Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Little Things: 10 Years Together

Family Photos, November 2011

Every September the leaves are just beginning to turn and there's a feeling in the air- a little bit of fall, but a little bit of nostalgia too- remembering what it felt like, so many years ago, to fall in love.

When I think about the little anniversaries in our life, our first date, our first kiss, that first summer together, I think I might enjoy these small markers even more than our wedding anniversary. These things are the things we've built everything on. The little things. That first look at each other when we were getting out of our cars, meeting for dinner on our first date. Walking over to meet Hank in the parking lot, holding hands while we strolled around before the movie, embracing before we said goodbye. And later, the first time I introduced him to my family; our first weekend away, the first time we said 'I love you,' our first fight.

I of course don't have most of these dates jotted down, but when I think back to them, I can pull them out of the depths of the past decade and recall specific details if I try hard enough. The polka dot skirt I wore. The hoodie Hank had on, that he let me wear in the movie theater. I can even remember getting online the next morning to find the longest letter from him, post-first-date, helping to push aside all the secret fears I had been holding onto.

And the small things are what have made us into who we are. They are things that have formed the foundation of us, and that have allowed us to build and build until we arrived at where we are now. Many more years ahead of us, but here we are, this love and our two children and this life that we have built.

To have someone who sees you and gets you and accepts you, who has seen the very worst parts of you, who has been the hand and the shoulder and the arms and the ears, who has been everything to you, and who has let you be you, to be the best you you didn't even know was inside of you...that is a special, special thing.

10 years represents so much- hard work and good times (and bad times) and everything in between. It's spending your entire 20s with your best friend, a period of great growth and change, and finding out that where it could have been possible to grow apart, you were lucky enough to grow even stronger. It's a deep, passionate, quiet, comfortable love. It's holding someone in your arms, in all of their flawed imperfection, and saying "I see you. All of you. And I love you all the same."

My sweet, sweet love. Here's to 10 years, and here's to 100 more.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekend Links

Flagstaff 10/21/12
[a little over two years ago- this photo makes me so excited for fall!] 

Happy weekend! Here are some things I've been loving around the web this past week:

A great round up of kid (and pet!) friendly hikes in the Phoenix area.

What a cute nursery!

On dealing with negativity online.

The 15 most remote places in the world.

On masks.

How to...make homemade dish soap.

What a middle school boy needs most from his parents. Bookmarking this for later.

Wishlist: these rain boots, this dress, and these shoes.

“If you’re going to raise a murderer, you’re going to take responsibility.

Yum: herbed tomato and roasted garlic tart.

And how about this update to a regular spaghetti squash dinner.

I love little peeks into Tatiana's gorgeous home.

I love Kaelah's honesty here (and in all her posts).

5 ways I will be a different school Mom this year.

The truth about your chakras.

A Great White Shark in Massachusetts.

MIT is hosting a breast pump hackathon!

Great post: Notes to My Younger Self.

Happy birthday, Ivy!

I love David Sedaris.

An interesting read: "Marriage is going down. I'm yelling 'Tinder.'"

10 international buildings every architecture lover must see.

Read this: a great post on the growth of a blog and its author.

Etsy love: this planner, this pennant flag, and this card set.

Ask Andew W.K.: Prayer is Stupid, Right?

And finally, all parents please watch this. I laughed so hard I cried. 

p.s. thank you all SO MUCH for the sweet words about my new design! Did you also see that I put up a FAQ? Let me know if you think of anything else I should add!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sometimes Sweet has a new look!

As much as I loved my old design by my friend Liz, I was ready for a change. It's always fun to switch things up, and with the change of seasons and so many new ideas, I'm excited for something new.

I went a very un-fancy route and bought a design via Etsy! I am so pleasantly surprised though, and I can't say enough good things about Kate over at 17th Avenue Designs. She's so easy to work with and got back to me right away with answers to any questions I had. I can't recommend them enough.

So, welcome to the new Sometimes Sweet! Clean, simple, easy to read and navigate. Please let me know if you run into any issues. I still have to update the pages up top and my bio photo, but I couldn't wait to share. And please let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for stopping by (and reading!).


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer to Fall

Autumn in this town is something special. But I think there's also something to be said about these few weeks of transition- where the air is just starting to feel crisp, leaves are turning orange here and there, and you can just kind of feel fall approaching. The other night we headed downtown to take a walk- we wore short sleeves and had bare legs, and as the sun started to set we realized that these nights wearing summer clothing are probably numbered.

When I was a teacher I remember how quickly fall arrived. I'm sure it has something to do with going back to school in late July that made summer seem like it was gone in the blink of an eye, but I felt like before I had even gotten to use my bathing suit, autumn was here. Now summer feels a little bit longer, which I appreciate, but I also love this upcoming season more than anything. Those first bits of colored leaves and scarves and all the delicious seasonal produce gets me so happy that fall is (almost) here!

Where do you live? Does it feel like fall in your town yet? Just this week I started to notice the leaves turning so I'd say it's well on its way here!

Monday, September 8, 2014

3 Things: Monday Inspiration

Here are three things I'm loving around the web this morning:

1. What I'm Learning on My Birthday: Thirty-One.

I really, really love this post. I connected to so many of the things Erin shared here, but especially #1 and #7. I'm someone who does grab their phone the moment they wake up, and I absolutely feel like this is not a good way to start the day. Now I try to do other things first, because all of that information in my face from the first second I get up cannot be good. So now I have my phone plugged in across the room and a few books on my nightstand, with pages marked- pages full of good, happy positivity that makes me smile first thing.

2. Living a Simple, Intentional Life: Part Two, Toys

I feel like I could have written this myself! Jen and I are usually on the same page anyway, but this post especially rang true to me. This past weekend we completed a massive undertaking- going through every drawer, closet, cabinet, bin the garage, nook and cranny, and sorting, purging and organizing everything. We're not people who even hang onto a lot, but I'm sure you can relate when I say that things just add up! When we took our last load to the donation center it felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. And then when I read Jen's post this morning I couldn't help but nod my way through it. I really enjoy that for their family, it's not just about simplifying and getting rid of stuff- it's about living more intentionally and having their belongings reflect that. Inspiring.

3. Seven Steps to Living a Bill Murray Life, by Bill Murray

So I really love Bill Murray and I really love this article. Read it, especially step seven.

Happy Monday, friends! xo

Sunday, September 7, 2014

An End of Summer Lake Trip

We said goodbye to summer in the best way possible- out in the middle of nowhere on a boat! It was a great few days spent on the Arizona/Utah border on Lake Powell. Lots of swimming, eating great food, and good, quality family time. Henry preferred to be in the water as much possible, and from sun up to sun down he was splashing around. Charlie had a great time too, minus some rough moments with teething. The worst. But overall it was a great time- very relaxing and outside of getting no sleep because of those pesky teeth, we did pretty okay. ;)

I feel so grateful to have had this time with my family- those days in that warm sunshine and cool lake water will surely carry us into the fall days that are already on their way. It was also so special to be here with Charlie, because the last lake trip we took I was pregnant. Full circle, for sure.

Happy end of summer, friends! xoxo

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

In Our Garage

Do you ever have those moments where you think to yourself, "I'm getting better at this life thing"? I've had a few of those recently, which is nice. But of course, moments like these are almost always followed by a good reality check where I re-realize that I don't, in fact, know anything. I've said almost this exact same thing on my blog before (maybe three times!), and I don't know if I'll ever get over it. Because really, those bits of clarity! Oh, how they sparkle! I love that, when things feel like they're clicking into place- feeling like you're figuring out some secret you didn't even know was a secret. I think this has to do with knowing yourself more, being able to see yourself going down the same path you've already been, and recognizing when it's time to pump the brake.

Last weekend Hank and I spent an entire day cleaning out our garage, and at times I had to laugh at how silly we were, spending our lovely day off covered in dust and dirt, giving more snacks to Charlie in the pack 'n play and more movies to Henry in the living room, just to power through. Our house is typically very clean- we don't have a lot of "stuff" and I'm not a clutter or knick-knacky kinda person, so it isn't terribly hard to keep it organized (although this does not include the "junk" drawer that has somehow spilled into a second drawer!). But...that poor garage. Our garage has been in a sad state. When we bought this house right before Henry was born I was in a nesting frenzy and obsessively and meticulously labeled boxes and put them in their proper places. But as the past four years have gone by I've had spurts of laziness when putting things away post-holiday or post-get together or post-whatever, which in turn snowballed into our originally organized things becoming a big hodge podge of random stuff. I'm sure you know what I mean. That orange pumpkin basket from Halloween always kind of laid on top of something (my intention was to put it into the non-existent Halloween box eventually), a broken drumstick that should be thrown away yet always ended turning up somewhere, and random clothing set aside for a donate pile that eventually grew and became the pile itself. Then add in an accumulation of bikes and drums and Power Wheels and strollers and seven boxes of memories from my parents' house...and you have a nightmare.

But of course any free weekend we had, the very last thing we wanted to do was spend it in there. And those seven boxes called to me every time I pulled my car into the garage- they taunted me, all piled up like that and reminded me that I had stuff to do! I had boxes to go through! What was I thinking, hanging out with friends when I had a lifetime of parent-collected memories to sort?!

So a couple of weeks ago Hank and I decided that Labor Day would be it! That would be the day!

Now I have to tell you, if you're ever starting to feel too cool, like maybe you've got this life thing figured out (see paragraph one), just take a walk down memory lane, and revisit junior high and maybe even high school. GOD. I look at the clothes, the hair, how awesome I really believed I was...and I have to laugh. So much bad poetry, so many crushes, so much drama (I was reminded of this after sorting through hundreds of notes from friends I'd somehow saved).

And there I sat, in a pile of years, lost for hours remembering so many things I hadn't thought of in a decade. And as I remembered I sorted. Keep, throw away. Keep, throw away. It felt weird to get rid of things I once loved, but as much as I love nostalgia I love not having clutter even more, so I threw away a lot. And it felt good!

Sometimes I think you need to get rid of the old to make way for the new. And it's not like our crowded garage was holding me back, but once we listed the bikes for sale on Craigslist and I whittled seven boxes down to one and we closed up that last holiday box, edited and organized to a tee, I felt better than I had in months.

So yeah, this is one of those posts that's not really about anything. Although it kind of is, I guess. There's a bit about simplicity there, how much I enjoy having less (which sometimes surprises me because I am someone who does gravitate towards more half the time!). But I'm learning. And like I said up there, part of feeling like we've got it figured out is knowing when we're starting to make a wrong turn. Stopping. And resetting. There's a bit about that. But I guess the biggest thing would be that sometimes in life it's good to just jump right in and edit. Keep and throw away, keep and throw away. Sometimes you go through seven boxes of things you thought you needed all along, but as it turns out, you only needed one. That's kind of where I'm at in life right now. Taking a big step back and seeing what I've got, and seeing what I need. Keeping what works and understanding that it's okay to discard the rest. This is progress.

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