at least we made it this far

the ubiquitous  cherry blossom instagram

^^ yes, Relient K because they were my favorite band from middle school through college and I still love them from the depths of my soul.

Yesterday I saw a link up for women without kids (ARE THERE ANY LEFT?!) and I scanned the crowd out of curiosity when I saw a girl I knew from college. A girl from the group that left me with a horrible taste in my mouth and made me claw my way out of North Carolina. I scanned her blog and pictures of familiar faces popped up here and there, and it made me queasy for a minute. It feels like those years in North Carolina were a lifetime ago and even though I've healed so much from the things I went through down there, the pain can occasionally feel raw again. But this time I was thankful for it, because it made me realize how far I've come.

During my last year of college I used to sit under the black and white quilt on my bed in my little grey duplex and flip through pictures of Ohio. I hoped and prayed that when James and I got married we would find jobs in Columbus and a cute apartment. I had hopes of lunches with my parents and dinner with friends after work. I dreamed of having our own place to decorate, money for road trips, and a church full of people that didn't make me bang my head against a wall. After class I would make a cup of coffee and snuggle in bed with my laptop and browse blogs for hours, dreaming of the day I would start my own but too scared to actually do it because WHO WOULD READ THIS CHAOS?!

It's been two years, and that's exactly where we are. We live in Columbus, we have full time jobs, we have a cute apartment we've made our own (and soon another!), and we've found a new church. Things aren't perfect and we're not in our dream jobs or anything, but we're happy and we're content. This weekend we went on a bike ride in the park (I would like to apologize to the citizens of Columbus for any sudden blindness caused by the blinding voip that is my white skin whizzing past on a bike), and we made a decision on where to live for at least the next year. We had lunch with my parents, we golfed together, and I had the best Chipotle burrito of my life (irrelevant but totally worth noting). And I have a blog, which has been the biggest blessing I could ever imagine. It's my creative outlet, and it has given me some of the best friends I've ever had.

The image I used to have of our life together has almost completely come true. So even though memories of those years can still hurt, we've moved past it. And I am so grateful and thankful for those extremely difficult years, because without them I wouldn't appreciate this phase of life right now. I wouldn't appreciate my  current job and coworkers so much if I hadn't gone through the hell that was my last two jobs. Those were not fun things to experience, but they made the good years so much sweeter.

And since we're talking about good things, how about the new blog header and goodies? Angi whipped this up for me and it's awesome (there's a bike! and a bird! ALL THE WHIMSY!). She is so talented. There will probably be more tweaking since blogger is not letting me change things I want to change, but I love it anyway. I also spruced up my about me page. It's good to revamp sometimes. Oh! And there's a new blog button. If you have the old one, you should probably grab the new one because YIKES my old one is bad.

Oh, and the new apartment? In our same complex. We're going to get on the waitlist to transfer to a bigger one. A little bit more money for TWICE the square footage. Like we could say no! I GET TO HAVE A DINING ROOM. But it all fell perfectly into place. We went to see a model apartment (so I had to imagine it looking much worse than the model because we all know apartment complexes LIE), but it was so perfect. It has all the best parts of our current apartment but SO MUCH BIGGER. And I don't have to give up my brick wood burning fireplace or vaulted ceilings or updated kitchen or free gym (hallelujur!). And we still won't have to buy a washer & dryer. And a tiny security deposit compared to everywhere else we looked. The idea had been in the back of our minds for awhile now, but I wasn't able to give up my ideas of where I wanted to move. We've tried for awhile now, and every single thing was falling through. And best of all? I don't have to give up having Hobby Lobby, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Target in a two mile radius. I don't think I was prepared for that. And it is homey and cozy and makes me TOTALLY ok with living in an apartment for another year or two.

It's proved true again: you have to experience the bad to appreciate the good.


  1. I had those same thoughts this weekend. Congrats on the new place, it sounds splendid. Also, your new blog design is the bomb-diggity!

  2. UM THE BLOG RE-DESIGN. I DIE. So cuuuuteee I just want to hug it! It's so you! Go Angi!

    And yay to all the rest of everything!! I am so glad you worked out your living situation- and how easy is that move going to be?! That's seriously the best of both worlds. You get to move, but not really have to MOVE, ya dig? So happy for you two!!

    Might there be a spare bedroom or couch or floor in the new place for me to crash on for one or two... years? Let me know. :)

  3. Wahoo! I'm so glad that you found a place! :) Let the packing begin!

  4. Let's not forget that Wendy's HQ is right down the road. AYOOOO. Great picture, by the way. It had me cracking up.

    I love what you did with the place! That Angi is just too talented ;)

    Remember when we used to talk about 2013 being your year? It really has been so far!

  5. that apartment sounds amaaaaazing. wowza.

    btw, i totally posted this quote from you as my status...and i credited you as the author, no worries! "Those were not fun things to experience, but they made the good years so much sweeter."
    sorry. i just think it's said so well. it's so. darn. true.
    justin and i have gone through some not fun stuff while engaged, even some opposition that was no sweet day in the sun...i have a feeling some good days are coming. we're due for them. :P

    target, 2 miles away? now that's just dangerous! ;)

  6. Hooray for the move AND getting to keep all your "necessities" within a two-mile radius! Wahoo! Congrats, girl! I know you guys must be so stoked about it!

  7. I love your new blog header! And I understand about looking back to where you've been. Last year I was dating someone else, miserable and wondering where my life was going!

  8. Oh sweet friend! I am so happy things fell into place for you apartment-wise :) I will have to come see the new digs when it happens :)
    And isn't it so funny? Sometimes I sit around and I am complaining and then I look back and I think.. THIS is exactly what I prayed and dreamed for. THIS IS IT. I better appreciate it, dang it.

    I loved this. it has brightened by gloomy Monday morning :) I wish we lived closer and that I finally had a bike too because I would totally be all up on that with you haha

  9. The new look is perfectly you! I will be updating your button as soon as I have enough patience to deal with blogger bs. I'm excited to go creep on your new "about me." I keep trying to update mine, and my brain goes completely blank. TELLING.

    So, long story short, you get to keep a jacuzzi tub?!?

  10. I love the new look! This post sounds so happy :) I'm glad your life is turning out how you envisioned it. I have no idea how I saw our life, except being married and having babies and a dog. I didn't see the cat coming though...

  11. Whimsy, revamping, and twice the square footage - truly you have passed into the light at the end of that NC tunnel! Congrats, buddy - you persevered the crud outta that bad boy! :D

    1. Also, Angi -- you are ridiculously talented. Well done here.

  12. I love the new look! I need to get on one. You and Angi both are working up awesome new looks.

    Congrats on the new place! That sounds like God was looking out for you two :)

  13. I often wonder if I could get a cherry blossom tree to grow here...

    I see you switched to the other header! And I love the new fonts/colors/etc. :)

  14. Angi did a great job! And I am so glad that you can appreciate the bad times. So many people don't do that, and just complain about or regret things that have happened. But like you said, the bad times let you really enjoy the good times.

  15. A. LOVE YOU.
    B. I feel very similar to the way you feel. So blessed to have come so far, but equally sad at some memories and experiences that got me to this place.
    D. I want Chipotle now... not that that is never really not happening I just was reminded again.

    k bye,.

  16. Yay for the apartment. And the new look is lovely.

  17. Oh thank goodness! So glad this week is going better than last week! And you won't be homeless!!! And apt transfers are great, because you don't have to rent a truck... this is all fan-flipping-tastic! Also, your new header is perfect for you. Perfect.

  18. SO awesome to hear how much God has provided for you two!!
    Now..if only we lived in the same town. THEN we could hang out, which would be really cool. FYI, we would pretty much go to Chipotle every time, because I'm obsessed with that place.


Talk to me! If your email is linked to your account, I'll respond to you via email. If not, I'll respond to you right here.