Celebrating 10 Years of Marriage

22 Oct

My husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary on Friday! That’s right TEN YEARS of marriage. In a way it seems like the time has flown by, but also it’s hard to remember a time where I was without him. In honor of our 10 years, I went through my photos and found a photo for each year.

Come, travel with me through the years….

2008

We got married on October 19, 2008. This photo was right after we were introduced as husband and wife. I was so excited to get down that aisle that I left my bouquet with my bridesmaid (you can see in the background that she has two). I’m also cheesing SO HARD.

2009

I think this one was taken at a graduation party for one of my cousins. I remember wearing that jean skirt because I wanted to dress up a little bit and hated it the entire day. I’m pretty sure Travis still has that polo. Also, I’m pretty sure this might be my natural hair color.

2010

This was on the 4th of July when we went to Annapolis to enjoy the fireworks with my family. It’s possible both Travis and my dad (cut off on the side of the photo) fell asleep at some point. I remember that I found that dress on clearance at TJ Maxx or Marshalls for like $5 because the zipper was broken. I put in a new zipper and wore it with pride!

2011

Can you tell we are drunk in this photo? I mean, obviously. We went on a week-long cruise in part because we were starting to think of trying for a baby and I told Travis that we won’t be able to travel as much after we conceived. Jokes on him – I also convinced him to go on a babymoon cruise while I was pregnant… Also, this is the cruise where we went up on stage and participated in the Love and Marriage show. I have it on DVD somewhere and it was hilarious.

2012

I cheated and included two photos from 2012. Here’s the first one… moments after Jack was born on February 15, 2012. My mom took this photo and we were all crying. Travis looked at me with tears streaming down his face and said “I am SO HAPPY right now!”

I had to include this one. We took Jack over to my uncle’s house so he could go in the pool for the first time. I just love that tubby little belly poking out of his swim trunks and Travis’ look on his face like, “LOOK what I made!”

2013

We do love our beach time! I honestly can’t remember if this one was taken on our trip to Fort Lauderdale or in Ocean City. I’m just realizing now that all these photos totally showcase that I have had quite a sunglasses collection over the years – you know, until I break or lose each pair.

2014

This was the first time since having Jack that we went away overnight! My parents had Jack sleep over at their house and Travis and I went to a nearby bed and breakfast for a 24 hour date. Even now in 2018, we’ve never spent more than one night away from him as a couple — but I’m crossing my fingers that we will be able to go on a belated anniversary trip next summer and leave him with Mimi and Dippy for a week!

2015

This is from our trip to Disney World! Oh my gosh, that trip was so much fun. We went a week before Jack turned 3 to celebrate his birthday, because kids under 3 are free. We rode so many rides and ate so much food, and Jack loved hanging out on my back in my carrier.

2016

Another cruise! What can I say, we love to go on vacations! This photo cracks me up because we lifted Jack to fit in the ‘frame’ and he’s totally not amused by this. Cruising with a kid is basically my favorite vacation ever because Jack loves going to the kid’s camps. It’s the only vacation we’ve gone on since having a child where we get grown up time!

2017

This was our amazing trip to Universal Studios when Jack turned 5. It is becoming quite clear to me that the only time we get photos with all three of us in them is when we are on vacation… I’ll have to work on that!

2018

And we are up to this year – year 10 of our marriage! Jack took this photo of Travis and I on our first day joining the gym in July (you can see Jack in the reflection). I really like this photo because it shows just another way that Travis always supports me. I wanted to get back into shape, so he decided to go with me and do it too – not only so we could both get all fit, but as an example to Jack about the importance of fitness. Love it!

Each year on our anniversary we try to go on an anniversary trip. However, we will be going on a cruise for my sister’s wedding in December. So we are planning to see how much money we can save up after that trip and are hoping to go on a vacation to Hawaii next summer. We have talked about going to Hawaii for 10 years, so it seems appropriate to go for our 10 year anniversary! Also, if all goes according to plan… it will be our FIRST vacation with just Travis and me since Jack was born! {fingers crossed}

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Disneyland, a Netflix Hub and a WB Tour… Oh My!

18 Oct

{This post is not sponsored, but the trip was paid for by Netflix DVD… so I want to put that out front and center for transparency. I was not required to blog about the trip, or Instagram it, or tweet it, but I did anyways because it was AWESOME and how could I not share it with you all?!}

I blogged last week that I was leaving on a jet plane to take part in an incredible trip to California. I’ve been working as a DVD Director with Netflix DVD for the past couple years (I write for their blog, Inside the Envelope) and they invited seven of us to join them on this amazing ‘thank you’ trip.

Here are the lucky 7 DVD Directors who attended and quick links to their Inside the Envelope posts: me, Bean Miller, Amy Chesler, Linda Shortman, Ann Silverthorn, Raquel Stecher, and David Raether.

Although I’ve been blogging here at Pocketful of Joules for almost 8 years, I purposefully don’t work with a ton of companies/sponsors… so this trip was something totally out of the ordinary for me. The ladies from Netflix DVD, Vanessa and Annie, totally spoiled us all with the trip and gifts and I am totally honored to have been invited to go!

Tuesday
I had an early flight out – and there is also a 3-hour time difference between Maryland and California – so I knew Tuesday was going to be a looooooong day! I woke up at 2:50 am. Yeah. That hurt a bit. I successfully rubbed the sleep from my eyes, got dressed, drove to the airport, bought a super-sized Starbucks drink, and got on my first plane. On that flight I ended up chatting with the lady in the seat next to me, she was a total sweetheart (hi Misty!) and it helped the 3 hours go by quickly. I had a short layover in Houston and then hopped back on another plane. I arrived in California around lunch-time and after picking everyone up at the airport, Vanessa and Annie took us to lunch at a nearby restaurant.

As soon as the hotel texted me that my room was ready, I basically ran across the parking lot, booked it up to my room, threw off clothing and took a 45-minute power-nap. My allergies had started to act up — apparently I’m allergic to California in the fall – and I knew I wouldn’t survive without a little rest. As soon as my alarm went off, I did a ninja-roll off the bed, threw on my Disney outfit and met up with the rest of the group in the lobby to Uber over to Disneyland.

DISNEYLAND!

I had never been to Disneyland before (only Disney World in Florida) and was so incredibly excited! Literally my only goal was to ride the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Oh, and wear my adorable Minnie Mouse-inspired outfit.

We ended up breaking into two groups, with me, Bean, Annie and Amy heading straight to the Guardian’s Ride.

It’s lucky that we did, because they literally shut the line after our group! I would have been so disappointed if I had missed that ride and it was AWESOME. SO much fun!

By the way, while all the ladies (and David) were fabulous… I just LOVE Bean. Like I wish she lived closer so that we could drink and thrift shop and cross-stitch together. Is that weird? Anywhoo she basically jumped into my lap on the Guardian’s ride and so that obviously started a friendship-bond.

We had 5:00 reservations at Tortilla Joe’s in Downtown Disney, so we all enjoyed a delicious dinner of Mexican food and tequila. As you do.

Photo credit: Raquel Stecher 

 

You may be thinking ‘um, Joules… you really thought it was a good idea to drink tequila and then return to the parks?” and yes. I did.

Mickey’s Halloween Party was so much fun! The entire park was decorated for Halloween and there was even trick-or-treating for so much candy. We rode a few more rides, including the Haunted Mansion, where the theme had been switched over to The Nightmare Before Christmas. We somehow missed the light up parade, but the fireworks were some of the best I’ve seen in my whole life. And I’m a bit of a fireworks connoisseur! Our friends at Netflix DVD gifted us each with a gift card to buy some souvenirs, so I made sure to grab a few things so I could spoil Jack. We left the park and got back to our hotel around 11:30 ish, so considering the time change I had been up and going for 24 hours straight.

Obviously, I crashed basically the moment my head hit the pillow.

Wednesday
Wednesday was going to be another crazy exciting day, so even though I didn’t get a ton of sleep, I was ready to GO. We met in the lobby at 7:15 to go tour the nearby Netflix hub. We drove to a somewhat unassuming office park where the hub was hidden. Fun fact: they keep the hubs on the down-low, otherwise people tend to show up at their door and try to exchange their movies for the next one in their queue!

They provided us with a delicious breakfast spread (which included Krispy Kreme donuts!) and then we had a cool tour where we learned all about how the hub worked. Notice the fabulous Netflix DVD jackets — I LOVE mine and wore it most of the time because I somehow forgot to pack anything heavier than a lightweight cardigan. Oopsie!

Photo credit: Annie Jung

 

A few fun facts I learned:

  • Each cart has 45,000 disks on it and there are about 335 different titles in each box. The warehouse we toured had about 3.25 MILLION disks.
  • The day that we visited, they shipped 42,000 disks out to Netflix DVD subscribers.
  • About 5% of the inventory gets relabeled every week due to dirty or worn disk sleeves.
  • People will accidentally mail their own DVD disks (or PlayStation disks) to Netflix DVD. When this happens, the machine knows and spits it into a special bin so that they can track down where it came from and return it!

At the hub they also displayed a bunch of Netflix DVD envelope art!

After our tour, we had the opportunity have a writer’s meeting with fellow DVD Director, David Raether. David worked as a writer on Rosanne for 111 episodes and you can read a really cool Q&A with him here: Spotlight on David Raether.

After our meeting, we returned to our hotel and had another delicious lunch. At that lunch, Vanessa awarded Amy and I prizes for having “The most Disney Spirit”!

And yes, Jack loves my Halloween Mickey!

After lunch, we took a limo bus to the Warner Brothers Studios, which was about an hour away from where we were staying. I actually did a Warner Brothers Tour back in 2016 (you can read about it here: Exploring LA) but this one was a private tour, so it was much more inclusive. We had our own tour guide, who led us to a viewing room with personal sized champagne bottles.

After watching an intro movie and enjoying our bubbly, we loaded up onto a cart and explored the WB lot. Our tour guide was a wealth of information as we went through all sorts of sets.

Photo credit: Linda Shortman

 

My favorites were Miss Patty’s dance studio from Gilmore Girls:

I also loved the Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts collection on display:

We even had the opportunity to go through the Prop House, which was so freaking cool. The second I entered, I saw a prop being held for an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is one of my current favorite shows!

Here are a bunch of Agent Smith’s from the Matrix:

After our amazingly thorough tour, we had dinner reservations at Santuari. The restaurant was absolutely gorgeous inside and the food was amazing! My allergies were sneaking up on me though, so I was pretty much ready to return to my room and put on some pajamas!

Photo credit: Vanessa Fiske

 

We returned to the hotel around 11pm and I basically fell into bed and then woke up with just enough time to pack in the morning. Bean and I took one last photo before taking an Uber to the airport. We can’t thank Netflix DVD enough for making us feel like total rockstars!

We both ended up on the same flight to Chicago, so I got to spend a little extra time with one of my new favorite people! I landed in Chicago and then hopped back on another plane to get to Baltimore, and returned home a bit before midnight (darn that time change!).

The entire trip was absolutely wonderful. Vanessa and Anne could not have made us feel more special and appreciated. I had a fantastic time and it was totally worth the lack of sleep!

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Celebrating My Brother’s Wedding

16 Oct

I’ve mentioned before, this is the year of weddings for my family. First, my brother got married in September, my sister will be getting married in December, and then my other sister will be getting married in May.

So yeah, that’s a lot of wedding cake!

Also, I get to be in all the weddings — I was a bridesmaid for Jason, and will be a matron of honor for Katie and a bridesmaid for Kelsey! Here is the whole crew, complete with mom and dad and all the significant others:

Photo Credit: 1001 Angles Photography

 

Last spring in the midst of having the flu, I randomly got it in my mind that I really wanted to give a speech for Jason’s wedding. Like, I totally thought that it was the best idea ever. In my flu haze, I texted him and he agreed to let me have at it. I’m still not sure if he told Jaclyn…

Anyways, a couple weeks before the wedding I wrote something up and then at the rehearsal dinner I jumped up and read it. My sister suggested I put it on the blog for prosperity sake (or so she could read it again, one or the other), so here it is:

I was 12 years old when Jason was born, so even though he looks like a grown man to you all… to me I can still see the baby who’s diapers I changed. I still see him as a toddler, trying to shake his hips to Achy Breaky Heart and I can hear the crunch of his little plastic diaper as he showed off his smooth dance moves.

Less than 2 years after Jason was born, he was joined by the twins, Katie and Kelsey. To be a young teenager with three toddlers in the house is quite a thing. But I love my siblings fiercely. In fact, I used to call them my kid-lings rather than my siblings because I considered myself a weird version of a second mom.

Almost exactly 10 years ago, Jason was a groomsman at my wedding. At the ceremony the pastor said something that really stuck with me, so I want to share it with Jason and Jaclyn today:

The success of a marriage isn’t just up to the husband and wife. It is also up to everyone who loves you to support you in your marriage. When times are great, we will celebrate with you. When times are difficult, we will be there for you however you need us.

I am so thrilled and honored to be a bridesmaid at Jason and Jaclyn’s wedding. As a grumpy, purple-haired teenager, I knew that family was important but it wasn’t until I (mostly) grew up and had a husband and son of my own that I realized just HOW important it is to have a strong family relationship.

I love Jason, Katie and Kelsey so much and now the Jason has brought Jaclyn into our family, I have another sister to love. Mom and Dad have another daughter and my son Jack has a new Aunt.

So Jaclyn, I would like to formally welcome you to Team Harman.

I wanted to do something special for Jason and Jaclyn’s wedding gift and after much thought I decided to create little cross-stitched wedding portraits for each of my siblings (spoiler alert, Kate and Kelsey will be getting them for their weddings too). I had done my own family portrait last spring (you can see it here) and loved how I could personalize the style of each person.

Here is a photo from their wedding day. I picked one with Jack in it… because he’s pretty adorable. Also, I bribed him with a Lego set for that smile. So I might as well get my money’s worth…

Photo Credit: 1001 Angles Photography

 

I started by creating the pattern and trying to make it mirror their wedding day look. For Jaclyn, I included the necklace she wore, the neckline of her dress, the sparkles of the bodice and her hazel eyes. For Jason, I kept with the specific coloring of his wedding suit/tie/shoes and his hair and beard shapes. I even included his boutonniere (but decided not to attempt adding Jaclyn’s bouquet).

After hours of planning and stitching, I was so happy with the finished product:

And here it is all framed:

The wedding was super fun and Jack even busted out some truly impressive dance moves. My little baby brother is all grown up and married, and I have a third sister to add to the mix. All in all, it was a pretty fantastic event!

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Reviewing CAUSEBOX: The Fall 2018 Box Reveal!

15 Oct

I finally received my fall CAUSEBOX! I saw the spoilers back in August and have been waiting… and waiting… and waiting for this box to ship. They had an issue with one of the items in the box getting ruined, so the box went out much later than it usually would. It’s finally here though, so let’s take a look!

About CAUSEBOX:
Every season, members receive a limited edition curation of products from the leading socially conscious brands. Some of them are designed exclusively for CAUSEBOX. Each box is designed and filled with love. From the original artwork on the outside of the box, to the lovingly handmade products that fill it up, there is love in every detail. The cost is $49.95 per quarter if you subscribe annually, or $54.95 per quarter if you subscribe by the quarter. I don’t have a referral code to give you, but if you click on their website you might see a pop-up with a promo code on it: www.causebox.com

October Jaipur tote, $80 retail value

The Everyday Tote from October Jaipur is completely handmade by artisans in Jaipur, India using thick canvas and vegan leather. Annual subscribers were able to choose from three colorways, and I went with the dotted version. I think this tote is really pretty, but the coloring makes it seem more spring and summer, rather than fall. Also, I’m kind of moving away from the big purses, so this would be more of a travel bag for me. It is nice though, I’m just not totally blown away about it. I actually listed this in my Poshmark closet to see if there is any interest in it, since it’s not love for me.

Bloom & Give Scarf, $60 retail value

Annual members were able to select one of two beautiful, artisan-loomed scarves for Fall. Proceeds from the CAUSEBOX partnership funded a project for the education and empowerment of 50 girls in rural India. I went with the Malbar version, which has stripes of gray. I LOVE the size and feel of this scarf and the gray stripes are so pretty. I took this with me on my trip last week and it was perfect for keeping me warm on the drafty plane. I will get lots of use out of this scarf in the coming months!

Kalos pH Balancing & Brightening Moisturizer, $28 retail value

The pH Balancing and Brightening moisturizer promotes elasticity for softened skin and contains Vitamin A and sweet orange to brighten. Kalos donates 5% of sales to support girl’s education. The moisturizer is quite light and has a nice vaguely orange scent to it. This will certainly get some use once I run out my current moisturizer.

RealHer Eyeshadow Palette and Cream Brush, $38 retail value

This 9 Shade eyeshadow palette from the cruelty-free cosmetics brand that empowers women and donates 20% of proceeds to causes that their employees select. These shades are in my wheelhouse of browns, so once my current palette is used up, this one will come in handy.

Paper Source Handmade Paper Stationary Set, $12 retail value

This set of six tree-free cards is part of Paper Source’s Premium Paper collection. They are handmade and printed by artisans India on paper that is made of recycled cotton scraps. I like the colors of this stationary set a lot. When I sell items on Poshmark, I always include a ‘thank you’ note, so these will certainly be used up!

S’well Bottle, $45 retail value

Originally this box was supposed to include a wooden cheeseboard and knife, but they realized that they had water damage when they were packing up the boxes. CAUSEBOX was able to replace the cheeseboard with these fantastic S’well Wood Collection bottles in the deluxe 25 oz size. S’well bottles keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. I’m super happy with this bottle and it will get a ton of use in our house – probably more than the cheeseboard would have.

Overall Thoughts
I’m very happy with the Fall box and it was certainly worth the wait. I really enjoy almost every item, especially the scarf and S’well bottle. I like the spotted bag, but it isn’t love… maybe it just has to grow on me? I added up the retail values of everything in my box and it came to $263, which is less than the total retail value of the Summer box ($328). However, I feel like I will be able to use the majority of the items and perhaps gift what I don’t love!

What is your favorite item from the Fall CAUSEBOX?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.

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