2016 in Review

It’s unbelievable how much can happen in just 365 days! If you’d like – take a trip down memory lane with our recaps from 2011201220132014, 2015 or keep reading for our review of 2016.
This year…
  • We both turned 27 years old.
  • We celebrated 13 years together + our 5th wedding anniversary.
  • We got pregnant! Our baby boy is due Feb. 2017 and we’re beyond excited.
  • We officially became debt free! Bye bye student loans and car loans.
  • We continued to work for the same companies we’ve been at the last 5 yeas. Ryan’s in the returns department at an electrical supply distributor and I’m a recruiter at a search firm that focuses on engineering/automation.
  • We were able to be a part of big days in our friends and families’ lives; notably Elecia + Austin’s wedding, Nicole + Brian’s wedding, my brother’s graduation from college, and our friends, Brandon + Sarah, buying a cafe and announcing they’re expecting a baby.
  • We also traveled to Kauai, got new tattoos, started brewing kombucha, discovered new games to play (check out Quixx and Betrayal at House on the Hill), and spent a lot of time with friends and family.

What a year it’s been! Can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring; it’s sure to be a wild one! 

catching up

It’s been 5 months since I last posted so I thought I’d better catch up before the end of the year! Here’s what’s been going on with us…

  • We announced to friends & family that we’d be parents in 2017! Our little one is due at the end of January/beginning of February.
  • We traveled to Illinois to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday.
  • I attended Nicole’s bachelorette party where we did yoga and went to the dance mile. Ryan went to Brian’s bachelor party and had a blast.
  • I turned 27.
  • We heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
  • We traveled to Illinois to cheer as Elecia + Austin tied the knot.
  • Ryan’s dad, Steve, came to visit – as did our friends Cory + Matt.
  • We traveled to Indiana to visit Ryan’s family, enjoy the Little Italy Festival, and watch Brandon + Sarah renew their vows.
  • We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary on the same day our friends, Nicole + Brian, got married. We were both in the wedding too.
  • We had an ultrasound and found out that Baby Carty is a boy!
  • My friend and roommate from college, Katie, came to visit – it was her first time to the Twin Cities so we had a lot of fun exploring and eating.
  • We toured what felt like a zillion daycares.
  • We met with and hired a doula for support during delivery.
  • We attended a cloth diapering 101 class.
  • We had a wonderful time celebrating at our baby shower. The love, support, and excitement was incredible.
  • We spent Thanksgiving back in Illinois with friends & family.
  • We paid off our last car loan and are now totally debt-free!
  • I started a 6-week recruiter training course/bootcamp.
  • We attended childbirth/childcare classes.
  • The rest of the month we plan to spend spent working, prepping for baby, and enjoying the holidays with friends + family.

weekend review

Hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend! We sure did. Our friends, Brandon and Sarah, drove up to see us from Indiana so we packed their visit full of good food and fun activities.

Friday night they arrived around 9pm, so we just grabbed a late dinner and played a few rounds of Quixx (a dice game). Saturday we slept in, made biscuits and gravy, and then spent time wandering the Mall of America and eating gelato. For dinner we had juicy lucy burgers and honey-glazed cheese curds at the Nook before heading home to enjoy cupcakes for my birthday and play a new board game we bought – Betrayal at House on the Hill. It’s a suspenseful strategy game that involves exploring an old haunted mansion. I was skeptical at first but am now addicted!


Sunday we picked up drinks at 5 Watt Coffee and then headed to the Midtown Global Market to check it out and have lunch. Brandon couldn’t stop raving about the Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) he ate. We stopped by the Stone Arch Bridge to enjoy the view and explore a little. It was a beautiful day but a bit warm, so we escaped to the movies to take a break. We saw Finding Dory and really liked it! After the show it was time for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants – The Rusty Taco. We were really excited to take Brandon and Sarah there. Thankfully they loved it! After dinner, we headed home to play more Betrayal at House on the Hill and a game of Ticket to Ride.

Monday we popped over to Glam Doll Donuts to pick up tasty treats for breakfast and then spent the afternoon at Canterbury Park getting sunburned, eating free hot dogs, and cheering on the horses and wiener dogs that were racing. That evening we played one more round of Betrayal on House on the Hill before calling it a night. Brandon and Sarah left early Tuesday morning and while we were sad to see them go it was so nice having the long weekend to spend with them!

weekend review

My mom and grandma came up to see us and if their visit had a theme I’d say it was “good times & good eats”. Aside from playing cards, watching movies, swimming, and visiting the Stone Arch Bridge Festival… we pretty much spent the rest of our time eating around the city! We hit up Red Cow, Melting Pot, Mozza Mia, Bruegger’s Bagels, and Paciugo Gelato…twice! What can I say – we really know how to do it up right. 😉



This month…


My brother graduated from college! It was very exciting but also bittersweet because the university he attended is closing its campus. Ryan graduated from this college too and we have many friends, neighbors, and family that will be impacted by the closing. But hopefully, all will be on to bigger and better things – my bro included. He’s currently on tour for a month with a doom metal/rock band as their roadie/guitar technician. Quite the post-graduation adventure if you ask me!

We had a game night with old friends and new. Many laughs were had by all! If you’re looking for a good party game pick up The Game of Things – I promise everyone will love it.

We saw Ryan’s sister when she and a friend came up to Minneapolis for a Beyoncé concert. It was a short visit but they had a blast and we were happy we could provide them with a place to crash.

My friend, Jessica, and I went to “Arts in the Park” in Eden Prairie. It was a gorgeous day for it (80s, sunny) and we both had a nice time wandering around the festival. We also took a lovely long walk around Lake Nokomis.

We had a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend. We went out for dinner, watched a movie or two, and enjoyed the nice weather. I also met up with Jessica to hike around Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve before cooling off at our apartment’s swimming pool.

Looking forward to more fun, sun, and pool time in June!

Life Lately

This poor blog’s been pushed to the back burner lately so I thought it would be nice to stop by and check in!



Ryan & I spent the first part of March on vacation in Kauai (trip recap: Part 1Part 2, Part 3).

Ryan earned a promotion at work and is now Lead Returns Coordinator.

My company hosted an office party and took everyone out to dinner at Crave, followed by an evening of laughs at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theater.

We spent Easter weekend in Nebraska with Ryan’s brother and his little family. Ryan’s sister also made the trip out which was a real treat!



This month was pretty low-key.

To commemorate our upcoming wedding anniversary, Ryan and I both added pineapples to our tattoo collections. They represent our love for the Hawaiian islands and will remind us of the two visits to HI that bookend for our first 5 years of marriage (honeymoon on Oahu + anniversary trip to Kauai).

Besides getting inked we spent time with friends, went to the movies, shopped around for a new kitchen table before snagging one off Craigslist, kept up with our workout routines, started spring cleaning, ate at the Rusty Taco, and enjoyed the few sunny days that popped up.

We’re looking forward to more warm days and the fun activities that are coming up.

Hope you’re all having a nice spring so far! ❤

✈ Kauai | Part 3

We’re recapping our vacation to Kauai! Need to catch up? Here’s Part 1  + Part 2.

Day 7: Tubing a Former Sugar Plantation

We had another big day planned so we breakfasted at Living Foods Market & Cafe under the eye of a watchful lizard. Ryan had cinnamon apple crepes while I had a cinnamon roll and another local kombucha. This one was brewed by Kauai Island Kombucha (which the cafe has on tap) and the flavor was Turmeric Tsunami (turmeric, ginger, and pineapple). Ryan was thirsty too so we swung by the Koloa Rum Co. for a quick tasting. Ryan really liked their spiced rum!


From there we moved on to our next activity – tubing. When I first heard about this, I practically signed us up on the spot! We love tubing and the opportunity to do it through the fields of a former sugar plantation was something I didn’t want to miss. Kauai Backcountry Adventures is the company that organizes these tubing tours and their guides are knowledgeable and very entertaining. Lots of laughs! After a van ride up a mountain road (with a quick stop to peek at Mount Waiʻaleʻale), they gave our group a safety chat and popped us in our tubes.


We sailed along the old irrigation canals and through five dark tunnels (which were hand dug in the 1800s!). It was a fairly gentle ride but with a few twists and turns. The water was only a few feet deep so it was safe, chill way to spend an afternoon. Everyone had fun kicking off the rocks and bouncing into each other’s inner tubes. In the tunnels, the headlamps on our helmets lit up the lichen-covered walls and ceilings. It looked like golden glitter!


A picnic lunch was provided afterward which quieted our growling tummies and gave us a chance to chat with our guides, who were locals. One of the guides tipped us off to hula pie, an absolutely scrumptious dessert as it turns out. Macadamia nut ice cream piled high on a chocolate cookie crust and topped with chocolate fudge, whipped cream, and more macadamia nuts… where can you go wrong?! It was a great way to end the day.


Day 8: A Soggy Send Off

The sound of rain woke us up early. It ended up storming until dinner but we didn’t let that stop us from making the most of our last day in paradise. For breakfast we dropped by Aloha Aina Juice Cafe in Puhi for an acai bowl (a really thick smoothie that’s been topped with granola, fruit, or peanut butter).


From there we drove up to the north side of the island. We wanted to visit Ke’e Beach (the last beach accessible by car on the north shore) but were forced to turn around early because the road was flooded out.


So we stopped by Wainiha Beach Park and Lumahai Beach instead.



When the rain picked up again, we hopped in the car and started to make the drive back down to the south shore. Along the way, Ryan saw a farmer’s market so we made a quick stop, dashed through the rain, and were rewarded with taro chips and an amazing piece of lilikoi cheesecake from The Right Slice.


Thankfully the clouds lifted once we reached Poipu. We took full advantage and ate supper outside (more kalua pork & pineapple pizza!). Just as we were leaving for the airport the skies shifted yet again revealing a beautiful farewell sunset.


Mahalo, Kauai! It was wonderful to experience the HI life with you.