Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 // a year in review

-  five days into the new year, i miscarried for the second time. my heart was broken, but i felt the comfort of the Lord so much on that saturday morning. i was five weeks along.

-  i discovered leslie coffee co + have frequented this coffee shop almost every week since.

-  i was featured on wichita life ICT.

-  jared + i took a short overnight trip to OKC. we drank lots of coffee + visited TJs for the first time.

-  jared + i celebrated four years of marriage.

-  in mid april, i miscarried for the third time in eighteen months. i was 10 weeks along. it was the hardest. the lowest. the most heart broken i've ever been. my faith was shaken to the core. it took months for me to start healing. as i surveyed my life after our third miscarriage, it was scorched earth. every part of my life was different. but . . . in a good way. for the first time in too long, i realized i had been living with surface-level faith.

-  we bought our home!

-  jared built a beautiful pergola.

-  i visited my family in oklahoma on memorial weekend. i learned a very, very valuable lesson: never, ever drive in a severe thunderstorm. ever, ever.

-  we celebrated jackson's second birthday!

-  i created a fun instagram called wichita collective to highlight my city.

-  i turned thirty-three.

-  i found my doc martens from twenty years ago!

-  we took a trip to branson. it was my first time + we had a blast.

-  two words: TRADER JOE'S.

-  we bought a camper!

-  i chopped off 6+ inches of hair.

-  this was the year i discovered the delight that is veronica mars. i binged all the seasons, the movie, the books, + the hulu series. i'm a firm believer that books/movies/tv shows somehow find us at the right moment sometimes, and this was definitely one of them.

-  one of my favorite memories from this year will be sitting down at applebee's to eat dinner and realizing we were in the wrong restaurant AFTER we got our menus.

-  i read 15 books! here is a recap of each book.

Monday, December 30, 2019

BEST OF 2019.

BEST ADVENTURE/TRAVEL/TRIP:  our weekend trip to branson. we went with my sister-in-law + her family, and it was my first time visiting. i think the best part was the last-minute decision to take jackson with us. [no joke- thirty minutes before we were slated to leave, i told jared that i was having doubts about leaving him behind + jared agreed.] we had so much fun!

BEST BOOK:  recursion by blake crouch. that book took me on A RIDE. [a couple of honorable mentions would definitely be the mother-in-law + ask again, yes.]

BEST MOVIE:  avengers: end game. so epic.

BEST ALBUM OR SONG:  fill this place by red rocks worship (song) + basically anything by elevation worship.

BEST PODCAST:  it is absolutely impossible for me to pick just one. i listen to multiple podcasts weekly, but if i had  to choose one, i'd choose these five, LOL: what should i read next?, the popcast, coffee + crumbstoday by the way, + crime junkie. (i also liked the dropout, but it was a short series as opposed to a weekly show.)

BEST FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM:  phylicia masonheimer. she has taught me so much about discernment, theology, faith, + knowing what you believe. she calls out teachings that don't line up with scripture in a way that is concise + backed with biblical truth.

BEST DATE:  in mid-december, jared + i ate at bella luna. we both ordered the chicken schwarma, and it was so good. we had uninterrupted conversation + laughed. it was so wonderful. and then we shopped at target afterwards for all of jackson's christmas presents. we sipped coffee + strolled through each aisle + i loved every minute.

BEST KIDDO MILESTONE:  jackson's vocabulary has exploded. we started the year with all the basic words- mama, dada, etc. and now, we have full conversations with him. it simultaneously blows my mind + makes me want to cry. my baby boy is becoming a big boy, and i always say that he's teaching me just as much as i'm teaching him.

BEST FAITH GROWER:  having a third miscarriage. we all have moments in our lives that we can point to as pivotal moments, and that was one of mine. i am not the same person i was before april 18th, 2019. and i can confidently say because of the Lord + Him alone, it's a good thing. it's a God thing. as i surveyed my life after that day, it was like looking at scorched earth. but He came in + made it new. and He's continuing to do so. i still have questions + doubts + hurts, but i know i can take it all to Him. nothing is too much for Him.

BEST TREND YOU TRIED:  impress press-on nails. i can have a chip-free manicure for a week!

BEST BEAUTY PURCHASE:  this dry shampoo.

BEST FAMILY MEMORY:  halloween night + jackson's first camping trip in our new camper + our family coffee dates

BEST HABIT YOU CREATED:  posting a recap of my week on the blog. i started on my birthday week + have been consistent, minus a couple weeks. it's fun to have these moments in a space for me to reflect back on.

FAVORITE BLOG POST WRITTEN:  the scars we carry. i have been open about my struggles with jackson's birth, and this post shows how the Lord can heal even our deepest wounds.

BEST NEW RECIPE:  sweet potatoes with bbq chicken.

BEST LIFE OR MOM HACK:  grocery pick up. whoever had the idea should win a nobel peace prize.

BEST MAMA MOMENT:  there are too many to list. when he reaches up to hold my hand. his excitement when we go to the "toppee top" (coffee shop). halloween. and then there was the day in early spring when jackson had a very high fever + spent most of the day curled up on me. i never, ever want him to be sick, but he slept all day on my chest + i watched tv + sipped coffee + it was nice.

BEST HOME IMPROVEMENT:  jared built this beautiful pergola + we have made so many memories.

BEST LITTLE LUXURY YOU'VE ENJOYED:  slow saturday mornings. i'm probably supposed to say a face mask or chocolate, but honestly- having a time to just relax with zero plans is good for my soul. jackson usually sleeps in + then i sip coffee while he plays for awhile. i will write or start some laundry or just chill.

this idea came from em for marvelous. i thought it was a fun way to highlight some of my favorite things from 2019. 
also- there are affiliate links throughout the post. no cost to you; just pennies in my pocket. [that takes me years to accumulate. LOL.]

Sunday, December 29, 2019

2019 in photos.

 b l o o m s

 c o f f e e

 j a c k s o n

 f a m i l y

 s e l f i e s

p o l a r o i d s

r a n d o m s 

Friday, December 27, 2019

books read in twenty-nineteen.

there are affiliate links in this post. no cost to you, and basically just pennies to me.

-  THE WONDERING YEARS - know mccoy

i have listened to knox + jamie's podcast - the popcast - for two years. i enjoyed this book a lot. i have always been interested in pop culture. knox has the perfect brand of humor. this isn't a typical "christian book". you won't find christianese or quippy phrases to slap on a t-shirt. he thoughtfully explores the intersection of faith + pop culture.


hmm. another books about a drunk woman who suffered some sort of trauma. this book was okay. it kept my interest enough that i finished it. and that's all i really have to say about it.

-  HE SAID/SHE SAID - erin kelly

this book made me so angry. i was hooked until about 80% of the way through. and then. THEN. a "plot twist" happened, and gahhhhhhhhh. i was borderline livid. (i know this is fiction, but it unnerved me so much.) i finished this book, set my kindle down, and breathed out a frustrated sigh. the way it ended made me dislike the book so much. UGH. just... ugh. i thought about this book for months + months after i finished it. i came to this conclusion: i didn't hate the book, just the decisions that one of the characters made in the book.


i saw someone talking about judy blume on one of the socials. i had never read one of her books, so i chose this one. it was fine. i probably read it way too late in life to really appreciate it.

-  THE MAGIC OF MOTHERHOOD - ashlee gadd

this book made me cry the most out of all the books i read this year. in case the title didn't give it away, this is a book of motherhood essays that are thoughtful + beautiful + heartbreaking in the best way.

-  STATION ELEVEN - emily st. john mandel

this book has been everywhere, on every list. and i get why. it was so good. the writing, AH. emily is gifted, + i'm delighted i get to read her books.

-  EDUCATED - tara westover

this book is bananas. it reads like fiction, but it's a recollection of tara's life growing up in a survivalist home. quite frankly, there are parts of the story i find hard to believe. BUT i think it's because the stories she recounts are just insane. her parents didn't trust the government or the education system or doctors or hardly anyone but themselves. it was wild.


this was a popular release this year, and i have an unpopular opinion. i did not like the ending. it took me months to figure out why. i came to this conclusion:  i need more details on the OMG moment at the end of the book. i don't want to give spoilers, so i'll just leave it there. the rest of the story was really good, but i think if i had a detailed account of that moment (not the why- i get that part) then i could form a concrete opinion.

-  THE MOTHER-IN-LAW - sally hepworth

this book surprised me. it was on anne bogel's summer reading guide, so of course i added it to my TBR list. this book so brilliantly encompasses the complexities of how we perceive the world around us, especially with those we interact with. this book still makes me think, even six months later. it also made me really grateful for such a welcoming mother-in-law.

-  ASK AGAIN, YES - mary beth keane

this was another good one! the characters were delightful. the family dynamics were so well written. i kept turning the pages + staying up late for "just one more chapter".

-  RECURSION - blake crouch

DANG. best book of 2019, for sure. i am so amazed that someone can come up with a story so unique, so compelling, + so complex.

-  THE THOUSAND-DOLLAR TAN LINE (veronica mars #1) - rob thomas

this was the year i fell in love with veronica mars. first i binged the tv show, then the movie, the hulu series, and then the books. eeeekk, this series is so, so good. her wit + sass are my favorite. i wish they would write more books or another season or something.

- MR. KISS AND TELL (veronica mars #2) - rob thomas

i have nothing but good things to say about this book as well. if you love veronica mars, you will like the books. period.

-  THE LAST TIME I LIED - riley sager

this was another good thriller. kept me turning the pages + guessing until the end. i really liked the twist!


my goal for this year was 12 books. i exclusively read on my kindle paperwhite. i used to scoff at e-readers, and then i became a mom. these days, reading usually happens after everyone goes to bed.

if you're interested, here is my goodreads profile. it has bookshelves for all the books i've read in recent years as well as books i want to read. i also have a bookstagram account. this is not something i keep up with or am trying to gain followers or anything of that nature. it totally stems from this great idea i had to combine two of my favorite things: books + blooms. i also wanted to show a different side of the bookstagram world. you mostly see actual, physical books that people share about, but i wanted to offer a look at the other side of the spectrum: e-books! i use my local library to check out books on my kindle, and it is so wonderful + free!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

newsletters + snow + a new tradition

-  we started the week with snow. i usually hate it with a fierce passion, but this time was different. it made me giddy, even . . . happy. i don't know why because i had to drive in all that mess to work.

-  jared + i started a tradition this week. date night + christmas shopping for jackson + coffee. our life has been so dang busy lately. we needed a night to ourselves, and it was lovely.

-  my department at work met at red rock canyon grill for our christmas party this week. it's still crazy that i've been back at the credit union for a year now.

-  i have been working on my yearly recap post recently. normally i would list a few happenings from each month, but for this year, it's just a big list of things that happened. i also have a book recap post in the works. and now i'm trying to decide if i want to write another post similar to this 'best of' post that emily wrote?

- someone on insta mentioned vogue's what's in my bag vlog series with celebs, and i spent wayyyy too much time watching those videos this week. i didn't really care about the celebs in the videos, but it was so interesting to see what other people carry in their purses. i actually carry a backpack with my purse inside. it might seems weird, but there's a method to the madness.

-  this cat in a santa hat had me rolling with laughter.

-  i really love getting newsletters in my inbox. i'm very picky about who i will subscribe to, but here are a few of my favs:
     »  erin moon (she has a thread on each one where we can share our favorite things, and it gives me so much joy!)
     »  rachael a. dawson (she always has wonderful reccs - especially books!)
     »  indiana adams (i can't stop talking about her new podcast on the blog lately. i just love it so much!)

-  i discovered this granola at target, + i'm already on my second bag, guys. it's almost too  good.

-  finally- i just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads these posts/this blog. i really enjoy recapping each week + sharing my finds + thoughts. i have lots of new ideas i am working on for this space. (hello, makeover!) so, thank you for reading. it means so much.

Monday, December 16, 2019

weekly musings.

-  this was a busy week. i usually write little notes on my phone throughout the day for this recap post, but when i sat down to write them out, i only had two things from the last seven days. oops. that's just par for the course this time of year. jared has also been working a crazy amount of overtime. i think he'll clock in 20 hours of OT. this week was good though. we went grocery shopping + ate chickfila + drove around to look at christmas lights + i started planning for 2020.

-  does anyone actually ever go to the grocery store only  once a week?

-  the chocolate mint perfect bar (exclusive to whole foods) is so legit.

-  we are in search of a toddler bed for jackson, and i think we are going with a race car bed.

-  i started reading the second book in the inspector gamache series.

-  the cinnamon roll latte from leslie's coffee co is so good that it almost made me cry happy tears.

-  this recap post is coming at you late because i fell asleep last night.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

dry shampoo + classy things + 20s gala

-  i made my first amount of income from affiliate links! [there are some throughout this post, FYI.] this means i'm an influencer now, right? negative, ghost rider. i've been a part of amazon's affiliate program for five years, and i just now hit the minimum payout amount for $10. yep, that's right. i only made $10. LOL.

-  i was slicing open an avocado, and the knife slipped. i stabbed my hand, forcefully. i am okay. no stitches were needed. but it is quite sore. i couldn't even clap my hands at church on sunday.

-  for years - decades! - i have washed my hair daily. but after i went to the salon a couple weeks ago, i wanted to start training it to only need washing a few days a week. i was skeptical, but it's actually working! last week, i only washed it twice. i use this dry shampoo from amok. [i know $25 seems like a lot, but i'm now a firm believer that washing my hair less only works if i have great dry shampoo. this is the best i've found!]

-  i started reading in the woods by tana french. i'm set to finish 16 books this year. tell me the best book you read this year!

-  my work hosted a gala this weekend + it was so fun! the theme was the roaring 20s.

-  there is a new podcast out by indiana adams called today by the way. it is so delightful + funny + laid-back.

-  we had a family date night on friday. we ate bbq + then treated ourselves to lattes at milkfloat. we walked around towne west, and it was sad to see how deserted it's become. we ended the night with a drive to look at christmas lights.


- christmas is in less than three weeks, so basically tomorrow, right?

-  i was walking down an aisle at walmart + noticed a couple teenage girls being silly + giggling. i walked their way, and the girl looked up at me and said, "oh, we need to move. she looks like she's buying classy things." LOL. guys, i was in office supply aisle. HA. i'm still laughing about it. [side note: i have been searching for pastel highlighters for awhile + finally found some at walmart. here they are on amazon.]

-  dad joke of the week: what time did the man go to the dentist? tooth hurt-y.

-  my soul sistah is having a baby, and i am overjoyed and slightly emotional. [okay- that last part is a lie. i'm never slightly emotional.] i am so grateful for the time we had before we met our husbands-  our friday nights + falls creek + her leading worship + all the long talks we had. love you, riz!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

baby yoda + powersheets + "bananica"

-  i chopped over six inches of hair off this week. it feels so good. i also covered up my white-trash roots, so ya girl is really feeling fabulous.

-  i ate my weight in cheesy potatoes this week + i am not regretful in the least.

-  we took jackson to see the lights at botanica, and when we told him where we were going, he said, "i'm going to bananica!"

-  how am i just now realizing how amazing sweet potatoes are? i made them last week + i could eat them every day. tell me your favorite ways to eat them.

-  i tried black friday this year, but only lasted five minutes. it just wasn't worth it.

-  i finished white collar this week. now i need something else to binge before bed.

-  i'm brainstorming ideas + goals for next year. i use a goal workbook called powersheets. it is nerdy + i love it.

-  can i have a baby yoda for christmas?

-  in case you are under the impression that i have my life together, i went to the store tonight specifically for one thing. i ended up buying all of our groceries while i was there instead of using grocery pickup. and i forgot the ONE THING we really, really needed. ughhhhhhh. that was just how today went.