Thursday, October 29, 2015

photographed | snake road

The last few days have brought wind and rain and rumors of snow.  So the last of the golden leaves are shaken off their wet limbs.  Autumn is simply spectacular here.  The sugar maples turn to a flaming red and their leaf-load is as voluminous as a country singer's hair.  They release a sweet smell as they fall, and it brings back early childhood memories of adventures in the woods and raking huge piles to jump in and somewhere in my mind there's a photograph floating around of a particularly vibrant tree that was in my grandparents front yard.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

quotable | quinoa

I was innocently going over my menu for a bridal shower and Miss Grace happened to overhear my plans of a quinoa salad.  This was her response.  

My biggest critic in life is an 8-year old.  We have so many things in common, including our sass.  

I kept the quinoa salad in the menu, it was tasty, but wasn't nearly as popular as the other items on the buffet.  But then, Miss Grace could have probably told me that.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

thoughts | home...

Oh, that word.


When our house sold last summer and our new house as just shy of breaking ground.  We scrambled.  Trying to find a place for 11 people and their things.  Nothing was out of question.  Hotels, the cabin, another state, an RV, tents, a yurt.  We looked at dozens of options for the time that faced us as we built our new home.  In the end, it was a vacation rental that we ended up living in long term.  10 months to be exact.  About 5 minutes from the office and the grocery store, within the range of the pizza delivery man and most importantly, able to house the whole lot of us.  Of course I complained, but you couldn't beat it for convenience!

With our move now behind us and the one year mark a few week past, I've been reflecting.  It seems like the longest year of my life and yet the shortest.  It was a good, yet hard year.  Not good in the traditional sense, maybe more good for me.  For a while my entire world was flipped upside down.  And I struggled every day with this out of place, lost feeling.  And then I struggled because I was frustrated at myself for feeling that.  "Abbe, there are real people in the real world dealing with things that hundreds of times harder than this.  It's all fancy problems."  Darn those fancy problems, they'll just wear you down if you let them.

But God works in all of our lives in ways that are specific to us.  Because He is a personal God.  He is God with us.  When He calls us to something, He also walks with us through it.  For me, it was a stripping away.  Of dreams, of the familiar, of some of the stability that my family fights so fiercely to maintain, of our things.  The first few months were miserable.  Then the holidays came and were especially hard since we're used to having huge celebrations.  It was the first time, in a few years that we weren't able to host a ton of friends for Thanksgiving.  We were on top of each other (the turtles were suffocating, as I was sharing a room with Miss Grace and her collection of 97,000 turtles) and stress was high.  I wasn't sure we were going to make it.  And with most trials, you're in the thick of it, you start to accept it as the new normal, and you realize that you're at the end.  It's over.  You wouldn't want to go through it again, but you're grateful you did.

One of the most profound things I learned is, my comfort is overrated.  That, even in a good life, there will always be an element of uncertainty and it's okay.  Man, that's hard for me, I hate it so much.  I love my security, I love to be comfortable, I like to know whats coming next and to be prepared for it.  I've always been a "look before I leap" kinda girl.  Worse than that actually, if I don't see a sign, I'm 100% the one to call the park board and double check to make sure I'm not missing something.  My family kept saying to each other "when we move into our house" or "when this is over" and had to catch ourselves from thinking that everything was going to be perfect once we had a permanent home again.  It's a lie you tell yourself.  It's a part of coping, I think.  The thing about hard seasons is that, they prepare you for harder seasons.  You realize that you're stronger than you think, that God is really all you need.  And while I'm probably coming across as a little dramatic, what I'm trying to say is that, I'm just barely scraping the surface of what it means to trust God through times that feel out of our control.

I'm not really sure where all of that came from. I've been trying to write this post for a few weeks and I can't get the words perfect but I think I may put it up anyway.  But I've been pondering "home" and it's come to mean so much to me.  I get a little choked up every time.  I can't help it.  My brother got married in our backyard on Saturday, adding the first layer of precious memories.

It's good to be home.

Monday, September 14, 2015

photographed | happy wedding

My little brother got married this weekend.  The ceremony and reception were held in our backyard, the weather was perfect, the flowers were other-worldly, food amazing and the prettiest couple I've seen.  Happy wedding Levi & Em!

photographed by the ever-incredible Kathryn Grace Photography

Thursday, August 20, 2015