What's Going On with the Griffins?

by Maggie Griffin

A lot.  

The Griffin puppies are back in the swing of things: school, work, taking on more than we can handle as Autumn offers her abundance of new groups, TV shows, and projects. This is my absolute favorite time of year. Though Spring is the season known for newness, I feel especially re-energized during Fall. My favorite blogger ladies over on A Beautiful Mess call it the "pumpkin spice effect," and I most certainly fall prey to it. Every year, I force myself to wait until Oct. 1 (the first true day of fall in my book), to indulge in that insanely addictive beverage offered by the coffe corporate geniuses, but I feel its effect much sooner.  This year, with the newness of married life & house life, Fall has been extra exciting, and we are doing lots. Check it out!

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I finished Brian McGrory's memoir, Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man and quickly after sped read through Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas. I am on a memoir/mini-autobiography kick at the moment and have just opened the cover of Jodi Kantor's The Obamas (which is my favorite thus far!). I recommend all. The first two for something fun and silly, and my current read for the Michelle lovers out there. 

Byron and I were reading Buddy together, but I couldn't wait to finish... so we abandoned each other and he picked up Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection between Human and Animal Health, which he LOVED. There were several small blips about Dobermans and how odd they are. Byron became a better, more understanding puppy parent because of the book. Also, reading is attractive. It was a joy to watch him turn pages that fast. 


Byron, the ever dedicated husband, completed all 9 seasons of Grey's Anatomy in order for us to have a prime time show to watch together. Do you all love him as much as me? 

This past Saturday we had a together but alone day where we each staked our place in a room of the house and completely vegged out for hours to catch up on or start/finish a show. He returned to Breaking Bad after a hiatus taken due to a commercial ruining something for him. (He's beginning season 5 now, for those who are interested. DO NOT RUIN ANYTHING FOR HIM.) I just don't care about that show, so I was in the office beginning and finishing House of Cards,  which was amazing. 

We felt the need to get out of the house that day, so we went to Target at 10 pm for wine, ice cream, and John Adams, the HBO mini-series. We have watched 3/7 parts of that.  (For the record, this is the only time I have enjoyed Paul Giamatti, and Byron now has a HUGE crush on Abigail Adams, the historic figure, not Laura Linney, though I suppose her portrayal has something to do with it.)

TV junkies, us Griffins.  

Hoping to accomplish? 

We have a few more house projects we are hoping to complete in the near future. I want to read a million more books (just ordered 3 more on Amazon) and Byron wants to finish school. I have also been working on some holiday calligraphy prints I am hoping to get out soon! Yay!

Pining after? 

His and Hers Fall outerwear from the ever fabulous J. Crew. As if we weren't a model couple already, we would be bring the paparazzi down to Waco in these. Since being married, I have become an addictive online shopper. I am confessing that to you all because it is the first step in my recovery process. If you see us walking around in these, take me to a Shopaholics meeting.  


Hope you enjoyed our updates! Tell us what's going on with you!


Simple Thoughts on Recent Days

by Maggie Griffin

Sometimes I am unsure of what I want this space to be. I was sure that I wanted it to be a serious project, an undertaking that I pursued with more gusto than any previous blog. And I was sure that I wanted it to be about this new phase in life I have entered along with my ever sweet companion, Byron, and all that it entailed. Other than that, I have let it grow into a catch all for my thoughts, updates, the sharing of projects, and random musings, and I think that is quite okay. As you can tell, this blog has been more me than we, but since that we is one, I allow my thoughts to represent us both. 

All that to say, thank you for stopping by this little blog. I hope that with each post, you enjoy a look into our newlywed life and all that we think and do, and that it brings a smile to your day. That's what I really what this space to be, a smile maker.

I sat down to write about something other than the above,  so let me get to it: recently, our days seem to have themes. Life has its seasons and comes with lessons here and there, but as of late, almost every day has boasted a new theme.

Yesterday was Newness. Byron's mom drove down to spend the day with us, dropping off things we had left behind in Dallas and spoiling us with her presence and presents to make our home more joyful and cheery. Byron's newness came in the form of yard work and power tools. Mine, in the form of succulent ownership and herb gardener. Together, we embarked on landscaping and painting (we pulled the trigger on chalkboard paint in the office/study! hooray!). 

Today is Contentment. This theme made itself evident throughout the day in many ways. This morning, per usual, I was catching up on social media and I found this blog on twitter and this post on instagram. By 9 am, the Lord was already working on providing me the day's theme through others words. I am so humbled by the writing of others and their unique perspective. People all over the blogosphere are able to articulate feelings and lessons they have learned in such an inspiring and beautiful way. I hope that we are able to do that here.

After leaving my first job for my second, I came across the day's theme again as I sat by kids creating art. Some kids love to copy rather than create their own idea, because it is so much easier; but, often, when we copy anything, it is a less true version of what we hoped for (by definition) and we become disappointed. That is exactly what happened with these kids. Be content with your own skills and abilities I would teach them, just as I was being taught throughout the day. Be content with what you have with what you can do. Be aware of how you deprive yourself of joy and how you set yourself up to be jealous. 

Lastly, I was checking up on all my blogs later in the day and found myself looking at this and thinking about how people are casted so perfectly and we can't imagine beloved (or even hated) characters as anyone other than the actor who was cast.

How beautiful that we too are cast for our parts perfectly, gifted with our talents and things, inheriting the quirks and qualities that make us who we are. Ah, to be content with who we are, what we have, and what we can do. 

Sometimes days don't go as planned. Sometimes days are downright terrible. But all these days have themes and even the worse ones teach us something. Be alert to your theme of the day and share what you learn with those that you love; they might just need that lesson, too. 


Boxes Full of Stories

by Maggie Griffin

This is my current view. 

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As I was planning out the blogs for this month, I knew that this week would be full of moving posts and thoughts. Today, it was my hope to take pictures of our favorite items and explain why said items were so beloved. Those items are all in boxes; a mix of poor planning and not thinking things through all the way. But really it's not so much the item as it is the story. If all these boxes were to go up in flames or get damaged, things would be okay. (Pretty sure the latter could happen). It would really stink, but it would be OK.

I seem to always have this odd tension between an item and what that item means. 

I enjoy all the things that are packed away. I would describe my relationship with some fondly, using words like "treasure," "adore," "value." But they are just things. Earthly possessions. What I truly treasure, adore, and value are the people who gave me those things, the trips I purchased them on, the celebrations on which they were exchanged--the stories behind the items. Things are nice, but more often than not, the reason, the feeling, behind the thing is nicer. 


So, with our stories packed, we look forward to our new home, a place where we will display not only our own stories, but each other's, a place where two stories become one. After 6 years of consecutive moving, I have learned that the pain, stress, and hassle is forgotten as soon as I am able to unbox my things, my stories, and display them for my friends, family, and neighbors to see. And now, together, Byron and I will display all these meaningless things, with stories and memories so full of memories. It is an odd tension between the item and the story behind the item. As we move in, I hope that we are able to encourage each other not to get caught up in the decorating and the perfecting, but to rejoice in our stories merging.

When we do unpack, I hope to photograph some of the things in those boxes and tell you some of the stories that are all packed away right now.


Why We Disagree with Peter Pan and Avril Lavigne

by Maggie Griffin

Or...why growing up isn't all that bad.

As I get ready in the mornings and undo all that the day has done, washing my face, and taking out my eyes at night, I am beginning to see a new face in the mirror. A face that is subtly aging appears. I am not talking about lines or spots or new marks and colors appearing just yet, though same day I will. I am 22 years young.  The aging I detect is about the way I look at myself and whom I perceive the image staring back to be, or rather, whom I perceive my mirror image is becoming.

This past year has no doubt been my biggest year of growth in maturity and wisdom, though I am not proclaiming to be wise. I once thought the wisdom from books of courses past and lingering thoughts of classroom lectures would accumulate in a 4 year growth pattern, only to be slowed after graduation and my immediate entry into "the real world." I was sure the real world would provide me with lessons, but doubted that they would be comparable to those of my college years. Could learning about filing taxes on my own (something I still don't do), or budgeting, or dealing with things without a call to mom and dad really compare to those lessons from Aristotle's and Plato's ethics, to critical thinking and writing skills, to cultural and anthropological studies? No. But I had compared learning in the classroom against a false understanding of what being a growing person, my alternative classification of grown-up,  in the real world was.

Grown up is a stagnant term. It offers a sense of being done, learning and living over. I shall never be a grown up, for what my 4 years taught me and imparted to me was a love of learning, of experiencing new things, places, ideas, people. My new life graph shows an exponential learning curve. And the face that looks back at me in the mirror shall subtly age with the new things this growing person is learning everyday. I shall give a nod to Peter Pan and Avril Lavigne's new hit, because it is true that grown up life does not look fun, but to still have the childlike curiosity and approach to life--no boundaries, limitless exploration possibilities--while aging and experiencing each new decade of life is not scary at all.

Byron and I are growing up. And we are happy about it. Not scared. Not anxious. Though much will come our way that we are unsure of, we will continue to learn, and think, and mature, our faces changing as we go, our reflections reminding us of our great adventures. We shall never be grown ups, but we will appreciate and embrace the process of aging.

Oh, Pinterest. I love thee.

by Maggie Griffin

I have conflicting feelings about this post. I held off for so very long, resisting every urge to find out what Pinterest was, denying to myself that it was the perfect social platform. Then, I got married, signed up for it, and my life has changed for the better. Pinterest, I love you. 

A list of our current boards...home decor, food, silliness.

Part of me feels that this should be a love letter to pinterest, or that I should include a poem somewhere because I truly love pinterest THAT MUCH. You really want me to? Ok, ok! I will. A haiku to Pinterest:

Pinterest, friend, love:
ideas, so clever, easy
you make me better

But seriously. Byron and I decided to get a joint account because we are so disgustingly cute, also because he tends to be just as excited about these things as I am. At first, I only wanted to pin things that were in the same genre as our creative fields, photography and hand lettering, and home decor. Then, I saw the food tab and went crazy (Pinterest/meal-planning has solved the inevitable daily debate about what's for dinner! Hooray!) Then, I saw all these crazy helpful things: cleaners for cheap, homemade vs. bought, shelf life of foods.  Then, I saw these crazy cool inventions/hacks, as the kids are calling them. That's when I decided I could become a little to in love with pinterest and I better slow down. 

1. Sponge + Caulk + Handwritten Note = Slice of Birthday Cake Postcard! WHAT?? So cute! Wonder what kind of looks I would get in the post office...must try soon! 
2. Industrial organized mess desk set up. My grandfather had a very similar desk in his home office. Perhaps I can snag it from home and recreate this look in our new house in August?
3. Shelf Life of Food. Pinterest is full of these extremely helpful graphics that answer my most frequently googled questions. 

This post is as much confession as anything else. But I did want to share our favorite things so far, and let you know that you can follow us as we hope to start pinning some of our own things as well! Search Maggie & Byron Griffin or magpieandbee and hopefully you will be able to find us! I am excited to keep pinning things (during my limited half hour of Pinterest, self punishment), and I hope to get Byron even more involved (rather than just getting overly excited and showing him birthday cake postcards). Don't resist...join the fun. Get on pinterest! 

Happy pinning!