Monday, September 28, 2015

Go Huskies!?

On Saturday T.J. was given a pair of tickets to the UW vs. Cal football game by one of his coworkers and we headed out for a fun fall date. We were also given tickets to a boat cruise which took us from Ballard to the Husky stadium, which I was much more excited about than the actual game.

We're not bandwagon Seahawks fans which really puts us at odds with the rest of the state of Washington, but we decided we could support our local college team since they rarely, if ever, play against Clemson or an SEC team. And I like that they have colors similar to our own college team.

Now if this was the South I'd have probably donned a cute sweater dress and some tights and boots. But no one dresses up for games here (or for anything really), partly because it's chilly but mostly because it's Washington, so instead I settled for a purple sweater, skinny stretchy black pants, a vest and boots. And honestly I felt a little overdressed- hah. I also wore my purple FU hat which always gets me a few double takes out here because no one has heard of Furman and maybe they just think I'm telling people off.
We boarded the boat a couple hours before kick off, grabbed me a bloody mary and found some seats on the top deck to enjoy the ride. It was an absolutely beautiful, crisp, sunny, fall day and it was so fun to see Seattle from the water. We passed under beautiful bridges, and cruised by so many unique house boats, it really gave us a new perspective of our adopted city.
As we got closer to the campus we passed through the waters dominated by the UW crew team and it was fun to see where all the different classes and teams had left their mark painted on the walls along the water as encouragement towards the finishing line. Have you read The Boys in the Boat yet? You need to! Put it on your list now.
If  I had been a student at UW I definitely would try to find a friend with a boat so that we could tailgate on the water. In fact I probably wouldn't have actually gone to the games and just spent my Saturdays cheering on the Huskies from the dock. Boat people are the best people and it was a really fun atmosphere.
When we got to the stadium we grabbed some food, fish and chips and fried clams, (have you ever had this at your college football games??) and settled in to our seats.  T.J. was excited to be at an actual football game and I was excited to see they had an actual Husky dog running up and down the sidelines. Clearly I have my priorities in order.
We ended up leaving at half time since it got kind cold in the stadium and UW wasn't doing anything spectacular. We ubered back to our car and headed home to our pup instead. We're not die hard fans yet but we're another step closer to becoming passable pacific north westerners.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

finding community + a giveaway

I hit the girlfriend lottery. First of all, my parents gave me a built in best friend forever in my sister, my other half. Then, in the sweet years of dorms and apartments and roommates, I was blessed with even more friendship and sisterhood than one girl can hope to have in a lifetime.

These women, we know each other. Time can pass between visits but when we're together it's like no time at all. We always pick up right where we left off and get right to the heart of things. These are not surface level friendships, they're not just girls to get out of the house and do something on the weekend with, they are heart and soul.

But all these friends are not here. They're not even close to here. And sometimes here can feel really far away from there, and if I'm being honest, a little lonely.

I want a community. We were created to be in community. With other believers, women like me to hold me accountable, to confess hard stuff to, to pray for me and with me, to walk alongside me. And, yes, to watch the Bachelorette and eat ice cream with me on Monday nights when T.J. is on call.

And it's not just girlfriends I'm aching for, I also want to find a church I love, and a community group that both T.J. and I can be a part of (when he's not working). Friends for me, and friends for us as a couple.

T.J.'s residency program is pretty fantastic in that it came with built in support system of other residents and their families. It's great because we're all going through these fun years of residency together and they really get it. And I'd really like to foster some of those relationships into something deeper. But while I work on that, I'm realizing just how hard it is to meet people and make friends after college. It's a problem I haven't faced until now since I was living with best friends up until 6 months ago.

So with all that in mind I've had to employ some new "tactics" to put myself in the way of potential friends....

For starters I am overly friendly with the Starbucks baristas, they always seem young and fun and I already know we share a love of blended coffee drinks.

When walking Hunley, if I see any other gals out walking their dogs, I make a beeline in their direction. I'm pretty sure they can sense my "maybe if our dogs become friends and then you and I can become friends and have dinner together when our husbands have to work late" desperation that I'm putting out there.

I say yes to everything. I always kind of thought of myself as a homebody, and I am, but lately any random request to get out and hang out with folks, I am the first to say "count me in!!"

I have in general started participating more with social media- commenting more, emailing back and forth with other bloggers. It's amazing and wonderful how the internet can be used in positive ways to connect us across the distances. I'm really hoping to one day have my very own story that goes something like, "I just started following her blog and then we exchanged emails, then texts and now we're real life friends!" How awesome is thing called blogging??

Susannah (who doesn't know it yet, but we're totally going to be real life friends one day soon, she's even in my neck of the woods) invited me to be a part of a little Facebook group "experiment" called The Web, all about building up your blog and your blogging connections, I leapt at the opportunity to make some new blog friends.  I've found some awesome new women to follow and support.  And in honor of community, of building each other up, we're doing a little giveaway below! Love for you to join in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekend Report: When The Husband's Away

I have been home alone (if you don't count Hunley) since last Wednesday. T.J. was away for an ortho conference in Dallas and I picked him up last night at 11PM. I got a couple hours with him before we fell asleep and then he was off to work again this morning.

Everyone told me second year is the hardest year of residency, for the doctors and their families. While so far it has been so much better than what I prepared myself for (seriously the other wives were totally freaking me out), I have started to feel the weight of it more and more. While he's no longer the intern, and he doesn't have any away rotations this year, he does have an even more demanding schedule and more frequent overnight call shifts which means at least once a week he's gone for 48 hours.

So what's a girl to do during those longer stretches and solo nights?

1. Have popcorn and diet coke for dinner.

2. Hang all the things I haven't hung yet, rearrange, and then put back, and move again. If you follow me on instagram you would have seen that I hung the sheet music to our first dance song, (True- George Strait) above our bed.
3. Deep clean the bathroom. (I've been putting that one off for a while...)

4. Finally order some framed wedding photos. And it's about time, we only got married eight months ago! I won a $100 credit to SnapBox from Sarah Tucker's blog a while back but I hadn't ordered anything yet because I just couldn't decide where I wanted to hang things. Plus it was basically impossible to choose my favorite images. I want them all but I also don't want our house to look like a shrine to us... it's a fine line.

5. Re-watch Grey's Anatomy from the beginning. I'm on season 4 and I'm not ashamed.

6.Plan my friend's Bachelorette weekend. Um... we're going to Harry Potter World!!!! Because why the heck not! I used Airbnb for the first time to book us a cute house down there with it's very own little pool. I cannot wait for a long weekend in Florida with some of my best friends and did I mention Harry Potter World yet? Because I solemnly swear that I can't even handle it!
7. And several trips to the dog park because I need Hunley to play with someone else besides me for just 5 minutes please.

So there you have it. The house is clean and the husband is home now. Happy Monday!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Five on Friday: fall feelings

After basically an entire summer of zero rain, it's like BAM it's back! And Fall is here! We've been experiencing much cooler temps, gray skies and rainy days since this past weekend and I don't hate it. I love having the windows open and feeling that crisp breeze blowing through the house.

Considering where we live, it's crazy that Hunley has seen very little rain in his short life and is totally confused by it. I'm really thankful it was sunny and dry for most of his house training better get used to the drizzle my little Pacific Northwest puppy...

The sudden shift in weather has totally got me in the pumpkin mood. Is it too early to start decorating?? Our red, white and blue wreath seems out of place now but my Trick or Treat sign seems a little premature. I think I need just a simple fall wreath for the interim. Here's my inspiration. I've started picking up pine cones on my walks with Hunley.
I walked into the grocery store the other day and was about knocked down by the unmistakable scent of cinnamon broom. Gosh I love that!! It's a sure sign that fall is upon us and I felt totally justified in purchasing 5 velvet pumpkins. I have been eyeing these for a long time and could only find really expensive ones. If you want to splurge these gorgeous ones have actual real pumpkin stems!  But I found a bunch of knock off ones at Marshalls and Safeway for under $15, so go crazy!! I sure did!
I'm going to have to get back out the cooler weather clothes soon which seems ridiculous because I just packed them up in June... which was yesterday. Plus I barely got to wear any of my favorite summer dresses this year because this isn't South Carolina and people don't dress up and it's just wasn't ever that hot here.   But I am looking forward to wearing boots again. I think I need a couple new pairs...
{ 1 | 2 | 3 }
It's my 5th homecoming reunion this fall. I cannot believe it! I have been out of college longer than I was in college and yet those years still loom large in my mind. It feels like just yesterday we were freshmen. The stories are still fresh, and the friendships even stronger.  I went my first and second year out of college but I haven't been back for homecoming since.  Maybe this is the year.

Monday, August 31, 2015

pillow talk

Why are pillows so expensive y'all? And why don't the covers also come with inserts???

Etsy is my favorite place to "window shop" for pillows. There are so many "stores" to browse through with all different size pillows, usually organized by color! And I've found them to be generally less expensive than, say, Pottery Barn, though that's not saying much...

I'm holding off on any new pillows until Hunley learns to stop chewing on the ones we have. But once he does... below are the pillows I'm lusting after (and currently have waiting in my Etsy shopping cart) for our couch and living room seating.  I love the mix of patterns and textures in the green/blue family and think they will nicely pick up those colors in the new rug.

Now I just need to figure out where I can find inexpensive pillow inserts, preferably down so I can karate chop them like the pros.
 {1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 }

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It changed us

I remember clear as day where I was, and how it felt, when my mom called to tell me Anna had cancer.

And it still makes me fall to my knees when I remember the sight of my dad on the floor of the airport on the phone with his brother, when he got the call telling us to prepare for what was coming.

And then that final call. Not enough time and yet the longest nine months, the exhale, the fallen shoulders, the no words, there will never be the right words. Anna went home to Jesus.

Now it's four years after that first call and it's still as raw and unreal. Sometimes I forget she's not here, because she should be! And like a sucker punch I know that my aunt and uncle wake up every morning and have to swallow that truth and face another day, month, year, without their only child.

Our family changed forever. My aunt and uncle are not the same people they were before. They do not look the same, holidays do not look the same, family get-togethers do not look the same. If you were looking in from the outside you might not see it. But even if we learn how to wear our grief underneath each hug and smile exchanged and milestone passed together, there is always, and forever will be, a cousin, daughter, granddaughter, niece, missing.

This year it seems like bad news just keeps piling up, one heartbreaking story after the next, reminding us this world is not our home. I have a friend whose 4 year old nephew, named Justus, is terribly sick. And it's amazing how fast and furiously their family was surrounded by a shield of believers. Family and friends and strangers are storming heaven with their prayers and pleas. Just like with Anna.

I believe in miracles and a compassionate God in control of it all. We still have this sure hope that God will heal Justus, one way or another, and He will use this mess for His glory. He could wake up tomorrow a completely healthy normal 4 year old boy. But it's hard not to look for answers that just aren't here to find. The desperate whys, aren't for me to know yet. Why wasn't Anna healed on Earth? Why did our many, many, many prayers seem to go unanswered? God, this is your chance, I selfishly thought, to show off your power, everyone's watching. And the doubts creep in because the miracle I was sure was just around the corner didn't come... or did it?

In one of the Justus' family's updates they said "the moon is always round" and I love that! It means that even when all we see is a sliver of the moon, it is still always whole and round. Even when all I see a sliver of goodness, just a tiny portion of a plan, God is always Good, He is always faithful, He is always in control. He never fails. So my faith will never fail, and my hope is never too big, and my prayers are never too bold.

The hard circumstances can be just that, really stinking hard. Or they can reveal the magnitude of God's love for us. I have seen the pain of a parent who has watched their child suffer and I know that, if they could, they would trade places with them in an instant. It's a heartache I don't wish on my worst enemy. And yet God sent his Son, his only child, to be a sacrifice for us. He handed over his son to save the worst of us. Would I hand over my child, or anyone I love to suffer for strangers?


Yet, while we beg God to let us keep our lives, to heal the sick, to spare the weak, He says, "I already have!"

God defeated death when He raised his son Jesus from the grave. Anna lives, eternally healed in heaven. And Justus, is known and loved by the Maker of it all. The war is won, there is no more fear in death, or in life, with all it's unknowns and unanswerable questions. So of course, we are changed, for good, forever.

O Joy that seekest me through pain, 
 I cannot close my heart to thee; 
I trace the rainbow through the rain, 
And feel the promise is not vain, 
That morn shall tearless be.

Monday, August 24, 2015

weekend wanderings

On the weekends when T.J. doesn't have call (the rare, beautiful, golden weekends, when all is right in the world) we mostly veg out, catch up on sleep (him, not me, I get plenty of sleep during the week), and venture out once or twice for donuts or to walk the dog.  But occasionally we also try to go and do and explore our area.

This past weekend was one such weekend so we drove into the Snoqualmie Pass, parked at Ira Springs trailhead, and hiked up Bandera Mountain. Or more like, Hunley dragged us up the trail and I learned just how out of shape I am. Still it was worth it for the incredible, albeit smoky/hazy, expansive views.
I learned a lot on that hike. One, Washington is stunning (actually I already knew that but it was doubly confirmed). Two, walking the dog twice a day around our neighborhood does not a hiker make. And three, I cannot be trusted to load the protein bars and pizza combos in the backpack before we head out on the trail. Sorry hun! Since we were food-less we turned around a little bit before the summit. After making it back down to the car we decided to make a stop at the Snoqualmie Falls before heading home.
Washington is something else, y'all! And I love getting to adventure around this beautiful world with T.J.