were able to see some really great views of a frozen Lake Michigan and a hazy dusk full of ferris wheel lights and swirling snowflakes. However, some silly private party rented out most of the atrium the night we visited, and it was way too cold to stay out until midnight for fireworks, so we didn’t do everything we planned. But we did have a hilarious adventure getting there involving a cab driver who hated the city, made about 100 wrong turns, and only charged me $7 bucks for the whole ordeal because he felt so bad. We didn’t mind…it was like getting a free city tour in a warm car for nothing with a sassy cabbie tour guide.

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The biggest downer of the trip was by far the drive home. We unfortunately had to leave right in the middle of Winter Storm Hercules, so our 12 hour drive ended up taking almost 16 thanks to the 13-14 hours of straight snow we ran into, including a major pop-up blizzard right through North Carolina which was literally the scariest ride of my life. But, we were very lucky to finally arrive back home without a scratch or scare…just a very salty car. Plus, I was able to take a ton of snow-scape pictures.

I loved Chicago. I loved snow. I loved learning to appreciate a new season I have many times cursed…I was able to feel like a little girl on a snow day. Plus, winter-time is a fantastic excuse to duck into a coffee shop more than usual, since it is full of warmth and comfort–and I’m a fan of anything that gives me a reason to coffee shop!

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DATING MYSELF

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so, as you know…I am currently in a temporary long-distance relationship. and, for me, the struggle with loneliness is very real. Satan loves to swoop in and lie to me. I am not alone, but my heart sometimes waivers.

there are a few things I have found can combat this. the best thing: taking myself on a date. I get dressed up, I put on makeup, and I go somewhere and treat myself. make sure you are wearing something you not only feel comfortable in, but that you adore. give yourself a compliment, walk with your held high…for it is you who needs to love the way you look the most. believe in your beauty, inside and out.

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now it’s important to actually go somewhere. for me, it might be a bookstore or to fro-yo or a movie. the actual place doesn’t really matter…but I do think it is very important to go somewhere public. being around people energizes you and can also be a physical reminder that you are not in fact alone in this world, that God has created and is caring for billions of other souls just like you. at first it can be awkward, but soon I find myself reveling in the alone time. I get to pick what to watch or where to eat or where to sit, without compromise.

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my final thought on dating yourself…buy yourself something. maybe it’s a bouquet of flowers. maybe it’s a cute card or print with a message you really need to remember. maybe it’s just a tub of popcorn at the movies. but a very important rule of dating yourself is to remind yourself that you are not only worthy, but that you are capable of making yourself feel good…you do not need to rely on a partners affection to do that.

…nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:39

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

birthday threeEarlier this week, I turned another year older.

Who doesn’t love birthdays? I mean, it’s a day where you get to feel cherished and wear fun buttons and hats and do whatever you want and eat all of your favorite things. Plus, people normally write you really sweet things in cards and there is normally glitter, at least on my birthday there is! This year, the day was no less special. I woke up to a fantastic three-hour brunch with my three kindred spirits where we munched on coffee and croissants while gossiping and then spent the afternoon at the pool enjoying mexican food, some sun rays, and a few margaritas. My family ended the day by treating me to some hibachi, the most thoughtful gifts, and really decadent brownies to make a wish on.
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birthday twoDakota boy wasn’t here this year, as he is off being a rockstar…but never fear, he sure didn’t let me down. He sent me TWO tender cards plus I got such fun package in the middle of the day. My phone was never without a text waiting from him to ask me what fun thing I was getting to do or to shower me with picture messages. I am a very very lucky lady, to have such a special one who knows how to make me feel like I am on the forefront of his mind even though I may be 48 states away.

I felt so blessed by all of my friends and family who thought of me, even for a moment on that day. I think birthdays are my favorite because they remind me so much that I am not alone. I am surrounded by love. I am surrounded by help. I am surrounded by people who matter. My resolution for this next year of life: to make these people that took time out of their day to make me feel adored feel cherished by me everyday. It shouldn’t have to be a birthday to send someone a card or bring them a balloon or take them out to lunch. So that’s what I plan to do…I hope I am able to say thank you over these next 365 days.

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DREAMING OF DESIGN

I have officially been out of college and on the job market for about 14 months, give or take a few freelancing gigs and a part-time marketing job that just ended. But it feels like I have been scouting LinkedIn and Indeed and every other job board out there forever and writing cover letter after cover letter to little or no avail.

The other night I hit a brick wall. After receiving ANOTHER “no thanks” email from a prospective employer, I had a bit of a break down and resigned myself to working a sandwich shop and living in my parents home in a mountain of debt forever. However, that plan sounded even more depressing…which cause me to climb out of my pitying hole and try even harde. So I took a break from looking from jobs for a day or two and dove in to a creative job project–I redesigned my creative resume and created a whole new online portfolio! And boy, was that refreshing. Sometimes all it takes is a little introspective look at your work and your talents and your good points to give you the drive to get back out there.

Wanna check out my stuff? Click the links and browse my favorite design pieces.

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Portfolio | Resume

Crossing my fingers for new opportunities soon!

 

TO DADS

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Happy Father’s Day. I am definitely a Daddy’s girl, and I am so lucky to have many great men in my life.

I love my strong, funny father who always let’s us follow our own path and will forever be there to come to my aide and crack a joke while he’s at it. And today we got to doubly celebrate with my mother’s dad, who not only is a fantastic father and grandfather, but also celebrated his 71st birthday today. These men are never afraid to lead their families with dignity and truth, while reminding us of the great love that fuels all of their actions.

I love how Father’s Day lets us celebrate the daddy’s in our lives, but is also a great day to remember our heavenly Daddy and how he is the most perfect Father. I am very lucky to be raised on the words and teachings of the most honest and wise Papa out there and to always have a God to trust in and rely on.

Thankful for all my daddy’s that have raised me right and cared for me always. “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” Genesis 18:19

PHOTO FUN

991242_4928428684874_786219570_oI love pictures. I really didn’t get into photography until I got an iPhone (and I the BIGGEST believer in the camera that is always in my pocket), but I’ve always been so lucky to have some fantastic pho-tog friends. I have literally dozens of shoeboxes filled to the brim of photographs from over the years. I’ve been stocking up on print coupons, and recently Shutterfly just sent me a coupon for 100 free prints!

(this is in no way a sponsored post…I just like this company and thought that this was the coolest gift!) 

so now I have an even larger stack of pictures that I need to come up with something to do with. here are some of my favorite Pinterest pins that use photos in fun ways…can’t wait to try these out!

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Stay tuned for tidbits, tales, and tips as I try these projects in the next few months!

ON LEAVING

dakota bassMy love left today. For 6 weeks, Dakota will tour around the country playing the bass and seeing some of his favorite friends. and he will have a blast. I will stay here, waiting for hime to return. And yes, it is hard. And yes, we will pick fights and make each other upset and have dropped communication. But we are old pro’s at this game, so it will be better.

I love how my partner is able to go out and make music and live out his passion whenever he can. So I will encourage him along the way and get excited for the day he gets back.

I will:

  • craft a lot to express myself when I feel alone
  • have a lot of girlfriend dates
  • use a lot of phone minutes
  • send a lot of silly picture texts of my day to day routine (and hopefully receive some as well)
  • make plans for adventures to fill our august days together
  • eat a lot of dinners with my family
  • take myself to the movies a time or two
  • get excited for the fall
  • hear A LOT about burritos
  • run a lot to find my thoughts
  • mostly, be okay

991969_4949886941317_273225875_oHere’s to seeing you soon, my boy.