Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Weekend!

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Hello everyone! I’m still in Salt Lake City at Alt Summit and I can’t wait to share all I’ve learned with you. Today is the final day of the speaker sessions, then tomorrow we have design camp. I’ll be flying home Sunday to my littles who I’ve missed like crazy while I’m away. This week has be BEYOND beyond, but I’m really looking forward to returning home and digesting all I’ve learned here.

I would like to quickly say thank you so much to everyone who made it possible for me to attend Alt Summit this week. It was really a pipe dream of mine that I never, ever thought would come true. My husband, always more patient than I probably deserve, said okay to a huge sum of money (Alt ain’t cheap, y’all) right after I’d quit my full time job because he wanted to support me in getting where I need to go in this weird world of lifestyle blogging. My in-laws have been wonderful, coming to Kansas City to help out while I’m away and spending time with the kids. And of course, those kids, who make everything worth it. Oy, my heart may burst.

Okay, enough of that sappy stuff. Here are some links to get you through your weekend. I’ll be back on Monday!

I love the idea of taking a train somewhere in the states. I’ve always wanted to go cross country, but I think I’ll wait until Tate is not two years old (no offense, Tater). I really enjoyed reading about Jordan’s trip with her family to Seattle from San Francisco. So fun!

Please oh please someone buy me a Doctor Who valentine!

The “You Are My Wild” project is a blog where 14 photographers document how they see their children. It’s perfection.

I would love a video like this with my kids, showing a normal day together (with a bit of fancy fun thrown in, of course!).

Speaking of beautiful videos featuring bloggers and their kids, go watch “Betty in Paris.” You won’t regret it!

Guess what city made Refinery 29’s list of places to travel? Well, yeah, New York City. But also, Kansas City! Yay for KC! (Apparently the new hipster capitol of the Midwest….okay?)

The best photobombs of the presidential inauguration.

Nicole helped me make these sweet valentine’s last year, and now she’s sharing how on the Petit Soul blog!

I also wrote this week at Sweet Lemon Magazine’s Zesty Digest about my need to get out and run again…my dad is always right.

Lucky Number Seven

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Seven years ago today I got married. I was happy, giddy and in love. I was also terrified.

Marriage can be a scary thing…telling someone that you promise to be there for them FOREVER and ever is a bit daunting. I look at the person I was seven years ago and I’m amazed that Trent got down on one knee (in a suit of armor, no less) and asked me to be with him the rest of our lives.

The day we were married, we were facing a whole new world ahead of us. There would be no honeymoon period, no newlywed years spent traveling and reveling in married bliss, as our friends were planning for themselves. Our future seemed very serious, and quite frankly, pretty damn scary. There was a baby on the way and a business being built, and we were just kids! It was overwhelming, and combined with the hormones, I can’t believe I didn’t go off the deep end.

But I didn’t. We didn’t. And even though it was hard some of the time, we moved forward together. There were slammed doors and storming out in to the night and screaming at the top of our lungs….and then, one day, there wasn’t.

I don’t know when it happened. But one day, it seems, we just grew up. We have grown into ourselves and into this marriage until it became the perfect fit. I don’t mean, of course, that our marriage is perfect. Not even close…but who wants perfect, anyway? When I say a perfect fit, I mean that we have reached a place in our relationship where it just fits. It’s comfortable, warm, loving and, dare I say, really freaking happy.

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Our wedding song was Ben Harper’s “Forever,” and when I listen to it today, I’m awed by how perfect it is for Trent and I.

Not talkin’ ’bout a year
No not three or four
I don’t want that kind of forever
In my life anymore
Forever always seems
to be around when it begins
but forever never seems
to be around when it ends
So give me your forever
Please your forever
Not a day less will do
From you

I am so proud of this life we’ve built together. So proud of us. We figured it out. Seven years later, I look at that girl on her wedding day and want to give her a hug. “It’s going to be alright,” I’d tell her “In fact, it’s going to be the best thing you ever did.”

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Click here to read our interview on marriage over at So Wonderful, So Marvelous. Click here to see Trent looking super dashing in a suit of armor.

Bottom photo by Nicole Coleman

Love and Marriage

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Trent and I are being featured today over at the always awesome So Wonderful, So Marvelous blog! She’s doing a super fun series on marriage and asked us to answer some of her questions on how we maintain such a picturesque union. I told her it was the abundance of breakfast sandwiches. Trent agreed. See? We’re meant to be!

Truthfully, we have worked pretty hard at our marriage, especially in the last year or so, and I can confidently say I’ve never been happier. I know that a huge part of this came from my whole “journey to be happy” and making real decisions to make my relationship a good one. Trent and I have really done the work (and yes, it is work) and the payoff has come in spades. When I look at who we are now, compared to where we were as 19 year old college kids (volatile, dramatic, passionate, slightly bonkers) or even 23 year old first time parents/newlyweds or, hell, even 27 year old professionals, I am amazed we made it through. So many times we could have jumped off this ship and left it to sink, but every time we found ourselves clinging to lifeboats, doggie paddling for each other.

Here’s to doggie paddling for many more decades…

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For more of the So Wonderful, So Marvelous marriage series, click here!

{Photo by Nicole Coleman}

Daredevil

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While spending time at the lake has always been fun for our little family, it can sometimes be, well, a bit boring. My parents have a pontoon boat, which is lovely, but slow and with the kids being so little, it’s hard to get them excited about putting around the lake at 2 miles an hour while they overheat in uncomfortable life jackets. Lulu is just now getting to an age where she likes being on the boat (mostly since she can now wear a skiing lifejacket which is lighter and way more comfortable…see here for an example of how uncomfortable it can be), but when it’s so hot outside, as it’s been this year, we pretty much all want to skip the boat all together.

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Enter, the newest lake toy, a jet ski! I’m as surprised as you are that my depression era parents sprung for a jet ski, but apparently my sister and her husband are very persuasive (thank goodness for siblings!) and convinced them it would be a good buy and a way to get people out at the lake more often. I was worried Lulu would be scared, since it’s loud and she’d never been on anything like it before…but holy moley, was I wrong. She LOVED IT. When she and Trent first went out, we could hear her laughing all the way from the other side of the lake. When I rode with the two of them (it’s a three seater), all she wanted was to do doughnuts over and over, while flying over our huge wake. She couldn’t get enough!

On their last time out on the water, Trent took our little underwater HD video camera with him and captured some video of the fun. They were going so fast the sound was horrible, but I think you can still tell how much fun they were having. Viva la jet ski!

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