Friday, December 26, 2014

merry christmas!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Ours was filled with time with Steve's family, and excitement for what is in store for us over the next week.  More to come soon but here's a hint: our Christmas card this year served a double purpose - the back was used to share our new address with close family and friends!

Monday, December 15, 2014

when God shows up

You know what the greatest feeling in the world is?  It's when you see God show up. 

And let me tell you - when He shows up, He shows up big time.

God has been doing big, big things in Steve and my life these days.  Big exciting things.  Big scary things.  Big awesome things.  Such big things which I can't yet write about on here, while we work through the nuances of it all, but believe me when I say that in the last month and a half, God has blown. me. away. 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

beartooth pass

Earlier this month, I flew out to Montana to visit my sister for a long weekend.  We took the day on Friday to drive the Beartooth Pass - a popular highway that winds through southern Montana and northern Wyoming on the way to Yellowstone National Park.

I had never been to Montana before and wasn't quite sure what to expect.  I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the pass.  The mountains were stunning and the topography was unlike any mountains I had seen before.  We weaved our way up to the top of the mountain range and the landscape evolved as we drove along.  We saw everything from beautiful firs, to bare mountaintops, to glacier remnants, to hidden mountaintop lakes, to grizzly bear country!

It was about a six hour round trip - one that I would highly recommend for anyone visiting Montana.  Hope you enjoy these pictures from our journey!

Monday, October 20, 2014

amy meets montana (a sister weekend)

Two weekends ago, I had such a great treat - a trip to visit my little sister in Montana.  She moved out to Montana earlier this year to begin her residency.  She's there for a year and I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to visit this fall.  We had a great weekend!  Here's my beautiful sister in her new home.  Thanks for hosting me, sissy!

Friday, October 3, 2014

steve's 29th birthday

Steve turned twenty-nine on Sunday - his last birthday in his twenties!  My parents were in town for my cousin's wedding, so we had a weekend full of wedding-related events planned.  We were along for the ride for most of the weekend.  Steve was very sweet and laid back about the whole thing - whatever we ended up doing was fine with him.  It was important to me, though, that the wedding festivities not overshadow his big day.  Fortunately, we were able to set aside all day on Sunday to celebrate all things Steve, so it ended up working out really well. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

leah and (other) steve's wedding - a halsey family album

My cousin Leah got married this past weekend on a beautiful September day here in the Midwest.  Her husband is the perfect match for her, and also happens to be named Steve.  Since my Steve was introduced to the family two+ years ago, we have been jokingly referring to Leah's Steve as the "Other Steve" - too many Steves gets to be confusing!  We will find a better name for him soon.

Almost all of my dad's side of the family was able to join in on the fun, so the weekend also felt like a family reunion of sorts.  I did a terrible job of documenting the wedding itself, but have plenty of family pictures that I want to keep track of.  So I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the members of the Halsey clan!

Monday, September 29, 2014

dear monday

Dear Leah & Stephen, your wedding was the perfect opportunity to spend time with my extended family.  I love it when we can all get together and even though the weekend was short, I loved every minute of it. An added bonus was that you got married in my hometown!  We really enjoyed seeing old friends and driving by our old house in between wedding festivities. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

still here

Hi, there.  I know things have been a sparse around this little blog the last few weeks.  I don't really have a good reason, other than, well, just life.  This month has been full of self-reflection, life changes and choices, and living in the moment.  It's been a good one - but just not one that I've documented much on TSL.

I'm very grateful for blogging.  Ever since I started blogging a year and a half ago, I have really enjoyed pouring out my thoughts onto this space.  The creative side of me really thrives here.  It's been good for me. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

dear monday

Dear September, you have turned out to be quite lovely so far.  This 70 degree weather and plenty of sunshine has been pretty close to perfect.  I know I've been a little MIA in the blog world as of late (sorry, friends!), but I'm trying to make the most of them this month and get as much time as I can outside in the sun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

currently: september

"This strangely still pause between summer and autumn, greenery and gold, and the heat and rising wind that is once again readying itself to rush it all away in a climactic symphony of color and scent is - in my opinion - one of the best parts about living on earth."
- Victoria Erickson

Happy belated birthday to my dad!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

sweet south dakota: day 3 and 4 (the badlands)

{We spent a wonderful weekend in South Dakota for my family reunion.  You can read more about our trip here and here.}

On Sunday, we woke up early and drove down the canyon where we were staying to check out the Spearfish Canyon Waterfall.  Our flight was set for early afternoon, so we wanted to make the most of the rest of our time in SD.

Monday, September 1, 2014

dear monday

Happy Labor Day!  I hope you are having a safe and fun holiday with friends and family.

Dear Indy Express Bus, it was so easy to hitch a ride with you back up to the north side of Indy when Steve's car was in the shop and he needed mine after work on Wednesday.  Now, if I had only ridden the bus to Fishers instead of winding up in a random Meijer's parking lot in Carmel...!  Note to self: be sure to read the sign on the front of the bus before getting on next time.  Talk about a blonde moment!

Dear Dad, your birthday is this week.  I wish I could be there to celebrate with you.  I am thankful that I was able to be there last year when you and Mom moved into your new house, and I'm so glad that we get to see you two times this month.  It almost makes up for missing your actual birthday.

Dear Chicago, you are so lovely in the summertime.  We visited your Jazz Fest yesterday, had some delicious deep dish pizza and caught a great White Sox game (my first).  Despite a few glitches like getting to the game an hour late and a malfunctioning ez-pass on the toll road, it was a good day.  

Dear Steve, you braved the Notre Dame crowds with me on Saturday to attend the Rice v. ND game - and even had the guts to wear a Rice hat.  Even though our team got creamed and I had the worst ND fan ever sitting behind me, I had a good time and enjoyed seeing my Rice Owls play in person.  I couldn't have done it alone, so thanks for being my co-adventurer.

{Following this sweet series by Elle & Co, every Monday I write four letters - one to my husband and and three random letters to whatever else I is on my heart each week - in an effort to practice thankfulness on a more routine basis.  Feel free to join me!}

Thursday, August 28, 2014

sweet south dakota: day 2

{We spent a long weekend in South Dakota at my family reunion - you can read about all we did on our first day (including Mt. Rushmore) here!}

On our second day, the family split into several different groups depending on what we wanted to do for the day.  Our group decided to hike Harney Peak, the tallest mountain in South Dakota.  It was a hot, sunny day - perfect for a hike!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

currently: august

"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning.  The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot."
- Natalie Babbit, Tuck Everlasting

Beautiful South Dakota

Sunday, August 24, 2014

sweet south dakota: day 1 (mount rushmore)

Two weekends ago, Steve and I joined my family in beautiful South Dakota for my family reunion.  It was my first trip to South Dakota and I am pleased to say that all of my expectations of the state were blown out of the water.  The lodge where we stayed was nestled in beautiful Spearfish Canyon, where the topography is stunning and the cell phone service, non-existent.  It was perfect.

{This is a very picture-heavy post - I wanted to make sure I savored and memorialized every moment of our trip!  Thanks for bearing with me and all of the pictures :) }

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

growing up - what I learned at my high school reunion

High school reunions are strange things.  You walk into a room full of people that you spent four entire years with, but most of whom you haven't seen in a decade.  Everyone looks nearly the same, and yet different.  I walked in to my ten-year high school reunion last weekend with certain expectations of how the night would go.  Some of it went as expected, but I was pleasantly surprised by other elements of the evening.  I learned a lot by spending four hours with my high school colleagues.

 Homecoming game senior year - if you're wondering what the huge ribbony things are, you aren't from Texas :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

dear monday

Dear Steve, this past weekend wasn't our finest moment.  We fought and, to be honest, it was pretty awful.  We still haven't really resolved the issue.  But in the midst of the ugly, we are both still here.  I don't have to fear that you will get fed up and just leave if we disagree on something.  You are committed to me and to our marriage, and for that I am thankful.

Friday, August 8, 2014

hey there, high school

I flew down to Texas for the weekend to attend my ten-year high school reunion and had a blast.  After arriving in Houston and spending a great day with my mom, my college roommate and I headed off to our favorite restaurant, Chuy's, for the best tex-mex in Texas.  I filled up with tons of chips and queso and a swirl margarita - yummm.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

like mother, like daughter

Last weekend, I flew to Houston, Texas to attend my ten year high school reunion.  My parents have since moved from Houston to Dallas-Fort Worth, so I made plans to stay with friends over the weekend.  When I told my mom that I would be in Houston, I was thrilled when she offered to drive down and spend a day with me.  I promptly changed my travel plans to arrive in Houston early Friday morning so we could spend the entire day together.  We had such a great time! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

dear monday

Dear Steve, you had your first big work conference in Utah this past weekend.  I was proud of you for going, but even more proud when you texted me a picture of the Olympic bobsled course and said, "Guess what I just did?"  You are a daredevil and I love it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

only three miles

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably remember this post when I decided to train for a marathon.  You may also remember this one, when I hurt my left calf and had to rest.  Then I was dealt a pretty severe knee injury that left me unable to walk down the stairs without pain.  It was pretty bad.  So my marathon training went on temporary hiatus.


Monday, July 28, 2014

dear monday

{Following this sweet series by Elle & Co, every Monday I write four letters - two to my husband and and two random letters to whatever else I is on my heart each week - in an effort to practice thankfulness on a more routine basis.  Feel free to join me!}

Dear Steve, when I woke up with that migraine on Saturday morning I felt terrible.  You went out of your way to cook food for me, to make sure I was comfortable on the couch and to embrace a relaxing "date night in" with a classic movie marathon since I wasn't up for much else.  Thanks for going with the flow and loving on me while I was down in the dumps.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

throwback thursday: triggers

There are some things in life that, whenever I experience them, they take me back in time.  It's like I am immediately transported to another time in my life, just at the whiff of a particular smell or the slightest glimpse of a familiar image.  Memories come flooding back to me and I can bask in them for a few precious moments.  It's amazing how powerful our senses can be. 

Some of my favorite triggers:

The smell of coffee // my dad, brewing coffee at home when I was young.  Such a comforting, soothing smell.
Diet Pepsi // Pops.  He drank it all the time throughout my childhood.  Sometimes I will get a DP, even though I am much prefer Coke, just so I can taste it and think of him.

Anything Disney // my sister.  ABC Family has been playing some of the old favorites lately and I can't resist tuning in.  When we were growing up, Shelby and I would watch certain Disney movies over and over, so that we knew the entire thing by heart.  We also choreographed dances to several of the more "catchy" numbers, like this classic.  I'm sure we put Megara and the Greek goddesses to shame.

S'mores // block party bonfires in my hometown.  Every year, all of the neighborhood kids would gather at the bottom of the huge hill next to our house to watch fireworks (I think for the 4th of July?).  We would collectively "ooh" and "ahh" while we roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. 

Shania Twain // my entire middle school/high school experience.  I listened to all of her albums pretty much non-stop through my adolescent years and still love her.
The Peanuts Gang // family gatherings at my grandparents' house with my cousins.  We were all obsessed with Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown and still practically have the entire thing memorized (and watch it every time we're together).  {That's it, Chuck, you're leading!}  Steve got to watch it with us for the first time after we got married, and I'm pretty sure he thought all six of us were crazy. 
Both Kings Island and Cedar Point have Peanuts-themed kiddie parks within the theme park.  The Kings Island one is actually based off of Race For Your Life Charlie Brown.  I pretty much died when I saw it.  And yes, I wanted to ride all of the kiddie rides.  I'm pretty sure Pops would have wanted to, too. :)
Do you have any triggers that transport you back in time whenever you see/smell/taste them?  I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, July 21, 2014

dear monday

{The idea for this post came from this sweet series by Elle & Co.  Every Monday, she writes four letters - two to her husband and two random letters to whatever else is on her heart each week.  I am following suit in an effort to practice thankfulness on a more routine basis.  Feel free to join me!}

Dear Steve, our bike ride and swimming adventure yesterday was so much fun.  It just felt so summery to me.  I'm grateful that we both enjoy being active and that you're always willing to humor me when I need my Vitamin D. 

Dear Jess and Larissa, I loved our girls' dinner this weekend.  I realized today that you both are two of my oldest friends here in Indy.  We've been through a lot together, and now live busy lives, but I'm so glad that we still make sure to find time to get together.  I may be married now, but still there's nothing that beats girl talk

Dear Small Group, y'all are the best.  I love how we could easily spend hours at the dinner table laughing at GIFs.  I love how I can pour out my sinner's heart without fear of judgment, and how the Holy Spirit uses us to speak to each other.  I love how you are prayer warriors for me. 

Dear Steve, getting up at 5:30am this morning was brutal.  But it would have been much worse if I had to do it on my own.  Thank you for helping me take that first step to transitioning back to morning workouts.  I've missed them.  And I'm glad we can motivate each other to take better care of ourselves.

Friday, July 18, 2014

currently: july

"The dandelions and buttercups gild all the lawn, the drowsy bee stumbles among the clover tops, and summer sweetens all to me."
- James Russell Lowell

ReadingThe Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillipp Sendker.  Such a sweet, sweet story.
Making: plans for my 10-year high school class reunion weekend next month.  Can't wait!
Cooking: breakfast for dinner.  Yum.
Drinking: too much caffeine.  I had two Diet Mt. Dews today and am way too chatty.  Oops.
Deciding: that my small group is the best there is.
Wanting: to spend all day, every day, outside.
Playing: this album by The Brilliance.  I particularly love the instrumental versions of each song.
Watching: Parks and Rec, Season 2.  I multitask and do abs while I watch - the perfect combo. 
Exercising: back to (cautiously) running and adding some strength training! 
Learning: more about God's heart through this She Reads Truth study on the Sermon on the Mount.
Pinning: grilling recipes.  Gotta take advantage of this summer grilling weather.
Wishing: that our friends Chris and Emily lived closer to us.  We had such a fun 4th of July w/ them!
Wearing: golf attire, more likely than not.  :)
Needing: to check the words I speak more closely - that they may be uplifting.
Reflecting: "...not that there are any sins little, for there is no little God to sin against..."
Feeling: impatient to see my friend Jess' new house tonight and celebrate with a bottle of wine.
Praying: for the families of those lost in the Malaysian plane shot down over Ukraine yesterday.
Loving: the fact that I get to see my mom twice in one month next month. 

{beautiful Lake Erie on July 4th}

Monday, July 14, 2014

enjoying the ride

The first roller coaster I ever rode was Space Mountain at Disney World.  It was not exactly a pleasant experience.  Long story short, I cried my way up, down and around the entire ride (and long waiting line, too).  I'm sure I was quite a pleasure to be around.  My next roller coaster experience was at Busch Gardens in Florida.  We rode the Kumba - the park's first inverted roller coaster.  I was so scared, but once we really got going I found that I actually loved it.  The thrill of the ride.  The adrenaline rush.  It was intoxicating.

Over the years, I've ridden tons of roller coasters.  Every choir trip in high school ended with a day at Six Flags.  We spent dawn until dusk winding through hours of lines, anxiously awaiting the one-to-two minute adrenaline rush of each roller coaster ride.  Some of my best high school memories are from those trips.

{Six Flags San Antonio circa 2003}

Friday, July 11, 2014

friday five

Is it just me, or did this week seem to last forever?  I think it's because we were spoiled with a short week for the 4th of July last week.  I'm glad the weekend is almost here.  Between a birthday party, bridal shower, date night and dinner with friends, it's shaping up to be a busy but fun weekend.

On to my five silver linings this week (linking up here)!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

4th of july recap: part 2

The rest of our day in Put-In-Bay was full of exploring.  We had the best lobster bisque bread bowls in town at the Boardwalk...

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of july recap: part 1

Happy belated Independence Day!  We spent the weekend celebrating America's birthday with our good friends (and awesome hosts), Chris and Emily, at Chris' family's lakehouse on Lake Erie.  We had the best time!

On the 4th, we took a ferry over to Put-In-Bay to explore for the day.  The typical modus operandi, as we were told, is to take the ferry over and rent a golf cart to get around once you arrive on the island.  You wouldn't believe how many golf carts we saw over there!  We rented our own (the infamous Clarabella) and drove all over the place on it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

currently: june

"What is one to say about June,
the time of perfect young summer,
the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months,
and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade."
- Gertrude Jekyll
Love my sis and my gorgeous alma mater (#ricefightneverdie)
My favorite month is finally here - and is flying by.  After what seemed like an eternal winter, it's officially summertime.  I hope to take advantage of this gorgeous, sunny, warm, humid weather as much as I can.  Before June departs and ushers us into July, here's what I'm currently up to this month:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

second anniversary part 2: puppy vacation

For our second anniversary, Steve and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to a real hidden gem in Brown County - Story Inn.  You can read Part 1 of our trip here.  Since Story Inn is pet-friendly, we took Lyla with us and she had an absolute ball.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

second anniversary part 1: the story inn

For our second anniversary, Steve and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to a real hidden gem in Brown County - Story Inn.


Monday, June 23, 2014

houseboat trip - part 2

(This is Part 2 of our houseboat vacation to Lake Ouachita.  You can read Part 1 here!)

One of the things I really enjoy most about house boating is the balance between physical activity (wake surfing, wake boarding, skiing, etc) and relaxing.  We made sure to do our fair share of both on this trip.


Friday, June 20, 2014

friday five

Happy Friday!  This has been a long week (albeit a good week) for me, so I'm ready for the weekend.  I'm linking up today here and here with five silver linings for this week.
1.  I'm still on a high from our house boat vacation with my family at beautiful Lake Ouachita in Arkansas.  Never been on/heard of a houseboat trip before?  You can read about it here

2.  Steve and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary on Monday.  Hard to believe it's been two years.  The actual day of our anniversary was pretty low-key with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, followed by a movie and looking through our wedding album.  It was really fun re-living the day together through the album.  Happy two years, my love!

3.  We also celebrated our anniversary over the weekend at the Story Inn (see #5) and I had one of the most amazing meals of my life at the Story Inn Restaurant on Saturday. 

4.  Golf season is upon us!  I played in my first tournament of the year last week (we lawyers love golf tournaments - and a day out of the office!) and got the golf bug again.  So I asked the hubs to take me golfing again the next evening.  I am still a beginner but definitely feel like I am getting the hang of it. 

5.  Steve and I made a last minute decision to get away for the weekend at Story Inn - a charming and historic bed & breakfast - to celebrate our anniversary.  Check back next week for a couple of posts on our trip!

This weekend, I am participating in a fundraiser trivia night and then traveling up to Chicago to see my grandma and Steve's grandpa.  I'm hoping to catch a little bit of time on Lake Michigan too, if the sun is out.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

houseboat trip - part 1

After my sister’s medical school graduation, my family headed to beautiful Lake Ouachita for a week-long houseboat trip.  It was a great vacation - the best ever!  We spent five gorgeous days on the water.  The weather was perfect, the water temperature was just right, and the company was enjoyable (as always).  It was all around, a great trip.


Monday, June 16, 2014

two years

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  We love because He first loved us."
-1 John 4:18-19 (esv)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

little sis, md

Two weekends ago, Steve and I made the big trek down to Houston to watch my little sister graduate from medical school!  Woo hoo!

Friday, May 30, 2014


Happy Friday, friends!  I am currently on a plane on my way to Houston to watch my sister graduate from medical school.  Today is going to be a very special day :) followed by a weekend of celebrating and a fantastic week of houseboating with my family in Arkansas! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

what is a silver lining?

silver lining (noun): a sign of hope in an unfortunate or gloomy situation; a bright prospect.
[origin from the proverb: "Every cloud has a silver lining" (1870)]

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

running recap: week 5

This post is part of an ongoing series to recap my runs as I train for a marathon - you can read more about that here
Well, Week 5 didn't quite go as planned.  After my long run from Week 4, I started to really struggle with pain in my left calf muscle.  I tried to push through it for two days, which was not a good idea.  After being unable to walk down the stairs without significant pain, I decided it was time to give my legs (well, really just my left leg) a break.  I'm pretty sure it's my soleus muscle that's causing the problem. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

friday five

Happy (early) Memorial Day!  I am so looking forward to this upcoming three-day weekend.  After that, I have only three days of work and then we're off to Texas for my sister's medical school graduation - and then vacation!  It's going to be a great next couple of weeks. 

I'm linking up here and here with five silver lining moments on this glorious Friday morning!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

20 questions

I've had this little blog of mine for almost a year and a half now.  It has been such a joy to share this small space of the internet with you all.  And I figured that after 1.5 years it's about time that I share a little more about me, the girl behind the blog.  So let's delve together into a little game of twenty questions, shall we?

1.  How did you make your first dollar? 
Besides earning an allowance as a kid, my first "real" job was as a lifeguard at our neighborhood pool.  Lifeguarding is the best high school summer job ever - six hour shifts, all day in the sunshine, and a great tan.  These days I steer clear of the sun (boo, skin cancer) so I'm about 400 shades lighter than I was in high school.

Monday, May 19, 2014

running recap: week 4

This post is part of an ongoing series to recap my runs as I train for a marathon - you can read more about that here
If there is one word to describe Week 4, it is this: asthma.  Also known as my worst running enemy.  My seasonal allergies have kicked in the past couple of weeks, but this week in particular I started noticing shortness of breath in the smallest things.  I grew up with exercise-induced asthma, so this was no surprise but it amazed me how difficult it was to breathe during my runs this week.  So I slowed the pace down a little a lot, and focused more on just getting the miles in instead of how fast I was running.  That helped immensely. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

recipe: chicken jambalaya

Between my job, social commitments and (now) my running regimen, it's hard to find time to make dinner every night of the week.  So lately I've been trying to make one or two dinners during the week, with enough leftovers to last an additional meal or two.  I've had a couple of successes lately that the hubby has asked me to put into the regular meal rotation - a request that a wife always loves to hear! 

This jambalaya is one of those meals.  I modified a recipe from this health-conscious cookbook to whip up this Cajun-inspired dish that is super easy to make.  Not to mention, it is healthy! 
Double win.   
Chicken Jambalaya
(makes ~6 servings)

Monday, May 12, 2014

running recap: week 3

This post is part of an ongoing series to recap my runs as I train for a marathon - you can read more about that here

Sunday, May 11, 2014

happy mother's day

Happy Mother's Day to the best mom I could ask for!  My mom and I have not always seen eye to eye (read: I was a pretty terrible teenager) but as I have grown up, we have only grown closer.  I am so thankful to have her in my life and grateful to be her daughter.  So in my mom's honor, I've made a list of twenty things (big and small) that I've learned from my mom over the years.

Friday, May 9, 2014

spring in the dunes

While Steve attended a conference last weekend, this little cutie and I traveled up to the Indiana Dunes for a girls' getaway. 

friday five

Happy Friday!  I have some big plans this weekend to catch a baseball game, do some yardwork and enjoy a free jazz concert in the park.  Now let's just hope that the forecasted rain decides to not make an appearance...

I'm linking up here and here with five silver lining moments on this glorious Friday morning!

Monday, May 5, 2014

running recap: week 2

This post is part of an ongoing series to recap my runs as I train for a marathon - you can read more about that here