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Thursday, September 26, 2013

I suck & other musings

Do you ever have that feeling? I know you all do, but most of the time, especially as a girl, I believe that it's just me. I chalk it up to hormones, but I really believe it is an innate I suckness that we all inherit from our ancestors or from Eve {of Adam & Eve}.

The reality of the suckage always hits the hardest when I am about to do something way the freak out of my comfort zone. Exhibit A: I am doing a bridal show on Sunday where I have to represent my *ahem* professionalism + my creativity + my talent + my personality without swearing. I don't know that I can pull that off. I have seen my competition. My best friend was the first to jump to my side & say, "OHMYGOSHYOU'REWAYBETTERTHANTHEM!" I have come to a place with my work where I can appreciate & be proud of what I have accomplished. Having canvases made of MY work was pretty cool. I did that. I created a work of art that someone LOVED & then has hanging in their home. Hot damn! That's pretty cool! However, I am now being asked to speak to strangers //stranger danger// and I'm not terribly good at it. I have diarrhea of the mouth. "Tell me about your wedding packages." "Ummm...I've had 5 miscarriages. Can I tell you about my weird eggs?!" I really want to do well. I vasciliate between "I'M GOING TO BOOK 15 WEDDINGS!" to "thisisgoingtosuckandi'mgoingtodie." There's no medium with me. I'm an emotional extremist.

Putting yourself out there is terrifying. I can have all the confidence in the world at one point, and then BAM! The I-suck hits! Parenting is the other sucky area. We all mess up, we all emotionally scar our children in some way {just like our parents emotionally scarred us}, and yet, we kick ourselves at night for losing our temper or laughing at the screaming toddler when she is upset that she missed her pool noodle while we went to the store {true freakin' story}.

By the way, let's face it. Girls are intimidating. We try to act tough & like we have it together, when we are just praying that people don't see our dress tucked into our underwear. Maybe that's the issue here this weekend. I want people to like me {Sally Field anyone?} and book me and hire me and rave about me. Hi, my name is Andrea & I'm a narcissist. I don't want to walk away from this weekend feeling more suckage when I walk away empty-handed. Middle ground is there, I just fail to see it a lot of the time.

If we could all wear our suckiness on our sleeve, then maybe we would be less inclined to pretend like we aren't scared of what's to come. Maybe we would have more confidence to put ourselves out there without the judgment of mean girls.

I say all of this in jest. Yes, I feel like I suck a lot of the time, but I know that my work is good. I know that parenting has a GIANT learning curve, but wouldn't it be nice to feel like you had it together? Yeah, hello, pipe dream. We're clearly not meant to have it all together {#Jesus}, but holla! It would be totes awes if we did. A little less competition, a little more confidence {#Elvis}.

If you're bored & in the Northern Colorado area on Sunday, come visit me at Brookside Gardens. I'll give you a lolli & a hug for boosting my confidence.

xoxo,
a.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Art of Confrontation

I'm an ugly cry-er. UGLY.

Side note: I have now realized that there is a scene from New Girl for every situation in life. #fact

And I'm a girl, so, it happens more frequently than I care to admit. I have already seen the violent mood swings that emit from my child, and she has yet to enter the hideous pre-pubescent stage. Lord, beer me strength. 

I'm a kid from a broken home, which sounds a little overly dramatic, but that's technically what it's called. My parents got divorced after I moved out. I know what confrontation looks like. And maybe because of that, I have learned to be the opposite. I hate confrontation. I listed this fact about me on a "10 random-ass facts about me" Instagram post. There are instances where it is necessary, obviously, but more often than not, I believe it is best to keep the peace. I think I am listed in textbooks under divorced parents & conflict.

Usually, conflicts with me end with ugly crying. I can't help. I don't know if it is written into my gene code, or if I have learned to cope by crying. Josh and I can argue about which type of soap to buy, and if I feel like I'm being attacked, I cry. Over soap. I wish I could cry PMS, but it would be a big, fat lie.

Maybe things would have gone differently in my life had I been willing to be more confrontational. Maybe my photography business would started sooner, like I wanted it to. Maybe my relationships would have a different dynamic. But I don't care. "I am what I am" - Popeye. And that's what I'll teach my daughter as well. If she's a cry-er, so be it. If she doesn't like conflict, so be it. It's ok. Fight for the things that are important, but if it's just minutia? Step around it & move on.

Sometimes it just ain't worth it. Sometimes there is no point in telling your husband that his garlic breath is melting the paint on the walls. Maybe you feel differently. In that case, good luck. And don't be surprised if your husband points out of one of your annoying traits. Tit for tat.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Don't Stick Your Finger Up There!"

This was said. By me. The other night. It's amazing to me the weird poppycock {I used thesaurus.com to find a better synonym for shit} that comes out of my mouth as a mom. We all have ideas of what we will say & not say to our children. We vow never to say what our mom said to us when we were acting like a buttwad, and yet, I find myself unable to control the oddities that escape from my mouth. We've all said it. These little miscreants evoke things that make us shout across a room full of well-polished, educated people, "Don't pick your nose & wipe it on the wall!" It's embarrassing, & yet, there's nothing you can do. It's involuntary.

So, thinking back, here is a list of the twaddle {more synonyming} that has escaped from my mommy mouth in the last month.



"Don't stick your finger up there! Poop comes out of there!"
"Don't put your face so close close to the dog's butthole!"
"Quit shoving all that toilet paper in the toilet!"
"Stop dumping your apple sauce on the dog's head!"
"Please don't bend over without panties on. No one wants to see that!"
"Stop drinking the bathtub water! I know you peed in it."
"Stop licking your shoe!"
"Syrup isn't finger paint!"
"Don't play with your toenail clippings!"
"Get the toilet paper out of your butt cheeks!"
"Your bed isn't a jungle gym. You can't stick your legs in the bars."
"Maddie, you can't eat the whole lemon rind!"
After a screaming-yelling tantrum, "Sorry, your real name isn't Maddie Cakes. I named you. Your name is on your birth certificate. It's Madison Brooke."
"Stop spinning in circles next to the table."
"Quit sticking that doll in your mouth. You're going to choke!" One minute later... *gagging* "See, I told you!"
"Watch where you're going! You just ran over that lady's foot!"
"Please don't announce your farts to the world."

I know that if I wrote these down I would have a much longer list. Because the crazy continues. All day long.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever said to your child?

xoxo,
a.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where Were You?

I was always the first up & at 'em in my house as a teenager. I got up at 6:00am every morning to get the first shower. I wanted the hot water. I was willing to sacrifice a little sleep for a hot, hot shower. And, in typical teenager fashion, I spent an hour & a half getting primped & ready for school. The kicker was having to take gym my senior year because I kept putting it off. Genius move.

This morning was no different. I got up & got ready. My mom was up early getting her bags packed because she was heading to Washington D.C. to meet with Diane Feinstein. #namedrop I remember the sunlight streaming in from my parents' sliding glass door in their bedroom. It was a sunny, California morning. Typically, one of the tvs was on in the house, but this morning, it was quiet in the house. Then the phone rang. It was my Grandaddy. "Where's Susan?" "She's getting ready to go to D.C. Why?" "Turn on the news." 

I remember the next few minutes like it happened this morning. Time stood still. We stood with our jaws on the floor, feeling such pity for the poor pilot who accidentally hit Tower #1. How could this have happened? It was a beautiful, clear, cloudless sky. Then, we watched, as if in slow motion, as the next plane slammed into the second tower. The weight of what had happened hit my body & I sunk to the bed. We were under attack. Our country, America, the super power, was under terrorist attack. It was one of the first times I ever felt scared of living here. We lived in a town an hour from any major cities, so we were relatively safe, but the thought that we were no longer safe was terrifying. Then we watched people, scared out of their minds, jumping. It was one of the worst things I have ever seen. I will never forget the tears streaming down my face, as these helpless people had to make the choice to burn or jump. How do you make that choice?

I don't know how I made it to school that day. The gravity of what was happening was overwhelming. My mom cannot get anywhere on time to save her life. An ironic statement because she could have been on a plane, at the airport or in D.C. if anything had changed that day. I sat in class & cried. We all did. It was weird, creepy, terrifying. Why we had school that day is beyond me. Most of our classes were spent watching the Pentagon get hit, & just waiting for L.A. to get hit because that was what was being reported. We were next.

The days following were a whirlwind. Clean-up began. You know. You watched it. In disbelief. In fear. Then GW stepped up & vowed to make them pay. And we stood together as a country, broken-hearted, ready to avenge these deaths, avenge the terror that we now felt.

Every year is a sobering reminder that we aren't invincible. Every year since is a privilege & honor to still call America our home.

Never forget. United we stand.



Where were you? I know you remember. It's like our parents remembering where they were when JFK was shot. We'll never forget the moment our bubble was popped.

a.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

25 Reasons My Husband is Cooler than Yours

When I met Josh at 14, I knew. Like, I can look back, and know that I knew. I totally knew he was it. That doesn't mean that the first time he tried to kiss me 3 years later didn't make me feel like were related. Because I totally felt like that. We even sat in his car later & I said "Meh, I don't think this is gonna work. It's too weird." He convinced me otherwise, and he was right. He's always right. It's super annoying.

When I married Josh 6+ years ago, we both had expectations and ideas of what marriage would be like. I thought I'd be spending lavishly. He thought we'd save for the future. I thought I needed to bake everyday. He thought I should lay off the cake. I thought we'd have sex 15 times day. He thought something was wrong with me. Needless to say, we have since come to a happy middle place with our expectations. Mostly. Sometimes I think he should know what I'm thinking about & why I'm mad. He wants me to talk about it. It's weird.

For Father's Day this year, I found an adorable idea on Pinterest for handmade cards/love notes. I cut out 15 or so cards, sewed on some hearts, & stuck them to the bathroom mirror for him to wake up to. He loved it. He even told me that he loves getting notes like that from me on a regular basis. Never knew that.




The other day I told him that I'd been wanting to write him another note, but I kept not doing it. He said it was "nice" that I thought about it. Whoops. You read a list of 20 random facts about me on my photography blog, but this time, I'm going to write 25 things I love about my husband/how he's much cooler than all the other boys.



I love:
1. how he loves me.
2. how he loves our girl.
3. how he calls me on my sh**. I don't know if you know this about me, but I have a little sass in me. It came from my mother's side. Every once in a while, he calmly & rationally lets me know that I'm being bat-sh** crazy. He's usually right.
4. his sensitivity & warmth. Ironic after #3.
5. his butt.
6. that he loves to take baths all the time. Although, now I can't give the Schmidt quote from New Girl out of my head when Jess wants a bathtub. If you know what I'm talking, I'm glad we're friends.
7. his smile. 
8. his sense of humor. He makes me laugh so hard. He is seriously hilarious. He's so quiet, so a lot of people don't know that he's hilarious. You're missing out. He's a hoot.
9. how smart he is. I don't just want him for his body, if that's what you're thinking.
10. how he makes my fears seem irrational.
11. how he is my safe place.
12. how much he loves his family. Some of them are totally crazy, so this is asking a lot.
13. his beautiful feet. He has like perfect feet. They are so pretty. It's strange. I may be slightly jealous.
14. his patience with Maddie. When I'm losing it & starting to believe that she may have been switched at birth, he pulls out his inside voice & they have a perfectly calm, rational discussion. 
15. how responsible he is. We don't spend lavishly. We have everything we need, and most of the things we want. We save money, we spend wisely. It's all him. I'm the one pointing out the surround sound system built into Lazy Boys. That's in the "needs" category, right?
16. his relationship with his brother. They are so very different, but they love each other. I mean, I always joke that, when Rachel & I are in a picture together, we look like good & evil. Elvira & Barbie. What a team! Josh & Matt are different, but they are each other's sounding boards. It's cool.
17. that he thinks "I'm pretty funny." I tease him because I think I'm pretty damn hilarious, and he famously told me, "Yeah, you're pretty funny." I called my mom immediately. "That's an insult!" Exactly. Maybe it makes me work harder.
18. how he rocks a scarf. Hard.
19. his faith.
20. when he holds my hand. It gives me butterflies. 
21. when he makes fun of my naivety. "Big Green Tractor" lyrics, for example:
can take you for a ride on my big green tractor 
we can go slow or make it go faster 
down through the woods and out to the pasture 
long as I'm with you it really don't matter 
climb up in my lap and drive if you want to 
girl you know you got me to hold on to 
we can go to town or baby if you'd rather 
I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor 

I had no idea.
22. when he plays guitar.
23. his big dreams.
24. how he plays with Maddie. They are usually hiding from me, the big monster. It's adorable.
25. when he turns on music, and dances with me. 

He's super cool. I hope you know. You'd like him. 

xoxo,
a.
Saturday, September 7, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to commenter #3, Kate! You are the winner of the adorable autumn leaf earrings!


Happy Saturday, dear ones! It's been too productive around here for me today, so it's time to start wasting time on Pinterest. 

xoxo,
a.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Being a Mom: The Truth

I'm really inspired to write these days. Maybe it's the blog makeover & or maybe it's the changing of the seasons. I have words flowing out of me...and they aren't swear words! #victory

I have this darling friend/bride/client who I was chatting with this morning. She's one of my favorite people because she loves me - that's all it takes, people. Her comment to me the other day was, "I think my heart jumps a little every time you post a new blog!" Ooooh, I hope so! So, as we chatted today, I asked her what she would like to see me write about today. Her suggestion: being a mom. Now, I could use my grammar skills here, & use lots of alliteration & flowery adjectives to describe the beauty of being a mom. I could paint you a visual of frollicking through a meadow, holding your darling clean/dressed/quaffed child's hand as you laugh & smile at each other. Wake up. You're a mom. You're lucky if you get a shower in before dinner. Ironically, about 5 minutes after we talked about blogging this topic, my perfect, little angel had, what my dear friend, Nikki, lovingly termed, an assplosion. So, I sat on the floor in the bathroom with a roll of paper towels, wipes, Lysol, & took the baby potty apart & began to disinfect. #glamour


"Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me" suddenly started playing in my head. #OOTD #bejealous

When I first dreamed of being a mom, it was roses, unicorns & rainbows. What they don't tell you is that 95% of the time you are squeezing boogers out of noses, stepping on Legos, & wiping poop from crevices you didn't know existed. Even after I had my little princess, I was still blissfully unaware of just how gross being a mom actually is. Poop didn't melt the paint on the walls, toys were still properly stowed away because your little blob couldn't move, & you were showered because you had time before they started trying to scale furniture & jump off, yelling, "Mama! Watch me!," as you run like Edward does in Twilight hoping to break their fall, only to stub your toe on one their stupid toys. 

In the midst of all the butt-wiping, there are the "terrible twos." Now, in this day & age, we are no longer allowed to call them the "terrible twos." But I don't know how I would be able to say "terrific twos" with a straight face when, in the middle of Target, your child begins to throw him or herself on the floor, screaming at you because you won't buy them the princess sticker pack, pulling at pigtails, yelling at you to leave them alone. And you are panicked because now you look like you are trying to kidnap this child who you spent 12 straight hours squeezing out of your lady garden, only to have them turn on you when stickers are on the line. Yes, I think "terrific" sums up that nightmarish hellscape beautifully. 

Now, I'm clearly highlighting some of the "opportunities" (like Jim & Pam used the word when they did things they didn't want to do - advice from their counselor) that we are blissfully unaware of when we get into this business of baby-making. YES! I love being a mom! I always wanted to be a mom! I wouldn't trade it for anything, so don't think that I'm a jerk for highlighting some of the less glamorous "opportunities" of motherhood. This kid is amazing & hilarious & witty & smart & kind & caring. I love her to the moon. I just wish someone had alerted me to the amount of butt-wiping involved in parenthood. At least I would have been prepared.

Thank you to my mom for wiping my butt, squeezing my boogers out, & stepping on Legos. You are a rockstar.

Now get out there & wipe some butts!  - what!? I don't even know. Sleep-deprived.
xoxo,
a.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

10 Photos You Need to be Taking

Being a photographer, I'm a bit of a camera/photo fiend. Our computer runs slowly because of the 1000's of images clogging it up. Whoops! We're makin' memories, folks! Let's buy more memory! Right, dear?

My little muse is a wiry-haired, sassy 3-year-old. Days after she was born, I had already taken hundreds of photos. Hundreds. Same shot, but at a different angle 497835937 times. Overkill, but hey, I'll never get those moments back. Gotta document that sneeze face in 18 different angles. So, while I am glad that I have an entire album of Maddie at 3 days old laying in the same position for an hour, those aren't the ones that are going on the wall.

This wall is my favorite spot in my entire house. I love it. I spent countless hours collecting, organizing, ordering prints, & arranging this beauty. I'm obsessed.

I've read it multiple times now, but children who grow up in a home where their photos are displayed tend to feel more loved & confident. Let's face it: this kid has confidence in spades. Job done. Time for a nap.



And now for the list. This list is what I think are the best, most important photos you do not want to miss out on. Take them and display them. Don't just let them sit on your SD card or your hard drive. Print them, canvas those b's. Get them out & display them for everyone to see. Unless they ugly...then...we get it.

1. Family Photo. Every. Damn. Year. I say this with great passion, emphasis, enthusiasm, seriousness. This is a huge priority for me. About a year ago, I photographed a couple whose son had been killed in a car accident a few years prior. From the time this mom had married her husband to the time her son was killed, seven years had passed. They didn't have a single family photo with all of them in it. It devastated me. I decided that day that it would not happen. We would take one afternoon once a year, & document our family. No matter what stupid haircut I get, or how many teeth the kids will be missing, or how sweaty & disheveled we may look - this will happen.

2. Kid Portrait. The sad & cool thing about kids is that they are constantly changing. Sad because they hit these stages where they are so amazing & wonderful. Cool because you hit a stage where you are pretty sure that they were switched at birth because YOUR child would never act like that. If you can only do one portrait a year, make it your kid-specific. Who is he right now? What does he love? Take him down to the creek in rain boots & have him catch frogs. Dress your little girl in her favorite princess dress & have her run down Main Street with her wand & tiara. Capture your kid for who they are.

3. Pets. We have this Puggle. His name used to be Fedor (fay-door). He has since been emasculated by Maddie, & named FiFi. FiFi is the stupidest, most brain dead dog I have ever met, and yet, he's ours, so we love him. One of the worst memories I have as a kid was when I was in the 7th grade & looking absolutely hideous with bush man eyebrows, fuzzy hair & crooked teeth. We had mandatory family Christmas photos where we dressed in puff paint sweatshirts & reindeer antlers holding our pets. Every year ended in tears. It was guaranteed. Looking back, I still remember the agony, the yelling, the crying, but I'm so glad to have a hideous picture of myself holding all of our dirty animals because they have all since gone to heaven, some of them to hell. Document your family interacting with your pets. Pets don't last long (especially the fish that we had), so make sure you take the time to capture you & your kidlets playing & loving on the furry ones. You'll be glad you did.


4. Extended Family. Maybe they are near, hopefully they are far. We all have them. Like zits. We all have 'em, but they can be unsightly. We all know that we are the most normal compared to all the other family members. We all believe we aren't as insane as our sister, or as whacked out as Uncle Jack. Whether your family is insane or semi-normal, document it. Take one day out of each year, round all the family members together & take some group photos. Do a series. Funnies, serious ones, and happy ones. I took a group photo of a large family (large in number, not in size) a couple of months ago. I was asked to situate certain people on the outskirts in case they needed to be cropped out of said photo at a later date. #thinkingahead We are never promised tomorrow, so it is important that we have everyone all together. Set aside your drama for an hour, and get a photo. It'll be passed down through the generations & people will love looking at how ugly their ancestors were.

5. You & your honey. We have so many dorky pictures of Josh & I growing up. We seemed to love photos of ourselves. We have them in spades. #narcissists Now we are hit & miss. And I miss it. We have some really great photos from our pubescent stage, but not so much of the now. I need to get better. We change so much. I want our kids to look back on photos of us and make fun of the weird outfits we wore...like I do with photos of my grandparents.



6. Birthdays. How many photos of your birthday parties do your parents have? A ton, right? Well, we do. Up until we started to get a little fugly in junior high. Pictures started to become few & far between. Thanks for the confidence boost, Mother. Even when we started to look less hideous in high school, there are fewer pictures. No, we don't tend to have the My Little Pony in the backyard parties, but still, document it. If it's a birthday dinner out or an outing to a bowling alley, photograph it. You only turn __ once. Document it. And maybe, you too, will leave out the junior high birthdays. Your kids will thank you for it.

7. F*R*I*E*N*D*S. The theme song immediately started playing in my head. Friends are the best. You choose your friends. You're stuck with your family. Go out, have fun, make memories & take pictures! One of the things that adore about my BFF Kylie is that girlfriend ain't afraid to ask some stranger to take a group photo of us in front of Noodles & Co. I'm always slightly embarrassed, but then, I look back & I'm grateful that she doesn't have Stranger Danger. We have some really darling photos because her mother never taught her to never speak to strangers. 

8. Holidays. Do you know what I miss about my childhood Christmases? Christmas in the tin can. This the loving name that we called the trailer home my grandparents lived in. Maybe I should have known better as a young one, but I loved it. The 16 of us all squeezed into that MoHo every Christmas Eve, with presents covering the living room/dining room/kitchen/bathroom. The vast amount of presents was obscene, but it was like heaven to a little kid. We crammed in, ate Mexican food (just like our ancestors of yesteryear) & then ripped open hundreds of Christmas packages each year. It was a flurry of activity with paper flying everywhere, and everyone yelling across the living room/dining room/kitchen/bathroom. You never knew if it was a "thank you" or an "F you," but you knew they both meant love. We have tons of these photos...somewhere. Pictures of all us throughout the years, changing, growing, developing (thanks to my Aunt Cindy for my first bra at Christmas in front of everyone). And now we have these with Maddie. The sleepy, blonde baby toddling out with big, ol' eyes as she looks to see what Santa brought her. The gasp she makes when she opens a new baby doll. I'd like to say I'll remember it all, but I won't. So, I snap away.

9. Pregnancy. Yes, I know. You're groaning, but this is one of the coolest things we get to experience as women. You freakin' grow a baby. #superpowers And this needs to be documented. It is one of the most spiritual experiences coupled with one of the sweatiest. You feel fat, bloated, sweaty, swollen, moody, emotional, & cranky. Isn't it glorious? Take the selfies. That's what iPhones are for anyway. And for the love! Hire a photographer (I happen to know one...), & get some beautiful photos taken of you (& your hubs) at the heftiest most beautiful stage in your pregnancy. It's an easy way to get dolled up & feel pretty when you feel like a 2-ton beached whale.

10. Everything in between. In today's world, we all carry cameras in our purses & pockets. Most of our lives are now documented in our phones, & then onto social media. There is no excuse anymore. You aren't lugging around a big, fat camera, film, a tripod, etc. You have a 5oz camera in your pocket. Use it. Get some candid shots of you & your kids. Document your food, for crying out loud. Some of Josh's best photos are his Instagram photos of his carne asadas. Some of my favorite photos in Maddie's photo books are in the Instagram collages I create from the random photos I take of her throughout our days. 

I hope you learned SOMETHING from this post. The bottom line is: take pictures. You will be so glad you did. Even when your kids are at their ugliest. You'll be glad. Or use them as blackmail one day. Then, you'll really be glad you took them. 


xoxo,
a.
Monday, September 2, 2013

I Mustache You a Question About Jesus | A Birthday Post

You know the kind of friend who can make you laugh until you pee? Well, you're a weirdo if you don't. And we need to get you a friend who can make you snort & pee all in the same breath. For me, that's Kylie. And now Evka. Say it with me: EV-KA. Simple. And yet, people don't get it. Today was a girly celebration of Kylie, complete with beers, burgers, presents, pedicures, and then we topped off the calorie-fest with pumpkin spice lattes, y'all. Kylie came into my life nearly 3 years ago. In fact, I met her through a friend of a friend during Christmas when I first started photography. I was absolutely TERRIBLE, but this bubbly, hyper wacko thought I was good enough to take photos of she & her husband, and their amazing Labradoodle, Monty. Bless her trusting heart for hiring me. It was bad. You guys know. You saw it. Vignettes & over-processing. It was like my 80's decade of photography.

I digress. A couple of years ago, I was a chubby, sad, lonely housewife with not many friends. Girlfriends are hard to come by as an adult. They either already have friends, only want to spend all their spare time with their husbands, or are catty beaches. I'm not saying that there are only 3 absolute categories, but it's where I was. I, literally, prayed for a best friend for years. Someone who was a great friend, got my sarcasm & could be just as obnoxious back to me, and who was genuinely an insanely good person. Insert Kylie. She was newly-moved here from Altoona, PA, and was living with her fiancé (GASP!) & their Labradude. We clicked immediately.

Fast forward a 18 months, she meets Evka. E & I both worked with her on her wedding - photography & event planning. We should start a business... Anyway, then I did E's photos when she was round & prego. And as soon as I was done shooting, I called Kylie & said, "WE HAVE TO INVITE EVKA OUT FOR DRINKS! I LOVE HER!" And she was in. She fit immediately.

Fast forward again. I am sitting in the back of Evka's SUV, having known her for about 3 months, sobbing & embarrassed, admitting to she & Kylie that, for the past month, I have been a recluse, hiding out in my house because I am so filled with fear & anxiety that I can hardly breathe. I expected judgment, confusion, silence. Instead, I got tears, kind words, and hand-holding. And I was blown away. All those nights that I told God how lonely I was & how sad I was that I was missing out, He was smiling down on me, blessing me with outrageously amazing friends who just wanted to sit with me & help me. These girls mean the world to me. And I will mess up your face if you talk smack about them. Just kidding. We talk smack about each other the time.

If you're lucky enough to know these girls, be honored & blessed. They are amazing, funny, kind, caring, loving, stupid, hilarious, obnoxious, loud (well, not E), obscene, and absolutely, frickin' incredible. I apologize for blowing up your Instagram & Facebook feeds today, but I was #liveinstagramming. #getoverit.

The last image is a gift from E. These girls are the ones I text in our very private, very obscene/stupid/annoying/weird group text we have going at all times during the day. They know my heart's desire, how it hasn't come true yet, & are there to tell me "that sucks, but put your big girl panties on & shut it!" #truefriends
Sunday, September 1, 2013

Revamp + a Giveaway

It's September 1st, and there is a bubbly girl bouncing around this house, lighting pumpkin candles, putting on the warm fuzzy socks, and snuggling up in cozy blankets. It's me! I'm the bubbly girl! It's like Christmas, really. I love fall. That's an understatement.

Anyway, welcome! I'm pretty pumped about the new look around here. I spent the better part of yesterday working in Photoshop & learning to use html code. #mancard Look around, grab the button & tell people you're a follower of this little blog! We hit 15,000 views & that number goes up every single day!

With that said, it's time for a giveaway! Tell your friends about this here blog, then comment on this post. One comment will be randomly selected (random.org) & you could be the lucky winner of these darling Antiqued Brass Filigree Leaves Earrings | Autumn Leaves Collection by Merelani Designs!


Happy September 1st! It's beginning to look a lot like fall!

xoxo,
a