Travel Throwback Thursday: Christmas in NYC

Just got here this morning
Three bucks
Two bags
One me

This Travel Throwback takes us WAAAY back to 2005.  Yup.  I could not even find these photos on a hard drive or cd!  I instead took a few ghetto snaps out of my scrapbook from my phone, and then dug through Facebook archives.  Regardless, this was an important Christmas for me.  In 2005 I spent my very first holiday away from home.  I was 19 years old and doing my first show at an Equity house on Long Island.  It was also my very first time in the Big Apple.  My how 9 years have changed my life!

NYC Christmas 3

We did have a few days off for Christmas, and a friend and I stayed in our cast manager’s apartment in Hell’s Kitchen.  We splurged on cheap tickets to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway that we bought off a street salesman.  We didn’t even think they were legit until we got into the theater and were escorted to our seats, 2 rows away from the orchestra!

On Christmas Eve we attended midnight mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  We chatted with our families and tried to be strong…we were living the dream!  Both of us felt lonely, but we enjoyed the time we did have off.  Christmas day we found the one Chinese restaurant open on the block and broke into a bottle of champagne.  Good times.

Can you find me on the end?  Last one on the right:)

NYC Christmas 2

I spent that Christmas roaming the streets of the city, seeing sights and pursuing my dream to dance, dance, dance.  Now looking back, I have always been a strong woman, but cheers to that past me~ she was pretty darn tough too.  Made for adventuring and wanderlust;)

NYC Christmas 4 NYC Christmas

My Christmas in New York City shall be one I will always remember, as were those insane days of dance.  I’m the Santa baby blonde in the back row.

Merry Christmas 19 year old me, I like where we have turned up to be;)

5.3 Million Steps to 30: 2 Month Update

It has been 2 months since I started wearing my Fit bit Zip.  I decided with all the challenges of pregnancy and having a baby, why not add one more challenge?! I decided that though my “regular” workouts may be limited, I still want to be one strong little mama.  So I decided I would take 5.3 million steps before I turn 30.  When in doubt, walk it out.  So far, so good.

I love that Fit bit inspires with little fun rewards! I earned the London Underground Badge this week, walking 250 miles in 2 months time.  At 7 and 8 months prego, and averaging around 4.5 miles a day, I think I’m doing pretty darn brilliant;)

Fit Bit Update

Of course I have a ways to go.  I was disappointed last week when my feet started bruising so badly on the bottoms that walking was PAINFUL.  I didn’t hit my averages every day, but instead, had to rest and take it easy.  I’ll see how month 9 pans out, but I know I have months ahead of me until this goal is completed.  I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

From October 17th – December 15th my current stats are:

Total Steps: 584, 106

Total Miles: 258

Total “active minutes” (minutes calculated where I am at my most active during the day ): 2,545

Average step count per day: 9, 735.  I am at this moment a bit under my needed average steps of 9, 870 but not by much.  Seeing this helps me want to go that extra 10 minutes of activity a day to help raise my average and log in some extra before babes arrives!

This goal is long term, and so is the quest for good health.  I’ll keep you posted as I get closer to my due date, and what it feels like to try to get moving after birth.  There’s much to come in the months ahead!

My Pregnancy Journey Weeks 32-35

I am now 35 weeks pregnant.  The very last week of the 8th month~ holy cow!  It is hard to believe that we’ve only a month left before Baby Evelyn makes her arrival into this world.  I’ve been feeling pretty good. The aches and pains have definitely become more identifiable, such as a sore back and ouch-feet.  BUT it is all part of the process and I’m still thankful to be carrying this little life within me, harboring her safely until it’s time.
35 Weeks Pregnant

Ry has been getting his daddy-prep time in now that he is home.  We’ve been reading baby books together and talking endlessly about the upcoming changes.  It is refreshing to have him here, to be a complete family yet again.  I am also incredible blessed to have him arrive at the ache-filled time of pregnancy.  There have been countless foot rubs, cuddling, and doing all he can to make me comfortable.  He’s a natural care giver. I know my heart is simply going to melt seeing him hold our little one.  He’s practicing holding her even now as my belly seems to swell daily.

35 Weeks Pregnant

Weeks 32-35 were filled with trepidation and excitement.  I just needed both my babies together under one roof.  Now that they are, I’m in a strangely quiet and relaxed state.  I feel more relaxed than I have in months even with the thought of a new life in our house looming.  I suppose it’s because even though it is one of our biggest journeys to date, we are as ready as we can be.  We know this is going to be tough.  We know this is going to be a great challenge.  But with all the stories ahead of sleepless nights, poop on my face, meltdowns for all, and our world flipping completely…there is such love ahead.  There is the joy of being three.

Little Ev, we love you so much baby girl.  Keep doing all you need to, we’re waiting for you.

Holiday Home Tour

Christmas is undoubtedly one of my most favorite times of year.  I adore the carols, the decor, food, and yes…the TRUE meaning of the holiday season as well!

In every place we live, I try my best to deck it out and make it most festive.  I think that is what makes it feel more like “home” wherever we are as well, because the same decorations find their way out of boxes and adorn new spaces.  Traditions breathe memories into our place, and we are left smiling over each added twinkle.

Today I’m taking you on a little Holiday Home Tour of our Hawaiian apartment.  Enjoy!

Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014

How much do I love decorating that banister and the one additional stocking that’s been added to the wall this year?! Exciting!

Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014

Our hodge-podge of ornaments read like travel brochures from childhood to trips around the world together!

Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014

Even the bathroom has a sprinkling of Christmas fun:

Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014

This is my new wreath for this year! I used a straw base, and then wrapped greenery and stuck in some sprigs of holly berries. With a wooden sign from Target, I think it hits a nice classic note to go with the burlap banner I created last year.

Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014 Holiday Home Tour Hawaii 2014

Happy Holidays to you and YOURS! Cheers to making your home (or apartment life) Merry!

52 Weeks of Happy: 49

We are at one week with the man home again, and my oh my, how it is FANTASTIC.  We’ve been enjoying quiet moments together, and also getting into the hustle and bustle of preparing for our bundle of joy.

HAPPY moments in Week 49 include:

Adorable gifts from Aunt Janis and Uncle Ted, as well as the most thoughtful handmade hats from my talented cousin Erica! Thank you so very much, Ev will be rocking all accessories with much baby flare;)

I sent out my Christmas cards! Also, cute ones started arriving in the mail.  I simply ADORE snail mail!

52 Weeks of Happy: 49

I made my first family menu in 7 months! I really love cooking, and even more when I have a hungry husband.  I still made tasty dishes for myself, but there is also something to having my sous chef back at my side.  We’ve stood many evenings together thus far chopping, dicing, and preparing nice meals.

52 Weeks of Happy: 49

We now officially own a car seat and stroller.

Stuff’s gettin REAL.

52 Weeks of Happy: 49

Other lovely moments from the week: watching my soloists/group dances perform at a Winterfes~ all the hard work does pay off!  I also have been loving the cooler weather here on Oahu, mornings spent snuggling, and seeing lights on when I come home.  Life is good.

Cheers to a Happy Week 50 ahead…can you believe it is now only 11 days till Christmas?!

Travel Throwback Thursday: Christmas in OHIO

As I deck our Hawaiian halls for the holiday season, I was a little sad thinking about how we will not be traveling to see our family and friends on the “mainland” this year.  Christmases in Ohio feel like home to us, with the snow, smiling loved ones, and a house filled with children and cheer.  However we do have one another, and that is something to be thankful for!

Last season we did fly back to Buckeye land and had a marvelous time.  Today I’d like to celebrate all those wonderful memories made.

I was taken Christmas tree shopping for the very first time! We selected our own tree and cut it down to decorate.


We went on many winter walks with Mama and Pops Swo.  I just loved looking at all the ice and snow.  The coffee or chocolate after was a necessary bonus!


Mom and Dad surprised us with a trip to see one of our holiday favorites, The Shadowbox Cabaret in Columbus AND to tickets to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra!


We drove up to gorgeous Bloomsburg, PA to reconnect with Ry’s cousins.  The town itself was a gem, filled with historic beauty.


There was plenty of silly fun with our nieces and nephews;)


Cozy mornings waking up bundled beneath the covers, warm winter meals, a night of cards and ringing in 2014 together.


O-H-I-O we love that you are where we are from, and look forward to visiting again soon.  This Christmas we’ll be trading the snow for some sand, but I can’t wait for the next holiday we return back for!

The FIRST Official Blog Calendar

It is hard to get back on the blogging train after yesterday’s awesome pictures and news of Ry’s return.  BUT on my walk this morning I remembered how this space truly is a creative playground for me, and I want to keep cultivating it!

Last month I tried out my first official Blogging Calendar! I made it after perusing several other bloggers’ awesome set-ups.  I was keeping all my ideas and dates on a scraggly piece of paper.  It was not working out so well;) Now I have purchased a square cork board from Target and with a little washi tape, push pins and post its I have a new system!   I like the ease of moving the post-its around if I decide to change my mind on a topic I want to write about.

cork board blog calendar

That leads me to my next big inquiry… where is my blog going over the next few months? What are my blog goals for 2015?  I have so many thoughts, ideas and musings on the subject!  It is a whole new chapter for us starting in 2015, and I’m thinking a new blog look and perhaps not posting as often will definitely be on the menu.  I’m proud of myself for completing my BIG monthly post goals for Aug, Sep, Oct, and Nov.  I posted nearly EVERY day for the past 4 months.  I don’t feel burn out, but I do feel like with the man home, and little time left before baby’s arrival, I’ll be cutting back to focus on life and love.

For today I’m starting small.  Getting my idea notebook out and starting the December plan for posts! I hope your looking forward to some cute family moments, prego updates, holiday crafts, and a whole lot of home organization!

So much love;)xoxolindsay

I’ll Be Home For Christmas, You Can Count on Me

He’s really here! Ry is HOME in time for the holidays and for us to have a few more weeks together before we welcome our daughter into the world.

My heart is full and I am to the brim with gratitude.

My friend Maica came to the airport with me to catch pictures of our reunion.  Thank you for doing that girl! These are precious memories.  Ry headed on deployment seven months ago.  We didn’t even know I was pregnant yet! Now he’s come home to one big baby bump, and his smile, his excitement is tangible.

sweet reunion

So, in fact, is mine.  Waiting for my one person to come out of customs was torturous.  I said, “the moment I turn my back, he’ll come out.”

Then he did!!

52 Weeks of Happy: 48 52 Weeks of Happy: 48 sweet reunion sweet reunion sweet reunion sweet reunion sweet reunion

It’s hard for me to wrap the right words around my emotions.  There are so many.  This past weekend has already been glorious.  We are back together as Team Swo.  We’ve been relaxing, enjoying US time again.  There has already been some stroller/car seat shopping, Game of Thrones marathoning, and I shed a little tear of joy as we lay on the couch someone special picked up my foot and gave it rub.  Seven months, and I’m finally enjoying some of those fun little moments of being pregnant and pampered with my other half here.

We’re going to keep on loving this reunion, and loving one another.  We made it!

52 Weeks of Happy: 48

This week has been the HAPPY HAPPIEST in awhile.

Why? Week 48 will be the week where I stood at the airport…

52 Weeks of Happy: 48

…and this happened.

52 Weeks of Happy: 48

Enough said for now;)

Throwback Travel Thursday: Christmas in KOREA

Christmas Love

This time of year is built for nostalgia.  I adore Christmas.  I hope to keep that holiday spirit of warmth, gratitude and kindness alive all year long.  That being said, today I felt a bit sad knowing that we won’t be returning to the mainland for Christmas.  We’ve spent a couple of years now away from our immediate family for the holidays, and it can be tough.  But we have one another.

I then also went hunting through my blog…ahem…serious TIME CAPSULE and looked at photos from years 2011 and 2012 where we rocked Christmas out in Seoul.  We had such love surrounding us there.  Such a multitude of memories…that I know it will be the same feeling here in Hawaii.  Let’s take a little look back today!

There was the watching of snow flurries out of our tall apartment building:

Snow in Seoul

The fantastic experience of cheering alongside my fellow spouses for the Army vs Navy Game!

Navy vs Army Cheerleaders

Bundled in the back of cabs for shopping through Osan:

Shopping in Osan

When we needed an extra snuggle, we’d just pay for a latte and go pet puppies at the dog cafe.  Korea NEVER disappointed with fascinating themed coffee houses:

Bau Haus Cafe

I made cookies and many trips to the warm and cozy bath house with my dear Kate:

Christmas Cookie Decorating

We threw and attended a lot of great holiday parties!

A trio of Friends

There were many long, lovely walks through the city streets.  Mitten to mitten, and smitten with my love:)

Walks in Seoul

I think this year I’ll be documenting more sand than snow, but another season is upon us.  Looking back I realize it will be a special one no matter where we are!