Category: Elle Life

All things girly and pretty. The inner ramblings of a southern woman who wears many hats and has varied interests.

Am I the only one who cares about the initial “Started Dating” anniversary way more than the anniversary of marriage? Maybe it’s because Michael and I never had a wedding…I know, I know. We were engaged for a year and a half at that point, and a wedding just didn’t seem super necessary at 21 years old. Now that I’m 30, I’m DYING to have a wedding. Maybe one day I’ll plan a wedding and a huge party after, as a vow renewal ceremony.

Anywho, Michael and I celebrated our 13th Anniversary in February by doing…NOTHING. Like, at all. But honestly, that’s okay because we don’t do much of anything to celebrate special days. We’re getting more low key the older we get! (read: couch potatoes) I think we spent the day at work and the evening cooking dinner and watching the ID Discovery Channel until about 9:30 before we passed out. Writing this makes me feel a little sad for us, now that I dwell…but again, I’m good. We talked about the past 13 years and everything that we have been through together that has gotten us to this point. We’re both so grateful for how we are at this point in our lives, and so HAPPY with our relationship! 

We graduated High School together, moved to Florida together, went through college, had babies, started careers, advanced in careers, bought a house, traveled, experienced life and death, had a billion fights and make ups, almost split up 11 thousand times, and experienced everything in between. But we never gave up on each other and that’s why we are at this point. The comfortable silence, happy companionship, parenting team “Badass But Tired”, and just so content. In honor of our 13th anniversary, here are 13 things about my husband that I love.

  1. He doesn’t care what ANYONE thinks. This is what drew me to him that fateful December 2003 when we met. I immediately recognized this trait in him and respected it. He doesn’t feel the need to shout “I don’t care” from the hills so that everyone knows he’s a badass…he just lives his truth everyday. He is the same person with everyone, no matter what.
  2. He has the funniest habits! Like looking up at the sun directly to make himself sneeze (no idea why) or double looping his shoes laces before he ties them. I love quirks!
  3. He never gives up; just keeps moving forward. He spent two years going to radiology tech school, only to find out on the day he was supposed to graduate that the program wasn’t accredited. They took our money and scammed us! Did he pout, get depressed, throw a fit? No. He went that week and enrolled in the Police Academy and never looked back. And was Officer of the Year in 2014 so…
  4. He’s incredibly brave. Five years ago, he suffered a mental breakdown out of the blue. It took him for a spin and really scared the hell out of me. Instead of hiding, he spoke up about what he was going through. He got help, worked through things, and spoke out to the police department. Those of you who have worked a testosterone driven career (no offense to ANY of our amazing female LEOs) know how difficult that can be to swallow pride and be vulnerable. I’ve never respected him more.
  5. The dude LOVES animals. You wouldn’t meet Michael and think that he has a ginormous soft spot for animals, but introduce him to a sweet animal and he’s a pile of baby pink mush.
  6. He is so UN-lazy. My favorite thing to do on the weekends is sleep late and lay in bed catching up on all things LACEY’S PHONE. Michael gets right out of bed and starts cleaning and doing yard work. Never fails! Don’t worry, he likes to relax later in the day when I’m revving up to work myself into a frenzy. We compliment each other’s habits perfectly.
  7. He is the most fun Daddy. While my focus tends to be their health and habits (Did you say thank you? Did you brush your teeth? You better get back here and take these vitamins!) his focus is always “Are they happy?”. That’s the most important thing to him, making sure that our children are happy. While he doesn’t make them eat healthy cereal wit’s filtered milk and take vitamins like I do, he makes sure they get lots of sunshine and play time and know how much they’re loved every single day. Yin to my Yang.
  8. He always supports me. ALWAYS. I tend to be very widely spread in terms of my hobbies, ideas, wants, and ventures. He never objects, never tries to slow my roll. He just supports and is there for me, no questions asked. Whether I’m gone for a week with work travel, starting my blog or Young Living Oils business, cheating on my diet with pizza, or just want to do something wild to my hair, he’s down.
  9. He puts up with me being a brat. Let’s leave it at that! 🙂
  10. He has simple tastes. He loves fishing, Coors Light, Cowboys football, and guns. He knows what he likes and spends time cultivating his hobbies in his own unassuming manner. I love watching him be happy!
  11. He is a great friend, and will do anything for the people he loves.
  12. He isn’t super vocal about his feelings (Neither am I, we are NOT romantic people) but he loves so hard. Anyone who is close to him would never doubt how much he cares for them.
  13. He is the best husband, my absolute best friend, and the most important person in my life. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t go home and just hug him and talk about my day or my thoughts. He makes my life better in so many ways! Have you ever had someone who perfectly makes up for every flaw and fault that you have? My husband does that for me.

Happy Anniversary my love, I’ll love you always.

When did you move away from your childhood home?

Maybe out of state for college or for your first big job? I bet you said the phrase “I’m going back home to visit my family for the holidays” or something similar at least once or twice, right? For me, “home” has always been where I settled in that moment. I’ve never had a true hometown, or a place that I felt was my home until I made my own as an adult. That’s mostly from being an Army Brat my whole life, but also because I’ve always been a natural wanderer like everyone else in my family. The Anderson’s are adventurers at heart, truly. My dad and his three brothers all scattered to the wind as soon as they turned 18. Even my grandparents picked up their lives in Louisiana and traveled the world before settling in Bahrain as ex-patriots for a dozen years before moving back to Louisiana. I feel like I’ve settled down in Florida for the most part, but a big part of my soul is always itching to pick up and go. I am from Louisiana, but even that sense of “hometown” is very loosely based for me. I spent every summer with my grandparents, in Bahrain and in Louisiana for most of my childhood. My roots and history are there, and a big part of my self-identity is based in my Louisiana heritage. But it’s not home for me. Hell, I haven’t been back there in 9 years now that I think of it! I have memories of everyplace I’ve ever been and lived, but I’ll never know how it feels to have a lifetime of memories in a house, town, state, or even with lifetime friends. I’ve never grown up with people, never spent every summer at a best friend’s house, never have had childhood friends. Part of me always wanted those things, and I certainly felt “less than” at times because of it.

So I became fixated on associations of home as I got older. This became more obvious to me when my parents recently moved down to Florida to be near me and my children. They moved their belongings down with them, and I started realizing that my concept of “home” was more tied to the people and the things that fill it, rather than location and memories. When I walked into my parents new house, I was struck by two things: “This is different!!” and, “but somehow the same”. To me, there are things that make my parents house their home, no matter where they are.

1. Cast iron pan or pots on the stove top at ALL TIMES. My dad doesn’t like to hunt for those heavy pans and he would eat his spatula before he let one rust. Or worse-get washed and scrubbed with dawn dish soap like I accidentally did in my teens. Man, he was pissed.
2. There is always a pot of coffee either brewed, brewing, or about to be brewed. I bought them a Keurig years ago, and they still use their coffee pot right next to it. And chances are, it’s “Community” brand coffee!
3. Stacks of books on the bookshelf, nightstands, coffee tables, you name it. We always had books everywhere growing up, and it’s something I do as well.
4. The tv is always on, and it’s always on MUTE. My parents are notorious for muting the tv to talk during commercials and forgetting to turn it back on. Sitting around and talking is a favorite pastime of mine when it comes to my family. We would talk all night at the dinner table, about random things. I remember one conversation we had about the composition of tree bark! We would always go off on random tangents (everyone in my family has wandering brains and conversation points) and never remember how we ended up on such obscure topics!
5. Knit quilts and my mom’s “woobie”, a camo-print, super soft quilt that was army issued to my dad about 20 years ago. She claimed it and never travels (or sits on the couch) without it! There are also quilts that my great-grandmother knitted before I was born strewn about on chairs and couches. Always.

My children have had a relatively stable life thus far. We moved into our house three years ago, and they’re still living in the same city and state they were born in. They have friends and constants in their lives, and I’m pretty sure that one of that will change, regardless of the fact that I could move anywhere and make a home that I’m happy with. But it makes me wonder what sorts of things they’ll associate home with. I’m a lover of things, and it feels like there are so many negative connotations to admitting to that. “She’s so materialistic” or “she’s so wasteful with her spending”…that sort of thing. But for me, things represent the present mentality, the memories of the past, and the sense of home. Things I associate with my own sense of home:

1. Plants, in just about every room or corner of my yard. I’m not the greenest of thumbs, but I know enough to get by with a decent garden! I love houseplants, and I’m never afraid to try a new one in our home.
2. Books everywhere, in almost every room. There are no “things” that I love more than books. I gave it a go with a kindle once upon a time, and I just couldn’t get into it. There is just something about the look, feel, and smell of a book.
3. Pretty little candles, they’re everywhere.
4. Essential Oils. I got into these big time last year, and they’ve taken over my house and life!! I love them so much, and we have diffusers in every single room.
5. Art, where it’s handmade, bought, thrifted, or re-purposed. I can’t stand a blank wall! I once tried the minimalist approach and I wanted to jump out of my skin. I cannot take the blank slate of a naked wall, I have an inner need to decorate at all costs.

While this thought process may sound materialistic and self-appreciating, it’s what makes me, ME. I take pride in making my house a home, because I learned to take comfort in my things after moving around so much. They were the only constants in my life, and if looking at a bookshelf reminds me that I’m home, then that’s what does it for me. What does “home” mean to you? I’m so curious about other people’s experiences with this, whether you’ve lived in one place your entire life or you’ve traveled around like I have. I would love to hear about your sense of home.

There is Nothing Like a Fresh Start!

How to keep track of your New Year's Resolutions to ensure success this year!

Growing up as an Army Brat can definitely mould you in random ways. Getting stationed all over the country meant picking up and starting over every few years. Over time I came to really look forward to the fresh start in a new state; with new friends and a new me! I think the reason that I love Spring, mornings, and the new year is because they all represent that blank slate, a fresh beginning. Every year I make resolutions and I take them very seriously. 2016 in particular was a good year for me in terms of keeping my resolutions, and I credit this to two things.

-I made resolutions that were very feasible to my lifestyle and mentality.
-I wrote them down and kept track of my progress.

Tracking your New Year's Resolutions in 2017

By holding myself accountable and staying organized, I was able to keep my resolutions this year! I didn’t try to reinvent myself, but I am proud of what I accomplished in terms of personal growth and happiness. I’m definitely going to take things up a notch up in 2017 with my resolutions and I’ll be keeping track of my progress with my LYTE (Live Your Truth Everyday) Planner. I tracked all of my resolutions in my journal this year, which was a bit annoying since I also am devoted to my planner book. When I came across the LYTE Planner and saw the daily journal and list sections, it was love at first sight. And just look at the amazing design!

I’ve always used a work planner, personal planner, a journal, and several notebooks and list pads…that’s a TON of crap to lug around. This planner is perfect for me because I have places in it for each of my needs! I’m obsessed with motivational quotes too, which is the icing on the cake with this baby. I have given serious thought to my 2017 resolutions this year, because they aren’t empty promises in my eyes. These are things that take time and energy to stay consistent with, so I am taking my accountability to heart. What are your resolutions this year? Is anyone else wanting to step up their running game like I am? If you’re interested in purchasing the LYTE Planner, you can get it here. Use the code ELLEATHOME for $5 off!