Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Staying Neutral and True

I've had the hardest time concentrating lately! Anything from making the grocery list, doing dishes, to walking in a room and completely forgetting what for. And it's happening when I look into my closet! Normally, I brainstorm my outfit while in the shower and by the time I hit the idea has gotten even better. Not so much, here lately. I've been staying safe and sticking with the obvious all month. There's no doubt this concentration problem has everything to do with being in weeds at work, this month. People, I am at my max. I'm super stretched-thin, {Thank God} this Friday puts an end to that.

I am ready for an overhaul. This last month of being thrown .hard. into work required quite the sacrifice of personal time and family time. I can't even tell you how happy I am to know it's just about over. I'm looking forward to the weekend more than ever. I'll be focusing on my prep work for the cleanse I plan to start either Sunday or Monday. I'll be highlighting my gym class calendar like a mofo. And, squeezing the life out of my boys and hubby. And getting back some "me time"!!

This sounds a bit like a H54F post but it's whats on my heart and all over my mind right, I blend it into today's "style" post. BTW, that jacket ---> 8 bucks!!! holla! that shirt, less than $20. those shoes, found last year at Macy's with about 3 red tags, marking them down to 14.99! Such great deals!!

Speaking of style. I don't necessarily consider myself a stylish person. It's shocked me to receive emails from readers asking why I don't share the brand and store names of the pieces I'm wearing. Honestly, I had no idea that anyone would truly care. I see these style posts as a way of sharing some of my styles that express me. A way to stay creative and young. Last week I posted a c/o and felt a little awkward about it but since you're asking, I figure, I'll just go with it and be more consistent with sharing who,what, and where's!

You know what else you might want? A $250 VISA?! If you haven't already entered, go enter!
Some fabulous ladies joined me in this's my way of saying, YOU ROCK :)

*And, you totally rock for letting me "vent" my way through this post!!

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P.S. I should say that I am grateful for my work. I love the challenges in my field and the people that I help through working there brings me much satisfaction.  I rant, simply because running a one man show is exhausting and while, I feel incredible for all I've been able to give my office during it's hard time, it's just not practical for my family.  My office is well aware of my feelings, we are a private office and care for each other like friends not just co-workers. I am lucky for all of that!!

Linking w/ Random Wednesdays, WIWW, Style Editions, Walkabout Wednesday, Whatever Whenever, Wed. Blog Hop, Look What I Got  CHECK 'EM ALL OUT!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Let's Celebrate! With a $250 GIVEAWAY!!!

giveaway, VISA giveaway, blogger giveaway, heartshapedsweat

How many ways can you spend 250 free dollars??? 
I'll give you a crazy number of ways to win the $250 VISA and you figure all the ways to spend it!

Heart Shaped Sweat has grown so much over the last few months! It's amazing to see all that has happened here and I'm excited for all that's to come. I couldn't have made it this far without the support from each of you! I'm so thankful for you little loves of mine :)

Helping me celebrate are 24 beautiful ladies...we're giving away a $250 VISA to one lucky reader! The options and entries are endless. With so many wonderful ladies and all the ways to get to know each one of them, I wouldn't dare limit your options!

Sooooooo get to clicking, making friends, and crossing fingers for the winnings!
giveaway, VISA giveaway, blogger giveaway, heartshapedsweat
aMileInHerBoots, TheDomesticGeek, GraceForGayle, TheDomesticatedWorkingWoman, AnnieOneCanCook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All entries will be verified, please be honest. 
Winner is chosen by and will be contacted via email. 
Winner has 48 hours to respond before another is selected.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saved the Best for Last! Weekend Recap

This weekend, I realized that last years February was just more fun than this years.
I'm a little p.o.'ed about this and feel that March must make up for it!!

cape henry beach trip, family at the beach
For example, we enjoyed a long weekend getaway at the beach (this time) last year. We combed empty beaches enjoying 70 degree temps, climbed lighthouses and dined while the boys got their gaming on at the arcade. Basically, I spent a chunk of my weekend checking availability and our calendar for a March vacay.

Despite everyone's encouragement to take the little guy to the circus this weekend, we opted for a local kids expo. Good thing, because we experienced complete public humiliation due to an overstimulated toddler. I am blessed with two very strong willed boys. These kids will grow up to be amazing adults and leaders. Meanwhile they are hardcore fighters for what they want, with little sense of common rules. Before the furious fit took place, Landon enjoyed balloons, a petting zoo, fitness fun, and met da-da-da-Dora!

The rest of our time was slotted with backyard and neighborhood exercise, food prep, an overload of pinteresting & dropboxing, brotherly love and whipping up an incredible giveaway for you!!!!

Time flies when you're having fun! Hey, I'm also considering a 7 day cleanse. I've read gobs of info on a specific one, but I'm curious....have any of you tried a cleanse? What were your results and would you recommend it or do it again? I'll compare your suggestions to what I'm considering and gather a post on this topic during the month of March! And, of course, share it's results with you!!

We're all set for another work week......
and I've you got you all set for a chance to win one HUGE Prize!!!
whatchya waiting for? go enter!

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Linking with YOLO Mondays Weekend Shenanigans, Miscellany Mondays, Monday Meetups, This Weekend, Tea on Tuesdays and Just Because
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Love me a FRIDAY!

I had said an extra prayer for the snow to come our way but apparently my prayer wasn't heard!
We would have loved a snow day at home! We're hoping to take our youngest to the circus this weekend. Anyone have experience with taking a 2 year old to the circus? We know he'll love seeing the animals, we're just a little worried he won't agree to "taking a seat" for the show! My bestie is coming in town, I couldn't be more excited about spending the weekend with her! Hubs and I are looking forward to getting our butts in the gym tomorrow morning. It's been a week  -jam packed-  with all things work, we've missed our workouts some kind of bad!!! Let's get through this workday and on to the weekend!


1// He doesn't like the way he looks in this picture....opps! I love it and so it makes an appearance. We celebrated our anniversary this past week. More on that fun here.

2// a long run would have been a great fix for the week I've had but food, wine, and an old friend was even better.

3// can you even see the necklace? It's a nesting doll, totally kitchy and I love it. I wanted 10 of them.

4// my boys and I just before bedtime. pretty much the best part of our weeknights.

5// to be extra sure that everyone's week gets off to the right start.....
I'm hosting a HUGE giveaway on Monday!!! There are 20+ beautiful, incredible ladies joining me!
So, come back ---------> Monday! meanwhile, go enter this one...lots of ad space and giftcards!

Take a moment to reflect.....
on the big and small things that make your week more beautiful.

Any big plans for your weekend? 
Are you snowed in? Loving it or hating it?

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Photobucket Let Them Eat Cake

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Black on Black - still shining bright

All black? yes!!!
because even when it's lack-luster you can still shine.

how to wear all black, black on black, best way to wear all black
There are times I wish I had a rainbow of accessories to pick from.
Outfits that just seem incomplete without the pop of color, touch of sparkle.
Looks that could be more pulled together by coordinating and contrasting elements of bangles and other various jewels.

how to wear all black, black on black, best way to wear all black
When wearing black on black it's easy to feel you must accessorize with pops of color. And while a statement piece or layer of color could be considered necessary, I feel mixing textures with lace, did the trick.

In the end...the beauty, the completeness of an outfit, the pop and shine really come from within.
If you're looking for the perfect accessory remember that a smile is truly the best of finishing touches.
And always....Wear Your Confidence.

how to wear all black, black on black, best way to wear all black
These things can't be found on a shelf. They wear no price tag.
Even dressed in black from head to toe, you can still walk in and light up a room :)

Let your light shine....stay pretty.

How do you feel about black on black and LBD's?

Ever felt like your outfit was missing something?
What are your must have accessories?

as for yesterdays trick question....
I'm obsessed with Bickram Yoga, love a good sweat session and stretch! ....was a total lie!
I'd love to try it, just haven't yet!

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Linking with WIWW, Random Wednesdays, Style Sessions, Walkabout Wednesday, Whatever Whenever
Wednesday Blog Hop
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The kind of Girl Who....

Can't pick just one! Hello fancy Tuesday link ups!!
I love each of these bloggers too much to not join the fun!!!
Their prompts are a fun and perfect way for you to know a bit more about me, and for me to learn more about you, so make sure you link up too!

A one time link up hosted by Holly at Running in Stiletto's
And a new {weekly} Tuesday Link up with Lisette at Northern Belle Diaries
And the too funny Alexa at Southern Living Our Way is hosting Truth Be Told, I'm Lion

Let's have fun with a few random facts about me :)
the kind of girl who, lost in thought, reflect, cherish

I'm the kind of girl who...
loves a shopping spree but feels incredibly overwhelmed in Forever21
over thinks and then thinks on the over thought thoughts
doesn't always catch the punch line and surely can't reference a movie quote
loves music, could live without cable but would crumble without the www
loves deeply, stays loyal, gives freely. favors honesty
accepts all kinds, never leaves anyone out
is happy go lucky, bubbly and spirited yet writings seem to showcase a more serious, sentimental side
loves a long talk, cries through a heart to heart and understands a blow out is at times, necessary
stacks her flats and lays flat her boots. owns too many hairbrushes and uses only one
allows her jewelry to lay in knots but carefully arranges each earring
swears by mascara, a glossy smile and a spray of floral perfume
digs deeper into each squat, runs the extra mile, curls the next set, holds the plank longer
tries to always improve upon the day before, yesterdays standards are so yesterday
compiles recipes and magazine tear outs with hopes of mastering the art of cooking for a family
has a style that's ever changing, always evolving, never the same
keeps a messy room but bed is always made. collects water bottles on the nightstand but alarm is set
spends nights alone and sleeps with 3 blankets. holds hubby tight when work lets him be home
can get dirty with my boys, swing a bat, spike the ball, spiral the throw and race the cars
captures snapshots of life at a rate that drives the husband insane, and finds this funny
treasures each little moment in life and yearns to stop "glorifying" busy
seeks peace not only in the moments of silence but in the times of chaos too
needs to pray more, seek his answers, and walk more in his light

alright, this seems like a good stopping point! no. one more...

...I'm the kind of girl who loves that you stop by each day and take the time to chat with me!
So, today I ask you to leave me a comment with one random fact about you!!!

And for the Truth be told, I'm Lion tricky trick....
these are easy...I'm not very good at lion!

I'm obsessed with Bickram Yoga, love a good sweat session and stretch!
I've ran at least 20 races in my life, placing 1st and 3rd in 4 of them!
I do 88 lunges, 100 squats, 100 crunches, 60 wall balls, and 4 minute planks in just one workout!

which is a lie? which are the two truths? Leave your guess below. I'll share the answer in tomorrows post!

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Play, Love, Eat....Weekend Recap

Happy Monday everyone!
Let's go into this day with our fake, happy smiles!
Kidding. Well kind of kidding. I love a fresh start to the week and we can all thank Monday for that buttttttt when it comes to work, I'm only half-way there...kinda like Fridays. It seems as soon as I clock in...I'm ready to clock out! I try to always hit the gym on Mondays. Oddly, the gym is most packed on Monday nights. That's a pain but it's worth it. It's my favorite way to start the week.

Our weekend started with Happy Hour at the mall. yea, not at all what you're thinking. This HH is more of the "choo-choo" train kind, casting pennies and wishes into the fountain, and gulping Starbucks.
We enjoyed every minute of it and every minute of the mid 60 temps.

The next night (30 degree temps) we sipped on real adult beverages and stuffed our faces with the most delish sushi, salad, and grill menu. Hubs and I ka-noodled the night away at this restaurant then rocked downtown with live music and drinks. There, I got my way with a nacho plate. bad, very bad, I know!
but, at least, dinner was a healthy filling of fish and greens!

When we weren't out - we were in the kitchen. It was incredibly cold this weekend and we seemed to seek out food. Some healthy, some not. My pitfall was anything Asian and everything salty. I am probably retaining 5+ pounds of water at this point, opps! I did spend some time Sunday night prepping salads for the week. I'll add "lastnights leftovers" to the salads as the work week goes on.

Speaking of work...still working more hours than the norm, still stressing it a bit, still missing the daylight hours with my boys and it's still putting a serious cramp on my gym schedule (how do you full time working mommies do it all?!!). I'm making the best of it and banking the extra cash.

This weekend, Lucas and I finally decided on a day for the movers to come. I can't even explain the rush of emotions when faced with this decision but as our number drops down on the housing wait list, we had to make the decision. So done deal, we settled on Lance's last day of 6th grade...mid June.

And now, Landon's latest fave...dump toys and play hide & seek in the canvas bin.
Kid I will buy you 20 more canvas bins. I had no idea the fun they held. Not to mention, the silence and freedom from endless, obnoxious kid tunes all your other toys play....

Excuse the lack of gym time and you've got yourself a glimpse into our typical weekend. Play, love, Eat.

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Linking with YOLO Mondays, Monday Meetups, Miscellany Monday, and Weekend Shenanigans
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Love me a FRIDAY

Ever feel like saying that when you answer the phone? I do. All the time.
I must answer some 300,586,894,345 phone calls a day.
Hello is so old now...I would rather say YELLOW!
Silly, I know. Cheesy and dorky? only if you say so but I like it and it throws people off and other times like when it's my husband or friends they name a color. Yes. It is silly. But silly is good, right?! Silly makes boring things better. Silly brightens the day, ahhhh just like the color yellow.


1// sweet valentines from my boys.

2// these were a little hard to give away. and a little hard to make. I loved Beth's idea to do chocolate on chocolate. who can resist that treat? but I didn't think this through. I overfilled the bowls with cake batter, which of course caused a disaster in my oven, which I still haven't cleaned. YELLOW!

3// more valentine fun! He bought us tickets to Carrie Underwood. ah!!! I can hardly wait, beyond excited for this!! He knew I, so badly, wanted to go to this concert but tickets were sold out within the first week, well except for random seats at ends of rows. who wants those?! I heart this gift big time. I gave him beacoup time at the shooting range. Man's army, man owns gun, man needs to get in the shooting range and fire off a few!

4// this is a time that you're happy to see things "half empty" Landon got his hands on an 800 count box of toothpicks and of course had to test gravity.

5// watch out Justin Beiber. Lance now knows how to use PicMonkey. I noticed it on his laptop and
got all kinds of excited. What blogging mom wouldn't?! He said he had seen it on my PC but didn't understand how to use it. This is his first creation! We then moved on to creating a gmail account for him. Took fooooorever to decide the perfect email address. He's been begging for a Facebook account...what do you all think? He's turning 13 this summer, I feel like it might be time?! When do kids get a FB account?

Take a moment to reflect.....
on the big and small things that make your week more beautiful.

P.S. There are still no-reply commenters....and it's poopie! I'd love to write back and carry on talking with you but it's sticky tricky when you're a no-reply blogger. Pretty please see this post and fix it! AND....
I loved everyone's input from last weeks giveaway questions!! Thank you! I hope to work on it this weekend, let me know if you want to be added to the email list! I'd love to have you join us!!

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Photobucket Let Them Eat Cake

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love-Dovey Day or Just Another Day?

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you love bloggers!!!
If you celebrate this day or not...I still wish you sweet hugs and kisses!

For the case you haven't figured it out yet, here's my Valentine...

He's my McDreamy, McSquezzy, McEverything. He's my rock. He's my sexy man. My heart's keeper.

Time for a little Q&A....
Link-up Style with The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife
I ask Lucas a few questions from the list and compare his answers to mine. Let's see how well he knows me!

I asked him if he remembered our first date...
of course he did! It was dinner and drinks at a local sports bar. I know, how romantic!
under the circumstances it was. we loved each other's company and oh,lala had our first kiss that night.

Which of you said I love you first?
He admits...he did. And then I cried. Total sap. The man melted my heart.

The colors of your wedding...
He's stumped....uhhhh, we didn't have that kind of wedding! Oh so true. Marrying Lucas was one of the best days of my life although the story doesn't make for the best. I had flown to Hawaii to welcome him home from his deployment. We knew we'd marry that week. It was planned. We just didn't know which day he'd finally be coming home. It was this week 4 four years ago. In some ways it seems like yesterday  in other ways it seems like an eternity ago. We married in a room, second floor of some building in Honolulu. Not at all like I pictured my wedding day but he was everything I pictured my husband to be.

He'll tell you my most commonly used phrase is...
"5 more minutes!!!" welp, yes, he's completely right on that. hadn't thought of it that way but he's right.

Ask him who my favorite celebrity is and what my fave drink is...
He nails it. Bradley Cooper and Vodka & Ginger with a fresh lime. I'm total lime snob, I smell them before I use them. Seriously, a bad lime will ruin an entire drink. It's no one's fault but the limes. As for Lucas, his celebrity crush is Carrie Underwood and the drink I know to order him is PBR, runner up Blue Moon.

His favorite things about me...
He'll tell you my lips?! For the sake of this blog let's just assume he means smile. Then he says the way I mother, the way I parent, that he can trust my instincts because parenting is hard and there is no manual but when we work together we do it right and do it well. I really didn't know what to expect here, but I love it!

There are a ton more questions but those were the most fun for us! 

I've loved this man from sea to shining sea. He's been as far east as he took me west.

He's been my Valentine for 6 years now and we're coming up on our 4 year wedding anniversary. For us this week is much more than a Hallmark Card Holiday. It's a week we celebrate our love and all our blessings. We talk a bit more heavily on our future, especially with the upcoming move. We take the time to seek out a perfect gift for each other. We stop life and just hang together. We try to make this week a little different than the others.

And you? Do you have a lovey-dovey to celebrate?
Do the two of you do anything 'extra' special today?

Tell me and then get your Valentine booties over to The Life of the Not So Ordinary Wife and link up!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Obvious Choice....and the best 1 minute EVER

Sometimes you just go with the obvious.
As in, hearts for Valentines Day....

bleeding heart shirt, valentine day outfit for mom
When your daytime plans include a Valentine Party for 20 toddlers, heart shirts are the obvious choice. You just go with it and assume the obvious, like, other toddlers will be wearing your same outfit and probably half of the nearby high school and wonder how many Leona Lewis jokes you'll hear in one day.

bleeding heart shirt, valentine day outfit for mom

Then you remember it's cool, you're cool and you're husband is amazing. You remember noticing the oddball outrageous purchase that showed up on the bank account just a few days ago. And, you get all excited for that purchase because it was to Stub Hub. You're so sure that it must be for the two of you since this time of year is not just for Valentines Day but also your wedding anniversary. You count the years married. one, two, three, four. And think yes, we'll be getting a night together and I may finally get to wear that dress purchased back over the holidays. The kind of dress you just can't leave behind but really don't know when or where you'll get to wear it. 

Then it gets better. Your mind escapes to food. ahhhh, simple easy treats like 1 minute cookies in a mug and healthy, sweet treats in simple packaging. You whip it up and sit all your coolness.

mom and her coffee mug, valentines day mug

basic recipe used for a warm batch of chocolate cookies cut down to size...of course, melt the butter first.

cookie in a mug recipe, make a cookie in a mug recipe

mix all ingredients (flour last) in the mug. one dish people, that's it. stir well, heat in microwave for 1 minute.

cookie in a mug recipe, make a cookie in a mug recipe

Does it get better than that? Well, maybe. You could drop a scoop of ice cream in there or if you're really in the mood for a sweet treat and cookies aren't your thing...try this one minute to happiness.....

yogurt with chocolate chips, make yogurt taste better

Brilliant. Best 5 minutes spent browsing Pinterest and best 1 minute spent in the kitchen.

So really you don't need the whole box of chocolates, you don't need anyone to gift chocolate to you.
You just need one minute and a spoon. And you can state the obvious in your attire...and get away with it.
At least I think you can...

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Linking with Random Wednesday, WIWW, Workit Wednesday, Walkabout Wednesday, Style Sessions, WhateverWhenever, Look What I Got  -cookie recipe found here, tweaked just a bit.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How Do You Search for New Friends?

What to do when your're procrastinating?
When you should be doing more productive things than just staring at your computer screen?
Check the search terms that lead people to your blog....

hot military girl in dress (ah, now I know why that's a number one viewed post)
image of people quitting exercise (what?! you'd never find that here!)
mommy fitness blog (yay!!)
what does a woman wear to military ball (I really hoped they liked my dresses!)
heart shaped asses (I laugh! I think some also call that an "onion butt")
healthy snacks (score! I need to do more post like this, yes?)
aquaphlor (this tickles me pink, I carry it more than my cell phone)
encouraging words for reaching goals (by far, my favorite!)

Obviously these lookers weren't out to find new blogs to follow but if they were I'd hope they'd stumble upon me today. I'm introducing you to 3 beautiful ladies, each unique and simply awesome in all bloggy ways. Take some time to hop over and say Hi! it's great to find new friends! And, since it's almost Valentine's Day...I did a little digging of my own and made sure to link in their love stories! You know, for all of you romantic peeps that can't pass up a once upon a time, how it all began love story...

Meet Kimberly!
Kimberlys Korner featured at Heart Shaped Sweat
She's been blogging since 2009, hanging with the best of them! She's a giver, the sentimental kind. Kimberly has a huge heart and has shown her support for many causes like this and this. When she's not spoiling her children and her pup Tucker, you might find her in the city watching a Broadway Show, taking in the beauty of Paterson Fallstouring the Cowboys Stadium or cheering for the Yankees. She's a Jersey girl and fittingly shares beautiful and saddening pictures of the Jersey Shore. A shortcut to getting to know Kimberly is here in her 10 things about me and I recommend you keep up with her weekly Everyday Advice Series! She has a strong, loyal readership in which she offers advice to and gains from. We all love advice from a pro, right? Here's a sweet message to long lasting marriages and what I bet is the best promise he ever kept with her!

Be sure to get by Kimberly's Korner and say Hello!!! I'm know you'll enjoy her blog, as much as I do!

And now meet Emma!
Chasing Texas featured at Heart Shaped Sweat
She may have started her blog with intentions of posting all things "weddings" but you'll only find one post on that subject unless you count this one, then it's two. Emma has a funny bone and shows it in post like how to become someone else and her weekly recaps of the Bachelor, she even inserts humor on serious subjects like being radioactive for the weekend. I mean, who else can say dinosaurs had a lot to do with meeting their fiance? Read about that and her incredibly sweet surprise engagement story here.  Chat over coffee or take this shortcut to get to know her better in her facts of me post.

Whatever, whichever way you click, be sure to head over to Chasing Texas and say Hello!!!

And....Meet Jen!
Team Bowen featured at Heart Shaped Sweat
She's a stroller striding momma who can make a regular maxi dress look bombshell even at 30+ weeks pregnant. She's not scared of a drill or hand sander, has an insane mason jar collection, and has mastered many pins like these dispensers, organization, and holiday decor. If you ever wondered how your great grandmother made bread or how to squeeze in more veggies and fruits by juicing, she's got you covered. Thai Curry Stir Fry anyone? Oh, rather a cheesey dish? Should we skip dinner and go straight for dessert? Eat on-the-go kind of gal? Try homemade granola bars. And because we're all a bunch of saps, here's a pastor's wife love story.

Take your pick and hop over to Team Bowen, go say Hello!

So there's a ton of search terms and links to their blogs!
Get to clicking!!! I know you'll enjoy getting to know them as much as I have!

Don't be shy, go say Hi :)

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