Hey everyone! We’re back with our 10 Things I’ve Learned series after two weeks off. (Sorry about the delay. We’ve been working on some mega technical changes behind the scenes with this site, but it should be running smoothly now and showing up in your feed. Whew!)
But our guest poster today hails from the blogosphere and (where I’d love to be right now) the sunny shores of Florida — meet Aggie!
Chances are that if you’ve searched for a recipe online, you’ve come across Aggie’s delicious food blog, Aggie’s Kitchen, where she has been blogging now for nearly six years. Yes, six years is an eternity in blogland, and there are hundreds of scrumptious recipes and healthy living tips on her site to prove it. I especially love her Italian dishes, many of which she learned growing up in an Italian home with parents who ran an Italian restaurant for years and year. (Check out her Italian Style Stir-Fry, Perfectly Baked Italian Herb French Fries, and Ricotta and Spinach Fritters, to name a few…)
Beyond the blog, though, Aggie is a proud wife and mama to three sweet kiddos. (Yes, that cute little monkey in the middle just arrived 6 months ago, and gives the greatest smiles on Instagram!) And somehow she also still manages to take time to be a great encourager to so many bloggers as well. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard bloggers comment about how grateful they are for Aggie and the faithful friend and supporter that she has been over the years. And even though I have yet to actually meet her in person (which needs to happen soon, Aggie!), I can say without a doubt that her kindness has made my life all the better as well.
So without further ado, here is Aggie sharing 10 things that she has learned.
I have officially added something to the list of my favorite things on earth: open windows.
The weather has been up and down here since the calendar officially welcomed in Spring. But through those past few weeks, even tonight’s glorious thunderstorm, my windows have remained open. Sometimes cracked, sometimes flung wide. Sometimes letting in a few bugs that make me squeal, sometimes raindrops that plink plank on the sill like a symphony. But always opening up my little home to the sounds, smells, breezes, sunlight, and beautiful views of the world around.
Today’s contributor to the 10 Things series is someone whom I’ve never officially met in person, but was introduced to in the coolest way — through the comment section on this blog!
That’s right. Over the past year or so, I had begun to notice that some girl named Julie kept leaving these thoughtful, encouraging comments on the site, especially on the posts about being single. She seemed like the sort of friend I would love to grab a cup of coffee and chat it up with about life and faith and dreams and such. So I clicked through on one of her comments, and found out that (surprise!) she was actually a blogger herself at Girl On The Move!
Somehow I seem to have surrounded myself in life with friends who are amazing with words.
I’m sure you know what I mean. They are those people who always have the perfect encouraging or comforting thing to say when a friend is having a hard time. They are those who can send back a witty, hilarious email at the drop of a hat. They are those who can pair a poignant lyric with a melody that gives an entire audience goosebumps. They are those who can write the blog post that says it all. They are those who can pray words that give a glimpse into heaven itself. They are those (well, many of them) who even chose to be writers, editors, English teachers, linguists, songwriters or bloggers, and get to spend their workdays creating and honing and sharing beautiful words with the world for a living.
Kind of similar to last week’s post from Janelle, I basically had a friend-crush on Kelly before I ever met her. It began in the church where I used to work (as did Kelly back before my time), where I was captivated by these enormous, colorful, bright paintings that were hung all over the drab, gray basement where we officed. On days when the fluorescent lighting and lack of sunshine would start to crush my soul (no less), I got in the habit of walking into the hallways to just stare at these paintings for awhile, and then life somehow seemed a little more beautiful. Of course, I came to find out that they were created by a girl named Kelly, who had moved on to create her own small business as an extremely talented photographer, and — small world! — actually attended the same midtown church as me.
So of course, I wanted to meet her. But it wasn’t until my work schedule changed and we started attending the same service for a few years that our paths finally began to cross. I finally figured out who she was when she got up in front of the church as one of the people who shared the greeting and announcements once a month, always weaving in a life story that was a mini-sermon in and of itself, which had an uncanny way of being exactly what I needed to hear that week. So as you can imagine, by the time we finally met, it was that totally awkward oh-my-gosh-I-feel-like-I-know-you-but-I-don’t-but-I-want-to gushing (on my end) and of course, that gracious-warm-amused kindness on her end.
I’ve decided to start a new little tradition in my home — Friday flowers.
I used to think that I wasn’t one of those girls who loved flowers. But I’ve come to find — especially during the cold and gray days of winter — that I in fact really crave having something lovely and alive and growing in the house. So since I have a mega brown thumb and am terrible at tending actual houseplants, the idea of fresh weekly flowers sounds like a lovely idea. Especially in time for the weekend. I also admit that I know nada about flower varieties or flower arranging, so I’m hoping this little tradition might push me beyond of my normal grocery store bouquet habits and into some new territories of loveliness.
Today I’m happy to introduce you to one of the first friends that I was introduced to when I moved to KC nine years ago — Janelle!
Janelle and I met when we were both working down the hall from one another in the basement of a local megachurch. There were a zillion people on staff, but I remember singling Janelle those first few weeks as someone I really wanted to meet because she (a) liked changing her hair color as often as I did (b) was the only person I knew who had decorated her office with all sorts of stylish natural lights to ward off the Big Bad Florescent Lighting (c) had a reputation as being generally awesome and hilarious. Sure enough, all of those proved true, and we became fast friends.