The One with All the Running

I’m not entirely certain how these all came to be, but a few notable things on these last lingering days of September:

We survived the birthday stretch! Within 6 weeks we have 6 family birthdays to celebrate, and we managed to do them up right.

Joe and I celebrated our one year anniversary of becoming puppy parents – we conquered the daunting year one of engergetic puppyhood, and are really loving this next phase our little Luna is in.  She’s a delight, I tell you!

Through a series of unfortunate key-related events, I got locked out of my office last Monday and was completely stranded without a cell phone or even papers to grade for three unexpected hours.  This led to me sending a handful of lengthy emails to my closest girlfriends, and the sweet responses I’ve received from them have made my week!  Lesson learned – take the time to send long letters (snail mail or email) more often.

The girlfriends I had planned on running with in the Baltimore Running Festival had to bail (some for legitimate reasons, others remain under the side-eye), so I guilted the tall husband into joining me.  My very own 5K buddy!

And speaking of the running festival, here’s a little more information about the organization I’m running for:

Araminta Freedom Initiative is a Baltimore nonprofit that is actively working to eliminate the trafficking of children in the greater Baltimore area.  They do this by equipping and mobilizing churches and community members who engage in the prevention, intervention, and survivor services related to child sex trafficking.  You can learn more about their mission and values here.

Please consider supporting me as I run for Araminta (all of your donations go straight there, I’ve paid my own race fee).  Click here for my donation page.

Thanks friends, for your encouragement and support!

And for posterity’s sake, this is what Luna looks like when she runs; not that I have any room to judge, I’m almost certain that I look similar or worse.

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The One After Twenty-Five

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Well friends, I’ve officially conquered twenty-five years of life!

The festivities began with a Mexican feast with the loveliest bunch of girlfriends, and were followed by a homecooked meal from my loving husband and a spectacular long weekend with my family.  It’s no small progress that my birthday celebration was limited to a measly four days, since in the past I’ve demanded a solid week or more of dedicated attention.  Snaps for being sort of grown up!

I think that overall twenty-five was a good, good year.  It was the year where I (finally) felt completely settled.  It was the year where we didn’t actually leave the country at all, but still managed to find so many sweet adventures here on the East coast.  It was the year that I felt most like myself – less pretense and less insecurity; more joy and more authentic living.  It was the year where I could see God moving in my life most clearly.

It was also the year I accomplished a bunch of things on a random list I made, so extra head-pats for almost making it through the whole silly thing.  A few concessions made – original Dr. Who episodes count as black & white film; a sewing project included simply sewing a button back on a shirt, which is completely valid since needle and thread were utilized; I got to pet a few horses, and maybe that’s as close as I want to get; I still don’t know how to change a tire, but between having a Master’s degree and a AAA card, I feel confident that I could conquer that battle on the fly; hot air balloons are ridiculous and I avoided those completely; and after doing some homework I found that organic produce isn’t really my thing, so instead I embraced my local Trader Joe’s wholeheartedly.

The things I accomplished that I loved the most – buying and learning my camera absolutely was the best thing I’ve ever done (and I’m super excited to be photographing two weddings this weekend!); reading and writing are my soul-hobbies, and those will always bring me joy; finding new recipes was both awesome and delicious; the girls weekend and treat yo’self day got rolled into one awesome and expensive little weekend with absolutely zero regrets; our next big adventure is scheduled for June and we’ll be heading to the British Isles; and we’re now expert crab pickers (we now offer lessons to our out-of-town guests).

Thank you, dear ones, for joining me in this journey, and for your support and encouragement along the way.  I couldn’t have made it this far without you!

 

The One with My Boys

We’re two weeks into the semester and I’m already up to my eyeballs in papers to grade – how time flies!  And who would’ve thought that teaching triple my normal load would be slightly overwhelming?  Novel news to this do-it-yourself lady.  I digress.

I was oh-so fortunate to have my boys come visit me two weeks ago!  What a lucky gal.  The boys are really just my father and my brother – we’ve been the three musketeers since 1995ish, and get along terribly famously.  The tall husband is not altogether wrong when he likens the group of us to a frat party (what can I say, we’re rambunctious like that).  Our weekend included local Maryland grub, local Maryland wine, local Maryland baseball, and lots of dominos and jenga.  Because really, the wild times never stop around here.  Each of my dudes brought their respective girlfriends, and we all had a great time getting to know each other better.  Thanks for coming to hang out with me, darling dudes who know that quality time is my love language!  I miss you already.

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The One with Summer School

Between weddings and puppy eye infections and exams and lab reports, this month is kicking my behind.  Summer school is exhausting.  The testing center lost an exam.  The lab manual was printed incorrectly.  I start a new job in a couple of weeks and have piles of curriculum to master.  And shoot, there’s just a lot of balls in the air right now.

But as I walked through my new campus yesterday, my heart was filled with hope.  What a sweet place we’ve found for ourselves, here in Baltimore.  And what incredible opportunities have shown themselves here.  In the midst of the busy and the crazy, we’ve found a sweet spot.  And more importantly, we’ve found a renewed spirit.  The past few years have been so wild, so filled with change and struggle.  We’ve grown so much and we’re still learning.  But God is moving and shaping us here in such visible ways that it’s hard not to be moved by the beauty of it all.  This unexpected city has seen us blossom.  And none of it was in our plan.

So in the midst of summer school madness, I’m balancing the busy with the beauty, and I’m remembering what it’s like to rejoice.  Amen and amen.