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Decisions, Decisions...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oh, ok. Fine. I'll take all three.

Word on the street Facebook is that Nordstrom is matching Costco's price on all Hunter Boots. That drops them down to like $75 bucks each; I can't tell you how happy it makes me to think of a colorful lineup of rainboots for me to debate between, each and every day, from now until June.

So, yeah. I'll take all three.

Sick Day Getaway

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Last week was a rough week. Paul, Porter and I were all sick; probably from the craziness of traveling and all the early, early morning flights. Paul was sickest in the beginning of the week, me in the middle and toward the end, and Porter was right along with me. His room is feet away from ours, so my coughing and sneezing and blowing wasn't helping Porter's sleep. There's nothing worse than a sick, sleep-deprived baby.

On Friday, our church had an overnight retreat up in Seattle. Paul was running sound for the event, so I got to join him. We left Porter at home, mainly so we could use a night away in Seattle to get some rest. 

Sleep: bring it.

Overnighters in Seattle are something Paul and I love doing anyway; one of my favorite date nights is dinner/hotel in Seattle, even if it's for less than 24 hours. We usually leave when I'm off work, head up and check in to our hotel, and then we go out to dinner or to see a show (or to a progressive dinner at a few new spots!) and then back to our hotel to watch a movie, order dessert from room service, cuddle up in bed and relax. It's heavenly.

I joined Paul at the retreat Friday night, but I was a mess. Blowing my nose into my dinner napkin and coughing every time there was a round of applause so I didn't distract everyone. Needless to say, sleep that night wasn't as amazing as it could have been, so I woke up in the morning when Paul got up to head down to the ballroom, and I felt even worse. He told me to stay in bed, try to get more sleep until he was done.

I did exactly that.

When I woke up, I ordered room service, and found a Law & Order: SVU marathon on TV. I've never watched it before, but I totally got sucked in (and I may have set up the DVR once I got home to record all upcoming episodes from here on out).

Eggs Benedict and Law & Order: SVU: a good Saturday morning

To all the mommies out there, I have to encourage you... if you have the time and the means to get away for a night with your hubbies -- or even alone! -- please do it. You can shut off your brain for a few minutes and enjoy some much-needed R&R.

Adventures in San Francisco

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This past weekend, we enjoyed beautiful San Francisco as a family. It was beyond amazing; I love, love, love that city. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't to move SF up to my top three favorites cities ever! But, alas -- that's where you can now find it. Top 3 Favorite Cities. Ever.

We flew down for my work retreat (my company is based out of SF). So, along with exploring a new city, I got to meet all the people I've only known virtually for nearly 2 years. It was crazy... putting faces to voices, sharing inside jokes that we've only ever laughed about over IM or email. It was a blast. I'm blessed to work for an amazing company.

My husband was scheduled to fly down with us (Porter and me), but then he was invited to attend a conference in LA for our church (where he works). So, on Friday AM - at 4am - Porter and I were picked up by our friends, Richard and Ashley (Ashley also works for the same company, which is great!) and I flew down sans husband -- Porter's first flight ever.

I was beyond nervous. I'm independent and all, but something about being a new mom sort of takes you down three notches. What if Porter was that baby on the plane? And I was alone, unarmed? No backup? How was I going to carry a suitcase, a diaper bag, a laptop bag, a stroller and a carseat by myself through security and onto the plane?

Turns out, people are pretty nice to traveling moms -- especially traveling moms that are alone and unarmed. It wasn't that bad. Next time, I would probably try to condense even more, and I would have definitely utilized my Ergo carrier sooner than I did. Either way, it's a workout. Porter is no dainty little kiddo... he's 23 pounds of solid CHUNK. He weighs the same as his 18 month old cousin, and she feels about 10 pounds lighter, because she's taller. He is just a solid mass of baby fat. I love it to death, but not so fun when you have no one to relieve you of child-toting duties.

We also booked an apartment to stay at on the website Airbnb... have you ever heard of it? Absolutely amazing. Well, scary -- I mean, you're staying at people's apartments or homes -- but we had an amazing experience. I feel like we made a new friend. Natalie was so sweet, and we were so grateful to be staying in a 2 bedroom flat. With two babies under one year old, being sardined into a small hotel room would have been torture. 

The apartment was spacious, uncluttered, clean and somewhat kidproofed -- Natalie, the homeowner, has a two year old daughter. Ironically, Natalie was leaving down this particular weekend for a work trip... to Seattle. So, it was fate. :)

Some awesome highlights from San Francisco:
  • People are so nice. People are not that nice in Seattle.
  • Painted Ladies. I definitely hung out of the window of our rental car singing the Full House theme song at the top of my lungs as we looked for a place to park at Alamo Square Park. Such a tourist I am.
  • ARCHITECTURE. The detail in all the homes and buildings is just so intricate.
  • FOOD. Oh my gosh, SF has is heaven for foodies. So many amazing restaurants. I feel like we only got a glimpse, but my glimpse included a gourmet grilled cheese, so I'm not even mad.
  • Our apartment. It was a perfect location for everything we wanted to do.
  • ZipCar. It was amazing to have a full-sized SUV to drive around with.
  • Parks, parks, and more parks! I need to be there for a full month, you guys, just to visit all of the amazing parks.
  • Fisherman's Wharf. So much to do, so many shops, so many restaurants.
  • Those ridiculous 10-person bicycles that you can rent. So cool. I needed to have done that, too.
  • Alcatraz. We didn't go, but I saw it from the Wharf. It was pretty amazing.
  • The Bay Bridge, lit up. The most gorgeous thing I have ever seen.
  • The view from Treasure Island (over the Bay Bridge). STUNNING. All bright and lit up, with just a glimmer of fog floating over the tops of the highest buildings. So perfect.
  • THE FOG. It rolls in like powered by a freaking fog machine, you guys. It's thick and has a personality of it's own.
  • De Young Museum, in Golden Gate Park. Sweeping, 360º views of the city. So pretty.

The real Full House house. :) It was painted darker and had a gate up with a No Trespassing sign. I can only imagine how annoying it must be to live there and have to deal with hundreds of photographers

Paul flew in on Saturday evening, and met us at Starbelly, where we were having a fun company dinner. It was so amazing to see him. Porter was so glad to have his daddy.

This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is the view from Treasure Island. It's moments like this that I wish I had a full-sized camera. I wish I could remember the detail of this view forever.

And, err, some lowlights:
  • I dropped/shattered my iPhone getting out of the car.
  • I got sick. Horrible head cold. And unfortunately, I passed it to my hubby and Porter. Poor boys. I'm doing better, but they're both still fighting it.
  • Traffic. Eww. At 9pm! Freeways are really a parking lot at 9pm!?
  • There was a BART strike. Super lame that I didn't get to experience that... and it made traffic that much worse.

I'm already debating when to plan my next trip back to this fabulous city. Have you ever been? What is your "must do/see" for San Francisco?

A Rave Wave Review | The Goody Wave Creator

Thursday, October 17, 2013


This curling iron is life changing; I am obsessed. Sometimes I stop using it because I go through a sockbun or straight-as-an-arrow phase, and then I forget how perfect it is. Then, on other days, I hurry and curl my whole head with this thing, because I'm short on time and I need some good curls...

...and then I don't have to wash my hair for three days because these curls just look better the longer they exist. And then I sing and skip through my days, gleefully tossing around my perfectly messy second-and-third day curls.

I kid you not. You guys, I don't ever go more than a day without washing my hair -- especially after having a baby. I just can't. I turn into a greasy mess, like, in the 25th hour. I'm not kidding... nothing has ever changed the fact that "second day hair" is not for me.

Enter: the cheapest, easiest tool on the planet.

I feel like I could maybe do my first and only hair tutorial on this... because people don't seem to appreciate how easy and perfect this tool is. Maybe I've discovered a secret in execution or something... but I feel like I need to share it with the world.

It's. Just. That. Good.

Sweater: Charlotte Russe | Lips: Laura Mercier Stickgloss in "Maple"
These curls don't fall out. They don't go limp. They just get more and more perfectly tousled with time. Sadly, the Wave Creator is discontinued through Goody, but you can still buy it online.

You're probably annoyed that I just blogged about something that is probably going to be unavailable very soon, but just in case you come across one for sale or for snagging from a friend's house, I wanted you to know that it's worth the effort. Take it. Your friend probably won't even miss it. But when they ask you about your awesome, beachy waves... don't tell them that it's from the curling iron you jacked from their spare bathroom.

Wait. Cheese from cashews?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm attempting to eat clean, clean, clean. That includes no dairy. No meat. No sugar. Whole foods only, for at least 21 days... and maybe longer, especially if I can find recipes that I love. Because, I just have to be honest... this girl loves her cheese. I can't live in a world that doesn't include sharp cheddar or the stinkiest blue.

And pasta, while we're talking about things I can't live without. And bread. And chocolate cake. Basically, if I'm going to eat healthy, I need to find ways to satisfy my cravings and not feel like I'm eating healthy. If you can trick me into eating pudding made entirely of avocado, I won't be mad.

I found a lasagna recipe on Oh She Glows, that - so far - smells amazing. I'm waiting for it to cool before cutting into it, but it basically captured me at Basil Cashew Cheese. Cheese... made entirely from cashews.

I like cashews. I can do this.

The lasagna also includes some of my favorite veggies: mushrooms, zucchini, peppers. And it seemed relatively easy from reading the steps, so I tackled it last night for dinner.

Took less than an hour, and I have to say... this could be a staple. It was hearty and flavorful... and cheesy. Three requirements of mine, for pretty much anything that I place on heavy rotation.

I may have had three servings.

Fall Things: Friday at Fox Follow Farm

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We spent a fun Friday afternoon at Fox Hollow Farm, a beautiful (albeit, kinda spooky) farm nestled into the hillside of Issaquah. It was magical: fog swirling above the treetops, reds and orange and gold leaves all around, piles of pumpkins and white-fenced arenas, wild bunnies hopping around randomly, a box of brand new kittens for your petting pleasure, a barn full of friendly horses, pony, tractor and train rides for the kiddos, parrots (!?) in the trees above out head greeting us, a beautiful river behind a charming little farmhouse, and plenty of mud puddles so that my Hunter boots could earn their keep.

It smelled like sawdust, campfire, leather, and evergreens.

It was magical.

Oh, and I'm told the "Sweet Shoppe" was selling the makings for S'Mores, so you could carry them over to the bonfire and cook your own. Somehow I didn't end up here, and I'm considering driving back up for that part alone.

Life is so much better when you spend it with great friends. This is Maggie, Katie, Jodi, and Jen... four amazing mamas that I get to be around all the time. It's so fun raising our kiddos together. Not only will Porter will have these wonderful memories growing up, but I will be able to look back on days like this and remember how amazing it is to be surrounded by genuinely good people. Especially as I'm learning and growing in my new role as a mother to a (gulp) almost one year old!

I love photography. This photo above is amazing, but if you panned back, you would see Porter perched perilously on a very questionable tree branch, with Paul's arm death-gripping his leg. Doesn't Porter look so relaxed for a child that could possibly fall into the river at any given moment? ;)

Love that Porter loves his daddy so much. It makes my heart skip (several) beats.

See. Beautiful, and only a little spooky.

100% adorable here. Not even a little spooky.

Currently Loving: Drugstore Deals

Saturday, October 12, 2013

These products lately have made my getting ready routine so effortless. And, best of all -- with the exception of the blush, these can ALL be found at your local drugstore. I'm a sucker for a great deal, and so I'm excited to put my "stamp of approval" on all of these products.

Just a note on the cucumber towelettes... I'm a diehard Neutrogena Night Calming towelette fan, and haven't used anything except for those in quite some time. However. These cucumber towelettes are so refreshing. I love this line, and can't wait to try more.

Our Beautiful Mess: For All The Moms

Friday, October 11, 2013

Yesterday, we had our first MOPS meeting of the year! I can't believe, for one, that I have a child and can now attend meetings like this. It's so surreal.

We were so lucky to hear from Nicole Moore... she was our first speaker of the year! Nichole is an amazing wife, mother and teacher. She is on staff at my church, and every time she speaks, I always find myself completely wrapped up in every word she's saying. She's so poised and well-spoken; one of those women that truly feels like they have it all together. Well, it was such a breath of fresh air to hear her speak of her mistakes, the lessons she's learned, and what she misses most about the earlier stages of motherhood. I took amazing notes, so I thought I would share this with you all, too.

I hope there's something here that resounds with you.
  • Take time to play. A kid isn't a task to be managed. Sometimes, work can wait. Sometimes, the agenda can be paused. Sometimes, you can put off your responsibilities to take a few extra moments playing with your little one, because those are the moments that mean the most.
  • There's a book for that. Resource yourself. We are so blessed to have blogs, websites and books galore. If you're dealing with something, rest assured that someone else has (or is!) too.
  • This too shall pass. It won't last forever. The tantrums, the teething, the never-ending diapers... soon enough, you'll be driving your baby to high school, and wondering where the time went. Cherish the present, because in no time, it will become a memory.
  • Nobody will ever take your place. Your personal standards will become your child's standards. Your kids are a reflection of you. Is what I am transferring into the life of this little being? If it is, and you don't like what you're seeing, it's not too late to change that. Growing yourself is the greatest gift you can give to your kids.
  • The golden rule is for you, too. Being the boss doesn't mean you can treat your kids however you want. Speak kindly. If you want your kids to restrain emotion, then you need to restrain YOURS. Show respect to your little person.
  • Never lose yourself. We let our identity become wrapped up in being a mother. A mother is not all that you are. You're a sister. A friend. A wife. Never lose sight of that. We need to recharge every once and awhile, too.
  • Failure isn't the end, it's the beginning. Acknowledge and learn from your mistakes, and move the heck on.
  • Create a safe place where no conversation is off limits. If you act hypersensitive about something, your kids will not feel safe talking to you about it. If you shame them, they will not feel safe to open up.
  • The future is now. Children are little people who are out of control of themselves, and attempting to control everyone around them. Help them develop character that will help their future go well. The patterns that children establish early in life becomes their character. And their character is their destiny.
  • The days are long, but the years are short. Cherish every single day.

Three Years.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8th, 2010, I married my best friend.

I know, so original. But true. Paul and I were friends long before we were a couple; most people saw something with us that we either:
a) ignored
or b) were too blind to see
When we finally started dating, we were met with a chorus of "FINALLY!"'s, and "I KNEW IT!"s. It was exhausting, the amount of time we were spending swearing up and down that there was truly nothing to see... nothing to know... until one day, we looked at each other, and knew what we'd been missing all along.

So, October 8th -- just three short months after our summer engagement with family and our best friends -- we were married. Those same people were standing next to us when we said I do.

I've learned so much in the past three years about myself as a wife, and as a woman in general.

Most of all, I have discovered that I thrive in my supporting role. I prefer it, in fact. I grew up playing the lead in school plays, speaking in front of crowds, showing horses and earning titles... my role has gradually changed over the years, though. I never thought it would be so fulfilling to be "behind the scenes", but I've never felt more comfortable and right than I do right now.

My husband leads worship. He leads people into the presence of God, and to do that, he has to get there first himself. He puts his heart out there daily; his heart, and every ounce of energy he has. I get to be apart of this from the front row, and it always blows my mind how nervous I get. Like, sweaty palms and racing heart nervous. It overwhelms me, watching Paul do what he loves to do. The supporting role is fulfilling, but it doesn't come without a desire to reach out and physically help when all I can do is pray. It's taken some training, for sure. I've had to learn how to be his rock, so he can do what God's called him to do.

Now, we have a child -- a son. A little boy that I can only pray is the best parts of both of us. I'm forever going to play the supporting role to those two leading men in my life. And I love it.

I hope Porter is thoughtful and loves people like his dad does. I hope he has a heart for worship. I fell in love with this man because he's just likable, and it makes me so happy to think that Porter could very well inherit those same qualities.

 These last three years have been easy. Sure, bad days happen... but bad days happen normally because of my own girlish problems. Insecurities, lack of sleep, PMS. ;) Marriage has been far easier than I thought it would be... everyone tried to warn me about how difficult the first years are, but I received a great piece of advice on the day I went to the jewelry store to pick up Paul's ring before our wedding:

The first years are only as hard as you make them.

My long-winded, joke-stealing, trendsetting husband is my favorite person on the planet. Our marriage is the most important thing to me, right alongside of being a mother. The truth is, I am free to be a good mother because of the way our marriage builds me up. Because of the way he builds me up. Paul thinks I can do anything. And as much as I resist, I honestly feel like I could, too -- especially after a pep talk from my better half. As much as I rely on God's hand on my life is as much as I rely on the man that God put in my life. It's like I have two direct lines of communication to Him -- my own, and through my husband.

I want to be a good wife. I want to be more thoughtful, a better gift-giver; a powerful praying wife. I want to be responsible but fun. Carefree but grounded. Encouraging but realistic. I want Paul to know he's irreplaceable. There is no one like him. There's no one I'd rather spend my days with, there's no one I'd rather fight with, there's no one I'd rather have on my team.

Paul, I love you so much! Happy 3 years... thank you for being such a selfless, loyal, wonderful husband. I couldn't have handpicked someone more perfect for me.

Things We Believe In:
  • Happy Hours
  • Date Nights
  • Building The Local Church
  • Talking It Out
  • Independence
  • Starbucks
  • Friends on DVD
  • Having No Plans
  • Breakfast
  • Taking Lots Of Pictures
  • Love Languages
  • Laughing A Lot
  • Thymus Extract
  • Prayer
  • Not Being Cuddley Sleepers
  • Vacations
  • Las Vegas
  • An Extended Christmas Season
  • Country Music
  • Boys Take Out The Trash, Girls Do The Dishes
  • Progressive Dinners
  • Target Runs
  • Chiropractic
  • "#ImFunny"
Things We Disagree About (Often):
  • Being On Our Phones
  • What "I'll Be There In Five" Truly Means
  • Why He Feels The Need To Take Off His Socks And Leave Them Wherever He Was Standing At The Time
  • Why I Need To Own 356 Perfumes
  • Grocery Shopping
  • "#ImFunny"

I Don't Run, But I Like To Look Like I Do

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday almost always means Target runs with Paul and Porter. It's one of my favorite parts of the week. We usually always pick up a few necessities, like diapers and dog food, or we spend way too much time pouring over the home decor, debating on if we need a new rug for our living room. But, I also always get to peruse through my favorite areas: clothing. Cosmetics. Shoes. Holiday.

I mean, when don't I need another bag of Holiday Reese's, or a new wine-stained lip (made possible by this, in Bordeaux)? The answer you're looking for is never.

So, I bought a hot pink pullover last winter before I had Porter, and I am in love with it. It's fitted and soft and is a perfect go-to outfit for running errands with a 9 month old. I'm sure it's made for something like yoga or running, but HAHAHA.

Yeah right. If you see me, and you think to yourself "man, she must be going running!", I'm sad to disappoint you. I don't run... but I like to look like I do.

I found this year's version today -- which is even softer and stretchier. I'm in love! I bought one in black (but this purple one looks better in a photo, so you can see all the fun detail).

They have a ton of different variations of this jacket, so if you've never looked in the athletic section, I urge you to do so! If you're lucky, you may even find last season's version on the sale racks. 

Why, America?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Last night, we took a little field trip to the mall to pick up a birthday present for our friend Brad. 

Ok, and just to shop in general. It's my husband's love language, I had to. We were walking by the Yankee Candle store, and I was drawn in -- but only out of morbid curiosity. Yankee Candle Company was featuring Thanksgiving Dinner themed candles.

Now, I love fall like all the rest of America apparently does (the blogging world, especially, my goodness); I can never have too many Pumpkin Pie or Apple Cider flavored things, no matter how hard I try and how random the item is (Pumpkin Spice M&Ms? Fine. Pumpkin coffee? Ok.)

But you guys -- Turkey & Stuffing in a candle? I draw the line. I almost threw up in the middle of the store. I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised, but I wasn't. It was as bad as you'd think. I shook my head violently and exited the store as quickly as I'd come in. Even the associate looked sorry that she had to let me smell it.

I get the idea, I truly do. Who doesn't enjoy the smell of a fresh turkey dinner? I know I do. But the keyword here is fresh. Something about turkey flavored wax just almost ruined Fall for me. Some things are better left in their original form. Thanks a lot, Yankee.

A few hours later, we were getting frozen yogurt with friends, and I noticed Tabasco sauce on the counter, alongside of Marshmallow Cream and Chocolate Drizzle and other delicious topping options.

Tabasco Sauce.

I had to ask.

"People love it on the Euro Tarte; they say it tastes just like a jalapeno popper."

Omg, ew. I had to try it.

I grabbed a sample of original Euro Tarte, like the girl told me too, and then added a couple of drops of Tabasco sauce.

This is a very bad idea, I thought to myself.

I was right. It was an awful idea. It didn't taste like a jalapeño popper, it tasted like frozen yogurt and Tabasco sauce. It was utterly confusing and completely revolting. I feel like I forever ruined the idea of getting creative with frozen yogurt and toppings. Even the caramel apple frozen yogurt that I was planning on getting couldn't save me.

Yuck. What is wrong with you, America?

Pat, Vanna & Alex: Where Are They Now? Oh. Still On My TV!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Can we just talk about something that blows my mind? Get ready.

Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune.

Before you laugh, just wait a second... think about it. I am 29 years old (ew, eww, ewwwww) and these shows have been on since I can remember. I'm not kidding. I used to spin out from behind out living room curtain, pretending to be Vanna White for my mom and dad and their huge, sit-it-on-your-shoulder video camera. The kind that took full sized VCR tapes, you guys.

It was a long time ago.

AND... these people are still going strong. Pat Sajak, Vanna White & Alex Trebek. They don't get enough credit.

They look amazing. They've never left their respective shows (Drew Carey hasn't taken over hosting... I'm looking at you, Bob Barker) and the shows haven't had some crazy modern makeover (I mean, sure, the letters are touchscreen now, and the final Jeopardy music is a little snazzier, but whatev. You get what I'm saying)

I don't watch these shows religiously like some people, but I do stop on ABC while channel surfing to yell out occasional answers while watching Jeopardy, or to see what Vanna's outfit looks like on Wheel of Fortune.

So, yeah. If you feel like your time was wasted by reading this randomness, I am sorry. But if any time you mumbled "I know, right?!" as you glanced over these photos or read my entry... we should be best friends.


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