Friday, May 31, 2013

Over it...

So can we just move already or what? I need to get back to normal life as soon as possible. I need to be able to sleep again.

Two months ago the jobs search for Matthew really heated up. Meaning, he was interviewing a lot. A few weeks after that the kids and I started passing around a cold, and then he finally got the job offer and we've been focused on moving details ever since. So it's been two months since I had a full nights' sleep. Seriously! First it was anxiety not knowing what the future held. Then it was sick kids. Then I was sick myself. Now it's a lovely combination of excitement and stress from all the work that moving entails.

Two months ago I was already feeling like there wasn't enough hours in the day and I was having a hard time getting in all the extra little things I like to do. You know, writing, working out...err...showering. It's gotten even harder in the past few weeks. I'm supposed to be doing a workout challenge where you do 100 workouts in 100 days. You can imagine how well that's going now! Okay today is day 73 and I'm at 62 not counting today's workout (if I fit it in.) Not too bad.

It seriously hasn't even been two week since Matthew got the job, but feels like much longer. We've already leased an apartment down in Georgia, given our landlords and Matthew's job notices. Last week, as soon as Sophia's birthday party was over I started "purging" our house. So far I've thrown away so much junk it's insane. I have a few other things to get rid of still. Someone is coming over today to pick up a bunch of baby items that have been in the basement since Sophia outgrew them. I'm happy to pass them on!

Oh hi...ramble...

It's hot here too! That icky sticky New England hot. And yes I'm aware that it's much hotter in Georgia. I have lived in the south since I was twelve! But we only have one teeny A/C unit here, and it's not even installed yet. So there...

So, in summation, or maybe not: I'd like more sleep, please and thank you....

I really, really need this.

Also: Moving is stressful, but I'm so happy to be moving home to Georgia!

Need this too!

And finally: Maybe there's still time in the summer for a little of this (hopefully with my husband this time!)


Monday, May 27, 2013

30X30 Challenge, Week FOUR!

We're almost there! This past week was a bit nuts, let me tell you! I just have to say if you are considering doing this challenge with Kelly sometime (I think there will be another in August) you should totally go for it! Not only have I learned how to better put items together I never would; I've also had a lot more ideas about how to step out of my fashion comfort zone a little. Maybe not so much with these thirty items all of the time, but I will be keeping that in mind when I go shopping about four months or so!

So here we go!


Hi, totally NOT my best look, but hear me out. This was this past Monday. Why am I grinning like a fool? OH, because my husband got offered a fantastic job in our home state. I was just bumming around the house cleaning, teaching, mommy-ing as usual and didn't feel much like dressing up, but wanted to capture the excitement in our house that dad. Accessorized by my lovely pink iPod.


Last Tuesday we went out to dinner (something we never do) to celebrate Matthew's new job and graduation from Yale. It was so much fun to get all dressed up, eat a nice meal and talk about our very bright  future ahead! Again, goofy goofy smile because I was (and am) just so darn happy! PS I love this outfit. Love it!


Wednesday was my daughter's third birthday. She loves all things girly and pink, so I decided to dress girly and pink too. And yes, I cheated again. In my defense, I have only added three items to my thirty and I counted my shoes which not everyone did. And if you go look at the pics from Sophia's party on the family blog over there >>>> You might notice a little in, we totally wore matching outfits on her birthday.


For the first time in this challenge, I totally skipped a day! Thursday I basically never got out of my workout clothes. During the week we picked our move-out date and started looking for new apartments. Being the planner that I am, I also started packing. The above pic was taken Friday. I packed all day then too, but actually managed to put on some normal clothes.


Saturday... ugh. Let me preface by saying it was windy, rainy and COLD this past Saturday and this pic was taken after running errands in it. And as you can see, my background is quickly deteriorating as my husband starts to pack it away little by little. Boo!

So that's it for week four, only one more to go. I'm not off to a great start, as I had a super cute outfit on at church on Sunday but forgot to take my picture. I guess I'll have to throw it on again.

What did I learn this week?

  • Not putting shorts in my thirty items was spot-on. It was in the forties and fifties on Saturday.
  • Someone should probably take away my chambray blouse, my red toms, oh and my white tee. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This might take awhile...

And I can't even think a of a good post title for this exciting post, but oh well!

I'm sure by now you've heard the good news our family received yesterday about Matthew's job offer in Georgia. I thought I'd take the time here on my blog to talk about how this all happened. It's just too awesome to not tell.

Matthew's job hunt goes way back, probably at least to January when his graduation started looming ahead of us. After four years of grad school at Yale we were suddenly almost done. Through one of his mentors at the school he was put in contact with an organization who helps put teachers in touch with private schools who need teachers. He specifically was looking for jobs teaching Latin, Bible and/or Greek. Right away he started getting referrals,  meaning the organization was sending his resume to schools with openings. Some of the schools were open to him following up, as in sending a cover letter. Matthew estimated yesterday that he had at least twenty referrals over the past few months. Out of those he got maybe five or six first interviews over the phone. Out of those six he got at least three second interviews in person. He went to Baltimore about a month ago to have a second interview with a school there. Around that time he told me he had received a referral for a school in Macon, Georgia. We really couldn't believe it at the time. Since we were keeping ourselves open to any job at this point and  trying hard not to be too picky about the location. So a job practically in his home town seemed too good to be true.  After he came home from Baltimore he felt really good, so he wasn't rushing on any other jobs at this point. Finally he decided to go ahead and send a personalized cover letter to the school in Georgia. They wrote him back within an hour and asked to interview him over the phone.

It was around this time that he had another school also really interested in him, but in a location we weren't super thrilled about, New Jersey. Things were moving fast and we were feeling really hopeful, although we had no idea where we would end up at this point. He interviewed over the phone with the Georgia school on May 4th. It went really well and they asked him to come down for an interview in person. We were excited, but again we had three jobs on the table and we weren't sure what was going to happen. They scheduled his visit for May 16th, just this past week. On that Wednesday night, the night he arrived in Georgia,  he got his official "no" from the school in Baltimore. Oh and that same night he had another phone interview with a school in Houston.  Obviously the interview in Georgia went really well. They liked him a lot and it seemed like it would be a great fit for him career-wise. He came home that Friday feeling pretty confident, but not 100% sure he would nail the job.

We spent the whole weekend feeling cautiously optimistic.  It was my constant prayer to be excited  but hold onto the idea of moving to Georgia lightly. Around Saturday night I was totally overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and calm. It was like I just knew it was already done. I told Matthew, and I'm sure he thought I was completely crazy!

Monday morning (yesterday) I woke up feeling much the same. Matthew took the phone with him to work in case they called. Even though we knew Monday morning would be the absolute earliest we could expect to hear anything. He was told while he was down there that they had another candidate scheduled to come down and interview this week, but they might go ahead and cancel that interview. Apparently that's just what they decided to do and at ten o' clock, just as commencement was beginning, they called to offer him the job. Ironically, he was not walking, but instead at his desk working instead so he was able to take the call. He basically came straight home to tell me in person. I was sitting at my desk doing school with Elijah when I saw our car pull into the driveway. I knew immediately what that meant. And when he walked in the door smiling and holding flowers,  I really knew! I'm not too proud to say I cried a little, okay, a lot. Especially when he told me they offered him more than we were expected.

After that it was a whirlwind of phone calls! We had managed to keep this a secret from everyone except our parents on the chance it didn't work out. It was nice to finally let everyone in on our big secret. There was a lot of disbelief though, everyone thought it was simply too good to be true and I have to say I agree.

I just go back to the way I felt last fall, fearful of what the future might hold. I decided then and there to get a handle on that fear and worry the only way I knew how,  I gave it over to God. I prayed every day for an extra amount of faith, and He gave me that faith every day. So instead of being a filled with fear every day since this job hunt began, I was filled with faith. I can't say that we didn't have some low and scary moments, because we did. But for the most part, I really feel that God held us up every single day and sustained us. This is certainly a time in my life I won't soon forget.

I'll close this post with "my" verse. This has been my go-to verse for the past ten years whenever I feel troubled and it's certainly proven true, time and time again.

Psalm 27:13-14 "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living .Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord."

Monday, May 20, 2013

30x30 Challenge...

So here we are at week three and I'm not really missing the rest of my wardrobe quite yet. I guess it helps that about half of my 30 items were new-ish already and that the rest of my Spring/Summer wardrobe is still packed away for the winter.

Before I show you what I wore, I have to start with the disclaimer that my week was alternately crazy/lazy. So therefore my outfits were basically crazy and/or lazy. Oh and I cheated. *sigh*


This was Tuesday of last week? Literally all dressed up and no place to go. I was supposed to go on a girls' night out with some friends, but things got crazy around the house and I couldn't get away. At least I looked cute for the hubs.


If Tuesday was crazy, Wednesday was crazier. I threw this on in a hurry and snapped a pic without doing a dozen others, thus the pissy expression. Rough day!


Thursday I ran errands with the littles. And...errr...shopped. I'm sorry! Day16

Friday was the day I cheated. Did I say I was sorry? I'm not. Whoops.


Saturday I was busy grocery shopping and birthday shopping for my baby girl. Once again, I didn't put too much thought or effort into my outfit and the result was...underwhelming. Oh well! My red Toms make their 50th appearance in this challenge. What can I say? I love them.


Sunday was lazy family day at home. My eyebrows are starting to scare me...

So there you have it. What have I learned this week? Ummm... I'm tired of taking my own picture!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cheater, cheater...

So, the whole point of this 30x30 challenge is to re-purpose the clothes you already have instead buying new. Totally cool with me. See, I don't shop anyway. Because...errr...I don't have any money to shop with! (A problem I hope will be rectified that now that Matthew has graduated from Yale and we're hopefully getting a "real" job!) Basically I shop a few times a year: when I have Christmas money/giftcards, when I have birthday money/giftcards or when I visit my mom and she takes me shopping! Most of the items you've seen in my pics so far are either old, or bought recently with birthday money. So you'd think it wouldn't be hard for me to go thirty days without shopping, wouldn't you? WRONG!

First of alll, I have to preface my confession with the realization that this challenge has brought to light certain things lacking in my wardrobe. (Pretty sure Matthew would disagree with this, but whatevs.) One, I don't wear skirts, maybe I should? I'm not sure, but I just LOVE jeans. I look good in jeans. Skirts not so much. I don't have attractive legs, they are short and stumpy. Hooray for being five foot nothin'. But I like skirts, I just don't own many. Two, I don't wear prints hardly at all. I'm still deathly afraid of floral prints apparently. Any prints I have are basically black and white, not exactly exciting. Three, I'm also a bit of a color phobe. Which is weird, because I tend to lean toward loud hair, shoes and lipstick but not clothing.

Anyway, I'm rambling per usual....I was at Target last week scooping up some last minute things for my birthday boy when I came across this on the sale rack...(on the little girls' sale rack, for six bucks, no less.) 14379312_130130183000

Look, ma, color! And it's a skirt!  Needless to say I made it mine. Even my poor self can justify six bucks. That same day I also picked up some super cute grey cut-off shorts and a Hello Kitty shirt (six each) for Fifi. Target, how do I love thee...

Anyway, so that's one minor indiscretion  and I haven't even worn it yet! But I might break the rules and wear it for Fifi's third birthday party this week. She's having a ballerina theme and I know she would love it if mommy basically wore a pink tutu, ha ha.

After that I was resolved to be good and stick to the challenge. But then Kohls (my second favorite store after Target) so kindly sent me a ten dollar giftcard out of no where. They do this a lot. I think they're secretly in love with me. AND my grandma tucked a ten dollar bill in my mother's day card. Hmm...So I was at Kohls yesterday browsing since the card expires next week. Normally I probably would have spent it on Fifi, but she already has a bunch of new clothes coming for her birthday, so I didn't. I really, really wanted a new purse, but I was determined not to go far over my twenty dollar budget. They had almost nothing in that price range. So I thought to myself, "Self, this is basically free money, buy something you never would think of buying." And I said, "Self, shut up already!"

But then I saw this...


Again, totally something I would never, ever buy. It's a short skirt AND a print. (Alas STILL black and white. I'm trying, really.) So then I thought it needs something really bright and colorful on top.

Like this...

  1355500_Blazing_Yellow (1)

Yellow! I don't own anything yellow. I hustled off to the dressing room with my two littles in tow and tried it on. I was a little unsure at first, but in the end I decided to go for it. My total was 25 and some change, so I basically only spent five bucks out of my own pocket! Sweet! May 066

Tada! Look at me getting all fashion bloggery...well, not really. I need different shoes...hmmm. The shirt has a lace panel in the back too, didn't get a pic of that.

But I'm proud of myself for going outside the box a little for once.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

30X30 Challenge week dos...

Hmmm for some reason I thought I was supposed to post this tomorrow? But it looks like everyone else has already posted theirs, so here I go!

This week was fun. I didn't have too much trouble putting together different looks from the same thirty pieces since there were still a bunch of items I haven't worn yet. And I still have things I haven't worn yet, woo hoo!

Anyway, here we go!

Last Wednesday I had to run some last minute errands for Elijah's birthday. I went all by myself, hooray! It was rainy and gross out, so I wore my frumpy shoes. Jewelry by me. :) You can't really see it though.


I liked this outfit a lot, since it's something I wouldn't have normally put together. Kind of the whole point of this challenge. And I'm rocking my giant sock bun in this pic! I made the necklace here, too.


Friday was another night spent down at the ball field, so I wanted to me be warm and comfy. I have to say I kind of hit the wall on Friday and got a little bored with this whole project. Sophia offered me the perfect solution.

More accesories, DUH!!!


Saturday was Elijah's seventh birthday party so I dressed up a little. Again, not something I would have normally done, putting a blouse over a dress, but I really liked the way this turned out. When I showed my husband these pictures he griped at me for not smiling so the next day I promised him I would smile BIG! Necklace by me, again.


My Mother's day outfit is my favorite this week. We went to church so it was a nice excuse to get dressed up! See, I smiled BIG! Necklace by me, earrings by Brighton. Loving green with my new red hair. Day12

Mondays are a bit rough around here since we basically do school, eat an early dinner and then head straight to the ballfield. I was pretty frumpy yesterday, but oh well!

That's all! I had a lot of fun this week. Next week should be getting a little challenging though.

Oh and a few of you mentioned my backdrop in these photos so I thought I'd give you a little history. My husband is a Biblical scholar and book junkie. These photos were all taken in his library office. I think at last count his collection totals over one thousand books, they are all catalogued too. As you can see in day 9, the books go on for a while!

Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm sorry I'm such a girl...

So, I've gotten a couple of new reviews on both of my books, which is great! I'm always happy to see reviews, as long as they're positive! Most of my reviews come from friends and family who I have begged to write. But occasionally, I get a review from someone I don't know. Recently someone read both my books and posted their opinions. This person gave both books fours stars, super nice. One part of his review of Finding Sanctuary made me laugh pretty hard....

"The only really negative thing I would say is that it spends perhaps too much time on Kit's emotional musings."
First off, dude, let me point out that my main character, Kit, is in fact, a seventeen-year-old girl. You have no idea what the depths of a girl's emotional musings are. I feel like I just barely brushed the surface of what Kit's emotional musings should be. That kid has a lot going on. Give her a break.

Seriously though, it did make me laugh. Too much emotional musing? Has this dude ever read Twilight? *sigh* I tried really hard not to make Kit the typical Mary Sue female protagonist. But at the end of the day, she's a girl! Do you seriously expect her not to have a lot of feelings? 

But I digress...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

30x30 Challenge...prepare to be underwhelmed!

So, about a year ago I was on the phone with a rep for the kids' health insurance. She was verifying some of my personal details.
The conversation went like this, "So Mrs. Hopper, are you still unemployed?"
Me, "Um, well, no I'm not unemployed "
Her, "So you have job? Where do you work?"
Me, "Oh, well, I'm a stay-at-home mom and I homeschool."
Her, after a pause, "So you are unemployed?"
Me, after a longer pause and a sigh or two, "Yeah, I'm unemployed."

Anyway! So here's what a an unemployed person wears every week, in case you were wondering!
This was Thursday, I think I was running errands that afternoon, thus the casual outfit. Oh and I initially thought I would do all my photos outdoors, but decided I was too lazy and also leery of people driving by thinking I was cray-cray with my seven year old taking pics of his mommy's shoes. Also my hair is hideous here. Yay. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge jewelry person. But in this pic, you can just barely see it, I'm wearing my all-time favorite piece  A hand-stamped bracelet my husband got me for Christmas last year. You can see it better here.

  Day 2
Friday evening was spent at the ballfields watching Elijah's little leauge game. It's still pretty chilly in the evenings here, so I wore my jacket. One of my favorite necklaces from Charming Charlies (via my mom!). Hair is much better here, after I tortured it straightened it. But something is STILL missing!!! What is it?

Saturday we went hiking, and celebrated Matthew's graduation. Oh yeah, I colored my hair RED. Much, much, much better.

My forehead is orange, I know.

Sunday we went to church, as usual. Most of the time I like to wear a skirt or a dress, but I was teaching children's chapel and figured pants would be better. Oh and how do you like my stylish little buddy? You can't see my necklace well in this pic, but it's one I made about a year ago. You can see it here.

Monday I was supposed to go to Elijah's baseball game, but ended up staying home to bake for a brunch the following day. Yeah, I don't usually dress like this while baking! Sophia photo bombed again!

Tuesday was a ladies brunch at church. I forgot to take pics before I went, so I'm super wrinkled and a little disheveled here. I hosted so I had to clean up afterwards. Also, I confess whenI ran errands later and traded out the wedges for my red Toms.

Okay, so that's all! Here are a few things I learned this week!

  • It's really not a big deal to "dress up" even if I'm not leaving the house. It's totally worth it just to feel cute. And after a few days my kids finally stopped asking where we were going after seeing me in "real" clothes.
  • I don't wear prints, apparently. 
  • My favorite red lipstick totally clashes with my new red hair!
  • I like belts!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Matthew and I have been married for almost eight years now, come July. We've been together for nine. During all that time together I've always been amazed just how well we get along. When I tell people we don't really fight (no, really!) I always have to come up with some sort of reason why before they'll believe me. Sometimes I will say we just don't have that kind of personality. He is super laid back and I am so easy to get along with and will do whatever you ask of me...Errr, make that I'm a stubborn little turd and he lets me have my way a lot! But the truth is, we just go peas and carrots! Except I don't like peas. Like peanut butter and jelly...which I don't like either. Hum...

Coffee and cream?
Doritos and Mountain Dew? Aw yes!

Where was I going with this?

So after all this time together I think we've encountered our first "dealbreaker". You know one of those arguments for which there can be no compromise? It started last night: I was sitting on the ottoman in front of the TV with my hair straightener fighting with my crazy hair to get it looking nice for my mom's group brunch today. (Wait, yes, I straighten my hair sitting in front of the TV, who wants to go stand in front of a mirror for 30 minutes?) Anyway, Matthew had been reading to the kids before bed, but he came out just as I was finishing up. He sat on the couch behind me, and didn't complain about my big head blocking the TV. I picked up my can of handy hair spray and doused my next layer of hair (I like it to sizzle, you know.) Cue Matthew: *cough* *gag* *dies* "I think I'm allergic to hairspray!" Me: "WHAAAAT?"

Dealbreaker y'all.

Of course, I was nice, for once, and laid off on the hairspray. Though I did jokingly weigh the options, "My husband or great hair, my husband or great hair?" And of course, this morning I had to re-do the whole top portion of my hair that didn't get sprayed. Boo.  I guess from now on I'm confined to the bathroom while I do my hair.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Don't you love it when...

You wake up feeling like, "This is the day that could change my whole life!"

And then you're like, "Erm, wait, it's just like yesterday. So no."


Friday, May 3, 2013

Smiling at the future...

I posted part of a verse from Proverbs 31 this morning on my facebook page because that is how I felt when I woke up this morning. I knew there was a verse that stated exactly how I was feeling, and it took me all of three seconds to find.

Verse 25, at least the second half, "And she smiles at the future."

Just a short couple of weeks ago I don't think I was smiling at the future  I think Matthew and I both were actually feeling more fearful of the future than anything. I guess somehow we stopped expecting that life would be easy, so therefore we never thought it would be again. It's not that we were expecting the worst, but we've both been pleasantly surprised by how things have turned out in the past month.

I'm not being coy, I don't have any actual news YET! But, God willing, it will be forthcoming sometime in the month of May. Praise God, amen and amen!

About a month ago I resolved to start praying more. Not just for myself  but for my husband, my family, my friends, anyone and everyone who might be struggling in any way shape or form. I'm not saying I am awesome in my prayer life, but it's getting better. And I can see the outcome in my life today. The only thing I asked for for myself was more FAITH and less FEAR. And look where I am now. Smiling.

Anyway, Matthew's last final is next Tuesday and after that he's home free. But we will be having a party tomorrow to celebrate his graduation from Yale! That is, if another job interview doesn't get in the way!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Here goes nothin'...

So, admittedly I'm in a bit of a blog slump. I usually relegate this blog to my writerly stuff, but since nothing much is happening on that front I decided to do something different! My friend Carrie (you can find her blog, Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird in my blog list on the right hand side) is participating in a 30x30 challenge and she totally talked me into doing it too. It's basically where you take thirty items out of your wardrobe and wear only those thirty items (not including accessories) for the next thirty days, so all of May. Anyway...I'm so not a fashion blogger. Aside from posting the occasional hair pic, I don't like to post pictures of myself all that much. Mainly because I HATE taking selfies. So we're going to have to get over that...I guess. Other than that, I don't think I'll have any trouble with this at all. Since I don't work most of my clothes are pretty casual, aside from church and Bible study and the occasional family outing, I mostly live in jeans and t-shirts.

We'll see how this goes. The first day of this challenge  May 1st, everyone is posting pics of their 30 items. Again, not so hard. I don't have a huge wardrobe, and I'm pretty used to re purposing things.

Here we go!

    May 001

    Can a girl live in just six pairs of shoes for a month? Totally.
    1. Chaps wedge flip-flops from Kohls
    2. Sonoma wedges from Kohls
    3. Yellow Box flip flops sister in law
    4. Green Converse...need to be washed!
    5. Red Toms
    6. Mossimo flats from Target...boring, but go with everything

    May 003

    Sweaters and jackets
    7. Old Navy military jacket...I've had this since 2004, it's my favorite!
    8. Mossimo boyfriend blaze from Target
    9. So short sleeved sweater from Kohls
    10. Mudd long-sleeved grey thingy. Not sure what it is, cardigan? Who cares, it's cute on. Not in pictures, though.
    May 004

    Skirts, dresses...oh I only picked two. Ehhh.
    11. Black pencil skirt, some random Kohls brand
    12. Black and white dress from Ross
    13. Candie's stiletto mary janes. I probably won't wear these too many times, but I've got to have "church" shoes. Plus I think there is a girls night out in my May itinerary and I don't want to regret not having heels!

    Do you spot the problem with my wardrobe so far....? NO COLOR!

      May 007
    T-shirts and tank tops oh my!

    14. So mint racer back tank from you see a pattern here?
    15. Blue tank from H&M
    16. Coral long and lean tank from Target
    17. White v neck tee from Target
    18. Green v neck tee from Target
    19. Mint striped tank from H&M
    20. Not pictured black crew neck tee from Kohls

      May 009

    Other random tops

    21. Black and white striped cardi from Ross
    22. So chambray blouse guessed it...KOHLS!
    23. So short sleeved blouse from Kohls
    24. Sonoma vest from *sigh* Kohls
    25. Old Navy green sleeveless blouse

    May 010

    And last but not least PANTS! Erm, okay, I know three pairs look exactly the same!

    26. Mossimo skinnies from Target
    27. Tan skinnies from H&M
    28. Mossimo "jeggings" don't you love the word "jeggings" No?
    29. So white skinnies from Kohls. They are cropped length, but apparently not on me!
    30. Mossimo skinnies from Target. Look the same as the first pair, but they are ankle length with zippers. SO cute!

    I did it! If you want to see more bloggers who are participating, go to the hostess's blog at Mrs. In Training

    And here is the schedule. Dude, does this mean I have to actually get dressed every day? Uh oh.

    Wednesday, May 1st:  My 30 selected items
    Wednesday, May 8th:  Days 1-6
    Tuesday, May 14th:  Days 7-12
    Monday, May 20th:  Days 13-18
    Monday, May 27th:  Days 19-24
    Monday, June 3rd:  Days 25-30