new york | pictures & words

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This past weekend, Caleb and I took our last vacation/long weekend of the summer. We visited the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, ate a sicilian pizza at L&B Spumoni Gardens, and were able to spend time with my Aunt Cindy and four younger cousins (Emily, Luke, Aaron, and Baby Joy). 

I learned four very important things on this trip: 

1. Be nice to everyone – especially the man in charge of the entrance to the Statue of Liberty.

I left my photo ID at my grandparents’ apartment, but he still let me go up to the crown after seeing my ticket, and my Facebook profile page. Thanks again, Ryan the ticket man. You’re awesome.

2. Children will always have more energy than you.

I work 32 hours a week with young children, and let me tell you… just because a child is your cousin, is cute, and is well behaved, does not mean they won’t wear you the heck out. They will most likely also eat more pizza than you.

I came back tired, but very happy.  

3. The Lego store is a let down. But building with legos is SO much fun.

4. Making sauce with my Papa is something I wish I had done more when I was younger.

For me, this was probably the highlight of our time in the city. Papa is one of a kind, and anyone who meets him is impacted in some way. He is encouraging, supportive, giving, and makes the best sauce and meatballs. I woke up early on Saturday morning and followed him around the kitchen, watching him measure throw in handfuls of oregano in the pot, and even helped to make the meatballs. I hope that I’ll be able to recreate it on my own…but I can’t make any promises.

This time with my grandfather was so precious, and helped me remember why I love him so much. He claimed he doesn’t have patience, but he was a pretty great teacher this past weekend. : )

Hope your summer is ending well! 



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lovely things: weekend edition

This weekend we stayed home.

After a summer of going, going, going…it was nice to relax at home without weddings and long car rides.

Here are a few things that I found lovely:

(most links and pictures found on tumblr)

1. I woke up this morning & was so thankful for our apartment.

We live close to school / both of our jobs, and I always feel safe in our apartment complex.

I love that even though we’re renting, and planning on leaving Phoenixville in the near future, we have still made it a home.

A beautiful, cozy, love-filled home.


APARTMENT2*Please note the water stain from falling asleep with wet shower hair*



2. Milo.

He gives me so much joy, and I like to talk to him over breakfast. He really is the sweetest.

Milo not only likes to eat Life cereal, but also enjoys:

– sweet tea

– ice cream

– crunchy leaves


He fell asleep with his little paw on my foot.

milo sleeping

3. I’ve been working out at the YMCA pretty regularly, and needed new music to keep me motivated. Every song on this playlist is gold.

4. Pomplamoose.


5. Flowers.

I wish my flowers had really bloomed, but there’s always next summer.


6. Riptide // Vance Joy

7. Caleb and I “babysit” for a single dad that has a 17 year old son. We basically hang out with the kid, and watch the game show network; it’s a really sweet deal. Last night we made dinner, watched t.v., and had ice cream.

I’m thankful for random babysitting jobs, and seemingly spontaneous provision.

God definitely always knows what we need, even before we do.

ice cream

8. This dog. It almost makes me want to buy a puppy.

9. Finally, babies.

I go through moments when I don’t ever want children (mostly because I’m scared, and the thought of motherhood gives me anxiety), and moments when my baby fever is at an all time high.

This weekend I really just wanted to hold a baby.

I wanted to smell that clean baby smell, and wrap a little bean in a soft Ikea blanket.

Am I super weird for wanting that?

Because I am not pregnant (and will hopefully stay that way), I settled for adorable pictures of babies on tumblr. Here are two of my favorites:

baby baby 2

Photo Credit: Love & Squalor

Basically everything Lindsey Ocker does is beautiful.

I really am a sucker for good photography (if I could choose any other profession besides teaching, it would most likely be photography).

baby babyPhoto Credit: (

Katie Purnell is wonderful as well.

What are some things that made your weekend lovely?

the final wedding

I am all wedding-ed out.

Thankfully, the three weddings I was a part of were lovely.

  • lovely brides
  • lovely grooms
  • lovely cakes
  • lovely scenery
  • lovely love

This past weekend, I celebrated the wedding day of one of my dearest friends, Elizabeth. We met during our first year of college, and quickly became buddies; bonding over shrimp cocktail, and our mutual love for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. In all honesty, it was more our love for Joe Lando/the tomahawk wielding Sully that brought us together. Please. Watch this: Elizabeth is one of the kindest, most genuine souls I am privileged to know, and while I wish I could have done a million times more to relieve her stress this past Sunday, I am honored to have played the role of bridesmaid. I am honored because she is:

  • constant
  • supportive
  • encouraging
  • hilarious
  • understanding
  • able to answer my medical questions because she is a nurse
  • also, this:

we took turns wrapping ourselves in my comforter because it was like sleeping in a cloud.

 Rare are the friendships that can be set down for a semester of college classes, and picked up again over a panini at Panera Bread. Far and few between are those that remain silent due to busy schedules, marriages, and distance, yet lend an encouraging word or a listening ear in a moment’s notice.

This is Elizabeth.

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She was also an incredibly beautiful bride.


liz 2

I have come to the realization that I love…love. I didn’t shed a tear on my own wedding day, but standing at the altar next to Katie, then Meredith, and finally, Elizabeth, my heart was akin to a bowl of maple & brown sugar oatmeal. I have also discovered that what I love most about weddings now is not what I loved when I first became obsessed with all things bridal.

I used to spend hours avoiding homework, swooning over pictures of wedding dresses, and engagement rings. I vowed never to wear strapless. I didn’t. No regrets. I thought constantly about bridesmaids dresses, wedding venues, and the timeless debate between indoor and outdoor ceremonies. Wedding photography became a troubling obsession. I hated sepia. I still kind of do.

After being a bride, and now a bridesmaid three times over, my favorite part is the vows. Yes, I still love bouquets, dresses, and first dances, but what I have loved the most about each wedding this summer is watching three of my closest friends vow their love, respect, and devotion to their significant others.

My first year of marriage has been one of the most wonderful and fulfilling years of my life thus far, yet I know that years to come will not be as calm. Times will be rough. Times when I think to myself, “why did I marry this man that just ate my last cheese danish?” (I only say this because I just ate our last cheese danish)

The times when the vows become the most significant, I feel, will be when giving up seems to be the best option. When I think to myself, “I deserve something better, and I don’t want to try any harder than this.”

These are the times when I will need to cling on to the phrase “I choose you.”

And this is why I love vows. I want to believe that love can be eternal, and couples are still willing to choose love, and to fight for it. I want to believe that love can still be as exciting and exhilarating 20 years down the road, as it was when Caleb first saw me that night at Applebee’s, and when I finally noticed him that night at the vending machine. And I want to believe that e.e. cummings’ words will always ring true for not only me, but for my three newly married friends as well.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

So, I dedicate this post to you, dear Elizabeth. And to Katie. And to Meredith. And I hope that this next year is as lovely and sweet as each of you are.

m o n t r e a l

It’s official.

Caleb and I have mastered the art of long weekend trips.

In four days we: 

  • visited Saratoga National Historical Park
  • crossed the Canadian border (after an hour and a half wait)
  • navigated through the streets of Montreal and found our hotel
  • went to Mont Royal Parc, and climbed 400 steps to reach the top (
  • visited the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal
  • visited Olympic Park, and went up to the top of the Montreal Tower (the tallest inclined tower in the world)
  • walked around the Old Port, and climbed to the top of the Clock Tower (192 steps)
  • we also ate Poutine at La Banquise…where Andrew Zimmern ate Poutine on his Montreal edition of Bizarre Foods
  • on Sunday, we went to mass at the Notre Dame Basilica, which also reminded me why I do not frequent Catholic services in my spare time, and also why I appreciate my personal relationship with God
  • Sunday was also the day we decided to bid adieu to Montreal, we Pricelined a hotel in Lake Placid, NY, and crossed the border once more

Our Poutine Review:

Caleb: disappointing.

Kelly: it was delicious. Because mine had bacon.

Of course, I also have to add that although we had a car during this trip, we walked everywhere, making our weekend even more incredible; incredible because we were able to stop whenever we pleased to appreciate the city, and incredible that our legs and feet still work.

 Field Notes on Montreal: 

– everything is in French

– there are a lot of hipsters

– everyone drinks…all the time

– food is expensive everywhere

– I want to learn French

– I want cheese

My favorite part of our time in Montreal was definitely the Notre Dame Basilica. Caleb tried to take my picture inside the basilica, but I felt awkward doing so, and promptly deleted the picture of myself standing there not knowing what to do with my arms. I looked at all of the other tourists visiting from various places around the world, and wondered if they felt the same way I did. If they were blown away by the beauty of this place like I was. I mean, just look at it:

There was a stillness and a reverence that accompanied this basilica, and I somehow felt that a picture of myself posing near the altar would ruin everything good and perfect about this place. When I mentioned the service in my list above, I was almost hesitant to add the part about remembering “why I do not frequent Catholic services in my spare time, and also why I appreciate my personal relationship with God…” I feel almost rude admitting these feelings, yet I couldn’t help but sit in that beautiful sanctuary on Sunday morning and wonder if the beauty becomes lackluster due to the routine of it all. At the same time, the service was entirely in French, and I wonder if I missed something inspiring or convicting.

By Sunday afternoon, we were ready to head back to the States, and after waiting over an hour to cross the border, we celebrated our return by swimming in Lake Placid, NY, and eating a large pizza in our EconoLodge hotel room.

As for pictures, here are a few of my favorites:

The Hudson River


Mont Royal Parc

Mont Royal Parc

Caleb // Olympic Park

The Old Port

This weekend, we are headed off to Upstate New York to visit my family / I am a bridesmaid in one of my dearest friend’s wedding. Caleb is also really excited because we’re going to Mr. Chicken, a dive in Watkins Glen that has the best chicken in all of Upstate. Pictures and stories to follow. 🙂



update ! update !


It’s been a while…

On Wednesday, Caleb and I drove three hours to Mt. Union, PA to go camping with my parents at Creation Festival. As soon as we arrived at our camp site, it downpoured, despite the claims made by Josh the volunteer that we had an hour to set up our tents before the rain started. Agape Farm became one big muddy field filled with miserable campers, and after two days of muddy roads, extreme heat, overused porta potties, annoying neighbors with guitars, countless packages of hot dogs, and a bag of melted marshmallows, Caleb and I decided to leave early.

As we made the trek back to our air conditioned apartment, complete with running water and one very lonely cat, I didn’t regret our decision to go to Creation Festival, but was, and still am, extremely grateful for the time we were able to spend with my family.

Creation Fest + Sparklers: 




Caleb says that when I’m around my family I suddenly have a glow about me; I’m happy, I’m content, and he’s right.

I feel safe, and complete.

No matter how terrible and muddy camping was, my dad always said something hilarious to lighten the mood, and even ate the chili I made, despite the obvious chunks of onion. My mom was willing to braid my hair, and gave me the hugs that were the most needed. Sophie rolled her eyes, but will always be the only teenager that I can stand, and will forever make me wish that I was back at home for a spontaneous sleepover, where we stay up later than necessary due to strange and creepy noises outside my bedroom window.

I’ve come to realize that a lot of things are like camping.

Change is like camping.

Growing up is like camping.

Bed and breakfasts are like camping.

 You think it’s going to be fun and exciting, and granted, most of the time it is, but at the same time, it can be muddy and wet, and you find yourself stuck with annoying neighbors and a lot of melted ice.

This summer has been so busy, and I’ve tried many times throughout the past two months to sit down and put into words what has been happening in our lives, but I haven’t been able to express (or even understand) how I have felt about this summer thus far.

After the past two days, I know exactly how I feel: The past two months have been one big camping trip.

I finished another year at Valley Forge Christian College, which was exciting, but I put in a lot of work, time, and printer money on papers, projects, and lesson plans. In May, I watched my Super Friend, Meredith, graduate from college, and last weekend, I was in her beautiful wedding. May was also the month of my beautiful best friend Katie’s wedding, along with my 23rd birthday. I started working full time again at the YMCA, and accepted the role of lead teacher in one of the younger toddler rooms, which was a decision I very quickly regretted.

This was the mud and the heat of it all.

Another set of friends moved on and out of my bubble at VFCC, and I was once again reminded that we’re staying here for another year or so. My birthday came, but I had to work, waited for a tow truck, and watched a sad documentary about the whales at Sea World (I was unaware that it was sad). I took a job that I thought I could handle, but began to hate going to work, and eventually had to admit that I simply couldn’t do it anymore. I was relieved when I was moved to a new room, but felt a little embarrassed that I couldn’t handle more responsibility and change.

At the same time, Caleb and I have been able to visit New York City, Washington D.C., and next weekend we are having a belated one year anniversary celebration in Montreal. After Montreal, we are headed back to Upstate New York so that I can celebrate with my beautiful friend Elizabeth as she says “I Do.” Our garden has also flourished, and today we harvested our very first cherry tomato.

This is the part of camping that I love; swimming in a muddy creek, sitting around a camp fire, and eating a hotdog at midnight, after stating that you were full from the 10 other hotdogs that were consumed earlier that night.

These trips have let us escape from our routine of: wake up, go to work, come home, make dinner, put on sweat pants, watch Netflix, go to bed, repeat. I honestly love this routine, but it’s nice to mix it up once in a while.

The greatest part is that I have been able to experience it all with my most favorite man.

The Tomato: 

  Katie’s Wedding: 


    Meredith’s Wedding: 



    New York City: 


(This sandwich cost $18. Not worth it.)



Washington D.C.: 







  And so, the summer goes on.

The miserable moments become stories that will be told for years to come, and VSCOcam helps to capture the perfect moments that you want to share on a blog that only your family reads.

Happy camping, everyone. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen.