Monday, August 31, 2015

Loving It

 Lately I've been loving...

1. This view from my parents' window.

2. The ball! Thomas's favorite word right now is "ball." It's also his favorite thing. Is my baby sporty? Discuss.

3. To me, this is the picture that best describes the summer (which is sadly long gone at this point, but I'm putting it here anyway!): Thomas and mommy just hanging out. It's been a big transition to get back in the swing of things at work!

4. Swing!

5. There's a place outside of Charlotte called Discovery Place Kids and it is a magical wonderland full of everything a tiny kiddo could want to play with. Seriously. If I had found this at the start of the summer instead of the end of it, it would be the only thing Thomas and I ever did!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summer List

So I'm an obsessive planner, but not the kind who always has everything together (not at all). I'm the kind of planner who always wants to have something to look forward to... and so I make lists. A lot of lists. I am always making the lists. 

And I almost never actually accomplish everything on the list, and that's okay, but this year, I actually did! I truly succeeded at doing all 10 things on my Summer Fun To-Do List, and Thomas helped me do it! As seen here:

1. Eat watermelon

I have obviously eaten a lot of watermelon. Thomas, on the other hand, had never eaten watermelon until this summer! So I put it on the list. He loved it. Obviously. Watermelon is the best. Just in general. It's definitely my number one melon. 

2. Eat an ice cream cone

I was 100 percent no sugar for Thomas for a long time, and I'm still not crazy about giving him sweets, but I will say, once he hit his first birthday, I eased up on the situation. I love ice cream. I especially love ice cream in cones. It's just so fun! So I definitely got my ice cream on this summer, and I even shared with my little fellow.

3. Go to River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center

We live less than five minutes from the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Lucky us! Every Thursday and Saturday, they have free music and good beer. We went twice this summer: Once with Thomas when he was still on California time (it's too late when he's on NC time), and once as a date night to see Delta Rae play (they were amazing).

4. Mountains

We took two trips up to the mountains this summer. They are my favorite place in the world.

5. Go to California

Is it cheating to put stuff on the list you absolutely know is going to happen because your sister is going to get married and there is no way you're going to miss it? Anyway, I put this on the list, and we went! It was a great, exhausting trip.

6. Play in a river

Thomas got his play on in the New River several times. I love his little baby face, and sometimes I feel twinges of sadness when I see how big he's getting... But then I remind myself of all the fun things he'll get to do when he's bigger! Thomas enjoyed the New River, and I think the older he gets, the more fun he's going to have in our favorite mountain location!

7. Celebrate Thomas's first birthday

This is another thing that I was obviously going to do. Maybe this is why my list was accomplished? Should I put "Celebrate Thanksgiving" on my fall list? I'm feeling pretty good about the list-finishing, so maybe I will! Anyway, Thomas turned one, we had a big party, and a good time was had by all!

8. Hang out at OMB

This was the final item we completed on my list, and it's one I really wanted to happen. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery was the first brewery Robert and I went to together (and it was our wedding beer!). It recently opened up a new location, and we both wanted our dads to come see it. So... we had a grandparents visit to toddler-friendly OMB (seriously, a million kids are always running around that place). Pictured below: My mom rocking some amazing costume jewelry!

9. Visit the Atlantic Ocean

I sort of wanted the Atlantic Ocean to be Thomas's first ocean because North Carolina is his home state, but California is his mama's home state, so the Pacific was a good first ocean too! At the end of summer vacation, we did make it to Myrtle Beach. Thomas loves those waves!

10. Visit the Pacific Ocean

The evening before my sister's wedding, she threw a party on the beach, and it was just gorgeous. Thomas saw an ocean for the first time, and he was mesmerized.

That's it! The list is complete! And the summer was great. It's so crazy the season of summer still has a month left. What's that about? I'm knee-deep in school! Anyway, it's time to start thinking about fall for sure!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two T-shirts

Target was one of the best, biggest, air-conditioning-est places to kill time with Thomas this summer. Yes, we went thrifting, but that would only entertain him for 45 minutes or less. Target? We're talking an hour plus. Especially if I had snacks.

Above: Stuff I didn't initially buy from Target and then went back to buy from Target. Both T-shirt and pants. Thomas is chill, just watching mamma in the mirror. Man, I love that baby boy. 

This '70s-esque rainbow love shirt was bought at Target while we were in LA. (Target was right down the street from our Airbnb, and for some reason or other, we were there like every other day). I love my Love shirt! Also: love that little nugget! (How cute is he in his little romper? Aack! The cutest!) 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Style Icon: Tori Amos

When I think about Tori Amos' style, I mostly think about her bright-red hair and giant lips. Do these things count as style? Or is that just the way Tori Amos looks? I mean, her lips can't be part of her style, can they? They're, you know, part of her face. So maybe I just like Tori Amos' face. And her music. And actually her style, I'm pretty sure.

The hair is as red as red can be, and she'll put on a heart-printed halter top with purple jeans so cheers to that. 

Tori Amos has always been a bit of a fairy in my mind, and all the sparkles and pretty jewelry she wears helps with that. So does the fact she's quit LA because it smells like fear and lives in Ireland and England. And her wacky lyrics. Love those wacky lyrics. (As a teen, they were it for me. As an adult, I listen to songs like "Mr. Zebra" and wonder "What is going on here?")

I was really into Tori Amos in high school when she was coming out with records like "Boys for Pele" and "From the Choirgirl Hotel," but I've remained a fan of her newer stuff as well. I like how candidly she talks about her miscarriages and how she's remained a fairy creature even as the world seems to get uglier and uglier. She puts on a kick-ass show too, that girl and her piano. If you have a chance to see her live, take it. She'll be rocking her red hair and lipsticked-lips, I'm sure of it and wailing about myths and fairies and love and God. All the good stuff.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Remix: Purple Maxi Dress

I thrifted this dress so many years ago, and I've gotten so much use out of it. Here's the thing: Maxi dresses are ridiculously comfortable. They are mumus, people. Good-looking mumus.

And despite the fact that this dress is a mumu, people seem to think I'm dressing "fancy" when I wear it. And I'm all like "It's a blanket! It's a large, loose swath of fabric! It does not get more comfortable!"

And holy moly is it roomy. Above: I am pregnant. It's that cute phase of pregnancy where you look adorable in everything.

And then there's that phase of pregnancy where you are all stomach and people can't believe you're not having twins/due tomorrow. This dress is also great for that phase! Look how much baby belly this dress can handle!

And you look good while feeling enormously physically uncomfortable. So thanks for that purple maxi dress!

Here I am obviously post-baby. In this photo, I have been thrown up on several times in the last 24 hours and am about to be thrown up on several more. (My poor baby. He was okay, just sick and vomit-y.) Love that in-between-vomit pattern mixing I made happen!

And there's that baby I've been talking so much about! So cute. The cutest.

Second cutest (or more likely 164th cutest) is the dress. It is a staple. It is a basic. It is a favorite. You know how magazine articles are always like "You must own a crisp, white shirt and a trench coat" or whatever? I think it's imperative that we all own a statement-making, voluminous purple maxi dress! And Thomas agrees.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Overalls and the end

Summer vacation is over. Students aren't in school, but I'm in full-blown preparation mode, and Thomas is in daycare again. Oh my little baby. He is not actually a little baby anymore. I find this fact emotionally exhausting. (Seriously: They grow up so fast! It's a cliche because it's so aggressively true.)

Anyway, here I am wearing some amazing overalls. Look at them! So amazing! Overalls are the best. Why haven't I worn them since college? I should wear them all the time!

I wore this to go to our small town's farmers market. We bought tomatoes and zucchini and green peppers and blueberries (Thomas eats ALL THE BLUEBERRIES EVER). It was a really, really lovely summer morning. And, yeah, summer vacation is over, but the season of summer officially has a ways to go, and after that? It's going to be fall, y'all! And you know how I feel about fall! 

(I love it. In case you didn't know that. LOVE IT.)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Flowered dress

Bright sun. Dried out grass. Dress as a shirt. Jean shorts. Awesome clogs. Cutie-pie toddler. The end.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


This one time my pedicure matched lichen. It was an awesome time.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

River Jam

Our little family went to the National Whitewater Center's River Jam, which is a free concert with really expensive beer. I wore this. I didn't realize that the parking would be so bad I would have to hike to the actual center itself. It's okay. I still liked wearing this.

Let us all praise maxi dresses. They are so comfortable! So roomy! So often sporting fun prints! And you can tie them up if you're wading in the ocean or going for an unexpected parking lot hike. 

It was very hot, but we had a fun time anyway. (Maxi-dresses: good for ridiculous heat!). Southern California's weather was very, very nice. It's an adjustment going back to almost 100-degree days! (You know that Maroon 5 song "Sugar" that's always on the radio now where he's all like "You're hotter than a southern California day"? Robert was like "That's not very hot. He's saying she's mildly pleasant to look at." Truth.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Loving It

Lately I've been loving...

1. My nephew's snorkeling face!

2. Thomas's silly face!

3. Seeing the fossils at the La Brea Tar Pits. So much craziness!

4. Seriously, they had 404 dire wolf skulls! So many dire wolf skulls!

5. My little boy's fascination with planes (can't blame you, kiddo).

6. And the fact he slept for two hours on the flight home. (Yay! And also: Yay home!)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Last day fog

I'm going to be honest, my last day in LA, I was a little... under the weather. A little dehydrated. A little tired. A little bit wishing I had eaten my dinner (What is wrong with you? Dinner is delicious!) and not had that third margarita.

I fought through this post-wedding fog, and made it to the awesome La Brea Tar Pits and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They are conveniently located not only right next to each other, but right next to a row of food trucks! (Drunken noodles are the best!!!) The tar pits were so cool, and the accompanying museum was full of really amazing fossils. Truth time: I did not know dire wolves were a real thing until now. I thought they were a Game-of-Thrones thing only. Also: Giant sloths used to roam (very slowly, I suspect) what is now LA. Who knew?

Who wears short shorts? Me! I do! And clogs. And shirts featuring Basquiat's art. 

Gotta love Basquiat. Gotta love polka-dotted, giant sunglasses when you still have remnants of your (fabulous) Kardashian makeup hanging out under your eyes.

Thomas was a pretty good sport. He liked the tar pits and the fossils. He loved the drunken noodles. He tolerated the museum. He might have touched a Picasso (oopsie). Overall, our last day in LA was a big win. Science? Check. Art? Check. Yummy food? Big ol' check. And then we went back "home" and hung out in the hot tub until it was time to pack. Not too shabby!