One Month Recap

My goodness, time has gotten away for me!  I have had a life lately, I promise!  And it's worth talking about...I just have been distracted from me "me-time" so the blog has lost momentum.  

Here's a brief little recap of what's been going on since I last checked in:
Hannah and I went to the Holiday Pops concert.
Ashley, Mat, Ryan and I had a chance to catch up.
We got lights on the house!!
We celebrated Brad's birthday...
...things got competitive.
We put up a tree, AND decorated it!
We celebrated the holidays at my work party.
We made a shopping trip to Des Moines...
...visited friends and babies...
...and welcomed in the holidays :)
Ryan and I have been up to lots more, but I don't have pictures to prove it!  I'll be sure to update our holiday shenanigans.  Happy Monday!


Weekend Recap: November 15-17

Friday night we said "Good Luck" to our friend Jaqui who is on her way to California, her new home.  It was a nice night and I got to catch up with lots of good friends (and my sister!).
Saturday morning, I caught a women's brunch with Lindsey at her Church.  It was a lovely morning with great food.  There was a good speaker and it was really nice to meet some of Lindsey's friends from church.
Saturday during the day,  Ryan and I did some yard work and cleaning, fun I know!  Saturday night, it was game night at Rachal's.  I got to spend the evening with Brooke, Rachal, and Ashley and we had a fun time playing Cards Against Humanity and Scattegories.
Sunday, we weathered the storm at Church (it was kind of scary!) and then Ryan and I spent the whole afternoon attempting to watch the Bears game that spanned a 5 and 1/2 hour period...but they finally won!  We also made some awesome chili and I got a good start on my Christmas cookies.  I also got a bunch of chores done, so I felt good about my productive day.

Was your weekend way more exciting than mine? ;-)  Happy Tuesday!


I Am Thankful For

Everyone has been posting daily status updates on Facebook about what they are thankful for.  I am terrible about keeping up on daily tasks, but I'm happy to do a mid-month update...because I do have a lot that I am thankful for!

  1. My house: As the days get cooler, I am so grateful to have a roof over my head and especially grateful to have a house that Ryan and I can grow into over the years.
  2. My cats: I have two pretty awesome felines and I may sound like a crazy cat lady, but I can't imagine coming home to a house without them.
  3. My small town: I live in a pretty cool place, full of pretty cool people.  And it's especially awesome that my parents, Ryan's parents, and my sister and her husband all live in town with me.
  4. My parents: I have some pretty incredible parents who have showered me with love throughout my entire life.  They are supportive and caring and I couldn't ask for anyone else.
  5. My in-laws:  I could not be luckier that Ryan's parents are as awesome as they are.  They are compassionate and super fun!  We love spending time with them, which is more than some of my friends could say about their in-laws.
  6. My job: I work with some pretty awesome people at a great company and I continue to enjoy what I'm doing.
  7. My little brother: He can often annoy me, but I love him to pieces.  He makes me laugh, he loves a good movie night, and he may be 13, but he still says "I love you." :)
  8. My sister:  She is my role model and my best friend.  I am extremely lucky to be so close to my sister, as friends and living in the same town.
  9. My brother-in-law: He is pretty smart, extremely caring, and has a great heart.  I am so happy that Emily and Brad have found each other, Brad has become an awesome addition to our family.
  10. My friends: I couldn't possibly do a breakdown on each of my awesome friends, but I love you all so much!  You all continue to impress me and be there for me when I need it, near and far.
  11. My hair stylist: I have an awesome stylist who does an awesome job, pampers the shit out of my, and chargers half the price of everyone else.
  12. My passport: I have been to the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and Mexico.  I can't wait to see where it takes me next!
  13. My home state: I am admittedly a little obsessive about my love of Iowa...but I love Iowa!  I am lucky to live in a state where gay marriage is legal, property taxes are low, and education is a priority.
  14. My husband: How could I have gotten so lucky?  Ryan is my best friend and loves me unconditionally.  We try to make each other happy, make each other laugh, and encourage each other.
What are you thankful for this month?  I plan to do another update on Thanksgiving...because I am lots more to be thankful for! :)


Windy City Fun

Saturday morning, we headed up to Schaumburg to Stolt and Lisa's apartment.  We headed to a delicious lunch, with drinks of course, and then headed downtown on the train!  We met up with Tim, Laura, and Jason and bar hopped around some fun neighborhoods in Chicago.
Sunday morning, we were up early to get ready to take the train (and a cab) to Soldier Field!  We donned our best Bears garb and then covered all up with winter coats...it was so cold!  We weaved our way to the stadium among thousands of other fans.  Though the Bears lost, we had an incredible time at Soldier Field.  Great seats, great weather, fun game, and a flyover!
After the game, we headed back to Schaumburg, grabbed some dinner with Stolt and Lisa and then enjoyed the night back at their apartment in cozy clothes and watched Killing Kennedy on National Geographic.  Outside of the bears losing, it was the perfect day!
We visited Brooke at her new house and then grabbed some lunch on Monday before heading back home.  Unfortunately, the snow made for an icky drive, but we made it and relaxed the rest of the night.  I hope we get to do it all again someday.  Happy humpday!


Change is Good

I have been told by my friend Shae, who rocks an awesome pixie cut, that every woman should try it at least once.  That it feels liberating...I AGREE!  And I know because I finally did it myself!  I went in with inspiration from Carey Mulligan and Katie Holmes and came out with a fun cut that I never though I'd be brave enough to try. 
Thank you Shae for the inspiration!  I do think all women should try it at least once :)  Happy Hump Day!


October Recap

I hope some day, I will delve into more detail about all of the fun that has happened in October, but here's a quick summary!

We celebrated Emily's bachelorette party on October 5th!  It was extremely fun and Emily has been blessed with many good friends in her life.

The next weekend, on October 12th, my baby sister exchanged vows with her now HUSBAND! Ahhh, she's married!  It was such a fun and beautiful day.  Emily looked like a model and I had a great time with family and friends.
The following weekend, we went to McGregor/Prairie Du Chein with Ryan's parents and their friends.  We had an awesome time, it was so beautiful up there, as always!
And last weekend, Brooke and I went to our friend Dalila's halloween party and we had an awesome time just getting ready for the party.  Our makeup was extremely time consuming, but it was worth it!
Happy Hump Day!! Enjoy the last couple days of October! :)


There Was This One Time...

There was this one time that I got all geared up to make chocolate chip cookies for my sister's bachelorette party, and I opened my cupboard and realized I had no brown sugar!!  How in the heck do you make cookies without brown sugar?!  Well...apparently I figured it out, because my cookies turned out beautifully and I received many compliments at the party.  So I might as well share the recipe, it's not a secret.
Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


·         1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
·         3/4 cup granulated sugar
·         1 3.4 oz pkg of vanilla instant pudding
·         2 eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1 tablespoon cocoa powder
·         1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips


1.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.       Use a mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. Add the packet of instant pudding until well mixed.  Add the eggs and mix together. Pour in the vanilla and blend until combined.
3.       Pour the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until combined.
4.       Fold in the chocolate chips.
5.       Use an scooper or spoon to form tablespoonfuls of the dough. Place the dough on the baking sheet two inches apart.
6.       Bake for 8-11 minutes.  They will not be as “golden” as a cookie with brown sugar, so remember that. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. (I used a baking stone, cooked for 11 minutes in oven).
7.       Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

ENJOY! And happy hump day! :)


It's Fall

It's my most favorite time of year, and it's going to be extra special this year because my sis gets married two weeks from tomorrow!  I'm looking forward to:
  • Walks with crunchy leaves under my feet
  • Pumpkin patch/apple orchard visits
  • Halloween (I have an actual costume party to attend this year)
  • The changing colors
  • Fall decorations - I still need to get mine out!
  • Our annual trip to McGregor/Prairie Du Chien
  • The Bears/Lions game at Soldier Field, November 10th
  • Getting out my sweaters (and hopefully buying more, ha!)
  • Crock Pot Meals
  • And of course, MY SISTER'S WEDDING!

Last weekend, we kicked off fall in Omaha.  I have a few more pictures on my camera, but I haven't uploaded them yet.  We stayed with Andy and Ashley Friday night, hit the golf course Saturday, went out for seafood at Shucks Saturday night, hit the town with Laura and Jason and ended the night with euchre at the Jones'.  Sunday morning, I hit up Trader Joe's, we watched Ashley finish her first half marathon and then we grabbed a delicious breakfast at 11-Worth Cafe.  It was wonderful!

We were done!
Photo Bomb...thanks Andy! ;-)

Omaha is always a fun time.  Now, go and enjoy your weekends...happy Friday!!


Some Things Have Happened

I feel so lame!! I get on a good kick of posting, and then I let life (or True Blood) rule my free time and I get behind!  Ugh!  I anticipate this may happen again closer to Em's wedding, which is October 12th. Yay! :)

Let's see, since the last weekend recap (too long ago), I have spent an evening with my Little and my brother watching The Dark Knight, and went dancing at an outdoor concert with my friend Jess, before which we enjoyed some Daiquiris.  This was a super fun weekend to enjoy right before I left for Vegas.
Then we left on Sunday to go to Vegas...you can see another post for that!
The following weekend, there was a 5k that benefited our friend Kyle, who has been blessed with the news that he is heading to Duke this month to begin pulmonary therapy which will greatly increase his chances of being put on the lung transplant list!  God is good. <3 font="">
Since then, we've been a little lazy, enjoying time at home.  We've been resting up, because we head to Omaha this weekend!  We can't wait!
Monday morning work picture...UGH!