Farewell Adored Austin party!

Monday, July 21, 2014

This Friday, come by the new Langford Market store and bid me adieu (or good riddance). There will be wine and sweets and I'll try really hard not to cry on your nice shirt.
Whether we're meeting for the first time or saying goodbye, I'd love to see you! Come out for this fun ladies night. Everyone is invited, it's come and go from 6-9pm, so go ahead and RSVP here. Maybe we can brainstorm and see what we should do about TxSC, too.
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Review: Sleep Number x12 Bed with Sleep IQ Technology

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I'm on a little house hunting trip here in Atlanta, and you know what? I miss my bed.

Don't get me wrong, I love staying at my mother-in-law's, but I, literally, have the best bed in the world back home in Austin.

Something that I don't think I've mentioned here is the fact that I don't sleep well. If you've ever gotten an email or Facebook message from me at 2 a.m. you'll know it's because I have trouble sleeping. I've talked a little about my struggle with sleeplessness at church and with my girlfriends before, but not much on here because honestly, it's sad! It's sad that I had just resigned myself to living a life with very little rest. But all that's starting to change!

Do you follow the Consumer Electronics Show news at all? I do, because I'm a nerd like that. I always get excited to see what debuts, and this year, CES was all abuzz with the introduction of the Sleep Number x12 Bed. I saw it, and I, too, was mesmerized. I wanted that bed! I needed that bed!

So when the chance to try the Sleep Number x12 Bed with Sleep IQ Technology became available to me, I leapt at the chance. It sounded too good to be true: a bed that tracks how well you sleep, gives you suggestions on how to improve, and even gets your partner to stop snoring? No freaking way.

I was skeptical, so I kept my old bed unsure that I would like the new one (not that I loved my old bed, but I was hesitant, you know?). Long story short: I slept that very first night. I really could not believe it. We got the bed at the beginning of March, before I had Lucy, so I've had over three months with this thing, and I'm still gaga for it. Our old bed will be banished to the guest room forever now!

Sleep Number came out to my house last month to ask me what I thought about the x12 and the Sleep IQ Technology, and I was able to share just why it is so special (featuring cameos of my kids and husband and our colorful house!):

I know this all reads and sounds like a commercial, but y'all, it's really that brilliant. I recognize that the x12 is a bit of a stretch cost-wise, but what's really great is that the Sleep IQ Technology is available for Sleep Number beds starting at $999.00. No matter if you're pregnant, an insomniac, nursing, married to a snorer or not, it's not a bad investment at all. I mean, seriously, this bed has a stop partner from snoring feature, has in-bed massage, and turns on your nightstand lights all by remote or voice command. On top of that it tracks your sleep quality and makes suggestions for better sleep? Man, it's like we're living in Jetsons time, right?

This is not recommended or suggested, but I half wonder if I could plug a coffee maker into the nightstand light outlet and my bed could even make me a cup of coffee in the morning, too...

The future! We have arrived! Now goodnight!

Disclosure: My family received the Sleep Number x12 bed for review. This is not a sponsored post nor we were compensated beyond the bed. Honest, unscripted opinions on the product were given with permission to be featured. 

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I could never be one of those cheerful people on one of those house hunting shows.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

So there's this scene in an episode of Sex and The City where Carrie goes to try on wedding gowns with Miranda, and she's so stressed out about her pending nuptials that she breaks out in hives. I could completely commiserate with that, as wedding dress shopping was something that I did not look forward to. At the time (ten years ago!) it seemed like such a large, daunting decision. There was this dress: A dress everyone would see me in. The dress that I should have dreamed up in my childhood and fantasized about for at least two decades. A dress that would be photographed on my body literally hundreds of times in one day. A dress that I would lovingly preserve and save in the chance that one day I'd pass it on to someone else to love forever. There was so much hope and expectation that came with wedding dress shopping, and I just couldn't handle all that pressure. So... I just put it off and put it off and put it off until it was six weeks until my wedding day and I hadn't tried on a single dress.

It was actually Chris who got me to go into the store (his amp repair guy was married to a woman who owned a bridal shop and he had finagled me a discount). I took my mom and my best friend Brooke with me, with the expectation that I would never find anything that lived up to this monumental thing I thought a wedding dress had to be. I expected to come home with something I felt lukewarm about. I expected to feel raw and dejected during the whole experience. I felt defeated before I even began. "So long as it's long, white, and my boobs and butt are covered, I'm fine." But I wasn't fine.

Farewell, Austin

Monday, June 16, 2014

I have some big news.

News that I've been hesitating to blog about because I'm in a bit of denial about it, but I think that once I type it, once I publish it, once it's out there as some kind of line in the sand that I'll start to let the reality of it all sink in:

We are moving.

Not just moving across town or to another city in Texas. We are moving to Atlanta, Georgia.

My heart just aches about this but at the same time, I know that it's a place where my family will flourish.

I have so much to say and I don't even know where to begin.

Chris grew up in and went to college in Atlanta. His entire family and an incredible group of his college friends are still there. We do every Christmas in Atlanta, and it makes me so happy to see Chris in Atlanta. He lights up there.

Despite this I have always said that I would never live in Atlanta, and once I moved to Austin, I said that I would never leave Austin. I love Austin so incredibly much. I've said this time and time again, but Austin is the only place that has ever felt like home to me. It seems like the city is full of people who never felt at home anywhere... until they came here. And that is endearing to me. I feel like I'm amongst a city full of kindred spirits.

We moved here so Chris could join a band and have a nice job in the tech industry, and I happened to find acceptance (and paid work!) in the acting community as well as recognition in the blogging and fashion circles. We found amazing friends and a church community and mentors that God used to change our lives and our marriage. I grew up here-- not literally, but emotionally, spiritually, and as a person, in general. We ran to this city with our arms stretched wide open and Austin embraced us in a fierce bear hug!

Allen's Boots (1 of 2)
Eight years ago, I moved here not expecting to ever be a mom. I didn't think God had that in store for me, with my unstable career aspirations, rocky marriage, and health issues. But... (and I don't use this word lightly) in some kind of miracle those things changed. I, against all odds, became a mother. Three times!

After my grandma passed away in December, I began feeling a little untethered. My grandpa had passed away shortly after I got married, and with her passing, that was it: the death of the two people who had raised me. After Lucy was born in March, I came to really love the interaction my kids were able to have with their visiting grandparents. I was no longer satisfied with them having a Skype-based relationship and only seeing them a couple times a year.

I have a huge bank of childhood memories that are so precious to me because I grew up in the same town as my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. I really want that for our kids. As I said, Chris grew up in Atlanta and his giant family is all there (Except for one brother, who we think will return eventually! Right, Dennis?!). I have family in Florida and my best friend lives in South Carolina, so a move east just makes sense.

I appreciate that Chris has never pressured me into moving to Atlanta. In fact, he never even brought it up because he knows that I'm one of Austin's biggest cheerleaders-- that my heart is beholden to this city and the people in it. My church is here, my blog is here, my kids were born here. Austin marches to the beat of its own drummer, and for the last eight years I've marched in time with it, at times even leading the parade!

Yet when it became clear to us that it was time for Chris to start looking for a new job, I quietly asked myself, "What if..."

What if he looked for work in Atlanta?
What if we considered a move?
What if our kids could be closer to family?
What if we could rekindle some of those Atlanta relationships?

So I told Chris to consider Atlanta in his job search. He was surprised because he had given up on the possibility that I would ever move, but it's kind of like me and motherhood. The timing felt ripe. I wasn't ready, but I was ready, if you know what I mean. If God was willing to do the hard work to pave a path and open doors, I was willing to walk the path and go through the doors.

Chris made a list of what I now call the dream job list scenario: what it would take for him to uproot our family and for him to leave his current job. That list seemed impossible, but after only a short while of looking, he found it. He's already begun work there, and we've been spending the last month or so readying our family and ourselves for the move.

I'm teary as I write this post. I wish I could pack everyone and everything I love about this city into a giant U-Haul and take it all with me to Atlanta. I dread having to look into Jude's little face and his best friend Bella's face to tell them that they won't see each other for a long, long time (or maybe ever?). I have hated telling my friends that I'm leaving. I feel like I've tied and knotted my heartstrings all over this city, and I hate this process of detangling myself from it all.

I never knew that it was possible to be so sad about something but at the same time so hopeful about something.

I leave later this week for a house hunting trip, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog until I return after the 4th of July (You know I'll still be Instagramming, though!). And truth be told, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with a blog called Adored Austin if I'm... you know... no longer living in Austin.

So as I ready my family for a move, I want to ready y'all for a move, too. Not now, but some time later this summer, this blog will move. It will be rebranded as something else, and my social media links and URL will all change, too. Try as I might, I can't take Austin with me to Atlanta, but I do hope that when I have to leave Adored Austin that I can take you all with me.

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Father's Day Gift Ideas Featuring Duluth Trading Co // + A $50 Gift Card Giveaway

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

There are only a few things I pride myself on, but one of them is gift giving. I really enjoy giving gifts, and I think I've finally found the perfect place for Father's Day shopping. Although I really love giving gifts, alas I'm a last minute shopper, often giving gifts late. The way I see it, it's an added level of anticipation. "Did she remember? Or is she late?" Ha!

Can you believe that Father's Day is this Sunday already? Wasn't it just Father's Day?! Are you as behind in your Father's Day shopping as I am?

Duluth Trading Company is perhaps the most manly place of all places to purchase gifts. I don't think Ron Swanson would be caught dead shopping online, but if his wife were shopping for him online, Duluth Trading Co, undoubtedly would be where she'd shop. Here are just a few of their offerings I had my eye on for Chris:

1. Bashful Billionaire's Briefcase // 2. Six in One Nautical Knife // 3. U.S. Military Pilot Sunglasses // 4.  The Sprucer Upper Grooming Kit // 5. The Meteor Rocket // 6. Snake Eyes Lawn Dice // 7.Working Man's Grooming Kit // 8. Bison Driving Moccasins

Chris recently told me a cute manly story about how he complimented a dude's leather laptop bag at work and it began a friendship. Since he will be traveling a lot for work this year, I wanted to get him a bag that would make him put his bag envy to rest. He got the Bashful Billionaire's Briefcase, and he says that it's the kind of bag that he can use for the rest of his life. Top notch quality! (Photo coming soon!).

If, like me, you're scrambling for the perfect gift for the dads in your life, please don't just get him another tie or hastily try some disastrous, sentimental art project you've pinned. Maybe celebrate the manliness of him. Order tonight and spring for priority shipping -or- pick out something so freaking awesome that he won't even mind that it's a tiny bit late.

Enter to win a $50 gift card to Duluth Trading Company below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Details: The giveaway will be open on Wednesday, June 11 and end Sunday, June 15, 2014. Two commenters will be selected to receive a one $50 giftcard to use at DuluthTrading.com. Winners will be selected automatically via Rafflecopter once the giveaway closes. Duluth Trading Co. is responsible for prize fulfillment. 

Be sure to check out the Duluth Trading Company blog for dad gift ideas.

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