3, 2, 1...Friday. // Looking forward...

3 things I'm looking forward to about being back in the U.S. in a couple of weeks (other than seeing family and friends, because DUH):

  1. Trader Joe's. Almond butter, frozen berries, apple chicken sausages, and pearled cous cous: I'm comin' for you!
  2. Tex-Mex. I haven't seen you in a year, burritos and enchiladas! Imitations have abounded, but I spotted them for what they were: imposters. And now my mouth is watering.
  3. Target. (Just so my whole list isn't about food.) I can go to really large stores here and get what I need in one place (if I'm lucky...), but that's not the norm (and if I do buy everything in one place, I can't carry it home by myself). But Target...where you can find toilet paper, thank you notes, socks, and a garden gnome all in the same store. Amazing.

2 things I'm really going to miss about Spain, other than our friends and our lovely apartment (more on this topic soon!):

  1. Valenbisi, the public bike rental system here in Valencia. I love having access to bikes without having to own one! And I love that this city is more bike friendly than other places I've been, with bike lanes and crossing signals throughout the city. It's a great alternative to riding public transportation, AND means I get more exercise, too! 
  2.  Living in a city. There are moments where I feel overwhelmed and frustrated in a city: there's noise, you live very close to your neighbors (being able to hear your neighbor use the toilet is a little concerning...), and sometimes walking to the grocery store is not as romantic as it might seem. And yet there are so many great things about city living: access to huge public parks, cafes and restaurants within walking distance, and the fact that I get so much more exercise because I have to walk or bike nearly everywhere. We have gotten to know our neighborhoods in Spain so much better than in the U.S. simply because we walk through them all the time. I like hanging my laundry out the window to dry (though I will not refuse a dryer upon our return!), and getting a morning coffee at the cafe that is steps outside of our apartment entrance. 

1 thing I am super excited about:

I'll write more on this big change soon! John just got a job with a company that is moving us to Munich for job training. We're going to have a quick turn around time in the U.S., but are so excited about this new and totally unexpected opportunity! 

I'll write more on this big change soon! John just got a job with a company that is moving us to Munich for job training. We're going to have a quick turn around time in the U.S., but are so excited about this new and totally unexpected opportunity! 

3, 2, 1...Friday.

3 pretty things in my life: flowers, words, and little cars.

Anyone know what this is? I saw this beauty in the park and snapped a picture of it, but have no clue what it is.

Anyone know what this is? I saw this beauty in the park and snapped a picture of it, but have no clue what it is.

You may not be the first to say it, write it, create it, or believe it—but you saying it may be the first time someone finally hears. Yes, someone else can say it better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t say it too. Throw out your inhibitions and spin around in this crazy world of recycled ideas. There is nothing new to say. Say it anyway.
— Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live
This car outside our building is so cute! And probably completely unsafe/not up to modern standards, but the cute factor makes up for it.

This car outside our building is so cute! And probably completely unsafe/not up to modern standards, but the cute factor makes up for it.

2 colors I would paint a house:

I call the color on the left Mr. Pistachio, and the one on the right...well, I'm still working on a name for that one. I think both would look nice on a house with white trim and dark brown shutters.

I call the color on the left Mr. Pistachio, and the one on the right...well, I'm still working on a name for that one. I think both would look nice on a house with white trim and dark brown shutters.

1 thing I'm learning that had me laughing this week:

This is German for "My men are hungry," and when said at normal speed just sounds really funny. Also, some of the sentences in Duolingo are a little nonsensical...but you learn to go with it. :)

This is German for "My men are hungry," and when said at normal speed just sounds really funny. Also, some of the sentences in Duolingo are a little nonsensical...but you learn to go with it. :)

Happy weekend!

3, 2, 1...Friday.

As I look ahead into the coming months, I see a lot of change approaching, much of which is fuzzy at best from this place in time. Change seems to be a regular theme in my life right now. In the midst of the change, writing has been a helpful way for me to process what is going on both internally and externally. And so, I'm trying to be more structured about writing as I enter yet another season of transition. 

So I introduce to you a new feature of the blog, a weekly post where I show you three beautiful things from my week, tell you two things I'm thankful for, and explain one thing I'm currently learning. (Or where I tell you the three animals I wish I could be, if I were an animal, the two countries I'd love to spend time in one day, and a book that has inspired and taught me. Or some combination [and varying amounts of ridiculousness] thereof, depending on my week [and  my mood!])

I hope you've had a good week, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. What are three beautiful things around you this week? What are two things you are thankful for? And what are you learning right now? 

Beautiful thing #1:  This, my friends, is SUPER delicious grain-free banana bread. You should make it, pronto. Find the recipe   here  .  

Beautiful thing #1: This, my friends, is SUPER delicious grain-free banana bread. You should make it, pronto. Find the recipe here.  

Beautiful thing #2:  Biking in the park in Valencia. I LOVE the public bike system that is super cheap and that allows me to ride all over the city while listening to podcasts or just thinking. And I get to see beautiful flowers like this, with the time to scoot off the path and get a photo.

Beautiful thing #2: Biking in the park in Valencia. I LOVE the public bike system that is super cheap and that allows me to ride all over the city while listening to podcasts or just thinking. And I get to see beautiful flowers like this, with the time to scoot off the path and get a photo.

Beautiful thing #3:  A mountain-ish getaway in Catalonia. It was nice waking up and going to sleep with this backdrop!  The lack of humidity was a major bonus. I slept better than I've slept in months.

Beautiful thing #3: A mountain-ish getaway in Catalonia. It was nice waking up and going to sleep with this backdrop!  The lack of humidity was a major bonus. I slept better than I've slept in months.

Two things I'm thankful for: 

1. One year in Spain. Today marks one year since we arrived in Spain! I can't believe it. We've learned a lot, grown closer to each other in our marriage and individually we've grown closer to God, and are so grateful for the times we have been able to travel and get tastes of new cultures. This year has been challenging at times (cold winter with a super drafty, frigid apartment, I'm looking at you!), but we wouldn't trade this special time for anything.

2. Last month's Whole30 experience. I'm not gonna lie--last month was hard. I wanted to sit outside at a cafe and sip some wine. I wanted to eat ice cream. But we are so grateful that we took the time to cut some things out of our diet, let our bodies rest, and think about how we approach food and eating. It was a great experience, and one I'm pretty certain we'll repeat sometime in the coming year.

One thing I'm learning these days: 

I'm learning, for probably the first time in my life, how great it feels to get something done early. I am a procrastinator extraordinaire--I think it comes with perfectionism. The idea in my mind usually is, I probably can't do it perfectly right now, so I'll wait until I can do it perfectly...which will probably be never...but I'm sure I could do it better later. Ugh--so exhausting!! I'm taking an online class right now (History of Children's Literature) and have not been leaving things to the last minute. This is progress, people! In fact, I wrote my paper a week early, leaving myself time to revise and edit after sleeping on it. This is so abnormal for me, and yet it feels awesome.  Maybe this will stick with me as I continue classes in the fall!

Happy weekend, readers!