Category Archives: Life

Last Year As A Twenty-Something

My birthday was earlier this month {I can’t believe this month is almost gone}.

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I got cupcakes from the local cupcake shop. I thought this Cookie Monster was adorable. IMG_2318

These are so rich and delish that we usually split them so we both can try the different flavors.

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I started a thing at work this year to recognize my co-workers birthday’s by decorating their desk and hanging a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner. While I was out, they decorated my desk.

IMG_2316   The best birthday card I got was from my friends two daughters! How cute is this?

Since I had to work on my birthday, I took that Friday off work and went for a pedicure and just enjoyed the day off.

Only 11 more months of being a twenty-something.

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Happy Mother’s Day

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.}

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

Chances Change Lives

“If life gives you a chance, take it; If it changes your life, let it.”- Harvey MacKay

This was a quote that my roommate my freshman year of college had posted in our dorm room and I grew to love it. It’s been one of my favorite quotes of all time and I’ve used it many times to get myself through various situations over the years.

If you could believe it, I was very shy and quiet in high school and growing up. I was always involved in activities and worked throughout high school, but I was always afraid to speak up or to be called on in class. It even took me a long time to get comfortable around my friends. So it came as a little bit of a shock to those closest to me when I decided I was going to move 700 miles away from my hometown in Iowa to attend a private college in Ohio; where, I knew absolutely no one! IMG_2131

I took a chance when I made the decision to move far away from my comfort zone, to a state where I knew no one. I had no idea what to expect when I stepped foot on the college campus, situated in the center of a quant little town; where Amish buggies trotting through the street dividing up the campus, were an everyday occurrence. Some days I wondered what I got myself in too. Other days I was so thankful that I took the chance to see what else the world had to offer outside of the small farming town I grew up in. IMG_2129

A chance that changed my life. A chance that allowed me to come out of my shell, to open up and figure out who I was as a person. A chance that allowed me to meet my best friends. Friends who have embraced me with open arms, making me feel like I’m a part of their family when I had no family around me. A chance that lead me to my husband.

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A chance that changed my life. A chance that I am so thankful for, as I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. IMG_2132That chance that changed my life, specifically changed my life when I graduated college seven years ago today. I wonder where the last seven years have gone. There have been ups and downs, career changes, moving from renting an apartment to owning a home, dating turned to marriage, the loss of loved ones, struggles with infertility, but through it all, it’s that one chance that I took almost eleven years ago that changed my life forever!

I’ve spent the last seven years continuing to work in the same quant little town, with the Amish buggies still trotting down the streets. I’m lucky that I still get to enjoy the beauty of the campus every day while passing through. One day last week, I was able to go down memory lane when I went for a walk through the campus, enjoying the beautiful tulips that were in bloom. Spring time was always my favorite time of year during college. I was able to capture these gorgeous pictures while strolling through campus.

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That same day, I came across this field of dandelions, that I just thought were beautiful. This field reminded me that beauty is all around us.

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Goodbye Winter

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Ohio winters are usually very harsh and very long. If every winter was the way winter was this year, I wouldn’t mind living in Ohio, just slightly south of the snow belt.

We only had a few snowy days and only one day that I can remember getting more than an inch of snow & thankfully, I was on vacation that day. Usually the snow was just enough to cover everything in the morning and by noon it was melted. {I’m sorry to all of my friends and family who live in the MidWest and have seen the wrath of Mother-Nature this winter}.

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I did gain an appreciation for the beautiful landscape that those snowy days provided. These are two of my most favorite pictures that I may have every taken. And would you have guessed that they were taken with my iPhone?

Winter, as much as I love the scenery that you have provided us with this year, I’m ready for spring to start in a few short weeks. I’m ready for the warmer temperatures that we’re suppose to have next week, for the beautiful spring flowers to bloom, to have evening conversations with the neighbors on our porches again and to let the dogs run around without tracking mud into the house.

{PS- Guess who’s back to blogging as time allows??!! That’s right, this girl! Our new computer arrived yesterday & I’m still working on getting things set up.}

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.

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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.

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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 ♥

Look Who’s One!

My “adopted” niece turned one last week! I can’t believe how fast the last year has gone! So, I was excited when her mommy started to plan her 1st birthday party using the theme of rainbow colors!

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Is she not the most adorable birthday girl ever?! The tutu is consuming the swing and she looks like she floating in the air!

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My decorating job for the party was to decorate the high chair. I cut various lengths of crate paper and taped them to the bottom side of the high chair tray. You can use ribbon for this as well.

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Kristi made these colorful pom poms that looked beautiful hanging in the tree’s above the patio.

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She also made mini ones to stick in the planters!

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She had favor boxes made up and used various colors of tissue paper to keep with the rainbow theme.

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My beautiful cupcakes!

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I can’t believe this little monkey is a year old! Look how big she has gotten!

Happy Birthday Lyric!

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Walk Beside Me & Just Be My Friend

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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