5 things I need RIGHT NOW from Gentle Fawn

5.27.2015





℅ Gentle Fawn sweatshirt; Target skirt, old (option) and sandals; Old Navy bag, old (option); Rayban sunglasses; ℅ Lulu*s necklace.

You know that moment when you visit a new website and all of a sudden you see exactly how you want to dress right now? This happens to me every so often, a single store or website will grab my attention and I will find a bunch of pieces that speak to how I want to look at any given moment. I tend to grab onto a theme or color story for a particular season or so, before moving on. This spring and summer I am all about washed out denim, shades of white and blue, and anything that screams easy living. Nothing tight or form fitting, please! I don't want to fuss or have anything complicated going on, either. I just want to grab things and go, but look good, too! The summer season for me involves lots of beach days with my kids, visits to the park, bike rides and long walks. Believe me when I say, I have zero time for putting things together;)

Which  brings me to Gentle Fawn and their wonderfully curated pieces. The color palette they have going on is EXACTLY what I want to wear right now, and their pieces are effortless and cool looking. Who doesn't want that? While I love everything they have going on on their site, I thought I'd narrow down my top five! 

I adore a washed out chambray (see above), and this chambray  tunic dress would look awesome with ankle boots OR sandals. I feel like I could accessorize it many different ways, and also wear it as a bathing suit cover up. Pure perfection.

This crocheted white peasant skirt is another piece I can see styled many different ways! My favorite way would be with a slouchy tank and a cute hat and simple sandals. Love!

These white lace shorts scream boho chic to me (which you KNOW is right up my alley!), and would be great with a bikini top on the beach, a chambray shirt half tucked in, or a simple tee. 

I love a white maxi dress in the summer, and the lacing detail on the side, paired with the blue embroidery on the front, is so fun. I would wear this all season long!

This slouchy cardigan would be perfect for wearing when the nights get a little chilly, and would work with just about any outfit. 

Tell me, which one is your favorite from this list? 

what the military has taught my children (and myself)

5.25.2015



The Tipsy Elves tank (under $22!); Madewell shorts; Target sandals (similar); Rayban sunglasses; Lemons and Lace headband.

This post first was published in April 2014, it has been updated and revised!

My daughter asked me the other day what Memorial Day was all about, and I was able to explain it to her as well as let her know how important it is that we celebrate it. Memorial Day is something we take pretty seriously in our house, we are a military household and live a life where sacrifice and working for your country is a daily thing. My children see their dad work hard for our country, and it makes me so proud for them to see this close up. Honoring those that have served and lost their lives is something I think about often, and I hope my children can always be grateful for the wonderful country we live in, and always think of those that served and have served. We are lucky to be living the life we do, and I'm thrilled to not only be a military wife, but a mom of two kids that can see some amazing things up close and on a daily basis.

This life is hard on those that live it daily, though, and I think of my children the most when I think of living the military life and all it entails.

You see, I'm someone who grew up in the same town and had friends from first grade all the way up to college. I can drive by my elementary school and high school when I go back home, and see the movie theater where we all went on group dates, and sit on the ocean wall where we would sit on breaks in high school and watch the boys surf. I have a zillion memories of this one small town, my entire childhood is there and it's a piece of my past that will never go away no matter how far I move. Yet I wonder how it will be for my children, because they will never have that. They won't have one childhood best friend, the mall where they hung out with their friends on a Saturday night, or anything permanent beyond us and the belongings which can be shipped in multiple boxes every four years or so. There won't be a forever house, a forever street, a forever anything.

Except.

They'll have a life that gives them adventure, always. They will learn to move and grow and change, constantly. Growing up I was always afraid of change, it scared me and made me shy and awkward. I remember going from a very small junior high to a huge (to me) high school and feeling so overwhelmed and homesick. It took me well into my sophomore year to feel comfortable in my skin again, to feel like the person I had been before. I look back at that scared girl, who was lost and afraid at any change that came her way, and I don't recognize her. She was so wounded by change, so unable to adapt to something new. She withdrew into herself and couldn't see the light.

I'm a military wife now. I've moved five times in ten years and I've seen how easy it is to adapt to new situations. I relish it now. I have never once moved this past decade and not met amazing friends, grown to love my new home, and my new place in life as it stands at that moment. I've learned that it is so hard to move and leave the things we know, but it always works out. Always. I can leave a place I've called home and know with every part of my being that it will be fine. That I will meet new friends and be okay wherever we land

Here's the thing. Moving a lot teaches me that it doesn't matter what house I live in, what the street number is, or how far away I am from what I know. The people I call family are all I need. My marriage is strong today, because it has to be. Being away from everything quickly shows you what is truly important. We've grown together and become tight because we have been places where the two of us is all we had. Becoming friends as well as partners has been a necessity to survival. As long as I have my children and husband I can make the rest work. I carry friendships through all the moves, the friends that mean something and stand by me no matter what our zip codes are. We can be in Alaska or Florida, it doesn't matter. All of my possessions can be packed up in boxes and shipped across the country time and time again, because when it is all unpacked and put away, when we settle into our new home, we begin again.

See, my children won't have a forever home. They won't have one best friend from childhood, but they will have a handful of really important friends that span the country. They will learn to grow wherever they land, to see places I never dreamed I would ever see. By the time they go to college they will have an entire life behind that would have been completely foreign to me at that age. I think that all the stuff I think about when I look back on my childhood doesn't matter. I may relish the thought of my hometown and all that I grew up with, but the fact of the matter is, I've grown out of that life. I have the memories of a life lived well, stories that make me smile and a place that made me who I am, but now I know better.

It's not a place that makes us feel like home, but a feeling. It's the people and the memories and the experiences. I hope when my children look back they won't see the moves and the leaving of friends and a bunch of different homes. Instead they'll have images of the fun we had, the adventures and life and moments. Being able to say, I've seen the country and experienced the magic of what this world is all about. They will be able to adapt, instantly, with new experiences. They will be able to know that life isn't over when we move every few years, it's just beginning. I've never moved once in this whole military experience where life hasn't gotten better every single time. I've met friends in each place that mean the world to me, stayed in touch with the ones I've left, and I look forward to the ones I'll meet down the road.

Someday we'll find a place to land, to plant roots and stay forever . I look forward to that day, but I also know that wherever my children are, wherever my husband takes us, I am okay, because I have them to ground me and make me feel that anywhere they are is home.








5 reasons why being in your 30's is AWESOME

5.22.2015





Forever 21 top, old (option); Target sandals and tote, both old (sandal option, tote option); Old Navy jeans; Urban Outfitter's hat, old (option.)

I'm fast approaching my 35th birthday (yikes!), and it has got me thinking about this decade and how wonderful I have found it to be. I think for a lot of people turning 30 can be hard, because it can feel OLD and it is sort of weird to leave your 20's (and maybe even your youth behind?) Ha!) I've found my 30's to be THE BEST though, personally, and would love to share exactly why this time has been awesome for me. Here goes!

1) My 30's for me has brought me a better sense of self love and acceptance. Weirdly enough, I'm not at my thinnest, and I won't ever see that magical college weight again, but I'm okay with that. I've given birth and raised two babies, and with that I've seen how much my body can do. I work out harder than I ever did in my 20's, and eat better, too. I've found that taking care of myself has given me a better acceptance of myself. I love being able to complete a long run, or kick my own butt in a bootcamp style class. I have the power to reach my own fitness goals and to follow through on my plans for health and wellness, and that is really empowering to me.

2) I don't really care about what other people think, outside of my own family. As long as I'm not hurting anyone, I don't really care about what people think. If I want to wear red lipstick at 8am to the playground, or tattoo myself all over, or do anything that expresses my true self, I do it! I've found that as long as I am happy about what I'm wearing/doing/watching/reading/etc, then it really doesn't matter what other people think. I think worrying about others' opinions is something that I used to care WAY to much about in my teens and 20's, and this is no longer true. I'm happier and better from a mental standpoint for not caring. I know what I like and I'm unapologetic about showing it.

3) I'm happier than I ever have been, and content, too. This is partly because my kids are at a great age now, where they are still small, yet able to do a lot of things for themselves (no more diapers, yay!) I love where we are living and have a great group of tried and true friends. I've been married long enough to know that a bad day does not make a bad life (and to not nag at throw pillows that aren't perfectly straight on the couch…oops!) I guess I have found that I am content to be WHERE I am, and with WHO I am, and I don't find myself wanting more, you know? I just plain LIKE my life at this point, and can think of nothing I really need, and that was missing in my younger years for sure. 

4) My marriage is better than ever. I've written before about being married and what I've learned that has made life better. We've been together long enough that I can tell what he needs a lot of the time without him having to say anything, and he can do the same (er, mostly;) In our earlier days we would fight more over stupid things, or I would get aggravated when he couldn't miraculously read my mind. I think we have both mellowed out in our 30's, and learned how to be a couple, AND to be individual people as well. I'm also happier in my own skin, which gives me the confidence to be a better wife.

5) I know what I like, and I won't apologize for it. I've found that I am the way I am, and I don't care what other people think about that. I'm a "home person', happy to be in my sweats in the couch on a Friday night. I love reading over anything else, and find no shame in reading a ton of YA and romance novels. I like fake diamond rings and watching QVC. I like wearing flower crowns to school drop offs, harem pants to the grocery store, and love shopping almost exclusively at Target. I also don't like to judge how other people live their lives, either. I used to judge people a lot in my teens and 20's, and thought life was very black and white. Now I know there is often a backstory that we don't know, and judging folks without this knowledge is ridiculous. Also, the days of wanting to be part of the popular crowd, or liking things purely because other people do is (mostly) behind me, and I'm happier for it. Life is too short to be embarrassed about the things you like, and I think that this decade has brought a better awareness of this fact for me.

Tell me, what do you love most about the age you are RIGHT NOW?

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What is your working definition of success?

5.21.2015


I recently saw this question pop up on Hilary Rushford's Instagram and I was so intrigued! I think success can mean different things to different people, and it doesn't have to look like what the person next to you thinks it is, you know? I can break success down into a couple of categories, one for myself, one for my children, and one for my relationship with my husband. Each of these areas encompasses what I live for, and anything outside of that becomes a bonus. 

Success for me personally includes something to work towards that is just for me. I'm not currently working outside of the home, so blogging has become my outlet to express myself these past couple of years. Having this time to write down my thoughts and share them is really important, as I love the connection I get through sharing, and the process of writing it all down in a way that connects me to others. 

I also need time for myself, as alone time is something that really balances me and keeps me aware of my own thoughts and actions. I am an introspective person, so having the time to hear my own thoughts going through my head is something I need.

Having time to read, daily, is really important to me, too! This is my escape and my way to explore the world around me without ever leaving home. Reading is integral to my mental health and well being, without it (or the time to do it), I would be a mess and my days would feel empty. 

Lastly, taking care of myself physically is really important. I don't feel good about myself when I neglect this area of my life, so putting in the time and effort to eat well and exercise is vital to me. 

When it comes to my children, success for me is that they are happy and thriving. I need them to feel good about themselves, and to feel loved and safe. Being home with them and having the ability to always be there is my main version of success right now. I love that I can volunteer in their classrooms, bring them to all their sports practices and appointments, and always be able to be there if they are sick or hurt. I knew when I was pregnant that I would stay at home until they went to school, and that I wanted to be the one that was always there for them. I love being there for them in all ways, and having the time to devote to them fully. Success for me and my children means that mama is always available for them, and I love that.

As for my marriage, success means being content in our life together. It means not sweating the small things, working daily to make his life a little bit easier, and raising our children together. I love that we have history that goes back nearly 15 years, and that in those years we have gone through a lot, both good and bad. I enjoy growing together and laughing over the funny things our kids do. He makes me laugh, daily, and it is one of my favorite things about him! Success in marriage means being happy with the choice I made all those years ago when we said our vows, and not letting a bad day (or weeks, ha!) turn into something bigger. 

Tell me, what is your definition of success?

The type of mom I never wanted to be

5.18.2015



Free People top via Zappos (option, option); Nordstrom tote; Target hat and boots; Old Navy jeans.

Laying in bed this past Friday night I found myself tossing and turning, and mentally debating the amount of therapy my children may need someday. I couldn't stop worrying about how I had acted that evening, and I began judging myself (...something I do more than I would like. Ugh, parenthood!) You see, earlier that night I had been sitting on the bleachers at my daughter's baseball practice shouting out advice. It sounds a lot like this:

"Elbow up!"

"Eyes on the ball!"

"Throw it, don't run!"

"Pay attention!"

I do this often, and find myself being one of the only parents that shouts from the bleachers. I've always felt like these reminders are needed, a parenting habit that I'm assuming never dies? It's pure habit to always give advice, reminders, criticism, and encouragement. Except sometimes it seems like there is a lot more criticism and reminders coming out of my mouth. I forget that there are coaches on the field, and I should probably keep my mouth shut. I've even heard the comment, "Wow, you're harder on her than I am," from her Coach. Which should have been a  red flag, but I ignored it. Stupidly.

To be fair, I am also always cheering, for my child and other children, because I know kids need that. Yet I'm also the mom I have silently judged before. The mom that yells from the stands and won't be quiet. The mom that gets a little TOO into how the game is played, and how my kids are doing. I'm not obnoxious (I hope), I'm not mean or violent, but I watch it all like a hawk, and I'm not shy about mothering my child from the bleachers. I'm the helicopter mom of the baseball stands, if you will. Which I don't want to be! I'm not like that anywhere else, besides at home just being a mom, but somehow I find that when I step on a sports field I become someone else.

Someone I don't want to be.

I want to be the mom that my kids enjoy having in the stands. Always watching, always encouraging. I want to let the Coaches do their job and be a little more quiet. I want to criticize less and let them learn the  game on their own, instead of always shouting out corrections and advice. I want my kids to light up when they see me in the stands, and be happy to see me there. They don't need me for sports advice (because let's be honest, I'm no sports expert), they need be to just be there. To be present and happy not critical.

I'm always surprised by motherhood, by the things I end up doing that I thought I NEVER would. I never thought I would be a helicopter sports mom, and I am.

 I'm hoping to change that. Because we have a game tonight, and this mama needs some help;)


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