Blogger Autobiographies | Love Lola

Love Lola

I came across Lauren’s blog, Love Lola, just a little while ago and was immediately taken with the life and color in her photos! Her story, genuineness, and joy for life was all so encouraging! I am delighted to introduce her to you today and hope you find just as much encouragement and inspiration from her blog as I’ve found! :)

1) When/Why did you first start blogging? I first started blogging in 2012 right after my wedding. After spending a year planning our wedding, I was craving more creative projects to work on. This blog became a fun creative outlet for me, that has since grown into so much more.

2) Why did you choose your blog name? Lola was a nickname my close friends called me in college. I always felt it fit my personality, so that it would be a great representation of my blog, Love Lola.

3) What is the core story or purpose behind your blog? I hope to inspire others to find beauty in their life, whether it be through food or day to day living. I’m passionate about food, beautiful interiors, and photography. My hope is to share my passions with others, inspiring them to find theirs.

4) What do you hope your blog will become and continue to be? I would love for it to grow into more of a business. I am in the process of getting my RD (Registered Dietitian license) and would love to start my private practice through my blog.

5) What would be different in your life if blogs didn’t exist? I’d be less stressed :). Ha. But I’d also be less inspired. I think blogs are a beautiful thing and I’m very thankful for this internet age.

| for more Blogger Autobiography archives and information on the project go HERE |

Friday Night Rock

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Last night Justin and I went to see the farewell for now concert of the Rejectioneers, basically, we went to a rock show. We know one of the guitarists and had never been to a concert downtown before so we jumped at the chance to do something a little different, plus tickets were only $5 so we thought it worth the investment! It really was totally different, a different location, a different crowd, a different activity, a different feel, everything about it was different, well, for me at least! :)

Justin has been to his fair share of rock concerts, but I have always been a Lumineers, Fun, Michael Buble kind of girl so, needless to say, I have not been in attendance of rock shows…ever.

But last night was fun, the venue was little, the music was loud and we didn’t know too many people, but the experience was worth it! The only thing Justin and I could compare it to from our past experiences together was the 12:30am comedy show we went to in Chelsea while we were in NYC! The night life is unique for all kinds of reasons, :D

I can’t say that after last night I’ll be jumping at the chance to attend more rock concerts in the future, but it was a good night (and my hearing has since leveled back out ;) ) and it made some good memories! What more can you ask of a Friday night!

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Technology Perks

iphoto 4Recently the IT department where Justin works discarded multiple Macbooks that were too old for them to use, most of them had seen quite a bit of wear and tear and really were good for little more then the trash pile, but there was a specific, what I call, roundy edged one that was still in almost pristine condition! I had actually been eyeing it for MONTHS beforehand, it had been sitting in the IT shop for quite some time, and as soon as I heard it was actually going to be discarded I made sure that I had Justin request it, he is able to request to have any item that is being discarded. Now, to preface this story, if you know me you know I LOVE round things, pudgy things, chubby things, etc…I bought my first Macbook only months before they came out with the rounded edges version and let me tell you I was so sad that I hadn’t known to wait for it! I made up my mind then that someday, SOMEDAY, I would own a roundy edged Macbook.

Fast forward 5 years and today I officially own a roundy edge Macbook of my very own, for the exceptionally low price of $0!

Now, to be fair, it’s a ridiculously old model, but it is the one I’ve wanted for so long that I don’t even mind, PLUS with the new  operating system installed it still feels brand new! Last night Justin charged it up for the first time and we inducted it into our technology family with a brilliant photo booth session!

We sure are living the dream! :D

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One Week of Work

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Some of you may not know that I have actually had two jobs this summer. I had a job at the start of the summer, another receptionist position, at a school that I started the day after Justin and I got back from our one year trip to NYC and that I finished 3 days after Justin and I got back from our one year trip to NYC. The job experience was so terrible for me on so many different levels, some that I still don’t even understand. You wouldn’t think that 3 days at a job could affect you so poorly, but it did. Maybe I’ll write more about that experience another time, because there are actually a lot of different aspects of it that I’d like to process and think through, but for now, I write that simple summery to explain the above left picture. That is the picture that I took on my first day at my first summer job, it was taken 3 hours into training after calling Justin and completely breaking down, I took the photo to try to see if my eyes were less red enough for me to be able to go back in without appearing like I had cried as hard as I actually had. The picture on the left is the picture from my first day at my job now taken after training, lunch and a tear free phone call to Justin, the dichotomy between the two is something that I feel is important.

The choice to leave my first summer job was one that had a lot of factors wrapped up into it, but the biggest one was that it meant that I would be searching for a full time job for possibly the rest of the summer. As it turns out I did indeed search the entire summer for employment filling out numerous applications going on about 8 interviews and actually turning down an offered position, more on that if/when I write a more detailed post on the job hunt this past summer. The summer was hard, financially, emotionally, and spiritually, but I knew that at some point I would be able to look back on it with perspective, well, today is that day! :)

As of today I have officially worked at my new job for 1 week! I have been trained as a receptionist and I have also been training recently on some legal assistant work! I cried when saying goodbye to Justin in the morning 3 out of the 6 mornings, cried when I got home to see him 1 out of 6 nights, cried at work 0 out of 6 work days, slept through the night 4 out of 6 work nights and have looked forward to going to work 5 out of 6 work days! Basically, the adjustment hasn’t been without some tears, haha, but the results are beyond anything I would have expected. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was meant to work this job, to learn these skills, and to have a career at this company. And that assurance, and the provision of peace and rest, God has given me to come to the point where I can truly realize that is a process and result that I will forever remember and appreciate!

I was telling Justin and some friends last night that I’m almost worried to say out loud how much I really like the job because I don’t want to mess it up, :) , but I truly am grateful for the people, the pacing, and the work of this position and I am finding myself really enjoying the motion of my days at this time and, I’ll just admit it, the soon-to-be coming first, and subsequent, paychecks aren’t too shabby either! ;)

All of that to say the past week has been one that has completely changed Justin and I’s life, the deed of finding a full time job is done, and now we can settle into this routine until Justin graduates and we make another family transition into a new stage! Looking to the future knowing that we have the tools to provide income for bills, travels, and fun is very reassuring, and remembering who it was that provided those means for our little family is so very humbling.

God is very good, and not just now when things have all worked out and settled down, He was good during this past summer, He was good through the tears, fears, stress and learning and I truly belief He did indeed work out all things this past summer for good and for His glory.

Romans 8:28 

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Blogger Autobiographies | Space For The Divine

Space for the Divine

Today, I am excited to introduce to you my brother David and his blog, Space For The Divine. Up till now my features focus has been on female lifestyle bloggers, but today we’re gonna change it up a bit by not only featuring the first male blogger of this series, but also showing a different side of what blogging can be useful for, in this case, an academic/theological focus!  :)

1) When/Why did you first start blogging? I first started blogging about three years ago. I had just begun my MA degree at Talbot School of Theology and I wanted an outlet for all the ideas I had that were unrelated to my classes. It turned out to be quite a welcoming space for me to go and hash out my thoughts about God, theology, and Christian living. I’m still figuring out a lot of those thoughts, but it’s fun to go back and see what I thought was important at the time.

2) Why did you choose your blog name? I chose the name Space For The Divine for several reasons. First, I wanted my blog to be a space on the Internet where God was (hopefully) displayed and honored. I wanted to “host” a place for Him; maybe a temple of sorts? Second, I wanted my blog to reflect a certain cooperation of mine with God. I wanted to think God’s thoughts with Him – but I wanted to put it down on “paper”. As I think through difficult things like the intersection of homosexuality and Christianity, gender roles, or various other culturally hot topics, I want to make space for God to speak into my reflections. I want Him to guide me and keep me chaste to His will.

3) What is the core story or purpose behind your blog? I hope to provide my readers with challenging/encouraging Christian reflection on important issues of the day. I have a background in the humanities with advanced training in theology and so I try to bring all of those influences to bear on my writing. All that aside, however, I would be pleased if someone read my blog and came away with even just a little more practical knowledge concerning how to live their daily life in response to Jesus’ powerful and loving call to discipleship. If I can do that, then I consider my blog a success!

4) What do you hope your blog will become and continue to be? I hope that the blog continue to be a place where readers can come for an honest, attentive, poignant perspective on the Christian life and things related to it. Furthermore, I hope it will become a collaborative space where others can contribute their thoughts concerning practical, theological issues. We’ll see if that hope can be realized!

5) What would be different in your life if blogs didn’t exist? I would probably spend a lot less time on the Internet! I really enjoy visiting blogs (several in particular) and catching up on what they have to say. I’m often challenged and compelled towards thoughts and actions I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

| for more Blogger Autobiography archives and information on the project go HERE |

Adjusting to Normal

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Today is my second day at work, my second day of work at a full time job.

You guys, I’m gonna be honest with you. I think this transition into full time work may be the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I like my job already, the people are friendly and helpful, the work is manageable and enjoyable and the commute is simple and easy, but the transition into realizing that my normal has suddenly changed is a lot bigger of a challenge for me then I expected.

I know it seems a little crazy, I’m sure any of you who have read along with my blog for some time now know that I am an anxious person, and for some reason my personal combination of fears and worries combine into making this step a difficult one even though the actual things included in the process are not dangerous, difficult, or scary.

Honestly, it all comes down to my inability to rest on my own. I’ve depended on my family, friends, and Justin to be the ones who give me a sense of rest for so long that I don’t think I even have the habits made to really grasp and understand the rest that God gives anytime and anywhere, a rest that supersedes any kind of peace that human company can afford. I am learning to receive that peace from God, not by anything I can do, but simply by resting enough to recognize His peace.

I am learning to sit still and rest, but I am also learning to keep living, to keep moving forward, one action, one day at a time. A lot of times when I get scared or uneasy about something I run and sometimes that saves me from things, but many times it keeps me from growing and learning to lean on Christ more. This time I’m not running, this job is worth it, this learning is worth it, and the anxiety and nervousness is temporary. Most times I make it through difficult situations because I can see an end to them, but this job, I hope, is not ending any time soon, so that mentality is anything but helpful. I don’t want to feel like this is a temporary performance and to remedy that destructive thought I have to continue to live in normal routine and stop assuming that just because my body is still learning to cope with the new doesn’t actually mean anything is wrong. I have to wake up in the morning and get ready for my day, kiss Justin goodbye, and drive to work. I have to put a picture of Justin and I on my desk and know that it’s alright to make this desk space more of my own because it is safe and it is a good.

Today is my second day of work, my eyes are swollen from crying, I’m running on too little sleep, and my stomach is refusing to agree with almost any food I eat even though I’m so hungry, BUT I am also at work, I am adjusting, I am learning, I am living, and I know that even though it is difficult in some ways right now I will learn how to embrace and enjoy this new normal and I will be able to eat and sleep again and it will be one of the greatest adventures I have ever embarked on. Right now it’s hard to tell because of the bleary eyes and growling stomach, but I am actually stronger than I’ve ever been before and with Christ as my guide, my rest, and my peace, I am only getting stronger! :)

Only My Best

Living Room Before and After

Do you see the above photographs?

In the Before shot Justin and I had just gotten home from spending the night at my parent’s house the Trader Joe’s bags on the ground were what we decided to pack in (those brown bags have SO much potential,  I swear!) and were in need of being unpacked. I had just pulled a load of wash out of the dryer which needed to be folded so onto the couch the clean clothes went so that I would be sure to remember. A variety of school books and DVDs lay strewn about from use, the couch pillows are squished from being leaned onto, and the shoes we had just kicked off are not placed neatly on the rack by the door. This is our living room in real life, you might call it our living room in process. In the process of a day, in the process of being used for what it was made for, living.

The After picture is the kind of photo I would take to upload to my blog. I would wait until the optimum natural light streamed in through the large window and would actually take the photo from the opposite side of the living room to avoid the glare from the window. I would suddenly become aware of everything that was out of place or that didn’t ‘make sense’ in the room and would immediately remedy any clutter, squished pillows or unorganized shoes, and then I would put that photo up on my blog as an example of our ‘living space’.

Do you see the problem there? Have I just shown you a genuine example of my life or have I shown you only my highly worked for and controlled best?

It is of course, my best, my most polished living room, the kind of living room I don’t have time to maintain for longer than a photograph and yet that is the room I give to any of you readers as the example of my home.

I can’t help but feel convicted that this could be a problem for both you as the reader and I as the blogger. For you, because it automatically indicates a false image of how I live my life and it is possibly the only image you might have of me, one that is not tempered with real experiences or interactions with me. And for me as a blogger because it automatically sets a standard for the way I represent my image on my blog and consequently, many times, the way I feel I must live my life. I wish my blog to represent my REAL life, but feel that the standards around me are just too different from my poor newly married state of life, so the right thing for me to do must be to adapt to displaying the images and experiences I see other successful bloggers presenting. So I adjust my home and my photographs and the telling of certain experiences to fit the mold, the minimalist, witty, adventurous mold, but then at the end of some days just feel plain tired out from playing the blogging game for so long.

I think that no matter how many times a blogger or instagrammer says, ‘my life is crazier and more difficult than my photos/posts represent’ but still crafts eloquent posts and takes particular photos, that message of them being ‘normal’ never sticks and can really just result in them seeming even less genuine.

I find the problem a difficult one to come to terms with. It’s one that makes me wonder if I should stop blogging all together because I want to be genuine to the true story of my life on my blog, but find it challenging to do so while also attempting to maintain the ‘right look’. But I then realize, again, that no matter what blogs are very, very poor representations of the human experience. I truly love blogging and blogs, but no matter how many times bloggers clarify the ‘normalcy’ of their days, their blogs will still misrepresent the humanity of their life every time.

I think in some ways it’s what readers, including myself, want. We want to see the pretty pictures, feel inspired, and have something grand to look up to, brilliant adventures to read about, and a standard of living to aspire to…but it creates such a fine line between inspiration and comparison, that so many times those two get muddled together and instead of a community of honest life, blogs become another area to have to better ourselves at, improve upon, and feel intimidated by…as if we needed any more of those areas in our lives.

This topic might just be a moot point in the end because blogging has built itself into what it is today after a good long while and a good many posts ;) But I think the concept behind freeing ourselves as bloggers and blog readers to fully understanding what blogs are good for and what they are not good for is one that could be ever so important.

I think that bloggers should continue posting the clarification posts…I think that it could still be important to refer to that truth even though the method by which it is done (blog or Instagram post) might still not get the right message across. But I also think that it could be important to keep in mind that it is more of a weighty choice to blog then it might seem. Even a blog with one follower is still speaking into another person’s life with message that should be one of truth, not a false reflection of reality and I believe that is an opportunity that should not be taken lightly.

I’m not quite sure how the balance works yet, because blogging can be a craft and it isn’t abnormal to want to succeed and do our best at a craft, but it can also quickly become an insincere outlet of information and an inaccurate representation of human experiences since blogs are not just publicized as a craft, but as a record of human life and human lives are full of a lot more than just our best. I’m still trying to fully think through the topic, whenever I’m pondering it or talking about it I seem to talk/think in circles on the pros and cons of the subject, what do you say? Any thoughts on this topic? Is it a problem or just a reality? Is it a unique aspect of blogging that is a positive or is it an area that should be improved upon?

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p.s. in other incredibly practical and joyful news, after 3 ½ months, 8 interviews, and who knows how many applications I have found a job at a law firm and I start tomorrow!! I can’t believe the time has actually come for me to be able to embark on this journey, I feel like, even though it was so hard sometimes, I needed the summer to prepare my heart and mind for full time work and now I just have an overwhelming sense that I am ready (and excited and hopeful!) for this next step!! Happy day!!! :D

 

Instagram Video Recap

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Two posts in one day!?! What is this world coming to ;)

This is just a quick post to say that I recently, as in earlier today, decided I wanted to download all of my instagram videos as files to keep on my hard drive and while I was looking through them all I thought I would put together a collage type video for the blog for my own reminiscing convenience :D

 

Blogger Autobiographies | Welcome Home Taylor

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From the minute I landed on Taylor’s blog, Welcome Home Taylor, I fell in love with all the color and expression!! I am a newcomer to her blog story, but I already love the variety of content and also the clarity by which she represents her creativity!! I am excited to introduce her to you today and hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better or perhaps even for the first time! :)

1) When/Why did you first start blogging? I first started blogging about three years ago. I started it as a great way to have a creative outlet for me and to start practicing my cooking & baking skills because I didn’t have many, but the bit that I did have I really enjoyed.

2) Why did you choose your blog name? I chose my blog name because I believe it everyone always being able to feel welcomed and at home. I wanted my blog to represent that part of me and my love.

3) What is the core story or purpose behind your blog? I don’t think there’s necessarily a “story” but the purpose is just to have a place to keep staying creative. My blog has helped encourage me to travel, take photos of my life, and try new things that I normally wouldn’t. My favorite part of my blog is that it’s allowed me to figure out where I want to head in life and where my true passions lie. Although my readers just see the final product of a post, I put a lot of time, effort, and planning into them and it’s helped make me a more effective person.

4) What do you hope your blog will become and continue to be? Right now, I just like having my blog be my creative outlet. If, in the future, I see it heading to a place where I will make money from it, then that’s great! I’ll be starting a new business venture next month and I’m hoping that my blog will play a big role in helping to further that business.

5) What would be different in your life if blogs didn’t exist? My life without blogging? I’d probably have a lot more time to do other things. But when I think about that, those other things would still be what I’m doing now. I just wouldn’t have anywhere to post them and to keep them archived, which is a great aspect of a blog!

| for more Blogger Autobiography archives and information on the project go HERE |

when the going gets tough the tough stop blogging

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Sorry for the absence of life on this blog this past week (and the use of very old photos to fill out this post)

It’s been an interesting past 7 days, though not necessarily filled with any exceptionally interesting events. I’m at the point where I want to be able to give a big happy update on life, but don’t really have the updates to give yet, though I hope to soon.

So, all that to say, nothing much has been happening in our family recently, but  hope to be able to have an actual update soon!

How’s that for a thrilling new blog post? ;)