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Apr 28, 2013

Scenes from New York

AJ, and his mom, and I went to visit his sister (who's finishing her freshman year at Marymount Manhattan) in New York yesterday.  We literally could not have picked a better day!  The weather was perfect and it seemed like all of New York was out to play!

We wandered around Central Park, explored the Met, had lunch at the Boathouse, and then ate the most delicious wafels (yes, that's spelled right!) from Wafels and Dinges (they have a few food trucks around the city.  If you're in NYC and happen upon one, make the stop.  They're incredible.).  Then, we wandered down to the village to listen to some jazz and do a little browsing before having dinner at Pizza Roma on Bleecker Street and finishing off the day with a cupcake from Magnolia.  It was a perfect day!
The city skyline from the reservoir in Central Park
Wandered into Bleecker Street Records
Spotted this sweet moment in Central Park
The wafels!  SO so so good.
A friendly cat at Bleecker Street Records and a little basement jazz club.
Found:  a vinyl of the March on Washington!  So cool.

Apr 17, 2013

If I Lived in a City

AJ officially made the decision to transfer to Berklee in the fall, and I couldn't be more excited for him.  (Besides the part where I'm going to miss him terribly and I've definitely cried a lot)

I'm the kind of girl that's generally happy in my suburban life.  I like having a car and looking out my window to see trees and being able to tan in my backyard without having creepy neighbors looking at me.  But then, I visit a city and it's just too easy to imagine my picturesque city life.  I mean, there are so many great bloggers that make it look awesome, right?

But, with the boyfriend making the big move, I've begun seriously considering my options.  And when I think of returning to my first true city love, I get really excited.  Sure, there will be plenty of trips north to visit AJ, but wouldn't it be great to have a little apartment with a few friends and to really dig into that dream of being an urban teacher and to be able to walk to places and take the T and all of those great things that city folk do?  The fact is that AJ's career will likely land us in a city in a few years.  So why not make the move now?

What it really comes down to is that scary task of finding a job and stuff.  And so maybe this next season of life is just a bloom-where-you're-planted sort of time.  Stay put, enjoy traveling when I can, and keep imagining that city life and the perfectness of it all before the reality of what it really is sets in one day.

But I do so love the idea of city living.

Apr 16, 2013

April

Welcome to April's installment of my year of resolutions (if you're just going me, check out January, February, and March!).  I'll admit I'm a bit late...it's already the middle of April!  But better late than never, right?  And I'm proud to say that I'm actually acting on this month's resolution already, so even though I'm just getting around to posting about it, I promise I've been working on keeping it!

My April resolution is to run more.  Can I make a confession?  I've always always always wanted to be a runner.  But years of being forced to run as "punishment" for losing field hockey games (and let me tell you, my high school team was not good) kind of made me equate running with hatred.  And so no matter how much I wanted to love running, it just never seemed to love me back.  There's probably that other factor that I really could lose like 30 pounds and that would make the whole thing a little easier too...but yeah, excuses, excuses.

I dread making any sort of grand statement here, because that might mean I have some accountability, but I really would love to run a half marathon.  (You might be a runner who's thinking "girl, you can totally do it!", but friends, I'm done at about 2 miles)  Anyway, I'm keeping with this theme of having monthly resolutions and setting a small goal for myself...to simply run more.  Every time I go to the gym, I'm making it my goal to at least warm up with a mile on the treadmill.  Now that it's getting nicer outside, I'm pushing myself to hit the macadam.

No big training plan or race in mind, just run, and feel good about doing it.  The whole idea behind this year of resolutions is to set little attainable goals each month that hopefully turn into habits and lifestyle choices.  Running more is probably my most measurable goal yet, yet it's probably also the hardest.  Honestly, most days I just lack the motivation, no matter how good I feel afterward and how much I love being able to say "yeah, I just went for a run".

So here's to beating the lazy bones in me and getting out there and putting rubber to pavement!

Apr 15, 2013

Oh How Pinteresting!

I've been loving all of the spring-y things on pinterest lately.  I'm so excited for summer, and seeing lots of sundresses and DIY projects and summery recipes makes me just want to spend time outside!
 via
 via

Apr 14, 2013

Signs of Spring

Spring has sprung here in PA!  I'm so so so happy that the sunshine and flowers and (sometimes) warm air is actually here!  It was actually 80 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week and there's more of that on the way!
I'm a month away from finishing my student teaching placement and then I'll be on the hunt for a job.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying wearing dresses and taking my students outside for recess!
I hope the warmth has reached you too!

Apr 3, 2013

Repost // The Act of Worship

Lately, I've been listening to the Unhindered worship album a lot.  It's really good, and I highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance.

But it also has me thinking about the act of worship.  And recent conversations with good friends have me asking myself if I've been living my day-to-day as an act of worship.  Last fall, I spent some time being angry at God.  It was the kind of anger where I wanted to be angry, but I knew better, so I couldn't fully enter into the anger.  Does that make me sound crazy?  Probably.  But in the interest of being transparent, I'll just be straightforward and tell you that that's where I was.  I didn't understand why I was going through what I was going through and while I knew God was trying to teach me something, I didn't really care to learn it.

But that's the funny thing about God.  He sticks by you and teaches you whether you like it or not.  Because that's just the type of father that He is.  
Patient, loving, immovable. 
He doesn't give up on you, and when you're ready, He's still there waiting to teach you that same lesson, and to show you that He really does have your best interests at heart.  And in His timing, He delivers on the promises that He's made to you.

And what does he want in return?  He asks that you live a life of worship.  To live each day as an act of worship.  Lately, I've been working on getting back to a place where I can honestly say I'm doing that.  A place where I can look at every aspect of my life and truly say that God is at the center of it.  And I'm getting there.  Slowly, but surely.  
And I'm finding that at times when you most need reminding of what's important, God surrounds you with people who keep you grounded, keep you centered, and keep you looking toward the cross.

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; 
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
-Psalm 100, A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Apr 2, 2013

Redemption

There was something different about this Easter, and I can't quite put my finger on it.  I think that the entire lenten season sort of slipped away from me.  I didn't choose to observe Lent in the traditional sense, with giving something up, and to be complete transparent, I did a pretty poor job of intentionally reflecting on what the season means.

The only thing I did do consistently this past month was to watch The Bible on the History channel, and each week as I prepared to watch it with my family, especially this past Sunday, I was struck with a collision of emotion:  anticipation and nervousness mixed with excitement and expectation.  AJ and I joked that they often tried to leave you with a cliffhanger at the end of each episode, as if we didn't know what was coming next.  But in all honesty, I found myself anxiously awaiting the next installment each week.

And at the end of it all, after watching History's interpretation of Jesus' gruesome death on the cross, I feel more in awe and humbled by the sacrifice of Christ and the entire metanarrative of God, including the parts that He's currently writing.  It's amazing to me, still, after knowing the story for my entire life, that Christ came, lived a completely sin-free life, and then went to death on the cross just to lift the oppression of the law and to offer us forgiveness.  And how often are we really the other two criminals who were crucified with Him, or even Barabbas, who certainly deserved death on the cross?

I'm continuously amazed that I get to be part of the story that God is writing, while doing nothing to deserve it.  In the case of this Easter, I feel like I fell short.  Life got the better of me and during a season of the year when I should have spent time reflecting on the hope, passion, and life change that accompanies the cross, I went about my day-to-day, busy as ever, and not slowing down.  But the wonder of Christ is that even in a season when I've not tried or done my best, He redeems and restores, and offers rest to the weary.  In this case, it came through a TV miniseries that reminded me of the weight of Christ's sacrifice.  And sometimes, that's all it takes.
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