I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.


26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I am very grateful to be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family and friends. I am fully aware that not everyone gets to spend this day with family enjoying a wonderful meal. Please remember all those serving overseas and also those don't have the means to celebrate Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all I have been blessed with and will try not to take any of it for granted. Holidays away from family can be hard, they are also make you miss family members you have lost. This is the first Thanksgiving in several years I am with my family, the last four out of six Thanksgivings were celebrated in a different country. I loved my time overseas and would jump on a plane today if I could, but the holidays were a little rough. However, that life became the norm so it seems almost strange to be heading to my parents for Thanksgiving.

In 2005 I spent Thanksgiving with a great group of friends enjoy a meal at the DFAC at Camp Victory, Iraq. (Photos will come later as I think I left the CD at work :(. They are entertaining so I will post)

The staff went all out for us on Thanksgiving and it was amazing and entertaining. A great day but I missed my family dearly as the first year I had missed a Thanksgiving.

The second Thanksgiving spent in Iraq was surprisingly enjoyable. I had a lovely Thanksgiving lunch with my coworkers in the DFAC in the IZ (International Zone). Not quite the same presentation as Camp Victory but still fun.
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And then had a very fun night celebrating Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Joey's birthday at the local Chinese Resturaunt (you don't want to know what a Chinese Resturant in Iraq entails trust me. It is probably a miracle I am alive with no strange diseases). A great Birthday and Thanksgiving even if I was thousands of miles from home.

What more can a girl want for her birthday than lots of cute PSD boys to celebrate with. On a side not that hat belonged to a PSD guy - not my normal attire.

Three years ago I was between overseas tours and luckily home for Thanksgiving (and Christmas!). We had Thanksgiving at my house. My Grandma Head was still alive at the time, makes me wish over the years I had been better about taking photos.

I have no photos of Thanksgiving my first year in Kuwait as pathetically I stayed home by myself all day and decorated for Christmas. I didn't even eat Thanksgiving food. At the time that seemed the best option. Last year however, was a different story. I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey (for Turkey day - funny eh?) with several coworkers/friends. We had a great time. My 30th birthday fell on Thanksgiving so we spent the day shopping in the amazing bazaar,

drinking Turkish beer, and Rake,

and having a very fancy Thanksgiving meal at the Four Seasons. I missed my family but had an amazing adventure.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. Grandpa VanEvery, Grandma VanEvery, and Grandma Head we miss you dearly and think about you daily. I am thankful this year for entirely too many items to list.

24 November 2009

Christmas for my porch.

I finally bought a mailbox. No clue why it took so long. My current mailbox situation may be slightly flawed.

Classy eh? Even the new mailman was giving me a hard time. Embarrassing. I found a cool mailbox in Germany but for some reason didn’t purchase it. Luckily last time I was in KC I stopped into Restoration Hardware and found the perfect one (for me anyway). I ordered this mailbox.

These house numbers.

And this doorbell cover (as mine is plastic and yellowish – ewwww).

I love arriving home to boxes as it feels like Christmas or my Birthday (which is Friday in case anyone wants to buy me a present). Now I just need my handy brother or dad to help me hang/install each item and remove the horrid aluminum/screen door. Not sure what do do - go with no screen door or try to find a wood one?

Random Craving

I listen to a UK station (channel 11) on Siruis as I love the accents. It’s the whole obsession with all things British. This morning they were discussing favorite snacks and one chose Digestives. I am now craving Digestives smeared with Nutella.

Or the milk chocolate Digestives with milk.

Yummy! I have no idea where to find Digestives though, we just started carrying Nutella a few years ago. Maybe a trip to the UK is needed...

22 November 2009

2 weeks from today

Make plans to attend the Historic Homes for the Holidays Tour hosted by the Council Bluffs Historic Preservation Society.

My home is on the tour. Makes me nervous to say the least! I spent a majority of the weekend (except a much needed break today to cheer on the Jays) decorating for Christmas. Lots more decorating planned as can't disappoint. On the 13th of December (also a Sunday) I am participating in the Lewis Central Vocal Music Holiday Parade of Homes.

Two opportunities to support great causes and get Christmas decorating ideas (or just snoop through our homes!).

20 November 2009

I often crave relaxation, peace, and solitude

I have already expressed my love for this tiny little town and farmland.

My family loves it there and we really want to build a new cabin. Just not in the cards at the moment, mainly due to logistics (lack of time, hard finding solid labor in a town of 400). I have proposed a mobile home as a temporary solution. Many turned up their nose at the idea. I am a firm believer that anyplace can be made beautiful and homey with a little work and creativity (shoot I lived in a shipping connex for over a year!). Yesterday I stumbled across the Frugal Farmhouse Design blog and found these gorgeous photos.

Believe it or not these rooms are inside a mobile home!

Proof that we could have the perfect little getaway for very little money, virtually no headaches, and a small amount of time. I think I may start searching for a mobile home.

19 November 2009

Council Bluffs City Council Election Night

I finally have photos from election night – thanks Aunt Debbie! Looking at photos today brought back a mixture of memories. I remember how fast I wanted the day to go. All day I was antsy for 8 so we could get results. As 8 drew near I got more and more nervous. Justin and I went to vote late afternoon and hit the Y to relieve stress.

Then a big group of awesome supporters stopped over for lasagna to pass the time.

It was great being surrounded by friends and family to help ease the election stress.

Around 830 we headed to the courthouse for the results. It’s funny as once 8 actually rolled around I suddenly wanted to turn back time. I wasn’t ready for the results as was extremely worried about the outcome. So much time had been vested (mine and many others) and I was very excited about the possibility of a city council position that losing would have been very hard. I tried to prepare myself and remind myself that it wouldn’t matter and it was a wonderful experience either way. It didn’t work. The courthouse was packed.

It took a little over an hour for the results to come in. They rolled in precinct by precinct, slowly at first.

Then all a sudden in a matter of minutes the final six precincts came in and it was over. Results were posted.

I WON!! I was so excited, surprised, and overwhelmed. I never expected to come in first and especially not by so many votes. A great feeling for sure and a chance to finally relax, breathe, and enjoy all the congrats I was receiving (along with advice).

A great evening full of anticipation, stress, excitement, and joy. Now the hard work begins!! Thanks again to everyone that supported me and will hopefully continue to support me throughout my term.