It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Christmas has arrived in our home!

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Harley couldn’t be more excited.

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‘Tis the season for evenings of nothing but Christmas lights turned on, soft Christmas music playing in the background and holiday candles glowing.

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And naps under the tree for Grimmy.

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I love the peacefulness and renewed sense of spirit and hope that this season always provides.

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And the general feeling of joy that seems to be spread across the city and our neighborhoods.

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Wishing you a Merry Christmas season as you embark on the many holiday gatherings with family and friends.

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Cheers!

 

Dwarfism Awareness Month

October is dwarfism awareness month, as declared by the Little People of America organization.  Little People of America (LPA) is a national support organization for people with dwarfism and their families. LPA provides peer, parent and medical support for the dwarfism community.

Meet Gabe.  My brother.

Handsome devil, ya?

That’s 26 years of wisdom, art, compassion, musical talent, empathy, bad decisions, good decisions, killer customer service, listening skills crammed tightly into a 4′ something frame.

Q: What is the definition of dwarfism?

A: Little People of America (LPA) defines dwarfism as a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4’10” or shorter, among both men and women.

 

Did you know?

  • There are over 200 distinct forms of dwarfism.
    • The most common is achondroplasia affecting approximately one per 26,000 – 40,000 births.
    • Gabriel has Cartilage Hair Hypoplasia (CHH)
    • CHH is an extremely rare form of dwarfism, most seen in people of Finnish descent.  Outside of this population, its incidence is unknown.
  • People with dwarfism are generally not taller than 4′ 10″ at adult height. The typical height range is 2’8″ to 4’5″.

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  • 80% of people with dwarfism have average-height parents and siblings (waving).

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  • There are an estimated 30,000 people in the United States and 651,000 internationally with a type of dwarfism.
  • The word “midget” is inappropriate and offensive.
    • Preferable terms are: having dwarfism, short stature, little person, lp, and the medical terminology use of dwarf.
    • Of course calling someone by their name is always appropriate. 🙂
  • Dwarfism affects bone growth, but generally, does not affect cognitive abilities.
  • LPA hosts an annual national conference each July which draws 2500 attendees for a week of activities, including educational and medical workshops, sports, and social networking and events.

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As I previously shared via social media;

Gabe is an artist, a dreamer, a philosopher, a stellar employee, a writer, a great listener, a contemplator, deeply loyal, a musician, uniquely stylish and charismatic.

Gabriel doesn’t have dwarfism, he’s a dwarf.

Gabriel isn’t limited or different, he’s just shorter than the average height.

Gabriel doesn’t go against the “status quo” because he’s a dwarf, but rather because he’s Gabe. He’s himself and uniquely so, just as you and I are too.

Gabriel is a son, brother, friend, uncle, grandson, nephew, cousin, employee, a human being.

Gabe is wiser than his 26 years and shows his wisdom through his writings and in conversations. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to have a chat with my bro, you know just how philosophical and ingenious he really is.

Gabriel is a dwarf, but more importantly, he’s a person.

And rad as hell.

For more info on dwarfism, please visit www.lpaonline.org

 

Cheers!

Chatbooks | The MVP of Instagram

Chatbooks: Saving each Instagram account, 60 photos at a time.

I was introduced to Chatbooks by a friend last Christmas and was instantly intrigued.

  1. IG photo preservation that isn’t virtual
  2. Two options of books to preserve IG photos
  3. Automatic shipping
  4. CHEAP
  5. Easy options to change/manipulate an order before its shipped

The question I asked myself was: Do I find my Instagram photos to be worth saving outside of the Instagram app?

The answer was a definite, YES.

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When sharing on Social Media I only share the photos that are most important to me and that (most often) have a story behind them.  Gone are my younger years when I shared every last photo I ever took of an occasion.  Nope. Not interested in that, at all.  I find it to be less authentic and feel a point can be made and a bigger impact felt by sharing a few meaningful photos, or photos that capture the eye, or photos that are telling of yourself and your own personal story, or of others, in a positive, heartfelt way.   The photos (and I take a lot) that aren’t shared on Social Media platforms are uploaded on a monthly basis to Snapfish for storage, print and photo album creation, for my own personal use.

But, Instagram?   That’s where I like to post my favorite photos.  The ones that encompass who I am, what I believe in, the friendships I cherish, the family moments, the vacations, the scenery.   My IG photos tell a story.  With Chatbooks I get to preserve that story in the form of a book, forever.

About Chatbooks

Chatbooks started in 2014 by a husband and wife duo looking to preserve memories with little time investment.   The company has grown to employ over 85 individuals across the country but remain “small” in nature to provide a foundation built on people and individuals.   Their motto:

“Chatbooks exists to help people hold on to what matters.”

What Options Are There?

With Chatbooks you have two options.  The Chatbook Series Option and the Custom Chatbooks option.

I use the Chatbook Series option.

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Series books are ongoing and linked to Instagram, Facebook or even your own camera roll favorites.  For every 60 photos uploaded, Chatbooks will create a new album, (or in their words, Volume) and send it to you for $8 Automatically.  Three days before shipment you get an email where you can manipulate some of the photos/captions by removing anything unnecessary.

 

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 Chatbooks also includes the accompanying caption and the date uploaded.

 

Questions

Chatbooks has an awesome support center where all your questions can be answered at the click of a button:

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I love my Chatbooks collection and I know I will love them even more as the years go by, their purpose evolves and the documentation becomes even more significant.

 

Life is big and beautiful and I ❤ to live it.

Ready to connect your IG, FB or personal photos for your own set?

Click here for quick access! (This link is tied to my account for referrals, but in no way is this post sponsored.  I love this product enough to shout it from the rooftops!)

Cheers!

 

Harvest 2017 | Goecker Farms

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Harvest 2017 is in full swing and as the long days and short nights are just gearing up for our farming families, I want to remind you to thank a farmer today.  And everyday.

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Saturday I headed down to Clarinda to spend a little time catching up and reminiscing with my own farming family.   Grandpa spared no time in reminding me of the many times I used to ride with him late into the evening as a young girl and serenade him with what I am sure were some of the BEST children’s Sunday School songs.

This Little Light of Mine, anyone?

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I spared all of them with the singing this go ’round.  Can’t imagine my song choices would interest him much these days. 🙂

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A few hours in the field and I had to be making my way back to the concrete city lights, but my heart was certainly filled to the brim with warmth and happiness.

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Best wishes to all our farmers on a successful harvest.

 

 

 

12th Annual Biker B!tch Run | 2017

The 12th Annual Biker B!tch Run rolled in hot.

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And rolled out even hotter.

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Literally.

It was 9 million degrees that day. But who ever let a little sun and heat index of stay-inside-and-hydrate stop them?

Clearly, not us.

 

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The Beginning – Sugars in Council Bluffs, IA

Sugars provided us with our morning cocktail blends of bloody mary’s, screwdrivers and red-bull vodkas.  Logical drinks of choice for the 10:30 brunch hour, right?   And can we take a moment to appreciate this pretty BA sign that Candy and Marcy got for me???    This girl has some pretty incredible and oh-so thoughtful friends (even if I had to be reminded WHO actually went in on this bad boy.  Early on-set of Alzeimers, friends.  It’s real.  And I was just so excited for the day!)  Thanks again Candy!  ❤

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After cocktail hour, hugs, hellos and good-to-see-ya again’s… it was time to make that day our b!tch.

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Stop 1 – Tailgators Bar and Grill in Oakland, IA

A smorgasbord of lunch, ice cold beers and temperature regulation, Tailgators served us well.  And leave it to these naughties to find an opportunity in the dumpster.

Because where else, right?

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Finding fun in every moment is what these chicks excel at.

I dig.

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Stop 2: Cruisers in Griswold, IA

I believe we have Cruisers to thank for the kick of feel-good-endorphins.

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It’s a strong possibility those endorphins were brought to you courtesy of little cups of jello thanks to that wild child, Elise.  A little jiggly bucket of magic dust is what we will call it.

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And it’s our civic duty to follow clear directions and common law…

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So we made sure to oblige.

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Cruisers also provided us with a long stretch of street where we could actually set up and snag a few photos while melting under the fiery glare of the sun.

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Oh, but honey…

Griswold never looked so good.

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Let’s not forget our fun little crew taking space in the fun bus.

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I have Hunter to thank for many of the group photos from the road.  I gave her my camera and said “have fun”.

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Anyway, let’s roll on, shall we?

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Tyree always serves as my right-hand woman.  On the road and in life. ❤

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Stop 3: The Rainbow in Red Oak, IA

There is always one community that doesn’t know what to do or how to handle us when we come rolling in.  This year was definitely Red Oak.  Upon entering the town we came up on a sheriff.  Said sheriff pulled into the center turning lane and sat there while each and every one of us rolled on by, following the trusty 25mph speed limit and providing smiles, winks and a few head nods.

I am certain he was just enjoying the view…

Wouldn’t you?

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The Rainbow provided us with some eats and treats before it was time to leave the fine diners of the Rainbow Cafe to themselves again.

Ya, I see you Cyndi.

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Liz was being a badass a few weeks prior and broke her ankle so instead of two-wheels, she got four, courtesy of this little scooter.  And what kinda mode of transportation would it be without a license plate?

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Y’all.  This is my aunt Marla.  My dad’s sista.  I have this B!tch run to thank for getting us connected again.  It’s been so fun having her along for the ride.   Fun fact: she trailored down my dad’s old bike so I could use it in senior pics back in 1999.   Fun new fact: she fed me pizza when I was a toddler and got scolded.   This new fact is brought to you courtesy of Jessica’s conversation starters in the fun bus.

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Let’s ROLL!

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Stop 4: Jaime’s Tavern on Main in Essex, IA

Oh, friends.  FRIENDS!

You don’t even know…

Let me elaborate via visual effect.

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Our smart mouthed but huge heart friend Jenn couldn’t make the run due to work (we were also down a few others due to a trip to MX, a float trip, work and family time) BUT, Jenn busted her butt to get to Essex to have a drink and see us off to the next stop.

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And it’s always about this time where I become huggy.  I believe we can thank those little buckets of magic from earlier.

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Or maybe these baby beers.  Seriously.  Have you HAD THESE YET?

You are missing out.  Don’t miss out.

Don’t be that guy.

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Alright, Alright.  Let’s move along while we still can.

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Stop 5: The Hangout in Malvern, IA

It’s always about this time where folks start tearing off to head home for dinner with their s.o.’s or various other reasons.  It took me a minute to get used to that as the OG days we stayed together until alllllllll hours of the night.  But, a larger group now-a-days equals a wider range of home locations and miles in between plus family obligations, so I have embraced it as the new standard and can totally dig it.  It’s us.  It’s the new way.

And this last official bar always brings the onslaught of photo opps, as for many of these girls, this B!tch ride might be the only time each year that they ride together, which makes the moments and memories even more special.

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A little fact about the below pic.  Cyndi (left) rode in from Cedar Rapids!  I met Cyndi during the summer of 2007 at the Conesville Motorcycle Rally (R.I.P to the #2 ranked most epic of rallies… click here and here for the #1 ranked) so to have her join up this year on her own ride was pretty friggin’ sa-weet!

And Ashley (right) was a Jeeper during the 11th annual and decided then and there that she was going to be on her own two-wheels for the 12th annual.

A woman of her word.  My kinda peep.

Tyree- does this make her MY friend now too?

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Is the photo fuzzy, or have you just been drinking?

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The official stops may be over, but the unofficial stops were just beginning!

Peace out Malvern!

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Unofficial Stop 6: The Backroom Lounge in Lake Ohana/Glenwood, IA

We didn’t stick around here long.  Just enough for Tyree to join some kids in a bounce house, eat some grub, laugh at something on a phone that I am sure wasn’t funny, pass out the lollipops.

GANG, I am SORRY (not sorry cuz more for me) I forgot these earlier in the day… fail.

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OFFICIAL stop 7: Cara’s SURPRISE 30th BIRTHDAY PARTY!

We cruised into her nice quiet neighborhood, frightened her husband, rolled back the throttles because no birthday is complete without the sound of motorcycles hitting their rev limiters and surprised the hell outta this girl.

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We done?

duh.

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Some fuel and then I took up whip while Liz led us out to The Mile Away where you should also go for the chairs alone.

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Strong possibility they’ll put you right to sleep too!

Soon after the Mile Away we made our way to Crescent for some grub and good tunes and a final end to the night brought to you courtesy of Kimi’s famous split.  It wouldn’t be a B!tch run without it.  BUT, I shall spare her the pic.  There may be some shirt slippage in there and that’s just reserved for us. 😉

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Year 12 brought the fun.  It brought the renewed spirit.  It brought new friendships and reunited old.  It brought a sense of complete camaraderie and sisterhood that makes the B!tch run what it is and what it was built from.  Friendships united on trust, love, honesty, loyalty, a lil booze, wind and complete and total nonsense.

And 100% fun.

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CHEERS!

 

 

___________________

Special Thanks to:

Courtyard Ink

And all the bars visited, linked above.

 

 

 

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