Monday, February 28, 2011


last night, in the midst of the academy awards, while i had a mouthful of pizza and a beer in my hand, there was a knock on the door. i didn't know who it could be at that hour and, for a split-second, wondered if it could be him... but i quickly talked myself out of it, set my beer down, and walked toward the door.
i opened it, and there he stood.

i completely lost my breath, and maybe my mind.
i screamed and ran out of the room! i was in total shock. i was laughing and crying and choking on pizza. i realized piper was crying. she had run off into the bathroom, startled by my reaction, and wouldn't come out. poor mr.a was left alone with quinn. fortunately she gave him a warm welcome.

i coaxed piper back into the room and we all hugged and hugged and hugged. i kept saying, "i can't believe you're here! i just can't believe you're here!"

i knew mr.a had r&r coming up, but i didn't know when because he wanted to surprise us. the past week or so had gotten really tough. we were just hitting the wall and i was starting to get desperate. per example, here are my last three posts on mr.a's fb wall:

Bethany Ottley Arganbright
sometimes i think i'm the most missingest person in the whole world. like, no one could possibly miss anyone more than i miss you. but then, i remember there are just less than 3,000 other wives or mothers or girlfriends that are missing their soldier, too. and that's just in iowa. it doesn't make my missing go away, but i guess it helps knowing i'm not the only one.
February 22 at 8:46 p.m.

Bethany Ottley Arganbright
argh. just come home already!!! i have questions to ask you!
right now i'm watching a movie that i'm preeeetttty sure we've seen, but not totally sure. if you were here, you would tell me...
a.) yes or no.
b.) if yes, when. and...
c.) if yes, whether we liked it.
i'm almost certain we've seen it. there's tons of famous people in it: jeff bridges, cybil shepherd, randy quaid, the crazy lady from that drug movie you hate (requiem for a dream?), and some other oldish lady who's in a ton of stuff. anyway. i miss your brain. you just always know everything that i don't. we're a good match, i suppose.
i love you.
February 23 at 9:40 p.m.

Bethany Ottley Arganbright
i am like, freakishly missing you. it's gotten bad. like howard hughes bad. i may not leave the house until you come home. i'm not sure how many more days i can handle w/out seeing you. and making out with you. ;) but sers. can you come home today? like, now?
February 26 at 8:11 p.m.

the next afternoon i had reached the end of my rope. quinn had been sick all weekend and was super fussy and clingy. piper was grouchy and missing her daddy. we all spent some time crying and i literally pleaded with God to just bring him home. i didn't think i could go another day without him.

less than 24 hours from that last facebook post, he appeared on our doorstep.

Friday, February 25, 2011


i have to admit, the first thing i thought when i saw the picture above was,
holy wrinkles!!!
i've never really been worried about wrinkles before, but in a couple weeks i'll officially be closer to 30 than 20 and i know i need to take better care of my skin. my aesthitician has amazing skin (of course) and i often find myself just staring at her face, not paying any attention to what she's saying. but the other day, as i was trying to decide if i could do my eye-shadow like hers, she totally fessed up to being a regular botoxer! i don't judge--i was just surprised! i guess i assumed all aesthiticians just had perfect skin from wearing spf 50 even when it's cloudy and never popping their zits.* 
but, apparently there's a little more to it.
this has nothing to do with my outfit, however.

leather jacket: dillards
denim shirt: banana republic
ruffled henley: target
white tank: target
belt: j.crew
jeans: gap
flats: payless 
earrings: target

*doesn't that seem like a sad existence?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


fake it til ya make it.

the day started out dreary and cold so i knew i needed some bright colors to bring fake joy and sunshine to all who crossed my path. (i just woke up feeling socially responsible today.) luckily, this sweater is so bright, i actually recommend spf if you stand in front of me for very long. it's just that bright. (can we agree that j.crew pretty much rules when it comes to color? yes, we agree.) anyway, the sun started to get jealous of all the attention my sweater was receiving* so it finally came out this afternoon. and the whole world thanked me basked in its warmth.

sweater: j.crew
shirt: gap
belt: j.crew
jeans: gap
driving mocs: j.crew
earrings: forever 21 

* "oh! so bright and warm!" and "that sweater is so sunny and bright!" and "who needs the sun when you have j.crew!" stuff like that.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


old man winter needed a little break, so he headed down to phoenix with the other snowbirds. luckily for us, that meant 40-70 degree weather for the past week! i didn't wear a single pair of socks or winter coat all week! it was awesome.

ignore my air-dried hair, tired make-up and retainers please.

this week i'm looking forward to a few good runs (i'm training for this), devouring this book, and having a moms-only slumber party. (wanna come?!) plus...a ridiculous amount of laundry, folding, and cleaning. boo.

leather jacket: bb dakota
ruffled top: j.crew
tank: walmart
black pants: gap
flats: steve madden
necklace: gift

Friday, February 18, 2011


i'm not avoiding you.
i promise.
i've just been...
okay, i've been avoiding you.

not sure why, really. i certainly have things i want to blog about (ie: several of you have requested a make-up/skincare blog, a maternity-wear blog, and i have an ode to piper bouncing around in my brain.) but...i never want to force myself to blog. occasionally i'll feel pressure get a post up every day so you guys don't forget about me. but that's silly, right? because, i didn't start this blog for you, i started it for me. and when i started it, i honestly never considered that anyone would actually read it, nevertheless like it.
(which is wonderful and i'm honored and thrilled and i love you!)
but, i think the realization that there is an audience can be a good and a bad thing. you know? so, i never want to write for you. does that makes sense? or does it sound jerky? i just don't ever want to lose authenticity around here. so, i guess what i'm saying is, i'd rather blog less & keep it real, than blog more & just to keep people around. knowhatimean?
speaking of keeping it real.
here's a super-embarassing moment from my day:
i was talking to someone, a virtual stranger, 
and i was saying that i tend to make fun of myself.
but, rather than use those words, i said,
"i guess i'm a little self-defecating."

strange look.


"ummm...that's not what i meant."
hope you have a
grammatically-correct weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


views from our lovely day.
1. from mr. a. i'm pretty sure i can get them to last til he comes home! 
2. we had a lunch date with our bonus-grandma.
3. piper all dressed-up for her preschool party.
i have to admit, i cried. apparently i'm one of those moms. she just looked so grown-up! she even said, "mom! stop crying!" ha, i'm embarassing her already.
4. the perfect day to start a little match-making for quinn. 
5. she played hard-to-get.
 6. saying thank-you for my flowers, face to face. or...face to screen?
 7. friends graciously invited me to their v-day date. they cooked (seared ahi tuna! drooool.), served, even had valentines for my girls. the meal was incredible, but it's their thoughtfulness that just totally blows my mind. 
 8. red velvet!

it was such a great day. between visits, calls and texts from friends and family; i didn't even have a chance to feel sad without my valentine. i just felt really loved. and isn't that what everyone hopes for on valentine's day?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


all dressed-up and no place to go.
by "dressed-up" i mean i showered.
oh, were you expecting more? heels, maybe? i love to shower, but it just dries my skin and hair out so much, that i usually only do it a few times a week. so i try to save showers for days that i actually have something to do. today i showered, got ready, got dressed, only to have the girls beg me for naps. (meaning, they tantrum'd their sweet little hearts out.)
so, we stayed home for the afternoon. took naps. watched alice in wonderland (the cartoon one), and ended the day with dinner and a trip to target.

lately i struggle when taking outfit pictures. i know a lot of bloggers spend a lot of time on their outift pics and they end up with beautiful, well-composed, well-edited photos. i just don't have that much time to spend. usually it's 5-10 minutes during nap-time. being indoors (due to snow/weather) also makes it difficult because we have a fairly small house and not a single wall is without door, window, or decoration. it can be hard to find a good spot that isn't either a) messy or b) too distracting. so, pleaes forgive my attempts at being behind the camera and before it.

shirt: j c.rew
neckalce: oooold
belt: j.crew
jeans: charlotte russe
flats: nine west 

Friday, February 11, 2011


fried-brain friday.
at this point in the week i don't have much brain power left. plus, today i was a guest on a radio show (!!) so i used all my words there. tonight is a pizza & movie night at my parent's house (my brother is in town from california!) so luckily that doesn't require much verbal ability. and hopefully only one hand. (see below.)
 stripes + flowers = love.

do the pictures of my shoes (feet) gross you out?or is it just my super-dirty floors that gross you out? 
jacket: tommy hilfiger 
(apparently they do make stuff that isn't red, white and blue!)
scarf: target
top: gap
tank: walmart
jeans: gap
flats: steve madden

hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


sunshine on my shoulders.
whether you prefer john denver or dave matthews or... gasp!...neither, you gotta admit: the sunshine makes you happy. (or, the vitamin D, whatevs.)

after weeks of gray skies and sub-zero temps, we're finally going to thaw out a bit here. today was sunny and 17, but tomorrow is supposed to be almost 40 degrees! woot-woot!!  seriously, after winter in the midwest, our 40 feels like your 70. (i'm talking to YOU, californians!) we will shed our coats and scarves, happily wear flats without socky-things, and the junior high kids will wear shorts! seriously. someone will be wearing shorts tomorrow. we'll take walks and the kids will ride their bikes and scooters! the elementary schools will finally let the kids out for recess and someone will probably grill out tomorrow night. everyone will rejoice and the cops will double-up downtown because people get rowdy 'round here when the weather gets nice.

i know better than to think that spring is here. it will get cold again and we'll probably have at least one more snowstorm. but! this is just what we need to help us survive the next several weeks of winter. every year we get some unseasonably nice weather (one time it was 67 in JANUARY!) and i think it always comes at the perfect time.
riiiiight before every last person is ready to slit their wrists,
we get a few nice days to convince us to put the steak knife down.
(ummm...that's a terrible joke. just a taste of what my family & friends put up with.) anyway, i was quite happy to soak in some rays today and i hope you have blue skies wherever you are, too.

vest: gap
hoodie: target
thermal: columbia
cargos: sanctuary
shoes: toms
bracelets: random

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


here's one of those "no big deal" outfits. but it's also a testament to the power of an awesome necklace. i know i've talked about my love for the "statement" necklace before, and truly, if you don't have one--you need one. put it on your birthday list. all you need is a t-shirt, some pants, a statement necklace, and (since it's winter) a cardigan. easy. you can do that.
this one is my favorite because it has sentimental value and all my favorite colors in it; making it super-wearable. if this outfit looks familiar, it's because i wore almost the same thing on my date with miss k. just switched out my sweater & shoes. and underwear.

do you guys have any of these little socky things? my sis got some for me for christmas this year and they. are. awesome. they look a little dorky if they show, but fingerscrossed, no one will notice. it's amazing how this thin little layer keeps your feet so much warmer.

cardigan: j.crew
scoop neck tee: j.crew
pants: sanctuary
flats: steve madden
necklace: gift

i've been feeling pretty blahablahblah lately. and by lately i mean since november. haha. but seriously, i feel like i'd rather not post anything than flood this space with blah-ness. piper and i are sort-of hitting a funk in this deployment business. she's been having a really hard time lately, lots of tears and "i miss daddy"s. the other day we were at target and i noticed they put out all their swimsuits. so i say to piper, "maybe we should just go on a vacation. do you want to go on a vacation?" and she's like, "NO! i just want to go home and watch charlie and lola!!!" haha, she was sick of being at target. 
i wish i could just hibernate and wake up to sunshine and 70-degrees.
or... go on vacation.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


date night.
last night i went out with my girl, miss k. good ol' dinner-and-a-movie. we took turns reaching for the check, pulling out chairs, and opening doors for one another. chivalry is alive and well, i say.

we started with blue valentine at the fleur. if you're not from around here, the fleur is this great local theater that features films that you generally can't find in other theaters in des moines. (aka: any indie movies.) they have yummy desserts and snacks. and they serve booze.* and by booze i mean they have like, two types of wine and and a few different beers that are all terribly overpriced. but, i suppose everything is when you go to the movies. 
anyway, i was really excited to see blue valentine. i had geeked out, and watched all kinds of clips and interviews on imdb. i don't know what your taste in movies is, so i hesitate to recommend it to the general public. but for me, it was really great.
 after the movie, we went to the continental for tapas. it was amazing. we shared shrimp adriatico, crab cakes, and pork tacos. every bite was incredible. my mouth is watering just thinking about it all. they had a great little jazz band and a good crowd going.
to balance out the upscale, we met up with some friends at the high life lounge for some cheap beer and low-brow conversation (topics included our love for canada, why the u.s. needs tim hortons, and the fact that it's okay to only like really good or really bad beer.) the high life is this retro dive complete with shag carpet, wood paneling, and vintage decor.  esquire even named it one of the best bars in america! it's a good, low-key place to hang out.
anyway, we had a great time, laughed a lot, and stayed out way too late.
miss k was the perfect date.

*i like to throw out the word "booze" on occasion because it sounds so crass. it just makes me laugh. yes, my sense of humor tends to err towards the uncouth. i get it from my mom.**

**bahahaha! just kidding, mom! (my mom is like, the furthest thing from crass. we don't even say the word cr*p in her presence.)

*** did anyone else notice the creepy faces reflecting in the window of the continental? (behind the jazz band.) at first i thought it was a family of ghosts who must've died crossing the street to get to the continental... but then i realized it's just a huge wall-hanging thing on the building across the street.

Friday, February 04, 2011


a walking target.
i'm thiiiiisclose to taking a quick nap (like, i'm already in bed, typing with my eyes closed), but i wanted to say hi before the weekend begins! yesterday i stepped foot in the mall for the first time since christmas!
i got a couple layering basics from j.crew (on sale) but the rest of the trip was uninspiring and uneventful. all the spring clothes are coming out and it's just not exciting because i know how long it will be til we can actually wear them around here. but, at least by then they'll be on sale!
anyway, i tried on like, 32 pairs of pants at the gap, to no avail. i'm just in-between sizes and in-between lengths. at this point stacy & clinton would start talking about the importance of a good tailor, which i understand, but sometimes you  just want some instant gratificiation. actually trying on something that fits perfectly--just the way it is.
anyway, these pics are post-pant-pity-party...

entire outfit: target
cardigan: $22
button-down: $20
t-shirt: $8
belt: $4
jeans: $20
flats: patagonia, $40

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


have you seen this?

i'm constantly amazed by creativity.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


six months ago...
mr.a left for his deployment..

and we've survived 6 months worth of hard days.
not every day has been bad, but every day has been hard.

but today we celebrate...
halfway day! 
 we've spent the day in our pajamas eating yummy food....
(french toast with sauteed bananas)

and talking about all the fun things we will do when he returns. ideas include: never letting him out of our sight, going to disney world, visiting the nyc (to see these guys!), going to vegas (with these guys!), entire days spent snuggling, and some other fun things that need not be mentioned.

i can't say i'd ever want to go through this again,
but we're doing okay.
here's to hoping the next six months fly by!