thanksgiving 2014

It may feel like it was years ago, but Thanksgiving 2014 was really only six weeks ago.  The Saturday before Thanksgiving we drove up to Greeley, and spent the next five nights at my parents’ house.  On Sunday, we went to church, and in the evening, Mysteridge was baptized.  It was really special to be there, and I’m so glad that the day he decided to be baptized corresponded with a time we were already planning to be in town!  A little group shot that was taken afterwards (both Danny and I missed the actual baptism shots – dead camera batteries and such to blame)…

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On Monday I volunteered in my mom’s classroom and saw my friends Sarah and Jan while Danny worked. I love how our schedules have allowed us (me?) to do these kinds of fun things this past year.  So thankful for our jobs and their flexibility and for my parents letting us stay with them so much!

Tuesday I saw a few more friends (Kaci and Kate!!) and in the evening we drove to Denver because AMANDA AND OLIVER GOT ENGAGED!  Oliver not only planned an amazing day and proposal for his wife-to-be, but he also put together a great (surprise!) engagement party for them as well, and it was so very fun.  We love these two, and sharing in their joy was such a treat.

On Wednesday, my mom and dad were off of work and Mysteridge was off of school, so we volunteered at the Weld Food Bank in the morning, had lunch at Rumi’s with my parents, and put up the Christmas tree at night.  I love the day before Thanksgiving.

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On Thanksgiving morning, Mysteridge and Danny ran the Turkey Trot.  As is usually the case, it was cold outside, but we weren’t there for long since our fellas are fast runners.  It was Danny’s first 5K, and I think he enjoyed it and did quite well, especially considering he decided the night before to run!

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Once we got home after the race, things really swung into motion.  Mysteridge and Danny volunteered to carve the turkey (which I found slightly humorous since Danny and I are vegan and haven’t had turkey for many Thanksgivings now) and they did a great job.  My grandparents, Aunt Deanna & Uncle John and their three kids, and my mom’s friend Terri and her son joined us for a delicious Thanksgiving lunch…my mom does holidays well!

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DSC02116 After lunch, we dove into my Aunt Deanna’s delicious pies pretty quickly, and then Danny and I took off.  We joined his siblings at his parents’ house in Colorado Springs for another delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and had a nice evening together.  We’re so thankful to have our families close enough to each other that we get to see everyone!  And now seems like a good time to give our families a well-deserved shout-out…they’re both so fantastic at making sure there’s plenty of vegan dishes for us to enjoy, and they’re always so delicious, too.  It’s extra work for them to put together special things for us, and we’re so thankful that they do.  Well, Thanksgiving 2014….you were a good one!

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a weekend in greeley and danny’s birthday

Last week Danny turned 25 (!!!), and we had a host of celebrations to mark the occasion.  We kicked things off the weekend prior, when Danny’s brother, James, and his wife, Ali, were in town for a wedding.  We all got together at his parents’ house for lunch, banana pound cake, old home videos, a game of Imaginiff, and, like any event involving males at this time of year, football.

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The following weekend we went to Greeley on Saturday morning, as I had the day off.  Danny spent the day with James and I spent the day with my mom, and in the evening we reunited to go to the pumpkin patch with my parents and Mysteridge.  It was a lot of fun, and not only fulfilled one of my October goals but was also something I’ve been wanting to do since we last went a few years ago.

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DSC00632We ate dinner at Noodles & Company afterwards and played Awkward Family Photos together back at my parents’ house, which made for a really fun evening.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to church at Christ Community with Mysteridge and got a tour of his house where he lives with some friends from Navigators at UNC.  We had soup for lunch with my parents, which hit the spot on a crisp, cool fall day and then went to James and Ali’s apartment for a little birthday party.   Our friends Ian and Haley, Brandon and Kate, and Tim came, and Ali made a delicious banana split cake, which was so good I tried to replicate it on Danny’s actual birthday.  We all played Truth be Told and Catchphrase together and had a grand time.

DSC00647After the party, we went to Olive Garden with my family, and then to Mysteridge’s flag football game, which was fun but COLD! Fall is definitely here.

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On Monday, my mom and I went to Denver for the day as my grandpa was having heart surgery.  We spent the day with my grandma and my Uncle John, eating at the hospital cafeteria, and looking at pictures from our trip.  We also got to visit my grandpa a few times after he got out of surgery.  And – praise the Lord – he was able to go home on Friday, and is doing really well.  We made it home around dinnertime and Danny and I had leftovers and went to Target while my parents were at a birthday party for a friend.

On Tuesday, Danny’s actual birthday, we had James and Ali over to my parents’ house for breakfast burritos before we left Greeley to go home.

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On our way through Denver, we stopped at Native Foods for lunch and a peanut butter parfait for dessert.  It’s starting to seem like a birthday can’t be properly celebrated in our house if it doesn’t include a trip to Native Foods, which is fine by me :)

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Once we got home, Danny went to work, and I got busy making his birthday cake and cleaning the house.  We met our friends Mark and Allison at Danny’s favorite restaurant, Ivy’s Chinese Cafe, and had so much fun.  After dinner we went back home, where David and Kirsty joined us for cake and games.  A few days later I found a ton of (bizarre) photos on my camera that were taken at some point during the evening, but I can’t figure out when (or why).  Mark, Allison, and I must have been busy doing something else…

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All in all, we had a really fun weekend in Greeley (our first time back since July!) and Danny’s birthday was a day full of tasty food and loved ones.  Here’s to a great year of being 25!

the days of july

It is September.  I started this post on August 6th and was pretty pumped about it…only a few days past July instead of halfway through the next month as usual.  And now look, it’s September, and I’m finally finishing it up.  Oh well.  I have so much fun recapping our month and remembering some of the little (and big) things we did, though, that it’s worth it.

On the first of July, I met Danny for lunch at his office.  Seems silly to mention (especially since there’s no photos!) but I used to meet him for lunch at T. Rowe all the time, and this was my first time to meet him at Compassion for lunch!  Let’s not dwell on the fact that he’d been there for seven months by the time I finally came…

Our friends Ian and Haley are back from spending three years in Bangladesh, and Haley came to spend a couple of days with me while our fellas were busy with Brandon and Kate’s wedding preparations.  It was such a treat to be with her and we had so much fun together.  We went to the zoo, we made dinner together, we walked on the nature path next to our apartment (and spotted a turtle and a deer!), and we marched in Monument’s 4th of July parade together!

Speaking of the 4th of July, I had my aunt, uncle, and cousins over for a picnic by the pool, which was really great, but unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate and we didn’t get to swim at all.  Serious bummer.   We still had a good time together, though, and enjoyed a game of Apples to Apples back at our place while the rain was really coming down.    The evening of the 4th was Brandon and Kate’s rehearsal dinner, and the next day was, you guessed it, the wedding.  It was a beautiful wedding, and I’m so glad it rained on the 4th instead of the 5th, since it was outside.  I took very few pictures the whole weekend, but my friend Shannon snapped this of Danny (and our sweet friend Amanda) as they were walking down the field aisle…

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And I did get one at the wedding reception…

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Oh hey, Tasha and Jessie!  That’s my cute sister-in-law, Ali, plus some top-notch photo bombers.

On Sunday Danny and I went hiking in the morning since I had barely seen him for past three days and I had to work in the afternoon.  We hiked Mt. Cutler and Helen Hunt Falls.  I did Mt. Cutler with my parents and brother waaaay back when and didn’t remember it at all, and it was great.  A short hike (although very uphill) yet a great view.  Helen Hunt Falls, though, was sort of a let down.  In a word, it was lame.

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^^ At the top of Mt. Cutler. ^^

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^^ At Helen Hunt Falls, before ‘hiking Helen Hunt Falls.’  We didn’t realize this was as good as it was going to get. ^^

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^^ The falls themselves. ^^

That evening, our friend Shannon (not me) came to visit!  She was in town for Brandon and Kate’s wedding, and took some time to come see us and spend the night!  We made pizza and ate on the patio and it was lovely.  I have been in love with our porch this summer.

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And after dinner Shannon and I spent around three hours in the hot tub.  Well, we alternated between the pool and the hot tub since we kept getting so hot in the hot tub!  She really wanted to hike the Incline together the next day but I was finally honest and said no.  I’ve done it once and it’s just not my fav as far as hiking goes.  So thanks to Everett and Ella who went with her since I was being a bit selfish.

After Shannon left we had a game night with our friends Alex, Rachel, Amy, and Michael.  We played Cranium and I can’t remember who won (probably the girls) but I do know it was fun.  And this past weekend Amy and Michael got married!  So fun…and more on that in my August post!  ;)

The second weekend of July we went to Camp Timberline outside of Estes Park with my parents to visit my brother.  He worked there for half of the summer, so it was really fun to get to go and see what it was like.  I wrote all about our visit here.

We went to Greeley that evening and for the next four days as well.  It was the longest we’d been in Greeley since before we got married and moved to Colorado Springs, and it was the first time we were around during the summer, which was such a treat since my mom was off of work.  We ate outside (a lot), went for walks, and enjoyed being together.  I also got to see my friend Jan, and Danny and I had dessert with our friends David and Kaci.  Being in Greeley was definitely one of my favorite parts of the month.

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My mom and I spent our days doing lots of fun things together while Danny worked.  One day we went to Loveland and walked around the sculpture park, ate at Panera, and went to the camper store.  Another day we went to Fort Collins and went for a walk on the Spring Creek Trail, ate at the Rainbow Cafe (lots of great vegan options!!), walked around Old Town, and checked out the beautiful flower garden at CSU…

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Once we got back home to Colorado Springs, Danny’s grandparents were in town!  I had never met them, and Danny hadn’t seen them since his high school graduation, so we really enjoyed being able to spend time with them.  We had dinner with them a couple of times at his parents’  house and had fun playing games together as well.  On our last night together, we got a great picture together outside of our favorite Chinese place…

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Also during the third weekend in July, we had our friends Mark & Allison and Andrew & Lisa over for dinner and swimming.  We are really loving the new pool area this year, and even though it hasn’t been a hot summer, we’ve gotten some good use out of it.

One Monday I went hiking with my friend Kara in Castle Rock, and afterwards we had breakfast downtown.  Which was even more delicious than it looks, believe it or not…!

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Of course, I also worked my normal schedule, and then some.  Danny worked plenty, too.  I got my first smart phone, as seen here.  I read a lot, we went swimming as much as we could (it was chilly this July!), and planned our trip to London and Paris (one more week!).

And I think that about covers it.

Happy September, friends, and thanks, July, for being great!

an ode to the selfie

First of all, I need to apologize to the person who ended up on this blog by typing “how many people go to the cathedral of chihuahua” into Google.  I am not an authority on anything, especially not statistics on a cathedral in another country.  The only thing you’ll find around these parts is pictures of my mildly exciting life and anecdotes about family, travelling, and working at a library.

However, speaking of cathedrals, I have one more thing to say about them.  Remember when we passed the Chapel of the San Dunes on our way through Mexico?  Well, after reading my post, Sofi let me know that it is in fact the Chapel of St. Jude.  That certainly explains why my Google search for “Chapel of the Sand Dunes” was so unsuccessful.  Also, I wrote down the correct name at work (or so I thought) so I could get it right once and for all and wrote down “Cathedral of San Pedro.”  I told you I am not an authority on anything.

Another random tidbit…I finally understand why I feel like driving around Colorado Springs is my worst nightmare: it ranks highest in the nation for traffic increase in the past year.  Traffic has increased by 58% in the past year and the roads are simply not ready for that kind of influx, the article says.  Obviously.  I live in one of the least-traffic-prone parts of town and yet I could have told you that the roads are not up to par.

In other news, we went to Greeley this week.  If you’re new around here (i.e. you found this blog by looking for something factual, like statistics on a cathedral or something and ended up here), you may not know that going to Greeley is my favorite thing to do.  Like, if I was listing my hobbies, going to Greeley would be at the top.

On Sunday we got a taste of spring, which is nice since Spring Break is next week.  (Although since we are not students anymore we don’t get any time off for said occasion, but I still observe it in my heart and mourn the fact that I did not take my mom’s advice and become a teacher.)  We took advantage of the nice weather and played some mini golf.  At one point we decided to celebrate 2014: The Year of the Selfie by each taking a selfie, which turned out to be a good encapsulation of our personalities as well.  Unfortunately my parents made many statements such as “DO NOT PUT THIS ON FACEBOOK” and “I AM SERIOUS ABOUT THAT” and so I will not be including their pictures.  (I’m guessing you can make assumptions about their personalities anyways, based on that.)

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DSC08373I also took a posed photo of Mysteridge and Danny, which ended up looking not all that different from their selfies…

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DSC08367The rest of the weekend we spent with my family, all the while eating delicious food, which included, but was not limited to, four different desserts in three days.  It is possible that one reason I like to go to Greeley is I like being spoiled.

We also watched Mysteridge play soccer which may not seem strange if you know Mysteridge is a beast in the realm of athletics, however, he has not played soccer since he was shorter than me.  Which was probably around 15 years ago.  He did not disappoint, although the pictures I took at the game are confusing since Danny appears to be looking at an empty field.  I think it may have been halftime at that point.

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DSC08385On Monday and Tuesday I got to see some of Greeley’s Greatest Gems: Jan, Amanda, Kaci, Sarah, Ginger, and Shawna.  (I saw my dentist too but since I was there for over an hour, that is what I would call Greeley’s Greatest Grief.)  For some reason, time was not on my side though, and I only got to see each person for around an hour.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful that I got to see each and every one of my fine lady friends, especially since I had not seen some of them for about six months, but only having an hour together was sort of a travesty.  

Last month I saw some of the same people and came away thinking and feeling “life.”  This time I came away thinking “brave.”  These friends are so precious to me and I always glean so much from them.  These days they are living bravely and walking courageously and I left inspired.  Thanks, friends, for allowing me to look into your lives and learn and appreciate who you are and what you do.

Another highlight was Monday night.  Mysteridge came over with his girlfriend Becca and we filled the evening with peanut butter parfaits and Scattergories and plenty of laughs.  To commemorate the good times, we lined up from tallest to shortest for a picture.

DSC08387Yesterday we left Greeley in the midst of cold but clear weather and came home to all manner of wind and snow and unfavorable conditions for driving and/or carrying bookshelves and laundry detergent and leftovers and all of the loot we acquired up three flights of stairs.  And I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t wishing that we stayed in Greeley an extra day or two.

in which we go to greeley

As you may have figured out from the title of this post, we got to go to Greeley this week.

We left on Sunday morning and got back yesterday afternoon.  We were supposed to leave on Saturday after I got off work, but for those of you who don’t live in Colorado, we were/are dealing with some serious snow and cold around here, and there was no way we could safely leave town, so we gave the snowplows some more time to do what they do and left on Sunday morning instead.

The weather was not terribly conducive to our plans, I’m not going to lie, but it was worth it.  Plus, it’s winter in Colorado, so what do I expect?

While in Greeley, we did various things including watch the Broncos lose the Super Bowl.

That was rather sad, but also monumental: for the first time ever, I watched the Super Bowl from start to finish, including commercials, the half-time show, and even the football part.  And it was really nice.  Except for the football part, but that kind of goes without saying.

The Super Bowl took up almost all of Sunday, but thankfully there was enough time to see Mysteridge and Becca as well, which was very important, not only because I like them, but also because I needed to give Becca her Kate Middleton calendar.  She is a sweetheart, obviously, because today she sent me a picture of it hanging on her wall next to her Duck Dynasty calendar, which was really comforting.  Comforting because, one, she likes both Kate and Duck Dynasty and isn’t embarrassed of it, and two, because I was little bit worried she would put the calendar straight in the trash because what if Kate came to her house and saw it hanging up?  That would be so weird for her (both Becca and Kate).  Or at least that’s what Danny’s been saying to me.

One of the best parts of going to Greeley is seeing our sweet friends.  On Monday I got to see Kaci, who has been my friend since 8th grade and single-handedly did all the decorations for our wedding.  She is now engaged, which is so exciting.  I think I’ve been wanting her to date/marry David (her now-fiance) since before I was born.

I also got to see Sarah who I met in college and can’t get enough of.  When I’m with her I’m always laughing and she’s always smiling, which is a fun combination.

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Andrea, my first friend in college, drove from Fort Collins to see me on Monday as well.  We swaddled ourselves in blankets and caught up on life and the books we’ve been reading lately.  We are both readers and travellers and so many other things and I just love her so.

On Tuesday I went to school with my mom all day!  She’s a teacher, and a really good one at that.  I helped her out however I could and spent the day gluing, typing, scoring, printing, organizing, and telling children that I am indeed 22 years old (as opposed to the guesses – 13, 14, 17, 18, and 20 – made during one class).  Usually I’ve heard that you should be flattered when someone thinks you look younger than you really are, but 13?  No one looks good at 13.

I was supposed to see a dear friend and mentor after school, but due to the aforementioned weather, we decided to reschedule for our next Greeley trip.  Mysteridge joined us for dinner and it was then that we ate sweet potato quinoa chili, which happens to be one my personal favorite winter recipes.   It was also one of the first times my parents and Mysteridge had eaten quinoa, and my dad observed that it looks like gravel.  Well.  At least it doesn’t taste like it.

Speaking of my dad, I’ve been told that I should note that my dad is not actually a One Direction fan, as I have previously indicated that he is.  So I am taking this opportunity to declare, once and for all, in a very public way, that Tom Jones does not like One Direction.  There.  Any political aspirations he may have had have now been restored.

After much hemming and hawing, I decided to join Danny for a trip to our old stomping grounds, also known at the University Center at UNC.  We attended Christian Challenge, the ministry that changed our lives, both individually and collectively, while we were in college.  It was weird to be back but an overall good experience and a chance to see a few more friends and even meet a new one (Hi Shawna!).

Wednesday I found myself repeating Monday, except with different friends.  I got to see Shannon (not myself but a friend with the same name), a fine young lady that I discipled a couple of years back.  Now I feel like she is discipling me – she is so wise and thoughtful and is always challenging me, whether she knows it or not.  I am blown away by her.  Afterwards I got to see Amanda, who happens to be so very fun and joyful and the time I spend with her is always so life-giving.  She is a gift to me, and not only because we share an affinity for Kate Middleton (and so that you don’t automatically think she’s obsessive – like I might be – I will say that she is more of a passive Kate-lover).

We left for home not long afterwards but not before stopping by Taco Bell in hopes of encountering The Prettiest Taco Bell Employee Ever.

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Our hopes were fulfilled.

En route to home, we went to Native Foods, which was fortunate because yesterday was free dessert day, and can you say PEANUT BUTTER PARFAIT?!  That was enough to fuel us for a trip to Anthropologie, also known as the place we accidentally committed a theft at.  Praise the Lord, we have not been banned from their store.  I returned a pair of pants to postpone the inevitable and then pulled out the ornament and confessed everything.  The kind employee laughed and said that I could just have it because of my honesty.  I didn’t feel right about that, so I paid for it, and in a moment of extreme self-control, left.  Yes, I left without even looking around.  Danny had a work meeting at 3pm in Colorado Springs and it was 2pm and we were in Denver…needless to say, we were in a big hurry.

I am so thankful for Danny’s job and the flexibility it affords us.  Being able to go to Greeley for a couple of days in the middle of the week was such a gift.  Staying with my parents is just the best and being able to see old friends everyday is a true gift – one that I won’t take for granted anytime soon.  And, because I’m apparently feeling really grateful and sentimental (and wishing everyday was like the days we spent in Greeley this week), I should note that we are so blessed with friends and family that know us and love us and make our lives better every time we’re together.  And also Sarah is the only person who asked if we could take a picture together, and obviously I said yes, and so that is why she is the only friend/family member pictured in this post.  Ask and you shall receive.

a (birthday) weekend in greeley

Two weekends ago, for many reasons, we spent some time in Greeley.  I had an orthodontist appointment on Friday afternoon, and we had a wedding to go to on Saturday evening, and my birthday was Sunday.  I love an excuse to go to Greeley, as it means so much more than just ‘business’ since we have so many friends and family members in the area.

On Friday evening we went to James and Ali’s new apartment for dinner (James is Danny’s twin brother, in case you can’t tell from the photo).  They put together a taco salad with some tasty Doritos.  We don’t really eat chips, except for an occasional bag to dip in salsa, but these chips were good.  I can’t remember what variety it was, but I embarrassed myself (by the amount of chips I ate).  Aside from the chips, it was nice to see their place and hear about how their wedding plans are coming along.

DSC06279^^ Good looking group, am I right? ^^

On Saturday, my parents and Danny and I went to the annual UNC garage sale.  It’s always the weekend after graduation (in the spring), and features tons of things that students left behind – clothes, books, furniture, small appliances, and more.  We walked away with a horde of picture frames for a quarter a piece, a new polo for D, a new sweater for me, and some games, to name a few.

I had the opportunity to see some of my nearest and dearest for the rest of the day.  Andrea and I met early for coffee and muffins, and then Kristen and I met to walk on the Poudre River Trail (the same place D and I took our engagement photos!) and accidentally encountered a couple of snakes.  Ask Kristen about it if you want a good story.  Afterwards, I stopped by Kaci’s family’s garage sale and soaked up some time with her!  She also gifted me big time with close to a dozen vegan cookbooks, many beautiful old books, a lamp for our living room, and much more.  I love getting time with these ladies.

By the time all the visiting wrapped up, it was high time to get ready for the Big Event!  Our friends, Austin and Carlie, were getting married!  The ceremony was lovely (I think, as we couldn’t hear the majority of it due to the wind), the location was peaceful and pretty, and the bride was stunning.  I especially loved all the flowers and the prettiest bridesmaid of all, whose name also happens to be Shannon…

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They had a buffet of Greek food under a big white tent and a dance floor that was hopping all night.  We very thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and may have looked a bit foolish at times, but we had so. much. fun.

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^^ With my handsome date.  Also, ignore how atrocious my hair looks in all these photos.  It was really windy.   And please pardon my weird baggy sweater.  It was pretty chilly out too. ^^

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^^ I. Love. This. Girl.  Is she gorgeous or what?! ^^

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^^ Oh yes.  Not only was he my date, but he’s also my hubs.  Luckiest girl on the dance floor.  ^^

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^^ A fancy move for the twins. ^^

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^^ There were no cups to be found at this point in the evening.  Promise. ^^

I regret not having any photos of the guests of honor (Austin and Carlie).  After all, they were the reason for the party.  We took one of them cutting the cool cake and one of their first dance, but they are ridiculously terrible, and not worth sharing with anyone.  Their photographer was Kira Shupe from Kira Ellen Photography and I have no doubt that their photos from her will be amazing.  She’s already posted a few on her Facebook page and, boy oh boy, do Austin and Carlie have lots to look forward to!

Sunday was my 22nd birthday!  My mom made our favorite cinnamon rolls, accompanied by lots of fresh, delicious fruit.

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^^ My man decorated the dining room like crazy before I woke up.  Look at the lei I’m wearing, just after waking up, not the mention the beach backdrop!  ^^

Danny and my mom spent the entire morning slaving away on the exorbitant cake I requested.  They are so very kind and thoughtful.

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It was a treat to be back at our beloved Christ Community for church and be able to worship to songs we actually know…we miss that place bunches.  Afterwards we met my parents at Noodles & Company for lunch.  Next up: PARTY.

Danny invited some of the sweetest ladies ever to take pictures in front of the backdrop and sing the birthday song and stuff themselves with his tasty cake.

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^^ The ladies. ^^

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^^ Shannon and I went for a romantic pose. ^^

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^^ Dog and I definitely love the Asian poses. ^^

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^^ Kaci (spunky and sweet and so very loving) going for the best post known to man (and woman).  ^^

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^^ So super blessed to have this man by my side for my birthday (and every day).  ^^

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^^ Mysteridge and I going crazy on the beach. ^^

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^^ Okay, are my parents super into the theme or what?!  They are amazing and so very kind and generous.  If I did hashtags, I would write “#blessed” and “#thankful” and “#mydadsshirtisthebest.”

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^^ And the glorious cake!  It was almost as good as our wedding cake (the top layer that D and I ate, that is), which is a pretty huge deal.  Lemon cake with raspberry filling between the two layers, with lemon frosting…heavenly.  The recipe is here.  ^^

I was given some pretty great gifts, too.  My parents gave me this adorable (and also practical) picnic basket and clock, both of which are sitting pretty in our guest room right now.  Mysteridge gave me a glasses case and mirror.  I have been needing a glasses case for years now, as the inside of mine has fallen apart, and the mirror is now holding our keys and allowing Danny to admire himself before he goes to work in the mornings (I’m always in too much of a hurry to stop and look).  Danny gave me a J.Crew gift card, which I went crazy about in my post yesterday.  Kristen found an incredible “Oriental box,” as the sticker on the bottom says, and I’m pretty sure it’s genuine and straight from Asia (seriously).  It’s sitting right behind me on our pretty little shelf in the dining room.  Kaci blessed me with even more old books, every one of which has been strategically placed around our house (thanks to my sweet, sweet Emily) to maximize their beauty, as well as an old camera!!  Eek!

And finally, in honor of my 22nd birthday, and because this is what we listened to close to 22 times on my birthday, I present Taylor to you: