Thursday, April 18, 2019

Flood 2019

March 16th is the day freaking everything got turned upside down.

Missy and I were running a 5k in Glenwood. The state of Glenwood/Pacific Junction at that point was kind of fear of the unknown - everyone was talking about the river level, as it was starting to break from it's barriers. The interstate was already closed and Missy and I had to take the back road into town (the road I always used to drive on drunk because I didn't think the cops would find me).

We ran our race, and then were tooling around town - we had breakfast and were doing some shopping. Then my mom called, telling me my Grandpa was freaking out about his antique stoves, and he had rented a trailer to get them loaded up in case the flood waters got to his house. Thinking he was over-reacting and immediately annoyed how those stoves are always his top priority, I went to his house (poor Missy). He loaded three antique stoves into a huge trailer and the rest of it sat empty. They took the trailers into a driveway in Glenwood.

I took Missy home, then met my sisters in Council Bluffs to go to a craft fair. Mom called me. She was losing her mind. The mayor and the sheriff had come to her door and told her to prepare for evacuation. She said I didn't need to come down and help. My sisters and I continued our shopping, meanwhile my mom called every one of us on repeat. Finally I told her I was coming down there.

When I got there, there was a hodge podge of shit covering the kitchen table and the counters. We packed up most of it into my car - I say "most of it" because some of it I convinced her she didn't need to save. A vanilla candle? An empty basket? Really Mom? We are supposed to be packing the essentials just IN CASE of a flood. She agreed she was acting a bit ridic, but my mom is always a bit ridic. So add the threat of a flood to it and WOW.

My sister Kate came to help me, and we went over to my grandparents...where they were just sitting in their recliners, watching the news like they always are. Let me try to paint a picture for you - the entire town (which is like five streets, but still) was LOSING THEIR MINDS. Everyone was running from the house to their cars with stuff. Even the people who didn't believe anything was going to happen were outside, making fun of the people who were freaking out. Everyone was outside. My grandparents were not.

My mom had transferred her crazy to her parents house, and now my aunt was there as well. Both were being very vocal about Grandma and Grandpa needing to pack up their stuff. It was not being well recieved. Grandma said she would just stay and let the flood take her....(and the Oscar goes to...).

Kate and I got Grandma off to ourselves. We said you're right, nothing is probably going to happen - but in the event something did, what sorts of things would she want to save? Then we got to work, collecting antiques and little things here and there. We packed up Kate's truck, constantly making comments to ourselves that this was all a waste of time and we would just be bringing all the stuff back down to PJ the next day.

We did not bring the stuff back to PJ the next day.
Or the next day. Or the next day.

PJ sat under water for a month. The water came in, and it came in fierce. And then it refused to go down.

I fucking hate water.

It has been the longest month of my life. Last weekend, my family was finally able to return to their homes, and it was like nothing I have ever seen before. Pictures do not do it justice. Everything was covered in dirt and this weird, slippery film. I was so scared to see a dead animal, or dead fish. And the smell was like death and shit and rot and death.

I wish so many things. I wish my prayers had been answered, and I wish my relationship with God hasn't been so tested I'm not sure what to believe anymore. I wish I had been nicer that Saturday. I wish we would have packed more stuff. I wish we would have utilized that stupid trailer better. I wish I had been nicer that Saturday.

I hate water.


Monday, March 11, 2019

"Hey Aunt Jen, I found your blog"

I am unsure if I am going to continue blogging, as my nephew found it and that mortifies me (facepalm emoji). He didn't find anything bad, and there really isn't anything too bad on here, but still. It makes me incredibly nervous now that my nieces and nephews are getting to the age where social media is invading their lives.

So...I'm going to take a break until I figure out what to do. Also, I don't want to lose everything I have put on here...does anyone know how to back this thing up?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Valentine's Day past

I feel haunted this year by the ghost of Valentine's Day past. This week is weird. I find myself questioning things I've done in past relationships that have led me to where I am today. I rarely do this - but this week I think the mix of the terrible weather and the stress of a project in my hometown (more on that later- hopefully) has me thinking too much.

My most favorite thing to do is put in ear buds and listen to music while I do things - clean, workout, whatever - at home. I know I can just listen to music through my wireless speakers, but for some reason I really like having earbuds in. So I was cleaning, listening to music, and Lips of an Angel by Hinder came on and stopped me dead in my tracks. I haven't heard that song in quite awhile and boom. Ghost of Valentine's Day past.

For some reason, this morning I can't stop thinking of a V Day when my guy of the moment just randomly showed up at my apartment at like 630am and wanted to take me out to breakfast. As soon as he said that, I got so excited because breakfast is my favorite meal. Plates of hash browns and scrambled eggs danced through my head. But...by "taking me out to breakfast" he meant going through the Burger King drive thru (I do not eat fast food breakfast items) and then going to Ameristar so he could cash in his Valentine's Day coupon. He made me late for work that day, and he yelled at me for being too "good" to eat fast food breakfast. I don't remember for sure, but he probably made me pay as well....he often did that. Ghost of Valentine's Day past.

I typically feel really good about  my current life situation and am pretty happy with it. But this week....this week is weird.

Ghost of Valentine's Day past.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

End of January

It's finally the end of January - that was longest month ever. With a lot of work drama mixed in with some family drama and a couple of unwanted guilt trips, I am ready to kiss that month goodbye. But I thought it would be interesting to see how I am doing with my 19 for 19.

19 things I want to accomplish in 2019:

1. Pay off two debts. Not yet - waiting on tax return
2. Go see Juana and John. Juana and I talked and tentatively decided on September. 
3. Be happy more than I'm sad. The last two weeks have been ridiculous. But I would still say I have been happier more than I've been sad. 
4. Sweat more days than I don't. Yes, check. 
5. Find something to celebrate every day. I already have ended this project. I think there is something to celebrate every day, but I don't like to post on my social media accounts that much. So while I am doing this internally, I am not posting it on instagram. 
6. Blog more. I am still not regular by any means, but I do feel good about the amount of blogging I've done this month. 
7. Read more. I did renew my library card and check out two books. Now to just put my phone down and open them up... 
8. Start running again this spring. Check back when we're not in an actual polar vortex.
9. Speaking of running, do a 5k every month with Missy. January - check and February is scheduled. 
10. Watch more musicals. Not done yet. 
11. Listen to more Taylor Swift. Hell yes. 
12. Spend more time outside. When we had unseasonably warm weather the first part of January, you bet your ass I was skipping the gym to be outside. However, the high yesterday was -1. Kiss my ass, winter. 
13. Finish my Baby-Sitters Club blog and sell my BSC books. I am almost there! I also sold the first 75 books in the series. 
14. Move out of my apartment. Not yet. 
15. Spend more time with Cooper and Chandler. I am heading there soon. 
16. Run with Gavin. Hopefully get him to a point where he will run the Homecoming 5k with me. Not yet. 
17. Start and finish a puzzle. Not yet. 
18. Eat breakfast food more often. Eggs for dinner have become a staple. 
19. Watch The Wizard of Oz more often. Twice this month! And a Judy Garland documentary for good measure. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

7 wonders of my world

My co-worker, Emily, told me today about her son's assignment to come up with the 7 wonders of his world. It got me thinking of mine...

1. Disney World and Disney Land, specifically the castle.
2. the Iowa State Fair

3. The Hollywood sign

4. Any ocean front (this one in Atlantis was especially nice)

5. John and Juana's house

6. Glenwood, Iowa
7. The most beautiful place I have ever been: St. Mary's Glacier in Colorado


Thursday, January 10, 2019

19 for 19

19 things I want to accomplish in 2019:

1. Pay off two debts.
2. Go see Juana and John.
3. Be happy more than I'm sad.
4. Sweat more days than I don't.
5. Find something to celebrate every day.
6. Blog more.
7. Read more.
8. Start running again this spring.
9. Speaking of running, do a 5k every month with Missy.
10. Watch more musicals.
11. Listen to more Taylor Swift.
12. Spend more time outside.
13. Finish my Baby-Sitters Club blog and sell my BSC books.
14. Move out of my apartment.
15. Spend more time with Cooper and Chandler.
16. Run with Gavin. Hopefully get him to a point where he will run the Homecoming 5k with me.
17. Start and finish a puzzle.
18. Eat breakfast food more often.
19. Watch The Wizard of Oz more often.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last entry of 2018

2018 is almost over.

I had a really good year.

I hit 250+ workouts, exceeding my 2018 goal.
I bought, traded and was gifted A LOT of Rae Dunn.
I ran 12 5ks with Missy.
I finally did one of those painting nights and one of those craft painting things.
I went to 4818304818 Stir Cove shows.
Juana and John came home in May and we went to Warm Spring Ranch to see horses.
I saw Wicked again!
I went camping/boating with Nick's family again  for the 4th of July.
We successfully threw a surprise  60th birthday party for Peg.
I turned 38.
I went to the Iowa State Fair again.
Nick and his family moved to Storm Lake, or, as I refer to it, two hours closer to me.
Missy and I went to Minneapolis and saw TAYLOR SWIFT and the Prince home/museum and the Mall of America and the Spam Museum and the Buddy Holly death site.
I went to Glenwood's homecoming and BVU's homecoming.
Missy, Ryan, Natalie and I went to Los Angeles: The Ronald Reagan museum, Disney, Hollywood, Venice Beach and the ELLEN show!
I dressed up as Wednesday Addams for the ELLEN SHOW!
I celebrated Thanksgiving with the annual Christmas lights at my dads.
Juana and John and Nick's family all came home for Christmas and it was a beautiful thing.

2019 is going to be exciting as well. Today I joined a new gym (Genesis) and I am so excited to add new things into my workouts. I may be training for another half.....maybe. This fall. And also I want to get my nephew into running. I may not be successful in that.

I also have some new projects I want to start. I am going to do a "Celebrate Every Day" thing on Instagram. So if you don't follow me on instagram, find me! I am also going to work hard on praying every single day. I mean on my knees, at my bedside, praying out loud. Also, I got a ring for Christmas from my grandma and right now it is too big for my pinky and too small for my ring finger. So I want to lose enough weight for it to fit my ring finger.

Here's to the new year! I hope yours is MARVELOUS.