25 December 2015

Merry Christmas: All is Marin and Brite

The tree is lit, the coffee is brewing and all the presents (and parents) are just waiting for Marin and Brite to wake up.  I think i'm going to start banging pans soon.  Life has the funniest ways of flipping the script on us because here sit two grown ups, clanking coffee mugs and coughing as loud as possible so the kids will finally WAKE UP. Right when I thought the magical years of Christmas morning were behind me, Marin and Brite show up and re-gift us with all the excitement of the season.  In fact, these two little souls have taught me more about the magic of Christmas and the miracle of the Messiah than anyone. I am especially humbled today that we have a God who would give his child so that my children could have hope in this world.  And we can delight in all the happenings of today because behind it all (and in front of it all) we have the hope of Heaven and the gift of grace.  Our hearts have been given the invitation to be light, and in these quiet hours before our babies wake up, we are GRATEFUL.  

Much love, friends! And Merry Christmas! 

And now, I present to you some of my favorite images from this Christmas season... 

09 December 2015

On your 34th birthday (and always), 34 things I've come to know and love about you, dear husband

1. You sit by Marin's bed EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. until she falls asleep. Only you and I know the hours you have clocked doing this. Let's hope we are storing up sleep in heaven for such acts of love.
2. When you decide to do something, you do it. Let's just talk about the Christmas lights in regards to this. Right in the heart of November we had one freezing, windy day that would be followed by a nice balmy day, BUT NO; you would not wait for tropical weather. You decided the lights would be hung on that day (that very cold day) and so it was. I love you, frostbit commit-alist.
3. I love your smile. And your eyes. And your whole face. May the good Lord grant our girls the same lovely symmetry and jaw line.
4. You do not want to be bothered by cars or any of their shortcomings, but MY OIL MUST BE CHANGED NOW.
5. You always think of those in need. When Marin prayed for people who don't have houses, I knew DAD WAS HERE.
6. When you get home from work, you give us hugs, then head straight to the closet to hang up your clothes. What I am trying to say is that I have a husband who doesn't leave his clothes strewn about and I lurv it.
7. You listen. Is there really anything else to say about this? At the end of our life together our children and I will have had a best friend who opened his heart to every concern, every idea, every dream, every neurotic upheaval, and every insecurity we ever had. And I am humbled to tears by this.
8. If I cry, the argument is over. You are a husband puddle. I will continue to use my powers generously. ;)
9. You sometimes make dinner after you have worked all day and spent hours in traffic. And you ask in the middle of it, "Can I pour you a glass of wine?"
10. You fund all my crazy ideas, even when there are no funds.
11. Every anniversary, with out fail, you ask what you can do better. And then you do it.
12. You are always telling me to make sure I am staying connected to others. Sometimes I think that when it's all said and done, you will have single-handedly kept this introvert in the community God intended for me.
13. If anyone suggests something to you that he/she is passionate about, you will give it a try. I have seen you stomach apple cider vinegar, oysters, and odd spices all in the name of loyalty.
14. You text people back promptly.
15. You love your work and the people you work with. Coca Cola Company is so lucky to have you. Pepsi shudders in your wake.
16. When you were in elementary school, you got in a fight on the bus with a kid who denied Santa's existence. Need I say more.
17. Your sneezes are colossal. They are generous blankets of snot that have taught me how to clean in ways I never thought possible. I thank you.
18. Sometimes it pains you that I must ask the question in four different ways. You sit aside lovingly and let it go.
19. On Saturdays, you hold down the fort so I can sleep in. This is the most important thing on this list.
20. You are the very best at giving stuffed animals voices and names. Marin will watch, mesmerized for hours.
21. You could eat Mexican food any day of the week and at any meal of the day. We are never at a loss for dinner ideas (if they include salsa).
22. You make my coffee every morning like you have promised some secret undying commitment to the matter.  You apologize if you forget (which make me giggle).
23. You do not look nervous when you are nervous. I am studying your ways.
24. You appreciate traditions and encourage their making in our home.
25.  You enjoy running with me e v e n t h o u g h I a m r e a l l y s l o w.
26.  You are a great son, great brother, great friend, great husband, great dad.
27.  When I text you in the middle of your work day, “Saint West,” you just KNOW.
28. For Christmas, you always ask for things that you need.  
29.  You let me drive, even though it has shaved years off your life.
30. I’m grateful for every picture you have taken.  We can’t do anything these days with out SO MANY PICTURES and I thank you.
31. You are providing our family with a rich interest in politics and world matters.  With out you there would be a huge void in our home concerning all things patriotic and socially judicious.
32. You are a communicator.  We will talk on the matter, always. 
33. Your vacuuming skillz.
34. I love how easy it was to write this. You are so very loved and I'm grateful you made your way into this world 34 years ago.

30 November 2015

Cyber Monday Deals!

Brite woke up at 4am this morning, so HERE WE ARE. But, it's Cyber Monday and there's plenty of coffee for days like this, so I think we're going to be more than fine, wink. I'm hoping that by the end of today, most of our Christmas shopping will be finished, all from the comfort of this cozy desk and my yoga pants. Hip hip hurray for Cyber Monday! On that note, here is a list I've gathered of some my favorite stores and their cyber Monday deals.  

Anthropologie Free Shipping + 25% off Sale Items with code XTRAGOOD
ASOS 30% off everything with code BLESSED
Francesca's 30% off EVERYTHING and 50% off all clearance items
The Loft Free Shipping + 50% off EVERYTHING with code CYBER50 
The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy 40% off EVERYTHING with code BESTCYBER
J Crew Free Shipping + 40% off 507 styles, 30% off everything else
Land of Nod 20% off + Free Shipping
Madewell Free Shipping + 25% off entire purchase with code SHOPATWORK
Minted 25% off
Target Free Shipping + 15% off all purchases with code CYBER15 Plus some really great door busters like this gift idea I'm looking at for Marin.
World Market 20% off + Free Shipping on orders over $100.00 with code INTERWEBZ
Pier 1 Free Shipping with code FREESHIP + up to 30% off

What did our moms do with out online shopping?!
Happy Monday and happy shopping!

27 November 2015

Thanksgiving at Mimi and Papa's (AKA Merry Almost-Christmas)

I always love Thanksgiving at my parents' house. When you walk through the front door, the house looks like a Christmas wonderland right in the heart of Thanksgiving, pure holiday bliss.  And each year just gets a bit more magical as our family grows. There were sweet memories made and more rolls than a Thanksgiving knew what to do with.   So very grateful for this family and holidays that give us all a reason to get together (and coordinate our outfits). ;)

26 November 2015


If you've been following along then you know that each year, on the day before Thanksgiving, we join Andy's family at the campsite where they spend the holiday.  Camping for Thanksgiving was a tradition born during a season of grief for his family, but has become one that brings so much joy and togetherness.  As I looked through the photos from yesterday, I couldn't help but smile at the new little faces that joined us this year, a true reminder that God makes all things new. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!