Merry January

This Christmas was the first  since I was a young child that I have had a real Christmas tree. Dave and I decided we wanted the authentic smell of Christmas in our apartment, and I have been appreciating it every single day that tree has been here.

It no longer has the same fullness it arrived with, and it’s dried out so much a mere graze of a shoulder sends needles and branches plummeting to the floor. I told myself I would take it down today.  But when I got up this morning and performed my morning ritual of breakfast-coffee-turn Christmas tree lights on-admire tree,  I just couldn’t do it.

So I write this, basking in the glow of the white lights on our straggly tree for another day, a candle burning on the coffee table, sweatpants on. We may have returned to work yesterday after two glorious weeks off, but I’m still holding on tight to the holidays.

Our first Christmas together, both as a married couple and at all, was a whirlwind of family and friends, meals together, time at the cabin, and unfortunately a bad head cold that kept Dave home for three days. Ultimately, after so many days filled to the brim, we ended off 2015 in bed and asleep by 11:00pm.

I wouldn’t change it, and I’m also not so superstitious as to believe that how you spend 11:59 on December 31st will be any indication of the year to come.

I certainly couldn’t have predicted that  last New Year’s Eve- the one where I wouldn’t let Dave give me a kiss at midnight because we weren’t technically “in a relationship”- would launch us into the Very Best Year.

In the spirit of reflection, 2015 truly was just that. The Very Best. God revealed, as He has time and time again, that the Very Best is absolutely worth waiting for.

The way 2015 unfolded felt like the most natural and normal thing in the world, despite the huge changes and transitions. The peace and surety of God’s hand in all of it is overwhelming, it’s awesome and so difficult to put into words.

We spent the last year growing a life and seeking Jesus together, and it has been sprinkled with the love and support of our friends and families. 2015 felt permeated with the sparkle of Christmas magic, and we’ll treasure it for the rest of our days.

So because Christmas really should be a permanent season of the heart, who cares that it’s already January 5th. Merry Christmas, everybody.

And Merry January. May you continue to bask in the glow of your Christmas tree lights, guilt-free, until at least Old Christmas Day tomorrow. IMG_8424

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fully resting in

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 9.59.46 AMDear readers,

I see that a full three months has passed since my last post.

Please forgive me for my absence, and accept the above screen capture of my Instagram account as a partial update.

Much of my motivation to blog today comes from a blogging tradition I started for myself.  Each Thanksgiving, I try to make a list of every thing I’m thankful for, and it’s a task I look forward to every October (among many other things I love about October.) This year, more than any other, I am nearly overwhelmed with gratitude for my life and its blessings.

In the time since my last post, life has been a whirlwind of changes. Summer came and went. I got married. I moved in with Dave.  We went on the most perfect honeymoon to Port Rexton and Fogo Island. Another  year of music lessons began, and I’m getting ready to launch my newest career endeavour (stay tuned- I have a website coming!)

I simply do not know how to compile a list this year. I don’t know how to convey how I never dreamed I could be so happy, or that I’d have someone by my side who complements me so well. I can’t begin to describe how magical our wedding day was (but I will definitely try in the coming weeks.) I can’t tell you how much I love our life together, our little apartment and what it feels like to anticipate seeing Dave walk in the door at the end of each day.

We have all our needs met in a God who loves us so much and loves to give us good gifts.

Amid all the whirliness and busyness of life,  that’s what I’m most grateful for and it’s what I’m fully resting in this Thanksgiving.

Thanks for sticking around to read this. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend that brings rest, thankfulness, and at least one pumpkin spice latte.

Love,

Robyn

bottle cove love

Our friend Jess, whose amazing photos are often featured here on my blog, had the idea to head to Bottle Cove for some magical evening engagement photos on Sunday.

The weather cooperated, Bottle Cove was stunning, and we had so much fun climbing on rocks, skipping through fields and laughing at the glorious mess my hair was in after being whipped around in the ocean wind.

I just can’t believe I live somewhere so breathtakingly beautiful.

I can’t believe I’m marrying the best man I know in just over two months.

And I can’t get over what an amazing job Jess did with these photos.

I couldn’t pick just one favourite, so here are a whole bunch. robyndave-26robyndave-32robyndave-56robyndave-42 robyndave-73robyndave-59robyndave-67robyndave-96robyndave-114robyndave-74robyndave-133robyndave-125robyndave-130robyndave-147robyndave-161robyndave-186robyndave-191

Alpaca Avenue

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After a long, busy week, I made a request to Dave for a Sunday afternoon drive. Somewhere. Anywhere.

Coffees in hand, we headed for the happiest place in Newfoundland. The alpaca farm!

I always love seeing the alpacas in their fluffy, clueless glory, but the combination of ocean air, Josh Garrels, and time with my favourite person was absolutely therapeutic. I felt my mind relax and my heart swell with gratitude for this crazy beautiful province we live in.

And the alpacas. I love them.

Other highlights of our day trip included matching Roots hoodies (we’re cool) and my first trip to Danny’s Bakery in Stephenville. I have been forever changed.

After a solid sleep that I have fresh air to thank for, I am ready to tackle this last week of music lessons and the sprint to the end of the school year.

Bring on more summer adventures. And see you again soon, alpacas.

little paradise

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“This morning, with her, having coffee.”

Johnny Cash, when asked for his definition of paradise.

I love this photo from an impromptu lunchtime coffee date this week.

Our own little paradise.

We’ve now entered into double digits on the wedding countdown. We’re figuring out what a life together is going to look like, and this time of being engaged is so sweet.

It is Christmas-morning exciting, and as the days unfold, I am more and more amazed by the person God has placed next to me in His perfect timing.

We have a lot to do in our short engagement season, and a lot to learn.

But amid the whirlwind of wedding planning and embracing change that can sometimes seem a little overwhelming, there is a sacredness in the time we set aside to sit and listen to and learn each other that slows everything down.

Yes, coffee anywhere and any time. So long as we’re together.

Our own little paradise.

04 . 03 . 15

Everything you need to know about my Easter weekend:

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What started out as a regular day of April snowshoeing (#newfoundlandspring) ended as one of the most special and amazing days of my life.

We didn’t get a photo of Dave throwing me off by getting down on one knee at the top of the trail and pulling a granola bar from his pocket. But it happened. And it made for a surprising real proposal at the bottom of the trail.

It has been a wild few days and I still find myself in disbelief that I get to do life with somebody who has exceeded all my expectations for the person I would someday marry.

Really and truly.

We are so grateful for all the encouragement and kind words we’ve been given. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I also think it takes a village to uplift and inspire a relationship to be the best it can be.

We love our village and we can’t wait for everything this new season will bring.

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Big thanks to my longtime friend Jess MacDonald for capturing the moments of our engagement. Every future fiancé should hire a photographer who’s willing to dress in camo and hide behind a snowbank in order to get the perfect shots. 

this. guy.

A ten-week blogging hiatus was never my intention, but here we are. Nearly half of March punched, no signs of the snow stopping, and a loss for words about the fullness of my life in the days since the new year began.

I don’t know how to tell you about everything God has been doing and teaching me. But perhaps the purpose of having a blog isn’t so much about the eloquent phrasing of my thoughts as it is about the joy of simply being able to share them.

So in all their in-eloquence and simplicity, here are my thoughts:

These days, I laugh so much.

I wake up in the mornings with gratitude on my mind and in my heart. For life in all its difficulty and beauty, and for the gifts God has given me that I so don’t deserve.

I go to work and some days are really good and some are not as good, but there’s something good in every day. And in between the working hours, there is fun and rest and good conversation and learning.

At the end of each day, I fall asleep knowing my day was full because I am so filled with joy. Overjoyed. Joy in excess. An abundance!

If you’ve wondered why the absence of my presence here, it’s because I’ve been present here. Right now. This moment. This season. Taking it all in and breathing prayers of thanks every day.

To love is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. – Emily Dickinson

I’m sure the words will come, the ones that will properly convey exactly what I want to say.

But in the meantime, just two will do:

this. guy. 

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Also these: ❤ ❤ ❤

2014 in review

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The task of recapping an entire year’s worth of events always feels like an arduous one to me. I mean, who gets to the end of December and says “well, nothing noteworthy really happened this year”?

Because you know what “they” say:

A lot can happen in a year.

A lot has happened this year. And because I believe reflection is important and necessary (albeit time-consuming), herein lies a reflective post of the events of 2014.

(Is this thing on?)

In 2014, I got a little more serious about something I love. I took a leap of faith and was totally blown away by the generosity of my community, who funded my entire missions trip to California. I fell in love with some truly incredible kids in the little town of Biola, kids I miss like crazy and still pray for.

I met a very dear friend I’d kept in touch with over the internet since 2005 in real life. Someone I only spent a mere couple of hours with, but who looked right into my heartI took part in some pretty amazing weddings– both behind my camera, and standing next to one of my childhood best friends. I experienced more Newfoundland splendour. I got visits and hugs from friends and family I hadn’t seen in way too long.

I saw some of the people I love go through some really difficult things, and how they handled them with grace and trust. I also saw some of the people I love go through some really big life changes, some really beautiful and joyous things.

I started this little blog space that has allowed me to connect to people in much bigger ways than I ever thought possible.

I have learned so much. And that’s just the highlight reel.

Like any year, 2014 was filled with its share of struggles and challenges. I have lost count of the number of times I have begged God to tell me why He was closing a door instead of letting me waltz through it like I’d so carefully planned and hoped for.

Oh man, am I glad He closed some of those doors and opened ones I couldn’t have dreamed of finding myself in front of. Am I glad God and I can laugh together about those “plans” of mine.

On this last day of December, I find myself filled with so much hope for 2015 and with so much fondness for 2014. For every hard lesson learned, for cups and cups of coffee and the conversations that happened over them, for music that spoke to me, for every new experience and place that changed me.

I’m reflecting on how I have been gifted with the very specific cast of characters in my life this year, and how each physical season and life season has brought about reasons to be thankful for that.

I’m dreaming about the risks I’ll choose to take in the coming year, about closed doors and open doors and the process of knowing when to keep knocking, when to waltz and when to walk away. How I’ll continue that process in the months and even years to come, but each time a little older, hopefully a little wiser, and maybe with a little more humour and a lot more grace.

Yes, a lot can and will happen in a year, and I can’t wait to see how 2015 will fill the very big shoes of 2014.

Happy New Year, lovelies, may this year be our biggest and brightest one yet.

xo

listen to this | colony house

When Emily came to visit me last weekend, we talked about a whole lot of everything. Because that’s just what girls do.

The list of everything included music, of course. Over the years, we’ve seen how our taste in music is so similar. Anything one of us loves, the other most likely will too.

Emily told me I needed to listen to Colony House, and after only one go around of this album, I’m in love.

Do yourself a favour and listen to these guys. But listen to this song first, because oh man, it is good.

I found life and I found laughter
in forgiveness, I found rest
on the shoulders of redemption,
I found hope when hope was dead
I could lose it in a moment,
so I dare not close my eyes
I’ll watch fear fall with the sunset
and see hope rise with the tide

And when the pain is true,
sometimes these troubles prove that I’m alive.

Moving Forward// Colony House

 

for us, who doubt ourselves

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 If God is Love, He is by definition something more than mere kindness. And it appears from all the records that though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never regarded us with contempt. He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense…it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less. – C.S. Lewis

Listen. On repeat.

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You have to stop believing that you need other people’s permission to be okay with yourself. That however you do or don’t align with what other people value determines your worth. That however the world does or doesn’t show you kindness is a direct reflection of how much you deserve it. You have to be kind to yourself. Even, and probably most especially, when it seems least deserved.– Brianna Wiest

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“There is no one more courageous than the person who speaks with the courage of his convictions.” — Susan Cain

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“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” —  2 Corinthians 12:9-11

Photo 2, 3, 4  cred: Tumblr