First week of school. You wouldn't guess it if you took a look at my planner. This week has been long, long, long, and I can't quite find a better word to describe it.

Being in the college of ed is so cute. Really. All of our teachers bring us sweet home-baked goods, and we play lots of fun team games to get to know each other, and catch up at record breaking noises for college classrooms. However, we have more work to get done than I have hours in the day. I have class for 8 hours a day T, W, Th, (M, F - only 4) and about 2 hours of homework each day. Not to mention I'm working 15 hours this week. I'm trying, really trying, to not get overwhelmed. However, I think that ship has sailed.

Tonight though I'm taking the night off. I'm about to place an order for thai food with my new roommates and we're going to sit and chit-chat and enjoy a glass of wine and listen to the rain. I have already changed into my pj's and I'm starting to believe that maybe a night like tonight will be just what I need to get a fresh persective.


Double the Fun

I had the pleasure of finally attending a "Shields Wedding"!!

Joel and I drove down (and flew back) to Tennessee with his parents on Joel's 22nd birthday! We left at 5:30a (Thanks to Joel due to the face that his parents alarm didn't go off!) and were in Nashville by 2:30. I slept for most of the drive so it really wasn't half bad. Mostly in part to the sound machine I found on my iphone apps.
We made it!

On friday night we crashed Annie's ceremony. I hadn't even met Annie at this point and was brought to tears by her touching wedding. Her brother Corby is a youth pastor and married Annie and Trent. At the end of the ceremony the five of us (joels fam & me) went and had dinner at Barbra's Down Home Cooking. Barbra doesn't joke about the "home" part. The restaurant is actually in her home. We sat in her front yard and had some reeeeaaaallll southern food including and not limited to: fried chicken, fried catfish, fried ohkra, sweet tea, and mac & cheese. It was all delicious. We were just finishing up dinner when I heard screams coming from the side of Barbra's house. An old woman had fallen and couldn't get up. Joel, Andrew, and Mr. Shields sprinted over and lifted the woman to her feet. She was shaky but her response was priceless. , "Ya'll just picked up 200 pounds, such strong boys!". Clearly she was in a stable position. After dinner we went to a Honkey Tonk bar on Broadway and got to meet up with my cousin Anthony. Minus the fact that he had to make a trip to the E.R. (He had cut his ankle in the morning and it wouldn't stop bleeding), we had a great time dancing to country music and hanging out.

Ya gotta do, what ya gotta do

Annie's lovely ceremony

Roberts - The bar

Saturday Joel and I went to Vanderbilt University where Anthony goes to school to check things out. Anthony gave us the official tour and I was in awe. It is hands down the prettiest campus I have yet to see. Anthony insisted on taking us to the best bbq in Tennessee, Jacks. We stood in line for 45mins but it was most definitley worth it. It was so great to get a chance to visit Anthony on his turf and it's been great to become friends with him after years of not seeing each other.

Saturday night was the big reception. Their family yard had been transformed into a beautiful location for a wonderful weeding. The food was so amazing, (clearly this was not a weekend to do ANY kind of dieting!) food that included shrimp and grits, a meal Joel had been insisting I try. Overall we had a great time dancing and catching up with Joel's fam. The Tennessee Shields' were nicer and taller, than I would have ever hoped for! :)

Tennesse, California, Nevada, & Illinois!

Broadway in Nashville

The twins sharin' a dance

The goregous party



Every summer the Marino side of my family head to Plain, Wisconsin. My Uncle Dick & Aunt Jan live there and host an all weekend family party. The amount of fun and food that we have is quite honestly indescribable. This year we really missed Aunt Betty and Uncle Gavin.
Our matching babies (in at LEAST 10 years!)
Future BFF'sMady & Kuka

Nellie jammin for the crowds
Intense water basketball
chillinMady and Nellie - SO cute

Celebrating all of the August Birthday's

Random side note: Joel recently found out that he placed 3rd in his age group at the Chicago 1/2 Marathon and 33rd overall. Talk about awesome!

Meet & Greet

Last week, my first week home, my number one goal was to head downtown to meet baby Gavin. Mission accomplished. The sweet baby slept the entire time we were there and adorned some of the clothes we had given to him. Ryan is doing very well and only requested some thai food from Spoon, which was delicious. Our visit was short and sweet and I'm already looking forward to the next time.
The sweet boy

Baby Gavin meeting us girls for the 1st time
Sweet Pea

Future Hawkeye


My last weekend in Iowa City was spent celebrating Joel's 22nd birthday. His actual birthday is August 21st, but we wanted to do something special in Iowa City. On Friday night, I cooked up some appetizers and ordered in Sushi. On friday nights during the summer there are live bands in the middle of the ped-mall, so we sat outside and enjoyed the music. It was a great night.
The yummy spread

The big 2-2

Going to Psy-D school present :)

The band

Saturday night was Joel's planning. He had set up a private wine tasting for us at Muddy Creek. We had the best bottles Joel has bought to date, and said goodbye to our new friend Lyndee. After the wine, we headed to a new resturant in Iowa City called Chef's Table. It is a very fancy resturant and our food was impecable.

Sneaking in starbucks before a wine tasting?

Joely out did himself :)


Great resturant

Overall, it was a great way to end a great summer together.


Good News

Welcome to the world Gavin Tyrrell Lipinski

Gavin is the adorable first son of my cousin Ryan and her husband Keith. He was born on Tuesday afternoon and weighed 7lbs 110z.

I can't wait to meet ya, little guy!


Bad News

I came home from work this morning to find that! Not a warm welcome in my book. Last night Joel and I went to see The Proposal (so cute, worth seeing) and we got home about 11. Between 11pm last night at 7am this morning, Joel's car had been the victim of a crime ;)

A police officer had seen the damage and left a note in the car with a filed report. We came to find out later today that Joel's car was 1 of 5 in the city that had been vandalized last night. We ended up seeing another car on our walk to the library and spoke to the owner and the police at their house. There isn't much we can do about it but we're glad that the idiot who threw rock failed to notice the TV, dvd player, printer, and Ipod that happened to be sitting in the back seat!

Could have been worse...

The rock that was thrown in ended up landing on the driver's seat

All casted up until it can be fixed

So this Sunday, I'm forcing Joel to know watch She's the Man. It's a step up from College Roadtrip. He's quite the trooper.