March 15, 2018

2018.



So I wrote this post back in December and here it is March and nearly every single word still resonates. I've been really quiet on here recently and on social media in general, here's what I've been thinking.
xo.

I started off 2017 sitting in my best friends backyard around a bonfire. I’d kicked off my party shoes and we were sitting, looking at the stars and being quiet. Her then boyfriend now fiancé [now HUSBAND WHAT] was fixing my phone because it decided that shutting off randomly was fun and I wanted, no needed, it to work this year as I traveled. Getting a new one wasn’t an option and surely wasn’t in the plan. As we sat there and than quickly ran inside to toast midnight only then to escape back outside to sit my best friend turned to me and said ya know you’re going to spend more time out of this country than in it this year. As crazy as it sounded it was true and sounded exciting. So as much as I’m a home body (I really truly am trust me) that sounded thrilling. Like a dream I’ve been waiting on my whole life. To spend most of 2017 traveling. To finally be going to live in Africa even though some days it was scary to imagine. 

And then time passed. 

January came and I took off for the other side of the world. 

February came and I cried ugly tears as I missed my mom’s birthday and fought off waves of homesickness and culture sickness. 

March came and I’d learned some tough lessons but made friends. 

April came and I knew things about life I’d never imagined knowing back home. 

May came and I was so ready for a break in the US I can’t describe. 

June came and I somewhat excitedly returned only to have dreams shut down and spirits crushed upon my arrival. 

July came and God showed that His plan is always so so much better than mine. 

August came and I weeped sending my family back to the US and keeping my feet firmly planted on Ugandan soil. 

September came and I learned hard ugly truths about humanity but sweet truths about God and His infinite love for us and His unending grace. 

October came and I was finally, blessedly sadly saying goodbye and making my way home. Home to a place I recognized but not as a person I recognized. 

November came and I still wouldn’t sit. I kept pushing and pushing and fighting for “normal”.

December came and here I sit not normal and finally learning to be okay with it. 


Most new year’s posts are full of plan and anticipation and excitement about goals and a new beginning. But what if we don’t know how to do that? What if we’re not sure what new even looks like this season? What if we’re still trying to learn and reconcile ourselves with the person we stare at in the mirror everyday? 

I finally made it home, a place I longed to be but it’s not the same, I’m not the same. I’m not sure how to be this person that so many look at and “know” but don’t know. How can they know when even I don’t? Africa changes you. Life changes you. And as much as you want to know sometimes, oftentimes, it’s just not that easy.

I started this space, this little bubble of the world years ago because I thought it was cool, fun etc etc. I loved it but was never good at consistency. Then I moved to Africa and thought- perfect! A place to jot my thoughts down and keep people updated while I’m gone! Now I’m home and this little space has been quiet, so quiet. Which is funny when nothing at all has been quiet in my head for months. And I want to write it. I feel compelled to put some version of this story out in the world. For myself, for someone else to know that we aren’t all alone in this, whatever this is. So welcome. 

I love this little space and the whims it’s taken me on, so here’s to a new Whim- cheers to 2018 even if it does start in March, cause that's just how some years roll. 🥂

September 5, 2017

Awkward + Awesome


View from the top of the birthday hike.

Donald shows his cartoons.


Awkward
  • When you enter your bathroom, look up in the rafters and casually greet Marvin the rat on your way to the sink.
  • Vehicle breakdowns... all the time. 
  • Trying to climb a mountain. As the rain gets closer... and closer. 

Awesome
  • Introducing Donald (he's 6) to cartoons. YASSSS!
  • Having a six year old shadow follow me around all working days and making everything a little cuter. 
  • MEXICAN FOOD THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW. PRAISEEEE HANDSSSS. 
  • Having your friends celebrate the very end of your birthday month with wine toasts + sweets + songs with a beautiful view. 
  • Homemade pizza in the middle of Africa. WHAT. 


L- Jerrod and R- Baby Joseph having their photo caught.

When work is interrupted by Donald and his love for cartoons, oops.


August 31, 2017

Favorite.

August is one of my favorite months. It begins with my birthday, which I don't care how old you are- is special. It's also the start of school + fall [while still technically being summer, especially in Florida, hello summer ALL THE TIME] and even though this year I'm in Uganda where it literally is summer year round [thanks Equator!] I'm filled with that sense of crunchy leaves + crisp air and I'm craving apple cinnamon everything. I love this month every year. I also love that my new favorite season is approaching, even if it is only in my mind.



Donald loves to make faces for the camera.

Baby Joseph loves screaming Auntie Laura.

MY ROOMMATE IS BETTER THAN YOURS + MADE BANANA PANCAKES.

Reasons why I never get work done- Donald.

Celebrating the end of my birthday month with hiking the mountain + wine.

My favorite little shadow.


Thanks August, you've been beautiful. Until next year.

August 25, 2017

As of Late

 Some scenes from the last week. 
Donald thinks he is a model part uno.

Donald thinks he is a model part dos.

Donald thinks he is a model part tres.

Daniel feeding the doves from the top of the wood pile.

Elephant sighting.

A Sunday at the pool.

A Sunday at the pool.

Sunday at the Pool on the Nile.

Homemade donuts.

Homemade potato chips say WHAT, #dreaming.

Cinnamon sugar donuts holes.

We found a kitten and named it Pumpkin cause we're five.

We fed Pumpkin French Fries + she ate them, basically she's my spirit animal.

Pumpkin went to her forever home the next day but still really loves fries.



August 23, 2017

Hope.

It amazes me how Jesus continually gives us things to hope for. Sometimes they come in huge packages like His forgiveness. Other times they come in the form of a single word.

And sometimes it turns into a conversation that Jesus wants you to have that is absolutely terrifying. The can't eat, can't breath, don't laugh at my baby kind of moment. When you know sharing is what you should do but you're afraid if you relinquish control it'll blow up in your face. 

God has not given us a spirit of fear but of wisdom and of sound mind. How is it I'll trust God with what's happening around me or where to walk or where to live but HE gives me an idea and I hold tight to it like it's my baby AND I DO NOT WANT TO SHARE. 

Isn't sharing the first lesson you learn in preschool? AND if we remember correctly isn't this God sharing his idea with me? 

I panic about timing. Did I share it too soon? Too early? Did I say too much? But isn't this all with the friend that I panicked about not having her room? JESUS REDEEMS. Jesus is bigger than all of this. If He wants it to happen, He'll make it happen. It's cute I think that I can get in the way. That's not to say I shouldn't be seeking HIM for my timing but that I do need to stop panicking over it. Jesus you've got it. I can rest soundly in that. 

Selfies with Donald.


When the kiddos take over your camera.

When the kiddos take over your camera.

Denis takes a selfie part I.

Denis takes a selfie part II.

When the kiddos take over your camera.


August 18, 2017

That one time my bestie got Engaged.

This engagement story was months and months in the making. Keith and I sat at Thanksgiving planning the idea and discussing timing months and months before Lauren had any clue he would pop the question. Then I got to surprise my best friend by not going to Uganda but instead arriving in London to be there as Keith proposed. 

We were on the beautiful Millennium Bridge watching and waiting for Lauren + her family to walk across. I used every Jane Bond skill I had to be the lookout for Keith. We even dodged the group of drag queens to get the good photos. 

But to see the look on her face when she realized that Keith was in London and down on one knee when he was supposed to be in the States was amazing and worth it and perfect. Then when she saw me and started crying all over again, and well that was just the icing on a perfectly happy cake.

London is beautiful.

Millennium Bridge where Keith proposed to Lauren.

Millennium Bridge where Keith proposed to Lauren.

Millennium Bridge where Keith proposed to Lauren.

They're engaged!

The moment Lauren realized I wasn't in Uganda but was standing right there.



Beautiful Location.

Selfies + Lookout for when Lauren was coming.


Sunset over Millennium Bridge.


Legit took this photo to see if they were coming across the bridge.


Millennium Bridge.

Millennium Bridge.

With Keith before he popped the question to Lauren.


St. Peter's.

Walking to the locale where Keith proposed to Lauren.


Proposal, including dashing around randoms on the bridge.

I'm so thankful that I was able to spend those few days in London with some of my favorite people, even if it meant ugly crying part two as we said goodbye again.

August 17, 2017

London Calling Pt 2.

There's so many photos it took two posts. Well two really long posts, truly it should've been a week long series but hey whatevs. 

London is seriously beautiful. I still can't get over it looking at photos. Regardless of where I am, but especially as I sit and type this in the heat of Uganda, London seems like a dream.

I'm obsessed with the architecture, the history, the people, the greenery and the entire vibe of the city, even if I did spend a good part of these photos touristing it up. LET ME LIVE MY LIFE OKAY.



































































Seriously counting down the days until I get to go back and wander around this gorgeous city some more.