Apparently it’s Amazon Prime Day. I don’t know about you, but everyday is Amazon Prime Day around here. I don’t need designated days to celebrate BIG! 🙂 All I know is that if I had a standard Amazon delivery gal, we’d be best friends by now. Amazon, you have my heart and my wallet.
We should probably go to counseling.
I am not going to scrounge up the best deals of the day, because chances are I’ll find crap I don’t need and have to put it in my cart, sit on it for two days, and then move it to “save for later” or add it to one my lists. You know the drill.
So, instead I am sharing a few purchases that have become staples and favorites. Links for products and my very informative commentary (ok, that’s stretching it) below the photo for quick access for ya.
Button Down Shirt | I have this shirt in a few colors. I love it! Fits nice tucked in, good length, breathable fabric. I actually just wore this one to my niece’s wedding.
Moving on to more fitness inspired items. I am always collecting for my home gym, which is pretty stocked at this point minus my last heavy hitter items such as a squat rack. My wish has always been to have a full garage gym. Now that we are building, I am going to make good on that wish.
Ab Mat | Great for lower arch support when holding a weight or wallball.
Gel Boxing Gloves | I attend Title Boxing 1-2 days a week for some stress relief. These gel gloves have been a nice addition as my old gloves were lacking proper support.
Colorfulkoala Camo Leggings | I am a legging snob and never sway from my prized Athleta Saluations, however, Athleta’s stock has been low for far too long now, so I gave these a test after hearing many reviews. I actually am quite impressed with their fit, staying power and they passed the squat test. Impressive and cheap!!!
Body Composition Scale | I could care less how much I weigh. In fact, up until about 3 weeks ago I hadn’t stepped on a scale in over a year. My mindset is performance and how I feel. This scale, while not entirely accurate, provides a wealth of information about your body. It’s pretty interesting to track body composition.
Moving on to some more practical items for the home and a couple for health.
Mesh Laundry Bags | Perfect for my boxing wraps so they don’t get tangled in the wash. Also great for packing.
Toothbrush Holder | Ok, guys. Hear me on this one. If you are someone who keeps your toothbrushes out on your sink, please stop right now. Throw the toothbrush away. Start over. Get a toothbrush holder that fits in your cabinet or drawer and STORE IT THERE. Flushing toilets, particles flying… you hear me? Gross. This one fits in my drawer. 🙂
Vacuum | I am obsessed with this little guy. I took off the long attachment and use it as a handheld device for my staircase, hard to reach corners, cat food cleanups, etc. I friggin’ love this little guy!
Frother | I use this for a variety of things: frothing my whipped coffee, blending protein powder or collagen powder into coffee, etc. It’s a great little tool!
During a pandemic. Through storms. And a breakdown.
‘Cause that’s how we do.
Kids, grab your beverage of choice. I’ve got some stories to tell!
Thursday, June 4th, Tyree and I took off on a South Dakota and Wyoming adventure. Coming out of a particularly chaotic season of our professional lives, we were ready for an escape from computers and responsibilities. As the miles between us and Omaha got longer, the weight on the shoulders became lighter.
I was living for it. Tunes on, throttle wide open, bug blasted windshield, perma grin, and a storm front looking all cool and refreshing on the horizon.
With only a few sprinkles felt and a welcomed temperature drop from the blazing 90 degree sun, we made our way towards Valentine, NE where the resident cat at the Trade Winds Motel would welcome us home for the night and the Peppermill and Lounge would serve us hot food and ice cold beer. The Peppermill had only recently started serving folks on-site so we were met with happy smiles and thankful servers.
Friday morning we set out for South Dakota by way of Highway 20 so we could drop in at the bottom of the Black Hills. We were going to get the most out of this day while we slowly made our way towards Sturgis.
First stop after crossing into South Dakota was lunch at Woolly’s Grill and Cellar in Hot Springs and then on into the Black Hills for some playtime with the buffalo.
Deemed “impossible” to construct by its critics, Needles Highway (SD Hwy 87)—a National Scenic Byway—was completed in 1922. The road lies within the 71,000 acre Custer State Park, just 30 miles south of Rapid City, and is an impressive 14 mile stretch that includes sharp turns, narrow tunnels, granite spires and world class views.
After Needles we ran on fumes to Crazy Horse and then on over to Mt. Rushmore.
Fuel light on? It’s fiiiiinne.
And then onto Nemo Highway where we stopped at the Nemo Mercantile to enjoy a beer and chat with the local UTVers.
In Sturgis we stayed with Bob & Janet, owners of the coziest basement apartment, outfitted in furniture and doilies that reminded me of great grandma Leora. Bob and Janet should be airbnb’s token couple for advertising a “Weekend at Grandma’s“. Absolute gems.
And let’s all pay our respects to that long telephone cord, y’all. That’s what we call 1997 phone privacy… landline style.
After unloading our saddlebags, we made our way out to the Full Throttle Saloon. If you’ve been with me long enough you know FTS holds a very special place in my heart as it is the location Clint proposed in August 2010. Sadly the OG FTS, where all our memories were made, went up in flames, but the rebuild is better than ever.
By this point in the night we were starving and the temps were dropping so we made our way back into the Sturgis City limits where we stopped for a beer at the Knuckle Saloon and dinner at One Eyed Jacks.
Saturday morning promised overcast skies, a rainy forecast, and a chill in the air. We needed a breakfast of champions and Red’s Grill & Pub DELIVERED!
A few friendly weather warnings and well-wishes from the locals and we were off to Wyoming. Not even 30 minutes later the skies were BLUE, the sun was out and it was looking to be a rock solid day of play!
Shoot, we even found a lonely golf cart on the side of the road. You know we pulled over and called our buddy Cyndi from the seat of that bad boy. Motorcycle rallies of the past would have come haunting had we not paid respect to Cyndi’s devilish ways.
On down the road to Hulett, WY where the Ponderosa Bar served up ice cold RBV’s and an opportunity for self-entertainment as there was literally no one else out in that town. June 2020 Pandemic vibes!
We left our mark and bid farewell to that one-horse town and cruised on down the road.
As we neared Devils Tower we pulled off for a few photo opportunities. We weren’t planning on going closer as we figured it cost $ and would be loaded with tourists. We aren’t tourists, ya know… 😉
Once back on the bikes we made a split second and unplanned decision to turn into Devils Tower parking lot, and in that very moment Tyree’s back brake locked up and her bike stopped rolling.
Y’all. This wasn’t a coincidence. We had our guardian angels riding with us that day. Ours wear leather, you know. We also had our mama’s at home praying for our safe journey’s. There were extra hands in this intervention. Had we kept rolling, I would be telling a different story today.
So, what are two girls in the middle of Wyoming with limited resources to do? Facetime Bill, of course. Bill is the husband of our dearest friend Tracy and owner of Spaz Cycle. Bill – THANK YOU for taking the time out of your insanely busy day to help us two idiots out. You went above and beyond. Thanks, friend.
While Tyree was on the phone with Bill, I went on a walk through the neighboring campground where I made friends with two fellas who had all the tools we needed and the hearts to give us a hand. We were surrounded by the best humans. I wish we could have remembered to grab their names or social media channels to give them a special thanks.
With a locked brake caliper piston, the whole thing had to be removed. While they worked, I was on the phone with Deluxe Harley-Davidson in Sundance giving them the 411. Once Tyree’s brake caliper was back on, we made the 30 mile trek to Sundance. Those 30 miles consisted of Tyree making continual conscious reminders to avoid the brake pedal. What could happen?
A locked brake at 65mph on winding roads is what.
Pro Status: we pulled into Deluxe HD at 2:00 where we would become BFF’s with three of the best HD employees. I mean, we did spend 3.5 hours with them, so BFF status was EARNED.
They took MORE than great care of Tyree’s bike. They even went the extra mile and serviced some other components while we were there. Shoot, we even got a few cold beers out of the deal.
And maybe a few laughs. We were tired. Hungry. Our afternoon plans to ride Spearfish and hang out in Deadwood had vanished. We had to get our jokes in somehow… albeit childish jokes, but hey. You get what you get with us.
If there is something I have learned from Tyree over the years, it is to always make the best of the situations provided. Always something to be thankful for, even when shit hits the fan.
And on this particular day, we were surrounded by goodness of all forms.
5:30pm and we hit the road for a 30 mile cruise towards Spearfish Canyon. And, unbeknownst to us at the time, here is a lineup of events that happened in our favor between 5:15-6:15pm:
Last second clutch adjustment at the HD store as we were rolling out. 15 extra minutes.
Wrong turn in Spearfish led us away from the scenic byway. 10 minutes.
Decision to top off our tanks once back on track. 5 minutes.
Had any one of those events not happened, we would have found ourselves stranded on Spearfish Canyon Byway, no shelter, 55-60mph winds with 75mph wind gusts.
While fueling (#3) we scanned the radar and decided to hammer down to Sturgis to outrun the storm. Mother Nature would have very different plans as the wind and rain came in fast and furious while we prepared to merge onto the interstate. I’ve ridden in storms. We stood no chance in this one with nothing surrounding that stretch of interstate. The driver of the Wranger to my right motioned for me to take the open space in front of him while Tyree maneuvered around back. Squeezing our way across traffic we found quick shelter for our two-wheeled babes.
And there we sat. Helmets on and all.
45 minutes later and Mother Nature wasn’t giving up, so we grabbed some pizza and waited for a window of opportunity to hit the road. It finally came around 8pm, and with a stream of steady rain, we leathered up and headed out with white knuckles bracing for the lurking winds.
Shout-out to the Baymont by Wyndham front desk dude for letting us park our bikes under the awning by the front door and to the family of 6 eating at Pizza Ranch who were ready to give us a lift to Sturgis.
As I said… good humans were all around us.
Yo… props to Gr’pa Bob & Gr’ma Jan for the open garage door welcoming us home from the rain. The Real MVP’s!
Y’all still with me?
Let’s insert a commercial break. Go ahead. Refill that coffee cup.
Better yet, grab a beer. You deserve it if you’ve made it this far.
After all the fun roads were traveled and locations visited, we found ourselves at the south end of the Black Hills again and a full day ahead of us.
J: “Hey, T… what should we do now?”
J: “Sold. Should we get fuel first? I don’t remember a gas station for miiiilllesss last time I was out that way”.
T: “Nah, we good”.
J: “Let’s get to it then.”
34 miles along Hwy 36 to Hwy 40 and we found ourselves a barricade outside Red Shirt due to COVID-19 travel restrictions on Tribal Lands in South Dakota. After a very disjointed conversation over loud running motorcycles, mouth coverings and an urgent plea for fuel, the barricade patrol hesitantly let us pass through with the agreement we were headed straight to Whiteclay, our nearest option for fuel. My quick calculations told me we’d be rolling into Whiteclay with about 5-10 miles to spare. Golden.
Thanks, good people. We best be goin’ then!
And, off we went, with no other traffic. Just me and T.
We stopped “for sweatshirts” and to catch a glimpse of the outer edge of the Badlands. About 15 minutes had passed when a truck traveling from TX pulled up wanting to know if we were still on the reservation, to which we confirmed. Come to find out this couple had been warned at the SD/NE border that they’d be hauled off to jail if they stopped at any point on the reservation.
Back on the road and I wondered if we had somehow landed ourselves in Kansas. That storm cell had me thinking I was going to be visiting Oz.
That beaut was traveling North with a vengeance. We mirrored that urgency by hightailing it South towards Whiteclay with just enough fumes to re-fuel and cross into NE, leaving the storm behind us.
We didn’t have plans mapped out for our Sunday journey home, unless you consider flying by the seat of our pants as plans. Since we were near Hwy 20 we decided Trade Winds Motel in Valentine would make for a nice home again.
It should come as no surprise that Mother Nature found us again just West of Cody, NE. We ditched the road for a nice little awning while the storm rolled through. We were starving, and wouldn’t you know it the awning we were under was coverage to the front door of a closed for the day cafe. Come onnnnnnn…
We had leftover Taffy from Keystone and two shooters of liqour in our bags.
Candy and Booze.
Remember that bit about us finding all the good people on our trip? Well, we found more. As we were getting ready to move on, no phone service to check radar, we noticed a truck pulled off the road and inside a mother, daughter and son trio. Come to find out, they were headed the same direction we were, but a phone call from her husband relayed the message that 60mph winds and golf ball size hail was in her path.
Oh and that storm cell we rode by earlier? It produced a twister just North of Sturgis. Our new friends missed it by minutes. Fun!
So, we waited a while longer, said our farewells, gave them a 10 minute lead before we hopped on and rolled out. We had 42 miles left to go.
…And the sailing wasn’t smooth. I think you expected that by now. Just East of Cody, with 34 miles remaining, the sun set and the 50mph winds set in. At one point we were leaning so far into the wind that gravity would have won had the wind let up. That 34 mile stretch saw us through wind gusts that sent us sailing over the center line, shot nerves, stress levels through the effing roof, many prayers, moments of exhaustion that had to be squelched because the wind never let the f up, and random bursts of uncontrollable laughter thanks to afore mentioned shot nerves until we FINALLY saw the city lights of Valentine. It was 11pm, the town was shut down (pandemic probs) and with gas station chips, cheese and water in hand, we fell into our hotel room, straight up delirious with the biggest smiles on our faces and new memories stored away.
The nonsense we get ourselves into… wouldn’t have it any other way.
Get you a Thelma to your Louise. Get yourself a friend that you can do nothing and everything with and have the time of your lives. Shoot… get yourself 20 of them. I am surrounded by friends from all walks of life who fill my cup in so many ways.
And this girl? Well, she’s my Louise.
And I think I’ll keep her.
You can find our last adventures to the Ozark Mountains here. Backroads, nightfall and nonsense. Standard.
I’m lucky enough to share the same birthday month and year with one of my favorites. With only 13 days a part, we celebrated turning 40 with what we know best… motorcycles, sunshine, cold beverages, friends, and fun.
With Tyree turning 40 on the 16th and me on the 29th, we split the difference and pulled together a float trip on August 22nd with a few friends and family.
Tubing and Adventures always the gracious hosts, we set out on a 5.5 hour floating excursion down the Elkhorn River. Sunshine, cold drinks, great crew of friends and fam… it was a solid day!
Thanks be to COVID-19, my office is still working almost entirely remote with 50% staff working in the office, at 25% capacity each day for the month of August and September. You get that? Ya… no need. Anyway, my SP team with a few chosen ringleaders made my week by having my office decorated for the 1 day I was there. What a fun staff they are. 🙂
The eve of my actual birthday I had the opportunity to meet my cousin Dan for a sushi lunch in the Old Market. It’s a standard location for us when he comes to town on business or a family visit. Kayla popped by later that afternoon with the gift of Eileen’s. Low and behold the husband would also arrive later that evening with another round of Eileen’s. I guess they know the way to my heart.
And then came August 29th.
I woke up to a house and Jeep decorated by two adorable birthday elves who go by the names of Tyree and Jessica and breakfast with the hubs who also spent half his morning cleaning my motorcycle (bless).
There may have been some adolescent nonsense thrown in for good measure because if there is one thing I want to take away from this life, it’s that I don’t forget to have fun along the way. When I am 100 I want to look back at the memories I don’t remember and see that I had a damn good time living this incredible life of mine.
Thirteen years ago I resigned from my teaching position, packed up what I owned, shut the door on a family farm home full of history and memories, turned my back on the only town I ever really knew and headed West to an unknown city, with no job, very little financial stability, and an unclear vision.
Thirteen years ago I was a little broken. A little lost on a path I wasn’t interested in being on. I unintentionally hurt folks around me, although the hurt was inevitable. And it certainly wasn’t in my life plan to uproot what I had planted and walk away for something new.
What I didn’t do was run away, contrary to what some may believe. Someone said to me once that my move from “home” was an escape. A run FROM my life. At the time, I probably agreed as my mind had yet to comprehend my actions.
But, if asked today, my answer would be no. I didn’t run from my life…
I ran to find it.
I left behind what was comfortable and consistent to explore my place in this inconsistent world. I craved the freedom to make decisions based on my interests, beliefs, wants and desires.
I didn’t know what I was looking for, I just knew what I had created,
based on learned behaviors and social expectations,
was not what I wanted for myself.
While that life wasn’t wrong, it also wasn’t right. For all involved. So, I left for the unknown
…and what I found was me.
The Serenity Prayer was my anchor during this period of growth and challenge. Shortly before my move, I tattooed the symbol for courage on my right foot. Cliche as you may, I wanted to symbolize that pivotal moment in my life to serve as a reminder that I had the courage to put the right foot forward.
Omaha has provided me more then I could ever have imagined. Omaha got me out of the box I was raised in and provided me the opportunity to find my own independence and the ability to make decisions that were for me and NOT as a result of the expectations of others.
In the last 13 years, I have grown personally and professionally and accomplished things I didn’t even know existed, let alone knew I was capable of. From fighting my way through two Master’s degrees, running my first half marathon, finding my place in the fitness industry and proving my worth as a Master Trainer for a national group exercise organization. I found a passion in higher education that has allowed me the opportunity to impact thousands of students and that has afforded me the luxury to travel and explore so many of our great State’s. I have met so many incredible individuals, many who continue to serve as professional resources for me, and many who have turned into friends I couldn’t imagine life without. I met my husband who has taught me more about finding the joy and humor in situations and letting go of my predetermined expectations. He grounds me, trusts me, builds me up, loves me unconditionally, and respects my independence and boundaries. I gained a bonus kid who has taught me more about kindness with his big heart and how to have more of a go-with-the-flow mentality. I have failed miserably to only pick myself back up and moved forward. I have let others disappoint me, to only turn around and find my voice to initiate real, raw, and hard conversations. I allowed emotions to sit deep and I also learned to set boundaries.
In thirteen years I set BIG and scary goals, and I fought for them silently, while others I publicized loud and proud. Each goal significant to my journey. Each goal a personal experience meant for me. And in thirteen years I also allowed myself to enjoy the journey, forget the goals, and let life develop as it will.
Someone once said “if I didn’t know you, I’d really dislike you” in response to my over-achieving tendencies. I am not sure I will ever forget that statement, because in some ways I have used that as fuel to always remind me I CAN do all the things. Because, why not? That statement also humbled (humbles) me and is a reminder that not every milestone achieved or experience lived has to be shared with the world.
What the last 13 years have taught me is that hard decisions can often make room for growth opportunity beyond the capacity of your current mind.
You won’t understand how BIG the world is or how many opportunities await you if you don’t get out of the box you were raised in and allow yourself to unlearn behaviors and ideas that you were taught.
Re-read that. I’ll wait.
It’s OK to think differently.
It’s OK to seek more.
It’s OK to do things that are the opposite of how you were raised.
It’s OK to FIND YOU!
Thirteen years and I am finally comfortable saying Omaha, Nebraska is my home. Omaha has provided growth, opportunity, failure, love, friendships, risks, stability, adventure.
Thirteen years in Omaha has provided me…
…beer loving, Harley riding, fitness freak, education junkie, concert goin’, driven, focused, determined to do and be all that brings me joy… badass female.
My challenge for you?
What are you going to look back on at the end of your time on this earth and feel nothing but PRIDE and JOY over? What fulfills you? Are you doing it? Are you seeking it out? Are you doing things for YOU and NOT what society has told you, or maybe even how you were raised? Are you following/doing/being because that’s what you feel connected to, or are you following/doing/being because it’s what you’ve been convinced/told/taught that it’s the only way? What are you doing for you? And are you SURE it’s for YOU? Do some soul searching, friends. It’s a tough journey to go on, but self-awareness can bring much clarity.
Just promise me this… Don’t get to the end of your rope and wish you had done something more. Go for it. Today is your day.
Hey there, kids. Nice to see you! We are just going to jump right into this public diary of events in Jordan’s lifey-life. You know… for the future when I don’t remember much and need a giant assist.
So, what’s been going on? Everything! Life is fantastic!
January trip to the Duck Races in Avoca, NE with these Quacks.
We had Beer Olympics… I mean WINTER Olympics… in February at EBBC. Competition in costume and on the floor. My team killed it in beer pong, naturally. I love this gym.
Skiing / Snowmobiling in Colorado in March.
Cat snugs on the daily.
Did I mention Edge Body Boot Camp? We 5am’ers are crazy… about killing ourselves. Seriously. Love. This. Place. And the great friends made! We’ve got the MURPH coming up next month! I live and breathe for the challenge.
Rowing below… girl next to me is Simone. She’s a lean mean fighting machine. And the jolliest of the 5am’ers there ever was. 😉
Re-did the spare bedroom, formerly Kyle’s. It went from a Ford Blue storage unit to a grey/white clutter-free zone that Harley has claimed as her own. Friggin’ Princess.
Cats world… we just live in it.
Experienced Mr. Justin Timberlake himself in March! Claire, Briton and I had an absolute blast. JT … dang, man. That was a show.
Clint and crew are killing it at the Walkup’s. Both WT and WWP are coming into their busy season, so I visit the shop when I can in order to see that husband o’ mine.
I recently got the chance to sneak a few shots of Bodi, my biker B, Liz’s, newest addition. Future biker right here, folks. What a little heart-breaker. All the heart eyes on this lil dude.
Work. Well, it’s fast-paced and each day something new. I love it. It’s certainly challenging me in new ways that I didn’t expect, but am embracing and facing it on the daily. Growth mindset. It’s beautiful. It helps that I have an absolutely INCREDIBLE staff. My office mates/colleagues are equally as incredible at what they do and keep me afloat on the reg.
Still part of the Nebraska Wind Symphony. We had our Spring concert a few weeks back and now I am on hiatus until the Fall season rolls around. I enjoy playing still, but will admit the Monday evening rehearsals can be a bit much sometimes with the early 4:20am alarm clock. Girl needs some zzz’s!
Also back to teaching fitness classes again and my heart is so happy.
Motorcycle season is FINALLY here and your girl is feeling all sortsa warm fuzzies. Coming off Easter weekend and two days on the bike. Saturday Clint and I rode down to Coin for Easter dinner at the Swanson residence, which provided us the opportunity to chase the sunset on our way home. Sunset rides are LIFE.
Easter Sunday I took off on my own to Clarinda for what was hands-down the windiest ride I’ve had in a while. Good solid leaning for all 50ish miles of Highway 34 on my way down. Unfortunately just North of Goecker-ville I had a little malfunction. It was little due to my low speed coming off a stop sign. I am telling you… I have RAD angels who ride with me. It could have been ugly, but it wasn’t, and so a quick call to my dad, Craig, and Jeanne and we had her loaded on their mower trailer and in dad’s garage in under an hour of being sidelined.
Saddlebags off, motorcycle up, dad’s magic hands and all necessary parts, and he had me back on the road only two hours late to mom’s Easter lunch. 🙂 Sorry Gr’pa for missing yours completely. I had all good intentions.
Left Clarinda around 3:30 for what was an even WINDIER ride home. To the folks in the white Grand Cherokee who initially set out to pass me on 34 but then decided to tail back a bit… I am just going to say thanks. I am going to assume you held back after watching the wind own me like a little b!tch and you were just watching out for my well-being.
And, for the most part, I’d call that a nice brief wrap-up of a handful of events these last few months.