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Weekend Wrap-Up

February 13, 2018

Happy Tuesday!  I’m a day late posting about the weekend.  It was part busy, part totally lazy.

One of my besties lost her dad last week so we (and my DFF) drove down to Kentucky on Friday for the visitation.  I loved witnessing the love & support my friend received from so many of our church friends.  Brian commented that he was amazed at the number of women there from my small group.  I told him that’s just what we do.  We show up and support one another and it’s such a blessing to have these fabulous women in my life! Lots of prayers for Angie & her family during this difficult time (love you, Angie!).

We had a lazy morning on Saturday before heading out to meet Brian’s dad & Margi for lunch.  We met at a yummy pizza place at the Fairfield Commons Mall.  We enjoyed visiting with them and catching up for a couple of hours.

Nick and Maggie stopped by on Saturday for a bit.  They were on their way to a Murder Mystery Dinner.


Brian and I decided to go to Saturday night church at a church we used to attend.  We hadn’t been there in several years (I’ve attended Bible study there off and on since we left but it was the first time we’d been back for a service).  Nick & Maggie stopped back by after their dinner to pick up a couple of things Nick left here.  It was fun hearing about their evening (they had a blast!).  Nick was picked to play a character during the dinner and their table won “Detectives of the Night” for the good work they did solving the murder.  Fun!

Sunday was a L-A-Z-Y day at home.  Taylor went to church and had a meeting afterwards.  We were supposed to have a family fun day but some rain kept us from our plans so we just hung around the house.  I caught up on Celebrity Big Brother (Nick got me hooked)…


and watched a couple of speakers from the IF:Gathering women’s conference online.  The conference was SO good that I spend quite a bit of time on Monday watching as well.

Such good stuff!  Next year I want to go to one of their local events.

Today has been spent catching up on stuff…Bible study, laundry, errands (do not go to the library when the high school across the street is getting out for the day – CRAZY!), and a quick trip to my favorite coffee shop.  :)



Faces of Corbin

February 7, 2018

Brian always says that we have the most photographed dog ever.  He might be right.  Taylor & I cannot resist his face.  I loved these pictures that she texted me while we were gone for a few days…

Cute, right?  This one cracked us up…


He’s a little bit of a rascal but he sure makes us smile.  :)

He wasn’t feeling the pictures this morning when he came in from the cold…

Sweet boy!

Weekend Wrap-Up

February 5, 2018

Happy Monday!  We had a fun-filled weekend with plenty of down time but it still seemed to fly by.  Friday afternoon, I texted this picture to Nick…


Homemade chicken pot pie (click for the recipe).  He was so jealous!  I took one to a family from church and we ate one for dinner that night.

We were excited to sleep in on Saturday (well, Brian & I were – Tay had to open at work) but the dog got me up early to go out.  I did go back to bed for an hour or so after Brian got up.  Once I got up and moving for the day, I baked a couple of pans of brownies for a service outreach later in the day.  After lunch I ran a quick errand to pick up some sugar cookies (also for the outreach) and stopped by my favorite coffee shop.  I had some free time in the afternoon so I did what has needed done for a LONG time….worked on cleaning out my email inbox.  I picked a friend up and we headed to church to meet some other friends to go serve dinner at City Gospel.  Brian & another husband met us there.


We always enjoy the times we serve at City Gospel.  The people there are SO thankful for a hot meal and they LOVE the homemade treats we always bring (special thanks to the ladies at church for baking a bunch of brownies for us to take).  They also love Jolly Ranchers and we’ve gotten in the habit of taking a big bag or two each time we go.  If you ever get an opportunity to serve at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, etc., do it!

The girls ditched the husbands and headed downtown for dinner.

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Apparently this place is a big deal.  Ha!  I have not seen their show but I did enjoy my burger.  :)  One of these friends was BEYOND excited to be there (you would have thought we were at Disney World!).

Sunday morning Brian & Tay headed to church early for band practice and I made my way there later.  Tay had a meeting after church.  Brian & I grabbed some lunch and came home for a lazy afternoon.  I threw some chili in the crockpot and baked another pan of brownies.  I finished cleaning up my email inboxes (geesh, why do I let all that email pile up?!).  Brian’s friend, Bill, came over to watch the game (I watched commercials & the half-time show).

Remember how I told you on Friday that healthy new recipes were a favorite thing?  Not so much this weekend it seems!  Oh, well…



Friday Favorites

February 2, 2018

Happy Friday!  Here are a few favorite things from this week.

Lunch & Games with Nick & Maggie

Nick & Maggie joined us for lunch after church last Sunday.  After lunch we came back to the house to celebrate their birthdays (Maggie’s was New Year’s Eve and Nick’s was while we were gone in San Francisco).  We gave them their gifts, played a couple of games, and ate some yummy Hershey pie.  Fun!  Nick got me the Telestrations game for Christmas and it is so much fun (and provides lots of laughter!).  If you like games, you need this one!



Healthy New Recipes

I recently joined a fabulous group of women at church who are all working on eating healthy.   We’re all at different points in our journey and it’s fungetting together each week to share how things are going.  I’ve been trying several new recipes each week and for the most part they’ve been a favorite thing (they’re not all winners!).  I’ll post links to some soon for anyone needing new things to try.

Text Messages from My Kids

I love when I pick up the phone to see a text from the kids.  They might be asking me a question about something or other but more often than not they’re sharing something going on in their life.  It might be a good grade on a quiz at school or something funny they’ve seen  online.  Taylor sent me this picture from work this week…

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Latte art!  Isn’t that cool?  Love it!

Monday Night Date Night

Taylor worked late on Monday so Brian and I decided to go to dinner.  We thought we’d swing by the coffee shop afterwards.  Brian drinks decaf coffee and it usually takes longer (they do a pour-over for decaf) so we thought we’d have our favorite barista get things started for us.


Ha!  I’m not sure how she felt about me texting in our order.  :)  (And I need to charge my phone!)

Online Grocery Ordering

Online grocery ordering is one of my favorite things EVERY week!  Have you tried it?  Seriously, it’s the best thing ever.


Have a great weekend!  Stay warm!

January #photoaday2018

February 1, 2018

I’m trying to do a photo a day for the year but have been a bit of a slacker.  I just want to do a better job of documenting life.  I love looking back and seeing what was going on at a certain time.  Here’s a little peek at life in January.  Obviously I missed a bunch of days.  And I like taking pictures of dogs.  :)

San Francisco

January 31, 2018

Warning:  Long post and lots of vacations pictures ahead!  Grab a cup of coffee or an iced tea and settle in for a bit.

Brian & I have been fortunate to take a long weekend trip in January the past few years.   His company has many offices scattered throughout the country and they all come together for a “holiday party” in January.  This year the party was in San Francisco.  We added a few days onto the trip and had a great (and exhausting) time away.

I was a little nervous as we headed to the airport.  I had some issues with security on last year’s trip.  Thankfully I made it through with no problems this year and we were good to go!  We were thrilled to find direct flights there & back.  We loved not having a lay-over but it sure is a long time to sit in those cramped seats.  The planes had built in tv’s so I read some and also watched a movie (Home Again) and before we knew it we were there.  We shared a cab with one of Brian’s co-workers and made it to our hotel.  We were early for check-in so we dropped off our bags and went to find food (it was 4:00 or so our time and we were starving).  I didn’t want to eat anything we could have at home but by this time we were just happy to find a Chipotle close to the hotel.  After our late lunch we walked around for a while before heading back to the hotel.

The next day we had tickets to Alcatraz.  We didn’t rent a car and planned to use the cable cars (and walking) to get around the city.  We bought a 3 day pass for the cable cars and it was worth every penny.  We hopped on and headed the Fisherman’s Wharf area.  This was a ways from Alcatraz but we took this route based on suggestions of a man we thought worked for the cable car company (he didn’t – ha!).  Thankfully we left plenty of time to get where we needed to go.  We walked around a bit exploring the area, grabbed some coffee at this AMAZING Biscoff coffee shop (Biscoff latte!  Yum!), and then worked our way to the Alcatraz pick up.  It was rainy & chilly so we hung out in the cafe there for a bit until it was our time to board.  They take you by boat out to Alcatraz and then you do an audio tour of the prison.  It’s very well done and we both enjoyed it.  After the tour we explored the island a bit (still in the rain – thankful we had umbrellas!) and then caught a boat back to the drop off point.  We walked to Pier 39 for a late lunch.  I had fish tacos that were good (not as good as the fish tacos in Mexico but still good :).  After lunch we walked around Pier 39 and saw the sea lions.  We decided to head back to the hotel at this point and dry off (it was drizzly all day and we were soaked & cold!).  We may have even taken a nap.

We didn’t have any plans for Day 3 (or any of the days other than the tickets for Alcatraz).  We slept in and then hopped on a cable car.  I think this is the day that the car was SO packed that we stood for the ride – it was crazy (Brian loved it.  I was holding on for dear life!  LOL!).  We hopped off at Lombard Street (one of the steepest streets in the country with 8 crazy, hairpin turns).  The cable car lets you off at the top of the street so we walked down steps to the bottom to get some pictures.  The problem with walking to the bottom?  You have to walk all the way back up!   Whew!  (We are so out of shape!)

The pictures don’t do it justice.  I can’t imagine living in one of the houses along there.

We hopped back on the cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf and spent walked about there for a bit and then headed to tour the Jeremiah O’Brien, a WW2 cargo ship.  We passed a Krispy Kreme donut shop on the way and had to stop for a hot donut.  :)  We spent a couple of hours exploring the cargo ship.  We believe this is the type of ship Brian’s grandpa was on.  There weren’t many people touring that day and we were free to roam from top to bottom.  Brian went ALL the way to the bottom to check out all the engines and things (part of the engine was in the movie Titanic).  Very cool!

We headed back to Pier 39 for a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  We walked through the shops there and saw the sea lions again.  There weren’t as many and they weren’t as active as the day before.  We were thankful for a day with no rain and were able to take some pictures of the city and of Alcatraz (it was so foggy the day we went out there that we couldn’t really see it well).  We also stopped by Ghiradelli Square to check it out.

Brian was fascinated by the cable cars and how they operate so on the way back to our hotel we hopped off at the Cable Car Museum.  Great history of the cable cars and we got to see exactly how it all works.

Our last full day was spent doing a lot of uphill walking.  We hopped on the cable car (again) and headed towards Coit Tower.  Once we got off of the cable car it was a long walk uphill (again, we’re so out of shape!).  This little gal met us at the top of our walk up there…


She was off leash (something our dog could never do!) and so well behaved.  So cute that we had to take her picture for Tay.

We walked around there a bit and looked at all the views of the city & the bay before heading back down the hilly streets.  We weren’t really sure where we were going but knew the general direction.  We ended up back at Pier 39 (NOT where we thought we were going – ha!).  We walked to a park and watched some people swimming in the bay (brrr…it wasn’t really swimming weather!).  We stopped at Ghiradelli Square to get some chocolate treats for the kids and then went to In & Out for lunch.  We shopped a bit before heading back to the hotel area where we walked some more (we walked a LOT).  We had sundaes for a late afternoon snack at a nearby mall (which was very fancy!) and then went and took a nap before heading to the company party (we’re old).  We had our first Uber experience getting to/from the party!  We’re so cool.  :)

We had a few hours the next day before we had to head to the airport so we headed to a local diner for breakfast and then we walked a bit more before sitting on the plane all afternoon (we walked 33+ miles in the few days were were there!).  We had such good luck with Uber the night before that we used one to get to the airport as well (I told you we are cool!).  It was a bumpy ride home and I was thankful for built in tv’s (I watched Table 19).

I know there’s stuff I’m forgetting (like the fun diner we ate at one night but now I can’t remember when!) but I’ve already gone on long enough.  We had the best time!  We were exhausted by the time we got home.  Between all the walking and the time change, I feel like I’m still getting caught up on rest.  I wonder where we’ll go next year…


Grandma Taus

January 15, 2018

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’ve probably read a time or two about my grandma.  She turned 100 years old this past August.  We were saddened to get the news that she had passed away last Thursday.  Her health had been rapidly declining the past few months and when we saw her at Thanksgiving I really expected a call soon after saying that she had passed.  We were amazed that she made it through Christmas and even had a brief visit with her during our family Christmas celebrations and she gave us one of the funniest memories we’ll have of her.  She was a wonderful person and we’ll miss her greatly.

Mother's Day

TAUS, Marjorie B. 100, formerly of New Lebanon, Ohio passed away Thursday, January 11, 2018. She was born August 30, 1917 in Osgood, Ohio the daughter of the late Thomas & Ermal Burns. She was the former owner of the Gettysburg Cafe, Dayton, was a member of the American Legion, New Lebanon and played Euchre with friends throughout the area. She is survived by her daughter, Jean (Doug) Windham; grandchildren, Tracy (Brian) Starr, Steven (Jean) Windham; great grandchildren, Nick & Taylor Starr, Brady & Ethan Windham. Per Marjorie’s request there will be no services. 

Published in Dayton Daily News on Jan. 14, 2018

Can you even imagine the things she saw in 100 years of life?  Wow!

Many friends have sent texts & messages expressing their sympathy and prayers.  I loved the one that asked if this was the fun grandma with the fun shoes.  :)  And the one that said she seemed like one cool lady.  I hope I’m as fun & cool as she was when I’m an old lady!

She loved playing cards (and Bunko), McDonald’s strawberry sundaes (I once claimed she loved their hot fudge sundaes and she was quick to tell me it was strawberry), Dr. Pepper, and Cassano’s pizza (me too!).  She loved fancy clothes & big jewelry.  One time after a family gathering at our house we couldn’t figure out why there was glitter all over the furniture.  It was from her belt!  She left a little sparkle wherever she went.  She also loved watching the Game Show Network and snuggling up with her little dog, Rowdy.  She’s always been one of the nicest people I know.  She was always making food for old people (who were probably younger than she was) and would give gifts to everyone – from the staff at her doctor’s office to EVERYONE attending a family party (for any and every event!).  Often times you’d come away with a pair (or three!) of crocheted slippers.  :)  Boy how she loved to crochet and she did so every day until her eyes got too bad.

She also kept us laughing.  Like the year she bought me leather pants for Christmas.  I wasn’t a leather pants kind of girl (I wonder if my parents remember that!).  Or the Christmas a few years back when she wrapped all the gifts and put a little tag on the outside to remind her what was in the gift, but then she didn’t remove those tags so we all knew what we were unwrapping (I’m not so sure she saw the humor in it like we did).  Christmas time was always interesting when she’d do all her own shopping.  We never knew what she’d pick out for us and the gifts were always very entertaining!

We gathered at her house on December 23 for our family Christmas.  She was not able to join us for most of the day but felt okay for us to gather in her room for a brief visit.  We all piled in and were talking to her.  She was wide awake and seemed happy.  She asked what we were doing that day.  She told us we all looked good.  And then she told us we could go!  Ha!  We were cracking up!  I love that this is the final memory my family & my brother’s family will have of her.

I spent a few days at her house with my mom at the beginning of this year so I got to spend a little more time with her.  I got a little peek at the life my mother has had taking care of her this past year and especially the past few months.  It’s been around the clock, hard work and my mother did an amazing job caring for her.  I had to laugh when I could hear my grandma telling my mom to put on a pot of coffee – at 4:30 in the morning (my mom told her we didn’t need a pot of coffee at 4:30 in the morning!).  My mom should have written down all the funny things she’s said the past few months.  In the midst of all the hard days, there was still laughter.

I’m so thankful for ALL these years with her.  She was the last my my kids’ great grandparents – they were blessed to know five of their great grands!

She didn’t want a funeral so my parents are honoring that.  I’m guessing she wouldn’t mind if we all got together for some Cassano’s pizza & McDonald’s sundaes.  I think I’ll have to arrange that.  :)