Sunday, December 28, 2014

Every day is the best day

Here are 12 wonderful pictures from 2014. 

January

February 

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Beauty box!

I am insanely interested in the idea of sample boxes, but I couldn't commit to one. I wanted them all. And that was just way too expensive. 

So when I heard that Walmart had a beauty box that is only five bucks a season, I was sold. You see...I'm not ashamed to admit I shop at Walmart. It's fucking cheap, and I'm a cheap ass (who carries Coach) so why would I not shop there? 

So I jumped online and ordered their seasonal beauty boxes, and I was so pumped to receive my first one the other day. 

I got 2 shampoo/conditioner samples, a Cover Girl lip gloss (full size), two lotion samples and a 10 pack of Burts Bees face cloths to wash and remove makeup. I'm most excited to try those. 

I got this box because it's the cheapest of all the sample boxes I have found. Of course...now I really want more. 

Merry Christmas you little sweeties

I have a confession to make. 

While I like the Christmas season and everything that comes with it (music, treats, trees, decor), I'm not a real big fan of Christmas itself.

My family really doesn't do much for the holiday, so Christmas Eve and Christmas Day have always been kinda awkward. We all just sit and look at each other because it's the holiday and we should be together, but since we aren't doing anything it's just weird and slightly annoying. 

I was dreading the holiday so much that I was in a pretty shitty mood the days leading up to Christmas. My expectations were very very low. 

Christmas Eve I woke up and headed to the Boone's to make Christmas goodies and give the boys their presents. My holiday was off to a good start...how could it not be with these little sweeties? 

After that I went down to Dad's. He was getting ready to go out and be Santa, and of course Kate and I couldn't resist a photo shoot with his Santa gear. 

When Dad, Peg and Kate went out to greet the neighborhood with candy canes, I headed down to Grandma's. 

Grandpa was truly amazed at the self facing camera. 

The best part of the night was when Grandpa busted out his accordion. 


Christmas Day was more low key - first I went to Nicole's to give the boys their presents and I set Gavin's wii u up for him. Then lunch at Mom's, dinner at Dad's and then a very intense game of Jenga.

So between those great days, and the fact that I overdosed on cheesy Christmas movies and music this year, I think the Christmas jinx is over. 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stuff and things and thoughts

Hi!

I'm just going to throw some knowledge at you.

1. Scandal. Is. Everything.
2. I now assume everyone around me is scandalous because I've been watching too much Scandal.
3. I'm not wrong about everyone around me being scandalous.
4. Nick lost a bet to me last night and paid up today. It was marvelous.
5. Tomorrow is my last day of work in 2014 and I CANNOT WAIT FOR BREAK.
6. Last weekend I got to run outside three times, and now it's like 18 degrees out. Mother Nature is a bipolar bitch.
7. I bought workout clothes from Old Navy on Black Friday, and they are bomb.com. Seriously.
8. Last weekend I took Cooper and Chandler on an adventure, and it was so much fun. I love those boys so much.
9. Sometimes my students make me so happy and proud I could cry. And then sometimes they make me want to pound my head against a wall.
10. Leaha was back at work this week, and it made my heart so happy. I wanted to hug her for an hour, but I settled for three five-second hugs.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Cliff Huxtable owes me an apology

Is this Bill Cosby thing wigging anyone else out?

In high school, we had a VHS copy of Bill Cosby: Himself. It was the funniest fucking thing in the world. My older brother John and I watched it endlessly, and on two occassions invited friends over to watch it with us. I have never ever seen Leanna or Matt laugh as hard as they did that night. It's one of my favorite memories with Leanna.

The Cosby Show was always one of my favorite sitcoms, and I am SO PISSED I didn't watch it one last time before the pulled it off Nick at Nite and Netflix.

When this news first hit a couple months ago, I ignored it. I just didn't believe it. If he had really done all these creepy things, then why weren't they brought to light when they happened?

In my head, these were seriously my thoughts: He was rich. He dicked around on his wife, whatever. It was thirty something years ago. Why are these bitches bringing this up now? I just didn't see how it was possible that this man I loved so much as a teenager would do these horrible things. I chose to not believe it.

But now it's kind of hard to ignore. All these women coming forward means it's true. As I always say,  women are crazy for a reason. When women go bananas, it's because someone (typically a man, let's get real) drives them there.

I want Cliff Huxtable back.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Blissful Sunday

Sunday was one of those awesome days. You know those days. Where you see awesome people who you love, do awesome things that are fun, and when you lay down at the end of it you can't believe how lucky you are.

I lounged in bed for awhile and then met Missy and Katie for lunch and some shopping. We did lunch at Dudleys (buffalo chicken pizza for the win), and then hit up the Holiday Market in Askarben. 

After that we headed out to Gretna for the outlet malls. I freaking love our outlet mall. I finally found the one thing I have been searching for forever...a hoodie with no hood. So I snatched that bitch up, and then Katie tried on some dresses, but didn't want to take her pants off.

Cute look. After that, I went over to the Boone's to watch the boys while Han and Nick did a little Christmas shopping. Cooper was highly impressed with the fuzziness of my coat.

We played play doh and, of course, drained the battery on all my i products.

Great day!

P.S. 8 days of work left this year. Holla!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Busy day!

Have you ever seen that episode of Friends where Ross is on leave from work (due to his rage) and he does a ton of errands/stuff and when he starts listing it off to Joey, Joey's response is "dude, you just described seven days worth of stuff." That's how my day has been.

This is so not like me. I normally put stuff off, or at least spread it out pretty well between my three days off. But for some reason my attitude today has been "might as well do it now...it seems dumb to wait." So today, I have done all of these things:

1. Went to see my teammate Allison. Have I mentioned to you that my old high school math teacher (Mr. Stukenholtz) is now the principle (or assistant principle...or something important) at Allison's school? I saw him today. #butterflies
2. Then I went somewhere to buy something.
3. Then I went to WalMart to buy a new wireless router, because mine shit out on me last night.
4. Then I got home and hooked up said router.
5. I was going to do laundry on Sunday, but then I looked at it and thought why wait? So I did it today.
6. And I figured I should wash my sheets too, so I stripped my bed.
7. And since my room was stripped, I cleaned that from top to bottom.
8. And organized all my makeup and hair stuff.
9. I was going to wait til Monday to go to the post office, but I thought why wait? So I went today. Even though I didn't know where the post office is, so I had to google search it before hand.
10. When I got back I decided I should go through my closets.
11. Then I had to make two trips to the dumpster to get rid of all the crap I've collected since my last closet purge.
12. On my first trip to the dumpster, I noticed it was awesome out and I got a running itch. So I grabbed my phone and ear buds (and the rest of my trash) and after the dumpster, I took off and ran hard for 30 minutes. On a rest day. What the fuck.
13. I went to the grocery store to get some stuff to make a casserole from some other stuff I need to use up or it will go bad.
14. Rather than letting my laundry sit in my basket until I need something out of it, I actually folded it and put it all away.
15. Including hanging everything up that goes in the closet, which is my most hated chore of all the chores in the land.
16. Then I washed and put away all my dirty dishes (my family can vouch this is nothing like my usual behavior. I am an expert, award winning dish rack stacker (I made the award and presented it to myself).
17. Then I emptied the dishwasher. 

What the actual fuck is going on with me? I have to go vacuum now. Happy Friday, fools! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

First love(s)

I wanted to talk to you all for a minute about my first love. Who was immediately followed by my second love.

This first guy set my standard. I was absolutely convinced that I would never find love because I could never really be with him. I would rush home every day after school to be with him.

I didn't get over MPG, but I did add another guy to my roster. I have always been good at juggling.

I have since added some more "first loves", but I will spare you pictures.




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Recommitting to this here blog

So I've spent some time today stalking my own blog, and I realized that I am slacking like a mo fo. Last year I wrote 160 entries, and there is some good stuff in there. (Look to the right if you want to read some archives.)(Trust me, it's highly entertaining.)

This year, so far, I am only at 91. What the eff, Jen? What's your problem?

Well, I have to say this...I'm lazy. I love writing, but for the life of me I cannot come up with blog content. At least, not interesting enough content that I think people will want to read. I've been thinking and googling and researching and contemplating this blog tonight, and trying to decide if I want to give it up or continue just writing every once in awhile.

I'm not giving it up. Lucky you! And I am going to work really hard on blogging more often and making my entries more interesting.

So I thought I would start this revamping of my blog off with what I've been up to lately, and what has been keeping me so busy that I can't seem to blog.

1. I have been pretty obsessed with reading lately. There is something about cuddling up with a book under a blanket that makes me SOO happy.
2. All of those books from from the library. Yes, I still go to the library. I recently discovered the Millard branch of the Omaha Public Library and I love it so much more than the Ralston branch, so I have been going bananas with my library trips. I am usually there once a weekend. I want to work there.
3. When I'm not reading, I am obsessively watching anything on Investigation Discovery. My favorite shows are Deadly Women and Wives with Knives, and I just discovered a new show called Momsters about moms who lose their shit when someone messes with their kid. No, I'm not going to go crazy and kill someone, and, yes, I often have to fast forward through the bloody parts.
4. I am also spending a lot of time working out - I'm not focusing so much on cardio right now because running season is over and I cannot handle the treadmill. Instead, I am doing quick workouts on the treadmill or the ellpitical and spending a lot of time doing more strength training. We'll see how this goes.
5. Hopefully it goes well, because my weight is outta control. I need to get my eating under control. I need to just reel it in and act like I did the first time I did weight watchers. I'm working on it.
6. Work is going well, but I would be lying if I said I don't have a countdown going (11 days of work left this year...).
7. I have been OCD about keeping my apartment as clean as possible. I'm not sure what has come over me, but I spend a lot of spare time scrubbing and vacuuming.
8. I am also kind of obsessed with getting all my debt paid off, so I spend a lot of time looking at my bank account and wishing there was more money in it.
9. Instagram has become my boo thing lately. I am obsessed with it.
10. It's almost award season, so I am scouring the internet for clues on who is going to be nominated this year.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bl-ah-og

I just cannot get myself jazzed up about blogging these days. I've started like three entries and then I just stop, delete, put my laptop lid down and go about my day.

Nothing is wrong. I just cannot get my attention span to sit still long enough to get my blog on. But I will try to finish this entry.....

....okay, let's go.

November is already over, and, like everyone else in the world, I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by. When I was in the casino industry, I thought that time went by so quickly because I was always looking ahead; planning marketing calendars for months ahead of time. It would be January, but I was looking for items for a March St. Patrick's Day giveaway. Now that I'm in education, I am always planning ahead to the next semester - I just got all my kids registered for what classes they will start in Febuary. So time flies by, and the wrinkles on my face get deeper. And all of a sudden it's December, and I'm freaking freezing all the time and that makes me angry.

I might have a bit of that disorder where cold weather makes you depressed. I may need to start fake baking again.

Anyway, November was a lot of fun - Missy and I went to Iowa City one weekend to go to the Amana Colonies, Kalona and then to brunch with her aunt and uncle. It was a fun little getaway. Oh, and we went to the outlet mall in Iowa City. I am proud to say they do not hold a candle (what does that really mean?) to ours in Omaha. That didn't stop me from buying stuff at Coach, though.

Then Thanksgiving came and went. I ate a lot of food, and it was delicious. I watched Nebraska beat Iowa, then a few days later Bo got axed.

This entry sucks. I will write something better tomorrow. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Old Lady Weekend

Sometimes I cannot believe how different my life is now. I used to drink every night, Thursday - Sunday, and usually Sunday was an all-day affair. Now...this is what I did with my weekend. And I loved every minute of it.

Friday - I worked, and then got home and I was so pumped because a package from Amazon had arrived (there have been far too many Amazon packages lately). This one was packages I had bought for myself, but I am handing them over to my mom so she can wrap them for Christmas. This is truly the best way to handle Christmas when your mother is like mine, who will just buy you random stuff that has nothing to do with you or your likes/dislikes. For years, she got me towels every year, until I finally had to say "Enough with the towels? How many people do you think shower at my place?"

Anyway, I was particularly pumped for this package, because it is new sheets and a Roku for my bedroom (if you don't know what a Roku is, it's this little slice of magic that you plug into your tv and it allows you to stream Netflix, HBO Go, etc, through it). I decided I can't wait, so I unwrapped the magic Roku, set it up on my TV, and then packaged everything else up and I plan on giving my mom the empty box to wrap. Does that make me evil? Maybe. But I need to watch Scandal every night in my bed. (FYI, my mom does not read my blog, so if she finds out I did this I know who told her...you.)

After getting that all set up, I met Missy and we went to the theatre to see St. Vincent with Bill Murray. SO GOOD. And shocker...I cried. Go see it.

Saturday I got up and ran a bunch of errands - Goodwills, Target, gym and the library. After all that, I went to my friend Erin's baby shower.

Was it weird watching a girl, who I once watched lick Captain Morgan off a table because she didn't want to waste alcohol, now freak out about baby socks and something that I can only assume is a purse for pacifiers? Absolutely. (Oh, and she decided the Morgan was too strong, so she dumped some coke on top of it and licked it all off the table.)

When that ended, I went over to Nick's and watched the Taylor Swift Shake it Off video with the boys, and then me, Nick and Hannah watched the movie The Neighbors with Zac Efron and Seth Rogen. We also had some angel food cake to celebrate Nick being on earth for another year.

Sunday I hit the gym early and then met Missy and Melissa for lunch at The Farmhouse (delicious) and then we went to the Harvest Festival, which is a huge craft fair at the Ralston arena. I love craft fairs.

Sunday night was spent watching the Bears forget how to play football and reading Lena Dunham's book.

Weekend = well spent. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Timehop: 6 years ago

Yesterday I was off work and decided it was a great idea to put up my Christmas tree. I know it's not even Thanksgiving. And I don't care.

I mean hello, my dad is the freaking Santa Claus of Glenwood, did you really think I'm not obsessed with Christmas decor?

Putting up my Christmas tree is always a weird time for me, and I take my time and really think about what I am doing. It's a weird time for me because of these handmade decorations.



I made these in 2008. I was still suffering from the aftermath of my miscarriage and I had just lost my job at Harrah's. I was lonely, and was questioning every relationship in my life.  I needed something to fill my days, so I become obsessed with painting these ornaments. I was so depressed, so every day I would wake up, watch Beverly Hills 90210 on repeat, paint these ornaments and eat my feelings. 

Not much takes me back to those dark days. For the most part, when I talk to others about the events of that fall and winter, I crack jokes about it. And honestly, I am over both things. But, looking at these ornaments every year reminds me of the sadness of it.  I was lower than I have ever been, and I didn't know how to crawl out of it. I'm not even sure I wanted to. Every year, when I unpack my Christmas decor and put up my tree, I look at these little projects and remember how dark that time was for me. 

Every year I struggle with whether or not to keep them or throw them out. They are scratched and there are marks all over them from being stored all together in a bag. I have plenty of other ornaments now, so my tree is full without them. But I keep them, and I add them to my tree every year. 

Yesterday I put all my ornaments on the tree, except for these. I laid them out and  carefully looked at each one. In a moment, I became that 28 year old girl again. Not sure of what I was doing, completely heartbroken, and completely void of who I was. 

As I carefully put a hook through the top of each one, I realized I want to keep these out, on my tree, where I can see them. I am such a different person now. I am happy, truly happy, and I have great people in my life who care about me. Something switched yesterday, and these ornaments no longer make me sad about what happened. They make me thankful for the events that have turned me into the person I am supposed to be. 

Pretty deep for things I bought at Hobby Lobby for ninety-seven cents each, huh?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Camping adventure

On Halloween, four girls went on an adventure in the woods. 

Makes sense, right? 

I was 100% convinced we were going to die. I mean, come on. That is the perfect plot for a horror movie. And if I was in a slasher film, I would die first FO SHO. 

But we all came out alive, although we did end up a little annoyed with Katie's snoring and the lack of running water. 

We headed to Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa on Friday afternoon. Our cabin was adorable, and we quickly got unpacked. 

Then Missy, Katie and I got some beers and decided to go on a quick hike. Emily was meeting us later. 

What is that thing, you ask? Missy's selfie stick. It is amazing. And yes, I already bought myself one off amazon. 

After our hike, Emily arrived and we started a fire for hot dogs, marshmallows and hot apple cider. 


Saturday morning we went on an actual hike. We highly overestimated our hiking skills, because wow. Ouch. No amount of half marathon training prepared me for that. 

After that, we hit civilization again and went to a bar to watch the Huskers play. We also ran into a winery, and of course we went in for a tasting. 


When we got back to our cabin, we played Cards Against Humanity, made some chili over the fire and stayed outside until we couldn't handle the cold and wind anymore. Any guess on who had to go inside first? (It was me.) 

Here's one more fun pic, compliments of the selfie stick. 



Monday, October 27, 2014

Go ahead, win me over

Are you looking for ways to win me over? Well, I will give you five.

1. Text me or email me and just ask what I'm doing. I love when texts/emails come out of no where, just because someone is thinking about me and wondering what I'm up to.

2. Bring me a Diet Mountain Dew or an iced coffee.

3. If you try one of my baked goods, tell me how delicious it is. (I know it's weird, but I make amazing cookies/bars/brownies.)

4. Laugh at my jokes.

5. Obviously...watch The Wizard of Oz with me and just smile as I sing along with every song (and say all the words...).

Monday, October 20, 2014

2nd half marathon = check

Saturday morning started out with a bang - workout, 2 mile run, and then I jumped in my jeep and headed to Des Moines to run my second half marathon with my sister Amanda.

We got together and checked in at our hotel, then went to the expo to pick up our packets and look around. I ended up buying some of that goo type stuff (the real name escapes me) with caffeine. I used some during my first half for a little pick me up around mile ten, so I thought I would try it again, only with a kick this time. After that we got dinner and then went back to our hotel to chill in the hot tub and call it an early night.

We woke up on Sunday morning (the race didn't start until 8am, which was amazing) and headed downtown. I was not nervous in the least bit...maybe because it was my second? Maybe because I was more worried about Amanda than myself? I don't know, but I was just calm and ready to roll.

I lost track of the miles and thought we were a mile behind almost the entire time...which is a pretty amazing way to run a half! Everytime we got to a mile marker I was like "wait...I thought we were only at five! Awesome!" and then I would forget and the next mile "Wait...I thought we were only at six!". I am going to blame that caffeine goo treat, because I took that and it jacked me right up!

Amanda had some tummy issues after mile nine, so we took it easy rolling into the finish line. And I can't lie, seeing my little nieces at the end was a pretty amazing way to end that run!

And I ran into Micah, an old friend from college, who had just finished her first half!

It was a beautiful day, and a lovely way to end my half marathon career and ease into retirement.

Maybe.

Anyway, after we were done I went to TACO HOUSE. Because duh. Tacos. Then I headed back to the Homaha-metro and went to my Grandpa's 79th birthday party. Last night I was not sore at all, and slept like a rock.

Today I am a little sore, I'm not going to lie. Right now I'm trying to figure out a good way to ice my ass.

Anyway. I haven't decided yet if I am really retired from halfs. That's my plan, but I've learned to never say never. However, I am looking for something else to do for awhile. Anyone have any suggestions?


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Camp Fear

On Friday night I did something awesome, very fall-inspired, and Halloweeny. And no, it had nothing to do with pumpkin spice. 

Missy, Ryan, Natalie and I (Ryan and Natalie are relatively new in my life. But Ryan already proposed and I accepted) went to Camp Fear at Riverpark West in the BFE area of Omaha. It was awesome. Basically this campground charges $5 to get in and then you cozy up to a fire pit (you can bring your own wood or buy stacks from them) and they showed three horror flicks on a big screen. 

Friday night's movies were Fright Night, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Nightmare on Elm Street. All cheesy, 80's fun. But, you know me...I was nervous about blood and guts.  

Well, I worried for nothing because there was literally one drop of blood in all three movies. But I was also very distracted by the campfire (I knocked one of the logs loose and almost started a forest fire), eating my body weight in marshmallows and watching Ryan invent "smoreos" (a marshmallow and an Oreo melted by the fire). 

The movie I was the most scared about was Nightmare on Elm Street. When I was a kid, I begged my dad to let me watch this. He warned me I would be scared, but I insisted. Finally he gave in, but told me I had to sleep in my own bed that night. Well, of course I watched it and of course it scared the shit out of me, and of course I didn't sleep for months. But now that it's 30 years later...it only kept me up for one night. 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Nick and Jen story, Part 2

When I graduated from BV and Nick was still there for three years our friendship didn't freeze by any means, but it chilled out. Nick wasn't as dependent as I was, so he didn't need the weekly phone calls. And besides, he was meeting his future wife, Hannah,  and busy with all his guy friends, so I get it.

I had started at the casino and was extremely busy myself. I moved out of my parent's house and in with this guy named James (that is another blog entry all together), but we continued to keep in touch and we saw each other whenever he was home.

Then, finally, three years later, my friend graduated and moved back home. He was having a house built in Omaha, and I was living in Council Bluffs (not with James...I told you, that's another story). Nick had a job that he hated, and he was working part time at the casino. He was in an on-call type role, and since I had a management position, I gave him a lot of hours working with me in our customer service area of the casino. Then when I moved over to the Sales Manager role, he helped me go through files and get that hot mess organized. When a full time position opened up in our customer service analysis department, he applied for and got that. Then Hannah applied for a part time position and wound up getting offered a full time position in our Human Resource department.




The three of us were all happy little casino workers, and then, one by one, we got laid off.

Fucking recession and fucking greedy casinos.

Anyway, it all ended up for the better. I was burnt out on casino life, and Hannah scored an amazing job that she still has to this day (although she has been promoted a bajillion times). Nick started at Kaplan University.

Although I was burnt out and it was a blessing in disguise to get shitcanned, I could not get it together after that. 2008 was a bad year for me all around, professionally, healthwise, and mentally. One of my biggest regrets to this day is that Nick got married in the middle of that horrible time for me, and I cried through his wedding reception and hated my life. However, I tried really hard to fake it. I loved (and still love) Hannah and she is the only girl, ever, to just accept Nick and I and join in on our craziness. She trusts him, and she trusts me, and she knows this is just a weird, ridiculous friendship and nothing more. I even stood on Nick's side in their wedding party.


After that, I took another casino job, and wound up getting laid off again in July 2009. I took the first job I could find after that to stay off unemployment, and it was the worst professional experiencing I have had to date.

When the registrar position opened at Kaplan, Nick suggested I apply. And I did, even though I didn't know what that job did. And somehow, miraculously, I got it. And Nick and I were reunited.

We worked at Kaplan together for three years, and then he left to take a job at Midland University. On his last day, I walked him out to his car and started crying as I said goodbye. I walked back into the building, stopped in the restroom to try to get my shit together, and then went back to my office. My boss came in and I exclaimed "How do people work without their best friends? You just go to work...without a best friend?"



Apparently that is how most adults work. Luckily, I didn't have to worry about that for long.

I got laid off again. Right? I took another crap job to tide me over, and then a position opened up at Midland.

I was hesitant to follow Nick again. What would people think?

Then I realized I didn't care. The job was what I wanted. The campus was what I wanted. So I applied for and was offered the job, and we were reunited again.

Of course, this brings us to today. Nick has dealt with a lot from me...crazy guy problems, crazy family problems, job losses, baby losses, tumor losses...he is always right there when I need him. I can blindly throw my hand out and I know he will be there to catch it. He drives me more crazy than any person in the entire world, but I can't stay mad at him for long. There is always another story to tell, or something ridiculous to share.

Besides, he has too much blackmail on me to ever break up with.


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Nick and Jen story, Part 1

If you know me in real life, or you had paid enough attention to this blog, you know Nick.

He's my BFF. My NBoo. The baby cub to my mama bear.

Since Nick and I have followed each other through life, we get a lot of questions. When I started working at Midland a year ago, we discussed ahead of time how to explain our friendship. I think we decided on "we're friends from high school". But as people see how close (and twisted, and ridiculous, and co-dependent) our relationship is, they know there is more to the story.

So here is the story.

Nick and I met clear back in 1995...I think...when I started dating his brother. I was a sophomore, Matt was a junior, and Nick was a baby. Well, not a baby. I think he was in middle school. I have always been confused about Nick's age, or exactly how much younger he is than me, even though I know he was born in 1983. The only time I have been 100% certain of his age is when we threw him a surprise 29th birthday party.

Anyway, at that point in our lives, Nick was just the annoying little brother. He was constantly trying to catch Matt and I making out, lurking around the corner trying to capture the romance with his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles camera. Matt would catch him and a beating would start. One night, however, Nick got to hang out with us and he said something about how he wanted to go to prom all four years of high school.

I did the math in my head and figured I would be a senior when he was a freshman, and called him for his freshman year. I guess I knew Matt and I wouldn't still be dating then...hmmm...

Anyway, so I was right about Matt, and I ended up taking a young Nick Boone to prom that year. For some reason, it was a thing that year for the girls in my clique to take younger guys (one of them even married her young boy) and so it didn't seem like anything weird.

He was my sidekick my entire senior year, actually. He went along with senior girls everywhere - football games, basketball games, movies, parties. It was great. I have to admit though, sometimes I hung out with him because I knew it drove his brother bananas. But for the most part, Nick was just hilarious and fun to hang out with. My friends all loved him too.

Then graduation came, and it was time for me to leave for Buena Vista University. However, we still had one more summer of shenanigans, and since his brother and my brother were B.F.F.'s who had just rented an apartment (the first of our group to have their own place!), most of the chaos took place there. It was ridiculous, kinda disgusting, but unforgettable and the perfect way to end my high school life. And yes, it was weird hanging out with my ex constantly, but we weren't exactly normal, either.

My first few weeks at college were really hard for me. I met a lot of awesome girls and I was keeping busy, but I was incredibly homesick for my family, my girlfriends and Nick. I made Nick promise me that every Monday night at 9pm we could talk on the phone. Keep in mind, this was before texting and cell phones. We did have our AOL instant messenger screen names (beaver2141 and gormar2413) but that wasn't consistent, and it required actually sitting at a computer rather than texting over a phone (kids today have it SO EASY). So every single Monday night we had a phone date to catch up.

Over the next three years, I saw Nick whenever I was home on breaks and we kept in touch while I was in Storm Lake. One weekend during my junior year he came to visit, and it happened to be Scholarship Weekend, which was for potential incoming freshmen to apply for Buena Vista specific scholarships. I convinced him to just try it out and see what happened.

Well...what happened was he got a good scholarship and ending up coming to BVU the next year.

I was at school already when the new freshmen moved in. I had to be there early because I was the Editor-in-Chief for the college newspaper (which just a few weeks later I suckered him into joining). His mom and step-dad came along to move him in, and as soon as they moved his stuff to his room, Nick went to finalize some paperwork.

"Well, I guess we're going to take off," his mom said to me. "Tell him I said goodbye."
Ummmm....his mom just dumped him off and bolted. I guess she didn't want to deal with a tearful goodbye. But it was okay. I just took my freshman buddy under my wing again, and he hung out with the senior girls again.

Of course, now we realize that it's a good thing we only had one year together at BV. I was a lazy piece of crap by that point, diseased with senioritis and obsessed with a boy a few towns over (so I was basically a commuter student). He made awesome new friends who he is still close with to this day. And, of course, after I graduated and Nick became a sophomore, he met Hannah and married her in 2008.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we followed each other to three (yes, three) jobs and he's texting me right now as I type this.