Month: July 2013

One Year of Marriage

Brad and I have been married for one year. It is 70 degrees and cloudy today. It was 108 and sunny on our wedding day a year ago. I was one sweaty bride, but it was still the perfect day. I got to marry my best friend while surrounded by the people most important to me. Here are a few thoughts about our life this past year and what is to come.
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I had always heard people say that the first year of marriage is so difficult and learning to live with that person can be really challenging, but I have to admit I don’t really feel that way about our first year. Living with Brad has been surprisingly easy. Of course he does things that drives me crazy (like leaving a damp towel on the bed) (and buying the wrong type of hamburger), but I can deal with those things. We’ve grown closer and learned a lot about each other, and have had a blast along the way.

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My parents take a picture of themselves every year on their anniversary and keep them in an album. It is so fun to look through the album and see how much they have changed! Brad and I are going to do the same!

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Brad and I love to try new things and set out to experience all that Springfield has to offer us in the short time we are here. This year we went to a roller derby, hit up Silver Dollar City (my parents bought us season passes!), saw the Springfield Lazers tennis team play, took part in a LifeGroup airsoft gun battle, ate at some great Springfield restaurants, made friends with the Starbucks employees, went to a Springfield Cardinals game, ate too much Chic-fil-a, found a favorite park, and saw Bob Dylan in concert for free. Still on the list to experience is The Moxie Cinema, Wild Animal Safari, and spending the day at one of the lakes nearby.

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Last weekend Casie asked me how I thought I had changed in the past year. This was an intriguing question, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I don’t feel like I have changed, but after some reflection I’ve thought of several ways I have changed, but I’ll just share one.

I thought of something I used to not care about at all, but has become a regular topic for Brad and me. I’ve typically been pretty ignorant of current events and things happening around the world. Brad introduced me to NPR and I’ve started reading the newspaper regularly. So why is the news important, anyway? Isn’t it just full of sadness? That’s what I used to think. Brad has taught me that as a Christian, it is important to be informed about what is going on around the world, and how to approach topics from a Christian world-view. As Christians, we shouldn’t ignore the hurt in the world, but ask ourselves what this means in light of the Kingdom of God and how it affects how we should live.

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On a lighter note, I used to think that when I got married my house would always be picked up and clean and it would immediately be decorated according to my Pinterest board. In reality, decorating has been a slow and expensive process and I’m not exactly the housekeeper I dreamt I would be. Of course I do think maybe I’ve been set up for failure by my mom, though, whose house is always spotless and picked up. High standards.

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Though my housekeeping skills have some room for improvement, I’ve made a lot of progress in the cooking department. I’ve tried to make something new at least once a week. I even did a post about some of my favorite new recipes! There have been plenty of failures, but it has been fun to make something new and have it turn out really great! Mom and I have really enjoyed swapping recipes this year.

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On a similar note, you may have noticed that some couples gain a lot of weight after getting married. I can totally see how this happens! I went from being a college student whose staples were grilled cheese and cereal, to a wife that cooks full meals multiple nights a week. Brad and I were determined not to gain a lot of weight after getting married. I’m proud to say that we’ve not only kept weight off, we’re both in better shape than we’ve probably ever been. Brad is currently training for a half-marathon and I’ve finally reached a level of fitness I had wanted for a long time. Working out is one of our favorite things to do together. I’m really thankful for a husband that not only encourages me to be fit, but is my workout partner.

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Brad and I were a little worried about making new friends in this new stage of life. We are no longer SBU students, but are still partially a part of that community, and we weren’t sure what that was going to look like. God was so faithful this year to bring us a great community. I’ve been fortunate to have an awesome group in the lab I work in at MSU, and SBU admissions has been the perfect place for Brad. Most importantly, our Freshwater Church LifeGroup and being a part of the core team to plant Freshwater Church Springfield has been the biggest blessing. We’ve developed some awesome friendships and we’re so excited about what God is doing and is going to do in north Springfield.

I don’t know where the Lord will lead me in the years to come. I will graduate in less than a year and I’ll be off onto a new adventure. I’m happy to know that my best friend will be joining me. Happy Anniversary, Brad. I love you.

Dry Erase Calendar From Paint Samples

I’ve seen a lot of projects involving paint samples on Pinterest, but was hesitant to try one. It seemed too simple! Then I saw a pin for a dry-erase calendar made with paint samples, but the link was a dead end. I decided I could figure it out on my own, so my friend Michelle and I had a craft night!

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It ended up being really simple and cheap! I bought a poster frame from Hobby Lobby. It was normally $10, but I used my Hobby Lobby app to get 40% off. I also bought a piece of grey poster board for a dollar. I got the paint samples from Walmart (Disney has a new line of paint that has the cutest colors!), and I had a dry-erase marker. I only spent about $7 on this project!

First I cut the poster board to the size of the poster frame. Next I figured out how many rectangles I needed to cut and what size to make them. Then I cut all of the paint samples to the same size. This was the most time-consuming part. It would have helped if I had a paper-cutter. After that I situated the rectangles on the poster board where I wanted them. Next I used mod podge to glue down the rectangles. (I think tape would have worked fine as well, since it is going into a picture frame, but I did not have any tape on hand so I used mod podge. Double-sided tape probably would have been best.) At the top of each column I cut out a smaller piece to write the day of the week on. Make sure to write in sharpie marker! At first I used a regular washable marker and it kept smearing due to the slick texture of the paint samples. After that I let the mod podge dry, then put the poster board into the frame. Last I wrote the month, dates, and events over the calendar with a dry erase marker!

I really love how this project turned out. It was the perfect addition to our kitchen!

My Favorite Apps

I’m fairly new to the smart phone world. If I hadn’t gotten married to Brad, I would still have a phone that only called and texted. So for all you twelve-year-olds out there that are dying for the newest smart phone, I made it through middle school, high school, and college, and you can too!

That being said, I really do enjoy my iPhone. I think I appreciate it even more because I waited for so long to get one. I find myself always looking for good apps, so I thought I’d share my favorites with you. Among the obvious are Facebook (I actually still like to look at Facebook better on my laptop), Twitter (I rarely look at Twitter on my laptop anymore), and Instagram (the app I was most excited for when I got an iPhone). Most people have those three, so I’ll focus on my other favorite apps that you may not have!

Swackett

Swackett is a weather app. I like it because the graphics are cute, and it tell you the high, what it will actually feel like, and what you should wear that day. It also gives you fun facts! Here is today’s: 69% of teens have their own computer. There ya go! Fun fact for the day! In addition to the cute-ness and fun-ness, you can also look at the hourly forecast, the forecast for the week, and the radar. If you’re looking for a weather app that is cooler than the one that comes on the phone, check out Swackett.

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A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess app is a photo app created by the bloggers Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess. (If you haven’t checked out their blog, you should. It’s one of my very favorite blogs!) (And they live in Springfield!) I’ve tried a lot of different photo editing apps and haven’t liked one as much as this one. You can add filters, borders, text, doodles, and phrases. I’m really cheap, so I don’t like to pay for my apps normally. This one is 99 cents, but it was worth it.

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Yoga Studio

Last summer my brother and I went to a yoga class twice a week. I was hesitant at first, but I ended up really liking it! I haven’t wanted to spend money on a membership at a yoga studio here in Springfield, and you have to pay for the classes at Missouri State. I had tried several different yoga apps at home, but couldn’t get into any of them. Yoga Studio costs $2.99, but I downloaded it one day when it was free. There is a variety of ready-made classes at beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill levels that simulate actually being at a yoga class. The classes are 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and you can choose to focus on flexibility, strength, balance, or a combination. Yoga Studio was just what I was looking for in a at-home yoga app.

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Spotify

Brad and I decided to get Spotify Premium and it was a great decision. It’s $10 a month, but we definitely get out money’s worth. Any music you could ever want to listen to is right there on your phone, and you can download playlists so you can listen when you are without wifi or 3G. It even has a radio feature like Pandora does. (I’ve currently been listening to Relient K’s new album, Collapsible Lung.)

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Hobby Lobby

I make way too many trips to Hobby Lobby. Having one just down the street has been dangerous this past year. Luckily, stuff is always going on sale. But if it’s not on sale, you can whip out your Hobby Lobby app and pull up a 40% off coupon! Things like yarn rarely go on sale, so that’s usually what I use it on. It’s really come in handy!

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Pulse

Pulse is a news app. It features news stories from a variety of news sources and you can create your own menus of topics. For example, mine are news, technology, science, fun & humor, women’s lifestyle, women’s health, and entertainment. I like that I find news stories from a lot of places, rather than having to visit each website.

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Of course there are a lot of other apps that I use, but this would become a really long blog post. Let me know if you try any of these apps and how you like it!

Lately (7.7.13)

Well it’s been a while since I’ve done a “Lately” post, but I’ll try to keep it short. Brad and I have been lovin’ summer. I’ve been really busy in the lab, and things have slowed down at work for Brad. Here are some highlights from our last few weeks.

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I went to Maranatha Bible Camp with Freshwater Church kids. It was such a great couple of days to get away from regular life, be outside, love on kids, and praise Jesus. It was really cool to see the kids start to make their faith their own. Kids camp was one of the first things that helped shape my faith journey, so it is dear to my heart.

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Speaking of church, Brad and I are involved in planting a church through Freshwater Church in northwest Springfield. The core team journeyed to the Missouri Baptist Convention in Jeff City a few weekends ago for our first session of training! It helped get us all excited for our launch and it was a good chance to get to know others on the core team. I’ll let you know when we officially launch!

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This is Taylor’s Drive-In. It’s been here since 1947, but it’s only open Monday through Friday from 11 to 2, so Brad and I have never been able to go. We actually had a week day off, so we took advantage of it by going to Taylor’s! It was delicious and the staff was really sweet. I definitely recommend it if you get the chance!

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We got to go home to Kansas City! We hadn’t been there since Easter, so we were really excited to spent the weekend in our hometowns.

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I got to spend some quality time with my mom. I was lucky to come home the same weekend that a friend of ours was having their baby shower! I miss getting to do things like that with my mom.

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And I got to see my Casie! I left Brad for a night to have a sleepover in her new apartment! It was such a blessing to spent time with my best friend!

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A great weekend in Raymore was completed with a delicious meal at my favorite chinese place, Oriental Garden.

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Brad and I spent our first married 4th of July together with friends, food, and fireworks.

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We wanted to keep the party going after the fireworks, so we played a new game called HedBanz. It was really fun! It think Brad and I are going to have to get it.

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I had Friday off after the 4th, so I got to do some shopping! I saw a sign that had this saying at Francesca’s a long time ago, but didn’t buy it and I have regretted it ever since. I was so excited to find this at Hobby Lobby! And it was 50% off! I would have payed full price for it! Hollaaaa! It was the perfect addition to our kitchen. I love it.

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Have you been to The Cup? It’s my favorite! There’s another cupcake place in Springfield called Gigi’s, but I think there is too much icing. I have loved everything I’ve gotten at The Cup (but I mean they are cupcakes, so how can you really go wrong?). This one was dark chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing and pieces of Reeses on the top. Yummmmmmmm.

I hope that you had a lovely Independence Day weekend! Don’t you wish every weekend was a four-day weekend?

15 Ways Brad and I are the Same

A couple weeks ago I blogged about how Brad and I were different, which sparked the idea to do a post about how we are alike!

1. We love Jesus.

2. We’re currently addicted to guacamole.

3. We enjoy the same TV shows, such as Parks and Rec, Psych, Project Runway, and The Magic School Bus.

4. We wear similar size clothes and shoes. (Double wardrobe!)

5. We both love to travel. (Harry Potter world is next on our list!)

6. Speaking of which, the Harry Potter series are our favorite books.

7. We both love to run.

8. We prefer iced coffee over hot coffee.

9. We are Mac people, not PC.

10. We can appreciate a cheesy science joke.

11. We are both dog people (but we still enjoy googling funny pictures of cats).

12. We are older siblings.

13. We are both employed by universities.

14. We love dancing at weddings.

15. We’re both World Changers!

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