When Life Gives You Lemons

Not everything in my life is happy-go-lucky, but this week, I've been trying to refocus on the positives in my life.  I decided to make a list of the some of the things that were bringing me down and how I'm looking at them in a new light.
  1. When my job is not making me happy, I try to focus on the things I am able to do in my life because I have a steady income and the benefits of PTO.  Plus, I do enjoy my coworkers, so I try to look forward to going to work so that I get to see them!
  2. My tutoring business has not taken off as quickly as I envisioned.  I guess my expectations were slightly unrealistic, it's only been almost a month since I started it.  I am focusing on the fact that I have two great tutoring + voice students and one awesome voice student and I'm really enjoying the time I get with them.  Eventually, through advertising, networking, and word-of-mouth, I will grow my business, but for now, the slow start is a good thing!
  3. I have been carrying the stress of my job and some other personal struggles around in my body, in the form of not only some extra weight, but also increased tension in my back and shoulders.  My sister randomly motivated me a few days ago to join the gym in Eldridge.  What am I loving about it?  The abundant Video on Demand choices in the back room where Emily and I are trying out yoga and loving it!
I also have just been trying to engage my faith a little more to get me through the difficult times.  First of all, I'm often humbled by the prayer chain emails that I get for people who suffering far worse than me.  Everyone's struggles are their own, and their emotions are real, including mine, but it's always important to do a reality check and remind myself of the blessings I have.

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10


Omaha Revisited

Another trip to Omaha is in the books!  It was a wonderful time as always.  Though the drive does feel longer and longer every time.  But luckily, Ryan and I both had Friday off, so we took our time getting there, making a stop in Des Moines on the way.

Friday night, we grabbed some dinner and drinks at Jimi D's with our friends before heading back to Andy and Ashley's house to catch up.
Saturday, Ashley and I got way too many groceries and some coffee before grabbing a bite to eat at DJ's Dugout before Extreme Beerfest (our fourth one!).  I was the DD for Beerfest, so I dropped off Ryan, Andy, Alex, and Ashley and got some shopping in while they drank up.  Later that night, we got back to the Flater's and had a great time playing caps, dancing, talking, laughing, eating, etc.  It was wonderful, but going to bed at 3:30 was not ideal!
Sunday, we left Omaha before anyone woke up and we grudgingly took turns driving our tired asses to Iowa City, where we took a break and went to lunch with Ryan's brother, Michael.  We finally got home around 4:00 and I immediately took a nap!  It was well worth it. :) 
Monday Night Bonus! My friend Ashley J was in town visiting her boyfriend's family, so we spent several hours catching up Monday night. :) Perfect ending to a typical Monday!


Birthday Fun!

Happy Friday!  I'm super excited because later this morning, we're heading to Omaha for the weekend!  This is our fourth year in a row heading there this weekend for the Extreme Beerfest!  But the better perk is that we get to go visit our friends :)

Ryan has made fun of me because somehow my birthday celebrations always carry into the entire week, not just one day.  I'm not complaining...but it's not on purpose!  It's just when we have the opportunity to celebrate with various people.

Celebration #1
Sunday night, Ryan and I went to Bent River for some AMAZING beers: my favorites were the Raspberry Wheat and the Chocolate Imperial Stout.  Then we headed to River House for some wonderful food. :)
Celebration #2
On my actual birthday, Ryan gave me some awesome new Toms sandals, I was showered with cards and messages from loved ones, my coworkers got me an awesome cookie cake, and my family cooked me an awesome dinner and cake at night.
Charlie was helping mom do the dishes. :)
Celebration #3
Last night, Ryan's family took me out to eat and we had a very nice night together.  Of course, I don't have any pictures...boo!

Favorite Gifts I've Received:
1. My new Toms!
2. An orchid from Lindsey
3. Stila make-up brushes and some awesome jewelry from Emily
4. Money, always a wonderful gift :)

Now I can't wait for our weekend in Omaha...friend time!!! :)


Happy Valentine's Day

Ryan knows me too well.  Don't get me flowers on Valentine's Day, and never spend the ridiculous money they charge for an entire bouquet on any day of the year.  He knows my rules, so I came home to a single rose yesterday.  For some reason, a single rose always seems super romantic.  It made me really happy, but it also came at a really good time.  

I have had some things in my life that are kind of bringing me down.  Ryan has been super supportive and this was just a nice example of the little things my husband does to brighten my day.  I feel so blessed to be married to such a good man.  Ryan, will you be my Valentine?


Girls Weekend 2014

As much as I love having something to look forward to in the dreary winter months, I propose we move girls weekend to the warmer weather seasons!  We had a few girls who couldn't make it this weekend due to illness and weather, but the five of us who were together had a great time!

Emily, Katie, Tessa, and Ashley all met up at my house for a weekend of Olympics, good food, great conversation, and general shenanigans!  It's always a fun time full of laughter hanging out with these girls.
The ghosts of Emily & Katie
On Sunday, after the girls left and I cleaned up a little, I went to my sister's house to meet their new dog, Charlie.  Charlie is amazing!  He is a real lover, and he became quick friends with their other dog, Lucky.  I already can't wait to get over there and hang out with him again! :)
Looking forward to: My first tutoring students tomorrow night, three-day weekend with a date night for my birthday (Can you say Lego Movie?!), and next weekend we're heading to Omaha to visit friends and go to Beerfest! :)


Good For a Laugh

My sister posted this video on my facebook wall and it makes me so happy!  Is there anything more beautiful sounding that a child's laugh?  To top it off, I really want a sheltie someday, so this video will be key in convincing Ryan!  I just love how the dog is completely aware of the fact that he is making the baby happy and keeps doing it. :)