Currently // July 2015

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looking forward to my first weekend in DC all summer with no big plans.

appreciating air conditioning. God bless air conditioning.

eating chips and cookies for dinner. Healthy, I know.

watching Shark Tank reruns, I’m blown away by this LuminAID product. 

loving having brand new, crisp white sheets.

walking more steps this month than I ever have before, over 325,000 steps so far.

enjoying all the summer thunderstorms that have passed through this week.

ordering children’s books for my summer classes. What’s up Iggy and Rosie?!

reading Big Little Lies. Or trying to, once my library loan comes through.

drinking lots of water and a little Gatorade here and there.

working 60 hours this week.

listening to Echosmith! Bright is my jam.

celebrating two years in DC and two years with my babies.

grateful for a city and a job that I love.

remembering what this month looked like last year.

Cause We Never Go Out of Style

thumb_IMG_1141_1024This past Monday was officially one of the best days of the summer. And probably the year. And maybe, if I’m being my usual dramatic self….of my life.

I FINALLY got to see Taylor Swift again–it’s been NINE YEARS since I last saw her as an opening act for Rascal Flatts. This time around she was headlining her 1989 World Tour (which you already know, unless you legit live under a rock). The show was amazing. It started with three openers: Shawn Mendes (I do not know who this is), Vance Joy (AMAZING AMAZING I LOVE HIM), and Haim (a girl band that I’m still unsure of but think I like). TSwift took the stage around 9PM and things went WILD. It was a sold out show at the Nationals Stadium that holds 45,000 people. Kind of insane.

And it was perfect. Despite the fact that I had the worst headache of my life–it was still incredible. TSwift just really knows what she’s doing, she’s brilliant and talented and gorgeous and kind. And I really do think she actually is that kind. And BRILLIANT, she’s just an amazing businesswoman. It has been so fun to be a fan of hers for the last ten years and I can’t wait to hear and see where she goes in the future.

 

 

Best Friend Photoshoots

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Not much needs to be said about this post except that Kate and I love nothing more than having photo shoots in front of this brick wall.  For a good laugh imagine the drying rack/record player/iPhone tower that we have set up in order to take these pictures with a self timer app. It’s rather hilarious. Most of these are already on Insta but I like to make sure they’re here too.

Also, we love these outfits.

Also, I miss Kate and wish we lived next door to one another. WHY ARE RICHMOND AND DC 100 MILES APART?!?!?!

The Stroller Diaries // 55

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It’s been a while since I did a Stroller Diaries post around here. I just checked and it’s been over two months–WHOA. I did not mean to let that happen. Man oh man, things are a changin’–that’s for sure.

The biggest change being that on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I now watch Ladybug, Stink, and Stink’s little sister–Squish. I have nicknamed her Squish because, well, she’s squishy. She’s the chunkiest little 4 month old I’ve ever seen and I’m head over heels in love with her. Today is only our second day with this arrangement and I’m hopeful that it will go well.

The other piece of news is that my last day with this kiddos is rapidly approaching. On August 14th I’ll have to say goodbye to this job and just thinking about it devastates me. But until then, I’m just hanging out with my three best babies. Starting in two weeks I’m going to be shadowed by Stink and Squish’s new au pair (she’s from Germany!) and eventually she’ll take over fully. Ladybug will be heading to pre-school in the fall.

I’m trying to seriously cherish these last days together but it’s been a hard week. Stink and Lady cannot get along to save their lives. She doesn’t want him to even look at her and all he wants to do is be around her all the time. It’s making for some difficult days. I’m determined to have a better attitude today and make it a really fun one for us all.

Starting first with a trip to the new Dunkin Donuts for a special treat for everyone.

Know Their Names

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Illustration by Sarah James via Design Mom

It’s been three weeks. Three weeks since nine lives were senselessly and tragically taken in Charleston. Three weeks of mourning and thinking and debating and arguing. Three weeks of everyday, normal life for me and three weeks of a real life nightmare for nine families in South Carolina.

It’s been three weeks. And I thought that maybe since I’d waited this long, I might as well just let it be and not write anything about it. Because, it’s over and done with–right? People are done talking about it and on to the next–right? And as soon as those thoughts crossed my mind I knew that those were the exact reasons I wanted to write about it. Because we aren’t done talking about it. Because I want to remember.

I want to remember Rev. Clementa Pinckney. I want to remember Tywanza Sanders. I want to remember Rev. Sharonda Singleton. I want to remember Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor. I want to remember Ethel Lance. I want to remember Myra Thompson. I want to remember Rev. Daniel Simmons. I want to remember Cynthia Hurd. And I want to remember Susie Jackson.

I want to remember them and I want to make sure that we keep talking about why they died. They died because racism is alive and prevalent in our society. Racism permeates every single aspect of our country. It would be so easy for me to say that I’m not racist, that my friends aren’t racist. But we are. We all have a bit of racism ingrained in us. That doesn’t mean that we are to be blamed for these murders. But these murders are just another reason that we all need to remove our heads from the sand and start making changes.

Monday, the Senate in South Carolina voted to remove the Confederate Flag from the State House. It moves to the House for a vote and after it (hopefully) passes, SC will take another step towards eradicating symbols of racism. It’s a good step. A step that was a long time coming. And I was elated to see major retailers following suit and removing items that bore the flag from their stores.

But it’s not enough. There’s a lot of work to be done. The best work we can do as white people is to listen, understand, and take action to help our black brothers and sisters. Being an ally doesn’t simply mean sitting around and agreeing with what’s being said online or on your TV. It means engaging with someone in a conversation about why their jokes are racist and shouldn’t be told. It means marching in our cities and protesting inequality. It means reaching out to organizations and people in our communities and saying “I don’t know what to do but I want to do something.”

There’s a lot to be done. I’ve got just as much work to do as anyone else. But if we stop being scared of saying or doing the wrong thing, we’re much more likely to actually make a change. Being silent helps no one.

A few links to help you learn more and find ways to help:

– A good conversation about why so many white people are remaining silent

– A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming an Ally to the Black Community

– An honest plea for ideas on where to start–and an incredible out pouring of love from the black community.

– Less of an educational resource and more of a “gives you all the feels” link–President Obama singing Amazing Grace at Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral.

And I’ll end this by saying that I’m certain I said something wrong in this post. But the best I can do is simply tell you that I’m hurting for the black community, I’m hurting for any communities in our country that don’t feel safe to simply live their lives and be themselves. As one blogger I admire, Jess Connolly put it, I am physically safe but I don’t feel safe in a place were my neighbors don’t feel safe as well.

July 4 at Raven Rock, Take 2!

Last weekend was our second annual trip to the mountains of Maryland/Pennsylvania for a 4th of July extravaganza! This year was a bit less extravaganza-ish than last, mostly because the rain put a huge damper on the 4th itself.

However, we had great fun regardless and rallied on Saturday night for a roman candle battle and sparkler fun. We also played a zillion rounds of Heads Up, I finally discovered the actual rules of Mine Sweeper, played a bit of poker, and just generally had a damn good time together. Remaining best friends with my peeps from high school has been one of the best things ever, there are few times that I feel more comfortable than when I’m with these loons.

Brace yourself for photo overload–I can never choose.

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HEY KATIE YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

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I love these two MARRIED goofballs.

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I’m already counting down until next year–363 days to go.

July Goals // 2015

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Guys, it’s July, and July means I get to head to the mountains on the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania and spend a three day weekend relaxing with my favorite people (Kate, Leah, and Austen–you will be missed!!!!) I cannot wait to be back in that hammock.

Last month’s goals most certainly did not get accomplished. It was a crazy month, I traveled every weekend, but it was a good one. I’m not gonna lie, this summer kind of feels like I’m spinning my wheels and can never get anything accomplished, but I know it will all even out eventually.

June Goals

– Post on the blog twice a week. Not even close. I’m prioritizing this for July. 

– Clean out my dresser drawers and donate some old clothes. This isn’t going to happen until August, maybe September.

Get an A in my Special Education class that is currently trying to kill me. TAKE THAT, CLASS.

Keep up with the kale smoothies and get back on the yoga train. The smoothie thing is no issue but the yoga has been harder. I’ve done it every day this week so I’m calling it a win.

– Cut back on sugar and bread. CUT BACK ON SUGAR AND BREAD, EMILY. I mean, was I even serious about this?

Go to the Dominican Republic and have the best time ever!!!!!!! HECK YEAH, see this post for a recap.

Onto the next, right?

July Goals

– Post on the blog three days a week.

– Make and mail invitations for Taylor’s bridal shower.

– Fill out my new planner and get organized for my new job.

– Become an official DCPS employee.

– Make and order my yearly photo books for my nanny babies.

I think I can handle all five of those and once August rolls around I’ll have a bit more free time.

Happy early 4th of July, y’all!

POP Trip 2015

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I heard once that studies show that people who are surprised with a trip somewhere enjoy their trip far less than people who have been anticipating said trip for a length of time. Which sounds pretty legit to me. I can speak from experience and say that the trip I just went on to the Dominican Republic was AMAZING and I had been anticipating it for almost a year.

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Two of my best friends, Leah and Austen, were gifted a sort of “membership” to a wonderful resort in the Dominican Republic as one of their wedding gifts. They went for their honeymoon and a group of us went back this year! Their position as a shareholder means we all still pay a fee to go, but we get lots of perks and definitely save some money along the way.

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After traveling for almost 18 hours on Saturday, we arrived in Puerta Plata and checked into our villa. There were five of us (two couples and myself) in a three bedroom, 4.5 bath villa with our own private pool, golf cart, and personal breakfast chef. It was pretty much the best thing ever.

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We spent our mornings waking up early (we’re all early risers), reading books on our patio (with the wild cats joining us), eating breakfast that was cooked each morning in our villa, then heading to the beaches to relax and have mixed drinks all morning. Comfy beds in the sand, waiters bringing you drinks, great views, the whole shebang.

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After lunch at the beach restaurant we would head back to the house for long afternoon hours by the pool, my favorite time of day. Then showers and drinking games were followed by a different delicious restaurant every night.

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The week was so great and I managed to not get sunburned at all, a huge win. I read four books, drank a lot of rum, and spent much needed time with my best friend.

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The trip ended on a sour note with three of us getting stuck in NJ overnight–we ended up traveling for at least 24 hours to get home, but if I don’t think about that part, it was all very lovely.

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I cannot wait to go back again in two years (hopefully) and many, many times after that! Thanks again for inviting me, Leah and Austen!!

Currently // June 2015

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shocked that I only blogged 6 times this month. Whoa.

looking forward to a weekend in the mountains for the 4th of July!

mourning the lives lost in Charleston.

eating chicken pesto sandwiches.

watching Friends, about to start Season 10.

loving being reunited with my nanny babies after a week apart.

planning how I’m going to get a new car.

thankful that everyone is ok after my car accident this month.

walking literally everywhere due to said car accident (car was totaled).

starting a teaching job in August.

ordering nothing. Let the spending freeze commence.

wanting a longer break from school.

reading nothing today. Taking a break before school starts again tomorrow.

drinking less Diet Coke–total over kill last week.

celebrating marriage equality.

working as many overtime hours as I can.

listening to Cam Country!

pleased that I made it home after a crazy 25 hour travel day this past weekend.

traveling to Maryland/Pennsylvania, Richmond, Delaware, and North Carolina–all in July.

remembering what this month looked like last year.

Crazy, Mad, Bonkers

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This week has been a busy one! Two job interviews, working until midnight tonight, lots of homework, and entertaining kids while Mother Nature forgot that it was summer. I’m quite tired. But!!! It was also a super exciting week because I had a post featured on Design Mom!

For those of you that don’t spend an insane amount of time online, Design Mom is an incredible blog created by Gabrielle Blair. She chronicles her life with her husband and six kids, their travels, every day events, and other random interesting things. Each week she has two features that I adore, Living with Kids and Call It A Day. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to write the post for Call It A Day!

I knew that I was going to feel proud once I saw my post go up but I had no idea how much it would make me cry. Between Gabrielle’s sweet words and the kind comments that came in, I cried multiple times.

And! So many new people came to this blog as a result! People from all over the world. Hello Singapore! Hello Netherlands! Hello South Africa! I cannot even tell you how grateful I am that all of you took a peek into my little world this week. It means so much to me.

If you’re new here, check out the ‘Who’s that girl?’ tab on the tip top of this page to learn a bit more about this space. And here are a few links to posts that I’ve written so far this year that I love:

The time I made a fool of myself trying to flirt with a stranger.

My thoughts on cat calling and why it isn’t ok.

Some thoughts on being a young, single girl.

Welcome! I hope you’ll stick around. Things may be a little quiet here this summer but I’m doing my best to churn out posts more often.