Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

Words.  They are whispered out on winds of sweetness.  They are laughed out with joyful bliss.  They flow out with loving adoration.  They are shared with everyone we come in contact with on a daily basis. Especially those nearest and dearest to us.

Words.  They are yelled out with frustrated sighs.  They are spat out with bitter sarcasm.  They are screamed out with fury’s venom.  Especially at those nearest and dearest to us.

I lay in bed reflecting on hurtful words.  Words, that though I know were not meant, caused my mind to wonder for a moment if perhaps they were ever truly felt at times, and my heart hurts.  The pain tightens my chest and tears pool in my eyes.

I reflect on what I just started working towards myself the dawn of the very same day.  A desire to have self-control.  Starting with…my words.

It’s a goal I’ve made many times throughout my life.  One that I’ve obviously failed at, or I wouldn’t still be trying to conquer the unconquerable.  And it feels just like that unconquerable…perhaps that’s because James 3:7-8 tells me so…

This is scary; you can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue-it’s never been done.  The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. (The Message)

Indeed that makes it seem pretty hopeless.

Many times words of fury, hurt, bitterness or anger travel from my mouth before I’ve even had time to think of them.  In my anger and pain I don’t take time to think of the other person and how the dagger I’m about to deliver with my words will hurt them.  My tongue runs wild…a wanton killer.  And all too often it runs wild on those I love most.

The man who stole my heart as a teenage girl, who looks to me as his helpmate and encourager will be quickly discouraged as I toss hates “eternal” words like “you always” or “you never” at him.

The precious jewels that make up this proud mama’s crown are so beautiful  and wonderful.  I tell them how much I love them as I hug and kiss on them, thanking God for their sweet, tender hearts.  But if in the next hour they pose too much a challenge to me, I forget their young tender hearts and nag, and yell until we’re all in tears.

These occasions, I’ll call them natural disasters (for they are just that to a family), should not happen.  I never wanted to admit to anyone that we have a home that suffers from natural disasters.  I never wanted anyone to know that sweet, little, has it all together me come undone on her family.

But I also don’t want to be like this.  I don’t want my children to remember me as a ranting, raving, mother, who has bipolar tendencies.  I knew I wasn’t the only derailed mother out there and I yearned to connect with other mom’s like this.

I began to subtly share some of my difficulty with friends, being careful not to reveal too much.  I didn’t want anyone judging my imperfection after all.  Yet I was desperate.  Desperate to be real with someone and have them be real with me.  Desperate to truly know I wasn’t alone.

Luckily God blessed me with friends who are imperfect too and together we found Lysa Terkeurst book Unglued.  I could relate to her unglued  stories and laughed when I read this in her 5 Day Unglued Challenge (link here)…

This is exactly what I’m afraid of!  This is what I fear my husband and children think of me, yet it’s the exact opposite of how I want to be known and thought of.

I want to have the quiet and gentle spirit that Peter speaks of in 1 Peter 3:4-5.  I want to be the Proverbs 31 woman whose husband rises up with words of praise and tells her “Many women have done well but you excel them all!”.  I want my children to call me blessed and be proud that I’m their mom.

So here I stand at the starting line of the very same race I’ve failed at a thousand times, with determination that I will do my best to prevent natural disasters from this point on.

I know that even though James 3:7-8 makes it seem impossible I serve a God who makes all things possible.

Philippians 4:13 

 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

Yes, I will have moments of weakness and words will be hastily spoken in anger or out of hurt, but maybe I can prevent the light drizzle from turning into a hurricane.

Wish me luck and maybe say a little prayer for me too.


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Sweater & Blouse – Francesca’s Jeggings (similar) – Maurices, Boots – Charlotte Russe, Necklace – Urban Peach Boutique, Earrings – Claire’s)

I wore this outfit on Friday night when my husband and I went on my most favorite date ever!!!  You would think that after 4.5 years of dating and another 12.5 years of marriage that we’ve already done all the super fun dates, but you would be wrong!

We had a totally new kind of date, for us anyway…a tattoo date!

Yep, that’s right after a delicious dinner of Alfredo we went and got some tattoos!  I’ve wanted one for years, years, year and years.  Basically since high school but have been too much of a wimp to get one.  I’ve had several planned out in my head for what I want and actually met with a friend of ours who is a tattoo artist last spring to start discussing getting one with him, but put it off on the pretence that I was waiting until after summer so the sun didn’t fade my new tattoo at all.

Notice I said “under the pretence”.  It was just a guise.  I was truly just too much of a wimp to get one.  But then my hubby got one this fall and that really got me chomping at the bit so I started working on the design, figuring out just where and how I wanted my very first tattoo and at the ripe old age of 31 I finally took on the needles!

Here’s a few picts during…


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Yep, I am even smiling in a couple of those!  I don’t know what I was so afraid of this whole time it really didn’t hurt bad at all!  

I wanted a tattoo that represented my family so my tattoo design is two dandelions representing my husband and I with four seeds blowing off into the breeze.  These seeds represent our four kids.  Flowing with the seeds are the words “Dandelion Wishes Come True”.  As a child I blew many a dandelion and wished for this exquisite life of mine.  I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and four fantastic children.  God truly answered my prayers and wishes when he gave me them!

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My husband decided to get his second tattoo that night also and put one of his favorite chapters out of the bible on his chest.  Psalm 91 is a chapter full of the promises of a wonderful and loving God. 

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BEST DATE NIGHT EVER!!!  I can’t wait for the next tattoo date night!  Like I said I’ve had a few planned for some years so I have some catching up to do:-)

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Our week free from electronic/gaming devices (PlayStations, Television, Computers, etc.) was in a word…EXQUISITE!

It truly was.  It went far better than my husband and I anticipated.  There was not one fight or argument in our household all week long.   Our kids rediscovered the joy of playing games that aren’t on an electronic device.  They played together outside, far more than they would have if electronics were allowed, they used their imaginations, they read far more than usual.

I was even amazed at how much better our mornings went.  No joke, mornings were amazing!  All of my kids were up each morning before their alarms went off, I never had to get on them about getting dressed quickly or to brush their hair better.  They were ready so fast and did most everything on their own, that I had time to make waffles, eggs, etc. every morning.  I was able to be the mom I always dreamt I would be, haha.

Midway through the week I wanted to encourage their fantastic behavior so gave them all stickers and told them if they kept it up we would make some snacks to eat while we played some games together.  They succeeded and we enjoyed some delicious treats!

The image below is from Friday night while playing a game and enjoying our snacks of puppy chow and caramel corn after their week of awesome school mornings!


Tuesday nights in our home is game night, and when my children are asked what they want to play they will usually choose something on the PlaySation.  The only time we play a card or board game is when I insist upon it.  One of the new rules my husband and I have decided to instate is that we are only allowing a PlayStation game night one Tuesday night a month, the other Tuesday’s are card or board games.  This isn’t to say we will only play our PS3 only once a month, we’ll have weekends also (though there are the usual time limits for that also) we just think they’re little brains are a bit more challenged when it comes to a board or card game.

Besides a lot of game playing we spent a few evenings after school outdoors.  This Saturday we went ice fishing (My first time since high school!) with my husband’s workplace…


When we weren’t spending time together as a family in its entirety my kids were off playing together outside, coloring or crafting together, playing in their rooms together…without fighting!  I love to sneak up on my kids and take pictures of them when they don’t know I’m photographing them.  If they know I’m there then they are trying to show off for the camera or, in some cases, trying to hide from the camera, haha.  It’s hard to sneak up on them in our creaky old farmhouse but occasionally I’m able to capture them like this…


We’ve always had limits to the amount of television/movies that is allowed to be watched in our home, but like most mom’s sometimes the television has been my babysitter when I need to get things done.  I didn’t have that option this week so my youngest daughter spent a lot more time helping me with things than usual, which was really fun, although albeit a bit slow.  When she didn’t want to help me with chores she was busy coloring, playing, and beading with her new fray free string/plastic type stuff that stays tied super well!



She also learned how to separate her Twizzlers on her own last week while we played Bingo!


I reached the end of my love for winter!  Well, not really, I still love winter…I’m just ready for some 50-60• temps instead of 20-30•.  I want color in my wardrobe and my home.  With Easter on its way I took down our Valentine’s decorations and put some Easter/Spring decor up.  I’m only giving you a little peak because I’m not completely done and plan to show you it all next week.  For now here’s a look at a banner my youngest daughter and I made together last week…


Speaking for myself of this week, it was a week of revelations to me. For sometime, a couple of years actually, God has been showing me things about his love and grace. This week he showed me scripture that, though I’ve read several times before, has kindled something new in me.  I believe he’s about to bring me down a new path in my life.  A lot of this I’m going to keep to myself for the time being but hope to maybe share with you someday.

Last week I also began waking up EARLY in the morning with my husband again.  I use to do this for the first couple of years in our marriage but stopped when I was up sleepless nights with my babies.  I don’t really have this excuse very often anymore and I knew it meant a lot to my husband to have me up with him in the mornings spending time with him so, as difficult as it is, I’m up with the rooster now, actually before the rooster and enjoying some wonderful mornings with my husband.   Thank God for my cappuccino machine because cinnamon roll cappuccino and cinnamon swirl bread, makes waking up at 5 am a little easier!  (I’ll share the recipe with you later this week!)


We ended our media/electronic free week with a trip across the lake in our snowshoes with my mama, yesterday after church!




They went directly inside to play Call Of Duty with Grandma, haha!

All in all we truly enjoyed good, fun, quality family time.  There was so much joy and laughter in our home last week that I was kind of walking around in a state of euphoria.  My oldest daughter really enjoyed it also, which surprised me since I thought she’d struggle with it the most, but she really enjoyed the time off.  My husband and I were tempted to see if we could drag the week out a bit longer…maybe a month or so, or at least another week…it was so enjoyable.  Since our kids had been so good, and my middle daughter was keeping track of the calendar, we couldn’t do that and are now back to electronics   This time with much more limitations than we originally had set.

 I see many more electronic free weeks in our future.  We’ve discovered that we can survive for a little while without them, and in fact, enjoy it!

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Yesterday’s weather was B-E-A-utiful! My family spent an EXQUISITE morning outside full of sledding, snowball fights, fort building and more!!!

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It was the perfect way to kick off this week.  A week we, as a family, are spending electronic free!  Yes, that’s right, no electronics at all!  I know, it seems almost impossible in this day and age, but we’re doing it.  Our kids were so desperate for electronics yesterday that they were making snow or ice cell phones, kindles, and tv’s…haha:-)

My husband and I have done this in the past but due to how often we were seeing our little brood glued to their Leapster Explorers, DSi’s, Playsation’s, Kindle’s, phones, television, you name it, we decided to make it a family affair.  For one week this family will be free of all electronics except our cell phones, but only for phone calls (we dont’ have a land line)…we aren’t even texting…gasp! (And for you literal people who think as my husband and a few of my close friends do, this only includes gaming/media type devices, we will still have electricity.  I had to throw that in their for a few of my friends…yes, I know how you think;-))

We are going to spend this week the old fashioned way…playing board games or cards with each other, reading books, playing outdoors, etc.  It was really fun to see our kids spending time with each other in a different way than usual.  Instead of playing a game on the Playstation together they played board games or four corners or used their imaginations as they played charades!  I normally have to force them to do this.   I’m really looking forward to what other ways we’ll spend this week together!

My family tried to take my camera away from me, to which I gave a great big, “NO WAY!”  Yes, I know it’s basically an electronic but it doesn’t count.  Too many EXQUISITE moments could be lost in this week where my kids are forced to play with each other or actually use their imaginations!

Also, I’m kind of breaking the “no electronics” rule right now by being on here.   Yes, sadly I will be gone for a week:-(  I wont even be on for WIWW, nor doing my “Exquisite Moments Of The Day” on FB.  But I’ll be back next Monday and I’ll fill you in on my favorite EXQUISITE moments from this week!  Until then…


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In this post I mentioned that this is the first year I’ve decorated for Valentine’s Day, but that isn’t entirely true.  I have done a bit of Valentine’s decorating for a tradition that’s now eleven years in the running…

When our youngest daughter was born, we found it wasn’t exactly easy going out on a romantic date on Valentine’s night.  So our first Valentine’s Day as parents I set to work making a nice dinner for the two of us to enjoy in our home and set the table for a candle light dinner.  From that day on it has been a family tradition to stay at home and have a fancy, candle lit Valentine’s dinner!

This year is no different from any other year, besides that we celebrated Valentine’s Day a day early.  My daughter has jazz dance tonight so we wouldn’t have time to fit in a nice meal, thus we opted to have our dinner a night early.  Which means…I spent yesterday baking, cooking and decorating.

I set my table with a runner I made from an old antique quilt and, like every year, I put a beautiful bouquet of Valentine’s flowers right in the center!  My kids always get to choose a rose from our bouquet after dinner, to keep in their room in a small vase.
P1240004On the table runner, is also a few candle sticks in red, at the base of the vase is one of my chunky feux pearl necklaces set about with pink christmas balls, one of my girls pink flower hair clips and my burlap “love” hearts.  Feux red rose petals are scattered randomly on top of the runner.


Close up of the bouquet and arrangement at it’s base.


This was my first attempt at tissue paper pom poms and I’ll admit there is definitely room for improvement, but my kids loved them!


Every family member, from the tall to the small, gets to use our nice dinner wear, complete with a wine glass of their own.  Usually my youngest three kiddos use plastic kids plates and cups, but on this special night they get to use our nice dinner wear.

P1240009I had to get an evening shot right before we ate so you could get a better feel of the ambiance.  Candle light dinner’s really are beautiful!  I really need to do this more frequently than once a year.


Not only do we set the table with our finest but we take the opportunity to dress up also.  Yes, we’re just in our home but it’s fun to dress up even for an evening in.   Here’s my youngest girlie and I just before dinner…


All my kiddos waiting patiently as I capture this exquisite moment.

I love that when I told my kids to go pick out the clothes they want to dress up in for our dinner my son came down stairs dressed as the hulk!!!  He even had the mask on but of course had to take it off to eat:-)  So here is the Hulk and three pretty princesses!


Our main course was a penne pasta bake and garlic bread.  I made a basic garlic bread with mozzarella on it for my kids and my husband and I had this artichoke bread, minus the artichokes. I’m not an artichoke fan.  It was so good and I will definitely make it again.


Desert was a recipe I found on Pinterest called Raspberry Whip.  However, because raspberries were quite expensive and strawberries were on sale we replaced the raspberries with strawberries.  It was very, very, good!  And I’m looking forward to having some of the leftovers tomorrow:-)

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My kids always enjoy getting to use the little wine glasses, filled with sparkling white grape juice.  My youngest daughter enjoyed toasting and I taught her how to hook arms and drink.  She got quite a kick out of this!


I also wanted to share this sweet little Valentine our middle daughter gave to us during dinner.  I LOVE that girl so much!


You see, we have celebrated Valentine’s Day every year, and I do decorate somewhat, but normally it’s only my dinning room table for the one special day of Valentine’s!

So that was last night’s festivities, but I certainly don’t want the actual Valentine’s Day to go by with no festivites. My middle daughter and son will have class parties today, but my oldest daughter is a big middle schooler now and there are no Valentine’s parties when your a big kid…bummer.  And my youngest daughter isn’t in school yet so she has nothing going on to celebrate Valentine’s Day either.

 That’s why I made them all these cute little rolo dynamite sticks that say “You’re The Bomb!”.   I found this idea on Pinterest.


 I put the dynamite rolos in the little Valentine’s Bin that Elizabeth made for them and they found them when enjoying their breakfast of red heart shaped pancakes, with strawberries, cool whip and chocolate syrup!

Normally my kids help make their lunches but sometimes I like to do something special for them so give them a day off and make it for them.   Today they have a special Valentine lunch of…


…heart shaped PB&J’s, strawberry fruit roll-ups, strawberry yogurt, a chocolate peanut butter M&M cookie and a CapriSun that has a little Valentine note on it that reads, “Valentine, You Are My Sunshine!!!”  They have no idea what’s in their lunch boxes and I’m hoping they will be delightfully surprised when they open it today!

(This was not a Pinterest idea, it was all my own!  I was creative before Pinterest and still can be:-))


With That I wish you a…

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I know, I know, I know…I’ve been gone for way too long.  I told you all I’d be back last Wednesday before I took a little break for Christmas and here it is the following Monday and I’m finally posting.  I posted on Facebook that the reason for my prolonged absence is because my back went out on me last Monday, but I know not all of you follow me on Facebook so I apologize to those of you who’ve been wondering where some new posts are.

Christmas break was super nice and really laid back.  Really laid back.  So much so that I have no outfit posts in my arsenal at the moment.  I spent all of Christmas vacation in pajamas when at home and my comfy clothes when at family and friends.  As much as I love getting dressed up and ready each day it was kind of nice to have 11 days of laziness.  In my defense I did still do my hair and makeup when I was going out or had people over, so I wasn’t completely lazy.

Christmas festivities were spectacular.  I always love my kids excitement when they come down the stairs Christmas morning and see our beautifully lit tree surrounded by presents.

The awe and excitement on their faces is priceless!  They loved every gift they received and settled down for some play time as soon as the gifts were all opened…

One gift we wont be enjoying until the 19th of this month when we go to a Monster Jam Rally In Minneapolis, MN!!!  We’re super excited, especially my son because his favorite truck, Grave Digger, will be there!

Yes, Christmas break was exquisite and a much needed week of rest and relaxation, which could be confused with laziness:-)

Unfortunately, as I mentioned my back went out on on New Years Eve and I’ve spent the last week laying in bed with my youngest daughter as my snuggle buddy and nurse.  It was getting a bit better and I’d hoped that I’d be able to get at least one outfit post for you but it got worse again Sat. night because, admittedly, I tried to get too much done on Saturday.  So I’m back  on ice and in bed hoping my back is better very soon because I have my youngest daughter’s birthday party on Saturday.

Yes, it’s true my baby has a party coming up!  She actually turned 3 yesterday and we celebrated it in a small simple way with just the six of us at home watching her open her gifts and blow out her candles and snuggling on the couch watching Frosty The Snowman a couple of times.  It’s her favorite movie right now and since it was her birthday she called the shots all day!

With a relaxing Christmas and a lot of time lying around because of my back I found myself liking the feeling of not being pressured to blog.  Not having to worry about, “Oh my gosh I have to get pictures today because I don’t have an outfit for Tuesday’s WIW post” or “I need to find a recipe or fun thing to blog about.”  I discovered that I spend so much time worrying about if I have something to blog about on Life Exquisite that I’ve let some of life’s exquisite moments pass me by or haven’t enjoyed them to their full exquisiteness.

A while back I wrote a post about Priorities and how I so often let things that I think are a priority take precedence over things that should be my priorities.  Christmas break taught me that my blog has become one of those things that has taken priority over things that it shouldn’t.  There are times when my daughter wants me to play a game and I tell her, “In a few minutes.  Mommy needs to finish this blog post.”  Those few minutes can be anywhere from 3 to 63 minutes or , sadly maybe even more.  I could have enjoyed some really special moments with her.  After all she’s three now.  I only have her at home with me for a couple more years.  I have to enjoy this while it lasts.

I keep saying I’ll be able to do more when things slow down, once Christmas is over, or once Elizabeth’s party is over, but the truth is life doesn’t really slow down.  Christmas may be over but something else always take its place.  For instance my son starts wrestling tonight, which adds to our already busy schedule and my days are going to be really busy working on a quilt I started during Christmas vacation for my three-year-olds bedroom.  Here’s a little sneak peek…

(While laying on my back I’ve been working on appliqueing this branch on.  It’s a lot slower going when laying down then when I can sit to work on it.  Eventually it will look something like this.)

Now, don’t worry, I’m not leaving the blogging world.  Because Life Exquisite is one of my “me times”.  It’s something I enjoy doing and I’ve put so many things on the back burner for “some day” and I don’t want to do that with my blog.  However, it’s just not going to be quite like I want it to be.  I loved the type of stories I wrote in the beginning and honestly I’d love to do more outfit posts, but I’m not going to stress myself out trying to make sure I have at least three blog posts every week.  I will still keep up, as much as possible but if I haven’t had a chance to take pictures or just don’t find a time to blog without taking time away from my family when they need me, I’m not going to stress about it.  You might see a few more Polyvore posts or you might just have a outfitless Tuesday or Thursday.   I’m going to try to be better about posting Exquisite Moments Of The Day on LE’s Facebook page.  Try…that means it wont happen every day but I’ll do my best to live up to the caption in my blogs header “Capturing life one exquisite moment at a time!” more regularly.  But I know that if I’m truly going to capture life’s exquisite moments that I need to be less worried about blogging about them and really capture them in my heart and store them away for memories.

I often find myself comparing myself to these homeschooling moms who, not only homeschool their 4 kids, but also have time to sew up tons of cute things for their Etsy shops and can still blog pretty much everyday.  I get disappointed in myself that I can’t seem to be as awesome as they are but when I mentioned this to a friend she said, “You know they aren’t doing everything you do either.  They might do school and make Etsy things, but maybe they aren’t playing games, reading books or  other things with their kids, that you do.  Maybe their house isn’t as clean as yours.”  My friend made me feel so much better by helping me to see that we’re all given 24 hours a day and we can only fit so much into each day.  People have different priorities.  For some people it’s creating things and blogging every day.  For me it’s spending time with my family in the most exquisite way possible.

It may be that the most exquisite thing of the day is snuggling up on the couch and reading a book  with my kids in between folding loads of laundry or crashing in bed in exhaustion but enjoying an episode of Elementary with my husband.  Sure it doesn’t sound like much but that’s still time with my family and even those little moments can be pretty exquisite.

With that I have to leave you because my sweet baby girl is just waking up and I can’t believe she’s slept this late as it is!

**Please excuse any typos I didn’t have time to spell check or proofread.


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When my husband is behind the camera, laughter is inevitable.  I can’t help it.  For some reason when he’s playing the photographer for my blog photos we end up laughing hysterically over the littlest thing and I have a hard time holding to my professionalism as a model. 

Did you catch that little joke, “professionalism as a model”?  It’s quite a hilarious statement when you take into fact that 90% of my pictures don’t look like the ones I actually post on here.  Nope, they look something more like this…

…Me trying to hold myself together (Which as you can see, I’m not very good at.), while he continues to snap away and make jokes which make it even harder not to laugh.  As you can tell from some of the photos I just start playing around or, as in the case of the picture below, I just decide to give up and go crazy!

After all the outfit’s been captured and that’s all that really matters, right?  So I’m no Olivia Palermo, oh well, at least I’m having fun!  I’m sure even she has her silly days; and if not I feel bad for her boring life.

A picture of the two of us from Friday night, I love that he makes me laugh!

I wore this outfit on our date to The Olive Garden Friday night.  We’ve been really bad the last couple months at keeping up with our monthly dates so made up for it a bit this weekend.  My parents took our kiddos Friday and Saturday night and we went out to eat both nights.  I’ll post Saturday nights outfit on Thursday’s WIW.  

Besides going out for dinner twice and a little stop by the mall for a little shopping trip where David got new shoes and I got a couple of blouses and a cardigan at Francesca’s (Remember that’s my new favorite store!) for this fall, we were basically lazy in our new room the entire weekend.  It felt so wonderful to just eat, veg, play COD, watch the olympics, movies, soak in our whirlpool bath and just be lazy for an entire weekend.  After late nights and all the hard work we’ve been putting into our home since November we felt we deserved a little R & R.

Oh, I almost forgot on our way to The Olive Garden I just had to stop and get pictures of this beautiful sunflower field.  I love sunflowers!  

My hubby suggested that since I was wearing a yellow top maybe I should take a few pictures of my outfit in front of the sunflowers and I actually managed not to laugh!

(blouse – The Buckle, cami, ring and wedges – Maurices, jeans – GAP, earrings & bracelet – Target)

I opted to show just one of those photos of me because compared to the good times had earlier they weren’t as much fun to share with you.  After all…

*Linking up with  

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