This is truth.

I don’t need to say anything about this amazing video by spoken word poet Madiha Bhatti. Just watch, and be inspired.


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Will a baby ruin my life?

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Did you ever see the movie Baby Boom with Diane Keaton? It was one of those ’80s movies that my mom had on every now and then when we were kids. It was actually one of my favorite movies growing up. It is funny and sweet and there is a really cute baby. It’s all about Diane Keaton’s character, J.C., figuring out how to live her life when she is given custody of her cousin’s baby after they died in a tragic accident. She is this power suit, classic 80s stereotype successful working woman in New York City, and she just loses it, like completely melts down when this kid enters her life. She weighs the baby in the grocery store produce section to figure out what diapers to buy. She can’t find childcare. She doesn’t sleep. Her boyfriend leaves her. So she quits her job, buys an idyllic house in New England, and thinks life will be just like a postcard. Except the house is falling apart, and she doesn’t know a soul in the small-town she moved to. This movie is all about her finding her balance, and realizing that she is both a mom and a career woman. She loves both.

This movie popped into my head this morning when I was reflecting on this post by my friend Marri of Werewolf Jesus. A few days ago, she posted the most beautiful letter to her unborn daughter, which was written just a few days after she found out she was pregnant. Marri and I are kindred spirits or something, because most everything she writes just jabs me in my core. I’m usually in tears by the end of her posts on faith. They’re so poignant. This letter was no exception. She voiced so many fears I have, as well as so many hopes I have. It really left an impact on me. I just cannot stop thinking about this letter.

The main point in this letter? Choose love over fear.

Choose love, always. I try so, so hard to do this, but fear always creeps back in like some nasty, annoying pest. I guess that is what this life is all about, right? Life is simply a journey of choosing love – every second of every minute of every day until we die. We have to choose it.

I make a lot of choices in my life out of fear. I chose not to study abroad in Italy out of fear that my anxiety would make the trip unbearable. I chose to leave the college where I did my BA, then go back, then leave again, then go back again – all out of fear that my relationship with Spencer would never survive long distance. I have chosen many times to stop blogging for days, weeks, months at a time out of fear that I’d be found to be a fraud. So much fear – so many bad choices.

And one of my biggest fears right now is (and please don’t be offended when I say this, I am just being honest) that having a kid will ruin my life. I mean, just ruin the whole damn thing. I’m afraid that the child will take all of my time away from school, from my husband, from being healthy and staying fit, from creativity, from my friends. I’m afraid that my child will displace me in my relationship with my parents, as silly as that sounds. I’m afraid that having a child will tear my marriage apart. Our finances apart. Literally, my body apart. I’m afraid that I won’t ever get my master’s, let alone my PhD. That I won’t ever be able to teach, or get jobs that I’m qualified for because I can’t manage my time, or that employers will discriminate in hiring me because I have kids. I’m afraid I won’t write a book.

I’m afraid I won’t be me anymore.

So many of you reading this are moms. Some of you are new mamas, some of you are grandmamas. Can I ask you to refrain from telling me not to be afraid? The don’t‘s and the should’s and the You’ll be fine‘s feel kind of, sort of like you’re not listening. I read your blogs. I know that being a mom is both wonderful and challenging. I read the posts about throw-up and how your kids are best friends and all of the alter call’s to natural births. I see your ethereal photos of your children running in a field of wildflowers. I know about how cute babies are in mini-moccasins. As much as throw-up and poop on my hands and mastitis sounds like the worst, and of course I don’t want a drugged up baby when it’s born (but HELLO! it’s freaking childbirth for god’s sake, fix me up a cocktail now), I still want a baby. And I hear you. I listen to your stories. So, please, please I beg of you, listen to mine. Please don’t write me off as some sort of crazed feminist. Instead of the have to‘s and the must‘s and all of the gobs of pressure of not wanting the mommy brigade to attack me, what I’m hoping for is a whole lot of me too-ing. Did you feel this way before you had kids? Because I kind of feel like a terrible human to say all of those things out loud.

The thing that struck me most about Marri’s post is that not only did she admit that she has these worries too, but that she is choosing love over fear. She writes:

I chose to believe that He does not lead His children into destruction. That when I walk with Him, my deep desires are GOOD and GLORIFYING. I chose to believe that you are a gift – a benefit, not a sacrifice. I chose to ignore those mommy-bloggers who told me you’d make my life harder and suck my joy and my time and my marriage. I chose to believe that I was worth more than many sparrows and that an omniscient God could work all of these things for good. I chose to believe in my calling and the strength of His plans for me. I chose to believe that you’d not only allow for this book, but that you’d be an asset. I chose to believe that you – with your weird, baby powers, would make me more creative and organized than ever. That my joy in your life would overflow into my book, giving me that surge of inspiration to cross the finish line.

I know it in my head, but sometimes it’s just hard to believe in my heart that a child would be a gift, a benefit, an assetThat by believing that God won’t lead me into a destructive place, I will actually be able to have the freedom to live a life that is more me. That the joy this path could bring me might actually bring more love and less fear, more motivation and less apathy, more desire and less passivity. I don’t know the plans that God has for me, but whether or not it includes kids, I want to live today with love. And not fear.

I don’t know what timeline I’m on for kids. And I don’t really care. Marri’s reminder to choose love, always is something I can do today, and frankly, all I have is today anyway. I’m a planner, but living in the present moment brings so much more peace to my life than any amount of timelines and to do list’s promise me (they’re always empty promises).

Anyway, back to Diane Keaton and Baby Boom. While it was comical and timely for the decade to see her crash and burn while she juggled life to “have it all” – I think this a real life thing that all of us women experience, especially Gen X and Y because we were raised in such a perfectionist, “You can do it all!” world. We carry a lot on our shoulders, and the mere image in my head of me writing my doctoral dissertation while breast feeding kind of seems absurd. But God instilled a desire for both things in my head, and why would he have done that if it was only for absurdity’s sake?

I don’t know how to end this post?

How about with a bit of Mumford and Sons? Hats of to Marri for remember this song – it’s one of my favs:


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A Jane Austen Inspired Baby Shower

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A few weekends ago, I hosted a Jane Austen-inspired baby shower for my dear cousin, Julia. She is a book lover, and an Austen fanatic. We have a big family, and there have been a lot of new kiddos running around lately. But if you can believe it, out of all seven of them, we’ve only ever had one girl! So when I found out that Julia was having a little girl, I knew that we’d not only all spoil the little lady to pieces, but that I had to do a Jane Austen themed party.

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Minted gifted the invitations for the party, and they turned out SO well! I couldn’t have found a better fit for the Jane Austen theme. Plus, “little lady” fit so well, since we hardly have any girls in our family! We need more estrogen around these parts!

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I’ve never hosted a baby shower before, but it was seriously a blast. I went all out. I could not stop thinking of crafty ideas for decor, food, and such. I was inspired by Lexy and Erin’s name tag creations from the Spring 2013 EatDrinkCreate, so I made these name tags with chalkboard paint. The plan was to have each person fill out their own, but then Lauren came over to help one night and started calligraphing the most beautiful name tags in the world – so I made her do the rest of them :)

We also rolled up all the game hand outs and sealed them with stickers from Minted that matched the table runner and the door sign. We made up little bags with a pen, a clothespin for the game “Don’t Say Baby”, and an English Breakfast tea bag. It was a great way to keep everyone’s items together.

I also used a lot of Poppytalk for Target and Oh Joy! for Target decor at the event. They have such great stuff!

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We had a great spread of food, thanks to the help of my family! My cousin Emily made gingerbread with sprinkle butter, and an amazing popcorn cake. I believe all of the recipes are from the cookbook Sprinkles!. My mom made some incredible veggie tea sandwiches, my cousin Lori made veggie taco bites, and I made sure to get some cupcakes from Tee & Cakes in Boulder.

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Lauren also helped me make this raindrop (shower – get it?) installation for the gift table. Inspired by this pin, we spent the better part of the week cutting out rain drops and hot glueing them together. Luckily, I had already made the poms a few years ago, and Spence helped me install it day of.

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My favorite part of the shower was making these onesies for Julia. Each one has a different Jane Austen quote, and I got them in a few different sizes so that baby girl could keep rocking her literary style while she gets bigger. I used iron on transfer sheets, which were remarkably easy and turned out so well! I cannot believe how well they turned out.

All in all, the day was such a huge success. Thank you so much to my sweet family for all of their help, and for Minted for gifting invitations and decor. I have to say, this gave me quite a big dose of baby fever! Little girls are just so much fun!

 

This post was sponsored by Minted. All opinions are my own.


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Last Weekend

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This past weekend was so incredibly relaxing. It was just what we needed. Both Spencer and I woke up so refreshed this morning. Just goes to show that a lot of sleep and some serious down time does the soul a lot of good. We mostly poked around this weekend – we hit the gym a few times, spent time in Boulder, ate in, and went to bed early every night. It was the best weekend we’ve had in a long time.

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On Saturday, we went and visited Kim’s pop-up shop at Firefly Handmade in Boulder. I love her stuff. She is so creative, and her style is this awesome cross of bohemian-chic, and I just love it. Sometimes the bohemian look gets taken way overboard, in my opinion, but she never crosses that line. She’s the real deal.

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She has some amazing stuff in her shop right now, and I got a new chambray-ish wire headband, a kimono (pictured above), an ampersand tank top, a tote, some koozies, and a few other goodies for some friends.

Kim is a blogger acquaintance turned great friend, and I’m so thankful for her. We always have such authentic, real life conversations, and it’s so refreshing in a blog world that is becoming more and more superficial.

IMG_6006My husband has had a cracked windshield in every car he has ever owned since I’ve met him. Ten years ago. He’s cursed.

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On Sunday, I posted a super vulnerable post about my health and fitness journey. I cannot believe how positive a response I got. I was really scared to post it. It’s hard to talk about something so personal, but I’m glad I did because so many of you have written me to say that you are inspired and encouraged and that you don’t feel so alone. I’m really excited to keep posting about this. If you want to follow along, I’ll be posting on Instagram in addition to the blog. Find me @anneiam and if you want to join in, use the hashtag #WeAreMadeWell when you do!

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetNew shoes.

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IMG_6022This decoupage map on canvas will be on the blog soon! I’ve really been enjoying implementing more creative time into my life lately.

IMG_6055I woke up like this. Literally. We took a lot of naps this weekend.

Happy happy Monday! XO


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Real Talk: My Fitness Journey

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Back in January, I had coffee with my friends Lauren and Meg, and shared with them a dream I’ve had for awhile about sharing my fitness/health journey on this blog with all of you. I’ve shared my eating disorder recovery story, which was a big step of bravery, but it’s even more scary to open up about the day to day steps of getting healthy and building a foundation of fitness in my life. It’s a really vulnerable thing to do, and I’ve been afraid to share about something that has been an open wound for so long. Like, twenty years long.

The last two years have been a one-step-at-a-time kind of phase in my life. I like instant gratification, and it has been the opposite of that. When I realized in February 2012 that my eating was incredibly disordered and that my poor body image was basically ruining my life, I started first with therapy, thinking that would be the one-stop-shop to fixing it all. And then digging up the hard stuff uprooted a lot more pain, so I moved into intensive outpatient group therapy (IOP) and nutrition sessions for six months. I can’t express how healing this time was for me, but “graduating” from IOP was not the end of the road, though I wanted it to be, and I had to face the facts that I had gained forty pounds (40!…) during my time with the group because I had stopped weighing myself and had started eating more regularly at the urging of my nutritionist. These were healthy steps, but I didn’t stop binging, and the intense emotional work I was doing was so exhausting that I stopped working out – hence, serious weight gain. I can’t even begin to describe to you how hard this was, and how mad I was at my treatment team for letting this “get out of hand.” Obviously, I had to take responsibility, but when you’re that unhappy with your body, you want more than anything to completely disassociate from it and blame everyone else for your problems.

I just want to stop for a minute here and say briefly that if you are reading this and you are struggling with anxiety or an eating disorder or poor body image, and you are wanting to ask for help – please do! Please reach out to a health care professional in your area – a doctor, a therapist, an eating disorder clinic, a nurse at your school, a psychiatrist – and ask for help. Please do not read my story about gaining weight in therapy, and think that will happen to you, too. We are all different. We all have our own stories and paths. We cannot let our fears hold us back from healing. I pray that you will find someone who can help you in a compassionate and understanding way, and if at any point you feel shamed by a health care provider, find a new one. We all deserve to be loved unconditionally in our journey towards health – no matter what our “illness” may be.

Okay, back to my story: In February 2013, I started acupuncture to help calm my nervous system and work on connecting with my body in a healthy way. I spent the better part of last year trying to get my anxiety under control, and trying to lose weight. I lost a few pounds, but could never make any progress. I still felt so alone, and so angry at how out of shape I was.

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So in February 2014 (why I have started the big steps in my journey in February, I don’t know, but I’m happy for the easy milestone marker), I finally started working with a trainer two times a week. I can’t even begin to describe to you how scary it was to walk into a gym in fitness-obsessed Boulder and put it all out on the line for my trainer Ali to see. I was so deconditioned. So, so, so deconditioned. I could barely do three or four push-ups on my toes (not modified), and could barely get through the workout. At one point, I was so tired that I had to lay down because I was so dizzy. To be real, I was so embarrassed. In 2008, I ran a half marathon with my running club in Boulder, and I was rock climbing three times a week. In 2010, I rode my bike up the Pacific coast on the Ride:Well Tour. I’ve always been fit, despite having really poor body/self image. So owning up to how out of shape I was – it was a huge step.

So, every Tuesday and Thursday for the last 6 months, I’ve been in the gym with Ali working my butt off. Ali is such a kindred spirit, and a wonderful friend. It is seriously such a small world. We worked at the same camp, went to sister colleges, and even went to the same elementary school! She has the same beliefs about health and fitness being balanced and holistic as I do. I’m so, so thankful that she is a part of my team.

At first, I didn’t really see any progress. We were just lifting at first, but then we started talking about how fitness should be fun so we started swimming and she helped me with my strokes. I love swimming. And it was in the pool I started realizing how strong I was becoming. Then, Spencer started joining me at the gym on the weekends and I don’t mean to diminish my husband’s remarkable capabilities and strength and I love you, darling! but I annihilated him. I mean, crushed him. Mopped the floor with him. He was out of shape, too, and now getting healthy is something we are doing together! Then, two weeks ago, I ran my first two-mile run since I started recovery. And then, last week, I did a push-up test and I did 40 push-ups (not modified!) on my toes – in a row.

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The scale has hardly moved. I’m just telling the truth here. But I’ve lost 5% of my body fat, and my clothes fit totally different. My legs are toned, my shoulders are buff, and it’s obvious I’ve gained a lot of muscle. Just goes to show you that the scale is a liar. There are so many different ways other than lbs. and clothing size to show that you’re making progress, even though our culture does not talk about those things very much. I remember in high school, I was a size four and ran an 8-minute mile, and all I wanted was to be a size zero. No matter what, I could never be thin enough. Now, I’m finally starting to see that loving yourself is about so much more than what the mirror/scale/size tag tells you.

I am telling you this story today, even though I’m seriously terrified to post this, because I want to invite you all to come along on my journey with me. Ever since I posted my recovery story, so many of you have emailed me and reached out to tell me your “me too” story. We’ve realized that the more authentic and honest we are with each other, the more connected we are. We don’t feel so alone. We like ourselves more because we don’t feel so marginalized.

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A few months ago, I had a talk with a friend who has a similar story to the one I just told you. She was really forlorn and didn’t know where to go. All I could say was “me too” and “I understand” and listen to her. We all know that she, like all of us, has to take those steps towards change herself, but it’s easier when we do it together and we know that we are not alone. So I want to share more about my fitness/health journey, my wins, my setbacks, my goals, etc… so that we can do this together. So long, shame. Goodbye, body-hating. I want to love my body, be connected to it, live a holistic life, and be filled with so much love and light and peace that it just radiates out to everyone I pass by. Don’t we all?

In addition to posting here, I will be posting on Instagram @anneiam with the hashtag #wearemadewell – so let’s do this thing! Come and follow along, and let’s take steps towards health and a full, balanced life in authentic community with one another.

You guys are the best. Thanks for listening, as always. XO.


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The happenings lately…


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Things finally slowed down for us on Tuesday after what feels like months of partying and traveling and working a ton. It’s been hard not to be distracted and all spazzed out about how much time we have to ourselves now, but I’m working on it. One of the things we’ve been trying to focus on in all the slowing down we’re doing is eating in more often, and eating real food. I’m a sucker for Amy’s frozen meals, which honestly, are not that bad…but fresh food is just so much better when you can manage it.

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Two weekends ago, we went with our neighbors to the Colorado Brewer’s Rendezvous in Salida, Colorado. It was a blast! I’m not really much of a beer fan usually, but it was fun to try some new kinds and talk with the brewers about their processes. My favorites were Drydock Apricot Blonde, Elevation Brewing Co. Porter, and the Fate Brewing Co. Watermelon Kolsch. Plus, we all got suuuuper silly and had our fun with confetti, leis, and even this dude wearing a horse mask that I decided minute one of entering the festival that I was annoyed with (they still made me take a picture with him).

thehorsenotjumpingI feel like my face looks like a Japanese anime character…

friend collageIn addition to the fun at the beer fest, my friends James and Lindsey from college stopped by on their visit out from DC to see our new house.

We’ve been spending a lot of time with our friends this summer, and I’m loving how we are all able to just chill and enjoy each other’s company. I told Spence last week that our community of friends compared to last year is such a stark contrast. Maybe it was the product of moving back to Colorado after college, and being newly married, and not really having our jobs figured out – but we were really unhappy when it came to our community. We rarely spent time with friends, we never had any parties. Now, ask our neighbors how many parties we have. SO MANY. We love having people over – even if it is just to drink beers by the fire or to work on a craft with Lauren while the guys watch The Office. I read an article last year by Don Miller about how to build your own community – and it turned out to be so true. You really have to work at it, and there is no reason to just wait for people to come to you. Well, maybe it’s a combination of that and what I believe to be God’s answered prayers. I think that sounds about right.

IMG_5916Lauren doesn’t really look like herself  here because she is usually smiling and NOT glaring at me with evil eyes. I call this photo “Woes of the Crafting Slave”… (She was joking, obvi)

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I hosted my cousin’s Jane Austen inspired baby shower last weekend, and I’m excited to share with you about how it went! It was such a hit, and my favorite part was making these onesies for her.

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This weekend, the goal is resting, reading a bit for school, eating well, going for a few runs, and trying to get over to Firefly Handmade in Boulder to support my sweet friend Kim and the Oh, Sweet Joy! shop. I have a hankering for a few of her pretty headbands, and maybe even a kimono.

XO


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How do I read all of the books?

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This afternoon, I am sitting in the library stacks overlooking a dark and stormy sky out east. I can’t quite tell if it is raining yet here – my eyes are playing tricks on me. My mind can’t seem to calm down. I have so many ideas and lines of thought that seem interesting that I want to follow, but I’m having trouble setting an order to them all and deciding on a timeline. To rush or not to rush? Does time even matter? How about I just sit down and read forever?

I’ve been focusing a lot on my research this summer, and though at times it has been quite challenging, the reward of reading has been so full. I’ve been thinking a lot about all sorts of things this summer – social progress and objectification of women and the Israel/Gaza conflict and the whole schlep of negative news that fills my Twitter feed every morning. I’ve had to resist taking on personal campaigns to end apps that objectify women, and hold off on re-watching all of The West Wing just because “it inspires me.” I’ve accepted that there isn’t really a lot of method to the mayhem of my mind, that these thoughts and inquiries will always be there, flowing around one another in some sort of spiral of passion and emotion and achievement. Accepting it or not, though, I am still struggling with this compulsion I have to check out every book that is even slightly interesting to me because… well, I can only read so fast.

And we’re not even talking about fiction books. Books that you read because it is summer and summer is for the pool (right?) and lounging (um, mine hasn’t really looked that way?) and “summer fiction” (does Karl Marx count?).

Yesterday was the first night in a long, long time that I didn’t have a party to plan or an event to manage or a project to work on after I got home from school. I just put my pencil down when I finished my homework, and went on a walk with my husband. It felt really weird and strange to both of us because, even though we say it is the pace we want to live our lives at, we don’t really ever run at that speed. There is always a to-do list or a calendar in front of us because that is how we control our anxiety as a couple. It’s not very healthy so hey, we’re trying our best.

So here I sit. I don’t have homework tonight so WHAT DO I DO? Do I read that book my professor urged me to read…even though I haven’t heard from him in a few weeks? Or do I read that book on theory so that I can feel like I actually know what I am talking about in the class I’m TA’ing next semester? Or do I read that book by my mentor’s mentor… so that I can feel close to him now that he is gone forever? Or how about the one billion other thoughts that are floating around in my mind? OHMYGOD how do I fill the time?

I’m guessing the answer has something to do with being present. It sounds like there are birds chirping in the stacks above my head, and I’m guessing it’s not unlikely that there is a nest up there, really high, since this building was constructed by the WPA in the ’30s. And the sky is split in this sort of cotton candy purpe/blue/purple way, which is really dreamy instead of ominous. And even though I can’t calm my inattentive mind, I know that the root of all of this instability is that I am finally doing something that I LOVE and I am so excited about it. I’m thankful, is what I’m trying to say.

I’m going to try and sit with that for awhile. XO.


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Adventures in Montana

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Last Thursday, my family and I all met up at Denver International Airport and flew up to northwestern Montana for the weekend. We went to visit the town that my dad grew up in! My dad has been wanting to take this trip for years, and we finally, finally made it happen. My aunt (my dad’s sister) and my cousin came along for the ride, and we had an absolutely amazing time.

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First of all, Montana is absolutely breathtaking. None of us could get over how beautiful it was. Every view at the window, we were constantly saying, “Oh did you see that?!” and “Wowwww…” Even when we finally rolled into our rental house around 10:30pm, and it was still light out (!), we didn’t stop. How cute is this house?! It’s so cozy looking, especially with that warm evening light beckoning us in through the kitchen windows.

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We spent lazy mornings reading the paper, talking about books we’ve been reading, and exploring the grounds. My dad gave my sweet husband some tips on fishing, and they practiced casting for awhile. We all sank deep into that relaxing mode where you suddenly realize how tired you have been back home, and three hour naps become a part of your daily routine.

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My sister filmed and photographed our entire weekend. She’s an incredible and inventive artist, and I love seeing how passionate she is for visual art. She is going to put together a video for the weekend, and I’m really excited to see it!

Exploring was high on our list. We knew we wanted to go to the town festival, but to fill up the rest of the time, my dad just drove us around and showed us his favorite spots and places where he made a lot of memories. We saw the house he grew up in, the apartment his sisters shared after they graduated from high school, and the shops that my grandparents and my uncle owned in town. Also on the docket was the high school, his fishing spots, and main street (which they called “the gut”) where they’d all cruise on Friday nights. So American Graffiti

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We stopped in at the local bakery where a family friend still bakes (he’s 79!) after all these years. His family and my dad’s family moved from Colorado to Montana to Colorado together. Do people still do that anymore? Isn’t that amazing? This fantastic baker man would knock your socks off. For real, his stuff is amazing. He used to own a bakery right outside of Boulder that my parents would take me to when I was really little. I don’t remember much, except my aunt working in the back and the aluminum Dole juice cans they’d get me, but the minute I walked into this Montana shop and smelled those donuts, I was sent back. I kept telling my dad, “This donut smells like my childhood.” I don’t think he got it, but it did! I had a chocolate raised donut and an apple fritter for good measure.

We had to get up early, my dad, my aunt and my cousin, to go and see our baker friend before he left (since bakers work in the wee hours of the morning!). We talked (well, my cousin and I listened) about the old times, about the old bakeries they worked in, about my grandmother and my grandfather and the baker man’s kids who were my dad’s childhood friends. I loved hearing my grandparents talked about so much. We don’t talk about them much anymore, now that they’ve been gone for nearly 15 years. And I left the shop satisfied, but also, I left really missing them. I’m more aware than ever that these times right now are the times to get the stories out of my parents and my aunts and uncles, and to find a way to hold on to them and preserve them for generations – I feel compelled.

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Just in case you’re wondering where I get my crazy from… My dad will hate this photo, but I just thought you needed to know that my weirdness is genetic and I am my father’s daughter.

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See?

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Here’s our crew (minus my cousin who was taking the picture). We took one of all of us with the timer, but the lighting was awful. I could not get that Montana light, all 15+ hours of it, figured out. But we had the best time being together. You’d think after 10 years of not traveling together, we’d be strangling each other by the end of our three day trek. And there might have been a desire to, but we had a really, really great time together.

I will never forget this trip. Especially the time with my aunt and my cousin, and especially hearing my dad’s stories. I know that I’ll go back someday, but this trip will always hold a special place in my heart. God has written such an incredible story, and the part that I get to play in it, my subplot (to use author Don Miller’s words), is really beautiful. My family has it’s flaws, just like every family does. But we love each other, and we’re doing the best we can. It’s really inspiring to connect with the past, to experience how blessed we are at present, and then look forward to our future with hope.

I wonder where we’ll travel to next year!

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Outfit details:

Plaid shirt by Madewell (similar and on sale!)

Grey shirt by Madewell (on sale!)

Raybans from Nordstrom

Boots by Teva

Jeans from StitchFix

Fleece by Patagonia

Gold earrings by Gorjana from StitchFix


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Off to Montana

SB River 550

Good morning from Montana!

Me and the family are spending a long weekend in northern Montana in the town where my dad grew up. I can’t believe we have never been here before. This trip is a long time coming. From 4th to 11th grade, these were his stomping grounds, and it’s truly a special place.  He cried when we drove in. I’m looking forward to hearing his stories, making pilgrimages to my grandparent’s old house and the school and the town’s main drag (“the gut”), as well as meeting some of his friends.

It’s also been awesome to be with the family. I don’t think that I’ve traveled with my family, my whole family, in 10 years! It’s been way too long. My dad is making pancakes right now, using my grandpa’s recipe, and my sister is behind the camera (her usual place) filming the goings-on. My cousin and my aunt are in other room, talking about books and movies and reading the town newspaper. My mom is upstairs relaxing, and Spencer’s exploring outside (in the rain). And I’m in the kitchen, which is filled with light, typing away. Everyone is content. After so much hardship and challenge in the last few years, there is an ease in the house right now that is such a gift. It feels like Christmas morning.

I don’t even know what is on the agenda today (aren’t those the best days?). But I’ll check back in soon. In the meantime, make sure to follow along on Instagram @anneiam. XO.

 


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