15 January 2014

A Coffee Date with The Circle

Kiki features this wonderful monthly link-up with interesting themes. Ever since I've started reading her blog, I've wanted to participate, but somehow kept missing the opportunity, even though she keeps the link-up running for an entire month. So, I'm taking advantage of a free morning to write this post and participate in this month's "A Coffee Date with The Circle."

Kiki and her Co-Host, Amy, came up with a list of coffee-date questions to allow everyone to get to know participants just a little better, so here goes!

1. Where are you seated?
I love coffee shops, but my absolute favorite coffee date location is my house. When the weather is just right, Matt and I like to bring our coffee out on on the deck (after he's checked the chairs for spiders) and watch Chester chase birds in the back yard. Even though we live in the city, mornings in our neighborhood are quiet and peaceful.  

2. What are you sipping and/or munching on?
Since Matt's been in grad school, we go through coffee ridiculously fast. So we buy a big container of Kroger coffee for the week, but we keep a smaller bag of a nicer quality for the weekends and for guests. Our long time favorite is a local coffee from The Dancing Goats. 

3. What do you want to get off your chest first?
I'm finally starting to acknowledge to others...and myself, the amount of fear I hold on to when it comes to just living in this world. The news, relationships, community, and yes, even just stepping out the front door, can really frighten me sometimes. It was a relief, last week, to admit that in my small group. It was a relief to admit that to God. Although I'm still holding on to it as an excuse to not participate, I'm getting out there little by little and I'm able to call myself out on it as I find myself retreating.

4. If you could choose anyone, who would you have coffee with?
I'm fortunate to have lots of friends who are great at coffee dates. However, I miss my friend Amanda, because she has this way of making a coffee date feel like you stepped into a coming-of-age novel with the cracked spine and dog-eared pages because you've read it so much. We were both creative writing majors in college and I loved grabbing a cup of coffee with her from the college bookstore and walking the campus in our cardigans, converse and tights when the weather would miraculously drop below 65 degrees. We make references to those articles of clothing a lot. I think it's because we both treasure those moments of our college days. So yeah, I'd have coffee with Amanda because she's hilarious and an introvert like me and there's never any judgement or pressure with her. She's kind and talented, and we never get to see each other anymore due to never living in the same city after college. She also has a blog and you all should encourage her to keep it up because it's wonderful. 

5. What's inspiring you lately?
Is it weird to say Mindy Kaling? I'm a little obsessed with her. I started reading her book and I'm relating to her. A lot. The whole had wonderful opportunities in college and then seemed to do a backward slide into closed door after closed door? Yeah that's me. She kept pushing though and one little thing led to another little thing, and look at her now. I'm not saying I want my own tv show (no one would watch that), but I struggle a lot with identifying as a writer for so much of my life, and now? I don't write. I blog, which for me, isn't the same thing. Matt's been struggling with the fact that he doesn't have time for a hobby, so we've decided to start carving out at least one hour a week to devote to writing (for me) and building something or playing guitar (for him). We're starting off small because we overwhelm ourselves with BIG plans a lot. Hopefully, one hour a week will eventually turn into one hour a day.

6. What are your plans after coffee?
In an hour, I'm headed down the street to take some pictures of puppies who need a home. Some neighbors came across a litter of puppies that weren't being fed. Two of them died, but there are a few that survived. A few neighbors are known for actively helping any domestic animals that wander into the neighborhood whether it's finding their original owners or finding new homes for them. We can't take a new puppy in (WISH IT WASN'T SO!), but I want to help out in some way.

After photos, I'll head back home for lunch, tackle some stuff on my extensive home project list (which I haven't even finished blogging) and then it's off to work!

In Its Time


  1. stop.
    your photos = swoon.
    oh my gosh. matts eyes were like BAM!
    + mmm dancing goats (love the name!) I love local coffee!
    + fear - so crippling. but I am SO incredibly proud of you for finally finding the courage to speak out and acknowledge what is holding you back. and just as I told kiki, your conquering fear is YOUR journey - don't measure it against another persons journey - comparison really is the thief of joy. <3 (I struggle with fear/anxiety as well! so you are definitely not alone friend!)
    + I didn't know you were a creative writing major - amazing! (and you can totally tell)
    + PUPPIESSSSSSSSSSS! that is so sad that two passed away - hopefully with your incredible photography skills these new pups will find a home quickly!
    (ps how big of a dork does it make me that I am really excited to hear the rest of your list for your home? I love home improvement!)

    1. - yes, Matt's eyes....kinda my weakness.
      - the coffee is fantastic...what's even more awesome is that a lot of local restaurants carry their coffee too!
      - your words are wonderfully encouraging. Thank you so much!
      - there was only one puppy to be photographed. His little ribs were sticking out and he was shivering. He's being kept in a crate on the porch. The neighbors have found a home for him to go to temporarily, but we're going to take him in for the night if things fall through. He had a cigarette burn on his behind. His condition broke my heart.
      - I was the same way about your home improvement posts! Glad I'm not the only one who loves this kind of thing!!

  2. Love your photos!! Coffee dates at home are the best.:)


    1. Thanks Tifani!

      And yes, I love a good cup of coffee without having to leave the house haha. :)

  3. New puppies! awww that must be the best thing ever.

    1. Puppies are the best thing ever, except this was such a sad case, it broke my heart. There was only one to photograph and he'd been abused. :( Lots of people are banding together to help the little guy, so I'm hopeful he will be well taken care of.

  4. I so very much so enjoyed this coffee date with you, Christina! I love the idea of a coffee date in the backyard, especially when it involves thoroughly-checked chairs for spiders (a must for me, too!) and a cute Chester, too. :)

    Also, I love what you had to say about fear. I honestly think this coffee date would be healing and encouraging for the both of us! I have a terribly hard time talking and letting things leave my chest verbally (it takes tons of mental preparation, haha) so it's nice to know that other people understand me. And it's also nice to have blogging to help me express myself, too. Writing is therapeutic. :)

    Lastly, I'm so glad you're getting a chance to take photos of those little puppies in need of a home! My sister is a huge animal lover so I grew up watching lots of Animal Planet ASPCA shows and the like and know that we need more photographers taking photos of shelter/homeless animals! :)

    1. p.s. I'm so glad you got to link up! We're going to have to co-host sometime, okay?

    2. - Spiders are awful. I will not go outside if I even see a spider web through the window. I think this annoyed my parents to NO END when I was a child, haha.

      - oh gosh, I can run myself ragged with the mental preparation of coming clean about my struggles. SAME PAGE, you and me!

      - It's amazing what a planned-out photo can do for a dog. Sometimes, when there's a blurry, red-eye, dark photo of a dog, people will automatically pass over it. Good light, a decent composition, and a clean background can do miracles. I posted one of the photos on Instagram and I'm already getting responses from rescues.

      - I would LOVE to co-host. Just name the date! :)

  5. i love this idea and may have to join in the fun! ;) thanks for some inspiration! i am obsessed with coffee.

    and mindy's book totally inspired me too. it was a great read. i bookmarked a ton of stuff from it that made me laugh and just made me feel like yes, i need to do something!
    my brothers girlfriend started an online literary magazine where they are trying to get submissions of work so if you ever write, maybe check it out! https://www.facebook.com/limestonelitmag

  6. Chester is so adorable!!! And Mindy Kaling's book is definitely on the top of my "to read" list. Of course, with all my course readings, we'll see if I ever have time for that.

    On a more serious note, I really appreciate your openness. I also harbor a lot of fears about the world around me, and being more courageous is something I want to do this year. It will be hard, but with God's help we can do it!

    1. Aww, thanks so much, Lauren! Chester definitely knows how to melt our hearts. :)

      I totally remember the days of wanting to read vs. having to read in college. The good thing about Kaling's book is that each chapter is like a mini essay. So you can read a chapter (sometimes only a page or two) and it's complete at the end of it. Easy for those "got to class early and everyone's waiting in the hallway" moments or "I've got an hour between classes and no one's around to hang out" moments. :)

      Your words are so encouraging! I find that those of us who struggle with the fears of the world happen to be some of the most courageous people. After all, it takes courage to address the fear, right? :)

  7. How is it that I just read this?! I MISS YOU TOO! In fact, I was just thinking to myself today, "I need to message Christina and get her new address so we can try the pen pal thing again." So, expect a Facebook message. And you'll be happy to know I AM WRITING TONIGHT! No worries, the post won't be in all-caps like that.


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