Fall Boots

Wanted to report that I was successful in finding an affordable pair of fall boots!  AND, hubs approved this purchase in the budget for this month! (We are both in this money thing together btw, it’s just that bigger purchases have to be approved by both parties…it’s just good accountability)

I knew that when we headed out to the mall, that there was a strong likelihood that I would not find any boots in my price range.  So, I prepared my heart for this early on.

One of my favorite stores to shop at in mall is Von Maur.  It is so pretty and clean, and it may seem expensive on the exterior, BUT I have found some really great deals…just have to be selective!  And, have you spent any time in their shoe clearance room?! Dangerous…AND if you need to use the restroom while you are at the mall shopping, Von Maur is your spot! (Great area for nursing and changing babies too!)

Anyway, I always beg Chad to park at Von Maur so we at least get to walk in and out thru the store and hear the lovely, live piano music as we shop.  He usually obliges 🙂

I know that starting out my fall boot search in this store was probably not the smartest move, but I gave it a shot anyway.  I cringed every time I turned a boot over to check the price ($250, $179, $159) I was almost ready to tell Chad that we should probably take our search elsewhere when I decided to check the price of one more boot – I did a double take.  It said $79 on the bottom of the shoe.  I looked extra close to make sure that there wasn’t a 1 in front of the number that had gotten rubbed off.  Sure enough, I was right the first time.

Chad thought they looked nice, so I tried them on.  A little stiff – as most boots are initially, but I was happy with the fit and the amount of room in the calf.  It will be perfect to go over leggings or to tuck skinny jeans in to.  However, boot cut jeans will be too much fabric to try to stuff in there.  If you have smaller calves, you may have more room.


A nice little fashion statement, eh?  Obviously will not wear with these jeans 🙂

I was impressed, but Chad wasn’t going to let me make a quick decision…so we continued to search around and mull the decision over.  Alas, we didn’t find anything else that was super great – or landed remotely in the price range.  So we circled back around and picked up the boots.

If you don’t live near a Von Maur, I found the boots online as well…I usually wear 8 1/2 or 9 in shoes and these were true to size.  I went with the 8 1/2.  And, i would say that I tend to be on the more “muscular” side in terms of calf width and these fit with room to spare.  Here is the pic from the site if you want to see the detail up close.



Now, I just need the weather to consistently scream “FALL” and I will break these puppies out along w/ all my fall attire (hopefully without sweating too much…ha!)



Great Day Of Service

Wow.  Just wow.

This is the 3rd year that our church has held the Great Day of Service (GDOS), but our 1st time participating.  Our previous church did something similar last year and it was so neat to be a part of something like this again.

Just picture 800 people, all dressed in neon orange shirts, gathered together for an abbreviated service of worship and communion, and then we all loaded up and went out in to the city and surrounding areas to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Putting our faith into action.  Physically showing God’s love.  It. Was. So. Awesome.


It was kinda strange to show up at church and everybody had the same shirt on…but it was so cool as well.

We left K at the nursery, participated in the short worship service, and then packed in the truck to drive to our work site.

We had filled out a small survey when we signed up requesting to be a part of a project with “light construction”.  I wanted to be on the same team as Chad, but I knew that I could work hard if needed.  We hadn’t met anybody that was on our crew, and it was a sweet blessing to meet our team leaders and the others on the crew.  Not to mention the grateful homeowners.

We got a call earlier in the week from our team leader (just picture Ron Buhrman!) I was almost certain I was talking to his twin.  He was PUMPED about leading this group (and barely let me get a word in…ha!)

You probably aren’t surprised, but hubs wowed everyone with his sweet construction skills and genuine hard work.  The women from the group cleared brush and other “junk” from the backyard, while the men dismantled an old chicken coop.  Chad led the demo and then reconstructed the gate to make it a functional storage space for the homeowners.  He also went the extra mile to fix the gate to the backyard, so that it was usable again.  (Sorry, I’m just a proud wifey…and I’m also thankful he wasn’t hanging off a roof or in a tree cutting down limbs like last year!)

We quickly filled up that back of the truck with brush, so me and another gal took a load to the community chip pile to unload.  I have no doubt that God placed us together in that truck.  Such a sweet lady – she has a daughter my age – and we got to know each other just a little bit more.  She shared her experience of being 11 years cancer free (yes!) and her wisdom regarding some family issues that she has encountered over her life.  She was so genuine and took a sincere interest in my life.  And then, we unloaded the truck (just us) we weren’t scared of a little hard work! 🙂

After we had spent about 2 hours at the work site, we cleaned up, prayed together and then headed back to the church where they had lunch provided for everybody.  We picked up K and hopped in line for lunch.  I was expecting a sandwich or something.  Oh no, it was an all out taco bar, chips and salsa, fruit cups, and cookies.  It was an awesome surprise!  We got to meet even more people while we gathered around a table to eat.

We had one more load in the truck, so we quickly ran that by the chip pile, meanwhile K cashed out.


So thankful that we signed up to be part of the incredible day at the church and the ways that God is using it to be an impact in the lives of those who are serving and those who are receiving the fruits of their efforts.


5 on Friday


The hubs of the week award goes to Chad.  Our shower tub wasn’t draining well….so, he dug deep into his plumber skills and went on a mission to fix it.  A few minutes in to the process he comes out to the kitchen with a large blonde hairball (gross I know) and says, “This may have something to do with it.”  I am just thankful that he handles those gross tasks AND loves me even though I lose hair like a maniac and leave blonde hairs all over the house…


Speaking of hair…blonde won.  Wasn’t ready to pull the trigger on anything drastic.  My good friend from hair school still hooks me up with her amazing talent.  I can give you her name/number for anybody local that is in need of a great stylist.  It was a fun morning, and great to catch up with her!  Thanks Mak!


We got information a few weeks ago about Chad’s 10 year high school class reunion. Whoa!  We aren’t THAT old 🙂  So, this week, Chad got out his high school yearbooks.  We are friends currently with some of his HS classmates, so it was fun to see what everybody looked like.  Oh the awkward years 🙂  Plus, I looked at the clothing styles and remembered HOW COOL all those styles were….


Posted this pic on Instagram yesterday.  With the caption, ” Is it possible to love him more today that I did yesterday?”  Whoa, motherhood can be exceptionally challenging at times, but this little monster makes it SO worth it.



I’m currently on a mission to find some affordable fall boots.  (Like under $100)  We will see if I’m successful…


Real Life

Chad and I are blessed with some really great friendships.  People, who, after spending time with, just fill our hearts to the brim.  People we are real with.  People that you don’t have to try with.  Those who you can be yourself.  Those that encourage and inspire us.  Those, that we LAUGH – big time – with.  It’s kinda hard sometimes to find couple friends where both the husband and wife are compatible with us.

One of the hardest parts about moving away this summer, was knowing that we were leaving some really great friendships.  Yes, we wouldn’t be that far away, but yet, it would just be different.  Thankfully, one of the greatest parts of having some really great friends, is that you can either allow the distant to separate you, OR, you can just try that much harder to maintain the relationship.  And, boy, are we thankful.

This past weekend, Chad and I had the opportunity to meet up with some “old” friends at the zoo!  Yes, it has become our new hangout.  K loves it.  I love to see K’s reaction to all the animals.  Plus, I get some good exercise walking around and pushing the stroller.  And, this time, Daddy got to come along.  Chad hadn’t been to the zoo since 5th grade or so.  He was loving it too!  And, the weather was beautiful!  A really great day to be out!

Anyway, isn’t there something so great about watching a dad push the stroller!  Talk about quality daddies right there!


We learned all kinds of neat lessons at the zoo.  Circle of life type stuff.  And, on this particular day, we also learned about the “birds and the bees”.  You know those really large turtles?  Yeah, they were showing each other “extra love”.  It was a very special moment.  You can ask Chad to see the video if you really want to know 😉


Sweet baby girl.IMG_1618

Trying to get K to smile.


Those crazy gorillas.


K baby just chillin.


It was an excellent morning. I just love this guy – big time.


Thanks, Turner’s, for spending the morning with us.  You hold a special place in our hearts.  We love you guys.

And, just in case you needed a glimpse into more “real life” around this house….


Don’t you just love how we’ve redecorated the place?  Ugh.  I was just sick of saying no and decided to remove the temptation for the little one…

5 on Friday


In an effort to share the “real” life of our little family, there was a bit of a “mom fail” at our house this week.  I needed to run downstairs without K, so I shut him in his room.  I ran quickly down and ran back up…went to his door, and it was locked.  So my unhappy little one year old is locked inside his room.  I remained relatively calm.  Called Chad – he was out at football practice.  He told me to call the complex manager and they would send maintenance out.  K was very frustrated while locked on the other side of the door.  I was able to calm him for a bit by putting my hand underneath the door where he could see it.  He put his hand on mine.  It was precious and super sad all at the same time.  Maintenance came over (after what seemed like an eternity – probably around 10 mins) and opened the door with a small little tool (which he told me where to get one just like it and to keep it in the kitchen in the event that this ever happens again)  UGH!!  I shared this story with some other gals and they assured me that I wasn’t the worst mom ever.  They also shared similar stories as to not make me feel so bad.  It helped 🙂


One of the best things about living in this smaller space is that it doesn’t take very long to clean!  I got supper ready, and while it was simmering on the stove, Chad and I cleaned the whole place.  Whew, it felt good to have it clean and over with so that we could enjoy the evening.  BUT, can I just say – cleaning the bathrooms is just the worst.  My least favorite by far!


For supper last night I made a fall-ish meal.  A storm was moving in, it got dark and cool outside and I was so glad I had chili on the menu!  I used Pioneer Woman’s Simple, Perfect Chili Recipe and we ate it with shredded cheese and fritos.  I also made some apple pumpkin spice muffins – the most easy recipe ever!  1 box Spice Cake mix, 1 can pumpkin, 1 apple (cut in small pieces).  Mix all together and put in a lined muffin tin.  Bake at 350 for 20-25mins.  I’m not sure exactly where to give credit for this recipe.  I first heard about it in college while at KU.  It is so simple and so yummy!


K and Chad get to spend Thursdays together (Chad’s day off from the clinic and I work from home).  They usually go for an outing in the morning.  Yesterday, K got an extra treat.  It was a hit with K (and daddy).  The extra special treat…the red truck in the middle is a Ford F-150 crew cab, which happens the be the SAME truck Chad has!!!  Chad was pretty proud.IMG_1031




Weekend in pictures

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday were a mixed bag.  We had a few things planned, but some of the other time was just spent lounging around and enjoying our little family.  My kind of weekend!

Friday at the zoo was awesome!  Hardly any people there and the weather was perfect!  The kids did great.  But, of course, my child would like the ONE thing at the zoo that isn’t an animal.  The kid is OBSESSED with wheels.


We wore jackets!!

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Friday afternoon K and I made another trip to Target…where I spotted these!


Unfortunately they didn’t have big girl sizes 😦  And K is a boy – I don’t think Chad would appreciate me dressing him in these…


Saturday morning we went for Donuts!

Maple Bacon, Blueberry Glaze, King Midas (all delicious, naturally)


Don’t you just love K’s face…He’s all “mom! no one has time for pictures!  GIVE ME MY DONUTS!!”IMG_1569

And, we went back for more….

Oatmeal cookie and Peanut butter something….IMG_1571

K-man stuffing his face!IMG_1573

After that, Chad washed the truck, I formulated a grocery list, and we went shopping.  Lunch, and the boys took naps, I caught up on blogs and chilled.


Saturday evening we headed back to Chad’s Alma Mater so he could take in a football game and relive the glory days when #21 was out on the field.  So wish I woulda known him in college to see him out on that field, but it’s still fun to go back with him and see the joy all over his face being at the stadium.  It was super sweet to have K along as well.  Although, he wasn’t much for sitting still and watching the game.  He definitely has his daddy’s speed!

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I dressed K in fall attire!  First time wearing jeans this season!  A friend of mine so generously gave me all of her hand-me-downs from her son.  It is so fun playing “dress up” when K still lets me choose what he gets to wear.  I’m living it up because I know that all too soon he will have a strong opinion in this arena.  Oh, and he is showing off his latest trick – his belly button.  IMG_1584 IMG_1583

This pic was before I gave in and let him run in the grass by the field while Chad watched the game.

Sunday we went to church, then met friends for Brunch at Granite City.  Have you ever done that?  Whoa!  Talk about delicious.  I think Chad and I were full until Monday morning!  Seriously good food.

Football and naps for the boys and then to another friends house for game night.  The girls took on the boys at Pictionary.  And…the girls won!  The boys are kinda bitter…ha!

I took along this popcorn.  My friend Steph introduced me to it last year, and I just had a huge craving for it again.  PLUS, candy corn was 2fer at the store, so naturally one bag got thrown together with some peanuts and set out on the kitchen counter.  DANGEROUS!  Chad made me promise that we would NOT finish it before the weekend was over…

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I can feel that Fall is close.  And I say, BRING IT ON!


5 on Friday


Kohen had his 15 month check up this week.  Everything was fine, but the little monster was so not having anything to do with the entire appointment.  It was awful.  And, as we know, I hate the doctor in the first place.  No, not the doctor as in the actual person, but just the thought of GOING to the doctor….makes me sweat just thinking about it.  So, I guess I don’t really blame the kid.

K just didn’t want to be touched or told what to do, or held to get measurements.  NOTHING.  It all started to go downhill when my mom (she’s the nurse btw – fun, huh?  It is a blessing for sure) took away the goldfish so that we could weigh him.  Then, the sweet med student came in – and she was oh so sweet, but K didn’t want to hold still for any amount of prodding and poking.  So, I’m getting hot, the docs are asking me if I have any questions…uhhh, I can’t even think straight with the screaming child – nope, no questions…just want to get. out. of. here.

We both got flu shots (the only shot for K this time around!) and we were on our way.  I feel like it will only get worse when we go back for he 18 month appointment.  I’m dreading it already.


Obviously not a picture from the appointment, but who wants to remember that awful hour and half.  I’ll let you all picture what that room looked like…


Today K and I are headed to the zoo with a new friend from church (and her two kids).  Her name is Tara too, so naturally she’s pretty cool!  It will be fun to go again and I’m looking forward to a slightly cooler day.


I made these delicious pumpkin cookies.  Chad requested that I not use chocolate chips and pumpkin together.  I, personally, am very fond of the combination – but in an effort to not be the only one eating all the sweets around here, I tried to follow his wishes.  I found this recipe and I thought, “PERFECT”!  Until, I got to the grocery store and could not find any cinnamon chips.  Does anyone know where I can find them?  Are they very seasonal?  The worker looked at me like I was crazy – so I’m guessing they aren’t very common??  I decided in the grocery aisle that white chocolate chips would be a good compromise.  And, I was correct.  They are so yummy!  I even took some to work to share with my co-workers.  They thought they were gross…ha!  I think there were only 2 cookies left by lunch time!  My co-workers love me and hate me all at the same time.  YOU ARE WELCOME! 🙂


When I was pregnant with K, every Saturday was Donut Saturday.  Sometimes Chad would even get up before me and go get them and bring them back to the house – it was glorious!  After K was born, we slowly weened off of the EVERY Saturday donut routine, but since we’ve moved we have been on a personal mission to find the best donut place in the city.  We have not gone out every Saturday, but we have taken selective days to try new donut places.  Still haven’t found THE one…but we are still searching.  This Saturday the search continues…going to try out The Donut Whole downtown.  I feel like we are not going to be disappointed.  It’s a 24 hour joint with all kinds of crazy flavors and combinations.  I’m already trying to decide what I will try!  I will be sure to report back!



Now, if you’ve never been blonde, this next little paragraph isn’t going to make sense to you…but here we go.  You know how the weather is changing and pumpkins and mums, and candy corn and apples and all that fall goodness is appearing around?  Well, it’s that time of year when people generally “go darker” with their hair color.  Sometimes, just sometimes, I have that sudden urge to go brunette.

I mean, you may remember me when my hair looked like this:


Or when I was in hair school and it was like this:


Or, even a variation of both above:


So, it shouldn’t be THAT crazy for me to think about going an all over different shade…but then I get scared and worry about how I will miss my blonde – because THAT happens people.  It is a real thing.  Just ask anyone who has been blonde and then goes dark – it is a scary place 😉 There are so many factors and I let my over analytical hairdresser brain get way too crazy – when I should definitely let the artsy, creative, impulsive side just take over.  Guess we’ll see!