Lucky Number 13

June 2006, I took a chance.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bottom line?

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.

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Re-read that.  I’ll wait.

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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…

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.

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My challenge for you?

Seek MORE.

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.

Cheers!

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Life Lately | April 2019

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.

‘Preciate ya.

 

And, for the most part, I’d call that a nice brief wrap-up of a handful of events these last few months.

 

Happy Spring to ya.  Be Present in all you do!

 

Cheers!

13th Annual Biker B!tch Run | July 2018

January felt like it lasted 328 days, February maybe 10, and now March is showing signs that hell has literally frozen over.

Winter: Get Over Yo’self!

Summer 2018 was a scorcher so I believe now is a perfect opportunity to reminisce on those so humid I need to take a shower to dry off kinda days.

Enter in the 13th Annual Biker B!tch Run with these Babes.

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The run began in Council Bluffs, IA at the Hard Luck Saloon with the divvying of shirts and morning Bloody’s before heading off to the Aeroplane Inn.

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Kickstands up and off to Sportsman Bar in Pisgah, IA.

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Stop 1 & 2 are always the calm before the storm.   Stop 3 you can bet on it…

Shit gets weird.

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Some photos just can’t make it to cybersphere.  Sorry.  That saying “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?”  We all know that’s not entirely true, but you can bet your bottom dollar that you don’t want to see what kind of situation that selfie stick found itself all up in.

Alllll up in.

She’s cute.  She ain’t innocent.

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I am not quite certain, but I believe a bet was involved here, along with the age requirement question.  Small towns, man.

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Children must also remain in their designated locations at all times.

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Photos, Photos, and More Photos.   The gang was snap happy.

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Let’s Roll! Up next: fuel for bikes and humans.  Pop N Docs, delivered.

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Heidi’s man happened to be out boating and made his way to the bar in time to buy us all a round of cocktails.  I can assure you, no one was upset about that.

Thanks, Shannon!

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Moving on: Tekamah, NE to Ronnie’s Bar, who we blew off a few years back due to tire issues and timing… so we thought we’d stop in and repay them… with nonsense, of course.

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And finally to a bar in the literal middle of NOWHERE, somewhere West of Blair, NE.  I don’t have a clue it’s name, but what I do know is:

  1. You have to cross a myriad of railroad tracks to get into town.
  2. The bar serves Chicken for every meal, every day.
  3. If you ask bar patrons nicely, they let you take their van for a spin.

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Shag carpet, a cooler of beer inside AND Free Candy, too!

We took the bait.

#sorrymom

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With bellies sore from laughter, many cleared out and headed on home at this point, while a few others made our way to Waterloo, NE to the Dog House.  A tried and true, never fail ya, bar.

This bar brings out the feels… I guess?

#deepthoughtsbylizandjordy

#trueluv

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And how about this CUTE little kitty…

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who was having NONE of it.

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Now you know, this wasn’t the end.  Never is.   One more nightcap at another bar I fail to remember the name of.  It was also in the middle of kinda-nowhere, north of Omaha, off I-680.  Descriptive enough?

You’re welcome.

Poor Tyree.  All she wanted was a last man standing photo.

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Nailed it.

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Cheers to Year #13 with some of the BEST ladies I have ever come to know.  Two-Wheels create such unique and fulfilling friendships.

As for #14?  We will see.  #13 seemed like a good time to close it out.  Call it good.  End a GREAT run.  It became my baby and it meant a lot to a lot of people.  There are a lot of reasons for closing a great chapter, and many of those will remain inside that lil heart of mine.  But, not all sequels are bad either.

We shall see.  Until then…

 

 

Cheers!

SWIG Sugar Cookies w/ Buttercream Frosting

Apparently there is a Utah based joint titled Swig with its entire operation based on the premise of a drive-by drink shop.  I have read on numerous sights that they are known for their “dirty soda”, which can be defined as a soda mixed with coconut cream flavoring.  Built in a college town, their soda’s quickly became a favorite of many, along with their sugar cookies.  After seeing the copycat recipe pop up on numerous blogger sights, I decided to give them a go this weekend.  As much of the Omaha metro area was closed down due to multiple ice and snow storms passing through, it was a perfect opportunity to play around in the kitchen!

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I used the recipe shared by DIY blogger Mandy over at Vintage Revival.  I figured if a DIY blogger shared a dessert recipe, then it HAD to be worthwhile, ya?

I used the cookie recipe as written, but was feeling a buttercream frosting.  I will share the original recipe in it’s entirety below, but will also give you the buttercream frosting I used for this particular batch.

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Swig Sugar Cookies

This is the original and BEST recipe for copycat Swig sugar Cookies!

 Prep Time 10 minutes
 Cook Time 8 minutes
 Total Time 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tarter
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 1/2 cups Flour

Sour Cream Frosting (Original)

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 3/4 cup Sour Cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cup Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  1. Cream together Butter, Vegetable Oil, Sugars, Water, and Eggs.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to butter mixture.
  3. Mix until everything is combined.  Your dough should be a little crumbly and not sticky.
  4. Use a cookie scoop or roll a golf ball sized ball of dough and place it on your cookie sheet
  5. To give the cookies the signature rough edge, press a glass bottom (dipped in sugar) into the center of the dough ball.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  They should just barely be browning on the bottom.    Move cookies to a cooling rack.  Once they are cool put them in the fridge.
  7. For the ORIGINAL frosting: Cream together butter and sour cream and salt.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  When it gets so thick its not frosting like add a splash of milk.  Alternate this process until your frosting is the desired consistency.  Add 1 drop of red food coloring and whip on high for 1 minute.
  8. Keep cookies in a sealed container until they are ready to serve.  The magic of a Swig Sugar Cookie (apparently) is that the cookies are cold and the frosting is room temperature.  Frost right before serving.

I can attest to the refrigeration technique of the cookie.

SO GOOD CHILLED!  

I used a traditional buttercream frosting for this batch which includes 2/3 cup butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp almond extract, 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream.  Mix together until desired consistency, adding more powdered sugar and whipping cream as needed.

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ENJOY!

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The Game Changing Cookie Dough

Guys.  I stumbled on this chocolate chip cookie dough recipe a few years ago and it was a total GAME CHANGER.  It is now the base to any standard cookie I make.  This weekend I threw in M&M’s.

The base of the dough is heaven.  You add in whatever flavor of the week you are after, and magic happens.   I’ve done Reese’s Pieces, PB Cups, Whoppers, Andes Mints, Snickers… you name it.  Sometimes I sub in almond extract for the vanilla just depending on what result I am after.

 

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Bake for 7 minutes max for that gooey, doughy, goodness that everyone is after and you will have ZERO leftovers.  Promise.  Cross My Heart.

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The recipe is originally from Two Peas and Their Pod.   I adjust the recipe by doubling it, using a cookie dough scoop, and mix and match my crunchy additions, again, depending on the taste-buds (or requests) of the week.  Remember, I make WEEKLY goodies for Clint’s shop.  Many a hungry bellies travel through those doors.

 

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ENJOY!

 

The below recipe is doubled from the original.

 

LIFE CHANGING COOKIE DOUGH BASE 

prep time: 15 MINUTES

cook time: 6-8 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (or almond)
  • Add-ins of your choice: chocolate chips. M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, pretzels, snickers, Whoppers, etc.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add in the eggs and extract.
  4. Slowly mix in the flour, until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, M&M’s, etc.
  5. Use cookie dough scoop to form small ball, place on baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes (I cook for 7 minutes for a doughy effect). Remove from the oven and let cool on cookie sheet if you want it to continue cooking a little longer, or immediately transfer to foil lined counter-top.  I don’t cool these bad boys on a wire rack as I want the maximum doughy gooey effect.

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