Favorite Things of Spring

It’s time for my favorite things! It’s been a while, and the amount of things I’m obsessed with right now are adding up. Here is what I’m loving at the moment:

Evergreen Blue Bicycle Coir Doormat from TargetΒ 

Pippin keeping guard. :)

I love Target, and not just because my hubby works there. πŸ˜‰ I did my weekly shopping trip last week and I only had a few items to get. Yet, I still managed to walk out with more than I had planned (like always). One of my unplanned items was this cute doormat. I love how inviting the entrance of our home looks. Pippin adds an extra dose of adorable.

Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher from Starbucks

refresher

My love for Starbucks intensified once Brett introduced me to the Very Berry Refresher. It’s so delicious and is a great pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon. And perfect for summer!

Wishing Bracelets from Stella & Dot

bracelets

My sister hosted a trunk show for Stella and Dot a while ago. While we don’t live near each other, I was able to purchase items through her show online. It was a little pricey for me, but I found these adorable bracelets that I just couldn’t resist. They are dainty and brighten up any outfit.

Covergirl BB Cream

I’m an eyeliner, concealer, mascara and a little blush kind of girl. Foundation doesn’t often work its way into the mix. Recently, I have been trying to find a sunscreen that I can wear everyday that doesn’t make my face shiny and sticky. I decided to try a BB cream. I absolutely love this stuff! It not only is SPF 15, but it also smooths out my complexion and isn’t greasy. Another great item for the upcoming warm months!

EOS Lip Balm

evolutionofsmooth.com

evolutionofsmooth.com

I have always been a faithful user of Blixtex and Chapstick, but it seems EOS Lip Balm has recently become all the rage and I wanted to give them a try. I bought Vanilla Mint and Honeysuckle Honeydew. I love them! They smell lovely, and I like the fact you can apply the balm to your upper and bottom lip in one swipe. My favorites so far are the Vanilla Mint and Sweet Mint.

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten,Β “Bad Blood” by Taylor SwiftΒ and “Believe” by Mumford and Sons

If you haven’t heard these songs yet on the radio, check them out. They are all very different, but very catchy. They have been playing on my iPhone nonstop!

“Wayward Pines” on Fox

Flickr

Flickr

I cannot figure this show out. I have watched two episodes so far, and I’m befuddled. The cast is chock full of movie stars (Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Juliette Lewis). It follows a Secret Service agent searching for two other agents who went missing in Wayward Pines, Idaho. Things get weird and confusing, and I’m hooked!

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Thank you!

I woke up Friday morning feeling uneasy. What Brett and I had been struggling with for the past few months was going to be revealed to the world. It was by my own doing, but I was still nervous for my friends, family, acquaintances and strangers to read the post I submitted to Her View From Home about our struggle to have a baby.

Yet, immediately after I posted it on Facebook, I began receiving messages of support, sympathy and similar experiences. People I hadn’t talked to in years told me about their own struggles and triumphs. Close friends and family sent me texts of love and encouragement that brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t have imagined when I woke up that morning that this was the reaction my writing would receive. And while I was thrilled so many people were reading my post, it was the love and prayers that my heart and soul needed the most. Each new comment, message or text lifted me up a little bit higher. It was exactly what I needed after months of obsessing and worrying about our struggle. It also brought to light that we are not alone. There are many couples who I know that have overcome enormous heartache and have continued to persevere.

So thank you. Thank you to each of you who were brave enough to share your experiences with me and to provide me with words of hope, encouragement and love. I didn’t know how much I needed it. ❀

Sharing my brightest hopes and darkest fears

I have been blogging for about three years. It started out as a part of my job, but it was something I found so much joy in doing. I wrote about my life with my husband and handed out what little relationship advice I had gathered in our years together.

After moving away and starting a new job, I was ready for something fresh. Hence, the beginning of this blog. And I have shared some fairly personal parts of my life. I have talked about my relationship with Brett and my family, adventures and trips we have taken, and the ups and downs I have encountered during adulthood. But throughout my blogging days, I usually keep the deep, dark stuff to myself. There are just some aspects of life I keep private.

Recently, Brett and I have been dealing with something I felt I needed to write about for my own sanity. After two years of marriage, we both felt the time was right to start a family. It’s supposed to be fun and easy, right? No, not always. And I knew that could happen, but that hasn’t stopped my control freak self from having a few meltdowns. I have tried to put on a happy face, and I thought pursuing a new endeavor would help.

I have followed the website, Her View From Home, for a few years. It’s a place where wonderful women (and many are fellow Nebraska gals!) write about their life, loves, passions, kids, faith and so much more. I feel like I know many of the writers because I have followed their stories for so many years. There are stories that are deeply personal and heart wrenching. And there are stories that are insightful, hilarious and uplifting. I have received so much inspiration from these ladies, and I wanted to be a part of it. After sending in a submission about wanting to write for the site, I was invited to write an original piece.

When I saw the word “original,” my mind drew a blank. What the heck do I write about that all these readers would find interesting? Brett encouraged me to write about what has been plaguing our lives for the past few months. I knew he was right. But putting what is going on with my heart, my mind and my body for hundreds (or thousands) to read is scary. I analyzed my post for over a week. I considered writing something else, until finally I took a deep gulp of air and pushed send.

This is new for me, but it’s also liberating. I don’t know how others will react to what I have written, but at the very least I hope to provide some hope or inspiration to others. And while putting it out there for the universe to see might not solve the problem, it might give one person the strength to keep going.

Read my first post for Her View From Home here.

Let’s go to the movies!

Brett is excited movie season has started!

Brett is excited movie season has started!

It’s summer, and in our house that means movie season! Brett and I are movie buffs, and we tend to go to the theater at least once a week in the summer.

Our season kicked off last month, and we are in full movie-watching mode! Casper recently opened a new cinema that has huge screens, amazing sound, reclining seats, freshly made doughnuts, ice cream, etc.! It’s fantastic.

My laid-back movie going attire: sweatpants and slippers!

My laid-back, movie-going attire: sweatpants and slippers!

Here are the movies we have seen so far and what I thought of each one:

  • “Age of Adaline.” I’m a sucker for romantic films, and this movie was stacked full of actors I love (Harrison Ford, Blake Lively and Michiel Huisman). The movie had an interesting premise and the acting was great, but it moved a little too slowly for my taste. I would recommend watching this at home.
  • “Furious 7.” I will tell you right now that I think these movies have gotten incredibly ridiculous with each new one released. I have a hard time suspending my belief to think a couple of teeny cars can pull down a jumbo jet. Mmmk, sure. However, they are fun to watch in theaters. There is a ton of crazy, out-of-this-world action sequences and I thought they did a beautiful job of honoring Paul Walker’s memory. I had a lump in my throat by the end. Check this out if you are looking for a fun time at the movies.
  • “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Brett was extremely pumped for this one. I’m one of the oddballs who wasn’t obsessed with the first “The Avengers.” Action is great, but I felt like that’s all there was happening. Lots of explosions, demolition and fighting. That’s great, as long as the story is solid. “Age of Ultron” suffered from the same ailment as its predecessor. It’s a fun movie to see in theaters because of the intense action sequences, but I like the individual superhero stories better for their focus on and development of individual characters. I’m still hoping Black Widow will get her own movie soon…
  • “Ex Machina.” I tend to scroll through IMDB and watch trailers of upcoming movies. This is how I stumbled upon “Ex Machina.” It was something that I thought Brett would love. I wasn’t sure it would come to theaters here, but when it did, we had to go. I had theories from the very beginning about the plot, but I was wrong and I like that! I love movies that surprise me. It also had Brett and I getting into very philosophical conversations on our drive home. It’s definitely something I would recommend watching.
  • “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Whoa! This movie is mad, just as the title implies. But in a splendid, heart-pounding and spellbinding way. From the very beginning, I was entranced by not only the action sequences, but this horrific world the characters live in. I thought Tom Hardy was superb (duh, it’s Tom Hardy), but this was Charlize Theron’s show. She was strong, determined, vulnerable and a complete badass. It is so worth watching in theaters, we will probably go again!
  • “Pitch Perfect 2.” I saw “Pitch Perfect” three times in theaters. It’s so good! It’s full of sass, humor, wit and catchy songs. And I think my husband likes it just as much, if not more than me. πŸ˜‰ The sequel was hilarious, and the renditions of popular songs were blissful. I absolutely loved the Bellas new rivals, Das Sound Machine! It has me hoping there were will be a “Pitch Perfect 3” in the future.

It’s only May, so you know there are many more movies to come. Here are the movies I’m looking forward to this summer:

What movies are you most excited to see this summer?

Books I can’t put down

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I love snuggling up in our recliner with a blanket and good book. And it must be a real, made-of-paper book.

If I see an interesting novel while strolling through the book section at Target, I tend to snatch it up. Here are just a few books I have read recently that I highly recommend:

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

“Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. If you have read my blog, you probably know I’m a wee bit obsessed with the “Outlander” television series. The book is just as wonderful. It’s full of rich detail, character development, fantasy, history, romance and heart-pounding scenes. You will find yourself zipping through the pages just to see what happens next. Prepare yourself, these books are extremely long but so worth it!

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes. I had seen rave reviews about this book and discovered it was being made into a movie! I always try to read the book before I see the movie, so I made sure to scoop this up on one of my many trips to Target. I’m about halfway into it, and it’s so good! Claire is a young woman who is desperate to find work during a recession in England. She finds a job taking care of a young man, Will, who is a quadriplegic. While the job is challenging for a number of reasons, Claire finds herself doing whatever she can to make Will happy. It has me laughing, and I am almost positive by the end I will be crying!

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

“The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion. If you like the TV show, “The Big Bang Theory,” you will like this book. It follows a scientist who comes up with a very intricate survey to post on dating sites in order to find his perfect mate. But when he meets the unpredictable Rosie, things do not go according to plan. It’s hilarious and heartwarming until the very end. There is also a second book, “The Rosie Effect,” but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

“Looking for Alaska” by John Green. Like most of the world, I loved John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars.” Like “The Fault in Our Stars,” this book creates characters that are normal and real. Green portrays teenagers as people who have thoughts worth listening to and have lives that are as complicated and wonderful as any adult. It’s a beautiful story, but have tissues at the ready!

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. If you like mystery, magic, fantasy and gorgeous imagery, this book is for you! The author, Erin Morgenstern, creates a beautiful world within a circus where anything you can imagine is possible, while a unique and interesting love story slowly unfolds throughout the novel. There were times where I was left with so many questions, I just had to keep reading to see what happened next.

And because I’m always buying new books, here are a few on my want-to-read list:

What are some books you are loving right now or want to read?

Live the rest of your life right now

Flickr

Flickr

Have you ever stared into your significant other’s eyes and said, “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you!” I know I have said it multiple times to Brett. And it’s so, so very true. I’m ecstatic to be spending my life with this incredible man, and I’m excited to see what our future holds. But instead of always looking forward to what is going to happen next, why don’t we enjoy the beautiful moments we have right now?

As my hubby and I begin planning for the next step in our lives (expanding our brood!), I’m eager for that next step to happen ASAP. I have no patience, and I like being able to do things myself. If it’s in my power to make it happen, you can be certain I will get it done. When i think something is right, I’m convinced there is no other possible path. As you can probably tell, I’m not exactly a ball of fun when I don’t get my way. Time and time again, God has laughed when I make plans. When I think everything is hopeless and nothing I wanted will ever come true, He provides me with a new venture that is better than I could have imagined. There is a reason the big man upstairs is in charge, and I am not.

So instead of constantly wanting the next big thing to happen immediately and being downtrodden when it doesn’t materialize in an instant, I’m pushing myself to live in this moment. These days of being able to take risks, to go on spur-of-the-moment trips, to go to late-night movies, to binge-watch TV shows and read a book for hours uninterrupted may be limited. I should enjoy these moments while I have them.

When I say I’m “pushing” myself to live in the moment, I mean that. It’s not a feeling I wake up with each day. I often have to take a few moments and just remind myself what an amazing life I have. Being negative has never helped me in any situation. (Although sometimes having a good, long cry can make you feel better, oddly enough.)

Looking forward to the future is a wonderful thing. I will not discourage anyone for being optimistic and excited for what is to come. But remember, there was a point in your life when you were looking forward to the days you are living right now. If that “future” doesn’t come to you as quickly as you hope, there is a reason for that. I don’t know what that reason is, but I know it is not in our hands. So relish each day you are given in this chapter of life. You won’t ever get it back.

Tumblr

Tumblr

Sprinkling the world with a little kindness

I have been trying to do at least one random act of kindness each week, and so far it’s been pretty easy.

After donating some items to a homeless shelter, my next act was to send a card to a loved one. My grandma and grandpa send me cards all the time. Whether it’s for birthdays, holidays or special occasions, my grandma finds the best cards that make my day. It was time to return the love.

The card I sent to my grandparents.

The card I sent to my grandparents.

I found a super cute card I thought they would like and wrote a message inside about what Brett and I have been doing lately and to say I loved them. After she received it, she called to thank me for the card and to see how I was doing. It felt great knowing that something so simple could make another person that happy. πŸ™‚

My next act took a little more planning. I wanted to start recycling. I searched our city’s website to find where I could drop off recycling and what could be recycled. We are starting off by recycling paper and plastic.

The recycling we have accumulated after two weeks!

The recycling we have accumulated after two weeks!

I bought two small trash cans at Target and made room for them in our kitchen closet. I have been surprised by how quickly those cans are filling up and how many plastic items we throw away! I’m happy we are doing our small part to help the environment.

What is a random act of kindness you have completed recently?