Friday, September 7, 2012

7 Quick Takes, Volume 3

{story of a soul, condensed}

A few pieces of my life lately...visit Jennifer's blog, Conversion Diary, to read more Quick Takes!

via Instagram

{1} One thing I often miss about my year of service after college, spent gallivanting all over Philadelphia, New York, and Miami, is the opportunity to visit church after beautiful church.  Of course, the Eucharist is the Eucharist no matter where you go, but there's something extra special about encountering Jesus in a new-to-you space that just surrounds you with the sights, sounds, and smells of something sacred.  We drove to a cathedral fairly close to us last Sunday, one we visited once last year around Christmas.  The beauty of the chapel, the homily, and the feeling of being a pilrgim, if only for the morning, was like water on my soul.  Medicine.  Isn't it gorgeous?

{2} I've just discovered Pugly Pixel, and it's been nothing but love at first click.  Katrina, the girl behind this amazing blog design resource, offers plenty of tutorials, layout tips, and best of all, a feast of downloads you're free to use.  Classy, festive glitter letters, pretty bow details, and handpicked color palettes?  Yes, please!  Are you as inspired as I am?

{3} I'm not sure if being a year-and-a-month married still qualifies me for the newlywed club or not, but I do still feel like one in so many ways.  I still feel so giddy around my sweet husband, and every day, even when it's tough, feels like such a privilege.  I can't believe I get to be married to someone so giving and so good to me.  And so handsome.  Anyway, I read this amazing 20th anniversary letter this week and practically stopped breathing.  I always feel like I can't possibly love Andrew more, and then I am proven wrong with the passage of time or with some experience that tests us and brings us closer.  I can hardly imagine how that will apply in 20 years!

via Instagram
{4} About a month back, we got to experience the fantastically fun surprise of a belated-wedding gift.  Wouldn't you know, another one came in the mail this week, from my lovely, lovely friend Bridget (she's a bride-to-be, too)!  I love having something with our (our!) name on it, something to decorate my currently empty, in-need-of-artwork walls, and love, love, love, the pretty tule ribbon she wrapped it in!  Thanks B!

{5} I've just started pitching in part time with the youth group at our church, an adventure that began over the summer. It's been an incredible time so far and I'm really looking forward to sharing the school year with the high-schoolers of our parish.  Since my time as a missionary ended, I've really missed working with students, and I think this time will be just what the doctor ordered.

{6} I have to tell you something.  I am so weak sometimes when it comes to money.  Before I got married, I tried for about a year to seriously reduce how much extra stuff I bought, partly to train myself in self-discipline, partly to save for more important things like our honeymoon and in anticipation of not having a job right away after the wedding, and partly because Andrew is seriously the cheapest man I have ever met, in the most endearing way.  I mean, he still took me out and things.  He just hates buying anything for himself beyond what he thinks is necessary, and he thinks so few things are necessary.  Somehow in the past six months or so, though, I've had so much trouble staying within a budget.  Nothing too drastic, but far enough beyond the limits we've agreed on that I've decided to take on a new challenge: for at least the next three months, I will not buy anything new and unnecessary.  Groceries, gas, Church giving, and things for the both of us (that's a different part of our budget) are in.  New clothes, Pumpkin Spice lattes, and small things I always seem to acquire, like new nail polish, are out.  I tend to have a hard time starting fasts like these, but usually, the longer I'm able to keep them up the more motivated I am to continue.  So here's hoping.  I'd love any advice you have!


{7} A few days ago, Andrew and I watched The Royal Tenenbaums, one of our favorite flicks, for the first time in a while.  I love everything about this movie, from the title family's insanely decorated house, each characters' distinctive style, and the invitation we get into their wounded hearts.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.  And if you like what you see, make sure you check out the director, Wes Anderson's, other stuff, too, especially his sweet new love story, Moonrise Kingdom!

Ladies, have a wonderful weekend.  Make your soul bigger.  I'd love to hear what you're all up to!


16 comments:

  1. I think you can count as newlyweds till you're five years in or have two kids, whichever comes first. You may not still be in the honeymoon phase, but you sure will still be learning a lot about what it means to be married and what it's like to grow and change WITH another person.

    Joe and I are 1 year and almost nine months and we definitely still consider ourselves newbies at this whole marriage thing. :)

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    1. Good measurement =)

      You're absolutely right about changing with someone! In just a few years of transitioning from college to grad school to job searching and being more adults (I still don't totally feel like one), I think we've grown up together in a lot of ways, and it's exciting to wonder what other things will change. Hope you guys are fantastically well!

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  2. Wow that letter was beautiful. Thanks for sharing that!
    Good luck with the saving. I need to start doing that so we can save for our house!

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    1. So glad you like! And yes, good luck to you too! I can't even imagine buying a house yet, so props to you two =)

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  3. We've been married almost 30 years and I'll tell you, when we are all alone I sometimes forget we are NOT newlyweds. I think it's an empty nest kinda thing.

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    1. What a beautiful thing! I hope the new phase in your nest gives you a chance to fall in love in so many more ways!

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  4. In our house we joke that I grew up on a farm in the 80s, "this" close to losing the farm, and my husband thinks I spend a lot of money. :)

    Seriously, learning to down-spiral the spending habits is a long-term goal. And the cheapskate of the family also has to learn that little things like growing families make other expenses go up. I'm proud of my husband for taking in stride the monthly shredding of the budget--if it wasn't for piano lessons and contacts/glasses, things like that, we'd scrape by, but there's always something extra. Fortunately, our "budget" is less than what we bring in, so although he wishes we could save more, we are doing fine. It's a learning process.

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    1. Haha, it really is such a humbling eye-opener to align your spending habits with another person's, especially since girls tend to spend more! It's a learning process for sure--for me, even seeing our budget meticulously laid out on paper doesn't seem completely real, so I can definitely use some growth in the self-discipline department!

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  5. Towards the end of last year, my husband and I decided to budget a small amount of "personal" money each month. We each have a limit on what we can spend on whatever we want, which allows us a little freedom and helps us hold ourselves accountable. It has worked out pretty well so far. It would be hard for us to stick to a budget without doing this, since we really weren't doing a great job of it before as little things here and there definitely add up! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for your advice! We have personal spending funds too--my only problem is that I overspend mine most months and end up in debt to myself! I'm really, really determined to rein myself in right now. Now, if only I can convince my husband to stop spending his personal money on things like Taco Bell...

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    2. It's a disease! Just kidding; I know our habits call each other on even when we fight it =)

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  6. I wish you luck with your funds! I am so cheap...I have a VERY hard time spending money on myself. Even in college, I never bought condiments because I thought they were too expensive, so I ate everything plain for a few years. I think I need to learn how to spend a bit more and my boyfriend a bit less, lol.

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    1. Wowww, I'm impressed! Learning moderation is a good thing, for sure. They say every saint knows how to fast and how to feast...I guess that would apply here =)

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  7. At our wedding, I remember the priest saying we clearly were so in love, but it was only ankle-deep... that over the years we would continue to wade in deeper and deeper, and only at certain points be able to turn around and see just how relatively shallow the waters had once been. And he was right. Seventeen years, moves, heartaches, joys, choices, family, sickness and health, Christmas and weddings, births and deaths... we have settled into a deep and renewed love that I never could have imagined all those years ago. Keep being happy, and keep diving in :)

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    1. Christine, that is SUCH a beautiful image! Thanks for that, and may the Lord keep pouring His grace over you =)

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