Eight years.

Today we celebrate eight years of marriage! It feels like a blink and it feels like ages. Isn’t it weird how it works that way?

Kevin and I started dating when I was 30 years old. It was the end of the Reds baseball season and he asked me to go to a game. I said yes without any hesitation. I knew that a future with Kevin would make his path part of mine, but twelves years together, and eight years married? Who, at thirty, can look forward to that long with any clarity?

I am glad that I couldn’t. I am glad that when I looked forward it was an abstract idea that was worth exploring. And I am glad that we have spent the last twelve years turning that idea into something that works for us, one day at a time.

Brady is sixteen, Natalie is fourteen, and Hadley is six.

There have been a lot of mistakes. There have been some crap days. But damn I’d do every lay off, every third shift, every panicked moment, every new job, every fight over nothing and every fight over something again to get right here.

I love that today is a new starting line. I love that tomorrow will be one too.

Marriage is just as much work as everything else in life. Parenting. Jobs. Being healthy. Being happy. Choosing your best and do the right thing, even when you may not want to. I am so grateful we are in this season of our lives, and even more grateful to have this man in my life.

Thank you for choosing me to be your wife. ♥

From the weekend.

Our weekend started off with cheering for the last home football game! Hadley lead the crew down to the field, which she was super excited about. And it was a “pink out” game for Breast Cancer Awareness month, so they all wore pink and the coach gave the cheerleaders a pink sticker for their cheeks.

After the football game, I got a walk in. I love to go to this trail by our house, it’s the perfect spot and it’s so pretty to walk through. I usually get in a three mile walk, but lately part of the path has been closed due to construction so I’ve shortened the walk to 2.5 which is better than no miles!

Saturday night we went to a wedding, it was beautiful outside! The ceremony was outside, and the reception was partially outside/inside. The reception was in a barn type building that had these huge sliding doors that opened to let the fresh air in. It was a great date night!

Sunday morning, I went to the trail for another walk. My partner in crime joined me on her bike. I just love it when she wants to come with me, it gives her exercise and she has fun riding her bike. I just wish she would try and learn how to ride without training wheels one of these days.

Sunday afternoon, Hadley had her last soccer game for the outdoor season, and they won! I’m so proud of this girl. She went from not knowing much about soccer, to learning how to dribble in and out of other players, and just learning the basics of soccer for her age. She had the best coaches, who were so patient yet determined to teach these girls. Her team learned how to play together by the end of the season, and it was so fun to watch.

We had a busy but fun weekend! Now back to the grind.

Fall decor.

Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to the fall decor post for the year. There’s not much that makes me happier than decorating a home for the different seasons! It always takes me a bit to transition from summer to fall, but once it’s here I slowly get on board with the changing seasons.

Fall can be difficult sometimes, as I never know how to incorporate Halloween into Fall. This year, I decided to just add a little mix of both. The decor is mostly Fall, with a touch of Halloween I would say. We don’t have pumpkins for the front porch yet, it’s still a tad warm for that and I like to wait until it gets a little closer to Halloween for those. Our yard is like a zoo, we have all different kinds of animals that come out at night so I’d rather the porch be pumpkin free for awhile.

Without further a do, come on in!

The fireplace mantle! All the pieces are from random places, and some pieces are old that I’ve had awhile. I like the look of different items placed all over the place, it gives it a warm vibe.

As you head into the kitchen from the family room, we have some fallish flowers on the table. Kevin got those for our dating anniversary of 12 years! In the cabinet above the countertop, I have some pumpkins and Turkey things displayed. On the chalkboard, I wrote on chalk “trick or treat” with some fun spider webs and a ghost. By the sink, I have a small pumpkin by the kitchen sponge. And by the way, if you haven’t tried Dawn’s PowerWash yet, you’re missing out! And then on the stove, fall towels and Thanksgiving salt and pepper shakers!

As you enter the dining room, I don’t have much except for a fall tablecloth, and then candy corn in a glass container, candy in the pumpkin basket, and “Hello Fall” on the mini chalkboard.

In the downstairs bathroom, I have Happy Harvest hand towels. Always try to have fun towels in there for the kids! The pumpkins and signs on the bathroom shelves are from the Dollar Tree years ago, and Target Dollar Spot last year. Love Mrs. Meyers hand soap and all the seasonal flavors each year. Fun Halloween napkins, even though the kids aren’t really fans of the napkins. And the Trick or Treat wood block is from a store in Brown County, Indiana from years ago.

Down the hallway to the front door, an Autumn Leaves and Pumpkins Please sign from Target Dollar Spot, Thankful and Blessed sign from the Dollar Tree, sign on the front door and planter stick are from Gabes a few years ago. I tried to make a fall wreath for the front door, and I just can’t get the ribbon to go right. So this will do!

Hope you enjoyed all the fall decor for our home. The seasons are changing, and I’m ready for it!

DIY Skinny Chai Latte.

Have you ever tried to make one of your favorite drinks from Starbuck’s or your favorite coffee shop? I feel like they never really taste just the same, like something is always off. After lots of searching on the internet, I finally found a good recipe for a chai latte!

Ingredients:

  • Tazo chai latte mix
  • Milk of choice
  • Ice

The chai latte mix can be found at your local Target, or even Amazon. I picked the skinny version, but they also have the full versions which I haven’t tried before.

Put ice into the glass, and pour half of the chai latte mix into the glass. Pour the rest of the glass with the milk of your choice. And that my friends, is it! How easy is that? And it’s delicious! You can tell it’s the skinny version, which taste lighter but it’s still taste pretty close to the one I get at Starbucks. I order this with skim milk at Starbucks, so I’m used to it tasting pretty light anyways.

I’m soo glad I figured out how to make this, and how unbelievably simple it is! Now I can save some money on Starbucks drinks!

Happy October! Can’t wait to make more of these for the fall months that are finally here.

From the weekend.

Friday. Started out with a walk on our favorite trail, and Hadley riding her bike. I just love it when she wants to come with me. It gives her exercise, and fresh air! She was off school for her festival set up. The first day of the festival! We were so excited to go this year! Last year it was cancelled due to the pandemic. I’ve waited so many years to go to our own school festival, and it was finally here. We played games, rode the rides, listened to the band play, and just hung out with friends. Hadley and her bestie! We had the best time, and the weather could not have been more perfect!

Saturday. We went to see the big kids all dolled up for Homecoming. Brady is a junior, and Natalie is a freshman. They were taking pictures with their dates at a park near downtown. I’m glad we were able to see them and got a few photos! Even Dad got to stop by while he was hard at work. Hadley and I came home and washed my car, the weather has been just gorgeous.

Sunday. More festival time! Face painting, rides, games, and more food. Natalie joined us for a little bit, she even tried the famous west side Pizza from Trottas and her picky little self loved it! So good. I’m so glad we have this community at school and in our parish, it’s been fun getting to know the parents and kiddos. I can’t wait for many more festivals!

Fall is here.

Today is officially the first day of fall.

As much as I love the summer sunshine, and everything outdoors, there is something special about fall! The need for layers of clothing, the turning leaves starting to fall to the ground, chai tea from Starbucks, and the shorter days and longer nights. The last few days have been hot and steamy around here, and today Mother Nature decided to bring the fall temps. It’s rainy, cold, and the leaves are falling, and it just feels like a fall day!

Here are some things I am looking forward to this fall…

eating all things comforting, with a healthy twist.
drinking my favorite Starbucks chai tea latte.
practicing kindness, patience, and selflessness.
continuing to workout or just move my body.
wearing cozy hoodies and comfy pants.
cooking more dinners at home.

Oh, Fall, I’m happy you’re here.

Friday favorites.

Sharing some of my favorites lately on this Friday afternoon! All the items just happen to be from Amazon too!

ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN // EIGHT // NINE // TEN

During this working from home phase in our lives, I’ve been using this cell phone stand at my desk and it’s perfect! You can put your phone long ways or side ways. I watch a lot of movies and shows during the day while I’m sitting at my desk, and it’s been great.

I bought this stack of rainbow bracelets to wear for the summer, and on our vacation. They are great to pick out one or two to match an outfit.

Ever since I had this eyebrow pencil, show up in my FABFITFUN box last year, I just had to buy another one I loved it so much. It’s perfect for filling in the “holes” in my brows. I’m not one for the dark dark brow look, it’s just the perfect color to fill in the empty spots.

Just about every single day, I wear sports bras. I just find them more comfy than the traditional bra that buttons in the back. I found these racerback sports bras and found they work awesome! I am fairly large chested, so I had to get the large size to make the girls a little tighter. They’ve been great!

I originally saw this hair mask on the Rambling Redheads Instagram stories. I bought it and have used it for the past two months. It makes my hair feel super soft and refreshed. I use it about once to twice a week.

My daughter just loves to try new hair styles out, so we found these clear hair bands to use. Little tip though, to get them out of the hair we have to cut them out or they will hurt.

I have this flip calendar on my desk at home, it’s very uplifting and inspirational. Some of the days are a little too jesus loving for me, but overall they’ve been very good for the soul. I love daily things like this to flip over and read.

We bought this UNO splash card game for vacation, and have been using it ever since. We love to play Uno in our house, and what is different about these cards are they are all plastic so you can play it around the pool, beach, lake, etc.

These two products I found watching the Today Show a few weeks ago. The apple cider vinegar shampoo/conditioner, have been great on my hair! I’m a huge fan of anything with apple cider vinegar in it, I think has so many benefits for your health!

Last one, these wire headbands are super easy to use and stay on my head! I found these from What I Shopped on Instagram. She shares soo many good finds and at reasonable prices. I’ve worn these a few times to work and they look so fun and festive!

Hope you’ve enjoyed these ten favorites for your Friday! Have a great weekend!

One year with a Telluride.

Today marks one year with this baby! The Kia Telluride!

I’ve been wanting this SUV for over a year before I got one. It had great reviews, better than my Dad’s SUV and that says a lot from a car guy. And now that I’ve had it for a year, I’m so glad I got this one!

The exterior color I originally wanted was a dark gray, but it was soo hard to find one! So I settled with white, I’ve never owned a white car before but I love it. You really don’t see the dirt as much as if it was a darker color.

The interior color I went with was black, that is one color I can’t go any lighter with on an interior car with kids. I love the captain chairs in the middle row, and then the row seat in the far back. Hadley’s favorite seat is in the far back, she loves it back there and can buckle herself up with her booster seat too! I love the large dashboard screen in the front seat, it’s like a mini computer. It’s all touch screen, and can move pages just like you do on an iPhone. And the best part is the Apple Car Play! It’s a feature in most newer cars that allows you to control and view certain iPhone apps through the dashboard in the car. You can send text messages hands free while driving, it’s awesome!

It might be hard to see, but shortly after I got the car I tinted the front windows! They aren’t super dark, but they match the back for the most part so it’s nice. I love the darker windows on a white car.

The model SUV of this Telluride is the “S” model, V6 and it’s AWD. It comes with a sunroof which is another feature I just love. The next level up has dual sunroofs which would be pretty awesome for the kids to have one in the back, but I didn’t need the next level up so one sunroof will do. It already comes with lots of “extras” that are pretty awesome. The multimedia system with touch screen, backup camera, Bluetooth, heated seats, and tons of USB ports. I bought extra charging cords just for the SUV!

I could’ve gotten the dark gray color I originally wanted, but would’ve had to wait weeks if not months for it. I had just sold my previous car, and didn’t have the time to wait. I’m glad I went with the color white, it’s very nice looking. Couldn’t be happier with this SUV!

Summer 2021 / I want to remember.

As I say every year, Summer is my absolute favorite season!  I’m sad to see it come to a close soon, as the weather has sort of started changing. Some days have been cooler, and some days are still hot. But regardless of the weather, the season is about over, which means that fall is coming.   

I want to take a look back at Summer twenty twenty-one.  And so from Summer 2021…

I want to remember making Hadley’s start of the summer special and fun!

I want to remember celebrating my Mom and sister-in-law’s birthday together at Agave and Rye.

I want to remember Hadley bumping into a metal pole outside at dinner, and having a huge bump on her forehead.

I want to remember hanging lights in her room, and using them as a nightlight for bedtime.

I want to remember Mattie eating a slice of watermelon as big as her head.

I want to remember Memorial Day weekend at the lake being the coldest, and wearing sweatshirts on the dock.

I want to remember Hadley and Mattie swimming in the lake on the cold holiday weekend and then wearing a sweatshirt on the boat.

I want to remember the new Gator and everyone wanting a ride on it.

I want to remember being with my cousin Becca so much this summer, and almost every summer nowadays.

I want to remember Natalie graduating 8th grade.

I want to remember Brady got a mullet for a haircut.

I want to remember watching him play summer ball and bringing an umbrella for shade.

I want to remember playing indoor volleyball at St. Dominic.

I want to remember Uncle Brian always bumping volleyball with Hadley in the gym.

I want to remember Hadleys first day at summer camp.

I want to remember Kevin treating the softball team for ice cream for the end of the season.

I want to remember how excited Hadley gets when she sees Daddy come home from the fire station.

I want to remember driving all over town, delivering end of the season treat bags to Hadleys softball teams homes.

I want to remember going to the fire department’s picnic at Stricker’s Grove.

I want to remember Kevin going on all the kid rides with Hadley.

I want to remember the hurt baby deer on our front porch bleeding all over it’s head.

I want to remember calling animal control and watching a lady pick up a deer with her bare hands and taking him away.

I want to remember going to a comedy club with my BIL/SIL.

I want to remember watching a movie on the floor in the dining room with lots of blankets and pillows.

I want to remember waking Hadley up for a tornado warning and going to the basement, and her not remembering any of it.

I want to remember tossing baseball at the lake in the gravel driveway.

I want to remember putting Hadleys hair in braids after her showers.

I want to remember going to the treehouse in Mt. Airy forest for our Summer Bucket List.

I want to remember going to Kroger for the 4th of July, and barely being able to push the cart.

I want to remember how much Hadley loves swimming in pools.

I want to remember how much fun the lake is when all the little cousins are there.

I want to remember golfing in the Boss for the 4th.

I want to remember everyone calling me “Rosie the Riveter” in my blue swimsuit and red bandana.

I want to remember Hadley and Mattie went to the Ark Encounter with Grandma.

I want to remember making s’mores on the dock.

I want to remember celebrating Kristin’s 40th birthday.

I want to remember going to the movies.

I want to remember listening to a live band with Grandma and Grandad and enjoying a blue slushie.

I want to remember making a fort in the family room and watching The Parent Trap, another item on our Summer Bucket List

I want to remember getting stung by a bee twice in two weeks while cutting the grass.

I want to remember Hadley and Kevin playing airplane in the family room.

I want to remember Hadley getting a fresh haircut before vacation and school.

I want to remember painting her toes rainbow.

I want to remember laying out in the driveway.

I want to remember surprising Hadley with a scavenger hunt to tell her we’re going to Florida for vacation.

I want to remember how much Hadley loves Target as much as I do.

I want to remember Hadley being such a good kiddo, especially when she’s the only kid around.

I want to remember Uncle Fred getting Kevin a hawaiian skirt.

I want to remember going on walks / runs at the trail.

I want to remember Kevin taking her to a pool for a few hours in the morning. She could swim all day everyday.

I want to remember her first outdoor soccer practice.

I want to remember making bags with paint pens.

I want to remember getting pedicures before vacation.

I want to remember the drive to Destin wasn’t so bad as we stopped on the way.

I want to remember having surprise bags in the car.

I want to remember how excited Hadley was for her first hotel stay.

I want to remember working out the majority of the time on vacation.

I want to remember the first time getting in the ocean once we unpacked the truck.

I want to remember going crab hunting at night and seeing so many of them.

I want to remember going on a dolphin cruise and seeing not only dolphins, but also sharks.

I want to remember how beautiful the water was.

I want to remember going to Lulu’s for dinner and loving the atmosphere.

I want to remember the photo when hundreds of Afghans packed into a US military cargo plane as they flee Kabul.

I want to remember meeting the first grade teacher and how excited Hadley was.

I want to remember driving the gator to the marina on the backroads to pick up pizza for dinner.

I want to remember using the tent at soccer.

I want to remember Ari watching lego videos on YouTube and how intrigued he was.

I want to remember softball and how much she learned having her Dad as the coach.

I want to remember celebrating Natalie turning 14.

I want to remember having smoothies for breakfast.

I want to remember how excited Hadley gets shopping for school stuff.

I want to remember her first day of school, and no tears!

I want to remember Kevin making bookbag hooks.

I want to remember getting rid of the big kitchen table and downsizing to one that fits.

I want to remember the 13 service members killed in an attack at the airport in Kabul.

I want to remember using a vitamin sorter for how many different vitamins I take.

I want to remember all the hard work we did to keep up the front yard makeover.

I want to remember her first season of cheerleading.

I want to remember Labor Day weekend at the lake was very very quiet.

I want to remember always feeding the horses.

I want to remember Natalie made the JV volleyball team as a freshman in high school.

I want to remember finding Downy Ocean Mist scent booster, and loving the smell!

Summer is just about ending, and it was a good one!

Never thought it would happen.

……but I am very much looking forward to fall.

Each year, I’m usually feeling the opposite about the colder season coming upon us. I want Summer to stay for as long as it possibly can, but just this week I think I’m ready for Fall. Strange how we change our mindset sometimes, but it happens right? I double it will get seriously cold around here for a while, but September feels like the beginning of the beginning.

And SEPTEMBER. You are going to be a busy 30 days. Kevin is hoping for lots of overtime. Hadley is playing two sports, soccer and cheer which takes up days during the week, and most weekends. We might add in dance to that too. The big kids also play sports which is hard to juggle sometimes, but we manage. The days are long, but the years are short.

Some goals for this month: send out birthday cards, go to the Harvest Home parade, get the hair highlighted, decorate for fall, make a bucket list, attend our parish festival, continue on the house updating, start Turkey Day planning, and enjoy the season we are in.

Happy September.