Thursday, September 6, 2012


This is going to be short (SORRY!!)

I sincerely apologize for my lack of posts lately. Classes started back up last week and I have been super busy ever since. If I'm not busy working on homework, I'm exhausted from sitting in class. Let's be real though, I'm not in class ALL day every day nor am I working that much, but the change in my schedule has really hit me hard this year!

Anyways, I'm going to try and do a post or two this weekend if I get some time. Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

10 Day Challenge - 9 Loves

I'm a little late for the 10 day Challenge, but here it goes anyways. Today I'll tell you what my 9 loves are!



My husband, Kevin & the rest of my family. Do I really need to explain this one? Kevin is amazing and does so much for me. I don't know what I'd do without him. My family is pretty great. My mom is one of my best friends and I confide in her about a lot of things. My sister is also one of my best friends. Without these two being as supportive as they are, I don't know what I would do. My dad is very supportive too, but in his own 'tough love' sort of way...

My family & I on our wedding day
Our st. bernard, Teddy. He is a pretty sweet dog. The best dog I (honestly) have ever been around. He is laid back and just likes to realize. He is not high strung, prefers sleeping over barking & he is so stinking adorable!

Chocolate. I absolutely 100% LOVE chocolate. It could be ice cream, cookies, cakes, candy...I'm not super picky when it comes to chocolate (unless it has mint in it...weird, I know). A few loves all in one picture...

Ghirardelli ice cream shop in Chicago!

Which brings me to my next love...

Chicago! I do not know why, but I have always had a fascination with Chicago. Possibly since the only large city in Michigan is Detroit...I wouldn't consider that a city to look forward to visiting (unless you're going to a Tigers game!). Over the last year, Kevin and I have visited twice. Once for our anniversary in December and again last month! Here is a picture from our anniversary trip.

Who doesn't love 'the bean'?!
My friends. I really do believe that I have amazing friends. I have really learned over the years who my true friends are and I would do anything for them. I have also made some great friends in grad school. Here is a picture of my amazing friends from high school

I'm a Facebook thief...from my friend Emily's wedding in May. Emily & Tara.

Country Music. Growing up it wasn't something I told people because that wasn't what was 'in' at the time. Now I love love love it even more and go to concerts at least once a year. This year I am looking forward to seeing Carrie Underwood for the first time in November. 

One of my all time favorite concerts what Rascal Flatts. My friend, Tara, and I had HORRIBLE seats. I'm talking very last row in the very top of the arena. But we won meet & greet passes :)

Last year I saw Josh Turner & Montgomery Gentry and the Grand Ole Opry. I have also seen Jason Aldean (3 times), Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Lady Antebellem, Sugarland and several others.

James Patterson books. My mom got me started reading his books when I was in high school. At one point I had read every single book that he had released. Today, I am quite far behind and have several years worth of books to catch up on. He is an amazing author of murder mystery (he's written a few that aren't though) books that are very fast paced and easy to read.

Shopping. I know, I know...what woman DOESN'T love to shop? I really don't get to shop very frequently since my husband & I are both going through grad school right now, but I love to at every opportunity. Heck, I like shopping for kitchen supplies, house decorations & food...

Lastly, I love to travel. This is another thing I don't get to do very often. I didn't fly on a plane until I was 17 years old and a senior in high school. This was on a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico with my aunt, uncle and their two sons. This is when I realized I LOVE to fly. 

My second trip in a airplane was actually to go skydiving! It was something I vowed NEVER to do as I have a fear of heights and it is kinda dangerous...but I didn't realize the incredible drive it gives you for your over protective dad to say 'You'll never do it!' Well I took that as a challenge and my 15 year old cousin & I (Mexico doesn't have an age restriction) went skydiving. I was hooked to this awesome, bald Canadian and had an absolute blast! It was something I will ABSOLUTELY do again (its expensive though!) and I can't wait.

Since flying for the first time to Mexico I have flown to Hawaii (honeymoon, December 2009) and again to Mexico in November of 2010 with my in-laws. 

So what are your 9 loves?!

30 before 30 + future bucket list items

It seems as though many bloggers have a 30 things to do before I turn 30 list. I guess it's my turn ;) I have about 7 years to kick this list in the butt! 

There are many items I know I won't get to before I turn 30, so those are listed at the bottom. Several of these are quite random & not very extravagant, but definitely things I want to do in my life!

30 Things to Do Before I Turn 30
  (start date: August 23rd, 2012; end date: May 18th, 2019)
  1. Graduate from grad school
  2. Go to Disney World
  3. Be in my healthy weight range
  4. Go to Alaska
  5. Go skydiving (again)
  6. Go snorkeling (even though I really don't want to)
  7. Don't drink pop (yes, I said pop. I'm from Michigan) for a whole month
  8. Have a baby (okay, two babies!)
  9. Make a Pinterest recipe every day for a month
  10. Master my SLR camera & all its settings
  11. Learn Photoshop
  12. Have all student/car loans paid off
  13. Find (and buy) our dream home
  14. Visit one (or more) of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives restaurants
  15. Ride in a hot air balloon
  16. Go to a baseball game at Fenway Park
  17. Go on a cruise
  18. Have a job I love
  19. Keep in touch (& hopefully visit) with my college friends
  20. Maintain a blog to document my pregnancy and my child(ren)'s growth
  21. Donate to my Alma mater
  22. Ride a Segway
  23. Stay at a bed & breakfast
  24. Start a scrapbook for my child(ren)
  25. Learn to (nicely) decorate a cake
  26. Sit front row for an awesome concert
  27. Go to Mexico (again)
  28. Run a 5k
  29. Go on a girls only vacation with my mom & sister
  30. Visit Niagara Falls

Our view from the top of Diamond Head Crater in Honolulu, Hawaii!

Bucket List Items
(I'll take as much time as needed. FOREVER)
  • Visit Europe (Ireland, Germany, France, England, Greece or Italy)
  • Attend the Superbowl
  • See a World Series game (preferably one with the Tigers playing)
  • Go to the Olympics
  • Spend New Years in Time Square 
  • Go to Australia
  • Drive across the US
  • Fly first class
  • Own my own photography business
  • Actually fill a walk in closet (in my dream home)
  • Help my children pay for college
  • Go on anniversary trips for big anniversaries (possibly 10, 15, 20, 25, 30...)
  • Learn a new language
  • Experience weightlessness
  • Go whale watching
  • Go on a safari & see giraffes
  • Get our own dog (September 2010 - Teddy)
  • Get our own kitty (April 2010 - Koli)
  • See Angel Falls (Venezuala)
  • See the redwoods in California
  • Go to the Great Wall of China
  • See an active volcano (Hawaii??)
  • Go to Grand Canyon
  • Go to Las Vegas
  • Ride a cablecar
  • Get a makeover
  • Meet a President of the USA
  • Always have an up to date will
  • Own a piece of Tiffany's & Co jewelery
  • Get married (December 2009)
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • See a baseball game at Wrigley Field
  • Attend a MLB All-star game
  • Get a psychic reading
  • Go skydiving (April 2007)
  • Go to Hawaii (December 2009)
  • Go to Mexico (April 2007)
  • Buy a house (December 2010)
  • Get an iphone
  • Get my bachelors degree (April 2011)
  • Ride in a helicopter
  • Go to Washington DC
  • Visit the Empire State Building (November 2006)
  • Go to Ground Zero (NYC) (November 2006)
  • Bake an apple pie
  • Make homemade spaghetti sauce
  • Have a fish boil
  • See my child(ren) get married
  • Raise my child(ren) to eat healthy & be active
  • Live an active lifestyle
  • Love my body
  • Surprise the hubby with a special meal once a month
  • Take dance lessons (for the hubby) 
  • Own a 'fun' vehicle (probably a Jeep)
  • Go see the Statue of Liberty
  • Go to Ellis Island
  • Visit my close friends at least once each year (one friend is moving to South Dakota)
  •  Attend a Tigers game every year (We are going on Saturday 8/25/12)
  •  See the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Visit Mackinac Island at least every other year (We are going for hubby's work 9/22/12)
I have plenty of time to accomplish the items on my 30 before 30 list :) Wish me luck! 

What things are on your 30 before 30 or bucket lists? 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sometimes & Always

I'm definitely loving these link ups! Sorry if I go a littler overboard with them!

Sometimes: I want to have a baby right now.
Always: I realize I need to be smart and wait until I finish grad school and have a full time job.

Sometimes: I want to sleep for days.
Always: I realize that is not realistic.

Sometimes: I get extremely frustrated by the hubby.
Always: I remember how much I absolutely love him and couldn't live without him!

Sometimes: (This might be more like an ALWAYS) I wish we would win the lottery so I could decorate our house and we could go on vacation.
Always: I am too cheap to buy lottery tickets :)

Sometimes: (Again, possibly an always) I get jealous when I see people announce their pregnancy.
Always: I tell myself that our time will be here soon enough. I get to enjoy all the time with my hubby for now.

So What Wednesday

So what if...
  • I didn't actually NEED a mountain dew today. 
  • I can't stay on task for an extended period of time.
  • I'm excited to be done with my internship and go back to school.
  • I have recently spent a lot of my free time reading blogs about moms and their beautiful babies
  • I've vowed to workout every toes hurt today, so I think I'll take another day off (But I totally feel lazy!)
  • I'm ready for summer to be over with. I do NOT love hot weather. Especially when our bedroom is on the second floor  and every ounce of heat stays in our bedroom. Bring on fall!
  • I've completely slacked on looking for a second part-time job for the school year. It's my last year. EVER. I think I deserve a less busy schedule for a while.
  • I'm a little Facebook obsessed...I miss my friends.
  • I don't manage my time wisely.
  • I'm a super picky eater (I wish I wasn't though!)
  • I have a road-rage problem (don't worry, nothing violent! haha)
  • I'm struggling to come up with more 'so what if's...

Well I will leave it at that. I'll definitely have to continue with So What Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Me, Myself, and I Linky Partay

It may be annoying, so sorry for multiple postings today.

I am participating in my first link up party! This is the Me, Myself, and I Linky Partay! :)

1. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
I would either be a professional photographer or a personal stylist. I recently got my first amazing (at least in my eyes) canon rebel camera. I love love love taking pictures, even if I'm not the best at it. I'm pretty sure my dog and husband get annoyed by all the pictures I take. I also love to shop. I currently don't shop for myself seeing as I have no money to spend and I am overweight. But I love helping my sister and skinny friends find some amazing stuff.

2. If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time?
I would spend every waking moment with family & close friends.  I would do all the things I've dreamed of if I could afford them.

3. If a front page news article was written on you, what would the headline be?
Woman lives boring life in the suburbs
(I'm not feeling very creative today)

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
I have several, most of which revolve around driving. Not driving the speed limit. Speeding up too slow. Being tail-gated. Not using your blinker. Not stopping at stop signs. Leaving garbage in the kitchen sink. Using scissors to cut open something sticky and not cleaning them off. (I could keep going...)

5. What is your favorite chick flick movie?
hmmm...I definitely have a few. I love The Vow, The Proposal...There are more but I'm having a brain-fart :(

Enjoy! I hope I didn't bore you too much and I would love to make new blog friends!

Show & Tell

1. If you were searching for a home now, tell me what would be on your "MUST" list.

There are several things that were on my must have list for our first home, but several didn't happen. There are also a few that I have learned are must haves for the next house. Included on this list:
  • BIG kitchen with tons of cupboard space, counters and an island (HUGE problem in our current home)
  • Laundry room on same level as (at least the master) bedrooms
  • At least 2 bathrooms (we currently have 2.5)
  • At least 3 (preferably 4) bedrooms (one for each child plus guest bedroom)
  • An office
  • A three stall garage or at least 2 plus room for workspace for hubby
  • At least an acre of land (we currently are squished on 1/4 of an acre)
  • Tons of storage space
  • Large closet(s) least in the master
  • Private master bath with soaker tub
Can you tell I've thought about it a few times?!

2. Show me your favorite room in a home {either your home, or any home, i.e. kitchen}.

Obviously not my kitchen, but this would be AMAZING! I definitely believe that the most important room in a home for me would be the kitchen.

3. If you could have any room redone, tell me which one would it be and what would you like done?
If I could redo any room in my home, it would be my kitchen. The problem is that we are lacking space to do much. We would have to put an addition out the backside of our house and at least double the current size. I would add more counter/cupboard space, rearrange the appliances (at least the refrigerator), take out the peninsula and add a large island with seating on one side.

Again, can you tell I've thought about that a few times?!

4. Tell me where your favorite stores are to shop for home decor.
Right now we're not really in the position to shop for home decor, but I love target, marshalls/TJ Maxx and Ikea. But I hear Home Goods is pretty amazing too. I need to visit sometime soon!

5. Show me your dream home {it can be your home as well}

Gorgeous home! I hope to have something as beautiful as this someday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh baby...

My husband and I have been married for almost three years now (three years in December) but we are both in school either part-time or full-time.  I originally did not intend on attending grad school after completing my bachelors degree. The plan was to graduate with my bachelors in statistics, get a full-time job and after a year or so in the new job, we would start trying to have a baby.

About two months before graduation I decided to attend a information (pizza) session for my departments graduate program. I honestly only went for the pizza (come on, what college student doesn't like pizza?!) and had no intentions of getting or retaining information about the program. Little did I know that I would be pulled in. After the session I went home and began looking up more information.  I didn't tell my husband right away, because I thought he would think it was a horrible idea. They had a mentioned something about a GA (graduate assistantship) at the information session and I was curious. I found out that there were two types; a full GA covers 9 tuition credits per semester as well as giving out a stipend of $4,000 per semester. a half GA covers 6 tuition credits per semester as well as giving out a stipend of $2,000 per semester. I emailed the director of the program with a few more questions and found out that there was a good chance that I could still receive a half GA.

At this point I decided I should tell my husband about the idea that I had. I had been looking for a full-time job for a couple months now, even interviewing for one (outside of my field).  I was beginning to worry that I wouldn't find a job. To my surprise, Kevin thought it was a good idea. We looked into it a little more. We even had a discussion about trying to have a baby. It was agreed that it would be best to wait until after I get a full-time job after grad school to start trying (adding at least 2 years to my original timeline). 

Fast forward to today. I am half way done with my grad program in biostatistics. I also can't get off my mind what this moment in my timeline was originally meant to be. We had originally had planned on trying to have a baby any time now. It is so hard to look around and see so many young women around me having children (many of which were unplanned) and think that I still have to wait another couple years (roughly 2014). It doesn't help that Kevin and I talk about kids off and on. We already have our baby names picked out and he teases me about how we are having two boys (good thing we can't pick and choose!). 

I also can't help but look at all the blogs out there written by women who LOVE to talk about their beautiful children. They post pictures and ideas. They write about their love for their children and about decorating their nurseries. These are things that I hope to experience in a couple years.

What sparked this topic for me to write about today was seeing an acquaintance announce her pregnancy on Facebook this morning. There is also the frequent question I get about when we will start trying. I have relatives who pressure me. I was already given a bassinet by my aunt who declared that I am the first grandchild that will have kids (and since all of my aunts and uncles are done having kids) and therefore should take it. So I currently have a bassinet sitting in my basement. The pastor who married us asks quite frequently as well. The first thing he said to me the first time he saw me after the wedding was to ask if I was pregnant yet.  The constant pressure that society puts on women to have children immediately after getting married is CRAZY! I definitely want a baby very soon, but I know it is not a smart idea to have a baby when I am so close to finishing grad school.

I always feel horrible for thinking this way, but if I am a day late I start to get excited at the thought of possibly being pregnant. Now in reality, if I were to get pregnant now, I would already be out of grad school when I would be full term.  At this point, if it happens, it happens. But I am definitely big on planning and it wouldn't totally be in the plan.  Another problem that would arise with getting pregnant now would be the thought of trying to find a job when I was (obviously) pregnant. I know that employers are legally not allowed to discriminate against pregnant women, but they absolutely still do. I completely understand why they would prefer to hire a woman who has already had a family and know that she wouldn't be taking maternity leave. That doesn't make it right though!

For now, I will have to love on others' babies to satisfy my itch to have my own. I have to realize that I am only 23 years old and have PLENTY of time to have a family of my very own!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Our story

Since I am still new to the whole blogging thing, my posts will be quite random at first until I really start to settle in (Any suggestions for topics or things you'd like to know about me, please let me know). I apologize for the (most likely frequent) changing of the formatting of my blog. I am trying to find what I like best.

Today I want to talk about my husband, Kevin, and how we met.

He is sweet, funny, hardworking, nerdy, fun, stubborn & a little weird.

We met back in 2006 when I was a senior in high school. He was in his first year of college and was actually dating one of my best friends (definitely a different way to meet). Before meeting him, she would talk about him and tell me how cute he was. I was at a football game when I first saw him. I remember turning to another friend and whispering that he was definitely cute. ;)  They dated for a couple months but my friend called things off (I don't remember the reason). I remember he messaged me on Myspace (boy do I not miss Myspace! haha) telling me that it was nice meeting me, but basically saying goodbye. This is how I found out that they had broken up. We started talking through instant messenger and Facebook. After (probably too short of a period of time) a couple weeks of chatting, he asked me out on our first date (through Facebook haha).

I was really scared to talk to my friend (lets call her 'T') after this, thinking that she would be mad and we would end up not being friends anymore. (We had known each other our entire lives since our parents were longtime friends)  Even after getting the 'OK' from T I was still worried (years later I find out that she didn't care one bit and she was in our wedding) she was mad. Our first date was on December 1st, 2006. We went and saw the movie 'Happy Feet' (see, I told you we are weird).  We had a blast and continued talking online for a couple weeks and a couple times on the phone, but did not see each other until December 19th, 2006. I was anxious to see him again so I was looking for any reason. He had told me he was going to a basketball game at his old high school, so I asked if he minded if I went with him. I drove up to his house and rode with him to the game. This was the night I met several of his friends and it was the night he asked me to be his girlfriend (hehe seems weird to tell the story). 

I will spare you all the in between details of our relationship, but I will say this. I fell hard and I fell fast! On November 1st, 2008 he asked me to marry him. I was only 19 at the time but I just knew that I had met my one and only. Despite Kevin asking my dad for his approval, I was still worried, as I had promised my dad I would wait until I was out of college before I got married. I never realized that I would meet Kevin and everything would change. I still had 2 1/2 years left of undergrad, but we immediately (to my dads dismay) set a wedding date; December 19th, 2009. I would still have 1 1/2 years left of college and Kevin would be graduating 3 days prior.

Fast forward to present day and here we are. Happily married. We own a beautiful home in the suburbs with our St Bernard, Teddy (our kitty lives with the in-laws at the moment). We are loving every minute of it. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

About me

Several times in the past I have started a blog and then I promptly forget about it. But this time I am going to do my best to continue it as often as possible. I have been reading several blogs over the past few days and I felt truly inspired by theses women and their wonderful and beautiful blogs.

A little about me:

My name is Melanie and I am a 20 something graduate student living in West Michigan. I am currently interning for Perrigo (they are the largest producer of over the counter generic medicine in the US) but my last day is only a week away. I am studying biostatistics and absolutely love it. I also have my bachelors degree in statistics. I have been married for almost 3 years (December 19, 2009) now to an amazing, hard working man (Kevin).  He is also working on his masters degree (an MBA). He goes to school part time while working a full time job as a commercial credit analyst for an agricultural banking company. Like I said before, he is amazing and hard working! I don't know if I could handle the stress of working full time and going to school part time. I do almost the exact opposite. I attend classes full time while working part time as a graduate assistant in my university's statistical consulting center.

Here is a picture of my husband (in case you were curious). I think he's pretty darn handsome, but I may be bias ;)

We have the cutest (I know, everyone says their dog is cute...) 'puppy', Teddy.

Now tell me he isn't the cutest puppy...I dare you!

We also have an overweight (maybe obese) kitty, Koli. She currently lives with my in-laws since she wouldn't stop using our living room and basement carpet as her own personal restroom. But here she is & I miss her like crazy!

What else is there to know about me? Hmmm...I have an older sister, Amanda (Mandy) and two amazing parents. My mom cleans houses for a living while my dad is the department of public works supervisor for my hometown (did I mention I have hard working parents too?!) My sister is a receptionist for an optometrists office, but also goes to school full time, studying nutrition/wellness.

I also have some pretty great in-laws. My father-in-law, Chuck, is a partner on a dairy farm (but their in the process of selling it :( ), my mother-in-law, Mary, is a receptionist for a local school and my brother-in-law, Chris, graduated in 2011 with a degree in teaching biology/PE, but has yet to find a full time teaching position. There is also his fiance, Rose, who is an undergraduate student at the same university as my husband and I.

Well I think that pretty much wraps up my introduction. I hope to be consistent and not boring with my blog posts.

Have a great last two days of the work week!