2013 Summer Highlights

School officially starts back up again tomorrow, and although I didn’t get a summer break from grad school, it’s still fun to reflect back on the summer and all the fun that was had. Here are some of my favorite things I did this summer.


We started our summer off right with Matt and Molly’s wedding. I love weddings and it was so fun to see such great people be joined as one. We miss them, but are so glad they are enjoying Memphis. They have a blog too! Check out Everything M.


We went to the Springfield Roller Derby with our friends Jordan and Sarah. That was definitely an experience I won’t forget. It’s a little pricey, but definitely fun if you get the chance to go to a match!


I went to Maranatha Bible Camp with Freshwater Kids in June. I loved going to camp growing up, so it was really fun to get to experience it again. It was only a long weekend instead of a whole week, but it was really nice to take some time away from working in the lab and from the internet. We were lucky to have really beautiful weather and really great kids!


Brad and I got free tickets to see the Springfield Lazers tennis team, which includes Andy Roddick! We got the free tickets right before the match started, so it was a really fun, cheap, unexpected date night! It also inspired us to buy some tennis rackets. Neither of us have ever played, so we’re pretty bad, but we have fun and that’s what counts.


We don’t have cable, but that hasn’t stopped us from getting obsessed over a few shows. Lately we’ve been hooked on Project Runway, Parks and Rec, and Friends.


We’ve taken advantage of our Silver Dollar City season passes a lot this summer. The new ride, Outlaw Run, is super fun. (Especially at night in the front row!) We’re looking forward to going with my parents in a few weeks. My dad used to work there! He was the train robber!!


We began our summer with a wedding and ended it with a wedding. It had called for rain that day, but it held off and it was a beautiful evening for Tyler and Kristy.


This weekend was Welcome Week for the incoming freshman at SBU. As an admissions counselor, this is what Brad has been working for all year. I’m so proud that he surpassed his enrollment goal! Now it’s time to start working on next year :)

This morning Brad helped lead worship for the one time a year SBU has a church service on Sunday morning. It was really fun to see many of the students I was a leader for at Welcome Week being leaders this year. I’m so thankful for my time at SBU, especially after spending a year at MSU. I was a little emotional thinking about all I went through at SBU and seeing all the new students full of dreams, hopes, anxieties, expectations, and goals. I’m praying that God does amazing things in their lives these next 4 (or 5) years.

This was my first summer with no vacation and virtually no tan, but overall it was still a great summer. As much as a love summer, I’m really excited for fall! Bring on the pumpkin spice lattes!!

Matt & Molly’s Wedding

Two of Brad and I’s dear friends got married this weekend. We were honored to get to do the scripture reading in the ceremony! It was a beautiful wedding and we had such a wonderful time with friends. Instead of a Lately post, I decided to devote this post to Matt and Molly! Here are some of my favorite moments from the day!


This is Molly and I at the rehearsal dinner. They catered Zios and it was amazing!



Not the best quality picture, but their ceremony was so sweet! The music was amazing. Molly’s sister is an extremely talented vocalist and did the special music with the help of some of their friends. Her song and the parent’s prayer were definitely my favorite parts!


The cake! This is one of my favorite wedding cakes I’ve seen! Isn’t it pretty? Plus it tasted delicious.


Me and my hot date!!




One of my favorite things about weddings is to get to reunite with old friends. Matt and Molly were science majors at SBU with me, along with everyone else pictured above. I was so blessed to have such a wonderful community at SBU and I’m thankful for the friendship I got to build with Matt and Molly through all of those hours spent in lab!


The bouquet toss!! Matt’s sister (in blue) is about to snatch it!


The garter toss!! Molly’s face is so priceless in this picture.


And the send-off. I even got a bubble in the picture!!

Congratulations Matt and Molly. Brad and I are so thankful for your friendship! We are sad that you are moving away, but we are excited to see how the Lord is going to use you both!

Wedding Weekend

I thought I’d share with you a few wedding weekend moments I managed to capture on my phone. It was a truly joyous weekend!


Mom & I got to spend some quality mother-daughter time by lunching at our favorite local tea room.


I embroidered this handkerchief for my dad. We shared the initials K.D. and I wanted to make him something to remind him and me that I was always a K.D. first. Also, this was my first experience with embroidery and I really liked it! I’m excited to try it again!


I worked at a daycare in Raymore this summer to earn a little extra cash before getting hitched. I’m really thankful for the girls there and all the fun I got to have with the kids. It was sad to leave them!


I wish I would have taken more pictures at my bachelorette party, but I was too caught up in having fun to be messing with my phone! Casie threw me the best party. It was so fun to party with my girlfriends from all different parts of my life all at once!


Rehearsal dinner time! We were ready to be married!!


Lea put together a delicious rehearsal dinner with adorable decorations!


And of course the Jeep broke down.


Wedding day forecast. It ended begin even hotter than that!! What a happy, sweaty day.


The boutonnieres. I wish I would have taken a picture of our bouquets!


My best friend & Maid of Honor. Love this girl.


Wedding hair. I had never gotten my hair done professionally and I really loved how it turned out! Plus it stayed all day through the heat!


Just chillin’ in the hotel ready to tie the knot!

We should be getting our wedding pictures very soon! I’m excited to see how they all turned out. Better than phone pictures I’m sure.

Brad & I are officially settling down into our Springfield life. My responsibilities at MSU have begun and we won’t be going back to Kansas City for a couple of months. We purchased a couch this weekend, so I’m really excited to start getting our little home in order and really decorate this place! It’s going to be really fun.

The Honeymoon (Pt. 3)

Today is Brad’s first day back at work, and my first day of being a housewife. Of course I started my day by making a list of things to accomplish this week. Finishing this blog series made the list, so here we are.

Here is Wednesday, our second and last full day in Chicago, plus a pic from our traveling day back to KC. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a peek at our honeymoon!


For lunch on Wednesday, we made our way down to the south side of the city to an Italian restaurant called Gioco. My uncle lives in Chicago and was generous enough to give us a gift card to Gioco as a wedding present. He has lived in Chicago for years and this is one of his favorite restaurants, so we knew it would be great!

This is a picture of my favorite fancy dessert, creme brulee. Delicious, of course. Brad opted for vanilla ice cream with espresso. Also fantastic. Indulging at a high-end restaurant was really a treat for the two of us.

After lunch we explored the south side a bit, but soon found ourselves exhausted from all of the walking the day before, so we headed back to the hotel. I took a nice three hour nap (that’s what vacation is for, right??), while Brad read, watched the Olympics, and took a short nap. Brad finally woke me up and we headed over to Millennium Park.


Millennium Park features free concerts to the symphony during the summer. The pavilion seats about 11,000. It was really fun to enjoy the beautiful weather, fantastic music, and feel like a real Chicago-an.



Married and matching.



After the concert we took a turn around the area to soak up our last evening in lovely Chicago.


Another shot of Grant Park. You can see our hotel in the background!


After our big lunch, we didn’t get hungry until about 9:00. We wanted to keep it cheap, so we headed to Epic Burger. We had seen signs for it and it kept popping up for foursquare, so we decided to give it a chance. It was really delicious and inexpensive, plus they had the Olympics on so we didn’t have to miss it!


Let’s go home. Don’t worry, Chicago, we’ll be back.

It was a great trip, but the honeymoon’s not over. It has only begun :)

The Honeymoon (Pt. 2)

Happy Sunday! One week has passed since our wedding day and we couldn’t be happier. Yesterday we spent the afternoon thrifting and managed to snag a $10 bookshelf and a $.50 tie. We’re still on the hunt for another bookshelf (we have a lot of books), a dresser, and a desk. I’m really looking forward to exploring Springfield and finding treasures to fill our home :)

Alright alright, onto the pictures. Tuesday was our first of two full days in Chicago. We did A LOT of walking. We walked to Millennium Park, up and down the Navy Pier, on Michigan Ave. to the north side of the city, to the John Hancock building, and lots of places in between. Day 2:


Of course we began our day by grabbing some Starbucks before heading to the park. It was a beautiful day and we took our time walking and people watching. It was a Tuesday, so we were lucky to find the city not very busy. There were just  few tourists and kids’ camps around.


The infamous bean. It was just fun to watch the kids squeal as they found their reflections. People watching was especially fun here.


The city.


Great for a photo op!


You can see a little glimpse of the river behind us as we made our way across the bridge. You can see so many buildings from that spot!!


From the end of the Navy pier.

We were pretty exhausted from a day of exploring the city, so for dinner we decided on our go-to Chipotle. Then we hit up the city Target for lack of underwear. I love the city, but one drawback was that we couldn’t just run up to Walmart to get something real quick. We never even saw a Walmart and it seemed like it took us forever to get to the Target. It makes me appreciate the smallness and accessibility of Springfield. Although I was a fan of having a Starbucks on every corner!

This weekend Brad & I are returning to the Red Barn Farm (where we got married) for Brad to play the music in a friend’s wedding. He is practicing now while I blog. I can tell that Sundays like this are going to be a favorite of mine.

The Honeymoon (Pt. 1)

Hello from Springfield. It’s our official full day living in Springfield as a married couple. We managed to snag some free wifi, so I thought I’d do a little honeymoon post while my husband takes an afternoon nap.

The wedding was hot, sweaty, and wonderful. We had such a blast and we are so thankful for all the friends and family that helped make it happen. We feel very blessed.

We went to Chicago for our honeymoon. Brad had never been and I had been twice, but once was when I was young and the other was a few years ago, but was only for a day. We loved Chi-Town. Our favorite thing about it was the weather. It was such a relief from the heat wave we’ve had in KC!!

I took about a zillion pictures on my phone, but here are my favorites from Day 1:


Look at that ring. That’s my husband. Yeeeeeeeahhhhhhh!!!


We’re married. So happy.


Our first meal in Chicago, recommended by our friends Kyle & Michelle. They just recently went to Chicago on their honeymoon as well, so they had some good tips for us. This place was great! Super close to our hotel, great Chicago-style pizza, and inexpensive.


Yum yum yum.


Our first evening was pretty chill. After dinner and getting a disposable camera at CVS, we decided to explore Grant Park. We were lucky that it was right across the street from our hotel.


So amazing to sit on the lake shore and enjoy a beautiful city sunset. A great beginning to a wonderful trip.

Day 2 is coming soon!!

The Last Insta-Monday

Well folks, I’ve decided to make this my last Insta-Monday. I started it at the beginning of the summer to spice up my blog and it’s turned out to be pretty fun! But since I won’t be able to make a post next Monday (because I’ll be on my HONEYMOON) I decided this was a good time to end it. Once schools starts the third week of August, my posts would start consisting of mostly pictures of lab stuff. I’ll still make an Instagram post every once in a while, don’t worry!

This is my last week as a Donley. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but mostly sweet. It’s weird to think that in a week I won’t live in the house I grew up in. I know there will be things I’ll miss about living at home, but the excitement of living with my husband way outweighs it. Marital bliss here I come!



This has been a crazy hot summer, which is a bummer when you don’t have a pool. So the Fullers and I made our way to the Harrisonville pool to escape the heat!


It’s official!! We’ve got our marriage license!


Brad and I got a waffle maker for our wedding and got to test it out this weekend! I think this will become a regular occurrence at the Bartlett house.


This was the last time I had to leave Brad! The next time I drive to Kansas City from Springfield, I’ll be a married woman and my husband will be riding shotgun.


A big summer sun.

Well Insta-Monday, it’s been fun, but I must say farewell!

Showered with blessings

Last night was my fourth and final wedding shower: my church shower. I have attended FBC Raymore all my life. I’ve been to countless wedding showers there with my mom, and my turn finally came. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the women of my church home. There was a great turn out, and many women dropped off gifts ahead of time because they couldn’t make it to the shower. There was one woman there that I met for the first time last night. She is in my parent’s Sunday School class and came to support my mom.

It was such a blessing to be surrounded by women that cared for me and my family. They came not only baring gifts, but also blessings and advice for my marriage and future. I have been so fortunate to have these godly women to look up to and count on. It is times like these that I remember what power and blessing there is in a Christ-community. Being a part of this community is something that I will always treasure, especially as I move away from Raymore and venture onto new places.

After surveying our new belongings, Brad and I joked that we had “hit the jackpot” at this shower. Later as I was reflecting on the day, I realized this expression is used when one receives a valuable treasure, often without working for it. So it seems that we really did “hit the jackpot”. Our church family gave gifts freely and cheerfully, because we are a part of the same body of Christ and we are called to share together in everything. I think that is the best kind of treasure to receive.










Whew. This has been a crazy week. It has consisted of finding a duplex in Springfield, being sick, packing all of my belongings that have been filling my apartment for two years, driving home, unpacking all of those belongings, looking for jobs, going to a wedding, hitting up the drive-in, going to my future sister-in-law’s graduation, and going to yet another wedding. Like I said, whew.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start a blog series called Insta-Monday. I’m going to post my favorite instagrams of the week. Enjoy :)


So many books. I have many more, plus all of Brad’s. A bookshelf is at the top of the list of things to buy for our duplex.


So lovely to be home. Sitting on our back porch is one of my favorite things about summer.


I’ve been wanting a new bible for a few years. I haven’t had a study bible since my Teen Study Bible, so I thought it was time for an upgrade. They even imprinted my name on it for free!


Such an adorable invitation.


First drive-in movie of the summer.


9th row on the aisle. Can’t you see her?


Heading to our 6th wedding of the season. Only one more before ours!


What a fine looking best man.


Thankful for this girl. Coming home brings old friends.


The centerpieces at this wedding were absolutely adorable. Fabric flowers are so practical and cute. Plus the doilies added a touch of elegance. This wedding was totally Pinterested out, and I loved it!






The best for last. My wonderful fiance serenading me. I’m a lucky girl.