stitch fix, round two.

Stitch Fix | where my heart resides-1 Stitch Fix | where my heart resides-2 Stitch Fix | where my heart resides-3(First things first: taking these pictures makes me highly uncomfortable. Really. I don’t know how to stand or where to look or where to put my hands. I’m sorry if they make you uncomfortable too. I promise to never ever ever be a fashion blogger. Ever. Ever ever.)

Anyways, down to business! This was my third stitch fix, and while I only kept one item (the last dress), I feel like they are getting closer to my “style”, which is basically the whole point of this service.

What I got in my fix….

1. A plain black t-shirt with buttons down the back (not pictured). It was cute, but didn’t fit well, and wasn’t anything special.

2. Striped t-shirt with embellished shoulders. This was cute, and very “me”, but it was a little tight for my liking, and I only wear long-sleeve shirts a few months out of the year so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I wouldn’t wear that often. If I had seen this at a store, I probably would have picked it out for myself.

3. Racerback striped shirt. If the bottom had been straight across, I would have kept it. I felt like the cut of the shirt was accentuating my crotch, which is basically something I am never looking to accentuate. Am I crazy? It’s awkward, right?

4. Black and white geometric maxi dress. This was cute and you all know I love a good maxi dress, but it was four inches too short. Even barefoot, it barely touched the ground. I like my maxi dresses to be long enough for wedges. I also felt like it was a tad conservative because the neck line was high and the back was high.

5. Eyelet fit and flare dress. I LOVED this dress. It fit perfectly, is super comfortable, and can be dressed up or down. It also has a scoop back, which makes the other side a little more interesting.

Overall, I am still enjoying my fixes, and will probably keep ordering them every once in a while, especially as long as I have referral credits to spend. I’ve been playing it safe and asking mostly for tops and dresses, but I might go wild next time and ask for some pants or shorts. I’m also curious about their bags because I’m in the market for a new clutch.

A lot of people have asked about the price point, and I will definitely say this: Stitch Fix is not cheap. If you’re a bargain hunter and hate to spend more than $20 on a top, this service is not for you. I have my profile set to the cheapest option, and the tops usually range from $35-60 and dresses usually range from $70-110. If you don’t mind spending money occasionally on higher-quality pieces that you truly love, you should definitely give it a shot, especially if you hate shopping and like getting surprises in the mail (like me!).

Have you used Stitch Fix? Love it, hate it?

p.s. My original (honest) review of Stitch Fix + tips for getting a great fix. Also: If you sign up through my referral link, I get $25 to spend! And then you can tell all YOUR friends about it and earn money yourself. Win-win.

p.s.s. If stitch fix is totally out of your budget (and understandably so), I cannot say enough good things about ThredUP. I’ve placed two orders so far and have loved every single thing I’ve gotten. Your money goes a long way on that site. More info/pictures here.

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11/52, 12/52.

11 | 52 Project 12 | 52 Project“A portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Week 11: Every Sunday we go grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Everett empties the bags. He hands us each item and says, “thank you!”. It’s basically the cutest.

Week 12: Just adjusting his office chair, no big deal.

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seven types of sick patients.

I’m going to go ahead and lay it all out on the table right now.

I am the worst caregiver, ever, in the history of caregivers.

I have a sympathy cap, and it maxes out at 48 hours. If you’re still sick after two whole days, I just can’t handle you anymore. Heartless, right? Be glad you’re not married to me.

Once upon a time, Brett was sick for eight days. ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT DAAAAAAYS.

I almost lost my mind. We went to urgent care twice, the ER once, and the local CVS basically once a day for eight days. All doctors told him the same thing: let it run its course. I was basically single parenting for eight days in an extremely dirty house. Cue: panic attack. Don’t get me wrong, I felt bad for Brett (of course), but I felt bad for me too.

Over the weekend I was chatting with some girlfriends about my lack of caregiving skills and we all got to talking about how our husbands act when they’re sick, how we act when we are sick, how our kids act when they’re sick, etc. I started thinking about how we all like to be taken care of differently when we don’t feel well. Regardless of what type of sick patient you are, I think we all can agree: being sick is the WORST.

And with that, I give you:

- Seven Types of Sick Patients -

1. The Isolationist. You like to be sick alone. You don’t want anyone to see you, touch you, talk to you, or bother you. Being sick means lying in bed binge watching TV shows on Netflix while you nap on and off all day. You are low maintenance, and only require jello and working internet to feel better.

How to care for them: Leave them alone. Make sure they have their laptop charger nearby. Keep the jello cups comin’.

2. The Self Diagnoser. You like to diagnose yourself with rare diseases from WebMD. You can spend hours researching medical websites and various forums before confidently diagnosing yourself with a condition you can barely pronounce. You look to the internet for advice on how to get better, and follow everyone else’s success stories to a T.

How to care for them: Nod along. Tell them how unfortunate it is that they have that weird condition that you cannot pronounce either. Say things like, “Gosh, what did we even do before the internet?!”

3. The Wallower. You believe misery loves company. When you are miserable, you want your whole house to be miserable too. You forego the bed in lieu of the couch because you want people to witness your illness. The sound of children’s laughter burns your ears. You refuse to believe that life can go on around you when you feel so terrible.

How to care for them: You can’t. Just do your best. Leave the house as much as possible.

4. The Complainer. If you’re not verbalizing your pain, it’s not actually happening. You average 12 complaints per hour, and that’s on a good day. You describe, in detail, everything that hurts you, over and over and over again. You update your Facebook status on the hour to keep everyone in the know. You take multiple instagrams of chicken noodle soup and tissues.

How to care for them: Say things like, “I’m sorry.” and “I believe you.” Repeat. Leave comments on their chicken noodle instagrams.

5. The Overachiever. Sickness is for the weak. You’d never let a cold or stomach bug keep you down—you have too much to do! You go to work anyways, fold your laundry anyways, exercise anyways. You push through your misery until you’ve showed it who’s boss.

How to care for them: Stay out of their way. Sneak vitamins into their breakfast smoothie when they’re not looking.

6. The Natural Healer. You don’t believe in medicine. You believe in essential oils, homeopathic remedies, and hot showers. You turn your nose up at drugs and would rather visit an acupuncturist for your illness than see an actual doctor.

How to care for them: Support their choices. Load up their Netflix queue with health documentaries to validate their decisions.

7. The Baby. You need everyone to do everything for you when you’re sick. You need help eating, drinking, getting dressed, turning off the light, finding a book, replacing the fallen blanket. You are incapable of taking care of yourself, and morph into a toddler when ill.

How to care for them: Check on them once every 60 minutes and refill snacks, water, books, blankets, and anything else they might need. Shut the door and pretend not to hear them for another 60 minutes. This is the only way to retain sanity.

What type of sick patient are you?

p.s. Brett is slowly but surely feeling better and I had my house professionally cleaned yesterday so WE’RE ALL ON THE MEND NOW. Thank you for your well wishes.
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when good friends are hard to come by.

friends-1“When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life.”
- Shauna Niequist

***

You were one of the very first friends I made in Sacramento outside of college. My first impressions of you were two-fold: 1) your laugh was infectious, and 2) you had a haircut I could never pull off. I was fresh out of college and clueless about most things; you were working your way up the ladder at a hip marketing agency in midtown.

We were destined to be friends, you and I.

From the very beginning, you were generous with advice and encouragement—doling out introductions and career guidance like it was nothing, but really, it was kind of everything.

You were the one who suggested I join Twitter. (Also: we’ve been friends since BEFORE I HAD TWITTER?!)

You were also the one who suggested I start a blog. You probably don’t even remember that, but I do.

Words of encouragement come naturally to you, like breathing or blinking for the rest of us. When I found out I needed a c-section, you had already e-mailed me a list of nine “c-section pros” by the time Brett and I were halfway home from the hospital. I sat in the car on the freeway reading your little list, smiling through the tears streaming down my face. When I went to Liberia last August, you gave me a card to tuck safely in my suitcase in case of a homesick emergency, which happened on day eight. I have kept every card you have ever given me because they are full of endless encouragement and I can’t even bear the thought of throwing them out (which is saying a lot because you know how much I love to throw things out.)

You’re the one who introduced me to Shauna Niequist, and thank goodness you did because Shauna has made me a better writer and I love stalking her with you like a couple of fangirls. I loved co-hosting our very own “Bread & Wine” themed Easter last year, and I’m convinced that Shauna would have been proud of us if she could have seen it. I remember your whole kitchen smelled like goat cheese biscuits while our husbands hid eggs in the backyard. That was Everett’s first Easter, and it was perfect. Everett also spent his first fourth of July at your house and I remember eating apple pie and ice cream on your front porch swing watching our husbands light fireworks in the street. I sat there swinging with you, stuffing our faces with sugar, and I was so grateful for our friendship.

When we met, we had no babies, and now collectively we have three. I remember sitting at Grange munching on a piece of bread when you first told me you were pregnant. The words stumbled out so quickly, you immediately became flustered and broke out in a rash. A few scratches later, your neck was bleeding, and it was perhaps the most awkward and hilarious pregnancy announcement ever. I went back to work that afternoon simultaneously happy for you and disappointed that I wasn’t pregnant also, not because I was even ready to be pregnant (I wasn’t), but because I wanted us to have babies together so badly.

Babies. Anna, Everett, and Owen. Can you believe they are ours? I remember going to the hospital when both of your babies were born, and being in complete awe of how gorgeous you looked sitting in your bed eating sushi like giving birth was just something you did sometimes. It really wasn’t even fair how good you looked. I remember holding Anna and Owen when they were so new, so fresh, not even full days old yet. And I loved them so much because they were a piece of you, and I couldn’t help but love all of your pieces.

I remember getting your e-mail with the news of the unthinkable: Jonathan had cancer. He was young and healthy and a new dad and none of it made any sense to me. I pleaded with God and I begged for a miracle, just like every other person in your army. I remember sitting on the floor in Kat’s living room with our hands placed on you, praying out loud with more power than we had ever prayed as a group. And I remember sobbing. I was sobbing too hard to pray but even without my words I felt the Holy Spirit all over that room. I remember babysitting Anna while you took Jonathan to chemo. Anna and I played on the floor on her little blanket in my living room and I reassured her over and over again that everything was going to be okay, even though I myself didn’t know if everything was going to be okay. Her innocent blue eyes looked at me with curiosity, totally oblivious to anything other than the toys on the floor. And I was thankful for that.

I remember listening to you that year, time and time again, in awe of your grace and faith during what would be the hardest year of your life. I was always scared of saying the wrong thing to you, and I think I even told you that once. I tried to love you as best I could during that time, and I hope it was enough. When Jonathan’s scan came back clear, I cried happy tears. My heart felt such relief, such joy, such overwhelming peace. One of my favorite memories with you is the night we did the pub crawl to celebrate Jonathan’s victory. I wore Everett strapped in the moby and breastfed him in bars all over town because nothing would have kept me from being there.

I have so many more memories with you, more than I can even count. I remember dancing the night away at Mix with my six month baby bump crammed into a sequin dress to celebrate your 30th birthday. I remember taking Anna and Everett to the pumpkin patch dressed like a cow and monkey. I remember texting you for prayer the night Brett was flying in a storm and my pregnancy hormones had me convinced something was going to happen to him. I sat in my car with a bloody nose and you and Sharon were the only people I could text who wouldn’t think I was insane. I remember ringing in 2013 with you and Jonathan at 33rd Street Bistro and talking about writing and blogging the entire time. I remember your baby shower, my baby shower, so.many.baby.showers.

Since the start of our friendship, we’ve celebrated twelve birthdays, lived in four houses, birthed three babies, and studied probably close to twenty books together in the same bible study. You and I have talked about everything under the sun…..on your couch, on my couch, at the park, on a walk, in the car. We’ve talked about marriage and motherhood and challenging family dynamics and faith and writing and friendship. Also, boobs. Don’t you think we’ve talked about boobs a lot? You are my friend, my sister in Christ, my free therapist, and so, so much more.

And now, you’re leaving Sacramento. You are stepping out in faith to start the next part of your journey and while I am beyond excited to watch you do that and see all of the wonderful things God has in store for you, I am also incredibly, wholeheartedly sad. I know you will just be a phone call and e-mail away, but we both know it’s not the same as living, breathing, and giggling in the same room.

We’ve been friends for a good chunk of my twenties, and if I have learned anything in my twenties about friendship, it is this: good friends are hard to come by.

And you, Lesley Miller, are a damn good friend.

You’re one of the best friends I’ve ever had, and I am so grateful to have had you as a friend and sister and neighbor and part of my village. I truly would not be the person I am today without your influence, your Godly wisdom, your refreshing honesty, and your endless love and encouragement.

Thank you for being you, and even more so: for letting me be me.

I love you to the moon and back.

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twenty-eight.

Birthday

Well friends, today I am twenty-eight.

My birthday week has been less than stellar, to be perfectly honest. Last Friday Everett came down with a 102 degree fever and subsequently spent the whole day in my arms. On Saturday we noticed a rash forming around his mouth, and later found huge blisters between his toes. We spent the weekend cooped up in the house trying to make him feel comfortable, but he wasn’t eating or sleeping or even playing like his usual self.

On Monday afternoon we took him to the pediatrician to rule out hand-mouth-foot disease. Mother’s intuition had me convinced it wasn’t that, but Brett wanted to make sure. After an excruciating doctor visit in which Everett cried the entire time, the pediatrician diagnosed him with cold sores. Also see: herpes virus. Also see: gross. She went on and on about how most children are exposed to the virus by age two and how it’s a good thing and teaches their bodies how to fight off viruses, blah blah blah.

Whatever, lady. This sucks.

She barely looked at his feet, mostly because he was screaming the entire time, and then casually shrugged her shoulders and said it might be related to the cold sores. Really? Not satisfied, I immediately went home and spent one hour on the internet researching medical websites and parent forums for an explanation before I confidently diagnosed Everett with a case of athlete’s foot. Again: gross.

My poor, poor kid. He’s been walking around on his heels, hesitant to let his toes touch the floor. Every once in a while he’ll look at me and point at his feet and say, “uh-oh” in the saddest voice you’ve ever heard. Hello, heartbreak. We’re leaving him barefoot until everything clears up, which has limited our activities to “play around the house” and “play around the house some more”. I would tell you how much television he has watched, but you’d probably be appalled. Let’s just say I could kiss PBS on the mouth for saving my life this week.

If that wasn’t bad enough, on Tuesday Brett also came down with a fever, which stayed between 101-103 for 24 hours. I spent the whole day at home playing nurse to my two boys: cooking for them, cleaning up after them, getting medicine for them, tending to them. The house was a stage five disaster area. The only thing worse than being home with a sick toddler is being home with a sick toddler and a sick husband.

It’s funny and a little bit ironic, because just last week I was thinking about how I’ve waited my whole life to be twenty-eight.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a grown-up. I spent all of elementary school wishing I was in junior high, and all of junior high wishing I was in high school. When I got to high school, I couldn’t wait to graduate, and when I got to college, I couldn’t wait to get a job. When Brett and I fell in love, I started waiting to get married, and after our honeymoon, I started waiting to have a baby.

Waiting, waiting, waiting. I could have been a professional wait-er.

None of this is to say that I didn’t enjoy those seasons, or moments, or periods of my life. I absolutely positively did. It’s just that it almost felt as though all of those stages had an expiration date, or a ticking clock attached to them.

Nothing felt permanent. Everything felt temporary.

I know myself well enough to know that I don’t always do well with temporary. I’m a planner, a dreamer, a big picture thinker. Some say the grass is always greener on the other side, and for me, it was always greener in the next phase of life. I couldn’t wait for the next season, the next stage, the next wonderful part of my journey to begin.

But here I am today, on my twenty-eighth birthday, and maybe for the first time in my whole life, I am waiting for nothing.

I am married to my best friend, raising the sweetest boy a mother could ever ask for, pursuing a self-made creative career that brings me great joy and fulfillment. This side of heaven I see no greener grass, no next phase, no greater place than this home and this age and this beautiful stretch of time with Brett and Everett.

Today I am surrounded by piles (and I do mean piles) of dishes in the sink, medicine bottles all over the bathroom counter, and two sick people under my care. My house is a mess, my to-do list is full, and I’m really not too bothered by any of it. I wouldn’t wish this day away for anything else in the world.

Instead, I am simply grateful—grateful for this day, for these boys, for this less than perfect birthday. I am grateful to be here in this moment where for the first time, I actually want the clock to slow down instead of speed up.

Yes. I’ve really waited my whole life to be twenty-eight. It’s going to be a good year.

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