Saturday, December 8, 2012

Starting Each Day with a Smile

I’ve been trying really hard to get up every other morning and work out. It’s 45 minutes on the treadmill and I get to watch two episodes of How I Met Your Mother on streaming Netflix. Really, it’s the only thing that gets me out of bed sometimes.

Earlier this week, when I went to grab my keys from the hanging organizer near the front door, I saw this:


That’s my husband’s wedding ring on his key ring. I’m betting he put it there while he was at his personal training session on Wednesday because he doesn’t like to work out with his ring on.

Come to think of it, neither do I. I’ve started removing my wedding band and engagement ring and keeping them overnight in a crystal ring holder next to my bed. It’s got Mickey Mouse on it and Hubs gave it to me for a birthday at one point over the years. It makes me smile every time I put my rings in there.

But this way, I get to remember to put on my ring every morning – and remind myself of how lucky I am. I married an amazing man – and he’s been a wonderful partner for five and a half years. Even if he does leave his wedding band on his keys and not next to his bed. ;)

Do you wear your wedding ring to bed?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

An Historic Weekend

Christmas Haus

This weekend, two of my girlfriends went down to Historic Kimmswick for our annual Cookie Walk adventure. Kimmswick is an adorable little town south of St. Louis (link here They have other festivals like the Strawberry Festival and the Apple Butter Festival in other months, but us girls tend to go down during the Christmas period. The town is all dressed up and the houses and shops are decorated, the milk jug luminaries are set out all down the big highway that leads to town and then around the small streets, and everyone always has a great time.

Classic car

Usually when we go, we have to deal with coats and jackets and all that fun stuff. This year? It was over 60 degrees by the time we pulled in around 1:30 pm. Crazy. We had long sleeves and light jackets on and even then, we were kind of warm! But since the weather was so nice, there were lots of people around.

Christmas cookie plate

We picked up our cookie bag and proceeded to “trick or treat” our way around the town. It’s so much fun! You go to each shop on the list and you get a cookie in every place! Included in your cookie walk ticket is your bag, map, all the cookies, and a printed and bound recipe book of all the cookies you just got! This way, if you find your favorite cookie (like the Oreo truffle – YUM!), you already have the recipe and can make your own for Christmas. Such a fun idea.

Blue Owl Restauarant

Then, we get to our favorite part of the day. The eating. We put our names in at the Blue Owl (link here when we first got there, and got a time of 4:30 pm to come back. Yup, that’s a three hour wait for those playing along at home. But it wasn’t so bad – we shopped while we waited. In fact, I told the girls that it was 4:15 pm and we had to go get our table and we were surprised the day had gone by so quickly! Usually, we eat lunch at the Blue Owl and then continue our shopping. This time, we had eaten lunch before we came down, but we still had to get our pie. Pie and wine. Awesome combination.

Apple pie

They’re famous for the Levee High Apple Pie and this year, I had it a la mode. Oh my goodness. It was so wonderful! Now I’m thinking about it, and trying to find a way to get back down there before next Christmas. Someone remind me to get one of these for Thanksgiving next year!

We found a bunch of fun things, like a Christmas cookie plate, a sign that could not be truer…Coffee, chocolate and men

An odd way to decorate for the holidays…

Kitchen strainer

We confirmed that Disney is truly everywhere…

disney stockings

And that I love snowmen. :)


It’s officially Christmas after we spend the day in Kimmswick. What makes you really feel like it’s the holidays?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Last Week in Law School

One of the reasons I started this blog was to reach out to others about Husband’s upcoming journey through law school. I thought that with all the time that he would spend studying and in class, I should have another outlet for both creativity and support. I had been reading blogs for a long time before that (and even back onto LiveJournal days) but this was the first one I really put forth and created on my own (let’s ignore the wedding planning that happened on LJ, mkay?).

I wanted to share our story about the stresses and ups and downs of being in law school in the Midwest. With only 12 posts in 3.5 years, I’m not so sure that actually happened. In reality, the law school experience has been sprinkled throughout the whole of my blog, since it’s really been infused through our whole lives for the past three and a half years. It’s been something that we have lived with, day in and day out, month in and month out, for a very long time.

I really can’t believe it’s coming to an end.

Husband has completed his classwork for the semester, and had his last class as a full time graduate student last Thursday. Saturday started the reading period, and he’s in the middle of completing a few papers plus studying for a few exams. Come December 17, everything should be done and turned it. We have two weeks to relax, and then in the beginning of January, the online bar prep begins for a week and then switches to in-class bar prep for the rest of the month and into February.

It will seem just like law school, but more intense, if that’s possible. At least that’s what I’ve been told. I won’t see much of him in the first two months of 2013 as he prepares for the bar exam at the end of February. It will take place in the idyllic city of Jefferson City, Missouri! Hah. Well, it’s not really a vacation since he’s not going to do much of anything but studying and taking the exam.

We’ve got a Disney trip planned for March to celebrate his taking of the bar exam (yay!) and then, joy of joys, he begins his first job in March. I am ridiculously proud. My husband is absolutely brilliant and I couldn’t be happier for him. It’s what he wants to do, for a great company, with a wonderful set up for us.

We have a lot to be thankful for in this last week of law school.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Busy, Busy Bee

This fall, I’ve been busy…


Planning weddings.

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Spending time with my favorite nephew – by the way, HOW did he get to be five months old?!


Loving live performance. If you’ve not seen Straight No Chaser in person, you must. Must.

While I love having lots of things to do – it keeps me from getting bored – I am so done with a crazy fall. For some reason, fall is always busy with events but this one takes the cake. I’ve called it event-a-polooza because I feel like I just ran a marathon.

Now that things are settling down, I can focus on the holidays and enjoy the gift wrapping and Christmas card addressing, plus gift making. I’m determined to make something from Pinterest, as soon as I decide which homemade gift to make.

So how have you been this fall?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

‘Tis the Season, I Guess!

I always seem to say this, but the fall is crazy.

Not only do you have the start of a new semester – but this is the last law school semester Hubs will ever start! Yay! – but you also have a bunch of work events. We have the usual events that are every year plus new special ones that got added to the calendar that cause me to twitch a bit. At one of them a few weeks ago, I ended up pulling a shoulder muscle and didn’t realize it until I got home and Hubs went to hug me and I started to cry because it hurt so bad. He tried to give me a massage that night but it was clear that I needed professional help. The bestest mama in the world hooked me with a massage at a local chain and I felt MUCH better after that. Almost human, even.

Then we’ve got all the holidays coming up. One of my work parties includes a Halloween dress up function, so that’ll be fun! Then there are conferences and more events and then the big annual dinner and then Thanksgiving. Then before we know it, it will be Christmastime (and maybe a trip to Vegas). That means Hubs finishes up law school (oh my goodness, it’s really here!), does the non-regalia ceremony thing, and then starts studying for the bar. Yikes.

I’ll be a single lady until the end of February when the worst road trip to Jefferson City and the two day bar test for Hubs happens. I think I might even be more nervous than he is – if that’s even possible.

That’s why I’m really glad we’ve been able to spend time together…

Late night Ted Drewes run the other day…


An afternoon in the apple orchard in Illinois a few weeks ago…


And a weekend with my mama and brother in Texas a few days ago.

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Best times ever.

I’m saving up the moments because come bar-prep and then (hopefully) full-time-job-land, our dates will be fewer and farther between. Not that I’m going to complain about my husband starting his law career and going to a job every day that he (hopefully) loves as much as I love mine. It will be hard – students loans scare me – but the idea that he can start up his career is really exciting to me.

So here’s hoping to more time hanging out on the couch, snuggling in the fall and into the winter, drinking new pumpkin beers, and enjoying our last semester as a law student husband and law school wife.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Who Am I, Anyway?

I feel like a totally new person.

I have become a beer drinker.

I’m not entirely sure when this happened. It probably started last year in September, when I went on the Weight Watchers program. While I was learning the ropes of managing my food intake, I decided to stop drinking because I’d rather eat my calories than drink them! Over the following months, I started doing some research on what alcohol beverages I could drink occasionally without totally blowing my point diet. The one thing I came up with? Budweiser Select. Not exactly the best or most fantastic tasting beer on the planet (I know, as a St. Louis resident, I should bite my tongue and not speak ill of the Brewery!). But it’s only 3 points and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that awful.

But my husband kept thrusting beers upon me whenever he ordered one. “HERE! Try this one” he’d say as he put the bottle in front of me. He wouldn’t stop until I took a sip of whatever he had ordered. In the beginning, it was just gross. I didn’t like any of them. It tasted just like alcohol only and wasn’t very good.

Then… things changed. When he would order a beer, I wouldn’t wait until he offered it to me. I would grab it and taste it first.

Depending on which one he ordered, I would either love it or hate it. Love the lighter beers, hate the Octoberfest and stouts. Yuck. But slowly, I was coming to realize that beer wasn’t AWFUL. I actually… started to enjoy it.

A few weeks ago, we spent the weekend at a friend’s cabin and she introduced me to Leinenkugel Lemon Berry Shandy. OH MY GOODNESS.

I’m smiling in this picture because of my beer. See? Husband is not so sure.

So now when a server asks me what I’d like to drink and we’re at a drinking establishment, I ask to see their beer menu. I’m starting to learn about beer, which flavors I like and which types of beers don’t agree with me. I even want to attend a beer tasting to really taste the different versions and learn more about the process. Learning more means I find out more styles that I can drink – and enjoy while doing so!

I only have one question now, from a recovering girly drinker…


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Technology Is Slightly Fixed

You know how I was complaining last week about all my iDevices revolting against me?

Well, it seems the technology good fortunes have come back to all my fun electronic devices. The problem I was having with my iPhone not showing all the calendars? I finally was able to fix it by LOTS of googling. So many were having the same problem that someone at Google posted a link in a forum to allow which calendars to show on iPhones. AWESOME. This is the link. Once I found that and told it which ones to sync, it magically fixed itself.

Then over the weekend, I found a way to fix the iPad contacts thing. Apparently I have to set up an exchange sync plus the Gmail sync. I don’t understand it, but it seems to be working!

I think I will get all this technology under control, sometime.

But I still don’t have a working iPod shuffle. :(

Monday, September 17, 2012

How To Relax in a Cabin

1. Don’t get scared by the creepily real looking owl on the porch.


2. Make sure you have a good map.


3. Confirm that you have a GoPro camera to capture the adventure, and attach it to someone’s head.


4. Beer. Check.


5. Find some gorgeous roads to golf cart upon, five people to a cart of course.


6. Bring along a husband who makes ridiculous faces at the camera.


7. Don’t be scared by the ridiculously real looking owl on the BACK porch.

Owl on back porch

8. Laugh a lot at the speed bump signs along the road. Make the group stop to take a picture of the sign.


9. After one hike, find a way down to the lake to skip some rocks in the sunset.


10. Ask for your camera back, because you have no idea what pictures of you were on there.


11. Some will be amused at the hilarity, and others not so much.


12. Be romantic in the golf cart and kiss your girlfriend.


13. Find a gorgeous place to watch the sunset.


14. Assess your domain… and your hiking group coming up the path behind you.


15. Enjoy the wildlife around the cabin.



16. Explore the old sites at the resort, like the cemetery and old barn.





17. Sleep in and have a wonderful time in the country. I can’t wait until we’re invited back and can spend another weekend out there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My iDevices are Revolting!

Technology is supposed to make life easier. Right? Well, my technology is rising up against me.

I pretty much live in my Google suite, so having my email, contacts and calendar with me at all times is one of the main reasons why I got an iPhone a few years ago. Over the past few updates, the Google sync with the iPhone has gotten better – until now. I have multiple calendars on my iPhone, including my main calendar, Hubs’ calendar (so we know where each other is during the day), the birthday and anniversary calendar and the Things to Do in St. Louis one (where we add various things around town that might be fun to do – this way we won’t forget about them!).

I’ve been having some issues with the Google sync, however. It will only show me MY calendar and not any of the others that the Google sync menu on the safari browsers tells me it should be showing. Not quite sure about how to fix this one. I’ve updated Google sync, shut the phone off and started it back up, plus let the calendar load and load and load, hoping it would get the message. NADA. Frustrating.

But that’s only the beginning of the iDevice iDebacle. My iPad is pretty darn wonderful, even if I haven’t found a good free blogging app for it. Maybe then I’d blog more, eh? All the syncing went really well when we set it up, except the contacts. It hasn’t imported or synced any of my Google contacts to the device. When I looked at Hubs’ settings, they were all the same as mine. So yeah, no idea what’s going on there, either.

Finally, I recently found my iPod shuffle (it was a replacement for my original Nano from back in the day that was recalled due to it apparently blowing up). I wanted to use it on a quick walk/run around the park and didn’t want to bother taking my iPhone out of it’s “Jessica-proof” Otterbox case. But when I plugged it in to charge it a bit, it simply wouldn’t turn on. Hours of charging later, it STILL won’t turn on. I have to take it to the Apple store and see if they can fix it.

So all of my iDevices are revolting against me. Maybe I need to go back to cassette tapes?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Another Year, Another Birthday Celebration

On Tuesday, I turned 29. But, as my family usually does, I celebrated all weekend!

I slept in a bit on Saturday morning, before heading out for a friend’s bachelorette party at a winery that afternoon. On Sunday morning, after lectoring at church, I went to the same friend’s bridal shower. It was a tea party and we had a lovely time! I even got a fascinator. It was the first of two for the weekend!


On Monday morning, however, Hubs surprised that morning after my work out with my birthday present from the family – a new iPad! I still have got to figure out how to blog from it. Maybe I will post more if my tablet is with me the entire day!


Of course, we had to go old-school for the present as well. Hubs got me the most beautiful edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. It will start our fancy book for nice book shelves in the living room collection we want to start.


We spent Monday afternoon shopping for my wedding planning emergency kit. It’s an exciting time around our house! Don’t you wish you were me? ;)


That night, we went out to the in-laws for dinner and cake. This was what I was waiting for. My cake. It was white almond cake with raspberry filling, from a local bakery, Lubeley’s. Oh. My. Goodness. It was AMAZING.



Of course, my in-laws wanted me to have something to open that night so I got my second fascinator of the weekend! This was one I was drooling over a few weeks ago at the craft festival in St. Charles. I want to wear it to work, but I wonder if it’s a bit over the top. But come the right event, I will actually pull it off! I promise.


The best present of all was my precious nephew in a onesie I gave him – stating that his auntie is the best. Which she is. I am. :)


Isn’t he getting so big? He was four months old on my birthday. Seriously, it’s like light speed! He needs to stop growing.

On my real birthday night, after a very long day of work and meetings, Hubs took me to Vin de Set, a wonderful French restaurant that we hadn’t tried before. It quickly became one of my favorite restaurants that we can go to for special occasions! YUM. The scallops were amazing, the trout was perfect, the wine was lovely (and expertly chosen by Hubs) and the crème brule was not only yummy, but complimentary for my birthday. Fabulous on all points!


So my 29th birthday was officially a success. It’s a little surreal having completed the last birthday of my twenties. When I turned 20, I was in college, dating someone who I thought I would marry, when I planned to be an actor. Turning 29, I am married to the love of my life, in a job I adore, friends in person and online who are pretty darn amazing and I’m happy with where I am. Hopefully this next year will be just as amazing as the last!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Potential Weekend in Sin City

In Hubs’ law school career, we have been lucky enough to meet some amazing people. Truly, the students that started law school with my husband are some of the smartest, funniest, craziest kids on the planet. We have a blast when we hang out with them.

When most of them graduated this past May, and starting making plans to take the bar in states other than Missouri (how DARE they!), we were a little bummed. Ok, a lot bummed. When some of the close friends sent out emails for their going away party, we were downright upset. People moved to Florida, Texas and many other states that ARE NOT MISSOURI. Not ok.

Since one of them moved to Texas for their job, she also moved there for her fiancée. They live in Houston and they are awesome. We knew right away when they announced their engagement that we would be heading to Houston in February to attend their wedding. They are that kind of friend that we couldn’t imagine not being there. So I started looking for flights and I’ll get the hotel reserved soon. It will be so much fun! Even if it happens to be two weekends before Hubs takes the bar – whoops!

Because of the timing of the wedding and the bar, this means we won’t go down for a mini vacation like I had hoped, to see the “sights” in Houston as they are. I mean, they have museums and shopping. That would have been fun. But basically, we’ll be stuck in the hotel while Hubs studies for the bar. And that’s ok! Because I want him to study!

But that has bearing on my dilemma. A few weeks ago, I got the first email from the bride-to-be announcing the bachelorette party.

In Vegas.

In the middle of December.

And I don’t know what to do.

Hubs suggested I could ask for the trip for Christmas and I think my awesome mama is thinking this could be a possibility. I’m still waffling and trying to decide if I want to go. It means another day off work, and two weeks before I take a week off for spending Christmas with my mama in Texas. Which I’m REALLY looking forward to. I have the vacation but I always worry about being gone – but there aren’t any events on the horizon at that point.

It’s also kind of expensive – over $430 for the flight and about $200 to share a hotel room for two nights. Plus dining and shopping and tickets to a, um, show club thing of some kind. Although the bride-to-be has said that as ladies, we’ll probably get in free for many of those clubs.

I have never been to Las Vegas. I’ve never been on a destination bachelorette party. Hubs doesn’t really have a desire to visit Vegas for a while, since gambling isn’t our thing. I’ve always sort of wanted to go, mostly to see the theatrical shows and concerts and the glitz. I think when he graduates and we move on in our lives, this kind of thing that might not be possible due to schedules and money and other things that might need my attention more than girls’ get away trip.

What would you do?

Friday, August 31, 2012

August Awesomeness in Disney, Part Four

See parts one, two and three.

We ate, we drank, we had fun and met characters. But we did take some other pictures throughout the week that were really fun.

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The view off the back of a boat from Downtown Disney to our hotel.

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Me and my fabulous Disney hat, plus a lanyard with new Annual Pass exclusive pins. Those are our souvenirs that we bring home from each trip.

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Fabulous margaritas at Cava del Tequila in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot

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We got upgraded to a Princess room at Port Orleans: Riverside! It was amazing. This is the backdrop of the bed, and the picture actually lights up with fireworks when you hit a button.

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Princess Tiana even left us a note! Well, she painted it onto the table but same thing.

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There was even a Mickey waiting for us when we checked in.

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Hubs wanted to include this one because of the crane in the soon-to-open new Fantasyland!

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Balloons on Main Street

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We even got to take a tour of Main Street and go backstage. We learned the stories behind the forced perspective of the buildings on Main Street, and a bit behind the naming of the windows there. It’s a very big deal to have a window on Main Street and is only given for those who make a major contribution to the company somehow.

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We had wonderful seats for the Wishes firework show – from an angle we hadn’t seen it before.

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Even without the twinkle lights on it, the castle always takes my breath away.

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And what would a trip report be without adorable pictures of my nephew?

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I feel like I have a million pictures of him in different hats.

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The shirt says “my daddy wanted to name me booyah” – another treat from the ESPN Zone. Hehe.

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One of our favorite parks. I love that big golf ball!

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We took a much smaller raft than this big boat to Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom one afternoon, wandered around, climbed on the paths, and then found some rocking chairs to just sit and look around.

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One of our views, this was the small raft that takes you to the island.

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What a view!

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The Imagineers have all kinds of little details that bring the story to life.

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This is a tradition – the Attitude Picture. We have pictures of everyone on the last day of the trip, showing whatever attitude comes to mind. This day, my BIL and the family did NOT want to leave Disney – and you can tell by their expressions!

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Less attitude here, I think.

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We asked a nice cast member to take this family portrait. We were leaving Disney, but we would be back soon! We’re already planning the next one…