Friday, June 29, 2012

Mid-week Visitor

My longest-time friend is a saint. She's put up with me for the better part of my life. We've been best friends since the third grade, to be exact. Almost twenty years. And they haven't really been the prettiest twenty years, either. She has supported me through a lot of things, and that doesn't seem to be diminishing any time soon.

But this week it was time for Rachael to support her mom. Shirley, the sweet thing that she is, had her knee replaced this week. It was her second knee replacement this month. CRAZY! If you've ever witnessed someone's recovery from a joint replacement, you know how miserable it can be. But she was [and continues to be] a trooper through it all.

The knee replacement took place at [conveniently] Bergan here in Omaha! So Rachael took a few days off work to come stay with me and help her mom through her knee replacement recovery. Rachael and I try to spend time together every few months, but as two girls with our own lives and jobs in different cities [states, really], that isn't always easy. So it was great to have a few days with Rach. I had to work all three days she was here, but we made the most of our time. We went out for dinner and stayed up til midnight [thank goodness for 6am coffee!], talked wedding-wedding-wedding, had late-night and early-morning girl chat, and planned our annual camping trip we're taking. It was a great three days! Looking forward to that camping trip!

Thanks to Rach for coming to visit,
Thanks to Shirley for having that knee replaced in Omaha :)
And a painless and quick recovery to you, Shirley!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jakob is ONE!

This weekend was a very quick one, but an especially enjoyable one. I hadn't seen my good friend Sasha since she moved to Kansas City for her hubby's residency. We'd been planning the trip for a few weeks, and I was so excited when it was finally time. The extra-special part? It was Jakob's first birthday!

The 3-hour drive was pretty awful. It was raining nearly the entire time, and I even had to turn my windshield wipers on turbo speed for a good half-hour. I don't so much enjoy driving in the rain when I can't really see very well where I'm going. But alas, I made it there safely.

Once I arrived, Sasha gave me a tour of their beautiful new home. Jakob was taking a nap, so we snuck out for a mani/pedi just like old times -- we hadn't done that for a long time.
(Put down your phone. No need to call CPS. We didn't leave Jakob home alone. Sasha's mother-in-law was in town for the birthday celebrations, so she graciously offered to watch Jakob while we had a little girl time.)

After a much needed day of catching up, we celebrated Jakob's first birthday. I still can't believe it's been a hear since he joined this world

Jakob looks a little terrified of our singing.
(don't worry, mama blew out the candle)

Ready to dig in! He had his own personal monkey cake.

His first time having sweets. Not really sure what to think.

He really loved the frosting!

He didn't get as messy as we all thought he would, but he did earn himself a bath!

The Klauks! Love them!

Not really sure what to do with this. He didn't really get the whole unwrapping thing.

Playing with one of his new toys! 

I had a fantastic weekend, and I'm so glad I was able to celebrate the little guy's first birthday. 

So blessed to have such a great friend and a great godson!
Love to you both!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Movie Fail

Omaha is a very cool city. Many people say there isn't a lot to do, but you just have to go find things. Lucky for me, I have a friend who is really good at finding those things. She's always sending me emails of things we can do-- I just love it! [I think I need to take her with me everywhere I go.]

The newest activity? Monday Movies at Midtown. Midtown Crossing is this fantastic new-ish area of Omaha that has shopping, dining, living, a gym, and a really great open grassy space. They have Yoga Rocks the Park there in the summers (which I just LOVE), jazz festivals, and all sorts of other fun things. Now they've added a series of movies that they play on a big inflatable screen. (Sports movies, at that! Field of Dreams, Rudy, Might Ducks, etc.) You just bring your blanket, your snacks, and your friends. And the best part:  it's completely free. Even the parking. What fun!
So the first week Kate and I were all over it. We thought it would be super packed for the debut, so we got there an hour early. Turns out we were the first ones there. Woops, guess everyone else wasn't quite so pumped. But alas, we got in some good quality chatting before the quality people-watching even started. 

When we arrived, there was no screen. As time passed, there was still no screen. The movie was scheduled to start at 8pm. At 7:50-- still no screen. We could tell the organizers were getting a little panicked, but the screen finally arrived at 7:55. However, it takes a good 45 minutes to get an inflatable screen set up. Who knew?

At 8:30 Kate and I were starting to wonder when this movie was actually going to start. The screen was coming right along, but there was no projector to be seen. And it was still quite light out (as you can see in the picture: inflated screen but still very light). Believe it or not, it's really hard to see a projected movie outside when it's still light out.

At 8:45 the movie still hadn't started, and Kate and I decided we couldn't stay up til 11 or 11:30pm-- we'd fall asleep right there in the park. (We're old.) So instead, we were super lame-slash-awkward an packed up our goods and left. Of course we were sitting right up front, so I'm sure people thought we were super lame leaving before it even started, but whatever.

So instead of watching a movie from 9:30 to 11:30 at night, we hit up the Varsity sports bar in Dundee, shared some nachos and drank a delicious Nebraska-brewed beer and went to bed at 10pm. AWESOME.

So the verdict is still out as to when they'll actually start the next movie. We decided if it's any later than 9pm we won't be attending -- EXCEPT for the Might Ducks week. We'll be there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ooot and Abooot

As you may have already figured out, Mike has moved to St Cloud, Minnesota for a job opportunity. Turns out, that's nearly seven hours away. Yuck.

However, I had a four-day weekend recently and I decided maybe I should spend some time in my future city and with my future hubby. Good call, huh?

I arrived in St Cloud on Friday evening and I stayed until Monday morning, which was a great long-weekend away. Mike and I got to spend some quality time together, I got to see some friends I hadn't seen in a while, and I got a little more acquainted with St Cloud.

Friday night Mike and I had the opportunity to go to a St. Cloud Rox baseball game, courtesy of Mike's boss. More perks of the job :)   If you know me, you know that I love baseball. Maybe for the hotdogs, sunshine, and people watching -- or maybe for the baseball. Who knows. But I do enjoy it. 

And an extra bonus? It was a Friday night game. You know what that means:  Fireworks! Another of my favorites!

Saturday we went for a run along the river, met Father Mike for lunch, soaked up some sun at the beach, and enjoyed a home-cooked dinner courtesy of Mike's friends. Sunday was pretty relaxing-- we went to church and didn't do much else. That evening we enjoyed cheesy-broccoli-rice and salad while watching a movie on the floor. We're just that cool.  

I think when Mike and I actually do have furniture, we won't know what to do. We've both lived without much for the past month. I cannot WAIT to have furniture, tv, and internet again. Welcome to the 21st century!!

Overall it was a fantastic weekend in St. Cloud. Great friends, great sun, and a great guy. I couldn't have asked for more!

Friday, June 8, 2012

A few weeks ago, Mike accepted a job in his old stomping grounds, St. Cloud, Minnesota. So he moved up there to get started. Because he started a mere two weeks after I had been back at Bergan, I decided I should stay in Omaha. Yes, just as soon as I got back to Omaha, he left. How should I take that???

Mike is staying in a rental home owned by one of his high school friend's parents. He had zero furniture, so rather than buying some while mine sat in my mom's basement, we decided to move my furniture up there for him to use. We'd have to move it later in the fall anyway, so why not do it now? 

So we packed up a U-Haul (once again), my grandma packed her toothbrush, and we hit the road. Oh yes, my grandma and I did the moving. Who needs Two Men and a Truck?? After about 8 hours on the road, we arrived in St. Cloud. Mike was still working, so we thought we'd start with the light boxes and wait for him to get home to do the rest. But after about an hour, all that was left in the trailer were the mattress and an armoire. Grams and I had unloaded everything else!

After a burger, the rest of the evening was spent unpacking and rearranging things. By the time we left the following day, Mike had enough furniture to live on, though certainly not a house-ful. The drive home sans UHaul trailer was much easier. Which was a good thing--it was really windy.  We stopped a couple times for snacks and gas (and perhaps a wrong turn), and made it home safely. (Side note: we narrowly missed a fatal crash. If we hadn't taken a wrong turn, we would have likely been a part of that crash, in which four people died. But instead: wrong turn, gravel road detours, and a safe arrival.)

Aside from getting Mike some much-needed furniture, I had a great time. Grams and I did a lot of catching up and spent some quality time together. It's certainly not something I'll forget. Thanks for being my co-pilot, Grams!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Tri(ed)

Saturday was the second annual Omaha Women's Triathlon. My friend Kayla (who you may remember from last year as my pregnant by-stander friend) wanted to check a triathlon off her bucket list, so I agreed I'd do it with her.

About three weeks before the triathlon was to happen, I was having second thoughts. I had moved three (yes, three) times during the course of "training" and had really been slacking. I was getting only a couple of my week's workouts in, and I really wasn't feeling good about my abilities. But after a pep-talk with Kayla (at least that's what I'll call it), I decided I couldn't back out. So away we went.

After a 750-meter swim (a half-mile), a 20K bike (12.4 miles), and a 5K run (3.1 miles), my legs were completely exhausted, but the triathlon was complete! I didn't do as well as I could have if I had trained appropriately, but I did beat least year's time... by 5 seconds! Not bad for not training. My goal was to finish in under 2 hours, and I did beat that by 5 minutes. Win. Maybe for my next tri, I'll train and do better ;)

I have decided that the run is really the crucial part. That's what will make or break your time. Mine, at least. The swim will never be my strongest leg. I grew up as a fish in the swimming pool and beach, but the crawl stroke while I'm being kicked and hit by fellow swimmers just isn't my forte. The bike is easy for me to push it a little extra, especially when I know the route. But the run. I've never been a runner by trade, only by training. I've never excelled in it, despite all the races I've done, but I do it to accomplish a set goal. Kayla, however, IS a runner. Which is why, after being ahead of her for the swim AND the bike, she kicked my butt in the run. And beat me by a full 10 minutes. So next time... the run. I'll get the run.

Kayla, Kasey, and I before the race began.

Next year, Kasey will be flexing her guns too.

One of my cheerleaders, Kate. Oh yes, she made a sign. She's just that great :)

Transition area.

Not-so-flattering, but whatever.

Can you see the exhaustion in my face??
Asking at this point whether Kayla was ahead or behind me... and making sure she wasn't the lady in the ambulance.

Mallory was a rockstar and finished the race with me. After she had already finished. 

We decided this should go on the cover of the new Corning-Villisca newspaper (since she's from Villisca). We used to be rivals. Now we're Timberwolves. Or something like that....

Kayla, Me, and Mallory after the finish. SUCCESS!!

My final time was 1:55:32. I finished 120th out of approximately 300 ladies. Not the best in the world, but mine and I'm proud of it. I finished. Did YOU??