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


29 April 2013

Easter - a Bit Delayed

Better late than never right? Our version of a family Easter this year - a trip to Niobrara with the two "crazy" Uncles, my parents, and grandpa. So many great memories and fun times. Only thing better would have been if my brothers and sister (soon to be sisters) could have joined us. Well according to my mom I am sure grandkids would make it a million times better!

The weather was mostly cold and rainy but luckily one day cooperated enough that I was able to drag everyone out of the cabin and to the farm for a walk and fresh air. Some were more cooperative than others.....

Izzy of course is always game for an outdoor adventure.
Loved having the whole family together for a weekend of great home cooked meals, cards, planning where to build a little shack in the woods, and relaxing.

Proof that I really was present. Taking down someone's turkey hut that was illegally placed on our property. Real kicker was the owner showed up while I was in the process and actually decided to get mad and argue with me about this "right" to have the hut on our property. People amaze me at times.

So lucky we have this place to escape as a family!

26 April 2013

It's Friday!!!

So excited to enjoy this weekend and the amazing sunny spring weather we are finally being blessed with! There might even be a fun last minute trip to somewhere hopefully even warmer and sunnier often known as the Happiest Place on Earth!

"Live life then, with a due sense of responsiblity - not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life, but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the evils of this day. Don't be vague but firmly grasp what you know to tbe the will of the Lord." Ephesians 5:15-17

Have an amazing weekend my friends and make the most of every minute!

25 April 2013

Justin's Farmhouse Progress

I have been slacking on the pictures of Justin's awesome farmhouse. I really need a nice sorta sunny day where I can take some pictures of our three finished rooms (the master bedroom, workout room, and living room)! Until then you are stuck with random Iphone pictures of in progress rooms. Right now I am tackling the stairway. Brutal  but will so be worth it in th end! You can already see a huge difference in these few photos with just the little bit of paint I removed.

Last night I actually got most of the paint off all the railings - but still some work to do. Thinking a nice crsip white for the walls. Also debating stripping that window you see down to wood instead of painting white like we did the other windows. What would you all do?

So wish I could devote more time or have a team of helpers for this project as the "to do" list is always way longer than the allocated time. I'm sure my brother is getting quite anxious to move in.

24 April 2013

NMC Council Bluffs Open House

NMC has a location in Council Bluffs and they had an open house to celebrate their first year of business. Normally not sure how jazzed I would be to go to a CAT equipment open house. But this one had two major selling points. 1. You get to drive a skid loader through an obstacle course and 2. My brother Erik works there now!

It truly was a great event - they had awesome BBQ, lots of drinks, fun prizes to win, and the highlight of the event was for sure the skid loader course!
I can't believe they really let rookies like me drive this sucker! After a quick set of instructions I was off.

Shockingly I didn't knock over a single cone or hit anything. Score for me. My time was like 2:18 with the fastest being :58, but hey I'm not a professional like that dude and it was my first time ever driving one of these!

It truly was pretty fun - I think we need one for the farm so we can do all kinds of dirt and yard work. Right? Thanks Erik for not being embarrassed by your crazy sister. If you need any equipment Erik is guy to call!

22 April 2013

The Gambler 2013 Half Marathon Race Report

Yesterday was the Gambler Half Marathon in Council Bluffs, I think this is my fifth year running this race! Crazy to think I have been running half marathons for like six years now.  I was very very unmotivated and less than enthused for this race. I let life get in the way of training and my longest training run ended up being 8 miles, probably a solid month prior to the race. Not ideal. We also had my little brother's engagement party the night before so I decided several glasses of wine were a great idea since my running time wasn't going to be anything to write home about. Regardless I really wanted to support this race since it's local, benefits a great local organization (Jennie Ed Breast Health Center), and I always know a lot of the race volunteers. I attempted to add some motivation by splurging on a new Lululemon running outfit - that store is danger I tell ya!

Managed to show up at the race about ten minutes before start time, find a few friends racing,  and trudge through 13.1 miles. I could tell about half way through the race I would be sore but other than that it really wasn't bad. I never felt like I was dying and enjoyed each water station and finding volunteers and racers I knew along the way. As you can tell below I was super excited to see my mom at the finish! Thanks mom for always showing up to support me at these crazy races.

We tried to go to breakfast afterwards but nothing was sounding good so instead enjoyed a free bagel and beer and took a nap. Score. Had to take a self portrait with the medal for proof I finished. Overall it wasn't my slowest race but certainly not my fastest either. I ended up finishing in 2:18:14. So about a 10:34 pace which seems slow compared to my friends and family that run but isn't horrid. Kicking myself now for not training a bit better or at least skipping the several glasses of wine Saturday night as maybe I could have had a decent time. Another run in the books anyway and without a doubt a great very organized fun race. There was even a moment of silence and prayer for the victims of Boston to start the race along with a dedication that today we run for Boston.

The race was followed up with a much needed nap, some time working on my brother's awesome house, and then a Creighton Baseball game with my mom and dad since the weather finally almost cooperated (still some sprinkles). Turned out to be a great day!

18 April 2013

It's Mid April and Snowing!

Why oh why is it snowing outside right now? Aren't we supposed to have spring showers and weather at least in the 50's? Spring is never going to grace us in Iowa with it's presence. I just keep telling myself at least we will have moisture this year and hopefully green green yards, lots of bright pretty flowers, and bountiful gardens (if we can ever plant them).

Until the weather improves some snaps from a recent Niobrara trip. Sometimes it's the simple little things in life that make one smile and the heart happy. Especially in crazy times like now where the Boston bombings and the Texas explosion have caused unbearable pain and loss. Such a good reminder to hug family and friends extra tight and say a few extra prayers of thankfulness for this life I am blessed with.

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the hear oft he sea, though its waters roar and foam an mountains quake with their surging" Psalm 46:1-3

17 April 2013


Another rainy dreary day here in the Midwest. Rumor has it no warmer temps or sunny skies till mid May!! What?? I mean go insane before then. I am so ready for summer and warm weather. On the plus side at least all this moisture is starting to turn everything pretty and green. Always a bright side.

Obviously these pictures have nothing to do with today - but they are pretty and make me happy so I am sharing them.

16 April 2013

Prayers for Boston

I ran last night with a heavy heart. Images of the horrendous attack in Boston flashing across the news I couldn’t seem to turn off. I can’t even being to express the sadness I feel for all of those injured, those who lost friends and family members, and even those who witnessed the horrific event. Lives will forever be changed. The injuries reminded me of those we would occasionally see in Iraq – the middle of a war zone – not those expected during a marathon in Boston in the US. All I can do is pray for everyone impacted and know that somehow God will get them through this time.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Council Bluffs is hosting The Gambler Half Marathon and 5k this Sunday. This is a chance to come together as a community of not only runners, but mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons....Americans.

It has been proven time and time again that attempts by those to strike fear in the American heart only strengthen our resolve and commitment to each other.  To honor those innocent souls lost -- and the many, many other victims forever impacted by the senseless acts of violence at the conclusion of the Boston marathon on Monday -- at the start of the race there will be a moment of silence

12 April 2013

Vegas and the Head's Go Country

This might have been my best trip to Vegas yet. I have had many many great trips to Vegas with friends or with family (and sometimes both) but for some reason this past weekend everything was perfect. We had the coolest hotel room everrrrrr and just a relaxed but crazy good time.

Lots of cowboy boots were packed for the weekend of country music fun.
The weather God's shinned down on us and allowed us several relaxing days poolside to recharge before the evening festivities.
We made our own fun along the way, even if it was just shopping for Koozies and buying wacky shades. Never a dull moment I tell you. In fact some of the most memorable moments were in a cab. There was Croatian driver who might have told Christine "I hope you find your horse tonight" in an accent only Erik can mimic, serenading of a cabbie by Dale to the tune of put your suds in a bucket....and so many more funny stories I would love to share but probably shouldn't.

We heard amazingly talented country artists - essentially anyone and everyone you would pay to see we saw in a span of three days. Most of them for free. Blown away by the talent!

We ran into friends we have made over the years through all the concerts we attend and reconnected.

Of course the main event of the weekend was the ACM Awards which were even better this year than last! Each entertainer was outstanding and the sets were awe inducing. Can't believe we were able to attend again! Lucky us.

Attended quite possible the coolest after party known to man. I mean even Luke Bryan showed up!!! How can you beat that? Well maybe the free champagne in my classy plastic glass might have beat Luke Bryan - that's a toss up.

Honestly though, it wasn't all the concerts, the shopping, the drinks, it was the fact I was able to spend four days with my brother and sister. Just the three of us having a blast away from all commitments and distractions. We had such a great weekend together and never once had an argument or moment of annoyance. I can't remember the last time I have been able to enjoy them so much. So thank you a million times over to everyone that helped make this trip possible and helped make it as special as it was. I feel very very lucky and blessed. So many memories to last a lifetime - many of which of course were not repeated on this blog for the safety and reputation of all involved.....I kid we were tame but we certainly had fun.