Category Archives: Adventure

Home Sweet Home

Well friends, I have a bit of a big announcement.

I’m coming home.

Permanent style.

Home to family. Home to friends. Home to Speedway.

HOME.

The land of corn, beef and Runzas.

Gosh I’ve missed you.

And you know what’s crazy? Now I’m going to miss Colorado.

It’s the place that I learned how to pick myself up and dust myself off after falling (literally and figuratively), the place I learned that kitchen knives really were worth the investment, that you should never cover oil on the stove and that keeping an organized bathroom closet is so fulfilling.

I found out that outdoor adventures weren’t so bad (especially if you didn’t end up covered in mosquito bites), living frugally can still mean living fully, all things are possible with a good GPS and that you really can survive away from home in a town where you don’t know a soul.

I’ve found the kind of friends that enjoy cuticle care as much as I do, the type of friends that will drink red wine out of Oliva Pope inspired wine glasses WHILE watching Oliva Pope (love of trashy tv is a universal language!) and the type that just show up on your doorstep carrying cartons of Chinese food (or heck, even McDonald’s, don’t judge me).

Not to mention, I discovered some pretty great coworkers. The kind that say ‘Bless You’ after every sneeze, the ones that laugh with you at your daily frustrations and, my favorite, the ones that will steal away with you for a coffee when you need me a pick me up and refuse to drink the office sludge (I’m sorry Young Life, but seriously, sludge).

And these coworkers might even name the area you sit in after you when you leave.

Are you dying over how great that is? Because I am. Totally and completely.

Are you dying over how great that is? Because I am. Totally and completely.

Magical.

The land of skiing, climbing and crunchy granola crazy hippies.

Whom I’ve come to love.

And I will miss terribly.

Guess I’ll just have to come back and visit. A lot.

Especially for one super smart, super adventurous ginger. Don’t worry, I’ve developed quite a few frequent flyer miles in the last two years, I’m happy to have an excuse to use them. And if that supportive, loving, infuriating Boy isn’t just the best reason, I don’t know WHAT is! Heck, you may even see him appear in the great state of Nebraska a time or two…

So, hard to leave? Yes. But am I smiling and giddy running around the house punching my fists into the air knowing I’m headed back to the midwest? To a place where my life is full of dirt tracks, street rods and car shows?

Yes.

A thousand times yes.

The Good Life. Life is Right. Nebraska Nice.

I’m coming home to you. Get excited.

I know I am…

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Poop, Blood and a Whole Lot of Awesome

It’s taken me awhile to process all of the things that happened this last month. Mainly due to the fact that it took me a whole week of sleep to be able to function as a normal human being again.

But here we are. I survived a month in the mountains.

I wanted to write a poignant post about how meaningful the month was, how amazing my housekeeping girls were and the sheer awesomeness of living in the mountains and spending a whole lot of quality time in the Word.

Because all of those things are true. It was an incredible month, filled with joy and laughter and tears and painful honesty and growing and learning and eating camp food and being exhausted all of the time.

But ‘poignant’ isn’t really my style. I’m more of a ‘let me share this hilarious story with you’ – and people – boy oh boy was it a month of hilarious stories.

So I present to you ‘Betsy’s List of the Top Three Most Hysterical Things That Happened to Her This Month.”

Thing One: The Bedroom

As you gathered from the previous post, I didn’t have much advance notice in knowing that I was moving into camp. On the flip side, it only makes sense that the camp didn’t have much advance notice either.

Long story short, an unmarried woman that’s a work crew boss, lives with the girls. They were short a bed. So I got a bed… in the middle of the room, full of 16 high school girls, right next to the bank of mirrors… and without a closet or drawer.

Good news I’ve watched my fair share of HGTV, so I was able to redecorate the room and come up with THIS!

It's basically ever girls dream... a tutu hung above the bed!!

It’s basically ever girls dream… a tutu hung above the bed!!

Yes, that is an ironing board that I’ve folded down and put crates on to store my clothes in. You say ‘white trash’… I say ‘dream come true.’ Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to.

In all honesty, I loved it. It was the couch, the gathering place, the hub of all things and the perfect place to hit the lights and climb into bed. In fact, it was so wonderful, while we were at it, we created a living room at the foot of my bed too:

Three chairs and a coffee table made out of a crate with a towel on top? I know, we're wildly fancy.

Three chairs and a coffee table made out of a crate with a towel on top? I know, we’re wildly fancy.

Who needs Pottery Barn? God bless camp. It’s the small details that make something so stinking wonderful!

Thing Two: “It’s Soiled”

Agreeing to being the housekeeping boss at a family camp in the mountains basically just means that you’ve said yes to cleaning up bloody nose mess, washing sheets with accidents from the previous night and maybe an occasional bout of handling the after math of an upset stomach. I get it. Altitude sickness. Makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense? Getting a radio call telling you that the carpet in the game room has been soiled. Let me set the scene: I’m out, cleaning one of the out building bathrooms, when I hear… “Betsy copy Betsy, there’s a situation in the game room.” Innocent Betsy thinking something needs to be vacuumed says “What kind of situation?” Slow pause. And then the dreaded response: “It’s soiled.”

Based on what I can tell from the trackings (yes trackings), is that some adorable heathen of a small child had an accident… which some how made it to the floor… which was then stepped in and tracked… all over the carpet.

God bless these girls.

God bless these girls.

I can’t make this up. A little carpet cleaner… mixed with an actual carpet cleaner (you don’t mess around in these situations) got the markings right up.

It was both amazing and utterly terrifying and made me laugh for at least two days.

Thing Three: The Feedback Form

I now applaud anyone, ever, in the whole wide world that spends their day housekeeping. To the tawashie bosses/kids of the past, I salute you. To the people cleaning my hotel room, I vow to be more awesome and less messy in the future.

And to my tawashies? God bless you. You girls were the greatest.

The greatest group of girls any work crew boss could ever ask for!

The greatest group of girls any work crew boss could ever ask for! I mean look at them, they are just ADORABLE!

They are tired, they are working hard and they are away from home and potentially out of their comfort zone.

Here’s a general outline of my day, every day,  to set the scene:

5:30 AM: Alarm goes off. Get out of bed. Stumble to the pot of coffee. And sit quietly with my new BFF Carlee, while preparing our souls for the day.

6:00 AM: Wake up girls. They hated this. We hated this. It took the entire next thirty minutes to accomplish getting 26 high school girls out of bed, into clothes and out the door.

6:30 AM: Devo.

7:00 AM: Breakfast.

7:30 AM: Housekeeping time.

8:00 AM: Cleaning Begins.

From there, you paused for lunch at some point and then you cleaned until all of the chores were done. First couple of weeks, it was 3pm. Second couple of weeks we got faster and it became 2… and then 1… After which you had free time until dinner, and then an activity after that.

10:30 PM: Wrangle all of the girls into the room.

11:00 PM: Lights out and yelling at the girls until they were quiet enough for people to fall asleep around them.

For those of you keen on math… if all of the girls were in the room and went to bed right at 11PM (in your dreams) and then your alarm rings at 5:30 AM… that’s 6 1/2 hours of sleep a night, followed by 17 1/2 hours of working on your feet.

The first couple of weeks I used the afternoon free time to catch up on work emails and personal emails and general life, because the idea of falling behind was a wee bit terrifying. However, the second couple of weeks I learned the error of my ways and began using some of that time as ‘nap time.’ Some days it was an hour, some days it was no time, and some days it was a glorious three hours.

So the end of the session rolls around, and the evaluations come out… because like a real job… the bosses review the kids, and the kids review the bosses! And as I’m reading through their evals, smiling about how they’ve matured in their faith I hit an answer that stopped me dead in my tracks:

Question: What could your bosses do to be better? (Or something close to that)

Answer: Maybe you should give the bosses more time off and naps. They seem to be happier after the naps.

I died. I laughed SO HARD. Way to go girl, you hit the nail right on the head. It’s really just an apt summary of my life: You give me more sleep, I’ll be happier.

And apparently enough nicer to really make an impression.

Trail West is an amazing place.  It was a wonderful, incredible, awe-inspiring and encouraging month. Watching families come together and grow in their faith and reconnect with one another was indescribable. It felt like you were watching tiny miracles happen each and every week. And to be there to serve quietly in the background? What a blessing.

If I was able to reply my life and was asked to do this assignment again, I’d say yes in a heart beat. The friendships, the laughs, the tears, the adventure, the witnessing and the growth… so worth it, so full of Jesus and so life giving.

What an opportunity. Thank you Jesus.

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Being a Yes Girl

If you know me, you know that I’m totally a YES! girl. Which leads to a full, adventurous, exciting and rather packed to the brim life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

But sometimes, saying YES! leads me straight into crazy, out of the ordinary and slightly extreme situations.

Which, is why today, I’m sitting in a hotel room in a city not too far where I live, getting ready for 30 days of adventure.

Friends – I’m moving into a Young Life Camp for a month.

SURPRISE!

Don’t worry, I’m equally as surprised as I said YES! to this Tuesday. And since then, the week has been packed with readying the house, finding pet sitters (bless you friends), buying supplies (you’re a God send Sarah) and giving co-workers and friends a heads up.

Okay Betsy, but really, what exactly are you doing for a month?

Great question.

I get to hang out with nine amazing (I haven’t yet met them, but I’m sure they are amazing) high school girls; cleaning bathrooms, making beds and doing laundry for the next month.

You hooked yet?

This. Is. My. View. For the entire next month. Be jealous.

This. Is. My. View. For the entire next month. Be jealous.

How about now?

I’m spending a month in the mountains, quietly (well, as quietly as I can muster) serving behind the scenes at a Young Life camp for families as the house keeping boss. It’ll be tough work (I’ll be doing my normal Young Life job for fun on the side!), filled with mess, sweat, exhaustion, crazy and probably some tears (myself… and the girls).

But it will also be incredible. There will be joy, laughter, bonding, costumes, cheese balls and spending some good quality time with Jesus.

I’m a strange mixture of excited and totally and completely terrified.

I would love for you to send thoughts and prayers my way for the next month. For patience, grace, extra energy, health, happiness and that the Lord would use this time in my life exactly as he needs and has planned.

And know, I will absolutely be coming back with stories of vomit, poop and utter weirdness that will make you roll on the ground in stitches.

This is why I’m a YES! girl. It’s all about the stories to share. Oh, and something about God having one heck of a sense of humor.

You’re welcome.

Until then, thank you friends for the thoughts and prayers.

And then next time you look go to the bathroom, just smile and laugh about how at that moment, I’m probably cleaning a strangers toilet…

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Random Acts of (Awkward) Kindness

There’s a grocery store two blocks away from me that I passionately despise.

I know, strong words for something as trivial as a grocery store, but this place is little, run down, always has too many people in line and is the most expensive chain in town. It’s mind-boggling. And true. And I avoid this store at all costs. But on the occasion where you just need a couple of things, it’s hard to justify going out-of-the-way to the nicer stores, like Walmart Grocery… because THE WALMART GROCERY STORE IS NICER THAN THIS PLACE. Deep sigh.

Anywho, last night, I just needed to pick up a couple of things on the way to a friend’s house. I tried to psych myself up on the way home from work, while letting the dog out and on that short drive to the grocery store. I got a close spot to the door, I found everything I needed right away (because now I know where they hide things like cheese – hint – NOT in the dairy section) and I quickly made my way to the checkout.

And as I was approaching the check out line, there was another guy approaching. I did that quick review to see what he was carrying  and to size him up to see if I was going to be able to sneak in front of him all stealth like.

Don’t lie, you do it too.

Well, this guy was carrying nothing and was in military garb (Army Camo, which I thought was Air Force until I confirmed the pattern on google today. Worst. Citizen. Ever.). Granted, I hate this grocery store and I wanted to get out ASAP, but I’m no jerk, so I let him in front of me like a decent human being.

Everyone.This is what the Army Camo looks like. Apparently it's been this way since 2013. Take note, in case you ever get quizzed on it in the future. Or if you find yourself living in a military town. Or if you just want to feel like a decent human.

Everyone. This is what the Army Camo looks like. Apparently it’s been this way since 2013. Take note, in case you ever get quizzed on it in the future. Or if you find yourself living in a military town. Or if you just want to feel like a decent human.

And that’s when three small-ish children rush up with a Gatorade in one hand and candy bar in the other.

At first I was outraged. Which, is a total over-reaction, but I’m being honest here. Where did these three hooligans come from? Where was this man hiding them? HOW DARE THIS AMAZING SERVICE MAN SNEAKY SNEAK INTO LINE IN FRONT OF ME WITH HIS THREE CHILDREN AND SIX ITEMS!

And then these boys started giggling and laughing and teasing each other and their dad.

And my grinch heart melted.

And it totally reminded me of the times my dad would take my brothers and I to the grocery store and let us pick any flavor of Shasta we wanted. Which, may sound silly, but absolutely meant the world to me. And that memory? Almost made me cry in the grocery store line and made me feel totally compelled to buy this strangers groceries.

So, I became a bumbling awkward stranger trying to ask the cashier if I could please pay for his groceries to thank him for the smile, for reminding me of my family that I don’t often get to see and for his service to our country. The cashier was shocked. The man was shocked. I felt super awkward.

And then I handed my card over.

And it got declined.

Oh you read that right. That perfect awkward moment of random kindness? Yup. Got more awkward as I tried to joke about “Wouldn’t it be funny if I asked to pay for your groceries and I couldn’t? But seriously. I can. Please run it again. There’s money on this card…I mean, there should be, it’s a high credit limit and I never spend to my credit limit because I believe in paying off whatever you put on credit cards right away…”

(These are the times I fly out of my body and look at myself from above and think BETSY STOP TALKING. But I can’t. And you’re welcome. Because it makes watching it from afar waaaaaay more hilarious.)

The cashier runs the card again. I pay for his items. He shakes my hand, says thank you, I thank him again for everything he does for me and then he and those cute little hooligans were out of the store.

And I paid for my four items and the sacker looked into my eyes while handing me my bag and thanked me for doing something so nice. I smiled and then ran out of the store (still trying to get over the awkward word vomit and the whole ‘my card got fake declined’ thing) and I climbed into my car in my great parking spot.

And I smiled.

Because for $10:

  • I just made a strangers day a little better… and most definitely weirder.
  • I shocked someone who stands at a counter and sees the same boring groceries roll by her face all day long.
  • I touched someone who hands people bagged groceries thanklessly all day long.

And it felt good.

Don’t be afraid to be weird and do something nice today.

And if you have cash on you, it might be for the best.

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Concerts, Friends and Nose Rings

I worked at bank right after college, because I’m a total nerd and I majored in Finance. It was an incredible job. I learned a ton about the small professional things everyone should know (I mean, how does one go about scheduling things in Outlook?), met some incredible friends and mentors but also just learned how on earth you actually dress/act/live as a young professional.

None of this is anywhere near the point of this blog post (as you can probably tell by the title)…  It’s all just there to describe to you how abouts I got to meet this incredible, bubbly, hilarious girl that I so wanted to be friends with… and how I started going to concerts. There’s a couple of different types of people… the type that go to the weird little concerts and random small venues… and people that just don’t.

I fell into the latter category until I met Teresa. If you wanted adventure, T was the perfect friend. We laughed, we tried new restaurants, shops, places… and we went to concerts.

Basically, she taught me the art of saying ‘YES’ to random things. And to random concerts. Do you know the artist? Does it matter? No. Just go. Thanks T.

So! A few weeks ago, a new friend posted on the interwebs about wanting to see Karmin while they were in Denver (Don’t know who they are? Let me just show you…or maybe this?! You’re welcome.). Well, I love Karmin. So I said yes.

And it was the best.

I’d totally forgotten how much I love random 200 people concerts. Because those artists are the ones that are giving it their EVERYTHING for the people that are paying them to do what they love. Which is absolutely where this group is. I mean, the guy ran around the stage playing the trombone. And she raps. Come on. That’s just cool.

Anywho, so new friend and I adventured up together. Early. We waited in line. It was freezing cold. We didn’t have coats. It was just an awesome night.

 

It was cold. And possible that we were standing in front of THEIR tour bus. So, I don't know if we were excited/nervous/cold based on our faces. It's possible it's all three.

It was cold. And possible that we were standing in front of THEIR tour bus. So, I don’t know if we were excited/nervous/cold based on our faces. It’s possible it’s all three.

And we didn’t get home until much to late for a nearly thirty year old and a mom (her, not me, this is not an announcement) to be out on a school night.

A trombone! How is he so talented? And how does anyone look that good in high-waisted spandex pants? They are amazing.

A trombone! How is he so talented? And how does anyone look that good in high-waisted spandex pants while sporting a cropped top? They are amazing.

But it was awesome, super inexpensive, hilarious, fun and we stood so close. Which, is just always delightful. And I made a new good friend… because 3 hours in the car together, a dinner at McDonalds (don’t you judge me) and four hours of standing on your feet will really do that to people.

So thank you T for making me the person that says ‘Yes!’ to random concert adventures. Thanks Whit for letting me tag along. And thank you Karmin for ROCKING it.

Now, go buy some concert tickets to a random small venue near you. You won’t regret it.

Bonus note (and to complete the blog title): If you’ll notice… I switched my nose piercing to an actual nose ring. I felt like I had to try it at least for a little while and an artsy concert just felt like the right place. Why is this a bonus note? Oh, because when The Boy saw me rocking it with it in for the first time he made up a little jingle and started singing it to me… and it went like this… “If you like it then you SHOULDN’T put a ring in it.” Yes. I died laughing. Yes. It just encourages me to keep it in longer. That boy. 

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Geocaching.

Yes. You read the title of this post correctly friends. I have fallen in love with a new adventure. Which, is where I’ve been for the last month.

Geocaching.

Kidding. I promise I’m not THAT big of a nerd. I’ve only spent like half the month doing that… the other half I just spent making fairly boring meals, starting training for Kate (yes friends that have met my beast, I’m learning to be a better dog owner, I’m SURE there will be stories about this in your near future) and spending lots of time at work on a massive project we just finished.

But let’s get back to the topic at hand… Geocaching.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS?!

LOOK! They are so stinking tiny! You'd never know!

LOOK! They are so stinking tiny! You’d never know!

It’s a log. It’s the cache. It means YOU’VE WON!

Geocaching is this crazy hobby involving a compass, GPS coordinates, and a hint… and then you go adventure seek to find the cache.

How adventurous you ask? Well, sometimes, you just have to climb INTO trees to find them.

Dedication. That's what this little hobby takes.

Dedication. That’s what this little hobby takes.

It was introduced to me by my lovely friend, and I’ve since passed the hobby along to another 5 people. True story.

And now, I want to pass it to all of you. It’s something to get you out of the house (cool move Bets, right before winter), something that you can do with a friend or two to fill your time with adventures and laughs and also to just make you aware of hidden treasure in your own backyard. Because sometimes… these caches are filled with TRINKETS! Seriously, just when you didn’t think life could get any more exciting!

So go to www.geocaching.com and I’ll let them teach you how it works (it’s simple and they make it simple). And then down load the App on your phone. Because as much as you’d like to think that you can handle it with a compass and an actual GPS, it’s a heck of a lot easier with just your phone (I mean, more power to you if you already own a GPS and a compass. You’re officially now my hero!). And then tell me about it. We can nerd out about the time we climbed into the tree like idiots together.

And know, if you come and visit me in the near distant future… I might kidnap you and take you on an adventure. So – be prepared for that.

Happy caching friends!

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Rubber Shoes, Blisters and Adventure

Today’s funny story is all about how one very clumsy and klutzy* girl attempted to learn rock climbing.

And by rock climbing, I mean boudlering. Which is still rock climbing, only with no ropes. You just scale up the wall like a little monkey.

Let me just set the tone of this blog post with a little picture here:

I mean, I know I'm making this look flawless, but dear Lord, this was HARD.

I mean, I know I’m making this look flawless, but dear Lord, this was HARD.

See all those little tiny things on the wall? THOSE ARE WHAT YOU ATTEMPT TO HOLD ALL OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT WITH BY STANDING ON.

How, pray tell, did I decide to take on this really random adventure? Great question.

Well, as every good adventure story begins… there’s this boy I like that rock climbs. Queue laughter. So in my head, I dream up this genius plan of secretly learning how to rock climb and surprising him with being awesome at some later date (maybe for his birthday?). So I bought a groupon. I think I’m going to learn all about ropes. And then I’m going to just scale up the wall. Because how hard can that be? Oh, and random, yet important side note: I have a paralyzing fear of heights.

So I get there, I put on a pair of rubber shoes. And the adventure begins.

First: The lady tells me where to put my hands and feet… and I think “I’m sorry, you think that tiny tiny little piece of fake rock is going to hold THIS? Lady. Come on.”

Next: She tells me to move my right foot to the rock currently holding my left foot. Which, trust me, there’s not room. But there was no need to doubt, she just quickly explained that all I had to do was swing my right foot and as that foot is nearing the one already on the rock you just quickly remove your left and replace with your right. Like magic. Because floating momentarily in the air is eaaaaaaaaaaasy.

After the first little path was completed, I laugh to myself because my arms are shaking, my legs are feeling the burn and my hands are on fire. Which, after looking down at them I realize is because I have peeled off layers of skin. Ah, because as you climb, you’re supposed to use chalk. Got it. So my very nice tiny little trainer lady puts super glue on the blisters (no, I don’t understand it either) wraps my hands, shows me where the chalk is and we move to the next location.

Where we climb up.

Now, nothing in the gym is higher than 15 feet. Because you’re not using ropes. And from the ground, that just doesn’t look very high. And using these tiny tiny little rocks, I manage to climb all the way to the top on this path (see photo). And I’m pretty proud of myself.

Which is about the time I realize that I have to use these tiny little things to climb back down. I get that logically, 15 feet down just isn’t that far, but that paralyzing fear of heights I mentioned, that makes 15 feet down look absolutely unreasonable. So I very carefully make my way down and then laugh at myself when I get to the ground and look back up at the little tiny climb I’d made.

I learned a couple of other routes, I practiced until I could basically not use my arms any more and I left covered in sweat, chalk, blisters on my hands and with every limb shaking.

And here’s what I realized: It was hard. Really hard. Like, I’m never going to be great at this hard. And this whole surprise idea was the worst idea I’ve ever had.

And that’s okay.

Because now I know how to do it. I appreciate the people who do this for fun all the more. And every once and awhile I’ll go and I’ll know what’s happening and I won’t hate that I don’t know what I’m doing. At some point, the blisters will heal (probably) and my arms will quit throbbing (seriously, I didn’t know some of these painful areas of my body existed) and with my one month membership, I’ll go again. Who knows, maybe I’ll magically fall in love with it in the next three weeks? Okay. Fine. You’re right. I totally won’t.

And if you’re wondering, I totally immediately caved and I drove straight to the boys house to show him my blisters and to tell him that although I like him a whole lot… I’m just never going to share the love of his favorite hobby with him. He laughed and then brushed off the chalk covering my face and assured me that I don’t need to be an expert rock climber. Sigh. What a guy.

Oh – and in other outdoorsy irrational Betsy idea news… I bought skis this week. Because I plan to be a skiing fool this year. Which, I hope you all read and thought “well, there’s bound to be a good blog post about THAT.” Because, yes, you’re absolute right. Ski Bunny Betsy… here we come!

Colorado, you sneaky sneaky state, you just continue to grow on me. Who knows, maybe I will fall in love with you yet!

*My spell check is trying to let me know I’ve spelled this word wrong and that I meant to type “slutty.” Thank you auto correct. But no thank you.

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Happy Two Years Together!

Yesterday my lovely friend Stacey posted that it was her two year wedding anniversary on facebook. I smiled, remembering how much fun that day was to see her marry the love of her life. Her in her beautiful gown, him with all of the love and adoration in his eyes and one heck of a beautiful and fun reception.

And then I smiled even bigger, because I remembered that meant that two years ago, I also made a giant commitment. Took a giant leap of faith. Did something extraordinary.

I bought my car!

Did you doubt that I would have taken a ridiculously cheesy "look at me" photo after the big purchase?! Silly you.

Did you doubt that I would have taken a ridiculously cheesy “look at me” photo after the big purchase?! Silly you.

I could tell you all about the car buying process, the debate about new v. used, the financing questions, the joys of licensing and paying taxes, the weird sales guy… but those aren’t the point of this post.

The point is, we had our two year anniversary and I realized that, in two years, I had put over 37,000 miles on my car.

What I see. Every day. Multiple times a day. Multiple miles a day.

What I see. Every day. Multiple times a day. Multiple miles a day.

Holy buckets.

I did the math. That means on average I’m driving 50 miles a day.

Now granted, I moved about 600 miles away from home this year. And I’ve made quite a few 1200 mile round trips. And I LOVE driving everyone everywhere.

But still, my mind is just boggled.

I have this perception that cars that get to 100,000 miles are really old really bad cars.

And I’m realizing I could potentially hit that in the next 3 years.

Which is crazy town to me.

So cheers to my wonderful car. Who has dealt with me for many many miles, carried so many friends, family, massive slobbery dogs, furniture, belongings and has managed to get me safely all around Nebraska and Colorado, as well as some trips to Kansas, Minnesota, and Iowa.

And cheers to myself for being grown up enough to have learned to purchase a car and deal with the oh-so-joyous monthly payments that come along with it.

Oh – and cheers to that lovely bride and groom, who, not only had a spectacular wedding, but chose a perfect date to have this occasion on so that I can selfishly remember when it really was that I purchased my car each year! Hugs and love to the happy couple!

You know those friends…

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The very best ones? The ones that always laugh at your jokes. They enjoy partaking with you in fun girly activities or just siting with you, lounging in comfortable silence. They know how to how to be classy – even at a dive bar and they know the exact right time and way to deliver compliments to you to touch your soul?! Really, these are the friends that just make your life better because they’re in it.

Well, those girls came to visit me this weekend. I laughed. Oh how I laughed. Hard, with gusto and a few really good snorts – the. entire. weekend. And throughout the whole thing, they just reminded me of how lucky I am to be blessed with some seriously rock star, fantastically wonderful, high achieving, amazingly talented friends.

We ate. We hiked. We ate. We dressed up. We ate. We shopped. We ate. We lounged. We ate.

And kids, we ate good.

Real good.

In an amazing geeky foodie way that I haven’t gotten to experience in a long time.

My goodness I love these friends.

I showed them around my new town. We saw the sites. They saw the new place. They loved on my pets. They were up for anything and everything.

And they brought me Runza.

RUNZA!!

And then they told my new friends all of the same things I’d been saying about my home state since I moved here:

  • Runza is great. If you don’t like it, we don’t understand you.
  • Nebraska IS a panhandle.
  • Chili and cinnamon rolls as a combination is legit.
  • People from a state should know geographically the border states and where they are positioned.
  • Elevation on a city sign is weird, it really should be population.
  • Measuring distance should only be noted in time… not miles, that means nothing to us.
  • Shopping is an art form.

Okay, that last one is maybe not a serious lesson, but it is true.

And these girls appreciate the beauty in that art form. 110%.

If you’re not catching on… long story short… I adore these girls.

And I already miss them like crazy.

And I love having visitors. And I blog about them. And I totally tour guide them around the entire city… You know… Just something to keep in mind…

So to my AMA ladies: I love you for visiting. I love you for listening. I love you for sacrificing time out of your crazy hectic schedules for our together time. I love you for being flexible and rolling with the punches. I love you for asking the hard questions. And I LOVE that you bring me so much joy.

And be ready for the “Girls on Rocks” 2014 calendar. It’s happening. And it’s going to be magical.

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A FEW GOOD LISTS

We all know I love a good list.

Grocery lists. To-do lists. Packing lists. Task lists. And random life things lists.

Even better? I adore finding a good, well written list. You know, the ones that perfectly describe exactly what you think and provide you with a good laugh and a little guidance.

Well, my dearest darlingest friend Maggie has a birthday today. And in reflections about her perfect new age, she stumbled across this amazing list written by one very smart and clever lady at Glamour magazine.

Miss Mags read the list out loud (long distance friend phone date style) and we laughed and commiserated over every line. Piece by piece. And realized, this list just made us happy.

Because no matter where you are, what you’ve accomplished, what your current status is – this really is a good generic list of things you should know and have.

And a great benchmark to read and acknowledge that by 30 (or your late twenties) – you really have learned quite a bit, accumulated more than you realize and that by this far, you already have a pretty great story to tell.

So I give you this list. I hope you smile as you read it. And that it brings you a small part of joy that it brought to us in realizing that being thirty (or any age) is so incredibly wonderful and perfect – just because it’s how old you were intended to be.

By 30, you should have …

  1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
  2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
  3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
  4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
  5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
  6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
  7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.
  8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.
  9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
  10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
  11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
  12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
  13. The belief that you deserve it.
  14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
  15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know …

  1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
  2. How you feel about having kids.
  3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
  4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
  5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
  6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
  7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
  8. Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.
  9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
  10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
  11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
  12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
  13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
  14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
  15. Why they say life begins at 30

Happy birthday Miss Maggie. The amazing lady that fulfills both halves of the #10 on the list of things to have and for always encouraging a #12 here or there! And, of course, for teaching me #6 on the thing I should know list…  May your day today be filled with joy and happiness… and be oh-so-excited for the post man to deliver a package that might fill a few of the holes here and there!

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