happy, looong weekend

Heading into the start of the New Year, I was a little stressed about how much I was going to be traveling in January and February. 

First up was a weekend to Indy to celebrate my dear friend Megan's baby on the way. And you know what I found? No matter how busy life feels, traveling to be with people you love is always, always worth it. 

On Friday, I went to an awesome dinner with my parents and afterwards they dropped me off at Jordan's for a sleepover. My dad joked it reminded him a lot of middle school days and that if I got scared and needed a ride home later, I need not be afraid to call. 

Don't worry, I made it through the night. 

We checked off a few last minute shower to-dos. Drank some wine. And laughed and late night talked. It was so wonderful to be back together with happy friends. 

Saturday was sweet Megan's shower at my parents' house, with more of our old friends, who filled me up to the brim. I loved being together after years apart. 

Other highlights include a family party with our cousins. And breakfast at Patachou with my parents. 

It was a most happy Indiana weekend and I couldn't be more grateful for my family, friends and our time together. 

AND it was a long weekend. Which is pretty much the best thing ever. Monday, Duke, Sam and I went rock climbing (more on this to come) and broke in my new bike!

And those, are the makings of a very fine long weekend, I do think.

{our christmas}

When my siblings and I were young, we spent every Friday night together. First, we ate dinner and then, for a most special dessert, we got to have frozen Hi-C's while watching TGIF and having a sleepover in the family room. 

Every time, without fail, we'd microwave the Hi-C and the aluminum on top would spark and possibly ignite a tad bit. 

It was bliss. One of my favorite memories with my siblings. 

I don't know if my family loves traditions more than most, since this is the only one I've ever been in, but I know we love them as much as is humanly possible. 

But as we've gotten older, we've had to become more flexible. We haven't opened Christmas gifts on Christmas Day in years, because we want to wait for my sisters. We moved and tried a new church and have some food allergies we are accommodating so meals have changed a bit. Things are a little different around here. 

And even though I'll always be a girl for tradition, there is something beautiful in making new ones. As it turns out, Christmas gifts on Jan. 26 make the 25th less about gifts and slow us all down. It makes it more about the holiday with our extended family and less about opening. And more about food :) 

This year, we took it further. On the morning of Dec. 26, we had hot chocolate on the stairs and watched the little kids open their gifts. 

And then that night we put them in bed early, went back upstairs, and waited for our parents to bring us a tray not of hot chocolate, but instead of beer and wine. Then we ran back down those stairs and opened our gifts. Grown up Christmas! 

It was lovely. 

I think sometimes we associate change with things falling apart. We cling to the past because we fear what will happen if we let it go. But, just as we can't get to spring if we don't first get through winter, we can't move forward if we don't let a few things go in our lives. 

This year taught me that, in a family as big as mine, we can't always know what's next. We can't hold onto the past for fear of the future. This year, we swapped hot chocolate for beer and wine, but who knows what next year will hold. Heck, maybe even Hi-C's? 

I can't wait to find out! 

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

amber waves of grain

I'll be the first to admit that one of the reasons I moved south was the weather. We Bibers grew up in the Midwest, but there's no doubt we have southern blood somewhere in our lineage. We have no interest in winter, no matter how you slice it. 

But as much as I love (love) this Georgia weather, every fall, Indiana calls me back. I ache for the crisp weather. The blue skies contrasted against the green grass and yellow corn. The brightly colored sunsets that make your heart melt. The smell of waking up in my at-home bedroom, dewy mornings pouring in my wide-open window. My mom's uber-strong coffee, my dad's homemade breakfasts. 

And although this year's trip came earlier than my typical go, Indiana was ready for me. Unseasonably fallish, it was. It was cool and crisp and sunny and filled me up to the brim with Hoosier love. 

There was dinner with friends at Napolese

There was a family party, where I got to meet my cousin Chris' baby. As well as my cousin Becca's baby. Yes. Two babies. Two! (Yes, I was in heaven. No, I didn't care that I got spit up on three times. Oh, and yes, I debated stealing them but didn't think I could get through TSA.)

There was apple picking with my parents and Sam.


There was sushi at Kona with my parents.

There were walks and sunsets and iced coffees and good conversations and rest. Oh! Lots of rest. There was happiness and joy. 

And there was corn. Lots of corn.

And it was wonderful.

Happy Monday!

{appetite paper}

I mentioned last week that I was hoping to get up a frame wall this month and, alongside that goal, was trying to make my room look cozier in general. I rocked the summer with bare walls, completely succumbing to analysis paralysis. Each time I'd find a print I liked, I'd find an issue with it the next day. The quotes weren't what I was looking for. The colors weren't jumping out at me. The prices were a little high. 

And so I sat with my walls bare and my eyes peeled, looking for something to warm up the space.

Then, my friend Sara introduced me to Chicago-native Rachael, who recently launched Appetite Paper.  She specializes in eco-friendly (all recycled paper, made exclusively from green energy...!) paper products and gives 15 percent of her profits back to the community. Not to mention her designs are amazing.

I emailed Rachael about creating a custom print, because I had a specific quote in mind (although this guy really stole my heart, too!).  

All I told her was the quote I wanted and that I was "really open on colors and font." I've heard that the easiest clients to work with are those that know exactly what they want and I am sorry to admit I really had no idea. I knew exactly what I didn't want in all the previous prints I'd found, but couldn't quite articulate what I was looking for. However, I needn't worry, because  Rachael got back to me within minutes, sending me amazing design options for the print. 

And, voila! Isn't she a beaut?

My room looks so happy now - and every time I walk into it I smile. If you're looking for a print or paper products in general, I strongly recommend Appetite Paper. And, if you're a little bit stalkerish like me, you're probably going to want to follow her: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

When it's all said and done, I just can't help but fall for the work of a Midwesterner, yaknow?