Dirty Thirty

It’s a big day today folks. I turned 30. That’s THIRTY, 3-0, The Dirty Thirty, a new decade. Ohf-ta!! In honor of the big day, I thought I’d write a list. One of my favorite things. I figured it would be impossible to think of 30 life highlights (not because they don’t exist, but because it would be impossible to write them all down!), but I can think of 30 things that I love in my life, or just about life in general (in no particular order). I mean what better day to count your blessings than the day that starts a whole new year of life, right??

1. My handsome son, Smith.
2. My handsome and charming husband.
3. My sisters. Who are constantly teaching and showing me you truly can ‘have it all.’
4. My parents. Who show me time and time again what unconditional love really means.
5. My brother-in-laws. I couldn’t have asked for better ones if I could have picked them myself. They add some awesome value to our trivia teams! πŸ˜‰
6. My nieces and nephews. Who constantly make me giggle. And are the key to keeping me young. It’s all about SnapChat and Rainbow Looms, yo! Wait…do kids these days still say ‘yo’?!
7. My mother/father-in-law. Honestly, I struck GOLD here people. They are so helpful and supportive helping us out with Smith. And are always good for that, ‘oh hey I just happen to have stopped by over dinner time….!’ πŸ™‚
8. All of my other in-law family. They are such a great (slightly crazy, in a good way!!) crew. Mass group text are our new thing and I dig it!
9. My friends. There are not enough words in the world for all of these wonderful people in my life. From grade school, high school, college, and grown-up life. They all hold a special place in my heart.
10. My husbands friends, who have become my friends. They are such a special group of people. Many can learn from them on how to stay close as the years go by. It’s impressive and I’m honored to be apart of it.
11. My job. It’s challenging, fulfilling and based on relationships of all kinds. I truly enjoy going everyday.
12. My co-workers. They are a goofy bunch, as I was reminded of today at lunch, and with the crazy days we have, we need that fun!
13. My house that is a home. The walls grew a bit smaller with the introduction of our son, but it will always be our first home and hold a special place in my heart. That makes it sound like we are moving or something….we are not…yet!!
14. Going back to school. Yes it’s costly, yes it’s time away from my boys and other fun things, but I very much enjoy pushing myself to be a better professional.
15. Living in Iowa. Sure, it’s bitterly freezing right now and the summers get annoying humid, but I choose to live here for a reason. The heartland is just that…full of heart. I love traveling away, but I love calling this pace of life home.
16. More specifically, living in the Corridor. We are right in the middle of it in North Liberty and am thankful for the options of shopping, dining and play we have in this area. Those who say there is nothing to do, don’t look hard enough. Now, if we could only get our farmer’s market every Saturday….! πŸ˜‰
17. On this trend, Okoboji. It’s our summer escape and I love every second of it. I simply cannot wait to get Smith up there!!
18. Participating in fitness races. I signed up for my first post-baby race for this coming August. I’ll likely do a couple between now and then, but August is my prize race. I love the adrenaline rush from racing and appreciate the motivation to get, and hopefully stay, in shape!
19. Traveling. I’m not a world-traveler by any means, but my hubs and I try to escape once and a great while. Lucky for us, we have a lot of great friends around the country to visit. And great friends that plan trips we tag along on! πŸ˜‰ This year’s agenda: Colorado, Mexico and NYC.
20. Pampering. We all have guilty pleasures, right? I am okay admitting that I probably have more than others. But, I like to argue that it keeps me happier too! πŸ™‚ An occasional mani/pedi, a shopping trip, etc. It clears my mind and rejuvenates me to keep on swimming!
21. Watching movies. I love escape from reality movies provide. It’s award season, which I really enjoy. I made a tiny dent in the Best Picture nominees, but not by much. I hope to see some more before the Oscars air!
22. Attending concerts and theater shows. I always look forward to catching a couple good shows outdoors over the summer months, but attending plays in the winter is a fun treat too. So far on the docket: Spamalot here in a couple weeks. I need to work on this list!!
23. My health. I think everyone needs to take more time to appreciate their health. I’m thankful I dodge the flu and cold season often without coming down with anything (KNOCK ON WOOD), but also that I don’t have to deal with anything much bigger than that (KNOCK ON WOOD). People need to be more thankful for this, every day.
24. Parties. Who doesn’t love a good reason to celebrate…anything? Birthday? Yes! Anniversary? Yes! Retirement? Yes! New hair color? Why Not!!
25. FaceTime. I vow to use this more in 2014 and beyond. I mean why just call a friend that lives away when you can SEE them?! Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy catching up with friends that are separated with miles in between. Maternity leave with some awesome mommy friends have really made me realize how great this is!
26. Sweet treats. Remember when I said I had a lot of guilty pleasures? Sweets is a big one! But I’m ending my birthday with a cupcake with my husband and life can’t get much better than that!
27. My blog. Truly, I love having a blog. It’s my person diary that people seem to enjoy. How flattering! πŸ˜‰ I caught myself looking back at some pregnancy posts during one of my mid-night feedings with Smith. I love having life documented!
28. Lake and Pool time. My in-laws have a pool. My hubs and I have a boat and live right by a reservoir. Life.is.good. Well…in the summer at least! πŸ˜‰
29. Sleep. It really is something one can take for granted before a baby enters their life. I look forward to getting more than a couple hours at a time. But until then, I just remind myself that I’ll miss that one-on-one time with my man when those days are gone.
30. And last but not least…just…life. It’s great. Appreciate it friends! Don’t take things for granted, and be a good friend. Keep in touch. Technology makes it too easy NOT to.

Cheers to the next thirty years. Now, I’m off to enjoy that cupcake!



Future Model

Okay, so I swear I’m not already a stage Mom. But, of course, I think my little man is the cutest thing there ever was. πŸ™‚

We did his newborn session at 10 days old. He did such a good job. I honestly never thought I’d do a newborn session, especially since our hospital offered a complementary session. But once again, I took the plunge. And, once again, I’m so glad I did!!


Our future Hawkeye!


My Mom made this quilt. So sweet.




Such a tiny little man for such a big crib. The teddy bear is from Grandma C. πŸ™‚


The best Christmas present anyone could ask for, our own little Santa.


So precious.


Once again, I have to put in a plug for Footprints and Glitter Photography. She is awesome with newborns. I look forward to our six-week session and beyond!

The Nursery

I’m so excited to share how our nursery turned out. I wanted to wait until it was 100% complete so you could get the full effect. (Then, I had to find the time to actually document it. πŸ™‚ )

Since we didn’t find out the gender, we needed (wanted!) to go neutral. Hey, you never what future babies may be! πŸ˜‰ So we chose grey and yellow as our base. And I knew I wanted white furniture because I love the crisp look it provides. The other decor decision we made up front was to have our nieces and nephews create the artwork for us that we would use to add some fun color to the room. It turned out better than I could have imagined. Simple, clean, and full of fun little details that make this room unique. Much more my style then those ‘cookie cutter’ sets you can purchase at a store.

But really, pictures tell the story best. And to really appreciate how great things turned out, let’s start with some ‘before’ views.

This was the room about a month after we moved it, ie-our ‘catch-all’ room.

This was the one room we didn’t touch when we moved it, as far as paint and real “TLC” went. It was simply a nice little spare room for guests.

So first up, the paint. This was all Aaron. And he did an amazing job. It’s light grey, white and a darker grey. (Sorry for the terrible lighting!)

Next up, putting together an IKEA dresser.


All 2,000,000 pieces!!!


Next up, finally replacing this awful ceiling fan. Don’t worry, we are still stuck with another one in our other spare room. Honestly, what are people thinking some times!?


Who doesn’t need a little sunshine light in their life?!


And our last DIY was recovering this chair.


So here we go, the final product! Note the chair! πŸ™‚


Curtains and rug are from Target.


The crib was from a friend’s company’s ‘buy-sell’. The quilts you see are hand-made. And I made the crib skirt!


The “Lamb” photo is something we bought from the local Farmer’s Market. Lagneaux is French for Lamb, so we had to have a little something in there! πŸ™‚ All baskets are from TJ Maxx.


Isn’t our artwork so fun!? The kiddos did such a great job. Also, this IKEA dresser rocks! So.much.room!


This giraffe was built by Aaron’s grandfather. It was in his room too!


Books, books, books. I love them and already read to our little man!

So there you have it folks. What do you think!? We love it!

Ultimate Selfie

I got a hair cut today. Is this earth shattering information?! Absolutely not. But I needed to document this occasion as a note to myself. Quit growing your hair out. It takes forever. That ‘awkward length’ phase sucks. And just when you get it to that really pretty length…you get sick of it, fast. It clogs up the drain, goes flat in an hour no matter what you do, and you end up with a lot of lame pony tails.
So here I am with my before and after.
About 9 this morning:

What my husband deemed my ‘seductive look’:

And here I am later this afternoon:

Here is a little side/back action.


I’m not one of those girls that likes how my hair gets styled at the salon, and I love my hair dresser! I feel like I have hair in my mouth all day and can’t wait to get home to wash and style it myself. Tomorrow morning will be fun!
Here’s an official comparison for fun. It makes my face look thinner, no?!

Okay… Maybe just wishful thinking there. But I do know I’ll save some curl time and shampoo supply!