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Oct 24, 2013

5 Tips for Dealing with Distance


I never dreamed that I'd be in a long-distance relationship.  I guess no one really ever does, but I definitely did not.  Let me preface this post by saying that I'm absolutely, positively no expert.  Heck, AJ and I have only been in this stage of our relationship for a few months.  But as someone who spent time on a daily basis (we worked together!) with her boyfriend, I'll tell you that being long distance has been an adjustment.

When AJ finally made the decision to transfer to Berklee and move to Boston, all of the excitement and support I had been feeling for him vanished for a minute.  I remember looking at him with tears in my eyes and asking "what's my role in this?".  I felt so lonely so immediately, and for me, it was hard to imagine where I fit into his life from a distance.  My mom once said that this was going to be payback for what she did to her mom (my parents met when my dad was living in Ohio for work, fell in love, and decided to get married; their relationship was mostly long-distance, and they missed one another so much that they moved their wedding up to December, just six months after they had met; people said she looked like the most miserable bride when she was planning the wedding, but it was only because she missed my dad so much!).

I was never really worried or afraid of putting some space between AJ & I...we've got a really solid relationship, communicate well, and rarely argue, but of course, I also wasn't excited about it.  It definitely helps that I'm sure that Berklee is where God wants AJ to be.  But it has taken some effort on both of our parts to make this transition an easy one.  So I'd like to share 5 tips that have really helped me move into a long distance relationship.

1.  Be intentional, be there & make time for one another.  Your life fills up, and the time you used to spend with your significant other will get claimed by some other part of life.  There have been times when AJ and I have been on the phone and can tell that the other one is distracted and those conversations are never as fulfilling or as great as the ones when we're both fully "there"!

2.  Make things special!  One of my favorite things to do is to send AJ mail.  He loves finding a card in his mailbox and I love knowing that he's getting to open a hand-written card from me!  I never tell him that I'm sending something so that it's a complete surprise.

3.  Stay busy!  For me, the times when I feel most lonely are when I have nothing to do, so I like staying busy and having something to tell AJ when he asks me about my day!  Specifically, my advice would be to invest time into things that you've either been wanting to do for a while or that fell to the wayside when you started dating.  Have you always wanted to learn a new skill or hobby?  Do it!  (P.S. being in a relationship should never be an excuse for not pursing things that you love, but let's be honest, sometimes knitting takes a back seat to watching a movie with your boyfriend)

4.  Be understanding.  Sometimes it's hard, but understanding that each of you have separate schedules and lives is essential.  There are times when AJ calls me because he's walking home from class and I just can't talk.  We've learned to be good about asking the question "is this a good time?" and not just assuming the other person is available.  And sometimes, there are just days when talking on the phone or video chatting just doesn't happen.  That's life.

5.  Plan visits!  One of the most fun things about being in a long distance relationship is the potential for traveling!  AJ's been home once since he moved, and it was great.  But what was even more fun was the trip that I took to Boston.  Since he lives with my cousin and another roommate, I was able to just stay in their apartment and we got to spend time exploring Boston and spending time just the two of us.  Traveling can be expensive, but be on the lookout for deals on bus and plane fares.  Sign up for email alerts from airlines.  I get emails from JetBlue boasting $59 flights all the time.  Planning your travel well can mean a relatively cheap, (and definitely memorable) trip!

Are you in a long-distance relationship?  What are your tips for dealing with the distance?

Oct 20, 2013

Busy, Busy, Photoshoot Weekend

My weekend has been packed with two photoshoots (a senior and an engagement) and lots of editing!

Yesterday, I got to do a session with Lanie, a senior who just got accepted to her top choice school!  We had a great time and the photos are beautiful, thanks to a beautiful subject!
 

Then, today, I got a chance to hang out with Bridget & Matt to do an engagement shoot!  They were one of the most fun couples I've ever had the pleasure to photograph.  It was such a fun afternoon!

Check out my photography site for more from each of these shoots, and like Betsy Gettis Photography on Facebook!

Oct 18, 2013

Cozy & Comfy Cowls

Ok, am I the only one who absolutely loves cowls and chunky infinity scarves??

I'm obsessed.  I love how cozy and warm they are!

Last season, I found this beautiful Striped Cotton Cowl (actually a spring scarf pattern!), and have been wanting to knit it ever since.  So a few weeks ago, I headed to the craft store to pick up some yarn and embroidery thread and got to work!  I went for a more muted and wintery pattern than they called for, but I'm really excited about the way this scarf is already turning out!  Can't wait to share the final product!

Are you working on any knitting or crocheting, or even crafting projects?

Oct 17, 2013

A Painting Party

Throughout the series we're currently doing at church, we've been incorporating some exciting art projects.  We've had students from a local college doing live artwork in our atrium before services, and one of our talented artists has crafted a few different projects to incorporate into services.  One of these projects is a large painting of the Last Supper made out of 35 individual 18"x24" canvasses.  In order to paint this massive project, we recruited a team of artists to come together for a few painting parties...here are some photos of the one we had last night!

Oct 15, 2013

Dear Boyfriend,


Today marked the end of a wonderful weekend together.

You were home from Boston for a long weekend and I tried to spend every possible moment with you. From getting up at 3:15am on Friday to drive to Philly to pick you up to staying at your house until almost 2am, I kinda sorta like spending time with you.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was when we laid on the floor in your family room, 30 Rock playing in the background, just talking.  We talked a lot about the future this weekend; about a future shared apartment, future dinners cooked together, even a future puppy named after your childhood imaginary dog.  (I can't wait for that future, by the way).  My favorite thing about those little pillow talks?  The fact that we were planning a marriage, not a wedding.

I'm glad you're at Berklee and I'm glad you're learning a lot and that you love Boston (because I love it too!).  But I sure will be happy next time you're home again.

This weekend was perfect.  I hope it was just a glimpse of more to come.

Love,
Betsy

Oct 14, 2013

October Special!


This month, don't miss out on 20% off of all ad spaces using the code "PumpkinSpice"!  
Check out my advertising page for all ad options!  

I'd love to have you on board!

Oct 8, 2013

Creating a Workspace that Inspires Creativity


When I redecorated my room last January, one of the things I wanted the most was a new desk and workspace.  I was intentional about separating my sleeping space from more of a "living" space (you can see an entire room tour here), and I wanted to keep my desk organized and free of clutter so it could be a place where I was able to work and write and be creative.

Sometimes, my desk fills up with plenty of papers and just junk, but I like to take time to organize it and keep it a tranquil space that I enjoy using.  Because I do a lot of design work and photo editing for work, this space needed to help inspire creativity.  I keep it filled with photos of family and friends and keep close any books that I'm reading.  I also try to keep the decorations on my desktop to a minimum.

I love lighting candles and keep a few on my desk to light when I'm working.  These white birch tealight holders were given to me by AJ's mom for my birthday...I love them!
When I redecorated, I got a large bulletin board and painted it white to match my decor.  I fill it with quotes and photos, and of course practical things like wedding invitations, gift cards, and notes.  It's a nice inspiration board while still providing functionality.

So here are a few tips for creating a workspace to inspire creativity:
1.  Make it you!  For me, muted colors, white, and neutrals create a tranquil, but inspiring, mood.
2.  Keep it simple.  Don't keep a lot of stuff on your desk.  Keep out only items that you use nearly every time you sit down (like a pencil cup).  Things like tape and a stapler can stay hidden in a desk drawer.
3.  Keep it clean.  Take a few minutes once in a while to straighten up, organize, and clean out.  I just went through my desk drawers and got rid of an entire bag of trash that was just taking up space!  And that only piled up since January.  It only takes a few minutes and will help you stay focused and make things easier to find.

Oct 6, 2013

Girl Talk // Scatter Joy


I recently began reading Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" (yes, I know, I'm a little bit late), and am just in awe.  I love her writing style, for one, but even more so, I love her challenge to live fully where you are, simply by appreciating the gifts around you.

One quote by Ann that I love is this:  "It's habits that can imprison you and it's habits that can free you.  But when thanks to God becomes a habit - so JOY in God becomes your life."  Let's break that quote down a little bit.

What a difference it makes in life to live filled with joy in Christ!  I wrote about choosing your attitude about two months ago, and I think this post really ties into that.  Creating a habit of thankfulness is a choice, and not always an easy one.  It's hard to thank God in the midst of crisis or despair or trial.  It's hard to thank God when life just isn't going the way you planned.  Thanks is not a task that is easily accomplished.

But just as Ann points out, thanks is a habit.  Habits take work and time to develop, but they also come with reward.  When you make a habit of eating well and exercising, you reap the reward of being healthy.  When you make a habit of practicing a skill or hobby, you reap the reward of being better at that task.  And the reward of a life filled with thanks to God?  Joy in God.

One of the sayings I have on my bulletin board in my room says "Scatter Joy".  Joy is contagious, and we have the ability to scatter it.  Have you ever noticed that it's pretty hard to stay negative around someone who is really positive?  When you're joyful and throw your joy around at others, it just makes the world a little bit happier.

So scatter joy this week, friends.  Work to make thankfulness a habit and scatter joy.

And here's a little graphic just for you....you can download the page-size PDF version here.

Oct 5, 2013

Fall is My Favorite


This is by far my favorite season of the year.  I really, really love it.  I love the weather and the way being outside is just wonderful.  And I love that scarves are necessary, because they're one of my favorite accessories.

I've been reading a lot about harvest lately, and it's been putting me in the fall mood even more.  This week, I even painted some pumpkins for our atrium at church.

It's been unnaturally warm here in PA this week (we're talking 80s), so I'm ready for fall to truly arrive (hopefully soon!).  I hope you've been enjoying fall!
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