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On Iowa! // Go Hawks!


In honor of tomorrow being the first game of the season I thought I’d share a few of my favorite pics of our family all ‘Hawked out’.







The word is fight, fight, fight for Iowa
Let every loyal Iowan sing
The word is fight, fight, fight for Iowa
Until the walls and rafters ring. (Go Hawks!)

Come on and cheer, cheer, cheer for Iowa
We're gonna cheer until we hear the final gun
The word is fight, fight, fight for Iowa
Until the game is won.


Football // It's Finally Here!

When I think of football season I think of the colors - brown, black and yellow (for me).  The sights - jerseys, pigskins, grills smoking.  The scents - those grills again, a Fall scent burning in the Scentsy burners, that crisp 'Fall smell'.  The sounds - cheers from the stands and sidelines!

Last night it was all there. Well, almost - the grills weren't there!  But everything else was!  It was the boys' first games of the season.  This is Aiden's 4th year playing football.  It is by far his favorite sport.  He dreams to one day play for the Iowa Hawkeyes.  He loves throwing together a game of football at school recess every day.  Playing football in the yard with his dad is his favorite pastime.  So to say he was in his element last night is an understatement.

Aiden is right smack in the middle of the pic in the blue shirt.

For Brennan, this was his first year playing football.  It's all he's talked about for 2 years!  He couldn't be happier now that he gets to wear cleats and a mouth guard, ha ha!  He had a great first game!  He got to carry the ball twice, almost making a touchdown!  Yeah, he got knocked down and cried, poor thing, but he was so tough and didn't come running for his mommy which told me he was still having fun and loving playing.  One of the plays where he carried the ball was hilarious, I'll try to tell it.  Both teams were all lined up.  Our QB gets the ball and stands there, the same as everyone else.  No one moved.  Except for my Brennie.  He goes running through the defense, out and around the back of them, then turns and runs back towards our QB on the opposite side of the field he came from.  He runs right up to the QB, grabs the ball, turns tail and runs again!  No one knew what was happening, even us on the sidelines! LOL!  We laughed so hard, it was the funniest play.  No one moved on either team, aside from Bren, until he grabbed that ball and started running again!  Comedy of errors, sort of!

One of the cutest things EVER!  Bren 'took a knee' in every team huddle! 

During the game Little Man got hungry.  Thank goodness the little guy now can take a bottle - saves me from running to the car to nurse him and then miss out on the action on the field.  So Papa (my dad!) gave him a bottle.  He took it like a champ, 5 oz down the hatch!  And Papa loved the extra cuddles with him!

Both boys are playing for the "Giants", so Go Giants!  And as always, GO HAWKS!!!

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The No-Name Post

Hey there!  We've made it to Wednesday already.  If you're looking for a fun link up go check out my dear friend Erin's blog/link up. 


I am not linking up because I'm a loser and not doing anything healthy right now. 

Instead I'll tell you that I started watching Baby Aspen again.  Well, she's not a baby anymore, she'll be 2 in November.  And it's only 3 days a week this time.  Yesterday was our first day together and she did great.  I was a bit worried she'd be scared of me since she doesn't know me anymore but nope, she was pretty comfortable here again.  Her and Tate were pretty smitten with each other.  He loved watching her and she loved patting him on the back.  It was pretty darn cute!  I'm glad it was a smooth transition for all of us.

Just a reminder about the Fall Swag Swap - sign up's end tomorrow.  You must be a blogger and a US resident to participate.  Just email me ( or leave me a comment with your blog address and email to sign up!

Now go link up with Erin so I can read all about how your combine healthy living and being a mom - I need the motivation!

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School, Sports and Activities


Happy Tuesday, all! 

Well, school started last Wednesday and with it came all the craziness of the kids’ activities.  Both boys are in football, on separate teams, so we have been running them back and forth to their practices.  Games start Wednesday so hopefully after a game or two the practices will slow down and we won’t be doing quite as much running around for that.  And luckily their games are on the same nights (for another 2 years) so that helps. They have the same coach which also means their games are one after the other so no having to miss out on one game to watch the other.

Last night was the first Clover Kids (4-H) meeting of the year.  This is Bren’s first year and Aiden’s last.  It is so fun to see the excitement that everything new holds for Brennan this year.  First Kindergarten – he talks quite a bit about his days when he gets home in the afternoons.  Then it was football – he loved practice, wearing a mouth guard and his cleats!  And now last night, Clover Kids.  Every month they have a record sheet to fill out about each meeting – he came home, sat right down and started drawing his picture for it after his meeting.  It’s fun that he’s so enthusiastic about it all!  I know in time that will wear off so I’m enjoying it now as much as I can.

Don’t forget about the Fall Swag Swap!  Sign ups are going right now, they close Thursday.  Just leave me a comment or email me ( if you want to join in the fun.  You just have to be a blogger and US Resident to join!

Fall Swag Swap

One more thing – my big boy can sit himself up all by himself now!!!  Yep, he goes from tummy, to chubby knees to sitting on his little duff!  He’s pretty big stuff, if I do say so myself!

A PSA for you – we are officially less than 4 months away from Christmas.  Better get started on that shopping!

Have a great Tuesday!



  • I went shopping Friday for a shirt to wear for our big family pictures that are this coming Saturday. (This is my family, my sister's and my parents.)  I tried on 2 shirts at Target that I loved on the hanger but were too tight in the chest (big boobie girl problems).  Instead of thinking, "hey, Erin, go out and get a bigger size to try on" I walked out of the store and into the mall.  I busted out of my shell and actually went into stores that scare me (the stores teenie boppers shop in).  I tried on clothes, that fit (hooray!), but I just didn't like them for the pictures.  I walked the entire mall, tried shirts on in 5 or 6 different stores, ate a delicious Panini at Panera's, then it hit me.  "Duh, Erin! Go back to Target and try those shirts on in a BIGGER SIZE!"  So back I went, found a bigger size and went to the dressing room.  What a concept, they fit! Sheesh, could have saved me (and Tate) all that misery of trying on all those others clothes!  The good thing about that, though, is now I feel comfortable enough to go into those 'teenie bopper' stores and shop again.  The other thing with this is I had a certain color of shirt I was looking for, that makes it sooo much harder than just finding a shirt I like. 
  •  Tate had his 6 month photo shoot Saturday night.  I can't wait to see them!  My dear friend, Jackie, took them for us (she did his newborn pics, too) and she said she got some really great shots.  I hope so, he wasn't cooperating very well.  He was more interested in playing with the grass in front of him and the blanket he was sitting on.  Here's one of the sneak peeks Jackie posted on FB this morning - sooooo sweet!!!
If you live in Easter Iowa and want Jackie's info, let me know -she's an awesome photographer!
  • I've been burning Fall scents in the house over the past week.  I can't help it! They smell so good and I am SO ready for Fall!
  • The boys are back into the swing of things where school is concerned, and I am back into the swing of things where the house is concerned.  Because I have a reason to get up and moving in the morning I start off with more energy, which translates into getting the house picked up and cleaned when I get home from taking the boys to school.  Tate usually is ready for his nap shortly after we get back from dropping the boys at school which works perfectly for me to get some cleaning done.  I didn't realize how much I've missed the routine.
  • Football has started here for the boys.  They've each had one practice with their second practices tonight and tomorrow.  Their first games are Wednesday night.  I'm looking forward to this season, it'll be fun to watch both boys playing.  Stay tuned for more pics of little boys playing football than you ever wanted to see.
  • Fixer Upper is my new favorite TV show.  It's on HGTV.  I LOVE IT!  An awesome couple help a family find a 'fixer upper', then gut parts of it, lays new flooring, updatse the kitchen and bathroom, whatever, then Jo-Jo (the wife) decorates the heck out of it and it is always so SO adorable!  It's livable, which I love.  Most shows make everything ultra modern, not my style at all! This couple lives in Waco, TX and everything is so homey and perfect! She loves rustic, old, old made new, breathing life back into these homes.  It's amazing.  And she takes old things and turns them into awesome pieces she hangs on the walls. For instance, she took an old, rickety white picket fence gate, hung it on the wall, then attached a the word 'family' to it that was metal and in cursive.  OMG.  If I could only have half of her imagination!  And the places she finds these awesome buys, I'd love to have those too!  Look it up, I have no idea when it's on normally, I just found it last week a couple of different times then watched a 6 hour marathon of it Sunday afternoon (off and on, don't worry, I didn't sit for 6 hours in front of the TV, although I could have!).
That's what I've been up to lately.

What have you been doing lately?  Have you seen 'Fixer Upper'?  Are you ready for some football?

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Fall Swag Swap Sign Up Day


Today’s the day to sign up for the Fall Swag Swap I’m co-hosting with these awesome gals!

Camo & Lipstick, Macke Monologues, and Beauty & The Baseball Coach

Rules are simple – have a blog, live in the U.S., buy a minimum of 5 items for a minimum of $20, and make contact with your partner within 3 days of the matches being sent out. 

If you’ve never done a swap before and you’re a blogger you MUST sign up for this! They are so fun, you meet awesome ladies and get some cool swag from them, let alone you get to shop and send them awesome stuff, too!

Shoot me an email with your name, blog address and the email address you’d like to use for communicating with your partner.

Matches will be emailed out Tuesday, September 2nd.

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First Day of School 2014 // End of Summer

I made it! I survived!  Some days it wasn't pretty but we are all still alive and kicking after a crazy, busy summer!

Today is the boys' first day of school!

Brennan was very excited, as most Kindergarteners are!  He had a lot of questions but said he wasn't nervous.  I told him I was going to miss him every day, he said he was going to miss me, too. 

Aiden was happy to be back around his friends again.  He's a pretty easy going guy, no worries from him and he definitely isn't going to be missing me, ha ha!

Looking back over our summer, it was a busy one.  We did a lot of running around.  We failed miserably in getting things checked off our Summer bucket list.  Can you believe we only made it to the pool 2 times?  I didn't want to take Tate much at the beginning of the summer, then when I felt he could handle being in the sun for a bit it was too cool to go to the pool. 

Our park visits were way down this year.  We have averaged at least 1 park visit per week over the past summers.  This summer, though, I can count on one hand how many times we went.  Sad. 

Andy didn't get the boys out fishing, but they did golf a couple of times.

There weren't nearly enough bike rides and walks.

No camping in the backyard this summer.

Those were our fails.  But our wins were pretty great.

Chicago, the county fair, the state fair, playing ball in the yard, playing with cousins, catching lightning bugs, having friends over, picking berries and veggies... we had a fun summer after all, even if it wasn't as full of activities as I'd hoped back in May.

Now a new school year begins, so full of excitement and promise!  I love a new school year, even if I don't like that it means my boys are getting older at a lightning fast speed.  Who doesn't love a backpack full of new supplies?  All that clean, fresh, white paper?  Those unmarred folders?  The pointy new pencils?  Yummy smelling crayons all lined up pretty in their box?  Exciting!!!

And what follows the first day of school?  Fall!  The colors, the smells, the leaves and pumpkins!  Perfect time for our Fall Swag Swap!  Sign ups start tomorrow through mid-next week!  Just shoot me an email if you want to sign up, are a blogger and live in the US. 

Here's to a GREAT 3rd grade and Kindergarten year! 

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Cork And Canvas


Fall Swag Swap

Just a reminder about the awesome swag swap I am co-hosting with these lovely ladies:

Candra from Camo & Lipstick

Des from Macke Monologues

Shelli from Beauty & The Baseball Coach

I’ve had a few questions about WHAT a swag swap is.  Well, you start off by following your partner’s blog and emailing them.  Ask a bunch of questions about their likes, dislikes, favorites, who they have in their family, what they do for fun, etc.  Follow them on social media so you can see them and be in touch daily.  As for what you buy your partner, that’s totally up to you as long as it’s Fall related.  Apple Crisp scented candles, a pretty burnt orange scarf, a darker shade of lip gloss, candy corn!  Anything you think they will like. Throw in one or two of your favorites, too.  Give them something they haven’t tried before.  Make it fun!  Remember, sign ups start Thursday!  Just email me your name and blog address –

Have any of you done one of those paint and drink deals at a winery?  I have been wanting to do one since I first heard about them a few months back.  They look like so much fun!  About a month ago a cousin sent an email out to the family asking if anyone would be interested in doing this.  I jumped at the chance!

We ended up having a group of 6 go down to the winery to paint.  None of us had done one of these before so we were all a bit nervous about the process.  We grabbed our glass of wine, filled our plates with the appetizers they provided and sat down in front of our blank canvases. 


Finally it was time to start painting.  The instructor called us over to gather around and watch Step 1, which was creating our base for the background. 


Step 2 was building on that base.  I was hesitant to do this step because I was happy with how my background looked from Step 1.  But once I had finished this step I was pretty happy with the coloring. 


Step 3 was putting in the tree canopy and shadows. 


Step 4 we put in the background trees and highlights (forgot to take a pic of this step).


Step 5, the last step, was painting the big tree in front, adding the ‘leaves’ and highlighting the tree trunk. 


Our group.


My neighbor’s painting – she was good!


I would love to do another one because now I know you have the freedom to be more unique in your color choices and how you layout your painting. 

cork and canvas

Here’s the ‘dummy’ we were going off of.


Like I said, I would love to do another one.  If you have the opportunity to do one of these Canvas and Cork deals do it!  You don’t need any artistic abilities, I promise! They take you step by step through the painting.  Just be sure to take a paint shirt – I didn’t and wish I would have!


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Fall Swag Swap


Fall Swag Swap

I’m excited to announce a Fall Swag Swap that I am co-hosting with 3 awesome ladies/bloggers/friends,  Candra, Des, Shelli.  Sign ups open this Thursday, August 21st.  You can just email me – – to get signed up with your name, email address you want used and your blog address.  Requirements are as follows:

  • You must be a blogger, because we will co-host a reveal post link up in October
  • U.S. residents only
  • There is a 5 item and $20 minimum

Partners will be announced Sept 2nd, you will have until September 5th to contact your partner.  YOU MUST CONTACT YOUR PARTNER BY SEPTEMBER 5TH OR YOU WILL BE BOOTED OUT OF THE SWAP.  Your swag will need to be mailed by Oct 3rd and the reveal posts will happen October 15th. 

I hope you can join in on the fun, starting Thursday!!!


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Ladies Night // The Family Version


Last night was Ladies Night. 

My cousin, who has lived in Nashville for the last 8 months or so, is back visiting for a few months before she makes a big move out to LA.  She came up with the great idea for us Marie women (Marie is my mom’s maiden name) to get together for supper to hang out, catch up and have some fun. 

We weren’t all there, unfortunately, but the group that did attend had a great time!  Lots of laughs, some memories shared, baby bumps were rubbed – it was great!


Starting in front on the left, that’s my Great Aunt Margaret (my Gpa’s sister).  She used to be a nun, how cool is that?  And she’s one of the coolest people I know!

Behind her is my aunt Jackie, she’s married to my mom’s youngest brother.  Then my sister.  My aunt Linda Sue (there are 2 Aunt Linda’s, so we use their middle names to differentiate between them), she’s one of my mom’s sisters.  Across from her is another of my mom’s sisters, Aunt Marsha.  Then the bravest girl I know, my cousin Katelyn (she’s the one who’s moving). She is Linda Sue’s daughter.  Next is my sweet Grandma Joyce.  Then preggo #1, cousin Meliah (she’s due around Christmas).  Then my mom, and last is Trista, preggo #2 who’s due next month and married to my cousin (Katelyn’s brother, Linda Sue’s son). 

I have so many memories of each of these gals, I could write post after post after post about them all.  Aside from Trista, who married in to this awesome family, I have been around these women since the day I was born or the day they were born.  They’ve just always been there and I can’t imagine life without them in it.  They make my life better by being in it.

I have to say I have the best family in the world.  These gals are always there with a hug and support when you need it, they are always SO much fun when we get together.  I love these girls so much!

And did you notice??  No sweet, cherubic little baby boy in this picture??  That’s because my awesome husband noticed I was about to lose my marbles and sent me on my merry little way without the sweet boy in tow.  I just said yesterday how I hadn’t had any time alone without him by my side and then bam!  I went out last night without him!  And guess what!!!  HE TOOK A BOTTLE FROM ANDY WHILE I WAS GONE!!!  5 whole ounces!  Down like a champ!  Guess who’s going out with her friend without a sweet, cherubic little baby boy in tow Monday night?  I’ll give you a hint – her name rhymes with ERIN!!!

Are you lucky enough to have an amazing family like me?  Do you get together with your aunts, cousins and grandma for Ladies Night? Can you believe Tate took a bottle??

Have a great weekend!

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Summer Q & A


I found these questions on another bloggers page, she was linking up with another blogger to help with the late summer blog swamp.  I am definitely battling that so thought I’d answer the q’s myself.

What was your favorite thing you did alone this summer?

I did NOTHING alone this summer, unless you count mowing the lawn.  No kidding, I was with Tate every step of the way this summer. Along with him was either Andy or the other 2 boys.  I need some alone time!

What was your favorite thing you did as a family this summer?

Going to the Iowa State Fair.  We had a really great time! 


What books did you read this summer?

I finished ‘Call The Midwife’ by Jennifer Worth and started a book on my Kindle a week ago called ‘With Friends Like These’ by Sally Koslow.  It was a cheap book I bought off of Book Bub (or maybe it was one of the free ones?).  It’s ok, hard to get into a book when you can’t just sit and read it for more than 10 minutes. 

What do you WISH you had done this summer?

I wish I had gone on a couple of dates with Andy, just the two of us. I wish I had read more.  I wish I had taken the boys to the pool more.  I wish I had found time to scrapbook.  I wish I had slept for 8 hour stretches.

What movies did you see this summer (if any)?

I don’t think I watched any movies this summer.  Andy and Aiden went to ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ over the weekend, Andy said they tried really hard not to make it cheesey and that it wasn’t “that bad”.

Where did you travel this summer?

We went to Chicago and had a great time.

What was your favorite treat (as in dessert) this summer?

Probably the funnel cake I had at the fair.  I can’t believe I didn’t get to have any cotton candy all summer!  #fail

What did you celebrate this summer?

We celebrated Aiden’s 8th birthday and the 4th of July this summer. 


There were also a couple of weddings thrown in there.  And tonight we are celebrating my cousin’s bravery in moving to LA all by herself (or maybe it’s celebrating her craziness??)!  She’s pretty darn cool and I’m super excited for her.  Last year she up and moved to Nashville on a whim, loved it and decided to give another city a try, so she’s heading to LA.  She does have a friend out there at least, she didn’t know a soul in Nashville when she moved. But she’s not shy and makes friends easily.  Good luck, Katelyn!

Did you grow anything this summer?

I grew veggies and flowers.  My vegetable garden did pretty good, except for the onions. Those darn things!  But overall I am happy with the garden this year.

What is a favorite photograph that you took this summer?


What do you want to do next summer?

I don’t even want to think about next summer yet!  This one’s taken it all out of me.  I need the comfort of Fall and everything that come with it, hopefully I can recoup and be a bit more energetic then.

Happy Thursday!

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Tate At 6 Months

IMG_1353Yep, that’s right, my little guy is half way to his FIRST BIRTHDAY.  How???
Tate at 6 months
~ can fully sit up by himself!
~ laughs at his big brother’s antics. It really tickles his funny bone when they throw a ball back and forth!
~ can put his pacifier in his mouth the correct way all by himself
~ scooches backward while laying on his tummy, not necessarily on purpose
~ is now in a convertible car seat.  He was just too heavy to carry in the baby car seat anymore.
~ loves to look at books and have them read to him.
~ Tate is still on his tummy medicine, it has really helped him be a happier baby.  I’m hoping once he is fully on ‘solids’ he can start to be weaned off it.
~ eats rice cereal once a day with a tablespoon or so of stage 1 baby food. He’s had applesauce and sweet potatoes so far and by far his favorite is the sweet potatoes.  Seems only right, doesn’t it?  I do call him Sweet Po-Tater Pie!
~ has figured out he has a tongue and likes to use it to make new and fun sounds and to blow really wet and slobbery raspberries

~ has had his first ear infection (hopefully his only ear infection).  He took it like a champ but wasn’t terribly happy when it moved to a runny nose and watery eyes.  Poor bebe!
~ sits on the floor and plays with his toys.  I pile them all up on his lap and he plays and stays pretty happy for quite some time.
~ gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth.  One time he got upset, like he was stuck up there and didn’t know how to get down.  It made me giggle. 

6 months old – half way to his first birthday.  Tate is such a fun, happy, adorable, sweet, snuggly, loveable little baby.  I wish time could stand still and he’d stay like this forever. 
A 6 month comparison, my has he grown!

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