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Preview: Hey Y'all, We're in Iowa!

Hey Y'all, We're in Iowa!

Updated: 2014-10-04T19:37:38.617-05:00


Sarah Palin Rumors Debunked


The following came from this site: she wasn’t a member of the (wild-eyed libertarian) Alaska independence Party, although her husband once wasNo, she was never a Pat Buchanan supporter; even when Buchanan claims she was, she was on the board of Steve Forbes’a campaign in Alaska.No, she’s not anti-semitic. In fact, she has an Israeli flag in her office. (Contrary to popular belief, the usual Evangelical thinks Israel has a right to exist, granted by God.)No, she’s doesn’t believe that the Iraq War was directed by God. Yes, she did pray that proceeding with the war was God’s will. (Ever hear the phrase “Not my will, but Thine, be done”?)No, Buchanan doesn’t support her now; in fact he’s supporting Obama. (Buchanan did think her speech was amazing, but then so do 80 percent of the people who saw it.)Yes, she was pregnant when she got marriedYes, barring immaculate conception, Bristol appears to have had sex with her fiancee. No, Bristol didn’t receive only “abstinence-only” sex ed.Yes, she did fire the public safety guy — but he said in the Anchorage paper that, for the record, she never, and no one else in her administration ever, tried to make him fire her ex-brother-in-law and yes, the state trooper (her sister’s ex-husband) she was worried about did: tase her 10 year old nephew; drive his state patrol car while drinking or drunk; did threaten to “bring her down”; and did threaten to murder her father and sister if they dared to get an attorney to help with the divorce.No, she didn’t cut funding for unwed mothers; yes, she did increase it by “only” 354 percent instead of 454 percent, as part of a multi-year capital expenditures program. No, the Washington Post doesn’t appear to have corrected their story. Even after this was pointed out in the comments on the story.No, she didn’t cut special needs student funding; yes, she did raise it by “only” 175 percent.Yes, she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive; no, they couldn’t; yes she did threaten to fire the librarian a month later; no, that wasn’t over the books thing but instead over administrative issues; no, the librarian wasn’t fired either; yes, the librarian was a big supporter of one of her political opponents; yes, the librarian was also the girlfriend of the Chief of police mentioned above; no, this is not the first time in the history of civilization that someone has been threatened with being fired over a political disputeYes, she’s an was an Assembly of God Holy Roller. No, she doesn’t attend an AoG church now. Yes, she did leave the AoG because they were getting too weird for her.Yes, she apparently believes in some variant of Intelligent DesignNo, she didn’t try to force the schools to teach it; she said if someone brought it up, it was an appropriate subject for debate.No, she doesn’t believe in “abstinence only” education. Yes, she thinks abstinence is an effective way of preventing pregnancy. Duh. Yes, she believes kids should learn about condom use in schools.Yes, she kills animals and eats them, and wears their skinsYes, she has on occasion tried to get money from the federal government.Yes, she did finally turn down the money for the bridge. Yes, that meant changing her mind about it.Yes, she was vetted extensively, not just in three days — I’ve got links to press reports about people coming to Wassila on 29 May, and we had her on our Veepstakes at PJM from the first day we ran it.Yes, Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech was written by a speechwriter. Duh. No, none of Obama’s, McCain’s, nor Biden’s speeches were impromptu off the cuff things either.[...]

Happy Birthday Sister!


My little sister turns 27 today!
Happy Day Katie!


Not only is Kate my sister, she is one of my best friends. I can't image life without her. Some of the reasons I love her:

  • Shared obsession for fountain Diet Coke
  • Her go-get-em attitude, never lets grass grow under her feet
  • Her ability to keep her house "company ready"--always!
  • Her generosity, she is always doing nice things for me
  • Her willingness to be my "assistant teacher" when we were kids, teaching imaginary children
  • Her great sense of style--I'm so jealous!
  • The fact that she perfectly planned out the switch from Katie to Kate on our way to freshman orientation.
  • Her ability to have fun and laugh in most any situation
  • Her passion for shopping
  • Her silly faces and bird lips
  • Her love of jelly bellies
  • Her willingness to do anything I ask her to do for me--with little complaining :)
  • I love our morning conversations as she drives to work and yells at other drivers.


I really don't know what I'd do without my see-ster.

I love you! Happy Birthday, TATIE.

A Midwest Fourth


This weekend we tried to teach Carter the phrase "hey y'all"...being the good little midwestern 2 year old that he is he looked at us like we were speaking a foreign language--silly boy!

We spent the fourth of July with our friends the Mann's--Kyle, Lindsey & Carter. Kyle just finished his ortho residency and they moved to West Des Moines about a month ago. A road trip was definately in order. Saturday morning we went to the famer's market downtown. While there were still many sandbags littering the streets and huddled close to buildings it was a neat experience that definately puts Iowa City's farmer's market to shame. Here are a few pictures from the market.




Seriously?! I cannot believe that this is not a JOKE. I do not yet have words for my thoughts...
For its latest locale, Bravo's Real Housewives franchise has picked a real peach.

The cable network confirmed Thursday that it is planning to set the third installment of its hit reality series in Atlanta.
A preview of what audiences can expect from the privileged southern belles who producers have picked to represent what living in Georgia's capital is really like is scheduled to air July 30 at midnight.
"Bravo's Real Housewives franchise has resonated with our viewers across the country, and we think they will be equally fascinated by the lavish lifestyles and personalities of these Atlanta wives," Bravo executive VP and general manager Frances Berwick said Thursday. "They let us peek inside their exclusive, affluent community and see how they live their often-dramatic lives and manage families and careers. There is truly never a dull day for them."

The camera-ready hausfraus this time around:
Deshawn Snow: nonprofit founder, wife of Cleveland Cavaliers baller Eric Snow
Kim Zolciack: single mom, aspiring country-music singer
Lisa Wu Hartwell: real estate firm owner, jewelry and baby-clothing designer, model, actress, writer...and wife of Oakland Raiders linebacker Ed Hartwell
NeNe Leakes: nonprofit founder, wife of real estate investor, two sons
Sheree Whitfield: single mother of three, clothing-line owner

All of whom are at the center of the Atlanta social scene, Bravo promises.

courtesy of e! online

Tea Party


So we all know that the little niche I find myself drawn to in the cyber world (because remember, I live in Iowa) is the one of preps. Southern preps, New England preps, doesn't matter....preps. I found this video and it is hysterical! You must watch. You must watch now. Let me know what you think.

Friday Freebie at Monogram Chick!


Hey Y'all! Head over to the "business blog" and enter to win a free Preppy Travel Mug!(image)

Chalk the Walk


Spring has sprung (albeit a little late) in Iowa City! Recently Niles and I celebrated the amazing weather by going to Mt. Vernon's annual "Chalk the Walk." A fundraising event for the nearby city in which local and national artists flock to the barren midwest to create chalk drawings. Local businesses sponsor squares that were chalked by artists and there was also a large "community" picture of dogs playing poker. For $10 you could purchase a "square" and a box of chalk to contribute to the larger chalk drawing.
It really was a fun event, Niles and I ate lunch at the Lincoln Cafe (a place we've heard rave reviews about for dinner and want to try) and strolled with Bailey around charming, downtown Mt. Vernon.(image)

Cool "Blogthing"


So I found this pretty neat "blogthing" and thought I'd share since I am such a chocohaulic!

What Your Taste in Chocolate Says About You


You are sophisticated, modern, and high class.

Your taste is refined, but you are not picky.

You are often the first to try something new.

You are full of life and vigor.

You have an amazing amount energy, and you keep very active.

Some people feel like you can't focus on them. You do tend to be restless

You love being by yourself and thinking. Developing your own theories and ideas is fun.

You feel lost when you're forced to be social. Being with other people can be lonely for you.

Preppy Spring Swap


I LOVE games and am so excited about my newest "game"! I am taking part in ConneticutCharm's Preppy Spring Swap and I just received my partner's name. The rules require that I send my partner 6 preppy, springy items in the colors pink and green. They can be: homemade, secondhand, candy, thrift store find, etc.
The fun part is that each item must represent 1 letter in the word SPRING.

Example (but not limited to):
S - stickers
P - pencils
R - really pretty picture
I - interesting Spring recipe
N - notecards
G - green ribbon

I am so excited to start sending stuff to my partner Imporverished Preppy (and am a tiny bit excited about receiving things too!)

What a great way to kick off spring, espcially because today was so rainy and dreary in Iowa and I am longing for the Georgia sunshine!



One good thing about the mess that we have here in Iowa City from the melting snow and ice is that it is an opportunity to buy new shoes. If you'd ask Niles, he'd say I can use just about anyting justify a retail experience. However, this most recent purchase was born from true necessity. Now, I am not talking peep tose with kitten heels--yet, but I am talking adorable rubber rain shoes--wellies! As a kid I loved sloshing around in mud puddles and now, with my feet fully protected in my prepply little wellingtons I can unabashadly tromp through the puddles once again.

Hint of Spring


(image) We've finally had a break in the tundra-esk weather! This afternoon Bailey and I went jogging through the neighborhood. I was actually out in 34 degree weather enjoying the "warmth"! The snow is melting and the sidewalks and roads are turning into a muddy mess, thus Bailey was a muddy mess and required a bath when we got home (in my nice clean tub that I just bleached yesterday!) but it was worth it and I am craving spring!
So, I am wondering what y'all have on your playlists? I have a running mix that contains an eclectic mix that gets me through the run what gets you through yours?

With You--Jessica Simpson
Wind It Up--Gwen Stefani
Don'tcha--Pussycat Dolls
Open Toes--Katherine McPhee
Holla Back Girl--Gwen Stefani
Suddenly I See--KT Tunstall
Don't Lie--Black Eyed Peas
Bubbly--Colbie Caillat
My Humps--Gwen Stefani
Switch--Will Smith
These Boots are Made for Walking--Jessica Simpson
Pocketful of Sunshine--Natasha Bedingfield
Don't Stop the Music--Rihanna
Ocean Avenue--Yellowcard
One, Two Step--Ciara
Shine--Anna Nalick
Love Story--Katherine McPhee

Winter Weather Advisory




Today was snow day #4, possibly #5 tomorrow! When checking the weather this afternoon, (which as a side note, I wonder if it is really necessary to know the temperature as there really isn't much difference between -2 and -10, they are both subfreezing and arctic!) I came across the above warning.

I can't decide if the most amusing part is where they call it "bitterly" cold, where we are told that with the windchills the temps will be 20-30 BELOW zero or the last line in which we are warned to carry a survival kit in our cars. Really?!

Always an adventure here in Iowa, think of the stories we'll be able to tell our children. Niles will really be able to say that he walked to school in the snow...he won't be able to say uphill both ways, but we can tell them he was in snow up to his knees & that I had to carry a survival kit in my car!



Mrs. Gish Rocks!

Today I received a shipment of the best tasting and cutest cookies in the world. Check her out at I promise you'll not be disappointed. She does every occasion under the sun. The chocolate cookies are my favs. Don't you just love the braces?!

Spring Fever


I'm done. I'm over it. I want nothing more to do with the snow. However, this will prove to be difficult since we are expecting 4-6 inches of snow tonight. Who in their right mind finds this fun? I certainly don't. I'm sick and tired of my weather bug showing temps in the single digits with no end in sight!(image) I was reading The Road of Life blog when I came across "Spring in a Can". You can purchase this snappy little set on Etsy. It is a paint can gussied up with some burlap & twine, a pack of dirt and a few grass seeds. You assemble in the dry, gas heat induced warmth of your home and voila in 5 days you have bright, green grass! It seems that, for now, this is my only hope of springtime. How sad is that?
(image) So, as all you southerners bask in the radiance of the warm sun say a little prayer for me--that I can make it up my ice covered driveway without sliding back down as I lose traction and then that I'm able to scurry into our "cottage" without getting frostbite on any exposed smidgen of skin!

From now on, only sunny thoughts for me!


Snow Day!


Today we woke up to a Snow Day! This is my car this morning buried in snow--isn't the midwest fun?! According to Mark Schnackenburg, we are expecting a "wintery mix" (whatever that is) so school is called off for the day. Praise God! There was a break in the icy, watery, yucky precipitation that was falling from the sky this morning so I went out and unearthed my car. Who would have thought that shoveling snow in 32 degree weather would cause a person to sweat buckets? It was a great workout however, it is a chore that I think I'll leave to Niles! Enjoy the before and after photos!



I am sad to say that we are home from Colorado. We had a wonderful time skiing at both Vail and Beaver Creek. Niles and his fellow ortho residents atteneded a conference in Vail this past week--2 hours of class in the morning, 6 hours of skiing during the day, and 2 more hours of classes in the evening. Of course, the week went by way too quickly and we are now back in Iowa. The weather is about the same however, there are no snow covered mountians nor any white lights on the trees around here making it look like an idyllic snow village--we are simply back in barren midwest. In the photo below we just arrived at Beaver Creek ready for fun!



A Volvo made completely of LEGOS!

Never Did I Ever


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Never, in my carefree days as a child growing up in the sunshine state, did I ever think that I would have the JOY of spending winter in Iowa! I long for the days that I laid in the pool in January with sweat running down my temple, sipping on an icy cold beverage. Instead, I sit here shivering, clinging to my hot tea, with a foot of snow outside. As a youngster I never had to start the car 20 minutes before going anywhere in an effort to break the multiple inches of ice from all glass surfaces. I was never schooled in the heat insulating properties of goose down. When it was time to get the mail we ran outside, barefoot of course, with the thick saint augustine grass blades finding their way between our toes. We did not have to spend 10 minutes suiting up, covering every square inch of exposed skin to walk 12 feet to the mailbox.
On the other hand, the beauty of freshly fallen snow is breathtaking. The other night Niles and I stood outside in the silence of the night as huge, quarter sized snowflakes fell from the sky. That is something most Florida girls don't get to see. However, the serenity and beauty were short lived as my southern buns soon began to freeze! Only 3 more months of this...
Oh, by the way, for all you southerners: Did you know that if your gas tank is low on fuel it can freeze, rendering your vehicle incapacitated....just something I learned today. Praise God, it was not a lesson learned from experience! Note to self: don't let the gas light come on when living in Arctic temps!

Happy Belated Birthday


(image) To the King of All Things FRATASTIC!



(image) One week ago I was basking in the Florida sunshine, sipping the sweet southern nectar (fountain Diet Coke) and today I find myself struggling to walk as my ankle length down parka hinders each step I take. I am unable move my head from side to side for the scarf wrapped snugly around my neck in an attempt to keep all warmth bottled inside. But what makes matters worse--no fountain Diet Coke! Once we crossed the Mason-Dixon line on Wednesday it was goodbye sunshine and DC, hello snow and Pepsi. When will the midwesterners see the light? The holy light that shines on Diet Coke.

So Katie & Leigh, my partners in addiction, have DC for me! Cheers.

I can't be the only one....can I?


(image) Seriously, why is it that I can spend hours reading the musings on blogs of people I don't know, nor will I ever know, yet there is a pile of laundry that needs my attention and as I go to refill my tea I continue to step over it?




Being sick sucks. But I think that what's worse than me being sick is Niles being sick. He started feeling badly on Thursday night and has gotten worse ever since. His fever finally broke this morning for the first time in 3 days. He has a horrible cough and severe headache. He seriously has not gotten out of the bed in 2 days. He is going to the doctor today, hopefully the dr. will work some magic.

I pray that I will not, but I know that I will be, one of those high strung, overly cautious, thinks-the-worst mothers when it comes to my children being sick. Every time that Niles coughes (which, by the way, it sounds as if he is coughing up at least one lung and half of his intestines) I'm on edge. So, I guess I have some time to mellow out....
Get well soon Niles!



Ok, I have been a major slacker when it comes to keeping up with the blog. As we near 2008, I am making it my goal to be a consistent blogger.....we'll see.As we settled into life in Iowa City we have done some really neat stuff, met some great people and had visits from family. I will try to chronicle 4 months worth of festivities into this post.WINDSURFING Who would have thought that we'd learn to windsurf in I-O-W-A? Believe it or not, we did. AND, belive it or not, I was better at this aquatic sport than Niles. Really, that is all you need to know about the adventure.....OK, not all but in my humble opinion it is the most important thing of which you should take note.The orthodontic program director is an amateur wind surfer. Niles, being up for all things adventurous, told him that we'd like to learn. When the stars were alligned and the wind was at perfect learning speed (10 knots, coming from the North) we were phoned, given all directions, and within 45 minutes were at Lake McBride for our first wind surfing lesson. Now, before you go thinking that we drug the board and sail into the water and hopped on, let me correct your thinking. The first 45 minutes of the lesson were spent on land. "Practicing" the moves we would do once we were in the water. We each climbed on the board, pulled up the sail and rehearsed over and over what to do once floating in the cool water as sweat dripped from our foreheads underneath our "crash helmets" and long sleeved sun protection.We really did have a great time and learned new words like tack, jibe, starboard, port, rig, mast and boom.VISITORS!At the end of September mom and dad made the trek to I.C. They were able to: see my school, bask in the coziness of our cottage style bungalow, stroll around downtown Iowa City and the pedmall, feast their eyes upon the fresh produce and much more at the farmer's market, eat breakfast at The Hamburg Inn, experience german life at the Amana Colonies, shop at Kalona's Stringtown Grocery with the Amish, pick a "perfectly crisp apple" at Wilson's apple orchard, join us at our church, take Bailey to the dog park and even saw a Clydesdale foal!I knew I was homesick, but I did not realize just how sick for home I truely was until they came. It was a much needed visit and I loved every minute of it! I think that my favorite quote from the weekend was when I took mom and dad to the school and Brooke's students saw them walking toward the front with me. (Let me interject for a moment--we all go by our first names, and love it! read: major sacrasm) As we walked toward the building, Xavier announced to Brooke's class, "Look, its Mr. and Mrs. Sarah!" Enough said.As I write this and relive the memories we made during their first trip to the Hawkeye state, I remember with much joy what a truely great time we had! Thanks mom and dad for visiting, I can't wait until we do it again--I dare you to come in the winter :).The Hamburg Inn, Saturday morningShopping at the Farmer's marketFestive Fall Foliage at AmanaMovie Stars we met in AmanaYou know you're not in the south anymore....a bakery in Amana that spelled Y'all as any yankee would...Ya AllScenic countryside, only 15 miles outside of Iowa City!Amish owned, Stringtown GroceryKalona's localsMom's quest for "an apple that snaps when you bite it"What a great hubby, Niles hates apples!Sampling the fruits of their laborClydesdale foal and her mamaThis is horsepower!SISTER, SISTER! I don't even know what to say. My best friend in the whole world cam[...]

Romney wins Iowa Straw Poll 2007!


Today we did something that you can only do in Iowa--we went to the Republican Straw Poll. Thanks to our friends, the McCords, who are huge Romney supporters we were given tickets to this mock primary.Historically, this event has foreshadowed the candidate to win the Republican nomination for the Presidential Election. Bush won in 1999, Romney won in 2007.15,000 people attended this year's poll in Ames, Iowa (2 hours west of I.C.) and Niles & I made up 2 of that number. We left Saturday morning from the HyVee parking lot in Coralville on chartered coaches provided by the Romney campaign. We were served refreshments, given t-shirts, and watched a DVD to get us pumped up for Romney. After arriving we were taken to the polling area where neither Niles or I could vote since we still proudly hold Georgia driver licenses (technically we were charlatans since we did not make our support official by punching the chad). Romney paid top dollar for spot "center stage" with a huge tent, stage, live music, rock climbing wall, inflatable playgrounds, COLD water, COKE products (already a little gold star in my book), BBQ, misters to cool the patrons and plenty of seating. We chowed down on tangy Iowa-style BBQ sandwiches and then headed into the air conditioned coliseum to hear the candidates give their speeches. Prior to the candidates being introduced however, the Vice President of the NRA spoke as did Newt Gingrich--it was Republican to the core! Once the speeches were given we headed out, once again, to the Romney camp where we were able to meet him and his wife, Anne. With signatures and photos procured we wandered the aisles scoping out the other candidates' set ups while pouring buckets of sweat in the excruciating Iowa heat. As an aside, I am told that I will be wishing it was this hot come January! By 3:30 we were back to the buses to head home.Today, we were a part of history. We did something that we will more than likely never do again--something you can only do in Iowa. It was a great day with new friends and a chance to watch high-stakes politics in action.Please notice the ironic tid bits from the slide show:1. Notice the difference between Ron Paul's mode of transportation and the "Mitt Mobile"2. Only in Iowa do you see a bicycle taxi 3. The back of the coliseum was filled with bloggers and reporters with computers and high speed connections, yet you had to give a thumb print in pink ink to ensure that you did not vote twice (No, we were not in Iraq!) [...]

Its Not that Liberals are Ignorant, Its just that what they know is wrong. -R. Reagan


In preparation for the Iowa Straw Caucus on Saturday, Mitt Romney came to Iowa City. Julie, Addie & I went to Iowa River Power Restaurant for lunch and a question/answer session with the governor. This was my first "close encounter" with a presidential candidate. He gave a brief speech, highlighting the "3 legged stool" on which his campaign is based: strengthening the military, strengthening the economy, and strengthening family--all of which build to strengthening America. To me, his most impressive statement was when he addressed strengthening family. He was bold in saying that the first step to strengthening family was to teach children that marriage comes before babies.
Following his speech the floor was opened to "citizen's" questions. The media was not allowed to ask questions. Being in middle America (farm country) many of the questions that were asked centered around agriculture, one question was asked about education and one about medical care asked by a med student. Of course, there was also the token "green" question about alternative fuels--of which I know nothing but was impressed with the governor's knowledge of the "granola" jargon.
We have been in Iowa City for a little over a month now and I had no idea that there were other Republicans here! I have never seen so many Obama and Hilary bumper stickers--it was refreshing to spend time with like-minded, RIGHT individuals.
One of Romney's aides took the photo of us (which explains why MY head is cut off and Mitt's is perfectly centered) and the other photo is of Romney just after signing a bobble head doll of himself.
All in all it was an enjoyable afternoon, I love politics and am amped for the 2008 elections! Dad, get the speaker phone ready, I am sure there will be many hours of simultaneously watching the Fox analysts while on the phone but not saying a word.
**On another note, you cannot see how cute my hair is, but trust me, Joel would be proud.

Shear Joy



I have found that one of the hardest things about moving to a new city is finding the perfect person to cut my hair. I have wandered the mall looking for girls with cute cuts just to ask them who cut their hair! My search is over; today I found someone to cut my hair! It may seem trite however, a great haircut can turn a somewhat crappy day into a great day. For me, if my hair is sufficiently coiffed then I feel better about myself. As of 2:00 today my unmanageable mane has been tamed and my hair is basking in its former glory.
All is right with in the world of hair.