Where You’ll Find Us

Friday nights are spent at the market. I’ve blogged about our traditional Friday night before, and it gets even better in the spring/summer. Live music and kids’ activities out on the lawn will happen every Friday from here until September at the Newbo Market.

Last Friday was a perfect evening. Seventy degrees and sunny, music in the background, beer from Amana Millstream Brewery, pizza and guacamole from the local venders, and Elijah enjoying his first sandbox experience all made this an ideal way to end a busy week.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly way to spend Friday night, hit up the market. There is something for everyone! We’ll see you there!

Doctors In Concert

Saturday night’s date night was unlike John and my typical night out, thanks to my brother Matt and his girlfriend, Meredith.

For Elijah’s birthday, Matt and Meredith gave us tickets to Doctor’s in Concert. This event was a fundraiser for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. In addition to a gift close to our hearts, Matt and Meredith arranged their schedules to babysit Elijah while we attended the concert. In fact, they encouraged us to be gone as long as was wanted and they spent the night.

From the snaps I received, it was obvious Elijah loved time with these two chasing him around the house.

For us, our evening started with a reception at the Coralville Performing Arts Center before the concert. The show was put on by doctors at the university, and the event was hosted by Kirk Ferentz and his wife, Mary. Acts included anything from the University Faculty Pep Band to solo piano and vocal performances. Talk about talent!

Intermission included Scratch cupcakes, AND we made a detour to Hurts Donuts- Open 25 hours a day! just down the hallway of the performance center.

After a rough teaching week, it was just the escape I needed in every way.


If you have snapchat, do you ever feel like you don’t need to blog because you documented and shared it already? I forgot to take pictures of the highlights of last weekend, but they are still worth sharing.

Since the girls’ basketball team advanced to state, Friday’s classes were cancelled. John ended up taking the day off so we could spend it together. Against my guilt, John dropped Elijah at daycare so I could get some school work done in the morning while John got in a quick workout. The rest of the day was ours! A lunch date and Williamsburg for shopping and more treats gave us interrupted and unplanned time together. We finished our Friday by watching The Girl on the Train. Have you read the book or watched the movie? I give both of them a 7 out of 10.

As if a date day didn’t spoil me enough, Saturday included a girls’ afternoon with Sara and Katie. Pedicures, cheese wantons, and my two best friends made for a perfect Saturday afternoon. I love these women, and we have lots to talk about since we all have little boys at home. How funny is that?!

The only thing I did take photos of over the weekend was our family coffee date. Dunkin Donuts just released a new beverage: Sweet and Salted Cold Brew. After I received the drink, the manager instructed me to stir the whip topping into the drink (since it’s basically salted whip cream) to get the full flavor. It was excellent! I’m predicting it to be my summer drink.

Mood Boost


Seventy degrees and sunny is an instant mood boost.

Friday night included brick oven pizza, chips + guacamole, and Amana beers outside at the Newbo Market. Elijah loves to people watch, so this location practically allows John and me a date while our patient son just takes everything in around him. He spoils us more than 70 degree February weather!

Saturday and Sunday included more time outside and Elijah’s first trip to the swings at the park.

I absolutely love having the windows open. Everyone I know is sick, and it feels like spring cleaning for the body and soul to have multiple days of nice weather. No matter how long these temps stick around, we’re that much closer to spring!

Valentine’s Day

img_5893This year, I have two equally cute valentines!

Elijah and I started our day extra early so we could pick up fresh heart shaped donuts for his teachers. Next year Elijah can participate in the treats, but this year I gave him two new books: Llama Llama I love you, and The Crayon Book of Colors.

John and I celebrated Valentine’s Day a day early with a dinner date downtown. Fifteen years later and my forever Valentine. I had to laugh that img_5870John opted for a Starbucks gift card for me instead of roses. A gift that will keep on giving. Thank you for knowing me! As for my gift to a husband who doesn’t care for chocolate? Beef jerky! I ordered him a Pork Barrel BBQ Sampler Pack (a Shark Tank product).

No matter what people think of this “Hallmark Holiday”, I started each class period with the same prayer today. “I want to pray everyone knows they are loved, today and always.”

Lately I’ve Been…

Lately I’ve been…

Reading The Magnolia Story: Chip and Joanna Gaines If you like HGTV, you know Chip and Joanna. I’m only two chapters into their story, and I love it! Thanks to Kaitlyn B. for recommending.

Loving the mild winter weather. It was 54 degrees and sunny yesterday, so Elijah and I bundled up and took a long walk outside. The fresh air was a gift!

Anticipating date night. One of my students is scheduled to babysit on Thursday evening so John and I can step away and try out a new(ish) restaurant downtown.

Watching The Bachelor on Mondays and The Is Us on Tuesdays. Also, if you didn’t get around to watching The People vs. OJ Simpson, it’s now on Netflix. You’re out of excuses. Watch it!

Struggling with running. I would love to say I’m motivated to sign up for a spring half marathon, but I don’t have the competitive drive right now. I’m hoping some warmer weather will arrive and encourage me to register for a road race.

Writing lots of letters of recommendation for students. Although college application letters are done, scholarship letters begin. “Are you busy, Mrs. Wagner?” My answer, “Is this a trick question?”

Planning Elijah’s 1st birthday party! It’s hard to believe he’ll be ONE next month! A birthday brunch is in the works.

Buying A few outfits for Elijah’s one-year photo session (size: 18-month because he is so tall!). We have the photo shoot scheduled over spring break. Talk about perfect timing!

What are you reading, loving, anticipating, watching, struggling, writing, planning, and/or buying?

Dancing with the Saints 2017

img_5607One evening, nearly 900 people, and $110,000 raised for Catholic education!

To say this year’s Dancing with the Saints was a success would be an understatement. This fundraising idea, a spinoff of Dancing with the Stars, is a creative way to get people together for a great cause. Ten celebrity dancers paired with ten dance coaches, these courageous img_5608people take the stage and raise money through votes. This year’s money will go towards improving the sound systems around our school.

I’m thankful every day to be a part of an incredible community who would do anything to support our school.

2016 Recap


Family Weekend Away


Baby Shower at School


Baby Shower with Family/Friends



Preparing for Baby W (and an updated photo)



Embracing March


Surprise Baby Shower at School


Elijah James 3.25.16

bd6870d2-05aa-43b5-a326-065809fece13_5 bd6870d2-05aa-43b5-a326-065809fece13_8

The Biggest Test of Our Faith

img_2885 img_2874


Rest and Recovery in the NICU for “God’s Miracle Man” and lots of Swaddles and Snuggles

img_1694 img_1753 img_2987 img_2990

Bringing Elijah HOME!


A Minor Medical Setback



Baptism (on Mother’s Day)

IMG_2548 IMG_2554

Our First Road Race



Celebrating 31 with this sweetheart!


Celebrating Six Years of Marriage


Meeting Miss Mollie



4th of July


Livin’ the Lodge Life


Vacation: Music City

img_4353 img_4339


Standing by Mollie’s Side


EJW Community of Faith Scholarship


Healthy Check-Ups


Starting My Ninth Year Teaching

Another Road Race



Notre Dame Weekend


Flood Week


Celebrating SIX months



Raech’s Birthday/Wine Tour


Presenting at ITEC



img_4874 img_4612-1


UIHC Children’s Hospital Open House




Turkey Trot 8k with Matt



Celebrating John


Christmas Blessings

img_5312 img_5443

Thank you for being one of the many blessings in my life!

May 2017 offer you health and happiness.

I Love the 90s Tour

img_5374When I told John about an upcoming I Love the 90s Tour and mention who was all playing, his response was “All in the same place?!”

Yep, “I swear!”

Buying tickets was a definite because “You know you make me wanna shoop!”

“This is how we do it.” Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepe, Coolio, All-4-One, Tone Loc, and Young MC were all part of Friday night’s entertainment.

“You can’t have the hop if you don’t have the hip!”

Thanks to Tracie and Jason for the double date night and braving the winter storm to travel back in time and “Bust a Move”.

“Word to your mother.”

“I’ll see you when you get there” because I’ll be “Working all week. 9-5 for my money.”

Pineapple Gala: Round Two

img_4563Friday night’s date night benefitted Camp Courageous.

John and I had the opportunity to attend the Pineapple Gala again this year. The biggest silent auction I have ever seen was followed by dinner, a program, and a live auction.

They even had a local high school football team arrive (wearing their jerseys) at the end of the program to help people carry their auction items to their cars. Talk about community support.

If you’ve never been to this event, you have 12 months to find yourself a Hawaiian shirt for next year.