My Dyer-E
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Hello, Thirty.

The night of my birthday, I was tempted to stay up super late to document all of the beautiful of what was one of my favorite birthdays ever, but like a good 30 year old gal, I knew I needed my beauty sleep instead.

And thus, it’s nearly two weeks later– and I’m just now finding myself back in My Dyer-E to fill you in on all of the wonderful of the day!

These first few weeks of my 30s have been PACKED with amazing and exciting adventures.  So much so that this past weekend, I got that nervous, anxious feeling I had during my wedding season when TOO MANY AWESOME THINGS ARE HAPPENING and I have no time to document it all!!!!

(It’s a good problem to have, but for one who likes to record things to remember always, a bit stressful too!)

Okay, so birthday #30.  Not to go all Deanna Carter on you, but I totally remember when 30 seemed old, and yet upon my arrival to this blessed destination, I’ve really never felt younger.  So no Rachel kind of freak out moments here, which was good.  I would hate to have to break up with my BF Tag on my big day.

I will totally own the fact that sometimes I have unrealistic expectations for birthdays, and last year was definitely one of those birthdays when I was like, “I wish people would stop saying HAVE THE BEST BDAY EVER– it’s too much pressure for a barely postpartum newly lactating mother of a Baby June.”  No lie– pretty sure I cried those exact words to my Shippmate in the Applebee’s parking lot lol.  (Which Applebee’s parking lot is enough to know your birthday has really topped out at awesome as can be.)

BUT– not this year!  My expectations weren’t unrealistic, my postpartum hormones are long gone, and it was just such a splendid day.

I woke up to this:


That is my Baby June who always sleeps in and chose my very 30th birthday to wake up at the crack of 8:30am so we could maximize more of my birthday together.

She’s the only reason I’d be happy to be waking up “early” on my day, so it worked out.

Not only that, but I think maybe her Grammy told her that she was sending breakfast with Pa for us and it was waiting in my car!  We started the celebration off right with delicious bacon made just the way I like it (EXTRA crispy) and Nanny’s homemade blueberry muffins!  It was birthday morning perfection.


While June was napping, I got pretty (my birthday seemed like a likely reason to wear make-up and do my hair even if that is pretty much against code for me on a Wednesday) and then heard someone at the door with a birthday delivery from Edible Arrangements!  I have always wanted to try one of those, and I opened the card to read this:



Which totally cracked me up because I already had a delivery from those two?!?  (They might be to blame for my unrealistic birthday expectations, you think? Hahhaahhaha.)

Again, June was pretty thrilled to help Mama out with the yummy birthday treats from Mammie and Pa.

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As you can see, the chocolate covered pineapple was delicious, but even sweeter than the treats was the fact my parents still make me feel the most loved and celebrated at 30 years old.  They both wrote such heartfelt words in my card that had me in tears, and I just can’t say enough for how much I appreciate their love for me.

Speaking of cards, I had received cards the day before and on my birthday from all of my extended family and because I love cards, I waited to open them all on my birthday and just loved every last sweet word (and gifts that were unnecessary but appreciated) from my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.  I have the best family that I appreciate and love so much.  My fave card was naturally the one GW made herself:


Ryan had told me that he had birthday plans for us the night of my birthday and we’d be going somewhere special to eat, but I had wanted to do something special during the day– just me and June.  As an October baby, I just love a pumpkin patch and all things fall, so during June’s nap, I looked around online and found the only pumpkin patch nearby that was open during the week and couldn’t wait for my Bug to wake up and go pumpkin patching with her mama for my big day!

This may sound like the craziest idea for a 30 year old’s birthday celebration, but oh my goodness gracious, it was THE most fun “party” I’ve been to in a LONG time.  Maybe ever.  I know I seem like someone who would adore a bunch of people at a party/shower for me, but honestly it kind of overwhelms me trying to talk to everyone all at once.  Despite what you might assume, I ADORED the fact it was just me and June at our own little 30th bday celebration.  And I actually literally mean just the two of us, as we were the only people at this precious pumpkin patch in Odessa called Butterfly Fields Nursery.

The weather could not have been better– sunny and just right.  June loved the place so much– I literally couldn’t stop smiling at how sweet of a celebration I was having with my baby girl.

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And so fun, but on the way to the pumpkin patch, my dad called because he was going to stop by to see me for my birthday, and I told him I wasn’t home, but that this pumpkin patch was on his way home from work and he should stop by, too!  I loved getting to add him to our private pumpkin party, and you better bet Juniper was giddy as can be when she was his car pulling up. Immediately upon seeing that car she looked at me so excited and said, “PA!!!!!!”

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Pumpkins galore, perfect weather, the farm to myself with my baby girl, and a surprise drop by from my dad?  Seriously– it was a party I’m unable to write about without the goofiest grin on my face!


For the cheapest admission fee of $5, you also get a hayride with an adorable story!  Sure enough, Farmer Jeff took just the two of us on this precious 20 minute hayride of a story.

I was in heaven.

Not only do I adore hayrides and stories, but Farmer Jeff even gave me my own personal birthday serenade!!!!!  Some people might feel kind of embarrassed to be 30 years old and on a private birthday party hayride with their one year old while being sang to by on old man farmer, BUT NOT ME!!!  I loved every last bit of it.


I kind of want to cry just remembering that sweet, sweet afternoon.

June did not want to leave the party, but The Shippmate was off work and wondering where in the world his ladies were!  (In fact, when he called and asked what I was doing or where I was and I said “on a hayride with June and Farmer Jeff,” he knows me and my crazy ways so well, he didn’t even act surprised lol!!!!)

June and I bid the sweet farm farewell and headed home with the pumpkin and gourd (also included in our $5 admission fee- BEST PARTY EVER) she got to pick during the hayride portion of the party.


Next part of my 30th birthday extravaganza was a trip to The City for dinner!  Yaaaaaay.  No Applebee’s this year!

We went to Houlihan’s and enjoyed such a fabulous meal.  June was kind of crazy during the meal and it wasn’t really peaceful or romantic, but fun nonetheless.

Ryan wanted her to be there to celebrate with us (probably because he didn’t know we were going to have our pumpkin private party during the day lol) and I appreciated that and really did enjoy being with both of my faves for an amazing meal that I’ve wanted to re-eat about 10 times since my birthday night.  Pineapple brown rice?!! I die!


I know you’re thinking this post should long be over by now, but there are still TWO birthday goodness of joys that happened!  (I fully realize most people stopped reading back at 800 words before I even got to the BEST PUMPKIN PARTY EVER but that’s okay because this post is for me lol.)

Ryan brings in a really cute gift sack to the restaurant that has me curious all meal what is in there, and y’all– I’ve never been more swept off my feet by the thoughtful of a Shippmate’s gift giving.

Inside that sack was the most precious little thing I’d never heard of but absolutely ADORE called a Boogie Board.  Neither of us are a huge fan of the name lol, but it’s this little modern day Etch-a-sketch like thing to make lists, write on, leave notes, etc.  Which is SO right up my alley!!!!!  Ryan was so excited to give it to me and told me he thought and looked for a long time for something I would love, and I REALLY loved this so much.  I even carried it around for days after just to show people how great of a gift it was and my dad said it best when he didn’t seem that excited by it himself, but goes- “That IS something YOU would really love!”  LOL!  But it’s true— I make lists all of the time and love just writing and doodling and the whole drive home I brainstormed baby names for A and Bay’s baby while intermittently writing and/or drawing inappropriate things for The Shippmate!!!  Such a fabulous gift for me that I just feel so special and loved by Ryan for finding and getting me.


Only downside?  It only works for 50 thousand erases. HA!

And the other gift in the bag?   A gray infinity scarf!!!!

Which can I just say made my night, as well!  I don’t know that I ever would have quite picked this out for myself, but the fact Ryan really thought about it (“You love gray– our kitchen is gray!”) and picked it out for me makes me so eager for colder temps so I can wear it and feel the sweetest love it was given to me with!  OH– and the best line ever after I take it out of the sack– “It’s an infinity scarf– are those still cool?”

HAHHAHAHAHAHAH– oh my gosh, I cannot tell you how loved and in love I felt with my Shippmate and his sweetest 30th bday gestures.

From an “early” morning snugglefest with my Junebug to breakfast from the best parents ever to my very own pumpkin patch private party (and hayride serenade) to a dinner date with my very favorites… it was a birthday that I’ll forever remember with the biggest and giddiest of grins.

My friend Jillian told me that “30s are way better than 20s,” and my birthday was the best of beginnings to this new decade.

Hello, Thirty. I’ve arrived.

In the very best of company.


10.27.14 7 Comments

On Being Royal

We had people arriving for gospel community as the game was ending so I had to reign in my celebratory ways until after everyone left.

Why, you ask?

Well because it involved running around the house Mia Hamm style, then jumping on my couch until I was seeing stars, throwing June in the air, making out with The Shippmate, texting my dad in disbelief, and then crying tears of every emotion into my Royals rally flag.

I’ve heard it said lately that my Royals are “America’s team,” and while I’m not complaining… I’m also not sure.

I think this team belongs to the fan that sat through many less thrilling games and left the K with a smile even when we lost because we know how to love in the best and the worst of conditions.

This team belongs to a city that has been a joke in the MLB world to everyone but us.

This team belongs to the little girl in me that heard all my life about the season of 85 and believed and loved because blue was in my blood.

It belongs to the former KCrew girl in me that always said our contract was from “FanFest in January until postseason in October.”

People rolled their eyes or at best laughed at my Blue October dreams, but I believed.

And while I never danced on the dugout in October during my seasons out there, I am absolutely still dancing on my couch here at home.

I’ve always loved the Royals, and while America can claim them now— I’ll be with them forever.

Oh. My. World Series.

We’re back.

The last time we won the pennant I was one, and this time around?  I have a one year old baby girl that is already a believer herself.

I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again–

It’s a GREAT day to be a Royals fan…


10.15.14 2 Comments

June Harbor Shippy: 13 Months

Oh my June-

You’re 13 months old, my Baby June!

The Baby Center app I’m still subscribed to sends me a monthly update on your milestones and such and it recently switched from saying, “Your baby is 8 months old” in the subject to “Your toddler is 13 months old”…  WHAAAT?!!?

You’re not a toddler.

Toddlers walk and talk and have opinions of their own…. okay, well… maybe you ARE a toddler, by “definition,” but as previously discussed you will forever and always be my Baby June.

So recently you were giving your Da-Da some “pats,” which is something the two of you made up together, and he looks at me and say, “Hey- don’t forget to mention Pats in this month’s letter to June…”

Which first of all, can I just say that it MAKES MY DAY that your Da-Da wants certain things remembered and appreciates these letters I write you!  Oh, that means a lot to me.

But second of all, I had to reply to him, “Oh babe– remember I wanted to make that an attainable goal, so I said I would just write her monthly letters for the first year of life and thereafter it would be yearly letters on her birthday?”

Hahahahaah- your Da-Da actually did NOT remember this policy I instated and looked a little disappointed, and so naturally.


Breaking my own policies.

But I am going to be kind to myself (I think) and not sort through the kazillion pictures we have from the last few months and maybe just include a couple in this letter I couldn’t resist writing!

I’ve scribbled on several sheets of paper around here some things I want to tell you about so we will remember always from the past two months, so let me get started!

1.  I’ll make #1 very fitting with the fact you turned ONE!  For two months leading up to your birthday, when anyone would say, “How old are you going to be on your birthday, June?”  You’d hold up THE sweetest little pointer finger of a one and say “one!” in such a precious way!


Leading up to your birthday, I emotionally prepared myself by celebrating with pictures from your Birth Day everyday on the blog. This was so good for my soul, because knowing you were going to be one was a bit emotional for me, and this allowed me to process that daily and it was just lovely.  In addition to a month long pictorial celebration here on the blog, I decided to go a little overboard with another picture idea and instead of hanging a snapshot or two of you for your party, I sorted, organized, printed, and hung not one, not two, but somewhere around 335 pictures of you on this awesome display your dad helped me make.

And you know what, June?  I enjoyed EVERY last second of that 335 picture project. I’m not even kidding.  It was my masterpiece.

Your party!  Ahhh, so your daddy, Grammy, and Pa and I worked long and hard to prepare such a special CAMP JUNE experience for you— perfect invites made by your Auntie Cate, camp shirts for me and Da-Da, a trail bar by Grammy, tents and a lawn full of camp activities by Pa, a dog parade brought to you by all of your friends, and so so so much more, buuuuut June Harbor– you were so sick you didn’t really get to enjoy one bit of it!  I don’t think it helped that it was seriously THE hottest day of the year lol.  We had to forego the s’mores and Pa made homemade ice cream instead.  You had over 60 of your besties and fam there to celebrate, and everyone had a blast, with the sad exception of you, my baby girl.  I think this picture will be one we will laugh at together for years to come:


2.  And I can’t not mention that after your party was not quite the magical for YOU that I had wanted, your dad did something so sweet, so romantic, and so thoughtful by throwing you (and me really lol) a little surprise celebration for just the three of us!  He truly loves us both so well.

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3.  Okay, so let’s talk about your personality. June Harbor you have so much excitement and enthusiasm and just FIRE to you!  Literally, I do not know how often we are somewhere like we were at a friends’ party Saturday night when a stranger watches you for awhile and will say, “I have NEVER seen a baby with so many expressions.”  This is a COMMON statement I hear about you, June.  And the real funny thing is that I don’t know any different, so I just assume all babies have as many faces and expressions and loud emotions to convey through their eyes, nose, and faces as you do!  You literally crack us up all of the time.  Now, with this personality does also come a bit of a little fireball in you…. as in when someone does something you’re not such a fan of, there is basically no hiding it.  You will scrunch your little face up and give them such a scowl, June!

Ah, I love it. I love that you have so many feelings and preferences already.  It truly does make me happy.  And let me not forget a HUGE part of your personality that is SO PLAYFUL.  Your Mammie and I were just talking about this last night.  Your Roman Henry is SWEET… he can just melt our hearts with the sweet and precious things he does, and honestly you don’t quite have that same “sweetness” to you.  You, my doll, are straight up a trickster and SO playful.  You hide from us and jump out to scare us with your adorable “BOO!”  You love to grab a toy and pretend like you’ll give it to Pa and then pull it away and just crack up laughing.  You’re very clever and hilarious already, and it’s so fun to celebrate the differences we can already see in you and Roman.  Speaking of Ro Ro, he’s just a day or two away from being a BIG BROTHER!  This was a very special surprise shower we had for your new cousin, and I wanted a last family picture where you’re the baby of the fam!


4.  Another facet to your huge personality would be how much you LOVE people.  You know so many of your friends’ and family’s names now, and you talk about them CONSTANTLY.  I cannot tell people how much you love just walking around saying names of people we love.  Not only that, but when I first go get you out of your crib in the morning, the minute I pick you up, you start listing off names.  Most recently it is:  “Mammie? Pa? Roman? Lo-Lo?”  And then when we get to my bed where I feed you, you say, “Da-da, work.”  Because for so many days you would go in there and look for Da-Da, and I would say, “He’s at work, baby girl,” so now you just beat me to it!  Oh and Lo-Lo is Logan, your cousin who you just love.  It’s so interesting to see that you really notice who takes the time to play with you and then you talk about them later.  Logan is very interested and in you and is always reading to you and asking to do stuff with you when we are all together and then days later you’re still thinking about him!  Recently we even had to text Shelly and request a pic of Logan for you to be very excited to see on my phone!  OH and speaking of weird things I do for you, girlfriend…. ummmm, your Mammie still is making fun of me for this one, but you have such a crush on our neighbor Deacon. He’s 4 and he cracks you up, and you will stand at our windows shouting “D! D! D!” just dying for me to take you outside to see him.


Well, one of the first times you did this, I was so surprised (and impressed by it) that I told you we would walk over there and see if he was home!  Which cracks Mammie up that yes, I love you so much, I somewhat awkwardly just walk right across the street to ask if we can see Deacon for you lol!  (Turns out he was napping, but when he heard the story later he was on cloud nine!)  And your Mammie was making fun of me, but then when her and Pa took you and Roman to tag their Christmas tree (yes, in September lol– they’re planners!) you came home with a pumpkin for D! and his two brothers that we love!  Grammy is already spoiling your (boy)friends, too. Ha!

5.  You made your debut on Crown Vision at the ripe young age of 13 months!

We’ve been to several Royals game together now– one with the whole fam minus Mammie, one with just me, you, and Pa, and then most recently me, you, and Da-Da met Jillian and her family there with tickets they got us!  As we were walking in, I snapped this picture of you taking your Royals baseball very seriously, and then during the game, you were one of the pictures featured for an in game promo they do with Instagram pictures.  Unfortunately I didn’t even know this was a thing or I would have been looking for it, but lots of people were texting me that they saw you on the big screen!  I was pretty excited about this, as The K is one of your mama’s favorite places, and I’m glad you’re already making your mark on the place, too.


6.  Your first ever ROAD TRIP!!!!!!  Oh my Juniper– this was an adventure and such a fun one.  Amy and her five kids were so kind to invite me and you to go to Omaha with them to stay the night and check out the zoo.  I fully knew this was going to be a bit of challenge for my baby girl who is used to being the only kid in the backseat and somewhat used to our world revolving around you.  I also knew it would grow you– and me– in the process of it, too.  And it definitely did. There was a good stretch of the highway from here to Omaha that you pretty much cried the entire time, which was a bit stressful for me as I’m not so used to ever hearing you cry, BUT we all survived it.  We had to make a few minor seating adjustments to try to allow for optimal travels for everyone, and the Kenneys were so very, very wonderful to you!  The entire trip was such a blast, and I love the bonding that happens when you roadtrip and stay in a hotel and walk the entire zoo with some best friends.  It was such a memorable and wonderful first road trip, and I can’t wait to go on another one soon with our favorite Kenneys.

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7.  Last, but absolutely no way in the least, is how perfect of a baby (toddler) you are, June.

I cannot even believe how easy and wonderful and happy you are sometimes.  Maybe all babies are like this and I just feared raising one for no reason, but girlfriend– you’re simply a constant joy.  I don’t love you because you sleep so brilliantly, but I’m not going to lie, IT IS AMAZING for someone who doesn’t operate so well on little sleep.  Your dad and I were recently discussing how I used to always fall asleep when we would watch movies or TV shows together and how I never do that anymore somehow?!  I quickly realized what the difference is– I am never sleep deprived anymore!  When I worked outside the home and had to get up at horrible hours you don’t even know about like 5:30 or 6:30am, I didn’t get as much rest at night, and because you’re a freaking miracle baby and sleep from 8:30pm until 9:30am, I am nearly always well rested.  It’s amazing.  You love your crib so much, and when I go to feed you before bedtime, you always go down so peacefully and easily.  It truly makes me feel like I’m doing something right when really I know it’s just that you’re some SuperBaby that is going to have me so confused with your siblings may or may not follow suit.  No, but truly, June– I will forever be grateful for the easy you’ve been. You nap for hours every day, and both in the morning and after your nap, you wake up so very, very happy and excited to see me and talk to me.  I can’t quite accurately articulate to you what a joy and dream it is to be your mom and get to spend my every days with you, June Harbor.

8.  OH!  Two more little developmental things you’ve been doing since turning one!

1-  Without us ever teaching you intentionally, you know the names of your animal magnets and will bring them to us on command.  I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!!?!?!?  We need to video it because you’ve been doing for a month or so, and I’m still in disbelief every time.  You’re a little baby genius.

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2- I have this song I just made up where I will go through the alphabet and make up words for each letter and then make the letter sounds, ie:  “F is for Fox, fuh, fuh, fuh”– I sang it a couple days during diaper changes and you so quickly picked up on it!  Now, I can say, “what sound does my H friend make?”  And you’ll respond with “ha, ha, ha” in such an adorable way!  You’re basically reading at 13 months old.  I KID.  I swore I wouldn’t be the parent that went around bragging about things that aren’t that bragworthy, but since your Da-Da nor I have raised any other offspring, we are constantly looking at each other like:
DANG!  WE HAVE THE SMARTEST BABY IN THE UNIVERSE!  (I imagine you’ll enjoy reading that one day, and then will probably remind your siblings or Roman of it one day just like I always have to mock your Uncle A about my superior scores and such. It’s how we show love in this family.)

Whew– a couple thousand words later, and I guess there was a need to break my own policy.

June, you are so loved.   After you go to bed at night, sometimes your dad and I just look at each other and say things like, “I love June” or “Isn’t she the best thing ever?”

Just a few nights ago as we were getting in bed, your daddy says to me, “Have you ever taken a picture of how she balls up in that little cocoon before going to sleep?”

And I said, “No, I actually haven’t, but that IS the cutest.”

And then my Shippmate (and your daddy) says, “Sometimes I just try so hard to focus and take in every little thing she does like that so that I will never forget.”

Oh, June– I am crying just typing it.  I love your dad so much, and I LOVE the way he loves you!  Just picturing my Shippmate trying so hard to take in the adorable way you do things so he can remember them always?  It’s priceless.

You are so special.  So clever.  So hilarious.  So “advanced.”  And so very, very loved.

I love you,


10.7.14 11 Comments

A Shippmate Scavenger Hunt

My Shippmate’s birthday was this past weekend, and I thought I would share what I did for him here.

Kind of because I love documenting everything, but also kind of because I think you all might appreciate this sweetness more than my lover of a Shippmate.

Let me start with a text exchange between myself and my favorite friend in all of Warrensburg just minutes after finishing the special celebration I had spent hours preparing…

me:  “Men are just a waste of thoughtful lol.”

Amy:  “Which is why it makes sense that it is hard for them to be thoughtful.  Because it is stressful for them??  LOL”

Ummmm, yeah lol.  So I’m glad we can start there.

Ha.  Okay, so here was my precious and special and lovely plan.

Ryan broke and then lost his wedding ring about a year ago.  (#plumbingproblems)

And it’s no lie, my Shippmate is getting hotter.  Just ask Kristin Meyer’s aunt who recently said he could be a model.

So it’s really irresponsible of me to have this model of a man of mine just gallivanting about the streets and sewers of Warrensburg ringless for lusting women (ahem, Kristin’s Aunt) to think he is still on the market.

I can’t even type all of that in the solitude of my own living room without dying laughing.  And June’s sleeping, so I have to stay quiet.

But, no really. The man needs a ring.  Women need to know he’s very very married.

And more realistically, I like the way it looks on him.  It’s his only accessory and he wore it so well.  (until he broke/lost it, that is)

So, here we are, with a perfect birthday gift.  I was discussing what kind to get him with my mom and Bailey, and per some cool unique idea Bailey had combined with the fact I didn’t know his ring size, I decided I would make some clever and sweet way to “re-proposing” to him to let him know his gift was the ring we would pick out together.

Because girls– if you could imagine yourself ever losing your wedding ring lol– wouldn’t you LOVE that?!!!??!

And here’s the thing– I actually know what a dangerous game gift giving is and how SO often we give what we want to receive blah blah blah, so I seriously KNEW that going in, but still wanted to make it clever and sentimental because I guess I enjoy that process?

I truly did try to tailor it to him, too!  Like instead of having it be in front of people or with other people, I let it be just him and me, etc.

Anyway, so here’s what I did.

I had my awesome artistic friend design 6 signs each with one word on them from the favorite wedding line of ours:

“With this ring, I thee wed.”

Then I carefully and romantically (lol) chose 6 locations that have special significance to The Shippmate and I here in Warrensburg.

On each card, I wrote a clue leading him to the next location with fun and special memories that place brought us.

The morning of the Shippmate Scavenger Hunt, I went and put all of the signs on the special places, and then gave him the starting card.

I had him do it alone, because I thought it would be better for him without having me sitting there staring at his every reaction lol.  (this was me trying to think like a man???)

Also, I wanted him to end at the last spot with me there ready to “re-propose!”  I even talked a local jewelry store into letting me briefly borrow their ring sizer things for me to have to put on his finger!

(which for the record took a lot of convincing and me nearly having to run out of the store with it lol)

The first card I gave him (at our current home) told him he could find it at very frequent Shippmate lunch date location, circa 2011-2012 where many a profound conversation was had over turkey subs.

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Our dear sweet Quiznos!  There he grabbed the “with” card which told him to head to “the place where it all began…”

Clues involved center aisle, wooden pew, perfect stained glass and a couple of inside jokes I will not disclose lol.

He knew immediately he was heading for the church we got married in!

HOWEVER…. he immediately went in PANIC MODE because he saw the first word was “with” and thought the next word was going to be “CHILD” and this was some sort of bday pregnancy announcement he wasn’t prepared for LOL!!!!

And to quote my Shippmate, “It was parents’ weekend (read: TRAFFIC) and a LONG drive from Quiznos to our church thinking that….”

Oh, the romantic and the special was already on the decline.

But he got to the church to find no “child” but an appropriate “wed” instead.

photo 2Which because it had a period after it, he thought was maybe Wednesday??

(maybe I should have rode along after all lol)

This card said, “where I said I do, and I still do!”  And some sappy stuff about how giddy I get every time I drive by that place where the most magical day ever happened, etc.

It also led him to his next clue which was at the place we called home for the first few years of marriage.  I wrote about some quality moments we had there and sent him to The 402!

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Because he’s not a fan of fancy fonts, he got here to think that was a J and still was in what he calls “panic mode” that this was a pregnancy announcement!  Ahhhh, Shippmate.

From here, I sent him to a place we’ve done so much ministry together– youth, engaged couples’ panel, women’s, worship, hosting, Awanas, VBS, Kaleo… so many amazing, amazing memories here together growing not just closer to each other but to Jesus, too.

Because our church has about a million entrances, I gave him some clue as to where to look…

photo 4The FBC!

I called Amy in the middle of hanging all the signs explaining I should have maybe thought through the order a bit better, because the sign that would hang in our church also had the clues leading to the next location which just so happened to be the backseat of Ryan’s car LOL!

Because well….  yeah.

photo 5I will spare you all details of this one, unless of course you were in church Saturday morning between 10am and 11am and already know every last intimate detail of that!


Funny enough, this one was tricky for Ryan, but only because I hid the “thee” under some of that stuff that isn’t normally in the backseat of our car, so he had to text me for a clue which of course I then sent him a Ludacris You Tube link.


Moving on….

This last clue led him to the place we first met!

Which in 2008 was an ice cream shop that unfortunately but kind of hilariously has now become an electronic cigarette shop.

The romance keeps getting sweeter and sweeter, yes?

I did find it incredibly romantic and sentimental that I was sitting waiting for him in the exact spot he was sitting and waiting for me in April of 2008.

Not only that, but when we first met, we walked over to Subway to share a sub, so I was sitting waiting with the last sign, the ring sizer symbol of his gift, annnnd the same kind of sub we shared 6 years ago.

Someone “awwww” out loud for me, since my dear Shippmate did not. ;)

photo 5
Yep, there I am.  In a dress Ryan loves, the final sign in what he now can unscramble to know is not a baby but a “with this ring I thee wed” kind of celebration at the good ol’ electronic cig store.

Well, because really— what says HAPPY 28 better than that “vapor up” sign behind me???

Ryan looked SO stressed pulling up to me, so you can imagine the sheer terror on his face when I got down on one knee with the ring sizer thing!

Ahhahahahaha, I’m kind of dying just reliving it all.

He said, “So- are you not pregnant???”

Oh, my favorite Shippmate.  We ate our turkey sub, figured out his ring size before returning my borrowed prop to Glasscock, and then had a great time at lunch doing what we do best– eating and talking and laughing.

I was disappointed for about a minute and 35 seconds that he didn’t cry at my grand romantic and sentimental gestures and thought– “eh, I’ll blog about it and someone with more estrogen will enjoy this idea with me instead.”

And let me tell you– THAT, my friends is what you call growth in a marriage!  Because 4 birthdays ago of his, I might have been devastated if he didn’t react like I would have reacted to such a thing.

But in 4 fabulous years of marriage, I’ve learned my Shippmate and I are different about birthdays and gifts and grand gestures.  And that’s okay.

As long as he gets it all perfectly romantically right in a week for my 30th that is.

Hahahahhaahah, I kid.

(Kind of.)

I love him so much, and honestly I loved every minute of my scavenger hunt and hours later he said he actually would have too and did love the thoughtful and sweet of it but just felt very stressed about not knowing what he was unscrambling!

And the real good news is— a ring is on the way to signal to all the ladies that he’s a mine!

photo 3Happy birthday to my very favorite person.  I love you, Ryan!

09.29.14 18 Comments

My Kind of Tuesday


I’ve been smiling about it ever since, and it’s somehow already Friday.

Whoever said the days would be long but the years quick was not living my life.  The days fly by and I can’t even begin to think what that means is happening to the years.  Maybe it works in reverse– if the days fly by, the years will pass slowly?  Ha.

Anyway, Tuesday.

It was such a day.

Really I suppose it started with Monday evening when June and I met Grammy for our annual girls’ trip to get fall candles and soaps!

Oh, I love all the seasons– I really really do and my appreciation for the change and wonderful each season in Missouri brings could be an entire post of its own really– but my favorite season for scents is just hands down the pumpkins and promise of the fall.

Last year, June was not even a month old when I insisted she start fall scent shopping early with me and her Grammy.

10606484_619898074012_7831445939305490353_nSo naturally she was pumped for her second annual trip with her Mah-Mah and Mammie!  She had an absolute blast sniffing and having specific preferences for scents she did and did NOT enjoy!

It was such a perfect evening with my two favorite gals.  The kind of good talks over Spin, fall festive fun at Bath and Body Works and then Kirklands, too that you leaves you just in happy tears driving home.

Not only that, but the joy continued on to Tuesday as I was so very, very giddy to get my fall candles burning and soaps a sudsing.

I spent the morning getting out fall decorations, and I’m just going to say it– I think I nearly enjoy decorating for fall as much I do for Christmas.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s my birthday month or just such a special time of year, but I have a total weakness when it comes to Halloween decor.  It just makes me so giddy.

My friend Kristin pointed out there is just something about fall and fireplaces, and I hadn’t realized this is my first fall with a fireplace, and I had so much fun adding some fall to it!

Especially in the form of these adorable ghosts June helped me pick out!

I’m truly no kind of decorator, but I really had a blast moving stuff around and getting it all put together AND June was such sweet help.

Grammy and Pa gave June and Roman both pumpkins last weekend, and June has been SO excited about hers.  It was initally outside, and she would stand at our window saying, “pum-pum” and asking to go see it, so as I was decorating I decided to just move it on in.  When she woke up from her nap and saw the “pum-pum” AND her ghosts were in the living room, she literally SQUEALED in delight, and rushed over to kiss and play with both of them.

Oh, her enthusiasm for my decorations and all things fall couldn’t have been any sweeter.

I’m getting ahead of myself though.

Before nap time, there was much goodness to be had.

First of all, let’s start with waking up to The Shippmate bringing us breakfast!  (not in bed, because I’ve never been a fan of that idea lol– I like to eat my meals at a table, thankyouverymuch)

When I had loved so much about my Tuesday, I had actually forgotten– until just now- that it started with Ry bringing me breakfast as a surprise, so maybe that is the magic formula for all magical days lol.

Anyway, so he brings me breakfast because it’s raining and he has a break in the morning before he is going back to work and gets right to work on THIS:

10645243_619945888192_3202795405658082507_nI mean, truly- this makes me an unbelievable amount of happy.

We haven’t had TV since last May, and it hasn’t been a huge problem during the summer, because I rarely watch TV in the summer, because I’d rather be outside reading in the glorious sun.

BUT– I DO like fall TV and I especially love winter TV lol.

So, I was very, very, VERY excited about this.  My Uncle Tom had suggested the problem might be it just needs to be higher, so Ryan made something work and with the help of his dad got it CRAZY high AND WE HAVE ALL CHANNELS NOW!!!!

(And by “all” I, of course, mean all the basic channels lol.  Which after having zero feels like everything, so I’m giddy as can be.)

We had a good visit with Sam and he got to see June eat pizza like the crazy wild woman she is, so that was just lovely, and then him and Ryan went back to work while Junie’s bed was calling her for her afternoon nap.

During June’s nap time was when I was able to get the house all beautified for fall and Halloween WITH THE TV ON!!!!

You just can’t fully appreciate something until you’ve gone without if for awhile lol.

June woke up just in time to join me in the sweetest dance of a reunion with our favorite Ellen!

photo 2
Oh Ellen, we’re so glad to have you back in our live.  For months no one has reminded me to “be kind to one another,” and I’m so happy to have you once again in our living room.

Part of getting out fall decorations is unpacking the beautiful Lenox pumpkin candy dish my Nanny gave me 4 years ago.  It is– and always will be– my favorite fall decoration to get out, because with it, I can nearly hear Nanny whispering to me how she picked it out just for me.  It’s so dainty and wonderful and just had me especially missing her.

June and I had been grocery shopping earlier in the morning, and it was just one of those grocery trips where everything went smoothly.  June was content to just wave at everyone she saw, my lists were organized, lines were short– truly a painless trip to get everything we needed.

On the way home, after I had already had Nanny on my mind from unpacking my sweet candy dish from her, a favorite of Nanny’s in Conway Twitty came on the radio.  I just lost it.

Tears were flowing and it was one of those moments in life when you just physically feel the absence of someone you love so deeply, so profoundly that it actually hurts.

And June.  Oh, my Baby June.  She literally looked up at in me in our mirrors and just gave me the most precious wave (you can find it on FB or Instagram and see the sweetness for yourself) almost as if to say, “Hey Mama- it’s okay– I love ya and I’m waving to my Nanny in heaven, too.”

Oh, she’s the light of my life, and I just can’t describe how much her little face and smile and wave were just what I needed in that moment.

Everything about the morning, the noon time, the afternoon had been perfection.

After some dancing with Ellen and Junie, we got to work on dinner before The Shippmate would be home.

I know I complain about cooking and don’t do it nearly often enough, but there are moments, like on Tuesday, when it feels so right.

So maternal, so nurturing, and so very Bree Van deCamp lol.

Naturally in the spirit of Tuesday’s perfection, it was one of those days when it all just felt right.

photo 2Chopping veggies and cooking hamburger was all a joy with my fall scents burning and June playing perfectly as can be with me in the kitchen.

photo 4 photo 3 photo 1I made this little bucket for her to pull things out of, and it kept her entertained for the entire time I was making our soup.  Which maybe doesn’t sound like much of a big deal, but as a mom, it felt like I was absolutely winning.

As I’m writing this post about this “beyond perfect day,” I am not blind to realizing there is nothing that extraordinary about any of it.

But that’s the beauty of it really… it’s the average and common of Tuesdays that are filled with successful grocery shopping and cooking with your baby girl, fall decor and aroma filling the house, and just a celebration of the daily of our lives.

Sometimes I look around this sweet home of ours with my favorite Baby June and my Shippmate too, and I just can’t believe this gets to be my life.

I’m so beyond thankful that it is my job to teach and love and live life with June daily.  And while there are many a days when I’m no superstar of a housewife, on such a Tuesday as this with a spotless house, everything decorated and smelling like fall, soup and bread warm on the table, and June happy as can be when The Shippmate walks in the door…

It’s one worthy of writing home about.  It’s the kind of Tuesday I want to remember always.

09.29.14 Leave a comment

When Satan Tries To Ruin Our Basement

When we first bought this house, we prayed over it and felt excited to see the ministry God could do with the space He had his hand in giving us.  Truly- the timing of the deal, the crazy circumstances surrounding it making it worth more than listed, and the fact multiple people were trying to get it while we were under contract… it was all so remarkably evident God wanted us to get this home.  Which made us especially excited to see how He would allow us to use it.

Just days after moving in, I was in our finished basement, vacuuming the carpet.  I vacuumed multiple times across the carpet, all the while praying, “Jesus- I know you have purpose for this space… I don’t know if it’s 13 middle school girls for a Big Weekend or a small group or a Bible study we’re meant to led… but I just see so much good coming from this basement specifically.  Show us how we can serve you best with this basement.”

(and then I made a joke with God about being very Jen Hatmaker and hiding in the basement eating my Chik-fil-A, but that’s just between me and JC– He gets my humor)

Well, fast forward to just a week or so after that talk between me and Jesus and our plans for the basement, and that basement would find itself very, very flooded.

Not just from rain- no, no, no– SEWAGE.

That freshly vacuumed carpet that I had been so excited to see host overnight guests, youth playing Mafia, and big talks about Jesus?  Oh it was absolutely and 100% soaked in sewage.


At the time, I was too annoyed and grossed out to really see what had just happened.  I think I also was enduring my second round of mastitis and just not in the mood nor frame of mind to patiently step back and see the big picture.

But, tonight– my eyes couldn’t see it clearer.

As we were hurrying home from an incredible discussion with our life group that I love so dearly so that we could open our home to some guys Ryan has been meeting with to discuss ministry and Jesus, it was almost as if the obvious of what had happened was hanging on a sign outside of our home.

Satan is real.  He’s so annoyingly and horribly real.

He knew Jesus and I had big plans for that basement and he literally crapped all over them.  (Hey! My husband’s a plumber- I’ve got sewage-esque jokes that won’t stop.)

It’s times when I have the best and nearest moments with Jesus that Satan is so quickly around the corner, and when I get to look back at it like I am tonight, I actually delight in his sad attempts!

It’s almost literal proof he fears what good God can bring in our sweet home.

Oh, Satan– you should be very, very afraid.  Intimidated.  Down right annoyed, because my God wins every time.

Tonight?  Tonight as I’m typing there are six men in my basement and their reason for meeting is nothing short of the cross and to discuss and glorify the Jesus that died for us.

I haven’t felt so giddy in ages.  (And let’s be real– we all know I get giddy pretty easily.  Like yesterday when I randomly painted my door blue. IT IS AMAZING!)

Back to this giddy though… I mean my heart was just bursting earlier as we hurried in our home– where my brother and one of the other guys were actually already here and waiting– and I ran downstairs to quickly tidy things up a bit.

The basement?  It’s not perfect.  In fact, it’s a far cry from it.

But Ryan and I decided until we have the finances to really fix it up, for now we are going to do the very best with what we have.

And truth be told, that looks a little bit like this:

Yep, those are lawn chairs.  And a kitchen chair.

And you’re seeing the tiniest portion of carpet that we salvaged.

Every Wednesday night when the guys meet, it’s my own little contribution to run down before they embrace the beauty of our once finished basement and light some candles, because well– what group of guys doesn’t want the sweet aroma of fall to discuss manly and godly things by candlelight?  Hahahaha.

Our basement is so far from fancy, but tonight- I was so honored, so humbled that Jesus let it be the space for His work to be done.

As the guys filed down the stairs, June and I even threw in a pizza (frozen, of course) before she went to bed that I delivered down to the guys with some drinks and cookies.

Nothing delights my heart more than seeing the devil defeated by my Jesus.

Especially in the form of such awesome guys eating frozen pizza by candlelight in our formerly finished basement.

09.24.14 10 Comments

When Our Cars Try To Quit Us First

So I’ve been meaning to blog for days.  Specifically, I have had a blog I wanted to write since Tuesday.

And it’s Friday.

Here’s the thing– if I don’t start writing the minute nap time begins, it probably won’t happen.

So today, because I was dying to revive this space of the Internet I call My Dyer-E, I decided to forget the laundry that is yet to be folded and the lunch dishes that are dirty in the sink, so that I could utilize June’s nap time to write.

And ahhhh, I’m so happy to be here.

(Just to be clear, I did NOT come here before sweeping the kitchen floor, putting all toys away, and cleaning off the table and countertops, because well– I can’t focus with an actual mess around here and my writing time will be much more peaceful this way.)

So, back to Tuesday.  It was seriously the kind of day you just have to blog about— it was so perfect in every way, and I’ve just been so eager to get here to tell you about it, but before I could, well today happened.

And funny enough, when I had drafted Tuesday’s blog in my mind (oh, if only all the blogs I draft in my mind could make it to the keyboard lol) I kind of felt like it would be an unfair representation of being a SAHM to report on just such a day without a disclaimer that there are less perfect days intermingled among my week, too.

And then God gave me today so that I could prove that!

Today.  I mean, it’s nothing actually bad.  In fact, I text a friend I had to cancel meeting today and said to pray for me, but that it wasn’t anything serious– just several annoying things combined.  Basically several annoying #firstworldproblems if you will.

If you’re my friend on Facebook or Instagram (I know, I know– I’m abandoning my former ways of only having one social media outlet lol and yes, it’s just as exhausting as I imagined it would be) you already know that we are currently car shopping.  (I might have posted a time or 22 about it, because well- you know- that’s me.)

This car shopping thing started as The Shippmate and I being super proactive and ahead of the game.  Just realizing that both of our cars have 160k-ish miles, neither are in the grandest of conditions, and a little more space in the form of a cool SUV that I’ve always wanted could be fun.

Because we weren’t in dire need of a car, it’s been pretty low key and non-stressful of a search.  Including but not limited to me offering Car Guy Steve a straight up trade for both of our old cars for a nearly new decked out SUV with leather heated seats.  (Spoiler alert- He declined.)

However, as if Ryan’s car (and the one we drive all the time in the summer because it has something my car does not have in the form of AC) sensed it was being under-appreciated, it decided to show us and start leaking major oil and bring about a sound that made us think it was more of a ticking time bomb than we thought.

Which wasn’t even a huge deal, because it’s cooler out, and I MUCH prefer my car, so this morning I decided to just move all June’s stuff to my car that hadn’t been driven since May-ish.  As I was doing this and cleaning my car out during The Switch, I was reminded how much I actually love that car of mine and thought to myself that maybe we could just save the thousands of dollars cars apparently cost and just live happily ever after in my Focus that I really do love.  With this thought in mind, I spent quite a bit of time cleaning it up and making it nice and wonderful which was pretty tricky with a very active June being less help than she was adorable.

And then we get in it to leave, and I’m feeling so noble and smart about this new idea to just drive what we have and abandon my dreams of being some kind of cool mom in a black SUV, and I start the car to see the clock and radio and everything decides NOW– after I’ve just tried to rekindle my romance with the dear Focus— that it should all quit me.

And you know, on the one hand, I drove in silence (well no- not silence, as June was screaming for me to turn on her CD for the entire ride) thinking that our cars really were being pretty clever to try to spite us for trying to get rid of them by quitting us first.  Like when you’re in middle school and you get word your “boyfriend” is going to break up with you after school so you hurry up and write him a note breaking up with him first!  That felt like what our cars decided to do to us, and so I nearly wanted to justify their actions.

Until I thought– NO!  It would have been so much smarter for you, my favorite Focus, to not only NOT have some fuse problem leaving us with no lights, clock, radio, but rather for you to have tried to prove yourself by bringing back the AC that hasn’t worked for years!

I tried to explain this to my car, but no telling if she heard me with June screaming obscenities from her seat about the fact we couldn’t listen to “Just Around The River Bend.”

Which eventually led to me singing Pocahontas songs to her, which come to find out, she maybe enjoys more than the CD!

Maybe this no radio thing might work out after all.

And I know you’re just dying to hear about my Tuesday, but I decided it deserves a post of its own, so I’m going to just let this post be the ramblings of my “bad” morning that now as I’m sitting on my couch with the quilt my mom made Baby June for her bday (I promise June will eventually get to use this comfy treasure, Mom) and fall candles burning with my stomach full from lunch, nothing about it really even seems that bad.

Oh, but I did leave out the part where a collections agency called me and demanded my $42 from when I had to visit two separate ERs for mastitis and when we got to the 36 minute bottom of that whole thing she saw that all bills had been accidentally billed to the wrong address due to a typo.  Excellent.  It’s always fun to be reminded on the nearly one year anniversary of the terror mastitis was with somehow still owing people money for it.

Anyway, I’m glad to be back after a nearly month unwanted hiatus from this blog, and I’m sure you’re all glad I’m back too what with this very random rambling of my “rough” day.

Stay tuned for tales from a Tuesday… coming soon.

09.19.14 1 Comment

An August of June, Day 23

I recently was talking to a friend who is almost due (yaaay Tiff!) about the fact that June had to be taken from me immediately because of meconium, and I said how at the time it didn’t seem too stressful.  They assured me all would be fine as soon as they used something to make sure her throat and nose were clear, but that I did know it delayed the time from delivery to her on my chest, so I went back to the pictures to see just how long that wait was.

Turns out it was 6 minutes.

You can see from tonight’s pictures that it was 6 minutes on top of 9 months that I didn’t even know I’d been waiting a lifetime for…

IMG_1416IMG_1418Oh, the joy.

And 364 days later, it’s still such a joy to have that baby so close and snuggled up to me.

08.23.14 Leave a comment

An August of June, Day 22

As we were getting ready for Camp June tomorrow, my mom asked what she could do right then to help.

I needed to be working on my picture project, so I said, “Would you take care of June’s nails and toenails for me?”

I glanced across the table and saw my Shippmate make a face that he didn’t think I saw, but I’m pretty sure it was mocking me for one year later STILL passing off the task of trimming June’s nails!

Initially, Ry was The Master at clipping those baby nails, but lately, my mom has taken over and trimmed that baby girl’s nails to perfection.

I’m actually not kidding that I don’t think I’ve done her nails or toenails once all summer lol.  Grammy and June have their own little system– June in her high chair with a book or blueberries or maybe both while Grammy gets her readers on and goes to work!

It’s adorable, and I’ve peeked around the corner to just admire the process a time or two this summer…

IMG_6977IMG_6978So, as Grammy was taking care of Junie’s nails, I immediately knew what I had to use for tonight’s picture!

June Harbor Shippy’s INSANELY long fingernails at birth!

All I could think when I saw those bad boys was my girl Juno saying:  “Babies have fingernails?!”

Oh Juno, do they ever.

These precious nails are even more beautiful to me today than they were almost a year ago.  And I think by the looks of them, no one should be questioning why I love to recruit a Shippmate or a Grammy to assist with such a task.

DSC_8017DSC_8018 DSC_8020DSC_8022

08.22.14 2 Comments

An August of June, Day 21

Oh, but An August in June is coming to an end rather quickly.

But just a couple more days before this year will wrap up and a celebration will conclude what has single-handedly been the best year of my life.

Because there are only 24 days to commence such a day as the one in which my June was born, I’m absolutely breaking my own rules and including more than one picture tonight.

As it’s already late and I’m tired (I called my dad earlier and he answered- “Camp June Central here…” HA! So much excitement and preparation in store for CAMP JUNE– both at Camp headquarters and here at our off-site location in Warrensburg, too!) (and with LOTS of graphic help being outsourced from a very, very dear Auntie Cate in Portland) I’m going to let my words be few this evening and let these pictures tell the story.

A story that could very appropriately be titled “The Many Admirers of June Harbor Shippy:  In Her First 48 Hours of Life.”

It’s a story with the finest and most loving of characters.  Well, here– you’ll see…

 DSC_8032 DSC_7908  DSC_7944IMG_2135 DSC_7928 DSC_8014 DSC_8090 IMG_2126
  IMG_0347   IMG_2122 DSC_8088 DSC_7912 DSC_7921 IMG_2104 DSC_8031         DSC_7976
And last, but oh not the least, would be she who loves and admires June Harbor the most…


08.21.14 1 Comment

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