Sunday, December 8, 2013

the holidays have begun, and they rock ~ December 8, 2013

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all with a happy holidays to each one of you.  It's been quite the last month and a half with a birthday, anniversary, visitors, some running, baking and everything in between.
A trip to the mountains for our 2nd anniversary was fun as we headed to Blowing Rock, North Carolina, quite the change for an anniversary celebration as it compared to Las Vegas last year:)  We had fun relaxing in our moutaintop cabin with Lincoln and then visited all the little towns that were surrounding.  Some mountain climbing and fishing along with some tasty food along the way made for a memorable 2nd year celebration together!
Jenny and I have been trying to stay in shape in this chilly (ok, chilly is relative now that our blood has thinned out in the South) weather.  In November, we joined up with our pal Alan to run a local 5K at the Main Street Crit.  We joined a few of our pals as well over the last nine weeks for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  It was great to take some time to learn about budgeting and finances with friends ... working hard to act our wage:)
The Duck has been pretty amzing this last month as well with our 4Q kicking up and some fun activities.  One of the best days of the year is Bonus Day, yes, pretty awesome company I work for that still gives their employees a chance to contribute to the profit sharing bonus where our leadership team brought everyone together to talk about the importance of their contributions and how it will impact their families as I know it's impacted ours big time!  Then less than a week later we had a great time with our first rendition of the chili/bake off up at Aflac Group.  Now if some of you may recall, just five years ago I was part of the cellar dweller group at the bottom of our chili cookoff and now I am proud to say, that of the nine entrants, this guy came out as the victor with the Shueyville Sweetness chili.  To top it off, I finished tied for 1st in the bake off as well with a angel food cake with some tasty strawberry spread, so tasty and an amazingly fun group of people to work with!  O yes, and then just last week had the crew and their spouses over for some food, fun and games with a great dirty santa exchange a tthe end with some laughs, they make it fun to go to work!
Thanksgiving was great this year as we had some some family join for the holiday.  After a 16 hour, two day excursion, the crew arrived in SC just in time for a home made meal.  Thanksgiving day grub was pretty wondermous thanks to Jenny after we drove around the city checking out the capital's Christmas tree and taking some goofy pictures with little Lincoln.  We had fun watching the ol' Hawkeyes at the local pub pull off a victory and played lots of cards before a final day full of holiday decorating both inside and out.  Thanks for great visitors to help us celebrate, made it pretty special indeed:)
For the last month and a half I have been working on the ol' dissertation for Creighton and just today eclipsed the 40 page mark!  It's been fun to see the progress on the paper and have had some good discussion with my committee.  On the volunteer front, my reading buddy Mychel was the top reader in 1st grade for his school last month, a pretty proud moment indeed.We're gearing up for the holidays and a fun 16 hour trip back to Iowa for hopefully a white Christmas with about 6 awesome celebrations amidst a sledding excursion hopefully.  Hope you all have great holidays indeed!
Alwayz, Nate