Katie & Sean Are Engaged!


My adorable best friend Katie got engaged to the wonderful and talented Sean this weekend! I am so excited for the happy couple as they make plans for their wedding, and for life together.

Oh the joy!

So much joy & excitement & cute-ness!

I got to celebrate with Katie and Sean the day after their engagement, and we even had time to take a few pictures.

Such a happy season to celebrate!

Such a happy season to celebrate!


April Showers Bring May Weddings


You guys. I attended six showers this year. SIX. Wedding and baby showers. All I can say is, good thing I enjoy cutesy and dainty because, well, six showers is a lot!

The showers I attended were in anticipation of weddings and babies being born. In the timeline of events, the first wedding took place this past weekend!


Hometown weddings call for hometown friends. What could be better?

Anna was a beautiful bride and her day was nothing short of lovely. I was so happy to celebrate Anna and Ben. What a fun night!

I Turned Twenty-Three


Good morning and happy Friday y’all! Last Friday I was celebrating my 23rd birthday and I have to say it was one of my favorite birthdays yet!

My bro and I went to Madison for a meeting about glass. (Seriously, I need to write a recycling post one of these days. Stay tuned!) We arrived to the city early so we got to go to Colectivo Coffee!

Notice the capitol building perfectly framed in the background. When it comes to pictures, Dan knows what he's doing!

Notice the capitol building perfectly framed in the background. When it comes to pictures, Dan knows what he’s doing!

After our meeting, Dan and I went to lunch with our sister Elizabeth. Talk about double perfection! I loved the quality time we shared together.

I got to squeeze in a workout after lunch, which was ideal. Never had I ever thought I would want to go to the gym on my birthday, but hey! Why not start out 23 on the right foot (wearing Nikes). 😉

Friendship, est. 1992.

Friendship, est. 1992.

I celebrated at night with Kara and Megan, two of my favorite friends. One of our stops was for fondue, and we wore fun hats.

The other thing I completely adored about my birthday was all the texts, instagram posts, facebook comments and messages, emails, and calls from the people I love thinking of me on my day.

I am thankful for my 23rd year. May it be a wonderful one!



Successful Surprise: Sister Style!


My sister-in-law Melissa turned 25 on February 5, and we celebrated her birthday this weekend!

ImageElizabeth and I planned a surprise party! A group of close family members surprised Mel at a pizza place. We then went to a wine and painting studio (I loved embracing my inner artist!) and we ended the night at a third location for drinks and snacks.

ImageI’m thankful that we got to celebrate Melissa with these people. Happy birthday to my new sister. I hope 25 is a wonderful year!

Embracing the Constant: Happy 22nd Kara


I am in a transitional stage of life right now. I’m learning to embrace the role of an employed non-student young adult. I’m missing some college friends and already forgetting what it’s like to have homework (clearly post-college life isn’t all bad). But there’s something so sweet and refreshing about constant things in life… like my friend Kara!

I was born one month, one week, and one day after Kara (read: my birthday is soon, people- take note!). But for real, today is Kara’s birthday and I love that we have literally been friends for our entire lives. I remember Kara coming over after pre-school (I mean it when I say we go way back). Strangely, I remember eating Spaghetti-O’s and watching Pokey Little Puppy at my old house with Kara. I also remember going through junior high and high school with this sweet friend. I remember working at the fair with her as a high school fund raiser, and I remember having good chats with her over Christmas and summer breaks. I love that I got to celebrate with Kara a few years back when her sister got married; I love that Kara got to celebrate with me this past October when my brother got married.

I love that I have pictures like this with Kara:


I must say, we clearly rocked the 90’s. Check our our awesome fashion. Although I do think it’s probably best that we both nixed the bangs!

Here’s to a beautiful and wise, sweet and caring friend. I hope you love being 22!

One Year: A Blogiversary


Don’t worry guys, blogiversary is a registered word in the [Urban] Dictionary so there’s instant credibility for my word choice right there.

WordPress notified me that I registered for sjongetjes.wordpress.com one year ago today!

I started this blog as This Is My Year! in order to record my interim trip to Italy. I’m so happy with all the directions this blog took. With 300 posts and 105 followers, I’m thrilled and thankful for everyone who’s joined me in this journey!


If I could buy a round of these fantastic Italian coffee chocolate drinks, believe me, I would. The best I can do is say cheers, and recommend that if you ever visit Italy to definitely indulge in one a few of these.

My Mom Is The Bomb


See what I did there, with the rhyming post title? I figured I can be a little cheesy/clever in honor of my mom’s birthday. One great thing about my mom’s birthday being just six days before Christmas is that I’ve always been around to celebrate with her! Unlike most years when mom makes her own birthday dinner, we went to Dan and Melissa‘s house to celebrate this year. A great time was had by all!

I hardly know where to start as far as saying how/why my mom is the bomb, so here’s five reasons:

  1. 99.9% of the time she is supernice (yes I just quoted Jenna Marbles there). But it’s true! My mom is super thoughtful and compassionate, always caring for the feelings of others.
  2. She’s the best shopper out there. My mom and I have spent so much quality time together in boutiques and malls.
  3. She is a hard worker; she’s self-motivated and determined. She gets tons of food and housework organized for holiday parties, she always has the yard looking good and she scrubs the floor without complaining.
  4. She has her priorities straight. By example, she taught me to take care of nice things but that materialism isn’t anything to stress about- I’m so thankful my mom never yelled at me for chipping a dish, and for never freaking out about lost/stolen stuff.
  5. She loves life. I’m thankful to see my parents thriving in this empty nest stage of life. My mom has the house decorated all cute for Christmas, she’s always down to play a game, she still appreciates a good frappuccino or making a stop for frozen yogurt…basically she’s really fun and I love her for it.

Of course there is nothing exhaustive about this list, and I can confidently say these five items do not do justice to the awesomeness of my mom. But basically she’s the bomb and I love her!

ImageThree pictures, from 1993ish, 1999ish, and 2009ish, displaying our natural tendencies to match.