Being sailors and having a nephew who is our personal weatherman…we decided we should change our flights scheduled for Wednesday afternoon due to the impending blizzard. I’ve now talked to three different people at Delta and been on the phone for over 55 minutes! They’ve all been very nice, but unfortunately weren’t able to make the ticket change, so I just keep getting transferred. Hopefully this lady will be the one to solve the problem. We’re hoping to still make it out of here on Wednesday (albeit a little later than originally planned) and back to the Sunshine State. Wish us luck!

We’re going to have these two cuties as our ring bearers. We mentioned it to them in the craze of normal boyhood play and they agreed. We didn’t think too much of it, but apparently, they are more excited than we thought they would be. Megan sent us a note the other day saying the boys are very excited and want to know when they are going to get their ring “bear” costumes. 😉 We can’t help but smile at how adorable our ring “bears” are going to be!

Wordless Wednesday Returns 1-12-2011!

We’re in Key West for the next few weeks…and missing home. But Key West always is fun this time of year too!

S22_5339A gorgeous sunrise photo taken from our dining room window. Yes…this is why we live in Indiana!

DSC_0023Barn Icicles

How Pretty am I?

In case you didn’t read our 22 Goals for 2011…hmmm…really? They are good ones…you should check them out…

Anyways, we are getting married this year!!! Yes, it’s true…and we are VERY excited!

There’s so much to do though…sometimes it’s a matter of just figuring out where to start. We know when and where it will be…that was the easy part. Now, it’s all of the little pieces to make it an amazing day. So…

Ideas we have so far:
-Some sailing the day of…for those who want to challenge Ed to it! He’s up for it and excited to fill my dance card based on results. 😉
-Lots & lots of fun. We’re thinking very low key…a flip flops required kind of time.
-Maybe do our photos before the ceremony so we can really enjoy the event with everyone. Any thoughts on that?
-Ceremony in our fields in the late afternoon. See the picture…aren’t they beautiful? The sun sets around 10pm…so we have lots of time.
-Party, party, party…all night long!
-Fun foods & finger foods. We like the idea of a mashed potato bar and a sundae bar.
-There will be dancing & lots of celebrating. Need to figure out a band.
-We’re hoping friends and family coming in from out of town take advantage of how beautiful Culver is and the fun that happens during the 4th of July week. Think of it as a destination wedding…we promise you will love it.

Ok…so now we have to fill in the gaps!

We made up our 22 Goals list last January on Sail22 and figured this year we’d share it with both blogs. We checked off a bunch of things from our list, but no where near all 22. I guess we were a bit ambitious, so we’ll update what we need to do and add a few more to this year’s list. Make sure you read all the way to #22, because that one is VERY exciting!

1) Finish the Bus Barn:
This barn had a bit of a change of plans, but we think we have it figured out now. We really needed more functional workshop space and this barn just wasn’t going to cut it…plus we risked family peace if we went through with what we wanted to do. Thus, we ended up building yet another barn, known as the Sail22 Speed Barn (more on that later). Anyways, In 2010 the Bus Barn had a bit of a face lift to the outside and the renovations continued. It received a second floor loft and new roof, along with some more windows and siding. In 2011, we have plans to make it into a studio and official office for the photography side of Always Happy Life and office space for Sail22. The other side will be Ed’s Dad’s workshop space. We envision the inside looking like this cool barn renovation studio and will be sharing the progress with you on the blog. So excited!

2) Finish the Garage/Cave:
We made significant progress on it in 2010. We’re almost there!

3) Finish the Sail22 Speed Barn:
The new barn we built last year for Sail22 wasn’t a planned project, but we’re glad we did it. It’s helping Sail22 continue to grow and was a big step in our business plan for the future. Doesn’t everyone need four barns? This year we need to insulate the barn, add the ceiling, a hoist and continue adding to the workshop.

4) Finish Side Porch:
Still need to paint the trim completely. We did move my couch into the porch (Noisy’s all time favorite nap spot!) and tables from storage and they worked out better than we could have asked for. We even found a rug too and the room definitely has a “beach” feel. We LOVE it.

5) Redo White Guest Bedroom:
Our white guest bedroom didn’t get a whole lot of a attention this past year…and it fact, it’s still white…but 2011 it will finally be painted. We still plan to stick with the surf theme and the sheets we got for it are great. We added a duvet cover and dresser from my storage and it looks good, but we’re thinking about moving our bedding up to the room when we redo our master bedroom this year.

6) Quotes on Bathroom Redos:
Yep…still need them…still have ideas. We’ve been looking for “the tile” and “the floor”. Big decisions. We don’t plan to redo these again anytime soon, so we want to be absolutely positive it is how we want it.

7) Find Dining Room Chairs:
We found them! Now we just have to BUY them. Here’s the link to the ones we picked out from Room and Board. We even went to see them on our trip to Chicago and made them our official choice. Now to same our pennies, nickels and dimes. We know they will last us for many, many years, so it’s a bit of an investment.

8 ) Kitchen Remodel Stage 3:
We’ve been plugging away at this for a few years and in December put in our new cabinet space and bar area with an aggregate concrete countertop. Then we sat down in the kitchen and started brainstorming what to do next, which is always dangerous. Next up will be a renovation to our kitchen island with more concrete, a new professional range or cooktop (we have one in storage, just have to figure out if it will work or we need sell or use it elsewhere), a raised seating area and a big stainless hood with lights. When we do this project, we need to redo the kitchen AND dining room floors, so it’s a biggie.

9) Power wash house and windows:

Definitely need to get to this in 2011.

10) Take a trip to a new country or a new area in the States:
We didn’t make it to a new country last year. Somehow, time flew by and we were so busy we didn’t even realize it until sitting in the hot tub on New Year’s Eve and discussing the year. Yikes. We did drive through some pretty cool places in the U.S.A. and there are so many amazing sights to see in our very own country. We’d love to visit Napa Valley and tick off a few National Parks in 2011. A new country would be a bonus.

11) Run a Half Marathon:
Who’s in? I need to run again. I ran a little in 2010, but I need to get serious about it. I really don’t have any good excuses for why I didn’t run. Personal lack of motivation there. I need some running buddies, even if they are virtual…and then we can all meet to run a 5K, 10K or Half. Anyone interested?

12) Road Bike & Mountain Bike More:
We did some more of it, but not nearly enough. So, it’s staying on the list. Not sure if we’ll do another Iceman Cometh Challenge, but anything is possible.

13) Build Deck:
Still in the planning stages, but we have more of a definitive plan for how we’ll do it. With this will come a new set of French doors where we currently have windows. We know we’ll love it, we just have to have time to do it.

14) Grow Always Happy Life Photography:
This side of the Always Happy Life brand has been taking off and is such a blast! I love working with kids and families and it combines two of my favorite things. I have some great new vendors and printing options that I can’t wait to share. Feel free to contact me at to set up your session.

15) Eat Healthier:
We eat really well at home when we cook especially during the summer with our vegetable garden and now we have locally raised beef and fresh venison in the freezer for 2011. It’s really, really, really hard on the road.

16) Exercise 4 Times Per Week:
Again, a 2010 goal. Need to work harder at this one.

17) Visit More Friends:
We’re starting the year off working on this! Visits with the Ducker’s & Maddex’s in the first week of 2011. 🙂 There are definitely more friends we need to visit.

18 ) Spend More Time at Home:
Seriously, we want to be homebodies…at least a little bit. We love traveling, but it feels so good to be home. We’re working on transitioning our lifestyle so that this happens more and growing our business models in ways that make it possible. In 2011, I’ll be starting a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner job at A Rosie Place part-time and I can’t wait to be involved there!

19) Increase Our Will Power to Save More:
We’ve spent the last few years investing in our businesses and now we need to make a point to save more. We talk about it all the time, but we need to seriously come up with a plan for it and be hard on ourselves if we don’t stick with it.

20) Give More: is meant to be a way for us to Pay It Forward. We want to volunteer more, work with more organizations and causes and give back more in 2011.

21) Balance:
Many of our goals this year apply to this goal. I’m guilty of multi-tasking to the point of confusion and need to be present more in the moment. We work late into the night far too often, too many days in a row, forget about meals sometimes and miss our opportunities to exercise. We’ve toyed with the idea of some time of work schedule, at least when we are at home to make work and home life a better balance. I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing goal for us, but it’s an important one. Part of the balance also needs to be take a vacation…but I think we’ll schedule that for sure when you read #22.

22) GET MARRIED!!!!!!!!!
Ed thought this would be a pretty good goal for this year…and I agreed! So…we looked at the calendar and decided June 25, 2011 will be THE day on the farm in Culver!!!

DSC_0083Happy New Year to everyone! We set out on December 26th for our cross country road trip into 2011. I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t quite ready to leave so soon after Christmas. I really felt our time at home had flown by and my head was spinning the whole time from all the things we had to do. Anyways, we packed up the car, hitched up a client’s boat and took off on the 26th. Our country is so beautiful and amazing to see. We keep seeing more places we want to stop and explore in the future.

We took the Southern route to San Diego to avoid the snowy mountains in Colorado. We’re covering a lot of ground in our adventure leaving from Indiana and then going through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and then California. We hung out in San Diego with the Lehr’s for a few days and met up with friends. Unfortunately, our day to play in San Diego ended up being rainy. Seriously, it never rains there…but it rained and rained. We still had fun exploring Old Town, lunch in Ocean Beach, went to Cabrillo National Monument (highly recommended and a bit sobering), Mexican for dinner in Old Town & then out for drinks in downtown.

On stage two of our road trip into 2011, we headed to see the Ducker’s at their new home just outside Houston. We definitely miss them back in Indiana, but they have a pretty sweet place and we can see why they like it so much here! We rang in 2011 with them, met their new neighbors and even persuaded Brent to let Sarah shop for a new washer and dryer. 😉 Big excitement…and now we have some ideas as to what we are going to be in for when we swap ours out soon.

Stage 3 of our Road Trip into 2011 adventure begins tomorrow when we head to Charlotte, NC and visit Laurie of Welcome to the Mad House and her family. Whohoo! Looking forward to a photo session with her boys that’s been on the schedule for way too long. 🙂

Ed, Noisy & I wish you a wonderful holiday and the happiest New Year in 2011. We hope our little blog brings you joy whenever you stop by! We are looking forward to a very exciting year!!!

DSC_0067I love seeing the Elsey kiddos and managed to squeeze in a mini session while visiting them in Atlanta to do their Christmas photos. They are adorable as always. 🙂 Some of the outtakes are just too cute, so I thought I’d share them and I love that each of their personalities shines through. Those two little guys are hilarious. Since Megan’s already sent out their cards, I won’t be giving anything away!

DSC_0145 - Version 2Ed and I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning taking in the holiday sights in Chicago. Ed booked us a hotel right off of Michigan Avenue and we went exploring. I’m glad I packed my long underwear, because it was really, really, really cold! Ed mentioned today that he wished he had his too. It was great for the two of us to spend some time regrouping a little after a busy few weeks and an upcoming crazy few months ahead. A good way to live the Always Happy Life!

IMG_1115I first met “Twinkle” three years ago when we visited Megan & her family. I think everyone should have one who has little kids…really…I wish we did growing up. I’m tempted to get one for us anyways…even though we don’t have any kids.

I’m not sure who has more fun having an Elf on the Shelf in their house…kids or parents?!?

Anyways, “Twinkle” is sent by Santa to keep an eye on the kids and report back to the North Pole. The kids can’t touch him and every day he changes locations while they are sleeping. And he’s a bit of a fun loving guy. This year when the Elsey’s came home from Thanksgiving, “Twinkle” was hanging out on the lamp over their kitchen table and the light was decorated with candy canes. He likes to hide too and the kids love looking for him in the morning. So much fun…and oh the stories and creativity he creates!

Now that your sold and you know you need one for your family…order it here.