Category Archives: family

Chicago {Part Three}- Navy Pier


Our last full day in Chicago, we headed downtown to check out the sites. We ended up only going to Navy Pier due to a lot of the side streets being closed for a marathon.


I got a lot of great pictures but am choosing only to share these pictures so that this post, isn’t picture heavy. My mom and I both love lighthouses and we were able to see this one from the end of the pier.


My mom was driving the hubby crazy with wanting to take pictures of us. He doesn’t like having his picture taken, while I love having these memories to look back on in the years to come. 


These seagulls were everywhere and would just stand there posing, waiting for us to take their pictures. It was to funny.



I was trying to make the hubby do funny poses in these pictures.



I was super excited when we got to the end of the pier and and found this big anchor. I have an obsession with anchors these days. As I was taking a picture of it, a few couples came up to take their pictures sitting on it and I ended up being a “professional” photographer for a moment; as I think I took pictures for probably three different couples. I like to be that nice person who offers to take a picture for random strangers so that everyone can be in the picture.


This was the building at the end of the pier. This picture is straight out of my camera, with no editing or special settings when I took the picture! I can’t believe how it came out! And there’s something shooting through the sky in the top left of the picture. Love it!


We had so much fun while we were in Chicago! Thank you to my aunt who played tour guide for us! We can’t wait to get back more often, now that Southwest flies out of our local regional airport for super cheap.


Chicago {Part Two}

  Day two of our trip to Chicago was spent with family. We headed to Joliet to the casino. There’s a reason why I don’t gamble… because I don’t win anything. I should of stopped when I was up $20 in the first five minutes we were there, but what fun would that have been. The hubby had a great time as he had never been to a casino before.


The casino trip was an excuse to get my uncle {my mom’s brother} out of the house for the day. He turned 65 at the end of April, but my aunt had a party for him early since my mom and I were in town. He was definitely surprised when he walked in the door.


Happy 65th Birthday Uncle Gene. Glad we were able to celebrate with you.

DSCN6688  My Mom & her brotherDSCN6690

My mom and her sister-in-law started out as best friends when my mom was 18 years old. Eventually my mom introduced her friend to her brother and they ended up became sister-in-laws.


My mom and I. I hadn’t seen my mom in almost two years. Life gets hectic and lets face it, it’s not much fun visiting Iowa. It was great to be able to spend a few days with her and other members of our family. It was also a special occasion because I wore a dress! I don’t think I’ve worn a dress since my wedding day almost FIVE years ago! But I loved this dress! And now that I think about it, I’m gonna wear it to a birthday party next weekend.

ChicagoAmDawnMy Cousin Dawn & I {if she see’s this she’s going to kill me!}. When I was in college I would drive the six hours to Chicago every few months just to get a way for a weekend and also to get my hair done. She’s one of the few I’ve allowed to touch my hair in my lifetime. I miss her dearly and wish were able to spend more time together like we did when I was in college. I also blame her for my addiction to McDonalds Coke. When she was pregnant she craved Coke from McDonalds so when I was with her, we always had to stop by Mickey Dee’s for Coke. And now I constantly crave their Coke over any other fountain drink.              

It turned out to be a great day and we enjoyed spending time with our family. That’s the one thing that I don’t like about living so far away, is not getting to spend time with my mom as much as I would like. Thankfully we talk almost every day.


Happy Mother’s Day



Happy Mother’s Day to the best mother I could have ever asked for. She has been through a lot in her lifetime that has made her a stronger person. No matter what, she has always been there for me through the good times and the bad. She supported my decision to move 700 miles away from home. She allowed me to spread my wings and fly. I love and miss you dearly mom! I wish we were able to see each other more often.


Happy Mother’s Day to the best Grandma ever, who has always been more of a second mom than grandmother. She helped raise me and helped shape me into the person I am today! Thanks to Grandma, I’m the frugal, crafty, creative, baker/cook that I am. Grandma taught me my love of baking and hosting big family holiday dinners. She taught me how to be a good thrifter and allowed me to tag along to the thrift stores and auctions as a young girl. She taught me the value of a dollar and the importance of being frugal. Love you so so much and miss you dearly Grandma.

And thank you God for blessing me with the best Mother-in-Law, that I could have asked for! She’s not only my MIL, but a best friend, who listens to me, who supports me and who shares the same passion for cooking, planning and being frugal that I do. Who doesn’t mind my late night phone calls to get advice on various topics. And who has spent 30 plus years working as a nurse. One day we’ll be relaxing at the beach together ;o) Love you!


God truly blessed me with some great mothers! And I know that one day I’ll be just as good as a mother because of their influences. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mother’s out there, to the mother’s of four legged fur babies and to the future mother’s who are struggling with infertility.

{Photos curtsey of CoreyAnn Photography.}


{PS} If you live in Northeast Ohio and are looking for a great photograph CoreyAnn Photography is amaze balls!

Some Hero’s Are Grandpa’s

Two years ago today God took the most wonderful grandfather I could have ever asked for!

I am the youngest grandchild of 13 grandchildren. I grew up living down the street from my grandparents. I was able to ride my bike to their house whenever I wanted and spent every weekend with them. They helped raise me during the years my mom was a single parent. I spent some weekends with them going to auctions to find antiques to fill the “shop” they owned and other weekends helping them work at their “sale barn” where they held auctions. They taught me how to be thrifty by dumpster diving in the alley’s for treasures. And we spent evenings chasing the moon and back.

Grandpa always put up with my craziness of trying to style his hair, playing school with “Albert”, playing dress up with my dolls and my endless questions about everything. As I got older, I stopped spending the weekends with them, but was constantly on the phone with them seeking advice and wisdom. I remember the day I told my grandparents I was accepted to college and was moving out of state. They were so disappointed that their “baby” was moving away and not staying in the area. Over the year’s, that’s been the one thing that’s hurt the most, not being able to run up the street to visit with them when I’m 700 miles away.


I thank him and my grandma for teaching me to be frugal {they were green before it was cool to be green}; that if something’s broke, you fix it & not run out to get the newest version; for teaching me the importance of having a good work ethic; for giving me my love of antiques and thrifting; for playing school with me every weekend, while building forts in their kitchen and watching TGIF, for allowing me to spend endless hours trying “different” hairstyles on him, for sharing his stories from WWII and passing on his love of all things law enforcement.


My fabulous grandfather was Chief of Police for many years and is my hero. I always loved playing with his handcuffs and badges and pretending that I was arresting him. He’s the one who inspired me to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

I’ve always had a special bond with my grandparents, because they helped raise me and were more like parents, and I was more of a daughter to them. And of course, I wasn’t spoiled or anything.  ;o)

Next week would have been their 70th Wedding Anniversary. They got married two years after they began dating in high school. They stuck by each other’s side through WWII, the Great Depression, six kids, 13 grandchildren, 13+ great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and the many trials and tribulations thrown at them, throughout their 70 years together on this earth.

I Love & Miss you everyday Grandpa.

-Love,  Bug ♥

Walk Beside Me & Just Be My Friend

{Warning: This is a very emotional post & filled with the word vomit}


The past few weeks have been tough on us. On February 15th, we came home from work to find that Jake had thrown up all over the house. A month prior, he was diagnosed with diabetes and had started insulin twice a day. We called the vet, who suggested that we bring him in the next day to do an all day test to check his blood sugar at different times in order to make sure he was taking the right amount of insulin. After getting off the phone with the vet, Jake ate and then began to have a seizure, which he hadn’t had in a long time. It was that moment that we just knew it was time to make the hardest decision of our life so far.

We went back and forth about what we should do. Ultimately we decided that we could spend more money on more testing to give him a few more weeks or a few more months, but knew that he wasn’t comfortable anymore. He would fight us when it came time for his injections, his vision had suddenly gone, leaving him running into things and not able to go down stairs or jump off the couch.

Through all my tears, I called the vet the next day to schedule “that” appointment. Over the next few days we did everything we could to keep him comfortable, while having our own little break downs, as this was the most difficult decision that we’ve had to make. It’s like loosing a child. Animals become your babies and making this decision is the worst!

On February 18th, we said our final goodbyes to our best friend and our baby, knowing that he was soon going to be able to bask in the sun, run like he has never ran before and be able to see again.

I found comfort in our decision when I had a dream about our Jake running around in a field near my mom’s house last week.


In the weeks since, this poor cutie has been missing her best friend, but is enjoying being spoiled like she has never been spoiled before.

The Thursday after the most difficult decision ever, I was scheduled for surgery to remove the stent that was placed in my common bile duct back in December, and any more stones that may have still been stuck there. The outpatient surgery was quick and before I knew it, we were back home.

And then, it all started. I woke up early Friday morning vomiting {I don’t vomit unless I’m really really sick, I hate it and will do whatever it takes to not throw up!} Then later that morning, I got up to go to the bathroom, when I started to feel very light-headed and dizzy. I never made it back to bed, I ended up passing out at the bottom of our stairs and just remember the hubby running down the stairs to find out what happened. Then later that morning, it all happened again. After a phone call to the surgeon who’s discharge instructions only included calling if any of these type of symptoms appeared. He suggested I go to the ER to be evaluated.


Off to the ER we went, where we found out that my white blood cells and liver enzymes were elevated. The ER doctor consulted with the surgeon, who wanted me to come to the hospital he was on call at for the weekend. Yay, another ambulance ride! Thank goodness, the hubby is a former fire fighter and all the guys he worked with on his department, work for one of the ambulance companies. It was late in the evening by the time I arrived at the hospital, where I would spend the next two days. I choose to have an MRI done to find out whether or not I had any more stones stuck in my common bile duct, verses having the same procedure done again, which is more invasive. After a whole lot of waiting, I finally found out that there were no more stones and I could go home. They believe that I had some inflammation from the procedure, causing my belly to hurt and that the vomiting and passing out were a reaction to the anesthesia. Of course, by the time I was discharged, I had caught the hospital crud as I called it and was sick.

While all of this was going on, the hubby’s great-uncle passed away and his younger cousin got married.

It’s been an interesting past few weeks. Needless to say, there wasn’t much blogging going on during this time. We’re adjusting to life as a family of three and I’ve been starting to feel much better and am determined to change my diet in order to prevent any more stones from developing.


I {heart} Fall


Every year, I learn to love fall more and more for it’s beautiful colors and fabulous shots that I am just dying to take!  I’m so lucky that I get to look at this gorgeous tree every day from my front door. I would be sad if it ever got cut down!

These first two pictures were taking Saturday as a storm was coming in. I just happened to be out side since it was our neighborhood’s trick-r-treat night and I couldn’t resist the urge to snap these pictures!


In the summer time I complain about all the golfers who hit golf balls at my house and come close to hitting our vehicles, but I love the beauty that it provides. I’m not sure what I would ever do if I had to look at houses or buildings across from our house.


This one was taken earlier in the day on Saturday.


Last Monday, my mother-in-law and two of her friends that were in town visiting {aka crashing my house, just kidding mom I still love you}, along with a bunch of her long time friends met up in Amish Country for a day full of shopping and lunch. I couldn’t help myself and just had to take some of these great pictures.


We live in the heart of Amish Country, so for us it’s not unusual to have run in’s with them at the grocery store or other area’s of life. In fact my husband works with more Amish than he does “English” at his place of employment.


But I love going to Amish Country this time of year to check out all the wonderful views and see the changing leaves as we come up over a hill. Then again, I guess I’ve never been to this little tourist town any other time of year. Ok, I admit it, I also love all the craft stores and fabulous food in Amish Country too.


Now that the month of October is over and things might slow down for me for a few months…er… snowed in, I may have time to make more items for my craft booth that I recently started with some friends at one of the popular stores in my favorite Amish Town.

I can’t believe that November is only a few hours away! Can someone please remind me where the last eleven months have went?

But don’t worry! I have big blogging news coming later this week that will help us get through the rest of the year!


Happy Fall Ya’ll


Hope ya’ll had a great weekend! I’ve been busy since Friday evening! My MIL and two of her friends are here visiting from Myrtle Beach.

Yesterday, we went to a huge indoor/outdoor flea market! I couldn’t believe that my husband had never thought to take me there. His excuse was because {it’s far away!} because we’ve never been up that way in our almost 5 years of being together! I was able to get four huge red peppers for $2 and 3 packs of strawberries for $1 each.  Then we ate at the Amish kitchen on the property. It was yummy, but the line was the longest line I have ever waited in for food!


This afternoon we had dinner at my husband’s Aunt & Uncles to visit with a cousin who was back from Mississippi. I had never been to his Aunt’s house here in town, but just fell in love with the view on their patio! I would love to be able to look at this every day in the fall!

Tomorrow, we are off to Amish country for the day! I love Fall!  But I don’t love the cold weather we have been having!

I’m pretty sure I will need a vacation, from their vacation!


Christmas 2010

 DSCN3498 I enjoyed spending time with my mom.

DSCN3499We tried to get Daisy to look at the camera since she tried to get some body part in every picture.

 DSCN3500 So Jake felt left out and needed to be in the Christmas picture.

DSCN3506 My mom, my “niece” Sadie & I.

DSCN3508 The dogs loved their Christmas presents…

DSCN3509 5 days later the toys are still all in one piece (I think that’s cause they were too busy bonding with Grandma).

DSCN3510 Daisy wasn’t happy with her present from Grandma, Doggie Diapers… But Mommy was a happy camper.

DSCN3520  Then she got over the pouting and decided to watch the action.

 DSCN3543 Jake decided the stockings were his new bed.

DSCN3544 And Daisy still wasn’t sure about all this…

DSCN3529The hubby actually listened and got me what I asked for.

DSCN3546 Mom loved her dolphin & GPS so now she won’t get lost leaving here.

DSCN3560 The hubby didn’t allow many pictures due to being sick with the flu for 4 days! I only got this picture so his mom could see what she got him.

DSCN3567 I attempted to venture out of the Stove Top Stuffing Box and make homemade stuffing… It turned out okay.

DSCN3568 But there was no messing up my sister’s amazing corn casserole.

DSCN3569 There was a lot of food for 5 people! It was soo yummy! I haven’t cooked since!

 DSCN3571 The turkey was so moist from the roaster.

DSCN3572 I rock in the dessert department…

DSCN3573 Coconut Cream Pie

DSCN3574 Oreo Cream Pie made with Cheesecake flavored pudding

DSCN3575 Carrot Salad (still not as good as Grandma’s).

DSCN3570I am so thankful to Ms. Martha for this creative idea for displaying cards… I loved how it turned out and had to start taping them to the window.

DSCN3576 My beautiful center piece using candles and Christmas bulbs. Don’t worry, I purchased more the day after.

DSCN3577 I also made this cute tag blanket for my little cousin Spencer who’s just a doll.

DSCN3578Jake got pretty spoiled with Grandma’s heater/massager and comfy throw blankets that I’m pretty sure I’ll have to sell a kidney to purchase the heated pet bed from Petco for our geriatric dog.

DSCN3579 And we couldn’t forget Daisy eating Grandma’s leather coat within 12 hours of Grandma’s arrival. So if any of you creative people out there have any idea’s how to fix this, Grandma would be very appreciative. And just in case you’re wondering, I don’t mean that she just tore up the coat, she swallowed the leather too.

The inside decorations are put away and organized thanks to the new label maker I received… Grandma made it back to Iowa safely… the hubby is feeling better… and I’ve been battling horrible, horrible stomach pains for two days.

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.