Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas [Part I]

book one of my "winter break" adventure.

words I wish I would have written.

naples beach on christmas day.

#fromwhereIstand - christmas day edition 
bonnie loves signs.

nothing like finding a solo cup on the scenic beach. 

merry christmas love alfie

book two.

part of growing up? being domestic.

facetime with my boy(s) clive & jj

#fromwhereIstand - naples pier edition

put a bird on it.

my sweet sweet grandparents.

fireworks over the lake.

I'm spending my holiday "break" in Naples, FL. It is quite a treat and a wonderful, relaxing break. Here are a handful of wonderful moments of the last five days.

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.
  1. I really love Christmas tree stands in parking lots. I don't know what it is about them but I think they are so beauitful. Maybe it's knowing that all of those trees (hopefully) will end up in someones home and lots of memories will happen around them or be hung on the branches. 
  2. Just showing up means more than any gift. On Saturday evening JJ finally premiered his documentary "The Dust on our Feet" to donors, close family and friends. People traveled from Portland, LA, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, New Jersey, and Michigan to be there to celebrate this accomplishment. It wasn't even my project and I felt so loved that evening. The entire evening was such a blessing and I've never been more proud of JJ. Hopefully everyone will be seeing it many film festivals in the future.  
  3. A clean closet is a happy closet. Every season I always get an itch to purge clothes I've been keeping for no real reason besides the thought that I might wear it "someday." Not only did I get rid of a lot of clothes, but I organized my closet by color. Let's see how long it lasts...
  4. Everyone should take a Sunday afternoon nap. This past weekend it felt like everyone in my house was on the go, running from one place to another. On Sunday there was a window of time for about 2 hours that none of us had to do anything so we all sat down on the couch to watch some TV. Quickly our TV time turned into all four of us napping. I wish someone could have taken our picture. 
  5. Watching people with their friends helps you know someone better. For JJ's premier a  close friend of his Alec flew in from Portland. Alec went to school with JJ and helped him film parts of the documentary in Honduras. When Alec arrived the three of us went out to lunch in the city. It was so fun for me to simply sit at a table with them as they reminisced about college, discussed film, talked future plans and just laughed. I feel so lucky when I get to experience those moments.   

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Amor Fe Esperanza

I've mentioned the documentary that JJ has been working on since the beginning of my blog. And after a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, the documentary is finished!! 

This coming Saturday is the premier. He will be showing the film to donors, family, and close friends. I feel really blessed that I've had a front row seat at the story that JJ is telling and the creative process which he has poured over these last two years. One small part of the premier this weekend will be selling some artwork. 100% of the proceeds will go to the school AFE (Amor Fe Esperenza.) 

In the last couple months I've started to dabble a bit with photography and am actually going to sell some stationary of the pictures that I took while I spent a week with JJ in Honduras this fall. It has been really fun to create and actually very therapeutic. 

Above is a little taste of my creations. Excited for what's in store. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Below My Feet

"Below My Feet" - Mumford & Sons

I know that the new Mumford & Sons album came out in September but I cannot stop listening to it. This song specifically. On repeat all day today.

"Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn"

Gosh, so so good.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.
  1. The Half the Sky documentary is just as powerful and wonderful as the book. Half the Sky's vision is to spread awareness of that educating women is what is going to change families, communities, countries, and the world. Check out more information here.
  2. Simply just holding a cup of coffee always makes me feel better. 
  3. Working with close friends makes work not just manageable but truly enjoyable. Over the weekend I worked a weekend camp for hundreds of high school students with Young Life. Although it was a lot of work being able to work alongside people I love is such a blessing.
  4. Old fashion colored Christmas lights are my favorite. Last night JJ and I took his dog Flash for a walk around his neighborhood. The houses were all decorated so beautifully but the ones with those colorful bulbs will always be my favorite.
  5. I don't like when it's sixty degrees in Chicago in December. I might be singing a different tune come February but right now it's suppose to be cold and snowy. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November Twenty Twelve

Another month has come and gone. And so has another playlist.
  1. Soon, My Friend - M83
  2. Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing - The Welcome Wagon
  3. Second Chances - Paper Route
  4. Love is All I Am - Dawes
  5. Devastate Me - Rachel Yamagata
  6. Letting Go (feat Sarah Green) - Lupe Fiasco
  7. Far - Canopy Climbers
  8. Lay Low - Shovels & Ropes
  9. None But Thee - Young Oceans
  10. House of Gold - Patty Griffin
  11. Swallowed In The Sea - Coldplay
  12. O' Be Joyful - Shovels & Rope
  13. Someone - Future of Forestry
Any recommendations? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Tis the Season

Shirt: F21. Sweater: JCrew. Denim: Citizens for Humanity.
Boots: Frye boots. Earrings: JCrew. Pin: Gift from mom

It's finally here. Christmas time. It's amazing how immediately after Thanksgiving everything happens to be in full blown Christmas mode. It seems everywhere you look, twinkle lights are on and Christmas Carols are playing. 
And I am not mad about it.

 The day after Thanksgiving, JJ and I decided to have a date day instead of participating in any sort of Black Friday sales. We walked around downtown (I must admit, ducking in and out of stores because it was so frigid!), drank some hot chocolate, ate an early dinner and went to see Skyfall. 

It was the perfect way to begin the holiday season.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Things I Learned...

... this Thanksgiving holiday in photographs.

1. Sweet & spicy sweet potatoes with red onions are a dream. This was the first year at Thanksgiving we didn't serve traditional sweet potatoes. It was the right decision. Especially for the left overs.

2. I'm grateful that my family lives so close to one another. JJ and I got to spend Thanksgiving with both of our families. It was nice that we were able to share the holiday with both of parents and grandparents.    

3. There is such thing as "smart casual" or "dressy jeans." On Saturday I went to tea with my two best friends from high school, Gwen & Alex, and Gwen's mom for Gwen's birthday celebration. We called ahead to make sure that we were dressed appropriately for the event and we were instructed that the attire was "smart casual" and if we were to wear jeans, they need to be dressy jeans. Who knew that was even a thing?
4. Puppies just never get old. Here's Alfie. 
5. JJ surprised me last week with some beautiful fall flowers and they really just make a room feel better. There's something special about fresh flowers. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


we were just there together.
and that was enough.

- perks of being a wallflower [stephen, chbosky]

Monday, November 19, 2012

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.
  1. It's good to take time and reflect on where you come from. On Sunday afternoon I had the chance to attend a fundraising banquet for Young Life in the town I grew up in with my mom. Young Life has played such a huge role in my life and has been the foundation for my faith. I was so encouraged by the way God is continuing to show up boldly in the lives of high school kids there. 
  2. In the same vain, I had brunch with my closest high school girlfriends on Saturday. There's something so wonderful about catching up over an egg scramble and a bloody mary. High school girlfriends are irreplaceable. 
  3. I've been a terrible long distance friend lately. Right now as I sit here typing I can think of 4 different friends of mine that I owe not just a phone call but probably a long weekend of undivided attention. 
  4. I've overdosed on chinese food. Last week I ate chinese food three times in five days. It felt like a wonderful idea at the time. I assure you, it was not.
  5. I'm an ENFJ. My roommate Kelly became obsessive about personality test and has been making everyone in her life take it. They really are fascinating, I learned a lot more about myself... like I prefers harmony to discord, I often have a diverse range of friends and acquaintances, and I seek approval from other people. Other ENFJ's? Abraham Lincoln. I am in good company. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Java Break

Coat: Free People. Cords: Citizen for Humanity. Tee: American Apparel.
Boots: Target. Sunnies: Ray-bans. Scarf: TJMaxx.

The University of Kansas has been good to me in many ways. 
One of those being allowing me to spend four years of my life living in the same city as this woman.
Ladies and gentlemen, the third guest post on Echo Grace, Lisa.  

When Lisa and I met for our very first coffee date during our college orientation we could not have been two more different people. Lisa wore baseball hats and thought bike riding was fun. I liked sperry topsiders and watching movies. That didn't stop us from becoming quick friends. Lisa helped me pick out my very first baseball hat and I helped her pick out an outfit for Thanksgiving break. We had met in the middle. [Bonus: her mom still credits me for all Lisa's style and to this day I will never correct her!]

You may recognize the coat Lisa's wearing from this post. 
One jacket, worn two totally different ways. 
Lisa and I, two really different people, 
one awesome friendship. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Things I Learned...

... This weekend.
  1. I actually like high school football. The high school where I lead Young Life at is undefeated and in the state playoffs. And I really find it exciting. Minus sitting out in the freezing cold, it's fun to watch the kids I know and love, be excited and proud of their peers and their community. I'm honored that I get to play a small part in that and participate in their excitement. 
  2. No matter how many puppies I see, they're always exciting. On Sunday my parents got the cutest little next puppy named Alfie. I'm in love. He's a havanese. Don't worry, I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures to come.
  3. Lake Michigan is gorgeous. On Saturday my dad and I drove up to western Michigan to celebrate my grandma's birthday and to be with family. My grandparents live in a small town with one stop sign (not even a light, just a stop sign!) right on Lake Michigan. I think that God has blessed us abundantly by painting beautiful skies for us but there is something different about a fall sky over water. 
  4. The book Perks of Being a Wallflower is just as good the second time around. I read the book going into my freshman year of college and loved it. I'm in a book club with some friends and we chose it again. There are so many different things that stuck out to me but I loved it all the same... "Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve." Gosh, gets me every time.
  5. As I was following the Kansas Jayhawk football score on twitter this weekend and was yet again said to see a loss. I had a moment realizing that the Kansas Jayhawks play their first regular season game on Friday. Watch out southeast missouri state. I'll be wearing my game day flannel Friday. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

October Twenty-Twelve

It feels like a sick joke that it is already November. I feel like I blinked and October happened. This past month the organization I work for held our biggest fundraising event. Pulling off a fundraising event meant lots of long hours and late nights in the office. Grateful for these sweet tunes to get me through the month of October. 

  1. Over the Moon - Rosie Thomas
  2. Hoping for Home - Trent Dabbs
  3. Diggin' in the Sand - Josh Rouse & The Long Vactations
  4. Soliders - The Rocket Summer
  5. Now is the Start - A Fine Frenzy
  6. Under Streetlights - Brooke Annibale
  7. Spirograph (from Hands of Glory) - Andrew Bird
  8. Poisoning the Well - Matthew Perryman Jones
  9. You and I - Paper Route
  10. Ghosts That We Knew - Mumford & Sons
  11. Broken Horse - Freelance Whales
  12. O Theo - Matthew Perryman Jones
  13. Broken Crown - Mumford & Sons
Got any good recommendations for November??

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Significant Moments

Dress: Madewell. Blazer: Gap
Bag: Marc Jacob's (via Nordstrom Rack)

Kate has been mentioned in about 50% of my blog posts so it only seems fitting for you all to meet her! Here she is ladies and gentlemen, my best friend and my roommate.

I'm really grateful for Kate's companionship. She's been around for a lot of big moments in my life and just as many silly moments that have been the most significant moments. 

She's stood next to me during times that my heart is broken but also in times where we watch mindless reality TV and laugh together about gossip magazines. I've spent countless nights in her trundle bed and gone on more shopping trips than I'd like to admit. I also wouldn't make any huge life decision with out her wisdom.

Everyone should have a friend like this. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flight & Suspension

Earlier this year I posted about a photo competition that my good friends from college started, River to Well. 100% of the proceeds go to building wells in under privileged countries in Africa.

Tonight begins the first of three showings. 
First they'll stop in Lawrence, KS then head to Denver and on to Minneapolis. 

I'm excited to share that yours truly got two honorable mentions! Both pictures were taking on my travels to the great state of California this summer. 


The rest of the winners can be seen here. 
Worth checking it out! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

All Things Go, All Things Go

I fell in love again
All things go, all things go
Drove to Chicago
All things know, all things know
- Sufjan Stevens "Chicago"

I got the chance to spend the day in the beautiful city of Chicago with Kate and Lisa last Sunday. 
What a perfect day. Here are some snapshots.