Lake Days

We have been so blessed to get to spend several holidays now out at Ryan's grandparent's lake house. We were worried about the weather over Memorial Day weekend but thankfully we had periods of sunshine to enjoy the boat, wind, and waves. :-)

I usually am very OK with the temperatures being lower but this was kind of crazy. I was in long sleeves one day! Karlyn really loves going as do the dogs. Ours + two others.

We ate, played games, read books and magazines, and admired the other houses along the lake picking out the features we liked best. Ryan has decided he wants his own one day - but I do have to convince him this chick isn't cut out for sole country living. I need my Target! I really enjoyed getting to bond with my sister-in-laws and just having time to relax.

Oh. and props to my uber-talented father-in-law who can fix anything. Thanks to him we had working AC and hot water. #yesplease

the view

me + my girl

our hero fueling up the boat



#weneedashower #lakehairdontcare

naps all around




#BreakYouMake Project - My Super-Mom

The look on most people's faces when I say my mom has eight kids is jaw-dropping, awe-inspired. More than a few times I've heard,

"Wow. Your mom must be super-mom."

Missing my oldest brother

And she is. My mom is one of the kindest, most genuine persons you will ever meet. She asks for nothing and gives her all over and over again. She never gives up, always keeps on fighting, and inspires me to be the kind of mom to my own children that she is to me.

I have so many memories growing up in a house of ten and naturally many of those revolve around my mother. I can still hear the sound of her house-shoes scuffing along the floor as she walked to hang up the laundry for the fourth time that day. She did it all herself, saying it was easier than crowding everyone in to do their own. I can see her sitting at the kitchen table deboning a bird for chicken spaghetti and I can hear the tiredness in her voice when I went through the phase of saying, "Goodnight, I love you," ten times before bed. She always said it back though.

My mom was married at 18 and had me at 20. As my brothers and sister came along - yes, I only got one girl out of the group - she stayed home and raised us. But believe me; she worked. She kept the house clean, paid the bills, cooked, home-schooled us for a time, and would even keep teacher's kids in our home to make extra money. I'll never know how my parents managed to raise us all on a coach and teacher's salary but they made it work. My mom was frugal and still is. She would cut coupons weekly and categorize them in a little box that served it's purpose well. I got to carry the box on grocery trips and keep up with the ones we planned to use. Heaven forbid we lose that box!

With eight kids comes a lot of...well everything. A lot of scrapes to band-aid, a mountain of overflowing, never-ending dishes, and more high school baseball and basketball games than a person should have to attend. She would walk into the gym and give my brothers her signature "mom wave" to which they'd respond with as little acknowledgement as possible. They loved that. But she was there. There to comfort us after a loss or celebrate a win. There to talk when we needed a listening ear.

It took a lot for my mom to get upset, or at least for her to show us that side. Which is probably a good thing when you have six boys. My mom made sacrifices that she probably hoped we didn't notice. I know for a fact that she sold some jewelry on one occasion because money was tight. She didn't spend extra on the most fashionable clothes or every-six-weeks highlights. She didn't have a gym membership or demand that my dad take her to Europe. She taught us by example what a wife and mom looked like, how to be a true friend to others, and how to give selflessly. I once helped her put together a basket of goodies for a family we knew that was going through a hard time. She did this anonymously.

Over the past several years, our family has seen its share of struggles, ups, and downs. And my mom has been there through every one. My dad has endured multiple heart and back surgeries as well as various other health issues and my mom has stepped in as nurse each time. Every family has those dark times that aren't always shared publicly. Instead they are felt privately and I've heard my mom cry over everything from high school break-ups to my own repeat miscarriages and deeper issues still. A year ago my dad lost his job. This was a first for my parents and I saw my mom remain a rock through this time and do what had to be done. She took a full time job working at a grocery store to make ends meet. She came home tired after being on her feet all day only to take my younger siblings wherever they needed to go, or shop for groceries, or listen to one of her kids on the phone. She never complained about it and at the same time continued to be a rock of support for my dad as he searched for a job. She never allowed him to lose hope and even through some extremely hard times and family circumstances - some that are going on even now - she has, with the help of the Lord, held her head above water and continued to swim.

My parents and sister at her high school graduation

When I heard about Chobani’s #BreakYouMake project and the opportunity to post about someone who deserved a break, I could think of no one more worthy than my mother. If anyone could use a little "me time" it's her and nothing would make me happier than to see her rested and relaxed. I love you mom and owe you much more than I'll ever know. You are my super-mom.

If you'd like to participate in the #BreakYouMake campaign, write about someone who YOU think deserves a break. National Break You Make Day is June 3rd and is in honor of Chobani Flips yogurt. Check them out here!


I Like

This song.

Sonic Slushes.

Free poufs! I won a pouf from Weir's!

Target popcorn.

This bag.

Tips for beating writer's block.

Love, Lust or Run.

Yummy recipes.

Life right now.


Catching Up

Long time no see :-) I haven't necessarily been avoiding blogging but. Yeah. It happens. Things are movin' and shakin' over here none the less so I thought I'd do a phone dump - mostly pics of my #1 girl! She is so much fun and I see change in her every single day. She looks older, she acts older. She understands more. The things that tumble out of that mouth keep us laughing. #loveher

Ryan's busy season is slowly winding down. I'm told the worst is over but he still has a few deadlines to go. Kar and I have had a lot of one-on-one time, easy dinners, and king size bed sharing. :-) I'll be so happy to have him home again at normal hours!

I've ventured into some new areas at work - business development - and will continue to do so over the next few months. I'll admit that it scares me. It's out of my comfort zone and I don't know if I can do it but I'm trying to chill out and take it one step at a time. Why is growth never easy? New things are always a bit awkward with mess-ups and new skills and how do I do that? What do I say? I feel like I'm learning from the best though and being given an opportunity to expand my knowledge base and travel experience. Yeah - I've never really had to travel before and the thought of me exploring cities I've never been to is a bit laughable intimidating but we'll see how it goes. Google Maps for the win, am I right?

Fun at the park!

I started this book from our church library. Just a light read =)

And tried the new lemonade freeze at Chick-fil-a. Not bad!

Kar got a new umbrella and needed to watch Daniel Tiger underneath. Tut, Tut!

Pretty new dresses!

I came home to this sleeping princess after shopping. Pretty much the sweetest thing I've ever seen!

She set up a "room" for her baby. Babies. Such a good little mommy. :>
That time I watched the entire Gilmore Girls series on Netflix. And cried full-on tears during the finale. #hesewedallthetents

A family-fun game of Uno Moo turned into despair when the little one lost. Someone has her father's competitive spirit!

And that's a wrap. 


Friday Faves

1. I think every woman should wear blush. It's a make-up must in my opinion! This is my fave right now. It gives you that flushed rosy glow and I love topping it with a little bronzer and then brushing on a powder blush/highlighter on top of it.

2. Trips to the dentist. They really don't bother me and I usually leave with a good report. I felt like I got a failing grade this last time though because they noticed some gum recession. :-( I was like, huh? She goes, yeah, if sensitivity starts happening, I could switch toothpaste and then surgery might also be on the table. IF it got worse. I was half-way mortified. She mentioned getting a Sonicare toothbrush or just using soft, slow circles when I brush. Um. OK. Now I'm afraid to brush my teeth. For reals.

3. Music. I'm so, so behind on The Voice but I liked this song in the blind auditions. He just has a cool style. I also heart this song.

4. I love this list of plant-based protein snacks! Even if the original recipe doesn't strike you - there's a lot of room for inspiration. Chia seed pudding? Chocolate-Avocado Milkshake? #YUM

5. My child has her first ballet recital next month. Cue all the feels. I picked out her white leotard for the recital and this is how she styled it.

6. Learn to Lift Weights And Love It. Jen Sinkler via Melissa Joulwan talks about how to increase confidence in the weight room. I like this part ~

"Plus, strength-training has a sneaky-cool way of expanding into your life outside the gym, boosting self-esteem, fighting insomnia, and reducing anxiety, to name a few."

7. This. I need.

8. Go longer between trims. I need to work on this, especially since I want my hair to GROW. Nevermind the fact that I thought about chopping it the other day. No, I'm pretty much always like um, it's been 6 weeks? What am I doing with my HAIR NEXT?! And riddle me this. Why on some days does it seem like my hair is actually shrinking. As in actively getting shorter. darn layers.

9. Last weekend Ryan did some handyman work for me around the house. Including hanging the "EAT" letters in the first pic. I really, really like it! Plus I like to eat, so there's that.

10. Today is my birthday. I plan on eating sweet things + a sister date. We did this last year too!

happy friday!


Friday Faves

1. Welp. We've made it through yet another time change. I'm liking the extra daylight but my four year old summed it up best. "It's weird...it's just weird." She "accidentally" slept all night in her bed Sunday night and was thoroughly confused Monday morning when she heard Ryan - and it was still dark outside.

2. All this wet gloomy weather put me in a baking mood. Soooo chocolate chip gluten-free blondies with a secret ingredient. And they're surprisingly good, i.e., I've eaten half the pan. (I totally just googled the proper usage of "i.e." Hope I did it right.)

3. Speaking of blonde, I'm kind of over the dark hair. I know right - it's totally been five weeks. I figured it might go like that. Don't worry; I'm not switching back overnight. It's too $$. It'll be a gradual fading + addition of highlights back in. =) File that under #thingsnoonecaresabout

4. Have you seen this? Oh my gosh. I already liked the song but THIS? Where was Maroon 5 when I was getting married??! What a fun memory! I love it.

5. So, weather again. I am really ready for some regular sunshine and feel like I was starting to get in a funk. There's only so many days you can take. Enter>>> Natural and Safe Fatigue Fighters! I like this list of energy boosters, especially the mention of regular exercise at the end. Here's more along the same line.

6. Gilmore Girls Update. I'm almost through Season 4. Luke and Lorelai are just about to get together. FINALLY. Rory's at Yale. Lane's been replaced and Jess...Jess, where are you? Come backkkk.

7. I was planning to exercise yesterday but felt pretty tired when I got home from work. I ate a snack, set my alarm for a 30 minute snooze, and then slept for an hour and a half. Oops. I guess my body needed it though - it was one of those naps you wake up in a fog from. I can't remember the last time I napped like that!

8. Mandatory quote.

"Do hard stuff. Every single day. Do something that scares you, challenges you, makes you sweat, freaks you out. Growth requires persistence." ~ Christine Caine

9. 13 Ways Women Can be MORE, Not Less. Yes.

10. I'll be 32 in one week. I can't decide how I feel about that. 32 is still young right? My chiropractor said it's only 4 years from 28...so...sure. I'll go with that logic.


8 Years

8 years ago we said "I DO."

I love this man.

Marriage isn't always rosy. We've had our ups and downs for sure but I am so grateful that he's stuck by my side.

I don't think either of us knew what lay up ahead when we stood at the altar that day and exchanged vows.

Heck, we still don't! But I do know that God brought us together and that marriage is a very sanctifying thing. It's a struggle at times. It's blissful. It's comfortable. It's hard. It's encouraging where there's doubt and lifting up when there's a fall. Ultimately, it's a commitment and choosing to honor that commitment.

We got to spend a really fun Saturday together - more time than we've had alone in a long time - just to do whatever we wanted. We strolled through furniture stores, I drug him up and down shoe aisles, we ate at Macaroni Grill, and then ended up at the mall for ice cream. Super fun.

Here's to 8 more!