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Friday, July 1, 2016

Spending July: A To-Do List for Adventuring Through the Month.

Happy July! 

We've officially been through six months of the 2016 and have six months left.

I love spending January 1st making all sorts of goals, but this year, I was 38 weeks pregnant and NOT feeling it. Plus, I had no idea what my life was about to look like, so I wasn't really into the idea of setting myself up to fail. 

Chris reminded me last night that I had said I was going to wait to make resolutions and goals until we moved (back when I had no idea where we'd be!) and treat July like my January. How perfect, then, that today just so happens to be halfway through the year and my day off. I'll be spending today setting some goals-if you didn't set goals this year (or if you did and maaaaaybe they're not going so well), you should join me! 

Now, on to the best part of a new month: Our to-do list!

We've got thirty-one days in July, and we each get to decide how to spend them. Let's make room for a little fun this month, shall we? 

1. Look at those New Years are you doing six months in?

2. Make some type of red, white, and blue drink or dessert!

3. Buy some fireworks. Or, if you're a pansy like me, buy some sparklers and take pretty pictures with them!

4. Celebrate the Fourth of July!

5. Have a cookout. 

6. Dress your pet up in patriotic gear.

7. Invest in a sunscreen that you love wearing. And by invest, I mean make the time to venture out to the drugstore and find one that smells good. 

8. Make iced tea. 

9. Stock up on fruits from your local farmer's market. 

10. Order a planner for the fall. Most planners start in August (or even July!), so get yours now! 

11. Have a late-night picnic under the stars. 

12. Get some string lights for your backyard/balcony. They're so cheap, so adorable, and they just make my heart so happy. 

13. Watch the Gilmore Girls mini-series! I'm trying to save this for when Chris has to work nights, but I will be incredibly surprised with myself if I'm able to hold out for more than a week.

14. Switch out one unhealthy thing in your life. Just one. You don't have to overhaul everything in order to feel better. I just did this with creamer (a great love of my life) and I feel pretty freaking good. 

15. Get touristy and find all the Instagram-perfect places around your town. Helene just did this for Nashville, and it makes me want to do it for my new city!

16. While we're being touristy-look up the highest rated places (coffee shop, boutique, restaurant...) in your town on a website like might find a new treasure!

17. Make a list of a few meals you like to eat and just rotate those throughout the summer. Summertime is meant for spending your freetime by the pool, not in your kitchen worrying about what's for dinner. 

18. Do something that makes working out easier for you. Whether it's buying a cute gym outfit or a colorful yoga mat or joining a spin class...make it easy easier on yourself to actually do it.

19. Go on a frozen yogurt date.

20. Make champagne ice cubes for your mimosas. Thanks for the idea, Lindsay!

21. Watch the sunset with someone you love. 

22. Have a pool party. At an actual pool, at a kiddie pool in your backyard...anything goes!

23. Think of three words you want to describe you, and spend the week doing your best to live out those three words.

24. Go through your closet and put some new outfits together using what you already have. 

25. Get a cherry-limeade from Sonic. 

26. Start a running list of fun things to do in your town. 

27. Plan a dream vacation. It may be years (and years) away, but it's fun to dream! 

28. Take way too many pictures. Summer is for joy-filled selfies. 

29. See how many of your favorite meals you can turn into salads. 

30. Get a Slurpee next time you get gas at a 7-11.

31. Make a list of things that make you happy in July. 

How will you be spending your July?
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Make Your Life Your Happy Place.

When we got this house, I knew I wanted a coffee bar. When I found this yellow beauty, I knew it needed to come live in my house. And then, when I couldn't decide if I wanted to make it a coffee bar or a wine bar (how do you choose between two great loves?), Christopher stained a wine rack yellow so I could have both. He's the best. 

It makes me so happy every time I see it. It's such a bright, cheerful corner of my house, and it makes me want to make every corner of my house happy like that. It makes me want to make every corner of my life like that. 

I will pour a cup (or three or six) of coffee every single morning. Why shouldn't it be in an area that makes me happy? 

I only have one life, and it's the same one I wake up in every single day.  Why shouldn't every corner be filled with bright and happy things? 

From the music I listen to, to the things I make for dinner, to my job, to the way I spend my free time, to the clothes I wear...if it's something I can control, it should be happy. It's my life-I'm the one who has to live here. 

My bright yellow coffee bar may not make everyone happy. But for me, a little bit of effort (mostly on Chris' part, haha) turned something normal into something that makes me happier every day. And lately, I'm feeling challenged to do that for myself in every area that I can. 

I want to be able to peer into all the corners of my life and think, "Yeah, that makes me happy." 

Maybe it takes a little bit of extra effort, but isn't the extra happiness worth it? 

What makes your life your happy place? 

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What June Taught Me.

Sometimes you celebrate because of life, and sometimes you celebrate in spite of life. Both are important. 

I can survive without sugary creamer. Every now and then, I decide to really get serious about eating healthier, and I always start with my creamer. And I always fail about two days in. Because I love flavored creamer. 

The problem here is that since the addition of Jack, I have been drinking copious amounts of coffee in the mornings. When I realized how much sugar I was drinking first thing in the morning, it suddenly made sense that I wasn't feeling the best. 

So instead, I made my own creamer with coconut milk, almond and vanilla extract, and cinnamon and it is delicious. This has 40ish calories and ZERO grams of sugar per cup as opposed to 40ish calories and FIVE grams of sugar per teaspoon of the other stuff I was drinking (and let's be honest, no one puts a single freaking teaspoon of creamer in their coffee). 

I'm nine days without my beloved creamer and it hasn't even been hard this time. And wouldn't you know it, I feel so much better. 

There is good in every day. There were some days in June that were just rough. Chris started residency, and that just so happened to line up with Jack getting sick for the first time, and man that was a really hard week. 

But even on the hardest day(s), there was at least one thing each day that just made me feel so happy. Friday morning it was hearing Jack coo to his little fox mobile when he woke up. Wednesday it was realizing that I can do yoga in my den without having to move anything out of my way (totally impossible in a studio). There's something good in every single day. Sometimes you have to look for it, but it's there. 

What did June teach you?

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, My Love

t w e n t y - f i v e 

Happy birthday to the love of my life!

Your twenty-fourth year was a big one. The last six months alone have been insane. We have: 
  • had a baby. 
  • gone through match day. 
  • gone through the house hunting and house buying process. 
  • made it to med-school graduation. 
  • moved our tiny little family to a new city and started a new life here.
  • started your residency. 
When I look at that list, it looks like something that should make me want to run and hide because of how overwhelming it is. But it doesn't feel like that. It's been a lot, to be sure, but it's been a lot of adventure, a lot of learning, a lot of new beginnings, and a lot of days I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. 

All that to say, there isn't an adventure in the world I wouldn't go on with you. Sometimes I still can't believe this is our life. 

Thanks for choosing to celebrate life with me. I love you beyond anything I could ever find the words to write. Let's make twenty-five a good one. 

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Books I Read in June & Whether or Not You Should Read Them.

June has been a super busy month, so I've only managed to read two books so far. However, they were both can't-get-enough-of books. 

The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft

Plot: "Eighteen years ago your baby daughter was snatched. Today, she came back. 

A sinister and darkly compelling psychological thriller from the No. 1 bestselling author of The Girl With No Past. Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter's six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and her husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain of losing their child has never left them. Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby. But just who is Grace - and can Simone trust her? 

When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her baby and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts. Simone is inching closer to the truth but it'll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory. Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?" -via Goodreads

My Thoughts: I have very similar taste in books that my friend Olya has, so when she recommended this book, I knew I wanted to read it. 

Like she said, it's one of those where you can't say too much about it without spoiling it, but I can tell you that this was one of the best mysteries I've ever read. It truly shocked me. I know that's a sucky review, but I don't want to ruin it. It was an incredible story. 

It also deals with some very disturbing things. I finished it in one day, and when I was done, I laid in bed just thinking about it for an hour before swearing off of all mysteries forever because I just can't handle it. And then I got a good night's sleep and woke up and ordered her next book. 

Should You Read It: Yes, but not if you're easily disturbed. I think it'd be smart to look up the subjects it deals with before deciding. 
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Plot: "Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time." -via Goodreads

Favorite Quote: "You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible." 

My Thoughts: Oh. My. Goodness. I'll start by saying that even though this book was incredibly popular, I actually managed to not spoil it for myself-I didn't even know the subject matter. Which made it all the more enjoyable and all the more HEARTBREAKING. 

It's hard to talk about this one without spoiling things, but I'll say it's a story that will stick with me for a very long time. The writing was wonderful, the characters were amazing, and I couldn't read this story fast enough. But I also have never cried so hard while reading a book. Crying isn't even the right word-I have never wept so hard while reading a book. 

Should You Read It? Yes-but prepare your poor little heart to be shattered in the best way possible. 

What have you been reading this month?
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

From The Cutting Room Floor: June.

When I first started reading blogs, I saw all sorts of posts like this where people put the pictures that didn't quite make the blog posts that month. Now that I have approximately 1 billion photos on my iPhone, it seems like a good time to give it a go myself. 

So, here are bits and pieces of life in June, courtesy of my phone. 

Nothing thrilled me more than to find the fox hat he wore home from the hospital in a size that fits him now. 

Having a backyard after living in an apartment for four years is MAGIC.

 So far, Gainesville sunsets have been gorgeous. 

My guys. See also: Jack can't hang. 

We live walking distance from our neighborhood pool. It's so nice!

Also, the first time we ever went to the pool, we walk in the gate and I think Chris immediately falls into the water. Except he didn't fall into the pool, he jumped in because there was a toddler girl drowning in the pool while her mom was talking. He jumped in and got her and the mom just yanked her away from Chris without saying thank you and went right back to her conversation. Neighborhood pool: 1. Chris' iPhone: 0. Pool Mom: RUDE. 

This letter board is my new favorite thing. 

We let Jack lick a lemon and I will never ever stop laughing at this. 

Gatsby has claimed this as his spot in the new house. Unfortunately it is also Chris' desk, but alas, he will just have to learn how to live without a desk, because this belongs to Gatsby now. 

Celebrating SEVEN years of dating each other!

Chris walked into the room with this laundry basket. 
Chris: "What's in here?" 
Me: "Clean clothes." 
Chris: "Are you sure you washed them? They're really stinky."
Me: "No they're not. They're clean." 
Chris: "No, this basket is super stinky. You should check on it." 
And he set it down beside me and it took me a full minute to actually look in the basket, where Jack was just hanging out like it was totally normal to be left in a laundry basket. 

Our new mall has family changing stations! Chris did not understand my excitement, but HELLO NOT HAVING TO CHANGE DIAPERS ALONE. 

The Old Navy men's section is KILLING it. 

Being back in Gainesville means being reunited with my favorite little hippie pizza place in the world. 

What happens when you try to get a handprint for the baby book.

His pajamas say "I'll eat you up!" From Where The Wild Things Are. Cue all my emotions.

 Jack decided he can balance himself sitting up now. Cool.

My two little minions taking a nap. 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

When Life is Hard.

When I read that sweet Emily from The Freckled Fox lost her husband last week, it broke my heart in a deep way. Not because I know her personally (I don't), but because it just seemed so utterly unfair. 

My heart was already heavy from recent events, and it just filled me with a lot of questions. 

Why did a 25 year old mother of 5 have to lose the love of her life so soon? What possible good can ever come of that? and How can we call a world where 50 people are slaughtered in the name of what someone believes in good? and Can life really be beautiful when it's filled to the brim with tragedies, like that sweet little babe being killed by an alligator right in front of his parents?

I wrestle with these questions. I wrestle with wondering how the world I fall in love with on a daily basis-the one that offers sunshine and pool days, the one with the sweetest friendships and family, the one with pumpkin spice lattes and giant dreams-can be the same world that offers up such terror. I wrestle with wondering how God could let these awful things happen.

I wrestle with trying to understand how tonight, I'll get to eat dinner with my best friend and my littlest love. I'll fall asleep in a house, so thankful for how full my life is. All the while knowing that my sweet little babe will grow up in a world that seems to have more than its fair share of ugly.

I know there's a time for mourning. We honor those who have been ravaged by tragedy-by cancer and terror and just sheer chance-with a time of sadness. But sometimes life feels so hard and so heavy that it seems that no period of mourning can ever be long enough to do it justice. And when you only get one life-one short, terrible, beautiful life-how do you make sense of that?

The answer to all of my questions is both incredible simple and incredibly frustrating: I just don't know. And perhaps even more frustrating and final-I will never, ever know.

I know that sometimes life is hard. And sometimes life is beautiful. And we have to grab a hold of the beautiful moments.

We live in a world where we get both summertime and heartbreak, campfires and terror, sunflowers and gut-wrenching sorrow. It is beautiful. It is terrible.

I'm thankful for the beautiful moments and perplexed by the terrible ones, and while it leaves me in confusion, it also leaves me knowing what I want to fight for.

It leaves me knowing that I have to fight hard for thankfulness. That I have to fight hard for love.
Life can be awful, the past few weeks have shown us that. The world can be ugly. So I want to fight for the beautiful moments. 

For the ones filled with laughter. The ones where you go to sleep that night completely exhausted from a day just so full of life. The days spent in the sunshine, the nights spent by a fire, the mundane things like a trip to the grocery, made special because of who you're with.

I want to fight for the magical moments, the ones you couldn't possibly make yourself, but are made by spending time with the people you love the most. 

Because in the end, all we really have is each other and our memories, you know?

What do you want to fight for? 

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