Mini Reunion Weekend

GUYS. Can you believe Friday is finally here?!?!

I’ve been looking forward to this Friday for, oh, forever. Or at least for two months. Tonight, four of my favorite people are arriving in the DMV and we are going to spend the weekend in a sort of mini high school reunion.

You see, I had three best girlfriends in high school. Taylor (who now lives in Bethesda, MD with her fiancé, Justin), Leah (who now lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, Austen), and Katie (who now lives in Chapel Hill, NC as well–her boyfriend, Charles, is in VA). We have been lucky enough to stay super duper close over the last six years since we graduated (seven for Taylor) but we have not all been reunited in forever!

Now that Tay and Justin live up here, they are going to house Katie and Charles while I house Leah and Austen and together the seven of us are going to have the best time ever.

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Here are the five of us from high school, insert a fiancé for Taylor and a husband for Leah and you’ve got our group for this weekend! We all pretty much look the same, six years older, a little paler, better clothing choices, but hopefully still as photogenic–this is one of our best shots ever.

I really cannot wait to squeeze them all and show them around my favorite city. Austen has never been to DC (WHAT!?!?!?!?) so we are doing cliche tourist things tomorrow which is legit my favorite way to spend a Saturday.

AND THE WEATHER IS GOING TO BE PERFECT. This couldn’t possibly be any better.

PS For a good laugh, the four of us girls before a high school dance.

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Little Bee // Book Review

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Ohhhhh Little Bee. My mom discovered this book on her bookshelf a few months back, neither of us are sure how it got there but we both decided it was worth a read.

Here is what the back of the book says:

This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice you hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again–the story starts there…

Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.

So, there you have it. I can’t tell you anything else. I will say that this is not a book that will leave my mind anytime soon. I fell asleep after reading it angry with myself for being so privileged to lead the life that I do and confused and disheartened with how I could possibly help to make the world a better place.

It’s a really, really fantastic book, y’all. Just have the tissues ready.

P. S. I have one book left to finish this year and then I’m allowing myself a new book break in order to reread Harry Potter over the holidays. Because nothing says comfort and joy quite like the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

The Stroller Diaries // 38

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Y’all, you know what is really hard? Keeping two one and a half year olds occupied on a rainy day. And I do mean a RAINY day, the skies have not stopped dripping since around midnight last night.

We have read books, watched Clifford (and Mickey and Handy Manny), read more books, splashed in the puddles (for about seven minutes), read more books, played with trucks, danced to music, eaten lunch, read more books, and started naps. And it’s only 12:30PM.

I’m literally begging y’all to cross your fingers and toes that they sleep until 3PM. Because today is a class day which means I get off at 4:30PM.

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And while all the hugs and kisses and cuddles I’m getting today warm my heart, we are going STIR CRAZY. CRAZY I TELL YOU.

These pictures are from a brighter, sunnier, happier day earlier this week. Please note Chickadee yelling CHEEEEEEEESE in the first one.

The Most Monday of All Mondays

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It’s a good thing the weather is beautiful today because that is this Monday’s only saving grace.

Today is the most Monday of all Mondays and it is only just past noon. Want to know why? Good, I’ll tell you.

Last night, after watching The Walking Dead, I was very proud of myself for scurrying off to my bed at 10PM on the dot so that I could get in my 8 hours of sleep that I literally require to function each day. I had a little bit of a struggle falling asleep, my brain literally would not shut off, but eventually I drifted off into sweet, sweet slumber.

Next thing I know, the house alarm is going off. And listen, I’ve set off a few alarms in my day (no I’m not a burglar, I just don’t function well when I’m being forced to type a code into a beeping pad in a short amount of time) but I have NEVER EVER EVER heard an alarm like the one my landlords have. It is the loudest, most maddening sound I have ever experienced. This is the third time it has been set off but the first time I was sleeping when it happened and as you can imagine, I basically fell out of my bed.

Mom laughed when I told her this but trust me, it wasn’t funny.

I picked myself up, put on my slippers and sweatshirt, grabbed my keys and phone and ran out the front door. In record time. Not because I was concerned about a break-in but because I truly thought I was going to be driven to madness if I spent even one more second hearing that noise.

Once outside I realized that it was 3:15AM, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I went around to the front to see the girl that is house sitting for my landlords fumbling with the keypad. She took approximately fourteen hours (or maybe 5 minutes) to finally figure it out, at which point I went back to bed.

But I couldn’t fall asleep and I was tossing and turning for quite a while. I live in a basement apartment that is sort of a studio. You can see into my bedroom area from my front door, which is in a gated back yard so it’s not weird. Anyway, the point of this is to say that the next thing I knew I could hear cars pulling up out front, people knocking on the front door, and then I was pulled out of my almost drifting off to sleep state by THE POLICE shining their flashlights directly into my apartment, right into my face. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

I got out of bed, went to the door, which they had already walked away from, opened it up and said is everything okay? To which they replied, yes, the alarm was set off. OH, YA DON’T SAY?!

I then spent 30 minutes debating whether or not I should call in sick to work today, decided against it, and finally fell back asleep at 4:30AM.

And now, I’m going to go take a nap. Goodbye.

Happier at Home // Book Review

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Happier at Home is a book I’ve been trying to get my hands on for what feels like an eternity. It is the follow up to Gretchen Rubin’s hit book, The Happiness Project. The book used the same framework to set up goals for improving one’s happiness, but rather than focusing on general life happiness, Rubin chose to focus on, you guessed it, her home! From September to May she chose a different focus for each month (Parenthood, Time, Body, etc.) She worked on things as large as conquering a fear of driving to as small as buying yummy smelling sprays for her apartment.

I love The Happiness Project so I had high hopes for this follow up and unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed. It wasn’t that the book was bad, it was well written and well researched. However, I found it to be incredibly repetitive and just too similar to The Happiness Project for me to really latch on and love it.

All in all, I would recommend either The Happiness Project or Happier at Home, but probably not both!

The Stroller Diaries // 37

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Whenever I think of cute stories to tell about the babies, I try to make notes of them in my phone to remind me when I’m writing these weekly posts. I just checked those notes and they read like this:

Something falls, uh ohh uh ohh, Emmy fix.

Did you have good sleeps? No.

Pink vs. blue lips.

Yuck. Yuck. Trash pick up.

Miiiiiiiam. Miiiiiiiam.

Hi beauty queen.

Well, there ya go, totally coherent and entertaining stories right? Oh wait, you didn’t totally understand my short hand? Don’t worry, neither did I at first, but I think I have deduced what I meant by each one.

Chicken loooooooves to say uh ohh, it’s his favorite. It is not my favorite and I can be heard all over DC repeating Buddy, it’s not an uh ohh if you do it on purpose, it’s just not. Because like, it’s just not. However, it is kind of cute when after he wakes up from a nap, I hear him take his binky out of his mouth, drop it on the ground, and calmly say uh ohh, uh ohh, Emmyyyy, Emmyyy. Until I race in the room to see him smiling coyly at the bink like, oh hey, would you mind picking that up for me even though I could totally reach it myself? That stinker.

Speaking of Chicken after he wakes up from his naps, the other day he had an especially long one (3 hours woot woot!) and when he woke up, I was laying next to him (maybe having napped a little myself). Every day since the beginning of time I have asked him did you have good sleeps?! After he wakes up. Usually he ignores me. However this day, after a gloriously long nap in which I know he slept soundly, he pulled his bink out, literally puckered his lips up, looked straight at me, and said no. At which point I died laughing.

Ok, one more napping story. That same day, I had been trying on new lipsticks during naps (I know, I’m weird) and had a light pink on when Chicken awoke. He rolled over, looked at me, pointed right at my lips and screamed BLUE!!!!!!!! Mostly because that is the only color he knows and he could just tell something was…..weird. I corrected him and explained it was pink, so now every day when he sees me he touches my lips and says pik. It’s cute.

Chickadee has taken it upon herself to become the personal litter police in DC. Every. single. day. when we arrive at a park, she runs around picking up every single piece of trash she can find, declaring it yucky and then placing it in my hand. Over and over and over again. Yesterday she picked up gum and I died and ran to the stroller for wipes.

Another cute habit she has developed is to constantly keep tabs on Chicken. She will stop whatever she is doing at the park if he is not in her line of sight and yell his name as loud as she can until he pops his little head out, she catches sight of him, and goes about her business.

And last but not least, Chickadee used to be the more shy of my two babes. She hardly spoke and she had what could only be called Bitchy Resting Face. Sorry but, it’s true. I have it too. Anywho, she has really come out of her shell and her new favorite thing is to yell HIIIIIIIIIIIII and wave like a beauty queen to every single person we encounter. Everywhere. All the time. And shockingly, only like 50% of people respond to her. How could you possibly ignore this little Cabbage Patch doll that is waving to you like she is the Queen of England?! Rude.

And those my friends, are the most recent entries in the Stroller Diaries. Over and out.

Rambles and Shameless Selfies

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Hey dudes, how is your Tuesday going? I can’t tell you how mine is because I’m actually writing this on Saturday (sneaky sneak) but I’ve got my fingers crossed that Tuesday will be a good one.

Currently, I’m cozied up in my bed (see shameless selfie above), it’s 9AM on Saturday. I’ve been up since 7:30AM because I’m an old person. You see, I stayed up until 11PM last night (which was Friday night), this never happens, that is super late for me. And so sleeping in until 7:30AM was a luxury! I’m feeling well rested and decided to give myself until 10AM to get up and start my day. So, I’m cozied up in my blankets exploring the internets.

Oh? You want to know what I found? Here, I’ll tell you.

First, there is this unbelievably amazing video of the last night of Bey and Jay’s On the Run tour. It was in Paris. There are home videos. So much love. So many tears rolling down my cheeks watching it. I am a sap.

Then I remembered this cute little boy who wanted to be Batman. Remember when all of San Fran pretended to be Gotham City for him? Yeah, that made me cry too.

Don’t worry guys, these are all happy tears.

There was some not so happy stuff on the world wide web this morning too, but I’m constantly bombarding you with heavy stuff to read, so I’ll keep it light today.

I hope your Tuesday is full of sunshine, rainbows, butterflies, Beyonce, Jay Z, and potentially some super heroes. No pressure or anything, Tuesday.

Currently // October 2014

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From a fun weekend out with my best girl in my new badass leather skirt.

looking forward to visiting Kate in RVA for Halloween!

appreciating the slow Saturday morning I had this weekend.

eating healthier food….with a little pizza sprinkled in there.

watching How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal, and Parenthood. TGIT, amiright?!

loving how verbal the babies are becoming!

planning all the gifts I want to buy for Christmas, it’s coming! It’s coming!

walking to and from Target….too often.

enjoying this whole magical Tivo thing, it’s kind of life changing.

ordering a crockpot and a toaster. #domestic.

reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Again.

drinking beer! Sometimes, and only certain ones. But baby steps, right?

working full weeks again, and some weekends.

listening to Rip Tide by Vance Joy. But only while I wait for the new TSwift album. OCTOBER 27TH HURRY UP.

celebrating Emk’s birthday! We are all turning 25 (or older…..)! What is going on!?!

grateful for grad school classes that I LOVE.

The Ultimate Dinner Party

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Did you guys hear the good news?!? Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize! And rightly so, she is one of the most inspiring women of our time, and she’s only 17! I’ve written about her before (check it out) so I won’t go into great detail about how much I admire her, but just know that she is one of the world’s biggest proponents for education and she’s kicking some major butt. And she’s publicly standing up to the Taliban after they literally shot her in the head on a school bus when she was 15. No big deal or anything.I still haven’t read her book hangs head in shame but it is on my ever expanding list.

Anywho, the point of this post is that this morning, when I was texting my friends in a frenzy over my excitement (and admitting to them that I shed a few tears watching Matt and Savannah discuss her on the Today Show), I started thinking about how amazing it would be to meet Malala. I thought to myself, yes, she is definitely on the list.

You know, the list of people you would want to have dinner with? This of course led me to think of other people on my list–immediately I thought of Glennon, Bob Goff, and Donald Miller. All of whom happen to be my favorite authors. That brings me to four guests, and I decided that five was a good number for this dinner party. While trying to think of my fifth guest of honor things spiraled out of control.

Helen Keller (this is a dead or alive situation, duh), Roy Williams, Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Beyonce, Jimmy Fallon, Abraham Lincoln, the list goes on and on. This dinner party was getting out of control. I mean, my apartment can only seat two people right now, so obviously we were doing this somewhere else, but I don’t think we could find a place big enough–at least not if I was paying.

Plus, I want this to intimate, I want to be able to talk to each of them! So, I started over. And here’s my final list of the five people, dead or alive, that I would like to have dinner with.

Malala Yousafzai. Glennon Doyle Melton. Bob Goff. Taylor Swift. And Jimmy Fallon.

I seriously cannot tell you how long I spent staring at that list, you would think this was the biggest decision of my life. And I already want to swap some of those out. No, not really, I just want to add more.

Anywho, the good news is there are a lot of really inspiring, awesome people in this world who are making a positive impact. The bad news, I’m unlikely to ever have dinner with any of them. Rats.

So tell me peeps, who would be your guests of honor?!

PS No, that picture is not at all related to this post. BUT COME ON, LOOK AT IT!

Carry On Warrior // Book Review

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Alright, peeps, this week’s book is one of the best I’ve read all year. It is most certainly one of my favorite books of all time. May I introduce you to Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Carry On Warrior and the blog Momastery. She is also one of my personal heroes (no joke) and one of the funniest women on the internet.

I finished this book a couple of months ago but I loaned it to Kate to read (she loved it too!!!) and just got it back to snap a pic for y’all.

In Carry On, Warrior Glennon talks about her struggles with alcoholism, eating disorders, parenting, marriage, and just life in general. But she does it through the most hilarious, heart warming, inspiring, and brutiful (Glennon’s word, a combo of beautiful and brutal) way.

The stories she shares are the kind that make you laugh out loud. My mom’s personal favorite story is in regards to the time Glennon tried to preheat the oven with a hair dryer. Yes, that happened. I’m giggling just thinking about it.

But while the book is hysterical, the most important message she shares is that life is hard but love wins. That if we are kind, if we help one another, and if we love as much and as hard as we can everything will be alright.

I cannot recommend this book enough, I love it just as much as Love Does, which is saying a lot. These two (plus the entire Harry Potter series) are my favorite books of all time. Hands down.