Happy Birthday to my One and Only!

The years may be flying by…but some things never change.



Happy 30th birthday to the man who only seems to get better with age. And, of course, still loves snuggling with animals! I love you dearly and am honored to be your wife and side-kick in this crazy thing called life. Cheers to many, many more my love!!


Dirty Thirty – Nashville Style

A dear friend, since elementary school, asked me a few months ago if I’d be interested in a girls road trip to Nashville for her 30th birthday. Ummm….YES!!!!!!!! Can you see why we are friends!? 😉 So, off we went. There were five girls total and we had a 9 hour road-trip and three days to cram in as much fun as possible. Ready, set, go!

The road trip was great, complete with a live scavenger hunt by a friend who was unable to be with us in person, she was certainly there in spirit. Once we got to the hotel we freshened up and hit the famous Broadway Street.


(Honestly who let me wear this zebra dress…so much print around so much belly!! EK! ha That said, it was an extremely comfortable dress, so I stand by my choice…at the time! :))

We got a special treat our first night there…major celebrity spotting!! Look real close below…do you spy a country cutie?


How about now?! BAM!! Keith Urban, with special guest Steven Tyler, played approximately four songs at three bars on Broadway, walking outside and greeting fans between each stop.

I didn’t get a photo of Steven (but I did get a quick video!) because honestly, I was too star struck. I’ve been a huge Aerosmith fan since about 4th grade. And Steven has always been my Rock God of choice. Don’t judge, you have one too!! Ahhh, it was so much fun!!


After our celebrity spotting was complete, we headed in to the famous Tootsie’s Bar. This tiny hole-in-the-wall bar that was INCREDIBLY fun all night long. Some of the biggest country stars on the radio right now got their start in this very bar.

And when the clock struck midnight, it was time to celebrate (she would say embarrass!) the birthday girl. So I slipped the singer some cash and a note to give her a shout out and he totally ran with it…including getting her up on stage!


And so our first night ended.

On to Day Two.

Of course…boot shopping!! There were a dozen or more shops that all had this same view…walls and walls of boots! Of course, I walked out with a pair for myself, but I’ll save those for another post! 😉


We took a lunch break to watch the Iowa Hawkeye game with the Nashville Iowa Alumni group. Sweet! Extra bonus: a very nice groom-to-be, on his bachelor party, told me I was a very cute pregnant lady. Thanks stranger man…considering it was 90+ degrees and I sweated my butt off all weekend and therefore felt like a whale…I very much appreciated it. Note: Compliments are always nice. Pass them along from time to time, will ya!?


Our grand finale for the weekend, pun intended, was to attend a show at the Grand Ole Opry. It was a BLAST!! We all said that this is a must for any and all future Nashville trips.


Such an iconic venue and so much variety to the show. The highlights for me were James Otto and Deana Carter.


And with that, our time in Nashville was done. It was short and sweet…but oh so much fun!


Happy 30th dear friend…may you always have your cake, and eat it too!!

Single Digits Folks!


I know it probably seems like I just went on a tangent of pregnancy updates, but it hit me today. I am 30 weeks along. Which means come tomorrow, I am officially in single-digits with my weeks.
So here are some short pregnancy updates from weeks 28-30 (August 28-September 11). I don’t want these awesome memories to slip my mind. Pregnancy brain is a real thing folks!

  • Baby keeps a moving-and-a-shaking and I love it!
  • I passed my glucose test, have “only” gained 15 pounds (gulp!), measuring at 29 weeks and my doctor appointments are now two weeks apart. Which makes the time go crazy fast!
  • I had a big sneeze the other day and peed a little. Gee, that’s fun!
  • Speaking of, I feel like I am peeing all.the.time. For some who spent my college years mastering the art of ‘not breaking the seal’, this is a big adjustment for me!!
  • I went up a cup size in the bra world, much toy husbands enjoyment!
  • No, we don’t know what we are having; yes, we have names; no we are not telling. Haven’t we covered this already!?? 😉 It’s still the number one question(s), so worth repeating!
  • I have signed up for some great baby classes in October. I look forward to them!
  • I’ve caught my profile in the mirror, I look so much bigger than I feel!! I suppose this is an ‘okay’ thing…but wowza, my stomach is so BIG!
  • Life has kept me busy so time is really flying. It’s full of jam-packed weekends, busy work days, starting up my MBA classes again, etc. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit out-loud that I’ve ventured over that hump of “so yea, I’m pregnant”, to being anxious. I can’t say I’m ‘ready’…still so much to do! But…I’m getting ready. I’m noticing the body changes, I’m feeling baby (which just makes me want to snuggle with him/her!), and well, it’s been 30 weeks!
  • We are still putting final touches on the nursery and can wait to share the journey through photos!


Pants: Express, Shirt: Gap Maternity, Shoes: Von Maur, Earrings: Cookie Lee


I love these little polka dot wedges. I’m still rockin’ all my styles, shapes and styles with ease. YAY!

Labor Day Fun!

Tis the season of being extremely busy…and loving every second of it! Even though a week and some time has passed, I wanted to highlight the awesome Labor Day Weekend I enjoyed. Pictures say it best, so here we go!

Iowa Hawkeye Home Opener. Phew, it was a hot one! Ninety degrees plus some wicked humidity = I only made it through half-time. But it was a great half, and it’s good to be back at Kinnick and hanging with these crazy Hawk fans!


Baby Shower Time! Our dear friends Scott and Jess were back from Colorado for the long weekend and Baby Girl Hanlin is due October 29th so some lovely ladies and myself hosted a pink-a-licious shower.


Super cute diaper cake compliments of my Mother-In-Law’s crafty ways!


Hot Mamma Jess and the hostesses!


Such a fun idea, if you know a girl is on the way…we ordered a ‘headband-making kit’ from Etsy. Such a fun and personal touch to help Mamma Jess make sure her baby girl is styling from Day 1.


There were a lot of lady humps going on with our hugs good-bye. We called this our ‘ass-out’ hug. 🙂

Super proud wife moment – my husband participated in the inaugural GranGable and rocked the 100-mile route. Complete with a photo-op at the finish line with the one and only Dan Gable himself!

We capped off the weekend with a pool-side celebration with the Grinde clan (my in-laws). We had much to celebrate: Grandma MaryAnn’s 85 birthday, an engagement (congrats Lindsay and Chris!), a new baby (Welcome George!), and a top Hy-Vee triathlete (Way to go Ian!). And really, just general awesomeness that is this family!!


Poolside chit-chat.


You know you’re in Iowa when….!


Lovin’ on baby George! 🙂


Our turn is next, here I am 7 months along!


The immediate in-laws. Such a stellar crew right here.

20130909-071933.jpgThe whole clan. 🙂

Welcome Fall. I’m glad you are here…now will you cool down a bit!?

Things I Don’t Understand: Nail art

You know, I just don’t get nail art. Why people?! Maybe if you are a celebrity and you are walking the red carpet it would be fun. But to you ‘normal’ people out there, do you shower? Wash your hands? You know…function in life? And if so, how f’ing pissed are you the first time one of those babies chips? I barely put the effort in to paint my own nails a simple pink or grey from time to time because I get annoyed with chipping. Granted, I treat myself to a mani from time to time, but it’s usually shellac because that lasts me a good two weeks. But it has to be like a really special occasion because it’s a little pricey.

So I’m curious. Are you a nail artist? Can you explain a bit of the appeal to me? How long does it take? Honestly, how mad do you get when that first chip happens? So many questions!!

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here are some of the MANY highlights out there to show what I’m ranting about….

nails 5 nails 4 nails 3 nails 2 nails 1Source here

Kudos to you ladies, you prove to me you enjoy sitting for endless hours painting, and drying, your nails. I’m sorry I don’t appreciate it more!