April-May-June Update

Editor’s Note: When I sat down to write my update, I thought “You literally have nothing to write about.” I’m pleasantly surprised at what I’ve done the past three months! I should have made one of my goals be “blog regularly” because that clearly ain’t happening. Sorry folks. Okay, here we gooooo

#1 – Take a calligraphy class. 

I LOVED IT. I signed up through Kirkwood and the class met in May – twice a week for an hour for three weeks, so six sessions total. It was 1) really relaxing 2) very interesting.  The first thing the instructor said the thing about calligraphy that makes it exciting is the different weights of the ink/pen when writing. I really had to remind myself to slooooow down to get the good lookin’ stuff. We were taught with ink and nibs (I think I was expecting calligraphy brush pens) but not feather quills or anything. I know I’m an old lady at heart, but not THAT old. After the class wrapped up, I sent a couple of cards to friends to practice PLUS I ordered calligraphy pens (Sharpie brand). I haven’t had a chance to test ‘em out yet but looking forward to getting started on ‘em.  I started a calligraphy board on Pinterest and started following some calligrapher accounts on Instagram, so I’m practically the real thing. I really enjoyed the calligraphy class and will likely re-take the class again when offered this fall to get more practice.

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Valeda, Verle, Opal, and Robert – my grandparents’ names.

#2 – Run the Bix 7.

Training continues. Slowly. I run like the winded. As of this post – the Bix is 1 month away!

#3 – Cook a new meal once a week.

HAAAAAAAA no, moving on.

#4 – Bake cupcakes/dessert once a month.

Long story short, I attempted baking last night for some high school students. It’s summer and I’m all about doz s’mores so I attempted this S’mores Bites recipe.

First rant: I HATE BAKING BLOGS. Stop writing about how you love things and taking photos of food at weird angles. I just want to know the ingredients and the steps to deliciousness, ain’t got time for fancy photos and “oh lovelies, it was just maaaarvelous and reminds me of my family member and she’s the best and let me tell you more stories about her.” I recognize the irony that this blog post is already going on forever.

There were like 6 ingredients, I figured I GOT THIS. Turns out, you should never mix up the words jumbo and mini.  I needed mini muffin tins and jumbo marshmallows and in my baditude of baking, I settled for jumbo muffin tins and mini marshmallows.  The recipe was supposed to make 2 dozen-24. With some rationing of the crust, I ended up with 19 between the 2 muffin tins. Whoops.

After the initial baking, I couldn’t figure out why one tin of crusts cooked and held together so much better than the second.  The bites came out decently well from the first tin, but not the second… As I did the dishes, I realized the second pan actually was TWO pans stacked together. Sooooo the crust couldn’t cook through as well. The high school students were good about it, one just took a spoon and ate out directly from the muffin tin. Thank Gawd I had back-up treats … I had extra graham crackers, so I made graham cracker/frosting sammiches.

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PINTEREST FAIL.

#5 – Binge a show on Netflix as fast as I can.

So I re-started my favorite show of all time – How I Met Your Mother. I’m slow – my idea of binging is 2-3 episodes a night, but I’m usually in bed by 9:30pm (#oldlady) soooo it’s a short night. I want to finish the season of HIMYM I’m on and then fully binge Season 4 of OITNB and then head back to HIMYM.

#6 – Travel more.

Just call me a world traveler. Maybe scale it back a coast to coast traveler.

In May, I spent Memorial Day weekend in Boston, MA. I visited my friend and fellow pop-culture nerd Laura who is the most bad-ass librarian and friend you’ll ever meet. Laura planned a great weekend –  we went to a Sia concert, walked the Freedom Trail, did the Sam Adams Brewery Tour, tried our hand at Candlepin Bowling, and so much more.

June has been crazy! I spent one weekend in exotic Clear Lake, IA with my roomies and their kiddos. We have met in Clear Lake before, but never in the summer… the lake has always been iced over. We were able to visit the beach and visit a lake-front restaurant. It was great to be together and to see new parts of Clear Lake.

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The next weekend, my bestie and I went to GALena – it was the first time for both of us. We spent some time exploring their Main Street shops, took in a trolley tour, wine tasting, and found some alpacas to hang out with (seriously).

A friend of wine is a friend of mine.

A friend of wine is a friend of mine.

Alpaca selfie.

Alpaca selfie.

And just last week, I went the opposite direction and spent a 3.5 days in Seattle on our family vacation (#GoerdtsGoWest). It was the perfect amount of time in Seattle to do the tourist-y highlights, like the Space Needle, aquarium, whale watching, two museums, and of course the Pike Place Market. The hardest part about Seattle was what to pack. You don’t tell an overpacker/analyzer to bring layers and only a carry-on.

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It is very possible we color coordinated our outfits.

#7 – Read a new book once a month.

For my first book club book, we read “Some Luck” by Jane Smiley. Not my favorite but the setting was in Iowa, so I appreciated the mentions of local Iowa towns. Plus there was a chapter about the Iowa State Fair – one of my favorite summer activities!

On my flights to/from Seattle, I read our new book “Defending Jacob” by William Landay. A totally different book from “Some Luck” and much more my kind of read. A prosecutor’s son, Jacob, is accused of murdering his classmate.

#16 – Fitbit personal challenges each month

It was my goal to hit 190 miles in April. I didn’t hit it, I was about 12 miles off. I tried again in May, this time I was 10 short, and I’ll give you a guess to June. I’m going to keep trying for 190. In other news, I still LOVE my Fitbit. I wanted the Flex because I liked that I could change out the bands to match my outfits. Soooo now I have about 20 bands. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of amazon.com, but you can essentially order anything from there, including cheetah print, polka dot, or chevron pattern Fitbit bands. Not even slightly ashamed.

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The top row is my watch bands. Bottom row is my Fitbit bands, which is now not up-to-date because I just got a new one tonight.

#19 – Go to a museum and be cultured for a day.

So, as a Goerdt, you are not a museum person. Get in, get the picture, and get out. I do feel like I got a decent amount of culture in both my trips to Boston and Seattle. The Boston Public Library included a couple of exhibits as well as we visited the Isabella Gardner Museum, full of paintings, sculptures, and super fancy stuff.  In Seattle, we visited the EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum and I LOVED IT. It was a essentially a pop-culture nerd’s dream and I was in heaven. Highly recommend it.

#20 – Write more.

I’m trying to be better about writing things down, including daily activities and thoughts and feelings. 68922489 years from now, someone will find these scribbles and Word Docs and make the shortest screenplay ever. We’ll keep “Quarter Life Crisis” as the working title.

#21 – Ride my bike more this summer.

BOOM, it’s happened once… so far. I visited my bestie who lives in the Des Moines area and we spent the morning riding the High Trestle Trail, which I’m not going to explain because you’ve likely seen a picture of it.

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Besties biking bridges.

#25 – **SECRET**

Check this one off! It happened shortly after my last blog post.

Wrapping up

Sorry for the long post, this is what happens when you wait three months. Let’s see – other things – I’ve been listening to a healthy mix of Fifth Harmony, Sia, Adele, and Meghan Trainor as of late. A lot of girl power, confidence, and motivation from these women. AND THIS KICK-ASS SONG CALLED “GOOD AS HELL” BY LIZZO.

Have a great July 4th weekend! As a wise woman once told me “If you drink a fifth on the fourth, you won’t come forth on the fifth.” (Thanks Mom!)

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July 2014

Sitting here eatin’ some cheese and listening to Casting Crowns #HermitLife.  Another busy month at work and on the road visiting friends, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was at a Wartburg wedding this past month and a fellow Wartburger told me she stalked my Facebook at the end of every month for this blog, so I guess… here it goes (and thanks for reading AH!)

#2: JOIN A NEW GROUP AND/OR VOLUNTEER AND MEET SOME MORE PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY.

I’m in something new! I can’t say anything more than that – more coming on this one soon, I would suspect. How’s that for a teaser?

#3: TRY A-NEW-TO-ME RECIPE ONCE A MONTH.

AIN’T GOT TIME YA’LL. The only attempt at a new recipe was a new way to cook corn on the cob. IT’S FOOLPROOF and of course there’s a Youtube video. 4 minutes for each ear of corn, in the microwave. On a weekend trip to Dubuque to visit the future Mr. and Mrs. Conner, we decided to grill out for lunch, and of course our technology Swiss Army knife produced this video and then, 20 minutes later, BAM! 5 ears of perfectly cooked corn on the cob.

The things we ate. BTW, I also contributed by chopping up some onions.

The things we ate, including the microwave corn. BTW, I also contributed by chopping up some onions.

#4: MAKE A BATCH OF CUPCAKES ONCE A MONTH.

Pssssh, yeah right. Here’s a look at all the cupcakes I ate this month

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from Sweetcakes in Olathe, KS

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As a reward for getting the catalog done, we got cupcakes from Scratch! New favorite for now and all time is Cuppy Cake.

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Don’t worry, I shared.

Dubuque, IA cupcake pit-stop.

Dubuque, IA cupcake pit-stop.

#10: SCRAPBOOK MORE – GET CAUGHT UP!

This past Sunday, I had about 5 free hours of nothing. No plans with anyone or anything to do. Turned my iTunes on and away I went! I was able to work on my 2011 scrapbook. Here’s a throwback pic from what I was working on (our first roomie reunion in MN in 2011).

Here is a picture of me unsuccessfully holding a cat, 2007.

Here is a picture of me unsuccessfully holding a cat, 2011.

I really do love scrapbooking. I’ve come a long way from my very first page ever (my 4th grade picture, my chicken scratch writing that said my name and about 100 flower stickers on the page).

#18: FINISH THAT HALF MARATHON – SUCK IT 12.1!

Getting closer and better every day. I’m Internet-Explorer slow, but I’m doing it!

I ran the Ward 4 on the 4th race in Kansas City with Kenan over 4th of July weekend. She suggested we run as superheroes. DONE. Wonder Woman? CHECK. I was pretty pumped about re-wearing my old Halloween costume…and then we got to the run. Yep, I was definitely the only person in a cape.

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Last weekend, I also ran the BIX 7 mile course in Davenport. It was the 40th anniversary of the run AND SO MUCH FUN. Ray Ray and I were up at 4:15 and on the road before 5 to get there in time. Our goal was to finish in 1:30, and we officially crossed the line at 1:28! The course was hilly, but almost entirely residential. The streets were lined with people and they were awesome and super supportive. We ran the whole thing and had a blast. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! (That is if my heart doesn’t give out HEYO).

We had so much fun!

We had so much fun!

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Didn’t need this guy! My mom didn’t find this picture funny.

#20: GO TO MORE HAWKEYE FOOTBALL GAMES AND/OR TAILGATES.

30 more days til kickoff ya’ll, just thought you should know.

#22: BINGE WATCH THE FULL SEASONS OF MAD MEN AND BREAKING BAD.

I am still fully committed to this and am loooooving Netflix, but I got distracted by Orange is the New Black. OMG amazing show. Ask me about my favorite quote from OITNB. Right now I’m working on the Animorphs TV series, moving to House of Cards, and then I think I’ll be ready for MM and BB. Any other suggestions?!

#23: DESIGN MORE AND GET BETTER AT INDESIGN.

Last month I touched on busy season in the marketing department with our yearly catalog being designed. I’m proud to say we put that 208 page baby to bed on July 9, and I even had a hand in updating and designing 2 of the pages.  Today we wished fare-well to the best damn designer there is, she left us with this one piece of advice: RESPECT THE WHITE SPACE.

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July recap in pictures (JK, Imma tell ya about it):

4th of July weekend: Kenan and Kel together again in KC!  In the span of 3 days – we went to 2 movies, ran 4 miles, had 2 hours of pool time, watched 5 episodes of OITNB, and I’m sure s’more numbers of fun stuff.  Saw some fireworks, ate some cheesecake, did some shopping, generally having the best time ever.  I love that girl.

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S’more cheesecake and yes I will have s’more.

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Partying like it’s 1776.

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22 Jump Street – these reclining chairs almost made it worth it.

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Overland Park, KS fireworks

Dubuque weekend: Oh my gosh, we were in Dubuque the same weekend as Fish Fly weekend!  What is Fish Fly weekend? A bunch of bugs swarming around for 24 hours and dying, it happens once or twice a year in river towns.  You literally sweep the streets and hose your houses down after the swarm.  Sometimes you can even slip on a pile of them and fall down and scrape your knee.  (Just an example, it’s not like it happened to anyone in our group) We had a great weekend in Dubuque with JC and T-Fed.  They taught me how to play Hand and Foot, we went to the Farmers Market, on a booze cruise, to a winery, and a bike ride up the bluff.

The snap to prepare us for Fish Flies!

The snap to prepare us for Fish Flies!

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A little down time and probably some bad luck.

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The best bartender ever.

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Booze Cruise!

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Great sunburn after this ride.

Luke Bryan Concert with my bestie: MOOAAAAR LUKE PLZ.  Followed by Wedding weekend: Congrats Bryan and Sam! SOOOOO much fun to see a bunch of Wartburg friends and have a flippin’ ice cream bar.  PLUS I got to see Kenan twice in one month!

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So so so so good.

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Seriously love this picture.

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Beautiful bride, Purdy groom.

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Praise Jeeeezus for ice cream sundae bars.

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Kenan and Kel and the macarena

Last weekend: Bix 7 miler! Brittan in town! Church! Scrapbooking! Cribbage! Ice Cream! (In a nutshell)

Ohh, fellow Cedar Rapidians (or really anyone in the Corridor) – I’d highly suggest checking out Bistro on the River in downtown (bistroontheriver.com).  My friend Brittany has worked really hard to open up her own restaurant and it’s awesome.  It’s cool to know the head chef – she’s famous.  Here’s the Hoopla article from this weekend.  Ray Ray and I checked out Bistro last night and LOVED everything!

Cutie!

Cutie!

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Current song obessions:

Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass

Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down

Becky G – Shower (and also really good product placement for Cover girl)

Charli XCX – Boom Clap

Demi Lovato – Really Don’t Care

Echosmith – Cool Kids

I’m ready for August! I’ll be in 3 states in 5 weeks. And when I’m not traveling, I’ll be watching Netflix.

-KG