Halloweeny Weekending

Happy Halloween!!! For those of you who are teachers, God bless you and your patience for getting through the day today whole and sane!

My highlights this weekend included:

~Friday morning MG stayed at home to wait for the heat guy to come and fix our furnace since the heat had gone out sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, which kept us all nice and bundled up for those two nights! The guy had to come back Saturday morning to fix it again, but we're back in business! Thankful it's fixed! #lettherebeheat

~Friday at work was our school rewards for the fundraiser we had the week before (they raised around $75000!) which included the principal and two assistant principals in a dunk tank in 50 degree weather. I felt for them, but it was highly entertaining!

~a chill Friday night--grabbed dinner out at Chuy's since I was craving mexican and then headed home to watch this week's episode of Designated Survivor and Dateline, our Friday night guilty pleasure (which I'm pretty sure makes us old), except I couldn't stay awake for Dateline, which definitely makes me old
~early Saturday morning double massage with MG. I've been having some major headaches the last two weeks, and this massage was what I needed to get my neck and shoulder muscles relaxed. But, pregnancy massage is different...
~Met up with Christy and Holly for brunch in Old Town which involved breakfast food for Holly and green tomato and pimento grilled cheeses for Christy and myself (mouth wateringly good!) I love when Holly is in town because I get to see both of my bloggy friends at once and there's always lots of laughs! Added bonus: Christy supplied me with 2 new books to read #dealbooksnotdrugs 
~Spent a couple of hours after brunch walking through Old Town, wandering in and out of stores, gossiping and taking silly pics :)
~Saturday night we went to my friend's Birthday/Halloween/Housewarming party. It was fun to get to see her and her boyfriends' new place and celebrate! Plus, MG and I wore such a basic pregnancy couples outfit (but we loved it), even though some people were slow to pick up on it lol 
Also, it was weird to wear a shirt that was snug...most of what I've worn lately has been loose fitting. But there's definitely a bump going on over here! As I said on instagram, Halloween was "bumpin'" a little differently this year:
this bump may primarily be grilled cheese, but it's there nonetheless :)
~We ran our Sunday errands in the morning (typical), which included picking up Halloween candy (and then figuring out how much of it I wanted to put aside for myself muahahah)

~We sold our futon on Craigslist which is one more big item out of the future nursery area (and some extra $$ to go towards nursery things)

~Sunday afternoon I had my friend's daughter's first birthday party. It was so fun to watch her open her presents (well, play with them) and eat her cake. And MG was pretty eager to hold her, but didn't get the chance, which I thought was pretty cute! Definitely exciting to sort of look into our future :)
~We eventually headed home and took a walk around the lake by our house since it was 82 degrees outside! Hello, when did we move to Florida?? But it was nice to get out and get some exercise and fresh air!

~Made an impromptu visit to Best Buy since MG has been eyeing a new tv for our living room, and subsequently came home with a new one that's several inches bigger than the one we had before. Fun, semi-unexpected purchase, but the tv is amazing!

~Had Thai food for dinner, did some reading and watched some tv on the new screen before heading to bed to rest up for the work week ahead!

All in all, it was a busy but fun weekend filled with lots of friend time. Couldn't have asked for a better weekend! :)
Hoping yours was fun-filled, and you have a great Halloween night with lots of treats and no tricks!

Friday Faves: Baby Edition

Ok, so I've held it in for 3 months now, and pardon me while I spew baby related things for a little bit (I promise it won't take over everything). But this week I wanted to share some of my favorites since we found out that we're pregnant!

{1} The Announcement
I got the idea from a photo I saw on Pinterest of a couple changing a dog's diaper. I knew I wanted something that would be funny and not too serious. We've had enough serious with the IVF process, and I wanted this to be fun. Plus, Cooper was part of our engagement photos, and it only seemed right to include him in the baby announcement photos. 
My friend came over and took the pics for us that ended up in our announcement. We had a lot of fun, and a ton of laughs, posing Cooper in baby bibs, and feeding him a bottle (which he totally drank the milk from! lol). It took everything in me not to share it as soon as it was done.

{2} The Love and Support
Our family and friends have been incredible throughout our entire IVF process. And then after finding out we were pregnant, we've gotten so much love as well. Baby G already has 2 baby books waiting for him/her in the future baby room (which we've started to clear out from all of our "storage" items), and a super cute picture frame from my MIL, with baby G's ultrasound picture in it. (She's also been DYING to tell the news--we even had to shut her down about 6 weeks ago when she told people at our friends' wedding lol)
I've also really super appreciate my blog girls who have checked in on me, asked how we've been doing, etc. And my fellow IVF friends, who have been here and supported me through every step of this process. It's been incredible to have this support network and people to call and ask questions, freak out about meds, get advice (the pineapple one was key, Owen! haha) or whatever else this process holds.  It's been overwhelming in the most amazing way!

{3} Generosity
We have friends who have already given me maternity clothes for when I need it (not quite there yet, but getting close!), and others who have offered up their old baby things since you quickly realize just how much STUFF a baby needs. For you mamas out there, I'm gonna need some help figuring out what stuff is actually essential, and which things are just extra nice things to have. My SIL got me and MG books about baby (his is a Q&A for dads, and mine is a combination information book and journal to keep track of the process and my thoughts). We are truly blessed.

{4} The Baby Aisle/Decorating
This one sounds silly, but whenever we're at Target, MG and I frequent the baby aisle now. Before, I would pass it by, and longingly look at the adorable little clothes, and picture picking things out. And now, I just love walking through, imagining what our baby will look like, and all of the cute things I can dress him/her up in, which crib Baby G will sleep in...
And then the decor part comes in. We've had "that room" that we never did anything with because we knew it was going to eventually be the nursery. It's the only plain room on our top floor which always felt like a kind of reminder of what we didn't have (but it served us well as a storage room in the meantime). And now, all of the ideas I've been thinking of and finding on Pinterest are swimming through my head and I can't wait to get going with painting and decorating that room! (Pinterest now seems to only suggest pregnancy and food related pins to me...hmm..) :)
{via} Just one of a buuuuunch of ideas :)
{5} Ultrasounds
I've had 4 ultrasounds now since finding out we're pregnant. At the first one, we saw this teeeeeeny tiny flutter on this little bitty blob. That was the heartbeat. I sobbed...like full on sobbed, because it was the confirmation that our baby had a heartbeat and that this was more than just a positive pregnancy test.
 The next time, we saw this gummy bear shaped object with little arm and leg buds, and a beating heart in the middle and tiny wiggles. My mom was there with me for that one since MG was out of town and it was so cool to get to share that with her.
The third one was at my first OB appointment where we got to see the heartbeat again, but not as clearly since it wasn't a transvaginal ultrasound.
And this last one....there was a REAL baby in there, with kicking arms and legs, and a heart beating, and a big old head! (In this one you can see a little tiny foot and toes on the print out!) And we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time instead of just seeing it, which had me tearing up all over again. 
These appointments are magical and I treasure every time we get to see our baby and we seriously revel at how much it has changed in the past few months and weeks even. 

Thanks for indulging me in this today--and thank you all for your messages of congrats on my blog, your sweet prayers and thoughts throughout our journey, and for the private emails and messages you've sent! I can't tell you how much it means to me and how much it has helped with this process! Sending you all lots of love as we head into the weekend!

The One With the Baby!!!!

Some of you may have seen on social media Tuesday night, but MG and I are SO excited to announce that we are 
Cooper was actually a very easy and willing participant in these photos...love that dog :)
For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know that this wasn't a quick or easy road for us. It involved lots of tears, doctors appointments, shots, medical bills, medicine....but in the end, it was all worth it!

We are over the moon excited! It's taken so much effort not to shout this from the rooftops as soon as we found out, and I'll definitely be sharing the details of our journey, how we found out, how I surprised MG with the news (which was rather tricky since we were doing the whole IVF thing), and how we told our families. But for today, I'm just leaving this happy piece of information here to revel in!

With November, the month of thanks, coming up in the next few days, we definitely have a LOT to be thankful for this year! 

WHW {#64}: Falling for Fall

It's Wednesday, so you know what time it is!!
Since Fall is seemingly in full force around here (weather consistently in the 50's and 60's), I've been pinning Fall inspired things-food, clothes, decor/crafts--and thought I'd share some of my favorites!
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I always think it's fun to see all of the creative ways people make decor or craft things for their houses. I never seem to get around to doing them, but maybe that will change this year....maybe :)

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Give me all the plaid! Love the comfy coziness of these outfits. And the boots with the touch of plaid? To die!

Obviously Fall food is a favorite--all of those comfort foods, sweet cinnamon flavors and just overall richness! I love it. These were some new ones I found:
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I love infused water, but haven't tried a Fall-inspired one...yet!
I love love love cinnamon apple chips, but have never made them myself--that might have to change this year!
Pumpkin risotto with cranberries and goat cheese? Sounds pretty decadent to me!

What are some of your favorite Fall items? Are you as obsessed with plaid as I am this time of year?

Link up with Jessi and I below and share what's hap-"pinning" with you! It can be anything, not just pinterest related stuff!

{Recipe Files}:Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

You guys ready for another delicious and pretty healthy recipe?
My friend Trish told me about buffalo chicken zucchini boats and I was all over trying them--luckily I did and they were a HUGE hit in our house!
What You Need:
~2 large zucchini
~1 can chicken breast, drained (or 1 lb chicken shredded)
~2 Tbsp flour
~1/2 tsp pepper (original recipe called for 1/2 tsp salt, but I dont think you need it)
~1 carrot, shredded (I used a few baby carrots and my food processor)
~1 rib of celery, diced (I left this out since I didn't have it)
~3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese, divided
~3 Tbsp buffalo sauce
~3 tbsp ranch or blue cheese dressing
*Optional: 1/4 C blue cheese crumbles (I left this off, but they would be delicious)

What You Do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350F then line a baking sheet with foil (and spray) or a baking mat (no spray needed). 

2. While the oven is heating up, cut your zucchini in half lengthwise, then using a melon baller or a spoon, scoop out the middle of each half. I left a little bit of a lip at both ends so it would help hold the filling in on either side. (I had a grapefruit spoon which really helped). Reserve about 1/2 cup of the scraped portion for the filling.

3. In a bowl, mix the chicken (make sure there are no chunks if using the canned chicken breast), flour, pepper (and salt if using), carrot, celery, the 1/2 C of zucchini filling, 1/2 C cheddar cheese, buffalo sauce, ranch/blue cheese dressing and the blue cheese crumbles, if you're using them.

4. Place the zucchini with the scraped side up, and fill each boat with the mixture. It's ok if these are heaping (this makes a lot). Top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes and enjoy!
We had ours with an extra side of the blue cheese dressing and it was delicious! They were also still good as leftovers the next day!

Family Weekending

I'm coming off of a really nice weekend with my in-laws and some full Fall weather! And just like that, we're in the last week of October!

The highlights this weekend included:

~a gorgeous sunrise Friday morning
~Friday sushi date night with MG
~This lady walking in at the end of our dinner with a tortilla chip stuck to the back of her vest....in the Asian restaurant (where they don't serve tortilla chips)
~Attempted watching the movie about Steve Jobs. MG managed to stay awake but the Friday night tireds came over me

~Saturday morning we had casual weekend coffee (my favorite), breakfast and cleaned up around the house for my in-laws' arrival
~I baked some cinnamon swirl muffins which had the house smelling even more delicious than the candles we had burning
~Spent the early afternoon catching up before getting ready to head out to dinner

~Stopped by the mall since we were really early and looked at furniture stores. Ended up finding the softest, most comfortable sheets at West Elm. Bigger score--they were 20% off!
~Went to dinner at Founding Farmers--we had some drinks while we waited for our table, and then my MIL and I split the lobster mac and cheese, and the crab cakes. Both were SO good! #sharingiscaring
~Came home and immediately changed into sweats because....elastic waistband haha and watched the new Ghostbusters (lame) and then the start of Saturday Night Live before to bed

~Had breakfast together Sunday morning at the house, then the guys went off for a bike ride while I got in some time cuddling with the dogs....when they weren't staring out the front door
~Had my jaw on the floor when I saw the types of dresses some of the high school 16 year olds are wearing to Homecoming now. Uhh, for the record, if I have a daughter and she ever came home with a dress like the middle one (or as tight and short as the right one), I would send her ass back to the store to return it. My SIL said the dads were super uncomfortable there (rightfully so!!!). So glad my niece knows how to dress appropriately because this honestly made me sick. They are 16!!!!
~Had lunch at YardHouse before my in-laws hit the road to head back home

~ran errands for the week and had a really low key rest of the night which included finishing watching the Hamilton doc on PBS (if you haven't seen it, definitely watch it, especially if you're obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack and Broadway show like I am)!

And with that, the weekend was over, and we're back at it with another work week!
Hoping yours was perfection! :)


Today is my parents' 37th wedding anniversary. And it's the first one that my dad isn't here to celebrate with my mom. 
It's another one of those "firsts" after losing someone that you realize. Sometimes you see the date coming up and it's almost like you dread it. And other times, life is busy and you realize the day before and it kind of smacks you in the face. Either way, it's not easy.

I'm sad for my mom that this is the first wedding anniversary that she won't have my dad around for. I know the best thing that I can do is to be here for her and listen if she needs it, and offer hugs and support.

Life isn't fair sometimes, but I will say this again: I'm so lucky to have the kind of dad who was so good, that he's missed so much.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. I love you both, to the moon and back.

WHW {#63}

Happy What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday, friends! 
Reading ...
Memories of Heaven by Wayne Dyer
Love all of the spiritual stories in this book from kids. It's definitely been my nightly happy place read.
Watching ...
All the Bravo shows (as always), including Yours, Mine, and Ours which has become a new favorite in our house. MG and I also got on the Designated Survivor train and are really liking it. And we discovered West World. Holy crazy--totally great show if you have HBO!
Well, I told you guys about that delicious smores dish from our triple date night on Saturday, but then on Monday I made a tomato tortellini soup (despite the 80 degree weather outside) and oh my word, it was SO good. MG and I both slurped it up to many "mmm's" and "this is SO good"s. Will be posting the recipe soon!
Looking forward to ... 
MG's parents are coming into town this weekend for a visit, so it'll be fun to catch up with them and we already have a delicious restaurant picked for dinner on Saturday night!

that certain high maintenance families in our county would wake up and realize that the world doesn't revolve around them. And also wishing that our county would start sticking up for teachers and staff more than they do, instead of allowing hours and hours of pointless meetings, and bending to the will of these crazy pants parents. I jokingly/semi-seriously said to MG the other night that I feel like we're only a few steps away from parents water boarding us in meetings to get what they want.

Enjoying ...
the last bit of Summer weather. Although it feels kind of out of nowhere, the last little kick of 80 degree weather has lent itself to some nice after-work walks and outdoor activities before it goes into full blown Fall again.

lemon and cucumber infused water. It is OH so good and refreshing!

on my friend who lost her mom to breast cancer last week. It's the first time a close friend of mine has lost a parent since I lost my dad, and it's brought up all of the emotions I felt during that time. I've been doing my best to be there for her how she was for me. It's just never easy, but it's better knowing you have people to lean on and love you.

Wanting ... 
for it not to be true that Luke Perry is really on the cover of AARP magazine 
Where's the young, hot Dylan McKay I'm so used to seeing? Oh, right...he got older, like me lol

Wearing ...
well, because of the 80 degree weather my dresses and capris have gotten one last run around the block which was a surprise since I'd already changed out my closet.

Add caption
Grateful For...
friends and family who willingly listen to your troubles from the day so you can vent, get it out, and move on.

Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Three Things

My buddy Stephanie posted this little Q&A the other week and I thought it was fun, so I decided to borrow the idea from her!

Three things I'd never give up
Chapstick, Cheese, the Loft

Three favorite vegetables
baby carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end
The Good Wife (although this was a massive binge), The Cosby Show, Gilmore Girls

Three places I want to visit inside the US
Hawaii, Nashville, Napa

Three places I want to visit outside the US
Portugal, Spain, Amsterdam

Three things I always have with me
Chapstick, hairbrush, a pen

Three things that are always in my car
Spare pair of sunglasses, change for meters, charger for my phone

Three most recent phone calls were to/from
My bestie Genna, MG, my friend Kelly

Three books I read and loved in college
I can't remember what books I read in college other than textbooks, so I'll share three of my favorite books overall:

Bread &Wine, The Royal We, Harry Potter series

Three most often used makeup products
eye shadow, eye liner, concealer

Three things that make me laugh
MG pretty much daily, funny kids, Cooper in crazy dog mode

Three things that make me cry
thinking about my Dad, sad parts in movies, when people lose pets

What are your three things?

Weekending Highlights

Wasn't it just like a second ago that we were talking about it being October first and all of a sudden it's mid-October. I feel like time really is warp speeding forward!

Our weekend was pretty relaxed and chill, but had some highlights as well!

~Friday date night in our old stomping grounds and then came home and got caught up on Designated Survivor before heading to bed early since we were both wiped from the week

~Did some cleaning and purging and took a huge car load to Goodwill. Always feels good to purge!

~Ran to the mall to exchange something at Loft (surprise surprise) and then picked up these yummy smelling soaps from Bath and Body Works for $2.95 each!
~Had the Fall candles going in the house, with the windows open, letting in the crisp Fall-ness

~Went out to DC and tried out a new-to-us restaurant, Teddy and the Bully Bar, with two other couples. The apps were great, and our entrees were so so, but the dessert....my friend and I decided to split the Smores dessert while MG split another dessert with her husband. We by far won the dessert picking, because the Smores dish was SO delicious and decadent. My pancreas definitely went into sugar shock afterwards haha
just looking at it reminds me of the yummy goodness!
~Got home a little before midnight and headed to bed

~Sunday morning errands, including a trip to Costco to get a new Sonicare toothbrush since mine has decided it's possessed and randomly turns on and off buzzing which scares the crap out of me when it happens while you're sleeping. Ask me how I know this.

~Met up with our friends Emily and Dave who we haven't seen in a bit, to watch the Eagles/Skins game. MG is an Eagles fan and I've been a Skins fan since my dad used to watch them growing up. It's a fun inter-house rivalry we have going on every time our teams play. Luckily for me, my Skins pulled out a win and I politely rubbed it in MG's face :)
~Lots of apps and drinks were had. And perhaps one or two...or a thousand bud lights lol
~Headed home to some gorgeous mid 70 degree weather and relaxed for the rest of the evening before another work week with some Cooper cuddles to round out the weekend :)

So, overall, we got in some friend time but nothing too nuts. It was a great weekend and the weather could not have been better!
Hoping your weekend was gorgeous too!

Thursday Thoughts

Thankfully it's already Thursday! Although it's one of my two busiest days of the work week, it means we're that much closer to the weekend, which makes me happy (no I'm not wishing away my days, but this girl likes to relax on the weekends!)
Anyway, before all of that, I'm sharing some random thoughts and confessions this week with you!

~The other day on my drive to work I sneezed twice right before making a turn at an intersection, and my life flashed before my eyes #ahhhhhhh
~There was an entire tray of leftover cookies in the teacher's lounge from lunch we had the day before and I totally took 3 of them (but I didnt eat them all in one day, promise!) #greedy
~I woke up on Tuesday morning and it was 45 degrees outside, and suddenly I wondered if I was still in Minnesota. I wasn't. 

~There's a tech person at my work who insists that I should be at meetings that I don't need to be at. All of my information is the same (or less) than what the teacher knows and can share, so WHY is this woman insisting that I'm there? #I'mattwoschoolsforareason #aintgottimefordumbmeetings
~If you put corn flakes on a bowl of ice cream, it makes it taste like you're eating an ice cream cone #funfact 

~Anyone else ready for this election and all of the nonsense around it to be over? I think I was ready about 6 months ago. #makeitstop
~I have to test a student who used to go to my school, but now goes to private school, even though this kid isn't going to be coming to my school again, because the parents are trying to prove that our school system should pay for her private school. So now I have to make room in my schedule to get this done in the next week... #thisiswhatyourtaxdollarspayfor

~I never understand people who speak at regular volume (or louder) in public places like trains, airport gates, etc. It's like you have no respect for the people around you who are just trying to mind their own business, not take part in yours.  #STFU
~I had a 5th grade boy bring an apple with him to my room. After a few minutes I looked over and the apple was gone and he hadn't gotten up from his seat. He ate the whole thing including the core. Whaaaaaaat??? #someoneshungry

~Delta has Biscoff cookies as one of their in-flight snacks and when I got those, my day was complete! Biscoff cookies are the best!!
And with that yummy note, I'm off!

WHW {#62}: Minnesota Recap

Happy What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday, friends!
I thought that since I was gone on Monday and didn't get to recap our annual trip to Minnesota, I'd post about it here today!

Woke up early to head to the airport for our 10am flight, only to find out that there was a "technical upgrade" happening and we would be getting an update on it when our flight was supposed to be leaving. 
Unfortunately, we had a connection in Chicago that was only an hour, and around 9:30 they told us the update would be coming at noon which totally ruined our chances of making the connecting flight. Thankfully MG has an insane status with the airline so he called and got us booked on a direct flight with Delta that had us arriving at the same time we would have landed had we flown through Chicago.

Instead of sitting in first class with full lie back chairs, we were stuck in the economy group, but it was fine because we were actually getting there.

Once we arrived, our friend Kev picked us up with his two boys in the car. They were super eager to have Uncle MG sit with them in the back!

We got to the house after a trip to Starbucks where I had my first PSL of the season (so so yummy!) and got to hang out with Michelle and their adorable little girl. 

The guys and the kids went outside to play football while Michelle and I caught up and then it was time to get ready to head out to dinner.

We had reservations at 7:30 at The Borough, but since we arrived early, we stopped in their downstairs bar, The Parlour, for some super fancy cocktails. And BOY were they delicious!!! I ordered "The Weapon of Mass Seduction" and wow! Loved it!
After downing those cocktails, it was time for our reservation and we got another round of fancy drinks and some of the best tasting food! One plate included rabbit ravioli (sounds disgusting, and I didn't realize it was rabbit when we ordered it, but oh.my.word it was insanely good!) I didn't take any pics because we were too busy chatting and stuffing our faces lol, but here's a shot of the restaurant (and where we were sitting):
Afterwards, we went home and got some stories from the babysitter about the kids, and then spent a couple of hours just chatting and hanging out before heading to bed.

The next morning we were up and at 'em early to get breakfast and head to the Vikings Texans game!  Before we left, the boys and I did a little bit of Snapchatting, though:
this one is my absolute favorite!
We got there around 10:45 and parked in the players and coaches lot, and then got to go down onto the field pre-game.
You guys. This stadium is INSANE! It's SO big...and they have this wall of windows at the front of the stadium that they can open on nice weather days, which they did on Sunday and it was incredible. They have charging stations for phones, and they also have an incredible amount of food choices, not your standard hotdogs and nachos. And let me tell you, the acoustics in this place are NO JOKE! It was loud in the metrodome and it is crazy in the new stadium!

After spending time on the field, watching the players come out and warm up, saying hi to Kev, we walked to the family room to grab some drinks and food before heading to our seats.
The game was SO good! The Vikings were 4-0 going into the game, and at the end of the game, they are the only team in the league who is still undefeated! 
After the game, some drinks, and some yummy (and expensive) hotdogs, we headed out to the parking lot to do a little tailgating while we waited for Kev to finish up and come out. 
so dirty
Meanwhile, we got to see lots of players leaving including Adrian Peterson and Sam Bradford who I was able to snap photos of. We chatted it up with some of the coaches who stopped by our car for a drink and had fun tossing the football with the boys before heading home.
A. P.
This little one just stole the show with her Viking's spirit! :)
We came home and had dinner, more drinks and just hung out and relaxed, celebrating the Viking's win. 

The next morning Kev was back at work, and we got to spend a little bit of time with the kids before we headed off to the airport to catch our flight back home. We got our first class seats this time, which was a fun experience and nice to have some extra leg room since the plane was a really tiny one!
All in all it was an awesome weekend! We always have a great time with these friends, and just wish that we got to see them more often! In the meantime, SKOL VIKINGS!!!
Now it's your turn to share what's hap-"pinning" with you by linking up with Jessi and I below! It can be about anything that's going on with you, so link up!