Motorcycles, Leather and a Baby?

Towards the end of August I had the privilege of taking some photos for my very dear friends Andy and Liz, to only be surprised with the news of a baby on the way!  What a fun opportunity to switch mindsets from doing a couples photo session to a BABY announcement session. My heart! ❤

 

The weather was not in our favor, and having already rescheduled once, we were determined to keep plugging away, despite the rain and 1 million percent humidity levels.

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As all males, I think Andy was less than thrilled at the idea of photos, however, adding in the excitement of the baby announcement helped ease the nerves and joy and pride soon took over.  We had a solid hour of photos, endured the rain and then I held the honor of keeping this beautiful secret locked tight.

Until now.

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I think it is safe to say these two are going to make the absolute COOLEST parents on the block.  I am overjoyed for them and cant wait to spoil this baby in all things Harley-Davidson.

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Congrats, kids!

Enjoy the Ride!

 

Cheers!

Life Lately – A Glimpse Back to August and September 2017

Summer 2017 flew by like all summers do.  But for those who liken summer to just the months of June, July and August are selling themselves short.   Why stop at August?  Because school starts up again?   Hellooooo… who lives for the week when there is always a weekend?   September is always an extended summer month for this girl and it’s been slammed full of awesome. Plus, let’s just note the horrid temps we’ve been having lately.   Mid-90’s at the end of September?

 WHAT WAS THAT?!

Let’s take a step back in time.

{August}

The first part of the month was Jessica’s annual girls trip to the Ozarks with a few newbies along for the ride but minus a few previous attendees who were unable to make it.  The Ozarks trip looked quite different than years prior (recap of previous years here and here), however, you can guarantee fun was had, drinks were ingested, a few belongings were lost at the bottom of the lake and a hangover or two may have happened.

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Thanks again, Jeff and Donna for opening up your home to us.

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August 11-12th

Clint officiated a wedding in Red Oak, IA the second weekend of August so we headed down on the bikes Friday the 11th to help with rehearsal.

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Added bonus: one of the best meals we have had in a long time courtesy of the Red Coach Inn Lounge.   Had NO IDEA their food was so legit.  I take back my Red Roach sentiments.  *shoulder shrug

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The wedding on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous and everything went off without a hitch!

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And I, of course, loved every second I got to hang with Sara’s cute little fam.

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The entire month of August provided a lot of two-wheel time.   The number of sunsets captured was pretty spectacular.  This particular night we were just leaving The Twisted Tail after dinner and headed straight into the sunset.   I can’t get enough!

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Mid-August we had the opportunity to take my in-laws to dinner and we picked out the Driftwood Inn and Blair, NE.   The views during our pre-dinner drinks and appetizers were enough to make me want to go back for another evening cocktail anytime!   If you head that way, be sure to check their hours and give yourself plenty of time.  The seating is limited, the days and hours are limited and the wait time to get in is long, but clearly, worth it.  The place was packed!

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HOLD THE PHONE!

Did you know Clint has an award-winning truck?  At some point in August, we popped over to a car show with this man-manipulated beast I lovingly call Mater.   Listen, it’s apparently a thing because it was quite the conversation starter.  All I know is it’s a former dump truck (I think) that he put a box on.   It won best unfinished.

To me, it wins the title of “just another one of Clint’s unfinished projects”.

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And then around came my 37th birthday weekend.   Plans?  What plans?   Friends, let me tell you, August hit me like a ton of bricks!  I was out of the office traveling every day for over two weeks and facilitated 17 orientations where I was front facing students, parents, and administrators.  That’s a LOT of people and questions… and repeated answers.

So, I started to make plans, I didn’t like them, I changed them, I didn’t commit to anything, then I committed, people were busy, and then I uncommitted from it all because dang it… I just didn’t want plans.   None.  So, that’s what I did.  Whatever the hell I wanted on a schedule that didn’t matter if I was late or early too.

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And it was glorious.  

I got a solid long run in at my fave Zorinsky Lake and then we put some more miles in on the bikes.   Two-wheeled therapy, beers, dinner, and a nightcap to watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight at Tyree’s.   It was absolutely perfect and what I needed.

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And let’s not forget about this ooey gooey bowl of sweetness!  She makes every day a great day! ❤

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And then Tuesday the 29th hit and all of a sudden I’m 37.   THIRTY-SEVEN!   And super proud of it.   If you are one of those who keeps aging backwards… yo.   Stop it.  Own it!   Look at all the cool things you’ve experienced in your life to this point.  The things you’ve learned.   The mountains you’ve moved.   I proudly state my age.  Who gives a shit anyway?   Life friggin ROCKS!

The day started with getting absolutely SPOILED by my INSANIANCS and a 6 pack of beer from Jordan L.

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{Ok for real.  The number of people who actually thought I drank that bad boy at 5:30am after posting it on FB was a little ridic.   5:30am is a bit early don’t ya think?}

I mean clearly, I waited until the more respectable hour of 10:30am to crack it open.  #duh

 

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Thanks to Kelly for the extra steps in making my morning start off just right.  Look at that load of goodness.

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And the day of happiness continued with fresh out of the oven muffins from Bridgette, lunch with my mama, Dave and Gabe, goodies from some very special co-workers, flowers from the hubs, a hand-delivered cookie from Jess, love from the cat and sushi dinner to close out the night.

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37.  

You fine.

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{September}

I am still continuing working on my photo taking skills and fortunately for me had two more incredible test subjects.  Check out a few sneaks below!

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Pirtlefest Preps started happening on September 2nd and lasted through September 16th.   The weekends preps consisted of truck repairs, hole digging, pole barn cleaning, cabin sweep, human fooseball construction while also consuming a fair amount of food and booze.

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Friday, September 8th was Clarinda’s homecoming and my beautiful cousin was part of the Homecoming Court.  I made a last minute decision early that morning to take a 1/2 day off work and make my way to Clarinda to see her in action.  Fortunately for me, I caught a gorgeous sunrise on that two-wheeled beauty.

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And speaking of gorgeous!  Megan- red is your color!

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No trip to Clarinda would ever be complete without a stop to see Kayla and fortunately for us, Nicole stopped by and joined in on the fun as well!

An afternoon of beers and besties?  YES, PLEASE, ALWAYS!

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I timed my departure to coincide with the sunset.  The backroads of Iowa never disappoint, so there I sat, by myself, no traffic, the only sounds coming from the low grumble of my bike and the chirps of bugs, watching the sunset ever so softly until it disappeared.

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You all know how I feel about finding time to reset and self-reflect.   For me, the best time to do that is on the bike at sunset with nothing but miles ahead, miles behind and the only sounds heard are from the bike and my own thoughts.

Be comfortable being by yourself.  Get comfortable having hard conversations with yourself.   That’s where true growth begins.

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Saturday the 9th was the annual Scroggs memorial run out of Clarinda, so instead of heading to the farm to continue helping with the Pirtlefest shenanigans, I took off on the bike BACK to Clarinda to enjoy an afternoon of riding.

The weather was perfect, the miles long and the company a treat.

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Sunday, September 10th marked 6 years of marriage.

Killing it!

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Monday, September 11th marked my first day back as a playing member of the Nebraska Wind Symphony.   It had been 6 years since I had touched my clarinet and 11 years since I played repertoire that challenged me. I was a member of NWS from 2004-2006 while still living in Clarinda but left the group during a transition period in my life and then actually left music altogether in 2011 when I stepped away from teaching.  Joining the music world again had definitely been on my heart for the last year. In fact, my Christmas present to my Gr’pa Goecker last year was a written promise to see what I could do about becoming a playing NWS member again… and Monday the 11th I fulfilled that promise. He’s delighted as he’s certainly been the one to consistently bring up how he wishes I still played.  It’s been GREAT to be back… but I’ll admit the Monday evening 7:15-9:15pm rehearsals are an adjustment for my 4am Tuesday alarm clock.   Ouch!!

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Mid-September brought some changes at work.  The details are unnecessary, but the love I feel for my colleagues and the future of my position is promising.  Thanks to many special people for helping lead into that transition and through the changes yet to come.

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And with that, I’ll leave you be.   We’ve got Pirtlefest and an Arkansas trip to round out September, but those adventures certainly deserve their own post.

… Oh, the stories and photos to share!  🙂

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

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:

Birthday Celebrations

Turning 34 was just as great as I thought it would be.  A full weekend of friends, good food, booze, football, Harley riding… so much activity that I am going to have to split my weekend re-cap into two posts.

Friday:

Considering the cards and the giant bottle of Vodka I received from co-workers, it is very apparent that I’ve shared my love of Vodka a little too often. Maybe this is a sign I need to tone down the Vodka talk.  I swear I don’t drink but on the weekends or if out for Wednesday Night Bike Night.

But, let’s be honest.  A little Vodka never hurt anyone.  Clearly the fish agrees with me:

 

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Rewinding a little to let you know that Clint actually sent me these flowers to work on Monday.   Celebrating the Birthday Week, of course.

For 8 years he’s been sending me Harley Birthday Roses.  What a good man.

 

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For the record:  black spray-painted roses STINK!

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I took half day vacation on Friday and was able to meet up with my Mom and Grandma for lunch at the Olive Garden.   Wine, girl talk and good food with two ladies I just adore.

 

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Parking lot selfie in the glaring sunlight.  Could we squint a little more? 🙂

After lunch I treated myself to some girlie pampering before meeting up with a group of friends at Kona Grill for sushi and drinks.  I opted for the private room in order to be able to chat with everyone equally.  Thanks to our awesome waitress for taking a group photo for us!

It may or may not have taken multiple takes to get a decent shot. Boys tend to misbehave when the camera comes out.

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Lot’s of sushi, calamari, martini’s, vodka <— ya, that was me, and laughs were had.

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Poor Luke.  The victim of Jade’s great ideas.   “I’ll buy you a beer if you eat this Wasabi with no water… for a solid minute”

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For the record:  He did it.

After Kona we went up to the 21st Saloon to close out the night low-key.

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Top left/clockwise:  Kayla and I -> when boys take selfies -> me, Trena and Linds -> Clint and Jade storytime.

It was a perfect ending to a great Birthday.

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Cheers!

Stay Tuned for Saturday and Sunday recaps coming soon!

Lincoln Half Marathon- 2014

You guys…

SERIOUSLY on a high right now.

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Completed my second ever Half Marathon today.

 

And you know what else?

I hit my PR!

2:05 

 

That is 5 whole minutes FASTER then last year.

And you remember how I trained this go around, don’t ya?  Weekends.  I ran on the weekends and cross-trained by teaching during the week.

To say I am elated is the understatement of the YEAR.

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To anyone in the Lincoln, Nebraska area….  Thank You!  You guys know how to organize a race.

I have never seen so much support for runners IN. MY. LIFE!

There were people cheering, bands playing, kids giving high-fives, water, gatorade and kleenex every step you took.  I am not kidding when I say every last stretch of that 13.1 miles was filled with someone or something.

 

Lincoln- you made that 13.1 miles seem like 6.   It was fantastic.

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This morning started off in a little bit of a cluster.   My 4:30AM alarm didn’t happen.

Nope!

What happened was my 5:21AM internal alarm clock that was FREAKING OUT!

Race-7am.  Drive time- One Hour.  Parking time and walk to starting line PLUS last minute bathroom break – OMG I am gonna be late!

Ninja like moves happened and somehow my race clothes made it on, my teeth got brushed, my lucky hat made it to my head and my race bib made its way into the car.

And off we went.

No water.  No fuel.

Usually I eat a Clif bar before a long run.  Sometimes I even have a little caffeine.   Clearly THAT wasn’t happening this morning.

Thankfully, I calmed down once we were on our way.

It was going to be ok.

We made it to Lincoln just prior to 6:30am.   Found a spot to park relatively quickly (miracle in itself), hit up the porta-pottys (a must, if you know what I’m saying…) and made my way to a spot in the middle of the pack.

In the middle of 10,500 other runners, that is.

 

And then the wait.

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The race started at 7.  It was 7:32am by the time I made it up to the starting line.  And off I went for the most enjoyable, exhilarating, hyped up 13 miles I have EVER run.

I paced myself at around 9:30 the entire way.  Sometimes I was little faster, sometimes a little slower, but I never broke that average pace of 9:30ish.  Thanks to MapMyRun, my trusty GPS sidekick.

The final results?

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Finishing inside the Nebraska stadium was pretty fantastic as well.

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And my sis-in-law Jamie ran her FIRST ever Half-Marathon.  She did SO great!  Very proud of her for committing and conquering.  Way to go, Jamie!

 

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And of course, a shout-out to my #1 supporter for getting up at the crack of dawn to drive me down to Lincoln to just ‘hang-out’ for two hours while I ran.  He’s pretty awesome.

 

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And THAT my friends, is the end of my Lincoln Half-Marathon recap.   Will there be another?  Not sure.  Time will tell. 🙂

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