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!

 

 

 

Year 5!

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5 years of marriage

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10 years together

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An incredible ride

 

The saying time flies when you’re having fun couldn’t ring more true.   As you are reading this, we are currently in Illinois for the weekend, staying in a cabin and exploring life along the Mississippi river from the seat of our two wheels.  In honor of year 5, I felt like taking us on a little journey back to 09.10.11 when we both said I DO to this crazy, fun adventure we’ve gotten ourselves into.

Our Wedding Day

The morning of September 10th, 2011 started off as most typical weddings do…

√ with the girls all shoved into a hotel room

√ clouds of hairspray in the air

√ and slight buzzes all around from mimosas

Or if you are the Bride, you are buzzed from drinking champagne straight outta the bottle.

Don’t you dare deny it.  You know you did.

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These girls provided much laughter and entertainment as we each got ready for what was bound to be a fun filled day.

Once the makeup, hair and jewelry were all set in place and the dress on; my sparkly orange shoes and I made our way downstairs to see Clint for the first time.

I believe the look on his face says it all.

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With a little dress help from the soon to be husband…

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…we set out on the Pre-Wedding Party Bus for an afternoon of photos, boozing and laughter.   The thought of doing photos with zero beer sounded insanely boring and not our style.  Plus, who wants a party bus after the wedding when you only get to use it for 5 seconds?

Psssh…. Let’s do this RIGHT.

Load ’em up!

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We chose the old train station in the Old Market as the location for all our photos.  Off the beaten path, a little edgy and zero stuffiness of a traditional setting.

Just the ticket.

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I crack up every time I look at these photos of the boys.  They took the potential awkwardness of photos together and threw it out the window with their ridiculousness.   Priceless.

I love those boys.

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To be serious is really hard.  I believe there are more laughing photos than smiling or serious.  Which is cool for me!  After all, this is a true reflection of our marriage, but most importantly, friendship.

I dig the shiz outta this dude.

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After we wrapped up the photos, we trekked on over to Joe Banana’s Bar for a few shots and relaxation before making our way out to Westfair for the Ceremony.

Wait, wait.  We hadn’t gotten hitched yet and we were still out having a good time?

BINGO!

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Party Bus loaded, we made our way back to Westfair to actually DO this thing!

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For the walk down the aisle, Clint and I chose to walk together.  We’d already established ourselves as a team and a united front.  Why not go into it as such?  Plus, it took the pressure off my non-spotlight kinda dad and soft-spoken step-dad.

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While my brother played the guitar for our entrance, the wedding party made it down the aisle (and up the stairs in a straight line, might I add) before we made our own way down with a pit-stop at both sets of parents for hugs and love before taking our own spots on stage.

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With the girls to our left and the boys to our right, we said our own vows, prayed for the Lord’s Blessing on our marriage and said our I Do’s, surrounded by the folks that mean the absolute most to us.

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And just like that we became Husband and Wife

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Post-ceremony we made sure to grab our families for some photos before we lost them all in the sea of friends and beer.

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Then came the eating, drinking, laughing and reminiscing with friends past and present.  A SPECIAL shout-out to Claire’s mama, Kendra, for the insanely delicious frosted sugar cookies that proved to be painstakingly tedious to make.  I fell in love with Kendra’s sugar cookies in High School.

COULD NOT. CANNOT. GET ENOUGH.

So, when I asked her to make enough cookies to feed a few hundred, she didn’t hesitate once.   Unfortunately, I nearly ruined her of making these for eternity after this stint.   But, I am happy to report, I have had a few of her creations since then.  Whew… crisis diverted.   Thank You, Kendra!  ❤

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And then the rest of the night?

DANCING

Oh, the DANCING!  With Lemon Fresh Day taking over the Westfair Stage, you KNOW we danced and partied hard.

What an incredible night.

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Cheers to year 5 and to many, many more.

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Venue: Westfair

Catering: HyVee

Photography: Gulizia Design

(please note photos are slightly distorted due to program I used for cropping and combining, NOT from actual photos)

Ties: RokGear

 

Our Harley Davidson Wedding: Part 2

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Our wedding took place at Westfair Amphitheater.  This was venue number 2 that was secured less then 3 months prior to our wedding, thanks to our original venue drowning from the crazy Missouri River Flooding.  Talk about last minute stress, but it all worked out.

Clint and I chose to walk each other down the aisle as opposed to me meeting him at the front.   Our lives were already operating as one unit, we had committed to each other long before our wedding date, and it just seemed appropriate to walk down the aisle together.

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My younger brother, Gabriel, played guitar for us. We chose the song Beautiful Day by U2 as we all walked down the aisle.  He did such a great job!

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The Happy Hubby and Wife!!

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Kyle is officially my step-son!  Handsome kid.

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Our Beautiful Families

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Clint had my ring custom made.  All his idea to do a bar and shield.

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In lieu of a traditional guestbook.

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And how amazing are these cookies?  One of my besties mom made them for me.  She makes the BEST sugar cookies I have ever had.  Ever.  Think Loft House Sugar Cookies, but better.  Her cookies were the one requirement I had for food.

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People ate, drank, socialized and as the sun set, our band set up to start the real party.

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We hired Lemon Fresh Day and they rocked the reception from start to end.  We partied until well after midnight, others even longer.  I heard some pretty entertaining stories about hotel pool after-hour shenanigans.  🙂

Beer, rock’n’roll, friends, family and a happy couple.  Wedding Day Success.

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Our Harley-Davidson Wedding- Part 1

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All pictures courtesy of Gulizia Design.  My favorite photographer of all time.

 

Taking it back today to 9.10.11~ Our Wedding Day.

In planning our wedding we knew we wanted it to be totally us, no-nonsense, lots of fun, Harley-Davidson centered, full of our favorite people, lots of beer drinking and good rock-n-roll.  I think we pulled it off with flying colors.  It makes my heart happy having people still talking about our wedding day, two years later.

The Day started in a hotel suite with my beautiful bridesmaids, a lot of hairspray, makeup, champagne drinking and laughter.  Perfect way to calm a nervous bride.

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Yes, I am hugging my own bottle of champagne.  I know how to do this right.

 

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Time for The Dress

 

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The Orange Sparkly Shoes

 

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The Jewelry

 

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Deep Breath.  Let’s Go!

 

I will never forget his face.  He cried.  I might have laughed. 

 

 

 

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His First Look

 

At this point we loaded up the entire wedding party, plus their significant others, onto a party bus.  Yes.  We did a party bus BEFORE the Ceremony.  It was all about celebrating that day.  No stress, no Bridezilla, no worries.  Just fun.

 

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We took the bus down to the Old Market, Omaha to where the train station used to be located.  A perfect place for the style of pictures we wanted.

 

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The Girls

 

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After pictures we hung out at a bar for a few pre-ceremony cocktails and time to just relax and let loose before hopping back on the party bus for the 20 minute drive to the ceremony.

Nothing but Shenanigans, friends.

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Up Next: Wedding Ceremony, Reception and our kick ass dance with the band Lemon Fresh Day!