Thursday, July 5, 2018
Is there anything better than a good friend? Or a whole family of good friends?? We had some of our very best friends, the Nelsons, come visit three weeks ago now (man time flies!), and I was thinking as I prepped for their arrival that we've reached that life stage where all of our dear friends are all over the country. They're in New York, Virginia, California, Texas, Utah, Arizona, Alabama -- those are the spots I can think of off the top of my head, and I bet if I took a second to dig deeper here I'd round up some more. Being soooo old (๐Ÿ˜‰ ) is both exciting and crazy (but mostly crazy).  

Our weekend with the Nelsons was perfect. We love the Nelsons. They were business students at Darden, we were at the law school, and we've missed them so much. They're the chill kind of friends that rollerblade with you, throw cereal parties for their kids' b-day parties, and convince you to rent your house on AirBnB to make extra cash (yes we did that during law school when we lived away for the summers, and yes we have Reagan and Sam to thank for that one). We spent all day Saturday taking on San Diego together, and if someone out there in the WWW is looking for a good 24 hours in this city, read on and catch a drift of our day. It was the adventurer's dream! 

Here's the itinerary: 

Pre-lunch outing: Hidden Bridge in Hillcrest. If you ever search "things to do in SD" on Pinterest, this super randomly located, super cool suspension bridge will definitely pop up. For good reason!

Lunch: Hodad's Downtown. A wild spot! Its location cuts close to areas of Downtown that I'd normally keep a distance from, but with two dads in tow it was okay to go. The hole-in-the-wall restaurant is famous for its burgers and plastered-with-stickers walls.

Lunch Dessert (because mid-day dessert is what you do when friends are in town!): Hammond's Ice Cream in Pacific Beach. Their famous flights are yummmmy and the funnest way to eat some ice cream!

Pre-dinner outing: La Jolla Cove. The seals, Coastal Walk (on rollerblades and scooters, preferably. See below ๐Ÿ˜Œ), Tide Pools (if the tide is low and if you have time. If you strike out on both requirements like we did, just hang at the park on the cove and love your life, like we did). 

Dinner: The Taco Stand in La Jolla. Although we didn't make it to the Stand that day (SAD)! I forgot that I had a church meeting I had to get to, so we nixed dinner out that night. But without that meeting on the agenda, we would've gone to The Taco Stand for SD's finest tacos!

After-dinner outing: beach sunset at Torrey Pines. We struck out with this one, too, for the same reason above, but along with the Taco Stand, it was part of our initial itinerary for the day.

Now I'll let the pics do the elaborating, starting with the bridge!  


Wednesday, June 27, 2018
My mama dreams came true again last Friday after we threw our second, official BAKE SALE with our best friends, the Gavins. Way back in October 2017 in Virginia, Chrissy and I (and two more of our best girls, Joanna and Rainy) rallied our kids around the concept of the bake sale - "It's the best thing: you work hard and have fun and earn money!" - and then we watched our excited kids push through the details of making it all happen and, finally, sell their goods. I had a handful of photos of that first bake sale in VA that I cannot find for the life of me (TEARS), but this post will cement this year's venture, at least!

This sale was another smashing success from start to finish. The kids worked really hard and their hard work really paid off (literally, since people are SO nice). I love so much that the kids wanted to give up about 30 minutes before we had planned to stop selling, but they dug deep and finished what they'd committed to do. I love that they talked with and catered to their customers' requests -- people that they didn't know. I love that they handled good ol' cash and change! These kind of creative, social, gritty, and entrepreneurial experiences with my girls really are a realized dream for me (I meant what I said and I said what I meant up there)! When I pictured myself as a mother, I pictured myself and my babies - and our friends! - doing fun and productive stuff this...


Monday, June 25, 2018
I have a few minutes (finally!) to sit down here and write a smidgen. I haven't forgotten about The June Project -- I've just been SO FULL of so many good things that, yes, finding time to shut off my present, real world and sit down here has been a bit of a challenge. But I'm so glad I'm here tonight!just with five things that are making me really happy lately...

1.  Our rhythm. Our groove, our schedule, our daily vibe -- the girls and I got it. We've had it for a a while, meaning the last 7/8 months since moving to San Diego, but I felt a real sense of gratitude for it this last week when were all so in sync with where we had to go, what we had to get done, what we didn't have to get done, and each other. A super structured, yet flexible-as-a-rubber-band-life is a good life (for me)!

2. Repeat dinner meals. My family hasn't made one comment about the meals I've been re-making around here (a cobb salad, smoothie bowls, coconut lime white chili, etc.), and I'm glad, because they're good meals and I don't feel like finding better ones right now. 

3. Emmy's naps. Sis napped for THREE HOURS TODAY. Tears tears tears! I knew this day would come when we were in the throughs of newborn life, colic, and moving all over the place -- this day of reliable, regular naps that lasted more than 20 minutes. I used to envision us here - literally picturing a happy, sleeping Emmy and a thrilled mommy in my mind - and (more tears!) we are here (I talked about that "envisioning" coping mechanism back here and what to do if your baby is kind of tough back here).

4. My cleaner-than-ever house. Remember when I wrote about how I couldn't keep up with the mess back here? I don't know why verbalizing things is so magical for me, but ever since I opened my mouth just about that real aspect of my young-mom life, something clicked inside and now the mess can't keep up with me! Haha, well, mostly -- it's still messy around here, of course, but I'm not overwhelmed by it anymore because I really am staying on top of it. The girls are being more helpful, too (hallelujah -- being vigilant with the Chore Charts has helped so much with that). Distancing myself from Instagram has given me more time, which has (obviously) helped immensely, too. I go to bed with a totally clean house every night and man, my soul is HAPPY. 

5. Our burgeoning budget. One of my best fiends, Camie, has inspired me for YEARS with her budgeting skills, and when we were talking recently she reminded me that she just uses a good ol' Excel spreadsheet -- she inputs her expenses all on her own and watches the numbers crunch. I started copying her exactly and, guys, things are happening!! Budgeting apps are definitely helpful and awesome - we've used our fair share - but I don't know if it's because Camie does it the Excel way and I love her, or if that method is just naturally the peanut butter to my jam, but I'm loving it. I'm managing the spending around here and it feels so good!    

Alright I can toss in a sixth. The view outside my kitchen window. Behold: ๐Ÿ˜   
That BOUG! Hands down, it's another thing about life that makes me really happy. That first shot is the exact view right outside of my kitchen window. Doing dishes is a gift, thanks to that big beauty. I love it! 


Monday, June 18, 2018
Ryan sent me a sweet text about an hour ago: "Love, thank you so much for such a fun Father's Day weekend. It couldn't have been better. I love you!!!"

And, yes, those three !!! are really his, which means he was really feeling the love, which made me smile. I've been having this running conversation via Marco Polo with one of my best friends from law school about love languages, and we were laughing about how you think you've figured yourself and your spouse out and then, ka-poof, something happens (or doesn't happen?? haha) and you realize there's more to learn about loving them and feeling loved. Yet after a weekend like this one, it's SO EASY to see that my man just needs his time with his little family. Ry's a "quality time" guy through and through.

We spent our entire Saturday tromping around San Diego together - we saw new things, ate new food - all day long, and then our Sunday was as chill as can be. After church, we cuddled up together for a Sunday show and naps under his Father's Day present - a king-sized blanket as soft as butter! - and then Ry snoozed. Between the family play time, some chill time, and nap time, he was one happy man (!!!)...
I found Claire just drooling over him like that while he slept and it totally melted me. She did it -- Miss Bear put all of our emotions for our husband and daddy into one perfect expression right there. We adore our Daddy. ๐Ÿ’›

Love you forever, sweet Ry (!!!) Happy Father's Day!

PS, a Father's Day from the archives. Cannot believe how much my Olivia and Claire have grown! This old post from Father's Day when Olivia was a BABY made my heart swell, too. Seriously where has the time gone?!


Sunday, June 17, 2018
Pic via: my kitchen counter, the remnants of our Father's Day card craft session included. I stood here for a few minutes this morning and slipped in a short study -- I could feel it in my bones this AM that my day was going to be gogogo, so squeezing in something right away would be better than nothing (or something even shorter and less sincere at the end of my day. I'm not a very good bedtime studier)!
Entry from Friday, June 15
Jacob 4:7
"Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness, that we may know that it is by his grace...that we have power to do these things."

This is why parenting is so hard (I had mothering on the brain, of course, but any life struggle applies) -- so that I can see His power miraculously take my weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Sometimes I feel totally unable to change things about my nature that I need to change for my babies' sakes, but this reminds me that that's okay. It's alright to have a struggle, a weakness, a bad habit, all of it -- He needs a chance to help me. The struggle is real. It is supposed to be!   
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