a few weeks ago i ran a half marathon. some of you knew i was training. training and trying, is really more like it. i was never a runner (except for that time in jr. high) or had a desire to be. the idea of any kind of race never even raced through my mind. never ever was i one of those people that thought it would be cool to run a a marathon or mark it off a list. but, in may, i did some list making with friends and a half marathon made the list, just waiting to be marked off in a few short months.
the training was tough and so time consuming. the movement in my body and my brain. running was always on my mind. but, when i was actually running, my mind was on the moment. while i did a lot of huffing and puffing and worked on wishing my way out of some of those specific moments, when i finally found my groove and my breath (which for me was two short breaths in and one long breath out) the moments of the past day, week, and all the days ahead that occupied my mind at all times drifted right out and i came upon clarity. this made me love running. pounding the pavement was pondering. and, pondering tends to lead me to purpose.
i made it to the milwaukee half marathon and was super nervous.
happy friday, lovelies. what a week it has been. i ran the 1/2 marathon (i’ll share a bit on that on monday) which was scary and exhilarating, my home and a behind the blogger series was featured on style me pretty, and next week i’ll be revealing rocco’s newly updated room (not yet seen). however, away from the shiny screen, i’ve been dragging around in dodgy sweat pants with very soar feet and crabby children. i should find the dichotomy humorous, but it usually just feels a little frustrating like you are living in some sort of strange middle place. but, maybe that is just life? you’ve just finished this or left that and you are on your way to here and slowly there. what is here now is the weekend and i’m grateful for that. at least a short blur of space time to enjoy the here and now. a freeze frame to forget yesterday and to not think about tomorrow. the leaves are changing here and the sun is warm and the air smells like life. i’m hoping for a bike ride with my near and dear, a movie on the sofa, and just lingering over coffee in the morning.
what are you hoping for this weekend? has fall arrived where you live?
these are my most fave photos from the style me pretty feature….because while my house is pretty and has fun elements…it’s these people that truly decorate it. climbing indoor swings, racing down the halls, jumping on beds and eating frozen waffles frozen. they are the beauty, the fun, and yes, sometimes the mess. they are home. we are loud, we are wild, we are quiet, we are emotional, we are fun, we are serious, we are crazy. we need grace. we give grace. love lives among us and in us. perfect love within the imperfect.
there are two mantras on our walls that sum it up well. the first on the wall in our family room / kitchen area (which wasn’t photographed) is a print that says, ‘ IN THE MADNESS THERE IS LOVE.’
the second, i wrote for our entry way:
thank you yazy jo for taking such beautiful photos (if you are in the chicago area and looking for a wedding photographer, yazy does amazing work!) and thank you style me pretty for featuring me as a blogger and my home.
happy weekend, friends!
FEW OF MY FAVES THIS WEEK +
01 / one of my fave bloggers + friends was featured in the New York Times in an article penned “When Blogging Becomes a Slog.” did you read it? thoughts?
02 / hands up if you used to eat hot pockets. love the idea of healthier home made ones like these.
03 / have you ever considered a DIY platform bed for your little ones? loving these ikea hacks.
04 / it’s that time of year when oh happy day shares the coolest costumes on the block. love this one.
05 / gosh, i still need to learn how to braid better because these looks are super something i’d like to try.
06 / how to feel confident in 2 minutes. this is simple, fascinating and worth trying.
LOVELY Pics : INSTAGRAM / Inspiration : PINTEREST / Chatter : TWITTER / Conversation : FACEBOOK
photographs by : yazy jo photography
happy friday lovelies. happy valentines! before anything else. i have to know. do you love or loathe it? i told you here how my ritual used to be to wear all black and hand out photocopies of cupid with his arrow in his back (there might have even been a pool of blood). ask my friends. i’m somewhere in the middle. we don’t usually make a big deal out of it. usually, we are in tucson every february with some of our besties and i’d have to say those are some of my best valentines memories. we’ve planned some fun times as a group and made some really funny memories.
however, yesterday might take the cake – - the mister came home with a kitty – - for real. all of my pleading and instagramming and pinning kitties was not in vain. seriously, this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. total sacrificial giving, since the mister doesn’t “like” cats. although, don’t tell him i said this, but i think he likes (no loves) the tat (as rocco calls him) more than any of his. he held him all night and couldn’t wait to get him up. tat came with the name theodore / theo and i’m just not sure i can change it. i kind of love it (esp. after reading the goldfinch – my heart went out to theo). and, i’m just going to apologize for the cat pictures, in advance.
he’s so cute, but all like tiger too . . .
as for this past week, i took a quick 48 hour trip to austin for if gathering. i was tired, my kids had been sick all week and i really didn’t feel like going. wah wah wah. but, i went because i had a plane ticket, had a friend there waiting for me, and had a hunch that i was supposed to be there. i think i was. it was one of those crazy times that was busy but restful. a lot of learning but a specific word. how did i end up here and yet a definite dot on my map. do you ever feel like you are on a journey that you didn’t even plan for? that’s me right now. it started in london last year, with stops in new york, and now austin. austin, which held a piece, like the other places. a piece i needed in my putting back together. i’m not sure what stop will be next, but i think there will be more. anyhow, i made new friends and was able to spend time with a dear friend. it was good. and i am grateful.
how was your week, lovelies?
looking for more love on this love day? i shared my love story on how stephen and i met many moons ago (and how love changes over time) right here.
A FEW OF MY FAVES THIS WEEK +
01 / the downton cast not in character offering a chance to meet them in order to help a serious cause all done with the best possible british humor. love.
02 / i dreamt i was on my way to france last night. this might be as close as i get this weekend.
03 / i love a good day in the life. especially when it’s my fave handbag designer.
04 / a DIY minimalist table for $90. bet you never knew you wanted to make your own dining table.
05 / this home has me totally swooning.
06 / my friends kitchen transformation on design sponge – a cookie cutter becomes anything but.
LOVELY Pictures : INSTAGRAM / Inspiration : PINTEREST / Chatter : TWITTER / Conversation : FACEBOOK
do you love love stories? ruche asked me to share my love story on their blog, and since i’ve never really shared my story online so i thought i’d go for it.
i thought you might like to read it too? if you like that sort of thing. if you are all black and death to cupid on valentines day, thats ok too. i wore black all through high school and photocopied a picture of cupid shot by his own arrow. serious angst, but in the middle of it…there was a bit of love — more below.
Love is a thief and we are its captives.
You never know when love might strike or steal. It’s usually when we aren’t looking for it that it finds us. I certainly wasn’t thinking of husbands and marriage at 14, but that is when, my now husband, Stephen stole my heart.
It was early July, 1992 and I was brooding over a bad breakup, as far as freshman break ups go. You know, typical end of the world, I’m never going to be happy again business that consumes your every thought. It was bad news, so i thought, and I certainly wasn’t looking to date anyone else.
On a humid Wednesday I packed up all of my angst, and my youthful confusion along with my umbro shorts and a can of Finesse hairspray and headed to a summer retreat with my youth group in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It was on this retreat that I met a junior from Georgia with a sweet Southern drawl. Stephen came to visit his aunt and uncle and attend the same retreat. Fate would have it that we ended up in the same small group (a group I wasn’t even supposed to be in, but got moved to at the last minute). I thought he was nice, but I was busy thinking about my about my bad breakup. Stephen and I hung out quite a bit that week and as I got to know him, I really liked who I got to know. There was something substantially different about him. Manners for one. Southern charm was new to me. But what really caught my attention was that he had a certain kindness about him and a gentle spirit that I just wanted to be around. And, I suppose I shouldn’t leave out that he was a tall blonde, handsome, quarter back, who really won me over by doing a flip flop for me on a warm summer’s night. I clearly remember walking back to my room and thinking, “I could marry this guy.”
Stephen went back to Atlanta and we exchanged letters, the hand written kind, throughout the year. I rationalized with my young mind and maturely told myself that he lived in Georgia and I lived in Illinois so likely nothing would ever come of us this. I let it go, but firmly held onto the idea of Stephen or maybe I should say the ideal of Stephen.
Another summer rolled around and another summer retreat. Stephen came back, but this year he brought his girlfriend. With many laughable moments and a few tears, I again tried my best to be mature and let it go. We talked occasionally that week and we were both grateful to still be friends. Off he went, and so did another little piece of my heart.
I tried not think about him. Only when there was nothing to think about … I thought about him. I wondered what he was doing, how he was doing, and if he ever thought about me, too?
you can read the rest of teenage drama turned true love a.k.a my love story right here!
and speaking of love, i’m loving this sweet video on the definition of love. if you want to join in, share a photo of how you live beautifully using #livebeautifully and you’ll be entered to win $50 to shop at ruche!
p.s. i’d love to hear about your love story.
still thinking hearts? here are a few diy valentines cards that are as simple as they are darling.
also, ruche is offering a discount to la la lovely readers : Enter the code BLOGLOVE20 at checkout and receive 20% off your order. Expires 2/15 at 11:59 p.m. Cannot be combined with any other discount.
little big girl – - that is who you are at this very moment. caught between the two different worlds that are seemingly connected. like the north pole grabbing hands with the sandy beach or the ocean washing over the desert. that business of wanting to grow up, and yet still loving to play. can i tell you a secret dear daughter and little friend? not the secret about growing up being over rated, which isn’t much of a secret at all, anyways. but the one i haven’t mentioned yet, is that it’s ok to still play. not many will tell you this, or have even figured this out for themesevles, but, the truth is, you will be a better, most creative, and more balanced grown up if you don’t loose the art of play. don’t let that brilliant and interesting imagination of yours wander off into the seriousness we grownies are now being smothered by. god gave you that wild imagination of yours, and the gift of play, not just to be used and then tidied and tucked away after 10. no! he gave it to you to use each and every day of your life. the first 10 years are just the beginning. they are the ones filled with games, and adventures, and far away places. days where you climb trees and eat ice cream covered pizza, for dinner, with a squirrel and a mermaid queen all before breakfast. these periwinkle days are the ones that will color your tomorrows. so go ahead and start your coloring. and, while you’ll want to stay in the lines and make a pretty picture, i urge you to forget all about those pesky bold lines and make a big crazy mess all over that paper. the more colors the better.
dear want to be big girl… i know you so well. i know you better than you know yourself. i wanted my way into big girlness my whole little girl life. and, i got there faster than i figured. only i never really got what i thought i wanted. i never really considered that i might miss all of the good, magical, wonder-filled things that little girls get to do (this is why my bike makes me so happy now, you see). your big girls days will come, no doubt, but i’m wishing for you that you won’t, just yet, let your little girl days go. play school. play store. play mermaids (just don’t put my jewelry in the pool for your treasure, please) until your properly pruned.
you can still play in makeup and talk about what you want to wear. yes, that is fun and part of the playing, too. just pinky promise that you won’t forget to travel in your imagination from here to there. because, when you are older, as you will certainly be, you’ll want to remember how to get from there to here. and, i promise you now, that in still engaging in play you are mapping your way.
+ you are my little baker. apparently all those years of watching giada and nigella have paid off. although, you seem to be a fan girl of the pioneer woman.
+ you are a jr. mommy. thank you. thank you.
+ you’ve started stealing my clothes (and coat) this year. i’m just happy you think my clothes are cool enough
+ you love to ask really deep and, of course, spiritual questions right before bed. good timing!
+ you have a new love for volleyball and sports in general. i never knew my girl would be an athlete and so competitive.
+ you’re favorite way to study is to play school and teach your class
+ instead of, “can we go to mcdonald’s?” it’s more like “can we go to starbucks and get a mocha?”
+ you eat your swedish pancakes with powdered sugar
+ your favorite movie is grace unplugged
+ dork diaries are on your nightstand along with ruby redfort and peter pan
+ making a snack now consists of baking cupcakes, cookies or concocting smoothies
+ you skype with your cousins for hours
+ you still make up songs and i hope you never stop
+ you curl your eyelashes every morning with a pink eyelash curler