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

January

Family Weekend Away

img_2565

Baby Shower at School

img_2552

Baby Shower with Family/Friends

IMG_2604

February

Preparing for Baby W (and an updated photo)

img_2649img_2916

March

Embracing March

img_2722

Surprise Baby Shower at School

img_2760

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

April

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!

img_2998

A Minor Medical Setback

img_2971

May

Baptism (on Mother’s Day)

IMG_2548 IMG_2554

Our First Road Race

img_3535

June

Celebrating 31 with this sweetheart!

img_3966

Celebrating Six Years of Marriage

img_4003

Meeting Miss Mollie

img_4070IMG_4079

July

4th of July

img_4147

Livin’ the Lodge Life

img_4169

Vacation: Music City

img_4353 img_4339

August

Standing by Mollie’s Side

IMG_1643

EJW Community of Faith Scholarship

img_4501img_4497

Healthy Check-Ups

img_4489

Starting My Ninth Year Teaching

Another Road Race

img_4613

September

Notre Dame Weekend

img_4736

Flood Week

img_4835

Celebrating SIX months

img_4813

October

Raech’s Birthday/Wine Tour

img_4978

Presenting at ITEC

img_5012

Halloween

img_4874 img_4612-1

November

UIHC Children’s Hospital Open House

img_5187

Thanksgiving

img_5269

Turkey Trot 8k with Matt

fullsizerender

December

Celebrating John

img_5093

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.

Pumpkin

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…

IMG_3945

Crafting

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 etsy.com, 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!