the verbs of august.

reading // Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Have to mix up the non-fiction and the fiction sections of my small library. Both are currently in my purse (Anne) and my gym bag (Seabiscuit) waiting for me to crack their spines back and dive back into stories about Lakes of Shining Waters and horse racing in the '40s.

listening // the hum of the fan before I fall asleep. I must have been one of those babies that loved white noise because I sure love it now. (is that true mom?) Also, recently got into Spotify again and have downloaded: The Wailin' Jennys, Lianne La Havas, and The Best Coast.

watching // Dawson's Creek (ah! I can't seem to shake it! I keep talking about it, but I am almost done and I am not a quitter!) and while I am not watching TV (ahem, Real Housewives) I am usually watching Leo sleep, since there's nothing cuter. No, seriously, until we have children that puppy sleeping while be how I measure cuteness.

baking // I. don't. bake. currently, I mean. For several reasons: 1) My kitchen is tiny and the thought of having the counters (two) open long enough for me to bake something is laughable and 2) I have lost quite a few pounds and I can't keep those pounds off if there are baked goods sitting in my house (extreme lack of self-control with this one when it comes to having snack food in the house. Chad is lucky if he gets any treats at all).

enjoying // the calm before the storm. School/student teaching/hectic schedule/10 hour days starts in 5 days. 5. I keep telling myself I'm ready, so here's hoping the inner pep talk is working.

wanting // this might sound very 'first world' of me, but Chad and I want a Keurig machine. We used one in the hotel room during our stay in Madison and loved the single-serve concept. Hopefully they go down in price (maybe around Christmas?) so that we can get one.

celebrating // this weekend with my grandpa since he is preaching his last service ever before retiring. He has been a Lutheran pastor for over 62 years! A weekend with almost his entire family sitting in his tiny Minnesota church seems very fitting for such a wonderful man.

doing // day off stuff. laundry. (am I always doing laundry?) blogging. grocery shopping. packing. a trip to Kohl's. organizing. snoozing with Leo -- you know, the usual.

drinking // my daily water -- at the gym right above the water fountain there's a sign that says "Drink More Water" with a little water droplet next to it that is saying "Your body loves me!" (I'll just have to take a picture of it for you because it pretty cute.) And when I'm not drinking water, it's usually Sam Adam's Oktoberfest or a glass of wine for supper.

*original post concept can be seen here at:  take me for a twirl.



the Madison farmer's market blows my small town one outta the water.
I think that every year around this time of summer, I write about how I don't want summer to end and I don't understand how other bloggers can be writing about fall fashion and fall baking and soups -- things that are the furthest from my mind. I try to hold onto the end as tight as I possibly can. And if that means escaping two hours south to Madison for the weekend then that is what I have to do.

Our weekend in Madison was the exact ending to summer that we both needed -- it was full of food, drinks, television, naps, walks, bike rides, pictures, exploring, and driving together. perfect.

p.s. If you are my facebook friend or follow me on instagram, you'll have already seen my other Madison pictures. But, if you are interested: instagram (@projectsimplelife) #madcation



Today Sheena posted one picture and wrote about it. Then she asked bloggers to do the same.
Above is my picture.
Below are my words.
gallery walls remind me of grandmas.
grandma hulke's wall leading downstairs.
grandma hallauer's wall in the hallway off the kitchen.
glancing up at the same picture of g + g while I was eating my breakfast at their table.
slowly adding to my own gallery wall above our couch.
I always ask for picture frames for Christmas.
I love looking at people's pictures when I go to their houses.
it all started with one picture.
the 11 x 14 picture of us kissing in our wedding clothes.
then we went to paris.
so I added the eiffel tower picture that chad took.
I love the pictures chad takes (I think more than my love for my own pictures).
etsy purchases were added -- the paris postcard and the she + he shoes.
then an addition flash card from a thrift store.
a fabric scrap wreath.
a photobooth picture.
a free download.

all these pictures are us.
right now. 
before kids school pictures are added.
and their artwork that we'll frame.
but that's in the future.
God's got all that ready for us.
Thank goodness.

so this is our first edition.
it's ever changing.
evolving to what is relevant. 
in the present.

p.s.  funny enough, I posted about this very subject in 2009! Read my thoughts: here.


12 on the 12th. // august

01. The Olympics is closing as I type. Now what will Chad and I watch together? I know...old episodes of Louis on Netflix. (Sidenote: 'Imagine' gave me chills.)
02. I love that the Olympics inspires people to get fit. My bodypump instructor never fails to bring up Lochte or Franklin during our hour together.
03. Chad bought me the Canon 50mm lens for my birthday. I think I'm in love.
04. I also think I'm in love with the following: apples + peanut butter, cottage cheese + scrambled eggs, and ripe peaches (they don't need anything added to them).
05. Leo does this cute/annoying thing when I have popcorn sitting on my lap -- he'll get as close to me as possible, look up at me and give me those puppy eyes. I cave and give him some of course, but not without making him 'sit' first.
06. Pacey Witter is unlike any guy that I went to high school with. I'm currently watching DC because 1) I wasn't allowed to when I was a kid 2) I want to see what all the fuss around it was and 3) I am a bored during the day almost-back-to-school-student-teacher.
07. My nephew and sister called me on my birthday earlier this month and sang Happy Birthday on my voice mail. I may never delete it.
08. I am in current desperation to find cute, modest/teacher appropriate, comfortable clothing for my student teaching days. I guess I'll have to shop. :)
09. Current Reads: Seabiscuit and In Defense of Food. I have this thing with non-fiction at the moment.
10. I have a problem with buying fabric from my local thrift store and thinking that I'll do all these great things with it when really it just keeps Karma company up in the attic.
11. The Olympics also makes me pine for London again and forces me to commit to putting all my pictures in an album (and share some with you!)
12. Chad and I have three days off in two weeks. Chad and I want to go somewhere. Maybe Chicago??


what I like about... // Leo.

Disclaimer: I started writing this post the night that Leo chewed my phone charger. I was pissed and needed a reminder of why I love my dog. 

Quick recap: Leo is my dog. He is a 12-month old yellow Lab who we took in last October when he was a puppy baby. I never ever expected to be a dog owner, but Chad always wanted one and that little Leo completely won me over. Now I get to have my boy (and Karma our cat) with me all day long...and I love it. If you are not a dog lover like I, feel free to skip over this post. :)

what I like about... // LEO.
01. When he gives me the 'I'm so cute and I know it' look by putting his head on his front paws and looking up at us.
02. My nicknames for him: 'Boo-Boo', 'Lee-Lee', 'Boo'. He has heard me say them so many times that he actually responds to them now.
03. I am trying to sound as un-corny as possible, but when we first got Leo, Chad and I worked as a team and figured out what he wanted and how he was to fit into our life that would be the best for all of us. A tiny little preview what is to come once there are baby Hestekins.
04. His floppy dark tan ears.
05. His dark chocolate eyes.
06. How smart he is -- he understands the command 'back up', plays tug-of-war, can find any ball we throw at him, and runs to the door when I say "who's here?".
07. Swimming with him is always an adventure. As is driving in a car with him -- he loves those windows open.
08. How he always sighs like the weight of the world is on his shoulders when he lays down.
09. The white tip of his tail and the white diamond shape on the top of his head.
10. How much he loves Chad. The quintessential picture of man's best friend with those two.

*Even though Leo rocks, there are things he does that I can't. stand. Namely: chewing through two pairs of my shoes, two of Chad's shoes, one printer charger, one computer charger, three phone chargers, one pair of underwear, and one thousand tissues.


tomorrow is my birthday.

And while I could wax poetic musings about how I'm happy to be celebrating in my town instead of where we were last year, I won't, because comparing Europe to Eau Claire would be like comparing Chef Boyardee to the Italian pasta dishes that Bethany is currently eating in Rome -- it's just not right.

So it's true that last year's birthday rocks this year's birthday outta the water...maybe.

But I don't know. I know that Chad has a baseball game with our family, a trip to my parent's house for cake, and a visit with friends who we haven't seen in over a year planned -- but that's all I know.

Last year I happily sat next to him on the airplane from London to Minneapolis for eight hours watching four movies and eating three meals. But this year I will probably sit next to him on our couch on Saturday morning. We'll probably be watching the Olympics with our breakfast plates on TV trays and our Leo snoozing in the corner.

And I'm good with that. Because I'm finally understanding God's lesson that He has been teaching me the past two years: that I don't need much to be happy. Being married and having the day-in and day-out with him that I do has shown me that.

So happy Saturday to you. My birthday wish (my one of many) is that you take a sec to find some part of the day that makes your heart happy.

I was hoping while I was writing this that I wouldn't end on a sappy, syrupy note, but oh well. :)

Looking back....
birthday post: 2009
birthday post: 2010
birthday post:  2011

because it's just not a project simple life birthday post if I don't include a cupcake // credit.


XXX Summer Olympics.

work out.
watch the olympics.
watch the olympics with chad.

I do sprinkle in some time for eating, showering, and general everyday-ness, but most of the last week has been the above schedule. I love it. I follow almost every event, my favorites so far being swimming, men's and women's gymnastics, rowing, and beach volleyball. And I can't wait for track to start in a couple days.

summer far surpasses winter in my humble opinion. 
in every way. 

some of my favorite moments are seeing U.S. Olympiads on the stand singing the national anthem, Ryan + Michael in the pool, and Gabby on the beam and uneven bars. And I completely believe that those P & G commercials were designed for criers like me (as well as those little vignettes about the athletes before their event starts). I soak up the events every night with Chad, not updating my twitter feed until after for fear that someone would spoil the outcome (especially since I follow Misty May and Michael Phelps now). (:

I think the last time I was this invested this much in the olympics was in 1996 during the magnificent seven's reign in gymnastics -- watching their events on the floor of my house in Mankato with my mom and older sister, clutching my Olympic Barbie (who had the uncanny resemblance to Shannon Miller).

image 1 // here
image 2 // here
collage // project simple life


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