We Grow As One: The Courtyard Ink

Feature #1 in the We Grow As One series comes from Courtyard Ink.

Courtyard Ink came to my rescue this last summer when I fell into an unfortunate predicament that left me with an order that needed to be placed ASAP.   Several frantic emails went out to local screen printing shops in the metro area and of the responses I received, Courtyard Ink stood out as the BEST possible solution for me in multiple ways:

  1.  The no-nonsense response
  2.  The politeness and eagerness to accommodate
  3.  The competitive pricing
  4.  The impressive turnaround time
  5.  The flexibility to add a few extra orders within said turnaround time
  6.  The payment structure (I didn’t have to place 100% down prior to the order being processed)
  7.  Their logo was simply badass

Brad and Steve pulled through on my order and even placed an EMERGENCY order with a 24 hour turnaround time when I had a few extras the last second.

Talk about customer service! 

These guys get it.

Courtyard Ink was established from a variety of unique circumstances: college entrepreneurship class, a buddy’s basement, a heat press, a final project and a first customer.   From 2008 to now, Courtyard Ink has seen a move from a basement to a few storefronts to where they currently reside on 1415 North Saddle Creek Road.

Courtyard Ink has built a solid reputation by simply being one of the best in the screenprinting and embroidery business.  Through word of mouth, old school networking and advertising and repeat customers, Brad and Steve have created a solid foundation to which business will continue to grow.  I am a prime example of a first time customer turned repeat.

1) They pulled through on my down to the wire order for my annual biker chick run:


2) And in return, I went back to them for a large shirt order I needed for my program at work:


Courtyard Ink specializes in screen-printed or embroidered apparel, so if you are in the market, I encourage you to go see them for your next order.


You can find one or both of the guys there Monday -Thursday from 9-5 or Friday from 9-4.   They value their time with family and friends so weekends are locked tight to personal downtime.  I commend them for that decision as I strongly believe that in order to have a successful business, you have to remember to take care of yourself as well.  It’s nice to see these entrepreneurs figured that out early on.

What’s next for you and your connection with Courtyard Ink?


Thanks, Courtyard Ink for the stellar customer service and great product.   We look forward to seeing continued success and growth.




This post is part of the We Grow As One series highlighting our community, small businesses and the people behind them.  First National Bank of Omaha is sponsoring this series of posts, but all words are mine. 

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?


Let’s take a step back in time.


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.



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


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.


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


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


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


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!


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!



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”.


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.


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.


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


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.


{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



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


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.






You fine.



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!



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.







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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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.



Sunday, September 10th marked 6 years of marriage.

Killing it!


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!!


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.


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!  🙂






Music Monday 7 | Chase Rice | Gonna Wanna Tonight

Chase Rice.  He was introduced to me a little over a year ago by a friend and I’ve been digging on him since.   Easy to listen to songs, down to earth personality, humbling upbringing, good family values.  Just a few reasons why I dig country music.  The artists are real and they never seem to forget their roots.

chase rice


Chase played in Omaha at Sokol Auditorium on Friday, October 30th and you can BET I was on that ticket bandwagon in a hot second and my concert sidekick Tyree was right there with me.


Chase put on a great show, connecting with the crowd, pulling up to the stage a starstruck girl,  serenading her that made us all sick with envy and then thanking her boyfriend for not being a dick.   True words.  It was priceless.



The beers were ice cold, the music fantastic and the company great.   Chase Rice, I will be seeing you in concert again.



Webpage: Chase Rice Home

Tour: Chase Rice Tour

Other Songs Worth A Listen:


Chase Rice

Gonna Wanna Tonight

If you wanna climb a ladder on a water tower
Then we’ll kick it with the stars for a couple hours
If you wanna then we’re gonna get way up high
If you wanna dip your toes where the water stops
Then we’ll let our feet hang off a fishin’ dock
If you wanna then we’re gonna have to give it a try, that’s right
If you wanna go away out where there ain’t nobody around
And let your long hair get to fallin’ down
And let your red lips leave their mark all over mine
If you wanna then we’re gonna girl
I hope you’re gonna wanna tonight
If you wanna then we’re gonna girl
I hope you’re gonna wanna all night
If you wanna catch a buzz and ride it til the mornin’
Let’s get two plastic cups and baby I’ll get to pourin’
I don’t really matter if it’s whiskey or wine, it’s fine
If you wanna go away out where there ain’t nobody around
And let your long hair get to fallin’ down
And let your red lips leave their mark all over mine
Fill up the night air with the radio
And put your hands wherever they wanna go
Yeah, we’re right there
Girl just close your eyes
If you wanna then we’re gonna girl
I hope you’re gonna wanna tonight
If you wanna then we’re gonna girl
I hope you’re gonna wanna all night
Gonna wanna get a little closer
Gonna wanna slide it on over
Gonna wanna
Gonna wanna go away out where there ain’t nobody around
And let your long hair get to fallin’ down
And let your red lips leave their mark all over mine
Come on
Fill up the night air with the radio
And put your hands wherever they wanna go
Yeah, we’re right there
Girl just close your eyes
If you wanna then we’re gonna girl
I hope you’re gonna wanna tonight
If you wanna then we’re gonna girl
I hope you’re gonna wanna all night
Gonna wanna get a little closer
Gonna wanna slide it on over
Gonna wanna
Ya gonna wanna tonight


In Case You Missed It

Music Monday 4 | Rise Above This | Seether

In honor of Seether coming to Sokol Auditorium in Omaha tomorrow night, today’s Music Monday brings you:

Rise Above This by Seether


Rise Above This was inspired by the suicide of Seether frontman Shaun Morgan’s brother.   In 2012, Shaun was interviewed on the band’s upcoming Rise Above This Fest, which was an all day music festival centered around awareness and prevention of teen suicide.

“It sparks the kind of conversation I’m not very comfortable with,” Morgan acknowledges. “People know what (‘Rise Above This’) is about, I know what it’s about but that doesn’t mean I want to talk about it. But it’s definitely been a song people tell me has been uplifting and that they listen to in times of need. It’s helped them get through certain moments in their lives and it’s been a comfort and solace to them. That’s what it does for me, too, so the intention of the song worked. It’s definitely had a positive effect, but it can be quite heavy to deal with when you hear the stories.”


Suicide is never the answer.  Please become educated and aware.  Be the help that someone needs.


“Rise Above This”

Take the light, and darken everything around me
Call the clowns and listen closely, I’m lost without youCall your name every day when I feel so helpless
I’m fallen down but I’ll rise above this, rise above thisHate the mind, regrets are better left unspoken
For all we know, this void will grow
Everything’s in vain, distressing you though it leaves me open
Feels so right, but I’ll end this all before it gets meCall your name every day, when I feel so helpless
I’ve fallen down (fallen down), but I’ll rise above this, rise above this
Call your name everyday, when I seem so helpless
I’ve fallen down (fallen down), and I’ll rise above this, rise above this doubt

I’ll mend myself before it gets me
(I’ll mend myself before it gets me)
I’ll mend myself before it gets me
(I’ll mend myself before it gets me)

Call your name every day, when I feel so helpless
I’ve fallen down but I’ll rise above this, rise above this
Forty-eight ways to say that I’m feelin’ helpless
I’ve falling down, falling down, but I’ll rise above this, rise above this, rise above this, rise above this doubt


In Case You Missed It:


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

↓ Girls, Girls, Girls  

What a day …


with all these girls

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



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…


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.



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




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.

Wilds 7


Wilds 26


Wilds 33



Wilds 23




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


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!



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

Brace yourselves for this awesomeness.


Oh, NO you DIDN’T!


Oh, YES you DID!

Wilds 0.0

B!tches Betta Recognize!


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.


Road 0.0

The Riverside Inn | Riverton, IA

Riverton 15.

Riverton 11


Riverton 10

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! 🙂

Riverton 20


Riverton 12


Riverton 16

And more…

Riverton 3


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!




Fuel 2

.Fuel 5

Emerald Isle | Imogene, IA

Ah.. the home of little beers.

Imogene 27


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

Exhibit A

Imogene 10

Exhibit B

Imogene 24

Exhibit C

Imogene 13

Exhibit D

Imogene 20

Exhibit E

Imogene 14

Exhibit F

Imogene 9

Oh, Little Beers.   You are sneaky little bastards.

WAIT!  How many did we have?!

imogene 35


Imogene 6

.Imogene 50


Imogene 40

.Imogene 22


Time to MOVE…




Emerson 15

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.

↓       ↓

 Emerson 1

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

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

Emerson 6


Emerson 32

Emerson 11


Emerson 21


Emerson 33


Emerson 26


Emerson 12


Emerson 37


Emerson 40



Emerson 17

.Emerson 13


Emerson 41

Alright, Alright, Alright.  

We still have TWO more official stops! 

Let’s go!

The Hood | Silver City, IA

 Silver City 29


Silver City 33

The C-Town Crew!

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

Silver City 11

How cute is this photo?

Silver City 31


Silver City 17

Here comes Marcy!

Silver City 2

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

Silver City 18

Let’s MOVE!

Silver City 25


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)

BackRoom 35 BackRoom 40

And long drawn out good-byes.

BackRoom 22

(Adopted) Sister Love

BackRoom 32

Marcy naughtiness

BackRoom 42

Final gab sessions

BackRoom 41

Parking lot split


BackRoom 34

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.


Lighthouse | Council Bluffs, IA

 Lighthouse 43 Lighthouse 46

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

Lighthouse 5

  Lighthouse 37

Lighthouse 32hahaha… Love you, Jess

Lighthouse 2

Lighthouse 4

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…


21st Saloon | Omaha, NE

21st 0

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.


Until next time…




Professional Photos 

Fun Photos

  • The Girls


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


  • My Girls Ink