Image Map

Sunday, December 29, 2013

One year of marriage.

One Year.

52 Weeks.

365 Days.

Countless laughter and

a few tears and

big dreams and

big plans.

Adventures and

struggles and

trying our hardest to make our vows a reality.

Travels and

learning and

experiencing life together.

Loving every day and

loving life and

loving each other.

It's been a heck of a first year.  Here's to many, many more.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013, You Were Pretty Amazing.

2013 has been one crazy year.

I welcomed in 2013 in Jamaica, still on our honeymoon celebrating our new life.  When you start a year out like that, it has to be good, right?  2013 certainly has been.

2013 is the year I started blogging.
2013 is the year I found myself in a new town knowing no one but my husband, and you know what?  I survived.  And not only that, but made some pretty great friends along the way.
2013 is the year I decided to get serious about writing.  And while it would be pretty awesome to be ending the year with a book contract, the passion and determination I've discovered in myself is almost worth as much to me.
2013 is the year I figured out who I was...outside of college, outside of living at home, outside of being in the same town as my best friends.  It was a year of both finding who I was and finding who I wanted to be.
2013 is the year where I learned what being a wife means.  How it's so much more than cooking dinner and doing laundry.
2013 is the year I started building a life with my husband.
2013 is the year I traveled with Chris: to Jamaica, to Haiti, to New York, to the Bahamas.
2013 is the year Mr. Gatsby came into our lives.
2013 was a beautiful, incredibly full year.

This week, while you're making your resolutions and determining how much better 2014 will be than 2013 was, don't forget to take a minute to reflect on how good 2013 actually was.  Don't forget to be thankful for all the things you will have to think of when you think of 2013.

2014?  It's going to be amazing.  But 2013 has been pretty spectacular too.

                  The Lady Okie Blog

Monday, December 23, 2013

Two Years Ago Today.

On this day, two years ago, I was getting ready to celebrate Christmas with Christopher.

He came over to exchange gifts and was in such a rush that he didn't even look past page two of the scrapbook I made him...I'm sure you can imagine how that went over.

He gave me a Betsey Johnson cocktail dress and glitter shows--two of my favorite things in this world--and told me I should wear them to dinner.
Also, that said dinner was in 45 minutes.
Also, I had not even showered yet.
Also, my house was about 30 minutes from where we were having dinner.

Again, I'm sure you can imagine how that went over.

20 minutes later, with half-straight, half-wavy hair and severely damaged nail polish (why is is that every time I paint my nails, I think, oh, I'm sure they'll dry faster this time!") we got in the car and headed to dinner.

Except that Christ told me he felt bad for rushing me, so he had called and changed the reservations and now we had plenty of time.

It was one of those moments where you try to decide if silence or screaming is the best choice.  I settled for telling him to turn the car around and let me finish getting ready.  He said no.  So we went to watch the sunset at our favorite place where he had taken me on our first date two years before.

When we got there, he told me to close my eyes because he wanted to go ahead and give me a Christmas present.  Then he made me get out of the car as he handed me what I could tell was a stuffed animal.  I laughed, because if anyone was driving by they definitely saw me stumbling around clutching a stuffed animal.  They probably thought, Well someone celebrated Christmas a little too hard. 

And then I opened my eyes to find tiki torches and rose petals and a penguin with the words, "Will you marry me?" stitched on the scarf.

And right there, in front of the same swing on the river where we had watched the sunset on our very first date, Chris asked me to be his wife.

I hear a lot of girls explain their engagement as, "the biggest surprise of my life!"  Or, "I'm so shocked right now!"  And that wasn't true for me.  Yes, I was surprised.  My sneaky boyfriend had lied and told me he was losing his job to keep any thoughts of an engagement far from my mind.  But when it happened, I didn't feel shocked or overwhelmed or any of those crazy things.

I felt right.  I felt perfectly right.  Like, of course.  This is what should happen.  This is right.  This is the one for me.

And that feeling has never gone away.

Life has been easy and it has been hard.  Things have gone great and things have gone not so great.  I have had questions and I have stressed and I have worried, but I have never once thought, wait, this isn't right.  And that is something that I hope never stops overwhelming me with happiness.

Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 was funny.

This week, someone came into my work, walked up to my desk and said, "You have such beautiful eyes..I bet you make the best biscuits!"  And then walked away.  I was trying to figure out how to work that into a blog when I realized that actually, there have been a lot of funny/awkward moments like that in 2013.  So here's a post on some of those moments.  You're welcome.

-I was walking my puppy yesterday next to a field.  The bushes started moving and there was a lot of what I thought was yelling, so I snatched Gatsby up and sprinted away from what I thought was a man yelling and running towards me...turns out, it was actually a bull.  With horns.  Still terrifying, but somehow better than the predator I made up in my head.

-In February, I was having a little photo adventure with Meg, who was taking some bridal pictures at a park.  I was in my wedding dress.  We were scouting good places and found this cute little porch with a walkway that looked like somewhere people would actually have weddings, so we started taking pictures there.  Then some music started playing and I thought, awh, it's wedding music, what a coincidence.  Then I notice these men lining up in suits that were looking at me a little funny.  Then I realized, this is a wedding, and I am standing at the front of the wedding.  In a wedding dress.

And then Megan and I ran away.  But we did get some really fun pictures. 

-I was at a stoplight by my house when the guy in the car next to me gets out of his car, pulls his pants down, and starts peeing everywhere.  Then he starts waving his ahem around, and pees on my car.  I was on the phone with my mom, and was screaming and laughing (because I laugh when I'm nervous.  A great quality, I know), and when the light turned green, he just got in his car and drove away like it was no big deal.  The best part was that when I got home, I realized my back windows were down, so he heard everything I was saying/screaming about him.

-I was at home sewing by myself and could hear someone walking down the hall knocking on every door and yelling, "maintenance!"  I called my mom and started freaking out because we always get a notice on our door if maintenance needs to come inside.  So they knock on my door, and I look out the peephole to see a man dressed in normal clothes who is definitely not maintenance at my apartment.  I start whisper screaming to my mom that it was not maintenance when the door opened.  I darted outside, in my pajamas, wielding weapons of a fork in one hand and a sewing needle in the other, just in time to see several fireman standing there.  They were there to check the fire extinguishers.  They laughed at me.  A lot.

Note:  My dad has since told me that I have to stop calling my mom when these things happen and I should call the police instead.  Noted. 

-I had a booth for my shop at a Christmas fair, when a man came up and stood next to me very nonchalantly, like the people in movies do when they have top secret information.  "I don't know a lot about Hollywood,"  he muttered from the corner of his mouth.  "But I'm pretty sure you're the gal who played in Spiderman."  I told him I wasn't, but thanks for the compliment.  He told me it wasn't a compliment and that he was pretty sure that's who I was.  He left me with a tip that I should get some big sunglasses to cover my face because that might help.  And then he went back to his tent across the street from mine and proceeded to wave and give me thumbs up all night as if he knew my big secret.

What about you?  What are some of the funniest moments you had in 2013?


Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Friday, December 13, 2013

You Can Have Whatever You Like.

I was wondering when I would get to title a post with T.I. lyrics.  It looks like today is the day.

I've seen a lot of posts lately trying to define Christmas.  Trying to say what kind of Christmas you should or should not have.  Saying a commercialized Christmas is a big fat no and if you don't think so, you need to reevaluate your life.

Sometimes I can get lost in the place of perfect hair and sage wisdom also known as blogland.  And around a time like this, it can make me feel like I'm doing everything wrong.  Like I'm behind because I haven't baked any Christmas cookies yet.  Or that I'm missing out because we didn't send out a Christmas card this year.  Or I'm a bad person because I want to buy lots of presents.

And that's just not true.  It's not true about me, and it's not true about you.

This Christmas is your Christmas.  Do whatever makes you happy about Christmas.  If you feel like all the shopping and presents commercialize Christmas too much for you, then make your own gifts and focus on the non-commercial aspects.  If eating grilled cheese for a month so you can buy alllll the presents your heart desires for everyone you love is your jam, go for it.  Whatever makes Christmas mean the most to you and your husband//family//puppy//whoever you may live with, that is what you should do.  

Christmas comes once a year and it is much too short.  It's too short to not do what you love to do at Christmastime, and it's too short to waste your time sitting around judging others for how they spend their Christmas.

So get yourself a peppermint mocha and watch Elf and just be incredibly happy that it's Christmas.  Or, don't.  Do whatever makes you happy.  It's your Christmas. 

Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Cheer + A Winner!

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
-Norman Vincent Peale

Fifteen days until Christmas, people!  I hope you're enjoying every moment.  I'm currently drinking coffee in front of my Christmas tree, watching my pup try to figure out if my new singing snowman is a friend or a foe.  If that's not a good way to start your morning, I don't know what is.  How have you celebrated so far? 

If your name is Rachel G. and you got an email from me this morning, then there's a package of Christmas cheer heading your way because you won the giveaway!  If your name is not Rachel G, don't cry.  All holiday hair accessories are now buy one get one free with code "CHEERS" until tomorrow at midnight! xo

Linking up with Karly and Niki today! xo

Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Very Present Christmas

I usually hate the term "unplugged" when it's applied to technology.  Usually because the people who use it are the same people who can't make it through a conversation without looking at their phone and will throw their kid an iPad the second tears start, but they went a whole hour without their iPhone, and they're proud of it.  So they post on instagram to tell you about it. 

"Spent the whole morning #unplugged.  It felt so good to be without technology for awhile.
#unplugged #familytime #noiphone
(posted at 7:30 AM) 

It feels very hipstocritical.  (That's a mix between hipster and hypocritical.  You're welcome.)

A few days ago, I was sitting on the couch taking pictures of every single thing Gatsby did.  I got a good one so I sat there for a good ten minutes in search of the perfect filter to use to make sure his little face could be seen. 

And then I looked up.  And Gatsby was chasing Chris around the Christmas tree, and for a second, it felt like I was in a movie.  It was the cutest thing I've ever seen, and it felt like such a perfect moment.  And all I could think was, why in the world am I on instagram right now? 

I do realize the irony of talking about unplugging on a blog, but I don't mean a completely technology-free Christmas.  I'm so thankful for all things iPhone, especially around the holidays.  So I'm not talking about unplugging, I'm talking about being present. 

When I pick up my phone instead of just enjoying the moment, it's not that I'm choosing to not be present, it's simply a habit.  I'm so used to not going thirty seconds without doing something that if there's a break in busyness, I automatically pick up my phone.  I automatically check twitter.  Twitter isn't bad.  My phone isn't bad.  But this Christmas, I want my automatic response to
downtime to be to enjoy it.  To actually live in the moment rather than diving into social media and letting the moment zip right past me.

Being present is a gift I'm giving to myself this year. Because I don't want to miss these moments.  I don't want to miss the days leading up to my first married Christmas.  I don't want to miss fun nights with sweet friends.  I don't want to miss anything.  I want to be fully present for all of it.

And you just can't be fully present if your eyes are glued to your phone. 


Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Shopping!

'Tis the season to be jolly.  
And also to panic about Christmas gifts, frantically try to find sales, and hope you find personal gifts in time. 
Well, we've got you covered.  
This weekend is a weekend FULL of sales.  The Handmade Fair is back just in time for some Christmas shopping.  For one weekend only, these are some of the products that are going to be offered crazy on sale.  Didn't think you could afford handmade gifts for Christmas?  You can this year!  The shop will open until midnight, December 8th, and anything you order will be shipped to you in time to give as a gift!  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Giveaway.

Are you in the Christmas spirit yet?  I hope so.  My house has turned into a winter wonderland, Christmas music has been on 24/7, and we've already watched Elf.  I'm pretty excited that there's been that much celebrating and it's only December 4th.  I'm telling you, I'm soaking up every single day this year. 

Speaking of the winter wonderland, Gatsby keeps destroying all the decorations he can reach.  I want to be mad at him, but then I look at him..

...Okay, okay have whatever you want.  You want to eat the decorations you can't reach?  Here, let me get them for you. 

I swoon. 

Anyway, in case you just haven't made it into the Christmas spirit yet, here's a little giveaway to help you get started.  Because what says Christmas quite like decorating your hair for the season? 

Some Pretty Lovely Littles goodies!

Five Christmas bows
Four Christmas wire headbands.  

Which, PS, are my new favorite thing because they make it look like you tried to fix your hair when you definitely didn't. 

Can't wait for the giveaway?  I don't blame you.  Go shopping! Use code "CHRISTMASTIME" for 40% off your order.  Merry Christmas! 

Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2nd.

Happy second day of the best month of the whole year!
I am going to strive to celebrate every single day this month.
While it would be nice to think that everyday will consist of a different, extravagant holiday activity, unfortunately there's a little thing called work that will ensure that will not be the case.  (Again, can someone please explain to me why the entire month of December is not considered a national holiday where we get off work?)

Just because real life must continue doesn't mean there's not room for celebrating.  I plan on celebrating every day of December, and I encourage you to do the same.  Don't get so caught up in your to-do list that you miss out on the magic of Christmas.  Listen to Christmas music on the way to work.  Throw on a Christmas movie while you clean the house.  Bake cookies.  Buy stockings at the dollar store.  Celebrating doesn't have to cost a lot of money or a lot of time.

One of the worst things ever is looking forward to Christmas all year long, only to have it rush past you before you have a chance to enjoy it because you were too busy.  Taking a little bit of time to celebrate each day is a good way to keep that from happening.

Merry Christmas, beautiful people!

[[Also, Happy Cyber Monday!  The Black Friday codes for my new shop are still good until midnight tonight!]]

Check out this month's featured sponsor:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saying Goodbye to November and Hello to something much cuter.

Say hello to the newest member of my tiny family:

His name is Gatsby, and he is perfect. 
I'm looking forward to every bit of December even more now that I know I get to spend it with this little guy. 

So, goodbye, November. 
Goodbye to Thanksgiving.
Goodbye to a perfect day of turkey and the Macy's Day Parade with my favorite people in the world.

Goodbye to watching anything other that Christmas movies. 
Goodbye to listening anything other than Christmas music. 
Goodbye to all my adorable fall decorations. 

Hello, December.
Hello to my first married Christmas season. 
Hello to lots of fun Christmas adventures with our new little family. 

Hello to decorations and turning the house into a winter wonderland. 

Hello to new adventures.
Hello to Christmas shopping and sneaking around buying presents. 
Hello to Christmas music and movies and desserts all day every day. 

It's the most wonderful time of the year! 

Happy December! What are your favorite things about this month? Say hello to December at Nestful of Love today!

Check out this month's featured sponsor: