Thursday, August 20, 2015

Together At Last


Joy moved to California!! 

 My youngest sister decided our hearts could no longer be divided, packed up her tiny pants and moved across the country - AND in with me and Bill to our new house!  We have been in transition for a few weeks, and I feel like things are starting to feel more settled and fall into a bit of a rhythm.  All three sisters live within 20 minutes of each other and because of that, my heart is happy.

Having her here is the most wonderful.  I am not sure I can put it into words.  She is contagiously excited and caring and she has made me feel at home in my new home.  I know our time is short lived and in no time she will have a bunch of friends and find a roommate and settle into a schedule apart from me, but I am clinging to this in between.  The time where we pass each other in the kitchen, we read the Bible out loud to each other before bed and we get take out Indian and sit and watch a show on Netflix while we eat and laugh.  This time is precious and I can’t believe she really did it.

I will be forever grateful to my parents as well.  They supported her choice and drove across the country with her and we all had a glorious weekend together before they had to fly back to Maryland.  It’s funny, because when I fly to Maryland I still say I am flying “home” but buying a house makes Orange County feel pretty permanent too.  I have lived here for almost 9 years, and yet I still feel like both places are home in different ways.  Having Joy here really helps bring that connection and gives me such a sense of peace about this current season of life.  She is here and I am thrilled and God is too good to me these days. 

Thank you Joy for doing this.  I will never be able to express it in words, but it changed my life that you would do this so we could be close to each other.  It was so selfless and so wonderful and you are such an incredible person and I am so proud to be your sister.

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's The Little Things - Thoughts On Moving In








Moving in is a process. 

We have been in our new home for about a week and a half and it is starting to feel real and sink in.  These lovingly worn wood floors are ours, those oranges growing on those big beautiful bushy trees are ours, that pink sink that has held many plates after family dinners in the kitchen is ours, those near perfect roses growing outside the kitchen window are ours, and that sunroom that is warm and cozy and wonderful is ours.  It is all ours.  Every weird quirk and every fabulous feature.  We own a home and I am starting to believe it.  I am focusing on the little things, rather than being overwhelmed by all the projects.

I am a list person, and I am learning that everything cannot get crossed off when you want it to when it comes to home owning.  The other day we ended up picking oranges and squeezing a pitcher of fresh juice rather than a bunch of other items on my to do list, and that is great.  I loved every minute of it.  I am learning to respect the house for what it is and remember there is a history in those walls. I can only take it day by day and room by room and allow myself time to relax.  It is not a race against myself; I still have to live life inside those walls.    

“What are four walls, anyway? They are what they contain.  The house protects the dreamer. Unthinkably good things can happen.” – Under the Tuscan Sun



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Portland - Thai Food, Coffee and People that Make me Happy



The second leg of our birthday trip was equally wonderful!  We traveled down to Portland as a big group and went big.  Walked a lot downtown, went to the weekend market, searched out a fabulous brunch with bottomless mimosas, acted like tourists (as you can see my friend making fun of us at Stumptown), ate some of the best Thai food in America at PokPok, strolled through Powell’s book store and spent a ton of time laughing and enjoying each other’s company. But seriously you guys, if you are ever in Portland (and you like Thai food), you MUST go to PokPok for Thai.  It is the closest thing Bill and I have found outside of Thailand and everything we had was incredible.  Also visit Stumptown Coffee Roasters if you are in the area, sure it is touristy, but dang it their coffee is delicious and worth the trip!


I have to say, this traveling group was perfect.  Sometimes traveling in a big group can be very stressful and high maintenance.  Different people get really dramatic, issues arise and it feels like you never get to relax.  However, on this trip, I felt as though we all got lots of relaxation time in, and we each did what we wanted while somehow sticking together.  When I think back on this adventure, all I can do is smile.  I got 5 days with some of my favorite people in beautiful places with great food and good vibes.  What more can you ask for!!  

Oh and by the way, isn't our godson the cutest!  I mean come on... top right.  James and Ali, you did good :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Seattle - A Feast for the Eyes


As you will see, as I attempt to catch you up, we have been very busy!  While my posts may be brief, I just feel some things need to be written about even though they were awhile back now!  This trip was back in March, but it was too good not to post about now. 

  
My husband turned 30, and I don’t want you to think we did not celebrate that! He is my absolutely favorite and spending time with him traveling is the most fun.  For Bill’s 30th birthday (and my 29th) we took a family/friend trip up to Seattle and Portland for 5 days and explored the Pacific Northwest as a group.  My sister and her husband, Bill’s parents and Bill and I flew up to Seattle and stayed just outside the city with Bill’s Aunt and Uncle in their beautiful home.  We went to Pike Market and soaked it in eating oysters, watching fish get thrown, enjoying mid-afternoon beers at a brewery, and admiring all the local artisans, food and gorgeous flowers.  A couple of Pacific North friends drove up to meet us with their son (also our Godson) and enjoyed the tail end of the time there.  We all drove up to a fantastic area called Woodinville and did some wine, beer and spirits tasting and caught a fun lunch together at a brewery.  

There was no better way we could have spent our birthdays :)

To be honest, this trip did something for my soul.  Clean fresh air and a family retreat always makes me happy and this absolutely delivered!  We will visit again for sure, and I look forward to it very much.  After Seattle we drove down to Portland and that post will come soon (too many pictures for one post).  I have traveled quite a bit, and there is no place like the Pacific Northwest.  Hope you enjoy the pictures friends!  

Monday, August 3, 2015

We Bought a House!

Ignore the time stamp - Our realtor forgot to update the date!
Wow it’s been awhile friends!! In my absence I have been concentrating on being present, practicing yoga and moving into a new home!  Yoga has become a 3-4 times a week practice for me (over the past 4 months) and my heart feels satiated by it.  I found my forever form of exercise and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.  It has truly made my heart soar and brought me such peace in my own skin.  In other news, my youngest sister moved out to California and the three sisters are reunited on the West Coast!  Her presence has brought me such joy and peace and wow I feel like crying just typing these words.  This season of life feels really rich in love and family.  Blessed doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.

Bill's Parents with us when we went for our property inspection
This past weekend Bill and I moved into a house that we purchased, and to say it is glorious wouldn’t be giving it enough credit.  Sure moving is tough, it was hot outside and all the stress of furnishing a bigger home is weighing on us.  We are real people and with that comes all the real struggles, but man, to have our own home is amazing.  Inside (and more outside) pictures to come, but for now I thought I would share these pictures that happened while we were in escrow.  The story of how the seller’s chose us is also something I want to share, because it is such a God given testimony to patience and confirmation.  You guys, God has been good to me and Bill!  My sister Faith immediately started crying when her car pulled up to the home just thinking about the memories that would be made.  It confirmed so much for me. She has such a sensitive heart to the Lord and she saw everything that it would be for us.

My parents drove across the country with my youngest sister and we were able to get them to see the inside of the house and meet the sellers :)  
Can’t wait to share more.  My heart is so full of things to pour out.  Yoga, my family, my house, decorating, and adventures of house owning will be sure to be future topics.  I feel honored to be back with you all sharing my life.  Looking forward to sharing words with you more often.