Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Whats Up Wednesday: July 2016

Whoop whoop, back again for another post of What's Up Wednesday ... July Edition. Where I cover these topics...
What I'm reminiscing about ... Monday night. We had A LOT of craziness hit us hard and fast. And I honestly don't think our kiddos could have gotten through it as close to unscathed as they did without our Nashville buddies. So, we took them out to dinner last night in efforts to say thank you for all they helped us with. Great food, great friends, great night. Wine for me, quail for the table, secrets galore, and lots of friendship. Let's repeat, STAT.

What I'm loving ... My Brita Water Filter Pitcher. We've had a water dispenser on our fridge for as long as I can remember, and that or a bottle of water in the fridge was always my go to. However, a month or so ago the Brita Water filter and pitcher caught my eye while I was spacing out at Costco. It ended up in my cart, with other *terribly essential items* that are certainly far from essential and I'm so glad it did. The water is crisper, colder, and call me crazy but I legit think it tastes better. I'm never going back. Never.

What we've been up to ... On the road again! We were back in Louisville this weekend to celebrate Sissy's birthday and attend a family company picnic. It was a hot weekend filled with fun, family and all things summer.

What I'm dreading ... being on the road again! We're hitting the road AGAIN and trekking to Chicago. I'm looking so forward to the trip. Not so forward to the drive. How is time travel not a thing yet? It's 2016 already!

What I'm working on ... Recipes + A cookbook. I'll share more details later, but it's tugged at my heart strings and makes me happy all at the same time. Lots of love. And spoiler alert, it may or may not involve these two people that hold a very special place in my heart.

What I'm excited about ... Chicago! Yes, I'm dreading the drive, but so pumped for the trip. I'm looking forward to room service, good meals, giggles with my momma, and memories with the kiddos! The last time we were there was with Baby Bennett in October 2014.

What I'm watching/reading ... The bachelorette mostly. So excited for next week's finale. Although I'm still bitter she let Luke go #TeamLukeForBachelor, I'm ready to see who she chooses and watch the boys meet her family. Additionally, hubs and I started watching a couple of episodes of Suits, and I think I'm hooked.

What I'm listening to ... The weather man. I've had a family session we have rescheduled twice now that I want to get complete and of course ... they're once again calling for rain. Ugh! I can't win for losing.

What I'm wearing ... Yoga pants and maxi skirts. I'm still covering up my leg for the most part and am rocking a compression sock ... so the length keeps things under wraps (literally) ha! I've decided I really need to step up my wardrobe game. I've got limited options, so I need to up what I'm working with.

What I'm doing this weekend ... Lots of family time. Hubby has a big trip coming up and we're going to miss him horribly. So we want to snuggle him and spend as much time with him as possible!

What I'm looking forward to next month ... Chicago! Museums, shopping, food, hangouts, etc.

What else is new ... I'm looking to get a family photography session done and I've been trying to decide what type of shoot I want to go for. Do I want to do outfits that will photograph awesome, but we'd never wear again? Normal photos? Studio? Outdoor? Themed session? Etc. I can't decide if I want to stay inside the lines or color way outside of them because my kiddos are still young enough to wear whatever I tell them. Decisions Decisions.
And that's all folks. Have a great rest of the week, and if you see the HVAC guy for Earth, could you tell him something is wrong with the AC because it's super hot! (I stole that corny joke from my husband...but thought it was worth mentioning). Adios. 
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Life Lately

Aahhh, life lately...beautiful average ole life and lots of it! We're rolling right on through summer and gasping at how quickly it has gone. We're making sure we make the most out of every day and catching up on all things. 

The lake is our happy place and unfortunately this summer we haven't been able to take advantage of it like we normally do. Bahumbug! Our annual family lake trip was a few weekends ago, and I was so bummed I couldn't participate this year because of health stuff. Shane had a work function Friday night and I was sitting home alone with the kids, so I piled them in the car and drove to the cabin. It wasn't our normal lake weekend of boating and sunshine, but we made sure to get some cousin snuggles, Candyland competitions, a good meal and lots of "grill" aka girl time! Even if it's just a few unplanned hours and a yummy dinner it's always good to feel love and hugs from family. 

Lots of girl talk I tell ya!!!! Lainey has so much to learn from her cousins sisters!

Missing a few, but these are my peoples! 

In other summer news, we've been catching up on our doctors visits! All is well, just scheduling everything before back to school chaos begins. Well visits, dentist check ups, kidney check ups, dermatologists, etc.

I've had a few day dates with this little mini me. She's getting so big so fast. And I just love her so!

 And speaking of playing, I'm noticing big brother taking a bigger interest in baby sis and it's warming my heart. She's sitting up and playing with toys and they're truly playing together. It's the sweetest! 
Snapchat filters have also been a great addition to our "what are we going to do to combat the heat" conversations. We play with these a lot while we discuss our lists of what we're going to do. 

And this past weekend we went through all of our "junk", put it in the yard and sold it! I still have a ton of kids clothes to figure out what I'm going to do with, but we did pretty well and I'm gonna call it a win! 

And last but certainly not least, we found a box of Maggie items that got hidden away in the move. So we're back to dressing her up in ridiculousness. Yay for tiny dogs in human attire. Never ever will I not laugh.

And that's life lately folks! Gearing up for another big weekend of summer fun! While simultaneously trying not to melt! 

*Katie Marie

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Sixty Day Wish to Paint My Canvas

In sixty days from today, I will be thirty years old. I always viewed 30 as SO FAR away. In my twenties, I never even batted an eye at 30 because when you turn twenty the idea of turning thirty is literally light years away. Thirty was the number of years apart my dad and I were, and I mean let's be honest, I could never be as old as that right? (just kidding dad!). But really, light years, as in it's so far you'd have to find a way to get to space before it gets to you, rather than light years as in you go through the years really fast. Well, actually I guess either association could apply - but that's neither here nor there. My point is ... it's really freaking close and I have absolutely zero idea how in the h-e-double hockey sticks that happened!

I started this little bloggy four years ago, one month after I turned 25. And one year later I was in my "late twenties" and apparently couldn't believe that either. When I turned 27 I wanted all the things. At 28 I was embracing motherhood and finding moments in the normal days. At 29 I was back to wanting all the things. And this year, I want all the things too. But in a very different way. I don't want scarves or necklaces or bags. I don't yearn for boots or wine (okay, I may want a little wine). I want time and health. I want happiness and wholeness. 

Looking back on my posts I thought for years around birthday posts I would teeter between wanting things and trips mixed with a little sappiness ... and I think that will continue to be the case. But I also knew at some point I would fear for my health, but never in a million years did I think it would be before I turned thirty. And ironically, here I sit. 60 days out from my thirtieth birthday, and the only thing in the world I want is time with the people I love filled with happiness and wholeness for all of our lives. Hell for the whole world! That's my wish.  

I watched the ESPY's last week and I was touched to my core with Craig Sager's story. If you missed him being honored for the Jimmy V Award, do yourself a favor and catch up on that by clicking this link. You should also watch the story compilation that they put together prior to the acceptance speech, but I'll be okay if you at least watch the speech part. The speech and video tugged so tightly at my heart strings and there hasn't been one day that has gone by since that I haven't thought about it. Namely these parts:
  1. As Craig addressed his family he said, "My battle has become their battle."
    1. This could not hit closer to home. What I have been through in the last couple of months effects my family in so many lasting ways. As the dust settles, we see and are reminded daily of how much this battle effects not only myself but them as well. And my wish for families fighting this is to continue to remain together, a unit. As stands our great nation, stands our families. United we stand, divided we fall. 
  2. On the heels of above, "Donate. Fight. Do it together."
    1. They say their is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer. And my wish is we all remember we are ALL people. We all need support. We all need help sometimes. And we all need to lift one another up. In whatever way, whatever form we have. Help one another. 
  3. Craig's explanation and will to fight, "The way you think influences how you feel. And the way you feel influences how you act."
    1. A reminder to myself. This battle is far from over. Even if the cancer never returns, I will be mocked and reminded everyday when putting on my compression garment that cancer existed in my body. Everyday I will battle swelling in my right leg, forever. There will be things I "cannot" do because of my lymphedema. But I GET to battle. I get to fight. I get the chance to live. And I can choose to do it with grace and dignity or I can choose to let it defeat me. And I wish for grace and dignity. I wish for positive thoughts to feel good. And feeling good to act graciously and let that spill and overflow to others that need encouragement. 
  4. And last but not least, a charge. A goal that carries me into year 30 with a happy heart and good head on my shoulders. A challenge to myself and a focus to grab life by the horns and live it. The narrator of Craig's story explained Craig's drive to live everyday, "complete one day just the way you want to. And then start the next one with the same goal." 
    1. An ever present reminder, life is now. It is not tomorrow, or next week when you're on vacation. It is now. Live it. 
All of that to bring me back to my 30 before 30 list. It's a list I created several years ago, and have been checking things off as we go along (but for today's post I finally put it to public paper and made a fun little collage). I may not complete everything before 30, but I'm working towards it. And I'm heading into 30 and the years beyond with an updated list and a shifted focus. And I'm pretty a-ok with that. 

My current list. (Italicized items are not yet complete)
  1. Marry the love of my life 
  2. Have a child (and another!)
  3. Focus on photography
  4. Buy a home (or three!)
  5. Travel to back to Europe (this totally happened, but I blogger failed and never posted about it)
  6. Visit Seattle -- s(till on the to do list)
  7. Do wine country in California
  8. Have a mourning routine - (I've gotten better at this, but I still need a true "routine" mine is all over the place)
  9. Paint/get creative more often - (I could do MUCH better here)
  10. Take cooking classes - (FAIL)
  11. Travel to Australia
  12. Host a Murder Mystery Party - (I'm looking at you Laura. Why can't I make this happen? I talk about it every 3 months. )
  13. Have something published - (nope, nada)
  14. Open a studio or boutique - (my dream since I've been about 13)
  15. Buy a fixer upper and renovate - and make a profit! - (we talk about it, A LOT)
  16. Run a 5K - (I've walked one! ha!)
  17. Turn my Chi Omega t-shirts into a quilt - (I finally sorted them into a tub, does that count?)
  18. Make homemade sushi and have people eat it
  19. Go skydiving
  20. Have a signature recipe those close to me know is "mine"
  21. Learn to drive a stick - (I've learned like 5 times, it never ends well. )
  22. Have a photo shoot done of just myself 
  23. Volunteer - and make it a habit
  24. Go to Mardi Gras
  25. Move to another city
  26. Plant a tree with meaning and visit it annually
  27. See the Grand Canyon
  28. Go back to school
  29. Watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy 
  30. Do a friends trip to Vegas!
So, I'm 10 for 30 and yet if you asked me if "did a lot" I would most definitely answer yes. Funny thing is, I'm not doing all the things I want to do! What am I waiting for?! Craig Sager said it best, "everyday is a canvas waiting to be painted" ... so the bottom line is I wish for myself to start painting. Stop putting things off until tomorrow and start doing the things I've always dreamed of doing. And more importantly, bring others along for the ride. Because life is often always better when good friends and family are involved.  Cheers to nearly 30 years, and cheers again to 30 more! I hope to report back here in sixty days with more items checked off my list. And in the mean time, I'm going to be adding to my list and filling up those empty 10 spots!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Color Outside the Lines

Picasso once said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." And I couldn't agree with him more. There are so many people, so many much life that is lost simply by being weighed down with the day to day. I read a book this winter, The Crossroads Between Should and Must, that was a great reminder to look at your inner self and find what it is at your core that makes you happy. Often your happiness was represented when you were a child (something you loved to do or often did), but as adulthood crept in you lost sight of it.

My grandmother is a great example of someone who never lost site of her inner artist. There were always paint brushes in her living rooms, beautifully colored pages on her coffee tables, even a homemade wooden sign she proudly displayed in her front yard that she would update and paint every so often to let people driving by her home know what was happening (birthdays, holidays, etc.).  She is a great example to me to always remember to embrace my creative and artistic side. I often find when I do, I am the most happy. And when we're taking stick your tongue out selfies, I'm pretty happy too!
I mentioned last Wednesday I was reminiscing a lot about my summers spent with her as a child, and today I'm reminiscing about this past weekend we spent with her.  We headed up Saturday and made it just in time for dinner to visit with Aunt Marshee and my cousin, Brian. Lainey ate the entire time.
 PaPaw and GoGo had left earlier that morning, so we just missed them. But we made sure to FaceTime them and check in of course!
 She's the best!
 The very best.
 As I mentioned, Lainey, is named after her. And they made sure to get better acquainted during this visit.

 After several hours and too many free ice creams later (a certain three year old we all know and love found out there was a bottomless freezer of ice cream snacks) we headed to the hotel to bunk up for the night. The littles put on an excellent show and made certain to tag team hourly wake ups. Good thing they are cute, and fit on the luggage cart or we may have accidentally left them behind (kidding)!
 And then we woke up and headed back to visit Sunday morning!
 And this time, Aunt Debbi was there! Yay!

 Lainey played smiley face and Bennett entertained her with endless nursery rhymes and songs.
 And then we all took a little walk to let the littles burn off some energy before they had to get back in the car for that long drive back home.

 We love you Grandma. Always and forever.

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