The Gateway Arch!
Nate and I made our annual trip to St. Louis this past weekend. Hopefully we'll make it more often than once a year, but it had been 11 months since we visited Nate's sister and bro-in-law. Nate's parents made the trip from Wichita. It was a quick weekend, but a lot of fun.

Sweet rain cloud we passed on the way to St. Louis

We Nashville left mid-afternoon on Friday and made it to St. Louis around 7:30. It's about a 5-hour drive, depending how fast you drive and how much road construction is in Illinois (a lot this time) and how often you stop for gas or bathrooms. On our trip there, we noticed our Versa was making a lot of noise, especially at low speeds. There was clearly something wrong with the muffler. We parked it for the weekend and resolved to address the issue when we got back to Nashville.

Nate and Andy lighting fireworks in the parking lot

Friday evening we went to Andy's parents place to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Andy had recorded it so we could skip through commercials but mostly we watched a video of a Google+ Hangout planning session Nate and his friends Ryan and Sean had to do a video for their youth pastor's birthday. It's hilarious. If you have an hour to kill, watch it here. Here is a link to the finished "music video" that includes a recorder, chugging Ranch dressing, and Nate dancing in his underwear.

Saturday we woke up early and went to the St. Louis Zoo. The zoo is free, and right now they have a sting ray exhibit that is normally $3, but you can get in free the first hour. So we made it for the free time and petted some sting rays. These rays were much friendlier than the ones at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. They almost jumped out of the water to get your hand on their backs. The weather in St. Louis all weekend was wonderful! Mostly 80s and some rain Sunday morning. We checked out a few other exhibits at the zoo (penguins, monkeys, hippos, elephants, river otters) before heading out.

Nate's mom, me, and Caitlin with our new bags

We all took naps and then Nate, Andy and some of Andy's friends went to see The Dark Knight Rises. Nate's parents, Caitlin, and I went to see Moonrise Kingdom at the Tivoli Theatre. After the movie we wandered around The Loop and found some really awesome purses at this eclectic gifts store called Phoenix Rising. The bags, from Baggallini, won our hearts and Nate's mom, sister, and I each bought one. I've had the same purse for three or four years so it was time to upgrade.

For dinner we met back up with the boys and went to Pi Pizzeria in Central West End. Then we went to Ted Drewes for frozen custard. That place was packed! Sunday after church we met up with some of Nate's and Caitlin and Andy's friends at an Indian restaurant. I've never really had Indian food; the curry taste was familiar but some of it was too spicy for me. They had good pita-type bread and some kind of chicken in red sauce that I liked.

Thomas Jefferson at Missouri History Museum

After lunch we went to the park where the Missouri History Museum is. The museum was free, but I didn't spend long inside. There was a cool statue of Thomas Jefferson right when you walk in. It was getting late in the afternoon so Nate and I needed to start driving back to Nashville soon.

Nate's dad wiring up the muffler on our Versa

We packed up and got in our car, and it sounded worse than ever! Nate's dad took a look at it and figured out what was wrong. The pipe going into the muffler was disconnected. It was rattling really bad so Nate's dad got under the car and tied it up with a wire hanger. It still sounded pretty bad/noisy though.

We made it back to Nashville around 10:30 p.m. and I went straight to bed. Nate dropped me off at work to see if he could get the muffler fixed. The shop didn't have the Nissan part, but they said they could get it fixed tomorrow.

Our neighbor across the street has at least FIVE kittens hanging out in their driveway. I like cats, but that is just irresponsible. Kittens need attention. I tried to approach them but they are really scared. All we need in our neighborhood is more roaming cats. Not. Sheesh.

Hard to believe that July is basically over. Where did our summer go? I'm definitely ready for cooler temps, even though I know I'll complain in the winter when I'm freezing. :)



There's this commercial Nate and I always laugh at when the wife says no to almost everything. In one of the instances, the husband is sitting in the next room at his laptop and says, "Can I quit my job and start a blog? I think that's what I would have to do to keep this thing updated regularly, but that's not going to happen. So be my Facebook friend or follow me on Instagram or call me if you need more frequent updates about my life. I'm doing the best I can!

Speaking of funny commercials, we also love Jimmy Fallon and the baby when Jimmy says, "But it's more money!" We quote that a lot, especially when making financial decisions. Or the new Arby's commercial for Asiago cheese and the old man bicycles fresh cheese from Italy and the Arby's employee says they have their own Asiago cheese and the old man says quickly, "I don't understand you. All right, bye." I used that on Nate Sunday when we disagreed about something. :)

It has been more than a week since we went to Atlanta. Probably time to post some pictures.

We took full advantage of the MARTA. The MARTA includes buses, but we only rode the rails. We stayed north of the city in Buckhead so this was a great option for avoiding traffic, especially getting to the Braves game on July 4. We only got lost the first time we used it.

July 5 we went to the World of Coca-Cola. It was a fun self-guided tour. You could get your picture with the Coca-Cola bear, but the line was really long. They had a 4-D movie. I liked the Coke in pop culture exhibit.

My favorite room though was the tasting room! It was the last part of the tour. I didn't like most of the sodas from other countries but why did no one warn me about Beverly?! The most disgusting thing ever, and the after taste lingers and lingers. There was a wall that had all flavors of Coke from lime to cherry to vanilla. My favorite is diet cherry Coke. When we left, we each got a free bottle of Coke.

We went out to dinner one night at a sushi and seafood place. Nate loves sushi but I don't so he doesn't get to eat it often. I had chicken teriyaki (all cooked).

On July 6 we went to IKEA in Atlantic Station. We accidentally got there 30 minutes before it opened, so we got to walk around Atlantic Station a little. I had never heard of that area, so it was a nice surprise. Very cool parks/shopping.

When we were done at IKEA (we spent less than $20 ... on some tupperware and a bath mat, but they did have some neat furniture/design ideas) we sat down in their cafe for really cheap hot dogs and a soda. This mom with three girls sat down at a table near us and I thought, That little girl looks so familiar. It's Maggie Elizabeth Jones from the movie We Bought a Zoo. Nate and I had rented it from Redbox recently. The top photo is my paparazzi shot, and the bottom photo is from the movie. I Googled her and it turns out Atlanta is her hometown.

In Atlantic Station, Nate and I discovered this frozen yogurt store called Yogli Mogli. BEST FROYO EVER. It's a good thing we didn't find it sooner because we went 4 times before we left on Sunday. They had tons of flavors including our favorite, cookies and cream. They also had a topping I think is called "juice balls" that Nate loved.

On Saturday we went to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. It was free, and really interesting. There was a short movie about his life and lots of information about the Civil Rights Movement.

This is the church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached in Atlanta. Right across from it now is a museum. The church has relocated to a different building but this church is open for tours and special services.

Here's a photo of a bee Nate took in Atlantic Station. We also went downtown and checked out Centennial Olympic Park. We spent a lot of time relaxing and took a couple dips in the pool at our hotel. It was a really fun trip to celebrate our first anniversary!



Whew. It has been awhile since I've updated, but life has been moving at 100 mph. Nate and I vacationed in Atlanta for our first anniversary at the beginning of the month. It was awesome. I'll do a post on that soon. We enjoyed a week of rain in Nashville and now it is back to super hot and humid. I mowed the front yard yesterday (I guess Kevin has been really busy) and stopped to cool off under the hose and in the shade before I finished up because I was feeling pretty overheated.

I'm staying super busy at work and thanks to the heat most of the plants in front of the house have died so I'm planning a fall rip-everything-out-and-do-a-landscaping-makeover. I don't know anything about landscaping and am notoriously bad at keeping plants alive so it will be an adventure. Share your suggestions for hardy plants. I know for sure I will be planting lots of mums! The ones I have are still going strong. More soon. Thanks for stopping by!


it's HOT.

Nate had Thursday afternoon off, so when I got home from work he wanted to go do something fun. He picked shooting baskets at Trevecca and I obliged since he goes to the zoo with me. Unfortunately Thursday was the day that Nashville set all-time high temperature record of 109 degrees. Needless to say, we didn't last long on the court. Nate sweats a lot so his body is pretty effective at cooling him off, but I think I just overheat. We stopped for ice cream on the way home. :)

Friday night, Nate and I went on a double date with our friends from church, Michael and Hilary. They got married in March and moved to an apartment about a mile and a half from us. We had dinner and then went bowling. We played three games and I was terrible. I bowled the third game left-handed and I think I did better than I did right-handed. Plus my fingers and arms were sore; I haven't used those muscles in awhile.

Friday was hot too. We got done bowling at 9:30 p.m. and it was still 99 degrees! We have not been spending any time outside this week. I've even been parking my car in the garage at work so it doesn't cook me when I head home. Our air conditioning has been running non-stop.

Nate stopped by a local food truck called The Peach Truck and bought some fresh Georgia peaches. I cut them up and they looked good, but I have this thing about textures. And I didn't grow up on fresh peaches. I'm used to peaches from a can. I like them. It drives Nate crazy that I'm picky like that but I told him ... more peaches for him!

We went to the early service at church this morning so we were home a little earlier than usual so I made a special lunch: corn on the cob and honey glazed pork chops. The glaze is just brown sugar and honey, but we got to use honey Nate's dad collected from his bees in Maize, KS. I seriously haven't bought honey since I met Nate two years ago. We've had this three-pound jar since the wedding and we're just now breaking it open.

I've got a short week at work ... just two days before we're off for July 4 holiday. Nate and I will be celebrating our first anniversary a few days early. Can't wait.
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