March 2021 felt like it gave me an extra spring in my step to align with the welcoming of the new season. This month gave me beautiful scenery and time with friends to share it with – just what I needed to feel rejuvenated and ready to keep moving forward!
What I did
Visited with my grandmother and her husband. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to spend time with extended family members, especially those who are older than you. I feel like the past few years of visiting and talking with my grandmother have given me the chance to learn more about her story and life, and glean wisdom and perspective from her experiences. I treasure all of our conversations and getting to spend in-person time with her and her husband was such a gift.
Got a much-needed haircut! You can see the photos here.
Spent a morning at Oakland Cemetery with a friend. I spontaneously decided to visit the Daffodil Days event at one of the largest burial greenspaces and Atlanta’s oldest public park, Oakland Cemetery. My college friend Cassidy joined me, and we walked around the grounds admiring the spring blooms that were starting to peek out, talked about life and reading, and learned about the history at the site. It was a lovely and refreshing morning!
Participated in a virtual speed dating event. Before social distancing was even a thing and especially now, it is so hard to meet and talk to new people who could potentially turn into someone you’d want to date. I have yet to reach a point where online/app dating is something I want to partake in, and since I work from home now and only go to the same 2 places each week, my pool of potentially meeting someone feels very limited. I discovered Between Believers Speed Dating through Twitter at the beginning of the year and knew it was something I’d want to participate in. I’ve always wanted to experience (an in-person) speed dating event so I could get to talk to new people without the pressure that comes with going on hours-long dates. You can read more about what helped bring me to the decision to participate in this event here.
I had a blast getting to talk with 4 new guys in just 5-minute intervals, and getting to ask questions and talk with people from different places and walks of life was really cool. I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone, trying something new, and I ended up feeling accomplished that I did something *active* to try and get into the dating scene. (Afterwards, I learned that this is not a scene I want to be in right now LOL)
Spent a weekend in Beaufort, South Carolina with my girls and their significant others. Getting together with my roommates from college are some of my favorite times, and I’m grateful that they never make me feel like I’m totally fifth-wheeling when I’m with them and their guys. We walked along Hunting Beach and the Spanish Moss Trail, caught up on our show that we watch together, This Is Us, saw The Meg at a drive-in theater, visited some old church ruins, and played FishBowl and CodeNames, which are some of our favorite games. It was such a good and wholesome time together, and I can’t wait for our next visit!
Took a solo trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Following my weekend with my friends, I decided to drive to Charleston to spend some time alone to decompress and explore this beautiful city. This was the first solo trip I’ve ever taken with no plans to meet up with anyone else, so I was completely on my own schedule and loved every minute of it! I’ll have a separate post coming soon about my time there.
Walked (and sometimes ran) in Bartow Family Resources’ annual 5k-for-life. When a friend told me that she and her mom were participating in this run, and then another friend told me what the fundraiser was for, I knew I had to do it. It was so fun seeing people decked out in their glowing apparel, and the firework show after the race was spectacular – the below display was my favorite moment! This was such a fun night, and I love that the money raised from it is going to support life-affirming services.
via GIPHY – A picture alone wouldn’t do this moment justice. I love that I was able to capture the beauty of the firework display and the reaction of my friend’s mom!
What I discovered
Looking for the Middle podcast – I stumbled upon this podcast at the beginning of the month and is now my go-to podcast for when I want to listen to something lighthearted but still serious. These women have conversations around the topic of dating as a Christian (can you tell I’m really engaging with this theme right now? Someone set me up with a great guy and save me from this mild misery), and I’ve found it to be relatable, encouraging, and hilarious, as well as helpful and affirming that I’m not alone in my frustrations with the Christian dating scene. My absolute favorite episode so far has been Looking for Unicorns, where they talk about how dating in and of itself isn’t that hard – it’s the process of finding someone to date that is. Can I get an amen??
MacBailey Candle Company – I discovered these gorgeous and lovely-smelling candles while shopping at the Charleston City Market, and I am obsessed! I love the simple cement vessel and that it can be used even after the candle has been used up. I purchased a gray one in the scent ‘Grapefruit + Mangosteen’ and a white one in the scent ‘Linen’.
Old Whaling Company – Another local small business from Charleston, this company handmakes bath and body products inspired by the sea with fresh and coastal fragrances. I picked up some soaps, roll-ons, and body butter from them in the scents ‘Oatmeal Milk + Honey’, ‘Coconut Milk’, and ‘Seaberry + Rose Clay’.
Pretending I’m at a Dive Bar playlist – I have only been listening to Taylor Swift’s Folklore and Evermore since 2021 started, but I was in the mood for something different one day while I was driving somewhere. This playlist is a great compilation of older, popular songs that always bring me feelings of nostalgia and put me in a great mood.
What made me smile
My Airbnb host – When I went to Charleston by myself I stayed in the most charming Airbnb with a woman and her poodle, and it was such a pleasure getting to hear her expertise on the history of Charleston and have someone new to talk to in the evenings. She made me feel like I was a new friend coming to visit more than just a guest in her house, and I’m grateful for my time with her. I’m planning to buy one of her books soon too!
A friendly female solo traveler, Taylor – When I was walking by Rainbow Row in Charleston, I saw another girl there by herself trying to get some pictures so we helped each other snap some photos! She even directed some of my poses 🙂 When we were parting ways she offered me her phone number to meet up with later since we were both alone, and it was such a sweet gesture! Unfortunately, our plans didn’t line up, but nonetheless, her willingness to spend time with me – a total stranger to her – left my heart feeling full.
Playing CodeNames with friends – I mentioned in my January review that CodeNames has become one of my absolute favorite games to play with a group of people. Whenever I love something a lot, I’m usually scared that I hype it up too much to other people I want to share it with and am always worried I’m going to let them down. Thankfully, all of my friends loved the game so much that we stayed up until 2 am during our trip playing it!
What I wrote down
“Here I am, Lord, uncomfortable and tired. Ready to be done. Knowing there are yet more days ahead before this is lifted (if ever). Am I faithful, or a quitter? Am I thankful or complaining? I am both. I am all. But what I rest in, is that I am thine.” – Christine Keegan
“The most profound personal growth does not happen while reading a book or meditating. It happens in the throes of conflict when you are angry, afraid, frustrated. It happens when you are doing the same old thing and you suddenly realize that you have a choice.” – Vironika Tugaleva
“Even though our grandparents got it wrong, and our parents got it wrong, and we’re getting it wrong, and our children will get it wrong, and their children will too…but by God’s grace, we’re all setting it a little bit more right as we go.” – Lore Wilbert
“I got tears in my eyes, but they were not the crying kind, they were just the kind that shows you your body agrees so much with what your mind just said.” – Elizabeth Berg
“Resist the urge to be impressed. And resist the urge to tear down.” – Lore Wilbert
“Presence is not solidarity. Knowledge is not solidarity. Solidarity is the kind of unity that costs you something.” – BlackLiturgies
“Let go of your expectations and resentments for what life should gave given you. Be easily delighted and cultivate an enormous capacity for joy.” – Shauna Niequist
Where I saw God
My church is finishing up a sermon series from the book of Ecclesiastes, where seasons, the vanities of life, and enjoyment of God’s good and beautiful gifts are major themes. Along with spending time in this book that’s oftentimes overlooked for an entire sermon series, the beautiful beginning signs of the new spring season coming in really resonated with me this past month, making me notice the awe and beauty of renewal in nature and life that the Lord orchestrates in due time. I took notice of the blooming flowers and color changes (and my allergies did too) and experienced a good bit of renewal from getting to spend so much time with my friends and exploring new places. As the preacher in Ecclesiastes states, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (v.3:1), and “He has made everything beautiful in its time (v.3:11).” This past month I was thankful to see so much evidence of that beauty blooming.
What I’m looking forward to
April is going to be a busy month! I’m looking forward to celebrating a good friend’s birthday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday at my church (please come join us!), throwing a bridal shower for my sister, learning video editing so I can share my trips, and diving into this Being + Doing course from Monk Manual. I’m challenging myself to a no-spend month except for essentials, and I’ve already gotten an accountability partner lined up to help reign in my spending and help keep my self-control in check. I’m thinking about writing a few extra posts this month about some topics that are a bit more vulnerable and have been taking up a lot of space in my brain. I want to practice being braver with my words, and that means sharing them with others and hopefully starting conversations that would be beneficial to me as a person and writer, and others as a reader and friend.
Refreshed. Renewed. Awakened. Those are the words I’d use to describe what March did for me. Springtime, let’s do this!