Monday, December 31, 2012

Hope and a Future

a few of my favorite moments. from my instagram account: thelavenderfield

Since this is the end of what most of us see as the holiday season, I thought I'd stray from my usual beauty/lifestyle posts today, and wish you all a Happy New Year(!!), and share some thoughts...

As I peruse my various social networking apps, I see a lot of people reflecting on the past year and hoping for the coming year. Most people had a great year and a few hope for a better one than the one they had.

As I look at these posts I don't feel the same excitement that many people express. I don't find myself sharing in their excitement. I don't find myself making resolutions. I don't feel like it's the beginning of a new season. I don't mean that I'm not excited for the days to come, I definitely am! My life thus far, has been a series of surprises, sweet moments, and unexpected blessings. At this time in my life, I am at a place I never dreamed I'd be, and I feel so incredibly fortunate. 

What I mean is, I don't see the traditional New Year as the beginning of anything really. I think it has to do with something that used to scare me a lot as a child. I remember being a very young and hearing on the radio, news, etc., about doomsday predictions. So-called religious leaders, mystics, psychics, whatever, would predict the world's end at midnight of the new year. I would get so frightened, I would start crying and tell my parents that I was terrified of losing them and my brother. I was so young that even though I had been taught that when I die, I would be with Jesus, I couldn't really grasp the idea of eternity. I was terrified.

My dad would comfort my young mind by saying, "The way we count our days, months, and years, is just something humans have created to help us keep track of time. They're just numbers, God is beyond them." That always did it for me. Even though I was too young to really understand that even when I died, my life wasn't over, I could understand that time was a human construct. Go figure! Lol. 

To this day, I've held onto that thought. Instead of feeling like the tradition New Years holiday is the end of one stage of life, and the beginning of another, I've seen it as just another day. Another day to thank God I've woken up, another day to pray for strength and wisdom, another day to laugh with my husband, another day to begin a new adventure. 

For me, the beginning of a new season has always been marked by events in my life that have really touched my heart, whether they've been good or bad. Times that I have found myself crying out to God, "Catch me here. Catch my heart. I can't keep myself up right now."

New seasons have been marked by beautiful moments where I find myself saying, "I can't believe this is happening. How absolutely beautiful and unexpected. I can't wait to start this adventure with you."

I might be a New Years Scrooge (bah humbug! :P), but I still thankful for all that has happened in 2012, and I look forward to what is to come in the new year. 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11
Happy New Year to you and your family!!

Next post: how I fill in my brows!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Beauty Favorites

What a busy few weeks it's been! I'm sure I'm not alone in my rush to buy gifts, visit family, wrap gifts, etc. As always in the midst of the rush, I have to constantly remind myself what this season is all about, and what is REALLY important.

Anyhow, as I've been building my collection and learning makeup application, I've come across a lot of new favorites that I want to share with you! I have a few more products I've recently acquired that I'm testing at the moment, and I'll share those soon.

I hope everyone's Christmas plans are going along smoothly and I will be back soon with another update!

1. Wet n Wild palettes: I ADORE these palettes! They are fabulous shadows at a great price. They have great color payoff--as you can see from the swatch on my fingers--and I believe they cost about $5 at drugstores. I definitely think they can compete with a lot of high end shadow palettes.

2. Tarte blush compacts: If you read beauty blogs, watch beauty videos online, etc., I'm sure you've heard great things about Tarte's Amazonian Clay blushes. Let me tell you, they're definitely worth all the hype. They have fabulous color pay off and there is a wide range of shades, including some matte, shimmer, and even a few glittery ones. I am just waiting for the holidays to be over so I can pick some more of these up!

3. Physician's Formula Tinted Moisturizer: I have been pleasantly surprised by this product. I came across it while looking for more natural beauty products. I had heard a few positive things about it, so I picked it up when the drugstore was having a buy-one-get-one sale a few weeks ago. It is definitely sheer coverage and isn't going to mask anything really noticeable but I think it's perfect for a day when I might just be running errands and I don't necessarily want to put on a full face of makeup. It's 100% natural and 80% organic. Lately I've been trying to find products that don't contain so many synthetic ingredients since I know they can accumulate in the system, and may cause problems over time. I read a lot of reviews complaining about the smell, but I love it! It smells like lavender, which happens to be my favorite scent!

4. Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer: This is a fantastic concealer! It is perfect for my dry under-eye skin, and doesn't settle into any creases or fine lines. It definitely isn't a full coverage concealer but it's great for highlighting the under-eye area. Just an FYI: I haven't been able to find this in stores. I purchased mine online.

5. My other Tarte blush! Read review above ^^

6. Stila liquid eyeliner: This has been a great buy! I hadn't heard/read any reviews about this eyeliner, when I decided to pick it up one day at Ulta. I'd been searching for a really good high end eyeliner and just came across this one. It really does stay all day and doesn't come off until I use my coconut oil to remove it. The only issue I have is that it is a bit pricey. I remember using a Wet n Wild liquid eyeliner years ago when I was in high school and it was the BEST. I ALWAYS had people asking me which brand of eyeliner I was wearing. I used it so much the name rubbed off and I eventually forgot who made it (hence, why I never repurchased). After using this, I'm glad I finally tried a high end liquid liner, but I may just repurchase Wet n Wild's, now that I was able to recall who makes my original favorite!

7. Benefit's Boi-ing concealer: This concealer has really impressed me! I didn't think it would cover the dark under-eye circles I sometimes get, but it did the trick! It does especially well in covering blemishes and any discoloration I may have. FYI: build it up slowly. At first, I thought that if I picked up a lot with my finger, it would cover my dark circles better, but it only starts to look cakey. Grab a little with your finger to warm it up and help it melt a bit, and pat on a very thin layer at a time.

8. The other Wet n Wild palette I LOVE! Review above ^^

9. I don't know how I left out 9. Oops!! :P

10. Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation: This is another product I knew nothing about before purchasing. Again, I just really wanted something with more natural products and no preservatives. Let me tell you, this has been one of the BEST beauty purchases I've made. It provides fantastic full coverage that lasts me all day (I have combo/dry skin). I apply mine with a Beauty Blender and it looks like my own skin. I've heard that the coverage is also amazing when you use Tarte's foundation brush, which I do not own, but am tempted to buy when I can. I'm almost certain I will be repurchasing this foundation when it runs out. Great, great product!

There you have my current favorites. :) Please don't hesitate to ask questions or let me know about your own favorite products!

*all products purchased by moi!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

Absolutely so much to be thankful this year, it is overwhelming!

Michael and I spent this Thanksgiving with his mom's family earlier in the morning, then visited his dad's family that evening. Since both my mom and dad were visiting my brother in Texas this year, we only had two stops this year.

Michael's mother is an amazing cook who, thankfully, is quick to share all of her secrets and recipes with a young new wife, like me. I ALWAYS look forward to her meals, but I was especially looking forward to her Thanksgiving meal since it pretty much consists of some of my favorite foods: butter, carbs, fat, and butter. In that order.

Her meal, did not disappoint! I'm STILL enjoying slices of pie with the flakiest crust you've ever had (the extra pooch at my waist is proof of that). It was delicious food with a lot of laughs and memories.

Then later that afternoon, we picked up our stuffed bellies and drove them across town to Michael's grandparents' house. Again, delicious food and the love of a lot of family, greeted us. Michael's grandma always makes those quintessential American foods that are always a welcome site on the dinner table: yams with marshmallows, gooey macaroni and cheese, and green bean casserole. Not to mention, for the past few years my father-in-law has deep fried a whole turkey in peanut oil.


Talk about the most moist turkey you have every tasted. Can you tell I enjoy eating? No? I guess I hide it well. ;)

So, as Thanksgiving ends and the rush of the Christmas season begins I've been stopping to think about what I'm thankful for this year, and every year. I saw a lot of people on social media sites listing all the things they were thankful for in their lives. At first, I wondered why I didn't feel the need to do so? Honestly, because I couldn't think of anything unique or remotely interesting to anyone else. But this is my blog and I'll do what I want!

Here it goes:

I'm thankful for patience. How patient is our God. We sin, we stumble, and he still comes looking for us and loves us. Just like he still came looking for Adam and Eve after the fall. I'm thankful that my husband is patient with my whining and absent-mindedness. I think I would drive myself up a wall, but he laughs and tells me to calm down and do one thing at a time.

I'm thankful for the work that I do. There are a number of days that I don't do much but clean up the house and cook meals. A lot of people would consider what I do as a wife to be mundane, work. Heck, even I think it's mundane most of the time. But I still find God in the things that I do. I find him in the food in our bellies, the warmth of our oven, the roof over our heads, the breeze while I carry laundry inside.
"We ought not to be weary in doing little things for the love of God.  For God does not regard the greatness of the work but the love with which it is performed."  -Brother Lawrence 
I practice seeing the joy and importance of what I am doing. There wouldn't be any dirty dishes in the sink if we didn't have food to eat. I wouldn't be doing loads of laundry if we couldn't afford clothes to wear, and there wouldn't be a floor to sweep if we didn't have a warm home around us.

I'm thankful for that. :)

Next time this week: Another beauty post!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Current Beauty Favorites: Part One

I consider myself pretty much a novice when it comes to beauty/skincare. I remember a few years ago, a college friend of mine telling me her brother had just finished esthetician school. I looked at her with a very confused look on my face, not having a clue what she was talking about. Not wanting to look like a dummy, I asked her where he'd be working now--hoping it would give me some clue as to what an esthetician was. She looked at me sort of strangely and said, "Umm... a spa most likely."

Yeah, I was that clueless about skincare. Maybe it's no surprise I had the biggest acne breakout of my life that same year. Haha!

Anyhow, I've come a LONG way since then that is why nowadays I really appreciate when other women share what works for them in the beauty and skincare department. Not to mention, now that I've been learning and training myself in makeup artistry, I love learning what works for different skin types and textures.

So here are a few of my current beauty favorites. I'm sure they'll change and I'll add more later, but for now here are a few that I currently adore! Just FYI, I've got dry/normal skin. I very rarely have oily skin so just keep that in mind if you're thinking of using these products.


1. Urban Decay Naked Palette and Naked 2 Palette

I don't think these need much of an explanation. These are pretty much the Kitchenaid Mixer of the makeup world: if you don't have one you desperately want one, and if you have one you don't know how you ever lived without it.

I really like these since my go-to makeup look is a bit of an understated neutral eye. These are perfect for me!

2. The Beauty Blender and Cleaner

I just picked two of these guys up. Let me warn you, they're not really on the cheap side. I considered picking up a knockoff brand, but I heard over and over again how the knockoffs unfortunately did not perform as well as the original. Now that I have one of these, I'm hooked! These work so well at making your liquid foundation look flawless on the skin. If it's in your budget, I HIGHLY recommending trying one of these out. the cleanser also works pretty well so far. I haven't had it long, so we'll see. My only complaint about the beauty blender is that it stains really easily. It's a bummer since if I'm doing someone's makeup I pretty much want my tools not only to be clean, but also look clean.

3. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain & Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment

I've been using these Revlon Balm Stains pretty much every day. These are great! They don't seem to dry my lips out the way most lip stains do and they are pretty moisturizing. The two colors I own are: Romantic (left) and Honey (right). Even when the actual balm wears off of your lips, the stain will stay on all day. And of course, Blistex. I use this stuff everyday. It keeps my lips so moisturized. Also, I recently read in some cheesy celebrity magazine that Blistex is Angelina Jolie's "beauty secret". She uses it everyday to keep her lips soft. She's got AMAZING lips so I figure this stuff's got to be pretty good, right?

4. Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder

I'm currently on the lookout for a good high-end pressed powder. I've been hearing a lot of great things about the perks of pressed powders, so I've really been wanting to try one out. I just gotta save up for one and then decide which one I want. I'll keep you updated! For now, I've been using this matte powder. It works REALLY well, especially for a drugstore brand. I've noticed that it keeps my face matte for about 6-7 hours. After that my face does start to get a bit shiny, but not very much. I heard so many good things about this stuff online and from some beauty gurus, that I had to try it. I'm pretty happy with it so far. I just really want to try a powder that has some more coverage. 

That's all for now! I've got some more current favorites that I will be posting soon! What are you favorite beauty products at the moment?? I'd love to know!

*all of these products were purchased by me. this post is not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Extravagant Blessing

 i felt like i was going to fall out of the canoe while this guy was reeled in (hence, the crooked picture!)

Last week Michael and I had the opportunity to go fishing with a friend of ours. We are so fortunate to have friends that treat us like family and invite us into their homes and "homes away from home", so that we can share wonderful experiences with them.

This fishing trip was no exception. We had a great time fishing from our friend's canoe, relaxing in the water, and sharing some great conversation. Even though the fish weren't really biting (I caught one though!) it was a beautiful day out on the lake.

At one point, we were anchored out by some buoys watching the sun disappear behind the pines, and we saw a huge bird take off from the tree tops off to our right. We all watched it quietly--hoping it was what we thought it was, but not wanting to get our hopes up--and lo and behold, our dreams came true. It was a beautiful bald eagle.

The bird was gorgeous! It took off so close to our canoe and then sailed low, right over our heads. The entire fishing trip was worth it just because of that eagle.

Usually, Michael and I throw back all the fish we catch, but this time we all decided to keep the two we caught that day and see how they tasted. To be completely honest, I felt a little badly not throwing mine back. I know, I know, I'm such a softy!

The entire trip just felt like it was so full with God's presence. I mean, from the gorgeous weather to the beautiful bald eagle, to the fact that we were going to share food that we had all worked together to catch. The whole time I was reminded of John 21:3-7:
"I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
I mean, that is just a wonderful and amazing story. Jesus visits his heartbroken friends and blesses them extravagantly, like he so loves to bless us. And they are so beyond overjoyed to see him, they dive into the water to reach him at the shore. I love that story so much.

I feel like so often we see the true nature of Jesus in simple experiences like this. A loving and compassionate Abba. I feel like there are times in a person's life where we feel like God must be angry with us. There are others who go their entire lives thinking they serve an angry God. With stories like the one above, how can we think that for long?

No, we didn't catch a boatload of fish that day and it would be so easy to fall into anger and disappointment and miss the beauty of Christ. How many times have I passed a moment where he was showing me his love? How many times have I missed the extravagant way he loves to bless me? I want to live fully in those moments!

He blessed us that day and he blessed us extravagantly. The beauty and serenity we witnessed that day is not something we see on a daily basis and it is a wonderful respite when we get to witness those moments.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

After a Bit of A Break...

I'm back!

I never really meant to take a break from blogging but I am so glad I did. September and October are very busy months for Michael and I. Not only do we celebrate both our birthdays, but so do a LOT of our family members!

Anyhow, I had the opportunity to really evaluate what I want to write about, and share with all of you guys. I spent a great deal of time and energy thinking about what does "everyone" want to read/know? What will keep "everyone" coming back??

The problem with that?

Who's this "everyone" anyway?? If I'm writing for everyone else except for myself, this blog will crash and burn pretty quickly.

I'm young, I'm married, I'm a full time wife trying to start my own business as a photographer and makeup artist. I am a Christian, and I haven't quite gotten the hang of this whole "grownup" thing, yet. But that is all a part of who I am and what makes my world go-round.

So, onward and upward we go! Here are a few pictures of our adventures over the past few weeks...

baby pigs at the LA County Fair!

a little friend, looking for little treasures

last day at the beach for a while...

gorgeous sunflowers at the pumpkin patch!

birthday time!

my own personal birthday pie

Later this week I will be talking about my new makeup routine and some great products I have found! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Skin and Hair Secret

Since I feel like I am pretty clueless in the "Beauty Department", I always appreciate when other women share their tips and secrets for great hair, makeup, whatever! I especially love it when those tips include natural ingredients and are low-cost. So, I decided to share one of my favorite tips for great hair and skin!

For the longest time I had these two big patches of dry skin on the backs of both my arms. I also had dry patches along the sides of my nose. Not to mention, I always hundreds of tiny bumps all along the backs of my arms for as long as I can remember. My parents have always had them too, along with a few other people in my family. Needless to say, I never really had the prettiest skin. It's sensitive and it gets dry and irritated very easily.

A couple months ago, I got FED UP with all the dryness and ugliness of my skin. Every once in a while I've had people ask me if I'm cold because of all the "goose bumps" on my arms. It's a little gross to explain to people that they're not goose bumps, they're pores clogged with dead skin and it's hereditary. ::sigh::

Since I had recently come across a great group of women on Instagram, who were so friendly and open about their beauty routines, I decided to ask them all for some hair and skin advice. I got SO many tips (thanks guys!) and they were all natural and low cost ideas.

I decided to start with what I heard the majority of them claim was the answer to all my problems: coconut oil. I ordered this one off Amazon, and couldn't wait to get started! Per the advice I received on Instagram, I covered my hair in oil for an hour before showering, then washed my hair as normal. Then, instead of using lotion I applied the coconut oil all over. And waited....

It took about 3 months for me to see major results. Although, after the first month and a half, I was already able to see the dry patches on my skin slowly shrinking. My skin looked better than ever and felt so soft, even after a full day of not reapplying.

Now, that I've been using coconut oil in place of lotion and any sort of deep conditioner (9 months of using the oil), my skin looks GREAT, and my hair is so soft and healthy. Also, it's definitely much more manageable. I will never go back to using store bought lotions. Even when I spent money on the more expensive brands, they never left my skin feeling soft for more than a few hours.

softer, shinier hair!

I've even had other people tell me that my hair looks great. My parents are even surprised to see that those bumps at the backs of my arms are GONE. Yes, I still have the scars from picking them as a kid (I never listened :P), but no tiny bumps! And all the dry patches I had on my face and arms? ADIOS!!

this picture was SO difficult to take without my husb! hah also, my arm used to be all red and bumpy and funny looking (and by "funny" I mean "icky")

The nice thing about it, is that it lasts quite a while. It's also easy to find in stores if you can't get it online, and is pretty inexpensive. I paid about $6 for the jar you see above, and that will last me at least 4-5 months.

waiting for the oil to set for about an hour, before showering

A few things to keep in mind when using coconut oil: 

It is solid at a little below room temperature, so if you're about to use it and it's completely solid, don't worry! Take a bit and rub it on the palm of your hand until it melts, then apply it as lotion or in your hair. If you don't melt it in the palm of your hand, you'll have white chunks on your hair and skin!

If I have time in the morning, after applying it to my skin, I wait for it to absorb before I get dressed for the day. Otherwise it WILL stain your clothes (although I've been using this mixture to EASILY get oil stains out!). If you don't have time to let it sit, no problem! I just apply a light layer to my problem areas (cheeks, elbows, knees), and I'm careful to not let my clothes rub these areas too much as I'm getting dressed. Since the moisture lasts so long on my skin, I can go without applying it usually for 24 hours, and I won't have dry skin the whole day.

And don't forget, coconut oil is great for cooking, too!

So there you have it! Be sure to let me know how it works out for you. :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Thank Him for All He Has Done

1. some pretty dahlias I picked up the other day.
2. and 3. somebody really knows how to relax. she pulled that blanket down to the floor herself.
4. taking care of business. :)

This week has brought us some extreme heat. We've had fans blowing 24/7 around here. It's been so difficult to bring myself to cook when the last thing I want to do is stand over a flame for any length of time (can we just have cereal every night?). Forget about turning the oven on! I don't plan on doing that for at least a month more.

The most difficult part about the heat has been not whining to myself (or to Michael!) so much about how uncomfortable I am. I find myself dreading dinner time because I just don't want to spend 20-30 minutes sweating my eyebrows off in the kitchen!

And then I walk to my fridge and pour myself a cold glass of water and it hits me as I stare at a fridge stocked full of food: I have plenty of food to feed myself and my husband. We have the luxury of electricity so that we can keep our refrigerator stocked with fresh foods. I have the ability to stand by the stove and cook a good and nutritious meal.

Thinking about all this reminds me about the last time I did laundry. I was complaining about having to fold the hot clothes straight out of the drier. Instead I should see it as a blessing that we have clothes and that we can afford to buy nice clothes. I know there are some people on this earth who may own only one shirt and one pair of pants, perhaps not even a pair of shoes. How fortunate, or rather, how blessed we are that I never worry whether or not I will be warm in the winter or if I will have a swimsuit to wear in the summer.

It is difficult sometimes living without an air conditioner while this heat wave continues on, but I'm so thankful that I have walls around me and a roof over my head. How many poor souls have I passed in the streets probably wishing they just had some shade to sit under and cool down? Or a warm place to sleep without fear of being forced to get up and move?

It hurts my heart to think about the disadvantages so many people face (whether they brought it upon themselves or not), but it hurts in a good way. It is a good reminder that God is a faithful and gentle teacher. This weekend while I enjoy good food and fun times with friends and family, I will thank God for all that he has provided. I may not have every material thing my heart desires, but I have so much more and I know how often I forget it.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 NLT

Have a great weekend everybody! I will see you soon with a brand new post!

Monday, August 27, 2012

An Easy Weekend

i'm always grabbing molly like this and kissing her on the face. i love how she reacts when her whiskers get tickled!

This weekend was a lazy weekend. Michael worked on Saturday so I spent the day watching chick-flicks, eating candy, and just being lazy! Sometimes I have such a difficult time relaxing, I'll often feel like there's something I should be doing. I'm sure that says a lot about me but I'm only human, right? :)

Sunday we spent time with one of Michael's oldest friends. It was a blast. His friends area always such crack ups and they are some of the kindest and most sincere people I've ever met. We went down to the beach and grabbed some lunch. I had a delicious bison burger and amazing curly fries. Yum!

While we were with Michael's friend I really got a bit of a wake-up call. He kept marveling at what a beautiful day it was and how great it is that we live so close to the beach. He couldn't stop admiring the day.

It got me thinking about how fortunate we really are to live here. I'm always saying that I'm not much of a beach person, I'd much rather live in the desert or the mountains. That beach town atmosphere just isn't my thing. But it is nice that we get to enjoy such lovely weather and just such a nice area. I mean, we are less than ten minutes away from a great area to watch the sunset, every night if we wanted to.

I know there are so many other people living in worse conditions or just in really unsafe neighborhoods. We are so blessed to live where we do.

This week don't have a whole lot coming up, just work and more work (and some more posts)! Thankfully this weekend we'll get to spend some time with Michael's family as we celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Hike to the Grotto

Yesterday, Michael and I woke up really early to hike out to a little spot in the Santa Monica Mountains, called the Grotto. It started out as a pretty easy hike down to the small grotto at the end of the trail. There were some beautiful views of the mountains and we were in a pretty secluded area, save for the occasional cliff top mansion (it is the city of Malibu after all).

Since the trail was all down hill from the beginning, we quickly realized the hike back to the car was going to be pretty exhausting. It definitely was! Once we got to the actual grotto area we had to do quite a bit of bouldering to get down to the water. I was a little shaky at first but it ended up being a lot of fun, and not too difficult.

Even though we got pretty winded coming back up (it also started to get very hot), it just made us realize how much we want to get back into shape for even tougher and longer hikes. We've been slowly accumulating the right gear for longer backpacking trips (it's expensive!), and we're pretty excited to go out on some amazing adventures soon.

I love hiking and backpacking to exercise so much more than running (or any other type of exercise, really). I guess swimming would be my next favorite, but I've never really enjoyed running. If we lived in the mountains somewhere, I would want to go hiking just about every morning. It's so much fun that I don't even realize I'm exercising until I get home and I want to fall asleep forever!

The only part of hiking or backpacking that I have a difficult time with is the sleeping in the tent part. Seriously! I never get good sleep when I'm in a tent. Not to mention, the tents that are made specifically for backpacking (they're smaller and really lightweight) are so tiny, it feels like you're sleeping under a homemade fort. I end up spending the whole night listening for bears, mountain lions, coyotes, snakes, spiders, the bogey man, etc!

Luckily, Michael's always there to calm me down and remind me we're safe. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Our Trip to Illinois

a few weeks ago Michael and I took a trip out to Illinois to visit his family. it was my first time to the midwest and I really enjoyed it. it was definitely nice to escape to a slower pace of life, few buildings, more cornfields. :)

while we were in Illinois, we got to visit Springfield. for those of you who aren't history buffs, Springfield is the town where Abraham Lincoln lived with his family as an adult. he practiced law at the court building there and ran for a number of governmental positions while living there.

the picture of me standing in front of the house with the green shutters (looking really awkward, lol)was his home! it was so great to see where a president who was so admired, lived. we even got the opportunity to walk through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. it was just so amazing to see what a tragic and yet successful, life he led.

my favorite part of the whole experience was learning how many times Lincoln ran for government office and lost, but ran again during the next election. he tried and tried until he won. Michael's grandpa put it perfectly, "He never let failure define him". and neither should I.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Life Lately Through Instagram

a day at the beach

a trip to palm springs

visiting family in Illinois and Abraham Lincoln's home.

some very friendly pet goats!

the sky on fire.

sun-bathing in the afternoon.

our cute bathroom. 

watching the sun disappear.

enjoying a weekend away.

A few Instagram photos to hold you over while I make a few improvements to the site. I've got some updates and a few changes coming! I'll also be back to posting more regularly after a nice little summer vacation. 

*follow me on Instagram @thelavenderfield