life

Life Lately: Family History

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 In late August, we headed up to Chilton,Wisconsin to celebrate my grandmother Emma's family at the Big Schmahl family reunion. My grandmother was one of 10 children from German immigrants, Anna and Peter Schmahl. We gathered in the Eagles Club in their hometown with family I both recognized and family, to be honest, I didn't. On one side of the room, several tables were filled with picture, albums, certificates and the above painting. I knew exactly whose hand produced the work without even seeing the piece before—my father. The line strokes felt familiar and it drew me in as so many of my father's sketches over the years have. The picture is of my great Uncle Peter Jr.'s hotel that still stands in the downtown area of Chilton, now renovated to apartments. I loved that my dad contributed so many years ago to the legacy of his family in the best way he knew how, capturing it in art. He has so many memories going to the hotel when visiting his grandparents, aunts and uncles during the summer, and of the hotel being the hub of large family gatherings and a staple in the town. I loved that he and my mother have past this love of black ink and paper to me, and the desire still lives on in my hands to capture family moments.

I leafed through the pictures showing off the family my father knew and cared for, and I knew only through stories. I read through memories of my grandmother as a young girl growing up in the town, stories from her sisters and brothers and I saw the naturalization certificate my great grandfather was so proud of. He and Anna made a bold choice to move from the country they knew to raise a family in the United States at the turn of the century. My father told me it was one of my great grandfather's most cherished possessions, and now it is mine too. 

Life Lately

I look at my life this year and am in awe in the direction the Lord has pulled myself and my husband. If you would of told us in January of the steps, leaps and step-backs we would have this year I would of thought you were talking about some one else's life. Just like most things in life, the sweetest things come slowly and surprise you when they finally arrive. 

In the course of the year we have committed more to growing in to taking so many steps in our lives. Steps into improving our marriage and relationship, steps in our walk with Jesus, and steps in relationships with friends. I took steps away from a secure, wonderful job into the unknown of self-business to take steps back into an office part-time. Reid took steps to a healthier lifestyle in both meals and working out, and in conjunction we both took steps to run races along side church members in partnership with World Vision to bring awareness of clean water. 

That decision has changed our entire year and our hearts forever.

In the last few weeks we took steps out of our comfort areas and had the privilege to visit Kenya and Uganda along side church mates and World Vision staff to see where the money we raised was being used and how the Lord is working in both these countries through World Vision. I will have to write more later on our amazing trip, but I know for the fact the Lord is doing a mighty work to change lives through the resources World Vision is helping to provide and the amazing staff they have all over the world, and specifically the Buliisa, Uganda team. I am in awe of how He uses people as mighty vessels to bring about change and how deep His love runs through his children. 

Then in a matter of hours we will be taking steps to move, yet again, to a new apartment. We now have the privilege to work with the organization Institute for Community by being apart of their Community Life program to help promote community and belonging within a specific apartment complex in Arlington Heights. We can not be more excited to meet our new neighbors and get to do life alongside them all! 

And just like that I look back and see that all these steps have created such an interesting and exciting journey that I am thankful I could have never imagined for myself. I often think what my 18 year-old self would say knowing she would be here at 25 and all the layers that led me from that freshman college version to the version I am today. She would be shocked, but not concerned; It wasn't what my 18 year-old self planned, but when is it ever what we planned? I thank God that his plans are sweeter and far more expansive than mine will ever be at any age.

Here's to many more steps, step-backs and directions changes ahead. 

 

 

Links to Love : VOL. 9

Seeing logo development and origins is always a cool thing. I love the progression of these MLB logos over the last 100 years.

I may be late to the party on this, but have you seen this App by Adobe? I'm so excited to try  out Illustrator Draw for the iPad.

A cute way to vamp up some old flat ware or add spice to that collection of mismatched soon in the drawer.

Though I didn't finish my personal #100DayProject - I loved what Mary Kate McDevitt did with her  100 days.

Adult friendly coloring books are a real thing and they are a beautiful. Here are a few of my favorites I have seen out there: Querkles, Secret Garden, and this one of Mid Modern Patterns.

The Essentials : The Airport

Images by Caroline Hutchison for Linalulu Paperie

Images by Caroline Hutchison for Linalulu Paperie

Vacations and traveling can be really fun. Going to the airport, on the other hand, can be not so fun. I have had the opportunity to travel more this year and have found a few essential things I now can’t travel without:

(Clockwise)

Slip-on Shoes: Getting through security can be a breeze if you set yourself up for it. Waiting on a cold tile floor as I push my belongings through the x-ray can be, well, gross. I wear simple flats so just right before my turn to walk through I can slip them off to toss in the bin and easily slip them back on once through.

Lite Reading: I usually bring a short book and a magazine with me. Having either to switch back and forth is great when you're not sure how long your wait is or to pass time on the plane. For even lighter reading, download Audible or OverDrive app and listen to your book.

Sketchbook & Pens : The airport is incredible people watching, and usually has great art pieces decorating the terminals. I have a sketchbook with me to capture all the funny moments and when inspiration strikes.

Chap stick: ...and a lot of it. The plane is dry and you can never have enough chap stick.

Jacket or Sweater: Jackets are nice in case of a cold airport or airplane. Plus they can double as a good blanket or pillow if need be.

Snacks: The airport food court always seems tempting to just grab food, but with higher prices and strategically placed Starbucks kiosks, I opt to bring food like granola bars or fruit snacks to tide me over. Plus it helps with the travel fatigue and meltdowns.

Water bottle: Just like carrying chap stick, having a water bottle is always smart to keep you hydrated and ready for anything that comes your way.

Carry-On Bag: One of the most important things to make sure you have, man or woman, is a sturdy, versatile carry-on bag. A bag with reachable pockets for your phone and wallet, a zipper closure to make sure nothing falls out when you slip it under your seat, and both short and long shoulder straps that can carry heavier items like a laptop with out strain or snapping.

Other travel essentials for me:
Ear buds, Phone Charger, Cash, and Comb & Toothbrush - You never know when you will need to freshen up.

What are your travel essentials?