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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Love Letter to Just Going.

It's no secret that wanderlust has hit me hard lately. Between my beach vacation last month and planning a girl's road trip next month, I want to go all of the places. 

I'm an introvert at my core. I need alone time to recharge. I love nights spent at home watching Netflix. I love curling up with a good book and a steaming cup of coffee. That's a good day to me. 

But I also love going and seeing and experiencing. 

There's something about waking up somewhere new. Having your coffee with a different view, whether that view is behind a foggy windshield as you groggily drive to your destination, or a sunrise from a hotel balcony. There's something about new sounds and new smells and new sights. There's something thrilling about walking through a town where no one knows you, where you can be anything you want to be. Where everything is an experience waiting to happen. 

If it all ends for me tomorrow, I'm not going to be sorry about the nights I spent snuggling with Jack, watching Pretty Little Liars or reading a good book. But I'm also not going to be sorry for days where I sacrificed sleep and money and maybe a little bit of my sanity in the name of adventure and experience. 

So cheers to going. Cheers to loading up your kid(s) and pet(s) in your car and making the drive to see family. Cheers to booking a red-eye and giving up sleep so you can spend a quick weekend with an old friend. Cheers to fancy vacations and nice meals at new restaurants. Cheers to gas station coffee and drive-thru tacos on cheap road trips. Cheers to new places, new people, new experiences. 

It will always be easier to stay at home, but that does not mean it's worth it. So go. Scrape the money together. Stay at the cutest hotels you can find. Go dip your toes in the ocean at a beach you've never been to. Take entirely too many pictures. Stay up too late. Seek out the best views and watch the sunrise in a new place. Life is short, live it well. 

Cheers to just going. 
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Uniform: Tees You (okay, I) Totally Need.

If you've seen me at all over the last few months, I've probably been wearing a slightly different version of the same exact thing: Cut-off shorts and a graphic tee.

One, because it is so (so, so, so) FREAKING HOT. Leggings aren't even an option here. Jeans? Do you want to die? 

Two, because there are SO MANY good (and insanely affordable) tees right now. It's super easy to throw on something cute/funny/snarky with a pair of shorts and look like you tried (we both know you didn't, but I won't tell).

I rounded some up for you (and me, because I need these) so you can also not sweat to death and be a little cute. You're welcome. 

The dream big shirt (the one that's 5.99!!) is maybe my favorite shirt right now. 

And the red jersey one is way cuter on than it looks in that picture.

And, of course, Target will always be queen of good t-shirts. So many good ones!

Happy shopping! xo
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Monday, June 19, 2017

On Being Proud of Yourself.

I'm going to tell you the silliest, smallest thing that happened to me a few weeks ago that's made me think about being proud of yourself. 

I was getting ready to meet a friend for breakfast and was about to do my makeup. I saw myself in the mirror and thought, "Wow, my skin looks super good with no makeup today!

And then, almost before that thought was even complete, I thought, "Okay, calm down, you don't look that good." 

Because, for some reason, it's just ingrained in me that being proud of yourself, even about something as silly and superficial as a good skin day, is wrong. It's haughty and stuck up and no one likes that.

That is crap. 

So I started paying attention to it. And it popped up almost daily. 

I'll put Jack to bed and think, "I killed it at this whole mom thing today" and then almost immediately, my thought will turn into, "Okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves. The house is falling apart and you kind of blew it on everything else so are you really killing it?

I'll do something well at work and think, "I'm awesome, I did such a great job at that" and then interrupt myself with, "No one else mentioned it, why are you congratulating yourself? Someone could probably do this better than you so shh.

Why is this a thing? 

I think a lot about how I want to raise my kid. And while I'm still pretty clueless on a lot of things, I know this: If every time Jack came to me to tell me he did something good, I responded with all the things he didn't do, or how he maybe did a good job, but he wasn't the best, eventually he would just stop coming to me. Eventually, he would just stop trying. I would never do that. I would want to celebrate the good he did do. So why can't I extend myself the same grace? 

I should. And so should you. 

You are amazing. No, you're not the best. There will always be someone somewhere in the world who is better at certain things than you are. Yes, you could be doing more. You could always be doing more. Sure, you'll probably always be behind on something. But so what? 

You are still amazing. And you should let yourself be proud of that. 

So next time being proud pops into your head, whether over something as simple as having a good hair day or as important as saving someone's life, keep it there. Shut up the voice that rushes up to interrupt you with anything but pride for yourself. 

Because you are amazing. And that is worth being proud of. 
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Friday, June 16, 2017

Easy Ways to Celebrate Your Life This Week.

Make your drinks fancy. And not just your cocktails (but by all means, go for it!). I'm talking about that essential-to-life drink that can get a little boring. Chugging glass after glass of plain water can seem repetitive so do yourself a favor and buy one of these silicone ice cube trays (this one is shaped like diamonds because you're fancy, duh). Make flavored ice cubes to pop in your water. My favorites are lime juice + mint and lemon juice + basil. Treat yo'self for staying hydrated. 

Have a facetime date with an out of town friend. I don't mean a quick spur-of-the-moment check-in (but those are great too!). I mean a date. Plan a time that works for both of you, grab some wine and cheese, and curl up and catch up. Friendships are worth investing in, and distance isn't that big of a detour anymore! Make time for the important ones. 

Create a "boring to-do's" playlist. Cleaning the house, responding to emails, and a handful of other tasks that I put off because of how boring they can be are instantly made better with a solid playlist. Plus, if you dance your way around cleaning, it burns more calories, so you're basically cleaning AND working out which means you definitely have your life together. You go, you responsible adult, you go. 

How are you celebrating life this week?

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why Hammock Beach is The Perfect Getaway.

Going somewhere new is always a risk, especially when you get such a limited amount of vacation. But when I found Hammock Beach Resort while looking at places to go in Florida, I decided we had to try it, even though it was new to me. It was right on the ocean, looked toddler-friendly, and the price was amazing. Here are a few reasons I think it's the perfect getaway, especially if you want to bring the whole family. 

Zero entry (beach entry) pools. I loved this for two reasons: One, Jack was obsessed with it. He would go in to about his knees and just splash forever. It made it easier to keep an eye on him and easier let him do what he wanted without having to be all the way in the water holding on to his float. Two, I loved that I didn't have to jump all the way in the pool just to cool off. I could just wade in holding my drink. Also, I really want my own pool like this now. 

On-site dining. They had several restaurants you could eat at without leaving the resort, which is sometimes exactly what you need after a long day in the sun on the beach or by the pool. Major bonus points that the outside dining was right by this big courtyard, so you can take turns letting your toddler run his energy out while the other adult enjoys a glass of wine (#teamwork). 

It's right on the beach. This is going to sound snobby, but I really hate going to the beach and staying somewhere that it's an event to actually get to the beach. Because who wants to ride a shuttle back to the hotel when you're wet and sandy and tired? No one. Here, the resort is right on the beach. Just a quick walk over, and once you're there, they'll set you up with chairs and towels and an umbrella. Which comes in handy if it's naptime, but you're not ready to leave. Exhibit A: 

There are three pools (and a lazy river!). There's a kid's pool (plenty of adults there too, it's just catered mostly to kids) with a roped off, shallow area and a big waterslide. There's an adults-only pool, which is super nice to have if you're not traveling with kids. And there's a beach pool for whoever wants to come. This one was the best-Jack got to play in the sand and in the pool, and I could see the ocean from my chair. Hello, heaven. 

Poolside service. There was constantly someone walking by asking if you needed anything. I loved that they didn't just have drinks by the pool, they had a full food menu, too. We ordered the nachos every single day because they were that good. One day, we stayed at the pool until dinner time and just ordered dinner poolside. I love eating outside, and I love being at a place where dinner can be flexible based on how your day is going. 

If you're within driving distance of Florida, I highly recommend giving this place a go. It's near St. Augustine, and we thought we'd spend at least a day exploring there, but the resort was so nice we couldn't bring ourselves to leave. I already know we'll be heading back soon. 

Where have you been/are you going this summer?

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Iced Coffee, Please.

This crazy thing happens every year, where I get amnesia and forget just how hot Florida gets in the summer. I mean, it's warm all the time, but the summer...SO HOT. So if we were meeting up for coffee, chances are, I'd be chugging an iced one or two. Also, if we were having coffee. . . 

I'd tell you that I've been getting the strangest emails. Last week I got a very long, very well thought out email questioning why I photoshop my c-section scar out of my blog pictures. The email said I was telling people that if you've had a c-section, you aren't beautiful. 

...I have never had a c-section, so there's that. Plus, if I knew how to photoshop my body, my stomach would look a heck of a lot better than it does in my pictures. 

I'd tell you that a friend and I are considering a little East Coast road trip this summer. I'd ask you for all the recommendations! Sometimes travel seems exhausting and sometimes it seems rejuvenating, depending on the season. Right now the thought of getting out and seeing new places with an old friend sounds so refreshing. 

I'd tell you that being a mom has been really hard lately. I love being Jack's mom. I blog a lot about how he's truly been an easy baby, how I bring him everywhere with me, how I love life with him and he's my little BFF. And all of that is so true. But lately, it's been tough. It seems like every single second he is awake, he needs (or, thinks he needs) something from me. He's getting harder to take places, and while he's old enough to know he's upset about something, he isn't old enough to know how to say it, which results in a lot of loud emotions. 

This isn't me complaining, this is me being transparently real, as I've purposed to do on here. There are plenty of places that will only talk about the perfect, and my blog won't be one of them. I remind myself every day that he will never need me more than he does this day, and what a privilege it is to be that for a person. Being a mom has been so fulfilling for me, but it's not without its challenges, and I think both sides of it deserve to be talked about, you know? 

Catch me up...what's going on with you?

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Sharing Stories.

Over the weekend, I posted a few stories on Instagram along with this picture, sharing a little bit of backstory about the last decade or so. 

"11 years ago, we loaded up and moved to Florida to start a church. And by we, I mean my parents, my little brother, and me. Depending on who you are, that either sounds exciting or nightmarish. It's been a bit of both, to be honest. The last 11 years have been so good and so bad. I've watched both miracles and heartbreak happen, walked through hellish seasons and the most joyful seasons. I've met amazing people and watched friends I thought would be in my life forever turn into strangers who not-so-quietly whisper hateful things. It has been full of incredible experiences, incredible loneliness, incredible I-can't-believe-I-got-to-be-a-part-of-this moments. I have watched the desire to just love, simply love people for who they are turn into hope for so many.

I've had church with four people and church with hundreds. In our living room, in hotels, in middle school cafeterias. Tomorrow, somewhere around a thousand people will show up to hear my dad speak about hope. They might not know that this started with four terrified family members in a living room, but I will never forget.

I have learned so much-about myself, about church, about people. I'll say this: The most beautiful things start with someone(s) deciding to just go for it. If there's a dream in your heart, chase it. It might look nothing like you expected, but it'll be one heck of a ride. Happy 11 years, Coastline. It has been the privilege of my lifetime."

What was so cool to me was how instantly connected it made me to so many people. I got a lot of messages asking questions about it or just wanting to talk about it more, and it was so much fun to get to share this part of my story. 

Blogging is a lot of things. It's a way to write, a way to make money. But it's also a way to connect, to see other perspectives, to learn and grow. 

Sharing personal things can feel a bit vulnerable. It's easy to stay hidden, especially on the internet, only sharing the funny or the perfect or the on-trend thing. And I love all those things. When I get a selfie in good lighting, you know that's going on Instagram. I've spent entirely too long staging a coffee photo for a blog post. I love those things. But the personal side-your story, the things that have happened to you, the experiences you have...that's the only thing that only you have. 

So just a little Monday reminder to tell your story. However much or little of it that you want to share. Whether you think it sounds important or not at all. Because it's something that's all yours. And nothing connect people like sharing something like that. 

Your story makes you special. It makes you strong. It makes you different. It makes you tough. It makes you compassionate. It makes you all of the things that you are. 

So when you're ready, share some of your story. I, for one, would love to hear it. 

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