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


28 October 2010


Daily Nonpareil Online
By Chad Nation, News Editor, cnation@nonpareilonline.com
Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:59 AM CDT
Citizens will have the chance to view the city through rose-colored glasses Friday.

People who live and work in Council Bluffs are asked to wear pink Friday to show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and numerous businesses have joined forces with the Council Bluffs Fire Department to raise funds for breast cancer research.

All month long, firefighters have been sporting pink T-shirts and polo shirts and have asked citizens to purchase the shirts to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Fund.

Chief Alan Byers said so far only 300 of the 3,000 shirts ordered remain, and that number was dwindling Tuesday.

Capt. Jim Maaske said employees at Walgreen’s stores and U.S. Bank would wear pink shirts to show support for the cause, as well as teachers in some of the Council Bluffs Community Schools on their casual days.

Mayor Tom Hanafan signed a proclamation Monday at the City Council meeting declaring Friday pink day in the city.

“The City Council and I have bought T-shirts from the fire department and wore them to the last two council meetings,” Hanafan said. “I think it is a great way to show support.”
Hanafan said everyone at City Hall would be donning pink shirts or pink ribbons on Friday.

“It’s a pretty good message to send together,” he said. “A lot of people out there are suffering from cancer, whether it is breast cancer or another form.”

Hanafan urged residents and workers in town to show their support.

“It will be kind of colorful day around here, which I think is good.”

26 October 2010

Our Nation’s Capital at Night

Is gorgeous!!

We decided to venture out into the chilly temps to view the many monuments lit up at night. I highly recommend it to everyone. It was breathtaking.

And for the most part less crowded than during the day.

Other than the Lincoln Monument which was still packed!

I wish we would have trekked to the Capital as well and closer to the White House. Always next time.

25 October 2010

Army Ten Miler Completed!

I loved every minute of it. It was packed – 35,000 registered runners!

There were three waves – I made the mistake of starting in the last wave so had to jockey for a spot the first five miles or so. Next year I will arrive on time to ensure I start with the correct wave (determined by speed). I ran an extra .40 miles attempting to run around the slower runners or walkers! And I am not speedy. It took approximately 9 minutes before I even crossed the start line of my wave! Crazy eh? My time has improved from previous races though:
Gun / Net Time
1:58:31 / 1:36:59
11368 /21636
6.5Mi Split
Slowly but surely I will become a little faster and not a middle of the pact jogger! I had a great time. It was a gorgeous weather day, fun running around downtown DC past all the monuments, the capital, the white house. I remember years ago during my first Iraq deployment thinking it would be such a huge accomplishment to run the Army Ten Miler – I finally accomplished it and can’t wait to run again.I even ran into a friend from that first deployment around mile 8! I honestly never thought I could run 10 miles, let alone a half. Amazing what you can accomplish with a bit of hard work and determination. Even more inspiring to me were the racers in wheelchairs or racing with a prosthetic limb.

Many many veterans participated and made me appreciate even more my health. Those that can overcome extreme injuries and loss of limbs, eyesight, or other trauma and come back strong enough to participate in an event such as this are true heroes! Heroes for protecting our freedom and heroes for overcoming barriers that have been placed upon them while protecting us. Thanks to each and every one of you. It was also sobering to see the many “in remembrance of or in memorial to” shirts being worn throughout the race – again a reminder we need to keep those protecting us in our prayers daily. And thanks to Justin and Kimberly for cheering me on from the sidelines due to injuries that prevented your participation. I know how unbelievably brutal that was to stand on the side and not run!

All photos by my little brother who will run this race next year with me :) except first photo which is from ATM site.

20 October 2010


I have the travel bug so I just booked tickets for the Christmas markets in Germany. I also realized I never finished posting photos from our last trip to Germany and Denmark! My dad had very few requests for the trip other than to drink Germany beer! In Denmark he also wanted a tour of the Carlsberg Brewery. We obliged (I may have consumed a Carlsberg beer, or several, during my stint overseas).

It was actually very interesting and full of history. The workers were originally allowed two jugs of beer a day. They could consume one over lunch and take the other home! Not a bad job perk! This is the original brewery.

It is now being relocated but still open for tours and worth a visit if you are in the area.

We got lucky and saw the horses – reminded me of the Budweiser Clydesdales.

At the end of the tour you get two free beers! Bonus. Was very fun to go through a checklist and a “smell” station where you would then pick the beer that coordinated with your preferences.

I accidently picked a “child’s beer” one try so was given three. I guess at Christmas time the children get to drink beer in Denmark! It was very low alcohol content and tasted like pop! Great experience – really sad we don’t get Carlsberg products in the US as it is excellent beer.

19 October 2010

Schoolhouse Memories

Turns out my elementary school (Glendale Elementary) is for sale as seen here. Quite cheap actually. I imagine it may not be in tip top shape. I am trying to convince my parents we should purchase it and convert into apartments.

I have seen this done before and it usually turns out super neat. So many memories at this tiny little neighborhood school. Anyone know of a similar project where a school was converted to apartments? I would love ideas.

16 October 2010

Pumpkin Patches are not just for Kids!!!

Turns out they can be fun for adults as well.

We had so much fun picking out our own pumpkins at the Pumpkin Barn.

A new addition to Council Bluffs and I must say I am loving it. Gorgeous place, friendly staff, lots of pumpkins, gourds, and other fall items

Hoping next year they will have a wider variety of pumpkins as I definitely plan to go back. Way more fun than buying pumpkins at the grocery store!

They also do hayrack rides, campfires, and other fun fall activities along with rent out the barn for parties.

15 October 2010

Fall Entries

Fall is most definitely here. Mornings and evenings are downright cold! I finally snapped a few photos of my porch.

(sorry I should have swept first! In my defense I swept and “staged” the porch last weekend, took photos, only to realize later I forgot to put in the memory card – oooops)
And the cabin

Simple but screams fall.