Monday 5: New Year’s Edition

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Happy 2018! Can you believe it?? 2017 flew by, especially the last few months. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family! My siblings and I spent a quiet Christmas with our dad in North Carolina. For New Years we were back in Charleston and my mom suggested going to a party at a new hotel downtown called the Dewberry. My aunt Carrie (shout out to Neatsmart) came to visit which made it even better! It was a fun evening full of (somewhat reluctant) dancing, people watching and very expensive drinks.

The first week back to work ended up being one day since Charleston got hit by a ‘snowpocalypse’ (which for us is about four inches). It was such a lovely gift to have unexpected time off to just chill with my family. I read, wrote in my bullet journal (more on that to come) and walked around the snowy streets. I’m typically not a fan of sitting around for extended periods of time but those two days were wonderful.

Nicholas got stuck at the hospital for two days which was kind of unfortunate but he got a long weekend out of it so that helped ease the annoyance of having to sleep at the hospital! We had a lot of fun walking around some neighborhoods in the snow and taking pics. We went on a double date Friday night with our friends Lucia and Kevin and then they came over to play cards for a little bit. Saturday we went to a bar in West Ashley to meet up with some people and watch the James Madison football game and then later made a yummy dinner for my fam! Nicholas made a whipped feta dip with honey that was delicious.

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That evening we had some people over to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany (when the three Magi visited baby Jesus). We made Lamb’s Wool, a drink traditionally made on that day and everyone shared a moment in nature that they were particularly impacted by God. It was a fun night.

Sunday we went to Mass at the Cathedral and then to brunch after (like the stereotypical millennials we are). Later we explored Daniel Island some which had some incredible houses; and then ended the weekend with watching a couple episodes of This is Us (such a good show!).

It’s been a beautiful start to the new year, I love new beginnings! To start your week (and year) off on the right foot, here are some things I’m excited about that you might enjoy too.

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Bullet journal

One of the highlights of the time at my dad’s house was getting to catch up with one of my best friends Maria. She was the one who recommended I start a bullet journal. A bullet journal is like an agenda that you make yourself. The idea is that you can completely customize it to your needs while simultaneously being a creative outlet. You can get an empty notebooks with the little dots (mine is Moleskine) and those become your guide to mapping everything out. In addition to having a monthly calendar, a weekly and daily view, you can also have sections such as books you want to read, parties you want to host, goals you want to accomplish, people you want to pray for or reach out to and have them each marked with tabs. It is time consuming but so fun. And creative and mindful. I am not an artsy person but there are so many cute ideas out there on Instagram and Pinterest that you really don’t have to be! I’m also hoping this might improve my art skills a little. Agendas can get really pricey and I tend to think it’s worth it if you use it and enjoy it a lot, but this is a fun, cheap alternative that can stretch us a little and make it more suitable to what we need! Love love love.

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Early mornings.

I love mornings. But I also love sleep. Waking up is often a struggle between my strong desire to sleep and my motivation to get up and get going. One of my resolutions this year is to read more. There are so many good book out there and I’m tired of adding to my reading list without making any progress! So, I’ve decided to harness my love of mornings and books and combine them with a little morning reading. I usually am guilty of getting up as late as I can and then rushing to get ready before sprinting out the door. This morning I was able to sip my coffee, read a few pages and take some time to just sit before getting dressed and heading out. It was so nice. It does require getting to bed a little earlier but I think it is so worth it. Starting your day calmly and intentionally is so much better than running around! How do you start your day? Any tips for making sure you get up when the alarm goes off?

Drinking with the Saints

I got Nicholas this book for his birthday and now I feel like I unconsciously got it as a gift for myself. I love it so much! I am a huge fan of celebrating things and this book is a great tool for that. Each month has the various feast days with some background information and a drink that is relevant. I am no bartender but I ‘m excited to explore it a little more and hopefully save money in the long run by not going out as much! It also makes it so easy to invite a few people over and celebrate a feast day with other people; I think this is awesome for keeping the liturgical year at the front of mind and sharing it with others.

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Affirmations

I can be pretty sarcastic. My family loves to poke fun at each other and tease a lot. While I love this dynamic, I’ve come to learnt the value of giving sincere compliments. Relationship and marriage psychologist John Gottman explains that each negative interaction is worth the same as five positive ones. Really what he’s saying is that we tend to focus more on the bad than the good, which makes sense from a biological standpoint since bad things are threats to our survival and therefore should be dealt with. For that reason, it is really important to pepper in those affirming and loving moments as often as we can. That way, when something negative inevitably occurs, it is just a drop in the bucket compared to all the positive interactions that have taken place prior. Both with my family and with Nicholas, I’m trying to make an effort of pointing out their strengths, their achievements and just reminding them how much I love them. We think that good relationships just happen, but the reality is that they require thought and work!

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Walks

We got out to go on long walks over the past few days and I really enjoyed it. Something I miss about college is just how you typically walk everywhere. I think taking time to get outside and move is so important and beneficial. It is especially helpful if we do it with friends or loved ones because it forces us to chat in an intentional way. There are so many things that distract us at home (phones, TV, chores etc) and walking helps keep us focused on only what is around us. I think this is a great way of building emotional intimacy while also staying active and healthy. I’m hoping to get out and walk some more this week.

What are you excited about this week?

xo

Miranda

Monday 5: Sailing & other things I’m excited about this week

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This weekend was definitely one for the books. My stepdad turned 50 and we had quite the celebration. We decked out the backyard with tent, tables, chairs, heaters and an enormous bonfire. It was a lot of work (my brother did not stop all weekend) but it was a lot of fun. It was good to see family I hadn’t seen in a while (and introduce Nicholas to them) and to meet new people as well.

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Most of Saturday was spent getting ready for the party but Sunday Nicholas and I finally got to go sailing! One of the first conversations we ever had was about Nicholas’ love of sailboats so it was exciting to bring that dream to fruition. It was a beautiful day and sailing around the Charleston harbor was so relaxing. We didn’t know any of the people we were sailing with (Nicholas had exchanged a couple of emails with the boat owner) but they were very warm and welcoming. We were only out for a few hours but we really enjoyed it. Later that afternoon we had a Christmas party with the teens from youth group and Pope Francis was in attendance! (Ok not really but yesterday was his birthday).

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Cannot believe Christmas is a week away, eek! I hope everyone has had a chance to get some shopping done and reflect on all the blessings we have! Other than that, here are some other things I’m excited about this week.

Birchbox

I’m not a makeup person. I always get so overwhelmed anytime I need to buy new mascara or BB cream that I put it off for way too long. When I do finally get around to buying some I’m often disappointed because it isn’t really what I was looking for or doesn’t do everything it says it does. That’s why I was excited when my mom got me a Birchbox subscription for my birthday. This way I get some samples every month so I’m mostly stocked and when I do find something I really like I can buy it knowing that it’s a sound purchase. Plus I get to try things I normally never would like sparkly eyeliner. It’s also so fun to have some mail to look forward to each month! I think this is a great gift idea for any girl (even if it’s just a gift from you to you ;)).

Sailing 

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I was so excited to finally go sailing and it really was a great experience. I love the clothes associated with sailing (stripes, boat shoes, lots of white and navy) and the boats themselves are so pretty. There is something about being on the water that makes it really difficult to be stressed or anxious. It was liberating and calming to be away from everything for a little bit and just enjoy our beautiful surroundings. It was a little chilly but luckily I was pretty bundled up so it wasn’t a huge problem. There is actually quite a bit to sailing; lots of terms to learn and all that goes into getting the boat to move. I learned a tiny bit yesterday but am excited to keep understanding more. I loved getting some pictures of Charleston from this standpoint, we live in such a photogenic area! I know Nicholas really enjoys sailing so I’m hopeful we’ll be able to do this somewhat regularly.

Homemade brunch

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Brunch is the ‘thing to do’ these days. We love brunch. Especially in Charleston, we’re so lucky to have so many charming, delicious options! For Nicholas’ birthday we decided to switch it up a little and do brunch at his apartment. It was a great time. He made shrimp and grits that were incredible and we really enjoyed being able to host people instead of meeting someplace else. There’s something about inviting people into a home that is very intimate and welcoming in a way that eating out just isn’t. It’s definitely something that requires more work (and $ on the part of the host), but I think doing it every once in a while is totally worth it. It was especially cool to bring people together like our young adult friends and my family…worlds colliding!

All things Christmas

This week is it! I can’t believe how fast this season has gone by. I feel like there’s still so much to do! I’m excited to go all out with gifts, Christmas music, cookies and especially taking some time to reflect on what is coming. I think now is especially a good opportunity to remember all the blessings we have, to count them one by one. Gratitude is the antidote to hopelessness and dejection. When we realize how much we truly have to be grateful for (ex: family, health, work, friends, a car…) we can have hope for what is to come knowing all that we’ve already received. I hope everyone has a truly merry Christmas!

9 months

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It feels like yesterday I was writing the post about our 6 month milestone. Time just goes by so darn fast! It really has been #miracholas. No one really tells you how truly messy relationships can be. It makes sense though, when we think about how complex the human person is. We all have hurt and fears and insecurities and difficulties that haunt us and surface when someone gets close. It is the beauty of intimacy, being known and loved deeply…despite our evident imperfection. I can see how the challenge has helped us grow and how good that is. I’m so grateful for all that we’ve gone through – the good and the difficult – and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us!

Have a wonderful last week before Christmas!

xo

Miranda