Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the one loving our apartment

I have to admit that since we've been looking for a house, I've lost all desire to decorate or invest in our little apartment. I still clean it, take care of it, and occasionally rearrange a few things but beyond that, I've already mentally moved on.

In some ways, I think that is healthy and fine - no point in spending money on a place that we will be leaving in a few months. But I also think that it's important to train my mind to be content whereI am and not always be longing for the next thing. I know that once we have a house, I will miss this little place. 

So here is why I am thankful to be living here for the next few months:
-If something breaks (oven, dishwasher, light bulb), we don't have to replace it
-Everything is livable, and comfortable, and homey (I've heard it takes awhile to make a new house a home...and I can only imagine how much longer it takes when you are buying a fixer-upper)
-Amazing location! Right next to frankie's (score!), 3 minutes from work, and 5 minutes from every restaurant option we could want :)
-Living in a one bedroom apartment makes you cut down on clutter and extra things
-I really love the kitchen
Old picture but you get the idea
-I love the double vanity in our bathroom
-Our master bedroom is HUGE
-Our place is "cool" according to our little nephew, Finley, who thinks its awesome that we live on the second floor :)
-Our sweet neighbor, Pam

This is our first place together. I wanna soak it all in as much as possible before we move on to the next thing. This place will always hold such sweet memories and hilarious moments from our early days in marriage. I really am thankful for such a wonderful apartment!

Friday, March 23, 2012

the one from mast general store

My sweet husband was gone this past weekend on a Men's Retreat and brought me home a surprise! While he was there, he went to Mast General Store with his dad & brothers - such a cool mountainy store. Anyway he came back with something that I never knew I wanted until I saw it :) 

Check it out: it's a wine bottle candelabra! 

Duh I had to try it out! so I grabbed two green wine bottles I'd been saving for another craft...

Look how pretty they are!!!!!

All lit up! I think they look elegant and classy and unique! I love them!

I love surprise gifts! Can't wait to use these in our new house :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

the one cleaning up the fridge

Naw, dawg. I did not actually clean the fridge, especially inside it...that might be my least favorite chore :) I just cleared up that clutter on top! It was driving me crazy. And I know our fridge front itself looks cluttered but we kinda like it that way. It's all cheerful and full of sentimental fun things like Rob's drawings from when he was a kid and photos of my grandparents. We like it:)

This is what the fridge looked like before:

We moved the platters into the armoire to clear up space on top so I just shifted everything!

We really actually don't drink that much :) Almost every one of those bottles is left over from our wedding!
Isn't it so much cleaner now!

Now we can actually get inside those top cabinets (I have to stand on a chair but of course Rob can reach it easily).
A place for all my glass bottles ive collected! And our ice bucket :)

Beautiful servingware from my Jodes! And some of our china.

So much better! I love reorganizing!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the one where spring is here

One day this week on my lunch break, I went home for lunch and just had to snap some photos of these beautiful trees outside my apartment :) YAY for Spring!

Do you see little mister bumblebee?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the one featuring a downtown raleigh date

Three signs of a great date night:
Mexican food in Downtown Raleigh

Beautiful sunset while driving around looking at houses

(You can see a bit of the downtown skyline here)

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! Don't worry - have the KK app on my phone so we made sure to get there when they were "hot now"

We had a great date night in what we hope will be our new neighborhood - Downtown Raleigh! It was beautiful weather - birds were literally chirping as we sat outside on the patio, stuffing our faces with awesome mexican food :) We also drove around to see a ton of houses that are on our list - to check out the neighborhoods. And of course we topped the night off with fresh Krispy Kreme Doughnuts!

Looking for a house is overwhelming and pretty stressful at times. Rob and I both feel like all the romance of living in a underserved neighborhood is gone now and we are just directly faced with a more realistic picture of what our lives with be like. It's very overwhelming. BUT we are so thankful for this feeling of anxiety, fear, and a lot of anticipation because it is making us completely rely on the Lord and the Holy Spirit within us to help us make this decision. It's scary but we have a peace because we are following Jesus.

And as a huge side note, there is no other single person in the whole world that I would rather walk through this with than Rob. I am so incredibly grateful to God for giving me such a wise, steady, godly husband.

Friday, March 16, 2012

the one with march madness

In honor of UNC's first game in the tournament today(!), I had to share some photos expressing my deep LOVE for my Heels :) Needless to say I will be cheering them on as they play at 4:15 today!

Risers freshman year :) We all made tshirt jerseys of our favorite players :) #34 NOEL baby!

Risers, again (duh). Mark also had a belt that flashed "Go Heels" awesome!

At the Elite Eight game in Memphis in 2009! So fun!

Memphis crew! (Thanks again to Worth!)

Pregame excitement before Championship Game in 2009!! :)

Celebrating on Franklin Street after we won in 2009!!


Epic exhaustion the day after we won :) Welcoming the team back in the Dean Dome. And yes Kath & I skipped class to go! (Duh, again!)

I just love the heels!! Can't wait to cheer them on!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

the one featuring rustic

I just watched an episode of Kitchen Cousins (one of my new favorite shows from the wonderfulness that is HGTV). And the whole theme of the kitchen was rustic, which just reminded me how much I love that country/rustic/natural/vintage/homey feel :) I really want to put a lot of rustic charm in our house when we have one.

Here are some photos I wanted to keep around for inspiration for later decorating!

I think anytime you can incorporate wood on the walls or ceiling... it's so beautiful.

I could do a whole post on wood ceiling beams! I LOVE them. But I'll just limit myself to a few photos :)

I love love love this fireplace and can't wait to try to do a facade for a fireplace (if we have one!)

I really love this light!

Can't beat a farmhouse sink

Lots of these everywhere :)
Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Little watering cans of flowers! So practical, right? paha!

Love the church pew!

And last but certainly not your hearts out.

Monday, March 12, 2012

the one featuring glory to God

Today I encourage you to read this blog post from my sister, sweet Caitie bird. She's 19 years old and serving as a missionary for 9 months in Honduras. This blog post is humbling, beautiful, and awesome. Praise God! (I underlined my favorite part below)

by caitlin hope keegan
I've been thinking about a lot of general things about missions today. It all started when I realized how grateful I am for my family and the way they love the Lord. My parents are such great examples of what it looks like to trust your whole life to Christ. They're not perfect, no one is. But, I can't remember a time in my life where I ever questioned their love for the Lord and their love for me. That is so incredibly rare. But the reason I am grateful for them today is because they love the Lord more than me. They haven't put me on a pedastool this year and praised me for going to a different country, they have praised the Lord who lives in me. They have thanked him for his goodness and guidance. And so have my siblings.
I think it's so easy to forget that missionaries are nothing special. We have no special abilities or strengths that have made us more capable than others. I am a shy girl, I love the Lord, I am not fluent in Spanish, I hate meeting new people, and I am 19. What part of that makes me able to live in Honduras for this year? The Lord. Every other part is shouting "don't go!" and yet, the Lord has called me to this place. Although I have the stubborn, defiant Keegan gene, Jesus quieted my heart long enough for me to agree to go. And since being here, He has confirmed more and more that it is not me doing good works here, but Christ in me. I fail in the language, I don't have any idea how to teach a special needs child to speak, I don't like putting myself out there. And yet, I find myself doing things daily that involve all of these things. And, sometimes I succeed at a task. And those days, I have to remind myself that Jesus is to be glorified. Because if I was to leave tomorrow, the Lords name would still be glorified here.

And so, I am so thankful for my family and their ability to understand that. Because I think if they didn't praise Jesus over me, my heart would be filled with selfish pride. Turns out, God knew what he was doing when he made me a Keegan.
" The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion's treasure."
Isaiah 33:5-6

the one with our heart

So you all know that we have been looking at houses and praying about what God would have us buy. And we are SO excited about owning our first home - I can't wait to paint the walls, decorate, and make it ours.

But what we are most excited about is the opportunity of ministry that our house will allow. We are looking to buy a house in an underserved/underresourced neighborhood in Raleigh. We want to live in a neighborhood that is outside of our comfort zone and where we can reach out to not only help meet spiritual needs...but also physical needs. This is just what we feel called to do with this next step in our lives and we could not be more thrilled about it!

We first started praying about this idea early last fall and we have only gotten more and more excited about it. We know that it will be more challenging and different than what we can imagine. We know it will probably be the hardest thing we've ever done. That's why we committed to be praying about this decision every single day since January 1, 2012. We want to look back on this time of preparation and be confident that this is what the Lord was calling us to.

So while floor plans and yard size and layout are all important to us - the most important thing is location and our neighbors. Will you pray with us that God would lead us not only to the right house but to the right neighborhood and street where we can do ministry?

The verse we are praying for our new home and neighborhood and ministry is this one below. It is the first words of Jesus' ministry, written in the book of Luke. As Christ-followers, we really want to follow His example. Obviously we can not do miracles in people's hearts and lives by our own power - but Jesus can and we can carry His message of hope and new life!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the one in kansas city!

Rob and I had a great weekend in Kansas City, Kansas for the FCA Staff National Conference. About 900 staff and their spouses came for a weekend of refreshment, teaching, prayer, and encouragement. For me, it was a great opportunity to see the vision of FCA on a bigger scale and celebrate all that God is doing in this ministry throughout the world!

We stayed in an amazing hotel room - comfiest hotel bed I've ever slept in. Most of the food was provided but we got to explore on our own for lunch on Friday and Saturday. We didn't venture far but it was fun to walk around a little bit :)

View from our hotel room window!

Amazing coffee maker in our room. It's like starbucks version of Keurig!

Breakfast Friday morning

It SNOWED while we were there!!! I didn't get any of the actual snow because none of it stuck but man I loved seeing this little snowy weather forecast.

On Friday night, we were surprised by the Robbie Seay band coming to lead us in worship for about an hour! It was awesome and Rob & I both really liked their music/style.

Morning view from the hotel room :)

Exploring on Saturday! KC has these awesome tunnels so you don't even have to walk outside (which was nice when it was really cold)

Roberto in the tunnel

Union Station

Awesome BBQ place - Jack Stack BBQ! I loved the atmosphere and decorations - check out that awesome lantern chandelier!

We may or may not have skipped part of the session Saturday night to cheer on our Heels to VICTORY! :) Still feels so so good!

And before we knew it, we were on a plane on our way back home! Goodbye, KC!

We saw a fire from the plane! Crazy!

Hello Dallas

Favorite snack during our layover in Dallas

Unfortunately I didnt get any pictures of the many amazing people I met. I really enjoyed hanging out with the eastern North Carolina team - especially Clay & Will and their wives/fiancees. it also was just great hanging out with Rob's Triangle team - Quinn, Johnny & Beth, and Nash & Beth. He really works with some incredible people.

I'm so thankful that God has provided us with jobs and ministries that we LOVE and believe we are uniquely equipped for. Praise God!