Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break Devotionals: Days 5-7

Better late than never, right? 
I've got some work to do on scheduling these things out. 
At least I'm following through!

Day 5:
No room for discouragement

Day 6:
Salt & Light

Day 7:
Keep on keepin' on.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break Devotional: Day 4

Day 4:
Beautiful Feet.

So, yesterday I realized that if you click on the picture, you can see it way better than having to squint at it! I don't even have bad eyesight and it was hard for me to see, so for all the rest of ya, click on the picture! Brilliant! You probably all realized that already. 
Just call me a slow learner.
Or fancier yet, a late adopter. 
That one sounds nice.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Break Devotional: Day 3

Day 3: 
Her mouth speaks from that which fills her heart.

Gotta squint with this one. 
May you be encouraged nonetheless!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Break

Spring Break is approaching for my sweet college students and bunch of them are headed down to sunny Panama City Beach, FL for a conference called Big Break
I'm a wee bit bummed that I can't go this year. 
I mean, what can be better? 
Roadtrip. 17 hours. {This one is debatable}
Sharing your faith. 
Super awesome community.
Getting outta the city for a bit. 
Growing in your walk with God. 

I don't remember the last time I wasn't there. 
A big part of me wants to say to them, "don't have too much fun without me," but the rest of me wants them to have a ton of fun, like a way lot of fun without me. Just let me live vicariously through your Instagrams please. Just give me that, k you guys? And when I'm bored at home, I'll superimpose myself in the pictures and tag you. It'll be like we are making memories together. Like I'm right there with you. Sand in our toes. Wind in our hair. Someone daring the other to touch the top of a washed up jellyfish. I can just see it now. 

Well, since me going to PCB is not happening {the superimposing will happen}, I decided to do a little something special for the lovely young women who are going there from the university where I am on staff. I made them little daily devotionals and I was encouraged by hubby to share them here on ol' bloggy woggy. Every day until next Friday I will post one. This will be perfect for you lovelies that aren't going to PCB so you can still do them over your spring break, wherever you are! They kind of pertain to Big Break, but you'll still get something out of them. I hope anyway. And for any of you guys out there who want to give them a read, please disregard words such as "sweet daughter of the King, honey boo boos, my loves, tootsies" and so on. I love you guys, but not like that. Weird. 

Here is day one:
It's some fun quotes to start off the week.

Ok, here's the thing. Well, two things. 
One: This picture may look blurry. That's because it is. I asked for a real camera for my 30th. Crossing my fingers. Then just wait. Crystal clear pics! Until then, it's the trusty iPhone 4S. 
And two: I am too pooped to figure out how to center this picture right now AND I really want to watch an episode of Giuliana & Bill. So, this whole layout is going to look weird until I fix it. Any suggestions? It's a little under construction. Aren't we all?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The singing hipster

This morning I had an appointment with the physical therapist. 
Backstory on that: 
I love running. 
I developed some mad shin splints.
We just signed up for the Chicago Marathon.
I want to be able to start training in June. 
Enter in Jill, my lovely, sassy-yet-kind, British physical therapist. 
Perhaps I'll talk more about that later. As for now, this post is not about my ailments, it's about a singing hipster. 

So, I parked my car on the side of the street, got out in my oversized men's sweatpants, tennis shoes, and puffy ankle-long coat. I know, attractive. #dontcare
I proceeded to walk up the street, when all of a sudden I heard some singing in the distance. I really didn't think anything of it. I kinda thought it was someone shouting from far away or something, so I didn't turn around or anything. Then, as it got closer, I realized that truly it was singing. So, as any normal human would do, I turned around to scope out the scene, and there he was:
Happy as a clam hipster {I know crazy, right?} singing his heart out as he walked up the opposite side of the street. He was one of those singers who I think thinks he is good, but he was quite the opposite. Not to be rude, but I am a girl who likes to call a spade a spade. 
{The only time I think that I am even like 1% good is when I sing Adele in the shower with all those acoustics. My poor neighbors. Sorry Chris! It's me getting you back for your dogs barking. Call it a truce?} 

Back to the point. 
This dude was belting it out. 
He didn't care how it sounded. {I don't think so anyway}
He didn't care who he woke up.
He didn't care if I was there or not. 
He was in it. He was feelin' it. He had joy. 
And here I am all looking at him like....what the...

But then I thought to myself, he gets it. 
What the heck am I doing caring about whether or not someone is going to turn around or look at me weird. I mean, I was already wearing an outfit that Stacy and Clinton would burn as fast as you can say 'happy as a clam hipster' anyway. 
I thought to myself, self, which one would you rather be? The one judging or the one singing?
Singing, duh. I'm already over the fact that I suck at it. 
{Obviously the singing man was too. Ah! Now I'm judging! Lord, help me!}

In conclusion, I want to give a shout out to the singing hipster. 
Thanks for that little lesson today as a reminder to just be me. 
And if I want to sing, just sing. 
Life's too short to give a rip about what people think about it.  
I'd rather be someone like you any day.

Here's a sweet lil song by Cat Stevens that explains it well: 

And here's a picture of me in that awesome outfit I spoke of: 

Yes, I indeed had a left shoe on. The pants are so ripped at the bottom, the left shoe now gets covered. Such is life. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I am human, for better or for worse.

Today is the day I let you know a little bit more of who I am. Like, the no frills, real deal, human, for better or for worse, here I am, take it or leave it kind of stuff.
I'm taking a risk here. Hopefully you will love me nonetheless.
Here goes:

- Sometimes I wear my socks multiple days in a row. 

- I cry daily. One of my dear friends asked me last week if I eat a lot of products with soy in them. Apparently soy messes with your hormones and emotions. Maybe I should stop doing all those soy shots when I'm out with the girls. #salty
 In all seriousness though, I don't think soy is the problem.
{I don't consume too much of it actually. Except with sushi & takeout. I actually am careful with how much of it goes into my body because I've seen the effects it has had on dear friends in my life. Crazy but true.}
 I am to the point, by the grace of God, that I am finally not seeing my tears as a problem. As I get to know myself and who the Lord made me, I am discovering that I am a girl who feels extremely deeply. If it's happy and celebratory, I cry. If it's heartbreaking, I cry. If it's a Hallmark commercial, I cry. Forget about Modern Family and Parenthood, because I lose it in almost every single episode. Church, worship and prayer, forget about it. I am a weeping mess when I think about Jesus and the price He paid for a sinner like me. For how good He is and how much He loves me.
I've taken enough personality tests for my job which all indicate that I empathize with the best of 'em. It's who I am and I am finally beginning to see the beauty in it instead of apologizing for it.

- Sometimes if I don't want to get up and get a tissue, I wipe my nose on my sleeve. This is one of those that I hope you're still my friend after hearing this. Let me note: This happens with select sleeves like sweatshirts. Or, true confessions, if I am desperate in church and I forgot tissues. 

- I have a desire to start composting. I really think I'm going to start this summer. Chicago actually pays you to have a composting bin. I do believe they care about keeping this city beautiful. I love that. Here's the thing though. We eat a lot of fruits and veggies. And I don't like throwing the rinds in our garbage because that means it stinks up the house and I have to go ALL the way down the stairs to take a half full bag of trash to the trash bin. Top floor. No elevator. Not happening. So, since a half full bag of garbage is too good of a thing to waste {pun intended}, and I don't have a composting bin quite yet, I've decided to take matters into my own hands and make the empty lot next to us my very own composting bin.
This is probably illegal.
Here's a picture that will either make you laugh or hate me. It's the lot in all of it's glory:

I figure, the sweet little birds will be able to bring all of this home to their families. As well as the rats, but I just don't think about those things. And, it's like the food is going back into the earth where it came from. Agricultural reincarnation if you will. Also, word on the street has it that this empty lot is turning into a Sonic and this is kind of my way of rebelling and telling those people this is the worst. idea. ever. Do you people want to see Uptown get better? Then don't put in a Sonic literally next door to my home. Or anywhere around here for that matter. Sonic's food isn't even that good and too many sugary drinks give me headaches. Wait, I have an idea Uptown, let's prolong this diabetes epidemic that plagues America. Super smart. I digress.

- I have thought for months now that the dark circles under my eyes were just shadows casted by bad bathroom lighting. I'm slowly realizing it actually might be a shadow casted by turning 30.

- I haven't put pop in my body since the summertime. I drank two glasses of Diet Coke the other night and it was incredible. The effects of Aspartame on the human body are way too nasty for me to continue in that habit though.
You were good while you lasted, Diet Coke, see ya never.

- I am not a fan of washing my hair and I don't want to spend money on dry shampoo when I can go for like four cups of coffee with four wonderful people for the price of one can of dry shampoo. Next best thing: baby powder. It blended in better when I was a blonde, but still works today as a brunette.

- If someone messes with people I love, OR if you're a Chicago cop, Mama Bear comes out of hibernation, and it isn't pretty. I will confess that I have sassed off to more than a handful of police officers. And yes, maybe I've gotten pulled over more than a handful of times. I've actually gotten way better. Ask my hubby for proof. The last time I got pulled over I only cried, and the lady cop {which are the worst of 'em all} asked me if I was okay. What do you think lady? You just gave me a ticket.

- Last one. I think my husband is the shiz. I really do. He is an accountant and it is his busy season right now and their hours are ridiculous {Ok, pause. You investment bankers have it pretty bad. Like all the time. Props to ya. I don't know how you do it. Crazy folk.}. PK works so hard to provide for us and is one of the most disciplined people I know. He's also studying for level three of the CFA exams. Our hours together are super limited and he still finds time to make sure to connect with me and he really does love me well through this season. My love, you are an incredible man. Keep fighting the good fight.

So, do you have any weird things you'd like to tell me to make me feel like a more normal human being? Haha!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Only in Uptown

Today was quite productive:

- Took on a fun little project that I'll post soon.

- Spent some quality time with Jesus

- Tidied the house

- Cleaned our closet.

- Donated things from the closet to the thrift shop. 

- Saw this old lady trying on a bikini over her clothing: 

- Got caught taking picture by a thrift shop patron. We giggled & went our separate ways.

- Saw the same old lady trying on a bra at the thrift shop. If you think I saw her trying the bra on over her clothes, think again. 
Don't think too hard. 


The weirdest stuff happens to me. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A reason to blog

Tonight I let myself get lost in the blogging world for a bit. The house is clean, things are {pretty much} prepared for tomorrow, so I let myself spoil myself. Thanks, me. You're welcome.

There is a woman who spoke at The Influence Conference who rocked my world. Her name is Jami*. She's real, she's deep, she's hilarious, and most of all, she loves Jesus with all she's got. She and her family have an incredible story. A story written by God. Redeemed by God. 
I came across one of her posts today that she had written a few years ago. It's about the importance of blogging and what a gift your blog could be to your kids and family members in the future. I'm just going to let you read what she wrote about it because it's just so beautiful:

This simple city life blog of mine is a mere two months old, so I'm still figuring it out. I pray often for the Lord to make it something that He wants it to be. I pray that it will encourage, inspire, connect with at least someone out there. I pray it will make some people laugh, because laughing is good every once in a while. It's way easier than going to the gym. Most of all I want it to glorify God. To magnify His name. To make Him known as I make my heart known to you who read.

And I want a reason why I blog to be about what Jami wrote. It's like a little time capsule. But not, because you can look at it whenever you want. Ok bad example. Start over. It's like a little yearbook of your life, but not in a year, because it's your life. So a life book? Ok, I give up. Hopefully you get what I mean. If we are blessed with kids one day, I do want them to look at this and see what their mom was up to in 2013 and on. How cool she was then. Young, hip, and spry. Rockin' the skinny jeans. {Which they will probably think are hideous by the time they read any of this.} And how much of an old soul their dad was and will always be and how I actually think he was made to be a grandpop sitting in a rocking chair, smoking a pipe, still wearing a bow tie like he did in 2013. What a beautiful reason to blog. Thank you, Jami. And a big thanks to the Lord, for giving me this sweet time to get lost in blogs and for opening my mind to a wonderful reason to keep this thing going. 

*Jami, I know you have no clue who I am, so hopefully you don't think I'm too creepy writing about you. If you ever read this I just want to say thanks. Thanks for sharing your life. Through your blog. At the Influence Conference. The Lord has used you in my life and in my marriage. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wedding Gifts: Anthro-inspired

Get a load of these lil' gifts!

Before I delve into the details of 'em, lemme introduce you to my sweet friend, Sara:

This city, my home sweet home, would not be the same without her in it. She and her hubby play a huge part in our lil' life here. She is one of the people that makes up my little family here in this big city. Sometimes this place can get the best of you, and it's friends like her that help you see the good in it all. I just love her to pieces!

So, the other day, I walked into her house and found these wooden utensils lookin' all cute and I'm like "whaaaaa?!" Where'd you get those? And she's like "Shuga, I made 'em." Ok, she's never called me "Sugar" before. I just wanted to add emphasis.
Before she went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get the plain wooden kitchen utensils pictured above, she {like any wise woman} made a stop to heaven on earth, oops, I mean Anthropologie and picked up these beautiful bowls:

Then, she took her creative self and mixed up some paint to make it match the bowls & painted the ends of the utensils. It's so simple, so cute, & the blushing bride who receives these gifts can now use the bowls and the utensils to decorate her kitchen! Practical decorations. Doesn't really get any better. 
Side note: Sara also painted ombre mugs to make the gift complete. You can see those a little bit in the picture of her painting them. So cute! 

I think these are the perfect gifts. I mean, who doesn't love anything Anthro? And there was thought & love put into it as well. A good lil' combo. I kind of want to have just one more bridal shower so Sara can make them for me too. Or, maybe I can mention it to her as my birthday approaches. Seems easier. 

For my ladies on a budget who need to get a thoughtful gift for a dear friend, bride-to-be, or even a little Mother's Day gift, this is it. 
Have fun & be creative! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Bird & The Branch

Friday Feature

I am super excited to introduce you to my friend Steph & her adorable online shop. 

First, let's start with Steph: 

Um, cutest couple ever, perhaps? 

{I l-o-v-e love the photographers who took their wedding pictures. Hop on over to Hitch & Sparrow to see more of their incredible photos}

Steph & I met in 2009. We were in the same small group at church & I really do think it was friendship at first sight. She has good taste in music & fashion but not only that, she is one of the kindest, most caring, funny, most lovely women I know. She is a friend who dreams big, gets my big dreams & we dream our big dreams together. She is incredibly inspiring & is one of the reasons this blog is even in existence. 

Steph's online shop, The Bird & The Branch, was a dream 
she made a reality. 

The Bird & The Branch is an online second hand clothes shop set up through I absolutely love this. It's like going to a darling little consignment shop, but online. So, when I want to continue sitting on my bum on a cold Chicago day, I can just pop on over to Steph's shop & get me and hubby some new clothes. Heck, I'd be doing the same thing sitting on my bum on the beach on a perfect summer day! Can't stop me! 
Not only do I think second hand is the way to go, I just love the fact that when I buy something from Steph's shop, I'm in it with her as she does what she loves. 

{These are soon-to-be ours!}

Venture over to The Bird & The Branch, say hi to Steph, & get yourself something cute.