Tuesday, November 15, 2011

McRibbin' It

Tempting it was...
He's in the zone

We finally broke down. Let me rephrase, I finally broke down and got a McRib with Rich. For the past month we would pass McDonald’s on our way home and Rich would say “Here’s our chance, here’s our chance. All you gotta do is get into the right lane.” And somehow each day I would purposely miss the turn and say “Oops…guess we’ll have to stop another time”. Don’t get me wrong, I love fast food, but there was something about the McRib that didn’t look very appealing to me. The sandwich proved me wrong though and almost lived up to the hype it gets. It was quite a delicious little combo of pickles, onions, and BBQ sauce. Thank you Richard for being the wiser of the two of us.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Iowa State Fair: Nothing Compares

Iowa State Fair. This event is much talked about here. Locals live for it and take up to a week off of work just to be able to attend each day. No, I’m not joking. It’s this crazy obsession out here that I’m not sure I will ever understand. I do have to point out it is on the list of “100 Things You Should Do Before You Die”. (Okay, that's what everyone says, but I googled it and couldn’t find it - fishy). This was our second year attending and I actually took some pictures this time. I love going for two reasons…1. The food and 2. The people watching

First, the food. They have the most outrageous, unhealthy, delicious food at the fair. Every year there is something new that everyone wants to try out. This year it was fried butter (you heard right) and red velvet funnel cake. We didn’t try the butter but heard it was really good. We did test our taste buds on the red funnel cake. I thought it was average, but Ricardo loved it! I also got a pickle dawg – pickle spear, cream cheese, wrapped in deli meat…surprisingly delicious. This year we didn't venture any of the rides because I got extremely ill last year, but we did sweat our keesters off. Geez it was hot as expected. In the picture above we are hanging out by a huge fan, being total air hogs. I had too, I thought I was going to melt.

We already have a game plan for next year. First stop, giant turkey leg stand. Next, find a good place to plant our butts and naw on the turkey legs. While sitting, we will people watch...for a couple of hours. Guaranteed we see lots of obese people in motorized wheelchairs, smoking and eating fried butter. Those are the normal attendees of the Iowa State Fair.
The pickle dawg - - I know it looks gross, but I loved it!

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the State Fair, so they made a butter cow in a case.

I felt bad for this poor guy. He was huge and his pen was tiny...and yes those are his testes (massive and scary).

The beloved red velvet funnel cake.

Our goal for next year!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Iowa Roundup

We made it! One year in Iowa, three more to go and then on to another adventure. Since I’ve always been a planner I never thought I would say I kinda like the idea of not knowing where we are going to be in three years. It's really exciting though!! It allows some mystery in our lives and it’s always fun to talk about where we could/would like to live for residency.

Living in the mid-west has been such a good experience for me. I’m definitely more of a homebody compared to Richard so we both were more worried about how I was going to react to all of the change. He is a total guy when it comes to being away from home. I get more homesick than him and I’m a girl = more emotional (it's true). I’ve had my fair share of secret sessions of crying in my closet, but for the most part living away from family and friends has been a great experience. I’ve had to go out of my comfort zone to make friends. For example, inviting every new couple I met at church over to our apartment the first week we moved in. Trust me…out of my comfort zone, but it was totally worth it. We have become close to all of those couples. Anyway, it’s been great here and we are excited to be able to explore Iowa for a few more years here. Below are just a few of the things we (Rich and I) love about Iowa.

1. The bike paths – We know, Iowa doesn’t have mountains and we’ve had to get used to that, but it does have incredible bike paths. They are wide, have tunnels that go under the busy streets, and are far off enough from the main road that the scenery is really pretty. They also run basically anywhere. We live about 15 minutes (freeway driving) outside of downtown and they have a bike path the runs all the way from our place to the heart of downtown.

2. The weather right now – It gets really humid and muggy here. Quite unbearable. Last week though it was in the 80’s & more than bearable. Lovin’ it.

3. The Farmer’s Market – I think/know I love this more than Richard. It’s so big and has a live band playing every Saturday. Just a fun event to do in the morning when it’s not too hot.

Mangoes on a stick - oh so yummy but oh so messy

4. We love the small town feel but it has all of the conviences (is that a word?) of a big city. Light traffic, great restaurants, lots of families, and numerous big corporations…

5. Green machine – Iowa is a beautiful state. It’s not all cornfields people. There are tons of trees and it stays so green here in the summer. Who knew?!

6. Spring and fall – We actually get to enjoy these seasons because they last longer than a week. In Utah it seemed to be snowing in June and the next day it would 100 degrees.

7. Living right next to the mall – lame, we know. It is sooooo nice though. With the mall comes a lot of good places to eat, a movie theater, and great people watching.

8. Culture – We’ve really enjoyed the different cultures in Iowa. I’m not claiming that Iowa is the biggest state for diversity, however it has been nice to get to know people of different religions, ethnicity and so forth. I’ve loved it!

9. Raccoon River Park/Lake – We cannot rant and rave enough about this park. It is the bomb! With a good-sized man made beach and warm water almost all year round, this is one of our favorite spots to go. It also has a 3.2-mile running path that loops around the lake & it is completely shaded. The playground is one of the best we’ve seen and we’ll definitely be taking future kids there.

Iowa finally started to feel like home, when a new couple moved here and I actually knew a few places to tell them to go and how to get there! It was a proud moment of mine.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Four Months Down

The purpose of this blog was to be a journaling system for us and also for our families to see what we are up to in Iowa besides studying. I've been terrible and have a ton of catching up to do. I apologize in advance for the low quality pictures. I don't own a Nikon 5000XG6 or whatever they are called so you are going to have to deal with the classy Canon snapshots. Let's get started...


The hubby turned 30!! Yep you heard right, 30! This birthday was honestly not a big deal for him, even though I kinda tried to make it a big deal. He was telling people he was 30 even before his birthday...not how I do things. On his birthday we drove all the way to the movie theater and once we pulled in the parking lot we made a team decision to not go. Neither of us were dying to see the movie for $22 and after some contemplating we decided the movie was Redbox worthy instead. The joys of being in school. We did go to dinner though and played Settlers (his favorite game) for about four hours.
Tried to ring in the new year with some school friends. Too bad they all have kids and none of them were up to staying up late. Awesome.

I started a new job!! I started at Robert Half International on Jan 3 and stay extremely busy there. My favorite part about the job is putting together reports - nerd alerk. Least favorite part, answering the phone.

We attended two 1-year old's birthday party. It was just as expected, lots of messy cake faces and catching up with all of the students wives. Good times.


Honestly, I'm not really sure what we did this month.

For Valentine's Day we were extremely cliche and went to dinner at Cheesecake Factory. Rich ordered an entree he still talks about - Chicken Pana, absolutely delightful. I was more safe and went with the BBQ Chicken Pizza -- it was, eh.

I had a birthday - my 26th birthday! I don't know why 25 to 26 seemed like such a big jump to me, but it truly did. I'm still trying to cope. I worked all day (I think it should be against the law the have any business open on President's Day), but had a great dinner with a bunch of our friends. Sarah even made me a delicious/beautiful cake. Rich did a really good job with gifts -- an air popcorn popper, a robe, (yes I'm a grandma) and my favorite a gift card to DSW which I'm still hanging on to for the perfect pairs of zappatos.


Spring Break 2011 Baby!! Rich was lucky enough to receive a week off of school which conveniently fell on my sister's (Sharice) wedding. So we headed off to Utah for the big celebration. The time off was much needed for both of us. Before Spring Break we hadn't had a chance to hang out for about two weeks...thus MUCH NEEDED. It was really fun to see family and friends, but as always it would have been great if we could have stayed longer :)
Steve seems to fit in just fine


First great weekend of weather + reading outside + long bike ride w/ Rich = First major sunburn of the season...you'd think I'd learn

Saved a huge turtle in the road from getting smashed to pieces. It hissed and snapped at Rich when he picked it up (I was too scared - it was bigger than a small dog...no joke), but little did it know that we were saving it's life. I'm still mad I didn't have my camera

New job for my podiatry student. Des Moines Country Club hired Rich on as a valet. The first day was a complete success. He had a blast and ended his shift with $94 in tips. We talked about it all weekend :)

Rich traveled without me. I got to pull out the old suitcase and pack Rich's things for his brother's wedding while he studied his brains out for a Physiology test.

Dyed Easter eggs with some neighbors while Rich was working. Also went on splits with the sister missionaries...man was that intimidating.