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December 14, 2012

"What! You too? I thought I was the only one!"

Said to me by many: As nice as it is to have friends, the older you get, the more likely the number of girlfriends you have will decrease substantially. Have you ever watched Dawson's Creek? I cannot say that I was a "Super Fan", however the few episodes I tuned into, there was one quote that always stuck in my mind for some reason. I have no idea why. Turns out, at the age of 27 (a good 10 years later) I am finding myself completely disagreeing with that quote that I prepared myself for as I got older. Here it is:
"It's funny how you can still love a person, but you stop needing them like you used to."
 
In my opinion, that's crap! Of course I need my friends! Yes, I've graduated college. Yes, I have a full time job. Yes, I am married. Yes, we are going to add children to that equation in the future. Yes, my friends are all going through the same life changes. But I still NEED my girlfriends.  Over the past six months after getting married, I found myself so incredibly down. Don't get me wrong. I love my husband. I love being married. I love having my best friend around 24/7.  I just came to the conclusion that I wasn't happy with not having the people I love in my life as much as I used to.

In high school, almost every day after school, me, Emily, Libby and Stefanie would pick a place to grab after school snacks. We would have movie nights. We would dress up and go shopping or do each other's makeup and hair. In college, I lived with my best friends. I could walk 10 steps to the duplex attached to mine and see my sorority friends night or day. Emily S. and I always had our long heart to hearts that always included tons of inspirational quotes. Jessica and I would go for daily/nightly runs on the trail in Columbia. Jeanna and I would read books together and go to church every Sunday. We would have game nights. We would watch The Bachelor together. We would cook dinner together. (This was not always successful for Kathleen and Speno as usually the fire department ended up at our place after them trying to make homemade crab rangoon.) Then, I graduated and moved to St. Louis for a job. After college we all got full time jobs, but me, Fritsche, Speno, Potts, Pollock (Yes, we called them by their last names), Kasey, Brigid, Kathleen and Christa always found a couple nights a month to get together for happy hour, dinner or have an annual Christmas party. A few years later after moving back to Kansas City, I would call up my friends Libby and Tara and at the spur of the moment, decide to go to a Rodeo or go to Worlds of Fun and bungee jump. Taylor would come back to visit and we would get together with Whitney and Abbey and have the time of our lives. I had annual sushi dates with my friends Jessica and Kate. I could go on and on. Bottom line, my point is, that I miss my friends.  I have had several conversations with my husband about this. "Am I the only one that feels this way?" I would ask myself. "Do they not miss me like I miss them?" Truth is, no matter how much life gets in the way, I am pretty sure they all miss those days and wish those experiences I listed above happened more often. I know this because the more and more I talk with my friends that have moved to New York, or Denver, Chicago or Tennessee, the more I realize that they are just as lonely and homesick for friends and for me as I am for them. And while my friends are far way in St. Louis and all those places I listed above, I am still in Kansas City always thinking about them and how they are doing. I may not have the time to call as often as I would like but I always miss them.

So, I couldn't help but wonder. (Yes, this is totally my Carrie Bradshaw moment.) Just because we grow older, does that really mean we have to grow apart? In my opinion, the most beautiful discovery that true friends can make is that they can grow seperately without growing apart. At 27, I finally have this epiphany. Yes, schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends...and thats okay. I want to continue to try to grow closer to the friends I currently have but I have decided that it is also okay to restock my pool of friends as well.

So, as I figured out why I was unhappy I obviously had to come up with a solution. I will continue to call my friends even if they don't have time to pick up or call back. I at least want them to know I am still thinking about them. I bought a Groupon to do Yoga with my friend Kathleen. I have never done Yoga and don't get to see Kathleen very much. I am very excited about this. I can't tell you how excited I get when I get to have a phone date with Libby in Denver or Stefanie in Memphis. I love getting texts from my friends in St. Louis or a text from Tara in New York. It makes my day. But, I'm also learning how to make new friends.

Lately, on Wednesday nights, my new friend Ashley and I have had dates. Yes, dates. Both of our husbands are in ministry therefore their Wednesday nights consist of working with youth groups at church. Last week, we did something as simple as grabbing a light dinner and each picking out a lipstick at MAC. This week, we ate vegetable soup and watched a British period movie (which we both seem to be obsessed with) called The Duchess. I can't tell you how nice it is just to have her company. I love getting to know new people and discovering different things we have in common.

So, here is the point. As you grow older and those "friend sessions" become few and far between, don't take it personal because it isn't. That's life. Never give up. Instead, make more of an effort. I know I will be.

Here is what I am looking forward to over the next month:

Christmas party at Jessica's on Saturday. Seeing Suzy for the first time since her return from The World Race. (She has been spreading the word of the Lord all over the world for a year!) My Wednesday night "dates" with Ashley. New Year's with our new "couple" friends. Yoga nights with Kathleen after the first of the year. Watching movies with my friend Taylor who is recovering from surgery. A weekend trip to see Taylor in Des Moines. A weekend trip to see Libby in Denver. A vacation to New York with Tyler and an opportunity to see Tara. Hopefully, I can plan something to St. Louis to visit my sorority sisters. Until then, here are some pictures of my friends that I won't give up on because I refuse to let life get in the way.

 
 
 
 
 





 

November 28, 2012

Times are Changing. Oil is Not Our Beauty Enemy Anymore!


Beauty Oils


I have been dying to do a post about this particular subject. As I have gotten older, I have become overly aware of the harsh repercussions Winter brings each year. My skin: dry and itchy, my hair: dry and brittle, my cuticles: rough and snagly, and my face: dull, blotchy and the occasional blemish which I attribute to not receiving natural Vitamin D from the sun. (Don't worry, I still wear SPF in the Winter but I do think natural color helps with a clean complexion.) There are so many benefits to oils and I hope to cover most of them in this post. Do you have acne, eczema, scars, rosacea, blackheads, cracked/dry/scaly skin, inflammation, wrinkles, sensitive skin, an itchy scalp, or frayed split ends? 

Oils are one of the world's oldest forms of beauty used by ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, Greeks and Romans. The history and use dates back to 3,500 BC. They were used by Queens to ward off visual aging signs and even used medicinally. They were in such high demand because they worked. I love them because they are natural and soothing... and I'm hooked. 

When I was in my teens, I was ter-ri-fied of oils. To me, oil was synonymous with blemishes, irritations and greasy hair. Every time I would go to select a new makeup foundation, I would immediately check to see if it was oil-free. Same with my moisturizers. I heard so many horrible things about how oil causes blemishes. I am going to overrule this "myth" from recent personal experience and experiments. Natural oils can actually efficiently penetrate and cleanse the sebum deep within your pores unlike those creams filled with chemicals. So here goes...10 ways I use oil in my beauty routine.

1. Vitamin E supplements
When taken as a supplement, Vitamin E helps support the immune system. It helps maintain red blood cells  and muscle tissues such as cardiac and skeletal muscles. When broken open, the Vitamin E oil from inside the liquid soft gels can be applied to the skin to help reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and healing blemish redness.

2. Organic Coconut Oil by Spectrum
Stop spending money on expensive hair masks. Seriously. I used to deep condition my hair with this really expensive French intensive mask once a week called PRIVE. At $30 a pop for 6 fl. oz., NO, THANK YOU! Instead, pick up this amazing stuff at the grocery store (I got mine at whole foods) for $6 a pop for 14 fl. oz. Shampoo your hair with hot water to open the hair cuticle. Rinse thoroughly and squeeze some of the moisture out. While you are shampooing your hair,  make sure to place the whole jar in warm water so it has time to liquefy. Once the oil is melted, massage into your hair and apply a shower cap. Get out of the shower and blow dry your head (with the shower cap still on) for 10 minutes. Sometimes, if I have a little more time on my hands, I will skip the blow dry and just watch some dumb reality TV show for an hour so I can time it correctly. After, get in the shower and rinse with cold water to close the cuticle. Let your hair air dry and be prepared to be amazed. By the way, this is great for those of you wanting to grow your hair out. 

3. Argan Oil
Okay, I am obsessed. I have finally found a shampoo and conditioner that I can't live without. I have tried everything and nothing is as good as this. Moroccan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner is a tad expensive so I have trained my hair to where I only have to wash it once every 3 days. After towel drying my hair and combing through it, I always apply the Moroccan Oil treatment oil while my hair is still damp. It is pure oil. I only apply it from the middle of my hair down to the ends. The glass bottle will last you forever. I used to use the Kerastase Chroma Riche Serum which also contains an oil called Geranoil. Geranoil is  a mixture of alcohol, rose oil, palmarosa oil and citronella oil which is great too. I just prefer straight up argan oil because it is alcohol free and the Moroccan Oil brand is what I am hooked to. The Moroccan oil treatment is great for those days when you are skipping washes. I have found that on those days my hair is extra dry on the ends so I just slap some of this on and it is uhhmazing.  Get it here.

4. Johnson's Baby Oil Gel with Shea and Cocoa Butter
This is just a given and should be included in everyone's beauty routine. In the winter my legs itch SO bad. So, I keep a bottle of this stuff in the shower and after I am finished with my "routine" (Yes, I have a shower routine), I apply this all over my arms and legs while the shower is still running. Then I hop out (yes, hop) and just pat dry with my towel so I don't rub it off. I like to apply it while in the shower because my pores are still open all over my body from being under the hot water. Also, when your skin is still wet, it is the best time to soak up moisture from oils or lotions. I prefer the oils, obviously. Get it at your local drugstore.

5. Johnson's Baby Oil (Original)
Quit buying expensive facial exfoliants. Wash and cleanse your face like normal. Afterwards, squeeze some baby oil in the palm of your hand along with a few pinches of cane sugar and gently scrub. Not only will it make your face bright, less inflamed, and moisturized, but it will make your lips and hands feel amazing too. No need to apply a cream moisturizer either. Slap on some SPF if you do this in the morning but I always do this at night because i hate going to bed without clean skin. Get it at your local drugstore.

6. CND Solar Oil (Nail and Cuticle Conditioner)
Need I say more? Find it here.


7. Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil
Great for removing makeup especially on your eyes. It is super gentle and smells so fresh. Also, great for puffy eyes. Find it at Nordstrom.

8. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15
Yes, I use this liquid foundation which does have oil in it. Find it here or at your local Nordstrom. It is perfect for my oily t-zone (combination skin) and does not melt off when I use it with a primer before hand. For my preferences on primers see the PORE fessional by Benefit or Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer. This combination of products provides the perfect amount of coverage and does not cause breakouts. For a cheaper foundation option, check out the Revlon Photo Ready Foundation with SPF


9.  Lavendar Oil
I love dropping a few drops of this 100% Pure Essencial Lavendar Oil in my hot baths. Talk about moisture and relaxation. I love aromatherapy. You can find several options at Whole Foods. 

10. Tea Tree Oil
Got an annoying blemish? Dab this on. Acne is trapped bacteria. The oil is like a solvent and cuts through grease and dirt, unclogging pores. Tea Tree Oil is an anti-biotic killing the acne causing bacteria on the skin's surface. You can also prevent acne with it. Get it here.

Will you be trying beauty oils?

xoxo Taylor



November 27, 2012

Yes, this is the typical "I decorated my house for Christmas" post.

Welp...just like the title says...I decorated for Christmas. Here is how it went being that we are newlyweds, have never decorated for a Holiday and have absolutely zilch when it comes to actual decorations.

Saturday, 11/27/2012:

1.) 8:30am- Husband and I whip out the laptop and buy a fake (pre-lit) Christmas tree online from Sears. Didn't even have to move an inch. That's how it's done folks. Hold that thought....
2.) 11:00am- Pick up the Christmas Tree at Sears
3.) 12:00pm- Attack Crate and Barrel with some gift cards left over from our wedding. I would like to say I am the one that can take credit from "purposely" saving them for the Holidays...but I can't. That was my husband. I wanted to use the rest back in the day for that awesomly awesome Kitchen Aid Mixer. I didn't get my way, obvi. Here is what we got instead.
Moravian Star Tree Topper $19.95
Found here
Frosted 52" Tree Skirt- Sale $84.96 (Still ridiculously expensive and I will be returning this and going to TJ MAXX)
Found here

Tree Candles $11.95 - $29.95 (Check out the picture below to see what I did with it)
Found here

Buri Squirrel Ornament $6.95 (I also purchased a some other woodland creatures for my tree.)
Call me crazy but I love these little guys. He is totally chomping on an acorn in the picture. bah.
Found here

4.) 1:00pm- Off to Target for some other cheap silver ornaments and ornaments with pops of red. Also bought some scented pinecones to fill my glass jar from Crate and Barrel. I'm not posting pictures/links because they totally aren't as interesting as the animal ornaments. However, I did pick up another awesome "free standing creature-aka Homer the Hedgehog." See below for picture.

5.) 3:00pm- Got side tracked with someone selling puppies outside of a pet boutique. Held puppy, wrestled with puppy and ended up buying our Coonhound a new plaid collar for the winter. He's a gem that dog of ours.

6.) 4:00pm- Arrive home. Take tree out of box and begin to set up. Realize we should have bought a slimmer and taller tree. Look online and find another tree to better fit our living room. (Yes, I am a bad wife. I sent my husband out in the middle of his Florida Gator game to go get another tree.) Forgive me Gator Nation for I am a Mizzou fan and do not understand nor comprehend the importance of your games.

7.) 5:00pm- Finally begin to decorate. Here are the results. What a long day. Goodness.


Homer the Hedgehog. My awesome Target "critter" purchase.
What I did with my Tree candle: (I lectured my husband that it is not to be lit purely because of how expensive it was and how un-pretty it would look once melted halfway) Make sense?
To create this cute little piece, I picked up some cheap sea salt at Target and placed it in a flower jar I had laying around the house. Set the tree in and 'voila!', you have a tree resting on "snow".

Christmas candy and real pinecones along with a few felt ones.

And finally, our very first Christmas tree. I will try to upload a better picture tonight because you can't see details.


This was a very fun thing to do with my husband. Most guys would not be interested in decorating for Christmas with their wives, but mine was such a good sport (as long as he could have football on in the background). I happily put some Christmas music on as well...volume down low of course. =)


I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. Be jolly in all that you do and give thanks.

Blessings!

PS. Stay tuned for our family Christmas pictures we took last week for our Christmas cards. Tyler and I have a viewing with the portrait gallery tonight and I am dying to see them...and post them. =)

xoxo Taylor
 






November 19, 2012

November 12, 2012

Day Dreaming

It was a sock bun and glasses kind of day!

Glasses: Fendie
Earrings: Stella and Dot
Lipstick: MAC in the color SNOB (Obsessed)

November 11, 2012

Lipstick Lineup

Hi friends!
Out with the gloss, in with the stick. Lipstick that is. Lately, I have found myself purchasing lipstick as opposed to lip gloss. I think the older I get, there is something demure about reaching for a tube of lipstick. It makes me think about when I was younger and I used to watch my mother apply her lipstick and how I so desperately wanted to be like her. It makes me think about the old days. Old beauty and old Hollywood. From Cleopatra to actresses of the 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s. They always wore the most beautiful shades of lipstick. It makes me think of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and unfortunately Marilyn Manson. He ALMOST ruined it. I can’t believe I just grouped him in the same sentence with such iconic women. Moving on. So, after years and years of searching for the perfect shades, here are my favorites. I don’t associate colors with seasons. If I feel like wearing a bright pink in the Fall or Winter, I am going to do it, by golly! My choice depends on my mood kind of like the perfume I choose. It is never the same. Remember, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a tube of lipstick. Drugstore brands work just as well. I have a wide range of brands that I love equally as much. So here goes: LEFT TO RIGHT.


1. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry.

By now, you should all be noticing a trend upon actresses and models from the latest fashion week. Wine colored lips were everywhere! If you are going to do a wine lip, DO NOT add a gloss on top. I love the matte look. But if you have dry lips (as most of us do during this time of year) scrub your lips with sugar before you apply. This will not only make your lips incredibly smooth, but it won’t make your lipstick clump and it will stay on longer. Also, go easy on the eye make up when wearing darker lipstick. Skip the blush, too.
2. Nars in Flamenco.
If you are valiant enough to wear red, I commend you. Not everyone is brave enough. But if you are, this color is where it’s at! Scrub your lips with sugar and make sure to line your lips before applying. Also, stick with some simple black eyeliner on the top of your lids with pale eyeshadow. Wear bronzer and skip the blush. If you are going to go bold with the lips, keep the rest of your face pretty simple. Reds look best when wearing clothes that are navy, white, cream or black. Don’t be matchy matchy and wear red clothing and red lips. You will never match the shades exactly and I think that is what makes it look awkward. That’s just my opinion. Moving on…
3. Clinique Different Lipstick in Glazed Berry.
I am not afraid of bright pink. In fact….I love it. This color looks great with tanned skin….but please don’t go to a tanning bed to achieve this. Use a self tanner! Say no to wrinkles. Okay, back to the lipstick. This particular lipstick from Clinique is amazing because it is so full of moisture. Again, when applying darker shades, try to line your lips first and scrub, scrub, scrub with sugar.
4. MAC Satin Lipstick in Snob.

Okay, this is my most recent purchase and probably my favorite. It is going to be my go to color. It is the most perfect baby pink and goes perfectly with a summer bronzed skin or my pale winter skin. It goes with everything. This particular lipstick is more of a dry matte so I like to put on some Chapstick before applying. I would recommend this color for anyone. Blondes, brunettes, red-heads…anyone! It is perfectly delicate.
5. Bobby Brown Creamy Lip Color in Pale Mauve.

This lipstick is amazing. It is for the days when you feel like looking natural and classic. It is the perfect mauve. (It is also what Kate Middleton wore on her wedding day.) Skip the Chapstick or gloss. It has plenty of moisture but because of this, it may not stay on as long as some of the others. But who cares…I will re-apply this until they discontinue this color which I hope they never do. (Please MAC, read this blog…don’t do it!)
6. Stila Lipstick in Louise.
This might as well be dubbed as the “perfect peach”….because it is. It also has a little bit of sparkle in it and what girl doesn’t love sparkle? I have had this color for 2 years now and it has lasted me forever! When wearing peach, stick with white, cream, and pastel colors for your wardrobe.
7. Revlon Colorbust Lipstick in Soft Nude.

I saw this lipstick on Pinterest and the pinner wrote “the perfect nude” so that caught my attention of course. I am the girl that is always looking for the best nude lipstick because I like to wear smoky eyes. I always love the smoky eye look for night time. When I do this, I prefer my lips to not stand out. I want the focus on my eyes. I can finally say, I have found the perfect nude….and it is perfectly priced. =)
I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.

-Audrey Hepburn

November 9, 2012

Organic Soap! Lather up!

I’m in hog heaven. I love homemade soap and bath stuff.

Got the Blues...Accessory Blues

Just another outfit of the day, folks.


Necklace: Charming Charlie
Long Sweater: Tulle
Jeans: William Rast
Boots: Nordstrom
Bag: Big Buddha
HAPPY FRIDAY!

 

November 7, 2012

Lip Stain...Another New Obsession


Friends,
I love when I find cheap makeup at a drugstore! Less expensive make up works just as well! Although, I do have a few favorites that I use regularly that are quite costly. (My husband does not appreciate these particular brands….but I do =) )
I also love lip stains. However, what I don’t love is how dry they make my lips. Whenever I wear them, I usually scrub my lips with sugar first. Sounds weird but then again I scrub everything with sugar. It makes my lips, face, and hands soooo smooth. I usually use the Cover Girl Outlast but I found this Revlon lip stain at the drug store today on sale and I had a coupon! What I like about this particular stain is that it comes with a balm that you apply just after lining and filling in your lips with the stain. It is called Revlon Just Bitten and in case you want to try this particular color, it is called Passion. It is the brightest pink I could find! By the way, it is only $8.99 and if you have a coupon, it will take a dollar off. Ask your Walgreens associate for the coupon. They have it behind the counter. Wink wink.
http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=284396&catid=183589&aid=338666&aparam=goobase_filler


Smooches! xoxo
Revlon Just Bitten- Passion




November 6, 2012

Inspired by the One and Only Olivia Palermo

Blazer: no clue, it is olddd (I think I got it from Britches in Columbia, Missouri.
Skinny jeans: Hudson
Shirt: Crown Jewel (seriously the softest basic tee’s you will find)
Shoes: Via Spiga baby
Watch: Mr. Michael Kors
xoxo

PS....Sorry about all these iPhone pics. Hopefully my husband will be able to start taking actual pictures for me so I can make everything more detailed and you can actually see what my face looks like. I swear I have one. LOL.

November 5, 2012

Pattern Mixing...My New Obsession.

Friends, this is something that you will be seeing from me frequently. I am loving pattern mixing, texturemixing, and anything put together that doesn't match. Oops.

Did some pattern mixing today.
Skirt: Forever21- old
Top: Anthropologie- old
Black tights: Target
Boots: Nordstrom- updated version still available in stores.

A Little Nate Berkus for Target

Side Note: I will be making a trip to Target for this Nate Berkus number. Love chevron!

[Photo credit: The Pink Diary] Visit her on Instagram!

November 4, 2012

Sparkly Nail Polish...ummm Duh!

Friends, I am so excited. I just ordered this online and it just came in. I love Deborah Lippmann nail polish. You can get it here: http://lippmanncollection.com/2011dl/index_new.php
I’ve never tried the sparkle polish so I will let you know how it goes. May take a few coats.
It is called Happy Birthday for those interested.
happy painting.

A Whole Lot of Cozy...

Hi friends,

This is what I chose to wear on the first chilly day of the season. Enjoy!




Sweater: brand is called Hinge (Nordstrom)
Skinny pants: James Jeans
Boots: DSW
Leopard clutch: French Connection

And yes, I am totally standing in a flower bed in the parking lot of a building because I thought it would make a prettier picture. Sorry to the Overland Park Medical Building for trompin’ on your landscape.
xoxo

November: sweaters, boots, tights, nail polish, oh my.

It’s really setting in. Autumn has almost passed. Where did that time go that I anxiously waited for all year? I feel like it only lasted a day. We never even made it to a pumpkin patch! I guess we will save that for when we throw some kiddos in the mix. Now that we are approaching the Holidays, here are a few things that I am super excited for. Importance being in no particular order:

Berry lips and this J-Crew herringbone vest. I love layering. I love different textures. I also love this subtle berry lip color.



This one from Nars is what I will be getting! It is the Pure Matte Lipstick in Valparaiso.



I absolutely love a little pop of color for my nails too. Usually I go for muted colors for Fall such as gray, burgundy, or navy but this year it’s all about the ‘Butler Please’ from Essie.

[photo credit: The Pink Diary]



I can’t leave out the tights, the layered cozy socks, or the Hunter Boots. Hunter Boots will never get old.



Sweaters with envelope clutches. You can never go wrong with a camel sweater and make sure to add some ‘arm candy’ such as a gold men’s watch or a bangle.



Finally, I am really excited to decorate our place being that it is our first Holiday living together. We have some gift cards to Crate and Barrel left over from our wedding and are on a budget but here is my inspiration for Thanksgiving. I will be replicating these!

Wooden box centerpiece with gourds, candles, sticks, and berry garland.



White birch tree mason jar candles! DIY!



Autumn decor galvanized!



Yay! I hope I can find the time to really soak in this season. The smells, tastes, and sights are enough to make me never wish for winter, however, there are so many good things that come with that season as well…I’ll save that for another post.


That’s all for now, folks!

October 1, 2012

What's really real!


I used to be the author of another blog but I cancelled it. I deleted everything- a year worth of “happy” writing, beautiful poems, pictures, and fairytales. It was called Beating Hart— A nod to my middle name (Hart) and the fact that my heart was beating…every day. I still love the name of it because my heart/hart still beats. Now, it just beats to the tune of a different drum. That blog wasn’t reality. I would follow other tumblr bloggers but only the ones that posted inspirational quotes, beautiful and whimsical pictures and happy things. I would only write about the beautiful part of my life and hide from the hiccups. After a year, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t getting anything out of it. I took a break from writing for 6 months and I began to soak up life. Truth is, if you are going to have a blog that is ALL beautiful and no TRUTH, you are lying to yourself and the people that tune in to read your thoughts. Life can be raw.


I started a new blog. I find writing theraputic. I started it after I got married - 4 months ago tomorrow. I started it because I want to look back at the life my husband and I share together. I want to look at the beautiful things but also the struggles. I want to look back and say, “Wow. Remember how much that day/week sucked? But look at us now, look how far we’ve come. Look at what life and God has taught us. Look at how hard we worked together to breathe in the most cozy breaths possible.”


This past week sucked. Truthfully. It sucked. I got blasted with a Migraine…ended up in the er hooked to cords, getting poked by needles, and being infused with the weirdest coctail of medicines ever. Has anyone ever had Benadryl through an IV? Ummmmm hello Loopy Land. Pretty sure I was so out of it that I couldn’t even say Tyler’s name. And he will tell you himself…I love saying is name. I say it 20 times a day. Sometimes, when he is in the living room and I am in another room I will just say, “Tyler…Tyler…whatcha doin?” Saying his name and having him respond to me is the best feeling in the world. He always answers me. In that er, I couldn’t even say his name. So I would just open my left eye to make sure he was sitting there. I hated that I couldn’t say his name. Migraine schmigraine. Oh well. It could have been worse. I ended up kicking it’s butt in the end.


As I began to get more energy from that set back, Thursday morning arrived. I was getting ready to leave for work and got a phone call at about 9:00am. I looked down at my phone and it said, Tina. I thought to myself, “Why is my sister-in-law calling so early? It is 7:00am in Arizona.” My stomach sank. She explained to me that my mother had fallen. Mind you, she had just arrived in Arizona the evening before to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and her grandchildren. She asked for the trip from my dad for her birthday. Turns out, my mom had fallen and broken her wrist in 4 places. Happy freaking birthday mom. Off to the er they went. I remember hanging up the phone and just sobbing. I am very protective of my mother. I don’t know why. I think it is a bond that we developed for several reasons.



When I was a child, she nursed me through two serious illnesses. Juvenile arthritis at age 8, and then some weird vascular disease (that I will never fully understand) at age 15. That one was the worst. 9 months of strong Chemotherapy. 9 months of Prednisone (heavy steroids). One life threatening emergency surgery as a result of a bad reaction to steroids. I spent that entire school year in a hospital. Yeah, I know people. Some of you know none of this as I have chosen to never talk about it and keep it in my past and leave it there. But the older I have gotten, I have realized that staying quiet and never sharing bad things won’t change the world. It will only isolate us and we will become ignorant and sheilded to LIFE. Did I question God during those 9 months? Yeah, sure did. I was so mad at Him. I turned my back. It wasn’t until about 6 months after my prognoses of remission at Johns Hopkins Hospital that I began to thank God. But I thanked him for things you wouldn’t initially think I would thank Him for…I didn’t thank Him for making me better right away. I thanked him for “allowing” me to experience that illness and life’s bad offerings. Because, you know, I would be a completely different person today had I not gone through those things. I wouldn’t be caring. I wouldn’t see beauty that comes out of something bad. I wouldn’t be a hard worker. I wouldn’t have manners. I wouldn’t have compassion. I wouldn’t have spunk. I wouldn’t have a sense of humor. I most certainly wouldn’t have Mr. Handsome Pants (Tyler).



So as I sat there Thursday morning and cried for my mom, you will possibly understand why I just wanted to be there with her….to take care of her…to comfort her…to get her ice chips…to put a cold rag on her forehead…to give her medicine. Because she always did that for me. There was nothing I could do to take away her pain. I just wanted to be there with her. I spent the entire weekend just crying. Yeah…I CRIED LIKE A BABY. And you know what, it felt great. You are not a human if you don’t require a good cry once in a while. I think it is the body’s natural way of cleaning your eye balls of polution- literally and figuratively. We as humans see horrible things every day.


Never deny yourself of beautiful moments in life but also never deny yourself of the reality either. Take bad things and change the world. Better yourself. Learn something. Quit being naive. Raise money for a Foundation. Volunteer on the pediatric cancer floor of a local hospital. (www.rockstarronan.com) Don’t be mediocre.


To my mom, if you read this. Don’t listen to them when they tell you 12 months of recovery. Beat it in 6.


 My poor mama.


As for me, you’ve learned a few more things about myself. One of them being that I love a good cry. So sorry if that sounds depressing. (I also like character shaped Kraft mac n’ cheese if that makes you feel better).


I hope you’ve also learned that I am vulnerable. I am honest. And If you aren’t honest about the rawness of life, it will slap you in the face.

September 26, 2012

September...the good month

Ever since I can remember, this has always been a month that I have looked forward to. Even though it is not a new year, I associate it as the beginning of a new year. For some reason, Fall is the first season to me. It is also time where we can finally get a break from that sweltering heat that exhausts us. And that drought…don’t get me started on that drought.

I started off the month with my first attempt at decorating. Let me start off by preparing you…It isn’t that great…trust me. I have no Fall decor, Christmas decor, Easter decor…nothing. I think all of this comes after you get married and start to make a home “a home.” This is it folks…some fall leaves, gourds, some “Fall Mix” and an Autumn scented candle.





On September 7th, I had my first gala with the Arthritis Foundation. (Art for Arthritis) I mentioned it in a post before, but this was the finale event. With the help of the fabulous Nigro Brothers auctioneers, we auctioned off 15 paintings that were done by children with arthritis. Yes, you heard this correctly. Children with arthritis. Most people think arthritis is an older person’s disease…and predominately, it is. However, there are 300,000 children in the United States suffering from this debilitating disease. Most people don’t know that a common way to treat it is with a drug called Methotrexate…yes, that is a form of Chemotherapy. There are also so many other medicines but NO CURE. Spread the word because these children are resilient. I have been blessed to work with 15 of them this year and help them team up with artists and create a masterpiece. Take a look below at one of the children working on his painting. His name is George. The event is set to reach our goal in funds that goes to research and finding a cure. Should you feel compelled to learn more, donate, or become involved, please visit www.artforarthritiskc.org.







Since I haven’t blogged in a while due to my husband’s laptop getting stolen and him needing to use mine for school, (PS whoever stole his laptop- I am so mad at you. How dare you. I hope you read some of his book he worked so hard on or some of his sermons and find Christ)- I will leave this post with a little praise for my Mr. Handsome Pants.

This past weekend was rough for me. A bit of a set back. I got a horrible migraine which I haven’t had in over a year. I couldn’t get it under control so to the e.r. we went. My husband is amazing and treats me like a gem. He took such good care of me. I love him very much and he is my rock. I can’t imagine my life without him…SO I DON’T. =) I am so excited for what is to come with us and I am going to savor every moment I have with him. Even when he purposely tries to annoy me I can’t help but laugh.

Until next time…this is for my husband.

August 19, 2012

Accepted: Raw and Flawed

Tyler and I have a very similar taste when it comes to decorating…thank goodness. Before we moved in our new place, both of us had our TV’s mounted to the walls (above fireplaces). However, in our new home there is no fireplace therefore we needed a stand. Before we moved in together, between the two of us, we pretty much had everything we needed furniture wise. So thankful. The only thing we didn’t have was a TV stand and an end table. We decided to make a trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart. We love the no interest payment plans there. 


We arrived hopeful to find a TV stand. As we perused an extensive floor of entertainment centers and TV stands the search quickly ended in disappointment. Everything was beyond our price point, too traditional looking, and just didn’t fit “us.” (By the way, we are extremely picky. It takes us 15 minutes in the cereal aisle at the grocery store to make a decision on one box priced at $3.79.) We were ready to leave. On our way out, I convinced my husband to let me look at some lamps…not that I needed one…I just wanted to look. As we approached the area filled with AT LEAST 500 lamps, we noticed this little guy below perched up against the back of a couch. I know it isn’t a TV stand but it jumped out at us. It had this “industrial” feel to it, which we liked. The wood was rough, raw, flawed





Done. We had to have it. It was perfect. Price and all. We also bought the matching end table.



Whoops. 



I was sitting in church this morning and the pastor kept saying “love your enemies….love your neighbor.” There is something to say about loving those who are flawed and ultimately we are all flawed, yet Christ chooses to love us. After all, Jesus had a knack for running with the wrong crowd-at least in the eyes of the self righteous. Those who were religious believed that the righteous should associate only with those who are righteous. Many of the religious leaders with whom Jesus had contact were hypocritical and legalistic. It was easy for them to criticize Him for His involvement with “sinners.” 



Jesus entered Jericho and was passing though. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. [Most people saw him as a cheater and dishonest.] He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount. Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” -Luke 19:1-10



Love God with all your heart, soul and mind. Love your neighbor. Love the imperfect. Love the flawed. So, as I stare at this imperfect (yet perfectly marketed) furniture…





I’m challenged to look beyond the TV stand section, think outside the box, and realize that God uses imperfect people, like us, to fulfill His perfect plan. I am called to love the imperfect just as Christ loves me.


We love our imperfect TV stand. 


TJ