In a still moment

A memory you’d love to relive.

I was confused but knew it would be the last time I was inside the house. I remember the hardwood floors against my bare feet, it was soft and cool. It was something tangible I could remember. Hang on to. I walked out onto the deck seeing the fire for the first time. Only within the few first minutes do I remember the flames. In the garage. In the playroom. In the office.

With a still moment, I would have run my hands down my wedding dress and felt it’s silvery satin. Squished my favorite feather pillow underneath my head once last time. Smelled comfort and home on our quilts. I would have looked around one last time at everything whole, new and clean.

I would have said goodbye.

Shelly Cunningham - I loved reading this. I am so sorry you didn’t get that still moment. I love all the things you said you’d do.

Roxanne - This makes me sad. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe that it happened to you and Kori. Or that it happens to anyone, that people can (and do) lose everything. Do you feel like it’s changed you? Aside from your wedding dress, what have you found to be irreplaceable? I hope I’m not being insensitive, I’m genuinely curious about how you started over.

Laura - This is beautiful Kari! I’m so sorry for the loss of your things. I’m glad that you have rebuilt and didn’t let it diminish your spirit.

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You will be the greatest gift



Dear C,

You are all and everything that I’ve ever wanted in this life.

You are still far away, maybe weeks, maybe months, maybe years, but I love you more than anything.

I have been thinking about you yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the rest of life.

I will patiently (some days not-so-patiently) wait until the time is right.

When that day comes, I will become completely whole- filled with love and happiness beyond anything in this world.

I can’t promise unrealistic constant happy smooth seas, but I can promise my love, unconditional and unwavering forever.

I can promise strength, care support, comfort, devotion and everything I have to give. I promise that you are wanted.

You will change my life everlastingly. You will be the light in my life.

I can’t wait to meet you and to be your mother.


This is NOT an announcement!

Shelly Cunningham - Ooh goosebumps!!! I love this. It is so beautiful, poetic & true. That baby will change your life, and you will never, ever look back!!!

Roxanne - “You’ll come out of no where and into my life. I just haven’t met you yet!” That Michael Buble song was my song for Milo. I wanted a second baby so badly and let me tell you it happened exactly when it was supposed to, better than I could’ve planned. I’m praying for the same for you & Nick. What a beautiful post you wrote.

Mom - Tears….
Kari I am so looking forward to you being a mother. I am going to love watching you as you grow and bloom in complete BLISS

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turquoise is my favorite color



When you and Nick begin a family will you be a working mom or stay home? Right now I work from home part time. This is a job that I can do whenever and wherever. The plan, as of now, will be continue to work in this job. My bosses are absolutely wonderful so in the event something had to change, they would make it work.


How many kids do you want? I will take what I can get and am given!

Do you hope for twins?  Yes, in fact I do. I just have a feeling that this is going to be a one-time shot, which is why I wish for twins.

Do you want one of each? Yes.

Or do you have a boy/girl preference? This is hard. I want a girl. Nick wants a boy. I like to make Nick happy, so it would make me over-the-moon happy for Nick if we had a boy. I really want a girl though.

Do you have names picked out?  Yes. You didn’t ask what they were!? It isn’t a secret. Things can change but Cadence Marie -Marie is after our niece (I was just a Bridesmaid in her wedding), and Caden Lee -Lee after Nick’s StepDad (who passed away in January 2012).

What is it like working at home? Pros? Cons? It’s nice. My job is new to me, so I am still learning at lot of things. It’s hard. Obviously the pro is I’m at home! I don’t have to get out of bed, or dressed if I feel like it! There are plenty of days I don’t get out of bed until the afternoon. LOL. I get to watch TV all day. I don’t necessarily watch it, but I have it on all the time. Nick jokes that he could call the cable co. and tell them to only pipe through HGTV because really it’s the only channel I watch. I do watch Bravo, E! and Style (love Giuliana and Bill!). Cons is that I’m at home! LOL! I can get distracted easily.

What do you miss most about Kori? I just miss HER. There is nothing in particular I could point out. Maybe the companionship? I haven’t made friends here yet.

What is your favorite thing to do with her? Shopping. Hahaha, it’s the truth though!

What is your top book recommendation? Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I have read this book a dozen times and it’s never boring.

Maybe your favorite threeOutliers by Malcolm Gladwell. We listen to parts every night. It’s very intriguing. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has such a good twist! I was NOT expecting it! The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker isn’t great but the story is fascinating! The Fault in our Stars by John Green again not the greatest best book around but was a good tearjerker! 

Who made your blog? It’s so beautiful. I love the sparkliness of it! Thanks! Part of building a brand online is link-building, you probably know that as a blogger. My work paid for my domain name, I just have to blog about AGS / work-related things a couple times a month (link-building). I’ve always wanted to blog so I happily took that bargain! Kori paid for and tweaked my theme (ProPhoto / Navy-Dear Emmie Design).


Shelly Cunningham - What do you mean you think this is a one-time shot? Is there something I don’t know about? I LOVE your names. Cadence & Caden. So simple & cute!!!

I love Guiliana & Bill, too. I want to see their baby. I am behind on my episodes!

And I will have to check out your book recommendations!!!

Shelly Cunningham - PS- I love the picture of you. You look beautiful, and the actual picture itself is just, perfection!

Mom - I didn’t think to ask you questions. I am always so far behind 🙁

Mom - PS – I am also going to agree with Shelly. That picture is beautiful, YOU are beautiful. (Even if you do look like your mama) Lets just say you girls got all the beauty in the family with your mothers features and call it good. Love you more than you know.

Kari Durrant - Shelly, it’s taken Nick this long to even agree to start a family. I just think he’ll only want one.

Shelly Cunningham - I hope you get the chance to have two just because you understand so much more the second time around. But even if you only do it once, it will be so full of magic!

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shopaholic unplugged

Share links to your favorite online shops

I love shopping. I’m addicted. If you know Nick and I you know we are both addicted to shopping and new things. It’s not a secret. We’re not ashamed to admit it either. But we handle our money well, so we can afford our spending lifestyle. Remember we don’t have kids…yet.

As much as I love shopping, and even more so receiving mail, I surprisingly don’t do a whole lot of online shopping. I need instant gratification. I like to try things on, and I’m a feeler. There are fabrics in the world that are just…ugh they just grate me the wrong way. I am very particular with my clothes. I haven’t been to happy with myself lately, self-esteem wise, but I find myself hard to dress even on good days. I have big boobs and hips but I’m pretty small everywhere else. For the most part, I will not buy clothes online unless I am 98% sure it will fit and look good. I hate the return process as well, especially if it’s not free returns!

You can’t shop online, but my all-time favorite place to shop is HomeGoods. If it’s a HomeGoods + TJ Maxx than I am in pure heaven! I just love the mix of inventory and brands.

Shelly Cunningham - Shopping online is a giant pain the ass. That’s why I didn’t write about it today. I just hate it. It’s a necessary evil for me, so I do it, but I don’t enjoy it like I do shopping in person!

Shopping for a {future} baby is going to be so much fun for you!!!

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to where i am today

Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

Well, obviously the day that I met Nick my life took a turn, and especially when we got married. I will be a bit more personal to myself though. I feel like my life took a significant turn when I got my first career-type job.Without this first career job, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

My first job was a Barista at the local coffee shop, but I didn’t consider that as a career. I enjoyed it, and, of course, it could have been a career eventually owning my own shop or whatever. It’s not where I wanted to be headed. At that time, Nick and I were living in a small apartment complex. One month while paying rent, Nick asked our apartment manager if she needed any help around the complex. Nick began doing light maintenance work, and painting the interiors of apartments for new move-ins. Knowing me as resident, and a working relationship with Nick, our apartment manager asked if I would be interested in helping her out as an assistant. I was thrilled! It sounded like the perfect opportunity so I jumped right in!

I pride myself with my work ethic, I work very hard and diligently. I am very much a people pleaser and strive to make everyone happy. I excelled so well as her assistant, shortly after I started, I began to work as the sole apartment manager at our small 40-unit complex where we lived. When I started there were 13 vacancies and within three months, the complex was completely full. I took a no bullshit approach to new and existing residents, it resulted in my trustworthiness to them. I recently received one of the best compliments “Forever, you will always be the best landlord I have ever had!”

However, my managers were a different story. The owners of the property were horrible with money and began sinking themselves and the properties they owned. It was burning me out with their drama. My saving grace was that the property that I managed was sold – with the condition that I stay as the apartment manager! I got to happily stay where I managed and get rid of the horrible owners! With the new owner came a new property managers. They were wonderful –  professional – and shared the same work ideal as I did. I could have worked with them for the rest of my career.

In 2007, Nick got orders to Cape May, New Jersey. Months before moving, I did endless research and was sad to learn that there was hardly any apartment complexes. Unfortunately, furthering my career as an apartment manager wasn’t going to happen. With my management history, I ended up taking a job as a customer service supervisor for Bed, Bath and Beyond. The change was good and reinvigorated my customer service. I loved my direct co-workers and developed good friendships, but I hated working there. I worked there the entire 3 years we lived in New Jersey. One thing that it taught me was that because you spend a good majority of your life at your job, you need to be happy where you are. You only live once and there is hardly any reason to stay at a job you aren’t happy at. It effects everything professionally and personally. I will never again spend another shift at a job I hate.

When we moved back to Washington in 2010, I stayed in retail for the convenience of being able to immediately find a job. After a year, I was burned out. I was unhappy. I needed another change something fierce. Working in retail can bring you down. It truly taught me the golden rule ‘One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.’

I really consider myself lucky within a week of searching for a new job, I had accepted a job as a part-time receptionist for AGS Stainless, Inc. When I applied and accepted the job, I honestly had no clue what they did! What the heck was cable railing, glass railing? I had no idea, fake it ’til you make though! They liked me so much they offered me the position full-time! I can’t say enough positive things about AGS and my job there. I truly loved it, and was happy to go to work everyday, not very many people can honestly say that.

Nick received orders to Michigan and I regrettably gave my notice. It was the first time I didn’t like being a military wife, I really did not want to leave AGS. I recommended my friend Laura for my replacement and, because of my recommendation, she was hired almost without hesitation. Even though I was happy she was replacing me, I still had a really hard time letting go. Being a receptionist for AGS was perfect for me, everything just meshed well in every aspect of the job.

AGS loved me as much as I loved them. I already had been managing the social media and blog as time allowed. But, I was completely surprised, happy, excited that they created and offered me a position as their social media specialist. This is something I can do from home wherever I live! I am, happily, still part of the AGS family. I do miss being the office though.

I believe that without having the fortunate luck of having my apartment manager take a chance on me, I wouldn’t have the career that I have today. I am still learning everyday how SEO and social media works, but I am happy right now, which is the most important. This is a career that I am loving, am excited about, and anxious to learn more about!

Roxanne - I enjoyed this, I didn’t realize you worked at BB&B for 3 years, holy moly! I’m glad you learned that lesson that where you work has such an impact on your life. That’s got to make you feel wonderful that you can still work for a company who appreciates you and even created a job just for YOU! I’m happy for you!
And with your question blog coming up, I’d like to ask, when you and Nick begin a family will you be a working mom or stay home?

Mom - I am so proud of the adult that you have become. It is so hard to think of you as anything other than “my little girl” and oh my you have become all grown up in the blink of an eye. I love what life has brought to you and I too love your AGS family <3 They have a great product as well.

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