Home.

Just over a month ago I started working back in Charlotte, while Clint stayed in Raleigh to finish up some cases before transferring to Charlotte. I must admit, after I accepted my job offer I had a moment of pride. wanted to leave Raleigh. wanted to move back to Charlotte. got a job. And found a way for us to move. had a goal and made it happen. made it all fall together. I was taking the credit and dripping with pride about it. When God so clearly spoke truth into me, “I will boast in the Lord my God, I will boast in the one who’s worthy.” Who am I to boast about getting a job I almost didn’t even call back when they first contacted me? Who am I to boast about Clint being able to transfer, something I couldn’t have had any less to do with? I was so willing to trust in the plan of the Lord when I was praying out from the bottom of my heart and soul, and I was more than happy to receive His blessings, but I sure wasn’t centered enough to give credit where it was due. So, before I go on with the rest of this post I have to say, and am joyfully happy to say, Glory to God.

“All I have for your glory Jesus,
All I am for your Kingdom, your name.”

Of the top five words I would use to describe myself, sentimental would definitely be one of them, so it comes as no surprise that as I walked out of our Raleigh apartment for the last time over the weekend that I felt the nostalgia tugging at my heart-strings. We called Raleigh home for almost exactly 9 months (though Clint a while longer). Though it certainly wasn’t always with a smile on my face. I developed a love/hate relationship with the Capitol city (and not just because I loved to hate it) but because even though I never quite felt at peace there, I created some great memories there. It will forever be the place that my Mr and I began our marriage. The city we would take on as newlyweds. And while I spent about a dozen too many days crying over spilt milk (sometimes quite literally), it gave us the opportunity to be our own little family, away from what we know and who we know, to figure it out on our own. Like that time that I was convinced a dead bird fell into our fireplace, or the many times I yelled at Google Maps through my phone as if I was showing it who’s boss. I am certain that our time in Raleigh was one of great growth. Above all, if Raleigh gave us anything, it was and is, a great, profound appreciation for all the things we never knew we needed to love with all our hearts. The places we call our own. Like our church, a place I didn’t realize was so special to me until I had to find a replacement. Or our favorite restaurants that we’ve shared so many great meals at. Or the places we’ve developed loving memories at (we’ll be living across the street from where Clint asked me to be his girlfriend 7 and a 1/2 years ago 🙂 ) And the thing that is most familiar to us and the thing that is more ours than anyone else’s, our families.

So, in my natural list making ways, here is a quick list of the top two things I will miss about Raleigh,

1. Driving back to Raleigh from Charlotte. – Clint and I shared so many great car rides driving back to Raleigh on the occasional Sunday night. We always took that dreaded 3 hour drive and opened our hearts to one another. Sharing the things God lay on our hearts. I loved those moments of fellowship. I loved those drives.

2. Goodberry’s. – Yes, my list went from sentiment to frozen custard that quickly. Goodberry’s don’t exist in Charlotte (but Pinkberry does!) so I’ll be missing that delicious frozen custard that Clint of course hated (Pretty sure our tastes couldn’t’ be more different.)

With that being said, I wouldn’t truly allow my nostalgia to run its course if I didn’t pay a little tribute to the place we’ve been and the memories we made, and of course, the great direction we’re headed in, from Raleigh to Charlotte. 9 months, many trips home, countless prayers and I can finally say…

The Simpson’s are home.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/66203704″>Home.</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/kellysimpson”>Kelly Simpson</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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We’re throwing confetti.

NJ

 

We’re throwing confetti over here, people.
Why? You ask.

Well, after 8 months, 2 moves, countless hours scouring the internet, 93 job applications, and two interviews,
it is with a very excited, joyous, and thankful heart that I announce.

This girl…

Got.

A.

JOB.

In two weeks I will finally begin my career as a graphic designer and I couldn’t be more excited. Because, not only do I get to begin a career in a field I’ve been working towards for the past 5+ years, but I get to do it in Charlotte, North Carolina!
That’s right, folks… The Simpson’s are moving home.

Awkward and Awesome.

Awkward.
-When you play the whole “guess how much it cost?!” game with someone, trying to show off how little you paid for something, but they guess a number even lower. $4 for a banana republic bracelet?  no-no, thats called stealing.
-A man in our apartment complex has a hover round chair, which I kind of just love all in itself… mostly because I just imagine he rolls around singing the song… hover round takes me where I want to go, where will it send me. However, this man has taken his hover round lifestyle to a whole new level. I saw him taking his trash to the dumpster, via rolling office chair. As in, he was sitting in his hover round, pushing a rolling chair, with a bag of trash on it. It got even better as I watched him come rolling back from the dumpster, so he was just a man… in a chair… pushing a chair. Kind of kicking myself for not taking a picture.
-Hey Jet Dry, if you’re going to explode bubbles all over the floor maybe you and your 30% more! bottle could warn me to move my brand new kitchen rug out-of-the-way first.
-I made scrambled eggs for breakfast. Scrambled them all up in a bowl and then put them in a pan, took care of a few things and then came back to actually cook them, and apparently those things unscrambled themselves, causing me to scramble the eggs in the pan while I cooked them. I could feel The Barefoot Contessa shaking her head at me.
-Oh ya know, just realizing I basically didn’t pay federal taxes at my last job. Goodbye large chunk of the tax return. Sorry honey.

Awesome.

-The moment you spot a gas station and you’re pretty sure you use your last little bottle of acceleration to pull up to the pump, no greater sense of relief.
-Daylight Savings Time! This should really fall into the awkward category because there is probably few things that I understand less than DST, I really can’t even think about it for that long. [[Side story: Two years ago I was in Arizona for spring break and my last night there was during DST, however I was in a part of Arizona that doesn’t do Daylight Savings Time, and my flight home was early, and I had no idea if the airport was doing normal time or Arizona no daylight savings, time. Even thinking back to it now gives me a headache, I have no idea how I made it onto that flight.]] Although I don’t understand it even in the slightest, I know that it’s now brighter later and that means Summer nights and weekends spent by the pool are just around the corner!
-A cup of tea in the afternoon… and the fact that our faucets give out water that is so hot I don’t even have to heat up water. (This is literally the only time I appreciate it, burning my hands 20 times a day and then doing that awkward jig of trying to turn on the cold water with your wrist… not so great.)

What’s been awkward & awesome with you all lately?

Awkward & Awesome

Quite honestly, this past week has been the most awkward/awesome week. I’m choosing to call it that rather than bitter-sweet. We moved, which is wonderful. However, I must admit, moving to a new place in Raleigh just made me realize more and more that Raleigh is home now, something that makes me a little sad. It’s been a week filled with prayer that God will make His vision for our life in Raleigh known to us. On the flip side of this, it’s been a week filled with excruciating waiting, waiting for the phone to ring with good news on the other end. A phone call that would change our plans, and the place we call home. Still waiting on that phone call, but at least now I’m waiting from a place with bigger windows and crown molding.

On we go to this week’s dose of A&A

Awkward.

-My mom bought me a salt-box. (You put salt in it, all the Food Network Chef’s use them.) The very first time I actually used the salt-box I opened it up at an angle and spilt a VERY generous amount of salt on a piece of chicken. To resolve this issue I ended up rubbing pieces of chicken together to rub the salt around a bit. I’m pretty sure the Food Network chef’s never do that.
-We’ve been watching the new show The Following, I have now had nearly five sleepless nights because of it. It is terrifying  but I can’t help going back for more each week, it’s a seriously good show… well, from what I can tell as I watch 75% of it off the reflection of the window near the tv- I can’t watch it directly, scary-ness is much easier to take in, in reflection form.
-Due to our move, I now have a new Harris Teeter. I made the first trip yesterday and it was almost hysterical how horribly I navigated that store. They keep the orange juice near the cheese. What?! Everybody knows the orange juice is either near the yogurts, the random chip dips, or hanging out at an end of aisle display that you’ll pass 10 times before realizing it’s there… not near the cheese. Also, grapes were on my list, grapes did not make it home with me, apparently those little suckers found themselves a real good hiding spot.

Awesome.
-New apartment! A very small part of me will miss lil’ apartment, a part about as big as our old kitchen- and that’s pretty tiny. I haven’t decided what I want to call new apartment yet, suggestions welcome! To help brew ideas I’ll tell you a bit about our new home. Our kitchen has approximately 21 cabinets (and a full on pantry!), yes i counted, you really cannot underestimate how small the last kitchen was. Our closet has 3 racks, 3 shelves, and enough room for 3 people to live in comfortably. I’ve never had a closet that fit all my clothes and still allowed me to actually slide the hangers as I survey things each morning, this closet does so much more than that. In a nutshell, we have room, lots of room, as in, I’ll actually have to switch outlets when vacuuming. Pretty stoked about that.
-I did a load of laundry yesterday and the dryer door doesn’t slam into my side every two seconds anymore, it actually stays open.  A small victory, but none the less, I can’t tell you how many loud grunts of frustration have been caused by that horrible little dryer door and it’s closing tendencies. Clint says it’s because our dryer must have not been level at our old place but I really think almost every dryer I’ve ever used has taken one or two good whacks into my backside as I toss my clothes in for a spin.

What’s been awkward and awesome lately?

The First Look.

Us Simpson’s have got a lot going on right now, and with a lot of things “up in the air” I am feeling extra thankful that I get to live life with my sweet husband. And since I’ve been meaning to write a post about this for months, I’m finally sitting down and sharing my absolute favorite moment from our Wedding day, our first look.

(All photos by The Schultzes )

(I should note, Clint and I have never actually talked about how our first look went, other than me saying I’m glad we did it, so this is all from my POV.)

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A couple of weeks prior to our wedding I started contemplating whether or not I wanted to do a first look on our wedding day. Photography was one of the top priorities for the wedding and I loved the idea of having that extra photo time. However, that traditional side of me was concerned that it would make my walk down the aisle less special. I ended up e-mailing our photographer asking for her opinion on the first look and she directed me towards this blog post. A take on the first look, on behalf of the Groom. This post conveyed just what I needed to hear, that a Bride walking down the aisle towards her Groom is going to special, and beautiful, and emotional, and unforgettable, no matter what happens before that. The first look would just be the cherry on top.

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When I talked to Clint about doing a first look I expressed how I wanted for him and I to have a moment together alone to bask in the glory of our day, just the two of us. Ironically, a wedding, a day that is about two people, very easily becomes about every other person there. Everyone warns you of how quickly your wedding day with come and go, zipping by in the blink of an eye. I was determined to make the most of every moment we had that day. So after a little bit of back and forth on if a first look was right for us, we made the choice to have a first look be a part of our wedding day. Now cue all those funny looks from our Parents who 1. Had never even heard the term “first look”.  2. Thought we were crazy for breaking such a traditional aspect of getting married.

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On our wedding day I found myself calm, cool, and collected- maybe even too much so. I had been so worried that I’d spend my wedding day a ball of nerves and overcome with anxiety that I actually ended up getting ready for my wedding feeling… underwhelmed? I didn’t have that spark of excitement. It didn’t truly hit me that this was our wedding day, that I was about to put on the big white dress, and marry my best friend. As I continued to get ready and watched as all the people around me got more and more beautiful by the moment I was craving the joy of being a bride.

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As I made my way over to do our first look I had a single moment when I was walking down to get in place and caught just a glimpse of Clint waiting on the docks and my heart could have just burst. For our first look I stood on one end of a dock while Clint stood on the other. He was to wait for me to call his name and when he turned to face me we’d walk towards each other and meet in the middle. It turns out my groom just couldn’t contain his joy as he ran towards me. Tears instantly came to eyes and love flooded every last inch of my heart. I’ll never forget the moment he finally reached me with open arms, as cheers came from the near by boaters, and the soft sound of water brushing up against the rocks, it was just perfect. In the moment of our first look, I became a bride, ready to marry her groom. For those next few minutes Clint and I stood together exchanging sweet words and having the chance to enjoy our wedding day, just the two of us.

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 Also, to be terribly honest, knowing myself, part of why I wanted to have a first look was because of all the things I knew I’d want to say to Clint once I walked down the aisle to him: How do I look? Do you like my dress? Are you nervous? Excited? You look so nice! I can’t believe it’s our wedding day! Except you can’t exactly get down the aisle and start-up a conversation with your groom, you kind of have a ceremony to get on with. I knew if we didn’t do a first look I’d feel like rushing the ceremony so that Clint and I could speak candidly with one another. Because we did do a first look, and because we were able to get all of those things out-of-the-way, I was able to enjoy our ceremony like I never thought I’d be able to. I feel like for so many people a ceremony is just a technicality, you know, the actual act of getting married and all. For me, I soaked up every last second of our ceremony. It was almost like Clint and I had this special little bond of our special moment just prior, that made us each smile just a little sweet at one another as we exchanged vows.03_Portraits_0326

Now obviously every couple and every wedding is different, so a first look may be completely right for one couple, and couple wrong for another. For us, it was right. And it completely set the tone for the rest of the day between the two of us. It allowed us to get excited, together. 03_Portraits_0330

These pictures are so incredibly special to me. When I look at them I can so vividly remember the way my heart sped up as Clint looked me up and down, taking in the lace trim of my gown, the sparkle of my earrings, the softness of my flowing veil. The first look was one of the most emotional moments of the day the photographs snatched up that emotion and put it in a place for us to hold onto forever.
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I love this man so very much.
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And I just LOVED our first look.03_Portraits_0342