Tuesday, October 29, 2013

rainbow light

Sometimes, when the light comes through our window just right, a little rainbow dances on our wall. And out of all the pictures and prints and post cards hung up, it appears right over my favorite place in the world.
There's no place like home.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

out of the mouths of babes



2 weeks after arriving in NZ I found a job looking after 2 little boys. Being a nanny in a foreign country has been fun so far, but not without a learning curve. These scrawny little kids have taught me more about their home and culture than ever could have learned on my own. Some of these things include;

Teaching me about the popular sports of NZ; rugby and cricket. According to the 7 year old rugby is, "a game where there's a ball and they tackle each other."

Rice crispies (ya know, the delicious cereal) are actually Rice bubbles, because crispies are chips and chips are french fries. Confused yet?

When a 5 year old says he "can't find his rubber" it's not what your dirty American mind thinks, he's just misplaced his eraser.

Oh, and when they are hurt and ask for a 'plaster' that's a band aid, not wall goop you use to fill in nail holes.

Legos, even though having multiple boxes of them, are simply called Lego. No S, Lindsey! LEGO! (to which I always want to respond with, "my ego?")

A jacket is a jumper (Thanks, Harry Potter, I knew that one!)

And one of my favorite occurrences happened one afternoon when an small earthquake rattled the house. Me, being the northeastern girl that I am, just thought it was a big gust of wind.
"Nope, that was definitely an earthquake. Don't you know, Lindsey?"
 
No, I guess I don't know.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

nesting dolls



I was here
and then you came
and you were mostly you
but partly me as well
and then she came
and she was both her and us
we kept adding to each other like that
bits of you, and bits of me, and bits of us
to create the us that we are today
and where ever I am
I carry pieces of you along
because I have you in me
and I am in you
and I could never lose it
even if I wanted to


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ID


iden·ti·ty

noun \ī-ˈden-tə-tē, ə-, -ˈde-nə-\
: who someone is : the name of a person
: the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others

this word, identity, has been on my heart lately.
maybe because I'm 10,000 miles from home and for the first time in my life living in a country where I know less people than I have fingers. (and yes, I have the normal amount of fingers)

I've found myself questioning my own identity. Who am I, really? What are my strengths, my weaknesses, my defining qualities?

Moving to a far & distant place with little or no friends gives you the chance to completely and totally reinvent yourself. This was a prominent thought in my head when coming here. It was new, exciting-- a blank page in a cluttered notebook.

And I think I have reinvented myself in certain ways. Little things, like picking shoes I never would've bought back home. They're not my style? Who says? No one knows me- they don't know I wouldn't normally wear these BA black pleather shoes. So I bought them. And after about the 16th time wearing them I started to feel less like a poser and a bit more like myself, just in cooler shoes.

So yeah, the whole reinventing thing is awesome and totally invigorating. But I think I got a bit carried away with it. Because I started questioning things deeper than shoe preference. My whole persona, really. Its like I became a stranger even to myself. I woke up in a completely foreign place, with no long term plan, and no clue how I got here. It was suddenly and completely alarming. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under my feet, leaving me disoriented and a bit confused.

So here's the truth; plain and simple.
I don't completely know who I am.
I don't completely know what I want.
and I don't at all know where I'm going.

But I do know that my trust, my hope, my entire being rests in my creator.

He knows who I am-completely.
[For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb Psalm 139:13]

He knows what I want-completely.
[Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4]
 
And He definitely knows where I'm going.
[In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9]

Resting in these promises & my identity in him.
& hoping to figure this whole shoe/identity thing out in due time.

Monday, September 23, 2013

seals at Kaikoura

For my birthday weekend Kevin and I along with some friends went on a weekend trip to a town a few hours north of us called Kaikoura. It is known for it's gorgeous views of the southern alps right on the pacific ocean, and it's wildlife!

I've made it my goal since arriving in NZ to get up close and personal with as many baby animals as possible. Forget the full grown ones, I want the cute, little, furry baby versions of everything! Lambs, ducklings, penguins, even boring old cows, which we have by the thousands back home. So when our friends suggested we visit a seal pup colony I was all for it. And it turns out, adult seals are just as adorable as the little ones!

I took way too many pictures, but how could you not?
It was definitely worth the drive, and made my birthday one for the books. And if I had come up with a way to take one home with me it would've been perfect. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

23 & far from home

Last weekend was my birthday.
My first birthday in New Zealand, and only my 2nd birthday ever away from home.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little sad leading up to it. We still don't know too many people here, and a part of me wished for a celebration with friends and family and a Mom-baked birthday cake.
But Kevin along with the few friends we do have here made last weekend so great. We took a road trip to a town a few hours north of us, right on the coast. The weather was perfect and the views were gorgeous. The snow capped mountains of the southern alps against pebbly beaches look like something right out of a nature magazine.We even took a short trail to see a seal colony, complete with a waterfall and adorable swimming seal pups. (yes, I took a million pictures)

So, yeah, I had a store bought birthday cake and 4 friends to celebrate with. But it was still pretty wonderful. And I think it's sort of symbolic of our new life here-simple is beautiful.
Here's to hoping this new year brings more simple, beautiful, & happy things :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

september spring

Moving to the southern hemisphere in August has allowed Kevin and I to experience spring for a 2nd time this year! We celebrated the first day of spring on September 1st. Which seems odd, since we're usually seeing the leaves turn to brown and orange and busting out the scarves & sweaters around this time. But the temps have been slowly climbing higher and higher, and last weekend on our way out of town for a hike we came across these beautiful blooming trees!

Even though fall is my favorite time of the year, and I'm sad to be missing it, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this beautiful countryside turn even more green than it already is.
Happy spring!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

the cottage

Everyone who knew anything about Christchurch NZ warned us before moving here.
They told us how difficult the housing market is right now, and that even renting a small space would be super expensive. We tried to not get discouraged by the lack of options when we'd look online from the states, but it was tough! Even the dingiest and smallest of apartments was still way over our price range. We'd tossed around the idea of communal living-but that's quite a gamble.
So we just waited.
And within about a week of arriving we saw this little gem pop up online looking for tenants.
It's tiny; yes, literally the size of a small studio.
But it has quite the charm, and supplies us with everything we need--a bed, a roof, a bathroom with running (ok, sometime trickling) water, and even an adorable little front porch- bench included.
We moved in last week and have spent some time making it our own. It's not finished yet, but we love it already. It's conveniently located near a bus stop and pretty much the best Thai take out place ever.
What's not to love?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a love letter, of sorts

Dear New Zealand,
we met exactly 2 weeks and 4 days ago.
2 weeks  and 4 days seems like not long at all, but also like an eternity.
I have discovered some lovely things about you. Things that I adore and treasure and might be quite sad to ever lose. How did I live without these things just over 2 weeks and 4 days ago?

I love how obsessed you are with tea. I've always known tea was great, but you take it to the next level. Morning tea, afternoon tea, before bed tea; they're all wonderful! And these tea kettles which boil water in just a minute or two-- how convenient! I love it all.

I love your cute little words for things. Like 'trolleys' instead of grocery carts, 'cuddles' instead of hugs, and the excessive use of the word 'wee' for small. It's just plain adorable, and I hope to catch on to these little phrases and adapt my vocabulary accordingly.


Another of my favorite things are the little heaters that are in everyone's bathroom, handily positioned right above or near the shower. It's wonderful to step out into a stream of hot air right away. Why doesn't every bathroom in the world have a little heater like this?! I'll never know.

Your money is quite handy as well. Having $1 and $2 coins means my change is actually worth something, and I do love to pay for things in all change :)

And just like most people who had visited you before predicted; your ice cream rocks. Like; majorly. Is an all-dairy diet a thing? Lets make it a thing.

So thanks, New Zealand, for welcoming 2 newbie Yanks to your world. We've met some lovely people, taken in some gorgeous views, and have had some of the best avocado's and wine ever to be tasted. We can't wait to see what more you have to offer, and get to know you even better in the coming months & years!

Love always,
Lindsey



Sunday, August 18, 2013

our new home

Hello again!
The past 3 months have been an absolute whirlwind. We sold nearly everything we owned, and packed up what was left into a few suitcases. The top picture was taken right before we boarded our flight. After many hugs goodbye and countless tears there was nothing left to do but turn and leave.
It has been highly emotional! But since arriving in New Zealand last week we have felt very much at home. We have already seen so much beauty that this country has to offer in only our short time here. Kevin has started his work at the University and we have even found a place to call home!
I hope to really get this blog up and running again as a way to keep in touch with friends and family back in the states. To everyone reading who has sent a kind message, encouraging note, or even a prayer; thank you! Your support and love has gotten us to this point. We appreciate you all!
Until next time..

Sunday, May 19, 2013

goodbyes suck

I wrote a little bit about last weekend here.
It was beautiful and wonderful to be reunited with our dear friends and to be there on the biggest day of their lives.
It was perfectly bittersweet. As we were sitting up with them after the wedding, I knew it would be the last time we'd see them for awhile. Probably a long while.
The day went from a soaring high to a sudden low when we had to say goodbye, not knowing when our next hello will be.
As I sat crying that night in our hotel room I couldn't help but thinking that this was only the first in a long line of difficult goodbyes that are to come for us. Kevin hit the nail on the head when he said, "we're really good at making friends and then leaving."
I hate how right he is about that.
I hate goodbyes.
To make myself better, I would always say, "It's not goodbye, it's see you later."
But what if 'later' isn't for another 3+ years?
Over the past few day's I've been trying to thank God for the people he has put in our lives, even if they are only there for a short time.
Because the only thing worse than having a friendship cut short is to not have had that friendship at all. I would rather be thankful for the awesome 2 years we had with those friends, than be angry at God for not having more time together. He could have not brought them into our lives at all.
And that would've sucked.
We are so blessed.
with friends
with family
and with limitless opportunities in this life.

and for that, I am thankful.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

fotos

just a little bit of life lately;
weddings, holding other peoples children, exploring outside, well rounded meals, campfires, diners (x2), roadtrips, & churches.
I'll get back to being good at this blogging thing soon.
promise.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2 become 1


This past weekend Kevin and I headed south for the wedding of our dear friends. Weddings are amazing. I got to go to quite a few weddings as a kid because 1. I have a very large family and 2. my Dad is a Pastor and was often asked to officiate. Each one is so unique and special to every person there.
This wedding was especially momentus to us because it was 2 of our very best friends, getting married to eachother! Every long mile on the road and dollar in our gas tank was so worth it to see these two become man & wife. The day could not have gone more perfectly, and Kevin and I were both honored to stand next to them in agreement.
Since becoming married myself I have come to learn that its rare to be able to find another couple with whom both you and your spouse mesh well with. Often times, its the girls who get along and the guys are just there. Or its the guys who are close and the girls just tolerate eachother. But with these two, Kevin and I are best friends with both of them! They were our family while we were in Mississippi, so far away from our own. I am so thankful that God brought us into their lives. We have learned so much through their friendship, and have come out better people because of them.
Thank you Jessica & Cole Golden. You mean the world to us, and we are beyond happy for you to begin your lives together!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

a little hiatus

So I know by this point anyone who follows this blog thinks I've fallen off the face of the earth (or at least died).
But thankfully niether of those things are true!
It's just that this whole school, working 2 jobs, trying to move around the world thing has been catching up to me. Being busy is so glamorized in our culture. I'd rather have a few days to breathe, thank you very much!
But an end is in sight! My finals for this semester are in less than 2 weeks (holy crap!) and we are only 1 signed form away from being able to submit our visa applications for New Zealand.
Until then, however, I will leave you with this pretty picture from Central Park when we took a day trip last week and a hope that you will return when things start to calm down.
Who knows when that will be? :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

sistuh friend

[via]
I am not a Marylyn Monroe fan. And heck, since I found this on the internet who knows if the lady even said this quote?
But I love it's simplicity and the fact that it's so accurate.
 
I have loved these past couple of months being close again to my sisters. There really is no relationship on earth like that of a sister. You can go from wanting to ring their neck to defending them against someone else within a split second. Only they understand and know what it's like growing up in your house with your family. The vacations, holiday traditions, mornings getting ready for school, pets, dinners, chores, bedsheet forts, Sunday mornings at church and every and all the other tiny things that were shared together over the years. Things that hold us together.
 
So yeah, maybe I'm feeling a little sappy. But I'm thankful for each day spent with them now, because after our move I'm not sure when or how often we see eachother.
Soaking the sister time in now.. and after the move skyping with them will have to do :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

bloom

I feel like I should have something super insightful to go along with this picture, but I really don't. Just so thankful for the long overdue change to nice weather in these parts :)
Kevin and I have been hanging up our eno hammocks in the many trees of my parents yard lately and soaking up the warm air. There's something so relaxing about a good hammock, am I right?
Kevin mentioned the other day that he is going to experience three springs this year! He had spring in Mississippi while I was still in winter in PA, now this spring that has finally begun, and then a 3rd spring when we move to New Zealand this year! So funny to think about.
We are still in the midst of completing all of our paperwork for our visa applications to NZ. We really are organized and productive people, so this should tell you something about the amount of paperwork necessary to get a visa to NZ! But we do see an end in sight; just waiting on my fingerprints to come back and we can mail off our applications (after they are looked over by at least 5 pairs of eyes!)
Until then, you can find us outside hammocking away :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

a pond



This pond holds many childhood memories for my sister and I.
It's very close to my Grandparents old house, and they used to bring us (along with a loaf of bread) here to feed the ducks. It was hours of free entertainment, and many warm sunny days were spent tossing bits of bread into the water. We made an impromptu stop at the pond last weekend, and it was just as lovely as I remembered it.
I love places like this, that hold a special spot in the heart. I have a few of them in PA, and others scattered around the world. Places that I may never set foot again, but are beautiful and special to me for one reason or another.
This pond is just one of them, but a good one I think.

Monday, April 1, 2013

celebrate


Kevin is HOME!
I am so glad to put the long-distance stuff behind us & look ahead to our next chapter together.
We've been enjoying eachothers company and visiting family and friends these past few days. And today, his birthday!
So happy to celebrate by his side & look back at everything he's accomplished in this last year.
I got a good one :)

and Happy Easter weekend!
"Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
Mark 16:6

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

this crazy week..

has been full of;

skype sessions with that cute dude (& excitement over his homecoming this weekend!)
homework homework homework
early Easter lunch with family
jellybeans
more snow
preperations for some friends' upcoming weddings
coffee
medical exams and fingerprinting for our visa applications
dry shampoo. & lots of it, because I don't have time!
and finally, trying to plan but realizing some things are just out of my control (& hoping it will all come together) :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

wednesday randoms

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Snow snow snow again :(
But today is officially spring! Here's to hoping warm weather comes around for good & quits teasing us.

I went antiquing with my parents last weekend, and found that cool crochet ship wall hanging thing (good description, right?) It's pretty awesome, just not quite $800 awesome.

Oh, and those crazy looking jellybeans? Best candy ever. Do yourself a favor and go buy about 12 bags before they are taken off the shelves after Easter!
(You can thank me later)