It is Friday and it couldn’t have come soon enough. I am so ready for the weekend and I hope you all are also. As I get more and more readers (PS: don’t be shy to subscribe to my feed!! Help me reach my goal of 100 readers!! You can even remain anonymous …just saying. ), I feel that I have left some things in the dark about who I am and should delve into my personal life a bit more. Now, I  must warn you that I am not that exciting of a person so there is not too much more than you don’t know, but I feel that the more I share, the more people will read. After all, humans are snoopy by nature. I will admit to doing the occasional (daily) Facebook stalking. I love looking at pictures of people I know and seeing what they are up to. I love to snoop, you love to snoop, we all do. I have also been hearing a lot of people talking about how busy and stressed they are (and yes, looking at my last post, I am guilty of this also). So today I am going to try and remind everyone just how lucky we are and get back to my roots of reminding you all to stop and smell the roses.
Today I am going to let you snoop into my life a bit more while giving you a homework assignment that will pick up the moods of downers everywhere. Not going to lie, yesterday I felt a bit down just about things in general. I know I could have it worse and it took me looking through pictures on my cell phone to make me realize that I don’t have it bad at all. This is the homework assignment: grab your phone and look through all of your pictures. I can guarantee most, if not all, will make you smile and remember the amazing times that you have had. I did just this and found myself laughing and in a great mood. This being said, I picked out my favorite pictures out of the 722 pictures I have on my phone (yes, that is the actual number I have on my phone), and would like to share them with you. Some of them are self-explanatory as to why I love them, others I will share what I love so much about it that I chose it as one of my favs.  Again, these are just off my cell phone so if you are wondering why there are so many of my cat and not of my wedding, that is the reason. J (Side note: I did try to limit the amount of cat pictures I included. I don’t think I succeeded.)

Oh geeze. The cat pictures are already starting. I was packing up for a 4th of July weekend with my family. My sister sent me pictures of the fridge in the cabin that my parents rented out and it was stocked with goodies. I wanted to let her know the goodies I was bringing. Only after snapping the pictures did I realize my cat was posing very handsomely in the midst of everything!
My sister’s birthday was coming up and I asked Cory if he could Photoshop a picture of us with a poem I wrote on the pictures. After a good 15 minutes, he called me up saying he was done and he wanted me to approve it. This is what he did! Still gives me a chuckle every time!
At our first house, my cat Elvis had a stuffed cat (yes, you read that correctly). Well, he dragged it around and chewed on it so often that it got dirty pretty quickly. I decided to wash it and dry it separately. When I went to go get it out of the dryer, this is the sight I was welcomed with.

Just because. I seriously can’t resister taking pictures of his cute face.
My parents came to stay with me and rented out a suite at a hotel. We were the only ones at the hotel and this was the morning sunset over Lake Superior. I feel so blessed to have lived by this lake for 8 years of my life. I will never get sick of the view.
This was my second race of the season but it was cool because you got to take a train to the starting line. I have never been on a train in my life. Either had my dad. He came to watch me race and even rode the train with me. This was also the day that we both ate effervescents (Airborne) straight out of the box. I think the explosion in our mouths made his eyes water and I believe I started foaming at the mouth. This was how we figured out they weren’t the chewable tablets.  
Found the sun spot. Enough said.
Newborn Kitty. Happy niece. Pure bliss.
My friend Jamie and I took a hike to the waterfalls in her hometown. I have never been to a waterfall that you could walk behind and it was just an amazing day. Can you spot me waving hi to you all? I believe we also got ate alive by mosquitoes. It was a quick hike, needless to say.
Some of my best memories are hunting and fishing with my Pa. This is just one of the many trips we took during the summer months.
This picture can bring me to tears for many reasons. Not only do I miss my sister terribly, I know that I would have never been able to run a half-marathon without her support and encouragement. I don’t know if she knows just how much this day meant to me. I look up to her so much.  It is a day I will never forget and will go down in history as one of the best days of my life. Thank you sister!
This is also on the shores of Lake Superior. After the half marathon, my parents rented some hotel rooms for all of us at the same resort Cory and I were married at. Cory and I took a hike and remember just how great life is.
My parents at Gooseberry Falls state park. This was their anniversary. To this day, I try to walk in their shoes and hope that Cory and I can have a marriage as strong as theirs.
Some little girls dream for a horse and never get one. Some girls ask her Pa for one and are fortunate enough to get one. This is me and my horse Gypsy. In elementary school, I used to get off the bus, run to the barn, grab a lead rope and jump on her back. No saddle, no bridle. Just me and my horse. It was the best feeling.
Hundreds of people throwing happy colors into the air while dancing. Pretty spectacular in my book!
Me and my Pa. I just love this picture for so many reasons.
My sister and I the weekend before she left for the Peace Corps. I miss her dearly yet feel so fortunate I can e-mail her and talk to her on the phone occasionally. This pictures just makes me smile and always will.
I have mentioned before how my mom and dad are always up for an adventure. They found this gem of an antique store, so we stopped to browse and it turned out to be the biggest antique store I have ever been in. This is just one of the many rooms and this pictures is just so amazing and helps me remember all the adventures I have been on with my parents and love every single one of them.
This is how you know when my Pa has had enough painting for the day. This picture just makes my day in so many ways.
It is very rare that I catch Cory hanging out with Elvis, let alone hold him and pose for a picture. I think Elvis is as surprised as I was here. These two guys make me smile every day and I am blessed with the life I get to live.
I just love it. I don’t need a reason!
I have never had such a sexy bike. Whenever I ride it, I feel like it is the good old days where I rode your bike to the barn to get a soda. Brings back memories.
Fall. Coffee. Outside. Owl Mug. Happy Emily.
This is the trail in Hudson, WI that I did most of my training on. Every morning was more beautiful than the next and I never minded running when I was here.
The fact that we own a house on a river makes me happy. This picture was taken for my sister when we gave her a tour of our house. To have my own trail to the river also makes me a happy girl.
He makes me smile.
He makes me smile A LOT.

So does he.
Yup. This is me in a nutshell.
And here is my protégé.
We’re kind of alike.
Okay, so maybe it runs in the family.
This is a wall in my Pa’s barn. Every time I see it, it makes me happy, not only that I have started running, but because it motivates me and I feel he is proud of what I do.
This was the day after my niece’s birthday. My sister Holly gave her a princess dress, and she was so excited she even put it on for breakfast. Two of the most beautiful people know right there.
This was just another adventure with my Pa. We always have such a great time together and this day was no exception.
Anybody who knows me knows I love this game. I love it even more when the ‘Mitten’ block is drawn. I can’t help but laugh at the poor sucker who has to play the off brand of Jenga with Mittens on. This picture always reminds me of the fun times that were had.
Okay, so before you judge, let me tell you the story. My sister Katie and I were shopping in the bargain bin of a store when I came across this little nugget of a children’s book. I so wish I would have bought it that day. There is something so morbid but hilarious about this book that it makes me look twice and laugh loudly each time I see this picture. Seriosuly. Who would write a book with that title.

This is my mom and sister setting up for the Thanksgiving feast. Food, family, and fun. It doesn’t get any better than that. My sister and mom also look so happy here. I love them to pieces and their love is shown through this picture. (Look Holly, Chad even made it in the blog!)

I swear my first book I write will be titled “Hunting with Pa.” I have learned so much from him and found a true passion for the outdoors.
There is a very long back story as to why I am holding a flying squirrel. A lot of people know the story and for those that don’t, in short, these buggers were a big nuisance and I was very happy when they ‘left’ our house.  (No animals were harmed in this picture.)
I wish I would have kept a record of how many miles I have walked with my Pa.
This was the first snow day we had at our new house. What a beautiful sight and to think I live here. I know I will never take this sight for granted.  
Settlers of Catan, Beer, friends (not shown). These are always perfect days.   
Must I say how alike we are again? 
And again! That purple sled I got for Christmas when I was little. After naming it Comet, I pulled that thing everywhere in the winter.  It makes me so happy to see my niece gets the same joy out of it that I did. Talk about taking a walk down memory lane.

Okay, so maybe she is a lot cuter. I don’t think I will ever get rid of this picture. I love it. Everything about it.     
This is at my parents’ house on the front deck. It reminds me of brunches outside on Sundays and times where the whole family sat down to eat. I have enjoyed this view many times and will still enjoy it many more.
And last but not least, the love that a sister has for her baby brother. It reminds me how lucky I am to be part of such a great family and how my sisters are my best friends. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I look up to each and every one of them. I know my niece will be the same for her new baby brother.  
Well friends, there you have it. Me in a nutshell as told by pictures. At the end of the day, sit down and really think about all the great things life has to offer and know that love surrounds us each and every day. I will never get used to the hand that I was dealt becuase it seems almost too good to be true.
And here is one more cat picture for good measure (don't ask why I am wearing the sombraro)........
TGIF friends!