Tuesday, April 1, 2014


late sunday night i returned from a 5 day trip to dallas. i attended hope spoken, a conference i have been anxiously waiting to go to for over a year. i have only been to one other women's conference that was related to blogging, but that one was geared almost completely towards blogging, while this one was just hosted by bloggers, so i wasn't sure what to expect.

but it turned out to be so so wonderful. i went in hoping to meet a few bloggers i had made friends with over the last year or two, but ended up making friends with people i couldn't have even dreamed of connecting with. i posted this on my instagram and i feel like it sums up the weekend pretty well:
as I'm sure most of you know, I love reading blogs. it's probably because I love stories. I love hearing what people have been through and where they have come from. I love hearing what they've conquered and what they've learned. mostly I just love seeing the story He's telling unfold in people's lives. so #hopespoken was kind of a dream for me. a weekend of hearing people's stories of love and life and joy and death and sorrow and redemption and hope. I made new friends, both with girls I was looking forward to meeting and with girls I didn't expect to connect with. it was a good weekend.
and really that is what it was. it was a weekend of stories speaking hope into other stories. it was a chance to be reminded that God is in the process of writing the most beautiful story of all time and we get the honor of playing a supporting role in the whole thing.

there were 11 different speakers, all of whom told their story. there was very little teaching and preaching and lots of just honest, "this is my life but look how good He is." i could honestly listen to people tell stories about their lives all day long, so i was a little bummed that the schedule was made so you had to choose 4 of the 8 breakout speakers. i really enjoyed the ones i went to, but heard really good things about the ones i missed.

i also was asked to lead a small group of 10 women for the weekend which was completely nervewracking. i made them goodie bags to win them over. including a mixed worship cd. they ended up being really sweet women who were completely capable of talking without my leading. i learned from them way more than i think they learned from me.

honestly, it was one of the most relaxing weekends i've had in a while. i went into thinking it was going to be challenging or hard, but really it just felt right and kind of like home. i could have stayed for another whole week and just hung out with all the women. i would also like to propose that next year we have a conference where you aren't allowed to wear hard pants (jeans). so basically that means everybody has to wear yoga pants or leggings with long shirts over them. doesn't that sound like a dream?!

i'm really proud of danielle and emily and casey for pulling this conference together. the food was fab, the decorations were incredible, the swag bags were amazing, the speakers had hearts of gold. i never felt like i was imposing if i went to talk to emily, danielle or casey. they were so sweet and so on the same level as everyone else. i loved that.

i highly encourage everyone to go next year. i already have my roommates for next year. i figure i'm just gonna buy a ticket and then if i can't go i'll sell it. wouldn't want to risk missing out!

here are one billion pictures from the weekend, all taken within 30 minutes, all of which look nothing like me.

ruth, lesley, anna, kimber, me, thuy, ashley
photo via thuy's instagram
if i could hang out with these 6 women for an extended amount of time, i would be so happy. they were all the sweetest, most precious people on the planet.

danielle // hannah
the hostess with the mostest and my sweet, sweet, generous friend hannah. love them to pieces and can't believe we finally got to meet in person.

wynne // leslie
these two were some of my surprise treasures from the weekend. i had heard their names in the blogging world before, but they weren't people i had kept up with. that will promptly change as i adore them and would like to immediately move into each of their houses. wynne is a gem and has the sweetest heart. leslie loves depressing music just like i do and we decided we're both melancholy. yes i had to look up what that means.

ashley // jess
picture on right from jess
i've been reading ashley's blog for over 2 years and i am so encouraged by her. she is such a cheerleader of others and inspires me to be an advocate for others. she is the craftiest person who was ever born and it turns out she is pretty funny too. i was so looking forward to finally seeing her in person. i've also been reading jess's blog for over 2 years. her session made me ugly cry and she even took time to talk with me saturday night. she is so sweet and i'm blown away by the strength that she carries.

kimber + anna // kimber
these sweet ladies were my other surprise treasures. (you too thuy!) anna texted me on my flight home asking if i wanted to room with them next year. i said yes as fast as i could! they are sweet texas mamas who i clicked with as soon as i met them. we didn't really get to talk until late saturday night, which was a crying shame, but i can't wait to hopefully room with them and their friend brit next year.

sarah + hannah // kara
i met sarah through the hope spoken link up and was totally confused about why we weren't already friends. she is a gem and has the cutest girls. kara i met on instagram when i stalkerishly told her i liked her sweater in one of hannah's pictures. the rest is history. i'm hoping to see her again early this summer.

shannan // my small group girls
emily and i picked shannan up from the airport on thursday to take her to the hotel. friday afternoon rolled around and i was standing with a group of people in the conference area. sweet shannan proceeded to introduce herself to everyone individually, including me. i, thinking she was just joking around, said, "my name is kimberly. i picked you up from the airport." she was so confused and asked if i was wearing a hat in the car. i wasn't. we both laughed and joked around about it all weekend. shannan actually lives 2 hours north of me. she is also a gem. and of course i had the best small group :)

stacey, me, lesley, emily, ashley, leslie, jami
photo via ashley's instagram
probably if you are't my mother than you stopped reading 8 pictures ago. thanks mom.

i can't wait to see what happens for next year. i've got my fingers crossed that i will be able to go.

Friday, March 21, 2014

i should be writing a paper.

but i decided to make a graduation gift guide instead! i know you were wondering what to get me, but worry no more!

okay, so i'm mostly kidding about this being a gift guide. i don't expect you guys to buy me graduation presents. but i certainly won't stop you. ;)

i haven't purchased an "item" for myself since december. i, being the person who knows what she is going to spend her paycheck on before she even has it, have started to feel the effects of this little self-imposed challenge.

i have a running list of the things i want to buy myself when this is all over in may. most of these things are kind of expensive, but since i haven't blown all my money on stupid little impulsive trinkets, i will hopefully be able to buy some of these beauties.

truth be told, i've spent most of the money i would have saved on traveling this semester (i have been/will be out of town 9 of the 16 weekends this semester), so this actually isn't realistic at all, but it's more fun than homework, so there.

and in case you were wondering, YES! it does take a flipping long time to make one of these cute little images. and YES! i had plenty of things i should have been doing instead including but not limited to: reading a book, writing a paper about that book, eating dinner, cleaning my room for the friends coming to stay with me tonight, prepping for my hope spoken small group, engaging with humans, etc. oh well!

1. cath kidston knitted blanket -- first up is this lovely knitted blanket. my cute british friend chloĆ« told me about cath kidston from the u.k. and i spent approximately 2 hours looking every.single.item. on their website. i'm obsessed. i love everything. i want everything. fly me to london and let me buy it all.

2. kelly moore "libby" camera laptop bag -- i have the kelly moore "classic" bag, gifted to me by the sweetest woman on the whole planet. i love it. it fits all my camera stuff. it has great pockets. the only downside is that it doesn't have a laptop sleeve. 98% of the time that i'm using this bag is when i'm traveling, and i never ever ever go anywhere with out my camera and my laptop, so its hard to not have a sleeve. enter: the "libby." plenty of room for camera stuff, extra stuff AND a laptop. a dream.

3. zara maxi dress -- chloĆ« told me about zara a few months ago and i finally was able to go to a zara store this past weekend while i was in chicago. i basically died. i touched everything. i couldn't buy anything. it was horrible. "horrible" being a relative term here. i was perusing the website today and came across this beauty. perfect summer dress if you ask me.

4. white high top converse -- i've wanted these for around 2 years now. a friend just got engaged and her fiance gave her these shoes when he proposed. i told her to her face that i was mad about it. ha. my way of "rejoicing with those who rejoice" i guess. if i have to get engaged to get these shoes, i'll do it. i will! i won't, actually. when i was younger i used to tell people i was never going to get married, i was just going to have boys bring me presents. i think i am going to go back to that plan. look boys, you know what to buy me!

5. anthropologie teapot -- i have been drinking a lot of tea lately. it probably has something to do with the british friend. she's turned me into an earl grey snob. i even bought some loose leaf tea in chicago (doesn't count as a purchase since it's technically food.). now all i need is a proper tea pot and a loose leaf infuser and i'm ready to go.

6. hand stamped longitude and latitude necklace -- as you may know, i'm really sad about leaving my people here in indiana. i thought about getting an indiana shaped charm necklace, but that is entirely too cheesy for me. i was looking around on etsy and saw these location necklaces. just the right amount of cheese for me. and this way i can add several charms if i want. one for lawrence, one for indiana, maybe one for alaska, then new ones for any place i go and desperately don't want to leave. a perfect solution.

now that it's 9pm and i still haven't eaten dinner, we'll end the list at 6. i hope you've enjoyed this complete waste of mine and your time. i know i have.