How and Why I [Want to] Write

It’s been almost a year since I published something here last. I’ve consistently written in a private journal since early 2012, and it’s something that Jesus has really used to work in me. As a verbal processor, they are like transcripts of a lot of my conversations with God. Whenever I imagine a picture of this, I literally think of me stomping around my old room at my parents’ house and Jesus just being so gentle with me. I’m usually pretty hot on the keys when I write, and I love that they feel like little hammers. After I come to a stop, I usually read over my work, no edits, and close Evernote down. (I love that writing process.) Sometimes there is also a teeny tiny voice that says, “Maybe this would help somebody? Maybe this will come up in someone’s desperate late night Google search or mindless Facebook scroll?” That’s really why I want to write. I love when others write like that, and I happen to find it when I’m in a really hard place. There’s just so much tension between copying the piece into an empty blog post and hitting publish.


Viewing Home in a New Place

Hannah Novak Deception Pass Seattle, WA

I had a dream the other night that I was back in my hometown. For some reason, I walked on side of the highway from my parent’s house to the gym, and I cried on the way back. I was glad to be with my family, but it wasn’t I5, and there were no sidewalks or bike lanes or tall pine trees anywhere. Things looked familiar, and it was good to see the sights I grew up seeing, but it didn’t feel like home. And that was hard – still is.

Moving to and living in Seattle has wrecked how I’ve viewed home. I used to have one picture of it, and moving here shook that upside down and into pieces. Before, it wasn’t a perfect picture that I had, and there were things that frustrated me a lot about my hometown, but it was one picture – all I knew. Now I have pieces of two different puzzles to make up my picture of home. One side is a big city with cool shops and restaurants, tall pine trees, the Puget Sound, Lake Washington, lots of fruit trees, and our very good friends. It’s cool and artsy. It’s the first place we lived as a married couple, and where our first baby will be born. The other side is a southern state, warm most of the year, filled with countryside, the places I used to go as a little girl, and our families. It’s homey in it’s own way. There’s family and room to sprawl out. It’s where we first met and where we got married. It just makes me sad that they don’t fit together as one perfect place – that I’ll always be torn and homesick, until Jesus comes. It’s something that I never had to face before.

Our Daughter

White Valentine's Day Rose

Valentine’s Day this year was the best Valentine’s Day, and one of the best days period, that I’ve had so far. It was our first married Valentine’s Day, which was very sweet and fun. Eric gave the prettiest white rose bush (my first!) and made us bagels with cream cheese and raspberry jam for breakfast. I spent the morning making him and baby valentines with our newly-married-and-just-moved craft supplies of: scissors, a stack of white paper, a red pen, a fuchsia Sharpie, and a broken pink crayon.

Valentine's Day Cream Cheese Bagels with Raspberry Jam

The second best and most exciting thing about Valentine’s Day was our big ultrasound appointment! It was scheduled for the afternoon, and let me just say, it was so hard to wait. I felt like a little kid saying, “Can we go yet?! Is it time yet?! What if we just leave now?” The ultrasound was a little over an hour long, which was great since we hadn’t seen our little munchkin since I was 7 weeks along (I’m 19 weeks now). They measured everything from head to toe, and I/the baby measured a day ahead! At the end of the ultrasound, the tech asked again if we wanted to find out the gender. “Yes yes yes!” I said, in probably a Despicable Me minion way.

Eric and Hannah Novak


Our Daughter

We have a daughter – a beautiful, beautiful daughter! I could see her smacking her lips on the ultrasound, and she moved around so much like I had already felt. I think I finally get it now. She was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen – out of all the places I’ve been, sunsets viewed from airplanes, and foreign lands – she was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I can’t stop looking at her pictures. I’m still in awe that she’s growing inside of me, a real live person, a very good gift.

The Livery in Lexington, KY

I’m from Kentucky and Eric lived there for a year while we were dating and engaged. We love the state for the long summers, and sunsets, and because our families are there, but the culture is completely different from that of Washington. One thing that we love about Seattle is that the community and culture here is very artistic and focused on local/small businesses. Over the past week or two, I’ve noticed quite a few creative, small businesses in Kentucky, which has surprised me! I want to feature some of them, because they truly are good businesses that deserve to be known about.

The Livery, Lexington, KY

The Livery, based in Lexington, Kentucky, is a community workspace by day and an event venue by night. It’s historic building is located downtown, and is a beautiful mix of urban and rustic. As it is told, the original Lexington Livery was a horse stable, meant for temporary use by carriages passing through. There’s lots of history and hard work in the bones of this place.

I can tell that the people behind The Livery are really working hard at encouraging a good creative, small business culture, which is so refreshing and exciting to see in Kentucky. In fact, they host LEXTALKS, which are a series of community events geared toward “energizing the city towards innovation and genuine social connection.”

If you live in or near Lexington, I highly recommend you to check out The Livery! If you are a creative or a business owner, get involved with these people. I understand how hard it is to run and try to grow a business in a culture that is not understanding or receptive of such. But I can say that from my experience from living both in Kentucky and Seattle, running and growing a business in an unreceptive culture goes a lot better when you invest into creating the culture. There is actually great opportunity in Kentucky, because the creative, small business culture is still developing. It provides the unique opportunity to go beyond the surface of our own businesses to shape the culture toward creating quality, and being a supportive community that allows creative, small businesses to grow.


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Hard Seasons Come with Good Gifts

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” -James 1:16-18

Baby Novak's Crib

I’m so excited to have my own tiny baby – Eric and I both are. Maybe it’s because I’m so young, and it’s like having a dream for years and years, day after day, and finally the dream comes true! Surprise! My little pint sized kitchen has turned into a real one. The life size baby doll I cared for so much has now turned into a 5+ inch long growing person who I love. Saying, “I want to be a mama someday.” and sometimes, occasionally, “artist” has turned into actually being those! It’s very exciting.

Frosted Ivy in the Sunlight Seattle

Even good seasons of life have difficult facets, though. The flip side of being little and having a pretend kitchen (which was loads of fun) meant that I didn’t get to plan my own meals. Now, we’re both grown ups, married, and we have a baby on the way! One of the hard places in this good season of life is handling [so much] outside opinion. I think looking back allows us to see even more good in our lives, because we are able to put more pieces together and see the bigger picture – even if still in part. It doesn’t make hard places and seasons much easier, but it helps me to see, at least, how Jesus has orchestrated everything for good. It helps me see that he gives good gifts.

Our baby is 17 weeks old now, and apparently about 5+ inches long – probably more if it’s taken after Eric – who is 6’4″. I’ve been getting super hungry lately, too. Baby really starts moving whenever there are loud noises, like lots of people talking, laughing, and singing. I noticed it moved a lot when we were visiting in Kentucky, because there were so many family members around, and we sang and played the piano lots with Eric’s side of the family. Hopefully we’ll find out this month whether we have a baby girl or boy!