Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last entry of 2018

2018 is almost over.

I had a really good year.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


So last week I got pulled over. I was speeding. I was guilty.

But I was very nice to the cop, and he noted that on my ticket, so I felt pretty okay about the whole thing. He said I had a "good tone". I think he was hitting on me.

Anyway, so I decided (Nick told me to) to take the STOP class to dismiss the ticket. I took it online and got 100% on the test. Here is what I learned:

1. I am a VERY distracted driver.
2. Omaha drivers are literally the worst.
3. Giving road head is extremely dangerous.
4. Don't run over your kid.
5. I need to get so much stuff fixed on my car (tires, windshield, windshield wipers, etc).

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Figuring my life out

So I'm having some issues. Stomach issues. My stomach hurts all the time. I have finally realized this is not normal, so I immediately came up with some reasons for this constant stomachache:

Stomach cancer
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A newly formed gluten allergy
A baby is forming in my uterus
Crohn's Disease
 A newly formed lactose intolerance  

Yes, I know I should just go to a doctor, but I don't even know what to say to a doctor:

"Hi, my stomach hurts sometimes but not others. I generally eat whatever I want so it could totally be my diet. I also either poop constantly all day long or I don't poop for three days, there is no in between. Help?"

I love typing in italics. Also, when your stomach hurts and you don't know why, don't google "why does my stomach hurt all the time?" because you will immediately be handed a death sentence. Thank God I have a living will. 

Anyway. So basically I am going to really, really get to know my body and myself. I'm planning on keeping careful track of what I eat over the next few days and see how that affects my belly. I'm sure you are all very interested, so I will let you know what I figure out. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Dancing on the edge of the Hollywood sign

Okay so we didn't make it all the way to the edge of the Hollywood sign, but we tried. But let me start at the beginning. 

A few weeks ago, Missy, Ryan, Natalie and I headed to California for our long-awaited vacay. Here is what we did:

Day 1 - Friday: We flew in and got there at about 1pm, but then getting our rental car and actually getting to our AirBnB took awhile. We went to In-and-Out for dinner and sat outside because it was AMAZINGGGGGG weather. After that we went to the grocery store and Ryan shopped like he as a 12 year old whose parents left him alone for the weekend. We headed home after that to hang out by our pool - which was too cold to get into - and bond. 

Day 2 - Saturday: We headed to the Ronald Reagan Museum and Library. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I love presidential history, and if you do too this place is a must visit. 

After that we went to a bar to watch the Iowa game (stupid), and then we went to find a beach so I could put my feet in the ocean. Ocean fronts are my absolutely most favorite places in the entire world. I could spend hours there. 

Day 3 - Sunday: We separated in the morning - Missy and I went hiking in the Hollywood Hills and Natalie and Ryan went to visit some Hollywood cemeteries. When we got done hiking, Missy and I walked around the Griffith Observatory and then the other two picked us up and we went to brunch. After that, we went into Hollywood and spend some time on the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater. From there, we decided to do one of those cheesy Hollywood bus tours, which was awesome - we drove by where several celebrities live - Katy Perry, Gwen and Blake, TAYLOR SWIFT - we saw where Michael Jackson died - it was pretty fun!

After that, we went home and those three went to the Phil Collins concert, and I stayed home and relaxed. 

Day 4 - Monday: DISNEY day! We got up early and got to Disneyland pretty close to opening time. The park was pretty empty in the morning, so we were able to get right into rides for the first four hours or so. It got busy in the early afternoon, as they had a Halloween party that night that was sold out.  The park closed at 6pm for the party, so between like 4p-6p was pretty crazy. 

Day 5 - Tuesday: ELLEN! I will write up a whole entry on Ellen, because when I found out we got tickets I looked all over the internet trying to find information on what being an audience member entailed, and I couldn't find anything. So I will write it. But here is what we looked like. We were on the Halloween episode, so we were in costume. 

Day 6 - Wednesday: We flew out this day, but we had some time to kill in the morning so we did a Paramount Studios tour. This was very cool, and the cast of This Is Us was there filming! We got to see a few cast members. I love anything to do with old Hollywood, so this tour was very cool. 

Vacation is fun, but there is no place like Homaha. I was very happy to touch ground in Nebraska that evening! I think I am just now finally caught up on sleep and feeling like a normal person. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

I'm back!

Hi everyone! I'm back!

I know I said originally I was taking the rest of the year off, but I just got notice that my domain was due to expire and I needed to pay for it for this next year - and I figured if I'm in here paying for another year of blogging, I might as well blog, right?!

I've enjoyed my break, but I feel like it's time to start writing again.

Here are some things that you missed:

Missy and I went to Minneapolis over Labor Day weekend. We saw Taylor Swift (!!!!!!!!) and visited Paisley Park.

Missy and I also continued our races, and we are 10 for 10. Our next one is scheduled for next weekend in Council Bluffs, and we will end the year with our December run in Northwest Omaha. Do we continue these runs in 2019? I think we will. Unless any of you have any great ideas for a year long physical activity challenge?

I went to BVU for Homecoming weekend with the Boone's.

Chandler is my best friend.

I just got back from vacation in California, but that will get its own post.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


I always say that addiction runs in my family. I'm not sure if that is something that can be passed along between generations, and I'm not going to do the research, but I do know that one side of my family is chock full of addicts.

Many of my male relatives are alcoholics. Many have dabbled in drugs. My mother has tried to quit smoking so. many. times. and just can't. And last week, my cousin died after overdosing from meth.

JL was five years younger than me, and she lived in my grandparent's backyard. We lived in their front yard, basically, so we grew up together. Every school day my sisters and I would walk to her house and pick her up to go to the bus stop together. My aunt would make her eat breakfast before we could leave, so we spent a lot of time waiting at the door for JL to complain about it and then eventually choke down her poptart or bacon slice.

At that point, JL copied everything I did. Any team I liked, any celebrity I had a crush on. I was always annoyed by it. I remember when I got my middle school yearbook, I opened it up a few days into summer and saw that Jamie had gotten ahold of it and signed it. "Never change! Have a good summer! Love Jamie", it said, among all the autographs and messages from my classmates. Back then it annoyed me, but now it's kind of hilarious.

Everything kind of changed - her mom remarried, my parents both remarried, her mom and stepdad had two more kids. Both our families moved out of grandpa's yard. We weren't as close, and I started hearing things about her. She had hooked up with some guys from my class. She was smoking pot. She was drinking. At some point, she went to Omaha to live with her dad. I don't know what happened after that, but around that time is when her drug of choice changed to meth.

Everything has been a mess since then. She's had three kids - she was 22 when she had her first. When she delivered, she was high on meth. She disconnected herself at the hospital and left the baby. My aunt was able to rescue him and adopt him. He's 11 now and so smart and funny. And so, so confused about watching his birth mother die while his adopted mother (grandmother) sobbed and mourned. Her second child, a girl, lives with her dad. She is also so smart and so funny. And absolutely beautiful. Her third child lives in Texas with his dad. I've never met him, and I don't think I ever will.

Four years ago she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Everyone talked about how unlucky she was, and I wanted to shake them. This is because of drug abuse! She didn't just draw the short stick and get a bum heart. But I guess not dealing with that helped everyone accept the fact that JL's heart was failing her and she needed to remain sober if she wanted to live.

She didn't remain sober.

And my aunt had to cremate her oldest daughter.

I am struggling hard with my emotions. I am so, so angry about the choices she made and what it did to my family. I feel guilty that I should have done more. I had a lot of interactions with her as an adult. Maybe one of those times I could have changed the outcome of her life if I had tried a little harder, or put in a little more time.

Yet, every time I see a Facebook post about how she was taken too soon I get so mad. She was not taken. She gave in to her addiction.

My mom told me I have to forgive her. I am working on that.

Monday, July 30, 2018


I turned 38 this weekend. It was fun. I spent the evening in Glenwood, which didn't help my urge to want to move there.

This year, my 38th year on earth...

A bad habit I'm going to break:
Being on my phone so much - especially right before bed.

A new skill I'd like to learn:
Quilting will be on my list until I just do it. Also, after doing 90 minutes of yoga yesterday, I want to get better at that (because it was not pretty).

A person I hope to be more like:
Connie Sperling and Jan Achenbach

A place I'd like to visit:
I mean, I want to visit Hawaii, but I don't think I will this year. But I am very excited for my LA trip in October, and I would like to get out to see Juana again early next year.

A book I'd like to read:
I'm not sure on this one. Who has suggestions?

I'm going to do better at:
Not being on my phone so much
Making sure people in my life know how much I love them
Going on walks in the evenings/not just laying on my couch watching Grey's Anatomy

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Questions and Answers

If you could take a break from your life and go back to school to master a subject, what would it be? 
I would be a teacher!
If you had asked me this question ten years ago, I never would have thought that would be the answer. I was 8 years into the casino industry at that point, and my life was very very different. However, after nine years in higher education, I see now that my calling is working with students, and I wish I could work with them at the high school level.

When you're having  a bad day, what do you do to feel better?
Put in my earbuds, sing loudly and dance around my apartment.

Where is the most beautiful place you've ever been?
St. Mary's Glacier in Colorado

Who is the kindest person you know?
Connie Sperling

What do you wish you had time to do?
I wish I had the time/resources to do a podcast. No one would listen, probably, but I would love to do a Dax Shepherd-esqe podcast where I just sit with my friends and ask them questions.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

4th of July fun

I extended my 4th of July holiday - since it fell on a Wednesday, I took Thursday and Friday off as well and headed to Lake Rathbun for my annual Boone camping trip.

Wednesday when I got there we got on the boat, and I decided getting sunburnt was the best idea. Still, totally worth it. We grilled that night and I had about ten s'mores. Also, since it was hot AF we had family movie night in the camper where we watched Trolls (which is so cute).

The next day we boated again and had dinner at a little place on the lake. Seriously...does it get better than this? More s'mores and about 24 marshmallows later, we headed to bed.

Perfect little mini vacay, right? I think so too.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Brew at the Zoo

Or, if you are our group, No Brew but Still Fun at the Zoo.

Missy, David, David's friend Gia and I went to Henry Doorly Zoo Thursday night for their first Brew at the Zoo of the summer. It was adults only (you had to show an ID to prove you are over 21, even old faces like mine), and it was $15 for non-zoo members ($10 for zoo members). The people next to me tried to use their mom's zoo ID to get in, but no dice.

It was so nice and peaceful to walk through the zoo without screaming kids, loud kids, annoying kids and strollers in your way. We went through everything but the jungle and were there for about two hours.

The only annoying thing about the event were the lines. They had four beer areas and five (I think) food trucks, but all of the lines were ridic. We never even got a beer (or any food, for that matter) because the lines were so stupid.

I am sure the zoo will reconfigure this for next time, because they are the zoo and they have crowds and public events figured out. So I highly recommend going next time it is offered!

Friday, June 29, 2018

DONE with Invisalign!

My Invisalign adventure has finally come to an end! 

It took about 14 months and here are my results:

That one little short tooth on the bottom did not turn and become completely straight. But you know what? I'm fine with that. I'm not perfect, so why should my teeth be? My new dentist said that we can do another refinement stage, but it is still not a guarantee that it will turn to be completely straight. So I decided against it. I am so happy with how they look and the results I got, so let's just quit now, right!? Considering what I started with, I am just happy we were able to use braces to fix it and we didn't have to pull any teeth. How did my bottom teeth get so crowded? Maybe because I still have all my wisdom teeth, but no one has told me I have to get them taken out and I'm certainly not going to ask. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I need another weekend

What a freaking weekend!
I have been worried about this weekend for months. Mostly worried about how I was going to get everything done and get myself to where I was supposed to be all weekend. I was worried for nothing, everything went off without a hitch.

Friday after work I hauled ass to Ashland for the rehearsal for the wedding I was doing on Saturday. I only knew the bride and groom, which helped me be super bossy and not care what anyone thought of me. Then when that was over, I hauled ass to Council Bluffs for Cole Swindell. I seriously loved the show. Cole is soooo cute and so talented. Plus any night with these fools is highly entertaining.

Saturday I got up, worked out, and then drove back to Ashland for the wedding. Despite the fact that the bride was a little late and the groom forgot the rings, it was so beautiful and everyone seemed so happy. But I have been pretty nervous for it, so I am glad it's over!

Sunday I got up, worked out and then that afternoon I met Nicole in Council Bluffs to pick Gavin up to take him to his first concert, Imagine Dragons!

He was so nervous, and it was so cute. He doesn't do heights well, and we were pretty high up. But as soon as Imagine Dragons hit the stage, his eyes lit up and he was on a concert high until the last song. It was awesome, and I'm so glad to have that memory with him.

The next morning we went to breakfast and then we went to see Jurassic World, which I LOVEEEED. We couldn't get popcorn because of Gavin's braces, but it was still such a good movie (yes, I am one of those people who thinks a huge bucket of popcorn makes movies even better).

I loved my bonding weekend with Gav, and it makes me want to do one with each of my nieces/nephews.

But I have to admit, I slept like a rock last night. Being in charge of keeping someone alive is hard work.

Friday, June 22, 2018


What a great freaking day.



Monday, June 18, 2018

Running, eating, farmers marketing, hiking, fathers daying

What a weekend! It did so much, but I still managed to binge watch the entire new season of The Ranch, because you know. #priorities

Friday I picked Missy up and we headed to Johnston, Iowa for our June 5k. We randomly picked this run because we couldn't find anything near us when we were both available - June is a crazy busy month! Also, this was a night run which I really wanted to do.

It was SO HOT. This is the before picture, because the after picture was seriously so gross.

The run was a fundraiser for the Johnston library and it started and ended in front of it. So obviously I broke out my Baby-Sitters Club tshirt for the event.

We went and visited Missy's brother after that, and then we went to Fong's to eat. I stepped way out of my comfort zone and shared a crab ragoon pizza with Missy. It was good! I would order it again.

After that we went to our hotel (where we were upgraded to a suite), and then the next morning we woke up early to head to the Des Moines farmers market. It was so massive! Missy bought Dutch Letters, which I have never had but now I am ferociously looking for a way to get more of them into my life. Can I make them? Do any of you make them?

Then we went to look for this bridge I've been obsessed with for like a year. You see, about a year ago one of my coworkers and I were talking about how we are both from Iowa, and how I am always looking for adventures. She suggested the High Trestle Trail, near Boone, Iowa, because it is amazing. So I've been telling Missy I want to go find it, but then once we got to her brother's house and we tried telling him what we were doing the next day we realized 1. I had no idea what this bridge really is. 2. It's really a bike trail and 3. It's not even in Boone. But we found it, and it was just fine that we were walkers on a bike trail.

I am very lucky to have a good friend like Missy who is always up for these type of things. We are going to Los Angeles in October (with Ryan and Natalie) and she already found us a hike that will take us right up to the Hollywood sign! I am soooooo excited.

After I dropped her off and went home, I was just done. I laid on the couch and watched all of The Ranch.

Sunday morning was another early one, as we were having Fathers Day breakfast for dad. It was a nice morning!

Quinn got really into my selfie stick for a few minutes, telling herself how pretty she is. I need her to know she is smart too! I can't stand her just thinking she is a pretty face. Yes I know she's only two.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

3 minute rule

When I first started my career in higher education, I was hired as the registrar of a small for-profit campus. I did not know what a registrar did. The person who had the job before me did not do a good job, and she just went into the office on a Saturday, packed up her personal belongings, and then never came back. So needless to say, I walked into a disaster.

I took some time and got my life organized, and soon I had the place running like a machine. Right off the bat, I gave myself a rule - if something was going to take me less than three minutes, I just did it right then. Whether this was processing a class withdrawal, answering a quick email, or giving a coworker information - if I knew it would take less than three minutes, I would just do it. Then it was marked off my list (actually, it never went on my list), and I could move forward.

I've adopted that rule into every position I've had since then, and it's been a beautiful thing. my personal life, I do not follow that rule. So things like - unloading the dishwasher, putting my clothes away, packing my lunch - they pile up, because I just don't want to do it.

Last night I went to kickboxing, ate dinner, went for a walk and when I got home I finally laid on the couch. I played Cookie Jam and watched an episode of 13 Reasons Why, and then I realized I hadn't packed my lunch or packed my gym bag for work today. UGHHHHHHHHHH. I laid there dreading getting up to complete those tasks. I looked at my watch. 8:41p. Grudgingly, I got up and packed my two bags for today. I put my lunch bag in the fridge and my gym bag by the door. I laid back down on the couch and picked up my phone to continue my game. It was 8:43p.

I wasted more time dreading getting up to do those tasks than it took to actually do them.

So, the point of this drabble, is that I am bringing the 3 minute rule into my personal life as well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I remembered I have a blog

A lot of stuff has been happening lately, but for some reason I'm on a blog-brain-lockdown. I just cannot get motivated to write. But I know I'm going to regret not writing later, so I'm going to try really hard to get better at this.

Juana and John were home earlier this month for about ten days. It was so fun to have them home, and Juana and I took our usual road trip. We went to Booneville, Missouri to see the Budweiser Clydesdale at Warm Spring Ranch.

Now,  I have to admit, I had no interest in this place. Juana loves horses, and I love a good road trip, so I was game. But the tour ended up being very interesting, and I actually did enjoy myself and I learned a lot. I am still scared of horses, though.

This past weekend, I went to the compound to see Nick and family. Rain and thunderstorms ruined our boating plans, but we still had fun shopping, eating, fishing, playing dominos and sitting around a firepit. Can you even handle the freckles on this kid?

I feel like there is so much going on and the summer is just going to fly by. This Friday Missy and I are running our June 5k in Des Moines (an evening run! I can't wait.) and then we are hiking in Boone, Iowa on Saturday. There is a trail there I have wanted to check out for awhile, and this is a good weekend for a little exercise filled road trip.

I promise I will write again soon. Maybe tomorrow? That seems aggressive. But I will try to write again soon.

I also really want to get my other blog project done, and it is very slow moving. I am re-reading the Baby-Sitters Club books and essentially writing book reports on them. You can find that blog here:

Baby-Sitters Club blog

Friday, June 8, 2018

1.5 - 4

1.5 = how many hours I have left of work today

4 = how many hours I'm driving to see Nick and family

also 4 = how any tacos I'm going to eat today

Thursday, May 24, 2018


1. Tonight is WICKED!
2. Right this second, I only have 9 hours of work standing between me and a four day weekend.
3. Missy secured our TAYLOR SWIFT tickets yesterday!! Labor Day weekend can't get here soon enough.
4. Juana and John get to town Saturday.
5. I am meeting with my bride/groom on Saturday afternoon as well. Did I mention I am performing another wedding in June?
6. Juana and I head out for our road trip on Monday morning.

Monday, May 14, 2018


How is it possible to love someone this much?

And this kid, even though his snotty nose made me gag several times yesterday.

Seriously, I'm the luckiest aunt in the world.

Friday, May 11, 2018


It's Friday, and I'm feeling amazing, even though I need to go to bed right after work to be ready for my VERY EARLY MORNING 5k. #neveragain

In case you needed another picture of my amazing sunglasses and my straight teeth, here ya go.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


1. I'm 37, but all of a sudden I feel like I'm developing allergies. Is that possible?
2. Don't act like this glasses aren't the coolest thing you've ever seen.

3. I finalllllly got a trip to see Nick and his family on the calendar.
4. Which means I finalllllly get tacos.
5. My aunt will be here in just about two weeks. I can't wait! We have our road trip planned and I've started mapping out where all the TJ Maxx's, Homegoods and Marshalls are on the route.
6. My hair looks awesome today.
7. I have started eating low carb - I've been doing it for one month and I'm down ten pounds!
8. Eating low carb will not prevent me from eating tacos when I go to see Nick next month.
9. Tomorrow night on Grey's Anatomy I am fairly certain April is going to die.
10. Saturday is our May run, and it starts at freaking fucking 7am. Bang.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Brace Face: Tray 4/14

Hi! I went to the dentist this week and it was good news!

After all the grinding and filing of my teeth (not the good news), I told her that, so far, the trays have only been tight the first day and then it feels like nothing is happening. She explained that the adjustments are smaller this time around so it won't feel like that big of an adjustment. Then she dropped the (good) bomb on me - we can do this quicker, and instead of switching trays every ten days, I can bump it up to SEVEN!!!!

YAY!! So now I will be done with this phase on June 29th instead of August 4th. Please, holy Mary mother of GOD, let this be it!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Brace Face: Trays 2-3 of 14

So things have dramatically improved since my breakdown on Day 1 of the revision phase.

In fact, they've improved too much....

I don't feel anything.

I snap the trays in, they feel tight for about 30 seconds, and then....they are fine. This makes me incredibly nervous that maybe nothing is moving. So of course I did a comparison picture.

The top is Day 1 of the revision phase, the bottom is halfway through tray 3. So not a ton of difference on the bottom, but I can see some movement. I guess it does look a little better.

Also, today, April 10th, is the day I started Invisalign last year! So, for fun, here is a one year comparison shot.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Life update

Hi. Sorry I haven't written in awhile. I go through these phases of feeling overexposed and worried that some people out there are stalking my blog for the wrong reasons.

Anyway, here is what has been going on:

1. Easter came and went. It was a good weekend. Nick was home so I got to spend some time with his family. I'm looking forward to the weather getting nicer so I can go see them and get on the BOAT!

2. I have been having a personal crisis lately about people and relationships. Is it even possible to really know someone? Is it possible to be 100% honest with someone about yourself and your thoughts? I don't have a single person in my life that I can say I am 100% honest with. Is that sad, or normal? How common is it to tell half-truths? Will I actually get so inside my own head that I will drive myself crazy?

3. This weather is driving me insane. I need it to be nice so I can get outside.

4. Some things happened in the last few weeks that caused me to analyze possibly moving two hours away. I struggled hard at even entertaining the idea, and decided ultimately not to even consider it. Do I really want to move somewhere where I have to drive an hour to shop for Rae Dunn?

5. Quinn.

5a. And if you really want to cry, Quinn last year compared to this year.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Brace Face: Here we go again...Tray 1 of 14

Yesterday I had my appointment to get my new set of trays and get the buttons back on my teeth. It was awful. I am miserable.

I don't know if I blocked out the process from the first time, but this seemed much, much worse. First they put some weird stuff in my mouth that tasted seriously AWFUL. It was like a mix of battery acid and pickle juice. It was so so terrible that I'm gagging right now just thinking of it.

Then they placed the buttons, and then like "molded" them to my teeth. This included some sort of tool that was quite hot, and it actually burned my lip on one side. That's fun.

Then, of course, sliding the tight-as-hell trays on was terrible.

When I got home, I needed to get and taking my trays out was terrible. Seriously terrible. The buttons on my teeth feel terrible, but of course I think I had just gotten used to a button-free life.

I do remember the first few days from my first set of trays, and I remember feeling like this whole thing was a mistake and it wasn't going to work for me. I got over that in a day or two, so I'm hoping that happens again.

If I did the math right, I will be done with this phase on August 1.

Phase 1 Tray 1 vs Phase 2 Tray 1 comparison

Gym selfie.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Brace Face: the waiting game

I am still waiting for my trays to come in for my next phase of Invisalign. I am assuming it will be in the next few weeks, so I will be starting the revision phase just about a year after starting this whole adventure in the first place - around Easter.

I had a pretty terrible nightmare that Invisalign came back with 33 trays for my next phase of treatment. I had been reading online that a lot of patients had even more trays for their revision phase than they did for their first phase. (I had 28 trays for phase 1). I texted my dentist the next day and asked her to tell me as soon as she had a number so I could put my mind at ease. So I was super relieved when she let me know 14 was the number they came back with. 

When I tell people 14 they are like.."oh boo...that sucks". But I am very happy with it. I don't think there's a lot of movement left on my bottom teeth, but it's fine. I can deal with 140 days of trays again. I will miss chewing gum, though. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Being artsy

The other night Missy, Katie and I met for dinner and then went to Corky Canvas for a painting session. I loved it.

It was so relaxing and fun. I want to do it again and again and again.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Another year, another win

This weekend was the Alumni Trivia contest at work. My team is not good at trivia. But we are very good at dressing up and winning the theme portion of the contest. Repeat theme winners!

Year one: Let's Get Quizzical
Year two: Quizard of Oz

Dude, we have got to BRING IT next year.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What I'm loving right now

1. Nick and Hannah FINALLY listened to me and started watching Bates Motel. I am rewatching it too, and I'm loving it just as much the second time around.

2. I went and met with a Hy-Vee dietitian last night. I have just been stuck lately in a cycle of starving myself and fueling my body with crap. I needed a reset, and even though I already knew everything she told me, I needed to hear it from a complete stranger who took a list of everything I won't eat (which is a lot, if you know me) and came up with a plan for me. We met for about ten minutes, then walked around the grocery store for about 40 minutes, then we finished with another ten minute talk and she is going to email me my plan. I cannot wait to put all of her good ideas and menu items into action. This cost $62.50 and I think it was worth every penny.

3. It is winter. And it feels never ending. But the idea of spring and summer is keeping me going.

4. I got an Apple Watch a few weeks ago and I am LOVING it. Closing my rings is such a fun game to play. I had worn a fitbit for several years, and I think it was time for a change.

5. My aunt texted me possible dates for her trip home this spring/early summer. I can't wait! I hope we do a ton of RD shopping together.

6. I can't stop looking at this hilarious picture of my nephew eating a donut. Those curls! If my sister ever cuts his hair, I will set her on fire.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

That moment

I recently saw a movie that talked about that moment.

That moment when you make a move and it changes everything. Sometimes the moments are huge. Sometimes they just change the way you feel about a person. But, in one tiny little moment, things changed.

I sat in the theatre and pondered this. I was by myself (literally my favorite way to go to the theatre) so I could just sit for a minute afterwards in silence. That moment. Those words hung on me. How many "that moments" could I remember?

I remember the exact minute my mom told us she and my dad were divorcing. I was with my three siblings watching Charles in Charge. I remember how the sunlight was pouring through the window. I remember Mom walking in and telling us, and Nicole's big brown eyes staring at me, waiting for my reaction. I started crying, then she did. (I have since found out that Mom was supposed to wait for Dad so they could tell us together. Of course, that's only one tiny example of the nastiness of their divorce.) One moment my world was put together and fine, the next it was torn apart and I had no idea what to expect.

I remember the exact moment friendships ended, I remember the exact moment of deciding to be the "other woman" in relationships. I remember the exact moment that I answered a text, in a car riding back from Sioux City with my sister, and I have wondered so many times what would have happened had I just ignored that text. And I remember the exact moment my dad told me that Duke died, and I remember not even feeling the tears building up, just all of a sudden I was crying.

Of course, for all the terrible moments there are the best ones. Like the exact moment Dad and I were shopping for a pool table and we got the call that Gavin was on his way into the world. Or the moment I got called to HR at Harrah's, and as I walked down the hall my VP was standing outside his office holding his forehead....totally prepping to lay me off. While that seemed like a terrible moment, it was actually exactly what was supposed to happen. And that's exactly the point of all of these moments. Everything has ended up the way it was supposed to, and my life is seriously awesome because of all of these moments.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Boone weekend on the MP compound

You know a weekend is really good when you forget to take pictures.

I headed to Nick's on Friday afternoon. We didn't do anything crazy - on Friday, we ate tacos and watched some TV (I finally got Nick and Hannah to try Bates Motel). On Saturday, we went to the gym (the boys had swim lessons and Nick, Hannah and I all worked out at various points), then hung out for awhile and then Nick, the boys and I headed to see Black Panther and went to dinner. On Sunday we had breakfast and then I headed Homaha.

So, nothing crazy, but those weekends are important to me. Also, if they could move closer that would be great.

Oh, and side note, Black Panther is fucking amazing. Go see it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February Running

Two months into the year, two 5k fun runs done!

It snowed all last week. It was so so annoying and I am sure you can assume how I felt about it. I was pisssssssssy.

The final round came Friday night (actually, I think it snowed Saturday night, too...), and we were due to be in Waterloo at 10am to run our second 5k of the year. I let Missy know earlier in the week she would need to drive, as I am a giant chicken shit about driving if the weather isn't perfect.

As the snow fell Friday night, I was just sure they would cancel or postpone the run. But they didn't. So we ran.

It was freezing. Then it wasn't. Then it was. I was able to keep up with Missy for about 2.5 miles, then I let her run ahead and I started listening to Blink 182 to get me to the end zone.

Breakfast afterwards was at Shirley's Diner, and it was amazing!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Valentine’s Day

I am not expecting anything crazy for Valentine’s Day. I’m not typically the type of girl that needs romantic gestures. But I do love to get some love on Valentine’s Day.

That being said, I’m not a big fan of flowers. Or candy. Or stuffed animals. So I was thinking...what would be my ideal valentine?

1. Tacos. Specifically, from Taco Casa in Des Moines. And if that means dirty hotel room sex cause we have to road trip it to DM, even better. 
2. A card with a heartfelt message. 
3. A gift card from HyVee, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods or Marshall’s. 
4. Rae Dunn, obviously. 
5. A weekend road trip getaway. That involves dirty hotel room sex. And tacos. 
6. A trip to Hawaii, if he really wants to get cray. 
7. A date night in with pizza, wine and a Ninetendo marathon. 
8. A special lunch date during the work week. Jason’s Deli would be ideal. 
9. Take my car to get detailed. 
10. Books. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Brace Face: Molds for Revision Phase

Yesterday I had to go in and get my molds/impressions done for the next phase. I do not enjoy this process.

This time was a little different, as we had to do it twice. The first time (for top and bottom) my teeth were shoved into the molds and I sat there, with my dentist's hands all up in my mouth, for 4-6 minutes while they set. It was uncomfortable, but obviously didn't hurt. Just imagine having a retainer full of clay shoved onto your teeth and then someone's hand pressing it. For five minutes. Which is forever in that circumstance.

After that, we had to do it again, only this time it was only for like two minutes. After we were done and I was getting ready to leave, I stole a peek at the molds and I do not understand how anyone can tell anything from them. But whatever, that's not my job.

As we were saying goodbye, I told my dentist I am really hoping they don't come back with a million more trays. She said she really didn't think it would be that many. I don't know if she was just telling me what I want to hear, but I'm really banking on that statement.

It will be another 3-4 weeks before my trays come in, so I am enjoying a button-free, gum chewing life right now!

Monday, January 29, 2018

What I'm loving right now

1. My nephew, Gavin, won his Pinewood Derby whatever the hell that is contest for Cub Scouts (Boy Scouts? I don't know what it actually is. Cub Scouts seems too young?). He needed this win. He's had a rough year. I am so, so, so happy for him.

2. The television shows 911 and The Resident just started and they are good. Check them out. Also, Greys and Scandal are LIT lately.

3. I had about an hour to kill last weekend, so I went to the library, picked a book off the shelf, found a cozy corner and started reading. It was AMAZING. I need to do this more often.

4. It's cold out. Big, comfy boy hoodies and big, comfy sweats are my main jam.

5. Coloring books.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

January running

Dude. So Missy wanted to do the whole "12 5ks in a year" thing again. At first I was like, "great...have fun with that..." but then...

Of course I had to get myself involved again. I mean, it's a nice way to keep myself running all year. Also, it's always a fun weekend morning with Miss that usually involves breakfast afterwards.

We kicked off the year last Saturday at Two Rivers State Park in Waterloo. Thanks to the government shutdown, we didn't have to pay to get in. The course was a completely flat, two looper around a lake.

I didn't stretch and I haven't run since...November maybe? So of course I didn't do that well. I have figured out the hard way that I need to stretch A LOT before I run. But it's over, and breakfast afterwards was super delicious.

P.S. Also, yesterday I wore those same shoes and I realized that the bottoms are pretty much completely wore out and my socks actually show through the top. I'm probably going to need to invest in some new running shoes for this year. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Brace Face: Tray 28


I had my final appointment for phase 1 of my Invisalign.

And yes, I need more trays. 28 wasn't enough, apparently.

I knew I was going to need more. I can physically see where one tooth on the bottom didn't rotate enough. But my dentist said that there is also an issue with how my jaw lines up in the back, where I can't see. So there's that.

My dentist switched practices and my appointment on Tuesday was her first day. She hasn't had a chance to get all of her ducks in a row yet, so she needed to contact Invisalign to get her stuff. She's going to call me when I can come in and get more molds taken, which will then be sent off to see how many trays I will need for this next phase, which they call the "Refinement" stage.

I am disappointed. I can't pretend that I'm not. But all of this is already paid for with my original investment, so I suppose we should just keep going until it is right, right? Right.

For now, she took all of the buttons off my teeth (I will need to get new ones on with the new set of trays). I have about a month of freedom before I will have to get this party started again. I am wearing my last tray, tray #28, at nighttime only right now.

So here are my final pictures from Phase 1 of my treatment. I am very happy with how things look.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A few things

1. I fucking hate the cold weather.
2. I went and saw I, Tonya last week. It is good - I think everyone should see it - but it does not make me think Tonya Harding is a victim, it makes me think she is a manipulative liar.
3. I went and saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri this weekend - it is very good. It also made me very happy that I am a (mostly) happy person.
4. I went and saw The Greatest Showman last night. It is very good, and Zac Efron is very hot.
5. If you haven't figured it out, I am on my yearly mission to see all the movies nominated for awards right now.
6. This coming Saturday Missy and I will be running our first of 12 5ks for the year. Yes, I got myself into this again.
7. This weekend I tried to analyze my phone usage and see where I can eliminate some screen time. I started this experiment on Friday morning. Then I got home on Friday night, opened up Cookie Jam and saw they had unlimited lives for the next 15 hours. So then I spent 15 hours playing Cookie Jam and my less-phone-time-experiment went to shit.
8. Last night when I left the theatre, it was snowing. I HATE DRIVING IN THE SNOW.
9. I need more ideas for work lunches. I always pack my lunch, then by the time lunchtime comes the idea of eating what I brought grosses me out. Leftovers kinda skeez me out, and lately meat has been grossing me out as well. I don't know what to do!!
10. I am doing quite well on my NYR. It's the 15th of the month, and I have completed 15 work outs (sometimes I double up, I'm badass like that).

Monday, January 8, 2018

Seriously the best weekend

This weekend was so, so good. Nothing spectacular happened, it was just a great weekend spent with the right people.

Friday night after kickboxing I relaxed and watched Grey's. I needed some time to myself. Isn't it weird how a three day work week almost kicks your ass as much as a full one? We were working hard to cram five days of work into three, I guess, and of course coming off a 12 day vacation is a bit of an adjustment. And kickboxing was really hard. So I just relaxed.

Saturday I had a good morning and then went to meet Shannon to see Molly's Game at Alamo. We needed to catch up and eat some popcorn out of a bowl. Also, Molly's Game is SO GOOD.

On Sunday I met Mom and Kate for lunch and then we ran some errands. I told them I wanted to run into TJ Maxx and see if they had any Rae Dunn. I wasn't expecting much, as everything I've seen on Facebook shows that stores have been pretty dry lately due to end of year inventory. But I found not one, but TWO majorly hard to find items. I swept them both up and couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I can't believe I actually found TWO of the TOOLS canisters, and I paid retail for them! (P.S. I know if you aren't a RD person you don't understand what I'm talking about. Just roll with me here.) Plus, I am so excited because Juana hasn't found that item yet and wants it, so I am finally able to gift something to her. Needless to say, I could not stop smiling even though Mom and Kate absolutely do not understand.

After that I went home and prepared some food and then Ryan, Miss and Natalie came over to watch the Golden Globes. It was a delicious, funny, fantastic end to the weekend.

Cheers to the work week! Oh, and another ten week session starts at Farrell's today, so cheers to another new beginning!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Brace Face: Tray 27

Honestly, this tray flew by and I really didn't notice anything about it. Tonight I switch to my last tray*!

* I am not sure this will be my last tray. There is one tooth I am seriously hating right now and I think it's going to cause me to go into another tray phase, or a "revision" phase as they call it.

Last night my best college friend Toni texted me and she just started Invisalign! I loved sharing my experience with her and I hope she has as good as luck as I have with it.

I made my appointment yesterday to hopefully get the buttons taken off on January 16th so I can move on to the retainer phase.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

First post of 2018

Hi. Welcome to 2018 in Jen's world.

I was off work for 12 days at the end of the year. It was awesome. I could definitely stay at home all the time. I loveeee it. I saw some awesome people, did some awesome things, spent some time in my bed and watched a lot of Grey's Anatomy.

I made one New Year Resolution.

1. Log 250 workouts this year.

I kicked if off on New Year's Day (I am really struggling with this right now. Technically, its just New YEAR, as in one year. But everyone says New YearS. It's not several years, it's the switch of one year. But the reason we celebrate January 1st is because of the New Year, so I am saying the day belongs to the New Year, hence New Year's Day). ANYWAY.

I started the new year with a 90 minute kickboxing workout at Farrell's. It was hard AF.

There were so many people on the mat. I got there early to still get my spot in the back, though.

My other New Year promise to myself is that I will continue to hunt and find my precious Rae Dunn items, and I won't let myself get sucked into the RD drama (you have to be a collector to understand what that means). This is my current favorite piece.