Swinging…

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Man am I tired. Andrew and I decided to add a little excitement to our marriage on our anniversary, so we were up late swinging…

DSC_0028 … from a flying trapeze, you guys! Geez, get your minds out of the gutter!

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Honestly, I don’t know how I let him talk me into this one. Have I ever mentioned that I hate hate HATE that dropping feeling in my stomach during a free-fall? Well I do. And as a result, I had absolutely no problem stepping off the platform, but when it came to letting go of the trapeze bar suspended high above the net to fall into said net below? I could not bring myself to unclench my hands! Ha, ha! Really, I was great just swinging back and forth and even hanging upside down by my knees swinging high in the air forever and ever. But drop? Nope. It was actually really funny. The instructors found it amusing at least.

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Andrew, on the other hand, looked like Superman up there, happy to fly and do backflips and front flips and belly flop down onto the net…DSC_0068

I mustered up the courage to go twice, then tried desperately to calm my nerves and be brave, sitting out a few rounds trying to deep breathe and steady my shaking hands. I surprised myself by how freaked out I was, really! I think I’m the type that doesn’t necessarily enjoy an adrenaline rush; rather, I enjoy the calm that comes after it. So to keep jumping (literally) back into the rush was really messing with me! But after a little break, I got back up there and it certainly got easier. The best part of the night was when one of the instructors caught me, hanging upside down, in mid air! So cool. DSC_0075DSC_0076

Thank you, Andrew, for pushing me beyond my comfort zone once again! It’s certainly good for me.

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Oh, and because I didn’t mention it earlier in the post, if you are in the St. Louis area, you can sign up for a flying trapeze class with Circus Harmony at Union Station (pictured above). Circus Harmony deserves a serious shout-out for their amazing programs and just everything they stand for: community, peace, outreach, and social change. They are quick to respond to the hurts of our community (most recently Ferguson). I truly love St. Louis and this is one of the reasons why. So proud to support this organization and want to be a bigger part of it.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Elisha of Koko Kara

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Today I’m featuring a style post by a very fashionable St. Louis mama who, along with her husband JJ, just opened brand new online store Koko Kara. Both Elisha and JJ have impeccable taste and a certain West Coast cool style that I admire. Their store is currently only stocked with a limited number of items, but come fall, they hope to expand and add more inventory for a full line-up. The focus on Japanese style and design and clean modern lines makes this a very special space! Elisha

We did the photo shoot on a super windy spring day!

In their own words:

We feature Momotaro brand jeans that are designed and hand-sewn in Japan’s Okayama, Kojima district which is known for its iconic raw denim. The denim used in each pair is made of selvedge denim— Zimbabwe cotton that is hand dyed with pure indigo, giving each pair unique wear over time. Because each pair is “raw,” the 14.7 oz. denim will fit to your body over time, producing a personalized pair of quality denim. Seams are kept long to enable you to alter the length to the particular look you are going for. 

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Elisha is wearing the Momotaro 14.7 Copper Tight Straight Jean

Thank you, Elisha and JJ, for sharing! We wish you both the best luck on your new business!DSC_0072

 Sweet mama and one of her lovely daughters

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Thanks for stopping by!

8 Years

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Today is our 8-year anniversary, though that seems like the understatement of a lifetime; we’ve been together for almost 16 years and in just a couple more years, that means we will have been together for half our lives. We dove head-first and intensely into a relationship as raucous, silly, emotionally-charged teenagers, and the fact that our relationship survived past the volatile stage of college craziness is amazing. But it did. We pushed through, always magnetically drawn closer together every summer break when we found ourselves with more one-on-one time in-between summer jobs and long distance. We could not stay apart, even through graduate school when we were separated by hundreds of miles, whispering into our phones late every night, letting the silences become comfortable and the heartsickness be felt.

We have become, over the years, closer than I knew was possible between two separate people. It’s not that we finish each other’s sentences, it’s that we say the same things at the same time so often I fear our minds have melded into one — and they haven’t, of course. It’s that everything has been discussed, everything has been forgiven, everything has become an inside joke and everything can be conveyed through a subtle look. We are on the same wavelength, riding along together. He has been my partner for so long that I cannot imagine my life anymore without him, cannot remember very well my life before him; it’s as if he was always there with me.

And yes, we argue. We annoy each other and get into disagreements and it’s always, always okay. We can see the big picture, the history and the future and everything we are to each other. He is my best friend, the gentle and funny and passionate father of my children, he is an admirable public speaker with poise and grace and humility. He is thoughtful and kind and HANDSOME and awesome. I am so proud of him, so proud to be with him, to be by his side through thick and thin. I am so very much in love with this man. Happy Anniversary, Andrew! DSC_0037DSC_0034Here’s to eternity!

P.s. 12 Relationship Tips from a Wedding Reporter… I thought this was really insightful!

Dress That Mama

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No surprise that this neutral patterned skirt is a favorite. It goes with nearly everything I own, so score! I’m also very fond of these Pons slide-on shoes that are made from soft, supple leather and are plenty comfortable (I really like this style as well).

DSC_0004Some days are flowy skirt, bohemian style kind of days, and since it’s Earth Day, I think it fits to dress the part. Hope you are enjoying your spring day!

Reading…

Two Book ReviewI was lucky enough to get my hands on the advance copy of this beautiful book of photography and essays. It’s really a humbling thing to have had this opportunity; thank you Nora, for sending it my way! Read the full book review here, and be sure to pick up your own copy — it is a true marvel.

(Carnival) Weekend Shenanigans

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This weekend was another one of highs and lows, the inevitable shift of seasons that bring warmth and sun one day, clouds and rain and cool weather the next. We had a blast on Saturday, spending every moment together and with dear friends as we enjoyed the carnival that has become an annual April tradition. And with a sigh of relief, we admitted that the idea of the carnival is often much more fun that the actual carnival. Maybe the realization has to do with how quiet our house is most of the time. Sure, there is the pounding of feet or the raised voices of several little boys, but the background noise is often minimal. There is no television blaring, often just the sounds of birds and breezes and the occasional car driving down the street, but really it’s pretty quiet in our home. The sheer amount of noise and stimulation at the carnival was a little crazy-making!

The boys obviously enjoyed themselves, and it’s fun to see them race around from ride to ride (or in Oliver’s case, in desperate search of a face-painting station — he had his heart set!). Milo was finally tall enough for the bumper cars, so the highlight of his day was sitting next to Andrew and chasing after his buddy Jack. Andrew and Alex had a healthy dose of friendly competition and aggression as they chased each other. It was pretty great.

And if you’re wondering, the answer is no, we did not ride the whirling-wheel-of-death: DSC_0033DSC_0035DSC_0036DSC_0014DSC_0018DSC_0019

Emil’s favorite ride was the motorcycle merry-go-round (he has an alarming obsession with motorcycles, oh dear) and Oliver’s moment was being brave enough to spend his last 3 tickets on the dragon roller coaster, which he rode all by himself!

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These guys…

DSC_0087DSC_0091DSC_0093DSC_0101DSC_0106DSC_0110 The beautiful and lovely Maggie

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The highlight of our weekend was spending the afternoon with these great folks. Seriously so much fun, those four, and so easy to be around. We are looking forward to many more of these cook-outs.

Sunday was cool and rainy and the boys were so glum and whiney again. I’m beginning to think that they are re-adjusting to all the outdoor time after this past long winter. We need to toughen them up and build up those walking legs!

I hope you had a great weekend. Happy Monday.

Sleepy Little Buddy

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I can count on one hand how many times Emil has fallen asleep on my chest since he was an infant — not many. So obviously, when he fell asleep in the car on the way home from school yesterday and stayed fast asleep even after I lifted him out, removed his shoes, and carried him to the back yard, you’d better believe I milked it for all it was worth.

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I sure do love that little peanut.

Have a restful weekend.

Favorite Places: Blueprint Coffee

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Blueprint Coffee: 6225 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63130 / phone: 314.266.6808

This past year I’ve explored probably every coffee shop in the city of St. Louis (okay, an exaggeration, but not much of a stretch). Blueprint is one I keep going back to because it’s located in the Loop (just around the corner from our house and Washington University). But it’s less about the convenience and much more about the coffee and food — so consistently good.

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They make their own vanilla syrup, resulting in a smooth, sweet vanilla latte that I am convinced has me addicted… I often joke with the folks who run Blueprint (among the six founding partners I’ve met so far: Mark Marquard of Half & Half, roaster Andrew Timko, retail manager Kevin Reddy, and award-winning barista Nora Brady) that they’ve made me an addict. They are all approachable, friendly, and knowledgeable, and they make a mean product.

There are a few products you can purchase in-store, including some of their delicious jams  and spreads, coffee beans, electric kettles, and drip coffee brewers for at-home hand brew. But I show up for the coffee and either a delicious fluffy biscuit with honey herb butter or, if I’m really hungry, the egg and greens plate. The latter is a perfectly poached egg on crispy thin potato hash with zucchini and red peppers, topped with warm wilted spinach and a mustard cream sauce. It’s one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in quite a while, perfectly seasoned and just the right amount of food. Really, they just get good food.
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Their breads and pastries are also really good. I like that there’s not an overwhelming amount from which to choose, but what they’ve chosen to feature is perfectly executed. DSC_0016 Egg and greens with a side of fruit

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And though it’s usually pretty packed around the end of the week and on the weekends, it’s the perfect place to settle down with a good book (or your laptop — free Wifi) to get lost in a project or just relax. If you’re in the area, come check it out, then walk a couple blocks over to browse Subterranean Books for a select but great collection of books.
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Dress That Mama

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Feminine and delicate, I’m really digging all the white eyelet lacy tops that are in style right now. This one is cool and airy in Indian cotton. I wore it all weekend long and threw a sweater on top when it was chilly, but I imagine I’ll be living in this paired with cut-off jean shorts this summer.
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Top: Ulla Johnson (sold out), find similar here, here, here, or here.

Find similar (relaxed slim) jeans herehere, here, or here. Or on sale, here.