Friday, May 29, 2015

I could get used to this.

Way back in April (which seriously feels like such a long time ago!) I made a quick, yet necessary, decision and deemed May a "no-travel month." Can I just give myself a big ol' pat on the back for having one of the best ideas I've ever had? And Lee definitely deserves one too, first for putting up with me during a crazy hectic April, and second for helping me realize that traveling 4 out of 5 weekends in a month is something worth thinking about doing never. again.

As the lovely month of May comes to a close, I just need to say how freaking awesome it was to just be for an entire month. The most traveling we did was a happy day trip to Galena to see my family on Mother's Day, but other than that we've been laying low and I gotta say, I. loves. it.

Can you say, going for walks, garage sale-ing, grilling and eating on the patio, breaking in some new soccer shoes and just getting more sleep overall? Although the schedule has begun to fill up during the week, it's amazing how great I still feel to just have no (or very few) set weekend plans. Want to drive around and look at all the really expensive houses in town? Sure. How about checking out garage sales (and finding a surprise STEAL on wedding decor)? Well, okay. Wait, how about we find a new recipe, make it, and then just do WHATEVER THE HECK WE WANT. Yeah, twist my arm. In sum, this month of no traveling has been such a blessing. I recommend a "no-travel month" to anyone, yes, even you with your friends and family hundreds of miles away. Believe me, you (and your wallet) will thank you.

I am even more affirmed to encourage this after reading this article linked from Laura over here. One of my deepest desires is to live in a community and not just have a utilitarian relationship with it: "I live here. I work here. I get my groceries over there. Then I leave and see my family and real friends on the weekends." I deeply desire to be planted in a community and truly integrate myself into it--I want to go to the local festivals, know the "hole-in-the-wall" goldmines, see friends and neighbors at the grocery store checkout and get caught talking for 45 minutes, and best of all, I just want to be present to those around me, to myself, and to my family. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it?

Anywho, since I haven't blogged in a while, some fun things as of late and in no particular order are:

1) Canvas and Cabernet.

I have been wanting to do this for such a long time! So many of my friends have gone to the "wine and painting nights" and always come back with these beautiful paintings that look like they were done by a professional. I was particularly excited about doing maybe a field, or a sunset, or a nice river with a moon reflection. (Mostly I just wanted to do a moon reflection). Instead, this was the painting for the evening:

Chevron stencils, a stencil of Iowa and oh yeah, Iowa. Soooo yeah. No moon reflection. Or nature setting of any sort. Even a flower or butterfly would have sufficed! But really?? A tribute to Iowa? Since living here I've definitely learned that Iowans feel the same way about their state as I feel about mine, but if we go again we are definitely looking ahead to see what the painting will be for the evening before making a $35 commitment. I mean, are we supposed to hang them up? Maybe I'll put it right next to my Wisconsin art... or the Blessed Mother. Or maybe in the basement where it belongs....but it's the experience and bonding that counts, right?!

2) Jenne came to visit!

Not going anywhere for a month really has it's perks:  your friends come to you. Holla. We had a wonderful weekend equipped with going for walks, eating kale (....), grilling out, and giggling like schoolgirls (which we somehow always manage to do). Also, every time we are together we find a way to squeeze in the following: going to confession, getting Caribou, FaceTiming Fr. Cheney and now we may start a new tradition of drinking a delicious and low-calorie beverage called 1020's. (basically just vodka, tonic water and crystal light. YUM).

Top: On a walk through the state park.
Bottom: Enjoying grilled salmon and asparagus on the patio.

3) Breaking in new soccer shoes.

Lee sweet-talked me into going out on a limb and signing up for a rec soccer league with him for the summer. He's been doing this the last two years and loves it, whereas I'm over here like:

Seriously. I haven't played a full game of soccer since senior year of high school, and after doing very few, minimal soccer exercises (passing, running around an open field one time) I was spent. Literally done for. So we'll see how these Monday night games go. My only goal is to survive. And stay hydrated. Other than that, no promises.

Silver lining: My old soccer gear has been tossed at some point in the last almost decade since graduating high school (SO weird to say that), so in return for signing up for the league, Lee bought me these shiny new kicks so I can lay in the grass on the sidelines run around aimlessly in style:

Pretty flashy, 'eh? Actually, I'm not sure if you've perused the soccer cleat section at any store lately, but you should check it out just for kicks (wink).  We were both pretty disgusted at the blindingly bright and horrific designs that I wouldn't even want the cutest child to wear. Apparently bright and flashy is in...but what happened to the traditional black shoes with the three white stripes?! Simple and classy, right? Maybe I'm just that far out of touch with style and reality (likely), but either way, some of those... yuck. This was literally the closest I could get to the classic cleats I donned once upon a time.

4) Wearing my new skirt at every opportunity outside of work.

While in Galena I splurged and bought the skirt pictured below. I've wanted a versatile maxi skirt for some time now--mostly because people always look so comfortable in them! I've been striking out left and right, so I finally just gave up. And then, while shopping with Mom, a wave of something came over me and I decided that this would be a good idea... and don't even think about telling me otherwise!

Those blurry iPhone selfies were taken on two separate occasions... so clearly my creativity with this skirt lacks. But the woman in the store told me that "they just can't find any shirt that matches the blue in the skirt!" So when I came home and found this bad boy already in my closet, I felt a sweet, sweet sense of victory. A very small victory, but victory indeed.

5) Shopping for hiking boots.

Due to the fact that our honeymoon cabin ended up being a little less than we budgeted for, both Lee and I thought it would be a great idea to get him some new kicks, so we can explore the trails in comfort and style. Plus, it's just a great idea to get hiking boots, especially since we both enjoy a good hike through the woods.

I didn't take any pictures of Lee trying them on, but I did snap this pic because it's the same pair of shoes that daddio sports all the time, and it made me miss ma 'n pa:

Dad's are the ones on the far left, with just a hint of orange. :)

So these are just a few of the happenings that have been happening in the vida de Kelsey. In sum, stay home for a month and you might just end up painting a tribute to Iowa. Or haggling at a garage sale. The possibilities are endless!

Kelsey Marie
There is nothing like staying home for real comfort. -- Jane Austen 

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