Saturday, March 26, 2011


yesterday was one of those days i had a specific thing i wanted to wear, but couldn't figure out what that was. (does that make sense?) do you ever have those days? you just feel a certain way and you want your clothes to match that? anyway, it was snowing (blerg.) and i wanted to be cozy, but i had dressed like a slob all week so i wanted to put on a "real" outfit. anyway, after a few misses, i ended up with this combo. i know it's not the most flattering thing in the world (the kangaroo-pouch up front does not do anything for my momma-pooch.) but, i was super-comfy. and, to be honest, i loved this outfit.
i don't know why. it just fit my mood.
sweater: j.crew, $35
shirt/tunic: j.crew, $10
twill legging/pants: walmart, $12
boots: steve & barry's, $7

this has kind-of been a weird week for me. after mr.a left, i was so focused on ensuring the girls were okay, i didn't really take time to process it myself. plus, because of my amazing friends and family, i had a lot of fun distractions. (more on that soon...) 
but this week i've been processing.

this good-bye hasn't been as hard as others. we're kind of used to it now. but it's still another transition and the sadness sneaks up on me in the strangest moments. simply overhearing a mom say, "go with daddy" or seeing families all together or (oddly) hearing the chorus of this song will have me crinkling my nose to fight off tears.

but really, mostly, we're doing ok.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


the girls and i got home around 8 p.m. on sunday night. i got them settled down and into bed. i sat down on the couch to tackle the six clean loads of laundry that i'd left sitting in their baskets all weekend and my friend sara texted me to turn on the show "army wives." a lot of my friends love this show, but i hadn't really ever watched it. in this episode there was a scene where one gal has a bunch of friends over and all of a sudden they hear gushing water and find her water heater is shooting water out. they all shriek and it takes a couple of them to turn it off. i didn't think much of the scene at the time.
when the show was over, i went to bed. (and didn't accomplish much folding...)

early monday morning i was still in bed, not quite ready to get up, sort-of drifting in & out of dreamy sleep. i dreamt that someone was in my bathroom taking a really long shower. when i woke up and still heard the water, i figured piper must be playing in the tub. i got out of bed, but piper wasn't in the bathroom, and the tub wasn't running. so i groggily walked into the kitchen to see if she'd accidentally started the dishwasher. nope. confused, i went downstairs to see if my little sister had possibly started a load of laundry. she hadn't. but there, in our laundry room, was our water heater. gushing gallons of water across the room. literally hitting the wall on the other side. just like i had seen on tv 12 hours before. my first thought was, is this really happening? am i still dreaming? but, i quickly snapped out of it and, thanks to "army wives" i knew exactly what to do and how to turn off the water. (and i didn't get near as soaked as the gals did on tv!)

i looked around to see how much clean-up i had ahead of me, but luckily i'd done that mountain of laundry a few days before. otherwise, all those clothes would have been a soaking wet mess on the floor. the only pile left was towels, so that didn't matter too much. also, our water heater happens be right next to our sump pit, so a lot of the water went straight down there (which was good). my father-in-law helped me find a plumber and he was there before lunch and we were only without water for a few hours. the whole thing had to be replaced (dreading that bill), but it could have been a lot worse. if my friend hadn't texted me, if hadn't seen the show, if all my laundry was on the floor, i would have freaked out at the sight of that water. 
but she did and i did and it wasn't, so i didn't.
you might call it coincidence or irony, but i'd say that's God.
when you pass through deep waters, i will be with you;
and when you pass through rivers of difficulty,
they'll not sweep over you.
when you walk through fire you will not be burned,
the flames will not consume you.
for i am the Lord your God ... your savior.
isaiah 43:2-3

Friday, March 18, 2011


can't say i'm related to the gap & co., but i guess you could call us friends.
whatever our relationship, this weekend's friends & family sale was good to me! so far i've only been to old navy but i found some great deals.
check out my loot!

full-price, all of these items would have been over $100.
pretty good deal, huh?
i'm psyched about the olive green wellies. they were the last pair in the store and just happened  to be my size. happy birthday to me and...happy shopping to you!

p.s. if you don't have a friends & family coupon,
you must be living in a cave e-mail me.
i have several.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


our last moments...

it's such a weird thing, saying good-bye.
you stand around. make small talk. ask questions you already know the answer to. you hug. you kiss. you say i love you. you kiss again. and again and again.
and, at some point, you just have to let go and let him walk away.

you watch him, through the crowd, up the escalator, until he finally turns and gives one last wave. you stand there, crying and waving and watching until all you can see are his boots. and then he's gone. and it's time to walk away.

as you head to the car, now three instead of four, you avoid eye contact with everyone around you. you sense their empathy, but know making eye contact would completely dissolve your steel.

we made our walk to the car. i reigned in my emotions and put the girls in their seats. i caught myself just before getting in the passenger side. whoops. 
once i got in and got settled, piper said,

"mommy, who's going to make your eggs now?"

"well................i guess i'll have to make my own eggs now, baby."

Monday, March 14, 2011


the last night.
for our last night together, mr.a and i went out for dinner and then walked around target. he picked out some goodies for the girls to open tomorrow when we take him to the airport. (bribery? distraction? yes and yes.)
 i'd been feeling okay. prepared, even, for him to go back. i knew this day was coming and i've felt motivated to just kick this deployment's butt. only 4.5 more months. 
but...then i burst into tears on the way home from dinner. and now i feel heavy. i have that lump in my throat and i just want to hide under the covers and wake up to find this was all a bad dream.
but it's not.
and tomorrow morning i will drive him to the airport and say good-bye.

what i wore tonight seems stupid and insignificant now.
but...we took the pictures, so here they are.
cardigan: target
tank: tj maxx
necklace: gift
belt: j.crew
jeans: gap
flats: steve madden

Sunday, March 13, 2011


sixteen candles. (plus ten.)

a couple weeks ago i mentioned that i have a birthday coming up this friday. sadly, mr.a has to head back to afghanland just a few days shy.
so to distract myself on this lonely day, i will be daydreaming about these goodies...

1. my very own dork-box...

2. grey shoes to match my mood...

4. a pretty case for my dork-box...

5. this colorful book to brighten my mood & inspire some writing...

6. and if i don't get any of those things, this fun top will surely make me happy...

but what i'd really like is another day or two with my man.
no presents could top that. the past 13 days have been amazing and it makes me sooooo ready for normal life again.
i had kind of forgotten what normal life is like, and now i kind of remember.
it's like, really, really good.

Friday, March 11, 2011


the usual.

this outfit isn't anything new. i've worn several variations of it before.
(like this and this) but, i love it. it's cute, casual and comfy.
the three c's to a perfect mom-on-the-go outfit.
(i'm working on my gig as a personal shopper/motivational speaker.)

jacket: gap
scarf: target
hat: ???
shirt: j.crew
tank: forever 21
jeans: joe's, thrift
moccasins: minnetonka
bag: botkier, thrift

we took the girls to an indoor bounce place. last time we were there i learned to dress practically so you look like less of an idiot when you scramble up to the top of the highest bouncey thing to rescue your child who refuses to go down the slide. this outfit was perfect for that, but luckily mr.a did most of the scrambling and i did most of the relaxing-in-a-chair-with-a-magazine.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


date day.
yesterday mr.a and i finally got to go on a date--just the two of us! he woke me up saying that today we would do my two favorite things: eating and shopping! my mom took our girls for the afternoon, so we had lunch at miyabi 9 and browsed around east village.
after a couple stores, i had to bribe mr.a with a pint at the locust tap so he could keep going. when he takes me shopping, we have a system of one beer for every two stores. keeps us both happy.
the tap is this crusty old dive that has been open since 1930. every inch of the place is covered in rust or decay or graffiti. the bathroom floor is literally crumbling and the average patron...well, let's just say they blend well with the decor.
it was a great first date.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


hey! sorry i bailed on you guys this past week. i've been a little busy staring at mr.a, taking pictures of him when he's not looking and trying to make sure we're never more than 12 feet apart. yeeeaah, i get kinda stalkerish when the military borrows my husband for a year. anyway...
we took a family road trip out to colorado and got to spend some time with family.
mr.a set up his computer so the girls could watch movies the whole way.
they were in disney heaven.
you can see the remnants of quinn's first shiner in the picture below.
she took a dive for the coffee table a few days before we left.
if you've never been to estes park,
the drive up through big thompson canyon is incredible.
piper's cousin averi (who is exactly one month younger than her) came out to colorado, too. they had a lot of fun playing dress-up, making snowflakes out of napkins, and working in their "office."
mr.a's oldest brother, nate, has an i-phone that kept us entertained and informed with clips of charlie sheen and some UFO in china.*
this is the view from nate's front porch...
the little girls were pretty excited that uncle nate's house was built right into the rocks.
don't worry, we were allowed to trespass...
there were lots of big rocks to explore, all in nate's backyard.

the next day we took a long walk down the river.
quinn was so stinkin' cute. she was so proud and excited to be walking on her own. it's been so cold for so long, she's honestly not spent much time outside since she's been able to walk.
after we played at the playground a while, we went to my favorite shop,
long's peak paper house. (formerly known as the papeterie.)
i have to admit, i literally got teary-eyed as i walked through this store. it's just so beautiful and warm and unique. and, you probably don't know this about me, but i used to have a severe journal addiction. i looooved buying new journals. so this place is like my crack-house.
 i also love cards. so much. i stand in the card aisles and cry. yes, i know, it's ridiculous. even if they're happy cards. or really creative. or really sweet. i cry.
they had these sweet light fixtures in the windows.
this one was made out of dixie cups...
we attempted a family picture with the camera timer. this is the result...
oh well. if that's not pretty enough, check out these adirondacks sitting right below a mountain, right above a river, and right next to a winery.
ummm...that might trump target as my new happy place.
it was nice to be in such a beautiful place together.
and it was really nice to see mr.a having fun with his big brothers.

*nate's i-phone has been dubbed the "dork-box."
feel free to borrow this term. as in: "hey, can you dork-box movie times?"
or, "what's the weather like in chicago? dork-box it!"