Saturday, August 17, 2013


Ok, so this post might make more sense if I give you my current setting: dark, dreary night and it's 65 degrees out. August. Yes, that's right. Oh and Andrew's out getting beer with the dudes.

Anyways, I just heard this one song on Pandora which I listened to a lot last fall (and this day really reminds me of fall) which made a lot of thoughts & feelings come back. 

Last fall was really hard. A high school friend took his life last June and then in September a family friend took his own life. I still think about them (a lot of times when I'm doing the dishes... don't know why) and it's hard to wrap my mind around it! So heartbreaking. I feel everything so deeply which can be good and can be really hard. 

Tonight also reminds me of Rozzie. I've been thinking about Rozzie a lot because this time last year we we were in the process of putting in an offer, etc. This house was a short sale... nothing, nothing is ever short about a short sale. From the time we looked at the house (July) to the day we got our keys (December), a lot of waiting happened. We were homeless and at one point had to stop telling our closest family & friends the latest news because it was that much of a ridiculous roller coaster. It wasn't until the night before we closed ... I'll say it again, the night before we closed, until we knew 100% we were getting Rozzie. 

I'm so thankful for this house. I remember driving by last fall and wondering if this is where we'll live. Wondering if that's where we'll have dinner every night and if that's where we'll sit on the porch. It was sitting empty for 2 years (which means I'm still dealing with cobwebs) so I never saw it with furniture/other people's stuff ... blank slate for us!

It's funny what waiting does to a person. After waiting for 6 months for Rozzie, I often find myself so incredibly thankful to the Lord for such a blessing. I can't believe He gave it to us!

We also want to use Rozzie to be a blessing to others so that's why we'll have a Johnson & Wales student live with us this year! She'll be in France this fall studying French pastries (um, hello!) and then will be with us til May. 

So there's my retrospective Saturday night rainy day post. God is good all the time and every good and perfect gift is from above!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Europe: packing

I did a lot of research before we left on what I should/shouldn't bring. So here are my thoughts on packing for a trip...

- I packed everything in my college backpack (above), brought a tote, and a purse. Would definitely do that again. We borrowed a North Face travel pack from a friend and that worked out well for him.

- Didn't bring a hair dryer... good decision. Some of the hotels we stayed in had one and when they didn't, I put some of this in my hair. 

- Brought a very small travel sized brush which I was happy about. When you're gone for 2.5 weeks and only have a backpack, size matters.

- Clothing: I read a few places where no one wears shorts in Europe... not true. I only packed one pair but wished I had had another. I'm definitely the one to pack at the very last minute, but a few days before I laid clothes out that would go with each other. We were able to do a couple loads of laundry, so I knew we could get away with wearing the same thing often (oh, bring stuff you like wearing because you'll see it a lot). I also packed a jacket and I'm glad I did. 

- I stopped at J. Crew the day we left ("hi, how are you?" "great! I'm going to Germany this afternoon!!") and bought something like this for license + debit card + insurance cards. Left my bulky wallet at home.

- After our 5 days w/o luggage in Japan, both Andrew and I packed a few things in our carry-ons. Do this!

- We borrowed adapters. You need these.

- I brought a pair of Toms, Chacos, flip flops, and nicer flats. I definitely didn't buy any new shoes before we left because I knew we'd walk everywhere and did not want blisters.

- I went to Sephora before we left and got a rollerball of new perfume. Now when I smell it, it reminds me of walking the streets of Prague, bike riding through Bavaria, and eating salami + cheese for breakfast in Austria. 

- For our luggage tags, I printed our names & addresses on one sheet then on a different sheet, I printed our last name to put on top so that's all someone could see when our luggage came rolling around. 

- I wished I had brought the devotional I'm going through (it's really good) but I did bring a very small travel Bible.

- Everything we packed was intentional and simple. We brought a bag like this for clothes we needed to wash.

- Also, I tried to carry our passports with us at all times unless they were in a secure location. Andrew put his wallet in his front pocket and I had my purse in front of me the whole time (in big cities). I even had my hand on the zipper when we were walking through a big crowd... I read so many stories about theft.

- In the end, less is more. Rick Steves really made me believe this in my research and it's true. However, one of the things we forgot was motion sickness relief pills for Andrew. Let's just say that after going down curvy roads in Italy.... yeah.

That's all for now!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Andrew and I were in Europe for a lot of July. Here's one picture from each country that can sum up our trip (I'll spare you ALL of my pictures). 

Northern Italy: Lake Garda. AMAZING.

Austrian Alps: Grossglockner which is the highest alp in Austria

Germany: I was totally smitten with the houses and how there were flower boxes everywhere.

Prague: very Eastern European

London: Big Ben!

Tower Bridge in London