Discovering Individuality in Marriage

Friday, November 21, 2014

Photo Credit Aaron Robert Photography

Marriage is centered around concepts of unity, harmony, and oneness. Together two individuals become one and pursuit a life together. After a mere five months of marriage, I am no expert but I have learned a thing or two.

Our pastor ingrained in our hearts that marriage does not complete two lesser people, rather it brings together two already whole individuals into a unified team. Before marriage neither Jake nor I were lacking or incomplete. We both bring gifts, skills, and passions of our own to this relationship and share them with one another.

Often in our romance seeking culture, marriage is placed on a pedestal and viewed as an ultimate goal in life. Our idea of marriage jumps to couples doing everything together, giving sweet gestures of endless love despite conflict, and partaking in effortless sex. Sweet friends, we must remember a part from our relationship status, each one of us has individual gifts that make us unique and distinct.

Being married does not diminish my love for people, staying organized, or blogging just as Jake still lives a laid back life enjoying video games and family time with his parents. Within marriage it is vital to discover individuality and create healthy spaces to act on our separate passions. Spending time apart and each doing what we love strengthens our relationship and time together. Don't be afraid to pursuit your dreams and live out your passions, you are a unique individual that shares life with another unique individual. Let that be a beautiful union!

What passions do you have as an individual?
How do you bring these to relationships?

Fall Travel Season Stats

Thursday, November 20, 2014

And there you have it folks, Laura's fall 2014 travel season is in the books. It is shocking to me that Autumn has come and gone however I am ready to be home and in one place whatever season it may be. While days in my career as an admissions counselor are long and tiresome, it is rewarding to share the opportunity of Christian higher education with high school students. And without further ado, here are my travel season stats compared to last year.

The Grand Totals
9,411 Miles Driven
459 Calls to Students
156.85 Hours in the Car
91 Hotel Toiletries Collected
49 High School Visits
42 Days Away from Home
28 Hotel Nights
23 College Fairs
11 Chipotle Bowls
5 One on Ones with Students
4 States (IA, WI, WA, AZ)
4 Airports
4 Different Cars
3 Family Homes
1 Cancelled Flight

Top 5 Coffee Shops
1. Smokey Row - Oskaloosa, Iowa
2. The Woods - Bellingham Boardwalk, Washington
3. Java Creek Cafe - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4. The Weather Center Cafe - Sheboygan, Wisconsin
5. Adams Street Expresso - Creston, Iowa

Best Selfie Opportunities
1. End of travel season celebration alongside many hay bales.
2. A sweet lighthouse adventure in Wisconsin.
3. My everyday view of cornfields and gravel roads.
4. Oh hello paparazzi photo shoot.
5. Salt water, I found you on the west coast!

Stand Out Moments
-Seeing some of the most gorgeous high schools in all the land!
-Making close friends with several admissions counselors in Arizona and going out to dinner together  at Zinburger, the best burger place in existence.
-Losing my memory card filled with hundreds of photos somewhere within a five hour radius in Iowa and miraculously having a worker discover it on the ground of a small town coffee shop.
 -Marrying off my best friend and jumping on a plane hours later to get to Washington on time.
-Praying with one of my students and sharing the hope of Jesus in a time of death and doubt.
-Jacob joining me in Arizona for a few days and scoring a luxury resort night for free.

DIY // Hanging Pine Cones & Bedroom Tour

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

There is only so much you can do to a rental apartment - thankfully ours has neutral walls and a flexible landlord who is willing to let us make this place our own within reason. My bedroom has always been a sanctuary for rest and rejuvenating. I value true rest almost as much as food and creating a space to purposefully do so is important in my life.

It was a bit strange moving in with a boy and having a moment of realization that oh I just can't do whatever I want to. Fortunately we both love natural elements and cool colors so our bedroom came together quite easily. Our favorites include the tree and leaves bedding we scored on a major sale from Crate & Barrel and our newly added DIY pine cone branch. And oh hey, you can make one too!

Pine Cones
Tree Branch
Fish Eye Hooks
Dry Wall Anchors

How To:
1. Collect pine cones of all different shapes and sizes and a tree branch of your choice.
2. Connect fish eye hooks to branch and use screws to attach to wall (use dry wall anchors if you cannot screw into studs).
3. Cut yarn in varied lengths, hang over branch, and tie pine cone on.
4. Spread your pine cones sporadically throughout the branch.
5. Enjoy!

What is your favorite room in the house?
How do you create peaceful places?
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