This weekend is our big 5 year anniversary!
: : :We have done quite a bit in our 5 years of married life: : :

r We started out with a honeymoon to Meramec State Park here in Missouri
r A week camping out at Cornerstone Music festival in Illinois
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r A second honeymoon road trip style to the Southeast States
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r I fractured my pelvic bone
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r 3 trips to St. Simmons Island, Georgia
r 6 different homes
r 3 trips to Denver CO
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r Made it through five years of college
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r Frequent trips to the Zoo
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r [Many many] Trips to St. Louis
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r Several outings to Springfield, MO
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r Counseled at a camp for a week one summer with our church youth group
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r We became the proud parents of a Poodle named Reese
r I spent 3 months on bed rest while pregnant with Miss Penelope
r We became Mama and Papa during our third year of marriage
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r We’ve owned 4 vehicles; one stolen, one sold (had the whole 5 years), one broke down, and a van.
r Been camping twice; once at Cornerstone Music Festival (a week long), once for our second anniversary (one night)
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r   Been to Cheyenne Wyoming twice
r   Hiked to the tops of [at least] 6 mountains
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r Found one, count ‘em, -one- horse one the side of the road
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r Had many long scenic drives (one of which is where we came across the horse)
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r Gone to Meramec Caverns once
r And we have made made many wonderful friends along the way!

: : : For our anniversary this year we went to The Cheesecake Factory and to see a movie and had a full day of shopping for our new home, since it was supposed to be too cold to go kayaking. : : :
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Last night at The Cheesecake Factory – excuse the deer in the head lights expression on my face, extremely bright flash…

Tomorrow we will be spending our actual anniversary with Penelope, doing things she’d enjoy, like swimming…
Happy Weekend!

A Family Friday

Zack had to work this Saturday, so we decided to have a family day last Friday to have some fun before his work week started.
That morning we headed out to the mall by our house for some window shopping and lunch. After which we decided it would be best to go home and change, as we were far too over dressed for what had now become a very hot day.
Next it was off to the St. Louis Arch to take some family pictures and walk around for a bit. At the Arch the weather was much nicer, with a cool breeze constantly blowing.
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Turned out to be mostly Zack taking pictures of the rest of us as oppose to “family photos”- we’ll have to get him in there next time…


Penelope insisted on holding Reese’s leash and he made sure to drag her around… and around…she loved it!

Itty Bitty very exaggerated baby bump
I plucked a flower for Penelope, which she eventually tore to shreds, but not without getting pollen all over her nose first.

After the Arch we went to Chesterfield ate supper and did some much needed diaper shopping. Fuuun stufff!
Happy Sunday!

Mother’s Day

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This is my third mother’s day, and by far the best. Not because of the way it was celebrated, but because this year is filled with a sweet voice saying “Mama.” When she is hurt, excited, need me to help with something, she says Mama.
My first mother’s day was the most exciting because I was pregnant with a little baby girl, my first. Our friends Daniel and Heather took me out to celebrate-and they went ALL OUT! It was wonderful.
Last year Zack and Penelope took me to San Francisco Oven in Springfield- my favorite place to eat there! I believe we did some shopping afterwards…
This year I thought I was going to spend my day just me and my girl, since Zack was working. The day quickly turned around for the better though. My family picked me up for church, then we went out to lunch then on to Chesterfield to do some shopping – and my dad even got me a gift!- when Penelope and I arrived at home I talked to my younger brother on the phone before we made supper and watched Peter Pan. Then Penelope had a bath, complete with bubbles, and now she is pushing around her shopping cart while I type. It has been a beautiful, full day for the two of us!

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Double Nickels


My Dad turned 55 yesterday. Over the last year, I had been sending out emails to every one of his friends and family members I could find, inviting them to write him something from their heart; a funny memory, or a simple reminder that he is loved.

People came through! From across states and countries. Sending photos, cards, long letters. It was a magical moment watching as he realized what was happening. What was done all in his honor.

Zack found a 1957 nickel at a coin shop, we paired it with a 2012 nickel as decoration on the gift- which he now has on his keys.  We searched through every bunch of change we could legally get our hands on over the past few months- with no such luck, which is why my brilliant husband thought to go to a coin shop! Such a smarty!

He carefully looked over each picture, naming each person and telling us a little about them. We grew up hearing about these people but I never get tired of seeing his face light up as he talks about them. As it all comes back to him…

He slowly read letter after letter, with tears in his eyes, stopping occasionally to wipe away the tears and thank us for do this for him. He had to stop when he got to the last two, my brothers Joe’s and my sister Audrey’s, I don’t know that he could take anymore at that time— ( I read them and wanted to cry. There was so much love on those pages.)

I framed some of the pictures that were sent, and put the letters in a portfolio book so that he can keep them forever.

Joe (above) being sneaky while propping the photo up for me.

Thank you all for sending letters cards and photos to my Dad! It did not go unappreciated.

Spring is Back!

Spring is back in St. Louis, at least for a few days. It’s cool enough to go outside and enjoy it, so that is just what we did today! Over the weekend, my mother-in-law bought Penelope a Lego wagon, a.k.a. : Baby’s new stroller. We took a walk with the wagon full of Baby, her blanket, a snack and blueberry juice for any ‘breaks’ we might have to take.

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She decided half way through our walk that she wanted to be the one to walk Reese, who was very impatient and wanted to go at his own pace, so we both held the leash, so Mama could keep him in check.

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In the next two days we will be spending time outside, dancing in sprinklers, visiting the produce stand down the road, and taking more walks, next time with Daddy!

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I hope everyone else has a good week!
Making this a short post, Penelope is tugging at me and wants to help type… going to have movie time now – – –  Surfs Up again…

A Thursday in St. James

Yesterday Zack, Penelope and I went to St. James- 2 hours south of us- because Zack had an interview for a teaching position, while Penelope and I spent the day with our cousins, Anna and her three girls.


The six girls (including me) went to the local Mexican restaurant in St. James for lunch (delicious!), and later to Slice of Pie later (also delicious!), when Zack was done with his interview.


We stayed for supper, which was [thirdly] delicious! They had just butchered one of their cows, so we had steak, which was the best I’ve ever had, and baked potatoes an broccoli – all outside on the picnic table. It was an awesome day for us!

18 Month Update

Penelope turned 18 months on Easter Sunday. I thought I’d give an update and let you know what she has been up to lately!
First of all, most of you know Penelope has been potty trained since she was 9 months old, well, she has been in pull-ups for a month now, and she is now to the point of letting me know she has to go with every little “number 1”! Which has been great for us and usually means only wet diapers first thing in the morning, although even some of those are dry.
Food training…well that seems to be heading backwards now that she wants to feel the texture of her food. She is good at using utensils, its just a matter of making sure she doesn’t get distracted and begin dunking her hands and/or napkin in her cereal milk, or squeeze grapefruit wedges between her fingers.
She is very into movies. Her and I have movie time once a day, after her nap, complete with popcorn, and she will watch the whole thing- and she chooses what we watch. We cuddle and snuggle and share snacks. She also enjoys Sesame Street, mostly Elmo, Dora-which I can only take so much of, and My Little Pony,
Dancing is a big part of our days as of late. Penelope LOVES. TO. DANCE! She breaks out her moves even to little songs playing in the backgrounds of commercials.
My girl has hit that independence streak, that may become more than a streak, but I’m hoping it’s a streak. Being selfish I guess. Her independence ranges right down to wanting to clip her own toe nails. Along with independence, comes her desire to help everyone with everything. Brushing Mama’s hair, grabbing our shoes and bringing them to us when we’re going somewhere, stretching to put dishes in the sink, putting trash (and other things) in the trash can, etc.
Words: : :
Da (Dad)
Ma (Mama)
Mmm-ma (Grandma)
Dog/Puh (Puppy)
Gah (gross)
Cah’r (Car)
Bur (bird)
Buh (please)
Ta. (Thank you)
Dah (down & done)
Mmm-‘tongue click’ (milk)
hah’r (hair)
Weee ( says while being tossed in the air by Daddy)
Baby ( She says this one pretty much right on the nose)
Bok (block)
Booh (book)
Foaw (flower)
> > > She is saying so many words, most of which only Mama can understand, but she sure is trying! I’m sure there are more but these are the ones she says most often.


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We have actually been back from our week long trip for two weeks now, but I am finally feeling up to blogging again.
Our trip was wonderful! We were able to see a lot of my family, and spent two days on the Georgia coast.



Its April! I would shout for joy that it is Spring, but it has been spring since January here! I took Penelope’s Easter pictures the other day, just incase I am far too busy to think about it on Easter day.
This week I will be packing and double—make that triple checking to make sure we have everything. I’m not too far off when I say everything, looking at my list, I am packing just about everything we own-at least for Penelope—including three different types of diapers! Regular for the nighttime- pull-ups for the daytime- and “little swimmers” for the beach! 
Yesterday Penelope and I had pajama day, and she eventually gave up even wearing pants. We have been stuck inside the past few days-Zack has been using the van, and it has been either too hot or raining, so we’ve got  nudge of cabin fever, but we are making the most of it.
Next week we will be on our road trip to the southeast. We leave this Friday!
Well I better get back to packing…

Friday Round-up

The past few days have been pretty long ones for me. Zack has worked the last two nights and worked at his uncle’s doing some landscaping for a few hours each of those days. We tried to squeeze every ounce of time we had together, which was about three hours a day.

Yesterday we took a walk by St. Charles Riverfront. Penelope was sure to let us know about each bird (“Bur!”) she saw and each puppy that strolled by got an enthusiastic squeal and a point of her itty-bitty finger!
We stopped by a covered stage, to let Penelope run around for a bit while some rain decided to pass by.

Today our time together was spent at a produce stand and a late lunch at Culvers.


Penelope brought along her shopping cart, and could not have been happier to enjoy the freedom of the open isles.

She helped us out by pointing out things we just had to get- tomatoes, plums, and oranges. Girl knows what she likes! If they had had blueberries, she would’ve wanted them all!

We might be going to the circus tomorrow with my sister and her kids, and eating shrimp with fried rice and pineapple on the side for supper!
Happy Weekend!
The week in photos: : :