iphone does - last weekend

We've been up to our ears in paint & stain this week (literally, in my case) as we try to finish our new home office, & while it is OH SO CLOSE to being done... It isn't. Yet. But soon! In the meantime...We had such a great weekend that I forgot to bring our fancy camera anywhere we went - Which is refreshing from time to time. So, you get pictures from our iphones.

We spent a rainy Friday night at a block party put on by our fair city, & enjoyed a sweet walk home in the rain. We have a sort of bizarre obsession with the rain, so being stuck under a one-person umbrella was a perfect date. Saturday, I helped run an 80's concert at my former job (where I've been spending lots of my time as a contractor recently... long story...) & Jared was able to join me there, which hasn't happened in forever. Sunday, we had the pleasure of driving up to Yorktown to attend a high school friend's wedding. I had never been to the venue, which was actually delightful, & combined with this glorious mid-70's weather we've been given this August, it was the perfect ending to a sweet weekend at my lover's side.

It's Wednesday! & almost a holiday weekend! Chins up, everyone!


a little pool party

Last weekend, on a slightly overcast Friday, we helped my youngest sister celebrate turning 16 1/2 with a garden pool party - Because turning 16 in February usually involves cold, snow, cold snow & definitely no pool. My parents' backyard is perhaps one of my favorite party hosting spaces in Virginia, which is nice because I can drill holes into things & use a staple gun without hoping there isn't anyone looking. There's also a golden doodle that follows me around like a shadow & affirms my every decision, so that's an added bonus.

While dip-dyed streamers & mint balloons are fun, my favorite part of this little backyard soiree was (obviously) the s'mores bar, which later in the evening was made possible by my boy scout husband's fire making skillz. While I'm partial to a good caramel-bacon s'more, the dried apricots were one of the best ideas I've had this year. We may need to talk more s'mores talk on this here blog... 

In other & significantly less cutesy news, tonight I made twice baked potatoes (which were more like "Once Microwaved, Once Warmed in the Oven Potatoes") AND... AND! banana bread. ALL in one night. So, now I probably won't make anything of substance in the kitchen for the next two weeks because I'll just like, point to the aging banana bread on the counter & say, "See that? I made that. Eat THAT!" Housewife of the Year!

So, the other thing is that I finally converted to the VSCO way of life, & this is my first little test round of photos with the new editing program. Uhhh... It's a lot harder to adapt to than I thought, but that might have something to do with the fact that I downloaded it onto Jared's newer + way-more-fancy-shmancy-than-my-circa-2008 Macbook that I don't actually know how to navigate. It also may be the reason why Jared's hair is 50/50 white & brown in these pictures. Homeboy is definitely salt & peppering, but I somehow took it to a new level in these edits. I have a lot to learn, & you get to watch the process. YAY! Right??

Happy Friday, everyone!


the quest for new music

This past winter, I found myself googling "Christian artists that sound like Sufjan Stevens" with somewhat pathetic results. Jared & I began a quest to find quality, faith-led musicians creating the type of music we like - Mostly folk/gospel/bluegrass & some alternative/electronic. We KNEW these artists were out there, but we had somehow missed the memo. Armed with Spotify, the internetz & recommendations from friends, our collection of new music started coming together. Some of the artists we've listed are not exclusively "Christian" artists, but they've recorded a hymn here & there so they made the cut. We love us a good hymn or old southern gospel song.

We're sharing these in case there's anyone who is in the same boat we were, but I realize that some of you may have been listening to these musicians for years & years. Let us know who we're missing! This list is definitely not comprehensive, & we may have already started compiling Part II...



macarons and mulan

Ohhhhh, my aching body.

I'm currently experiencing the worst kind of aching body - The tired kind. The one that didn't come from an intense workout, or an sort of manual labor. No, just straight up tiredness mixed with driving back & forth to Richmond. Let it be know that this is a 1.5 hour drive that should NOT make your body ache except that it makes mine ache & I have no excuses for that.

COOL STORY, I know, but I mostly just wanted to drop by to say that 1. I'm exhausted so pardon my run-on &/or incomplete sentences 2. All I want is a Five Guys burger (ketchup, pickles, tomato - THX!) & 3. The Disney Pandora station is, in my opinion, the best way to stay alert while making even the shortest of roadtrips.

Amelia & I had the pleasure of teaching at a workshop today, speaking on "Smart Phone-ography" specifically geared towards event professionals. We were mostly sharing about using phone + social media for brand expansion as well as our personal favorite editing apps. We quickly learned that we could probably talk for 12 hours about these topics - I couldn't believe how much information there was to share once we got rolling. (Full disclosure, I'm breaking on of our own rules & sharing a picture here that I also shared on Instagram. OOPS.) Anywho, I finally got to meet & put faces to the name of so many Richmond vendors that I hear about/see online so often. Everyone was SO nice & much learning was to be had with the great panel of speakers that NACE had lined up. Plus, macarons. Always macarons.

The last time Amelia & I presented together was in the 2006 COMM 103 class where we met, when all-nighters were normal & the final slide was added to the Powerpoint presentation with 3 minutes to spare.  I wanted to believe that the whole we're-professionals-now would work in our favor, but I'll be darned if we weren't up till 2 a.m. last night fine-tuning our presentation. Like, WHAT?? That 5:30 a.m. alarm came REAL QUICK. My phone (aka alarm clock) is never more in danger of being smashed to pieces than when it's telling me I have to get out of bed after 3.5 hours of sleep.

After listening to Disney songs for almost two hours today, I am going to cocoon myself on the couch & watch Mulan on Netflix. Jared will most certainly get home from work tonight & question the choices I've made this evening, but I'll just explain that I had to get down to business. To defeat the Huns.


making a home office

You guys are rockin' the vote over there & so far, every day photos are winning. Today was set aside for some intense office organizing. While these photos are less than invigorating, my brain is FRIED & my back has gone on strike, so it feels like I got a lot accomplished. It's pretty amazing how much stuff I've accumulated over 2.5 years of marriage. Eek.

As mentioned in my last post, I'm working from home for the most part now. For that split second that we thought we were going to move into a new apartment this summer, we were looking mostly for two bedroom apartments, allowing for me to use one of the bedrooms as an office (& craft storage, because I am a craft supply hoarder, apparently) & use the dining space for actual dining. You see, Jared had started referring to our kitchen table as the "craft table" without even realizing it. Perhaps because it was constantly covered in crafts/wrapping paper/art supplies.

Instead! Our lease was renewed without any notice (*shakes fist at sky*) & we were trapped in our very cute but very closet-less apartment for yet another year. I've coped the past month, using the couch or kitchen counter as my desk. I'm here to tell you that this is not the functional option. In fact, when you combine no desk space with derrière flattening, it's pretty much THE WORST option.

Plan Make This One Bedroom Apartment Earn Its Keep was quickly set into motion. We decided to quit pretending that we'll be eating dinner at a table anytime soon, & turn the dining room into an office. With a tear in my eye, I took our kitchen table back to my parents', since it's a family heirloom & will probably make a younger sister's first apartment complete somday. The next step was gutting all the plastic tubs & drawers & boxes that had been stuffed with craft/hobby guts from the past three years. I inventoried all the piles & set off to Ikea with "STORAGE CONTAINERS" written in my most serial killer-esque handwriting. 

Today's activity was putting together the new Ikea boxes, which was 300% more complicated than you could possibly anticipate, then organizing aaaaaaaaaall my favorite things into boxed, labeled glory. I may have actually given myself a hunchback, but BY GUM, it's nearly complete. Jared declared that it had been too long since he'd used power tools & flexed his manly muscles, so he is building our new shelves, & his design is pretty thrilling.

There's still a lot to do, but I am hoping that by this time next week, I'll have most of the pieces in place to be comfortably working from home. I will say that I've gotten pretty good at giving myself excuses to get up from the couch to stretch my muscles. Like, face contouring & banana bread making. The important things in life.

Happy weekend, everyone!


polls & extraverts

Well, hey there! It's been awhile since I've just sat down to write in this little blog, so I have no plan today except to just check-in & word purge a little. I already regret using the term "word purge," but oh well.

< --- POLL ALERT! Read on. It will all make sense

So far, this year has allowed for a lot of changes. These changes are wonderful & empowering & allow me to pursue my creative outlets/attempt to make a career out of them. CRAZY, I know, & it's so much harder than I ever could have anticipated... But I know that this part -- this today & tomorrow & oops-forgot-to-do-that-yesterday is the hard part. Fingers crossed that it's the hard part that I look back on with a wrist flip & laugh as I say, "OHHH, those were the days!"

This buzzfeed article has been circulating through my various social media feeds for the last day or so, & while I laughed, it's also caused me to think. I am an extrovert through & through (#9 is actually something that I would consider a fear. Fear is a slight exaggeration, MAYBE, but kindanoseriously.) Even while working in a super social office setting, I daydreamed about knocking the wall out between me & my boss' office so even if we weren't talking, I wasn't alone in an office. This isn't an awkward blogger confession. I will readily admit to anyone that I am a social butterfly leech.

That being said, I'm home frequently now. More frequently than perhaps I have ever been, made even more notable by the fact that I would never choose to be alone for the amounts of time that I am now facing. Productivity lasts for awhile, but then it just starts feeling quiet. Too quiet. So, I need a game plan. & this is where you come in.

Writing here is fun, but it would be great to have a purpose, & to get to know my audience just a wee bit better. I know you're out there - I have the stats to prove it! I want to take this little blog to the next level. I want to hear from you about what you like to read/see here & the other blogs you follow. The poll is anonymous, so click away!

I'm hoping this game plan allows me to become a bigger part of the blogging community, which has become one of my favorite groups of friends. So speak up! Say hello! Let's switch blog buttons! & if you feel like getting REALLY crazy, leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

<< end entry that uses the word "blog" entirely too much >>


kathryn & lissy - seniors

So... Part of quitting my day job at the office was taking some of my hobbies a little more seriously to bring in some extra money. It's taken a little bit (or a lot) of pride swallowing to hop on board the everyone-is-a-photographer train, especially when my story is similar to everyone else's - I got my first camera when I was 6 & it's been love ever since. I enjoy it! & it's been a joy over the last couple of years to hone in on some skills & practice on family & friends.

That being said, I've been sharing some favorites from past shoots I've done over on our *brand spanking new* facebook page (checkkkkk it!) & today, I'm giving blog readers an exclusive preview of my senior photo shoot with Lissy & Kathryn. 

These two girls are near & dear to my heart as Lissy is my biological baby sister & Kathryn is her best friend = emotional baby sister. I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY ARE GOING TO BE SENIORS. But alas! They're lovely ladies & gorgeous, as you're about to see. Enjoy! (Click the read more under their picture to see all the photos!)


midwest trip - bits & pieces from the house

As the final installment of this blog's photo documentation of our grand trip to the great Midwest *adds final heaping of sarcasm*, I've just sort of thrown together some favorite pictures Jared & I took around my grandparents' house.

This child is hours of entertainment.
& also a little Nicole Kidman baby.
She loves me. PROMISE.
So much essential + glorious St. Louis food happening in this picture.
Jared found himself morally opposed to most of the above, but whatevs.
Grandma was more than slightly smitten.

Sarcasm aside, these final images capture the family time that really made this trip a gem. Growing up is such a funny thing. It was such fun to explore St. Louis as an adult - Which seems to have been my take-away thought from this trip, as it's come up in almost every post. I have so long awaited getting to show Jared my grandparents' house & yard where so many memories took place (& let's face it, anything that can help him understand my antics is considered a useful life tool).  Even though I was returning to Missouri as a married adult, it was refreshing to spend a few days in their house, constantly being offered pink lemonade & being asked if we need anything, a cookie? Ice-cream? (True story. Professional grandma status.)

But mostly? Watching my grandparents meet their first great-grandchild is a moment I hope I never forget. Seeing their love-from-afar validated the minute they met my niece was completely priceless. Grandparents becoming great-grandparents is a precious thing. Grandparents are precious things. & we can grow up all we want, & bring them as many great-grandbabies as possible, but it's still the same dynamics when our extended family (on both sides) gets together... & I will always say yes to the cookie.

[I have to warn you - There may be a video of this trip in the near future, but it seriously depends on how much I feel like procrastinating. We'll see.]