On Five Years of Marriage

“I have an idea of something really special we could do for our five year anniversary,” Brian told me a year or two ago. “But it’s pretty expensive.”

“Me too! It would be really expensive too…” I sighed. “But more than anything, I’d really, really like to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.”
“Oh,” Brian looked relieved. “I was thinking we’d go to Europe.”
“Or that,” I gulped. “That sounds good!” 
Yesterday was our five year anniversary. I’d been making plans for it off and on over the last couple years. First, I thought we could have a vow renewal ceremony. It would be like the small, outdoor wedding we didn’t have, with just a handful of our closest friends, in a beautiful garden. But that takes a lot of planning, and right now, just because of where we are in life, it would be a very small number of friends. 
Then of course, I wanted to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And then Europe. And then Wizarding World again. Then I realized that Gringotts roller coaster and being eight months pregnant don’t mix. That was a sad day.
Maybe we could at least visit San Diego (no more vacation time). Or a hotel in Scottsdale? (We’d have to find a dog sitter, hotel reservations on short notice are expensive, especially after we’ve been spending money getting ready for the baby). We could take cute couple photos (not talented enough).
At least, we could go out for a fancy dinner, come home and watch our wedding DVD, and swim in our pool – maybe with some candles around the patio for extra ambiance. But as it turned out, one of the casualties of moving four times in five years is that we somehow lost our wedding DVD. And on the way home from dinner, we were both falling asleep in the car, so we decided against an evening swim in favor of just going to bed. 
“Is this really us now? After five years, this is a romantic evening for us?” I said as we got ready for bed, but as it was leaving my mouth, I couldn’t help but start laughing.
Brian laughed too, “Yeah, this has been our cheapest anniversary celebration yet!”
Five years ago, I couldn’t have guessed what life would be like. All the adventures we would have, the ups and downs, jobs worked, lost, and gained, apartments moved into and out of, the Christmases here and in Iowa, comings and goings of people in our lives, family illnesses and sudden deaths, births and celebrations, memories painful and sweet, that have made up our adventures in Arizona. 
And now, we’re here in our own house, with our dog, waiting for our little boy to arrive in about a month. Who knows what the next five years will bring! 
As I climbed into bed last night, situating my body pillow to support my swelling belly and sore back, watching Brian’s shoulders rise and fall next to me with his deep breathing while he slept, I thought, it’s really amazing how different life is than you expect … how different, and how wonderful. 
Just for fun, here’s some of my favorite marriage posts from the last five years: 
Reflecting on 2010 – so many great memories.
Back in the Day – This one still cracks me up!
A Year of Celebration – a recap of 2012.
Attack of the Monster Bugs – this is real married life!
A New Adventure – introducing Sirius Black.
The Christmas Crafts I Did Make – and our really big new adventure!
Happy Anniversary babe! I’d pick you again, and choose to do it all over with you. Here’s to many more adventures!

Living Room Inspiration: In the Navy

Beach houses have such a clean, fresh, and relaxed vibe. And if there’s three things I’d like to feel this summer, it’s clean, fresh and relaxed. And since I’ve always been obsessed with the beach, a paired down, Southern-California-esque refresh is in order for summer, without going overboard on nautical accessories.
Especially since here in Arizona, we’ve got plenty of sand … just no ocean. 
In general, I started feeling like the living room was going in too many directions. Simplifying to focus on navy and white will coordinate with the blues and grays in the rest of the house, and add some elegance to the living room. 
The photo above is my ultimate inspiration  – white fireplace, gray couch, white ceiling, natural wood textures and fluffy rug, and that ottoman! I dream of putting my bare feet on that vetlottoman. 
This one looks comfy too, if you moved the tray with candles. That’s what coffee tables are for.
Oh look, this one even has inspiration as far as what pet accessorizes this couch well! I think Sirius will suffice as a cheaper and more stylish version.
Check out that room’s entire transformation on Emily Henderson’s blog.
I’m toying with the idea of a navy gallery wall. It’s dark, but we do have quite a bit of natural light in our living room/entry way. The gold frames look so classy against the navy. 
Speaking of gold – I love gold accents, but I’m also loving copper. Can you mix both? Seems like it’s worth a try. 
And some fun pillows – you know how I love pillows
And this, this is the quintessential Southern California home, the epitome of stylish and cool: 
More photos of this room’s transformation.
It has plants! And light! And cool pillows and blankets! And retro furniture – and a swing! 
Maybe I’m getting a little carried away. I’m not sure where I’d fit a swing in our living room, but I can try, right? 
I’ll pop back in before too long with the finished results of my living room. Here’s the Pinterest board where I’ve been collecting ideas. What themes do you see in the photos above? How do you like your living spaces for summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Life Lately: Clouds and Sunshine

Clouds and clear skies – life is a bit of both, isn’t it? Here’s some of what I’ve been up to for the last month. 
It’s really wonderful having good neighbors! Ours were selling their old baby stuff, and they gave us the carseat (only used once) bumbo, garbage bag and box full of boy baby clothes, all for $25. I also have an open invitation to come by and talk if I have any questions or need help with anything post-baby birth. 
I’ve noticed in several of my favorite house photos, there’s plenty of plants. I love the life and organic touch plants add, but I’ve never been able to keep anything alive for long. I went out on a limb, thought I’d try to turn over a new leaf, and bought a pack of five air plants. Surely, something that only needs air to live should be hard for me to kill, right? 

We painted the baby’s room! 

Mother’s Day! I enjoyed lots of hugs and well wishes for a happy first Mother’s Day at church, and also got a few sweet cards and texts from family.

But not from Brian. He said I “didn’t count as a mother yet.” Please give him crap about that in the comments for me. Thanks.

At least, he did allow me to pick where we went for lunch (Greek food!) and we went maternity clothes shopping. I outgrew my maternity shirts again (sigh) and I decided to just splurge on a maternity swimsuit, seeing as we have a pool in our backyard, and being uncomfortable just isn’t worth it.

30 weeks bumpie!

Brian has finally caved and decided to let Sirius get on our bed. He cuddles with me in the mornings after Brian leaves for work. Neither of us like getting up and around these days.

Happy Memorial Day! Brian and I spent the weekend in Los Angeles for a much-needed break. On Friday, we went to the beach.

I hit the seashell jackpot in a shop by Seal Beach. Incredible variety at amazing prices. So. Many. Ideas.

When in LA, we brunch. Even though this was at 2:30 pm, it still counts. 

Ever since my sister-in-law had told me of Whimsic Alley, I’d wanted to go. This time, on Saturday, we finally drove the 50 minutes to get there. If you’re a fan of Sherlock, the TV show, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and Dr. Who, you should go. I confess myself disappointed by the selection of actual Harry Potter merchandise, since so much space was occupied by other fandoms, most of which I’m not really into. Except Sherlock. 

I did get a Gryffindor t-shirt, which I’m excited to wear post-baby. 
But what really made the trip downtown worth it was the place next door – Milk Jar Cookies. 
I highly recommend the peanut butter chocolate cookie, and salted caramel ice cream. Also, it really is a good idea to get some milk along with the dessert, because you’ll need something to wash down all that sugar. 

While the sugar coma set in, we decided to explore Beverly Hills. 

We found a park on the hillside, and explored that too. 

Apparently, there’s not much you can do in Beverly Hill’s parks.

We also went to the Chinese Theater, and I saw Emma Watson’s, Rupert Grint’s, and Daniel Radcliff’s handprints, footprints, and wand-prints. So, I got my Harry Potter fix after all! And this girl ruined my picture. But whatever. Emma and I might have the same shoe size. 
On Sunday, we slept in, and went back to the beach. The sun came out this time, but it was still quite chilly. Still, we camped out on the beach bundled up in sweatshirts and blankets and read for awhile.

And because we didn’t get enough sugar the day before, we also went to Sweet Jill’s.

And had a delicious lunch at an Irish pub. 

We saw Tomorrowland at Downtown Disney, and we both liked it, although it wasn’t what we were expecting. And the very human looking robots were freaky. 
So you know that lovely golden fish and chips above? I got food poisoning that night, and it’s the only thing I ate all day that Brian didn’t eat. Let me tell you, puking your guts out is never fun, but while pregnant is even more not fun. The baby was totally unaffected, but my stomach muscles hurt for days. 
We drove home on Monday, and real life started again. 

Sirius was very interested in my seashell haul. 

He was also very interested in a puzzle we tried to put together, as you can see.

Encouraged by my success with the air plants (so far, so good!) I bought some real live succulents, and these adorable white geometric pots, which are a little hard to see in the photo below. If they survive, I’ll probably take more pictures of them.

We’ve been overhauling the office, and it’s almost done. This is a sneak peak, and it looks a little more crazy than it usually does, because of narrow escape I had in there with a spider of enormous size.

I was just vacuuming along, and bumped Brian’s computer. Out scurried a very large, very scary spider – and I started screaming and crying hysterically, “It’s so big! It’s so big!” Brian vacuumed it up, and since we have a bag-less vacuum, took the whole thing outside and dumped the canister into a trash bag. The spider was still very much alive. We tried looking at it for markings, but with the vacuum dust all over it, it was tough to tell. I’m pretty convinced I saw the black fiddle on it’s back – even if Wikipedia does say that Brown Recluses don’t live in Arizona. 
We moved everything around, but no other spiders were found, not surprisingly, because I’m pretty sure they’d have been eaten for breakfast, along with small rodents. 
My initial instinct was to pack up and move back to Iowa. But then I remembered that Brown Recluses actually are native to the Midwest. Nowhere is safe.

We got Sirius in the pool! He’s getting more comfortable with this arrangement. And the pool feels AMAZING. I’m almost always burning up now, and an 82 degree pool in 90+ heat feels perfect. I could just live in there. 
Speaking of being hot, I had enough of my long hair and got it all chopped off! It just got to the point that I was tired of dealing with it, and wanted something lighter and cooler.
I had seriously considered a pixie cut, but then I got nervous and thought a bob might be better, so I got a long pixie/short bob. Also known as a Sound of Music haircut. 
Brian and I have been doing a lot of chilling out lately, watching Burn Notice on Netflix and eating popcorn with peanut M&Ms. Sirius feels a little left out. 

But we’ve also been working hard. I plan to reveal our office makeover, a dresser repaint project, and some baby crafts, and the nursery soon. Brian’s also been working hard on our sprinkler system. This is what you don’t want to happen:

33 weeks bumpie!

Sometimes I feel so excited to finally see his face and hold him in my arms, I can barely hold back tears. 
And other times I think about how few weeks are really left of pregnancy, and how easy it is to take care of him right now, and how crazy it will be to keep him alive after he’s out, and then there’s parenting to think about… 
But one day at a time. It’s going to be an adventure, but I really just want to enjoy right now. I’ll never be pregnant for the first time again, so I want to soak it in and remember it, and not let work, or stress, or worry take it from me. 
That hasn’t been easy. There’s been work problems, sleepless nights, health scares, family troubles, and car troubles. 
But, right now is pretty great. 
One day at a time.