Monday, May 23, 2011

Easter Dinner

So it has been a month since Easter, but I've never been timely on updating this blog so what else could you expect?

Easter Dinner at my parent's home.

Asparagus Tart that I made from our garden using this Martha Stewart recipe. I highly recommend this recipe. It was easy to make, tasted delicious and had a nice presentation.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Pickled Eggs that looked like jewels. Fun for Easter!

Easter Ham

Bars-o-plenty for dessert. The chocolate bars were amazing! (hint: the batter will seem under cooked but will firm up over the cooling process.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


We've had bowling fever lately!

Ethan and I went up to Kearney, NE to meet up with one of my cousins and Ethan got to go bowling for the first time. We don't have a bowling alley here in town, so this was a special adventure.

My little cousin.

Shortly following our first bowling adventure in Kearney, we went to Topeka for a weekend getaway. Ethan and I had so much fun bowling earlier that we decided to take Daddy bowling to show off our new skills.

The earlier practice must have paid off...I won! Jim and I use to bowl frequently in our college student union and I never once won. I was excited to finally win against Jim! I think I better hang up my bowling shoes now and quit while I'm ahead.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Moving Back to Phillipsburg

Earlier this Spring, we had a family wedding to attend here in Phillipsburg. Jim's cousin was getting married and it was an honor to get to celebrate their big day with them. 

At the wedding reception.

It is so nice to have a local, young couple get married with plans on building their life here in Phillipsburg among their family. I know first hand the considerations and sacrifices that are made to move back to Phillipsburg as a young, newly married couple. 

It doesn't seem like it was very long ago that Jim and I were newlyweds, fresh out college and trying to decide where we wanted to live and start our lives as husband and wife.

For the first two months of our marriage, we lived in Ellis, KS. This was our first home, which we rented for less than $300 per month:

It was located about two blocks from where I worked in the financial department for a manufacturing company in Ellis. Jim commuted the 12 miles to Hays to work for a construction company. It was a cute, little house that featured beautiful woodwork inside.

Shortly after we were married, Jim received a job offer from a small construction company in Phillipsburg, which was my hometown and 20 minutes from Jim's hometown. I didn't think I would be able to find a good job in Pburg, but decided to contact some businesses and see what was available. I was surprised to find a company in Phillipsburg that was rapidly growing, offered professional opportunities in my field and was a Fortune 500 ranked business. 

I accepted the job offer immediately and moved into my parent's basement for two weeks while Jim finished up working in Hays and we looked for a house in Phillipsburg.

At a work conference in Vegas with a former co-worker circa 2007

There were only a few houses on the market in Phillipsburg that even remotely interested us. We put an offer on our favorite of the available selection - a 60's style ranch house that was in desperate need of updating and it was immediately accepted by the seller...guess we should have offered lower!

Jim moved in with me at my parent's home for another week until we were able to take possession of our home. It was a long three weeks of living in my parent's basement but we appreciated the meals my mom would cook and the free place to sleep.

At first, it was very hard living back in Phillipsburg. My friends that I knew from here had all moved away. Everyone else seemed either much younger or older than myself and it was hard to make new friends in your old stomping ground. I also had Wal-Mart and restaurant withdrawls...however, my bank account appreciated the lack of dining and shopping opportunities. 

As I got re-acquainted with Phillipsburg, I started socializing with new groups of people. Women who use to be the "adults" when I was in school were now my peers and soon became my friends.

The real benefit of moving back to Phillipsburg came when we had our son. My mom watched Ethan full time when I returned to work so that he wasn't in daycare until he was two years old. Now he only goes to daycare part time and my mom's the other half. 

Ethan watching for me to come have my lunch break with him at my parent's home circa 2007.

For the most part, we love living in rural Kansas. We love having our parents, grandparents, majority of our siblings and nephews and other family close by. We love the friendliness of the community and the low cost of living. Phillipsburg has been an amazing place to raise our child.

I still miss the restaurants and dining opportunities of larger towns but that's what travel and vacations are for.

Going back, a few more pictures from the wedding reception:

Ethan thoroughly enjoyed attending his first wedding and even danced with me at the reception.

Jim's parents, our nephew and our little one.