Saturday, November 30, 2013


Does it feel like Sunday night to anyone else out there? This holiday has really messed up my days of the week!

For those who follow me, I just wanted to update you all on a couple of things.

First off, my mother-in-law got to come home from the hospital on Thanksgiving! We still didn't really celebrate, but it was still a huge relief that she finally was going on and it really was the BEST thing we could have asked for on our holiday.

Second, we finally got gutters on the house. Seriously. It was about flippin' time. One thing at a time, friends.

Third, Henry has been sick which has really, really sucked. BUT I think he's finally better today. I was pretty impressed with his ability to use a puke bowl however.

Fourth, I went Black Friday shopping for the first time EVER and scored all of Henry's Christmas presents for under $75.00. I am now an addict.

Fifth, I was so excited to have Thursday-Saturday off and I only wanted to do TWO things: decorate the house for Christmas and take our Christmas card photo. Well, we only accomplished one of those things and one of the main reasons was because I ran out of time to do the photo because I spent two days cleaning melted peppermint off of decorations. NEVER EVER put candy decorations in with your other's for the next year. I just threw them into the box never thinking anything of it. I had to throw a LOT of things away and the things that I didn't throw away took a LOT of time to clean. I was so disappointed.

I hope you all had a GREAT Thanksgiving. I hope to catch up with all of you soon, but it may be another week or two as my computer is currently broken (and has been for about a week now) and I'm (very patiently, haha) waiting on my husband to fix it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


This Thanksgiving is hard for our family. My mother-in-law has had some complications with her surgery and is still in the hospital almost two weeks later. We were so sure she'd be home for Thanksgiving and we're all so disappointed that we've canceled our festivities. We will be visiting her later today (and there may be a turkey costume involved) and Jeremy, Henry and I are going to go make my grandmother a nice dinner as well.

However, we still have SO much to be thankful for, and keeping with tradition, we are making our annual list...

We are thankful for:

- one another. Companionship, trust, honesty, love...and all the other wonderful things that come with finding your soul mate.
- Henry who is always so full of energy and spunk and who keeps every single day exciting and new.
- our families. We have definitely been rocked to the core lately but it has only brought us all closer together.
- our home equipped with gutters, siding, a working furnace, and endless possibilities.
- two wonderful jobs that are dependable and flexible.
- wieners. As in dogs. Especially the two we call our own.
- traditions.
- God and His everlasting grace, mercy, and love.
- freedom.
- dependable vehicles.
- food on the table.
- our health.
- my camera. (Jenn)
- late-night drives.
- laughter.
- days off.
- vacations in Florida.
- a garage. (Jeremy)

A short list this year and it may not be very detailed but we still have SO much to be thankful for, no matter how hard this holiday may be.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Praise God

I have had a total of 14 hours of sleep in 3 days.

I am spent, exhausted, finished.

We spent a little over 10 hours today sitting in waiting rooms awaiting news from my mother-in-law's surgeon, doctors, and nurses..

Big news. Life changing news. News we've all been anxious and stressed and worried about.

Two hours of waiting before surgery, four hours for surgery, three hours in recovery and then finally...

she is cancer free.

The surgery took care of every last bit of cancer. It was localized, non-invasive.

It's gone.

Praise God, the almighty healer.

We are blessed.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Getting It Out

Warning: rant ahead.

This week has been kind of hard. It just seems like every time I turn around, it's something else. I'm thankful and grateful for the life that I have; I am so, so very blessed. But sometimes you just need to get it all out. And so I am, right here, where I find it easiest to let it all go, with fingers to keys.

Yesterday I came home and the furnace wasn't working. I sat here for two hours as the house slowly grew colder and colder and tried to ignore it. I promised Jeremy that I would quit calling him at work when something went wrong and I didn't want to bug him with it. It seems to be working now, but we had another little glitch last night. I really do not want to think about having to replace a furnace right now.

I'm so over cleaning. Seriously though. I cleaned all day on Wednesday just to come home after work that night to see dirt and mud all the way across the house from where the boys had been out in the yard and didn't bother to take their shoes off. (They never do.) I'm going to get one of those signs that says 'excuse the mess, the kids are making memories' and just post it on my front door as an excuse.

I'm really tired of wanting to be pregnant. I know I am so extremely blessed to have one child who is perfectly healthy and wonderful and I thank God for him every day. But it seems like every month I'm late, sometimes a week + late and it DRIVES ME CRAZY. I'm okay with it not quite being 'time' yet, but I really can't stand the false hope every. single. month.

I've been busting my butt to try to drum up more photography business and it is just not working. It's tempting some days just to give up but I just keep pouring more of my heart and soul into it because I KNOW that I'm worth it and I really love it THAT much. I think my dream may be more on the line of fashion/travel photography rather than portraiture work.

Why can't people be a little more organized? Tomorrow is my nephew's birthday party and I kid you not, I don't even know what time it starts because we still haven't got an invitation (or even a phone call!). I requested to be off of work by 3 so that I could go so I have to work from 6-3 (after closing tonight at 10) in order to accommodate. One would think that if you have to sacrifice for everyone else, they'd be willing to sacrifice just a little for you.

I'm so over buying Christmas gifts and we haven't even started yet. Buying for so many people (and having no idea what to get) is so stressful. We can't even come up with anything for Henry this year.

My mother-in-law goes in for surgery on Monday. My husband wants us to go sit at the hospital for the hour before the surgery, the four hours for the surgery, and then until we can see and visit with her after; which is absolutely fine. But we don't have a babysitter (she's our babysitter!) and I asked my grandmother to watch Henry during that time. My grandmother LOVES Henry SO much but I seriously worry that she won't be able to handle him for that long. He's a two year old with a ton of energy and sometimes getting him to be still long enough to change his diaper is a challenge just for me. Did I mention that we have to be there at 5:30 a.m?

I've had to work every day this week because we have several people out at work and it's exhausting. Mostly because we've gotten at truck in four days in a row and I pulled something in my back lifting five-gallon buckets of paint. Plus no one is buying paint while it's 30 degrees outside so it's unbelievably boring. 

The dog just peed on the I suppose I will be cleaning that up now.  =(

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

25 Days of Thankfulness {6-10}

Day Six
Today I am thankful for this boy's smile. It lights up my entire life in ways that I never could have imagined.

Day Seven
Today I am thankful for lunch times with Jeremy during the work week (and weekend). Sometimes the one hour together mid-day is the best pick-me-up ever.

Day Eight
Today I am thankful for the beautiful country-side of Pleasant Hill. I feel pretty lucky to call it my home.

Day Nine
Today I am thankful for the ability to sit down and put my thoughts and emotions into words. Writing has become a great outlet for me, and a great way to document our lives.

Day Ten
Today I am thankful for my two year old's vivid imagination, excitement for life, and ability to bring light to even the darkest of days. Children have a way of creating magic in all that they do.

Saturday, November 09, 2013


Winter is quickly approaching and as the days become colder and the temperature is slowly pushed up on the thermostat, I'm having a hard time grasping the fact that autumn has come and (almost) gone so quickly. My front yard is filled with beautiful yellow leaves from our nectarine tree and as I peer out the window every morning, the small tree sheds before my very eyes, dropping leaves that drift slowly on the breeze or dance quickly in the wind.

I know that it will soon be bare.

I dread the dark mornings and early evenings, but I look forward to the silence that that first snow brings and the joy of the holidays and the excitement of each individual snow-flake as it floats to the ground. I know that this year will be even more magical for Henry than the last, and when a child is present, it becomes more magical for all those around him.

And who knows, maybe we will be blessed with another post-Thanksgiving surprise like we were three years ago. Imagine the magic that this news would bring to our families and friends and us.

I'm praying but I'm not pushing. All in His time.

In the meantime I am trying to enjoy the last bit of fall. Henry and I collected leaves at a park earlier this past week, and I'm hoping we can recreate a family photo soon with the fall foliage surrounding us. Soon it will be time to Christmas shop and begin dinner preparations and find Henry that perfect outfit. I love this time of year, but I'm not quite ready for it yet.

I'm clinging to fall like that last leaf clings to it's almost-bare tree, holding and holding until finally I have no choice but to let go...

Thursday, November 07, 2013

15 Awesome Things about Ohio

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like Ohio is the butt of the joke most of the time. From our 'redneck' jokes to 'construction' jokes and the fact that apparently we marry our cousins, there doesn't seem to be a lot of good impressions floating around about our state. I'm here to tell you that it's not that bad. Ohio is actually a really nice place to live and I love it most of the time. Here are a few things that I think are AWESOME about Ohio:

1) Culture - We are immersed in culture. From Native Indian to Islamic to Amish cultures, you can explore a wide variety of culture in Ohio. We have beautiful mosques, buggies driving up and down our country roads, Indian burials and camps, and so, so much more.

2) History - Look up some random Ohio facts and the first thing you'll notice is that Ohio has a lot of firsts. We also have museums and historic societies and someone willing to talk about something historic on pretty much every corner. We love history and we love showing off the fact that we do.

3) Lake Erie - If you live a good distance away from the ocean like we do, Lake Erie is really the next best thing. Sand and water for as far as the eye can see, fishing and boating, swimming and picnicking. And if you visit at just the right time, you can also go surfing. Not to mention the awesome islands that you can take a quick boat ride to any time of day.

4) Cedar Point & King's Island - That's right, we have not one, but two HUGE amusement parks in Ohio. Head north to go to one right along the lake or head south the visit the other. If you're looking for a fun day out and a good thrill, more than likely you'll be headed to one or the other.

5) United States Air Force Museum - I know I've already mentioned museums but this museum is special. Anytime that we visit the air force museum, the first thing we do is count the amount of different licence plates we see in the parking lot. It never fails to find states that you would never imagine driving just to visit this one place - but they do! It's near and dear to those who served heart's and it's really an awesome place to visit.

6) Sinclair Community College - Widely known as one of the best community college in the region, it also hosts the most amount of students in the country. A student can actually graduate from Sinclair with an associates degree and have less money invested than one quarter at a university. They work so closely with other universities that credits almost always transfer and they have SO many programs that one can really not go wrong starting their school career at Sinclair. The program that my husband graduated from is known as the best in the country. We truly have a gem of a school sitting in Dayton.

7) Sports - Um, Hello! We are OH-IO afterall! From Ohio State's Buckeye's to Cincinnati's Bengals and Reds, we are state who love our sports and LOVE our teams. It doesn't hurt that a lot of other American's love our teams too.  ;)

8) Jungle Jim's International Market - Located in Fairfield, Jungle Jim's is best known for having, well, everything. People all over the state will make the long drive just to visit the market that has a tram coming out of the side of it and jungle animals stationed outside the doors. From a HUGE selection of beer (think 1200 different types) to seafood to hot sauces to international specific food, you can go and leave with a cart-full of unique goodies or just spend hours walking around.

9) Skyline Chili - My personal favorite. You hear people say that if you want good chili, go to Texas. I totally disagree. If you want good chili, go to Cincinnati! Those of you who have never had the pleasure of eating Cincinnati chili (on spaghetti and piled high with cheese, none the less), I feel so bad for you - you are totally missing out!

10) Graeter's Icecream - Something else you're totally missing out on. Creamy, delicious, Cincinnati icecream.

11) Local Produce & U-Picks - The best part about living in farm country is that even your big-chain grocery stores carry local produce. Not that you'd need to go to the store to purchase it. We have farm stands and farmers markets galore and you can always find the best produce (at a great price) at them. If you're feeling super ambitious and want a fun day out, you can also go and pick your own at a huge variety of places.

12) Wine - Mentioning local produce, we also have local wineries that have wine tastings every weekend and some pretty amazing wine. Sure, we're no California, but we still have some unique and great tasting wine right here in Ohio.

13) Buckeyes - And no, I'm not talking about the team again. I'm talking about the little round candies that are made to look like the real buckeyes that fall off of our buckeye trees. It's chocolate and peanut butter goodness and can be found in just about every homemade 'cookie' tin at Christmas time.

14) Bike Trails - We have these amazing bike trails in Ohio that literally stretch from the far south-west corner of the state all the way to the far north-east corner of the state. The best part is that most of these trails go away the river or creeks and through beautiful forests and scenery. You can choose to go ride for an hour or two, or spend days riding the trails.

Last but not least...the one thing that I love MOST about Ohio is this:

15) Seasons - Ohio really has it all when it comes to seasons. From beautiful, mild weather in the spring and fall to hot, hot days in the summer, and freezing cold days in the winter. Sure, our weather can be a bit bipolar sometimes, but the point is, I can enjoy every single season for exactly what they're known for. We can play in the rain in the spring and watch new life sprout up and grow. We can swim in the summer and lay out by the pool to get a tan. We can rake up leaves in the fall and have bonfires in the crisp, fresh air. We can build snowmen and igloos in the winter while cuddling up next to a fire with our warm slippers and hot chocolate. It's my absolute favorite thing about Ohio and I don't think I could ever live in a place where I couldn't do it all.

Fellow Ohioians, what do you love about our buckeye state?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

25 Days of Thankfulness {1-5}

Every year I participate in Facebook's '25 days of Thankfulness' where each day you post something that you're thankful for up until Thanksgiving. Then typically on Thanksgiving, Jeremy and I sit down and I type out a blog post on all the things that we're thankful for together. It's a great little tradition and it really gets me kick-started into the holiday season.

This year I decided I would turn it up a notch and take a photo a day to go with my posts. I like to challenge myself to be more creative and I've really been itching to use my camera more often so I thought this would be perfect.

Here are days 1-5. 

Day One
Today I am thankful for clean water. There are thousands of people who die daily because of a lack of clean water. We are so spoiled to be able to turn a knob or hit a button and have clean, safe water delivered straight to our homes. We have water to bathe in, water to play in, and free water available at any place we visit. We are truly, truly blessed.

Day Two
Today I am thankful for new beginnings. I feel as if I was granted a wonderful new beginning in life at one time and with it a new sense of appreciation for the little things. Never underestimate the power of a new beginning.

Day Three
Today I am thankful for Sunday nights, a living room full of family, and in-laws who are really the best ever.

Day Four
Today I am thankful for dogs, especially the two dogs that I have the pleasure of calling my own. More so than just that, I am also thankful for dogs dressed as bananas, because, well, there's something to be said about a good sense of humor.

Day Five
Today I am thankful for my grandmother. The love that she has for me, and especially for Henry, is truly the definition of the truest form. I really do not know what I would do without her.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Halloween 2013

Well Halloween is over, but the festivities are continuing in our area through Sunday due to most things being canceled because of storms. We still managed to have a lot of fun and do some trick or treating yesterday too.

We visited my grandmother first yesterday. She always gets Henry a basket/bucket for just about every holiday. It was stuffed full of cars, candy and snacks. I dressed him at her house so that she could see him in his costume. It made her so happy.

 Henry went as a little old man this year and won 2nd place in Troy's Halloween costume contest for it! He is such a little ham! I was a little upset with myself for not having any better photos of him, but oh well! I'll have another chance Sunday to dress him up for our little villages's festivities.

We went trick or treating with the cousins last night. Izabel was Jessie from Toy Story and Vinny was a Halo character. My sister-in-law and her husband made both of their costumes. I love that our families are so crafty! Henry had SO much fun trick or treating this year. Jeremy and I got such a kick out of watching him go up to the doors (by himself!) and hold his little bucket out for treats.

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!