What I Wore This Week

Have you started playing along yet?  This week wasn't as easy as the other weeks, the semester is in full swing and I am starting to feel overwhelmed!  Which unfortunately means some very bad outfits, so bad they were worse than my exam day comfies and I did not photograph them, for fear of having them etched in my memory forever.  So, yeah, there you have it.  Here's what I did wear and what I did photograph :)

{With all of my kids: the fury and my IRC kiddos- you can read more about them here}

Cardigan:  New loot from my Seattle trip, H&M
Dress: Target, I wear the heck out of this
Leggings: WetSeal (I know gasp in horror now, but they're awesome)
Boots: Target, inspired by Lindsey's Forever21 boots that I have been on the hunt for, these are a pretty close second

{Scary day, not worth photographing, shudder}

{Ladies' Retreat, so so happy I chose to go this year, it was an amazing time to sit and be with God and be in the company of amazing women}

Blouse:  Liberty, Target (I was obsessed with this line, still may see if I can't find more of it on the internets)
Jeans: Aeropostale
Flats:  WetSeal (double gasp of horror!)
Flower:  Made by the amazing Ladies' Committee, conveniently matched my wild shirt


Sweater: Gap, super good deal before the Fall season
Cami: OldNavy
Jeans: Aeropostale, not so good on the second day, i.e. I looked like I had an accident for the rest of the day, i.e. baggy bottom
Flats: WetSeal
Flower: Totally obsessed, I want more!
My sister and I:  Love spending time with this incredible woman, wife, momma and friend

{Also scary bad, I cleaned my best friend's old apartment for approximately 7.5 hours and had myself a mini Bridget Jones marathon}

Sweater:  Looted whilst cleaning out apartment, yes Amy, I'll consider this payment :)
Dress: WalMart
Cami: Forever21
Flats: WetSeal

{Now wishing I hadn't photographed this, but I did}
Flower: I told you I am obsessed!
Sweatshirt: Forever21, also looted during cleaning day
Tank: WalMart, Hanes Men's undertank
Cargos: Express, hee also looted!
Flip-flops: FloJo's

Go check out the other amazing ladies at What I Wore Wednesday!


Life is Lovely

I had an amazing week last week, lots of things that made my life lovely and full.  One of those things is my work with the IRC through an after school program at the Boise Language Academy.  I cannot even begin to describe the heart I have for these kids, my kids.  I volunteer in the afternoons, for just a few short hours each week to tutor the students in English and participate in activities with them.  They are so incredibly grateful for the additional opportunities to practice English and I am so incredibly grateful to be around such amazing people.

{a little bit of lovely from my garden}

Last week was our first week, so we spent our tutoring time going over the rules of the program.  Then students interviewed one another and shared their responses.  Wow.  How easily we take for granted just being able to ask and answer the question "What is your name"?  And how blessed I am that my native country is America.  I think the thing that so many people do not realize about refugees is that they love their native country as much as we love America and because they have sought refuge within America, they will never be able to return to their native country.  My kids are between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one and have left behind mothers, fathers, and siblings to be in America.  My kids are happy to sit in desks an additional two hours after the school bell rings to practice English.  My kids have witnessed genocide, torture and the worst of humanity.  But my kids represent the best of humanity.

{can you believe the color of these?!}

As part of giving it over to God, I am trying to give him control of my desires too.  I think He's already done that in my switch to education (eh hem the semester before I would have graduated with a degree in journalism) and is continuing to do it through my marriage and my kids.  I told Mr. Cook the other day in a conversation on Skype that if he ever gets deployed again, I'm going to deploy too.  I want to teach in a refugee camp.  I asked him to put it on his list of things to think about, that one day after flight school, after we've been home and have just gotten to be us for a while that maybe we could go be with our kids together.  He said he'll add it to his list.  Just like I did when Someone asked me to put it on mine.

Head on over to Blessed Little Nest and share what's making your life lovely these days. 


On the road again

So evidently my little jaunt to Seattle to help my bestie move has caught up with me, those good intentions I had to post something other than my WIWW, fell in the cracks when I fell asleep at 7 PM!  And proceeded to sleep through my first class this morning, super.  None the less, here's my advice for an awesome road trip!

1.  Be sure to travel with someone you really like, this is definitely a must if you're driving more than 2 hours...especially if you are driving more than 2 hours in the middle of no where.

2.  Play the alphabet game, hopefully that someone you really like is also super competitive or well the alphabet game just isn't that fun.  Me and my best are super competitive so it works out well.  Final score 3:2, we had a tie breaking round.

3.  Bring your camera and give it to your companion to take pictures of lots of ridiculous things.

4.  Bring a phone with internet access so when you come across a word like cotlets you can look it up and feel better about yourself.

5.  Make frequent pit-stops to fuel up on beverages for the driver, also try to get a beverage that is from the place you're going, duh.

6.  Cheeze-Its.  

7.  Rain is also helpful, if you can schedule your trip accordingly, especially for the driver if they're even the slightest bit tired.  In fact you should probably make another stop and switch drivers when you're only an hour away from your destination because if they see the windshield wipers swoosh one more time they may enter the land of nod and never return.  or something like that.

8.  Make an awesome road trip soundtrack, preferably with a lot of angry girl music, if your companion is a girl of course.

9.  Go to the airport of where ever your destination is so you can remind yourself how much easier flying is.

10.  Unpack furniture (this only works if the purpose of your road trip is helping someone move) or luggage in a monsoon, just to refresh yourself after a long day of traveling.

11.  Go out and celebrate your achievements.

12.  Wake up and celebrate some more.  Say with some Noah's bagels and a trip around the city or you know where ever it is you go.

{photo of obscene t-shirt: a joke for Mr. Cook or anyone who knows him}


What I Wore Wednesday

I promise there is another post coming today, besides this one, there are 2 in fact.  My blog has not become all outfit this and outfit that, which is good because some of the outfits I should have never worn in the first place (exam day fashion plate for one).  But here we go again!

{or the day that Summer found out how much it was going to cost to fix her veneers and her bridge that she the bread in Italy managed to break, or the day it was a very good thing I took the picture before I left for the appointment and not after or I would have been unrecognizable}
cardigan: Forever 21, I wear it...lots!
t-shirt: Forever 21
skirt: Old Navy, I love it but it's so hard to find anything that works on top!
boots: Maurices

cardigan: Lux, Urban Outfitters, I live in this thing!
tunic/super scandalous dress (which is how it was merchandised): Forever 21
tank: Forever 21
jeans: Maurices
flats: Target and they desperately need to be retired

{hanging with "my" kids}
blouse: target
tank: men's Hane's undershirt, Wal-MArt
jeans: Aeropostale

{driving day with my bestie, she just moved to Seattle, got in late Friday and we are on the road early at an ungodly hour on Saturday to move her furniture}

rocking out to alanis morissette face: all mine
tank top: Urban Outfitters
sunnies: Forever 21

{Sunday Fun-day playing in the city after a night of unpacking soaking furniture in the soaking rain and paying way too much for a Sapporo and sushi}

jacket: Eddie Bauer
scarf: Ann Taylor Loft- gift from skinny girl :)
t-shirt: Forever 21
jeans: AmericanRag, Macy's
shoes: bestie's since mine were still wet from the night before
purse: JCP, also needs to be retired, badly
*boys in the background: awesome!*

super cute Seattleite bestie: all mine, too
her style: super envious

{sad drive home by myself day, same travel outfit as Saturday, just a way more exhausted me}
scarf: Ann Taylor Loft, gifted by skinny girl
cardigan: Lux, Urban Outfitters
tank: Urban Outfitters
jeans: Maurices
flats: Urban Outfitters, almost dry

sweater (as Mr. Cook called it on our Skype date) / hoodie: Burlington Coat Factory
jeans: Maurices
flats: Urban Outfitters
backpack: you know you want one :)

Whew, there goes.  Come back later for my road-trip essential post and maybe another little something, something.  And go check out the other amazing outfits at The Pleated Poppy.


What I Wore Wednesday

Thanks for all the sweet comments last week, who knew I actually had a style?  I bought The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style a while ago and I am continually frustrated that I don't fit into one of the styles, and the one I'm closest to is posh eclectic, hrmph.  In other words, I am a polished mix of everything and anything, which I suppose is pretty accurate.  Here goes, don't forget to play along this week and link up over at The Pleated Poppy.

{with the Freshman Fury, that's what my school calls our Freshman, I think it's hilarious}
t-shirt: eddie bauer (on sale), scarf: men's urban outfitters, pants: hee, yes, they are dockers, but they're the new modern fit, shoes: Rocket Dog moccasins DSW

{not one to write home about, but I had a huge exam at 7:40 in the morning}
glasses: Elizabeth Arden, sweatshirt: compliments of AmeriCorps, t-shirt: men's Rock the Vote tee, Urban Outfitters, yoga pants: Costco 2-pack, thank you sweet sister for telling me about them!

{with the Fury again, collaboration at 7:15 AM = awesome hair day for Mrs. Cook}

slub cardigan: Urban Outfitters, silk tank: Burlington Coat Factory $5!, jeans: maurices, shoes: maurices

{help best friend pack and get ready for Seattle day, and awesome expression?!}
t-shirt: Bob Marley, Wal-Mart, jeans: maurices, flip flops: old navy (not recommended for moving day ensembles)

{errand running and house cleaning in the morning, same best friend's going away party that evening}
long slub cardigan: maurices, peace necklace: Lucky, modified and much loved by me, t-shirt: maurices, jeans: scary junior's brand from Macy's, flip-flops: FloJo's, TJ Maxx

top: Express, on a trip to Dallas with Mr. Cook, necklace, same Lucky one from earlier in the day, jeans: old navy, shoes: Germany, so cute but they were promptly switched to black flats

{with the kids again}
Black wrap tee: American Living, JCP, tank: Urban Outfitters, capris: Ann Taylor Loft (hand-me down from a friend who is super tiny now), flats: Urban Outfitters (I have almost worn them out and the other 4 pairs just like them in different colors)

{campus, overslept}
Gray sweater: well loved, maurices, Gold belt: hand me down from same skinny friend, Tank: Wal-Mart, sleepwear, jeans: Aeropostale, flats: maurices, hand me down from best friend

Whew, what did you wear this week?


Life Made Lovely

In addition to participating in What I Wore Wednesday over at The Pleated Poppy, I've also started participating in Life Made Lovely over at Blessed Little Nest.  Heather is so amazing and creative and is using her gifts throughout blog land to inspire and support others and make life a bit more lovely.  I love her approach to celebrating the everyday, and finding ways to make life lovely.  

I've been doing a bit of lovely making around the Cook house, touching some things up, switching out some bedding and indulging in the lovely return of my favorite fall drink.  

{My newly re-vamped, once failed, version of this project}

It's definitely a bit of lovely on my sparse kitchen walls, but I'm afraid to write on it with chalk, the first attempt wasn't so good- evidently my recycled shelf wasn't a smooth enough surface.  So I painted some foam board with chalkboard paint and attached it with upholstery tacks.  Let's hope this time it's a success.

{Fall bedding and wedding sheets}

Making me sleep more soundly and even more happily.  Mr. Cook is a bit jealous, I'm thinking the thread count in Afghanistan isn't the greatest.  Oh yes, and that's the headboard I made in my motivated month of May when I tackled a lot of projects around here on my new homeowner's high.  Slowly, getting things done these days, but still getting them done.  


Indulging in at least one of these a week, normally on Sunday.  

{my lovely puppers}

And while sometimes they make life challenging or even unlovely (e.g. carpet accidents, eating rugs, treating couches as giant chew toys, loving/hating one another at the loudest volume imaginable) they are so lovely.  They make me miss Marshall less, they make me smile, and they love each other.  This picture is just so darn cute.  And those are some things making my life lovely.  What are you doing to make yours a bit less dreary?  Head over to Blessed Little Nest and link up!


What I Wore Wednesday (on Thursday)

Albeit a bit late (thank you insane iPhoto image sizing), I've done it!  What is What I Wore Wednesday you may be asking yourself?  It was started by this uber talented, lovely lady and she started it as a way to be accountable to herself, to you know get dressed and put some effort into dressing.  My motivation?  To get dressed every day, to put some thought into it, and to allow myself a creative outlet everyday even if it's only in the ten minutes I spend picking out my outfit and photographing it.  Plus, huge motivation to not look like a complete rag-a-muffin on campus or heaven forbid in my classroom (but my students hold me accountable on this one anyway, so no worries).  Plus I think this is pretty good practice for a little project I want to take up this December, as it is going to be a very special and meaningful one for us and a really great preparation for this even bigger project which I'd like to embark on with all the changes we'll be experiencing in these next few days, weeks, months, years.  And who doesn't love to look at what other people all around the world are wearing every week?!  So, without further ado, here is what I wore this week!

today was operation repair shiny new thing's bumper, aka lots of time sitting and waiting with no vehicle = super comfy/lazy outfit for me

{hat: urban outfitters (man I miss that discount), sweatshirt: target, green tank: crazy old-oldnavy, yoga pants: maurices, flip flops: oldnavy}

campus, all day from super early to late in the evening, hence the layers and the scarf

{scarf: theloft (an amazing birthday gift from a friend), t-shirt: wal-mart, white tank: forever21, jeans: maurices, camera strap: knittybitties (I am bananas for this- Mr. Cook not so much, esp. when toting the camera throughout Europe)}

I kid you not, this was the day of "that" awful appointment, but I love my doctor and she is so cute, so yeah I guess you could say I got dressed up

{black dress: target, belt: knittybitties, pupper in background: Idaho Humane Society}

I'm going to be completely honest, the only reason I got dressed today besides WIWW was to go get my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season, so I put on my wedding shoes because I felt like it

{purple tank: (which I layered after looking at this picture, hello cleveland!) olddnavy, jeans: maurices, shoes: charles david, DSW}

Fantasy Football draft day=super comfy outfit and 2nd Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season

{sweatshirt: steve&barry, gray tank: Hane's mens undertanks (?) they're perfect for layering, wal-mart, jeans: maurices, flip flops: flojo's tjmaxx}

go Broncos, incase you haven't heard of them yet, the game was amazing, go Big Blue!

{t-shirt: BroncoShop, tank: Hane's mens undertank wal-mart, jeans: aeropostale (I know but they were half off, and they're cute)}

campus again = lots of layers

{slub cardigan: urban outfitters, black tank: oldnavy, gray lace cami: oldnavy, jeans: aeropostale, purple flats: target}


A fearful heart

Have you ever had a moment when you knew that God was speaking directly to you?  I had one of those moments and then some today.

I've had a really heavy heart as of late and I couldn't put my finger on it because 1) I wasn't really trying to 2) I didn't want to acknowledge the underlying cause of my heavy heart because that would mean admitting something was wrong 3) Admitting that something is wrong also means admitting something needs to be fixed.  There have been a lot of posts on blogs I love that have been pulling at me, but I wasn't sure why: guarding your mouth and your heartsome poignant thoughts on worry, and survival mode as a military wife.  (Now I know none of these things seem related, but bare with me)

One of the things that growing up in a military family, and being a military wife has taught me is that we are never in control of anything.  Of course we all know that, but the military I think is God's everyday reminder of this to me, as I struggle hugely with handing over control.  I have been really anxious about a lot of things lately, which I think is normal considering my circumstances.  But here is the thing, what I realized is that it's more than anxiety.  It is me not willing to unleash control and give it to God.  It is me having a fearful and selfish heart, it is me having a lack of faith.

Yes, I am afraid every day for my husband and all of the men and women serving and their families.  But that fear is really a lack of faith in God.

Yes, I am afraid that flight school is going to change our lives in very huge ways.  But that is a fear that I will have to give control, alot of it, over to God.

Yes, I am afraid that I may not be a good teacher, or that I may not be able to get a job right away.  But that is a lack of faith and giving my heart and desires over to God.

How I figured this out, or how He spoke to me today:  I had a terrifying moment with the dogs on a walk.  It was a short walk, after dinner ... and I completely lost it.  Clover was pulling on the leash, and Jazzy was going all over the place as usual, and I had a complete fit of rage.  I scared myself.  I know to some of you this will seem even funny, but it's one of those moments where I seriously wondered if I would ever be able to be a parent, let alone teach.  A moment where I didn't recognize myself.  A moment where I wish someone could put me in time out.

And you know what?  It had nothing to do with the dogs, it had everything to do with where my heart has been for a very long time.

On my way back to campus tonight for a meeting, there was a brief message on Air 1 talking about what  your glass is filled with and what you're pouring out.  And you know what one of the first questions was?  Are you pouring out joy or rage?  Faith or resentment?  Wow.  Hello.

{via here}

I've been pouring out a lot of rage, a lot of complaints and a lot of resentment.  I have been in an ugly form of survival mode, because I have been too ashamed to share my heart and what is really going on.  Granted, I think some of this fear has been reinforced by thoughtless comments from friends like, "I don't understand why you think about it (the deployment, any number of things that could wrong on the deployment, etc.), it's what you guys signed up for", but you know there is really only one Friend I really need to understand my plight.  And if my heart were in a better place I would realize that my friends just aren't used to me being so open about what's going on and they aren't sure how to react or what to say or how to be the one to comfort me, instead of the other way around.  

Whew.  With that said I am poured out.  I think it's time to start fixing my heart and to start being more honest with the people I love.  If I want to be sad or scared for a day I can be, and then I can give it to God.  No more anxiety.  No more ugly gossip.   No more ugly survival mode.