Birthday & Easter Weekend

Does anyone know what day it is? I’m still trying to figure that out because we had wonderful long weekend with so many celebrations. It was too hard to pick just a few pictures for this post, so please enjoy this photo dump of our colorful weekend.

The end of March is full of birthdays for my family. My dad’s is the 25th, Loren’s is the 27, and my little sister & bro-in-law share the 29th. Since Loren’s birthday fell on Easter this year, I decided to take the Friday before off work so we could celebrate before heading to Cincinnati for the weekend. I gave him his first gift that Friday morning (the other one he got on his actual birthday) before we headed out for a few surprises I had planned. The 1st surprise was a stop at Long’s Bakery for the world’s best donuts. The 2nd surprise was hanging out with some friends at a fun little coffee shop (Calvin Fletcher’s). He had no idea they would be there and was pretty surprised. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pictures of this. 🙁
And the 3rd surprise was lunch at Thai Spice. It wasn’t a whole lot, and I wish I could have done more, but it was fun to plan and keep him suspense for a little bit.



After lunch, we came home and I Facetimed my dad for a few minutes to wish him a happy birthday. Shortly after the call, we packed up the car and headed to Cincinnati. We arrived just in time to eat dinner with Carrie before heading to a Good Friday service. Later on, we worked on the last of the wedding shower decorations for Joanna’s shower on Saturday.


Saturday was shower day! Loren’s youngest sister is getting married in May, and it was so fun to celebrate her (and Jeffrey). Heather and Carrie did an amazing job planning everything and the setup and decorations were so creative and beautiful.



So many presents!
Moms from both sides
And with sisters-in-law
Joanna and pin-the-beard-on-Jeffrey

We were all pretty tired after the shower, so some of went home to take naps before a relaxed bbq dinner at mom & dad’s.

Sunday morning we got up really early for a Crisp Easter tradition – watching the sunrise from the roof! Even though it wasn’t the most spectacular sunrise (we didn’t actually see the sun), it was fun sitting up there on the roof.

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After a blessed and joyful Easter service celebrating Christ, we came back to mom & dad’s for dinner and to celebrate Loren’s birthday.  It was such an amazing, sunny, beautiful day!!

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Love my man 🙂

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Birthday cake

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Rachel learning to take pictures with the remote.

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And then we drove home. We were almost home when we drove into an incredible thunderstorm. The lightning was constantly striking all around us (safely far enough away), and it was quite a beautiful firework display.


I hope you had a blessed Easter weekend celebrating the Reason we live!

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Gut Churn: An Evening with Jad Abumrad

Last week I surprised Loren with tickets to see Jad Abumrad live in Bloomington as an early birthday present. We went to his show last night and he did not disappoint!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jad, he is the creator and host of the podcast Radiolab. If you don’t know what Radiolab is, here is the description taken from their website: “Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience”. Just go listen to some of the podcasts and you will be enlightened.

We headed down to Bloomington a little early so we could grab some dinner before the show.  Bloomington Sandwich Co., true to its Yelp reviews, had the best Reuben I’ve ever eaten.


The show was sold out, and as we waited in line before the doors opened, Loren and I both noted the wide age range of the audience.
I asked Loren a few questions about the lecture and I think his answers capture Jad’s lecture very well:

What was Jad’s topic and how was your overall experience?
Jad discussed the “gut churn” of the creative process — that moment during creating when the creative feels like their stomach is about to turn inside out because of the pressure of the work and uncertainty that the work will be of high enough quality. Some other metaphors he used for these moments included “The Gap” (as described in this video) and “The German Forest.” It was an incredibly relatable and thought-provoking lecture.

What concept/idea stuck with you the most? 
The moments which seem the darkest and most unbearable (in the creative process and I believe in life) are very often the moments which offer incredible growth you would have never experienced otherwise. He referred to this as “adjacent possibility.” Knowing and experiencing this fact time after time should eventually take some of the pain out of it and help you look forward to what’s to come.

What was the most relatable thing he said?
Creative people are constantly swinging between “this is the best idea in the world!” and five minutes later realizing “this will never work.” Understanding that this exists and using those moments as learning moments to your advantage can propel you into more productive creativity.

Is there anything he spoke about that you will apply to your life?
Yes. All of it. Every single bit of it.

A favorite quote: 

“Sound is touch from a distance.”

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Thanks for a great lecture, Jad!

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Spring for Miles

We spent lots of quality time in our car this weekend. Good thing we like to travel!
If you don’t care to know every detail of our weekend, just skip the all the boring narrative and jump down to the pictures.

Friday we laid low and had a late dinner at home. Loren studied for his upcoming speech pathology Praxis test before dinner, and then just rested his brain during/after dinner while we watched a couple shows. We went to bed pretty early, since he had to be up early the next morning to take the test.

Saturday, as mentioned, Loren took the Praxis test. And he did SUPER WELL!! #proudgradschoolwife Another step closer to graduation! The testing center was about 40 min north of us, close to my sister, and I considered going to hang out with her while he took the test, but I decided to sleep in since we were having a busy afternoon/evening. But when he was almost home, he realized he left his coat at the testing center. So we decided he would swing by to pick me up, and we would head back up to the testing center, retrieve his coat, grab some donuts and then drop by to say hi to Dawn and her boys. We couldn’t stay for very long but it’s always good to see their smiling precious faces.
We made it back home just in time for Loren to drop me off at an Origami Owl jewelry party for a little bit before he picked me back up and we headed to Cincinnati for the night. Loren and 4 of his siblings all worked at Half Day Cafe, a little family run cafe (seriously check it out if you’re ever in Cincy), at some point growing up and the Cafe had a 10 year anniversary dinner we were graciously invited to. After the dinner, we stayed up way too late talking to his sisters who were hosting us. But it was worth it.

Relieved to have that test done with. And dominated!

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All stuffed from dinner.

Sunday was another adventurous day. We got up early to head back home for church and when we were almost back, Carried texted and said that I had left my wallet at their house. While this was rather annoying, we made a fun adventure out of it. Heather and Marcus were very kind to agree to meet us halfway between Cincy and Indy, so after church we grabbed some of the Daku kids to take on this adventure. Really, we just took them along to help keep us awake. 😉 On our way back from the meet-up and wallet retrieval, we stopped to explore an old abandoned house that was actually pretty creepy. And of course we stopped for ice cream, because it *was* the first day of spring. Thanks for all the fun, guys!
When we finally got home, Loren and I both were so exhausted that we took a 30 minute nap. Which turned into almost 2 hours. We were a bit groggy and confused when we woke up (what day is it!? what year!?) but decided that Orange Chicken and a movie were in order to finish off the weekend.

With the famous Greensburg tree tower at the exchange point.
Abandoned house that had several sheds and barns.


Best local ice cream shop!


We always try to make the most of every moment.
How did you spend yours?

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Five on Friday // 3-18-16

Happy Friday! This has been long week. I have definitely enjoyed the later lighter hours since the time change, but I think the time change is catching up with me. But now for some of this weeks’ favorites:

IMG_2580ONE //  Beautiful skies on my drive home from work. This picture does not do it justice at all. It was like there was a little opening up into heaven.

TWO // Random Target runs with Vashti to pick up baby shower gifts. I can’t believe we didn’t get a picture to commemorate this. Next time, Vashti!

SC string artTHREE // This string art of South Carolina. We got married in SC and I would love to make this for our wall gallery.  Anybody made something like this before?

IMG_2517FOUR // Working out – I think I finally found a routine that works for me that I look forward to and actually enjoy. More or less. 😉

FIVE // A few weeks ago, I won a gift card from PinkBlush and this week I got an Easter dress with the last bit on the card. I haven’t bought a dress for Easter in a very long time, and I am super excited to wear it next week!

Have a happy weekend officially welcoming in Spring!

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Top 6 Bloggers I Follow

Blogging is a strange world. We post all about our lives for all the world to see, and for some reason it’s so fascinating to take a peek into other people’s lives. Maybe because we’re all (more or less) the same and we like that confirmation. So today, I wanted to share my top 6 favorite bloggers, in no particular order:

Camp Patton – Grace is just plain honest about life and shares it in a hilarious way. Her 5 kids all seem to have inherited the hilarity gene. She shares everything from kid’s quotes and med school wife life to style, recipes, crazy birth stories and shopping deal tips.

Tales of Me and the Husband – Bridget lives in the Boston area and has quite the fascinating love story (she married a widower with 4 young kids). She has impeccable style and also loves to share recipes and shopping deals. She and her family recently spent several months in Europe, so be sure to check out some of those posts!

The Vanilla Tulip – Ashley is a sweet Texas momma to 5 adorable blondes. She offers a real look into the every day life of homeschooling, as well as recipes, living small tips and general encouragement.

Rachel Schultz – Rachel’s blog is full of delicious, clever recipes, meal planning tips, book recommendations and DIY projects. She’s currently in the middle renovating their 1970s colonial house.

My Kind of Yellow – Kayla is a girl after my own heart. She posts about everyday stuff and I love it. She also has a beautiful up-and-coming photography business. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, you should definitely look her up!

Aspiring Kennedy – Lauren is an American expat who lives in London and travels all over Europe. Her blog is full of beautiful family life and travel pictures, as well as lots of travel tips.

Who are some of your favorite bloggers?

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*all photos courtesy of respective bloggers*

Let’s Pretend

What a fun weekend!

Friday night we had a lovely surprise birthday dinner at Olive Garden for Vashti. So glad we met a year and half ago and so thankful for her sweet friendship!


Saturday while my sister & her husband were at various events, we had the privilege of playing “pretend mommy and daddy” (as the 2.5 year-old said) for the day with my nephews. We made dinosaurs out of playdough, read lots of books, rescued people from fires, checked out the airplanes, took a walk and so much more. C & J are quite the active little boys and we loved every minute with them. When Dawn got home with the baby, the other two boys were taking naps so we got caught up on each other’s lives. Even though we live relatively close, we don’t see each other often enough. Later on for dinner we had a pizza picnic on the living room floor and watched The LEGO Movie before we eventually headed home.

And here are some notable quotes from C (2.5 year-old):

  • Earlier before we came, he had decided of his younger brother: “J is my servant.”
  • Upon our arrival he declared to his dad: “Uncle Loren is my best friend.”
  • When Loren was pretending to sleep: “You make a beautiful sleeping daddy.”
  • During lunch he accidently called me mommy, then he told us we were his pretend mommy and daddy.






Sunday was an errand and project afternoon after church. Of course we took a nap, which we needed due to the time change. But who are we kidding, I’m always up for a nap. When we woke up, we met up with an iCracked technician (great service & work!) at Starbucks to get my cracked phone screen fixed and while he worked, I went on a much needed grocery run. When we got back home, we cleaned up the apartment and I started working on our bedroom wall project (pics to come later). We had a quiet rest of the evening and ended up reading for a while in bed.

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I hope you had a fantastic weekend and that the time change didn’t throw you off too badly.
Happy Monday!

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Five on Friday // 3-11-16

Happy Friday! Where did this week go? I don’t know, but I do know that I need to take more pictures during the week. Story of my life.

IMG_2477ONE // We went to a banquet last night for The Crossing, an alternative high school “transforming lives through education by focusing on the heart and mind” that our church supports. It was such a blessing to hear the stories of teenagers whose lives have been so dramatically changed.

TWO // Bedroom decorating. I got all inspired the other night to totally redo what we have hanging up (or don’t have hanging up) on our bedroom walls. I even drew out the plans! Now I just need to find time to put it all into place.

6chickpeas-1024x686THREE // Roasted chickpeas. I haven’t quite perfected this recipe yet, but such a delicious, cheap and easy snack!

babytipsFOUR // Baby tips like these. I’m not pregnant, and while we do hope to have kids someday sooner than later, these kinds of posts/articles help me understand my friends and sisters with babies better.

FIVE // I don’t usually watch the videos on my Facebook feed but this one was so cute and funny to me for some reason.

Happy weekending!

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Thursday Thoughts

Since I’ve kind of slacked off in blogging recently (I have several half-written posts sitting in my queue), I thought today would be a good day for some rambling Thursday thoughts.

It feels like spring, so it’s almost summer, right!?

Why do people thinks it’s ok to smoke in their car with a baby in the back!!?? Not that it’s good any other time…

Loren and I recently started a “no phone in the bedroom in the evenings” rule so we can better focus on each other. It was easy at first, but I have to admit, we’ve let it slide somewhat and we need to crack down on that again. We should probably invest in an alarm clock and totally remove the phones from our room at night. Anyone else do this?

Our HVAC at work is all messed up, so it’s a fun mix of humid and hot and cold, but I’m thankful to have a good job.

We want to go camping sometime this year, and should probably start looking into that a little more seriously. We’ve never been “real” camping before. Any tips?

Should I grow my hair out again or keep it short?

That’s all for now. Happy Thursday!

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Smiles for Miles

I realize it’s late Wednesday night, but it’s never too late to post about the weekend, right? It will be worth the wait, though, because Loren put together a little video (or vlog as some may call it) of our fun Saturday.

Friday night, Loren’s sister Carrie came for the weekend. We ate soup and breadsticks and ice cream and talked a lot.

Saturday, well, just check out the video:

Sunday I had the privilege of teaching the 4’s & 5’s Sunday School class again. Man, have I missed them! We had a fellowship dinner after the service, and ate way too much good food and fellowshipped. When we got back home, I was so exhausted from the whole busy week, that I took a two hour nap.

And that pretty much sums up our weekend. I hope you enjoyed yours! And the video. Not sure how often that will be happening, but maybe every once in a while.

See you back here soon!

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Five on Friday // 3-4-16

This week has gone by super fast. It probably helped that we have had something every single night this week, with the exception of Monday. And now for some favorites of this week:

joannaONE // This gem of a sister-in-law’s birthday is today. We were roommates her freshman/my senior year in college, and that was pretty epic. We’ve only gotten closer over the years, and I am so honored and excited to be a part of her wedding day in May! Happy Birthday, Joanna!!

TWO // Church family. We’ve seen a lot of church family throughout this week, and it’s been a huge blessing! Friends that are more like family.

IMG_2409THREE // Snapchat face swap. So many tears of laughter were shed over this app this week. Pretty disturbing but also hilarious.

FOUR // My slow cooker. I’ve used it for dinner twice this week, and I’m wondering why I don’t use it more often than that. It does take a little forethought and evening/morning prep, but it’s so worth it to walk in after work and smell the deliciousness wafting out from the kitchen and know dinner will be ready that much sooner than usual.

FIVE // Shipping notifications. I always like to know exactly where my package is and how long it will be before it gets delivered.

Have a good weekend!

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