Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter spray paint project

Here I am. 
Chicago. Middle of winter. Snow on the ground.
 What's the one thing on my mind? 
Spray painting, duh. 

A little background before I proceed.
We moved into our condo almost two years ago. Homeowners, woo! It truly has been a slow process decorating this place, which I think is good. We want to keep our home simple, yet beautiful and do so without spending a fortune. Which means two things: 
I get to be creative & take my time doing so. Sweet freedom! 

The thing I love about our home is that every piece in here has a story. 
The stories range from spray painted items found in a Lincoln Park alleyway, to a Macy's crazy awesome sale, to a sweet gift from generous friends, and so on. All these pieces make our home, our home, and it truly is my favorite place on this earth. {Besides Scribe Winery}

So, back to the one sunny, snowy, wintery Chicago day last week. Call it cabin fever, call it a spark of creativity that I just couldn't hold back, call it what you want, I was outside. Back deck. Gettin' my spray paint on and I didn't even care what the back of the can said about only spray painting in weather that can only be 50-90 degrees with humidity below 65%. 
Our master bathroom needed a little lift and I thought I was the perfect girl for the job. Here's how it went: 

Before pic:



Step one: 
Get a frame at the thrift for $3. 

Step two: 
Go outside, lay down a tarp. Oh wait, didn't need one, I had SNOW! 

Step 3: 
Spray paint

Step 4: 
Let it dry, then scratch it up with some sandpaper to make it look a little worn and cool.

Step 5:
Put that thing on the wall loud and proud. Hang your favorite jewelry inside it on some little nails and voila! No more boring wall and now there's a place for your jewelry besides a plastic sandwich bag inside the bathroom drawers. {please tell me I'm not the only one that does this}

After pics:
{iPhone photos only go so far}

This bathroom has a ways to go and I'm excited to see how it evolves. If you have any fun suggestions, or ways you have spruced up your bathroom, let me know. I'd love some more ideas! Until next time, keep enjoying the simple things life throws at you. 
xoxo,
the simple city girl

P.S. I want to give credit where credit is due when it comes to this project. I don't want anyone to think I'm stealing this idea because I know it wasn't mine, but I don't know where it's from. I know the idea probably came from couple things on Pinterest but I just kind of did my own thing as I went along. Just wanted to be clear and ethical. 











Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A week without Instagram.



So, I basically have the best job in the world. Don't get me wrong, it has its ups and downs like any job, but it's still the best job in the world. I'm on staff with Cru which means I get the privilege of being in the lives of college students as they get to know Jesus. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing these young men and women are. All on different journeys, all from different backgrounds, all in different seasons of their walks with God, it's pretty incredible. I will definitely be sharing more about them and my work in later posts. I just wanted to give you some background as I begin to explain to you why I'm taking a week long break from...drumroll please...
It all started two weeks ago when one of my lovelies (one of the girls I mentor/disciple) told me about this cool thing that she is going over with some of her lovelies. It's called Quarter Challenge. It almost sounds like it could be some crazy event in the Hunger Games. I insist it is not. But nonetheless, I will pretend I am the Katniss Everdeen of non-instagrammers. Anyway, back to Quarter Challenge. Basically every week this quarter (It is 10 weeks total) you and the person you disciple take on a challenge. This week, it's giving up something. And it's not just wimp sauce something. It's something in your life you go to for comfort, to feel accepted, loved, good about yourself. Maybe it's the thing you go to so you don't have to deal with what's really going on inside. 

So, when we started this thing last week, and I realized what this first challenge entailed, the very first thing that popped into my mind was Instagram. Then my mind proceeded to say "No! Anything but Instagram!" So, for this past week I've been thinking of any and everything else I could give up other than Instagram. No joke. It's been a battle. Seems so trite, doesn't it? Instagram? Really? 

Yes, Instagram.
And yes, really. 

There are wonderful things about it for sure. For instance...
 I get to connect and keep up with friends who are close, far away, and my sweet new blogging friends. 
I love taking pictures. 
I love that this is a way I can share my life. 
I am inspired daily by other instagrammers.
I have a community of Christian women who challenge me by posting what they are reading and learning in their times with Jesus. 
The list could go on.

There are things about it though, that I think need to change.
I wake up and check Instagram. 
As I go into spending time with Jesus I think, "How can I capture this in a cool way and post it on Instagram?" This is fine, but I want to go into my quiet times with Jesus not caring about the pictures I take, but caring about knowing Him & being with Him. 
After that, I post on Instagram.
Then I check who has posted. 
Then I check who has posted with the hashtags I used. 
Then I look at other peoples' beautiful photos.
Then I compare myself. 
Repeat multiple times a day. 
Before bed, check Instagram. 
Wake up, do it again.
Ew, ugly, but it's the truth. 

I don't want Instagram to be the first and last thing on my mind. When I go on and see other peoples' photos, I want to rejoice with them, thank God for their talents, what He is doing in their lives, and just take in all that beauty with a pure heart. 
So, I guess now's a better time than ever to take a break, search my heart, get my mind realigned, give it to the Lord, come back a bit more healthy-minded and with the right motives in my heart. 

I think I'm actually looking forward to this. Weird. 
Welp, I guess this is it ol' Instagram.
See you in a week. 






Saturday, January 26, 2013

I've been Catified


You know what they say...once you go cat you never go back. 
And clearly we have not. 
I don't even like cats.
 (Except a select few. You know who you are.) 
Did I just really type a message to a cat right there? 

Anyway, let's get to the point here. The Catify app. It's all the rage. Ok, I'm the only one I know who actually has this app, but it's still all the rage. Wait, I take that back. My dear friend Natalie actually introduced me to this app. Clearly my life is changed for the better, so thank you my friend. 

It's apps like these that make me laugh out loud on public transportation. It's also apps like these that inspire me to take pictures of random strangers sleeping on public transportation and turn them into cats: 


TAAAA-DAAAAA! 

If you are this man reading my blog right now, I'd like to tell you that I feel horrible for doing this, but I don't. The timing was purrrrfect. 

I can't believe I actually did this and I can't stop laughing. 

I digress.

Get the Catify app, start turning people into cats, no regrets.


xoxo,
the simple city girl



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Simple lil pictures that mean a lot.

I am realizing more and more how much I love taking pictures, capturing special moments, and being able to look back and remember sweet memories. Here are a few of my faves. 

1. Sunsets & Scripture
This picture was taken at sunset one day last week. I hadn't spend time with Jesus in the morning so sunset it was I guess. Just looking at this picture takes me to a place where I feel peace. It was a sweet time reading the Word & I got to capture it in picture form. 

2. My sweet husband, PK. 
My melancholy. My joy. My best friend. My opposite. 
He really is the best thing that has ever happened to me, as Ray Lamontagne sings in our first dance song at our wedding. He sharpens me. He challenges me. He makes me want to be a better woman. Our 2.5 years of marriage has been full of laughter that makes our bellies hurt and tears that express what words just can't. We are learning each other. Learning how to forgive. Learning how to extend grace. Learning how to listen. Learning how to love like Jesus would. It has been quite the journey and there is no one else I'd rather be on this crazy adventure with. 

3. Dirty birds on our window sill. 
These little birds are on our sill every Sunday. They are like little old men who have been friends for 50 years sitting in the same seats at the same 24 hour breakfast restaurant. They chat all day, bask in the afternoon sun, and reminisce about the good ol' days. I think it's the cutest thing ever and these little guys make me happy. 
{Side note: I had to look up if window sill was one word or two and just FYI, it doesn't matter how you spell it, so give yourself a little freedom next time you spell the word. Go ahead. Have at it. Liberate yourself.}

4. A favorite lyric. 
So, for PK's birthday I got him a record player. One of the first albums on vinyl we bought was Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. It's also an album that has a lot of meaning to us, as it was one of the firsts that was ours. It's the one we would listen to on drives as the leaves turned in the Fall. It reminds me of when we were dating and everything was new. It reminds me of the first time I laid my head on PK's shoulder when we were driving back to Oxford, Ohio where he lived at the time. I don't know any of the words in any of the songs if I'm honest, but these words pictured I do know:
"Your love will be safe with me." 
They come from the song re:stacks. It is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. {And for not knowing 90% of the lyrics, that's sayin' somethin'!) And on vinyl, it's so rich. So full. And as the song plays it hits the deep places of my heart. My soul goes to a place where it feels deeply and just simply connects. Here's a link to the song: re:stacks. I think you'll love it.








Sunday, January 20, 2013

Slow Starts

So, I've been thinking about my blog lately. Well, like a lot I guess. 

Thinking about what I want it to be. 
What I want to say. 
Pictures I want to post. 
Thoughts I want to get out. 
The list could go on.

All these blogs I follow have a theme, something they are about. And that's the advice I keep getting. Have something you focus on. It's such good advice, & has helped me to get this show on the road with my blog but it stresses me out right now. I feel paralyzed almost. It's why I haven't posted as much as I desire to post. 

So, I have this theme. Simplicity in the city. Well, what if this blog evolves into something that is something else? Is that okay? I know the answer is yes, that IS okay. But I feel like I'm not letting myself let it be okay. 

Probably because I want to look like I have it all together. 
I don't. 
And that's the point of this whole thing.
To let people into this whole process of me figuring it out. Or not figuring it out. 
Whatever the outcome, the point is to write about the journey, to be real about the outcomes, and to glorify God in my writing, processing, and sharing of my heart and life. 
Why in the world do I feel like I have to have it all together? Probably because everything in this world tells me I have to have it all together. Makes sense. And I'm scared if I don't have it all together then people are going to tell me how much of a crazy mess I am and say mean things. 
I guess that's the risk.
The thing is, I am a crazy mess and I already know that. 
So, I guess if that is the worst thing that could happen {someone telling me how much of a mess I am} so be it. It's not like I'm in the dark about it. 
That's when I give all the more glory to God for redeeming this mess and making something beautiful of it. 

Well, okay. There that is. Who knew all that was in this head of mine? Not it.
 Until now. 

{Side note: It's like blogging is my way of verbally processing when I don't want to talk.}

Off to bed.
Still thinking.
Still figuring it out. 
Letting this blog happen and seeing where it goes. 




Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christine vs. Mr. Blog

Friday night.
10pm.
Hubby fell asleep at 8:30.
Are we getting old?

Here I am with the intention of finally sitting down to watch  JP & Ashley get married. They tied the knot, what, like two months ago? I still haven't gotten to celebrate it yet. I'm such a bad friend.

But then... it sucks me in...
                                           trying to set up this blog.

Rosenbaums, I guess you'll have to wait one more day until I celebrate with you because tonight it's me vs. this blog. Usually the blog wins & I am getting used to that fact. So, Mr. Blog, I'll show you who's boss this time by writing this blog post, because at least I know how to save something as a draft. So, ha, sucka.

Now that I got that out, I think I just need to process this whole thing. This whole thing meaning setting up this blog that I've been dreaming about for a good long while. After attending The Influence Conference I was affirmed in my passions, and inspired by the incredible women there to go for it. Set this blog up. And hopefully make something of it, if that is what the Lord wants to do with all of this. There's just one thing about all of this.

It is hard.

There are all these new computery terms and dashboards and gadgets and pages that I thought worked one way but I'm realizing I really have no clue how they work. It really makes me want to pull my hair out. Well, maybe just the gray ones that have been showing up more frequently as of late. {It's a sign of wisdom, right?} I'm not sure what I was expecting with this thing. Something more simple perhaps. Or maybe it truly is simple and I'm taking the tough route and making it more difficult than it needs to be. I tend to do that sometimes.

The whole ironic thing about all of this is that the blog is about simplicity. Seems counterproductive to me. It's so much the opposite of "simplicity" for me, that I've considered just scrapping the whole thing. I've asked the Lord if this is what He really wants me to do. Are these frustrations and road blocks telling me that perhaps this blogging thing is all in vain and to just stop while I am ahead? I'm not doing this for me {or so I don't think I am}. I'm doing this as a way to share my life, to meet people where they are at, and for God to get glory in all of it somehow.

But, just when I get down about all of this, I stop.
I think about it.
And I remember.
Just because things are hard, doesn't mean the Lord doesn't want us to follow through with them.

Thinking about that truth seems like it doesn't apply in the context of my blogging. My relationship with God, it applies. My marriage, it applies. My friendships, it applies. My work, it applies. But blogging?

Then I think about it more. And when I think about it more, it applies more than ever to blogging. This is something important to me. This blog is more than a blog, these are pieces of my heart, my world, that I share with whoever stops by {because you who have stopped by, you my friends are incredibly special & loved), in hopes that someone will feel understood, or maybe for the first time feel normal because finally there is someone out there that goes through what they go through.

So, yes, Mr. Blog, you've driven me to tears, it has taken forever to figure you out {and I still haven't}, and you remind me why I did not major in anything with computers in college. You're complicated, and not what I expected as we get to know each other. But doggonnit, I'm not giving up just yet. I've already paid $10 for a domain name for crying out loud. I'm doing this, even if I'm not the boss most of the time. This is humbling and makes it that much more worth it to figure out the kinks and be in the process of all of this. There is beauty even in the process of setting up a blog. Who knew?

Depending on Him.
Learning about myself.
It's 11:30pm
I feel less old falling asleep now.