Saturday, December 31, 2011


Have a joyful new year!

Poster by Minx Creative.


Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Sometimes your dreams change shape.

It was a tearful goodbye, but I said it.  That dream, the multiple degrees, the academic career? I don't want it anymore.  A good-sized part of me never really wanted it.  Once I finally recognized that and believed it, I felt a wonderful sense of peace and calm, so different from the uncertainty that plagued me from August to December.  One semester of graduate school made me realize that I want to teach.

So this new year is bringing changes with it.  I am leaving my current program, taking a semester to work and save and read through my monstrous stack of books, and enrolling in a teacher certification/master's degree program in the summer.

Changes come, but they can be so good.  This is one of my steps toward a joy-filled life.

Image by Yulia Brodskaya

Monday, December 26, 2011

Full of Great Joy

We are approaching the new year, and with it comes those silly resolutions.  I used to have such lists for myself: eat healthy, exercise daily, read the Bible in its entirety, read a book every week, learn to do something (crochet, knit, ski, and who knows what else), write a book (or two), make straight As in school, etc.  Those are all things I'd still like to do, or at least improve upon, but I go through the same pattern every year: make goals, put them off for a week, succeed for a few days, then fail and scrap all of them.

A lot of instruction on achieving goals tells you to make them tangible, practical, and somewhat achievable, to outline them in a shape you can actually figure out.  For me, however, this doesn't work.  I have learned, over time, that I must set a goal that is an idea--to be healthy, or happy, or always moving forward--and then within moments, I figure out which course of action best suits that goal.  Literal achievements tire me out, makes me panic when I do not achieve the exact goal I hoped for.  But achieving some kind of state of being?  That fills me up.

So as I approach this new year, my resolution is simple and yet one of the hardest things in the world to do: I want to be joyful.  I want to live a joy-filled life and to share joy.

Exactly how I'll do that remains to be seen.

The mini bus roll poster is by K. Barteski, available here.  One of these days I'll buy it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Before the ice is in the pools,
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow,
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!
What we touch the hems of
On a summer's day;
What is only walking
Just a bridge away;
That which sings so, speaks so,
When there 's no one here,--
Will the frock I wept in
Answer me to wear?
Emily Dickinson

I read this poem as one about wonder throughout the year.  It is easy to marvel this time of year, when we fill our worlds with beauty, but hard at other times.  Today will be filled with family and friends, a church service with a full orchestra and choir and beautiful songs, and plenty of happiness.  I want to grab onto that happiness and turn it into joy that'll stay with me all year long.  

Fifteen years after I had to memorize the second chapter of Luke at school, I still remember these words from verse nineteen: "But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart."  I want to do the same with these holiday moments--treasure them and ponder them within, and hold that joy and wonder all year long.

Have a wonderful holiday, and practice keeping the joy of this season in your heart, always.  

Cabbage Roses at the Shedd Aquarium, visited last week with my mom and sister on our way back from Milwaukee.  It was cold and damp and those flowers were a surprising bit of pastel and softness in the surrounding gray.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Source: via Katie on Pinterest

It's been a crazy two weeks and next week is pretty packed, too.  My mom and I are off to Wisconsin to bring my little sister home from her first semester of college.  I'll be back with a post on Thursday...maybe.

Have a great week!

Friday, December 9, 2011


I mostly survived this week.  Two finals and one short paper stand between me and less-interrupted reading time...But that's not the reason for that title.  That title has a much more exciting reason.

My husband just got his score on the final section of the CPA exam.

He passed all four in the first round with ridiculously high scores.

This is BIG, guys.  It's time to throw a party.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I have a crazy week ahead.  One seminar paper, two finals, and one translation and short paper by next Tuesday...

So I'm on pause this week.  I'll be stopping by your blogs and try to leave comments, but I won't have much time to write here (or there).

Talk to you next week, I suppose.  Enjoy this first full week of December!  It's rainy here.  I hope it's nicer where you are!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's December?!

Where did that come from?  Our Christmas decorations are storage, I think.  I'll have to make a few.  This paper snowflake panel DIY from Free People looks like something I'll take on after I finish finals.  We have some nice big windows and the light would be gorgeous shining through the patterns.