Friday, May 31, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Hello! I know it's Friday but I took a little bit of time getting to posting. This week is all quacked out! Last year was a bit more low key than this year for the big Memorial Day Weekend.

Saturday we were out the door by noon to make a wedding in North Bend. It was about an hour and a half drive so we got to spend some quality time with Travis' parents. Quite the day let me tell you! The wedding was gorgeous, I was jealous of all the rustic looking pretties and then I was of course excited to sip on some of the grooms signature drink: Jack & Coke. The evening was spent dancing away and enjoying company of friends! We got home around 1-ish and I stayed up extra late baking cookies, if you're my buddy on Instagram you were delighted to see some of the pictures I took of my late night baking festivities. Fun. Stuff.

Sunday morning came sooner than expected and I was super excited to get into the river to canoe the Blue and hang out with friends I don't normally see all the time. We dropped in the river around noon and we took almost seven hours to get to our final destination. I was lucky enough I got to go with my bestie, Timmy. We have known each other for years, we even went to prom together in high school and there's nothing that I wouldn't do for him. I love that boy to death. :) 


If you take a look at the first shots above, you'll see there's about eight canoes full of coolers. These were not all of the canoes and I know I've got more shots somewhere but I wanted to get as many canoes as possible. It's fun to see what they looked like starting out before they dropped in the water.  Also, take not of the bungees on the coolers, in case of emergency capsize those will hopefully hold the beverages inside of the coolers until we can tip them back over. The picture below pretty much explains what you should do in this situation. No title or caption needed. :)



These shots are just randoms from before and after the trip. Poor Sierra got sunscreen in her eye, luckily for her (and us) there was plenty of ice cold beer to help her get some relief of the sting a little. The giant fleet of people dragging their canoes is such a fun picture I think! I also love the polka dancing that was occurring after we got back from the trip. As you can tell, everyone has mad skills.


This is my bestie. He's been there through thick and thin. He's stuck up for me and has never once walked away. Don't think we've gotten where we're at without our ups and downs. I can distinctly remember a fight we shared last winter about something rediculous but lucky for me, he's always came back and didn't stay mad for long. We may have the weirdest friendship ever, we may act like complete children but that's us. Take it or leave it we're besties and I will never have another guy friend that I'm this close to. Ever. Like ever. (T-Swift there for ya)

So after the canoe trip we ended up over at Ben's where we cleaned out the canoes, hung out and re-grouped together. We sat around for awhile but then when we all took off I ventured over to the neighbors where I got lost and next thing I knew the clock said 3 am. It was time for beddy!!

Sunday was a fairly relaxed day, we received over 1.40" of rain so we happy danced for awhile then decided to get up and do something productive for the day. Trav and me jumped in the old truck to get some shots of the growing corn. Now that it's all planted I have intentions of doing the growth stages dealo! Figured my blog buddies that aren't into the ag world would love to learn a thing or two. After I took some fun pictures we stopped at mom and dad's to hang out for awhile. I brought the camera along so I'll sometime post pictures of all of my mom's gorgeous flowers along with a couple of other "farm" pictures I took. We shared some fun on the farm and took off to make a stop at the cemetery. My grandpa was a war vet and I'm so grateful for him serving so I figured it was only right to stop by and see him. Now grandpa passed away in 2003 and I hadn't stopped to see him since 2010 when grandma passed away. And since grandma passed away I haven't been out there, so it was time. I cleaned off the graves (grandma always insisted we did this when I helped her put out the war vets flowers each year) and then walked around to visit the other loved ones and friends that have passed away. It was a weird feeling knowing there were so many people around but not able to chit chat with you. Romantic? Naw but fun to see everyone again! We had plans on grilling that evening, but it was getting late and with rain (heavy rain) showing up on the radar we decided to eat Chinese instead. YUM!

This past weekend was filled with many memories I will forever cherish, many friends I will forever love and spending time with the most important people of my life. I love my parents and I miss my grandparents but such is life. Things and people change, time changes and we're constantly growing old in age, but NEVER forget to live a little and be a kid at heart. People may say I'm childish or that I'm a constant goof but I'd prefer it that way. That just means if I don't make it until tomorrow I did what I love doing, making people smile and giving people memories to re-tell of me in the future.

Until the next post, -Keep On (trying to) Keepin Up

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Floating Down The Blue


I'm still alive! I was underwater for awhile, almost needed the arm floaties but I lucked out and just used my goggles and rain boots instead. Over the past week we've received OVER ten inches of rain total. We've been in a drought for almost two years but with all of this rainfall I'm guessing the drought might be coming to an end soon.

Yesterday evening we had quite the storm roll through. I was stuck right in the middle of it driving home from work and I was straight up freaked out. I hate stormy weather when I'm alone, tornadoes aren't so scary with a friend is my theory. I was almost to my gravel road when we were right under the "red" of the storm so I decided to head over to Travis' brothers house to take cover as it was only about two miles compared to the six it would take to get home. I got there and then hail started to come down. Not a lot but enough to make me want to hide under the covers in hopes it leaves me and my Tahoe alone. (no damage thank goodness)

Once the storm let up a little I decided to scidaddle home. I knew it was a stupid idea, I knew we received a ton of rain in a short amount of time and since we've gotten so much rain that most of the rain would be flooding because the ground was already soaked up. The rain had no where to go but on the roads so, as you can guess, there was 1-2 feet of water covering my gravel roads. I can distinctly remember four places that water was rapidly washing over the road way but I didn't listen to the little voice that said wait it out. I wanted to be home asap. I made it through the rapids with the Taco and made it home. But, when I was ready to pull into my driveway, here's what it looked like:



Ya, more flooding going on. FML! So much for all that lovely corn we planted, I guess we should have just waited it out... I didn't notice it driving home but on my way to work this morning I counted a handful of pivots that had flipped over due to the high winds. Scary to think I was right next to one of the mangled pivots around the same time it tipped over. To top it all off, we got a call from the neighbor saying his basement was flooding and he needed to borrow our sub-pump to help get the water to leave him home.

Once home and safe I decided to grab my camera and get some shots of the flooding. I don't have the photos with me since I'm at work and typing this up (don't tell the boss) I'll post them later hopefully but the one shot I did post to fbook last night was the one of me. It's tough shooting in the rain without ruining your expensive camera equipment so I choose to cover it with some plastic. I laugh at the shot now but I'm so glad I took it. I look crummy but I just survived a stressful drive home in junk weather. And yes, I did finish up the rest of Travis' oreo pie, I was a hot mess that was worked up after those dang storms. I'll run it off today when I log the other 5 miles needed to hit my 30 miles in 30 days. Get over it. On another note, it's fun to see the person behind the camera once in awhile!

When we got to the neighbors we were quite surprised to see just how much rain they had got. The picture on the right is actually of their pasture. This sucker is at least 6-7 feet deep filled with water. It's pretty much a pool, as long as you don't hit a tree you could swim around and enjoy it. A LOT of rain had to come to fill this sucker up that fast and bring the banks up that high. I really should go back and get an empty shot to show you once the waters are gone.

So, me being the silly entertainment creature that I am, I brought over my swimming goggles, my floaties, rain boots hip waders and some beer. We sat there all evening helping to haul buckets of water outside in hopes that it doesn't get out of control and fill the basement up. About midnight we finally got it under control and the water stopped coming into the basement. What happened was their water dumped into the pasture. Said pasture above is the one it was going into. That means when the water rose it decided to use that pipe to push water into the house. 

I'm so glad we're "those neighbors." The ones that are willing to drop everything and help out in times of craziness like last night. It's nice to know we've all got each others back and in return expect absolutely nothing. I can only assume that they'd stop back over by our house and do the same had something similar happened to us. Joe's came over and tilled my garden while Trav was out in the field busy so luckily for me, I guess it was my turn to re-pay the favor. I really think the good Lord gives us neighbors to better ourselves. By giving us friends to depend on when things get tough. Dumping down almost five inches of rain wasn't exactly the best way to get us out of the drought but I guess it worked. Let's just pray this junk that's expected to go through tonight will pass with no major storm issues.

PS- I sent in these photos to our local newspaper, and they added them to their storm pics! WooHoo for publishing it?! Just kidding, but I'd like to think I'm an all star. Someday Kelsey, someday. Click HERE to see the shots.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thankful Thursday

It's beginning to look like summer, so many things to love about summer season right?!

THANKFUL THURSDAY #778-792
  • The ability to go tanning
  • Getting several opportunities to do fun things on my blog
  • A side money maker that will allow me to become a marketing specialist and engage in social media promotional fun
  • Pink lemonade for quenching my thirst this week
  • Logging some miles while out running this past week
  • Trying new recipes, hello bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos (your our new grilling friend)
  • The anticipation of a fun day with friends boating down the river
  • An evening of relaxation and grilling
  • Sunday evening filled with yard work and jokes
  • The budding happiness from a new and growing friendship
  • Watching my savings accounts grow knowing financial security looms in my future (although I hate having to save I know it'll be worth it in the long run)
  • Learning new tips and techniques in my photography classes
  • Garden growing
  • Watching the puppy roll around in the grass
  • Relaxing evening laying in the hammock reading

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Good Life: 5 Must Follow Blogs

Seriously, I'm so blessed and surprised with the amount of you that are linking up with us! I love learning about your different lives and the fact that it's a link-up that isn't the same every week means I get to learn something new about you guys as well every week!

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5 Must Follow Blogs

Well it's hard for me to choose just 5 that are must follows, I've gotten to know so many lovely ladies lately that I am breaking my own rules and may go over just a tid-bit. Oh, and Suzi from Chores & Chandeliers is an obvious daily follow so no need to sum her up ;) But, my main reason that I cannot give you my daily reads is because as of right now I'm following 151 blogs via Friend Connect. And YES I do read all of them, I use that handy little news feed below my main screen on blogger to catch each and every new post they add. And yes, on Monday's I do scroll all the way down to catch up on all the posts I missed over the weekend. Time consuming but I don't want to miss a thing! Here's my edited list of must follows: 

1. Stephanie from Bourbon & Glitter- She's straight up hilarious  Like, giggling at work while others stare at you and you act like you're trying to stay on topic funny. She's a daily read and often, I connect with her outside of commenting on the blog. I love that she's always doing randoms like me and she also has this sweet new link-up dedicated to crazies like us who party a lot. Don't. Judge.

2. Lauren from Tennessee Honey- I've always been a follower of hers, but I can't help it. She's just so sweet and sassy! She's always posting pictures of herself or her adorable kiddos and the fact that she posts recipes makes me feel like turning into a Betty Crocker for the occasional evening. 

3. Chrissy from Prayers & Pearls- Ok, first off, I love her blog name. Like, had I not taken the dare you to keep up with me route I quite possibly would have stolen something cute like this. But, I'm not as creative as her. Did I mention that I'm straight up obsessed with her blog design? Oh how I love for my blog to have a flow-y design that looks great and is function. She's just fun and always full of encouragement. I love reading her daily updates about life too!

4. Sarah from To Be Mrs. Collier- I was originally buddied up with her for the Cara Box exchange but since then, she's been a friend who I cannot wait to connect more with. We've taken it upon our self to do a book exchange. I'm lazy and lacking on finishing a book to send her, so it might be held off for awhile. But, she started up a Tennessee Bloggers Link-Up once she saw us playing this fun game. You Go Girl! :)

5. Brin from Bold, Butter, Baby- That girl gets me rolling. No joke, she's just as funny as Stephanie. And, I kind of have a soft spot for her because she's a fellow NEBRASKA blogger. Go skers! She's straight forward and the fact that she can talk about personal things yet make you laugh really makes for a good read on a crappy day.

6. Amanda from The Barstow's- I have become friends with her and she's the very first blog buddy that trusted me with her cell phone number. Winning?! I'm connected on pretty much all platforms of social media with her and although I'm sad she decided to get rid of internet and blog from nasty public computers I'm still excited to see her mini updates from locations like Instagram. She rocks and I hope she comes back to The Good Life soon!

And I can't forget these ladies that I follow as well:

So there you have it, I didn't cheat anyone and I would love to add umpteen more to my list of daily reads but I'm trying to eliminate and reduce. If you want a full list of the blogs i read go over to my profile and check it out. Now, give me your list! Who are the must follows and why? Are you into specific blogs or just in general anything that strikes your fancy? As you can tell I have a TON of ag blogs on my news feed but I have some of the off the wall-ers like myself that I read up on too!

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Rules:
1. Follow the hosts:
Kelsey from Keeping Up With Kelsey
AND
Suzi from Chores & Chandeliers 
2. Write a post pertaining to this weeks "theme"
3. Link-Up the LINK (not your whole blog)
4. Hop around and check out other's posts
5. Add the button so other's know you're linking up with us!





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Next Week's Theme:

Career Day -Explain to us what your career is, anything exciting or fun? Let's play career day and you get to dress up in your normal duds and give us a little insight as to what your routine in the work environment is like!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Work-Out Q&A

So, I have a couple questions. I hope you've noticed I've been doing this running thing lately and I've ran into a couple questions that I figured would be easiest answered by asking for your suggestions. Here goes:


Sports Bras- Any go-to brand that are better than the other? Right now I'm LOVING this Colosseum brand bra because the pocket makes it perfect to throw my phone into and zip it up so it doesn't go bumping out. I love it for race days because it holds my car key, my phone, my id and spare change I might need. The only thing that stinks (besides me when I get done running) is that they're kind of pricey. They're tough to find right now, a lot of places are sold out so everyone else must be loving them as much as I do! Good luck finding another brand of bras that have a zipper front pocket, I've searched high and low for these puppies! But, is there any brand that I should look into for functionality? I've got a couple Nike's, Adidas and Under Armor's but I always take this lady with on race day.



MP3/Phone Armband- Do you have one? What brand do you use? I'm wanting something that will hold my Droid 4 but my biggest issue that I run into is that when I'm running I usually pull my phone out to check my stats. Right now I'm using the above sports bra for race days and the occasional run but I'm still mostly just holding my phone when I go out running. Suggestions!??!



Running/Training Apps- My go to app is RunKeeper (add me as a friend!) but I also have MapMyRun. I like RunKeeper and the commands I can select for it to tell me while I'm running. I haven't used MapMyRun for almost two years now but yes, it's there. I also like that RunKeeper syncs with my GymPact account. I've found GymPact especially useful in that I can earn money and it also motivates me to keep moving because I don't want to lose $10 a workout. And what kind of workouts would it be without some kind of jams to listen to? Yes, I use Pandora and no I don't mind the occasional ad because its free and easy to use while running. So, you're probably thinking, ok Kelsey, seriously, you've got enough apps running on your phone while you run, buuuut, I want to bring up one more app that I use. It's this super awesome app called Charity Miles! This one is easy and it works in the background while I switch between RunKeeper and Pandora. I love knowing that my miles are being donated to a good cause!


Heart Rate Monitors- This is a whole new subject that I'm wanting to find out more about. I've never used one, but I feel the want/need to get one. I've seen others use them, I want one. I just do not know anything about them so I don't know what brands to get and what to look for in one. I'd prefer to go the cheapest route to see if I really use it and then invest in a better one later but if you have an idea of how they work or what works and what doesn't please let me know!!

Energy Bars/Treats- Anything you like? I haven't discovered any super yummy goodies yet. I just try out all the new bars and treats I get from my StrideBox subscription.

Shoes- Yup, I've got about a million pair of running shoes but I want to know what works for you and why you like them? I've always been an avid Nike runner but I tried a pair of Adidas kicks on and haven't taken them off since. I've been dying to try out Brooks but have yet to purchase them.

So there it is, anything I'm missing or anything you suggest? I'm all ears about finding new ways to boost up my running experience! I'm not into the weights thing obviously, and I don't do gyms, so anything at home workout related I'm ears for listening in on! Thanks for all the suggestions!!

*Eeek, I totally forgot to ask about actual workout clothing gear. Any must-haves? I prefer cheap so anything that's cute and cheap make sure to send me the links to!

Linking Up To:
Mal Smiles

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Color Me Rad 5k Results


It's that time! It's time for me to report how the weekend went and how I did with my 5k race I had this weekend.

First off, I have to basically put this into perspective... Friday night us girls took the afternoon and decided to get up to Omaha for a fun night out. We had to pick up our packets anyways so why not use it as an excuse to get a hotel and party the night away right?!

We made it up there with fifteen minutes to spare for packet pick-up. So we decided to cruise around, find a hotel, check in and go find something to eat. We ended up at Shadow Lake Mall where we enjoyed a super yummy supper at Buffalo Wild Wings after we finished up some hardcore shopping.

Then, we raced back to the hotel, got ready is less than fifteen minutes and called a cab to come get us. Let the crazy evening begin!

First off, I requested that we go see the best 80's rock band ever 3D In Your Face. I was seriously, over the top excited to go see them! I saw them at the last 5k I participated in, the Totally Rad 80's Run. They rocked back then and they rock even harder when they're in their element on stage with all their equipment.


I already told you I was majorly crushing on that rocker Spade but it was nice to hold a conversation with him in person. He's such a nice guy whose always going out of his way to get to know people who follow their band. The rest of the band was just fun, straight up fun! They always have that over the top energy and I am amazed at how awesome they are at involving the crowd.

The girls weren't as obsessed as I was with this band and demanded er requested we go to the "club" type atmosphere. So, there we were, calling a cab at 12:30 to take us to a club...


Hands down, not. my. thing. Like seriously, I'm not into people spilling drinks all over me, guys trying to bump and grind it up. Ya, just not for me. But I dealt with it, I put on my big girl panties, slammed a cranberry vodka mixed drink and did the dance thing.

Got back to the hotel around 3:30ish and I was literally wide awake. The girls were out and there I was, alone and wide awake. I finally crashed around 4:30ish and we had to be up by 7:15, it was quite the morning. But, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to race! :)
The "before" picture

RACE TIME!!!

We were super worried about running behind, we got there about half hour before the race, and like most races, they ask you to get there early but yet there's not a whole lot to do. We were freezing, it was only like 50ish degrees out. No clothes, plus wind equals goosebumps! We got in line to start the race and we started to get excited.

Boom, time to go! We were in front of the pact so we kind of had to sprint to get past the big rush, once we were out on our own we tapered back and the girls wanted to walk a bit. I didn't want to give in and walk it so I did a super slow jog-like run. I ran slow enough that the girls could keep up but it wasn't so slow that I would consider it a walk. I mostly practiced maintaining my breathing, but with the cold it kind of made the running not as much fun.

Again, I'm kicking myself for not realizing it until now but I used some phone covers to seal up my cell. I didn't want it trashed but I felt the need to bring it to record my time and snap some fun shots so sorry about the crappy blurry pictures. NEXT time I'm taking my point and shoot, I never use it so I may as well grab it and get a little use out of it for events like this. Epic fail for Kelsey.


RESULTS: Well, again I was let down and the race was cut a bit short. This race isn't timed by Color Me Rad so I choose to take my phone along to track it via RunKeeper. (come be my friend if you use RunKeeper!) According to my app the route was only 2.65 miles not the full 3.1 that it should have been! I was kind of disappointed, this is the second race that was cut short. If you look at the map above, you'll see the green is where the race supposedly was going to go, but the map we ran was in red, meaning it was cut a bit short. Eh, whatever, it was all for fun right!?

Overall the atmosphere was happy, the people were friendly and I came to find out I knew some people in the 9:00 time wave so that was a win. As much fun as these color runs are, if you're running for time these aren't the best events to participate in. I'm all about these for fun, and I intend on doing future color runs with friends, but I would love to stick with the whole 5k's for time. I've found an interest in hitting better times each race and I'm so pumped to get out there and get in more races in the future.

The "after" picture

I'm so happy I have finally found something that I love to do that's also keeping me healthy. Running has been my escape, so to speak. No matter how rough of a day I have at work, or how bored I am  sitting at home, I can lace up my running kicks and get to goin. It's a sense of calm when I'm out there all by myself. I cannot depend on anyone but myself to reach that 5k mark. I love knowing that the task at hand is accomplished by me and no one else can steal my fame or glory.





Oh, and check out these sweet babies, yup, those would be the socks I wore! Loved them :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Good Life: Blog Name Meaning

Notice the date change? Yup, we're now hosting the link-up on Wednesday's instead! Figured it'd be easier for everyone to have more time to get their posts together! They'll no stay open until Saturdays that way you have a chance to get your post written up and added.

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BLOG NAME MEANING

This week's topic seemed fairly easy for me to write about. I mean, it's Keeping Up With Kelsey. Well, let's break it down, this place is all about me. It's my one place in the blog-o-sphere where I can put whatever I want and no one can stop me. If you don't like it, stop reading, if you like it, follow along and Keep Up With me. 
I tend to bounce all over the place so everyone jokes that it's hard to keep up with me anyways. Hence I DARE you to try to keep up! With so many activities I sometimes find it difficult to keep up with myself and demand that I take a day or evening off and do nothing but sulk in reality junk tv and eat junk food. Usually it gets me prepped to jump back into the crazy train routine.

So, to sum it up, I'd like to make KUWK a household name. But that's every bloggers dream. I'd like to make KUWK bigger than those annoying Kardashian's and possibly make people realize that keeping up with them is simple, try Keeping Up With Kelsey instead. :)

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Rules:
1. Follow the hosts:
Kelsey from Keeping Up With Kelsey
AND
Suzi from Chores & Chandeliers 
2. Write a post pertaining to this weeks "theme"
3. Link-Up the LINK (not your whole blog)
4. Hop around and check out other's posts
5. Add the button so other's know you're linking up with us!



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Next Week's Theme:

Top 5 Blogs To Follow -What are your favorite buddies or must-follow blogs!?! We'd love to see a list of them and the reasons you've chosen to keep a close eye on them :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Farming On The Four's

**I thought this published like a week ago! Ooops! :)**

It's back to busy season again! We officially have dropped the planter into the dirt and it's go go go until we're done, it rains on us or we've broken something.

The boys are almost finishing up with corn, that means Trav has planted about 90 acres of corn. Talk about long nights and early mornings. It makes for a long day when you're sitting in a tractor for 14+ hours. But, the spoiled brat has auto-steer so that makes it a little easier. With auto-steer all he has to do is pick up the planter and turn around at the end of the rows. Talk about loving all this new technology!

After they finish up with corn they'll start on beans. Again they'll plant around 90 acres of soybeans. They do plant more beans than corn and it's mostly because they're a little less than half with irrigated and dry ground. The irrigated ground requires a bit more work because we do have gravity flow pipe but the profit yields are substantially higher. Worth it but a lot more dedication to the fields.

My little onions are growing! They're about 2-3 inches tall and I'm debating if I should get out and water them. There's a 50% chance of storms later this week (which means we won't get anything because the weatherman is always wrong). The only other produce out in the garden as of now are my potatoes, but those take weeks to spout out of the ground.

I'm hoping to find a free day on Saturday or Sunday to finish up getting some other goodies in the ground. I'd like to get in some green beans, kohlrabi, tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos, zucchini, cucumbers, and maybe some peas. I'm sad I couldn't get any radishes in but I'm thinking it's a bit too warm already to get any to produce non-spicy radishes.

Guest Post: Chrissy from Prayers & Pearls

Well sweet buddies of mine, I've done it again! I've sweet talked someone into stopping by and writing up a little tid bit about themselves to steal my blog for the day. Now I'm not complaining because I love Chrissy and she's so fun to chit chat with and, she's from Tennessee  a place I've always longed to visit. Plus, she gets to plan a wedding! Have I told you that I'm obsessed with wanting to plan a wedding since I was like ten? Ya, it's true. Still don't believe me? Go look at my fifteen plus Pinterest boards filled with wedding jazz! Get to know Chrissy and then go stop by Prayers and Pearls. She won't disappoint I promise! 

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Hey Y'all, My name is Chrissy and I'm the mind behind Prayers & Pearls
If you're reading this, you're one of Kelsey's followers which means you're already awesome in my book! :) 

A little about me, I am a southern mess from Nashville, Tennessee.  I'm currently a college student studying Organizational Communication and Human Resources at Middle Tennessee State University and I cannot wait to graduate! :) I twang, I craft, and I'm not sorry. :) I am engaged and planning my wedding to my High School Sweetheart, Jackson.


That brings me to my topic for today; today, I bring to you The Top Ten Tips for Collegiate Brides.
When I got engaged, I had soooo many people tell me how impossible it was planning their wedding during college. 
I'm here to tell you, it's not. It's so much fun when you find a balance.

1. Sign up for theknot.com; it's the best! Once you plug in your wedding date, it gives you TONS of deadlines and tools to make sure you're getting things done in a timely fashion and not cramming it all in at once.  It works whether you're engaged for four months or for twelve.  Put all of the deadlines in your planner right next to your term paper and your exam.

2. Subscribe to bridal magazines! You'll get ideas while reading through magazines. Who doesn't love magazines during Geology!?

3. Decide on bridesmaids early, and consult them often.  Having backup on things like dresses and flowers and things like that saves a headache when you have things like exams and research to do.

4. LET YOUR FIANCEE HELP! I cannot tell you how important it is to let him help.  So many women have grooms that think they just have to show up and say "I Do" which makes your interested man a treasure. TREASURE HIM! 

5.  Do NOT talk wedding 24/7.  Your family, fiancee, and friends would like normal people time with you. Bride time is overwhelming for everyone, including yourself.  Talk in moderation because your classmates don't need to hear about your garters or your lingerie parties. 

6.  Set aside one to two hours per week to make lists, calls, research, etc.  If you don't get everything done in your time, oh well. DO NOT STRESS ABOUT IT! It will get done. Try it next week.  

7.  Do not hesitate to ask opinions, but understand you're opening the floodgates.  Ask your bridesmaids between two dresses which they would like.  More than likely, they'll be split and you'll be confused.  At least you'll be learning math.  Six bridesmaids, two options. They split equally. How many are on both sides? THREE! 
You need a tiebreaker

8. Have fun with it.  If you're a DIY bride, enjoy craft night with your bridesmaids.  It will give you time to gossip, talk about how much homework you're putting off, and 

9. Once you buy your dress, don't look at it all day everyday. As hard as it is, don't watch say yes to the dress. You're going to find flaws and start to hate your own dress.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Leave it at your parents' house if you live out of town or at a friend's apartment.  

10. Sleep.  The last thing everyone needs is you in class being a bridezilla because you're exhausted. 

I hope that helps all of you brides in college planning your dream weddings! :) 
Stop on over at Prayers & Pearls and say hi! I'd love to have you! 

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Also, don't forget if you're interested in doing a guest post get a hold of me (kelseyhomolka@hotmail.com). We'll figure out a date that works or here's what the schedule looks like so far:

May 21st- Laura from Bennett Adopt

May 28th- Open
June 4th- Open
June 11th- Open

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Last year I wrote about what I got my mom but this year I wanted to take a different approach on the subject. I wanted to talk about all the things that my mom has been there for me through the years.

Now I may be a "goody too-shoes" now but I've not always been that one stay-out-of-trouble type of kid. I was at one time quite the rebel who was straight up trying to earn my out-law badge. I've come a long way from being known as the trouble maker of the town. If you see that picture to the left you can tall I was deff out lookin for trouble in all the wrong places. But, I will admit, all those shots and staying out late make for some fun memories now!

There were a couple people who stuck with me through those crazy times. Some were close friends who have long faded since I outgrew my irresponsible age while others were family members who I've actually grown closer to since I left my rebel years.

But, the one person who saw the good in me through it all was my mother. She's been my rock who has supported me and was always there for spiritual encouragement 24/7. Although there were times where I was more than ready to leave the nest and the rules that said nest had enforced I was always lucky to have a good excuse to come home and just relax knowing my mom would be there to make me laugh.

I have never really considered myself similar to my mom, she was into sewing, and nursing, Christian music, quite places, gardening and reading books. I was into partying, dirt roads, crazy stunts and sleeping during the day. We were two totally separate people with two totally separate interests. Now, I look at myself and laugh because I am so much like my mother it scares me!

Back when I was a young pup, I can remember mom always keeping me busy helping her in the garden. We'd always finish up by watering the seeds and singing "grow, grow, grow" to each and every tiny plant. Now, while working in my own garden I find myself singing the same thing! We'd also always make it a big girls day to pull out decorations for the upcoming holiday, I can remember always sitting down and digging through the boxes of ornaments and re-telling the stories of how they came about and where we got each bulb from.

I can remember a specific time in high school where I went through a life changing event. I was disappointed in myself and the situations I had found myself in but never once did my mom look at me and tell me that I was going down a destructive road or that I would never amount to good things. She was the one there holding me, drying my tears of disappointment and promising me that the Lord has a magical way of making it all better and that if I trust in him things can and will soon turn around. I could have pushed her away, I could have scoffed it off and played the pity card, but instead, I choose the higher road and I decided that she was right. I could choose to do bigger and better things with my life.

My mom is extremely special to me because she's always been my supportive friend. Not just a mom but someone who is full of encouragement  I've heard from numerous co-workers that she's the one making the work atmosphere bearable. I'd believe it, I've even heard rumors that she's done cartwheels in the halls. Yup, like mother, like daughter....

Thank you mom for never giving up on my and also for listening to me complain about things that no longer matter in two days. Lately I've been in a whiny mood but mom listens, then agrees and we call people mean names together. Then it's out of my system and I move on and listen to her words of encouragement. Once in awhile I'll find she leaves me little surprises at the house. Those tend to make my day. I cannot wait to share a friendship throughout the years to come. LOVE YA!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thankful Thursday's

Not a fan of selfies but it's all I got
I really need to get back to focusing on this! I feel that since I haven't been counting my blessings as closely my gratitude levels have dropped. Help me to keep track better :)

THANKFUL THURSDAY #762-777
  • The nicer weather and the sun rays 
  • The smell of the first grass cutting of the season. Fresh cut grass is truly inspiring to run faster.
  • Learning new techniques and the photography lingo in my photography classes 
  • Winning monies from GymPact workouts!
  • Chipotle's
  • The boys loading up cattle to move them to greener pastures
  • Cleaning out a dull flower bed to give it new life
  • The anticipation of getting to have a girls night out on Friday
  • Soft sound of rain on the window pains at night
  • Being able to lay on the vacuumed floor in the living room
  • Walking out of the house in the morning without needing a winter coat, just a light jacket
  • Sense of accomplishment when I go back and re-read some of my running blog posts
  • Knowing I'm making a difference by running for charities
  • The feeling after I get out of the tanning bed
  • Excitement that I'm finally getting my hair cut after six months of going without a cut/color. 
  • Sense of accomplishment on cleaning the entire house (or most of it)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

April Cara Box

This past month's Cara Box was so fun! Seriously, I love getting to link up with other ladies and get to know some pretty nice gals. This is my second go round of the Cara Box gig and I cannot express how meaningful each and every girl is that I meet. Some ladies I still chit chat with while others I read there blog but haven't talked to as much. Each connection means the most though when I look at the big picture and how fun it is to connect with ladies from across the US. This month I was paired up with two lovely ladies. I mailed a package to Carissa over at Lillies & Silk and I got to meet the lovely Sarah over at To Be Mrs. Collier. They were both super awesome and I'm so lucky to find these connections!!

First off, Miss Carissa. She is an absolutely KIND and caring individual who is extremely understanding. She's independent and I'm so inspired to see her living on her own with the hubby away. To take care of two growing boys is a feat within itself but to be a single mom while the hubby is moved has to be even more challenging. You go girl! Also, I found out she loves chocolate, well, we'd be a match made in Heaven because I'm not so big on chocolate. The occasional Hershey's bar yes but I'm not one to munch on chocolate goodies 24/7. 

Now for the goodie box I got from Sarah!! I was like a small child who was ready for Christmas morning when my box came in. I couldn't wait until after work to tear into it so I just started opening right then and there at work. Sorry (but not so sorry) that I wasted about an hour looking over and inspecting all my goodies!!


Check out that crazy loot of stuff? I kid you not when I say I was surprised with exactly how much I got. Or the fact that she must have some kind of ninja skills to get it all crammed in there!

Her note she wrote me made me smile from ear to ear when I saw all of the encouragement and deets she really dug around to find out about me. I mean seriously, you had to really dig to find out that I'm obsessed with Lucy! She even found some of my 101 in 1001 bucket list goodies to help me cross of!


Oh, and I couldn't wait to tear into the mint fingernail polish. I painted my toes that evening. Right on top of the other coat that was still on there!! The mint color was right up my alley, and you bet your butt I'm painting my nails that color after this coat I have on wears off! #winning



I love meeting new ladies and I love the fact that each month I get to know a new connection from a different part of the state. I would love to think that someday I'll be able to visit each and every one of these ladies in person, but if I don't get to at least I know I've left a part of me all over the world. A legacy of some sorts that will forever remember that crazy spunky gal from Nebraska! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Guest Post: Heather from Every Girl Like Me

Ok, so this week we get to meet this sweet gorgeous gal named Heather. She's pretty much my twin but from a couple hundred miles away! Oh, she also has a 101 in 1001 list. Cool right!? I hope she gets further along in hers than I have. Mine's taken the back burner here lately. Here's to me getting on it and finishing mine up!! And, to top it off, she has my old blog format. Everytime I go to her blog I get a little jealous and kind of want to switch back. But I'll keep what I've got for now :)

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Hey Everyone! First I need to give a shout out to my girl, Kelsey for letting me guest post on her blog today! Isn't she just fabulous? I am so glad I have found her and we have become friends. 

Let me introduce myself now, I am Heather and I blog over at Every Girl Like Me. It is my little slice of heaven and escape from reality. I write about anything and everything that is on my mind, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Stop over and take a look! 

Every Girl Like Me
Since I know Kelsey is a country girl at heart I decided to talk about all things country today because well, I may be from Minnesooooooota but I love my down home country roots. I live in a small, everybody knows everybody town and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

This is how us country Minnesotans like to do things.
Grab a glass of wine beer and hang on.

If you are a true Minnesotan you will find yourself working with bait. I have proudly worked at the same bait shop for seven summers. It is a perfect summer job for my summers off of teaching.

Sorting Leeches

If you are a true Minnesotan, you of course are a country music fan and will take any opportunity to meet country stars. Don't worry, Miranda Lambert and I chatted away like we were the best of friends. 


Miranda Lambert

If you are a true Minnesotan, you love your sunrise and sunset pictures. I can not get enough. And of course they all have to be taken over a lake...I mean we are the land of 10,000 lakes.



Speaking of lakes, you aren't a true Minnesotan if you don't love a good lake day, every other day. (insert the song Pontoon by Little Big Town)

Red Neck Yacht Club

You aren't a true Minnesotan if you don't know what a local Ambassador Scholarship Program is. I was able to dress up in a tiara, receive a scholarship and have a Miss title for a year. Best year ever.


Yep, that's me! Represent. 

Last but not least, You are not a true Minnesotan if you can't rock one of these....

Blaze Orange Snowmobile Suit

I hope you enjoyed my little explanation of how things are done here in Minnesota. Andd of course we are 'Minnesota Nice' so come up and vist, I will take you out and show you around my little slice of heaven. :) 

You can find me below:



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And there you have it. She's a complete gem. I know she's been one tough lady here lately and I know she'll only have good days from here on out. Go stop by her neck of the woods and be sure to say hi! I promise she'll give you a laugh or two ;)

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Good Life: 5 Things You Love About Your State (Link-Up #3)

So here we are again on a Monday, and we're gearing up to ask you to link-up again. I love finding new things about each and every one of you so please keep the links a comin! We're going to have some changes coming up this next week. Instead of linking up on Monday, we're moving the link-up to opening up on Wednesday, that way we give you guys some time to recover from the weekend. ;) Then we'll keep it open until Saturday's. Hopefully this will work better with some of you!!

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My top five things I love about Nebraska would have to include the following:

#1- Agriculture. We're obviously huge into this, heck part of our household income is based off of agriculture and he's our breadwinner so you bet your bottom this ranks number uno on my list of loves about Nebraska. But here's a fun fact, did you know that one our of every four jobs in Nebraska is related to agriculture? So, although you may be working somewhere other than the farm, I bet your job has to do with ag. 

#2- Neighbors & Strangers. Yes, our state has awesome kind and compassionate people in it. I have on numerous occasions had complete strangers walk up to me and offer a helping hand to help carry groceries to my vehicle. I'm not scared to leave my vehicle parked at home unlocked. I'm always willing to hold someone's baby while they're digging for something in their purse and the mom's (normally) don't look at me like I'm crazy. I've been known to meet people who know a friend or relative in pretty much any situation and I've even met some distant relations while being 200 miles away from home. People are kind and honest and the neighbors are the first ones to come over and pick up after a natural disaster tears apart your town. 

#3- Football. I'm not one of those crazy fans that is obsessed with football but I do have a lot of friends who are. I haven't experienced a football game in probably a good fifteen years and usually football season is right smack dab in the middle of our harvest season so we rarely have a Saturday off to watch it but we try and listen in on the radio whenever possible. The fans are super courteous to our rivals, heck we invite them to the bar to party with us afterwards and here is an article about how we're the most loyal football fans. Told ya! To top it off, everyone loves everyone. Don't believe me? Check out this clip of a little boy that has brain cancer, he was encouraged to participate in our University football scrimmage. Tear jerker right there....



#4- Small town talk. This is maybe one of my favorites only because it's awesome to have someone tell you that you remind them of your grandpa's spunky attitude. Or you have your grandma's heart of gold. I love hearing that I've got my dad's personality and that my mom has wonderful creations and talent. The fact that everyone knows everyone is a blessing that can be a curse if your the trouble maker of the town. Luckily for me, I've grown out of my trouble making days and have moved on to helping and giving in my community. My town has given me so much that it's only fair to repay the favor and give back!!

#5- The bi-polar weather. Yes, this is on my list. Not in the top ranks but I'm so thankful that we do get the crazy weather. It reminds me that I can do many activities that places like Florida or Alaska can't do. I can snowboard and car hood surf in the winter and then turn around and host a beach party themed party in the summer. I'm so grateful that we can do all these things. It's the in-between seasons that I really dislike.

And, just for fun, I wanted to include some Nebraska fun facts for you followers who aren't from Nebraska.
  • Nebraska was once called "The Great America Dessert"
  • The Niobrara is one of the top canoeing rivers in the country, it has more than 90 waterfalls
  • The great plains is a large, mostly flat area of grassland prairie in the center of the continent
  • The Unicameral is the name of the only state legislature with only one branch. All other states have two branches, usually a senate and a house of representatives. The Unicameral is also different in that when candidates run for office, they do not run on a certain party's ticket
  • Johnny Carson grew up in Norfolk, NE
  • Kool-Aid was invented in 1927 in Hastings Nebraska and every year they have Kool-Aid days
  • In Waterloo barbers are prevented from eating onions from 7 am to 7 pm
  • It is illegal to go whale fishing in Nebraska
  • The 911 system of emergency communications, now used nationwide, was developed and first used in Lincoln, NE
So, there it is. Some fun facts, some weird facts and some plain stupid facts.

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Rules:
1. Follow the hosts:
Kelsey from Keeping Up With Kelsey
AND
Suzi from Chores & Chandeliers 
2. Write a post pertaining to this weeks "theme"
3. Link-Up the LINK (not your whole blog)
4. Hop around and check out other's posts
5. Add the button so other's know you're linking up with us!

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Next Week's Theme:

Blog Name Meaning -Give us more deets on why or how you went about naming your little piece of blog-land. Any fun reasons or did it stem from a random nickname you had in high school!?