Thursday, January 29, 2015

the magic of childhood books

I've been thinking recently about the magic of childhood books. Not necessarily children's books but the books we read as children that resonate with us even now in adulthood. Two years ago I was working a job that bit by bit was killing my soul. I was depressed at work and on weekends I was miserable dreading the start of the work week. During this time I found myself drawn to the books I had loved as a child. I read Harry Potter, Little Women, Little Men, all of Anne of Green Gables, A Girl of Limberlost, and any book I could find at the library that I remembered from my childhood. Returning, through the dogeared pages of my favorite stories, to a more innocent time gave me hope in the darkness and reminded me of the good in the world. 
But it was more than that. Reading these innocent stories about good people living good lives resonated with me more now as an adult than it had as a child. These wholesome books reminded me that we are what we consume. As I read of people doing the right thing, of building good families, of simpler times with stronger morals, I wanted to be more like that. I wanted to live a life that could be called wholesome. I eat healthy because I want my body to feel healthy. These books reminded me that I needed to treat my brain with the same respect. If we surround ourselves with goodness aren't we more likely to be good? If we surround ourselves with bad examples aren't we more likely to follow them? 
 I find that the true magic in these childhood books is not just in their ability to lift me out of despair but their ability to still have influence over me more than a decade after the first time I read the stories shared on their pages. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

after the wedding

I ordered wedding photos today. We've been married for almost one and a half years and I just ordered wedding photos to frame. When we planned the wedding I also planned after the wedding; I planned the photo books I'd print and the photos I'd frame all around the apartment. I planned to memorialize the wedding all around us. And I still plan to have books made and photos hung. It's just not as important now that I'm on the other side of the wedding. Now that I am really married and actually know deep in my heart, instead of just claiming to know, that the wedding is not the most important day of our lives. I will not go so far as to say that it is the least important day in our life. I will instead say that it is the first day in our life; what sort of fool claims that the first day is the most important? 

Being newlywed does not give much weight to my words, I am not the wise woman speaking with 50 or more years of marriage experience to call upon. Instead I am a relative child in the world of marriage and hopefully see with the clarity of a child, from the mouths of babes, as they say. Or I could be entirely wrong and in 50 years will laugh at the memory of a younger me who thought she understood being married. Because I do think I understand being married. I understand that the wedding was the beginning of a new life for me and my husband. I understand that when I said "I do" that I was agreeing to a life based on faith. I do--believe you love me forever, believe that I love you forever, believe that we can beat the statistics, believe that even when we fight we love, believe that no matter what the universe throws at us that together we will get through. 

I do.


I believe in marriage and, more specifically my marriage. I also believe that while filling my home with wedding mementos is not an important act in my marriage that it is a good thing. I hope that every time we pause in the hallway to look at these photos we remember the choice we made to make a life together. I hope the reminder that we are married makes us smile as much in 50 years as it does now. 

I believe it will.

Friday, January 23, 2015

looking in

My favorite part about winter, and quite possibly the only thing I like about these cold months, is the excuse to draw in. The excuse to focus on the little things inside like a new centerpiece. The need to pile blankets on every seat in the living room. The joy that comes with any flower that blooms in the dead of winter. The pleasure of a hot cup of coffee after running errands on a blustery day. 

Stay cozy, friends.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Year, New Focus

We are currently 20 days into this new year and it feels like a good time to write about my focus for the year. When I settled on my word for 2015 I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it; it came to me after a few minutes of mulling. It seemed a little cheesy so I've spent some time living with it and finally came to the conclusion that there really is no other way to express exactly what I intend for this year. And so, 2015 is the year of becoming. 

To provide some background, 2013 was the year of the wedding. Engaged the previous December and married in September we spent the first nine months planning a wedding and the last three months settling into being married. 2014 was the year of dreaming. K started graduate school, I started in a new position at a new store, and while we weren't actually going anywhere we spent a good bit of the year dreaming about the future that felt just a little bit closer. Now here we are, in a new year with only one semester left until graduation, a job opportunity for K, a new store and more responsibilities for me, and a potential move on the horizon. The future we've been working towards feels like it's just around the corner and it feels like it's time to stop dreaming and start doing; it feels like it's time to become who I want to become.

The future we dream about is a homestead with a vegetable garden, chickens, other animals we spend a great deal of time debating over, a wooded backyard, several children, and a good deal of do-it-ourselves and sustainability. Living in an apartment in the suburbs can make preparing for this lifestyle feel like a bit of an impossibility some days. However, I know there are things I can do now that will help me prepare for this dream and make me feel a little bit closer to the life we want to live.

So cheers to a new year with more bread-making, more canning, more cooking, more knitting, more family, more crafting, more saving, more reading, more journal writing, more yoga, more homemaking, more making-ourselves, and hopefully more gardening. Cheers to a year of becoming more of who we want to be. Cheers to a year of becoming more of who we truly are.