A JOURNEY IN RUNNING, LIVING, LAUGHING AND LOVING

On being Intentional in 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019

If you've been following the blog for awhile (hey, thanks for doing that, by the way!), you may remember that I dubbed 2019's word of the year to be Intentional. I decided I really wanted to do a better job of focusing my energy and bucketing my time accordingly to avoid all the mindless junk. So three months into the year, it feels like a good to reflect on where things are. 

Truth be told, I took on this word because I'll be the first to admit I spend too much time on my phone. As someone who predominantly works her business from her phone, it's present a lot (read: a LOT) in my day-to-day. And I don't want my kids growing up in a house where my face is in a phone more than their business. 

Am I being more intentional? Yes. I'm spending more focused, quality time with my kids with less distractions. I'm putting the phone down more and more, and we're all going device and screen free a little more often. And I have to say, it's had a positive impact on all of us. Our four-year-old is in a WAY better mood when he watches less TV and iPad. Like way better. And my husband and I have commented more than once that we think screens are a catalyst to unsavory behavior for him. I'm using my time more wisely and making work fit into my life and not the other way around. And it's had a positive impact on our family unit as a whole - and for that, I'm grateful. 

Is it a perfect system? No. I'm still working on some of my other Intentional goals, namely my nutrition (I just loooooooove sweets!), my reactions to things that are outside of my control (oooooooh life), and the things we bring into our home (seriously, how does so much stuff just accumulate so quickly?!). 

But. But, we're moving in the right direction to being more Intentional. 

So today, I'm posing the question to you. If you could choose an area of your life to be more intentional, what would you pick? 

Stitch Fix #33: A cruise worthy ship-ment

Monday, March 18, 2019

Well, we're just cruising right through March over here at our house, and I for one couldn't be happier! Warmer weather is in the air, boots are finally packed away, and I'm super hopeful that we're going to see some serious spring coming soon. And that means the hubs and I are getting closer to our Bahamas cruise! I'm starting to think about ship attire since it's been - oh - a decade or so since I've cruised! Naturally, I needed a little Stitch Fix to help me snag a few more pieces for the boat! 

If you don't know about Stitch Fix (<--Referral link!), let me give you a little rundown. Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription service, and you decide how frequently, or infrequently, you'd like a shipment. You'll fill out a detailed style profile about your sizes, style preferences, and budget (and it's super fun to fill out the profile to see what your style preferences are!). Not only does Stitch Fix offer clothing, but they have accessories, bags, and even shoes! They style men, women, and children, and they offer extended sizes. And, if someone signs up through your referral link, you get a $25 credit to use toward your next purchase! (And let me tell you, that adds up to some awesome free clothes!) The BEST part of Stitch Fix? It comes directly to my door which means I can try it on in the comfort of my own home, pair it with things already in my wardrobe, and not have to take my brood into a dressing room with me. So much winning! 

This time around, my best gal Serena pulled some super spring-y pieces including pink jeans (can I rock pink jeans?! Undecided!), a really cute floral kimono, and some tops I really like. But I need your help trying to decide what to keep! (Also, let's pretend there was some really gorgeous natural lighting for these pics, k? K!)

1. Lakeview Denim Alex Colored Skinny Jean, $58
2. Emory Park Eilley Ruffle Sleeve Blouse, $38
Alright, y'all. Pink jeans. What do we think of these? I have a few pair of colored jeans, but they're definitely neutrals, and I feel like these are a little more bold than I'm used to. And the kimono! I need something white and coral for the cruise, so this is totally the right color pallet, but I'm not sure how I feel about the super ruffle on the sleeve. Tell me your thoughts! 

3. Alice Blue Simona Henley Blouse, $38 
LOVE the green color of this tank, and the pattern is cute! I could totally see myself wearing this shirt on the day-to-day, which is totally appealing for extended wear. Plus, it could be super cute with white shorts! 

4. Alice Blue Bushnell One Pocket Blouse, $38 
This shirt is SO sweet for spring! I love the yellow, the floral, the short sleeve, the pattern, the little pocket detail. It's super cute and lightweight, and again, I could see myself wearing it regularly mixed with other pieces I already have. 

5. French Grey Valina Back Detail Brushed Knit Dress, $48 
You may notice I look annoyed in this picture. That's because two seconds before this picture was taken, my husband/photographer opened his honest, honest mouth and said, "Huh. That dress kind of makes you look big in the middle." Hard no on this one, then! To be fair, I think it's too big overall, so it's ill fitting on TOP of the fact that it makes me look big in the middle. Thanks, hun! 

So that's my cruise-y shipment, and I need your help figuring out what to keep! 

Want more to see more Fix goodness? You can see previous Fixes here:
Stitch Fix #1
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #3
Stitch Fix #4
Stitch Fix #5
Stitch Fix #6
Stitch Fix #7
Stitch Fix #8
Stitch Fix #9
Stitch Fix #10
Stitch Fix #11
Stitch Fix #12
Stitch Fix #13
Stitch Fix #14
Stitch Fix#15
Stitch Fix #16 
Stitch Fix #17
Stitch Fix #18
Stitch Fix #19
Stitch Fix #20
Stitch Fix #21
Stitch Fix #22
Stitch Fix #23
Stitch Fix #24
Stitch Fix #25
Stitch Fix #26
Stitch Fix #27
Stitch Fix #28
Stitch Fix #29

Stitch Fix #30
Stitch Fix #31

Stitch Fix #32



What the Marines taught me about motherhood

Monday, March 4, 2019

About a decade ago, my sweet coworker Jerra and I traveled to San Diego for a week to learn about the Marine Corps. It was a trip for Indiana educators sponsored by the Marines so that we could get a literal inside look into the military in case we had students who might be interested in pursuing the career path. 

The trip was so eye opening in so many ways. I was incredibly ignorant when it came to the military, and the trip was equal parts learning, growing, and fun (and drinking, if we're being totally honest here). That trip still occasionally pops into my mind, especially since I became a mother. 

Because almost daily, there's a mantra I learned from my time with the Marines that I fall back on. 

One of the coolest parts of the trip was on the second day of our boot camp experience when we got to have lunch with some of the guys going through basic training. These guys had been on base for 6-7-8 weeks without any civilian contact by the time we got there, so we were a welcome sight in the mess hall that day. Jerra and I sat down with a REALLY nice young man who reminded me of so many of my students. Super smart, super talented, and wanted to do something amazing with his life. We talked for a long time about his family, his high school experience, the teachers he had, and what he wanted his future to look like. And we had the opportunity to ask him a lot of questions. And so I asked him - How do you do this every day? Knowing that the whole goal is essentially to break you down to build you back up stronger? How do you persevere through that? 
Me and Jerra having lunch with our Marine recruit!
He thought about it for a little while, but he finally just said, "Ma'am (btw, I was all of 26 at the time of this trip, but I got ma'amed everywhere we went) - Ma'am, I just focus on getting from chow to chow. I try not to think about the weeks or days that are left before I get to move onto the next step. I just focus on making it to breakfast, and then to lunch, and then to dinner, and then to breakfast again. Small goals. It helps me to stay positive." 

That conversation stuck with me, I suppose, because when I became a mom, and in particular, a work-from-home mom, his words came back to me. 

I LOVE almost everything about being a mom. I love the way my sweet boys are all snuggly and red-cheeked when they wake up in the morning. I love watching them learn something new or accomplish milestones they've been working on during the day. I love their love for each other. And I love that I get to spend so much time with them. I'm incredibly blessed to be able to stay at home with them, and I don't take that for granted. 

But y'all, I live in reality, and this job is HARD. It's the hardest job in the world with incredible stakes and no real performance review to help you improve every six months or so. Some days, it feels like the movie Groundhog's Day - wash, rinse, repeat. Chasing two little boys really IS super rewarding, but it's also mentally (and sometimes physically and emotionally) exhausting. 

So on those totally hard days, I embrace this mentality. I don't look at the month ahead or the week ahead or even the whole day ahead. I just focus on the next few hours until we get to a meal. Because ANYTHING is possible for a few hours. 

On the super hard days, I've trained myself to see the meal as a reset. Going forward, positive vibes. Whatever happened prior to that meal is water under the bridge, and we reset the day. 

Again, I love in reality, so this doesn't always work flawlessly. Some days are just a MESS regardless of a different meal, a mental reset, whatever. But some days, we DO reset, and we have an amazing afternoon or evening together when mere hours before, the day looked like a catastrophe. 

I did a lot of learning on that trip to San Diego a decade ago. But this lesson - this is the one I carry with me now as a mom. And I encourage you to try it too! 

Stitch Fix #32: A spring pick-me-up!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

If you're anything like me, life is happening in a HURRY this month. It's already the end of February! HOW?! And gratefully, we're transitioning into spring, and that makes me super excited! I was in the mood for a little spring pick-me-up, so I ordered a Stitch Fix Box! 

If you don't know about Stitch Fix (<--Referral link!), let me give you a little rundown. Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription service, and you decide how frequently, or infrequently, you'd like a shipment. You'll fill out a detailed style profile about your sizes, style preferences, and budget (and it's super fun to fill out the profile to see what your style preferences are!). Not only does Stitch Fix offer clothing, but they have accessories, bags, and even shoes! They style men, women, and children, and they offer extended sizes. And, if someone signs up through your referral link, you get a $25 credit to use toward your next purchase! (And let me tell you, that adds up to some awesome free clothes!) The BEST part of Stitch Fix? It comes directly to my door which means I can try it on in the comfort of my own home, pair it with things already in my wardrobe, and not have to take my brood into a dressing room with me. So much winning! 

So, I'm going to preface the following photos by telling you these were taken on a gloomy day with horrific indoor lighting while playing PJ Masks with my son. So the pictures were literally taken in between running around saving the day - hence my totally awkward poses in some of them. But they're good for a laugh! 

1. Andrew Marc Performance Fiah Twist Back Knit Top, $44
See what I mean about my wonky superhero poses?! SO, this was the top I was most excited for right out of the box! I'm a sucker for stripes, and I thought this would be the best for every day wear with the kiddos. I'm not sure I like the top with these jeans, but maybe with a darker pair? I don't know. HELP! 

2. West Kei Julianna Cuffed Sleeve Tie Front Blouse, $44
The terrible lighting does this shirt no justice, because the evergreen color of this is GORGEOUS! I kind of love the neckline and sleeves, and the tie front detail is super cute, but I don't know if I see myself getting enough wear out of it! But so. darn. cute!

3. Lush Warren Split Neck Blouse, $44
Guest starring my sweet eldest (in his Santa jammies because that's how we roll!)! I think he was a bad guy in this scene. :P This top is really sweet - black with subtle white polka dots, and it's definitely something I could see myself wearing for casual days, KEEP events, and more. Plus, it's dark, and that bodes well for boys! 

4. West Kei Allan Rolltab High Low Blouse, $42
I wasn't sure how I felt about the color of this one (kind of a dull mustard), but I actually DO like the color and print better on. Again, I think it would be way cuter with a darker jean, but it's a cute option! 

5. Pink Clover Jamila Button Back Brushed Knit Top, $44 
I love a good floral. And a good button detail. And this shirt has both! PLUS elbow patches! I like this shirt a lot, and again, I think it would be great for everyday wear with the kids. But it seems so fall and winter to me, and I'm hoping spring is just around the corner! Thoughts? 

So that's it, friends! I REALLY could use your opinions, so weigh in on Facebook or in the comments section. What am I keeping?! 

Want more to see more Fix goodness? You can see previous Fixes here:
Stitch Fix #1
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #3
Stitch Fix #4
Stitch Fix #5
Stitch Fix #6
Stitch Fix #7
Stitch Fix #8
Stitch Fix #9
Stitch Fix #10
Stitch Fix #11
Stitch Fix #12
Stitch Fix #13
Stitch Fix #14
Stitch Fix#15
Stitch Fix #16 
Stitch Fix #17
Stitch Fix #18
Stitch Fix #19
Stitch Fix #20
Stitch Fix #21
Stitch Fix #22
Stitch Fix #23
Stitch Fix #24
Stitch Fix #25
Stitch Fix #26
Stitch Fix #27
Stitch Fix #28
Stitch Fix #29

Stitch Fix #30
Stitch Fix #31

Our weekend getaway to Great Wolf Lodge

Friday, February 15, 2019

After several months in a row of holidays, lots of working, and not enough time together, we decided some family time was in order. Our sweet son must have felt the same, because when we gave him the choice of a birthday party or a getaway to the water park with just our family, he chose the latter. So off we went to Gurnee, Illinois to Great Wolf Lodge. 

And I'll tell you. It was SO much fun! 


It was also a really good indicator that we are in NO WAY AT ALL READY FOR LARGER TRIPS (props to those of you that do this on the regular with two small children). When we drove out of that hotel parking lot with our two sleeping kiddos (because, hello, the fun had ended, and it was naptime), we both looked at each other and declared that we were EXHAUSTED. 


But allow me to back up and tell you about the trip prior to leaving the parking lot. We scored a good deal directly through Great Wolf's website, so we planned to arrive on a Thursday and leave on Saturday. This worked out super well for playing in the water park, because Thursday and Friday weren't too busy at all compared to Saturday morning. The downside to going during the week was that our dining options were more limited because not every restaurant opened, but we made it work! 


Our four-year-old was SO darn brave. He went down every single slide he was allowed to and begged us to go on the ones he wasn't big enough for yet. I think he's going to LOVE going back when he's a few inches taller. 


The toddler area was so much fun - it included a splash pad and three incredible slides. It was perfect for our little (and our bigger guy when he needed a little break from the big guy action). 


We took advantage of a lot of the several of the activities offered - morning yoga and show, evening story time, and a little wilderness walk with Wiley Wolf (perhaps Henry's favorite part). We loved all the little extras. :) 

Morning yoga for the boys
You'll notice a massive lack of photos in this post, and that was kind of done on purpose. We really just wanted to disconnect and NOT feel the need to have our phones with us at all times. And it was kind of an awesome break. 

We'll definitely be going back again. And if you need a little push to get away... here's your push. Plan a little getaway. You won't regret it! 

From house to home: Our foyer decor!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

With all of the goodness that comes along with a new home, one of the things I was MOST excited about was decorating it. Like, REALLY decorating it. Let me explain. 

I bought my first home when I was 24. I had two roommates, and I think I speak for all of us when I say our decorating style was anything free or cheap. We cobbled together our furniture and wall hangings from family hand me downs, thrift shops, and bargain sales. And it totally worked for us as 20somethings. 

Then, the roommates left, and my husband moved in. At 30, we'd both been on our own for a good half decade, and we'd both acquired a lot of things. We had to try to mesh two styles into one home. And as many of you know, about .5 seconds after we got married, we got pregnant, and my plan to rid our house of the old and bring in the new were put on hold. When we added our second baby to the mix, the house just became inundated with kiddo things. And that's okay. But it never really gave me a chance to hone in on a decorating style. 

So when we started our house search, I started to get giddie excited about decorating our house. In our style. In the way we loved. With the things we really loved most. 

And then I got completely overwhelmed. 

Where do you even START when you're decorating an entire home. But as I was reminded over and over again by friends (okay, and my Joanna Gaines home decorating book), you have to take it one step - one room - at a time. 

So we started with the foyer. Total blank canvas, and truly, I wanted this to be a space we tackled first. I wanted to have a warm greeting for our guests when they come in! The before was wide open spaces...
I started with a virtual inspiration board. I knew that this would be the one area of the house I could kind of work in the Farmhouse Style I love (but truly, I don't think lots of it will fit in elsewhere in the home). I chose a few pieces I knew I wanted for sure: a side table, a mirror, a coat hanger, and a fabric basket to be a catch all for winter gear, umbrellas, toy cars, etc. 
And our reality turned out like THIS! I'm honestly shocked that we were essentially able to take the vision board and turn it into this space that we just love! 

This is my favorite spot in the foyer. I LOVE the table we chose (it's actually the same table from the inspiration picture), and the little details we chose just make me smile! In a perfect world, I'd love to add more decor to the table, but, small children live here, so those details are yet to come.
Console Table: Ashley Furniture
Mirror, flowers, and wall hanging: TJ Maxx
I also love the functionality of the wall by our front door. We took an empty wall and added a coat rack, boot tray, and fabric basket. The lantern on the shelf was actually a wedding gift we received and never really had an area to display it. The Happy Together sign is just seasonal, but I'm looking forward to finding something else to add to it.
Coat Rack: Amazon
Boot Tray: Boot Tray
Fabric Basket: Amazon
Greenery: TJ Maxx
I love the natural light! Except when it's time to take photos. Then it makes it a little difficult. But I'm loving how our first *completed* space in our home turned out. So excited to tackle our next area! 

Stitch Fix #31: A long overdue winter closet update!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Holy moly, friends. It's been forever and a day since I've gotten a Stitch Fix shipment, and I've seriously been missing them! But, I'm getting ahead of myself. 

If you don't know about Stitch Fix (<--Referral link!), let me give you a little rundown. Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription service, and you decide how frequently, or infrequently, you'd like a shipment. You'll fill out a detailed style profile about your sizes, style preferences, and budget (and it's super fun to fill out the profile to see what your style preferences are!). Not only does Stitch Fix offer clothing, but they have accessories, bags, and even shoes! They style men, women, and children, and they offer extended sizes. And, if someone signs up through your referral link, you get a $25 credit to use toward your next purchase! (And let me tell you, that adds up to some awesome free clothes!) The BEST part of Stitch Fix? It comes directly to my door which means I can try it on in the comfort of my own home, pair it with things already in my wardrobe, and not have to take my brood into a dressing room with me. So much winning! 


This month, I asked my best girl Serena for some winter wardrobe updates. I've been pinning a lot of things to my Pinterest Fashion board lately, and Serena totally paid attention and delivered - just another reason I love her and love Stitch Fix! So let's get to the goodies, shall we?! 

1. Market & Spruce Wilco Solid Quilted Vest, $48
The vest trend is on point, and ever since I snagged this fabulous Matilda Jane number, I've been wanting more! This one is SO cute, the color is one of my go tos (alllll the gray, please!), and I kind of love the little rucheing pocket details. It's a gorgeous cold weather piece, which I DO think I would wear often... and to be fair, had we not been rushing through photos, I probably would have unzipped this and taken it again, because I think it would look cuter open with the tunic. BUT, I still think it would be a great piece over other, non-tunic-y things too. 

2. Tinsel Valdis One Pocket Tunic Top, $46
When I peeked at my Stitch Fix (yes, I totally check the app before my shipment arrives for spoilers), I crossed my fingers and toes that this one would fit! I LOVE the idea of a button down tunic, and this one looked cozy, functional, and dark (to hide kiddo marks, of course!)! BUT, I don't know if I looooove the button down tunic. I know I don't love it with these jeans (I would totally wear it with black leggings) and my slippers (ha!), but I still don't know if this is the top for me. HELLLLP! 

3. Sophie Rue Demeter Cardigan, $48
This little beauty is totally up my alley. It's a cardigan, it's the perrrrrrfect color, and it's cozy warm. The ONLY downside to this is I have a fabulous cardigan that's a similar color and style, so I don't know if I need a second one in my closet. 

4. RD Style Tonie Lace Inset Pullover, $68
Because Serena knows all things, in her note to me she said that this sweater is "totally Angela" in her mind. And she's RIGHT. This is ABSOLUTELY a shirt I would go for - I love the lace detail, the gold half zip on the side, and the comfy, cozy feel to it. But what do YOU think?! 

5. Kaileigh Hillie Hooded Knit Top, $44

I'm a sucker for a good polka dot, and I'm also a sucker for things that make me look like a pulled together mom on the go. This does BOTH, and that's something I feel like I could use more of in my life. I'm REALLY trying to pare down my wardrobe and get rid of things that don't work for my lifestyle anymore, but I feel like this could be a fun, casual addition. 

So that's it, friends! I REALLY could use your opinions, so weigh in on Facebook or in the comments section. What am I keeping?! 

Want more to see more Fix goodness? You can see previous Fixes here:
Stitch Fix #1
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #3
Stitch Fix #4
Stitch Fix #5
Stitch Fix #6
Stitch Fix #7
Stitch Fix #8
Stitch Fix #9
Stitch Fix #10
Stitch Fix #11
Stitch Fix #12
Stitch Fix #13
Stitch Fix #14
Stitch Fix#15
Stitch Fix #16 
Stitch Fix #17
Stitch Fix #18
Stitch Fix #19
Stitch Fix #20
Stitch Fix #21
Stitch Fix #22
Stitch Fix #23
Stitch Fix #24
Stitch Fix #25
Stitch Fix #26
Stitch Fix #27
Stitch Fix #28
Stitch Fix #29

Stitch Fix #30



 
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