Valentine’s Day

So, Valentine’s Day is not my favorite holiday and we rarely do much to celebrate it.  But, in general, I am a big fan of traditions and in celebrating.  I also seem to really like themes (who knew?!) and decorations.  I didn’t do much for this one, but I changed out our normal boxes for hearts on our homeschool to-do list and we made some heart decorations for around the house.  Ethan copied down each part of the definition of love from 1 Cor. 13.  Micah made a heart paper chain.  The cool Jesus watch was from CBS (which everyone is loving btw!).  Also, I got a pretty amazing card for tutoring for CC – isn’t that so clever??  We had the pleasure of hosting Grandpa Russ and Aunt Ashley and Caleb for dinner on Valentine’s Day.  I made Grandma Cleve’s lasagna recipe – a hit with everyone, of course.  Plus – lasagna is red.  Win!

Grandpa Russ was in town only briefly on his way to Mexico for Mike’s brother’s wedding.  Mike flew out with him the day after Valentine’s Day and Ashley joined them the following day.  It sounds like everyone had a lovely time.

Meanwhile, Micah reached a milestone: he competed the whole monkey bar set at the park by our house.  I didn’t get a video of him actually completing it, but he did it a bunch of times that day.  Did I mention that the weather here that weekend was amazing?!  We had 70 degree weather on Sunday.  The next day…3 inches of snow!  We love Colorado! =)  I didn’t snap any pictures of E because he was busy playing football with neighborhood kids.

Also, we made cookies and put ice cream in them…yum!  And we watched Fantastia – the old one – and were not incredibly impressed.  It was okay, but pretty dull. =)


Wisconsin: Other highlights

Other highlights of our time in Milwaukee include:

1. Discovery World – a really fun museum and aquarium – followed by lunch downtown and wheatgrass shots with our Auntie

2. Dinner with Cass, Adam and the girls – a special treat for all of us when we are in town

3. Wedding reception – a fun evening to celebrate the newlyweds


4.  Worship together on Sunday followed by a lunch at Kopp’s (famous Milwaukee restaurant)

Sunday afternoon we went our separate ways.  Our family, along with my siblings’ families and our parents, went back to Kenosha for one more evening together at my parents’ house.  Separate post coming for that.


With Grandpa and Grandma taking such great care of our boys, Mikey and I headed to California for a wedding.  We were there with enough time to do a little hike, walk on the beach, and enjoy breakfast at the Bulletproof Coffee Cafe.  We HIGHLY recommend checking that place out if you are in the Hollywood area.  It was delicious.  Mike was definitely in his happy place. =)  So cute!

On Saturday night we went to the wedding.  We had such a wonderful time!  It was lots of fun because we were there with a bunch of other friends and some “celebs”.  Okay, by that I mean people who are pretty big deals in the NFL (past and present).  We took some super nonchalant pics of said people, none of which turned out all that well. =D

Since I was at a Hollywood wedding, naturally you are wondering who I am wearing.  I bought that little number on ThredUp. =D

Mama’s Solo Trip!

Mikey has been encouraging me to go away for a solo trip for a few years now, so when I received the invite to the wedding of one of my sweet friends from high school, I decided to go!  Samantha was married in Wisconsin, so I was able to stay with my family and have some quality time with them at the same time.  I had a lovely weekend away.

I landed on Friday evening.  Cassia picked me up and I was able to surprise her girls at their house.  I had a great time chatting with them and seeing their toys and books.  These girls are SO special to me; words cannot express what they mean to me.  Then Cass and I went out for dinner and chatted until late that night.  It was a great way to spend a Friday night!

On Saturday, Ger (my brother), Lauren and their two adorable sweet boys joined us for breakfast.  My aunt and uncle came, too!  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and lots of good conversations.  This was my first time meeting Abe, my newest nephew!  He’s fantastic, of course.  Micah wanted to give Ivan a gift, so he made sure I brought along one of his excavators for him.  Ivan loved it!  I also went for a bike ride with my Dad, which is something I did a lot over the summers in college.  It was great to get out there with him again!

That evening, I went to the wedding in Beloit, Wisconsin.  It was about an hour and a half away and I enjoyed the silence of the car ride. =D  It was such a sweet treat to see my closest high school friends all together again!!  For your viewing pleasure, I’m including a picture of a few of us from high school.  These girls don’t age! =)  I may get more pictures later as friends post on Facebook, but this is all I’ve got so far because I didn’t take a single picture.  Oops!

Sunday was spent at church and enjoying fantastic food and company.  We spent some more time with Ger, Lauren and the boys that afternoon.  It was a relaxing and wonderful weekend.  Thanks for hosting me!!

Cass and Jess over the years

In keeping with my latest two posts, I wanted to share a brief one from pictures of Cass and I over the years.  This girl has changed my life for the better and our relationship has evolved a lot over the years.  I met her the summer before my sophomore year of high school….so we only actually lived near each other for 3 of the 15 years of our friendship.  Crazy.  We do long-distance very well, but I do hope to live near each other someday… =)

This is my graduation from high school.  There are more pictures from before this, of course, but they are even more embarrassing than this one….so since this is my journal/blog, I get to decide what to post. =D



And this is her high school graduation:


This is from our first double date with our (now) hubbies.


Cass’ wedding in May 2005:


A fun double date with the old married couple: 


Our wedding, July 2006: 


We stayed at the same hotel the night after our wedding.  So, we saw them in the lobby the next morning.  SO cool.


We were able to come back to Wisconsin for Cassia’s graduation from college: DSCN4643

Here are some more pics over the years.  We always try to get a picture each time we see each other because we don’t see each other all that often!  

DSCN3716 Jess & Cass

And we are SO thankful that our guys get along so well.  They are good sports about the crazy things Cass and I do…like buying them matching pj pants for our pajama party one Christmas.  

IMG_1519 this one too

These pictures are from my absolute favorite double date of all times.  We stayed together the ENTIRE evening, playing games and darts and just laughing all night.  The second picture is them the following morning at my parents’ house.DSCN3687 this DSCN3693    

And this was the latest time we were together.  Love this girl.

Jess, Cass (1 of 1)