my interview with justin vernon.

Kind of.

One of the things that I really like about my town is our local magazine Volume One. They write about amazing small-town events and things to do; and more importantly, they write about things that matter to the people in this area.

About a month ago, they posted a fun project on Facebook that they wanted us, the local everyday people, to come up with questions to ask our celebrity, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to ask some questions. The full interview is here.

It's kinda cool, isn't it? This talented man has been featured in The New York Times, SPIN, and Billboard. But I was the one who got to ask him these questions. Just little old me and not some big reporter who works for a mega company.

Speaking of which, do you have the new album yet? It's been on repeat at this house for days...

P.S.  Two years ago, on of the first posts I wrote on this blog was about Justin/Bon Iver. Read it here

photo credit: D.L. Anderson.

canon 2.0 pictures (part two)

Part two shows that we pretty much didn't do much of anything two weekends ago. (We did go to a childhood friend's wedding but didn't want to take baby Rebel out of the house so early on).

Breakfast smoothie (strawberry + mango to be exact).
Samantha Brown's Passport to Europe. Bonus Points to whoever can figure out what country she is in.
Saying good-bye to my dear friend of four years. We've been everywhere together, but now she'll sit on a shelf. (Sad how much that last sentence reminds me of Toy Story 2 + 3 somehow).
Sleepy girl.
Snapping a quick self-portrait on our way to church.
My favorite view of Chad via the passenger seat.
Stoic Karma hanging out with me on Sunday night.

//On a sidenote, I miss you ladies (and the few fellas). It's not that I am apologizing for my absence from here because I am not. Teaching preschool and falling in love with this job is more fulfilling than blogging could ever be. It's in the real world -- where I truly am. With that being said, I feel like you are all girlfriends that I know are busy and I see once in a while, but I want to text you so that we can meet up for a coffee date. soon dears.


canon 2.0 pictures (part one)

It's official. Last Friday, we upgraded to the wide & wonderful world of D SLR. With one trip to Walmart and one trip to Best Buy (we got a price match!) we ended the night exploring our living room with our Canon Rebel T3. I love the Rebel -- the name is so bold; even the packaging was a little flashy. We spend the whole night relaxing on the couch and taking random pictures (see the picture of Ron Swanson and us being goofy outside). This camera will be traveling all the way to Europe with us, so we are spending the next few weeks perusing our camera manual literature and learning all about exposure, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, etc.

Tune in tomorrow for more of our baby Rebel in action!

P.S. Yes, my first picture I took with this new camera was of Ron Swanson. Seriously. I love that guy....


the first year of marriage... // Meghan from The Perfect Compilation Tape

Past Bride No. 3 is Meghan. She is one of the first blog friends I ever had and her blog is definitely a daily read for me. This guest post is so fitting today since she'll be celebrating her anniversary in about a month and she just got done doing these really fun posts about her wedding memories (alphabet style) that you can read here and here.

My name is Meghan, and I blog over at The Perfect Compilation Tape. Usually, you can find me discussing the three C's: Chicago (my hometown!), cupcakes and coffee. Sometimes, however, my husband Mike makes an appearance (hereafter known as "Mikey"). Mikey (he hates it when I call him that!) and I have been married for almost two years. We will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary on July 24th, and I cannot believe it! These first two years of marriage have FLOWN BY, and I've definitely learned a lot about myself and my husband.

Since one of my weekly blog features is "Top 5 Thursdays", I thought I'd put together a list of the top five things that I have learned about marriage.

5. While marriage is a partnership, it's important to operate independently.
Mikey and I love spending time together. There is never a shortage of laughter and goofiness, no matter where we are. But even though we have daily coffee dates on our way to work, as well as weekly date nights, we aren't afraid to do things without each other. For instance, Mikey loves concerts. I hate standing on my feet. Therefore, when he wants to go see a band, he will call a friend or go on his own. This way, he doesn't have to deal with my constant complaining about how uncomfortable it is to stand for three hours in heels, and I can watch the "Real Housewives".

4. Men leave socks everywhere.
I think this is really an analogy for "choose your battles". My husband is a hybrid of a dog and a toddler. He leaves his socks in the couch cushions. He spills his milk. He loves to cuddle when I am trying to grade papers. I love him, but yes, he can annoy the hell out of me sometimes. Is it worth fighting over, though? Personally, I'd rather roll my eyes, and then smile at his child-like cuteness rather than make an issue out of it. Except for the socks. THAT drives me nuts.

3. Date each other.
It's really easy to fall into a rut. A typical night in our house goes something like this: come home from work, work-out, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed. However, at least once a week, we do something special, like go out to dinner or grab dessert (our dates always revolve around food). That way, we can keep the spark alive as we gain weight:)

2. Communication is KEY.
I know this isn't anything new, but let's be honest. Relationships are hard work. There are bumps in the road. And so when there are, Mike and I do our best to cool off, and then discuss the issue at hand - all before bed. Because going to bed angry causes wrinkles.

1. There's no such thing as a "perfect marriage".
I hate to cook. Sometimes, I cry for no reason. I really love to shop. And my home, while always clean, is nowhere near Martha Stewart status. I am not perfect, but neither is my husband. And since we all have faults and we all make mistakes, it's important to understand, as a result, that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. I truly believe that recognizing this, and adjusting accordingly, is half the battle:)



My dad this morning. Doing what he loves: reading the paper + being outside with a cup of coffee.

I have had the above quote (from Pushing Daisies) on my blogging clipboard, waiting for the perfect occasion. I think Father's Day is just the day, don't you? This is the quote that bottles up how I feel about my dear dad. He is the best human being in my eyes and I go to him when I need comfort, assurance, and guidance.

Remember how, when you were a kid, and your dad would do something that made you think he was the greatest + strongest + bravest man ever? For me (and my three siblings), it was the little things: building us a dollhouse, teaching all of us how to ride our bikes, singing silly songs while making dinner, or praying with us before bed.

I love you forever.


so we're throwing a party.

01. 02. 03.
04. 05. 06.
07. 08. 09.

I've hinted. I've mentioned it here. But I have now finally gotten around to posting the inspiration board for my parents' 30th anniversary party that is coming up next week already! I'll give you the rundown: parents backyard, siblings and I hosting (which means refilling drinks and pointing out where to sit), sandwiches + fruit + desserts. Everything handmade and created by us kids. I've dug through my parents old wedding book and photo albums and can't wait to help them remember all those event through the years. Can't you believe that we've (and by 'we' I mean 'me') have never through a party this size before?

Still so many DIY projects left to do...good thing weekends are free around here. :)



It is officially the 12th of June. Wowza. Doesn't it always seem like the first half of the year flies by?

01. Eating more produce. Above is the black bean + mango tostadas that Chad and I have made several times (recipe here) and we somehow seem to eat more veggies/fruit and less meat in the summer. Are you like that too? Why is that? Is it just because I don't want to turn on my stove or is it because fresh food tastes soooo much better in the summer? I'm not complaining though--I kinda like looking down and seeing my grocery cart filled with those clear produce bags.
02. Ending my run at the hotel front desk last night. Celebrating with a Summer Shandy.
03. Starting the new job tomorrow morning. Let the butterflies start their fluttering dance in my stomach...
04. Finding lesson plan material for said job. See, that's why I like what I do. In addition to browsing pinterest for more dreamy house inspiration, I get to find crafts for father's day.
05. Chad smoked ribs yesterday. He said they were heavenly. And he took pictures. Instead of getting to eat with him, I munched on a turkey sandwich. :)
06. Bethany is engaged! I can't talk about her kindness and friendliness enough -- she is one of the best ladies I have ever had the privilege of calling my friend. Am so delighted that she is getting married to her love! YAY!
07. Having my faith restored in the X Men franchise -- which was depleted after the 3rd flick. Bonus: Yum x 2 (McAvoy + Fasssbender).
08. Chad in his new "Europe" jeans. They make his butt extra yummy. Ladies, get your fellas some 1969 straight leg jeans from the Gap. Stat.
09. Mavs v. Heat. I don't know why I'm so into the NBA finals right now, but I have watched all these games. Maybe because Micaela is so passionate, she's rubbin' off on me.
10. Making decorations for the 30th party (one of my favorite things to do). Have I still not shown you the plan? Will do that this week...promise.
11. The Business of Being Born. Wow. This documentary completely opened up a new way of thinking about child birth for me.
12. New music to be excited over. Thursday, I listened to Bon Iver's new album streaming and sent Chad a text: "Justin's new album is streaming -- you want in?" (Since I live in Justin's town, I guess I feel like we are on a first name basis...even though we've never met). Do yourself a favor and listen here if you wish.

**play along with Amy + Miranda.


in the backyard.

I live in our backyard as much as possible in the three precious summer months. It's perfection right now, without those pesky mosquitoes. The patio of concrete and surrounding grass turns into our everything -- kitchen, laundromat, dining room table, and living room couch (for those afternoon naps after work).

Everything is so much calmer when living out here: meals are eaten slower, books and blog posts written by friends (i.e. you!) are read with more purpose and thought, laundry is folded right from the line, and more breaks are taken in the day to escape and lay out on our blue comforter feeling the bumps of dirt underneath me and the sun warm up my pale arms and legs.

Fewer distractions. That's what I'm striving for this summer.

Photo Credit: Chad + iPhone.


on getting a new job.

Hip, hip, hooray! I can eat solid foods again!
(I'm still a little wary of straws since I heard that dry sockets are so horribly painful). Thank you a million for the encouraging words and the well-wishes during my absence from the blogging world. I spent my time on the couch with my best friends -- Karma, pudding, and Netflix Instant.

I think it's time to share the other important news that is going on in my life besides the lack of teeth. I got a new job! In one short week, I'll leave the hotel front desk that I have worked at for 3 years and 12 days. While I leave behind some of the best ladies that I've ever worked with, I start a job I have been working towards for the past four years. Bonus: I work the same time that Chad does, so we'll be able to spend nights and weekends together. God is so good.

What's in the new job description, you ask?  Well, I will be the head (and only) teacher at a child care center in the 4 + 5-year-old room for the summer (then, once school starts, they'll work around that schedule, of course). And I can't wait to get started. I am nervous, excited, delighted, and just so happy. This week will be spent doing block plans, filing out paperwork, and writing up an introduction letter. I feel like the quote above puts how I am feeling in a perfect quotable package.

Start date is next Monday...wish me luck! :)

P.S. With all the hotel stories that I've told my family over the years, I can't believe I've only shared one with all of you. Read it here.


wisdom teeth recovery.

What my diet consists of as of yesterday...yum. 

No, this is not the first post I want to have welcome the month of June, but unfortunately I have to face the truth. I got my wisdom teeth out yesterday and I am in recovery mode. While I am still on the mend, I thought I would share with you a few details of my experience (not the gross-out stuff, though):

01. People will share gross stories with you before you have your surgery. I think this is kind of like being pregnant in a way -- people have stories/tips and they want to share with you. For the last two weeks, every time I have told people that I am getting my wisdom teeth out, I hear experiences about dry sockets (cringe) or how to ice your cheeks.
02. Vicodin makes you have trippy dreams. The first day, I had two dreams that I remember...one, I was in a cartoon (complete with speech bubbles) and the other, I was writing a blog with my mind with someone from high school (who I haven't seen in two years!).
03. You can't eat the food you want to. I thought it was going to be such a treat, getting to eat pudding and frozen yogurt for a couple days. But it's not such a treat when that is all you eat. I was shooting Chad dagger eyes watching him eat tacos last night.
04. General anesthesia leaves you saying and doing weird things. According to Chad, right after I woke up, I sang along with Prince's 'Kiss' and Backstreet Boys 'As Long as You Love Me'. Very loudly. I also proclaimed "I can't believe it's OVER!" about 50 times. Chad so wishes he had his phone out. 
05. Having a surgery like this really shows how much Chad cares for me. He changed my gross, bloody gauze pads, he heated up spaghetti-o's for me, and he even woke up at 3:15 am to give me my medication. What a guy...

Hopefully I'll be back in full swing in about a week. For now, I'm brushing my teeth very carefully and staying away from straws. :)


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