Random Monday Thoughts, 5/23/2016


Woofta, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Random Monday Thoughts (the last one you can find HERE), but I actually missed doing them, so they are back for now!  I think it’s good sometimes to sit back and reflect on the weekend (or a couple days at a time) and be thankful for what you have and where you are in life!

  1. Sun & Warm Temps – This weekend was about as perfect weather-wise as we could possibly wish for in Iowa.  Mid-seventies up to low eighties and sun shining with a slight breeze.  I love it!  The older I’ve gotten, the less I like the cold of the winter, so I soaked up every possible ounce.  I even got my first sunburn yesterday! Woohoo!
  2. Work is more relaxing than being at home! Ok, maybe it’s not quite that extreme, but we worked outside yesterday on gardens and lawns, etc. for over 7 hours and I’m shot!  I was actually looking forward to coming back to work today so I could just sit and relax!
  3. Weddings are Great – We attended the wedding of one of my cousins this past weekend and I seriously love weddings for the mere fact that you get to see people you don’t normally…whether it be family from out of state or acquaintances or friends from a “past life” that you don’t see anymore, it’s so much fun to catch up with everyone!
  4. My Mom is my Best Friend – I think it’s so fantastic that as I’ve grown and (hopefully) matured into an adult, my mom and I have become best friends.  I’ve always been a momma’s girl my entire life, but there was a period in my adolesnce that we were so much alike we butted heads a lot.  So, beause of this it’s extra special to me that we are so close now.  This past weekend we spent Saturday morning together talking and driving and shopping for flowers for our gardens.  Our adventures took us to Natural Plus Nursery in Clear Lake and Winding Creek Garden Center in Belmond and then Sugar Pie Bakery in Belmond for lunch!  What a fantastic time it was!

    Sugar Pie Baker in Belmond
    Lunch with my mom at Sugar Pie Bakery in Belmond!
  5. Flower gardening is Fantastic! I’ve always enjoyed flower gardens, but as I’ve aged and become an adult with my own home I’ve really grown to love having and caring for flower beds!  I have window boxes and a raised bed that I fill every year with annuals and three other beds that are full of perennials.  I love selecting the flowers and planting them each year and watching them grow and develop!  Stay tuned to later this week to see what I selected this year and how they are doing!

Thanks for joining me today!  What are your random thoughts after the weekend?  I’d love to hear!

And don’t forget to Comment for A Cause: Laura & MS Walk!

Dear Graduate: A Letter

It’s graduation time here in North Iowa and I can’t help but think about R graduating in a short 3 years…or about how I felt 16 (gasp!) years ago when I graduated.  I also can’t help but remember when I was the graduate.  There are so many mixed emotions.  There is part of me that feels like those days were just a year or two ago and the other part of me feels like a lifetime ago.  I suppose that’s because it was a lifetime ago.  Wait…how did I get this old??

But, I digress…

Dear Graduate, 

I have several things to say, so bear with me if you would.  The next week or two is going to evoke a lot of emotions…sadness, happiness, pure excitement, and fear.  You’re not only going to feel these emotions in the next week or so, but the next several months as you prepare for the next step in your life.  So, here are a couple things to keep in mind as you move forward.  

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Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

Anyone else have those leftover meats in your freezer that you must use, but are always at a loss of what to do?  We’ve had that quite a bit lately and specifically ham!  We had left over ham from Christmas and then added another container of left over ham from Easter.  While we love ham (just eating it plain), we had done that a couple times and were looking to reuse it another way!  T was actually the one who suggested chopping it up and putting it in my twice baked potatoes.  Then for ease, I added a few other items and the seasoning to make them into ultimate mashed potatoes.  We’ll get to these potatoes in a minute, but first let’s talk about weekends for a second.

Weekends are a funny thing, aren’t they??  You spend the majority of the week waiting anxiously for them and then once they are over, you are either glad to get back to a routine or realize it went so fast, you can’t really remember what you did!  This past weekend was a rare one where we didn’t have 15 things that we “had” to do. Oh don’t worry our list of “to do’s” was plenty long as we hadn’t had much time the last several weeks to focus on home, but only one place to go and one thing we had to do which was a baseball game for M on Saturday night.  Knowing it was going to be cold and windy, I decided we were going to need a hardy meal to fill our bellies and help keep us warm during the game, so that led us to where we are now.

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Wordless Wednesday: The Seas


Psalm 95:5-6 “The sea that he made belongs to him, along with the dry land that his hands formed. Come! Let us worship and bow down; let us kneel in the presence of the Lord, who made us.”

A Week in the Life of Me, Part 2

Wow! Where did the time go? See how that happens? Life is crazy busy and I forget things and things forget me, but I digress….

Last week you were able to follow me through the first half of a week to see what my life really looks like and how busy we stay! That was Sunday through Wednesday and you can check that out HERE! So, what happened the rest of the week? Here you go!

Thursday – if you recall from last week, my alarm goes off at 5:01AM every morning.  Today I’m off to POUND class again and home to shower and prep for work.  Once I’m ready, I pack my lunch and breakfast as well as pack M’s lunch to take to school.  Off I go!  Work until about 12:30 when (and this is incredibly rare) my hubby picked me up for a quick lunch date.  The Iowa Grill (food truck) from Mason City is in town today and it’s a gorgeous day, so we are happy to oblige for a quick lunch.  Back to work until 4PM (that’s an hour earlier than normal) and I fly home to pick up my mom, T & M to head to another track meet about 45 minutes away. We arrive on our normal scheduled time only to find out we’re a half hour (or so) early for R’s events, so now we kill time…good thing it’s a gorgeous day!  We watch his first two events and then quickly head downtown to find some supper (we’re all very tired of concession stand and fast food by this point).  Back to the track meet for his last event (he runs the 4×400, which is literally the last event).  Thankfully, it isn’t too late and we’re home by about 8:30PM.  The dog is limping…why is the dog limping..texting my dog walker (yes, I’ve actually hired a neighbor girl to walk Nike and spend a little time with her all these nights we’ve been at track meets).  We discover she’s scraped off part of her pad on her paw…nothing life threatening so we can fall into bed!

Nike feeling down because she hurt her paw!  What a baby!!
Nike feeling down because she hurt her paw! What a baby!!
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One-Pan Italian Skillet & Life Moving Too Fast

I’m excited to introduce you to my One-Pan Italian Skillet, but we’ll get to that in a minute…

It’s May?!  How the heck did that happen?  Could someone please find April and send it back to me??  Good gravy that month went fast and I know it’s because I spent 75% of it at track meets, which is fantastic because I love trackwatching anything the boys are involved with, but dang it was busy and I feel like this site suffered because of it.  The reality is that it probably did suffer…lack of new posts, etc. but the other reality is that is where my life is right now and I knew something had to give and I also knew that you would all understand and appreciate the fact that I was focused on my guys!  So, thank you for your graciousness and patience…it is much appreciated!

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Wordless Wednesday: Earth


Colossians 1:16-17 – “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.   And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together”

Don’t forget to Comment for a Cause: Laura & MS Walk

Comments for a Cause: Laura & MS Walk

One of the greatest things about the North Iowa Bloggers is that when one of them falls, everyone else is around to pick them up! That’s why when I heard that one of them had been diagnosed with MS, I knew that I wanted to help!

I have to admit…I knew Laura Meyer of Speaking of Laura for several months (she had done some graphic design work for me including creating my logo over at Social Impact) without ever knowing that she had been diagnosed with MS.  One of the first things that struck me about Laura when I met her was her vibrancy for life!  She’s incredibly upbeat, creative, and outgoing.  I would never have guessed that she was struggling with something so serious.

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A Week In the Life of Me, Part 1

You often see bloggers do “a day in my life” and I’m always intrigued reading these because I love to see how others live. I decided that I was going to do the same type of thing, but instead decided that I’m going to do a week in the life of me because so often it isn’t one day that makes up my crazy schedule or busy life, or exhausts me…it’s the week all smushed together! So, enjoy!!moments

Sunday – Sunday mornings are usually pretty casual and laid back around our home.  This is also when I get lots of chores done. Today it’s coffee & breakfast with T, then chores (laundry, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, prepping fruits, veggies, and lunches for the week).  Then, doing some blogging of course and working on Facebook posts for some of the businesses I work with over on Social Impact.  Lunch came next followed by a lot of working outside.  Supper with R, a relaxing bath, and then chilling until bedtime (it never comes early enough on the weekends when we work outside so much).

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