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Showing posts from 2014

the twelve dyer days of christmas...

technically speaking i think our christmas festivities stretched over ten days instead of twelve, but i'm rounding up.  we had a house full of friends and family staying with us and stopping by all week leading up to christmas and that's just how we like it.  our sleep schedules took a bit of a hit, but it was definitely worth it.  [plus we're pretty spoiled in the sleep department to begin with, so we can't really complain]  
this was also the first year for me to not be in st. louis on christmas day.  fortunately my family is flexible and we just pushed everything back twenty four hours and had 'pretend christmas'...i hardly even noticed the difference!
so to remember this week of fun and festivities, i've created our own 2014 version of the twelve dyer days of christmas...
12 the number of times i jumped up and down after we opened gifts with my mom
11 the number of interesting raytownians we encountered at dyer family bowling night
10 the number of friends who …

the first year...

my dear friend joy got married last weekend. i somewhat randomly joined a bible study she was in over ten years ago and we are still studying together today. since she was the first friend to get married after me, i started thinking about what i wanted to share with her as she begins her marriage.  
i thought back to the cards and advice that were given to us and remembered that the ones that stuck out in my mind the most were the handful that warned us not to be surprised if our first year of marriage was hard. at the time i wasn't sure if that would apply to us or not, but i suppose it was kind of freeing to know that if things started feeling hard, that was okay.  
as we went through that year i remember thinking from time to time, this is really good, but this is hard. i couldn't quite make sense of how it could be both at the same time, and i couldn't figure out how to articulate the ways it was hard. we didn't really have any rough patches that first year [though d…

the year donald started to travel...

prior to our marriage donald hadn't traveled much. a senior trip to colorado, a few vegas trips to visit his brothers and that was it. he had otherwise not been more than five hours from kansas city at any given time in his life.  i, on the other hand, start to feel kind of anxious and unsettled if more than six months have passed since i've been on a plane.  
we honeymooned in california, but after that travel took a backseat while we worked on our budget and settled into married life. for the next year and a half we stuck close to home and the only traveling we did were some weekend trips to st. louis, the lake, branson and bolivar. but that was then, and this is now.
in the span of three months, donald's travel life will be revolutionized. in july we took a big trip to new york city. it was a rather intense five days of exploring and living it up in the big apple. i was in my happy place. donald enjoyed the trip too, even though it was pretty far from his comfort zone [wh…

the dyers take manhattan...

our first official post-honeymoon vacation was to one of my dream destinations...new york city. as a traveler i usually try not to be uber-touristy, but for our first time in nyc i was willing to tourist it up a bit. we made a 'must see' list and attempted to get at least a little off the beaten path.
day one: the first morning we stepped out of our hotel onto a quaint new york neighborhood street and took a stroll through greenwich village, where we paid a visit to the homes of two of my all time favorite tv 'families'...the huxtables and my friends from friends. this immediately crossed two major items off the new york to-do list. at this point we hopped on the subway, which was actually another of my favorite things of the trip. we wanted to get the lay of the land so we hit up times square, rockefeller center and the new york public library. we had lunch in bryant park and played a game of chess a la bobby fischer.  

next we headed to astoria to visit the museum of th…

east 78th street...

we had a moment...my house and me. last weekend my mom came to town and we had garage sale number three, which i expect to be our last for a good long while. and though the first two sales were definitely helpful and worthwhile, this last one seemed to do the trick.  

we've gone through, cleared out, sold and organized for the past year and a half [almost exactly] and i finally feel like i've got a handle on things. sure our house isn't perfect, i expect it never will be. i've loved it all along but sometimes the hardness of moving into my husbands already full house got to me. i was overwhelmed by the stuff. the amount of it. the not knowing what it all was. the not being able to find things. it was not exactly my cup of tea.  but little by little, progress was made.  

with this final garage sale, at least in this season of life, i feel like we've turned a corner. i feel settled. there is space in the house and it is a good feeling. i am so, so thankful for the hous…

once upon a time...

once upon a time there was a girl who loved summer, swimming and sunshine.   she also loved a boy who didn't particularly love those same three things.   but the boy saw how much the girl loved to be in the water, so the boy...

took the girl...

to one of her favorite places...

and they had the  best day ever!

hanging from the rafters...

our most recent family reunion was a special one for me because it was the first time donald came too.  though he had already met almost everyone it was fun to officially have him there as part of the family.

as usual we had fun talking, laughing and just being together.  typically the same stories get told year after year, but this time we put a new spin on one of those old classics.
back in the good old days, when the six original cousins were considerably younger, they spent a lot of time in grandma and grandpa meinhardt's basement.  in that basement there were some exposed beams.  legend [and video evidence] tells us that when they got a little crazy my grandpa harry and great uncle bob liked to hang from those rafters.  so imagine our delight when we discovered that our new reunion destination had an exposed beam as well. naturally our family stepped up and honored our elders in the only appropriate way...

d.w.d.w.w....

donald has been working hard on his prerequisites for nursing school so the end of the semester seemed like the perfect excuse to bring back the d.w.d.w.d., but this time he got a whole "do whatever donald wants week"!
now an ideal week to my husband looks a lot different than an ideal week for me.  mine would be full of activities, he likes to take it slow.  he loves his recliner and one of his requests was for lots of time to spend there.  i lost track of the number of movies he watched, but he was in cinema heaven.

we hit up a few famous raytown landmarks since we knew it was high time we visited the raytown historical society museum and honestly, we were pleasantly surprised.  and though we are dedicated patrons of mama china's, we took weatherman brian busby's suggestion and lunched at the blue yuu.  sadly, we did not squeeze in a visit to pocket park.

as usual, many of our days involved playing games.  lately mexican train has made its way in the rotation quite fr…

eggs and horses...

we stayed in kansas city this easter, which marked the first time i haven't been in st. louis for at least part of a major holiday.  there were things i missed about easter in st. louis, but i was glad to be able to celebrate the best holiday with our church family in kc.  plus my mom came to town and i still got to hunt for eggs, so i really can't complain.

since our siblings had other family events to attend i figured it was time to host my first holiday meal.  it wasn't fancy, but it was fun!  don and debbie came over and we had a little easter feast.  i was pretty proud of myself.  

this past weekend we headed to st. louie because our presence had been requested for the 140th running of the kentucky derby.  last year we just so happened to be at edith and edna's house celebrating my mom's birthday on derby day and it became quite the event. edna requested that we make it a tradition and we were happy to oblige.


i have to say that my favorite part of the day was wh…

stl day...

ah spring.  the time of year missouri can't decide if it should be sunny or snowing.
since donald had time off from school for spring break we decided to head out of town for a week of relaxation at casa de marilyn.  usually when we make a trip to st. louis we end up spending the majority of our time making the rounds to see family and friends [which we love to do!], but this time we took a different approach.  we wanted our week to be pretty low key and relaxed, so donald and i each picked just a few things we wanted to be sure to do. he picked: a stay at home daya play with mark dayplaying dominoes with my mom and ednai picked: puzzles [or 'playing puzzle' as our friend claire says]skee ball date nightst. louis day it's no secret...i love st. louis.  and i wanted to get out and enjoy it so we packed a bunch of classic tourist attractions into one day and headed out on the town.  first up was malcom martin memorial park, where you can catch a really great view of the arch…

sealed with a kiss...

i love getting the mail.  it's one of life's little pleasures.  and we've just had a very exciting week in mail getting.  the first to arrive was a big blue box with our wedding album in it and i must say...it was worth the wait.  i love it.  it was exactly want i wanted.

then a brown box came.  and this one has a back story.  
we've already had two garage sales since i've moved to 78th street, resulting in a number of unneeded items leaving the premises.  this makes me exceedingly happy, but tends to bring donald a twinge of sadness.  he loves all of the treasures.  which brings us to the fateful saturday last summer where donald, being the loving husband that he is, was gathering a few last minute things he thought he could part with to add to our sale.  one such item was a cookie jar.  but not just any cookie jar...a cowboy cookie monster cookie jar.  
long story short...he sold it for $1. 
and then he was sad.  so very sad.
i've heard a lot of lamenting about th…

goals and progress...

at some point soon after our honeymoon i made a list of goals for our first year.  it wasn't so much a goal list as a to do list, but i called them goals just the same.  there were things for us as a couple, home improvement projects to tackle and budgets to be made.  i revisited this list recently and it turns out i was a little over zealous in my assumptions of what we'd accomplish in the house department during our first year.  and by 'a little' i actually mean 'a lot'.  but i must say we redeemed ourselves in the money management category where we made great strides and met a lot of goals, big and small.  i'm not gonna lie...i think dave would be proud.
so for this second year of marriage i made another list, and i think i did a better job of making this year's goals realistically attainable.  there are still some us goals [create some of our own traditions, go on two fancy dates, take a trip together], and we made some goals that have to do with oth…

anniversary number one...

it's funny how time can move so fast and so slow all at the same time.  i've had lots of friends say they can't believe it's been a year since our wedding.  and i hear that.  but then at the exact same time my life before marriage seems like a long, long time ago.  life is strange like that.  but either way you look at it, we're celebrating the big number one!

so far we give marriage a hearty thumbs up.  and in observation of this year of wedded bliss we cashed in a wedding gift for a weekend at the lake.  we splurged on fancy cheese, played games, had dinner at baxter's, sampled our one year old cupcakes [which were disgusting], faced off in a fierce skee ball competition [which i won], watched the box set of studio sixty [if you know donald, you know how much he loved this] and capped off the weekend with our newest tradition...anniversary fried chicken.

ten years...

my dad passed away ten years ago today.  it was a middle of the night phone call from the funeral home, not the hospital where he had been for the previous few days, nor the skilled care facility he was living in.  i wasn't supposed to find out that way.  the poor woman on the phone naturally assumed i already knew, she had no idea she was the one breaking the news.  it wasn't the way it was supposed to be, but most of the previous year had felt like things weren't the way they were supposed to be.  twenty three year olds aren't usually charged with the care of an ailing parent and faced with the decisions that brings.  but life doesn't always happen the way we expect it to, in fact, it rarely ever does.
this all happened back in the days before social media.  when people communicated through the ancient art of mass e-mail.  i sometimes wish i had been blogging back then so i would have some sort of record of what happened during that crazy year.  but it's proba…