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.

JULY 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

July has come and went; and summer is almost over! As much as I hate watching summer go, I love all the memories we’ve been making thus far.

Here’s a look at our month; hope you enjoy!

JUST A LITTLE CATCHUP; OUR LIFE LATELY

hey everyone! i hope you are all enjoying your summer months; can you believe fall is almost near? i figured we were long overdue for a catchup and i had a few minutes to draft something up.

i feel like our family is always up to something; so this is what our life has looked like a bit lately…

IOWA CABIN TRIP

over memorial day weekend my parents typically go to a campground in iowa with some of our family friends. this year we had the kids and made a family vacation out it. this was probably our first one yet all six of us together and we’re already looking forward to the next.

we rented the cutest little cabin nestled on the campground’s pond, perfect for fishing and letting the kids play on the beach. during the days we were there we did lots of playing at the park, dipping our toes in the water at the beach, and fished with papa. by the time the sun went down, the kids were all pretty tired so we’d enjoy a campfire here or there and then settle in for bed. it was the perfect little getaway and are already looking forward to going back next year.

4TH OF JULY

4th of july is always one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. it’s a perfect holiday to celebrate and really gets the summer going. this year we decided to have family over for a backyard party. we rented a large bounce house/water slide and broke all the kiddie pools. we spent most of the day in the sun and were all so exhausted by the end. i’d call that a successful day!

PUP-DATE!

winnie jo is almost 16 weeks now and is growing like crazy! i’m really trying to enjoy her still being on the smaller side and a big furball, but man, everyday we can tell she’s getting better. mazi and maci have really adjusted to her being around and are constantly playing. it helps out out so much by tuckering her out and lets us get a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. she usually wakes up only once or twice at night now to be let out, versus the every-hour schedule she had when we first brought her home. going from two to three dogs was certainly an adjustment, but she’s fit in quite perfectly and we love giving her her FUR-ever home.

coffee convos – June 2020

hey all; welcome back!

if you’re new here, i use these “coffee convos” to share some of my ramblings, thoughts, and life updates. so cozy up, grab a glass of whatever you’re drinking, and hope you enjoy what i’m sharing.

if we were having coffee, i’d tell you like previous summers, we broke out the ‘ole backyard waterpark again, as we call it…multiple kiddie pools, sprinklers, and water hoses.

we had the kid’s cousins over for a full day of fun in the sun. they played for hours on end in the pool, jumped on the trampoline with the water hose, and took a few breaks for cool treats. there is definitely no shortage of popsicles ever in our house.

the kids took turns spraying each other with water while on the trampoline; however, our maci girl had other plans. i love how much she loves water; we even broke out her own kiddie plastic pool to avoid her popping the kid’s inflatable ones.

i love how much the kids enjoy having their cousins over and look forward to many more summers for them to create more memories together.

in case you’re interested in where to get the kid’s favorite pool with the slide, you can purchase on amazon here. it’s super durable and well worth the money.

if we were having coffee, i’d want to tell you all about our recent trip down south to visit family.

we took a few days off and started off our trip to spend a few days with grandma in missouri. we spent two nights with her, and the memories we created there were well worth the long drive.

we took her out for a few meals and just loved hearing all of the stories about family and her growing up. we even got to spend some time with my aunt and uncle, enjoyed a delicious dinner and some margaritas with them, and got to go out and see their property.

i love spending time in west plains; it reminds me of many summers growing up and visiting there.

after a few days in west plains, we made our way to springfield to visit with some more of the family. i wanted john to experience some of my favorite spots that i visited growing up while we were there so we made sure to hit up the bass pro shop, hurts donut, as well as a pit stop at lamberts.

it was really nice to get away and spend some time just relaxing. one good thing about covid-19 is that a lot less people are traveling, so we took advantage of having the empty pool to ourselves.

we definitely didn’t look forward to leaving or the long drive home, but were so excited to get home to our babies and the pups. we’re already looking forward to the next trip down there.

a photo journal – iowa camping trip.

for months, we planned a camping trip to iowa with my family and some of our family friends. we were a little hesitant if it was going to even happen due the covid pandemic, but were thrilled once we got word from the campground that they would be opening back up, and just in time!

we spent the morning packing up and heading to iowa. it was a perfect drive a way; not too far, but close enough where you didn’t feel like you spent the whole day in the car.

we planned our visit at a KOA campground in waterloo, iowa. the town is a pretty decent size and they have a lot to do there like a casino and waterpark; however a majority of everything was still closed. the campground had a lot of great amenities too… a dog park, playground, and even a lake that you could fish on or rent some of their canoes.

my parents and our family friends all had campers, so we opted for renting a cabin at the campground we were staying at. i’ve never stayed at the KOA in waterloo, but was decently surprised with how adorable the rental cabins were. they had quite a few to choose from, but we opted for the 4-person cabin since there was only just the two of us.

my favorite thing about weekend getaways camping is how relaxing and non-stressful it is. just being able to sit outside, hang out with our friends and family, and enjoy the fresh air. and after being cooped up inside for the past few months, it was even more enjoyable.

all three nights that we were there we did some fishing around the lake. the fish were biting, and even though they were all on the small size and just catch and release, it was fun. the guys caught a fair amount, me on the other hand? one. and it doesn’t even really count because i told the guys that i wasn’t leaving without catching a fish and my father being the patient man he is when he is ready to go, he is ready to go. so he hooked one and let me real it in. so, there’s that. but thanks pops!

if you’re from the midwest, you know what “bags” is and you play it. often. and it’s an essential when camping. you gotta. so being the illinoains that we are, the bag sets were out and lots of lots of rounds were played.

the families that we went camping with were ones that we grew up with. people that we’ve known for many, many years and after growing up and having kids of my own, i don’t get to see them as often as i would love to. it was so nice to see them all again and reminisce about all the camping trips we took as kids and laugh at how old we all are now.

as always, our mini vacation went by way too fast. the weather wasn’t too bad while were there, the company was great, and just being able to get out of the house was something we all needed. i’m forever thankful that we get times like this and have the opportunity to do so. we’re already looking forward to the next one!

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

30 before 30.

 

i’m a lover of lists and enjoy being able to cross things off of them once they’re complete. it keeps me on track and motivated to get things done.

me turning 30 is scarily just around the corner for me; i’m already dreading it so much.

me

i’ll be 30 in less than 8 months and am not sure why i’m just now sharing my 30 before 30 list with all of you. but what time is better than now?

1. create a blog

2. visit another country

3. go on a plane

4. get a tattoo

5. buy a house

6. take a pottery class

7. plant a garden

8. go to a nfl football game

9. get my bachelor’s degree

10. see the ocean

11. visit an art museum

12. watch the sunrise and the sunset in the same place

13. watch a movie at a drive-in

14. swim under the stars

15. take a wine and painting class

16. take a yoga class

17. find an active hobby…cycling or running

18. go on a girl’s trip

19. have a booth at a craft show

20. learn to do a handstand

21. do something that terrifies me

22. dye my hair a different color

23. ride in a side-by-side

24. go on a road trip with no planned destination

25. go on a scavenger hunt

26. journal weekly.

27. let go of a floating lattern

28. do a wine tasting

29. pay for a stranger’s meal

30. kick off my 30’s with an adventure

*those in bold i’ve been able to accomplish