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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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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Residency: It Has Begun.

Yesterday kicked off the start of Chris' residency, something that I've been both looking forward to and sort of dreading simultaneously. The start of his career also means the end of a long break where he got to spend tons of time with me and Jack, and I've loved every day of that. 

Surgery residency is notoriously difficult. An incredibly tiring and time-consuming choice. Long shifts, long weeks, really, really hard work. I was reading a blogger's recount of when her husband chose to do a surgery residency, and she said that everyone she talked to said things like, "Yeah, your marriage won't make it through this." 

1) WHY do people think it's okay to ever say things like that?!

2) Her marriage made it just fine AND she's happy. SO THERE. 

But, just because I'm confident that my marriage will still be standing when residency is over doesn't mean I'm particularly excited to experience first-hand whatever it is that has made so many people call it quits. It will be hard, and that scares me, and I think it's good to put that out there. 

I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to only show the good side of things. We're so excited to start that new job. We're thrilled to become a mom. We're looking forward to the big move. It's one-hundred percent possible for those things to be completely true while we are scared or nervous or anxious at the same time. 

Having a baby terrified me. The match day process almost killed me. Big changes stress me out. 

I'm such a proponent of talking about the good. I think we should fill our spaces with the good way more than the bad. But sometimes, the best things cost hard work and sacrifice, and sometimes, that can be scary. And it's okay to say so. 

We matched in an amazing place, and I am so thankful. Chris became a doctor, and I am so proud. We bought a house, and I am just in awe that this is my life, because it's just so good. 

Residency has started, and I'm so excited for Christopher to have his first job doing what he loves. I can't wait to watch him succeed in all of his dreams. Along with that, I know it's going to be really hard, and that scares me. 

I know I'll blog a lot about residency, because it's our life now. It's not something I'm wishing away, I'm not counting down the days until the end of it, because this is life, right now, and I don't want to miss a bit of it. I know that it will be hard because being a surgeon is hard, so it makes sense. 

But just because something is difficult doesn't mean it can't also be beautiful. 

It's going to be hard, and I'm nervous. It's going to be beautiful, and I'm excited. 

And isn't that just what so much of life is? 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

20 Weeks With Jack: All of The Pictures.

Week Seventeen:

you love just hanging out in your carseat at dinner with us // you can't hold your own bottle yet, but you put it in your feet all the time // still so in love with all your facial expressions // chubby chubby cheeks // happy to have help walking around // such a little florida baby at the pool // life jacket shopping was slightly less than successful // my first mother's day, I woke up to flowers, wine, chocolate, and a picture of you! // all snuggly on vacation

I can't look at this picture without laughing // the coolest // your first trip to bass pro // you look like a little bandit in these bibs 

Week Eighteen:

being buds with dad on vacation // the sleepiest // the silliest // the snuggliest // you light up my life with your fun faces // you loved getting spoiled by grandparents on vacation // and hanging out by the water with grandpa // you loved you some hammock swinging! // my sleepy guys 

having way too much fun with snapchat // our first attempt at rice cereal went exactly as it looks // we got you a little bouncer to keep you occupied while we packed up the apartment // you always do so good at your doctor appointments! 

Week Nineteen:

suspicious face // just chillin' // happiest. baby. ever. // chubby little snuggle bear // the sweetest sleeper // you are very unsure about carrots 

showing off at dad's graduation party // we took you on more trips to home depot than I can count when we were getting ready for the move // you looked the cutest in that graduation cap // a picture with your doctor dad! // the sweetest snuggles

Week twenty:

Seriously just the happiest baby // you were a champ during all the packing and loading! // your new little sleep suit cracks me up // so happy on moving day! // our first family picture in front of our new house! // coffee with you on our new porch the first morning in our new home 

copycat // we're getting better with the rice cereal // snuggles on our new hammock // getting used to your high-chair // you're teething and it's the saddest thing ever // the sweetest sleeper
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Friday, June 17, 2016

The Sweetest Sleep With Tuft & Needle.

I hate mattress shopping. 

I've only been once, but it was a long and torturous enough process that I can confidently say I hate it.
I think it's the worst. But what was also the worst was our mattress. There was no way that thing was making the move to Gainesville with us. So unfortunately I knew I was going to have to suck it up and spend a day miserable in order to maybe find a mattress I could tolerate. 

And then, I found out about Tuft & Needle. It seemed like a memory foam mattress, but better. I spent a little while looking through their website before emailing them and seeing if they'd be up for collaborating, because after reading about it more, I needed this mattress. 

When I told Chris I was having a mattress shipped to our house without even trying it, he was suspicious, but I told him he has to he decided he'd love to support my blogging career, so he'd wait on the mattress shopping. 

While I was waiting on it to be delivered, I got a little nervous about whether or not it would live up to the hype. Sometimes things are cool, but not the best quality. For example: Urban Outfitters has the cutest notebooks. But then you get home and realize that you paid $25 dollars for 15 pages that rip when you try to write in them. I was a liiiitle bit nervous that this might be one of those situations. 

And then, this box arrived. 

If you're thinking that box looks awfully tiny for a king-sized mattress to be inside, so was I. And most definitely so was Chris. 

Then we opened the box. 

And when we pulled the mattress out, I thought-Crap. They sent me a twin mattress. I knew that box looked too small. 

But then we cut the plastic off, and I kid you not, within fifteen seconds, it looked like this: 

And within thirty seconds, it looked like this: 

That's the cool part. Now, on to the good stuff. 

This is, hands down, no comparison, the greatest mattress I have ever slept on in my entire life. It's perfect. It's like someone took all of the good things about different types of mattresses and put it into this mattress, and they made a list of all of the bad things about different mattresses and made sure those came nowhere near this mattress. It's the perfect mix of foam (they make their own!) and firm so that you sink into it at night without actually sinking into it. It's soft enough that you relax immediately when you climb into bed, but firm enough that your back doesn't hurt in the morning. 

The first night we slept on it, I chalked our amazing sleep up to exhaustion from moving. The second night, I thought maybe it might have something to do with the mattress. The next week, I knew it was because I was sleeping on pure magic. 

To say I'm obsessed with it is a massive understatement. I texted all my friends for a week about how great it is. Which leads me to believe that I have actually entered into true adulthood, because who gets that excited over a mattress? 

The short answer: Anyone who is sleeping on a Tuft & Needle mattress. It's magic, you guys. Pure magic. 

When we bought this house, I told Chris I wanted to fill it with things we loved. I wanted everything to be just right. This mattress fits those requirements perfectly. And the best part is that I got to avoid the dreaded mattress shopping!

And, in case that's not enough reason for you to try it: They have a 100-night return policy. Meaning you get to try sleeping on this beauty one-hundred different times and, if something is wrong with you if you don't like it, they'll give you your money back. Go look at this magic for yourself. What do you have to lose?! 

Answer: Nothing. Sweet dreams! 

PS: Tuft & Needle sent me a mattress in exchange for a blog review, but everything here is my own opinion. It's worth noting that they sent me an email asking that I be completely honest in my review, and they didn't ask to see this post before it went live (which is so refreshing!) So everything you see here is 100% me just really being that obsessed with a mattress. #adulting
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Let's Drink Too Much Coffee & Talk About Life.

Today seems like to perfect day to have an extra cup of coffee (or two) and talk about life. If we were having coffee together, I'd have a lot to tell you. 

I'd tell you that my heart is still so heavy over what happened in Orlando, and that I'm so disappointed in some of the people I know. I've seen so many tweets and Facebook statuses twisting the terror into a platform to voice their opinions on politics. It is clear to me that the only way to respond to this horrific situation is in love. This is not about political views. This is not about you. This is about a group of Americans who were attacked. And the only way to respond to that is in sorrow and in love. 

Of course we'd talk about my new house, and how much I'm loving it. It feels so amazing to have so much room after living in a studio for two years. Waking up in this house still feels so exciting every day, and I want to cherish that feeling. 

I'd also tell you that having an office (and my own desk!) again has me itching to write more. I hope to do a lot of that this year, but we'll see how that goes when paired with my squawking babe. (Yes, he squawks now. Like a velociraptor. It's adorable, but also very loud.)

I'd tell you that Chris' residency kicks off on Monday, and I'm getting really nervous about it. I'm excited for him, I'm just nervous about the transition of balancing a lot of things by myself. But things always work out, so I know this will, too. I'd also tell you that I started a little notebook that I want to fill with 365 little things to do to get through intern year (notoriously the hardest year). I've got little things like trying new recipes, boring things like cleaning out the refrigerator, and fun things like going thrift store shopping. I just want to have one thing I can tick off every day on the way to finishing a really trying year. I need about 150 more things-give me your ideas!)

Now, your turn. Tell me what's going on in your life.

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