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Blogtember: A Little of Life Lately

Life lately has been... different. You know I like a good routine, and these days it seems I have yet to find one. Work is all kinds of inconsistent which leaves me with bucket loads of free time. Last week, I finally decided to do something with it. Friday morning rolled around and I hopped in my freshly washed (and fixed!) car to motor on downtown. First stop: the Seattle Art Museum. I've wanted to visit the SAM since I was first in town last March, but I never found the time or the courage to fight through traffic and parking on my own. But Friday was the day! And boy was it refreshing! 

Honestly, I love going to museums by myself. Give me a playlist of movie scores and a large, empty gallery to myself and I'm feeling pretty close to heaven. I take my time, wander as I please, and am one happy camper. One of my favorite memories is from studying abroad last summer, sitting in the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris, staring into some of Monet's giant waterlilies. Just me, the music, and Monet. The Louvre was overwhelming with the amount of tourists and the little time allowed to explore, but the l'Orangerie was a beautiful retreat. 

The Dallas Museum of Art is one I'd highly recommend if you're in my home state, and the Nasher Sculpture Center is just across the street. Oh, and if you go you have to walk two blocks down the street to Carmine's Pizzaria. Go, make a day of it, and give the museum a hug for me :)

Life lately has also included this weekend's highlight: World Mandate 2013. My church has been putting on this conference for 25 years now and it was as wonderful as ever! I couldn't make the trek back to Waco, but thanks to StageHop I was able to live stream the sessions. So good! So challenging, convicting, and encouraging! Christine Caine and Louie Giglio were among the featured speakers and they brought the house down (to their feet really)! If you're interested, for $10 you can access all of the podcasts through stagehop.com. 

Along with that, Antioch Live released their new album "Our God Comes". We had a worship night in the spring where they recorded these new worship songs, and I must entreat you to check them out! "I Will Raise" and "One Hundred Three" are my favorites right now, and they absolutely set the tone for worship during my day. 

And I'll end with what I'd call an oldie but a goodie. If you're looking for somewhere to start in the Word, something that will refresh you or encourage you, jump into Psalm 23. It is one of the most well known passages, but every time I return to it, it sparks something anew.

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word, you let me catch my breath and
send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
I'm not afraid when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner 
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
Psalm 23, The Message

Have a happy Monday!

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Large, Intimate Parties || Glitzy Gatsby Inspiration

I have to admit something to you. I did not read The Great Gatsby until this spring. For some reason we were reading Heart of Darkness (believe me, it's dark) and Moby Dick (not even going to go there...) instead of this classic. I have several friends who hold it as their favorite novel and were both eager and skeptical about the Baz Lurhman movie. I couldn't add my opinion, and so I picked it up while working at the campus bookstore. It took me two days to finish and I came out really enjoying it! It's not in my top five or even ten, but I could easily recognize why it has stood the test of time.

However, I do LOVE Baz Lurhman! He has a very unique and specific directing style that I so enjoy and admire! He directed Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet (also with Leonardo DiCaprio) and those do fall into my favorites. His over the top, somewhat overwhelming, montage-loving style seemed in my mind perfect to encompass Gatsby's larger than life tendencies and expectations. I loved the move and am so glad it's out on DVD! I'll have to Netflix it, but you bet it's on my Christmas list.

Another thing I love about this remake is all the Gatsby inspired weddings, parties, and photo shoots that have come about! Who doesn't love a little glitter and Art Deco? I'd love to throw a Gatsby-esque soiree one of these days. Maybe when we get the backyard in tip-top shape (if that happens...). I picture lights strung on the fence and trees, fun finger foods, loud music, and lots of pearls and beaded dresses. It may just be a dream, but here is my inspiration:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

"In his blue gardens men and girls came and went 
like moths among the whisperings
 and the champagne and the stars." 
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Like I said, I'm loving how popular glitzy Gatsby weddings have become. I mean, I do love a good shabby-chic barn wedding, but it's a nice change of pace! Anywho, I'm off to read the novel again. What do you think? Will the Gatsby phase pass, or are you loving it too?

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Let's Say Grace {Currently in September...}

[ Photo Source: Kinfolk Mag]

...reading She Reads Truth study of Women of the Bible, Part III. And Bread & Wine by Shauna Neiquist. I'm also a few chapters into So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore, but I might start over since it's been a few months a while. I'm also reading Much Ado About Nothing. Someone cast me as Beatrice, please?
...watching nothing currently. I just finished re-watching Once Upon a Time. It is my guilty pleasure and I cannot wait for Season 3 to come on this month!

...trying to get organized for the semester. I start teaching my first children's theatre class on the 24th and need to get lesson plans done. And I need to organize my bookshelf. My clothes may be color-coded finished, but the rest of this corner of my room needs work

...eating Lean Cuisines. In an effort to save money -and simply eat healthier- I am taking the Special K challenge and eating ready-made portion-controlled meals. No more fast food for a while.

...pinning Christmas ideas! I know it's still a few months away, but you can never start too early in my opinion. The October through December months are my favorite of the year!

...tweeting Christine Caine. I literally want to re-tweet everything she posts. That woman is a powerhouse on fire for Christ and I'm convicted/encouraged by everything she puts out there. A recent favorite is: " If you can't be faithful when you're unapplauded, uncelebrated, unapproved, unwanted, unreognized, then you won't be faithful when you are."

...going to bed shortly. I always find myself writing near the 10:00 hour, and with the trouble I've been having sleeping, it's time to tuck in with a good book and pray for a restFULL night.

...loving "Clear the Stage" by Jimmy Needham. So convicted by this song. He just released a new album "The Hymn Sessions" and it is also so good!

...discovering that I'm never going to "get there." Let me explain. I'm a girl who wants to be settled. I want to know what the next five years of my life looks like and have my opinion matter in the planning process. But that's not how life works or what it's about. I'm learning that there is no set point that once I "make it" I'll be good/happy/content/ready. Life happens and we have to choose how to respond. I can trust the Lord and say yes every morning, taking it one day at a time, or I can cling to my calendar and my dreams and find myself frustrated when my timeline doesn't work out. The latter doesn't sound like thriving, does it? 

...enjoying my little hobbit hole. That's what I've been affectionately calling my room in the basement. I was not thrilled initially, but it is starting to grow on me.

...thinking I should apologize for how late I'm sending out the prizes for my giveaway! Y'all, I'm truly sorry! Getting ready for this move then actually making the move threw me for a loop. They'll be in the mail this week. Promise. 

...feeling the need to nest. It's what I do. And by nest I mean decorate, rearrange, and organize. I left so many decorations at home in storage which is both a bummer and a blessing. Thankfully the #contentmentchallenge will keep me from spending anything on decor for the house.

...hoping to learn to cook. If it's a dessert or if it can go in the microwave, I'm good, but beyond that my skills are limited. I really want to learn my way around the kitchen and it's one of my goals during the challenge.

...listening to Andrew Belle on Spotify. Check him out!

...thanking Mom for driving across the country with me and helping me get settled in! She has spent so much time and money over the past two weeks to get me here. I am so blessed by the way she has gone above and beyond to settle and spoil me.

...starting to jog by the lake. I mean, come on, it's three blocks away. Why shouldn't I? Anyone want to go with me? ;)
Your turn! What are you up to this week? Plans, adventures, priorities? I'd love to know!

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The Seattle Saga: Part I

Do you remember the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie "Getting There"? 

The twins get this shiny new Mustang convertible for their and decide to take a road trip with friends. If I remember correctly, things didn't go so well and they barely made it. You could say the same for my cross-country move to Seattle last week. We were oh-so-glad to get there, but it was definitely an adventure.

Here's a look at our major points. We would drive in a total of 9 states over 4 days. We may not have made those loops but it sure felt like it after driving up, down, and around so many mountains!

The Seattle Saga
Day 1: Dallas to Denver
Day 2: Denver to Salt Lake City
Day 3: Salt Lake City to Boise
Day 4: Boise to Seattle

Monday morning my Mom and I woke dark bright and early to get on our way. The first leg of the journey would be roughly 13 hours from the Dallas area to Denver. I was so excited to make it to Colorado because that meant I would get to see one of my dearest friends Micah! She graduated from Baylor's theatre department in December and left me by my lonesome. Just kidding, she went off to do great things in Denver but I still miss her dearly! 

And so, we drove... and drove... we waved at Dallas as we drove past it. We waved at Oklahoma as it was gone in the blink of an eye. We breathed easier once we were out of Sooner country (Sic'em Bears!) and saw Kansas up ahead. We drove halfway up Kansas then more than halfway across it, and it was as exciting as it sounds. Some of my favorite Baylor friends are from Kansas so it was fun to see their corner of the world, but I was also happy to see the Colorado state line. 

We drove and we drove and we drove some more, finally pulling into Colorado around 9:30. Micah graciously opened her home to my Mom and I, and we were able to relax on her back porch to chat for a while. Seriously that girl does my heart so much good! I am so thankful that I can call her sister and friend. But she had work in the morning and -while we planned to sleep in until 9:00 or so- I needed to rest, too. 

Tuesday we were up and at 'em again. Or so we thought we would be. Mom went out to the car to move it... and it wouldn't start. She cranked it... and it didn't start again. We pushed and prayed and finally it started! However, all the electrical things had reset. The clock, the mileage, etc. But it started! We kept praying and we kept going, hoping it would make the trek to Salt Lake City just fine. But when we stopped for gas, it was still struggling, so we asked where the best local car place was and were pointed to James at Tires Plus. Apparently he was the pro at Volkswagens.

We dropped Marshall (my car, remember?) off with James, and they said they'd call us when they knew what the problem was. Luckily -rather, dangerously- there was a shopping center across the street. Mom and I wandered through World Market, Michael's, and Target before camping out at Barnes & Noble. She called and they were still running diagnostics so we picked up a few books and perched in the corner. 

This is where I picked up Bread & Wine. Shauna Neiquist has a way with words! Her book makes me feel like I have been sitting at a robust farm table piled high with delicious dishes and fine wine, chatting with a circle of friends I hold dear, and learning something new about each of them. I love her collaboration with Lindsay Letters (an amazing calligrapher!) and hope to someday own both the book and the prints (not until after the contentment challenge though, right?!).  

I only got 3 chapters in before Mom wanted to go check on the car in person. We walked, and then she talked, and then we crossed back over to the shopping center. The car was dying on them, too, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong. Mr. James-the-VW-Genius thought it was the battery since it was triggering the electrical what-have-you, and said they would change it after their diagnostic checks were complete. Mom and I decided on Chipotle for lunch, and just happened to wander into Payless Shoe Source. Let's just say that when they got the car running, it was quite a bit slightly more full than when we dropped it off thanks to Target and Payless. And Mom, of course ;)

We were on the road again around 3:00 with 7.5 hours to go. We were glad to have the car fixed but not excited to drive through the mountains in the dark. Mom put the pedal to the metal and we booked it. The next state on our list was Wyoming. Again we drove up into it and all the way across it. We passed through Cheyenne... then didn't see another town for around an hour. Wyoming is the definition of wide open spaces. Nothing but eighteen-wheelers and the road for miles. We stopped for gas and food a few hours into the drive since we didn't know when we'd see the next town (and thanks to an emergency orthodontist appointment, I was living off of Special K protein drinks and mashed potatoes thanks to my new retainer.. sorry if that's gross or weird, but it was an added pain on this trip). 

Utah came into view under a blanket of black skies, and driving in those mountains in the pitch black was hardly fun. You could tell this was a dangerous place to drive in the winter because of all the signs about tire-chains, and there were even a few "Truck Escapes" or "Runaway Truck Ramps". I'm definitely not going back through there during the holidays. Or ever.

Finally, much later than expected, we pulled into the Country Inn and Suites just outside of Salt Lake City. We decided to drive through downtown and end up on the other side to hopefully miss traffic in the morning. We were given our room keys and hurried to the elevator. I must say, my bed never looked so beautiful! 

Thus ends The Seattle Saga: Part I. Let me tell you though, the car troubles adventures are far from over. Have any of you ever driven across the country? If so, what were your adventures? Hopefully less frustrating than ours, but it's what makes the trip memorable right? 

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Fully Satisfied | The #ContentmentChallenge

Nothing reveals how many things you have but do not need than trying to move across the country in a Volkswagen Beetle. Seriously. I love my car and think it is cute as a button, but capacity-wise it is on the small end of the spectrum. Actually, it doesn't get much smaller (okay, I know about the Smart cars and the Fiat, but whatever...). But you know I put my Proptart skills to work and played Tetris with with my belongings and packed Marshall* to the brim. We could have fit more but I at least attempted to give us a view through the rear window.

While the vacuum bags we used for my clothes were a brilliant find and necessity, the "aha!" moment didn't come until we slammed the trunk shut and prayed it would hold. I had what I need and yet there was still so much I was leaving behind. And I'm talking boxes upon boxes of crafts, shoes, decor, kitchen things, etc. left in a storage unit. My mindset has been one I inherited, to save things for a rainy day and why buy new/again when you already have/had it? I'm still sitting in that thought, but a few more have since come to mind.

*Surprise! It's a boy. My car's name is Marshall. Any Alias fans out there? I named him years ago because I was 1) obsessed with the show, 2) pretty sure my little brother will grow up to be Marshall (the hilarious, adorable, genius tech guy), and 3) Marshall would be the type to drive a red bug with no shame. 

In the spring, the lovely and inspiring Nancy Ray began a challenge aptly named "The Contentment Challenge." Within minutes of reading her blog I jumped on board and Instagramed the key verse, planning to follow along. Yeah, well, that plan flopped to the ground in the speed that I hopped on the bandwagon.  I had good intentions, but no followthrough. Welcome to one of the biggest struggles in my life. It might be a surprise to some, but to others I apologize for the times I have given my word or signed my name and never held up my end of the bargain. Believe me it has happened more than you think or I would like to admit...

Thus the Contentment Challenge fell under that category. The idea has been dancing around in my head in the months since its introduction, but I have never acted upon it. I kept saying, "Once I blog about it, then I'll do it..." But did my fingers ever click those keys? You guessed it: negative. Not until now at least.

It had come to mind yet again but I brushed it off, anchoring that thought to how impossible it would be while working at Anthropologie and after moving across the country? Psh, no. I had a killer discount to think about, of course, and all those things I "need" to make my house a home.

Yikes! Sounds like a heart that is hardly content, and one that finds its satisfaction in stuff rather than a Savior. Can I hide in a hole now? No? Hm... how about in a pile of more things? Still no... okay. 

While I was trying to brush the thought from my mind (or fling it to the far end of the Milky Way), I checked Lara's blog. Y'all. If you don't know who Lara Casey is, check her out. She is someone I have written about before and look up to immensely! At the beginning of this week Lara shared that she would be starting the Contentment Challenge. Her heart and struggle with the idea matched mine and I was struck with guilt and conviction. My items have become my idols, and the way I depend on a lush layer of stuff to bring comfort is not God-glorifying or -relying. Again, yikes!

This morning's YouVersion devotional hit home. In June I started a 5 day study called "Fully Satisfied in His Love". Obviously I haven't been --and I only made it through day 1 way back when-- so I hit the arrow backwards and started again. Oof. Right to the heart. It opened with Psalm 63:5. "My soul shall be satsified as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips." 

In The Message paraphrasing, I tracked back a few verses and was even more so hit by the way I have not been relying on Him. This should be the call of my heart. He promises to provide and nourish us with what we need and so much more!

God, you're my God! I can't get enough of you!
I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open
drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
my arms wave like banners of praise to you.
I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy; I smack my lips.
It's time to shout praises! 
I'm sleepless at midnight, 
I spend the hours in grateful reflection. 
Because you've always stood up for me,
I'm free to run and play.
I hold onto you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post.
Psalm 63:1-8, The Message

This is the prayer I want to breathe each day, thanking God for His goodness and protection, rather than making my list of "needs" and noting the places where I "lack" in life.  My hunger should be for Him, not for a fuller closet. My thirst should be for His Word, not for another unneeded Starbucks on the way to work. I want to be able to say "Here I am in the place of worship" not only when in the sanctuary or at Lifegroup. [An echo of this place and ache in my heart is Jimmy Needham's song "Clear the Stage." It has been on repeat and will remain there for quite some time. Check it out and let his lyrics soar! They'll get ya, but it will be so good.]

The Contentment Challenge is not just about giving up things or walking past Target with a sigh. It is supposed to resonate so much deeper and be a lesson learned that lasts. At least that's what I'm praying. 

Part of me is saying, "Wait until October! It's almost here and you can watch your spending for a few weeks, right?" That temptation is dangerous. I know my habits and I'll spend myself into the ground. And so, I start today. And I'm going to need your help to stay accountable. Each week, in one of my posts, I'm going to share my successes and my failures. Things I've said no to and things I've let slide. 

I had a couple of things/expenditures planned for the months ahead but that could change. One of the goals is to learn to approach each purchase with prayer. Do I really need this? Why do I have to have it? Am I buying it for a legitimate reason or simply to feel in control? Is this the way I treat myself or cope with something unpleasant or difficult? In those moments, prayer is needed not the swipe of a debit card.  

The Contentment Challenge: September through December* 2013
We will give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household decor, and "stuff" for 3 months, to focus our hearts and minds on the root of true contentment. We will actively pursue fulfilling activities that will replace our addiction to material things.

The Guidelines (from Nancy Ray's blog, slightly edited for my personal challenge):
  • For the next 10 days, your homework is to do the following: prepare your heart, organize your closet, and make any necessary purchases that you might need during these months.
    • I've had a few days to think about this and have made the final Target run. No more knick-knacks or trinkets, unnecessary sweet treats, and no more books or clothes. Be proud, I'm making slow progress! I had a dress picked out for my bonus 60% off and left it on it's rack and I went to Barnes & Noble to read (Bread & Wine by Shauna Neiquist and Much Ado About Nothing are my current choices) and put them back on the shelf after a chapter or two. I did cave in and had Chipotle for dinner, but that was my goodbye to the savory place until December.
    • Like I said, I'm expecting a few expenditures in the coming months and am doing my best to set that money aside ahead of time. I begin teaching my children's theatre classes in two weeks and will buy only what I absolutely need and will allow myself one show per month if the tickets fall into my allotted price range. Also, my school loans come calling near the holiday season so this will help prep me to begin those payments.
  • Choose 1-3 inspiring books to read during this time
    • Like I said Bread & Wine and Much Ado About Nothing are my current reads, but I am adding Seven, The Purpose Driven Life, and So Long Insecurity to read before Christmas. I'm also working my way through the Old Testament so these will coincide. 
  • Gifts are okay! If someone gives you a new dress or a piece of deco during that time, receive it graciously! If you need to buy someone else a gift, by all means do so. The point is not to be rude, but to learn more of ourselves and the Lord.
    • This is not a plug for gifts, but an allowance for honoring others even if it includes spending. Gifts are in my love languages, but I am a firm believe that a note of encouragement --whether it arrives at a moment of deep need or just as a surprise-- goes a long way. I do have a few family members and friends whose birthdays are just around the corner (plus Christmas, hello!), but this will remain a time to be prayerful and get creative. 
  • Necessities are okay! If you drop and break your phone, please get a new one. If you lose your glasses, buy a new pair. Just don't start justifying new purchases for items that you already have.
    • There is absolutely a difference between a need and a want, and I am eager to learn. In some places, saying "no" is a piece of cake. But in others... let's just say I don't watch a lot of TV because commercials and advertisements get to me (...that's not the only reason I don't watch much television, but when someone has the ability to skip the commercials boy am I a fan!). Needs as in basic toiletries, replacing a pair of tights, and food are allowed, but I am limiting my fast food to only when out with friends. And friends, let's do something other than eat out or go to Starbucks! This city is full of things I have yet to discover. A jog around the lake, trip to the park, I'm up for just about anything ;)
    • I've also just moved my closet from Dallas to Seattle, so most of my clothes no one has seen yet. I do not need to buy another dress, pair of jeans, skirt, etc. because these are all practically new again. 
  • You must actively pursue something -anything- that replaces your tendency to buy stuff. Begin thinking about something you love or a hobby you've always wanted to do, and make preparations to actually do it.
    • I'm still thinking on this one. I got a gift card for a free week of yoga at a new studio near where I live, and I'm incredibly intrigued by the ballet barre workouts. However, I do not need to drive across the world for classes or pay for these classes when I found a killer (aka kicked my butt) video class that did the works. "Mall walking" is dangerous and absolutely not an option. Why do that when I live three blocks from a lake and have everything I need in my room?  

*Ooh, y'all. You don't know how hard it was to write 'December'. 
I wanted that month so badly. Which goes to show how much I need to let it go.

I don't know about you, but when I read that I am intimidated. I am reminded of my weakness, but where I am weak He is strong. This will certainly be a challenge, but I know I need it. Thanks for jumping with me, and I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Did any of you take the Contentment Challenge? How did it work for you? If not yet, are you considering it? Let me know!

Learning The Art of Opening Up

I sit before flowers hoping they will train me in the art of opening up.
I stand on mountaintops believing that avalanches will teach me to let go.
I know nothing but I am here to learn.

It is now Day 4 of the Seattle Saga and we are somewhere in between Boise, Idaho and Kennewick, Washington. We have been to three different car places along the way for various repairs, and hopefully we will see Seattle tonight. Don't worry I'll fill you in on all the details next week, but for now enjoy this picture from my trip to the LFP farmer's market a few Sunday's ago and a quote I have loved for quite some time. Have a great Thursday!

Anthropologie: Delight, Desire, Dream, Done

Working at Anthropologie definitely has its perks. I mean there are literal perks that come with the job including a stellar 40% discount to be used at Anthro, Free People, Urban Outfitters, and BHLDN. While I also consider the gorgeous and inspirational environment an enjoyable part of my work day, the clothes I've only ever been able to admire can now find a place in my closet. Another perk is the family discount, something my sister and mom were thrilled to receive. They also get a card that gives them 25% off at the stores listed above, and boy did we use our discounts this weekend. Thanks, Mom!

It seems like every time I go to work, I find something else that tries to convince me to give it a good home. Every couple of weeks I'm going to share my list of Delight, Desire, Dream, and Done, and here is round one.

Delight. This glass dairy bottle set is simply adorable! They come in three sizes, each with a rubber lid, and in a whimsical script are covered in "sentiments of joy" and measurements. These would be perfect for a house-warming or hostess gift and can be used anywhere from the kitchen, bath, or craft table. I'm hoping to bring these babies home as soon as I'm settled in to my new place. 

Desire. The Camellia Bib necklace has been an Anthro fave since it's introduction. I have seen it all over Instagram and the internet with fashion bloggers raving of it's beauty and versatility. Use it to dress up the most casual of chambray tops or layer it over an out-on-the-town dress for extra glitz. I usually lean toward necklaces with a longer chain but this will be the exception to my rule. It's $68.00 price tag has left it in the store and off of my vanity but maybe, just maybe, I'll cave ;)

Done. This has to be my favorite purchase of the summer. The Elsa Peplum dress is a gorgeous teal lace number that I plan to use as my audition dress at least in the upcoming weeks. Maybe someday I'll actually have a reason to wear it out; I'll treat myself to a show downtown or something. I was wary of the fit at first but once I tried it on I fell in love! Peplum is actually flattering on most body types and the pencil skirt fits like a glove. I even like the cap sleeves which is a rarity for me. All in all, I highly recommend it, and there is no buyer's remorse to be found here.

Dream. Oh, my. This really is the chair of my dreams. And it will stay there happily. At just under $1000, the gorgeous Astrid Chair in August Vintage has been perched in our store for several weeks, and it smiles at me every time I walk in the doors. It is plush with a pop of bright color, and it's bold pattern would make it the eye-catcher in any room. I doubt this will ever become a reality, but a girl can dream can't she?

There you have it, friends. Any of these make your list?
Also, don't forget to follow my cross-country move on Instagram and Twitter. Today is Day 1!

So Long Seattle Summer, Hello Seattle September!

Am I the only one in disbelief that September is upon us? If there's one thing I've noticed in the past few months of blogging is how, each time I begin a post, my first thought turns to how quickly time has passed or is passing. But it is so true! One blink and poof! That's the way it works I suppose. Time has again gotten away from me as August has come to an end. Summer is dimming and autumn is just around the corner, so it's time to wrap a neat bow on the gift that truly was the previous three months.

You may not know this, but I am in Texas. I am deep in the heart of my glorious home state and have been for one week now! However, tomorrow morning my mom and I will hop in my tiny red Volkswagen beetle and hit the road. We'll be Seattle-bound by way of Denver, Salt Lake City, and Boise. The year ahead is becoming official as I move into a new house with four new roommates and trek across the country with as many of my belongings as will fit in my bubble of a car. 

You should be proud of my packing efforts, by the way! You can still see out the back of my car and there's leg room (albeit not much). I sifted through boxes and boxes of books (so hard to choose!), clothes (I definitely packed too many... then bought some more...), candles (all melted by now), and Christmas decorations (totally unfair how many are being left behind), but we fit it all in there with room to spare. It helps that my room will be small and my gracious roomies are providing the furniture and kitchen necessities this go around. It will still be three days crammed in the car, but we shall prevail!

To make the most of my time at home, I spent several days this week in Waco, soaking up the Baylor spirit and the sweet friendships I'll leave behind. It was their first week of classes which meant everyone's schedules were crazy, but I had a great time. It was absolutely wonderful getting to see so many familiar faces and catch up on life, sharing the details of my summer in Seattle and God's faithfulness in the process. Seriously, He is so good! Retelling the story over and over again was the best refresher of really how He has provided above and beyond what I've asked for and needed every step of the way. Even in my days back at Baylor, He was with me and surprising me daily.

On Thursday I had the absolute JOY of meeting Victoria of Happily Ever Strader for lunch. She is such a sweetheart and my soul sister! We chatted for over two hours and I left feeling so refreshed and even more positive that God uses the blogging community to spread His glory, gospel, and gifts. I am so glad we snuck in a Chick-fil-a date before I set off for Seattle and she took off for a weekend getaway. Hope you're having a blast, friend!

This blog is going to be quiet for the next week as Mom and I drive several thousand miles doing our best not to go insane in the heat. I can't tell you how bummed I was every time I glanced at the temp here in Texas. At least 20 degrees hotter than Seattle. Yesterday we got up to 104. Just miserable!

Be on the look out for a complete blog makeover, too! I won a re-design by Tricia Nae on the Southern Simplicity blog and she has been tweaking it to make Anchored in Love Divine just right. I cannot wait to see it in action :) Like I said, be on the look out for it soon. 

I may or may not be on again this week, but if you want to follow my cross-country adventure check out my Instagram at baileyjeanrobert and Twitter at baileyjrobert. Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!