childhood favorites

My mom has a sweet collection of children’s books.  Some classics, and some crazy off the wall books that would give your child nightmares if they read them before bedtime.

gather round children, as I tell you THE STORY OF ATOMIC ENERGY-GY-GY-GY (that was an echo btw)

when we visited my grandparents growing up the only books available to us were Calvin and Hobbes anthologies.  Funny, but not nearly as educational as what Gran Jan has on her bookshelf!


My own summer reading program

I met my goal of reading 10 books for “fun” this summer!  Click the cover to read about the book on Amazon.  Most were cheesy and fast reads, a few more serious.  I enjoyed them all though.

Vacation Highlights

We spent 5 days in the Great Smokey Mountains with Tyler’s family.  I had never been to the Smokies before so it was fun to explore a new area of the country.  Here are some of the highlights.


dude forgot to put on anything under his (assless) chaps.  Yes I realize all chaps are assless but I really like to say “assless chaps”, it makes me giggle.


view from the Cherohala Skyway


the first tubing adventure on the creek behind our cabin, this projected 90 minute fun ride turned into a 3+ hour float to the middle of nowhere!


Logan practicing baby yoga


warming up in the hot tub after tubing in the cold creek!


Logan LOVED hanging out with Uncle Tyler, maybe because he looks so much like his own daddy?


Logan is a true heart melter, he melted mine over and over and over…


Austin just turned 1 and is constantly in motion, he was so hard to capture with my camera!


Ethan wasn’t quite so mobile, so he was easier to photograph!  The only way I can tell the boys apart right now is their hair, Ethan has curls on the back of his head, Austin has curls on top!


and while I was typically the one behind the camera, I did manage to get one photo of myself with my niece, who is 6 and loves to look up things on wikipedia and read her dictionary!

Three Years

Three years ago today I woke up at the crack of dawn with butterflies in my stomach.   While everyone was still sleeping I hopped in the car, cranked up the radio, and drove to HyVee (exciting huh?).  I was just going to pick up some sandwiches but I was there too early, the deli sandwiches weren’t ready yet.  So I grabbed a magazine and sat down on some patio furniture in the store and read mindless celebrity gossip in People.  When I went to check out the clerk asked “how are you this morning?” and I replied with a huge smile “I’M GETTING MARRIED TODAY!!”

June 24, 2006 was a truly great day but I feel like it pales in comparison to so many others days since then.  As well as Tyler and I knew each other after three years of dating/engagement, three years of marriage has brought us so much closer.  We’ve travelled together, moved to and from D.C. together,  raised a baby pug together, bought a house together (and lived to tell about it), and our lives have become completely intertwined.  We are a unit, a team, our own little family now.  Maybe someday we will even add some not furry kids to our family, but for now things feel just right.

Here’s a look back at the last 3 years of marriage, and a few years before that too 🙂













25 Years

So in honor of my 25th birthday I thought I would try to make a list of important events that occured in each year of my life.  Some big, some extremely random (i.e. the first thing that popped into my head from that age) but we’ll see what I can come up with!

0- birth
1-  walking, talking, eating solid foods, eating a gigantic chocolate bunny, yada yada yada.
2- my sister was born, consequently, I cracked my head open while with the babysitter that day.   I just couldn’t handle not being at the hospital with the rest of the fam.
3- okay i’m already drawing a blank!
4- saw my first movie in the theater: Bambi, have been terrified of fire ever since.
5- started kindergarten, learned about “stop, drop, and roll” when the firefighters came to speak to our class.
6- my only memory from this year is my first day of 1st Grade when they decided my speech problems were gone.  According to my high school boyfriend who was in my class, I apparantly made fun of him for not going to church.
7- Wore a skirt to school pretty much every day, year round.
8- I believe this was the year I broke my arm when I tied a jump rope to our bunkbeds and attempted to rappel down.  This was also the year I discovered I tie crappy knots.
9- first slumber party!  For my birthday I had friends stay over and  I stayed up the entire night so I could see the sun rise.
10- had my first male school teacher, threw a complete fit when I found out my teacher wasn’t a woman, wore a white headband to school pretty much every day for some strange reason.
11- placed in the gifted program, which was extremely dull, watched a peer put pencil eraser bits in the coffee of the mean gifted teacher.  Discovered cheesy popcorn, also, had a POG collection (anyone remember pogs?)
12-  cried during the speech I gave at my 6th grade graduation program, had my first boyfriend.
13- first kiss, first pair of real tennis shoes (adidas),  tried to use a tampon for the first time, was traumatized.
14- first break up and post-break up hair chop (yeah I was in a very *serious* relationship from age 12-14), left the church I’d gone to all my life, played the part of the crazy mayor’s wife in The Music Man.
15- learned to drive, acquired Mr. Snowman,  discovered that even good Christian girls develop sex drives.
16- worked my first job as a cashier at HyVee, discovered retail sucks, a lot.  Discovered my tendency to have panic attacks when forced to sing in front of others.
17- let’s just say that was a tough year.  I thought I was old enough to make adult choices, but also discovered they weren’t all they were cut out to be.
18- went to college, met some of the most amazing friends ever, discovered life outside of Kansas, consumed a lot of caffeine.
19- broke up with high school boyfriend of three and a half years, met the man I knew I was going to marry a week later. Got thrown off a horse.  Swore off horseback riding and wrangling.  Got my first cell phone, the key to any long distance relationship!
20- spent 5 weeks in Mexico, swore off traveling to countries without clean water for the sake of my stomach after 5 weeks of pure hell.
21- lived in Colorado for 2 months, got engaged, graduated from college, worked my first full-time job.
22- got married!  Moved to D.C., discovered how boring office work truly can be, met Pumpkin the pug and decided pugs were the breed for me.
23- left the great city of D.C., and Baja Fresh *tear*, moved back to Kansas.  Took a job I never should have taken working for the Baptists.
24- questioned pretty much everything I believed in my entire life, decided I’m a democrat and that doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, became a pug mama, discovered the joy that is Zoloft, started grad school, bought my first house.  It’s been an eventful year!

whew, congrats if you got through all of that!  I think my life has been pretty blessed thus far with an amazing family, friends, husband, pug, and some great opportunities.  I am not really excited about turning 25 as I feel quite a bit of pressure to know what I want to do with my life and I feel realllllly close to having to make the decision to have children.  Kind of scary but exciting as well.  Hopefully by this time next year I will be a better wife, friend, social worker, and pug mama.  That’s about all I can hope for.

Feels Like Christmas

I am about to go stand in line and cast my vote for a candidate that I feel so much confidence in.  I think this is a rare thing and I may never experience it again.  I don’t know what the next 4 years will bring, but I feel confident that with Obama as president we will be in a much better place than we are today.  This is likely the first of many democratic candidates I will support in this lifetime and I no longer feel shame or guilt about it.  Most of the time I feel pretty pessimistic about this country, especially looking back at our horrible history of marginalizing and mistreating minority groups.  Today I feel a bit of hope though.  GOBAMA!

busy weekend

What an incredibly busy weekend! We had a lot of fun though. Friday night we took our couples class at the Kansas City Culinary Center. We learned how to make our own sushi and experienced the peculiarity of a chocolate/avocado smoothie! You can see more pictures and read a full write up on the food blog. It was a blast! Yay for friends willing to pug-sit and a unique and tasty date night!

Saturday I hit up the sale at Nordstroms and bought some huge bottles of Purity Made Simple for a great price, should get me through next summer! I also started shopping for some new work clothes for my social work practicum, but was dismayed to not find much. I’ll wait a couple more weeks and try again, maybe hit up the outlets up at the Legends. Tyler and I saw The Dark Knight with half the rest of America this weekend and it did not disappoint. It was incredibly dark and very different from Batman Begins. I found myself holding my breath and biting my nails more than once!

Saturday night we went out to Lone Star Lake with my parents for a little canoeing and a picnic. Complete with smore’s! It was fantastic. It was a great evening even though Toby didn’t express any interest in learning to swim. He did however enjoy a few belly rubs.

Tyler let me sleep in this morning and the rest of the day was kind of a blur.  I went out for lunch with a friend, baked cookies for our new neighbors, and generally tried to avoid the heat.  We’ve been fortunate to have a fairly mild summer so far, but I know the worst is yet to come!  I am dreaming of escaping to cooler places, namely Colorado!  I wish it weren’t such a long drive!

Two more weeks of work to go, I’m hoping they will go by quickly and pleasantly.  Tyler has decided to take me out for sushi as a celebration on my last day, so I have that to look forward to!

currently reading: The Art of Racing in the Rain

currently watching: Season 1 of The Tudors