Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Wardrobe Update

I don't claim to be any sort of fashionista or fashion blogger or anything, but I when I have needed to pick up some jeans, etc recently I decided to get things that were a bit more fashionable than things I would normally pick.  (Wow, how's that for a run-on sentence?)

I needed some Jeans because mine were literally wearing out (like holes in several places).  I have been buying my jeans at Maurices for years because they actually come in the right length for me!  Yay!  People with short legs can rejoice!  They also have regular and long lengths that seem to work for my sisters who have longer legs than me too!  So people with all leg lengths can rejoice! :)

I wanted something that was a little updated without being too skinny or destructed and I absoluately fell in love with these Skinny Boyfriend Jeans and now am the proud owner of three of them. (Pic below)  I got one in a pretty dark/medium rinse without any destruction, then one that's darker with some minimal destruction and a light pair with just a slit knee.  I love them.  They are SO comfy it almost feels like I'm wearing yoga pants too...which is always a plus.  In my book at least!  :)  I got all of mine on sale and they are still running a sale on Jeans right now if you'd like a pair!

I have very finicky feet, with bunions, etc going on so I don't currently have many shoes that I own that I can actually wear for longer than a couple hours.  Exceptions are my new Sketchers, fairly new Chacos (awesome for summer...will be cold in winter), old Merrell Jungle Mocs (so comfy and kind of dorky....) and cowboy boots.  So when I was at Kohls recently I checked out their shoes/boots and found some that I not only LOVED, but they were comfy and stylish!  I got the cream color and just noticed that they are on sale again, now for just under $30!  They have four colors, and are super cute!  They also have lots of other cute boots on sale right now too!

I also picked up an olive shirt recently, actually before I realized it's the "it" color this year and a long vest to wear with everything from my LuLaRoe Leggings to my new jeans.  

I was just mostly excited to sort of be in the loop with fall fashion so I thought I would let you know some of my picks for the season!  Catch them while they are on sale!

*This is not a sponsored post.  These opinions are my own, and I purchased these products myself.  I was just so excited about them, that I thought I would pass it on to you!  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fall Bucket List: Scenic Drive Check

Here are a few pics of our scenic drive for fall color last weekend.  We saw lots in Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake and Granby, Colorado.  We love fall and we love scenic drives.  So scenic drives in the fall are the best!  <3 p="">
For our full Fall Bucket List check it out here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

First day of Fall! (and our Fall Bucket List)

Happy First day of Fall, y'all!  I love every season for lots of reasons, but there is just something about fall.  Right?  Maybe it's the crisp mornings, crunchy leaves, hay rides, colors and overall drastic change from summer that makes it so unique and lovable.  Maybe it's the added family time with holidays like Thanksgiving.  Maybe it's the pumpkin flavored everything and comfort food.  I don't know.  I just love fall!

So I picked this chalkboard up for half price at Hobby Lobby this week along with a chalkboard marker to make a little sign with our things to do this fall or bucket list if you will.  Don't look too close, or you'll see the many flaws, but I really like the way it turned out!  :)

We took a quick trip to the mountains (Estes and Grand Lake) last weekend, where we got to see SO much beautiful fall color in RMNP and just about everywhere, so I already marked it off.  We are looking forward to going to Anderson Farms soon to mark off a few more things too.

What is on your bucket list for this fall?  What do you like most about fall?

Monday, September 12, 2016

My thoughts on Colin Kaepernick: Patriotism, The Constitution and The National Anthem

          "What should horrify Americans is not Kaepernick’s choice to remain seated during the national anthem, but that nearly 50 years after Ali was banned from boxing for his stance and Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s raised fists caused public ostracization and numerous death threats, we still need to call attention to the same racial inequities. Failure to fix this problem is what’s really un-American here."  Abdul-Jabbar (Insulting Colin Kaepernick says more about our Patriotism than his-recommended read!)

             Wow, what powerful and true words are written above.  I don't know about you, but it seems like all I hear about on the news is how Colin Kaepernick and everyone else who is kneeling (or sitting, ..etc....) during the National Anthem in solidarity is unpatriotic.  People even go so far as to say that they think Colin should put his money where his mouth is and fix the problem (of social injustice).  Others say that they watch football for entertainment and don't want to be bothered by political agendas.  Oh and some coaches are coming out saying that they will punish their players if they don't stand...And a bunch of other stuff is being said.  

            Brandon Marshall, a player on my beloved Broncos team also took a knee a few days ago during the National Anthem and now is losing endorsements.  "Following his protest of the national anthem, Marshall said he's simply against social injustice, not those in uniform. "I'm not against the military, the police or America at all," Marshall said.  (read article here)  He's not going to lose sleep over the lost money, but....
          I don't get it.  First off, why are people, aka sideline quarterbacks especially, so quick to judge?  And also...  Because while it is a custom to stand during the Anthem, it's not really a requirement...or is it?  According to Wikipedia The Star Spangled Banner:
            Let's think about that some more.  Why do we stand and cross our hand over our hearts?  Is it to pay respect to those fallen protecting and serving us?  Is it just because it's a custom that we are to uphold?  Is it to show that we love and honor our country?  Is it to stand together as a nation despite its downfalls?  A host of other reasons?  .....Why?
           Our own President Obama said that Kaepernick was "exercising his constitutional right".  I tend to agree.  I mean, I stand for the flag and national anthem.  But I'm all for Kaepernick, and now others, using their voices (and platforms really!) to do otherwise.   
           I mean, let's also be real.  Is the National Anthem before a NFL (or other sporting event) game really the best time to protest?  Is it really the best time to do something that some many most every person in America (at least) will have an opinion on?  Maybe, maybe not.  But Colin Kaepernick is an American.  He is also an NFL player.  He also has the freedom to do (more or less) what he chooses. Obviously he's not the only one who feels like this is the way to do this protest.  And obviously, it's a non-violent one which seem to always be the most productive protests. And obviously, there really is a true issue at hand that Colin and others feel, far outweighs the potential consequences.
           "To not stand for the anthem is a choice. And even standing is not necessarily enough. Poor Gabby Douglas caught grief just for not placing her hand on her heart.
         Then my next question is, what is Patriotism really?  Wikipedia describes it as:
          Ok, so Colin Kaepernick and others have already come forward to say that they have nothing against our military and flag right?  So, one can only assume that this is their way of showing Patriotism by kneeling or sitting, they are showing that they have an emotional attachment so much to this country that they don't want to continue to see racial inequality anymore here.  
           In some ways, we have come so far in the last 50 of so years as a Nation and in other ways we haven't.  The Civil Rights Movement in the 50s and 60s made some necessary changes to our social system but there is still such inequality between races.  What can we do to make it better for our children and our grandchildren?

United States Code, 36 U.S.C. § 301, states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute; men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. Military law requires all vehicles on the installation to stop when the song is played and all individuals outside to stand at attention and face the direction of the music and either salute, in uniform, or place the right hand over the heart, if out of uniform. A law passed in 2008 allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.[48][49]

However, this statutory suggestion does not have any penalty associated with violations. 36 U.S.C. § 301 This behavioral requirement for the national anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge of Allegiance.[50] For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not sing the national anthem, though they are taught that standing is an "ethical decision" that individual believers must make based on their "conscience."[51][52][53]
           So it is a custom to stand, which is customary to do.  (Custom:  a traditional and widely accepted way of behaving or doing something that is specific to a particular society, place, or time.)  But there are no consequences. (except apparently everybody adding their two cents and losing endorsements, etc...)  Basically,  it is up to the individual and their conscience, as it is our first amendment right to do it either way.

My hope that with this protest there will be more real conversations about what it is about, which is social injustice, and how to work together to fix it, than just what it is, which is a protest.

           I've done it several ways, as we all probably have. In the military, I saluted. Other times I've covered my heart, usually stood quietly with arms by my side and always removed my hat if I was wearing one.

          None of it means I was sincere, though I was. I was making no great statement about supporting America, though I do."  Bernie Lincicome (Whether you stand for national anthem or not, our flag is still there - another good read.)

Patriotism is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This attachment, also known as national feeling or national pride, can be viewed in terms of different features relating to one's own nation, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects.  

          We can get the conversations rolling about social injustice.  We can talk to our friends.  Talk to our children.  Talk to others and brainstorm.  But you know what might be the best thing we can do?  Pray.  Yep, we can pray for our nation.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for those oppressed.  Pray for our world.  Pray for guidance.  Because we live in a great nation, that although isn’t perfect is definitely in need a prayer.

           "It is hard in this climate to admit that we have a land that has privilege and utter disenfranchisement in the same place. By superficial and self-congratulatory standards, I am supposed to be the one who made it "out," by the looks of my resume. America, at its best, giving opportunity to a man of color whose father was not even born here. The Ivy-leaguer, the monied professional athlete, the awesome wife, the turbo dream job, the access to power circles, the ability to meet my favorite band. But yet I am still haunted and trapped at times by what race does in our country."  Doug Glanville (Kaepernick made me think about why I stand for the National Anthem-another good read too here)

I have the most, utmost respect for all of those who have served, are serving and will serve and protect this great, yet still imperfect, country of ours.  Thank you for all you do.  So thankful to live in America.  

Mommy Style Monday: Date Night

This week's Mommy Style Monday is all about date nights!  I've enjoyed being a part of this series!

We used to have some of the best and most fun dates back when we were dating.  (Which seems like an eternity ago...but I guess it has been 9 years!)  

Then we got married, and although we still tried to "date" it changed.  Soon, it was much more practical to eat at home and rent movies since we were now living in the same house, instead of eating out and/or seeing movies in the theater.  When we moved to North Carolina after we'd be married 2 years, we decided to make dating each other more intentional and visited new restaurants, farmers markets, parks, community theatre, etc to explore the new state together.  We also would take day trips (and sometimes overnight trips) to the beach or the mountains.   We love exploring, and doing it with someone you love is just that much more wonderful!  (I know, the cheese factor is high with this post...)  

Then, when we became parents in late March 2015 and things really stayed about the same for dates.  We wanted children to be able to spend time with them too.  :)  So, we have, what we sometimes refer to as, "family dates" instead of just dates.  We'll go out to dinner, order take out, have picnics in the park, walk around the mall, go on a walk, go to the mountains, or the drive-in in the summer.  (Or just about anything really!)
We had a spur of the moment drive to RMNP yesterday and snapped 
this at one of the lookouts on Trail Ridge Road.  One of my fave pics 
possibly ever.  Can you tell baby J gets (and loves) selfies!  So cute.

In fact, we've only been on two true dates since we've been parents.  (Not complaining at all)  One we did in February, kind of for Valentine's Day when we went out to dinner and a movie while my parents watched baby J.  Then just a couple weeks ago we went to a Black Tie Wedding where kids weren't allowed, and my parents watched baby J.  I'll post a pic from the wedding, Big J was actually one of the groomsmen because it was one of his good friends from college who got married.  It was fun to get dressed up!  Definitely not something that happens on the regular around here. :)  

Black Tie Wedding at the Cheyenne
Mountain Resort

I'll say though, whenever we aren't with our baby it's like a piece is missing.  I always miss him.  Maybe it's because we waited so long to have kids.   Maybe it's because I always wanted to be a mom.  Maybe it's because I am with him all the time because I get to stay home with him.  I'm not sure, but I sure love that little guy and enjoy being with him! <3 div="">

Quick snap before we went to a work party at one of big J's co-
workers' houses on Saturday night.  Not sure what I'm doing 
with my legs, but I'm enjoying these cooler evenings when 
I can wear boots again. :)

Plus baby J goes to bed around 8 every night, so once he's asleep J and I have some time to chat, wind down, have a cup of tea and watch a show together.  (We just finished the entire series of Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, and I 'm so sad it's over!  I loved it as a kid and as an adult too.  Any recommendation for a new series on Prime?  Before Quinny we finished Star Trek: Next Gen, Original, Deep Space 9 and Voyager...)

As always, be sure to check out everyone else's posts about Date Night below:

Kiana at Glitter & Donuts
Madeline at CaseyLand
Britt at My Little Sunshine
Beverly at What a Day 
Erica at Good Job Momma
Kristen at Eat Play and Go
Chelsea at Tessa Marie

If you are interested in joining Mommy Style Monday go to Kiana or Madeline's blogs for the sign up!