Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 Christmas Card!

THIS is our first-ever Christmas card! :) Cole really wanted the dogs to be dressed up in outfits, but I just didn't have the energy for that... maybe next year! :) Merry Christmas, blogging friends!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Picture Perfect

Last month my friend Stacey sent me a text asking if I would be willing to take some family pictures for her. Of course I wanted to!  They  have the cutest little girl who is just about two, and I was dying to take some shots of her gorgeous blue eyes!!!  I was sooo excited for another chance to play with my camera...

Until I learned that "family pictures" included:

  • THREE kiddos under two years of age (Stacey's daughter AND her sister's super cute twins)
  • SEVEN adults (plus two baby bumps!)
My friendly little photo session jumped from a manageable group of three to TEN! (12 if you count the bumps.)

GULP! Going in, I was extremely nervous. I think overall, we had a fun time and wound up with some adorable pictures, not hard to do when you're shooting such cute kids! The group shots were the toughest... As you can imagine, it was pretty challenging to get all of the kiddos looking at the camera. I did my best! :) Some of my favorite moments from the day wound up being candids of the kids in the leaves. 

They are so precious...

Saturday, December 4, 2010


FINALLY - posting about our trip to Phoenix! YIKES - I'm behind on this blog!!

Last month In September, Mom and I were (finally) able to travel to Phoenix and visit Jess... We had a wonderful trip, although it went by way too fast. During our short stay we spent some quality time with Jess, watched her get her white coat, helped her pick out a new couch and chair, saw the sights with Uncle Jeff and had a fun dinner with Uncle Phil and our cousin, Chase.

The last time I was in Arizona I was only five or six years old. My only memories include:
1) Laying on the floor of our mini-van (seat belts? nah.) and always knowing what direction we were going. Seriously, my parents would randomly ask and I always knew. Too bad I don't still have those skills; now I'm pretty directionally challenged.

2) Visiting my Aunt Ruth. She lived in a tee pee at the time, making her our "coolest" aunt, by far. We even got to sleep with her in the tee pee. Mom and Dad opted for the camper. You may think this is weird. We thought it was AWESOME, and still do. We're not talking about a tent. It was a full-size tee pee, loft included! Still today she is loved for her, um, "quirky" lifestyle... although she is now a homeowner.
We flew out of Wichita on a Thursday and Uncle Jeff picked us up at the airport. It was HOT in Arizona, still in the 100's, which was a little higher than normal for them. At the time, Jess was struggling to adjust to the temperatures... I'm sure now that it's December she has changed her tune a bit! :)

Here are some photos from the trip:

After the white-coat ceremony with mom.

Uncle Jeff took us to the south end of Phoenix to look out over the city. The view was awesome, and he was able to teach us so much about Phoenix. For example, there are only sky scrapers in a small portion of downtown because a city ordinance limits building height... and prevents the awesome views from being blocked by giganto buildings!

Towards the end of our trip, we ate at "Chino Bandito's" in Phoenix, which has been featured on "Diners, Dives & Drive-Ins" on The Food Network... It was a cross between Chinese and Mexican... an interesting place! Definitely a "dive," but fun to check out!

Can't wait to go back and visit again soon. I was hoping K-State's bowl game would be in AZ, but no such luck.  Last week Jess made it home for Thanksgiving and we're so excited that she can be back for Christmas, too!!! Speaking of which... Can you believe Christmas is just a few weeks away?!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hostesses with the Mostest!

In the Manhattan area, we have a fair number of Premier Designs jewelry ladies, and we recently got together to hold an appreciation brunch for all of the area hostesses! The event was SO MUCH fun, a totally girly day for us to spoil our favorite ladies rotten.We decorated with a pink and zebra print theme, had a jewelry fashion show and gave away some awesome door prizes!

My Designer, Kailen and I!

As a Premier Designs Jeweler, our home show business model really works! Many jewelers use the phrase: Premier works IF YOU DO! It's so true - the job is simple, but not always easy. There's definitely some effort that goes into being successful, but in the end, it's totally worth it! My hostesses play such a vital role in the success of my Premier business by welcoming me into their homes and introducing me to their friends and family. I sincerely appreciate all of their support!

Here's my sponsor, Heather, modeling some Premier jewels!

 The registration table...

The rest of the "models."

 Cutesy table decor...

Kirema, one of my hostesses from Ft.Riley.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Long time, no blog...

Hellooo? Is anybody out there?

...out there? ...out there? 

My poor blog has been terribly neglected this summer. I've had so much to say, too. (Imagine that! Ha!)  :) Work has been insanely busy for me. I've taken on some additional responsibilities with the Kansas 4-H Foundation and it has kept me on a tight schedule. My Premier business has also been picking up. I now have over 13 ladies in my "first level" and nearly 40 on my entire team! Wow! God has really been blessing my efforts with Premier, I'm pretty amazed by how it's been going... and excited about what the future holds!

Cole and I recently purchased a Harley, a 2007 Street Bob, and we've been taking it out every week or so for rides... Cole takes it to work almost daily. The weather is starting to cool down, and it's been a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day! Here's a picture of the new bike - we love it! I tried to convince Cole that we should "sneak" into Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Harley Day, but he wouldn't go for it... What a sissy. ;)

Here's a picture taken on my cell just before we brought it home!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All grown up...

It's hard to believe that my little sister, Hannah, graduated from highschool just over a month ago. It seems like yesterday when I was tying her "cool" shoes (in the picture above) or helping her order from the "session-con-stand" at football games. The baby has officially grown up.

There will be a mas exodus from Mom and Dad's home in August. Recently, Tonja (our foreign exchange student) returned to Norway... We were so sad to see Tonja go! Soon Jess will head to Phoenix and Hannah to Manhattan, KS.  She enrolled at K-State just last Saturday and she's scared and excited all at once. I remember the feeling - change is so full of possibilities! We are thrilled to have her in Manhattan with us. Hopefully I'll get to hang out with her once in awhile... and by "hang out" I do not mean do her laundry. :)

Here's a photo of Hannah and Tonja leaving for graduation... Congrats! We are so proud of you and we love you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

More photography practice...

Some great friends of ours recently asked if I could take photos of their new baby boy, Kyler... I was SO excited to be asked, and even more excited to meet the little guy for the first time! :) This was the perfect excuse to buy a new camera... at least that's what I told my husband. I've been wanting to purchase one for awhile and finally made "the investment." I went with a fancy-schmancy Canon Rebel T2i. So far, so good! The camera is great, but the operator is definitely still learning... Kyler was perfect and beautiful, most of the time. There was that pooping-on-the-blanket (and his dad) incident, oops! I guess that's my fault for wanting naked baby bottom shots. What a sweet little guy. He cried a little, but I thought even the crying was adorable. Overall, it was a really fun day. Here are a few of my favorite moments!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Four years ago today...

... I married the love of my life.There have certainly been ups and downs, but life with Cole is far better than I could have ever imagined it to be! I can hardly believe four years have already gone by - how time flies! I'm looking forward to celebrating many, many more anniversaries as husband and wife. Life is good!

Cruise III: Cozumel

It's been nearly three months since our cruise and I should probably be done posting blog entries about it, right? Wrong! Here's one final tribute to our recent trip... I promise to stop bragging after this! ;)

Our ship's third and final stop was in Cozumel, Mexico. We chose a sting ray encounter for an excursion that day. After touching, holding and feeding the rays we relaxed on the beach for a few hours and drank some yummy Coco Locos! Wish we were still sitting in these chairs, listening to the waves...

This was my third time with a hands-on ray experience and Cole's first - and we both loved it! This excursion gets two thumbs up!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cruise II: Isla Roatan

Cold and dreary weather in Kansas today makes excellent timing for a tropical blog post... Wish we were still on the beaches of Isla Roatan, which was stop number two on our recent cruise. This small island off the coast of Hondouras was definitely our FAVORITE of the three destinations. While there, we talked to several vacationers and even priced resorts for a future trip. I had never even heard of Roatan prior to booking the cruise - what a pleasant surprise! The beach was gorgeous, island was clean and felt very safe in comparison to Belize or Cozumel.. We hope to return someday soon.  :)

We spent our St. Patrick's Day lounging on the beach, snorkeling and drinking St. Patty's Punch. The kids played in the sand and water... Cole even found a starfish. Overall, the day was just fantastic, left us feeling very "zen." Here are some photos:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cruise I: First Stop, Belize!

This year Cole and I could hardly wait for "Spring Break 2010." We've had to learn the tough lesson that once you hit the "real world," you don't get a spring break anymore... why didn't they warn us about that in college?!? Anyway, this year we booked a Western Caribbean cruise with some friends from Salina and March just couldn't get here soon enough!

We returned last Sunday to 6" of snow in Kansas City, and reality hit hard! We have both come down with some kind of sinus infection gunk, yuck! Seems like everyone around here has the same congestion... Memories of our warm vacation have eased the pain a little, though!

The cruise was 7 days long, with stops in Belize, Isla Roatan (Hondouras), and Cozumel. It was absolutely wonderful! Neither of us had any motion sickness issues, which was something we were worried about. The cruise departed a few hours later than it was supposed to, so we left New Orleans just at sunset, which was really very pretty.

After spending two full days on board our ship (the Carnival Triumph) with about 3,500 others, we were ready to dock. The first port was Belize - tenders came out to pick us up. We scheduled a "cave tubing" excursion, riding tubes through cave formations over a river. Afterward we shopped a little. I didn't get many photos in Belize, since our excursion was a wet one... Here are a few photos:

 The ferries picking us up were so tiny next to the cruise ship - it was amazing watching them pull up alongside!

Getting ready to cave tube - we also got to take a 30-minute hike thru the rainforest. Our guides taught us a lot about various trees and plants. 

Belize has over 200 small islands just off the coast - many were for sale. Cole thinks we should buy one. I think this one looks a little TOO deserted for me. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Great news!

I should probably be writing a blog post about Christmas or my resolutions for 2010... but those posts can wait! Yesterday we found out that my little sister got into dental school, and I am about to burst, I'm just so excited and proud of her! Jess has been accepted into Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona, after a few long, stressful years of waiting. This was her second time to apply at Midwestern; she interviewed last year, too. So after this most recent interview a few months ago, she had been trying very hard "not to get her hopes up." After visiting several different dental schools, Midwestern was actually Jess's favorite, mostly because they're a very new, state-of-the art campus.

Her experience applying to dental school has given me a whole new perspective on professional school. For many people, it's really a terrible waiting game. Applications are due in December (I think), and those on a waiting list could find out that they have been accepted as late as a week before classes begin in August. So for anybody who applies more than once, it can lead to years of waiting. It hardly seems fair... stressful, to say the least.

I'm so proud of Jess for knowing exactly what she wants and for staying the course! She is an intelligent, beautiful, strong woman, and she'll make an excellent dentist, too! We are SO looking forward to vacationing in sunny, warm Arizona! Mmmm. That especially sounds nice right now - this has been such a bitterly cold winter.

Congrats, Jess. I love you so much and couldn't be more proud! :)