Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Little Gems

I've had a ton of articles I've read in the past month and thought, hmmm, I want to share that-- and yet I keep forgetting (and I am forgetting several today) I used to have a post on Wednesdays (on the old blog) entitled "What I am reading Wednesdays"-- I would like to start that again! Here are a few little gems on the world wide web these days (yep, I said world wide web, hello 90s!)

"All the single ladies" (and men)

(1) I loved this article on singleness-- It offers no real "advice" or formula, just honest discussion! I's just good to hear people be honest about the ups and downs of singleness.  I think for me, the hardest part of singleness wasn't even the singleness itself, it was the way singles were portrayed....according to multiple Christian articles, people are single longer these days because they don't want to grow up, they're selfish, afraid of commitment, etc.  There is an implication that singles just don't want to grow up....that's not always true. Singleness can be tough enough without being made to feel like you are selfish and refusing to grow up! Clearly, I could make this discussion into its own blog post, so I will stop, but read this article!  You will find little nuggets of truth in it!

(2) What's the one thing you should tell your single friend? This article will reveal that the best thing you can do for single friends is take action. Telling them they are too picky or need to be okay with themselves isn't always helpful.  Introduce them to your other single friends, pray daily for them, actively include them as opposed to become a 'couples only' type of friend.

(3) I enjoyed this article on why single girls are a lot of things but maybe not fabulous.  Although, you are welcome to call me fabulous whenever you want-- I hope I was a fabulous single, a fabulous married, just fabulous in general!! I plan on writing about this article a little more in the future.

A little Married GEM...

Here are ten things happy couples do!  I was glad to read these tips-- some are simple enough and some, while simple on paper, are probably more difficult to practice (see #4 and #5) But they are good goals to strive for-- and I was pleased to realize that Dave and I already do several of these suggestions (particularly 1,6,7,9) Some of the suggestions I know we do (be proud to be seen with your spouse), but I never actually notice us doing, ha (I never think, I am so proud to be seen with Dave today, but maybe I will start to make a mental note of how proud I am of my husband!)


(1) I love this article on Crooked Love so much.  Like the author, I love friends, family, significant others strongly too and am fiercely loyal. So, when I am close to you, I am going to fight for you and be a loyal friend.  The problem with loyalty and strong love is that its devestating when you feel others aren't as loving or loyal to you.

The author writes,

I think I trust too much and believe that people are always going to love me as deeply as I love them. It doesn’t always work out that way, which means that sometimes I am left with the question that haunts us all:“Was it worth it?”

I must confess, there have been many times in my walk with Jesus that I have wondered if I have wounded Him enough for Him to ask the same question. He doesn’t see it that way, I know. But was I worth all of this?

Personally, sometimes I wish I was less loyal, loved less deeply, because it puts you in a place to often feel let down. I often ask if it was worth it, but this article reminded me that Jesus was far more loyal and loving than I can ever be-- and I certainly didn't deserve His loyalty. So, although I have learned to have some boundaries, I do think it is worth it for me to risk loyalty and love-- after all, Christ loyally loved us when we didn't deserve it. (Now, how to love well WISELY is a whole other question that I still don't know the answer to!)

P.S. One of my favorite attributes about Dave is that he is fiercely loyal too. I don't think I could marry someone who wasn't.

(2) This is an older blog post, that I read awhile ago, but I looked it up again. I have friends with struggles and storms in their lives- and I was wondering how to pray for them. This article breaks it down! Likewise, I too, am job searching and this has taught me how to pray for my own circumstances too.

Home and Living

(1) For those (like us) who are decorating on a limited budget-- or who love antiques or midcentury furniture which is of course, going to be "used", here are some tips for buying used furniture!

(2) Also, here are some easy "IKEA HACKS" to try, no tools involved!

DC Living

I heart DC. I don't love the cold weather in DC, but fortunately for me, I love hot chocolate and DC has some top places to enjoy this delicious treat on cold days. Last week, I tried some cocoa from Oyamel with 2 of my sweet friends. They sell their cocoa by the mug or by the pitcher!! I certainly want to hit up the other places on this list during the remaining weeks of winter!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Warm Breaks and Rest

Last month was challenging and frustrating and difficult….and COLD. I mean really cold—snowed a few times (one time it was 6 inches), stayed so cold that the snow couldn’t really melt much so that we had about a week and a half of snow on the ground, cold temperatures (below zero and in teens or lower most of the month) and even colder wind chills (the lowest was -12 degrees). Nothing makes a sad mood even sadder like a few weeks of freezing cold temps!  The cold weather led to lots of nights spent inside, just Dave and me, watching movies, cooking dinner and bundled up! I hit my max on freezing temps, scarves, puffer coats (which might possibly be the best present I received this year for Christmas), gloves and inside time!!

However, the first two days were of February were a welcome break from the cold harsh weather. Sunny weather with temps in the high 40s and even low 50s! Dave and I tried to soak up every bit of sun and warmth before the cold temps, rain and snow return.

My (our) weekend was spent enjoying coconut French toast*, strolling through our neighborhood- walking to my “errands” instead of driving, sipping coffee and chatting up at the coffee shop, getting my hair cut, exploring a neighborhood we haven’t spent much time in yet (Adams Morgan), taking off my big puffer jacket for a couple days, enjoying a date night with drinks at Georgia Brown’s and dinner at Lincoln, thumbing through books at Barnes and Noble, making homemade cookies for the super bowl party (and eating a few ourselves), making shredded barbecue chicken in the crock pot and sipping drinks and watching football with friends on Sunday evening.
 My SHORT haircut. I wanted a more adult haircut and requested shoulder length. I don't hate it, but I think a couple inches longer may be the perfect length for me.
Exploring a few shops in Adams Morgan

 Saturday Happy Hour at Georgia Brown's

My cute date and me at Lincoln (delicious food!)

We have spent so many evenings last month watching Netflix on our couch and covered up in multiple layers, so getting out of the house was so enjoyable!

I’m not stupid. Spring is not yet here and won’t arrive properly for another 2 months. Saturday, I looked ahead on my weather phone app and saw 3 days with snowflakes or ice in the next week and a couple more with rain. On Saturday, I knew the winter was indeed coming back, but I chose to ignore that fact and live fully in the temporary pleasure of sunshine, warm(ish) weather and time with my husband and friends. I needed a break from winter (as did almost everyone else in DC) – and the Lord was good to bless us with a short respite from the cold wintery weather! Although I am sad to see the warm weather go, I feel refreshed and ready to deal with the remaining winter days – not to mention, HOPEFUL that spring is indeed coming again in the near future.

More importantly, I feel like this weekend (Saturday, particularly) was a welcome break from job searching, personal frustrations, circumstances, chores, etc. I took a break from life’s stress and difficulties for a day or two, knowing that they would be waiting for me on Monday morning. I’m a big believer in continuing to push forward when life has hard moments, but I also believe sometimes you have to take a break to enjoy life’s blessings and regroup. An evening of good conversation, a glass or two of wine, a delicious meal, a funny movie, laughter or maybe even an early bedtime can do the heart wonders. Taking a break from life’s stresses won’t solve all your problems, but it will give you a chance to rest before diving back in.

This past Saturday, I enjoyed the “break” from winter in more ways than one. I am thankful for a God that gives rest to the weary (and warm weather to the cold!)

** Coconut French Toast was not a special recipe.  It is simply the use of coconut milk instead of cow’s milk when making French Toast. It was an improvision because we were out of milk. However, it did give the toast a slight coconut flavor which was refreshing so it motivated me to look up this recipe and this one  too.  Dave loves him some coconut, so I think I may have to try this one lazy weekend morning!