Goodbye, 2017!

2017

 

There have only been two years in my life when EVERYTHING changed (which is saying a lot as an Army brat).  One of those years, I graduated from high school, moved away to college, began chipping away at my liberal arts degree, and most importantly–met the love of my life.  The other year, I graduated from college with my bachelor’s in English Literature, married the love of my life a month later, and entered life as I know it as a military wife.  But if I was going to pick a runner-up year, a year that gets honorable mention in terms of change, keeping busy, and experiencing life: it would be 2017.

Two months into February 2017, my husband returned from training and we were once again a reunited family.  (For any of my military readers out there–aren’t homecomings the best?)  We weren’t supposed to be moving until June, but came down on orders in March to move the first week of April.  That actually happened to us.  (For my military readers out there–doesn’t that happen a lot? lol)  So we had to pack up and leave our apartment, which was an extra big change because it was our very first home together.  We travelled 500 miles (with a toddler, a lab, and a morning sick mama) to move into a house we hadn’t even been in before.  Good news is, we loved the house!  Fun fact: we didn’t have a choice. haha

Life in our new house, at our new duty station was great.  In fact, I think we liked our location even better. (Although we will always look back fondly on our previous two years and would be more than happy to go back!)  As our family excitedly awaited the arrival of our second baby, we also lived the hours of Army training life.  Early mornings meant early bedtimes, and there was a lot of packing, meal prepping, and long days.  We made the best of it.  In fact, we made a goal to focus on our “quality” of life.  That had been our goal for 2017.  We knew that our free time would be limited, with pregnancy and Army training taking up so much space in our life. So we tried to squeeze every drop of value out of our weekends together that we could.  I can honestly say we really, truly did.

Once the Army training came to an end (congrats to my husband on his graduation!!), life finally slowed down for us.  And when I say it slowed down, I mean we had a lot of time off.  More than we have ever had before.  Some days it felt like we were back in college, hanging out on the weekend together–we had that much time off.  And we loved every single second of it!  We had spent so much of 2017 learning to make the most of our time together.  And so when our break finally came, we really knew how to spend it.  Our second baby came along, and our family went into full-hibernation mode, enjoying the peaceful calm that comes once the baby arrives.  We spent some real, long, happy days as a threesome.  And now, as a foursome!

Looking back at the year in review, I can say that it was the quality of life we shared that made 2017 so impactful.  The hustle and bustle that took up so much of the year ended up being completely worth it.  The pregnancy and Army training paid off.  Because not only did they have the best conclusions possible (especially the pregnancy conclusion! haha) but because it was during those times that we really learned how to make the most of our life.  Like I said earlier, we felt like we had to squeeze every bit of life out of the time we had together, because there wasn’t a lot of it.  This year, we learned to make the most of our weekends, and even just the most out of an evening together.  It was a daily practice at first, but then it became a habit.  And now, I really feel like it is our lifestyle.

As 2017 comes to a close, I feel grateful.  This year was filled to the brim with blessings.  I’m still surprised myself when I look over the year and realize how much has changed and happened, how many prayers have been answered, and how many memories have been made.  I know it’s cliche to say it was “the best Christmas ever,” but I can definitely say that the ending months of 2017 have been some of the best in my life.  And while it will be bittersweet to say goodbye to 2017, I’m glad that I can pack it up inside my heart and take it with me into the new year.  Or as we always say among military friends, it’s not really goodbye after all, but really just, see you later.

See you later, 2017!  You were too good to me.

 

 

Continue Reading

Round-Up: December 2017

Round-Up: December 2017

“Landscape sketched from memory, heavens and land entwine / Rapidly the scene is set, exquisitely divine. / Pine trees reaching tall and proud, like statues standing still. / There is no wind to speak of, more an icy winter chill.”  

— Suzanne Bates

I began this blog post as a summary of the month, like I usually do.  But three or four sentences in, my post was quickly spiraling into an assessment of my blog.  And then a fond look back on my year of blogging.  Then I found myself revisiting how blogging went for all of 2016.  Then I realized I was completely off-topic. And so now here we are.

I feel like that happened a lot this month.  I’d have something on my mind, and it would float away from me.  Words wouldn’t be spoken, or I would remember what I wanted to say two or three hours later.  I’d have intentions to do something, and somehow that thing would never materialize.  I would mentally create a list, and completely forget about those things for days.  It was kind of frustrating.  It was kind of fun.  It was pretty much December 2017 for me.

Maybe this year wore me out?  I don’t think so.  But I do think that my mommy-brain has gone into hyper-drive.  My focus is kind of all over the place, but my heart feels really settled.  It feels completely focused.  Mostly on my life.  Especially on my family.  This month was one of my favorites.

This is how I basically spent my month:

  1. Celebrate my baby’s baptism.  She was baptized at the beginning of this month.  SO happy for her. <3
  2. Make 4 new recipes.  Rigatoni, crab pot pie, and Instant Pot salmon and tilapia.  (<-Christmas gift!!!)
  3. Continue to toddler-proof the house.  TOUGHER than it sounds…she keeps finding things I need to hide.
  4. Play some Christmas music on the piano.  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was my favorite.
  5. Read “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens.   I looked at a Dickens-inspired statue.  Does that count?
  6. Bake Christmas cookies.  We baked and decorated sugar cookies…one of my favorite Christmas traditions!
  7. Finish my two knitting projects.  I finished the stocking but not the turban.  Still working on it…
  8. Mail out Christmas cards! The photo was a Christmas miracle, but we got them all sent out. haha
  9. Wrap presents.  I might have had to wrap a few on Christmas Eve.  But we did it!
  10. Spend my very favorite holiday with my very favorite people.  Some of my favorite 2017 memories!

But I can’t really cheer myself on for doing 9/10 of my to-do list items.  Like I mentioned earlier, I specifically gave myself the easiest, lightest to-do list in the history of to-do lists.  I don’t think I should have even called this a to-do list.  Although, maybe it’s good that I thought of it that way.  Because it’s so easy to think everything we have to do is all the unfun things, and we forget how truly necessary the fun ones really are.  At least I struggle with that.  Anyway, this month, I’m thrilled that I did almost my entire list, because they were fun things that I really wanted to do.  And January will come with more adulting than the last four months combined, so I was blest with the chance to take time off and smell the snow.  flowers.  the spanish moss.  the Christmas tree?  Moving on…

I don’t feel like I’m ready to say goodbye to 2017, or even just December 2017.  So I will save that for my end-of-the-year post.  But I guess for now I will just enjoy my last few days of December 2017, and will see you in my yearly round-up.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Continue Reading

Merry Christmas, 2017!

Merry Christmas, 2017!

Merry Christmas!

I hope that your Christmas Eve was full of exciting anticipation, and that your Christmas morning was filled with peace and joy.  I truly hope that as Christmas continues on, your days continue on to get merrier and brighter!  I didn’t get a chance to blog on Christmas, but I thought of my readers and of wanting wish you all a merry Christmas.  Thank goodness there are twelve days of Christmas.  They have saved me in more than one way!  And saving, so fitting–that really is what Christmas is all about.  Saving up the memories you make.  Saving up to buy gifts for others.  Honoring He Who came to Save us all.

I’d just like to take a moment to wish you a Merry Christmas!

“May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.”
– Ada V. Hendricks

 

~ Merry Christmas, 2017! ~

Continue Reading

Glam Bag Unboxing: December 2017

 

ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing: December 2017

 

In case you missed my intro to my November 2017 ipsy glam bag post:  I’m back-posting these.  I didn’t publish my November or December ipsy glam bags when I normally do.  So I’m considering them overdue and am publishing them with the seasonally appropriate date on them.  Sorry if you received those back to back in your email inbox.  Maybe this bit of news will comfort you:

This is my last ipsy glam bag unboxing.

We had a good run and I really enjoyed doing them.  In fact, my blog used to have a lot of makeup content on it monthly.  But I have moved on since then to other things, and I feel like ipsy unboxings are no longer fitting with my current theme (in the future, maybe?).

So if this isn’t your first ipsy unboxing here, thanks for the many reads.  And if this is your first, thanks anyways because I really appreciate any kind of readership.  Like I said, maybe these will make a return, or at least, maybe makeup topics will.  (And maybe you can make a return too, pretty please?)  But in the meantime, I’m putting ipsy unboxings to rest with this final post…

My December 2017 ipsy glam bag unboxing:

The theme for the December 2017 ipsy glam bag was a pretty exciting one: snow globes.  Some favorite colors of the months were your usual Christmastime suspects: mints, whites, silver…basically the refined colors of Christmas.  (Refined or not, who doesn’t LOVE Christmas plaid??)  The glam bag clutch itself was pretty adorable in all it’s ice-blue and glittery trim.  The products insider were glam too:

 

Smashbox Cosmetics Always On Gel LinerFishnet

I had to stop myself from using this product. It was SO creamy and so easy to apply, that I was ready to throw all my other eyeliners out the window.  But that’s not fair to them, because they are amazing, just dull.  If I actually sharpened them (like this one arrived as) then I could use them too.  Anyway, needless to say this is a perfect gel liner.  It’s only great flaw, like so many pencils before it, is that it needs to be manually sharpened.  I. hate. sharpening. eye pencils.  I might as well be trying to line my eye with a splintered toothpick.  Not even kidding a little bit.  I have the worst luck with sharpening my pens.  So for now, this is the BEST liner.  In a few weeks, probably not.

 

Son & Park Beauty Water

This is a toner.  I happen to love toners.  So this product was a big hit for me.  It was a bit more gentle than  my beloved The Body Shop Teatree toner, but it still did a really great job cleaning my skin.  I was pleased with the soft fragrance this had, and it’s lack of “burn.”  I just wish it was a bigger bottle!

 

20180203_1643211548514515.jpg
20180203_164427918035813.jpg

Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Eyeshadow Stargazing

I legitimately felt bad when I received this product.  I know Lisa Frank is one of the most iconic girl fads of the 90’s.  I bet so many ipsy subscribers were DYING to receive this.  And I like it, but not enough to have gotten it when others didn’t.  I felt especially undeserving when my two-year-old shredded the special edition collector’s box.  (yes, that is her fingerprint in the pan).  I didn’t deserve this product.  Sorry I got it.  If it helps though, I love it!  So creamy and wears extremely beautifully.  The pigment is perfect and intense.  This was a really nice tribute to a fun fad.

 

Seraphine Botanicals Lip PolishOrange & Cream

 I really love the scent of this polish.  Lip scrubs (that’s basically what it is) are kind of a hit or miss from me.  I wouldn’t say that this works extremely well, but I would say it is pleasant to use.  At least, as pleasant as lip scrubs can manage to be (not my favorite part of a my beauty routine!)  Side note that kind of makes this product weird to me: it tastes good.  It’s made of edible ingredients like sugar and mango seed butter and so it kind of tastes like a gritty fruit paste.  I guess that’s basically what it is.  And I don’t know how I feel about that. haha  All in all, a cleaver product, but not an overly effective one.

 

20180203_164647-1742757263.jpg
20180203_1647371529866269.jpg

Luxie Beauty Precision Shader Onyx Brush 239

I always save the brushes for last.  Save the best for last, right?  This one is a fluffy-duffy-docious Luxie beauty brush. I have so many Luxies now, and I absolutely use at LEAST one every single time I sit down at my makeup table.  I love these brushes!  I never got an Onyx collection one before, so this is an exciting addition to my Luxie brush fam!  So glad ipsy sent me yet another one.

And that’s the end of my unboxing, both for December 2017 and possibly forever?  Thanks for stopping by to read this.  If you’re an ipsy subscriber, what did you get in your December 2017 glam bag?  And if you’re not, but would like to be one, you can sign up here.  (Doing so will not pay me, though it will give me bonus points to use on fun products!)

Once again, thanks for the fun ipsy unboxing times together.  It’s been nice. 🙂

Continue Reading

December 2017

December 2017

 

“On cold December fragrant chaplets blow, / And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.”  — Alexander Pope

Hello, December!

I’m so glad it is December.

This is absolutely one of my very favorite months ever.  And the fact that this is my baby’s first Christmas…well, this month is more than welcome around here!  As I said in my last post, I like writing to-do lists.  But I like writing realistic ones.  Or at least ones that give me a breather some months.  Last month, my to-do list was pretty soft.  But I knew I had a baby on the way and didn’t want to overcommit.  (<–Or let’s be real…I wouldn’t have gotten anything done anyway, but I would have had guilt along with it!)  Anyway, I’m looking at another soft month ahead, and I’m totally excited about that!  Here we go, December 2017:

  1. Celebrate my baby’s baptism.  I’m about halfway done with her gown.  I can’t wait for her special day!!
  2. Make 4 new recipes.  Currently thinking:  rigatoni, crab pot pie, and sloppy joe’s…I still need one more.
  3. Continue to toddler-proof the house.  It’s part of my grand plan for a cleaner house with less cleaning. ha!
  4. Play some Christmas music on the piano.  “Sleigh Ride” is a real favorite of mine.
  5. Read “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens.  Because it’s Christmastime.
  6. Bake Christmas cookies.  See above.
  7. Finish my two knitting projects.  I’m making a turban and a stocking for my baby!  Shhh…it’s a surprise!
  8. Mail out Christmas cards! Because stationary and photos are so much fun.  And I kind of need to.
  9. Wrap presents.  And there are a lot of them.  Good thing I love wrapping paper parties!
  10. Spend my very favorite holiday with my very favorite people.  I LOVE Christmas!

And that’s pretty much it!  So, not a lot of hardcore “t0-doing.”  But that’s because I know myself too well. haha  Because when it comes down to it, all I really want to be doing in December is spending time at home: cooking, knitting, crafting, drinking coffee (and shopping online).  So here’s to a restful December 2017!  What are your plans?

Continue Reading