Some things we miss about Springfield

We are lovin’ life in KC. We’re both enjoying our new jobs, we like our apartment, we have a great church, and we love being near our families.

But any season of transition comes with some longing for the past. There are things about Springfield that I’ve found myself missing that I certainly didn’t expect.

I miss my Phelps Grove-Roundtree-MSU runs. Springfield was where I fell in love with running and that part of town was my favorite. I haven’t found a new favorite running spot here, which has left me feeling a little unmotivated. There are days when I get off work and wish Phelps Grove would just appear for me. I also really miss the MSU gym for those days when its too hot to run outside. It was the bomb. 24-Hour Fitness just doesn’t compare.

I miss my Price Cutter. I still haven’t settled on a grocery store here. I miss having a grocery store 5 minutes away and knowing exactly where everything is, what their normal prices are, and knowing all of the cashiers.

I miss the coffee shops. We had no idea how spoiled we were with so many great coffee shops at our disposal! It seems like most coffee shops close early around here and we don’t have very many close to where we live (or on the way to work).

I miss the thrift stores and flea markets. Second-hand shops are ubiquitous in Springfield, and you can find some really great deals. They are harder to come by here and people know what great stuff they have, so it’s not as cheap!

I miss Gailey’s, MSU campus, Canton Inn, Starbucks on Sunshine, the Palace, Silver Dollar City, living a mile from Hobby Lobby, Mister Lube Express, and Hurts Donuts.

I think when it comes down to it, I miss the familiarity of Springfield. We knew all of the local places, if I needed something I knew where to go, and we knew what places to avoid.

There have been moments lately that I have felt a little lost in my “hometown”, but when those feelings start to creep in I remind myself that it took us time to adjust to Springfield. We’ll find our niche in KC. And any suggestions or advice from you Kansas Citians are welcome! I’ve found that word-of-mouth is the best way to discover new things.

Springfield MO

Slowing Down

Confession: I hate when people talk about how busy they are. I hate even more that I’ve been doing it as of late.

But seriously, we’ve been really busy lately.

We’ve been busy with really great things! We are so excited about the opportunities that God has been providing for us! We feel so blessed everyday. But I’m also feeling a little bit worn out and there are some things I’m missing lately.

Brad starts his first semester of seminary classes tomorrow (yay!), we’re joining a small group at our church in a couple of weeks, and the holidays are looming in the near future.

I’ve been thinking about how full our schedules have been the last few weeks and I begin to feel quite weary when I think about all of the new things that are going to be added.

As I head into this full, joyful season, I’m praying that I will make time for rest when I’m tempted to overload myself, and I’m praying that I will have energy to serve others and God when I am tempted to become selfish with my time.

one little bird blog
 

DIY Pallet Coffee Cup Holder

I’m so excited to share one of my favorite projects to date!

DIY Pallet Coffee Cup HolderWe picked up a pallet off the side of the road when we were living in Springfield and I had been mulling over what to do with it for a while. I finally decided to use it to make a holder for all of our coffee cups! (Or at least some of them.)

This was actually a pretty easy project! We did it in two days, but we definitely could have done it in one.

Materials and Equipment:

  • Pallet
  • Hooks and screws
  • Paint, letter stencils, sponge brush (Optional)
  • Sandpaper
  • Right angle ruler
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Circular Saw
  • Cordless Drill
  • Screwdriver

First, a couple of notes: (1) You may want to power wash your pallet before you dive into this project since you’ll be hanging things that you drink out of on it! (2) I added the COFFEE detail on the top, but this is obviously optional! The top board was longer, so I decided to add some words instead of hooks.

Okay, let’s get started!

We used a fourth of the pallet, so first we decided which fourth looked the best and had the most stable and best-looking wood.

Pallet

We marked where we wanted to cut using a pencil and right angle ruler.

Pallet coffee cup holder

Next my dad cut where we had marked using a circular saw. ****Make sure to wear safety goggles****

Circular saw

Once you have your mini pallet, sand it down! How much you sand is up to you, but make sure it is smooth enough that you won’t get splinters when you hang up your coffee cups!

Sand it down

Next I painted COFFEE on the top. I used letter stencils and a sponge brush. I’m really happy with how it turned out! (Sorry I didn’t get a picture while I was doing it!)

Coffee cup pallet

Putting on the hooks was probably the most difficult part. Use a ruler (or tape measure) and pencil to mark exactly where you want the hooks to go, then drill them in. My hooks weren’t totally even, but once we hung the coffee cups you could hardly notice!

DIY Pallet Coffee Cup Holder

DIY Coffee Cup Holder

DIY Coffee Cup Holder

We bought these hooks at Lowes for $1.50 each, so we spent a little less than $20 on them. There were cheaper hooks, but I’m so glad we opted for these! I think they make it look really polished. Plus, this was the only material we had to buy for this project!

DIY Coffee Cup Holder

DIY Pallet Coffee Cup Holder

I love how well this project turned out! A big thanks to my dad for helping plan the project and for cutting the pallet, Brad’s dad Danny for advising us on how to hang it, and Brad for always being supportive of my projects and for drilling in the hooks!

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Two Years of Marriage

Brad and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary last week.

We went to Blue Grotto in Brookside for dinner, then to Starlight Theater to see The Sound of Music. It was a beautiful evening. Eighty degree weather- much different than two years ago. If you were at our wedding, you remember how hot it was.

Anniversary

During dinner, we read the blog post I wrote a year ago for our first anniversary. It was fun to read about all of the things we experienced that first year, and to reminisce about all that we encountered during our second year.

This year was a crazy one. The Lord was so good to us.

One year ago we were about to help plant a church in Springfield. We actually spent our anniversary weekend helping with the church’s vacation bible school! We spent 9 months there before we moved to Kansas City. We got to witness the Lord work in us, the church, and in the community in incredible ways during those months. We miss Freshwater and we pray for them continually. We knew from the beginning that we weren’t there for the long-term, so our motto was 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” Yes, we helped plant Freshwater Church. Others are watering now and others will in the future. But God is the one who has given the growth.

To find out more about Freshwater Church, go to the website, or read this blog post.

Freshwater

In November Brad ran his first half marathon! We (yep, I’m joining this time) are currently training to run another one this October! I never thought I would be a runner, but now it’s one of my favorite hobbies! I’m really thankful that it is something that Brad and I enjoy doing together.

half marathon!

My very favorite thing that happened to us this year happened in December. We got Libby. We were at Brad’s grandma’s house on Christmas Eve when we announced that she was looking for a new home for Libby. We called our landlord, got the okay, and took her back home with us to Springfield the day after Christmas. She has brought so much joy to our lives and I can’t image our lives without her.

Libby

February is when things really started to get crazy. The day after Brad’s 25th birthday, he got in a hit-and-run accident, totaling the car. We were pretty upset. We had the Blueberry for less than a year and we were not expecting to have to buy a new car any time soon. This added to what was already an unclear next few months of our lives. So we decided to wait. Sharing the Jeep was inconvenient, but we managed. Two months later we had the opportunity to buy Brad’s great-uncle’s Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight. Wanna guess how many miles it had on it when we got it? 6,000. Yep. God provided for us in a way that we never expected.

New car!

So in March, we knew that I would be graduating soon and that Brad was going to go to seminary. However, we had no idea where that would be. We’d been praying for months that the Lord would lead us where He willed, but we were still in the dark about what would happen in two months. So we kept praying and waiting. Our tentative plan was for me to start applying for jobs in March in both Louisville, KY, and Kansas City, because Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary were Brad’s top choices for school, respectively. I would work full-time while Brad went to school. We figured that I would support us while he was in school as he had done for me and our goal was to pay for school along the way so that we didn’t have to take out more loans. We were looking at three more long years of watching our pennies, but we were okay with that.

Then out of the blue Brad got a phone call advising him to apply for a job that had just opened up at Midwestern as an admissions counselor (what he was currently doing at SBU). So he applied, we went up to Kansas City for an interview, and he got the job! Whoa. Again, God provided for us a way that we never expected.

Brad started at Midwestern about two weeks later. I stayed in Springfield to finish school until May, then we permanently made the move to KC. (For more about my graduation, read this post) The next item on our agenda was for me to find a job. I assumed that I would be searching for a job for months, but instead the Lord blew away our expectations once again and provided for me a job just one week after my graduation.

Now we live in Kansas City north (by Worlds of Fun for those of you from KC) in an apartment that we love, I work at Viracor-IBT, and Brad is about to start seminary at Midwestern. God clearly brought us to Kansas City. He provided for us in ways that we didn’t even know to ask for.

Kansas CityThe last piece of the puzzle was to find a church. As He usually does, the Lord led us to a church that we did not expect. We’ve decided to join Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty. We are so excited to get involved and to see how God is going to use us and grow us during our time at PV!

A year ago I thought that year two was going to be hard to top, but I was very mistaken. I can’t even begin to image what Brad and I will encounter in year three.

Brad is the best, marriage is wonderful, and God is good.

love love

Lately 07.15.14

I think it’s safe to say we’ve settled into our new life here in KC because my planner is filling up! We’ve had a super busy last couple of weeks and this week is just as packed. There are dishes to be done and laundry to be started, but I’m going to enjoy this beautiful July weather we’re having today and blog on our deck while watching the sunset.

Brad and I went to our first Royals game a couple of weeks ago and we had a blast. It was buck night, perfect weather, and they won! Tbh, it’s been a while since I’ve been at a Royals game when they came away with a W.

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Our friend Colton came to town the weekend of Independence Day, so we did a little KC exploring and experienced Oddly Correct Coffee. Coffee in Erlenmeyer flasks. Needless to say, I loved it.

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My brother was the starting pitcher in the All Star Game for the league he is playing in, so Brad, my dad, and I road tripped to Junction City, KS, to watch him play! He did a great job and his team won with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 9th! It was an awesome game to see.

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I think I mentioned in a post a while back that I had won a bag from the blog A Beautiful Mess. I finally got it in the mail and I love it! I’m so excited to use it all the time. It’s definitely an upgrade from the backpack I’ve been toting around for the last five years.

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I love our deck, patio furniture, and new outdoor rug. Also I love coffee and cereal.

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Libby is still as cute as ever. Right now she is mad at me because I put her inside because she kept barking at the other dogs walking by.

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This weekend my grandma celebrated her 80th birthday! It was super fun to have (most of) the family together to celebrate! I hope I’m kicking it like her when I’m 80.

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This weekend Brad and I went to Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission. If you haven’t been, you should. You get to enjoy being outside while seeing a great show, and you can bring food and drinks! It’s definitely a cheaper date night then dinner and a movie, and I actually enjoy it more! We saw “Honk”, which was based on the ugly duckling. Tom Sawyer is playing next, so I think we are going to go! Let us know if you want to join us!

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Also this weekend we went to the wedding of one of my good friends from the church I grew up in. It was super fun to get to hang out with old friends! I think you sometimes don’t realize that you miss someone until you see them again after going a long time without.

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Last night Brad and I went to the Riot Room to see Penny and Sparrow. If you haven’t heard of them, you should definitely check them out (they’re on Spotify). They are soooooo good and they were even better in person! It was definitely worth the late night.

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Kind of a long post, so thanks for sticking around to the end!

I’m hoping to blog soon about how decorating our apartment is going so far!

Pinterest Recipe Triumphs, Third Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of the great recipes I’ve found through Pinterest, so I thought I’d do a little post today! If you missed my last two Pinterest Recipe Triumphs, you can find them here and here.

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

Funny story about this recipe. I went to make it and ended up not having any shrimp to use. I’d already made up the sauce and had started cooking the asparagus, so I just made the asparagus on its own and it was AMAZING. I haven’t made this recipe with the shrimp yet, but I’ve made the asparagus twice. It’s my new favorite way to prepare asparagus.

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

Avocado Basil Pasta

This pasta was so delicious and easy to make! I left out the bacon, which made it a great meatless meal. This could also be a great side dish to replace the typical pasta salad!

avocado basil pasta

Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

I just made this one this week. I love this recipe because it only requires a cutting board and 9×13!

Chicken Fajitas

Now that we’re settled into our new place I’m excited to get back into the routine of cooking again!

Splurge v. Save: Clothing

I’ve been thinking about whether to splurge or save on clothes a lot more lately since I’ve started my new job. I’ve finally reached that point in my life where I don’t have to buy all of my clothes from Target and Forever 21! It’s been fun to start figuring out my grown up style!

Of course, assigning whether to splurge or save on different categories of clothing items is hard to do, so these are pretty general rules for me.

Coats and Swimsuits: SAVE

These are seasonal pieces that can be very expensive, but they are also great to buy on sale in the off season! I’ve bought some great coats for an awesome price during the spring. It’s also super fun to pull that new coat out when the chilly weather sets in! (I bought that coat for $20!)

coat

Jeans and Pants: SPLURGE

I have a pair of jeans that I bought when I was 15 and I still wear them all the time! Pants can last forever! Plus I pretty much wear the same pairs over and over again, so I don’t mind spending a little more money on a quality pair of pants with a great fit.

Tops: SAVE

Unlike pants, I don’t wear the same top multiple times a week. I like to have a wide variety of tops. Plus, I get tired of my tops frequently and like to buy new ones every couple of seasons. Therefore, I can’t spend $50 every time I buy a top! Tops are also easier to find on sale than pants!

Shoes: SPLURGE and SAVE

It reeeeeeally depends on shoes. I always splurge when it comes to my running shoes. I try to save by buying at the Nike Outlet, but they can still be pricey there! For me, comfort is most important when it comes to shoes, and more expensive doesn’t always mean more comfortable.

tennis shoes

Now I feel like going shopping!!!