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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Weekend in the Sunny “C” Cities

Friday night wasn’t too exciting – Loren had been feeling like he was coming down with something all week, and he did come down with a fever Friday afternoon. I sent him straight to bed and then picked up dinner (chicken noodle soup). We had dinner after he napped for a while, then went to bed pretty early because 1) Loren was sick and 2) if he was feeling any better, we were heading to Columbus, OH very early the next morning.

Early Saturday morning Loren decided he was feeling ok, so we jumped in the car and headed to Columbus, OH for a wedding Loren was helping shoot. After dropping him off, I had the rest of the day to myself. My first stop was World Market where I discovered that the elephant pillow I really wanted the last time I stopped in was on sale! So the first item for baby girl’s nursery has been acquired. 🙂 After I did some other shopping and scored some amazing President’s Day deals, I thought about catching a movie, but decided the day was way too perfect and sunny to sit inside a dark theater. Instead, I camped out at Cup O’ Joe for a few hours and read. Eventually I headed to the hotel and checked in, grabbed dinner and hung out until it was time to pick up Loren.

Sunday morning, we left Columbus and headed to Cincinnati for our nephew’s dedication service. After church, we had a fun lunch with the family catching up. Always good to see them all! Loren had a meeting back at home Sunday night, so we headed back home late afternoon after a quick stop at IKEA for some organizing necessities.

And that’s it (probably way too much boring info)!
I hope you got out and enjoyed the beautiful sunny spring-like weekend!

Breaking the Silence

Hey Guys! You may or may not have noticed my absence from the blog the past several of weeks, but I’m back now. Here is a little life update that should explain the absence:

We finally completed several home projects like our coffee table, mug racks and coffee station.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I flew down to SC to help get ready for my cousin Dennae’s wedding. She was the world’s most chill bride and we had fun running errands, hanging out and celebrating #eatdrinkandbemarinelli. But before the wedding, Loren finally made it to town early Thanksgiving morning, and we had a wonderful day with family eating lots of delicious food, catching up and playing some fun games. So thankful for all the quality time we were able to spend together!
Saturday after the wedding, we headed down to Columbia for a quick visit with Loren’s sister and her husband.

Next up, I started a new job! I’m still with the same firm, just switched to a different department and working remotely from home. This has been a long journey to get here, but I am super excited about this new opportunity, especially with winter coming up and not wanting to go out in the cold and snow. 😉 In preparation for this job, I spent a week in Michigan training, and am SO glad to be back home after being gone for 2 straight weeks.
Once I was home for good, we got our tree and decorated for Christmas. I love sitting in the glow of lights in the early morning and evening. Nothing like it!

I have one more update, but I’m saving that for a post all of its own. 🙂
It’s good to be back!

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Fall Hike at Turkey Run

A few weeks ago we took a rainy hike with some friends at Turkey Run State Park. I had never been here before and had no idea Indiana had such a hidden treasure of nature. The leaves had just started changing, and despite the rain, every bend we turned offered new colors and natural beauty. With all the amazing trails, rock formations and crevices, Turkey Run has been described as the Middle Earth of Indiana. Please sit back and enjoy these pictures that in no way do it justice.

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We definitely plan on going back and exploring more. Just let us know when you’re coming for a visit and want to take a good hike!

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Apple Picking at Tuttle Orchards

As mentioned yesterday, we went to Tuttle Orchards this past weekend and I thought it deserved a whole post on its own. Tuttle Orchards are about 40 minutes northeast of us, and definitely worth the drive. Not only do they have rows upon rows of apple trees for picking, but also a pumpkin patch, sunflowers for picking, a corn maze, hayrides, farm store, grill that serves lunch and a Sweet Shop with caramel apples, apple cider slushies, & homemade fudge. The perfect place for a date or taking your whole family!
We went kind of late in the apple picking season, so by that time there were just Red Delicious and Golden Delicious left. You can bet we gathered plenty of those and I can’t wait to make some apple crisp and apple sauce, and of course dip them in caramel sauce. 🙂
After picking apples, we visited the Farm Store, then headed to the Sweet Shop for some apple spice & pumpkin spice doughnuts and apple slushies before grabbing lunch from the Grill.
It was a perfect fall day and we will definitely be going back next year!

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Thanks for stopping by!

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Birthday Times Three

This weekend was chock-full of birthday parties. Be prepared for loads of pictures!

 Friday, Loren and I left work a little early and headed to Cincinnati for Carrie’s (L’s sister) surprise birthday party. Heather had reserved a room at a little cafe where we hid with lots of balloons until she, Carrie and their other housemate (out for a “girls night”) walked in. She was surprised, and we had a fun time at the cafe before going over to the girls’ house for homemade ice cream sandwiches and games. So glad we could celebrate our fun, creative and amazing Carrie!

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Ice cream cookie sandwich bar- SO good!
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Piñata fun!

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Saturday morning, we had a late breakfast with Carrie and Heather before coming home and getting ready for the next birthday party. Two of my sisters had boys on the same day three years ago, and both families happened to be in the same state for the boys’ 3rd birthday, so we had a party with family at Dawn’s. It was so much fun celebrating these two precious and hilarious boys. I’ll let these pictures do most of the talking. 🙂

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Beautiful day for a drive!
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Backyard birthday cookout!

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“I need a knife to cut my bread.”
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Present time!
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So many trucks and cars!
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Birthday twins with their very special orange cake.

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Birthday twins and beautiful mommies 🙂

Sunday after church, lunch and a Walmart run for moving necessities, we started packing for our move!

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Coffee milkshake packing break

I hope you had a relaxing and productive weekend!

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Vacation 2016 Recap

As promised, here is (finally) a more detailed account of our vacation in Charleston with lots and lots of pictures, for your enjoyment and our memories’ sake down the road.

After stopping to see family in Greenville, we headed the rest of the way to Charleston on Monday. We unpacked and made a quick dinner before heading out to walk along the beach. Man, it felt so good to be back!! We dipped our toes in the water for a little bit, then headed into downtown Charleston for a stroll along Waterfront Park and some gelato at Belgian Gelato.

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Tuesday we spent basically the whole day on Sullivan’s Island beach reading, watching the waves, kicking the soccer ball, taking walks, and getting burned (yes, we did wear sunscreen). For dinner we tried a local (Mount Pleasant) burger joint, The Shelter, before watching the sunset from Pitt Street Bridge.

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Dinner at The Shelter – red from the sun and redder from the patio umbrella.
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Appetizer – some delicious shrimp on toast combination
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Smoked Gouda Burger – SO good!!
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Sunset on Pitt Street Bridge

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Wednesday was a pretty busy day. We got up super early to watch the sunrise on the beach and snapped some amazing pictures, then grabbed some pastries from a local bakery for breakfast on our little porch. After a nap to prevent grouchiness, we packed a lunch and headed out to explore Magnolia Plantation. We did the general admission activities which included the petting zoo, gardens, conservatory and orientation theater. They had so many random animals at the petting zoo!
For dinner, we packed a picnic and took that to the beach to watch the sunset.
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I was fascinated with all the seafoam.

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Magnolia Plantation:

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Embarrassingly blurry because I fail at taking pictures, but Loren also petted the deer!

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Sunset picnic on the beach:

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Thursday Loren got up before me and made some delicious strawberry crepes before we headed out for our paddle boarding adventure. Although I have to admit it did take me a little while to get the nerve to stand up on the board, once I did it was pretty awesome and we had a blast! Definitely something we want to do again. We were pretty tired after being out on the water for 3 hours, so we came home, took a nap and then made pizzas for dinner on the porch. We ended the evening with another sunset walk on the Pitt Street Bridge (can you tell we like sunsets?).

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Before we went out to paddle board – getting pretty excited!

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Friday was another beach day! We evened out our sunburns and I read a lot while Loren worked on some art pieces. He’s pretty amazing!
For dinner, we headed downtown Charleston to Gaulart & Maliclet, a little French restaurant with community tables and great food. We walked around downtown for a bit before ending up at the Battery where we watched a pretty terrific lightning show.

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Loren drew this incredible piece!

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My dinner – the Creole French chicken special
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Loren’s dinner – Seafood Normandy

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And that was it! It was sad to leave the beach and our cute little apartment, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time and felt well rested and rejuvenated – ready to tackle the world again!

Thanks for all the memories, Charleston!

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Vacation Recap: Video

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We are back from our perfect vacation in Charleston/Mount Pleasant, SC! Definitely my favorite place in the world. We stayed in the cutest little 3rd-floor apartment we booked through Airbnb that was 8 minutes from the beach, 10 minutes from downtown Charleston and within walking distance of several shops and restaurants in Mount Pleasant. We hit up the beach, a couple local restaurants, tried paddle boarding, visited Magnolia Plantation and so much more.
I plan on posting several pictures with a few more details over the next couple of days, but here is a little video of the week that Loren put together.
Enjoy!

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Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Another good long weekend! Friday {date} night, we had a quiet evening at home celebrating Loren’s completion of his last grad school requirement (finishing up his elementary school externship) before going out to get Mrs. Curl for dessert. We were too busy saving all the ice cream from dripping down our hands to take any decent pictures.

 Saturday morning we slept way in after our crazy week and then made brunch together. And I did something for the first time…I cut Loren’s hair! Which was fun and terrifying. Kind of a long story – if you want to hear it, let me know. The rest of the day was spent running some errands, cleaning up the apartment and relaxing.

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Bacon, French toast bake and fresh strawberries

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Sunday we were finally back at church again and then headed to Cincinnati for some birthday celebrations in the afternoon. We had the most amazing grilled chicken, way too much cake and lots of fun activities out in my in-laws beautiful backyard. I love summer evenings with family!

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Teaching the kids how to play croquet.

We spend Sunday night with mom & dad and they took us to brunch Monday morning at the cute little Village Troubadour before we headed back home. It was fun to spend time with just them and hear some of their early-married-days stories.

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Creme brulee french toast and some of the best coffee.

Monday evening we headed over to Dawn & Keith’s for a little family cookout. Another fun family backyard evening. I am so grateful for all the family we have close by!

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Answer questions to entertain us.
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Good thing Uncle Loren is so tall and can help them see the loud ambulance driving by.
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Sisters! And a sleepy Brady.

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend!

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2 Weddings in 1 Weekend

We’re back from our crazy whirlwind wedding weekend and I can finally share everything with you! Please enjoy the myriad of pictures to make up for the ones I failed to take last week.

Wedding #1: Jeffrey & Joanna in Cincinnati, OH
We headed to Cincinnati Thursday after work, since Loren and I were both in the wedding and wanted to get down there a little earlier to help out. But then Friday had other plans for us. Loren woke up horribly sick with a high fever, chills, etc. I gave him some medicine & fluids and he went back to sleep while I went over to help out with the flower decorations. Around noon, he texted me that he had thrown up, so I headed back to check on him. He was even worse than that morning. Needless to say, we didn’t end up going anywhere the rest of the day.  He really really didn’t want to miss any of his sister’s wedding celebrations, and we even started driving to the church for the rehearsal, but we had to turn back around. Thankfully on Saturday, he was feeling much better and able to make it to pictures & the wedding.
Back to wedding stuff. Saturday morning, we had a fun bridesmaids brunch at Half Day Cafe before hair and makeup. We got all prettied up and before we knew it, it was time for pictures! The evening ceremony and reception were so sweet & beautiful and we are so excited and happy for Jeffrey & Joanna as they start on this new adventure of life! Congrats, guys!

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Fun brunch with the lovely bridesmaids.

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Ready to get hair & makeup done!

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So, so happy for this sweet couple!!!! (and I promise that Loren isn’t really a giant)

And a couple beautiful pictures from the amazing photographer, Sarah Beth Sutter Photography. (If you ever need a photographer in the Cincinnati area, call her!!!)

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Wedding #2: Caleb & Annalise in Athens, GA
Sunday morning, we got up super early to head down to GA for my cousin’s wedding and made it just in time for their beautiful Southern outdoor ceremony. Caleb & Annalise are high school sweethearts and have been together for about 6 years and it was so sweet to see them tie the knot. After the ceremony, we had a delicious dinner and caught up with all the other relatives we don’t see enough. (And I finally got some good sweet tea. They just don’t know how to do it up here.) We are super excited for Caleb & Annalise to join the married club. Congrats, guys!

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Two hours in we finally stopped for breakfast & coffee.
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Cousins!
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The adorable, very happy couple.                                                         PC: Aunt Bonnie, mother of the groom
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Bouquet toss

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Dennae’s wedding is also coming up pretty soon!!

After the wedding festivities, we headed to our “hotel” for the night (we used Airbnb for the first time and loved it!) and crashed.
Monday morning, we had brunch in Athens at Mama’s Boy, recommended by Aunt Bonnie, and I can see why it’s a winner. The coffee was great and the food tasty. We took our time driving back home and stopped at this little overlook we’ve stopped at several times over the past couple years while traveling this route (took this favorite there). For some reason we can never remember the name of the overlook. But it’s Rarity Mountain and we better never forget it now.

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Rarity Mountain
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Fancy camera setup

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Such a fun, crazy, sweet (have I said that enough yet? 😉 ) memorable weekend!

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