Monday, July 29, 2013

Leopold Picnic

The Leopold Picnic is this cult-famous event in this area, held the last weekend in July every year at this teeny little town called Leopold.  My MeeMaw (who passed away a couple of year's ago, Alzheimer's) was from Leopold, so we went every year with her until she wasn't able to be out and about.  We haven't been in years and years, and after hearing my family talk about it, Ryan wanted to see what it was all about.  The weather here is completely unseasonable and GORGEOUS so we all headed out to Leopold this Saturday to revisit the picnic.  Leopold is like Catholic fantasy land-it's a community of maybe 300, and the church is the center of town.  The picnic is the yearly fundraiser for the school and it's kind of a reunion for everyone who has family there.

First stop?  The homemade ice cream.....$0.75 a scoop.  I'm serious (cheeseburgers were $2.50, it was like another world).  I ate 5 scoops total...occasions like this come along so rarely, I believe in making the most of them.

Mary was so excited to play this game where you try to get ping pong balls in the beer glasses.  You win the glass you sink a ping pong ball in to.  Ryan had his eye on the football glass.  I (clearly) did not succeed in winning it for  him.  See my mom laughing at me?  She knows it's futile!

We played some Bingo....

....while drinking beer.  Ryan said the Coors on draft made him think of college :)

My MeeMaw was one of 14, so we're related to just about everyone at the picnic.  Bummer for Mary, as there were some hot country boys there!  We ran into my Great Aunt Patsy, my MeeMaw's sister.  You could tell they were sisters from a mile away, and it was nice to hear some talk about MeeMaw.

My city-boy husband will have some good stories to tell his city family at Thanksgiving, haha!  This was deep country for him.  I'm glad we went; the last time we were here, MeeMaw was overwhelmed and didn't recognize people and it was a sad day. It was nice to remember her and have a new happy memory of the Leopold Picnic.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Colorado Vacation Part I

Ryan had to start his new coaching gig the Monday after we got married, so we were a little late on the honeymoon trip side of things.  We saved and saved  for a vacation, and I got to research my heart out; we wanted a sizable city with enough stuff to do but that didn't feel crowded and claustrophobic/lots of traffic.  It came down to Portland, Maine and Boulder, Colorado.  Ultimately we went with Boulder as neither of us had been there before and the outdoor, active lifestyle looked right up our alley.  Also, we live in Southeast Missouri and we "enjoy" 90%+ humidity all summer long, so we both wanted a break from that!

This vacation was a rarity for us.  Ryan travels so much for work August-June that traveling for fun has that work-feel to it for him; plus, we're only freed up to travel from mid-June until mid-August with his schedule, plus we're frugal folks and traveling is expensive.  It was actually our first vacation as just us-when we got engaged in Boston his parents and some friends were along, and we went to the beach with my family 2 years ago-all of which was great and they were wonderful trips, but it was fun to do something just us too.  I was SO looking forward to this trip, and then some!  

We flew to Denver, took the bus to Boulder, got our rental car and dropped our bags off at the apartment we rented.  Instead of staying a hotel, we decided to give AirBNB ( is another option) a shot and rent an apartment for the week.  Here's where we stayed:

Nate and Suzy rent out their basement level apartment.  They were very well reviewed on Air BnB, and it ended up being an absolute perfect fit for us.  The kitchen was super handy, as we could cook, have our own breakfast and save leftovers from meals out.  More than that though it really let us enjoy Boulder like the locals do, and we both really loved the different experience it provided.  The only thing we would do differently next time is look at renting a detached space, as Nate and Suzy's adorable 2 year old twins have some loud little feet!  All in all though it was a great choice for us and one we'll definitely be looking at for future travels.

By the time we got settled, it was early evening.  We hit the grocery store and ate at Under the Sun, a Boulder local favorite.  We had our first local brews and took advantage of the yummy Happy Hour menu. We headed back to our apartment and settled in pretty early...we wanted to be up bright and early the next day to explore!
Boulder FlatIrons from Chautauqua National Historic Landmark
More in Part 2, this is getting wordy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Easy Hair Up Do for the Non-Nimble Fingered

I was perusing Pinterest for easy up-do's, as the humidity here is over 80%, and it's such a time crunch when I run in the morning.  Time spent doing hair is time I could spend walking my dogs or getting another mile in, so when I hear easy up-do....I'm in!  As "in" as I may be, that doesn't mean I'm good at doing my hair.  My hair is really fine and thin, and it doesn't tend to cooperate.  I also like to skate by with dry shampoo/day old hair as much as possible.  This hairstyle shocked me be actually working and fitting all of those criteria...and I've gotten compliments all day long!

Have you seen that hair do on Pinterest where you stick an elastic headband around your head like a crown and tuck your hair into it?  I was incredulous...but if I can make it work with still-sweaty-from-my-run hair, then anyone can, right?  This was the tutorial I watched, and here's the result....

The biggest challenge is getting the front part (around your face) to look right.  I wonder if it would be easier with bangs, but I just grew mine out.

Adding it to my Pinterest "Locks" board!

How do you keep your hair off your neck in the heat?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

3 Years

3 years ago I married my wonderful husband, and I had no idea then how much better it would get.

We got married after a year and a half of long distance while Ryan applied everywhere that had a college distance running coaching job open.  9 days before we got married, he landed a coaching job right here in my hometown...and less than a year later, I landed my dream job here too.  Life is so, so good.  We're healthy, we're happy, and not a day goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars that I have this man in my life.

We're celebrating with a nice dinner in.  Happy Anniversary's to all of my wedding blogger friends; following along with your engagements, to your weddings and now to your life with your spouses has been really fun :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


We are honeymooning in Boulder, Colorado next week!  Ryan started his coaching job 2 days after we got married, and we're just getting around to the honeymoon part.

I'm just a little excited.  We're going to drink LOTS of microbrew beer, enjoy the beautiful mountains and scenery, chow down at the Farmer's Market (we're renting an apartment with a kitchen from AirBNB so we can cook too!) and I'm going to get my Stephen King geek on at the Stanley Hotel.  Ryan also wants to go Whitewater Rafting.  This is our first trip together alone, too!

If anyone is familiar with the area, I'd LOVE your tips and suggestions!

Going anywhere fun this summer?

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Synagogue Pew

In our downtown, we have this beautiful former synagogue right next to Old St. Vincent Church, which is the prettiest church in town (I think so at least).  Old St. Vincent used to be St. Vincent's, and in the 1930's the parish donated a piece of land directly adjacent to the church to Cape Girardeau's Jewish community for the construction of a synagogue, as a gesture of friendship.  The B'Nai Israel Synagogue was constructed in 1937, after a scouting trip to scope out a design to the Middle East, as Europe wasn't as accessible to them at that point in time.  The Jewish community decreased in size a few decades down the line, and the synagogue closed years ago.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

I've always been fascinated by the synagogue, sitting empty for as long as I can remember.  The architecture is like nothing else in town, and it always made me sad to see it shuttered up and out of use.  I love that the land was given as a gesture of friendship...that inter-faith tolerance and mutual respect makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

A local antique store owner owns the synagogue, and as a group has recently rented it, she needed to get the bigger pieces of furniture out.  A few weeks ago Ryan and I were in here antique store, and Ryan said that he had a surprise for me.  He pointed me in the direction of these lovely old dark wood pews, and said that they had come out of the synagogue and that he had gotten me two, one for each side of my front door.

My mouth dropped open.  I'd been wanting pews for our front porch for years, but pews that came out of the synagogue, one of my favorite pieces of Cape history?  YES.  Followed by YES.

Ryan got stuck hauling them home in a freak downpour, and they needed some sanding/restoring/gluing done, but they made their grand appearance on my front porch this weekend!  I sat in them and watched it rain.  The dark wood against our white house is just perfect, and they have that little dip in the back so your butt slides right down.

So now I have 2 synagogue pews and I'm over-excited about this.  A dream I didn't know I had came true, hahaha!

Any fun additions to your home lately?