The Arlington

It is always so good to spend time with my best girlfriend.  I’ll try not to gush on and on today about how lucky I am to have a friend like Katie: but it’s true.  It’s once in a lifetime.  It’s amazing.  It is even more awesome when your parents play babysitter and you get to have a justustwo day out! We hit up Hot Springs, trying to take in all the town had to offer.  Since my last visit, the city feels a lot more cleaned up.  It feels livelier.  I hope it continues on as a come back kid, because Arkansas, the Natural State, has really surprised me in it’s splendor.  It truly is a beautiful area with rich history.

Our journey started at the Arlington Hotel, built in 1924.  We grabbed our first pumpkin-lovin lattes of the season and enjoyed exploring the building.

The Arlington, Hot Springs The Arlington, Hot Springs

The Arlington, Hot Springs

I loved the touches of history, like the mineral water fountain in the lobby.  People came to Hot Springs searching for their own fountain of youth in the healing waters.

The Arlington, Hot Springs

The elevators were gorgeous, and I am adding a letter box onto my future home MUST have list!

The Arlington, Hot Springs The Arlington, Hot Springs

I am always up for a wander on my own, but doing it with Katie at my side makes it all the better! Onward we go to the Fordyce Bath House Museum.  You can catch up with us there on this coming Monday;) Have a great week until then! Don’t forget to think about your HAPPY for this week~ it’s week 40 in 2015~ oh my, how the time does fly!

Chasing Butterflies

There’s pretty much only one way you are going to catch me having any interaction with a spider.  Even a fake one.  My baby!  This large fellow was found at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.  I know, I know, I thought my Ohio recap and wrap up was done…until I stumbled upon these fun photos that I just had to share!

So, here ya go.  Another awesome day with Evie, Mimi, and Moi~ exploring the beautiful exhibits and letting our little lady get up close to nature.Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory

Fun facts from the day:

Evelyn was so certain she could grab the butterfly chrysalis’.  She kept reaching and reaching, thwarted by the glass.  She loved watching their lovely wings sweep past her face in the butterfly house.  It was a treat.  It continues to be such fun as I watch her grow and experience new things.  The world is an open, exciting book for her.  I love showing her new pages.  It doesn’t come without it’s pains, and hardships, but I am enjoying this chapter, and keeping it in perspective: It doesn’t last forever.  The crazy tough parts, and the sweet amazing ones. Time marches on, whether I’m ready or not.

We had a nice mommy daughter dance in the main event room.  It was fun to twirl her, but even more so as it was the location of Ryan’s senior prom.  Yes, I was his date that night.  Whoosh. From 17 years old…to many years later spinning on that floor with our baby girl.  A pretty darn special day.

52 Weeks of Happy 2015: 39

What a surprising week! I find myself in the land of Texas yet again, celebrating a new life and soaking up quality time with my spunky nieces.

 Evelyn got her first dose of Pacha guitar time, and she loved it.

I’m dreaming and scheming to send some craft materials back to my Hawaiian home, I think it’s been a big money saver that we haven’t lived near Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, fabric stores…OH MY.  I think a few flat rates are getting stuffed to the brim.

We had an excellent time chatting with Ry-guy this week.  Hang in there babe, we’re almost through this.

52 Weeks of Happy 2015

The best moment of the week has to be:

52 Weeks of Happy 2015

I adore little babies! I can not believe how much my girl has grown.  Each one is a blessing, and I’m so happy I was able to be here for this.  It has me remembering what it was like to be a family of three, and how we are getting through this to get to have that again!

C’mon Week 40…show me whatcha got!

5.3 Million Steps to 30: 11 Month Update

As of September 25th, 2015:

I’ve been stepping it out since October 17th, 2014

192 days remain

I’ve walked 3,500,527 steps

That’s about 1,536 miles over 11 months!

I have 1,799,473 steps to go!  That means I need to average 9,372 steps a day to make my goal on time.

5.3 Million Steps to 30

This month was a refreshing change from August. I felt like I used September wisely, getting back on track with all of my fitness goals.  My parents jumped on board, and it is always, ALWAYS easier to live a healthier life with others around you cheering you on.  My step goal feels obtainable, I’ve carved down my daily step count to only 9,372! I’m starting to think, “hey, I might not get 5.3 million steps by 30…I may get EVEN MORE!!” That is pretty amazing folks.  I was a very active person before the birth of our daughter, but now, I am even more driven.  I’m starting to look at everything in my life as WORK SMARTER, not HARDER.  I’m walking every morning, and every night.  I fit in at least 3 distance runs per week.  Now I’ve added some killer Jillian Michaels dvds as well. I’m working smarter because I’m doing activities that make me happy, that boost my energy and that get it done without taking hours.  I’m not working as hard due to the fact I’ve cut a lot of the crap out of my diet.  I’ve reduced my sugar intake, upped the water, and have been watching my portion sizes.

Bottom line: I’m feeling a bit braggy about my progress. Because I feel GOOD.  When you feel good, you want to share.  I can look back to a few months ago where just getting out of bed and walking down the street with my newborn felt like the toughest journey. Now, we are moving and grooving daily.  Since I’m on the brag train, I can also smile about my BEST RUN of the YEAR this month.  My Dad and I covered 5 miles in under an hour.  I couldn’t even run 8 months ago.  It is exciting to feel like I’m getting back to myself on this journey.  I’m stronger, I’m happier, and I’m learning that I’ve committed to a lifestyle that makes me feel good and brings me joy.  Three shouts of HOORAY for that.

I’ll keep on steppin’.  See you in another month with new stats!

GOAL Time: October 2015

October Inspiration

I love the quote above for this month.  Even though I’ve been surrounded by love and light lately, I’ve been pulled down by missing my man.  Reading this quote, I am reminded that although it is good to acknowledge those feelings, even (gasp) feel them, it is also up to me to pull myself from the funk and look around at what I DO have right now.  I have a whole lotta awesome.  I’m choosing to focus on that and decide on GOOD days.

September Recap:

1. Get my sew on with mom: We are up to our necks in projects…and I’m lovin it.

2. Enjoy KATIE time in Arkansas: Miss my girl, but so thankful for our awesome time together!

3. Reconnect with my sister and her family. Carve out a girl’s only night.: We did, and we did! Such fun to have quality moments with my mom and sister in person.

4. Go Kayaking 5. Go Mountain Biking: I didn’t bike or kayak! But I can’t count it as a complete fail, because in replace of those two things, I have been RUNNING.  I’ve conquered more miles on the road with my dad than I ever thought possible. I’m really proud of myself for lacing up those shoes and going for it.

6. Aim for a complete August recap on the blog: Did it! Back in the blogging groove, and it feels so good.

October Inspiration

For October, I’m deciding to keep it simple, but also to strive to wrap up some loose ends.  Here’s what I’m hoping for:

October 2015 Goals:

  1. Make a blog plan again, and get writing
  2. Get myself organized for the next big transition
  3. Take workouts up a notch: 5x a week goal
  4. Finish 4 Projects
  5. Mail off packages
  6. Make Evelyn’s Halloween costume

I am excited to move forward into this month and pick a better attitude.  Cheers to your goals, and wishing you an amazing month ahead!

Why I love airports


“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

The quote above is from the movie Love Actually.  It captures the last 3 months pretty perfectly.  We’ve been in airports for countless minutes this year.  We have more ahead.  Each day we travel, I feel the dread of the hours, the question mark of how my baby may behave in the air.  Then all the sudden, it’s over and we have landed.  We are surrounded by loving arms, and I am thankful for the journey taken.


I sit here today pondering the alternative.  We could not have traveled at all.  We could have sat comfortably in our own home, never moving, just waiting for the deployment to end.

What fun would that have been?

None.  We are so fortunate to have had time to do this.  Time to be with those that make us smile bigger than the sea.  Time to be hugged. Time to laugh and cry.  To LIVE not just from afar, but up close.  We are fortunate that we could make the investment in tickets.  I am grateful that my guy urged me forward.  That I fought my own fear and packed up, heading out with hope.  What an unimaginable joy it has been.


I love airports because of the hope they promise me.  The ability to connect, move forward or back.   These photographs were snapped at the beginning of our journey.  I needed to see them today.  I needed to be reminded of what’s to come.  I’ve felt the strain of this time apart from my guy lately.  I’ve been missing him so much it’s like I’m drowning.  But then I look to my left, to my right, and I see all my anchors.  Not just my anchors, but my buoys.  I’ve been kept afloat this year by airports, by the travel that has taken me to my loves.  We’ve shared the good and the bad together.

It’s onward and back up in the air soon.  Until then, love is actually, ALL AROUND.  I’d best keep that in mind;)

4 Generations

How lucky I am to have such amazing women in my life.

Evelyn June, you were named after my mother, Doreen June, and my nana, Carlene June.  They are two of the most precious ladies I know.  You will one day know what an honor it is to share that “J”.  You will one day know how they taught me how to care for you.  They both echo in my heart daily: to raise you to respect yourself, to work hard, to honor your family.  To make things special even when you may not have a whole lot.  To set goals, to set your sails for adventure.  To keep challenging yourself and seek love.  So many lessons, in so little time! But I know we can learn them together, I know that I can teach them to you by demonstration.  I can show you how to be your best self by being my own best self.

I believe in you as these women have always believed in me.

4 Beautiful Generations 4 Beautiful Generations 4 Beautiful Generations

It was an extraordinary day, to have these photographs taken.  Four generations of women, faces strong in hope, love, and determination.

4 Beautiful Generations 4 Beautiful Generations 4 Beautiful Generations 4 Beautiful Generations 4 Beautiful Generations 4 Beautiful Generations

How lucky we are, my darling daughter, to know love this grand.

You are now apart of this amazing line of women.  May you grow to absolutely know that without a doubt.

Ohio Visit Continued

My goal to wrap up August recapping on the blog is coming true TODAY as I pound the keys and smile through photographs.  The rest of our time in Ohio was dedicated to one wonderful word: REUNION.

We met up with as many friends and family as we could, and it was truly wonderful to share Ev with all of them!  Here we are with our Auntie Linda.  We’ve come along way since she saw me pregnant in Hawaii last year:
Ohio 2015 Visit Ohio 2015 Visit

During the reunion leg, we stayed in my Nana’s basement.  We couldn’t help but snap a photo of E with all the other basement babies:

Ohio 2015 Visit

E loved her Great Nana, and enjoyed eating in my mom’s old highchair.  The metal tray made a very satisfying surface to bang toys on:

Ohio 2015 Visit

We had a very nice Crabtree breakfast reunion, I was able to see my Grandma and Grandpa, and two cousins that I have not seen in person for at least a decade! Time sure flies as we all grow our own families.  It was great to catch up and catch a few hugs!

Ohio 2015 Visit

My dear friend Caitlin drove all the way up north to find us for an afternoon of picnicking and marveling at our precious baby girls! We keep each other motivated over the phone, but it was such a treat to see one another in person.

Ohio 2015 Visit

A lovely dinner was had to reconnect with my other cousin Erica and my Aunt Kelly and Uncle Eric.  I am thankful that each time we come to Ohio, an effort is made to see each other!

Ohio 2015 Visit

Thank you all for sharing in the short trip we had to the land of O-H-I-O.  I loved soaking up the corn fields, the reunions, and seeing that no matter how far apart we are, we can still support each other along the way!

Growing Girl: Weeks 26-30

Hi baby girl, you certainly are our growing lady! You seem so big after these past few weeks.  You change every day.  We enjoyed the last of our mommy and daughter time in Hawaii before hitting the road to share you with friends and family.  Those were precious days on the island, where even though I missed Daddy, they were also special because I didn’t have to share you.  We only had each other and we made it.  When we arrived to Canada, and onto Ohio, Texas and Arkansas you adjusted so quickly to each environment.  You are such a charmer, and so patient.  I’m proud of you for being brave enough, for trusting me with your whole heart to take care of you each step along the way.  You make me smile EVERY DAY. There are moments where I just stop to hug you, kiss you, look at you and marvel that you are mine.  Here’s to you and me.

Evelyn Photography Project: Weeks 26-30

Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series

From Weeks 26-30 I want to remember:

How adorable you look in all my old baby outfits, and how special it is to see you in them.  It is a testament to my mom (your Nana) that she saved them for us, that history marches on and new lives blossom.  I also don’t understand why babies don’t wear bonnets anymore! You look SO SWEET in my old one.  We’re giving them a come back.

Coming to Ohio, you loved meeting all your cousins, especially little fiery Trin.  You also adored big ol’ Murphy dog. He sat patiently and let you play with his tail.

You rode in your first swing, and LOVED it.  The breeze in your hair, the thrill of the rise and fall.  I sense a little daredevil in there.

The wild and crazy one hour connection from Canada to Minneapolis St. Paul.  You clung to me like a baby kangaroo as we bounced our way through the airport. Changing your diaper on the plane during turbulence was a whole new adventure. You laughing, me cringing, and diapers/wipes/clothing flying EVERYWHERE!

You now babble and release loud excited shrieks.  The way you bob your jaw up and down is hilarious, when we talk I guess we all look like a bunch of guppy fish to you.

You roll FAST! You’ve considered crawling, but still enjoy to roll on the go.

You sit up on your side, perched like a mermaid.

You love morning snuggles and being rocked/sung to sleep.  We sing “goodnight Hawaii” and “you’ve got a friend”.

You now want to eat and try more foods.  You love prunes and peas!

You hold your hands together and excitedly bounce your hands up and down.

You give smiles that brighten the whole day.

Keep on growing my girl, we love you.

52 Weeks of Happy 2015: 38

This week has been beautifully quiet.

There have been long hours of flipping through photo albums.  My favorite thus far is a family tree book my mom has completed for her side of the family.  I felt like I met my Great Grandparents for the very first time.  All of them had perished before I arrived, so looking at photos of them, learning their stories and seeing ways in which we are alike really stirred a deep feeling of satisfaction within me.

There were nice rainy days where tea was sipped slowly at nap time and I was lost in thought looking at the view of misty mountains.

52 Weeks of Happy 2015

I completed my best run of the year.

Mom and I have dug into our sewing projects with fervor.

Baby girl turned eight months old.

Meals were had around the table.

And I’ve allowed myself to start looking at the calendar and counting the days until the Mr. makes his way home.

Here’s to week 39, may it be merry;)