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life lately

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-6-40-07-pm[loving this || gorgeous february weather + a walk around lake atalanta]

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-6-40-24-pm[eating this || the best fries ever. go to saiwok NOW.]

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img_2486[celebrating this || valentine’s day with wine, chocolate tastings + photobooths]

img_2583-1[playing with this || adorable little boy for an afternoon]

img_2482[swooning over this || beautiful flowers from husband!]

xo xo

happy thoughts

A few simple, happy thoughts for anyone having a tough week
or for anyone who likes happy thoughts.

*It’s 75 degrees in February. Let me repeat, it’s 75 degrees in February. Let porch season begin.

*I spoke to the absolute sweetest old lady on the phone today (who I didn’t know). She started the conversation by telling me her grandmother’s name was Mille and she was the best person she’d ever met. We talked for 20 minutes about names and strong grandmothers and having kids and travel and true love, and it totally made my day. And she ended the conversation by saying it made hers too, because it made her reminisce about her grandmother.

*I’ve seen two amazing, deserving couples get an answered prayer of adoption this week. Their posts warmed my heart and made me praise our truly incredible God.

*This Is Us has been renewed for 2 seasons. Yes, every episode makes me cry, but ultimately this makes me very happy.

*I may be extra busy with work lately, but I still have time to spend with my amazing husband, delicious food to eat and a warm bed to crawl into at night.

*When your mom knows exactly what prayer to send after a rough day –

Feel your panic. Feel your frustration. But keep your eyes and heart open. There’s a part of us, our heart, that knows where we’re going, knows what we need, knows what the next step is. Our heart will lead us on. And God will move us forward.

Oh, and it’s National Margarita Day.
Happy thoughts, indeed.

xo xo

“I hope this song starts a craze”

Lately, Husband and I have been reminiscing a lot about favorite bands, nostalgic bands (often one in the same) and concerts we’ve attended together.

It started a few months back when Husband created a “High School Jamz” playlist. It was such a throwback and we have had so much fun listening to it and singing to it – even as often as last night, belting out our favorite Brand New songs after our Valentine’s Day dinner at home.

Every time we go to a concert, I always think how fun it is and how we need to go to concerts more often. Who doesn’t love live music?? We are so lucky to have an amazing outdoor venue less than 2 miles from our house, and this year they’re bringing several of our favorite nostalgic artists.

We’ve purchased tickets to 3 concerts so far this year – Blink 182 in April and Third Eye Blind with Silversun Pickups in July, and the one we’re most excited about – Radiohead in Kansas City in April. This will be a huge concert to check off the bucket list.

While I’ve been excitedly planning for the upcoming concerts, I’ve also been reminiscing about our early concert days –

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Our first concert together was Taking Back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World in Ft. Smith. My parents drove me, Husband (then boyfriend) and friend Nicole down. Sadly these were the pre-smartphone days so I have no photos to speak of, but the three of us still talk about how much fun we had.

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[Dashboard Confessional and Brand New, Conway 2006]
With Dashboard lead singer Chris Carrabba + us outside of Brand New’s tour bus

P.S. it was FREEZING and we waited out back for hoursssssss to meet them #WorthIt

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[Foo Fighters, University of Arkansas 2007]

This photo was actually taken while waiting outside for the tickets a few months before the show. Somehow I cannot find a single photo of the actual concert even though it was one of the best shows we’ve ever been to. We went with two of our favorite people and stood feet from Dave Grohl as he played for hours and hours and had so so much fun.

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[Brand New, Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa 2007]

I don’t remember much about this concert … but glad I found this one picture of the guitarist hanging upside down, ha!

img_0092[Dear and the Headlights, Jimmy Eat World and Paramore, Springfield 2008]
With lead singer of Dear and the Headlights

img_0093[Vans Warped Tour: Blink 182, Weezer, Taking Back Sunday, Kansas City, 2009]

Of course, I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention our two stops to Red Rocks in Denver to see our new favorite band The National –

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[Frightened Rabbit, Local Natives and The National, 2013]

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[The National, 2016]

Excited to make more concert memories with Husband this summer and in the years to come!

xo xo

Here’s the thing about Seinfeld …

It’s funny. It’s relatable. It’s pop culture.

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Growing up, of course I’d seen Seinfeld reruns on TV, but I never watched many of them. I knew the characters. I knew the soup nazi and festivus, but other than that it was just another TV show.

When Hulu added the entire series, Husband and I decided we had to start from the beginning and see what the heck this show was really about. Of course, now we know, it’s really about nothing. Literally, the show about nothing. We are 5 and a half seasons in (out of 9) and here’s what I’ve realized …

It’s funny.

I mean, I always thought it was funny when I would see reruns on TV, but it is fuuuunnnnnny. Husband and I struggle to find comedies to watch these days that make us laugh out loud consistently, but this one never fails us. I’ve talked to several people who asked, “does it really still hold up?” “is it really funny even to millennials?” YES. YES. YES. It’s easy, clean, good humor. And every episode we talk about how they bring it full circle in the most perfect way.

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It’s relatable.

Okay, so we know it’s the show about nothing, but the funny thing is, since we’ve been watching the show we’ve had strange instances where we will personally experience things that we just saw in an episode. For example, we watched an entire episode about saving seats in the movie theater. Two days later, we went to see Star Wars Rogue One and I swear it was like we were playing out that episode. Another example, we watched an episode about getting lost in a parking garage (still one of my favorite eps) and a few weeks later we could not find our way out of a parking garage!

That’s why this show is so funny in such a unique way – you can relate to every episode because it’s the mundane things that happen to everyone. You laugh because you totally get it.

We just watched an episode where the person in the stall next to Elaine wouldn’t give her any toilet paper “I can’t spare a square” – I just know that will happen to me soon, and I will lose my sh*t.

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It’s pop culture.

How can I, a lover of all things pop-culture, not watch Seinfeld?? Seinfeld is one of those shows that everyone knows and everyone quotes and if you don’t know it, you feel so left out. Even 20 years later! At a work Christmas party someone brought a mug that said, “The jerk store called …” with George’s face on it. We clearly hadn’t gotten to that episode so I had no clue what it meant, but everyone else did. So we sped ahead and watched it and it was hilarious. Literally ONE WEEK LATER, we were in a museum in Washington D.C. and I overheard someone saying, “The jerk store called …” HA! I understood the reference! It was a proud, personal Seinfeld moment.

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What are your favorite Seinfeld episodes or favorite quotes?

xo xo

life lately

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screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-12-05-12-pm{loving this || BEST TRIP EVER to Vegas with an amazing group of people #WhatHappensInVegasStaysInVegas}

10477e60-4e05-4a95-b159-d071b99aadf8{learning this || nude figure drawing class with mom… let’s just say I decided I’d rather be the model, ha!}

ee5997eb-cb00-426e-9d49-c627d6d5baa1-2{celebrating this || my birthday in style! thanks, work family!}

2b96fb81-b8e8-4e7c-a747-0a6136c2fe2c{planning this || summer trip to Italy!}

{enjoying this || lady gaga concert aka super bowl 51}

xo xo

favorites, round 6.

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Things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too.

LULULEMON: Guys, I never thought I’d be that girl. I tried to fight it for so long. They always said, once you go Lulu you don’t go back, and now I completely understand. Thanks to my sister-in-law over Christmas, Husband and I got our first Lulu gear and instantly became hooked. I can’t even explain it to you, but it just feels amazing. I now have a shirt, sweater, leggings and a scarf and I love them all so much. Yes, it’s definitely expensive, but now I can’t go back.

STILA HUGE EXTREME LASH MASCARA: Thanks to Birchbox for sending me this one because I am now officially obsessed! I try new mascaras regularly, but this one has been my go-to for a while. It gives you volume and length, and it comes in a pretty gold tube. I do supplement with cheaper mascara so I don’t use this up too quickly. I purchase either online or at Ulta.

BENEFIT GIMME BROW: Thanks to Birchbox for sending me this one because I am now officially obsessed! (wait, am I having deja vu??) But for real, this is another one from the subscription service that I now cannot live without. It’s different than other eyebrow fillers because it goes on like mascara, which is kind of strange, but once you see the difference it makes you won’t believe your eyes. I use shade 3, and again purchase online or Ulta.

WOODWICK CANDLES: As of late, I love love candles. And I especially love woodwick candles. I received one as a gift a couple of years ago, and now I buy new ones every season. They make the perfect crackling sound when they’re lit, and it lasts the entire candle. It seems like the noise might be annoying, but it is surprisingly very relaxing. Even husband was skeptical at first and now loves them. You can find good deals at Home Goods and sometimes on sale at Target.

HILLSHIRE SNACKING SMALL PLATES: This one seems kind of random, but I had to share this with you if you haven’t seen these before. I love cheese and crackers, but can easily eat an entire block of cheese when I shouldn’t. This is perfect – it’s the perfect amount for a snack or even for lunch if you add in some fruit or carrots, and it’s delicious! This is great to keep in the fridge just in case. Buy at Walmart!

LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER: Husband and I are hooked on John Oliver – a weekly 30-minute show on HBO. It’s more than just a John Stewart/Stephen Colbert type show because I truly learn a lot about the week’s headlines and he goes deep into a topic each week that’s fascinating. While he delivers the news very seriously, he also adds in witty commentary. We are aligned to his political beliefs and are often cheering at the TV for saying all the things we want to say.

xo xo

See more of my favorites here: favorites, round 5., favorites, round 4.

birthday week reflection

What a week it’s been.

[a Vegas recovery week. a birthday week. a tough work week. a tough political week. an emotional week. a party week.]

How has it been all those things in just a simple week? As I type this, the ability to describe this week is honestly beyond my words. The rollercoaster of coming off of a Vegas high, down with layoffs at work, back up to an amazing birthday high and down and around again as our new President continues to shock us all.

This world and these lives of ours are very volatile. We have no idea what tomorrow brings. It is even more important now than ever to be thankful for today and all that we have.

As I was driving to work Wednesday morning, head still spinning from the day before, I turned off the radio and started listing all the things I was thankful for right now.

Just to name a few –

A roof over my head. Food on the table. Clean water to drink. A husband who loves and cares for me. A family who is always there for me. Friends who make me laugh and are there when I cry. And an incredible job that does more than just pay the bills.

What an incredible 28 years I’ve had thus far.

It’s as simple as that. If I have those things, I’d say I’m pretty lucky. I gained some needed perspective just by taking those 10 minutes to think about everything God has graciously given me.

The world is not okay, and there are a lot of horrible things happening right now. I have a lot, and I never want to take that for granted, but I also need to work harder for those who don’t have these same freedoms and luxuries as I do.

All of you reading this are amazing people and I love you and I’m so thankful to have you in my life. My hope is you will do the same – take a few minutes before you go to bed tonight or on your way to work in the morning and truly think about what you have and how you can give back to others.

“It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.”

xo xo