Gannon turns 2!!

My sweet little peanut turned two on Thursday! Craig and I tried to wrestle him for a selfie – he has been HATING pictures lately!

It’s hard to tell who was more excited about opening gifts – Carver or Gannon. Carver needed several reminders that these were GANNON’s gifts and not his. We’ve been working on letters and numbers with Gannon so we got him a few puzzles that we used with Carver (and subsequently lost all the pieces too)

Here is a link to the ABC puzzle that literally taught Carver his letters by the time he was 2. We worked on them every morning at breakfast while we ate our waffles. This is a GREAT and CHEAP gift for any 2 year old:

Here’s a matching letter puzzle too:

Again, we are really working on letters at home – we’ve had several of these leap frog refrigerator toys and eventually, the pieces dwindle down and we get another one because we love it so much! This one was a bus one that I got for him – he LOVES watching Carver get on the bus – he is always talking about BUS and his favorite color is yellow so it was perfect! I also got one for my niece Georgia – a great gift for a two year old. Here is the link:

Gannon has been carrying it around all morning! I was on a Zoom call for an interview for the paper and in the background the whole time Gannon was playing the wheels on the bus! More on that interview next week….

As we always do for birthdays, we all went around and said something we loved about the birthday boy, we all agreed Gannon is the calm to our chaos, such a sweet and gentle soul (unless you give him the wrong sippy cup) and we just love his nature.

In other news, Gannon had a huge blow out this morning – he needed to be immediately placed in the bathtub. Why am I telling you this? BECAUSE I COULD SMELL IT! THIS WAS THE FIRST POOPY DIAPER I COULD SMELL SINCE JANUARY 10th WHEN I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH COVID! I was never so happy to clean up a dirty diaper.

We are just chilling this morning, hanging out. I’ve got a work day planned out and he is content playing with his legos and watching TV. He’s just my hangout buddy.

Here’s a picture of Carver and Gannon exactly on the day they turned two – my boys look NOTHING a like – which is fitting because they act nothing alike too!

Anyway, thanks for reading friends! We will check in again tomorrow!

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I’ve been listening to some of Rachel Hollis’s ORIGINAL podcasts – I’m talking like 2016 – pre Girl Wash Your Face – to pick up some biz tips for the new project I’m launching soon (you’re going to want to join my Facebook group to find out more! Here is that link:

If Rachel interviews any guest on her podcast, she always ends the podcast with 5 questions for the guest and I thought it would make a fun blog post if I answered them!

  • What is your go to coffee drink?

I would say right now it is a Starbucks double shot on ice – this is my go to if I really need to be awake or maybe I didn’t sleep well before night shift. I also buy Starbucks iced coffee at like Fareway or Walmart. I love adding Sweet and Low – it’s my favorite sweetener. I’ve tried to switch to all natural sweeteners and I just can’t taste it like I can with Sweet n’ Low – Splenda tastes too fake for me – needless to say I’m pretty picky about my sugars that go in my coffee. I also love a good splash of vanilla almond milk in my hot coffee if I’m at home for the day.

  • What time do you wake up in the mornings?

I’m a night shifter – actually, I signed a “contract” at work that instead of working 6 weeks days/6 weeks nights – I’m strictly night shift now! So when do I wake up in the mornings? On my days off the boys are usually awake by 6 am crawling into bed and asking for TV or YouTube or snacks – and I usually lay in bed for another hour and up by 7. I wish I was the kind of person who gets up early but I give myself a pass because I work such weird hours.

  • What is your morning routine?

Again, night shifter. I don’t have a morning routine. Every day, every week is different and I’d rather have that than a set every day routine. There are certain things I like to get done in a day – usually the dishes, usually cooking, usually a nap (if I’m working that night or worked the night before). That’s about as consistent as my days are!

  • What is your favorite form of exercise?

ROLLER SKATING – but mountain biking is a close second! I used to work out every week with a personal trainer but to be honest, I’m still not back to where I was before COVID. I’ve tried working out a few times but I’ve blacked out and had to stop. I’ve loved roller skating and biking every since I was little – for some reason when I got older I thought those things were too “childish” for me but once I got over that, I really truly enjoy biking and skating.

  • What is something that is always in your travel bag?

Well, I have braces so that’s easy – TOOTHPICKS! and I always need a pony tail holder. I don’t go anywhere without my phone or my Apple Air Pods. I ALWAYS need something to drink too!

I’d love to hear your answers – pick a question and leave a comment below!

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Envy and Competition in Nursing

I’ve gotta admit when I’m wrong, and I’m wrong. I’m working to change my mindset and viewpoint on this topic and I thought I’d share.

I used to think nursing was a competition.

Who was on days, who was on nights. Who got this opportunity, who got that opportunity, who had what certifications, who did better on the test, who was smarter, who was more prepared and most of all, who had the most schooling. I’ve always felt this urgency of being better or being the best or having the most authority. 

When I started teaching nursing clinicals, there was a sense of “I’m qualified for this now.” There was a sense of authority I felt when I was selected for the position. 

But at my new job, not really that new having been here for about a year now, we celebrate everyone. There’s enough room for everyone. 

It has been a huge mindset shift. Appreciating everyone for the unique skills and qualities they bring to the table, lifting each other up, being thankful our patients are receiving excellent care outside of the competitive mindset. 

I find myself regularly asking, am I missing something? What can I learn from working with this person? Is there another way to look at this? Who could offer a different perspective? If I do feel competitive or jealous, I examine that – why do I feel that way? Why do I feel threatened right now?

If I could sum it up in one sentence, another nurses’ experiences and qualifications are an asset to the team, not a threat to me. 

I remember the first time I felt that PANG of jealousy – the feeling of a “threat” – that wondering if I’m good enough – feeling stuck – feeling envious of someone else’s career achievements. 

A nurse I had worked with for a short time had the guts to leave our tiny hospital to further their career and build their skill set. For a long time I thought to myself, I wish I could do that, I was so jealous. It took everything in me to congratulate her. It bothered me for a long time – then I remembered – anything is possible. I’m in control. I’m not stuck. I’m not a tree, I can get up and move. I can pivot.

When I heard of a friend going back to get their ARNP it immediately brought a sense of urgency – panic – am I doing enough? Am I climbing the ladder fast enough? Do I need to go back to school? What would put me ahead? 

There’s room for all of us. Someone else’s success is an asset to the team, not a threat to me. With some practice and some mindset shifting and a lot of gratitude, I’m finally in a place where celebrating others career success comes NATURAL. I enjoy it. My goal is to be everyone’s hype girl. It’s so much easier than being angry and feeling stuck and steaming with envy. 

Not only should we celebrate other team member’s values, we should LEARN from them. Listen to what they have to offer. Be grateful to have access to their skills, experience and knowledge.

It took a minute to figure it all out, but If I could sum it up in one sentence, another nurses’ experiences and qualifications are an asset to the team, not a threat to me. 

Am I the only one who has felt this way? Leave a comment below!

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SUMMER 2021!

We’ve been creating quite the bucket list for Summer 2021! These cold cold February days have me dreaming of warmer weather. There are a few non-negotiables I’ve come up with and I thought I’d share them with you all! Hopefully by Summer, COVID will die down and we will all be fully vaccinated. We’ve all already had COVID and I’m vaccinated as well.


Last Summer, we bought a pool. Craig and I NEVER had a pool like this growing up. I had no idea how to maintain it, or set it up but after having a pool all Summer, we will never go back! In fact, I’m hoping to get a pool heater this Spring so we can extend our time in the pool! If you have used one in the past and found one you love, let me know!

We also have Lost Island on our bucket list – an outdoor waterpark about an hour from our house. I’ll get the boys into private swimming lessons too. Lots of time in the water and in the sun!


We’ve spent so much time quarantined away from family this past year that I can’t wait to go on day trips to visit my brother and sister and their families! Buck lives in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area and Kayla lives in the Dubuque-ish area so it’ll be fun to have a cousin play day – maybe head to a museum or a park! We love the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque so maybe a family meet up there would be fun! I also want to snuggle my sisters new twins due this Spring!


Have you guys heard of RAGBRAI? It stands for the Registers Annual Great Ride Across Iowa – they break up Iowa into a week’s worth of biking and you bike across the state! Craig and I aren’t going to ride the WHOLE way across Iowa but we think we will hop on in Fort Dodge and hop off in Waterloo – 2 days of riding around 100 miles. So that means we are looking for a place to stay in Iowa Falls for the night if any of my readers are in the area! We are so ready to bike the Summer away 🙂


Speaking of biking, we are going mountain biking WEEKLY – we think we will hire a sitter every Wednesday to make sure Craig and I prioritize our time together and get on the trails as much as possible. We’ve been scoping out what trails we need to hit this Summer and watching YouTube videos of maps and trails we want to try!


Like every day – every where – touring parks across NEIA while the boys play and I skate 🙂 I’m so so looking forward to this!


We want to spend a whole day in Clear Lake, IA – skating or biking around the lake, paddle boarding, going to the park, playing on the beach, maybe renting a boat.

We want to get up to Apostle Islands in Wisconsin and check out their mountain biking trails. Apostle Islands has beautiful caves and shores for paddle boarding too – also on my bucket list. I’d love to explore other mountain biking trails in Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin/Illinois as well!

I’d love to get to the State Fair or some kind of amusement park/rides. We loved going around and trying the food a few years ago before a concert! I think the boys would love it too! I took that week off already so we can squeeze anything that didn’t fit on our bucket list into that week!


I’ve tried and failed at a garden more times than I can count! BUT this year, I’d like to plant an herb garden! Chives, green onions, parsley, oregano, rosemary, but most of all, CILANTRO! Yummy 🙂


I want to add sand under our play set so the boys can play! I want to sip coffee while they drive their jeep around the yard, I want to just take in the outdoors – everything I can’t do in this bitter February!

Most of all, I can’t wait to create new memories with this crazy crew! What are you looking forward to most this Summer? Drop a comment below! I read every single one 🙂

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Crazy Plant Lady Chronicles

So I was in my FAVORITE store the other day – Rendered Unique in Decorah and these pots caught my eye! I LOVED them because they match my bathroom hardware! I ended up stopping at Ladybug Landscapes in Decorah and admired her large selection of indoor plants and I took these two home to live on my bathroom counter! Meet Bert and Ernie.

But then when I was at Ladybug Landscapes, I saw this beautiful plant and I knew I had to bring him home too. Meet Poindexter. But now I had a plant with no pot – back to Rendered Unique. I brought the plant with me into the store to make sure it would fit – PERFECT!

I also got my hanging baskets for our bay window from Rendered Unique as well – I think my whole window will end up being from that store!

Carver wanted his picture taken with our new friends as well – very typical Carver in his undies, carrying around his worn out old blanket he calls “bit” and a toy nail gun.

So those are our new friends! I can’t wait to grow my plant collection – there are some really fun plants there! I also think they would make GREAT presents sooo to everyone in my life, you’re probably getting a house plant from me because I love supporting small business 🙂

I have two celebrations – if you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that Craig is celebrating 1 whole year cigarette free which is a HUGE accomplishment! Also, my BFF Regan is celebrating her 26th birthday this week! Regan got her wedding pictures back this week from her NYE wedding and I can’t wait to share a few!

Thanks for reading friends! Hope you all have a great day!

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It’s been a minute….

OH HEY! Haven’t seen you in awhile! Let’s catch up!

Gannon is a new kiddo. If you read last week we found out he was SO backed up and SO constipated – we figured so but we didn’t know how much it was effecting his quality of life. Ever since his clean out, he is happy, spunky, funny, and just a totally different kid. I think you’ll be able to tell in these pictures.

I got swept off my feet by this handsome hunk when we went on a parts run the other day. Had to get fuel, stop at a few dealerships, he treated himself to McDonalds on the way home.

Gannon is so funny – he found one of Carver’s masks, ran to the door and said “BUS!” I hope he doesn’t have to wear a mask by the time he gets to school!

He has been king of the funny faces lately – this is what we call “creepy eyes” – we were all busting a gut at the supper table tonight. Doesn’t he just look so so happy??

Craig was talking about his new favorite cow on the farm, he was talking about giving the cow a hug 🤗

I’ve been on a WEIRD work schedule lately so I soak up every minute I can with these two – things should slow down by next weekend – just in time for family VACAY to the Dells!! We are so excited. We’ve cancelled and rescheduled our Wisconsin Dells trip so many times – we finally have a date set in the books!

I just realized this post didn’t have many Carver pictures but he’s doing good! Cabin fever has hit him the hardest and we’ve been butting heads a bit lately – he’s so similar to me and sometimes the dark sides of our personalities clash. Carver is for sure a Daddy’s boy. Craig is so good with him. He gets to go to the farm and help with chores this weekend if he’s good!

In other news, I’ve got a new project up my sleeve and I’d love it if you’d tag along for a sneak peek! For the inside scoop, join my NEW Pink Shoelaces Community on Facebook by following this link!

Thanks for reading friends! Thanks for stopping in!

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