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Showing posts with label married life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label married life. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

empire bluff trail

Sharing more Michigan photos today -- these are from a hike Paul and I took on the Empire Bluff Trail just outside of Empire, Michigan.  This was no normal hike.  This was the first hike Paul and I took as parents, and the first time we went out together since Theo was born.  It felt strange at first, but we gradually eased into the time together.  I think it helped that we were in such beautiful surroundings.  

Can you guess why Sleeping Bear dunes got its name?  Hint: take a look at the shape of the trees behind me.  

And the final view after the quick 3/4 mile hike: gorgeous Lake Michigan.  I'm ready to go back for another hiking date. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

whose woods these are I think I know

Last week, Paul and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary at Speckled Hen Inn in Madison.  I had been working long hours the week of our actual anniversary, so we postponed our getaway for a week we both had more time off.  This was kind of a dual getaway -- we had wanted to have a night away together before the baby comes in June, and in case we didn't have another time to do it, this mini trip to Madison counted as our "babymoon."  And what a great little anniversary trip/babymoon it was. 

The snowy woods were so relaxing and beautiful.  Around our house a lot of the snow had already melted, but out here the snow still looked pristine and untouched.  It felt like the kind of snowy scenery you see in movies. 

This is a picture of the actual inn.  We didn't stay in the barn with the llama and the sheep in that first picture.  

A view of the little common space.  This was where we got our tea and chocolate chip cookies.  One of the best things about staying in a bed and breakfast: free cookies any time of day. 

Just before we were leaving, I took a walk around the bed and breakfast property.  The woods were just so inviting.  Plus I had to see the llama and sheep up close. 


I'm sure this property is beautiful in the summer too, but I'm so glad we got to visit during the middle of winter.  It was the perfect cozy location for a little getaway.  And the breakfast was amazing!!  Homemade maple syrup, scrambled eggs from their chickens, and delicious French toast.  I could go for a second round of that right now!

P.S. It was so exciting to make our baby announcement earlier this week!  I loved reading everyone's congratulatory remarks on Facebook.  Makes everything seem more real -- and June seem not so far away!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

our three year anniversary

Today Paul and I celebrate our three year anniversary.  This feels like a good milestone for us.  We're still newlyweds but we're getting into our years where we can start to give legit marriage advice -- at least to people who are just starting out.  We have a long journey together to still look forward together, but we've at least figured out a few things together already.

I love this picture from our first dance (to Al Green's Let's Stay Together).  I had felt flustered on and off all day because I was so worn out from the days leading up to the wedding, and I was slightly overwhelmed (in a good way) with how many of the people we loved were all gathered together in the same space.  During our first dance, it felt like everything else melted away, and it was just the two of us.  In reality we were on the dance floor on our own, but we were surrounded by so many people we care about.  It's a great symbol of marriage.

The longer I've been married to Paul, the luckier I feel to be with him.  This was driven home this week, when he took over the morning dog walking shift when the wind chill dipped below -20.  Now that's love.

Friday, December 5, 2014

st. nick's ornament tradition

Every year for St. Nick's Day, we receive a special ornament.  The tradition started with my Grandma who had a love for Hallmark ornaments.  St. Nick and Grandma teamed up so that each member of the family received the next ornament in their series.  Some of us lucked out and had series that lasted for years whereas other people got a nice variety of series when one of theirs stopped being produced.  I've had the Mary's Angels series for 27 years now (one of the more recent ones is in the picture above).  My parents still have most of them at their house, though I think I may have brought a few of them back to Milwaukee with me.  Though I'm hoping as I write this that I haven't brought any home since I didn't find them when I unpacked our box of Christmas decorations.  Errr....

I'm really excited to continue this tradition for my own family.  Tomorrow morning Paul and I will have new little ornaments waiting for us in our shoes by the front door.  Love Christmas traditions and St. Nick's Day. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

off to iceland!

I've been quiet on here yet again, and this time it's for a very fun reason!  Paul and I are preparing to visit Iceland again and leave soon for our trip!  I'll be taking another break from posting but will be back next week with an exciting art related announcement and pictures of our trip.  Hope you have a great rest of your week.  (This is a photo of our trip to the Blue Lagoon last year which we'll be recreating in just a few short days!!)

Is fall in the air in your area?  I know I just posted about how I need more summer, but fall related weather and activities are so lovely....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

more hartford

Paul and I took a trip to Hartford, Connecticut, a few weeks ago to visit his old stomping grounds.  We stayed with some of his old friends and visited a few of his favorite spots.  The iris were in bloom while we there, and we got in just before the summer weather really took hold.  It was beautiful. 

We tried visiting the art museum, but it was closed.  I still thought the architecture was picture worthy though.

We also stopped by Mark Twain's house (that's lego Mark Twain above).  I hadn't realized Mark Twain had lived in Hartford because I always associate him with Hannibal, Missouri.  This was the house he had built to help establish himself in the upper class, and he lived here with his wife and children.  We took one of the guided tours and got to see the room where he wrote some of his most famous books.  The tour guides were a little quirky, but what history buff isn't a little out there?

Until next time Hartford!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

hartford: elizabeth park

This weekend, Paul and I travelled to the east coast for a friend's wedding.  We extended the trip by a couple of days for quick stops in New York City and Hartford, Connecticut to see old friends.  While in Hartford we visited Elizabeth Park, home of the oldest municipal rose garden in the country.  We were a little early for roses, but we had such a nice time walking around and enjoying the beauty of the park.

Love this guy and love irises.  I have a special place in my heart for these flowers.  My great grandma, grandma, and mom have all grown them in their gardens - and my mom still has portions of iris plants that grew in my grandma's and great grandma's garden.  The great thing about iris: they love to multiply!

Are those just some of the most beautiful things you've ever seen?  And they smelt just as nice as they looked. 

I also appreciated this mini edible garden outside the garden cafe.  I've got some more inspiration now for my porch garden!  

I'll be sharing more of our east coast adventure over the next week.  Still to come: Mark Twain's house, NYC, and our 6th JVC reunion!

Friday, May 16, 2014

when dreams come true

This morning I reread the post I wrote just after my husband Paul and I moved into our current apartment.  We've been in our new space for about nine months - on our own for the first time as a married couple - and it felt like a nice time to check in on how things have been going.  

I loved rereading my dreams for our apartment/relationship and seeing that it was still right in line with I wanted. I'm also very happy to say that lots of things I had hoped would happen in this apartment are.  

However -- I thought about writing a different post today.  I was going to write about how I've been struggling with one big dream Paul and I have - the one that involves pitter pattering of little feet.  After revisiting my dreams post, I decided to take another approach to today's reflection.

I'm always surprised when my deepest dreams and desires for myself come to fruition.  It's happened so many times for me, but it's still shocking (in an absolutely wonderful way).  Maybe it's only natural to feel nervous about the future and slightly scared that things won't work out the way you hope.  But over and over (and over!), life just seems to work out.  

Unexpected things certainly come up, both pleasant and difficult, but my life overall arcs towards the deepest things I hope for myself and those I love. 

Waiting, joyfully hoping, and practicing patience helps in expanding my view when things take longer than I expect or when my day to day life seems to be mired in not so dreamy things.  Dirty bathrooms, sticking to a budget, silly fights, dog poop, weeding...these are some of those messy details of life that can sometimes be great in their own way.  Especially when they're mixed with all of life's lovely little details: the quiet nights, the  kisses good morning and good bye, the road trips, the visits, the friend dinners, the small gestures of love.  These all help make my life special.  

When I look back at my life, the little details are what make up the big themes: love, family, great friends, community, happiness, growth.  I realize that I'm living the life of my dreams, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.   

Things work out in in their own time.  And while I'm waiting for future things to work out, I'll be remembering to appreciate all the little details and all the big things that are working out right now.  

Happy Friday!  Hope you all have an excellent weekend!  Check back on Sunday for my new feature: my week in Instagrams.  Thank you for reading today!  Vulnerability and sharing dreams = scary!

Friday, February 14, 2014

happy valentine's day

Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is than falling in love
in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
This poem, attributed to Pedro Arrupe, captures my feelings for Valentine's Day so well. i decided a long time ago that this holiday meant much more to me than whatever romantic feelings I had or didn't have.  Valentine's day for me is all about celebrating love, in all its various forms.  

The love of a newly married couple -- the love of an old married couple -- the complex love one feels for a family member with mental illness who won't seek treatment -- the love of a pet for its owner -- the love a parent feels for her brand new baby -- the love between two old friends -- the love we have for all the people we've lost -- the love felt for the first flower of spring -- the loving kindness one feels for humanity -- radical self love - the love I feel for ice cream -- the love a teacher feels for her students -- the love that leads people to dedicate their lives to making the world a better place -- love for nature and creation -- the love Martin Luther King talked about feeling for your enemies -- love for a favorite place (like Paris) -- love of chocolate and desserts -- the love a grandparent feels for a grandchild -- love of what you do...

Love is so complex and profound and beautiful.
I've been in love with so many people, places, and things.  There have been so many things that have seized my imagination, that have gotten me out of bed in the morning, that I've spent my evenings with, that I've read about, that's broken my heart, that's amazed me with joy and gratitude.  My heart is full of gratitude for all these things.  

Happy Valentine's Day!   Hope your day is filled with so much love.

What are you in love with today?  I have to give a special shout out to my hunky husband who planned an overnight trip for us and to our great friend who offered to keep our pups company for us.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

love and the oregon coast

The holidays were a crazy, amazing time for me and Paul.  We like to fit visits to both of our families in if possible, and we were fortunate enough to be able to spend time in St. Louis and Portland (OR) during the past couple of weeks.  During our trip to Portland, we took a day trip to the Oregon coast and shot these pictures.  I'm thinking of framing them or putting together a small coffee table book because I love them so much. 

Our holiday travels are usually bittersweet for me.  While I love seeing family and friends, visiting St. Louis and Portland bring up the lingering question about which part of the country Paul and I will choose to settle down in.  We're both happy in the city we've made our home as a married couple, but we're feeling more and more that we'd like to be closer to family as we get older.  Currently we're both vying for our hometowns, and we've gone through all kinds of crazy ideas about how to make a bicoastal living arrangement work (no luck on making any of them a reality yet).  While we wait for teleportation to be invented, we try to focus on being lucky enough to even have two places that we want to be so badly.  We're loved bi-coast-ally!  And I'm totally not complaining that the Oregon coast is the place I visit my inlaws.  Not at all. 

In an effort to not let this big question cloud our happiness now, one of my New Year's resolutions is to just be present.  To enjoy my life exactly as it is right now.  I've had varying success with it over the past week, but having it as a goal feels like a good first step.  And watching the sunset over the ocean sure helped push all worries out of my mind.  Which gives me an idea - these pictures could be my go to reminder to be right here, right now.  

What helps you be in the now when you're trying to be patient with an unresolved issue?