I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

Days in the Sun

Holy moley, has it really been more than a month?! Can you forgive me for being so absent on here?? I’ll make it up to you – this post will be a little longer than others so go get your cup of coffee or tea or lemonade. Are you ready?! Let’s go!! :)

Alrighty! So, what have we been up to?? It feels like we’ve been busy but honestly, nothing much has been going on. We’ve been enjoying our leisurely days (after work of course) by watering the flowers, spontaneous walks and bike rides, working on the garden, evening bonfires, reading, naps (Paul does love a good nap), running errands, painting, volleyball, and sporadically fixing up the house. As you might already know we had been working on the fixing up the kitchen since March and now I can finally tell you, it’s finished!!! I’ll have to save that for another post because this post is already pretty long and if I added the kitchen you’d be here for about an hour. :) But I know you’ll love it – it’s cozy, rustic, and exactly what we pictured. You’ll see another sneak peek of it later in this post. :)

Last week, after a gorgeous storm took up most of the evening we took a quick bike ride to see the sky all lit up and moody as the sun sank beneath the dark clouds. I love nights like these – they’re what I call “‘Dear Diary’ Moments.” :) We usually start our walks and bike rides the same way, through the willow tree-covered path to the park, next to the cornfields and playground, and pushed back out to little neighborhoods until we reach the lake. We ride past the town’s garden (which yours truly has now volunteered to help with!! :)), past the man with the flying airplanes silhouetted against the sky, past the church and its ringing bells, and then back to the dock to watch the sun set and fish jump, and then we meander back home whichever way we choose. It’s one of our favorite things to do, especially on nights like last week.

Since it’s summer, we’ve also been having our nephews and niece over quite a bit lately. I love having sleepovers (always have) and all things involving a sleepover – popcorn, cookies, good movies, bundles of blankets and heaps of pillows, good food, spontaneous activities – the sky is the limit!! When I have my niece and nephews over, I try to make it a really good experience. There’s always those really great moments that you remember from your childhood and I want to be the aunt that gives them those happy memories. I want them to do things they don’t normally do or take them places they don’t usually go, or even watch movies they’ve never seen. I still remember the one time my sister and I spent the night at our aunt and uncle’s house – we went to Valleyfair and stayed until way past dark (we always went during the day so this was extra special at night) and then went back to their house and watched The Goonies for the first time and LOVED it. Now whenever I watch that movie, I think of them and our sleepover so many years ago. Something so simple can make a good, lasting memory. :)

Our most recent sleepover was this past weekend. My brother, sister-in-law, and nephews have finally come home PERMANENTLY!!! Remember our visit to NYC last year or when we hosted them in the summer and how they’ve been gone for so long?? We’re finally back together as a family and it’s new for us and it’s SO exciting!! And this past weekend was my nephews FIRST ever sleepover!! Ever!!

Here we are, just arriving at our little town’s brand-new SPLASH PAD!!! Just the other week we took our other niece and nephew here and it was wonderful!! Plus, us adults need an excuse to run through a bunch of sprinklers without looking so out of place. :)

Our favorite area was the bucket that fills with water and dumps on everyone. :)

It was almost 90 degrees that day – this was a wonderful treat.

And while I cooked dinner, the boys played a game of catch with Uncle Paul. These kids are naturals, like their daddy.

Haha love David’s windup!! :)

Naturally Rusty wanted to join in…

Johnny was just no match for Rusty. :)

Odd I know, but I love pepper on Mac ‘N’ Cheese so they wanted to try it. I think they liked the pepper grinder the most.

Oh gosh, these two love Rusty so much. Although he tires easily now, he was so sad when they left. :(

Uncle Paul teaching Johnny how to throw a knuckleball. :)

And then we took a quick drive to the next town over for well-deserved ice-cream…

And what did we find?? Main Street was full of high-school bands for a parade!! :) Although we didn’t get to go to our usual ice-cream spot because the line was 1,000,000 feet long, it was still a fun treat to listen to the bands.

Never fear, the next ice-cream shop was just a block away.


:) :) :)

And then I found a pocket of light so we took some photos. :) 

:) :) :) :)

On days when we have nephews and nieces over, I tend to over-pack our day. There’s just so many things I want to do with them that I get a little carried away and sometimes, we don’t get to everything on my list. :( However! I think we’ve found a simple solution to killing, not two, but three birds with one stone….


Homemade Popcorn Night +…

Bonfire Night +…

MOVIE NIGHT!!! Popcorn + Bonfire + Movie. All in one. Why didn’t I think of it sooner?! Perhaps someday we’ll have a bigger screen for backyard movies. Until then, our laptops will suffice.

The moon was almost full and stars brightly peppered the sky for us.

Peter Pan is a must-have for a magical night. We even had fireflies visit us – what could be more wonderful??

You can barely see them but I just loved this part of the day. Half the time the boys cuddled with Uncle Paul, then we were looking through the telescope at the moon, then we were laying on the blanket, then cuddling with Rusty – it was perfect!

And at every sleepover the kids get to sleep with Rusty on the big air mattress. They fell asleep to Magic School Bus with Rust cuddled up against them and the moon keeping them company through the windows.

And that is our wonderful, perfect sleepover! Someday soon I’ll be having ALL four boys over for their FIRST cousin sleepover!! Holy moley, the possibilities of activities are endless!! I cannot wait. :) (If you have any ideas for activities, you just let me know! I’d love some new ones!! :))

So that has been our spring and few moments of summer, friends. Soon the 4th will be here, and then the State Fair (I just saw Italian Tacos are a new food this year!! Hurray!!), and then blessed Autumn will be here before we know it. So enjoy these long, summer days and soon I’ll be back on here with photos of our kitchen and other snippets of life. :) Hope you’re all doing well!! Xoxoxo

  1. Nana says:

    I bet every kid wishes they had a auntie and uncle like you guys.What fun that must of been.

  2. Patti says:

    Great photos. What a great time.