Lots of things are surprising me lately—in a good way. 

I'm surprised by how and where I've been encouraged. I've had several wonderful conversations in unlikely places or through unlikely means—on speakerphone while I work on a craft, in the parking lot outside our favorite doughnut place, or while sitting in the outdoor furniture section of Home Depot. It's good to be reminded that community grows where you're planted, and sometimes in hardware stores and parking lots. 

I'm surprised by just how good Sufjan Stevens' new album is (although I shouldn't be--I mean, it's Sufjan). You can stream the whole album here. Side note: it's a fantastic album, but it does has some raw content, as he processes his grief over his mother's death.

I'm surprised by how fun it is to pretend to play hooky on Nicholas' lunch break with coffee and a walk downtown (of course it's not true hooky if you leave for your lunch break and then go back to work) but midday "dates" are super fun. And so are iced lattes. 

I'm surprised by how much wear I'm already getting out of my warm-weather wardrobe. Sleeveless tops and sandals are the norm here in early April. Also, it's like I've rediscovered the bracelet as an accessory when long sleeves don't get in the way.

And I'm surprised how I'm falling in love with Austin all over again. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's our wonderfully encouraging small group or my awesome coworkers, maybe it's God changing my heart attitude, maybe it's eyes wide open choosing to look for beauty. But I think it's all of those things.

Maybe this post would be more aptly titled "Things that shouldn't surprise me but do"?

In other news, my mom and grandma are here to see the Texas wildflowers! I haven't seen them yet, since this is our first spring here, but I'm sure it's going to be beautiful. And I'm pretty sure we're going to have this ice cream today too. I'm so thankful for a God who created wildflowers. And for people who make good ice cream. 

What surprises you lately?