Thursday, December 26, 2013

mele kalikimaka

The Shoji family and friends were kind enough to invite us to celebrate the Christmas holiday with them. As one might expect, we had way too much food, not nearly enough treats, and our fair share of fun (including a borderline inappropriate and overly competitive game of CatchPhrase).

Monday, December 2, 2013


Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit quite like a terrifying, masked, Krampus devil-creature, right?

Saturday, November 30, 2013


After all the shopping, Christmas Market-ing, and (especially) Sound of Music touring, we thought we owed it to Ron to engage in some non-girly activities. What better way to reward his patience than with a trip to his homeland?

Friday, November 29, 2013

the hills are alive

With Andy en route to a far away city for a road trip, the Heins and I packed into the car for an early morning trip to Salzburg for the "Sound of Music" tour.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

ich lerne deutsch

We've been particularly quiet here on Amraser Straße lately. It has only a little bit to do with the fact that we're both ready for bed by 7 p.m. because it's already been dark for 3 hours and seems much later. It mostly has to due with the fact that last week we received some unfortunate news...

Monday, November 11, 2013

i love a man in uniform

I mean...who doesn't? I happen to especially love three of them - Grandpa Mike, Grandpa Casey, and my dad, Mick. I'm so grateful for the freedoms I have as an American. The freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the list is endless... None of these freedoms would be possible without those who serve to defend them. A heartfelt thank you all who selflessly serve and honor the stars and stripes.

Happy Veteran's Day, Dad! Go out and get crazy enjoying your free breakfast at Hyvee and coffee at Starbucks!

Monday, October 21, 2013

sisters in berliners + brian

Ever the romantic, I decided there wasn't any better time to visit my sister and her husband than during their kid free anniversary trip to Europe in celebration of their 5th wedding anniversary.

Monday, October 14, 2013

sunday family fun day

Erik had a friend from Stanford in town. Jenna and Tama drove down from Germany for the day. And the weather decided to seriously cooperate.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

freaky friday

I was just warming up - or in this case, cooling down - to the fact that it's officially Fall. Halloween decorations are out in the stores, I'm accosted by pumpkin recipes and DIY costume ideas whenever I sign into Pinterest, and the sweet scent of the "Sugared Cinnamon" candle my mom thoughtfully added to this week's package is filling our apartment.

In last night's pre-sleep prayer, Andy and I thanked our Father for the changing of seasons. For a fresh start every few months and for a chance to make new memories with each new season. And though I've come to accept that it is Fall and am eternally grateful to live in a place where we get to celebrate these quarterly changes, I was in no way prepared to wake up to this...

Yep. Snow. And 6 inches of it, to boot. informs me that by Sunday we should be back in the 60s with partly cloudy skies. Here's hoping. Happy (freaky) Friday.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

trentino: perché no?

Probably the best thing about being in Austria this season is its über close proximity to so many other countries. Intending to take full advantage of that, we hopped in the car in search of adventure and all things Italian.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

beeren pflücken

Raspberries have a very special place in my heart. More specifically, a Grandma-Betty's-raspberry-patch-shaped place. As a little girl - who am I kidding, we did it well into our older years too - my sister and I would spend mornings, afternoons, and evenings handpicking raspberries from the patch atop the house in Rush City.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'got ya' day 2013

Today, we celebrated Harry's "Got Ya" Day (the anniversary of the day I "got" him five years ago) with an afternoon in the park. The sun was shining and we knew we had to take advantage. I can't believe I've done life with this little dude for five years. I guess time flies when you're super cute.

Monday, September 9, 2013

malibu triathlon 2013

Back in February, Kate decided she needed a new challenge. Half-marathons apparently weren’t enough for her, so she decided to tackle her first (of many?) triathlons. What better race to be her first than the Nautica Malibu Triathlon?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

e sharpe-ing

Jade. Alexander. How I love you.... Anyone who knows us, knows what an especially weird and wonderful role Edward Sharpe & the Magnetics Zeros play in our life. When we found out they'd be "coming home" and playing at The Bowl this summer, I didn't hesitate for a second before clicking "purchase" on the Ticketmaster screen.

Monday, July 29, 2013

one year later...

Let bygones be bygones and so on and so on...  Here we are again - one year later - still cheers-ing to friendship, sunshine, country music, and 'MERICA in the Angels Stadium parking lot. While this year's Kenny Chesney tailgate and concert included its fair share of shenanigans, it in no way compared to last year's event. I'm okay with it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

potato chip rock

There's something to be said about little getaways. This weekend, Andy and I stepped out from behind the "orange curtain" and headed down to San Diego for a little fresh air.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

excuse me while I backdate...

I looked at my calendar today. It's July 18th. Where did the last 3 months go? I promise I'll catch up eventually. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

decade dance

June 10th marked the Uncle Dean's 50th birthday, meaning the only logical action to take was a decade-themed party held the weekend prior. Never one to miss the opportunity to dress up, I insisted on taking the "costumes required" instruction on the party invitation literally.

Friday, May 17, 2013

food truckin'

Never one to turn down something fried (see: fried avocado tacos, sweet potato fries, fried mozzarella sliders), Andy and I ventured over to the OC Fairgrounds for a Wednesday Food Truck date night. The fare was fantastic and we couldn't have been happier to bask in the sunshine with a beer in hand, sampling all the deliciousness at our little, grubby fingertips.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

running shape

After a brief (read: not so brief) running hiatus, I was in dire need of getting back on the horse. Given our existing partnership with Wahoo's, Anna and I were invited to run in the 5k race they sponsor during the OC Marathon weekend.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

the vegas

The end of April took me to Las Vegas. It was a weekend I'd been anticipating for some time, especially once I learned my trip would overlap with my best friend Beth and her family's.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Great friends come in many forms. Your childhood bestie/neighbor down the street growing up. College roommates who experience the ups and downs of "all things new" with you. A colleague you grow particularly close to whilst working together.  I'm one of the fortune ones (at least I think so). Mine tend to come in a convenient two-for-one package - family members who truly are my very, very best friends. Enter Rochelle, Rhonda, and Jillian...

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Andy comes home this Thursday (weeeeeeee!) and even though I can hardly contain my excitement, I think it's safe to say part of my heart (obviously not the Andy part) is still in Toulouse...

Monday, March 11, 2013

celebrating 60

My nearest and dearest and most bestest friend of life, Rochelle Ellen, turns the big 60 next week. We surprised the pants - figuratively, duh - off her with a weekend of birthday wonderfulness.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Back in October, on a rainy Saturday afternoon run during her visit to Toulouse, my buddy Claire and I decided it would be so fun to run a race together "someday" in Europe. We had absolutely no intention of researching, discovering, and ultimately signing up for one just a few months later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

(not so) wordless wednesday

We're going to the 'ship! Spacer's Toulouse defeated local rival Narbonne for one of two spots in the French Cup championship match.

Though I'll be back in the states, I quite possibly might be considering a weekend jaunt to Paris to see the match the last weekend of March. Any takers to join me? LAX -> CDG sounds easy enough...

For your viewing pleasure, click here for a highlights reel from the match.