May 31, 2013

A vivid memory. Two come to mind.

In the first I am standing with Aaron, looking into his eyes. Our closest family and friends are seated around us. I'm in a beautiful white dress, he's dressed in his military blues. We're both smiling like crazy people and squeezing each others hands tightly. We each take our turn to say the simple words "I do." It was a magical night.

In the second my beautiful daughter is handed to me. I'm breathing through an oxygen mask and feelings of ecstasy are coursing through my body. She's tucked into my arms by my husband, turns her face up to mine, and looks straight into my eyes. The last 12 hours completely melted away and all that was left was Everly and me. We started into each others eyes and all I could think was "I know you. I know you." I never knew my life was missing something so vital but suddenly it felt complete.

The past 31 days have been a ride. I have loved throwing myself back into blogging. I never really stopped, just slowed down, but I missed it. I've made some awesome new bloggy friends through this challenge and I've loved getting to know people better through the different writing prompts. I didn't really know if I was going to make it to the end of the month but here I am. It was rewarding, exhausting, and so much fun. Now I have to remember to keep blogging without writing prompts!
xo Sue

Letting Go

May 30, 2013

BE (before Everly) I would have easily admitted that patience was not my strong point. I liked to have a plan and a contingency for everything. I liked to be in control. Then, during the biggest blizzard we had in Japan this winter, this tiny lady came into my world. She did so peacefully, happily, beautifully. She took our hearts and with them any perceived control of life. Babies dictate life. They cry when they want, eat when they want, play when they want. You can teach them what you want but that doesn't mean they'll do it. They look at your carefully laid plans of being the perfect mother and cry in your face. Then they smile at you and melt your heart to a tiny puddle and remind you of why you do what you do every single day. So how do you cope? You let it all go. The ultra-clean home, the hot meal on the table, sometimes even the shower at the beginning of the day. You develop ridiculous amounts of patience for a tiny little person. And you let the concept of perfection go. You accept that sometimes dirty clothes pile up and beds don't get made. Sometimes dinner is a frozen lasagna. Sometimes your hair ends up in a pony tail instead of being washed. You let go of the control you once had over your life, you kiss that tiny baby's chubby cheeks, and you embrace the chaos with both arms. You become happier than you ever knew was possible. And you love with a love so fierce and deep that it could move the world.

xo Sue

Five Songs I Love

May 29, 2013

everything changes // 
one of the most emotionally powerful songs I know- listen to the words

Everything Changes by Staind on Grooveshark

party rock anthem //
our wedding song- yes, I'm serious and it was so fun to dance to

Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO on Grooveshark

dream big //
happy, loving, beautiful

Dream Big by Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband on Grooveshark

titanium //
again, the words- I listened to this song a lot when I was pregnant

Titanium by Madilyn Bailey on Grooveshark

darlin' //
I've always loved Avril and this one is my favorite


A Little Letter

May 27, 2013

Dear Wonderful Readers (especially my mama),

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading my silly words. I love that I'm able to use my blog as a way to connect with each of you. I cherish my readers and love every one of you! I started blogging 6 years ago and 3 1/2 years ago in this particular space. I look back over it all and just laugh at some of the funny things I've written. But it's all been real and it's all been me. I can truly say that I am myself here and I'm pretty proud of that. I love that I've made real friends through blogging. Who knew that was going to happen? But it has, and I'm so grateful for those awesome friendships. I love you, fabulous readers, and I'm thrilled that you're all here for this journey of life with me. Thank you!
xo Sue

ps I was a little sad that yesterday's writing prompt and my subsequent post, 30 is not the new 20, were set for a Sunday. If there's something this month that I've shared on the blog that I think is really worth reading (or watching) is the video I posted. Just sayin.

30 Is Not the New 20

May 26, 2013

When I read through the list of 31 writing prompts I had different reactions. Some looked easy, some intense, some difficult, and some fun. But this is the one I've been looking forward to the most. Share something you've read online & discuss. And it just so happens I've been wanting to share this talk on the blog anyway.

Have you ever heard of TED talks? TED's slogan is ideas worth spreading. There are thousands of talks from amazing people that will literally inspire you to change your life. Instead of browsing YouTube videos try browsing TED talks! 

This talk by Meg Jay, why 30 is not the new 20, is my favorite TED talk I've ever watched. With the transitions Aaron and I are going through right now he watched it with me and we both loved it. She talks about how your 20's are your defining decade. This is the time to take a chance, make a move, and do something meaningful. Don't waste your 20's. You don't have to have your dream job when you're 21, but you should look for a job to help you get that dream job in the future. Make friends for life, date people on purpose. You may not marry the boy you're dating now but eventually you'll marry someone you're dating. Be intentional with your love and with your life. My favorite line from the talk (although really, you should listen to the whole thing!) is this: 30 is not the new 20. So claim your adulthood, get some identity capital, use your weak ties, pick your family. Don't be defined by what you didn't know or didn't do. You're deciding your life right now.

xo Sue

You Just Be You

May 25, 2013

When I was seven years old my grandma said to me, "You let the world be the world, and you just be you." It was something so simple and yet so powerful. It helped me to grow up with a strong sense of self and a knowledge of who I am. I could only be me and no one else could do that. Life is too short to be fake or unhappy. So here I am, twenty years later, still trying to just be me in a world that will always try to change me. Thank you, grandma, for those beautiful words of wisdom. I doubt you knew how much I would take them to heart.
xo Sue

Three Bad Things

May 24, 2013

(push play!) 

It's hard to admit things about yourself that you know are bad, isn't it? I know that I'm not perfect (far from!) but it's difficult to actually come out and own up to my flaws. I'm pretty aware of what they are though. I think for the most part we know our flaws. While I don't like to focus on the negative, I do try and make personal improvements to myself. So it's time to own up to them, right?

I'm bossy. I always have been. I'm the oldest of six children and the only way to control the chaos was to boss the other five kids around. This trait carried over into my later years and although I think I've gotten better at it, I sometimes catch myself falling back into it without meaning to. Sometimes it can be a good thing, like when I need to be a leader at work or when I was in college and did school projects. But sometimes it's not so good. 

I procrastinate. Not everything. Not most things in fact. But things I don't think are going to be fun? I put them off until the very last minute. It's not a good thing! For example. Aaron, Everly, and I are moving in three weeks (give or take a few days). I have to pack my house up myself instead of the typical military style of the movers packing for me. And how many boxes have I packed? Two and a half. You read that right. I REALLY need to get on that. But my baby has been needy and my husband has been around and I have eight million other things to do. So I haven't packed. I promise to work on it this week. Probably. Maybe. It will get done at the last minute. I think.

I don't ask for help. I like to think I can do everything myself. I know best and I know how to take care of not only myself but everyone else. I love to nurture people. But often I take on too much, or life throws too much my way, and I try to do it all anyway. This doesn't usually work out for me. In the last three months Everly has taught me that I cannot do everything, and I certainly can't do it all alone. I will be forever grateful for my husband and everything he does for both of us. We would be lost without him.

I feel very vulnerable having listed three of my worst qualities for everyone to read. I promise you I'm aware of them all and I am trying to make them better. Acceptance is the first step, right? The last one is the biggest of all right now. Between a three month old daughter, a cross continent move, and a husband looking for a new job I've humbled myself very quickly. I've taken help when it's offered and asked for it when I find the need. It turns out I'm not the only one who wants to help people. I truly appreciate every person in our lives right now, especially those helping us through these huge transitions! 
xo Sue
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The Thing About Life

May 23, 2013

Carry On by fun. on Grooveshark
(push play!) 

The biggest thing I've learned about life? It goes on. No matter what happens to change the world, that much remains true. The consistency of a passing day is amazing. There have been a few times in my life when personal tragedy has struck and when I come out of the haze surrounding me I realize that everyone else has gone on without me. Just because my world ended (or changed drastically) doesn't mean the world has paused to wait for me. If anything it seems to speed up around me. How is that possible? When my heart breaks doesn't the whole world feel it? Doesn't the world notice the agony of enduring a single day? No. It does not. Life continues on. Days turn to weeks, to months, to years. Suddenly I realize time has passed and maybe I don't hurt so deeply. I feel deep joy and happiness again. Life goes on. And thank everything good in the world that it does. Because life is pretty amazing, don't you think?
xo Sue

I'm Not Much for Ranting

May 22, 2013

Oh dear, today's post may be the one I've been looking forward to the least. Rant about something... I am not good in a rant. It's just not my forte. I think it's because I try to follow that old saying "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate." Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all did that? Yes, I just got all Suzy Sunshine on you. Sorry! This is it though. This is the one day I just can't do.

I will, however, show you something awesome. At least I think it's awesome. Look what my Ever girl learned today. I'm pretty sure she's a genius.

xo Sue

Flashback Favs

May 21, 2013

Today's writing prompt is fairly simple: A list of your favorite archived posts. I thought this one would be easy. It was more work than I thought, but very fun. There are crafty-ish posts like the time I made my own instagram art. The time I got bored with my keyboard and gave it a makeover. And the time I put quotes on canvas for Everly's room.

There are every day fun posts like our wedding photos (over a year later), Everly's newborn photos (10 whole days old!), and watching our lady grow (yes, she's really 3 months now).

Then there are more personal things like when I opened up about my divorce. Or when I shared Everly's birth story. That may be my very favorite post ever. Mostly because childbirth rocks and I felt like superwoman afterwards.

xo Sue

3 Months Old

May 20, 2013

My baby is 3 months old today. 3 MONTHS OLD. How did this happen? I swear I just gave birth yesterday. So something I'm struggling with? My baby is growing way too fast. 

How does it go from the left photo to the right in just 3 months? It's so cliche to say, but it goes by so fast. So to celebrate 3 beautiful months of life I'll share a few things about our little love.

  • She has many names. Everly - Evie - Ever - Ever bug - love bug - lady - stinker (when she's being one). 
  • She smiles all the time and sometimes, when we're really lucky, she'll even laugh for us. Aaron is particularly good at getting our lady to laugh. Dads are just funnier than moms I suppose.
  • She likes to play with toys now. Anything that makes noise and goes in her mouth is a favorite in her book.
  • Speaking of putting things in her mouth, there is always something in her mouth. Even if I'm wearing her, she'll suck on the edge of the baby carriers. She particularly likes to eat her fist or my hair. I can't wait to get back to Utah and cut it! 
  • Our Ever girl also loves to stand. She can't do it by herself (not even close) but she's practicing those muscles and loves when Aaron and I help her up to stand. 

In short, my baby is growing. I'm loving it because she's becoming this whole person all her own. She has a strong personality and she's an absolute delight. But it's bittersweet because that newborn-ness has completely left and I'll never have my tiny one back. I'll cherish those precious memories forever and love every second of watching this lady grow. We completely adore her.
xo Sue

ps Did I just cop out on this writing prompt? Maybe. But the things I'm struggling with... my physical health, my husband losing his job, and my cross-continent move in a handful of days... I've talked about all of them during this challenge. I don't want to beat a dead horse. And now that I contemplate that phrase I realize how very strange it is. But I digress. 

Truly, it's hard for me to watch my precious girl grow. I'm also really struggling with taking care of myself though. My basic needs are met. I eat, I exercise, I sleep (sort of). But anything beyond that has sort of fallen to the wayside. I love this blogging challenge because it's forced me to sit down at my computer every day and take a few moments to do something that I love just for myself. I love writing. I love blogging. I've been taking an online photography course that has been so fun. I do these things at night. I tuck Everly into my ring sling and rock her to sleep. Then, with my girl strapped to me sleeping, I settle into my desk chair and write my little heart out. 

I've started to think of myself again, outside of being a mom. I'm remembering the things I want to do for myself. I'm remembering that if I want to be a good mother to Everly I absolutely have to take time for myself and nourish my soul. And I'm remembering that if I want to be the best example I can, I need to be strong for myself and my family, and not get lost in the shuffle of every day life. It's been rejuvenating. 
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Blossoms & Blogs

May 19, 2013

I took these pictures today. The blossoms were too beautiful to just walk by. For BEDM we're sharing 5 blogs we love and why. This feels similar to day five's prompt of professing your love for another blogger but we'll go with it. Why not? I'll share my absolute favorites.
  • A Beautiful Mess - My favorite blog. Probably a lot of people's favorite blog. There's a reason for that! They're so fun and creative over at ABM. They share a little bit of everything and it's the first place I go for new recipes, DIY ideas, and home decor inspiration. 
  • Delightfully Tacky - This might sound strange, but I feel like if I met Elizabeth IRL we could be friends. She has great personal style, she's got a creative soul, and she writes beautifully. But aside from all of that, I just find something so likable about her. 
  • Little Chief Honeybee - This girl has some seriously fun style. Her outfits are always creative and enviable. And her tattoos? Love. 
  • Birth Without Fear - Every pregnant lady should read this blog. They share stories from all walks of life. All experiences. All people. There's support here for all women giving birth. It's inspiring and empowering. 
  • Post Secret - Does this count as a blog? Oh yes. It's not technically written by one person but by all people and that's what I love about it. Millions of secrets from around the world. All shared anonymously in creative and beautiful ways. I look forward to new posts every Sunday.
If you don't read these blogs you should give them a try. There's a reason they're my favorites.
xo Sue

"When I was a little girl..."

May 18, 2013

That line ^^ is one I heard repeatedly when I was young. From my dad. Every time he told me a story it started with "When I was a little girl..." which immediately set me into "Daddy, you were never a little girl!" We'd argue back and forth while my dad laughed hysterically at my insistence that he could never have been a little girl. But insist he did. Over and over he told me that he was a little girl but he grew up into a boy. I was so confused. At 4 or 5 years old I was *pretty sure* that could never happen. But 100%? Nope. The more he said it the more I fought it, and the more I believed that maybe, just maybe, I was going to grow up into a boy. So thanks for that dad. I love you.

ps Isn't he adorable? I love my daddy.
xo  Sue

My Favorite Photo

May 17, 2013

Today I'm sharing my favorite photo of myself. I know I've shared this before when I posted all my maternity pictures but this one is my absolute favorite. Pregnancy was rough but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It was a uniquely spiritual and personal experience. I've never felt so alive.

xo Sue

Something Difficult

May 16, 2013

Today's writing prompt: something difficult about your lot in life and how you're overcoming it. This is a hard one. I've already talked about how Aaron lost his job and we're moving across the ocean in less than a month. Those are the difficult things in life right now. But I don't feel like I (or we) have a difficult lot in life. I have Aaron. I have Everly. I have parents who love and support me, siblings who always make me smile, a niece that I adore, and friends who make everything good. I suppose some people may think my optimism is fake but it's not. I truly see the good in life and I'll always look for it, even when things are hard. Life is what you make it. You can be happy with nothing and miserable with everything.

But here it is, something difficult that I'm working to overcome. When I was 17 my boyfriend was driving me home. We were on the freeway and got rear ended by another car going almost twice as fast as us. Our car was thrown across four lanes of traffic. Needless to say, it was pretty bad. My back has never been the same since. I have horrible back issues and a crooked spine. While I was pregnant it was even worse because of the baby bump weighing so heavily on it. So to overcome the daily aches and pains I do yoga. During pregnancy I modified and did prenatal yoga but I kept it in my life. I stopped for a few weeks after having the baby (the doc told me I needed to) but I'm back into it now and it's amazing. I do yoga every morning when I wake up. Even if it's only for a few minutes, I make sure to get in those great stretches and exercises for my body. It's made a world of difference with how my back feels every day. I am so grateful for the blessing of that in my life.

xo Sue

A Day In May

May 15, 2013

I put more effort into this post than I have in a very long time. I had my iPhone handy all day snapping pics of pretty much everything. Aaron is now convinced of my insanity. When I wouldn't let him take a bite of pizza without a picture he may have rolled his eyes at me (don't worry, he was smiling while he did it). The A Beautiful Mess app could not have come out on a better day. I had way too much fun editing these photos and it took a while to narrow it down to my favs. So here's a little peak into a typical day around our home. Enjoy! 

PS This is the song I listened to while editing pics today. I've always loved it.
xo Sue

Wonderwall by Oasis/oasis on Grooveshark

My Favorite Things

May 14, 2013

  1. Everly's smile, especially first thing in the morning
  2. Holding Aaron's hand
  3. Taking pictures
  4. Nail polish
  5. Chocolate covered pomegranates 
  6. Books
  7. iPhone
  8. Adventures
  9. Afternoon naps
  10. My friends
I was going to say more. Maybe expand upon things a bit. But I can't focus on anything right now. My husband just called to inform me that we're leaving Japan in less than a month. I have so many things to do before we leave. I feel so overwhelmed and a little bit like I want to scream. So instead of writing beautiful words about the thing that make me happy I'm going to take a deep breath and dance around the room with my baby, forgetting my troubles if only for a few minutes. And then I'm going to get to work packing my house, organizing my life, and planning our next adventures. Sometimes life takes you for a ride and you just have to hold on tight and go with it!

xo Sue

A Small Apology

May 13, 2013

I'm sorry if you look at me and see someone you don't like. I've been through a lot in my 27 years. When I was a teenager people made me think that I should try and be like them. Perhaps I should change the way I walk or the words I say or the things I think. They made me feel like I wasn't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Then one day I realized they were wrong. And now I am a strong, confident lady. I'm sorry if you don't like the person I am. I can't (and won't) please everyone. And I only know how to be me.

Also, I'm sorry our attempt at family pictures turned out so horribly. There were a few decent shots and no good ones. But this picture sums up the day perfectly. My forced smile, Aaron's irritation at the situation, and Everly's opinion on having pictures taken at all. I'm very sorry these didn't turn out. They would have been really cute. Except I sort of love this picture. It just makes me laugh.

xo Sue

I Miss You

May 11, 2013

mom & dad
sisters & brothers
new jersey, 2006
my best friends
cafe rio salads
dancing every day
real malls
no responsibility

but I wouldn't trade the things I miss for the beautiful life I have now
and soon I get some of these thing back

Today I am extra grateful for these two ladies. One for being my amazing mama and one for making me a mom. They are both spectacular and I love them. Happy Mother's Day.
xo Sue

10 Words About Me

passionate - thoughtful - patient - loving - smart
independent - optimistic - dreamer - silly - nerd

xo Sue