Category: fair

Catching up on life

The past few months have been an absolute whirlwind.  A new marriage, lots and lots of birthdays and anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, a dance event, a skiing trip in Colorado, huge amounts of interpersonal drama, and new jobs for both Michael and myself have proven to be just about all that I can handle.

It is ironic that, although I have been writing more than I ever have in my entire life, I think it’s the longest I’ve been silent on this blog since I started it.  Most of my time lately has been taken up writing for my new blog, forgingsignificance.com.  Right after the wedding I spent several weeks working on some quillwork for an artists’ market at my church, but since about mid-December I have officially taken the plunge and started working full-time toward becoming a freelance writer.

Since then, my days have consisted of lots of website tweaking and beating the pavement trying to submit articles to other sites.  I’ve consistently written at least twice a week on my own blog for several months now, as well as already had 3 articles accepted in other places.  Sometimes it’s frustrating and feels like I’m not making any progress; but then I remind myself that I’ve really only been at this a few weeks, and that helps puts things into perspective for me.

This post is just a brief summary, both for your sakes and mine, of what I’ve been doing the past few months.  Hopefully I’ll be able to write more regularly on here now that I’m in the swing of things :).

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Michael and I had the opportunity to go visit my New Jersey grandparents in October, just a few weeks after we were married.  I was so grateful that Michael had the chance to meet them both, but especially my grandfather, as he ended up passing away just a few weeks later.  We all miss him a lot.  He left quite a legacy.

I was able to do a few fall-specific things, like carve a pumpkin with Michael, meet my friend Sarah in Ellijay for their Apple Festival, and go to the Perry fair with my mom and younger siblings.  That was a really fun afternoon.  Perry is about half-way between Atlanta and Albany, so we met in the middle and made a day trip of it.  It’s hard to develop a relationship with your siblings when you live far away and they can’t drive and don’t have cell phones, so I’m always grateful for the opportunities that we do get.

I once again hosted a Christmas party this year, except this time I did 3 days in a row of Christmas parties!  We took this idea from a friend, and the thought was to try to incorporate as many people as possible, while also making an effort to focus on different aspects of the Christmas season.  So the first night was “celebrating friends,” which was basically my normal Christmas party.  I made dinner, we played games, decorated gingerbread cookies, etc.  One of the games was a new one – I wrapped little treats in saran wrap and made people unwrap the ball with oven mitts on.  It was actually a lot more fun than I expected!  You can read more about that here.

The other 2 nights were “celebrating others” and “celebrating God,” where we wrote letters to troops and did a lessons and carols service, respectively.  We had almost a completely different group every night, and it was really a lot of fun!  I was definitely tired by the end of day 3, though :).

One of the highlights of the last few months was New Year’s Eve.  Michael and I spontaneously decided to go to Birmingham for the night.  And it was really so much fun!  We hung out, played games, watched the ball drop, and enjoyed a great breakfast the next morning with people we love.  Nothing different from what usually happens when I go to Birmingham for NYE, but considering how much drama has been swirling around Michael and I lately, it was a welcome and much-needed respite.  You can read more about that trip here.

I also really enjoyed my birthday celebration a few days later.  It was a pretty low-key affair, but I was surrounded by some of my favorite people in the world (including my mother-in-law, who had just had knee surgery and could hardly walk!  It really meant a lot that she made the effort to come out.  I have great in-laws).  We had a potluck dinner and then went to downtown Atlanta to see the Christmas lights in Centennial Park.  The lights were gorgeous, and we even got a funnel cake!  I suppose that was my pseudo birthday cake, haha.

Several of my friends also brought gifts to the potluck, and as I opened them, I was overwhelmed by just how thoughtful they all were.  These people who had come to celebrate me together really cared about me.  I know it seems silly, as most people would say it’s obvious that I’m cared about…but when it feels like you’re being surrounded by selfish emotional drama on all sides, it’s easy to lose sight of that fact.  It was a wonderful night to be reminded that I’m cared for.

We went on a ski trip 2 weekends ago – Michael’s first time!  It was bitterly cold, but a lot of fun.  Even though I’ve been skiing several times before, I actually ended up being a lot more sore than he was.  I think I was so scared from how fast I thought I was going that every muscle in my entire body ended up tensing up, lol.  But we both made it through the day in one piece, so I count that as a victory! 🙂

All that aside, Michael and I have been trying to focus on taking care of ourselves and getting into a regular schedule.  We’ve become connected with a small group at church that focuses on outreach to internationals in Atlanta.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them.  I’ve also started part-time work teaching a beginner ESL class twice a week.  It’s quite a challenge when you have Spanish, Chinese, AND Russian speakers, and there’s no telling how many people will actually show up!

Now that things are starting to calm down a bit, I’m hoping to be able to update both blogs.  But for the most regular updates, be sure to head over to my new site (forgingsignificance.com) and sign up for my newsletter!  I always post there on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Efforts to become more cultured

In an effort to become a more cultured individual, I have decided to make an effort to see more performances this year.  With the Georgia Tech Woodruff Arts pass, which for $20 gives me 1 free ticket to every performance at the Alliance Theater, High Museum, or Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for a full year, it’s hard to find a legitimate reason for why I shouldn’t go.  However, in the course of that push for increased cultural awareness, I have become ever more cognizant of just how much I like watching performances.  Whether it’s modern dance or a musical, a professional circus or just a kid’s play, I love watching people show off their craft, put proudly on display what they have been working for months or even years to perfect.  It gives me such an appreciation for the creativity that God used in designing His creation.

Here’s a couple of my favorite performances that I’ve gone to this year so far:

The first on the list is a bit of a misnomer, since I didn’t actually see the entire performance.  I went home a few weeks ago to see a play that Josh, Matt, and Hope were in.  I ended up having to leave early because of terrible pain from kidney stones, which was a pretty big letdown.  But I got to see the pictures and hear the stories after, and it’s always wonderful to see my family – even if I’m in pain.  Actually, that was probably the best place I could have been – my mother is a wonderful nurse, and my siblings are excellent cuddlers when one is feeling yucky :).

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I went out with Michael and another couple mid-way through the semester to see the circus.  That was quite an adventure!  There was apparently a huge cheerleading convention in the same area, so the roads and sidewalks were swarming with giggly teenage girls in short skirts and bouncy ponytails.  It took us FOREVER to go the last 3 blocks.  But we finally made it…and it was incredible!!  I had never actually been to a circus before, and we definitely picked a good one to go to.  It was absolutely mesmerizing.  I found that I had to keep reminding myself to breathe.

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But I’m also realizing – and very grateful for the fact – that I don’t have to be doing anything particularly exciting to enjoy time with people I love.  And I really have been blessed with some truly wonderful friends.  Michael said something a few weeks ago that really stuck out to me.  “I like your friends a lot,” he said.  “They love you very well.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Whether it be going to a sketchy fair in downtown Atlanta, going out for tea with some girlfriends, collaborating to throw a surprise birthday party, or just gathering together every week to study the Bible and encourage each other – we started a little house church of sorts a few weeks ago – I’m so very humbled by the network that God has given me here.  It makes the thought of having to leave so, so sad.  I’ve been diligently looking for a job all year, but so far nothing has panned out, so please keep praying that something comes through!  I’ve only got a few weeks of school left…but regardless, I’m just trying to remember that God is taking care of me, regardless of what happens :).  

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Caleb with Amy on her first Ferris Wheel ride ever!

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