wearing - 50/50

cardigan - Target // socks & jeans - H&M // button down - Madewell // boots - Old Navy

That's it! Outfit #50! Taken on New Year's Eve, with puffy eyes (it's still a little sad around here, re: my last post) & polka dot socks. I thought it was fitting to end with what has become my staple outfit this year, which is half-purposefully an updated version of Outfit #1. (Please appreciate that I wore the same socks, because I had to wash those puppies last night just to make sure I had them on for these pictures this morning.)

I won't wax poetic too much, because I have a recap post in the works that will allow me to reflect on "what was the point of all this" & lol at some of the ridiculousness that these posts have produced. But we can go ahead & lol at my PEACE OUT, OUTFIT POSTS! portrait ^^ up there & high five that it's the first & only peace sign that made it into this series.

In the meantime! We are heading back down to VA (again) for our real Christmas(ish) vacation -- The one we had planned on taking before we decided to drive down for Christmas day. We'll be there for five whole days, which should be a perfect amount of R&R after we both spent the holidays working our booties off in good ol' Georgetown. *gag* It's definitely a well-earned break.

I'm off to finish packing bags & straightening up an apartment. Have the happiest (& safest) of New Year's, everyone! Cheers to 2015!


big red

I am very blessed in that isn't very often that I sit down to write a post that I know is going to make me cry. With such a heavy sigh, & a heavier heart, I started my day today knowing that my family will be saying a final goodbye to our sweet golden retriever, Emma. 

This polaroid was taken by a younger sister (yeaaars ago) who found my camera & went on her merry way taking snaps around the house. I was so annoyed when I discovered this, as polaroid film isn't cheap or easy to come by. But now, all these years later, this picture is priceless.

Affectionately deemed Big Red by my cousin, Emma never really did fit the golden retriever mold. She was big. & she was red. & she never did quite understand the boundaries of her own front yard. But true to her breed, and above all of her other characteristics, that dog adored her family. & we loved her right back.

It's such a funny thing... The way we choose to bring these pets into our lives, knowing the bond that will form between us & the inevitable goodbye that looms ahead at a distant point in the future. It doesn't seem fair that we outlive them, especially since their fountain of unconditional love would flow for all of eternity if they had the choice. But we're richer people because of them. There is a lot to be learned from the devotion they exude, all day & every day.

I don't know how to end this post, but that's probably because I just really hate endings. So, I'll just say this: We'll miss you, Em. Thanks for being the bear that could always find an open hand to push your head under. You are loved.


wearing - 49/50

^^ what is wrong with me. ^^
cardigan & booties - TJ Maxx // dress - Madewell //  tights - Target // necklace - Edith Marie

I'm wearing a belt & a necklace in this outfit that didn't get proper photo coverage in retrospect. But, ya know, that happens when you do outfit photos at 8:30am on the 38 degree walk into work with your husband, who has to wear your purse & coat over his shoulder as you attempt to pose without shivering, while your Hunter boots & coffee travel mug are hopefully left untouched around the corner of the church you stopped at. Because Lord help the person who steals a girl's coffee on a Monday morning.

At this point in the week, I can say (90% ironically) that I am soooooo ready for 2015. There isn't enough coffee in the world for all the things going on right now.

But hey! 2nd to last outfit post! WHOOOO!!!


a merry little christmas 2014

You may remember my lamenting in this post from last week about our first Christmas away from our families. I have a confession: All that talk was a cover. A front! A facade! The truth is that back in November, we thought making the 4 hour drive home for just Christmas Day would be exhausting, so we had decided to stick around DC. Walking into work together one morning, Christmas came up (again, which isn't an uncommon occurrence  in this Bethune household) & we agreed that living 4 hours away is a lot different than living 10 hours away, & that Christmas with our families was something we were willing to be completely exhausted for. & so, we surprised our families on Christmas. & it was delightful.

Mom & dad's lovely tree, before the kiddos all woke up/arrived.
A man & his doodle-in-law... Who creepily poses for pictures.
Awaiting the arrival of my sister & her family, the last ones to be surprised on my side
& they were surprised!
Catherine was mostly eager to show us her Etch-A-Sketch drawing.
Uncle Jared teaching Catherine how to "Push!" Tommy on his new toy... This man will be such a great papa.
Tommy, though pleased with his new toys, was much more impressed with the tree lights.
The essence of an Essmann Christmas morning
Beautiful Grandma
Catherine & her new babydoll taking a break to nap on the stairs.
Hangin' out with some red-headed babies
My niece is fascinated with my camera, so she took a few stealth photos of Poppy
Onto the Bethune home to surprise Jared's mama & see his out-of-state siblings!
Mama & Papa Bethune!
It's my NINTH year of partaking in my father-in-law's AMAZING tamales & enchiladas, 
& Christmas has been forever changed because of them.
It also just isn't a Bethune holiday celebration without Sangria Senorial.

We ventured home that evening & headed straight into work a few hours later, but our short trip was soooo worth it. It is such a treat to visit with our wonderful families, even for the shortest amount of time. Here is to next year's celebrations being just a little bit longer, & a sweet, sweet year of memories in between.

& to maybe actually taking a photo together on Christmas? That would be new.

wearing - 48/50

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denim jacket - Madewell // dress- H&M // opaque tights - American Eagle (they're nearly 6 years old & still going strong!) // booties - Urban Oufitters

In case you haven't caught on, I'm in Chesapeake, VA whenever the background is suburban or woodsy ;) Because getting these last outfits in has taken over my life before December 31st, we snapped these between visits to parents' houses, & that mild, southern Virginia breeze was so, so welcome.

As a parting I'm-writing-this-at-12:30am thought: I started hosting my images on Photobucket this year because I was sick of Blogger eating the quality of my images... & I just had the horrible realization that if I ever stop paying for my account (which, let's not kid ourselves...), the images on the posts from this year will disappear. UGHHHH. Blogging, why are you such a complicated thing, when the whole reason I'm here is simple documentation?

I'm letting my lack of sleep do all the writing here. OKAY BYE!


wearing - 47/50

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blazer - Forever 21 // t-shirt - Jared's (what in the worrrld) // jeans - Madewell High Risers // pumps - H&M

Merry day after Christmas! This isn't exactly what I'd hoped to be posting, but I have to knock these outfit posts out. At least this is showcasing a red shirt, & 'tis always the season for Star Wars.


merry christmas eve!

We are off to do really romantic holiday things... like, work... 
But that isn't keeping us from reflecting on this good news.


wearing - 46/50

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sweater - Forever21 // coated denim leggings + blanket scarf - Madewell //  suede booties - TJ Maxx

Happy, rainy, Christmas Eve Eve! 

This holiday season has been so different & bizarre from what I've been used to my whole life that I'm sort of in denial that Christmas could possibly be coming to a close. In college, even if I found myself working my part time job on the days leading up to Christmas, I was still at least a short drive from my & Jared's parents homes, & just popping in to either was an instant surge of family & holiday spirit. When I was at the zoo, I worked so many hours during the event season that I was usually able to take a solid 1.5 weeks off work around Christmas/New Years. & last year, I managed to avoid picking up a part time job until January. Sooooo, working tomorrow night & the day after Christmas at my part time job in a family-less city will be a little bit jarring.

I probably sound like a spoiled brat. I have Jared here. We have our wee little Christmas tree & plans to go ice-skating in Georgetown on Christmas Day. We will make the most of it & it could, in fact, be the most fun Christmas yet. We've never done Christmas sans extended family, so it's all a mystery. But hey! This year has been crazy, anyway. Why not add a crazy Christmas to the mix?

As a final note, this sweater was a dream come true. In a season that short, wide sweaters have been THE thing (& in a body that short & wide are big fat no-nos), this form-fitting turtleneck was exactly what I was looking for. Bonus: I can't really tell if it's navy blue or black, so I just pick which one I want it to be, depending on the day. That's how colors work, right?