Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wellness check - week 8

I am EXACTLY even with last week, with was the EXACT goal.

So for my 8 pound January 1st goal, I am at 9.2 pounds down. (I'm just going to go ahead and call this goal done.)

Progress towards my October 19th, 2017 goal - I have 20.8 pounds to go.

I am completely happy with being even with last week. I ate whatever I wanted on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I reeled it back in the day after, and I have drank a ton of water this week to rid the toxins.

Yay! Another goal marked complete! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New nephew!

2016 has been a tough year for a lot of people (not me, really...but I see a lot of memes about people complaining), but I am happy to announce one marvelous event managed to squeeze itself in before the close of the year.

I have another nephew!

Bret Jon Wilson (named after my dad) came into the world on Christmas Eve! What an amazing gift. Mom and Dad are both doing well, and already being quit obnoxious with the baby talk.


Yay for us! And yay for 2016!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wellness check - Week 7

Hey-yo! I know this blog has been super lame lately, but I forgot what it is like to be a registrar between semesters. I am making it my new years resolution to make this blog a bigger deal again in 2017.

Anyway, this week's wellness check is as follows:

This week: down 1.8 pounds
Progress towards January 1st goal: 8 pounds down is the goal, I'm at 9.2
Progress towards October 19th, 2017 goal: 20.8 pounds to go

I am honestly pretty shocked at this weigh in, because I went into a severe funk and didn't work out Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I HATE winter and I cannot handle the cold at all.

With Christmas being this weekend, I am just really hoping to still be at my January 1st goal at my next weigh in.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wellness check - week 6

This week - down half a pound
Progress towards Jan 1st goal of 8 pounds - .6 to go
Progress towards October 19, 2017 goal of 30 pounds - 22.6 pounds to go

I am ecstatic with my loss this week. I was expecting to gain. We had our holiday party at work on Monday, and there was so much food it lingered into Tuesday. That, along with the frigid temps that have made me EXTREMELY lethargic and opposed to going to the gym, was sure to equal a gain. I was scared to even weigh in this morning, and I almost didn't. But I did, and I'm so relieved.

Friday night we have our major holiday party at work, and the menu is BANANAS. I think that should be my only main obstacle this week.

I just NEED to stay motivated to work out, but it is so hard when it's this cold - I just want to be home on my couch under a blanket.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wellness check - Week 5

This week - down 2 pounds
January 1st 8 pound goal - 1.1 pounds to go
October 19th, 2017 30 pound goal - 23.1 pounds to go

I had a meeting with my wellness coach last week, and we set a January 1st goal of 8 total pounds lost. I am beyond nervous. Yes, I am very close....right now. But a lot happens at towards the end of this month. I suppose this will give me motivation to stay on the right path.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Santa, Aksarben and Candied Nuts

On Saturday night I got to play Santa!!


Most of you probably know that my dad is obsessed with Christmas and decorates his house to the nines each year. You probably also know that he dresses as Santa on the weekends in December and hands out candy canes. It's become part of Glenwood's history, and people are bananas about it. 

On Saturday, he had a birthday party to go to and needed someone to cover for him. Normally my brother does it, but I yelled dibs and the next thing I knew, I was wearing three winter coats (under the Santa coat) and standing in front of his house. 

It was SO MUCH FUN. Even though it rained/snowed the entire time, I didn't care. I was soaked to the bone at the end of the night, but I barely noticed because I was having so much fun greeting people, turning down donations and maybe dancing a little bit. 

Also, I had some visitors! 


So much fun.

On Sunday, I met Missy and we went to the Aksarben holiday fair. I love this fair (we go every year), even though I never buy anything but candied cashews and almonds. 

I was dragging on Sunday, so I went to bed right after bingo (which I didn't win at...again) but then I was dragging all day Monday, too. I think I need some quality time with my electric blanket soon. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crash cycle

When Natalie, Ryan, Missy and I went on that ghost hunt back in October, we were on a big school bus with the rest of the tour. The tour leader was talking (a lot) (like a LOT) into her microphone, and I was mostly tuning her out, but one thing registered in my head and I haven't been able to forget it.

She said that every 8 years, a person goes through a traumatic life experience.

Now, there are a lot of things to question here. 1. What can be defined as a traumatic life experience? 2. If this truly happens, then wouldn't everyone experience these things at the same age? Like everyone would have their first traumatic experience at 8 years old, then 16, then 24, then 32 and so on? (yes, I needed a calculator there).

I may be over thinking this, but it has me pretty worried. Because if number two is not really the way it goes, and its just a rough estimate of eight years, then something is going to happen to me soon. Because eight years ago is when everything came crashing down around me - I miscarried, I sunk into the worst depression of my life, and I got laid off from my job (for the first time). That is as close as I have come to traumatic - sure, I have had hiccups since then (two more lay offs, a tumor) but nothing was as bad as Fall of 2008 - that was the lowest, most traumatic I have went through.

So what is going to happen? Eight years passed in September since the miscarriage, and it was eight years in October since the lay off.

I am really hoping this lady was talking out of her ass and this isn't a true fact. I have googled the shit out of it and not found anything that justifies her claim. In fact, everything I have found just says that basically a person changes who they are every seven years.

Okay so seven years ago....December of 2009. I was 29, I was just starting at Kaplan and getting my foot in the door in higher ed. My personal life was a mess, but I had really good friends who helped me through it. Coming off two lay offs, I was insecure and scared of pretty much everything. I was still driving a beat up ol' pickup truck, because I didn't feel financially secure enough to buy my own car.

Today - I have accepted my personal life and choices, and I love it. I am no longer scared of layoffs or money, because whatever. Everything settles eventually. I have taken charge of my health and have found a love for working out. I feel better about everything all of the time. I love every aspect of my life and my routine. I have bought two cars since then, but still aren't feeling financially secure enough to buy a house (but that also may be because I don't want to deal with mowing my own yard and scooping my own drive).

I'm going to choose to NOT believe Ghost Lady's claim, because well, it sucks.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wellness Check - Week 4

This week's weigh in - up 1.1 pounds
December 1st goal of 4 pounds - HIT IT! 4.9 pounds down
October 19th, 2017 goal of 30 pounds - 25.1 pounds to go


I know, I know, I know. This week is not good.

But considering my four day weekend binge and my three day break from doing anything physical, I will take it!

I love the first day of the month, it feels like an opportunity to start over 12 times a year. I have a call with my wellness coach this afternoon, where I am sure she will set a new goal for December. I need to remember this month that December is 31 days long, and only TWO of those days are really holidays. The delicious treats are already finding their way into my life, so I need to stay calm and not overindulge.

I also bought a new planner and each day has three sections to write things in - so one of the sections is dedicated to wellness.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Beers, Glenwood, Turkey, Lights, Shopping, Movies, Food

God, I love four day weekends.

But God, I went off the RAILS during this four day weekend.

The four day weekend started off innocently enough. I left work and went to kickboxing and worked out super, super hard, hoping to negate some of the toxins I was going to put in my body later.

I went home to shower and pack, and I got texts from both Vinton girls saying they were on their way to the bar. Um, what? Vinton girls, on time for something? I kicked it into high gear, because not only was I 1. still in Omaha, but 2. literally had just stepped out of the shower.

Well, I rushed to Glenwood, not even stopping to eat (bad decision), stopped at Nick's mom's house to see the kiddos (and Nick and his parents, I guess), then stopped at my sister's house to drop off stuff for Thursday, and I still managed to beat the Vinton's to the bar. Some things never change. And it would be disappointing if they did.

Something else that didn't disappoint was a Thanksgiving-eve out in my most favorite town in the world. I drank too much, spent way too much money in the jukebox and saw so many of my most favorite people. I didn't take any pictures at all, but I managed to steal these from Amy's snapchat.



Thanksgiving morning I woke up and felt absolutely fine, which was shocking. But I wasn't about to argue. I just put on my ugly christmas sweatshirt and headed to my parents house.


I seriously love that sweatshirt too much. I wish I was wearing it right now. I was feeling fine, except I was exhausted (seriously, at 36 I am way too old to be hearing "last call" at a bar) so I took advantage of some quiet Quinn snuggle time.

We watched Mighty Ducks 1 and 2 and she slept, and I let my eyes relax.

After dinner we did the annual lighting, and of course it was amazing.

I love this part of the yard, where the music plays and the lights dance.

On Friday I got up, took coffee to Nicole and Eric who have had a rough couple days (Alex had to have surgery on his mouth/throat and is on a liquid diet for three weeks....I think I'll be avoiding Glenwood until mid-December.) and then went to Nick's to see the kids (and Nick, Hannah and his parents). I watched the first half of the Nebraska game there, then went to my mom's and turned the game off, but of course my step-dad had to turn it back on because Black Friday is the one day of the year he gives a shit about football and is suddenly the biggest Iowa fan in the world (not that I was annoyed) (I'm still very fucking annoyed).

We had dinner, and then I went back home and collapsed. So much sleep.

Saturday I was supposed to ring the bell for the Salvation Army outside Hy-Vee, but I went there and there was no one ringing before me. The email I got said to check in at the Hy-Vee customer service desk, but they knew nothing. I didn't know what to do, so I just kind of creepily hung out the bell area, but finally got frustrated and left. I was so disappointing, as I was really excited to do this. I guess I know why they are constantly looking for volunteers - I know I won't be signing up again.

Anyway, so I met Kate and we went shopping and then went to lunch instead. After we separated, I went off the rails - I went to Hy-Vee again and bought a million dollars worth of food, and then I snacked the rest of the day and watched movies. I don't know what came over me. Then on Sunday I got up, watched movies and snacked all day again!

As much as I love four day weekends, I am relieved to be back on a normal routine. Here's to reeling it back in!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Week 3 Wellness Check

Progress since October 19th: 6 pounds down
Progress towards December 1st goal: 2 pound over goal
Progress toward long term goal: 24 pounds to go

One more pound gone this week! I am very happy with that.

Okay, folks, we have Thanksgiving1, Thanksgiving2, lots of cocktails and beers and a cheesetray staring us in the face right now. So the only goal for next week's wellness check-in is to MAINTAIN.

My workouts are still going really well, when I go to class. However, on Saturdays and Sundays I have been going to the gym, and I basically just walk around until I get bored and then leave. Any ideas for self-motivating gym workouts?

Happy Thanksgiving-eve, all!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Week 2 wellness check-in

Progress since October 19th: 5 pounds down
Progress towards December 1st goal: 1 pound over goal
Progress toward long term goal: 25 pounds to go

There are so many non scale victories this week that can't be shown by a number on the scale. I have been working out so hard. I have been making good food choices. I haven't been eating all the crap food. I have been doing things I've never done before at the gym, and pushing myself further than I thought I could.

Since last week's weigh in, I have achieved "Very Active Days" on my work fitness challenge every single day. It was a secret goal of mine to not just achieve "Active" days, I needed the "Very" in front of it.

For my next check in, I am moving it to Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. I won't be home, so I want to get it done before I head to Glenwood for a few days.

Monday, November 14, 2016

MJ, Christmas Lights, Husker win, Bingo

Friday after work I met Ryan, Natalie and Missy for dinner and then we went to MJ Live! (I think there is an exclamation point in the official title of the show...I could be wrong, though.) I took advantage of the bit of time I had between work and dinner and got a 45 minute walk in - gotta get those steps in! We ate dinner at Goldburgs, which is always so so good, and the show was really good, too. MJ got a little too political for my taste, but he looked and sounded just like the original, and I spent the rest of the weekend listening to MJ songs.

Saturday I got up and headed to Glenwood to work on the lights. We got so much accomplished on Saturday, so we are in really good shape. I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week already! I can't wait to have a four day weekend.




I got home Saturday night just in time to watch the Huskers win (yay!) and the Hawkeyes win (barf).

Sunday I did all my usual Sunday chores - laundry, food prep, cleaning, etc...and then met the gang at Bingo. I did not win, despite wearing lucky Husker socks. I went on a super super long walk on Sunday as well, getting a million steps in and catching up on all my podcasts.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thursday wellness check (on a Friday)

Of course I miss the first Thursday I say I'm going to do weekly wellness checks. I was at a conference all day yesterday, and then I was really busy from the minute I got home until the minute I sat down to watch Grey's Anatomy. And then How to Get Away With Murder. So obviously I couldn't be bothered to blog.

Here is how my weigh in checks went this week:

Total change since October 19th: -4.7 pounds
Progress to short term December 1st goal: .7 over goal
Progress to long term 30 pound goal: 25.3 pounds to go

I'm very happy with how this is going, but I do have TWO more thanksgivings between now and December 1st. I do really well during the week, and then tend to go off the rails on the weekends. I'm going to focus this weekend on reeling it in, while still living a fabulous and fun life.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Wellness checkup

We just had our annual wellness checks at work, and, per usual, mine was awesome except for my weight. I need to lose weight. Blah blah blahhhhhhhhhhhh.

My insurance is different now, and I have to show improvement next year in order to get some money taken off my insurance costs. Money talks, so I am going to kick ass over the next 12 months and lose weight again. 

I talked to my favorite coach at Farrell's, and we set a goal to lose 30 pounds this year. I have the fitness part down - six workouts a week, mixing cardio and strength. She suggested I up my strength training more. I can do that. 

It's the food that kills me! I just want all the delicious things in my mouth all of the time. 

At Midland, after our wellness checks we had to call a nurse to talk about our results, but that's where it ended. So I would just get that call over with, and then continue on eating whatever I want and dreading the next annual check.

However, at Nebraska Medicine we can take advantage of a wellness coach, who will set goals with you and call back at appointed times. Also, you can share an online journal with him/her. I took full advantage of all of that, and we set a goal and some follow up appointments. 

So my goal is...

To lose 4 pounds by December 1st. 

It may not seem like a lot, considering my first weigh in was October 19th. But I have three Thanksgiving between now and December 1, so I didn't want to set myself up to fail. 

I am going back to my old plan, where I weighed in every Thursday. I will post this Thursday with what happens. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Friendsgiving

This Saturday was our first annual Friendsgiving. I wish it could happen more than annually. Weekendly would be nice.


Missy hosted and dinner was absolutely delightful. The company was fantastic, the conversation was enlightening and the food was delicious.

After dinner we all moved downstairs to watch football, where everything fell apart.

Seriously, Nebraska Cornhuskers?

And Ryan farted all night. ALL NIGHT.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Weekend spooks

This weekend was full of scary activity:


  • Ryan, Natalie and I went to Riverwest Park (Riverpark West? Park Westriver? Not sure.) to watch scary movies around a campfire. The movies were really really terrible, but the s'mores were good and the company was even better. This was scary because: 1. scary movies 2. nighttime 3. Ryan's farts and 4. crazy ass clown running around.
  • Saturday I got up, ran a ton of errands and then headed to Glenwood to host my sister-in-law's baby shower. This was scary because 1. I hate baby showers 2. It's always super fun when my mom and step-mom are in the same room. But everything was fine and the food was super yummy.
  • That evening, after a BBQ dinner at my dad's, Bill and Kate convinced me to go to a haunted house with them. This was scary because 1. The actors could smell my fear and would not leave me alone in the line. 2. They learned my name (thanks Bill) and went bananas with it. 3. One particular clown, BoBo, was all about me. 3. And that was before we even got into the house, which was terrifying. 4. Then BoBo followed us to our cars. 
  • Sunday, in the midst of food prep, laundry and cleaning, somehow my Christmas tree got put up. I was just cleaning out the closet that I keep my Christmas stuff in, and suddenly it was a winter wonderland in my apartment. So at this rate I will probably take it down on Thanksgiving because it's annoying me. This is scary because 1. when did i become my mother and 2. when did I become Missy?
  • After that, I went to Bingo with mom and grandma and aunt Tammy and Ryan. Yep, Ryan. This was scary because 1. Ryan met my family, and they are cray. 2. Now mom is convinced Ryan and I should date, only because she wants more grandchildren. 3. Kids are gross.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ghost hunting

Friday night Natalie, Ryan, Missy and I went on a haunted ghost tour thing with pyschic medium Kelli Miller. She has an office in ElkHorn and offers tours - you gather some friends (and strangers), jump on an actual school bus, and then Kelli and her staff take you to three "haunted" places. Kelli tries to get some ghosts to pay attention, and then all 40 of the bus riders try to take pictures and catch them.

We went to Kelli's office around 630pm and checked in. Upon check-in, we got a little baggy with a black rock (to protect us), Indian sage (to protect us) and a small flashlight. There were about five people working there and they would be going on the tour with us. One was a little too bossy and demanding for my liking, but I guess there has to be one of those in every group.

Anyway, around 7pm we got on the bus and headed to our first stop - the Bellevue Cemetery. This was pretty scary - I mean, it's a freaking cemetery at night time - but I did not capture any spirits with my camera. One girl did, and Natalie doesn't think she did, but she did, too.



We walked around there for awhile, summoned some ghosts, and then got back on the bus and headed to what I think was the scariest place - Jewell Park. Apparently there used to be a rodeo there, and one of the cowboys died in the arena so he is still riding his horse everywhere. Kelli asked for some volunteers to stand in the middle of the field so she could ask the spirits to come stand with us, so Natalie and I headed out there. We felt the chills, and both got a weird dull headache, but, again, no spirits were captured by camera. It was really weird, though, how instant this ice cold chill came to our backside. My ass was an ice cube.

After that, we headed up into this foresty area to get to the top of a hill, where there was a deserted playground. This was the scariest part to me, because at the top of the swing set were a bunch of children's shoes, like wrapped around the bar. Kelli said she doesn't know what they are for. Missy said it is gang related. I think children were hung by their shoelaces and then fell down and died and are now haunting Bellevue. But what do I know.

On the way back down the hill, we GOT LOST. I mean, not totally lost because obviously we were still moving downward and there were only so many places we could end up, but it was scary. The leader kept stopping and questioning where we were. And Kelli, who was walking right in front of me, kept smacking something away from her head and saying "quit touching me". I mean, it could have been bugs or small wildlife, but let's get real - it was totally ghosts fucking with her hood and hair.

After that we stopped for snacks and a bathroom break, and then we headed to Council Bluffs to go to the Rails West Museum. Maybe I was just tired at this point, or bored, or over it, but I was not impressed with this stop at all. It was definitely my least favorite, and I was not scared at all. And of course, it's where we stayed for the longest time. There was just something so cheesy about the way Kelli and her minions were sitting in one of the train cars, "talking" to these two ghosts.

Still, even though I was not scared at all during the last stop, that still didn't stop me from being scared all night and not sleeping at all. Even though I put my black rock right on my nightstand.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Vancouver, Portland, Dierks, Blink

Two weeks ago, I flew out to Portland, Oregon to stay with my aunt in Vancouver, Washington for a week.

I need a vacay to recover from my vacay. We did a lot of stuff.

I'm going to do that thing I typically do after vacations where I bullet point things that we did and show you a few of my favorite pics.


  • Went to 47 Costcos looking for an Oregon tent looking thing so my uncle can watch football outside.
  • Got my hair colored and cut.
  • Drove the hummer by myself #terrifying
  • Pedicures and manicures.
  • Randy Houser and Dierks Bentley concert (seriously, does Dierks Bentley keep getting hotter and hotter or is it just me?)
  • Got up at 130am to sit and wait for the new iPhone.
  • Slept in the hummer while Juana sat outside because I'm too lazy to sit up.
  • Drove the hummer again #stillterrifying
  • Listened to Verizon come outside and tell us they had no iPhone7+'s.
  • Left super pissed off, went home and showered and then went out shopping (and looking for iPhones)
  • Picked Missy up on Saturday morning from the airport
  • Watched Nebraska beat Oregon (inside, because it was raining, so the Oregon tent looking thing was not used)
  • Ate a ton of bbq and buffalo chicken dip
  • Went to a glass fusing class which was amazing!
  • Went to the Farmers Market in Vancouver
  • Went to Astoria, Oregon and explored that area
  • Did NOT see the Goonie's house because the owners are dicks
  • Hung out on the ocean shore (my favorite place on earth)
  • Went to Portland and explored 
  • WENT TO SEE BLINK 182!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • came home



Friday, September 23, 2016

The day Katie got married

Not long ago, Katie was my crazy friend who had constant guy troubles (mostly because she let them treat her like shit.)

Then she met Eric, and everything seemed to change. The crazy stopped, she seemed more content and settled. And then he proposed, and then one week later they got married.

Okay, so it was three months later, but still....warp speed. 

They decided to get married in Golden, Colorado, so Missy and I packed up our carry on bags and headed over there. We took full advantage of the weekend and did a ton of stuff! 

When landed on Saturday morning, and after a terribly long wait for a rental car, we went hiking at this glacier and it was amazingggggggg. Most beautiful thing I have ever seen. 



Seriously, so beautiful. 

The next morning, we got up and headed to Red Rocks for a 9/11 stair climb. We walked 110 flights of stairs, the equivalent to the twin towers. 



It hurt bad - I can't lie. And I cried big crocodile tears at the ceremony. 

Later that night, we finally went to the main event, the only reason we were in Colorado - Kate's wedding to Eric. 




It was a beautiful ceremony, and Katie looked amazing. One of Eric's best friends officiated, so it was very personal and sweet.

Many, many congrats and well wishes to the happy couple! Who are probably already expecting a baby, with the way they are speeding through their commitments. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Labor Day vacation

Ohhhh three day weekends, I fucking love you. 

The next couple weekends I'm going to be out of town and I'm not going to be able to sleep in, which is my soul reason for living anymore. So I took advantage this weekend of both sleeping in and doing whatever I damn well pleased. 

Friday night I met my sister for dinner, then went home and started watching Stranger Things on Netflix. Watch it. Watch it watch it. 

Saturday I ran a bunch of errands and cleaned everything in my apartment (I love cleaning). Then I flipped between college football and Stranger Things ALL DAY LONG. It was seriously glorious. Perfect Saturday. 

Sunday - there is NOTHING better than a Sunday when you have Monday off work. I was going to go boating with the Boone's, but the weather was kind of iffy so instead I just headed down to Nick's mom's house and spent all day with them. It was so wonderful. I love Jan and Dick, I love their house and I love how comfortable I feel when I am there. Plus Jan made this ridiculously amazing dinner than I am going to try to replicate but I feel like I will fail. 

On Monday it was time to bond with my own family, so over to Dad's I went. 

Is that kid kidding me?! He is so precious. And when I'm around he attaches himself to me, which I love. 

I came home Monday night complete in love with my life. I did all my Sunday night chores - laundry and food prep - and went to bed early. This is a picture amazing casserole I made for my lunches this week. It is red potatoes, turkey sausage, hot sauce and low fat cheddar cheese. 


Pay no attention to the burn marks on that oven mitt. 




Monday, August 29, 2016

My first weekend at the compound

Well, this weekend I packed up my little car and made the long trek to the other side of the world to see Nick, Hannah and the boys. I refer to Mount Pleasant as a compound. When Nick decided to move there, I envisioned the town like the compound on the HBO show Big Love. I was a little off. Not much, though.

I stopped in Des Moines at Taco Casa on the way, 1, to break up the drive a little bit, and 2. because tacos, duh. I was listening to a new podcast my friend Katie told me about, where these two grown ass men are reading the Baby-sitters Club books and discussing them. It made me die laughing more than once, and made me very excited to re-read the series myself and blog about my book reviews.

Yep, I am starting a new blog about it. It can be found here.

Anyway - so I finally made it there just after 8pm, after a series of u-turns to finally find the right neighborhood (I swear my eyesight is falling apart again). I was so excited to see everyone, and immediately settled down for a game of memory with my two favorite Boone boys.



Saturday morning Nick and Chandler showed me around the town and Nick's new place of employment, Iowa Weselyn University. Then we had a pizza party for lunch (they have a BREADEAUX PIZZA in Mount Pleasant). I laid around for awhile while they all unpacked (what, I was on vacation, I didn't want to help) and then Nick and I packed up the yeti to head to Iowa City to see Thomas Rhett and Blake Shelton at Kinnick Stadium

I seriously hate the Iowa Hawkeyes. But I'm really glad they lent their stadium out for this concert. I didn't realize I was a Thomas Rhett fan until Saturday night - I need to get better about actually knowing who the artist is singing the songs I am rocking out to. Mr. Rhett also brought Ashton Kutcher out on stage, and he is even dreamier in person than on the television.

Blake Shelton was so amazing. I always liked him, but now I am obsessed. He's just so hilarious and hot and funny and handsome and I just wanted to spend some time licking him.

I'm so glad my first time at Kinnick Stadium was to see Thomas and Blake, and not the Hawkeyes. Because I HATE THE HAWKEYES (that's for you, Ryan, if you are reading this).


We got home kinda late (well, late for my granny ass - it was like 1230am) so I passed out and woke up the next morning to find all four Boone's just hanging out in the living room. I still hate hate hate that they live four hours away from me, but I am glad to now know where they live and what their house looks like. I still will not move there, so if anyone is placing bets on that, get ready to lose.

Sunday I left around noon, and started the long trek home. I stopped at Taco Casa on the way back, 1, to break up the drive a little bit, and 2. because tacos, duh.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Highs and Lows from this week

High: I am getting more comfortable at work, getting to know more people, and I even got to participate in orientation today which meant doing my favorite thing ever - sitting around with total strangers and making them answer questions about themselves.

Low: It rained two evenings this week, so I couldn't go to my favorite new trail in Omaha and had to go to the gym instead (I'm taking a Farrells/kickboxing break right now).

High: On one of the nights it wasn't raining, I did get to go to my trail and finally really explore it. It is SO LONG that I am still trying to figure out exactly how far to go before I turn around.

Low: Missy and I have committed to doing a 9/11 tribute stair climb when we are in Colorado - it's on that Sunday morning, at Red Rocks, and we will climb 110 floors - the same amount as the twin towers. To prepare for this, I decided I should work out on the stair stepper machine at the gym. I had this idea that I would do a 50 flight of stairs workout, and then I could just assume that doubling that will be what I have to do on September 11th. Guess how many I made it in real life, before I started spitting and puking? 14. Then I tried again the next night and I made it 18.

High; Last night it also wasn't raining, so I met up with Missy and Katie and we took a four mile walk to explore Missy's new neighborhood.

High: Pretty Little Liar's was BANANAS this week, and next week will be even more bananas.

High: Speaking of PLL, this week we had a community meeting at work, where I had to stand up and introduce myself as a new employee. So, in front of probably 100 new coworkers, I introduced myself and said that one thing about me is that I'm obsessed with Pretty Little Liars, and please come talk to me if you watch, too.

High: I tried Hog Wild BBQ with my sister Kate earlier this week - the commercials had me very interested. It was pretty good!

High: I am leaving work today and heading to the compound of Mount Pleasant to see the Boone's, and then Nick and I are going to see Blake Shelton tomorrow night in Iowa City.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Say my name, say my name

Obviously, since I just started a new job, I have been introducing myself a lot. I have introduced myself the same way since I was about 10 years old:

"Hi, I'm JenWilson." JenWilson quickly, almost as if that's my first name.

I've always been a Jen. One n. My mom picked the name Jennifer because she wanted people to call me Jenny, but that never stuck. I've always been Jen. One n. (There is a difference, and I will correct you.)

However, since starting my new job, everyone has called me Jennifer. I'm not sure if it's because there was about a month between when I accepted the job and when I actually started, so they had gotten used to referring to the new girl as Jennifer or what the deal is, but no matter how many times I refer to myself as Jen, I get called Jennifer.

So...I've been questioning my whole life.

A few weeks ago, Gavin was at my apartment and he was drawing on the chalkboard I painted on my pantry door (shhh, don't tell my landlord), and I asked him if he knew how to spell my name. He looked at me like I'm a moron (he is almost ten, jeez Aunt Jen) and wrote J E N on the door. "Well, my real name is Jennifer, can you spell that?" He looked at me like I told him I had 11 toes. "Jennifer? No one calls you that."

Right, Gavin? I know. So that's why I probably look like a moron at work, because when someone says "Jennifer" to me, I have an extremely delayed reaction.

Last night I went to Nick's mom's house because she has Chandler and Cooper this week. I haven't seen those boys in WEEKS, so I was dying to get down there and hang out with them. Jan made dinner, and she was like "Jennifer, here's your bowl, help yourself." I went to dish some chili into my bowl and I glanced down at Chandler. He was staring at his grandma, and then let us know that he is not used to hearing me called Jennifer.

Jan has always been one of the few to call me Jennifer. My mom does every once in awhile, and my dad/Peg do when they are pissy pants about something, or when I say something wildly inappropriate (so often). And recently Missy has started, but I think that's because I like throwing a "Melissa" at her every so often.

When I meet another Jennifer, I always call them Jen. Now that this name confusion has entered my life, though, I will be sure to ask them what the want to be called and how many n's they prefer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August shananigans

I've been up to some stuff lately.

Missy and I ran in a Foam Run, which was interesting. For some reason I thought it would be more glow-in-the-dark-y, but it was really just running through soap, which was cool too.


I went to Rick Springfield at Stir Cove with these yahoos.


Miss and I took our annual trip to the Iowa State Fair.


There is some exciting stuff coming up, too - Blake Shelton concert, my first trip to Mount Pleasant to see the Boone's, Labor Day weekend, and I've got some big trips planned for September.

My new job is going really well, and I love being back in Omaha. My commute is nothing and I am saving millions of dollars on gas.

All in all, I'm in a pretty good place right now. I've even come to love my new cats and I think I'm officially a cat lady.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Poop Deck

One time, when we were both working at Kaplan, Nick was getting his windows tinted on some new car that he bought. I have no idea which car, and I'm sure it was like ten cars ago anyway so who cares.

Anyway, after work he needed to be driven to the place to pick up his car, but there was a weird gap of time in between - like we got off at 4p, but his car wouldn't be ready until 5p. So rather than me just dropping him off and him playing on his phone for an hour, we decided to go to this weird bar called the Poop Deck, which was right next to the tinting place.

So after driving to work together, working all day together, having lunch together and then driving to the tint place together, we went to the Poop Deck and bellied up to the bar.

About 1.5 beers in, the bartender interrupted us.

"I'm sorry, but I have to ask...are you guys like old college friends? People who haven't seen each other in awhile?"

Nick and I looked at each other funny. We told him we see each other every day and had literally just came from hanging out for like eight straight hours.

The bartender was so entertained with the way we were acting, talking and laughing like we were long lost friends, anxious for the time we were spending together.

I think we should go back to the Poop Deck next time he visits home.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

If you could do it all over again...

If you could go back and restart your life, right at the point where you graduated from high school, would you? And what would you change?

I don't think I would honestly change anything, because I believe everything works out the way it was supposed to. But of course, I've always wondered what would be different if I had made other choices - everything thinks about that stuff, right?

Like if I hadn't chosen Buena Vista. I wish I had known then what I know now - that I should have applied for more scholarships, that I could have gotten my gen eds done before going to a private four year expensive-as-hell school, that I should have taken summer courses to get done sooner - but I loved my experience there, and I am proud of my degree. And I love that it's something my sister and I, and Nick/Hannah and I, will always have in common.

As far as my career goes, I think my background gives me a unique perspective on everything. I can bring my casino experience into my every day life, but I 100% think higher education is where I belong. However, going back to everything happening for a reason - my 20's were so much fun because of my job. I wouldn't have had the crazy experiences and memories that I do if I hadn't started my adult life working there. But now? There is literally no way I could still be doing that job now, or ever go back to it. I'm an entirely different person.

And of course, my personal life...maybe if I hadn't made some of the choices I did, I could be married now, with kids, in a house, on the PTA....but nah. I just do not think that's for me. And regardless of anyone's opinion on the matter, I seriously love my personal, private life and all of the people in it. I get enough little nugget love from nieces and nephews and friend's kids. And I sleep soundly at night with no interruptions unless the cats get into something.

Edit: I would not have adopted those fucking cats if I could go back and change something. They are bitches.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hello August

And just like that, July is gone.

June and July were like a blur to me. I was just waiting....and waiting....and waiting....for the heartbreak of Nick and his family leaving to hit. And then it hit and it was...anticlimatic? I still talk to him daily. I am sure I will see him soon.

Anyway, since that is over with and I survived, I feel more normal and put together. I was waiting to fall apart, and since I didn't, let's move on!


  • I am so close to being done with Grey's Anatomy - and it's all I can think about. And since I work at a healthcare college now, I'm even more convinced I'm pretty much a surgeon already. 
  • My birthday came and went, and it was wonderful like always. I pretty much celebrated the entire week - Monday night I went to dinner with Bill, Heather and Kate; Tuesday night I went to dinner with Katie; Thursday (my actual birthday) I went to dinner with Ryan, Missy and Natalie; and Friday I went to dinner with Kate again. Saturday I visited all my parents and ate dinner with Mom, Aunt Tammy and Kate. It was a lovely way to turn 36.
  • I started at Clarkson on Monday, and my first week of work went well. These first few weeks of any new job are just so awkward; trying to learn everything and trying to figure out who is who. It is just so weird having a commute that only takes like 15 minutes, rather than 45! I am able to sleep a little longer and stay up a little later, which I love of course. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

36

I turn 36 today. 

Late thirties.

Mid-life.

Do I feel old? Yes.

Do I look old? Yes.

I feel like 36 is going to be a year of transition. Everything feels different today. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer update

So clearly I haven't blogged in a long time. I think it's been like 44 days.

A lot has changed in 44 days.

To begin with, Nick and his family moved away. They left yesterday for Mount Pleasant, Iowa (about four hours away from Omaha). He got a job at Iowa Weselyn College (or university...I'm not really sure which) and it was a super awesome promotion, and then Hannah got a great job, too. It's a really good move for their family.

Don't I sound supportive and happy?

Whelp, I'm not. At all.

I got the news when I was in a car for 8 hours, driving back from the Black Hills with Missy, Ryan and Natalie. Those poor people. I quit speaking and held back tears during the entire drive, and then finally exploded when we were about two hours away from home. It was bad. Bad bad bad.

Basically, this is what has happened in the last 8 weeks: I get all upset, then I accept that they are leaving and I'm okay. Then I get pissed and hate him for leaving. Then I get sad and cry and get all upset, then I accept it and I'm okay. And that went on and on and on until yesterday, when he left.

I haven't cried since he left, but I have also avoided him since last Thursday. I am just in a weird, weird spot right now.

Since I apparently need to overload myself with change (which I hate, by the way), I quit my job at Midland and started a new one this week at Clarkson College in Omaha.

I am sure you are thinking what everyone is thinking...that I didn't want to be at Midland without Nick. And obviously you are partially right, as his goodbye would have been one billion times worse if I had to deal with losing him at Midland and losing him in my real life.

But the bigger reasons are more normal: Clarkson is closer to home (my commute is now about 15 minutes, rather than 45), they are paying me more money, and I was missing the nerdy registrar stuff I used to do.

There was a two week gap between jobs, which I took to watch a LOT of Grey's Anatomy and basically just do whatever I want. It was glorious. I spent some time with Nick's family and was able to wrap my head around him leaving.

I plan on getting back into my blogging life, so this was just a quick update on what is going on. I'll write something of substance tomorrow!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Real World: South Dakota - Memorial Day trip, 2016

A few weeks back, Ryan, Natalie, Missy and I went to South Dakota. This is a trip Missy and I have been talking about for years, and we finally made it happen.

(And by "we", I mean Missy, who booked the hotel rooms, rented the car, planned the agenda and drove the entire time.)

We stayed at the most amazing hotel in Keystone. It had an incredible view and was tucked away in this little corner of the town.

I could write a million word blog entry about everything we did, because there was so much. Instead, I'm going to give you a bulleted list and throw my favorite pictures at you.

  • We stopped in Sioux Falls and ate breakfast/lunch at an amazing little diner.
  • The World Famous Corn Palace was of course a necessary stop. 
  • We had delicious donuts at Wall Drug.
  • We stopped and explored the Badlands - this may have been my favorite place.
  • We went to the Dinosaur Park and the set of the Dances with Wolves movie.
  • We drove to Sturgis and I finally got to see the town my parents have been talking about for decades. We also got to see (what was left of) the Full Throttle Saloon.
  • We drove to Wyoming to see Devils Tower and hike around it. This may have been my favorite place.
  • We went to Spearfish and went waterfall searching.
  • We are in Rapid City at an AMAZING brewery and ran around town looking at all the president statues. 
  • We, of course, went to Mount Rushmore - this may have been my favorite place. We also went back at night for the Lighting Ceremony, which was on Memorial Day so it had a cool presentation with it.
  • We went to Rushmore Adventure Park and rode down the mountain on an alpine slide - this was absolutely not my favorite part.
  • We went to Custer State Park and saw buffalo (sick) and ate buffalo (yum) at the State Game Lodge.
  • We drove a lotttttt and saw Needles Highway, Sylvan Lake, Crazy House Memorial (or the lack of a Crazy Horse Memorial) and ate some pie and ice cream.
  • On our way back through Nebraska, we stopped at Carhenge and we ate at a fun bar in Paxton.
The Badlands are bad ass.

Dances with Wolves movie set (Never seen it, probably never will.)

I was just trying to get some work down and those creepers wouldn't leave me alone.

We spent a lot of hours in the car.

Dinosaur Park

The snap stories got a little cray.

Devils Tower

Hiking!

Obviously we brought our own flag to Mount Rushmore.

Injuries are funny. (I'm fine, by the way.)

More hiking.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sunday morning run

Let me preface this story with this: I recently ran a (final) half marathon, so I spent Jan-Feb-March-April training for it. I am a little gunshy about driving somewhere and parking to run (my purse got stolen two years ago while I was running a ten miler at a park in Omaha), so I did every single mile of my half training within five miles of my house. This usually resulted in me running through the same neighborhood several times. During my last 12 mile run, I seriously ran through one neighborhood eight times. I am sure the people who live there thought I was absolutely bananas.

Anyway. So yesterday I was running though my neighborhood again (no where near 12 miles. I think I did four.) and as I was finishing up, I saw a woman with a wagon ahead of me. She had two kids in the wagon, and I saw her stop three times in one block because the little boy couldn't decide if he wanted to ride in the wagon or walk beside it. She smiled and stopped each time, and I was in awe of her patience. The kids both looked happy and healthy and excited to be out on a walk, and I thought to myself that she must be a good mom.

As I got closer, she looked right at me and waved, and then motioned for me to take my ear buds out. I stopped, pulled out my ear bud and she said, "I just have to tell you, you're my inspiration." I must have looked confused because she went on, "I see you out here all the time, up and down and all over the place. You're so inspiring. So we're going to start walking every day!" I was speechless, and then the little boy yells out "You're the girl who never stops moving!" We both laughed and then the woman went on to say "He watches you out the window all the time." I told them all to have fun and we all went on to finish our workouts.

I couldn't stop thinking about them after that. I love that they are out walking as a family now. I wonder how many times that little boy saw me out his window. And it made me realize that you never know who is watching you.

I just hope he didn't see me when I was spitting rhymes and dancing down the sidewalk to gangsta rap.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Childless = happy, not desperate to steal your kid

This morning on my drive in to work I was listening to some radio morning show on some station. I typically don't mind morning radio shows, mostly because my options are pretty limited unless I want to plug my iPhone in and listen to my own music. But one thing that annoys me every single day is when people call in. These callers annoy me for several reasons:
1. No one cares about your opinion; why did you feel the need to call in and share it?
2. I am sure they are mostly calling in because they think they will get something free out of it.
3. The sound is usually terrible, or they are calling while having their radio on in the background, which is hugely annoying.
4. Usually their opinion is stupid.

Today was no exception to the above examples, only the caller's absolutely ridiculous opinion really struck a nerve with me.

The topic being discussed was the bathroom war (some companies are opening their bathrooms as just bathrooms, and anyone can go in to either one, regardless of gender, or assumed gender, or sexual orientation). Let me tell you one thing about this topic before I move on: I don't give a flying fuck. When I am in public, I am absolutely bursting by the time I would use a public bathroom. So when I sit down, I literally take like three seconds to go. Then I wash up, usually get annoyed because there are only air dryers and no paper towels, and leave. I have never noticed a single person around me. I don't care if it's a man, woman or horse. I just go pee and leave the room.

Anyway. So today this woman calls in and basically she is all for bathrooms being open for everyone. Great, thanks for sharing, Judith. But then she goes on to say "When I send my daughter into a bathroom alone, I wouldn't be worried about a man being in there. My real worry is those older childless woman in there with her. They can't have kids of their own, so they are probably going to steal mine."

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

As a 35 year old childless woman, I fall into your description. And let me fill you in on a little secret, Judith: I don't want your fucking kid.

Not all older childless women are just dying for the chance to steal your kid. Especially from a public restroom. From what I can tell, that's where children are their most disgusting. The other night I went into a stall after a child and there was poop smeared all over the toilet. Was my first thought "oh, I should snag this child up, she's a keeper."? No. My first thought was "Where the fuck is this kid's mom? Why is she allowed to use a bathroom by herself, when clearly she has not earned that right? She's disgusting."

And let's get to the real topic at hand - how is this a legitimate concern? I know that there are sick people out there with extreme mental problems who would think it's brilliant to steal a kid from a restroom. But how is that even possible? When I am out in public with my nieces or nephews, and they insist on going into a bathroom by themselves, guess where I am? Right outside the goddamn door, not even blinking until the kid(s) are back in my loving aunt arms. I imagine I would be even more crazy about it if they were actually birthed from my vagina. So where exactly are you, Judith, that your kid being snatched up from an old, childless woman is a legitimate concern?

Also, sidenote: the entire time I was typing this, I kept typing "childish" instead of "childless". I fall into both descriptions, FYI. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Leaping

This morning we had a staff meeting, and we always start them off with a question of the day. My boss comes up with them, and I love it - hypothetical questions are the bee's knees.

Anyway, today's question was "When was a time when you took a leap of faith?"

This took some serious thinking on my part, because mostly I am a play by the rules type of girl. The first thing that came to mind was choosing Buena Vista as my home after high school, because I did it all by myself. I didn't know a single person going to that school, and I had never really been away from home for an extended amount of time.

But then my co-worker Paul (hi Paul) talked about how he left England and came to the United States on a leap of faith, and I realized my move from Glenwood, Iowa to Storm Lake, Iowa didn't seem the significant.

So what has been my big life leap of faith?

Nothing. I have nothing.

Can someone help me out with this?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My last half ever!

I am so so so so so happy to be writing this entry. I finished my last half marathon yesterday, and I am happy to report I am RETIRED!!

I was kind of wondering if I would change my mind as soon as I crossed the finish line. When I crossed the finish line after my first half, I knew I wanted to feel that feeling again. I felt really good after the Des Moines half, so I knew I would run another one after that. This time was just different. I was annoyed with the training the entire time, I kept getting injured, and I knew, I just knew, that this was it for me.

I hurt my ankle really bad during my short run on Thursday night, and I went for an even shorter one on Friday to see if it was just a weird fluke or if I was actually injured. I was definetly the latter. My ankle throbbed with every step. But at this point I wasn't going to drop out, so I just iced it and hoped for the best.

Friday morning I hung out, packed and then went to pick up Missy. She had hurt herself earlier in the week and could barely walk, but she still was willing to go with me. I cannot explain how much I appreciated her coming. I needed support, but not just any support - I needed best friend support!

When we got to Olathe, we pulled into our hotel to realize that John had booked a room at the exact hotel where the half was starting. It was PERFECT. All we had to do the next day was get up and take the elevator downstairs. Half the battle with these type of events is just parking and getting to the starting line - for the Des Moines half, Amanda and I had to park like a mile away from the starting/finish line. It was a terrible walk back after we were done running.

We met up with John and Kim at the hotel, and then we all went to the Expo. It was pretty lame; not a lot of booths and kind of anti-climatic. One good thing was they were playing The Wizard of Oz on a big screen, which of course I appreciated. Then we all went to dinner, and then back to the hotel where Kim's brother and sister-in-law met us. They were also staying to be on our support squad with Miss.

I tried to go to sleep early that night, but my super single behavior kicked in - the one where I can't sleep if anyone is in the room with me. I can only sleep with someone in the same room if I am extremely comfortable with them - so with two people I had just met that night, I was never going to sleep. I don't know what that is all about. It's not like I think I am going to get murdered...I don't know. It's weird. So between my SSB and my brother's snoring (seriously, he sounds like he is starting a chainsaw), no sleep was happening. I tossed and turned and finally just gave up the fight at 5:30am. The race was starting at 6:45a.

John and Kim got up around 6am, so the three of us took pictures and then went downstairs to find something to eat before we ran. I was already in pain, and not looking forward to this, so I just grabbed an apple and walked to the end of the starting line. I knew I was going to have to walk/jog the whole thing, so my expectations were low. I just wanted to finish.

The entire race was basically rolling hills. It was terrible. There was also very little support as far as people standing and cheering with signs (half the fun of a half is the support during the run!). They had plenty of water/gatorade startions, which was great, but it's hard to just run between the stops with no distractions or entertainment. At mile six my ankle pretty much fell apart, and at mile 8 I actually puked. I think it was a mixture of the pain, my nerves, my extremely high anxiety (I was worried I was doing permentant damage to my ankle and I would have to quit kickboxing, too) and the smell of the porta potty. When I got done with that little episode, I knew I just needed to get the eff done. So I focused on the goal, on what food I was going to eat after, and charged ahead.

It wasn't pretty, but I crossed the finish line and met with up with my support squad. Missy had been sending me inspiring texts throughout the entire team, and they were helping so much. I love love love love love that she was there for me. I love. Love love love.

I absolutely did not get that familiar rush, so I can say with certainty that I am done with distance running. I think it's because I enjoy kickboxing so much - I still look forward to it every single day, and I have never "dreaded" a workout. When I first started running, I did it because I didn't know what else to do - but now that I have found a workout I love, it's hard to go back to one that I dislike.

I will still run, however. I am planning maybe twice a week, at most four miles. I want to always be able to run a 5k, but that is it.

I think my three halves were perfect experiences. My first one was by myself, and it was completely for myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. And of course my dad surprising me at the starting line is still one of my favorite memories of all time. My second half was with Amanda, and it was for her - she needed to prove to herself she could do it. And my last one was with my brother and sister-in-law - finally a sporting event I could do with my brother.

And that's a wrap!



Thursday, March 31, 2016

March is over.

Whelp, March is done with and now it's on to stupid April, when I have to run a stupid half. But guess what....as of April 16th 12:00pm, I will be DONE BEING A RUNNER!!! No more distances over 3.13 miles for this chicky.

I cannot wait.

Anyway, at the beginning of the month I made two goals: 1. Drink 90 ounces of water a day, and 2: Look better in two Husker hoodies that have become a little snug.

I am happy to say I completed my first goal with the exception of ONE tiny day. March 9th I was home sick from work and I was SO SICK. I couldn't get off the couch and everything I put in my body came right back up. So I am seriously not even sure I drank 60 ounces of water that day, let alone 90. But still...30 out of 31 days is like 96%, which makes me very happy.

As far as my hoodies go, I do think they look a little better!!


There is only about a seven pound difference there, so obviously not a ton of difference, but I can tell they feel looser.

Anyway...on to April goals!

1. 10k steps every day.
2. Track my food every day.