***photos all taken by the incredible sophie of mere | photo & design, and her incredible second shooter, emily. couldn't have asked for anyone better!
hello, there, trusty reader who's hangin on by a thread. ha, thank you for your faithfulness to my life & thoughts and just for carin about this humble little spot on the internet. it's so kind of you to still be here. had a scare last week that my friend, brian, pointed out it looked like the blog was erased (shoutout, brian! you da bomb). but dad & i figured it out and we're back in business and i always return... even if it's months between! :/ this blog is just too special and holds so many bits of my life, i'd be real sad to see it go.
anyway, i bought a disposable camera this fall because my friend, isaac redinger, is cooler than me and inspired me to get one. though i kept forgetting to bring it more places, it was really exciting to see the end result. honestly, the pictures aren't very good and i have a thing or two to learn about lighting, but it was so fun to see what they'd turn out to be and find pictures i didn't even remember taking. definitely wanna bring a film camera on my honeymoon in may! just somethin extra special about film. anyway.. here's a few shots over the last few months. had to throw away some cuz they just didn't turn out, and i couldn't post a couple because my actual wedding dress is in em :), but here's a handful...
^^ this was taken in october, the day my sisters, mom, and i looked for my wedding dress. i really like this picture actually. ^^
^^ here's me before trying on the actual dress! such a fun day!
^^ i handed paige & sidney my camera that morning and they had to throw one of these in here, obvs. ^^
^^ mama drivin us home.
^^ my least favorite pic of the bunch because it's pretty boring, but these trees in the backyard were so beautiful that day with their sparkly leaves!
^^ also in october, i think, my aunts and i went to a vineyard in minnesota and drank wine and had a cheese platter while listening to a trumpet player! then we walked the grounds and i snapped this pic.
^ you can't tell, but this is my fran in denny's, one of our favorite date spots.
^^ a pic of us from my friends' spencer & jamie's wedding.
^ gold. hah.
paiger & davis. you can just tell they're up to no good, can't ya? ;)
^ love this picture of francis. we went to another wedding that same weekend and this was taken right outside the reception venue.
^ another picture of francis from when we parked it in caribou for a little while to do a couple creative things.
the end. tune in for more later.. at some point... ha. bye, friends! i love you guys!
this was a year of incredible highs- lots of joy, beauty, and growth for me and for my family- and also some pretty low lows. looking ahead filled with gratitude and lots of excitement for 2019. (the year i become a flood!!! wahoooo!) :)))))
may our eyes be fixed on our beautiful Jesus as we look ahead.
happy new year!!!
(2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014)
i volunteer at my church on wednesdays as a leader of a group of high school girls and last week one of the youth pastors shared a beautiful story i knew i wanted to remember...
she (kathy) said when she was a teenager she went on a hiking trip with her best friend and her friend's very fit grandparents. they were crossing a river on some rocks, taking big steps as they went from one rock to the next, putting long sticks into the water for balance. kathy had already made it across along with her friend and her friend's grandpa. her friend's grandma was the last one to cross. she was about halfway across when she looked up, straight at her husband, with a look that said i don't know if i can do this. in that very second, he dropped everything, all of his bags, and jumped into the water coming up to his chest, walked over to her and held his hand up to her so she could make it across. and he hiked the rest of the day in wet clothes.
tears were brimming in my eyes as kathy looked intently at all of us saying that is what God is like. no hesitation. no question. no "are you serious? you can't do this? ugh, fine, i'll be right there." we look at Him with our fears and hesitations and He's there. wading in the water for us, inconveniencing Himself, sacrificing Himself, taking our hand.
had to share it.
hey there, friends!
wow, i really ended that month with a bang, huh? ha. promise i'll be writing more this month, but it won't be every day like november. i'm always surprised and really touched by the people who say they read my blog. really? you care what i have to say on here, huh? that's really cool. thank you!
i'm super thankful for all the gifts november brought to light in my life by being in the habit of writing.
but i don't have a list for you today.
today i just have something i've been thinkin for a while now.
it's basically that i'm frustrated with myself.
i see the person i want to be, the character traits i want to possess and how i am far from them. the overarching goal of my life is to get to the end of it with gray hair and wrinkles, with a heart filled and overflowing with peace. good and gentle and faithful. so content. so patient. slow to become angry. humble, generous. quick to give what i have. quick to give grace. sound like anyone? (**cough**Jesus. i want to look like Jesus**) gosh, i want that so much. and every day i see another ugliness that comes up in me.. another way i'm not like that.
these traits i desire are the result of a lifetime of God and i working hard on every inclination of my heart that is self-seeking, impatient, quick to become frustrated, easily offended, prideful. but man, from here to there feels far. i'd like to dedicate all i have to it, though. my whole life, even. this work is absolutely God's work and only truly possible through Him. we cannot change without Him. but i believe we are participants in it and He won't just make us that way without our partnership. i don't believe you just fall into those traits on accident, like poof, one day you're really patient and forgiving. it's not the natural flow of the world to become that way. i actually believe it's more of an army-crawl-through-the-jungle kind of process. what Jesus calls "the narrow path" (matthew 7:13).
i've been thinking about that a lot lately, the narrow path. man, it's like Jesus knew what it would be like to be twenty-five and living in 2018 america. talk about the narrow path. at least for me, in my corner of the world and in my personal experience, these messages are in bold, caps, and underlined: EAT WHAT YOU WANT, DO WHAT YOU WANT, BUY WHAT YOU WANT, HAVE SEX WITH WHO YOU WANT AND HOWEVER MUCH YOU WANT, LIVE WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND- IF YOU DON'T YOU'RE WEIRD, HATE TRUMP, IF YOU'RE NOT POLITICALLY LIBERAL YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT PEOPLE ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND YOU LOVE GUNS, THINGS SHOULD BE FASTER FASTER FASTER, HAPPINESS IS ALL THAT MATTERS.
now please hear me.. i am not making this political. i did not say my stance on anything. i don't want that to be the thing you hear. and i'm not saying there aren't good narratives in the mix, too. i am simply stating the narratives of the world that are hard to navigate as a Jesus-follower as i see them from my corner. is there anyone out there who is trying to navigate these, too, and feels like a little fish swimming against a massive current? just me?
well, as one of those such fish to maybe another, just trying to figure out where Jesus is in the midst of all the screaming.. i will say, i think the call of Jesus has always been to die. dying to ourselves means we can't do whatever we want, when we want. it looks a lot of different ways and it's hard work. but we have each other, and Jesus walking with us, holding our hands, quietly leading the way. i've actually been repeating these things to myself a lot lately. almost daily.
"Jesus said the road would be narrow."
"i can't just do whatever i want, alexi. i am dead, i was bought with a price, and i don't just belong to myself anymore. the old me is gone. God's making me new now."
"God knows the way of true life. He designed life, He knows the best way to live. i can trust Him."
"He knows how to really live."
keep swimming, friend. it's worth it. navigating life through a lens of Christ, and following Him even when it's a hard swim and the current is pushing against you, is worth it.
wow, sorry friends, i've really been getting behind on these posts this month. i guess that's what happens when i take a big hiatus like i did this summer- it becomes a sort of retraining myself to blog again. also, last night was a late one for me.
anyway, nonetheless, i want to pause and write my gratitude for yesterday because it was a good day.
yesterday, i feel thankful...
...for a brilliant and show-stopping sunrise on my way to work. oh, it was so wonderful.
...for a productive-feeling session with one particular nugget at work. we are working on things like taking his shoes on and off and putting his coat on and off and zipping and unzipping, and i'm excited for the ways things we work on here will help him be independent in his life.
...well for snow and also not for snow (you get it), but since this is a gratitude post, i'll say i'm thankful for how pretty and cozy it is at this particular time of year. i'm also very very thankful for safety, for myself and the ones i love who were driving in it.
...for paige sleeping over because of the snow. driving back to hudson in rush hour snow wasn't a good idea for her to do, so i'm thankful she was able to stay over. didn't catch her for long, but it was really nice to see her this morning.
...for delicious, and i mean delicious dinner from naf naf grill, enjoyed to the very last bite by myself while i caught up on my Bible reading plan.
...for the character and heart of God revealed to me as i flipped through things i had highlighted in psalms and isaiah. His mercy towards us really is astounding.
...for authentic talks with our high school girls at youth group. i'm so so proud of them. for showing up, for being engaged, for sharing real stuff.. for how my church doesn't shy away from real and hard things high schoolers are going through, but gives them tools for how to navigate what the world says love and acceptance look like while being Jesus-followers.
...for the idea of having the older women and men youth group leaders speak blessings over students of the opposite sex. really cool and important in our world i think.
...for one glorious hour with francis flood while he was passing through to pick someone up from the airport. met him quick after church. i love that man so much and i almost jumped for joy at the sight of him. it is so good to be with him, even for an hour. whatta highlight.
catch ya tonight for my gratitude from today! what gifts are you noticing around you? look around today, friend.
all we have needed, Thy hand has provided.
what are you thankful for today?
all we have needed, Thy hand has provided.
hey, pal-ios! happy happy thanksgiving! wow, what a nice break it was for me. four whole days to enjoy all the things i love most in life: family, FOOD, fran my love, naps, and a bunch of free chill time! hope you got to enjoy your favorite things, and i hope food and family were high on your lists (:
hey i've been a bit absent from here due to the things i just listed but i'm gonna combine a list of gratitudes from the long weekend. thanks for bearing with me, you kind friends who check in!
so here goes! first things that come to my head..
i'm thankful for...
... a cozy warm home that my mom & dad work so hard on. it's so nice to have such a cozy place to be & rest.
...sidney being home!!! hallelu! i love my sister and was really good to be with her so much.
...a little time away for coffee with alyssa. we got coffee on the morning of thanksgiving last year and i liked it a lot. not sure if it'll be a tradition every year, but two years strong so far!
...so much time with francis. i was spoiled and now today i'm like where are you, fran?? come back!
...food. good food. plentiful food. snacks and dinners and leftovers and thanksgiving and desserts. isn't food nice? (:
...picking on dave. haha. i looove picking on him. lil nug.
...time with extended family i don't get to see often. for how chill they are. i really like chill people. (:
...seeing two movies this week/end! i think movies are really fun. i saw fantastic beasts: crimes of grindelwald with sidney and the green book with fran and both were really good! i'd recommend either of those if you're lookin!
...good deals! i'm just as annoyed with the consumerism of this time of year as the next person, but... i was able to save so much money on christmas gift shopping on friday so, guess ya caught me.. i'm thankful for them dealz!
...christmas tree day! ya gotta love christmas tree day! i'm thankful francis was able to come, too.
...christmas decorations and christmas music! i love this time of year. probably because i love being cozy and christmas adds a lot of coziness. there are lots of reasons to love christmas.
...emily and james housworth. buddies i hadn't seen in a while. they're such wonderful people.
...a nap with fran in the sun after church.
...a year with francis flood, my love, my dear man. for special celebrations and thoughtful gifts. my sweet love.
...a sweet time with fran yesterday sharing tears. it was really really special. i'll always remember our first anniversay.
...stillwater. i really like stillwater.
...my parents' generosity. how they take care of us.
...all these gifts and more. our dear Father has lavished us with good gifts. soo many things! He takes care of us. i'm gonna say it again, He takes care of us.
He's so good.
all we have needed, Thy hand has provided.
happy thanksgiving, friends! thank you for bein here.
here's what i'm thankful for today...
...for my dad.
...for work. havin a job is a good thing.
...for this little buddy at work with a cute little voice. we're teaching him more & more words and it's soo cute to hear him try to talk. we're so proud of him!
...for leftovers in the fridge set aside to take for lunch by dad.
...for talkin to francis on the phone. i love talking to him! i look forward to it every day.
...for sidney comin home. picking her up in just a bit from the u! can't wait to have her around for the weekend.
...for the dumb idea of seeing a movie with her late on a work night. ha. tomorrow i know i'll be tired, and it's worth it.
that's all for now! short & sweet today, but i'm okay with it. (:
all we've needed, Thy hand has provided.
our dear LORD is so good. how can i not thank Him at least.
here i am! (:
and here's what i'm thankful for. on a bit of an ordinary kind of monday, the best kind of day to find gratitude.
...for dad still making me breakfast even though he's sick! (guys, i promise i don't make him).
...for my emotions. a thing to be thankful for.
...for not being crabby this morning, despite feeling slightly sad walking into work without kelsey and kaylee (their last days were last week). it' weird without them. sad, too.
...for prep time to work on some stuff.
...for the way administrative and organization-type work makes me feel productive and i also like it!
...for a nice end and timely end to the day. i really like when my last hour of the day ends smoothly like that with pick-ups and cleaning up and writing progress notes.
...for a clean car! yay!
...for leftovers in the fridge. anyone else really like leftovers?
...for doin little chores and finishing up things i haven't gotten to. feels good and i know it'll be helpful for the rest of the week!
...for a phone call soon with my love ((:
...for an infinite amount of grace from my dear, good Father. He's more than i deserve. always loving me. never stops. always faithful to me.
catch ya tomorrow!
all we have needed, Thy hand has provided.
"aslan, aslan. dear aslan,” sobbed lucy. “at last.”
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