6/26/12

Back Home + Sweet Video

Well, we are back from our weekend trip to Miami! It was a really good trip, full of people, new and old, a surprise party, sight seeing, and plenty of rain. Photos and stories to come but first I want to share this video that I came across today.

The organization Not For Sale is starting it's first ever company with the purpose of creating jobs in the Peruvian Amazon. The area in the video, Madre de Dios, was in the news this past year when about 200 trafficked women and children were rescued from a local brothel. The people don't have the resources to provide for themselves so traffickers have been able to come in and take advantage of the population through forced labor and prostitution.

The company, Rebbl, is a tea company that will be sourcing ingredients from the Amazon in an attempt to provide jobs and steady income to the people there. A percentage of the profits will also be poured back into the local economy. This effort will help to significantly reduce the risk of trafficking by providing realistic alternatives to jobs offered by those who would like to take advantage of the situation and exploit the people. I'm pretty excited about this idea and definitely want to support the company as it launches! Check out the video:




6/22/12

So Far Today...




It's going to be a good weekend :)

6/21/12

Community

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about community. Like real, do life together community. I really thirst for that. To be doing life with other believers.

Lately, I've been watching a lot of home videos, too. We've recently had a lot of our old photos and videos digitized and I can see them all on my phone. Whenever I want. Is that not one of the coolest things ever?! At any point in my day, I can flip on my droid and watch a video of me and my sister, 3 and 1 years old, running up and down the hall giggling. Or watch a twenty year old video of one of my friends walking around in a pretty sweet dinosaur suit on Halloween. Oh, technology, you're not all bad.

A common theme in our old videos is community. The same families pop up all the time. Sometimes it's the whole family together for birthday parties or special events. Other times it's just three mama's hanging out with their babies, passing the day away. Either way, they're all just doing life. They really know each other. I'm so glad that I got to grow up in that before we moved. So thankful that the people God surrounded us with loved my sisters and I like their own kids. We didn't live remotely near family for the first ten years of my life but I never even realized it. We were never alone and I was never short on people to play with.

I want that for Eddie and I. Other couples and families to do life with. We have that, to an extent, but I want it to be deeper. Does that make sense? Acts 2 sort of deep. Close, in your face, at times seemingly intrusive community. People that we really know, keep up with, raise babies with, do life and work with.

So, I'm praying for this, among other things. Not just for the people and the opportunity, but for the intentionality to make it happen.

6/20/12

Coffee Date + Goodbyes

Earlier this week, I met up with some good friends for coffee. My friend, Lauren, was visiting town and this was the last time I'd see her before her family moves across the country. Rather, they're moving back across the country. We grew up together on the West Coast, both of our families ended up relocating to the South, and now, after a decade or so, they're heading back west. It'll be strange not having them within easy visiting distance. I'm happy that we have skype and such, though, and I fully intend to have internet tea parties with her and her sister!
My other lovely friend, Kate, will be relocating elsewhere in the coming months, as well. Gah! Everyone's moving away! Well, now I'll just have an excuse to visit two new places! I'm a fan of that :)
All in all, the day was a lot of fun...talking, enjoying the river, and dancing away from swimming snakes. Haha :) Good farewell memories.

I've been blessed with good friends. Thank you, Lord.

6/18/12

Weekend Review

This past weekend was full of family time and good weather. Saturday morning, Maddie and I went over to the farmers market. There were 3x the usual booths which was pretty sweet. We meandered through the booths and got some snacks. Fresh limeade and Greek meat and cheese pies. Mmm :)
Love me some sister time :) My other sister is gone for the summer and I miss her a bunch!
On Sunday, we gathered the fam and went over to my new favorite coffee shop to hang out and read for a while. It was quite relaxing and everyone really liked the shop. I get the feeling that we'll be spending a lot of time there this summer! :)
That night, we had a Father's Day celebration at our apartment! The family came over and we ordered what seemed like a million wings and watched the NBA championships and some of the golf tournament that was going on. It was a lot of fun! Happy Father's Day again, Dad!

Steph  xoxo

6/17/12

Happy Father's Day!

We have so many sweet memories together!
I am so beyond thankful for you and your influence in my life.
You're seriously the best dad ever.
I love you.

Steph xoxo

6/15/12

Land of 1000 Hills Coffee

Yesterday morning, Maddie and I got up to check out a local coffee shop and to spend some time reading or, in her case, working on a scholarship essay. We went to Land of 1000 Hills Coffee on the Chattahoochee River. I’d been to their other location several times and wanted to check this one out, having heard all sorts of good things about it. It was sort of tricky to find because it’s located in the back of an apartment complex. You have to be buzzed in through the front gate in order to get there, which was why Eddie and I couldn’t find it when we attempted to visit one night a while back.

I’m so glad Maddie and I found it yesterday, though! The location is amazing! We got our usuals, tea for me, Coke for Maddie, and found a table outside on the porch. From there we had a gorgeous view of the river. It was so quiet and peaceful, watching the ducks, geese, and the occasional kayaker float down the river.
This squirrel kept coming up to our table looking for food! I loved it and took a bunch of photos. Maddie, however, was convinced he would attack if he got too close and made sure he kept his distance. Oh, sister.
This was the perfect place to get out of the apartment for a while, get quiet, and read. This week I’ve been reading the book of James and there’s so much to meditate on and pray about in this short book! For example, “As the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26. That verse alone is a kick in the face!

This is definitely my new favorite coffee shop. Aside from the fantastic location and view, I’m also a fan of the company’s business practices. The majority of the coffee is sourced from Rwanda by the owner himself and all of it is fair trade. Their motto is ‘Drink coffee. Do good.’ My biggest qualm with Starbucks while I worked there for two years was their lack of fair trade coffees and such so this makes my heart happy.

I can’t wait to bring Eddie here…he’d so love it!

Steph

6/14/12

Brunswick

On our way home from our anniversary trip, Eddie and I drove up to Brunswick to visit some friends for the night. Our friends played important roles in our wedding…he was the pastor that married us and she led worship during the ceremony…so it seemed quite fitting to hang out with them during our trip.

It was so good to catch up with them and see where they’re living! They live in this super cozy older house that is literally exactly the kind of house I’d want to own. Old hardwood floors, lots of windows, and plenty of open space. It reminded me of the little old house that Eddie and a group of guys lived in when Eddie and I started dating. Best house ever.

We did so much in the short time that we were there! The night we arrived, we talked, met some new friends, and went out for some more sushi! Can’t hate that. We got to see the most beautiful view of the full moon over the marsh.

The next day, we all slept in and then walked to the little downtown area for lunch. It was so quiet and quaint. We went to a tasty pizza shop that makes specialty pizzas. Afterwards, we walked around an antique store full of European goodies.


In the midst of all the fun, we totally forgot to get any actual pictures of our friends or their sweet house! Oh well. We’ll just have to visit again! :) I seriously loved visiting them and can’t wait to see them again. Until next time…

Steph xo