Thursday, June 30, 2011

new camera app

Trying out a new camera app on my phone. Its fun! Preparing to take off out of Seattle. Long day of travel ahead of me. Missing Washington and Jody already. My mind is spinning with all the things I have to do at home. Back to reality.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


eas we were approaching the bottom of the mountain and the end of our hike, jody said, "I cannot wait to eat creme brulee tonight!"
i replied with "oh my gosh...i cannot wait to sit down and drink a beer!"
we went to dinner and jody tweeted this photo posing the question
why are we friends?

it just works.
and i'm so thankful.
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and it was the most beautiful thing ever

so this could get a little long.
warning...lots of photos to follow.
and i hate that they don't even begin to do this place justice.

we spent all day yesterday in the city.
it was a blast.
but we decided to switch gears today and wear our tennis shoes.
we filled some water bottles and threw some snacks in a bag and started driving.
no plan.just drive in the general direction of the mountains and see where it takes us.
this was our view as we drove.

we hit Hamma Hamma Rd and Jody said, "Oh, that sounds fun!"so we turned.
and we drove a few more miles.
we hit a sign that said "Lena Lake Trail" and decided to stop.
this is what we saw.

and we thought it was the most beautiful thing ever.
we started hiking knowing that Lena Lake was 3 miles away.
we had no idea what to expect.
and it was like we were on a movie set.
so quiet.
almost scary.
as you can see...we were super scared.

we walked for what felt like 15 miles and then we heard water flowing.
jody said, "Oh! I think I hear it!"
only you can't actually HEAR a lake.
but sure enough as we walked further, the sound of water got louder.
and by the time we got here, it was roaring.
and we thought it was the most beautiful thing ever.

we decided that certainly wasn't a lake.
so we continued on and came to this super cute bridge.
and we thought it was the most beautiful thing ever.

then jody decided we should lay on the ground and become one with the earth.
ok...not really.
but she did think we should take photos of the trees...from the ground.
so we stopped and did that.
and i just kept saying, "seriously...this is the most beautiful thing ever!"

every corner we turned we found new and amazing sites.
i was at the point where i seriously could have started crying at any giving moment.
it was...
wait for it...
the most beautiful thing ever!

but then.
then we rounded a corner and saw this...

and it was like the definition of breathtaking.
i honestly sucked in my breath and felt the tears.
so gorgeous.
i wish you could hear the silence and smell the trees.
and as for today, that sight was the most beautiful thing ever.

at the edge of the water there were the most incredible campsites i've ever seen.
and paul and i will one day have a date here.
i promise.

oh thank you lena lake.
you were amazing today.
it was a day i will never forget.
and i swear we will be back.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

most amazing hike

Seriously so so happy.
Just went on an incredible hike to lake Lena.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Seattle...Day 1

i took the early morning flight today.
and with the time change i was IN jody's car by 11 am.
and we were in west seattle by 11:15 looking at this view...

we walked around west seattle.
had lunch at a cute mexican restaurant.
walked on the beach.
we realized that we have lots of photos together around the world. :)
muscatine, florida, colorado, africa and now seattle.
pretty awesome.
set the camera timer to document this place and time...

then walked to the water taxi to head over to downtown.
we walked past this house first.
now those are some FLOWERS...

we got off the water taxi and our first stop was the bubble gum wall.
kinda grossed me out, but at the same time was very impressive.

and then we hit the famous pike street market...

the fresh produce was awesome.
i loved people watching and taking a million pictures.

then we headed back to jody's house with a little tour along the way.
we fit in a ton today.
not sure yet what our plans are for tomorrow.
but i do know it's gorgeous here.
and i may just have to send for my family.

so thankful for this time in this place with this person.
what a gift.
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pike street market

Tour de Jody is in full force. And it's totally fun.
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Literally last min tix booked to go to Seattle. Last night I pricelined them around 7:00pm after driving 5 hrs home from storm lake. Departure time of 6:30 am from des Moines.
So so so grateful for my awesome hubby and mom and sister. Every scurried to make it work. Erin even opened her house for me to go crash there for a few hours before heading to airport.
I'm in Chicago now and boarding my plane to Seattle. Can't wait to squeeze Jody.
More later.
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Friday, June 24, 2011


i feel like linking the "It's Friday" utube video, but i don't have time. so just sing it in your head.

we are heading out for storm lake for the weekend.
so excited to hang out with the whole burback side.

it is GORGEOUS outside.
spent the morning in the garden. got caught up on weeding.
oh...and did you know there's a group of ladies in my neighborhood who do water aerobics monday, wednesday and friday mornings at 8:30 am? probably not. :) but i have been joining them. it's totally fun. and it doesn't hurt my back. added bonus. so after weeding i got to do water aerobics for an hour.

we are hitting up the library real quick this morning before we head out. brigg is finishing up his last book as the girls and i are showering and getting ready for the day.

i'm a 5th grade teacher. still giddy.

i hit up salvation army yesterday and got some things for my classroom. yes...i have a classroom. how awesome is that?!? :)

got brigg signed up for a 1 day Creighton Baseball Camp. he's so excited. and paul is about as excited as brigg. i think he's wishing he could take the day off and sign up for the camp himself.

we are planning and planning our trip to colorado. SO excited. we're talking a Rockies game, natural hot springs, horseback riding, tubing down the river, fishing and hiking up to a quartz mine. i literally teared up last night as i thought of our whole family in colorado together. we LOVE it so much there. like LOVE LOVE LOVE it! and we can't wait to do all these fun things with the kids there.

now i need to go clean out the car. and pack. and feed my children. and make my bed. and finish a load of laundry. and get to the library. happy weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

so i cried in the "Curves for Women" parking lot...

there are lots of reasons why i may cry in the Curves parking lot, but this is a good one. :)
and i want to get it written down before i forget!
so last week i got a call to interview for the 5th grade teaching position at washington elementary school in muscatine. it came while lisa and i were lounging in the pool with all the kids.
i was ecstatic! 5th grade is my dream grade. i love washington school. it was an unexpected opening and i had kind of given up on getting a permanent job for the fall.
so i was pumped when the principal called to line up an interview.
the interview was set for 9:15 am on tuesday. i was sitting in the parking lot for about 10 minutes before trying to "cram".
i HATE these interviews with a panel of teachers/administrators. i just feel so unqualified. when they ask a question using buzz words that i don't know, or acronyms that i'm not familiar with, i panic. and there are lots of those buzz words and acronyms in the field of education.
but anyway, i took a deep breath and headed in.
their were 6 people seated around the table and a list of questions. i knew all of them. i had subbed lots at this school this year and felt a little more comfortable knowing all their names and faces.
they started going around the table and asking questions. it's so crazy trying to answer some of them when i've never had my OWN classroom. and i graduated 10 YEARS ago. so i feel totally out of the loop. but i just answered the best i could. and told them "i don't know how i will do that", if i didn't know!
then the end came. they asked if there was anything else i wanted to share. and i said, "not really. i just want you to know how excited i am about this opportunity. when i decided to stay home with my kids 10 years ago, it was a bit of a personal sacrifice for me. i had wanted to teach for as long as i could remember. (enter voice cracking and tears flowing...seriously...i cried. so so embarrassing.) and now that i've let myself consider the possibility of having a classroom of my own, it's just overwhelming!" (now enter giggling and apologizing for crying and principal searching for a tissue for me. yes...very embarrassing.)
geez...who CRIES at an interview?? apparently I do. ugh.
anyway, i went on to tell them that after my last job interview, that principal had called to tell me i didn't get the job and after i got off the phone, brigg said, "mom, did you win?" and i had to tell him no...i hadn't won this time. :) they laughed and thought that was pretty cute.
they said they would be in touch and i'd probably have to teach a lesson on thursday at summer school. so be prepared for that.

i decided when i was done and feeling pretty relieved that we should spend the day in davenport. mom and i took the girls to chik-fil-a for lunch and then did a little birthday gift shopping. after we got home, i left the girls with mom while i went to run an errand. as i was driving past CURVES, my phone rang. i saw that it was the principal at washington and i pulled over in CURVES parking lot because i figured i would have to write down a time and instructions for teaching my lesson on thursday.
i answered the phone and they first thing he said to me was "i just wanted to call and let you know that you can tell your son you 'won' this time!"
i kept my composure long enough to thank him and discuss where to go from here and then i hung up.
and i literally cried in the "Curves for Women" parking lot. :)
good, happy, relieved tears.
it was kind of awesome.
because honestly, i had a HORRIBLE 1st grade year. seriously traumatized by my teacher. i vowed to become a teacher and never ever be like that when i was 7. i'm not even kidding.
my whole childhood i remember playing school. we had a giant chalkboard in our basement and school desks. i was always the teacher and jennie was my student.
i never wanted to be anything else.
i graduated 10 years ago and pushed that dream to the back of my mind.
and i'm so glad i did.
but this year while subbing it all came rushing back.
that dream of having my own classroom.
and i knew i was ready.
so the fact that i got this job was unreal to me. i didn't even think there would be any positions available this year, let alone a 5th grade position at one of my favorite schools!
it's been an awesome 24 hours. i'm floating on air. i know this won't be perfect and there will be days that i wonder what in the world i was thinking being so excited about getting back into the school, but for today i'm going to let myself float. and enjoy the ride.
i won! :)
and i couldn't be happier!!
gosh...i'm a TEACHER. that's awesome.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Date afternoon/night...

so paul and i had date night last night.
and let me tell was awesome.
i lined a babysitter up for 2:30. the afternoon.
i wanted to go here without kids...

we had been here a week or 2 ago and i couldn't concentrate with all the children.
and i knew i would thoroughly enjoy it alone.
or at least with paul.
and i was right.
it was so awesome.
everywhere i turned there was amazing inspiration.
i want this on my wall....

oh...and did i mention i wore lipstick? was a big big deal. :)

and i'm not kidding.
it was just plain...

here is just a sampling of little pieces of inspiration that surrounded me while i was there.
i couldn't stop taking photos.
even just little pieces of paper with encouraging words on them hanging in hidden spots.
i nearly cried on numerous occasions...

after our stop in kalona,
we hopped back in the car and headed to iowa city for the rest of the night.
see...lipstick still applied.

we had plans to stop for a drink and then grab dinner somewhere fun.
but once we found ourselves in this awesome beer garden, we didn't move.
sat there for hours.
talked, laughed, ate and drank RANGER on tap.
(that's a rare find in our parts!!)
we were giddy.

found our way home feeling happy and thankful.
i love this guy so much.
i'm not sure i tell him enough.
he's awesome.
and we need to do this more often...
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Father's Day 2011

paul wanted to work in the yard.

brigg wanted to jump rope.

i wanted to go to ardon creek and listen to live music and drink wine while the kids ran around.

and we all wanted to end the day with one of our favorite dads.

great great day.
so thankful for all the dads in my life....
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too much cuteness....




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