While in Dubuque

We extended our waterpark adventures by spending the night at Grand Harbor and exploring the riverfront. The riverfront is where John and I got engaged nine years ago, so it’s extra special to us. What a view!

Stone Cliff Winery is just a five-minute walk down the path, and it was the perfect evening to sit outside, share a bottle of Apple Cranberry wine, and eat flatbread pizza. Very rarely do I indulge in multiple glasses of wine in one sitting, but that wine is a new favorite.

Was Dubuque this pretty when I lived there?

#RMHC Red Shoes Race

Yesterday’s run was significantly shorter than last year’s Ronald McDonald race. I didn’t exactly give John a chance to say “no” to running because I just registered us without asking him. Afterall, I know how to pull at his heartstrings since this race raises money to help people at a charity we’ve come to know and love.

Even though John hadn’t run one continuous mile since last year’s race, he tied up his running shoes and wore his “RMHC Alumni Family” bandana proudly.

The weather was gorgeous and one of the volunteers working the check-in table mentioned they had a lot more people participating than they had planned.

Thanks to Tony and Ashley for making the trip to support the cause and spend time with us. We’re thankful our extended family wants to be involved in this charity in various ways throughout the year.

It’s safe to say you’ll find us at the starting line of this event every year.

The Markket

A group of English teachers didn’t let the fact that The Markket is spelled “wrong” bother us once we were blown away by its beauty and charm.

The Markket in Edgewood, IA, a new destination to all of us, was just one stop during our day trip. This home decorating store opened a couple of months ago and displays gorgeous home furnishings, full kitchens, and stunning woodwork. The gray/blue kitchen cabinet model gave me some serious home envy. The store also features paint, decorations, rugs, curtains…etc. from the Joanna Gaines collection in Waco, Texas. If you watch Fixer Upper, this store is her style of modern meets rustic. Is that a style?

Another highlight of the trip was time outside at Franklin Street Brewery. Even though we work together every day during the school year, a lot of our conversations revolve around our students. Time away from school and out of town was a breath of fresh air. It put a limit on the “teacher talk” and allowed us to just catch up with each other as friends.

If you want to join us next year, let’s get a date on the calendar NOW. Summers fill up too fast. Destination TBD.

The last two years we’ve spent a summer day at the White Water Park and a couple of days soaking up Life at the Lodge.


20130513-190123.jpgSaturday afternoon included celebrating Mother’s Day with John’s mom. Saturday evening included celebrating my mom! John and I were able to get away to double date with my parents for dinner over the river in Guttenberg.

The air was crisp but the view was peaceful, and it made me anxious for hot temperatures and time outside. I’d love to go back to this restaurant in 20130513-190130.jpgthe summer when seating out on the deck would be comfortable and boats would entertain us.

No trip with my dad is complete without ice cream, and luckily Guttenberg’s ice cream shop had plenty of flavors to help us get the taste of summer while still wrapped in winter layers. We’re ready for spring, mother nature.


Small Town Iowa

John and I went “back home” last night to attend a high school friend’s wedding ceremony and reception. I hadn’t seen this friend in over a year. It was so wonderful to see her as a bride and see her family celebrating. I can’t wait to hang out with her soon without people fighting for her attention to dance or take a photo. I also had the chance to catch up with a table full of high school classmates that I hadn’t seen in years. It made me thankful for facebook so that I wasn’t starting with “What have you been doing the last eight years?”

My parents were also invited to the wedding, as long-time friends of the bride’s parents. We were able to sit with them for dinner, so that was a bonus.

I had to grab a photo of the reception venue, about 20 miles out of town from the church. It’s not every day you find a convention center designed as a barn. Only in Iowa…!

Father’s Day Weekend

Fortunately, I was able to spend the weekend celebrating my dad. John and I took off Saturday late afternoon and spent the evening catching up with my parents. They introduced us to a small town restaurant/bar in Quasque, IA. Wolfey’s may seem like your everyday hole-in-the-wall find, but this place holds a treasure. Aside from their awesome pizza that we consumed while overlooking the river, the bathroom is what draws peoples’ attention. The men’s room has a two- way mirror over the urinals that allows bathroom users to look out to the restaurant while they… relieve themselves. John checked it out before we left and confirmed the rumors.

The rest of the weekend was spent soaking up time on my parents’ front porch and grilling out after church today. It was a little getaway weekend that I really needed, and it allowed us plenty of uninterrupted time to celebrate how much we love my dad.

He truly is amazing and inspires me to love unconditionally and give of my time and talents. I see God in my father, and he challenges me to be that face for others. There really is no greater gift! “Thanks” will never be enough.

I love you, Dad!