Friday, July 29, 2016

SitRep Box.

You know how subscription boxes are all the rage right now?  Pay a subscription fee... get a box full of goodies once a month?  I'm proud to say I finally found a subscription box I'm considering subscribing too.

SitRep Box is a monthly box full of goodies from VETERAN OWNED businesses.  As a military spouse especially, I tend to gravitate toward businesses that are owned and operated by those that have previously served our great country.  THIS box brings those companies right to my doorstep.

So last weekend our whole gang was super excited to open our Summer of Freedom box and check everything out.

This was all boxed MUCH prettier... but the toddler and husband beat me to the picture!

So what did we get?


//Combat Wounded Coalition mug and information pamphlet.  "The Combat Wounded Coalition helps combat wounded veterans find individual, unique purpose to create the life they want... The Wounded Wear brand that falls under the CWC provides custom tailored clothing for combat wounded veterans." I love me a good cup... ESPECIALLY during the summer.

// 30 Seconds Out vinyl decals.  Founded in 2014 by a military veteran who served 20 years - these decals are high quality and beautiful.  I am considering putting the flag on my truck.

//Epoch Eyewear sunglasses.  Probably my favorite part of the box simply because they are purple and I can never have enough sunglasses.  This company also sent a discount code for another pair. So sunglasses for everyone!

//Black Rifle Coffee Company 4 oz bag of Just Black coffee.  This was Rob's favorite part of the box. He's actually heard of this company and always wanted to try it out!  He is a Warrant Officer after all (totally a Warrant Officer cliche for those of you that don't know...).

//Sword and Plough discount code.  This company hires veterans and repurposes military fabric into my very favorite item... bags. If you are active duty, a veteran or a gold star spouse - you receive an extra 20% off your purchase.  I'm eyeing several items on their website already and may just use the 15% off discount code provided in my box.

//SitRep Box can coozie.  Another summer staple.. this is a HIGH quality coozie with an American flag on the back.  Throwing it in my bag now to keep everything cool all summer long.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this box.  Not only did it introduce me to some great veteran owned companies... but the $29.99 price point was almost met in the sunglasses alone.  Next months box is focused on coffee from veteran owned roasters.  So if you are one of them coffee drinkers... go subscribe now!


always,
amanda
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

To the young lady that said "ew".

Me - in my unfiltered, everyday iPhone quality glory.

To the young lady in the Walmart parking lot earlier today.

You walked past me with your boyfriend.  I had just put the cart away and was headed back to my husband and babies in our truck.  I heard you say "ew" as we passed.  You may or may not have said it about me... but I've spent the entire day wondering.

You see today I got dressed in white mid-thigh shorts, a coral tank top and mint t-shirt.  I put on makeup, braided my hair into a fancy bun and I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I was feeling a little flatter, a little tighter and a little lighter as the scale gave me a smaller number just that morning. I walked out the door to run a few errands feeling confident.

But when I heard the word "ew" slip out of your mouth, it knocked me down.  I'm not a super confident person.  I am very aware that my legs are super white and a bit flabby.  I know that some of my pants give me a muffin top.  I know that certain colors clash with my red hair.  I know that my boobs aren't as perky as they once were.  I know I will never be a size 2, 4, 6, or even 8.

I've spent the entire day thinking about you.  I've let what I may or may not have heard and what may or may not have been about me linger in my mind for far too long.  You - someone that knows absolutely nothing about me - got to me.

What you don't know is I just had a baby two months ago.  My second baby.  That's right, this imperfect body has delivered two healthy, beautiful baby girls.  Sure, it isn't where it could be at this point in time and frankly it probably will never be the body I had when I was your age.  But it's a body I deserve to walk around in confidently.

After spending the whole day tossing that simple two-letter word around in my mind I realized I was letting it bother me more than it should.  My self-confidence should not be defined by what some stranger thinks.

I felt great.  My husband hitting on me, made me feel good.  Looking in the mirror and seeing my reflection, I felt confident.  And really, that is all that matters.

So yes, I have some work to do.  My self-confidence needs work.  Thank you for knocking me down just enough to see what matters in life.  Because you strange person... and your opinion don't really matter at the end of the day.

This post was written over a month ago.




always,
amanda
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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer lull.

I wish my phone took pictures like this... but it doesn't.  
Thank you Whit (@ Whit Meza Photography)!

About this time every year I start to feel that familiar twang. Our summer days have turned routine. Our time outside limited by the humidity, bugs and harsh sun. We get up. We go about our day. And we tuck in at night. Like clockwork. On repeat for days on end.

I'm ready for fall. I'm ready for the social clubs to start meeting again. The air to turn cool. The pumpkin scents to return. I'm ready for all that fall brings. A break in our summertime routine.

But since we've still got months of this oppressive heat... we are trying to make the best of it.

Last weekend we found ourselves at the splash pad with some new friends.  We happened to run into Whit and Beau too. And it was a lovely morning spent chasing after an unruly toddler as sweat literally rolled down my back... all while trying to keep a baby in the nonexistent shade.  My one wish is that this wonderful splash pad the city put in would have just a tiny bit of shade for those more inclined to burn no matter how much sunscreen is applied.

This weekend we are having our neighbors over for some grilling.  Where five billion flies will probably also join us.  But small steps people.

Summer isn't my favorite and definitely never will be.  When the nights don't even feel like cooling off, it makes life just a wee bit less enjoyable.  (And by wee bit I mean a lot.)

So with that I will count down the days to Labor Day weekend... and the unofficial end of summer.

How do you beat the heat during the summer?!



always,
amanda
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Our TN house - downstairs


So basically the entire upstairs area is our old house size wise... we added the downstairs area with this house.  Rob got his man cave and we added another bedroom... plus a third bathroom (who needs more than two?! Cleaning three SUCKS.)




Another gallery wall - our office area - Rob's man cave.  No decorations down here really because my husband wants sole decorating rights... which means the wall will remain blank because hello, it's not a priority.


The guest bedroom.  Basic.  Looks just like it did in Georgia.

No pictures of the bathroom... because nobody cares about that.

To see the main living area, click here.
Up next and last? Upstairs bedrooms.


always,
amanda
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Our fourth, many days later.

We may have celebrated the fourth of July ten days ago... but EVERYBODY loves to read a SUPER delayed holiday wrap up.

Right?  Right.

We were lucky to spend our fourth at my parents lake house in Stockton, Missouri.  We left the Thursday before the fourth to embark on the 8 hour drive that ended up being almost 9 by the time we rolled in.  Grace puked, Brooke had a blow out, lots of diaper changes and nursing sessions later, we pulled in.  THANK GOD!

I had pretty much decided we would not be making the return trip to Tennessee at that point.  Oye vey.  Traveling with kids is always so much fun.

My parents and sister got there late Thursday evening in time for bed.

Friday after the wake up committee woke up everyone used to sleeping past 8 on their days off... we headed off to get lunch in town (where a stick on mustache provided us way too much entertainment) and get groceries.  Then Rob stayed at the house with Brooke and Diesel while I took Grace out on the boat with my family.

Where two things happened.
1. We don't trust life jackets to float... or really enjoy swimming all that much.
2. Regular diapers do NOT work for swimming.  And when they get too full they ooze this weird crap out of the top and all over everything.

Now you know..


After dinner we went to the marina to listen to some music while the girls snoozed and the sun set.  The perfect way to end a night at the lake.


Saturday morning we had visitors!  One of my best friends from high school and her boyfriend came down from Kansas City and were followed a few hours (after getting lost!) later by one of my best friends from college, who was in town from California, her boyfriend and sweet baby girl.  Kara, Mike, Bree, Joe and Brylee joined Grace, Rob, my parents and I on the boat.  (Thanks Aunt Erin for watching Brookie!!)  Where we still didn't trust our life jacket, but had tons of fun water blasting people and floating.  And the adults drank.  Obviously.  Followed by tubing where my husband enticed his father-in-law to try and get him off the oversized-next-to-impossible-hard-to-flip tube.  The other men were innocent victims.


Kara brought down some fireworks for Grace and Brylee to enjoy so while dinner cooked, they sparkled and popped some sparklers and poppers.  Finally after eating a gourmet meal of hamburgers and hotdogs we headed back out on the boat for the Stockton firework show.  Which was sort of a blip.  We were far enough away we couldn't even hear the booms... but did get to see several different shows from the middle of the lake.


By the time we got back to the house we were down two kids and a fire.  The wood was just wet enough to ruin any chances of s'mores.. but Rob and Mike lit the sky up for us before we all called it a night.

Sunday it rained.  Of course.  So my friends headed out after brunch and the rest of the day was spent watching movies and hanging out.


Monday rolled around and after one last outing on the boat to feed the fish at the marina and let the baby sweat it out we decided to try a nighttime drive back to Tennessee.  While not as adventurous as the first trip... this one had a few whining sessions but not as many bodily fluids.  Pray for me, as the next road trip is alone with two kids.


The puke smell didn't linger, the clothes are all washed and Rob's leave is now officially over... but I'm reminded of just how much fun we had every time I drive my bug gut plastered truck anywhere.  Thanks mom and dad for hosting all of us!  I am SO very glad we got to see all those that we did.  It without a doubt does not go unappreciated.


always,
amanda
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Brooklyn | Three months


I swear to all things holy the months are somehow going way way faster.  Brooke has now been a part of our little world for a quarter of a year.  Please insert the shocked emoji face... like what?

Your three month quirks...

.You have developed the most amazing rolls on your arms and legs.  The sign of a healthy baby that does NOT miss a single meal.

.You moved up to size 2 diapers.

.You are wearing size 3 month and 3/6 month clothing.  Only 3/6 month sleepers though.

.You are still the happiest baby ever.  You only fuss when you are hungry or need some attention.  Thank heavens because your siblings keep mama busy.

.You really dislike bath time.  It's not your favorite.

.You are liking the carseat a little bit better.  Just in time for your first real road trip. (PRAY for us!)

.You love your sister.  Anytime you catch sight of her you just bust into a big grin.

.You smile and coo all the time.  Which probably means you are going to be a chatty baby.

.You are still sleeping in one long stretch at night but in general nurse between 5 and 6:30 AM, around 8 AM, just before lunch at about 11AM, then you nurse again between 2 and 3, just before dinner at about 4:30, between 7 and 8 PM, then again between 10 and midnight before crashing until the next morning.

.You are super easy going still, thankfully.

.You have the most amazing hair ever.  It's thick and just stands straight off of your head.

.You discovered your hands recently and they are SO fascinating.  You stare at them all the time like I'd imagine I'd stare if I saw someone famous.

.You still have a darker complexion but your eyes are starting to lighten up just like your sisters did.

Brooklyn - mama, daddy and sissy are so very lucky to have you in our world.  I can't wait to watch you grow more and learn the world, guided by your sister (actually... I can wait so just hold tight Cookie).  Your personality is already so incredible and I hope that never changes.  Love you to the moon and back baby.

To read about Grace at three months, click here.



always,
amanda
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