hey you, I get it. 

I want you know to know, I get it. 

I get it when a cold is not just a cold. 

I get it when you order a water instead of a cocktail. 

I get the need extra naps on the weekends, [who doesn’t?!]. 

I get the hard conversations and the uneasy tensions from those who don’t understand. 

I get when you have to leave early because of chemo problems. 

I get the tough decisions you have to make for your best health. 

I get it when you’re on your island. 

I get it when you have to choose; you can’t do it all. 

I seriously get it when you can’t give it all. 

I get the balance is hard.  

I get it when you forget & get lost in the moment. 

I get you when it’s hard to stay positive. 

I get it when you just have to tip the scale and risk it all. 

Hey you, I get it. We’re in this together; You’re not alone. 


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another life list

Well, it took me a while, but I finally created my to-do list before I’m 30.

I wanted my list to be well thought out, realistic, measurable, & achievable. I’m not sure if it’s any of those things, but for some reason this list felt different and I felt different when I was creating it.

If any of you venture over to read it you’ll realize it’s nothing special. I’m not on a mission to jump out of an airplane or move across the country. But again, it felt different.

I feel different.

I think it’s a good different? Or maybe it’s not? I’m not sure.

As I sit here and really think about it, there is something that has changed in the last year that would play a role in my attitude while making life to do lists: I now have to take chemo for five years.

In the past, I’ve always had a finish line in my head; a finish line with a white ribbon, waving in the wind, that I would break through, throw my arms up triumphantly & feel free. I would feel normal. I would be thirty. I would plan for a family. I would only get scanned once a year.

That ribbon is no longer there.

Now, I’m better at accepting there is no ribbon. However, I do still notice it’s missing.

Maybe it’s a good different. Maybe this is exactly where I’m supposed to be; laying in bed, watching Sex & the City, snuggled with Ace under the covers, window cracked, listening to Mr. Owl hoot away in the woods, creating an average to-do list before I turn 30.

I’m off to bed – doctor appointment in the morning to FINALLY do something about my cough, I’m sick of one of my 5th graders asking, “is your disease gone yet?” EVERYDAY he comes in the classroom. Wish me luck in getting some meds!


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quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes & a care package

Well, like promised, I am coming to you tonight with a new recipe; it is delightful.

I wanted to combine some of my favorite things: sweet potatoes, veggies, cheese, and… I guess, quinoa. The weather has turned a bit here in Minnesota today – maybe supermoon last night had some fall affect – but it definitely feels crisp today.

Tonight’s meal of quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes was the perfect mixture of healthy, rich, and home-cooked. The flavors were fantastic and it left both Tony and I full and satisfied, [as Tony is munching on a honeycrisp apple for a bedtime snack].

As I waited 40 minutes for the sweet potatoes to cook, I put together this oh-so-cute care package for my baby sister at Iowa State, [she doesn’t read my blog often enough for the surprise to be wrecked].

All things college kids like, right? Well, it may not be for the average college kid, but these are all sweet treats she loves, plus fuzzy socks – because who doesn’t love fuzzy socks?! & easy mac? Takes me back…

But anyway – give my stuffed sweet potatoes a try [&please ignore my poor quality photos tonight, my nice camera is chargin’ up], I promise you’ll LOVE them!

Happy Monday! xo

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a wedding on a lake

I know, another quiet front.

I’m STILL battling my sickness; not the typical cold I usually get, but this deep, raspy, smoker cough that starts like a tickle and turns violently ugly in 1.3 seconds. Today, there were a couple times Tony jumped from the couch, prying his eyes from the Viking’s game, to make sure I could still breathe. I got to be honest, a couple of those times, I couldn’t. I’m giving this thing a couple more days before I make a doctor’s appointment. My problem is, I go to a doctor, they prescribe something, and then I have to do this whole run around to make sure I can take it with my chemo. It’s so annoying, so it’s easier to just avoid going to the doctor all together.

I spent most of this past weekend back in my city.. Duluth. One of my best friends got married and I was lucky enough to stand by her side and listen to the beautiful vows she wrote for her husband, overlooking a lake, surrounded by birch trees. It was completely serene and beautiful.

The amount of love that filled this weekend is more than I can describe in words. My dear friends truly are one of the most perfect couples; they’re always up for new adventures together, they support one another, and they’re really good at patio hoppin’ and happy hourin’ it. They’re one of our favorite couples to be with for all the above reasons and more. This weekend was wonderfully perfect, just like the two of them.

Bleh – ugly, right? 😉

Like I said, a beautiful couple & a beautiful backdrop.

We got home on Saturday morning, Tony took off for the Gopher game and Ace and I took a two hour nap on the couch. I felt guilty because this weekend is exactly why people live in Minnesota. It was a sunny, crisp, mid 70s kinda weekend & I spent a good portion of it sleeping inside, [however, naps with Ace are one of the top things in the world. He plays the little spoon well and loves to snore].

I kicked today off with breakfast with another best friend to celebrate her birthday, some appetizers and football with an old high school friend in town, and a lot of planning for school this week, [all my teacher friends can relate to how hard it is to be gone for two days the third week in!].

Life is good.

I promise I’ll be back tomorrow. I’m trying a stuffed sweet potato recipe; I’m hoping it’s all it’s cracked up to be!

Nighty night muffins.


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a lil’ of this & that

Welp, my school year cold finally caught me. I thought I was a good lap ahead of it, but unfortunately, one late night this week, [went to Ed Sheeran, – VERY well worth it], slowed me down enough to wake up on Friday morning with a wheezy chest cold. I battled through the day, telling myself it was just the dust in the school building from the construction, but at the end of the day, my head felt heavy, I couldn’t swallow, and I was running a fever.


So yesterday, on my Friday night which I was supposed to spend with girlfriends, I spent resting on the couch and going to bed around 7:30. Today, I slept in, [10:00! I felt like I was in high school!], did some grading, took lots of naps with Ace & will most likely be heading to bed early again.

I also spent most of my time on the couch, surfing the web so this is a post just of this and that:



  • Greens, greens, and more greens. This chick’s feed and recipes never disappoint!
  • Since I’m obsessed with my ginger -baby, bird dog.
  • His writing is beautiful. One of his last posts brought me to to tears, [but like that’s hard].
  • Her humor? Yes, please. [& Scout?? It tugs at my To Kill A Mockingbird heartstrings].
  • & for most of my home inspiration.





Well, enough chit chat for me tonight – this girl needs to take her cold medicine & finish watching Baby Mama in bed.

Later my puppets – Happy Saturday!


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another year, another day

Happy Sunday!

I have been movin’ and shakin’ the past couple weeks. School has started, so work has started, so early bedtimes have started, and sore throats have started. I celebrated my 29th birthday this weekend, so I’m a year closer to 30, so I have to recreate a life to-do list, but I shouldn’t keep planning, so I may not update my new adventures, so my life will just be one huge question mark, so I guess I will take things day by day. Fall weather has hit, so I want to wear my scarves, so then I need to clean my boots, but I need new boots, so shopping weekends must commence.

If that wasn’t enough of nonsense gibberish, I’ll catch ya up:

School Days

School is back in session and I survived my first week. Things are changing quickly in the educational world. Our school district rolled out our 1:1 initiative this year, [1:1 means every student gets a electronic device, in our case we are using chromebook flips], it’s been an adjustment to upload EVERYTHING online, to teach a classroom full of fifth graders how to appropriately use their computer, & to just figure out how to teach a little differently. Our middle school is still a construction zone, but the academic areas are pretty much complete – they’re beautiful. Our 7/8 pod has multiple break out rooms with couches, swirly chairs, high top tables, and smart TVs. Students have already blown us away with their capabilities to work independently. It will be fun to see how much they grow in these areas as the year goes on!

I’m adjusting to my new role of being a Remedial teacher slowly. It’s a tough transition to go from an 8th grade Honors Language Arts class to a low group of 5th graders. I love both groups for different reasons, but to change the way I give directions, speak to students, and adjust my patience level will definitely take more time. :)

Birthdays n’ Such

 Another year older. Time literally flies. I remember sitting in the exact chair I sit in now, writing my birthday post last year. [I was snuggled with Ace, writing about my grandpa’s sweet card and my mouth was watering thinking of our dinner at The Melting Pot]. Tony planned a wonderful weekend for me; dinner with friends Friday night, brunch with my bests Saturday & a Canterbury visits with more friends, a brunch my mom cooked up this morning, and a Counting Crows concert tonight, [another phase in my life – I was obsessed with the Counting Crows, refused to wash my hair, and told people my style was grunge. My poor mother, I was like in 3rd or 4th grade].

He’s amazing, right? I’m what some may call… a birthday snob? So bless his heart for making me feel so special this weekend.

At one point this weekend I did find myself getting a bit bummed, thinking of all the things I wanted by the time I was thirty. I KNOW, I’m not thirty yet, but I’m one year closer, and some of those things on my list are still pretty far away.

However, I had another healthy year, I went on some amazing trips, I did some must-needed home improvement projects; I know I’m doing okay.

My goal for my 29th year is to live. Live day by day. Live in the moments. I will not try to plan when babies are going to grace us with their presence, I will not plan plans, just to have them 😉 I will not get wrapped up in what everybody else has & complain about the have-nots; I will just live.

Here’s to being 29 – I’m going to make it count!

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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.


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