July 19, 2017

Rejection and the Wait for Something Better.

Well guys, once again it's time for another update of my super exciting, ever-changing life! Ha! Jokes. My life is definitely not that stimulating. In fact the exciting parts of my life seem to come in waves. And of course the rare time I actually do something fun and out of the ordinary, is the time when my co-workers don't decide to ask me what I did on my day off. Pfft. People only seem to ask me about it when it was a fun-filled day of scrubbing toilets...eating...grocery shopping...pulling out the long hairs from my vacuum cleaner head...and Netflix. Therefore making me appear to be just another run-of-the-mill-boring adult. Haha. We're all the same, aren't we?
Anyway, a couple of months ago I wrote a blog post about how I applied for a job (Click here to read)--one that I really really wanted. I experienced a very thorough interview and a high-hoped waiting process, only for it all to end with a crisply-folded rejection letter in the mail. Although your resume and qualities were impressive, we have decided to go with another candidate.Ick.

Whilst reading that letter and the few moments that followed, I was fine. OK, it's all good. Obviously this wasn't meant to be and now I can move on because God has closed this door, and now I don't have to think about it anymore!

BUT I DID. It was all I thought about for the next month. I'd been trying to ease my way out of the food industry and I thought this library job would be the PERFECT start to a new career. It's comfortably indoors, the environment is quiet, I get to wear nice clothes and do my hair every morning, be surrounded by books all day, interact with people, no more early mornings, and get paid to execute my obsession with organization! I even had the perfect Instagram bio already written out in my head: "librarian by day, baker by night". (LOL, not really.) Sigh. But those words of rejection stung, and of course I took it all a little personal.

God, am I not meant for something more? Is this my lot in life? To work at a job I'm unhappy at, one that makes me both mentally AND physically exhausted every single day? Am I no better than this?

July 8, 2017

To My 18-Year-Old Self

I'm seeing graduation posts pop up left and right on Facebook of my friend's younger siblings and my little cousins--who aren't so little anymore. Last month was their high school graduation and it's left me feeling a little sentimental and reminiscent. Trust me, I don't want to go back to high school, I'm perfectly fine being in this mid-twenties post-college married chapter of my life, and have zero desire to move backwards. But with all these high school graduations happening around me, my mind can't help but take me back to that beautiful time in my life when every choice I made was going to majorly impact the direction of my life. Oh nostalgia.

I'm 26 years old now and have lived exactly 8 years since my high school graduation. (Um, wow; this is a hard pill to swallow, considering I still feel like a teenybopper sometimes.) If my 26-year-old self magically showed up at my graduation and pulled my young-platinum-blonde-haired-bright-eyed-18-year-old self away for a few minutes to tell me what the next 8 years of my life were going to look like...I would not believe a word of it. There's no way! Would I be totally happy and pleasantly pleased with everything I'd hear? Honestly no, and that's only because I had such different expectations for my life at that time. I didn't know how much I was going to change the following years after high school and I especially didn't know the hardships I was going to face.  And I can't imagine being told in advanced the exact struggle I'm going to experience in a few years. I think it'd be the same concept if God laid out our entire future on this earth in front of us, our future according to HIS plans. I imagine there'd be some disappointment and/or confusion as it definitely wouldn't match up to our plans, but God knows best you guys. "The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).

Besides a little shock and disappointment, some of the things I'd hear would absolutely blow me away! I mean, if I could I'd give myself a huge high-five! Way to Go, self! How'd you ever manage to pull that off?! WHO ARE YOU?!
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With that said, things I would say to my freshly graduated 18-year-old-self regarding my future:

One day, you're gonna wish you hadn't tanned so much. Look at those crows-feet next to your eyes! You should have listened to your mother, Jennifer. Tisk tisk.

That guy that you're pining over right now, the one who never showed up today, he's actually gonna break a little piece of your heart this summer. Hard to believe, I know. Of course you'll go through some healing over time, but then...he's gonna come back into your life and break off another piece and you'll feel the hurt all over again. I wish you weren't going to give him so much of your time and thoughts. Even though I wish you would have just kept your standards high from the beginning, this season of heartbreak you're about to endure will teach you so much not only about yourself, but about the qualities of a guy you're looking for in a future husband, the man that you're going to choose to spend the rest of your life with. I know you're not going to listen to anyone and you'll ignore all the red flags because you're so hung up on him, but just know that God's got you throughout this whole thing.

Your huge princess high-school-graduation dress cost more than your wedding dress. Isn't that funny?!

June 15, 2017

Our Weekend in Charleston Part III

Hi friends and welcome to the third and final blog entry for our weekend in Charleston! I honestly can't believe that this 2+ day getaway has required 3 whole blog posts, but I'm extremely passionate about photography, and Charleston has got to be one the most photogenic cities I've ever visited. There were so many trees, historical buildings, dinner dates, and even residential doorways that deserved my Canon's attention. So I figured that the best strategy was to sift through the hundreds of photos, choose my favourites (which was so hard because my favourites seemed to be never ending), and divide the photos into different blog entries so that you guys wouldn't be scrolling and scrolling for hours on end. See? There's always a method to my madness.

After our lovely afternoon spent at the beautiful Magnolia Plantation & Gardens (Click here if you missed the previous blog post!), we headed back to our Airbnb house on James Island to get freshened up for our EVENING PHOTOSHOOT!
That's right! Leah Judway Photography, also known as, our favourite photographer ever, moved from our neck-of-the-woods down to Charleston (an excellent career move, right? Actually, make that an excellent life move as well) and was doing a shoot with us that evening!

Before our trip, Jarryd told me about his photoshoot idea (yes, this was ALL him!!) and that he originally was going to make this a surprise for me but then quickly realized that a "surprise photoshoot" wouldn't be the greatest thing in the world to give to his wife. Jarryd knows that a photoshoot is a big deal to me; one reason is because these photos last an entire lifetime and actually longer than a lifetime considering they get passed down to your children. Also, you don't want to wear just ANYTHING for a photoshoot! I can't imagine having on a casual pair of shorts and a tank top with my makeup all mediocrely done and my hair up in a frizzy ponytail (I hate when my hair is up) while Jarryd tells me: SURPRISE! We're actually on our way to a photoshoot! Instead of a happy reaction, he'd receive a tearful and anxious reaction--one that he wasn't hoping for at all. (I don't know, maybe some of you ladies aren't this way; maybe some of you would thrive at the prospect of a surprise photoshoot, but not me. I love and need to be prepared--hello, perfectionist over here!) So because Jarryd is awesome he decided to tell me about it before we left for Charleston so I had my outfit picked out and everything ready to go. Yay!

June 9, 2017

Our Weekend in Charleston Part II - Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Our second day in Charleston, South Carolina consisted of us waking up after a gloriously much needed eight hour long sleep. There's always that age-old debate when you're on vacation: should I catch up on sleep so that I can feel fully rested and ready for the big day ahead of me...OR should I screw sleep because sleep is for the weak wake up early so that I can have more time to make the most out of the short time that I'm here? I personally feel like there's no right or wrong answer to this question. Sometimes it's hard to enjoy vacation when you feel so completely drained and exhausted from the work week that's now behind you. Let's face it, working full-time is HARD. But sometimes when vacation has long passed and you're half-way into the following work week you can't help but feel a tinge of regret that you didn't cut your sleep short so that you could spend more time exploring and vacationing, awake.

So yes, we did indeed choose to not wake up at sunrise, but truthfully I woke up around 7 am because I was just SO excited to be in Charleston!! This happens to me everytime I'm in a new city/area, I have trouble falling asleep and sleeping in because I spend so much time daydreaming about what's ahead! I think that the ladies can agree with me on this, that it's nice waking up before the hubs because this gives you a chance to get ready without feeling a little rushed by the guy with uber short hair and a makeup free face. Haha...

June 5, 2017

Our Weekend in Charleston: Part I

When my boss announced to me that my workplace was actually going to CLOSED for Memorial Day, I immediately texted Jarryd, I have Memorial Day weekend off--let's go to Charleston!! 😍  It's so rare that both Jarryd and I get the same holidays off so we figured that this was our only opportunity to make the most of this time!

Over a year ago we invested in Southwest Airlines credit cards, and have been racking up flying-points just with our normal spending (groceries, gas, bills, Starbucks...ect). Having all of these Southwest points, along with a Companion Pass (I get to fly for free with Jarryd!) was probably the only reason we even entertained the idea of flying anywhere for the weekend, because otherwise we'd have had to pull the money from our own pockets and that just wasn't going to happen. (We're definitely not rich over here.)


And why Charleston, South Carolina you ask? Well, to be honest I had two cities at the top of my "long weekend" travel bucket list, (one stored mentally inside my head): Boston and Charleston. But I was wanting to getaway to somewhere that felt different from Maryland. In regards to the colonial states, Maryland is right in the middle of them, but I feel it still has that same New England/Northern mentality that also encompasses Boston. I feared that it wouldn't feel any different from Maryland, which would actually negate the whole purpose of "getting away". Long story short, I was--and still am--a bit tired of the fast-paced lifestyle of the northern east coast. I was in desperate need of some southern hospitality, relaxation, (and palm trees) in my life....

May 11, 2017

Why I Love Being Married.

This has been an immensely busy season for Jarryd and I. Both of us have so many different things going on, making life not so easy breezy these days. On my drive home from one of my many obligations, this time of busyness got me thinkin'...I knew that Jarryd was already home from work and that he would be there awaiting my arrival. Just the thought of having someone to welcome me home when I step foot into our apartment after such a crazy day lead me to this conclusion: I'm so thankful I don't have to do this alone!

Marriage is fantastic--tough at times, but incredibly rewarding. The best things in life come with commitment and hard work, no? So in no particular order, I decided to write a list of my favourite things about marriage:

1. You have someone you can be your total self around and have the comforting knowledge that they'll love you unconditionally. I know for me, I am NOT my total self with most people. I'm pretty sure that if I were, they'd never want to hang out with me again. I'm not referring to the flowery "Be Yourself" or "Love Yourself" because you're such a unique and special snowflake. I'm talkin' about the crankiness, the cynicism, the breakdowns, the venting, the neglected hygiene (showers are such a hassle, y'all), the ugly sobbing, and the complaining. My husband--(and maaaaybe my siblings) are the only people on earth who will ever see that fallen and humanly side of me. And guess what? I know they'll always love me and I'll always love them!

2. You always have someone to watch TV with. Some of my favourite evenings consist of coming home from work, ordering our favourite take-out (either pizza, Chinese, or McDonalds--these details are important), and literally doing nothing but talking, laughing, and watching a great show together. (Until I fall asleep, that is--for some reason I am ALWAYS the first to doze off on the couch...I never used to be this way, guys. I'm getting old!) Right now our current TV show of choice is Friends...once again.
Side note: we are constantly pointing at each other during this show saying "that's SO you", and we've come to the conclusion that Jarryd is 1 part Chandler and 1 part Joey (not Ross, thank goodness!). And I am a solid mix of the three girls Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica; I have Rachel's emotions, Phoebes sweetness/quirkiness/flightiness, and Monica's cynicism.
Moving on.

April 30, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake Bars

The initial weeks after my big wedding cake extravaganza (on April 1st), I was all baked-out. Actually, I wouldn't even go that far. I was just exhausted. I was tired of being on my feet all day at work and then all evening after work. I was tired of spending my precious, much-needed weekends cooped up in the kitchen causing me to be too tired to see friends or visit family. I needed one of those weekends where I had no obligations, no reason to set an alarm in the morning, and no one to answer to (Jarryd being an exception, of course).

Easter weekend was on its way and showing up at the family gathering without a dessert in-hand would just be unacceptable. (Yes, I'm the "designated dessert bringer" and I'm totally OK with that!) I needed something easy, super quick to put together, and just stress-free...

April 25, 2017

Baking My First Wedding Cake.

Hello friends! Guess what? I baked my first wedding cake! OK, I'm sort of lying. Technically, this isn't my first wedding cake, per say. I have done one once before but that was alongside a friend (a.k.a I had someone to share all the stress and balance out the crazy emotions with).

Whereas this time around, it was all me, 100% me. (Note: I did have some help at the very end, but I'll get to that later!)
Plus, the first wedding cake I did was completely different from this one! It was an 8" round cake with fondant, sugar flowers, and cupcakes on the side. The wedding cake I did this time around was made up of TIERS, frosted with buttercream, and decorated with real greenery.

I wrote this blog entry so that I could share with you what this wedding cake journey was like for me, and perhaps encourage a fellow baker or two that you don't have to be a "professional cake designer" to execute a beautiful wedding cake. If I can do it, so can you!! So, let's start from the beginning, shall we?

Back in the Fall after our good friends got engaged, I received a pretty little card in the mail from the future-bride-to-be that said: will you do us the honour of baking our wedding cake for our wedding on April 1st, 2017?

April 23, 2017

Giving Up.

This blog post is dedicated to the fact that I can't get the new Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks to save my life--SOLD OUT. I'm officially giving up. OK, I'm totally kidding. I've only attempted trying to order that drink once in my life, which was 10 minutes ago, and I'm never going to give up trying to get a taste of that pink and blue beauty. There are other Starbucks in the area I can try...and once I get my hands on one, you'll know!

ANYWAY, what has my life come to, where I only write a minimum of one blog post a month? Or worse than that, NONE at all?! As I took a quick peek at my archives I found this to be such a sad realization, mostly because I love writing and blogging. I feel like blogging is my one chance to share my true self with the world without losing my train of thought, not quite saying what I meant to say, being constantly interrupted, or stumbling over my words.
I feel like every conversation with an acquaintance or even a friend is a rough draft of what I'm trying to say, and my writing/blogging done in solitude is my final draft. It's my final flawless piece, my perfectly executed chapter of this dramatic and extra-lengthy non-fiction novel that I like to call my life.

April 18, 2017

I Have This Hope.

As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain?
Did I cry these tears in vain?

I don't want to live in fear
I want to trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedy

I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You're with me and You won't let go

But sometimes my faith feels thin
Like the night will never end
Will You catch every tear
Or will You just leave me here?

But I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You're with me and You won't let go

So, whatever happens I will not be afraid
Cause You are closer than this breath that I take
You calm the storm when I hear You call my name
I still believe that one day I'll see Your face

And I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You're with me
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You're with me and You won't let go

-Tenth Avenue North