November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 -that's a wrap!

It always goes too fast! We had a lovely Thanksgiving break with cousin Mike, he left today and so now the house feels too quiet. :( We had a great time, though! We went out for great Chinese food, I made the traditional T-Day feast and we all ate too much and sat around watching football, we went to a couple movies, ate some more and watched some more football - fun times. :) Now I'm doing laundry, catching up on some work, and starting to put away Thanksgiving decorations to make room for Christmas ones. I hope everyone out there had a lovely Thanksgiving with friends and family! Head on over HERE to check out this engagement shoot from Waco! xo

November 24, 2015

I'm thankful for....

my sweet B! I blogged B's 9 year photos over HERE, check it out! xo

November 23, 2015

T-Day week is finally here

I really do love this week, but I love it even more when Adam finally gets home (tomorrow)! I would really like to talk to the scheduler of his conference about doing it a different time of year! B and I have had a pretty good time so far, but today, she woke up sickie. Sigh. B is rarely under the weather and her timing isn't so great when it does happen. I'm hoping this is just a little 24 hour bug and that she'll be back to her old self by tomorrow! I really need to get to the store, my T-day list is made and the supplies need to be gathered! I'm trying 2 new recipes this year, a new and improved green bean casserole and a maple bacon turkey! Ina Garten's turkey recipe is usually what I make and it never lets me down, hopeful for good things with the change-up, fingers crossed! Well, I've got another coat of pain to put on the new (old) door, and some editing to do so I'm gonna get after it! Head on over HERE to see some cute family photos! xo

November 18, 2015

Perch & Brussel Sprouts

Last week a group of us gals went to the swanky Perch restaurant in Los Angeles to celebrate some November birthdays and it was FABULOUS. If you are in LA and want to try a trendy place -GO! We ate outside on the rooftop deck overlooking downtown and it was just so so lovely. What was especially great...the brussel sprouts. I didn't know what I've been missing all my life! Lately I've been obsessed with this salad at this cute restaurant in Pasadena that also has brussel sprouts in it so now I'm officially on a brussel sprout kick! Here's what I've realized, brussel sprouts with balsamic, parmesan cheese and bacon is just about heaven. I made some at home last night for the first time and half my plate was brussel sprouts b/c they were so good-AND B didn't even seem to mind them! VICTORY!!! So, if you're at all intrigued, just google some recipes w/ those ingredients, I bet you'll be amazed if you're not a fan already! In other news, I blogged one of my besties and her cute fam so head on over HERE to check it out! xo

November 16, 2015

Justin Bieber/Venice Blvd/Cheesey Lasagna

Whew! This was a fun and busy weekend! Justin Bieber released his new album this past week and he held a last minute concert at the Staples Center here in LA. Tickets were too cheap to not take advantage of this opportunity so, Adam, B and I went a heard the Biebs on Friday night! It was pretty cool, he did a Q&A and then just sang some acoustic music, no bells and whistles, just a low key show, fun. :) Saturday morning we lounged around the house and then I went and got my first blow out at Pasadena's "Dry Bar." It was fun having someone style my hair since ever since I got it cut I feel like I don't do such a great job. :/ Then Adam, B and I hopped in the car and drove to Venice Blvd where we had our family photos taken, fingers crossed we get some good ones! My friend had told me we must eat at Gjelina so we gave it a whirl. They service was slow and rude (its a pretty snobby place) but the pizza was pretty darn great and I loved the atmosphere. Then we stopped by Blue Star Donuts and paid way too much for these little nuggets of gold, but, truth be told -they were pretty darn good. Really unique flavors and very dense donuts, I'll be going back. :) Yesterday I had a photo shoot, went to the grocery store and made my friend's mother-in-law's lasagna recipe. Its been ages since I made a lasagna but it turned out pretty darn good! (I mistook an "oz" for a 0 so needless to say, it was CHEESE-y~!). Our long-time friends came over for dinner and we spent the evening chatting away and catching up on life. It was a very full and very good weekend, just how I like 'em. :) This week always brings some bluebirds for me and B b/c Adam heads to his yearly conference this weekend (boo!), we always hate it when daddy's gone. :( I'm trying to think of some fun things for us to do, I do have to work a bit, I have a couple photo shoots in Pacific Palisades so, hopefully a play date for B! And then cousin Mike comes for T-Day! I've been scouring recipes, hope to try a couple new things this year! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend too, happy Monday, all! xo

My clients were late to our shoot yesterday so I took some pics while I was waiting. Here's the lovely Pasadena City Hall.

November 10, 2015

Palm Springs #taketheperk

We got back from Palm Springs yesterday, it was a blast! I was so sad to see the weekend come to an end. :( (And whoever thought it was a good idea to come home ON my actual birthday?!). We laid by the pool, ate good food, went to a couple movies, and just relaxed and enjoyed one another's company, so so fun, a great way to ring in 38. Thanks to my sis for taking the work perks and including Adam and I in the fun!! I really do love my birthday...yesterday my phone was blowing up all day with sweet messages from friends and family, I'm a blessed gal for sure. Tomorrow is veterans day so no school for B, trying to think of something fun to do...suggestions? :) I do love this time of year, Thanksgiving is around the corner, breaks from school, the semester is winding down for Adam, etc.. Fun things ahead. Well, its been a lazy day so I'm going to attempt to do some productive things before picking up B from school, happy Tuesday all! xo

November 4, 2015

2 birthdays down, 1 to go!

Whew! Its been a busy time over here! For Adam's 39th birthday we ate really good BBQ and he rooted the Ducks onto victory in triple over time! Woot! Brennan's birthday was school, play time with grandma, opening gifts, dinner at Jimmy John's (who doesn't want a cold sub in the pouring down rain?!), and ice cream birthday cake at home. All in all, I think everyone has felt very loved and celebrated! Today I'm doing some cleaning, laundry, work, and grocery shopping to gear up for Adam's and my trip to Palm Springs tomorrow! We're so excited for a little mini vacation with my sis and bro-in-law! This time of year is always such a whirlwind but lots of fun. Momsie left last night which is always sad, B cried on the way home from the airport and I cheerfully reminded her that grandma Kemi is coming in 2 days!! That helped. :) Its no fun when the "party" is over. :( Sweet girl. Well, I've got my work cut out for me so I'm gonna get after it, hope everyone is enjoying their November so far! Head on over HERE to see this cute fam! xo

November 2, 2015

My Girl is 9

Today my sweet girl turns 9, I can't believe it! I have a third grader who is NINE. Its so weird living back in Pasadena, where B was born 9 years ago. Having moved away for so long and now to live here again, its all so nuts. I remember certain things about her birth week so vividly and other things not as much. I always write things about B as she is now so I won't forget so I'm going to do that again this year of course. :)

B, you are still so tall! We both get asked all the time if you're tall for your age, I think we're kinda used to it now. It doesn't seem to bother you and I'm so glad, I was always the tallest in my class too so I guess the apple doesn't fall far. You're still a string bean! The other day I bought you a skirt in a size 5 b/c your waist is so tiny! You are as beautiful as ever and I often get told that you should be a model (I kinda agree! :). Your teeth have grown in and it makes you look so much older/different! So far they are looking really straight so your dad and I have our fingers crossed for no braces! :) You haven't changed your opinions much, which is also like me, you know what you like and what you don't and that pretty much stays the same. You still hate shoes, which continues to make me nuts, trying to find a pair you will wear is exhausting! And you are still a pretty picky eater, you eat what I make but you definitely have opinions about it. Roasted veggies with chicken is one of your favorite dinners these days, and tacos. Jimmy Johns and Little Caesars are still your go-tos for fast food, and you still love the salad at Olive Garden. For your 9th birthday this year you decided you wanted to take just a couple close friends to the American Girl doll store, so that's what we did! So far it seems you're enjoying your 3rd grade year pretty well but you still long to move back to Waco. We talk about Texas a lot and you often tell me how much you miss our house and how it will always be the best house. You are still as sweet as ever and have such a tender heart. I'm so proud of the person you are. I can honestly say I've never seen you be intentionally mean to another person, you are always trying to include others and it makes my heart swell with pride. You got an award in school last year for always doing your best and being a good friend to your classmates, this year on your evaluation from your teacher she commented on what a good friend to others you are. I cannot tell you how much this means to me, I know I wouldn't be anywhere in this life without my friends and if I can teach you how to love Jesus and others well, I'll have done what I set out to do. Life can be really hard B, but showing up for others is so much of what this life is about, and the fruits of that will be so rewarding. Today my baby girl turns 9, we are at the halfway point to adulthood, if you keep on in the direction your headed, I see so many good things in store for you, precious girl. Happy 9th birthday, Brennan Grace, daddy and I love you beyond measure. xo

October 29, 2015

39 never looked so goood!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year because my lovekins was born 39 years ago!! Its no secret that I LOVE birthdays, especially of those near and dear to me so today is a big day in the Winn household! I have Adam's cake in the oven, tonight he wants BBQ for dinner and the Ducks are playing so...that right there, is a day made in heaven for my love. :) I've got a busy day ahead with Bible Study, bday errands, house cleaning for momsie who comes tomorrow and laundry! I love this time of year but its always such a blur. This morning B asked how many more days until her birthday and I said "We're not talking about that today! Today is daddy's day -yours is coming soon enough!" :) When the whole fam is packed within 12 days, its lots of celebrating and cake! I want everyone to feel special and well celebrated, life is full of hard things, its important to celebrate the good things. Amen. Hope everyone has a great day and if you know Adam, don't forget to send him birthday love!! xo

October 21, 2015

One Month later

I recently received a text from my sweet aunt that said "Your blog has had the same title of "over myself" for a while now, just because you're over yourself doesn't mean the rest of us are!" This made me chuckle, and forced me to give an honest response of "I'm in a dark place but I'm working hard to claw my way out, I'll get there." That's the simplest way I can explain in, I've been in a dark hole but have been working hard to get out, and I'm making good progress. Here's the thing about life, it can be really hard sometimes, and sometimes you just need to take a step back and work on/take care of yourself, and that's okay. I know in hard times God can feel really far away, I've experienced this in my own life and have listened to countless people tell me of their own experiences, and I get it. With that said, this hasn't been my experience in this season of my life, I have actually felt God very near to me and have intentionally sought Him out and have drawn near to Him. I think its our human nature to avoid pain at all costs, but tremendous healing can take place when you lean in (to use a popular reference these days) to the pain and sit with it for a while. Sometimes you just need to be "in" it and let the pain wash over you and really feel it, then the real healing can begin. I think God does some of His best work in us in the broken times, good things come from pain.  Its been a tough season, ya'll, and I'm not out of woods yet, but as my dear friend reminded me recently, "I've got a good God" and he sees me. As hard as life can be, it can also be really really good. I'm a spoiled girl, don't ever let me forget that. Our dear friend British Jon (that's what everyone calls him, well, everyone in Waco anyhow :) flew from Waco to LA to visit us, no other reason, just because he's our friend -that's the good stuff of life. We had a fabulous beach day, we ate really good food and soaked up each other's company. The weekend went too fast of course, but it was so so good. Recently Adam and I flew to Colorado to meet Doug and Kemi and cousin Mike for our annual Duck game, we won! Its always a fun trip and a tradition we all care deeply about upholding, and it was a good reminder of the good stuff of life: football, family, traditions, freedom from the yuckiness that can creep in, etc. Life is hard but its so good, and God is so good. I just got back from being in Waco for several days, that is always good for my soul. There is something about getting off the plane in Texas and feeling this peace and feels so familiar and so good. Now, I'm in the thick of it, its that time of year where there aren't enough hours in the day and I wonder how its all going to get done? :/ I'm buried in editing (which is a great problem to have), Adam's birthday is next week, and my sweet girl's birthday is in 12 days!! I can't believe 9 is right around the corner! Momsie flies in next week in time to do Halloween with us and to be a part of B's birthday! Then of course its my birthday shortly after that (which I will be celebrating in Palm Springs w/ my sister and bro-in-law and Adam) -can.not.wait. for that! Its a busy time in the Winn household but good things to be busy with! I won't apologize for the blog lull, it needed to happen and really, I'm doubtful anyone would've wanted to read what I was capable of in the past month! :) Thank you to those of you who continually check in on our little corner of the web, it means a lot. xo

September 21, 2015

over myself

Do you ever get to that point where you've been in your own head so much and just feeling all the feelings and you get over your own self? That's where I'm at. I need a break from me, thus the blog lull. Sometimes you just gotta take a big ol' break...from all of it, right?! Anyhoo... from when I last blogged I got sick (boo!), we had cousin Mike visit (yay!), had back to school night for B, we hosted a couple dinner parties for some dear friends who are celebrating birthdays this month (I tried a new dairy-free cake recipe for my friend who is off was interesting and I tried a new macaroni and cheese recipe which was just okay), this weekend we went to LA and had a nice dinner at a little French restaurant we used to go to before we had B, and we spent all day yesterday at Newport Beach with some friends for my friend Ann's baptism! It was a lovely day and perfect beach weather (I was in the water a long time, it wasn't even cold!). This week is pretty chill, we have a goodbye party that we are helping to host for our dear friends from the church we attended a while back, they are moving to Michigan so it will be sad to see them off but an exciting new adventure for them. British Jon is coming into town to visit from Waco!! We're pretty pumped for that, its always fun to have a little piece of Waco come to us. :) All in all, pretty low key around here, just getting into the swing of the new school year and getting a schedule going. Hope everyone has a lovely week! xo

September 10, 2015

"Excessive Heat"

24 hours in Colorado was just that, 24 short, crazy hours! Taylor Swift was as fabulous as you'd hope and my friend and I had an a-maz-ing dinner. We ended up not having time to get dinner prior to the concert so after it was over we were both starving. She had heard about this cool place called "Williams & Graham" that her husband had hoped to take her to before they moved to NY but it didn't happen. I was skeptical of any place that would be open so late but off we went! It was the craziest thing, we essentially couldn't find the restaurant and kept driving by it but our GPS said we were there. We saw a place with a balcony and cool lights so we assumed that was it and got out to ask. Well, that place was a cool new bar but they guy told us to walk through the bar, find an older gal named Trudy and ask her if we maybe could get on the list to eat at W & G...what?! It was about 12:30am at this point and I was totally confused -who takes reservations at 12:30am?! So, we found Trudy, she pointed us through another door and we were in a tiny room with a wall of books and a gal who said they were booked until their close time at 2am but that if we wanted to wait a bit she maybe could squeeze us in. It took me a while to figure out what was going on (b/c there was no restaurant that I could see). Well, as easy as I can explain it, W & G is essentially a speakeasy and the wall of books was a secret passage way into a backroom that was AMAZING. It was so quaint and cool and dark and had a small but delicious menu. This place is mainly known for all their amazing and unique signature cocktails but it was such.a.neat.experience. We ate a delicious meal together around 1am and made it home around 2am and fell into bed before getting up and heading to the airport. Quick trip!

My friend Tracy lives in San Juan Capistrano, which is the very southern tip of orange country. We've had a "date" on our calendar for ages now and yesterday it arrived! I drove 2 hours to her lovely new home and spent the whole day with my dear friend. She made me a delicious lunch and we talked and talked, it was good for my soul. Then, 2 hours home to my two favorites. Its nice to shake up the routine every now and again and get a change of scenery...and its always good to be with old friends who just get you.

Well, yesterday and today Brennan has gotten out of school at 11:30am due to "excessive heat." Don't even get me started! Its not even the whole district, just her school. Ay yi yi....this Texas-hearted girl thinks this is INSANELY ridiculous! Its going to be 99 degrees today...I'm pretty sure they can handle sitting in class to learn. Okay, I'll stop now b/c I'm pretty sure this could turn into a 5 paragraph rant. Sigh. In happy news, cousin Mike comes in town tomorrow!! Michael will be here all weekend and we're excited to have him, its been too long! We're heading to the Angels/Astros game tomorrow...go Astros! Watching the Ducks on Saturday and the Titans on Sunday, its the trifecta! Hope everyone has a great weekend, its all sports all the time for us the next few days (Well, and knowing Mike, good food is sure to be a part too!). :) xo

Head on over HERE to see this sweet 1st birthday party!

September 5, 2015

my weekend just got a lot more exciting!

I love spur of the moment plans, I think they are so fun and make life exciting. My sweet friend who moved from Waco around the time I did has also had a doozy of a time getting settled. Her husband took a job that moved them to Denver, CO, shortly after arriving and buying a house and getting settled the company that moved him there decided to shut.down, the Denver offices. What?! Her husband just now accepted a job in NY! That is a BIG move to go from Waco, TX to Denver, CO for a hot minute to then turn around and move to NY!! So, she is in a crazy time of her life and we've had many teary phone calls over this past year as we've tried to help each other through a rough transition. Well, she just moved to NY but since she broke her ankle a while back (!!) (who has time for that in the midst of all of this?!!!) she had to fly back to Denver for her drs appointment and was going to meet her sister and some of her friends to go see Taylor Swift in concert. On Thursday I woke up to a text from her saying "Do you want to fly to Denver and go to Taylor Swift with me?!" Um...YES! Yes, I do!! So, I got a relatively inexpensive ticket and off to Colorado I go! SO FUN! Sure, going to Taylor Swift will be great, but what I'm really excited to do is see my friend. We've both been put through the ringer lately and are needing some good girl time, can.not.wait. SO thankful I have a sweet husband who says "yes" to last minute plane tickets and knows when I need a breather, I'm a lucky gal. So, that's what I'm up to this weekend, I'll be back on Sunday, its a quick trip, but hopefully I'll come back refreshed and rejuvenated...its much needed! xo

August 31, 2015

SO over August

I'm really really done w/ August, its felt really long and hard (and hot) to me, ready for a new month! Bring on September! Poor B is home from school today, yesterday her fever returned and she wasn't eating, all signs that her uti was back. Sigh. So, back to urgent care we went and yes, she has yet another uti. I was up with her at 2:30am, poor thing was so hot and she threw up (she hadn't eaten all day but uti's always make her nauseous). Its so sad b/c its just a waiting game for the anti-biotics to kick in and do their thing. The scary part is that the dr said if she gets another one, she might need to undergo that nasty test in the hospital -AGAIN. I remember the last time they did that test I almost passed out it was so traumatic, the thought of doing it again....NOOOOOOOO!!! I'm just praying this will be the last one and it won't be a "thing" in her life again. I hate uti's!! Leave my baby alone!!

In other news, we tried church #13 yesterday. Adam and I pretty much decided this craziness needs to end, the "perfect" church is not to be found here and we need to just make a decision. We enjoyed the church last week, its just far so we need to think about that. The church we tried yesterday our friends had tried the week before and liked it so we gave it a go. The kicker...they are just now starting a search for a new senior pastor so they are over a year out from having the position filled which means rotating teachers for a loooong time. The music was decent (although the people leading looked really disinterested), the sermon was actually really good, and its not far from our house. B wasn't feeling well (which we didn't know at the time) so she liked it okay but I don't think had much to say for the mere fact, she was feeling yucky. So, we're now deciding if we want to make the drive to church #12 (which I kinda prefer) or if we give this church a go and endure no pastor and likely lots of transition for a long time coming? Big Sigh.

All in all this weekend was pretty chill, B and I got up early on Saturday and drove way south to San Juan Capistrano to photograph my friend's daughter's first birthday party, and that night we went to some friends for dinner. We made yummy pizzas and chatted the night away, good times. :) Hope everyone had a fun weekend! xo

August 27, 2015

nuggets of wisdom

We all go through seasons of life, some are really good, some are really bad, some are really hard, some are really sad, (that rhymed!) etc. Life is seasonal and it ebbs and flows, and right now I'm in a hard season but its in these times when I can feel the Lord is really close to me (not always, sometimes in the hard times thats part of the reason, the Lord feels far even though that's never really the case). Right now I'm in a season where I'm hungering and thirsting for more of his goodness and wisdom and I've been intentional about seeking it out. There is an old worship song that starts out "Hungry I come to you for I know you satisfy, though I'm empty but I know your love does not run dry." I feel like that's a fair mantra for me these days. In my quest for "more" and to be "filled" I've been listening to sermons online, not strictly from my church in Waco but other church's as well. It doesn't matter if its a good sermon or a bad sermon or an okay sermon, there has been at least 1 nugget that has stuck out to me, at least one "something" that was said that left a mark, I kinda love that. I love that the Lord is meeting me where I'm at, and "feeding" my hunger. I've written these nuggets down to remind myself but its good stuff so I'm sharing it here.

Here are some neat truths:

*Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God

*Start each day saying "Lord, I want your will for my life. What is best for the kingdom of God?"

*Confession helps us not to repeat the sin again

*People bond more over shared brokenness than shared belief.

*If you never listen, you'll never hear the voice of God call your name.

*Death produces life, suffering produces good gifts, good gifts come from death.

*When we sing we confess what we believe. We sing because in our singing we remind ourselves who we really are, we sing to put the truth in deep places of our heart. We sing because in our singing we remind ourselves what the truth really is. We sing because we were first sung.

I totally stole all of that, I'm sorry I can't remember who all to give credit to, but hopefully they won't sue me b/c I'm passing on life-giving information. :)

GOOD stuff, right?! So much wisdom and goodness to ponder and play over in my heart and mind on my quest to be *better (previous blog post reference). Thanks for indulging me, hopefully something here is resonating with someone out there. That's one thing I love about this little blog, all the emails, texts, phone calls, etc. that I get from you sweet readers when something resonates with you, I'm so so glad. Thanks for reading. xo