Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gone to soon.

My grandparent's at a younger age. 
Monday evening was supposed to be normal for me. Go home, eat dinner with Caleb, go for a nice, long run...and sleep. Monday was not supposed to be the night I went to the hospital to say goodbye to my grandpa. He was supposed to go home, and into hospice care...but the doctors wouldn't release him. He was going downhill, and fast.

Thankfully on Friday, my uncle got to go and spend a little time with him. They hadn't talked much anymore, so this was pretty awesome. They talked about the fun memories from when my uncle was just a boy. My Grandpa also found out that my mom would be flying in Tuesday evening to see him and take care of him at home (she's a nurse) for the week...my uncle said his face just lit up and he even gave a few fist pumps in the air. He was so excited to see his daughter. I hadn't planned to see him until Tuesday, and even then, I thought he'd have a few more days left.

In a matter of two days, his body began quickly deteriorating. His face sunk, and suddenly, he couldn't speak, or move. I thought I could hold it together...but when I saw him I just sat with him and cried for hours, holding his still hands.

Although he couldn't blink, he stared up at the ceiling, and I held in front of his eyes the bracelet he gifted me at my graduation. Engraved on it said "Love, Grandpa Phil". This is something I'll forever treasure, and I know he was smiling in his own way when he saw it.


Saying goodbye to him was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Caleb prayed over us and also gave me a few minutes to be alone with him, after the hours of being with every visitor in the room. I said a lot to him in those moments, and it broke my heart that he couldn't respond in any way...but I just know that he heard me.


3 hours after we left the hospital, I got a call that my Grandpa had taken his last breath. I sat in bed and just wept. I can't thank my husband enough for fighting through his tired eyes and just holding me through this. My mom, unfortunately, wasn't able to make it in time. But the fact that he knew she tried to make it home in time, is peace enough for my heart. The next few days will be spent in tears, and we'll be grieving the loss of my Grandpa Phil. I hope to see him again someday.

Please keep my grandpa's wife, Carolyn, in your prayers. She's got to be one of the strongest women I've met before.Your happy thoughts for all involved mean more than you'll know. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Punta Cana}

{Get ready for a picture filled, vacation extravaganza post}

Where do I even begin? Last week was incredible. If you read my surprise post last Friday, you know that Caleb and I snuck away with our best friends for a week in the Dominican Republic...Punta Cana to be exact. We scored an INCREDIBLE deal on a resort recently and honestly expected it to be a pretty basic resort. Boy were we surprised!

So I'll start from the beginning...We left last Saturday, and had a less than perfect experience with a delayed flight out of our airport in Cincy, but nothing could bring us down knowing we'd be near the beach by early evening. So, Erin and I took it upon ourselves to try out my floppy hats!

When we finally landed, we were able to get a quick bite to eat at the beach side pizzeria...#nobigdeal. The next day (and every day after this) we hit up the beach, did lunch, went to the pool, and then ended our sunny day in the hot tubs! 


 *Not so fun fact of the day - this was the day I got the worlds craziest arm burns...I straight up looked like a tiger. This was also the night that Caleb unknowingly (until the next morning) got terrible food poisoning. I was burnt, so between the two of us, we really needed a day out of the sun.






Best pictures of us, ever.
After some time relaxing, we hit up the fun little dance club they had there and danced our little hearts out for a solid 20 minutes! We just got too excited when they played our American jams.
Probably a new favorite of us :)
Honestly, each day was a little similar with our routine of breakfast, beach, laying out, pool, lunch, hot tub, dinner, etc. So I'll give you a ton of pictures to gawk at from our entire week. Enjoy!



This was on the beach!






This next shot is one I'm definitely going to print on canvas. It's just my favorite.






When people ask me how we liked the DR, I cannot say enough awesome things about their culture. This trip legitimately made me want to come home and learn to speak fluent Spanish.

This guy was part of the entertainment team...and actually spoke the best English of any employee their. He was also fluent in French, which was crazy impressive. Made me feel a little silly, but that didn't stop Erin and I from taking a picture with him! Earlier that week, he convinced us to play balloon darts (then make fun of us both for how horrible we were at it), and also to take the "stretching" class. It was great fun!







Caleb and I also, somehow, got roped into a dance competition one evening...and we actually WON! Caleb blew my socks off and I was so impressed. We won a fun DR painting, but weren't able to bring it home with us, so we struck a pose with it right before we left instead.

Last night.



I honestly couldn't have asked for two better people to go on vacation with. The four of us had been talking about doing this for years...and it was so surreal to finally make it happen. The Dominican Republic will always hold a special place in my heart! I can't wait to go back one day. The memories we made on this trip will not be ones I forget easily. So many hilarious things happened, and many more "inside jokes" were made. I love my people!

If this didn't give you a travel bug...I don't know what will :)
*congrats to anyone who made it this far.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hurt.

I fully expected to post about my amazing vacation that I was able to take last week, until I got a call late last night from my mom. By now you know she resides in Hawaii, and she said she was flying home tomorrow because her Dad (my Grandpa Phil) was refusing surgery for something else that has come up because he was afraid he wouldn't make it through it. Truth is, he's probably right.

I told you all a couple months ago that he has been battling throat cancer for some time, and this time when it came back, they said its terminal. He started chemo and radiation to prolong his life, but since then has had many, many more horrible complications.


He's going home from the hospital today, to return home, gather his things, and go to Hospice. I'm angry, I'm scared, and I'm hurt. I don't want him to go. He's too sweet a man to go so soon. Although we aren't that close, I want him to know the Lord. I spent a majority of last night in tears, and in prayer. I know that some of you who read my blog aren't very spiritual, but if you are, could you please say a prayer for him and my entire family?

It would mean everything to me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

SURPRISE ;)

Happy Friday, friends!

I would rather...
...be on a beach than in my cubicle...
oh hey, long hair!
...have my toes in the sand than in office appropriate shoes...

...decide on which floppy hat to wear, over which work pants to wear...

...stay up too late with our best friends, than go to bed early...

...enjoy beach side sunsets every night, than be stuck inside...

...read a book on the beach, than read finance articles...

...wear a bikini all day in another country, than be in Ohio...

...lay out on a sandy white beach, than be stuck in my office...

Are you sensing a theme here at all? Well, if so...you're onto something.

SURPRISE!

I've been doing all of those things that I said I'd "rather be doing", all week long :)

Caleb and I have been on vacation ALL WEEK now with our best friends (you know, Erin & Jared - also known as my sister/brother in law!?)... yes, you read that right. We're having the time of our lives, finally taking an out-of-country vacation together like we've talked about for years. Pretty sure my heart could explode from happiness. Seriously, spending a week with three people you love!? It really doesn't get better than that. I can't even wait to fill you in on everything we experienced.

Enjoy your weekend, friends :) we'll be back home tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Goals for April!

Yeah, its the second week of April, and I'm just now making my list of "to-do's" for the month.

Hiiiii, my name is Slacky McSlackerson.
Unfortunately taken before I got my hair done.
Craft something for our apartment. Yeah, we literally have like nothing on our walls. I'm talking...like one thing. It's embarrassing. What's even more sad? I feel like I have pretty good taste to design something, just no time/motivation to do it. So this month? I'm determined!

Run 8-10 miles straight. Yep, you heard that right. Ow...my legs hurt even thinking about it...but my first half is in almost a month, so I've got to kick my butt into gear!!

Write in my journal more. "But you have a blog", well, yeah...but there is something about having history written by hand. & yeah, I just made my life sound more important by calling it history :)

Try a new recipe. The past couple of weeks have been so busy. Between photography consultations, church events, work, and a social calendar...I've hardly been cooking/eating a decent dinner. I feel bad for Caleb. I want to be a better wife in the kitchen - does that make me sound weird? I hope not. I think I need to pull out that crock pot finally. Anyway, send your best recipes my way, please!!

Declutter. Caleb and I do a pretty good job of throwing things out, etc...but I think there's always room for improvement!!

Finish 2 books. I'm already thinking "yeah, right"...but I'd really like to prove myself wrong here. Besides, its on my 25 before 25 to finish 50 more books...so I better start now!

Lets hope I can accomplish all of these. What are some of your goals for the month?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Drool worthy cookies.

Yeah you read that. Let me introduce to you...BANANA BUTTERSCOTCH COOKIES!


Yeah, you're welcome.

All you need are 4 ingredients, and you probably already have them all. I literally can't remember if I've blogged about this recipe before, but you know what? If I have, twice can't hurt. These cookies are insane...and by insane I mean so freaking tasty I can eat 8 of them in like a minute.


All you need;

A box of yellow cake mix (any brand is fine)
Butterscotch chips
2 cups oats (I used whole grain)
3 large, very mushy bananas

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get out a large bowl and mush the bananas together until they are at a paste-like consistency.

Then, add in the yellow cake mix. Only do a LITTLE AT A TIME, its a little easier to stir that way!

Add in 2 cups of oats (also do a little at a time), and to answer your question, YES its going to get very, very, verrryyyy thick! Like, you'll have a serious arm workout...I much prefer doing it this way so I don't have to spend 30 minutes cleaning out my kitchen aid mixer!



Last, add in your butterscotch chips. Use half the bag, or use the whole bag. Honestly, I use almost ALL of it every time!!


Once you have that all mixed up, place teaspoon sized (or just slightly bigger) portions on a non-stick cookie sheet. 



Bake for ONLY 12-13 minutes. No longer or the butterscotch starts to burn to the pan (trust me). Don't keep them in longer waiting for them to "brown" either, remember these are cake cookies and are supposed to be moist (ugh, that's my least favorite word...but I had too).


Once finished, remove from the cookie sheet and place them on racks to cool for 5-10 minutes! Once they are cool, you'll immediately want to place them in a sealed container to keep them soft!

This makes a ton of little cookies, so be hungry when you make these. Can't wait to see what you guys think!