Five on Friday

Aug 30, 2013

Noah at four days old already rooting for the Huskers! This is his first official Husker season!
one  | Hey there, college football season! I've got a love/hate thing going on with college football. I gave a little groan when Michael asked me if I knew what last night was. Here's the thing....I really, really enjoy college football.  I've come to enjoy watching the games and understand most of the calls and rules. I have fond memories of parties, family gatherings, naps with it playing loudly in the background, and joking around about whose team was better. I feel the excitement, smell the crisp fall air, and even enjoy wearing fan gear. But you know when it turns sour for me? When it becomes an obsession...when you cancel plans because the game is more important than loved ones...when your whole entire day is ruined because your team didn't get the brown ball past the line more than the other team did (hint, hubby!). I may get some hate here, but listen...it's a bunch of college kids (who are younger than I am-when did that happen?), trying to get a ball to their end of the field. You don't have to go into all of the positive, amazing things that football can teach a player, or how much history and tradition is behind it, or how much talent it takes. I know all that, and I love that about the game. But there's got to be balance. Priorities don't just go out the window from August until February. Just bein' real, here. And Go Huskers!

two | I threw a biscuit out my car window. Let me back up and explain why. I'm on a no-sugar/low-carb fast and that includes wheat, fruits, and tons of other delicious foods. I'm still in the early stages of detox which means that my cravings are still pretty strong. I had just finished shopping in Nashville, hadn't had lunch, and was starving. I kind of freaked because I couldn't think of anywhere that would have something I could eat and still stick to my goals. Then I remembered a place that had chicken (chicken that had probably been injected with  "solution" including MSG, but that's beside the point). I pulled up to the speaker, told her I only wanted two pieces of chicken and a large ice water. No sides, and for the love of all things holy, no biscuit. I drove to the window, paid, asked one more time, "That's only chicken right?", got a "yes", and got really excited about eating. I pulled over, got myself situated to eat on the drive home, and opened my box. A BISCUIT! A hot, moist, painted in butter biscuit. I kind of felt like Frodo in Lord of the Rings....if I stared too long I'd be trapped and it would all be over. I had a quick little conversation in my head that went like this...."Okay, don't get rid of it. You need to practice discipline and just not eat it. No, just toss it, you know you'll reach over later and convince yourself you deserve just a bite, then you'll eat the entire thing and feel like crap...". So in a moment of utter panic and awareness, I rolled down my window, tossed the biscuit into the parking lot (for the birds, right?), and took off, all the while watching the dumb biscuit from my side mirror. That sounds middle-school dramatic, but listen......that's a huge deal for this sugar/carb-addict. I would say I deserve a cookie, but.....

three | Our house, in the middle of the....company restructure. While I've pretty much let go and let God with this whole move, it still just annoys me that we have no information whatsoever. We are what we think is four weeks away from moving to Knoxville and can't even put our house on the market yet. That just baffles me. I'm really trying to stay calm about it. I'm a planner and like things to happen quickly. If I know change is coming, and that the change might be uncomfortable, the sooner the better. Let's just let it over with and go. I think I'm needing a lesson in patience during this season of my life. For now I'm trying to enjoy this house (and by enjoy I mean not worry about cleaning until right before we start showing) and take a chill pill. I'm going to miss this house so much, mostly because of all the memories it holds.
four. Writers Block & Blogtember. I've always enjoyed blogging, but have usually found it hard to come up with content. Back in May, Jenni from Story of my Life issued a Blog Everday in May challenge. I linked up and wrote almost daily and it was amazing! I've been blogging around five times a week since then and have really gotten back into the passion I once had for writing. Lately, with everything that has been going on, I've been having a hard time either finding something to write about or having the motivation to sit down and write it out. I' haven't had much time for photography lately either, and I feel uninspired when I don't have great material for my posts. Right about the time I've entered this phase, Jenni issued another challenge for September! I saw a tweet mentioning it and got super excited 1) because she gives a list of topics to write on each day and 2) this might be just what my blogging rut needs! So I'll be linking up most days with Blogtember and am excited to get the blog juices flowing! 

five. Speaking of blogs.....I am ecstatic to announce that I'm finally getting a professional blog design! Part of being inspired for me begins with my blog design. If you haven't noticed, and I say that sarcastically because if you've been a reader for any amount of time you definitely have noticed, I've changed my blog design in some way probably twenty times since May. I'm at my wits end with html. I know I could learn more than I already have taught myself, but I just don't have the time. I'd rather be playing with Noah than spending hours I don't have as a mommy sitting in front of my computer all hours of the night playing "trial and error" with my blog. It needs something, and that's something I just can't give it right now. So, the designer and I are currently working together to create something and it should be ready in about a month (hopefully sooner!). I can't wait to see it for myself and then reveal it live! Stay tuned!

Linking up today with the Five on Friday crew - NatashaDarci, April, and Christina!  
Have a great weekend!



Paleo Dinner Menu for the Week

Aug 29, 2013

If you read my post yesterday about going completely sugar-free, you'd know I'm still kind of in a daze of headache, fogginess, and irritability. But it's slowly, but surely waning. The biggest difference in week two over week one is this menu. I needed flavor if I was going to face my addiction head on and that meant searching for recipes and cooking with a different mindset. A big ol' thanks to Pinterest for being awesome and having tons of resources on candida diet-safe meals and for all the hundreds of paleo recipes floating about. My husband thanks you, too!

[via]
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Every single night this week so far we've looked at each other and wondered out loud why we hadn't been cooking this way before. I thought I was pretty good with using spices, but wow- our taste buds have been amazed with the different foods and flavors. It sounds silly to say that a passion has been born in only a week, but I am finding so much joy in cooking and trying new things. I've been inspired and actually look forward to dinner time and planning next week's menu! A lot of the recipes in my new favorite book, Bread & Wine, could be adapted to fit this way of eating and I'm excited to dive in to the recipes once I finish the stories!

What's on your menu this week? Do you like to tackle new recipes?

The week I almost killed someone.

Aug 28, 2013


People have these sayings about pregnancy weight and breastfeeding. "Just wait until month three, it'll start falling off!". "Don't worry, I've heard after about eight months you just slim down like crazy". Well gee, thanks, but you're all wrong. At least about me. 

The weight and I became best buds. And we've been having a little ménage à trois with sugar (too dirty?). I got to the point where I was fixing Michael and I my delicious chocolate chip cookies ALL. THE. TIME. And I'd eat half the cookie dough, and we'd I'd finish off the entire batch in one night. I couldn't eat just one biscuit at a restaurant. No, I had to have three even before dinner came along. I craved sugar when I was sad. I gobbled handfuls of chocolate chips when I'd walk by the pantry. I'd crave pasta and cheese and more pasta. You know the lady in Patch Adams whose dying wish was to swim in a pool of noodles? Yep. Me. Except eat them. And let's not forget trips into town or the grocery store. King Size Reese's was my reward for walking all over the store and picking out our food for the week. It's tough work, ya'll. 

Anyway, you get the picture. I literally have been addicted to the chemical called sugar. This coming from the same woman who is super passionate about healthy living and eating. I've been learning so much about traditional foods and how to nourish and heal our bodies the right way, but I still couldn't seem to shake this one thing. This one terrible, no good thing.  And this one thing is the reason I haven't been able to lose any of this weight. 

As I was complaining about this to my good real-life friend Naomi from Move To Be Well, she suggested we try the Candida diet together. If you're not familiar with Candida, you can read all about it here. Briefly, Candida is a fungus that, if allowed to get out of control, can cause serious problems with your gut flora, affect your intestinal walls, get into your bloodstream, and become toxic to your body, resulting in a vast array of physical ailments and problems. Some of those problems include skin rashes, frequent yeast infections, thrush if you're breastfeeding, and the ones that affect me- extra fat storage and brain fog. 

How does it happen? It can occur when you have taken a strain of antibiotics, thus killing off both bad and good bacteria in your gut and actually weakening your immune system. It can also be a result of stress, exposure to different chemicals in food or water, and the one where the lightbulb went off for me- carb & sugar loading!

I made the possible connection in my head between fat storage and brain fog and my addiction to sugar. I knew something needed to change. While I did not test for signs of overgrowth, I knew this was an area of my life I needed to get under control, regardless.  I hate to use the word 'diet' because it associates this with all the "fad" ones out there. This is truly more of a lifestyle change for me than anything, and while I probably won't stick to it my entire life, it's a great boost for getting on the right track and breaking the addiction now.

The premise of the diet: ABSOLUTELY NO SUGAR. Not the sugar in fruit, no glutenous grains, no bread, no high carb, low fiber anything. No prepackaged meats, milk, cheese...anything processed with sugar. I CAN eat meat, any vegetables, almonds and like-nuts, plain yogurt, butter, and because I'm still breastfeeding Noah, grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice. There is usually a cleanse (some antifungals to help kick-start getting rid of the candida), but again, because of nursing I wanted to be cautious of releasing too many toxins all at once. There is also a phase one which does not allow any grains, but to ensure that my supply is not harmed, I decided to allow some of phase two, as well.

The killing part. The first week was torture. I stuck to it religiously, but I wanted something sweet nearly everyday and the headaches were pretty bad. I was going through detox from having eaten sugar, in some form, literally everyday. I felt so crazy, I at one point thought I'd be a good candidate for MTV's Rehab show. Around day three, I was seriously feeling the withdrawls. I had the worst mood all day, was short with Michael, snapped at him over nothing, was apathetic and sat on the couch, felt like punching the wall, and pretty much wanted to sleep all day. All I could think about was shoving cookie dough in my face. 

The night of day five was spent in a hotel and I woke up around 6am nauseous, starving, and the weakest I've ever felt. I asked Michael to get me a cookie from downstairs because I needed carbs now. I literally just laid on the floor while poor Noah crawled around and on top of me. When he gave me the cookie, it tasted so different than I'd imagined. It was disgusting! All I could taste were chemicals and where I would have seriously enjoyed it before, I now wanted to throw it in the trash. After being sick most of that morning and feeling so weak I could barely pick myself up, I decided to eat some carbs for breakfast. I wanted to stick to the plan, but I needed to feel normal while we were trying to accomplish something out of town. 

Looking back, I feel that the culprit to the crash was, in part, due to the fact that I had not been eating nearly enough. I've got a plain appetite and not much experience cooking creatively. I had fried eggs, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, and bland chicken and brussel sprouts almost daily. I also think I may have been experiencing a healing crisis, one in which my body was releasing and reacting to toxins that had been previously stored in fat or yeast cells. After consulting with Naomi, I realized I needed to do two things: 1) Eat more food and up my healthy fats by a lot and 2) Add some flavor to my food! 

Today is technically day three no carbs (since I did have some this past weekend) but I can already tell a difference. While I do still crave some sugar, I find that the craving isn't that strong anymore. I've lost five pounds since the original day one a week and a half ago. I don't feel bloated. I've been trying delicious recipes for dinner and we've enjoyed cooking and eating them! And all of that is giving me the motivation I need to continue this. I am still having headaches, slight irritability, and fatigue, but I'm confident that I'll get into the "clear" that everyone talks about soon. 

 I'm going to try to stick it out religiously for at least four weeks. Even if it turns out that my body doesn't suffer too badly from Candida overgrowth, a no-sugar diet can only benefit me and my family. I'm eating healthy, not faux-healthy as Michael liked to call it, and exploring a whole new world of recipes and food preparation. It's been wonderful to have an accountability partner that I actually see on a weekly basis and who has been through this before. It feels good to stick to something, another thing I struggle with doing. This is a huge confidence-booster and I'm hoping I've got what it takes to keep it up!

On the blog tomorrow: Our paleo dinner menu for this week with links to some amazing and delicious recipes!




Weekend & Giveaway Winner Announced!

Aug 26, 2013


This past weekend we drove about four hours East to Knoxville, our soon-to-be new hometown! Although we don't have official word on exact dates, we figured we'd put our my mind at ease and go explore! We've driven right by it on our way to Virginia and back, but we've never taken a detour to check out what the city has to offer. I have to say, I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be impressed, or that there wouldn't be that much to do. I was so wrong! We drove around downtown a bit and although I hate to admit it, I think Knoxville is more fun than downtown Nashville. There. I said it. But that's just my opinion. If you like the bar scene, Nashville is for you! But if you love a downtown where you can find unique shops and restaurants, and where things are a lot closer together, you'd agree with me!

I'm a very visual person and setting eyes on the area has really helped give me reassurance that it's going to be okay. We even found a health foods co-op and two Earth Fares, something that was really important to us. Because we have to sell our house here and it won't be sold by the time we move, we'll be renting an apartment temporarily. I am super bummed about that because it feels like we're taking a step backwards. And apartment living feels too much like college. I was telling this to Michael and he gave me a soccer analogy. Surprisingly, it helped. He said, "In soccer, the goal is always at the end of the field, but sometimes you have to back the ball up in order to go forwards from a better angle...". Or something like that. But it made sense to me and I know it's for the best. We'll have time to get our house sold, pay off our last tiny bit of student loans, and get to know the area before buying what we hope to be a long-term home.

When we got to Knoxville, we were super hungry and went straight to a Zoe's Kitchen in a nicer part of town where we've heard everyone goes to shop. We checked into our hotel and called it a night- we were exhausted. On Saturday morning we got breakfast, spent the morning and early afternoon driving by apartment buildings and stopping in for tours of the ones we thought looked promising. We grabbed lunch at the health foods co-op (where the picture of Michael's bowl of unidentifiable (to me) fish was taken) and got back on the road to explore. We were exhausted after a few hours and went back to the hotel to rest and freshen up before heading out for dinner. We grabbed dinner at Trio in Market Square, a really neat area that has restaurants and shops lining both sides and room enough in the middle for a splash pad. It is a happening place on the weekends and we loved it! Michael's new work building is a block away and we envisioned many lunches together as a family in the square. We spent the rest of the evening wandering around downtown some before calling it a night.

On Sunday we grabbed lunch at Cafe 4 (where I had the most delicious grilled cheese and tomato bisque I've ever had - pictured above) in Market Square (we just couldn't stay away!) and hit the road back to Nashville. Noah was a trooper the entire time and was mostly patient with us as we got him in and out of the car seat all weekend. He's a great little traveler and we're so proud of him. We don't get too many travel  weekends as a little family of three (usually Michael is working on our trips), so I really enjoyed the time with my guys.

This weekend was so good for me. As bitter as it is to leave our first home, there is a sweetness about it when I look ahead and see all that the future has to offer. I really do trust that God will provide and put people into our path just like he did here. He's faithful and I'm thankful for that.

Now, onto last week's giveaway! Time's up and it's time to announce the winner of a copy of Bread and Wine!

Drumroll please!!! The winner is Allison from The Bauble Dept! Now this is a HUGE coincidence because Allison just happens to not only be a friend and fellow blogger, but she is Michael's cousin!Congrats, Allison!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
A huge thank you to all who participated in the giveaway! Even though you didn't win, I highly suggest buying this book for yourself. It's an amazing book! Happy Monday!

Five on Friday: H&M Baby!

Aug 23, 2013

As Noah gets older and is moving out of the onesie stage and into wearing more tops and bottoms, I've found it even more fun to look for clothes for him! I've got to take advantage of it while I can, right? I love H&M and can usually find great items that are in my budget. So imagine the thrill I had when I found out that not only did they open one about 45 minutes away from me at Opry Mills Mall, but they carried kids' clothing, too! I've already bought him a few items that I can't wait to put him in when he's a bit older, but here are a few other outfits I have my eye on!
Noahs Fall wardrone

[one] top, jeans, shoes [two] top, pants [three] sweater, pants [four] sweater, leggings [five] onesie, pants

Are those not absolutely adorable?  Last time we were there I picked up a pair of suspenders and can't wait to try them out on Noah. He's Mommy's going to love it! Let's just hope there's an H&M in the town we're moving to!!

Speaking of moving, today we're heading to Knoxville for the weekend to scope out some rentals. We still haven't heard anything from Michael's company about getting connected with a relocation company so putting our house on the market is on hold for now. Annoying yes, but I'm trying to be thankful for all the help we get moving from his company and not complain too much. It feels kind of like we're taking a step back, renting after we've bought a home. But I'm trying to relax, trust, and look at all the positives that will come from this. Happy Friday!

Have you entered the Bread & Wine book giveaway yet? If not, click the icon and go enter for a chance to win a copy of this awesome book! Winner will be announced Monday, August 26! 

Overwhelmed by Grace


Keaton Row

Aug 22, 2013

I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle with putting outfits together. I'm not a good shopper, especially alone, and always leave a store with something I kinda liked and only bought because it was cheaper than the thing I really liked. If you read this post, you'd already know that I was accused of "dressing like a teacher" at age sixteen, and I hate to say it hasn't really improved much. Needless to say, I have been open and willing to take fashion advice!

The other day I was browsing around online when I found a link to Keaton Row. This is an awesome website that connects you with an online stylist who gets to know you some and then puts together a LookBook for you with clothing and accessory suggestions and information on where to get them. It's absolutely free of charge (their FAQ sections states that it is free during their "launch period". I assume they'll eventually start charging if their site takes off!) and you can buy the items directly from their website.


I immediately signed up! I answered a few questions in their style survey, gave my price range, and uploaded a few pictures of myself. A couple of hours later I got an e-mail with three different stylists and their personal Lookbooks. This helped me decided which one I thought would fit me better. I chose Sara Berman as I felt her picks would be outside of my little fashion box, but not crazy! Once I chose her to put together my Lookbook, I had to wait a day to get my "Casual Friday" and "Vacation Getaway" lookbooks.


My favorite Lookbook ended up being Vacation/Getaway. There were some fun options and I loved the dresses!


If I had decided to buy any of the items listed, all I had to do was scroll down and the items were listed along with their price, where they come from, and sizing options.


I love that top dress! And I appreciated that Sara stayed in my price range while giving me some great looks. It was a lot of fun seeing what someone else would pick for me and getting a little inspiration on styles to look for while I'm out shopping. You can request as many Lookbooks as you want and communicate personally with your stylist to discuss different options. Interested in trying it out? Head here to get started and have fun! 

Have you entered the Bread & Wine book giveaway yet? If not, click the icon and go enter for a chance to win a copy of this awesome book! Winner will be announced Monday, August 26! 

Overwhelmed by Grace



What I'm Loving...

Aug 21, 2013

Since discovering the beautiful book Bread & Wine, the images I conjure around dinner have taken a whole new direction. If you've been reading for any amount of time, you already know I'm a sentimentalist to a fault. If an emotional tie can be made, I'll be the first one to feel it. Because of that, I've been inspired to first, have dinner parties and second, make them memorable. Now that we'll be closer to our family, and because I'm determined to put myself out there first thing and make some friends (let's hope I still am this motivated once we get there!), I'm hoping to eventually have plenty of people to invite over for long nights of warm hugs, delicious food, refills of sweet wine, and stories that make us snort with laughter or cry over the memories. 

Needless to say, I've been inspired! And what is a good dinner party without amazing decor? I've been pinning up a storm this week with ideas for how I'd love my dinner parties to be decorated- everything from table settings to outdoor lighting. One can dream, right?

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven
I suppose first you might have to have a place to host these wonderful dinner parties, but we're still working on that part! And whether it is over beautiful tablescapes like these or over paper plates and solo cups, it's really about the company. So far, so good.

Do you and your loved ones do long dinner parties? Or are you for more of a "do something" type of hang out?


Have you entered the Bread & Wine book giveaway yet? If not, click the icon and go enter for a chance to win a copy of this awesome book! Winner will be announced Monday, August 26! 

Overwhelmed by Grace


Milestones

Aug 20, 2013

My sweet boy is on the move these days. He started crawling about three weeks ago, right after he turned eight months, and hasn't stopped moving since. It's interesting how my days with him have changed since the newborn and tiny infant stage. He's only almost nine months, but he's gone from being held constantly, to sitting up on his own, to being able to entertain himself shortly while sitting in one spot, to full on moving around the entire house at his own free will. My only saving grace is a wonderfully baby-proof house. He's figured out how to open drawers and cabinets and the curtains have become his new entertainment. They're all child-locked and sturdy, of course. 

In one way it's freeing to not have to sit right next to him grabbing this or that for him. I never leave him in a room alone longer than a minute, but I can move around the house pretty freely doing what I need to do knowing that he's entertaining himself or on his way to me (our house is pretty small!). In another way, though, it makes my mama heart ache just a little. He's getting so big. I'm mostly thrilled that he's growing and learning new things and how to overcome even the tiniest challenges. I'm proud that he's doing so well, and under my care, too! But there are times when I just want to stop time for a little and hold him while he lays on me. He rarely does that now, except for when he's nursing. He'll latch on, feel around for a strand of my hair, and work it in and out of his little chubby fingers while he stares up at me. Be still my heart!

Overall, it is the biggest joy to watch him grow and I feel so blessed to be his mama. I'll be right here behind him cheering him on at every milestone, even the ones that remind me the most that he won't be little long. 


Have you entered the Bread & Wine book giveaway yet? If not, click the icon and go enter for a chance to win a copy of this awesome book! Winner will be announced Monday, August 26! 

Overwhelmed by Grace


Miscellany Monday & A Giveaway!

Aug 19, 2013


lowercase letters




This has just been a crazy last few days..

>>We spent all of last week preparing to put our house on the market. We cleaned our house top to bottom, moved things around, touched up things, staged it for potential buyers, and met with our realtor. When we finally got the official "go" we contacted her and set up a meeting to sign papers on Saturday morning. Michael came home from work Friday with news that we'd have to wait because everyone has to be in sync - his company, the relocation company, and our realtor. So until he gets official travel orders, we won't know if our realtor is a "preferred agent" of the relocation company. And we can't talk to the relocation company until Michael's company gives us those darn orders.

So it kind of feels like all that momentum and excitement and hard work hit a brick wall and my patience isn't very strong when it comes to things like this. So our next step is waiting to hear from Michael's new boss, be assigned a relocation consultant, find out if we can, in fact, work with the realtor we chose, and finally, put our house on the market. It's not like we only have six weeks to sell. Oh wait.....we only have six. weeks. to. sell. Not to mention find a place to live in Knoxville....

Breathe. In....and out.....in....

>>In spite of all of that, we've been trying to enjoy our time here as much as possible. It's the little things, you know? Like dinner on our back deck. The weather has been unbelievably cool the past few days and we took advantage of the fact that the humidity didn't hit us like a wall as we stepped outside. We originally had an outdoor loveseat, two chairs, and a table on our deck. We put all of that in a storage unit and put a small table with two chairs in their place in hopes to make the deck look bigger and more open. It's been fun to have space to lay a quilt and relax with our little guy and have some dinner.








>>A few weeks ago I signed up for the Cara Box Exchange with Kaitlyn from Wifessionals. I had such a fun time picking out the goodies to send to the blogger I got paired with, and I received the box from the blogger who got paired with me! It was so fun to get it in the mail and I can't wait to do a reveal post soon!

>>I've got good news (for me!) - our internet is back! No more blogging from my phone and going over our data usage (three times! oops!). I can't tell you how good it feels to use my computer. Silly, I know, but it's a huge relief here!

>>Not too long ago I was reading Carissa's blog and saw that she had a copy of Bread & Wine and couldn't put it down. I just had to see what it was all about and ordered myself a copy! It came a few days ago and now I see why she was raving over it.
Bread & Wine is a story/cook book written by Shauna Niquest. She has an absolutely beautiful way of sharing stories around recipes and conveying her love for the art of meal time. She writes eloquently and inspirationally about family, the dinner table, and how that all ties in to the true Bread & Body of Christ. And let's just talk about the cover- amazing! I hate to admit this, but I do sometimes judge a book by its cover and you can see why I was drawn to this one.




I've made it through much of the book and am absolutely in love. I'm a sentimental type of gal and the stories warm my heart and make me want to invite my family and friends over for a dinner party. I can't wait to finish it and start going to work on some of her recipes!

Remember when I was excited last week about reaching 100 followers? Well I wanted to celebrate by doing a giveaway! I'm super excited as this is my first giveaway ever on the blog - hopefully I'll have more to come! What's up for grabs? Your very own copy of Bread & Wine! Enter below for your chance to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'd love if you'd take the extra points opportunities and share this giveaway on your blog! Below is a button you can add to your blog post to share the giveaway! The giveaway is open for one week and I'll announce the winner next Monday! Good luck! 

Overwhelmed by Grace


I confess!

Aug 16, 2013


One | Noah went a whole week without getting a bath once. He was around 5 months old and we had been busy and out of town. One night I just randomly noticed his baby bath in the tub and tried to remember his last bath. That's when I realized it had been a week! Usually Michael is in charge of bath time so I hadn't thought about it at all. We're usually good about reminding each other!  I felt like such a horrible mama, but thankfully he wasn't eating foods or crawling at the time so he really was never that dirty...

Two | I hardly ever wash my jeans. Is that gross? I honestly only wash them about once every month or two. Jeans are a hard fit for me, so when I find a pair that fit well I don't want to run the risk of shrinking them up or them fitting differently. Also, because a good fit is hard to find, I usually only wear one or two pair of jeans the entire year. Don't judge!

Three | I skipped out on a prayer conference in Brooklyn to take the subway to Manhattan.  Okay, this one I'm not too proud of, but it was the second time I had been to the conference and when you're with your best friend and the round trip bus ride only cost $50, you can't pass up being so close. We left the group at 8am and didn't get back to the Brooklyn Tabernacle until 8pm. Nobody in our group ever found out and we were back to the bus by the time it left. That's when I fell in love with the city. 

Four | I was a bad kid, once. Okay, I really was a good kid, but here's something I'm not proud of... When we were growing up my mom went through a phase where she was pretty strict with what music we listened to. There were certain radio stations we weren't supposed to have on. For my sister and I that was all fine and good until we got in the car with my dad. My dad is deaf. not hard-of-hearing...deaf. We loved rap and turned it to the local "secular" station every time we rode with him because we knew he couldn't hear it. Eventually our family moved out of our legalistic bubble, but I still feel a little shame every time I think about those times. 

Five | Michael and I broke up twice during our six years of dating prior to marriage. Once when I was completely confused about how I felt (understandably so because we started dating a couple years after puberty...what a confusing time anyways, am I right?) and once when some things needed to change and boundaries were being set. The first one lasted about a month and the second, about two weeks. They were two of the hardest times in our dating relationship and they both occurred while we were in college. 

Yep, there's a little about me you probably didn't know. I've got more, but some either aren't blog-worthy or are waaaayyyy to personal to put online! 

Linking up today with the Five on Friday girls - NatashaDarci, April, and Christina!  Have a great weekend! 


The perks of tagging along...

Aug 15, 2013

If you've been keeping up with my posts or Instagram, you know we've been doing a ton of traveling with Michael for his job. It feels like we've hardly been home this summer, and I've been mostly okay with that! We've been able to stay at some really neat places and Noah and I have been able to explore during the day.

We've stayed in some pretty cool rooms...


....been able to swim...
....explore the town ...

Downtown Chattanooga, April
Memphis Zoo, June

Memphis Botanic Garden, June



....and eaten at some fun places! 
Lupi's Pizza Pie, Chattanooga, April & August!
We've also been able to sleep in, leave our bed unmade, relax in the evenings without having to keep everything neat and tidy, and have our meals paid for! And there's always the hotel bar- pina colada anyone? Right now we're in Alabama and are leaving today. I'm so thankful we get to come with Michael. The biggest perk is that we don't have to spend time without him!


Off to check out of the hotel and drive a sleepy baby around for his nap! Happy Thursday!