Let Todays Be Our Somedays

This week has been perfect.

And the exciting thing is, it’s not done yet!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday Brent and I celebrated our ONE YEAR anniversary! I can hardly believe it has been one year already, and we have been enjoying the most relaxing time at our favorite beach, Ocean Grove, New Jersey. In fact, right now my sweet husband is sacrifically watching Sports Center so that I can spend some time in our cozy room writin this blog… (or is it the other way around?).

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love talking about memories dating back to 11th grade, like when I pretended I needed help with literature homework and “couldn’t text about it anymore,” a scheme to make “my future husband” call me. Another favorite was our senior missions trip to Latvia, when Brent participated in an interpretive dance. Enough said. I was nearly in tears as he retold that story, and have randomly laughed in public since then as I’ve pictured that scene.

More recent memories include the time Brent ran a half marathon with me, absolutely no training under his belt. Anything in the name of love. Or the time that he didn’t like the gift I got him on our first Christmas…and then I burst into tears…(now we’re getting more recent, and more vulnerable!)

I love talking about things like the highlights and challenges of marriage that we’ve experienced in the past 12 months, mainly how selfless we’ve both had to be, yet how fun sleepovers with your best friend really are.

Besides reminiscing our past, one of my favorite things to do with Brent is dream. We dream of the future, his love for business, my ideas for decor in our someday home, which beach house we’d buy if we had a million bucks, and what we’ll name our kids. I love that, to Brent, every empty lot holds potential and every abandoned house can be restored. He is a visionary and it causes me to think outside the box, not in want, but inspiration and creativity.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Tonight I was thinking of where we’ve been and where we are now. I was thinking of my little sister, and how we just dropped her off at Eastern University this past weekend. She has a blank canvas ahead of her, four years at a gorgeous school, making new friends and deciding what she wants to do with her life. When we dropped her off I found myself envious of this new adventure she’s on (half of that may be her close proximity to Trader Joe’s, but I won’t confirm…) 😉

Then I thought back to myself in that moment, graduating senior trying to figure out what to do with life. In that moment all I wanted was to be done with school, to meet a nice guy, to know I was marrying him, and to not have to figure out my life. I was pretty concerned with the future, and high school seemed like a safe option to re-enter, while college seemed like a great option to skip.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s so easy to look back and think how easy life was. Or to look to the future…how fun life will be.

Why is the moment never enough?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I knew I had to write, nothing long or in depth, just some memories, some thoughts, and the phrase that has been playing in my brain all evening.

There’s always a someday…

but what if  that day is today?

photo 3 photo 4

{Carolyn & her new home ❤ }

~~~~~~~~~~~~

photo 2

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

{a couple snapshots of our week so far}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

xoxo K + B

32d6c66824b94e7b6f9009f929d545b9

Monday Inspiration

Some fresh inspiration on a Monday afternoon, take three.

Life is a little bit crazy…and it is hard to believe that summer is practically coming to an end (unfortunate) and that my other favorite season is right around the corner (fortunate).

A little mini life update:

1. One week from today is our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! And what a crazy year it has been.

2. My little sister leaves for her first year of college this week, so that feels kind of bittersweet. Luckily there is a Trader Joe’s in dangerously close proximity to where she’ll be located…so the sweet may outweigh the bitter on this one.

3. Brent is switching jobs! Another bittersweet thing for us, but totally the Lord. He’ll be working with his dad doing new home construction and we are very excited!

4. Life is crazy and busy and I am still learning to manage it all… I found this quote today and immediately set it as my desktop background-

2014-07-28-david-duchemin-blog-exclusion-02

{the girl with a reputation of saying yes to everything is learning this in a very big way.}

And now for your (or at least my) weekday inspiration-

food

food

 My favorite afternoon pick-me-ups are ever changing. This week I am loving fresh strawberries with gorgonzola and fig balsamic drizzled on top. It is seriously so yummy. Also, in an effort to curb my spending habits (specifically in the realm of coffee shops) I have been making my own iced coffee! I have found that making a pot of super strong coffee (typically 4 cups of water to 6 TBSP of grounds) is the perfect balance when dealing with watery iced cubes. I love using the Square One coffee, and the blend we have at work is awesome! I have also recently discovered honey + whole milk in coffee and it is the highlight of my afternoon these days. 🙂

decor

decor

 I’ve been putting these fresh berry boxes to good use all over the place. This particular one acts as an organizer for all my random crafty stuff, and is the perfect accent to brighten up my desk with a touch of summertime.

hair

beauty

I have discovered maybe the best invention when it comes to beauty products. Organix is one of my favorite over the counter hair-product brands, and their moroccan sea salt spray is just perfect. It smells delicious while giving you the saltwater beach-y texture that you crave in the summer. I love that it helps me create the wavy look without looking stiff like mousse or gel can tend to do.

shoes

style

The perfect brown leather flats. I really thought nothing could beat my last pair (steve madden compliments of goodwill) because they fit perfectly, were worn in to perfection, and then suddenly fell apart (the reason Brent says ‘don’t get attached to shoes from goodwill’). I stumbled across these tobacco colored leather beauties at Nine West in Tanger Outlets and I swear I’ve never worn a more comfortable pair of flats. They are structured enough to support my feet but not so stiff that they cause blisters (a problem I often run into with the backs of new flats). The best part- they match everything!

journal

heart stuff

Only $4.99 at HomeGoods, this journal is my new “share my heart” spot. I love the watercolor smeared look of it, and I love the crisp clean pages! My previous journal had some very sad but major water damage (candle holders do not always work interchangeably as flower vases, and do not sit books underneath them. especially when filled with water. decorating fail.) but it works out well because this one is about to capture the newest season of our life- year two– and the most recent happenings amidst craziness!

Eventually some of the words on those pages will end up on my little blog, but in the meantime I thought I’d keep you posted on life in the Hostetter home, and encourage you to ENJOY THIS WEEK! Monday is just the beginning!

So make yourself a tall glass of iced coffee, experiment with beach-y waves, and choose today that each day will be joy-filled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

that it will never come again, is what makes life so sweet.

{emily dickinson}

You Are Worth It

The past few days have been a blur.

Some friends and I put together a spontaneous closet sale, which turned out to be a HUGE success! The amount of old relationships I got to rekindle and new ones I got to make amazed me, and all the socializing felt like my own personalized version of heaven!

        photo 2         photo 1

photo 3

{love some of my very best friends in one picture!}

Combining my passions for shopping, fashion, girls/women and planning gave me SO much life, and as I’ve replayed how the event went (and mentally began to plan the next one) I’ve felt my heart stirring to blog on a topic that is so real in my life- and maybe yours too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You are worth it.

I’ve shared my journey with self image before, with perfectionism, eating, and my perception of beauty. One thing I really prayed in planning for the closet sale is that it would be a fun, social event that girls would enjoy, and that looking in the mirror and trying on clothing would bring life not lies.

Trust me, I know what the mirror can do. You know why it was so easy to sell my clothing? All I had to do was grab piles from our bedroom floor, leftover from weekday mornings when I practically threw tantrums over how I looked.

Well I guess I didn’t like these, or I would have worn them, so might as well sell them.

How many of us have been in this position? Something is SO cute on the rack, in the catologue, and even when you lay out an outfit Thursday night. But when Friday morning comes and you slip into that adorable dress, you realize that it clings a little tighter than you want, that the color looks better with your bedroom chair than your skin tone, or that you simply do not like what you see. You end up in so many attempts at “the perfect outfit,” that soon your hair is messed up, your deoderant has landed on a hem somewhere back at outfits #4 or 5, and your confidence is crushed. As unfortunate as it may be, your mood has been defined.

You would be hard pressed to find a woman who has not experienced this very thing at some point in her existence. And for those who haven’t, I applaud you. You are not missing out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve often rambled to my husband the thoughts I have about a certain fashion phenomenon. That something can look SO cute in a store, or even on some other girl, but then you bring it home and it suddenly becomes this sad piece of fabric, collecting dust in your closet. I’ve (more recently) come to the conclusion that I’m blaming the wrong thing.

This may not be the clothing’s fault. Or even the company who created it.

How often do I choose to make a purchase on a “good day,” and then 24-hours later hate what I see in the mirror? How often am I just unhappy with me, with my number size or my heighth or the tone of my skin, with my peeling sunburn or the “extra weight” I percieve? How often do I throw fits in the morning, not because of the clothing, but because of my lacking confidence?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I think of the women I admire most in life, I realize something- They each know their value and they each recognize their worth.

I am not just attracted to the clothing they wear or the style of their hair or the way they always look just right. I am attracted to the deep seeded confidence I just feel when I’m around them. A confidence that creates comfortability, a knowledge of who they are in the Lords eyes, that they have so much to offer, and that they can invest in other people, in me. To look outward instead of inward, and value so much more than the material.

I am no pro at getting rid of this warped sense of beauty that is so easy to grab hold of. In fact, all I can tell you is that even in marriage, when you have been chosen and you know your husband loves you, it is a struggle. But I am a firm believer that being aware of the root of a problem helps majorly in then taking hold and uprooting, and I know that fighting your own thoughts does make a difference!

 I often think about someday, when we could have a little girl, and it brings tears to my eyes.

If  there is one thing I want her [and YOU]  to know, it is this.

9e6ed5030af60e54540ca79f01feec4c

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

xoxo Katie

Monday Inspiration

 

 

 What’s on my mind this beautiful day…

Blog Collage-1403547721395

This weekend my mother-in-law surprised me with the most enormous bouquet of flowers ever.

Not many things bring me joy like fresh flowers do, and I had so many I created multiple arrangements with more to share!

My current favs are hydrangeas and garden roses. I’ve never loved roses but those pastel pinks totally inspire me.

securedownload

Saturday we got to celebrate the marriage of one of the sweetest girls I know and a member of my Wednesday night dinner club!

Court & Nathan’s wedding had the most elegant and laid back style, and there were so many friends to spend time with. It was the perfect night!

securedownload-4

Yesterday Brent and I went on a countryside run near his parents home.

We ran 5.5 miles, which totally shocked and excited me because I’ve definitely being feeling a little “out of shape.”

I’m so thankful for a husband who loves me enough to slow down to my pace and stick with me on runs like that one.

The weather was truly beautiful and I loved coming home to see the evening light shine through the trees onto the brick wall of our apartment.

securedownload-1

We ended the weekend with a delicious fresh & local dinner, (recipe compliments of Martha Stuart herself) and watching the World Cup with friends. (Although I couldn’t really tell you much about the game since Amber and I took a walk that lasted for it’s entirety haha!)

Lately I’m learning to see the beauty in little things, and to truly enjoy moments for what they are. Our days are hardly perfect, but I find that when I focus on the pieces that I love I can cultivate thankfullness within my own heart and that of my husband, and those around me.

So here’s a recipe for you to try as you begin your week-

I really do love Martha Stewart…

A quote to inspire you-

3d35802693705d8b1e08c3d5c0a4c792

And a post to help you remember that Mondays aren’t so bad when you’re counting your blessings 🙂

LOVE YOU ALL!

(and sorry for the awful iPhone pics. Maybe I’ll get a camera someday!)

xoxo Katie

A Vow to Be Selfless

Two weekends ago we were at the wedding of some more dear friends of ours. (I may or may not start off every blog from now until December with this phrase. Like seriously, we’ve got one tomorrow. I’m in heaven.)

Anyway, we had the privilege of sitting next to an awesome couple who I have gotten to know through Brent’s family. Paul & Anita Keagy of JoyShop Ministries are just amazing, and you should definitely check out Anita’s story!

As we were waiting for the wedding to begin, Anita turned to me and asked how marriage was going (as is often the question when you’re almost a year in and don’t have kids to talk about 😉 ) I said great and smiled and talked about how much I just love marriage and adore Brent and blah blah blah and she goes, Marriage is hard isn’t it? I kind of looked at her and was like, “Well yea, it is…” and she continued, When you’re so used to looking out for yourself, and then you’ve got another person to work with, it just shows how selfish you are. I thought about what she was saying, and immediately my thoughts jumped to the evening before, when we were laying in bed, all settled in and the little dresser fan was perfectly positioned toward my face- Brent goes “Can you turn the fan towards me a little?” I, of course, responded in model wife fashion.

 “I don’t wanna turn the fan towards you, I’m hot. And I definitely don’t want to get out of bed to do it when you have two legs and can do it yourself.”

Contradictory to my words, I then slouched out of bed and made the 1/2 step journey to reach the fan (I really didn’t even need to get out of bed to do this difficult task), moved the fan an inch to the right, AND survived in the process. Pretty good right?

If it wasn’t obvious to you before this story, I am guessing it is very obvious now that I

a) am a drama queen

and

b) could win an award for my selfless attitude as a wife, and just a human being in general.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But seriously- Selflessness is an area I find myself really struggling in when it comes to my relationships, and it is totally amplified in my marriage. It is easy to put your best face on for lots of people, but when it comes to your full-time roommate it gets a tad bit tedious.

“You need to ration those fresh strawberries to last our whole week of groceries.” (but I can eat them all if I’m hungry enough)

“UM, did you just drink the last of the filtered water? That was mine.” (as if we are experiencing a major drought here in downtown Lancaster.)

“That is not the movie had in mind…” (but I literally said in my vows we wouldn’t always watch chick-flicks)

or my current fav:

“Why don’t you wash your own baseball pants?”

(I made this comment right before a church softball game when Brent realized he had to wear dirty pants. We got there and I literally hear someone go, oh wow-that guy has already slid and they’re only warming up. he’s pretty intense.)

Nope, he just has a wife who didn’t wash his pants.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As you can see, I have identified my “area with room to grow” for the week, or maybe for life. Marriage is fun and beautiful and I love it, but I’m also really bad at being a selfless person. By nature I care a lot about me, but my heart is to care for others, and totally to care for my husband. It takes a very conscious decision on my part to say yes I will go get you a glass of water or, yes I will make mashed potatoes which I don’t like or, fine I will watch that movie with fast cars and lots of explosions.

But I chose Brent on August 18, 2013, and when I gave him my heart on that day I promised to give him my heart again and again. To choose him over and over- I verbally stated I would make steak when I wanted vegetables, that I would watch action when I wanted comedy. I promised, and as my vows are being put to the test each day, I am realizing the conscious decision it takes love, to forgive, to choose selflessness.

Again, and again, and again.

{forever}

13_Katie&Brent_0400

ddf1811a53af859b0c4ea4d2cd2bcec6

On Quality Time and the Kitchen Table

There’s no place I’d rather be on a cloudy, dreary day then in a warm and cozy kitchen. Considering this week’s weather pattern, you can imagine how thrilled I was to have a  free evening (scarce words with my scheduling tendencies…) and to actually spend time creating a delicious meal, rather than throwing something together as we head out the door for whatever activity we have that night.

This week I prepared two of my most recent “favorite meals” , both involving my best ingredient, chicken. I am not a huge meat girl, and to be honest raw meat grosses me out a little bit, but I cook a lot of chicken, a lot of quiche, and sprinkled with the occasional ground beef or turkey we get by just fine. 😉

As I was using these two simple, yummy recipes I couldn’t help but think of blogging them. Some things are just too good not to share!

So for those of you in search of your next “go to, super easy and actually tastes good leftover” dinner idea, maybe one of these will help!

(P.S. Although I practically collect cookbooks and have loads of beautiful ones, I tend toward Pinterest for much of my food inspiration. These are both pinned to my done! board (a goal of mine was to organize the pins I’ve actually completed) but below are my own variations/changes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BBQ Chicken Taquitos

 (original recipe here)

I love these taquitos for numerous reasons.

1. I think the pineapple/bbq sauce combo is amazing.

2. It’s really hard to screw these up, I promise! In fact I don’t even use exact measurements, I just throw everything together and pop it in the oven!

3. They take a little prep, but on the night you make them they are EASY and QUICK.

4. They taste good leftover. In our home, these meals come few and far between. (we are not too big on leftovers.)

~~~~~~~~~~

-This recipe makes approx 6 taquitos

-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I found that the parchment paper is super helpful when it comes to cleaning the pan)

Ingredients:

approximately 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (for this I used a whole chicken from Costco, which I had cooked in the crock pot over the weekend. Their rotisserie chickens also work great!)

-1/2 red (or white) onion, caramelized

-1 bag shredded cheddar cheese

-1 can chopped pineapple (fresh is obviously SO good, but canned works too and is easier to have on hand!)

-Cilantro (I used maybe 3 TBSP chopped, it’s kind of up to you how strong you want the flavor to be)

-1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (our personal fav)

-1 pack flour tortillas (I have used mini and large, either works)

Directions:

The instructions are as simple as this. Mix your chicken, can of pineapple (drained), onion, cilantro, salt & pepper to taste, and as much BBQ sauce as you like together with half the bag of cheese. Fill your tortillas with the mixture and place them side by side in the pan until it is full or your mixture is gone! I then covered the top with a light layer of BBQ sauce and sprinkled the rest of the cheese on top. Since your ingredients are all cooked, the taquitos really only need to be in the oven to warm, so around 20 minutes is fine (depending how hot your oven gets) and then I pop mine under the broiler to crisp the tops a little. The first time I made these I served them with rice which was delicious, but this week I just did a vegetable which was equally good! I read in the comments on the original blog that this recipe freezes well, which I would believe, but have yet to try.

We ate this Monday, and reheated in the oven Tuesday with a little extra sauce for dipping! So delicious!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Avocado Chicken Parmigiana 

(original recipe here)

This recipe, which I served last night along with an amazing fresh avocado/blueberry salad and some Trader Joe’s pasta, is so simple and really no different from your typical chicken parmesan, but for some reason we just love this variation!

~~~~~~~

-The recipe makes two chicken breasts, but again- it’s one of those recipes you can kind of just guess on ratios and make as many as you need!

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

-Spray baking pan with olive oil

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded

-1 egg

-3 TBSP milk

-1/2 cup flour

-1/2 cup breadcrumbs

-1 small can of your favorite tomato sauce (I’ve found that flavor really does matter in this one)

-1 ripe avocado

-1 bag shredded mozeralla

-fresh oregano and/or basil (not necessary, but definitely a great addition)

Directions:

Again, super easy! Whisk your egg and milk together in a small bowl. Mix your bread crumbs (I made mine with the ends of a loaf of bread and our mini food processor) and flour in another small bowl. Dip your chicken in the milk/egg mixture and dredge in the flour and bread crumbs. Fry in a pan with olive oil on medium/high heat to brown both sides (I actually used avocado oil which we found at Costco and just had to try. I figured it was fitting since the recipe uses avocado 🙂 ) When the sides are browned, place in your greased baking pan and cover in tomato sauce. Cover the pan in foil (important to keep the chicken moist) and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees (the baking time is to finish off the chicken, and will vary based on the thickness of the filets). When the chicken is almost completely cooked through uncover and sprinkle fresh herbs and salt and pepper over the sauce. Then place slices of avocado on the chicken breasts, and top off with as much mozzarella as you like. I am a firm believer in lots of cheese on italian food. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until cheese has melted!

This is great over pasta, or just plain, and the avocado really adds something! One beauty of this recipe is that, if you don’t like avocado, the tomato sauce might drown out the flavor and help you incorporate it into your diet. 😉

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The other thing I love about the kitchen is that I truly believe so many memories are made there. (so much that I wrote it on a chalkboard above our little table). Growing up, family dinners wer a regular occurrence in our home, and one that I grew to love. It was such a treat to actually sit down and enjoy a meal with my husband last night- no rushing out the door to the next thing! Later in the evening we had our friends and conveniently neighbors down for the best fresh mint mojitos and strawberry shortcake, but I’ll save those for another post!

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do, and please share some of your favorites! I love new ideas. 🙂

 

photo 1

 

6fa83378829defa1b546ee3a581f4f4f

 

photo 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Hard Work Being Yourself

12:30 AM and I am wide awake. Tapping on my sleeping husband’s arm and whispering, “hey Brent, are you awake?” (I totally knew the answer to that one). “I think I’m overstimulated creatively.”

That woke him.

I was met with a groggy, “you are so weird.” And he was out again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those of you who know me, and therefore don’t believe this story, it is true. On Saturday I slept past 9 AM (which led to a major freak out because I never do that and my Saturday was completely wasted) and then I stayed up till 1. Another uncharacteristic move on my part. I spent my day loving the weather, sipping on the yummiest coconut breeze iced latte from cute little Corner Coffee Shop, strolling the grassy aisles of an inspirational craft show and planting flowers in my city garden. On top of that, I started reading an amazing book that encompassed, beauty, home decor, and all things I love.

Who needs caffeine when you’re hyped up on inspiration?

This is no exaggeration- once I finally did close my eyes that Saturday night, I was abruptly disrupted by my own dreams of rearranging the living room furniture, and could hardly stay in bed at 3 AM. Four hours of sleep later, we were up and I was jabbering about all the things I wanted to do. We took every picture off the wall and “re-did” our apartment, and it goes without saying that I totally crashed Sunday night.

I truly was overstimulated creatively.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am a creative person, and once my mind gets racing I just can’t stop. I breathe beauty, love life and want to hug everything for joy.

My creativity can make me feel alive and ridiculous all at the same time. While I can be creative, I can also get caught up in the details of things and fall into the trap of perfection. I can become almost paralyzed when I consider what others might think of what I create, write, decorate, wear, anything that speaks to my “style.” Being vulnerable and putting myself out there can be scary. I can feel silly- Like I choose to do things that have no meaning, or waste time with the menial. I can become insecure, that my brain doesn’t work as logically as some, or that I’m just coming across as over the top and ridiculous.

It is hard work being yourself. Especially when you care what others think.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just today I was thinking about all this- about life, our weekend, what was on my heart, blogging. I was feeling insecure, lost in the busyness of where we’re at right now and feeling like I have nothing to give or to say. The more I think, the more I spiral, and the more I spiral the worse my thought process gets. But I feel like that is exactly where the devil wants me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you ever feel like you use your gifts, be who you are, enjoy life (even if it seems “menial” or “silly”) and then have the worst day ever 12 hours later? Or you feel like you’re getting ahead only to fall back into whatever your “blah”-ness is all over again.

I have discovered, more and more, that the Lord totally wants us to

a. be who we are

b. have FUN!

Enjoy life! Creativity isn’t silly, beauty isn’t ridiculous, it is totally a gift. Being excited about life is ok, and not just ok, it is good for you. I just REALLY felt like I needed to write this to encourage whoever you are to BE who you are. It is so easy to fall into the fake-ness and false-self stuff, but nobody really believes or likes that side of you.

Don’t lose yourself to the pressures you feel or perceive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some of the photographers at the studio where I work attended a workshop recently and came back with this quote. I feel like it pretty much sums up my heart in this perfectly-

If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and gave you the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation. Creativity is His gift to you and the ‘raw materials’ to be put together in various ways are His gift to you as well.”

The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life, Edith Schaeffer

❤ Katie

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things [recently]

photo 1

{watermelon, feta, & mint. sounds so strange, but seriously the best combo.

oh and Rice & Noodle’s macaroons.. YUM.}

photo 2

{this little antique peach pitcher I found at the craft show last Saturday. perfect for planting a succulent…but what isn’t perfect for a succulent?}

photo 3

{this watercolor print created by my friend Abbey of In Colour. I love to look at it hanging by my desk.}

photo 2

{the adorable craft show I went to last weekend, called The Cottonwood House.}

photo 4

{peonies, my recent flower of choice. and the dinner party I got to throw for my dear friend Court (soon-to-be MRS) and fellow dinner club members!}

photo 3

{the book I’m reading- which inspired me to take all the decor off my walls and rework my home. and the author’s blogamazing.}

photo 4

 {my workspace. I figure since I spend most of my days there it needs to look ‘me-ish’- and let’s not forget my recent favorite iced drink, introduced to me by my sweet friend Brittne. Prince Street coffee with a little chai! }

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3e71c3e74f72f8817d78b1129451022f

Happy 9 Months of Memories

This weekend has been all about love. Brent and I kicked off the wedding season by witnessing our beautiful friends Travis & Kristin say i do on a perfect Saturday evening. All I kept saying was, love this, love this, I love this. On the way home I asked Brent what his favorite part of the wedding was, and follwed with, “Did you know I just love weddings?” I was met with, “Well if I didn’t know before tonight, I definitely do now.”

photo 2

 

photo 1

Today I celebrated the marriage of our sweet friends, Chad & Kate, through their perfect bridal shower at Commonwealth on Queen. Just more opportunity for me to gush over details and talk about Kitchen Aids and bridal bouquets (two topics that I enjoy a little too much). You can only imagine how close my head will be to exploding when my own sisters start getting engaged.

photo 3

Today also marks exactly nine months since Brent & I said we do and chose each other forever. I realized, as I listened to the words shared at last nights wedding, how much that committment meant. As I listened to the promises made, and thought back to our own vows and promises, the reality hit me- marriage is no picnic, those promises are no small feat to accomplish. At the same time, I have adored this almost year of marriage, and am humbled to be Brent’s wife, to love him, and to keep my promises to the best of my ability.

At 5 months Brent & I blogged the things we’d learned so far. Tonight I want to share some of the things I love most about my husband. In honor of 9 months, and remembering how lucky I am.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-I cherish our evenings, whether watching a favorite “together show” (currently 24) or reading seperately but still together. I love the moments as we’re falling asleep, me talking and talking and talking and talking… unaware that he has been sleeping for an hour.

-I love when I’m crying, sometimes with purpose, sometimes for no reason at all, and Brent fakes a sad face and starts “crying” with me. And then I start to laugh. (or dramatically sigh and pout, which only makes him laugh harder).

-I will admit to the fact that half the times we run together I get mad because he is pushing me to run faster (which is really what I’m begging for) so I try to run ahead- only to result in a sprinting match.

-One of the things I appreciate most about Brent is his humor. He is weird. And I laugh at him all the time. When he’s imitating me he gives me these weird voices that only he can do, when he’s in a super good mood he sings so loud the neighbors hear him, and when he’s working out he likes techno music. He laughs at my (often pathetic) jokes, and takes me very “seriously” at times when I’m being dramatic, only to be followed by a dry comment that brings me back to reality.

-I married a super talented chef, not even kidding. His love Food Network and fresh, quality ingredients makes for fun weekends and delicious meals. He is also oddly talented at cutting fruit (I have his mama to thank for that). I promise, his fruit salads do not disappoint.

-Brent has diligently, throughout our marriage so far, agreed not to encroach on my spaces. By this I mean, he does not open the door to my closet and openly judge me for the disorganized mess he sees. He is super organized. I on the other hand, the primary driver of our car and caretaker of our home, am only organized in places people can see. Do not open drawers, do not look under the bed, do not ask me for a ride, and stay away from my closet.

-Brent loves me well. He is a romantic, and he takes note of what I enjoy. He writes me letters, shares my passion for good food, knows my obsession with fresh flowers, and appreciates (when in the mood) my love for shopping, big cities, new people and frozen yogurt.

-Brent’s got style. He puts up with my clothing drama in part cause he gets it, but also cause he’s just really nice like that. I love his fashion sense, and he has picked some of the cutest stuff I have, for real.

-I love that Brent talks things through. I realize more and more that he isn’t naturally a verbal processer, but when it comes to me needing advice, needing to work something out, or us disagreeing he has grown so much in that. As evidenced by my many tales of drama and imperfection, we have our share of disagreements. I feel blessed with a husband who leads me in working through them, and getting to the root of the issue (as opposed to my potential for emotional blow-ups). Brent is steady, and I love him for it.

-No one knows me like my husband. Not only did we go through some of the worst times in my life together, graduate high school together, and date on numerous occasions in the past five years, he makes an effort to know me. He invests in me, in what I love, he affirms me, he cherishes me.

He challenges me to be myself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nine months seems short and long all at once. Nine months flew, and I have already met challenges I’ve never faced, and felt parts of this journey I never imagined. I guess you could say that this love and wedding centered weekend made me reminiscent.

It made me realize not only how much I love love, but how loved I am.

photo 1

let me take a selfie.”

photo 2

Told you Brent’s got style.

photo 4

Most handsome date I ever had ❤

photo 5

No fruit salads today, but he did create this. #YUM

aad7e20a96ae067e7b89e20a0d248d13

On Sunshine, Springtime & Learning to Dance in the Rain

Tonight we took a walk. In our house, a walk is not a walk unless it leads to a snack. Brent introduced this concept, when he turns left out of the drive I know we’re headed downtown, therefore we will inevitably stop somewhere and get a little something. So here I sit, eating my sunshine cookie from Cafe18 (the only way to eat cookies guilt free is when the ingredient list includes flax) and thinking how thankful I am for our walks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve decided that springtime in our little city is super cute. Our neighbors have this tree that flounces out over the cars in our lot, budding beautiful white blooms, and then fluttering them down onto my front window (although they look a little too much like snow this late in the game.) The sunshine streams into our kitchen at 6 AM, making it 10x easier to get up, work out and go places (or at least, you would think). FLOWERS, fresh FLOWERS blooming all over the place and making my home feel that much homey-er. (Oh and I’m finally keeping some succulents alive!)

photo 1photo 5

photo 4~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is something about the sunshine that makes me come alive, makes me feel unexplainably happy and ready to face any day. I swear, the day goes from a 0 to a 10 in .2 seconds when there’s sunshine in the forecast (sorry for all the numbers hurting your head in that sentence 🙂 ). If I could have sunshine every day, I’d take it.

Unfortunately if I’m relying on the sun alone then I practically don’t function on those rainy, cloudy days. If I have the perfect atmosphere, the perfect surroundings and experience then I am amazingly, wonderfully bright and cheery. When a cloud slides over that sun, or drop of rain lands on my windshield…it’s all over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last week Jeremy Hess Photographers had a team picnic. The weather was beautiful, menu planned, decor collected, pretty much a table set for perfection. I woke up with the thought, am I having high expecations? (a major tendency of mine) and answered myself with, nope, can’t see what could go wrong tonight.

Well first, let me tell you that one girl cannot wrangle 22 helium filled balloons into a Jetta all by herself…or, let me rephrase, one girl shouldn’t have to wrangle all those balloons into a Jetta without some help. Guess what, this girl did. So if you ever search “How Many Blondes Does It Take To Get A Balloon In A Car,” the answer is -one but it takes 15 minutes-, and the videos/photos that anyone witnessing this should have taken of me…those could be totally embarrassing.

Due to all of the balloons attracting to my hair like magnets, I had something similar to a loofah sponge attached to my head by the time I arrived at the studio. And the day progressed from there…

By the time we had arrived at Jeremy’s house, set up the lights, decorated the table, and prepared our food, it was raining…nothing this loofah head couldn’t handle, but definitely raining. Drizzling on and off, our party eventually ended up in a soaking mess of craft paper, tulips and red solo cups. The perfect picture of expectations gone awry.

Parties that end like this could easily end in tears, but I look back at that night in amazement.

It was beautiful, messy, kind of overwhelming, muddy, joy-filled, memories, community, family.

We had fun. It was not perfect, there was no sunshine, but we had fun.

As the night drew to a close, my mascara was dripping, my hair was sopping and I was chilly. However, we still had 22 helium filled balloons to get rid of, and the efforts of Katie that would not be in vain.

I think that maybe the best moment of the party was the end. We grabbed the balloons from the trunk (much more smoothly than any previous transfer of location) and ran out to the front of the house.

There, beneath the twinkle lights, amidst the mess, and after the storm, we released them.

photo 4photo 3

photo 2

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunshine is fun, and springtime is beautiful. But you know that cliche, “dance in the rain“?

Yea well, I think I’m learning that too.

3ef6f32bc659507eda47b0bbedaa4cca