Blessed

There’s been a lot of change in my life lately, and almost all of it has been growth. I figure now is as good a time as any to ‘check in’ since… as most of you know… my Facebook is generally a hodgepodge of Disney memes and recipes and pet videos.

Even an extremely blessed life can be a handful sometimes. I’m just glad it’s been a handful of very good things for the most part.

So here we go:

Marriage is a pretty amazing adventure. It’s striking how much the world changed when it wasn’t just me but us. I love it. I love coming home to a man that I know gives his all for me and is willing to put up with my ridiculousness. I love that he knows how to stop me and tell me to ‘slow down’ when I’ve taken on too much. I love that he can cook and willingly (sometimes) does the dishes every night. I love that we meow at each other across the house (or crowded public area…) when we want to get the other’s attention. I love that we fight and have learned how to make up, and that no matter what it’s about, we somehow grow closer in the end. There’s a lot of things I love about this life, but I love him most.

(My precious dog-child, Gideon, makes a close second.)

I actually, genuinely like my job. I have my Mondays (which sometimes come in the form of Wednesdays or Thursdays), but I’m sort of surprisingly really happy where I am. I was lucky– I started off in a really good place with this super cool company, and it’s only gotten better from there. I’m able to use my talents in the exact way I had hoped for when I started into my design degree. I love seeing my illustrations on products in various retail stores and the Instagram pages of teachers I’ve never met. I love the friends I’ve made here, and I’m so, SO thankful for the guidance and laughter they’ve given me. I loved creating children’s books and teacher products with the Publishing team. Designing was a Good Time and I learned a ton. I am SO BLESSED to be in the position I am now, managing illustrations from so many talented artists and tossing in some of my own every now and then. It’s extremely eye-opening and humbling to work with the people I do now, be they freelancers or my direct team. I’ve got a phenomenal boss and a super fun environment to work in. I am blessed.

9-5 career aside, after agonizing for ages about putting my personal art and design out there into the world properly, I’ve finally gotten in the groove with my little baby business, Watermelon Soup Studio. It was slow at first, but it’s begun to pick up speed, and while it’s super intimidating, I’m extremely excited about some of the design/illustration projects I have lined up. Starting this fall, I’ll be tackling shows again, and I’m actually looking forward to them, instead of feeling ridiculously anxious. I love illustration, and I feel so insanely blessed to have a venue through which I can share my art and use my design talents for people. It’s really encouraging to hear people talk about your work- even moreso when they ask for it.

Oddly enough, my photography has kicked off this summer as well. I’ve had a lot of fun shoots, and I’m looking forward to the ones coming up! I am by NO means a professional, but I love keeping busy and giving people a way to capture their memories when it might not be financially possible any other way. Plus some people are just really fun to work with, and it gets me out and moving!

I’ve also recently (like… really…really  recently- Yesterday, in fact) decided to join the Thirty-One family. This one hit me out of the blue, but in a way that I really think it was just Time. Lord knows I spent enough time putting it off, but something shifted and (cheesy and ridiculous as it might sound), I think the clock in God’s plan for me when it comes to this company just hadn’t reached that tick  until now.  I’ve used the products since I was in high school, and hadn’t realized how much I relied on them until I looked down at my feet at work and realized I literally carry 4 different Thirty-One bags every day. That led to researching the company (and a million other MLMs and home-businesses and things, just to be fair) and some big realizations. I haven’t joined this one for the money. To be honest, I really don’t even remember what my commission will be. I’m just so excited to be a part of this community, though, and really looking forward to the social aspect of it all as well. Marriage is amazing, and I love my job and my life, but this age is a lonely age when the majority of your friends are scattered across the states. I love that this company is rooted in Faith (Proverbs 31, anyone?) and I’m hoping that the more I’m involved with it and the women on my team that I’ll find a better footing in my own. I can’t wait to see how many people I’ll meet and what stories they’ll have, regardless of their walk in life. I think this might be the start of something Very Good. At the very least, it will give me another role to play- more purpose and drive to fulfill. I head off to conference next week (again, strangely perfect timing, given it’s only once a year… the Big Guy’s calendar must be packed) to get a head start on some training and make some cool new connections. Wish me luck! ((All of that said, if you’d like to throw a party and earn some pretty nifty stuff, let me know! I’ll bring your favorite cupcakes. 😉 August has some pretty mind-blowing hostess/host specials.))

I’ve also started down a path toward a healthier lifestyle. It’s been a rollercoaster up until now and WAY harder than TV and Pinterest make it seem, but the more I’ve researched and listened and pushed myself, the steadier it’s become. I LOVE WEIGHT TRAINING. I hate cardio as much as I hate muscle milk, but that’s gotten easier, too. We’ve been cooking at home more (saving that $$$), I’ve been keeping track of nutrients, and have been seriously kicking butt at the gym. The progress is slow, but I feel /so much better/ now. I honestly look forward to getting sweaty over lunch break and the lunches I have to pack the day before. I love that it only costs me $20 a month to go to a gym where the nicest people work and other gym-goers don’t bother me. I really can’t believe I didn’t start this journey before, and I’m pumped to see how far I can go. The goal is lose 50. After a week and a half of this regimen, I’m down 3. If anyone has any tips or tricks, pretty please send them my way! I’m not looking for supplements at this time- I want to know how far I can naturally go on my own willpower before I start researching what all goes into those things— but I’ll take recipes, podcasts, articles, and workouts! It blows my mind to see and know what this body can do, even in its sluggish state, and how it changes to adapt. You’ve got to be crazy if you don’t believe we were created by a brilliant Creator with such a passion design.

Meanwhile, my brother is the coolest little human in the world and is touring right now with his band. I’m so jealous of the pictures he keeps sending me, and I’m so happy he’s found what he loves and is passionate about. It’s pitiful, I know, to listen to hardcore music and actually cry a little, but DON’T YOU JUDGE ME. They’re so talented. My brother is so. stinking. talented. It’s really neat how artistic we both ‘grew up’ to be, but in such different ways. (Seriously, everyone go listen to his band. I’m so proud I can’t stand it, but you have to listen to it yourself to believe me.)

Mom and Dad are great! I’m very blessed with the continuous support that they provide, despite me having run off with my handsome Alaskan man (like… down the street, 10 minutes away). I’m so proud to be their daughter. They’re superheroes, even without the capes.

I feel that for a twenty-four (and a half) year old, I’ve been put into an extraordinary position and I’m curious to see where it’s taking me. God has blessed me in ways I never imagined He would and taken me on Walks through forests I never would have braved alone. There are days I feel lost, but who doesn’t every once in a while? I am so extremely grateful for this journey He’s blessed me with, and for all of the people who have helped shape it into this beautiful life it has become. I  pray that I continue to grow in a way that make my friends and family proud, but more importantly in a way through which I can share His light.

Anyway. I don’t usually check-in and ramble like this, but… today I just feel happy. 🙂