Employee Spotlight

My division at work does a really cool “Employee Spotlight” feature once a month.  Our division is fairly widespread and it’s not uncommon for me to only see some of my colleagues once or twice a year at large staff meetings due to proximity and job responsibilities.  This feature was added about a year or two ago and it has become one of my favorite emails to receive.  I love reading about people and learning a little more about them other then the work-face we interact with.   I don’t know about you, but the “career me” is considerably different then the “real me” in regards to personal interactions and conversations.

My spotlight was last week, so I thought it’d be fun to share with my readers as well!

Cheers!

Name:    Jordan Pirtle

Position:  Director of High School Outreach

City of residence:  Omaha, NE

Inhabitants at my residence:

  • Clint (husband)
  • Kyle (the college-going 20 year old bonus kid who appears at our house once a year, if we are lucky)
  • Harley (the cat)
  • The real Harley (my baby who sleeps in a garage and not in a crib)

Start date:

  • August 2011 (Associate Dean of Instructor, Academic Affairs)
  • January 2014 (Director of HS Outreach, Student Services)

My role at IWCC:  I am going to keep it incredibly vague.  Under the guidance of the Iowa Department of Education’s Senior Year Plus programming and NACEP accreditation, I oversee all operational and administrative aspects of College Early Start which allows High School students to enroll in college classes.  Natalie oversees the Southwest Iowa Workplace Connection focusing on connecting high school students and teachers to local careers, through work-based learning experiences and Jake, Secondary CTE Advisor, promotes career and technical education via a variety of practices.  Natalie and Jake work very closely together on initiatives.

What brought me to IWCC:  Prior to IWCC, I was a music teacher for South Page Community Schools in College Springs, IA and Omaha Public Schools for a combined 6 years.   After finishing my Masters programs I was ready for an administrative role and began applying for leadership positions at the Secondary level.   In 2011 I went through a promising AP interview process but was passed over by an internal candidate.   That bummer experience ended up being a blessing in disguise as it opened my eyes to post-secondary education and the Associate Dean position at IW.

What I like best about working for IWCC:  I specifically enjoy my position as it keeps me heavily involved in the secondary school system, which was my first true career love.  The position keeps me on my toes with the ever-evolving State legislation changes and NACEP accreditation requirements.   I enjoy the challenge and the immense knowledge I’ve gained and the professional growth I’ve experienced from working at IWCC.

Best job before IWCC:  Working for South Page Community Schools.   I was the Director of Bands, 6-12th grade Choral director, competitive cheerleading coach, dance team sponsor, junior class prom sponsor, etc.  Listen. When you are a teacher in a rural district, you don’t just teach.  You do everything.  I loved every second of every day when I was around those students, and with my lineup of responsibilities, I basically lived at the school.  From 6am rehearsals/practices, to late night games, to cheer competitions across the state. You name it, I was there.   I was young and fresh out of undergrad and had a ton of fun learning and growing with them.

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I’m happiest when:  I’m on my Harley, the sun is shining and an ice cold beverage is on the horizon.

My biggest fear: Alzheimer’s.  Losing my cognitive ability at a young age.

I’m proudest of:  As a teenager I faced some adversity that some would allow to change them, or use those experiences as excuses for bad decisions.   I was presented with two paths I could have followed, either one impacting my future greatly.  I chose the middle road. I chose to take my experiences from the evil and the good in my life and create a middle ground that fit me.  I am proud of that.   In 2006 I went through some crazy life changes.  I call it my quarter-life crisis.  It was the real deal, y’all.  At 25 I quit my job, moved out of my beautiful country home in Clarinda, left my bff’s and family and the only life I had known for 25 years and moved to Omaha with no job lined up, a U-Haul with all of my belongings and settled into a house in West O with two High School friends who opened their arms and hearts.   It was a life-changing few years that followed and I wouldn’t trade one single experience, the good and questionable, from those years.   I am proud of that.

I strive to live life in the present moment. 

I don’t take things for granted. 

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What I do when I’m not working at IWCC:  I am teaching fitness classes at IWCC and the YMCA or I am training future fitness instructors on the weekends as part of my Master Trainer role.    I am attending concerts (total junkie) with friends or chilling with my hubs in our backyard around a campfire.  I am on the Harley by myself for some solo and self-reflection time or I am riding with 30+ of my biker friends cruising the back-roads of Nebraska and Iowa.

Top three highlights of my life:

  1. Not being afraid of starting over at the age of 25.   That reset button was hard to push, but it was completely worth it.
  2. Auditioning to be a fitness Master Trainer at the age of 34.  I consider myself a non-traditional fitness spokesperson and I didn’t let age or body type stop me from pursuing that dream.
  3. Marrying Clint in 2011.  And not just because of all that mushy love yuck.  But because we compliment each other.  He gets me to see the world through a relax and don’t try to control every aspect of life lens.   We operate as a married unit but also as individuals with our own lives.  We respect each other, encourage each other to seek out new opportunities and set higher goals and we both love sushi.  Win!

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People would be surprised to know:

  1. I used to play clarinet for the Nebraska Wind Symphony.  While I was teaching for South Page, I also traveled to Omaha from Clarinda (and back) every Monday evening for rehearsals.  I took a hiatus for a few years but am auditioning to be a part of the 2017-18 ensemble soon.
  2. My 25 year old brother Gabriel is a dwarf.  He’s the coolest cat you could ever know and challenges me to find the “art” in life.  Not that I want you to stalk me on the world of social media, but I did a little fact sheet on Gabe and included additional information on dwarfism if interested in a little education: Click here.

Work-related hidden talent/special skill:  Not Excel, that’s for sure.

Favorite song, or book, or movie, or food (or all four!):

  • Song:  Impossible to choose.   Music junkie in all aspects, remember?
  • Current book: The Mindful School Leader by Valerie Brown.  I am in a grad level class for CEU’s to keep my K-12 administrative license active. I recommend it as it’s been a great read!
  • Movie: Sweet Home Alabama
  • Food: mashed potatoes

Best vacation:  All of the vacays spent on the Harley.   Sturgis!  Specifically our first visit when Clint proposed at Full Throttle Saloon on the bridge.  Our second visit we made it on TV for our 5 seconds of fame, thanks to the Full Throttle TV series.  Sadly FTS burned down in 2015, shortly after our third visit.   Bikes, Blues and BBQ Rally in Arkansas takes a top spot as well.   WOAH!   Arkansas is gorgeous and even better from the seat of a motorcycle.

 

 

Weekend Recap | November 11-13, 2016

Saturday, November 12th
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I could end the post right here.

Done.  

End of Story.

But, what’s the use of a hangover without the story of how it came to be?

Let’s rewind to Friday.

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Friday, November 11th

First of all let me say Thank You to our veterans for your time served and to our current armed forces who continue to serve.

Thank You.

Second: Happy Birthday to my mama!  11/11 was also HER day! 🙂

Now, to the bane of my Saturday?  Friday night.

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We traveled north to Sioux City, IA to see the Turnpike Troubadors in concert with Jade, Kayla, Scott, Haley, Josey and Stephanie.  It was a ridiculously fun night.  Turnpike was INCREDIBLE to listen to… again, music geek in me can’t get enough of good music and TRUE musicianship that these guys exude.

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We let loose, we drank a few too many beers, we stayed our ground in the front of the venue holding steady to the gate, we flirted with the band, we sang along loudly and we made every ounce of that hangover totally worth it.

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Is it me, or is Jade channeling Alan from the movie, The Hangover?

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We even managed to hang out with both bands (opener and headliner) after the concert at a local tavern, to which I awkwardly attempted small talk about music (listen Jordan, don’t talk after 10 beers) and Kayla took endless photos with the groups.

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After hours snap chats = lame tag lines.   We love Friday’s?

Really, Jordan?

*insert giant eye roll*

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Thank GOODNESS social media didn’t exist when we were all in High School.   It’s bad enough as adults.

 

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Friday kinda rocked, and I am ready to do it again, minus the heavy amounts of beer.

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So then there is Saturday again.

It looked like this:

  • 3am – Arrive back to hotel safely thanks to kind cabi who received quite a tip after my sober mind calculated.  I’m sure she deserved every penny.
  • 3:10am – Snap Clint attempting 16 times to open the hotel door.  It was classic.  Score 1 for Jordan catching that gem on video.
  • 6am – First wake-up call, thanks due to a rager of a headache
  • 7am – Wake-up again.  Headache and all…
  • 8am – Restroom.  Oh, hey there rumbling belly.  I hear you and I am answering by laying back down.
  • 8:30am – Respond to Kayla’s text.  Commiserating.
  • 9am – Dear LORD this headache.  Curse the fact I need water but curse the fact I am not sure my stomach can handle even that.
  • 9:30am – Respond to Kayla’s text re: lobby and breakfast.
  • 10:30am – Clint wakes ready to take on the world ( his ability to NEVER have a headache nor hangover really sucks sometimes)
  • 11am – Bid farewell to the crew and head back to Omaha.   Radio off, shades on, air full blast, with minor attempts to tune my overly-chatty husband out.  Dude… headache.
  • 1pm – Homaha – drop husband off at home so he can load truck up with hunting gear and head out to Clarinda.
  • 1:30pm- Pick up race gear for Beer and Bagel run on Sunday
  • 2pm – Home.  Hallmark Christmas Movie. Nap.
  • 4pm- Grocery store for hangover worthy snacks that are always top notch on the healthy pyramid.
  • 5pm – Dinner.  Hallmark Christmas Movie.  Nap
  • 8pm –  Succumb to just letting Saturday be a total wash and go to bed.

 

Sunday, November 13th

Let’s all take a moment and rejoice in the fact that I got out of bed at 6:30am and was ready to run the Beer and Bagel 4 mile trail run at 9am.

Can I get a Hallelujah?   Can I get an Amen?

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Blair is a trail running PRO!  She recently ran a 50K.   Yes, you read that right.  50K = 31.08 miles.  So, I laughed at her for wanting to still run this with me.   It’s 4 miles.  That’s like her warm-up nowadays.  But, thankfully, she did it and we had fun and I appreciate her grace in not rubbing in the fact that this is peanuts to her distance legs.

I might consider running the 13.1 trail run next year.  Trail running is SO much better than road running.  It is so much more forgiving on the joints since you are on soft ground and uneven terrain that forces you to take it easy and watch where you are going, rather then operate as a robot and pound the pavement.  Running the 13.1 Beer and Bagel run in 2017 is a definite thought.  A consideration.

We will see. 🙂

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After the race I napped again.  DUDE!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!    I think it was a culmination of three days in a row last week of getting up by 3:10am on top of the minimal water and shenanigans on Friday night.  My body was O.V.E.R. it.

I forced myself into partial civilization on Sunday afternoon when I bundled up and went out on the HD, just her and I.   It’s that time of the year when the hubs is gone hunting on the weekends and I get my coveted solo ride time in when the weather is cooperating.

I managed to burn through a full tank of gas and it was all sortsa magical.

Solo rides = no destination.  No planned stops.   Just a direction, the roll of the throttle and a big ass smile on my face.  🙂

Although, this snap looks like I don’t even have a head, let alone a face for a smile.

But my front wheel looks B.A.

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Cheers to a GREAT weekend!

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Algona Freedom Rally | 2016

Another motorcycle rally in the books and my eyes, liver and throttle hand are all still functioning.  Rally goers know this outcome is always questionable going into rally festivities and certainly appreciated coming out.

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This year we took off one day earlier in order to pick out our prime camping spot.  We tend to gravitate towards the shaded, secluded sections so we can enjoy our beers under the trees and morning zz’s without the sun-glare.  Although, sleeping is questionable with the constant competition of who can hit their rev limiters the most.  Prime time for that activity?  Between midnight and 4:30am.   It’s a campground wide fave past time amongst the town idiots.

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Our little slice of camping heaven.

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The first crack of beer after home-base setups are complete is always the best beer of the weekend.

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So what kind of Algona festivities went down in 2016?   Well, if you followed along on snap you saw the stuff I can’t share permanently.  Hello land of the free.  And by free, we mean really free.   I never do get over the zero cares some of these folks carry around… or leave back at their campsite.

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We did find Verlene.  Do y’all remember her from our 2015 float trip?  That ol’ gal sure gets around.

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The time was well spent by lounging, drinking, walking the campgrounds, people watching, motorcycle game watching, music listening and just relaxing with friends with zero cares, obligations or schedules dictating our lives for 4 days.  It was fabulous.  Next year I’m bringing a yard game of some sort to add to the daytime festivities.

The Highlight Reel:

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Liz got off pretty easy this year on the hug game.  Clint left the shine at home, so the hugs weren’t nearly as alcohol induced, but still abundant.

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imageWhatcha reaching for their, Clint?

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When traveling through the campground, one must always have your drinks handy.  You never know where you’ll park the bike.  Liz has clearly played this game a time or two before…

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And Clint wins by just strapping on the whole cooler.  Beers for all!

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It’s still possible to be cute when camping, even when hair doesn’t get washed for days.   Bandana’s are a girls best friend for evah.

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From Clint to Steve…

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Algona 2016 went down with some great memories for the memory bank.

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Cheers to another incredible Algona Freedom Rally.

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Link Up to read Algona Freedom Rally recap 2015 here.

Follow along on Facebook at Harleys & Heels.

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Special Thanks to:

10th Annual B!tch Run | July 25th, 2015

↓ Girls, Girls, Girls  

What a day …

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with all these girls

And to think that it all started from these two minds.

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🙂

So, how on earth do I even begin wrapping up an entire days worth of photos into one post?   This is the main reason why it has taken me darn near two months to even start this entry.  Do I make multiple posts?  Do I make one giant one?  And what photos of the over 450 do I share with you fine people?

You feeling my dilemma here?

And so, it was decided.   This giantnoteworthy, epic day is going to be wrapped up into one GIANT, beautiful, powerful, kick-ass post featuring some equally beautiful, powerful, kick-ass women.

Here we go…

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The Hard Luck Saloon | Council Bluffs, IA

The Hard Luck served as our meetup point.  The start of Bloody Mary’s, shirt exchanges and pre-run group photos.  Because rain, of course.

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11:45am | Kickstands up.  Time to start the day.

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Nothing hotter than THAT view right there.

Hey ladies. ❤

The Wild’s | Bartlett, IA

Where the drinks were cold, conversations started flowing, people loosened up and epic gift giving was had.

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Now, why on earth they wanted to pick up my ass is beyond me.  I think Jenn just wanted to get a little frisky.

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But it served as the perfect opportunity for the girls to give me the most thoughtful, hilarious, absolutely PERFECT gift of all time.  Sneaky little sisters, I tell ya!

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I’m just going to allow the photos to do the talking from here on out.

Brace yourselves for this awesomeness.

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Oh, NO you DIDN’T!

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Oh, YES you DID!

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B!tches Betta Recognize!

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The Story.   Around the 4th of July I found a photo of this jacket on the good ol’ Internet and posted it on my Harleys & Heels page reminiscing about my Junior High years when I actually DID have this exact jacket.  Fringe and all.   Who knew that a few of these girls (I believe Tracy was the mastermind in getting this all going – LOVE you, doll) would pull off searching, finding, buying and organizing a group card.

Best, sistas, EVER.

And with that… we moved on.

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Road 0.0

The Riverside Inn | Riverton, IA

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Kayla, Sara and Jess were the Jeep crew.

Fortunately, soon after this photo, they were able to take the Freedom Panels out!  It wouldn’t be a B run without a little rain! 🙂

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Cocktails…

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Selfies

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And more…

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Riverton was a short and sweet stop.  Enough for a couple cocktails and a little ruckus before leaving this quaint little town.  What kind of ruckus you ask?  Click here.

On to Shenandoah, IA where we caused a mild curiosity amongst the local PD.  I think we counted three drive-by’s?  I promise, we were on our best behavior.

All those women on two wheels? 

Ya, I’d do a few drive-by’s myself!

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Emerald Isle | Imogene, IA

Ah.. the home of little beers.

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🙂

These little guys are the reason and excuse for all remaining photos to come.

Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

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Exhibit C

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Exhibit D

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Exhibit E

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Exhibit F

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Oh, Little Beers.   You are sneaky little bastards.

WAIT!  How many did we have?!

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Time to MOVE…

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Harley’s Bar and Grill | Emerson, IA

Click on the below photo to see what 30 Biker Chicks do when they roll into town…

Trust me.  Click on it.

↓       ↓

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Ha.  See now, aren’t you so glad you did?  Thanks, Jenny for the tunes.

Emerson was full of shenanigans… and cuddles… and selfies...

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Alright, Alright, Alright.  

We still have TWO more official stops! 

Let’s go!

The Hood | Silver City, IA

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The C-Town Crew!

Jessica, Tina, Me, Kayla, Jenn and Jenny.

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How cute is this photo?

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Cheese!

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Here comes Marcy!

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Always and forever the Free Spirit.  We can all learn a little about LIVING from this one.

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Let’s MOVE!

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:p

The Backroom Lounge | Lake Ohana, IA

This was the last “official” stop before folks dropped off and went on with their evenings.

BackRoom 19There was a lot of “hugging”

BackRoom 20And wardrobe assistance (with cheesers)

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And long drawn out good-byes.

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(Adopted) Sister Love

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Marcy naughtiness

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Final gab sessions

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Parking lot split

OUCH!

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And final group hugs.

Oh, did you think that was it?

You are clearly mistaken…

Who will be the last (wo)man standing?!

Let’s move.

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Lighthouse | Council Bluffs, IA

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I think it is very safe to say we all are having a grand ol’ time, ya?

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Lighthouse 32hahaha… Love you, Jess

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Tyree sang a pretty fab duet with this fine gentleman.

I smell Grammy.

Oh, no.  No no no… Not done yet!  Hang with me. We are moving on to the…

LAST STOP

21st Saloon | Omaha, NE

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YES!  That is IT!

Food, Water, Feet Up.  The End to a pretty fab day.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

July 25th, 2015

A Day to Remember with some of the BEST girls you could ever meet.

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Until next time…

Cheers!

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Professional Photos 

Fun Photos

  • The Girls

Service

  • The Hardluck
  • The Wild’s
  • Riverside Inn
  • Emerald Isle
  • Harley’s Bar & Grill
  • The Hood
  • The Backroom Lounge
  • Lighthouse Inn
  • 21st Saloon

Shirts

  • My Girls Ink

The Day Has Come!

It’s the day of the 10th Annual Biker B!tch ride.

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10 years is sometimes hard to believe.   I have loved every last second of these past years and can’t wait to add today’s journey to our book of memories.

I had a Facebook countdown throughout the week.

Let me recap:

Four Days

Four more days until the 10th Annual B!tch Ride. Ten years of planned rides with some of the coolest chicks you could ever know. Each year we’ve grown. Each year we’ve gotten a little sassier.

I am DARN lucky to have them a part of my two-wheeled life… and so much more!

Let the countdown begin…

4 days

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Three Days

The countdown continues… 2015 BB Run 

‪#‎girlpower‬ ‪#‎bikerchicks‬ ‪#‎werideourown‬ ‪#‎shenanigans‬ ‪#‎windsisters‬‪#‎livetoride‬ ‪#‎ridetolive‬

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Two Days

Friendships built over shenanigans; turning heads and causing a scene as we roll through every small town. It’s the only way.

Two days… 

‪#‎bikerchicks‬ ‪#‎werideourown‬ ‪#‎twowheeledbeauties‬ ‪#‎harleysandheels‬‪#‎weowntheroad‬ ‪#‎harleylife‬ ‪#‎livetoride‬

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One Day

10 years. To me, this BB ride is more than just a ride. It’s part of me, who I am and my history. Sara and I started this 10 years ago… Just the two of us. We had built our friendship on two wheels. She was my saving grace in a time I was re-finding my path. Forming the “title” to our adventures was just something fun and silly. We had NO idea the impact it would make.

Years of friendships built. Years of memories made. We’ve gained a few, lost a few but the one thing that remains constant is the sisterhood and camaraderie. It’s hard to explain the depth of my love for this little group that I lovingly and respectfully call the Biker B!tches.

Cheers to many more years of memories, new friends, old friends and stories that we will tell for years.

One day.

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Day Of

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And now it is time we leave our mark in all the little Southwest Iowa towns today.

To my girls:

A Biker’s Prayer
As I climb astride me ride
I ask you, God, be at my side
Keep me alert throughout the day
Guide me safely along the way
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Potholes, roos and twisty bits
Oil, gravel and dimwits
Lord, protect me from each one
Until my ride this day is done
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While the engine accelerates
Let us ride as friends, as mates
But when I stop in bush or town
Let me remember to put my foot down
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Remind me that my life is fleeting
That one day we will be meeting
Let Grace and Truth with me abide
Until I take my final ride
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By Dave Woodward
bikerpastor.net

CHEERS!

And… watch out Southwest Iowa.  You have NO idea what is coming for you.

10th Annual Ride, here we come!!!!