Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Drought. Again.

It's been a long time since I've logged on and written.  Tis the season of life, I assume.

Let's see since I last visited...

I ran a marathon, had an incredible girls week in Florida, spent a lovely week in South Haven, watched Michael's sister Kelsey marry Aaron in Wisconsin, traveled to Kansas City for the 4th of July, spent a glorious week in Texas, and hiked two mountains. Phew.  It's been busy.

None of that mentions the hard work Michael has done on our house: new flooring, built in lockers, new closet under the stairs, and lots of great ideas for the kitchen!

I'm also working on the inside.  The inside of me.  Embracing new emotions and feeling and processes...trying hard to strive for holiness.  To love my Jesus with everything in me.  I don't even know what that looks like or what it means most days.  But it does sound nice.  Something to work towards.

At some point I'll share more.  Fun pictures. Memorable moments.  More depth. But for now, at least I'm back!! :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

LuLaRoe Love = Lula Addict

Fashion + Mandy = Nonexistence…

However, that has greatly changed in the last 15 months!  Last fall I was invited to my first ever LuLaRoe Pop-up Boutique.  Oh man, is this the way to shop!!!  

First of all, to shop in the comfort of a friend's home is so enticing.  Normal lighting (not bright dressing room fluorescent), drink in hand, and a table full of snacks…oh, and a bunch of friends telling you "yay" or "nay"…

After that party, I was hooked.  Hook, line, and sinker.  Let me tell you why…

It's cute.  I now wear LuLaRoe pretty much every day.  And every day {unless I don't leave the house} someone compliments my outfit.  Now until I started wearing LuLaRoe, I was rarely complimented on my attire.  Those of you who know me know that I'm more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal…which I still love, but that combination does not bring in the compliments.

It's comfortable.  I will choose comfort over cute any day.  Every day.  With LuLaRoe, you get both.  The leggings are made of the softest material.  Pure bliss.  Oh, and all waistbands are elastic. :)

It's a fun way to shop.  I hate shopping.  Hate. Hate. Hate.  Ask my mom, she can tell you how miserable of a shopper I am.  However, I love to shop LuLaRoe.  I think what makes it so great is the encouragement from others.  Being in a room full of women and encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and try on something I wouldn't usually even look at.  The safety there.  

LuLaRoe is a confidence builder.  It is a wardrobe expander.  It is a step out and try something new, something different kind of clothing.  It is an addiction.  It is a Lula Love!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Once upon a time I ran four 1/2 marathons. After the fourth I said I would never ever run another. Well, I'm sticking to my word...for now. I'm not running a 1/2. I'm running a full. A full fledge marathon. 26.2 miles. 

This past October, a friend approached me about running one "with" her. I thought she was crazy. I'm pretty sure I told her she was crazy. I still think she's crazy. She just convinced me to join her crazy. She persuaded me with the promise of a beach house. No kids. Friends. Away. 

It didn't take me long to commit. And convince a few other friends. And register. And buy a plane ticket. And find a training plan realistic for my life and goal.

Goal.  I have one goal. To cross the finish line. :)

So in April, I'm flying to Florida to run the Kill Cliff Marathon in Destin.  And I'm actually excited. Mostly about the beach house and the four friends I get to spend quality time with there. But I am excited to conquer a feat I never dreamed I would even attempt.

Wouldn't you run 26.2 miles for this?

So here goes! Wish me luck!!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Skiing Family

A few years back we went skiing with friends.  It was marvelous.  We had a little, cozy cabin with our two families.  We learned to ski. We played games.  We talked.  We shared meals.  We just had fun.  And that trip ignited something in our family…we wanted to be a skiing family.

Fast forward to this year.  For the first time ever, all four kids received a free ski pass…it was offered to all school age kids from Kindergarten to 5th grade…and all four of our kiddos fall into that range for this year only.  We jumped on it.  And Michael and I bought passes to match.

Our first adventure was to Breckenridge.  It was a disaster.  We assumed the kids would remember all they learned from the first ski trip…but they did not.  At all.  Noah flew down the mountain with zero control.  He ended up falling into the safety fence at the bottom.  Drew had zero confidence.  And also had zero control.  He quit after the second run.  Isaac and Lindley were a mess.  A mess.  I was frustrated. Michael was frustrated…but held his cool much better than me.  Isaac and Lindley received a free pity lesson from the amazing staff at Breckenridge.  I don't know if it was really to teach them, or to take them off our hands so we could cool down. :)  Whichever, I'm extremely grateful.  That trip was pretty much a disaster, but it taught us we ALL needed more ski school.

Our second adventure was to Cooper.  We all had lessons:  the kids were there all day; we were there half day.  It was perfect.  Small mountain, great powder, awesome instructors, no crowds.  We all learned.  We all learned great technique, form, and control.  It was amazing. 

Which brings us to our third adventure.  Keystone.  Best trip yet.  The kids were so excited to get to the mountain.  So were we.  And then to watch them go!  So much fun.  We started on the bunny hill, just to refresh.  Then we hit the greens.  Isaac got the award for most improved.  Noah had amazing speed and control…no falling into fences.  Drew is gaining great confidence and has amazing form.  And sweet Lindley.  When she isn't checking on fallen snowboarders, she is just skiing her little heart out down the mountain.  

{Let the adventure begin…}

{We got helmets!!!}

{Isn't Keystone breathtaking?!}

{Family Selfie…}

I no longer have to help fallen kids up.  I no longer fear the chair lift…for my kids or myself.  I no longer have to give pep talks to build confidence to get down the mountain…for kids or myself.  

We are a skiing family.  And it is so much fun!  We can't wait to go again in a few weeks!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

8. Eight. 8. !!!!

Isaac. My sweet, cuddly, laughing Isaac. He turned eight today. Eight. How is that possible?! And I'm pretty sure he takes on his Dad's birthday philosophy. He LOVES his birthday. And he loved today!!!

He wanted biscuits and gravy for breakfast. So of course that's what he ate. He doesn't even like the gravy. But today he did! ...on the side...

We were supposed to be in the mountains skiing today. That is what he wanted. But unfortunately our reliable car is in the shop and we had no safe way to get to the mountains.  Soon though! Instead we let him open gifts, play with said gifts, choose dinner...and we had a great day!

Each of the boys have received a Swiss Army knife for their 8th birthday from Emmy and Granddaddy. Isaac is thrilled to have his own!

And Grandma always spoils him with so much! 

His gift from us was an Osmo. Which is an amazing tool that uses the iPad to engage with words, numbers, drawing, and thinking!  The whole system warrants a blog post of its own. But one part allows players to create masterpieces...

More on the Osmo another day...

He chose to eat dinner at Crave Burger. It's a place here that serves all sorts of crazy burgers. My boys love this place! Isaac had the Luther...instead of a bun, the burger is smushed between two doughnuts! He loved it!!!

While we're talking about Crave, check out what Michael and Drew shared!!

...basically their version of "chicken and waffles" as a burger. Apparently it was delicious!!

At one point during dinner I had Michael take this picture...

...then Isaac specifically asked for this picture...

This is my Isaac. So sweet. So affectionate. So loving. I know he won't always want adorable pictures with me nose-to-nose. But tonight he did. And this will forever be one of my absolute favorites.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. I love who you are and that you are mine. I'm grateful for the gift of YOU. You are a joy and a treasure. I look so forward to your year as an eight year old! I know that this will be a great year! I love you!