Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Peace and Patience in the Waiting (CC Day Three)

I am in a waiting season.

Waiting seasons are full of many conflicting emotions including uncertainly, cynicism, doubt, elation, disappointment, excitement, frustration, and more. In general, it is such a confusing season that it's amazing when you manage to keep your head on straight, as your world is pulling you in a hundred different directions.

What's interesting is that I'm finding though conversations with my friends that these feelings are so common to almost every person at a point in their twenties, which can be a much more confusing time than high school! No one prepares us for our twenties. I hope I can change that for future generations, so they aren't as frustrated and scared about their future as I am sometimes!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Surviving Holiday Traveling (CC Day Two)

(we're just going to forget that I've not kept up my bargain of posting twice yesterday, and the fact that I'm posting this four minutes before day "three" is over!  sometimes I have these ideas like taking on a daily blog challenge during the busiest time of the year. eh-there's been worse decisions.)

I’m kicking off part two of this blog series with a post about holiday traveling, which as anyone knows, can be a humungous pain.

I fly to Chicago from Lawrence every year to meet my parents for Christmas, and then the three of us will drive to and from to St. Louis to visit my extended family (phew!), so I like to think I have a semi- diverse experience in holiday travel. I broke these tips up into General Comments, Flying Tips and Driving Tips. Enjoy!

General comments and tips:
1. Wear your heaviest and thickest clothes and shoes
If you have chunky knits like me, you could fit a minimum of 4 shirts in place of that cute sweater! Boots take up more space than slip on shoes, coats take up more room than jackets…you get it. The heavier and thicker clothes you choose to wear on your body, the more you’re able to pack in your luggage.
2. ROLL your clothes
I found this tip on Pinterest and love it for so many reasons-rolling takes half the time as folding, it creates more space in your luggage, it reduces chances of your clothes wrinkling…convert to the roll.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Rehab (CC Day One)

Ack! I missed day one of MY OWN blog challenge!! Whoops. In my defense, yesterday was full of traveling and spending the last day of 2014 I'd get with Justin (now THAT is weird!). I'll make it up with two blog posts today.

I've always seen Christmas Break as a time to escape, relax, spend time with the ones I love. Thinking about this yesterday, I realized this sounds exactly like rehab. You go away for two weeks and come back rejuvenated. I'm TOTALLY down for that!

I know that the Holidays come and everyone is stressed from the new year, from work and school, from family, from friends...you name it, someone's feeling it. So I'm challenging you to retreat from your stress this Christmas Break, whether you have one day or one month free from obligations, and really de-stress. Here are some of my tips:

1. Avoid technology like the plague
I almost left my laptop in Lawrence before remembering that I'm doing the blog challenge! I am, however, traveling with as little technology as I could muster-my laptop and my phone-and I'm intentionally leaving them in my room, out of site, so I'm not constantly checking facebook/instagram/Frozen Freefall.

2. DON'T avoid your family like the plague
These people love you unconditionally, and that is rare to come by. And just a reminder that family comes in many different forms! Don't limit it to your mom and dad.

3. Pick up a calming hobby
Mine is knitting-the ultimate grandma hobby. Movies are kind of a big deal with my family, and especially Christmas movies, so when we are watching in the evenings I'll grab my knitting while we are watching.

I JUST got the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings delivered on Friday and I couldn't be more stoked about it!! Nothing is a better escape than actually diving into another world for a few hours.

5. Meditate and Pray
I try to spend every morning reading and writing in my prayer journal. It seems that when I am focusing on something meaningful in the morning the thoughts I generate are carried with me the entire day. Nothing makes my day better than Jesus on my mind!

6. Treat yourself
I LOVE taking care of my body with beauty treatments and routines. At mom and dad's I keep this wonderful stress-free body scrub that I not only use to exfoliate but will often just open and set out in the shower and let the wonderful scent be drawn out by my shower steam. It feels like a spa day!

Since you're on a break you have a little extra time, seriously take advantage of it to love on yourself. I can't emphasize enough that we MUST make time for ourselves to center our mind with our body again, to love ourselves, and to simply be aware of the presence of God around us. Jesus was a perfect example of this-he would consistently retreat into the mountains, to his friend's houses, and generally out of site after having been swarmed by thousands of people seeking his presence. Even the Son of God needed some rehab!

I hope you find rest this break. Please share with me in the comments below how you like to find rest and solitude in your stressful seasons-I'd love to learn from you!

Love and Hugs,

P.S. Be on the watch for the Christmas Challenge-Part Two post this evening!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Girl Who Cried 'I'm Back'

Hey y'all, I'm back!
I'm claiming this every few months, and I'm so sorry about that. Forgive me, please?

School, as always, kicked my butt this semester. Can I get an "amen" from all the ladies who are ready to be working women?!

Here's some updates on the past few months:
- Justin and I celebrated one year of dating! (this happened October 8th so I'm a bit behind, as I'm constantly writing on this poor blog.)

- After seven months of hunting, I finally scored a DREAM part-time job at DriverDo in Lawrence! I can't brag on this little business enough. Awesome owner, awesome co-workers, awesome schedule, awesome work tasks....it's just plain awesome. God blessed me in so many ways with this job.

Sadly, I'm finding myself stuck right here. I PROMISE I've done more than just this the past four months!! But alas, maybe on paper our lives are more boring than they are in reality :)

Changing tunes quickly-I'm embarking on a two week Christmas Blog Challenge!
This is a personal challenge, but I hope that if you blog you will join me. Any takers? :)

Here's the deal:
From December 20th-January 3rd (the dates I'm "officially" on Christmas Vacation) I challenge myself to blog every. single. day.
For a girl who posts regularly every two months, this is a BIG deal. But it's high time to give this blog some love!

Some topics I'll be covering:
- Traveling (and surviving) over the holidays
- My accutane update (remember that?)
- My respect for small business
- Attempting the great work-life balance
- Peace and Patience in the Waiting
- Why I love Self-Help Books

...and so much more! Because I still have to double this list...yikes!
I can do this.
I can do this.

Anyway, I'm SO excited to begin this journey! Grab your laptop, your beloved journal and favorite warm drink and hop on this joyful blog-train.

Good luck on your finals, dear student friends!
And to everyone else not in school, good luck on your end-of-year tasks!
I hope 2014 has been memorable and blessed, and will be cherished by you as a year of growth, change, and beauty.
But hey, I'm getting ahead of myself! We still have two weeks of coming together to celebrate the birth of Christ, and our blogs! Who ever thought those two things could mesh so well?

Hugs and Love,

P.S. I am SO sorry about the quality of some images on my blog! I get really lazy about capturing life through photos, and when I do it's typically with my phone or Instagram. Whoops. I think I'll get better at this..? :)
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