9 February 2016

i love my valentine

ian

with valentine’s day fast approaching, i have been thinking a bit more often about how sincerely i love and adore the boy – my boy. each night as i kneel in prayer my heart is so full expressing gratitude for my best friend, my partner, my true love – and this week my thankfulness has been just a little keener than usual. our relationship certainly isn’t always smooth and easy, but it is deep and wonderful and tough, and it brings us both such hearty joy.

yesterday i surprised the boy when he got home from work with a “heart attack” – red paper hearts stuck up all over his side of the bedroom, with some reasons i love him written on them. i felt as i tacked the hearts up that i had just scratched the surface of the fantastic goodness of this spectacular human that i get to call mine.

IMG_8274{a sampling…} i love:

-his ability to relate to all kinds of people.
-that he cares and takes care of the people in his life as a truly devoted husband, son, brother, friend, coworker, primary teacher, and soon-to-be dad.
-his truly golden, sparkly heart.
-that he teaches me so much about myself and invites me to change and become better.
-his intellectual and social and emotional crazy smarts.
-all the awesome adventures we have shared and his adventurous spirit…and that he knows and lives the most important life adventures.
-the way he always seeks to look out for others and serve in every setting and scenario.
-his open mindedness and willingness/desire to look at things a new way.
-his commitment to making goals and plans.
-how he makes everyone feel their importance and brightens up people’s days.
-that he uses his talents for good and consistently thanks god for them.
-that he appreciates beauty and nature.

-his deep and profound faith in and desire to follow jesus.
-that he works so hard and takes his responsibilities seriously.
-that he is so fun to be with on crazy adventures or just hanging out.

here’s to celebrating true love this week! i am so, so, so glad to have the boy as my perma-valentine.

8 February 2016

columbia road flower market

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after church yesterday, we took a little detour on the way home to peruse columbia road flower market. i was absolutely delighted to find in this place another total wonderland corner of london. i was buzzing with joy the whole time we were there, starting as we walked closer and closer to the market, as evidenced by the number of people on the street with big, brown-paper-wrapped bunches of flowers under their arms.

those couple of blocks of columbia road were packed with colours, scents, beauty and people. we could hardly move faster than a scuttle down the street because it was so crowded. but the atmosphere was so, so exciting and lovely. i just adored it! here’s some photos of the glorious sights we saw – wish i could capture that smell too! (as well as the energy in the air and the accented yells of the merchants and the happy faces of the buyers…)

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god is sure an incredible artist!

5 February 2016

london life lately

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it has been nice in the first weeks of two thousand sixteen to have a bit of downtime. from mid-december to mid-february is the longest we have been in one country in quite a while :) we are headed to prague next week for valentine’s weekend, and i’m so excited – hoping we’ll see some snoooow!

the first month of the new year brought some real long work hours for ian, and the start of his studying for the cfa exam, which he is taking in june. i’m continually grateful for my flexible work schedule and have been learning from staffing restructuring and new deadlines. i’ve also been exploring some other work projects that i’m excited about! we have been enjoying taking mini-excursions around london, teaching the primary children at church each sunday, trying new recipes at home, and of course thinking and talking a lot about the tiny baby moving around inside me!

the other day we met for lunch in the middle of the workday, which is always a real treat (especially when there have been long work hours). i ran to the boy’s office before lunch and then up to st. paul’s, across millennium bridge and back home along the thames after lunch. it was such a sunny, bright, beautiful day in london! (check out that sky! ^^ ^^) i’m enjoying exercise in a new way since i’ve become pregnant. i absoltuely love going to yoga classes at a great studio i found in soho – and the walk there from home is half the joy. i’ve also been continuing to get in some workouts with weights at the gym, and am pretty proud of myself that i can still hold a five minute plank at eighteen weeks pregnant :)

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^^ a scene from my walk home from yoga. i want to take out my phone more often and snap photos of the delightful sights i see all the time around the city. the boy and i notice something new and beautiful every single time we are out and about in our neighborhood (or elsewhere in london). it’s so, so great. and here’s a picture ian took of our dinner one night ^^ because he thought it was pretty – i love that! it was really tasty too – chipotle baked salmon with mango salsa!

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last saturday morning, the boy went out for a run while i was getting some things done around the flat. when he came home, he told me he had a surprise! (he called it a peace offering, actually, because we had a little argument – haha!) it was a stack of colouring books that he had found at a nearby bookstore, and he told me to pick one to keep. it’s definitely random, but i’ve really been wanting an adult colouring book - they looked so fun and i had heard it is very therapeutic to take some time to slow down and colour them in. i chose the one i liked best from the stack and we went back to the bookstore together to return the others. the boy hadn’t taken much of a look around when he popped in originally, but when we went back together we both realized we had found a complete wonderland!!!

stanford’s is a travel-themed book and map store just around the corner from our flat, and it is seriously so fantastic. the minute we went inside, i was spellbound and in love! we both adore it and could have spent all day in there, but managed to just pick out some coloured pencils to go with my book (so pretty, right? <<< i’m obsessed…) and get back to our saturday tasks.


in less happy news, last week i got a really terrible haircut. i was worried about having to pay sooo much for a cut in this expensive city, so i signed up to be a “model” at a styling academy and get my tresses trimmed for just five pounds! wellll, that didn’t turn out so well. long story short: the haircut the stylists-in-training were working on that day was preeettty funky and left me with bizarre chunky layers that i’m trying to figure out how to tame. it was a funny experience, and hair grows!

a couple of days ago i invited a friend to do a “city walk” with me. i have this stack of cards that are little walking tours all over london, and i had been wanting to explore the neighborhood of chelsea more. there were some neat things to see along the suggested path, but the best part of our (four and half mile!) walk was definitely the vibrant mews we happened upon, tucked behind the posh main thoroughfares. don’t you just love these colours?!IMG_8240IMG_8242 IMG_8244IMG_8246
^^ these next door colours made me extra wonder about the tiny human inside me – pink or blue?! we find out in three weeks and can hardly wait! ^^
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it was fun to get a feel for chelsea and we’re determined to go back when it’s a little warmer and blossoming! i’m already pining for spring…

life is beautiful!

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