An iPhone Update: 2 Months Later

4.30.2015

Well, I've officially had my iphone for 2 months now. (Remember my huge giant announcement?) I figured since I made such a big deal for so long about not having a smart phone, I owed you all an update about how it's been going in the land of the 21st century.

FIRST OF ALL, lately I have been very displeased to find myself with the ridiculous desire to check social media at stop lights. What is that about? Can I not sit patiently for the light to change like a normal human? 

Clearly the pull of the iphone is powerful. However, I am happy to say that I resist the desire to pull out my phone, because I think Twitter will be okay without me for 10 minutes.

So that's a bad thing.

Another bad thing is that because I now use my phone's camera so often, I rarely get out my DSLR to take "real" pictures anymore. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself and my own laziness, but the fact remains that the photo capabilities of my iphone 5s make it SO easy to take pictures. This was one of my main reasons for getting an iphone, so I guess that's at least paying off. I knew it would be difficult to properly document life for my Project Life book without a phone handy to take pictures on the fly. I also knew (although I didn't tell you guys yet) that I was pregnant, and I would want an easier way to take pictures of Baby Bum once she's here.

So that's a good thing!

Another good, I'll even say awesome, thing is the GROUP TEXTING. I seriously think it was worth the money just for that. Remember before when I said how sad and alone I felt with my family and friends would group text without me? It was like that scene from Home Alone where Macaulay Culkin watches the family have Christmas dinner together from outside in the yard.

Now I can group text with the best of them! Send picture texts! See emojis! 

Okay, actually I could do without that last one. I told Jordan that if I ever use an emoji in a text message, he's to call the police because I've been kidnapped. To say I hate emjois is putting it lightly. Blame it on my day job, but those stupid things are completely ruining our ability to form normal sentences. It's like a dang puzzle just to figure out what someone is saying with all the abbreviations and thumbs ups. STOP IT.

Overall, I would say my level of obsession with social media has risen, as one would expect. I won't lie and say I'm the same person I used to be. It's just easier to get online now, so of course the temptation is higher. However, I have all notifications off for everything except a text message or a phone call, and I often turn off the cellular and wi-fi when I'm out and about, just to make sure I can handle it. I also don't take my phone into the bedroom with me at night. No late-night Instagram sessions for this girl!

And, most importantly, I think, I resist the urge to check the socials at stoplights. Probably if I were doing that, I'd be in real trouble.

Do you check your socials at stoplights? What's the best and worst thing about having an iphone?

Growing a Human: Week 24

4.28.2015

*This post was written while I was waiting for Jordan to come back with the chocolate milkshake I told him I wanted. I'm such a cliche.

I realize I haven't been posting weekly bump updates here on the blog. I am keeping my own pregnancy journal (which I will share more about in a later post), and so I don't feel the need to use this blog for record keeping. Plus, I only post 2-3 times a week, and I don't know how well I could keep up with a weekly baby post even if I wanted to.

All that said, I don't want to completely deprive any of you of the joy of seeing pictures of my growing stomach. I once was flat, and now I am round. I think that's in the Bible somewhere.
^^^I take my weekly pictures at home, but I've also been taking a picture every 4 weeks or so in the bathroom at my office and posting them on Facebook. I kid you not, these pictures get more likes and comments than anything else I do on there. I think it's because everyone finds it hilarious that I keep taking pictures in my office bathroom, but as all good phone photographers know, you gotta go where the good lighting is.

So, anyway. I'm rambling. Here's a rundown of some recent stats as of 24 weeks.

Gender: Girl!

Name: We have one, but we aren't telling until she's born. I always feel bad telling someone that when they ask what her name is, but I just like having this little secret with Jordan for now. However, since I love you guys so much, I'll give you a hint: it does not start with a Z. You're welcome.

Weight: I've gained a total of 16 pounds and am sitting at 152. At my appointment last week, I was up a whopping 10! Good grief. I don't feel like I weigh 10 pounds more. I told Jordan it was the fried peaches I had at the arts festival. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Movement: Yes! Baby Bum is kicking away in there, and I'm so happy to finally be able to feel her moving. I started feeling definite movement (that for SURE wasn't gas or indigestion) around week 21/22. I'll be honest: before then I had been stressing a bit because I hadn't felt any hard core kicks. Jordan has felt her as well, and sometimes when I'm lying down and am really still, we can see my stomach jerk with a kick. It's the strangest feeling ever.

Clothes: I'm still rocking the rubber band trick with the few pairs of pants I haven't had to completely retire yet, but a friend loaned me a pair of black maternity pants for work, and I bought a pair of maternity capris from Old Navy. I've decided that maxi dresses and skirts will be my go-to clothes this summer. Before this I had never worn a maxi anything, but now I am IN LOVE and totally get the hype. They are so comfy! Plus I'm hoping they will serve double duty as maternity wear and also regular person wear once the belly is gone.

Symptoms: I assume you mean other than my insane pregnancy hormones that are makin' me crazy now?

Over the last few weeks I've noticed some slight morning sickness returning. It's just when I wake up, and it subsides as soon as I eat something, but it's just kind of annoying. My main problem currently is some indigestion issues and rib pain from everything being pushed up. When I'm sitting, sometimes my ribs start to hurt, and I have to sit up really straight or just get up and walk around for a bit. So far there have been no stretch marks that I can see.

Running: Still keeping a schedule of 3 days a week. The most I run at a time is 3 miles, and you would have thought I just ran a half marathon.

Nursery: Ha! I should probably start thinking about that, shouldn't I?

So that's what's up with Baby Bum and I these days!

To conclude, I recommend you watch this video:

Verses for Peace & Joy

4.27.2015


"Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy."
-Philippians 3:1

Remember being little and spinning? Spinning and spinning until you can't keep your balance and you collapse in a fit of giggles. I watched the world tilt and spin until I could barely breathe. 

Being an adult is kind of like that sometimes, except this time I'm not spinning on purpose. Lately I've been feeling rushed, stressed, fearful, discontent, and frustrated. And when I feel like that, the only place that makes any sense is to turn to Jesus. 

I used to believe in God because my parents did. I went to church because they got us up every Sunday, and I didn't have a choice. But I went to college and took religion classes and met people who believed different things than me, and I chose to attend church even when no one was making me. Now I believe in God not because anyone told me to but because it's real. Because when the world is spinning, I need a place to set my eyes so I don't fall over.

I wanted to share some verses that have given me peace and joy over the last few months. They've helped me set my eyes on something solid, and maybe they'll help you too. Many of these are from Philippians, because that's where I've been focused recently. It's such a wonderful book full of truth.

"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. In God, whose Word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid." - Psalm 56:3-4

"In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing." - Philippians 2:14

"Yes, everything is worthless when compared to the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ." - Philippians 3:8

"Always be full of joy in the Lord. Remember, the Lord is coming soon." - Philippians 4:4

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand." - Philippians 4:6-7

"But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content." - 1 Timothy 6:6-8

What are some of your favorite verses that you use to set your eyes on joy and peace?

Then the Cops Showed Up

4.24.2015

This past weekend, Jordan and I drove to Texas to celebrate my sister's 18th birthday. Don't even get me started on the fact that my little sister is graduating high school. 

At my mother's request, I brought my camera so Sarah and I could go take some senior pictures. I am by no means a professional photographer, nor do I pretend to be, but I do enjoy taking pictures of people for special occasions if they want some nice pictures from someone who won't charge them very much. (Or, if it's your mother, charge her nothing but home-baked goods.)
My sister and I browsed Pinterest for inspiration, and we decided to drive around and look for an open field to take pictures in. We spent about 20 minutes looking but were met with the following obstacles:

1) Barbed wire fences. Not optimal for obvious reasons.
2) Fields with horses and/or other large, four-legged animals. I'll let you figure that one out for yourself.
3) Fields with houses in the background. Not the wide-open nature look we were going for.

Finally we came across an open field with no animals, barbed wire, or houses. There was a fence, but it wasn't hard to hop over. And by hop, I mean climb over slowly and carefully. Because, you know, nearly 23 weeks pregnant and all.
We had spent probably 15 minutes taking pictures in the field before my sister looked over my shoulder and said, "Uh oh."

I turned around to see a three cop cars huddled around my Ford Focus and three Texas cops climbing over the fence and heading our direction. "Someone called and said there were people hopping fences over here," the first one said, frowning at me. "You realize you're trespassing, don't you?"

I immediately began apologizing profusely. 

"I'm so sorry. I'm visiting from Oklahoma" (<-- I figured it was a good idea to play the confused out-of-towner card as soon as possible) "and I just came down this weekend to take some senior pictures of my sister."

"Well you can't just jump a fence."
"I didn't see any signs," I said.
"But you hopped a fence."
I figured I shouldn't argue with him about the technicalities of hopping vs. climbing slowly.
"You're right," I said. "I did. And I'm so sorry. We'll leave right now."
"A farmer will shoot you for hopping fences in Texas," he said. "And we don't like Okies," he added. Then he laughed. "Just kidding."

Comforting. I DON'T BELIEVE YOU.

He walked us back to my car, took both our licenses, and spent a good five minutes looking us up in the system. Because apparently I look like some kind of criminal. My sister hadn't renewed her license since turing 18 five days before, so they gave her a hard time about that too.

After they so kindly informed us that the owner of the field was not going to press charges (to which I say, get a life, sir), they gave us directions to a field where we could "legally" take pictures. They gave us our licenses back, and we headed on our merry way.

First we took a picture, obviously. As we all know, if it isn't on the Internet, it never happened.
We were too stressed out to even think about going anywhere else, so we just hightailed it home. I was pretty sure I was about to go into labor.

On the way, I called my dad. He put us on speaker phone and made us repeat our sordid tale to my entire family, who gave us no sympathy and merely laughed at us the rest of the night.

I will have you know that I have had two run-ins with cops in my entire life, and BOTH OF THEM WERE IN TEXAS. There's a lesson here, I think.

Oh yeah, maybe it's this: don't go to Texas. Ever. It's scary.

The end.

Oh wait. Okay a few more pictures of my sister, just for kicks.
She got all the photogenic genes in the family, I tell you.

Can.Not.Handle.It. Someone bring me tissues.

Meal Planning + Recipe: One-Skillet Sweet Potato Burrito Bowl (Vegetarian Friendly!)

4.22.2015


One thing I used to be really good about was planning and cooking dinner.

Then I got pregnant. 

I don't think Jordan nor I anticipated the almost immediate feeling that hit me where I basically stopped caring about making or planning any meals.

During my absence, Jordan has had to step up his game. I don't want to make him sound bad here, but let's just say when I am gone for the weekend, he eats Ramen or instant white rice with a can of black-eyed peas.

So, lately I've been trying to teach him some easy meals that even he could make without much effort or complicated instructions. But I won't lie: it's been a struggle for us these past five months. March was kind of the last straw. It was bad, you guys. We never had any idea what we were eating from day to day, and we either ended up at the grocery store every other day buying 3 things we needed to complete just one meal or we made a run to Chick-fil-A. For the first time in my adult life, I'd become that person who gets fast food on a semi-regular basis. Not okay for our health or our budgets. Or our marriage. Just telling it like it is.

This month, I tried legitimate meal planning for the first time. Sarah wrote a great series of posts on how she and her husband meal plan for the entire month. It sounded insane to me at first, but after our epic food failure in March, I figured we had nothing to lose.

It hasn't gone completely smoothly, and there have been a few days when we've moved stuff around, but for the most part (and I don't mean to be dramatic here), I think meal planning saved our marriage. It's amazing! I strongly suggest you hop over to Sarah's blog and check out her tips for meal planning.

That said, I've been trying out some new Pinterest recipes this month! At this point in my life, I am not interested in anything complicated. I want easy, delicious, and preferably using few pots and pans.

The one-skillet sweet potato burrito bowl was a recipe I scheduled a few weeks ago, and other than my salt lick of a husband's complaint that "it needs more salt," we both declared it a definite win. (For the record, I'm trying to wean Jordan off his obsession with excessively salting things [aka early death by sodium], so he currently thinks everything needs more salt.)

I made this, but next time I have all confidence that Jordan definitely could! It's super easy and really does only involve one skillet! A modern chef's dream. Let me know if you try it out and if you like it!

One-Skillet Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls

INGREDIENTS


  • 1 pound (heaping 2 cups) sweet potatoes (I used 3-4 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated into 2T + 1T
  • 1 cup chopped sweet bell peppers (I used the assorted bag of small sweet colored peppers)
  • 1 cup white rice (Not sure if you're supposed to use instant or regular, but I used instant!)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes (**not drained)
  • 1 can (15.25 ounces) black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (optional; I forgot this once, and it's still good!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (vegetable makes a vegetarian meal)
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1-1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • Optional: chopped cilantro, chopped avocado or guacamole, 1 small roma tomato
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into small pieces (about 1/2 inch).
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine two tablespoons olive oil with all of the sweet potatoes. Saute the sweet potatoes for 8-10 minutes or until fork tender. Add in remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the rice.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes at medium heat.
  4. Add in the peppers, undrained diced tomatoes, drained & rinsed black beans, frozen corn, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, and vegetable or chicken broth. Give everything a good stir, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a little bit above low, but not quite to medium heat.
  5. Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is drained and the rice is cooked through.
  6. Remove the lid and stir in the lime juice. Optional: top with the shredded cheddar cheese and then cover the pot with the skillet for 1-2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt (I've forgotten to do this, and it still tastes good without the cheese!)
  7. Spoon into a bowl and top with sour cream and any other desired toppings. It's yummy with tortilla chips OR you could even wrap a spoonful in a tortilla!

Download and print this recipe here!
For more of our favorite recipes, click here.

*Linking up with Anne for Pin to Present

2015 Reader Survey

4.19.2015


I was going to wait a few weeks to post this, but I'm just too excited! I love surveys! Last year at work I came up with and distributed a reader survey for the publication I edit, and I think my coworkers got tired of me talking their ear off about how it was going and the feedback I was getting. But seriously, surveys are so much fun. And now you know that I'm a big fat nerd.

The Lady Okie blog turns FIVE next month, and I am really interested to hear from all you wonderful people about what you do and don't like to see here on the blog. This survey is 11 questions, with 3 additional optional questions at the end. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Thank you in advance for filling this out!

If you can't see it embedded in the post, take the survey by clicking here
Otherwise, it should be visible below!

*If you're interested, view the results of survey 1 and survey 2.

Blog Talk #8: Stop Apologizing

4.17.2015

Welcome to blog talk! This is the eighth installment of "Blog Talk," in which I will give my opinion on different aspects of blogging and continue the discussion in the comments. Because I want to hear what you have to say! Yes, you're even allowed to disagree. Just be nice about it.
CLICK HERE to read the other posts in this series!
____________
Sorry this picture is so grainy. 
Sorry I posted late today.
Sorry to be so depressing right now.
Sorry these pictures aren't edited.
Sorry I didn't post yesterday.
Sorry I'm not wearing a cute outfit.

Why do we feel the need to apologize so often on our blogs? 

I think it's probably different for someone who makes their living from their blog. Not posting just because you didn't feel like it is kind of like calling in sick to work because you just don't want to go. That's not very professional. But for many of us, blogging is not our living. It's a hobby.

I don't want to say it's just a hobby, because blogging is not a "just" for me. It's an important something, but it's an important something that I fit into my regular daily life when I have the time, effort, desire, and creative energy.

Our blog and our blog posts should reflect our real lives, and that's why I don't like it when a blogger apologizes. Now, of course there's an extreme, as there always is. If your pictures are always tiny and grainy, I might not want to look at them. If you are sporadic in your posting and never let readers know when you take a two-week break, that will annoy me. Also, I might become concerned you are dead. If your posts are always depressing, I might not want to read them. 

But not posting for a few days won't kill you, and it won't kill your blog. Posting a grainy picture because that's all you had at the time won't make us gasp in horror. Showing a picture of you without makeup won't make me think you're a freak. Writing an honest post about an area in which you are struggling won't make me unfollow. (For the record, here is what will make me unfollow your blog. Spoiler: it isn't your grainy picture.)

So the next time you start your blog post with an apology, do yourself and your readers a favor and delete it. Apologizing just implies that there's a set of blogging rules you have to follow, when really it's your blog. YOU make the rules.

Sorry to have to be so blunt.
But then again, I guess I'm not.

Questions for discussion:

Do you notice when bloggers apologize? Do you apologize? If so, what kinds of things do you apologize for? When is a blogging apology okay?

You Get Coffee. I'll Have Another Bowl of Cheerios.

4.15.2015

I think it's high time for a coffee date. Shall we? A smattering of random thoughts/life happenings. You drink your coffee. Meanwhile, I'll have another bowl of honey nut cheerios. I am going through about 2 boxes (family-sized boxes, I should add) a month. By myself.

Moving on.

// A few weeks ago, I came home from work to see this:
Jordan was nowhere to be found.

I said, "Jordan, come in here."
"What?"
"What's up with the dishwasher? It's half empty."
"Oh. Yeah, I started to unload it, but then I did the top and got tired of standing."

So... okay. Apparently that's a thing. What I'm wondering is who he thought was going to finish the bottom half. Surely not me. I left the rest as a social experiment. It took him another full day to get to the bottom half.

// I did some DIY blog design over the weekend. Among a few smaller items, the biggest new feature is a brand-new navigation bar with drop-down menu items. I realize this took entirely longer than it should have, but isn't it pretty? I won't lie: I am really proud of it. If you hate it, just keep that joyful news to yourself.

// House update: it looks like a closing date of April 30 might actually be happening. The sellers have agreed to fix the roof! This is huge, people. I should probably be acting more excited about it, but the concept of owning my very own house where I will actually have a porch to sit on and walls to paint hasn't really sunk in.

Don't ask me if I've started packing yet.

HOWEVER, back to the roof thing... I will note that the roofers were supposed to come Monday, and so far it's rained for the past two days straight. So basically I've decided that precipitation hates me.

// Maternity clothes: I bought a few longer tank tops at Target last week, but I still haven't bought any maternity pants. This probably needs to happen soon. Every few days I have to retire another pair of pants because even the rubber band trick isn't cutting it.

Over the past week or so, random people have noticed the bump. Weirdness. I mean, do you realize the awkwardness of asking, "So when are you due?" if, in fact, they are not due for anything more than dinner later than night. There's no way that doesn't end badly.
A few days ago I decide to heck with pants, and I wore a swimsuit coverup with leggings and a cardigan (aka I looked like that five-year-old whose mother lets her dress herself). When I came home from work, Jordan said, "You look so pretty today! I really like your dress." HA! Nailed it. And people wonder why I'm not a fashion blogger.

// I'm still not sure if I've felt Baby Bum kick or not. Sometimes I think so, but then it's like up near my chest and I think that's probably a little high. The other day I SWORE I felt the baby move. I even shouted at Jordan to come into the room. Less than 2 seconds later I farted. So, yeah probably not the baby. I can't decide if this is a pregnancy problem or just a personal problem that only an antacid can fix.

My next appointment is a week from today, and hopefully it's as anticlimactic as all the others have been. Seriously, I get all worked up only to have the doctor in and out within 5 minutes. "You feeling okay?" Yep. "You have any questions?" Nope. "Okay, see you in 4 weeks." That is literally the extent of it. Apparently my pregnancy is not as exciting as I keep thinking it is. Which isn't a bad thing; it's just not what I expected.

// The Lady Okie blog turns 5 next month! I'm currently working on a reader survey, so please please come back and take it in a week or so. I absolutely love hearing what you guys have to say. If you're interested, see answers to past surveys here and here.

Okay, that's it for now. I've probably kept you long enough. We'll do another one of these soon, I promise. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you all a few lovely blogs that I've stumbled upon via recommendations over the past few weeks.

Coffee + Crumbs [A collaborative blog about motherhood. Beautiful, beautiful writing.]
Mich Mash [Her posts are hi-larious. That's all I'll say about it.]

Happy Wednesday!

Thoughts on Running for Two

4.13.2015


One thing I really really wanted to be able to do was continue running during my pregnancy. Of course, if something was noticeably wrong or my doctor advised against it, I wasn't going to be stubborn. At this point (and for the rest of my life now, I suppose), Baby Bum's health comes first. But I definitely love running and wanted to give it my best effort to continue as long as I felt okay.

Currently I am 2 days shy of 22 weeks along (HOLY CRAP), and I feel very thankful that for the most part I have been able to continue my 3x/week running routine. My doctor told me I was fine to keep running as long as I listened to my body and made sure I stayed hydrated and didn't get overheated. 

During the first trimester, I never got sick enough to throw up, but I did feel nauseous every single morning for months. This sounds insane, but running actually helped with my morning sickness! I felt better and less nauseous when I kept up my running than when I hit snooze.
But even though my doctor said it was okay to run, and even though Jordan and I both agreed that we feel fine with me continuing to run, a huge mental challenge for me has been wondering if I really am harming the baby. Every weird twinge. Every time I have to stop to catch my breath. Every time I lick my lips and head back home for more water. Part of me wonders if baby really IS okay in there or if I'm just being stubborn about this whole running thing.

Another challenge that I didn't anticipate being so hard was just how much slower I run now. I get why, of course. I wasn't necessarily thinking I would keep running sprints or that I would break any 5k records. But I guess I didn't anticipate how it would challenge me mentally to run slower.

Everyone is different, but for me I'm running on average 3 minutes per mile slower than I was before I got pregnant. This isn't a huge deal at all, but something I didn't consider what that not only does it take me longer overall to finish a run, it takes me even longer than that because of all the stops I have to make during a run. A relatively easy 3-miler that used to take 25 minutes takes about 40 because I have to stop at least once, sometimes twice, to go to the bathroom and get a drink and even walk a little.

I ran 2 half marathons with Baby Bum along (10 weeks and 18 weeks) that I had previously signed up for before I was pregnant. Although I will not be doing any more actual races until after she is born in August, I do hope that continuing to run and be active during this pregnancy will help both during delivery and as my body tries to recover from giving birth. (Side note: I'm choosing not to think about the fact that this baby will actually have to come out at some point. I ordered my stork, mkay?)

Basically, I plan to keep running until I can't anymore!

*This post is not intended to provide medical advice about running during pregnancy. This is my personal experience, and you should always talk to your doctor before starting a fitness regimen, especially while pregnant.

Let me know if you have any specific questions about running during pregnancy! I'll answer in the comments!

Anyone else have experience running while pregnant? Can you relate?

Ask Anything Answers: Part 4 [A Vlog]

4.09.2015

I'm back with another answer to one of your "ask anything" questions! 

If you haven't noticed in previous vlogs I've done, the lighting in my apartment is awful. But last Saturday morning I realized I actually had a chance to make a video that wasn't going to be yellow! The downside was that I was still in my pajamas with crazy sleep hair. And glasses. Basically I have no shame.

Also, yes the video is making a weird sound. That's my computer! I can't fix it, okay? It's a refurbished Mac from 2008, and let's just say it's currently dying a slow and painful death. Add that right under my windshield on the list of things I don't want to talk about. #sendmoney

This vlog is only answering one question, and I am very interested to hear your answer to this one, so feel free to leave a comment after you've heard my answer!

The Question:
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? I'm curious about Jordan's take on what you divulge about him on the blog.



*If you can't see the video, watch it here.
**I realize it may look like I've strategically placed myself to the side so my race medals are presented in full glory, but really it was just the only way to avoid showing you the pile of crap that's sitting on our futon and the giant Cubs poster on our wall that needs to be dusted. This is real life.

Previous blog posts mentioned in the video:
-Post with the picture of my aunts
-Post recording what Jordan said while playing a video game
-On Sleep Rage
-Getting fired
-On faith: This and This

You might also like: 
Ask Anything Answers: Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

To submit more questions, click here! Happy Friday!

5 Stores that Make Me Want to Buy All the Things

4.08.2015


Most of my blog post topic ideas come to me organically. And by that I mean, I'm usually doing something in real life that I realize would make a good blog post. 

This is what happened to me last week when I walked out of Whole Foods carrying $58 worth of items I had no intention of buying when I walked in there. I went to buy mangos. Are there mangos in either of those bags? Nope. No mangos, but I did manage to grab garlic bread, aged English cheese, homemade guacamole, organic blue corn chips, and salmon filets, among other random (read: expensive) items I didn't need.

And thus, this post idea was born: 5 stores I really shouldn't go to because they make me want to buy all the things. I posted this question on my blog Facebook page and got a lot of responses! I'm interested to know what stores you would add to your list. 

Here are mine (in no particular order):

1. Whole Foods

The truth? I can't afford to shop at Whole Foods, and I don't make a habit of it, but something about this place makes me want to bathe in a bath of organic orange juice.

I think it's the chalkboards. Everything is written on chalkboards in there, and I can't. handle. it. Someone stop me. I'm not a vegan, nor would I ever wish to become one (because cheese), but step one foot into Whole Foods, and I'm ready to swear off animal products for the rest of my life. VEGAN BACON I LOVE YOU FOREVER.

And don't even get me started on the tiny carts.

I walk out of there cradling my locally sourced artichoke hearts and bag of flaxseed wondering who on earth I've become. And I don't hate it.

2. Target

Funny story, Target wasn't actually on my original list until everyone commented on my FB post about it. How could I forget writing this post full of GIFs about my love of Target?

Can I say anything that hasn't been said before?

Let's just say I manage to get past the giant rack of $6 tank tops (on sale for $5.85)! I get sucked into the aisle with all the cute kitchen stuff, and it's over. Never mind that I don't have enough cabinet space as it is, I NEED another light blue mixing bowl. This one has circles on it and is only $4. Come to mama.

3. Anywhere that sells stationary/greeting cards

Basically, if I walk into the greeting card aisle I WILL be buying a card, probably 5. I'm a sucker for cute, hand-drawn cards and personalized stationary. That's all I'm going to say about that.

4. Anthropologie

OMG. I have such an extreme love/hate relationship with this store. As in, I love everything in it and hate how expensive it is. I go in there just to walk around and gaze at the pretty things, but I've never actually bought anything that wasn't 90% off, because hello absurdly expensive.

I want all their dishtowels and aprons. I want to buy ceramic door handles and tiny elephant figures. I don't know.

5. Any athletic store

This is where I can really do some damage. I have way too many sweatpants as it is, but there is always room for more. Basically my capsule wardrobe would consist of only sweatpants and t-shirts if I were a homeless teenager who didn't have an actual place of business to go to every day. Darn you, real life.

So those are my top 5 picks! 
What stores make you want to blow the budget?
___________

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An Egg for Baby Bum

4.06.2015


This year we added an egg for Baby Bum!


We were so excited to find out during our ultrasound a few weeks ago that Baby Bum is a girl! Of course, we would have been happy with either, but it's fun to put a gender and a name to our baby. We do have a name picked out, but we're not sharing with anyone until after she's born. And I'll actually be honest with you guys: I haven't decided if I feel comfortable sharing her name at all on the blog or if I'll just give her a nickname.

Of course, I don't mind if YOU know, but for some reason the whole Internet creepster thing takes on a new meaning when I think about my children. I don't know. I guess we'll have to wait and see how I feel about it later. But for now, I'll just keep calling her Baby Bum. (And don't worry: even if I do decide to keep the name private on the blog, I will totally tell you if you want to know. It will just be more of a private email type of situation. I'd be interested to know your personal feelings about this type of thing. I know bloggers who do it both ways and definitely see both sides.)

We told Jordan's family the night after our ultrasound, and it worked out well that I was planning on going to Texas that weekend anyway for my half marathon, so we were able to tell my family in person! My brother took a video of our fun reveal, and you can check it out below. My mom takes full credit for the balloon idea, by the way.

Jordan and I each had six balloons--three of each color--and we took turns popping them until there was just one balloon left. My family didn't know exactly what we were going to do, and they all thought we were going to pop until just one COLOR was left, so that's why in the video there's a huge cheer and then a pause and then another cheer. Cracks me up every time I watch it.

Thank you all so much for your excitement about our announcement and your prayers for a healthy pregnancy. It's been fun sharing this with all of you!

video

Project 12 // March

4.02.2015


*Project 12: A photo on the first day of every month*

After almost 3 months on the waiting list, this book finally came in at the library. I'm not even going to waste your time with a review. Here's the bottom line: this book is really good, and you should bump this to the top of your reading list asap. Thank me later.

I realized that I was actually in THREE different US states this month! Four if you count my 1-hour layover in Los Angeles. I started out March 1 in Salt Lake City (see photo above). March 20-22 Jordan and I drove to Texas, and March 27-29 I was in Chicago! Other than a road trip where you can easily hit a lot of states in a short span of time, I think this might be the most I've traveled in one month ever.

See posts on: Salt Lake City // Chicago

And then, of course, I travel to work every day. But I don't mind the commute when I can see sunrises like this. NO, MOM, I DIDN'T TAKE THIS WHILE I WAS DRIVING.*
*That was a lie.

Probably the most notable event was putting an offer on a house. They accepted our offer, and things were moving along. We had a closing date! My dream was coming true!

HOWEVER, I am convinced God is trying to teach me patience and trust with this whole thing. We've had an unfortunate setback: a totaled roof due to a hail storm that came through the night after we paid $275 for a house inspection that came back a-okay. (See photo below.) Also after we paid $450 for an appraisal.

So we currently don't know what's happening with that. We told the sellers we weren't going to buy the house unless they had the roof replaced, and we're waiting to hear back. As if I don't have enough to stress about.
Other notable events:

1. Jordan and I attended a marriage conference! I shared some of the highlights of things we learned here.

2. Snow day! Both Jordan and I had a snow day, so we stayed home and worked on a puzzle and just hung out.

3. Giant hail that decided totaling our roof wasn't good enough. It also totaled my windshield. I don't want to talk about it.

4. Finished my ninth half marathon in 2:24! Baby Bum slowed me down a little from my usual pace, but I don't mind. Race recap here.

We found out the gender of Baby Bum! I realize this is nothing short of an epic tease, so.... sorry about that. I'll have a post coming soon! 

After our ultrasound, we went out to dinner and told Jordan's parents, and then we drove to Texas that weekend and told my parents. Jordan and I took turns popping balloons until there was only one color left. My brother took a video, and I'll probably share it with you guys cuz I think it's fun.
Any guesses???


I know a few other awesome blogger friends are doing Project 12 this year (yay!) and so I'll be adding a linkup to my Project 12 posts. This is the lowest of low key linkups. There's not a button or any rules. Just link up if you wrote a Project 12 post!


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