April Recap: Phoenix, Lantern Fest, & Baseball

I haven’t written in a while, it’s been a little hectic over here in Colorado. April has just seemed to fly by and somewhat in a good way.

About mid-month, Ryan and I packed and headed to Arizona for a lovely wedding. It’s actually been our first wedding that we’ve been to as a couple, other than our own. We kind of like to joke because we have one friend getting married this summer, but other than that we only have a couple close friends in long term relationships. We’re like the old married couple, but without kids because we aren’t wanting those yet.

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The wedding was great! It was for one of my closest cousins, and I’m just so happy he found such an amazing gal. Since Ryan had never been to Arizona, we did some exploring. We had a great time in Downtown Scottsdale. You have to go to Sugar Bowl. Delicious, delicious milkshakes and malts!

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And . . . calling all Baseball fans . . . there is a store called Baseballism. They only have 4 (I think) locations, and let me tell you the CUTEST clothes for baseball fans.

When we got back from Arizona, we had a good time relaxing for these past few weeks. It’s been so hectic lately, I swear we’re going a 100 different directions. But, we did get to attend Lantern Fest that was held in Dacono, Colorado.

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This festival was breathtaking. If you’ve ever seen Tangled, you’ve wished you could be part of the lantern festival, and it was worth it. People were stopping on the freeway to see the lanterns. Click here to see if they’re headed to your city, you won’t want to miss it. Tip: You don’t have to show up early, you could show up an hour and half before dark and still get the feel.

And, now it is May 1st, and I cannot believe we are in the fifth month of this year. These days are literally flying by. I also get to head to Cali this month to see my little brother play some of his last baseball games. It’s probably one of the most bittersweet moments, he is moving on to pursue a career in ministry and be around the one he loves. Yet, it is a closing of the baseball chapter that was such a huge part of his life, as well as our family’s life.

I cannot wait to see him play and hang with my lovely mother on Mother’s day!

– the Helm Household

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Constant State of Chaos

Last night I told myself I was going to sleep in, well I guess that equals 6:30-HOORAY (sarcasm). I haven’t posted lately, and to be honest, that’s because I’ve been a little stressed. And, I’m not even sure that stressed is an accurate word to describe how I’ve been feeling, it’s more just living in a constant state of chaos.

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When Ryan and I moved in October to Colorado, I knew it wasn’t my favorite state in the world. To most, the sunshine and mountains draw them in. To me, I like “my mountain” and rain. It’s difficult for me to find the beauty here because it’s very similar to my home. It’s nearly the same if you remove the land locked of Colorado and gave Washington a little more sunshine.

But, when we moved, we moved for my work, and I could feel the Lord bringing us here. I’ve never felt that before, but I really was praying when we moved. I was trusting. And now, I’m here, thinking . . . why did I move again?

I don’t know if it is the need for the comforts of home or the realization that I knew I didn’t like Colorado. I feel like I uprooted our lives for a good job opportunity knowing that I didn’t actual want to be here. But then, I go back to that feeling I had when moving that there was a reason.

I’ve been reading Proverbs lately, and this is a pretty well-known verse, but it just had a different meaning when you truly are needing to trust in the Lord.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

If you don’t know, I’m a really controlling person. I like all the control in my life, so when I fully trusted the Lord in moving here, it was probably a first for me. Now, I’m in a really challenging place because I’m continually having to rely on the Lord to show me why I’m here and what he has in store for me.

And, I realize that this is how life is supposed to be, but giving up that control and submitting to him can be difficult. I believe everyone’s been at this place, needing the Lord to give them guidance and direction. But if we aren’t willing to submit to him, how can we be open to listening to his guidance?

Personally, I think it’s’ a normal struggle. The feeling that your life is in complete chaos and struggling to fully let go and trust the Lord. Just remember, we weren’t meant to do this life thing alone.

– the Helm Household

Wedding Registry, 10 Dos & Donts

It’s nearly wedding season! And, we’re headed to our first wedding in a couple of weeks in Arizona. It takes me back to the exciting time of our wedding, and I just can’t help but write a little bit about it.

Ryan and I will be married for two years in July, so you think we would’ve used everything we’ve registered for . . . well we haven’t or we’ve only used it once. And, I’m also pleasantly surprised on some items we used more than I thought we would.

Wedding Registry

Here are my dos & donts of wedding registry:

1. Remove your fondue set
It’s a fun idea and all . . . but you aren’t going to use it. Or maybe you use it once every five years. It’s a waste. We used ours for the first time for Valentine’s Day, and we couldn’t make it perfect. Allow yourself to get something that you will actually use and visit the Melting Pot if you really want fondue.

2. Register for nice serving platters/bowls
I love Crate & Barrel. And, I registered for the best serving platters and bowls. I love them! They are perfect and get used a lot. You don’t need multiple styles, just stick with one style and mix-n-match. They’re a little fancy and perfect for Thanksgiving dinner, birthdays, etc.

3. Remove the candles and picture frames
Unless you’re some crazy candle lady, you can buy your own, and you don’t need to register for them. And, the picture frames that say “Love” tend to be tacky. So, ditch them! Have someone get you towels instead, something useful that you will have to buy anyways.

 

4. Register for sheets
I didn’t register for sheets, and I regret it. They’re expensive, so register for them and pray you get them! I might be biased, but sheets are one of those things you use every day, and I still have trouble buying them.

5. Remove random things from your list
The random things I added to my list were biscuit cutters, crab crackers, and frosting froster. Let’s be real . . . my husband does the cooking, and we don’t eat biscuits. We eat crab occasionally, and I can’t even find the crackers (I think they’re packed away). And, we use frosting out of a can. Remove the useless things. Don’t fool yourself, you aren’t going use them!

6. Register for at least one thing fun
Ryan and I love, love, love football. He is a Bears fan, and I am a Seahawks fan. We registered for two beer glasses each with our team’s logo on it. Totally worth it! It’s something fun you wouldn’t necessarily buy for yourself, but they are our favorite glasses during game days.

7. Remove anything you already have that you like
Let’s say you already have decent wine glasses . . . guess what, you probably don’t need new ones. It isn’t worth it to trade everything in to get new ones because there is probably something on your registry that you don’t have that you really want. For me, I had a Keurig, not the newest, but it works. I didn’t register for another because I’d rather someone give me that $100 they would’ve spent or bought me something I really needed.

8. Register for only one bathroom in your house
I recommend registering for your master bathroom only. Ryan and I owned a home, so I registered for both our master and our guest bathroom. The stuff I wanted for the master was expensive. I think the trash can was like $60, but I really wanted it! Then, I ended up getting ½ of what I wanted for each bathroom. So, I had to go in and buy the $20 toothbrush holder myself. Registering for one bathroom only, probably would’ve gotten me the more expensive stuff for the master bath.

9. Remove décor!!!!!!!!
This kind of plays of the candle and picture frame one but just don’t ask for decorations. It’s pointless. Generally, it is something that you will buy with your gift cards, but asking for that as a gift is weird to me. I don’t know why, it just is. I think registries should be focused on needs, especially since if you don’t get those you have to buy them anyway.

10. Register for something you wouldn’t normally get yourself
For me this was the blanket basket of my dreams, and I just had to have it. Sometimes people want to buy you something useful but not your plates you want. That’s when stuff like a blanket basket or an awesome vase comes in. Stuff that will a) be used b) is a little fancy. This category is generally purchased by your mom’s friend that loves decorating or a great aunt that has a little extra cash.

Registering was one of my favorite things. I could see my little home coming together with Ryan. We loved going to registry events, where they shut down the store just for those getting married. It was a great way to be with your significant other and pick out stuff for your new place together.

I just can’t wait for wedding season! Have you followed me on Instagram yet? Click here to follow today!

– the Helm Household

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My California Birthday Weekend: Hollywood Sign, LeBron James, & Baseball

For my birthday weekend, Ryan and I headed to sunny California. My little brother goes to school outside of LA, and my parents were flying down from Washington to meet us. We kind of had a wrench thrown into our plans when my dad had to be rushed to the ER the day of the flight, so my parents had to stay home (he’s okay, don’t worry!). Honestly, my husband and I think he is avoiding us because in January, when my parents were coming to visit us in Colorado, my mom is the only one that came because my dog had to go to the ER, too.

My birthday weekend was now just going to be the three of us. It was okay, though. A bummer, but okay. We should be seeing them in April for my cousin’s wedding, only if no one goes to the ER.

We were visiting California to celebrate my birthday but also to see my brother play baseball. On my birthday, we went on a hike near the Hollywood sign! The boys put up with it because I just kept repeating, “It’s my birthday!”

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After our hike, we drove down Hollywood Boulevard and Rodeo Drive since Ryan had never been. While driving, we were all talking about if we were going to see a celebrity or not . . . AND WE DID. This is kind of how it went:

Me: “Holy crap, that’s . . . what’s his name . . . gosh, what’s his name . . . oh, LeBron James!”

My brother: “No, it’s not.”

Me: “YES IT IS!”

My brother: (Actually looks) “That’s LeBron James! Holy crap, we just saw LeBron James!”

During the conversation, my husband didn’t say a word. But, he did snap this photo! It’s the best we could do since we were driving down the street. 

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If I’m really honest, the celebrity I was hoping to see was someone from Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives, or if I’m really lucky Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars. But, I guess LeBron James will have to do.

For my birthday dinner, we went to Pono Burger in Santa Monica. And oh my gosh, if you live in the area or are visiting . . . it’s delicious! It’s a pretty small restaurant, you sit in something that looks like a greenhouse, but it is the best burger and fries I have had in awhile. Definitely worth the visit!

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We also got to watch my brother play some baseball, which was awesome! And . . . I hate to break it to you . . . I have seen more baseball games than you. And, I know more about baseball than you. This isn’t the life I chose, it chose me! Haha, but seriously, I’ve watched more baseball games than I can count, and it’s always great to see the “little” guy play. He is up to bat in the picture below.

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For my last birthday adventure, we were going to go to Magic Mountain. But, it ended up raining when we could do it, so that didn’t happen. Instead we went and saw Zootopia, which I would probably rate like a 6.5. I felt like they showed most of the funny parts in the previews, plus I’m still on that Frozen bandwagon.

It was a great vacation to see my brother’s school, celebrate my birthday, and just have a nice little getaway. Only three more weeks until our next adventure in Phoenix! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to stay updated.

– the Helm Household

Buying your First Home: Are you ready?

I’m reflecting on Ryan and I buying our first home in 2014, and I’m truly thinking about the question: were we ready?

BUYING YOUR

 

Let me give you a little bit of a back story:

We bought our home in October of 2014 and sold it in October of 2015. I was 22 when we bought the home, and Ryan was 23 (almost 24).  My work wanted to move me out to Colorado, so it seemed like the right thing to do. I’d truly say God lined up everything and made everything work. The first person who looked at our house, ended up buying it.

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Currently, we live in an apartment. We went from 2,100 square feet to 675 square feet. It was an adjustment: no yard, one bedroom, one bathroom, etc. But, it’s been better than expected for me.

As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to be kind of a nomad or never really content with where I live. I always want to change, and I like having that flexibility. But, I struggle because we want to have kids eventually, and I don’t want to be the family that always moves. So, when we bought our house I thought it was the right idea, but now I’m thinking I wasn’t ready.

Mortgages are stressful.

We pay more for our apartment than we did for our house, but if something goes wrong, we don’t have to pay to fix it. When you buy a house, you fix it. That money comes out of your pocket.

You are stuck. 

I was 22 years old going on 40. Yes, you can always sell your house, but it isn’t like breaking a lease. You’re responsible for the house. If it doesn’t sell, you might have to take a loss? Or possibly stay there when you’re ready to move?

Starting out is expensive.

We bought a new construction home, and let’s just say we had at least an extra $4,000 in expenses. We had to buy a washer and dryer. And, we also had to buy blinds. BLINDS ARE EXPENSIVE. SO SO SO EXPENSIVE. Even if you get the cheap ones, they are expensive. Consider yourself warned.

Don’t settle. 

I wouldn’t say we settled, but there was definitely things we found out we didn’t like. We had a really small yard. And, that is fine, but it got old quick. There wasn’t room to spread out and just be outside. We also had a back load garage, where you drove down an ally.  Neither of us had ever lived in one, and it sounded okay but it wasn’t. There was no place to wash your car. And, our front windows then were really close to the sidewalks. It sounds weird, I know, but then if your expensive blinds are open, you feel like someone walking on the sidewalk is in your living room.

Your time withers away.

There is always something to do at the house. Paint, clean, you name it. It literally takes me 30 minutes to clean my apartment. It took me an hour and a half to  clean the house. Think about those things, sometimes it’s nice to not have to clean three bathrooms.

Now, done with the seriousness. It’s time for funny things you don’t think about . . .

BASEBOARDS

AHHHHHHHH! My hatred for flat baseboards. The baseboards that are flat on top. They are a pain in the butt to clean. The dust just sits there, but you have to get on your hands and knees to clean them. I’m not saying don’t buy a house because of baseboards, but seriously you will stare at that dust and hate your life each and every time you have to clean it.

Garage Auto-Lights

Great in theory, however ours would never stay on unless it saw you moving. Ryan and I like to do a lot of DIY projects, so if we were painting something, the light would turn off. We’d be jumping up and down to try and turn the light back on. It was hilarious and annoying all rolled up into one.

Neighbors

Honestly, we had the best neighbor and the worst neighbor. And, you just get what you get. Our bad neighbor . . . he wrote passive aggressive notes on our car if we parked even slightly in front of his house. Let me remind you, we had back load garages, so it was the public road in front of our houses. And, he could still fit 2 cars in front of his house, but he still wrote us notes with the date and a number circled. That number kept increasing each time it happened. So, when I went to confront him about it, he said it wasn’t him. Fast forward: my parents parked half way in front of his house . . . he proceeded to move his car from his garage to the front of his house and then cussed my mom out. He also called me a “little girl”, and I just thought . . . this little girl can afford the same house you can, mister. So, ya neighbors can be a drag.

I’m not saying owning a home was a bad thing. I’m just saying I wasn’t ready. It’s a big decision, and if I could go back, I wouldn’t buy one the year I got married. I would’ve waited a bit to settle in. But, I tend to do things backwards, so now we live in an apartment.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @HelmHousehold!

– the Helm Household

Bring on Spring

I’m not sure about where you live, but in sunny Colorado if feels like spring already. We’ve been in the mid-sixties for a couple weeks now, and it’s been feeling good. I’m not so excited for the season after spring, but I am excited for spring.

Spring is flowers blooming, school getting out, and sunshine! Since I’ve newly moved, I’m excited for better weather to be able to explore more. It’s difficult to explore Colorado in winter because let’s face it . . . it’s snowy and cold.

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Things I’m planning on doing this spring:

The Lantern Fest

It’s probably in your city! You have to check it out because who hasn’t seen Tangled and wanted to do something like this? We’re planning to do one here, such a fun date night. Plus, it is a great way to celebrate in the warm weather! (And there are s’mores).

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Image Source, click here.

Taste of (Insert Your Town Name)

My husband and I will be attending the Taste of Fort Collins for the first time! And, I don’t know if you’ve ever searched google for “Taste of (Insert Your Town Name)” or if you’ve been to one, they are awesome. Normally, they don’t cost to much, but they’re so much fun. It is locally sourced everything, and each vendor normally does samples, etc. In Illinois, we saw the “Taste of Illinois” advertised in a grocery store–we’d never heard about it. And, we decided to try it out for a little date, and it’s been one of the best dates we’ve had!

Winter Attractions: Breckenridge 

Think about the biggest winter attraction around you, the place where everyone flies to your state to go in the winter time. Try it out in spring! Trust me, it’s great. There is stuff to do at every time of the year in the town, but going not during the busy season is kind of fun. First, it isn’t as expensive. And second, it isn’t as busy. It’s always been something I’ve loved to do, and this year, I’m hoping to check out Breckenridge when it’s warm not during the ski season.

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Image Source, click here.

Camping, camping, camping!

Fun fact about me, I had never really been camping until last year . . . and I went twice. The thing about Washington, if you didn’t know, it rains a lot there. Plus, my dad hates camping, so I had never been growing up. But my husband loves camping, and I’d say I like it. So, I’m excited to go this spring with friends because Colorado is warmer in the spring than Washington. We will hopefully get to go more and possibly get to stay in a Yurt one time! How cool would that be?

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Camping in Forks, Washington

I’m really excited for the spring! I don’t like the snow (or the hot), so I’m ready for some mild temperatures. I’m  hoping to be outside and a) not freeze to death and b) not burn up.

Which of these sound most fun to do this spring?

– the Helm Household

Birthday Week: 24 things about me

It’s my birthday week! I’m going to be 24, and let me just say my 23rd year of life was quite crazy. I’ve moved, sold a house, celebrated my 1 year wedding anniversary, traveled, and started a blog. This year, we will be celebrating in sunny California, so I’m excited for a weekend away!

That being said, I thought I’d give you a 24 random facts about me–one for each year.

1. I look really young for my age like really young. Most people think I’m a senior in high school, so that’s always fun.

2. I graduated college at 20.

3. My husband and I met in Mexico on vacation.

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Me, My Husband (Not at the time), and My Little Brother

4. In a group of friends, I would be considered the blunt one. The one that you wish would have shut up five comments before they do.

5. I hate custom license plates, so dumb. I don’t know why just so dumb.

6. I was a vegetarian for three years because someone told me I couldn’t do it . . . I’m stubborn.

7. I’ve lived in three states in the past three years: Illinois, Washington, and Colorado.

8. I believe I have the cutest dog in the world.

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Koda aka “The Fluff”

9. I have an obsession with ears. I hate dirty ears, it totally grosses me out. And, yes that means I clean my husbands.

10. I watch a lot of TV: reality tv, crime shows, supernatural . . . you name it, I probably watch it.

11. My favorite color is yellow.

12. I didn’t like beer until I worked at a Brewery. Don’t say you don’t like beer until you taste good beer, not college beer aka Busch light.

13. I’m a morning person. No matter weekend or weekday, I will be up at 7 AM the latest.

14. I don’t like to cook, so I eat a lot of popcorn for dinner.

15. I have 4 really close friends, not including family, and they live in Seattle, Colorado, Boston, and Florida.

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Florida, Me, Boston – We met studying abroad in Costa Rica
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Colorado – Roommates in College
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Seattle – Same Dorm in College

16. I’ve been on two mission trips: Guatemala and South Africa.

17. I’m working on my MBA, and let me tell you . . . I just want to be done with it.

18. I honestly have the best family in the world. If you could think of the perfect family, I’m willing to bet that is mine.

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My Fambam

19. I love to travel! And, my favorite city I have ever been to is probably Nashville.

20. My husband is literally my best friend. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

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Est. 2014

21. I don’t like to swim, especially not in the ocean.

22. My favorite season is fall. Bring on pumpkin spice everything!

23. I struggle with being content in where I live. I tend to always want to move somewhere or think there is somewhere better I could be living.

24. My favorite holiday is Christmas, but after that it is Halloween! I love haunted houses and spooky things. I just have to convince my husband to come along with me.

Cheers to me being nearly 24! I can’t believe it.

Follow me on Instagram to stay updated with my birthday adventures @theHelmHousehold.

– the Helm Household