Aug 29, 2012


best friends
good conversations
greasy hamburgers
the lake

I love Seattle in the summer.

*Linking up with Life Rearranged*

Aug 28, 2012

The Color Issue

Pardon me for a moment while I talk about fashion...

1) I have been wearing way more color than usual lately. Typically, I am a cream, brown, olive green, navy, and a splash of mustard girl. To me... gold is colorful. What can I say? My inner color wheel is very muted and subtle. But these last few weeks of summer I have been all about bright colors... lime, coral, teal, etc. I don't know what's gotten into me. But I kind of like it...

{Dress as top: TJ Maxx // Skirt: Banana Republic // Necklace: Loveshop80 {eBay} // Sandals: Target}

2) I am obsessed with wearing dresses as skirts and dresses as shirts, etc. In these pics the coral top is really a short cotton dress. The long teal skirt is really a maxi dress. I'm all about it, y'all.

{Dress as top: TJ Maxx // Dress as skirt: TJ Maxx // Belt: F21? // Sandals: Chinese Laundry {Ross}

3) Oh, and I really love the sandals in the picture above. I got them at Ross for $10.99. I am having the best luck with Ross shoes lately. Not mad about it.

4) Have you SHOPPED MY CLOSET yet? The sale is going on over HERE!

*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy*

Aug 27, 2012

The time has come...

It's time. If you follow me on Instagram {@jenrussum}, you might remember that I went on a random closet cleaning rampage a few weeks ago at 2am. Here's the deal... I always clean out my closet. Like once every month or two at least. I get rid of something here and something there all the time. But about once a year I go crazy and get rid of EVERYTHING! Okay, not everything, but LOTS of stuff. And usually I sell my clothes at Plato's Closet or a local consignment shop. I'm pretty good at making cash with my gently used clothing {see my tips for selling your clothes here}. But this time, I want to try something different. I am going to give YOU a chance to shop my closet before I head down to my favorite secondhand shops with all my goods.

So head on over to my new SHOP MY CLOSET page. I have about ten things listed right now. As these items sell, I will add more, because my "get rid of" pile is BIG and you know the minimalist in me wants it all gone ASAP! Happy shopping!

Aug 26, 2012

Hello Monday {on being punched in the face}

I am going to be honest. This past week felt like a huge punch in the face. I mean, I've never actually been punched in the face, but I'm pretty sure it must feel pretty similar to this... getting back from a 15 day vacation and having to write two syllabi, catch up on emails, attend meetings and start school all within the first week of getting home. I am pretty sure it feels like broken garbage disposals and trying to find parking at the nation's largest university in 110 degrees. I am pretty sure it feels something like staying up working until 4am. I used to do that all the time in college. An all nighter? What of it? But now my almost-30 year old body attributes 4am to extreme physical abuse. Punch in the face, I tell ya.

But... it's good to be back. Good to be at home. Cleaning. Grocery shopping. Hanging out with the hubs. Prepping for the semester. As much as I love summer, I love the routine and newness of fall. I know fall is when everything dies in nature {including our indoor plants apparently}, but to a teacher it's like a new year. And I love it....

Hello husband. It's nice to see you again.
Hello yogurt parfait. You look kinda gross in this picture, but you are delicious. I sure did miss eating healthy breakfasts on my trip.

Hello wedding album. It only took us two years to order you.
Hello apples with peanut butter. I've been craving you quite a bit lately.

Hello first day of school. 
My first class went well, despite the fact that my eyes were red from lack of sleep.

Hello rain. We sure have seen a lot of you this past week. I thought this was the desert...
Hello impromptu dinner in the backyard. I love our patio lights!

That's it for now. Hopefully, I can give you more details about our trip later this week!
Oh... and the winner of the HUGE blogiversary giveaway is...

Chelsea!!! Congrats, girl!
*** Please e-mail me within 48 hours or I will have to give your amazing prizes to someone else! And no one wants that to happen, except all the other ladies who entered the giveaway :) 


*Linking up with Lisa Leonard and Life Rearranged*

Aug 23, 2012

Flowers Fade Friday: No grudges allowed...

Note: This picture has nothing to do with this post. Or rather, it has very little to do with this post. This is Sarah. She has been my best friend since 4th grade and, no, we don't have some dramatic reconciliation story. I think our most recent fight of any sort happened circa 1996 in middle school. However, she is a friend that I am honored to walk alongside in my faith and the passage from Colossians below was read at her wedding, so it makes me think of her. So I guess this picture relates a little bit. But not really :)

* * * * *

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Colossians 3:12-13

The Bible speaks boldly about grudges. They are not welcome in the Christian life. It's not that we won't ever be hurt or wronged by a Christian brother or sister. We will be. The Bible is pretty clear that as we live in the flesh, we will be wounded by friends and family, even by people who love the Lord but fall short at times.

But what should our response be when this happens? To bear with each other's failings. To forgive. It seems like a difficult task, and it is, but it is also possible because of Christ. Jesus has forgiven our utter betrayal of him. He is perfect and loves us completely, yet we fail Him time and time again. But that cross of forgiveness is always there. Always prepared to bear our sin. So we too, with grateful hearts, should forgive those who sin against us.

There are lots of Christian analogies about bitterness and unforgiveness. One of the most common is that bitterness is like a cancer of the soul. While this is not straight out of Scripture, the author of Hebrews does warn his readers to make sure "no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled." (12:15). Clearly, there is something poisonous and destructive about bitterness, and so we should squelch any attitude of unforgiveness before it creeps deep into our minds and hearts and begins destroying our relationships. Obey God today... bear and forgive... because you have a Savior who has done the same thing for you at a far more drastic price.

--Linking up with Casey Leigh--

Aug 21, 2012

The BIGGEST giveaway yet!!!

This is kind of crazy.

At the end of this week, I will have been blogging for TWO years. Seriously, cray.

The first year was a post here and there documenting our life in Arizona for a handful of friends and family.

The second year was more of a tap-tappin' these keys on the almost-daily. Creating this space online. Figuring out that I love blogging. And the Internet. Heck, I even changed the concentration of my PhD to spend more time on these interwebs. This past year also confirmed that I was born to write. And teach. And sometimes teach others through what I write. And I started making blog friends. Internet friends, if you will. And I've even gotten to meet some of them in person, and they are even more amazing face to face than online!

And I have some of my blog friends here to hang out with you today. To bless you. To celebrate blogging and friendships made online and just to share some LOVE with my faithful readers. AKA I have a HUGE giveaway for you today. Like big. Way bigger than any giveaway I've done before. And the prizes are legit. None of the ladies participating are sponsors or anything like that. They aren't trying to make money or drive traffic to their sites. They are giving items away to bless me, because we are friends. And you should probably be friends with them too. Just sayin. So here it goes...  some of the best women you could ever meet on the Internet with fun prizes that you can win just because we are all about sharing the love this week!

Blog // Facebook // Twitter 

Blog // Twitter // Instagram

 Blog // Twitter// Pinterest

Blog // Facebook // Twitter

Blog // Editing // Facebook

Blog // Twitter // Facebook

Blog // Facebook  // Twitter 

Blog // Twitter // Facebook

Oh, and I guess I should give away something too...

And how about a ???
{via Naptime Diaries}

And a ???
{via Seek First}

Just because I love you guys SO much!

To enter:
You must be a follower of my blog.

 For additional entries
{leave a separate comment for each one}:
Become a follower of any of the blogs above!
Follow The AZ Russums or any of the other participants on Facebook
Follow The AZ Russums or any of the other participants on Twitter
Follow The AZ Russums on Bloglovin'
Tweet about this giveaway!
Here's one to use or you can make up your own:
Have you entered to win the biggest giveaway ever on @jenrussum's blog? 
So many amazing prizes!!!

That's like a zillion chances to win, y'all! 

Aug 19, 2012

Washington: A Wedding

Wow. Where do I even begin? I've been in Washington {both western and eastern halves} or in the middle of nowhere driving between Washington and Arizona for the past two weeks.

It was fun. It was joyful. It was full  of adventure. Now I am back and am completely overwhelmed at the thought of school starting this week...

But let's not go there.

Instead, let's go back and look at fun pictures of my trip instead of thinking about that syllabus that really needs to be written for my fall classes. I guess I will start with the wedding since that's the official reason we went to Washington in the first place.

Micah's little brother got married. To one of my favorite girls on the planet. New sister. I am very happy about this. I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking...

Picking out flowers at Pike Place Market with the bride. So cheap! The bridesmaids bouquets were $4 each!

In case you were wondering what I look like after I've gone running twice and haven't washed my hair in three days...

The final selection...


Last night as a single woman...

That's my new sister! :)

Aug 16, 2012

Flowers Fade Friday: Pause

Long story short.

God has called Gideon to defeat the pagan Midianites. When God first commands Gideon to go into battle, he takes 32,000 soldiers with him. But God wants glory for the victory. He wants the defeat of the Midianites to be impressive and miraculous, so that everyone will know it happened only by the strength and hand of the Lord. All good things happen only by the hand of the Lord, but God wanted to make it very obvious in this instance. So through a series of circumstances, God sends all but 300 of the 32,000 soldiers home. Gideon and his minuscule army will defeat an enemy camp because God is on their side.

But just to give Gideon confidence of His plan, God sends Gideon down to spy on the enemy camp before the battle. He promises to give Gideon assurance of victory by what he hears there...

And assurance is exactly what Gideon receives when he overhears one Midianite soldier tell another about a dream he had. In the dream, a cake of barley tumbles into the camp and turns a tent upside down and flattens it. The comrade gives an interpretation of the dream in Gideon's hearing. The dream means that Gideon will overturn all the camp, because it has been given to him by the hand of God.

And then what Gideon does next is peculiar...

He doesn't go straight to battle.

He pauses.

And he worships.

Gideon pauses right there, as he is eavesdropping on enemy territory... and he worships God. He doesn't run back to his troops and hastily attack because of what God has promised. He stops first and worships the One who will bring victory about.

But if I were Gideon, would I pause? Do I pause throughout my day? Throughout my plans, even when they are blessed and ordained by the Lord?

Do I pause to thank God as I carry out His plans and calling on my life?

Do I pause to praise the one who upholds all things by His hand?

Do I stop for a second before I run toward to next big thing? Before I eagerly move forward to use God's gifts for His glory?

Gideon's battle was ordained by the Lord. God had called him to the task. But Gideon's pause was appropriate. Before running back to retrieve his own men and attack the enemy, he stopped to acknowledge the Lord's hand in it all. To thank Him for His goodness.

I want to be a woman who is willing to pause. Who delights to stop for a moment here and there to praise the Lord who fills my day with tasks and relationships and responsibilities. The Lord's plans for my life are good. And it is good that I am eager to use my gifts and my resources for the Kingdom of God. But in doing so, I hope I don't forget to pause and praise the King.

Aug 13, 2012

Cool Kohl's {Part II... with discount!}

You, guys! After I wrote my confession about how I shop at Kohl's a few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone in their marketing department. I feel famous! I feel like Lauren Conrad, but with wider hips and a few more wrinkles.

Anyway... the point is, this makes me love Kohl's even more. And if you are one of my readers who told me you want to give Kohl's a try, I have a special treat for you today. Now you can give the store a test run... with a discount!

Kohl's is offering my readers a discount when you shop at kohl' Use the code: UBLOGTEN between now and October 24th and get 10% off your whole order. Hello back to school/fall wardrobe shopping. And the code can also be used in conjunction with another promo code, so shop it up!

And now to celebrate, let's look at some outfits featuring Kohl's clothing...

Skinny cords: Lauren Conrad // Mustard ruffle cardigan: Elle

Ruffle tank: Elle

Floral dress: Elle or Lauren Conrad {Can't remember...}

Hawaiian dress: Elle

Moral of the story: I heart Kohl's. Go shop there. Use the discount UBLOGTEN. The end.

*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy*
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