Thankful (or trying to be…)

Some weeks I don’t feel as thankful as I should. This week is one of them. To combat the cranky, mean, stinky, bad attitude, here’s a list of what I’m really thankful for lately:

That we’re both gainfully employed. I’ve never quite understood the term “gainfully,” but I think our jobs are that. Even when we complain that we’d like more vacation time or that we’d rather be doing something else. The alternative to employment is much less exciting.

Non-stick cookware. Even though we still create mondo-messes in the kitchen, cleaning up represents the fact that we have food to eat and that it could take much longer to clean up. Shout out to grandma for the non-stick goodies.

The dogs that live above us. This one is a stretch since I really find no enjoyment in the animal kingdom whatsoever. But the scratchy paws on the wood floors and the yips and yelps mean we have neighbors when we could be living all alone. Yelps trump loneliness. Must… remember…

A $2,300 bill. This large payment was a smaller portion of a much larger sum created by yours truly while at university. While making the final payment hurt a little, it felt good to know we had rid ourselves of a $16,000 debt and now we’re free. Thanks, Dave.

Family. Sometimes family can feel like a repetitive poke in your eyeball. We can only say this because Kyle and I are often the pokiest. But when it comes down to it, we have two of the coolest families around. Holidays, here we come.

Not having a kitchen table. I know we’ve discussed this before, but sometimes it seems like our house can only be clean for ten minute increments, then it’s back to the chaos. But in all reality, creativity is what keeps us alive, inside and out. And God. But you already knew that.

What are you loving about today?

PS: Don’t forget, it’s not too late to win the Amazon gift card from yesterday!

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Time

It seems to me that time is where the war of the 21stcentury is being waged.

There is (and always has been) a finite number of hours to be spent by humans every day. I think we can all agree that the increase in the number of ads, blogs, TV shows, sporting events, restaurants, friends, websites, networks, and gadgets over the past 10-15 years has made those hours more valuable than they used to be. Supply (the hours you have) has stayed the same while demand (the number of things demanding your attention) has increased. In economics that means what is being demanded (your time) becomes more valuable.

But this is not an economics class.

We simply want to thank you for spending your valuable minutes and seconds reading what we have to say on this blog.

We don’t always know what we’re talking about but we always try to put thought and effort into what we’re saying so that you (the reader) might walk away changed in some small way…even if that means your day is happier because you’re giggling at something idiotic I did. Especially then.

This blog has helped shape who we are and who we are becoming because it creates a sort of real-world accountability. For example, when we see people now they might ask “hey, how’s that minimalism thing going?”

What we say: “Ohhh…yeah, it’s going pretty well”
What we’re thinking: “Wait, you actually read that, oh, crap….wow, we really do have to get rid of some of our stuff, people are calling us out on it”

It’s sometimes bizarre, always challenging, and mostly, it’s real. So thank you, more than you know, you guys are changing us even as you’re reading about us. Ironic, I know.

And just for fun (and because you’re awesome) we’re giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon so you can read something other than us.

All you have to do is leave your name and favorite blog (other than ours) below. Giveaway lasts until 11:59 EST on Tuesday, November 2

Kyle Interviewing Jen

10 for Jen

1. Who’s your favorite person in the world right now? Hi. You know it’s you. I’m not asking you this question because I know it will be some famous athlete and my feelings will be hurt.

2. What was the last crafting project you worked on? I tried to make a stuffed animal. It was supposed to be a giraffe, but his legs ended up on his sides instead of under him. Like he was a baby giraffe just learning to walk. I think I’ll make him into a pin cushion.

3. What has been the most rewarding part of writing on Marriage Project every day? I know we say this all the time, but it really does force you to be creative. It stretches me to think and create and write. And it’s a lot less scary to be vulnerable and share my heart when I’m doing it with someone else.

4. What one thing do I do that you didn’t expect? We had a friend recently ask what we were most surprised by since we’ve been married. Everyone always made jokes about how different it is to live with a boy… hardy har, tee hee, etc. At least I thought they were jokes. The thing is, Kyle was so clean and organized before we got married. It only makes sense that it would carry over, right? Hi- he has a wife to clean up after him all day, what’s the point of being clean? We have discussions quite often that start like this: “Cakes are these your shoes in the middle of the floor? They’re going to cause a fight…”

5. Who is your fictional character hero of 2010? I wish it was someone from a book since that would make me sound more intelligent, but it’s probably Tami Taylor

6. If you could play any sport professionally what would it be? Tennis. Minus the tennis elbow.

7. If you could have one tool to make this blog better, what is it? A graphic designer.

8. You can be transported to one country NOW, where are you? Possibly Israel. New obsession.

9. What is your lasting memory from our wedding? This is a hard question because I feel like I mostly remember all the little things that went wrong, even though nobody noticed. I know I’m not supposed to focus on those things, but it’s hard not to when you put so much time and effort into it. But my favorite memory is probably seeing all our friends and family after the video. That, or driving to Oklahoma City with you after the wedding.

10. What book are you dying to read? They’re not really reading books, but I have three on my Amazon wish list right now; all sewing books. Handmade Beginnings, The Bag-Making Bible, and Twinkle Sews. Gah, I’m an eighty year old woman.

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AONC

Jen used to have a blog called “Unconventional Everything.” It was a quaint little blog, it was fun, a few people read it (I suppose it’s still out there in the blogging stratosphere somewhere), but she abandoned it to write over here at Marriage Project. Not only have I turned her physical world upside down, but also uprooted her digital existence! #FAIL by me.

Her blog though really was great. It was all about the space outside that box we always hear about. Though I must say, to her, things are rarely thought of as “outside the box” because “the box” doesn’t exist in her world.

Which leads us to Chris Guillebeau.

He of the world-famous (literally) blog (that I just discovered) called “The Art of Non-Conformity.”

Seth Godin (who else?) led me to him with a post of his own and I dove in head-first, like a fourth-grader diving for candy at the deep end of the community pool. What? Public schoolers didn’t do that?

So I bought his book.

You need to buy it too. I’m pleading with you. If you buy one business/entrepreneurship/change the world book in 2010, make it this one.

The concepts he writes about are not far-fetched nor are they complex. Rather his writings organize and tie together a lot of the thoughts, ideas, and dreams I would suppose most of us have had at one time or another. And they apply to every facet of business, art, and relationship you can imagine.

I love books and I usually find that I can at least glean a few things from each one I read. There are very few books, though, that resonate with the kind of permeable optimism and passionate proficiency this travel hack turned writer portrays.

The majority of people you know (probably 99%) will never read this book. Don’t be one of them. The life you want to live, one of serving others and supporting your family while participating in an activity you love every single day might not be as far off as you think….

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Saturday Roundup

We got a few requests this week: a good list of blogs we read (started that on the right) and more pictures on the Saturday roundup, check that one off too. Anything else you guys want to see on here, @ us on Twitter or send  an email. We need the accountability, trust me 🙂

Enjoy your weekend.

Groveling I tell you.....

[Starting clockwise from the top…you can click on the pictures OR the links below]

Seth Godin had a great and seemingly insightful post yesterday on being inspired.

A story we heard on NPR. Take 5 minutes and listen to the audio part, it’s so much more powerful than the text.

If you haven’t read this book yet, please do, I’m begging you, I’m groveling. Really I am, Jen’s staring at me, I’m on the floor on my knees typing this out.

Photo Attribution: Glasses | Umbrellas | Book

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Maps > Apps

A 3-part question: Where would you go? How would you get there? What would you do when you got there?

Our answer: Brazil. Fly to cape horn and sail up the South American Coast to Rio de Janeiro (no clue if this is even possible). Eat lots of Brazilian food, visit this, and get on a boat down the Amazon. Terrifying, exhilarating, and exhausting. What a great thing to save our money for! We really do love to travel despite what you might have read. There’s something freeing about intentionally stepping away from your computer or phone, going outside, being somewhere you’ve never been, seeing the world. Maps over apps baby. Maps over apps.

What’s your answer?

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Monday Book Giveaway

Enough about us. We want to thank YOU, the people who have been reading, so we’re giving away a book about love today.

Here’s how it works: all you have to do is click on “comments” below and post a comment telling us what your favorite thing about Mondays is.

That’s it.

We will randomly select a winner tonight and email them so they can choose from two of our faves below…

Mystery of Marriage – Hands down the best book either of us has ever read about love, marriage, and maybe even Christianity. It seems like every other sentence could be a chapter in and of itself. Unbelievably profound read.
          

Sheet Music – This one came highly recommended from some of our best married friends, and with good reason. It’s the perfect “we’re Christians and we’re about to get married and do stuff we’ve never done before even though we don’t feel old enough to do it because we giggle every time someone says a word you’d find in an anatomy book” book. It’s also good if you have done it, aren’t a Christian, and don’t giggle at anatomy book words.

It should be noted that we both read both of these books while we were single so you can’t play the “I’m not married so I can’t participate in the giveaway” card. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Oh, and if you already have both of them then we’ll send you something different!

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