Friday, December 7, 2012

[newly] Wedded Bliss

I'm two months into this whole married-life gig, and I think I like it. Not that there was any question, but just thought I'd verify that for you.

The last two months have been wonderful. The hubs and I have learned so much about each other, both the things we love and the things we don't so much. We have learned how to better communicate with each other, and we've learned how to lean on each other. Bliss. Wedded bliss. [Newly]wedded bliss.

I feel so blessed to share my life with such a wonderful guy. He's sweet and strong, caring and attentive. He makes my life more rich. 

Tomorrow we're moving-- again. We'll be in a new apartment. Our apartment. It will be our space to make a home. Not a permanent home, but certainly longer than I've lived anywhere in the last twelve months. Thank goodness

So while we're busy moving boxes, couches, and more boxes, I'll leave you with a few wedding photos. 

And stay tuned... there will be more to come.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Million Words

I decided that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video of many pictures is worth at least a million. I'll let you confirm that, but I think you'll agree.

This video was so graciously and beautifully composed by one of the greatest and most dependable friends a girl couple could ask for. Kate, we cannot thank you enough. You are amazing.

Without further ado, here is the video that was shown at our wedding. It's so special to us, and we'll treasure it forever. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

I tried to get the video to post directly here, but I'm technologically inept. 
Click this link and it should get you there...

Click HERE to watch our wedding video

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wedding Cake Baker

Amid the many summer weddings that come from being a twenty-something, a friend of mine asked me to make small wedding cake for his nuptial celebration. It started as more of a joke, but it came to fruition early this fall. 

Per the groom's request, the cake was two-tiered red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Per the bride's request, it was round and covered with fondant and yellow flowers.

I had never made a cake of this caliber before, just cakes and cupcakes for birthdays and showers. But with the helping hands of a couple friends, the cake came together. It certainly isn't perfect, but it was delicious and great for my fondant debut. I got many compliments, and even some disbelief that it was my handiwork.  

Setting up the cake at the reception hall

The finished masterpiece!

Here's a video of the bride and groom cutting the cake with a sword--
 a long-standing tradition of the groom's family

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lucky Us: A Daily Reminder

One of my childhood girlfriends and I are lucky enough to get to celebrate our birthdays together year after year. We were born only three days apart, and we have been best friends since the third grade. So for nearly nineteen years, we have enjoyed a week-long birthday celebration. 

Last week, Rachael came to visit me at my new home in the tundra. She was going to be near the area, so she made the extra trek and we enjoyed a wonderful evening together. We had dinner and drinks, reminisced, and surely kept Mike entertained for the evening. We also exchanged birthday gifts. It was actually quite comical. Rachael got me a scarf with sparkly polka-dots on it. I just love scarves in the fall, and I really love sparkles this year. And then Rach opened her gift-- a scarf! It had neon polka dots, which she really loves this year. Too funny!  

And Rachael also gave me this. It's a wonderfully sentimental, yet useful gift. She made it herself, which makes it even more special. It's a keychain with a penny from the year I was born, one from the year Mike was born, and one from the year we were married. Thank you, Rachael, for the daily reminder of how lucky I am!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Birthday Non-Bash

When I was younger, I never thought it would be true. I didn't believe there would be a time in my life when my birthday wasn't a super-exciting day that I looked forward to all year long. But the time has come. Everyone was right. 

Now don't get me wrong -- I still really love celebrating birthdays. Especially my birthday. But now that I've had a wedding in the last four weeks, a move in the last three weeks, and started a new job in the last week.. a birthday just isn't such a big look-forward-to-it kind of day. 

I suppose I should also say that Mike isn't a big birthday celebrator. But I'll change that... :)

Despite the anti-climactic nature of this year's celebration of my birth, it was still enjoyable. Mike surprised me with a watch that I had been wanting for months. I snuggled up in the warm blanket my mom had let me pick out before the move. I opened cards from my dad and my grandparents. And after work, Mike took me to the local Mexican restaurant... where you get free birthday dinner! He even splurged and bought me a margarita!

The low-key celebration was quite enjoyable. I turned another year older. [and another year wiser, I suppose?] And my knees didn't even creek the next morning. Twenty-seven sounds so much older than twenty-six, but I guess there isn't so much difference after all.

Me with my birthday dessert

 [Free] Fried iced cream Mike and I both thoroughly enjoyed.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall Football Fun

I'm still waiting for our wedding photographer to get photos to us, so while we wait I'll let you see what I've been up to lately....

This weekend, I was able to hang out with the few friends I have in town. Mike and I went to the University of Minnesota football game they played against Mike's all-time favorite team, the University of Michigan.  Of course, our friends from Minnesota are Gopher fans and Mike is a Wolverine fan, so it was a fun, friendly rivalry. There was taunting and trash-talking both ways, but in the end Mike's Wolverines were victorious.

Here are a few pictures documenting our fun!  (sorry they're a little pixelated... welcome to Android technology :) )

Mike and I with the Golden Gopher before the game

Mike and I after the victory

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chaos and Change

I recently came by this on Pinterest [yes, i am obsessed], and it's just oh-so-true. It seems to  describe the past couple months in my life perfectly. The great changes. And the chaos.

Three weeks ago was the day that every little girl dreams of. It was my wedding day. My day to be a princess. The day I got to marry my prince. It was a beautiful day. A blessed day. 

But it was certainly preceded by chaos. And due to my moving states and starting a new job, followed by chaos. Hence my absence. My apologies, if you're even still around. I do plan to update you on all the exciting happenings in my life. The many projects, the many changes. And per my aunt's request, all the details of our wedding.

I'll meet you back here shortly. Until then, here's a little taste of wedding goodness. My prince and I after the nuptials. Our first day of wedded bliss. Happy hearts.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wedding Card Box

I have been just a little busy lately. What on earth have I been doing?? Wedding planning, packing to move, and finding a new job. And all the little things that go along with those fun activities. 
The good news? I have plenty of posts stocked up for you!

Today I want to share with you our wedding card box that my friend made for us. I didn't want to use just a plain ol' basket for our cards, but I really didn't feel like making up something fancy. But much to my surprise, someone made me an even more fabulous card box than I could have imagined! It's just perfect!  

Left: the front

Right: the back

I think it will be the perfect addition to our wedding day. A million Thanks to Pixie for putting this together for us!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Special Addition

When one of my girlfriends found out she was expecting Baby #2, she asked if I would take a few photos for a fun pregnancy announcement. I was honored that she would ask me to do that; of course I took her up on the offer!

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to go visit Mom, Dad, and Big Brother-to-be. They're such an adorable family, and I'm so excited for them to add another member to their family in February!

And Kelly fed me a [delicious] s'mores bar she had made. YUM!! I'll come back and take pictures anytime if that's what it means :) 
*perhaps Kelly will write a guest post about said s'mores bar one day???*

Here's how Big Brother William really feels about the situation.

Thanks to the Hennens for letting me come play for the day.
And a huge Congratulations to you!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Great Outdoors 2012

You may remember my camping trip from last summer... or then again you may not. Why would you, after all?

Let me refresh your memory:  
Rachael and I.

Rachael and I had such a fun time last year, we decided we should take another camping trip this year. We looked at our calendars in April, and there was one [literally, one] weekend that worked. So we booked that weekend and reserved it in our planners. And three months later, we made it happen.

This year we picked another Iowa lake, but it again was one we had never been to. We went to Lake Aquabi, on the south side of Indianola, Iowa. It was somewhere in the middle and it has a cool name. Why wouldn't we choose it?!

When we both arrived, we had a quick bologna sandwich [the one time of year we're allowed to eat bologna sandwiches with potato chips inside... haha] and then set up camp. We picked the perfect campsite and put up our tent. [Sidenote: they call it pitching a tent. It's way more work than simply 'pitching' it. Just for the record.] Once the hard work was done, it was time to relax. And oh my-- what a great way to relax! The hardest decision we had to make?  Where we would like to sit to read our books. It was glorious!

The rest of the weekend was spent soaking up the sun, reading books, debating the background of our weird neighbors, floating on our neon-colored floaties in the lake, and catching up on life. Even giggling like the third-graders we used to be. It was perfect.  

A few friends came to visit us again this year. The first night our friend Jayne, her hubby Dio, and their little guy Jameson came to visit us-- just like last year! And a friend of Rachael's from Iowa State joined us for dinner the second night. It was great to have some company. Poor Rachael would have gotten tired of me if we hadn't!

A couple months before our trip we had gotten a great online deal for kayak rental, so of course we cashed that in. Rachael was really hesitant, as she had never kayaked before and was a little intimidated. But in being true to her New Year's resolution of trying things she is afraid of, she hopped right in.  It was such a fun and relaxing hour!  

Rachael in her kayak

Me kayaking

There was a hot air balloon that was floating by on two different occasions. So fun!

However, our trip wasn't without trials and tribulations. The first night after our campfire, we sealed up all our food and other goods and headed for bed. About 3am, I heard some rustling from our picnic table. I didn't know if it was our crazy neighbors or animals at first [and of course i'm terrified of the dark], so I just listened. But after a while I looked out and saw a couple raccoons! Ahh! So I woke Rachael up and we assessed the situation with my Dad's trusty lantern (yep, the same one from last year!). By the time we got to the picnic table the raccoons were all gone, but they had done some damage! They stole [literally stole -- not even wrappers left!] a bunch of our food. Little jerks! 
The following  night we learned that we should put all of our food in the car (even if it was sealed), so we did... and then in the morning there were little paw prints all over my car. The stupid little raccoons had smelled the food and climbed all over my car in an attempt to get the food. Ugh! Next year we're doing something different. As my Uncle Larry said-- it's a good thing we weren't in bear country!

What a fantastic second annual camping trip we had. Stay tuned for the third annual installment next summer!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Dress

With exactly THREE MONTHS until the big day, it was definitely time to get my wedding dress altered.  [Ok, so I had a good month before it needed to be done, but I'm aiming to have everything possible done an entire month early. I don't like stress.]

So with birthday-girl-slash-bridesmaid Kayla by my side, to the alterations department I went. I was really nervous that when I saw my dress again maybe I wouldn't like it, maybe I would feel like a fat cow, maybe it would look yellow or dirty, or maybe it just wasn't the style I liked anymore. I was getting a little anxious about it, but I bucked up and went for it. And with it being 104 degrees outside today, as I was tediously putting on my undergarments, I was sweating like an animal. It was actually kinda gross. [The alterations lady later informed me that that area of the building has no ventilation because it used to be the tire bay of an old Firestone car shop.] After the nice lady snapped up the gazillion hooks, I was ready to go. We got the huge gown out of the nice white fabric bag and voila' -- I LOVED the gown all over again. It was just perfect. 

So we continued with the pinning, turning; pinning and turning. When it came time to take it off, I just didn't want to! I guess that's a good sign :)

Oh, you want a sneak peak? Ok, here you are!

You didn't actually think I was going to show you the real deal, did you??

Mike wanted to know if his "white" tie would match my "ivory" dress. The lighting isn't great in the picture, but I'd say it worked out quite perfectly!

I can't WAIT for October 6th!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Engagement Photos: A Sneak Peak

As you may have noticed in our Save the Date cards we sent out, my friend Rebekah is a great photographer. So when our wedding photographer was unable to do engagement pictures for us, I asked Becky if she would step in. She was excited to do it, and she had some great ideas. So on a ridiculously sweaty Saturday afternoon, Becky, Mike and I ventured over to Creighton's campus and snapped a few pictures. We tried to get some great shots, but between us dripping sweat, Mike being less-than-excited about the whole venture, and me being an idiot, I wasn't really sure how they would turn out. But alas, Becky sent me a little taste of what she had captured for us, and I couldn't be happier with the results. So I thought I'd share:  compliments of Rebekah photography, here are some engagement photos of Mike and I!

Thanks a million to Becky for being gracious enough to share your talents and spend a few Saturday afternoon hours with us!

To see more of Becky's amazing work, visit

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mid-week Visitor

My longest-time friend is a saint. She's put up with me for the better part of my life. We've been best friends since the third grade, to be exact. Almost twenty years. And they haven't really been the prettiest twenty years, either. She has supported me through a lot of things, and that doesn't seem to be diminishing any time soon.

But this week it was time for Rachael to support her mom. Shirley, the sweet thing that she is, had her knee replaced this week. It was her second knee replacement this month. CRAZY! If you've ever witnessed someone's recovery from a joint replacement, you know how miserable it can be. But she was [and continues to be] a trooper through it all.

The knee replacement took place at [conveniently] Bergan here in Omaha! So Rachael took a few days off work to come stay with me and help her mom through her knee replacement recovery. Rachael and I try to spend time together every few months, but as two girls with our own lives and jobs in different cities [states, really], that isn't always easy. So it was great to have a few days with Rach. I had to work all three days she was here, but we made the most of our time. We went out for dinner and stayed up til midnight [thank goodness for 6am coffee!], talked wedding-wedding-wedding, had late-night and early-morning girl chat, and planned our annual camping trip we're taking. It was a great three days! Looking forward to that camping trip!

Thanks to Rach for coming to visit,
Thanks to Shirley for having that knee replaced in Omaha :)
And a painless and quick recovery to you, Shirley!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jakob is ONE!

This weekend was a very quick one, but an especially enjoyable one. I hadn't seen my good friend Sasha since she moved to Kansas City for her hubby's residency. We'd been planning the trip for a few weeks, and I was so excited when it was finally time. The extra-special part? It was Jakob's first birthday!

The 3-hour drive was pretty awful. It was raining nearly the entire time, and I even had to turn my windshield wipers on turbo speed for a good half-hour. I don't so much enjoy driving in the rain when I can't really see very well where I'm going. But alas, I made it there safely.

Once I arrived, Sasha gave me a tour of their beautiful new home. Jakob was taking a nap, so we snuck out for a mani/pedi just like old times -- we hadn't done that for a long time.
(Put down your phone. No need to call CPS. We didn't leave Jakob home alone. Sasha's mother-in-law was in town for the birthday celebrations, so she graciously offered to watch Jakob while we had a little girl time.)

After a much needed day of catching up, we celebrated Jakob's first birthday. I still can't believe it's been a hear since he joined this world

Jakob looks a little terrified of our singing.
(don't worry, mama blew out the candle)

Ready to dig in! He had his own personal monkey cake.

His first time having sweets. Not really sure what to think.

He really loved the frosting!

He didn't get as messy as we all thought he would, but he did earn himself a bath!

The Klauks! Love them!

Not really sure what to do with this. He didn't really get the whole unwrapping thing.

Playing with one of his new toys! 

I had a fantastic weekend, and I'm so glad I was able to celebrate the little guy's first birthday. 

So blessed to have such a great friend and a great godson!
Love to you both!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Movie Fail

Omaha is a very cool city. Many people say there isn't a lot to do, but you just have to go find things. Lucky for me, I have a friend who is really good at finding those things. She's always sending me emails of things we can do-- I just love it! [I think I need to take her with me everywhere I go.]

The newest activity? Monday Movies at Midtown. Midtown Crossing is this fantastic new-ish area of Omaha that has shopping, dining, living, a gym, and a really great open grassy space. They have Yoga Rocks the Park there in the summers (which I just LOVE), jazz festivals, and all sorts of other fun things. Now they've added a series of movies that they play on a big inflatable screen. (Sports movies, at that! Field of Dreams, Rudy, Might Ducks, etc.) You just bring your blanket, your snacks, and your friends. And the best part:  it's completely free. Even the parking. What fun!
So the first week Kate and I were all over it. We thought it would be super packed for the debut, so we got there an hour early. Turns out we were the first ones there. Woops, guess everyone else wasn't quite so pumped. But alas, we got in some good quality chatting before the quality people-watching even started. 

When we arrived, there was no screen. As time passed, there was still no screen. The movie was scheduled to start at 8pm. At 7:50-- still no screen. We could tell the organizers were getting a little panicked, but the screen finally arrived at 7:55. However, it takes a good 45 minutes to get an inflatable screen set up. Who knew?

At 8:30 Kate and I were starting to wonder when this movie was actually going to start. The screen was coming right along, but there was no projector to be seen. And it was still quite light out (as you can see in the picture: inflated screen but still very light). Believe it or not, it's really hard to see a projected movie outside when it's still light out.

At 8:45 the movie still hadn't started, and Kate and I decided we couldn't stay up til 11 or 11:30pm-- we'd fall asleep right there in the park. (We're old.) So instead, we were super lame-slash-awkward an packed up our goods and left. Of course we were sitting right up front, so I'm sure people thought we were super lame leaving before it even started, but whatever.

So instead of watching a movie from 9:30 to 11:30 at night, we hit up the Varsity sports bar in Dundee, shared some nachos and drank a delicious Nebraska-brewed beer and went to bed at 10pm. AWESOME.

So the verdict is still out as to when they'll actually start the next movie. We decided if it's any later than 9pm we won't be attending -- EXCEPT for the Might Ducks week. We'll be there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ooot and Abooot

As you may have already figured out, Mike has moved to St Cloud, Minnesota for a job opportunity. Turns out, that's nearly seven hours away. Yuck.

However, I had a four-day weekend recently and I decided maybe I should spend some time in my future city and with my future hubby. Good call, huh?

I arrived in St Cloud on Friday evening and I stayed until Monday morning, which was a great long-weekend away. Mike and I got to spend some quality time together, I got to see some friends I hadn't seen in a while, and I got a little more acquainted with St Cloud.

Friday night Mike and I had the opportunity to go to a St. Cloud Rox baseball game, courtesy of Mike's boss. More perks of the job :)   If you know me, you know that I love baseball. Maybe for the hotdogs, sunshine, and people watching -- or maybe for the baseball. Who knows. But I do enjoy it. 

And an extra bonus? It was a Friday night game. You know what that means:  Fireworks! Another of my favorites!

Saturday we went for a run along the river, met Father Mike for lunch, soaked up some sun at the beach, and enjoyed a home-cooked dinner courtesy of Mike's friends. Sunday was pretty relaxing-- we went to church and didn't do much else. That evening we enjoyed cheesy-broccoli-rice and salad while watching a movie on the floor. We're just that cool.  

I think when Mike and I actually do have furniture, we won't know what to do. We've both lived without much for the past month. I cannot WAIT to have furniture, tv, and internet again. Welcome to the 21st century!!

Overall it was a fantastic weekend in St. Cloud. Great friends, great sun, and a great guy. I couldn't have asked for more!

Friday, June 8, 2012

A few weeks ago, Mike accepted a job in his old stomping grounds, St. Cloud, Minnesota. So he moved up there to get started. Because he started a mere two weeks after I had been back at Bergan, I decided I should stay in Omaha. Yes, just as soon as I got back to Omaha, he left. How should I take that???

Mike is staying in a rental home owned by one of his high school friend's parents. He had zero furniture, so rather than buying some while mine sat in my mom's basement, we decided to move my furniture up there for him to use. We'd have to move it later in the fall anyway, so why not do it now? 

So we packed up a U-Haul (once again), my grandma packed her toothbrush, and we hit the road. Oh yes, my grandma and I did the moving. Who needs Two Men and a Truck?? After about 8 hours on the road, we arrived in St. Cloud. Mike was still working, so we thought we'd start with the light boxes and wait for him to get home to do the rest. But after about an hour, all that was left in the trailer were the mattress and an armoire. Grams and I had unloaded everything else!

After a burger, the rest of the evening was spent unpacking and rearranging things. By the time we left the following day, Mike had enough furniture to live on, though certainly not a house-ful. The drive home sans UHaul trailer was much easier. Which was a good thing--it was really windy.  We stopped a couple times for snacks and gas (and perhaps a wrong turn), and made it home safely. (Side note: we narrowly missed a fatal crash. If we hadn't taken a wrong turn, we would have likely been a part of that crash, in which four people died. But instead: wrong turn, gravel road detours, and a safe arrival.)

Aside from getting Mike some much-needed furniture, I had a great time. Grams and I did a lot of catching up and spent some quality time together. It's certainly not something I'll forget. Thanks for being my co-pilot, Grams!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Tri(ed)

Saturday was the second annual Omaha Women's Triathlon. My friend Kayla (who you may remember from last year as my pregnant by-stander friend) wanted to check a triathlon off her bucket list, so I agreed I'd do it with her.

About three weeks before the triathlon was to happen, I was having second thoughts. I had moved three (yes, three) times during the course of "training" and had really been slacking. I was getting only a couple of my week's workouts in, and I really wasn't feeling good about my abilities. But after a pep-talk with Kayla (at least that's what I'll call it), I decided I couldn't back out. So away we went.

After a 750-meter swim (a half-mile), a 20K bike (12.4 miles), and a 5K run (3.1 miles), my legs were completely exhausted, but the triathlon was complete! I didn't do as well as I could have if I had trained appropriately, but I did beat least year's time... by 5 seconds! Not bad for not training. My goal was to finish in under 2 hours, and I did beat that by 5 minutes. Win. Maybe for my next tri, I'll train and do better ;)

I have decided that the run is really the crucial part. That's what will make or break your time. Mine, at least. The swim will never be my strongest leg. I grew up as a fish in the swimming pool and beach, but the crawl stroke while I'm being kicked and hit by fellow swimmers just isn't my forte. The bike is easy for me to push it a little extra, especially when I know the route. But the run. I've never been a runner by trade, only by training. I've never excelled in it, despite all the races I've done, but I do it to accomplish a set goal. Kayla, however, IS a runner. Which is why, after being ahead of her for the swim AND the bike, she kicked my butt in the run. And beat me by a full 10 minutes. So next time... the run. I'll get the run.

Kayla, Kasey, and I before the race began.

Next year, Kasey will be flexing her guns too.

One of my cheerleaders, Kate. Oh yes, she made a sign. She's just that great :)

Transition area.

Not-so-flattering, but whatever.

Can you see the exhaustion in my face??
Asking at this point whether Kayla was ahead or behind me... and making sure she wasn't the lady in the ambulance.

Mallory was a rockstar and finished the race with me. After she had already finished. 

We decided this should go on the cover of the new Corning-Villisca newspaper (since she's from Villisca). We used to be rivals. Now we're Timberwolves. Or something like that....

Kayla, Me, and Mallory after the finish. SUCCESS!!

My final time was 1:55:32. I finished 120th out of approximately 300 ladies. Not the best in the world, but mine and I'm proud of it. I finished. Did YOU??