Sunday Seven – 1/18/2015

1) First and most important, our beautiful niece was born Tuesday morning! Her name is Eleanor Jane Ryan 🙂 We now have 4 nieces and 2 nephews (a third nephew due in April!)!

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2) Next plan to see family is in March – we are going to Florida for a week with my side of the family! We are flying into Atlanta then taking a car rental to drive the rest of the way. It will be Chad’s first time seeing Sea Escape, the house my family rents out on the island. 🙂

3) Chad made homemade pico de gallo a few weeks ago and now I’ve started making “homemade” chips.. So we’re definitely a good pair 😉

4) Dance Moms. I am sadly invested in the show Dance Moms. 😛 I’m trying to figure out how to watch season 5, the current season, without cable, for free, haha.

5) We made it a full week without eating out. Naturally I want to reward ourselves by eating out?!?

6) It’s tax season. I got a W2 from Wells Fargo yesterday. I can’t believe I worked there last year! It feels so long ago.

7) Chad and I are very excited for our upcoming trip to Montreal! A French city in Quebec, Canada. We will be there the weekend of our Anniversary!!!



New Year


Photo on 2015-01-05 at 21.59 #2


2014 pushed me in some beautiful, difficult ways. Moving from home (forever my home), to a foreign place.

I am a go-getter and am ever more confident in my capabilities.

But it was also a year of some forced optimism.

Now, in 2015, I’ve decided to face my darkness. First with humility, to learn from it. Then with strength, to defeat it.

It sounds dramatic, I know… But I think of beautiful photos, and before the beautiful photos are produced, they go into a dark room to develop.

I’m not choosing suffering in 2015. I just want to feel out what I’m thrown this year and learn from it all. 🙂


-Chad… Just kidding,




28-Song Countdown to Xmas!

Chelsea & I have been in the Christmas spirit for two weeks now–we’re glad to see that many of you are catching up now that Thanksgiving is over. 🙂 Yes, we’ve been listening to Christmas music non-stop for the past two weeks (an abomination to many of you, I know), and we won’t let up until Christmas is over!

I wanted to share a Spotify playlist of my absolute favorite Christmas songs.* I decided to limit myself by making it a “countdown”: there are 28 days from now until Christmas…so that’s how many songs there are lol. So here they are, in ranked order (from top-to-bottom, best-to-“worst”): Continue reading

My Parents Visit! Pt.IV – “At Other Ole Places”

Between being at Gordon-Conwell, Boston, & the Atlantis Oceanfront Inn, we went to a few other places. We spent time at Bearskin Neck in Rockport, MA and at a handful of restaurants on the North Shore:


Although my photo edit makes it look rather bleak, Bearskin Neck is a cute, little shopping district with a ton of hole-in-the-wall shops. The road lined with shops eventually becomes a thin peninsula, with water on three sides of it.

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My Parents Visit! Pt.I – “At the Ole Gordon-Conwell”

Chelsea & I can’t wait to go home for Christmas–we love our families, we love our Des Moines. But two weeks ago our home-cravings were (temporarily) satisfied: my parents visited us! They had never been to New England before, so we were honored to show them the [few] ropes [that we know of]. Here are some things we did while hanging out at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary:

Dad & Mom on campus. They came at the perfect time: perfect weather, leaves turning, leaves falling.

Dad & Mom on campus. They came at the perfect time: perfect weather, leaves turning, leaves falling.

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