August 30, 2016

What I'm Thinkin' Is...

Blog posts where I write down all of my current most random thoughts are my favourite kind of blog posts! I find them to the be the most down-to-earth and at the same time so real and organic that it's on the verge of being almost too boring to read. Right? :P

I mean, do people actually care about my random thoughts? Speaking of, I just posted a photo to dear ole' Instagram holding my disposable Starbucks cup in front of my new world map from Ikea, casually stating how I like to take my Caramel Macchiatos. See below:
WHO cares?! Not gonna lie, the Instagram culture makes me laugh. People claim to be real and authentic, yet it takes them ridiculously long to shoot the perfect photo of a #flatlay scheme, ridiculously long to edit the photo, and ridiculously long to decide on the "perfect" caption. And the hashtags are a whole 'nother story; they are cheesy beyond belief. Take #myunicornlife for example. Does anyone actually have a so-called "unicorn life"? What is this "unicorn life" they speak of? And then there's #theeverydaygirl, what is an "everyday girl"?!

I think the funniest thing about it though, is that I AM ONE OF THEM. I am guilty of doing all of the above, especially the part about the "unicorn life" hashtag. Yep. But hey, at least I can admit that I'm crazy when social media's involved, and most importantly I can do all of this, all the while admit that I don't take myself too seriously.

Honestly, it's kinda fun having a little space on the internet where I can portray the best of my best; my best days, my best moments, my best home decor, and my best baked goods {all in the best natural lighting of course}. ;) Plus, Instagram is a creative's dream social media outlet; where artistic personalities are admired and celebrated!

Anyway, I intended for that to be the introduction to my list of random thoughts, but it seems that I went off on a bit of a tangent and thus it appears I already provided a random thought. So let's continue, shall we?

One of the best feelings in the world is when you get a brand new album and you listen to each song once, already picking and choosing what your favourites are just from the first listening session. And slowly but surely the song you didn't like at first eventually becomes your new favourite! I also love the feeling when I'm at work and think to myself, "I can't wait for my 25 minute drive home because that means I get to listen to ______ on repeat!!"

But that brings me to my next of the worst feelings in the world is when you've listened to your new favourite album one too many times and you're left with absolutely nothing worth listening to and all you have to turn to is FM radio. *tear*

One of the most---I'll go with---interesting things about the American culture, at least in this part of America, is that acquaintances/practically strangers will tell you all about their day without even being asked to. I rarely have to ask anyone anymore about their day because they don't even give me a chance to. I guess it's just frustrating because where I'm from in Canada, the normal social etiquette is quite different, take this for example:
Person: "Hello!"
Me: "Hi! How are you? What is new?!"
Person: "I am good! We just did ____ and ____! How about you??"
Me: "Well, I am ____ but____ happened and now_____."
Person: " Oh wow that's interesting! _____"
And the conversation just flows nicely because both parties have had a chance to express how they're doing. Doesn't that just sound oh-so lovely?!

However, the American culture {in the area I live, and especially in the area I work--and I understand it's different from State to State} goes somewhat like this {PLEASE NOTE: Of course, not every single person is like this, it's just the majority}:
Person: "Hi how are ya?!"
Me: "Hello, I'm goo--"
Person: "OH MAN, last night I went to _____"

Person: "Hi Jenny. So I have ____ and ____ going on and ____ and _____ ....blah blah blah".
The end.
Let's just say I've learned the annoyingly hard way that "how are you" is not actually a question it's just a part of how they say hello. Sigh.
Anyway, I need to move on before I start embracing that cranky feeling...

Food-wise, this last weekend was tough because Jarryd and I skipped our weekly grocery shopping trip. Therefore, we had NO chips in our pantry. Having a chip-less apartment takes tv-watching 5 notches down on the fun-scale. But fear not, yesterday I finally went grocery shopping and bought 3 bags. :D

In lieu of "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" coming out this year, {eeeeee!!!} we have started up Gilmore Girls all over again. This may be my 4th or 5th time watching the seasons back-to-back. Don't judge me. For some reason, Jarryd and I are watching 3 tv shows at once, "Gilmore Girls", "The Office", "Chrisley Knows Best", and "Pretty Little Liars". Again, don't judge me. Some may see tv-watching as a waste of time, but I see it as a bonding/social activity. Jarryd and I are always hitting the pause button so we can express our opinions to each other about what just happened on the screen.

See the shirt I'm wearing in the above photo? Yeah, I bought that at Plato's Closet back in June. It's now practically September and I FINALLY had the guts to wear it in public last weekend. Isn't that hilarious? It has holes in the shoulder which make it just and bold. And now that I've worn it in, I think I'll keep wearing it. Although it was slightly uncomfortable as I kept thinking that my straps were falling down because my shoulders felt "airy".

If you're ever in our apartment's kitchen and you see chunks of buttercream frosting on the walls, and icing sugar on the bottom cupboards, that's normal. This week's buttercream-wall-decor is a nice light purple. I'm contemplating just leaving it there...

Whenever new people I meet ask me what kind of music I like to listen to, other than immediately blurting out "Taylor Swift", I never know what to say. I like For King & Country, but I also like The 1975. I like Lauren Daigle, but I also like Selena Gomez, Hilary Duff, and Ariana Grande. I like Bethel, but I also like Alessia Cara, Sara Bareilles, and Ellie Goulding. Should I just say that with the exception of the first two bands, that I like to listen to female singers? Sounds good. Glad we got that figured out.

So remember how in a previous blog post I said I'd be reading Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants all summer? Well, I haven't picked the book up since I wrote that blog post and summer is almost over! I am the WORST reader ever!! Perhaps if it were a TV show instead then I'd get through it quicker...

This morning I was an hour late to work because...I totally did not set an alarm last night. Isn't that crazy?! How does one forget to set their alarm? All I remember waking up in the morning thinking to myself, "wow, for some reason this has felt like a nice long sleep tonight..." {Little did I know...} :P

I miss Canada...alot...and I think it misses me too.

This last weekend I went to a friend's baby shower, and it was insanely creatively planned. FOR EXAMPLE: When you went to the drink table, you were supposed to put an ice-cube-baby in your drink cup and when your ice cube completely melted you were supposed to shout "my water broke!"
Like, there is a tiny plastic baby in my cup...isn't this the FUNNIEST thing ever?! Granted, having moved to the US I have missed thousands of my friends' and family's baby showers back home, this whole ice-cube-baby thing could be totally routine by now. But hey, it got a huge laugh outta me!

Jarryd just starting coaching high school boys' soccer and I couldn't be prouder!! He's totally in his element with this; isn't it so cool seeing your spouse doing what they love?! {Now, I haven't seen him coach yet, but I absolutely plan on it! I can't wait!} But for now, I'm loving the glorious alone-time that I get while he's at practice. :) Hee hee!

Back to Gilmore Girls, I have this thing, whenever Lorelai cries, I cry. The other night Jarryd looks over at me, "are you really crying right now? Really?", and I reply with "wha? huh? FINE I'm crying. Ugh, it's not my fault that Lauren Graham just has the most contagious cry in the history of female actors".

Last weekend I made buttercream frosting and I poured 3 whole 2 lb-bags of Confectioners Sugar into my mixer. That's 6 lbs, people! Which is also over 18 cups of sugar. {And I'm not even going to tell you how much butter I cut into that thing!} I have never loved my 6-QT Bowl-Lift Professional 600 Series Pink KitchenAid Stand Mixer as much as I did then. I wanted to plant a kiss on its' beautiful motor but I concluded that that would've been unsanitary. Here's a photo of my 28 lb beauty so we'll never forget... <3
I think I write this in every single one of my "random thoughts" blog posts, but hey it still rings true: I hate showering. Ughhh. Like, I need a shower right now quite badly and it's going to take every ounce of my strength to get into that damp, white prison. I'd rather write a long list of things I could be doing INSTEAD of washing my hair. Ah well, I'm still thankful for running water, don't worry.... :'(

Well, I think that's enough random thoughts for one blog post, eh? Until next time, my sweet friends! :)

August 23, 2016

Dearest Future Self,

August is almost over, I repeat, August is almost OVER. This is absolutely crazy!!
For the past two (or so) months Jarryd and I have been planning my family's trip out to Maryland; most of our energy has gone into anything and everything relating to their visit from  grocery lists, to bed/sleeping situations, itinerary, activities, places to see, and what baked-goods to make.

You spend all of the days leading up to their arrival just planning like crazy--striving for it to be perfect; and then after they leave you say to yourself, "hmm, now what? My brain is oddly quiet right now".

I doubt most people get as excited about their parents' visiting as I did this last time around. The last time I saw them was at Christmas and that was up in Canada! So this time, they flew all the way out here to beautiful Maryland. I'm tellin' you, it is SO cool when your two worlds collide (those being my Canadian world and my American world).
FINALLY my family got to see our new apartment and just see how we live our life here in general. The last time they were out here in Maryland, Jarryd and I had been married a little over a month, so that hardly even counted. We weren't "settled in" at all!

They left to go back home to Canada on Sunday and ever since then I've just felt nothing but thankfulness. I mean, I'm thankful to God all the time for my life, but recently it's been an overwhelming thankfulness. Being with my family again reminded me of how blessed I am to have been raised by two of the most amazing people I've ever known. Through them, God has given me an incredible 25 years of life, experiences, and adventures.

Everytime I look back at photos of myself that were taken on all my adventures in Canada, Europe, USA, ect, I try to read my face as best as I can; I look for any indication, ANY slight indication at all that I'm grasping just how good I have it. So often I want to go back in time, stand before myself, reach out and shake my own shoulders screaming, "do you know how amazing your life is right now?! I don't think so because I remember when this photo was taken and how you weren't actually very happy at the time. Jenny, you are crazy for ever NOT being happy!".

Sigh. I see pictures of myself standing with all of my best friends and wish I knew then that I was probably never going to be in the same room with all of those wonderful people at one time again. I wish I knew then how lucky I was to have so many friends who lived just a few minutes from my house. Nowadays, making friends isn't so simple.

I see pictures of myself lying on the grass on our old farm and wish I knew then that one day I'd be living in an apartment situated between 4 major U.S cities, longing to have that much space to roam again. I often wonder if I'll ever have that much peace and privacy to myself ever again.

I see pictures of myself at my high school graduation and wish I knew then what an amazing chapter of life I was going through. I had finally graduated and I literally could go anywhere and be anything that I wanted to be--and all I wanted to do was rush through it. It's sobering to think how every single choice I made back then was so crucial and life-altering.

If I never would have felt so career-oriented and brave I never would have gone to University in B.C. If I never would have felt so longingly for a change in scenery/way of life/school dynamic I never would have gone to Germany for Bible school.
If I never would have felt so passionate about continuing my degree in Christian ministry I never would have gone to Bible school in Saskatchewan.
If I never would have had my own kitchen in my dorm room there where I realized how much I actually enjoyed cooking and baking I never would have applied to Culinary School in Ontario.
If I never would have met Jarryd during my time in Germany and committed to long-distance dating and later said yes marriage, I would have never moved to Maryland, US.
If I never would have moved to Maryland, I don't think I'd ever appreciate the beauty of friendship the way I do now. I don't think I'd realize how warm, friendly, and welcoming my home country of Canada really is. I don't think I'd fully appreciate to the extent that I do now, how wonderful it was growing up in a Christian community surrounded by a huge support system of friends and family. I don't think I'd truly appreciate how fantastic it is to meet a person so friendly and genuine, and to realize how infrequent these types of people come around (so when you meet one, make sure you hold onto them).

All of these choices and decisions I made based on feeling "at-peace" with it all, have led me to this place: 25 years old, married for over 2 years, living in an entirely different country, working as a cook, exploring the beautiful country of the US of A, and sharpening my baking skills by doing cake/cupcake orders. Sometimes I STILL can't believe where I'm at right now!

I bet, in 5 years I'm going to look back at this moment, this memory, and say to myself, "you had it SO good Jenny. Your life was incredible at 25. How could you not have been truly happy?"

And my future self is right! There's something exciting about where Jarryd and I are at right now. It's just the two of us, no kiddos yet, and no careers that have the "power" to keep us tied down to hanging our hats in one specific area. Truthfully, we could pack up and move anywhere right now. If we really wanted, we could hand in our two-weeks-notices at work tomorrow and pack up and move within the following weeks. We could live anywhere we want to. It's exciting and nerve-wracking and overwhelming and thrilling! To think, this time next year we could be living in another town, another state, or another COUNTRY even! OR, we could just be in this exact same spot a year from now, here in Maryland (which...truthfully...doesn't give me any butterflies whatsoever, haha!).

God places us right where He wants us, doesn't he? It's only a matter of opening your ears to what He has in mind. Right now we're just praying for wisdom and discernment. Praying to be active in our faith and to be aware of all opportunities He lays out for us. We're exploring our options and trying to grow in Christ in the meantime.

So dearest future self (30-year-old Jenny), I'm here to tell you in August of 2016, I am truly happy and am truly thankful. I have it so good, and I don't have it good because of anything that I've done, but because of what God has done! :) <3