Birthday Weekend

Guys! It’s Monday! And I’m doing a weekend recap! Lately I’ve been slacking on recapping our weekends on time and they haven’t appeared until Wednesday.
Anyway, here are a few highlights from my birthday weekend:

I painted some shelves for the nursery, which we hung up, as well as arranged and set up some other things. It’s all coming together and I think we’re pretty much ready for baby girl’s arrival!

Saturday evening we had a little picnic & ice cream date at Mrs. Curl (apparently we can’t get enough this summer) in the perfect summer weather.

I noticed in the ice cream line that I can’t see my toes anymore. #37weeks

Sunday morning (my actual birthday) we headed to our church’s annual picnic & baptism. It was such a blessing and encouragement to see so many take that next step in their faith and then to fellowship with everyone during the picnic.

Sunday afternoon, I opened my gifts from Loren (these shoes!!), took a nap, then later on that evening we ventured downtown for dinner at¬†Tinker Street. I was pretty set on having tiramisu for my birthday cake, so we found a place that did takeout and went and enjoyed it on the Circle. Eventually we came home and started a movie – the perfect ending to a perfect low-key birthday. ūüôā

I hope you had a lovely weekend!

Anniversary/Babymoon Trip (Michigan City, IN)

I’m finally sharing 100 million pictures from our anniversary trip last weekend! We had a hard time deciding where to go this year (not too far from home, not too pricey, etc.) and finally decided on Michigan City, IN. We had heard that the Indiana Dunes were pretty amazing, and since Michigan City is on¬†Lake Michigan, we knew there would be some beaches. And of course I made sure there were at least a couple of good places to eat and get coffee. The weather was perfect (warmer than we were expecting!), and we had a lovely time. The perfect little anniversary/babymoon getaway.

Where we stayed:
We found a cozy little little Airbnb – In the woods, about 10 minutes from food and the beach, with a few walking trails on the property.

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Five on Friday [anniversary edition] // 5-12-17

In light of today being our 3rd wedding anniversary, I’m sharing 5 favorites memories (besides our wedding day) from the past married years. I must say, it was very hard to narrow these down.

ONE //  Our honeymoon. We spent a couple days in Charleston, SC, then boarded a ship for a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas. It was such a fun, relaxing time together exploring Charleston and eating all the soft serve we wanted on the cruise.

TWO // Our many roadtrips in the VW Beetle. The summer we got married, we spent many hours in my beloved little beetle taking roadtrips to friends’ weddings, apartment hunting (for our move to from SC to IN), family events and last minute picnics on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

THREE // 1st Anniversary trip to Chicago. Our first vacation (besides the honeymoon) after getting married – Loren had just finished his first year of grad school, and it was nice to just get out of town for a long weekend. Exploring a new city and eating delicious food was just a bonus. ūüėČ

FOUR //¬†Our 2016 Charleston vacation. Apparently I just like to get away with my man. lol But Charleston is my favorite city in the world, so any time spent there is a favorite memory. ūüėČ A perfect week spent on the beach, drinking coffee on our little porch, paddleboarding, meandering the city streets, etc.

FIVE // Finding out we were going to be parents. Does this even need an explanation? Needless to say, we were/are both pretty stoked!

There are SO many other memories that I treasure (exploring new coffee shops, babysitting nephews & nieces, birthday dates, Loren’s graduation, late night Office binges, random photoshoots in unusual locations) and I always look forward to the next adventure with my favorite person in the world.

I love you and choose you every day, Loren! Happy Anniversary!

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Maternity Shoot

Several weeks ago, the very talented Sarah Beth Sutter Photography did a little maternity shoot for us. I was almost 26 weeks pregnant during this shoot, so not super big, but I love all the pictures and thought I would share my favorites with you all.

Heidi: dress // necklace // booties (similar)
Loren: shirt (similar) // jeans // shoes // watch

Nerf Guns and Sunshine

The sun came back this weekend!! Just in time Friday evening for our drive to see our friend Savannah direct her middle school musical. The kids did an amazing job performing Lion King Jr. and it was fun to see all the hard work Savannah has put into it this semester.
When we got home, Loren disappeared into¬†the office, then reappeared a short while later with…the nerf guns. So we had us a good ol’ fun nerf gun battle in the mostly-dark apartment. Nothing like a little late-night adrenaline rush!

Saturday was a pretty random day. Loren hung out at Starbucks for a while writing his lesson plan for Sunday school while I ran some errands. When he got home, he took on the project of spray painting the diaper cart for the nursery. While the first coat was drying, we had a little Chipotle & haircut (for Loren) date, then came home to finish painting the cart and relax the rest of the evening.

Sunday I had the privilege of subbing in the 4s & 5s Sunday school class, and the kids were pretty hilarious. One of them¬†noticed Loren wasn’t with me (he usually helps me, but was with the teens) and asked “Where’s your dad?” Another one noticed my large belly, pointed to it and wanted to know “What is that?” Out of the mouth of babes.
After church we had lunch with some friends, came home and took a little walk in the beautiful sunshine to watch¬†another friend’s soccer game.

Maybe this week the weather will stay more May-ish!

 

6 Things That Keep Our Marriage Strong

There is no perfect marriage secret but there are good habits that contribute to stronger marriages. While I am by no means a marriage expert, today I wanted to share¬†a few habits we’ve adopted that help keep our marriage strong.

Go to bed at the same time. I can probably count on one hand the times we haven’t gone to bed at the same time, as¬†this¬†has always been important to me. Ending the day together gives us a solid connection.

No phone in the bedroom policy. This has been a game-changer for us. I’m normally ready for bed before Loren is and used to just scroll through Instagram while waiting for him to come to bed. Now, instead of having that distraction, we chat about the day or just goof off during that time.

Journal every night. I wrote a full post on this here, but Loren and I write a short note to each other every night. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes serious, and sometimes it’s just a recap of a wonderful day spent together.

Date nights. This might be a given for some, but date nights every week are so important. Whether it’s out for ice cream, a movie, exploring a new city or dressing up a little nicer for dinner, carving out that time (phone free!) to focus on each other is a fun way of reconnecting and showing commitment to each other.

Prayer before work and sleep. Before Loren heads out the door for work in the morning, we pray together for the day. These few moments set us off on the right foot and in the same mindset. Along the same lines, one of the last things we do before falling asleep is pray together.

Hold hands whenever possible. In public and at home! There’s a sense of protection, love, comfort and connection. Take pride in that ownership!

What are some of your marriage tips?

First April Weekend Recap

Friday evening & Saturday I was supposed to attend¬†our church’s ladies retreat in Nashville, IN, but I got a nasty cold Wednesday/Thursday and wasn’t feeling up to much on Friday. So I stayed home Friday night (and drank lots of fluids and slept as much as I could all day) and felt good enough to go for Saturday’s sessions. It was a blessing to fellowship with the other ladies and study some of the characteristics of God. Since¬†Nashville¬†is a small town known for its quaint little shops and restaurants, we naturally also did a little shopping.

Sunday¬†afternoon we crossed several things off our to-do list (including taxes!), then went for a little date at Mrs. Curl’s¬†and walked around a close-by park.

I hope you had a great weekend and got outside once the sun came out. ūüôā

Walk in the Park

This weekend was pretty relaxing and quiet.
Here are a few highlights:

Saturday morning cut & color. I went to the Paul Mitchell school again, and (for my future reference) I probably won’t be going back again. At least for color.

Sunday afternoon the weather was absolutely beautiful, and after an unfortunate necessary battery jump-start from AAA and even more necessary Starbucks run for bogo macchiatos, we found a new (to us) close-by park to explore. Like most of the Indiana parks around here, it was pretty small, but adventure was still out there. ūüėČ

Hope you had a sunny weekend!

I Wrote My Husband a Note Every Day for a Year…

…here’s what happened.

img_2992About 9 months into our marriage, I read about a couple who,¬†at the end of each¬†day, wrote a one-sentence note about how they¬†appreciated/loved the other person that day. I thought this was a great idea, and we gave it a try. Loren and I¬†already had a journal where we would write longer letters to each other on¬†special occasions throughout the year, but little love notes every day sounded even better!¬†Now, about 1 and 1/2 years and two journals later, we don’t ever plan on quitting.

Here is what we have learned:

Neither one of us can ever keep it to one sentence. This is the hardest thing for us. I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve actually just written one sentence. This is not a bad thing – the more you appreciate or have a funny or sweet memory from the day to share, the better!

There’s ALWAYS something good to write about your spouse every day. Even on days we barely see each other, we can always come up with something.¬†Those dishes he washed for me – I’ll thank him for that. Those funny texts he sent that made my day- I’ll recap that. That parting kiss this morning – I’ll mention that. His support when I’m having a hard day – I’ll focus on that. You never know what acts of love will be noticed and appreciated.

We’ve learned to verbally appreciate each other more. In the beginning of our dating relationship, I had a hard time expressing my feelings to Loren. We’ve come a LONG way, and writing out my feelings towards Loren has given me daily practice¬†in this area. We also recently started reading out loud to each other what we’ve written. Makes it even more personal! As a result of this verbal appreciation, I’ve become less shy about expressing my emotions and feelings to him in person.

Loren has¬†better handwriting than I do, even when he changes his¬†style. If you opened up our journal, you could easily see which handwriting is mine, because it’s consistently awful, even when I try to write nicely. Loren, however, has beautiful manly handwriting and likes to switch it up, so sometimes it looks like 4 different people are writing in the journal. Don’t worry though, it’s just the 2 of us.

It’s hard to stay mad at your spouse¬†when¬†you have to write something good about them. I honestly don’t think Loren and I have ever really gotten mad at each other, but sometimes we do get pretty annoyed. So when the note writing time comes around, we pretty much HAVE to kiss and makeup. Talk about not letting the sun go¬†down on your wrath!

Mundane days can be just as fulfilling and special as fun-filled days. I like to think that we aren’t boring people. Weird, for sure, but not boring. Sometimes that weirdness is hilarious. Like making up songs while getting ready in the morning, coming up with ridiculously impossible hypothetical situations, dancing, new inside jokes, things I¬†say in my¬†sleep, etc. Records of this weirdness are always very entertaining to look back on after a few months or years.

Writing to my husband every night before bed¬†has now become more than a cute little idea (now routine) that I wanted to try out. It’s a visible, tangible and reliable record of our relationship’s past and an exciting opportunity to see how it continues to grow in the future – memories that are forever documented for us to look¬†back on for years to come.

What do you do to strengthen your marriage?

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Falling for Fall

Between moving our home, moving at work (thankfully just up 2 floors), home projects, bachelorette parties and weddings, blogging has taken a back seat. But I plan on pulling it back to the front and hopefully this will be the last post to get caught up on life lately. Now, please sit back and enjoy this little update with a variety of pictures.

We had our first cozy rainy weekend and sat out on the balcony for brunch.

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Kitchen chairs work just fine for patio furniture!

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We spent several late nights hanging up curtains and wall decor and bought and put together a TV stand (not pictured).img_4440

I threw a bachelorette party for Heather which was so much fun! We ate lots of food, watched a couple chick-flicks and got pedicures by Anna.img_4466 img_4470

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PC: AJ

Labor Day Weekend:
Celebrated Ally and Andrew’s wedding on a most gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

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Had an impromptu Sunday sunset photoshoot in a prime Indiana cornfield. Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

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Labor Day brunched on the balcony and worked on more projects.img_4500

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Working on our headboard.

And last but not least, we celebrated the most joyous marriage of Heather (L’s sister) and Marcus this past weekend! Loren and I were both in the wedding and it was so much fun to walk down the aisle together again.¬†img_4530

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Waiting for the ceremony to start. PC: JS
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Isn’t she gorgeous!? PC: ED
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THE most adorable flower girls in the world. PC: ED

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So, so happy for this amazing couple!
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Chasing each other on the dance floor.

And that’s how we’ve been fading out summer. I’m going to miss summer, but excited to see what this fall has in store.
How have you spent your last weeks of summer?

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