Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Simple Things

I've been thinking lately of how life would be different if we took more time to enjoy the simple things.
I love the concept of how people used to visit "back then", when life was simple....
you would drop in on your neighbor one afternoon.
your neighbor would put over a pot of tea or coffee and chat with you as she worked...perhaps while rolling out cinnamon rolls.
 After the rolls were baked the two of you would sit on the front porch with your coffee & fresh rolls, and savor the moments of friendship and life.
I want that world again.
that "back-then" lifestyle of old fashioned relaxing and enjoyment of the simple things.
I have to confess I find myself tiring of this world of facebook, myspace, twitter, texting, and ipods
and wishing for the simplicity of "life back then".
my thought lately has been that in spite of the revolving technology
and new concepts for a new time...
I can still return to those past traditions of simple things.
I want to take time to enjoy the "cinnamon rolls" of life.
the sweet and savory moments of investing in people's lives
through good old fashioned hospitality.
 one-on-one conversations.
letter-writing.
DIY gift-giving.
the simple things.
~~~~~~~~
We need to make time to enjoy those simple things in life.
I don't say "find time", because if you wait for your world to slow down it won't happen.
you have to make it happen.
I'm speaking to myself today...this is what I need to hear, what I need to remember.
Time with the people I love won't last forever.
I'll never look back and regret moments spent building relationships, making memories, cherishing moments.
I'll look back instead and wish I had done those things.
With God's help, I'll make the time...
and treasure this journey of life.

-Chels

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Girls Road Trip::Sioux Falls

Last weekend I took an {epic} road trip to the beautiful and desolate hills of South Dakota.
Destination: Sioux Falls, SD
Reason for trip: a friend's wedding 
{weddings are the best reason to travel}
Fellow road-trippers: three dear friends & one dear sister
{Allison isn't in the pictures since she only went partway with us and spent the weekend with a friend}
Other activities along the way: coffee, goodwill, platos closet, target, mexican food, hampton inn, photoshoot, jane austen, food, etc etc etc
It was quite the eventful trip,
given my extraordinary sense of direction.
 (or lack thereof)
prior to the trip, there was some concern from some of my well-meaning family members 
that I might not arrive at my destination. 
as it was, it went uncommonly well and we only got lost/missed our exits about five times.
not bad.
=)
I mean, it could've been worse. 
we could've ended up in idaho. 
(with me driving, a very serious possibility)
The entire trip was somewhat of a hassle to plan, due to unforeseen little problems that kept cropping up.
But finally after dozens upon dozens of emails, details, and "hashing",
 as well as several character building moments for high energy, easily stressed yours truly...
(thanks Hannah for keeping me on track with your calm rationality)
we made it out the door and en route to south dakota!
South Dakota is beautiful. 
the scenery was so western-rolling hills, mountains in the distance, prairie grasses...
::THE SHOPPING::
we are all avid shoppers and when we found out that our hotel was located right next to a huge mall, we knew that we would have to leave early and take advantage of the shopping!
however...we're also all thrifty-type girls so when a goodwill was found in the area we decided to visit that first. 
On the way to goodwill we kept our eyes peeled for thrift stores. 
someone saw the above store and said "there's a thrift store"! 
someone else noted that it was a "bread" thrift store. 
not sure what that means...used bread?
no, probably outdated bread...but still, they shouldn't put "thrift" on their sign.
its a super distracting word to us "get-the-best-deal-possible" minded people!
and besides, as Hannah would say, "it sounds sketchy". =)
following our goodwill stop, we were much elated to discover a Platos Closet just one mile away!
{for those who don't know-Platos Closet is a trendy fashion consignment store. Their stuff is a little more expensive generally then Goodwill's, but everything is always super up-to-date.
for once we had no time limit (other than our stomachs!) and could shop as long as we wanted!
after two hours we finally left with many treasures and greatly-dimished wallet content. =)
{note: we never made it to the mall =)}
::MEXICAN RESTAURANT::
we had dinner at a little mexican place
::THE HAMPTON INN::
We arrived at the hotel late friday night. I had booked a room back in mid-March so everything was ready and paid for and all we had to do was get our key. 
Our friend Kelly met up with us at the hotel; she had driven down from MN.
For the weekend in general, we blew all codes of health and splurged rather greatly. 
We all decided that we were going to give our health consciences a break.
Kelly saved the day by bringing some celery. 
{!!!!}
So I rotated between whole stalks of celery and petite handfuls of M&M's. 
I know-what a diet.
screen shot of Pride&Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennet & Colonel Fitzwilliam
{we watched the A&E version, which is the best one I think}

A quick mirror shot in the morning, right before leaving for the wedding.

::THE WEDDING::
My friend Emily was a beautiful bride and it was such fun to experience her special day w/ her!

Tia, Lilly, Hannah, myself, & Kelly
with the bride...
{we all knew Emily from Bright Lights conference trips-all of us were/are staff with BL and got to know each other quite well on trips to various states for conferences}
::THE PHOTOSHOOT::
We were planning to do a photoshoot following the wedding.
But the weather was uncooperative 
{extremely windy and c-o-l-d}
so we headed home instead.
after several hours of driving, we came to a quaint little town somewhere in iowa and someone suggested stopping and trying for some pictures.
lo and behold the wind was mostly gone and it was a very comfortable temp for posing. =)
as you can see, we chose to
"forgo conventionality"
and opted for the "highly individual and original" looks instead. =)
an attempt at demure expressions, in which you can see that three of us failed rather miserably. 
Once we finally got our act together and stopped laughing....
we could really pull off the pensive/meditative mood idea.
truly...
I will never forget the first time I met Tia because my mom and a family friend both had just met her and they came to me and said "we met this girl that looks so much like you and just reminds us of you!" =)
Ever since we've heard that we look alike and we even get mistaken for each other at bright lights conferences!

::THE GIRLS::
the 14 hours we spent in the car were anything but dull, let me tell you! In those fourteen hours we covered about every topic out there, dwelling slightly longer on certain ones. =)
We sang...ate....stopped at both classy & shady gas stations (almost got a proposal at the one)...got lost...ate some more....and talked nonstop.
I'll never forget the song that took us an hour to listen to because we somehow got started talking on music standards and we kept turning off the song to discuss another thought! It was quite something...loved it though. I love how true friends are those that are like "iron sharpening iron"-the ones that aren't scared to tell you if they disagree with you.
the ones that will encourage you in sticking to what you believe.
the ones that will ask what God's been doing in your life.
the ones that will not just talk but they will also listen.
these three women are all of that and I'm so blessed to know them.
so all that said...meet the ladies who traipsed with me to the western hills of South Dakota.

 romantic and dreamy Lilly




creative & candid Hannah
{candid because she believes just like me in "say it the way it is!" =)}



genuine and graceful Tia







lovely times, lovely memories.
wonderful and lovely without even mentioning the 10-minute "extreme stress bubble" on the way from JoAnn Fabrics to the wedding location.
or the 8+ speeding tickets yours truly should have gotten but didn't.
{just being honest here}
or the thrill and peace that we felt when we actually arrived 15 minutes early in spite of the above details.
or all the other random things that we don't write about because they aren't exactly "blog approved". =)
now we're trying to conceive a plan to get someone else married so we can do it again! =)
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
{visit Hannahs Blog for her story of the trip}
{photo credits-professional photos by Hannah & I; phone photos by everyone}

Monday, April 8, 2013

Called & Qualified

"If God has called you, than He has QUALIFIED you."
{this thought was given to me by someone I met in the studio the other week}
I was (more or less) complaining about my inadequacy and how I felt so unqualified and unequipped at times in the areas of music and just different things w/ traveling.
After my little rant, this person looked me straight in the eye and told me,
"Don't you tell yourself that. If God has called you, than He has qualified you, and nothing can change that."
really made me stop and think.
and I wrote it down because I thought it was so profound, and I wanted to remember it.
seriously, just think about that today, in whatever you're doing....
if God is in it; if He has called you to it,
than you are totally qualified and ready for the job.
so go at it with everything you've got and do your best!