Wore the right shirt. #WalkOff #Tigers

Wore the right shirt. #WalkOff #Tigers

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Storytime prop for GRPL. #OldLady

Storytime prop for GRPL. #OldLady

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Going to the bathroom?

Today I woke up one of my kids from nap and asked him if he wanted to take his hockey ( aka taggy aka hockey shirt he is obsessed with) in to go potty with him…. His response: “hockey can’t go because he doesn’t have a butt”.

My thought after that: well I’m glad you know that he doesn’t have a butt but that’s not at all what I meant.

For those who want to know he did end up walking into the bathroom right after this conversation with his hockey.


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Dearly Departed (feat. Esmé Patterson) | Shakey Graves

Thanks to The Pulse of Americana Spotify playlist.


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The Wedding Weekend

Last weekend, we had the privilege of hosting two wonderful Trin friends. They were Sam was invited to Heather and Mikhail’s wedding in Pella so we made the most of their time here.

Highlights from time with those two crazies include:

  • Midnight singing
  • 3 a.m. Scotcheroo snacks
  • Convincing both that the marvelous Dutch dessert is pronounced 'Banget' and hearing them refer to it as such at the bakery
  • Almost keeping “Praise the Lord” counts
  • Random, downtown Pella shenanigans

  • Convincing Liz Muhammed that there is a 3 hour time difference Iowa
  • Finding ‘seeds’ all over the apartment days after they had left

Then, there were these fabulous little stories:

Jarid, a few minutes before bed: “So, can we come into your room in the middle of the night and wake you up if we need anything?”

Lindsay, immediately having camp four-a.m.-bathroom-run flashbacks: “Jarid, use your discretion”

The next morning

Kathryn: ”Jarid came in my room last night and admitted he forgot a toothbrush. I told him I had an extra one but that I was pretty sure it had been used a couple of times before. He used it.” 

Jarid: “It’s the guest toothbrush!”


The Nomination-less Ice Bucket Challenge

After Kath and I had been reminiscing about some of our favorite, crazy you-tube failed attempts at the ice bucket challenge, we showed a few to the guys. This one is epic. And you have to watch all of these. 6 and 21 though.

Sam then became determined to complete the Ice-Bucket Challenge despite not having been nominated. Naturally, Kathryn and I were totally down for the notion of throwing water on both of them. So, that happened. We were holding our breath, just waiting to be nominated. We were lucky.

That One Mint-Colored Car

Heather had chosen a pretty mint green as her wedding color. It was gorgeous. Now, I should probably clarify: Kathryn and I weren’t actually invited to the wedding, per se. However, we were determined to see the Trinners who were in the area. We were a little anxious about crashing the wedding, but we decided it was totally legit to be around the area of the wedding since it was outdoor and in the heart of downtown Pella. So, we just happened to be wandering around when we stumbled upon the wedding site as it was finishing up; and we just happened to look as though we could’ve been at the wedding all along. 

Anyway, as we were locating the site, we happened to find the car that the newlyweds would be using for their getaway. As we’re passing, my mind is racing.

Lindsay: "Kathryn, you should go get in that car and I’ll take your picture. It would be hilarious"

Kathryn: "No!"

Cue several minutes of intense argument.

Lindsay: "Kathryn, get in the car!"

Kathryn: "I’m not getting in the car."

So, naturally, I asked the elderly couple who were apparently playing chauffeur for the day and they were all about it. I guess it helped that I preceded the question with: "This has always been a dream of mine…" 

Who could say no to that?

Side note: We both agreed it probably wouldn’t be a solid choice to post this particular picture on facebook as we weren’t actually invited to the wedding in the first place…


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I left my car window open last night…

And it rained.


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Spotting: So Easy, a Five-Year-Old Could Do It

Except boating laws require someone the age of 12-14 to spot tubers/skiers/wakeboarders. But all you really need is someone who knows how to say “stop” to the driver when you lose the person behind the boat.

Simple enough, right? Ummmm…

Last Sunday I had my friend Katie up to my family’s cottage. We did the typical lake activities: reading in the sun, swimming, trying to stand on the foam flotation devices and falling face first in the water. And of course: tubing.

We did two rounds. One right after lunch. Dad drove and Andrew spotted. We went around the lake three times (which is standard, not seven times, which is excessive… ahem, Lindsay). Katie fell off once or twice, but there were no serious injuries. Success.

The second round is another story.

Dad drove again, but this time mom spotted. Everything was fine and dandy until Katie fell off in the cove. I looked up at the boat and see mom talking to my dad. I think, she’s telling him to stop the boat. Wrong. We keep moving forward. When I realized we’re not stopping I started to yell, “HEYY! HEEYYYYY!! MAAAAAAHHHH!!!!” Nothing, she was still chatting it up with dad. I waved my arms around, desperate to get her attention. Finally, after about 400 feet of negligence mom realized we lost Katie.

It was one of those “oh, shhhh” moments. Dad, in a rush to get back to Katie whipped (whhhipped) the boat around toward the cove. That’s when physics took over. One second the rope connecting my tube to the boat was slack, the next moment it was like the Hulk had grabbed the rope and ripped the tube out of may hands. I had zero chance of holding on.

Now there were two tubers in the water and guess which ones my parents go to rescue? The guest of course. While driving away, mom yelled at me to raise my arms up to make myself seen. Thanks for the advice mom, I’ll just wait here for five minutes hoping I don’t get hit.

A friendly boat decided to come help and started circling me. It was only semi-awkward on my part—you know, both my arms in the air, being choked by a life jacket. They said, “Don’t worry, we’ll protect you.” To which I replied, “Thanks, my parents are awful spotters.” They laughed.

When my parents came by to pick me up I hassled them for a good two minutes saying things like “Seriously?” and “Is this real life?” and “You had one job!”

The excuse was that they were distracted by a diver. Psh.


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Iowa Initiation

So, apparently, the state fair is a big deal here. Like, until you attend, you cannot call yourself an Iowan. Although why you’d want to be an Iowan is beyond me. 

Kathryn had free tickets, so of course we had to check it out. Friends, what a day that was.



After finding a free parking place a million miles from the fair, we made it inside the grounds. Dude, I knew there would be food at this place but I had no idea how much food we were talking about. It’s as though state fairs are constantly wondering what else they can serve on a stick. Because whole eggs are apparently not enough.

Early on in the day, we decided it was necessary to begin a little game, of sorts. Anytime we saw a trolley, we had to jump onto it and then jump right off regardless of where the trolley was or how full it was. That made for some pretty questioning stares from random folk. Oh, and there was that one time that the lady yelled at us over the sound system. And that other time Kathryn got stuck underneath the bar and we died laughing. Check that out.

Other highlights from the day:

  • Seeing a cow made out of butter — Not all it’s cracked up to be; luckily we kind of avoided the line by unintentionally cutting to the front
  • Attempting to sneak into the race track to see the demolition derby
  • Predicting which llama would win the show; dude we were way off…
  • When Kathryn stepped in horse doo-doo (multiple times, actually, but who was actually counting?)
  • When I won with the least amount of times they waited on me; scores were as follows: Eric-8, Kathryn-5, Lindsay-2
  • Random pictures, like this one:


And then there are these little stories:

When they say Horse Show

They literally mean randos showing their horses. Nobody rides or does tricks or fights to the death. Just people dragging their horses around. Kind of depressing, actually. So that wasn’t worth the time, effort, or money.

Odds Are…

That one time Kath lost an Odds Are and had to sit in that pile of sheep fur. Good times. Apparently, that was Eric’s favorite moment of the day.


Of course, you’re always going to have your State Fair Regrets:

1. Not eating more food (on a stick)

2. Not remembering to bring clothespins

3. Not paying a lowly $2 to see the world’s smallest horse

4. Missing the Llama Limbo


State Fairs are pretty legit.


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Move-In Day (Minus the Grocery Carts)

Some of you might be a little behind. 

A couple of weeks ago, I packed all of my belongings again and ventured through hours of corn to arrive in Pella, Iowa. So this is where I’ll be for the next year, teaching small children how to survive kindergarten. And, oh, the stories I have about that first week!

But first, I thought I would share a little bit about the moving process ‘cause we had a little fun :)

So, one of the most challenging parts of moving to an empty apartment is finding things with which to fill the space. Shoot, you can only sleep on a popped air mattress for so many nights before you lose a part of your sanity (believe me, I’ve tried). 

Luckily, I had my mom and dad here that weekend. Look at these goons:


We did a lot of thrift store shopping and hit a few garage sales and before we knew it, the apartment was nearly furnished. Except, we still needed a couch.

And so, as Pella is teeny-tiny and we’d exhausted our options there rather quickly, we headed over to Evansville to continue our search. And that’s where we met Sally Jan. She’s employed at a local thrift store and sells mostly brand new one used couch.

After a strange encounter with an elderly gentleman inside the shop, we were told to head to the back door and outside into the alley to find Jan who could help us track down what we were looking for.

My dad and I got outside and saw piles of stuff lying in this alley; apparently they have little rummage sales for stuff they’re trying to get rid of. That’s fair.


Except that after asking a lady sitting nearby to point us in the direction of Jan, we began to realize that the situation was about to get strange real fast.

Jan was speaking to another gentleman over by a pile of clothes. She said something to the effect of:

"Well, the clothes are all wet and I don’t have the time to run to the laundromat. Just sell them for a quarter a piece. Maybe try to air them out. Do you want any of these? Anything on the tarp is a quarter a piece"

My dad and I were listening from a distance because why were the clothes wet? I was a little weirded out by this, but pushed that aside. Mistake number 1. We were a little unsure what to do or say, but we still needed to talk to Jan, so finally her granddaughter (the lady from before) got her attention and she came over to us.

Immediately, I knew we were in for a gem of an experience: she was wearing a bright pink fanny pack around her waist and nothing on her feet. No shoes. No socks. Barefoot in the alley.


She comes toward us, passes us, and heads for a sketchy-looking door a few feet behind us. My dad and I are confused and unsure if she even realized we were there. Meanwhile, I’m wondering but why were the clothes wet?

And all of a sudden, as she’s nearly through the door she shouts behind her shoulder, ” Are ya comin?”

So we scampered after her through this sketchy door in the dirty alley with the wet clothes and immediately the darkness surrounded us. And at this point I was thinking ”What the eff?” except we needed a couch and we were already inside and there was no turning back. So we began walking through this damp, dirty warehouse filled with furniture and other random things that made the space seem menacing and from a horror film. And the warehouse got darker and darker as we walked on and she kept leading us (barefoot) through more and more doors, all the while shouting at us and claiming she should turn some lights on but never really doing it. 


Finally, finally she took us through one last door and no joke I was thinking this is it. This is where we die. And then she showed us a grimy blue denim couch that she wanted $400 for so then we left.

And my dad and I sat in the car and didn’t know whether we should laugh or cry about the whole experience, but either way, we never found out why the clothes were wet.


PS We re-visited later with my mom and Kathryn because this is the kind of experience that a story will never fully capture. So, naturally, we introduced them to Jan. 

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H: Let’s see Guardians of the Galaxy.
K: What’s it about?
H: Well…

H: Let’s see Guardians of the Galaxy.
K: What’s it about?
H: Well…

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Stove=1 Tessa=0

Yesterday I made some cupcakes and put them in some containers. I put Sao containers on top of the stove. Fast forward to tonight where I turned the stove on and completely forgot about the containers. There is now a giant hole in the middle of one of my containers…. Epic fail.


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Geronimo | Sheppard

SAY! courtesy. SAY! of. SAY! Vern.


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I guess you could call it a throwback (high school) sketch of a throwback photo. #tbt

I guess you could call it a throwback (high school) sketch of a throwback photo. #tbt

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A Doggy World

My family hates dogs. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you.

The following instances have reminded me of that fact the past couple of days.

As my mom and I are walking to Jack Frost, a local ice cream joint:

Mom: We should cross the street and walk on the other side now.

I look around, confused, and then notice the dog-walker and his pup a few yards ahead.

Lindsay, chuckling: Okay, that’s fine. Mom, do you think that’s probably why Billy was afraid of dogs for the first 8 years of his life?

Mom: He still is…

My mom, thoroughly disgusted while watching television commercials:

"Enough of the dogs already. These people are nuts!"

And then at dinner tonight, as my brother tells one of his many ruses and I attempt to refrain from laughing in order to make the joke more believable:

Lindsay, in thought: Don’t laugh, don’t laugh. Think of something sad. A dying dog. I die of laughter. Well, that didn’t work.


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I think you’re neat. You have a sparkle to you.

Hannah’s Mom

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