25 September 2013

project life in 2013: weeks 43 + 44.

week 43
may 20-26

What happened this week? Elliot was still with us, which was awesome. Josh had some final papers to finish up, so Elliot and I went to the Astrup Fearnly Modern Art Museum together. We also met up with Josh for a picnic on an island and at some point we all went to the Ski Jump Museum together. It was quite foggy that day, unfortunately. After Elliot left we hung out at home, I finished up my babysitting gig, and we took a dip in Sognsvann lake with Jana and Molly.
(Click on the photos to see them larger)

Anything special in the spread? A tiny insert that includes a few photos I couldn't fit elsewhere. It's really just a remnant of an already trimmed down Design A pocket page. 
Favorite photo: A tie between Josh and Elliot at the island and the jumping picture at the lake. Back in August 2012 I took a jump picture by myself at Sognsvann, so this one of me jumping with friends represents to me how we were able to make a good life (full of friends and good experiences) out of scratch.


week 44
may 27-june 2
What happened this week? I hung out withs some CU friends; we attempted to swim in the fjord. Well, they swam and I waded in. Then Elise came! We did a lot of hanging and talking, but also some active stuff around Oslo.
(Click on the photo to see it larger)
Anything special in the spread? Josh picked up that N (for Norway) badge somewhere, so I glued it to some paper and put it in. Some fun washi tape. 
Favorite photo: My leaping picture. I think Elise took that one, but I can't remember.

Supplies and Tools: American Crafts thickerswashi tape, paper source labels, pretty paper from Dick Blick, random paper from my stash, Design A and B photo pocket pages (this variety pack), Seafoam core kit, Cobalt cardstock, black sharpie, black steadtler fineliner pen, slicker writer pens.

Project Life is a simple scrapbooking system by Becky Higgins.  I am using this system to document our first year of marriage with photos, words and other fun paper stuff.  You can see my other project life pages here.  

23 September 2013

around here: we're employed!

Photos from top to bottom: a custom card order for Grandma Kay// Josh's classical guitar made by Uncle Willis// tip top of the legacy house (more about this place soon)// herbal healing in progress// Josh got his wisdom teeth out

Life has been pretty good around here. Josh is recovering well from his mouth operation. We're getting to know more people in Wichita, we love our housemates and our friends across the street, we're starting to feel comfortable at two different churches, we love our home and living close to the river, and we are feeling so blessed to have jobs! Over the weekend the weather was hinting towards fall, which I loved. After a great 9 mile run (Josh and I are both training for a half marathon in October), I biked to the farmer's market with Lauren, Kenzi and Cora. Then we relaxed a coffee shop for a while, where Josh and Daniel joined us. Saturday night JRLD (that stands for Josh, Rachel, Lauren and Daniel) headed over to Grandparents Kline for dinner. Both Saturday and Sunday were a wonderful mix of relaxation and fellowship with friends and family.

This past week was our first full week of work. So far we enjoy what we do. This year Josh gets to write his Master’s thesis, so he spends a good chunk of the day reading and thinking about what he’ll write. Since he needs time for studying, Josh applied for several part time jobs. A couple weeks ago he was called for an interview with the YMCA for an after school recreation leader and he got the job! He’s now working at Hamilton Middle School; his job requires him to monitor students during an academic time for homework or reading and then he leads students in sports activities. The Y sponsors an intramural soccer league amoung the middle schools and Josh’s kids are pretty into soccer. Therefore, the majority of sport time is dedicated to soccer practice. Josh says he really likes connecting with the kids, biking to work and doing soccer stuff again.

I was lucky enough to get an interview at Woodman Elementary School for an ESOL Paraeducator position. Aunt Meme told her friend Vikki about me back in the Spring. Vikki actually worked at Woodman as an ESOL teacher, so when she heard about an opening at Woodman she emailed the principal about me. That same day (Wednesday) I got called from the principal inviting me for an interview. I went on Thursday for my interview, it went great, and I was offered the job right on the spot! I, of course, accepted. 

My job requires me to assist various ESOL students in different grade levels with their class work or extra reading and writing. This past week I went into several different first grade and second grade classrooms to help students. In the afternoons I helped out in the ESOL classroom with whatever was going on. Many students are pulled out of their normal class to doing reading and writing with the ESL teachers. One of my favorite parts is helping a little Mexican girl in the first grade classroom. She’s very new to the USA and has been in school just a few days longer than I’ve been working there. My job is to make her feel more comfortable and to help her learn English. So far I’ve been speaking to her in Spanish and English, which is a fun challenge. She’s extremely shy, so besides repeating the colors and numbers I’m teaching her in English, she only speaks to me in Spanish.

How's your September going?

13 September 2013

project life in 2013: weeks 39 + 40.

week 39
april 22-28
What happened this week? Josh was studying, I didn’t have to babysit so I decided to write a paper about intrinsic motivation. (Fitting topic, huh?) I caught up with a bunch of friends I hadn’t seen in a while and I went on an overnight cabin trip with Molly and other friends. On the weekend we went to a soccer game at Ullevaal Stadion near our house and hosted some Polish couch surfers, which was a really cool experience. 
(Click on the photos to see them larger)
Anything special in the spread? I included a ticket from the soccer game and a note that our new Polish friends left us. I also made a special date card by taping strips of washi tape to cardstock.
Favorite photo: I love the photo of the cabin. Right now it seems like the essence of Norway to me.
Overall thoughts? Fun spread; I was glad to use the Design B photo pocket page, which I don’t use that often.

week 40
april 29- march 5
What happened this week? Josh continued to study, I finished up my intrinsic motivation paper and then my grandparents and aunt came to visit! How awesome is that?! They were only in Oslo for a few days before embarking on a big European trip. We went to a bunch of museums and had a meal at our flat and walked around our lake.
(Click on the photos to see them larger)
Anything special in the spread? I found a picture of my parents and sister on facebook, which I included. That feels special because I usually don’t use a lot of photos that I haven’t taken myself. I also included a letter that I received from my host mom from Costa Rica. That is also really special.
Favorite photo: My parents and sister together. That photo brightened my day when I saw it and it still brings me so much joy. 
Overall thoughts? This is a photo heavy spread, which I love. I didn't have a ton of vertical 4x6 photos, so I used a larger journaling card to write about our week.

Supplies and Tools: American Crafts thickerswashi tape, paper source labels, pretty paper from Dick Blick, random paper from my stash, Design A and B photo pocket pages (this variety pack), Seafoam core kit, Cobalt cardstock, black sharpie, black steadtler fineliner pen, slicker writer pens. 

Project Life is a simple scrapbooking system by Becky Higgins.  I am using this system to document our first year of marriage with photos, words and other fun paper stuff.  You can see my other project life pages here.  

12 September 2013

summer reflection.

September generally marks the end of summer. For a while now, like since the beginning of July, I’ve been planning to write a reflection on my summer, but I haven’t found the words to start. How do I sum up in one blog post the experience of moving back home after a year abroad? How do I say what home is? How can I describe what it feels like to be a married adult living with my parents again? How do I pinpoint what it’s like to see my best friends again after only talking a handful of times in the last six months? And what about the friends that I no longer get to see everyday (or every year, for that matter) now that I’ve left Norway? How can I share the significance of those friendships with my old friends in Greenville and the new friends I’ll make in Wichita?

I suppose feelings can translate into words more easily for some than for others.  Sometimes my jumbled thoughts don’t come out as nice, eloquent paragraphs, but I do have the desire to remember these moments and the people that shaped my life in Norway and that filled my summer to the brim. So, I will attempt to put words to my experiences- to write what I feel and what I felt. The words that immediately come to my mind are these: bittersweet, good, bad, hilarious, frustrating, comforting, loss, hope. It was bitter to leave Norway and to know that I may never see some of my friends again, but it was sweet to return to friends back in the U.S. It’s sweet to know that Benny will probably be able to visit us in the U.S. this summer.

It was good to see Jana’s home and Benny’s home in Germany before we left Europe. It was good and often hilarious to spend time with Kelly, Michael, Niqui, Jordan, Mikey, Wes, Caleb, Kelly, Erica and Cait over the summer. While good, it often struck me how much we missed out on while being away from Greenville. What seems to be the biggest loss is missing out on the daily lives of my friends. But now, at times, it also feels like a loss to not be in Norway. When you’ve put roots down in multiple places, it’s inevitable that you’ll miss out on something. Yet I don’t want to stop putting my roots down in every place I go because those roots make life good.

Several times I found it quite frustrating to be living at my parents house as a married adult. I felt like I was acting like a kid in the house because I had only been a kid in that house. But I wanted to act like and be treated like an adult. I was often most frustrated because I kept being asked to do chores, which felt pretty childish. I knew how to do chores and take care of a home, but I just didn’t want to be pestered about it. Thankfully my parents care about our relationship so they worked with me on how to live together given this new territory (me being an adult). I realized after a while that I was unsure about how to relate to my parents now that I’m an adult, have lived on my own for a year and am married. I was used to being closest to my parents, but now I am closest to Josh. That’s a good thing, but I was sad to realize that I didn’t need to rely on my parents as much any more. I do still rely on them, though, and they are definitely necessary to my life. Being at home was frustrating at times, but also immensely comforting most of the time. It was good to spend so much time with my parents and to live our daily lives together again. Some of my favorite parts of summer were eating meals on our back porch, playing cards, taking evening walks and watching “Orange is the New Black.” 


As I’m taking time to reflect on my summer, I am increasingly thankful for the time I had with Josh in Norway. Thankful that we grew closer to one another, that we made so many good friends, and that I see ways in which God was with us in Norway. I am also so thankful for our time in Greenville. Reconnecting with friends and family (grandparents, cousins and aunts included) was reinvigorating. As I think back on our start in Norway I recognize that God was with us and that now, as we start life in Wichita, God is still with us. For that I am also thankful.

03 September 2013

simple pleasures.


Are you ever struck with how wonderful the little details of life are?
Sometimes I really am. Here's my list from last Thursday:

Eating meals with our housemates + neighbors. 
Getting books from the public library.
New running shoes.
Colorful bathroom towels.
Phone calls with my parents.
Paper weaving.
Praying in our home chapel.
Reading in bed at night.
Peaches.
House plants.

01 September 2013

project life in 2013: weeks 37 + 38

week 37
april 8-14
What happened this week? We had a normal week at home and then a long weekend trip to T√łnsberg, Norway. 
(Click on the photo to see it larger)

Anything special in the spread? Nothing really. Lots of photos in this spread, which is great.
Favorite photo: Jana and me at World's End. We nearly risked our lives for that photo...not really, but it was really cold and windy.
Overall thoughts: Another great week! I've probably said this before, but it's fun to look back on my project life spreads from our time in Norway. But also, I'm excited to share my more recent spreads from our summer back in the U.S.

week 38
april 15-21
What happened this week? Another typical beginning of the week in Oslo and then another weekend trip, this time to Stockholm, Sweden. Our friend Molly came with us, which was a blast! My mom called me on my Norwegian cell phone while I was on my way to work one day and that felt HUGE. I just couldn't believe when I answered the phone that it was her. When you're alone in a foreign country, that's a really special gift.
(Click on the photo to see it larger)

Anything special in the spread? A couple snippets from paper we got at a musical festival in Stockholm, lots of pictures and a fold-out 3x4 journaling card.
Favorite photos: We have a lot of great pictures from Stockholm, but my favorite is Josh on the bike. We loved riding bikes around Stockholm and I was so glad to capture Josh riding up that hill.
Overall thoughts: I didn't take a ton of photos from the beginning of our week, which is okay. When I know I have a big event or trip coming up I usually don't think to take as many "everyday" photos.


Supplies and Tools: American Crafts thickerswashi tape, paper source labels, pretty paper from Dick Blick, random paper from my stash, Design A and B photo pocket pages (this variety pack), Seafoam core kit, Cobalt cardstock, black sharpie, black steadtler fineliner pen, slicker writer pens.

Project Life is a simple scrapbooking system by Becky Higgins.  I am using this system to document our first year of marriage with photos, words and other fun paper stuff.  You can see my other project life pages here.