Monday, September 27, 2010

Family and Life Update

Ok, I haven't done the best job at making my updates but that HAS to change. Life has been full of wonderful news the past few months:

1. One of my best friends, Katie, is expecting a baby boy this Thursday, September 30th! Both mom and baby are doing well but we're all excited to meet little Thomas and get him brought into this world!

2. Erin accepted a new job and moved up to Minnesota. While I am sad that she has moved I couldn't be more thrilled for her and the promotion. Hoping she has a wonderful time in the city and has many new adventures.

3. Brooke and Troy celebrated their 5 year wedding anniversary in August. Congratulations to such a wonderful couple and close friends.

4. Took a trip to Vegas with the girls and then headed to California with Doug to visit family. Had an absolute blast on both vacations.

5. We adopted another Great Dane. Sophie now has an 11 week old buddy to call brother. His name is Jeter and he is full of energy but a very good boy!

6. We put together another team for this years Des Moines Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Our team name is Friends.Love.Cure and I can't wait to have my mom walking with me this year now that she is a breast cancer survivor <3

7. Brooke introduced me to a church opportunity called ALPHA. I'm in my second of nine weeks and am having a wonderful time exploring my faith and possibly joining a new church - very exciting!!!

8. Pam, Doug's sister, and her boyfriend Jared put an offer on a house in Alaska. It has beautiful views of the mountains and we look forward to visiting them in 2011.

9. Paul is in another play opening this Friday at the Tall Grass Theater in Des Moines. Last year he was awarded the Male Actor of the Year award.

10. Last, but not least, Parker and I found out in August that we are expecting. We look forward to welcoming baby Parker - affectionatley named Noodle for now -  into the world around April 21st.

So, there is a brief update on all the amazing things happening for our family and friends. I've set myself a weekly calendar reminder to update our blog...keeping my fingers crossed

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baby Shower

One of my best friends in the entire world is having a baby! We were lucky enough to honor her and her 'lil guy with a fabulous shower over the weekend. Brooke and Erin, it was so much fun planning this with you!
We were even featured in another blog because of the decorations used. Bottom line, we had a great afternoon together with man memories made. I'm so lucky to have you girls in my life. Katie, we are gonna spoil him and he won't know what to do with so many aunties out there loving him!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Six Months

In honor of my wonderful husband I am posting this picture from our wedding!

We are celebrating six wonderful months of marriage today. It's hard to believe that we were in Vegas with our family and friends just 20 weeks ago. I apparently didn't get the memo for how big six month wedding anniversaries are. Doug surprised me at work this afternoon with flowers and a lovely lunch. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful and caring husband. Even better, a one with a great sense of humor. When I told him I didn't think it was that big of a deal he responded, "It's a huge deal when you consider how long your first marriage didn't last." I was rolling on the floor laughing after he said that. We've learned to laugh at our mistakes and take life one step at a time. Otherwise, it just gets too serious and there's no time left for fun. So, for my wonderful husband on our six month wedding anniversary, I love you more today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow. Thank you for being my rock and my best friend. I don't know what I would do without you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I’ve had an amazing opportunity over this past week to reflect on a single word, family.

According to Wikipedia, In human context, a family (from Latin: familiare) is an exclusive group of people who share a close relationship —a unit typically (or "traditionally") composed of a mated couple and their dependent children (procreation) in co-residence.

Blake, my cousin from California, recently stayed with us for a few days. It’s funny how a change in routine/pace can shape your whole attitude. Blake’s attitude is contagious. From the moment he landed in Des Moines I wasn’t able to wipe the smile off my face. Blake and I are more like brother and sister then cousins. For a period of time, it felt like he was the only family I had. We’ve been through so many ups and downs together in the short 25 years we’ve known each other.

Anyways, Blake was in town and was super excited to meet the women I play football with. He joined us at our Friday night practice to meet the team. Watching my football family and my real family come together was such a treat! It’s difficult for me to describe how much Blake means to me and what an influence he has had on the person I’ve become. I wasn’t expecting my teammates to understand exactly what I was feeling but somehow, someway, they just did.

Blake was able to make it to our game on Saturday against the Nebraska Stampede. I felt anxious, nervous and exhilarated all at the same time during that game. We had some healing to do as a team and I also had some healing to do with my family. For the next two hours we all played our hearts out. We finally got all eleven of us out there on that field to click, it was absolutely the most fantastic game I’ve been involved in since joining the Iowa Thunder back in 2008.

So I’d like to give a big THANK YOU to my Thunder Family. Thank you for helping me heal and thank you for being there. All of you hold such a special place in my heart and I’m so proud to have you as my FAMO!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Football Is My Life and I LOVE It!

Wow, I haven't been on here since March?!??? I can't believe where the time has gone. Football has defiantly taken over my life right now and I love it. Parker and I will be celebrating our six month wedding anniversary on the 14th of this month. We were trying to plan a dinner date to celebrate and we don’t have an available evening together till the 24th, crazy!

I know so much has happened the last two months but for some reason I don’t know what to write. I’m keeping busy with my monthly BUNCO and book club meetings with the girls. This portion of the month helps me keep my sanity. It’s amazing what good conversation, good food and GREAT wine can do to improve the work week! 

On top of the BUNCO and book club I’m also playing in an over the hill soccer league on Tuesdays, football practice Wednesday/Friday with games on Saturday, and finally, Doug and I have sand volleyball on Thursdays. As you can imagine, this leaves very little time to get things done around the house. We hope to have the landscaping in the back yard completed by the end of June. I’ll have to post pictures as this should be a major transformation! I used to love cleaning the house but our schedule has given me a distaste for cooking and cleaning the past few weeks. All I think about is sleep and when the next few moments of rest will come.

Doug is doing really well with his knee therapy. He continues to make great improvements and is now able to walk on the treadmill at 3 MPH. I know this doesn’t sound like much but it is completely awesome! We are hoping to have him cleared for running by the end of September. I know he’s really looking forward to getting back in the gym.

Sophie continues to be as cute as ever. Her little brother should be here by the end of July or August. We’re trying to work on training with her so she doesn’t teach the ‘lil guy a bunch of bad habits. Her favorite activities at the moment are playing in the pond in the backyard and then running through the giant sand pit where the patio used to be. Have I mentioned how excited I am to have this landscaping done? It’s hard enough wiping up muddy paws due to all the rain in the Spring, but sandy paws on top of it all is enough!

My cousin Blake is coming to visit from California in two days. I’m excited to have him back and also have him watch me play football. Hopefully we can pull off a win and show him what Iowa Thunder football is all about. Doug and I are looking forward to all the vacations we have planned this summer. I’ve never been to a MLB game so we’re going to three this year – Cubs vs. Cardinals, Cubs vs. Rockies (in Colorado) and Yankees vs. Royals. We also have a vacation planned to California to see my family and I hope to take Doug to see the local wineries. We hope to top off the year with a vacation to either Las Vegas or back down to Mexico for our one year anniversary. Between all the tailgating for college football and vacations we hope to start planning a family sometime this winter!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ima b.....waiting for 3:30!

So excited that today is finally here. This has been a crazy busy week with work and football. Tonight I'm meeting up with some of the best friends a girl could ask for. We're going to one of my favorite restaurants downtown, Fong's Pizza. I know what you're thinking, "That's a strange name for a pizza place." and you're right, but it is so darn delicious! After we have some yummy drinks and a slice of pizza we'll be heading to Wells Fargo for the BEP concert!
The Iowa Thunder are still continuing their fundraising efforts with Wells Fargo, so, I'll also get to see my teammates while I'm at the concert :) couldn't ask for a better night. Speaking of the Thunder, I've been asked to write a blog about our season. It's supposed to be written from a captain/player/female athlete perspective. I'd love having you check out that blog as well,, and keep track of our progress this year!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Why do you hate me daylight savings?

This is the time of year when I struggle the most. Take an hour of sleep away from me and it takes me a week to recovery. Should be interesting when we finally decide to have kids! I couldn’t seem to get myself out of bed this morning. It could be due to the fact that Parker’s alarm went off every 15 min. between 6:15 and 7:00 this morning. Not to mention there is a good possibility that the entire neighborhood heard said alarm, it’s a wonder I could even fall back asleep between the glaring noise of it all, but I did and it only made for a worse case of the Mondays.

After finally pulling myself out it was time to head to the office. Walked downstairs and pulled up to the table, I love work from home days, normally. This turned out to be an exceptionally busy day. Sophie, conveniently, slept the entire morning and afternoon in our bed. Every hour I thought about joining her for a quick snooze to get away from it all. Here I am, it’s almost 9:00 in the evening and all I can think about is sleep.

Food journal entry is going to have to wait another day because I simply can’t stay up to write it all out. New recipes we tried this week:

BBQ Ranch Sandwich, Egg Bake (super easy and awfully yummy) and last but not least – vanilla bean strawberry cake with homemade frosting. I would have eaten the entire cake had I not felt like I was developing type II diabetes. I’ll hopefully get around to posting pictures tomorrow.

Another big work day ahead and preparing for St. Paddy’s day! Good Night <3 The Parker’s!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finally Feel Energized

For the first time in a long time I woke up feeling completely energized and it’s absolutely fabulous! I can’t remember the last time I felt this good. Surprising too since Doug got a new phone and his alarm sounds like a nuclear weapon is being fired. It about shot me out of bed the two times it went off.

Anyways, got up and ready for work and was on the road by 7:15. Got into the office early and made my Chai Latte, thank you to our fantastic single serving coffee maker, and now I’m currently participating in our monthly team conference call….well, maybe not so much participating as multi tasking. Have to pick Doug up in an hour for his six week follow-up appointment from surgery. I cannot believe he’s been on crutches for the past six weeks. It will be so wonderful when he can finally walk without all of the hassle with the crutches. He’s really looking forward to getting back into a normal routine. We’re planning on joining a new gym, preferably one with a pool since it would help with his rehab.

Last night for dinner we tried a new recipe – Salsa Burgers and Creamy Cheese Corn, yum!

Salsa Burger:

1 lb ground beef or Turkey

1 cup favorite salsa

¼ cup water

Chili Powder

Hamburger Buns

In medium skillet brown ground beef and drain. Return meat to pan and stir in salsa, water and chili powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Serve on hamburger bun and add sliced cheese if desired.

Cream Cheese Corn:

16oz package frozen corn

½ stick of butter

4oz cream cheese

In medium sauce pan and all ingredients and heat stirring occasionally. Cook till corn is thawed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tonight is my monthly book club meeting and we’ll be discussing the book The Help. Highly recommend reading this book if you haven’t done so. Dinner is going to have to be quick tonight so I can finish up laundry before heading to the meeting. Tonight’s recipe is Tomato Soup with Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I can’t believe how busy the month of March has been! Thank goodness for the kitchen, it’s become my sanctuary with all the chaos going on. With Doug being on crutches since his knee surgery he’s left unable to do….just about everything. I try and have as much done around the house for him before he gets home as possible. I was able to sneak home over my lunch break a few times this past week and get dinner made ahead of time. My crock-pot just might be my favorite cooking friend. It’s so nice to leave in the morning and “POOF” dinner is ready when you walk through the door. The crock-pot recipe this week was: Ham & Potato Goodness

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High

Total time: 4 hours 30 minutes


6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 pound of ham, cut into small pieces.

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 onion, diced

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup



In your slow cooker layer half sliced potatoes, ham, cheese, diced onion and one can of soup. Then layer the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Sprinkle a little paprika on the top.

Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours


Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4th

I've found another website that I've fallen in love with - - I've gotten some great recipes from not only the website, but the magazine as well. yesterday I made the Chicken Nugget Casserole Dish. Super easy adn didnt' tast too bad. I would however recommend pairing this with some angel hair pasta. The casserole by it's self is good but would be even better with a little pasta!
1 PKG (13 1/2 oz. frozen chicken nuggets)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 can (26 1/2 oz) spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Place chicken nuggets in a sprayed 11x7x2 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Top with sauce, shredded cheese and Italian seasoning. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or till chicken is heated thoroughly and cheese is melted.

I've managed to find a small amount of time to look through new recipes, get to the store for the food and meal prep, however, havent' found time for a run. Hoping to get that in tonight before it's time to get back home and take dinner out of the crock pot. Trying a new recipe this evening - Potatoe & Ham Goodness - I'll let you know how it is tomorrow after we've tried it!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hello March!

March is shaping up to be a very busy month for the Parker’s! Doug is enjoying his new job with Great Southern Bank and I think he likes the fact that we only work five minutes apart. Makes it really convenient for me to drop off lunch for him, which I enjoy doing! 

We are adjusting to living together and still have many, many boxes left to unpack. The other guest bedroom is slowly coming together and in a few more weeks Doug should have his “man cave” all put together. We only suffered one major catastrophe during the move….I managed to break his prized possession, the TV. Technically, this wasn’t really my fault. The guys didn’t do the best job packing it in the Pathfinder and it was on the very last turn of the drive home when we heard a huge crash come from the trunk. I managed to put a giant sized gash in the middle of the screen. Us girls thought we would be sneaky and run to BestBuy without the guys noticing. I came home with a new 50” flat screen plasma TV to try and smooth things over. Too bad it didn’t work as well as I had expected. The new TV was too large for the entertainment unit that just got moved into the basement and no one wanted to move it out. So, back to BestBuy we went to make a return. Maybe we’ll get a new TV for down there once the basement is finished.

Football ( is now two months into practice. We have seven weeks left till our first game and things are coming together. I really enjoy the group of women we have playing this year. Everyone is putting in a lot of work and we should have another successful season. Hoping to make it into the post season with the main goal of making the National Title game. I will be taking on two new roles this season, one as team captain, two as a wide receiver. I’ll still be playing free safety and will remain as the kick-off and field goal kicker.

I’m starting to find more time now that Doug is back for working out and cooking. My goal is to keep an update of my workouts and new recipes on here so keep checking back! Maybe this will help keep me motivated if I’m held accountable for updates.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010: Ran two miles today and feel like my legs are about to explode. Apparently my body disagrees with me taking two months off after the honeymoon for some R&R. Hope to get in another mile or two tonight and then it’s on to push-ups and sit-ups. Nothing like an old school workout to get me back in shape.

Recipe of the day: Ham & Potato Goodness

6 – medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 pound boneless ham, cut into small pieces

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

1 onion, chopped

1 – 10.5 ounce can cream of celery soup

1 – 10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom soup


(1) In a 3 ½ or 4 quart slow cooker, layer half of the sliced potatoes, half of the ham, 1 ½ cups of the cheese, half of the chopped onion, and one of the cans of soup. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle a little paprika over the top.

(2) Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Makes 4 servings

Make it a complete meal with a simple salad of spinach, chopped apples and walnuts + frozen cooked carrots glazed with coarse mustard and honey.

Friday, February 19, 2010


The day I've been waiting 1 year, 7 months, 18 days and some 14 odd hours has finally arrived. Doug's last day of work and last day living out of town is here!!!! My husband is finally moving into our house with me and Sophie. We are so excited to begin this new adventure, slightly nervous but highly optimistic. It's crazy to think back on our adventure and life thus far together. We never thought we'd be living this long apart, let alone be newlyweds and doing this. So it's February 19th and at 5:10 PM my husband pulled into the driveway for the first time as a resident of Ankeny.
Now the difficult part begins. We've got five days to get the house reorganized, his place in Fairfield, IA packed up and get him moved back to start his new job. There are lots of transitions that will take place in this short amount of time but I can't wait to start.
This past week I wasn't able to get much accomplished around the house as I was on a business trip in Vegas. Had a blast but I'm pretty sure my liver is shot and I now have lots of work to catch up on. Wish us luck in this new chapter and we're looking forward to providing new updates soon!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

So many blogs, not enough time in the day

My best friend, Brooke, has gotten me addicted to several blogs. It would have been fine if this addicition developed over several days, or even weeks for that matter. But sadly my friends, this addiction happened in less than 24 hours.
I said I was going to do a better job of updating my own blog, which I have. The problem is, is that this makes me look at other blogs. Sometimes for inspiration, sometimes to see what is going on in other peoples lives.....Brooke has introduced me to several fabulous sites this morning
and finally

All of these sites have made my productivity level for the day come to a screeching hault. While I've enjoyed every minute of my web browsing, I now have a grocery list a mile long with items I want to try, five pieces of art work being shipped to the house, a new pair of earrings and a new collar for the dog.

All in all, I believe it was a great shopping day and I can't wait for all the packages to arrive. It's going to be like having Christmas all over again. Look at the time - better get off to bed!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Knee Surgery

Well, Doug finally had what we hope will be his final knee surgery on Monday, February 1st. The surgery took 3.5 hours and went well. He's been in a lot of pain and the meds keep him in and out of consiousness, but he's being absolutely great about everything.
Exercises his knee two times a day with the therapy instructions they gave him and hope in six weeks to be able to put weight on his leg. Till then, I will play the role of taxi driver extraordinaire! Because of the surgery Doug had to take this week off from work. It's been great to have him home but we wish it wasn't under these conditions. Sophie has really enjoyed having dad around. She's really careful of all the medical equipment filling up the living room. I'm exhausted and still have a cake to bake to go with dinner tonight. Talk to you all soon!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wow, how did I forget to include this?

Can't believe I forgot the biggest piece of news this month! Doug accepted a position back in Des Moines and will finally be moving into our home. It's about time we get to live together after being married for almost three months! We are so excited to be able to start planning for our future now that we'll actually be around each other during the week. I don't think he could have picked better timing. Doug happens to have surgery on his knee Monday, February 1st and he can't put weight on his foot for six weeks. Looks like I'm going to have to recruit some friends for the heavy lifting!

Where has the time gone????

I think we forgot that we had a Blog. Haven't been on here since August! So, after some inspiration from watching Julie & Julia, I'm setting myself a weekly reminder to make a post. For those of you still out there following this, way have you stayed around so long and what's wrong with you??? J/K, we're glad you're still there.

Ok, so here are the updates we have:

Doug and I were married on November 14th, 2009 at the Flamingo Garden Gazebo in Las Vegas. We had both an outdoor ceremony and reception. The weather was a little cold, seems to be a trend across the US this year, but we were surrounded by many friends and family who made the trip. The gazebo was absolutely beautiful and our rooftop terrace was an excellent background for the reception. We completed our wedding day with a limo coach ride around Las Vegas with our bridal party and photographer. I think one of the highlights from that day was our Gondola ride at the Venetian.

After our wedding in Las Vegas we went back to our home state of Iowa for a welcome home reception. We had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends that weren't able to join us in Vegas. We truly have the most amazing people in our lives! Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate the start of our life together.

After the Des Moines reception we headed down to Missouri for Thanksgiving/Christmas with Doug's family. Pam, Doug's sister who lives in Alaska, was still in the states after the wedding. She took me on my first Black Friday Shopping Extravaganza and I think I'm hooked. We had such a great time that weekend and not enough sleep. It wasn't long before it was time to load our goodies and dog (Sophie) back into the car and head home, but we wouldn't be there long. Four days after returning from Missouri we were packing our bags once more. This time we were heading to Quintana Roo, Mexico for our honeymoon!

Doug and I stayed at the El Dorado Royale for a week of relaxation. This was our first REAL vacation together. Nobody else that we knew was there and we had no plans or places to be. Turns out we're just too active and can only relax for so long. We soon found ourselves involved in dangerous games of sand volleyball, ping pong and tandem bike riding. The tandem riding is a lot harder to do with a margarita in your hand. Good thing they had random bars located throughout the resort so we could stop and refill our glasses....and not worry about public intoxication!
Mexico came and went too fast. We headed back to Iowa just before Christmas and were greeted by the first blizzard of the year. At least the airport was nice enough to leave shovels out at the long term parking lots so we could dig our way out. January has been pretty uneventful. Trying to get back into the groove of not having a vacation every other week. Work has been keeping both of us busy and football has started. For those of you that don't know I play women's professional football for the Iowa Thunder - - Doug is the special teams coach for the team. Our weekends are now consumed with gymnasiums, conditioning, studying plays, working on formations and watching film but we wouldn't have it any different. Just a few more weeks of indoor practice left till we get to move outside. Our season begins with a scrimmage in April and then we swing into full motion in May.