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Thursday, February 27, 2014

That moment in my life {video included}.

Everyone has those moments in life. Those moments that you can look back on and remember exactly how you felt, and you'd give anything to relive that very moment again.

If you were to ask me which moment I'd relive...without question, it would be when my husband gave me the surprise of a lifetime and sang to me at our wedding reception. Three nights before our wedding, he decided to learn the cords to our new favorite song, and sing it in front of 200 of our best friends and family members.

I cried...okay, more like sobbed, like a baby. It was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for me. I don't mean to be such a sap, but I'm getting that funny feeling in your throat that you get when you really want to cry some happy tears.

My blog is a reflection of who I am, the happy parts, and sometimes not so happy parts, and every moment in by golly, I'm sharing this video. I have quite a few videos of this, but this one guest in particular focused the camera on me the entire time...I hope I don't sound selfish but I'm so happy they did this. I can watch every emotion I felt, and relive them all over and over again. I can't thank them enough for this.

I wish there was a way for me to make this bigger...but you can "full screen" it if you want the full effect.

If you feel so inclined, this is just the same moment, with a different perspective.

Now who can invent a time machine so I can experience the best day of my life, once more?
Happy Thursday, friends.

PS - hiii Caleb. I love you, thanks for being my favorite person ever.
PPS - sorry I'm not sorry for my unusually sappy post. It was bound to happen!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


If you read my post last Friday, you probably saw a little snippet about how I promised a delicious recipe coming your way on some SALSA! If you know anything about me, its that I love Mexican food. The salt, the chips, the salsa, the queso...ahhh. So I knew when a friend sent me this recipe I HAD to make it.

Please, do yourself a favor and bookmark this right now.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can black eyed peas
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 avocado, peeled & diced
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped.

First, you want to start by whisking the "dressing" together. I would advise to use a little less red wine vinegar, but we loved it with the 1/4 cup, still!

If you're a newb at cooking/making anything (like myself), check YouTube to learn how to properly cut open, and cut out an avocado. Much to my surprise, it went fairly well!

Check your favorite cooking book for tips on how to cut an onion (I was pretty impressed with myself on this one).

Then you'll want to dice your tomato, pour in the black eyed peas, corn and then begin chopping up the cilantro...and take in that for just a moment, your kitchen smelled equivalent to your neighborhood Chipotle. Once all those ingredients are chopped and prepped, pour them in your large bowl on top of your dressing.

It should look a little something like this!

Now get in there, and mix 'er up!

You can drain it out some more if you want, but we left it as is. After that, you'll want to refrigerate the salsa for about 20-30 minutes to let it chill. Waste some time on Netflix, burn through a sitcom, and you're ready to enjoy this sweet salsa with a bag of your favorite tortilla chips! Next time we make this, we both agreed on more corn, and a little less vinegar. If you want my opinion on this dish? Make it! Like, yesterday. We shouldn't have, but totally ate it as our dinner one evening. #dontyoudarejudgeus

Although it was pretty simple, making this made me feel really accomplished. I'm loving all of your support on my journey to be more domestic. I have friends sending me recipes all the time, blog followers inviting me to their recipe Facebook groups, and one-on-one lesson offers from close family/friends. I'm cooking usually 3-4 nights a week now, and enjoying every second of it. Thanks for your encouragement, friends! Hopefully I'll get the courage to bust out my crock pot next week...and manage to prep a meal for it BEFORE work.

Is it Spring yet?!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Can't wipe this smile off!

Hey friends, I'm back. Sometimes, Monday's just aren't a day for blogging...I couldn't make time for it, and that's okay.

Lately, I just find myself being happy, like more so than usual. It seems like this entire year has been nothing but blessings (aside from my poor car breaking down a few times...she's still alright!). I find myself being happy to wake up on a Monday, happy to get to the gym before 6AM, happy to come home and try a new recipe.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it felt like Spring last week? We almost got into the 70's one day. I couldn't believe it. As for today...there is a fresh huge pile of snow on the ground in Cincy, and I'm already ready to kiss it goodbye. I'm not quire sure what it is, but I'm just feeling extra blessed right now and can't help but smile most of my day.

What's making me smile right now?

Sweet little Nora willingly cuddle with Caleb and I last night. We played dress up, we loved on her, and loved on her some more. She is just the sweetest thing.

My chocolate protein shakes.

Getting some amazing, teary eyed news from an incredible friend recently.

Peppermint tea out of my favorite mug, daily.

A clean apartment. Seriously, its been GROSS lately. I won't hide that fact...dirty dishes, dirty laundry, blankets on the floor, 2 day old food wrappers on the counter, kitchen sink full, toothpaste crusted sink...okay, you get it. I spent about an hour last night cleaning it before bed. Caleb always pokes fun at me that I get these random cleaning spurts at the latest hours of the night. I just can't help it!

Getting our taxes done in FEBRUARY this year! GO US!

A spontaneous lunch date with this beauty yesterday.
No, this was not taken yesterday. I only wish it was this warm out!!
The cutest birth announcements from a dear friend...seriously, her daughters name is Posy. How adorable!?? & seriously, she's one of the most gorgeous little gals ever! I can't wait to meet her.

That baseball season starts in less than a couple short months. I can't WAIT to go to Red's games this year!

Finishing our summer bucket list!

So, what's making you happy this year?? I hope that even through the tough days, you find something to smile about :)

Friday, February 21, 2014


It's Friday! Hope you've had a great week. Mine has gotten significantly better since my horrible Monday, and tonight I have a fun overnight outing with the ladies of the youth group so I'm looking forward to that!

I've been so behind on blogs lately, and can't wait to catch up on all your lives! In the meantime though, what have I been up too? Well, currently I'm...

...stalking Anna Kendrick on IMDB, why is she so cute?! the middle of my first Jodi Picoult book, and loving it.

...obsessing over the salsa I made last night {recipe to come}.

...reading my journal entries from the week leading up to our wedding.

...sore, but excited about finally being able to keep a slower pace to run longer distances at the gym.

...wishing we were back in Mexico!

...geeking out over getting to meet Becky in a few short weeks when she comes for a visit!

...way too excited about meeting both Ashley and Anna this summer!!

...going on over a week with no pop.

...excited about a new opportunity that may expose my photography even more!

...pumped that Spring is almost here!!

...very happy my car is fixed.

Seriously, I'm so blessed. Yeah, my car may be nearing her end, but until then....I will drive her with pride. She gets me from point A to point B, she's not fancy, and she's a little dirty...but she's mine :)
I'm thankful for family, friends, and an amazing husband every single day. There are people out there with REAL problems...and right now? I can't find much to complain about.

Cheers to you, Friday!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A REAL case of the Monday's.

Monday night was a complete cluster. If I'm being honest, it was probably in the top 10 worst nights in my life. Let me just paint this picture for you.

I needed to hit up the ATM after work. Little did I know it was pouring down rain (in the middle of winter), and my go-to ATM didn't have a cover over I'm literally getting drenched. My entire left arm, and my face are soaked...along with the inside of my door. This wasn't exactly the perfect time for the ATM to tell me it was temporarily disabled and would be running in a moment...I realize my car is acting a bit wipers are going at a slugs pace, and every light on my dashboard starts blinking.
What in the world is going on!?!

I decide its time to roll my window up while the ATM got its crap together...but oh, window WOULDN'T GO BACK UP. I make sure my car is in drive, and I hit the gas to get out of there. Except, she (she = my car) wasn't moving. At. All. I am freaking out. I'm in the middle of a road, with a window down, soaking wet...and my car won't move. Did I mention there is someone behind me waiting for the ATM who didn't even bother to see if I was alright? Yeah, I thought that was cool.....

FINALLY, after about 4 minutes, my car decides to get with it and actually drive. At this point I'm too terrified to take it on the highway, so it was only logical in my mind to drive in a circle and get to the drive thru part of the bank, where there was shelter :)

It was absolute fate that my car broke down under that shelter. I couldn't help it, I could feel the tears coming. I was stuck!! Luckily, my hero came to rescue me (aka my husband). We thought a simple charge would do it...nope, when he took the cables off my car, she died again.

He runs to the store, buys me a battery....all is well (except you know, I was FROZEN). Luckily I had a blanket and extra gloves in my backseat. When he got there, he installed the new battery...and my car turned on! She seemed to be working...but my battery light was still on? Although this confused me to no end, I still made the 30 minute drive home safely.

After dinner, Caleb decides he wants to take it for a quick ride to be sure its safe for me to drive to work and back...we hit up the store, had some fun, and on our way car starts freaking out, AGAIN. There we are on the highway, headlights go out, radio stops working, lights on my dashboard are car was slowly taking her last breath of the night.

Thank God it didn't break down on the highway, we managed to get her into our subdivision before she stopped in the middle of the road. Here came the hard was 9PM, seriously so dark out...and Caleb and I had to push my car. I think we ended up pushing it a quarter mile, and my grandpa (bless his heart, he always comes to the rescue) came and called AAA so we could get a tow truck to take my car away.

All in all, the night was horrible, and my eyes were swollen. I mean really, who's car breaks down TWICE in one night?! 

Once we got back home, my husband gave ma a "late Valentines Day" present... and bless that man. He knows me so well. We are obviously obsessed with Disney, and MU is one of our favorite movies. He bought me the entire plush set of the "Oozma Kappa" clan.

That man knows exactly how to make me smile...and I'm so grateful for him. Through the entire night, breakdown after breakdown (both the car, and me), he never complained. Literally, not once. I can't believe I got so lucky to not only have such an amazing man, he's hot, too! ;)

I hope that through the crappy Monday's in life, you have someone to make you smile...whether that be your significant other, best friend, or grandma. You are loved :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

A newlywed valentines!

We had another "first" as a married couple -- our first V-day together! Now, if you read my Friday post, you realized we don't do anything huge for this holiday, so we knew we'd be keeping it low key after we got home for dinner.

Then the snow crazy. We decided though that we really needed a night out, it had been too long! SO, we made the treck to Texas Roadhouse, with our gift card in hand!! I had worked my butt off last week at the gym so I knew I wouldn't exactly be "holding back" at dinner that night...

Why yes...I DID "load" my sweet potato, thank you very much.

After stuffing myself to the brim for the first time in a while, we were ready to head home...but not after stopping by Target and picking up some puzzles. Remember Friday? How I promised we weren't 57 years old by staying in, renting a movie, and completing said puzzle?! Well...maybe now isn't the best time to tell you we fell asleep on the couch before 10 that night...

But let me tell you what, it was the best Valentine's ever...cause we're newlyweds.
& that freakin rocks.

Hope you had a great one, no matter WHAT you did! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Valentine!

Caleb and I never make a big fuss about this holiday. Yes, its a fun excuse to get dolled up and do dinner or whatever if we felt like it, and an excuse to decorate sugar cookies like crazy, and to craft our little fingers off, but honestly? I'm excited for tonight. We have no crazy plans.

I've mentioned we're trying not to spend a lot of money anymore as we're paying off debt...and we decided that saving money was more important than a fancy night out for us. We did get each other each a small gift, and I'm excited to give Caleb his! It's so him. So tonight? We're using a $30 gift card to get dinner at Texas Roadhouse (I know, we're so fancy its ridiculous), rent a movie (with our free promo-code) and finish a 1,000 piece puzzle (no, we're not 57 years old), and everything about that is so exciting to me. I'm so ready to get off work, and piece together a fun outfit for my hot date later!

I thought I'd include a fun picture from our wedding -- that shows how much we love each other, and it involves sweets...which is kind of the point of this holiday ;) -sidenote- I'd give anything to have those cupcakes from our wedding again. They. Were. PERFECT!

Sweets got me thinking back to older V-days, the only one that really sticks out to me is the one in 2010. Caleb and I had only been dating for a few months, and we went to dinner (off our college campus, it was glorious), at The Cheesecake Factory, and after, swapped gifts in my car.

What he gave me is one of my favorite presents to this very first Bible.

I couldn't believe it. It had "Kayla Lynn" on it... he now tells me he didn't want to put my last name on it, as it might be changing one day ;) smart cookie, he is.

Whatever your plans may be...whether extravagant, or simple, a night out with your man, or a night in with your girls, I hope its fantastic!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My ultimate running playlist.

Happy Thursday, folks! I just got back from the gym this morning where I had a hot date with a certain treadmill. Although...I'm not entirely convinced I'm actually awake yet as it was before 6AM when I got there. Good thing about the gym? The machines don't judge how awful you look before the sun rises.

As I was running, I thought to myself-- I should share my playlist, cause its pretty awesome if I do say so myself...and I know that I love when my fellow runners write posts like this, so I thought I should share some of my favorites!

First, it should come as no surprise to you that I love music. Literally, all types. I could go from Eminem to Christian, to Carrie Underwood, then Mumford and Sons. Basically, I'm all over the place.
When it comes to making a running playlist...I don't mess around.

I cant have a song on my playlist unless its fast, intense, and motivating. I recently made a playlist I'm so proud of, and the weird thing actually DOES keep me running. Running on a treadmill for miles truly is a mental game...I hate when I first start out, because I know I have so far ahead of me...but as I listen to these songs, I don't even think about how far I still have to go, I just GO.

I know a lot of you are fellow runners as well (I think I'm almost an official runner, guys!), so I thought I'd share this list with you!

Yaow- Baauer
Burn - Ellie Goulding
Wanted - Dara McLean
Black Betty - Ram Jam
Runaway - Bruno Mars
Walking On Air - Katy Perry
Lose My Breath
People Like Us - Kelly Clarkson
Pusher Love Girl - Justin Timberlake
Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo feat 2 Chainz
Breathe In Breathe Out - 116 Clique feat Lecrae
The Saints - Andy Mineo, Viktory and Canton Jones
Aint Nothin Wrong with That - Robert Rudolph & The Family Band

Some of those songs are by Christian artists. At first I thought it wouldn't be able to run to songs like that, as some Christian music is known to be a little more slow, and acoustic...BOY was I wrong. These guys are gettin itttt, and I just love running to it. I hope this list helps you, and keeps you motivated!

My task to you - when you choose to work out, or even just to dance, what's your GO-TO song?? 

Happy running!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Laughing at yourself.

The other night before bed Caleb and I were chatting about our days, and I started laughing so hard thinking about something so random...and I literally couldn't stop. Like, I started snorting at myself for no reason. In turn, it made him laugh and we just cracked up for about 10 minutes straight together. Call us kookoo, but I think it was pretty awesome.

I think its a real gift when we can learn to laugh at ourselves.
The other day at work, I straight up tripped over my own foot and totally got caught by the owner of our company...and we both just laughed for a moment...I had no explanation, it just happened.

Then I started looking through old, embarrassing pictures.
Ohh the memories.
Like when I look at this lovely shot of Caleb and I from my 21st birthday party...we are so attractive.

Or like the time at our wedding when Caleb and I had a (loving) cake war and these pictures of me turned out heinous!? As horrible as I look, this moment makes me laugh so hard.
Like the time I spilled my pomegranate tea on my cream colored blouse right before a big meeting.

How about when I took a drink of my brand new water in said meeting & completely missed my mouth, leading water to drip down my neck...and leave drop marks on my shirt, and got called out by a top advisor? Yeah...

I think my point of this post is...we all have some crap in our lives, in one form or another...but if we don't learn to take life a little less serious, we won't have that much fun. & life without fun doesn't sound like much of a life to me. If you haven't laughed lately...I hope these silly pictures did the job...and remember to never get too embarrassed of yourself. Its just life, anyway :)

In other news, my training is going well. I'm running up to 3 miles without stopping (which is already killing me) but considering the half marathon isn't until May, I've got plenty of time to build up more endurance. Two nights in a row Caleb and I killed it at the gym, and my body is sore everywhere, so tonight I'm taking a much needed "rest day", and we are making pasta for dinner. Mmmm....carbs.

Happy Hump Day, folks!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A little time off will motivate you.

At least it did for me. If you recall, I mentioned I took a fall two weeks ago and hurt my ankle, two days later it was a bruised, swollen mess. So, I decided to take the week off from running...and then last week? I was just plain lazy. I only hit the gym twice and was missing it badly. Am I the only one who loves the feeling of being sore? I seriously love it, because it lets me know my muscles are being worked and my body is CHANGING.

The other night a friend and I were talking about how we just aren't as confident in ourselves as we used to be...and you know what? It's a pretty crummy feeling. I hate that after I take a picture I worry if the angle made my already round face look rounder or not. I want to be fit, and KNOW that I'm treating my body well. I hadn't been working out, and I certainly was still watching what I ate, but not as closely as usual.

So on Saturday? Caleb and I decided to hit up the store...we came  home with a five, yes, FIVE pound bag of chocolate flavored protein powder, a pre-workout mix, and a cute new blender bottle for my shakes (she's pink!). 

It got me so excited again. I love the feeling of being INTENTIONAL with my workouts. I'll admit, I don't always LOVE going to the gym...but I'll tell you what I do love. The feeling I get when I'm done with my workout. Yes, it usually always sucks. Yes, I always sweat like a pig...and yes, I'm always freaking tired afterwards...but do I ever regret it? NEVER.

I'm more ready than ever to begin vigorously training for this half marathon, and get so excited thinking about running it with my people I love the most!

What keeps you motivated?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Friday nights in for the win!

There I was at work Friday afternoon, and realized Caleb and I had no plans at all for the night. So, I sat at my desk, and took it upon myself to start brainstorming free or cheap date night ideas for us to get into once we were off work. I text him this fun idea about using our gift cards for a movie/dinner date night, I was set on it. I would buy sour patch kids and he, the popcorn...and we'd see Frozen. It was just going to happen.
Until... "umm...babe, I've got a night planned with the guys, didn't I tell you?" happened.
wop wopppp.

So, instead of getting sad because my hypothetical plans had just crumbled right before me...I decided to embrace a night in, alone. I could've asked any number of my ladies to hang, but I decided I really needed a night off from everything. To sit, grab some food, sit in my comfy clothes and do whatever the heck I wanted.

What did I decide to do first? Be a fatty. Grab Chickfila. DONE.
Then...find my husband's comfiest clothes and get into them immediately.
Next? Facetime with my sweet friend Becky and plan out what we'll do when she comes to visit me next month! Still can't believe girlfriend bought a plane ticket and thought hanging out with me for an entire weekend sounded like a good idea ;) but I'm thankful she did.

Next? I decided I'd attempt drafting a few blog posts...until that didn't happen because I got distracted by Pinterest.

Then Erin found me on g-chat and we spent the next 3 hours (or more...I'm not kidding) acting like 14 year old on AIM. Sending each other hilarious pictures of ourselves, and essentially planning out the rest of our lives. Yes, we're that cool.

The next day was full of family, drinking a not-so-fancy-only-a-dollar Starbucks coffee, and hanging out with cute pups!

My point of this silly post? Friday nights in by yourself aren't too shabby. Take it from me, I had a blast all by my bad self. Hope your weekend was a success!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why we aren't ready for kids just yet.

It astounds me that so many people ask newly married young adults when they are having kids.
It really hit me though when someone from church asked us right after our honeymoon, and Caleb and I each had different answers.
Wowza. That was awkward.
With one of our favorite little gals, miss Nora. She's famous in this ole blog.
We've since then had many serious conversations about this. It also seems that God is tempting us with all these newborns at church, babysitting our favorite little gal up there, and all these adorable baby link ups that everyone and their sisters partake in on the blog world.

One thing is for sure. Caleb and I want kids, very, very badly. But, if we have anything to do with it, we want a few years to ourselves, just the two of us, to enjoy before we have to devote time to another human being besides each other. I often get what we like to call "baby fever", but have to step back and remember...we both have so much time. I'm only 22 years old, Caleb only 25. We are just starting our lives together, and have plenty of time to make those bigger decisions down the road.

For now, I'm happy without changing diapers, sleepless nights, and my bank account being drained on account of the adorable baby clothes at Target down the road.

One thing is for sure though, if we are blessed enough to have our own children, those babies will be so loved. I get so happy just with the thought of my Caleb becoming a daddy! I mean, look at him up there. As cheesy as it is, it almost brings me to tears when I see how amazing he is with children. I remember when we first started dating... my aunt told me I was never allowed to break up with him, because my young cousins would never forgive me. It cracks me up looking back, and I guess I never realized how blessed I am to have such an amazing husband that I know our children will look up too like crazy.

I just hope I can be as good of a momma as he will be a father! That's a scary thought!
How do you current momma's out there do it!? You all amaze me. Am I the only one terrified to be a momma one day!?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I freaking did it, you guys.
Like, a real, fresh meal.

Not "just add water" or "microwave for 45 seconds, then stir"... like, I chopped things, I diced things, I PREHEATED MY OVEN! I followed a hard (if you ask me) recipe! I was a spaz the entire time that dang quinoa was cooking but I did it, and on my first try.

I have had so many people give me recipes and I always threw out the ones that had more than around 3 ingredients...I'm lame, I know. Until last night...I put on my big girl pants, and picked up some ingredients to make Pizza Quinoa Casserole! My SIL did a blog post on this a couple weeks ago and I read it religiously on the iPad while cooking/chopping/dicing!

I can't believe it turns into a puffy cloud of goodness after just a few minutes!!

We added mushrooms cause we lovvvvve them here in this household.

All of that turned into THIS heavenly amazingness (yep, its a word)!

There is literally enough leftover for an army (okay, or maybe just 5 or 6 pre-packed lunches to take to work all week)!! I was so proud of myself, and Caleb just knew it. I think the smell radiating from the kitchen made him so happy, he was thrilled to take my picture when I asked :)

I'll definitely be making this again and again!
"Finally, my wife cooked something GOOD!" -what I assume Caleb is thinking.
So you ladies out there too scared to cook... DO IT! You won't be sorry. Although I'm pretty sure I'm the last one to this party, as you all have been telling me for MONTHS to just try real cooking, that I'd surprise myself...and I sure did. I even spent a couple hours earlier this week looking through multiple cookbooks and am so glad to say I found 4 more BRAND NEW RECIPES to try. Woohoo!

What's your favorite cold-weather meal?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What weekends do to me.

They straight up wear me OUT. Especially when they are as busy as mine was!
This weekend was one to remember though, that's for sure. I had a blast celebrating one of my best friends and her wedding weekend! Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at the church, and I was so happy my husband was there with me. We had fun listening to toasts and eating pizza catered in from a little shop in Dayton. Honestly, I have no words for the amount of fun I had Friday night into Saturday. I got to have a sleepover with my college besties, and I laughed so hard I almost got sick...ha! So, I'll let the thousand pictures I took do the talking. 
Rehearsal dinner.
Getting our nails done, and hitting up Cheesecake Factory!

Around 2:30AM, Lyndsie and I finally fell asleep (after laughing way too hard!)
When we woke was time for ALL THINGS WEDDING!
and their adorable pup, Bullet.
I was in LOVE with my hair, the stylist did a great job!!
"I feel like a real WIFE now!!"

Becca gifted us these robes the night before. LOVE!

As for Becca? She looked absolutely STUNNING...I teared up just looking at her!!

We had way too much fun this entire morning. We headed off to the church, and Becca got in her dress. Then it was time for a few selfies before she walked down that aisle!
Top left...yeah, I just couldn't stop sweating. Don't mind me :)
The ceremony was beautiful! I truly am so happy for the two of them. It was fun being in a wedding, I quite liked it. Can't wait for the next! As for the reception? It was STUNNING. I left my camera in the car for it on accident, but I can promise you it was gorgeous. She and her mom did an absolute gorgeous job on the venue. I was in love! Caleb and I had a great time, too. I'm thankful he had a place to stay while I crashed with the girls (thanks, Tyler!), and that I could squeeze him at the reception. Love this handsome man!

Sunday was another busy day. I had an engagement shoot in the early afternoon, and then also got to visit my grandpa Phil in the hospital. It was so great seeing him, and although he couldn't talk. He wrote notes and gestured most of his responses. We spent a good hour with him, and it was so great. Thanks for all your sweet prayers.

Once we got home, we had a few people over for a Superbowl party. All I have to say is -- that was the most uneventful game I've ever seen. The Bronco's got shut down, and the commercials weren't all that great this year. There were a few good ones, but overall I didn't love them...but hanging out witha a few of my favorite people definitely made up for it!
Hope you all had a fun weekend!