My Life is a Map of the World

Ever find yourself deep in thought and then stumble onto some beautiful thoughts? Join me as I share a moment of daydreaming, joy and exploration…

This past weekend I found myself with a lot of solo time on my hands. Times like these are vital to my mental health and balance in life. And more times then none, they lead me to deep thoughts and discovered inner joy.

During a moment of reflection where I was bundled up in a cozy sweater, perfect for fall, and watching the leaves fall from the tree in our backyard, it dawned on me. It dawned on me that I am a small reflection of the world and that so much of what I do is inspired by the world. Let me dig a little deeper.

My birth certificate and current zip code prove my U. S. Citizenship but my ancestors give me the history of England, Scotland, Poland, Lithuania and Native America.

The man I love most is someone who descends from Africa and Europe.

My religion originated in the Middle East.

I own a dog whose breed was made popular by Germany

I like to carry out my skincare routine like the Koreans.

I like to drink coffee like the Italians.

I’m inspired by the natural aesthetic and use of make-up and hair care like the French.

I like to eat like the Japanese.

I dress myself and fill my home with furnishings that you’d find easily in Scandinavia.

These are all just a few of the things I value, love, am drawn to and want to know more about. And it’s in all of those curiosities that I find, that we find, how truly connected we are to the past, the present and the future. It’s in those things where we find connection to others no matter how near or far.

Who or what are you connected to?


Traveling & Closed Borders

Welcome! Join me as I dive into all of the feelings about travel and Covid-19. I promise you will leave with some fresh perspective….

Travel is one of the greatest freedoms and privileges in our modern time. We have the ability to dream up a location, consider how we want to get there and then to head out towards the horizon. But what feelings arise whenever we can’t just go? How do we navigate restricted boarders and the red letter “no” travel?

In the past two years I have left the country to visit foreign countries. I felt free, I felt alive but did I feel grateful? Time and time again we find ourselves taking things for granted. I think in this year alone, we can all agree that we learned that taking things for granted turned out to be our secret talent, special language and or way of life.

Travel restriction goes one step further because not only can you not travel to surrounding countries but city to city travel is limited and not encouraged. I found myself frustrated and suffocated for not being able to explore, wander and feed my curiosity.

Frustration, anger, confusion, bitterness and even apathy are all normal things to be feeling in life and in 2020. But the big question that I want to ask you, are you ok with living life through these feelings? Or do you want to stop taking things for granted, putting off plans, staying in bad habits, choosing to put yourself last, delay that one thing another year, or anything else under the sun?

I think we all want to live lives that are well loved, cherished and free even when life throws a criss-crossing moment at you. Please know that at the end of the day, no matter what this year or the next looks like, that you have a choice to start living your ideal adventure today.

This is my challenge to you, find an area in your life that you want to love better, make a plan and walk into that plan today. And because our chances of reaching our goals increases whenever we tell someone else, comment your goal down below or share it with your bestie! Not only do you achieve more goals when you let someone else in on the journey but you can find yourself to be more motivated throughout the process.

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You are loved!


A Journey for Two

Love is a wild journey! Come join us on the blog in celebration of our second wedding anniversary!

Today is the day before Jacob and I celebrate our second wedding anniversary and my thoughts currently are… how has it been two years already and, also, how has it only been two years?? Have you ever felt this about those things most precious to you?

These past two years have been the very definition of an adventure. We’ve traveled to two countries, ten states, woken up before the sun and crawled into bed long after the rise of the moon. We’ve danced barefooted on beaches, on top of mountains and in dirty kitchens. We’ve eaten both the finest cuisine and tasted our tears. We’ve shared in stresses, anxieties and fears.

I knew I loved you when I said “I do” but I never expected it to grow into something 10x more gorgeous, freeing, intimate, wild and true. My heart is bursting for the man who gave me his last name. It’s the greatest honor to carry this flame.

I cannot wait to see what the next year looks like for us in this journey and everyone it involves. We are incredibly thankful to our families, our friends and to you for supporting us, praying for us and being adventurous with us along this journey of lives well loved.

You are loved!


Scandinavian Saint-Gilles Airbnb

Welcome to our home away from home. Join me as I give a visual tour of our Scandinavian style Airbnb and also my top marriage advice!

Welcome to our Airbnb located in the Saint-Gilles neighborhood of Brussels, Belgium!


Climbing up four floors, we reach our minimalist, Scandinavian home away from home. With being a lofted penthouse, skylights and windows offered plenty of natural light to highlight the simple beauty within the home and framed views of terracotta roofs against the sky. We decided that we truly couldn’t have picked a better place.


For anyone who has traveled in Europe, you know just how convenient the transportation system is compared to the US. So during our time away from the loft we found ourselves walking anywhere between 11 and 13 miles per day (hello half marathon)! This fact alone states how tired you could expect our bones to be by the end of the day and sometimes into the next morning.



Choosing to take rest in a such a minimalist space, I believe, truly allows for rejuvenation. There is just something so perfect about having exactly what you need in just a few basics that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. And it just so happens that both Jacob and I see the Scandi style as pleasing and ideal for a relaxing environment (huge win).





In this space we made excited trip plans, took in the silence, gorged ourselves on pizza from the shop on the corner, talked about our future, aired out drenched clothing from exploring during rainy days and watched sunrises to sunsets. My advice to every kind of relationship from friendship to romance- is to travel. There is this special kind of magic that occurs whenever you are one on one with your travel companion. It transcends every other kind of encounter.

You can bicker, you can explore, you can share truths and you can feel alone together too. Each opportunity leads you to know more about their pain and their weaknesses but more so their hopes and dreams. It is my goal to never stop dating my husband and especially never stop learning him. It is the greatest freedom and blessing to know that he feels the same way.

And it is this very truth and joy that makes me certain that we will always keep travel in our relationship through the seasons in life to come. So we want to thank you for coming along with us as we explore God’s good Earth and the mysteries of marriage. Cheers to the wrap up of our Belgium travels and now onto some killer US locations….


Next week on the blog come back for Christmas! YES! Christmas is finally here again and I will be sharing some Holiday Cheer by giving coverage to a warm and cozy Christmas event going on here in Indiana.


Our Day in Antwerp, Belgium

Sitting on the North Sea is out last location on our Belgium tour. Join me as I share our rainy day in the city and all of its charms that it has to offer…

Butting up to the Netherlands on the coast of the North Sea is our last location, Antwerp, Belgium. This is a location we had in the back of our minds to visit while in Europe but we weren’t sure on if we would make it. I say that because on the flight to Belgium we had a certain itinerary in mind compared to the one we actually got to explore. So by the end of day one of our trip, we knew we definitely wanted to visit this city and explore all of its water ways.

Taking a train a little over an hour north of Brussels, we got to Antwerp. The thing I noticed first about this city is it’s amazing and gorgeous train station. With being multiple levels high and adorned with a golden clock, it truly was a sight to be seen. This beauty continued itself further into the station and then out its front doors to the new city awaiting us.


From those very doors, what I saw genuinely made me giggle. Across the walk way I saw painting in red with two proud stone lions, Antwerp’s Chinatown. Did I expect to find myself in China while in Dutch country? Absolutely not! But was I mad about it? Heck no.


Much like the swans I told you about, I saw my target and booked it to China! Looking in shop windows full of ceramics, silk screens, glowing neon and menus and menus of my kind of food- I was in a silly little heaven. I even made Jacob promise me that we would come back before leaving for the day because I knew exactly what I wanted to have for my dinner.

But onward we went in search of more of the cities charms. One of those being in another gorgeous center where an age old turquoise fountain stood with the backdrop of those buildings that I fell hard for! We even got lucky enough to not have lots of crowds around us while we took in the sights. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that it was Monday and also a rainy Monday at that.


It’s usually around here in the day where I try to nail down the feeling that I get from a place. I don’t think I mean to always do this but I truly think that our surroundings have a personality all of their own that help tells a story of the past influencing the present. While in Antwerp, this was a hard feat for me to do but I think by the end of the day I came to see it as a quiet beauty, a place of rest almost.

Some of my favorite moments were empty yet inviting outdoor cafes, more adorable Belgium pups, shops with their windows full of plants, churches offering moments of reflection and bikes with baskets…





But speaking of coffee, we were without a doubt in need of more. So with the need for a pause and a moment to fill our bellies, we sat inside of a restaurant that specializes in English cuisine. Jacob ordered his food with a beer to wash it down while I ordered a cheese toastie (grilled cheese) and a coffee.


Unlike my instant connection to the food found in Chinatown from above, I tend to struggle a bit with food while traveling. In my mind I think about the language barrier when ordering but also on the unknown. It can be hard to decide and pick a place whenever you don’t know what all is around you to try and eat. I have this feeling of “what if I’m missing out on something better.” It is something that I want to continue to get better at while traveling because who doesn’t love reading up on food and different cultural cuisine!

Around the corner from our lunch spot was a statue I was hoping to see. This statue is called “Nello and Patrasche” and is of a boy and his dog snuggling under a blanket. So of course this made me miss our sweet boy, Tyson. And it may have, also, made me wish for a blanket for myself because the day was just not warming up anytime soon.


Around this part of the city I remembered one of the things that Antwerp is known for. Antwerp is known to have the largest collection of diamonds in one area so we knew exactly what our souvenirs would be… just kidding. We tucked into a dime a dozen souvenirs shop for Jacob’s last Belgium city shot glass.

Maybe I need to do a travel around the world via his shot glass collection!

Something that I was missing from our day was water. In all of our other locations we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of water around us (or maybe we are surprised because we are from the midwest in the US). But with Antwerp being just off of the North Sea, we knew we could easily get our fill if we decided to do so.

The first promise of getting close to the water was a large and oh so stunning mural of a whale! Followed quickly by the actual water with cross walks to get to the other side of the water or ships sitting on its surface to travel down it.


So far on the trip we haven’t visited any museums. This is something we go back and forth on for whether it’s something we should spend valuable time on or not. But while in Antwerp, we figured we should visit one for the trip. We chose the Museum aan de Stroom and it is a museum that cover’s the city’s Metropolis, Power, Life and Death, and Antwerp’s history as a port city. The draw to going wasn’t just the history story but also the rooftop which offers panorama views of the whole city.


Whenever we found the museum we noticed two things about it. The first was that the building itself was huge with modern touches and a very colorful exterior. The second thing we noticed was that it was very much closed for the day. Completely bummed at my lack of remembering its weekly hours, we turned it around and decided to take in the scenes surrounding the building.


Just down the way was a docked “pirate” ship as Jacob called it. To which he then decided that he was going to get on it for a picture and a laugh. Seeing the ship made my eyes fall onto another beautiful mural that ironically enough had the word “beYOUtiful” painted at its center. I love it when things don’t work out but you still find joy in the process. I think this about life but more importantly about myself and those around us. You never know how a “no” or a “rejection” will end up steering your life.



Before we took our frozen little bodies back to that gorgeous train station, we stopped in Chinatown for a to go order of my most favorite bao- aka the food version of a hug. Then we found our platform and snuggled in for a sleepy ride home to our Airbnb in Brussels for our last night in Belgium.



Thank you again for coming alongside me on our adventures! You’ve heard me talking an awful lot about our cozy, home away from home. Well for me where we lay our heads at night is just as important as the local or foreign streets we find ourselves on. So next week please come back for a cozy read about our Scandinavian home, how travel impacts our married and future adventures in store for Krisscrossing Life!


Jacksonville, Florida

Step out of the norm and into squishy sand, salty air and a vow for a lifetime….

On the morning of October 6th, I woke up at sunrise in Jacksonville Florida, wrapped up in a cozy sweater and made my way down to the ocean.

Squishing my toes in the sand I found my spot on the coast. Within twenty minutes the sky was on fire with a beautiful message of a new day and another moment along the way for Kurt and Chelsea. It was wonderful to see this promise fulfilling itself throughout the day.




But with every wedding comes a full days worth of pulling together to make the dream a reality! So I headed back up the beach to get ready for the day!







Every detail seemed to come together flawlessly and so naturally. Some of this natural grace came from different members of the bridal party actually pulling in the greenery from around the houses we were staying in. I’m not sure why but it warmed my heart to see them trudging through bushes to find those beautiful leaves.

Chelsea was stunning in every way. Her grace was shown in the way she walked while her joy was painted across every fiber of her being. But this didn’t overshadow Kurt. Kurt’s gentleness went perfectly with his structured suit. His strength wasn’t diminished by the tears he experienced but somehow made him that much stronger.

To follow was a reception perfect for them from a signature drink at the bar, thoughtful moments with special people and dancing that I would later feel in every muscle. Their wedding day on the beach with both the sun and the stars was everything and more.


Thank you both for allowing Jacob and I be such big parts of your day and first steps as Mr and Mrs! We cannot wait for all of the years to come.

Also for transparency sake, I was not the official photographer for this wedding but definitely took some behind the scenes pictures.



Next week on the blog I will be sharing our wedding pictures!! Yep that’s right its finally Harrison time!

Our Story: How it all Started

We wouldn’t be us without a beginning, please join in our story…

I can’t believe that we are finally here at our wedding weekend! It feels like only yesterday that I met my sweet Jacob and now I will always know that he will be with me and I with him! And to better celebrate here on the Blog this week, here is our love story!
jacob and kristen
Around 2017’s new years weekend, Jacob moved from Colorado to Indiana while Kristen was currently living in Indiana. He was moving back to Indiana to start a new job while she was pretty settled into her life there. She just so happened to work at the same library where he worked security while he was at University.
It was an afternoon on a chilly January Monday, when Jacob and Kristen first saw each other. She was busy at work at the library when Jacob stopped by. He was only there to stay Hello to a few of his ex coworkers before going home for the day.
Whenever she first saw him, something in the air changed. She felt a pull to him and a spark that she had never felt before. He wasn’t what she expected but every piece of her was telling her that he needed to be in her life for whatever reason. The only way she could sum up that feeling was by remembering all of the past prayers in her lifetime for a sign of her “one”.

While he was in the library, he noticed her but was more so focused on why he had come to the library in the first place. He made his rounds, laughed and caught up with some of the old friends he knew and then was on his way.

What he didn’t realize was that while he was talking to patrons and employees of the library, she was at work learning more about him. Everyone who knew him from before had nothing but the best things to say about his character, spirit, heart and work ethic. These truths made her learn things about him that others didn’t realize. There was something about him that set him apart, that made him the sweet and genuine person that he is. And she knew right away that he loved the same unchangeable, never shifting Jesus Christ.

At this point in time he wasn’t fully moved back to Terre Haute. He was living about 35 minutes away. So on his drive back home from the haute, he gets a FaceBook message and it ends up being from the girl he saw working at the library. So what does he do? He writes back but still in complete confusion.

Before she sent the message to him, she had two questions to answer:

1. Did he love the Lord like she could feel on him?

2. Was he even single?

And the answers came back yes and yes. Sooner than she realized it, he messaged her back.

Two days later the two of them met for coffee. Both just trying this out to see what it would be like. She was dressed all in black with stoic body language while he was in athletic wear with bubbling energetic energy to match. They couldn’t be more opposite so no one could blame them for what came next- the friendzone.

They both friend-zoned each other but for whatever reason, maybe it was her first heart pull to him or his deep curiosity in what she was really about, they kept hanging out together.

Their time started with a couple of coffee shop hangouts, then grew to 4 hour long phone conversations, to long walks in parks, taking pictures together, holding hands, first kisses in parking lots, professions of love on marble bridges then like a turn of the page to a new chapter that starts with a man on his knee just wanting to love that girl with everything he has for as long as he breathes.

She may have made the first move and felt the first skip of heartbeat but he was the first to tell her how one day he would marry her. She knew and he knew somehow all along that they were meant to be. And as they say, the rest is history!

wedding date