Friday, May 30, 2014


In my last post, I mentioned that I discovered I had a hidden talent while on a weekend getaway.  While dancing up a storm at the small local bar, a guy dressed as a cowboy went into the back room and came out with.....hula hoops!

Now I had tried hula hooping in the past.  My mom is a pro at it, but I could never get the hoop to stay spinning.  I thought I'd give it a whirl, though (delightful pun intended:).

And shockingly, the hoop kept spinning and spinning.  It was actually comical how easy it was, and then I started walking around with it.  It was a great night full of hooping and high fives.

The next day, I noticed my abs were super sore.  Light bulb!  Hula hooping isn't just some out of date kid toy, it could be my ticket to rock hard abs!

I did some more research and found that I have been out of the loop (I swear I didn't try for that one:) on this whole hula hooping craze.  There are hula hooping boot camps, celebrities do it, and way more sophisticated hula hoops than I knew existed are available for sale.

I figured out that the reason this particular hoop worked so well for me was because it is huge.  Apparently those ones sold in toy stores for kiddos are made for their tiny bodies, but aren't necessarily easy for us adults to use.  So if you're thinking of trying hula hooping out, make sure to get a hoop at least 40" in diameter.

You may be wondering where I got this beauty in the pictures.  This is actually the magical one from the bar that night that my friend sneaked out bought for me.  I'm not sure if I could even hula hoop with another one.  I think it needs some fresh tape in prettier colors, though.

Maybe I also need to add lights to it.  How cool are these pictures my friend took this weekend?  Very psychedelic. 

So that's my fun hidden talent I just found out about.  I'm sure you have some talent that is just lurking and waiting for you to discover it.  Maybe it's baton twirling or you're really good at the 90s kid favorite Skip It.  I really want to try hula hooping consistently for a few weeks to see if it does work as a fitness option.  I'll let you know how it goes:)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


A few weeks ago, we took a fun weekend getaway to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but the windy streets and stone steps made it feel like we were some place other than the middle of the U.S.  Not a single traffic light in the downtown area and no streets meeting at a 90 degree angle, made it feel like we were in a quaint European village rather than just 4 short hours away from home.

The springs in this area were once thought to have magical powers and brought tourists from miles around to be near the water that would cure whatever ailed them. 

The cottage we stayed at was found by our friends and was just adorable and the perfect size for 3 couples.  And it had an amazing porch!  There's just something about a porch swing that makes you forget all your worries.

Well, the porch swing and also really good friends.  It was so nice to relax and catch up together.  Definitely one of the high points of the trip.

We danced the night away one night, and it made me wonder why I haven't danced in so long.  It used to be that I couldn't step foot in a bar without wanting to tap my toe and jaunt around like a crazy person, but lately I've been ok with just taking my seat at the bar.  Have I gotten tired and old?

Well, I proved to myself I'm not too old yet, because we danced the night away, and I learned that I have a hidden talent.  Any guesses as to what it is?  I'll be sharing later this week.

Anyway, the downtown area was just a short walk from our cottage, filled with lots of cute little shops and restaurants. 

The other night we were in town, we visited the Crescent Hotel, a beautiful historic hotel that is said to be haunted.  We didn't see any ghosts, but we did have an incredible view from their rooftop bar.


On the way out of town, we stopped by the Thorncrown Chapel.  This chapel was designed by the same man who designed the chapel we got married in.  There are only two chapels like it in the U.S., so it was special to visit this place. 

It was the perfect way to end such a fantastic weekend full of good times and great friends.  We can't wait to go back!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Through the bleak and dreary days, through the cold and wet, we waited...

We waited with bated breath for the world to wake up.  To suddenly spring alive with color.

And then it did. 

Suddenly everything bloomed and we laughed at our fears that maybe this was the year there would be no growth, no renewal. 

How could it be any different?  How could we expect any less?  But every spring it always seems like a shock that everything came back. 

It was there all along, though.

Just hiding from our view.

And waiting for the perfect time to say hello.

Well, hello to you, too, Spring.  I'm glad you're back.

Dress: Dillards (really old) // Shirt: Target // Shoes: Steve Madden // Earrings: Charming Charlie (kind of similar)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


A few weeks ago, we took our nephew to an elementary school carnival.  It was at the same elementary school I went to, about a block from my parent's house.  When I was little, this carnival was the event of the year.  It seemed so colorful, so big, so magical.  I can still remember trying to con my parents into buying me more tickets.  I just had to win the ultimate prize of a baton with sparkly streamers on the end of it.

It was so nostalgic walking with my nephew from my parent's house to the school.  The games didn't seem as exciting as they once did, and the prizes were no where near as cool as that baton in my mind, but that was because I was seeing it through the eyes of an adult.  When I looked down at my 4 year old nephew, I could see his eyes sparkling with the excitement of endless fun about to be had.  It got me thinking about why it's so great to be a kid.  So here are my top 4 reasons of why it's so great to be a kid, inspired by the infectious joy of my nephew.

1.  There's no such thing as too much of a good thing
Grape snow cone?  Delicious!  Strawberry flavored snow cone?  That's good, too!  Orange flavored?  Don't mind if I do! 

Each of these flavors is delicious on their own, so naturally it stands to reason that mixing all of them together would make the absolute best tasting snow cone on the planet, right?  Well, as my old age can attest to, this is not always the case (and wasn't the case in this situation either). 

You know what, though?  I had to admire the kid's willingness to try it.  Who am I to tell him it won't be good?  Maybe he'll love it.

I don't know if he was a big fan of his concoction, but that was the best part of this snow cone vendor.  You could go back and get more flavoring and make it edible. 

2) You get rewarded just for trying

Some might say that we give participation trophies and medals away too freely.  In this case, though, when the little guy didn't knock down any pins, he still jumped for joy when he got a token just for trying.  And then when he did get three baskets in a row, he got even more tokens.  That's a win-win.

3)  It's the simple stuff that matters

Holding hands, choosing to swing on the (free) playground instead of playing more games (that cost money), getting excited by being able to buy not one, but two toy trucks with your tokens, it's this kind of stuff that make kids content.

These are also the things that should make adults content, too. 

You aren't worried about if you have the latest and greatest cell phone or if everyone went to a party you weren't invited to.  You just know that you like your Avengers t-shirt, and that's all that matters.

And you always have someone to carry your coat.

4)  You always make time to stop and smell the flowers
I wrote a few days ago about how I want to make more time to "stop and smell the flowers", to really be present in each moment.  Guess where I got that idea from?  This guy.
He makes it look so simple.  Ah, to always have that childlike wonderment.
I loved watching the whole night through his eyes, but the best part had to be as we were walking home, us all holding hands. 
I asked him what his favorite part of the night was, and he said, "This part". 
Now I know kids aren't always rainbows and butterflies, but hearing him say that made it hands down my favorite part, too. 
How is it possible for kids to be so absolutely endearing?  I guess that's how they manage to get you to buy those extra tickets:)
(See here for pictures from when we took him to the carnival last year, and he wore his adorable Superman costume.)
Did I miss anything?  I'm sure you can think of other reasons why it's so great to be a kid.  Share below!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Six years ago I stood nervously behind two giant doors in a beautiful botanical garden, clutching my dad’s arm.  The doors swung open, and I immediately saw Wade standing at the end of the altar waiting for me.  During our rehearsal, everyone kept warning me not to walk too fast.  I’d say I ended up taking my sweet time walking down the aisle.  I wanted to savor everything; to remember this moment and burn the images of my family and closest friends into my mind permanently.  As the words of Van Morrison’s “These Are the Days” wafted into the air, I looked up at Wade.  He was the man I would be going on this wonderful adventure with.  
I love thinking back on our wedding day, and Wade and I talk about it often.  We joke now about how shell-shocked we both were right after we left the chapel as the photographer followed us around telling us to do some crazy pose.  Weddings are whirlwinds and wonderful celebrations to bring all of your loved ones together to share in your special day, but marriages are something even more special.  They don’t get as much of the limelight since they’re not as flashy or finite, but if you’re lucky they’ll keep going and going. 
Not every day is perfect.  I’ve been annoyed and angry at times.  However, I can honestly say that in the past 6 years, I’ve never been happier.  I love how I have this one person to share all my thoughts and dreams with.  A best friend to go on adventures with, to make my life so fulfilling and fun.  When I think about how we met by happenstance in a crowded bar, I know that there is something greater than us out there that guided us towards each other.  Who would have guessed we’d be where we are on that day so long ago when I first spotted him and thought that he was way too cool for me.  He was wearing a blazer after all.  

I don’t have many words of wisdom, but something I think about a lot is that you can’t force anyone to do anything.  They have to do it on their own accord.  Sometimes that is the hardest thing to accept.  We are separate individuals, but we’ve come together to form a wonderful partnership.  Acceptance, compromise, and an understanding love are important.  I admire Wade for his support in everything I do and his ability to read me so well.  Also, he makes dinner for me most nights. That is worth its weight in gold.
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings us and the new adventures we have in store.

**I have to admit that I just reused this post from our 5 year anniversary.  I was going to write something new, but this one just said it so perfectly, and I wanted to share it again.  I did edit the photos a little, so that makes it a completely new post, right?

Friday, May 16, 2014


When I got home tonight, I found this little guy hopping around our front yard.  We had found a little nest in a little shrub by our house a few weeks ago and saw three little eggs nestled safely inside. 

When we checked a few days ago, the shells were gone and in their place were three little baby birds with their beaks wide open waiting for their mom to come back with food.

The other two baby birds had left the nest, but seemed safer covered by our landscaping.  This little guy, though, had forged his way out on his own.  I was scared for him and could tell by the chirping of 4-5 birds overhead that they were, too. 

Don't worry, I didn't touch the little guy.  He has to make it on his own, and I didn't want to do anything that would hinder his mom not coming to feed him.  I did read an article online that said baby birds usually just hop around for a day or two out of the nest before they start flying.

Watching this little bird out in a the wide open with his mom looking helplessly on, I thought how terrifying it must be to be a mother.  Bringing a piece of you into the world and then having to let nature take its course as your little one braves the world alone. 

And all you can do is chirp and flap your wings on the sidelines trying to distract those that may wish him harm.

Towards dusk, I saw the baby bird hopping back to the cover of the bushes, so I hope he's ok tonight.  He assumes there is nothing but lush green grass and cool breezes, but hasn't yet had to face the perils of the world. 

I'm sure his mom will be keeping watchful vigilance, though.  At the time, I was thinking how terrible it must be to be a bird and not be able to scoop your baby up and bring them to safety.  Then I realized that once we humans leave the "nest" and go off to college or to travel the world, all our parents can do is sit and watch and hope we are able to use everything they taught us to make it on our own.

It's humbling to think about the similarities between us all and how it is such a gift of love to be able to learn how to fly.