an anniversary...

Five years ago today, a handsome boy from Ohio, who flew over 2000 miles to Oregon, proposed to his girl in a field over-looking the Portland airport at night.  She said yes, and they've been together ever since.  It was the perfect setting, the most romantic gesture, and a story to tell children and grandchildren for years to come.

Celebrating our engagement anniversary today.  Landon's taking off work early and we've cleared the entire afternoon to spend time together...our most favorite thing to do.


little moments...

When life gets so busy that I forget which things I need to make priorities in my life, I see an image like this in our home and it brings me back to reality.

There's nothing sweeter than watching my husband parent our son in a loving, patient way.  I see so much of Landon when I look at Finn, and I see how Finn looks up to his dad and admires him greatly.  It makes my heart so happy when I see them together.

Life can easily become caught up in new gadgets, latest trends, money, materials, status.  But at the end of the day, all those things don't really matter as much as building relationships and setting a foundation of kindness, love, and morals for our children.

I will be savoring these little moments as I see them, and always remember these early years in Finn's life.  I am a truly blessed mama and wife.  God is good.


DIY toms makeover...

Someone gave me a pair of toms a couple years ago, and I wore them a ton...so much that my toes started wearing holes in the ends of the shoes.  I started looking at some new models online and almost bought a new pair, then hearing my husband's voice of frugalness in my head, I thought about trying to save some dough and see if I could refurbish my old ones first.

Fortunately for me, the toe-hole-wearing-out problem is a common one, and there are tutorials of plenty online.  I decided I'd make a go at recovering the ends of my toms, and if it proved to be a horrible mess at the end, I'd buy some new ones, feeling satisfied that I had at least tried my best.

After reading some advice and tutorials, I bought some fabric glue and a remnant of printed canvas material, and set to work.

I sewed a straight seam on one end of the fabric and cut out two pieces.  I lined up the sewn seam with the diagonal front seam on the shoes, then glued everything on.  I feel like my fabric glue was either cheap or just not working well, so I broke out my super glue to give the edges a good solid stick.

I won't give all the steps because it was a pretty completely thrown together project.  But, they turned out decent-ish, and if I can get them to last another year, I'll be happy.  Part of me was a tiny bit disappointed I liked the turn out since that meant no new toms for me right now, but the more I wear them around, the more I love them.  It feels good to make something last just a little longer, and being able to spend some time crafting does a body good.


mama style: fall is here!

Sweater Dress, H&M
Tights, Target
Boots, Charlotte Russe

I am so excited for fall!!!!  It's my favorite time of the year, and it's the best season, in my opinion.  Apple cider, bright skies, crisp air, pumpkins, warm fires, layering clothes, my boots, flannel, spices, crunchy leaves...I love it all.

While it's officially fall here, the mornings are really cool but the afternoons are still wonderfully warm and comfortable.  We are enjoying this gorgeous weather and making the most of these beautiful days.

We did a mini photo shoot on our patio on Sunday since we got dressed up a little more to head to church.  Finn was happy to help out.  I love him in his little flannel. :)

Here's to all the mamas out there.  You are beautiful and lovely!


whole30: halfway...

It's about halfway point for us in our Whole30 challenge.  It's been hard but very rewarding, and we have noticed some good changes in our food habits.

*We eat a TON more veggies than we used to.  Like, for breakfast, lunch, and supper.  Some of my favorite ways to eat veggies lately are cut up cucumbers and tomatoes, some vinegar and olive oil, dill weed, and a dash of salt.

*We don't have as many sweet cravings.  It's been amazing this past week as I realized I didn't really want anything sweet.  In fact, I was craving things like fresh zucchini and meat.  This isn't to say we don't have those days that a cupcake or brownie sounds amazing...it's just not as frequent as it was a few weeks ago.

*Landon has more energy and is sleeping better.  I am not sure if I can say the same for myself, but I don't feel exhausted in the mornings and need a cup of coffee to get going.

*I have lost a few pounds and leaned up a bit.  My muscles are a bit more defined, and I haven't really done any working out.  No running, no cardio.  Just a bit of walking and my weekly yoga.

*We stop eating a few hours before going to bed.  I think this is the most helpful thing we've been doing.  Normally, we would eat a snack at 9:30 or 10, and then just lay in bed watching a movie or whatever before bed a little while later.  Now, my stomach doesn't feel bloated and full, and I wake up ready to eat a big breakfast.

*Some foods just don't taste as good as they did only a few weeks ago.  My brother had a wedding party last weekend, so Landon and I ate some food that wasn't allowed on our challenge.  We had some cake, and some chips, and beer...plus some other not so Whole30-friendly eats.  We noticed that our stomachs weren't settled, I wasn't satisfied with my usual portion sizes, and Landon got a headache.

It's amazing to do something like this and see how your body reacts to different foods.  We are trying hard to stick with it for two more weeks and see even more benefits!  I guess our aim is to understand how certain foods make us feel, and to be more intentional with what we eat in the future.  I am super excited to be done with the challenge and eat some sweets for our anniversary, but I truly believe that our habits have changed a bit, and it will be interesting to see how those are next month.


new shoes...

Dear Finn, How did your feet get so big?  I swear they used to fit inside my palm, and now they are looking like toddler feet!  Your toes were hanging off your summer sandals, so we got some new kicks for you since the weather is getting cooler.  Let's make a deal, how's about you stop growing so fast and let us savor these days with you a little longer, ok?  I love your chubby thighs, your little toes that get so dirty, and hearing the patter of your feet as you run across the driveway.  I want to freeze these memories in my head so I won't forget.  You are my sweet boy, and I love you more than I could ever say.


a marriage celebrated...

On Friday, we headed out of town to be with family as we celebrated the marriage of my younger brother, Jonah, and his wife, Anna.  We had a family dinner for both sides on Friday night, then celebrated all day on Saturday with friends and family.  They actually got married in a simple ceremony at a courthouse earlier in the summer...just the two of them, without a huge group of people watching.  Then, this weekend, they had a ring-warming ceremony and potluck where all their family and friends could come to visit them.  They brewed their own beer recipes for the day, had homemade ginger ale and herbal tea, an appalachian wedding cake, and everyone brought dishes to share.  The day was gloriously beautiful, and everyone had a wonderful time.

They have always gone through life to the beat of their own drum, and when they found each other, it was truly a match made in heaven.  They are both unique, generous, kind, eccentric, artistic, talented, and they don't follow the typical path.

It was such a special time as my entire immediate family was there...my brother and his girlfriend from Denver, my parents, Jonah and Anna, and my sister and her hubby and daughter.  Family can be such a blessing, and it was all the more evident this weekend.


whole 30 challenge...

A few months ago, Landon and I heard about the Whole 30 food challenge.  After doing a similar slow-carb challenge in February, and after eating a lot of junk food this summer, we were ready to change our eating habits using this challenge.  I have read about some fellow bloggers who have done it and loved it, and I have heard some other friends on Facebook talking about how awesome it is.  So we were excited to try it and hopefully stick to it for 30 days!

We started on Tuesday since, let's be honest, Labor Day was on Monday and Landon's mom made Texas Sheet Cake, so......
Today we are into day 4, and I know it's still early, but we are excited about finishing strong and we are keeping each other accountable.  One of my closest friends is doing it with us, so she texts me every day to see how it's going.  I love her so much!

So far it has been hard, not gonna lie. :)  We are cutting out milk, cheese, and other dairy products, all grains, legumes, refined sugars, alcohol, and white carbs like potatoes, pasta, flour, and pretty much anything processed.  Instead, we are filling our plates with a lot of veggies, proteins like eggs and meats, some fruits, and some other things like sweet potatoes, nuts, healthy fats and oils.  It's not been surprising how hungry we have been this first week, but it's awesome to know I can literally eat a giant plate full of good food, and not feel bloated afterwards.  After just a few days, I am realizing that I need to eat a lot more at each meal to hold me to the next.

We aren't supposed to snack in between meals if we can help it, and that's probably been the hardest part for me.  We are so used to eating a snack at night after supper, almost right before we go to bed.  And while I still crave those no-bake cookies at 9:45 at night, I know it's not what my body really wants or needs, and kicking these cravings is what I'm looking forward to.

Landon and I aren't using this challenge as a weight loss program, but more of a habit-kicking/examining program.  I do believe that sugar can be an addiction, and I know I struggle with eating emotionally, and that's something I want to change.  Landon has been a huge support in deciding to do this with me, and it helps me so much on the days (like yesterday, and the day before) I really wanted to cheat. :)  But come, on, 30 days is not that long, and I am determined to make to October 2nd!  Which will be perfect because the 3rd is our anniversary and we will be going away and celebrating for a few days, and I am sure we'll splurge a bit on our food.

So, I'll keep you posted occasionally on how we are doing and feeling, because writing about it here is just one more way to keep us going strong for the next 26 days!  I have a Pinterest board started on meals, so I can keep going back to good ones when I'm not sure what to eat, so feel free to check that out too.  And if you have done this challenge or just like eating clean and wholesome, send recipes my way, I'd love them!


a reminder...

I seriously can't make stuff like this up. :)

I am so thankful for a son who embraces life to the fullest.
If only all of us adults could be more like our sweet and innocent children.
If only I didn't care what people thought, and sang to my heart's content.
If only I didn't need an audience to play my favorite instrument. 
If only I spent more time focused on passion rather than things that don't really matter in the long run.

Thank you, Finn for reminding me today that life is to be embraced.
I love you, little man.

(p.s. he insisted on wearing his beach hat around the house today.) :)


mama style: summer date night...

Tank and necklace: H & M
Skirt: Charlotte Russe

Last week, Finn got to go hang out with Landon's parents for a few days so we could de-clutter our house.  We worked pretty hard and got rid of a ton of stuff we rarely use anymore.  It felt so good to get things cleaned out.

We made sure to spend some quality time not cleaning together, but just hanging out on a date.  I love dressing up just a bit since I'm at home a lot with Finn and don't get the chance very often.  It was a gorgeous summer evening when we went out, so I paired a simple black tank, with a red mini skirt I love, and a fun necklace.  It was perfect as we sat outside on a patio drinking margaritas and eating mexican food, then heading over to a classy tasting room at a local meadery.

It was such a wonderful night, and so fun to dress up a bit more than usual.  Date nights are so precious to Landon and I, and it feels so good to spend time with my best friend!


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