Spring Fever

Spring has finally graced us with her presence and has touched every plant and tree in sight. My spring fever has hit hard this year and I have been spending every second that I can outdoors, deeply breathing in the delicious aromas of blossoms in the air and soaking in every ray of sunshine and moon beam that I possibly can.

I have spent quite a few days at my parents’ house over the past few weeks while Brendan is away and traveling for work and it has brought me back to the sweet spring days of my childhood. My parents live in the farmhouse that my grandmother grew up in and there is no shortage of rolling fields, strong protective mountains, and eternal sunshine on that old hill.

Being able to wake up to the sound of birds chirping and sunbeams streaming in on your face is one of life’s simplest pleasures, but oh how it is good for the soul. When I visit my family I spend my days in a creative mindset – dreaming up all kinds of beautiful ideas that I want to put into action and stories that I can never seem to get down on paper.

Mother Dear and I usually share sweet conversation over mugs of coffee in the morning while everyone else is asleep or at work. Then we spend our afternoons and evenings bathing in the sun reading, drawing, and talking about anything and everything. Nights are usually spent outdoors around the fire pit or inside watching an old re-run of some worn out TV show.

For me, time stops when I am on that old hill. The stress of work melts away and I forget that I have adult responsibilities to tend to. I always believed that when you grew up and moved away from home that things changed and that the place you used to live in would never feel like home again. But I was greatly mistaken with that thought. While I know that my parent’s house is no longer where I live and I know that I have a little nest of my own with my husband and my kitty elsewhere, I feel that the word “home” will always slip gently from my lips when I think of my parents’ house.

Right now I love living in our little downtown apartment – it’s what I have been dreaming of for the past few years and I couldn’t be happier that I get to spend this time in the city with Brendan. But I am also looking forward to finding a beautiful little place one day that we can call our own and will be the site where Brendan and I will settle down, have babies, and call our home.

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Year in Review: 2016

This year has been a whirlwind of milestones – graduation, getting married, moving to a new city, my husband’s new job, getting a kitten, and going vegan to name a few. While these were all joyous moments for me, I had my fair share of stress and suffering. But don’t we all?

Before I go any further with my year in review, I want to say that I am so tired of hearing people say that 2016 has been a terrible year. I’ve been hearing people say they are ready to put this year in the past and never mention it again. Really? While there have been some devastatingly heartbreaking events this year, the year itself is N O T bad. I would encourage you to focus on all of the good that happened in 2016 rather than dwell on the bad. A negative attitude will get you no where and accomplish nothing in life. Don’t be fooled into thinking that things will instantly get better in the new year. Just like losing weight and getting in shape, it takes hard work and dedication to make a change. So let’s learn from the mistakes of 2016 and move forward to a more positive and uplifting 2017.

In order of events, here are some of my highlights from 2016:

  1. Getting to live with my Maw for the first half of the year – Growing up I always thought it would be fun to live with my grandmother. And it just so happened that I needed a place to live while I worked in Lynchburg and my Maw so graciously let me live with her for a year. God really blessed me during that year and I will always treasure the time I had living with Maw.15801304_1291306717575341_47967898_n
  2. Working as Editorial Assistant for Lynchburg Living and Lynchburg Business Magazines – Right at the start of the year I had the opportunity to work part-time as the Editorial Assistant for two local magazines while the Managing Editor was on maternity leave. It was a wonderful two month experience and just the right amount of work while I was also juggling wedding planning.
  3. Furthering my yoga practice – During the course of the year I completed three yoga challenges and even won a prize for the first challenge I did! These challenges helped get me into a routine and encouraged me to do yoga on the daily.
  4. Premarital counseling – Brendan and I did premarital counseling from February-May this year through Thomas Road Baptist Church. I was a little skeptical about it at first and thought it would be a bunch of mushy gushy stuff, but it turned out to be an awesome experience for the both of us. Not only did we lay it all out on the table and learn more about one another, we learned what marriage is really about that it takes a lot of faith and hard work to make a marriage great. So thankful for Pastor Jay and the time he invested into us.
  5. Bridal shower – On April 23 my Aunt Sarah threw me a wonderful Bridal shower and her new house. It was such a sweet time with friends and family and totally helped ease some of the wedding planning stress. 15820778_1291307190908627_387934203_o
  6. Bachelorette Party – My maid of honor Krista planned the sweetest and most thoughtful Bachelorette party for me on May 7. Since I’m not into the party-scene and alcohol drinking, we spent the afternoon at the cutest Irish tea shop where we had tea, finger sandwiches, and desserts. Then we went to do some pottery painting and ended the evening with dinner at Isabella’s Italian restaurant. So thankful to have that time with my girls. 15820555_1291307377575275_2008136560_o
  7. Graduation – I technically graduated from Liberty University in December 2015, but on May 14th this year I was able to attend my commencement ceremony. And the best part? I was able to be with Brendan who was also graduating. Both of our families were there and we were all able to celebrate together. It really made those 4 1/2 years of studying worth it. 15800964_1291307520908594_1669025728_n
  8. My Wedding Day ❤ – On May 21 I got to marry the love of my life and have my dream wedding! Yes there were a couple of hiccups here and there, but I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Even though it was calling for rain, we had some blue skies and were able to have the ceremony outside in the garden of Oak Ridge Estate, just as I had envisioned. It was a beautiful, God honoring day filled with friends and family to help us celebrate. Truly the best day of my life. 15801169_1291307894241890_1048087388_n
  9. Honeymoon in New York City – Brendan and I spent 5 glorious days in my very favorite city for our honeymoon! I’ve always known that I didn’t want to spend my honeymoon at the beach or on a cruise, and we both love cities so much that New York City just made sense. I couldn’t think of a more romantic place to spend with my love. We were able to go to the top of the Empire State Building, see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, go to the top of the One World Trade Center, spend an afternoon in Central Park, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, etc. The only downside was that I got food poisoning on our last full day in the city and I spend the day in bed. But hey, I’m focusing on the positive here. I survived and Brendan took good care of me. What a wonderful husband. ❤ 15820129_1291307777575235_1810800617_n
  10. Moving to a new city and into our very first apartment together – On June 1st Brendan and I moved to a new city and into our very first apartment together in Roanoke. I got the downtown apartment I had been dreaming about and we had fun exploring the city this summer.15785554_1291308680908478_692262730_o
  11. Birthday Getaway to Richmond – For my birthday this year Brendan took me to Richmond for the weekend on a little getaway. While our time there was short, it was honestly one of the best birthdays I’ve had in years.
  12. Adopting Cheetah – Mom and Dad always have a lot of kittens at their house, and this summer there was a very special little orange tabby that I had my eye on. Brendan and I debated whether we should wait to get a kitten, but once we saw Cheetah I knew that we needed to bring him to live with us. Adopting Cheetah has taken a lot of adjustment, sometimes he’s downright annoying, but we are so thankful to have this little fur ball in our lives.15857231_1291309717575041_748629662_o
  13. Going Vegan – I’ve been vegetarian for 5 years now and have been feeling the pull towards veganism for quite some time now. On November 1st, World Vegan Day, I decided to go vegan for a week to see if I could do it and how my body would react. It’s now the end of December and I’m still vegan. While I’m not perfect, I want to try my very best to stay on a plant based diet and adopt an overall plant based lifestyle. Right now I’m going strong and don’t want to turn back!
  14. Traveling to Georgia – In mid November Brendan and I had the opportunity to travel to Georgia (my first time) to visit our friends Brady and Lora. Brady and Lora got married just a few days after we did and moved to Georgie in May. Brady is now the youth pastor of church in Georgia and we were able to see his ordination when we visited. What a blessing these friends are and I am so proud of everything they are doing for the Lord. 15824602_1291309580908388_645042082_o
  15. First Christmas together – And last but not least, Brendan and I were finally able to be together on Christmas as we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple with Brendan’s family n Delaware. We had a wonderful few days spent with his family, and we were even able to bring Cheetah along with us! 15820736_1291310160908330_1489587202_o

I know for some 2016 has been a very trying year. I had my ups and down as well, but through it all God has been so good to me and my family. We have had great health and so many blessings to celebrate. My prayer for 2017 is that we would all show love and kindness to one another, treat others as we would want to be treated, and focus on all of the good and positive things in our lives. Don’t fall into a pessimistic attitude where all you can focus on is the bad and the negative in this world. Remember, we live on a fallen planet full of sinners and that’s why we all so desperately need Jesus. He is the Light of the world. Right from the start, I want to place 2017 into God’s hands and have Him strengthen me and guide me.

I will be posting my goals and intentions for the new year on the blog later this week. I would love to hear what some of your New Year’s resolutions are! 🙂

Goodbye 2016, you’ve been grand!

Until next year my lovelies ❤

“I’m so Glad I Live in a World Where There Are Octobers”

What a magical month this has been. Anne from Anne of Green Gables definitely summed up my feelings when she said “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”. This month has been filled with pumpkin sweets, hot tea, crunchy leaves, crisp cool weather, and scary movies, and I have treasured every ounce of the autumn beauty. And while I think that October has been fun, I definitely came up short on my goals and healthy habits I wanted to set.

I started this month feeling bold and confident that I would workout more, eat healthier, and be more productive. I had goals in mind, but never wrote them down on paper. And you know what? I didn’t workout more, I definitely didn’t eat healthier, and I could have been much more productive than I actually was. I’m disappointed with myself for letting this month slip through my fingers, but I am comforted by the fact that a brand new month is just around the corner.

Yesterday Brendan and I spent the better part of the afternoon talking about our goals for the coming month and how we can save money and be healthier. After a lovely walk through the city, we decided to head to Starbucks to sit outside and enjoy the October splendor while we had our monthly budget meeting.

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With Christmas coming up, college loans to pay off, and every day living expenses, it can be very easy to get discouraged as far as money goes. But God has been so good to us and has provided us with all we need to live comfortably right now. In November, we are going to try to cut back on eating out, tighten the grocery budget, and cut back on buying coffee and soda. One thing that I think will be a big help with the grocery budget is meal prepping. I love meal prepping and the fact that it saves time and money, it has just been hard to implement into our routine since we have such different food preferences. But this coming month we are going to make it work.

Starting tomorrow I am going to go vegan for a week as a way to cleanse and restart my eating habits and preferences. While I do eat quite a bit of vegan meals now, I haven’t gone completely vegan for this amount of time in 2 years. The last time I did was the summer of 2014 and it was such an eye opening experience! Not only did going vegan for a week help me to be more mindful of the foods I put into my body and reading ingredient labels, I was also inspired to get more creative in the kitchen. I think this will be a great way for me to kick start the month of November and help motivate me to eat healthier throughout the month.

Here are some of my goals and healthy habits I want to set for the month of November:

  • Drink at least 53 oz. of water a day
  • Drink a Tbsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar everyday
  • Drink a homemade immune boosting ginger shot once a week
  • Workout at least 3 times a week
  • Take supplements everyday
  • Go vegan for a week
  • Search/reach out more for job opportunities
  • Get back into practicing yoga regularly

I’m looking forward to November and the coming holiday seasons! Recently I have seen God at work answering some of my prayers related to job opportunities and areas to serve in and I am eager to see how it all unfolds.

Happy Halloween everyone! Enjoy the candy today and start fresh tomorrow.

 

 

Chase the Blues Away

I’m starting my day off with some Norah Jones and a big cup of coffee! I just got her new cd Day Breaks in the mail yesterday and so far I am loving it – I was so excited to hear that she’d be returning to her jazzy roots. Jazz music is good for the soul.

After a somewhat emotionally draining weekend, this week has been refreshing for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do you ever have those days where you just feel like you’re in a funk and you don’t know why? Well, that was me Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

For starters, last Monday my car Gypsy decided to give me a scare. As I was on my way home from the gym, the check engine light came on and the steering wheel locked up on me. Luckily, I was almost home and was in a good spot for it to happen. Brendan was able to leave work and run over to help me out (so thankful he works close by!). I was so worried that my car was dying and that would be the end of her, which upset me because I love my old car and don’t really want a newer one.

Physically speaking, I haven’t felt the best this past week. I’ve had some obnoxious headaches that just won’t seem to go away. I used to get headaches regularly, but over the past year or so haven’t really had one. I don’t like to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen unless I’m dying, I’d rather use more natural pain relievers (drinking a cup of ginger tea which helps with inflammation, essential oils, etc.) and finding the root of the problem. I think these headaches could be a combination of not getting enough sleep, going three weeks without taking my vitamin d, vitamin e, and evening primrose oil supplements, and watching/reading the news. No joke on that last one. Saturday I was SO stressed out over all of this presidential election crap. I really hate seeing friends and family members arguing back and forth about which candidate they think should be president. It’s frustrating, tiring, and so draining (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). I have temporarily blocked several people from my Facebook newsfeed until the election is over because I was getting tired of seeing all of the hateful posts about either or both candidates.

So, to get away from the stress and negativity for a while, I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone and Brendan and I went to get my engagement ring and wedding band cleaned. We also went to a puppy shop, Barnes and Noble, and Starbucks – so by the time I had had my fill of puppies, books, and coffee I was feeling better.

Another thing that has had me stressed out recently is the fact that I still haven’t been able to find a job. God has been so good to Brendan and me and has graciously provided for all of our needs since we got married and moved earlier this year. Brendan has a wonderful job in his field that is close to home and he makes enough to comfortably support us and I am so so thankful for that. However, there is this part of me that feels incomplete because I currently don’t have a job. I used to feel this way during my first couple years of college when I wasn’t working. I like working and staying busy and feeling like I’m doing something beneficial with my time. And I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, but I’m always worried that people will look at the fact that I don’t have a job and think that I am lazy and don’t care. But I know that God’s timing is perfect, I just need to keep searching and trust that an opportunity will present itself when it’s meant to be.

In the meantime, I am continuing to blog, journal, and read almost daily so that I can keep in the practice of writing and keeping my mind sharp. I always feel better after writing and/or blogging and reading helps me relax. I have found that if I set aside a certain time every day for reading and writing, regardless of whether I feel like it or not, I am forced to create and get my imagination and creativity flowing.

September Goals and Healthy Habits

Since July I have been taking time to sit down at the beginning of each month to think about what goals I want to reach and what healthy habits I want to form for myself by the time the month is wrapping up. I know that many people get excited to sit down and make a huge long list of new year’s resolutions (most of which end up getting abandoned after just a few weeks), but I think that many of us never think to make monthly, or even weekly, goals for ourselves.

In my opinion, it’s easier to sit down at the beginning of each month and think ‘Okay, what were some of my highs and lows this past month? And what can I do differently this month to make changes in my life?’. Not only does this relieve you of the pressure to write out ONE long list of goals, it gives you the opportunity to have a positive mindset and start fresh each month.

So, instead of having one opportunity a year to make resolutions this method lets you make 12 smaller lists of goals that you can work toward little by little each month. Sounds a lot less intimidating, right? We’re human, so we have to allow ourselves to be human and fail sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with failure, as long as we pick ourselves back up, learn something from the experience, and try again. This is where many people mess up-they cheat on their diets, or skip a couple of workouts at the gym and then say to themselves “Well, I’ve already failed on my goals to eat healthy and workout every day this year, I might as well abandon those goals now and wait for next year to roll around before I start again”.

STOP RIGHT THERE. We’re human, remember? We’re not perfect- we cheat on our diets and eat ice cream, sometimes we have days where we’d rather sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix instead of going to the gym. The key to achieving our goals and forming lifelong healthy habits is to realize when we have messed up, and know that tomorrow is a brand new day where we can start over. Just because you skipped a workout one day doesn’t mean you should stop going to the gym altogether. And to be honest, I really need to be taking my own advice because I’ve done this time and time again. Sometimes I’ll eat junk food and then feel guilty about it afterwards and think ‘well, I already made one poor food choice today, I guess it won’t hurt to make another’. This can send me into a downward spiral of moodiness. So I’ve learned that if I know I’m going out for dinner in the evening, I make sure to make healthy food choices during the day so I can balance things. Balance and a positive mindset is the key my friends.

I thought I’d share with you guys the list of goals and healthy habits I made for myself at the beginning of the month with an update on how well I’ve been sticking to those goals. Here’s my list for September:

  • Drink at least 53oz of water a day I think I’ve been pretty consistent with this, although I’m sure I’ve had my days where I don’t quite hit the mark.
  • Drink at least 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar a day I think I’ve missed one day so far.
  • Go to the gym 3 times a week It’s been more like two times a week, but I make sure I workout (whether that’s at home or at the gym) at least three times a week.
  • Take supplements everyday going strong!
  • Write everyday (journal, blog, write letters, etc.)! while I definitely haven’t been journaling as much as I’d like, I think I’ve been doing pretty well with writing more consistently this month. 
  • Read five books While I have been reading plenty of books at one time, I’ve only finished one this month. 
  • Blog at least once a week I think I’m knocking this one out of the park!
  • Pray for others Between everything that’s going on in our country and friends that are going through a difficult time, I’ve been praying long and hard these days. 
  • Read my Bible consistently I’ve started to have my daily devotions and read my Bible at a consistent time everyday and it’s helped so much

While there are some areas I could be doing better in, I’m proud of how well I’ve been sticking to this list and I know that there is always room for improvement. 🙂 What are some of your goals for the month of October? I’ll make sure to share my list with you soon. 

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30 Days of Lists Challenge 

Day 23: Favorite patterns 

I feel like I’m not a typical girl who loves chevron everything! I tend to like more unique and funky prints, some of which I probably don’t even know the names of. But here are a few prints and patterns I could think of that I adore.

  • Stripes!
  • Tribal patterns
  • Any kind of botanical or fruit and veggie prints made into patterns
  • Moroccan
  • Polka dots
  • Quatrefoil
  • Ikat
  • Scales

Day 24: Foods that I dislike 

  • Any and every kind of meat (obviously)
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms
  • American cheese (Kraft singles is NOT real cheese people)
  • Boiled peanuts
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Corn bread
  • Grits

 

Cloudy Skies and a Happy Heart

Have you ever had one of those days where you have a lot of thoughts running through your mind and the only way to escape the noisy chaos is to go on a long drive? Well, I had one of those days yesterday. Luckily I had already made plans to visit my family for the day and I was very thankful for an excuse to flee my little apartment and just drive.

It was a gorgeous day for a long drive. The almost-autumn day boasted of warm air, cloudy skies, and changing foliage. I was almost bursting at the seams with delight for this weather that was just melancholy enough to satisfy my somber mood while the bits of blue sky let me know that God was smiling down on me. I had ginger tea by my side for the ride while Vanessa Carlton serenaded me for the whole journey to the sleepy little town of Shipman.

The real reason I was going to visit my family was so I could help my brother on an English essay he was working on for college. It felt good to be able to put my journalistic editing skills to good use by helping my brother improve is essay. And during the process I was thrilled to discover that I actually do know a decent amount about editing essays, so I guess going to college for 4 ½ years paid off haha.

Going back home to visit my parents always eases my stress and fills me with such peace. There’s just something about the wide open fields, the fresh country air, and the protective mountains surrounding the house on all sides that brings a sense of security and comfort to me. And the older I get, the more I grow to love that little old farm house. ❤ I especially love going back home in the fall when all of the leaves on the mountains begin to gleam different shades of bronze and red.

Another thing that lifts my spirits when going back home is being surrounded by animals! My parents currently have 8 kittens, all black and orange. Some are short furred and others have fluffy little coats. My favorite is Cheetah – he’s an orange lazy kitty who has big ears and the cutest little nose. I’m kind of thinking he might be ‘the one’ to kitty-cat-nap and bring back to Roanoke to be a part of Brendan and my little family. ❤

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I ended up having the best afternoon. I had a much needed venting session with my mom (don’t we all sometimes?), my dad brought home pizza for dinner, we all played around with Snapchat filters, I fixed a nice cup of coffee (which always seems to taste better when I make it at my parents’ house), and I got to love on all of the fuzzy buddies. And if that wasn’t enough to cast my worries away, my mom French braided my hair for me (I’m a 23 year-old married woman who still gets her mom to braid her hair), fixed me a jar of some homemade potato soup that she had made the other day, and my dad gave me a Starbucks gift card as the last part of my birthday present. 

So, by the time I left that evening to start my journey back home to Roanoke, the gloom that followed me from Roanoke had passed and I was left beaming with love and sunshine in my heart. With a thermos filled with piping hot coffee next to me and Adele singing to me in the background, I didn’t even mind the two-hour drive back home to the apartment. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed the drive home and it went by quickly.

So I’m wondering, when you have one of those days when someone says something to upset you, when you’re angry, or just feeling a bit blue, what’s your go-to to make you feel better? A few things that always brighten my mood and help me feel better are: going on a long drive, getting a cup of coffee (surprise), going to the gym, venting to a friend (or my mom haha), cooking, journaling about my feelings, watching funny animal videos on YouTube, cuddling with my husband, praying, listening to Jazz (or a favorite artist), and reading a good book. These are just a few things that I find I run to when I’m feeling upset and overwhelmed.

Just remember, your happiness depends on your attitude and mindset. You can choose to let something or someone hurt or upset you and then spend the day sulking around, OR you can choose to pray about it, brush it off, and move forward and live happy and joyfully. My day may have started out crappy, but by the time twilight rolled around I was surrounded by family and laughter and I felt happy again. 

(Fun Fact: I spent the entirety of my morning writing this post, and then the laptop decided it would have a mind of its own and delete the whole thing. So, here I sit writing it out a second time, trying to remember all of the beautiful words that got deleted.)

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30 Days of Lists Challenge 

Day 20: Favorite words 

I read a lot of classic literature, so I tend to love the rich vocabulary and language used by the authors, whether they be American or British. However, I am drawing almost a complete blank on my favorite words, so I might have to come back  and had them here as they come to me haha.

  • Bleak
  • Loquacious
  • Melancholy
  • Blustery
  • Ominous
  • Tomfoolery
  • Vellichor
  • Eloquence
  • Somber

Wow, I need to find some sunshine-y words to add to this list! Guys, I promise I’m a happy, upbeat person haha. 

Day 21: Favorite Bible verses 

  • James 1:17
  • James 5:16
  • Luke 11:9-10
  • John 3:30
  • 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
  • 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
  • Ephesians 4:32
  • Philippians 4:6-7
  • Philippians 4:8
  • Philippians 4:13

Make Your Own Sunshine

Is it just me, or does summer seem to be slipping right on by? Summer is my happy place. I learned to appreciate summer a lot more when I started college – knowing that summer would be my gateway to freedom from school helped motivate me to push through all of the tests and papers. Now that I’m done with college, summer still seems to emanate freedom for me. But this year, summer has been a bit different.

I’m used to summer out in the country, where I have unlimited access to the great outdoors, fresh air, sunshine and a lot of bug bites! However, this year I’m getting to experience summer in the city, which if you didn’t already know, is a lot different than summer in the country. I’d be lying if I said it was an easy adjustment moving to Roanoke. Not that I’m unhappy – I actually love living in an apartment with my husband – it’s just different. Instead of being surrounded by green grass and animals, I’m surrounded by tall buildings, lots of cars and people. It’s actually a refreshing change, believe it or not. But I have found myself missing summers at my parents’ house.

I’ve come to realize that I tend to dwell on the past, sometimes too often. And you know what I’ve discovered? It’s great to cherish memories of time spent with the people you love and the places you’ve been, but it’s not healthy to spend all of your time and energy wishing you could relive those moments. Sure, there are times when we wish we could go back to how things used to be, or just spend a little bit more time in a certain stage of life. But the truth is, you’ll make yourself unhappy if you focus on the past instead of living in the present.

These past couple of weeks have been difficult for me for various reasons. I can be really hard on myself and I haven’t had a very positive outlook recently. I think a lot of major life changes just happened at once and it’s taking me time to get used to. Brendan and I have been living in our apartment for a little over a month now, so getting married and moving into a place of our own was a pretty big life event. And with that comes the adjustment of making our apartment feel like home, finding our way around a new city and adapting to Brendan’s work schedule.

The change in sleep patterns has been hard on my body too. I’ve recently gained some weight and have been feeling such low self-esteem. If you know me at all, you know that my weight and body image has been a big issue for me for the past few years. To make a long story short (I may do a separate post sometime that goes into more detail), I lost a lot of weight leading up to and right after my wedding. With all of the wedding planning, packing and moving, I had lost quite a bit of weight and was at an all-time low for myself. I hadn’t weighed so little since I was 15 years-old. However, I am short and have a small frame, so I wasn’t dangerously underweight. I actually felt good about my body and felt energized and healthy. But once we got moved into our apartment and my busy schedule came to a screeching halt, I ended up gaining the weight back. I know I’m no where near being overweight, but I just hate knowing that I gained weight. And it doesn’t help that I strayed away from my workout routine and have lost what muscle I had.

I KNOW that I should focus on how my body feels and not the number on the scale, but that’s still a challenge for me. I’ve spent so much time worrying about my weight and it’s affected my overall mood. Not good. So this past weekend, I made a point to make sure I start focusing on how my body feels instead of letting the number on the scale control my mood. I’ve been to the gym three times this week, went on walks through the city with Brendan and ate foods that nourished my body. I’ve been choosing to be happy with myself, and while that may not always be easy to do, it has been so freeing. I have to keep reminding myself that I need to take care of my body and treat it the way God wants me to. Hopefully I’m taking steps in the right direction.

At this point I still don’t have a job, which in some ways is nice and others not so much. It’s been nice having free time to get our apartment organized, practicing meal prep, learning how to grocery shop and cook for two (Brendan and I are almost complete opposites when it comes to meal time) and also just having time to read, journal and blog like I’m doing now. On the other hand, sometimes I think I have TOO much free time. I’m the type of person that thrives on a busy schedule. Sure, there might be times when I have a meltdown and just wish things would slow down, but at least I know I’m being productive and getting things accomplished. I like making to-do lists, I like seeing appointments and events written on my calendar and I work well under pressure (I guess I got that from writing for my college’s newspaper). So to go from having a hectic schedule full of wedding planning details at the beginning of the year, to just figuring out what I should buy from the grocery store next week, is a drastic change of pace.

I was honestly a little scared of searching for a job when we first moved here – I was worried that it might be TOO much for me to adjust to all at once. But now that we are comfortably settled in our new apartment, I think I’m ready to take the hunt more seriously. God has been good and has helped provide us with all that we need working with just one income. But I know it would be a great help for me to find a job, and it would also be good to put my free time to good use. Sometimes I like to dream about how nice it would be to do blogging as my full-time job, and maybe some gardening or something on the side. But for now, I’ll just keep taking the baby steps necessary to work my way up. I know that God has a job in mind for me, even if I don’t know what it is yet, and I know that He has blessed me with this time of not having a job for a reason.

The lesson to be learned here is that life requires a positive mindset for you to truly be happy. And the only person that can change that mindset is YOU! Happiness is a choice, so  go for a walk outside, journal about your feelings, go grab coffee with a friend, whatever it is that gives you clarity of thought and brings you peace. You have the power to make your own sunshine, so get out and do it!