lately: phone photos

1. the $135 couch I walked away from during my bi-annual thrift store adventure
2. some girly accessories covering our bathroom counter
3. a pretty (but faint) double rainbow on the way home from work
4. my new seating arrangement at work
5 & 6. how-to make a golden doodle fluffy, by mama essmann
7. first sunrise at work of the event season! totally makes the early mornings (somewhat) worth it.

my phone has been so-not-awesome recently. 
the phone photos are dwindling, that's for sure.
& iphone dreams remain on hold until august. le sigh.
good thing we have a raaaaad camera!
in the meantime, I keep taking pictures elizabethtown style,
which makes jared laugh, & that's kinda one of my favorite hobbies.


note to self

just a few reminders as things are about to get super busy all over again:

-stop throwing your clothes on the floor when you get home
just because you're tired & sore & probably still a little bit sweaty.
you won't pick them up again. just put them in the hamper. 
-stay inspired. & make time for inspiration, for goodness sake. 
-take pictures! then take more pictures! & stop making excuses to not take pictures! 
-plan adventures, but sometimes plan to let the adventures find you.
(rough advice for an event planner, I know.) 
-kick those anxieties to the curbbbbbb!
-in fact? RELAX.
-water the plants. 
-don't overwater the plants.
-speaking of plants, firmly plant kisses on jared's face whenever you want.
because you can.
-make new playlists. ones to dance to in the car, with songs that you can hum all day long.
-keep drinking all of jared's ginger ale when he's not looking.
pretty sure that he's onto you, but he hasn't said anything yet, so keep on chuggin'.
-oh, & don't forget to read. you have three books patiently waiting for your eyeballs' attention.

there's more, but you'll think of it later.
now breathe in some of that fresh & pollen-y spring air!

xo, self


financial peace

about how we ended up on a budget


2.       you see, in kelsey-world, there is little to zero moderation. it’s all or nothing. that’s why I’m really great at diets. it’s total deprivation of “bad” foods. but when the diet ends & I’m supposed to go back to real life & then moderate myself. well - to put it simply - ha! same thing with money. I’m really great at just not spending money on ANYTHING. don’t worry about me, I’ll just eat the office kitchen’s coffee grounds! I’m also really great at spending money on everything if it’s “on sale,” regardless of whether or not I need it. hellooooo, target/loft/h&m. I basically go back & forth between these two extremes on a bi-weekly basis.

3.       this is why we’ve neither gone into the red nor saved any green in the last 1.5 years of marriage.

4.       is this really depressing? I feel like it’s really depressing. things start picking up with #5, I promise.

5.       I stumbled upon this blog, & was quickly drawn in to Eric & Kelsey’s tale of pursuing financial peace. we inquired, & my dad (who is an elder at our church) was really proactive about getting a financial class set-up at our church. the class started in mid-february, & we hopped aboard the FPU train.

6.       in a surprising twist, jared ripped through his superhero spandex outfit to reveal his alter-ego – a guy with glasses, a calculator & a file of receipts, who is great with budgeting. & 401ks. & investments. &… I’ve run out of fancy money lingo. I get dry mouth & my ears start ringing when people start talking too in-depth about money, hence my limited vocabulary.

7.       so, we’re on a budget. & we’re new at it. & it’s been a little restrictive, but it’s mostly been freeing. the biggest change so far is knowing exactly how much money we have to spend on groceries/clothing/everything each month. it’s already improved my relationship with our bank statements. we’re making eye contact now, which is a huge step for us.

8.       is it perfect? of course not. in fact, being a little over a month in, we are babies, in the earliest stages of learning & tweaking & feeling our initial growing pains. & for ME, it’s super easy to just let jared go on with his bad self & not get involved. because, if you remember back at #1, I AM SO BAD AT BUDGETING.

9.       but we’re doing this together. prayerfully & with a whole lotta grace. it has been such an awesome reason to talk money as a couple. talking finances is usually scary & boring & puts at least one of us in a bad mood. but this has allowed us to break things down, get priorities/goals set, help us feel like we can be in a good place, & really, let us dream a little! I’m amazed at the discussions that have started with money management & ended with what type of bird feeders we’ll have at our first house, or how many pairs of shoes our first little baby will actually need.

10. in conclusion… well, there is no conclusion. we still have 6 weeks left of our class & then, you know, a lifetime of conscious budgeting decision ahead of us. but all of the life altering changes heading our way are a lot less scary now. it feels like we’re equipped. by God’s grace, we’re equipped with financial wisdom & spiritual peace, & it feels a little bit like the big life altering changes can bring. it on.

& that’s how we ended up on a budget. invigorating, right? ;) I'm telling you this because it is scary. & it is HARD. but we're doing it. & maybe just maybe, just like me stumbling upon the williams' blog, that's precisely what you needed to hear.

xo, kelsey


sunday best

there's a funny thing about living in one city/area for most of your life.
there are certain locations that are photographically(is this a word?)... overdone.
jared's university campus is one of them.
but there's a reason, & it's because it is truly beautiful.
& on yet another rainy sunday afternoon,
we found beauty in its covered archways, too.

it's been a busy past few days, as the event season gears up at work,
& life kicks back into action after a very short & quaint winter.
I took a half day on friday & we spent march 23rd in our swimsuits on the beach...
which was definitely a first.
a weekday afternoon off had me the tiniest bit excited for the switch to my tuesday-saturday event schedule,
where we get to sneak around & play on mondays while the rest of the world goes to work.

so it's been a great weekend!
 we got to go dancing with jared's parents, 
who are becoming quite the impressive ballroom dancers. it was so much fun...
although someone is a little too competitive to enjoy himself if he's not the best dancer in the room.
not a bad problem to have, though, because my man can dance.

we're slowly but surely finishing downton abbey, disc by disc on netflix.
it's consumed our evenings during the past few weeks, & while our addiction is full-blown,
so is our to-do list, which has been totally neglected as we follow the crawley/grantham drama with bated breath.
we only have one disc left of season 2!
what do you do once it's finished???

oh, that's right.
you go see the hunger games without reading the books 
& decide you must read the entire series immediately.

happy rainy sunday from virginia.

xo, kelsey


sunshine on a cloudy day

there was a crazy, thunderous downpour this evening.
which is fitting, really.
it's been one of those weeks where even though there's been actual sunshine & flowers all over the place,
it hasn't really been all sunshine & flowers.

nothing huge.
nothing ghastly.
not even anything to vent about.

okay, except that the stupid bullfrogs that live in the pond outside our bedroom window have begun mating-call-season again.
seriously, this is the symphony outside our window every. single. night.
flirty spring weather with the windows flung open all day & night has abruptly ended as of march 19th.
try to tell me not to wake up in a bad mood. no really, try. 

the truth is, that it's kinda weird having a rough week when one of my "hobbies" is...
well, writing about my week.

it's life.
there are things.
happy things, sad things, annoying things. 
my things.

& these things filter into different categories in blogging.
item: things to photograph
item: things to discuss 
item: things to hint at 
item: things to announce 
item: things to write about, but not right now
item: things to never mention
item: things that weigh heavily on your heart, & sneak out even in the chirpiest of posts
item: things to revel in
item: things to boast about
item: things to reflect on

& while there is a definite level of conscious picking & choosing,
I'm here to say that even though the happy posts & photos are easiest to share...
things aren’t always chirpy. 
things aren’t always bright. 
but that’s refreshing & a little fantastic. 
because otherwise, I may always be hoarse & sunburnt.

it's march 21st, 2012.
& I, kelsey bethune, am having a little bit of a rough week.
& here ends the complaining, from this moment forth,
because my man came home with flowers & a knowing smile,
which I consider to be sunshine on a cloudy day.


lock park

where you go to:
look snazzy
laugh with/at friends
get pine needles in your shoes
soak up some glorious sunshine
take a "hike"
stand on logs
enjoy a lovely sunday in march

xo, kelsey


sunday best

don't freak out. 
I know I'm switchin' up the format here, & there's like, A LOT of kelsey & jared happening.
in your face. all unavoidable & whatnot.
but for quality's sake, this was inevitable.
my striped shirt looked like it was television static, & no one wants that.

we brought friends along on our photo taking adventure today, 
(which added pressure to not fall off the log)
& I got to snag some pictures of their pretty faces at the park.
it's so fantastic to be able to play outside in mid-march.
it's so nice that I contemplated pulling out my spring/summer clothes yesterday,
but decided to give myself one more week.
it's always a little bit like opening presents as soon as the tote comes out,
& I oooh-&-ahhhhh my way through remembering how much I love this shirt or that skirt.
although, I lost weight over the winter, which will be a blessing & a curse.
I don't really need to go into the details of that, right?
good, because I don't think I'm ready to talk about it yet.
jk. sorta. ;)

uhhh, & happy (belated) st. patrick's day.
my parents usually celebrate our irishness with the traditional corned beef + cabbage meal,
but they had a dinner party last night, & poor st. patrick was ignored.
so I ate an avocado for lunch in his honor.

xo, kelsey


someday saturdays

[from easter 2009]

the weather is so lovely outside.
I'm dyyyying to just be out there. at the beach. at a park. somewhere. anywhere.
but jared is at work, & this past week was jam packed,
leaving a trail of laundry & general cleaning in its wake.
somehow, this is the story of every saturday.
so, I'm left with the song of the dryer & open windows,
which isn't so bad.
I even got some dirt under my fingernails this morning since I FINALLY potted our succulents.
that in & of itself is like the essence of a saturday in the spring.

but that doesn't mean that I'm not dreaming of our someday real weekends spent together,
around the house, or not around the house.
no part time jobs, or worrying about whether the downstairs neighbors are annoyed by the vacuum.
when I think about it, it smells like pledge & involves the lawn mower.

someday, someday.

xo, kelsey


happy birthday, dear mama

aren't old photos of parents just the best?
this is my mama & her irish setter, shanty, taken by my dad in... ohh.. 1977... ish.
it's her birthday today, & we are celebrating all of her wonderful ways.

it really is amazing how much I've learned about her since I got married.
I always thought I was a daddy's girl.
I even thought that I looked more like him.
but from looks to personality, there is so much more of her to me than I ever thought.
sometimes I see this because she's verbally shared wisdom from an experience,
but mostly because of the small ways I find myself trying to do things the way mom did it.
every time I catch myself trying to figure out how mom made something work,
I know her just a little better.
how she did things. why she did things.
her wisdom. her deep love. the simple ways she shows it.
there's a lot of her in me, & I am so proud of that.

so happy birthday, mama.
you are an inspiration, & a perfect friend.
I love you!

xo, kelsey


canon in d

a nearly-spring evening on the patio,
with white wine & windchimes tuned to canon in d.
these are surely the moments that we'll remember when we think back to our first apartment.
the first place we made a home.

[some photos taken on our slr with my dad's old minolta lenses - totally sweeeet!]


sunday best

you guys like my new ombre hair???
that's an absolute lie. I did nothing to my hair.
but nothing brings out your roots like a good blow dry/straightening sesh!
hair appointment? yessss please.

you should also know that I raided my baby sister's closet for that dress.
with three sisters & a mama with style, I'm never really left wanting.

alright, back to watching oscar & eating asparagus fries with friends,
all while living in complete ignorance that tomorrow is [wait for it...] mondaaaay.
jared's brother + wife are in town this week, so that's a happy ray of sunshine to get me through the day.
it's probably the last time we'll see them before their little ray of sunshine is born in june,
so lots of day-dreaming about baby mia & belly rubbing will be happening.

I hope your weekend was beautiful, you wondrous beings, you.

 xo, kelsey


just thoughts

screen door open.
windchimes singing.
salad for dinner.
ginger ale with a straw.
taxes? maybe tomorrow.
tangled, windblown hair.
pile it on top of my head.
birthday planning for mama.
searching drawers for the 'spring candles.'
lavender vanilla will do.
humming harmonies.
writing lists.
is there such a thing as too many post-its?
cayenne chocolate for dessert.

i'm a little bit ready for spring.
spring forever.
there's just romance in the air.

& now
time for a hand-in-hand sorta walk with my man.

xo, kelsey 


it's us against the world.


just some moments from jared's birthday on saturday,
spent at the williamsburg winery, colonial williamsburg & ending in our home sweet home.
favorite moment? my undercover sleuthing of amelia showing her inner cat lady.
& since I know you're drooling over it,
allison & amelia made chocolate cake + coffee buttercream icing
& it tasted just as good as you're thinking it did.

I'm brand spankin' new to this video thing,
& I'm quite sure that I have about mmm, 99% room for improvement.
jared muttered about a steady-cam-somethin'-somethin' when I showed it to him.
I may not know what that is but I am smart enough to know that SHAKY is the opposite of steady.
so, good thing I married an av-kid. that's right, I'm looking at YOU, birthday boy.

for now, I'm just grateful for a way to capture longer moments, especially with these wonderful friends.
we have soooo many ridiculous videos from our years at college together,
when dancing to chumbawumba in front of a camera gave you both exercise and an excuse to avoid homework.
& they're hilarious. & embarrassing. & nonsensical. & wonderful.

so here's to more hilariously, embarrassing, nonsensical & wonderful videos,
no matter how shaky the video or how much older we get.

xo, kelsey


sunday best

not at this pond, anyways.

& surprise! special sunday best guest stars, amelia & andrew!
we had such a fun weekend celebrating jared's birthday with lovely, lovely people,
 mixed with good food, great conversations & of course, bacon.

it must have also felt like a long weekend,
because I was pretty sure it was wednesday for the majority of today.

but you know what's really upsetting?
taking the extra 12.5 minutes to fishtail braid your hair when you COULDA just regular-ol'-braid-ed it...
just to have it look like a regular ol' braid, anyway.
I'll have you know that amelia is the only thing standing between me & short-hair me.
but I trust her. implicitly.

it's because I have fat cheeks,
but here in the south, we just call those good cheekbones.

xo, kelsey


my birthday beau

you are my constant, & your love is overwhelming.
happy day, my someone,
& cheers to 24 years of the wonderfulness of you.
xo, klb