30 January 2014

This One's For the Boy

Me and you, we are reminiscers, and I love that about us. So this morning we did what reminiscers do best on their anniversary.  Marin used us as a jungle gym while we went through each year… the moments we laughed the hardest, the adventures we’ve been on, lessons learned, how we can serve each other better in our fifth year.
And now you are out in the cold getting us breakfast, and that is just so typical of you and your sweetness. You have made me (and now us) the happiest. Happy fourth year into those sweet vows. I love you.

26 January 2014


My heart is going to explode from the goodness of this giveaway. 

Today you can win a beautiful bag AND wallet of your choice that also come with a beautiful message…
Leo Saballos, founder and owner of the online fair trade clothing company Solo Vivacombined his love for design with his compassion for people, and sought out to create fashionable pieces that would give back to the community.

SOLO VIVA’s very first collection is Viva Xairo, a collection of handbags designed by Katie Jo Ramsey. She writes of her designs, "Xairo, 'to rejoice,' is the essence of life. In that spirit, each purse is named after a woman who inspires me to seek joy, women who embody strength and life."

The purses are handcrafted by women from Zona Franca Masili, a sewing company operated by its workers. In addition to Solo Viva’s fair trade policy, a  portion of the proceeds are donated to LifeSpring Community Health, an organization that aims to provide health education and promotion, medical services and community advocacy in urban Chattanooga. 

It is SOLO VIVA's vision to promote designers, set a standard for fair trade and support non-profits.

Incredible-right?! Well, here’s what you can do to be a part of this amazing mission AND win one of these lovely bags and wallet of your choice.

1. Visit Solo Viva, dream and swoon over which bag you want.
2. Check out these brilliant bloggers who are co-hosting this giveaway with me! Seriously, we are all so different, so treat it like a day at Baskin Robbins and taste all the flavors. ;)  

3. Enter in the rafflecopter below! And Voila!

(Oh and no worries if you aren’t the lucky winner because Leo will be offering our readers 20% off any purchase at Solo Viva thru the month of February with the code JOY20!!)

Happy entering! I’m off to see about a beautiful grey and yellow wallet!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

22 January 2014

A Day in Chattanooga + Remembering

I hate the forgetting aspect of living, especially my propensity to forget some pretty awesome moments.  I mean, one time the following conversation actually happened between me and a childhood friend:
 Her: “Remember the time in middle school when you, your brothers, and I snuck out, stole your parents’ mini van and drove all around town till the sun started to come up? Then bought ourselves breakfast and returned home…all with out getting caught?” 
Me: (Look of sheer amazement on my face) “We did what?!”
The story eventually rang a bell, but how horrible to forget such a wonderful moment! 

So, in honor of remembering, I give you our weekend. We took a quick road trip to Chattanooga.  Andy planned it as a “sorta”  anniversary trip.  On our way there, Marin slept while Andy and I chatted about these past four years of marriage, all we’ve learned; then we created silly lists of things people can accomplish in four years like earning a degree, growing from an infant to a pre-schooler, etc. 

We pulled onto Broad Street, and headed to the aquarium to meet our good friends and their two rambunctious, beautiful boys.  And I thought Christmas was magical with little ones.  The aquarium, oh wow.  We chased kids around crowds and watched their amazement over HUGE fish and SHAWKS.  The adults didn’t get a word in edgewise, and for some reason I get tickled over that fact. During the kiddos’ naptime, the adults chatted and caught up with Mojo Burritos in hand, wine and 1 ½ rounds of Puno (Uno with a twist). 

Andy, Marin and I gave hugs and goodbyes before setting off.  We three headed to dinner at Alleia, the kind of restaurant where the d├ęcor takes your breath away and where they mix things like French bread, ricotta cheese and locally grown honey to create one incredible, underestimated bite.  The three of us ended our day by snuggling up in a big King bed at our hotel.  

These moments and these people, I could just squeeze em.

14 January 2014

There's a Baby Sleeping in my Bed

1.  No babies sleeping with us in our bed.
2. Let the baby cry it out.

These two rules (self-imposed somewhere during pregnancy) don’t exist in our house anymore. They were made before we met Marin, before we became parents.  Those first days at home, Andy and I would take turns sleeping with her on our chests.  She just wouldn’t settle otherwise.  We threw our books, theories, ideas out the window and simply met her need by holding her through the night.

Eventually she began to sleep fine in her own crib, so we were happy to leave her there to sleep. Then something changed a few months ago.  Separation anxiety? Teething? Gas? I’ve racked my brain, but I just couldn’t figure out what was causing her wakefulness and crying in the night.  I’ve only figured out what fixes it.  We put her in our bed, right there in the middle of us, all the way through the night.  She was automatically soothed.

A couple nights ago I cracked one eye open to see the three amigos had all chosen the same pjs.  I giggled at our sea of white t-shirts.  And as a mom I felt peace over our decision.  I felt peace that it didn’t mean she would be in our bed forever, just for now while she needs it.  I felt peace that I was finding MY WAY as a mom, just like every mom has to.

I can hear all the voices. “You are forming a bad habit.” “You’re putting the baby first” “She will need to learn on her own.” I’m not sure where these hypothetical critics come from, but I’m pretty sure every mother hears them somewhere in the back of her mind.  But, this mama has resolved not to listen to them on this matter.  I will go to my baby when she cries out in the night.  I will put her in the bed if that soothes her. I will love her for who she is in the only way I know how.

This time is a gift.  And these lessons (and broken rules) are shaping this mama and family.  Let’s be honest, I kind of relish in broken rules anyway. 
Much love, friend.  Hope you are somewhere breaking silly rules too. ;)

08 January 2014


Dress: Asos/Shoes: Target/Jeans:AE

This is a BIG baggy dress that I wore as an even BIGGER shirt. And I love it. Does Andy love it too? No, sir-ee.  But you know how it is, there are just some days when that little girl inside wants out, the one who would walk into the kitchen in her swimsuit or hodge podge outfit, proclaiming to her mom (or man in this case) “Today, I want to wear dis!”  So there you have it.  Dis is what I wore.

In other news, our condo is beginning to look like a barren land as we prepare to put it on the market, so of course; we three amigos danced around like wild Indians in an empty living room the other night because it was making a little baby with a cold crack up. Round and round and round.  

Happy Wednesday, friends. Stay warm out there.