September 01, 2014

stl trip post #1

:: Hello from St. Louis!

:: We left on our journey on Friday 29th after work...we drove a bit and then had dinner at Brahm's...then finished up our travel in Tulsa at a very nice Holiday Inn Express in the BEST BED ever. We need a mattress like that. We got up Saturday morning the 30th and had breakfast at the hotel, then finished up our travel. For some reason, the whole trip seemed to go very quickly to us. No complaints there!!! We stopped in Rolla for a break and lunch, and arrived at my mom's around 4:30. Chris went for a run, and Mom and I ran to Schnucks for a few things. Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner that my mom prepared and played some Farkle! (Randy won, of course!)

:: Sunday 31th, Randy and Mom made us a very yummy breakfast and then Chris was sweet and cut the grass for them. Randy had his surgery and is still not able to do a lot of things. I have the best hubby! Afterwards, he got in a run and then we got ready for my friend Amy's wedding. We got a little lost on our way there, but the wedding and the reception were beautiful! I will post photos when we return home. We are so happy for Amy and Jonathan -- they are so perfect for each other! Hope they have a beautiful time on their honeymoon in Costa Rica! After the wedding, we headed across the street to a bar in Soulard called Molly's and that was a very fun place! We had a drink, then walked around a bit before heading home. We picked up some White Castle on the way home for Chris and he really enjoyed those :)

:: Monday 1st, my mom hosted a BBQ for Labor Day and it was a very nice time. My Olender grandparents, uncle Steve, my cousin Kasey and her boyfriend Brendon, along with Fonda, Dronda, Clarence and Greg, Angie and Maisie all joined us. Randy grilled hamburgers, sausage, and hot dogs, and we also had baked beans, broccoli salad, pasta salad and cupcakes. Delicious!! We enjoyed our visit with them all and took lots of photos. We played many rounds of washers and that was lots of fun too!  So very good to see everyone!!

:: And our visit continues...

August 28, 2014


:: Working | He is working hard on his side project, dreaming big, growing himself and the project. His time at work is spent managing the chaos -- he manages a large group of people and is constantly in meetings. He is very good at what he does, including growing his people.

:: Running | Most days, he will run from our office toward our house, and I will pick him up on my way home after I get done with my own workout. That typically gets him around 4-5 miles. He will soon begin half marathon training, and has a second group of people ready to train for their own race.This one will be in San Antonio in early December.

:: Landscaping | He and Neeley have been hard at work on our back yard. They are creating a dry creek bed area, and a few flagstone sidewalks/patios. It is looking so nice!! He is a workhorse and loves to putter outside.

:: Reading | He is not an avid or speedy reader, but he has been keeping his Kindle charged so he can read "Louder Than Words" by Andy Stanley. He is really loving the book, and it is slapping him around a bit. He likes that :)

:: Working | She is winding down her time at Olive Garden and will begin her training at Dillards on 9-9-14. She is excited to not have to wear her black uniform any longer; she can't wait to wear real, pretty clothes to work. She found some black flats to wear to work, and I had to giggle because they are a "comfortable" shoe brand. A sure sign that she is getting old -- comfort wins! She will be working in the junior department. It should be a good fit for her.

:: Exercising | She has been doing the same workout plan that I am doing, and has been a bit sore! But we are proud of her for doing it. She, too, will soon begin her training for the San Antonio half marathon.

:: Socializing | This college girl is never home these days; she is living it up in her newfound freedom! She currently has a curfew but she no longer has to ask us to do things or tell us her daily plan. We wanted her to have as close to a "college experience" as possible while still living at home. She is making friends in her classes, and went to her first College Park event last night. Instead of Youth for church, she is now in the college group. She really enjoyed that and is looking forward to joining a D Group. Between school, work and church, she is going to be quite busy.

:: Reading | We bought three college books last night and they will be delivered soon. We rented them through, and we will send them back at the end of the semester. So, there is a lot of reading on her near horizon! In terms of casual reading, she goes through phases of enjoying it and not enjoying it...the last book she read was Divergent, and I'm not sure she got through the whole thing!

:: Working | She has been enjoying her new job at CVS...she is getting the hang of the register, and they are giving her good hours. The extra money should be very helpful with her medical bills. It's getting her out of the house and back around people, and that's good for her.

:: Eating | She had gained a few pounds at her last doctor visit, but she is down a few again. She basically exists on greek yogurt, whatever I cook for dinner, and about 3 servings of some sort of ice cream. And Diet Coke. Need to get her eating more, and more consistently.

:: Watching | Her favorite show is currently in progress -- Big Brother. Beyond that, she is watching Days of Our Lives and The Big Bang Theory.

:: Reading | She is not a fan of reading, but I did hear her mention last night that she had bought a magazine and was looking forward to reading it. I'm not sure which magazine! But that is something new!

:: Working | My days are quite full, and I am beginning a process of determining whether I can justify a need for an additional employee. Fingers crossed! As it is currently, I have zero time to build up and grow my employees, which I feel is an important aspect of being a leader. I am too busy "doing work".

:: Scrapbooking | I am really capitalizing on my new found drive to get my scrapbook pages completed! I have scrapbooked more this month alone than I have in the past year put together. I'll be gone for a week in St. Louis, but I plan to jump right back into it when I return! And by then, I'll have a whole new big batch of photos that need to be scrapbooked from the trip!

:: Watching | I am very excited to see who the SYTYCD winner is! It will be next Wednesday, and we have plans that evening in St. I probably won't be able to watch it until we return home. So, delaying the suspense!! Once this show is over, I will be show-less once again. I'm just not into tv. About all I need is my recordings of Friends!

:: Reading | I just started the J.K. Rowling book "Casual Vacancy". She is the Harry Potter author, and this is her first adult novel. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so I am hopeful that she can pull this story off just as well. I'm barely into it but should be able to do a good bit of reading on our road trip to the Lou. This can be my night reading, since it is on my Kindle. I can save my magazines for daytime :)

August 27, 2014

hump day

:: Watching the SYTYCD finale and it has been so amazing! Can't wait to see who wins (gooooo Ricky!!)

:: Tough workout this evening, and icing the knees now. That helps the day after :)

:: Had a headache all day, so therefore smelled like China Gel all day -- it helped to keep it at bay, and then thankfully my workout kicked it out of there. Yay! Knees may hurt but my head no longer does!

:: Our executives are currently on their management retreat this week, so it has been a bit quieter than normal...and two more days until vacation!

:: Tomorrow I need to stop to get our quarters for the toll roads to St. Louis!

:: Ordering Aspen's books for her classes this will be the first we've seen of her in a bit. She is always on the go! Week 1 of college has gone well -- she has classes tomorrow and then no class on Friday.

:: Time to finish my finale!

August 26, 2014

three more days

:: Tough workout this evening, and added in some cardio too. Whew.

:: Three more days of work -- and then vacation! I'm definitely counting down.

:: Had an adventure today...had to take one of my coworkers to the ER. She had what we think was a reaction to medication she was taking. Slurred words, slow thoughts, trouble walking, impaired motor skills. It was a similar sensation to watching someone who was drunk. They determined that it was the drugs, but they want her to continue through the course to get rid of an infection she has. Which means she won't be back to work this week. I spent about two hours with her there, waiting for her husband to arrive. Seems like all is ok on that front.

:: As I was waiting for dinner to cook this evening (tilapia, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, yum!), I got another scrapbook page done! And now my evening is free, and I plan to do some more. GET IT DONE GET IT DONE! I am in the zone.

:: Tomorrow is the SYTYCD finale and I am super excited!!! Go Ricky! It should be an amazing show, I can not wait!!

August 25, 2014

not a fan

:: What a, personal, lots of weird crazy things going on. Wasn't a huge fan of the day.

:: Please pray for Randy as he is recovering from his surgery...

:: Please pray for my grandma -- she went to the hospital today because they thought she had pneumonia. She is having trouble breathing. They checked out her lungs and everything looks good, so they are unsure what is going on. They gave her some pain meds and sent her home.

:: Please pray for my mom as she is the strong force in the midst of all this.

:: Aspen went to her first college class today, and so it begins...

:: Issue after issue seemed to pop up at work, and I am hoping that Tuesday is issue-free.

:: Zumba was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it this evening!

:: I need to veg out a bit...more tomorrow...

August 24, 2014

almost vacation

:: Sitting here, wrapping up my weekend and watching the VMA red carpet show...the VMA award show will follow, and I wonder what outrageous event will occur this year??

:: Friday evening, Chris and I had dinner at Fuzzy's and it was delicious! From there, we rented the second 300 movie -- it was interesting :)

:: Saturday morning, Kim and I headed to Clyde for the monthly crop and had a great day! I ended up getting 62 pages started!!! I was cruising let me tell you! Now just to finish them up and get them put into the albums. Progress progress! When I got home, Chris and I had dinner at Cotton Patch, met Aspen at Starbucks when she got off work, and then headed home to relax.

:: Sunday, we had a great sermon at church, and then I did laundry, made the grocery list and did the grocery shopping. Full day!

:: Aspen begins her college career tomorrow!!!! Please say some prayers for her...I know she is going to do a great job! The unfortunate news is that, after a week of being apart from her boyfriend Blake (he is living in the dorm of a local university and went through an intense Welcome Week), he called her Saturday night to end things. She is heartbroken and the worst part is that he won't answer any questions or meet with her to discuss anything. I could just strangle him. Their relationship seemed very solid, and they honestly seemed perfect together. They were in a very good place, and then all of a sudden this happens. I know this is sort of typical when college starts but for some reason I thought they were going to survive it. He is acting out of character, so we are all curious what is going through is head. A few prayers for Aspen in this regard would be appreciated too -- for God to protect and guard her heart from these pains. From these stupid boys who think it is perfectly ok to break up over the phone. Coward.

:: One week of work ahead! Then on Friday, after work, Chris and I are heading up to St. Louis for our annual trip! We are really looking forward to it. We are going a little earlier in the year than normal, because my longest friend Amy is getting married!!!!!!! We are pumped to attend the Dukes wedding and see my family.

:: Speaking of family -- more prayers are in order! My mom's hubby, Randy, had to have an appendectomy (on the same day they were supposed to leave for their beach vacation)...he is home now in recovery, and we pray that he has a speedy recovery and is back to his normal schedule soon. We love you Randy!

August 21, 2014

almost the weekend

:: So I accomplished a lot last night! :) Lots of scrapbook pages. I'm flying!

:: This evening -- Mimi is working, Aspen is at the movies, and Chris is working...after my workout, I headed home for a quick dinner and now am about to begin scrapbooking yet again.

:: Work was good, I was able to get caught up on some things. Like that.

:: Watching Bridget Jones Diary -- haven't seen it in awhile. Might need to switch to Friends, if it kills my scrapbook mojo!

:: Casual day tomorrow! Luncheon tomorrow! Looking forward to both.

:: Not much else to report -- and time to get to work :)


Hi :) {sheepish grin}

I got so excited and wrapped up in my scrapbooking and SYTYCD last night, I completely forgot to blog!!

I know you'll forgive me :)

August 19, 2014

scrapbook zone

:: Not much to report on my end -- work was good, my workout was good, it was a good day!

:: I tried something new for dinner -- it was pretty tasty! Crockpot -- green beans, potatoes, onion, and polish sausage. Different, but I liked it! Very easy too. Made a salad to go with it, and some garlic toast.

:: We've got VIPs in tomorrow -- another presentation.

:: Chris has some things to do tomorrow evening, so I will be scrapbooking and watching SYTYCD!!!! I am in the scrapbooking zone, and I'm loving it!

:: It was a little rainy when we woke up this morning, but it cleared up. Supposed to be hot the rest of the week, but we are set to be in the 70s next week. What!!

:: I'm off to scrapbook! Since I don't have anything else to share!

August 18, 2014


:: Monday treated me well -- how about you??

:: We had a day of rain here...much needed...and I did not have a day of snot. Which is odd. But I am not complaining!

:: Work was busy busy but I feel happy with the amount of items I was able to cross off my list! Also had a great conversation with my boss regarding the future of our department and some changes that may be occurring in the near future.

:: I just ate the last of my whipped blackberry honey and I gotta say -- that does not make me happy. That stuff is outrageously delish! Should have bought two jars.

:: I am in such a scrapbook mood! I left my materials out in my scrap room, instead of putting them away on Sunday. Maybe I can work on things here and there. And with the crop this weekend, I should be able to accomplish a lot more! I can work my way through 2009 and 2010 and get those two years caught up because I have all the photos printed for them. That will be great!!

:: I received my new shoes on Saturday, and wore them today. They are so cute!! I also have my two new cds and I have been listening non-stop in my car. I love Ed Sheeran. His first cd has some amazing songs that really touch me, and this new cd is also very good. I'm still learning it, but I already have my faves!

:: I got my color done tonight, so no workout for me...that means four straight tough workouts for the remaining of the week. I'm ready, let's do this!!!

:: Time to relax!

August 17, 2014

one more day, please!

:: Please let me have one more day in my weekend!!! Who do I talk to about that??

:: Friday evening, Chris, Aspen and I had sushi and then rented Non Stop. It was a decent movie, though I thought the motive was weak. It was an enjoyable evening.

:: Saturday, we were up bright and early and Chris and I headed out for 10 miles. After a week of tough workouts, I was a bit spent, but I wanted to offer my support as well. Afterwards, Chris and Neeley worked on a lovely flagstone pathway in our backyard. It looks amazing!!! They will be doing another one on the other side, as well. Love love love it!!!

:: I spent my Saturday scrapbooking, and loved every minute of it! I accomplished quite a lot, too, so that is fantastic! I watched lots of Friends, and a few movies. It was a lovely day! Below is a few scrapbooking essentials, including my Marshmellow Fireside candle -- love that smell!!

:: Saturday evening, Chris and I went to dinner at Wing Stop (a treat, yum!) and Aspen met us there after she got off work. Then home for more scrapbooking!

:: Sunday church was great, and then I did the laundry and grocery shopping. I tried making a new nut butter but I am not convinced that it turned out. It has to sit for a bit, so we shall see. Chris is bottling another batch of wine! Mimi and Aspen are both working this evening, so Chris and I will have a lovely dinner together. We are excited!

:: Also wanted to share this cute one :) Poppy loves this big stuffed toy that is bigger than her! She was giving it heck the other day, and then just snuggled right up with it!

:: This week should be good -- I am getting my hair done tomorrow evening, and the monthly crop is on Saturday. Beyond that, normal stuff. This is Aspen's last week of summer...and then she starts her college career next Monday! Her boyfriend, Blake, moved into the dorms this weekend. He is going to a local, private college called Abilene Christian University, and even though he lives in town, he decided to try out the dorm. New chapters starting. Aspen will begin her new job at Dillards on September 16th, so until then she'll be at Olive Garden. Chris really enjoyed the mountain bike course on Thursday and plans to go again this Thursday. He did great for his first time, no crashing! It is pretty intense, from the sound of it. I'll be praying each week that he doesn't break any bones!!

Happy week ahead!!

August 14, 2014

ended on a bad note

:: Did zumba this evening and had so much fun! Was great to switch it up. Zumba is moving to Mondays starting next week, so will need to change my workouts around.

:: Work was good today until about 4:00 -- and then a big issue was uncovered and I left there completely stressed out. Will have to deal with that mess in the morning. I shot off a very unhappy email right at 5:00, so they are expecting my call. Hopefully there is a pleasing solution. Please pray! It involves one of our persnickity clients of course.

:: I just bought my mom's 60th birthday present!!! :)

:: Aspen had an interview at Dillards today, and they offered her the job! She will be making a lot more money than she is at Olive Garden, so she is going to stop working there and just work at Dillards. No need to try to work both since the money is good. Yay!! They were willing to work with her upcoming school schedule, so it is going to be good all around I think! She is very excited. She gets to wear cute clothes to work, and will also get a discount :)

:: As we speak, Chris is out at a trail with the boys, riding his new mountain bike. It is apparently a pretty intense trail and he was a little nervous. He has done a lot of riding on the roads, but the trails are a totally different experience. I'm praying that he comes home with no broken bones! And that he had fun and has a new fun thing to do with the guys.

:: Not much else to report today. Looking forward to the weekend, so hopefully I can get through Friday in one piece. No plans and that is nice! What are you doing this weekend???

August 13, 2014

a few tidbits

:: Super sore from workout #2 today...whew. My knees had deep aches in them. Workout #3 today was not as intense thankfully. Tough but not a killer. Tomorrow - zumba!! If I can move :)

:: Chris is planning a trail ride tomorrow evening with some of the guys...I think he is really looking forward to it! One of his tires had a whole in it so he replaced the tube and he is all set to go now!

:: My delicious dinner streak is continuing! Tonight's was sooooo good! I have a southwestern chicken crock pot recipe that I make, but today I switched out and used stew meat instead. It was incredible!!! There is also nothing so good as coming home from work to dinner already cooked!

:: Our VIP presentation went well today...another one is scheduled for next week...

:: Having the house sprayed on Friday for spiders and scorpions...yep, it's time...

:: Aspen's interview at the day care went well today. They told her she has the job if she wants it. She'll go to her other two interviews this week and then make her decision.

:: I finished "Chasing Hope" -- pretty good story...have not settled on a new one yet, but am thinking maybe Love Wins...

August 12, 2014

a tuesday like every other

:: Workout #2 was ROUGH today. But I did the whole thing and I am proud! I wasn't so sure, toward the end, that I would be able to finish it. The very last exercise is always a doozy and it took everything I had. I feel results coming my way!

:: Eating is back on track and doing well there. Pounds that were gained are dropping off.

:: We've got VIPs in the office tomorrow -- our presentation is at 2:30. Here we go again!

:: Aspen has a job interview at a church day care tomorrow, and an interview at Dillards on Thursday. She isn't getting many hours at Olive Garden, so she is needing to find a job that either can supplement that or take the place of it completely. We'll see how it goes.

:: We stopped to visit Huck on our way home this evening...we haven't seen him in awhile. He came over to the fence when he saw us, and he had gotten a haircut and a bath it looked like! He looked so dapper! He was quite happy to see us, and it was a highlight of the day for sure!!

:: I'm nearing the end of my book -- then the big decision of what to read list of possibilities is quite long! Since I am about to finish a novel, I will probably read something educational next...

:: Mimi had her first day of work today at her new job at seems like she had a really great day! Everyone there was very nice, and she even got started on the register. We'll see how it goes, but she thinks she is going to enjoy it. She works again on Thursday and Saturday.

:: Made a super delicious dinner tonight -- buttermilk chicken nuggets, roasted veggies (carrots, onion, radishes), and brown rice with mushrooms, green onion and shallots. Mmmmmm!

:: Ok, that's all I've got...adios!

August 11, 2014

back to reality

:: Back to work, back to's always difficult to change the mind set over. From relaxation to go go go. Took me until about 10:30 to go through emails and get caught up on everything, and then I had plenty to do to keep me quite busy the rest of the day. It does make a girl feel missed when as soon as you sit down, people are piled up in your doorway telling you how awful the week was, how much happened, how much they MISSED you. Translated -- job security because no one wants to do your job! I wear so many different hats, that it affects a lot of people :)

:: After work, I did the first workout of my new plan -- whew it was rough. By the time I got to the end, my arms were mush and I didn't think I'd make it through the last exercise grouping. I will most definitely be very sore tomorrow. But that won't stop me -- tomorrow, workout #2!

:: Made salmon, roasted sweet potatoes and salad for dinner, so yummy! Chris has dedicated himself to eating more healthy foods and losing some weight for his upcoming half marathon, and he did very well on his first day today!! He had a healthy breakfast, and even a snack! This is a man who eats breakfast only half the time and never ever snacks during the day. I am proud of him!

:: I am about 3/4 done with the current book I am reading, and it has been a good story -- Chasing Hope -- I am anxious to see how it wraps up.

:: I am very excited to receive a fun purchase I made from Amazon over the weekend -- I have really, really been wanting this...and then this just came out so I had to get it too!! I really dig Ed Sheeran. And these little cuties...just because!

:: I am also thinking about purchasing some eyeglasses from an online shop...I'm a bit leary but they have a 30 day return policy. So if I don't like them, I can send them right on back. I am really loving these. Not sure if I would want the black or the brown...I'm getting my eyes checked next month, and may bite the bullet then and give the site a chance.

:: Alrighty, that is all I've got!!

August 10, 2014

weekend and ireland

Hope you all had a great weekend!! My week of vacation is drawing to a was soooo nice! I really enjoyed it. Our time in Fredericksburg was fun and relaxing, and then the rest of the week was spent doing exactly what I wanted -- scrapbook things, reading, watching a movie. Ahhhh! The best part -- we will work three weeks, and then we have another week of vacation!!! This time, in St. Louis for my friend Amy's wedding!!!

In talking with my granny today, she reminded me that I had not posted Ireland photos yet!! Thank goodness for her! My memory is awful, so she keeps me in line! :) I've got some photos to share below! keep in mind, I was not there, and therefore don't really know the stories. You'll have to talk to Aspen personally to hear those!

On their journey to Ireland, they were stranded in Philadelphia for a few days...while there, Aspen ran up the Rocky steps!!
She was also able to see the Liberty Bell while there -- on the 4th of July! A pretty cool way to spend Independence Day!
This, I believe, is a view of the streets in Dublin. They spent a little time there at the end of their trip, sightseeing and buying gifts.

Aspen really enjoyed the Waterford Crystal tour they took -- they were even able to watch the process of how the crystal is made.
They toured a few castles there, and Aspen really took some beautiful photos!
The kids camp they took part in was Aspen's favorite part -- she bonded with quite a few of the kiddos. She loved their accents and their weird words for things -- candy was "sweeties", for instance!
Aspen doing an activity with her group of kids...
I really, really love this one of captures her essence.
Their group went to the beach one day to do baptisms...

So, there you go! A little glimpse of Ireland!!! I am so jealous that she was able to go. I cannot wait to get there myself!!! :)