Tag Archives: highlights

july takes the cake

okay, so far i’ve had a pretty exceptional 2012. besides a few minor snafoos (snafus? spell check isn’t getting that, but that can’t possibly be right…), i really can’t complain. it has been a remarkable and busy year.

but july definitely takes the cake. not only for how busy, but for how wonderful it was. so many high emotion things happened. so many things that make me thankful for being alive, for being well, for living in the moment. congratulations, july. august, you have a tough act to follow.

  • 80/35. one of the best music festivals, right in downtown des moines. my favorite band, the avett brothers, were playing the main stage on friday. it was absolutely wonderful- seriously one of the best concerts i have attended.

    i had two day tickets, but gave away my second one because…
  • i won a contest. that doesn’t sound like much in itself, but i wrote a short summary for a pennzoil contest about why i love my car. it had to be 250 characters or less, and the winning submission won 2 VIP tickets to a pre-show, acoustic set with country legend tim mcgraw. even though my submission didn’t have the most votes, the judges liked it the best and my best friend mallory and i got two free tickets to the kenny chesney/tim mcgraw ‘brothers of the sun’ concert in minneapolis. even better? two backstage tickets to see tim mcgraw, in which we scored front and center seating (standing).

  • fourth of july. had a low key night, hung out with evan and the family. ate sweet corn. delicious, iowa sweet corn. you haven’t lived until you’ve had iowa sweet corn. and you won’t die happy until you do.
  • i went to denver (with Ms. Jessica) to see a good friend of ours. we had all known each other from way back when we used to work together at a church camp. i will expand on my trip to colorado, but, heck, what an awesome and well needed vacation.
  • evan and i had our first “real” fight- well, not really a fight, i guess, but a realization that we might not make it as a couple. through that time we addressed issues, concerns, joys, and i believe we will come out stronger because of it. and even if we don’t, i can’t say i would want to take it back even if i could. i know i gained invaluable life lessons from him and i’d like to say that our time together has made me a better person and helped shape who i am today.
  • RAGBRAI – or “The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa,” went through my hometown. For those of you not from this fine state, RAGBRAI is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. It’s mostly a big party on a bike, but it is the oldest, largest, and longest bicycle touring event in the world. Even American biking legend Lance Armstrong has ridden in RAGBRAI.
  • friends moving galore. 😦 it seems like everyone is in a transitional phase right now. alex has moved to portland. meredith is moving out to colorado springs. marsha is on her way back to holland… everything is up in the air. i’m not complaining, it’s just an observation.
  • ugh work. when is work NOT busy? so much has been accomplished so far this year. i’m looking forward to the rest of this year and seeing what the future with kemin holds.
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call me, may(be)?

ooh work. you take away all my free time and yet i love you so.

i haven’t been able to “blog” very much lately, but my month of may was a good one. the weather in iowa is absolutely beautiful and a lot of the month was spent hanging out with good family and friends. here are some good things.

  • i spent the first few days of the month of may in belgium with the most handsome man i know. oh, and evan was there with me as well. 😉
  • the avengers came out. let’s see… iron man, thor, and hulk… yum.
  • ^ and then i saw it again the next day.
  • went to the farmer’s market and got my first papusa of the year. also yum.
  • a group of us went out to north carolina for our good friend erin and sam’s wedding. it was southern, beautiful, and besides being alcohol-free, absolutely perfect. 😉

  • sand volleyball began. and we have continued our streak from last year….our losing streak, that is.
  • it was my daddio’s birthday.

april showers

and a sneak attack by the month of april!

this year is FLYING by. just when i thought i had my head and hands wrapped around this so-called life, i look up and realize that april has already passed me by. no joke, i’ve felt so busy in the past month that i’ve barely had time to breathe, let alone blog.

but april, though busier than fuck (a friend of mine says iowans say “as fuck” or “than fuck” more than any people he’s met so i am trying to live up to the hype), has treated me rather kindly. here are a few highlights for the month.

  • it was around 90 degrees the first day of april. it was so warm that we had a pool party. that is unheard of in iowa.
  • krista and i took a mini-road trip to madison wisconsin to see Fun. and it was. (fun. it was fun.)
  • celebrated easter with evan’s family. it is great because the kids are all getting to an age where they recognize me every time they see me. last time we were back brookelynne called me “aunt amanda.” and i think i’m okay with it.
  • game night. it had been so long since i had a game night. we were over having a grill out at katie and tony’s. it started raining, we went inside to play fireball island and it from the pit. best games i had never played.

    (we have to go back, kate! WE HAVE TO GO BACK!)
  • april marks the beginning of the horse racing season at prairie meadows. i only went once, but i came home $20 dollars richer.
  • i’ve kind of gotten into running. i know, it surprised me too.
  • vacation. i went to belgium for work and evan got time off to come with. it was an awesome time, not only being in belgium, but just being with each other. evan thinks we could live in belgium. i think i agree.
  • on vacation i also got to see a person i used to work with who i hadn’t seen in around two years. it was good to catch up and even better to make new memories. also got to see some other employees/friends and make some new ones as well.
  • secretary of agriculture, tom vilsack, toured kemin and also did a press conference at our facility, encouraging young farmers to stay in the industry. i hung out with his six body guards.
  • my parents celebrated their 37 year anniversary. that is nuts to me. sure, they’ve had their ups and downs, just like any couple. but in the end they decided to that they were to be together for the rest of their lives. and there’s something incredibly normal yet romantic about that.

march madness

i’ve been talking march up for months now. how good the month is going to be, how much i was looking forward to it…

well, march. you didn’t disappoint.

here are some highlights from my month of march.

  • i got to spend the first day of march hanging out with two of the coolest cats that kemin has to offer. jim, frank, and i went and toured around st. petersburg. we went to two cathedrals and had lunch at this really great indian restaurant. (it was also frank/my niece’s birthday!)


  • i got to return to italy. though it wasn’t as great as i had anticipated (i think the rose-colored glasses are coming off for the country for me), it was still an amazing time. and i got to see my favorite sad-eyed scientist, who looks just as good as ever.
  • made it home just in time (literally, just in time, i arrived in dsm at 4:30 on this day) for carl’s karaoke. i stayed up until around 1am in hopes it would cure my jetlag. yeah… that’s why i stayed up that late (anyone else buying this?)
  • my niece/goddaughter turned 5. i was out of the country for her actual birthday, but we had a party for her that weekend. she’s ridiculous, a handful, a whole lotta trouble… and i love her for it all.
  • bonus checks, what what? well, a small part of our bonus checks leftover from 2011, but i’m not going to complain about extra money. i just won’t.
  • double karaoke? how did a girl get so lucky? one of sarah’s coworkers was moving back to england, so they threw him a going away party at our local favorite, carl’s place.
  • speaking of moving away- my good friend meredith, member of the #PartyRockCrew, moved away to san diego. she got another job with the non-profit group invisible children and couldn’t turn it down. we had a great going away party for her too. …at carl’s.
  • evan. evan was great this month. i got back home to find the house clean (which is a feat in itself), new stairs to the basement, an automatic garage door opener installed for my mini, and lots of hugs and kisses. he then taught me how to drive a stick (hehe, if you know what i mean) and volunteered to play my favorite board game… which he got addicted to.
  • st patrick’s day. ’nuff said.

  • two words: MARCH MADNESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. i’m a tar heel born. i’m a tar heel bred. and when i die i’ll be a tar heel dead. rah rah carolina-lina–rah rah rah! and they definitely would’ve been in the finals if white hadn’t broken his wrist. i won’t fight you about it. it’s just a fact.
  • “draw something” app for the iphone. oh gawd. newest great find. i’ll have to make a  post in itself of funny photos sent through draw something.
  • The Hunger Games midnight premiere.

february is for <3ers

forget philadelphia, it’s february that’s for lovers! ❤

oh, february. with only 29 days (leap year!), it seems our time together flew by so quickly. i feel like i barely got to know you. but here are some things that i will always remember about you:

  • evan successfully did not propose to me on valentine’s day, which was my only request for 2012. (i have no problem if other couples want to get romantic and sappy on february 14th, but that holiday honestly means nothing to me. i’d rather have romance and affection happen spontaneously rather than forced.)
  • i officially made it through a month of “a photo a day.” it was even more boring than i imagined or anticipated.
  • experienced the most pain in my life– got my side tattoo updated and expanded.
    (how lovely are your branches?)
  • evan decided he was selling his old toyota camry to grant for 2k. after having his heart set on a station wagon, he finally changed his mind and bought himself a 2009 toyota matrix. it’s a burnt orange color and super cool. it also only had 24,000 miles on it. now i have to learn to drive a stick so i can take it out too.
  • i tried to diet for about 1.5 weeks. i cheated miserably. still lost around 2-3 pounds though, so not completely unsuccessful.
  • baconfest! 4,400 attendees this year. i didn’t get tickets in time, but because “i know people” i managed to score free tickets by being one of the few “zombie helpers” during the baconapocalypse. basically i handed out bacon for about 15 minutes and then ate and drank away the rest of my day.

    (mmmm…. brains bacon)
  • basketball season is officially over.  😦  we ended with a record of 4-6, which isn’t bad, but isn’t great. we really should have won another game against a certain team, but oh well. while i’m sad it’s over, it was fun while it lasted. hopefully see you next november!
  • got my federal and state tax return and with it paid off all my credit card debt. now to build it back up for 2012. 😉
  • i will get to spend the last week of february in st. petersburg, russia. stressful (leading up to it), cold (while we are there), but extremely worthwhile and fun (i imagine).

while february really was a great month, i still stand by my statement that i think march may be the best month of 2012. stay tuned to see if my premonition is correct.