Who are we? Great question. Unfortunately, we have been working on answering that since 2009 and we still have not come to a conclusion. My name’s Nick, and I met Kristin while I was a barista at Kade’s Coffee in Peoria, Illinois. I successfully caffeinated her, and as I recall, she fell hopelessly in love with me. We got married, joined the Teach For America Corps two weeks later, spent the summer teaching in Los Angeles while staying in dorms, and eventually moved to our first home in Minneapolis.
Since that summer, we have taught, moved to Oklahoma and back, had two kids, and become experts in the art of packing boxes. Finally, we settled in a house and gave away our wide collection of medium sized, heavy-duty, cardboard boxes. I know many people out there move more, pack more, and transition more, but for us it has been a whirlwind.
Recently, we’ve been thinking and talking a lot about how life seems to get faster every year. When you were a kid, the start of summer was like the start of retirement. You spent no time planning, yet you didn’t worry that you wouldn’t be able to fit in everything you hoped to do. You spent each day fully engaged in whatever it was that interested you. The school year was the same way. You needed Christmas holiday because getting to Christmas was a major life accomplishment. The 5th graders, two years ahead of you, couldn’t have looked older or more mature. It would eons before you were prepared for the rigors they endured, like lockers, and lunch cards.
As time went on this began to change. Somehow time began to heat up, becoming more fluid. Seasons grew shorter, and years turned over with little notice. Have you noticed this as well? We have a few theories as to why it happens, but the one that we are currently fixated on is about maintenance.
Adulthood requires a good deal of maintenance. No one tells you about this ahead of time, but merely keeping yourself and your surroundings from falling apart and getting caked in dirt and unwashed clothes can consume nearly all of your unused hours. As those around you expect more (like clean clothes and no half-eaten food anywhere), you find yourself filling the gaps between work and sleep with an increasing amount it.
This isn’t a bad thing. The process of maintaining your life can be a sacred exercise. It can also distract us from what is happening right in front of our eyes. Opportunities to explore, relish, sit and stare, savor, and experiment are just as plentiful as they were when we were on summer break. The difference is that we have forgotten how to stop and indulge.
We believe life is a gift, and what you do with it matters. We are both inspired by and bothered by the thought of how our future selves will judge us. We want to be good stewards of each day, being intentional about how we maintain our lives, and how we invest them. We want to pour purposefully into our kids so they grow into better people than we are. We want to invest our effort, time, and resources into things that continue God’s work of making all things new. This site is our attempt to codify our intentions, to celebrate the sacred normalcy of our everyday lives, and possibly to encourage others to do the same.