Instant Mood Boost

The weekend’s weather was a springboard past spring fever and right into summer fever.

My favorite part about this photo is the toy truck. This sweet reminder was left behind by my little explorer after a warm spring evening of grilling out and dinner on the deck.

I can only pray more beautiful moments like this exist in the near future.

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

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The Biggest Test of Our Faith

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

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Bringing Elijah HOME!


A Minor Medical Setback



Baptism (on Mother’s Day)

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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

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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



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UIHC Children’s Hospital Open House




Turkey Trot 8k with Matt



Celebrating John


Christmas Blessings

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

May 2017 offer you health and happiness.


IMG_1875Everyone who enjoys fall knows it’s officially the season when Starbucks starts serving Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. I’ve actually only had one (decaf) PSL this season, but I’m getting my pumpkin fill from Dunkin Donuts. If you haven’t tried their Pumpkin Crumb Cake Donut, you haven’t tasted Fall. I suggest going early in the morning so your breakfast is fresh and sometimes still warm. Once you taste one, you’ll be dreaming about it all season.

My recent non-edible pumpkin related purchases include a caramel pumpkin candle from Bath and Body works, and real pumpkins for our front porch. I’m not into decorating for Halloween IMG_1918(although there are some all natural cobwebs taking over my front door), so pumpkins and mums are it. Aren’t mums the best looking plant? Our neighbor has roughly a dozen different colored mums around her front porch, and I love that I get to enjoy her decor from afar.

Speaking of pumpkins, look at this little cutie! We celebrated Colin’s 1st birthday on Sunday. Who needs cake when there is frosting?

Merry Mail

IMG_0385-4I love getting mail this time of year and seeing my favorite people smiling back at me. People, myself included, spend a good chunk of time, energy, and money getting Christmas cards into the hands of those we love. After the excitement of seeing a friend or family’s card and admiring how much their family or kids have grown/changed in the last year, gushing over travel locations, or rejoicing in exciting news, are we really supposed to put these cards back in the envelope? I want these people to celebrate with me all season! I hang up our cards in our kitchen where I can see them daily. I hung a ribbon down the cabinet and tape the cards to the ribbon so they don’t ruin my cabinets. If you don’t see your face up there, please know I am at my mailbox anxiously awaiting the arrival of your smiling face.

Do you display your holiday cards? How?

Stopping to See the Leaves Change

IMG_0160I asked John if I missed fall last year because I seem overly struck by its beauty this year. Without hesitation, he reminded in one word why I was too busy to fully appreciate it last year: Thesis.

How quickly I forgot that life consuming 70-pager.

This year, I’m soaking up the scenery. With a quiet weekend before some November travels begin, John and I had our routine coffee date from our own front porch today. After three days of parent/teacher conferences, I wanted nothing more than to lose myself outside in the sunlight. The sweet taste of pumpkin syrup in my blonde roast reminded me that today’s 70 degree weather won’t stick around long.

So, I’ll double my appreciation for the red, orange, and yellow this year and overcompensate for last year’s loss.

Bloom Bright

IMG_3986When we were in Phoenix I was in awe of the beautiful flowers around our resort. I knew they looked extra beautiful since inches of snow covered our porches and decks back home. However, I made a promise to John that I would spend more money on flowers this year for around our home. In other years I’ve found it hard to justify dropping much money on something I might not be able to keep alive for more than a week or two. This usually means I fill one pot with flowers to look welcoming, but that’s about the extent of it. Not this year!

Being amongst the gorgeous desert flowers in Arizona made me realize how happy the colors 20140603-214158-78118383.jpgand variety of flowers make me. Since Iowa’s springs and summers feel too short, I didn’t hold back this year filling my front porch with color and green plants. Come fall, I’ll add mums to the collection for even more variety.

Since I can’t live somewhere tropical, I’ll bring the beauty to my own home. Now if only a palm tree would stay alive in our yard…



20140413-144545.jpgFriday night brought Blue Moons and Guinness with friends and family. Saturday night included church and crafting. I laugh at myself and wouldn’t change a thing about my life. It’s all about balance!

When we moved into our house, school started the next week. With teaching and taking my own classes, I wasn’t left a lot of time to complete 20140413-144551.jpghome projects. However, I’m finally finding time to put a few personal touches around our house. The first project included taking a boring bulletin board and turning it into something with personality for our home office. I love all the dark wood in our house, and I wanted the bulletin board to match. I added a border, and wah-lah!

The second project is a display for my 20140413-145131.jpgrunning medals. After admiring my collection Sunday evening, I decided there is too much hard work represented in a race medal for it to sit in a drawer. After checking out, I loved ideas but nothing was exactly what I wanted. This left John and I shopping at Menards and Michael’s yesterday to create my own. It is still drying in the garage, so you’ll have to wait for pictures…


Blessings of Friendship

20140216-154627.jpgI already love Sara’s baby boy because he gives us reasons to get together and celebrate with each other. A baby shower for Sara at her house allowed us friends to see the stylish nursery (red, black, and gray chevron), shower the little babe with gifts, and just hang out! It was a relaxing afternoon, and an overdue catch up session. With pre and post snuggle sessions with Katie’s baby Peter, it was a day full of love.

God blessed me with incredible friendships with these women. The weekend has me dreaming of summer dates with these two and their little boys since we’re all teachers!