the {soon-to-be} one-year-old

Over the weekend, I got to see the nephew UJ. Today marks 11 months in his life which means we only have one more month until he's the big 1! Since there might be some other people who have little boys besides my sister, I thought I'd round up some of my gift ideas. This list is a little special to our UJ since he's a "little Wales" :)

01. navy blue whale onesie
02. squirt whale onesie
03. fire truck puzzle
04. vintage western plaid shirt
05. whale on wheels
06. Dr. Seuss's One Fish, Two Fish


for the Easter files.

Well, Easter sneaked up on me this year.

This Sunday is already Palm Sunday which means that Holy Week is starting in a couple days. It's so easy to forget this holiday since this year is flying by, but to me, Easter is one of the biggest holidays.  It's so comforting to know that my Savior has overcome death and I look forward to this week since I'll be able to celebrate His death and my assurance of eternal life. It's remarkable to me that Jesus died for my sins and rose again to give miserable, sinful me a place in Heaven.

Martha has some crafting ideas that I'd like to try next year:
* Pussy Willow Wreath
* Simple Easter Display

I also found some other Easter decoration inspiration on etsy:
* Porcelain Laceware Easter Eggs
* Easter Cake Pop Bouquet
* Spring Cupcake Flags
* Easter Blocks

So in the midst of all the Easter happenings, I plan on watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution {as a teacher, I have interest in getting kids on a healthy lunch program}, going to my cousin's baby shower {part of my gift is this}, celebrating Chad's birthday, and depositing my state tax refund {time to build up the nest--we have a TV to buy after all}.

Happy last weekend in March!  

{Wish the weather was cooperating...oh well, I just bought some cardigans from Old Navy/Gap so I can do some layering}


happy b-day, papa

{my mom and dad, circa 1988...I'm the pink squirmy baby in my mom's arms}

Hey dad, Happy Birthday! I'm glad to have you as my awesome dad. You and mom have given me so much in my 21 years: my sense of humor, passion for life, responsible mind, and love for my family and Christ. I see how you  two act in your marriage and I thank both of you for being the best role models. I hope C and I can have a marriage mirrored after yours.

You are my Superman--helping me with problems that I just can't understand, reassuring me that my future isn't so scary, and praying for me and the sibs every day.


P.S. Some wedding news: I'm going to my dress fitting today! My mom, sis, and I are taking lunch off and going to see what work needs to be done. Yea!


leaving the nest.

I have a confession: I've never been good with change. One of my personal weaknesses is accepting that change in my life and being able to adapt with the adjustments I have to make. The reason that I'm saying this, is that in about 50 some days, I'm going to go through a big change.
Good-bye parent's house. Hello duplex.

I'm going to go from college student living at parent's house {rent-free, bless their selfless hearts} to a brand-new wife, renter, and {still} a college student. I'm going to live on my own: being responsible for myself and Chad's well-being and create a house suitable for my new husband and me.

Now, don't you all agree that is a lot of change? I like living at my parent's house and I've never really had to be concerned with the water bill or if I should buy generic or not. This isn't me saying that I'm not looking forward to living on my own with Chad--this is saying that some part of me is going to miss living at home. {The "I'm Excited to Live on My Own" post is coming later this week.}

Here are some things I'll miss about living at home:

01. hearing my parents talk quietly in their bedroom when I come home at the end of the day

02. Saturday morning pancakes. I don't get to do this tradition as often since I work on Saturday mornings, but when I'm able, I love waking up to my dad calling us down to breakfast.

03. listening to my sister practice her piano music. She's quite talented when it comes to the piano {unlike me, she actually went past the parent-required 3rd grade level} and my favorite is hearing her play the music from pride+prejudice.
04. the familiar: how I can tell when Hannah home from school, knowing where the mail goes, knowing that when my parents go out for a walk, they'll always come back with coffee, knowing that Monday is laundry day here

05. debating television shows like LOST with my dad and Hannah: is Jacob the Messiah? Who is Smokey?
debating shows like Project Runway and Glee with my mom: did that designer really deserve winning?  should Rachel and Finn be together?

06. the notes my mom leaves for us on the kitchen counter--notes ranging from telling us to record a television show for her, telling us to clean the bathroom because we're getting a weekend house-guest, or asking us if we know where her scissors are

07. having my homework helper right at home. My dad's the guy who helps me with graphs and statistics, as well as suggesting topics for my research paper and what lesson plans would work

08. hearing the "This is Jepoardy!" announcement and knowing that my dad is hanging out in the living room.  Also could be: Twins baseball, classical music, Gophers basketball or hockey

09. the dinners on our 3-season room in the summer. No TV blaring, no distractions--just us, food, and conversation

10. the tradition Hannah and I have of reading the Lifestyle section of the Sunday paper on the way to church...looking at the weddings and reading the baby names aloud

11. the piles on my mom's desk--pictures she has to put in albums, Kwik Trip receipts she has to enter into the computer, the lists she writes to herself

12. looking at the calendar hanging from our refrigerator: the appointments, the birthdays, the times my dad ushers at church--all in my mother's handwriting. She gave me my organization gene.

13. the comfort: knowing there's always bread in the cupboard next to the refrigerator, knowing that my parents will take care of those pesky bills, knowing that when I write something on the grocery to-buy list...it will be bought, never having to shovel the driveway or mow the grass--having parents who take pride in their work and instill the same values to their children, hearing my dad walk up the stairs at the end of the day and calling out to Hannah and I: "Good night girls, I love you"

Tell me please: How did all of you feel when you moved out on your own?


Doesn't new music make you so happy? Miss Z and M. Ward just released Volume II today, and right now it's downloading onto my iTunes. I'm thrilled that I'll be able to listen to it while driving to and from school.  Music like this just puts me in such a good mood...perfect spring music.

Hey, Zooey, if you read this--I wish you and I were friends in real life.  I would be a swell friend:)

P.S. Speaking of a girl named Zooey, since so many of you weren't able to view my post about my friend Dani's baby Z, I deleted it off the blog for now, but hope to have it up again soon. am working on it!



You know how I said we've been watching college basketball all weekend? Well, while Chad's been enjoying the games {except the Kansas game which destroyed his bracket...}, I've been enjoying the commercials.

Even though I'd rather be reading my Real Simple magazine, I've gotta admit these two have been making me laugh out loud.

"Pass the guacamole!"

Laura, this one's for you...



Happy 1st day of spring, tomorrow!

What are your weekend plans?
March Madness is going on right now, so that's what will be occupying our time. This is the only time of the year that Chad gets total control of the remote {not that I'm a remote hog or anything}...this is the time that he'll be glued to CBS for the next couple weekends.

Hopefully, we'll also can watch Life on the Discovery Channel. If you liked Planet Earth...it looks like you'll like Life. This Sunday, the 11-part event will premiere with Challenges of Life. Oh, and it's narrated by Oprah Winfrey.

View the incredible pictures of this Sunday's episode here {the sailfish one is unbelievable, don't you think?!}

We're also going to be working on our wedding checklist and ordering our couch on Sunday! It's a nice little sofa+chaise combo that we're getting for a sweet, sweet deal. It's one of our married couple purchases :)

P.S.  Did you read the incredible news the Pioneer Woman has?


what I watched last night.

Thanks to Netflix {and spring break}, I watched this flick late last night.

Here are my thoughts {rest assured, if you haven't seen the movie, I'll do my best not to spoil any of it}:

--Vivien Leigh won Best Actress for her portrayal as Blanche DuBois
          {wow, wow, wow she totally deserved it...she played one disturbed sister}

--Marlon Brando could've been in the whole movie with his shirt off and I would have been fine with that. Not only that, but he is so talented in this movie.
            {say what you will, but in this movie, Marlon is ripped...I do realize that I just said that about a guy who was old enough to be my grandfather, but wowza he is so nice to look at. Why else would he be the only person on the movie poster? Yeah, that's what I thought.} 

--Stanley+Stella.  A little dysfunctional, wouldn't you say?
            {this morning, I told my dad that I watched this movie and he immediately replied "Hey Stella!"

All in all, I can see why this movie is #45 on AFI's Top 100 movies of all time.
Have you seen it? What did you think?


5.15: on getting married...


Ever since Chad and I got engaged, I've been reading words that other bloggers have said about weddings +marriage, and I have been alarmed at how much their words have been what I have thought and wanted to say.
I've complied them below with my comments in italics. Take a look...

01. Audrey Hepburn once said, "If I get married, I want to be very married." {via here}

What is being 'very married' anyway? Whatever it means, I want to experience it. I want to feel being so married to Chad and building our marriage and life into something that we can cherish.

02. {via a practical wedding}: "Sometimes the ceremony gets lost in the shuffle, because it's not pretty, or because it's emotionally complicated. But this is why everyone is there, this is how it all starts, and this is what changes you forever."

The ceremony. Where Chad and I will say our vows to each other. Where we'll hear our pastor unite us and will remind us that we are one in Christ. It will be one of the biggest moments of my entire life. Full of love and wonder. I've always thought about what I'll feel like right as I'm walking down the aisle on my wedding day. Will I cry? Laugh? Be completely dazed? Will my dad cry? Will Chad? How will I feel minutes before everything starts? From one of my newly-married girlfriends, I've heard that it's one of the most exhilarating and overwhelming moments of your life.

03. {via naturally nina}: "i know our wedding day will be overwhelmingly special, meaningful and fun... but i also know it's just one day. and all of the preparations we are making, conversations we're having, and promises we're making... that's what our marriage is all about."

Nina said exactly what I was thinking: my wedding day is one day. My marriage to Chad is for the rest of our lives here on Earth. Our wedding is the beginning. We can plan as much as we'd like to for our wedding day, but our marriage is what needs time, attention, understanding, and above all--love for each other and love for God.


Good {spring} day to you all! 

It's a warm, warm 64 degrees here in Wisconsin and we couldn't be loving it more.  When we went to Florida in February, it was in the sixties there (meaning shorts and swimming suit weather to us) and now we get to have the same kind of treatment up here--complete with birds chirping their cheery tunes right outside my {open} window!

I know that Easter is t-minus 20 days and counting, but I've gotta start thinking about it {don't you just love this sweet angel's little hat?} Right after our St. Patrick's Day fun on Wednesday, we're moving in the bunnies and Easter eggs at my kindergarten classroom.  My head's been buzzing with all sorts of art projects + Easter-related activities that my kindergartners would enjoy doing.  I still have to make my Leprechaun shakes, but I've already started thinking about spring chickens and what to do on a rainy day.

I'm really feeling 2010 is flying by. Winter never stays around too long, and now we're already on Easter and April activities.

On a personal note:

*Welcome to my new readers! I've had so many subscribers in the last couple weeks and I truly appreciate that.  Who knew that you'd be interested in reading the musings of a soon-to-be wife, college graduate, student teacher?! I'm glad you'll all be reading especially in the next couple months.  It's an exciting time for me personally and blogging helps me document all these feelings and happenings in a way that I can look and read about this transitional period in my life.

*I'll be posting heavily within the week. It's Spring Break meaning after I sleep in past 7am,  I'll actually have time to share with you: my John Mayer concert experience, a few wedding reception ideas, a UJ-turning-1 gift ideas post, some Christmas presents that I gave {yeah, 3 mo. later}, my love affair with Fiestaware, what I want to wear on Easter Sunday, and a photo shoot of some wonderful, wonderful bridal shower gifts that I got on Saturday.

Off to go outside on this bright, sunshiney day!


This photo was not taken by me, but has been starred, stared at, and dreamed about by me.  I'm so looking forward to the next couple months that I can't barely stand it. Looking at those little buds bursting out makes me dream of updated spring wardrobes + open windows.

Instead of dreaming of said wardrobes that will be updated and windows that will be opened, I've been consumed by school. More specifically, by lesson plans, evaluations, research papers, article summaries, developmental summaries, statistic problems, bulletin boards, and the like. When one assignment is put in the mental outbox, three more come flying in.

It's been hard catching up from everything I've missed since the trip to Florida and I feel and everything besides schoolwork is being deserted. My fiancee: who I haven't seen since Monday even though we live 6 min. away from each other. My family: to them I'm just a mirage--I come in late at night and leave early in the morning. The only way that they know I'm there is the pile of dishes I leave in the sink. My poor, neglected wedding notebook: I discovered it this morning under a pile of children's books {that I need for school} and I think it had a layer of dust on it.  It's just been all put on the back burner...

Fortunately, I have a nice little thing called Spring Break coming up on Monday. Yes, I still have to go teach kindergarten and do three lesson plans, and yes I still have to meet with the director of my program. But besides those things on the must-do list: I'm free.

I'm free to spend my time calling places that can put a simple hook in the back of my wedding dress. Or I can catch up on Ugly Betty while doing reasearch for the best price of paper lanterns. I'll be able to set aside a night to make sure my pal, Danielle, watches Amelie. I can finally go searching for the perfect spring cardigan {I'm thinking green or blue} and what I should wear to my rehearsal dinner. I'll have time to post about my cute vintage chalkboards and my trip to St. Paul in order to have John Mayer mesmerize me. I can talk about my bridal shower {coming up this Saturday} and search for the perfect gifts for my b-maids. I'll be able to go to the gym and burn calories on the elliptical while listening to She and Him:Volume II {which I'll have time to buy!}. I'll have time to finally just be.

Yes. Right now, I'm buried under a mountain of homework and papers, but I'll see you on the other side...  :)


look at the stars...

Best Dressed: Rachel McAdams
Best Hair: Cameron Diaz
Best Makeup: Carey Mulligan

Worst Dressed: Charlize Theron
Worst Hair: Sarah Jessica Parker
Worst Makeup: Sandra Bullock {oh that lipstick...}

Tell me: What were your picks?

P.S. Am sending special birthday wishes to my mom...she is indeed the mom-that-does-it-all  :)
 {Don't worry, mom will do it, mom does everything}



I love the Oscars. I know I've already told you how much I like award shows, but the Oscars takes the cake (pun intended and I'll explain why).

When my friend Danielle and I were in high school, we, with our friend Jenny, would have our very own swanky Oscar party. (Minus the swanky part...we would eat cake and sprawl on her couches in our sweatpants and pajamas.) It all started the year The Lord of the Rings took home 9 (or was it 10) Oscars and it has stayed in our traditions every year since. Sure there was the winter that she traveled all the way to England, but this year it's back.

Two years in, we added our Oscar in the form of cake. We ate up that yellow-(excuse me, golden) frosted cake like a couple of hungry high school girls (what kind of H.S. girls wouldn't like cake?) I failed at trying to find a picture courtesy of FB, but I'll just tell you: It was scrumptious.

P.S. Danielle, this year I think it would be fun to do these. 

Do any of you have Oscar parties (even if it's just you and the tv)? I'll be back later next week with my pick for Oscar fashion.

Oh, and, let's discuss: Steve Martin never ages...doesn't he look the same as the Steve M. in Father of the Bride (circa 1991)? 


Maybe this is just something kindergarten teachers know, but today is Dr. Seuss's birthday. It's all about the rhyming on March 2nd. At my school, we celebrated big time: we measured how far we could hop after reading Hop on Pop and looked at shadows after reading The Shape of Me and Other Things. In the classroom next door, they were busy making red-and-white Cat in the Hat hats, while we imagined what we would do If (we) ran the zoo.

Next year, maybe I'll be ambitious and make Chad some green eggs+ham for breakfast.


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