April is Blooming

Hello, all!

I can’t believe that Easter is almost here! I’m loving forward to good food and spending time with family again is year. Easter is probably one of my favorite holidays if I had to choose one. Since high school and beyond I’ve never been too fond of holidays at all. You know how age just sucks the magic and wonderment out of things? Still, I am finding new things to look forward to about holidays as I get older like cooking and eating, watching the seasons change and sitting outside in the sun as it gets warmer. The holidays always take me by surprise now. I remember when I was little waiting weeks out for Christmas or even Easter and planning pool parties for my birthday every year. Now I usually don’t realize until mere days before holidays arrive.

What’s nice about living where I do at the moment is that I am freed from the responsibilities of celebrate holidays. Of course, I can’t wait to have my own house [or whatever] again so I can plan parties and cook for people for special occasions but it’s also nice to know that I don’t have to do much when occasions come up because it’s not my house. It’s so bittersweet living with another family. On one hand, you can’t do want you want all the time and you don’t have a place of your own, but on the other, you don’t have as much to care for; you end up splitting a lot of the house work, expenses and so on. So I go from feeling trapped to feeling really chill.

This morning I had much of the morning to myself and I got up unnaturally early for me. The night before (or morning) I couldn’t fall asleep! I was awake until 5am ish and I felt miserable by then. I did, however, end up sleeping from about 6am to 11am…But last night I was asleep by midnight and awake at 7am 0_0 I didn’t really want to be awake that early but I figured I’d make myself some coffee and stay up.

I’m a night person through and through, but I think this might become a habit for me. I was able to sit and drink my coffee, watching the sun come up with my kittens nearby and then check my e-mail and write this post. I also like watching flowers open in the morning. I find it fascinating that they close at night and open with the sun rise…I guess not all my childhood wonderment is gone.

backyard blooms

Love these red tulips!

Time has been rushing by me so fast! I’m come into a lot of work now too, so I’m designing like crazy this week. Honestly, design is my favorite part of what I do. I feel that it’s the only thing I have in my life right now that really pushes my abilities to their limits. I can’t show what I’m working on though, it’s a secret…

My little sister turned 20 this month! (or threeish days ago Korean time, on the 28th). This is the first birthday she’s been so far from home but for the last two birthdays now I’ve missed her. Anyway, happy birthday to my brave little sister on the other side of the world! Even as I write this it’s already almost tomorrow there.

Oh, I almost forgot. I’ll be posting another Philly adventure soon.

Ben

Guess who?

Spring time: 1st Flower Show

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all!

Spring has pretty much sprung here in Philly and it’s beautiful! I love to watch all the trees and flowers bloom.

As of March 11th, I have lived here a whole year! And it makes me so happy knowing that I will see our dramatic, colorful spring happen every year :D

Speaking of flowers, I attended my first Flower Show last week downtown at the convention center. It was fun! I got to get in for free because I volunteered at the afternoon tea that they have every year; I’ll be doing it next year too! Anyway, this year’s theme was Hawaii. I’m not the biggest fan of orchids and tropical plants, however. My favorite plants from the show were being sold by vendors (both local and from Hawaii).
air plants

Air plants in globes =D

I wanted one of these so bad!! I’m definitely getting one when I get a place of my own. So cute!! All they need is sun and air, sadly I’m lacking in the sun department right now =/

Also THESE.
orchid broaches

Broaches made from preserved orchids.

flower jewelry

Preserved flowers in pendents and earrings.

I successfully resisted the urge to buy any of this stuff. Instead, I ended up getting Tristan and I a bottle of Zinfandel and a bottle of red wine for me (he doesn’t like red very much).
LOTS vino

YUM!

This pic (above) I took in the morning when I got there before the wine started being sold. After I got done in the tea room, I headed straight over to the wine; there were tastings going on!
LOTS vino

Another thing I really enjoyed: Hawaiian music and dancing.

I ended up leaving the show at about 3pm. But I didn’t want to hop on the subway home right away so I walked a few blocks over to chill in love park.
Philly!

The weather was MUCH nicer than it looks!

LOVE ^_^
*See LOVE statue DONE!* lol
Blah

Soaking up the LOVE after a long day. -__-;;

Happy Anniversary to us!

Tristan and I have been married 5 years today! God has used our marriage to change me like I never imagined. I remember 2005, before I met him. I was a mess, having recently endured a bad break-up; but it was that break-up that brought me to a place where I could finally swallow my pride and ask God for someone to spend my life with. Just weeks later, He brought me more than I could ever ask for.

our wedding day

Ever since March 10th, 2007 my life has been crazy, challenging, heart-changing, and amazing! And I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. I love you, Tristan!

Thoughts on Minimalism and the Story of the Move

Surfing the Internet again, up way later than I should be, and I come back to reading some old posts from one of my favorite blogs. I love the blog, Miss Minimalist. In the past year since I have moved to PA and had to cram my life into 400 sq. ft., I’m finding that I don’t miss the extra space, or the extra stuff I’ve had to give up to get here and be comfortable.
collect moments, not things

Speaks for itself.

Growing up [I now think] I was seriously spoiled. I believed that I had an average childhood as far as home-life goes. My parents bought my clothes, fed me, made sure I had shoes on my feet and toiletries – and that’s good! But I have to say that, looking back on my childhood with what I know now, I had TOO MUCH of that stuff and not only that but I had toys and other things I didn’t need in [what I feel now] was excess. I remember being a little girl and liking to collect things. I collected rocks, glass bottles, at one point I collected stickers (yes, stickers) and memories, and by memories I mean STUFF. I remember keeping my memories: boxes full of things I had acquired from places and milestone events that I HAD to keep. I remember this well because I kept these boxes up until recently when I paired down to ONE box. I paired down other things too, but not until I realized what a burden it was carrying things around…

When we moved from SC last year we hadn’t had our “new” house long: 7 months, approximately. In December 2010 I was beginning to pack up everything I had for a second time. Having already moved recently, I soon found just how much stuff I had. I had managed to take it all and move it from our first house to this one but now, as I sat in the bottom of office closet looking at the “memory boxes”, it occurred to me that I did not want the added stress of moving EVERYTHING AGAIN. For starters, we were moving long-distance. I didn’t know at the time exactly home long, but I remember finding out.

Tristan and I had been planning a move to Savannah, GA, about 45 mins. from our previous home. We were counting on our [soon to be] land lord (or so we thought) to have us move in by February 2011, so we waited…and waited. By the time we had to leave our house, my mother had offered to let us stay in my old bedroom at my parents’ house. I was a wreck. Here we were, stuck in limbo, our stuff packed into a storage unit we had rented earlier in Savannah for the transition, living out of suitcases. We assured my parents that we’d be out in a week. That week quickly turned into two, then three. Presently, my mom gave us an ultimatum. We had to leave and had no where to go. So I prayed.

My prayer was answered a few days later in the form of a phone call. My mother-in-law offered to let us stay with her. But wait…could I just up and leave SC without warning? I felt like I had so many “strings” hold me down. If I was to move that far and into a single room, I had to get rid of even more. Even, regrettably, my two other cats. But, thanks to staying with my parents, I had had a taste of living with less. (They would take care of my cats for me)

We had made a decision that night, we were going home; back to PA where we were both from and the next day, we drove to our storage unit. It was on our 4 year wedding anniversary that we spent all day there in front of that unit packing up this big moving truck in the rain. I again realized how much stuff I had been moving and how much was yet to be moved. And what would happen when we had to unload it? I was exhausted but still, we pressed on, leaving behind the things we knew we couldn’t use again. That’s when it started. WE starting getting rid of things. I tossed some, donated others, we gave a few things away to friends I knew needed them. “I would need any of these where I’m going”, I thought. Gradually, we paired down enough to be able to make the trip with room to spare. We left the next morning. Tristan drove the truck, I drove behind. We had to make a stop first to get the car trailer so that I wouldn’t have to drive the rest of the way. We got the trailer and hitched the car to the back of the truck. Tristan, Jinx, Giz, and I squeezed in the cab and made the 12 hour journey north.

When we arrived in our new “home” in greater Philadelphia in March of 2011 we had a bit of attic space and 400 sq. ft. to work with. My purging of things before the move hadn’t amounted to much. Somehow though, we did manage to fit everything that made the trip into the house. Still, I wasn’t satisfied. When we finished moving into the basement of the house and I immediately felt overwhelmed by all the clutter that we actually had, which was now very visible. I knew I was becoming starved for space after leaving a 2,400 sq. ft. home.

One day, months later, I found a blog about minimalism. I read through all the posts and the stories of real people who were perfectly happy living with less. I was enchanted but my research didn’t end there. If you know me at all these days, you know I like to research the crap out of something before I invest my mind, heart, soul or money in it. So I decided to do my homework, and over time I found more and more how lovely it was when things were simple. Through that one blog, I was led to the trend of minimalist and tiny housing and I was floored, I watched video after video on YouTube of how people had build houses smaller than my living space with all the amenities (which I currently lack) and how much happier they were with less. I also found myself meditating in the beauty of simplicity in my devotions. I thought about creation (one of my favorite things to mediate on), the simplicity of God’s love and provision and Jesus’ words all over the New Testament about simple living; how He was always explaining things in their simplest form and giving simple principles to live by: I think of Luke chapter 12 a lot, also of Luke 18: 15-17 when Jesus blessing the children and saying, “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17 NLT). If you’ve ever seen a child love, you know what this means; it’s the simplest, strongest love I’ve ever seen. Keeping these things in mind, a determined to make space for myself and my boys (hubby and cats) and I set to work! Over the next months I remember going up to the attic and throwing things out, breaking old dishes and stuffing things into trash bags. It felt so good!

Now, I am pleased to say that a year after I moved in, I have about half of what I moved in with and the I’m still throwing things out and donating things where I can…I don’t consider myself a hardcore minimalist, I don’t think I ever will be, but I am pursuing a simpler way of life, A life where God’s grace and love and the love of my husband (and the essentials, of course) is all I really need. Everything else that God has allowed me to have is just extra blessing =) and He’s allowed me many other things, things that I may not need, but they make me happy. And now I have a rule for smaller items (clothes, make-up etc.): When I bring something home, I MUST get rid of something. So far, it’s working and keeping the clutter down and you can bet that will continue. And when God finally sees fit to bless Tristan and I with our own place again it will be clean, serene and UN-cluttered.