Happy Birthday, My Love

Today is K’s 33rd birthday.

(I love this pictures of him giving his sister the business.)

Last year, when he turned 32, we had no idea it would be his last one without a child. We were on vacation- in Arizona- and we went on a long train ride through a canyon and had dinner at the MOST delicious place. Arizona was rainy and cold and expensive- but it’s one of my favorite trips ever.

Today is much less fun. K is at work & I’m home with a congested baby. Tonight we have calling hours for a very distant family member. Hopefully I can make K feel special this weekend with some fun activities and one of his favorite dinners.


It seems that at 33 and 29 we’re officially true adults. Ha. We started dating when he was 20. We’ve both changed so much over the past thirteen years and yet… we’re still the same ❤ & he’s still my favorite person on the planet.

 

Happy Birthday, my love. Here’s to many, many more.

Birthday Month Wishlist

Thank you for all the love this week. It’s meant so much ♥ I want things to just feel normal & they don’t yet. I’ll be fine, then think about how Ly’s stocking is packed away, ready to affect me come Christmas time. She used to go upstairs and nap every. single. time. I made coffee at home. I haven’t brought myself to make any yet because I hate that she’s not there to carry out her weird little habit. Weird stuff like that still lingers and makes me cry myself to sleep every stupid night.

I meant for this to be a happier post, though, so I’m going to move on. But I did want to sincerely thank everyone for their love. It’s been a comfort to us.

It’s my birthday month & the best month of the year!

My family likes to tease that once baby is here, nothing with be about me anymore. (You all ARE just teasing, right?) But… I still have a few weeks and fortunately my 29th birthday falls in that time.

Every year I do a wish list and every year I say (and mean) this: I don’t need a thing for my birthday. I wrote this post before we lost Lylee so I would take her over every single gift ever but I know that’s not possible and wishing for it makes me imagine a Monkey’s Paw situation which is icky.

Ok… now moving on 😬

Entertainment:

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire Illustrated Copy. It’s finally (coming) out! I’m so excited to get my hands on this gorgeous book!!

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. I don’t play a ton of video games anymore, but I still love these.

Clothes:

I love clothes but I’m kind of between sizes 😉 lol

I Work Out to… tank. I’m thinking an XL would be great for postpartum yoga and barre workouts someday when I’m all cleared to go back to that stuff.

Home Items:

I always love a snarky doormat. This one or this one would fit in great at our house. Again, when I found these mats we had multiple dogs. We will again some day so I still love it.

Beetlejuice pillow. I very much love this and would probably leave it out for more than Halloween. Lol

Random Items:

A bag for my yoga mat. I haven’t had a fictional strap or bag for my mat in years. I know they’re inexpensive and easy enough to find, I just haven’t pulled the trigger.

New cooling racks. I have two wire cooling racks and the black nonstick coating is peeling off both of them. Not a great “sprinkle” to have on your cookies or cupcakes.

A sticker for my laptop. MacBook 13″

A case for my laptop. MacBook 13″

**For family: All the Amazon items can be found on my wish list, plus some other items


I love October and we’re trying very heard to mend and take care of our hearts this month. We have lots of baby prep to get done and Halloween is just around the corner. This will definitely be a month of change for all of us.

28 Things (because I’m turning 28)

Tomorrow is my birthday. It’s weird to be turning 28 because I feel like I was 18 or 22 or even 25 just last week. It’s weird to say I’m 28. I’m not bothered by it, I’m just confused about how I banked 28 years of life and where the past decade went…

But anyway, here are 28 things I know:

  1. Avocados are delicious. It took a while for me to acquire the taste, but YUM.
  2. You need to be passionate about something, even if it’s not what the cool kids are passionate about.
  3. There are no “cool kids.”
  4. Be friends with people you trust and love and want to succeed. It’s ok to not like or not get along with everyone, but when you find your people hold on to them tightly and lift them up and cherish those relationships.
  5. Horses are still terrifying.
  6. Sometimes it’s about who you know, but it’s always about how you treat them. Always.
  7. Kindness costs nothing but you’ll pay dearly for anger or hatred.
  8. No means no, silence means no, and walking away/resisting means no. And you are allowed to say no whenever the hell you want.
  9. Kids do not equal success. Owning a home does not equal success. Traveling all over does not equal success. YOU get to define your own success. Don’t hand that power over to society.
  10. Facebook sucks. If you have the willpower to quit it, you should. I don’t yet.
  11. Read more. Learn more. Talk with people from different walks of life. Educate yourself about what’s going on around you.
  12. Practice empathy, but don’t internalize all the world’s drama. It will 100% destroy you.
  13. Find role models. And change role models if you need to. Inspirational quotes actually go a long way.
  14. Meditation, prayer, yoga, exercise, gratitude journals… they all work. Get in the habit of doing something that works for you.
  15. Don’t let your fears control you. I’m still working on this one.
  16. Pay attention to who is excited to see you and to see you succeed and to share in your special days. Return the favor and love them completely. (This includes pets.)
  17. If you’ve ever thought about getting a dog, DO IT. And adopt from your local shelter.
  18. Pay attention to what you put in your body and on your body.
  19. But also, eat dessert whenever you gosh darn please.
  20. Cake and pizza are suitable breakfast foods. I don’t like pizza or (most) cake, but I’m giving you the go ahead to eat it for breakfast.
  21. Spend your money responsibly. I don’t mean save it- I mean research where your money goes when you make purchases and know who or what you’re supporting with the swipe of a credit card.
  22. LaCroix is gross. Sorry, but it is. (Hahaha. If you like it that’s ok, too.)
  23. You don’t need to find a life partner, but if you happen to meet “the one” make sure that person fully respects you & encourages you.
  24. I know it’s a popular phrase right now, but “self-care” is a real thing. It’s as easy as taking a bath, sleeping in on the weekends, or pouring yourself a cuppa tea and reading a few chapters.
  25. Go freakin’ vote. And don’t ignore politics. These things are happening in your world and they will eventually effect you. Stay on top of them.
  26. Learn the difference between effect and affect, who and whom, then and than, their they’re and there, etc. I’m still working on that first one.
  27. If you partake in the drink, know what cocktails you love and learn how to mix them correctly.
  28. Be unapologetically yourself. If you love Harry Potter or Disney or superheroes or fantasy or baseball or the beach or whatever. There is NO normal. There really aren’t any rules when it comes to being you. Identify what colors or things or people or places make you happy, and then invest in them wholeheartedly.

And that’s all I’ve got. Off to eat ice cream & donuts because I really don’t like cake that much.

My Wishlist (for friends & family & others like me)

I always feel like a brat when I make these posts but A) it’s a collection of cool stuff I think people like me might be interested in and B) when family & friends ask about birthday/Christmas gifts it’s SUPER easy to point them in the direction of posts like this…

SO without further ado… here are some things I wouldn’t mind getting for my birthday next month 😉 Also, the asterisks (*) are notes to family members.

Clothing.

Thanks to Erin, I now know of animalhearted.com

link lrg| link lrg

More good stuff (all size lrg)…

link | link | link

And these…

link | link | link | link

Books.

First things first… the newest illustrated HP book! ⚡🖤
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (released 10/3)

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (pre-order for release 11/7)

Other stuff.

Kindle Paperwhite
Right now I use the Kindle app on my iPad sometimes, but it strains my eyes. I know Kindles have come a long way and I get a free book monthly with my Prime account, so I’d really like one of the middle-of-the-road tablets. *I’ve mentioned this to Kyle

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
I don’t play video games as often as I used to… but I still keep my DS on my nightstand 🙂 I love these games!

Nintendo Switch
Have these been restocked yet? Lol. I’d also like this game 😁

Some may call it fate… Pottery Barn Teen just released their new HP line 😀

One of these and one of those and these, too! | *These prices are ridiculous. No one get me this stuff.

I mean… new house new decorations, right? I’m sure K will be on board 😉

ETSY for the win…

link | link (a+k, any color 🖤, and two paw prints)

I love these so-freaking-much:

In order of most-love to love: link | link | link | link

I am forever obsessed with artwork…

link | link | link | link

Ok, I’m done.

Actually… one more thing. A new president would be awesome. Preferably one that cares about equality, unity, safety, and people in general. Maybe one that tweets less and worries more about violence toward citizens, the health of citizens, and the overall lives of citizens (even the ones way out on an island THAT IS A PART OF THE USA).

K. Done.

*I just realized I could link up for Add It To My List with Lauren and Bre!

 

Throwing a Party with +50 Guests

I was terrible about snapping pictures at Kyle’s 30th birthday party, but if you followed along on Snapchat you may have seen a few quick moments from the event. A few weeks ago I threw K a party and invited over 75 people. Roughly 50 to 60 showed up.

Only after I counted all the “yes” RSVPs did I realize that this party was going to be the size of a small wedding reception. (Whoops. ) I’m no stranger to throwing large parties, but it’s still a pretty daunting task. Just in case you were wondering, here’s how I did it and here’s how it went!

I made a Facebook event about 4-5 weeks in advance. While I love paper invites and prefer them 100xs over any kind of e-vite, FB was the way to cut costs and get the word out quickly.

We had the party in the company warehouse. Thank God for K’s employees Jake, Jordan, and K’s dad Jeff*. Together the five of us cleaned, rearranged, and set up the open space on Friday before the party. (It’s our slow-ish season so we were able to take a day and deep clean/set up.)

(* We only hire people with J names obviously, lol.)

This is how the warehouse typically looks. We cleaned and put everything in its place.

I sure wish I had an “after” photo. *facepalm* Anyway, we converted two of the workbenches into a salsa and taco bar and then set up another mobile workbench with the cakes (one decorated vanilla on vanilla and one yellow with chocolate frosting) and drinks (margaritas, beer, water).

We trailer-ed in three picnic tables and two long folding tables from my parents house for dining. We borrowed two sets of cornhole boards from my aunt and uncle, we borrowed a large backyard Jenga set from friends, and we set out Blockus, Twister, and domino men for the kids to play with. (Turns out the 2 to 4 year olds loved the domino men, I ended up playing Blockus at 12:45am, and no one touched Twister.)

We have a 20′ x 20′ tile carpet area that we use in the booth at trade shows so we broke it out for a seating area complete with couches, chairs, a TV and Wii system, and the little kids area. My brother-in-law also brought his Nintendo Switch for the teens/adults to use. And we definitely did.

I’m getting a little bit better about asking for help/delegating. My mother-in-law brought the margaritas and some queso dip. (Thank you!) My grandma and my mom made some cookies. (Thank you!) And K’s aunt, dad, and mom were on call when I needed anything. (Thank you!) The party would not have gone so smoothly without them.

I made a “baby chalkboard” for Kyle, I bought “3-0” balloons, and I hung a happy birthday banner for the event. Other than some table cloths and fabric to cover the warehouse mess, there wasn’t much decorating.

I made 20lbs. of beef, chopped 14 onions & 15 tomatoes, and bought 180 tacos (100 soft, 80 hard), four large bags of cheese, and 10 small bags of shredded lettuce. Also, I got 3 large jars of salsa, some store-bought guac, and 6 bags of tortilla chips. To be honest, we had WAY too much onion and tomato, but I only had 1/4 of the beef left over which impressed me. I could’ve cut the cheese and lettuce inventory in half, but who knew. I provided taco lunches for the warehouse guys in the days following the party.

All that remained of the party on Monday…

Our party started at 4pm and we had a steady flow of people all night. Some even left (and dropped off a kid or spouse) and came back. We invited family and friends and friends of the family, ha. Overall, we had a fantastic time 🙂 Our last guests left around 1:30am. I was so exhausted.

Seeing all our friends and family was fun, although I think I will request a vacation for my 30th birthday 😉 What are some fun things you’ve done for “monumental” birthdays?