congratulations graduates!

There's a whole slew of my family members graduating this month.

My brother Paul graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with his bachelor's in Criminal Justice/Sociology and is currently planning on becoming a police officer!

*photos by Paige Behrens Photography

Brandon's sister Katie graduated from high school in New Sharon, Iowa and will be attending Iowa State in the fall!

*photos by me

Brandon's sister Brittany graduated from Pella High School and will be attending Simpson College in the fall!

SO happy for you all!



focaccia in Italy

One of Brandon's culinary aspirations for this term was to recreate the focaccia we had in Italy. After a failed flavorless-first-attempt he got a recipe from Chef Bill, and very nearly nailed it this time! It was so delicious, especially when turned into bruschetta. mmmmmmm. Thank you to my resident personal chef!




One of the things I've wanted to experience while living in Charlotte was a NASCAR race (mostly for the people-watching). We got tickets through work and went to the All-Star race this Saturday. I thought it was just going to be funny but it turned out to be pretty awesome!


A big reason it was great was that we basically had VIP passes! We walked in and suddenly realized we were INside the track. Confused, we stood there for awhile having NO idea what to do or where to go. After asking around we found out we could go anywhere with our passes.


SO we walked through the garages over to pit road expecting someone to stop us, but instead they all smiled and waved us through. And there we were in the pit with the crews and the teams watching the cars pull in and back out in seconds! I don't know how they didn't find us out.


We also saw Mark Sanchez the NY Jets QB. I took a picture of him before I knew who he was because I could tell he was famous. Pathetic, I realize. :)


After the qualifying race they had a "halftime" show during which we stood on the edge of the track. Suddenly the drivers pulled up and parked their cars up right in front of us. There we were, standing on the track with the drivers, their families, and their crews! All we could think was "WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?" It was so fun!

(Ellen and I standing on the track. Note the "burnt rubber?") :)

I don't know much (anything) about NASCAR but I do know some of the main drivers. We were standing right behind Dale Earnhardt Jr's. car and Dale Earnhardt Jr himself.  So I walked over and took some pictures of him! My friend Ellen gave me a lug nut off of his car. haha


The race was pretty awesome too. The cars are SO VERY fast and loud. I hate to admit it but I can see how people could get into it.


Aside from the mass of people sitting atop their RVs, the only thing missing from the day was the hick-people-watching I'd been hoping for, but it was such a fun time!


My dad said we're truly Charlotteans now, just in time to leave, I guess.


that summer glow

I bought some of this Jergens Natural Glow lotion early this spring and have loved it. It's perfect for giving you some of that summer glow without risking skin cancer, plus it smells good (without smelling like a tanning bed). After using it 2 mornings in a row I got tons and tons of comments about how tan I looked. I wouldn't use it everyday but maybe one-three times a week. It won't make you as tan as this seniorita but I thought she really had that glow.



I love my oxfords because they are a little slice of Cambridge on my feet (even if they are named for "the other place.") I can look down and be transported across the sea and back in time.


: type travel tuesday : {montmartre, paris}

entree des artists
montmartre, paris
Here are two photos from Montmartre, since I missed last week whilst my siblings were visiting!


megdan visit

Dan and Meg came to visit the day of Brandon's graduation for the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament and one last Charlotte visit! We had a blast!


Meghan is a huge golf enthusiast and has wanted to come to the golf tournament every year since we've lived in Charlotte. She finally made it! We spent the whole day Sunday watching the final round of action in the hot hot Charlotte sun. We followed various golfers like Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh and many others, and also worked our way around the beautiful Quail Hollow course so Meg could see all of it. They didn't let us bring cameras so here are some from my colleague Joe Tolley and the Championship's facebook page.
Wells Fargo Championship – Phil Mickelson 17 tee
Wells Fargo Championship – Jim Furyk practice green

We saw two golfers hit into the crowd on hole 18, with the ball landing in a woman's lap the first time and on a man's back the second time.

The tournament ended in a tie so we watched them play through hole 18 again to break it. Lucas Glover ended up taking home the win. It was a great day! Here we are on hole 18 watching the final action.

In honor of being together in Paris one year ago we went to Café Monte a french café/bistro for a slice of Paris!

We went for sushi!

We spent lots of time sitting out on our deck - enjoying the fresh air and playing SPEED UNO!

Since moving back to charlotte Brandon and I have been meaning to walk on the greenway near our house. We FINALLY went with Dan and Meg. We saw lots of exotic wildlife like deer, snakes, and bullfrogs.

Meg picked out our flowers for the week:

Dan and Brandon were twins.

We miss you guys already!

Sorry for the two-posts-in-one-day thing but blogger was down the last couple of days and I've been busy.
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