happy 4th!

Happy July 4th to all!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, [it is a close second behind Thanksgiving].

When I was younger we would spend the holiday weekend on the lake, eating bbq, and roasting marshmallows over a crackling fire. My cousins, sisters, and I would fight for the best position on the dock and wait for the fireworks, [fireworks my dad and uncles would illegally set off]; life was good.

The 4th was and is always a holiday I love.

Mine and Tony’s holiday weekend started on Wednesday afternoon – Dave Matthews came to town.

Tony and I joke that we have close to nothing in common – it’s TRUE! – but one of the few things that keeps us from saying we have absolutely nothing in common is our love for Dave Matthews. Usually we drive across the state of Wisconsin and watch him perform at an outdoor venue [it’s amazing], but this summer, with all the craziness we have, a Wednesday night concert during the week of the 4th of July seemed appropriate. The music was great, Dave rocked it – like always – and we hit our pillows hard when we got home.

dave matthews

However, the 4th is never complete without time on the lake.

Tony, Ace, and I got home from his family cabin last night. We enjoyed a day of boating, laughing, and sunshine. It is a beautiful thing to spend time with family. One of the highlights of the day was Ace and the water. I swear all of our kiddie pool dippin’ has helped his fear of water disappear. He used to HATE it, but the second we arrived he walked right in and spent a good amount of the day wading around in the shallows, chewin’ and spittin’ out seaweed. He even jumped off the dock! [Even though he may have gotten a little encouragement – a hip bump from Tony’s brother]. We were proud parents of our little guy!

Then, today, the fourth of July…

We originally had plans to join some of my relatives in Southern Minnesota on a lake and soak up more sunshine, but this morning we changed our minds.

I woke up feeling a titch ‘off’ and didn’t want to chance being far away from home if it got worse, AND, we simply decided to be selfish; take a day for ourselves & just lounge.

It was hard to commit at first. We are both lake babies; we are used to being on water, and this day of all days deserved to be celebrated on a lake, but we dove in head first and forced ourselves to relax at home. Tony spent some time on the couch napping and playing video games and I finished up some bachelorette party planning & playing with Ace and his bubbles.

We met some friends for an early dinner to break up the day, [also lake babies who were stuck in suburbia for the holiday], sat on the patio & tossed the Frisbee around, and are finishing up the night watching fireworks from our living room window.

We will be enjoying a bbq with my family tomorrow afternoon to top off a relaxing weekend.

Life is still good.

Happy 4th y’all!

xo

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salmon sandwiches & pool dippin’

First things first: today was beautiful.

Ace and I sat outside by the pool, [and by pool, I mean our plastic, pink, kiddie pool], we listened to some tunes, and soaked up as much sun as we could. We haven’t gotten a day like this in a while, so we took complete advantage. I’m hoping I can add just a titch of color to my see-through, ghost-like skin.

 ace jumping water

Secondly: I made a kick-ass dinner on Tuesday night that I must share….

Salmon spinach sandwich with cucumber-feta sauce

Oh. My. God.

It was absolutely delicious! This recipe actually needs multiple [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]; it has amazing flavors, left us feeling full, AND it was healthy. :)

I put the full recipe on my greens tab, or go straight to the recipe here,  but this recipe really is one you should try, especially if you’re a seafood lover OR love anything with cucumber sauce [like me]. ENJOY!

Off to bed early tonight – there’s been a dying bird, [probably not actually dying, but sure as hell sounds like it!], outside our bedroom window every night and I haven’t gotten ANY sleep.

Here’s to tomorrow being Friday! xo

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tuesday reflections

Happy Tuesday to you all!

The weekend came and left quickly, but did not disappoint. Tony and I celebrated our anniversary with a Twin’s game & a late night pizza, and we both celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday with two wonderful men.

As every little girl says,

“my dad was my first love,”

& that statement couldn’t be more true.

My dad is an amazing man. He is probably the funniest person I know, [not bias at all  :) ], but seriously, he has the biggest heart, and would literally do ANYTHING for me or my sisters.

When I was just old enough to talk, we spent every night reading a book. It didn’t matter how busy life was, he always sat down, before bedtime, and read to me, snuggled in his lap.

As a little girl, he taught me how to dribble, shoot a jump shot, how stop a grounder, and catch a pop fly. He taught me the importance in working hard and never being a quitter.

When I reached my awful teenage years, he told me to be myself, not to give into peer pressure, and to be a silent leader. He could melt me down with a look of disapproval and held the bar high, so I was always climbing to reach my goals.

When I moved home after college, he reminded to never settle, and again, to keep working hard and not to quit. He gave me confidence in my job search & told me I was going to make an amazing teacher.

And now, being an almost 30 year old woman,  I find myself calling him for directions, needing car advice, asking him which mulch to purchase, how to get rid of poison ivy, etc… the list could go on. I still need him, a lot.

We talk sports, gossip, and life. He knows about all aspects of my life, hears every problem, and still assures me everything will work out.

Words can’t do him justice. Simply put: he’s the best dad. Thinking of how much I love him and admire him brings me to tears.

I consider myself one of the luckiest.

Here’s to you, dad! xo

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cheers to you, tony

Today marks our fourth wedding anniversary.

I’ve started, restarted, created, erased, and deleted this post about ten times already this morning. I want to get my words just right today; a post dedicated to my husband deserves perfection.

For Tony –

When I walked into my PALS class as a sophomore in high school; a scared, insecure, nervous sixteen year old girl, never would I have imagine that this would be the setting of meeting my future husband. I remember sitting down, restlessly tapping my pencil, and glancing around the room at students who were all older than me. When class started, everybody had to introduce themselves out loud; I gave a quiet I’m Kaylee Mitchell & didn’t make eye contact with a soul. As the roll call worked it’s way through the classroom and landed on the last young man, I remember hearing a confident, “I’m Tony Doherty.”

I remember looking at you, [hopefully not creepily :)], and wanting your energy; wishing I could have confidently said my name and looked at every single person staring back at me.

You were confident, happy, and ready for anything.

In twelve years, things haven’t changed much.

You are still confident. Confident in us. Confident in our new path. Confident in me. Confident in yourself. Confident we will be parents. You are still confident.

You are still happy. Happy with our life. Happy with simplicity. Happy with your career. Happy with our journey. Happy in the morning, [when I’m a grump]. Happy while we watch Sunday night HBO programming :) You are happy; always, even when it’s difficult for both of us. You are still happy.

You are still ready for anything. As a 16 year old girl, I truly believed you could do anything. As a 21 year old college student, I knew nothing would stop you from succeeding. As your 28 year old wife, I watch you, with overflowing pride, continuously fly high. You are ready for our twists and turns. You are ready for the next concert trip I plan. You are ready to be a father. You are ready for whatever our lives bring us. You are still ready for anything.

I’ve only ever been sure about one thing in my life:

My love for you.

It has never faltered. It has always been you. It always will be you.

Cheers to many more years together, Tony!

xo

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some thursday thoughts

I’m having one of those days.

My mornings always start by browsing blogs, instagram, and making my to-do lists. This morning, while reading up on some of my favorite blogs: Megan over at Willowwayblog & Emily at EmilyLey.com/blog, I found myself becoming increasingly jealous!

Now, this is not going to be a post of the have-nots, however, these ladies have the life. I’m jealous, yes, but I admire BOTH of them a lot. They’re both ambitious women who have gone out and gotten what they’ve wanted.

Megan started a side business making these adorable headbands for little ones and Mamas, and it exploded into a career for her. She takes the cutest pics of her little and her creative touch on things makes me envy being a stay at home mom.

Emily is me. Seriously. She created the most amazing planner, as well as an iphone app for all things to organize – events, to-do lists, meals, notes/journal ideas/big thoughts, etc… Her planners sell out in an instant & her blog is such a refreshing read bright and early in the morning. [I highly recommend all of you to-do lists, meal prepping, crazies to download her app; Simplified Planner App, right this second. It is amazing- I’m obsessed.]

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To get to my point –

Where is my calling?!

Both these ideas are simple, yet practical, they are both creative outlets, these women have flexible schedules, the list could go on…

Creating a planner? Come on – that could have been me. I can’t promise it would have looked as cute as hers, but I was left this morning thinking, “why didn’t I think of that,” a handful of times.

Now, pump the breaks before you ask, “Kaylee, don’t you like being a teacher?”

Of course I do! I get my summers off to dink around with Ace, cook some delicious meals, and sleep in whenever I want! Who wouldn’t be in heaven?! The problem is, I have three whole months of those shenanigans- I need a side job; MY creative outlet.

I have some ideas in the works, as I’ve been saying, and I’m still excited about them, however, I am just not certain it is going to be the best for me.

I guess, I will have to settle with sitting in my office, listening to Ace snore, drinking my coconut water lemonade, [MY FAVORITE! It is, in fact, like sticking a straw into a coconut], contemplate which Friends episode I’m going to watch before bed, & hope my life-changing idea will hit me in my sleep one of these nights.

That’ still a pretty good night :)

Onto dinner my lovelies – a chicken cob salad.

xo

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a graduate

It’s been a busy couple days around here: my baby sister graduated high school on Friday night.

It was a pretty surreal moment for my entire family. She’s our baby. And when I say our, I really do mean OURS. There is a ten year age gap between her and I & nine years between her and my sister, Alissa. It is amazing for us to have the memories we do of her growing up the past 18 years.

I’ll never forget when she was born. My mom let Alissa and I miss school; the day previous we went around telling all of our friends that we were going to get a new baby sister. I was in 4th grade and she was in 3rd grade.

We packed up our backpacks with things to do: homework, [& when I say homework, I mean a map of the United States to color], our walkmans, [yes, we really did have these], & anything else we deemed necessary to have the day our sister arrived.

We were able to sit in the room with my parents for most of the day. Looking back now, I can’t believe my mom allowed this; the poor thing, we probably annoyed the crap out of her. We had to have the T.V. on, we argued, we bounced off the wall with excitement, we were hungry, we rubbed her back when the contractions got close….

Cue the moment my mom said to my dad, “get them out of here.”

& off to the waiting room we went.

The waiting room was small and full of windows. We could see the room my parents were in, but only if we sat tall on our knees on the chairs that lined the room. I remember Alissa and I both noticed a lot of nurses moving in and out of their room quickly. I’ll never forget the moment we saw my dad standing in the window with a bundle of blankets in his arms. We had had our eyes glued on the door, because the commotion had somewhat stopped. We were sitting next to one another, on our knees, just waiting for something to happen.

My dad, grinning ear to ear, had my new sister in his arms, was peering out the window of the door at the two of us. We left all of our things sprawled out across the waiting room floor and RAN to him. [We probably weren’t even supposed to be in there that soon after she was born, but who could wait?! We were just shown a teaser of our sister!]

He opened the door for us, crouched down with Justine Mae swaddled in blankets and a pink hat on her head, and we saw her. Our newest family member. She was beautiful. It was love at first sight.

There are so many stories I could write as an ode to my littlest sister, but I am going to save them for later posts. I wouldn’t do them justice if I just breezed over them quickly right now. I recently went to college orientation with her and my mom and I was left speechless numerous times:

Her chosen major is one of the more difficult ones offered at her college.

The confidence she has in herself makes me extremely jealous.

She knows how to code and use Java. [what the heck is Java…..]

She kicked ass playing basketball against a couple boys during the recreational meet & greet time.

 I could go on…

This little girl is not so little anymore. She is going out into the world knowing exactly who she is and exactly what she wants. I am confident in saying there won’t be one thing that will get in her way.

Off to watch the Cavs pull Game Six out with a win! [hopefully!]

xo

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