Blogging Fun: The Liebster Award

Thank you Linzi at Little Gem for nominating me for the Liebster Award! Linzi is a beautiful wife and mama of two, and a fellow Washington native with an awesome blog (who I randomly found on Instagram)! I was really excited when I got her message about this award… so fun! Hugs to you, Linzi!

>> This is an award given to bloggers who have 200 followers or less, and is used to promote each other in the blogging community and attract some attention to your blog in a positive way! Each nominee must first:

  • List 11 random facts about themselves
  • Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated them. 
  • Choose 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less follows on Bloglovin’ and ask them your own 11 questions.
>> The rules are:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link them in the post √
  • List 11 random facts about yourself √
  • Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you √
  • Choose 11 blogs you like and link them in your post √
  • Write out 11 questions for those bloggers to answer √
  • Go to their page and let them know that you nominated them √

R A N D O M  F A C T S  A B O U T  M E

1. I have no middle name.

2. I’m left-handed, and so is my hubby.

3. I love to read, but I have the hardest time getting started in a book. I’ll buy a book and it will sit on my nightstand for weeks. Once I finally bite the bullet and dive in, I never regret it. (Well, except for the confusing snoozefest that was Night Circus, but whatever.)

4. My biggest fear was/is childbirth. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I successfully gave birth to my son almost a year ago. You know that feeling that you feel when you complete a really difficult workout, or a dreaded work meeting or job interview is over? I felt like that, times a billion. Best day of my life.

5. I showed horses competitively for most of my childhood (and won a few national titles)

6. The thought/sight of people rubbing their palms on their jeans gives me the heebie-jeebies

7. My dream dinner party would include these famous guests: Jennifer Lawrence. Kate Middleton. Taylor Swift. Ellen DeGeneres. Jennifer Aniston. Kerry Washington. Julianne Hough. & Sandra Bullock.

8. I love trivia

9. I never finish a beverage. I have half-empty bottles of water all over my house.

10.  I love documentaries, especially about sociopaths or crazy cults. SO FASCINATING.

11. I’m a little OCD about numbers, and it’s sort of freaking me out that 11 is the magic number in this post. Eesh. It’s taking everything in me not to add a 12th to each of these lists.

Linzi’s Questions For Me:

1. Do you like to read, what is your favorite book? Love to read. It’s cliche, but I’m going to have to say the Hunger Games trilogy. I adore those books. So much so, that I almost refused to see the movies… I didn’t want it to ruin the magic of those stories!

2. Are you left or right handed? Left (so funny, I didn’t read through these questions before I made my list of random facts… Linzi, great minds think alike!)

3. How many children do you have, do you want to have more? In a perfect world, 4 kids. But… money and age permitting, so we shall see… we’d need to get to work, and I’m not quite ready to be pregnant again!

4. Do you have a secret talent to share with us? No 🙁 I am the least-talented person I know. I mean, I’m a cool person… but I can’t draw or sing or knit or scrapbook or decorate or do anything exceptionally well. That sounds like I’m really down on myself, but I swear I’m not… I’m awesome! Haha.

5. Can you speak any other languages besides English? Nope. I wish!
6. What is your favorite band or artist? Too hard! I love me some John Mayer, though. He might be it for me.
7. Who are your style icons? I love Khloe Kardashian lately, and Julianne Hough is always so effortless. Girl is on her style game!
8. Are you a hoarder of anything in particular? Yes. Pretty much everything. I can’t delete pictures from my phone — especially of my son — because I feel like I’m deleting him from my life! Ha
9. What are you hopeful your kids will be when they’re older? HAPPY, HEALTHY AND LOVED. Otherwise, I don’t care. A preacher, musician, doctor, real estate agent, stay-at-home mom… I don’t care. I just want them to be happy in their career choice, grateful for perfect health, and overflowing in love.
10. What is your favorite meal to eat? I love food. I would probably go out to eat with my worst enemy if they suggested that we dine somewhere that I loved.
11. Who is your biggest inspiration and why? My husband. He’s the most passionate, selfless person I know.

My Nominations

Natalie @ Copeland & Co
Lauren @ Wifestyles
Zacha @ MissZ326
Kate @ Nesting Elm
Britt @ Petite Comeaux
Questions for my Nominees
1. You can invite five celebrities to dinner party. Who is on your guest list?
2. If you have a free night to yourself – no husband or kids – what is on your agenda?
3. What is your favorite Christmas song?
4. What is your typical Starbucks order?
5. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
6. If you had $100 of free money to spend… where would you go, and what would you buy?
7. What is your favorite go-to outfit that you love — either for a night out OR a night in?
8. What is currently on your DVR?
9. If you could travel the world on a mission to find the World’s Best _____, what would that be?
10. You can only leave the house with ONE item of makeup on… what would it be?
11. What is your dream vacation destination?

Have fun! I hope you all will play along! 😉

Do You Believe In Magic?

Yesterday at the mall, Paul and I saw from afar that Santa had arrived.

I know… already. Ignoring the rising panic at how fast Christmas is coming, we took Porter down to Santa to give him a glimpse — mainly so we could see what we were in for. You never know. Porter was too little to care about the Easter Bunny, but now that he’s older and has an affinity for beards, we wanted to check in to see if he would love or hate the bearded wonder that is Kris Kringle.

He didn’t even notice. We sat beyond the cute little fence, watching a bunch of kids interacting with Santa and waiting for Porter to see this guy with the fluffy white beard, but he was too busy staring at the strange kids running around the mall around him to even pay a second of attention to the man in red we were pointing at and exclaiming over.

We were interrupted by a cute little boy in glasses. He was maybe four or five years old, standing near the computer where parents pour over photo proofs of their screaming/smiling little ones on Santa’s lap. He saw us looking and pointing at Santa in awe and he excitedly joined in our conversation.

“That’s the real Santa,” he told me. Paul and I exchanged a smile. This little boy was so happy. “Oh, really? It is?”

“Yep.” He was matter-of-fact. Not a doubt in his mind. “Can you believe it? That’s actually Santa. Santa Claus. He’s here.”

In my mind, I was rolling my eyes (I would never actually roll my eyes at the kid because, ew, so grinchy). But this kid actually thought that Santa – the “real” Santa – is in Tacoma, Washington. On November 19th. Please. Kids are so funny.

We walked away, leaving him in his excitement after sharing a quick moment with him about how cool it was that that was the real Santa. As we walked away, Paul mentioned to me how sad it was that you lose that magic and wonder as you get older. He looked nostalgic, like he was remembering his childhood years and pretending, for just a moment, that the Santa we’d just seen was the Santa of his youth. Thinking back to his years as that little boy.

Gutcheck. I’d lost the magic. I hadn’t interacted with the little boy and remembered those magical childhood years lovingly. I had been critical and amused and wondering in the back of my mind when we could start moving because, ugh, Porter was starting to show signs of being cranky.

I have a little boy now, who in a couple of years will be squealing with excitement and exclaiming about the magical idea of Santa Claus coming to town. I’m a mother, who has been assigned the responsibility of cultivating this little boy’s imagination… and I stopped believing in magic some time ago.

I know there’s a fine balance between knowing the real reason for the season, yet still appreciating the years where Christmas is nothing but snow and lights and hand-delivered gifts from the North Pole.

I’m refueled now. Excited for the coming years when I get to witness Porter’s awe and amazement about these incredibly magical times. Last night, I promised myself to get just as excited as he is. Life has a way of stealing the magic, but the only way you can remain young at heart is by actively deciding to never grow stale.

(And I’m sorry if you’ve been singing the McDonald’s “Do You Believe In Magic” jingle this entire time. Because I have.)

The Chocolate Cake Confession

Confession: it’s been a bad day with Porter. He’s discovered that he can scream at the top of his lungs; like, the kind of scream that will make you lose your voice. So, today, he’s been sobbing and screaming and snotty and basically I am convinced he hates me. It sounds like he’s being tortured or something. And for no reason… picking him up doesn’t help. Blowing raspberries on his little feet doesn’t help. Offering him a snack doesn’t help. Nothing. Helps.

So, I finally got him to sleep this afternoon, and ate a piece of chocolate cake for lunch. Yep. Chocolate cake for lunch. With thick, fudgey frosting and a layer of frosting in the middle of the cake.

There was nothing organic OR whole about it. Nothing. Except for that the whole piece went into my mouth.

I’m not sorry. Not even a little bit.

Thanks for reading. How is your Monday going?

Currently – November 15

– Making googley-eyes at my new iPhone 5s. I love it so much. It’s so pretty and bright and perfect. I’m doing things on my phone I would never normally do, like making voice memos about the current episode of Law & Order that is on my TV. Just because I can. Just because it’s so pretty.

– Listening to Christmas music. All of you “omgeee, don’t mention Christmas until after Thanksgiving” people… just relax. And read my BFF Jess’s thoughts on this same subject (under “Refusing To”). I support her logic entirely.

being annoyed that people don’t know how to use an apostrophe.

– Fighting back tears after reading this fantastic post by an amazing blogger. Just, yes. This is my entire heart toward my husband and son. I could have written this (and I wish I had). Beautiful.

– Lusting over the Naked3 Palette from Urban Decay. Confession: I don’t own previous Naked palettes, but man… rose golds? You got me. I’m signed up and receiving the alert the minute this becomes available.

– Sipping my morning coffee very, very slowly. I love peppermint, I love caffeine, and I love that it’s FRIDAY.
– “City Folks Just Don’t Get It!” Oh my stars. Have you seen the commercial for FarmersOnly.com? Laughing. Out. Loud. I thought it was a joke!
What’s going on with you currently?

Salted Caramel Fail: How Is This Even Possible?

Time for a confession.

I would eat YOU if you were covered in salted caramel.

It’s scary and sad, but it’s true. I will never turn down salted caramel anything. Cupcakes, frozen yogurt, candles. So, when I saw that International Delight was coming out with a Salted Caramel coffee creamer, I debated setting up camp outside of the grocery store until I was able to get my hands on it. Joy. Unspeakable joy.

So, the other day, I saw it. Glimmering under fluorescent store lights like a small piece of heaven, brought down to earth. Via Safeway.

This bad boy was in my hands, then in my cart, then in my coffee within an hour. I made a cup of coffee immediately when I got home. I took a sip. As I awaited the angels singing, I was overwhelmed by the taste of… plastic. Salty plastic.

The creamer — my beloved creamer, the highlight of my holiday season thus far — was disgusting.

How could it be? Heart. BROKEN.

I don’t really have anything else to say, except for that I am sad. I am sad, but I am oh so thankful for the steadfastness of my Peppermint Mocha creamer that was on call in my fridge, waiting to save the day.

I even encouraged my sister to try the Salted Caramel creamer, thinking maybe I put too much in my coffee (I tend to do that). She only added a dash to the her cup, but she came to the same conclusion as me: it’s officially gross.

Has anyone else tried this guy yet? Do you agree, or am I crazy?

Tears.

Sheer Beauty

I can’t believe October is already gone.
One more month to go, and I become the mother of a one year old. That, my friends, blows my mind. I thought time flew by when I was a newlywed… I knew nothing about flying time until I created a human and was put in charge of all of his days. Now, I can’t believe how quickly Mondays fade into Fridays; it seems like I just took Porter’s weekly picture yesterday, and now here it is… time for another? Already?
Thank you, God. My days are good.
I get up, I make coffee when the house is still quiet. I pull back the curtains, I let Lennon out, I settle in to work from the comfort of my own living room, I turn on the Today Show. Now, since it’s November, I start up the Christmas music from my favorite Spotify playlist (the one that taunts me all year, until it’s acceptable to listen to again, come Halloween).
I savor every single moment that I possibly can.
I’m so thankful. My heart is happy.
I am a working mom. I am a work from home mom. I can hardly remember the days where I rushed around to get ready to get to a job that I dreaded, wearing clothes that I hated. Counting down minutes, hours, until I could come home. It seems like another lifetime.
Life is truly too short to spend a minute doing something because you have to. Find a way to do the things you want to do… set some goals, and tackle them. Even if you’re afraid. And if you can get someone behind you to give you a little shove when you seem to stall out (hey, we all do it. No shame), it’s even better. I could never do this alone. My husband is a constant force that keeps me moving — even when I would rather collapse into a puddle into the middle of the living room, pounding my fists into the carpet while sobbing “I DON’T WANNA…” (Don’t take notes, Porter, your mama can be a big baby and you’re much better than that). You may not wanna, but most of the time God doesn’t move until you do.
The twinkling lights over my TV change with the seasons. Right now, they’re orange and white. They keep a constant flow of merry in our house, year ’round; it’s one of my favorite parts of my living room. Sometimes I clean up just so I can turn off the lights, sink into my couch, and stare. It’s my happy place. It’s normally about this time, when I am able to take the refreshingly deep breath, that Porter wakes up. Then, my day truly begins.
But, briefly, I was able to spend a few quiet moments alone… being thankful for the present.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.
Psalm 100:4 (MSG)

Tis The Season For… Elf Storage.

My husband and I got out for an impromptu date night tonight, which was so, so, so needed after a long weekend. I hardly saw him, and Porter was definitely fighting off a stomach bug (or teething worse than anything I could have imagined) all day Saturday and Sunday, so today was a perfect time to catch up and refresh with my favorite guy.

We were driving home, listening to some music and laughing about nothing, when we drove by a sign on the 705 for Tacoma Self Storage. Paul knows how much I adore the holidays, so he knew I would appreciate what he was about to say.

“Do you want to know what one of my favorite things about the holidays are?”

Assuming he was going to say something romantic or incredibly festive, I snuggled down into my heated seat, pulled my cozy oversized sweater tight around me and smiled up at him. “Aww, no, babe… what would that be?”

“When Tacoma Self Storage becomes Tacoma Elf Storage… I’m not kidding. It makes me giddy. I get so excited, it’s pretty much the best thing ever.”

*blank stare*

Here’s what he’s talking about:

Photo: http://i.feedtacoma.com/kevinfreitas/again-with-elf-storage-cause/

Ok, fine. That’s pretty freakin’ cute. Happy Holidays, from my hubby to you.

Weekend Check-In

Obsessing over: This. My husband, and some of my best friends did an acoustic cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar”, and it was o-m-g incredible. Watch for yourself (time well spent, promise). My husband is is the one that sings the first verse, and then a couple other parts… but holy moly. I can’t tell you how impressive this was in person.


Working on: Cleaning out my personal email. Almost 4,000 emails, and I need, like, 0 of them. But, I’m a virtual hoarder. My iPhoto and inboxes are a disaster. No bueno. It’s like a feel like I’m deleting my child if I delete a single, solitary picture of him.

Thinking about: Porter. He’s snoozing right now, but we’re having some serious issues right now with him… it’s either a little tummy bug, or teething is really throwing him for a loop. Projectile vomiting, though, no matter what the reason… sucks. I’ve never felt so helpless.

Anticipating: The day we put up our Christmas tree. I know it’s only November 3rd, but it’s coming… I assure you. I would have been great with putting it up on Halloween.

Listening to: The Seahawks game is on in the background.

Drinking: Caramel Brûlée Latte! I love holiday Starbucks.

Wishing: That October wasn’t over… it flew by, seriously. I can’t believe it’s November, and I’m going to have a one year old next month.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend! 🙂 Tomorrow is MONDAY… which means a brand new week, full of opportunities. I love a blank canvas, don’t you?