Friday, November 30

November on Fast Forward.

December 1st is TOMORROW - woah! Do not quite know how the whole month of November seemed to just get away from me. Continuing to be blessed to serve God's people through my internship. Thankful for great family & friendships both new and old. Excited that the day I get to marry Adam is getting closer and closer! Since a lot of life has happened that means picture flashes of what's been going on lately since I last blogged! :) 

First 1/2 Marathon = complete. 

Final time: 2:17:34.

Some of my favorite signs that fans were holding along the race course, I kept repeating the phrases to myself to I would remember them to write down after the race!

Finisher! Such an awesome morning!


Because everyone loves an excuse to dress up!

Women of Faith Conference 

This was in Kansas City, went with a great group of ladies from church! 

Got to see Adam (and his family)!

Adam's brother was in his first play for his High School so Adam and I both traveled in to his parents house for the weekend. Andrew did an AWESOME job!

Started one of our of wedding registries!

This was a lot of fun, Adam was in charge of the scan gun, his Mom took lots of pictures and gave us some great advice, I was in charge of the clipboard - everyone was happy! 

[Insert me being sick with some kind of flu-ish thing for a week here. Boo.]

Macy's Festival of Lights - St. Louis Version!

Jordan and I ventured to the Festival of Lights to help STL welcome in the Christmas season. Chicago has a parade for this - STL did a concert, fireworks, and then we all walked in a brief parade over to the downtown Macy's which was filled with all kinds of Christmas activities. Jordan and I just made sure to hunt down the free cookies and hot chocolate!


I had the opportunity to go home for Thanksgiving this year. We played lots of Chutes and Ladders, ran a Turkey Trot, had a Thanksgiving meal as a family - including my grandparents, and in general I got to spend some quality time just hanging out with my family during their normal day-to-day activities. Precious time!

Decorated for Christmas!

Christmas is one of my most favorite things in the world - so very excited to have Christmas music going constantly, and finally get to put up my Christmas tree - even got a little one for my fish! Adam and I will get to be together on Christmas Day this year which is also super exciting! Currently working on a list of all of the St. Louis Christmas activities I want to do this upcoming month...

Looking ahead...

My dear friend and Maid-of-Honor is coming out to visit next week and work on some wedding stuff with me - can't wait to see her!!

I pray this post finds any reader doing well. If I can be praying for any of you in anyway - I would be more than honored and happy to do so. Also, if anyone is stopping through the St. Louis area, I always love visitors! :)



Saturday, October 20

Twas the night before race day...

It's here! It's here! It's here!!! Very shortly after moving here to the St. Louis area I was SO excited to learn that the Rock N' Roll racing series had a St. Louis stop. I signed up ASAP for the 1/2 Marathon and now, several months later, its hard to believe race day is almost here!! 
Went to the expo today (with some good friends for support) to pick up my bib number, racing shirt, and swag bag - made everything that much more real. 
*Bonus adventure* after the race expo we decided spontaneously to check out the Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour for the afternoon, finished with some yummy carbs at Olive Garden for dinner after. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see pictures from our tour adventure!
Can't wait to share stories with everyone after tomorrow. Thank you to everyone for encouragement and tips along the way!! The official start time for the race tomorrow is 7am CST. I am runner #7293 (woohoo!) Check out the course I'll be running tomorrow here: Course Map (the 1/2 marathon course is the purple line)
Found this fun parody below on a running blog I enjoy: One Run At A Time and decided it was very appropriate to share on such as night as this for me! Happy reading to you all. Happy running to me. Can't wait to Rock N' Roll bright and early tomorrow!

Twas the Night Before Race Day...

from One Run At A Time
Twas the night before race day, one could hear not a peep
It’s race day tomorrow, I needs me some sleep!

Shoes, stockings, and water, all laid out with care
With hopes of the PR I was hoping to snare

The tempos have been run, the hills been repeated,
And memories of bonks have all but receded.

With my camelback stocked and the bib on my shirt
It’s all ready – with danger I’d rather not flirt.

When there in my thoughts there arose such a clatter,
I sprang out of bed to take care of the matter!

Away to my gym bag I flew like a flash,
I grabbed at spare undies, the rest of my stash. 
The device at the bottom I had rudely ignored
Beeped silently, “Charge me!” it all but implored.

I grabbed at the iPod, batteries dead
When a thought so sublime popped into my head 
You’ve worked hard for this, chica, enjoy every minute
Give high 5s and smiles, keep your mind in it!

So, I tucked away tunes for another run
And thought, maybe I should have one run more done. 
The nagging in my head, said “What if, what if?”
But I pushed it away, with not one more sniff

Now’s not the time for pains, doubts, and straining
You logged the hard miles, now trust in your training 
After all, a race is not a culminating event
It’s a celebration of hours well spent

So, head back to sleep, think not one thought more
Tomorrow is nearing, so go catch a snore 
And when you wake up, RACE DAY is HERE!
So, soak it up, choke it up, share that good cheer!

With every step taken, each mile on par
Be thankful for legs that have carried you so far 
And when the final mile peaks, the finish line roars
The medal around your neck is no ones but yours!

With a calm, happy heart, I headed back to bed
When one last idea flashed through my head. 
And so I exclaimed, as I turned off the light,

Bonus Brewery tour adventure from today...

Saturday, September 29

Said yes to MY dress!


One step closer to marrying Adam :) My mom is in St. Louis this weekend for a girls weekend, with the main goal being to find my dress! I had tried on dresses once before moving here to St. Louis, so I was really really excited for Mom to come out and go shopping again for my wedding dress. I won't bore you with the details of all the work that goes into trying dresses on - its a total process to get clamped into dresses - but a process that is SO completely worth and very fun and surreal to be a part of with my Mom by my side! Here is a sneak peak of our dress shopping day:

Dressing room IN an old bank vault - so fun!
This poem definitely sums up our wedding dress shopping adventure:


Shes been dreaming 

'bout her wedding dress
since she was a little girl..
white with lace, and flowing,
accents made of pearl
Mother watches daughter
trying on the dresses....
her daughters now a future bride
and the older one confesses,
she sees that little girl, again..
her eyes sparkling with joy,
playing bride in bedroom sheets
and dreaming 'bout a boy....
She grew up...she met a man
who swept her off her feet..
they fell in love,he proposed to her,
and now her lifes complete...
Daughter's eyes are dancing, now..
shes found the perfect fit...
mother smiles proudly..
This one's surely it..
Daughter turns to mother
I love it-watcha think...??"
mother grins, she loves it too,
then gives the girl a wink..
And in that very moment,
mother sees the change occur,
standing, now, in front of her
a woman - not a girl

We went to 2 stores total yesterday, the second store we went to twice (ha!) Tried on one dress at the second store, which at the end of the day ended up being MY DRESS!

The store we got my dress from!
Both stores we went to, had really cool design interiors, the store we got my dress from was in the heart of downtown St. Louis. We had awesome service at both stores - lots of patient, helpful, and encouraging women working! 

Such a unique space :)

 Once I said yes to my dress [yup, you knew that was coming at some point!] - I just did not want to take it off, so they let me wear it around the store for a while as they were working on putting my dress order officially in! After the dress was officially ordered and mine and after a lengthy explanation of the timeline for when it would come in (6 months from now), and the timeline for all the fitting appointments - Mom and I spent a little time looking at dresses for her and my bridesmaids and then called it a VERY fun, successful, and exciting day!!!

...a little tired from such an exciting day!

Mom and I headed home - incredibly happy! - and stopped for a well deserved dinner, complete with raspberry mojitos. YUM. Love being a bride :) 

Can't wait for August 2, 2013 :)

Friday, September 21

Bride life.

It has been a little bit since I have blogged about wedding related anything. So lucky you - today is the day! Last week, all week, I was gearing up to organize my ever growing piles of wedding related anything. Yes, I have found some fun wedding apps & websites that I like and use the internet for many wedding planning related activities, but I am far from a paperless planning kind of bride. I have this need to write things down, see them in print, cross to-do lists items off...etc. This all to say, me organizing all the wedding planning related anything = DIY Wedding Binder

{I should also mention that I am aware that there are already made books and binders for wedding planning out there, but I just did not ever come across any that I loved and making my own seemed more exciting. From start to finish this project consumed most of my day on Saturday - but not in a bad way, just in a my wedding stuff was really disorganized kind of way.} 

To start this whole process I searched online for other bloggers/brides who had made their own wedding binders. Some advice I found helpful, other advice not so much. I made my whole binder with supplies I already had on hand, fueled by a lot of coffee I might add. It took me a couple tries to decide what order I wanted my sections in, but those were easy enough to move around. After it was finished, I was extra excited and relieved to know that all my planning was in one spot. WIN! 

The best advice from my project I have made into a [hopefully] handy DIY pdf that you can download and use: DIY Wedding Binder [or just skim over the picture of it below and rock n roll with your own steps - either way just have fun!] Bonus: lots of pictures of what this looked like for me + my finished sections! Bride life is just wonderful.


Click to download this step-by-step guide!

Some of the most helpful links to timelines/worksheets/checklists I found:

Evolution of my living room floor during all of this. 
First 2 sections in my binder: Basics & Inspiration
Ceremony & Reception [woohoo!]
Vendors, Bridal Party, Guests - all important!
Extra fun section :)
So exciting!!

Monday, September 17

Dinner Time.

Yay dinner time as a one-person family unit. Cooking for 1 is always something of a challenge. (okay really I feel like cooking for less than 4 has got to be complicated). Cooking after a day at work, for 1 = not as great of an option either! As I contemplated what to do for food tonight, thankfully I remembered that I pinned this recipe yesterday: Mother post. Decided tonight was as good of a night as any to try it out! Enjoyed it, easy to make and more importantly - easy to make in the quantity of 1. Happy eating :)

Stuffed Portobello

The ingredients:

  • 1 portobello mushroom, stem cut
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • fresh basil (or herb you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used garlic salt)

Ingredients. Short list, yay!!

The how-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Drizzle olive oil on portobello and add garlic salt to season
  3. Place the mushroom on a small baking dish or a baking sheet (whatever you have clean really!)
  4. Sprinkle the basil on top
  5. Crack open the egg and carefully put one inside the mushroom
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes

 Finished product!

Friday, September 14

Download day.

Happy friday world. Today as I woke up and began to start my day, I was hit with the reality that my apartment could go no longer without a bit of cleaning. Personally, keeping up with cleaning is something I have to work at, particularly if I have recently had to pack or unpack for a trip. AKA laundry, dishes, general cleaning of all kinds were all on the list for today. Now, other wiser and more experienced ladies & bloggers seem to have on some level mastered the whole "not letting everything pile up until the last minute before it gets hazardous" type of cleaning routines better that I have. So after doing some rigorous catch-up this morning, my life feels like it's back in order, and I as I wait for laundry to dry (yes, so I can fold it/put away...the whole nine yards) I set out to find some cleaning ideas! 

{Mom & Dad, if you are reading this, yes I voluntarily am cleaning and blogging about it! You're welcome that I have saved this life skill to practice after moving out} 

Two things I found while looking for cleaning lists/ideas I liked. First, it was through living with other people in dorm spaces in college that I learned how much cleaning/not cleaning your area can affect other people. However, while there are lots of cute little printables {see way below} for people who have moved onto apartment/condo/house living - dorm dwellers really get left behind. So after finding this little article: Dorm Cleaning dear college ladies, I made you all your own cute college dorm/apartment approved cleaning list to download :) Dorm cleaning download - Have funnnn.

For the rest of us, who sometimes may wish for a moment that we only had one half of a room to be responsible for cleaning, here are my favorite home cleaning checklist finds to download and enjoy. Hope this is helpful! If nothing else, it's encouraging to my own cleaning efforts to at least have a cute little list to check off - ha!

 >> Kyla

Thursday, September 13

[Insert clever post title here]

Well, today is Thursday, but my brain has been operating all week like every day is a Monday. So when I titled this post [insert clever post title here] that is seriously as far as my general creativity has gotten this week. This is not all necessarily bad, mostly my repeat Monday feeling has come from the fact that I got to fly up to Wisconsin to visit Adam this past weekend [WOOHOO!]. 

Basically, the whole weekend can be summoned up with 2 words: Blessed & Excited. Blessed & excited to have a fiancé who is doing awesome work serving the church he is at. Blessed & excited to spend time together. Blessed & excited that it is getting closer to our wedding. [you get the idea]

In case any of you are truly curious as to what all a weekend in Wayside consisted of, you're in luck because of course I would love to share :) Took advantage of time together and did a little wedding planning. Adam is incredibly supportive and encouraging with wedding stuff, in the most manly way possibly of course! (Blessed & excited).

Command central for wedding planning. Wayside edition. 
Friday and Saturday night we spent time with another couple - Adam's friends Tim and Marissa. Love them! We had a lot of fun together and it was nice to get to put faces to names I have been hearing about :)

Saturday during the day we went out to a town called Two Rivers which is right on Lake Michigan - very beautiful! We borrowed bikes from congregation members and Adam's church and enjoyed the awesome weather.

Wasn't kidding, super pretty!

Biking professional. Clearly.

This was more challenging than it needed to be :)

While I was there we also had time to go running together, cook a few meals, worship together, skype some of our family and friends, and I even got to tag along to youth group with him on Sunday night! I had safe travel to and from Wisconsin (blessed). Returned home Monday night - shout out to the Thomson's for picking me up from the airport! - and Tuesday was then the start of my recurring Mondays. Seriously, this week has not been bad or anything, my brain just keeps restarting to Monday. Awesome. 

Normal intern life here is still going along smoothly. Prayers are of course always appreciated. (As is mail). Its about 5 weeks until my first 1/2 marathon - so that is kinda crazy to wrap my brain around as well!!! Other wedding update: Mom is coming to visit the end of this month so we can go shopping for my wedding dress - WOOHOO!

 >> Kyla

Normal =  Pancake breakfasts, letters and wedding invites from friends!

Thursday, August 30

Drink coffee. Read books. Be happy.

Really, my daily life can be as simple or as complicated as I let it become. The reality is that, most days my mantra need only be:

I mean really, those 3 things in some capacity [most days] are about as simple as a to-do list should get.  Especially considering the books I try to read the most are all found in the Bible. "Be happy". That is one part of this list that does trip me up. "Happy" isn't always easy when mornings are too early, work days are too long, and close friends and family are too far away. So today,
Joy to me can be a foundation for feelings when "happy" just doesn't cut it.  An emotion that has solidity where happiness can be incredibly fleeting and subjective. Joy comes from a deeper place. A place where I daily seek to 
Let go. Let God. 4 words that are freeing and yet also inevitably the start of adventure that becomes my every day life [especially working full-time in ministry].  God [whether I 'let' Him or not] loves me so much that He grows my faith and works on my heart everyday. My faith growing is a daily adventure, which may seem like a funny way to think about the 24 hours in any given day [as an adventure], but I want you to take a moment and consider this:
I read all this...
An adventure to learn that
and to 

Adventure is the best way to learn that
Because, simply put, 
seriously. everyone.
But each day is never to short to


So on this daily adventure of life, I try to