spread your wings

"Seek ye the beautiful and the good"
Dear boy, You are my greatest adventure. Happiest of birthdays. Love, girl.

Dear boy, You are my greatest adventure. Happiest of birthdays. Love, girl.

Everything she sings turns to gold. 

Current obsession. So. Many. Emotions.

101 in 1001. 

12. Conquer a fear.

This past weekend, we rode a chiva (think party bus, but made out of wood with no sides to it and painted like a rainbow) around Baños and it took us to a zip line over a ravine. 

This is something I wouldn’t normally be gung-ho about and hanging from a wire across a thousand foot drop isn’t really at the top of my list of things to do, but it fit into this list and the moment felt right.

I asked the boy, “Want to try it?” He looked at me like I was crazy and then said, “Are you serious? Yes.”

So there we went. Fear conquered.  

101 in 1001. 
70. Lose a pant size.
Alert: shameless selfie.
I actually might not have lost an entire pant size, but since I can’t really buy new jeans to use to measure my success on that while I’m in Ecuador, I’m just declaring victory over this goal anyway. 
Since we got here three months ago, I’ve lost 15 pounds. I practically came out of the womb with hips built for babies to sit on, but now my hips are literally non-existent. I didn’t set this goal because I thought I was fat, I just wanted to see if I could do it.
I have done nothing amazing to accomplish this except walk everywhere. We average about an hour of walking everyday. Just to walk to the orphanage is a 20-25 minute hilly walk in the morning and again in the afternoon, not to mention if we ever walk to dinner or to other people’s houses. 
I feel a lot like I cheated on this one because I kid you not my diet staples here are french fries, rice, and ice cream. However it happened though, hips don’t lie… the inches are gone and my clothes are baggy. I’m sure when we move back to the states or goal 27 is accomplished the effects of this goal will be completely reversed, but in the meantime I’m enjoying my success. 

101 in 1001. 

70. Lose a pant size.

Alert: shameless selfie.

I actually might not have lost an entire pant size, but since I can’t really buy new jeans to use to measure my success on that while I’m in Ecuador, I’m just declaring victory over this goal anyway. 

Since we got here three months ago, I’ve lost 15 pounds. I practically came out of the womb with hips built for babies to sit on, but now my hips are literally non-existent. I didn’t set this goal because I thought I was fat, I just wanted to see if I could do it.

I have done nothing amazing to accomplish this except walk everywhere. We average about an hour of walking everyday. Just to walk to the orphanage is a 20-25 minute hilly walk in the morning and again in the afternoon, not to mention if we ever walk to dinner or to other people’s houses. 

I feel a lot like I cheated on this one because I kid you not my diet staples here are french fries, rice, and ice cream. However it happened though, hips don’t lie… the inches are gone and my clothes are baggy. I’m sure when we move back to the states or goal 27 is accomplished the effects of this goal will be completely reversed, but in the meantime I’m enjoying my success. 

101 in 1001.
68. Ride a horse.
I’ve never been a big fan of horses. Like, ever. I’m not scared of them, I just haven’t ever been particularly fond of them. Our neighbors (loose term in small town Missouri) growing up always had at least three or four horses and they were pretty enough, but I liked them better standing in the field than I did riding on their backs. 
We took the oldest girls at the orphanage to a nearby city one day and rode horses up a mountain. Of course, being the lucky little thing that I am, my horse was the leader of the pack and for the first 300 yards took off at a dead sprint to get to the front of the line. By the time someone finally told me what the commands were in Spanish, my heart was beating out of my chest.
In the end, all was well. We made it up the mountain and back down unscathed and Numero Uno and I even became friends. This number has been crossed of the list and I don’t foresee riding back up into the mountains anytime soon.  

101 in 1001.

68. Ride a horse.

I’ve never been a big fan of horses. Like, ever. I’m not scared of them, I just haven’t ever been particularly fond of them. Our neighbors (loose term in small town Missouri) growing up always had at least three or four horses and they were pretty enough, but I liked them better standing in the field than I did riding on their backs. 

We took the oldest girls at the orphanage to a nearby city one day and rode horses up a mountain. Of course, being the lucky little thing that I am, my horse was the leader of the pack and for the first 300 yards took off at a dead sprint to get to the front of the line. By the time someone finally told me what the commands were in Spanish, my heart was beating out of my chest.

In the end, all was well. We made it up the mountain and back down unscathed and Numero Uno and I even became friends. This number has been crossed of the list and I don’t foresee riding back up into the mountains anytime soon.  

101 in 1001.
57. Go to the equator (again!).
Our first month in Ecuador was filled with adventure. One of the best was spending a day in Quito, acting like tourists.
My heart was full and free with my best friend in the middle of this crazy world.

101 in 1001.

57. Go to the equator (again!).

Our first month in Ecuador was filled with adventure. One of the best was spending a day in Quito, acting like tourists.

My heart was full and free with my best friend in the middle of this crazy world.

Being on the mission field is hard. 

The work itself is easy. The kids are our saving grace. They come running up to you with their arms open wide like they’ve never in their entire lives seen anyone they wanted to hug as tightly as they are about to embrace you. I constantly stand in awe as two little arms wrap around me and feel so lucky to be the one God has chosen to love them in that moment. 

Everything about being here is easy. If we don’t compare it to home and take it as we are right now, we really have nothing to complain about.

Except people. 

It’s amazing that God calls his people to this tiny town in the middle of Ecuador for His good and His purposes and no one can figure out how to communicate with anyone else. 

Never in my life have I considered myself a quiet person and I walk around here unable to think of anything to say to the people I work with. 

When I think about the way we came here, the people who we dearly love, the ones who pray for us, encourage us, and the ones who support us financially, I wonder what they see in us that the other missionaries don’t. I wonder how these people who love us so deeply came to do so and what is missing from our lives here to create more of those relationships.

It’s amazing that in the midst of the work we’re doing, these are the things that permeate my thoughts. And then, in the midst of it all, God whispers to us that He is here. That each of us needs grace. From Him. From one another. 

And so, we start again the next day. Working hard at what we know we are good at. Loving God and loving people. 

"Because I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Caught up in words, tangled in lies.

But you are a Savior and you take brokenness aside and make it beautiful, beautiful.”

Listening to this song on our little couch in the middle of Ecuador and remembering that we’re in the right place. 

(Source: Spotify)

Sometimes the only cure for sadness, the only thing that stops the aching and missing, is knowing you loved someone with all of your heart. Every last drop. 

Sometimes, when death hits us with it’s powerful blow, remembering the reason death holds sadness is the only thing powerful enough to cure it. 

We are sad because you taught us life. Because you loved us unconditionally. Because at the core of life, you held goodness. 

Sometimes the only cure for sadness is remembering how fully you loved.

We still don’t have any internet (aside from sitting on the steps outside our house and stealing it from the people downstairs) but we do have good views. 
We haven’t thrown up or cried, so we are declaring victory over our first week in Ecuador. 

We still don’t have any internet (aside from sitting on the steps outside our house and stealing it from the people downstairs) but we do have good views. 

We haven’t thrown up or cried, so we are declaring victory over our first week in Ecuador. 

Bravery is a beautiful, mysterious, wonderful thing.
This sums up perfectly my feelings about the next five days.

Bravery is a beautiful, mysterious, wonderful thing.

This sums up perfectly my feelings about the next five days.

She quietly expected great things to happen to her, and no doubt that’s one of the reasons why they did.

—Zelda Fitzgerald (via perfect)

(Source: elladotceron, via quote-book)

101 in 1001.

I saw this really cool post called 101 in 1001. Basically, you make a list of 101 and one things to accomplish and you have 1001 days to complete it. Every time you check an item off the list, you take a picture, write a blog post, and deposit $10 into your savings account.

I usually hate things like this because - one: I feel like a 15 year old on myspace, two: I never actually finish them (case in point, the 50 project that is currently sitting at 43 [I will finish that thing!]), three: I hate lists.

However, in one thousand and one days I will be 26 years old (about to be 27) and there is a great deal of - pardon the expletive - shit I would like to think I’m going to accomplish before then.

So, by May 4, 2016 here are 101 things I’d like to think I would have done with my life.

1. Run a half marathon.

2. Visit New York City.

3. Buy a house.

4. Eat an entire Chipotle burrito.

5. Learn guitar.

6. Ride a roller coaster.

7. Create that Etsy account I’ve been talking about.

8. Make a video on iMovie.

9. Take a personal day just because.

10. Get another tattoo. 

11. Blog at least once a week for a whole year.

12. Conquer a fear.

13. Try the Daniel Fast again.

14. Make five fancy recipes.

15. Go to San Francisco.

16. Grow a plant.

17. Pay for a stranger’s meal.

18. Swim in an infinity pool.

19. Finally take a honeymoon.

20. Climb a mountain.

21. Have my own classroom again.

22. Be working on my masters. 

23. Learn Spanish.

24. Eat fish.

25. Read ten books.

26. Go on a cruise.

27. Have a baby.

28. Re-read the Harry Potter series.

29. Watch all the HP movies in one day.

30. Find a red wine that I like.

31. Stargaze.

32. Milk a cow.

33. Write something important.

34. Make an adventure book.

35. Settle into our forever city.

36. Be front row at a concert.

37. Throw a surprise party.

38. Finish The 50 Project.

39. Picnic with the boy.

40. Work on my handwriting. 

41. Win something.

42. Run 90 miles in 90 days.

43. Give a 100% tip.

44. Go to a Georgia game as an alum.

45. Subscribe to a magazine.

46. Create a print.

47. Make a visual of this list.

48. Go to the airport and buy a random flight, explore a new city, and come home.

49. Inspire someone to write their own list.

50. Save for something totally unnecessary that I really want.

51. Write a letter to myself.

52. Make 10 things off pinterest.

53. Have a progressive dinner.

54. Get a new piercing. 

55. Take a photography class.

56. Go sailing.

57. Go to the equator (again!).

58. Go to a beer tasting.

59. Make homemade pasta.

60. Write letters to three people who have made a difference.

61. Journal everyday for a month.

62. Buy a new album and learn all the words.

63. Eat an entire pizza.

64. Go to a soccer game.

65. Donate blood.

66. See the sunrise and sunset in the same day.

67. Learn a poem by heart.

68. Ride a horse.

69. Keep the house clean for a month.

70. Lose a pant size.

71. Meet someone famous.

72. Lie in bed with Simba all day.

73. Do all the P90X workouts.

74. See a play.

75. Go a month without candy.

76. Adopt another puppy.

77. Finish a crossword puzzle.

78. Complete a 365 project.

79. Have a conversation in sign language.

80. Complete 7 goals in a week.

81. Thank the chef at a restaurant.

82. Sponsor a child.

83. Get a blog book made.

84. Go to an NFL game.

85. Skinny dip.

86. Listen to every song on the Now CD’s.

87. Ride an elephant.

88. Build something from wood. 

89. Take a photo with the instax once a week for a year.

90. Cook at home for an entire month.

91. Three words: Harry Potter World.

92. Do yoga once a week for a year.

93. Answer the “50 questions that will free your mind.”

94. Sing karaoke.

95. Do the splits.

96. Splurge at dinner on a good bottle of wine.

97. Learn to dive.

98. Coach a winning team.

99. Plan out an RV trip.

100. Finish a 1000+ piece puzzle.

101. Do something awesome with the money saved from this project.

This is hypothetically how packing will go this week.
We’re talking very hypothetically.

This is hypothetically how packing will go this week.

We’re talking very hypothetically.