Back in my Emerald City! On our way to Chicago from Traverse City, Katy and I stopped in Grand Rapids for a reunion with our housemates from college. We got to see Morgan’s new house, and all ate giant & messy sandwiches from Marie Catribs and cookies from Gaia Cafe. So great to see everyone, especially Jackie, who has been in South Korea for four months. Virginia, Katy, and I continued on to Chicago and celebrated Katy’s 23rd birthday with my mom at Howl at the Moon. So fun. It’s a dueling piano and more bar, and Katy danced on stage to Baby Got Back. Then my friends left, and I unpacked and organized and cleaned, and got ready for school on Monday. Saturday night I went to Liz’s apartment for Romans 6 and mojitos and prayer. We talked about how we have such different strengths and weaknesses, and how cool that is that we can still help and pray and encourage each other. Then, sadly, church on Sunday got cancelled. Then Monday classes were cancelled. Then Tuesday classes were cancelled. So things got bad, considering, I’ve been stranded inside my tiny apartment, having withdrawals from my friends and mom and cousins. Not a good transition back. I prefer my transitions to be busy and packed so that I maybe don’t notice the absence of all that was in Traverse City. Transitions are always a little tough for me. I miss my cozy house, I miss my mom laughing at me, I miss Katy sleeping over on the regular, I miss my magical dates with Lillian (she knows my reference), I miss my nonstop cousin time. Thankful for so many sweet people in my life. My heart is in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Holland, East Lansing, St. Joe, Mt. Pleasant, Cleveland, and South Korea, and I am so thankful for my dear friends and family that hold my heart and encourage me and do life with me in all those places.

Also, snow days in graduate school are the absolute worst, because they don’t just push everything back a day like in undergrad. No, they have us make up the missed class. So now we go until 5 all week, fitting in the missed classes here and there. I am ready to go back! I am using these two extra days to just rest. Staying in bed and sipping coffee as I start the day with the Lord is probably a favorite thing to do! (I went a little stir-crazy yesterday because I stayed in bed TOO long, watching Gossip Girl and working on some physiology. I texted my mom and Katy and Casey and they all told me to go do something and stop watching Gossip Girl.) 

Lillian texted me on Sunday with her wonderful thoughts on winter and I keep re-reading them. From Lillian–

Today: thinking about the seasons. Most people see God in the renewal of life that spring brings. But there is so much beauty and work of God during the winter, we just have to take the time to notice. It’s like a fresh chill to clean up our sins and the pure white snow reminds us that we’re a part of a changing and beautiful world.

I love that. Because it is a reminder that He works in all season, and there is beauty in this negative-degree weather and windchill and snow. Beauty among the white bleakness. He is always working and always around, even in the cold winter. 

Thankful for elliptical machines and that my building has a workout room. Thankful for my cozy bed. Thankful for Jesus. Thankful for friends and family. Thankful for coffee.

Pictures from my five days back in the city–

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Caboose guhls (missing monica)

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Katy’s 23rd

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My mom made this night so special for Katy and I!

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Morgan JACKSON, not smith and her cozy house.

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princess jackie

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miss them all

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my little katybug

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God time

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Physiology time 

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Hung my lantern lights, feeling stranded !Image

 

View from the workout room

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Lillian’s devotional

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Already made it to my favorite coffee shop

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The path to Liz’s apartment, though the park. 

 

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