Friday, August 29, 2014

5 Things We Aren't Doing This Weekend

You might remember that Matt and I spent our birthdays apart this year.  He was in Canada fishing and I went wine trailing with some of my girlfriends.  To make up for missing my thirtieth, Matt has been planning a "Mystery Trip" for me...

This makes me very nervous.

We are leaving this afternoon and I can tell you five things I know we're not doing:

Going on a trip to Greece.
That was what I told Matt I wanted to do and I got a look like "ya, frickin right".

Flying somewhere for the long weekend.
Buzz.  Wrong answer. 

Spending the weekend in Nashville.
I was pretty convinced for a while that was what he had planned. Alas, not it either.  I now know that we are spending, at least this evening in St. Louis at a Cubs v. Cards game.

For a hot minute after finding out we were going to STL, I thought my best friend and her husband might be flying in to hang out. 
Not the case.  Technically, they were supposed to (which would have been epic!!) but life gets in the way sometimes. 

Going somewhere just the two of us.
Group trip!  Our friends and neighbors, Shawn and Maggie are coming on this grand adventure with us.

I'm sure y'all have picked up on this, but I'm a planner and it's driving me bat shit crazy not knowing what Matt has planned!  

Alright, peace out... Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Linking up with KarliAmy and Amanda

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five Faves From My 30 By 30

In lieu of rehashing what I didn't get accomplished in my 30 by 30 quest, because that's sorta depressing and it's Friday so I don't want to be I've selected five of my favorite things that I DID complete! 

In no particular order my five faves are:

Masters Degree
27.  Complete my master's degree!  One of the perks of my current job was having the opportunity to go back to school for FREE and get my MS.  There was a short pause in the process, due to some downsizing, but everything worked out in the end.

Ocho Rios
8.  Go on our honeymoon {finally}.  We had to put it off after the wedding because of the 'short pause' mentioned above.  Thankfully, it also panned out and we had a great time in Ocho Rios.

2013 Christmas Card
1.  Mail Christmas cards.  I officially LOVE selecting the pictures and template for our {now annual} Christmas card.  I'm so glad I put this one on the list because I know I'll enjoy it for years to come!

26.  Learn how to drive a stick shift.  Are you thinking, "Wait?  What?  You grew up on a farm.  How is that possible?"

Well here's the scoop.  Yes, I grew up on a farm.  I can drive a tractor, combine or an automatic grain truck, but I never learned to drive a stick in all my years on the farm.  That's not to say that my dad didn't try to teach me!  There were many times we'd set off down the gravel road for a lesson for it to only end in yelling and tears!  If you want to believe the tears were from my dad, go ahead!  He can take it.

The story of me learning to drive a stick shift goes like this... I bought a manual transmission Jetta without knowing it was a manual!  And I finally learned how to drive a stick.  I firmly believe I was successful in the venture only because my dad nor my husband were the one teaching me!

1st Visit Pin
9.  Go to Disneyland.  It was MAGICAL! 

Lets quickly go back to the stuff that wasn't completed on my list.  Back in January, I summarized five items on my list that I wasn't sure I'd be completing before my birthday.  And wouldn't you know it, I was right.  There are certainly a few others on my list that didn't get completed {I'm looking at you, learn to water ski} but, I'm in the process of completing my 101 in 1001 and some of those items will be carrying over to the next list.

Stay tuned for updates!

Do you have a 30 by 30, 101 in 1001 or some other sort of 'life list' of things you want to complete?  If so, I'd love to hear about some of your goals!  

Linking up with Karli, Amy and Amanda

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First Born

Last week I was perusing facebook and happened on an interesting graphic about the characteristics of first, middle, last and only children.  As I was reading though the diagram, comparing myself to the characteristics of first born I couldn't help but say to myself, "Yes. Uh-huh. Oh ya. Yep. You know it. Dear Lord, yes..."

You get the idea.  

Birth Order and Characteristics
If anyone knows the original source, let me know!  I'd love to list it.

Over the weekend, I asked some of my girlfriends to compare themselves to the list and they felt some were true, but others weren't.  A few of them thought their husbands were poster children for certain ones though! 

I also asked my (one and only) little sister what she thought about the characteristics of last born kids and she didn't necessarily think that she fit the description.  She did commented that some (Outgoing, Competitive) were correct, but not all. 

Truth be told, I thought they were pretty spot on...

How do you think this measures up to your birth order and your personality? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thirty and Thriving

Today I'm saying good bye to my twenties. I'm not a mess over being 30, not by a long shot!  I feel better about who I am and what I'm doing now than I ever have. 

That's not to say the last 10 years haven't been good to me, because they have! 

Over the past decade I:
met and married my husband,
made some amazing girlfriends,had some awesome adventures and
rode some great horses
 and of course I can't forget Miss Bella!

I don't think that's too shabby and I'm anxious to see what the next couple years has in store!  Hopefully it will be more of the same!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Another Weekend. Another Adventure.

Have you noticed a trend?

I'm not real big on sticking around home, especially during the summer!  There's just too many fun things going on to be cooped up in the house.  And summer provides the perfect backdrop for things like traveling, horse shows, and day drinking!  Pepper in some gal pals and I'm a happy camper.

Speaking of day drinking, isn't Little Big Town's song the perfect summer anthem?

Tomorrow I'm on the road again.  Five of my girlfriends and I are heading down to Carbondale to partake in some college reminiscing and wine trailing! 

The wineries of southern Illinois really came to life while I was in college at SIU.  Some are quaint and homey, others are quite grand!  In college (if I remember right... but with all the wine some of the memories are a bit hazy) I spent at least one day a week parked on a patio with a bottle of wine or pitcher of sangria.  Since graduating, Matt and I try to go down at least once a year! 

Technically, I may go more than Matt...


We've rented a cabin smack in the middle of all the winery goodness and I have created what may be the. perfect. itinerary!  And it just so happens to be the weekend before I celebrate the THREE-OH! 

Yep, I'll be "thirty, flirty and thriving" come Monday!  Name that movie.  

Okay, I'm off to work knock out a few more items from my 30 BY 30 list before I run out of time...

Have a great weekend!! 


Monday, August 4, 2014

Weekend Replay

I'm all for a quiet weekend at home, but given the option I'd choose fun and friends any day!  Who's with me?!?

After work we loaded up the car and hit the road south bound for Missouri.  Matt and I were both anxious to see our college pals and the four hour road trip was the only thing standing in our way!

Thankfully, the trip down was pretty uneventful.  We dealt with a little rain and some traffic around St. Louis, but nothing too terrible.  Come to find out, we timed everything just right and missed all the Cardinal baseball traffic as we went through!

When we got to Eric and Jamie's the party was already in full swing.  The bonfire was blazing, the beer was flowing and as predicted, so were the stories!!  Honestly, those stories may be old and tired, but they still bring a smile to my face!  

Saturday morning came a little too early for some, but for the most part we were all up and at 'em in pretty good time (and shape)!  After lighting a fire under the slower movers, we lit out to meet the company we rent the canoes from.  

I've only ever floated/canoed with this company, but how they typically organize everything generally goes like this:
1. Pay for your group.
2. Drive down the hill and park vehicles where we will finish on the canoes.
3. Load coolers and people into a large wagon and ride down to the river.
4. Organize canoes and float off.

This year we had a bit of a snafu between 3 and 4.  

Everything was all fine and dandy.  We had loaded the excessive amount of beer all our coolers and were on the way to the river.

When there was a bit of a problem... 

Now, you can't convince me that the hitch broke just because of the weight of 17 people and all those frickin coolers, but it sure didn't help!  And it makes for another funny story that will be told for years to come.  

We finally managed to make it to the river.  Hallelujah!

This year, Matt and I decided to shake things up and not be each others partners.  Sometimes it's just for the best.  Jamie and I decided that we were going to pair up and the husbands could be partners.  Best. Decision. Ever.  

Laughing at you and your partners mistakes is WAY more fun that being PO'd at the end of the day because you (or your significant other) did something dumb.  And this way, Jamie and I could chit-chat and gossip for the next six hours!  It worked out perfectly.  Jamie and I had a blast and I was still speaking to Matt by the time we were done!  

Being the lone 'girls only' canoe you can also get away with certain things too!!  

"Paddle boys, paddle!"

After countless laughs, multiple cans of beer and several miles spent on the river, a few of us took the lazy way out and fast-tracked to the finish. 


In our defense, there is always an amazing spread of food waiting for us back at the house.  That and a hot shower!  After we got back, cleaned up and our bellies were full of food most of us retreated to the bonfire and you guessed it... more old stories resurfaced!  And because it's what Illinois men do when they get together, there was also euchre into the wee hours of the night.

By 9 o'clock Sunday morning, everyone had packed up and headed for home, but it's tradition for us to stick around and have brunch with Jamie, Eric and his parents.  Mostly we relive the float trip and make notes for next year (t-shirts and music on the river!), share what's new or swap recipes.  This year, I came home with a new recipe for pasta sauce that I'm anxious to try!  And since there's 30 tomato plants in our garden, I think we will have an opportunity to make something new this year!

On our way home, we stopped at our friend's house for their daughter's 1st birthday party.  Jill out did herself decorating and everything looked spectacular!  Even more exciting than the decorations, Adelynn's last gift that she opened announced that she would be getting a new baby BROTHER in December!  The family is obviously excited, but I think John is super stoked for a boy to even up the score at home.  

So tell me, did you go-go-go this weekend or did you recharge your batteries?  

Linking up with Biana and Meghan.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five Float Trip Faves

Another weekend, another adventure.

This weekend we are headed to Missouri for Matt's annual AGR Float Trip!  As soon as work is over, we're beating feet to join up with our college pals for a couple days of fun.  And for today's link-up, I'm highlighting some of my favorite parts about this trip...

The Crew.  Once upon a time, I saw many of the people who attend the float trip no less than 5 or 6 days a week.  It may have been in class or at a fraternity/sorority function or it could have very well been at the bar... but sadly, those days are long gone! 

Which brings me to my next point. Playing Catch Up.  A good portion of this evening we will spend sitting in lawn chairs around a bonfire figuring out all the who, what and where's of life in the last year since we've all seen each other.  In the early years it was dominated with wedding details and first jobs, but we're progressing to stories of buying houses and first, second (or in some cases), third kids.  Gracious, things have changed. 

Our host, lovingly referred to as Crazy Legs, and his wife also do a spectacular job feeding everyone all weekend long.  Crazy Legs, yes an old college nickname, is a grill/smoker connoisseur and never disappoints in The Eats department.  My mouth is watering just thinking about pork barbecue!

Hands down, my favorite part of the whole weekend is all the Reminiscing that goes on.  No matter how many years post college we are, as the drinks begin to flow... so will the stories from our college days.  These stories are old, tired and should probably be laid to rest, but there is no doubt in my mind we will talk about the fun times we had dancing at Fred's Dance Barn, partying in the basement of the AGR house and the general college craziness which includes stories of fraternity streaking!

And the actual, physical Float Trip is pretty fun too!

Float Trip Shenanigans

How are you spending your weekend??

Linking up with Karli, Amy and Amanda