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


22 September 2015

Sunday Family Dinner

This past Sunday I hosted the usual Sunday family dinner. Nice to take the stress off my parents from time to time plus we wanted to do a meet and greet of sorts with a possible new furry addition to the family. I had a beautiful fall arrangement from the Black Tie event the night prior I was able to use which really made the table.

Essentially just whipped out some of the pretty china, decided to mix and match patterns, added in some fun funky anthropologie napkins, candles, painted antlers, and pumpkins and we were good to go with a fun fallish table.

I love the purple mason jars I nabbed a few weeks ago. I think they do different colors every year and it's fun to have a mix of options. Something about drinking out of a mason jar that intrigues me.

The whole back patio got a little fall sprucing. Plants that were looking a little haggard were replaced with fresh new mums, pretty pumpkins were added, and the dirt and grime swept away. Can't wait to enjoy several more dinners al fresco during this perfect weather time of year.

 We initially had planned to eat before it was pitch dark, but with fall approaching and it getting dark so fast that just didn't happen. So we dinned by candlelight which actually turned out quite fun. I really really need some of those fancy string outdoor lights!

20 September 2015

IWCC Black Tie 2015

Last Saturday we had the Iowa Western Community College Black Tie fundraiser. I love going to this every year and my mom always makes the best date. It has become a tradition of sorts to go together.
I wanted something other than black this year so stepped a little outside the box with this dress but got tons of compliments which was a win!

I loved my mom's fun shorter sparkly dress as well. It was a gorgeous fun evening.

Huge bonus = peach belinis during happy hour that were delicious. I challenged myself to more or less a month of no drinking prior to the event to give the body a much needed restart so was fun to splurge on champagne and wine that evening!
The event itself was followed up by an after party at Glory Days which was a lot of fun also. And turns out green is the new black! Several other girls also choose green over black (although the pictures don't really show it as well)

Always so much fun getting all fancied up, helping to raise money, and socializing with friends!

11 September 2015

Never Forget - United We Stand 9/11

It has been 14 years since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and yet the recollection of that heartbreaking tragedy feels as if it was just yesterday. 9/11 forever changed each of us and the Nation.

Today, let us honor and cherish the memory of nearly 3,000 individuals who died in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania on September 11 and the 6,500 service members who have given their lives since then. We will always remember the families and the sacrifices of their loved ones.

Each year, we commemorate Sept. 11 as Patriot Day, the National Day of Service and Remembrance. We will all reflect on exactly where we were on that morning. At the time, I was attending law school and working at a law firm in Council Bluffs. I spent the day glued to the TV in shock and awe. I will never forget the strength and unity that was shown by my fellow Americans in response to crisis. After that fateful event I volunteered to serve the country as a USACE civilian deploying to both Iraq and Kuwait.

Since 9/11, 2 million Soldiers and Civilians – including more than 10,000 USACE Civilians – have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Today and every day, we remember them for their selfless service and extend our gratitude to each member. We keep those Soldiers and Civilians currently deployed in harm’s way in our thoughts and prayers with confidence that all will return safely to their families and friends. We also remember and pray for the first responders, the law enforcement, and firefighters for their service and continued protection of our communities.

“This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day.” President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001.
Our Nation continues to grow stronger and resilient; however we still should strive to embody that same sense of support, pride and patriotism that inspired us that day.

10 September 2015

Goodbye For Now Aeisha Marie

So painful to type this as tears are flowing. Aeisha passed away Monday evening. I have no idea what was wrong or why and I think that is the hardest. I still thought we had years together. She hadn't been feeling the best all week and had quit eating. I had a home vet come look at her and he said she just had a high fever. Gave her a shot and meds and said within 24/48 hours she would be back to herself. I was elated to not worry anymore and thankful she would soon be on the mend. Instead the next evening she had a seizure and passed away. Heartbreaking.

There truly are no words for how much this little crazy kitty from Kuwait meant to me. She was my battle buddy and constant companion. We went through many of lives ups and downs together. She was always there no matter what. Regardless of what was going on I always knew Aeisha was there to greet me at home and snuggle up with at night. Sure there were times I wanted to throttle her for constantly waking me up at night by pawing me in the face, eating my hair, or yelling. Even worse were the nights she felt rebellious and would stay out all night long while I laid awake worried something bad would happen.  But regardless I loved her to pieces and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

We had almost two years together in Kuwait, and then about 4 and half years together here in Iowa. She absolutely loved exploring outdoors, especially when it was nice out. She loved to hunt and would often catch bats, snakes, mice, and even a bunny much to my dismay. She was for sure the neighbor terror and would even take on the huge raccoons if they were in her space. I loved her ferocious wild side as much as I loved her caring cuddly side.

She had her favorite spots in the house from the living room sofa near the window where she could watch the goings on outside, a chair upstairs in the bedroom (especially in the winter when it had a furry blanket), and curled up in bed often under the covers with me. In Kuwait she loved a round wicker outdoor bed.

I still can't believe she is gone. Can't believe we wont hear her crazy screeching every time she is mad or wants something. Won't have her waking me up in the middle of the night for food or to go play outside. I won't see toys hidden around the house and no longer need to buy turkey, fish, and other special treats every time I go to the grocery store. The house feels empty and quiet. I have to keep remembering that I will get to see her again one day in Heaven. At least I hope I will. So happy I got to be her momma for 8+ years. Just wish I wouldn't have had to give her up so soon. So badly I want to be able to go home right now and have her crawl on my lap for some loving.

See you in heaven sweet baby girl, you were loved and always will be. Until I see you again I will think about you daily and miss every bit of your crazy self.


04 September 2015

Niobrara Summer Weekends

Even though I have been boohooing my lack of trips this summer for the last month I am still sooooo grateful we have this gorgeous place in the country to escape to any weekend we fancy.

Something about all that fresh country air, wide open spaces, and the river that calms the soul.

Last weekend was no exception. We had great weather for long walks, boating, river bumming, and just general relaxing.


I really really really don't want summer to end, or when it does I just want to go live on an island!