may in indiana*

I grew up 2.5 miles west of Lucas Oil Raceway and 10 miles west of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, famous for the Indy 500! I was never interested in watching cars race in circles, even on the TV. Living so close to the tracks, you knew summer had started when you can hear the race cars practicing. It was a good sound, it reminded you school was almost over and the best weather was approaching. Living in California I lived right next to Highway 5 and the noise was a comfort to me. As I drove downtown today to take my finals I was reminded how much I love Indiana. Speedway was in full bloom with spectators camping out. The weather was sunny and just the right warm in the higher 70s.

Indiana has been in the news regarding the Anti LBT Religious Freedom Act, but my friends and all of our friends are very accepting to respecting others for their choices. Our generation is full of acceptance and enjoying life! Indiana has so much to offer! My friends and I have done the Handlebar Indy a few times to get some exercise and to enjoy this great city!

Where else in the world can you find a theme park based off the major holidays in a town called Santa Claus? Indiana of course! Holiday World has my favorite water park in Indiana. Please put visiting Indiana on your bucket list. As a person who has many to a few places and lived away for 3 years. I have came back and plan on staying. Indiana is full of wholesome people and a relaxed way of living. It’s a great place to put down roots

Holiday World Theme Park

Indianapolis Skyline

*adopting Paddington

On Saturday my husband and I went to see the new Paddington Bear movie. I don’t recall reading the books when I was little, but I knew who Paddington was. He is definitely iconic.

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I wanted to see the movie because it looked very cute, as well as relive our London adventure!

The movie had a lot of deeper meanings, but my favorite was how adopting a pet can bring your family together! The mother in the story wasn’t afraid to walk up to Paddington and ask him where he was staying. She of course had to convince the husband to let them take him home for the night. A bear, or any animal of course is a curious creature, like any of our pets, Paddington made a huge mess shortly after entering their home. Of course he didn’t do it on purpose, but it made the father angry. The next morning the mother was supposed to take him to the authorities, but of course couldn’t because she interested in Paddington’s history. Paddington quickly turns into a hero, even for their teenage daughter. The mother could see the family was starting to change, and the father was starting to enjoy the adventure. After a bad guy gets Paddington into trouble, with the father extremely angry, Paddington runs away! The family then has to join together to find the one who could keep them together!

This story of course reminded my husband and I about adopting Bruce Wayne (our dog). He was such a hassle the first few days, he cried at night and explored into places he shouldn’t have. Over the years he still is a trouble maker, getting himself hurt, eating chocolate, chewing on clothes. But again, it is just his nature. Bruce Wayne has made so many of our friends and family smile and laugh. When you get home from a hard day at work and see his excitement, you can’t help but smile. The love of a pet brings families together. That’s what Paddington did for his adopted family! Please give your family the joy of having a pet! They can make your life so much more rewarding!

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“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” ~ Karen Davison

*good luck to the colts

I’m not a big sports fan, nor am I an athlete, but when it comes to cheering on an Indiana team, I’m all for it! The Colts were doing very well during my high school school years. Thanks to my friend, Andrew S, I was able to attend a game in row 14! I prefer attending games, I love all the excitement. But I am very scared of heights. One season I received free tickets in the new Lucas Oil Stadium at the end zone on an upper level, but it was still way too high.

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I’ve been cheering on the Colts with my family as long as I can remember. When Daniel and I started dating we enjoyed watching Colts games together. His dad was a season ticket holder. The seats were too high for me, but still an exciting time.

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In 2007 we watched the Colts win the Super Bowl at his brother’s house!

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Today we are watching the Colts play against verses the Patriots at our friends house! If the Colts win they will be going to the Super Bowl! When a sports team wins, they win for their city. It brings great publicity, which Indiana could really use! So good luck, Luck, make Indiana proud!

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” ~ Vince Lombardi

*naturally real food

On the goal of living a more natural life, I have been trying to eat out less. The first year Daniel and I were married we ate out all of the time. In September of 2013 we did the 10 Day Real Food Pledge through 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake. Daniel and I did our best and finished without any complications, but staying with it was going to be far too challenging. A few pictures of our meals those 10 days…

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Since moving back to Indiana we have 95% of our meals each week homemade. I make dinner almost every night and we actually sit at our dinning table without the tv on! I’ve been loving making fish dishes. My favorite meal lately has been Cooking Classy’s Baked Lemon Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce. But we also have meat/fish as the main entree with a vegetable and starch side. Of course we have our days were we don’t feel like cooking so we get pizza, Taco Bell, or Steak ‘n Shake, mostely because it is cheap.

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I’ve started hating eating at large franchises like Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Outback Steakhouse, etc. Actually I can’t remember the last time I ate at those places. I prefer small local restaurants. In California I had a lot more options. There was Euro Cafe, they had the best tuna sandwiches. When Daniel and I craved Mexican food we would go to the Chili Pepper in Orange. They also finished your meal with an apple dessert (pictured below is the fruit place the give you to start the meal on the weekends)!

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Being on the west side of Indianapolis we are a little more limited. In Danville, the best place for breakfast is the Bread Basket! You must try their Cinnamon Roll French Toast if you are in the mood for something sweet. Their omelets are excellent as well! For Italian we have Frank’s Place, also in Danville, seems to make everything from fresh! Below is my family eating there on my mom’s birthday!

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If you live on the south side of Indianapolis, or don’t mind a little drive, you have to eat at Gray’s Brothers Cafeteria! Come hungry! They make everything fresh daily, even their pies! Beware the line goes out the door! I always get their roast beef with a side of green beans and mac n cheese.

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There are a lot of local Indianapolis restaurants I want to try, but I also feel like I can make some of the dishes just as well, for half the cost!

In the absence of the truth, all of us stand helpless to defend ourselves, our families and our health, which is the greatest gift we have. Robyn O’Brien’s courageous pursuit is an example of how we can all do our parts to protect the health of our families.” ~Erin Brockovich

*merry christmas

I hope everyone’s holiday is off to a good start. I’m a little bummed that its raining instead of snowing, but at least it is not freezing and hopefully my plane won’t be delayed tomorrow!

Christmas has always been a big deal in my family. The night before Christmas we would attend church service. On Christmas morning my sister and I were always so excited to see the presents under the tree. Santa always delivered! Stockings are opened first, our stockings are stuffed with candy! After mom got her coffee we would sit under the living room tree to open gifts.

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We each took turn opening one gift at a time! I’m not sure what I received in the picture below on the right, but I was definitely excited! I remember asking for a boombox with CD and cassette player, one Christmas in the late 90s. But I loved getting Barbies, Laura Ingalls extras, and I went through a Titanic phase. A few years I asked Stanta for the internet, AOL dialup to be exact! Hours later we would have a huge meal prepared by my mom. When we were younger we would visit Grandparents in north east Indiana.

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Our Christmas traditions haven’t changed too much. We will be opening gifts this evening with my parents, sister, her boyfriend, and Daniel. I will still make everyone sit in their original spots. Dad is on a chair to the left of the tree, Ashley on the floor next to him, Mom on the couch, and me to the right of the tree on the floor. I’ll have Daniel sit on the couch above me, and Matt will be behind Ashley! I like traditions! Afterwards we are attending the 10:30pm Christmas Eve church service. My Christmas morning the past 5 years have been spent with Daniel’s family. We watch his nieces open presents from Santa. This year is going to be a little more crowded, we have 2 baby nieces. Christmas will probably start to change as the nieces get older or when me or my sister have kids.

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For lunch Daniel and I will be hosting our parents over for a late lunch! My mom is preparing the ham and I am taking care of the sides and the dessert! Of course I made a cheesecake, Peppermint Oreo! I’m excited to host, it’s kind of my thing.

I am blessed for all the wonderful Christmases that I have been apart of. Although I’ve always wanted to take a trip with my family on Christmas, instead of buying one another presents. I feel next year we should partake in some volunteering at a local organization to help those who haven’t been as blessed. Luckily I have one of the greatest families in the world who is full of love!

Can’t wait to share my family photos with you!

 

*rules of life

Rules are apart of life. With rules there is order.

I’m a big fan of CBS’s NCIS show. I started watching the show through reruns on USA Network. I can’t exactly remember when I started watching it live. I know I saw Legend Part 1 & 2, where they introduce NCIS LA, on its original air date. But since Cote De Pablo left in Fall of 2012, I haven’t kept up with the new seasons. The only episode I have watched from this season was last night’s episode, House Rules. In this episode Tim (played by Sean Murray) writes a letter to his dad about how he understands why his father and Gibbs had tough rules. So this is what made me think of the rules of life.

(Pictured below is a NCIS hat Daniel gave me for Christmas 2010)

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Gibbs Rules

I like Gibbs’ rule number 1: “Never screw over your partner.” Obviously I’m not a police officer or a special agent. But we all have partners in life- spouses, parents, children, siblings, and best friends. Don’t screw them over, they don’t have to forgive you, and life is lonely when you don’t have people who care about you!

Rule 3: “Don’t believe what you’re told. Double Check.” & “Never be unreachable.” I definitely need to do more research when it comes to things that people tell me. It doesn’t sound very adult when you tell a superior that “so and so told me.” Know what you are talking about!

I hate it when my husband doesn’t pick up his phone in the times I need him. I always carry my phone on me, I feel naked without it. But at night I put it on sleep mode so my phone will only make a noise if its my alarm or someone from my favorite list calls me! Sleep is important to me!

Rule 5: “You don’t waste good.” I wish I would have done better in school. I now try to do the best I can. I hate it when people are disappointed in me.

Rule 6: “Never say you’re sorry. It’s a sign of weakness.” I do not agree with this! Don’t say your sorry like an upset child would, actually sound like you mean it! And always say thank you!

Rule 7: “Always be specific when you lie.”

Rule 8: “Never take anything for granted.” I’m working on this. I think I haven’t gotten a lot better to remember the good things when it seems like life is at its end.

Rule 12: “Never date a co-worker.” Because of this rule we didn’t get to see Ziva (Cote de Pablo) and Tony (Michael Weatherly) have a real relationship! Which a lot of fans wanted to see, definitely prior to her farewell! My advice, don’t have a one night fling with someone you work with, that could get awkward!

Rule 14: “Bend the line, don’t break it.” I do not think rules are meant to be broken, they are there to keep us in line. But you can definitely bend them depending on the circumstances.

Rule 24: “Clean up the mess that you make.” This is huge! Whether it is cleaning up around the house or taking responsibility for something you caused!

Rule 51: “Sometimes you’re wrong.” Thats how we learn from our mistakes!

Unspoken: “You do what you have to do for family.” Family isn’t always blood related, they are the people who love you in good times and bad.

My Rules

~Never be late.

~Be over prepared.

~Do what you can for family & friends.

~Always be polite

~Do things for others even if you don’t see the reward (I’m working on this, some people have started making me not want to try)

~No TV on at dinner time- My husband and I have got a lot better at eating at the table and actually turning off the TV to hear how each others day went.

~Keep the house clean- I pay a lot of money to live in, so it should show that I have pride in it.

~Always try your hardest, you never know where it can lead

~No coffee after 8pm (more of a rule for my hubby)

Rules I Should Have

-Get 30 minutes of exercise daily

-Only watch 1 hour of tv a day

-Stand up for what I believe in (be better at it)

– it’s a list in progress…

I had rules when I was a kid and I plan on having rules for my future children. You want them to be who they are, but structure is good. When I didn’t follow the rules I got punished. I unfortunately don’t see that in the kids of today.

“We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” ~Michelle Obama

*flopsy, my childhood bunny

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I’m not sure what winter day it was, but my mom’s boss’s daughter had outgrown her bunny, so we got to adopt him! He had a big cage with muli-levels to hop around in, but we often let him hop around the house! He even did well hopping around the the backyard! Cleaning his cage was gross, one time I ran into it with my leg, I still have the scar.

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Princess was very gently with Flopsy, she loved him! The would coexist inside and outside of the house! The best Easters involved Flopsy hopping around as we looked for our Easter eggs! Pictured below is Ashley, getting Flopsy to hold still for a picture in 2001, we didn’t have to worry about Princess not seating still!

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 “Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~Anatole France