Family

2014 – Small Moments

I considered doing a 2014 wrap-up post like everyone else, but that’s sort of what our Christmas Card post was. (If you missed it, check it out here.) We’ve had quite an eventful year.

I decided to share some of the smaller moments from 2014, because sometimes the little things make just as much of an impact as the big things.

new car

We bought two new cars this year. I took this picture right after we got the first. I was super excited that the shades had mirrors with lights. Like I said, it’s the little things.

rainbow

This is a crappy cell phone picture of a rainbow after a storm. I took this one Sunday evening when I had to go up to Missouri State to inoculate cells. I hated those Sunday night trips to campus, but a little piece of me misses it now.

pillow

This picture is important because Libby is cute, and because I have no idea where that pretty throw pillow is. It (and all of our other throw pillows) got lost somehow in the move (how do you even lose a throw pillow???) and I’m afraid it’s officially lost forever. RIP throw pillows.

tweet

That one time Parks and Rec retweeted me.

family pic

I just love this little picture of the three of us. (There’s that throw pillow again.)

journal articles

Of course I had to get a picture with my beloved journal articles before I left Missouri State.

plants

I got these pretty plants as a house-warming gift when we moved into our apartment. They’re both dead now.

mom

I love this dorky picture of me and my mom. Rain will not stop us from shopping!

game night

The first of many games nights with new friends. So thankful for the community God has blessed us with here in KC.

bible

I found this in my childhood bible as I was organizing things in our new place. Such a sweet reminder of the way the Lord has been working in my life for so many years.

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This is a picture of me trying to be cool, but I got self-conscious and never posted it. Also if you look closely there’s a button missing on my coat.

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Probably my favorite picture of 2014.

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Probably my second favorite picture of 2014.

Okay sorry for the picture overload y’all. I could of posted so many more! Going through all of my cell phone pictures made me realize I take pictures of weird stuff.

We had a great year. I have a feeling 2015 is going to be just as great.

Chevron Afghan

My friend Amy posted about an afghan she recently made, which reminded me that I hadn’t blogged about my most recent project!

I made Brad’s dad an afghan two Christmases ago, and I made his mom one last Christmas, so I wanted to make one for his sister Heather this year! I decided to go with the colors of her sorority (Sigma Sigma Sigma).

I looooooooooove how this one turned out. It is one of my favorites! I think the colors are really striking and it’s the perfect size. I’ve struggled with the chevron pattern in the past, but I didn’t make any mistakes on this one!

I don’t have a pattern for this. Just search chevron afghan pattern on Pinterest or Youtube and there are tons of tutorials. I don’t remember what site I used to originally get it started because that was back in May! The chevron pattern is pretty easy, you just have to pay attention when you start and at the ends of each row.

chevon afghan

(Please ignore our gross carpeting. **apartment living**)

chevron afghan

chevron afghan

me and heather

Heather was so excited and surprised to open the afghan! I thought she might suspect that she would get one, but she didn’t! I love making afghans as gifts. I wish I could make one for everyone I know!

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Funny story about this afghan:

I bought the yarn at Joann’s Fabrics in Belton way back in May. I bought a jumbo roll of each color, so I figured that would be plenty of yarn to complete it. In November, I was about 3/4 done with the afghan when I ran out of the purple color since I used more of it than the black and white. I had already thrown away the paper that said the brand and the name of the color. Brad and I went to so many places that sold yarn around Kansas City and couldn’t find it anywhere!!! PANIC! We went on a trip to Oklahoma for Brad’s work and to see some of my family. While we were there, my aunt and I went to a Joann’s Fabrics and FOUND THE YARN! PTL!!! Lesson learned: always buy extra yarn, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

Graduation

I moved to Kansas City almost two weeks ago, but my graduation from Missouri State was on Friday. I was blessed that a lot of my family was able to come for it!

Here are some pictures from graduation day.

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This is my lovely friend Michelle. She began as my labmate and became one of my best friends. I am so thankful that The Lord placed her in my life. My experience at MSU would not have been what it was without her. I already miss seeing her everyday! Next she’s off to get her Ph.D. at Mizzou!

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Brad’s dad Danny managed to snap this picture right before it started to rain after graduation was over.

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Luckily we took pictures ahead of time!

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Michelle and I were fortunate to have a great adviser. I’m so thankful for how much he invested in me to make sure my time at MSU was successful.

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We love our hoods!! My favorite thing about it is that it is Gryffindor colors.

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One of my proudest accomplishments at MSU was winning the Outstanding Teaching Assistant award. Even better, I got to share the honor with Michelle! We’re both such great TA’s they just couldn’t choose between us. Just kidding. But seriously.

But seriously, it was really nice to be recognized for the effort I put into my TA duties. I sure am going to miss teaching.

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Both of my grandmas got to come to graduation!

My dad’s mom (left) came in from California earlier last week. It’s been really nice to spend quality time with her since I don’t get to see her very often.

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True story: I immediately spotted my family when I walked into graduation because I was able to spot Dylan. He stands out in a crowd.

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Me and my parents. They’re great.

After graduation my family headed back to Raymore and Brad and I stayed in Springfield for the weekend. It was really great to spend time with some of our friends in southwest Missouri before we left it for good. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures, so we’re going to jump to Sunday night.

After we got back to Kansas City on Sunday, we went to Bucca di Beppo on the plaza for my graduation celebration.

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This picture is blurry, but I had to take it quick because my grandmas were being so cute. I love that they’ve made a friendship over all these years since they’ve been sharing grandchildren.

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Luckily Bucca di Beppo has a great place for photo ops right outside of it. Here’s me and my mom.

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The whole fam.

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Everyone that came!! I felt so blessed being surrounding by these family and friends.

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And I saved the prettiest for last! Me and my best friend Casie FINALLY live in the same town again. PTL!

In other news…. Brad and I put in a deposit on an apartment today! More details coming soon!!

Memories in the Kitchen

I was browsing Pinterest today and stumbled across this pin:

Kitchen spot

I was at my parents’ house for a quick trip to KC yesterday, so feelings of home are fresh in my mind. This pin got me thinking about growing up and spending time in the kitchen with family.

I love my mom’s kitchen. There’s plenty of counter space to sit on no matter how many times she tells me to get off. (She probably thought I’d eventually grow out of the compulsion to sit on the countertop.) I probably have more memories in the kitchen than any other room in my parents’ house. My mom taught me how to cook in the kitchen. In high school we’d sit at the bar while I told her my adolescent woes. College breaks had me sitting on the counter while I watched her make my favorite meals while I was home. Lately my visits consist of Brad, my parents and me sipping coffee in the kitchen while we chat about the future.

Brad and I aren’t planning on having kiddos any time soon, but we are thinking and praying about what we desire for our family. I treasure these memories and I’m looking forward to making new ones with our future family!

Libby

Libs. Libsy. Pup. Pups. Pup-Pup. Puppy-Puppy. Doge. Cuddle Pup. Bub. Kid. Pupperoni.

These are the nicknames Libby has accrued over the last month that we’ve had her. It’s a wonder she still knows her name is Libby.

I sat down to do a “Lately” post, but when I began looking through the pictures on my phone, I realized that Libby was featured in about 95% of them. So I decided to do a little post about our newest family member!

Brad and Libby have become best buds.

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See, best buds.

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I get to enjoy sunsets like these on our nightly walks.

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We’ve taken a lot of family photos.

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And a lot of selfies.

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We even taught her how to drive!

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Our little pup has been a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to the weather warming up so we can take her on more and longer walks!

Our Christmas Week

Our Christmas week included baptisms, hospital visits, Christmas carols, a death, time with family, gifts, a funeral, and a new dog. Now as I sit in our home in Springfield I feel as if we finally got off the emotional roller coaster we had been on since last Saturday.

Many people have asked me how my Christmas was, to which I replied some version of Oh, it was a crazy week, because no one wants to hear that your Christmas included a funeral. My grandma’s husband, Frank, passed away on Christmas Eve. He had been battling poor health for several years now, and we had been expecting his passing for a while, but it is still difficult to deal with loss during Christmas time. However, we are joyous that he is now with The Lord, and no longer has to endure the physical obstacles he had faced for the past few years. Also, we were blessed to have two of his kids join in on our family Christmas. My favorite moment of the week was in my grandma’s basement with all of our family singing Christmas carols, led by my dad and husband before we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and opened gifts. It was such a special experience and we decided to make it a new family tradition.

christmas carols

It was a difficult week, but I was constantly reminded of God’s goodness. I’m incredibly blessed to have a family that trusts in the Lord, and a husband that leads me with gentleness and truth.

You can read Frank’s obituary here.

Brad and I experienced a lot of joy this week as well! Our week began at Freshwater Church, Bolivar, where we had our first baptism service! God had been so good during these first four months as a church and it was so exciting to celebrate four people’s lives that have been changed because of the gospel! We also had a wonderful visit with both of our families. We even got a TV (thanks Lea!!)!

But our favorite Christmas gift was one that we had not expected at all! On Christmas we got together with Brad’s mom’s family at his grandmother’s house. His grandmother is getting married and moving soon, so she was looking for someone to take her dog. Brad and I have been wanting a dog, and we’ve always loved hers, so we called our landlord to see if it was okay if we got a dog. He said it was fine, so we picked her up the next day! Her name is Libby and she is a little cutie. She is 3/4 dachshund and 1/4 miniature pincher, so she mostly looks like a wiener dog, but not as long. We think she is dealing with a little bit of separation anxiety right now, but other than that she’s doing really well! She’s one of the most chill dogs ever and is mostly content to just sit by you (or on you). I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty of her on my Twitter and Instagram!

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I hope that you had a wonderful time with family and friends this Christmas. I pray that you experienced the joy of giving, and the blessing of Emmanuel, Christ with us, this year.

Bartlett Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from the Bartletts!

merry christmas

We were considering whether or not to send Christmas cards, because let’s be honest, they’re kind of expensive, and most of the people that we would send Christmas cards to keep up with this blog, so people already know what we’ve been up to for the past year! So instead of sending cards out, we are doing this blog post. Brad will be joining me on this post and he will be writing in italics.

I will be writing in italics.

Okay here we go! (Also I’ll link to any past blogs I refer to if you want to read more.)

That way, she gets more views.

This was our first full year living in Springfield and as a married couple. We traveled, made new friends, tried new things, and helped plant a church.

For spring break, we decided to take a little road trip to Memphis, TN (I did two posts about this trip. You can see them here and here). It was close enough to drive and neither of us had ever been there before.

It ended up being the most expensive trip EVER!

Brad is right. On our way home back into town our car unexpectedly broke down. Zena the ZX2 had seen its last days.

Fortunately, the Lord is good and we found a great new-to-us car. It’s name is The Blueberry, our first big purchase as a married couple.

Except for that ring!

New car!!

This summer, we had the pleasure of being in two weddings. We both did the scripture reading in Matt and Molly’s wedding, and Brad was a groomsman in his friend Tyler’s wedding.

matt and molly

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(I just noticed I wore the same dress to both weddings. Haha)

We also went to Silver Dollar City like, a million times. We made sure to ride every roller coaster each time we went, and always ended our day with a funnel cake. How we didn’t throw up each time is beyond me. We went enough times that we got a super cool Christmas tree ornament!

funnel cake

sdc

One thing that Brad and I have always enjoyed doing together is running. We spent many evenings running at the wellness center at SBU when we were first dating. A year ago, we did a mile-a-day challenge in which we ran at least one mile every day during the month of December. That month was a great kick-starter into a year of fitness. We ran several 5Ks together this year and after pushing ourselves all summer and into the fall, we both met big goals. Brad ran his first HALF MARATHON!! And in helping him train, I was able to make it to 6 miles! I really appreciate having a husband that pushes me to be fit and healthy! A few years ago, neither of us would have thought that we would be able to run as far as we have.

half marathon!

It felt so great to finally reach such a big milestone! It was tough, but crossing that finish line made it all worth it.

We plan to run a half marathon together sometime in 2014!

This fall, we got to take another little road trip. Brad is an admissions counselor at SBU, so he has to travel to college fairs in his territory for a couple of months in the fall. He happened to have a college fair in Illinois during my fall break, so I got to go with him! This time SBU provided a rental car, so we didn’t have to worry about a repeat of our first road trip this year.

I got the chance to rent several awesome cars, and travel to some more great places throughout the Midwest. This was my longest trip of the season, so Katelyn’s fall break fell at a great time.

On our way home from Illinois, we were able to stay in St. Louis for one night. We went to the City Museum, which was really fun!

I was able to finally conquer some height-fear issues.

Then we were able get together with my old friend Lauren and her husband before we headed back to Springfield. It was a nice getaway. You can read more about the trip here.

city museum

Another huge part of our lives this year has been Freshwater Church.

The past year has been a blur when it comes to Freshwater Church. It seems like only yesterday that myself and a couple of men from Bolivar were sitting in a Panera Bread, dreaming of what a church in northern Springfield would look like. Now we have been meeting for over a year, and have had more than a hundred people enter our doors. It’s been a huge blessing to do life with these people, and in our next (and what will likely be our last) six months we are excited to see what the Lord will do with Freshwater Church Springfield.

Freshwater

My time at MSU is quickly coming to a close as I am about to begin my last semester of grad school. (Read about it here and here.) I’m finishing up my first publication right now and I plan to publish one more time sometime in the spring. My time at MSU has been a huge blessing and I’m so thankful for the people that I’ve met there and what I’ve learned. I’ll be sad to leave when I graduate, but I’m excited to see what is next!

Best of all, I’ve had awesome labmates!

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I also got to teach a class of all Chinese students from Qingdao University. It was a huge challenge, but such a blessing to teach them. It was so fun to get to know them and to see them learn over the semester. Getting to teach has been one of my favorite things about grad school. I’d love to get to teach again in the future.

A few more highlights of the year have been having Brad’s sister here in Springfield with us as she goes to MSU, my brother Dylan now plays baseball for Pittsburg State University, we went to our first marriage conference in February, our hometown Kansas City is actually having a great year sports-wise, and we got super obsessed with the TV show Parks and Rec this year.

Brad and I have one more week of work and school, then we are headed to KC for Christmas! We are blessed to get a week and a half break.

From us to you, we want to wish you all a very merry Christmas! May you be blessed to end the year with great memories as well. We can’t wait to see where 2014 takes us, and you can count on us sharing it with you!

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Christmas Bags, a family tradition

I love holiday family traditions. I was blessed to grow up in a great community of families. At Christmas time, everyone usually buys presents for their family members, but my family also wanted to show our friends how much we love and appreciate them by giving them bags full of Christmas goodies. This tradition began one year when my family arrived home to find a Christmas popcorn bowl full of treats from my mom’s good friend Carrie. We were so blessed by this surprise that we decided to make it a tradition of our own. Each year we would spend a Saturday in December in the kitchen making breads, cookies, and chocolate covered pretzels. We would buy plain brown paper bags to decorate, then my brother and I would deliver them in person.

There are so many aspects about this Christmas tradition that I love. Your family friends get something to munch on during the Christmas season, we spent quality time together as a family making and filling the bags, and my brother and I got the joy of chatting with our friends and wishing them a Merry Christmas when we dropped off their bags.

As Brad and I began building our own family traditions, I knew that this was one I wanted to continue for not only Brad and me, but also with our children in the future.

Growing up, we had too many family friends to make bags for all of them, so we switched it up every year. Brad and I have adopted this part of the tradition too. It’s so hard to decide who to give them to, but what a great problem to have! We’re so blessed to have such a great community here in Springfield.

We had a blast making and handing out our bags this weekend. This year we are filling our bags with banana bread, white and milk chocolate covered pretzels, candied nuts, and peanut butter Special K bars (my aunt Lori’s specialty).

Pretzels, YUM!

more pretzels!

For the Carringtons

I encourage you to make this a family tradition of your own, or even to try it just this year! There are endless people to bless with Christmas goodies: friends, family, neighbors, pastors, coaches, teachers, babysitters, your mechanic, the pharmacy, your bank, or the baristas at your favorite coffee shop. It’s a great way to spend time as a family and to bless those that are important to you during this season of giving!

Lately (12.6.13)

We are snowed in today, and although Brad is home, he has shut himself up in our “room of requirement” to get some work done. That leaves me with a to-do list about a mile long, but I figured I’d procrastinate a bit and do a little blog post about what we’ve been up to lately.

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Brad ran a half marathon! I am so proud of him for achieving his fitness goal. I didn’t run it with him, but I did enjoy helping him train. Running the first or second half of his long runs with him helped me achieve some goals of my own. We’re planning on running a half marathon together sometime next year!

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This pretty lady came to visit me (and stole my rad sweatshirt). I’m so thankful that our friendship has remained so strong after so many years of living in different cities. I look forward to the day that we live near each other again.

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This semester I taught a cell biology lab of all Chinese students from Qingdao University. It was certainly a challenge, but I really grew to care for them and it was a joy to teach and get to know them. They gave me this card and bear as a thank you. It was really hard to say goodbye to them on our last day of lab, but most of them have friended me on Facebook so hopefully we can stay in touch.

Brad and I went home to KC for Thanksgiving. We are really blessed that both of our families live in the KC area so we don’t have to choose who to go see each holiday.

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I always love dinners at my parents’ house. My mom does such a great job of making our time there special. I really loved how she decorated the table for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Maybe everyone thinks their parents’ house is magical at Christmas, but mine truly is. My mom has a real knack for decorating for Christmas. I know many of you that follow this blog know my mom, so I’m sure you can attest to this.

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After lunch at my parents’ we were off to Brad’s grandma’s for another meal. Last year, we were newly married and I still felt a little awkward at Thanksgiving, but this year was totally different. I had a really great time and felt totally comfortable with my new family. I think that inheriting a new family is one of the best things about getting married.

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Me and his grandma’s dog Libby became good friends.

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So thankful to have Heather as a sister-in-law. We are going to miss her when we leave Springfield!

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On Black Friday, my brother won a pair of cleats signed by the Royals pitcher Jeremy Gutherie on Twitter! He got to meet up with him and talk about baseball. How does Dylan always get so lucky? (Photo c/o @danky_don, my brother’s Instagram)

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We had to say goodbye to one of our favorite undergraduate students in the lab, Courtney. She’s leaving us to join a lab in the chemistry department. We will miss her very much!! I’ve been really blessed to get to work with some great people in the lab.

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The snow began to fall at about 1:00 yesterday. By the time I headed home at 4:00 the roads were completely iced over with snow covering the ice. It took me almost an hour to drive home! It usually takes me less than 20 minutes. I was very thankful to be in the Jeep that does well in snow. I think we’ve gotten about 5 or 6 inches and it’s still falling.

Enjoy your snow day! It’s about time I get to that to-do list…

Lately (7.7.13)

Well it’s been a while since I’ve done a “Lately” post, but I’ll try to keep it short. Brad and I have been lovin’ summer. I’ve been really busy in the lab, and things have slowed down at work for Brad. Here are some highlights from our last few weeks.

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I went to Maranatha Bible Camp with Freshwater Church kids. It was such a great couple of days to get away from regular life, be outside, love on kids, and praise Jesus. It was really cool to see the kids start to make their faith their own. Kids camp was one of the first things that helped shape my faith journey, so it is dear to my heart.

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Speaking of church, Brad and I are involved in planting a church through Freshwater Church in northwest Springfield. The core team journeyed to the Missouri Baptist Convention in Jeff City a few weekends ago for our first session of training! It helped get us all excited for our launch and it was a good chance to get to know others on the core team. I’ll let you know when we officially launch!

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This is Taylor’s Drive-In. It’s been here since 1947, but it’s only open Monday through Friday from 11 to 2, so Brad and I have never been able to go. We actually had a week day off, so we took advantage of it by going to Taylor’s! It was delicious and the staff was really sweet. I definitely recommend it if you get the chance!

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We got to go home to Kansas City! We hadn’t been there since Easter, so we were really excited to spent the weekend in our hometowns.

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I got to spend some quality time with my mom. I was lucky to come home the same weekend that a friend of ours was having their baby shower! I miss getting to do things like that with my mom.

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And I got to see my Casie! I left Brad for a night to have a sleepover in her new apartment! It was such a blessing to spent time with my best friend!

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A great weekend in Raymore was completed with a delicious meal at my favorite chinese place, Oriental Garden.

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Brad and I spent our first married 4th of July together with friends, food, and fireworks.

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We wanted to keep the party going after the fireworks, so we played a new game called HedBanz. It was really fun! It think Brad and I are going to have to get it.

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I had Friday off after the 4th, so I got to do some shopping! I saw a sign that had this saying at Francesca’s a long time ago, but didn’t buy it and I have regretted it ever since. I was so excited to find this at Hobby Lobby! And it was 50% off! I would have payed full price for it! Hollaaaa! It was the perfect addition to our kitchen. I love it.

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Have you been to The Cup? It’s my favorite! There’s another cupcake place in Springfield called Gigi’s, but I think there is too much icing. I have loved everything I’ve gotten at The Cup (but I mean they are cupcakes, so how can you really go wrong?). This one was dark chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing and pieces of Reeses on the top. Yummmmmmmm.

I hope that you had a lovely Independence Day weekend! Don’t you wish every weekend was a four-day weekend?