Monday, May 11, 2009

Thankfulness!

Hey everyone!
As most of you know last Friday I celebrated my 24th birthday. Since my birthday week ended (in my family we celebrate all week long), I have been a little sad and yet very thankful. This was the first year in 5 years that I have not celebrated my birthday with John. I have to admit there were many points in the week that I was a bit down, but so many people made it an amazing week.
First I'm so thankful for John. I think he must have had an idea that the week would be a little difficult. He sent me an extremely sweet gift and we talked each day. I'm so ready for him to be home and to never have to celebrate without him again. Note: John will get sometime in the last few days of May. He will be done with school on the 28th of May and will be hitting the road pretty quickly after the school year ends. I can't wait!
Second I am so thankful for all of my family and friends! So many people took the time to celebrate with me. Wednesday, some of the ladies from my wine club and I met for a few glasses of wine (always fun)! Thursday, my cousin Heidi, who is attending cosmetology school, got me in to have a little spa time. If you ask me, there's no better way to start your birthday off! After that I met up with Mom's family for dinner at one of my favorite restaraunts, then several of my friends and I hit the town in Sioux Falls. I had such a nice time and it was great that they took time out of the middle of their busy weeks to spend some time with me. Friday, several family members celebrated in Brookings with me. I can't express how blessed I feel to have such wonderful people around me, that care so much. Thank you to all of you!
Now that my birthday is over I'm starting to really countdown the days until John arrives. It will be great to have him home!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break Trip











My friend Brian and I ventured to Southwestern Colorado (Ouray, Silverton, Durango, and Grand Junction specifically) for a mountain biking adventure Spring Break. We took Maggie, Brian's canine companion, which was also fun. The first night we got into Ourey during a snowstorm, and snuck into a hot spring to drink some Captain. It was a blast. Imagine sitting in a hot tub during a heavy snowstorm drinking. It doesn't get much better than that.

The following day we met up with Brad Legge, Brian's friend who is also an expert ski guide. I can't get over how dangerous those ski runs looked. Here is a pic of the cabin we stayed in.



We mountain biked heavily the next three days, an adventure I will never forget. Imagine riding downhill at 20+ mph on a trail three feet wide and to your left is a 300+ft cliff. Scary and exhilarating. Unfortunately I broke my deraillieur hanger on the third day, but it was the last run anyways so that was okay. I just had to ride down and couldn't peddle.
In other news, I am almost finished with Phase 2 of P90X. Here are some pics to show my progress. Enjoy! Peace! John

Monday, April 13, 2009

A South Dakota Spring!

Well, today spring finally seems upon us! I do so hope that it continues. With all the changes that come with spring, my life seems to continue to change a little each day. A little over 2 weeks ago I moved out of Laci and Brett's house and in with my friend Steph. Steph had kindly offered me a room in her home a month or so ago, and I was very excited to take her up on it. I'm looking forward to being a little bit settled for awhile. I'm very tired of living out of a suitcase and she has really tried to make me feel as though I have my own space. It's great. We've had a great time so far and I'm completely thankful for her opening her home to me.
Work is still going very well. I keep pretty busy and have gotten to know so many people. Working in HR the last few months has made me overlly grateful for just having a job. Its amazing how many people are without one right now.
I'm starting to really count down the days until John moves home. Each day I wake up and go to bed thinking about how wonderful it will be when we are together again. Although I try to stay really positive about the entire situation, I do hope we never have to do it again. Thankfully he will be home for a quick trip in a week. I can't wait! It will be so great just to see his face, even though its only for a few days.
Other than the day-to-day I have had plenty of opportunities to keep busy. I've made a trip to Iowa to visit John's Mom and Dad, Buck, and Bella. We celebrated Dave's Birthday and had a great time just catching up with all the changes in everyone's lives. I've also made a few trips up to Volga for different things: birthdays, ect. Getting to be involved in everything again makes me sooo glad to be home. Nevada was a great experience for both John and I, but I am so thankful that I no longer have to miss these events.
Well, thats all for now. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! See you all soon!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

I want to wish my father a happy birthday today, March 27th, 2009. I am sorry I'm not there to share the happy times with you, dad, but I know we will have many to come in the years ahead. You've always been someone I have admired, and yet still someone I will never fully understand. I guess that's what makes it special. We are not so very different, but I hope you can appreciate me being my own person in the choices I make in this life of mine.

I ask you this: Are you happy? Don't answer too quickly. Part of me feels that you and mom have created a comfortable, secure life, and in that there is some happiness. I think that there are many things you both have ignored or decided, in fear of change, to avoid in life that could bring happiness to you. I ask you to, in these coming years, go after those dreams and ambitions you have long set aside while and creating a home for us kids. Take advantage now of your acquired wealth, ideals, and wisdom and experience life at its fullest. I think about these things all the time, and want only for you to be happy as you grow older.

Hopefully, you and the family will have a great time. I do wish I could be there. Amy has gotten you a gift from us, and I can't remember what it is, but in addition to that, make sure you come up and stay with Dylan and I this summer and catch some fish. Fishing has always been a medium of bonding for us, and I anxiously look forward to that. Love you dad, John

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hello everyone,

I have made it to week 3 of P90X and am starting my fourth. I am really seeing and feeling the results already!

Everything seems to be going well for me lately. My students are really fun and they are actually learning stuff. I enjoy going to work. How many people can say that? I have the cabin reserved for the summer with my bro and some friends. It should be the best summer ever. My administrator wrote me a heck of a recommendation for my next job so that is great. I have fifty holes of golf in already (44 being my lowest score-with four pars!). Also, moving back is going to be cheaper than I expected. Somehow I can't help but think something bad is going to happen. I doubt it though. I can't figure out why I've been so lucky lately.

I've been recording some newer songs in my home studio and making those sound good, so I'll be sure to get those to you guys as soon as I can. I can't wait to get back in the coffee shops playing for people--that is something I really miss.

Spring break is coming this next week, and my buddy Brian and I are heading to Southern Colorado to do some mountain biking and camping with one of his friends. It should be a blast. The specific area is Durango and Silverton, I believe, so you can check that out. I will be sure to take some great pics and video to post.

Here are some pics of my first week of P90X:














And here are some from after my 3rd week:











TTYLATER! Peace!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Brand New Start!

Hey everyone.
It's amazing how quickly life can change, and mine has done just that. I have had numerous BIG changes, and most for the better in the last month.
As most of you know I stayed in South Dakota this past January and February in the hopes of finding a new job. The goal was for me to get started in a solid career in order to help make the transition from Nevada back to South Dakota easier. Well, by mid February I was feel very down with basically no activity on the job front. Then during a wierd turn of events my mom and Bill ran into the VP of Human Resources for Lewis Drug at the Lewis raquetball tournament that Bill was playing in. They mentioned me and he asked me to come in and interview for his assistant position. I went in the following Monday and Wednesday I was offered the position.
I've now been with Lewis for three weeks, and I love it. My boss is great and all the people I've met here have been very welcoming and friendly. The work I do at times is overwhelming, but I feel as though I'm getting the hang of what needs to be done on a daily basis.
My job consists of two very differen parts. First, I do a lot of Human Resource work including new employee orientations, employee paperwork, scheduling, applicant tracking, ect. Second, is working with Loss Prevention. This area is a very new experience for me, and is definitely teaching me a lot. I basically am in charge of dealing with all the paperwork that happens when we deal with a shoplifter or someone you writes a bad check at one of the stores. This has been incredibly challenging, but also has been, and will continue to be, a great learning experience. Overall, I think this will be a great place to create a career in Human Resources. I'm very happy.
Although work is great, it has been hard being so far from John. We talk daily and I was able to make a trip back to Nevada before I started my job. It was so nice to see, not only John, but also all our friends back there. I'm glad I got the chance to say good-byes and even was able to substitute teach for my favorite class one more time. It was a great trip and I was suprised how hard it was to leave. Needless to say, I'll be glad when John is back. It's just not quite home without him.
Now the next few months will be full of planning for our new life here. With my job going well, I now need to start looking for a place for us to live. I'm still staying with Laci and Brett. I'm so thankful for them and their generosity. Although it's been great staying with them, I'm anxious to have my own place again and to start making a home here. That is one thing I loved about Nevada. Our apartment was never fabulous, but it was definitely "us". I'm ready to have that type of space again.
Well, that's all for now. Take care and I love you all!
Amy
P.S. Next time I'll try to include some pics!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March to the finish line!

Hey all, just wanted to update you on the recent events of my mondane life here in West Wendover Nevada. I have a video that has some information, but I will type some as well.

Basketball has been over for about a month now, and that feels good. It was a great learning experience and I will surely miss those girls next year. My ten JV girls will be replacing eight of the ten varsity girls who graduate this year, so next year will be a rebuilding year. ON a positive note, the head coach's daughter Danika Sharp, who is a Junior this year, has signed a full scholarship to play for University of Nevada Reno, which is very impressive. I will miss coaching her next year as well.

Needless to say I have a lot of spare time these days. I just started P90X and have completed week one. Also I am putting 15,000 steps/day on my pedometer. I'm sure that will increase as I golf every day after school. Unfortunately the weather, which Dylan can attest, has been cold and windy. I am not impressed. I do have 27 holes of golf under my belt and can't wait to continue.

Other than that, teaching is going good. Everyone is taking my leaving really well, especially my administrators, who are standup guys to say the least. They are writing some recommendations for me, which will help to ensnare a job at the Educator Job Fair I will be attending in Sioux Falls on the 22nd of April.

Now for the most exciting news of all. My brother Dylan and I, and possibly two of our friends, were lucky enough to secure a cabin on Twin Lakes MN, our vacationing lake, for the summer. This is something we will greatly enjoy and have dreamed of doing ever since we were little boys. We are happy to have chosen education as a career to make this possible, and look forward to fishing, swimming, golfing, and spending time in the wonderful outdoors of north central Minnesota. Well, check out the video for more info! TTYL - JOHN
video

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hey everyone!
It's been a long time since I posted so I thought I would take a few minutes to update everyone on what's new with me. Well, as most of you know, I've been back in South Dakota for over a month now. John returned to Nevada. It's been extremely hard being so far apart from one another, but I think in the long-run will be beneficial. I think we both have begun to realize the many things we take forgranted and when we are together again will do a much better job appreciating one another. I'm currently looking for a job here in the Midwest (the sooner the better), in hopes of getting us settled a bit before we officially move back. Although I haven't found anything yet, I have been doing some temporary work and have had some wonderful opportunities to spend time with family and friends. I am very thankful for this time, but will be more than ready to have John here with me in May. My cousin Laci and her husband Brett have been letting me stay with them. I'm so thankful to have such wonderful family that are so willing to open their home to me.
As you can see in John's previous blog, he is doing very well back in Nevada. He keeps pretty busy with work and basketball. He recently moved out of our place and into a new (much smaller) apartment. I'm hoping to make a trip out to see him sometime soon, possibly in March.
Well that's all for now. I hope you all are having a wonderful February!
Amy

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back in the Desert!

Hey everyone, John here, writing from the moderately warm state of Nevada once more. As most of you know, Amy is still in South Dakota looking to advance herself professionally. This blog will be short, as I have only a few items to share.

First of all, teaching and coaching is going great. Once again I am happy to be in West Wendover for my first year of teaching. I am learning a lot, and apparently so are my students. Check this out. Out of the 56 Juniors who took the writing proficiency in November, 39 passed. That is 70%! Now remember that I did not teach all of these Juniors, only 37 of them. You do the math. This is excellent for WWHS students and especially for these students who could not write complete sentences when I arrived in August. This gave me a warm feeling inside. It is really nice to know that I am making a difference. Along with this, one of my fellow teachers told me I am the best English teacher to come to West Wendover in a long time. Of course this comment was not told to me by the other English teacher here ;).

Among these Juniors is a young man named Tyler. I would like to share a letter he has written to Barack Obama. It cracked me up.

"Dear Mr President,
Congratulations on becoming the first African American president in the United States. I believe that this country would be a lot more peaceful and nice if we were to legalize marijuana. We should also raise speed limits. I think we should take over Amsterdam and blow up Great Britain.
Tyler"

You may make whatever assumptions you wish to, just know that he is only one of the many characters I teach here at WWHS. Have a great January!

Love, John