AUGUST 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

August was full of more birthdays, mini getaways, and football games. Here’s a peek at our month and the life I’ve thankful for.

Amazon Favorites

if you’ve been around for a bit, you’re no stranger to the fact that i live for amazon prime. i mean, it’s my holy grail for basically everything and such a lifesaver. we even buy a lot of our household items through amazon – no joke, we just got an order of dog food in – and it’s been our lifeline during this crazy pandemic.

my in-store shopping has decreased a lot during quarantine, obviously, but there’s no denying that money still flies out of my wallet just as my fast towards my amazon cart. i realize that it’s been a while since i’ve shared some of our favorite purchases from amazon, so i thought i’d share away.

dog owners who have those pesky dogs that always bark? you NEED this!

not joking. my only regret is not buying this sooner. we have lots of windows in our house and the dogs take full advantage of that and bark at everything. its annoying and i think they like to challenge each other on who can bark the loudest. squirrels, mail men, their own shadow? you name it…they bark.

this bark collar has changed that completely. my favorite part about it is that it has three training modes – beep, vibration, etc. – and we’ve only had to use the beep option. they know immediately once they hear that beep what it means and to stop. it’s even waterproof!

this air mattress -yes adulting at its finest. an air mattress.

this has been one of our most used purchases lately. we have people over quite often and can always use the extra sleeping space. this has come in handy so much! the quality is great and we love that it has a built-in air compressor that works so fast.

it was inevitable…we’re mid-westerners. we gave in and bought our own custom corn hole set. it’s exactly what we had in mind and the guy who built them for us did such a great job.

but we needed the actual bags for it. john found these on amazon and they are great!

we got a board set with one side that has the minnesota vikings logo and the other the chicago bears. we decided to purchase bags sets in both purple and bright orange to match them and are super happy with the quality. we’re looking forward to many, many summers using them.

let me know if you order something on my amazon favorites list…i’d love to know what you think. happy shopping!

things bringing me joy during lockdown.

lockdown; a word we’re all hearing a lot lately. five weeks in and i think we’re slowly becoming used to this new “normal”. everyday is different; some days i have a hard time wanting to turn off netflix and get off of the couch, other days i’m beyond productive and feel like i can take on the world.

this whole thing has certainly taught me to find joy in the little things. so what joys have i been finding?

no make up / no bra

with no where to go or no one to see wearing makeup and a bra has been a thing of the past. i still find myself occasionally throwing on some mascara and lipstick just to feel more human, but it feels so good to not spend so much of my time in the morning getting ready.

working from home

i didn’t think i would adjust so well to working from home, but its been glorious! my favorite part has been just being able to roll out of bed three minutes before work starts and tossing open my laptop. again, really enjoying the aspect of not having to spend so much time in the morning to get ready.

working on things that were put off on the to-do list

i’m certainly not complaining about all the extra time we’re getting to knock things off on our to-do list that we’ve been wanting to get done. we’re really doing our best to take advantage of this weird period of time.

ozark

netflix in general, but holy crap. we started ozark and it’s been soooo good. what shows have you been binging during quarantine?

walmart grocery pickup

it’s a lifesaver during this time. seriously, if you haven’t taken advantage of walmart grocery pick-up, you’re missing out. the contact is so minimal which is perfect for quarantine and much more convenient then dealing with the chaos of going in to the store.

interested in trying? use the following referral code to save $10: http://r.wmt.co/v/Shayla_1

extra time with john and family

with no where to run off to and no events to attend, we have become a more relaxed family. we have more time to enjoy just being together. quarantining has forced me to slow down and appreciate the moments; the memories that we’re all making together.

nice weather

truthfully, i don’t think lockdown could have come at a better time. the weather is becoming warmer and we’re seeing a lot more sunshine. i’m super thankful for that; it means we don’t all have to always be cooped up inside. we’ve been taking advantage of it with lots of cookouts, lunch picnics, and family walks.

all the money were saving…gas, no trips to the craft store, etc

i swear our gas tank has lasted nearly a month. with no where to go and no where to spend money, i’m really liking watching my bank account increase. but don’t let me fool you…i’m severely missing my tj maxx and homegood hauls.

more time to be creative

i’m also finding a lot more time to be creative, which i thoroughly enjoy. i’ve done some painting, some writing, and even planting. lockdown has reminded me of how much i enjoy these hobbies of mine.

what have you been finding joy in during lockdown?

ten date night ideas.

one of my favorite things about john and i is that way we always make time for date nights, for each other.

sometimes it’s hard with our busy schedules, and our herd of small children running around, but the fact that we always make time to spend quality time together, alone, is my favorite.

so try it; forget about your schedules, the kids, the person who annoyed you earlier in the day and devote your time and attention to the one you love. i wrangled up some fun ideas; check ’em out:

have a picnic, inside or out.

turn your outdoor patio into a dining experience…music, tablecloth, candles, and all.

kayak down the river together.

attend a sporting event together.

get out of the house and just rent a hotel for the night. order take-out, watch movies, and don’t leave the room until morning.

lay on a blanket outside and stargaze.

have a cozy night in. make popcorn, snuggle under some blankets on the couch, and binge watch some of your favorite movies.

get fancy. get all dolled up and pick a hotel lobby to meet up at. reserve a table at a fancy restaurant and finish the night at a show or bar.

take a class…cooking, painting, etc.

recreate your first date, always a favorite to recreate those memories.

choose to always date your person. xoxoxo

a photo journal – summer 19

the summer of 2019 is officially over for me as my girls have started back up with school. this summer had its lows, it’s highs. and everything in between. but looking back at all the pictures that i’ll be sharing in this post, it was the best summer of my life.

so many life changes occurred, so many new adventures, but i smiled more than i ever have before. this summer is one i’m definitely going to miss.

throughout this post i’m going to be sharing lots of photos from this summer and telling you all about the things i did.

that being said, this was my summer of 2019.

i brought in the very beginning of summer by turning 30. i struggled with the idea of turning thirty so much, but it truly has been the best year of my life thus far. being thirty, i see a woman who has grown and changed so significantly. i can see a shift in my confidence, my purpose, my passions. most importantly i see a woman who has learned the importance of patience, kindness, an open heart, and love. i love this chapter of thirty so much.

i got to celebrate my thirtieth at one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people. cubbies, beer, and dancing; truly my best birthday yet.

my girls got to come to my work for “bring your child to work day”. they got to see a day in the life of what i do and enjoyed it so much. i love working for a company that offers so much to their employees and their families.

i got the opportunity to travel to austin for work and made a little getaway out of it. the whole experience was amazing and if you haven’t been to austin, i’d highly recommend it. i can’t wait to go back!

i’ve never been kayak fishing and jumped at the chance to go one day this summer with my dad. we didn’t catch anything, but it surely was relaxing and memories that i’ll have forever with him.

our family reunion took place this summer in missouri. we only get together for it every five years, so it was something we were all really looking forward to. i’m already looking forward to the next one and seeing everyone together again.

we celebrated kaylei turning 11 with our closest friends and family. she enjoyed her ‘art’ party and sure got spoiled.

we spent a weekend up in minneapolis to catch a preseason game of the vikings. if you’ve never been to an nfl game, go! the whole experience was so surreal and something i already want to do again. and to set the record straight…i’m still a bear’s fan.

and lastly, i moved. new town, new adventures. and boy, am i sure excited to write this chapter.

a photo journal – wahl family reunion

our second wahl family reunion took place this month; we’re trying to keep the tradition of organizing one for every 5 years. this years took place at a koa campground near st. louis, missouri.

the location was perfect; you could rent a site to tent or park your camper at or they also offered little cabins available to rent. we decided on a camping cabin that had the cutest front porch. the best part was mazi girl was also allowed to stay there as well.

the actual reunion took place friday through sunday, but we made a little vacation out of it and drove up a few days early to spend the extra time with family.

one day we made a trip to the st. louis zoo. it was perfect because it had free admission and wasn’t too far of a drive from camp.

i love being able to watch my girls grow up with my cousin’s kids. it reminds me so much of the summer vacations we would go on to see the wahls growing up.

we spent a lot of time visiting with everyone, playing bags and basketball, and just sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows and chatting.

we couldn’t let the weekend go by without grabbing a few photos of our giant family in our matching shirts.

our shirts turned out so great this year…thank you ben for organizing it all!

“we put the WAHL in grizWAHLds”

the campground we stayed at was awesome and offered so many amenities for the kids…wagon rides, a jumping pillow, and a swimming pool were some of our favorites. and we definitely had to take advantage of the snow cone truck on our last day there.

see you all again in 2024, wahls!

a photo journal – 2018, looking back gratefully

drawn-poppy-simple-19.jpg

“without rain, there are no flowers”.

2018 was really, really tough for me…so many ups and downs, adventures and surprises, challenges, and successes.

but i’m taking this year as something that i will look back to, and be grateful for where it took me. and 2019, i’m ready to live.

as exhausting as this year was, there will be always be moments that i’ll be grateful for. i took a few minutes to look through my year in photographs, and wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

2018 began with my first trip on a plane and out of the country. i was given the opportunity to photograph a friend’s wedding in mexico, all while spoiling myself with some cocktails and much needed time on the beach.

3

kaylei has really enjoyed playing basketball, and as 2018 rolled in, her second season came to an end. i enjoy watching her play so much, twice as much as she enjoys showing off her well-deserved medal.

7

we took the girls on our first big family vacation. the beginning of the trip was spent in virginia beach, where they got to experience the ocean for the first time.

the second part of the trip, we drove out to washington, dc and did all the typical touristy things.

the girls began a new school year.  it’s crazy to believe that we already have a fifth and first grader!

14

we enjoyed the summer with friends including our fair share of cubbies games, cookouts, and county fairs.

my grandma turned 75 in september and my mom, dad, sister, and i took a quick trip down to missouri to help throw her a birthday party. a bunch of our family came and i really enjoyed the mini vacation with my parents and sister.

one of my favorite memories from this year was the mother-daughter trip the girls and i took to the apple orchard this fall. so many laughs and pictures taken; these are moments that i’ll never forget.

22

as always, halloween is one of the girl’s favorite holidays. 2018 was no different with our very own where’s waldo and bunny rabbit.

the first snowfall this winter and the girls had to use the opportunity to catch some snowflakes and play in the snow.

kaylei and mahkena had a quick visit with santa, and for the first time, mahkena wasn’t terrified of him.

27

2018 basketball season began in december and this year, mahkena followed in her big sister’s foot steps and decided to play too.

christmas came and went by so fast, but not before lots of eating, gift-opening, and time with family.

2018, thank you for all the lessons. 2019, i am ready.