Monday, July 31

Life Lately {vol. 62}

I had a helluva workout! I don't usually sweat this much, so it was cracking me up that my back was soaked! // Happy days on the floor of our apartment
My sleepy, perfect boys. Mornings with them are so peaceful // I just can't with this kid.
😂 J took me out for dinner to this new, cheap Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago and I can't wait to go back. It was so affordable and the food couldn't be beat!
Hey gang! This has been quite the few weeks over on my end of the world. I'm finally back in Denver as of yesterday afternoon. As you'll see, I spent the last two weeks in Des Moines, working for my mom's firm while J stayed behind to work and hold down the fort. This is the longest we've been away for each other since being married, and probably even a few months before that - but look, we survived! 😉

I'm excited to go home - I miss J and the cats, and I am looking forward to living in our apartment again. I'm not excited to continue the job hunt. It's not that I stopped applying for jobs while I was in Iowa, but I've been working so much that applications kind of fell to the wayside. To be honest, it's a stressful and disheartening process. I've never struggled to get a job in my life; it's always just happened for me, which I know means that I've been extremely privileged.

The last two weeks working in Iowa felt steady, which is the highest compliment I can give at this season in my life. It felt amazing to work full time. It felt amazing to be around such smart, funny, and welcoming attorneys. It felt amazing to see my friends. It felt amazing to have a routine again. It felt amazing to know I was supporting my family.

I'm trying really hard to stay positive and just trust that I will find my "work home" in Denver, but it's difficult not to take it personally in the meantime. I want to be honest about this process - even the gritty, raw parts - because I'm only doing as well as I am because of my great friends who recently went through this process and were honest with me. It's so stressful, but I have faith that I will find a firm or organization that will appreciate me and for whom I can do truly great, meaningful work.

In the meantime, let's explore what I've been up to!

My old headphones got busted up over the last few years of travel (and I maybe stepped on them once... then glued them back together with superglue. Can't say I'm not resourceful), so I finally bought some new ones off Amazon! These are basically just a nicer and newer version of my old ones, and are pink instead of green. I loved my green headphones, but green wasn't available this time around. I was worried the pink would seem too "girly" or juvenille, but I think they're actually pretty gorgeous! // Sleepy mornings with coffee 💕
My friend Erica visited us in June, so we blew up the air mattress for her. Once it was out, however, we realized how nice it was to have a bed out in the living room! 😂 James approved. // My little guy is always pretty snuggly, but he was especially snuggly this day. His whole body was wrapped around me!

I love working out - obviously - but I do get in ruts when I don't work out for a week or two. It's so easy to forget how amazing it feels when I do it consistently! // I've been on a salad kick lately and loving it! I basically make the same thing every time, but switch up the protein. This time, it was the "regular" - kale, walnuts, tomatoes, goats cheese, dried cranberries, and pepitas - with canned sardines. J thinks sardines are gross; they're not my favorite, but I really like that they're a sustainable fish!
I've been networking so much recently. It's exhausting, but it's great to get out of the apartment. // My mom sent me a care package!
😍 She sent kitty nail decals, two stickers (both on my computer), and this Dorito catnip toy! J and I are obsessed with Tapatio Doritos. It's so funny, because Leif will steal whole chips from bags if we leave anything out, and this toy looks so real from just a little distance! It looks like we have an especially dirty apartment when it's around, but it cracks me up every time.

This little area is my favorite place in our apartment. I am not a decorator by nature, so I've had to learn minimalism. What I love about this corner is how it has the vibe (at least to me) like this old English home library. Twinkle lights + books + "vintage" heirlooms + a fireplace? Heaven. // Speaking of my aesthetic heaven, Weathervane is still my favorite coffee shop. It is exactly my ideal style. Now I just need to learn to actually decorate like that...
I finally bought some rolled oats and I've loved cooking oatmeal over the store. Walnuts, cranberries, syrup, and pumpkin pie spice mix? DONE AND DONE. // J gets free tickets through his work, so we've gone to three shows together this spring/summer. He recently got us tickets to see Tim Kasher and Conor Obserst. We were there to see Tim Kasher, but missed him entirely because J had to work late... naturally, haha.

I knew who Conor Obsert and Bright Eyes were before this night, but I had this image of him as some skinny, emo guy. Like, wow, we get it, you're sad. This show completely changed my mind about him and his music! J introduced me to Tim Kasher and Cursive when we first started dating, and I was shocked by how similar the two guys seemed once I saw Conor Oberst live. // On Independence Day weekend, J and I spent Saturday evening walking/running around our neighborhood. I love how much more of our "place" I get to see when we explore through exercise.
I've been craving donuts so badly lately, so I treated myself to a 4th of July donut from the local grocery store // More morning meetings - this one was a particular good one, and I really loved my outfit.

Conor Oberst was amazing!

We finally got this "Its Always Sunny" poster framed and I am over the moon about how it looks! My brother bought the poster for us - thanks, Chase! // James is such a weirdo, but I love him.
One of the best/worst parts about working from home is being able to work around the house in my free time (when I have any, of course). And "Ancient Aliens," because that show is life // I figured out how to work the gas grill and cooked us some brats! They were sooo good. I'm not much of a meat-eater, but I am all about brats.

I had another morning meeting at Weathervane, then headed upstairs afterwords to work a little bit before I had to be downtown for a lunch meeting. I just love that place! // My handsome, grumpy-looking husband, haha. I swear, that's just his go-to look for photos. 😂
I helped with depositions in Fort Collins! It was the first time since I got to Denver that I got to assist with "depos" and I was so excited! // I'd never been to Fort Collins before, but I totally loved the city. It was really stunning, and reminded me a lot of Iowa City. It even had HuHot!

I went for a walk by myself one evening and saw this sign. I don't know about you, but I always strive to be a sexy neighbor. 😂 // Trader Joe's had some stunning peonies, so I jumped at the chance to get some. I'm not usually into getting flowers, but these made me so happy that I just had to buy them!
J dropped me off at the airport so I could fly to Iowa! // My mom got me these AMAZING earrings - they actually came in a matching pair, but she mixed two that I could have one "James" earring and one "Leif" earring - how sweet is she?!

How precious is Dash?! // My parents and I headed to the Farmer's Market before picking my little brother up at the airport. The Farmer's Market is basically my favorite place on earth, and I can't wait to go whenever I'm in Des Moines!
Saloo's Indian is my favorite part of the Farmer's Market! I always get vegetable cutlets // My little brother is a hoot, haha. Here he was, being "basic" when we picked him up.

After picking up Chase, we headed to Mullet's, which is a dive bar with an amazing breakfast! Their bloody mary's are my favorites after Snooze's bloody mary! // I headed out to the country to visit my bestie, Liz! We always forget to take pictures when we're together - too busy laughing - but I did manage to get a picture of the countryside. Iowa is stunning!
VanDee's ice cream is life. I'm not saying I went four or five times in two weeks, but I'm not saying I didn't... // That dog, though. What a looker!

I loved getting to see some of my family while we were in town! // My family headed to the ball park to watch an I-Cubs game with a bunch of Simpson alums.
I worked at my mom's office for the two weeks I was in town, and I absolutely loved it! // My boss was very handsome (and maybe even too affectionate), but he was not great at helping me with legal research.

I never get my nails done - I bit them growing up, so every time I would go with my mom to get them painted, the lady helping me would comment, "Your nails are so short!" Wow, thank you, I had no idea that I bit them down into stubs. 😬 I've been doing much better these last few years. I am totally obsessed with this color I picked out, but I have no idea what it's called or what brand would match! // I met one of my greatest friends, Taylor, for lunch at A Dong's, my favorite restaurant in Des Moines.
My bff, Hannah, got married in April to her partner, Eric, down in Atlanta. They planned another reception in Iowa this summer. I hadn't planned on going (because I had already been to the "real" wedding), but since I was in town anyway, I got to hang with them and some of my other close friends for a whole evening! It was a blast - I learned how to play bags ("corn hole") properly, learned that lemonade and chardonnay together taste like UV pink, and rode a local carousol!

(Just realized there's a repeat picture in here, so sorry! 😂)
The next morning, I went out for breakfast with friends to this "new" spot in downtown Des Moines called St. Kilda's. They're known for avocado toast, beautiful food, and really good pasteries. I almost got something else, then thought, "Screw it, I'm a millenial. Time to act like it." I regret nothing. That avocado toast was delicious! My friends shared a cheddar biscuit with eggs, a croissant, and toast with riccota and honey. They gave me a bite of the croissant and it was perfect! I can't wait to go back.
On Monday morning, I drove out to Montasumza, Iowa see my friend/mentor/boss, Brooke, do her closing at trial, alongside her associates. It was so inspirational - I texted J on the way home that I had forgotten how much fun it was to be a lawyer. They reminded me of what it is I truly love and want to do - litigation - and how powerful it can be. After closings that afternoon, I headed back to the office to change, then met everyone from the firm at a bar downtown.

When I got to the bar, the jury had already announced the verdict! 😱 Usually that's a bad sign for plaintiffs' layers, but in this case, it wasn't - Brooke, Nate, and Amy won for their client! The jury awarded him $4.5 million dollars! I couldn't be more proud of them and the case they fought for their client. I also had dinner with Hannah that night, but naturally did not take any pictures, haha. // Back to the grind! My hair did not like Iowa (the humidity flattened my hair completely!), but it did look really nice this day. GPOY!
I loved living above the office. The commute was great (ha!), but I also just love the neighborhood they're in. It's close enough to other properties, but there are still praerie fields and this beautiful bond right outside their firm. I was in the apartment by myself for the last week while my parents were on RAGBRAI. I watched their dog for them, which meant early mornings taking him outside. I loved sitting on the deck and watching the sun rise. It was the coolest part of the day by far (Iowa was sweltering), and it felt so peaceful to listen to nature as I woke up with a cup of coffee // I thought I would have time (and motivation) to work out every day while I was in Iowa, but I totally failed. However, I did manage to get in a few workouts!

I had also planned on taking Dash for so many walks and runs over my two weeks there. Unfortunately, it was so hot during the day that my only real chances were in the early morning, and in the evening right before the sun set. I finally bucked up and took him for a 36-minute walk one night. He has so much energy that it didn't seem to faze him until the end, when he wanted me to carry him back, haha. As I said above, I love the fields of praerie and flowers around the firm. I didn't want Dash to be in them too long because I didn't want him getting ticks or bitten by a snake or something, but I finally gave in when we were almost home. // We finally got furniture for the deck delivered on Thursday, and I didn't waste it for a second! I decided to go outside with Dash, a glass of wine, and my computer to watch Netflix. I was going to do the exact same thing inside, so why not take advantage of the new furniture and enjoy it outside?!

There are still a few pictures of the last day or so of my trip, but I'll save those for another day! As I said above, I truly loved being "home" for two weeks. When we planned it, I thought there was no way I would be happy spending two weeks away from J and our cats, and while I missed them, I feel like these two weeks flew by. It felt amazing to have a "purpose" again... I hope I find it here in Denver as well. 💕

Where are your go-to places when you're home? Have you ever been to a show that completely changed your outlook on an artist? Are you naturally good at decorating?


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