Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Lets see, I read the first book in a day and a half, read the second book in about 2 days... and decided that I should probably take a break and rest before reading 3 & 4 before I go overboard. I guess it doesn't help that the movie is out because I've seen it twice now and love it even more. I just wish they would have asked me to help make the movie because I definitely have opinions! (ha. the books are always better but I do really like the movie) But, I'm anxiously waiting for books 3 and 4 to arrive via USPS. Probably not a good idea to have ordered them during the Christmas season. lesson learned... I also bought the soundtrack, love it! Read this series at your own risk, it makes me feel like I'm 14 again. joy. I mean, what girl doesn't what their own love story right? I guess it is a little weird, the whole vampire thing, but whatev. that's all i have to say about that.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas is not complete without a festive christmas sweater party....

It's true... Every year I look forward to the outfits people dig out of their closets in celebration of the Christmas season. Those christmas sweaters seem to abound all around me and I'm overjoyed. I love the bright red and green, that clearly don't go together, but for some reason during Christmas, it's okay and acceptable. I especially love those sweaters that have wonderful trinkets hanging off of them. WOW, impressive. I'm still waiting for the day when I see a Christmas sweater that lights up because you have to plug it in. That would make my head spin! There's everything from sweaters, turtle necks, fashion pins, earrings, socks, sweatshirts, pajamas... the possibilities are endless!

Last eve was a little Christmas party with some friends. Behold the greatness of some Christmas attire:

(shout out to the Comforts for letting me borrow such high quality fashion.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

holy snow balls

for the past 3 days, i haven't been able to feel my face, my toes are numb, and my boots are completely covered in snow. winter hates me.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Icicle cars anyone?

After about 20 minutes of standing inside just staring at my car this morning, I decided to go press my luck with my scraper. Quickly realizing that my car was encased in a block of ice that no scraper could penetrate, I could only hope for my defroster. Lets just say that in situations like this, I'm not very optimistic about my chances of getting to work on time. After 3 tough pulls on my door handle, I got my car door opened and jumped in quickly. I started the car and turned my defrost on turbo speed, cranked my seat warmers, and turned on all window defrost. I ran back inside b/c, well, its FREEZING out there and I was convinced that if I stood out there any longer, the wind would literally pick me up and throw me across the street. My roommate was also awake and outside attempting to unthaw her jeep. We both looked at each other and said "we need a garage." I let my car run for about 20 minutes (thank goodness for cheap gas prices right) and re-attempted to chisel away at my car again. Thankfully, my turbo defrost does wonders and minimal effort was needed to clear my windshield. I was off to work and surprisingly, I was on time. Its just morning like these when I think "if I didn’t love my friends and my church, I'd be outta here."

I guess the best part of my day would be that when I got to work, we decided that it was just too trecherous outside to actually get work done… so we played Taboo. :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Winter Shminter

I'm not a big fan of winter in general but there are a few things that I enjoy during the winter months:

Christmas: namely the presents, the music, and the cookies!
Sledding: who doesn't love to slide 20 mph on a piece of plastic you have no control over?!
Skiing: only in Colorado. There is no place like Beaver Creek in Vail.
Warm Drinks: hot cider and vanilla steamers. Lets just say that if I drank one every day, I wouldn't be mad about it
Jeans: Who DOESN'T love jeans!!
Football: the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field anyone?
Snowmobiling: we used to go a lot when I was younger…. I remember it being really fun
Ice Fishing: I don’t like it b/c its cold and you just sit there, freezing… but I have very fond memories of ice fishing with my dad and grandpa so it goes on the list
Snowball fights: only with the good snow and when I can nail someone in the face.
My last thing I enjoy about winter is Ice Skating… which brings me to the reason for this blog entry. My BS and a few others went ice skating on Monday night downtown. I used to go ice skating a lot when I was younger since we grew up on a lake but I hadn't been in such a long time. Thankfully, it was like riding a bike, sort of. My balance was a little off when I started but it didn't take long to get used to it. I only pulled out a few jumps in the beginning and skated the rest of the eve. I didn't want to end up killing myself. We had the entire rink to ourselves which allowed some of my friends to skate as fast as they possibly could and then slide on the ice. Some, however, slid on the ice for other reasons (they couldn't stay on their 2 feet). Both instances = hilariousness. Its times like these that I forget that I'm freezing and love every minute of being outside. It was a great night filled with dance skating, swollen ankles, cold noses, and laughter.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My conversation with my father

So yesterday you got a little taste of what a typical conversation with my mother is like. Today... my father. Its a short dialogue but I think it speaks for itself (ha).

Dad: Got my iTunes cranking in my office. Just heard Bye Bye Bye and thought you would want to know.
Jill: i'm very proud that you would think to tell me when Bye Bye Bye comes on your itunes. I'm even more proud that you have it on your ipod. I have trained you well.
Dad: bye bye bye

and that ended the conversation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Part of the Hilarity that makes up my family...

I called my mom today to talk about christmas and she really didn't want to hear it. She had more exciting news to tell me about: football. Yes, I said my mom and football. If you know my family, this shouldn't surprise you because we're all so sporty, sometimes I wish I didn't know half the things I know about sports. Anyways, my mom proceeded to give me a play by play of the Wartburg football game from Saturday. It was the second round in the playoffs, which Wartburg has never won. She began by telling me the location and the unfavorable odds for Wartburg. She then proceeded into the amount of time on the clock, various plays, and the tention as the clock ticked down. She even added audience commentary while she was giving me the play by play. I was laughing in the background as she was telling me this b/c she would change her voice a little to insinuate a different audience member saying something. Then came the final seconds of the game. My brothers best friend from high school and college made a catch in the end zone with 3 guys covering him with 7 seconds to go in the game and Wartburg won!! She was so excited that she could hardly contain herself. All I could say is WOW, good for Justin, sounds like an exciting game. With this comment followed all the details for Round 3 and who they would be playing and what that team was like, etc etc etc. That’s my family.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgivingtime Memories!

Every year, theres always something memorable that happens during the holidays that leaves a lasting memory with me. Usually its one of my uncle George's stories and this year was no exception. He was definitely on top of his comedian game. No matter what he says, just the fact that he's telling the story makes it 10 times funnier. He told us about how he has such a sensitive nose and how much of a curse it is. He's a farmer so you can just imagine what he goes through on a daily basis. Anyways, a lot of his stories you really have to be there and know my uncle to understand the true comedy in them so I'll spare you the time. Some of my cousins and I did play a mean game of SPOONS in which I took 3rd place. I broke 2 nails in the process. Nice!

But the best story is this: My brother and I had an interest event occur on our way home. We were on Highway 30 heading back towards Des Moines and this car behind me was driving exceptionally close to me and their headlights were practically blinding me. Not a good situation when you're driving in the dark. So I went to adjust my rearview mirror and as I looked back to the road, there was this giant pile of something right in my lane. There was no way to avoid it and I screamed and hit it head on! The "something" went poof and scraped the bottom of my car but it didn't really make a bump. (Do you follow? Normally when you hit an animal, your car will come off the ground a little as the tire drives over it… well this didn't happen to me). So I looked over at my brother and said "What was that? A tent?" Jason had no idea what is was but we quickly determined that it wasn't an animal. I should also comment that this pile of whatever was giant! It was up to the hood of my car so whatever it was, if you're missing it, you'd notice. After my pulse slowed back down and I was breathing normally, we started to decipher what it could have been that we hit. These are the possibilities that we came up with:

A giant pile of leaves and sticks
A hay bale
A tent
A huge pile of clothes or something
A ghost animal

That’s all I've got. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Psalm 25: 14-19

14 The LORD sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down. (humility)
15 The eyes of all look to You, (ask for help, look at him not others to satisfy us)
And You give them their food in due time. (in His time, when we need it, when it is due)
16 You open Your hand (release - it invokes an image that we need to imitate - open your hands and let God take control of what you're hanging on to)
And satisfy the desire of every living thing. (he promises this!)
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. (he's not trying to hurt us, but is so kind to not give us our way and not withholding good, but knowing how and when to give it)
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, (ever present)
To all who call upon Him in truth. (we need to call upon him, ask him, go to him)
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; (He will fulfill it - I don't need to rob him and try and fulfill it myself)
He will also hear their cry and will save them. ....(thanks for suggesting this verse Shaly)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bowling 101

Bowling is definitely not my strong sport but I do enjoy it... mostly because you can socialize the entire time. Its a sport that you really don't have to be sporty to play. All you have to do is find a pretty bowling ball (well, I look for the pretty ones anyways), make sure its not too heavy or light, and throw it down the alley towards the pins. Sometimes you hit some, sometimes you don't.

So we went bowling this weekend and my first round was a little shaky but I did manage to get 100. (to get 100 or above is always my goal). Then comes the second round and for some reason, I dominated. 144!! Sweet domination is what that is. I'm no bowling pro but for me, that I think thats pretty outstanding. I don't know if anybody else from my BS was impressed but I sure was proud of myself!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Moment of Silence

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: john Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The stories we tell...

My friend Sarah is a 5th grade teacher and she asked her students to write a creative story. This is what Hunter wrote. I will preface by saying that he's writing about a conversation he would have with his own reflection.

“What are you staring at bub,” yelled my reflection (spelled reafliction J).

“Well, I don’t know, I haven’t figured it out yet,” responded Hunter

“You want to fight well why don’t you come get me sissy,” called my reflection.

“Well you better brace yourself because here I come,” growled Hunter.

“Ok, hit me with your best shot, young warrior,” remarked my reflection.

“Wapam! Owwwwwwwww, that hurt!” cried Hunter.

“ha ha, hee, hee. You hurt yourself!” laughed my reflection.

“I will get you back when you’re least expecting it,” added Hunter.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Today is my half birthday. Lets all celebrate the fact that I'm now 25 and 1/2 years of age. It was okay as a child to say you're 9 1/2…. People thought it was cute. Why not carry that into our adult years? My boss got us breakfast at work this morning and we played Bingo. Though none of it was in celebration of my half birthday, I pretended that it was and it made the day go that much better. I should plan to celebrate this every year. Maybe if I hint around the fact that I celebrate it the same as my regular birthday, they'll even bring in cake. That'd be amazing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anticipation at the vending machine.....

First off, you have to stand there with a certain amount of money in your hand eyeing down all the choices. What do you want today? Cheetos or barbque chips? Both equally good but which one will suffice the hunger pang that is slowly gurgling in your stomach? You way the pros and cons of each decision and come to the realization that you've just wasted 20 minutes b/c both are equally bad for you and both will take care of the hunger. You confidently put your money into the machine and then, one of those pesky coins acts like its not american. It keeps rolling all the way through to the coin return slot. So, you patiently take it out of the slot and put it back into the machine. Between attempt 3 and 4, you notice a new brand of pretzel and suddenly begin to panic b/c this wasn't included in your original plan. What do you do? Stick to the original plan or go totally crazy and get the pretzels. You're not feeling so spontaneous today so you stick with your original choice. After attempt number 6 with the coin you're so frustrated that you question if this whole vending machine is really worth it… all the calories you're about to eat, all the time you've just spent away from your desk and your work, the headache that you're getting from all the decisions. After moments of internal debate, you give in and attempt the coin drop one more time to which you are successful. Now comes the pressure of hitting the correct button. Heaven forbid you hit B6 instead of A6 and you end up with a beef jerky stick and a cube of cheese (excuse me while I throw up in my mouth). Your number and letter punching is successful and you have chosen the correct item. Now comes the moment everybody who goes to the vending machine dreads. As the little metal pieces encasing your selected item start to swirl, you hold your breath, you start to sweat, and your heart may actually stop for a second….. Will that bag of chips fall into the retrieve bin??? You mentally start reenacting all of these scenarios within the 4 seconds it takes for the item to fall to the bin. What if it gets stuck? Can I reach my arm in there to get it? Can I shake the machine? Did I bring enough money to get something else? Can I call someone? What have I done? Am I a failure? Amazingly, the item is released from the grips of the metal twisty things and falls into the bin. You reach your arm in and pull out your prized possession and happily walk back towards your desk… satisfied. As you gleefully walk back, you raise your hands in triumph and in a moment of excessive celebration, accidently crush the bag of chips. And thus the vicious circle of the vending machine continues...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Some questions to contemplate...

*If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

*What if there were no hypothetical questions?

*Is there another word for synonym?

*If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

*Can a vegetarian eat animal crackers?

*If you try to fail ... and succeed ... which have you done?

*Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

*If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to start speaking?

*Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?

*What was the best thing before sliced bread?

*How is it possible to have a civil war?

*If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown, too?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hanson anyone??

So, last night…. I went to a Hanson concert. Yes, MMMBop Hanson. Though you may not have realized, they've been around for a little more than 10 years and have put out of couple cds since their tweenage days. Though I haven't been a faithfully devoted fan, I have followed them over the years, buying their albums and secretly learning the words to almost all of their songs. I was a little apprehensive about going to their show, figuring it'd be filled with screaming teenage girls (to which I was partly right) but once I walked in to the venue I realized… Hanson fans have grown up with them. I was a fan back when I was 15… and Hanson was 15. Now, they're in their mid 20's and so are their fans. Naturally, I felt right at home. My good friend Allison and I couldn't help but jump around like we were 15 again when the sounds of MMMbop and Where's the Love filled the air (at one point, I thought the floor was going to cave in). The sweet sounds of songs past made us drift into a state of nostalgia from our teenage days.

Its funny how Hanson still looks the same… same long hair (with the exception of Isaac), same voices, same style. I was utterly impressed with Zach, the youngest of the crew, and his singing abilities. Out of the 3, he has the most mature voice and really put on a performance. He belted out the Beatles tune Oh Darling which literally made every girl in their swoon. Taylor is so musically talented, I wonder if theirs an instrument that he can't play. And Isaac, I'm not sure what or who he was staring at the whole night but he seemed to be in his own element. They did an acoustic set where they opened with Penny and Me - my fave, and ended with Go, led by Zach. They even did a little instrument switcharoo.

Nonetheless, it was a great show and I was pleasantly surprised. The band Everybody Else kicked off the show… typical band from California and then my bff Matt Wertz took to the stage with just him, his friend Nate, and their guitars. It’s the first full completely acoustic set that I've seen Matt play… I was impressed as always. I don't need to say much about Matt b/c he's just wonderful on all levels. Then, at about 1045 pm (that’s right) Hanson took the stage. They rocked the stage for a good hour and a half before we headed out the door (gotta work to pay those bills)… and they weren't even finished when we left. As you read this, you may be laughing at the idea of Hanson but I would bet you anything that you sing along to MMMbop when it comes on the radio. After all, it’s a classic for my generation and you can't help sing along! It's true, I'm a Hanson fan…. And I'm proud of it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

3's About Me

3's About Me!

Three jobs I have had in my life:
Kamp counselor, rec center coach, WFHM

Three movies I would watch over and over:
She's the Man, the Sandlot, Sound of Music

Three places I have lived:
Nashua, IA; Cedar Falls, IA; WDM!

Three shows that I watch:
So You Think You Can Dance, The Office, The Hills

Three places I have been recently:
Chicago, Nashua, and Florida

Three people who email me regularly:
Janer, hayley, my mother

Three of my favorite foods:
ice cream, cereal, Jamba Juice

Three places I'd rather be right now:
Florida, London, the beach!

Three things I'm looking forward to this winter:
celine with jane, Faithwalkers, Christmas

Three Flowers you like:
Daisies, Pink roses, I think they're called spider mums

If you could spend 1 hour with 3 famous people, who would they be?
Jesus, the entire needtobreathe band, matt wertz

If you could change 3 things about yourself, they would be?
Know how to play the guitar, boldy share the gospel more often, like to run marathons… or just plain run

If you could restart your careers what three would you: journalist, tour manager, casting director (all those just sound so exciting)

If you could twitch your nose and be anywhere in the world, name three places you would like to visit?
Greece, Italy, Hawaii

What are your three favorite sports teams?
Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs, NY Mets

What are your three favorite things to do in your free time?
Reading outside whilst laying out, bbq's with friends, going for walks & good conversation

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Florida ... Day by Day

You're about to get a taste of my life.. day by day... while in Florida. With these next few blogs, I've taken some of my journal entries and shared them with you. Enjoy.

Day 1
The morning started out like any other morning. I spent time in the Word, got caught up on Sportscenter and slowly got ready. I finished packing, ate some breakfast, and waited... Luke and Anthony showed up to pick up my parents dryer and my mom arrived shortly after that. Jason also made an early morning appearance.

Before too long, we were on our way to the KC airport with a stop on the way to Wendys for a quick meal (which btw, was the grossest thing I've eaten in a long time). We didn't waste much time getting to the airport. Mom and I had good conversation in the car and it was great to have that mother/daughter time.

Arriving at the airport, we didn't have to wait long. We did run into an interesting lady dressed in jeans, pink heels, and a tight white cropped tank with her belly hanging out in all its glory. Classy. Our flight to hotlanta was filled with servicemen... most from the US Navy. We all clapped for them and showed our appreciation when we landed. I wanted to shake some of their hands but I thought it might be a bit much. We quickly exited and headed for our departure gate that would take us to Melbourne. The guy sitting in front of me thought it would be an awesome idea to talk on his earphone to a girlfriend he obviously missed. his audible level was at about an 8 and in an enclosed plane, that makes i about a 17 on a scale of 1 - 10. So, I heard all about his drunken evening and he ended every sentence with "Alright, rock on." My mom got a kick out of that. I watched some SNL on the ole ipod (to which I laughed out loud and then realized I had become the annoying one on the plane) and then switched to a Chip Ingram talk. Much more tamed down.
We landed and the air smelled oh so fresh... like I remembered from when I was a little girl. Our car was waiting for us and we were whisked off to my grandparents. When I saw them, I cried. You don't realize how much you miss someone until you see them after such a long time (7 years to be exact). There were lots of hugs, and tears (from me of course, I'm always the emotional one) and we sat down to just catch up on life.

Though my grandpa looks much older, I will always picture him the way I did when I was 10 years old. That's my grandpa to me. He repeated himself many many many times, kept trying to figure out who I belonged to because I was so much older now, and continually told me that he prays for me. I couldn't help but smile. My grandpa thanks the good Lord everyday day for allowing him to grow old and I felt convicted. Even in his condition and his old age, he gives thanks and praise to our Lord. ... so this ends day 1. I'm heading straight to the pool tomorrow....

Friday, October 03, 2008

I'm off to the Sunshine state

So this is a lame post... but I just needed to state a few things.

1. Congrats to my bff Hayley and Michael and their new baby daughter Mayzie Emma Nixon.. pictures will come later
2. I'm super pumped to see my grandparents and spend multiple days laying out at the pool and the beach
3. Yeah Wells Fargo. Way to get in there and snag Wachovia.... to keep me employed! I do love the wagon.
4. Cubs... seriously, I have no words for you right now. Consider yourself shunned until you decide to play baseball.
5. Iowa Hawkeyes, can we maybe win a conference game this year? Please? That's not too much to ask I hope.
6. Is the election over yet?
7. Swilson, how does it feel to be so much older and wiser?
8. Java Jazz... are you ready to be jazzy? what.. i got nothin
9. The Office... next time you have a season premiere, don't wait 2 weeks before you show the next episode. That was so cruel!
10. My favorite joke of the year: What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino? elephino! hahahaha (thanks tbone)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Choose this day whom you will serve!

Have you guys ever heard of the musician Brooke Fraser. I was listening to her song "Albertine" this morning and one of her lyrics is

"now that I have seen, I am responsible"
Short but sweet right! I was just thinking and praying about how I can't be oblivious to things that are going on around this city. I have a responsibility to stand up for Christ b/c I know him. I can't expect others to do it for me anymore. She sings about how she will go tell the world. It’s a really amazing song and I just wanted to share those thoughts with you this morning. We are to go forth in faith, as believers believing in one God standing firm in His grace. We are to love eachother as Christ first loved the church.

John 10:17-18 The Father loves me b/c I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily.

Choose this day whom you will serve!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Congratulations Julie and Ryan!!

Today is the day!! This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! I'm so excited for you both.... (sorry Ryan, I only had a picture Julie and I)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Go Hawkeyes!!!

One day in an elementary school in Ames, IA, a teacher asks her class if the Iowa State Cyclones are their favorite football team. The whole class says yes, except for Little Jimmy.

The teacher asks, "What's your favorite football team Jimmy?"

Little Jimmy says, "The Iowa Hawkeyes "

The teacher asks, "Well, why is that?"

Little Jimmy says, "Well, my dad is a Hawkeye fan, my mom is a Hawkeye fan, I guess that makes me a Hawkeye fan."

The teacher angered by his reply says, "If your dad was a moron and your mom was an idiot what would that make you?"

Little Jimmy says, "Well, I guess that would make me an Iowa State fan."

Q: Where was O.J. hiding right before the famous white Bronco chase?

A: On the Iowa State University campus. That's the last place you would find a football player.

Four college alumni were climbing a mountain one day: an Iowa State, an Iowa grad, a Florida grad, and a Notre Dame grad. Each proclaimed to be the most loyal of all fans at their alma mater.

As they climbed higher, they argued as to which one of them was the most loyal of all. They argued all the way up the mountain, and when they reached the top, the Notre Dame grad hurled himself off the mountain, shouting "This is for the Fighting Irish!" as he fell to his doom.

Not wanting to be out done, the Florida grad threw himself off the mountain proclaiming, "This is for the Gators!"

Seeing this, the Iowa grad walked over and shouted "This is for the Hawkeyes!" and pushed the Cyclones fan off the side of the mountain.

One foggy night, an Iowa fan and an Iowa State fan were driving the opposite directions on a road near Iowa City. While crossing a narrow bridge, they hit each other head-on, mangling both cars.

The Iowa State fan manages to climb out of his car and survey the damage. He looks at his twisted car and says, "Man, I'm lucky to be alive!"

Likewise, the Hawkeye fan gets out of his car uninjured, he too feeling fortunate to have survived.

The Iowa State fan walks over to the Hawkeye fan and says, "Hey, man, I think this is a sign that we should put away our petty differences and live as friends instead of being rivals."

The Hawkeye fan thinks for a moment and says, "You know, you're absolutely right! We should be friends. In fact, I'm going to see if something else survived the wreck."

The Hawkeye fan then pops open his trunk and removes a full, undamaged bottle of Jack Daniel's. He says to the Cyclone fan, "I think this is another sign - we should toast to our newfound friendship." The Cyclone fan agrees and grabs the bottle. After sucking down half of the bottle, the Cyclone fan hands it back to the Hawkeye fan and says, "Your turn!"

The Hawkeye fan calmly twists the cap back on the bottle, throws the rest of the bottle over the bridge into the river and says, "Nah, I think I'll just wait for the cops to show up."

Ames News Report: Football practice in Ames was delayed on Monday for nearly two hours. One of the offensive players, while on his way to the locker room, happened to look down and notice a suspicious looking, unknown, white powdery substance on the practice field. The head coach, Dan McCarney, immediately suspended practice while the FBI was called in to investigate. After a complete field analysis, the FBI determined that the white substance unknown to the players was the goal line. Practice was resumed when the FBI decided that the team would not be likely to encounter the substance again.

A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, "Wanna hear a good Iowa State joke?"

The guy next to him replies, "Well before you tell that joke, you should know something. I'm 6' tall, 200 lbs., and I am an Iowa State grad. The guy sitting next to me is 6' 2" tall, weighs 225, and he's an Iowa State grad. And the fella next to him is 6' 5" tall, weighs 250, and he's an Iowa State grad. Now, you still wanna tell that joke?"

The first guy says, "No, not if I'm gonna have to explain it three times."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Answered prayer in the form of Golf!

When do you get to the point where you no longer want your parents to provide for you, but you want to repay your parents for all they've provided for you? I feel so blessed and fortunate to have grown up in the family that I have. My parents have made countless sacrifices to see that my life was one that was filled with joy and experience. From the many sporting events they've come to, the concerts they've driven me to (!!), the family time we've spent on vacations, the innumerable hours of help with homework, etc etc etc. I could go on and on. I've always prayed that I would be able to repay them somehow or make one of their dreams come true just as a simple thank you.

Well…. Though its not exactly how I thought it would go, I can say one of my prayers have been answered. Anybody who knows my dad knows what a huge golf fanatic he is and how The Masters is the ultimate golfing tournament. Its impossible to get tickets to the actual Masters Tournament (as its invite only). However, you can sign up to get tickets for the practice rounds but it’s on a lottery system. You send in all this info every year and then just wait!

When I moved out and went off to college, my dad asked me if I would start sending in my information (since you can only have 1 per household and I didn't live at home anymore). I gladly obliged. Well, as you're probably starting to assume, I got home from work yesterday and in the mailbox was a little letter for the Masters Tournament. I ran inside and ripped that letter open so fast I almost ripped the actual letter which stated that my name had been chosen for tickets! I couldn't believe it! I immediately called my dad! I think I was more excited then he was (even though he was super excited). Finally, my dad gets to go to the Masters!! As much as I would love to go along with him, he's going with his golfing crew and they're going to have the best time! Praise God is all I can really say, Praise God.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A conversation I had with TBone today...

Jill: I had to run to the bathroom right after church b/c obviously, I couldn’t go during the service
Laura: I guess you could have crawled to the bathroom - or taken your shoes off so no one heard you
Jill: i think neither of those options would have worked as we were in the 4th row. i would have needed an invisibility cloak.
Laura: You didn't bring yours? I take mine everywhere. And my cape. It has the Bat Girl symbol on it.
Jill: I let this kid named Harry Potter borrow mine and he never gave it back. i wonder whatever happened to him?
Laura: He's probably running around you in circles right now. Note to self: don't ever let Harry Potter borrow anything from me.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Weekend of Browsing Des Moines with Great Friends

So, my good friends Rachel and Sarah came to visit this past weekend. It was a spur of the moment decision but one that I am happy about! I took them around much of the city and they got to experience a lot of what Des Moines has to offer. We ate at my favorite place: Centro, shopped around the East Village, hit up the Farmer's Market, went out for sushi, relaxed at Zanzibar, went for a walk at Gray's Lake, stopped by Java Joes for some live music by Andy Frasco, went to the DTC, hung out with friends, and pretty much laughed the entire weekend.

These are my TOP 5 moments from the weekend
5. Rachel "farting" in the car/Sarah's story about her eyelids being drunk
4. Our jumping pictures
3. The crazy Bat in the house
2. Praying for Johnny
1. Andy Frasco calling Rachel

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Watching the Olympics Advice

My good friend Sarah Bishop passed some important advice on to me today in regards to watching the Olympics. Read below:

1) Stay hydrated.

2) Tell yourself you only need four hours of sleep- really.

3) Wear sunglasses to hide your red eyes.

4) Crank up your iPod and listen to anything Michael Phelps does.

5) Skip work (you're never going to see an Olympics like this again anyway).

My personal favorite is definitely number 5 (and believe me, I've thought about it). Thanks for the great advice Sarah. I would just like to say one more time, WAY TO GO SHAWN JOHNSON!! We're all so proud!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Here's an article I found about the band Needtobreathe. (click on the title "Needtobreathe" to go to the article) I just went to their concert and once again I was blown away! They are SO amazing. Their music is fantastic and they seem like truly humble and genuine guys. The best part is that they bolding proclaim that Jesus is their Lord, through their songs, their name, their demeanor. I can't wait for them to come back to town for another show! Seth, Bo, Bear, and Joe: thanks for the great show! (here's another link to the article. just copy/paste)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

USA.... all the way!

So it's pretty clear that Michael Phelps dominates anything that involves swimming in water! He can do it all! It's obvious that when you think of what a swimmer should look like, he fits the profile exactly. I'd like to stand up next to him and compare our wing-span! My favorite part of swimming is when they do their flip turns and NBC gives us the under water view. They're like dolphins under there! I'm just amazed every single time. We're all cheering for Michael to get every Gold he can!!

I love the Olympics and I don't want them to end. Staying up to watch them is definitely something worth losing sleep over. Being from the USA, I naturally cheer for us but I find myself getting ticked off when we don't get Gold! I expect USA to win everything. It's a problem I'm learning to deal with (but if we'd just win everything then I wouldn't have a problem right?!) :)

That's not to say that I wasn't proud of what the Mens and Womens Gymnastics teams did. Sure there was a few missed opportunities but they really did perform well based on the circumstances. Hometown Girl Shawn Johnson really stepped it up and was solid through the whole thing. She really represented the USA proudly. I can't wait to watch her compete in the All Around. Every single person in Des Moines (and in Iowa for that matter) is so proud of her and is really rooting for her! It's so great to see. We Iowans don't have much to get excited for in the summer except Sweet Corn!

If you haven't been watching the Olympics, shame on you. Once every 4 years the Summer Games come around and it's the greatest excuse to plan parties, drop everything, and sit in front of the TV for about 5 hours straight!

Friday, August 08, 2008


Are you worried? I'm not though people have been acting a little more strange today... Hmmmm.

Well I'm just going to post some YAYS that I'm excited about:
1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 came out and it was fantastic!
2. SYTYCD finale - WOW. For this there are no words!
3. Iowa State Fair - you guessed it, its here in all its glory. Over 35 different things on a stick just waiting to be taste tested!
4. The Olympics - Shawn Johnson what what!?! Who's excited for some swimming, diving, track, gymnastics, basketball, ping pong? I AM!!
5. The Jonas Brothers cd comes out on Tuesday. It's true, I'm a fan
6. Jon McLaughlin and NeedtoBreathe are in town.... the same night!! (i may have to troubleshoot this situation and somehow figure out how to attend both.)
7. They announced on the SYTYCD finale that there's going to be a Step Up 3D. I'm pumped
8. My little brosef scored a job in Chitown.
9. My older brosef moved to Des Moines from Chitown (tennis anyone?)
10. God is just so good! I'm sad Epicenter and the Body builders are over but I'm super excited for Bible Studies!

Those are my 10 yays for today. 8-8-08... weird.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ignite Chicago

Ignite Chicago!

This past weekend I was in Chicago for not only the John Mayer concert, but Ignite Chicago as well. It was an all day Christian music festival at a baseball field with tons of bands. The list of bands were:
John Rueben
Todd Agnew
Hawk Nelsen
David Crowder
Mercy Me
The Newsboys

It was a hot hot day but we made it through with lots of popsicles and water! One of my highlights was David Crowder. One of his band mates took a Guitar Hero guitar and actually made sound come out of it. I don't know what he did to it but he made it sound like a real electric guitar. It was geniously fantastic. Mercy Me and Newsboys were amazing too. During the Newsboys set, their drum was raised up on a platform and then it started to rotate. Then the platform tipped toward the crowd until it was at a 90 degree angle..... still spinning...... and the drummer was still drumming! All in all, it was a great day of music and worshipping the Lord!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I heart John Mayer

Click on the title to watch this fantastic video!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

John Mayer in Chicago!!

This is what John Mayer had to say about the show last night in Chicago. This was definitely one of my favorite shows of all time. John was amazing. Even though I was closer to the stage the last time I saw him, he was just unstoppable last night. I wish I had it on video but that wouldn't even compare to actually being there! Read what he had to say......

1 hour, 12 minutes post-show.


This has become more than just ticket sales and career advancement.

In fact, this has nothing to do with it.

These shows have transcended.

This is about making 20,000 people feel okay in the world.

Not alone.




To the magazines, blogs, entertainment shows, et al...

I say to you with my chest out and a big part of Chicago to stand behind me and back me up:

You may have my image, but you cannot take my sound.

Thank you Chicago.

With love for music...
and my band,

David Ryan Harris - Guitar/vocals
J.J. Johnson - Drums
Sean Hurley - Bass/Vocals
Tim Bradshaw - Keys
Brad Mason - Trumpet
Bob Reynolds - Saxaphone
Robbie McIntosh - Guitars/Vocals


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Only in Missouri

We’re somewhere in Missouri, on our way home from Branson this past weekend and we stop to take a bathroom break. Mind you, no matter where you go in Missouri, you'll still be in the middle of nowhere! There's this obnoxiously looking yellow car that is pulling into the parking lot with all the windows rolled down and their music blaring. As I'm waiting out by the car, a loud intro to a song starts up from the yellow car. Its so loud, I'm pretty sure its making the ground shake (j/k but it was pretty loud). All of a sudden it hits me and I say out loud "OMG, that’s sounds like the Backstreet Boys song Everybody!" I start laughing b/c I haven't heard that song forever and this car is blaring it. To add a cherry on top of this lovely story, the car comes to a stop and this 40 year old biker dude gets out of the car, complete with the leather vest, bandana, and crazy looking mustache/beard!!! I about lost it! Only in Missouri do 40+ dudes still rock out to Backstreet Boys.

Good to know that when I'm 50, I can still blare Nsync over the car stereo and fit in! (if I lived in Missouri). Guess I'm not going to fit in b/c I'm a fan for life and I have no plans to move to MO!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Green is the new black

Seriously people..... RECYCLE!!! I'm finding myself getting very angry when I see people continually use paper products and then toss them in the trash. I'm almost filled with a hint of rage..... and I love it! Often times when I see people throw things away which I know can be recycled, I feel the urge to dig whatever it was out of the garbage and recycle it myself. (sometimes I do). Don't be disgusted, be thankful that I care enough to do it. I read in Time Magazine that if we cut back work days to 4 days a week instead of 5, we would save over like $400,000 on paper products alone. Think of all the garbage we're not wasting..... b/c I sure know my workplace doesn't recycle and its amazing the trash that we accumulate. One person recycling can't change the world, I know that, but I sure feel a whole lot better when I recycle. It's quite an easy concept really, you should try it.

Turn the light off when you leave your room. That's just common sense.
If you have to have a fan on when you sleep at night (I do) turn it to low instead of high... you save so much energy.
Run the dishwasher at night... and make sure its completely full!
After you take a shower, close the shower door or curtain to lock in the moisture.... not only does it keep the moisture in to require less air conditioning power, but it also requires less cleaning of the shower curtain/door. (bet you didn't know that)
Buy a Nalgene or reusable water bottle. I realized that by doing this, I save approximately $300 a year. cha-ching!
Run your laundry overnight.... saves on energy.
Watch your thermostat people..... you don't have to live in a frozen tundra... turn that air down!
Reduce..... Reuse ...... Recycle. I learned it in 2nd grade and I'm pretty sure you're smarter than a 2nd grader.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

The 4th if July is one of my favorite holidays.... especially when it happens to land on a Friday and we get an extra day to the weekend! How fabulous is that. This year, the weather was beautiful, the food was great, the fireworks were booming, and the festivities were fun. Hayley, Michael, Dave, Theo, and I drove up to Albert Lea to stay with the Petersens. We left bright and early Friday morning and were on the boat before noon. We spent pretty much the rest of the evening out on the boat, taking breaks only when necessary. A few of us skied, some gave wakeboarding a shot, we did a little tubing and some jetskiing as well. Theo even took a ride on the tube with mom and dad! He was so cute, a little apprehensive at first, but if I was 1, I'd be scared too! I love watching fireworks from the water, it reminds me of home...... Doug's parents were so wonderful, they really made us feel at home. They were such a blessing and I'm so grateful for their hospitality. All in all, it was a fantastic 4th (except for the references of being married to Dave)! I wish Janer would have been there.... we missed you buddy. I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. What a great celebration for our country. I'm proud to be an American (go ahead, sing the song).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

GNO Roadtrip to Minnesota

Friday evening: We loaded up the Mariner and were headed North. The skies looked treacherous but we pressed on, insistent that nothing would ruin our fabulous weekend we girls had planned. As we were coming upon Ames, the skies opened and rain began to fall from the sky. Still, we pressed on. Only until we hit the exit for Ames did we realize that the water was now coming down in buckets and the wind outside was stronger than anything I've ever driven through. Suddenly we couldn't see a single thing and realized that we were driving through a water tornado! (look it up, they're real) I can speak for all of us when I say that we were a bit scared. Thankfully Heather navigated us through the water tornado and the rain eventually let up. By the time we hit the Iowa/Minnesota border, the skies were beautiful and willing us to keep traveling. A few stops were made for the ever popular 69 cent fountain pops and much needed bathroom breaks. Before we knew it, we arrived at our first destination: Sarah's house.

Friday night: Have you ever been with a group of girls who have been traveling, are hungry, thirsty, tired, and can't seem to stop talking?? Well that was us. We chatted and chatted away. Then when we thought we were tired and were getting ready to sleep, thats when Sarah got out the old bouquets, veils, bow ties, just married paraphernalia, and what have you and the laughter began. I can honestly say that Friday night, I laughed harder than I can ever remember. Discussion from old boyfriends, diapers, the interesting festivals of downtown MN, the battle hymn wake up call..... I could go on forever. I laughed SO hard, it was unbelievable! Its moments like those that I wish I had a video to capture the moments to see how happy everyone was! It was truly a great night of laugher that we will talk about for ages.

Saturday: SHOPPING!!!! What's greater than the mall with it all! Truly, if you can't find it in the Mall of America, it probably doesn't exist. Thanks to Lyle (our GPS navigator) we found the mall successfully and our shopping extravaganza began. We all walked away from the mall with great purchases that we're all proud of. We stopped for a bite to eat at the RainForest Cafe where we were treated to a lovely picture with a tree frog, sat booth-side with a giant aquarium, made a great Mad-Lib, and ate some tasty "jungle" food. The shopping ensued after the refuel.....

Saturday night: Once again, Lyle did his job and got us to our hotel in Downtown Minneapolis. We unpacked quickly, made a quick wardrobe change, and headed to the Metrodome for the Twins game. They were playing the Brewers so we were pretty excited. We found our seats and luckily, mine was right next to a cute guy. What's greater than a hot guy who loves baseball?? Nothing! Many whispers were exchanged between all the girls about Mr. Baseball. Sadly, we didn't his number. It probably wouldn't have worked anyways. I mean, he's not a Cubs fan! The game didn't turn out how we would have liked and the Twins lost. The Brew Crew was overly excited and a few fights broke out.... that's baseball. All in all, I got my souvenir Twins cup, got to watch baseball with great friends, and once again laughed a ton!

Sunday: Laura and I hit the gym for a good jog. It was a great little workout I must say. We all got ready and headed out for another afternoon of shopping. Lyle got really angry with us as we tried to maneuver our way back towards the mall. He kept getting this angry tone with us and having to "recalculate" because we weren't taking the route that he wanted. IKEA was our next stop and boy did we have fun there. So much to see and have fun with. Laura was a newbie to the store so she was like a kid in a candy store. It was a fun day.

Sunday afternoon: Back on the road again. Thankfully this time we didn't have to deal with any rain tornadoes. A couple more stops for some sustenance and we were back home again. The weekend was fabulous, I cannot say enough about it. I loved every second of it. Thanks for the great weekend girls. I can 't wait for the next GNO.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More flood pictures....

Here's some more pictures. The top pictures is from Downtown Des Moines on Court Avenue. The sewers filled up and all the water came from out of the man-holes and into the streets. yuck!

The aerial pictures are of Waverly, Iowa .... you will notice Wartburg College in some of them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Floods of 2008

I thought I'd post some pictures of the town where I grew up. Currently, they have a boil-water notice and some of the town has an evacuation order. Thankfully, my parents live far enough away from the lake and the river that their house is okay. I know other surrounding cities are completely flooded and they're evacuating the entire town. This year has been one of the record books in regards to natural disasters......

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Sugar!

Its the last of the original birthday marathon crew. Happy Birthday linds

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The little brosef Graduated!!!

Jon graduated from Wartburg College on Sunday. Not only did we survive that but we survived the tornadoes through central Iowa as well. It sure was a crazy day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Carpenter

The Carpenter

Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart.

It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox.

"I'm looking for a few days work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor; in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us, and he took his bulldozer to the river levee. Now there is a creek between us. He may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence -- an eight-foot fence ... so I won't have to look at his place anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger, and I'll do the job."

The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready, and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.

There was no fence there as all! It was a bridge -- stretching from one side of the creek to the other!

It was a fine piece of work, handrails and all -- and there was his neighbor, his younger brother, coming across, his hand outstretched. "You're quite a man to build this bridge after all I've said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand.

Then they turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.

"No wait! Stay a few more days. I have a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.

"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said as he walked away, "but I have many more bridges to build."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to .........


I'm a quarter of a century. How great is that?!?!?!

Sunday, May 11, 2008