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. 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.


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 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.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I'm sorry I suck

I wish I had good excuse for why I suck so bad at being a consistent blogger. 
Here are the things that have kept me from writing for awhile...

1. Last Saturday night was my high school class reunion. 15 years! I dragged Zach there, promising we only had to stay for an hour. Of course, I had to practically drag him out five and a half hours later. It was a fun night, and since I was doing most of the planning, I'm super relieved it is over for another five years. Although, the next morning when I met the girls for brunch (so we could talk about everyone we saw the night before, of course) we sort of planned a 16 year reunion for next year. 

2. My Aunt Juana and I took a road trip all around the Midwest last Monday and Tuesday. We drove down to the Precious Moments Chapel and Museum in Carthage, Missouri (her obsession) and then over to Wamego, Kansas, which is considered "Oz" (obviously my obsession). It was awesome.  I have been wanting to go there for so long, and I was not disappointed. And I got to spent two days with one of my top five favorite people. How lucky am I to have an Aunt who is only 8 years older than me, so she can also double as one of my best friends? #blessed #ihatewhenpeoplehashtagblessed

3. Work, of course, is absolutely bananas since I took five full days off. I'm waiting for things to settle down, but it just doesn't seem to happen. 
4.  I got an iPhone 6. So most of my time is spent getting that set up to my liking. 
5. It's no secret to this blog that I love love LOVE anything Gillian Flynn writes, and her first book-made-into-a-movie Gone Girl hit the big screen this week. My book club (yes I'm in a book club, don't hate) bought sneak peek tickets so we got to see it Thursday night before everyone else. It was amazing. part got me all grossed out and I almost passed out. Do you know how gross it is to be dripping sweat in a movie theatre, trying to convince yourself not to faint? Yeah, it sucks.
6.  I've been a super huge reading nerd lately. I finished Jennifer Weiner's All Fall Down yesterday and started...and finished Rainbow Rowell's Landline this weekend. Rainbow's book mayyyy have me yearning for a past love #theonewhogotaway #apparentlyiusehashtagsinmyblognow
7. When I'm not reading or playing with my iPhone, I have been watching women serial killer stories on Investigation Discovery. 
8. I went to Nick's last night to watch the Huskers heartbreaking loss and do 17387183 "flipovers" with Chandler. 
9. Oh yeah, running. That pesky half marathon is in two weeks. I can't wait to retire from distance running after that.  
10. I can't end a list on a number on an odd number. So I've also convinced myself I have breast cancer (no lumps or actual reasoning for this, it's just in my head) so that is taking up a lot of my time. 

Another reason I haven't been blogging as much is because I hate computers (because I stare at one all freaaaaaaaaking day at work) but I just did this entry on my iPad and it's not so I will half ass promise to do this again soon. Maybe tomorrow? That seems aggressive. But I will try.