Our Engagement

Last year, on New Years Eve, Ryan proposed to spend the rest of my life with him.  We don't have photos or video of the actual proposal, but it went something like this...

He asked,
My hands found their way to my face, the way all girls seem to respond to the good news.
I cried.  A lot.  And was overcome with emotions.
He laughed.  And smiled.  And love poured out of his heart.
I accepted.
He put the most beautiful ring on my finger.
We hugged.  And kissed.  And hugged some more.

 The biggest smiles we've ever seen

Once we arrived to our New Year's Eve party, I called my out-of-state best friends (cried some more), mom & dad, and then celebrated... x 100!

I've prayed for my husband since I was a teenager and I'm so very thankful God took care of him all this time for me.   

Happy New Year's Eve!
All my love.


National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The Native American printmaking exhibit was my favorite (photo - bottom left).  I learned so much!  And still wish I could learn more. Ryan liked to follow the cowboys around.  Ironically enough, there were quite a few visiting the museum.


So much fun!  I wish we had time to watch the western movie showing in the little theater (photo - top middle), it sounded exciting, but the museum was closing in an hour and we had much more to see.  Like visiting the feux western village set in the early 1900s, which was my second favorite exhibit.

Museum. Conquered.


A Handmade Christmas

An Ipad cover turned makeup bag:

I really liked the shape of the Ipad cover (it looks like an envelope!), but I wanted something a little smaller in size.  It turned out much better than I expected.  And the cute little tag was a free download from Creature Comforts.

Tote Bags:

I completely forgot to post about Renske's minimalist tote bag I made with Valerie a few weeks ago (check out her cute tote)!  Another fun project and our husbands got the opportunity to get the hand drills out.  I had a lot of fun making my bag that I decided to make 2 more for Christmas gifts.  I used a couple fun patterns for the inside liners, but continued with the white canvas for the outside and brown fabric as the base. 

And the first handmade gift I already posted was received with a huge smile.  She was mostly excited about the POCKETS.  Who isn't?



Let me go ahead and get this out of the way...this post has nothing to do with the Twilight series. My apologies to anyone who was mislead.

Last night around 2:15CST there was a full lunar eclipse that was visible to anyone in North America...who didn't have any cloud cover. If you were brave enough to join the rest of us who didn't care about showing up late to work today, you were able to catch a sight (such as the one on the left) that doesn't happen very often. In fact, a lunar eclipse occurring on the winter solstice only happens every 350 years on average. So...likely the only chance we will have in our lifetime. Also, for anyone with little light pollution, there was a small meteor shower.

Zia and I had a blast! We both put on some warm clothes and went out to lay in the grass. I tried to take a few pictures but due to my inability to operate the new DSLR in low light, none turned out.

If you are curious like me and want to look up as to why the moon turns red during an eclipse then go here to learn why this happens. I also learned how to convert universal time.


A (tad blurry) Fancy Date

It doesn't happen often, but every now and then we go on a "fancy date"...and sneak photos with our Iphones.


The Photo Swap

A Saturday photo adventure from California to Oklahoma and a few wonderful places in between... the photo swap!
Fayetteville, AR

Dog park (Ryan)
Oklahoma City, OK

Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park
Chicago, IL

Lincoln, NE

 Santa Monica, California (Adam)

Click on the photos for more info about our photographers.

Note: I absolutely love the difference between California & Illinois.  Holy storm, Chicago!

And anyone is welcome to join us, e-mail me your photo Sunday night and I'll post everything on Monday.  I'm already excited to see next what next week brings!


Doing It Right

For almost 5 years I have longed for two things like a baby wants milk. The first was my beautiful wife and that dream came true this year. I still can't believe that the girl of my dreams became my wife just 6 months ago. The second is my Jeep. It is big and mean and almost as beautiful as my gorgeous wife. There are times when I daydream about it and usually one night a week I am thinking about it when I fall asleep.

Side Note: Is it sad that a material item occupies this much of my mind sometimes? I find myself feeling guilty for wanting an object so much.

I recently envisioned the events surrounding my acquisition of a Rubi. After the usual 5 minutes of giddiness that even surrounds this thought, I started planning. Planning what is now known as "The Trip". This event includes the logistics of flying-to, purchasing, and driving it home. For example:

There is a perfect Rubi for sale in the Seattle area at the moment. So, I see Kendra and I flying into Seattle with loaded packs and buying it then taking the next week to drive home...to Denver of course(see picture of route)... Zia would have to stay behind because I don't think I could make her fly cargo on a plane. We would hang out around Seattle for a bit then hit the road, skipping the hotels and camping each night because we are in a freaking Jeep that can go anywhere so why would we park it in a parking lot when we can park it on a mountain!? Along the way we would see lots of friends in Cali, Utah, and Northern Colorado...maybe make an exception on the camping rule to stay at their house for the night. There will be sights to see, pictures to take, and 4x4 roads to be owned. In short, a good time would be had by all...someday.

By the way...Kendra wanted me to remind all of you shutterflys out there that you pictures for the photo project are due by Sunday night, if you want to participate next week.


Hostess Apron (part deux)

Remember the fun aprons Val and I made?

Well, I decided to make another, but this time..  BY MYSELF!  I was really happy with my accomplishment, however I missed my sewing friend greatly with her stories and amazing direction reading skills (I sew what to what?).

Cute and kitchen-y, right?  I especially like the pockets.

I took everyone's advice to gift a few of these guys for Christmas - this one is going to Ryan's Grandma (she doesn't read the blog).  Her favorite color is blue, she loves to bake, and is frequently spotted sporting an apron around the house.  Perfect!  I hope :)


Yes, let's

(from fifiduve)



(photo by Beth Retro)

I love birthdays.  For me, it's a milestone marker and I can say with great happiness that year 25 was quite the adventure.  I married the boy of my dreams, continued to build friendships to heights I never thought were possible, found new relationships within a church that wrapped it's arms around us with such love, traveled and experienced so many things I never could have dreamed, marked off a few more bucket list items, and laughed and grew and accomplished so much.  I believe birthdays are a celebration for all said things. 

With that same excitement I move on to the next set of goals and new adventures.  I can't wait to see where this next year takes me.  Where it takes all of us.

26, let's see what you got...



Currently sipping hot tea, listening to Iron & Wine, and wishing for my cozy bed. 


Run, girls, run!

This weekend I'll be cheering on the runners in the Route 66 Marathon with this girl.   We both have friends running in the race and plan to be "those spectators".  You know, the ones who jump up and down and bring huge signs and yell everyone's names as they run by.  Encouragement is our #1 goal.  I'm so excited to watch our friends accomplish this.

Go Rach!

Rachel and I like to dress alike - a lot.
and Go Carol!

My favorite hiking buddy
A highlight of a race weekend?
Eating a carb-loaded dinner with the participants!  Bring on the pasta.


Free tickets? We'll Take Them

"No, of course we aren't busy on a Sunday night and can come in such short notice!"

This was our first NBA game together and we were really excited.  Thankfully I had just bought this shirt last week or I would have had no blue clothes to support the team (remember, I'm just started branching out).

Now, if there are any Seattle readers out there, don't get hasty.  I know you all aren't too happy with the fact that we kind of stole your team.

When Ryan and I were on our honeymoon we met a lovely Washington couple at a winery and through conversation they found out we lived in OKC and within the next couple minutes of that conversation they let us know just how they felt about the NBA switch, haha.  The husband was sort of joking, but also sort of serious.  Sorry, folks!

So many happy fans in front of us cheering (nice things and not so nice things) like mad.  Hey, they were enthusiastic.  I like that.

At halftime, we saw little parachutes falling from the sky.  This went on forever.  But we didn't catch a t-shirt, or really come close.

I'd like to think so! 

 Well, then we started to loose.  And then people started to leave.  But true fans as we are, we stayed until the very end.

Thanks Cassie and Trace for the tickets!


Just a Saturday

A little secret:  One of my favorite things to do during a Saturday morning with no plans, or errands, is to lay in bed and watch a film with the director's commentary.  During college I would do this about every weekend and recently I've kind of forgot about my love for it  (I choose trashy reality TV instead I suppose).  But the commentary is so interesting to me - to know "why" and "how".  I took one film class in college and I'm hooked.   

Today I spent my morning with Zach Braff watching an old favorite.  I fell in love with it all over again.


Rainy day adventure with Zia

rain: check
old shoes: check

 leaves (for zia) + self-timer (for me) = absolute excitement (for us!)


...Walkin' home



It's beautiful outside.  And it's November.

   photo from StGrundy

I kind of want to skip work today, steal Ryan, and find a yellow-leaved tree to lay under on a blanket... with books, and a picnic basket, and our camera.  All day, with no worries in the world.  Like fear of being fired after we both just skipped work!  Ah, yes.  This what I'm dreaming of today.


Sewing 102: Groovy Hostess Apron

That's right, sewing 102(!) - I've advanced, friends. 

Val and I cut the pattern and fabric last week and whipped up this cute lil' apron Sunday afternoon via Skype (she lives across the country, don't you just love technology?)  Also, I only messed up TWICE.  I love how calm Val stays while I freak out to the web cam.

Anywho... this is it:

I really like the fun fabric.  

A few changes to the pattern/instructions:
We choose 3 different fabrics instead of 2 (to spruce it up a bit more).  We added another pocket,  1 just wasn't enough, of course.  And if you want to make your apron REALLY special, cut the material right down the middle, like I did!  Yeah, that was mistake #1.  

I think it turned out really cute though, mistakes and all.


Where do we go next?

Planning is underway for the next annual girls' trip!  We're thinking some place... beachy.  In previous years we traveled:

San Francisco, CA in 2010
 Scottsdale, AZ in 2009

With many many trips in between (but those weren't our "official girls' trips").  Tricky, right?  We just like to travel, what can we say.  And love traditions!  We might have 1 more friend experience the greatness of the girl's trip with us next year, too.  We really hope to keep this tradition going for a very long time.

Ryan of course will take a "boy trip" to Colorado or New Mexico.


In the Kitchen: Mini Pumpkin Pies

The mini pumpkin pies were a huge hit at the last gathering we hosted at our apartment.  We let everyone add as much Cool Whip as their little heart desired (I chose none, others chose a lot) and nixed the "nut topping" all together.  We followed this recipe and everything worked out perfectly... and tasted delicious!  Easy recipe for non-bakers like myself.

What you’ll need (makes 36 bites):
1 can Libby’s 100% pumpkin
3 store bought pie crusts
3 tsp cinnanmon
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
pinch of salt
whipped cream
nut topping
:: Preheat your oven to 350°.
:: Roll out your pie crust. Take a circular object, like a glass or can, and cut out 36, 2-3 inch circles.
:: Place the circles in your mini-muffin pan to form little cups.
:: Mix the rest of your ingredients together and scoop into your pie crust cups.


A Late Night Download

...yeah, so it's now after 1:30am and I am up getting new music. I have to admit the timing is a bit off but the new tunes were necessary. There were a few things on a list that built up...for example the Julian Casablacas solo album and a few Decemberists EPs.

I also discovered a new band from the northwest called Hey Marseilles. They are so cool that they let anyone, even this guy, embed their whole album. Take a listen...I did and I bought my first album in a few years.




Last night we carved pumpkins with two of our friends, to get into the "Halloween Spirit" since it's right around the corner.  I hadn't carved a pumpkin in quite awhile and forgot one of the most important steps - carve the top at a an angle to keep the stem from falling in.  Whoops!

Anyway, this is how the night progressed...

Step 1:  Gut

Step 2:  Sketch

Step 3:  Make (and eat) pumpkin seeds

Step 4:  Explain to the pups why they don't get to eat pumpkin seeds

Step 5: Carve

Step 6:  Share stories!

Step 7:  And Marvel at our finished products

 Left to right - Ryan, Kendra, Joey