A 1st Birthday


Yeah, not mine. But you know I can still find a way to make this post about me. Just kidding. We were so excited to be there to celebrate Kiptyn’s 1st birthday. Kiptyn is very special (for many reasons), but also because he is the very first child of the Wabasha 5. Basically the rest of our children are destined to be besties so we’re hoping he turns out to be a good influence and a good duet partner like his mama. :)

The banana bars were my contribution to the monkey-themed party! I hate bananas, but i can stomach banana bread so I gave them a try. Sweet & tasty!

There he is! I probably should’ve led with that, huh?

Deidre was super creative, and did an amazing job planning tons of fun stuff for Kip’s party. And you KNOW I love that she incorporated bunting!

Another precious partygoer! Can you imagine Kip & James going to Emmaus together someday? Haha. I had to check the other pictures to make sure this was James. It’s so easy to confuse little babies. Does anyone else have that problem? Could just be me. I need my eyes checked. Seriously. Lol.

I love these girls! I was a little bummed that I was so fashionably late when the Dubuquers were around all afternoon, but I really loved seeing everybody!

Kevin & I. I just have to point out the subtle matching point that is not available for viewing in this photograph. Orange gingham shirt + skinny orange belt = love.

It was the BEST kid’s birthday party I have ever been to! I wanted to stay longer. I wish it had been a SLUMBER PARTY! My pictures didn’t turn out great (I don’t know why considering I have such an AWESOME camera) so I just stole these from Deidre/Amy and Kristy.

Can’t wait for his second birthday! :)

Bachelorettes & Babies


Not necessarily two things that normally go together, but I was definitely excited to meet James and Owen. And I’m always excited to be me!

I always like to lead with whoever had the cutest look (usually Kevin), but this time it goes to James! No offense, Owen, I just never got brave enough to hold you. Newborns are a little frightening, but I was still proud to hold my best friend’s baby. I know he’s going to be so awesome. Of course, I hope he marries my future imaginary children.

The Minnesotans definitely managed to bring a lot of stuff with them! We struggled getting it into the hotel rooms on our own! I think we’re kind of used to leaving the menfolk to do this job. Of course, Miss Bride-to-Be was just snapping photos on the iPhone rather than being helpful!

Look! There’s baby Owen! As soon as we arrived in our hotel room, my sister-in-law, Lisa set about making things FESTIVE! Check out that bunting. Lisa is becoming the bunting queen! Just wait until you see the endless yards she made for the wedding!

It didn’t take long to decide to head back to some of our old stomping grounds before dinner. Almost all of us went to Emmaus Bible College, so One Mean Bean was definitely a hangout spot!

We also tried to stalk out Emmaus, but we got denied. It after 4:30 so everything was locked up tight!

My awesome friends also surprised me with a stunning personalized cake! It was actually made by an old college homegirl, Ashlee AKA the crafty dough puncher.

No evening is complete without a Target run! Doesn’t Joanie look particularly sassy in that purple number? (Be looking forward to her guest post next week. Perhaps it should just be a photo journal of all the times her car gets pranked next week!)

The rest of the evening was spent eating, laughing, opening gifts, hot tubbing, eating some more, playing some very late night charades, and nerding around with our smartphones. Good times. It was the sweetest girls weekend, and I reallllllly enjoyed the break from wedding planning. Poor Kevin James was back at home slaving away making more benches (due to 105% RSVP rate) and cooking/freezing chicken. He really is the best groom ever!

I’ll leave you with this extremely important trivia question compliments of the One Mean Bean waiting area.

Guess in the comments, yo!

Despedida II


Here are some of the hombres chilling on the balcony. I remember when I first moved here they would just be cracking endless jokes, and I wouldn’t understand anything. It was so intimidating. When you are learning a second language, it’s much easier to understand when someone is speaking more formally like in church or in school. When you get this gang together, it’s motormouths, slang, and shouting! I have since learned to absolutely adore the Dominican way of picking at each other and being super dramatic about everything.

Biggest smile competition? All three are available, ladies, but the middle jirafa is my baby so cuidado!

All the single ladies! Although one not for long… Yo-Yo and I had a little fun doing YouTube karaoke before the rest of the party arrived. It may or may not have included a little Beyonce and Enrique.

Cracking the whip and putting my firstborn son to work!

A su orden! A Dominicanism meaning “you’re welcome”, “at your service”, or “you can borrow it anytime you want.” Basically whatever you want it to mean!

Ayy, Raymundo! The first person to get me in trouble in the DR! I’ll never forget that. By the way, he’s hoping to reprise that particular incident before I go. He also was the first one to teach me “El Burro Hablando de Orejas.” I used that line sucessfully during karaoke competition last night and got a good laugh. It’s always a good feeling when you got jokes in your second language!

Serving and sampling. In the last three years, I have learned to love being the hostess. I love making sure everyone has an entire plate of food plus an entire plate of cake plus leftovers to take home. Nobody left empty-handed!

I owe a Things I’m Going to Miss About the DR post about my church, but I’m feeling too emo after my last Sunday there. Time for some more coffee and some retail therapy!

You Sweet Thing: Wedding Dessert Table


I spent a good portion of my Caturday brainstorming and organizing things (at least in my brain) for the wedding.

First up: the dessert table. Sweet are very important to my honeypie, so they have to be awesome.

During the last few months of engagement bliss, I’ve seen a lot lot lot of dessert tables. But this one via Ruffled is my fave:

Here are some musts for my dessert table:

  • Best Carrot Cake Ever

    – Kevin’s favorite, and a lot of people have RSVP’d that it’s their favorite as well.

  • Angel food cake.

    Because it’s awesome, and because my padres had it at their wedding. Here are some options:

  • Grandma Mary Kay’s brownies.
  • Grandma Alice’s caramel corn.

  • My roommate’s chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake.
  • Whatever cupcakes I end up baking around midnight in a mad panic that there won’t be enough cake.
  • Gummy sharks, bears, jelly bellies, and some sort of black licorice candy. Just small amounts in jars (see first picture of this post).
  • Some cute cakes or cuteness on cakes. I have listed some examples simply for inspirational reasons. Including some that will be far too difficult to attempt.

    Exhibits: They’re clickable!

    You get the idea.

    I came across this DIY idea for making labels for the sweets table. It goes without saying that they will NOT be purple.

    Ok. Just to humor myself. Two more cakes that I love, but are more than I truly wish to undertake.

    I made the last one big for dramatic effect. That’s probably the one I’d choose if I’d already written my NY Times Bestseller.

    The real dessert table will definitely be a toned down Midwestern version of my gorgeous inspirations, but there will be lots of cake as promised. Even I, bridepants, am falling asleep by the end of this post!

  • Hi Friday!


    I’m so incredibly thankful. This has been a long week packed with extra music rehearsals for my students followed by sticky cupcake celebrations and impromptu kickball games. I’ve been a wee bit stressed, and I’m having a pink eye scare.

    Last night something unusual happened. There was definitely a small earthquake. I was talking on the phone with Kevin James when I felt it. I totally tweaked. However, nobody else in my house felt it! We’re all from the Midwest so sometimes the possibility of something being an earthquake occurs to us rather slowly. I ran into the other room where my roommate’s sisters was quite contentedly reading and was like,” DID YOU FEEL SOMETHING?” She just looked at me like I was insane. But sure enough, it was all over Facebook. You can always count on your students to make lame comments and status updates during things like that, but at least it confirmed that I wasn’t crazy!

    Here are a few cool things (that nobody but me cares about) to get your Friday kicked off:

    Disposable push-pop containers now available from this etsy store.

    In rainbow cookie form.

    Simple rustic wedding decor: frames + lights

    And canoodling. With filthy feeet.

    Enjoy your Fridays. I’m going to dinner tonight for one of the last times with one of the seniors. We’re going to Chili’s! Hooray for American food!

    Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles


    Vitamin G alerted me to these sweet Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles. There are only three simple ingredients for this moderately healthy snack.

    1 ½ cup pureed strawberries
    ½ cup crushed vanilla Oreos
    2 cups vanilla yogurt

    For full directions go here to Bakers Royale.

    These would be perfect for my baby sister’s birthday in August!