Thursday, March 31, 2011

relaxation by the pool today...

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You wanted pictures? Here ya go!

Clearly, we have no shame.

This is what we look like this beach and pool, post sleep and pre shower.

I know...we're hard to resist.

If you can believe it, I actually look less burnt here than I am...

And Lora's face didn't get bit by the sun like mine, but don't be fooled...she is BURNT on her chest just like me...

At least our hair looks good... Oh wait, I guess it doesn't. Good Morning from Florida!

our day...

I don't have pictures for you today...sorry. We had a great day on the beach and Lora and I played in the waves and squeeled the entire time like a couple of school girls. It was comical and so much fun. We dove for seashells and the waves were maybe the biggest waves I've ever swam in. It was a blast and I felt like a little kid again! On a not so fantastic note, both Lora and I got burnt kind of bad. Ugh. I don't know why I cannot get through a vacation without this happening! It was cloudy much of the time at the beach today and being in the waves for at least an hour along with the application of SPF 45 (although we should have reapplied!) we thought we were fine. In fact, I only thought I got a little burnt until a couple of hours after leaving the beach when I was feeling really sore and HOT and looked in the mirror to see that I was a tomato on my face, chest and arms. Lora got it on her chest, a bit on her stomach and a little on her feet and nose. We applied our Aloe Vera and hope that it's feeling better by tomorrow.

We went to Chris and Brenda's and had a fantastic evening eating the best sushi EVER, chatting, swimming and laughing...a lot. I took pictures of them which I'll post once I get home and edit them, I cut Brenda's hair...SUPER CUTE, and I got to snuggle up to Bode and Boone. Serioulsy, LOVE LOVE LOVE those boys. I miss them so much and just kinda feel like begging Chris and Brenda on my hands and knees to move back to Iowa. So sad.

I'm really starting to miss Tate a lot today. He's FINE and having sooo much fun. I've spoken to him every day at least once. Tonight when he called me before bed, this was the beginning of our conversation...

Tate: "Mommy, it's me Tate."

Me: "HI Tate! I MISS YOU!"

Tate: "I miss you too, Mommy. Um, Mommy?"

Me: "Yes Tate"

Tate: "Ava and I are going to marry."

Me: "You ARE?! And why did you decide that?"

Tate: "Because I love her"

SERIOUSLY?! SOOOO SWEET! I asked Sean why he said that and he said he didn't know, but that he had said it the night before too. Tate proceeded to ask to talk to Lora and told her the same thing...melt.our.hearts. Oh my goodness I cannot wait to wrap my arms around Tate again! We went on to chat about how much fun he was having and so on and so forth.

It's been another great day! I'm tired and heading to bed...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Some pictures from today and a few words...

The reason you're only getting a few words today is because there are almost no words to describe the amazingness that is this trip.


Thank you to our husbands in cold Iowa who are holding up the fort while we're gone.

Especially a BIG thank you to James for watching Tate while Sean works this week! And of course, thank you to my parents for letting Lora and I stay here this week!

In the mornings, we do this...

And for every meal so far, we've done this...

And today, this was our spot on the beach... And this little guy's spot was just behind our chairs...

And we were like children searching for the prettiest shells we could find. It was so fun.

This one is for Ava... And these were our toes all day long...

This vacation is like a dream. Lora and I have talked each other's ears off and laughed harder than we've ever laughed with/at each other before.

We are in FULL relaxation mode. It's incredible. We've been reading our books, following no schedule whatsoever, eating at crazy weird times of the day, sleeping in, talking about anything and everything we want to. We haven't turned the television on once, we've consumed more coffee, seafood, margaritas, white russians and wine than we've consumed in the last 12 months and talked about our pasts, future and present through it all.

Fun, amazing, wonderful, special, relaxing, surreal, hilarious, exciting and much needed aren't even words that do this trip justice, but they'll have to do.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lora and I made it to SUNNY FLORIDA!

We are ecstatic to be here. It was 80 degrees when we landed at 7:15pm. We went out for a fun dinner outside and weren't chilly at all. Fun music, great food, beautiful weather and lots of conversation and laughter. Awesome. I have a cold. Not awesome. :(

We got home from dinner and got in the hot tub and chatted. Then we came inside, I took some Nyquil and Lora's in bed and that's where I'm headed. Here's to a fun day tomorrow...oh, and that I can kick this cold to the curb!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Abby Bunny

I lied...1 more post.
This one couldn't wait! :)
I took a few pictures of my niece, Abby today.
She's 2 1/2 months old and the sweetest thing ever!
Love this that she's staring right into my lens...
And check out these bunny ears!
So fun and festive and adorable!!!

Oh how I love this sweet girl!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

lots to do before Florida...

Super excited to leave for Florida on Saturday...super excited! I do have a long list of things that I would like to get done before we head out around lunch time on Saturday! And instead of doing those things, we went to Muscatine to meet up with Cassie, Paul and the kids at the Missippi Brew for dinner and drinks tonight. I am so glad we did!!! It was nice to just sit and chat and to see the kids. It seems like forever since I've seen them.

I want to make sure I leave the house as clean and in order as possible for Sean when I'm gone. I have a few bills I want to pay before heading out and just a few more odds and ends to pack. I have a coupon that needs to be used on Friday and also groceries to purchase for Sean and Tate so Sean doesn't have to worry about grocery shopping while I'm gone. I also have a couple of loads of laundry to do and a few of my DVR'd shows to catch up on. :) In addition to all that, I really want to soak up these next couple of days with Tate because though I am totally excited for a fun and relaxing girls week, I know I will miss Tate and Sean so much.

I am not sure that I'll be posting much before we head out on Saturday as I am going to be pretty busy, but who knows. Just thought I'd let you know in case you don't hear from me for a few days! I will be blogging from Florida though and now that I have the Android, I can blog from my phone, so that makes things easier for sure! In Florida, Lora and I plan to spend lots of time in the sun, shopping, at the beach, going out to eat and reading! Our plan is to read Crazy Love while down there and (I know I am totally delayed in reading it...I've been holding off until this trip!) I cannot wait to open that book up! It's looking like we'll be enjoying some PERFECT weather then entire time...mostly sunny skies and low 80's all week! Woohoo!


Tate BEGS to play the "dancing game" every single day since we got the Kinect and seriously, it is SO FUN watching him. This video makes me laugh out loud!!! The first 30 seconds aren't as funny as when you get to the'll see what I mean...HILARIOUS!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And the winner is...


I will post the winner tonight...

Sorry, I am having technical difficulties with my blog which is why the winner of the giveaway hasn't been posted yet. SORRY! I will post it this evening...promise!
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The typeTAP campaign raised $11,400 (of which $10k will be matched!) on World Water Day (yesterday) which will bring clean drinking water to THOUSANDS of people in India.
Thank you so much for taking feels good doesn't it?!! :)
I will be drawing a winner for the giveaway later today.
Thank you again!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A GIVEAWAY for World Water Day!

OVER $10K raised!!!! Now let's see how much more we can raise! This giveaway is not over until 11pmCST, you still have time to donate and enter to win!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your donations!!!
I've talked about it before, and I am talking about it again...

It's World Water Day and so today is a great day for a post about water and a giveaway, right?! :)

I read posts about charity all the time and I'm not going to lie, sometimes I see a post about a cause and I just skim it...or worse, don't read it at all. I don't want this post to be the post you skim or completely skip, so I'm going to make it as short as I can (although I could write 10 paragraphs about my thoughts on it!) and I'm going to intice you to spread the word and give even if it's just a little...every dollar counts truly.

So I'm giving up my blog today to water and I'm giving away a water inspired gift to one of YOU just for spreading the word and giving a little today on World Water Day.

I am donating here...

You should too...and if you do, see below what you could win from ME! :)

I know so many of you who read my blog have the biggest, most giving hearts and I know that if you really took a second to stop and think about what you're doing in giving a small donation, you would know what a huge gift you're giving to someone.

4000 children die a day due to lack of access to clean drinking water...what if that was your child?

It does not make it any more okay for someone else's child to die than it does for my own child to die.

An explanation (and SUPER short, cute and entertaining video that you should totally watch!) about exactly where your money will go from The Adventure Project's website:

"Instead of drilling more wells, we’re using our charitable gifts for something revolutionary – to train and employ handpump mechanics. The mechanics earn an income, bringing themselves out of poverty, and they save lives – turning water back on for thousands of people each year."

typeTAP: Water Revolution from The Adventure Project on Vimeo.

Get it?

Okay, now about the giveaway.
I am giving away this...

*Included are 4 decorative mini-clipboards. I have 4 that hang on my kitchen wall and love them for holding bills, coupons, artwork, notes, etc.. There is also a bottle of Bath and Body Works Antibacterial Hand Soap in the scent Dancing Water. Convenient name and coincidentally my FAVORITE scent from Bath and Body Works! Lastly, (sorry this will only apply to locals or those who would be able to travel to the Quad City Area) I am including a gift certificate for a FREE PHOTO SESSION with me. Want your child(ren) photographed? Your family? Your new baby? It's all free. Check out my Jennie Peakin Photography Website or the blog to view some of my work if you'd like. :)

How to enter...

1 entry just for spreading the word on THIS LINK.

1 entry for every $10 you donate


Or you can donate by clicking on the image on my right sidebar labeled typeTAP.

Donations will be tracked and along with all of the other approximately 150 bloggers giving up their blogs for water today, we hope to raise at least $10,000. AND The Prem Rawat Foundation has stepped up and agreed to match any donations made TODAY for World Water Day, up to $10,000.


The giveaway closes at 11pm CST, so make sure you donate by then! Once you've either spread the word on Facebook and/or donated, please leave me a comment on this post to let me know that you posted about typeTAP Water Revolution and the donation link as well as the amount you donated. If you are not comfortable commenting that you donated or the amount you donated, you can email me your entries to japeakin at hotmail dot com. I will enter your name the appropriate amount of times into the drawing for the giveaway and draw a winner at random. I will post the winner on this blog on Wednesday! I will mail your prize to you immediately!

All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you so much in advance for taking part in this!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My First Giveaway!!!

In honor of World Water Day tomorrow, I am dedicating my blog posts to water! I will also have A Peakin To Our Lives very first giveaway! More details tomorrow on what the giveaway is and how you can enter to win it!

hodge podge of stuff...

*A week or so ago, Sean and I got Androids and love them! I just got the Daily Bible App for my phone and I love it. I can search scripture on it, but what I love most is that I read God's Word FIRST THING every single day. It sends a scripture to your phone every morning that you can play aloud or just read. Everyone with that App gets the same scripture. It's just so crazy how the scripture that I have read each day just seemed like something I "needed" each day. Somehow each one has pertained to something on my heart and mind. I plug my phone in every night in our bedroom. First thing I do in the morning when I wake up is walk over and unplug my phone which lights up the screen and right there is my daily scripture to read. Simple as that.

*We tried a new church this weekend. It was a Lutheran Church. I've never attended a Lutheran Church before...not sure I've ever been to one in my life. We liked it. I enjoyed the message and Sean did as well. We attended the most contemperary service they have and though it was less contemperary than our church in West Des Moines was, still the music was great, the sermon was great, it had a casual feel and yet still had a traditional feel to it in some ways as well. I think we'll go again and keep trying it for a while. :)

*I mentioned a few days ago that we had budgeted for some fun, larger purchases this weekend. I posted about the Kinect below, but our other purchase was another laptop! I spend A TON of time on the computer editing pictures and doing photography stuff and all my photos take up so much space on the computer. Since I am going to be getting busier with photo sessions in a few weeks, it was time to get me my own laptop. We found one for a great deal and bought it! It's so nice that we don't have to fight over the computer now! :)

*Tomorrow is World Water Day. It will come with a challenge to you, my readers. :) I know I've written about water on my blog before, and this won't be the last time. It is something that needs to be heard.

*Today is cleaning day in our house! I am excited to crank the radio and get this done. Plus, it's gorgeous outside, so we may be breaking out the bubbles and sidewalk chalk this afternoon too!

*Did you know that yesterday was the 1st day of spring? It was! Spring is here!!! Spring is here!!!


Sunday, March 20, 2011


One of our purchases we had been wanting and finally made this weekend was an XBox Kinect.
Oh my goodness, we have been having so much fun with it!
Let's be honest here...I don't work out. I hate working out...not fun for me.
I really, truly was hoping (and had read so in many reviews) that the Kinect would give me a workout that is fun. My expectations have been exceeded!
Two words...
If I am not getting a work out dancing on it, I am getting a workout at the laughter of watching someone play is SO FUN and hilarious!!!
And talk about breaking Tate out of his shell!
Seriously, he loves playing it and hops right up and does the dances. It's the cutest, sweetest thing I've ever seen!!!
In addition to Tate, BOTH Sean and I are loving it. It works you out big time. Plus, I got "Your Shape" for Kinect and they customized a workout for me after I put in all my specifics and did the test to see my level and all that. Technology is soooo amazing! And my "personalized workout"...YIKES! It is something I have fun doing, but is HARD!
Honestly, I couldn't be happier with this purchase we made and I highly recommend it.
DeCooks came over tonight and played with us too.
Sooooo fun!

And these pictures do NO JUSTICE to Tate's dancing.
It was so cute and funny.
We have a video that I'm going to try and get on here.

It WAS Dance Central at our house this evening!

we're packed...

Lora and I had our "packing party" this afternoon (and a bottle of wine...okay, 2 bottles).
Do you think she fit into the suitcase???
Of course she did!
We are ready to go...soooo excited for a week with this amazing friend of mine. Really, we are going to have so much fun! Saturday cannot come soon enough!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

a birthday card...

Maggie (Tate's birth mom) celebrated a birthday not long ago and Tate wanted to write on her card. There's just something about a child's handwriting (especially my own child's) that melts my heart!

Friday, March 18, 2011

his face

It's not possible for me to love a face anymore than I love his...

Let's do bullet points today...

*1 year ago today was my last day of work at Wells Fargo. I loved my job and coworkers there and miss my time there. However, I love staying at home with Tate more. ;)

*I just looked at the 10 day forecast for Venice, FL and got butterflies of excitement just seeing it! Around 80 degrees and SUNNY every single day! Hopefully that trend continues throughout the week Lora and I are there!

*I love my new Android Mesmerize almost completely. The only thing that I don't love is the fact the battery dies about twice as fast as my Blackberry battery used to die. Although, that may be because I'm constantly on it doing things.

*We have budgeted (you know me...the budget queen!) for a couple of fun purchases this weekend that we're excited about. I'll share what they are once they have been purchased. :)

*I miss my mom. I talk on the phone to her daily when she's home and she's been in Florida for almost 2 weeks and will be there until 2 days after Lora and I arrive there. I think I've only talked to her twice in 2 weeks...I miss our morning chats and her trips up to the QC to visit!

*We went to the zoo yesterday (for FREE) and this may sound crazy, but I could totally go back today. I won't, but I could!

*I made 82 cake pops for St. Patrick's Day and there are only 10 left. I haven't eaten a single one and Sean's only eaten maybe 4ish. Is it bad that I am itching to make more of them and look forward to the next event I can make them for?

*Sean loves his new job. I love that he loves his new job. I kinda love his new job least I have loved the hours so far! I think he may be switching to his nights rotation once I return from Florida...bummer. :(

*THANK YOU to DeCooks for letting us have your patio set! It's been so nice to have a place outside to sit. We've already eaten out there twice! :)

*Lora and I are having a "packing party" this weekend in preparation for our Florida trip! Only 8 days until we leave!!!!

*Sean is off this weekend and I am so excited to have a family weekend with he and Tate since I'll be gone from them the following 2 weekends.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spontaneous trip to Niabi...

This afternoon I was on Facebook and noticed that one of my "friends" on there was at Niabi Zoo and that it's free admission all this week and next week. Sean and I were just lounging for the next couple of hours before we were going to head over to Mike and Sarah's for supper so I just said, "Let's go to the's free today!" Sean said okay and we were out the door and on our way within 5 minutes! Fun!
The weather was cloudy, but mid 60's and PERFECT for the zoo!

Tate and I just after walking into the zoo...he was so excited and happy!

My boys...

The elephants weren't outside, but if you looked into these windows, they were SUPER close. I love the elephants! Tate does too...

I don't know what it is about these pictures exactly, but they crack me up! It's likely Sean's face in them! Ha. :)

And Tate made a friend. He LOVES the petting zoo! He loved feeding the goats...

And no worries...we went immediately here after feeding the goats...

And he loved the birds...loved them!

Tate had so much fun...we all did!

And as you can see, he wore his green pants know, it was afterall St. Patrick's Day. Sean forgot to wear green, but I was festive, even sporting my 4 leaf clover socks!

It was really fun doing the spontaneous zoo trip! And for all you locals...its free admission into Niabi Zoo tomorrow and all of next week too!

Irish you a happy day!

More therapy...

I had some cake left, so i decided to make another (small) batch of cake pops tonight. Plus, I was bored because Sean had to work over 2 hours late! Geesh! I couldn't wait any longer and finally ate supper and put his aside to reheat when he got home. Then I thought, "I guess I'll make some more cake pops!" So I did. And this time I listened to K-Love and sang songs and completely enjoyed myself yet again! And I think this batch of cake pops turned out better than the first, but I'll spare you more pictures because they really are pretty much the same. Thought I'm not going to lie, I did buy some different sprinkles to change things up a bit for this batch. I think I have a sprinkle addiction, you should see my cupboard!

I think Tate may break out the green pants one more time for St. Patrick's day tomorrow (yikes, I mean's 1:30am!) and I need to find something festive as well. We delivered the cake pops we made for DeCooks to them this evening and tomorrow (today...when I say tomorrow, I actually mean today) we will be delivering more. I scheduled a play date/coffee date for tomorrow afternoon with my old blogging friend turned real friend and her son Eli. Tate has talked about Eli almost daily since we introduced them a week ago. Today in Wal-Mart we were walking by the toy section and he pointed at a guitar and said, "Mommy, Eli has that toy. I really miss him." So cute. He insisted when he saw the cake pops that Ava, Chloe, Lora, James, Leah, Kayla, Mike, Sarah and Eli each have one. He went through ALL of their names. So amongst others (Sean's co-workers, Lora and James' students), those people will be getting the cake pops. He did name some various other family members who, unfortunately we will probably not be seeing soon enough to gift any cake pops to...sorry!

So tomorrow Sean is off work (YAY!), I will get some coffee and conversation with a friend in the afternoon, Tate will get some play time with a friend and then we'll be going to Sarah and Mike's for dinner and more fun! What a fun day it will be! If only the rain would stay away. It's supposed to be close to 70 degrees and THAT makes me one happy girl!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Cake Pops

Making Cake Pops is like therapy for me. Really. I think it's because it's easy and so I don't really have to think about it when I'm doing it....instead I can think about other things. I love making cakes and working with fondant, but I love it because of the finished product, not because of the process of "doing" it. I love the process of "doing" it when it comes to cake pops. I had already made the cake balls and refrigerated them earlier in the day yesterday, so all I had to do was dip them and decorate them. I started at 10pm and got done at 1:35am. After clean up, I was in bed by 2am. Sean and Tate were both in bed while I did them. I stood over the stove and created my cake pops and thought about so much stuff. Therapy people, I tell ya! It was silent, it was glorious. I prayed a lot. If I know you, I probably prayed for you. It was wonderful and good for the soul. Who would have thought that cake pops would bring me closer to God?! It's amazing the things that food can do! Ha. :-)
So here they are today...
I don't love them as much as my Valentine's Day Cake Pops (and the snowy photo shoot made those cake pops POP in the photos too!), but still was pleased with them. They're green and many have rainbow colored sprinkles and one lone cake pop has a 4 leaf clover...those are the 3 things that I think of most when I think of St. Patrick's Day.
Green, Rainbows and 4 Leaf Clovers...
And there's a reason why there's only 1 of these 4 leaf clover beauties. This was what I thought I might do for ALL of them originally. It only took me doing it on to realize that wasnt going to happen. First of all, it wasn't as cute as I had invisioned it would be and 2nd of all, it was late and I would have been up all night long if I did them all like that!
And just proof of how late I was up. I snapped a quick picture when they were done. See the clock...1:35am on the nose. :) This was before I cleaned up.
Here is a link for the recipe I used for these the first time I made them. It says that it makes 40-50 pops, but I must make mine much smaller because it has made 70-80 pops both times I've made them.