For Derek

 

11169235_866399873413103_4462203614078857075_nToday is a very special day in my world, it is Derek’s 23rd birthday! I absolutely love celebrating this guy, and his life. (PS it was SO fun to buy a birthday card that said “husband” this year.)

942249_993203274066095_7194858892875598501_n

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,  I could probably sit down and write a series of lengthily novels about how much I love Derek, and it still wouldn’t be enough. He is by far the best person I have ever met. For those of you who know him, know what I mean. And for those of you who don’t know him, just imagine Chandler Bing from friends, Noah Calhoun from the Notebook, and Nick Miller from New Girl and put them all into one person. That’s Derek.

12987160_993203267399429_5138086180302588916_n12998519_993203200732769_3167396180669773949_n

IMG_0176

He’s done a lot in this past year, he’s got married, we’ve traveled, bought our home, remodeled it (almost finished!) found a job that he enjoys, and he’s lost 40 pounds. I am so proud of the person he is growing into.

12998767_993203247399431_3618690398518017329_n13007115_993203207399435_3141042377879512705_n

To save me some time, and save you some reading, I won’t write a series of novels, but instead, I have decided to share my top 23 favorite things about this man that I get to spend the rest of my life with, and I also decided to share 23 pictures of him this past year. Enjoy.

13001134_993203144066108_3180396746269058186_n13010834_993203184066104_8845402821872150838_n

1.His sense of humor, I am never not laughing when I am around him, and I am not the only one.

2.He is the hardest working person I know. He doesn’t stop something until it’s finished, or he has accomplished his goal.

3.He is constantly telling me how much he loves me.

4.He is constantly showing it to, to me, and everyone around us.

5.He never EVER complains. 13007115_993203284066094_8976400578687683123_n13012642_993203174066105_1847948074280646881_n

6.He allows everyone around him to be their own person, and never judges them for it.

7.He always gets extra napkins because he knows I would be a mess (literally) without them.

8. He is a jack of all traits, and a master at most of them. (Hard labor, computers, sports) you name it, he’s good at it.

9.He is never envious or jealous of others, because he loves his life, and I admire him for it.

10.He is the best co-pilot. I map the directions, and he drives.

11. We’ve renovated a house, and have traveled the country, and we still haven’t argued while doing so.13043272_993203214066101_3671615154100978005_n13051691_993203150732774_2150699749524277713_n13015349_993203074066115_7159449512710399477_n

12. He lets me put my freezing feet on his back to keep them warm at night.

13. He lets me choose all the songs, and t.v. channels and never complains about it.

14. He cooks, cleans, does yard work, fixes my car, and everything else you can think of.

15. He surprises me with “fancy” date nights, and spoils me with expensive dinners.

16. He enjoys going out with friends, but is also satisfied cuddling on the couch and watching Netflix. He always does “whatever I want to do.”

IMG_063413051764_993203110732778_6445842000975710011_n

 

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

IMG_070217.He loves dogs almost as much as I do.

18. He is so handsome.

19. We have more inside jokes than anyone else I know, that nobody would ever understand.

20. He cares a lot about other’s peoples’ feelings, even though he doesn’t show it often.

IMG_0715IMG_0049IMG_0628

21. He has big dreams, but he also knows I do to, and he allows me to follow them

22. He snores, sleep talks, and constantly makes weird clicking sounds, but for some reason I sleep better next to him.

23.He is the most optimistic person I know.

IMG_0616

 

I am constantly wondering what I did to deserve someone like Derek to have as a husband. I will never take the littlest things he does for granted, and I will never stop celebrating him as a person, or his life. 22 was a great year for him, I am so excited to see what 23 will bring!

11755769_866399770079780_1224177591888122890_n

Happy birthday babe, I love you.

Onto the (many, many) next adventures (with you), Wren

 

 

 

Advertisements

Dursteler Abode-a go

It’s been exactly two weeks since we officially became home owners to our 1970’s yellow fixer upper. The second I walked into that house that day Joanna Gaines voice went through my head, “Do you have what it takes to take on a fixer upper?”

I knew it would be a lot of work, but it’s always been my dream to buy an old house, and make it feel new. So, with a lot of help from friends and family, and my awesome husband (who I have now learned is the perfect handy man, that I always wanted to marry) we began.

Here are the before pictures and  what we were working with.

Living Room: There was bright pink carpet through out.

12933091_987922567927499_8397128067173637145_n

Dining Room:12920364_987922534594169_2759939218511352237_n

Kitchen:12928244_987922531260836_3083334198985319976_n

Hall Bathroom: (Don’t you love that toilet paper holder?)12512234_987922601260829_3183189163899598682_n

Office/First bedroom: (Desk Built ins and chairs included)12919619_987922571260832_3943195714441891149_n

Second bedroom:12936635_987922627927493_490416290883067400_n

Master Bedroom: (make shift flower decor included)12961455_987922617927494_3719241344726506601_n

Master Bedroom:12924468_987922657927490_3008340899380879187_nMaster Bathroom:

12923143_987922651260824_7970767210217389052_n

I knew that there would be a ton of work going into this, but the second I saw the huge fenced backyard (which is another project by the way) the wood burning fireplace, and all of the light that came through each window, I saw potential, and I fell in love.

I spent Friday afternoon cleaning out all of the old furniture, books, and other things that the old lady left behind. Saturday was DEMO DAY.

The first to go was the carpet! I couldn’t believe how big and open the house felt when it was gone. Ps-we removed all of the carpet and wall paper in one day. Surprisingly, we knew what we were doing. (Thanks to binge watching HGTV for the last 10 years.)

12931042_987922721260817_1334917387865724556_n12987213_987922694594153_5878588921714809277_n12938180_987922684594154_3779803458714423727_n12961455_987922687927487_4956413285769107259_n

Over the next few days, we took off all of the baseboards, removed the wall paper, removed the built in shelves and desks, smashed the tile, and scraped that popcorn ceiling off.

12931259_987948577924898_3017215082661123710_n

12718014_987948584591564_1655756595517106066_n12987026_987922964594126_4579012160237791100_n11204481_979241942128895_7802034245397407303_n

12924612_987923134594109_5890878749250079860_n.jpg

Once the house was all torn apart, it was time to start putting it back together. Derek and the guys re-textured our ceiling since it was ruined from the popcorn. The girls and I took all of our kitchen cabinets down, cleaned them, sanded them and got them ready for paint!

12974277_987948604591562_387357229079475874_n

12963536_987922827927473_7618322900626011837_n

12963562_987922814594141_4770035285572746777_n12963472_987922757927480_6096289499559406718_n

We are extremely exhausted, sore, and so so excited! As of right now, we are just about finished painting all of our walls, and we finished our kitchen cabinets yesterday. Once everything is painted (fireplace, trim, baseboards, ceilings, doors) we will install our floor!

944982_987922931260796_5593121264352337536_n12932870_987922974594125_7725063471636794176_n12987169_987923064594116_1104364095998032093_n12924496_987922504594172_3787014823697061549_n12919766_987922874594135_4916661322997089161_n12923147_987923031260786_1811866879788260691_n

We have decided to update our bathrooms, and kitchen with new faucets and light fixtures for now. We are going to eventually remodel our bathrooms, and the kitchen back splash and counter tops.  (Which may grow on me with time.)

I am so pleased with how this renovation has turned out. We have had so much help (from the people pictured, and many who are not.) I can’t believe how far we have come in just two weeks. I am so excited to see where we will be in another two! Thanks for following along.

PS. I made a tab for my “Home” I am going to start doing tutorials, DIYs, design and decor tips on the blog as we grow in our Dursteler Abode!

Onto the next adventure,(well finishing this one 😉 ) Wren

 

New Habit for March

Wow! I realized it was already April in the middle of planning my best friend’s bridal shower, my home renovation, and working every day this week. Since it is already the 3rd, I finally found time to share with you all my new habit that I have been working on in March.

At the beginning of march I started stretching every morning. I have always loved yoga, stretching, and working on my flexibility. I would do it very often, but in March I made it a habit to do it every single day, and I can’t believe how much better I feel.

12919827_985333311519758_6486424765252216368_n

There were days that I went to a hour yoga class at my gym, and other days that I was rushing out the door, so I only stretched for five minutes, but I did it. Between my birthday week, buying a house, starting our renovation, and being extremely busy with friends and family, I did it.

It is the perfect time for me to focus on my breathing, my body, and think about what I want to accomplish that day. With time, I want to practice yoga each morning for at least 30 minutes, but hey, here’s a start.

12321340_985333271519762_8385191787620935969_n

PS. Sorry about the crappy picture quality, these were taken in a basement, with self timer. I will eventually make a post of my whole stretching sequence (when I have better lighting, and my husband isn’t too busy to be my photographer)

Also, I will be posting plenty of pictures of our home renovation, so far, very very soon!

Thanks for following along.

Onto the next adventure, Wren

Our Canyon Overlook Hike

I was going to make a video of our whole Zion getaway weekend, but I decided I didn’t want to carry my camera around the whole time, and I wanted to spend quality alone time with Derek, without any electronic devices, while we were at the restaurants and in our hotel.

So, here is a video I made of our hike to the Zion Canyon Overlook.

PS- I am in the process of finding a higher quality video editor for future videos, the one I use now makes my footage less clear than they originally are, so I apologize for that!

Onto the next adventure, Wren

 

Our weekend in Zion.

Guess what!? ANOTHER birthday post! I told you, I’d be celebrating all month. 😉

The day after my birthday, Derek took me to Zion for the night. It was so fun to have a little weekend getaway, take in my favorite views, and spend some alone time with him. We drove up on Saturday afternoon, and hiked one of my favorite hikes, “Zion Canyon Overlook.” Derek had never done this hike before. It was overcast, but the weather was perfect!

12718251_966026090117147_7806672179830446412_n

12832568_968418786544544_5835486535582875575_n 12814805_968418736544549_5568629877230754584_n 12805926_968418743211215_6150604401109546878_n (1) 12802764_968418819877874_6144262565258740745_n 12809570_968421663210923_8234490261041815361_n 12814400_968418779877878_6868909911012816186_n

12806068_968421766544246_6958914327438470677_n1916097_968421779877578_4541718980294117004_n 12801379_968421813210908_6376553062066203383_n

12809744_968421753210914_979866912057934577_n

We even saw some mountain goats!

12832439_968418806544542_2376380170427705049_n

We ate dinner at “The Spotted Dog” that night, and stayed at the Flannigan’s Inn.

12804611_968421733210916_1500974283687822568_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning, we woke up to rain. I have been to Zion way too many times to count, but to see it covered in dark clouds and rain, was breath taking.

12804771_968421719877584_3976733547712669587_n 12814523_968421699877586_7665346797728032462_n 10004060_971269112926178_3912280165780007596_n

We had breakfast at Oscar’s, and enjoyed our quick, rainy, trip home.

One of my favorite things about Zion, is listening to other people’s conversations. They talk about how beautiful it is here,  how far they traveled from to see these beautiful mountains, how they wished they lived closer, and how they don’t want to go home.

I am so thankful to live so close to a National Park, and one of the most beautiful ones. I will never take it for granted. Our weekend getaway was the perfect end to my birthday week, all thanks to my handsome husband.

Onto the next adventure, Wren

PS- Video of our hike coming soon!

 

Birthday (week) Shenanigans

 

For those of you who know me, you know that my birthday is a big deal. I love celebrating, I love life, and I love celebrating the day that I was given this life.

I celebrated my birthday over four days this year, because I wanted to do all of my favorite things with my favorite people.

On Thursday, I went out to dinner and drinks with a group of friends. There was fifteen of us. I am so blessed when it comes to “great friends.” I love each one of these people like family.12832370_968425536543869_1891409765959177310_nAnd I obviously love mixed drinks and Mexican food, as well.

12814427_968425493210540_4032624906070569641_n

On Friday, It was my actual birthday! I woke up to the house being decorated, presents on the table, and breakfast waiting for me. (Shout out to the best husband, and mother in law!)

12799342_968425489877207_4693686218329185397_n

Next on my agenda was pedicures with my mama, lunch with her and my grandma (Derek tagged along) and then grandma, mom, and I went shopping.

I had a a couple friends over for a BBQ that night with my family, and in laws.  I am not a fan of cake, so I had brownies instead.

12802992_968425439877212_1906289232495724050_n12806024_968425409877215_3024687497902009465_n12814631_968425406543882_5334311212441394705_nOn Saturday, I met my dad for breakfast, and then Derek and I drove up to Zion and went hiking on one of my favorite hikes. He took me out to dinner, and booked a hotel room, so that we could have a weekend getaway with just the two of us.

12801434_968421723210917_5651308313048647891_n

On Sunday, we woke up to rain, went to breakfast at Oscar’s, and drove home. (More pictures, and video from our weekend getaway coming soon!)

I love my birthday for some many reasons. I get to reflect on how much I have grown in the last year, I get to set new goals for myself, remind myself of how grateful I am to have the life I have, and the people in it. And best of all, I get to have an excuse to do my favorite things, and spend time with my favorite people.

Onto the next adventure, Wren

 

#CHOOSINGTOLOVEMYSELFCHALLENGE

One of my favorite instagrammers, Hailey Devine, posted that she is doing the #CHOOSINGTOLOVEMYSELF challenge last month, and asked her followers to join in.

 

The challenge is to go 18 days without saying a negative thing about yourself. Lately, I have been stressed, and very insecure with the way I look, so when I saw this post, I thought I would give it a try. I have decided to do the challenge for 22 days and end on my 22nd birthday. I know that this will be hard for me, so I decided to say and write down one positive thing that I love about myself each day, to cancel out the negative thoughts.

Day 1: I love how petite I am. Sometimes, it can be frustrating when I can’t find the clothes I want, because at certain stores, even size X-smalls drown me. But I am so happy that I do not have the opposite problem. Plus, sometimes I find cute clothes in the kids’ section, and I save money.

Day 2: I love that I am naturally blonde. I work at a beauty supply store, and just about every day I have a customer say “well I want to be as blonde as you, or I have a client who wants to be your color, but I don’t want to do too much damage.” People pay hundreds of dollars every six weeks to up-keep their blonde highlights, and every day I feel so lucky to be naturally blonde.

Day 3: I love my big heart. I care for people, and love them so deeply. The strong relationships I have with people make life so much better.

Day 4: I love my smile. Two years of braces was so worth it.

Day 5: I love my love for life, and that I am able to find beauty in the simplest things that constantly change the “bad days” to good ones.

Day 6: I love my blue eyes.

Day 7: I love my motivation to set goals, and achieve them.

Day 8: I love that I am not materialistic, and that I don’t need fancy things to make me happy.

Day 9: I love my health. Sometimes I get discouraged when I am running on a treadmill, because I get tired and feel out of shape, but hey at least I have a good-working heart, and a body that can run, climb mountains, and swim in oceans.

PS-Can I say that I am only half way through this challenge, and I can already feel a huge difference with the way I feel about myself?

Day 10: I love my healthy, young skin. I used to have horrible acne, and ever since I was on medication for it, I have loved my skin. I wear sun screen every single day to prevent wrinkles, and luckily, I have never had a stretch mark in my life. (knock on wood)

Day 11: I love my jobs. I know that this isn’t something about appearance, or personality, but I did choose the jobs that I have right now, and I love the decisions I made to get there. Both of my jobs are in fields that I love, and I love my co-workers like family.

Day 12: I love that I don’t need to be fake to feel beautiful. Yes, a lot of make up, fake eyelashes, and hair extensions do make me feel sexy and confident, and they are fun every once in a while, and more power to the women who wear them everyday. But I love that I have never had eyelash extensions, or been to a tanning bed, and I still like the way I look.

Day 13: I love that I don’t hold grudges, and my ability to forgive so easily. I know that everyone makes mistakes, I accept that and move on. Life is too short to stay mad at anyone.

Day 14: I love my honesty. I learned at a very young age that lying about something gets you hardly anywhere, and it makes you feel horrible. I’ve got in trouble sometimes with the truth, but it’s paid off a lot more than a lie would have.

Day 15: I love my relationship with my husband. I know how cheesy, and cliche? But honestly, it is hard to find a trust-worthy honest kind of love now a days. Marriage is something that we both work on, but it’s one of the things I know I am good at, and I love that about myself.

Day 16: I love my legs. Yes, some days I wish I had long legs like a super model, but other days when I am in a hurry, and need to shave, I am so thankful my legs are only as long as they are. They keep me moving, and constantly going, and I love them for that.

Day 17: I love my optimism. Sometimes my husband tells me that I am negative, but that is just because he is the one who hears me complain. I am always looking for the positive in a shitty situation, and always reminding myself that things could always be worse. Life is so much better when you surround yourself with positive feelings.

Day 18: I love that I take photos of everyone, everywhere, and everything. It is part of who I am. I know a lot of people who say they take enough photos, but I have never had that problem. I love time traveling through photographs.

Day 19: I have the best memory, and I love it. I can remember certain days in Pre School, I remember people’s birthdays and the littlest details of someone else’s stories.

Day 20: I love my curly hair. Some days it’s an annoying mess, but on the days that I feel lazy, I can wash it and go. And most of the time it works out. It also gives me a lot of volume when I flat iron it.

Day 21: I love my talents. I used to get so discouraged when I would watch people sing, or dance, or draw. I wish I had a talent like that. Why wasn’t I born talented? Or why didn’t I stick to playing the piano, or gymnastics? But I realized that you don’t need to be artsy to be talented. I am talented when it comes to expressing my feelings, planning out my weeks, catching up with old friends, or decorating my home. We all have certain passions and talents, and I am glad that I have finally noticed mine, and have learned to love them.

Day 22: I honestly love myself. I know that some days I will get discouraged with the things I say, or the way I look. We all do it, especially in this day of age, where we are constantly comparing ourselves and our lives to others, but I love who I am, and who I will become.

This challenge has opened my eyes so much. I know that I am still learning, I am still growing, and there is always room for improvement of who I am or how I feel about myself. Whenever I have a negative thought, or look in the mirror and want to cry, I will remind myself that I am strong, I am beautiful, and I am healthy, and life is way too short to want to be anyone else other than that person in the reflection. I hope you all learn to love yourself. and if you find it challenging  to do so, I hope you try the #choosingtloveyourselfchallenge .

Thank you Hailey Devine for the inspiration, and my new found confidence.

I am so excited for year 22!

Onto the next adventure, Wren