A Whirlwind of Two Weeks!

I did not plan to abandon my poor blog the last two weeks, I promise! It’s just that today I finally feel able to take a deep breath, relax for five minutes, and catch up on here now that we are back home, and, more importantly, together again!

The last two weeks we’ve spent our longest time away from our new home, longest time apart from each other as newlyweds, longest period without any down time due to almost too many events planned in too short a time! It’s been crazy, we have had fun and learned lessons , but I am very thankful to be getting back to a new normal in our little life together.

Though I won’t be able to recap everything that’s happened in the last twelve days, I will try to recap the highlights below (with poor quality pictures):

Friday night after my last post my love came back to me! After being out of the country a week, I was thrilled to have him safely return to me. We stayed the night at my parents’ before leaving with them EARLY the next morning to make the very long road trip to our weekend vacation destination in southern Indiana: Holiday World! It’s basically the best theme and water park ever, with several record breaking rides, holiday themed sections of the park, and free, yes, free, unlimited sunscreen and Pepsi products.

It has been my favorite vacation spot for a long time and I was thrilled to get to go with both my family and my love. It was an awesome weekend, though a little exhausting. We stayed Saturday night at the nearby campground in a Super King Size trailer (it was really nice on the inside! Just ignore the icky-needs-to-be-washed-outside).

Sisters, Sun, and Overnight Stay | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com
So the sun really messed with this picture, but you get the idea.

Newlywed, new adventures | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

Entrance to Holiday World! Holiday World Santa Statue Holi-Dog and Kitty Clause Splashin' Safari Exit- Thanks for the Fun! Our first Christmas (Shopping :) | newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com Sisters with Santa | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

After the very long ride back to my parents’ house, we slept and woke to pack up the gigantic car-load of items I had amassed during my week stay with my family (hey, I couldn’t pass up any good deals!). We headed back home with my mom and sister in the car behind us. They stayed two nights with us for the next big event- a One Direction concert. My sister loves One Direction and I have listened and learned all of their music along with her. After she went to a concert with a friend this summer, she decided that her, my mom, and I needed to go together. Anthony drove us through the long, traffic-ridden way Tuesday afternoon after work (such a sweetie!) and it was well-worth the wait!

Decked Out for the Concert OTRA One Direction Concert Sign Concert Fun OTRA One Direction Concert OTRA One Direction Concert Fun OTRA One Direction Concert Lights

Amazing. You’ve never heard so many screaming girls, let me tell you.

As if that wasn’t enough fun, the day after my mom and sister left, my husband’s grandparents came into town for the weekend and we hung out with them everyday. We went to one of our favorite farms to pet the animals, showed them the tourist-y areas around us, and gave them the majestic views we have come to love. We also showed them the house we are having inspected today (yeah, I’m freaking out!) and they were very excited for us.

Alpaca Adventure Baby goats!Grandparents' Visit

See why I have been so busy? This week will be another crazy adventure. My parents are coming today to join us for the inspection and see the inside of the house and then this weekend my love’s mother and sister will be visiting our apartment for the first time! It will be exciting to show them our little life up here :).

I knew life as a newlywed would be an adventure. I just never would have guessed how much so! It is hard to believe that we are only three months into our wonderful w(u)rld of marriage.

Have you had some exciting end-of-summer adventures? What did you enjoy best? Also, how do you handle a busy season in your marriage? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

*I’ll be back to my normal blogging schedule this week! Wednesday I’ll be chatting about the Foundations of Friendship not only with my husband but also the importance of friendship with those outside of marriage (highlighting my Bestie and her amazing talents). Friday I’ll be back with some thoughts about How to Be Happy and a FREEBIE to help us think through how we can be happier in our lives.*



Old, Yet New : a week of living back home

It’s been such a weird week. I feel as if I have been transported back to our dating days.

I am living at home this week while my husband is on a business trip; I am only able to call him for a little bit in the evenings and text him throughout the day. I’ve gone shopping with my sister at all the places we used to, gone all over town with my mom, and today I am meeting my bestie through high school- just like old times. But not exactly like old times.

I have felt like a part of me is missing this week. My love isn’t there with me throughout the day and I can’t cuddle with him when he comes home from work, or hear all about his day while I tell him about mine. I am having fun with my family, but I am left with this feeling of expectation- like my love should be coming around the corner, or pipe up with a comment about the history of certain facts, or a tease about how I said something, or I should feel the warmth of his hand as he slides up close to me. My family has probably heard my love’s name in every other sentence or so that I speak. I am counting down the days and hours until I get to be reunited with him again!

Before he left this weekend, we did fit in one more date night. We went to visit my sister in her new retail job and annoy her for a little bit. We walked the mall and just enjoyed each other’s company. Before we headed home, we stopped at the local Barnes & Noble to peruse the home improvement section (since we may just have a huge house project on our hands soon!). We ended up sitting on the floor for nearly an hour paging through, reading, and discussing some of our findings.

Book Store Adventures | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

We even found a book our two we want to keep in mind to purchase! It was such a fun and free date.

Though there were many tears when he left, I was excited to spend this week with my family and catch up on a month’s worth of visiting. My sister is crazy busy working two jobs, but she had Monday off- and we made the most of it!
We started with some thrift shopping because you never know what you will find… for example, this leather trench coat my sister rocked out:

Thrift Store Fun | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

We moved on to the best place to hang out in our town (after navigating horrible traffic- like, every road in our city is under construction and half the drivers are idiots : ), and walked the campus for a bit. After stopping for some cheap refreshments, we wandered around the best store in our college town and decided we needed to make some matching jewelry. Our results turned out better than I expected!

Sisters Bracelets |NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Handmade Necklaces (my sister's) - NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress Handmade Necklaces (mine) | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Sisters and Closest Friends | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

We had an awesome day of fun together. Tuesday was my mom’s day off so we went out on the town and shopped nearly everywhere, as I am trying to take advantage of having so many stores so close before going back to my sad little town’s offerings! I didn’t get too many pictures, but it was so much fun shopping in Sam’s Club (it’s so huge!), hitting up all the fun antique thrift stores, finding an awesome lamp and stack of Christian books for super cheap, and dreaming of decorating ideas while in Menard’s. I got my mom’s wise opinion on counters, countertops, backsplash, paint colors, and appliances. It was so fun to take home some samples of countertops and paint colors and to start dreaming of how our new kitchen and bathroom will look!

Speaking of house renovations- since you need a house to do that kind of thing!- we are making headway on all the paperwork and steps needed to be taken. Unfortunately, since neither of us is in the same state, or even country, we have had to handle everything electronically and over the phone. I’m thankful my love knows what all is going on and is making the time in his crazy schedule to help move this process along.

Favorite Furry Friend | NewlyWeddedWurld.Wordpress.com
My favorite furry friend missed me in my absence. I’ve gotten lots of cuddles from this cute kitty!

This blending of new and old in my life has created a weird and wonderful week in many ways. I am loving this time of being home with my family like old times; but, I am so excited that my husband and love comes home soon!

Have you experienced this new and old blending of life before? What was it like to be back home but in a different way? And do you have any house renovation tips? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Freebie Friday And Week Wrap Up

Hey everyone! Are you as excited as I am that we have finally reached Friday?

Pretty & Printable Weekly Planner |Freebie Friday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

So much has gone on this week! We went on our first double-date with friends, viewed more houses, had our first meeting with the leadership team about a huge teen conference we are doing this fall (I am in charge of food and am slightly freaking out over all I have to do!), talked with our youth pastor about serving together in a children’s ministry, and finalized plans for the next two weekends in our out-of-state trip (Love has a business trip, I have several dates with friends back home, we are going on our first vacation with my family, and then my mom and sister are going with me to a concert back here, AND my husband’s grandparents are coming to visit the week after!). Life is pretty crazy and we have so many engagements and meetings this month!

My type-A personality loves order and structure and sometimes I go overboard in my organization to keep life that way! As we discussed everything that’s going on in the next few months, our little dry-erase calendar seemed very insufficient to keep everything straight. I took an afternoon this week to create a little command center between the eat-in kitchen and the living room 🙂

Organizational Command Center Before | Freebie Friday and Week Wrap Up | newlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Under our little calendar and wall notes filled with little hand drawn creatures my hubby and I have made, I added the new $2 shelves I got this past weekend at a garage sale (you will also notice the new books, little metal riser, and my new craft bin we purchased last week!). On the top shelf is a more detailed calendar with more room to write, a note-pad with tear-able lists, my owl pen holder with black and colored pens to make life more cheerful, and my cat notebook that I keep all my receipts and store price guides in. I am not finished with the bottom shelf, but it has all my craft supplies and our more modern books that I didn’t think were as pretty as the ones on the shelf above.

I was pretty happy with my new arrangement, but I still didn’t have a place to easily see what my daily tasks/events were for the week. I like the detail-oriented aspect of my book calendar, but I also appreciate the “at-a-glance” factor my wall calendar provides. After a little brainstorming, creating, and laminating, I had my new solution:

Freebie Weekly Planner put to use -| Freebie Friday and Week Wrap Up |NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com*Please forgive the messy handwriting. It’s with a dry-erase marker, after all*

Now, it looks like a mess with my chicken scratch all over it (I never liked my handwriting! I think too fast for my fingers), but I am very happy with the purpose of my weekly planner. My love laminated it for me so I could use it weekly without having to keep printing it off (remember my failure to set up my printer?). I glued some extra ribbon I had to the back and used a Command Hook to add it to my organizational command center:

Organizational Command Center After | Freebie Friday and Week Wrap Up |NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Now with one glance, both me and my love have a good idea of what we have going on that day, week, and month- as well as a place to leave notes (and draw animals) for each other. Is it bad to say that this is my new favorite place in the apartment?

This week’s FREEBIE FRIDAY is *surprise* this weekly planner!

Here you can download it and make it any size you want:

Pretty and Printable Weekly Planner | Freebie Friday and Week Wrap Up |NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com

Here you can download the printable word document:

Pretty and Printable Weekly Planner | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Because the next two weeks are going to be so busy, I’ll be taking Mondays off- but you can find posts (and maybe a freebie!) Wednesdays and Fridays.

ALSO can I just say that God’s ways are so much higher than ours and that He is always in control? A week ago I posted here about disappointment that the offer on our dream house was turned down and the seller’s counter price was way too out of our price range. Well, this week, out of the blue, the seller came back to us with an offer that was hugely reduced from their previous one! We prayed, crunched numbers, even countered a little lower than his asking price- and today he agreed to our offer! We start the home-buying process this afternoon before hitting the road back home. I am so blown away that God worked in this way! We chose to trust that He would give us the right opportunity if we tried to be good stewards of our finances and He blessed us with this giant surprise! God is good!

Thanks for reading today! Do you have any methods to organizing your calendar? What system works best for you? Will you maybe use this freebie? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

A New Look At Love

Can I just talk about love for a little bit?

My husband shows me immense love every day, but sometimes it takes something out of the ordinary for me to realize that.

A New Look at Love | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

Yesterday I had a horrible migraine. It hurt to even think. When I did manage to think, I was fantasizing about an elephant stepping on my head to crush out the pain- which is a little dramatic in retrospect, but hey, it’s how I felt. I didn’t even move from the couch once I stumbled out of the shower, except to cover my face with pillows because the living room was too bright. Now, usually, I have lunch all made and the table set when my love texts me that he’s coming home from work (such a blessing to spend his lunch break with him every day!). Obviously, yesterday was not one of those days. I didn’t even look at phone during that time so I didn’t know what time it was or when he was headed home.

As soon as he came in the door, my love put my care at the center of his focus. He brought me water, made me take medicine, gave me a massage, asked if I wanted him to call the chiropractor, and offered both heating and ice packs. He quickly ate lunch then came back to my side. He started a salt soak for me and brought it to my location on the couch so I wouldn’t have to move. He was going to end his work day early to come take care of me if I didn’t improve. He showed me such selfless love and did above and beyond what I needed him to.

The most striking part of the story to me is that I had treated this caring husband of mine really crappy the evening before.

I was indulging in selfish thinking, acting like that of a petulant pouting child, and shut down all the conversation my love tried to involve me in. By the end of the night I was in tears when I realized what I was doing and completely remorseful for my hurtful actions against him. Words couldn’t express how much I hated myself for acting like that, I couldn’t say “sorry” without it seeming quite lacking in meaning; I could not ask for forgiveness enough. All I did was cry and mumble and sob while he held me and let tears run their course. We ended the night on good terms, but I still felt miserable- this man is my best friend, soul mate, love, and husband! Why did I think it was okay to treat him so poorly and solely think of myself and what I felt like I wanted to do because part of me wasn’t happy?? Did I not just write about selfishness and defensiveness on this very blog?

And yet, he loved me. He did not return hurt for hurt or harm for harm. He did not hold my actions against me but showed me immense love and care that I wasn’t worthy of. He lived out the example of Christ and His love towards His messed up, selfish, disobedient, self-seeking sheep who always do the wrong thing and go their own way.

Marriage is a picture of Christ’s love to us, the Church. And every day, my husband’s love gives me a better understanding of that love.

I am always amazed when I become even more amazed at this beautiful thing called marriage and the wonder of a man I married. Through marriage Christ is revealing more and more of my sinful nature and my need for Him. Through marriage I am better learning what it is like to love in the true sense of the word. Through marriage I am becoming more and more thankful for the blessings my God has graciously bestowed upon me, my husband, and our life together.

I am getting a new look at love as I live this newlywed life. And I stand in awe of what God is doing.

Has your perspective of love changed with marriage? Have you had a marital experience that made you think of Christ’s love for us? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Garage Sale Finds! |Must-See Monday- on Weekend Fun |newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

“Must-See” Monday And Weekend Fun

Happy Monday everyone!

What a crazy week last week was! And what a wonderful weekend we sandwiched in between two busy weeks.

We started off Saturday morning with sleeping in past 8 (such a nice break from 5:30!), slowly getting ready with coffee and caffeine, and heading out to neighboring city’s garage sales. Though it was chilly and gloomy gray skies, we scored big at a few garage sales!
Garage Sale Finds! |Must-See Monday- on Weekend Fun |newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.comOne of our favorite stops was the library sale. I think we could have spent two hours in there! So many options and with the price of 3 books for $1, we couldn’t help but look at ALL THE BOOKS and take home 9. I bought a few literary classics and two biographies, and my love saw two home improvement/farming books that caught his interest. I was really happy that most of the covers looked so vintage- I can’t wait to have them on display on a decorated bookshelf!

Cheap, old books; pretty and practical! | Must-see Mondays and Weekend fun | newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

Then after fighting an invasion of flies in the apartment, we  enjoyed a quiet evening together continuing the house search and finding some new possibilities which we will look at Thursday! Sunday, after an awesome morning of worship, finishing our church’s introduction course, and fellowship with other believers, we came home for a quick lunch before headed to a big city we had yet to explore. It was awesome.

Scenic View | Must-see Monday and Weekend Fun | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

We found the most gorgeous bluff with this breath-taking view across the Mississippi River and over into the neighboring state. Can this picture get any cuter than the little train, fields of green, and blue of skies and water?

Kisses on the Cliff | Must-see Monday and Weekend Fun |newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

Oh. I guess that picture could get cuter ; ). But really though, this was an amazing spot. Let alone all the new shopping centers, craft stores, and second hand clothing places we found! It’s going to be my new go-to spot for everything.

Must-See Monday and Weekend Fun| Newlyweddedwurlwordpress.com

Love n' the view| Must-See Mondays and Weekend Fun | newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

I loved this weekend. So many fun memories made and spontaneous adventures had. And in the midst of months like this month, where every day -like today, all of last week, all of this coming week, and all of next week- is scheduled out every evening and weekend with some activity or commitment, it was such a blessing to just enjoy the freedom my love and I have with each other on non-planned days.

In other news, my husband and I experienced a first tonight! We went out of town with another couple for a double dinner date. It was so fun and so much better than I could have imagined! I cannot wait until things settle down enough in our lives where dates with other young couples becomes a regular thing.

How was your weekend? Do you find the spontaneous adventures to be the best? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Finally… Friday & a FREEBIE

It’s finally Friday!!!!

This week has been never ending. As much as it has been fun serving in our Vacation Bible School every night, it is exhausting and makes for very little time spent together during the week. Combined with the fact that my love and I will be separated for a week this month due to a business trip, and with all the craziness of offer-making this week, I can say I am sooo looking forward to this weekend to sleep, relax, and just enjoy some quiet time with my husband!

Speaking of offer making, we learned a lot this week. God is always in control and worked things out differently than we thought they would; in other words, we are still on the house hunt. The blessing through it all is that we made the right decision to not over-stretch our budget for gratification now, but monthly burdening of our financials later. We realized what was most important- and we stuck to it. Even though it was disappointing now, I know we will be thankful for it later! Another blessing is that we are under no time pressure to move out of the apartment, so if nothing comes up this month we will just wait until next spring to look again (there are literally no houses on the market in the late fall-winter, nobody wants to move in the artic season up here).

I woke up a little grumpy this morning: I miss having the evenings with my love and am really missing my family back home now that it has been a few weeks without a visit. I was still disappointed about the dashed hopes of putting on offer on the house and being rejected- and it’s been gray skies and gloomy weather today. I knew my attitude and mood needed to be redirected to something constructive and positive or else my heart would start to breed discontentment and selfish pity! So I turned to my devotional book that goes through different chapters in the Psalms (my favorite book of the Bible) and had some quiet time with Jesus. I could immediately feel my attitude being lifted as I poured out prayer and praise for all the promises and provisions my Savior has made for me. Today I studied Psalm 34 (go read it for encouragement!) and was reminded of the fact that when I “magnify the Lord” (v3) with praise and devotion, my problems, disappointments, and frustrations begin to pale in comparison to the greatness of the God I serve. Verses 9 and 10 stood out to me today; “O fear the Lord, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing”.

As I thought about it I realized that I am not lacking in anything; my God has provided all my needs and many of my wants, exceeding many of my expectations; why then do I still complain?

This week I struggled with discontentment. This little design project helped me place my focus back on the King of kings and all He has mercifully and bountifully done for me.

Reminder for Contentment ~ Philippians 4:11 | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

In light of all God has given me, especially this week, I want to give a little something too: it’s Freebie Friday! I wanted to make something that I could use in doing devotions without the aid of a devotional book for a guide. Though I sometimes journal as I do my Bible reading, I usually get distracted and then walk away forgetting the important lessons or insight I gained. This guide provides a prompt and a space to summarize one thought to meditate on the rest of the day, whether that be a verse, a promise, or a command.

(Here you can download and size it how you want)

FREE Devotional Journal Guide | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Or you can download the Word doc which includes 4 cut-out cards per page:

FREE Devotional Guide for Bible Journaling |newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

I use this size because I write super small and the cards more conveniently can be kept in my Bible. Once I get a good stack going, I can punch-hole the top corners and ribbon through to make a little journal book. I’ve found I always am encouraged to go back and read through what God has revealed to me through my quiet times with Him!

Have you had days that completely turned around after time spent in the Scriptures with the Savior? How do you get the most out of your devotional time? I would love to hear about it in the comments?

Apartment Life : Home Tour

I have come to love our little apartment life.

It is so rewarding to see all of my thrift store finds, garage sale items, and carefully sought after goods blending in the home with my husbands things- not only is it a good reminder that we which were two have now become one, but also it just makes me happy to be surrounded by memories and pretty things. I remember packing everything up earlier this year and disbelieving that we would make all our belongings fit in one little apartment. But the apartment has acted like the inside of Mary Poppins’ bag, and we actually have room to spare!

As we are taking a more serious look at houses, researching how to become smart home buyers, and even writing an offer on a gorgeous house (!!!!!), I have been almost melancholy this week about the thought of moving! We have made so many memories in such a short period of time in this little nest of ours that now means comfort and home to me. It almost seems traitorous to imagine packing everything up and moving! Silly, I know. But those thoughts (along with reading various blogger’s posts of”home tours” with pictures to the behind the scenes of their lives) inspired me to take some pictures and capture the essence of our little apartment life. Let’s start with the bedroom, since it best shows the blending of masculine and feminine of our things:

Our Simple shabby-chic mismatched bedroom|Apartment Life: Home Tour |newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com
Antique bed, soft white linens, very defined “his” and “hers” sides of the bed by styles, and the “Mr & Mrs” banner that draped our sweetheart table at the reception makes this place a little shabby-chic!
I mixed wedding bouquets, antique finds, my thrift store desk, and my hand-me down chair for my design space | Apartment Life: Home Tour |newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com
I had this awesome desk all through college, “borrowed” the chair from home (thanks mom!), and topped it with some of my favorite colors, pictures, and notes. The colorful bouquets are from the wedding, which makes me smile to see.

And yes, that is a working typewriter!

Hipster Desk with Typewritter | Apartment Life: Home Tour | newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

Heading to the kitchen… where literally everything you see was a wedding gift (thanks family and friends!)

Oven Pretties and Organization | Apartment Life: Home Tour| newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com
(sorry for the blurriness!)

Also, in every room of the house I have at least two owls. Somehow I grew a gigantic collection of them- I think the kitchen has six?

Apartment Life: Home Tour | newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

Kitchen Owls Everywhere | Apartment Life: Home Tour | newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.comI didn’t include pictures from the living room or my yellow/white/grey bathroom that’s filled with pretties from Target (maybe another post in the future?), but I hope you enjoyed a little sneak peak into our apartment life and into my bit-of-everything style!

So many things are happening this week, including putting in an offer on our dream house and serving a crazy ton of energetic 3-10 year olds in Kid’s Summer Outreach a few hours every night- which leads me to the question of how can children run non-stop for forty minutes and still be bouncing off the walls??? I am loving this experience of serving alongside my husband and seeing him interact with the little kids (they all think he is the coolest and he can’t get over how cute the little ones are- it’s adorable to watch : ), even if the little kids and their energy levels are making me feel way too old and out of shape. If we survive the cuteness and chaos of the next few days, I am hoping to come back Friday and give away a FREE gift- and hopefully good news about our offer!

How do you like apartment living? Do you have a definitive style around your living space (or an odd collection like my owls)? I would love to hear about it in the comments or read about it in your links!