Top 8 of Twenty Fourteen…

I’m a little late, but 2014 was a great year!  I’m not always the best about blogging, but there were some really great things that happened to the Launes in 2014.

In no particular order…

1. We went to Africa…again!  I love this place and the people there. 


2. I turned 30.  I’m a little melancholy on this one because 30 still seems just old to me.  However, I got to celebrate it with some of my favorite people!


3. 30 before 30.  I decided around the end of January to create a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I turned 30.  I was mostly successful, but am still chipping away a little bit on some of the items.  Some I am most proud of are that I ran over 500 miles, climbing a mountain and reading the entire Bible in a (little over) a year.

4. Made the move to Greenville.  I don’t know that it is at the top of my list, but it definitely was a big change in 2014.  In June we packed up and made the move 500 miles east to Greenville.  Just today I unpacked the final three boxes of leftover junk that I stored for 6 months.


5. Market to Market Relay…this was my 6th time running Market to Market and our team kind of rocked it this year!


6. The Rustic Edge…I participated in my first craft fair.  It was a lot of work and a lot of fun.  Now if I could only get my Etsy shop up and running!


7. Mount Elbert…on our summer vacation to Colorado Trent and I hiked Mount Elbert, the second highest peak in the lower 48.  It was brutal, but awesome!


8. Audrey Rebecca…my sweet new niece entered into the world on April 25th.  I can’t believe she is already almost 9 months old.  She is getting such a personality.   We love to hang out in person, but FaceTime is pretty fun too!

Baby 2


Twenty fourteen was a great year, to say the least.  Picking just eight moments that stood out wasn’t easy.  There were so many little moments in the everyday that didn’t even make the blog (partially because I am not always so good about blogging).  I am looking forward to seeing was twenty fifteen has in store!

{The Launes}



Merry and Bright…

For the first time in a long time I can say that I’ve been too busy to blog.  Kind of.  I subbed 4 days this week…3 in kindergarten and 1 in first grade.  They were not all full days, but as Trent said, “I’m bringing home the paper!”  And they were exhausting.  All I can say is God bless kindergarten teachers (and I know some really good ones!) 

Anyway, before I get any more behind I am going to do a quick picture update of Christmas break.  It was two and a half glorious weeks home in Nebraska! 


Friday night we headed out to our annual girls’ night Christmas outing.  This year we ate at Mark’s Bistro followed by A Christmas Story at the Rose Theatre.


Monday evening Jamie and I rang the bell for the Salvation Army at Hy-Vee.  We had a lot of fun singing our favorite Christmas carols.  We had a particularly special rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas…


I also got to play a little catch up with a special little girl.  She’s getting so big.  We had lots of fun!


Christmas Eve morning we celebrated Kooper and her 1st birthday!


Na-na-na-na…na-na-na-naaaaa Landry Man!


Christmas Day…




Little fingers playing the piano…


Another tradition continues with New Years Eve morning breakfast…


And New Years Eve we celebrated!  Dinner at Toast and time with a few of my favorite people and favorite games.  And my fancy Trader Joe’s Chardonnay grape juice that I got for Christmas :)


Happy 2015 to you!

{The Launes}


R.A.C.K. Twenty Fourteen….

For the 4th year in a row I have created and carried out a R.A.C.K. list (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness).  It brings me so much joy to share the spirit of Christmas with others…especially those who are least expecting.    It’s a work in progress…some have been completed and some are still on the to do list. 

Buy a hot cocoa or latte for Salvation Army bell ringers: Coming soon to a bell ringer near you! 

Playing Secret Santa: For the past few years we have adopted a family that might need a little extra Christmas cheer.  It’s completely anonymous and so much fun to think about how a family’s Christmas has been blessed when they were least expecting it.

Bell Ring for Salvation Army: Still coming…can’t wait to ring the bell with Jamie in Omaha on Monday!

Donate canned goods to food pantry: In the past I have matched my classes donation to the food pantry. but this year I just donated some items on a couple of different occasions.

Volunteer at the food pantry: I spent a Thursday afternoon a couple weeks ago volunteering at the food pantry in Greenville.  I really enjoyed helping the people and also meeting some of the other volunteers (who were mostly retired :) )

Deliver Christmas treats to neighbors: We have always been lucky to have good neighbors, both back and Nebraska and here in Illinois.  It is always fun to deliver some Christmas goodies to them.  I didn’t do quite as much baking this year, but I was able to throw together a nice plate of cookies with some not so pretty Oreo balls and make a delivery.

Leave a gift for the mailman in the mailbox: For whatever reason this is one of my favorite R.A.C.K.s each year.  It is so much fun sneaking a little gift card into the mailbox for our unsuspecting mail carrier.  This is such a busy time of year for them.

Invite someone over for dinner: We have had lots of dinner guests over the past couple of months.  Players come over almost once a week for a nice home cooked meal (or as close as I get to a home cooked meal).  We also unintentionally fulfilled this R.A.C.K. with some dinner guests last night.

Donate Clothes to someone in need

Nursing Home – Adopt a Resident: For the 4th year in a row I also played secret Santa to the nursing home in Ashland.  The first two years I created several small gift bags for some of the residents.  However, the past two years some local community members organized an adopt a resident program.  This year I was able to purchase a gift for a resident that will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Buy items for soldier care packages: Bond County (the county that Greenville is in) was collecting items to make care packages for local soldiers.  I have always wanted to send a care package to a soldier, but didn’t really know how to go about doing it.  This was the perfect opportunity as all I had to do was buy the items and drop them off in town.  Soldiers give so much to us by sacrificing their time and families to serve our country and protect us.  I wasn’t able to actually help pack the care packages, but 65 boxes were packed to send to soldiers who are from the Bond county area!

Operation Christmas Child: Back at the end of November, Trent and I packed two boxes to send overseas as part of Operation Christmas Child.  This year I was able to get a tracking number to hopefully see where our boxes end up.  Also, have you seen this story?  I came across it online and it was a simple reminder that God is so much bigger than anything we could ever imagine. 


Donate to The Raining Season Christmas party at the orphanage: It has been a long couple of months for the kids and staff at the Covering in Sierra Leone.  Ebola continues to rage on in West Africa and the number of cases in Sierra Leone has surpassed its neighboring countries.  The children at the orphanage have been on lockdown for about 4 months and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.  In the past we have sent small gifts for the kids that we sponsor, but this year there is no way to get their gifts to them.  Instead,  we will donate a small amount of money so that all of the children can have some type of a Christmas celebration.

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness are about taking the attention away from a “me” world and bring the focus back to the real meaning of Christmas.  While it does bring me so much joy to do these things, I am most grateful for the joy that it brings to others. 

For today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, He is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:11

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!


{The Laune's}



The Rustic Edge

I recently decided to dip my toes into the craft fair world.  It was something I have wanted to do for quite awhile, but never had the guts to do it.  However, with a little free time on my hands and a rather low risk opportunity, I decided it was the perfect time to jump right in.  It took a lot of time mixed with some late nights and creativity.


The majority of the work was completed the week before the craft fair because I had to pick up some of the tools when we were back home for Thanksgiving.  My house was literally a disaster at times with projects spanning over every possible surface turned work area.


Bella even tried to help out a little!


However, the end result were some very nice little items including these door hangers…there are still a select few available for purchase :)



My table…stationed right between Scentsy and Jamberry Nails.  I did not have a very good system for displaying my door hangers, but with a little balance, it worked!


Tile coasters were a big hit.  I sold the most of these! 


Handmade cards and ornaments…another big hit!  My ornaments even nearly sold out.

And with that, The Rustic Edge has come into existence.  I couldn’t have done it without Trent and his jigsaw and miter saw.  He was a big help in that area!  Overall, it was a great first experience.  Expectations were pretty low and my sales were pretty good.  I think the craft fair world has really changed with independent sales companies such as Thirty One, Origami Owl and Scentsy.  There is a lot less handmade and a lot more factory made.   But it was still an experience that I wouldn’t mind trying again.  Until next time…


{The Launes}



Oh So Thankful…

It seems like I barely blinked and we are over a week into December.  I’m not quite sure where time is going, but it seems to be quickly slipping away.  I have a lot on my to do list this week, but I have finally begun to do a little Christmas decorating and hopefully I will be able to get started on some Christmas shopping today.  But before I jump right into Christmas, I have to do a little rewind to Thanksgiving!

The week before Thanksgiving we had a little pre celebration with some of the football players.  A lot of the guys are from far away and don’t get to go home for Thanksgiving so I thought it would be fun to make a full Thanksgiving meal for them.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun and I think the guys appreciated it. 


Then, on Monday afternoon we headed back to Nebraska.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I was especially excited this year because we got to go home and spend a few days with family and celebrating.  Saying it was a chance to rest and relax would be an exaggeration.  I was actually running around trying to see everyone and do everything burning the candle at both ends that I got a little sick.  Or a lot sick.  Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like barely being able to eat my Thanksgiving meal and spending most of the day in bed.  Being a little under the weather aside, it was a great trip with great food and even better company.


This was fun!  There is nothing better than running into your best friend in the bathroom at the football game and having no idea she was even going to be there!  There was a major double take in the mirror to make sure I was seeing things right.  It was great catching up during the game.


On Tuesday, we went from one Bluejay event to the next.  Creighton basketball is my favorite!


Then, bright and early Wednesday morning I met up with my mom. We enjoyed Wahoo, church and breakfast.


Wednesday evening I finally got to see this cutie.  She is getting to be such a big girl sitting up and eating big kid food.  And she is happy like all the time…


Those. Eyelashes…


Thanksgiving was a little bit of a fog since I was under the weather, but I did snap this picture of Trent reading to all of the nieces.


Thankfully, Friday was round two of Thanksgiving and I was feeling a lot better.  We enjoyed more delicious food and lots of quality time!


Finally on Saturday the girls enjoyed a nice little lunch at Jayz.  I won a gift card there so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share.

It was a busy trip home.  As soon as we hit the road I was already counting down the days until I would be back for Christmas.  We are currently at 9 days and counting.  In the meantime, I have to get busy so I am ready to go!

{The Launes}