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.

  • Strawberry fields forever...⁣
⁣
While traveling, we adore stopping in farmers markets and checking out the fresh produce available for sale. When we saw these strawberries in Tallinn, Estonia, we just had to take a picture.⁣
⁣
The vibrant color of the berries tells us they were ripened naturally on the vine. You just don't get that color trucked in to a supermarket. And that natural ripening means, of course, that these are some of the sweetest strawberries you'll ever taste. Yum! #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #celebritycruises #cruising #seastheday #cruise #sea #beyondborders #humansatsea #cruiseaddict #cruisecritic #tallinn #lifeisbeautiful #cruiseship #cruiselife #estonia #strawberries #farmersmarket #lifeisshort #visitestonia #adventuregirls #tallinngram #berries
  • On our Baltic Sea cruise, we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. To get there, we had to sail through the Stockholm Archipelago. ⁣
⁣
For days leading up to our arrival in Stockholm, the captain of the ship kept telling us that we should plan to be up early so we could take in the scenery as we passed through the archipelago. After enough repetitions, we resolved to get up early to see what he was so excited about.⁣
⁣
We are so glad we set the alarm. That morning, we sat on our balcony and had breakfast watching some of the most beautiful scenery we'd ever seen pass by our cabins. We had an up-close view of land that we've rarely had from a cruise ship unless it was docked. ⁣
⁣
Sure, we travel to see specific things. Who doesn't? But we really love it when we find something like this that we didn't know existed, but it is so amazing it enriches our lives and makes us want to go back again and again.
  • In the @visitmasoncityiowa airport, is a new restaurant called CAVU American Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge. Offering chef-crafted foods and incredible cocktails, this restaurant has the best airport food we've ever eaten. In fact, we'll call this airport a destination.⁣
⁣
Pictured here is Chef Cassie's fried potato salad. This was her elimination dish from the show, "Master Chef." Apparently, Wolfgang Puck didn't think much of it. After trying it, we don't think much of Wolfgang Puck's taste.⁣
⁣
This dish, which is served warm, is composed of crispy fried potato chunks covered in delicious potato salad dressing. The combination of flavors and textures had us going back for more. #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #midwestliving #midwestlivingmag  #midwestmoment #igersmidwest #midwestisbest #masoncity #clearlake @masoncity
  • In Rochester, Minnesota, in the shadow of the famed Mayo Clinic, is a beautiful pedestrian area called the Peace Plaza. Because of its location, it's often the last area a person walks through as they go to the clinic hoping for help. And, it's the first place people pass as they leave the clinic sometimes with good news, other times to confront their own mortality.⁣
⁣
The designers of the plaza seemed to understand the huge role the space would play in the lives of the people coming through. They designed it as a calming, meditative space filled with tranquility. It's a place you can refocus a little, and take some time to transition from the clinic to the world. And, it's just one more example of the ways that @minnesotas_rochester demonstrates humanity to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year to the clinic.
  • Are these salt and pepper shakers not the cutest?? Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a magical place at Christmastime. We stopped by the @pwmercantile this morning and snapped a few new pics. Getting excited for the Holiday Lights Parade tonight!
  • We have four holiday gift guides up on the blog for the traveler, home cook, cruise lover, and road tripper on your shopping list! Just click on the link in our bio to check out our blog. ⁣
⁣
One of our all-time favorite items (it made two of our lists) are these @EagleCreek packing items. This starter set goes with us on every single trip. Last year, Steve packed 16 size XXL shirts in on of them. They are super lightweight, safe space in your suitcase, and help you stay organized as your travel. ⁣
⁣
What are your favorite gift ideas for travelers this year? ⁣
⁣
#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #giftideas #giftsfortravelers #traveler #travelgifts #giftguide #roadtrippin #packingtips #packingbags #howtopack #packlight #eaglecreek #celebritycruises #travelblogger #packing #packinghack #giftsph #holidayshopping #giftidea #travelgram #packing101
  • Who's ready for some pumpkin pie??⁣
⁣
The thought of digging in to a piece of pumpkin pie (served with a cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer) takes us back to a small town festival we love. ⁣
⁣
A few years ago, our town of Crete, Nebraska, began holding the Great Pumpkin Festival during the first weekend of October.⁣
⁣
From spring to fall, local volunteers tend gardens filled with pumpkin vines so that folks who come to the festival can take home a reasonably priced, locally-grown pumpkin. ⁣
⁣
The festival is full of games, food, performances and fun. It's a wholesome day where the town turns out to celebrate another year together in a relaxed, calm atmosphere.⁣
⁣
Does your town have a festival? Tell us about it in the comments below.
  • ***NEW BLOG POST *** Today is exactly 8 months since we started our weight loss journey using the @noom app. See how we’ve lost 126.3 pounds while traveling. Just click on the link to our blog that’s in our bio to read our answers to your most asked questions about weight loss. And click to the second photo here to see our “before” pic.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska