Friday, October 18, 2013

Really Great Friends

You know what is awesome about really great friends? That they do awesome things.  I have been thinking about my circle of really amazing people a lot lately. We've moved a lot. (A LOT).  Friends who have stuck around through that (or that we met through those moves!) have been around a while, and they just mean the wold to me.  I am so thankful that they have time and energy to put into our friendship even when life is crazy and there seems like there isn't much time or energy left.  Really great friends are simply really great.

Last weekend I also had a pretty awesome few days! One of my nearest and dearest, my maid of honor (because she hates the word matron- and I don't blame her) Jenny got a little surprise.  After careful preparation and coordination, a couple of her friends drove to visit for the weekend and planned a Saturday full of girl time with lunch, a little shower of baby and mommy presents, and pedicures.  It has been a while since I saw Jenny (in real life) and I don't know that I've ever surprise-visited anyone so it was really fun! She is super close to being due with baby #2 and between that and being mommy to the most adorable and personality-filled little 2 year old, life get's crazy.  Her darling husband coordinated everything thanks to the magic of facebook and definitely wins husband of the year!  By the way, if that weren't enough, he also cooked us delicious apple cinnamon pancakes and made chicken tacos for dinner- you rock!

I just love this family, and I cannot wait for them to welcome their newest member at the end of the month.  I wish them moments of somewhat-quietness, and as much rest as possible before #2 makes his/her arrival!

Of course Target has the coolest Baby stuff- so we ended up with duplicates, but they are different sizes :)
Just a note that these pictures are compliments of Jenny's cousin.  This is why I always usually take pictures of my own, but somehow this weekend was too fun for me to remember to do that.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Biggest Birthday Celebration

No, not my birthday celebration, my Dad's!  We had probably one of the best birthday celebrations last weekend than we have in a while.  As far as family birthdays of, usually a few presents and a meal out are about th extent of the celebrations.  This year we went big for dad's day. We'd actually been thinking about it for about a year, but our timing was off so we sat on it.  I think it was my brother's idea but Nick and I jumped on board immediately.  Tickets to a Cleveland Browns game and the whole fun experience = Happy birthday to Dad!

You see we grew up watching dad cheer (or curse) the browns games every Sunday.  I vaguely remember going to a game in the bitter cold back in '96 which was one of the last games they had before the team was moved to Baltimore.  That was a long time ago, and I'm not sure dad's been back since!

Mom and dad came up to Cleveland the day of the game and we went to tailgate nice and early, around 9. We had so much fun tailgating, and then the seats for the game were spectacular!! Not to mention the weather was outstanding and WE WON!! It was an awesome game and an awesome day!  I love that Matt was able to come home and we were able to do his as a Family!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Lesson of Patience

I think that our life has been an exercise in patience lately. An exercise- meaning an ongoing practice. We meet obstacles, make decisions, meet new obstacles, grumble with frustration, and come to a place of content waiting.  Seriously, that pattern over and over and over lately, maybe with some more grumbles, a few fights, several angry runs and some deep breaths.  We are stuck in a place where we have a few balls up in the air, and a few things we'd like to change, but we cannot do anything about any of them at the moment.  Waiting for others to do their part, or for time to pass, or the chips to fall where they may before we can move forward (or possibly backward I guess) at all.

It is a lesson I am now convinced we need to learn due to how difficult it is for us. We are working on it.  I rush through things, chores or checks on my to-do list, and don't reach the result I want.  Then, in time, I get there.  These last couple weeks I am continuously reminded that sometimes things are in place and you have to send them out there in the world and be patient as the stars align.  I came across the above quote somewhere in the social media world and thought it was perfect. I am used to saying "it's and exercise in patience" but then thinking whether or not I have patience doesn't affect what is happening, it affects how I feel.  Ahh a good attitude while waiting...

The experience is refining us for our future. If we spend so much time waiting, I absolutely do not have the energy to spend that time upset, frustrated and beating my head against the wall.  Somedays, I will fail.  But I get a new day to try again, and I will take this opportunity to count my blessings and hone in my skills for patience.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Irish Creme Icing

We celebrated my husband's birthday last week.  Interestingly enough the week before that I had to ask him if we were turning 28 or 29... when exactly do you stop remembering how old you are!? Anyway, after he reminded me that we were 28 and turning 29 I was ready to plan a celebration.  With the move and all the hoopla, we decided on practical gifts this year.  For his birthday (and because we need one) he picked out a grill.  It's a pretty nice grill, too! 

Breaking in the Grill

His birthday was on a weekday, which was not the most fun, but I made him a delicious dinner and set out to make a "surprise birthday dessert"- Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Icing!  He loves Guinness so I knew he'd want to try these. I found a bunch of pictures of these cupcakes on Pinterest but couldn't find the actual link.  Eventually I did find a recipe on the interweb, but I adapted it to what I thought would fit him a little better.  Feel free to play around with the ingredients too :)

Ingredients for Cupcakes:
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup Guinness (I used almost one whole bottle because I wanted to be able to taste it)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsb baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
- Melt butter on medium heat, then mix in Guinness
- Add cocoa powder, whisk, and let cool slightly
- Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt
- Beat eggs and sour cream until mixed, add vanilla
- Add Guinness mixture to egg mixture
- Add flower mixture to Guinness and egg mixture

- Pour batter into cupcake pan, about 3/4 full
Bake on 350 for 15-17 min. Makes 20-24 cupcakes 

Then we waited for them to bake...
 Bailey's Icing:
- Mix one container cream cheese frosting with enough baileys to taste. You can google to find a recipe from scratch, but this was my short cut- and Nick commented on how he liked the taste. 

Ready to Eat!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Few Little Changes

You guys. Ok it's been forever. I'm sorry. We have been so very busy that I hardly have time to think! Ok we moved, hubby's on terminal leave, he started a FANTSTIC new job. We've been blessed that our career transition from the Army to the civilian world has been seamless and the new job is rewarding and challenging and great! Moving back to my home state has been rainy, but good. We are in nice company with family and friends, and fellow sports fans. 

Our living situation has been rough. Quite honestly, I'm so tired of being wrapped up in the millions of little (and big) crappy things that I can't waste more energy on it. So if something was going to be difficult I'd rather it be the house that we rent than the job that we moved here for. 

We got a new puppy! After weeks of practicing his sales skills on me, I caved and welcomed the most adorable little boy yellow lab into the family. He's growing very quickly, and is ALL puppy. Biting and barking and peeing everywhere, ha. Lily took a few days to warm up to him; he's a bit of a pest to her.  I told her that's how little brothers are supposed to be- I have one too! But I wouldn't trade him for anything in the whole wide world (my little brother and hers!).  The first day they actually played together I quietly and discretely did a cheer! I do love the little Jory, and Lily is learning to be a great big sister. 

Now that things are settling down I hope to be back. Summer's halfway over and I hope to have more amazing adventures to report. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

I appreciate Me.

Driving through Kansas State University's campus a few weeks ago, in sunshiny whether, I was annoyed at all those college kids.  I noticed how they'd just step of the street in front of a car, how they wore way to short of shorts, and how young they all seemed.  It's been 7 years since I graduated college. SEVEN?! WHOA.

But you know what, I think I decided today that I am happy I'm not college-aged anymore.

On a quest to be a more authentic version of myself, I've tried to become comfortable with who I am, what I am, all of me, right now, in this exact moment.  Even though we are all working to be better versions of ourselves, I want to be happy in my shoes, now.  That's all I get for certain, and it makes for a more happy life.  This morning in yoga I set the intention to just appreciate me.  No negative self-talk.  I initially meant this just as "in yoga" like when I use a block for a side angle pose and wish I was as strong as the girl I'm facing because she's not using a block and also looks amazing in those yoga pants.  I tried to just say "great job with that chair pose, you kicked its ass!" and "nice job coming to practice today, you will definitely benefit mentally and physically. I'm proud of you."

I'll tie this together, let me get there.

Tonight I shared drinks and stories with some of my friends I hadn't seen in a while.  Since I'm leaving soon we're trying to soak it all in now.  After some food, we decided to wander through Aggieville (think downtown college area with bars and shops) and shopped a little bit.  I tried on clothes that were cute and summery and also maybe a bit to young for me.  I felt bloated from mexican, and awkward in the smallest clothes on the universe. (seriously, they are made for elves.)  I felt old, and fat, and not the same as I was 7 years ago.  I felt a little down on myself.

Then I thought about my earlier intention. You know what?  I'm not 21.  I've got a few years and a few hundred million more experiences on me than I did 7 years ago.  But I am damn proud of who I am right now, and all of those crazy, happy, horrible, sad, thrilling, lovely experiences.

Maybe we should all make lists of things we are proud of ourselves for.  Here are some of mine.

  • I have an honest, true, deeply loving relationship with one of the best men in the entire world.  I get to call him my husband. We had a kick-ass wedding filled with love, laugher, drinks, fun, great music, and the most outstanding family and friends who traveled far and wide on a holiday to celebrate with us. 

  • I own a dog, (at one point all on my own) and she is one freaking awesome dog. 

  • I have 2 homes in my (our) possession. And yes, it's a pain we have them and don't live in them, but how fortunate to have 2 roofs to be over our heads, should we need them.
  • I love my family. 

  • I've jumped out of an airplane.

  • I lost the love of my life. And I hated it. I was dragged kicking and screaming back into life. I didn't die. 
  • I've made some of the very best friends in people I only knew online for a while.

  • I have run a 10 mile race in DC in honor of an amazing man.  Twice.

  • I have run countless 5K and other races, all of them with my teammate by my side.
  • I have moved 4 times in the past 2 years.  I'm pretty good at it now.
  • I started my own business.
  • I was able to provide support to 2 of my closest friends as they welcomed the most beautiful baby boy. 

  • I have gone back to school to pursue a dream I didn't even know I had 7 years ago.
  • I reached my original "goal career" 2 or so years after college. 
  • Earned my own Spurs.

  • I can travel with the best of them.
  • My music taste is so. much. better. 
  • I swam with dolphins.
  • I've conquered my migraines (it's an ongoing process). 
  • I'm a yogi :)

So ya, I'm not 100lbs, wearing short skirts and running through the snow to mad jacks (read: college bar, no longer there). But I'm ok with that. College was awesome, and some of the friends I made there are unmatched- I wouldn't trade them for the world.  But I really like where I'm at.  Friday night blogging at 8:30pm. :)

I'm definitely fine with this.

I appreciate me.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hrvatin Heritage and Happiness

Grandma and Grandpa's Wedding Day
I was home a couple weeks ago for my grandmother's funeral.  After being in the nursing home for about 8 years, it was her time to go home.  Although we miss her dearly, we know that her life was lived to the fullest possible extent and now she is reunited with my grandpa.  They have to be overjoyed to be back together again!  He passed about 2 years ago, and since then it has seemed unnatural for them to be apart.

In the few days we spent looking through photographs and recounting memories, I came away full to the brim with happiness and love.  So many pictures of my dad when he was younger, and our whole family, reminded me that life is good.  As my aunt and I tried to recap memories of grandma to the pastor who would be doing her funeral service, the themes I noticed in my grandmother's life were laughter, love, and happiness.  Could there be a better legacy?  To know that even in times where they didn't have a lot of money, or the nicest car, or a brand new TV, their days were filled with happiness.  People remember her laughter and so many of her sayings.  I remember my grandparents house as the most fun place to spend time, with a front porch swing, and a tree we could climb in the front.  I remember being happy there and feeling loved there, always.

They didn't have everything, but they knew happiness.  It is so easy to get caught up in the irrelevant details of life.  It's quite a mental shift to realize that happiness is not wrapped up in material things.  That seems to get away from me in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  So many people are searching for the secret to happiness.  Simplify and love and you will live a happy life.  That's what I learned from these memories.

So in weeks like this one, where I begin to feel sad and afraid for the way our world is shaping up, I remember that foundation.  The love and happiness that surround me from family and friends.  I suppose even in times of anger and distress, if you have those people around you, everything will be ok.

The only time my dad was ever chubby.
Baby Ron

Typical Easter Picture.  Look at that pout! Ha!
My Father on his first job post-college.

Grandpa and my Dad fixing a car.  This is one of my favorites!

Grandpa in uniform

My Grandfather's "Enlisted Man's Pass" From the Army Air Corps

Grandpa carried mail for 30+ years, always with a smile. 
Most of the pictures of Grandma were on display, but I was able to take home some of the pictures of my dad and my grandfather. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New York to California

It's all about perspective, ladies and gentleman.  I continue to be reminded of that over and over.

(Pause...Are there even gentleman that read this blog?! Anyway...)

After a few mentally exhausting days that had me filled with anger, but without anyone to direct that anger toward, I broke down last night.  I cried in my car, I withdrew from participating in any part of dinner/discussion/pet parenting/school work.  I just didn't want to.  I felt horrible.  Because all I wanted to do was throw something through something else, break something, run over something, and scream until I felt pain in my throat. I haven't felt that angry in a while.

Then it happened- a change of perspective.  I crawled out of my hole and I heard a song randomly selected by the iTunes shuffle gods. New York to California by Mat Kearney. A song I used to think about in very different terms, but it brought me 180 degrees from where I was. Made me stop dwelling on what I have not, and rejoice in what I have. What I have is so much.

If you find yourself lost out in this world
Then I'll find a way to get back to your side.
No mountains to high, no stone is too small
I'll build a bridge through the fire
For you I would crawl
From New York to California.

I have the best partner, who is on my side, believes in my goodness, and throws love my way. And I'd crawl anywhere to get to him.

It's all about perspective.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Baby Frankie

It's finally time to post about the beautiful new baby in my life :)  Ok he is not my baby, but I try to snuggle him as much as possible and I look forward to telling him when he is older about how adorable he was as a baby.

One of my closest friends had her little baby boy, Frankie, on March 3 after about a day of contractions at home, and an estimated 17 hours in labor at the hospital.  She was nothing short of superwoman.  She was allowed to have 2 people with her while she was in labor, and I was luckily able to to be the extra person beside her husband.  She was strong and in control during contractions, she didn't scream, moan or yell at all.  She was surprised when the nurses kept telling her how impressed they were with how she was handling the pain of the contractions.  She was able to recognize her limits and the fact that she hadn't slept, and she made the right decision that allowed her some relief and rest to gather energy for the delivery.  She was patient when the doctor told her to take another nap before getting started, when inside my head I was screaming JUST GET THE BABY OUT!  I was so, so anxious, and she was graceful and trusting in the process.  She did fantastic and Frankie was born around 5pm weighing around 7lbs, happy and healthy and perfect.  It was literally one of the most amazing moments I've experienced.  I cannot imagine how much more emotional the experience is when it's your own child. :)

Without further delay, I will include a couple of the best pictures.

Foot Rubs for Momma

Frankie finally made his arrival!

Grabbing Daddy's finger :)
Family of 3!

Congratulations to Mom, Dad and little Frankie! Nick and I cannot wait to share your next adventure as parents with you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I have been turning my cell phone off while I am in yoga classes because I have this secret fear that even if it's on vibrate I will have a random reminder go off, or I set an alarm for something and the whole class's savasana will be interrupted by alarming phone noises.  The thing is, most times after class I forget my phone is off.  Probably because I almost never turn it off unless I'm on an airplane.  It's nice to be disconnected and focus on that moment only, not what everyone is posting on facebook, or how many games of gems with friends I have to play, or if I should make a good instagram picture about what I'm doing right now.  It's nice to get lost in my thoughts, even briefly.  I am so quick to automatically check every single method of social media and communication before I even have a cup of coffee in the morning.  It's a nice reminder that the world is fine without me knowing all of everyone's business, and I don't need to share all the intimate details of my daily moments with the mass public.

I have found myself leaving my phone sitting on the table top longer and longer lately.  It's a realization that I really don't need to carry it around with me.  It's ok if it's not within my arms reach.  If someone does call, it will ring.  That's the whole point.  Letting go of all these random forms of mostly pointless communication and focusing on the person I'm with, the task I am working on, the music I'm listening to feels so much better.  No rushing for the next, but fully participating in the now.  People are important to me, and because of that it also seems important to remember that the people I am physically/mentally/telephonically spending my time with deserve my focus at that moment.  I may choose to focus a little more on present moments and be disconnected for longer periods of time.  I like the way it changes my perspective. And it's really all about perspective :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thoughts on Family

I wanted to share this quote that my sister-in-law shared with me. We discussed it at length and I really think it has merit, so I wanted to share it!

Hope your Sunday was fantastic!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day, and a Song

Happy Valentine's Day friends! :) I hope your day is filled with reminders of how much you are loved- by friends, family, pets, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, coworkers, children, the postman- Whoever!

I also wanted to share with you a song that makes me think of my husband- I have been OBSESSED with it lately.

You saw my pain, washed out in the rain 
Broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins 
But you saw no fault no cracks in my heart 
And you knelt beside my hope torn apart 
But the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view 
And we'll live a long life 
So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light 
Cause oh they gave me such a fright 
But I will hold as long as you like 
Just promise me we'll be alright...

(you should probably download it immediately)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Youth Asleep

Sometimes at night when he falls asleep before me, I turn toward him and watch his outline against the shade-covered window.
I listen to him breathe calmly in and out. Steady. Unwavering.
Those moments calm me, and I soak them in.
I watch his chest move up and down, and I thank any and all of the powers that be that he is laying next to me, heart beating strong, body working perfectly.
I memorize those breaths, how they sound.
I take mind pictures of his profile, the way is forehead is relaxed, the proportions of his face.
I memorize these moments so I can remember and repeat them to myself.

You never stop being a (n almost) widow.  I have habits, like this one, that are the result.  I'm lucky and thankful to have him, and I pay more attention and log more memories.  My past reminds me to live fully in these moments before they are just memories.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


This week I experienced a day that ended with me feeling nothing but entirely thankful for the blessings I have in my life.  It wasn't much different from an ordinary day, but the small things that happened filled my heart with love. 

I received a gift from a friend that I put on as soon as I opened the package, sitting in my car in front of the clubhouse where I had to pick the package up. Sometimes I forget how much something little can make someone feel special and I was so grateful that she took the time to think of me and remind me I'm loved.

While I was at work later in the day, I heard a song on the radio I haven't heard in so long.  Faithfully isn't a song the mix station we listen to ever plays.  I choose to think it was him.  It came on at a time when I was working the desk by myself, so I was able to truly enjoy it without having to explain to anyone why I was teary-eyed.  I smiled and thanked him.  He has to know how much I needed to hear from him.  I laughed because following that song is one of the songs I hate the most right now, "If I die young."  One of my girlfriends chalked it up to the radio's sense of humor. It just all felt very good, very familiar, and filled my heart to the brim with love.

That night after work I headed to a yoga class. I am always drained after work, but I know that going makes me feel amazing so I try to shove the tired to the side and go anyway. I am so glad I did.  The class was packed! I mean only-a-few-inches-from-your-neighbor, we-all-kept-scooting-to-make-more-room packed.  But the class- the best! The music mix that accompanied us was a mix of iron and wine, mumford and sons, florence and the machine, and other fantastic artists.  We did a lot of chest openers, which is exactly what you need after a day sitting at a desk. And I left feeling euphoric.

Talking with my husband after my day, I couldn't stop jabbering about how all these amazing things happened to me and that I felt like more great things were on their way. I am so, very blessed in all area of my life that it's funny how I don't always recognize it.  

Thank goodness for amazing days like this. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Lately I've been feeling very heavy.  I think that's the right word for how I'm feeling.  Overwhelmed by bad instead of good, by conflict instead of resolution, but anger instead of kindness, by loud instead of quiet.

Do you ever feel like this?

I acknowledge that events in the last few months have been very depressing, filled with hurt, anger confusion and devastation.  I wonder if it's better or worse that we are more accessible to the horrible things.  I mean accessible in a 24-hours a day, constant news cycle, alerts on our phone, articles posted on social media way.  Reading and hearing other people's comments on horrible things, or opinions that attack and degrade others is only one smart phone tap away.  For me, sometimes it is too much.

I have had to consciously start taking myself away from the negatives to try to refocus on the positives. (read: I have a tendency to be a glass-half-empty kind of girl, making this difficult). Turn off the show (or leave the room) that is spewing negative jargon.  Change the discussion when it concerns only disaster, anger, hatred, and ugliness.  Chose to listen to nothing in the car, instead of another view on exactly how to fix our crazy world.

I don't think I'm doing it very well yet.  I work to focus on the positive, to stay calm and relaxed, to honor my feelings, and to treat others with kindness.  But when I'm working on that, and you want to discuss which people are idiots for their beliefs, I have to disengage.  I do not have all the answers, and I no longer know who I agree or disagree with, but right now my heart is too heavy.  I choose not to discuss these upsetting issues because I know I will dwell for hours after the conversation.

But most of the time, my exit is less than graceful.

I hope to be able to find my way, choosing positive over negative, so that I may feel more true happiness, however there is quite a learning curve.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Start of New Year

Happy 2013 everyone!  This year with Christmas and all the travel that entailed, and school work through the holiday season, and our 1 year anniversary (WOW!) I didn't have much time to think about resolutions or changes I wanted to make for the new year until January.  I think I'm ok with taking a little time in January to decide what I'd like to work on this year, rather than hastily picking too many things, or something that I loose sight of a couple months in.

I have been thinking about what I'd like 2013 to look like, and what I'd like to bring to this year, and how I want to see myself on the other side. There are several thing that are surfacing.

Financial Unity. (I'm sure my husband will enjoy that phrase I just made up!) We desperately need to work on saving as a team- getting on the same page.  It's not just saving but feeling like we are managing money as a team.  We have work a lot on this in 2012 and have worked out a lot of kinks.  Still, we are both great at living individually, and coming together has been somewhat of a tug of war on how we should manage our money.  I am insecure because I don't bring in much money while I'm also in school.  I don't want to be those people who can't enjoy life because they are saving, but I also cannot worry daily that we are depleting our savings should an emergency happen. This is definitely a "Team Blunt" Resolution for 2013 because I can't do this one alone.

Letting Go, and Showing Kindness.  I hope I can explain this in the way that I have internalized it.  I have been taking a yoga class lately, and something the instructor discussed a few weeks back really stuck with me.  She read us some philosopher's words about enlightenment and transcendence.  I listened and took it in.  I began to understand her words as facing disagreement with understudying, facing anger with love.  Surpassing the energy it takes to get upset, have an argument, rehash it over and over in your head, hate, judge, and be angry, and then deciding to move forward.  Instead, what an idea to see what is coming, and decide to let all of that go before it happens.  Deciding to choose instead to let it go, and remain happy, peaceful, and content.  Does that even make sense?  I know it would be better if I could post the reading she used, but I really have no idea what it was.  It just caught me and I took it in in this way.  So if you followed that, you may empathize with me in that this is exactly the opposite of what I do! I have been trying to keep this idea in the forefront of my thoughts and recognize instances where I waste my energy and time in negativity, and instead let it go.  Not easy.  I fail frequently.  But I think something as revolutionary as this, completely changing my thought process at times, takes practice.  This is what I hope to focus on in 2013.

Along with those smaller goals that pop up from time to time- exercise, health and nutrition, living in the moment, loving my husband in the best way I can, consciously being a better friend.  We are always working on things. Our nature as humans is imperfection, so changes occur as we search to be better people.  And what better time than the start of a new year?!

What are you doing for 2013?