Community & a visit up north
I just got home yesterday from a trip home for a friend's wedding and to spend some time with family. As usual, a few days is never enough time to make up for not getting to see each other all the time, but it is still so good.
We drank coffee with my Grandma Donna, talking about Norwegian mannerisms and the daily practice of pausing your day to enjoy a cup of coffee and a little something to eat.
I spent time at my brother's new house. Me and my family had a tour of the house and yard, and then Matt and I cooked supper together for the family. Later that night, before bed, my brother and I went on a night walk through the dewy grass and chilly air to test out headlamps and flashlights (way more fun than it sounds!)
My friend, Sarah, had a dinner cruise on a river boat for her bachelorette party. It was a bit wet, windy, blustery, and left us with messy hair and full hearts. It was the perfect way to celebrate Sarah and her almost-husband, Tom.
Other highlights from time at home:
- brunch at Hazel's NE with family (a favorite)
- Gingersnaps (one of my parents' puppies) sleeping at the foot of my bed
- touring my parent's yard—seeing the irises, hostas, ferns, pink coneflowers, and sneaking a few raspberries right out of the garden
- temperatures in 60's and 70's (so nice)
- Spyhouse coffee with my mom: cortado for me, caramel latte for her, and an almond croissant to share
- giving a quick hug to my friend Lauren (not nearly enough time together, but I simply couldn't miss out on a hug)
- talking about plans for a big upcoming trip in September that Nicholas and I are taking with my family!
And of course—the original impetus for the visit—seeing my longtime friend, Sarah, marry her sweetheart, Tom. The day was perfectly them, and perfectly lovely. I actually didn't take any pictures the whole day, and it was refreshing! I got to be there, fully present, taking it all in. As such, I had a reunion with all my dearest friends from high school (yes, we still keep in touch)! It's been some time since we've all been together, and we talked about all sorts of things, but one topic that resurface multiple times was community. As high schoolers, we shared something special, for lack of a better term. Although time has us in different life stages, we are still close-knit. I cherish these people.
Time in community and with family in Minnesota made me think of my community here in Austin, too. I've been blessed in having community around me in most life stages, this current one is no exception. And really, even though it sometimes takes work and sacrifice and always takes intentionality, I'd argue it's not optional. That is to say: worthwhile, life-giving, edifying community is something no one should be without for long. So those people who hug you just the right way and ask the right questions about your heart and are okay with silence when the moment allows? Work hard to preserve those ties. Call your parents and your brother more than you do right now (I'm writing to myself) and be intentional. The result is joy and an extended family, where true familial lines are blurred—an extended family that reaches into every hard and good part of life, knowing your heart, and taking your hand.
P.S.—coincidentally, a sweet family friend, Liz Holst, just wrote an article about establishing community/friendships with other women and how even if it takes time, it's worth the wait. Spot on, Liz. :)
Starting sometime in the fall, I made a point to be a bit more creative and find new to us trails to hike on and explore. Since then, we have found several new favorites for when we are in the mood for a hike, regardless of the season.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
2021: A year in review
Every January, I assemble a blog post of sorts that catalogs our year. Largely organized in list-form, I touch on the big and little things, events and thoughts and experiences that shaped our life over the last year. I do find this incredibly helpful as a sort of reflection, a glance back on the Lord's faithfulness, to show me, time and time again, that He is a good God. And with that mindset, I feel less encumbered as we continue on into the new year, more ready to face a full year of new, fresh days, with the heart attitude that regardless of what the days will hold, mundane or exciting, difficult or good, I can walk into the future with hope and trust in Him. Plus, I do enjoy looking back on a lot of the little details of our life, the ones that make me smile or think, Oh, yes! We loved that! What a little joy in our life.