the tire swing

My older sister stomped off in the opposite direction of the tire swing. I huffed & pushed my feet off the ground to get the swing moving again. The big branch that held it swayed a little less than it had when we both sat on it 2 minutes before our silly little argument. What was that argument about... How high the swing could go? Spinning vs. swinging? I really don't remember. The babysitter stood somewhere between the stomping feet & the swaying branch, looking back & forth between us before she moved closer to the swing.

"It's silly to fight with each other like that." She pushed the tire swing to give me the momentum that my 8-year-old legs were struggling to produce on their own.
"We always fight." I stated, matter-of-factly.
"Do you fight with your friends like that?"
"No. But they're my friends, not my sister. She isn't my friend." The sun was getting lower & lower, so I knew my outside playtime was coming to an end. I did not want to waste it discussing my older sister.
"I used to think that about my big sister. But now she's my best friend. You're going to grow up, & she's going to be one of the only friends that you keep forever."
"No, I don't think so. We don't really like the same stuff." I smiled because I knew better. I had at least six friends that I was going to keep forever. And two American Girl dolls, but that was besides the point.
"I think you'll be surprised. Just wait & see."

Later that night, I brushed my teeth & stood on my tiptoes. Standing on my tiptoes helped me imagine what grown-up Kelsey would look like. Obviously, I couldn't be shorter than everyone else forever, & the bathroom sink would be eventually be at my waist rather than my chest. What would my face look like? Would my hair be brown like my mom's by then? My sister & I had already forgotten about our earlier argument. It was time for us to help put our younger sister to bed & get ready for bed ourselves. I tried to imagine us both as grown ups. At one point, we had designed next door houses that were joined by a water slide...

We ended up with a new baby sister a few months later, & that made four. Four different girls, four strong personalities, four unique styles. There were many more arguments. Bigger arguments, more opinions, longer grudges. We are all so different & our opinions still differ SO greatly... & there's always a chance that someone is stomping off in the other direction. But they have lasted much longer than those six friends in 4th grade (& I can't even imagine what state the American Girl dolls are in) or even the tire swing. This conversation from nearly 17 years ago has stood out in my memory, though - It's a memory that has very vividly stayed with me & over the years, I've kept coming back to the babysitter's prediction, waiting for it to happen. & slowly, as we've all grown up, & the bathroom sink now sits at our waists, it has.

We're still growing up, but the babysitter was right. I have three of the wackiest friends that kind of look like me & that I would never pick out of a crowd. & they're here forever.

... So, that waterslide is definitely still an option.


Harry & Sally & tomato soup

Sally: Well, if you must know, it was because he was very jealous, and I had these days of the week underpants. 
Harry: Ehhhh. I'm sorry. I need the judges ruling on this. "Days of the weeks underpants"?
Sally: Yes. They had the days of the week on them, and I thought they were sort of funny. And then one day Sheldon says to me, "You never wear Sunday." It was all suspicious. Where was Sunday? Where had I left Sunday? And I told him, and he didn't believe me. 
Harry: What? 
Sally: They don't make Sunday. 
Harry: Why not? 
Sally: Because of God. 

The entirety of When Harry Met Sally is sort of the best, but it seems like every time I watch it, a new scene strikes me as funny that I never paid attention to before. Tonight, it was ^^ that one. For whatever reason, this is one of those movies that I have to watch at a certain time of year. There isn't anything overly autumnal about it, except for maybe its cover... In fact, it's probably technically a New Year's Eve movie. Facts aside, it's my ringing-in-fall movie. This is the first time since we've been married that Jared has watched it with me - I usually save it for the weekend of his annual boys' camping trip & cuddle up with some pinot grigio. But I felt simply awful all day today, so he brought me tomato soup, made me a grilled cheese & popped in my favorite rom-com. He's pretty good at turning rotten, ibuprofen-filled days around. He's also way more cuddly than any pinot I've ever met. I just adore him.


style // 02

glasses - warby parker // blazer - target // dress - banana republic (easter dress from 2012)
 bag, watch - francesca's  // bracelet - charlotte russe // heels - h&m

Fall has... fallen (?) here in sweet old Norfolk, Virginia. The past two mornings have been overcast, the afternoons are crisp, & right on cue, my throat is getting a little sore. I hear that pumpkin chai lattes fix sore throats, though, so I'm not concerned ;)

My rings are all sorts of wonky in that last photo because that's not my engagement ring, ha. We had a surprise opportunity to go paddleboarding with some of Jared's co-workers yesterday (which was SUPER fun but also omg my arms) & if you know me, you know that my engagement ring does not go to the beach. It usually doesn't work events with me, & it definitely doesn't hang out when I'm painting or staining. It's funny, because I know a lot of girls that don't take their engagement ring off for NUTHIN'... & some that won't sleep with it on or wear it in the shower. To each lady their own, right? I have a couple of "substitute" rings that help get the yes-I'm-definitely-married-kbye point across, one of which is a turquoise ring (half pictured above) from Jared's abuela. It doesn't really fit, but it sure is pretty. I'm really terrible at remembering to swap my rings back until I've gone out the next day & get annoyed by my faux ring not fitting.

I'm off to try to finish this Monday off with a serious bout of productivity. My sister-in-law spent her Monday morning giving birth to 9 whole lbs. of an adorable baby boy (CONGRATS, HEATHER & LEVI!), so no matter what I do, I cannot top that. We have so many kiddos in our family now! It's a fun thing to watch our siblings' grow their little families, & with each new little niece or nephew, we get more pumped to join them in the family growing someday. But for now! We have a lone succulent that we usually forget to water & a super high maintenance flokati rug, so that's basically a baby. Or something.

Here's to the first week of fall, wonderful fall!


always thursday

Ya'll. It's been a weird week. One of those weeks that I've just gotten too heady which makes me restless which makes me cranky which makes me sad which makes me A REAL PLEASURE TO BE AROUND. One of those weeks that I should definitely have steered clear of Target because the minute forlorn Kelsey walks through the door, the solution appears in the form of aaaall the nailpolishes. This is not an actual solution, for those of you who are taking notes. This is, in fact, a mirage. A fleeting moment of consolation, but a very pretty shade of wine red that I can't wait to try out...

It just seems like it's always Thursday, but I'm mentally still back on Monday wondering where the week went. Like I said, I've gotten too heady this week & instead of a chirpy post about the rest of last weekend's fun with friends, I'm sitting down to publicly declare that I need to notice the blessings. Find the happy. Help someone else. Stop worrying about tomorrow (including the next 5 years of tomorrows) & be present in the joy that surrounds me - Whether that is taking 24 minutes in the beer aisle with Jared weighing the pros & cons of every fall beer sampler ever, perfecting the Tangled duet any time we're in the car together, nerding out over iOS 7 updates or measuring happiness in new nail colors.

... Or by simply letting Jared snore his little heart out next to me instead of waking him up because omgsnoringgggg. This wonderful (snoring) man woke up at 5:30 a.m. & worked so hard for us all day. For our home. For me. & that's a blessing. (Yes, you're right, I could move to another room. But I consider him sleeping & me blogging to still somehow be "us" time, which is a unicorn at this phase in our lives.) (& yes, life-unicorns are a real thing. They are rare creatures of rainbowy sunshine, like getting a good burrito maker at Chipotle that piles on the corn-salsa before you even have to ask.)

So, this is just real life talk, here at the sitting tree. It's not always sunshine, but we are definitely always finding glory in the thunder.

I feel like last weekend's puppies & babies are going to end this on a higher note than snoring & life-unicorns, & that's exactly what I'm going to leave you with.

^^My cute human niece named Cat & my cute puppy niece named Maisie.^^


the color run! - year two

Amelia & I enjoyed ourselves SO MUCH at last year's Color Run that the boys were signed up to join us this year. Again, lots of skipping, high-fiving & "Oh man, let's walk for a bit" took place, but this year we knew to keep our mouths closed while going through color stations & to save a splash at the water station for spritzing on ourselves to maximize colorization. IT WORKED, as I learned while doing laundry today when the color didn't wash out 100% like it did last year. Hmm. & after three showers, I still have trace amounts of purple & teal running through my hair, but I don't mind that one bit. In fact, it's giving me ideas.

If none of this makes any sense to you, I'd highly recommend checking out The Color Run's website & signing up for the run nearest you. I'm not even being paid to say that (sadly). It just really is the happiest 5k on the planet.

& now, I leave you with, what I believe to be, the funniest instavid on the planet. Thanks for this gorgeous piece of cinematography, Amelia!


DIY - gold bootie zippers


While I love shoes... & I mean, I LOVE SHOES... My tendency to overthink purchases (a trait that my parents & now husband seem to enjoy about me) usually keeps me from actually indulging in purchasing whatever wonderful pair of chaussures is in front of me. Thankfully, I had done just this as I oggled pair after pair of the leather & suede booties that have been on parade since last fall.

My IG friend Bridget sent me into a tizzy when she set off the bootie-knock-off alert last week, & I promptly marched myself over to TJ Maxx & bought a pair of these puppies for 30% of the designer price. The tan suede version that Bridget bought is darn near identical to the original Sam Edelmans. My local TJ Maxx was out of tan in my size, but I found a black pair that made me just as happy.

I probably would have left these zippers be if the heel was wooden, like the originals, but alas! I decided to update them from silver to gold, a move that would have shocked & dismayed 2009 Kelsey who was sure that gold had been dead & buried in the early 90's.

As I was taking these pictures, I realized how silly this "DIY" is, mostly because it's not like the originals feature a gold zipper. BUT OH WELL! I think it's a nice finishing touch, & I can't wait until I'm emotionally ready to embrace fall in all of its bootie-licious glory so I can take these things around town.

I started a juice cleanse today, & I'm going to try my hardest not to talk about it nonstop. I'm using this blog post (burrito) to try to keep my (cheese) mind off of all the things that (iced coffee) I would typically not think twice about (pasta) except that I can't eat them, so (avocado) that's all I can think about, of course. Send good vibes, because dandelion greens are a primary ingredient to my next meal. MMMMMMMMMMMMM...


minus & plus

Just when I had gotten into the groove of my office-less way of life, I got called back in to freelance at my old job for a few months.
This was, honestly, perfect timing as my new ventures will definitely take a bit of time before they take off & I'm able to contribute to our finances again.
However... My time has been hijacked. So much so that I feel like two weeks have passed in the last four days.
But I'm alone, on the couch, watching Juno.
Jared is off tomorrow, & I only work half a day, so I have a feeling our day will involve some of this early fall sunshine.
SPEAKING OF EARLY FALL... Am I the only person that hasn't sold their soul to all things pumpkin just yet? It just feels too early. Not that I'm clinging to summer, because good lawd above knows I'm an autumn baby through & through. But good grief, NO, I do not want pumpkin in my coffee, butter or beer just yet.
I did, however, muster up the courage to put my skinny jeans back on today & it wasn't nearly as terrifying as I imagined it would be.
Also not as promising of a sight as I remember... Which is sad, because the mosquitoes are still biting & my legs are ready to be hidden away for a few months.
Especially since I've invested in some fabulous boots for this fall.
Inspired by my sweet friend Chelsea, who is turning me absolutely green with envy over on her blog as she spends the week at NYFW. I NEED NYC IN MY LIFE!
But it brings back sweet memories of our fall trip to NYC a couple years ago. I can't believe it was that long ago! I would live that weekend over & over, Groundhog's Day-style, if I could.
Completely unrelated, I want to put it out there that I just ate chocolate for dinner.
That's good for my heart, right?
Or is it my brain...
Maybe just my well-being. Yep. *nods*
Or maybe this is why I just wadded up my good-fer-nothing skinny jeans like they could feel pain & shoved them in the back of my drawer.

You guys. It's September, Ellen Page is hilarious, & I'm pretty sure a bike ride is on tomorrow's agenda. Ain't no skinny jeans going to get me down.

This is a pretty weird post.

Minus & Plus posts were born in my attempts to find the silver lining to weird little negative things that follow me around. (Read more here!) Please feel free to jump on board the silver lining/rays of sunshine train with your own plus & minus posts, then share your link in the comments!


style // 01

 tank - gap // skirt - thrifted // belt - f21 // sandals - h&m (similar)

For the past year or so, we've been sharing our style in the form of Sunday Best posts since we tend to get a little gussied up for church. According to the poll you all so wonderfully participated in, you like the style posts, which was second only to "every day photos." While sharing style is kinda uhhhh... Pretentious? Egotistical? ... I get it. To me, sharing every day fashion is one of the best uses of blogging. Finding a style blogger who has similar taste, budget & lifestyle is a little bit like discovering gold, or remembering that you have a Starbucks giftcard when you're already standing in line.

I am hereby committing to style blogging (although I will not commit to once a week because ha!), & I think these are some fun facts to know if you want to follow along:
  • Our clothing budget is super limited at this point in our lives. He's a student & I'm self-employed, & we're just fine with that.
  • THUS! A lot of my clothes are a couple seasons old, thrifted or from the clearance rack of your favorite stores. 
  • I peruse my favorite blogs (like The Daybook & Kendi Everyday) & websites (like Madewell & J. Crew) for inspiration & then go to the stores I can afford to make it work. You'll see a lot of H&M, Old Navy, Forever21, TJ Maxx, & the occasional American Eagle & Urban Outfitters.
  • Also, you're going to see a lot of crossover. Like, I wore this belt in the last style post.
  • My style is somewhere between classic, vintage, & preppy. Helpful, right?
  • I know there's a lot of expensive wonderfulness out there, but all I really want to be able to afford is J. Crew.
  • Dream designer of choice - Kate Spade
  • I've complained about my derriere & tree trunk legs before, & these are the features that determine most of what I wear. So, fat-bottomed-girls, this is the blog for you!
If you're thinking, "But what about JARED??!!" then you're in luck. Jared, in all of his gentlemanly glory, can be found over at The Beau Tie, his very own style blog. He's a lot better at this style thing than I am, so hopefully you (or your hubby or your boo or your future boo) will pop in over there!

All of that being said, I'm going back to watching The Mask of Zorro with that poor husband of mine, who picked up a cold on Day 1 of a very rare 48 hours off from work. We all know that soup from Panera & some Antonio Banderas are the cure for the common cold, amiright?

Happy September!