HELLO
Mom to Iris. Wife to Todd. Our little family lives at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We love it here and I love sharing little bits of our life.

© 2014 sarahfortune.

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Category : Life

LIFE LATELY – May 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve given a little life update, so I thought I’d fill ya in on what we’ve been up to. Between work trips, vacations, and meetings, I feel like my day-to-day continues to be a whirlwind. Our trip to Hollywood this past week was so great and I can’t wait to share a full post of our adventures soon. I got back to Arkansas just in time to start a week of big exciting projects – both at work and at home.

If you’ve been following along on Instagram Stories, you know that we’ve started the process of painting the exterior of our home. Partnering with CertaPro, we’ve finally decided on a shade Sherwin-Williams paint color for our brick! I’m so excited to share the progress, as I’ve never done a project like this before. We just need this crazy rain to stay far away so we can finally dry off around here.

In equally exciting news, Iris goes in for Kindergarten assessment in a couple weeks. I’m not sure what all it involves, but she’s really thrilled to visit her new school for the first time. We drive by it all the time and even stop to play on the playground, but she’s yet to see inside. Recently it was voted the number one public elementary school in the state, so I’m quite thrilled myself.

Later this month we’re also headed out on our annual Rosemary Beach getaway. It feels strange that it’s coming up so quick – our California trip threw me off a bit, but I’ll be certainly be ready for a full week of vacation when it’s time.

Lastly, that brings me to Todd who has a new(ish) hobby that he’s really gotten into. He’s joined the cycling world and rides his bike nearly every day. I try not to get too nervous as he’s exploring the country roads, but overall he loves it and is actually pretty darn good, even for someone who just started a year ago.

Well, it’s time to get our weekend started. Hoping mine (and yours!) is filled with a mix of fun and relaxation.

Annie’s Love

Spring has sprung, and so have our schedules. With our calendars in full bloom, our days are bustling from sun up to sun down. The older Iris gets, the busier our schedule gets and, of course I swear Iris is growing by the minute. That means not much time goes by without her tiny voice requesting a snack. Thankfully, as a long-time Annie’s fan, I have easy choices that I can feel good about. Whether it’s as soon as she gets home from school, during a back-yard picnic, or on-the-go, it’s comforting having snack choices that not only does Iris love, but that I know are better for her than many other options out there.

Available at Walmart, I was excited to see that Annie’s has an assortment of new treats. Located near the breakfast and snack bars, Iris is pretty keen on the new Organic Chewy Granola Bars. Since I already make a Walmart run at least once a week, I consider this a win-win.

I learned early-on to keep a packet of Cheddar Bunnies in my purse for any emergency grumpy situations that may arise, and now I’ve added Iris’ new fave (quite literally) to my back-pocket. This weekend we are going from work events, to play-dates, to the grocery store, so looks like another whirlwind of fun (and snacks) is in store!

This post is sponsored by Annie’s, a brand we have loved for many years.

Life Lately – April 2017

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. I’m not a fan of Wednesday. This week, like most weeks lately, I’ve been checking items off my to-do list. Including: getting my car serviced, getting my hair done, and getting my skin lasered. Lots of maintenance going on around here, but at least two out of three are ones I look forward to (hair and skin, duh).

Last week was of course equally hectic, but with a bit of excitement. I had not one, but TWO speaking engagements. The first was for the local chapter of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America). I talked about being a blogger/social influencer (gosh I really don’t like those terms, but there’s nothing else that captures what we do), as well as what it’s like to work with brands. My other presentation was bright and early on Saturday morning to a a funeral directing group. Hey, at least I’ve got range!

This weekend Todd is going on an overnight backpack trip into the wilderness with some of his best buds, so Iris and I get a girls weekend. I think we’re going to get a hotel nearby and have a mini-getaway just for something different. Speaking of Iris, she has a few exciting things in her life currently too. She has three loose teeth (unfortunately, one is wiggly thanks to a bad fall on the school playground), she is counting down the days to her favorite holiday – Easter, and she is becoming such a great READER! It’s so incredible watch her mind grow.

For now it’s off to bed, but I’ll leave ya with my new hair and fresh skin (I’m guessing you don’t care to see a picture of my oil change).

Mom-Work Life

I know I share a lot about my mom-life, but I often don’t dive into my work-world. So if you don’t know, in addition to being Iris’ mom and blogging when I can, I do work full-time. I’ve actually been working a job (or jobs) of some sort since I was legally able. At the age of 15 I started out as a dishwasher at my local health food store, eventually spending much of my late-teens and early 20s working as a barista in a coffeeshop. At one point, when I was living in the Washington D.C. area, I held three jobs at once – a clothing store in Georgetown, a little lunch spot near the White House during the week, and at an after-school program/nursery at a church – all while going to school (and it’s from all of this experience that I am a devout believer that everyone should work retail and/or food service at some point in their life).

So while I spend every Monday through Friday at the office, I do realize I rarely share that side of my life – which is a pretty big chunk. Frankly, that’s kind of by design. Not only is what I do on a day-to-day basis probably boring to most folks (re: lots of paperwork and emails), but what I do for a living isn’t easily explained and most people respond in one of two ways:

“Oh…” with a confused look, then changes the subject quickly.
or

(insert one million questions)

I actually prefer the latter response because I love and feel strongly about what I do, so I enjoy telling people about it. Though I certainly understand the subject in general isn’t always the top item on people’s dinner party topic lists. So, on to fun stuff…

Where in the world do you work?
To completely oversimplify it, I work for a non-profit organization and manage the national licensure exam for funeral service. That’s as deep as I’ll go on here (I don’t want to bore you with the details), but if you ever see me out and are curious, I’d be happy to tell you more. I’ve been there in total for almost nine years and am very fortunate to not only love what I do, but the people that I work with as well.

How did you get into THAT?
I had just graduated from The University of Arkansas and was finishing up an internship at the Walton Arts Center, when I saw a classified ad for a “Public Relations Coordinator” position. There was no mention of funeral service, but a quick Google search of the phone number led me to the organization’s website… where I was equally confused and intrigued. Fast forward many years and I’m now in a different role, but still with the same organization. While what I do is rather complex, my day-to-day work is strictly administrative, so a background in funeral service isn’t necessary. That’s what we have the amazing volunteer experts for.

So what did you go to school for?
I graduated from the journalism department, with a concentration in advertising and public relations. That’s what led me to apply for job, thanks to the title!

How often do you travel for work?
It varies, but usually around four or five trips per year. I’ve gotten to go to some pretty awesome places, but unless I extend my stay I don’t get too much opportunity to explore. Besides our annual convention, I facilitate various committee meetings which are held in different locations across the country.

How do you balance work, being a mom, and running a blog?
I’m constantly pulled in different directions – dashing from one obligation to the next, but isn’t that what being a mom is all about? I’ve been known to take a vacation day just to get the laundry done, but thankfully Todd and I make a pretty good team. Now that Iris is a little older, I feel better about leaving her for my work trips or at preschool during the week, or even when I take a little time to myself on the weekends to work on my blog. I’ve learned that I need that creative outlet to balance out the business side of my brain, and I like that Iris gets to see what hard work looks like. At the end of the day I’m proud of the different hats I wear, even if they get a little heavy at times.

Overall, I’ve learned a lot about a field that I knew not that much about. Such as that it’s full of amazing people that are humbly serving people in their toughest times and I am lucky enough to get to work alongside some of the best in the profession. At the end of the day, I’m proud be a part of an organization that is always trying to do the right thing for the sake of public protection. So there ya have it… Probably with more questions than answers. And I’m off to put Iris in the bath because – my mom hat has once again taken priority.

March Adventures

I’m fresh off the heels of one of the busiest weeks of my job – our annual meeting. After lots of preparation, we jetted off to the beaches Hilton Head, South Carolina. While it sounds lovely (and it was), we were too swamped making sure the meeting was going as planned to truly enjoy our setting. I did manage to survive giving two presentations, one of which was an hour long of just me and a PowerPoint up at a podium. I made it back that Friday evening, just in time to keep my bags packed and hit the road bright and early Saturday to Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was my mom’s 65th birthday and she suggested an afternoon betting on the ponies at Oaklawn. Who was I to turn that down?! As exhausted as I was, it was well worth the quick trip. I even won on every race I bet on, except for one – but during that race I found 20 bucks on the ground.

After another week in the office, we were off again on another adventure the very next weekend. Our neighbors rented the sweetest, coziest little cabin in Jasper, Arkansas for the weekend and invited us along. Less than two hours from our house, it was an easy trip that forced me into a bit of needed relaxation. We even got our first (and hopefully last) snow of the season.

Now that we’re back from that little getaway, our schedule is settling down and I don’t think I’m traveling again until next month. We of course already have our annual Rosemary Beach trip booked, so I’ve already begun counting down the days. In case you’re wondering, it’s 67 days away – but not soon enough.