Friday, December 31, 2010

Look alive.... my top 5's!

Look alive.... my top 5's!
My Top 5's for the Year 2010

The end of the year is a time when you look back on the past year and think about all the wonderful things you did, what you would have done differently, and how you'd like to make the next year even better. I like to make lists. Specifically, I like to write about some of my favorite things from the past year. So, here it goes. My Top 5's from 2010.

1) Friday Night Lights: by far the BEST television show. Period
2) Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder: I've gone from washing my hair 3 times a week to once... if you're lucky
3) Larabars: they're tasty, they're natural, and they're cheap (respectively)
4) Catalog Living: Best blog of the year!
5) Forever 21 skinny jeans: They range from $7.50 to $12 and I wore a pair every day... in different color shades. :)

Special Mention: Netflix: thank you Harrisons!

1) Needtobreathe @ Peoples: They've been my favorite band since the first concert I went to. Now 7 concerts later, they're still my favorite & better than ever! Thanks to my friend Jenni, she snagged Bear's guitar pick for me. (oh and I got to see them twice this year)
2) Michael Buble: Floor seats... Buble's sweat dripping on me... his fantastic charm and swagger... too much fun for one night!
3) Phil Wickham for Mission to the City: it was an amazing week of sharing the Gospel with the city of Des Moines and the concert topped it off
4) Listening to Bluegrass at The Station Inn: I can't even remember the band but I remember loving it.
5) 100 Monkeys: Jackson Rathbone of Twilight fame's band. It was a weird weird show, but so much fun.

Honorable Mention: John Mayer in Chicago: While he's a great musician, he kinda sucks as a person.

1) Lambeau Field: Jon got married in Appleton, WI so Dad and I spent a day touring Lambeau in Green Bay. Go Packers!! And Jon & Krista's wedding was pretty epic.
2) NashVEGAS: Kelli, Melissa, and I roadtripped out to Nashville to visit my best pal Rachel. We thankfully left Nashville just in time to escape the floods.
3) MEXICO: my dear friend Ami from high school got married in Cancun, Mexico and I gladly accepted the invitation. Spent an entire day jet-skiing and snorkeling in the ocean. Fabulous
4) Chicago trip with Kelli: lots of shopping, lots of eating, lots of laughing
5) Midnight Release Parties: Eclipse and Harry Potter. Who doesn't love movies at Midnight!

Other noteworthy events: SO MANY WEDDINGS!! Molly, Ami, Kathy, McKenna, Melissa, Jenise, Sarah, Kaytlyn, Krista, Robin, Sarah B., Eric, Theresa ... I know I forgot some.

1) Farm Crawl: was the most beautiful fall day spent traveling around to farms in southern Iowa with my bible study
2) Capture the Flag... during a tornado: doesn't really need much more of an explanation except for I was completely soaked and that was probably the dumbest thing we could have done.
3) Winter Olympics: So great! USA All the Way
4) Labor Day camping trip: It's where Jeremy introduced everyone to the gorilla suit and the terrifying of people ensued.
5) Fishing: the maiden voyage of my new fishing pole "The Lady Fish" and Greg couldn't catch anything.

Other noteworthy random events: Thrift for Hope photo booth, High School Musical cheering section, Team Thunderclap, my movie dates with my best bud Theo

1) ECLIPSE: if a Robert Pattinson movie comes out during the year, its my automatic
2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
3) Inception: my mind is still blown
4) The Social Network: it brought me back to college... and made me feel really dumb
5) Ramona & Beezus: its the sleeper hit. I cried, I laughed, I loved it.

Other noteworthy movies: Toy Story 3, Tangled, The Last Song, Dear John, Step Up 3D, The Town, Letters to Juliet (I'm still waiting to see Buried & Black Swan and have a feeling they'd make the list)
Let Down of the year: Eat Pray Love and Hereafter. EPL was annoying and full of lies (I should have know since i read the book first), Hereafter... I wanted my 2 hours back.

1) The Hunger Games series
2) The Help
3) Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
4) The Last Song: i know... i know...
5) A Thousand Splendid Suns (finally got around to reading it)

** sidenote: with the addition of Netflix to my life, I read less and watched more Friday Night Lights. BUT, of all the books I did read I would definitely recommend all of them.

1) Kaleidoscope Heart, Sara Bareilles
2) Glee Soundtrack Volume 4
3) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack
4) My World 2.0, Justin Bieber... it's true, I once had Bieber fever
5) What We Want, What We Get, Dave Barnes

Other Noteworthy CDs: Need You Now, Lady Antebellum; Shout it Out, Hanson; Flags, Brooke Fraser; God Willin & the Creek Don't Rise, Ray Lamontagne; Come Around Sundown, Kings of Leon; Very Merry Christmas, Dave Barnes

1) California Girls by Katy Perry: 2010 was her year.
2) Airplanes by B.o.B: definitely sang this on repeat for multiple days
3) Bad Romance by Lady Gaga: she's weird but her songs are catchy
4) Club Can't Handle Me by Flo Rida: i love me a good dance beat
5) Whip My Hair by Willow Smith: Super annoying and super catchy. I'm addicted.

Other noteworthy songs: Jason Derulo Ridin Solo (guys, he SINGS his own name!) VV Brown Shark in the Water; Hanson Thinkin bout Somethin; Christina Perri Jar of Hearts

The Song that makes me glad that 2010 is over: Hey Soul Sister, Train AND anything by Ke$ha (I wish she would go away)

AND, last but not list, some favorite Youtube Finds: Hide ya Kids, Hide ya Wives; Double Rainbow; Double Dream Hands.

And that's it. My Top 5 list for 2010. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Xtina’s movie debut! I used to be a big fan of Christina circa 2000. You know, the time of Britney, BSB, NSYNC!!!! She now stars in the movie Burlesque about a girl from IOWA who travels to LA to make it big… in the Burlesque world I guess. There are lots of scantily clad women which I suppose is expected based on the title of the movie but it was PG13 so it really wasn’t out of hand. The music, however, was the highlight of the movie for me. If there’s one thing that’s true about this movie its that Christina can sing like no one else. Aside from all the gossip about her and her “dirty” persona, you can’t deny that she has a talent for singing that would beat just about anyone in a singing competition. The movie has a semi-Moulin Rouge feel only more normal. Think Lady Marmalade… which coincidentally, also featured Ms. Christina. You can’t help but imagine that she would have fit right in back in the 60’s. The movie overall was okay. The acting wasn’t super but there were a lot of pretty people on the screen. Cher, however was frightening to look at. I couldn’t help but wonder what she would look like had she aged normally without the enhancement (I guess enhancement isn’t really the right choice of wording) of plastic surgery. Regardless, she fit the part of Burlesque club owner. While the movie was okay, all you really need is to listen to the soundtrack. It’s enjoyable enough.

Monday, December 27, 2010


There's been a lot! (that's probably an understatement) The 2nd to last wedding of the year was my cousin Eric and these are some pictures from that wedding in October. It's always great to see my family. My aunt Laurie and cousin Audrey especially like to dance so it's always fun when we get the opportunity.

It's a good thing I like weddings because there sure was a lot of them this year. I was able to make it to 14 weddings this year and each was a different delight. The first wedding of the year happened to be on New Years day and the temperature was 1 degree. Thankfully, my next wedding was in March in the sunny and hot location of Cancun, Mexico. Seriously, destination weddings are pretty sweet. The summer found me traveling all over for weddings. One day in particular found me attending 2 weddings in one day. Another weekend found me at a wedding in Des Moines on Friday night and another wedding in Branson, MO on Saturday (thank you Branson Air for your cheap flight of $59). The most memorable was my brother's. We traveled up to Appleton, Wisconsin for an extra long weekend and we couldn't have had more fun. I kind of wish we could have another one next year. People are always amazed at all of the weddings I go to and I guess it probably is pretty interesting when you start counting but I seriously love it. It's great to see new and old friends and experience the uniqueness of every wedding. AND everybody knows that dancing is where it's at and what's more fun than a wedding dance?!
The last wedding of the year. Miss Theresa Sue Edson. We've been friends for a very long time growing up in the same town. Theresa also is one of my travel buddies brave enough to venture off to explore the European countries with me. Her wedding was in Mason City followed by the reception at Music Man Square. This is a picture of some of my high school friends at Theresa's wedding. It was a grand time and I'm thankful that we've remained friends for so long. With that it makes a total of 13 weddings for the year of 2010 (and in case you're wondering, I already have 5 on the calendar for next year). Bring on 2011 (I need some new dresses).

Here are some pictures from some of this years weddings.

Shaly and I at Molly and Brandon's wedding on New Years day

Mexico!! Ami and I

Haley and I at Kathy and Anthony's wedding

SchmikidySchmack's wedding aka McKenna

GourGour (now GourGuire) Wedding; Kelli, Melissa, Me

Bestie Sarah

Childhood friends Kaytlyn and her sister Shelby

At Robin's wedding

The K-Kountry girls at Sarah's wedding in Branson

Brosef's wedding

Barnes!! My groomsman for my brother's wedding

My old roommate Ashley and I

Cindy and I at Theresa's wedding

Thursday, December 23, 2010

NTB=Favorite Band in the Universe

It's pretty obvious that Needtobreathe is my favorite band. I instantly turn into a 14 year old girl when they're on stage. Thankfully they enjoy playing in Des Moines so I get to see them at least once a year. Their music is stealth Christian. They're obviously singing about the Lord but to the world, it might not be so obvious. Sunday, November 14th, was their show at Peoples and I raced my way into the 3rd row (I actually inched my way into the second row and found myself standing next to a guy that looked like Nick from the Jonas Brothers. I wish I would have taken a picture because it was starting to freak me out a bit). I have loved this band from the first time I saw them in concert. I won some tickets to a private show for Capital listeners and Needtobreathe was the band. I'd only ever heard one song of theirs but I love live shows, and it was free, so I invited my friend Laura along. That was 4 years ago. I still remember looking at Laura when they closed the show with an acoustic version of Washed by the Water and thinking that our minds had just been blown. Since then, they've come back to Des Moines a number of times and I haven't missed one yet. Of course the concert was fantastic. Of course I jumped around like a teenage girl. Of course I sang along to every song. And to cap off the evening, Bear threw his pick into the crowd and Jenni snatched it for me! (what a true friend she is) I'm thankful for artists who can sing about the Lord so freely and can maintain a mainstream label. I can't wait for the next show!

Bo and his sweet mustache

Jenni found this hat in the parking lot as we were leaving the show. It was brand new, and a size 8 3/4. Yeah, Ridiculous

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Team Thunder Clap!

Dodgeball! It's that time of year again when the streets and parks are filled with snow and the temperatures are well below freezing and you're resorted to activities indoors. What better way to spend your time than by playing DODGEBALL!!! Team Iron Fortress went down in the history books as the most stylish dodgeball team. This year Team Thunder Clap hit the gym donning black and green. Vicious no?! Our bible study joined another bible study and we dominated. We even played boys vs. girls and made the boys throw with their left hands. It was hilarious. I dove after a ball and was presented with a lovely floor burn that hurt well into the 6th day. I was sore for 3 solid days afterwards. Note to self: one should not care as much about dodgeball when you are the age of 27. :) It sure was fun though.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Fighter

Oh my f-bomb. I went to see The Fighter and was greeted with the f-word used in many different contexts. Who knew it was a noun, adjective, and a verb. Anyways… The Fighter stars Mark Wahlberg as Micky Ward and Christian Bale as Dicky Ward. I’m not going to lie… going in to the movie I thought it was about Mickey Rourke, and not Micky Ward. Whoops. The movie goes through a portion of Mickey’s life in his attempt to win a boxing title. Amy Adams also plays Micky’s girlfriend and I felt she did an okay job. The accent wasn’t terribly believable but then again, I couldn’t do it so who am I to judge? At times I felt like I was watching UFC with the amount of fighting going on but I guess that’s expected with this type of movie. I really like sparring, mostly because of the rhythm you get in and watching someone hit a punching bag super super fast. I like the sound it makes when you get a good punch in. Overall, I felt like it was a pretty true depiction of real life and the real story of the Ward’s. Aside from the swearing, I thought this movie was pretty interesting and well done. Christian Bale is definitely going to win something for his performance… mark my words.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


They don’t make Disney movies like they used to. I make that statement with feelings of both good and bad. Good because the quality of picture is way way way better and the characters appear more realistic, the scenes appear richer and the overall quality is better. Bad because well, Disney was notorious for that classic song. Tale as Old as Time, Part of your World, Bibiddy Bopiddy Boo, etc etc etc. I could go on and on and on. Those songs stayed with you and that’s what I miss about Disney. Maybe this isn’t true, maybe you’d argue that I’m too old and the magic isn’t there anymore but for children, it’s just as magical. Maybe I’m stuck in nostalgia for my youth and think that nothing will ever beat the run of Little Mermaid to Beauty and the Beast, to Aladdin, finishing off with Lion King. Who knows, BUT, I was pleasantly surprised with the movie Tangled. I felt like I was watching one of those classic Disney movies again. The characters, the songs, I loved it all. Tangled is about the story of Rapunzel, trapped in her tower, waiting to be set free and experience the world. I found it a little comparable to Little Mermaid but still different enough to tell a new story in a fun way. While I felt like the movie didn’t have that “one song” for me like movies of the past have, I really really enjoyed the entire movie. All of the songs were great. There were some scary points at times, pointed out to me by my 3 year old date, but I think kids of all ages will enjoy it (I still consider myself a kid sometimes). Go check it out whether 3D or 2D and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Ps. Does any one remember the scandal regarding the subliminal messages found in Disney movies?!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Visiting the Nixons

I love visiting the Nixons. Their house is never quiet, the kids are usually super fun, and they have lots of fun toys to play with. By the time I leave, I'm practically exhausted from the running around and excessive yelling, dancing, and singing but it's always worth it. They're a fun bunch.. and CUTE! :)

Hayl and Mayz

Mr. Theo

Miss Mayzie

Miss Georgia

Miss Tillie

So, Theo knows that I love to take pictures and he also knows that with that, I usually have my camera in my purse. THUS, he got ahold of my camera and shot the following portraits:
The documentarian (is that a word?)

Buttercup makes an appearance and oh, hey Jane.

Another self portrait

Mayzie and I

A single shot of Mayzie. She's tough to capture as she's always on the move

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crafting with Kelli and Jane

I'm not crafty... this is very true. BUT, a lot of my friends are crafty and its inevitable that some of it will rub off on me right?! Jane knits like a mad woman and Kelli wanted to learn so one night she came over and thus began the crafting.

The master and her young grasshopper

Me and my creative mind were tasked with winding the yarn into a yarn ball

A closer look at my yarn ball

Jane and some of her finished products

So, Kelli and I have both finished our crafts: Kelli with a green cowl and myself with a gray heathered figure 8 cowl and we're on to the next project... pictures coming soon.