I found myself audibly affirming almost every sentence of this article; I think everyone should read it. Here is just a taste.
And so we make that choice every day, every fight, every disappointment, to keep our promise to be loyal and forgiving, to be a couple that lasts. We remember those words we exchanged, clutching each other's hands, in front of God and family and friends. A wedding is not a theatrical performance: it's the real thing, an adult decision that is supposed to determine the direction and integrity of the rest of our lives.
Obviously, this written in the wake of celebrity divorce announcements from the likes of Kim Kardashian, but I can't get over the way media often portrays divorce - as a necessary evil to keep one happy in life, instead of the emotional wreckage that it usually is.
A dear friend of mine recently finalized a divorce after ten years of marriage and two young kids. It has devastated their family. While she had more than enough grounds for it, it still surprised me (and maybe others) with the emotional wreckage it left behind. It's ugly, it's painful, and the damage is permanent.
That said, healthy marriage - and I'm blessed to be around a few of them in my life (my parents' especially) -can be a deeply meaningful and beautiful thing, even if it seems boring to others.
Pastor Tim Keller recently came out with a book on marriage, written with his wife, which E and I added to our Christmas wishlist. We both really appreciate the way Pastor Tim Keller teaches and preaches and we visited his church when we were in New York in June.
"[when you get married] you fall in love with the person they are, as well as the person they will become."
"Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.”
Disneyland was a lot more packed than we hoped, but as always, we went in with a strategy and didn't have a long wait in more than two lines. We missed Pirates of the Caribbean because they were re-opening it that day so the lines were insane and fast-passes sold out quickly. The new Star Tours update was really good - we had no idea they changed it! Much better graphics and story.
It was my first time going to Disneyland around the holidays so I especially enjoyed seeing all the holiday decor - the castle was beautiful! It was actually E's mom's idea. [She's not a fan of photos of herself so I didn't include any here]. Then, on Friday we went shopping in Old Pasadena and had fun starting our Christmas shopping (surprisingly it wasn't very busy!). Sunday I made a thanksgiving dinner to make up for the missed holiday. It wasn't terribly creative, but I considered it a success!
Holiday weekends. So much of everything I love.
1. Captain EO (Michael Jackson circa 1986) and our favorite lunchtime show, Billy Hill & the Hillbillies
2. Spotted: The Mad Hatter and Alice, near the Teacups
3. Enormous Christmas tree, and E double-fisting and dominating his favorite game, Buzz Lightyear
4. The Christmas parade
5. Storybook land
6. Main Street USA at twilight
7. Mr. Toad, and the castle
8. I wore a Tshirt I bought four years ago and still fits! Breakfast at the Anaheim Hilton - YUM
9. E in his element at a used/vintage bookstore and coffee at Intelligentsia
10. Our belated Thanksgiving festivities - I did the entire dinner! so happy it turned out.
I hope you all had wonderful weekends with food, family and fellowship!
p.s.I couldn't resist digging up a picture from my very first trip to Disneyland - a few months before E and I started dating - and comparing it to one we took this week. What a different four years makes...
It's hard to believe it was a year ago that my whole family was out here visiting us over Thanksgiving. We're taking a little bit of a non-traditional approach to the day this year and going with E's parents to Disneyland. I'm hoping the crowds are light and it doesn't rain, but mostly I'm so excited to go back to one of our happiestplaces ever.
We weren't planning to celebrate Thanksgiving with a big dinner at all,but shopping last night I found a hormone-free organic turkey and it was small enough for E's family of four. So I'm going to be cooking a belated Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, for nostalgia's sake.
I hope you all have a wonderful time of reflecting on your blessings and spending time with family and friends tomorrow.
I'm thankful for:
Many opportunities for the future, even though ours is currently unknown
Three computers, two bedrooms, one king-sized bed. All the comforts of home
Closets and dressers full to overflowing and an abundantly stocked kitchen
A beloved family
A good job - that is relatively low-stress, pays the bills, has great insurance and allows me to see E for lunch almost every day
Simple pleasures - books, funny tv shows, crafts, makeup, coffee
A lovely community of friends on the internets that continually surprise me with their warmth, genuineness, intelligence, creativity and care.
My new iPhone is becoming such a photo crutch. I've only taken my camera out lately to take pictures of my outfits. Instagram is the soup of the month and I'm still not sick of it. Here's a round up of the past couple weeks.
1. Spokane, Washington from 14 floors up.
2. My parents visit and we go to Julian on the rainiest day of the decade. Pie and bear hats kept us occupied.
3. The end of San Diego Beer Week. YUM.
4. hail. hail! hail? In San Diego of all places
5. Sweets in a stressful week. Apple Boysenberry pie a la mode, and oreos and milk
6. Pho! (still not sure how I convinced E to try it again - but happy I did)
7. I picked up knitting again. This deserves its own post.
8. the cutest babe growing up way to fast
ps. if you're on instagram, comment with profile name so I can add you!
The weekend before last, on the way from picking up my parents from the airport, I arranged to make a quick pit stop at West Elm in Mission Valley so I could get an autograph on my copy of Grace Bonney's gorgeous new tome. I'm sure none of you need an introduction to Design*Sponge, but it's easily the most inspiring site on simple, doable DIY, beautiful decor and classy living spaces (I especially love tvheir "Living in ..." features - style inspiration from great movies)
Even though I was only there for a few minutes towards the end of the event, it was still lovely to meet Grace and thank her for all her inspiration. She's lovely and gracious. I'm so glad the book tour stopped in San Diego!
(wasn't the photo booth background so cute! Courtesy of Amorology)
I snapped a few photos of my outfit after I got home.
A few months ago I discovered these amazing tutorial videos by The Hairpin blogger/This American Life producer Jane Feltes. (p.s. if you don't already listen to This American Life weekly you certainly should. It's my favorite podcast!)
Jane is one of those women that just seems fabulous. She is witty and classy, and you just instantly want to invite her out on a girls night. Plus, she knows what she's doing when it comes to girly-ness.
I grew up around no one who used makeup regularly. The only times my mama has ever worn makeup is at my wedding and my sister's wedding. I'm the oldest girl in my family so I never had anyone to mimic or steal blush from. As a result I have had a lot of trial and error in the makeup department - from wearing horrible colors of eyeshadow, to my enormous eyebrows, to waay too much bronzer. Only in the last couple of years have I started really attempting to buy quality makeup and wear it well.
I wasn't going to blog about this. Just mention it on Twitter, have a good cry, and move on.
But you guys blew me away again with your ability to empathize and understand. (Thank you a million) So I know I'm in good company.
My parents had to put our family dog of 13 years down yesterday. Truly, it has been a long time coming and while sad, it isn't tragic. When I got to visit them last month I saw how worn down she was. Not in pain, but incontinent and nearly immobile, especially in the back half of her body. When I said goodbye, I knew that was the last time I would ever see her.
I was ten years old when we picked Shadow up from the local animal shelter. My mom was a softie when it came to dogs...she had desperately wanted one growing up and her parents told her she had to wait until she had her own house.
We all fell for Shadow instantly; I'm sure you can see why. Her nameplate read "Clarissa" (poor dog), but as a 5 month old puppy, we knew we could train her out of it.
She has always been the sweetest, calmest dog. When she got annoyed or frustrated, she would just leave the room. It's hard to describe the relationship you have with a family dog - I'm sure its different for everyone. I wouldn't consider her my dearest friend or closest companion. She wasn't my dog, she was always our dog.
But I also cannot imagine not having her there when I go back to my parents. Letting me stick my annoying cold feet under her belly. Making her jump over our legs propped up on the coffee table. Teasing her with a bit of leftover steak so she would catch it when we toss it across the room to her. Watching her bound through the first snow of the year with so much excitement you'd never guess she'd already been through a lifetime of winters. But laughing because two weeks later she'd be to fussy to walk more than two feet into it to pee.
Looking at this picture I took just six weeks ago I can't believe what an old lady she looks like.
"Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."
I've had to make a few tough decisions lately. Life was getting a little bit too overwhelming and finally on the verge (or maybe in the middle of ) a breakdown I knew it was time to chill out and re-evaluate where all my time has been going.
The Greek class I've been taking was requiring more time and attention from me. With all of my work trips I felt like I could never catch up. One night, after getting home late Sunday night and sitting down immediately to study for my catch up quiz the next morning, I realized that this class I was taking was no longer 'for fun' the way I had intended it to be.
So I cried for about an hour (I can be really dramatic), and decided to drop the class. I could have, and maybe should have, done so a lot sooner, but my pride was getting in the way. At this point with work and home responsibilities, I really needed to be 100% committed to school to make it work. And I wasn't. So when life got a little busier, I got quickly discouraged and put off anything productive in favor of wallowing in self-pity.
I never wanted to be that person who is ALWAYS SO BUSY and never has time to talk or get together because of the stress level she's under and spends all her time talking about how her life is so crazy. But over the past three weeks that has definitely been me.
I learned (am still learning) a pretty heavy lesson that I'm bad at prioritizing and time management, and that I need to think more intentionally about how I spend my time. Time is a gift I've been given to steward and I consistently use it poorly, causing stress on me and everyone around me.
After a few really crazy weeks, it feels refreshing to wipe the slate clean, take a deep breath, pray for focus and diligence, and get started again.
So, E and I were both traveling last week. We each had stressful trips with delays, flight changes, etc and both of us simultaneously has major issues with our cell phones. Batteries dead, service not working when it should, and no access to internet when it would have been especially helpful.
We've been lusting after and researching iPhone for a few months, but it just wasn't in the budget for us - especially because the required data plans would double our phone bill and force us to switch providers. We thought maybe Christmas presents? But after the stress of ineffective cell phones while traveling, we had both had it. I picked E up from the airport (4 hours later than he planned to come in, and in a different airport) and we drove straight to Verizon to get iPhones.
Word to the wise - after a long stressful weekend of traveling, going to a cell store and getting new phones, starting a new plan and switching providers is not exactly the quickest, least stressful idea. After two hours in the store we left with my iPhone 4 and E would pick up his the next day.
We did some research on the 4S and decided that we'd rather pay the lower price for the 4 because it didn't seem like the improvements were that drastic.
One week into using it and my life has been so much easier! Especially while I'm traveling I love being able to look up places with free wifi, check-in for my flights online, find good restaurants, and get directions to them. And, after ogling all of your adorable istagram pictures, I've been taking plenty of my own!
I have to admit, I'm still not an Apple convert so I'm still getting used to the way Apple products work. It's not intuitive to me. But overall having the iPhone has made things so much less stressful and more convenient. The best part so far is a forever lasting battery life! (48 hours for the first two charges, now its about 24)
Here's a dump of this week's instagram pics. I'm on my way to eastern Washington for my final trip of the fall then I'm excited to get back into regular posting mode (and regular life!).
[If you're on instagram as well - follow me! I'm lattelove]
new very bradley clutch & puppy-sitting
Boston....in the fall? (these pictures were taken 1 day apart)