Oh, How Pinteresting: Fitness Inspiration Addition

A while ago, I mentioned how I was training to run a half marathon this summer.
I'm very excited to say that I am in the middle of my 3rd week of training, and things are going FANTASTIC!
I have never ran this far in my life! This Saturday, I will get a 6 mile run in.
This is kinda crazy for me folks.
I think the most I've ever ran was 3 miles.

Besides building up my endurance to run 13.1 miles, I am also on a weight loss plan.
So far I've lost 7lbs in the last 3 weeks!
Last summer I had lost about 13lbs.
But throughout the school year, I ended up gaining it all back, and then some!
Talk about frustrating.
I'm determined to get back the body that I was so proud of. And regain the crazy confidence I had!

I'm really excited to keep up the training and reach my goals.
So for "Oh, How Pinteresting" today, I wanted to share some inspiring running pins with you. Enjoy! :)

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LOVE the tone-it-up girls! My favorite trainers :)
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Have a fabulous "Hump Day" :)

Much love,

Live and Direct From................ The Park ?!?!?

It’s been a while since we did a week/month in review, hasn’t it?  This means, it’s been a while since we’ve sat down chewed some fat, and just caught up.  It also means, you really don’t have any idea what I’ve been up to or how I’ve gotten down for the past little bit.  And that’s just plain unacceptable.  So this morning I woke up, hit Tim Horton’s, got me an extra-large coffee and strolled to the park to get my remote blog on.  I haven’t gotten an extra-large coffee since they changed the cup sizes, and let me tell you, this is like a litre and a half of coffee I have in my hand here.  I used to take it double double, years ago, but then I switched to just two creams, in an attempt to cut that deathly sugar intake down.  Then about a year ago I made the switch from cream to milk.  Now I’m trying to transition to just straight black, and I’ve realized something, even harder than getting used to drinking black coffee is getting used to ordering black coffee.  Ordering coffee is such an auto pilot move that I still try and order double double to this day.  I have to correct myself about 3 or 4 times before I get it right, but not before I look like a stuttering idiot that’s lost on the bus first.  So anyway, here I am, with an extra-large coffee with god only knows what in it, in the park on a beautiful day, ready to freestyle this post in true remote blog fashion, meaning no research, no stats, no numbers, just me and you, playing catch with some good old what’s been up.  Shall we?

Well I guess we should start with the NBA finals, since as of the other day, they are now officially a wrap.  Lebron Lebron Lebron.  What can I say?  He wanted it more, plain and simple.  He actually played like it mattered, for the first time in his career.  Now, am I backing the bandwagon up and securing my seat?  Hell no.  He’s still a chump as far as I’m concerned, and that will never change.  But he won, and I can’t debate that.  Normally I would make some rational points on why OKC lost, and say it should have been different, but honestly, I can’t do that either.  Could they have played better?  Not at this point in their careers, no.  They made a shit ton of mistakes, but every mistake they made, if given a mulligan, they would probably make again, because every mistake they made was made from youth and inexperience, and unless you make those errors, especially in big games, you aren’t going to not make them again.  They are vital to growing as a unit, as a basketball team, and very much needed in development of a championship caliber collective such as the Thunder will be for the next two thirds of a decade or so.  My only complaint about the finals?  Not the refereeing, because that’s part of the game, and no not Lebron winning, because it was going to have to happen eventually.  No, my only complaint, much like the only complaint the ladies have with me, is that I just really wanted the finals to last a little bit longer.  The whole NBA playoffs this year were just fun.  Exciting, energetic, fun.  And if it wasn’t for stupid injuries, some serious and some not so serious, no doubt caused by a lockout shortened season with a condensed schedule, I know these playoffs not only could have even been a bit better, but turned out completely different as well.  But it’s over now.  So thanks for 6 months of dunks, steals, no looks, blocks and a story line that makes the Young and the Restless seem like amateur hour, see you in the fall NBA…………
So what else is going on?  Ok, well, we finally got our raise.  After a year and almost a half of arbitration and mediation our contract situation has finally been resolved.  Did we get what we want?  No.   Did we get enough?  I would say yes.  Now as far as some of my co-workers are concerned we didn’t get nearly what we should have, but these are the same people that, if given a bag of gold, they would have the audacity to say straight faced, “What? Only 5 pieces?”  I’m more than happy with what we took, and even as far as what we conceded, it still beats the alternative.  There are a lot of bus drivers out there that forget exactly how basic and simple of a job we have, and yes at times it can be stressful, but I believe we are rewarded handsomely in exchange for this.  Besides, stress is only as stressful as you let it be.  When you get to a certain point in a stressful day, the mentally strong have the ability to say “ok, that’s just about enough worrying for today”, and let whatever happens happen.  Some will say, yeah but the people are this, and the people are that, blah blah blah.  Are we the only organization in the world that has to deal with people?  Hardly the case.  And it’s all relative.  The guy that works at the coffee shop deals with people (some decent, some idiots I’m sure), and so does the cashier at Wal-Mart.  Now take what we make an hour and divide it by what they make an hour, and then multiply that number by the number of people they deal with in a day, and you probably get approximately the number of people we deal with in any given day.   Sure there is a factor or two missing from the equation, but it’s not that far from accurate.  So it’s all relative, and we are adequately compensated I would say.  But even more important of a factor is this, the guy at Wal-Mart or the guy at the coffee shop, etc. has to be nice, courteous and to some extent genuine.  We do not.  Despite what the “blue suits” say on T.V. our job is not to smile and say hi, tend to your every beck and call, or even give a shit for that matter.  Our job is to get from one side of the city to the other side of the city without hitting anything, and if can be done, in a timely fashion.  Nothing more, nothing less.  So how then, is it stressful?  Why do you care?  Here’s a piece of wisdom for all my co-workers out there and for anyone else interested as well.  Don’t go giving a shit when it ain’t your place to give a shit.  Apply that, and see how ridiculously your perspective changes, and how easily your day gets.  And to those that say we still don’t get paid enough for what we do, I would like to do an experiment with you.  I’m going to get you a shovel, and out of my own pocket I’m going to pay you 12 dollars an hour to go out and dig a ditch.  I’ll pay you myself for 2 reasons.  1, I know you won’t make it 2 hours before you concede and come running back to drive your bus at what all of a sudden became a reasonable wage, and 2, it’s worth the $24 to me, to not have to hear you bitch anymore.  There are a lot of people out there that work a lot harder than we do, and wish they took home what we get deducted from our pay cheques, let alone what we make.  Think about that for a second next time you open your mouth and sheer foolishness falls out of it, will you please.  Or just do what I do.  Get yourself a twitter account and pick one dumbass everyday doing dumbass shit, and tweet about him.  Make a joke out of it.  You have no idea how good it feels to hit that tweet button and wait for the “likes” and “LOL”’s to roll in.  Very calming indeed……..

Anyway, what else?  Oh, want to know what I did with the raise?  Well, it’s not even in affect yet, but half of it has already been spent.  The Pontiac was about to get a little expensive repair wise, and I hate paying for stupid repairs, so I tricked out and copped a new whip.  Got me one of them Jap-Mobile Rouge’s, and It marks a few firsts, and hopefully a last as well.  It’s, the first time I’ve ever had an odometer that low, the first time I’ve ever not had a four door sedan, the first time I’ve ever paid that much for a car, and most interestingly the first time I’ve ever had a non-North American ride.  Hopefully it also marks the last car I’ll have for a while.  Understand, I’ve been driving for 11 years and this is my eighth car in that span, so I played a little strategy on myself with this one.  In that time frame I have yet to lose money on a trade in, and normally I won’t go any further than 4 years on a financing term, but this time I took a five year plan, and I did this for a couple of reasons.  First, the cost was simply too high for 48 months, maybe we don’t make enough money at work after all, lol.  But second, after two years, I simply won’t have enough paid off to get a reasonable trade in on it, thus forcing myself because I’m stubborn and won’t take a loss, to keep it longer.  It’s bad when you have to set yourself up to avoid your own idiocity, isn’t it?  This thing requires very little pimping too.  Normally the first thing I do is rip the stereo out and put something real big in.  But it came with a Bose system, and not even I’m dumb enough to fuck with that.  As soon as I got home, I dropped the satellite radio in and we were good to go.  It came with a sub already, and it’s decent, but those that know me, know that there can never be enough bang in the back, so I might do something about that.  Although I don’t know if a stock system has an output for any extra boom, but we will go see the Noise Boys around the corner and see what they have to say about it.  If anyone can do it, they can.  The grill is kind of generic too and could use something extra, but I might be a little too progressed in life to be swapping grills……. Hmmmm…Maybe not.    Tints are on, paint polish is applied, and I got Eli looking for some Sean John license plate covers, so all in all this bitch is set to stunt.  Now all I have to do is wait and enjoy some of that fuel economic shit these foreigners are always boasting about.  I’ll keep you posted. 
Damit it.  I’m already pushing my word count here, and we haven’t really covered anything.  We haven’t talked about women (they truly make no fuckin sense), baseball (@JoeyBats baby), and my post-surgery comeback to the basketball court (kings stay kings, albeit very sore kings), or how my ex is already re-engaged (checkers move if I ever saw one), or my second consecutive "Summer Of Brad" (off to a pretty good start i must say).  It’s clear my mind simply cannot be contained in 2000 words.  I have to track down Eli and get a meeting about this.  I know what he will say already though.  “Post more regularly”.  Easier said than done little buddy.  Who’s going to drive the buses, lift the weights, hit the jumpers, and love the ladies if I’m in here posting more?  Speaking of Eli and ladies, he’s got himself a new little lady friend so he’s been spending more time with her, and less time riding my back lately.  Not completely off my back, but a little bit, and because of that fact and that fact alone, although I haven’t met her, I already like her.  They even started a little blog of their own, if you want to pop over and have a look see, please do.  Its bush league at best, but it’s cute, and fun, so check it out.  Don’t be surprised if I take it over and make it run sometime in the near future.  But listen, I have to run, I got a bunch of stuff to do on this beautiful afternoon, and this coffee tastes like shit.  I think there might be some Splenda in it, and something that tastes like cream cheese.  I guess I can add standing in front of a mirror and practice ordering “black coffee” to my already ridiculous day off itinerary……..
Be back in a couple of weeks……………………….    Hang in there……….

Inward Beauty.

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I love Psalms.
Such beautiful poetry.
Such beautiful and saving meaning.

I just wanted to give you gals out there a reminder that:
The KING is enthralled with your beauty.

This beauty is not outward.
it is the inward beauty that the Holy Spirit has created in you.
The faith that you possess in your heart is all the beauty you will ever need to possess.

You are a spotless beauty, a pure beauty, a righteous beauty.
All because God gave you the faith to believe.
The faith to believe in the one who took away that darkness of sin, and made you pure and holy in His sight.

Remember this weekend,
The King is enthralled with your beauty.

Honor God and praise him and your words and actions,
thanking him for the priceless, inward beauty that he has given you!

Much love,

Bachelorette Ep. 5 "Rants and Raves"

What an episode last night, huh?!
Seriously, one of the best episodes to date in Bachelorette history in my opinion!

After last night, I decided that since I am a "religious" Bachelorette/Bachelor watcher, I should do a Rants and Raves re-cap on Tuesdays on the blog!
So here I am, about to lay out my opinions on this drama filled episode :)

Here's the episode run down::
Emily and her men were in London, England!
Sean went on one adorable date (so I've heard. A little late start watching) He get's a rose :)

Group date: Guys act out Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Arie was adorable, Ryan made me wanna puke)

Things go down later that night. Kalon says Rickie is "baggage"
Emily let's her mama bear out (You go girl!)
See ya never Kalon! No rose given
Jef's date! (This guy is starting to give Arie a run for his money in my opinion) Jef gets a rose 


Rose ceremony: Emily grills the guys about not telling her about Kalon (a little dramatic in my opinion) then sends Alejandro packin'

Can I just lay it out there that I think Doug is extremely annoying?!
Yes you have a son, we get it.
No, we don't really care to hear about him anymore.
Stop thinking you're wise because you're older...
You're oversensitive and full of yourself.
Rant done.
Oh yeah, you bother me to no end.
Rant officially done.

Ryan, Ryan, Ryan.
I'll admit. You used to be in my "top three" 
Those days are long gone.
Emily is not a "Trophy" she would be your wife. Not both together.
Get over yourself. You're not that attractive and you have really bad hair!
Take the scarf off.
Rant done.

Kalon. You're the baggage. I think Emily needed to send more than one guy home. Get rid of more guys!!

Emily. Why were you so hard on Arie?! You made him feel way worse then he needed to.

Emily, what were you expecting? The guys only had the chance to tell you about Kalon at the group date. Were they all supposed to come to you at once?!

I'm annoyed that Doug was the one that told her. He is no good.


I am LOVING Jef. His Chloe hand bag analogy about Ricky was the cutest thing ever.
Jef is such a cute conversationalist, he's very sincere and sweet, and he is definitely the best dressed in the house!

Emily is amazing this season!
Brad's season I thought she was a little too quiet and under spoken.
This season she is really grilling these guys and weeding out the bad.
LOVED how she got all "West Virginia, hood-rat" on Kalon and stood up for Rickie.
Hands down, Emily is one gorgeous and classy woman inside and out :)

And, my last rave.
Even though Jef and Sean are close behind...
Arie is still my number one!
He is so so sweet.
A little dorky.
A racer!
And VERY attractive.
Can you say tall, dark and handsome?! :)

Can't wait to watch Emily and the men travel to Croatia next week!
Should be good :)

Have a wonderful Tuesday ladies!

Much love,

One Idiot With A Gun..... #TrueIndeed

I’m going to address this foolishness that is the Eaton Center shooting real quickly, and then I’m going to get out of here, because I have shit to do before I go to work.  Besides, this isn’t even a scheduled blog week anyway, but I feel my thoughts, as I always feel, need to be put out there for all to read.  If you live in Toronto, just reside under a rock and don’t know what I’m talking about, or for the benefit of my international readers, here’s a newspaper article about the debacle so you can have a little background before we get started.  All of us up that are up to speed will wait for you to catch up.  Take your time.  

So basically Saturday morning some douchebag, whom we will refer to as “douchebag A” from here on out, wakes up, and decides for whatever reason that he is going to find and kill another douchebag, whom we will creatively call “douchebag B”.  The reasons are at this point unknown, but probably aren’t overtly important anyway, because the consensus is it was gang related, which means it was probably some serious shit.  Like “douchebag B” more than likely, inexcusably looked at “douchebag A” wrong, or GASP, heaven forbid, smiled at his girlfriend.  You know, only punishment is death type of behavior. Anyway, around 6 pm that evening, “douchebag A” walks into the food court of the third largest mall in Canada, and oh ya, Toronto’s number one tourist attraction, spots “douchebag B” and opens fire.  Now, because “douchebag A” has had the appropriate training one should have before handling a firearm, it only took him 15 shots or so before he delivered the fatal kill shot to “douchebag B”, and in the process effectively winged a couple of his homies as well.  Oh, and for good measure, because all this retribution was thoroughly and adequately planned out, “innocent bystanders 1 through 4” were hit and left in critical condition, and “innocent bystanders 5 through 7” were grazed and left with minor injuries, and no doubt a serious phobia of shopping downtown ever again. 
Now this appalling behavior has undoubtedly left you very upset, as well it should.  And I’m not impressed with it either, but what happened shortly thereafter impressed me even less.  First off, our beloved Mayor went on record with a heartfelt statement sending condolences to anyone who was injured, their families, and anyway that was there during the melee, and had to witness/endure this horrific tragedy.  I have no problem with this.  However, he said one thing I do want to discuss.  He said during that statement, and I’m paraphrasing only because I don’t remember it word for word, that this type of behavior is not indicative of behavior in the city of Toronto.  He’s only partially right, but more on that in a second.  Next up was the Premier of Ontario, with a similar statement.  Dalton McGuinty uttered comparable words of empathy to victims, victims’ families, and witnesses too, and finished with a line that sat uneasy with me as well.  Something along the lines of trying to make sense of this tragedy in an otherwise peaceful city.  Now, I watch a lot of news and I read a shit ton of papers, and I can’t remember the last time both the Mayor and the Premier of Ontario sounded off on a “gangland style execution” ever.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time either of these figures had anything to say about any homicide in the city of Toronto.  That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, it just means I can’t remember.  So let me ask you this, if it didn’t happen in their treasured Eaton Center, would either of them have said anything at all?   I don’t remember hearing a statement of condolences from the Mayor when Paul Fitzgerald Benn was gunned down in the Sheppard Ave West and Allen Rd area back in May.  Nor do I remember Dalton saying that the family of Chris Thompson, the barber who was shot dead back in January in the Neilson Rd and Finch Ave East area, were in the thoughts and prayers of “all Ontarians”.  So basically my interpretation is this, if it happens in areas like Downsview or Malvern, it’s not necessarily ok, but it’s tolerable.  If it happens downtown though, and in a tourist driven area, well then it’s “all available resources will be used to apprehend this suspect”.  I’m sure the mother of Justin and Jerome Waterman, two brothers killed in February in the North York area, would have liked all available resources deployed to find the killer of her sons.  I could go on listing homicides for a while here, but I think you get the point.  Not one murder should be levied more important than any other, regardless of demographic location, nor regardless of demographic locations economically assessed value.  That’s my opinion anyway.  But hey, what do I know, right?  Ok, here’s what I know, and as of Saturday this is undebatable; if you’re only going to “go through the motions” when this shit happens in the hood, it’s only a matter of time before this shit is going to spill over into the areas you definitely don’t want this shit to spill over into.  Oh, and no disrespect to anyone involved in Saturdays fandangle, but innocent people get drawn into this stuff each and every time it happens.  I can tell you a couple stories of fellow bus drivers alone that came within feet of gun shots recently.  When now, are guns and gun violence going to be taken seriously?  How many more “minding their own business” type folks have to be hit before we run shit back to the Wild West Wyatt Earp style of handling stuff like this?  Having a gun on you is illegal in this city.  Of this there is no debate.  So if you get caught with one, there should be no ‘out by Tuesday on bail’ crap.  You should just die, plain and simple.  Why are we even talking about this?  You can’t give me any reason why you have a gun on you other than to eventually take someone else’s life.  Sure there are other practical reasons to have a gun; yes a German Luger can make a great paper weight, and yes a Desert Eagle can hold open a door in a windy house, but more importantly, both of these can shoot people eating their lunch in a crowded mall as well.  And this we should not be risking.  You have a gun, you die, before someone else who doesn’t have anything to do with anything does.  It’s simple pro-action vs reaction. 

Hey, here’s something else for you to chew on.  Last year I paid $14,920 in taxes.  Why is that important you ask?  Be patient and I‘ll explain.  Now on Monday, “douchebag A” turned himself in to police, and will be held before a court on one count of murder, and 7 counts of attempted murder.  I don’t know what kind of sentence he is going to receive, but I’m going to go ahead and guess it will be a lengthy one.  Probably 20 years or so (lol, ya right).  Anyway, in 2005, which is absurdly the most recent statistics I can find, the cost of an incarcerated provincial prisoner to the system was $141.78 per day.  We won’t even adjust for inflation, but we will round up, just for easy math.  $142 x 365 = $51,830.  If you just fell off your chair, don’t worry, so did I.  And when I was on the floor I realized that in a roundabout way you could rationalize that with my taxes, I’m covering approximately 30% of that.  What the hell am I paying for?  Well, first and foremost, we have to put a roof over “douchebag A”’s head.  And don’t forget, he needs a gym to stay somewhat fit in, and some recreation of sorts.  So I’m buying him weights, and a basketball, maybe even a board game or two.  Oh, and a blanket and pillow.  He is also going to need his teeth cleaned regularly too, and a flu shot probably.  FUCK HIM.  If I’m going to be forced to buy someone a blanket, find me a kid with a single mother who’s struggling and that HASN’T killed anybody and I’ll take him out and get him a cool ass Batman Blanket.  Hell, I’ll get him a ball and a monopoly game too while we’re out.  If I have to pay for someone to get their teeth cleaned I’ll take a factory worker, who works hard for his money and doesn’t have benefits, and who also HASN’T killed anybody and pay his dental bill.  “Douchebag A” can freeze while he sleeps and die of gingi-fucking-vitis for all I care.  Wait, he hasn’t eaten yet.  So I got to get him 3 square meals a day too?  Do you want to know that I usually don’t get three squares a day?  Why?  Well, plainly because I’m out there keeping busy and NOT KILLING ANYBODY!  This guy for the next 20 years is going to live off of me and 2.3 other people just like me, and he is probably going to live better off then all of us combined.  No one picks up my bills and rent, and makes sure I’m eating enough.  Where’s the justice again?  Maybe I should start killing people.  And don’t think for a second I don’t have a kill list either.  If you don’t believe me, ask my therapist, although she is a little more concerned about the fact that it’s written in lipstick, but that’s not important here.  What is important is that guys that do kill get to live off the backs off all the people out here that don’t, and that my dear readership is just plain ridiculous.  This scum bag piece of shit shouldn’t even get a trial.  You have eye witnesses galore, video surveillance and he walked in and confessed.  Jail time? #FuckOuttaHere.    Do you have any idea how badly I want a Lexus?  But fuck sticks like this are the main reason I’m being kept (admittingly comfortably) behind the wheel of a tinted Pontiac.  Lethal injection, firing squad, electric chair, whatever you chose, it’s way cheaper to myself, and the rest of society.  Oh, and it has to be mentioned, it’s kind of fair isn’t it?  But no, that’s inhumane Brad, and we can’t have that.  What are we hoping for here?  Reformation?  Or maybe it’s remorse we want?  Yeah, I’m sure a sorry from “douchebag A” will make the families involved forget about all of this and move on like nothing ever happened.  I mean after all, maybe he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong, or hey, maybe he was peer pressured?  Ok, that’s probably it, I’ll cover his cost of living until I’m 54 years old then, since it’s not his fault.  Bullshit, he knew that day what he was doing had consequences, and he didn’t give a shit, probably because the consequences he will have to face are better than the life he is living right now anyway, so jail is a way out for him.  I know for sure “innocent bystanders 1 through 7”, Mrs. Benn, Mrs. Thompson, and Mrs. Waterman will agree with one thing I have to say here; just as bad as I want a Lexus, those consequences need serious changing, and fast.  Preferably before the Eaton Centers become the new inner-city neighborhoods and circumstances like Saturdays do in fact become “indicative of life in Toronto”, our “peaceful city”. 
I’m out of here, I have weights to lift, buses to drive, prisoners to pay for and people NOT TO KILL.  See you in a couple of weeks.  Hang in there……………….


The lovely weekend is here, and I am very thankful :)
God has greatly blessed me this week with::
Time to relax, the motivation to eat healthy, time to celebrate my parents and grandparents anniversary, the ability to start working my summer job, gorgeous weather, girl time with my mommy, and time with one of my good friends.
I'd say this was a fabulous week!

Now time to dump all of my Instagram photos on you...including my JUNE photo-a-day pictures!

Day 1: Morning

Day 2: Empty
{Tailgating at the Brewer game!}

Day 3: On your plate
{Josh's going away dinner}

Day 4: Close-up
{The pretty color and pattern of my new dress}

Day 5: Sign
{Lunch with my mom...we're addicted to Panera}

Day 6: Hat

Day 7: Drink
{Water from Panera. Told ya there's an addiction here!}

Other photos from the week::
Lake Michigan//Brewers game//Josh and I were undefeated Bags champions!//Giraffe at the Milwaukee Zoo//National Runners Day//Making a change and tracking all of the food I eat//My fave salad from Panera//Got my toes painted with my mamma//The beautiful 5:30 am sunrise :)

Have an amazing weekend!

Much love,

life rearranged

A Weekend Re-cap! ...On Thursday!

I've been a little MIA again this past week, sorry!
I have a very valid excuse though.
For the past 3 summers my boyfriend Josh goes up to Alaska to Salmon Fish
Yea, it's like deadliest catch stuff...

It's not nearly as dangerous. They are in southern Alaska by Ketchikan where the waters are much better than the Bering Sea!

So this past 10 days I have been down at his parents house spending time with him :)
Last summer was our first summer together as a couple, and the first time we experienced the separation of 3 time zones! This summer has been a lot easier so far, but it's still tough when he is out on the boat and at some points I don't talk to him for 2 weeks. ROUGH!
I would love your prayers to keep me strong and to keep Josh safe while he is fishing! Thank you so much :)

We had some fun with our last few days together. We went to Milwaukee, saw Lake Michigan, and went to a Brewers game. They won! (for once..), and then hit up the Milwaukee Zoo!
I'll let the pictures do the rest :)

God's creation blows me away...

Miller Park!

For those of you not from Wisconsin, or don't know. Miller Park has a crazy awesome retractable roof!

On Monday, we enjoyed the Milwaukee Zoo before Josh's flight that evening :)

We had a little photo shoot :)
I nabbed this awesome Lauren Conrad dress from Kohls for $20! Isn't it precious?!




Happy Thursday!

Much love,

May Book Club Review: "Bloom"

For the month of May, I joined with Aubrey and Kaylee for a book club!
I was very excited to find out that the book for the month would be, Bloom by Kelle Hampton! I had heard a lot about the book. And I was very eager to read it!

One of the things that most intrigued me was that it was based on Kelle's Daughter, Nella, who was born with Downs Syndrome (DS).

This past school year, I had the privilege of being a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) to a 9 year old boy with DS. It was one of the most challenging, fun, and rewarding experiences that I have ever had. He was the most loving young boy that I have ever had the company of, and he opened my heart and mind to the wonderful things that DS has to offer.
This little boy taught me so much. He allowed me to love and accept others more easily and deeply. And showed me that even though DS may classify people as "different" they are still God's little lambs. And they deserve the same love and care as anyone else in this world!

First and foremost, I truly loved this book! Kelle is an inspiring woman in many different ways. But I have to admit...at first I didn't know how to feel about her.
How could she have such a hard time accepting her new baby girl?
Couldn't she just understand that this was God's plan for her? Couldn't she realize that the love for her child should overcome any imperfection?

It's easy to point the finger and judge a woman in her position.
But then I tried to put myself in her shoes.
What if for 9 months, I dreamed and planned and envisioned my baby girl one way, and then when she arrived, be rocked by the truth that she would not be that perfect little girl that I had hoped and dreamed for. All the hopes and dreams I had for her...they may not come true, and they would all be different.

But perfection, it's not achievable in this world.
And who says that perfection means being aesthetically and mentally what the world thinks we should all be?

I love this quote from the book,

"The concept of perfection is not flawless or ripped from a magazine. It's happiness. Happiness with its messiness and not-quite-thereness. It's knowing life is short, and the moments we choose to fill our cup with should be purposeful and rich. That we should be present for life, that we should drink deeply. And that's perfection."

Kelle is all about celebrating every moment in our lives. Whether they be big life events such as a birth or wedding, or a small everyday kinda things like baking cookies, enjoying a cup of coffee and a good book, or the way your little baby cuddles up to you in the morning after they wake up

Life is not perfect, and the path that God has set out for us will not be kittens and rainbows at every turn.  There will be hard and dark times for us in this life. But even through the not so sunny times, we often find a I small bloom within us beginning to sprout after our journey has begun. We learn and grow in times of hardship, we love more deeply and think more thoughtfully, and live out the little things of life in celebration.

 "My sister told me she wished I could see what she saw--

because what she was was wonderful. She said I was lucky--that I'd been offered a shortcut to what life is all about when some people search their whole lives and never know. She said I had a secret--a secret to happiness and that, while people may look at me and pity me, in time I'd feel like I knew something they didn't."

That's the thing with the hardships in our lives.
God places them their so that we may bloom and grow from them.
Kelle was given a gift, a gift that many mother's and family members don't get the chance to experience. To love and care for a child with DS opens up your heart and mind to a whole new realm of love and acceptance. And Kelle, you were given that gift. And oh, how you cherished it! You are Lucky


"Although I might not have known it, my heart began its healing process the moment my eyes met Nella's for the first time...Healing was there, burrowing its roots deep into my heart, painfully yet purposefully cutting through, the way the strong roots do until they are grounded deep enough to anchor what they know will follow--growth."

I hope this post has convinced you to read this book!
If you have ever had the privilege of having your life touched by someone with DS, then you will wholeheartedly appreciate, accept, and love this book and the precious little girl who's pictures inhabit it's pages. If you have never had a connection with a person with DS, be ready for Kelle, Nella, and the whole Hampton clan to rock your world with love and a bloom of hope. You heart and perspective will forever be changed by reading the words in this memoir.
Take my advice...READ IT! You won't regret it :)

Happy Friday and much love,