Fall 2019 Bucket List

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Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Fall makes me love Michigan even more than I usually do. Michigan was made for fall and I like to take advantage of all the fun fall activities. Here a few of the things I’m hoping to do this fall season!

  1. Carve pumpkins
  2. Go to a Detroit Lions game
  3. Buy new fall staples for my wardrobe
  4. Decorate for Halloween
  5. Bake apple crisp
  6. Pass out Halloween candy
  7. Enjoy Fall Fest at work
  8. Drink hot apple cider
  9. Watch Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown
  10. Cozy up with a good book
  11. Eat fresh apple and pumpkin donuts
  12. Buy mums for our front porch
  13. Go on a weekend trip
  14. Take Oscar for a scenic fall walk
  15. Host a bonfire with our friends

What’s on your fall bucket list?

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Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

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Daily Conversations for a Healthy Marriage

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Marriage is hard. Ask any couple who have been married for longer than a couple of months and they will tell you that’s it’s not sunshine and rainbows all the time. Your spouse is supposed be there for all of the highs and lows of your life so it’s not always pretty.

I’ve been married for a little over two years now but have been with my husband for eight years. We have had many great moments but have also had many struggles. There have been a few times where I’ve wanted to give up and walk away but at the end of the day Brett is my best friend and my person. He might upset me from time to time but there’s still no one else I’d rather do life with.

We had our first major fight a couple of weeks ago where I didn’t even want him to sleep in our room. One of my friends gave us the advice when we got married to never go to bed angry and I’ve stuck with that until this fight. I was so upset over something that was actually silly. I didn’t sleep that night even though I did end up letting Brett sleep in our bed. I woke up the next day and was really grumpy over my lack of sleep.

After that night I knew that something had to change. Brett and I don’t spend a ton of time together because he’s always busy with work or hanging out with his friends. We don’t have scheduled date nights and mostly communicate through text or when we talk before bed.

Throughout the day Brett tells me all about his day. I know what happened at work, what’s going on with his family, and what’s happening in his friend group. I tend to only share the big or interesting things so he doesn’t get to hear about a lot of my normal day to day activities.

Communication in a marriage is so important but ours was seriously lacking. I thought back to summer camp where we played the “roses and thorns” or “highs and lows” game. All we did at camp was go around the room and say the greatest moment (rose/high) and the worst moment (thorn/low) of our day. I thought this game would be perfect to play everyday with Brett.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve asked Brett every night before bed what his high and low for the day was. He usually answers that his low was going to work and his high was hanging out with friends, watching a weather documentary, etc. At first he never asked me the questions back but I’d answer anyway. Now it’s a habit and I look forward to what he has to say because his answers have evolved and have become more thoughtful. It’s a simple conversation that only lasts a couple of minutes but it really makes a difference in our marriage.

Communication is one of the keys for any successful marriage or relationship. Over the years communicating with Brett has become harder so I’m grateful that we have this new way to share things about our day.

Do you have any tips for communicating with your significant other?

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August According to my iPhone

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August is one of my favorite months! This August felt particularly busy but in a good way! Last summer I was overwhelmed and felt drained because of how busy our summer was. This year I feel good and I know that I’ve been able to enjoy my summer for the first time in years.

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My sister, Dani, was in Michigan for July and some of August. She moved to New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago and I miss her already! Her dog, Callie, had a great few weeks with Oscar and Bruno. Their friendships are so sweet!

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My sister-in-law and her husband took newborn pictures of their twin girls at our house. This is a behind the scenes look at one of the photo setups. Ava is in the dark pink and Elizabeth is in the light pink. I’m obsessed with them!

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We went to a baseball game with some of our friends for our city’s local baseball team. The tickets, drinks, and food were all free! We had a great time and I enjoyed it even though I know practically nothing about baseball.

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We had a 4:01 work party a couple of weeks ago with drinks, snacks, and games. It’s nice to just relax for a bit after a crazy work week.

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My dad texted me one day that he had made me a flag. It was a super random text and I was like “okay, thanks” and had no idea what to expect. I went over to my parent’s house and he showed me this flag that he made out of an old pallet. He must have been bored but I love anything my dad makes me! He hung it on our fence and I think it’s really cute!

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We went to Chicago for the Air and Water show with one of our friends. The weather was terrible! At one point we had to leave and find shelter because it was rainy and stormy. But Brett was happy because he got to see the Royal Air Force Red Arrows. After the air show we met a couple other friends who live in Chicago for pizza and drinks before heading home.

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Brett and Oscar taking an afternoon nap! Love them ❤

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I had dinner with my grandparents twice in one week and it was so nice! I appreciate every second I get with them.

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On August 19th we celebrated 2 years of marriage and 8 total years together by having a day date to the beach. It was so nice!

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I’m working on re-organizing and decorating our upstairs guest room. Oscar and Lucy love being able to play on the stairs! Usually the door to the upstairs is closed so they aren’t able to go up and explore.

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Last weekend we had our local balloon festival! I had a great time with Brett and friends doing fall things at a farm and seeing all of the hot air balloons. I definitely recommend going to a balloon festival if you have the chance!

I’m looking forward to this three day weekend that starts in a few hours! Brett and I have big plans and I’m looking forward to sharing them next week.

Also, I usually don’t show many pictures of myself on here because of body image issues and such. But I’m trying to get better about showing my face more! Do you have a hard time posting pictures of yourself on the internet? Sometimes I feel like the only one who has this problem!

How was your August? Do you have any big plans for Labor Day weekend?

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Weekend Recap: Hot Air Balloon Festival

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This past weekend was super busy for our family. Brett is involved with all of our local airshows and balloon festivals. He is a third generation aviation fanatic so the love of all things aviation runs deep.

Our local balloon festival was Friday-Sunday and Brett and I work on the media team doing Facebook and Instagram. The location of the festival is at a farm which is very close to where I grew up.The farm has apple orchards, pumpkin patches, a corn maze, farm animals, homemade donuts and cider, and every other fall activity imaginable. I went there every year growing up so it makes it even more special to be involved as an adult.

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Friday after work we headed to the farm for the first balloon flight and balloon glow. This was a balloon competition so each flight the pilots had bags to throw from their balloons to try to reach a target.

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We decided to sleep in on Saturday morning and do chores before heading to the farm. There was a car show from 11-2 so my dad, Brett, and our friend headed there. My mom and I stayed at my parent’s house and did some work. My parents are officially empty nesters so we are working on turning the two extra bedrooms into guest rooms. We also want to paint the whole upstairs and turn the basement into a family room area.

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Saturday night we headed to the farm for the balloon flight and glow. We met up with some friends and had cider and donuts. It felt like fall which made me excited for the months ahead!

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The Sunday morning flight was cancelled due to weather so we stayed home and did the rest of our chores and went grocery shopping. We took Oscar to my parent’s in the afternoon for a little play date and then my parent’s and a couple of our friends came over for dinner.

We had a great weekend! It felt like the beginning of fall in Michigan. I’m sad that summer is practically over but I’m ready for all the fall things!

How was your weekend?

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A Day at the Beach: South Haven, MI

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Monday was our 8 year anniversary, 2 years married and 6 years dating. Brett and I both took the day off of work so we could spend time together. We decided to head to South Haven which is about an hour from our house.

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South Haven is a little town in Southwest Michigan located along Lake Michigan. One of the best things about Michigan is all of the lakes! We usually spend time at one of our smaller local lakes but being only an hour from Lake Michigan is pretty amazing. South Haven is special to me because my grandpa, the landscape artist, worked on the design of the downtown area.

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We started our day at the beach by wandering through the downtown area with all of the cute shops. My favorites are the Blueberry Store where you can buy products made from locally grown blueberries and the pet store, Decadent Dogs. After wandering through a few stores we stopped for lunch at Clementine’s.

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Clementine’s usually has a line out the door and is a must for any trip to South Haven! Because it was a Monday we were able to get seated right away! I got the Outlaw steak and a strawberry daiquiri. This is my usual Clementine’s order.

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After lunch, Brett and I headed for the antique stores. We love to go hunting for antiques! My favorite thing to collect are tea cups and dishes of any kind. I’m lucky to have a set of china from my grandma but I still love collecting pieces of china here and there. Brett collects aviation related items and vintage signs. Brett was able to find an aviation sign for our outdoor bar and some vintage beer labels for our basement.

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We grabbed some boba smoothies and headed for the beach! It was the perfect summer day in Michigan, 81 degrees and sunny! The beach was pretty packed for a Monday but we were able to find a parking spot right away! We set up camp near the water and I read while Brett napped. We did a bit of swimming and hanging out on the sand bar.

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Being at the beach always makes me sleepy so after a couple of hours we packed up. Before heading home we made sure to stop at Sherman’s Ice Cream! Sherman’s is a must for any South Haven adventure! My favorite ice cream flavor is Chocomania.

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We had a great beach day and it definitely reminded me that I need to make more time to spend with Brett. We spend a ton of time with family and friends but rarely make time for just the two of us unless we are traveling. I loved spending the day with him!

If you are ever visiting Michigan, I would highly recommend a day in South Haven! We barely scratched the surface of all of the great things to do in this adorable beach town!

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Our Love Story: 8 Year Anniversary

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8 years ago today Brett and I went on our first date. Our mutual friend had introduced us through text one night when I was hanging out with her. We hit it off right away and talked everyday for a couple of weeks. Brett finally asked me out on a date while I was at my friend’s cottage on the lake. I was 17 and getting ready for my senior year of high school. Brett was 19 and was starting his junior year of college.

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Our first date was on August 19, 2011 at a mini golf and arcade place in our hometown. I remember seeing him for the first time as he got out of his car and walked towards mine. He was wearing a football jersey for our local university. The same university he was currently attending and I was hoping to attend in a year. I thought he was super cute and sweet.

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After our first date we were pretty much inseparable. We spent the rest of summer 2011 falling in love with each other. He took me to an early hot air balloon launch and we followed the balloons with his car. I navigated while he drove. After that we had breakfast at a cute little diner and then spent the day at the zoo. It was the perfect date day.

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Brett was so supportive during my senior year. He came to marching band competitions, football games, flute concerts, and every graduation occasion.  He took me to prom and we danced the night away together. He helped setup my graduation party and stayed with me the whole day.

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My favorite part of our story is our years in college. Brett was already attending my dream university so we ended up at college together! We both lived on campus my freshman year so we were able to eat meals together, study in the library, and hang out with friends. He helped me get acclimated to college and made the transition so much easier.

My junior year of college was when I decided to study abroad in London. It was a hard decision to make to be gone for 5 months but Brett was very supportive. I had been talking about studying abroad in London the whole time we were dating so he knew it was going to happen. He attended study abroad fairs with me and helped me choose the perfect program in London.

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Studying abroad was hard. This was the most difficult thing we had ever had to go through in our relationship but it made us a lot stronger. We were in different time zones and it was hard to make time to Skype. We planned on Brett coming to visit at the end of the semester with my mom and sister. It felt surreal when they finally bought their tickets!

Brett came a few days early so we could spend time with my new friends and I could show him around. I think he fell in love with London as much as I did during this trip. Once my mom and sister joined us we traveled around London, and to Denmark and Ireland. It was the trip of a lifetime!

The day I had to say goodbye to my friends in London was very memorable. Brett was planning on proposing to me and had been carrying around my engagement ring. He should have told my family his plan though! He left the ring in the safe while we went to dinner with my friends. My mom and sister found the ring box and opened it. While Dani was trying my ring on, my mom was texting her friend. Instead of texting her friend though she texted me on accident! She told me not to tell Brett but he had already seen the text.

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I spent the rest of the trip wondering when Brett would propose. He didn’t propose in Denmark even though my exchange sister had set up the perfect scene. He didn’t propose in Ireland or on our last day in London. On our last night we stayed in a hotel by Heathrow. We went down to the hotel lobby to print our boarding passes and Brett asked me to take a walk with him. It was on that night, on some random road near Heathrow Airport, where Brett asked me to spend my life with him.

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We decided not to do any wedding planning until after graduation. We got engaged in 2015 and planned for a 2017 wedding. Our engagement was also hard. I was only 21 so I felt pretty isolated. Brett and I had been together for 4 years and I expected people to be thrilled for us. Instead I just felt really lonely.

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We graduated in the spring of 2016 and both of us had to figure out what to do next. We started applying for jobs and having interviews on top of planning our wedding. We picked a date, August 19th, 2017, a venue, and I picked a dress. Finally we both landed jobs and everything figured itself out.

In December 2016 we moved into a cute little apartment together and made it into our first semi-permanent home. We both moved around so much in college so it was nice to finally be settled. We had so many great times in that apartment!

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Two years ago, on August 19th, 2017, I finally go to say “I do” and marry my best friend! You can read about my favorite wedding moments here if you are interested! Our wedding was English Garden themed with lots of flowers, music, friends, and family. We collected hundreds of antique teacups for the centerpieces and decor.

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Our honeymoon was in London and we were able to spend two weeks visiting all of our favorite places. It was the best! The last two years of marriage has been filled with ups and downs including buying a house, adopting a dog, changing jobs, etc.

Two years of marriage and six years of dating has flown by. We’ve had so many amazing memories together and I can’t wait for many more to come. Marriage isn’t always easy but it is always worth it.

Thanks for reading!

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Learning How to Say “No”

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I’m a people pleaser and that’s not always a good thing. I hate disappointing people and nothing brings me more joy than helping someone in need. This people pleasing quality gets me in trouble a lot of the time because I make other people happy but don’t have time to chase my own happiness.

I’ve been struggling lately with this because sometimes people take advantage of how caring I am. I get myself in situations where I’m so busy taking care of other people that I don’t take care of myself. I end up exhausted, crying, and swearing that I’ll make a change and start saying “no”.

This weekend we had a family member ask me to do something for her and her family that went way too far. I want to help them but helping them would hurt my mental health in a way that would take too long to recover from. I don’t want to go into details but I had to have a serious conversation with Brett and luckily we both agreed that I had to say no.

Saying no is hard, especially when you love the person and want to help them. But sometimes you have to say no in order to protect yourself from damage. It feels selfish and wrong but it’s needed. I hate disappointing people and I know that this decision will hurt my relationship with the person. But this time I have to put myself first. I have to save myself from something that will damage me.

Taking care of yourself is more than just “self-care Sunday”. Taking care of yourself means protecting your mental health, your energy, and your well-being. It means learning to say “no” to things that will hurt you. Put yourself first, you’re worth it!

Do you have a hard time saying no to people? Any advice on getting over being a people pleaser?

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Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash