Category Archives: Family

The Weekend I Partied Away

On Friday, we headed south for my brother-in-law’s high school graduation party. We had beautiful weather for most of the party, my in-laws’ deck and yard were full of high-school students and the recently graduated, as well as several family members and friends.

Making Graduation Caps

The party to celebrate the end of Brian’s childhood chapter was complete with what became known as the “bouncy castle,” which was actually and adult-sized inflatable obstacle course. All-in-all, it was good food, good fun, good company and a little bit of rain toward the end of the night.

The “Bouncy Castle” took up most of their yard!

We stayed with the K-fam on Friday night and headed from there to a party that the guest of honor had no idea was happening. My mom turned 50 on Saturday and my sister organized a surprise party for her. Brad and I met some of my family members at our pavilion and decorated as much as the wind would allow us to. Read the rest of this entry

Celebrate!

This time of year has become marked by a whirlwind of birthdays, graduations, holidays and anniversaries.

There is a lot in my life to celebrate… especially today.

Two years ago today, I woke up in a hotel room with one of my best friends. It was chilly and cloudy, and there were butterflies in my stomach. My friend drove us to Starbucks while I prayed it didn’t rain. The moment that we arrived at the church, time sped up and seemed to fly by until I was sitting with my father and some of my closest friends, with a church full of people upstairs. My father prayed for me, for the man who would be standing at the alter and for the marriage that we would have.

2011

One year ago today, I woke up in a hotel room with my husband. It was sunny and warm, and we were amazed that 365 366 days (2012 was a Leap Year) had passed so quickly. We ate year-old cake and celebrated surviving and thriving through a very tough first year of marriage (tough in this sense) .

2012

This morning, I woke up next to my husband, in our own bed. In the house that we bought together and I honestly couldn’t be happier.

2013

After dating for 3 years, being engaged for nearly 2 and 2 years of marriage, it’s no surprise that we’ve have been through a lot of ups and downs together, but I can honestly say that year 2 of marriage was more ups than downs. We have a lot to celebrate from this past year!

Happy second anniversary Brad!  I love you and I love being your wife.

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Mother-in-Law Drama

During the three years that Brad and I dated before he proposed to me, I was never asked by anyone if I had problems with his mom. Likewise, Brad was never asked if he and my mom had issues. But after we announced our engagement, we discovered the social norm of mother-in-law speculation.

I don’t know how it got started, but I know that everyone kind of just expects to have issues with mother-in-laws. I think that more often than not the expectation of problems causes problems.

There are people out there who have legitimate conflicts with their in-laws that are over real issues, but I feel like this isn’t the norm. I know more couples who have excellent in-law relationships, even though there are a few bumps in the road (as with any relationship) it overall works out.

It seems like a rite of passage for wifehood to swap MIL stories with her girlfriends. Sure, everyone has a story of that crazy thing she did or said, but most of the time they aren’t the horror stories that are sometimes embellished.

So here’s my challenge in consideration of Mother’s Day this weekend, try to stop perpetuating drama when it comes to in-laws.

My mother-in-law is nothing like my mom… and that’s 100% okay with me. She raised my husband and for that I love her. If my husband and I had moms that were alike, we wouldn’t be the same people that the other fell in love with.

Next time something your significant other’s mom does makes your eye twitch, take a second and a breath and remember that you love their child and the part she played in his or her character.

On another note…

I’d like to wish an early happy Mother’s Day to my own mom who brought me into this world and played a huge part in the woman and wife that I’ve become. I love you mom!

Also, thank you to the various moms with diabetes and moms of children with diabetes who have been sources of information to me these past two years!

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Birthday Weekend

My birthday was Friday so I got to spend the whole weekend celebrating it!

Friday evening, armed with our Foodie Cleveland cards, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Lock Keepers in Valley View with our good friends. Afterward we all came back to our house for a movie on the big screen and Main Street Cupcakes (that I had decorated myself at a work event).

A Tasty Lock 39

Aren’t they pretty?

Read the rest of this entry

Friday Five: Birthday Edition

I doubt that I’ll be one of those women who dreads birthdays. I may lament that I’m old some days, but never on my birthday. I figured today, I would share five birthday memories that made me smile as I approached one more year older.

1. For either my 6th or 7th birthday (childhood gets a little foggy sometimes), my parents gave me a yellow stuffed bunny that reminded me of my cake so I called it Frosting. Frosting currently lives in my attic.

2. I volunteered to participate in a work weekend at our church camp over my 15th birthday. When one of the organizers found out it was my birthday, he got cake and ice cream and all of the volunteers celebrated with me.

3. For my 19th birthday, Northeast Ohio had a legitimate blizzard and most of the area shut down, canceling the fancy dinner plans that Brad had made for us. His family came out and got me, we played in the snow, had a private dinner made for us and they made me a cake. The next day, when clearing out got started, my siblings came over and I got another party. Dinner reservations were remade and my birthday lasted a lot longer.

That’s a man skiing down the street

4. On my 21st birthday, I had balloons tied to me. Read the rest of this entry

The Auto Show, a Birthday Tradition

My husband is officially older than me for the next week and a half. We had a whirlwind couple of days in celebration.

On Friday, we unexpectedly received tickets to the Cleveland Auto Show preview night. So we got some Mexican food and margaritas (Did you know Friday was National Margarita Day?) with our friends before heading to the IX Center. We had a good time checking out the cars and I got to do the Jeep Experience.

Here’s Brad’s video from the 2012 Jeep Experience (it didn’t change much… just the years of the vehicles)

I also rode the IX Center Ferris wheel for the first (and last) time. The view of the airport at night is pretty cool, but the gondola-style seating freaked me out. We were up very high and there aren’t seat belts!

On Saturday (Brad’s actual birthday) the guys went back to the auto show to do the ride and drive events. They got to drive a Cadillac CTS-V, which was the main event as far as the guys were concerned. That evening we introduced my in-laws to the Great Lakes Brewing Company and their amazing food (and beer, but that’s a given).

We capped off a wonderful evening with birthday cheesecake.

–  –  –

When given my Pinterest board of recipes last year, Brad decided that he’d like the Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake. This year he requested it again and I’ve gotten the recipe tweaked to where I like it finally!

Rachel’s Coffee Bailey’s Cheesecake (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry

Friday Five: What I Learned

Friday Five is back after a bit of a break.. mainly because I didn’t have many crazy, random thoughts to put in a bulleted posts.

Iron burn on arm

Ouch

1. The cotton setting on an iron will destroy the skin on your arm if you bump it.

2. Resting your arms to type is difficult with a burned arm.

3. Deer are smart. I saw four of them use a cross walk this morning at a red light.

4. Switching from caramel macchiato CoffeeMate liquid cream to powdered cream is a major letdown.

5. You’re a “real grown up” when you get excited about things like a new refrigerator, re-doing a floor or your husband buying you a Pyrex bake and store set.

What did you learn this week?

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ADDED: How fitting is it that February is Burn Awareness month?Most of the burn awareness material has to do with scalding and not iron burns.

A bit of advice when it comes to ironing, when you are going to move the clothing item you’re ironing, set the iron facing away from you. Also, always iron while wearing clothing (one of my Twitter friends burned her stomach while ironing the shirt she was going to be putting on later) and if your hands start to sweat while ironing, put the iron down and dry them before you continue.

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Conversation Skills

I was chatting on the phone with my brother (Seth) last week and he gave the phone to my 2-year-old niece. The conversation went something like this:

Seth: Say hi to aunt Rachel.

*crickets*

Seth: Can you say hi?

*crickets*

Me: Hi honey. How are you?

*crickets*

Seth: Can you tell aunt Rachel what a lion says?

Niece: RAWR!!!!

I’ll take what I can get. Read the rest of this entry

Wrapping up 2012

Christmas came and went in a flurry of travel, events and time with family. It was wonderful! You’ve probably noticed a bit of a blog hiatus over the holidays, with both of us enjoying a holiday break, the K-Couple is not back to regularly scheduled programming, which means more time with each other and those we love and less time blogging. But I can’t let this whole week pass without reflecting on the year we just lived.

I entered 2012 as a newlywed, apartment-dwelling Clevelander. As I prepare to party away 2012 in just a few days, I can’t help but look back at the year and go

Whoa!

Not only did this year go by quickly, it was anything but boring. However… Brad and I said we were looking forward to becoming boring for awhile after the major ups and downs of 2011.

That didn’t happen, but I’m okay with it. This year brought much more joy than pain for which I’m grateful. Here’s a whirlwind summary (in no particular order).

  • We casually started house hunting one day in early 2012. We were en route to meet friends for dinner when a house for sale caught my eye and I said to Brad, “I wonder what that house looks like inside?” I searched it on my phone while waiting to be seated and we looked at the pictures and information. We never toured that house, but started looking at others and soon fell in love with ours. Placed an offer in April. Closed in June. Got keys in July. Moved in in August. (It’s a time consuming process.)
  • We celebrated our first anniversary and ate some freezer-burnt cake. Read the rest of this entry

Holidays, Food and Diabetes

I had absolutely no idea that my diabetes would be considered the only appropriate topic for a greeting or a dinner conversation with me.

I work very hard to keep sarcastic and rude responses at bay in these situation, which sometimes turns into a blog post to let it out  vent. Some people have gotten the thought in their heads that since I’m type 1 it’s okay to ask me my blood sugar, but they don’t ask the type 2s around me (they’re half-way to politeness). As we head deeper into the holidays, here are some things to keep in mind if you’ll be spending time with a person who has diabetes (of any type!):

  • How are you feeling? How’s you insulin pump working? and similar questions are NOT greetings. “How are you?” is a greeting.
  • People with diabetes test their blood sugar, it doesn’t need to be acknowledged or questioned. People with diabetes also use the bathroom, please stop asking me how my blood sugar is after I return from using the facilities. Sometimes I just have to pee and it has nothing to do with a busted pancreas.
  • My last a1c or whether I’m not eating something because of diabetes aren’t appropriate topics of conversation. Jobs, families, current events, etc are appropriate topics of conversation. If you’re really curious about how my insulin pump or CGM work (or where they’re placed), please ask me one-on-one. Half the time my Dexcom sensor is stuck in my glutes and I don’t enjoy talking about my butt at the dinner table.
  • I can’t always control what my face does. I make faces at my meter, I make faces when I do math. Don’t assume there’s a problem, unless my face looks like I’m choking.
  • Offer all food/beverages to all people (except when age-restricted). If they accept, don’t judge them. If they turn it down, don’t question. Some people (even those without diabetes) would prefer to pass on unhealthy foods or things they don’t like while others take the many holiday goodies as an opportunity to have a treat.
  • It’s nice and extremely thoughtful to offer low-carb options and diet beverages. Thank you!

Also, if fruit is the dessert for everyone, cool. If chocolate cake is the dessert for everyone but me and you give me fruit, it’s not cool.

If you have 6ish minutes… watch this awesome video that Mike Lawson made on the subject.

What tips do you have for dining with a person who happens to have diabetes?

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