A Look Back at 2018

  • Hosted a 4REAL Girl’s Worship Night with Anna

  • Unknowingly went to my last Youth Truebridge Retreat

  • Ben resigned as Youth Pastor, which ultimately sped up the process of most of the staff leaving

  • Winter Olympics

  • Visited Grandma and Grandpa in Taiwan

  • Tried to visit Keziah in Vietnam but had the wrong visas

  • Probert’s bought their house!

  • Had my wisdom teeth removed

  • Holly had her wisdom teeth removed (see videos)

  • We had a mini family reunion on my Dad’s side for my cousin’s high school graduation in Ann Arbor, MI

  • The Shold’s officially moved to Cape Town, SA for 2 years

  • Went back to Vancouver for 2 weeks in the summer

  • Took a family trip to Banff, AB

  • Ana got engaged!

  • My mom visited MN for a week

  • Heidi visited MN for a week

  • Us sisters surprised my mom with a weekend trip to San Fran

  • Annual Friendship Retreat at Cuyuna Bike House

  • The Royal Wedding of Meghan and Harry happened

  • Annual Nativity Party #BabyJesusForever hosted by Allie

  • Officially 5 years at MTL!

San Francisco - September 2018

When: September 2018
Where: San Francisco, CA
Stayed: San Francisco Marriot Marquis

My sisters and I managed to keep my Mom’s birthday weekend in San Francisco a surprise for 6 months!! We could hardly contain ourselves. Be warned, this was mainly an eating weekend (as almost all our trips are, ha). I chose to focus on being together instead of getting the best photos — enjoy!

Day 1: We got in Friday morning, checked into the hotel, then walked 15 minutes to Sightglass Coffee. I had a delicious Iced Vanilla Cold Brew and an Everything Croissant. We then took an Uber to Boba Guys & Sunday Bird. We walked our lunch off and made our way to Alamo Square/The Painted Ladies to take in the view and relax. We had dinner at Delarosa’s (highly recommend their pizza and chocolate torte cake) since it was close to our hotel.

Day 2: The whole reason we went to San Francisco was to take my Mom to Everlane. We went for breakfast at Samovar Tea then headed to our “Cut The Line” appointment at 10 am.

We had lunch at Chowder’s at the Fisherman’s Wharf. We saw the seals lounging on the docks, then walked around for a bit. The weekend crowds started to get a bit crazy so we ducked out and headed to Crissy Fields.

We couldn’t leave San Francisco without seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, so we walked around and enjoyed the view. We ate dinner at Beretta to celebrate my Mom’s birthday (thankfully only a 30 minute wait). We turned in for the night and Uber Eats some bubble tea to our hotel room.

Day 3: My sister and I woke up at 4 am to Lyft back to SFO and catch our flight to MSP.

All in all, a quick but fun weekend. Cheers to surprising your loved ones and spending quality time together.

Banff

When: July 2018
Where: Banff, AB, Canada
Stayed: Holiday Inn Canmore

Day 1

We flew into Calgary from Vancouver then drove 1.5 hours to Canmore (just outside of Banff and way more affordable). After grabbing our rental car, checking into the hotel, we dropped our bags and went to explore Johnston Canyon.

Day 2 

We visited Golden, BC, a town a few hours away that my mom grew up in. No photos here, since we spent time reminiscing and seeing all the different places my mom wanted to show us. 

On our way back from Golden we decided to do the classic stop at Lake Louise. It was very crowded and took us twice to get up to the parking lot to find a spot. Once we were there we were able to enjoy the view of hundreds of our closest friends. It's worth going to at least once, but not the prettiest or most ideal spot (especially in the afternoon). 

Day 3

We convinced our parents (who were driving and therefore in charge of the car) to get to Moraine Lake to do a sunrise hike (Rockpile Trail). It was fairly chilly and we weren't prepared but decided to do it anyways since we were committed to seeing the sunrise. It was a beautiful view and worth doing! I can see why people get up at sunrise to see spots like this. 

After warming up in the car for an hour we ventured out again to go canoeing on Moraine Lake. It was glistening after being warmed up by the sun and we were one of the first ones out on the lake. This was one of my favorite activities of the trip and very relaxing. It was a small lake so my limited canoeing skills ended up being just fine. 

We grabbed a quick lunch after canoeing then headed to Peyto Lake for more hiking. We hiked past the normal lookout spot to two beyond and were rewarded with less tourist and amazing views. 

Day 4

No photos from rafting since we were on the water the whole day. We went with Chinook Rafting and they were fantastic. Very friendly and completely safe. We did the easier level 2-3 rapids on the Kananaski River but would love to try level 4 on the Kicking Horse River next time. 

Day 5

YYC to YVR - Drove from Canmore back to Calgary, dropped off our rental car, then headed to the airport to go home to Vancouver. 

 

Changing Seasons

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This week I made the decision not to return to a commitment that I've held for the past 5 years. It was hard, sad, discouraging, relieving and every emotion in between. Through it all, I'm praying that God will be faithful. Faithful to me in this season of transition, faithful to the youth through the chaos. 

I thought this would be a good time to reflect on my past five years on staff. My prayer is that the countless hours spent praying, thinking, drinking coffee, and sitting with these youth has pointed them towards Jesus. It has been my immense joy and privilege to watch the youth discover who Jesus is and share that with others. Right now, I can't imagine not being at youth on a Wed night. I can't think of not knowing what's actually going on in their lives. 

Everyone always said that youth ministry is a marathon not a sprint. Never have I looked back and felt that was more true than now. I've been faithfully running without a hand off in sight. But, now it's time for my part in the relay to be over. I'm not off the team forever, but in this new season, I believe that there's more for me ahead. 

We often marvel at stories of people who are confront with a big life transitions and wonder how they conquered it so fearlessly. It is in these small moments before the "big moment" that we are faced with the challenge of leaning into the uncertainty and relying on the faithfulness of our God. As I look ahead to this new season, I reflect on all the little and big times the Lord came through for me. His faithfulness met me at every turn. So, my prayer, as hard as it is, is that faithfulness would be the guiding force in these next few months. 

 

Upcoming Travel

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Over the weekend my sisters and I booked flights to Vietnam and Taiwan! We are so excited and can't wait to visit. Our main purpose is to visit family and friends as our grandparents live in Taiwan and our good family friend just moved to Vietnam. 

Any recommendations? We plan to hit the beaches of Vietnam and all the food in Taiwan! I also expect to have the best Pho of my entire life in Vietnam, so stay tuned on if all my dreams come true. 

Photo source: Sopha Hsin

 

Merry Christmas

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

I'm currently in Vancouver finishing out the week working remote before signing off for vacation. I'm grateful to have a job that lets me work remote a few weeks a year to be close to family and friends. As everything slows down for this holiday season may we remember the reason for celebration. We celebrate because of the first Christmas that happened all those years ago in Bethlehem. Wishing everyone a safe and joy-filled holiday season. See you in 2018!

Image via The Londoner (Treehotel in Sweden)

A Look Back on 2017

  • My sister, Heidi, and I went to Paris for a week #DeltaFareSale
  • Hive Cafe opened in September
  • My little brother graduated from high school, so now the #KaoQuad (a term us siblings have given ourselves) is officially done!
  • Two best friends got married
    • My best friend from Vancouver got married in early August, it was beautiful and made me so thankful for the friendships I've maintained since the time I moved away
    • One of my best friends from college also got married in August! Now 5/7 of us are married, so I have a 50% chance of being next ;)
  • My sister, Holly, took a job in the Twin Cities so we became roommates!
  • Did a short stint as a social media manager for my church 
  • In an attempt to meet Chip and Joanna Gaines, we booked a spontaneous trip to Waco, TX to visit the Magnolia Silos 
  • 4th Annual Friendship Retreat at The Shire (no joke, it's actually called that) 
  • My brother moved here for college in August now 50% of us are in Minnesota
  • My sister persuaded me to do Whole30 with her #Whole30Survivor
  • Our family vacation this year was a Baltic Cruise (Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany) and now we're all trying to figure out how to get back to Scandinavia.
  • 5th Annual Nativity Party - I was Baby Jesus (it's tradition) until one of our friends has a baby
  • Officially 4 years at my job! 

Happy Thanksgiving

G R A T E F U L

HAPPY THANKSGIVING —

I'm signing off early this week since it's Thanksgiving! I'm grateful that even though half my family lives in Canada (and celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in October) the other half is with me for the weekend. I'm looking forward to stuffing my face with turkey, stuffing, and lots of potatoes. 

I survived Whole30

Guys, I did Whole30. I didn't do it for any particular reason other than my sister wanted someone to do it with. Overall, it wasn't too bad except for the prep. So. Much. Prep. I've never cooked more consistently in my life than I have over the last 30 days. Also, I have never eaten so many eggs or avocados in my entire life. No joke we went through an 18 pack of eggs every 4 days. Target was our best friend (shoutout to those 67 cent eggs!). To be honest, they tell you not to eat these "pancakes" (that by the way are made from compliant ingredients, just eggs and bananas), but we totally did. Every single day we had them and we didn't feel one bit guilty because WE NEEDED THEM. Other than that I would say we didn't cheat. 

BUT I DID IT. I COMPLETED WHOLE30. 

My favorite (repeated) meal was probably Spiralized Zucchini with pan friend shrimp, and roasted veggies. Let me know if you're interested in the recipe, it's super easy and is a meal I'll probably eat now that I'm off Whole30. 

 

Custom Console

Ever since I moved into my house, I've been looking for the perfect console for my house. Everything I've liked is either too expensive or not the right size. Enter the solution: a custom console. The only reason I'm able to make a custom console is because my friend is making it for me. I'm thinking simple, functional, clean lines, and modern. Here's a look at the inspiration behind my custom piece. Is it weird that I'm already excited to style it? 

Image sources: CB2 + Pinterest

A Look Back on 2016

A quick recap of 2016, in no particular order..

  • Bought my very first house in June!
  • Fourth year on youth staff
  • Had one of my best friends from Vancouver visit me in Minneapolis
  • Visited Taiwan with my family to see my grandparents
  • Had some of my best friends get married this spring and summer
  • I've been at my job for 3 years now! 
  • Donald Trump got elected President of the United States 
  • Said no to more things than I ever have this year (which was a goal from last year)
  • Received confirmation for something that has been in my heart for a very long time. Not ready to fully share what this is right now, but maybe sometime down the road I will.
  • Networked with creatives in Minneapolis
  • PRAISE REPORT! Finally saw the release of Kevin and Julia Garratt, family friends from Vancouver, who were imprisoned in China for the past 2 years. If you google 'Kevin Julia Garratt' you can find their story from various major news outlets. Thankful to have them safely back on Canadian soil. 
  • Hive City Storefront 
    • Every since my family moved to Vancouver in 2003 it's been our dream to open a creative and community-focused outreach initiative. This year we saw our dreams come to life in Hive City Storefront and Cafe. 
  • I visited some of my good friends in Toronto over a May long weekend
  • My sister, Heidi, graduated from college! 
  • Best Friends Visit Vancouver
    • Every since we became friends at Bethel my friends and I have been talking about visit Vancouver (where my family lives) and this year we set aside a week to adventure and travel together. It was so amazing to show them my second home and all my favorite spots. It was a trip to remember and we're already hoping to round 2!
  • Rio Olympics - I debated taking PTO to watch the Olympics, that's how serious I am about them. Shoutout to Michael Phelps, the Final Five, and beach/indoor volleyball for making sure I never left my couch during those 2 weeks. 
  • Took my one and only work trip to St. Louis, MO this year, only to have it be on the 1 day a year where Delta's computers go down. It was a nightmare to say the least. 
  • We had our annual friendship retreat and the most fittingly named location 'Camp Friendship'

My theme word for 2017 is 'be'. This year will have been something, is being written, and can be something right now. 

What a year. Thankful for everyone who was apart of it. Looking up and onward to 2017. 

HAPPY WEEKEND

I'm taking off early this week because I'm moving into my new house!! More details soon but for now, here's some links I've been enjoying. Happy weekend!

  • Embracing Thorns by Jennie Allen - such a good read!
  • Home Sweet Damsel's remodel journey
  • My brother had a easy semester so he spent his spare time making a portfolio site - he's pretty awesome
  • I love Anh's easy weekend look
  • The newest college graduate in the family has her website up, she's a mega talented artist and is now based in Vancouver, B.C., Canada
  • Bookkeeping and Money Management by the lovely Bre of Rowan Made
  • Are you good enough to be a tennis line judge? Take this quiz
  • This rug DIY looks easy enough, I'm hoping to try it out in my new house!

What links have you been loving this week? Let me know in the comments!

A Look Back on 2015

As everyone is saying this time of year, where has the time gone!? As I was looking at my calendar this morning, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on 2015 - the celebrations, the failures, and everything in between. 

2015

  • For the first time in years, I didn't travel outside of North America (a seemingly rare occurrence)
  • Our family took two road trips this summer, which is more than we've ever done, since.. well ever. 
  • I watched my brother's soccer Provincials (equivalent to State) and got too emotionally invested and still claim they should have made it to the finals!
  • My side hustle 
    • I got my first paid client!
    • I finally revamped my website (the current layout)
    • My favorite freelancers (Breanna Rose (Rowan Made) + Jen Serafini (Serafini Creative) released their first Be Free Lance course - which is a wealth of knowledge about freelancing and being your own boss. 
    • I attended a local Bloom Gathering hosted by Yellow Conference attendees Nikki and Nicole (owners of the bloomerie)
    • Created posters for VOICE, my friend's new company, that is building a better marketplace by providing a new way to shop
    • Photographed my second engagement session for some of my best friends
  • Roadtripped to Chicago with my best friends to see our favorite author, Shauna Niequist, release her new devotional
  • Graduated my senior high small group girls + started my third year of youth staff 
  • Attended our annual friendship retreat 
  • I got a mentor as well as becoming one myself
  • I learned to initiate depth and intentional community 
  • Sent out my best friend and her husband to live in South Africa for a year 
  • Tried to keep my perspective on singleness godly and Christ-centered
  • Celebrated weddings and engagements as well as mourned the passing of a beloved friend's parent 

2016

  • Be present 
  • Travel 
  • Love deeply and intentionally
  • Say yes to the things God is asking me to do instead of asking 'why me' & saying 'yes, Lord, here I am' [from a Moses response to a Samuel one]
  • Say no more often
  • See my sister graduate from college!