Friday, March 27, 2015

Flashback Friday Five


Goodness friends, time is something I cannot grasp. It blows my mind that it's already Friday. I thought I'd copy Karla and do a little friday five combined with my flashback friday.

ONE: ONE year ago I was recapping a sweet wedding shower for some of our friends. It was the first big party we had at our little duplex and it was such a blast! I had so much fun with the decorations, vintage rustic chic themed, and the invitations + games. It was a blast and I still gaze at the photos with fond memories.

TWO: I shared a collaboration post between myself and Campus Book Rentals, two, in which I shared some of my favorite college memories and study spots. I'd love to hear what some of yours were.

THREE: Over Christmas I watched my two sisters and one husband, three, become good friends. A dream come true for me that just made my heart bust. I still can't stop smiling about it. Those pictures are some of my very favorite.



FOUR: Last year my girlfriends and I, all four of us, got together for one of our last big girl weekends for a while. Then, one was preparing to move away to California to begin her new life as a lighting designer. Another was preparing to move up back to Oklahoma for grad school and another was going into her last year of med school. Then of course, I was studying for the NCIDQ. Now, one is still in Cali, one is enjoying her grad school program, and the other is preparing for a move to North Carolina for residency. The four of us will be spread across three states. I think a savings account for travel funds just to visit these women needs to begin.

I'm pumped for the adventure this weekend brings! I'll be sharing about it all soon. What is on your weekend agenda??

Thursday, March 26, 2015

This Makes No Sense


Sometimes God asks us to do something that makes no sense to us.

I was reading Jeremiah 13, verses 1 through 11 the other day. God tells Jeremiah to go and buy a belt, wear it and don't allow it to touch water. Later He tells him to take the belt and hide it in the rocks of Perath. Still later, God tells him to go and fetch it from it's hiding place, of course by now it was ruined. In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem, God says in verse nine. All of that was simply an illustration to explain and teach Jeremiah about God's  upcoming course of action. It was a lesson.

I can imagine Jeremiah thinking, what God? This makes no sense, you want me to buy a belt, wear it and then hide it? And now, now it's ruined. So now that's wasted money. Or at least, I know that's what I'd be thinking.

Have you ever found God asking you to do something that seems ridiculous and yet later you see why? Sometimes there's days or even months to years between following His instruction and later seeing the result. Yet, there's always something God will reveal to your heart at some point in time.

I know this has been true in my own life. He's asked me to give things away, go somewhere, do something specific...and oh the number of times I've thought,  this is ridiculous, or ugh, I'm really not in the mood right now. In fact, I know there's been a number of times where I've just flat out ignored God and moved on with "my plans," which of course take me no where. God always finds a way to bring you back to His intentions.

You may think something is ridiculous, annoying, or a disruption even to your plans or your agenda but God's way always, always, has plans outside what you can even imagine or understand. Follow His leading. Then share what He's taught you. Not in a way that boasts of yourself and your "great" faith, but boasting of the Sovereign King who STILL reigns on high.

This is what the Lord says, 
let not the WISE man boast of his WISDOM,
or the STRONG man boast of his STRENGTH,
or the RICH man boast of his RICHES,
BUT let him who boasts boast about this,
that he UNDERSTANDS, and KNOWS me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises 
KINDNESS, JUSTICE, RIGHTEOUSNESS
on earth, for in these I delight, 
declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 9: 23-24

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ah College Days...

It's hard to believe that Kevin and I are approaching our third anniversary, and yet at the same time college seems so far away. But graduating just three weeks before our wedding date makes it easy to remember both. Sometimes I still have to remind myself that I made it through college, the books and classes and long nights, and I am now a professional doing the work I always imagined I would do. I loved college but I was ready to be done with it come the end. side note: I love how much timehop reminds me of all the fun times of college though!

It's been sweet as I write our story to remember the college days. As much school work as I would have, it sure was a blast to be surrounded by best friends so much of the time. Some of my favorite memories are simply being with my girlfriends in our apartment living area, school projects, papers, books strewn about and laughter filling the room.


I did most of my studying here at this desk. Sometimes I'd just pile up all my binders and books here and leave it for days. Procrastination at it's finest... And at the end of the semesters it's definitely where you would have found all the books that I was done with and now had to decide whether to sell back to the library, keep or donate to a friend...oh the money lost one could just see looking at the pile.



Most of the time I was drawing though...either by hand or on the computer. Sometimes this required the big book of answers, or the silver bible as we sometimes referred to it. A giant textbook filled with all kinds of typicals in space planning and furniture design. As a freshman and sophomore I would stealborrow the upperclassmen's copy that they left in their classrooms but later on I had to get one myself. That book was not only a beast to carry around but it sure wasn't cheap either!

I wished renting textbooks has been an option then, or perhaps it was and I didn't know it! I've since learned that I could have saved 40-90% off bookstore prices, had free shipping, would be able to highlight (umm huge deal), and be giving back to children by renting books. What a concept!? Thank you Campus Book Rentals for creating such a novel idea. I'm betting the silver bible would have been a heck of a lot cheaper through you!

In the back of this picture below, you can find the drafting table. One of my roommates parents had scored this for us. Oh the number of times we sat there with the silver bible and a temporary computer set-up.


Our living room in the early days...one day they called us and told us they were taking away our living room furniture and replacing it...a hectic day for us designer types. Not to mention, we had to completely empty our bookshelf of textbooks (that had piled up because we couldn't decide whether to sell them or keep them, because both options didn't put much cash in our hands) in order to move everything for the apartment people...not fun.

Renting text books from Campus Book Rentals would have been pretty hassle free and left us with less books to have to move that day! They make it so easy to rent the textbooks that it could almost be fun, well ya know at least it would have saved from the nightmare of finding a parking spot on campus and hauling heavy books, or ordering from somewhere online and hoping it was a legit seller that would send the book in time.




Yes, we painted our college apartment. With two interior designers in the group, there was bound to be some love added to our typical cheap housing. We won't get into how we spilled red paint on the floor...


We took breaks from textbooks every now and then altogether and would go out on the town, which really meant just seeing a movie together or renting one and getting ice cream...either way textbooks were avoided and ice cream was included-always.



The end of a typical night, ice cream in our cups, talking on our sofa and most of us in comfy clothes...I loved being in this room with these girls. Someone bring back college for like a week, please! Especially with the ability to rent textbooks as opposed to buying them...imagine the number of ice cream visits I could have actually afforded...but really.


College was a blast, but I know I spent a good part of it counting pennies. Paying for housing and food, nights out and just school supplies can get expensive, let alone the costs of buying books, most of which you get maybe half of back when you "sell it back" to the bookstore. It sure would have been nice to have some extra cash in my wallet and less books to toss or try to give away.

My favorite part of Campus Book Rentals though is the way they partner with Operation Smile, an international children's medical charity ( you can learn more about them here). With every book that is rented they donate back to Operation Smile. A company that is giving back is always one that's going to have my business.

So what were some of your favorite parts of college? Least favorite parts? Did you rent textbooks? Or would you have if you had known? What was the most you spent on a textbook? Clearly, I'm really curious today!



*I was provided compensation for this post from Campus Book Rentals however all thoughts and opinions are my own. I write honestly about companies I work with and only choose companies I see value in. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesdaying

There are dishes to be done, and a bed to be made, some laundry to be ironed...life. Today, I'm taking it a little easy and getting things checked off slowly. I'm trying to get past making myself feel guilty for not accomplishing certain things. I'm choosing to be joyful and embrace the day.

I can't believe I missed National Puppy day yesterday...that should be remedied...so pictures:













Happy Tuesday Friends!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Love Story: Making Plans

Goodness, I keep saying I'm going to get better and more consistent on these posts and I just keep completely failing at it. They usually require a lot of work because I'm trying to find as much as I can to remember things: going through journals/agenda books/old emails/facebook...and then there's the pictures...so it takes a bit of time and while I'm appreciate after the fact, it doesn't lessen the semi "dread" of getting started on one.

But today, I'm back at it! Here we go!

This is a series about our love story that I've been carrying on for far too long. If you're new, check out all the previous posts here and bear with me as I attempt to make a sprint to the finish line aka the wedding day.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marriage was no longer a scary topic for me. I knew with certainty that I was dating the man I was going to marry. It was strange but peaceful and I was ecstatic. Never before had I dreamed of getting married right outside of college but now here I was dreaming it. My apartment with my girlfriends had quickly turned into a giggly fest, talking about weddings and guessing at the future. They were as certain as I that Kevin was the man for me to marry. Every person we talked to gave us a confident thumbs up. It was crazy but it was clear, Kevin was going to be my husband one day.


School went back into the normal swing of things. We pulled in day night from time to time but mostly Kevin was back into visiting me in studio or working around my crazy hours. It turned us against each other at times, but we learned to talk though things and healthily discuss arguments. We had our date nights, enjoyed snow days and usually chose to relax together above all else.







We attended Kevin's youth pastor's wedding and it only confirmed for both of us that marriage was in the plans for us. I nearly cried in that ceremony. I couldn't believe, and yet I fully believed that I would be up at an alter marrying Kevin in some fashion, at some point in time.  We talked about their wedding and thought about what our wedding would look like. We dreamed a lot. We dreamed about when we would get married. When he would propose. When we should even look at rings. If we should look at rings. The list went on.

Thankfully, the spring semester went by so fast and it was Spring Break before we even knew it. We'd planned back at Christmas to come to Florida and see my family. For the first time my sisters were going to meet him, and for the first time he was about to spend a lot of time, in close quarters, with my family. I was excited and completely anxious. I knew the Lord wouldn't give us such a clarity about marriage and then he dismiss my family after this trip but part of me still feared it. My family was a great part of why my relationship with M dismantled as it did. I worried it would all be too much for Kevin too.

We arrived in Florida to warm weather and beautiful skies, a nice break from the cold and gray of Oklahoma. My mom had many days planned and my sisters were very much themselves around Kevin. My heart was finally at ease. We played, we went to the beach, we sang in the car...it was so fun. At night I asked him how he was doing, and he always said great.  My family was wonderful and fun for him...there were no big concerns.

My mom already knew about us talking marriage so we sat one day and started talking wedding dates. We looked at my sister's graduation date and considered locations and eventually settled on June 1st after graduation. We picked a wedding date before a proposal had even been made. It all felt right for us though. We were excited and my mom was giddy. We started a google document noting ideas for the weddings, dates, things to remember etc.

Spring break ended all too quickly but the trip settled so much in my heart. Kevin liked my family and my family liked Kevin. We talked about a wedding on very real terms and we had a blast just hanging out together without the stress of school for week. Marrying this man became more real with every day, and yet I still didn't have a ring on my finger to really share it with the world... 







Friday, March 20, 2015

Goodbye Winter



This winter I so loved building a real fire in our home. It was so relaxing and comforting. Even Paisley enjoyed it. Oklahoma's winter was very up and down this year. It would be fairly warm and then drop to shivering cold. We'd have snow one day and then be in shorts the next. It was miserable for my allergies yet I think this past winter was one my favorites yet, since being married.

After such a sweet Christmas it was hard getting back into the swing of things. We chose to make most of our weekends low key for a while, after getting into more projects than we should have taken on (a living room update & craft room reveal to be coming SOON). It was the first season in so long that neither of us had just a ton of things to do at home other than relax and enjoy being together. It was such a precious season and I loved it.

But as we say good bye to winter, I'm incredibly excited to saying hello to SPRING! Easter, the celebration of our risen King!, is just around the corner and from there I anticipate many sunny skies and dates to the park with our puppy girl. Sure, there's a lot of life things going on, like getting cars fixed after an accident on a snow/ice day, but our God is on the throne and He gives newness every single day. He always provides. He always speaks wisdom. I'm going to choose to rest in His truths, and enjoy this next season just as much as the last. Choosing patience and trust isn't always easy but my heart knows it's right, now to get my logic brain on track too.

If you've been following me on instagram, you know I've been wrapping up my studies through Isaiah. I can't believe I've finally started Jeremiah today! (I'm so thankful for the Word God has given us. Friends, never choose a book study over the REAL deal, the Bible.) Here are a few of the verses I've shared recently. What are some verses you've taken to heart recently?



They will fight against you but will not 
overcome you, for I am with you
and I will rescue you,
declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 1:19

I will tell you of the kindness of the Lord, the deeds 
for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us, 
YES, the many good things, 
He has done for "the house of the Burns(insert your family name)" 
Isaiah 63:7

Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the
Lord rises upon you!
Isaiah 60:1

Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, 
I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will
carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:4

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word
of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8

Surely, it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love
you kept me from the pit of destruction; You have 
put all my sins behind Your back.
Isaiah 38:17


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How to do DC in a Time Crunch


Kevin and I are becoming pros of fast and furious trips. If we can squeeze in a city/area that is iconic or on our list of must-sees, then we do it. A few years ago it was Chicago, last year it was D.C., over Christmas it was Disney's Magic Kingdom for a day, and this year will be Paris when we jet over for just over 24 hours from Denmark. And for those of your wondering why we do it this way? Usually, we're squeezing this sight seeing time in between family trips and/or en route to other places in an effort to make our trip/$$ towards that trip count double time. It's just been working out this way so we've learned to see the most we can in the shortest time.

And when I say fast and furious, it's no exaggeration. We run until our feet are burning and we're in tears. Literally. So I thought I'd share about how we do it.

So in general for any trip we:

We prep a bag. This is something we've had to learn over time and it's recently been improved with a Christmas gift of a Camelbak backpack (hello built-in/insulated water bottle!). Our bags usually have some water, some ibuprofen, napkins/tissues, snacks(usually a granola bar, something easy), the camera/camera accessories and maps(dependent upon where we are). You may not want to carry that much but this is what works best for us.

We wear comfortable walking shoes. Or at least some of us do...I might be guilty of choosing fashion friendly shoes as opposed to real walking shoes...but sometimes I choose more appropriately.

And when you go to do D.C.:

Weigh out which areas are the most important for you to see. Touring the White House and Capital were a must-do for us. We also really wanted to walk out the National Mall, see Lincoln, snag a bit of time in Georgetown, and ride bikes.

Make the Plan. We had a morning in DC and then a week later we had a day/night/morning. The first morning was the White House tour (more on that to come) and we walked a little that day seeing some things like the Old Post Office (which was closed due to renovations). We left after this and spent a week with family before heading back to do more.

Rent Bikes: The best way we've seen the most of anywhere we have been is either renting bikes or doing a segway tour. This time we opted out of the segway tour due to price but the bikes were SO worth it. We got them for our evening there and rode the National Mall at night, everything is beautiful at night there. We took them to Georgetown too.

DO the White House Tour. You only get to go through a few rooms but I'm sorry, after all the movies about living in the White House, you've just got to go and see it. Amazing. I loved every minute of it. I bought the book they sell there (which was begun as a project of Mrs. Kennedy) and read the entire thing on the way home that day. #worthit If you want to do this though, you'll have to plan your trip to DC ahead of time. You register online and it is several months until you know if you're approved to go and for what time you can go (read Erin's post for more info). You can't take any pictures until you leave the house but again it was worth it. Plus get the book!

Go on a Capitol Tour with your State Representative (tour will likely be given by an intern). Again, this is something you need to schedule and plan well ahead of the time you actually are packing your bags but if that's something you can manage, THIS is the way to tour the Capitol. All the interns that work for the representatives are required to learn all the things about the Capitol. We got a private tour with the intern, meaning no giant tour group with headphones on traveling in packs to everything. As a result, we also got to check out the Speaker of the House's balcony. Believe me, we saw the other groups, do it this way! And yes, the Capitol tour is awesome.

Order your Georgetown Cupcakes online. So you've seen the show, and now you want to taste what those two cute sisters created, right? Please, go online the day before you want to go and order the cupcakes you want. Once you get there, you'll walk right in and pick them up. No line. No waiting out the building along the sidewalk. Just in and out. Take your cupcakes to the water side and make your taste buds smile while watching the sunset.

Skip going to ALL the Museums. DC is known for some of the best museums but if that's something you want to do you'll need a week there because each one is enormous and you could spend hours in them. We took a look at the museums and noted the parts we really wanted to see. One of them had the original US flag on show and a special section for the First Ladies, we made those top priority. We popped into Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art, which had a special furniture series on display (loved it), and called it a day.

Book the Washington Monument ahead of time. We knew the monument was going to be under construction so we hadn't checked into this. Little did we know they were still taking reservations and we could have gone had we planned ahead of time better.

Eat at the small places. There's always going to be that five star place in any city, try and find the small spots where locals might go. They're going to be off the beaten path usually but they won't break your budget and they'll be tasty! After our Capital Tour we got food from Tortilla Cafe and after the White House we went to Lincoln's Waffle Shop. And for another option, try just going to a local grocery and pick up something from their ready-to-go section, this is what we did in Georgetown.

Take advantage of the metro. Staying out of the city? That's probably a great idea for your budget. Take the metro and save yourself a headache of finding parking. It's easy and quick. It will even take you straight to/from the airport.

Stay in the city one night. Kevin and I's thing is historical hotels. We try and stay one night in every city we visit in a historical hotel (it doesn't always happen). You can search by city here if you're interested in that. If not, choose one through one of those searching sites (Groupon, Expedia, etc) and just stay one night there. One night won't break the budget and gives you even more time in the city.

*Catch our schedule after all the pictures

Pictures from the trip:
This was our first big trip with our fancy camera and man on man did we love having it!


 I thought the metro was so cool on the inside!
 The Capital



 You never know who you'll meet on trips...our tour guide/the intern turned out to my one of my co-workers cousins!


 Self timed shots have only gotten easier with our camera














*please ask for permission to use images and always link back to this page. -thank you


What was our schedule?
Morning 1: White House Tour, Old Post Office, Classic DC Breakfast
Day 1: Capital Tour, inexpensive lunch, lots of walking (mall, museums, etc), check-in at hotel, rent bikes, Georgetown shopping/cupcakes/dinner, bike the mall, say goodnight
Morning 2: breakfast, metro to the airport

So there ya have it...how we did DC in a day and a morning. If you've been, what would you add?





Pearls:
-Taking time to figure out what will be most important to you is pivotal. I can tell you a hundred times over that the Capital tour was AMAZING but if the interior of historical buildings doesn't thrill you then you're in for a tour that will steal a lot of your time and leave you disappointed. Figure out what your interests are and gear your trips as such.
-Skip out on the fancy meals...you can get a fancy, yummy meal anywhere...see what you can, eat whatever you can find.
-Don't waist time instagraming/tweeting as you go...just go and do it all! Social media can wait.
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