7 Awesome Things That Happened This Fall

We have had a big fall.

Both kids are in school full time! At the same school! It is the small things in life to get excited about.

Both kids played soccer at the exact same time. Literally the majority of Saturdays they played at the same time at fields that were on the opposite sides of park.

Then you throw in ballet and swim and tumbling and all I did was drive back and forth from home to town. Many days two or three 50 mile round trips. But swimming has been so worth it!

Boo loves it and has built up his self esteem. Now if only he would be able to drive himself to all the practices. But seeing the smile on his face makes it so worth it!

And in the midst of our craziness, we have taken all of our bikes to training wheel free status.

And of course we had to order her a new bike because cars and bikes don’t seem to coexist in our world. It seems stores don’t carry large supplies of 16″ bikes. So, thank you Amazon and your prime shipping!!

But just when we didn’t have enough going on, we moved. The people buying our house offered to lease our house from us. They got to move in sooner and we got to move closer to school sooner. Double win…except the two week window to move.

To cap off the crazy circus life, we decided to take the kids to a Colts game. Since the Colts are doing amazing with their new rock star quarterback, we figured now would be as good of a time as ever! We surprised the kids with new jerseys when we got out of Sunday School and told them we were going to the game. Excitement was so huge that Boo actually cried. Cried tears of happiness. It was better than Christmas morning!


Affiliate links were used in this post.

Leah’s Summer Must Haves

I have realized this week, I have a few things I no longer can go without this summer, beginning with my FitFlop sandals. I got my first pair of fitflops when I went to Hawaii and loved them so much I knew I had a new pair for Florida.

old pewter fitflopsSo, I got on my favorite shopping website for procrastinators, zappos.com, the week we left for Florida. And I ordered the whole family sandals for the beach including my new pair of flipflops, black lunetta!

Black Lunetta FlipflopWhy do I love these shoes? Well, because they have a lot of cushioning for a flip flop and can easily be dressed up or down. I have warn them to the zoo and to church. Either way, they feel awesome. Bonus, I always get complements on them.

I tend to also be living in one particular style of Under Armour T-Shirt. I have it in two colors, and I bet before summer is over I have it in more colors. Love this shirt and don’t know how I lived without it.

Love aviator sunglasses. It is becoming and obsession…

purple aviatorsI have purplish pink aviators.

avaiator sunglasses in goldI have them with gold rims and brown lenses. These even made it to sunny Florida!

wearing aviator sunglasses on the beachAll of my glasses are cheap. Less than $10 cheap. No tears when I lose or break them this way.

However, for about 3 days I had my friend’s Tory Burch aviator sunglasses. Then she came to reclaim what I had been trying to keep for myself.

Tory Burch Avaitor sunglassesBut, I now want expensive sunglasses. Specifically I want these sunglasses. It is my summer must have;)
Ray-Ban - RB3025 Aviator Large Metal Polarized (Gunmetal/Brown Gradient) - Eyewear


Click on the picture if you want to check them out for yourself:)

This is my newest love…

Keep Calm and Drink Wine NecklaceYep, got it this weekend at Vintage Indiana and now all I want to do is wear it. Thank to Elizabeth Alta Jewelry. She has awesome stuff. Check her out!

I might as well fess up, I am on a new diet plan. It is the don’t eat anything white diet I think. No flour, no white sugar, no milk, no white sauce, no white cheese, no staples of my life so now I know why I am fat. So to add flavor to vegetables this summer and meat too, this is my new favorite marinade.I marinaded eggplant, squash, mushroom and onions in it last night and the kids loved it too.

Lawry's Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato MarinadeI think I am going to buy a case next time it is on sale.

Last month we got a new man van, please meet “The Silver Bullet.”

2012 Honda OdysseyIt is a 2012 Honda Odyssey and it is magical. It has enough cup holders for the entire Duggar family, it comes equipped with a cool box, DVD player, power sliding everything. I also bought this van by doing virtually everything online before coming in for a test drive. Pricing, questions, stalling, research, etc. Everyone should get one. Go to indyhonda.com and look for TK. She rocks!

So now the kids keep wanting to take Checkers, our Teddy Bear dog, with us whenever we go somewhere. This in turns into Checkers running all over the van..

doggie car booster seatYep, I got a doggie car seat. I know it is crazy. I have already began getting harassed from my friends. But no more crazy dog running around.

So, what are your summer must-haves? Do share!

Affiliate links were used in this post. Honda did not compensate me for my comments or give me a van:) Neither did Lawry’s. Both companies are getting free, unadulterated love from me.

Sanity Checkes Come in the Form of Blondes Sometimes

Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel completely alone in the world? You feel like you don’t have any friends that “get you” or if you do they are 25,000 miles away. And even if it is only 2500 miles away it still feels like 25,000 miles.

Or is it just me?

I have been known to have a few poor me moments, privately of course, in the past few months. And then like a little ray of sunshine God brings me an answer to my cries. And, ironically, he seems to send blondes.

Let’s begin with my recent sanity check in India. When I found out that my Grandpa died she just hugged me. She didn’t dwell on it. She let me have my little weep fest and then made me laugh.

Meet Sarah. I think she might kill me for this photo, but I thought it captured her essence;)

This one hopefully will make up for the first one.

She has become my love you through thick and thin even if what you just said was little too honest friend.

She is my cigarette and coffee for lunch accountability partner:)

When I had my birthday last month and was wishing I was 23 instead of 32, she took me out for shrimp cocktail and prime rib sandwiches.

She loves me unconditionally, my circus and all.

Her texts roll in just when I need them.

She is an answer to my prayer for someone who gets the hidden little inside of me and loves me for it.

Then there is my dear friend, Katie.

My sister from another mother who lives in North Dakota. I can remember the night we had our “Ah ha” moment over martinis at the American Farm Bureau Federation meeting.

We unloaded on each other about our pains from youth, fears about raising daughters, being a traveling mom, keeping our marriages together, finding time for God, finding time for self.

She is the one mom who has a longer commute than me to the office in the mornings with her 90 miles haul across the North Dakota Prairie. And it is then that we find ourselves both racing from our homes to our jobs all while talking with each other. Those early morning phone calls have literally pulled me through the day more than once.

We help each other with both personal and professional advice. We have called midday with a work question and said, “Hey, your on speaker, my colleague wanted to hear what you had to say on this topic too.” We know the other will have the $500 an hour question next week, so we share our knowledge, advice and opinions freely.

She is stuck with me forever. I love her.

Every working mom married to a farmer needs to find another woman she can just look in the eyes without saying a word and know that she too understands what is going on.

I bring you Heather.

Heather too married a farmer who lives hours from her hometown. Heather too has a career that leaves her away from her kids at night from time to time. Heather too more than anything would trade her full-time job for a part-time job that would leave her more time at home.

But she too was blessed with opportunities to provide above and beyond for her family.

We share a lot, too. For starters a housekeeper. I know we both take a big sigh of relief when we walk in the house on the day our housekeeper has been there. That gal is a gift from God for both of us.

We also share an inability to say no. We both are volunteer extraordinaire, especially if it has anything to do with agriculture. Not for us, but because we look at our precious babies and want to make sure there is a farm for them to come home to someday, if they so choose.

We get a little fired up when people don’t understand us or attack our friends.

It seems like the little time we make for each other over a venti Starbucks is never enough.

For her truth. Her honesty. Her loyalty. She will always be my dearest friend.

And now there is new world I have entered. Parent of a school aged child. And let me tell you, this momma is CLUELESS in this new world. Since I do work full-time, I am not able to volunteer a whole bunch for school activities. So, when I do I am so out of the information/gossip loop I don’t even realize that a loop exists!!

And then there is this kind, smiling face who lets me in on what I need to know. There is Abby.

She doesn’t judge me for not being able to be at everything.

She lets me in on the back stories.

She seems genuinely interested in what I do for a living even though when I rattle on about some testimony I have to give to the Foreign Affairs Committee on trade opportunities to Europe she thinks I am speaking Greek.

She is raw with me. She, too, is willing to have fun with me and not have a care in the world.

She has been my soccer buddy, happy meal totting supper pal, ballet time waster. She too understands what the term farmer’s widow means each spring and fall.

I can’t wait for the next 12 years knowing she will be right there with me.

And sometimes you just need to feel right at home. Comfortable. Grounded. Balanced.

And that is what Cindy does for me. She is my yang to my ying. While many me think we are as opposite as they come, that is precisely why we work.

She knows my bad habits.

She knows I have always been messy.

She knows my exes.

I know hers.

She knew me when no one else did. And loves me still.

We have traveled together. Covered for each other. Helped each other out in a pinch.

And now we are watching each other become mothers. And for this I am most thankful.

On to the next great adventure.

What does pinterest say about you or, rather, me?

There is a craze taking place across computer screens…Pinterest. I have to admit, pinterest is becoming my go to search engine for just about everything. And over at Mama’s Losin’ It, the writing prompts are having us look at our last five pins.

I pin random quotes.

Source: mixnsip.com via Leah on Pinterest

Random drinks.

The latest kitchen creation.

Source: google.com via Leah on Pinterest

Things I think my kids would love.

And things that just make me smile about where I grew up and still live.

That is exactly what the last pin makes me do, smile.

It isn’t a secret. I grew similar to the infamous Dixie Chicks song, “Goodbye Earl”, a member of the 4-H Club, active in the FFA.

I have the tattoo to prove it. Ignore the horrific, lack of pedicure.

Anybody else have the instinct to go straight from the Pledge of Allegiance to the 4-H Pledge? I feel like my childhood revolved around 4-H club meetings, 4-H County Fairs, 4-H Camp, and then I, of course, went and lived at 4-H House at the University of Illinois. My best friends in the world know what 4-H is even if I didn’t grow up with them because, well, we all tend to migrate towards each other even as adults.

So, I am who I am thanks to my roots in rural America. A bit of a workaholic.  A little bit country. A fan of farmers. And a 4-H girl till the end.

Be sure to checkout other stories about pinterest pins and other writing prompts!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Holiday Hangover

I love Christmas.

The decorations.

The music at church.

The lazy days.

The non-stop food.

The lack of schedule.

The new toys.

The reflecting on just how much we are blessed.

But, Christmas is over. It is time to move on. But, my tree is still up.

OK, both of them.

Who am I kidding? All my decorations are still up.

I just don’t want the images of the Christmas play to leave my memory.

Or the fun with family to end.

I thought a trip to Hawaii would motivate me when I got back home. After all some fun in the sun should do that.

All the beautiful sunsets…

And climbs up craters.

In the moonlight.

In order to watch the sun rise.

With one of your dear friends.

Or even a little parade through the rain forest looking for water falls should get you out of the

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And jumping into 60 degree water should wake up the soul.

And it did. But all good things must come to an end.

So, good bye Christmas tree. See you next Thanksgiving. I will miss you and the memories while you are gone.

Friday Favorites – chocolate, shoes, ketchup & flat land

I have some new addictions in my life.

Starting with Dove Chocolate Discoveries Sipping Chocolates. My friend Megan had a chocolate party, I know chocolate party!, and I bought not one, but two have these canisters.  I put a spoonful in my morning coffee. It is becoming an obsession. Almost as much as having half and half in my coffee is an obsession. Let’s be honest, I drink coffee so I won’t be judged for drinking cream straight.

Let’s go to my Sperry shoes. I was hesitant to buy these. Then when the Stride Rite Outlet store had them, I though, well they are on sale, what could it hurt. And now, I am in love with them. I wear them everywhere and with everything. Love. Love. Love.

Some of you may know about this little tomato cannery (sarcasm, it is a large company) in Indiana called Red Gold. Did you know Indiana was number 2 producer of tomatoes Well, recently I had the opportunity to tour the facility with the ag leadership program I am in. And it was there that I heard about Mama Selita’s Jalapeno Ketchup. Love this and of course can only find it at Marsh here in Indiana.

A few weeks ago, I traveled home to Illinois so I could be closer to Purdue for the Purdue/Illinois Football game. I know, it sounds stupid, but my parents live closer to West Lafayette than I do. So, when the hubby and I left to head east to West Lafayette early Saturday morning I was in awe that we could see the windmills over in Indiana. I just love how flat and treeless it is at home. This is corn country, the breadbasket of the world and sometimes I am afraid we take it for granted.

Things I have never done

I know it is shocking to think there is actually something I haven’t done! Mamas Losin’ It has her writing workshop again today and this topic spoke to me. It was of course inspired by the PW.

I am thirty-one. And a half. Yikes.

I have never:

1. Went skydiving

2. Been to Mexico

3. Pierced my tongue

4. Read the bible all the way through

Source: google.com via Leah on Pinterest

5. Had a C-section

6. Shot an animal hunting

7. Drove a combine

8. Met the Pope

9. Been to Nebraska

10. Attended Purdue as a student

Source: google.com via Sarah on Pinterest

11. Been a juror

12. Owned a ford

13. Sang a solo

14. Had black hair

15. Been to Hawaii

16. Gone to India

17. Been on a mission trip

18. Had twins

19. Been a girl scout

20. Cheered for the Hoosiers

21. Mowed my yard completely:)

22. Wrote a cookbook

Source: None via Kay on Pinterest

How to tell if a soccer goalie is bored?

For some reason boo really wants to play goalie all the time in his U8 soccer games. But, sometimes I don’t think he has the attention span for it.

Good game going on Boo? Ready to stop the goal?

He started a little more attentive.

Things were exciting down at the other goal for a while. A short while.

But then he noticed something on his show.

And all the activity remained down field.

And he remained paying more attention to the goal post.

But then the action changed directions…

Oh, oh, oh, we are getting closer to the goalie. I hope he isn’t still stuck in the net.

Wake up goalie!

Just a little lean on the goal post as his red teammate intervenes on defense.

And sends it back down field.

Go ahead goalie…assume your position.

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