Recently, I had a conversation with an old friend on Facebook. We went to high school together, and haven’t really kept in touch since. We’ve “followed” each other on Social Media since then, but haven’t had much reason to interact.
After the usual pleasantries, he made a statement that really made me think.
He said that I seemed happy.
We haven’t spoken. All he knows of the life that I live right now is what I choose to share with the world through 140 characters, or an informal Facebook update. And from what he sees, I seem happy. That told me that I’m doing something right.
Because I am happy.
The internet is full of complaints and criticism. And I want to be the happy that people see. Because I can’t think of one reason not to be.
Babe, there’s something lonesome about you
Something so wholesome about you
Get closer to me
This weekend Stephen and I went camping with eleven of our favorite people. We all met in college, and despite hundreds of miles between us, we’ve stayed close through break ups, moves, marriages, and soon to be babies. We’re a family.
It was so good seeing all of them, and so sad leaving. And I’m sure that in a week, when I’m still thinking about how much fun we had, I’ll think of more to say. But for now, I’m sad so let’s look at some pictures.
This is Jesse. He’s in a band.
yes, that is bacon you see.
it’s summer already! and 2014 is officially 49 % complete. I think the theme of the first few months of this year has been “settling.” Stephen and I have been settling in our fairly new home, and our somewhat new jobs and figuring out the balancing act of our changing schedules. and It’s been great. But with the [welcome] change in temperature comes a whole lot of busy. Wedding season is kicking in, which means a lot of travel for me personally and professionally.
Last month, I celebrated my 23rd birthday with my family in the rolling hills of Amish Country.
I also had the honor and privilege of traveling to Connecticut to be a part of my dear friend Katie's wedding. It was wonderful to spend time with some of my favorite girls for a weekend, staying up late and talking about where life has taken us all.
I shot my favorite engagement session to date. And I’ve crossed state lines for the majority of weddings this season. I spent the entirety of last week counseling High Schoolers at a church camp I grew up going to. I lost my voice, laughed way too hard, and lost hours ridding myself of mud and paint. But saw God move through the youth around me in a way that I could never forget.
In the few weekends we’ve spent in Cleveland, we’ve done a whole lot of exploring. We visited the Cleveland Flea, and found a few new cheap date spots.
We’ve spent a ton of time outdoors, enjoying the beautiful rivers and lakes God has given us. Stephen’s been doing a lot of fishing and I bring a good book to enjoy my time by the water.
And this week, Stephen and I leave for a camping trip with our very best friends. A week under the stars & in the woods is the perfect way to end these last few months of travel.
I love the changes this warm weather has brought so far. I love the travel, and breaks from our routine. I love spending time with the people that I miss so very much, and meeting new friends, too! Most of all, I love doing it all with Stephen.
But I also love coming home. I love our life and where we live. I love learning about new people and places right here, in Cleveland. I’m so grateful for the life that we have, and the things we are able to do together.
I hope the next 6 months bring as much joy and excitement as the past 6 months have.
I leave you with a little note from Stephen that I found when I got home from camp last night. It’s good to be back.
Spent the evening exploring Tremont with a good friend. I love this city. There’s always something new to discover.
Tonight, I’m sitting on our second story, “pants are optional because no one can see up here”porch in this perfectly crisp sunsetting weather thinking about how good life is. I’m editing wedding photos and inching my way towards becoming a full time photographer, with a job I know I will still have on Monday morning to pay the bills. I’m not too hot, and not too cold. Every little corner and closet in the house is clean, and smells of my new favorite candle. I can hear the birds and smell the flowers, and listen to the songs that make me smile. We have a new car to visit friends with, and each other. We have a God who loves us and delights in our accomplishments. He picks us up when we fail, and celebrates with us when we succeed. I have friends (though states away) that I know I can count on, and memories to hold me over until we see each other again.
I have a family who loves me, and a (very comfy) place to lay my head at night.
It’s nights like these that I think about just how lovely today is.
& if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky one.