Tag Archives: trips

A Look Back at 32

Tim and I in LiberiaTomorrow is my birthday and I plan to celebrate with some shopping, relaxing and a milkshake. Tim’s birthday was last month and we spent it at the Powerscourt Ritz Carleton outside of Dublin enjoying a five star meal at Gordan Ramsey but for my birthday Tim’s taking me to Cook-Out Burgers. Don’t worry– I’m not mad. It was my idea after I saw a sign on the side of their building that says they offer 40 milkshakes. I’m already a little nervous about having to choose just one flavor!

Anyway, when my birthday comes around I always like to take some time to reflect on the past 365 days. (Here’s last year’s for instance.) Here are some of the highlights of 32:

  • I enjoyed seeing my byline in more magazines than ever before including about half a dozen times in REDBOOK.
  • I opened the Wall Street Journal on June 15, 2011 to see huge color photos of my friends and I along with a write-up about our Traveling Journal.
  • In early July I spent several days in Atlanta promoting authors at the International Christian Retail Show. I also got to visit CNN and see fellow Iowa State alum Jacqui Jeras.
  • On July 18 I found myself sitting on the set of The Today Show with my best friends talking about the Traveling Journal.
  • I spent the first two weeks of August in Liberia, Africa helping to drill wells in remote villages and share Christ with Muslims.
  • I spent the last two weeks of August enjoying time with visiting relatives from Northern Ireland. We had a fun trip to Atlanta where we bumped into Whitney Eve Port from The City.
  • My sister came to visit and we had an amazing time which included a trip to the Old Edward’s Spa– amazing!
  • I helped plan and organize the Reality Check event, benefiting Water of Life. We raised a couple of thousand dollars to help drill wells in Third World countries.
  • We spent Thanksgiving in Florida with Tim’s parents and got to see some of my friends.
  • For Christmas we headed to Seattle for an extended visit. Tim and I went skiing, shopping and site seeing.
  • In January we found out we were expecting!
  • Tim and I did several weekend getaways for a magazine including a resort in the Georgia mountains, The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, and the Opryland in Nashville. All of them were so fun and full of special memories. We also got a behind-the-scenes tour of Dave Ramsey’s headquarters which was a highlight.
  • In April we went to Northern Ireland for a 10 day trip that included amazing sites and some of the best food we’ve ever had. Plus we got to spend time with our family.
  • We found out that our baby is a boy and we named him Sam!

When I see it all written out like that it’s hard to believe that I will ever have a year quite as unique and memorable,

group with KL and Hoda

With Kathie Lee and Hoda on The Today Show

but then again, I am about to have my first child so that will be full of its own adventures and memories.

The older I get the more I realize that every year is special in its own way. There really doesn’t have to be a time designated as “the best years of your life” because each year has the potential to hold something remarkable. You just have to be willing to welcome new opportunities and often that means spending a lot of time outside your comfort zone. So here’s to 33– I’ll be toasting it with a milkshake!

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How Do you Celebrate a 31st Birthday?

How about by rollerblading a marathon? I turn 31 tomorrow so I decided I wanted to do something I’ve never done before– rollerblading a marathon. I thought it was going to rain, but I think we’ll get a mostly dry day.

We thought about going to the beach to relax, but plans changed when we found out we were going to New York City in about a week. We’d rather save our dollars for shopping in SoHo.

Cool art from Coulson Macleod.

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Top ‘O the Mornin’ To Ya!

St. Patrick’s Day is especially fun when you’re married to an Irishman. He asked for green coffee this morning, but I wasn’t sure how to pull that off. This Saturday is also a big day. It’s his fifth anniversary in the US. Five years ago he boarded a plane for Atlanta, full of American hopes and dreams. Little did he know he would fall for a girl from Iowa. You can’t get much more American than that! So in honor of St. Patty’s Day, here are some lovely photos of his homeland.

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Two Lovely Years of Marriage

Celebrating Year Two!

Celebrating Year Two!

It’s been a couple of weeks now, but it’s an important milestone that deserves recognition. On September 2nd my husband and I celebrated two lovely years of marriage. The following weekend we drove to Charleston for a little adventure, a little romance and a little relaxation. We stayed in a beautiful, white-washed studio apartment above an art gallery in the heart of historic Charleston. The place came with two beach cruiser bicycles that carried us all over town. We hit the beach, drank lots of coffee and ate wonderful food. And we reminisced on the highlights of this fabulous year:

Melly and Al’s Iowa Wedding

Working on Our First House

Stephanie’s Visit From Seattle

Picking Apples in the Mountains

Ross and Rebecca’s Wedding

Alanna and JJ’s Wedding in Charleston

Thanksgiving in Vegas & Celebrating My Dad’s 60th, Going to Beatles Love

Christmas in Florida

Seeing Garrison Keillor at the Peace Center

Tim’s Birthday in Florida & Going to Universal Studios, Trace Adkins Concert

Sodding Our Yard Ourselves

Surprising Tim with a Trip to Ireland

Not Getting Seats on Our Flight to Ireland

Going to Ireland the Following Week

A Double Surprise Birthday Party

Visiting Washington DC

Spending Almost a Week in NYC, Pretending We Lived on the Upper West Side

Going to Cirque du Soleil

Throwing Jenna’s Baby Shower

Driving to Denver for ICRS

Driving to Iowa for Tonya & Ryan’s Wedding, Enjoying the Lake

Tubing in North Carolina

Cheering on George Hincapie at the Cycling Pro Championships

Celebrating our Anniversary in Charleston!

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Vespa Features Our 2 Wheels 4 Water Ride

North Carolina borderLast summer my husband and I took two Vespa scooters on a 1200 mile tour around North and South Carolina. I told Vespa about the trip and this week they featured our charity ride on their Facebook page for more than 33,000 fans to see. Over 100 people said they liked the story and 19 people left comments– although most of them are in other languages so I have no idea what people are saying. I’m excited for this opportunity to spread the word about Hydromissions to even more people. So thank you Vespa for featuring our story and sharing photos with your fans!

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Don’t You Just Love Weddings?

Don’t you just love weddings? I recently returned from a great one. One of my very best friends in the whole world got married last weekend. The wedding was in Okoboji, Iowa, about 90 minutes from where we grew up. Okoboji is to Iowans what the beach is to South Carolinians. It’s the summer destination for sun and sand.

Jet Skiing on Lake Okoboji

Jet Skiing on Lake Okoboji

We stayed three nights at an Inn on the lake. I went for jogs along the shore and ended my workouts stretching on the end of a dock. The weather was absolutely beautiful and got me anxious for fall. I was a bridesmaid and my husband was the best man. I got to spend lots of time with some of my favorite people. We laughed until our stomachs hurt and made lots of great memories.

The Bride and Her Bridesmaids

The Bride and Her Bridesmaids

The bride and her new hubby are now celebrating in Hawaii. I imagine them relaxing on a tropical beach, zip lining like they are starring in an episode of the Bachelorette and hiking up volcanoes. While I’m a little jealous I can’t be learning how to hula dance, I’m glad I was a part of her special weekend. Now all of my close friends (except for one!) is experiencing the joys of marriage. Congrats Tonya and Ryan!!

All the Married Friends Showing off Our Bling

All the Married Friends Showing off Our Bling

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Driving to Denver: My Longest Road Trip Ever

My husband and I logged about three thousand miles behind the wheel of a minivan last week. We drove out to Denver, Colorado for the annual International Christian Retail Show. It’s a great event and I look forward to going. This was my second show and I love meeting great, passionate people. We had a lot of fun crossing North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and even parts of Kansas. But after you get about 30 miles west of Kansas City there is nothing. Unless you count the occasional wind farm as something interesting to look at. Here are some pics from our road trip, a stop at the Denver Botanic Gardens and, of course, from ICRS.

The St. Louis Arch. This is one of my favorite cities.

The St. Louis Arch. This is one of my favorite cities.

Passing Through Kansas City

Passing Through Kansas City

The Only Somewhat Interesting Thing in West Kansas

The Only Somewhat Interesting Thing in West Kansas

Meandering Through the Denver Botanic Gardens

Meandering Through the Denver Botanic Gardens

Love How This Path Looks Like Flowing Water

Love How This Path Looks Like Flowing Water

Just the Two of Us

Just the Two of Us

Beautiful, Don't You Think?

Beautiful, Don't You Think?

Sonic Flood Kicking off ICRS 2009

Sonic Flood Kicking off ICRS 2009

Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Authors of The Love Dare and Fireproof

Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Authors of The Love Dare and Fireproof

Best-selling Author Karen Kingsbury

Best-selling Author Karen Kingsbury

Hanging Out at the Ambassador Booth

Hanging Out at the Ambassador Booth

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