Work Hard, Barre Harder

…or in my case lately, barre not at all.

Other than visiting PBGP every chance I get, I haven’t stepped foot in my studio here in Kzoo in over 2 months. Between buying a house, moving, freelancing, starting some home improvement projects, and then getting brought onto a time-intensive project at work, any free time I have is spent sitting on the couch doing as little as humanly possible. And I’m not happy about it.

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But as I was thinking about what to write for this post, I realized (with Joe’s help) that I’d been incorporating some Barre movements into my every day life without even thinking about it!

Calf raises while waiting for food to heat up.

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Plank pulses while setting tile.

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Tucks while stopped at red lights. (This one doesn’t get a GIF. Too awkward.)

And I’m sure there are so many other things I do without even thinking about it that are helping keep my body toned while on this unintentional Barre-hiatus. In fact, I’m pretty sure my twice-daily bout of sneezing is equivalent to at least a 35 second plank 😉

And more calf raises.

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Really though, I find myself doing calf raises ALL the time. Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for a conference room to open up at work, waiting for a table at a restaurant…basically any time I’m waiting for anything.

That said…nothing beats that hour to myself in the studio. If I was able to find time to go to PBGP during senior year finals, while planning a wedding, and preparing for a trip to Paris – I can find time now. Heck, my body and brain could especially use that hour when I’m feeling overwhelmed with everything else going on.

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Plus, lets be real. Living in a city that’s known for its beer could turn into a real problem. Real fast.

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So what’s the point of this post? Other than me rambling/convincing myself it’s time to go back to Bent 9. That it’s easy to incorporate small bits of exercise into your daily life? Maybe. Or maybe that we should be more mindful of the importance of that hour to yourself, for yourself. Maybe it’s not an hour. Maybe you practice yoga instead of barre.

You decide 🙂


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Muchas gracias to SimplyWorkout for the Barre Vibes tank and ombré sticky socks seen in this post. If you haven’t checked out their website or Instagram, you’re missing out on some great stuff!

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Happy Monday!

Long weekends are the best…until you realize that you either a) have to miss the fireworks at the Yacht Club tonight or b) won’t get home until 1-1:30 am if you stay. Leaving before the fireworks would probably be the sensible thing to do, but we’ll have such a good view from the boat this year! Maybe being sleepy at work tomorrow isn’t the worst thing.

"The choices are yours, and yours alone..."
“The choices are yours, and yours alone…” Does Olmec look like he’s had a stroke to anyone else? …Bueller? 

Anywho, it’s been an awesomely relaxing weekend – much needed if you ask me!

  1. I got to go to Pure Barre on Saturday morning and I’m still sore. Every time I’m back, the idea of opening a PB franchise in Kalamazoo sounds better and better, until I realize that I probably don’t need *another* business-type venture on my plate. That reminds me though; this article from the WSJ was super interesting.
  2. Joe and I get to run our inflatable 5k this Saturday!  (and then rush back to Detroit for a wedding shower…and it’s also my bday woop woop!) Here’s hoping the fact that neither of us have run since 2012 doesn’t end up biting us in the butt.
  3. I finished 2 books between Saturday and Sunday – a total of 624 pages read. Whew! I enjoyed both books quite a lot; Beer Money and No Baggage – both non-fiction, and on completely opposite ends of the spectrum, but both very good! Today will be spent reading celebrity gossip magazines though…or maybe a book about the Vanderbilt family; we shall see.
  4. My sister is off exploring Scandinavia for the next 2 weeks, so I’ll be living vicariously through her pictures/Snapchat story. Her booking that trip is what convinced me and Joe to book our Morocco trip – yay for a family that likes to travel.
  5. Thankful for a kitty that is relatively self-sufficient on weekends; we don’t come home to torn up furniture, poop in our shoes, or gifts of puke in undisclosed locations, and she’s happy as a clam when we come home. A very loud, constantly meowing clam, but a happy one nonetheless. I saw this video on Facebook earlier this week, and cannot get over the similarities to Barb – both in looks and personality – but we love her anyway 🙂

And now…off to the boat for the remainder of the day we go! Happy Fourth of July!

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Happy Monday – Memorial Day Edition!

I’ve still got an hour and a half to write my happy Monday post, but we’ll see how detailed this post ends up being between the melatonin I just took and the infuriatingly itchy bug bite between my pointer and middle finger knuckles. Merp.

  1. Despite our last minute Memorial Day Weekend plan change, we still had a great weekend with friends and family…and lots of relaxing on the porch. Doesn’t get much better than that! My mom and I played 2 different Mensa-Awarded games – SET (a long-time family favorite) and a game Joe and I recently received from Kickstarter – World’s Fair 1893.
  2. As much as I love planning trips, I’m usually pretty bad at remembering to pack everything I need for short trips back to the other side of the state. This weekend? I forgot undies. Luckily I found a few pairs in a drawer leftover from my 3 week long trip to the Netherlands, where I just kept buying cheap HEMA (a mini Target, basically) undies to avoid doing my laundry at the laundromat in Den Haag’s Red Light District. Priorities. Very thankful I had stashed those away.
  3. This week is a super short work week! As a contractor, I guess that’s kinda stinky, but I’m looking forward to heading up north on Thursday anyway 🙂 Today my friends and I worked out a menu for the weekend since we’ll be renting a condo, and shortly I’ll need to unpack and repack my bag! Yay weddings!
  4. I got to go to Pure Barre Grosse Pointe this weekend – always a major benefit of being home 🙂 And I’m always crazy sore after a PBGP class, without fail. As much as I love climbing and Flex 2.0, nothing beats a Pure Barre burn. And I always ponder opening my own studio in Kzoo upon our return; it’s just so great.
  5. We brought tennis rackets back from my parents house! Hooray for being active this summer…at least in theory…if we can find time. I used to play tennis a LOT, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Heh. Swing. Get it? 😉
  6. DCOM 100! Need I say more? I could watch DCOMs all day err’day. (Disney Channel Original Movie, for the blissfully unaware.)

Woo! Made it through without falling asleep! AND with a bonus happy. And I’ve been distracted enough that my hand isn’t unbearably itchy at the moment. I also put Res-Q-Ointment on it.

Me, when it comes to Res-Q-Ointment
Me, when it comes to Res-Q-Ointment
Also this.
Also this.

Goodnight, and happy Monday!

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Happy Monday!

I feel like I’ve been saying this every week lately, but HOW is it already Monday again? Even though it means a day of not getting paid, I’m super grateful for this day off, which so far has consisted of an extended brunch with some of my coworkers! I gotta say, that’s one of my favorite parts of Kalamazoo: that basically everyone is a transplant, and therefore everyone is always looking for more friends. It’s pretty great.

  1. Going off of that, I’m going over to one of Joe’s coworkers houses for the Bachelor tonight! I’m surprisingly not doing too terribly on my bracket, but (mini spoiler alert:) I’m glad I changed my mind from having LB win! Despite the fact that it’s freezing cold and has basically been snowing since we got home last night, I’m looking forward to tonight!
  2. I finally remembered to find a yoga mat to bring back to Kzoo – one that I got in a subscription box last year and has yet to be used – and it will get christened at Boatyard Brewing Co. tomorrow for their Beer Week/Yoga event! I’m excited, even if I wasn’t able to convince Joe to participate in the yoga part of the evening with me 😛
  3. Somehow 10 years have passed since High School Musical first aired (whaaaa!? That makes me feel so old) , and Disney Channel is airing a reunion special on Wednesday night at 8pm…and I’m so excited to watch! Thank goodness the Disney Channel app on Apple TV has a live option.
  4. We knocked a few things off our 2016 bucket list over the weekend (well, this 2016 bucket list doesn’t actually exist, but a few things we wanted to accomplish were accomplished): Going to the NAIAS in Detroit (like we do every year), seeing my friend Rachel and her fiancé’s new house, going to Whiskey Six (a new restaurant which was delish) and I had been craving food from Atwater in the Park for a few months now, and we went there for a super late dinner Friday night when we got in. So I’m a happy camper…with a very full belly.
  5. Joe and I checked with our landlady, and we’re allowed to get a cat! We both love animals, and while Poppy is a great lil hedgie, she’s not a ‘cuddle on the couch’ kind of pet, and a dog just wouldn’t be a good choice for us right now, SO we’ve been looking at kitties in the area to rescue. If all goes according to plan (aka we find a cat that is very snuggly) we’ll probably be getting a kitty cat this weekend and I’m super excited! …and also figuring out logistics of what should be cleaned up/organized before that happens 😛

Also, one more PSA because I’m really not sure what I’m doing: when I switched from my .wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted one, I lost all of my followers – so just check to make sure that you’re subscribed if you thought you were before but haven’t been getting updates!

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Happy Monday!

It’s Thanksgiving week, and one week until Cyber Monday! Priorities, right? It really is the best time to finish up Christmas shopping. Really though, I’m looking forward to going to the Thanksgiving parade and having everyone around the dinner table in a few days! Meanwhile…some Monday goodness:

1 ) It snowed SO MUCH this weekend, and I realized right away how thankful I was for my AWD car. Despite icky roads, the Edge drove pretty much as if there was nothing on the ground – a far cry from sliding ALL over the place in Fiestas for the past 4 or so years. Holy moley. Saturday night we took advantage of my beast of a car and drove up to a friend’s house for a few hours of Cards Against Humanity and Heads Up. Maybe the snow isn’t too bad. (Okay nope, that’s a lie. I do not like the snow.)

2 ) We have a lot of greenery in our house – a couple of IKEA plants, lots of succulents left over from our rehearsal dinner (the number is dwindling relatively quickly though…oops) and a spider plant. Last week while we were making dinner, Joe joked that we should plant one of our garlic cloves. Well, I did, and it’s growing SO FAST! Well, sprouting so fast? We have no idea how the clove will actually turn into a larger
thing of garlic. Hooray science experiments! 😛

Growwww, my little garlic clove!
Growwww, my little garlic clove!

3 ) Speaking of rehearsal dinner succulents, I’ve been thinking back to our wedding weekend lately for no reason in particular, and everything about it makes me so happy! We had so many of our loved ones all together and everything was just so perfectly great. That is all. Also wow, I just went through my phone’s pictures to find a picture to post with this, and there are so many photos from our wedding weekend that I don’t even remember taking – just since so much was going on. So good.

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Heyyyy lack of teeth smiling. My bad.
Frozen custard fire truck. Yes please and thank you.

4 ) It’s almost Pure Barre time! Between this weekend and next (and Christmastime) we’ll be back in GP quite a bit, so I bought the 5 class package for PB that I will be taking full advantage of! Don’t get me wrong, Bent 9 has definitely grown on me, but nothing is better than tucking with my PB loves (and my sister!!)

5 ) I think I’m going to work on a Christmas/winter themed Mickey wreath to hang in place of our fall one! I still have no idea what it will look like, but I think a trip to JoAnn’s will solve my creative block quite quickly. Excited to do another DIY post 🙂 

Happy Monday, and (early) Thanksgiving y’all, be sure to eat lots of yummy food!

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Let’s talk about hot barre!

Sigh. I’m pretty sure I fall under the category of ‘barre snob’ – I don’t even know if that’s a thing, but the fact that I’ve yet to find anything that compares to the fantastic, hurts so good burn I almost always get from Pure Barre certainly makes me feel like what could only be described as such. I suppose there are worse things to be. Joe has decided that I won’t be completely happy with a barre class until 1) I open a PB studio in Kalamazoo (unlikely, I think maybe too much competition with 2 other barre studios right downtown) or 2) We move back to Grosse Pointe (not happening for a long while.) So for now, I’ll suck it up and make it work!

Gotta say, I'm loving these 75 degree November days.
Gotta say, I’m loving these 75 degree November days.
With that being said, the hot barre classes at Bent 9 are quickly growing on me! I’ve only taken two barre classes so far, in addition to an beginner’s hot yoga class (sidenote: yoga just isn’t for me, I feel like I’m wasting time/not accomplishing much of anything. I need some cardio-type stuff in my life!)…and although it’s not on the same level as PB (sigh, I’m clearly not good with change) I think taking classes at Bent 9 is something I’d be happy sticking with for the unforeseeable future!  The studio is amazing, the two teachers I’ve had so far are super nice, and it’s just a good atmosphere all around – hooray!

Oh hey hot yoga/barre studio!
Oh hey hot yoga/barre studio! Biggest complaint about Bent 9 *and* Kzoo Barre – the barres aren’t screwed into the walls! Instead we just have plastic ones that are pulled out of the corner for class. Oh well.
I am still definitely getting used to the heat, which is set somewhere between 90-100 degrees, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never sweat so much in my entire life. Because of the heat, classes go at a slower pace – with more (much appreciated) breaks for stretching and water. Last night (barre class #1) I made it through no problem, but this morning I had to leave the hot room for a few seconds to cool down; I started feeling a bit woozy. I suppose I need more than half a can of Diet Pepsi in my system before class – oops.

This is probably the most accurate shirt that exists in the world.
This is probably the most accurate shirt that exists in the world.
In other news, after lunch, in the midst of writing this blog post, I took it upon myself to give one of my Pure Barre DVDs a try. Yes, 2 hours after finishing a hot barre class. I’m nuts, whatever. A couple of weeks ago I bought myself two DVDs, focus feature on abs, and focus feature on seat; I decided to go with seat today, because my goodness I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the pretzel position! Sadly there was no pretzel on the DVD, so I did a few minutes of it on my own afterwards. So much fantastic burn – I love it.IMG_3869

And now, without further ado – I am going to go take a much needed shower.

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happy monday!

It’s Monday again, which means it’s time for 5 things that have made me happy over the last week! Here we go:

  1. Trivia! One of Joe’s coworkers wives is now a host (?) for trivia at a bar in downtown Kalamazoo, so now every Thursday (or most Thursdays, at least) we’ll be meeting up with a group to stretch our brains a bit! We did pretty well last week…and ate some really yummy mozzarella sticks. Hooray for a way to put some of my useless knowledge to work 🙂
  2. I’m anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new Pure Barre equipment/DVDs so I can get to work on my abs and seat, but in the meantime, Kalamazoo Barre is continuing to grow on me (minus the minimal ab/seat work. I’ll try to stop complaining about that soon, I promise) AND two of the last 3 teachers I’ve had have asked if I was a dancer because of my awesome wide second position (knees at a 90 degree angle.)
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    hi basement!

    First – BAHAHA. I’m way too uncoordinated to be a dancer. Second –  That just makes me feel good! Third – I think all of the halloween candy I’ve been eating has been going to my previously non-existent butt. Slowly working my way up to the Lizzie McGuire butt jiggle! (You think I’m joking. That has been one of my aspirations since the movie came out.)

  3. We’re having a lot of Joe’s coworkers over tonight for pumpkin carving fun, and hopefully watching the movie that inspired our halloween costumes! We did a lot of cleaning up/decorating (ish) for fall this weekend, and this afternoon (in addition to some freelance work) I need to start making some snacks, and preparing (drumroll please) our pumpkin keg. Bwahaha. IMG_3571
  4. We went to the apple orchard yesterday morning, and picked the biggest apples we’ve ever seen in our entire life. They’re called Melrose apples, and are actually super delicious! It was their last weekend being open for apple picking, so many of their trees were apple-less, but we still filled our bag!IMG_3358

    Seriously, these apples are massive.
    Seriously, these apples are massive.
  5. Lots of cooking! We made French Onion Soup the other night, homemade pizza Saturday night, Broccoli Cheddar Bites yesterday, I’m making Chicken Tikka Masala tonight (well, starting it in like 30 minutes, hooray for another crock pot adventure!), and Thai Coconut Curry soup tomorrow or Wednesday. If/when I stop freelancing and get a full time job, I think I’ll miss spending as much time cooking/baking the most!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and happy Monday! 🙂

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No Self Control.

Alright, it’s official. Having Halloween candy in our house 3 weeks in advance + living in a city full of breweries + working from the couch every day is taking a toll on me (aka I’ve gained 5 pounds in the past week. Womp womp.)

But it's just so good!
But it’s just so good! I have no self control.

I know, I know. I could probably stand to gain a few pounds anyway or whatever, but I’d much rather do it in a healthy way, like gaining muscle from barre vs. being as inactive as I’ve been in the past month or so! Unfortunately, like I briefly mentioned in my Monday post – Kalamazoo Barre is kind of lacking in the ab and seat department. I’ve been to 3 classes now, and each class spends about 5 minutes on abs, if that. I’m used to spending almost half the class on abs at PB! (that might be an exaggeration, but that’s certainly what it feels like!) I am enjoying the class as a whole much more than I did the first day though, so I suppose that’s good 🙂

Anyway – the beginnings of marshmallow fluff around my middle makes me sad, so to fix the lack of ab work (and seat) at Kzoo Barre, I just placed an order for a couple of Pure Barre DVDs! Heck, if our basement is set up for barre, I might as well take advantage of it! Hopefully by posting about it on my blog for however many people to see/read, I’ll be able to hold myself accountable and get my butt to our basement somewhat frequently! (Plus I’ll stay a bit more conscious of what we’re making/eating for dinner annnnd keep trying to convince Joe that we need a dog! Heh.)

But for now, back to watching old seasons of ANTM (finishing up Season 3 as I type this) and enjoying all of the yummy restaurants around us – tonight is trivia night!

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oh, PS: I’m going to try to drink more water too. I quite dislike plain water, but it’s gonna happen.

 

happy monday!

Well. The Mac and Cheese Disaster of 2015 was not avoided. The crockpot basically turned the mac and cheese into a big vat of yellow play-doh, and I ended up waking Joe up at 2:45am…there was no way he was taking that blob of starch in to work. We ended up making 4 boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese at 3am. It’s not going to win any awards, but at least his coworkers will be fed! Maybe we’ll try out the whole ‘crockpot mac and cheese’ thing again some day.

Kraft to the rescue!
Kraft to the rescue!

On to happy things!

  1. I just got back from Kalamazoo Barre, and although I’m a little underwhelmed (it was apparently a hard class…but was on the easier side for me) I’ll definitely be going back/making a habit of going! It’ll be nice to incorporate it back into my daily (?) routine…but I’m currently in the process of purchasing seat and ab intensive Pure Barre class DVDs from PBs website. I feel like my thighs got an excellent workout at Kalamazoo Barre, but abs and seat left something to be desired. Luckily our basement is barre-workout ready, and I can fill in the gaps on my own!
  2. So many things to review! If you know me, you know that there’s always been a pretty constant flow of free things being delivered. Welp, starting a blog has apparently doubled that (not sure if it’s just a coincidence or the two are correlated.) In the coming weeks I’ll be reviewing an eye cream and nighttime face moisturizer on my blog (thanks to BrandBacker) and from the variety of other sample/review sites I’m part of I’ll be getting (or have recently received): OB Tampons, GoodnessKnows snack squares, Seventh Generation laundry detergent, Robutussin, Vitafusion Womens gummies, Accuflora, TAZO chai tea, Pagoda snacks, annnnd Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage. Holy moley. Hooray for Crowdtap, Smiley360, and BzzAgent!
  3. Last week I was awarded two blogger awards that I need to follow up on – and might combine the two. They both include writing up some fun facts about myself. Luckily I’m full of those!
  4. I brought all of my fall-friendly boots to Kalamazoo! It was getting a little old wearing my knockoff Birkenstocks or Sperrys in the chilly weather. As sad as I am that summer is officially over, I do love my boots and scarves 🙂
  5. We are (hopefully) having a pumpkin carving party with some of Joe’s coworkers this weekend – we have a bit of cleaning to do to prepare for that, but it should be fun if all goes according to plan! We’re not quite sure if anyone is free, so it might end up being just the two of us. Regardless, yay pumpkin carving!
  6. Bonus entry! It looks like my website is officially moved over to being self-hosted (vs WordPress hosted.) I’m not exactly sure what that means for anyone following my blog, but it’s certainly exciting for me! 🙂

Happy Monday, y’all!

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PS: The giveaway I’m running ends tomorrow night! Be sure to enter if you haven’t already 🙂

 

Weekend Goodness

I’m writing this at 1am (with plans to be up until around 2:30) thanks to a slight crockpot mishap – Joe has a chili/etc cook-off at work tomorrow, and we started prepping for his mac and cheese…when I poured the milk in without realizing that if we let it sit overnight, the noodles would get extra soggy. So now I’m letting Joe sleep (letting him? That’s weird. He’s sleeping.) since he has to be up for work at 6 and I can sleep in basically as late as I want tomorrow. I’m currently not convinced our mac and cheese will turn out – we might have let our love of cheese get the best of us (there might actually be such thing as ‘too much cheese’) but hopefully the crockpot works its magic! Meanwhile, I’m writing this post and watching old school Disney Channel Halloween movies – no complaints! 

Anyway, potential mac and cheese disaster of 2015 aside, our weekend back at home was lovely! After I did some freelance work on Friday morning, my dad and I went to the range – I shot a .22, since any other (larger) gun still gives me the willies. At some point I decided that shooting at the dude on the target was too easy (my first shot was right to the center of his head. Doesn’t get much better than that,) so I started aiming for the barrel of his gun. It took a while, but I eventually got it! I was proud 😉

Joe got into town Friday evening, and after a couple of rounds of Scrabble and catching up with my parents, we called it a night, in preparation for a busy busy busy Saturday!

Went back to my second home – Pure Barre! And I’m still sore.

After a wonderfully grueling Pure Barre class, my mom and I went to a yearly shopping event benefitting Planned Parenthood. We’ve gone together (sometimes with my sister, sometimes without) for about as long as I can remember, and the main reason for my trip home was so that tradition could continue. Note: the tradition also includes chuckling at the dirty stares given to us by the numerous anti-abortion protesters. 

Next up was a quick stop by my seamstress to get a rip in my wedding dress repaired before taking it to the cleaners – she was amazed by the (good) shape it was in, especially considering we wandered through the Farmer’s Market and a couple of alleys in Detroit. I also shared our wedding album with her…I’m pretty sure I’ll never get sick of looking at our photos <3

We watched the UofM/MSU game for a bit before heading downtown for dinner (HopCat – so delicious!!) and our Houdini bus tour, when we learned of Michigan’s super depressing (read: embarrassing?) loss…thanks to a group of rambunctious, drunk 30somethings sitting at the back of the bus for the duration of our tour.

We got to see the location of the hotel (now a parking lot) Houdini stayed at after arriving from Montreal (where his impending demise began – thanks to a few quick punches to the stomach area), followed by the theater he performed in with a 104 (?) degree temperature (now a parking garage), followed by the hospital he spent his last days in (now a parking lot). Finally we visited the morgue Houdini’s body was brought to after his death – a building that was still standing! With ‘No Trespassing’ signs pasted up, but a real building, nonetheless. Lastly we visited Michigan Central Station, where his coffin (with a glass top, used in his ‘buried alive’ trick) was transported from Detroit back to NYC. I’d still love to go into the train station some day before it (hopefully) is all redone.

The morgue where Harry Houdini was embalmed.

Sunday we went to church, finally meeting the new pastor that was installed the week after we got married! Our church’s website….leaves something to be desired…so I’m going to offer to either take some nice, high-res photos of our church, or assist in redoing the website. We’ll see what happens.

I rushed to my friend Liz’s house straight from church to meet up and carpool to Disney on Ice! We might have been the oldest people there without children, but it was still fantastic, and I loved listening to how the kids around us were reacting. A personal favorite: “OH. MOMMY!!! IT’S ARIEL! TAKE A PICTURE TAKE A PICTURE TAKE A PICTURE PLEAAAASE! Did you get it? I need a picture of Ariel mommy, she’s SO PRETTY!”

a 6ish year old sitting in front of us turned around at one point, judging us for singing along loudly (and enthusiastically!) throughout the show. Oops.
I left my ears in Kzoo 🙁

I feel like we’re always talking about how busy we pack our “free time” – but really I don’t think we’d have it any other way! We do enough sitting/veg-ing during the week, it would seem a little wasteful doing the same on weekends.

In other news, Bonnie (maybe Agnes, I’m not sure which of the two is still alive) the frog has successfully made the trip to Kalamazoo! I’d post a picture, but it’s dark and they all turned out terribly horrible.

Now to continue tending to the disaster that is our crock pot mac and cheese. Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend as well!

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PS: Self-hosting is hard to figure out. Hopefully the weird numbers in my URL will be gone soon, and I’ll be back to normal!