There are no words

There are truly NOT enough words to describe what I got to experience yesterday. J's cousin Dillan, who I've talked about before here and here is officially back in the U.S.  After surviving multiple attacks and suffering through many injuries while serving in Afghanistan, Dillan is back home in the U.S. and we got to be a part of his welcome home party yesterday afternoon.

His neighbors lined the streets. There were flags and banners and signs held by young and old. The fire department came out. The county commissioner was there. Neighbors came out to greet him. It was overwhelming, and I can only imagine what Dillan was feeling. He was awarded a purple heart for helping many fellow squad mates get to safety, and we are so thankful for HIS safety.

I'll let these pictures say the rest...

I literally got chills all over my entire body when I saw him in the car. I am so proud of him.

Our Dillan is home and we couldn't be happier. He is still healing in many ways, both physically and mentally and prayers are appreciated. He is a true hero, and we are all SO proud of him. God bless ALL the military, past and present.

Saturday Savings!

Thanks to everyone who cried with me over the lost Cancun trip. I had a successful girls night out last night that I'll share with you next week, but it definitely eased the pain of the loss ;)

I hope you're all out enjoying a wonderful Saturday, I know I plan to. I wanted to share a few quick money-savings sites that I frequent. (None of these sites are sponsors or paying me to advertise--- Just my opinions!)
The first one is PaidViewpoint and you can sign up here. Super easy to sign up, and they email you random surveys maybe once every other day. The surveys range from ALL types of topics, anything is free game. After each survey you complete, they deposit about 10 cents into your account. I know, you're thinking 10 cents??! But it adds up! Once you're at a certain amount it lets you cash out and can be sent to your Paypal account! I've cashed out multiple times now. It's just something that takes 3 minutes out of my day and hey, FREE MONEY! :) So get over there and start getting paid!!!

The next one is Totsy!! Amazing savings here. Seriously-- I've been able to snag some really great gifts for people. They advertise it's for "moms" but they have TONS of stuff. Lots of baby/kids deals, but also household items, adult clothing, shoes, etc! They don't do exchanges/returns, so be sure of what you're purchasing when you're getting it. Their deals change all the time, always adding new stuff so add this to your favorites list and check them out too!

Last, but not least, I just discovered Ebates and can't believe it's taken me this long to figure it out!!! Basically, if you're going to do any online shopping (and who doesn't?!) start through their site, find the place you want to shop and earn cash back! Just from going through their site! It's really that easy-- sign up people! ;)

So tell me-- what ways do you save/earn money online?! Do you use any of these sites? Any sites I need to add to my lists??? Happy Shopping!!!

Dear made me cry!

Dear Friday, You made me cry this morning, please tell me this weekend will get better.

Dear WORLD, The reason I'm crying is this: I won an all-inclusive trip to Cancun via a radio station this morning. They give you 10 minutes to call back after your name is announced. I was in the shower when they called my name and a persistent friend blew up my phone texting/calling and telling me to call the station ASAP. Let's just say... my phone took a wonderful time to not dial properly, not let calls go through, and give me busy signals. When I finally got through, the time had expired and they'd picked someone else. #Yes

Dear Friend who called, I appreciate your efforts!

Dear Friend who I called on my way to work FREAKING OUT about not getting the vacation, thanks for letting me freak out at such an early time of day.

Dear Weekend, I still have high hopes for you. There is a girl's night planned tonight that SHOULD make this loss a little less painful.

The weekend of all weekends

So, maybe it's Wednesday….and maybe I'm just now getting around to telling you about my weekend. But to be quite honest, I haven't had a COMPLETELY free, fun weekend in some time. Sure, I always find a way to fit fun in… but I have been at the office WAY TOO MUCH lately. Last Friday made day 12 in a row of working-- So I was definitely ready to let loose over the weekend. And let loose, I did!!

Friday- J picked me up from work at 5:01 on the dot and we headed over to the Cincinnati Reds game. It COULD have been the game they clinched, but they ended up losing that night =\ We still had a blast though, eating at a new place downtown and doing some serious people watching too!

This was our "Reds might clinch tonight" face! #fail
Gorgeous sky that night!

Still thought we might win at this point ;)
Saturday- Jared and I cleaned/organized our BUTTS off. I have been dying just to have a Saturday to sleep in and then get up and be productive around the house/yard. I have a few organization projects I hope to share on the blog soon. I am definitely in "DECLUTTER AND SIMPLIFY LIFE" mode. We have too much stuff, and I want our home to be clutter free.
I mean, do I really NEED this art project from sophomore year of college?! That was 6 years ago! #Whoa 

 It's a HUGE undertaking but we are one step closer after this weekend. I focused on 
de-cluttering inside and J worked in the yard/on the roof all day.
He's such a hard worker :) And I loved that the clouds looked like a heart above him!!!!

We also took J's new car for a spin to get some errands done. I am LOVING that his car is now safe, reliable and gets AMAZING gas mileage, WOOP!!! :)
Please excuse the greasy hair, it's my weekend look ;)

Then that night we hosted our regular game night, Monopoly was the choice, again… although this time we played the "Hilton Head-opoly" version! And it may have turned into a dance party WITH strobe lights afterward…. Okay, it did.
We love our guys & our games ;)

Yep, that really happened. Try not to be too jealous of my Saturday nights ;)

After staying up WAY too late and dancing to one too many Katy Perry songs (not that there is such a thing!) we went to church the next day and came home to watch a Bengals win! To celebrate we had some post-game street football.
J totally clocked our nephew right in the head in this picture- LOL!

Being 2-1 feels pretty great right now :)

Doing a weekend recap on a Wednesday was actually kinda' fun…. because I can now look forward to the upcoming weekend, and it's just a couple short days away!!

Rockstar Momma'

***Blogger friends!*** I have a rockstar on my blog today.

No I'm not joking.
 Amy has two ADORABLE babies (prepare to have your baby fever sky rocket
after you visit her page)

She loves football (Hello, she's a Packers fan and I still love her-- she MUST be cool ;))

And the woman does giveaways just DAYS after surgery. Seriously- bow down….
Actually- just saying hello and checking out her blog would be great! ;)

Hi, I'm Amy from Mrs. Mommy where I blog about life as a stay at home mom of two (Kyla and Kase) and wife of one (Tyler).  I also mix in some posts about recipes, my obsession with reality TV, couponing and whatever else may be going on in our lives.   I'm so excited Erin is allowing me to take over her blog for the day.

With the first day of Fall being on Saturday, it got me really excited about some of my favorite Fall activities.  I have to be honest, I didn't get into a lot of these fun things before I had kids.  But now I am so excited for everything Fall and to start new family traditions!

Maybe this is why I love Erin's blog so much!?  We love football and Badger Saturdays are a big deal in our home.  And being from Wisconsin, of course I am a Packers fan!  Somehow my husband ended up a Bears fan so Sundays are always a little interesting.  I'm trying to teach my kids what's right though ;)

 My future Badgers...

This year will be both Kyla and Kase's first time at a pumpkin patch.  I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I just bought some at Home Depot last year.  We're going to take them to a pumpkin patch that has lots of fun things to do - hayrides, animals, fort made of hay bales, slides, corn maze and of course lots of pumpkins!  Kyla is going to have a blast!  It will also be our first year carving pumpkins.  I never really did this as a kid so I can't wait!
Kyla last year

I think I'm going to take Kyla out trick-or-treating to a few houses, but since she'll only be 21 months and doesn't really need a giant bag of candy, we'll come home and hand out candy the rest of the time.  I do want her to experience the whole trick-or-treating thing and a little candy never hurt anyone, right?  I'm sure Mom and Dad will help take it off her hands too :)

I think she'll enjoy seeing all the kids come to our house all dressed up too.
I decided Kase is going to be a little giraffe.  I found a 3-6 month outfit on clearance and I thought it was adorable.  I haven't decided what Kyla will be yet.  I saw an adorable bunny costume with long floppy ears that I loved.  Last year she was a pumpkin since I always call her "my little pumpkin".

Is she not the cutest pumpkin you've ever seen?  Ok, maybe I'm a little biased :)
I'll be searching for a cute craft project to do with the kids.  Last year I made this canvas for my mom with her three granddaughter's foot prints.  I may do something similar this year for myself on card stock and frame it.  Then I can do a new one each year. 

I also made this hand print turkey with Kyla last year for Tyler to hang up in his office
 at work.

Crock pot meals!
 Since finding time to cook with two kids under two has been very difficult, I am going to be taking full advantage of the crock pot this Fall.  Yum, don't you just love letting dinner cook all day and having your house smell delicious?  I'm always looking for new recipes so if you have any to share, let me know!

Lots of walks!
 I will be taking the kiddos on as many walks as I can before it gets too cold.  I just gave birth to my son a month ago so I have lots of baby weight to lose!  We like to take two walks a day, one in the morning and one at night with Daddy.  I love the crisp air!  Unfortunately since I just had surgery, we have to take a break from our walks for a few weeks.  Hopefully this nice weather sticks around for awhile yet!

Sweaters, scarves and boots, oh my!
I think this is one of the main reasons I love Fall so much!  I just need to lose some of said baby weight so I can fit into my skinny jeans again :)

Home Decorations!
I haven't had a chance to pull out my Fall stuff yet, but I'm hoping to this week!  I love decorating for the holidays and am usually the person that does it way too early.

What do you all enjoy doing in the Fall?  What fun things am I missing out on?  I'm not a big coffee drinker and not a huge fan of pumpkin flavored things, but I do love me some french vanilla cappuccino from the gas station, haha.  It's the simple things in life that make me happy.  A Sunday morning drinking my cheap cappuccino, reading the paper/cutting coupons, while catching up with my favorite bloggers.  Perfection!

In addition to Mrs. Mommy, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter.  Make sure to check out my Thirty-One giveaway and get your entry in!

Erin, thanks again for having me!


I wasn't lying, right?! Rockstar, supermom, full of sweetness -you name it! Amy is awesome :) I hope you'll stop by her cute blog that just got a makeover recently! 
Happy Tuesday friends!!

Makeover! :)

I KNOW, I KNOW.... I told all of you I'd have lots more pics of my epic weekend today.
But I have a good list of excuses as to why it'll just have to wait 'til later this week.

Excuse #1- I got up at THE buttcrack of dawn to run again today. This makes twice within 5 days that I was awake and running by 7 a.m.

Excuse #1B- Because I was up at the crack of dawn, I didn't have the time or brain capabilities to grab my camera's memory card and bring with me to work in order to upload, edit.

Excuse #2- HELLO, this bloggy blog girl was getting DONE UP! You like the makeover, friends?! I'm super happy with how it turned out. If you're looking for a facelift on your blog, let me know. I know JUST who to recommend ;)

Excuse #3- I'm still celebrating the Bengals win from yesterday AND my climbing of the fantasy football ladder this week. WOO!!

Excuse #4- It's my BFF/Bridesmaid/Weirdo Lacey's 2nd anniversary today and I got distracted looking at all her wedding and honeymoon pictures again.
Happy 2 years, you lil' lovebirds!!
Excuse #5- Crap. I'm officially out of them, but please accept any and/or all of them.

See you all tomorrow ;)

Sunday night lovin'

I don't normally pop in on a Sunday evening like this… but I missed you all ;)

No seriously-- I was SO BUSY having SO MUCH fun this weekend, it's not even really fair to the rest of you.

First off- The Cincinnati Reds clinched the NL Central Division title this weekend, HOLLA!
Having a BLAST and made friends with the 10-year-old in front of us ;)

And obviously I'm MORE pumped that my Bengals won this afternoon. Can I just say I will never complain about "real refs" again if we get them back?! These replacements are getting worse by the week it seems!!!

So a good sports weekend + a dance party at our house, complete with strobe lights (videos to come) tasty food, and amazing friends = One heckuva weekend!

I can only hope yours was just as much fun. Please tune in tomorrow for all kiiiiiiinds of pictures and a full recap ;)

Get ready to unfollow my blog


Dear Friday & All Readers, this is all I have for you today--- via April 2011 and after Zumba class.
And yeah, that's my supermodel cousin. AFTER working out.

Please don't all unfollow at once ;)


Thursday Thought(s)

Sarah, I'm joining you today with a few thoughts.

1. Thanks for ALL the love on my baby blog's 1st birthday :) You all rock!!!!

2. I got up an hour early, drove myself into work to meet a friend and we ran! Like, moved our legs quickly to burn calories. In the morning. ARE YOU HEARING ME?!?!? I don't know who I am anymore?! ;)

3. Also- I'm now drinking a protein shake at my desk. Again- WHO.AM.I?!?

4. J and I have eaten healthy meals at home the past 4 days and going strong. WOOP!

5. Today is my beautiful friend KP's bday and I wish she didn't live in Virginia Beach. If you do live there, please find her and wish her a happy 25th!!

What are your thoughts?!

Do blogs have birthdays?!

I think they do.... and today my sweet lil' baby turns *1* year old in the blogiverse!!!

Unofficially, I started my blog while I was wedding planning, so more like 2 years ago, but it would be a random post every couple of months and I never shared it with anyone. I thought the blog would be my diary for all things wedding, but let's be honest: when you plan a wedding, your life gets a LITTLE busy.

So September 19th, 2011 is really when I felt like I gave blogging an actual try. I'd been married for 4 months and wanted to document these exciting years somewhere! I was already reading tons of blogs, so I jumped in and cannot believe where it's taken me one year later.

I have to say THANKS to some of the sweet blogger gals who really encouraged me and helped me out in those early blog days. Megan, Lauren and Stephanie were all SO helpful and SO sweet. 

I still love reading their blogs and staying up-to-date with them and truly have formed friendships with them, along with dozens of others!

In a year my blog has changed names, got a new design, hosted fantasy football and I've gained almost 300 friends. Who would have thought?! :)

So, happy birthday LFF--- cheers to starting another year with you!


Hunter Hayes is pretty darn awesome

Get ready for THE most random post of your lifetime….

  • We do a pretty mean duckface (see above…) and would like you to check out a whole collection at for your amusement this morning.

  • I CANNOT stop listening to Hunter Haye's CD. Everyone knows his song "Wanted" right?! Well, do yourself a favor and just go ahead and download the rest of 'em. Seriously SO GOOD.

  • I'm convinced that Megan is a football GENIUS! Have you SEEN the girl's score on the blogger fantasy football challenge?! Between her and Kelly, I think they're cheating ;)
And YES, that's me down there at the bottom…. boo.
  • I have a morning coffee date tomorrow with probably the sweetest girl I know and I am PUMPED. Here's to Pumpkin Spice Latte's…. and waking up at the crack of dawn to keep friendship alive ;)
  • My high school throwback pics were a hit and had me cracking up…. might have to dig a little deeper and REALLY get the embarrassing pictures out. I was LOVING checking out everyone else who linked up!

  • This is THE cutest little redheaded baby girl I've ever seen. Seriously!

  • And finally, I think I'm ACTUALLY back on track with eating right and working out. Why is it SO hard?! Why is junk food SO GOOD?! Here's to fitting back into my old clothes!!! ;)

What randomness do you have to share with me today?!  I love random.