Draft Day

Today is a bit of a holiday in the football world and I am ready to celebrate it. That's right, it's officially time for the NFL Draft! I love that for me, football doesn't start in August and end in February- it goes year round and this is just one step closer to the start of the season. Jared and I actually got out the Hard Knocks DVD's recently and re-watched the awesome series they did on our Bengals in 2013. What can I say? We're obsessed.
Remember that time I was ALMOST on the show?!

Today is so exciting to me, and I'll definitely be keeping tabs on the draft all weekend long (it's a 3-day event!) and stalking the picks. Has anyone seen the movie Draft Day? I highly recommend it. The whole movie takes places in just the 24 hours surrounding the start of the draft and it's really awesome to see the behind-the-scenes of the NFL draft. It's a fictional story, but based on how things really go down. Last minute trades and deals are a real and seriously complicated thing. I cannot imagine how it feels to be a coach or player on draft day. Stressful!

So my football-loving heart urges you to check in on the draft at some point tonight, or this weekend. Oh, and in case you're watching it with a significant other or friend or family member and aren't really sure what to say? Have no fear! I have provided you with a quick list of the most common phrases and cliches of draft day. Try them out for yourself, or try to keep a tally of how many times they're said ;)

They're drafting to fill a need here.

He's a physical guy.

He's got a high motor.

This is a matter of character.

So what does this mean for Johnny Manziel's future in the league?

Great value pick here.

I don't know how well his style of play translates to the NFL.

He's a high-football-IQ guy.

This guy's a gym rat.

Will he live up to the hype?

He's got a dynamic initial burst off the line.

He's a guy that makes a ton of plays.

He's a burner with great ball skills.

This guy could walk in and start, day 1.

That's a safe pick.

He plays with a lot of poise.

He's a road grater.

This guy struggled at the combine, but the tape doesn't lie.

And as always- WHODEY!

Stick With Me

Trying to get back to life as "normal" so I figured I'd show up again here today. I've had no sense of time or dates for the past two weeks and I'm constantly looking at the calendar to remind myself what the heck day or month it is. It seems nothing has been routine or normal in April but hopefully that's coming soon!

My sister and niece were in town for a week surrounding my Papaw's funeral. While it was a sad reason to visit, Jared and I were able to spend a lot of quality time with them and with my parents which is what we all needed, I think. Nothing like a rambunctious two-year-old to make us laugh all weekend or countless rounds of games to help us relax and enjoy our time together. It was nice to put away the phones, the computers and just spend those quality hours being a family. I highly recommend Blokus and Rack-O if you don't have them already. Even though my mom's Rack-O edition is from 1966 (seriously) they still sell it on Amazon!

The other not so great news that I have to share today is that my hip pain was worse than just a pulled muscle or sore joint after a half-marathon. After 3 doctor's appointments, x-rays and an MRI it's official: I've got a stress fracture in my hip. A stress fracture means 6 weeks on crutches and no activity. That also means no Chicago trip... wah! I'm only on day #5 and already hating these crutches so much. I'm not a very good patient, but I'm trying to learn to let other people do stuff for me at work and home when I need the help. The good news is that if I do this and rest, I won't need surgery. And no one here wants surgery!
You're welcome for these glamorous shots. #OOTD on the left, am I right?! ;)

This month has been so very tough on me and continues to be that way. Typically April is my favorite month of the year, but that's been far from the truth in 2015. I'd like to ask for your prayers and thoughts and support while I'm in this "funk" of mine- this weird, muddled stage of life. I don't even know what to call it, but I know that I'm fighting my way through the tough stuff one small step (or crutch?) at a time. It's been hard to find the positives lately, but I know they will come in time. Thanks for sticking with me and my blog through the good and the bad. Thanks for all the cards, emails, flowers and love from everyone! It means more than I can describe!

Saying Goodbye

I haven't been quite ready to write this post so I've put it off, and even still I don't feel fully capable of putting into words what I'm feeling. I don't think anyone can ever prepare to write a post in memory of a loved one who has passed on. I know so many of you were praying for my Papaw and I appreciated those prayers so much. On April 16th, my dear grandpa left this Earth, much sooner than anyone anticipated and I miss him already.

As you can imagine it's been a sad, tough couple of weeks for me and my family. I feel like I didn't get to say goodbye, and that is what tears me up over and over again. I'm trying to cling to the fact that my Papaw is no longer in any pain. The cancer is no longer attacking his body and he's not suffering. It's a blessing in disguise, though hard to see it, I know it's the truth. And because of my faith I know I will see him again one day.

He supported his grandkids in anything and everything we did- I don't think he ever missed a sporting event, school play, band concert, award ceremony or graduation. He was always so proud of us. When I took my job with the Bengals I felt like there was just a little extra pride there in him... HE had a granddaughter working for that football team we all loved. He'd ask me what certain players were doing, he'd complain about an ugly loss; he'd want to know if I'd seen the coach lately and how I thought we'd do each season. I'm going to miss those talks.

I could go on for days about a million memories with my Papaw and I'd still never be able to truly describe how great he was. My dad led the funeral for him last week and he said everything so perfectly, it was a beautiful service and it honored my Papaw perfectly. Saying goodbye has been tough but it's also reminded me not to take anything for granted in life. I want to live out every day to the fullest, tell my family I love them more, be there for my friends at the drop of a hat and live a life he'd be proud of. RIP Papaw.
Comments turned off today- thank you EVERYONE for all your thoughts & prayers!

Birthday Wish List

I have officially finished another item on my 30 before 30 list! It's one I've been excited about for quite some time, but until we were out of debt I didn't feel I could pull the trigger on. Drumroll please.... After 6 long years with my Canon Rebel XSi, I retired her and upgraded!! I've got a Canon SL1 and couldn't be happier with it. It's a huuuge improvement over my previous camera and even better? I used Swagbucks earnings (via Amazon) to pay for more than half of it! I finally have a camera that can record video too- eek!

So basically I annoyed Jared all night snapping photos of him and various decorations around the house. And maybe a scary selfie or two that I'll spare you all from. Since I've got this new toy, I really don't need/want much else for my birthday- but what fun would a birthday be without making a wish list?! Here a few things I'm eyeing lately.

A nice watch. The last watch I had was purchased while I was in high school. I vividly remember spending my hard earned money on a Fossil watch and I wore it constantly for years and years. It's still a cute watch- but it's pretty tiny. I'd really like a larger faceplate and I wouldn't mind a nice wallet, either. I've always bought cheap ones that end up falling apart- I believe it's time to "invest" in one that I can keep for years.

Kitchen items and gadgets are always on my radar, but I'm trying to do better about only keeping the ones we actually need and use. Right now? I'd love a sink caddy and we could really use new measuring cups. Our previous ones had stickers on them that have all worn off and I'm tired of guessing which one's which and holding them all next to each other to figure out the one I need. Clearly not an expert chef over here!

Maxi dresses. Need I say more? I swear, I'd live in them during the summer if I could. We've got a beach vacation this summer and I'd love a few new dresses to take with me. As a fashion-challenged gal, I appreciate the simplicity of throwing a dress and sandals (maybe a necklace if I'm getting crazy) and feeling completely put-together!

Other than those things? I'll take new floors in my house, a good car detailing and maybe a mani/pedi to round out my wish list ;) Now if you'll excuse me, I've got another 4 days to scream "It's almost my birthday!"

Rolling With It

First and foremost, I cannot thank you all enough for your sweet words after I posted on Monday. They mean so much to me, truly. You all continually prove why the blogging community is amazing. Keep the prayers coming! Secondly, I have to wish a Happy Birthday to two sweet bloggers I know! Pinky & Carolyn both are celebrating today and I have to say, they picked a great month to be born ;)

You know what else today is? Bookmobile day! Did anyone else get excited about a bookmobile rolling up to their school on occasion? I remember feeling like I was practically royalty, getting to get inside this VEHICLE and pick out books to rent. Fun fact of the day- bookmobiles originated in the 19th century and were horse-drawn wagons with boxes of books in them. You're welcome for that bit of information today. This site is my guilty pleasure.

Speaking of books- I just finished reading Popular thanks to a recommendation by Becky. I was kinda' in the mood for a light-hearted, fun read and this book fit the bill. It's a memoir by a 15-year-old girl who decided to follow an old 1950s teen etiquette book and see what happened throughout the course of a school year. A quick, easy read and you know I love a good memoir. I'm writing one myself, after all. 

This blog post has gotten random and out-of-hand pretty quickly, but I'm rolling with it... because sometimes you just have a lot of jumbled up thoughts you need to type out and get out of your head. I've eaten cauliflower in some form for three days straight and I'm not upset about it. Roasted with garlic and oil, made into a pizza crust, you name it- I love it. Not the prettiest food to take a picture of, but boy does it taste delicious!

I gifted myself something for my upcoming bday (Monday- don't forget!! ;)) and it is currently en route to my house. I feel like a kid at Christmas, seriously. I will be rushing home to tear into that package and then will let you see my goodies for sure ;)

Jared has been making my "birthday week" so fun and I love that he gets into it so much. Little surprises here and there, notes in my lunchbox, making plans for the weekend- he rocks. Friday and Saturday he and I are celebrating, then Sunday a group of our friends is getting together to celebrate, Monday's my actual birthday and then the FOLLOWING weekend I'll see my family to party one last time. I'm aware of how ridiculous we are- and that's okay.

It's time that someone cuts me off from this blog post. Good gracious it's random. Happy Wednesday!

When Life Gets Tough

I've been pretty silent on the blog over the past week. I had posts lined up, things I had planned to share but with some crappy news in the past week or so, I just didn't feel up to blogging. I still don't feel like going into all the details of everything that's been going on- but the short story is that my Grandpa has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and has not been given any positive news since. It's hitting me and my family pretty hard so all that I ask is for your prayers. My Papaw and our whole family would appreciate it so much!

Last week was miserable. I just wanted to be away from that office! It's hard when your mind is on other things and it's just tough to concentrate on much else. But all we can do is take things one day at a time. When that clock struck 5pm on Friday I couldn't have been more thrilled. Despite the chaos of the week, I'd had a dinner planned with an old college friend of mine and was really looking forward to it. She drove down from Columbus and our 3-hour dinner was just what I needed. It had been YEARS since we'd gotten together, which I'm embarrassed to admit, but it's the truth. Those few hours of catching up were glorious and we have legit plans to get together for a whole weekend again soon. Sometimes life just makes it tough to see each other, but I'm tired of making excuses and want to make a better effort to see the amazing people in my life more often. Life is just too freakin' short.
Love this girl so much!

Saturday I had another fun day planned - again, I was so thankful to have some things on the calendar to look forward to after such a draining week. A sweet friend of our family had extra tickets to the Reds game and offered up their amazing seats and parking pass for the day. We made a quick stop at my office, then pigged out at the Yardhouse and enjoyed a fun game- even though our guys lost. There's just nothing like being at the ballpark on a sunny, crisp afternoon. I hope we can get to a lot of games this season!

Sunday was the usual church and lunch but once we were home we decided it was just time to start the spring cleaning. We opened the windows and went to town on the kitchen and living area for hours upon hours. It felt awesome to scrub the baseboards, vacuum every tiny nook and cranny and also start filling up another donation box with crap we just don't need. Sometimes, staying busy is the best way to take your mind off things.

So there's my little life update. Taking things one day at a time, and just trying to remember that God is in control of it all- no matter what. Thanks in advance for your prayers and love- I feel them and appreciate them so much!

Easter Hopping

It was quite possibly the quickest weekend of my life, hence the lack of a Monday post. I definitely needed yesterday to try to recover. We had a great time seeing both Jared's family and mine but I'm getting too old for this much activity in one weekend ;) We were definitely hopping around from one thing to the next constantly!
Saturday included a delicious brunch followed by bowling which was a ton of fun. I hadn't bowled in a looong time- why, I don't know, because I love it! I did pretty terribly but I'm totally gonna' blame it on this bum hip of mine. Oh, haven't I mentioned that? Yeah, I'm still having hip pain since my race. The race that took place 3+ weeks ago. Super fun stuff.

Another fun part of the weekend was going to a dinner theater with my mom and dad. Way too much food at the buffet and a chance to see a musical? You can't go wrong. It was my first time seeing South Pacific and I really enjoyed it. I could watch live theater every week and never get sick of it. One day when I'm fabulously wealthy (ha!) I'd love to have a season subscription somewhere- I just love it so much!

Aren't my parents cute?! :)

Sunday our church service was absolutely perfect, as always. We ended the day doing dinner with Jared's family again, before his parents headed back to Arkansas. I was pretty excited that my brother-in-law and his girlfriend had made us all goody bags to take home with us. Since this weekend was so busy, Jared and I skipped doing baskets for each other for the first time in a few years. I was bummed, but these treats were more than enough :)
So yeah, all that hopping?! Has this girl tuckered out. I'll be laying low the rest of this week, chowing down on my last bit of Easter candy and going into a sugar-coma. ;)

Good Friday

Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter weekend to everyone! I thought I'd kick today's post off with a little Flashback Friday. A classic Easter photo of my older sister and I, circa 1989. My mom made us those matching dresses, and it may be tough to see, but there are matching purses as well. We were straight STYLIN' and I love it!

Jared has made this week a lot of fun. He knows how much I love Easter but also knew how busy we'd be with family this weekend. He took it upon himself to be sure we did something fun each night this week. Like going out to grab Starbucks since our gift card was more than a year old and had never been touched. Or cooking up a delicious ratatouille together that we'd had on our to-make list forever. Or voluntarily watching one of my favorite chick flicks with me. (PS- When I shared that picture on Instagram, I couldn't believe there were people out there who haven't seen You've Got Mail?! The horror!!) And of course, coming home to that fluffy, adorable bunny Jared had seen me pet every time we went by it at the grocery store. Don't judge me- yes, I'm 5 years old sometimes.

Other exciting news from the past few days? I wandered into Target one afternoon for the first time in who knows how long. Starbucks and Target in the same week?! Goodness, just call me a stereotype! In an effort to get my steps in during the day, I'm trying to take a lunch break every once in awhile and Target happens to be a convenient place to walk around- especially when it's pouring outside. I didn't get anything, but I did take photos of about a dozen books I want to rent from the library (anyone else do this?) and loved this notebook, but resisted since I've got about 100 of them. True life, I'm an office supply addict.

You know what else is true life? This random post you all just got hashtag blessed with today. I didn't know where it was going, and didn't know where it would end up, but now that I'm here at the end of the post I'm okay with it. Sometimes life is just random and you need to spill it. And sometimes you make all your pictures circles because other bloggers did it and you liked it. Enjoy your Easter weekend everyone- I'm looking forward to time with family, a dinner theater and hopefully a couple Reester Bunnies ;)

Linking up these faves with Amanda today!

Hello, Goodbye

I thought about trying to pull a fast one on my readers today- but since last year's post was a big success I figured I couldn't pull it off two years in a row ;) Happy APRIL- my favorite month of the year. My friend Allison used to do a fun link-up at the start of every month, saying Hello to new things and Goodbye to others. So even though she no longer does that, I thought it would be a fun prompt for today.

Hello, April... Goodbye, March. You were fun while you lasted ;)

Hello, Birthday Month, Hello turning 28 (!)... Goodbye to my money. (Okay, everyone gets to indulge a little bit with the birthday coupons that roll in, right?!) 

Hello, Baseball Season... Goodbye March Madness. Yes, there is still basketball to be played but I'll happily be welcoming in Opening Day with the Reds the day of the Championship game. (Next Monday!)

Hello to the great outdoors... Goodbye movies and Netflix all the time. I'm so glad the weather is warming up and Jared and I can get out more in the evenings. Frisbee golf, taking walks or just eating on the back deck- hooray!

Hello to possibly the first pedicure of the year, Goodbye ugly naked toes!

Hello flowers, Goodbye dead, brown yard. There are some daffodils that sprouted up overnight it seems like and I'm loving them. Now to get on that landscaping...

Hello April showers and thunderstorms, Goodbye power - at least once a week. (Our power seems to go out all the time in the Spring but usually just for short amounts of time) Gosh I love a good storm, though!

Hello to parties, birthdays, showers and weddings. Goodbye free time and boring weekends.
Throwback to my bridal shower- how that was FOUR years ago?!

Hello to my favorite time of year!! What are you saying Hi to this month?