Friday, June 29, 2012


 1- Happy yellow daylily- the picture of summer  |  2- same flower |  3-summer fun  | 4-pool time!
5-playtime at a local shop while mommy shops | 6-carousel at the zoo! | 7-happy on the carousel even though it took one major tantrum to get there | 8-starbucks! (paid it forward) | 9-more flowers  |  10-art time the basement while trying to stay cool | 11-playtime | 12-my front flower bed in all purple |  13-my rose bush with lots of blooms and buds |  14-fishing fun with dad |  15-our catch |  16-happy boy

Linking up at LifeReArranged today
life rearranged

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I couldn't help myself...

2-Dick Clark Rose (memorial plant for Trace from Scott's State Farm friends-is looking great!) 
     3-Sum and Substance Hosta bloom bud
4-extra special zinnia bud                5-My first zinnia bloom!

 Okay, I just couldn't help myself. Things are changing every day outside and it is so exciting to me. My zinnias are starting to bloom and I know they are going to be huge and beautiful in a few more weeks. I ordered some extra special zinnia seeds that I can't wait to see in bloom! I'll share with you for sure. 

Michael is always busy outside and we got him some new sand for his sandbox. I was smart this time and employed Scott's help-- no way was I going to haul those heavy bags around myself! 

We have tons of motorcycles that drive by our house on their scenic drives and Michael always has to look up and listen. Look at his little eyes! Too cute. He always has to look up and see what it is because sometimes the loud engine is a motorcycle but sometimes it is a big truck or even better yet, a big tractor!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Reading

Do you try and do extra reading over the summer like me? I'm not sure if it is because I am a teacher and feel I need to get the most out of my time at home in the summer or if it heralds back to the days of summer reading lists and library programs (oh, I loved those!), but I feel like I always try and do some reading over these warm months in the middle of the year. 

A confession: I actually haven't been reading much lately, at least not for pleasure. I knocked a few books out on my new Kindle Fire, but sometimes I just need to read something substantial and real. Our library has this pesky way of taunting me with their nonfiction new releases that are directly across from the children's area and I decided to dive in and have surprised myself by finishing not one...not two...but three actual books already this summer. I'm on a roll, baby!

"Bloom, finding beauty in the unexpected" is my first recommendation. I read Kelle Hampton's blog and I have lots of mixed opinions on it. Yes, I do love it but sometimes I wonder if her rose colored glass/unicorns/rainbows outlook on life is really real? Her book, which is a memoir, feels more intimate than her blog and I really felt like her words resonated with me more than I expected. I've never really thought we were similar and at times I did not feel for her at all because she has a baby with DS because--guess what? The world hasn't ended, you have a beautiful baby and she's here and you get to love her and keep her. Those doubting thoughts of mine ended pretty quickly as I delved into the book and realized we do have a lot in common, especially when she talked about her Old Life/New Life conflict which is something I have felt strongly in my own life after losing Trace and not something I think many people understand unless you've had a big crisis in your life. Some other themes that resonated with me were about sinking or swimming and flowing with the current of life, having hope....and creating joy. This book definitely pulled at my heartstrings and I had lots of moments with tears. I think you will all enjoy it! 

The next book, "The Happiness Project" just happened to be on the shelf right next to Bloom and so I grabbed it and took it home. It is also kind of like a memoir (can you tell this is my favorite genre?) and follows the author as she lives a year of her life trying different things that are supposed to help people be happier. Most of the things in the book are things I know are tried and true for creating happiness and it is an inspiration for me that even though our days are long we can still create moments of happiness. I love how the book is from the author's prospective because I have this thirst for figuring how other people get through life....I want to know exactly how other people do it and see if I can apply ideas to my own life.  

My last selection, "The American Way of Eating", was a good read about produce and how it gets to our table. The author went undercover to work in different environments and I thought seeing how she picked fruit in a field, worked in the produce section at WalMart, and did the line at Applebee's was the most interesting part of the whole book.  Her experience gave it a real authenticity and got me thinking about how we eat and how we can change some habits to make it work better. It reminded me of the book Nickel and Dimed to see how hard some Americans work for very little money and how they use a lot of that money just to put food on their table. I loved that it was an easy read almost in novel form which made the story flow nice and quickly. I think I finished it in a weekend.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Some Blooms for You

1-Marigold in my veggie garden             2- the field
3-bee balm blooming                4-lupine blooming 

Things have been growing and it is so fun to see the changes every day!

My pots out back  are doing a lot better than my ones on my front step. It seems like I always have a few misses along with all the hits but I'm sure they are still growing and will look great in a few weeks.

I enjoy seeing all the beautiful colors outside and I hope it makes your day a little brighter also.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Instagram Friday

Yay for Friday! It is a beautiful day here and we are excited for a really fun day. Here is our week in photos:


 Summer time means time for summer hair!
I treated myself to a new cut and color while Michael had lots of fun with our neighbor girl who came over to play with him (boy, was he excited to see someone other than boring mommy!). 

Dig, dig, digging under the deck. Is a boy's work ever done?

Michael asks to "play marching band"....oh buddy, you make my heart swell. 

"Get candy"  at Johnston Green Days Parade last weekend.

We celebrated Father's Day with an 12 mild bike ride on our favorite trail in the morning and ended up at the Flat Tire bar for burgers and beers. I surprised myself and hopped back on my bike after taking three summers off...wowzers! It was fun! Don't I look great? haha. 

Linking up today at life rearranged...check it out and join the fun!
life rearranged

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ordinary Days

Summer is here! 


It's also my dad's birthday....Happy Birthday to my #1 blog reader! :o) 

It feels like we've been having lots of ordinary days around here and I am 100% okay with them. I keep finding myself going back to my archives from last summer and seeing all the fun we had with Trace. It was so fun having him with us, just the three of us together all day. 

I am realizing now more than ever that those little moments are really the big moments and they are fleeting. I wish there was some way I could bottle up Michael at this age with his funny sayings and sweet voice and the weight of his body when he snuggles up against me when we are watching a movie together. I know it is fleeting and that is what is the scariest part. 

We are trying our hardest to make every day special and I want Michael to know how much we love him and treasure him. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Instagram Friday


Jester Park play time on Monday! 

Fun time in the yard soaking up the sun (and working on my tan)!

Zoo time on Tuesday with Mom splurging on a $2 train ride.
  Did you know you can feed the parakeets? So fun!

A few more Chicago pictures--cooling off with ice cream and train fun complete with the happy train dance. Can you tell taking the train was easily the highlight of our trip for a special little guy?

Linking up at Life ReArranged today! 
life rearranged

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pool and Antiques

Before we headed home on Sunday from our Chicago trip, we had to make sure and spend a little time in our hotel pool. Michael, of course, had a blast. 

He is fearless! 

Good time was made on the way home and so we stopped for a late lunch in LeClaire and finally stopped by Antique Archaeology (from American Pickers) for a little look see.

Neither Mike, Frank, nor Danielle were around that day (how many times do you want to bet that is asked at the shop?) but we still had a fun time looking around at all the treasures. We tried to spot some of the things they picked on the show and we found quite a few! They are not lying when they say how much they mark up the prices...we could not afford one thing but found a few we would like to have- like that jug that looks like a head (just was on the not for sale shelf)!

We made it home just in time for the season finale of Mad Men and now I can't wait until season 6 starts. Hopefully I can find something to fill my time until then! :o) 
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