Chicago

My best friend got married and moved to Chicago this summer, which I mostly hate. But the fun part is that it’s the perfect excuse to make a trip to the Windy City! This past weekend Bryan and I hopped on a plane for a super short week to visit my friend and her husband and explore one of our favorite cities. We started with deep dish pizza (of course!) and a visit to the Field Museum.  We also had a fabulous dinner at the Girl and the Goat on Thursday night.

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Friday morning I spent some time exploring downtown. Cubs pride was EVERYWHERE. It was really fun being in the city during the World Series and just taking in all the hype. It would have been more fun if they had won a game while we were there, but you know….#theresstillhope

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Saturday we checked out Wrigleyville, brunched, and took in some amazing views overlooking the water. I loved being in Chicago, and I loved visiting my sweet friend even more. We’ll be back…but after winter! GO CUBS GO! #flythew

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Friday Links

Friday Links are a round-up of my favorite posts/projects/photos/videos from around the web. 

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Hello friends! We are so excited to be in Chicago this weekend visiting my best friend….and Bryan is super excited that the world series is in town. We won’t be at the game, but we’ll be in Wrigleyville cheering on the Cubs and hanging out with some of our favorite people in the whole world. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, too! XO

For your weekend reading pleasure…

On Labels

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We spent the past weekend on our church’s family retreat.  The retreat is primarily for families with young children, and it’s a time for them to disconnect from their busy lives and reconnect with God and one another. It’s a crazy, fun, exhausting weekend. We sang hymns, played games, went on scavenger hunts, ate excessive amounts of sugar, watched the Cubs advance to the World Series, and stayed up late catching up on life.  And we talked about identity.

Our speaker for the weekend began by bringing up some of the labels we wear—either because we’ve given them to ourselves or because someone else has put them on us.  Things like parents, wife, husband, daughter, son, friend, colleague.  Things like christian, republican, democrat, feminist, liberal, conservative.  Things like busy, aggressive, competitive, tired, young, old, capable, accomplished, strong.

We wear these labels—sometimes proudly and sometimes with shame.  Sometimes we put these labels on ourselves because we think that’s who the world wants us and needs us to be. Sometimes it’s just who we feel we need to be in order to get approval from everyone else.

But the truth is that none of these labels tell the whole story.  They don’t reveal what makes us special, what makes us beloved. They don’t offer any real insight into who we are at our very core—the people we were created to be.

We talked about the fact that there are only two people who have the right the label something—the creator and the purchaser.  The only one who has the right to label us is the One who made us.  The One who created us from dust, who knit us together in the womb calls us beloved.  He calls us important, unique, and strong. He calls us child of God.

Some days it’s hard to say which is more difficult—to see ourselves that way or to see others that way. I get to sit in the promise and the truth that I am a beloved child of God, but I also have to acknowledge that every other person I meet is a child of God, too. The person whose political views I disagree with and the person who posts hateful comments on Facebook.

Today I am thankful that God is so much bigger than my limited view of the world and who I am. And I’m especially thankful that God sees what I sometimes miss from where I am.

 

October Reading List

  1. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. Ugh. I was SO disappointed by this book. I love Moriarty’s fiction, and her character development is usually fantastic.  But this book fell way short for me. Truly Madly Guilty follows the lives of three couples who share a traumatic experience that connects them forever. The book was slow and anticlimactic, and the characters were painfully dull. I have loved every other Moriarty book I’ve read, but this one was truly unsatisfying.
  2. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. It’s no secret that Shauna is my all-time favorite author, so I was really looking forward to this book (I preordered it months in advance). In Present Over Perfect, Shauna talks about letting go of hurry and busyness and giving up the quest for perfection in return for a simpler, more connected way of living.  Her writing is beautiful, and her message is something we all need to heard. But I honestly just didn’t love this book….and it kills me to say that. It felt like less intimate, personal stories and more like self-help than her other books, and I just didn’t connect with it in the same way. I read it in small pieces—more like a devotional—instead of devouring it in one sitting like I have all her other books. Still a lovely, heartfelt book, but it just didn’t compare to Cold Tangerines or Bread and Wine for me….which you should go buy IMMEDIATELY if you haven’t read yet!

Introducing Finley

We have a new family member…a sweet golden retrieve pup named Finley! We got this precious girl about a week ago, and she has already stolen our hearts. She is seven weeks old, and loves treats, naps, and chewing on everything. We love her so much!

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Cheers to 10 Years!

My college roommates and I spent the weekend in Charlottesville celebrating our friendiversary. We had SO much fun exploring, eating, catching up, and generally just being ridiculous. I love these ladies so much, and every time we’re together I’m reminded how important it is that we invest in these relationships. I tried to pick just a few pictures, but I couldn’t do it—there was simply too much goodness!

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Currently: October

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Reading: Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty.  Moriarty is one of my all-time favorite fiction writers.  This one is starting off a little slow for me, but I’m still excited to see where it goes. More on this in my reading list post later this month!

Watching: This Is Us. YOU GUYS. If you haven’t watched this show yet, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch it immediately. It is that good. The first episode had me crying happy tears, and I’m so excited to see where they take the story. A lot of people are calling it the new Parenthood, and I buy it. Seriously. Go watch it now.

Listening: Gungor/Free. Maybe my favorite writing song right now. The whole album is pretty incredible.

Anticipating: I don’t want to say too much until it’s all official, but we have some major life changes coming our way this month. Let’s just say that we’re about to do some serious adulting. Stay tuned!

Loving: Carolina football. Y’all. I don’t know what’s going on, but our football team is killing it right now. And I’m pumped. I’ll leave you with this.