Wednesday, June 29, 2016

the moment I knew he'd be a great dad.

It was one of those moments that strike you out of no where, that you know will hold some significant meaning in your life...even if you don't know why yet.

We were pretty much kids ourselves, age twenty, spending spring break in Mexico - years before I knew Paul was going to be my husband, much less the father of my babies.  We had broken up a few months before, and the trip to Cancun was, I suppose, just wishful thinking on both our parts that we might get back together.

One day when we were down at the pool there were some really young boys playing "pool basketball." Paul joined in with them enthusiastically.  I sat poolside and observed, impressed that he would take time to hang eight-year-olds on his spring break.  He was very patient with them, and just plain sweet.  I don't know why, but as I watched him interacting with those kids I had a "moment." Just like the first time I met him, when I felt all the air rush out of me in an exhilarating whoosh of excitement.  Or like years later, on a camping trip with my family, when it dawned on me, with perfect clarity, that I would not marry any man but him.

Moments like that are like guideposts - where something stirs inside you, and you think, "I don't know why, but I'll always remember this."  God is leading you, revealing something important, speaking through that simple and normal as the moment may seem.

Paul ended up being what I saw that day down at the pool.  Patient and fun, a dad who enjoys playing with and teaching our kids.  He also ended up being so much more!

While neither of us are perfect parents by any means, but rather just muddling through,  I'm grateful to have a partner in that muddling who knows how to have fun with our babes, and who loves them and delights in their stubborn, spirited, yet sweet personalities.  A man who works super hard to support our family financially, and spends the rest of his "free" time either working on our crazy home renovation or spending quality time with us.  He is a pretty unselfish husband and father.

Recently when Paul first watched the slideshow for Finola's birthday, he asked, sounding somewhat bruised, "Where am I in all these photos???"  In truth, he was only in a few.  We laughed about it a bit, but it makes sense : I stay at home with the kids full time so he just ends up on proportionately fewer photos.

But, here you go, babe...this one's for you!  We love you and are infinitely grateful for your hard work at your "real job" and all that you do to make our 'house a home.'

Happy belated Father's Day!  
I swear, one day, you'll get your gifts on time.  When the kids are grown, perhaps.

Friday, June 17, 2016

'roomie reunion recap' : georgia!

Although my small friend circle has gone through quite a metamorphosis, particularly in the past year, I know my friendship with my roommates from my second year of college is a lasting one.

It began by us randomly getting matched as roommates at a college apartment building sixteen years ago.  As we all know, cohabitation with a person can make or break a relationship...and I am thankful ours has thrived!  We have been through good times and bad.  We have each had our conflicts with each other, and lived through them -- through honesty we have ultimately coming out closer.    We have inspired and encouraged each other throughout the years. In fact, it was during our first "Roomie Reunion", back in 2010, that my friend Beth convinced me to finally start this very blog!

We currently live in all different parts of the country, but don't have to see each other or talk all the time to stay close. While I have reservations and cynicism about social media "friendships" - I appreciate it specifically because of friendships like these.  A way for friends and family who are far apart to still "see" each other and stay connected visually.

It has been a joy to watch these women grow and change throughout the years, each becoming stronger and more beautiful.  Each becoming closer to God.  (No coincidences here, folks.)

I am excited to see where our lives take us from this point on!

Last weekend we had our fourth weekend reunion trip together, and our time at Kristina's home in hot, gorgeous Georgia was so much fun.
fresh off the plane in ATL - reunited!
stopped for lunch at a spot in the "Central Park" of Atlanta
Beth and I split that "fishbowl" - I think it was my first, and my last.   
of course I came armed with my trusty selfie stick.
back at K's lovely home, we got comfy, cracked open some wine and did yoga.  seriously, we did.  not just for these posed shots.
inexplicably we all enjoy red wine and yoga!
all the hydrangea down south are beautiful blue due to the soil acidity -- I was in heaven!!!!!
Beth kept us entertained the entire weekend with her Bill Clinton impersonations and random comments.
Kristina taught a Body Flow class and we got an awesome workout with some of her regulars!
my last photo before my selfie stick broke.  post workout.
stopped in a cute little town and had a yummy lunch of fish bites, fresh garden salad, and lobster bisque.
good food, tasty drinks, and exposed brick?!?!  perfection.
we are butterflies!
we don't miss any photo op, obviously!
despite me getting bit by a fish, we had a chill time hanging at the beach 

dinner out our last night.  we were literally (beth!) the only ones in this cool restaurant.  I wish you could see the dramatic, huge, white leather, high-backed couch we were sitting on!!!
We definitely made some memories and had some moments of growth during this trip.

I love you, ladies!
Excited to see what the next year brings all of us!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

stitch fix : 'white dress' fix!

***Note: if you are inspired by this post to try this fun fashion styling service yourself, please use me as your referral by clicking HERE or any of the included links.  If you do so, I will receive a small commission to support future posts for sharing my honest, personal experience with Stitch Fix.  Thank you!!!!***

This month's Stitch Fix box had a specific request: an all-white dress for an upcoming "diner en blanc" event.  

I told my stylist Hillary that I would love a couple options to put up against the only white dress I already have (besides my wedding dress!) and I was not sure what to expect.  However, she sent me two surprising but cute frocks!  I also requested some denim gauchos, and some cute tops for summer.

So, without further ado, here are the five items I received in my Fix this month...
#1 Maegan Lasercut Knit Dress (London Times) 
This dress is totally not my typical style...but I kinda love it.  It is very girly and had a sort of retro, 1950's housewife vibe.  The laser cutout material and skirt design make it really unique and the fit is pretty flattering, despite not being what I would normally wear.  This, ladies, is why I love Stitch Fix -- it really can help you learn to branch out and figure out what works on your frame!  I am strongly considering keeping this dress...but still not sure,  I don't know what else I would wear it to.  (Update: ended up KEEPING!  Wore it to Diner En Blanc and had a fabulous time!) 

#2 Arley Dress (Skies are Blue)
White dress option number two was more of a simple sheath. When I unboxed my Fix I thought I would prefer this one.  But despite the fun print and cutout in the back, this shift style of dress is not quite as flattering on me.  Super comfortable, but a bit baggy and ill-fitting.  I doubt I would keep this, as I don't feel completely fabulous in it...which I think is a necessity for a special event.
#3 Carrie Released Hem Denim Gaucho (Mavi)
I really, really want to keep these gaucho jeans...but I'm not sure I can pull the trigger.  I like the raw hem, and the wash is great...but they really accentuate my hips!  They actually look better with a tank top that is more fitted, rather than this billowy blouse.  The wideness of the leg needs to be balanced by something a slimmer silhouette on top.  At least on me.  They are comfy and breezy in the summer, though, so I am highly considering keeping!  I not-so-secretly adore this trend.  I wore gauchos on my honeymoon nine years ago! So comfy.  (Update : ended up returning to hold out for something more flattering....)

#4 Diller Crochet Sleeve Knit Top (Market & Spruce)
I love, love, love this yellow top, though.  It is super soft, and the lace detail at the shoulders is delicate and feminine.   Plus,  I love this bright hue for summer!  I am definitely keeping it - tags already removed and I even wore it to book club this week.  I can see wearing this to a variety of different casual events, or dressing it up for church on Sunday.  Probably won't wear with the gauchos as I feel the look is a little too much.  Or maybe it is the floppy hat that is making me look like a fabulous gardener...which I don't mind, really.  :D
Gardener G - and sweet little C!
#5 Gena Cutout Detail Top (Skies are Blue)
This top was just okay for me.  It is the perfect color, as I love this jewel-toned turquoise, but it is really wrinkly and the front is a little too blah.  This one is a definite return.

So that is it for this Fix!  Besides the yellow tope, I have no idea what I'll end up keeping!

Want to try a new trend but don't know where to start?  Get overwhelmed in malls or big-box stores and end up buying items impulsively - or not buying anything out of frustration? Don't have time to hit up a bunch of boutiques looking for something unique?  Sign up to try Stitch Fix for a totally different experience and possibly an item or two that you LOVE.  Almost all my favorites in my little wardrobe come from Fixes.   
Click this image to get started on your own Fix!

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In other news...our backyard is coming together!  As you can see from these photos, we have a new fence, the gravel is on the ground almost ready for pavers to be laid, and the raised brick planters are all filled with dirt and some things have been planted.   So excited for all the progress!
Here you can see the reality of trying to do a Stitch Fix post during a chaotic backyard renovation with two kiddos that do not take any naps...
They are pretty darn sweet, though.