Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Picking

Nothing makes me appreciate this blog more than when I go to a post tag (current example: pumpkin picking) and I'm able to look back years and years at pictures and words and memories all in one place. Amazing! It's pretty crazy to see the changes in not just the kids, but in us too. Case in point: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Time is crazy! So for the fifth time as a family- the first time when Henry was still in my belly- we made our way over to Freeman Farms for their annual pumpkin festival.

It was a great day- we got to do everything on Henry's list, shared some delicious kettle corn, and left right at closing time. We headed home a little dirtier, the boys a little more tired, but we were all on a pumpkin high, feeling so happy after a hayride and wandering around the farm for a couple of hours. Visiting the pumpkin patch was one of my most favorite traditions as a child, and it's so fun doing the same with our little guys.

Here are some photos from our day -




9th & Elm and Weekend Links

Happy Sunday! The weekend is winding down but before it ends I wanted to share some links and some fun picks from a Sometimes Sweet partner, 9th & Elm. 9th & Elm is a website that showcases items from handmade and independent designers. There is a TON of stuff on the site, so when you head over be sure to utilize the different areas for shopping, but there are definitely some great deals and finds to be discovered. Here are some of my favorites:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9


And also, here are some links from around the web this week. Enjoy! xo

17 Dirty Jokes We TOTALLY Missed In Beloved Films From Our Youth.

What I Saw as an NFL Ball Boy.

Why are America's postpartum practices so rough on new mothers?

Experiences over things.

Why I Don't Breastfeed...if You Must Know.

Wishlist: these sneakers, this dress, and this top.

"Where were all the people?"

These look so good- baked apple cider doughnuts.

So cool: Creating with a Kid.

Love these fall fashion picks.

How to meditate in five minutes or less.

Welcome, Teddy boy!

How do you say goodbye at a party?

7 obvious reasons you need to date a guy with a beard.

Have you checked out Transparent yet? 

The coolest girl you know probably uses a flip phone...

"I survived a weekend with the cult of Oprah."

And finally, "An Ode to the Mid-2000s Coach Bag." Did you have one?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How are you?


How are you?

I really mean it. I feel like sometimes people ask but don't really want to know, you know? And the funny part about blogging is I get to tell you even if you don't want to know! ;) So I'll tell you how I am, really am, and you do the same, ok? You can leave it anonymously if you want, but tell me how you are doing lately if you'd like...I'd love to hear.

So I'm good. Not the best I've ever been but I'm good. Right now is all about figuring things out, I think. Learning that it is truly impossible to do it all. Choosing what's important, than doing those things well...that's what I can do. And what I am learning to do- trying to do. It's funny, I'll feel like I have one area of my life down- I've got all of these plates spinning in the air. And look at me! I'm doing it! I've got this. But I just cannot get all of the plates up, no matter how hard I try. And then I realize that in the exercise of trying to get all of the plates to spin, I'm focusing on that, and not on spinning at all...

Have I lost you yet? The point being, I'm learning balance. I'm learning how to look at everything in front of me and pick the things I want and need to do, and stop feeling guilty about saying no to the rest.

And you know that feeling when you walking outside, and there's a slight breeze and the sun is shining and you have that overwhelming feeling of happiness? That's been happening a lot more lately. I'll be running and just feel happy. Truly happy, the kind where even though I know shitty stuff happens sometimes and the world isn't really all that beautiful a lot of the time, there's this little bit of happiness right here. And maybe that's all we really get, and that's the point of all of this, to have these tiny bits of happiness and love and goodness and to figure out a way to make them last and last.

But fall is always a little weird for me because it reminds me of loss. Happiness in one hand, loss in another- my favorite month, yet also the saddest. Every October forever, I will always think about that afternoon and that phone call and every strange detail of that day/week/month. And now it's been seven years. Seven. How did that even happen? Some memories are so fuzzy, so hard to grasp, but I can still remember Kendall brightly and vividly, and it truly does feel like yesterday he was with us almost every day. I miss him terribly. And I think as I get older and move through life's milestones I miss him even more- the space where he should be, the place where he would be, so glaringly obvious as times goes on...

Sad and happy and weird and better and learning. That's me right now.

And now, how are you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Explore Arizona: Lockett Meadow/Inner Basin Hike

This past weekend Hank and I spent the day hiking and exploring through one of the most beautiful parts of Arizona (or anywhere, really). To get to the Lockett Meadow/Inner Basin trailhead you drive up and through Flagstaff, then off a forest road and onto a windy, side of a mountain, sheer cliff, major drop off, two-way tiny dirt road. It was scary, in my humble opinion. However, the pay off is completely worth it because as you get deeper into the mountains you're met with THE most beautiful fall colors I've ever seen in my life. And this is coming from someone who grew up on the East Coast. Holy moly, Hank and I were in disbelief- the trees actually looked fake they were so beautiful. We spent the entire day hiking and enjoying the scenery, and I spent a little bit of time tearing up too. It was hard not to get emotional around all of that beauty.

Here's how to get there: 

Drive northeast of Flagstaff on US 89 for 12 miles to the Forest Road directly across from the Sunset Crater turnoff. Turn left (west) for about 1/2 mile, turn right (north) on Forest Road 552. Turn right at the Lockett Meadow sign and continue up the very very windy road. You'll know when you get there, because you'll begin to see cars lined up. There's a clearly marked one way loop that runs around the camping area, and you'll be able to find a space if you keep driving. There's a $5 day use fee and you can camp there too, if you'd like. Also, the signs on the drive up specify that the road there is not maintained for passenger cars, and I would have to agree. I did see some smaller cars there, but for the most part it was all 4WD vehicles like ours.

If you go, head out early in the day so you'll have time to make it all the way into the Inner Basin. There and back is about 8 miles, but you can also pick up other trails and go much further. Pack clothing for cold weather- you'll get up to 10,000 feet so it's really chilly and a jacket and hoodie is great for this October weather. We wore our running shoes, but hiking shoes would be best as a lot of it is uphill and rough terrain here and there. You'll also need to bring hiking basics- a backpack full of snacks and/or a lunch, sunscreen, plenty of water, and I also suggest a small blanket to lay on once you arrive at the Inner Basin. It's truly beautiful and my only regret with this day is that we didn't have more time to sit back and take it all in, even more than we did. I can't wait to go back!

Here are some photos from our day:


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

10 Fall Coats...Under $60

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

There's nothing like a cute fall coat to get me in the mood for all of the adventures this season has to offer! I thought I would put together a little round up of some of my favorites. Which one do you like the best?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Weekend Links


I haven't done a links post in a few weeks, so I have lots of fun things to share! I hope you enjoy. xoxo

First, I recently got the chance to try out Pipsticks sticker club (see the photo here) which is a subscription service for kids (or sticker-loving adults!). Henry loved it- he was so into getting "real" mail, and spent the longest time sorting and sticking his new stickers. Henry and Mom-approved, all the way! And as a bonus, use code SWEET10 to receive one month free when you subscribe to any 6 or 12 month Club or Family subscription.

How to quit or move on without feeling guilty.

Atheism's shocking woman problem.

My family moved to Nashville for Nashville.

"How I’m using my gig as a writer for ‘Transparent’ to make sure the T in LGBT isn’t edited out of television."

Have you watched this video yet? It's very moving...

What kids around the world eat for breakfast.

Wishlist: this tunic, these shoes, and this dress.

Three books that all feature Sylvia Plath in some way.

How they do fall in Hawaii.

Monsanto woos Mommy bloggers...

25+ apps to make your everyday life easier.

So, this made me cry.

Books and Looks. A fun spin off my Literate and Stylish series. Check it out, and submit your own book and look.

The dawn of the post-clinic abortion.

Currently posts around the internet: Cristina and Megan.

25 famous women on getting older.

Femvertising...interesting.

And finally, marriage on Instagram versus marriage in real life

Have a good one! <3

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Currently.


Reading: I talked a little bit about what I've been reading on Instagram earlier this week, and asked friends what they've been reading. I've been loving going through and checking out all of the suggested books in the comments so if you're in the market for something new be sure to read through them. I've been on a major reading kick lately, which always indicates one of two things- one, that I'm operating as my best self, because when I'm filling any free time with books rather than television, I feel good. The other time I read nonstop is when I feel insanely stressed out and its the only thing that makes me feel better. Oh, I have a TON of things to get done, need to take the boys here or there and call back a couple of friends? Let's just ignore my entire to-do list and read all night instead. Haha. Sooo I'm somewhere in the middle of the two right now, which isn't so bad. But I did get sucked into a fun little YA series- "If I Stay," and finished the second book last night. It's a TOTAL beach read- very easy and quick! I also finished up Middlesex recently which is definitely not a beach read (although I would definitely read it on the beach, ha) and it's in my top favorite books, ever. It was that amazing. If you haven't yet read it, please do yourself a favor and give it a try. And when you're done, check out the discussion I led over on A Beautiful Mess. I'm also currently reading this book and love it- I'll post a review when I finish it.

Eating: When the seasons change do you ever find yourself gravitating towards certain foods? I really, really don't like pumpkin flavored anything (besides actual pumpkin pie) so that's out for me in the fall, but I do always seem to love apples more than ever. Especially warm apples- baked apples, apple pie, chunky homemade applesauce, you name it. We've been on a major apple kick in our house and I've been scouring Pinterest for fun recipes, so if you have any good ones, send them our way!

Thinking about: I got an email from an old friend last night, about a conversation we'd had about blogging last time we saw each other and all of the things we'd be thinking about since that conversation. For me, my mindset about blogging has been shifting. I just don't feel pressure anymore- and it's not like anyone was ever pressuring me to share things here- I brought that on myself, but I did still feel it at one point. And by the way, it's really kind of silly to use blogging and pressure in the same breath, don't you think? I'd say there are much more pressing issues in life. ;) But really, I really don't feel like this blog ever has to be black or white. I don't feel "bad" about what I do or don't post...although I used to. This blog is what I want it to be, because it's mine. Simple and obvious and almost comical to say that out loud...but it's true. Write as much as you like, write as little as you like. Share things because they make you feel good to share them, not because you're filling your blog post quota for the day. Take on a partnership with a brand if you enjoy what you can do together. Say yes, say no. And I think in the past year or so I've come to a point where I really enjoy sharing here, because I don't feel like I have to share here, if that makes sense. Some weeks I might post 5x, and others I may post once. And as my kids get older I will absolutely post less about them. It's already a lot less than I've ever shared, but as I grow myself and see things even more clearly, I sense that line that was already there forming more and more. And I welcome it.

Listening:  I went to see The Gaslight Anthem the other night and had the best time. There's nothing like seeing your favorite band and singing along right up front, to make you feel so, so alive. I was positively giddy that night, and the afterglow is still hanging around- I hope music always has that power over me. The show was amazing. They played almost all of my favorite songs, and I actually got a new appreciation for a lot of the songs on the new record too. I think my two favorites would have to be "Selected Poems" and "Dark Places." To have the first one on that short list is pretty funny though, because until last week I'd never even listed to it past the slow intro. For some reason it rubbed me the wrong way so I always skipped it. Then while we were driving, Henry heard that part come on and wanted to hear it all the way through, so I let it play...and ended up discovering how much I love it.

Watching:  (spoiler alert!) I haven't have time to watch many shows this season but I have made time to watch Parenthood. Are you watching? It's the final season and it's already making me cry every episode. It's hard to watch at times because it makes me so emotional, and like a weirdo I feel toooootally invested in the characters and talk about them like I know them. Do you watch? Do you think Joel and Julia will (or should) get back together? I'm so curious...

Loving:  There's so much to love right now. Charlie and his walking/running/neverending movement, Henry and his excitement about learning and reading and writing. Camping this weekend. Having Lauren and her family here. Flagstaff in a couple weeks for Homecoming with my girlfriends. Leaves changing. Long walks with Charlie while Henry's at school. Finding new ways to cope with anxiety and working on that whole "best self" thing. Planning a fun trip with Hank. Friends having babies. The list goes on. It's a good season of our life right now, and I feel so thankful.

So, how about you? What are you up to today? Feel free to do your own "currently" post on your blog and link back in the comments for everyone to check out. And thanks again to my dear friend Megan for providing the original inspiration for these posts.

 
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