Like many of you, I’m sure, we’ve spent much of this spring celebrating graduations, birthdays, grand openings, engagements, and weddings. Our schedules have been fast paced and we’ve felt so blessed to have so many things to celebrate with friends and family. Thought we’d share a few pictures to show you what we’ve been up to.

Ann’s niece Jordyn got married

Our wedding season actually began just before May when Ann’s niece, Jordyn, married the love of her life, Maury. The wedding and reception were at The Nebraska Club on the 20th floor of a building in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. I was honored when Jordyn asked me to pray with the wedding party just before the ceremony. In a celebration of bringing two families and cultures together, Steve translated my prayer to Spanish. It was a fabulous evening filled with love, dancing, and a little tequila.

Ann's niece Jordyn and her husband Maury at their wedding.

The Oilman’s Daughter opens in Pawhuska

We were so happy to be in Pawhuska for the ribbon cutting and open house at The Oilman’s Daughter vacation home rental. We’ve been watching the renovation of this home for months and were so happy to celebrate with new friends, Suzanne and Cathy. The luxurious Oilman’s Daughter is listed on Airbnb. It offers four bedrooms, each with king-size beds, and more space both indoors and out than you’ll know what to do with.

Oilman's Daughter bedroom

Reba Bueno marries Justin Connor

If it wasn’t for Reba Bueno, we may have never ended up in Pawhuska. Reba works at the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce and was the person who thought to invite us to judge the National Indian Taco Championships there back in 2017. The couple had planned to have their wedding outside, but because of excessive rain, it had to be moved indoors. However, the change in location didn’t dampen the festivities at all.

Steve, Reba and Ann

Reba was a gorgeous bride and it was such a blessing to be able to be there on her special day. She put so much into all the details, including spray painting pinto beans for the centerpieces and having custom cookies representing each of the couples’ favorite sports teams. We couldn’t be happier for Reba and Justin!

A fiesta for Meg and Stephen

Our friend Cyndi Kane (aka Ree Drummond’s BFF Hyancinth) is soon to be mother of the bride. Her daughter, Meg Kane, is getting married soon, so Ree and her daughter Alex (who is Meg’s maid of honor) threw an over-the-top fiesta to celebrate the couple. The seemingly endless Mexican buffet, created by Chef Kurtess Mortensen, was simply incredible. We savored ceviche three ways, chicken enchiladas, mole, and freshly made street tacos with four filling options. In addition, there was a mariachi band, dancers, margaritas, fresh flowers, and a Food Network film crew. Stay tuned … It was also an opportunity to finally meet The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, herself. Yes, she’s just as nice in person as she is on TV.

ree drummond fiesta

Meghan’s graduation at the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa

Our parents joined us in Tulsa to see Meghan walk at the graduation ceremony for OU-Tulsa. She still has a few months to go before completing the accelerated BSN program there, but they let nursing students participate in the graduation anyway. We were proud to see her walk across the stage and are excited for her to finish this intense program and become a nurse. Meg decided the night before the ceremony that she wanted to decorate her graduation cap. After an early morning run to Hobby Lobby, we crafted a cute design that captured her time in nursing school.

Meghan's graduation!

Ann turns 50!

I feel like we spent the month of May celebrating my 50th! I was so spoiled by all of the calls, cards, texts, and messages I received for my birthday this year. Y’all made turning the big 5-0 so much fun! I was able to spend time with family on my special day. Steve and I stayed the night at the Boarding House in Pawhuska and Meg joined us for dinner at The Mercantile and a painting class. The next night, we celebrated even more with friends at P-Town Pizza. We also took a siblings trip to Arizona with my brother and sister which I’ll write more about later. I have to say that so far, the 50s are treating me well and I’ve never felt more blessed.

ann's 50th birthday

 

Steve’s nephew graduates from high school

Our nephew, Connor, graduated from high school in Hays, Kansas, this year. Meghan met us in Pawhuska and the three of us drove to western Kansas to help Connor and his family celebrate. It was fun to look back at all of Connor’s school pictures and read about his many academic and athletic accomplishments. It’s hard to believe he is 18 and will be starting college at Coe College (and playing soccer there) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa this fall.

Steve with nephew Connor

Family together to celebrate Connor's graduation

Celebrating our mothers

With all of the other celebrations going on, it was nice to be able to spend time with both our moms the week of Mother’s Day. After Meghan’s graduation in Tulsa, they joined us in Pawhuska for a few days. We ate lots of good food and indulged in delicious Tillamook ice cream together at Charlie’s Sweet Shop. We love our moms, Gayle and Carol, and are so thankful that we had time with both of them this year around Mother’s Day.

Our moms in front of The Mercantile

 

Now that I’ve actually written this all out, I’m coming realize why we haven’t gotten a blog post done in several weeks! It’s a busy time of year, but one that I always cherish and celebrate. Time with family and friends is a blessing, and I’m thankful we’ve had an abundance of it lately.

  • This is our Airbnb, Postcard Place. It's located right in Pawhuska, just a two and a half minute drive from the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile. It even has its own Instagram account, @postcardplce. ⁣
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Postcard Place can accommodate up to six people. With comfy bedding (including clean duvets for each new guest), USB ports by every bed, make-up remover wipes, comfy blankets for tv viewing, complimentary coffee/tea, creamer, full kitchen, soap, shampoo, hand lotion, and even a luggage scale, we've tried to think of everything you might want when spending a night away from home. Of course, we also provide stamped Pawhuska postcards so you can send greetings to those who couldn't come along on the trip.⁣
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Find Postcard Place on Airbnb and book it for your next trip to Pawhuska and come @visittheosage.
  • Perched high on a hill in Tuscany is the medieval village of Montepulciano. In the center of town is the piazza grande paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern in the 14th century. ⁣
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Standing in the piazza, looking at the bricks, we were filled with a sense of awe at the history these bricks have seen. They've been there for 700 years so have seen times of war and peace, celebration and sorrow. Generation after generation of townsfolk were born, lived and died, and all have walked on these bricks. ⁣
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This is one of the things we love most about traveling. It gives us an authentic feel for history, one we wouldn't have if we just stayed at home.
  • We were so tickled when @thechefandthedish reached out and asked us if we'd like to take a complimentary cooking class with them. They offer private cooking classes with chefs from all over the world that you can take right in your own kitchen. ⁣
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For this class, we Skyped with chef Paola who taught us to make strawberry risotto, traditional bruschetta, and a delicious poached pear dessert that blew our minds. ⁣
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Risotto always seemed like a difficult dish to make, but Chef Paola explained it so well that it wound up being pretty easy. We spent a great afternoon with friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a great meal after. A class with The Chef & The Dish is a great gift idea, as well. Follow the link in our bio, and you can read more about our class on our blog.
  • The world is a big place, and there's so much to discover. Go places, and see things. It doesn't matter if you don't have a detailed itinerary, either. Sometimes, it's more about the journey and what you see and experience along the way, than it is about the destination.
  • During our trip in Tuscany with @italyunfiltered, we stopped at a small family winery. After learning about the organic methods they use to produce high quality Chianti Clasico wines, we had a tasting. ⁣
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Wine tastings in Italy are nothing like those in the US. They are glorious affairs complete with delicious foods paired with the incredible wines. This particular winery brought us samples of homemade, organic jams made from fruits grown in the family's garden. We dabbed these on locally produced pecorino cheese. Yum!⁣
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We're so glad that we had a local driver and guide. Stopping here was a highlight of our Italian adventure, and we never would have found it on our own.
  • The village of Marsaxlokk, Malta, is famous for these brightly painted fishing boats. The design is rather ancient, possibly dating back to Phoenician times, though it's still used today because it is very strong and holds up well in rough weather. One feature of each boat's decorations, are eyes painted on the bow of the boat. These eyes are said to protect the people fishing while they are at sea.
  • The blue cobblestones of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, are actually part of a recycling project which started 500 years ago. Iron foundries in Spain produced huge piles of waste, called slag. Rather than throw these piles away, the slag was made into blocks which was placed into ships as ballast. The ballast was offloaded in Puerto Rico when they loaded products bound for Spain. The blocks were then used to pave the streets. ⁣
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Pretty good idea, and 500 years later, they are holding up well!
  • The Overseas Highway connects Key West and the Florida Keys to the mainland U.S. While the entire road is a marvel of engineering, the centerpiece is the Seven Mile Bridge, which runs over water for, well, seven miles.⁣
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The next time you're driving, reset your trip odometer and wait until it gets to seven miles. You'll see that's a pretty long distance. And then think about the fact that people built a bridge over water with no land to support them for that distance. Pretty incredible-especially since the first one was built in 1912.

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