My Christmas Song

I don't like to admit that my Christmas Spirit has been lacking. I've baked, I've wrapped presents, I've read the Christmas story I just can't seem to be consistent with my Christmas Jolly. 

But then I heard this song and I've had it on repeat and it's helped and it's becoming one of my favorites. Especially because Angles We Have Heard On High has always been one of my favorites. So take a listen. The lyrics are awesome. 



The Woes of Two Eldest Planning a Wedding

I'm the eldest in my family. Jerrel is the oldest in his family. We both have a mother and father who have been married for over 20 years and two younger brothers who are in the lovely and ever so popular adolescence age group.

I have learned about birth order a couple different times and each time I find the theories interesting and strangely true.

Senor Smarty Pants and I are not wild and crazy people. Well maybe just not wild. And maybe I'm the crazy one, but we are reasonable people who, obviously by our chosen trades trainings' (nurse and educator), want to help people, want to take care of people. We want everyone to be ok.

For a long time we have expressed to each other that we want a small, quiet, intimate wedding, in a place that fits the previous description. Just our families, just us. However, every time we would breach this topic with one another we would immediately speculate how our families would react. My family would be a go-we have been on many vacations and like traveling to new places. His...we weren't so sure of. Oh sure they'd say ok because it's how we want it but would they really be in? They aren't travelers, and when I say they I mean the boys. It takes an act of Congress to get them off the home place, even if it's only to K-town which is about 80 miles.

We wondered, would they be ok?

Then there was the grandparents. We love them all dearly, we actually would love to have them there. But with six sets, our location being so far away, trying to work around everyone's schedule, lodging, a few different circumstances, and then just logistics of it all we found that all of these factors were defeating our purpose. Simple. Stress free. Not that these people stress us out just planning a trip for so many did.

So once again we wondered, would they be ok?

When Jerrel proposed we knew May was the month. He graduates, I'm free to choose my student teaching placement and for heaven's sake, we have waited long enough! We needed at least a week for this whole shindig. So it wasn't simply "Picking a Date!" But then there was graduation, district track, the cabin wasn't available one week, another graduation, then state track. Most of which were in different weeks. So we talked to our brothers, mothers, and fathers, we ho hummed, and just let it rest. We came to a conclusion on the same day at separate locations and when we came together and talked it just felt right.

But through this whole process it was about, them being ok.

I can hear people now, "Don't worry about what they think or want. It's your wedding." Yatta Yatta people, I hear you people but the bottom line is Senor Smarty Pants and I don't exactly operate that way. It's not about being people pleasers or making sure everyone's happy because that's never going to happen, it is about being thoughtful. Making sure that everyone is at the very least heard and understood. Because until Jerrel and I do what we do, take care of people, even when that doesn't mean "pleasing" them, WE won't feel at peace.

So while we go through this wedding planning stuff we will ultimately do what we think is best and what we want, but we will always wonder, ask, and try our darnedest to make sure everyone is at the very least ok.


Thrifty Thursday

Thriftier; Thriftiest 
1. Thriving by industry and frugality: prosperous. 

It's Thrifty Thursday, the time of the week where I share my thrifty finds from garage sales, antique shops, and of course thrift stores.

Miss Lucy has the privilege of coming inside the house when we are home. She hangs out in the basement with the boys, in the laundry room an porch with the family and occasionally sneaks her way into the kitchen. In the summer she has a chance to cool off while in and in the winter she gets to warm up. 

And because I've noticed she's been rolling up in a ball out on the porch while covering her nose and because I like to spoil her I decided she needed a bed.

Have you ever paid attention to the dog bed market? I kept looking at the dog beds and thinking I could make that. 

So yesterday during the blizzard, I did. 

We have some upholstery fabric samples. I went through the stash, found 4 that coordinated, used an old sheet for the backing and got to work. We had some pillows that we didn't mind parting with for the stuffing and tada! 

I wish I would have filmed Lucy's reaction to this pillow. It was like she knew it was for her and what it was used for.

And now we will never get her off this thing



Whole Foods-My Happy Place

So the weekend Senor Smarty Pants popped the question we pulled into Omaha, on our way to the mall and what did I see? Whole Foods. I've lived a rather sheltered life and never been. 

You know you are a Hippie when you could not care less about going to the mall you just want to walk through the doors of Whole Foods. Annd you get out of the car before it's stopped to get inside.

So the produce section had my heart when I walked in but this area, the buying in bulk spot, took my breath away. The organization, the options, it was just incredible. I think know I need to get out more. And see this guy? This guy cares about his health, and loves buying in bulk and some microbrew beer-we should be friends. 

This section kinda made me giggle. I see commercials for this stuff, I make fun of the people who buy this stuff. But while in Whole Foods I totally understood and thought it was completely feasible to buy this for Lucy. Safe to say I got a little carried away in there. 

So sure it was an awesome trip to a store I've always wanted visit, but I think the thing I will remember the most is people's carts. Now, I'm not going to generalize and say that anyone who ever shops at Whole Foods must be healthy, but guys you should have seen the carts. They were full of produce. Seriously, they had few prepackaged items in them, they had variety and flavors. These carts were vibrant and fresh, not one bag of doritos or toaster strudel in sight.

There was not one parent asking "Bobby do you want ketchup for your pizza rolls?" (By the way, Ketchup on your pizza rolls is a whole other conversation. Seriously?) For the hour, or more if I'm being honest, while wandering the isles of Whole Foods, I couldn't help but feel like I was part of the solution. Simply by being there, by ooohhing and awwwing over products I've read about and would love to try but have never actually viewed in person, let alone laid my hands on. 

I was encouraged to see how busy the place was and how friendly everyone seemed to be. The experience was actually little enlightening. 

So besides the whole getting engaged thing, I'd have to say that visiting Whole Foods was a highlight. A BIG one! 



Hodge Podge

*The Story: On December 1st Jerrel received a mysterious phone call when we arrived to the big city to do some "Christmas Shopping." He stepped outside the car and I overheard him talking about a hot air ballon ride that was getting cancelled because of this:

Unforcasted clouds and moisture. I felt so awful for him, but tried to not show that I had heard anything. That didn't last long so I told him I knew, we had a nice chat about things and he was basically back to normal. That evening we got all dressed up and went to the Boiler Room. This was the nicest place I have ever been and the food was incredible. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The BUTTER I may have sold my arm for the butter. This was Food Network kinda food. Food so pretty I didn't want to eat it but I'm oh so glad I did. I love this place, they get as much local food as they can, because of this commitment their menu changes every day based on availability. How fun is that?! 

I cannot go through all the food we ate because well, some of it I couldn't pronounce. I will tell you that the cheese course was an experience. "Cave Cheese" as Jerrel calls it was actually a delight-it was aged in a cave, hence the nickname for it. And the goat cheese? Imagine licking a goat. Not that I've done that but...well you get it. After dinner we left and went for a walk downtown and then he asked. It was wonderful. 

*We have picked the third full week in May, with the wedding on the 23rd. 

*Yes that's a weekday, but we are planning a wedding in Michigan.

*Michigan?! Yes Michigan, we know a family that has a cabin on a lake near Kalkaska MI. We wanted this kind of feeling so it's working out so well. 

* We are hoping to get some pictures taken in SNOW! Come on fluffy white stuff! 

* Why May, so soon? No babies, or other big news and while a story of immaculate conception may make my blog ratings go up, we simply decided that May is the right time for us. 

* We will have a reception sometime in June. 

I think that's everything for now. 



mum's the word monday

Dreaming of a white...well you know...Christmas. 



No. 22

Happy Birthday Senor Smarty Pants- aka Jerrel! Whoa, 1st time I've used his real name. Good birthday present, huh. I guess I could use it, since he's a permanent fixture around here now. 

The picture below is an excellent example of my reactions to him daily. Turn away with "What the heck is going on?" Yet still holding on and putting up with him. Or Vice Versa-whatever.

This picture also shows how ridiculous and weird he is. As well as, how he still seems to have a spirit of a child. All of which are things I love about him.

And this picture, I think, shows his kindness. A quality that he exudes and I sometimes just cannot quite wrap my head around how unending it is.

Today we celebrate this guy with pizza, rootbeer, IPA, family, ice cream cake, and a kitchen gadget he will love! Golly am I thankful he was born.

Happy 22nd Jerrel!



Friday's Letters

Dear Brain, welcome to break. The land of blogging, baking, and...I don't have another "b" word, um doing whatever I want! Dear Caterpillars above my eyes, you are also affectionately known as my eyebrows-get prepared to be downsized ASAP. Dear Miniature Christmas Tree, thanks for taking me back to the old days. Where the day after Thanksgiving I'd drag out my Christmas stuff and decorate my room. This year I decided to add my broach collection to the tree. It turned out cuuuute! Dear Flavored Butter, You might be my new favorite thing-after of course simply, BUTTER. Dear Evan, Good Luck tonight! And just so you know, that little hand motion thing you do when you make a three is ridiculous, awesome but ridiculous. Dear Dance Class, thank you for getting Senor Smarty Pants and I out of the house at least one night a week. And the conflict resolution skills we have gained are priceless!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!



Friday's Letters

Dear Follwers, Friends, and Family, THANK YOU for the calls, texts, messages and little notes of congratulations. You all are just too sweet. This week has been so full of love and for that I am eternally grateful. Dear Mr. Parker, Thank you for being such a well behaved little guy while at dance. Also, thank you for taking out all those bad guys with your torpedos, everyone at the class felt safer with you there. Dear Raw Honey, safe to say, you are a miracle worker, it's been a long time since my skin has been this clear, hydrated, and dare I saw glowing? I'll be blogging about this topic soon guys I promise. Dear Grinch Socks, Thank you for making me feel exactly the opposite of that creepy green guy on you. Also, I decorated two Christmas trees just to spite you. Irony is my favorite. Dear Christmas Spirit, come take over my blog please, I'm a little lacking in that department this year. Sorry about it. Dear Snow, come on over, I miss you, I need you, I want you.

Have a beautiful weekend friends!



Something Sparkly!

During September in my Senior year of high school I received this fortune cookie message after a very platonic group dinner with friends. Senor Smarty Pants was sitting directly across from me. We were friends, nothing more. We became "official" the 25th of September. We went to the Homecoming dance together three days later, the 28th.

Just over four years later, after a nice lunch with Senor Smarty Pants, I received this fortune cookie message. We had just finished our 50th month of being together. Not that we were totally counting or anything...

And that evening I received this.

And while our relationship is based on so much more than a couple of fortune cookie messages, we cannot help but enjoy these little notes and their significant numbers.

Jerrel and I couldn't be more excited and ready for this next step. Your prayers are appreciated as we figure all this stuff out. Hope you are having a beautiful day.



Giving Thanks on Friday

I still have one.more. Thanksgiving. But I'm not complaining, because tomorrow I get to see lots of people I do not get to see often. So sitting here-smack dab in the middle of my Thanksgiving celebrations I have time to reflect on yesterday's festivities and anticipate tomorrows celebration.

I am thankful for family, the people who scare me because they are so awesome and crazy. The same people who worry me sometimes because I see myself in their actions and I couldn't possibly be like that, right? We laugh, tease, and hug and it makes the holidays the best time of year simply because we get to spend time together.

My immediate family, extended family, and friends family, ah yes I'm thankful for them all.



Giving Thanks on Thursday

IIIIt's Turkey Day! Happy Thanksgiving to all! This post is going somewhere I'm just not sure where yet.

I spent last evening with friends. But just not any friends but old friends. We sat around 3 different kitchen tables throughout the night as we made our way from house to house seeing people on the block. We talked, we laughed, we drank orange juice. It was so nice. I think I am going to narrow this thankful note down to memories. The kind that make you feel warm and at home. The kind that take you right back to the time and place and you feel like you are there, you are living it again. Memories that you share every time you are together-and it never gets old. I just can't quite put into words how beautiful it is to feel that connection with the girls I've known for years but haven't seen in months, while we are sharing memories.

The laughing, the slapping of the knee, the clapping of the hands, and the occasional snorts-right Whit?
It's all these things while sitting in a Mama's kitchen, that about had me bursting with joy.

Yes. I am thankful for our memories.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.



Giving Thanks on Wednesday

Today I will be beginning a bit of a baking marathon. I'm planning on making this Brittle and then these Sweet Potato Cupcakes, but I'm not planning on telling certain folks that they are sweet potato. Because some people are ridiculous and think they do not like sweet potatoes-fools.

Anyway as I was writing my list, I realized how Thankful I am to live in a community where I can just run in and get the things I need. I love rural living but gesh things would be a little tricky if I didn't have access to a wonderful grocery store-even if it is small. A store that carries the essentials and then some, that's clean, and willing to work with you. 

So today I'm thankful for my location and my grocery store. And chocolate. But who isn't Thankful for chocolate?



Giving Thanks on Tuesday

I'm thankful for nature. It wasn't too long ago when I was more or less indifferent about the out doors. I enjoyed it but never really felt connected. Funny how my world view has changed in the last couple years. I never want to lose my awe of nature, I want to always see things like a child. To marvel at the stars, to crunch through the leaves, and to catch snowflakes with my tongue. I am so thankful to live in a place where I am surrounded by these things at one time or another, a place where they have been relatively undisturbed. Quite a bit of nature shows up on this blog and I guess that's because of my love. So today I am going to go touch the Earth with my bare feet, you should too even if it's chilly out, I think I may even get some dirt under my nails for good measure. I will leave you with this ridiculous video about Nature, because it's pretty neat. 



Giving Thanks on Monday

Today I am Thankful for Senor Smarty Pants. He has naturally came up often in the last 3 years of blogging and in the last 4 years of my life. Sometimes I worry that I'm too hard on him and that I give him a bad wrap on this blog, but ya'll he's great. I often wonder what in the world he's thinkin' sticking around with me so long. Because honestly, I feel like I'm getting the better end of this deal. But I've heard before that that's how it should be, you should feel like you are getting the better deal. So I'm thankful for him. For his patience, for his kindness, for the version of me that he brings out, for his practicalness-even if it gets in my way some days, for his convictions, and for the way he organizes his closet.



Friday's Letters

Dear bed risers, I understand the logic, but an option to buy individually would be nice. (insert snarky, sarcastic comment about Senor Smarty Pants' lard...) Dear Coconut Oil, it's official. You are my friend. Dear December 13th, wake me up when you get here. Please? Dear Wild Sweet Orange Tea, Thank you for soothing my throat and tasting delicious. Dear Chocolate Creme Cake, Stop staring at me, begging me to consume you. I hear you, I see you, ok...fine you win. Dear Scripture, thank you for being so refreshing and rejuvenating. Dear Extreme Cheapskates, thank you for making me feel normal. More, importantly thanks for making Senor Smarty Pants seem normal, he is thanking you as well.

Have a beautiful weekend friends!

Link up your Friday's Letters here. 


Going With My Gut: Deodorant

Have you ever thought much about the deodorant you use? Today we do not like sweat in our underarms and we definitely do not like that funky smell that happens. But what makes the stuff in that roll prevent the sweating and the smelling? 

While I do not know the exact science behind the properties of deodorant, I do know that I started to feel uneasy about putting the stuff on. So I looked into it. And this is what I have found. 
  • First, we are supposed to sweat our Creator made us this way, and blocking sweat glans probably isn't such a good idea. Sweating releases toxins, and helps cool us when we are hot. We don't pant like dogs, or pigs. Inhibiting a necessary bodily function isn't wise. 
  • Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex, mouth full huh? It's classified as a carcinogenic and raises developmental and reproductive concerns. We put this chemical, under our arms, near those lymph nodes, everyday. Remains of this chemical have been found in cancerous lymph nodes. i.e. breast cancer.
  • Finally, we all know that our skin is our largest organ, when we think about that it can be a wake up call to all the junk we expose it to, also our skin is extremely absorbent. 
I have used an all natural product called Hippy Pits, I liked it. However, I needed a more manly option for Senor Smarty Pants who was also interested in switching. So I decided to make our own. Using simple and easy to find ingredients and it takes a total of 10 mins! We have also found this recipe makes enough to last a while and works wonderful! Just as good or better than the junk you can buy at the store.

The recipe I used takes:
6-8 tbsp of coconut oil 
1/4 c of baking soda 
1/4 c of corn starch or arrowroot.

You can store it in a jar like we chose to and smear it on, its really not as messy as the wor smear makes it sound. Or you could use an old deodorant stick. Adding some essential oils for scenting and more antibacterial properties (even though cocnut oil all ready is antibacterial on its own!) is another natural way to dress this stuff up! 

So hop on over to Passionate Homemaking and read what she has to say. Plus check out the other sections of her blog, it's a goodie! 

Going natural is quite a process and can be overwhelming. I have found it is less overwhelming to take it one section of life at a time or even one product at a time. Baby steps you could say. 



So Close

Funny huh?! 

I'm right there with you Abbie. Right there with you, hang in there, it's almost over. We are almost done with this mess. 

Happy Election Day! 




What do you get someone who is pretty redneck, 19, male, good sense of humor, dreams of mullets, and just a little tacky?

Basically something along these lines. Yes that is an awful mullet wig. Thank you for asking.

Happy Birthday Aaron! Hope you have an awesome day, and never, ever, ever become city-fied.

Happy Halloween!



Environmentalism and Christianity

We hear a lot about being environmentally friendly. So many "Save the Planet" mantras. And while a majority of these are well-meaning, "Let's clean up this place." ideas, I've found myself in an odd place as a Christian trying to "Go Green." Which happens to be a phrase I'm not so crazy about. Honestly, I do not feel a responsibility to "Save the Planet" I serve a powerful and sovereign Creator who I believe has that all under control. Some may see that as a cop-out and ask why do anything? Why take care of our green Earth if what's going to happen, is going to happen anyway?

I'm so glad you asked! As a Christian I try not to focus on things of this world, things that clutter my mind. We strive to make this life less-so much less about us. More about Him, more about Jesus. More about the things he does through us. I could cut Facebook, T.V., or phones, but I felt my heart tugging at the things outside my window. The more I saw, heard, and read of our impact on this creation, that God himself loves so much, I felt injustice and even some shame creep up in my heart. I felt that as inhabitants of this earth we are being terribly disrespectful, wasteful, and continually separating ourselves from God with the way we commonly live. This separation I believe is occurring when we get further and further away from using natural products, eating food that is actually food, and continually diminishing and polluting our resources. All things that were freely given to us.

So I make the changes I make out of respect and out of love. For the land for God. When we purposely make choices that pollute our air we are taking advantage of the gift of fresh air. By not growing at least some of our own food we are missing out on the true miracle that is putting a seed in the ground, watching it sprout, grow and then enjoying our harvest. When we do not trust our bodies that were fearfully and wonderfully made, we discount all the amazing things Jesus can do through us-even in the tough times. By not trusting or believing that God created all the things we would ever really need we clutter our lives. We are discounting his love and wisdom when we get caught up in all this stuff and think we know more.

I found this quote a while ago and felt my heart sing when I read it:

But I’m finding sustainable, green living something I am becoming passionate about. It’s a respect for what the LORD has given us. How He desires for us to live in connection to the earth and with each other. How He designed our bodies to thrive in non-toxic conditions and consume whole foods for optimal health (for 120 years even!). It’s all connected and it all works together so well. 
-Laurel of Leaves 

So while some Christians or others may say "It's His job to save the Earth." I say you are right, it's not your job to save the Earth, that is His job, we could never handle such a task. It is our job to respect it. When we do respect and have reverence, suddenly so many of the things we do everyday do not fit into that mold. I also guarantee, you will be worried about clean water when it is in short supply. 

Think about how wonderfully and perfectly our Earth works-it's amazing. When we step back and pay attention to the creation around us we should be in awe. I pray that we all see the respect that is given when we do everything his way.

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." Psalms 24:1



mum's the word monday-not really though

Today would have been Mr. Bob Ross' 70th birthday. I loved watching him paint when I was little. So in honor of him and his day of birth I thought today I would post a little video of him painting. The sound of the brush strokes on the canvas used to relax me to the core, even at 5 years old.  

I've always been a little different...



Fridays Letters

Dear Friday, So glad to see you! Dear Hobby Lobby, Thank you for welcoming me through your doors...twice in two days. The hospitality and sales were greatly appreciated, and I even think my pocketbook enjoyed the experience. Dear Senor Smarty Pants, You don't always say much, but usually  when you do its perfect. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Thank you for putting up with me this semester, you deserve a gold star, or maybe I will buy you that gun you have been talking about. Dear Bath and Body Works candle: "Leaves", Not to be confused with "Fall Leaves." You are possibly the most delicious smelling thing, even though I so enjoy my Scentsy! I am rationing you so you last through this fall as well. Dear Mom, Thanks for understanding some of my frustrations. Dear Kayla, You grew one beautiful babe. I cannot wait to snuggle her. Dear Gift Buying, You are fun. Dear Main and Tail Shampoo, Thanks for making me giggle whenever I see you or say your name. You are just funny to me. Probably because of that Morgan Spurlock documentary, POM Wonderful Presents, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, where you were the "official shampoo." Dear Brown Boots, After four tedious years of looking for just the right pair, I have found you, I have you in my possession now! Welcome to my wardrobe!

Have a beautiful weekend.

Link up your Fridays Letters Here. 




Change is hard. Change sometimes sucks. I think I feel change deeper than most. Sometimes it hurts my heart to change the curtains in my room for heavens sake. Is that pathetic and borderline psychotic? Dunno. Change can be scary because sometimes one small change-changes everything and usually when that happens, I was ok with how things were going.

Friends are awesome. Friends move away, some you loose connections with and some you get back and some you don't. I am a quality not so much a quantity girl and sometimes I say "I don't need friends." in an aloof kinda way. But what I really mean is "I don't need a lot of friends. I don't need a lot of people. I just need my friends, my people." I should start saying that, it makes me sound less cynical.

I wish some people would snap out of it or wake up and smell the coffee. Whatever. Just realize what a tangled web they are weaving and fix it.

Sometimes when I write serious blog posts I get self-conscious of posting them, so they sit in a folder on my desktop. Being this way, ya know, quippy is much easier and less risky for me to put out there. But I'm going to try to *change* that.

You know we don't really know how impatient we truly are until our internet decides to run at a snails pace?

That's all for today folks.



It's Thursday Already?

Whoa! What? It's thursday already and I've only posted a mum's the word. Sorry 'bout that. It's been a different kind of week. I was on fall break...I still hear the angels singing when I say those words. Can't you? I worked a little, I cleaned a little, and I bummed a lot.

I also tried to regroup. I am over halfway through this semester with only 2 left after this one and the wear and tear of this college experince is starting to really come through. I feel a little like the Little Engine That Could with all the " I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." going on up in my noggin'. But, I'm getting frustrated, with many, many things, things that have nothing to do with school. So I'm trying to dig deep, trying to not to lose my mind.

 On the way back from break I just was so sad. It might sound silly to say, but I felt basically defeated. I know, the trivial woes of an American girl who had the " opportunity" to attend college, but this stage hasn't been easy for me. Then Casting Crowns came on the radio and I felt like it was going to be ok. Maybe not fun, maybe not super fantastic, and not easy but I felt like I could do it. So if you are feeling the way I was on Wednesday, or worse, listen to the words and feel the power, because when we are weak he will make us strong.

Casting Crowns  -  In Me



Fridays Letters

Dear Tea Diffusor, You are one genius invention. Dear iPad from UNK, I don't dislike you as much as I thought I would. Who was I trying to kid? I'm an Apple girl through and through. I'll try not to let my rebellion against UNK get between us again. Dear Laundry, Go put yourself away. Dear Cloudy Days, I think I love you just as much as those ridiculously sunny days, how is that possible? Dear C-town Trojans, Play hard tonight, make the drive worth it, please. Dear Senor Smarty Pants, Do not fret too much about your interview, they love you already. You are obviously smart, from the area, cool, calm, and collected and a male nurse-you know they want those, what's not to love? Dear Readers, Have a blessed weekend and check out the song I'm loving this week, goosebumps every time. 

Link up your Fridays Letters here.


Thrifty Thursday

Thriftier; Thriftiest 
1. Thriving by industry and frugality: prosperous. 

It's Thrifty Thursday, the time of the week where I share my thrifty finds from garage sales, antique shops, and of course thrift stores.

Once upon a time there was a city wide garage sale. At one of the sales there was a tandem bicycle. The young lady ran to the bicycle but was devastated to find that it had already been marked sold. Later she saw the bike being loaded into a pickup and discovered these people owned a shop in a nearby town and they tended to horde things. The young lady vowed to go and find that bike one day.

That's a true story and last weekend I went back and got my bike! Brad and Nita's is an experience and not an "Oh my gosh I can't wait to get back there!" experience no, it's more like- "If I'm in the right mood, and the weather is right, and I'm really hunting for something I'll go back there.", experience. But I had spotted my bike outside their store-in the elements a few times and I knew it was destined to be mine. 

So mom and I decided to go and check out the store-if you can call it that, and snoop around for the bike. Here's how the conversation went...I'm just going to say things are a little foggy, or smoky up there, however you want to put it, nice guy just a little too much know. 

Brad: Hey ladies, can I help you with anything? Looking for something particular? 
Me: Do you, uh ever get any tandem bicycles in? (sly huh?)
Brad: (eyes wide) I HAVE one!
Me: Oh really? Awesome, how much are you asking for it? 
Brad: $275 (punch in the stomach)
Me: Oh...(walking around the store) 
Brad: I actually bought it at the city wide garage sales did you see it? 
Me: I did. 
Brad: Did you have your heart set on it?
Me: After I saw it was sold. 
Mom: Is that as low as you could go? 
Brad: I'll tell you what, I'll go $180 
Me: $180? I'm a poor college kid. 
Brad: Oh, I'd hate to cut into your profit. 
Me: There will be no profit, that bike is staying with me. 
Brad (about 10 mins later): I'll go $160
Mom: Let's go take a look at it. 
Brad (after looking at the bike): If $20-$30 are making the difference it makes no difference to me, I'll go $140. 

So I walked around the block. And I knew for a fact he paid less than $75, so he was probably giving me a decent deal and I wasn't ripping him off. He was trying so hard and who knows when I will have a chance like this again. Plus I'd been waiting since July, so I told him $140 cash and took my bicycle home. 

The cash was from some of my almost 4 year old graduation money-thanks again to those who gave me a monetary gift! 

I originally told him I'd write a check, he said, "I have a feeling there is going to be a cyber bank crash on Monday, and I won't be able to cash that check." He was serious. Ok, cash it is.

It's a little rough around the edges, but that just gives Daisy character. I'm just happy she's in a good home and no longer out in the elements. You might be thinking this isn't very thrifty but I disagree. I halfway haggled him down-he kinda did that himself, I was just patient and acted kinda aloof. I could spend $140 on going to movies, and get fat from popcorn-but at the end of the night, the movie would be over and the popcorn would be gone. I get to keep this bike. 

Riding is harder than you would think as well, definitely takes some balance work. I forsee lots of fun with this purchase. So happy to have my bike!



The Department of Beauty

You hear talk about the changing colors in the Fall. We ooohh and awww over the colors of the trees, bushes, and fall flowers. Movie sets in the Autumn are almost always back east or in mountainous regions, where the winding roads are lined with colorful and breathtaking rusts, reds, and yellows. 

But what about us? I live among a number of people who don't really think our area is anything to write home about in the beauty department. I think I've made it pretty clear throughout my writings on this blog that I believe I live surrounded by some of the prettiest country on this planet, the simplicity of my home sometimes just gets me all sorts of verklempt.

And I'll admit it, we don't have as many trees, we don't have as much variety-cottonwoods are our staple. We are not however, without color, beauty, or interest.We've had a pretty decent Autumn here
in the middle of nowhere and my mom and I decided to do a little project. We spent our Sunday afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather, capturing some beautiful colors. I will not claim to be the best photographer in the world, nor do I think all these pictures do my home justice. But they are something to look at, something to appreciate, and something to maybe change your mind if you are 
on the other side of the fence. 

This time of year is perfect for taking a walk around your town. Notice things you've never noticed before. Appreciate things you've never appreciated before. I promise you will feel refreshed. 

I love getting to higher ground out here. 

And at the same time I love getting up close and personal. But you guys probably already knew that. 

The sky was so blue!

I love plants, and it's just so amazing to me how they change, how I can take a picture of one in May and by September it can be a whole other kind of beautiful. 

Even the grasses are interesting to me, stuff we walk by almost everyday. I hope I never lose my sense of wonder as I wander through this world. 

Ok, I'll admit that this tree is probably one of the most colorful ones we have in the area, but that makes me appreciate it even more. It's beautiful in this picture but just look at the one below. 

THAT'S what I'm talking about. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is look around you, no matter where you are, splendor can be found. Look at the big picture and get up close and personal all at the same time. Crunch through the leaves and commit the sights around you to memory. You might need them someday. 

My Autumn is spectacular even especially out in the middle of nowhere. 



Game Day

It's another Husker game day. 

They play Ohio state. 

The game is at 7. 

Head Coach is Bo Pelini. 

That about sums up my knowledge of Husker football but I do enjoy watching them play and they do stress me out occasionally. Ok, I know some players names and the offensive and defensive coaches names but I didn't want to show off. Don't want to make anyone feel bad.

I have a very special story to share. My dear friend Frankie has a grandpa that played for the Huskers back in the 1950s and I just had to show you guys. It's just too cool, and funny. The direct quotes from Jerry and the family sound just. like. them. Jerry does not beat around the bush. Ever. And the picture is classic.  Plus it's kinda cool whenever my lovable hometown gets put on the map. I hope Jerry gets to watch a good game today.  So check it out

Go Huskers! 



Fridays Letters

Dear Mitt Romney, couldn’t you use a different first name? I’m getting real tired of Senor Smarty Pants saying “Mittens!” every. time. we hear your name. No that’s not a plug for either candidate. Dear Water, thanks for just being you, refreshing, thirst quenching, hydrous, watery-I’m out of adjectives. Dear Arctic Front, WOW. Way to cool things off, and I’m not going to complain about the opportunity to wear my new mittens. Annnd I just saw Mittens face in my minds eye. Awesome. Dear 10 Minute Trainer, we meet again, please be kind. Dear Moccasins, you are so warm, yet so light and easy to wear, ya’ll are just wonderful. Dear Long Underwear, You get to do your job tonight since it’s supposed to be 27 at the game, never thought I’d get to say that again, hope you had a nice summer break. Dear Fall, in my mind the word splendor is synonymous when I think of you, even here in the cornhusker state. Please stay like this until December. 

You can link up your Fridays Letters here.