Tuesday, March 30, 2010


as we got ready for church on sunday, i kept telling mr.a how happy i was that i spent his hard-earned money on this new shirt. as he showered, i gave a short speech on why it's so great for me. some of the main points of the speech were:
1.it has three of my favorite colors in it.
(gray, mint, citron.)
2.it has cute buttons.
3.it has a mandarin collar.
(and i love a mandarin collar.)
4.it's blouse-y.
(whatever that means.)
5.it has embroidery. 

(and i love embroidery. to which mr.a said, "yeah,  you do love embroidery!"
which i thought was sweet. it's the little things, guys!

just to further confirm the awesomeness of this shirt, two people at church told me they loved it. okay, one was my dad, but he obviously has good taste!
all day long, this little shirt brought a smile to my face. even when i got grouchy because i needed a nap and even when mr.a made fun of my attempt at posing for pictures and even when i ate too much at plaza mexico and my pants got way too tight and even later when that yummy mexican food made my stomach all funkified.
tmi? tmi. but that's what we read blogs for, right?

awesome shirt: fossil
tank: j.crew
jeans: von maur
bracelet: banana
sandals: j.crew

Monday, March 29, 2010


what's up with my blog?
any advice, techies?
(chad? katie? tony?)


i'm finally accepting that spring might actually be here to stay.
up until now, i had been sticking with pieces from my winter wardrobe, never knowing if i'm gonna walk outside and see snow falling again.
fingers-crossed, knock-on-wood, kissing my lucky rabbit's foot
but, friday night i wanted to venture out of my t-shirt, jeans & boots uniform that i've been sporting for months now.

i got this silk banana republic blouse for less than $10 at plato's closet. i love the pretty paisley print and citrus colors are my fave in the spring and summer.
these cute flats were seven, may i repeat, seven dollars.
stripes+bows=love. no?

cardigan: j.crew
blouse: thrifted banana republic
jeans: j.crew
flats: payless
enamel bangle: j.crew

Sunday, March 28, 2010


on friday and saturday, mr.a and i attended a marriage conference for military couples.  it couldn't have come at a better time for us. we're sort of in limbo as we adjust to his recent return from training but also prepare for his deployment this summer.
the event was sponsored by some amazing people so it only cost us $20.

the event included great food, a night at the marriott and fantastic training from dr. gary and barb rosberg; who are authors, counselors, radio hosts, and marriage experts. they provided us with some practical ways to prepare for deployment and ways to stay connected during deployment. a lot of their advice applies to any married couple, but this event was fine-tuned specifically for military couples.
dr. dennis swanberg was the mc for the weekend. he's a retired southern pastor and he seriously belongs on the blue collar comedy tour. he was a riot and his presence at the conference really helped lighten the load.
it was an emotional couple of days. it really made mr.a's upcoming deployment a reality. but it also provided us with the tools to face this reality. i laughed and cried and learned so much. we were both so glad we went.
so, as i mentioned, we got to spend the night at the marriott. there's just something about the beds at the marriott. they are sooo comfy and....
good for jumping on, too!
i found the perfect bottle of wine:

and we had a great night relaxing together, without interruption.
a rare and treasured occasion!
a huge thank-you to all the sponsors and volunteers
who made this possible for us.

pictures of the rosbergs and swanberg were taken (without permission, sorry!) from their facebook page.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


edit: this is a pretty scatter-brained post.
just thought i'd let you know, that i know.

don't you wish you could just buy people presents all the time? 
seriously. wouldn't it be so fun to be able to just buy all those things that you see and think, oh, so & so needs this!
like, today, i wanted to buy this for joey:

and this for my bestie e.e.:

and this for our friends' new babe:
i was at tj maxx earlier today and there were so many gifts i wanted to buy.
(many happened to be for myself, but i abstained.)
i allowed myself to buy a puzzle for my nephew, and one for piper, too. their birthdays are coming up. my nephew is a puzzle prodigy so he gets the 48-piecer. piper, on the other hand, gets a 12-piece puzzle. and she will probably need his help to finish it.
but she's like pollock when it comes to play-doh!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


before i was b.a., i was b.o.
yeah...junior high was rough.
but, as much as i love having bad-ass initials rather than stinky ones;
i will always be an Ottley girl.

since we've been at the beach, we've kept our meals pretty simple.
we're convinced that a nice cold beer makes any ol' meal a lot better.
(haha, too bad for p & q! think the same goes for a nice cold...milk?)
it's been fun sampling different microbrews that we don't normally see in the midwest. our new favorite is sweetwater. their extra pale ale is great and i dig their "don't float the mainstream" slogan.
but i really knew it was a match made in beer-heaven when i saw this:

i wonder if there's a family discount?

Friday, March 19, 2010


breaking the laws, breaking the laws.

hat: target
scarf: target
jacket: walmart
striped shirt: j.crew
ribbed tank: mr.a's
watch: la mer
jeans: paige
flip-flops: j.crew

i think judas priest wrote that song about this outfit.
or maybe about, umm...a life of crime.
back to the outfit.
i wore this to celebrate the start of my 25th year and i love that it breaks all the old rules:
black with brown? check.
denim on denim? did it.
spots and stripes? done and done.
it was totally fitting; this coming year is going to break all the old rules, too.
and, if it's anything like this outfit, it might be the best year yet!

Friday, March 12, 2010


where's b.a.ldo?
you may be wondering what happened 'round here.
i promise i haven't abandoned my baby. i'm still here. still loving my little dtwsld.
but mr.a came home.
mr.a came home!!!
so, selfishly (ha) we've been focusing on us. just our family.
it's been surprisingly challenging to get things back to "normal."
in the five months mr.a spent in georgia; piper adapted to being bossed around by one parent, i developed the communication skills of a 2 year old ("better to boss you with, my dear"), and quinn... well, she mostly just sits & smiles.  so now she's sitting and smiling as we scramble to reunite our little family.
a whole slew of unexpected emotions came home when mr.a did. so, we're spending a lot of time in deep, honest communication. it's hard and vulnerable and humbling and time-consuming. but we have to. it's so worth it. our marriage is worth it. our kids are worth it. our family is worth it.
forunately, part of the "work" to reconnect involves a trip to the beach! it's our first family vacation and we're going to spend a full week splashing in the ocean, bathing in the sunshine and shirking our responsibilities. it feels good.
so, that's where b.a.ldo's been and where i'll be for the next week or so.
i will try to drop in to see you (i love you! i miss you!) but, i'm not making any promises. or, if i make them, i'm not keeping them. (remember? "shirking responsibilities"?) the only responsibility i'm not shirking is my family.
so, i hope you haven't totally bailed on me. i promise i haven't bailed on you forever.
love, b.a.