Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Haps. It's been awhile!

Apparently there are two people that check my blog often and are tired of seeing prom pictures (Hi Tammy and Sierra!), so I thought it was about time for a update.  I'll be honest though, I really don't have it in my heart to blog as much anymore.  There are things far more important than keeping up with this space, but I am here to please so here is a little update about the haps around here.

{ONE} Easton is ONE!  This is by far the craziest thing right now!  HE IS ONE!  I cannot believe how fast time is flying by.  He is walking, more "talkative", into everything and knows when he is doing something he isn't supposed to do.  He loves anything and everything that has to do with wheels.  Tractors, bikes, lawnmowers, cars, you name it.  His favorite thing to do is ride with Eric on the lawnmower.  I secretly love it because it puts him to sleep :) If he isn't riding on the lawn mower then he is watching Eric mow from the deck or the sun room.  He will walk from window to window just so he can see Eric and if there is something blocking his view he let's you know!  I got his one year photos taken on Saturday.  OMG.  I died from the cuteness.  Heart breaker in the making!  He also makes the cutest tractor sound.  I post pictures daily on Instagram.  Follow me at mandyhogrefe

He amazes me everyday.  There is always something new, something exciting.  We spend a ton of time outside and going on walks.  I can't wait to get him to the pool and the zoo.  I love my little ham and cheese so much.
We cheered on Aunt Mary at the Dam to Dam!

Loves his Etch-a-Sketch and snacks...always has to have snacks!

{TWO} For a while I had talked about a possible new business venture that I was hoping would work out.  Well, it didn't.  It was going great for a while and then things really slowed down and at the time I had had enough and through in the towel.  Here's the story...

Easton's current daycare lady, Amber, and I decided to open a daycare center in Norwalk.  Between the two of us we had all the qualifications and were planning on splitting the duties of running the center.  We found the perfect building in the perfect location and knew that with the high need of a daycare in Norwalk that this would be the perfect opportunity.  We pretty much verbally accepted the lease offer, had contractors come in to give us bids, created our business plan, had a list of things needed to supply the center, had the fire marshal come in, met with out county rep, etc.  The only thing left to do was wait for the contractor bids to come in, go to the bank, and start the renovation.

One morning, while dropping Easton off, Amber told me that she didn't have it in her heart to do it anymore.  She had a bad feeling about things and wanted to be home with her daughter and the group of kids she currently watched.  I respected her decision and was happy that she told me when she did.  I was bummed but was still going to try to do it on my own.  At this time we had waited about a month for the bids.  After Amber told me she didn't want to do it anymore, another two weeks had gone by and still no word.  I had called, left messages, sent emails and texts and got nothing in return.  Nothing from the state lady, nothing from the building owner, nothing from the contractors!  I was highly annoyed and decided that maybe this isn't something I can do alone.  I now know I made the right decision.  I still hope to find a job closer to Norwalk someday.  I would love to work a 9-3 shift somewhere so I can be home more with Easton.  I would really love to be a classroom mom when he starts school.  We still have 5 years until that time, hopefully there will be a change before then.
Sleep over with B and Papa!

{THREE} House hunting.  Ay yi yi....what a fun/depressing thing.  Eric and I are ready to move.  The adventurous side of us says "Move now!  Find your dream home!" but the practical side (of my husband, not me.  I don't have a practical side) says "Wait two years, finish paying some things off and then move".  Our current home is by no means ready to be on the market.  If I had it my way I would hire all that shiz to get done and have it done in a week but Eric thinks he needs to do it allll by himself so it takes an additional two years.  We decided to not re-do the kitchen.  Just a fresh coat of paint and leave as is.  We still need to finish the doors and trim and there are a few things outside that need to be done to before we put our house on the market.  This whole process drives me bonkers because I want out, like yesterday, and if we have to wait a few years I might just stab my eyeballs out.

{FOUR} 4th of July.  See what I did there?  #4 for the 4th!?  OK...maybe only I thought it was funny....we are switching up our plans for the 4th this year and heading out to Indiana.  My brother, Nick, and his girlfriend had a baby boy, Ace, at the end of May and I'm antsy to get my hands on him!  We will spend the holiday lounging by the pool and relaxing with family and friends.  My brother Todd and his family from Cali will be there and I'm hoping my brother Joe and his wife Mary can make it as well.  I can't wait to get out of Iowa for a few days!  I will miss being at home as my parents always have friend and family over for a cookout and watch fireworks.  It's always so much fun but a little getaway is due.
Easton's first time on a boat.

{FIVE} Arbonne, anyone use this?  I started using it on Tuesday (samples from a friend who sells it) and I already love it!  I can tell a difference already in the few short days I have used it.  The first day my face felt tight.  The second day it felt dry but today it feels amazing!  The product is rather expensive but I love that you only need one pump of everything to cover your face so it lasts longer.  I am considering selling this stuff just so I can get it cheaper.  We will see...

{SIX} All That's Lovely.  You guys, I am so excited that my little wedding adventure is taking off!  I have been doing about two weddings a month.  I don't have any weddings scheduled for the summer which is OK with me but starting in September I have two a month until the end of the year and already have 4 booked for 2015!  I'm so happy I decided to start doing this.  It's been great for me as its something I love to do and it brings in a little extra cash each month.  Win-win in my book :)
Brunch at Machine Shed with Eric's folks.

That's about it!  We are all doing great.  Torey is busy with friends, softball and teenager things.  Eric works his butt off everyday.  He has been working weekends as well and usually doesn't get home until about 7:30 each night.  At least Easton gets to see him for a bit before bed :) The month of May was rough for me.  Easton was sick, I was sick, nothing seemed to be working out but now that it has all passed and we are back to our normal daily routine everyone seems to be much happier!  Thanks for stopping by.

Be blessed.

Monday, May 5, 2014


To say this weekend was busy is a huge understatement.  I decorated for a wedding, Torey had prom, we had a first birthday party to attend, and not mention fitting in the normal weekend duties.  It was great though.  Eric and I got a lot accomplished around the house and I was even able to score some goodies at the city-wide garage sales!

Anyway, lets get to the good stuff.  Prom.  Torey, per usual, looked beautiful.  I would love to say that she gets her good looks from me but that isn't at all possible.  I think she looks identical to her dad but then other times I see her mom.  Either way, they did good because she is gorgeous.

Torey and her sweet date, Coby.
Notice anything in this pic?  The 2014 is backwards :)
 What I love most about prom is seeing all the different dresses.  I wasn't too impressed this year but there were still some lovely dresses.  She must have had a great time because I didn't see her from 6:30 AM on yesterday :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A nice little post in which all I do is complain.

You guys.  I am in a funk.  Like an "all I want to do is sleep and sit on the couch and eat bon bon's and watch reality TV all day by myself in my pajamas" funk.  Unfortunately, I am in the middle of 47 different projects.  Between work, home and personal life I barely have time to think.  I'm running on coffee and gummy bears at this point.

Just when I think I have a minute to sit someone or something swoops in an says "Nope!  Not yet!"

I know.  I KNOW.  "Cry me a river, Mandy. We are all going crazy too."

I shouldn't be complaining.  Amongst the chaos, life is pretty darn good but dammit, I'm not perfect and if I want to complain about silly things then complain I will!

This week is just complete madness.  Something everything night and the weekend is jammed packed.  I am decorating for a wedding (YAY!), have a one year old birthday party to go to, prom for T.A., Norwalk City wide garage sales(which I refuse to miss!) and my brother and sister-in-law will be in town visiting.  Which means I need to multiple by 6 stat so I can be every where at once.  Ain't gonna happen.  Not to mention I am right in the middle of spring cleaning.  My dining room table is currently covered in light fixtures and ceiling fan blades that need washed and re-hung and don't even get me started on the guest bedroom.  It is currently the "dumping spot" for anything and everything that NEEDS TO GO.  Thankfully this weekend is also city wide clean up so everything will go to the curb.

Also, I started planning Easton's first birthday.  If you know me well enough then you know that THIS is the only thing on my mind.  I go nuts when it comes to party planning.  And I will stay nuts until the day of the party (25 more days).  A little side gig that is slooooowly happening is sloooooowly getting there and the slow process is driving me crazy.  Hopefully by mid May I can share with everyone!  Until then, I will continue to go crazy.

There you have it!  A nice little post in which all I do is complain.  I need a vaca.  On an island.  Party of 1.

Later, dudes.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday.

I ended up having a last minute stay-at-home day yesterday and it happened to be just what I needed.  I feel so refreshed today!  It was a rainy day but I managed to spend some quality time with Easton (who turned 11 months old...) and start my Spring cleaning at home!  I also had a quick shopping trip with Torey last night which always is a good mood booster!

Let's get to it!

Wednesday was Administrative Professionals Day.  Before arriving at work on Wednesday I did not know this but arriving to two beautiful flowers and nice thank you notes instantly makes for a good day.  It feels nice to be appreciated.

Nerium.  Have any of you tried it?  I'm seriously considering it.  I have heard great things and after reading Mama Laughlin's post about it yesterday it pretty much sold me on the product.  Expensive, yes, but I feel like I should have started a skin regimen about 10 years ago and I have a lot of time to make up for!  If I try this I will definitely document it and let you know how it goes!

I insist that the next cup of coffee you enjoy, you should add some whipped cream to the top of it.  You can thank me later!

Spring Cleaning.  I know, I know...we all hate it but it must be done!  My plan this year is to tackle all cupboards and closets and basement storage first. Get rid of the crap people!  Then I want to do all light fixtures and ceiling fans.  After than I plan to go room for room, take down all wall decor, dust the walls, baseboards and move the furniture out from the walls to vacuum, etc etc.

I was able to get a good start yesterday on clearing out the crap.  I just have to lock myself in the basement now and force myself to go through the madness that is down there.  I also found a great guide on the Cheers Ya'll blog.

Get in those nooks and crannies people!!!!

This one will be ONE is less than a month.
Hold me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Joe + Mary

I got the pleasure to be a part of my brother's wedding a few weeks ago.  It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine, laughs and love.  My Sweetie Pete's was the ring bear and he did a great job!  I also decorated for the reception.  I'm so happy they let me do this.  With my new adventure starting of decorating for weddings at a local wedding venue, I was able to really see what I could do.  It's such a beautiful place with a lot to offer, check out Barnes' Place if you live in Iowa and are looking for a rustic/barn vibe.

Let's get to the photos.

 All photos courtesy of Katie Lindgren Photography

You can also check out their wedding day video at: Wedding Day Rewind - Mary and Joseph

Also, I started a new blog to highlight weddings that I decorate for.  No names or personal info will be given on this blog, only photos of the decor.  Once I get some post added I will share it with you all!

Joe and Mar, thanks for letting my family and I be such a big part of your special day!  It was a truly wonderful day filled with so much love for the two of you!  I hope you know how much you are loved.  I wish you both all the happiness in the world as you travel through your life together.  Love you both.  Xoxo.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

Good morning!  We had a wonderful Easter weekend.  We switched things up a bit this year and went out to my cousins house.  It was a nice, refreshing change!  We had lots of delicious food, was able to spend most of the day out side, shot guns, had an Easter egg hunt, went and visited the cows, rode on the lawn tractor and had fun swinging!  It was wonderful!
Friday night my mom and I went to the George Strait concert!  It's the second time we have seen him and I enjoyed his concert this more than last time.  He sang 30 of his 60 #1 hits and most of them were his old songs, the songs I grew up listening to.  I love his new stuff too but it doesn't get any better than good ol' George!

Unfortunately Easton was (and still is) sick most of the weekend.  He is so congested with a runny nose, watery eyes and well...he is just a little crab ass!  I think it's a mix of teething, allergies and sinus.  Yippee.  I need to get him into the doctor to get him looked at.  If it is allergies I'm hoping we can put him on a low dosage of something to give him some relief.  He is just miserable and I feel for him...allergies suck!  He still managed to score some great Easter gifts from the Easter bunny and he had so much fun on Sunday that he fell asleep in the swing :)
My sweet Bugs...can't believe he will be one in May.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What I'm looking forward to.

Easton is at such a fun {and trying} age right now.  He is by far the sweetest thing I have ever laid eyes on and I'm so happy that he is such a happy little guy!  He is into everything.  EVERYTHING.  When everyone would say "just wait until he starts walking" they weren't lying.  We are constantly following him around, picking up the dog food and water dishes, moving him away from plants and don't even get me started on the toilet paper roll.  My so-called orderly, organized, always planned life has defiantly taken a nose dive and you know what?  I am surprisingly OK with it.

Before Easton, dishes in the sink would make me anxious.  Picture frames and throw pillows "out of place" would give me hives and don't even get me started on shoes by the front door {shiver} but now, now that things aren't in place and my life is suddenly chaotic and all over the place puts a huge smile on my face.  Why you ask?  Because my little guy is HAPPY.  He is safe and happy and so loved and that is all that matters.

And I'm looking more and more forward to more chaos everyday.  I can't wait for Easton to be able to play outside and come in with red cheeks and sweaty forehead and neck.  I can't wait to wash his little ball uniforms full of grass stains and dirt.  I'm actually looking forward to potty training.  Have you seen little boy underwear these days?  Aborbs!  Our sweet E is all boy.  He is rowdy, loud, rambunctious, fearless. Yesterday we were blessed with beautiful weather.  60's!  Easton stood at the front door just looking outside watching the older kids for the longest time.  It made my heart skip a beat.  He looked so big but yet so small.
My house is by no means a disaster.  I still have to pick up every night before bed and every morning before work.  All the beds still have to be made and the kitchen and bathroom counters have to be wiped off every time before I leave the house {that will never change} but the "stuff" all around?  It's cool, yo.  We are homie's now.  Easton has taught me to let go a bit.  Until he starts playing with Lego's.  If I ever step on one of those little f'ers they are getting tossed!  Those things hurt.

As time goes by I hope I can sit back and observe.  I don't want to miss a thing.  A part of me wants time to hurry up a bit so we can get to the point where we have practices and school functions to go to but another part of me wants time to stand still.  I forever want him to have his big blue eyes and soft blond hair.  I want to bottle up his sweet baby smell and record his belly laugh.  Don't even get my started on those chunky thighs...but I know time will pass quicker than I think and pretty soon I will be wishing he was little again.  Every moment will be a treasure.  I'm looking forward to it.