Friday, September 4, 2015

4 Things I Miss About College

This cute girl just finished her first full week of college! Say what? I'm not entirely sure how that happened but I love hearing her updates as she walks between classes...especially because all her classes are in the same buildings mine were freshman year. As we got her all ready for college a few weeks ago (when my mom + she stopped at my house for a week en route to Utah), part of me really wanted to be packing up a new fall wardrobe, ordering textbooks, and starting classes with her.

But, I didn't. I don't think they let graduates back in as undergrads (but maybe I could just go get a masters and we could be roommates? hmmm, I might miss Ben and Lincoln though - scratch that). I did do quite a bit of reminiscing though and here are a few of the things I miss the most (or loved the most):
  1. The single focused nature of being a student: These days I feel like I'm pulled in 200 directions. I'm balancing a bit of work, being a full time mom, a wife, and a homemaker. Something is always falling through the cracks (these days its mostly the homemaking and the sleep...frozen pizza and naps to the rescue). In college the only thing I was really focused on was me, and figuring out what I wanted to study (and friends + boys + church + jobs...but it still was all quite focused). I could afford, even insist on, losing myself in books for hours. I could set up shop at the library and not move until it closed. And to think, I used to believe balancing a variety of classes was hard. 
  2. Not thinking about food: Someone made all the food + cleaned it up freshman year. No further explanation needed. 
  3. Living with lots of your favorite people: So I got married, and I live with my very best friend. But he goes to work all day, and when he's home, sometimes he has things to do. One of my favorite parts about college was living with a group of my best friends (even when we were married we had best couple friends who lived next door and whenever we were free we were doing something together). We were often busy, but when we weren't, there was always someone to do something with, or just to be around. 
  4. Dancing: At BYU I spent 5-25 hours a week dancing almost every semester. It was a bit more before I got married and dropped ballroom, but I miss the tights, the leotards, the heels (not all three at the same time, but for ballet and ballroom, respectively). I miss the wood floors in the studio and the sore muscles from too much stretching. I miss the people and the competitions, and I miss the feeling of power, beauty, and grace as I moved across the floor. 

Well I've convinced Maddie to take at least one dance class (everyone should experience ballroom dance at some point in their lives), she's already enjoying food at the cannon center, I hear so much about Arabic, Econ, and Model UN, that I feel like I'm back in the Kennedy Center for International Relations most days, and I can only hope she makes as dear friends as I did those four years. We took a few pictures + I put together a fun little package for her before she left Ohio ... and I hope her roommate doesn't mind that larger-than-life poster of Lincoln :D

^I put together a few things I knew Maddie would need when she got to college:

  • Awesome Schick® Xtreme3 Ultimate disposable razors - (I've already told you the horror story of how the first time I ever cut myself shaving was the first week of freshman year because I'd bought the super cheap razors and the bathrooms in the dorms were large + slippery) - I want her to feel confident her first few weeks, and while that doesn't come from what she looks like, feeling good about that too doesn't hurt (unlike, slipping and cutting yourself in the shower, which does). 
  • Dry Shampoo (because who has time to wash their hair?) - we're on the hunt for a good dry shampoo now that Suave redid theirs and its not so great... trying out Aussie next. 
  • Chocolate covered anything study snacks 
  • My favorite Bare Minerals lip gloss 
  • A really good shampoo + conditioner (so I gave her this a few days early so she could use it at my house and I could see how she liked it and the MirrorSmooth from Paul Mitchel was fantastic on her hair - helped tame frizz + fly-aways) 

^you know, just showing her how to use lipgloss... 
^totally forgot, there was also Korean nori in the basket...because we grew up in Tokyo and Korean nori (eaten plain) is about the best snack there is ;) 
^the final part of her little back to school gift were two posters I put together. One was from the whole family, I just got put in charge of assembling it and it showcased family pictures + memories over the last eighteen years. The second started off as a joke when Maddie mentioned she wanted a full wall of pictures of Lincoln in her dorm room. The initial poster I ordered was quite a bit larger than the one you see here (same layout) and we decided it was a bit big...and my dad wanted it for his office instead. So you better believe Maddie and my father both have  more developed pictures of Lincoln than I do. whoops. 
^we had to trim the tops but I love the way they turned out!

P.S. You can pick up disposable Schick products at Walmart and if you're headed off to school, go ahead and enter the #SchickSelfie contest for a chance to win $10,000 toward college tuition along with lots of other fun prizes (and now I'm wondering what happens if you go to BYU and tuition is only half of that...).

outfit details: 
my jacket here ($30 off with an extra 20% off for Labor Day)
my sweater here (currently 40% off)
my denim here
our booties (yes, we bought matching ones) here
maddie's shirt is J.Crew (I parted with it because it looked better on her) via thredUP ($20 off your first order here)
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick®. The opinions and text are all mine.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Nashville + Being MIA + Snapchat

Hi - sorry I've been a bit MIA on here this week. We took a rather last minute trip to Nashville so I'll be back with regular posts at the end of the week. Meanwhile, I'm sharing a few shots here and there of our trip on instagram, and plenty of cute little videos on snapchat! 

Full disclosure: If you're sick of really cute baby pictures, DO NOT add me on snapchat. I figured out (okay, I had my teenage sister teach me) how to download my short videos as a compilation at the end of the day and I've been using snapchat as a great way to document the cute things Lincoln does all day day long, along with whatever adventures we have. But, I am about to take you on a tour of downtown Franklin (cutest town ever?), so hop on over if you want to hang out with us. 

Anyway, hope you're having a wonderful week! 

instagram: @bellatheblog
snapchat: @elisabethmeg

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Balancing Act

There is SO much good.

But there is also the HARDEST of struggles.

I used to wonder why some mothers (many mothers) take it upon themselves to list all the trials they have, every lost hour of sleep, every unpleasant bodily function, every sacrificed luxury. And now I don't fault them, because, WOW, half the time their complaining doesn't even do it justice.

But maybe it is for fear of sounding cheesy, but when I step outside of social media (where motherhood often looks glamorous and perfect), the mothers I talk to avoid the joyful stories. They seem to bond in the struggles and take satisfaction in having a life that is "so hard."

But I don't think we're doing this to be busy. Or to be tired. Or to be miserable.

And so I find that talking about motherhood is almost as difficult a balancing act as the thing itself. Because my goodness, spit up stains on shirts you love and didn't wash soon enough are not glamorous. Neither is feeling great about yourself because you actually remembered to wash your face and brush your teeth before noon.

But that baby, those chubby leg rolls and those wide blue eyes, those arms that start to learn to wrap around you when you pick him up, those tiny giggles that can bring a smile to your face faster than anything else, it is a fulfillment and a happiness I hadn't know before.

And so its hard. When people ask how I'm doing I'm tempted to remind them that because his teeth are coming in I haven't gotten more than three consecutive hours of sleep in days. I'm tempted to respond to every "you look great" with, "well, I'm still 8 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight." I'm tempted to reduce this joyous job to the mundane. I'm tempted to ask for their sympathy because if the pre-baby me knew this is what it was like, I would have given it to every mother, in wide-eyed wonder at their superhuman powers.

But I try to resist the temptation.

Partially, because I want people to want to have babies. Because babies being wanted is important. And because I want people to be happy and this baby thing is the best at that. It is also good for the work ethic, the muscles, and the patience. But more than I thought (and more than I think sometimes when Lincoln is fussing and winning the battle against the naps), this motherhood business is good for the soul.

Linen skirt // gingham top: GAP (old) // watch  // heels: Banana Republic (old) 


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