Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Little Letters

There's a little trend out in the 'blog world' that I like.
But I also hate copying, so I refrained from joining in.
Well, I've decided to say what-the-heck and jump on the bandwagon.

Dear Coronado Island,
   The combination of your perfect view of the city, amazing coffee shops, clean sandy beaches, pet-friendly-ness, precious million dollar homes, and all-around awesomeness has made me one happy girl lately. Can we have a date every day?

Dear Jury Duty,
   I realize I've postponed you three times. But you just are not convenient for my schedule. Let's postpone next month for retirement. Then I'll be glad to fulfill my civil duty every year.

Dear Fingernails,
   Can you grow for goodness sake? Please and thank you.

Dear Pinterest,
   I think you're really fun. Thanks for all the pretty pictures and ideas. Now to actually do one of them.

Dear Tidelands Park,
   You are quite the secret hideaway. Thanks for being empty, huge, and safe, and letting Emma and Baker run free. We'll visit again soon.

Dear twinsies in the NICU,
   The way the two of you do the same thing at the same time from two different beds is seriously rad. And keeps me very busy. :)

Dear Emma and Elsie,
   You ladies are famous. And your app has made photo editing that much funner. Can't wait for your book to come out. You guys rock.

Dear Real Simple magazine,
   You are the most exciting thing that lands in my mailbox. You and those $10 Kohls giftcards. Can you come soon? The grocery ads are only so exciting.

Dear baby J {edit: this is NOT a baby in my tummy... this is a princess from our NICU},
   Do you know how your sweet little spirit has inspired more letters to be written?

Dear Lindsey,
   Thank you for making every single shift I work with you so worth it. You're an incredible nurse and great friend and I adore you.

Dear Kindle app,
   I decided to try you out today for the first time on a $3 book. Best. decision. ever. I didn't think reading on my phone would be so cool. I was wrong.

Dear Baker,
   I'm sorry we had to sit in the vet for 2 hours yesterday. You were such a good boy. Soon your ears will feel better.

Dear Emma,
   Thank you for not tearing up the house while we were gone. You seriously have a heart of gold, sweet bear.

Dear J,
   I love when you laugh, sing with your headphones on, and kiss me every day when you get home. Thanks for choosing me to do your days with.

Dear Jesus,
   You are my strength when I am weak. Your mercies are new every morning. Thank you for being enough.

much love,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Shout-out: A Beautiful Mess {and some visual moments of late}

 So I found this new photo editing app called A Beautiful Mess.
If you have instagram, you NEED this app. 99 cents is absolutely worth it.
A Beautiful Mess is also the name of a blog by two sisters, Elsie and Emma.
These girls are just the cutest and have way more than just photography on their blog,
so go check them out if you have time.
I told Carly we need to have a sister blog. :)

I've been having fun using the app to add to photos I've been taking.
So here's a little glimpse into a few moments in my life this month.

fourth of july parties with carly, j and the pups in the bed of j's truck

amazing skies crafted by our Creator Himself

 dinner with family to celebrate mom's birthday

visits to coronado beach

 puppy play time in coronado with my gorgeous sister

 and puppy snuggles on the way home after playtime

 visiting and photoshooting with our favorite little girl {and family} in the world

 amazing sunsets

 beautiful new blooms around home

time with my sissy

 family photos

 discovering a new park

 time with baker

 time with emma

 being reminded of how fortunate i am to live in san diego

healthy 'green' smoothies

yummy strawberry banana smoothies

and way too many homemade white chocolate iced blendeds {possibly my favorite treat ever}

God, You are good.
Thank you for different experiences and eyes to see your hand in it all.
Thank you for new recipes, family time, and puppy smiles.
And apps that make photo editing that much more fun.
You are so gracious to your people.
And you are so faithful.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Italia: Day 5: to Cinque Terre we go

Remember that Italy trip Carly and I went on forever ago? 
And I finally started blogging... and then left you hanging? 
Let me try to finish. :)

So we left off after our cooking class in Florence... good or bad? Well, a great story that's for sure!

Thursday morning, we woke up in Florence early and checked out of our hotel/b&b...
today is the day we are heading to Cinque Terre!

As we checked out in Florence, Cristina handed us homemade biscotti and a hug.
Sweetest b&b hosts ever.

This train experience was the craziest by far. We caught a train from Florence to Monterosso. There was nowhere to put our luggage, so it ended up next to us... until they made us move it... which was another story. {picture me the only one standing in the aisle with people waiting for me to move trying to shove my gigantic suitcase under the seats, and ending up with it right in front of me and basically cross legged sitting on top of it... it was that exciting}.
 But before we stopped in Pisa to pick up a million people, we enjoyed some Ticket to Ride. 
That ipad was so awesome for the train!!

We arrived in Cinque Terre on quite possibly the most freezing pouring down rain day of the year {minus the land slides last week, of course!} But it was still beautiful to see the ocean.

We couldn't walk to our hotel because of the landslides filling the walking tunnel (of course), so we hung out in this little arch waiting for the taxi {THE taxi... there's only 2 in the town.}
This is the train station. And my cute sister in her hoodie.

The taxi driver pulled up like 20-30 min later and we hopped in for what became the 
scariest ride. of. my. life. 
Curtailing turns, up and around the steepest and sharpest corners with barely a little railing keeping us from falling off the edge... my life definitely flashed before my eyes. As we rode, captive by our no-English-speaking driver, I definitely thought, I wonder if we will live to tell this story. 
 Thankfully it was only 15 minutes. And that we lived.
He dropped us off and made some quick dramatic gesture which we assume was supposed to be directions and told Carly something in Italian and then he was off.
Well, we managed to find our way and let me tell you, when we saw this sign, we were like, hallelujah!
Our hotel was definitely charming and the people who worked there were so sweet. 

 And then we threw ourselves onto the bed and thanked God that we were alive.
 OK, primary drama over. :)
Oh wait, maybe not.

So then we had this great idea to walk around to find a cute cafe to have snacks in.
Well, Carly wanted to go in the first one we saw. {something we learned about ourselves on this trip... I want to see allllllll my options before deciding... she's a much better decision maker}.
It was a less-than-great choice. But in her defense, nothing else was open. :)
So we walk into this little cafe. There's a lady chilling at a table watching some soap opera with subtitles in Italian (but really it was in English because they spoke English and just played the Italian over it). 
Just her and us.
We figured out she worked there when she slowly got up and got us a few snacks. 
Not the best snacks we've had on this trip. Not to be negative. But they were ok.
Then she sat back down and watched the soap across our table while we ate as fast as we could. haha.
Oh and don't forget papa Joe coming in halfway through - maybe her grown son who also worked there? Ah, such adventures.

So at this point I can't remember which order things happened in, but at some point we went exploring and at another point we had dinner in the little restaurant in our hotel. 
That was probably the best {well, only} food part of Cinque Terre. Lattes and pasta and salad, just us.

 So then we decided we had to go exploring even though it was pouring rain. 
Seriously POURING.
Which means most of the town is closed, turns out.
But that's ok! We made the best of it!

Monterosso is such a cute little town.

So Cinque Terre is actually five cities, which you can travel between fairly easily and see them from the other cities when the weather is nice. Well you can kinda see one of the little towns in this picture!

Then it started to get dark and we were soaked and freezing and had basically explored all we could.
So we headed back to our room and spent the evening painting our nails and curling our hair and organizing our suitcases. 
Which ended up being just what we needed. So the Lord worked it all out for us. :)
 My sister is such a good travel buddy. She didn't even complain.
{minus the stories we've already shared! haha}

Overall impression: 
I think Cinque Terre is much cooler than this. Not sure if this was worth a crazy travel trip to hang out in the rain for an afternoon. But we were really glad we got to see the water and this little gem so many people rave about. I also realized how un-Italian I am. The smaller the town, the less English people speak. This proved to be a bit of a challenge. So learn more Italian if you are going to the smaller local towns. But it worked out. :) Other lesson learned {basically through this whole trip} -- it is really hard to take good pictures in the rain!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Surprise purple flowers blooming on our walk
Sleep knowing I don't have to work tonight
Cinnamon rolls
Tired responses that end up humorous
Tea for the troops
Coffee bean and tea leaf... Heaven on earth
Target... Other {monetary} heaven on earth ~ new gift bags..what what!
Mom's upcoming birthday
J snuggles
Emma planting herself under J until he told her he'd come on her walk
Puppy excitement
Sleeping babies
IVs that last the entire shift
A mommy's love
Freshly cut grass
Air conditioning
Ice cream sandwiches
Sister texts

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rekindling Moments: June

June gloom? What's that?
These are the moments of my days...

1 - J's "happy June" song and dance
2 -  counting steps with the girls at work and reaching 10,000 steps on my fitbit!
3 - my husband being encouraged by his friends
4 - getting off work and walking outside on a cloudy cool morning
5 - good day's sleep
6 - harvest ranch sandwiches and an amazing three hour conversation with Katie
7 - sweet unexpected relaxing afternoon outside with my mother in law and puppies
8 - late night showers in our white freshly resurfaced bathtubs
9 - sweet naptime with my husband
10 - J grocery shopping for me after work, making dinner, and cleaning up before I went to work
11 - putting our pretty new-looking bathrooms back together
12 - three step-down kids and working with Lindsey
13 - the phone call from Katie to say we soon get to work together
14 - brief God-like understanding of the Scriptures
15 - real estate prospects
16 - sending texts and making calls and visits to celebrate Father's Day and looking forward to the day when we celebrate J as a father [beyond a puppy daddy]
17 - toast with nutella reminding me of Italy - I've eaten almost an entire jar of nutella in like a week. #addicted
18 - an amazing day of sleep
19 - a cup of french vanilla coffee from our coffee machine at work
20 - house hunting through Lakeside with Grandma
21 - J telling me "put them in the freezer" about the chocolates we picked up in Del Mar with friends tonight - love that he's come to my side on the cold chocolate thing
22 - snuggling with Baker while braving the latest 007 movie
23 - getting our families together to celebrate my J's 28th birthday
24 - Panera with and encouragement from my amazing friend at work, and just the right words from my amazing husband
25 - grace undeserved
26 - tea time with my favorites, youtube brainstorming, chinese food and birthday celebrating
27 - clean house, afternoon in Coronado watching Em and Bakes frolic in the ocean and then time with the Lord on the grass overlooking San Diego
28 - appreciating my in laws on their 39th wedding anniversary
29 - beautifully yummy sugar cookies and the sweetest card on our doorstep from my mom
30 - two nights in a row working with Lindsey

God is so good. I am so thankful.
I will choose joy.