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2012 Recap

I've only been blogging for 7 months, but a lot has happened since June!

You.And.Me.Are.We has gained almost 250 readers since the beginning, and considering I had less than 800 pageviews in my first month of blogging, I'd say it's come a long way!

Here are your favorite posts:

How to Get Rid of Carpet Stains - Fast! {and you already have what you need in your kitchen!}

Homemade Taco Seasoning {so much yummier and better for you than the stuff you buy in the packets!}

His & Her Q&A {one of many!}

I wasn't surprised to see that most of my readers are from the US... but I was amazed to see that I have a lot of readers from France, Sweden, and the UK! So glad you stumbled upon a little blog written by a girl from Wisconsin :)

It's been a fantastic year and I am so blessed to have met so many amazing, supportive bloggers through this adventure. I thank all of you who have read my posts and listened to me ramble on and on at times. Without your kind comments and continued readership, it would make my blogging harder to do. You all are wonderful!

Here's to another great year and to creating more memories and friendships!

Saturday Inspiration

In honor of the new year fast approaching, 2012's last Saturday Inspiration are words to empower as we start a new beginning.

Your slates are wiped clean. You can right any wrongs. You can leave old grudges in the past.
You can be a better person!

We start fresh and new in a few days - what are you going to do to make your new beginning count?

Secret Santa Reveal and My First Vlog Ever!

Today marks a milestone for me - I'm sharing my first vlog with all of you!

Note: Towards the end of my vlog, I mention revealing who my Secret Santa is. What I MEANT to say was I will reveal who I was the Secret Santa for. 

As I mentioned in the video, Joni was my Secret Santa and sent me a package.Visit her at Blended With Love.

I was Kim's {from The K.O. Jewelry} Secret Santa. Here's her vlog where you can see the goodies I sent her!

Sorry for my sick-voice and for talking fast - it's a bad habit :)

So, what do you think? Should I make vlogs a regular thing? What should my next one be about?

Christmas Aftermath

Hope you all enjoyed your day with loved ones! Trevor and I spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with his. Today we're doing a little shopping and then heading to another Christmas celebration {not to mention another one this weekend and our last next Tuesday}. Christmas is far from over for us!

Here's a look at a few gifts I received the past couple of days. I am feeling so blessed and lucky to have such generous family!

How was your Christmas? What are your favorite gifts?

Saturday Inspiration

Does anyone else feel like it's too soon for Christmas? It doesn't feel like Christmas is three days away!

I'm working this weekend, but as soon as those 25 hours are over, I'm doing everything I can to get myself in the Christmas spirit. We're going to decorate a big gingerbread house that my parents built {pictures to come!}, bake cookies, eat lots of finger foods, decorate sugar cookies, and most of all just enjoy each other's company.

To help things along, I wanted to share this pin for this week's Saturday Inspiration with hopes it will help a few of you feel a little more love on Christmas morning!

Source: via Sara on Pinterest

I can't promise I'll be back before things start getting busy {we have Christmas celebrations Sunday through Wednesday} but I am going to try my darnedest to get another Handmade Christmas tutorial posted tomorrow!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from You.And.Me.Are.We!

High Five For Friday

Holy cow! I can't believe it's time for another H54F - it feels like I just did one a couple of days ago...

Last weekend we visited my Oma and celebrated Christmas with her. She and my Opa {who has since passed} came to the United States with two kids when they were in their 30s. Because so much of their lives were spent in Germany, my Oma still keeps many traditions from overseas alive. Last Saturday, we made kielbasa and homemade potato salad {from scratch! so much work!} and enjoyed a lot of wonderful conversation. Somehow the subject of her furs was brought up and she dug all of them out of her closet. This is the resulting picture of me wearing Russian skunk {huh?!} that was my great-great-grandmother's. Agree or disagree about wearing furs, you still have to agree that it's super freaking cool that I wore something that's well over 100 years old!

Also this week, I took my last final for my chem class. Thank goodness that waste of time is over! On to bigger and better things. Up next? In spring I'll be taking biochem and microbiology!

Trevor also finished all of his classes this week! It may not have happened on time, on the day we thought it was going to, in the way we thought it would happen... but life throws you for a loop every now and again, right? I am relieved school is over for him and that he's officially graduated! Now, we're just waiting on a few companies he has applications at/has interviewed with to offer him a job making meeelions of dollars!

Yesterday, we spent the day at home, in leggings and sweats, unable to leave the house due to a blizzard outside! I haven't heard a final number of inches of snow yet, but last I heard we had gotten over a foot of snow. Even though it was a blizzard, you have to admit it makes for some gorgeous trees!

The letters of recommendation that I need to complete my nursing school application were handed out this week. Hopefully, the two nurses that I gave the forms to have completed them and they are on their way to the CON! I explained the whole process of applying to my accelerated nursing program here if you're looking for more details.

And that's that. It's been a busy week but it's also had it's relaxing moments. Today, Trevor and I are working on a few last Christmas presents that have to be finished up and wrapped and hopefully we'll find some time to tidy up the house in preparation for the holiday as well. Wish us luck!

How was your week?

Nursing School Update

It's been awhile since I've mentioned how my adventure with nursing school has been going, so let's catch you all up to speed!

For my new readers, here's the background: I'm applying to nursing school. It's an incredibly long process. The program I'm hoping to get into is very competitive - they only take 30 applicants for each cohort. It's also very tough - if I get in, I'll earn my BSN in 12 short months. I have a bachelor's degree already {with a minor in science} but have been taking a couple science classes each semester because my minor classes don't count toward the nursing pre-requisites. For example, I had to take Chem 103 for my first degree and now I've had to take Chem 102 because it's what was required for the nursing application. It's been a huge time and money sucker - both of which have been tight. It also means I've been sitting through classes that are a piece of cake. But I can't test out of them because I need the lab component in order for the classes to count toward my nursing degree. Frustrating, no?

Last week the nursing school applications went live. Meaning, we could fill them out and start submitting things to the College of Nursing. First, I had to apply to the University... had to send all sorts of transcripts in... and waited to get accepted. That happened and I had to send in a tuition deposit to reserve my spot and get my official school email address.

At the same time, I've had to submit requests for background checks, fill out pages and pages of personal information and schooling information. Basically, I'm up to my eyeballs in forms. I signed up to take the TEAS V test {anyone with personal experience with it?! I'd like to know what I'm getting myself into} in a few weeks before the spring semester starts in January. Also, I have to have two letters of recommendation be written and sent in to the CON.

After all that fun is submitted {hopefully my paperwork will be completed and in the mail by the end of the year and the rest will all trickle in afterwords} then I get to wait. And wait. And wait some more. Until the end of May. May. Guys, that's over five months of just waiting. Pure. Torture.

So there you have it! That's what I've been busy doing between work and school. That's what's been on my mind lately. It's kind of nice to know that I'm finally getting into the thick of applying - because for the last year plus I've been working toward this application. Now I can finally look forward to the next step!

I'm nervous, excited, and impatient all at the same time!

There are three steps to the acceptance process. If I get an email interview, I know I made it to the first step. If I get a phone interview I know I made it even further. I'll keep the updates coming and I'll share any results or details with you. All I ask of you is patience and kindness if the process doesn't go as I hope it does.

Saturday Inspiration

I'm trying my hardest to laugh really hard at least once a day! I find it makes me feel lighter and puts me in a better head space - a little positivity {why is Google Chrome telling me that's not a word?!?!?!} really helps; especially this time of the year when we're all so busy!

Try laughing next time you're stressed. I promise it'll make a world of difference!


This week's High Five For Friday is going to be lame because 4 of the past 7 days have been spent on my couch being sick. Nothing about those days made my "Top 5", let me tell you...

Anyway, last Friday night, we dragged a friend to a local Christmas light spectacular. Any pictures I took did not do it justice, so here's one of my favorites for your viewing pleasure. Do you have anything in your area like this?

Halfway through the Christmas Light Adventure, there's a few buildings where you can park your cars, hang out with reindeer, sit in Santa's sleigh, and even hang out with the ol' guy himself. Trevor and I liked the reindeer below because he was missing an antler and we root for the underdog.

 Remember that sleigh I told you we could sit in? Yup, found it!

Yesterday, I was a machine! I scurried around town all day getting stuff done that I had put on my to-do list weeks ago and never got around to it. I don't have any pictures of me running around like a fool, so you'll have to imagine it. :)

Lastly, I met up with one of my oldest friends for breakfast this week. She's due with her first baby in less than 8 weeks - and I can't wait! It was wonderful to see her and talk about married things. I love having friendships that can easily be picked up where we left off two months ago because life got too busy for both of us.

And that's it! How was your week?

back from the dead

Get excited and be proud!

This girl is joining the world of the living again!

I've been sicker than sick since Saturday. So sick I didn't bother putting a bra on. So sick I resorted to wiping my nose on my sleeves. So sick I wore the same sweatpants from Saturday until yesterday. {Yeah, I admit it, go ahead and judge! No shame here!}

I had to call into work Monday and Tuesday... and I never call into work. In the five years I've worked there, I never ever missed a day. Until this nasty virus knocked me on my butt.

After a little test run yesterday {aka, I ran to WalMart for a few minutes}, I am getting out of this house! I'm going to be spending today at school celebrating our last day of class with everyone. And maybe, hopefully, I'll get a little studying done as well because our final is next Monday.

Just because I don't have a voice doesn't mean I can't enjoy a celebratory Last Lunch with some very good friends, right?

When I say HAPPY WEDNESDAY, I mean it!

Handmade Christmas: Photo Coasters

You may remember that Trevor and I are handmaking all of our Christmas gifts this year. We like to call it Handmade Holidays. This is the first of {at least} three tutorials of some of the gifts we've made and are giving to our relatives.

Dear Family, if you are related to me by blood you will want to skip this post. Unless you want your Christmas gift surprise ruined. In that case, bah humbug and carry on.

DAD, this is your last warning to click out of this page and visit another website...

Ok, so if you're on Pinterest you've most likely seen a version of these. But because I promised you that I'd share tutorials of our Christmas gifts in this post, you're getting a long post with a million pictures :)

I had made a set of these for my mom for her birthday and Mother's Day back in May. They held up so well and were so loved and appreciated, I thought I'd make a set for my dad, my aunt, and my grandparents for Christmas this year.

First, I gathered my supplies. I wanted to make a set of four coasters for each recipient {there are three of them, remember?} so I bought 12 {4 inch x 4 inch}  tiles at Menards. They were something like $0.13 each or so.

I also bought a single sheet of felt from Hobby Lobby for each set of coasters {that's three sheets of felt for those of you that don't want to use your noggin}. You will need a paintbrush {I used a foam brush because I liked the texture it leaves behind} and ModPodge. You'll also need a waterproofing spray {you can see what I used below}. Finally, you will also need photos!

Cut your pictures down to be about 3 1/2 inches square. I didn't measure them or anything - I just eyeballed and cut. You could also cut little photos out and create a mosaic on each tile - but I chose to use one photo because I like the way they look more than a mosaic. It's just personal preference - try a mosaic if you want!


On a protective surface {I used a paper grocery bag}, lay your clean tiles out and roll your sleeves up!

Paint a layer of ModPodge on. Mine looks thick in this photo because of the color of the tile but you only need enough to coat it - no need to slather it on!

Next, lay your photo on and paint another layer of ModPodge on. I like to brush in the same direction so that the texture looks uniform. Again, experiment here and do what looks good to you. Move on to the next tile and do the same.

Let them dry - I think it was about an hour or so until I was sure mine were dry - and then add another top coat.

Let that coat dry - I let it dry for about 3 days only because I didn't have time to do the next step until then. Then grab your waterproof stray paint and spray your tiles. Follow the directions on your paint and do two coats. You can see that I have a matte spray - I totally love it and highly recommend it. It makes the tiles look more "polished" {put together, not actually polished} and finished.

Let that dry {lots of waiting here, folks! But it's not a big deal if you do a few steps at a time and come back at a later time. For instance, I went grocery shopping between the matte spray and this next step}.

Cut your felt out into 4x4 squares {or whatever size your tiles are!} and get your hot glue gun ready!
Glue the felt to the bottom of the tiles.

A few tips that came with experience: glue as close to the edge as you can and make sure you glue all the way around. It helps if you glue a little, then press the felt on, then glue a little, then press the felt on.

And you're done!
This is the set for my dad. My favorite picture on the coasters is the black and white of my Oma and Opa - pictured in the lower left here - when they were much younger and still living in Europe. It makes me smile every time I see it.

It really is a simple process and can be done in a day if needed. Like I mentioned, I took longer to make mine because I have been so busy, but if you plan it right you can give them as a gift tomorrow! {Pssst, you still have time to make these before Christmas!}

We just tied ours up with a ribbon and then wrapped them like the rest of our gifts for Christmas.

Try 'em and let me know how they turn out for you!

Saturday Inspiration

No other words are needed.
Be your own heroine!

What are you up to this weekend?

High Five For Friday

Time for another H54F, so here's my week in pictures:

Last Saturday, Trevor graduated from college! For some reason, the school held graduation almost three weeks before classes end... which means that it was kind of anti-climactic - and Trevor is still just as busy as ever {yesterday he was at school by 8am and didn't come home until after dinner time}.

He cleans up pretty darn well if I do say so myself :)
This was probably my favorite part of the week. We were stressed out on Saturday morning and were crabby towards each other but as soon as I saw him walk across the stage and accomplish something so HUGE, all irritation melted away. Something similar must have happened to him too, because we were plain ol' us as soon as we saw each other after the ceremony. Have I told you how much I love being married to this man?.

We met up with an old friend of ours from high school {he was also one of our groomsmen!} after graduation and headed to our local froyo place. They had holiday flavors {egg nog, peppermint, gingerbread} and they were all so good!

This past week marked the second birthday of our only nephew! How can you not love this silly face?

We bought him a play tool set which included a toy drill. He was obsessed with it and spent most of the night doing this:

Yeah, pretty sure he's going to be a dentist!

How was your week?

His & Her

It's back!

His&Her Q&A

I'm so excited to bring you another edition of His & Her Q&A! I was bummed when Bethany at  Love the Grows decided to take a little break from it... and even tossed around some ideas in my head about what I could do here at YAMAW to help you get to know my husband better. But, just in time, Bethany has come back with more questions! Here's the first set of the new group - enjoy!

What do you do when you're angry?
His: Try to get by myself. I don't like to be around other people when I feel that way. I also look for something mind-numbing to do.
Her: I get emotional and tend to cry. And I have to spew my anger everywhere which means I talk to Trevor, I call my mom, and I type up blog posts and then later delete them. 

What is an item of clothing your other half has that you wish they would throw away?
His: Anything that you complain about. Like when you try it on and say "Oh this makes me look fat." or "This doesn't fit right." I can't think of a specific item - there's nothing you wear that annoys me.
Her: He has a few graphic tees that I personally think belong in a high school. Otherwise, he has some old pairs of underwear that I have been slowly throwing out with the hopes he doesn't take notice...

What is the greatest family vacation you went on as a kid?
His: There was that time we went to Minnesota for a wedding... or any time that my brother and dad went "up north" with Grandpa.
Her: My family only took one vacation so it wins by default. We rode Amtrak through Chicago and out to the Grand Canyon. It was pretty fantastic :) And just a short time later my parents got divorced so it's nice to have those memories.

Would you want to live in the city, country, or beach?
His: Country, preferably. 
Her: Depends on where I am in my life. With kids, in the city near their schools. Once they're old enough to drive or are in college, I'd like to live in the country. I'd love to retire to a beach but would "settle" for a beach vacation house every now and then.

How do you handle farting in front of each other?
His: I give you a warning if I feel like it... otherwise I just let it fly.
Her: I do it in secret ;) 

What is your favorite type of cake?
His: I like Red Velvet but I also like that chocolate cake with holes poked in it and caramel soaked into it.
Her: Red Velvet, lemon, any of our wedding cake flavors! Cheesecake's pretty great, too.

What is the first thing you do when you get home from work?
His: Take off my jacket and shoes. If I can I like to relax and check out what's new online.
Her: Take off my scrubs, put my lunch box away, and hop into the shower. Working with sick people is enough reason for me to shower as soon as I get home so I don't spread germs all over. It's bad enough that I know I'm bringing my C. diff. covered shoes into our home...

What is a phrase or word your other half frequently says?
His:  "Lame." or "Lame-o".
Her: Hm, I don't think there is one. It's a lame answer, but he really doesn't have a catch phrase or anything. He does quote Stepbrothers all of the time and it's completely hilarious. 

Did you exaggerate anything when you were first dating?
His: I don't think there was anything like that. I'm not that type of person. It's not like I had some sort of fantastic achievement or anything to brag about...
Her: Oh God, that was way too long ago. I'm sure there was because I was a high school girl with a bit of dramatic flare. Couldn't tell you what I exaggerated, but I'm sure there was plenty.

Who is your others half as a superhero?
His: She's Captain Organization. For obvious reasons. {We don't watch superhero movies or cartoons so we are totally just making these up!}
Her: He's Captain Patience because he's the most kind and patient man I know and I'm so lucky to call him my husband <3

Holiday Mixed 'Tape' Swap Reveal!

I'm a sucker for a good swap. 
I may be a bit selective and participate in them only once in awhile, but I'm still a sucker for great swaps!

This was one of the 'greats'. And even so much more because I was a co-host of it! Meghan, Meagan, and I were honored and excited to bring the Holiday Mixed 'Tape' Swap to a blog near you {seriously, check out some of the links below - I bet you know some of the lovely ladies that participated!} :)

Because of a partner issue, I started the swap with one partner but after the snafu, I gained another blog friend and sent out an additional CD!

The first was Rikki from A Woman, Her Cats, and Some Books. Little did I know, she is a fellow Wisconsin native and was in the midst of moving from Kentucky back home to the Dairy State!
Get to know her better by checking out this post. Why should you? Because HELLO, we've all felt that way before! When I read her post, I was "AMEN, SISTA!"-ing out loud, in my living room, while home alone. Yes, it's like that.

Anyway, her parents live less than an hour from me and I can't wait to find a time in our busy schedules to meet up!

Rikki sent me a great CD, full of classic Christmas music! Here's what she chose for me:

1) Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys
2) Sleigh Ride - Ella Fitzgerald
3) Merry Christmas, Darling - The Carpenters
4) Emmanuel, God With Us - Point of Grace
5) Don't Save It All For Christmas Day - Clay Aiken
6) Do You Hear What I Hear? - Destiny's Child
7) Baby Please Come Home - Hanson
8) I Wonder As I Wander - Linda Ronstadt
9) In Love On Christmas - N*SYNC
10) Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Jewel
11) All I Want For Christmas Is You - Olivia Olson
12) When Love Came Down - Point of Grace
13) The Christmas Song - Clay Aiken
14) Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee

Thank you, Rikki, for the great variety of music you sent my way and for being wonderful enough to move home just in time for us to meet up ;)

Holly from Perfectly Imperfect Holly was my original swap partner and we immediately hit it off. When she told me the type of music she likes and that her favorite Christmas song is 'O Holy Night', I may have freaked out a little {and we have the email to prove it!}. Why'd I go crazy? Because we're basically music soul mates! I love 'O Holy Night' and her favorite types of music are my favorite types of music. Check out her fitness blog {details here} and you don't want to miss this post introducing a fun link up all about the holidays!

Holly sent me a fun mix of music:

1) Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy) - Chris Tomlin
2) Mistletoe and Holly - Frank Sinatra
3) I Celebrate the Day - Relient K
4) Snoopy vs. the Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen {fun fact: not only is this Holly's favorite childhood song, my husband used to work for the same company as one of the original Royal Guardsmen}
5) White Christmas - Celtic Woman
6) O Holy Night - Trans Siberian Orchestra
7) Jingle Bells - Michael W. Smith
8) Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Chris Tomlin
9) O Holy Night - Celtic Woman
10) What Christmas Means to Me - Stevie Wonder
11) O Holy Night - MercyMe
12) Carol of the Bells - David Foster
13) Silent Night (Emmanuel) - Matt mager
14) Angels We Have Heard on High - Chris Tomlin
15) When Christmas Comes to Town - The Polar Express
16) Christmas Eve in Sarajevo - Trans Siberian Orchestra
17) Joseph's Lullaby - MercyMe
18) Twelve Days of Christmas - Straight No Chaser
19) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Celtic Woman
20) Faith Noel - Trans Siberian Orchestra
21) Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen
22) O Holy Night - Chris Tomlin

Thank you, Holly, for your good taste in music and the fact that I did not previously have any of the 'O Holy Night' versions you sent me - that in itself is a small miracle!

Quite the batch of songs, isn't it? They're all fantastic! I'm still sifting through them to find my favorites but so far both Rikki and Holly have hit home runs :) I love finding swap matches when I feel instantly connected to the other blogger - and I was beyond lucky to have found that in both of my partners!

If you participated in the Holiday Mixed 'Tape' Swap, don't forget to link up your recap post below!

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs? Head over to Holly and Rikki's blogs to find the list of songs I sent to them. Check out some of the links below for even more holiday music!

Saturday Inspiration

In honor of today's events...

Source: via Sara on Pinterest

My husband GRADUATES today!!

I am so proud of him and all of the work he has put into this degree. Every time I catch a glimpse of the work he does I am immediately impressed by his brains and how freaking smart he is!

The sheer amount of time he has spent at school this semester is impressive. There have been many, MANY days he has left for school by 7 or 8 in the morning and returned home after 9 at night. We have both agreed to put our lives on hold for this degree and a {hopefully} well paying job. Time is ticking down and so is our bank account. We are more than ready for an adult full time job to come his way!

He still has classes for a couple more weeks but today's graduation is a milestone, that's for sure.

Happy Graduation Day, babe! I love you, love you, love you and I am so proud to call you mine!

So, what are you up to this weekend?


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