Memorial Day Adventure

Work, work, work, work, work; all we planned for our three day weekend was work projects both inside and outside our new home. And sleeping in, but that is a given for us when we stay home for the weekend. We had floors to finish, plumbing to tackle, new locks to install, trees to trim, a yard to be mowed, and a master bath to finish.

(Don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten the fact that I haven’t shared any pictures of our new house on the blog yet. In the weeks to come, you’ll get a room by room before and after tour- but we have to actually finish a few rooms first!)

We decided to take it easy this past weekend, taking breaks in between work to watch a few episodes of “Alone” on the History app (my hubby’s new favorite show), take a drive to catch the sunset, and go walk around the mall and a few thrift stores while we got his oil changed on Sunday. Though I had it in my heart to go to IKEA this weekend and buy a new couch and loveseat for our empty living room, I was settled on the notion to go next weekend instead. Monday morning came and we talked about what projects we would do first, chatted with each of our mothers, and ate brunch.

Before we started on any work, I recalled that this time last year, we were just coming back from our adventure-of-a-lifetime honeymoon! We took a few minutes to look through all 700-some pictures from our trip.

NewlyWeds at the Grand Canyon | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Honeymoon in the Grand Canyon |Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Not only did we see the Grand Canyon and stay in Sedona, Arizona for two nights, but we also saw the Hoover Dam (the engineer in my husband HAD to go see it), spent one night in Las Vegas walking the strip and deciding that we never wanted to go there again, AND we spent a night in Los Angeles hanging out at Santa Monica Pier.

Engineer in his happy place - Hoover Dam | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.comNewlyweds in Vegas | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com New York in Las Vegas | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com

"Fabulous" Las Vegas Sign | Memorial Day Adventure | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

When my husband and I do something, it usually ends up being “go big or go home”. Our honeymoon was a crazy busy week of new sights and miles of travel, but we made some amazing memories and can be satisfied that we made it out west at least once in our life.

Santa Monica Beach | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Santa Monica Route 66 Sign | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com Windy Newlywed Love | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com

All those memories of adventure and spontaneity sparked something in my love. When we finished reminiscing through all the pictures, he proposed that we skip out on house work and go to Chicago. Since about our second date, he has wanted to take me downtown to see the sights, walk the Navy Pier, and experience the city for the first time. Since the weather was perfect, the day was free, and adventure was on our minds, we headed off to Chi-town midday.

Downtown Chicago | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com

It had been a while since we had gone on a spur-of-the-moment trip, and as I said in this post, we needed some time away from work to reconnect. We were both super excited about what the day would bring- and to be getting a break from work. I was also excited about our third ever trip to IKEA, though I doubt my hubby was, since I had big spending plans :O.

Chicago Cityscape | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com Lovebirds in Chicago | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com My Adventuerer Love at Navy Pier | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

We walked for quite a while, enjoyed the weather, took in the sights, and appreciated our time together. It felt soooo good to be out having fun after the past few weeks (and months!) of crazy busyness and time apart. My love got to show me some of his favorite buildings and give me a tour of the city, and I was able to see Chicago up close and personal after our dozens of times of driving around the perimeter to get back home.

After our fun downtown, my superhero hubby braved a trip to IKEA with his very excited wife-turned-home-designer. Any trip to IKEA is a little intimidating, since it takes forever and three floors to see everything (and goodness is it easy to get lost or forget where you saw something you liked!), but I can imagine it is even moreso when your wife wants to fill up the house haha. Just look at his face! “What did I get myself into…”

IKEA Haul | Memorial Day Adventure | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

I am proud to say that I did come under budget of what we were expecting, even with picking out a last minute rug and duvet cover! The total contents of my haul- along with some house pictures!- will be coming to the blog soon.

Overall, this weekend showed me that
1) We can get work done and have fun at the same time- it’s all in the attitude.
2) Taking time to look back on our memories together is important- not only do we see how far God has brought us in our marriage and our life adventure, but it also draws us closer together as well.
3) Spontaneity and willingness to go outside of what is planned can lead to great things.

Instagram Chicago Loves | Memorial Day Adventure | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com
My Instagram post to commemorate our day. You can find me there @ newlyweddedwurl . I’ve posted quite a bit of our house renovations there, if you want a sneak peak!

Memorial Day was a wonderful adventure. I can’t wait to see what adventures we have and memories we make throughout this summer!

I would love to hear from you! What did your Memorial Day look like? How do you respond to spontaneity? And if you have gone to IKEA, what are some of your favorite things to look at? Thank you for reading!

 

Back to Blogging and Routine

Life has different seasons.

Blogging Again

These past four months have been the busiest most uncertain season of my life. From my last post, you might recall that we were changing cities after only living in our house for about four months. I then proceeded to not blog for the following four months.

I am sad that I didn’t do a better job of recording things! However, life has been so hectic that I decided to wait until after storm to blog again. Here are a few updates that will be expanded on in the next few weeks:

  • We sold our house after six days on the market, four viewings, and amazingly, four offers.
  • We placed an offer on a new house in our new city a week after we sold our home.
Goodbye and Hello
Saying goodbye to our first home and welcoming the new house with open arms!
  • We moved out of our first home and into our second (much larger!) home the first week of April.
  • We have been working endlessly on renovations throughout the house.
New Floor and Counter
New kitchen counters, new floors throughout, completely renovated Master bath, and several coats of paint everywhere; these are a few of our renovations thus far.
  • I celebrated my 23rd birthday last week (I feel like I’ve aged a decade this last year though!)
  • My love and I celebrated 1 year of marriage on May 23rd!

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We took a few pictures in special places (here where he proposed 1.5 years ago, and above is in the town where we got married) to celebrate our first year of marriage.

 

Though we are still in the midst of home renovations, adjusting to our new environment, and learning to deal with more business trips that keep us apart, we have really grown through these experiences- especially me! Nothing causes you to turn more to God than having EVERYTHING in life pretty much change over two months (though I may have struggled quite a bit on my own first, because #humannature).

The one thing that has really thrown me for a loop has been losing my routine. I’m a very  type-A personality and usually thrive on structure and routine. HA. those two words could not be more polar opposite of what the past months have been. HOWEVER, I am determined to create a new routine for myself starting this week. Birthdays have a way of making you re-evaluate where you are at in life. I realized that with the goals I have set for myself this year, I need to kick my butt in gear and discipline myself into some structure. Daily devotions in Scripture, regular journaling, and creating a blogging schedule are all a part of this new routine. One of my future blog-posts planned is “How to Re-center Yourself”, so I won’t go into more specifics about this new resolve for my 23rd year now.

Beginning to Blog - Family room

But I will say that I am back to blogging. I am getting back into a routine. I am seeing progress made on our house and am encouraged that this is just a season in our life. I don’t know what our new normal will look like, but I do know that God is working all things in our life for a reason and that I can completely trust His plan for me. And I am so thankful that at least our family room is finished so I can sit in here and blog and momentarily ignore the fact that everywhere else in my house is in disarray. For a season.

 

I would love to hear from you! What season of life are you going through right now? What is your best advice for getting through the tough seasons? Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog today!

 

 

 

Moving Through Change

Yes, this post is about how to manage and survive change- but it also implies that…..

WE ARE MOVING AGAIN!!

Our First Home - For Sale

But, let me start from the beginning. I had decided over Christmas break that I was going to take off the month of January from blogging. I wanted to take a step back from my usual routine, spend more time reading through the heap of books in my “yet-to-read” pile, take more time to connect with family and friends, and take a month off to relax and relieve stress. During this break period, my husband got several calls from different recruiting companies and responded to one. This lead to several interviews, visits to this new city (two hours away from our current house and two hours closer to our families), and the realization that packing up our belongings once more to move was a likely reality.  So much for reducing stress, right?

Within the course of a few days last week, Anthony accepted a new job offer, we started saying our goodbyes to our amazing church family, we listed our house on the market, met with a Realtor in the new city we will be living in and looked at 14 houses in one day (too many to keep them all straight!), and my love started his new job this week. I’m spending the week with him hanging out in our fancy hotel, trying to enjoy the last few days of the calm before the bigger storm of going back to pack up all our belongings in the house and move them to our temporary apartment in the next week.

Our First Home- Moving Through Change

Normally, I would be completely freaking out and stressed to tears. However, God has so clearly shown his hand in our situation, from bringing the opportunity to my husband when he wasn’t even looking for something new, to guiding us through the process with no hiccups, to paving the way for our move, to already providing people who are interested in our home, to showing us a few potential houses we could live in, and giving us a Realtor who is a leader in one of the churches on our “churches to visit” list.

So, with much prayer, debate, discussion, prayer, mulling over, stressing out, prayer, and anticipation, I can confidently announce that we are moving again. It is crazy that just four months ago we became homeowners!

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I have loved making this house our home. We renovated both the bathrooms, did much needed yard work, installed new fixtures and appliances in the house, and very much enjoyed having a place to call our own.

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Living Room- Moving Through Change

Home View- Moving Through Change

Kitchen | Moving Through Change | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

Kitchen | Moving Through Change | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

If God hadn’t so clearly shown us that this is the correct next step for our family, I would be incredibly sad to be moving out of our first house. Even now, I am still saddened at the thought of moving from here, let alone leaving our church family and friends. But I am so excited to see my husband grow in his career, to begin another new adventure, and to have all the shopping and grocery stores I want (jazz hands for having a Meijer twenty minutes away!!) within a short drive instead of a two hour round trip. Oh, and being closer to family is not too shabby either (I’m actually ecstatic!).

 

Guest Room | Moving Through Change | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com

Guest Room | Moving Through Change | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Master Bedroom |Moving Through Change| Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

Office | Moving Through Change | Newlyweddedwurl.wordpress.com

I didn’t include pictures of how we have changed the basement or the renovation of our bathrooms (that will be a future post), but as you can see, there was no lack of space in our home. I just hope whoever lives here next will love it and dream in it as much as my love and I have. It has been such a fun few months making this place our home, continuing to have lunch with my husband everyday since we were so close to his work, and growing relationships in our church.

Valentine's Day Love | Moving Through Change | NewlyWeddedWurl.wordpress.com
Valentine’s Day was spent relaxing one last day in our home before heading out for his first week on the job!

Obviously, many things are changing again in our life. From changing churches, to changes houses, to changing jobs, and changing cities. Nine months ago I was worried about leaving home for the first time to move out to a new state with my new husband to start our new life. In the past nine months I will have packed and moved all my belongings three times, lived at four different addresses, and gone through numerous changes to what had been my “ideal” plan. But through every change, I have been able to look back and see God’s careful handiwork. Every step of the way He has led me and my husband. Every change that seemed too much for me, He has carried me through. With every change that I have analyzed and thought about and will be making soon, I am realizing that God’s got this, even when I know I do not. His way is perfect, far above my own, and is the best case scenario for me and my purpose in Him.

So how does one move through change?

  • Pray. Pray before, pray during, pray after. God knows every aspect of your life, past present and future. Turn to Him when change seems overwhelming. Trust Him before change reaches that point.
  • Discuss. Before my husband even got serious about this new opportunity, we talked about it. We made a pro and con list. We thought through many scenarios, we talked about why staying would be best/worst, why moving would be best/worst. We thought about a year down the road. Five years down the road. Ten years. What was going to be best for us and our family?
  • Debate. We questioned why this opportunity came up. Was this a test? A temptation? Was this phone call supposed to show us how good we have it now? Were we being called to move to a new city or called to stay here? We prayed that God would bring any little thing to our attention if this was the wrong move for us. We debated with each other; one spoke for all the reasons to leave, one for all the reasons to stay. We wanted to think through every aspect of this life change.
  • Involve. We understand that we do not live on an exclusive island. The choices we make affect other people; our family, our church leaders, our co-workers, our companies, our community. So before we made a final decision (but after completing the steps above to see if it was still worth considering) we got others involved. We talked to our parents at length, on multiple occasions. We talked to our pastors to get their wisdom and prayers. My husband talked to his boss and a few of his close peers at work, so that they would not be blindsided if he moved on. Don’t just make a decision based on how you feel; you are not a solidarity creature.
  • Pray. It’s important to keep praying for wisdom, direction, and guidance. Pray for peace about the decision. Pray for unity for you and the others involved in your decision. Pray for God to clear the way and light your path.
  • Breathe. I need reminded of that often. Even good changes can be scary and intimidating. Take a deep breath. If this is what you are supposed to do, you will be able to do it.
  • Prepare. Make a game plan for accomplishing that change. For me and my love, we discussed the steps we would take if he accepted the job- and I actually started staging the house and packing non-necessities before he even gave his final answer. We knew who we wanted to sell our house (and at what price we wanted to list it) and contacted them the week before. We talked about what order we were going to tell people at church and when. We had been looking at houses in the new city and knew what we wanted to look at and what we could afford. We did all we could to make the likely change go smoothly. I am a Type-A and wanted everything in order, so this step totally helped reduce my stress.
  • Take Action. Once you feel more peace than fear, you’ve bathed the issue in prayer, you’ve looked at the change through many lenses, you have talked to others involved, and you have remembered to breathe (and maybe cried to release stress, that’s okay sometimes!), take action! Make that change happen. You’ve got this!

That is how I am moving through this change (and moving out of our house!). Hopefully I will be able to do an update and follow up post soon!

The Dangers of Defensiveness… and how it can harm your marriage!

 

(Because of the busyness of today and of last minute Christmas bustle, I’m re-publishing a post from July 20th- but many of my new readers didn’t come along until after that point, so the post will be “new” :). This week has been a little rough for me and I needed this reminder; so here is a little marriage advice from a struggling newlywed.)

The Dangers of Defensiveness

It had been a roller coaster of a day.

I am sure you’ve had them; those days where you get the opportunity to taste every flavor of emotion wheel within a few hours’ time. I was excited and felt accomplished for solving a problem on my self-hosted blog, then felt disappointed that I wasn’t further ahead compared to many others I had seen. I was missing my family a lot but didn’t get to talk to them much because of schedules that day. I was elated with what’s been happening on this blog (!) then had a wave of negativity hit me hard because of a conversation… you get the idea.

I was still riding this roller coaster when my love took me to our nearest Walmart and Aldi for our weekly shopping trip (LOVE Aldi, by the way, so many inexpensive gluten free options!). Though my meal plan for the week was made and missing ingredients added to my list (which was organized according to store and then section; dairy, produce, canned, etc.), I had failed to plan for dinner that night.

Not the end of the world- we could scour up something at home, right? Or buy something while we were at the store. Well, my brain translated this information as I am a failure as a wife- inadequately able to plan and prepare meals for my husband. This is an awful crisis- why didn’t I think about dinner for tonight? How dumb was that? Even though that was a highly dramatic response reflecting a heart set on self and not on Christ, that wasn’t the worst part. My love smiled and lovingly offered to make dinner for me with some of the things we have at home (sweet of him, right?). For some reason his offer to make dinner cut through me. How dare he insinuate that I can’t make dinner. He thinks I’m so disorganized. He saw how frazzled I just became and must not think that planning and making dinner is a big deal- well, that is a big part of my role as a wife, so he must not think my role is very significant…. and so went my thoughts. As my inner tirade of self-pity and self-loath (but somehow with a haughty view of self) continued, I clammed up. My poor love. He didn’t know why I was brooding, moody, pouting, and pulling away. I raised my defenses, closed up, and closed him out. And I hurt my best friend in the process- who was only being sweet!

Truth be told, I was harboring a heart environment that was desirable for defensive thinking and attitudes to foster and grow. My defensive attitude was completely focused on self with no regard for others. And that is was makes defensiveness dangerous to any relationship: focus on self. Defensiveness protects self at any cost. I skewed my love’s kind offer to make dinner when he saw I was flustered as an offense to me and my role- when it was honestly a sweet offer to show me love. I didn’t tell him what I was thinking or feeling because I chose to foster my negative feelings and pity party. I did not take every thought captive to Christ, leading me to deceive myself about my lack of importance in our marriage, my failure to fill my role (which has a LOT more to do than just make meals!), and my wrong perception of my love’s thoughts. Instead of asking him what he was thinking, I assumed. And even though I didn’t really believe that he was making a point about my lack of planning (he is far too sweet and caring for that), thinking that way fueled my self-pity, so I chose to indulge.

Instead of striving to grow unity and oneness in our marriage, my defensiveness drove us apart, damaging the relationship.

Eventually I broke down. My love held me patiently and let me cry. He listened to my thoughts and took actions to rebuild our closeness and oneness. He knows I don’t do a good job of openly sharing my feelings, and he worked to draw me out. Though looking back on my actions is a humbling experience, I can see how God used it to teach remind me of an important lesson.

Defensiveness is Dangerous to a Marriage.

May I guard my heart, my mind, my thoughts; may I seek Christ so diligently that my heart environment makes it hard for bitterness and defensiveness to grow or foster. And may I remember that when my husband offers to make dinner, it’s out of the sweetness of his heart! {Love you babe!}

Do you have a story of when defensiveness was a danger to your relationship? What about tips to keep defensive thinking at bay? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Thrifty Thursday

Hey everyone! We are one day away from the weekend! I, for one, cannot wait as every day this week has been pretty busy with our bathroom remodel! I’ll give more details on our DIY and mini-demolition adventure in another post, because today I want to share with you some of the amazing finds I snagged (and many other things I wanted to snag) this past weekend in our trip to the big city. Saturday we headed out in search of all three Saint Vincent De Paul stores in our capital city- plus a few other fun stops. I found so many furniture pieces I wanted to buy, but alas, I only took home one :).

Housewares $.35 a Pound! | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Vintage Chair Love | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com*insert gushing over all these chairs…. I may have a vintage chair obsession*

Perfect Golden Seat | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Green Wing Back Chair | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com This Gigantic Vanity/Dresser is Amaze | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Vintage Furni Love | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Dresser Needing a Little TLC | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

All of the above items I wanted to buy so badly! The prices were all amazing, but I knew I didn’t have a place or use for all these things…. yet, anyway. We did buy this amazing rocking chair for around $8;

Rocking Chair We Scored | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

as well as a few sweaters, a few books (my love got a huge home improvement book for super cheap!), and some other fun things;

Four Frames for Four Dollars | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com
These four matching frames were only $.99 each!

Sweaters and Crazy Love I Found | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com .50 Kitschy Christmas Grab Bag Goodies | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com $3 Complete Nativity Set | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

I got the grab bag of kitschy Christmas ornaments for $.50 and this complete Nativity set for $3! I may end up painting the set white, but for now it works! Yesterday I went to the thrift stores in town and found a super long Christmas garland for $.95 to go around my kitchen cabinets. I simply added an extra string of lights and adorned it with my thrifted angel band and ta-da! More Christmas Cheer in the kitchen!
$.95 Garland with Thrifted Angel Band | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com
And while these weren’t thrifted, my love did buy me some early presents from Gordman’s this weekend… and they have already found their new home in the kitchen! I love the utensil jar (so much better than the cheap clear plastic one I had) and the Christmas sign and mug go perfectly in my current hot cocoa corner (which is still a work in progress).

Non-Thrifted Gordman's Treasures | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com New Gordman's Utensil Jar | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Current Hot Cocoa Bar | Thrifty Thursday | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Overall, we had quite an adventure going to new thrift stores and taking away a nice haul this weekend. Hopefully I can score even bigger once those after-Christmas donations come in ;).

Your turn! What are some fun finds you have made recently? Thrifted or New? I would love to hear about your adventures and any tips you have for thrifting!

Thinking of Thankfulness

Hustle and bustle, rushing here and there, schedules and trips, projects and problems, to-do lists and “don’t forget” moments; after the craziness of the last two weeks-or months rather-and after finally having the results of all the gigantic changes that occurred this year in my life sink in, I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. Call it winter blues, call it reality sinking in, call it overwhelmed exhaustion of my mind trying to keep up with it all; but I have had a very rough past few days.

The kind where I’m sitting on the couch crying my eyes out for five minutes before I run errands.

When I’m in such a sad mood that nothing my love says or does can cheer me up and out of it.

When I start believing that never leaving the warmth of my bed is the best solution because then I don’t have to think about anything, deal with anything, or feel anything. 

Obviously, these are not good signs. Though I know that stress has a part to play (as do migraines), ultimately I think this rough patch I’m experiencing is a heart issue. In the past few weeks I have neglected my time with my Savior, I’ve failed to rely on Him (and trying to control my own life is exhausting and futile), and I feel so alone- lacking His presence in my life. Thankfully, I know the remedy to these problems. I need to delve into the gospel and remind myself of this Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

One way I’m going to do that this week is to begin my study in Elyse Fitzpatrick’s Because He Loves Me. 

  

After reading the introduction, I was convicted so deeply of the lack of the gospel intersecting my day to day life. I’m only through the first two chapters and I have pages of notes, encouragement in how much richer my life can be, and excitement to finish reading this book. (Post to come!)

But as my sweet momma reminded me today, another way to help climb out of this funk is to look at the positive; to list that which I’m thankful for. 

So, albeit a little late for an actual Thanksgiving Day post, here is a quick list of what I’m thankful for. 

1. My precious Jesus and the personal relationship I have with Him. Because without Him, my life means nothing. He gives me purpose, even when I neglect His life-giving love. 

2. The amazing man I get to share my life with. Seriously, God blessed me far beyond what I deserved when He brought my love into my life. My best friend, my provider, my protector, my love, my husband.   

3. My family. Words can’t express how much these people mean to me. 

 
4. Changes. Yes, change can be scary, however, all the changes in my life this year have been exciting and have brought me to this thing called being a newlywed, living out on my own (with my hubby!), being a homeowner, driving an SUV, being a part of an amazing new church, having a sweet break of not having to work or attend classes, and so forth. This year I have learned that not all change is bad, nor should it be met with apprehension! 

5. Speaking of being a homeowner, I’m thankful that God brought the perfect house to us at the perfect time, at the perfect price. We already worked on several projects around the house and have many, many more planned out. I never gave much thought to being a homeowner, but I’m so thankful to have a place of our own to do what we want!  

  
6. I’m thankful for holidays. From forth of July, to fall festivals, to Thanksgiving, and soon Christmas, the holidays are not only worth celebrating for traditional reasons, but they also mean a trip back to see family, of which seem too few and far between sometimes. I’m thankful for a loving husband who drives the long distance, for family willing to house us for the weekend, for chances to catch up and make new memories with those I love. 

  
7. Friends. I’m thankful for the new friends I’ve made in our new town, for old friends who still care enough to send a “miss you, what’s new?” text, and for life-long friends with whom the time passing between our conversations doesn’t matter. I’m particularly thankful for my bestie, Sally, and our last get-together that included a plan of action to keep in touch and keep each other accountable for our creative projects! 

8. Safety. In the midst of all our extensive traveling and logged road miles this year, God has kept us safe, even when things seemed a little scary. Too often I take arriving at our destination for granted, but I’m so thankful that God has had His hand on us wherever we go.   

8. Sunsets. To go along with all the traveling we have done, it bears mentioning that we have seen some amazing sunsets together this year. It always makes me pause and wonder at the creativity and detail-orientedness of my Creator. If He so masterfully paints the sky every night, I’m encouraged that He cares as much about the details in my own life.    

 
9. Technology. It’s the only reason I wasn’t too scared of moving so far away from home. Having my mom and sister a text, snapchat, or phone call away has given me comfort and kept me in touch with those I love. When I’m feeling down or lonely and my love is busy at work, I know I can shoot a text to these important women and feel like they aren’t so far away. (And my sister always knows how to make me laugh. Your videos make me smile, sis!)

10. This blog. When I started this blog, I had the goal of capturing our life as newlyweds, having a creative outlet, and eventually building this into something bigger. But the community I’ve found and the friendships I’ve started with other young women seeking to live for Jesus, with newlywed wives trying to figure out this new way of life, and connecting with inspirational women has been such an encouragement in my daily life! I look forward to reading your posts, gleaning some token of knowledge or encouragement, and feeling like I’m a part of another person’s journey. I am thankful for the surprise of connecting with other bloggers and look forward to growing in this blogging journey and watching you do the same!   

That’s just a short list of what I have to be thankful for. And you know what? Making this list has helped lift my spirits, even in the midst of this dark, snowy day. Today I’m committing to praising Jesus for His faithfulness to the unfaithful, His blessings to the undeserving, and His presence in my life. 

Do you ever have those down and out days? What’s your remedy? What are some things on your thankful list? I’d love to hear about it! 

“These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…”

Happy late Thanksgiving and merry early Christmas! It has been a hectic two weeks at our newly wedded household, in part because we actually weren’t at our house for most of it! But before I get to all of that, here are some pictures with holiday cheer:

Glorious Gold Christmas Tree at Mom's | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com My Family | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Sentimental Christmas Tree at Mom's | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Thanksgiving Cheese Platter | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Thankful for my loving husband! | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.comFestive Fudge | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Christmas Candied Almonds | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Baking success! Christmas Candied Almonds | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Christmas Mid-week Treats | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

I spent the week before last back home, as my love had to go on another business trip. It was so great to have a week to catch up with my mom and sister, help my mom decorate the house for Christmas, and to do some extra Christmas shopping! My mom has two big trees; the first one is a gold themed tree that is filled with pretty ornaments, picks, and ribbon; the second tree has all the sentimental ornaments, the ugly crafted things that my sister and I made to go on the tree over the years, the special trinkets to commemorate trips and events, and basically everything else that doesn’t go with the gold theme tree. They both turned out gorgeous this year! Once my love came back from his trip, we spent two days back at our house where I prepped the food I was bringing to Thanksgiving at both our families’ get-togethers. I ended up making these candied almonds, two versions of this peanut butter chocolate fudge, and a few cheese and cracker trays. It was all so yummy! Once back in Indiana, we enjoyed relaxing with both families and eating far too much food. We even squeezed in some family pictures before my sister had to work two horrendous Thanksgiving and Black Friday shifts (I, on the other hand, enjoyed NOT having to work retail those days for the first time in five years!). 

Treasures Taken from my Week Back Home | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Thrifted Finds from Week back home | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com Christmas Thrifted Finds | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com  Christmas Colors | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.comGuest Room Work | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com
Once we were back home again, I unloaded all the treasures I had thrifted and found. The striped rug and gold pillows are from Ikea, the plaid sheets from Target, and the rest my mom and I hunted down in the surrounding thrift stores and flea markets (the guest room pictured above is still a work in progress, but I love these new sheets!)

Last night my love and I began setting up the outside of our house with our Christmas lights- I cannot wait until it is all finished! We are going to have the most festive house on the block :). Here is a picture I snapped last night before we realized our need to buy more extension cords to connect all of our plugs:
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com
I also have begun one of my favorite things… wrapping presents! You know the old adage “it is better to give than to receive”? Well I love gifting presents more than I do getting them, and making them extra pretty makes me extra happy. My next post will showcase just how much wrapping I have completed already, as well as some tips, so check back later this week! (Update: Check this out for my Christmas wrapping pictures and some tips!)

The start of Christmas wrapping | "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things..." | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.com

Family, food, festive decorating, finding treasures, fixing up everything from the yard to presents in Christmas spirit; these are a few of my favorite things.

That concludes my quick catch-up and excuses for being absent from my blog lately. I am hoping that absence will change! I have so many exciting ideas and posts in store- now its just a matter of making time to share them all.

How was your Thanksgiving? What are some of your favorite things of the season? I would love to hear about them in the comments!