kaylee + ace day 2015

Today is a holiday.

It is the second year celebrating Kaylee and Ace Day. You can find the origins of the holiday here.

Today was spent doing things we both love: a lazy morning, a dog park visit, new toy purchase, snuggling, treats [on both of our accounts], more snuggling, walking with friends, cuddling, & kisses.

It was magical.

I’m going to miss my buddy, like I always do, when this time of year rolls around. As ready as I am for fall, it’s always a sad night knowing I won’t be able to get up at my leisure the following morning & snuggle under the covers with Ace. Even though I may never admit it out loud, [seriously, I may never], I crave my working routine. I crave getting up early, actually putting on make-up & picking out a cute outfit, blending a green drink, molding young minds, yoga or a run with Ace, cookin’ dinner, and bed early. Yes, I actually crave all those things.

Summer is great, but all good things must come to an end. It’s a good thing today left no regrets on how to spend my last official day of summer.

Ace has grown more this summer then he has the past two years. He’s become a better listener, more independent, a more skilled hunter [he’s killed multiple animals.. eek], he’s mellowed out, and is just an overall happier pooch. I hope he can sense the change coming & it doesn’t blindside him. We’re trying some free house roaming once next week hits – wish us luck! – but there will be more on that later.

In the meantime, enjoy my amazing iphone pictures of how we spent our wonderful day!

Night my dumplings. xo

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it’s starting to feel like fall

Okay, okay…

before you gasp, get angry, and claim: there’s still a good couple weeks of summer left, hear me out.

Yesterday, with my parents, I moved Justine to college.

It was surreal, sad, overwhelming, proud, & a bunch of other adjectives.

I can’t believe my little sister is now in college. I can’t believe she’s not living ten minutes down the road, that I won’t see her mosey upstairs from her bedroom when she hears Ace and I visiting my parents in their kitchen. I can’t believe she’s all on her own, without me, Alissa, or my parents to guide her, protect her, help her, & do all the other things we’ve done for her for so many years.

To say, things will change is an understatement, everything is going to be different.

I think Justine will soar. Remember this post, about how proud I was during orientation weekend, watching her stride up to new friends confidently? I keep reminding myself of what I saw those couple days and what I witnessed yesterday. She is ready for this change. She is ready to be on her own. She is ready to be out from under shadows; she is ready for life.

Tony reminded my parents and I last night of something, as well.

It’s okay for her to be a little uncomfortable, to problem solve, to be confused at times. That is what being on your own, growing up, is all about.

I know his words helped me. I am hoping they helped my parents. Justine is their baby. The house is now officially without children. I know it will take some time for them to adapt to their new normal.

So, now, I’m back to things feeling like fall.

Since Justine is back at college and there is a new cool breeze racing through the air, fall is right around the corner. I’m pumped.

Fall means football, bonfires, scarves, & boots. It means the start of the new school year, meeting new students, and wedding season. Fall brings an excitement to the atmosphere.  I swear this excitement is because people, no matter how old, are programmed to know a change is coming. It’s when you went back to school as a little kid, it signified the end of boating season, and the beginning of hunting season. It develops new routines & inspires new crock pot meals. The list could go on…

 & Like I said, I’m pumped.

Here’s to another week of summer vacation & cleaning out my storage tubs from collecting dust in our basement, in search of teaching materials.

xo

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zoodles, zoodles, everywhere!

Zoodles, zoodles, everywhere!

Doesn’t that sound like a line from a Dr. Seuss book? All you need is the second page: Are they high up in the air? Are they low down to the ground? Do they play hide and seek? Do they…… cue rhyming word.

Today, I come to you live from my couch, at the intermission of lesson planning, [yes, I’m lesson planning, the school year is right around the corner], with an easy, delicious recipe to book end your summer meals.

Zuchinni noodles, red onions, garlic, pesto, and cherry tomatoes = refreshing and fantastic. It is so easy to prepare, takes all of maybe twenty minutes, and is finger licking good.

This recipe convinced me to build a garden next spring. We use veggies for EVERY meal and how nice would it be to just meander into the backyard, pick a couple zucchinis and whip up dinner?

Try it out & let me know what you think! You can find the recipe here, under my greens tab!

Happy Thursday – off to wrap up lesson planning & watch my best friend try on her wedding dress tonight :)

xo

pesto zoodles

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love your girlfriends

Happy Monday!

A couple weekends ago, I spent time up on a lake in the north. We celebrated one of my dear friend’s bachelorette party. It was beautiful, serene, & relaxing; also not normally terms used to describe a bachelorette party. It was an absolutely perfect weekend with some of my best friends. We lounged on floaties on the lake, snacked on veggies, meat and cheese platters, taco dip, and pizza, & showered the bachelorette with everything lace and silk.

This past weekend was another bachelorette party, which I was lucky enough to plan, for a best friend of mine. It was nestled in a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin & was another weekend for the books. We sang karaoke, played yard games, cruised on pontoons, did handstands on lily pads, competed in wine tasting, & again, showered the bachelorette with everything lace and silk.

When I got home, I was describing the weekend to Tony & got to thinking: how lucky I am to have such amazing, supportive girlfriends.

Girlfriends that are complimentary, not jealous; girlfriends who listen, don’t talk over me; girlfriends that cry with me, laugh with me, yell with me, and don’t forget about me; girlfriends who are real & who love me, relationships with a even give and take, & who make my heart full.

How lucky are we to have each other? My real soulmates are my girlfriends, [as said on Sex & The City].

Here’s to you, girls – love you with all my heart :)

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oh, & also a recipe

I almost forgot to post another recipe I tried out this week:

zoodles w/ creamy, cauliflower sauce, & coconut shrimp

It was tasty, rich, creamy, and had all the goodness an alfredo sauce has to offer. Check out the recipe here!

cauliflower shrimp mushroom2

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puppies & coffee make everything better

I got a new nephew yesterday!

& when I say new nephew, I’m talking about my fluffy, furry, squishy, adorable Goldendoodle nephew, Frank :)


I mean, seriously, how can that little face not make you smile? And let me tell you, he’s even cuter in person :)

I spent my morning with my sis-in-law, [but really other sis] & her new bundle of fur, chatting and drinking iced coffee. Puppies are the best thing on the planet, [aside from maybe new babies, I’m assuming?]. They have the cutest little, wet tongues, they explore, play, and give the best little cuddles. I’m so excited for this puppy to wrap my bro and sis around it’s little paw.

It was also an awesome morning, [puppy aside], to spend some time with my sis. We have had the craziest, busiest summers so far, so it was good to catch up, cry and laugh, and grow closer. I told her about my last appointment, she gave me some good squeezes, offered advice, & just agree and said outright: it just sucks & I hate it!
And I think that helped the most!

Over the past week or so I have had so many people reach out with such kind words after my last appointment. My heart has grown so full knowing, still, that I am not alone with the challenges Tony and I face. It’s hard to remember sometimes when my emotions try to take me to not so happy places.

I know there’s not always good things to say or sometimes it’s hard to know what to say in general. I would have never known what to say to someone in my position, it will get better? It will be okay? It’s hard. & I completely understand why. However, it’s always nice to know I have people who think about me, pray for me, & who are always there to support us.

A little always goes a long way & I appreciate every single one of you.

xo

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a tuesday recipe: cheesy enchilada quinoa skillet

Happy Tuesday!

I decided I’m getting out of my funk in the kitchen. So, I have a new recipe for all you loyal readers to try out this Tuesday evening :)

One of the things I love about this recipe is the fact that it takes two seconds to cook, [well, not literally two seconds, but probably 15-20 minutes? Pretty short!]. You take a handful of veggies, a cup of quinoa, some cheesy goodness, cook it over medium heat, and you got yourself a stomach growler.

My love for being creative in the kitchen and eating healthy gets the best of me sometimes – but in a good way! I become obsessive with finding new ideas and sometimes pause my dinner-cooking until I find the just right recipe, [hence the quiet cooking front]. But you will enjoy today’s recipe & it will fill your tummy perfectly!

Be on the look out for another great recipe this week – zoodles & shrimp, with cauliflower cream sauce… yummm.

Find the full recipe here & try it out!

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thinking out loud

After coming off of an amazing weekend with my girlfriends, celebrating a bachelorette in a city I love, I’m back to twirling in circles, fighting back tears.

On Thursday of last week I had another appointment at the Mayo Clinic. I met with the MFM team, [Maternal & Fetal Medicine.. aka.. the High Risk Pregnancy team]. The doctor I met was amazing. She had read my file up down, researched all trials, publications, and studies, & was ready to deliver some facts.

Fact #1: My type of cancer has an 85% re-occurrence rate.

How did I not know this about my own cancer? Needless to say, it terrified me. I had to hold back tears as the doctor continued with other findings; I tried to be strong & keep it together. But to be honest, I’ve never felt so scared. I tried to tell myself, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t know; it’s a good thing to not take up space in my brain, but it is definitely not something I can now unhear or forget. It will always be in the back of my mind.

Fact #2: Although the five year study will not be published at the end of my three years, indications of the research show five years is going to be better than three years, [in terms of longer survival statistics, least likely to re-occur, & overall quality of life].

Well, that settles one of my decisions. Five years it is, I guess.

Fact #3: There are still options for me.

As hard and as scary as all this information was to hear, I am still trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life will never be as I planned, & sometimes that makes me really sad.

However, 85%??

I guess I’m going to be that 15%. Because, someone has to be, right?

xo

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