My Happy Place

3.31.2015

Where's your happy place?

You know what I'm talking about. That place that just gives you all the feelings. For me? That's Chicago all day long. I've read some recaps where other bloggers went to Chicago for the first time and came back all, "Eh, it's no New York." You know who you are.

Excuse me while I block you on all the socials. YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.
Now then. For those of you who are new around here, yes, the name of my blog is The Lady Okie, but in fact I have only lived in Oklahoma since 2008. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and have spent many hours downtown with my friends and family going to Cubs games and eating pizza and visiting the Shed Aquarium on school field trips. Every single Christmas Eve for my entire life, my family would drive downtown, go to dinner, and then head to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see the Christmas lights.

Jordan proposed to me at the Bean the day after Christmas in 2010.

Basically what I'm saying is, Chicago holds a lot of my favorite memories.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn't having the best week, so this weekend could not have come at a more perfect time. Three friends from college and I had planned months ago to meet up in Chicago to celebrate my friend's 30th birthday. Honestly? This weekend--with my best friends in my favorite city--ended up being the most excellent "reset" button (aka a good reminder for me to chill the crap out).

Because good friends can't be replaced as easily as windshields. 
Someone needs to stitch that on a pillow.
^^^ I want to point out that the sun flare in this picture is not a filter. It's just my superior iphone photography skills. No big deal.

We all got in late Friday night, (from Oklahoma, Texas, and Minnesota) and then Saturday afternoon we took the train downtown. A cab took us to our hotel, and we started getting ready for our dinner reservations at RPM Italian, an Italian restaurant owned by Bill and Giuliana Rancic.
We were kind of hungry at this point, and our reservations weren't until 8:30. We noticed a Whole Foods down the street from the hotel, so Erin and I ran out for a quick snack run.

Truth: sometimes it freaks me out that I look like this. Not in a bad way but more in a "did I ever used to have abs because now I don't remember" kind of way. At least I'm looking more pregnant and less like perhaps I just need to chill on the Chipotle runs.
We got a lot of pasta and appetizers and dessert, but this is the only food picture I took. Who has time to take pictures when there's food to be eaten? Also, always, always tell the waitress if it's your friend's birthday! Free dessert, y'all. (p.s. Aren't my friends pretty?)
On Sunday we woke up early to catch the train back to the suburbs, and then we all headed to the airport. It was too short of a weekend, but we packed in all the girl talk and the hugs and even some tears that we could.

And of course silly faces. Because you know.

Where's your happy place?

There's Always Chocolate

3.27.2015

If you tried to find me on Thursday morning around 9:15 a.m., you would have discovered me sobbing in my car and angry texting Jordan about the outrage that is insurance. I won’t go into the whole thing, but the short story is that Wednesday night, the 2015 Oklahoma storm season started off with a bang. Golf ball-sized hail and winds so strong they flipped over cars on the highway and, oh yeah, tornado sirens that forced us into my in-laws’ storm shelter.

Basically just your regular Wednesday.

As you know, my bladder is now the size of a peanut, and when I asked my mother-in-law what I should do if I needed to pee, she pointed to the corner and said, “We’ve got a bucket."

Comforting.

Thankfully it didn’t come to that, but when I did finally emerge from the shelter, I saw something even more terrifying: a splintered windshield.
Are there worse things? Of course there are. I’m not trying to compare my cracked windshield to cancer or a car accident. But sometimes it just all seems like too much, and you have what I like to call “a moment."

The house buying progress is moving along, and with that has come the reality that we are about to spend almost all the money it’s taken years to save and go back into debt for the first time since we paid off the last of my student loans a few years ago. Paying for an appraisal. The inspection. A refrigerator. A washer and dryer. A lawn mower. Oh, and now a new windshield. Plus my left brake light decided to kick it yesterday and my brakes are squealing. (And no, insurance will not pay for my windshield. Because deductibles. Ruining lives since 1902.)

And what’s that now? Ah yes, a baby. How could I forget.

Diapers. Car seat. Clothes. Butt rash cream, because apparently that's a thing.

Oh, and wait. I’m pregnant! My stomach is huge! MY PANTS DON’T FIT.

Goodbye, money. It was nice knowing you.

I don’t know what the point of telling you all this is. Maybe it’s because I want to acknowledge that while there are so many blessings, so many exciting things happening right now, it’s also scary and overwhelming and just hard. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies. In fact, on Wednesday it was giant balls of ice.

Finally having the house I’ve dreamed about won’t solve my problems. Actually, it seems to be making more of them. Having the baby I feared would never come won’t turn me into someone who faces life with unwavering positivity. Actually, it seems to be making me worried about everything.

But I’m not the only one who feels like this sometimes, and neither are you. And sometimes, a girl just needs an ugly cry in her car in the middle of the work day because it’s just. too. much.

And then after, you wipe your eyes and say a prayer and get out of the car. (And if you’re me, you call your mother.)

Because yes, you've become THAT person driving around in a ghetto car, and your new house will basically be empty until you can afford furniture, and your baby most likely will not have the cutest nursery that Pinterest has ever seen because the nearest IKEA is 200 miles away and even if you had time to drive there your car wouldn't make it anyway.

AND OKAY FINE YOUR PANTS AREN'T ZIPPED ALL THE WAY.

But yesterday you found $5 in your wallet, and later you’re going to get a milkshake. Because at the end of the day, there's always chocolate.

Race Recap: Rock 'n' Roll Dallas 1/2 Marathon

3.25.2015

I ran a half marathon on Sunday! I have a whole post I'm drafting about running while pregnant (because a few people have asked), so I'm just letting you know now that this post is specifically a race recap. I'll expand more thoughts about pregnant running in a later post.

I was really excited when I saw a one-day sale for Rock 'n' Roll races back in the early fall last year and snatched up a registration. (This was many months before I knew I was pregnant.) I had been wanting to see what all the fuss was about with the RnR series. I was initially worried it was going to rain, but it ended up being nearly perfect running weather. Cloudy and about 55ish degrees, so I basically was never too hot or cold. Hurrah! (Sorry to rub that in your face, Erin and Tracy!)
^^^ This was my cheering crew. They're probably tired of getting up at dark thirty to watch me run, but they do it with smiles on, and it means so much. They saw me start, met me at Dealey Plaza around mile 3 (RIP, JFK), and then slept in the car for an hour until it was time to meet at the finish. No need to have them chase me around in horrible Dallas traffic.
I went into this knowing I would definitely NOT be getting a PR. I'm thankful to have been able to keep running, but almost immediately after getting pregnant Baby Bum slowed me down to around 11-min/mile pace. Based on that, my "goal" was 2 hours 30 minutes. However, I was not going to beat myself up about it or try to push through if I felt tired. It was just my best guess of how long it would take judging from the recent pace of my long runs.

This race offered runner tracking throughout the course, and my splits were ridiculously consistent (see below). I felt good overall, and I guess my pace showed it. My main goal was to make sure I was never gasping for air, so if I ever felt like I needed a second, I stopped and walked to calm my breathing, and it really helped give me energy to get going again!


5k (3.1 mile): 33:55 / 10:56 (pace)
10k (6.2 mile): 1:08:32 / 11:03 (pace)
10 mile: 1:49:54 / 10:59 (pace)
Finish (13.1 mile): 2:24:55 / 11:04 (pace)


I signed Jordan up to get text updates, and I loved running across the timing mats and knowing at that moment Jordan was getting a message that let my family know I hadn't sidelined myself at a medic tent. (As a precaution, I told Jordan to answer any calls from unknown numbers for the next 3 hours.)

The race was relatively uneventful, which I guess is a good thing. Around mile 8 I started to rethink running as a hobby and wish I were at home eating ice cream. I think at one point I swore off running ever again, but I'm pretty sure that was just the ice cream talking. Either that or I had just taken my fourth sprint to a port-o-potty and hated life. FIVE BATHROOM STOPS, you guys. Most ever in a race? Possibly. More on that in my running while pregnant post, but long story short: my bladder + running = endless buckets of pee that is straight-up water. TMI. I'm not sorry.

I started to get really hungry so I choked down some strawberry/banana-flavored GU around mile 10 and almost wished I were dead. I loved bananas, but banana-flavored anything should be outlawed. Nastiness.

As for the course, it was really fun running around downtown Dallas! I thought the race organizers did a good job picking a very scenic route. Although how they shut down the 1-35 on-ramp I'll never know. There were bands every mile or so, but after reading a few race recaps from blogger friends who had done the DC Rock'n'Roll race just two weekends ago, I decided to bring my headphones, and I'm very glad I did. I was expecting a lot more music overall, but I felt like there was just as much as any other race I've done.

The RnR was very well organized from the registration phase through packet pickup, race-day morning, and post-race food. I know a few people had a lot of issues with the DC race being poorly organized, especially at the end, but I didn't notice that. It was very easy to grab food and find my family after the race, which is essential to a positive post-race experience.

Overall I don't have anything bad to say about the RnR. That said, I don't get what all the hype is about. These races are $100+ easily, and yes the shirts are cool and the medals and heavy and well made, but I don't feel like my race experience was that much more than a lot of other cheaper races I've done. Just my 2 cents in case you're interested!

BTW, I have to share my favorite race sign. I'd never seen this one before, but I loved it. A lady was standing around mile 2 holding a sign that said, "You are NOT almost there." Ha! So sad but true. Gave me a good chuckle. 

To close out this recap, I'll share a short video my crazy dad took when they saw me at the finish. Literally the finish line is about a tenth of a mile up the street, if that far. Clearly I wasn't in a "sprint to the finish" mind-set, but boy was I glad to almost be done running!

video

And... thus concludes the last race recap I'll be writing for a while, at least until after Baby Bum arrives. If you have any questions about my experience running while pregnant, please ask so I can add it to the post I'm writing!

Any RnR veterans? What do you love about them?
What's the most bathroom stops you've ever taken during a race?

MealEnders: The Cure for Overeating // Giveaway

3.24.2015

Hello, friends! I'm still working on my recap of the half marathon I ran this past weekend (yes, I'm crazy), so that will be hopefully coming at you tomorrow. But I wanted to pop in and share a review and giveaway of a new snack that claims to be the cure for overeating: MealEnders.

I was provided a sample of all four flavors to try through the Sweat Pink ambassador program, and you can enter below to win 4 packs of MealEnders. (Unfortunately, this giveaway is for US residents only.)

The Facts

MealEnders is a one-of-a-kind weight management program. This is a signaling lozenge designed to help people learn to avoid overeating and master portion control by clearing the desire to consume more than needed from the mouth and mind. Trust me: you want to try these. They're super weird.

The outside is sweet and kind of soft, like popping a soft candy in your mouth. But then the middle is a hard candy-type thing that makes your mouth feel all tingly. This is NOT a weight-loss pill or a replacement for a good diet and exercise. 

These are best used: 
  • At the end of a meal to replace dessert.
  • When you feel the urge to finish a large plate of food, just because it's there.
  • When you crave a second helping but don't feel hungry.
  • When you want to snack on junk food between meals.
Each MealEnders signaling lozenge contains 2g of sugar, 15 calories, and is low-fat, stimulant-free, gluten-free, kosher, and contains no high fructose corn syrup or MSG. Feel the active taste sensations cleanse the palate and stimulate both your mouth and mind, giving your brain time to realize you’ve had enough to eat. Crazy, right?

Want to try for yourself? Enter below to win a pack of each flavor: cinnamon, chocolate mint, mocha, and citrus.

Can't wait? Buy MealEnders at 30% off for the next two weeks! Enter coupon code WINNER-TOO at checkout on www.mealenders.com.

*I was provided 4 free packs of MealEnders to try, but all opinions are mine.



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"All Marriage Problems Are Heart Problems" [A Conference Recap]

3.20.2015

Earlier this month, Jordan and I attended a marriage conference called "What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage" by Paul Tripp. In our nearly 4 years of marriage, this was the first time we'd ever done anything like this, and let's just say it wasn't Jordan's idea of a favorite way to spend a Friday night and Saturday morning. 

Lucky for me, I've learned surefire way to combat any resistance from my dear husband when it comes to taking me places he doesn't want to go:

1) Ask him to tell you the last time you made him to something like this. He'll sigh and be forced to admit it's not often.

2) Make a dramatic statement like, "But don't you LOVE me? Don't you WANT our marriage to be the best it can be?" He'll sigh and feel guilty. The plan is working.

If all else fails, end with:
3) "That's fine. I'll just go by myself." He obviously can't say no to this. No idiot would send his wife to a marriage conference by herself unless they were really having trouble.

And my work here is done.

BUT ANYWAY. The point of this post is not to share my strategies of spousal manipulation, brilliant though they are. The point, my dear reader people, is to share some of the wisdom we learned from our conference. Keep in mind I'm summing up close to 5 hours of conference time into one semi-lengthy blog post, so this might not all be fleshed out completely. If you have questions or need further clarification, please ask!

A marriage is rooted in little moments, and the little moments matter.

When it comes to marriage--and life--there are only a few big moments. But most of the time we live in the mundane, the little moments. So when you snap at your spouse or have a fight and think, "It's not that big of a deal; it was just one little moment," that can become a dangerous mind-set. Because we live in the little moments, and those moments are all important.

All marriage problems are heart problems.

The words we say to others are more caused by what is inside of us than an external circumstance. He gave the example of sitting in a traffic jam. We get angry with the traffic and say that we are upset because of the traffic jam. But someone else can be in a car right next to us and not be mad at all, even though they are in the same traffic. So then it's not the external circumstance (in this case the traffic) that is making us upset. We are already upset inside, and the traffic jam is only the occasion where our anger is shown.

When Jordan and I are having a conversation, whatever is going on inside of me is shaping my response to him. I might already be feeling sad or annoyed about something else and have that inside me, and I respond to him based on those feelings. My words always tell me more about myself than they do about Jordan. It can be helpful to examine why you reacted in a certain way, because there's usually something more going on beneath the surface than this one interaction.

Sin causes us to be self-absorbed and to assert ourselves in the center of our universe.

I am a Christian, and so I believe that I am not the center of my universe. Jesus is the center. But I am a sinner, and sin in its most fundamental form is selfish. Therefore I push Jesus out and put myself at the center. It becomes all about me and how other people can please me. This harms relationships, and marriages specifically, because our spouse stops being an object of our affections and is reduced to being an obstacle to our happiness.

If I was honest with myself and made a list of all the silly reasons I get mad at Jordan, I would find that I get mad at him mostly because he is getting in the way of my selfish desire to do things my way. I want to be right and have him do things the way I like them, and when he gets in the way, I get angry.

A good marriage is one in which people learn to say no to their self and to make valuable what God says is valuable. 


1) "Serve one another in love. Love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14)
2) The fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

Be loving, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Love others as you would want to be loved. These are the things God says is valuable. Now who wouldn't want to be married to a person like that?

Obviously that was just a quick summary of what we went over at the conference. While we were there, I picked up the book that this conference is based on, written by the same man who came to speak to us. I'll be giving away 1 copy. Enter using the Rafflecopter below! International entries welcome. If you are really interested in this book and you win, I will send it to you even if you live in another country.
*I bought this book myself. All opinions about Paul Tripp and this marriage conference are my own. I am not being compensated in any way for this post.

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So Much Pee

3.18.2015


Alternative title: Hashtag Pregnancy Problems

I realize the following are probably not going to be shocking revelations to a lot of you. But here's the thing: they were for me, so I'm sharing them here as part of my documentation process of this milestone event in my life. Aka: a human growing inside of me.

*It shouldn't be necessary, but just in case you're new around here... This post is meant to be truthful with a touch of hyperbole. Go with it.



1. Irrational Mood Swings
I knew about this one. I was ready for the mood swings. "Pregnant people are crazy!" Not me. I was going to have everything under control. 

What I could not have prepared myself for was the ridiculously high level of hysterical behavior that appeared out of nowhere.

A few nights ago I woke up at 2:00 am absolutely starving. I inhaled 2 bananas in approximately 1.56 seconds and then collapsed into a fit of heaving sobs because I woke up hungry and therefore was starving my baby and was going to be a terrible mother.

"How can I feed a baby if I can't even feed myself!" I wailed while Jordan rubbed my back and tried (and failed miserably, I might add) to stifle his laughter at my insane behavior. <--I can't tell you how much I wish this was not a real story, but sadly I have exaggerated no part of this.

Note to all my friends in real life: from now on, scheduling a coffee date with me means arriving with a frozen lasagna in hand. Preferably with a dozen breadsticks and also a second lasagna. Baby needs to eat. And when I say baby, I mean me.

2. So Much Pee
When I say I am peeing every half hour, I am not joking. It's calmed down a bit now that I'm in the second trimester, but seriously. My hands are dry from washing them so much. My bladder is the size of a poppyseed. I should probably just bite the bullet and buy a pair of Depends. At least I'm getting some exercise walking back and forth to the bathroom? I'm stretching here. Really stretching.

3.  Pregnancy Dreams
They're real, and they're terrifying. Last week I dreamed we were out house hunting and I was bit in the knee by a rabid possum. It was bleeding and swelling, and I thought I could see the Great Light of the hereafter shining on me. I woke up whimpering and made Jordan swear we're never leaving our apartment. I told him it was sign.

We recently put an offer on a house, and if I go back there and see a possum, we're pulling out of the contract.

4. How Awkward it is to Tell People You're Pregnant
How do you begin this type of life-changing announcement? "Speaking of... actually, speaking of nothing we're talking about right now, hey I'm growing a human!" People immediately drop their eyes to your stomach as if the baby is going to pop out right then and there. And even though there might be nothing to see yet, you feel like making a sign to wear that says, "I'm pregnant" just so people don't think you've been eating too many cheeseburgers.

I did not anticipate how awkward this conversation would be, and yet it is. I blame all of you. BE COOL AND STOP STARING AT PEOPLE'S STOMACHS. It's rude.

The End.

Project Life: Months 1 & 2

3.16.2015

I have no idea if this will be interesting to most of you, but at least a few people have asked to see some of the Project Life pages that I've been working on over the page few months. Scrapbooking is something I absolutely love doing (as you know from my post "Things I Like Doing (When I'm Not Blogging)," and it's been so fun to get out my supplies and put together something that's different than any kind of scrapbooking I've done before.

The original Project Life album was designed for a 12x12 size. Christina suggested I start out with a 6x8 because it's a more manageable size when you're just beginning. I definitely love the 6x8 and would recommend it if 12x12 sounds too intimidating.

I spent way too long get inspired by the pages from other people, but at some point you just have to jump in. It's overwhelming at first, but it's so fun! Feel free to ask any questions, and I'll do my best to answer. 

**All the links found in this post plus links to the products featured are together at the bottom of this post.**
A lot of people put together their Project Life books by the week--one spread for each week. I chose to organize mine by the month. It ends up being roughly the same idea, but some weeks are busier than others, and I like the flexibility of not being confined to scrapbooking week by week. (Plus who has time to scrapbook every week? Not I.)
^^^ What are the honey nut cheerios about? Good question. I included those because so far in this pregnancy I've been going through boxes like crazy. Seriously, I can't get enough.
^^^ Remember that half marathon I ran in Texas with Tamara? 10-week-old Baby Bum was along for the ride! I printed that photo as a full 6x8 page.
^^^I'm already keeping a weekly pregnancy journal, so I decided it wasn't necessary to include weekly bump shots in my Project Life book. So far I've only included that week's picture if I also went to a doctor's appointment that week.
^^^I downloaded the quote card for free here.

^^^Each month's spread starts with a printed calendar and that month's Project 12 picture. I downloaded 2015 calendar cards here. Then I used Photoshop to cut out the calendar and paste in a different font (I'm not a huge fan of the original font on the cards).

What do you think? Have I sold you on Project Life yet?


Links from this post:
-6x8 Faux Leather Album (link is to light blue; they don't have the green anymore)

Other Project Life products you might want to start out: 
-Core kits (basically a collection of scrapbooking inserts for your pocket pages)

*This post is not sponsored by Project Life. I bought all this stuff myself and just wanted to share because I love it!

Moments

3.13.2015

*A short rambling of thoughts on this Friday morning. This is where I'm at right now.

We don't live in the big moments. We live in the mundane. And yet every so often, there is a big moment. A decision or an event that changes everything.

Last night, we put an offer on a house. I don't know if we'll get it. There could be other bids, or an inspection could fall through if we get to that point. But to be here, at this big moment I've dreamed about and prayed about and saved up for, for so long...well, it literally brings tears to my eyes.

A house and a baby. Two blessings so enormous that I can't fully wrap my mind around it. It terrifies me and it excites me and it makes me wish I could open my arms and hold these moments tight so they would never go away.

I read this quote yesterday, and I needed to write it down here so I could remember it. This is where I am.
____________

Everything old people say about time is true. For starters, it flies. As a kid living through semi-eternal summer vacations, this is hard to believe. But as an adult? Get married. Have children. And then sit back, stunned, watching an absolute roar of gorgeous moments and hilarious moments and exhausting moments disappear--quickly and in tragedy or marching off at the traditional pace, but disappear they must. 

Snap a photo or two. Read verses about futility. Watching one's small humans age and grow up packs a serious punch...no matter how many pictures we take, no matter how many scrapbooks we make, no matter how many moments we invade with a rolling camera, we will die... we cannot grab and hold. We cannot smuggle things out with us through death... 

Our futile struggle through time is courtesy of God's excessive giving. Sunset after sunset make it hard to remember and hold just one. Smell after smell. Laugh after laugh. A mind still thinking, a heart still beating. Imagine sticking your finger on your pulse and thanking God every time he gave you another blood-driving, brain-powering thump. We should. And we shouldn't, because if we did, we would never do anything else with our living; we wouldn't have the time to look at or savor any of the other of our impossibillions of gifts. 

My wife and I tend to overgift to our kids at Christmas. We laugh and feel foolish when a kid is so distracted with one toy that we must force them into opening the next, or when something grand goes completely unnoticed in a corner. How consumerist, right? How crassly American. How like God.

--N.D. Wilson // Death by Living

Bumpity Bum

3.11.2015

I have imagined myself writing this blog post so many times, and it's crazy that I'm doing it for real! I've told family and friends (and Facebook, of course), but I've kept this a secret from the blog for the past few months. I guess it's taken me that long to wrap my head around the fact that this is actually happening.
Jordan and I are very excited to finally tell you all about our little blessing, arriving this summer!
I'm sure I will writing more about this in the future, so if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask! For now, here's a quick rundown: 

How far along: 17 weeks! (I know. Did I keep this a secret forever or what?)

When did you find out: We found out on December 9. I was just about 5 weeks along, so the first trimester felt like it took forever and a day. I was basically a wreck for the first few months.

Symptoms: I definitely was nauseous in the beginning, but I never actually threw up. Overall, I've had a much easier time than a lot of people I know. The biggest pain was daily nausea as soon as I woke up, peeing every half hour or so (not an exaggeration), and being hungry all. the. time. Currently I'm just feeling like a giant and also having a major aversion to chicken, which I normally eat a ton of, so that's weird but whatever.

Appointments: We had an ultrasound at 6 and 8 weeks, and then I had regular doctor appointments at 10 and 14 weeks. No ultrasounds at those, but I did get to hear the heartbeat both times!

Weight Gain: Since we don't own a scale (not for any particular reason other than I've never owned one and just don't care about weighing myself), I can only go off what I weighed in at doctor visits. At my week 10 appointment I was 136. At my week 14 appointment I was 137. So... yeah. Apparently all the ice cream wasn't hurting me too much!

Gender: We find out one week from today! We will share the gender, but we're keeping the name a secret until he/she is born. I will tell you that we have 1 boy and 1 girl name already picked out and ready to go!

Neither Jordan nor I has any inclination or opinion as to which we're having. At my last doctor's appointment (14 weeks) the heartbeat was 140, which can be a sign that it's a boy, but I don't put much stock into those types of things. *Lies! Jordan just told me last night that he thinks it's a boy. I guess we'll see in a week!

Finally, the question that everyone wants to know: Were you trying? 

Yes we were. I might talk more about this later (or I might not; I haven't decided yet), but the short story is that our experience was not at all one of those "we went off the pill and one month later I was pregnant, and we can't believe how easy that was!" No.

We actually ended up seeing an infertility doctor last year for a short time. It was incredibly, incredibly stressful, and I have so much more empathy for those who have experienced and are experiencing battles with fertility. It's such a difficult and frustrating situation, and I have been praying daily for those who so far have been unable to have children. If you have any questions about our experience, just want to share yours, or would like me to be praying for you, please please email me. You are not alone.

So that's all I have for now! Maybe I'll do another baby post to answer some FAQs. So, if there's anything you want to know, ask away!
^^^ In case you need proof that something's happening in there, here's a bump shot from a few weeks ago!

Ask Anything Answers: Part 3

3.09.2015

I'm back with more answers to your questions! This time I'm writing out the questions instead of doing a vlog. (Click for vlog 1 and vlog 2.)

1. Did you always want to be an editor?
I answered this question in my "life of an editor" series I did a few months back. For some FAQs about my job and how I got into editing, click for part 1, part 2, and part 3. If you have any other questions, let me know!

2. What are your favorite blogs to read?
A few people asked what my favorite blogs are. I've never really done a post listing any specific favorites because I really do have so many wonderful friends I've met through blogging whose blogs I enjoy so much, and I would feel terrible if anyone felt sad or left out if don't list them. Seriously, there are too many to even pick.



-Beka from Sunshine to the Square Inch was the first blog friend I met in real life! She and I hosted Runners Tell All last year.


-Jenna from Dearest Love hosts a monthly coffee date linkup that is a lot of fun.

-Kiki from In Its Time hosts the monthly linkup The CircleThere are always such fun topics!

But I've talked about them before, so I decided to list a few blog that I haven't linked to or probably mentioned.

-Charlotte from The Midnight Blog
Charlotte is originally from France but now lives in England. I love her minimalistic approach to blogging. No fuss! She has a fascinating job and shares "around town" pictures from Europe so I can live vicariously through her. She also owns a shop where she sells 100% natural fragrance made with organic ingredients.

If we lived closer, Erin is definitely someone I'd like to meet for coffee. She and I have very similar blogging styles, and that's one reason I enjoy her blog so much. She doesn't do sponsorship, she doesn't post every day, and she blogs about real life stuff. She and her husband recently became debt free, which was super exciting!

-Tracy from Tracy Tris
Tracy is my favorite running blogger to follow. She runs a lot (and bikes and swims too!) and blogs mostly about her training, but she's not a crazy runner person like those people who run a bazillion miles and can't talk about anything but running. I always tell her she's the runner I could be if I cared enough to actually put in the effort.

3. What is your favorite book?
You're in luck! You can check out my top ten book of all time right here. Boom. You're welcome.

4. What is your favorite Bible verse?
I honestly don't have just one favorite verse. There are so many that I love and that mean different things to me at different times. However, my favorite chapter is Psalm 27. I memorized it many years ago now, and I find so much hope when I recite it to myself when I need a reminder of God's protection and peace.

5. What is your go-to snack food?
*I asked Jordan just to verify that I'm being accurate with this.

I don't ever sit around snacking on chips or candy bars. If I'm feeling the urge for a little something, I'll turn to one of the following: a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter, a small bowl of honey nut cheerios with milk, an apple (sometimes with crunchy peanut butter), or a small bowl of ice cream. Occasionally I'll bust out a bag of pretzel rods.

6. What is your least favorite household chore?
Anything to do with the bathroom. I cannot emphasize this enough. I'll do anything else, but when it comes to cleaning the bathroom I will procrastinate all day.


I hope you're not tired of this, because I have more questions! Really you have no one to blame but yourself for asking such good questions. 

Next time, Jordan will make a guest appearance on another vlog (yay!) to answer a few questions, and I'll also discuss my thoughts on this: How do you determine the boundaries around what you're comfortable sharing about yourself, your family and your friends? Do you have friends who have asked not to be on the blog?
As always, if YOU have a question for me, enter it here. Until next time!

Scenes from Salt Lake City

3.06.2015

So as you probably know by now, I was out all last week in Salt Lake City on business. I won't bore you with the details of my work, but let's just say it was a very long and tiring week. I had a few board meetings and met a lot of people I email with on a daily basis. Overall, everything went really well!

Between work hours, I did have time to sneak off and enjoy some of the sights and sounds of the city. We also had the opportunity to visit Temple Square and hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the LDS Cathedral. It was amazing! Here are some scenes from my trip:
^^^ The view from the top! Flying into Utah.

^^^ Because I needed to have a board meeting on Saturday, I got to stay in the Presidential Suite so I could have the meeting in my room. I've never felt so fancy before!

^^^ I loved seeing the morning sunrise as we walked from the hotel to the convention center. It was just a few blocks, and we found the best breakfast place to stop at along the way for delicious breakfast burritos.

^^^ On Saturday our normal breakfast place was closed, but we found this fun bakery and it made me so happy! Seriously, how cute is this place?

^^^ It was really hard for me to pick just one and not say, "I'll have one of everything, please."

^^^ This is where I was most of the day during the week. Not the most glamorous, but at least my coworkers made it fun, and we all got to know each other a little better.

^^^ There was an ice rink right outside my hotel room! If I hadn't been so tired at the end of the day, I would have loved to try it out. I feel like it makes even February seem festive.


On Saturday night, I was able to see the most amazing concert: the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. It was truly spectacular and a great end to the trip. Special guest Santino Fontana sang also. You may not recognize his name, but those of you Frozen fans would recognize his voice. He played Prince Hans!

Our flight back home was from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles then back to OKC. At first I was annoyed, but it ended up being a blessing because flights to Dallas were cancelled due to ice and snow. Here's the view of the ocean leaving LAX!

As much as I love seeing the mountains every day, after a long week, there's nothing quite like being home.

Have you ever been to Salt Lake City or seen the Mormon Choir perform?
・ DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS