happy 5

Last weekend the husband and I took off to celebrate our fifth year of being husband and wife.  Full of sleeping in, shopping and long conversations over good food the weekend was every bit as sweet as I’d imagined it.

I still remember the onslaught of unsolicited advice we received the summer we got married about how difficult marriage would be and how things would never be the same again.

Well, things have certainly not been the same.  They’ve been so much better.  I’m not trying to paint an unrealistic picture of roses and rainbows, but there’s no doubt at all that my happiest years have been the years since I was joined with him.  Marriage gets a bad name from so many people these days, but I can tell you for a facet that there are happy marriages too.  I don’t buy for one second that marriage is constant hard work.

Everything really is better when we’re together whether we’re exploring our new city, working at home or falling asleep at night.  Choosing him to be by my side was the best decision I’ve ever made.

When times are tough as they so often are, I am most thankful for our love and friendship.  Someone to talk things through with, cry with and sometimes just sit in silence with – he’s my rock.

I’m so excited about all the life we’ve lived together in these five years – living overseas, parenting a puppy, new jobs, six moves, living with parents and building a house – and I am so ready for the adventures the coming years will bring.  I think life will only get more challenging as more responsibilities come our way and we continue to live through heartbreak and struggles, but the joys will be so much deeper too.

I love you, dear.  And I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
Happy 5.

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we built a house

when we first decided to build our house, we named this song as our theme song for the project.  not very good video quality, but it was the best I could find.

A little over five months ago, the husband and I decided to do something a little crazy.  Having always been the types for adventure, we rarely take the simple route when it comes to big events in life, whether it be moving overseas for a year, running a marathon together or in this case – moving in with my mom and step-dad for four months and building a house.

But I’m happy to say we have a lot of life and learning tucked under our belts, and even in the midst of the most difficult and trying moments I’m so enthralled by doing life together.  The house building process was at the same time one of the most exciting and one of the most stressful projects we’ve tackled to date.

There were so many moments, on those long drives home after work where I just kept throwing out the question of why.  Why in the world did we sign up for this?  It’s so stressful and difficult.  But at the same time there were many feel good moments when we saw the results of our determination come to fruition through even the littlest details – air ducts being installed, the addition of light switch plates, or the little tree in our front yard, however dead it may be:)

I love when I walk around various rooms of our house, and every little piece has a story and a vivid memory.

“…remember when I got on your shoulders in the pitch dark of night and tried to make a big ‘x’ on our dining room ceiling so they’d know where to hang that light?”


“…remember the time we celebrated my new job by using our drywall in the middle of the living room as a table for our cupcakes?”


“…remember that  light that we ordered for our entryway only to realize upon it’s arrival that it was sized more for a hotel foyer than a modest sized house?

Overall it was worth every single decision, every moment commuting between work and my mom’s house, every disagreement and every stressful moment.  We’re now able to add one more challenging life experience to our ever growing collection of adventures, and baby it feels SO good to walk in our home at the end of every day and say “we did this together.”

We closed on our 2nd house at 2pm on Friday, June 24th, two days past our expected date, and with the help of several family members (God bless them:), we moved in that night.  However cliche it sounds, “good things come to those who wait” rang in my ears as we walked up the sidewalk to our house and the husband swept me up and carried me through the entry.

These days we’re loving all the extra time we have in the evenings, while trying desperately to revive our poor grass that was half dead before it was even laid.  The husband has become quite good friends with the sprinkler, and I’m falling more in love with my kitchen every day.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to go through this process and most of all for the blessing of having our own home now.  And of course one of the biggest highlights of it all has been getting our little baby dog back.  I know she had a great time at my grandpa and grandma’s.  They spoiled her rotten, and she loved every minute of it.  But we missed her like crazy, and are loving every minute of having her back at home with us.
While she misses watching the cows and chasing squirrels all day long, I think she’s adjusting back to city life quite well.  She’s finding her favorite spots inside and having a grand time exploring the neighborhood on our morning walks.
Now that we’re finally getting settled and life is beginning to get into a new routine, we’re ready and waiting for our next adventure.
What is the best adventure you’ve ever been on?

in our guest bedroom on a rainy night less than a week before we closed

Happy Friday!
By the way – while I don’t have very many inside pictures of our house to post right now, I’ll definitely put together a little photo tour once we get unpacked and the house doesn’t look like a tornado anymore.  Trust me, you don’t want to see that.

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happy july 4


Obviously it has been a long time since I’ve been around.  There has been so much going on in the last couple of months, and I hope to play catch up on everything in the coming days.  I can’t really say exactly why I’ve been checked out for so long…I guess all the changes that have been happening around here have overwhelmed me, and I’ve been spending all my time and energy absorbing it all and tucking it into the small recesses of my mind.  This time of life – the defeats and the victories – I’ve been swimming in every moment, and I want to learn and become a better me because of it all.

Since I last wrote, I have settled into my new job, we’ve moved into our house (yay!), we got Olive back (double yay!) and we became and aunt and uncle for the first time.  I appreciate so much the sweet emails and messages you’ve sent since my surgery in May; I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times – the blogging community is so incredible, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.  While I’m still dealing with some of the aftermath, I’m feeling pretty well overall, happy to be up and around.  So, thank you.

Despite the novel I could write on everything from the recent past (there will be plenty of time for that), for now I just want to wish you all a late happy Fourth of July!  I hope everyone had a relaxing and family filled holiday weekend.  The husband and I soaked up every minute of it right up until late Monday night.  Starting the day by swinging by our city’s parade, we were full of spirit and patriotism.  I have to say, though, that I don’t think we’ll be found at another parade until we have children old enough to appreciate it.   Parades are just not made for late twenties, childless families…or small paranoid dogs.  I know it’s hard to believe considering how happy we both look;)

The day picked up after we got back home, though, as I hit the kitchen to create something epically festive for our evening family cookout.  What started out in my head as a good old fashioned peach pie, quickly turned into Angela’s tarts (click for recipe!), made famous by her entry into Project Food Blog.  When it came down to it, I just couldn’t bring myself to break out the Crisco…I haven’t changed that much since I’ve been away!

I followed the recipe almost exactly – minus just a few small changes.  After much frustration over the custard not thickening, I finally decided to pour it into a saucepan and heat it on the stove-top, stirring continually.  This worked much better for me!

I also opted to leave out the nutritional yeast, resulting in a white custard as opposed to yellow.  I’m not a big custard person, so I’m sure white custard probably looks weird, but something about the yellow color really turned me off, and I don’t need any extra reasons for my family to think my food is weird.  I liked it white:) And obviously, I also used different fruit options – raspberries, peaches, strawberries, and one lone blueberry.

I was really happy with the way these turned out, and (with a wary eye) most of my family enjoyed them!

I didn’t get many pictures of the rest of the evening – the fireworks and family time went undocumented.  I’ve decided that for the most part, I thrive off photographing food and babies (Olive included of course.)  Nothing else is quite as fun.  So, I snapped a few too many shots of my swimsuit clad baby cousin and called it a night:)

The Fourth of July is a holiday that despite the sweat and sweltering heat you can’t help but love it.  For me it’s always been about the sweet comfort of Grandpa and Grandma’s house, thick with the smell of grilled burgers (veggie burger for me, please) followed by the hazy smoke from firecrackers.

It definitely is still so much about that, but now that I’m older my heart is filled with gratefulness for the freedom that we have here.  My new job has me mainly working with students from a country where women can’t even drive a car, and I’m burdened by the unfairness of it all.  Perspective is found in facts like this, as I struggle to come to terms with seeming unfairness in my own life.   And maybe for one minute, I can stop asking why for myself and instead ask why for an assortment of other folks, all the while thanking God that I was born in this great country.

Now that I’ve broke the silence, I’m looking forward to catching up on everything that’s been going on.  Life just isn’t the same with a dormant blog trust me.  I’m happy to be back.

And before I sign off, I positively have to leave you with a pic of my new baby nephew, Cooper.  He is precious.

Have a great day!

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