Thursday, April 20, 2017

It's almost over



YOU. GUYS.

Keith comes home from China on SUNDAY. He's been gone for over three weeks and now he's finally almost home! I'm very excited for this because it means we can finally clear off the DVR... we've been at 2% space for a while and that has meant I wasn't able to hoard my Jeopardy recordings. *sight* the sacrifices I've made...

The first couple of weeks he was gone went by really quickly because I was busier than normal. I had a friend come stay with me for a weekend, I went to visit my brother and sister-in-law a couple of different times, Keith's parents were in town, I worked late... it was kind of exhausting. The past week had a much slower pace though and that has been really nice. I did some redecorating and ate a lot of carbs. I washed some dishes and organized some cabinets and also succeeded in breaking our champagne flutes we were given as a wedding gift. I bought some ant poison. I decided I like artificial greenery.

I figured out that while I can live without Keith, I really don't want to. He and I have never been attached at the hip, and we've never been the couple who has to spend every waking moment with each other. But even so, it's sucked being apart for so long. A couple of days apart is one thing, but nearly a month? Nope! Not for me! I don't know how military spouses do it... you guys are the real MVP and I have so much respect for you!

So, to end this super rambly and pointless post: I can't wait 'til Sunday. And I really appreciate everyone who has been so encouraging during the last few weeks! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On showing the beauty


Tonight I was browsing Instagram and before I knew it I found myself coveting the closet of a my college roommate's cousin's ex-husband's sister's mother-in-law. Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that far removed, but it was the closet of someone I don't know. After I had drooled over the closet for a while, I scrolled through the rest of the feed (being careful not to double tap from way back, 'cuz I know that's where the trouble's at #namethatsong) and felt myself getting more and more jealous with each passing photo. Creamy white walls, rustic open shelving, interesting and unique light fixtures, and pops of color placed more perfectly than anything I'd ever seen! It looked perfect, and I thought, why can't my life be that perfect?

On Sunday I went to church with my in-laws and we sat behind the most perfect family. A mom, a dad, a daughter, and a son. Dressed nicely and well groomed, the children sat quietly through the whole service, seeming to hang on every word of the sermon. Every time I see this family they're smiling and laughing and so put together, and every time I see a post by their mother on Instagram or Facebook it's beautiful, uplifting, and inspiring. And I think, why can't I be that perfect?

At lunchtime I was catching up on the Snapchat stories I'd been missing and I watched a blogger do an "unboxing." She had been set boxes of makeup, clothes, accessories, clothes, and fun kitchen gadgets for free! As she pulled out tubes of mascara and bottles of perfume I thought of my faded yellow mascara tube that I haven't gotten around to changing out, and how the only perfume I wear are little sample perfumes that come as a free gift every so often at Sephora. I watched her pull out shirts in a tiny sample size and pants that came in a single digit. I thought of that girl and how perfect her life must be to be given such beautiful things. And I thought, Why am I not that perfect?

When I'm scrolling social media it's so hard to remember that nobody's life is perfect, even though some of them seem pretty close. It's hard to remember that the people behind these perfect, beautiful pictures have struggles you don't know about. When I see that living room with the high ceilings and the flowy curtains and the shiny floor, I don't know what's going on behind the lens. I forget how easy it is to curate your social media and only show the good things. I forget how easy it is to buy white posterboard for fifty cents and use it as a background to cover up the dirty dishes in your kitchen sink, the chair in your bedroom that is covered in laundry, or the floor in your dining room that is covered in paw prints. I forget how easy it is to use a filter to cover every blemish, scar, and stain.
On the flip side, I think showing the beauty in your life can be a good thing. Here's why: because even when life gets messy, it's still beautiful. When you're going through something hard or painful, it's important to focus on the good things. If you only focus on the stains and the mess and the heartache you'll never be happy.

So, there's a balance. Life gets messy and difficult, but it's also beautiful. Sure, there's sickness and hurt and some seriously ugly stuff, but there's also beauty and joy and happiness. It's like a symphony: there are high notes meshed with low notes, quick tempos followed by lingering stretches, times of rest followed by frantic staccatos, and it takes everything meshing together to create something so beautiful that you're moved to tears. Showing beauty doesn't necessarily mean you're covering up the pain or the mess; sometimes it just means you're choosing to focus on the good instead of the heartbreak.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Smoothies for Dummies

I've been on a smoothie kick lately. I drink one every morning for breakfast. For a long time I didn't drink smoothies for breakfast because I didn't want to have to wake up early to blend them up.

"But you can freeze everything and then just dump it in the blender!" people would say.

"But I am still too lazy for that!" I replied.

Thankfully, my younger sister came to visit me in March and she informed me that you can make your smoothies ahead of time and then literally just grab one out of the fridge, shake it, and drink it.

Mind. Blown.

I posted a picture on Instagram of what I was putting in my smoothies and one person asked if I would blog about how I keep my smoothies good for several days. So, I decided to blog about it because WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT THE PEOPLE GET.

So, here's how to make a really easy and healthy smoothie that will last you all week long.

Step 1: Gather your ingredients.


Step 2: Chop your ingredients.


Step 3: Blend your juicy ingredients (oranges, kiwi, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, etc).


Step 4: Add your leafy greens (spinach or kale) with your bananas on top. I like to put something heavy on top of my leafy green because it seems like it blends better.


Step 5: Add the rest of your ingredients (apple, berries, etc), blend, and can. Mason jars are awesome. I have been able to store smoothies in mason jars for up to a week at a time. The only reason I haven't stored them longer is because I drink them too quickly!


Things to know:

-You can use any mason jars with fitting lids that you own, or you can browse Amazon, Target, or Wal Mart for fancy jars with different tops.

- I do not freeze my smoothies. I keep them in the fridge and just make sure to shake them really well before I drink them.

- Brown bananas are best. I think they're the sweetest.

What I like to blend:

-banana
-spinach/kale
-berries
-kiwi (leave the skin on for added nutrition)
-nectarines
-pears
-apples
-orange/clementines/cuties
-pineapple
-mango
-beets

What you should NEVER blend because I tried it and it's disgusting:

-chard
-broccoli

What I haven't tried yet but want to:

-carrots
-almonds
-chia seeds (I heard these get kind of "gummy" if you add them ahead of time, so I've been advised to wait until you're about to drink the smoothie before adding them.
-Protein powder
-Cucumber
-Cantaloupe
-Coconut (I don't really like coconut but feel like it could maybe be good in a smoothie?

What do you think? Is there anything I should add but that didn't make my list?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What almost ruined my wedding

My wedding day was just over a year and a half ago, It was a wonderful, beautiful day, and I was blown away: Blown away by how perfectly some things came together, and blown away by what things nearly ruined my wedding day. Let me explain.

1. I was diagnosed with foot fungus about 6 weeks before our wedding. This meat that my already ugly feet (I have foot issues) were now home to a FUNGUS. I had to cut my nails really really REALLY short and pretty much just pain the skin of the toe. My dr told me, "Well, when you shower with your new husband, just don't let him look at your feet. And if he sees your feet, he's married to you, so he has to love every part of you. That made me nervous chuckle. Thankfully you can't tell in any of my wedding pictures that I had a fungus. That was almost a disaster.


2. The Flowers. I posted about this already but it's worth mentioning again. The corsages were awful! They made me sob the morning of the wedding! I had so many different emotions about those flowers that I almost lost my mind. Thankfully I have amazing friends and family who took care of everything and made it look perfect, like this:


3. I had a giant pimple on the right side of my chin. When I pointed it out to my photographer she said, "Oh, I thought it was just a mole! I'll photoshop it out." Thank god Kristina Adams is the best person in the world. Seriously. There are so many close ups and you can't even tell!


4. There was no ice. Yep, yours truly forgot to plan for ice. I don't even know where I thought the ice was coming from. I probably just flat out didn't think about it because who doesn't think about ice? Luckily my aunt and brothers fixed this problem and I'm not totally sure how but that's ok because the bride isn't supposed to know about the problems the day of the wedding. All I knew after the fact was that it was fixed! People had ice!

5. Some of the tables were broken. UGH. Apparently the morning of the wedding Keith got a call saying some of the tables were broken. I don't know how broken they were, but Keith and people were able to fix them. I wasn't even aware they were broken until we were doing our first look a little later. THANK GOD I wasn't aware! I would have been freaking out!

6. My period started that morning. Talk about inconvenient. I had been trying to plan for this but apparently it's hard to do when your body is stressed and nothing is normal and then all of a sudden your body is like, "Open the gates! Let it happen now!" Yeah thanks a lot, body. You gave me a fungus, acne, and a period, I hatechu.

7. My dress almost didn't arrive. I didn't give anybody the task of bringing my dress to the location in time for pictures. So, what happened was pictures were supposed to start at like, 11, and my dress wasn't there. So I called my parents and they were muddling around getting ready doing last minute things when I finally just said, "Ok IS MY DRESS STILL THERE??"

"Yep..." my dad said, concern in his voice.
"WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO PICTURES IN TEN MINUTES BUT I DON'T HAVE A DRESS WHAT AM I GOING TO DO."
Then my dad got all reasonable and said, "It's fine. I'll bring it to you." My dad, who was officiating the wedding, drove 45 minutes out of his way to bring me my dress, then back home to finish his sermon/talk he was going to give after he gave me away. My parents were saints that day. Actually my whole family and all of my friends were saints that day. I had my dress and we did pictures.




8. I couldn't really see going down the aisle. My contacts got messed up and I was trying to get my dad to walk slower and all I could focus on was, "That grey blurb up there is Keith," and "I really need to kick my dress out so I don't step on it. Kick, walk. Not cake walk. This is no cake walk. There is no cake. Well, there IS, but not for a while. Kick, walk. Slow down, Dad!!!"

We made it to the end of the aisle and it was wonderful.


All in all, it was a wonderful day. It wouldn't have been so without the help of all of our friends and family. I just wanted you to know how some days that seem totally perfect have things behind the scenes that make them really stressful. NOTHING is perfect. Absolutely nothing. But those flaws and mishaps are what make us US, and I wouldn't change that for the world!

I would totally change the flowers, though.d

Monday, April 10, 2017

A WB Studio Tour Blate

A couple of weeks ago, Lauren and I went on a tour of the WB studios tour! It was an awesome day and we had a blast! Lauren and I because friends a couple of years ago via the good ol' blogosphere, and when she moved to LA recently we knew it was only a matter of time before we were able to make plans to actually meet in person. It's so weird meeting internet friends - you know them, but you've never met them. So even though the first time you hang out is technically the first time you're "meeting," you feel like old friends. It's weird but any blogger understands. 
Lauren works for DC Comics (I'm allowed to say that, right?) so she has a lot of behind-the-scenes information about a lot of the sets, casting, props, etc which was really fun! It was like having two tour guides and I did not hate it at all.
The day started very blogger-ish with a photo by the WB sign.


Lauren and I got to "have coffee" at the cafe from La La Land. Our tour shuttle stopped and our tour guide said if anybody wanted to take a picture to go ahead and get out and get your picture. Well, nobody wanted to be the first ones to take pictures! So Lauren and I were like, "Seriously? Nobody? Fine, please hold the tour for us while we go get stuff to post on Instagram." I've never seen La La Land but I heard some people called "The Academy" thought it was pretty good at a lot of things so that's pretty cool.


We also got to have coffee at Central Perk! Lauren told me ahead of time that we would get to sit on the Friends couch and take pictures and I totally fangirled out. "REALLY?" I repeated about 57 times. 



Lauren is the cutest and is way more natural in front of the camera!



We got to go through a huuuuuge warehouse that had a ton of set pieces that the set designers can go through to choose things to use for their shows. This mirror will be on an episode of Scandal! Which episode?! I don't know! Just keep your eyes peeled! Easy!


Then I got to be the President. I think it's an easy job. I mean like, literally anybody can do it.



Something you might not know about me: I'm mildly obsessed with Batman. Just Christian Bale's Batman, though. The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies ever. I even named my car Bruce Wayne. So when we got to go to the Bat Cave and actually see all the Batmobiles?? I nearly died.


THEN we got to go see things from Harry Potter. I also fan girled out at this part. I actually basically fan girled out during this entire afternoon. I can never thank Lauren enough for suggesting this and making it happen!!



I got sorted by the Sorting Hat. Any guesses which house I was in? I was shocked by the answer. I always felt like a Hufflepuff but I was loudly informed that I'm a Gryffindor. I wouldn't have believed the hat but I heard him telling other people they were in different houses so I guess he doesn't just tell everybody they get to be in Gryffindor. I have to admit, I was kind of sad I wasn't a Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff's don't get enough credit, you know.


And then and then AND THEN YOU GUYS. We got to go into Lorelai and Rory's house! It took everything in my to not start yelling, "WHERE YOU LEAD I WILL FOLLOWWWWW" but I kept it together. 


We walked through Lorelai's house and then walked out of... Sookie's house. Hollywood is weird, man. This is also Mona's house from PLL. (I think it's Mona. There were a lot of houses and lots of crossovers so it got kind of confusing.)


There is a replica of whatever that train in Chicago is.


And IDK, just some random corner store thing. Doesn't look familiar at all. Boring. Nothing to see here.


This is the secret bar from season 7 of GG.


This is the town square from GG, PLL, and about 47 million other shows/movies.


We got to ride broomsticks! If we had wanted to spend $50 we could have gotten pictures that showed us flying through Hogwarts but you guys, neither of us are made of Galleons soo...

Then I got to ride Bruce Wayne's motorcycle (batcycle? IDK) and it was one of the most thrilling moments of my life. I got to swerve around trucks and shake my fist at the Joker and have a wind machine making my hair flow in the breeze and just ... I could have done that for a long time.




We ate dinner at Umami which had the best burgers I've ever had like, ever. I don't even know what was on my burger but I probably could have eaten five of them.

Lauren, thank you for being such a great blog friend turned IRL friend! Can't wait 'til next time!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I swear I am a strong, independent woman


Tonight Keith left for his 3.5 week long trip to China. He's been wanting to go on this trip for several years but then things got in the way (like proposing and getting married and going on a honeymoon), so he's going now. Up until last night I was doing pretty okay with the thought of him being gone for so long. We've been apart before, so this will be fine. I can do it! I can clean the house! And read books! And exercise! And watch Netflix!

But this is almost a full month apart, and it's almost a full month of having limited communication, and when we said goodbye at the airport my "strong and independent woman" facade vanished and I started bawling right by the check in kiosks. We hugged, we kissed, I started to walk away, and then I was like "NOPE" and walked back to him to say goodbye for the second time. Then I repeated this a third time. And I cried, then laughed that I was crying, then cried some more. And then I really walked away. I even did that thing like in movies where you turn and look at each other at just the right moment as you're both walking away... only I couldn't find him at first and I kind of panicked but then OH there he was. And then I tripped walking up the stairs to get in my car.

And then I listened to Ed Sheeran (the best CD ever) all the way home and sang along and also just stared and thought really deep and emotional things. It was kind of just a really emotional and not super great night.

I'm really worried about him over there. I'm worried about the flights, about some of the places they're going, about him getting hurt in some really random way. I'm just worried. And I know worry is useless but I can't help it. Does anybody actually know how not to worry?

So, that's that. In the next 24 days I may have cleaned off our deck. I may have sorted my closet into winter and summer. I may have vacuumed and mopped the floors. I may have bought a dresser for me. I may have thrown things away.  OR I may have just eaten bags of Hershey's chocolate eggs and watched a ton of One Tree Hill.

Was this as fun for you as it was for me? Help. Keep me from my sadness.