Actually the title for today’s post should be 10 Things We’ve Learned, as my good friends Kerry and Nathan are tag-teaming this one.
I met these two lovebirds at church maybe five-ish years ago. But I’m still a bit in awe of the fact that they met each other more than a decade earlier at age 12. (Oh yes, imagine your future spouse’s first impression of you being from those spectacular middle school years.) Sparks flew though, and they eventually began dating at 18, got married at 20/21, and are now coming up on their 10th wedding anniversary. Incredible! I think it’s safe to say they win the award for the couple who have known one another the longest out of all our thirty-something friends.
Kerry and Nathan are now living in Lawrence, KS where Nathan teaches high school English and Kerry just graduated with her master’s last year (go Kerry!) and is working as a speech language pathologist. Two cool jobs for two smart cookies, and I admire how they both work incredibly hard to study and keep up their skills in order do their best in their respective fields. But this love of learning undoubtedly spills into the rest of their lives as well, which results in them just being thoughtful, well-read, kind, faithful, curious, hilarious, caring, and bright people, and awesome friends to have a conversation with. (And since great conversations are just about my favorite thing in the world, this pretty much guarantees that they are some of my favorite people.) They’re the kind of friends who can naturally bounce around from talking about our dogs, to F. Scott Fitzgerald, to the best beer recommendations, to interpretations of scripture, to navigating relationships, to Patty Griffin, and every possible thing in between. All the better when over good food and drinks with good friends. And after our trip to England with a bunch of friends last December, I also have it on good authority that they can pull off said conversations with British accents… ;)
Ha, on a slightly more serious note, I also want to note that I’m really grateful for the kind of couple they are. I’m not quite sure how to say this. But as someone who’s single, there are some couple friends I whom I absolutely adore but sometimes feel kind of third-wheel-ish or just extra-aware that I’m not married like they are when we all hang out together. Not a huge deal, but it happens. With Nathan and Kerry, though, it’s quite the opposite. Time with them is always comfortable and “normal” and feels like I’m just hanging out with good friends (who happen to really love each other)…which is a gift. If anything, I feel like I usually come away from time together really admiring how they do marriage and feeling encouraged that the sort of cool, loving, honest and fun relationship they have is possible.
Anyway, I wish all of you readers could grab a drink with all of us and hang out with these two for yourselves. But for now, this post is the next best thing. Enjoy their 10 things!
Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Sometimes your traffic spikes and grows, sometimes it plateaus and declines. Sometimes you have tons of new ideas and stories to share, sometimes you have total writer’s block and nothing to say. Sometimes you feel confident, sometimes you feel discouraged. Sometimes you achieve the goals you want, sometimes it seems like everyone else gets there first. Sometimes you feel like you’ve been given the best job in the world, sometimes you start to wonder if this is where you’re supposed to be.
(You might have guessed where this is going…)
For a handful of reasons, I feel like I’m riding the downswing again. Some might call it burnout. I call it “the blogging blues”.
It’s no secret that I love my neighbors. For these past two years that I’ve lived in downtown KC, they have made this place feel like no less than home. And one of the people I have most to thank for that is this great girl — Cate.
Cate was one of the first people I met when I moved to the River Market, and I have a hunch that many others can say the same. Everyone knows Cate!!! (And her fiance, her famous dog, and her extra-famous Photo Bus that can almost always be found nearby.) Without a doubt, Cate is one of our neighborhood’s best connectors, never hesitating to introduce herself with that winning smile of hers, and naturally helping facilitate introductions between friends she thinks should meet. But Cate is also one of those people who takes the time to listen and be present and get to know people well, which why she is so well-loved as a photographer all over town and back at home at our neighborhood coffee shop. (Which we joke feels like our own Central Perk from Friends, where Cate is one of the people I somehow always cross paths with when I go to get my morning pour-over.)
I feel like our next guest-poster in the “I’ve Learned” series hardly needs an introduction, because it seems like the whole world already knows and loves Liz from The Lemon Bowl! (Or as her name fondly pops up in my phone, Liz Lemonbowl.) ;)
People who’ve had the chance to spend time with Liz love her. People who read her inspiring blog love her. People who get to watch her cooking segments on tv love her. Her husband and twoadorable little boys love her. Even people who have never met Liz love her! Case in point — just last night I was telling my friends to tune into the blog today for a great post from a blogger named Liz, and my friend Cass responded without missing a beat, “Oh, Liz from the Lemon Bowl? She leaves the nicest comments on your blog!”
I’m back with another Stitch Fix review! Sadly, I ran out of time to snap and post photos of my January fix from Stitch Fix. (Yes, my success rate with mailing those darn packages back in time is mirroring my track record with returning library books = notgood.) But this month I was on it. And I happened to receive my package on Valentine’s Day, and even ended up wearing one of the pieces out that evening. So it was at least somewhat of a success!
Unfortunately, I only ended up keeping 2 of the 5 pieces this month, mostly due to fit. I feel like my stylist is really nailing the “style” side of things for me. She even read my notes and sent in a different size of a blazer I adored from my December fix. But sadly, the blazer and some of the other pieces just didn’t fit well, especially around the hips. I still wish that they offered an easier option for swapping sizes, but hopefully that will come soon.
Many of you may not recognize that guy up there, but if you’ve visited this blog, you’ve seen a glimpse of his many (many) talents. That’s right, today I’m happy to be introducing you to Jeff — the guy who designed this blog and has been my faithful web designer (and tech-support-with-the-patience-of-a-saint) for the past 4 years.
He also happens to be my brother-in-law. But since I only have a sister (his lovely wife), I happily claim him as my bro. ;)
For those of you who missed it, I had the chance to travel to Park City last month with Sarah to cover the Sundance Film Festival. And we had a blast!
We soaked in the beauty of Utah, met all sorts of great people, ate some (mostly) great food, and saw lots and lots of movies. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for links to our daily coverage of the festival and films.) But as first timers, we also ran into a handful of unexpected surprises and learned some valuable lessons about how to best navigate the festival.
We had a fantastic response to the kickoff to our I’ve Learned series on the blog. So I’m stoked to continue on today with this post from my friend, Rachel.
I met Rachel over a decade ago when we were both undergraduate music majors at Southwestern College in Kansas. Nowadays, Rachel and her husband live in Washington, D.C, where she works for the Smithsonian and specializes in all things fundraising, while her husband is a percussionist for the U.S. Navy band. Let me just say, these two are extremely — like extremely — talented musicians. For Rachel, part of that comes from being one of 11 (yes, eleven) children in a very musical family, parented by two music professors. (Shout out to her dad, who was one of my favorite profs!) But most of her incredible musicianship comes from a lifetime of hard work and love and mega-dedication to her craft, which I admire to no end.
Alright, I’m back with another post about being single. And while today’s topic is one that I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined I’d be posting online for the whole wide world to see, I’m feeling spontaneous and going for it. Partly because:
1. I’ve been asked the same question three times in the last week, and probably 100+ times since beginning this series — “Well what are you looking for in a guy nowadays?”
Today we are kicking off a new series on the blog called “I’ve Learned”, in which people share 10 things – any 10 things — that they have learned in life. I have been looking forward to launching this for months, mostly because I’m just completely curious and excited to hear what people will have to say. There may be a sprinkling of bloggers in this series. But mostly I will be interviewing friends and people in my community who I love and admire and would love to learn from.
When dreaming about this series, my friend Michelle was always the first person who came to mind. So I was thrilled that she agreed to go first. Those who know Michelle know that she is a total “learner” herself in all of the best ways. She’s curious, she’s reads (a lot), she’s incredibly active with her neighborhood and community, she travels, and she spends time building relationships with all sorts of great people. She’s also someone who quite simply does a lot of good in life. She has built a career upon teaching and developing programs for adults learning English, which she does with a lot of heart and dedication and creativity. But while she would never mention it, she’s also constantly spending her spare time with those who might need an extra hand or tutor or volunteering. Basically, Michelle is one of those people who’s making the world a better place day by day in her own cool way. And I think she’s pretty great. And I also think it’s very great that I get to count her a friend.