December 31, 2013

it was a very good year...

fair warning...this starts out kind of sappy.

donald had to work new years eve and as he was leaving this afternoon i found myself suddenly emotional as i realized that it would be the last time i saw him this year.  one of my favorite years.  the year we became husband and wife.

for me [and us] it's been a very, very good year.  around me i see a lot of people [family, friends & strangers] giving 2013 a kick in the rear as it heads out the door, and for some that is very fitting.  but for me, i'm kind of sad to see it go.  could i come up with some negatives from the past year?  sure, but are any of them really all that significant?  nope.  

i've done a bit less blogging this year, which is kind of a bummer because it's such a fun way to store memories.  the vast majority of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the iphone that entered my life this year and a little app i like to call instagram.  so for the sake of reflection, and for catching up, here are some things that made 2013 so great:

we got married.  obviously top of the list.

i got to live with both kim & donald in the same calendar year


lots of friends have come to visit [and we're hoping for more!]

we've made lots of memories...with the two of us and with our awesome friends

i got a dog.


we celebrated six months of marriage with a half year honeymoon

i went to mexico with my mom [and a fun friend]

our house started becoming our home


we met some big financial goals...and had treats to celebrate!

we've enjoyed quality time with our real families and our church family

and we played more games of star trek catan and ticket to ride than can be counted


so long 2013...thanks for the memories.


December 28, 2013

a very merry bearcat christmas...

this year during the dyer family christmas festivities our niece maddie requested that we all sing the twelve days of christmas together, which when sung correctly is the holiday version of the song that never ends.  during this rousing rendition i recalled another version i penned many years ago entitled 'the twelve days of christmas: sbu style'.

and so without further ado, i give you my entry into the great leslie hall door decorating contest of 1997...


on the twelfth day of christmas c. pat taylor gave to me...

twelve chapel skips
eleven meller's wraps
ten trips to springfield
nine soccer players
eight singing blue headz
seven days vacation
six bolivar drivers
five engagement rings
four football games
three loads of laundry
two parking tickets
and a freezing purple fountain in the forum!

sad to say we didn't take home the prize, but this little gem is a prize all its own.

October 4, 2013

ten four good buddy...


time is a funny thing.  sometimes i notice how long it's been since i've written a blog post and wonder why it's taken so long for something 'blog-worthy' to happen.  or i look around our house and i'm puzzled (or more accurately...frustrated) at how long it's taking for me to get organized and feel at home.  and i've written before about how quickly i seem to forget the good things that happen.

but then i noticed that today is october 4th...exactly one year since the day donald sent me on a scavenger hunt that ended in a proposal.  and when i think about it that way, there's a lot to be thankful for.  it has indeed been a 'blog-worthy' year.  and though the progress sometimes seems painfully slow, our house is becoming our home.  good things are happening here.  so happy engagement-iversay to my favorite husband.  i'm really glad the wonderful things are happening with you!

September 8, 2013

i heart grandparents...

grandparents are great.  i think it's because they have developed a reputation for spoilage.  kids like that kind of thing.  though two of my grandparents passed away before i was born, i still managed to acquire a good collection of them.  in honor of grandparents day, these are the ones i was lucky enough to know...

grandma williams


edna williams was my dad's mom.  i was only three when she passed away, so i don't have a lot of memories of her.  she lived in bartlesville, oklahoma, which is where my dad grew up.  for some reason what i do remember is that she always had bananas on her kitchen counter, which is a weird thing for me to remember because i don't even like bananas.  also, she was quite a small lady so i got to play dress up with her clothes and jewelry, which i liked a lot.

grandpa harry


harry meinhardt was my mom's dad.  i'm not sure if you're allowed to pick favorite grandparents, but i'm going to anyway.  i pick him.  it probably didn't hurt that i was the only grandchild for a long time and i was the apple of his eye.  [those are my own words, but i like to think they were true]  i remember that grandpa was very funny.  he made trumpet noises with his mouth, which i found quite entertaining.  at church on sunday mornings my mom taught sunday school and both my parents sang in the choir, so my grandpa always picked me up from my class and every week he brought me a safety pop from shoney's.  one week he brought me a shoney's teddy bear.  that was an extra good week.  speaking of church, the man sat in the same pew, in the same seat, every week. legend has it that when he felt like the sermon had been going on too long, he would make a big show of bringing his arm up to pointedly check his watch.  his spot was down front so it was nice and noticeable.  he also had a really cool adding machine and one of those cork pencil holders shaped like a ball.

lee & pauline yardley


these two fall under the category of 'acquired' grandparents.  you can read all about that here, but the short version is that i adopted them when i was in college.  most of my memories involve spending all afternoon at their house playing cards...of which my favorite was hand & foot, but we went on our share of adventures too.  one time when we were out pauline shut her finger in the car door.  they were both convinced that the obvious remedy was to stick her finger in gasoline, so we drove out to someones farm to get a cup of it.  long story short, we ended up at the hospital where the doctor gave them a stern lecture about how sticking fingers in gasoline is not medicinal and gave me what i perceived to be a disapproving look for letting them proceed with their 'treatment'.  not especially funny at the time, but it's pretty funny now.  they were also avid sbu lady bearcat basketball fans (pauline played back in the day at southwest baptist college) and i always knew right where to find them in the stands during a home game.  lee passed away in 2005 and pauline followed last summer.  i miss getting to visit them and chat on the phone, but i managed to squeeze in almost fifteen extra grandparent years, and i'd say that's a good thing.

August 3, 2013

half year honeymoon...

last week donald and i celebrated six whole months of marriage, which seemed to be good cause for celebration.  so we took a little half year honeymoon and spent a day in downtown kansas city pretending to be fancy.  we stayed a night at the sheraton crown center in a gigantic, fluffy white bed...which just so happens to be my favorite kind.

heading up to the rooftop pool


our view of downtown (which donald secretly requested)


late night cheesecake in the lobby...always fancy


playing cards at the park
(a compromise of our favorite things)


we had a great little adventure...i'm sure glad we got married!

July 25, 2013

#theardensarehere...

as if it wasn't exciting enough to have matt and tara fly in from california for our wedding (and kick off the honeymoon with us) we got a double bonus this year when they came back to the midwest with two of my favorite little people.  they were in missouri for a family wedding and lucky us got to steal them for a few days on their way in and out.  (not to be confused with eating at in-n-out, which we sadly do not get to do) 

our visits are usually few and far between so we tried to soak up all the dyer/arden love we could in just a few short days.  matt loves barbecue so i'm pretty sure the highlight of the trip for him was eating at the little pig bbq that we happened upon in belton, which he declared to be the best he's ever eaten.  we ate there twice in one week, got a pound of meat to go and if it hadn't been twenty five minutes away i suspect we would have been back for round three.

we love the ardens and are so glad we got the chance to make memories kansas city style!


matt . tara . donald . shelly
tori . sophia

July 10, 2013

way fun wednesdays...

summer is arguably my favorite time of the year.  while i love all four seasons almost equally, to me summer is the epitome of fun.  as a sort-of-teacher by trade, the summer obviously provides some freedom of time that doesn't happen all year round.  and the swimming, staying up late and eating shaved ice certainly doesn't detract from the general feeling of fun.

since kim and i don't have the pleasure of living together this summer we have implemented a little something we like to call 'way fun wednesday'.  we made a list of fun things to do and places to go (spoiler: the majority of them involve water) and every wednesday we check something off.  it's basically my favorite day of the week.

super splash


noodles & a movie


the bay water park

June 12, 2013

the camping trip that almost wasn't...

we had quite an eventful start to donald's second ever non-parking lot camping adventure. but since his first camping trip involved a group of eight year olds lost in the wilderness (he being one of said children), i guess i shouldn't have been surprised.  

camping weekend was scheduled to start not with camping, but with a cardinals game.  mark and nicole had some extra tickets for friday night so we headed to the lou, delightfully oblivious to the pending weather events.  we headed to the stadium and got settled into the bank of america club just in time to have something to eat before the game was called off due to the impending storm.  not wanting our night go to waste, we high tailed it over to ronnie's cinema to catch a movie.  we arrived just as the rain began only to find the lobby crammed with people watching the local weather on the lobby screen, since all the theaters had just been shut down because of the tornado.  long story not very short, we waited out the storm, called it a night and headed home to play cards instead.

bright and early saturday morning we got a call from our campground saying the river was rising and that they strongly advised we not make the trip.  so we scrapped the plan of camping and canoeing on the gasconade river and headed to cuivre river state park instead.  


thankfully the rest of the weekend was relatively drama free, if you don't count nighttime raccoon invasions, and donald even said he'd go camping again.



mark . james . nicole . jordan . shelly . donald

May 27, 2013

must see movies...

donald is a movie guy.  and if you know him very well, that kind of goes without saying.  i like movies too, lots of them...especially the ones full of singing and dancing.  surprisingly most of the movies i love are not on his classic, must see movie list (although i'm pretty sure that the ability to quote back to the beach word for word should really count for something).

with that in mind, it's been a big week here at the dyer house.  in our full premarital disclosure of how many must see movies i hadn't seen (essentially all of them) there was also an understanding that donald would make it his life long mission to enlighten me.  and so it has begun.  

without really intending to, we stumbled into a week long movie debut extravaganza, kicking things off with the illustrious 007.  i suppose if there have been twenty three james bond movies released, it really makes sense to have seen at least one of them.  and i started with casino royale.

next came the issue of the new star trek movie, which donald wanted to take me to see on the big screen.  but seeing as how i'm not a trekkie, nor had i any background in the adventures of the enterprise, it was obviously necessary to watch an introductory movie before heading to the theater.  cue star trek and star trek : into darkness.

then, in what can only be described as divine intervention, we found out that the feature film at a weekly movie night we occasionally attend would be none other than a double feature of star wars : the empire strikes back and return of the jedi.  while i had actually seen episodes one, two and three while we were dating, i had yet to be introduced to a young harrison ford (and not to be a spoiler, but a lot goes down with that darth vader guy).  so after an appetizer of episode four, we were off to complete my education in the force, much to the dismay of those attending said movie night.  i think it's safe to say everyone else was a teensy bit more familiar with the franchise than i was.


and there we have it.  six must see movies in one week...which i do believe should win me the wife of the week award. that and the fact that though we cracked this game open a mere two months ago, i've literally lost track of the number of times we've played it together...


live long and prosper my friends, 
and may the force be with you...

May 9, 2013

the big sale : round one...

to say that i sometimes get overwhelmed by our house is a bit of an understatement.  having never owned a house before, i've never had quite so much living space to deal with and i have discovered that organizing the stuff of two people is much different than organizing the stuff of one.

though we have been making progress over the past few months, much of it is not especially obvious.  we have yet to 'finish' an area where i can sit and bask in the organization of it all.  some days this gets me a bit discouraged, but then i came across a post on a blog i enjoy that made me feel better.  the author made the comment that takes at least a year to fully move into somewhere new, and even longer if it's a home that's a bit of a fixer upper.  and when i think about it that way, we're actually doing pretty well.



we've had our first garage sale, where we were able to unload quite a few unneeded items.  and with the help of our personal landscaper (also known as donald's mom) we have also cleared a good amount of brush out of the backyard.  we still have a long way to go, but we're making progress.

May 3, 2013

someone is seventy...


happy birthday mom...we love you!

April 26, 2013

March 22, 2013

narcos and flexerols and aleves, oh my...

i've never been much of a pill taker myself.  i was actually well into high school before i managed to swallow one...i had previously gotten by on chewable children's tylenol and that delicious pink stuff i always requested from the pediatrician.  i may take an ibuprofen from time to time, but i'd say i only average about four per year.  donald finds this moderately ridiculous and always encourages me to take at least two if i'm having a headache or something, but i'm pretty firm on my one pill at a time rule.  so when i woke up on a friday morning writhing in pain and asked for 'as many pills as i can take'...he knew there was a problem.

it was exactly one month ago, the day after the first of our two back to back snowstorms, and the day before our kansas city open house.  we'd spend a little time shoveling show on thursday and apparently my back was not pleased.  the pain was significant, but seeing as how i don't have a doctor, i figured i'd just wait it out.  sore muscles typically last only a day or two and i figured it could only get better, not worse.  i was wrong.  after enduring three days of constant pain, and hobbling through our open house, i gave in.  first thing monday morning we went to urgent care and i finally found a bit of relief in the form of narcotics and muscle relaxers.  assured that time would heal (a week, two at the most) i gratefully took my pills and headed home. long story short, that didn't happen.  another doctor, a round of x-rays, lots of drugs, a massage and three chiropractic visits later...i think it's finally improving.  in fact, just yesterday i had a day where my pain, on a scale of zero to ten, was a one.  a ONE!  glory hallelujah!!!  i'm really hoping it will all be over soon, because i think dear donald is getting tired of my furrowed brow.


it hasn't been all bad.  donald and i have played a lot of ticket to ride...and i am proud to say that despite my handicap, i am currently at the top of the leader board.  my mom came to visit and helped kick start the 'clean out the basement' campaign (and if you, or someone you know, has ever lived in this house you will understand that this is a monumental task).  and of course, dag has been very supportive.

March 10, 2013

the fun facts...


as part of the wedding decor we had donald & shelly fun facts scattered around the lodge. not only did they provide some (hopefully) interesting tidbits about the two of us, they also aided those guests who were anxious to complete their very own donald loves shelly crossword puzzle, which came complete with a matching pen.  



and just in case you missed them, here are all twenty four...

#1 : donald proposed to shelly on the front steps of the nelson-atkins art museum in kansas city.

#2 : shelly’s all time favorite tv show is the cosby show. she just loves those huxtables.

#3 : donald has a large, loveable australian lab named dag. yes, shelly is going to live with a dog.

#4 : donald and shelly are going to live in raytown, affectionately known as raytona beach, where donald owns the house he grew up in.

#5 : shelly occasionally writes a blog titled ‘the many adventures’. visit it at www.themanyadventures.blogspot.com.

#6 : donald loves the dew. mountain dew is his beverage of choice, code red if you get specific.

#7 : donald and shelly will be honeymooning in warm and sunny palm springs, california.

#8 : shelly has a lot of school spirit and still loves to cheer on her francis howell vikings.

#9 : while at sbu, donald was known as ‘the movie guy’ due to his impressive collection of over 1300 vhs movies.

#10 : donald and shelly met in college at southwest baptist university. bearcats, bearcats, go, fight, win!

#11 : shelly firmly believes that the haygoods have the best show in branson. she is a big fan.

#12 : donald has many fond memories of his years as a warrior at blue ridge christian school.

#13 : no in state rivalry here, donald and shelly are both big fans of the stl cardinals.

#14 : shelly plays the accordion exactly one day a year. it is her instrument of choice during the annual sing-a-long on christmas night.

#15 : along with playing on noteworthy intramural teams in college, donald also had a job as the student intramural director.

#16 : for her last birthday, donald hid thirty three pennies for shelly to find. one from each year she’s been alive.

#17 : shelly’s favorite food is corn.  popped, frozen, canned, cobbed. it doesn’t matter.  she loves it.

#18 : donald graduated from sbu with a degree in psychology. shelly’s degree is in art.

#19 : after getting engaged, donald and shelly dined on the plaza at buca di beppo.

#20 : they have e-mail. shelly: knowandrely@yahoo.com  donald: sbubigsmooth@hotmail.com

#21 : shelly danced in high school. she won the ‘most spirited pommer’ award both years she was a golden girl.

#22 : donald’s high school sport of choice was basketball, where he earned the first and only 'mr. dependable’ award.

#23 : donald is an accomplished fantasy football owner and regularly dominates in a number of leagues.

#24 : last summer donald and shelly camped out in a chick-fil-a parking lot for twenty four hours to be two of the first 100 customers and get free chicken for a year!

March 2, 2013

the d[r]yers...

some days i have to stop and remind myself that our wedding already happened.  as much as i tried to take time that weekend to look around and soak everything in, i couldn't stop time from racing by.  we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with family and friends, but just one short month later i can already feel the memories fading.

before we left on our honeymoon donald and i jotted down a few memories we didn't want to forget in the hustle and bustle of newlywed life.  here are some of our favorite wedding moments...
  • donald running up to hug me in the reception room as soon as he arrived at the lodge on thursday  
  • watching my bridesmaids open their gifts at the rehearsal dinner and hearing their laughs and excitement 

  • gathering in our room with all the girls as they went around and said what they loved and/or appreciated about me before they prayed for me
  • playing a big, hilarious group game of catch phrase/charades in the lobby with so many of our favorite friends
  • watching my friends have fun together and become friends themselves
  • getting to greet our guests as they arrived and the laid back feeling of the day
  • seeing my whole life gathered in one room as i walked down the aisle 
  • mark praying about donald 'loving his body' and how he didn't know why we didn't get married ten years ago  
  • danny and david's 'awesome family' high five  
  • being introduced into the reception as 'mr. and mrs. dryer'  
  • wedding toasts that were personal, heartwarming and hilarious  
  • dancing...just all of it, from the first to the last  
  • seeing so many friends at brunch on sunday and getting to spend just a bit more time with the people we love  
  • riding the ferry back home and spending the day with matt and tara

our wedding was wonderful.  it wasn't free from imperfections, but nothing is.  in the end, donald and i got married.  we gathered the people we love.  we threw a pretty awesome party.  and we were certainly filled with joy.

February 20, 2013

a honeymoon sleepover...

most newlyweds probably don’t plan to have a friends and family slumber party on the first night of their honeymoon…but i guess that’s what we get for getting married in january!  we were scheduled to fly out of st. louis on sunday evening, but due to some winter weather in chicago, that didn’t go down.  so instead of leaving on a jet plane, we headed back home for a sleepover at mom’s house…just the five of us!  then we were back to the airport bright and early monday morning for a little more quality time before matt and tara headed home to cali.  i mean really…if we HAD to choose people to spend our honeymoon with, we’d probably pick them anyway.

the dyers and the ardens


when we finally did arrive in palm springs we did what any logical midwesterners would do…we picked up our rental car and drove straight to the nearest in-n-out.   then we set out to do some serious relaxing and general 'not planning a wedding' type activities.  we ate good food, went to a movie, hiked in joshua tree national park, sat in the hot tub, napped in a hammock, went dancing at a local senior hot spot and played a lot of monopoly deal (not to brag, but by the end of the week i was creaming the hubs with an overall match record of 4-0).

on our way into joshua tree national park


and one of my personal favorites...donald’s honeymoon lingerie

February 16, 2013

the wedding highlight reel...

a friend of ours from church was gracious enough to take some video footage of the wedding day and he put together this little highlight reel for us...

February 9, 2013

the wedding details...

these little smile makers were waiting at the check in desk 
for the guests staying at the lodge


wedding weekend schedules


the ceremony programs


the statement makers...we had LOTS of tissue paper balls


paper bags for popcorn hour


table assignments for the reception

January 25, 2013

the stamp story...

our wedding invitation stamps caused quite a stir (and i'm sure the post office just loved me). a number of people asked about them, and many wondered if they had been the only lucky ones to receive them. the story is that the stamps were originally a collection that belonged to my dad.  for vintage stamps like these to be worth money, they typically need to still be attached in a large sheet.  at some point in the past, my dad's stamps had been torn apart and after a little research we found that aside from a possible small exception here or there, they were basically only worth the postage printed on them.  so in what i believe was a stroke of genius, i decided i would hold onto the stamps and use them to mail my wedding invitations one day.

and that day arrived.  the postage was free, the envelopes were memorable, it sparked many a conversation and it brought a little part of my dad into our day.  i say that's a win.


and just for fun...a little peek at our invitations


January 19, 2013

seven more days...

my little paper chain is getting awfully tiny (and thankfully my to do list is too!)




January 12, 2013

the wedding party...


tara [baines] arden : matron of honor
tara and shelly are like two peas in a pod; they think alike, they plan alike and they spend alike. their friendship began in croatia, on a mission trip with sbu. since then, tara has been a great source of encouragement and wisdom. tara lives in california with her husband matt and daughters sophia and tori.

kim twogood : maid of honor
kim and shelly are the female version of the odd couple. their friendship began at sbu on leslie third south and has since been filled with lots of laughter, both real and fake. they have become like family as they've experienced all the ups and downs of life together. kim is a kindergarten teacher and lives in lee's summit where she and shelly have been roommates for eight years.

missy [grob] thomassy : bridesmaid
legend has it that missy and shelly met in the two year old sunday school class at salem church. they share memories from every stage of life, including those awkward tween years, and have the unfortunate photo evidence to prove it. missy lives in kansas city with her husband andy and daughter sophie.

jackie [young] bass : bridesmaid
jackie and shelly became roommates at sbu about they same time they both joined a discipleship group called, 'the group'. their friendship grew quickly thanks to jackie's no nonsense approach of asking thought provoking questions and sparking interesting conversation. she lives in bolivar with her husband clint, son gt and twin girls verity and hildy.

lindsey [prosser] broome : bridesmaid
after graduating from sbu, lindsey and shelly were roommates in bolivar for a year, where they consumed more cracker candy then was probably wise. lindsey is genuine and kind, but also has a delightful spunky streak. she currently lives in washington, missouri with her husband fred and children joshua, anna bell, caleb and ezra.

danny dyer : best man
danny is not only donald's brother, but also one of his best friends. back in the day they spent their time playing wiffle ball in the backyard and riding bikes back and forth between the fire hydrants. danny is now a pastor and has become quite a voracious reader. he recently relocated back to the kansas city area with his wife mallory, daughter maddie and son beau.

david dyer : best man
david is donald's youngest brother and just so happens to be the funniest person he knows. david loves for donald to tell him stories from the old days and also loves reminiscing about quality episodes of full house, family matters and the golden girls. though david currently lives in las vegas, his heart will always belong to raytown.

mark berry : groomsman
mark and donald were roommates in landon hall at sbu. they bonded over a shared love of the stl cardinals, mizzou tigers and playing cards. he is famous for his quirky comebacks and is known for being a positive influence among his friends. mark lives st. louis with his wife nicole and his children, jordan and james.

matthew adams : groomsman
adams and donald became friends at sbu, despite the duct tape divide that was placed between them during college basketball season. there are few people with a greater positive outlook than matthew. his encouragement, plus his spiritual guidance, have equaled a constant friendship. matthew and his wife shannon have two girls, marin and jane.

zach white : groomsman
zach and donald met playing basketball together in high school. while walking the halls of blue ridge christian school, you could frequently hear zach say, "who are the two coolest guys walking down the hall right now? that's right, me and this guy". donald was very proud to be "this guy". zach lives in kansas city with his wife claire and daughter elizabeth.

January 5, 2013

a kc wedding shower...

debbie . shelly . marilyn


conspiring with my little helpers


the flower girls
maddie . shelly . sophie


the bridesmaids
jackie . shelly . kim . missy