RAVE: Going "Home"

Mike and I had the chance to fly "home" to Minnesota for the 4th of July weekend. It was SO much fun to see all of our friends and family. As usual, the trip was too short and we weren't able to see everyone we'd hoped to! And, as usual, we hardly remembered to snap any pictures. To prove it...I'll show you all 3 of them!

Our first night in town we got together with our good friends Megan & Jared. You may remember we crashed their New Year's trip to NYC earlier this year. We had such a great time catching up that we closed down the bar! (We NEVER close down bars. We're usually those lame people that go to bed at 9pm on Friday nights at the ripe 'ol age of 27ish)

mystery shots!

We spent lots of time with the Siegel-crew on this trip because it was our official reunion. Our weekend was filled with lots of family gatherings with tasty food and delicious margaritas! We topped off our time together with a boat cruise on the Hudson (or maybe it was the St. Croix?) to watch fireworks. This pic of my favorite sister & brother-in-law is the only evidence I have of our 3 days together!


Like usual, we stayed at mom's house. Her new cat Sadie is the first of her cats to actually like Mike...she's pretty great!

so cute!

I wish I would have captured the fabulous time we had with Debbie, Mary & Leah, the Girls, Steve & Melissa, my CSP-crew, our families, and others. The trip was definitely too short but such a good time. We miss you all!

RANT: Missing Birthdays

It never seems to fail. Every year I am surprised by how fun my birthday is. I go into the day thinking that I'll hear from a few close friends, go out to lunch with co-workers, and go out to dinner with Mike. All-in-all, a pretty fun day if I do say so myself. But what makes it even better is hearing from all those people that I never expected to hear from! I'm always pleasantly surprised to get cards, emails, facebook messages from friends who I haven't connected with in forever. It's such a wonderful feeling to receive so many unexpected birthday wishes! And every year, I say to myself..."you should be one of these really cool people who make your friends' day on their birthday." And yet, I am still far from being one of those people. I even forget to send a card or a quick note to those really close to me...let alone my long-lost friends!

This month, two very special people's birthdays have passed me by...

Jenny, my Kindred teammate, was a bridesmaid in our wedding and is one of the funniest, kind-hearted, and all-around coolest person you will ever meet. I'm always telling her I thought she was too cool for me. She always laughs when I say this...as if it couldn't be true. But seriously people, she's SO cool. I hope you get the chance to meet her some day. You'll want to be her friend. She's one of those friends that calls you on your birthday every year without fail. Ok, to be completely honest, every year she first calls our other teammate Emily because she gets our birthdays mixed up. But now I always looking forward to the email or call on June 3rd where she says, "I can't believe I did it again!" I just love her and wished we lived closer.

Miss you Jenny - Happy (belated) Birthday!

Rachel, my spunky and beautiful cousin turned 25 this year! And she's handling the "quarter-life-crisis" like a champ! This girl is one of the most driven, kind, and generous people I know. She's finishing up her degree to become a Physician's Assistant and it's been so fun to watch her accomplish this goal and see her passion for what she's doing. I'm envious of her confidence, her strength, and her heart for others! I couldn't be any more proud to be her cousin.

Love you Rach -Happy (belated) Birthday!

RAVE: Visiting Best Friends

When Mike and I moved to Philadelphia and I left my job at Concordia, I knew there would be some tough times over this year. In particular, I suspected that not being able to attend the National Youth Gathering with the Concordia crew would be a sad part of my summer. So I started to think of what I could do instead at that time that might be even more fun. It didn't take much time to figure out that visiting Christa in California would be a perfect way to spend the time I would have been at the Gathering. Knowing that she was going to have an 8-week old at that point, I had a hunch she wouldn't be able to go to the Gathering either and might need some company since her husband was more than likely going to be attending.

While I was sad I wasn't able to see Dave this trip, I had a blast hanging out with Christa and finally getting to meet her son, NOAH! Isn't he cute!?

Here's a quick re-cap of the trip...
The first day we played hard at the beach and needed to stop at Starbucks to kill some time to wait out traffic before we treked back to Brentwood. Who would have guessed this cute face was going to have such a meltdown on the way home? :)

The next day we walked to the Farmer's market, watched chick flicks, and then headed to Noah's 1st musical - Guys & Dolls!

On Sunday we headed to church and then off to visit Kevin! It was so fun to see his new house and catch up. And I learned that if anyone is looking for a refurbished Kirby vacuum...he's your man. Kevin treated us to pizza at his favorite place and we even remembered to snap a picture of us all together....wish even more of the Irvine gang could have been there!

After an eventful few days, we decided to lay low on Monday...

It's no secret I'm not a fan of goodbyes, but this was one was particularly hard. Not only was I saying goodbye to Christa, but this guy had really grown on me too...

Who wouldn't have a tough time saying goodbye to that face?!?