Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chelsea's Closet >>


Downsizing my closet, my gently used clothes, shoes and accessories are available to you.
Uniquely homey shopping experience with treats and beverages served as you browse and items gift wrapped for you. 

Sizes average: S and M tops and dresses, size 6 bottoms, and size 9 shoes. 


We need your help! >> All proceeds support Luke and I (& #barleyjames) as we follow Daddy God's faithful lead in our life and move to Brooklyn, NY on June 1st. You name the price for each item you purchase. Invite friends! Shop for a friend!

Shop online at Vinted.com or come over -- the next open house is this Saturday at 10am!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Dear Reader,

April 25th

Maybe this is for you, reader, but maybe this letter is more for me. An early attempt at wrapping my head around the wild and wonderful recent twist in the plot of my life story.

One month ago I had just gotten married and we were honeymooning in a last-minute God-provided luxury destination. Two months ago I had announced the wedding on social media and our communities erupted. Three months ago we were just friends, and I was thankful that we were that, but it was becoming apparent that he still was interested in being more and he was starting to realize that I was finally open to that. Four months ago I had just rejected his open declaration of interest in pursuing me. Five months ago we got coffee for the first time, after which he asked to do so again soon and I declined. Six months ago I shared a prophetic word I'd received for him, breaking the respectful distance of silence he'd given me. Seven months ago we ran into each other at a birthday party in Eau Claire -- the second time we'd ever seen each other, our introduction a few weeks before being the first -- and not long after he called me in MKE to see if we could meet up while he was in town visiting a friend and I turned him down. Eight months ago neither of us was looking for anyone or knew that each other existed. Today we're happily married to each other, learning the art of marriage, growing in unity, and pursuing Jesus together -- which includes flowing with His leading, going after what He's purposed us for, and hilarious generosity through us everyday, to name a few.


I love stories, particularly stories of God's faithfulness, as Im sure you do. You'd probably like to know all the details of this crazy unfolding. It will come in time. Trust me! For now I just wanted to share answers to some frequently asked questions, encourage you to ask us more, and invite you to not just follow along with our life but to be part of it.

FAQ
1. How did you and Luke meet? 
My soul sister, Kelsey, who I originally met in Windsor, CO in 2010 and have been best friends with ever since -- from her single years through to marriage and cross-country moves, missions and motherhood -- introduced us in September '15 at church on a Sunday when I was visiting my family in Eau Claire, WI.

An hour before Luke proposed.

2. How is married life?
Everything -- I mean everything -- changes when you join two separate lives together as one. That's wild. So is the grace that enables us to transition seamlessly, communicate with transparency, love each other well, and take the time to laugh (and sob as well) as we learn all the newness. At the same time, being married is the most natural thing Ive done in life. Strong words, but really. I was made for this. We're just getting to know each other and there are so many surreal moments where I look at him -- a man I hoped at best just to be friends with for life and follow along with his journey -- and soak in the fact that not only do I get to see Luke Osicka everyday, I'm MRS Osicka. Its wonderful. While I don't know him inside and out yet, I DO know him. Kels said of us after only seeing he and I in the same room two times, "I just cant picture him with anyone else, or you with anyone else. Give him a chance." Each day I am more honored, humbled, and humored by how accurate and prophetic her words were. Married life is very normal, quite special, beautifully refining, and uniquely fun. We were definitely ready, never question that we made the right choice, and we don't know what we are doing. We're enjoying it all.

3. Do you have any wedding pictures?
Not on me usually! Maybe I should change that. Our friend Ryan Lucas (ryanlucasphoto.com) took incredible photos of our wedding day. I'll be blogging gobs of them very soon. We also have a gorgeous video of the day to share in the near future by the gifted Mr and Mrs Chitwood (vimeo.com/chitwoodmedia). Stay tuned!


4. Did I hear you're moving? To New York?
Haha! Its amazing how word travels. Yes, we are moving to Brooklyn, New York on June 1st.

5. What's in Brooklyn?
We have no idea. Luke and I are called to the world. There are certainly cities and countries we already know specifically we will go to and live in in Jesus' perfectly planned timing. This is just the first. What happened is we found out our landlord wasn't offering a renewal on our lease when it was up at the end of May. We asked Daddy God what to do with that -- either way it'd mean moving but whether to stay in Milwaukee or go somewhere else was our question. In freedom, we dreamed together about pursuing a move to California. We didn't have peace about it though and just as we were tucking that away I mentioned New York. Luke had instant peace about that. He'd been in Brooklyn when he visited before. That sounded good to me. We both want to live in the 'hood. Why? Daddy God loves the people there. We love it there. The light of the world, which we are, wants to shine bright and that's best done in the darker places of the world. We don't have a place to live or jobs lined up. We have counted the cost of this major move and lifestyle change. We are rejoicing in the face of leaving our comfort zones and being pruned to produce more fruit. We have a lot of peace and almost no idea of what we are doing. This won't be the last time we move somewhere not knowing why before we get there. God is good. If you're moved to be involved, let us know.


6. Is Barley coming?
Oh, yes!

As life's rhythm ebbs and flows Luke and I are finding time once again to take pictures, write, and grab coffee to chat with you guys. We enjoy it so much. In May we will be back and forth between Milwaukee, Eau Claire, and Minneapolis -- celebrating life with family and friends, recording our album, finishing up work and packing -- so give us a shout, snag some time with us. We'd sincerely like to see you. We aren't on Snapchat or Twitter. We might not be on LinkedIN or Facebook for long. You can count on finding us on Instagram though: @lukeborek + @chelsea_pea
P.S. Luke likes to email and I prefer to text. We also really enjoy snail mail and drop-by house visitors. Don't be a stranger.


This is a fabulous story, a grand adventure, and a most reasonable service -- simply two united, laid-down lovers of Jesus not settling for 'just ok'. Thanks for coming along side of us through it all. #thebestisyettocome #thisisjustthebeginning #glorytoglory #JesusisKing #putloveondisplay

Camera Bag //

As Luke and I begin our united life and invest in things that we need for it we are committed to not supporting sweatshops or slave-labor. We've been carrying our laptop, iPad, camera, and notebooks in a backpack but as the camera is just loose in there the lens cap keeps getting knocked off. Im looking for a something that could work as a camera bag. Here is what Im considering presently:
1. Tadesse Bucket Bag >> fashionABLE   2. Chambray Trekker Backpack >> TOMS 
3. Andean Bag >> Noonday Collection   4. Yami Backpack >> Raven & Lily

The bucket bag and leather backpack are handcrafted by fairly paid women in Ethiopia from locally sourced leather. The TOMS backpack provides care for a pregnant mother and baby in a developing country. You can read about TOMS production standards here. Honestly employed women in Peru embroidered the red and white fabric of the Andean bag.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mid Air >> recording "Never Far"


Luke has been playing and singing since he was a boy. He's written books of songs over the years and he has really found his voice in singing. We took a few big risks early on in our budding relationship. On his part, he sent me a song that he had written, hoping that it at least edified me, if not that I would like it. I was moved by it and ended up recording a voice memo of me harmonizing over the top of the video he'd sent me of the song. Sending it to him, hoping he'd be blessed by it, he received it and listened on his way to church with his team in the Czech Republic. Moved to tears to be actually hearing recorded harmonies, that up til then he had only imagined over his songs, that was the moment that he knew with us that there would be no turning back -- he was all-in. It wasnt long after that that he told me over video chat that he was going to move to Milwaukee when he graduated his Discipleship Training School. Days later we picked a wedding date.

Before all of this unfolded, he had played two of his songs for a group of friends (I was in the mix) on Christmas Eve. It was my first introduction to the fact that he was even musical, let alone gifted. That night he had laid his heart out for me and Id rejected him. A week later I ended up encouraging him to record his music. A day or two after we started to talk about his trip overseas with YWAM and the rest is history. In the midst of all that whimsical real life of him coming home, graduating, proposing, and us getting married, we got to work putting together an album. The final day of our honeymoon was spent in an all-day recording session together with our friend David Wiesjahn. Just a little glimpse of the season of life ahead of us, only a taste of some of Luke's (and my) lifelong dreams coming to pass. #dontdespisesmallbeginnings #celebrateitall #HeisFaithful

Look for "Never Far" to be released in the coming months.

























Follow along with Mid Air as we go >>

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Seek My Face //

I'm getting married in seventeen days. There is a wild and wonderful story full of a thousand details of Daddy Gods faithfulness. Coming soon.


Luke and my relationship is an intimate one. We're very closely knit though we've largely built connection  by communication over video chat. Our whole relationship we have rarely, if ever, SCHEDULED time to talk, it just happens whenever there is time, because we're in love. We don't have to discipline ourselves to seek each other out. There aren't expectations for performance in our interactions. We want to know each other deeply and enjoy each other's presence. Our conversations are always different. Sometimes all we do is sing. Sometimes we don't say anything, we just behold each other. Some calls are literally 30sec long, some are 5hrs long. It's all enough. It's all good. 

And it's a picture of Christ and His church. We're missing the natural posture of readiness to be with our Lover at any moment, because we delight in Him and He desires us, if we only meet with Him for a scheduled "quiet time". He's fixed on us -- always. He is pursuing deeper intimacy, steady love, whole connection, vulnerable knowing of each other, everyday, in familiar and in new ways. Because we really are in love with Him we will gladly receive 30sec of turning our eyes on Him just to hear Him shout "I LOVE YOU!". We will seek His face early in the morning because our heart longs for Him and it's the first face we want to see when we wake up. We will burn midnight oil extravagantly and gladly on Him because we lose track of time and don't even feel tired when we're just enjoying His presence. "This Love is an everyday kind of love."

Friday, February 19, 2016

a new season of "What I Wore" // pt 3

Here we go. Diving into some mighty deep waters. This is the post on sources for ethical fashion.

A quick reminder that when I say ethical fashion I mean, ideally: 1) the sources of the fabrics and dyes and what-have-you are purchased from suppliers fairly and 2) the people employed to create and produce the pieces of clothing are paid and treated fairly. 

This isnt just about not shopping at stores that are big name brands, supplied by sweatshops overseas, made of cheap products. Ultimately this whole shift is about changing the way you shop, not just the where. This infographic provides a nifty visual:


I enjoy shopping second hand for gently-used gems. This is the thing though, for me, I still look for brand names I know and "trust" like H&M, Old Navy, or Forever 21 when Im sifting through the racks, and while purchasing these second-hand means you arent supporting the businesses with your cash, ultimately youre still supporting the brands by wearing them. You know? I would rather go at this thing radically than half-way. The whole point is to use your purchasing power to stand for the worth of the people every step of the way. This is going to expose some shadowy places. We want to do it with bright light! So here is where I am at with this... 
Second-Hand: Absolutely go for it, as long as you read the label and know for sure that the brand champions human worth at every step of the way. 
New: Buy it ethically-sourced or not at all. Sure, to buy something not ethically-sourced as a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, or "to last", means youre not dumping money over and over into the compromising companies, but lets not even do it once. 

source

Ive been doing just a bit of research. Its overwhelming to tell you the truth, but in a good way. There is more consciousness and therefore more real options for ethical purchasing than I imagined. For my own journey Im going to focus on finding brands that are ALL about valuing human life and supporting communities (ex. when buying a pair of shoes I dont want to settle for them simply being vegan and eco-friendly, I want them to be made with products produced by diligent suppliers, stitched together by skillful craftsmen, giving another pair to someone who needs shoes with every purchase). It will narrow the options down a bit and I am thankful for that. Enjoy uncovering all the gems out there that are about what you love to support with your purchasing power, in the styles that youre all about. Its fun!


Taking another look at my vision board, there are some obvious categories of items to find brands to supply: accessories, undergarments, basics, knit-wear, denim, shoes, bags, etc. Here are some goodies Ive discovered for sources. >> Note: When my wardrobe has made its complete transformation I'll be sure to share all the items and their source details. 




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

a new season of "What I Wore" // pt 2


"the Look"
Its seems a little silly I suppose for me to be making this wardrobe list in the dead of Midwest winter when Im dreaming of summertime... everything on here looks pretty summery I realize... but actually being in the reality of the cold right now helped balance this list out. With the options for pairing here, I should comfortably cover every season's needs -- here in the Midwest or in warmer climates (where I am heading in the future).

A breakdown: There is a plethora of neutral crop tops -- both tank and tee, fitted and flowy -- to choose from as basic pieces. I will also have a few tees that are long and loose and neutral colored, for the winter days when none of my abdomen will want to be exposed in the least. These will all pair great with any of the shorts (various patterns and textures), maxi skirts (neutral, color, or print, in various fits), or pants (boyfriend jeans, dark wash skinnies). For chilly days just layer on a sweater and swap sandals for boots instead. Even the shorts can transition into cool weather. I put a pair of leggings or tights on under them and boots with socks and we're set. I actually just did that last week and the temp was in the low 20's. The slip dresses and shirt dresses are great as-is for summer and can be transitioned to cool weather in the same general way as the shorts -- add a sweater and some tights and boots. Ive also added a pair of black pointy-toe heels -- because I adore them -- as well as a minimalist grey wool overcoat for winter (when Im not wearing my down jacket with the fur-lined hood, not pictured). A nice selection of neutral colored sandals and boots, all going for a boho chic look, should cover all occasions that will arise for me. Bralettes galore, as they are my simple pleasure, will work well with all the options for outfits. As for accessories, my list is minimal. A sun hat and beanie, as well as a headband or two. Ive also arranged a selection of bags for my travel-happy self: a weekend trip duffel, a market bag, a nice leather backpack/satchel, and a simple shoulder bag (to double as my pop of color in most of the outfits). Add one trusty pair of shades, and the look is complete.
I know myself too well not to make an exception to this overall look by adding the aside that I will certainly have lounge wear (read: sweats) to cozy up in at home. I just want to hold myself to more of an actually-dressed image, even as a nanny in the dead of winter, and these looks really are just as comfortable and easy to achieve as throwing on a pair of sweats is.

A note on pattern: Im really loving the bold and classy large floral print lately. Also the tribal designs. And a classic horizontal stripe, as seen on one of the shirt dresses. Pattern on pattern should be done sparingly, and if at all it should be done tastefully. I wouldnt put any of the patterned sweaters on with the floral maxi skirts or floral shorts.

In regards to wanting to be able to travel light... I could pack five tops, three skirts, two sweaters, two pairs of shorts, a dress, a pair of pants, tights, three pairs of shoes and a hat easily in a carry-on bag. If I launch into a lifestyle of truly trotting the globe and not having a home base, I could cut back to just that many items to my name. There would still be a load of options for creating outfits in all seasons and climates.

If you'd like more visuals of how these outfits could look put together check out this board of mine on Pinterest.