Apr 29, 2013

San Diego

Blogger fail... again. When I went to Austin for a girls' weekend in February, I forgot to bring my DSLR camera. I didn't realize it until I was going through security with my luggage and paused to think about why it seemed too easy to load all my stuff onto the conveyor belt. Bulky camera bag missing. That was the reason.

This weekend I went to San Diego... one of the most beautiful places on earth, and a place we frequent often now that we live six hours away by car {see here, here, and here}. This time I remembered my camera, but with all the shuffling around town, going back and forth between the hotel where Micah's work conference was held and my friend Bekah's house, I never took it out of the case to snap a single pic.

Oh well. Praise the Lord for iPhones. I'm thankful to have lots of photos of our fun little weekend away, even if they don't quite compare to what the big camera might have captured.

And the last three paragraphs could really be condensed to this: Went to San Diego this weekend. It was amazing, as always. Love my friend, Bekah. Ate a LOT of good food. Took many pictures with iPhone. The end.

On the first morning there I ran to the ocean and started taking pictures. 
Our hotel was across the street from this view!

Finally tried Con Pane. Delish. That's a homemade butterscotch latte, in case you were wondering.

Lunch and work session at Red's.

Bekah and I went to her favorite restaurant, Bobeau, for dinner. It was so good. 
I ate about a pound of roasted Brussel Sprouts. Not a joke.

First time wearing maternity jeans. Woot!

Brunch at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (JFATs) on the harbor in Point Loma.

After our brunch, we had to go home and take a nap. 
This is Bekah's comforter and the tablesccape on her patio table. Isn't she the cutest person ever? 

Don't worry. We burned off about 1/10th of our brunch by biking from Ocean Beach to Mission Beach and all the way to PB. And then we stopped for YogurtLand... :) Afterward, we went to dinner at Anthony's Seafood Grotto and had the best fish ever... only because our server took the liberty of changing our orders for us. Also not a joke. We ordered and then he changed each of our entrees. But he chose better than we did.

We took a detour on our way home and went north to Corona to have lunch with my best friend and her husband. Bump kisses DID happen. Then we took the 10 all the way home... with a stop at the outlet mall in Palm Springs. Just FYI, there are WAY too many windmills on this route. I am petrified of windmills, but Micah convinced me to face my fears and take a picture. Eeek! Seriously. They scare me.

Apr 23, 2013

In the Words of Bon Jovi...

We're halfway there! With pregnancy that is. Tomorrow I will be twenty weeks. It's seriously flying by so far, but I'm sure when it's 120 degrees this summer and I don't have a packed school schedule to keep me busy time will slow WAY down.

But that is neither here nor there, because these are not my 20 week pics. These are my 18 week pictures. Yes, from two weeks ago. But in my opinion my bump has not grown much since then, so you are getting the general idea of what I look like mid-second trimester. The point of these pictures is to show you my new dress! I love it. When eShakti contacted me about choosing a spring dress from their collection, I made my decision very carefully, since the whole size/shape/style thing is a bit risky when ordering clothing online. I wanted something cotton {heat factor - it's basically summer here already} that could fit over the bump for at least a few more weeks, but could also be worn post-pregnancy.


I love the pattern, the lightweight fabric, the pockets and the beautiful eyelet material at the top. I also love the details on the back. See below.

Dress: eShakti {collection here} // Necklace: Nordstrom {similar} // Sandals: Target {similar}

eShakti has an amazing collection of dresses right now. You can custom order everything to fit you perfectly. For example, they have a size 4 small and size 6 small. Being prego, I went with the size 6 small. Since it fit me at 18 weeks, I'm pretty sure it will fit me in my awkward post-partum days as well, but it should also look perfectly normal when I get back to my normal size {this sentence is my public accountability}.

Also, you can custom order your length on eShakti too. All dresses hit at the knee, but you can choose to have them hit below or above the knee too. I ordered above the knee and the length is great. I would actually recommend the above the knee choice to almost everyone, unless you are extremely tall, because you can tell it's not short at all on me and I'm 5'6.

Okay, that's all. I love my new dress. Go check out eShakti's spring collection. I seriously think their clothes are getting cuter and cuter since the first time I was introduced to the company. Sadly, I am going to have to retire this dress until after the baby comes, but it will be like a new little gem waiting for me in my closet when I get to wear it again.

Use the code THEZRSSMS for 20% off your next eShakti order. 
Valid through May 31st!

|Linking to The Pleated Poppy, Dear Abby Leigh, Because Shanna Said So, Style Elixir|

Apr 21, 2013

Our $155 Weekend...

Last weekend Micah and I had the best time. But we went into the weekend with no plans whatsoever...

Then, one after another, sweet and simple plans unfolded before us and we got to spend so much quality time together and with lots of friends.


On Thursday night, I was supposed to meet girlfriends for dinner in Old Town Scottsdale. When one friend couldn't make it, the evening somehow turned into a last-minute double date night with our good friends the Edgars and their darling almost-one-year-old, Claudia. We ventured to Citizen Public House in Old Town for dinner. I had gluten-free chicken and waffles. I didn't think I liked GF foods {simply in rebellion against my mom's crazy eating rules}, but I must admit my meal was pretty darn tasty.

Friday rolled around and we had nothing on our agenda after work, so when my dear friend, Holly, texted me in the afternoon to see if we could get together for dinner with our husbands, I took her up on the offer instantly. I happen to LOVE impromptu plans. We picked a fun restaurant called Bandera that none of us had tried and we met up for a late dinner. Our meal included skillet cornbread as an appetizer, amazing entrees, and BOTH desserts on the menu. I should also mention that it included TONS of laughter and some impressive persuasion from Micah and me to convince Holly and Randy to have a baby ASAP. I think it worked... ;)

Saturday. Once again, nothing on the agenda. Is anyone else like us? We'll go for about a month or so with crazy, packed weekends and then randomly hit a lull where we have nothing planned for a week or two. We were in our lull for sure, and now we don't have a free weekend in sight! Anyway... we bummed around the house all morning. I worked on school a little bit. Micah lounged around. We wanted to go look at houses {to buy!} in the afternoon, but our Internet went down and we couldn't look up the addresses we wanted to see. So when my friend, Vanessa, texted me about an event called Feast on the Street that was happening downtown that evening, we decided we would meet them there. The event was basically a huge food truck party with a 1/2 mile long community table stretching down a few city blocks. We met up with Vanessa, her husband Steve, and their cute baby boy to grab dinner. Dinner turned into wine and chatting all night long at their house so they could get little Henry to bed. A bunch of their other friends came over too and we stayed up talking and laughing until midnight. Such a fun group, even though I had to forgo the wine!


Finally, it was Sunday. Our Sabbath. I should write more about it later, but Micah and I take the gift of Sabbath rest very seriously. We have talked and prayed so much about what we want our Sundays to look like and have reflected on what activities are the most restful for us. Sometimes we spend time apart {because restful for me often looks like blogging and reading Real Simple pool side, while Micah's version of restful sometimes involves a 13 mile run - gag me!}, but we also try to spend a lot of time together. After our late night with friends, we slept in and went to the later service at our church. I left feeling more and more content with the new church God has brought us to. I should also mention that we were actually like two minutes early to church, because I convinced Micah I would get ready extra fast if he would take me to LGO for my favorite coffee before the service. Win-win! After church we drove around our favorite neighborhood and scoped out houses for sale. Somehow, around three o'clock in the afternoon, we wound up back at LGO for a late lunch. We had grown hungry during our house hunting adventure.

We went home so happy and full. Not just full of food, but full of quality time spent together and with good friends for so many days in a row. We felt overwhelmed and thankful for God's goodness in our lives.


I should also mention the title of this post. Micah and I don't eat out often. We pretty much never eat out during the week and try to limit our dining out to one time per weekend. Accordingly, we only have $40 a week in our budget for eating at restaurants. Sure, every now and then we splurge and eat out twice or spend extra on a fancy meal for a birthday or anniversary, but most weeks we stick to our $40. However, our budget was completely destroyed by day two of our fun four-day weekend. By the time we got around to our late lunch on Sunday, we decided to add up how much we had spent eating out EVERY SINGLE day since Thursday. The total was $155. But you know what? We decided it was worth it. Clearly, it's not a pattern we hope to repeat in the near future, but it was totally worth the money for the amazing weekend we had in exchange.


These are the days and nights we are learning to cherish as we head into parenthood, when our schedules are no longer our own and it gets much harder to be spontaneous. Don't get me wrong. Micah and I will always carve out time to get away and go on dates, but we might not get to arrange our plans on a whim the way we did during this precious and fun weekend. We want to savor the moments before our $155 goes toward babysitters and our schedule has to work around nap time. I'm sure the next season will be even more sweet, but I'm trying to savor where God has us right now.

Apr 16, 2013

Baby Thoughts

For the most part, I haven't been in baby mode. I haven't pinned a single baby item. I haven't decided where to register. I haven't read through all the papers and magazines that were sent home with us from our first prenatal doctor appointment. Don't tell my nurse.

I thought I would be more "into" my pregnancy than I have been thus far. It's not that I don't love my baby. I do! And it's not that I'm not excited. I am! It's just that a few random circumstances are making it difficult to go into full-mode nesting, and for the most part, I think that's a good thing. I can be too controlling and anxious when it comes to planning things... so the circumstances below are stripping an idol from me, I think.


#1) I know I've said it before, but I will say it again... THIS SEMESTER IS CRAZY. In two weeks, I will hand in my last two papers and be done with the insane school year. I cannot wait. I anticipate a frenzied return to blogging consistently, pinning nursery ideas like mad, registering for baby items, and doing a huge summer-long house purge before this little one arrives.

#2) We might be moving. Our housing situation is up in the air right now. I need to write a post about Resort Russum - or how we've been blessed to live in my parents' gorgeous retirement home for the past year and a half - but our time there might be up soon. We are anxious to get our own place now that we are becoming parents. I am excited to paint the walls in a house I own and decorate the way I've been wanting to during our past three years of renting. We don't really know if we will move before or after the baby comes, only that we will probably not be in our current home by Christmas. This makes me feel much more lax on the whole "nursery" thing, since the baby probably won't even sleep in its own room until after we get a new house.

#3) Not knowing the gender. Boy or girl? We don't know! We had our anatomy ultrasound last week, and we held strong and looked at the wall when the tech was checking "down there." It was honestly easier than I thought not to find out; it almost felt like a little adrenaline rush from the will-power and the anticipation of surprise. Before the ultrasound "not finding out" was just an abstract plan, but now that the ultrasound is over and we have new pictures of our little mystery baby, I feel a surge of excitement every time I think about being surprised on delivery day.

So that's me and my surprisingly laid-back attitude about this whole pregnancy gig. I am excited to start planning and prepping for our child, but I am also thankful that God has put other wonderful things on my plate this spring to keep me from idolizing our baby or being a big ol' control freak.

Apr 8, 2013

Shop My Closet

Just a sneak preview...

I've done a "shop my closet" sale on the blog before, but this time I'm trying it via Instagram. It seems much easier. I already sold a few items last week, but I have MORE to sell this week. So get your PayPal accounts ready and follow me on Instagram... my name is @jenrussum.

New items will go up Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week and then all sold items will ship on Friday or Saturday. Shipping will be $1.99 and I will group items together for that price if you decide to buy more than one! All payments must be made over PayPal within 48 hours, otherwise I will have to put the item back on the market... :)

Just FYI, I'm 5'6, usually a size small on top {sometimes a medium} and typically a size 6 in pants and dresses. Sometimes I can wear a size 4 dress and I'm a 29 in jeans. Basically, I am about as average as they come! However, you should know that I randomly have some extra smalls and larges in my closet, so check sizes. There might be something for everyone! Stay tuned!

Apr 2, 2013

A Pregnancy Confession

This is me in my first ever maternity dress.

But this is my confession: I bought it a year ago.

Here's the thing... I hate wearing clothes that everyone else has. I run into this debacle all the time at Target. They might have something cute for a good price, but I know if I buy the item I will look like every other woman in the USA between the ages of 15 and 35.

So when Target started making stylish and affordable maxi dresses last summer, I wanted one...
but I also didn't want to be twinsies with half of America.

When I noticed this gem in the maternity section of Target, I couldn't resist. Micah happens to love me in dark purple. I love the simplicity of this dress with the woven pattern on the top. And Liz Lange happens to make extremely high quality clothes. Xhilaration ain't got nothing on LL... I've seriously worn and washed this dress so many times and the fabric still looks brand new. And finally, I knew not many people would be buying clothes in the maternity section, so I only ran the risk of being twins with pregnant women. Much better odds if you ask me.

So what's the point of all this?

Well, first, I guess I am out of the maternity clothes closet. Now you know the truth. I'm not afraid to rock some prenatal clothing in the name of fashion, even if I am months or years away from being pregnant.

Secondly, I was 16 weeks pregnant when these pics were taken (17 tomorrow!) and my bump is clearly starting to pop out, so finally my maternity clothes are warranted.

Third, I went to Target this weekend and bought two new Liz Lange dresses, because if I hadn't you would just see me in this purple number every day this summer {if I decide to wear anything other than an oversize t-shirt or a swimsuit, that is}.

And finally, you should buy a Liz Lange dress too. They are so beautiful and much higher quality than many of the items at Target. Except, on second thought, don't buy one... I want the maternity fashion trends all to myself!

|Linking up with The Pleated Poppy|
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