Thursday, July 31, 2008


Did anyone else hear that Starbuck's is apparently closing like 600 of their stores nationwide? Now I don't know about anyone else but what sad news. Where am I going to find my grande, nonfat, no water, 5-pump Chai Latte wherever I travel in the U.S. now? Luckily only one in the Des Moines area that I don't think I've even been to yet is closing. My frequent ones will remain open and will continue to serve me the best chai in all the land. Here's apparently a list of all the stores that are closing by the end of the year.

Hopefully your Starbucks near you won't be closing and you can still enjoy your favorite hot or cold $4.00 beverage.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A new job!

So I figured I should share with the world that I got a new job! I suppose it's about time after not working for about 3 1/2 months. It sure was a nice break from the world of pharmacy for a short time. I'm going to be working at Medicap Pharmacy which is in Carlisle, about 20 minutes south of Des Moines. It's an older community serving mostly elderly patients with about 90% of the prescriptions coming from the local clinic in town. It should be a nice position because I'll be working Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-6 and every other Saturday from 9-1:30. For a pharmacy job, those are pretty good hours. We're closed Sundays and holidays which is great so I can actually attend a church on a regular basis and be with family on holidays. And I'll still have a couple days off during the week to do fun things (like scrapbooking and working out) and not so fun things (like doing laundry and cleaning). I at least feel like now I can spend money without worrying if we'll have enough. It's also good that I have a job because we still own two houses....anyone looking to buy a townhouse in Aurora? Let me know. We're going on 9 months now that it's been on the market, so I'm very ready to be a one-home family hopefully soon.

4th of July

For the 4th of July this year, we were invited down to Springfield, IL where some of my (Rachel's) family friends live. Colin's friend Dan and his family live on Lake Springfield and always have a big party every year with friends and family from Springfield and the Chicago area.

We drove to Springfield on Friday and met my mom and sis at the hotel where we were staying. After we all met up there, we headed over to the Short's house and got to meet my brother's girlfriend, Amanda, for the first time. They and a bunch of the other college kids had been there since the night before. That night was the 4th and so we headed to the lake's point to watch the fireworks which were a mediocre display at best. I'm not a huge fan of fireworks to begin with...I think they're pretty overrated. But it was fun to be there with my family.

On Saturday, we got up and thank goodness, there was a Starbuck's right down from our hotel. So we stopped there on our way to the Short's house. We spent the afternoon jet skiing and tubing on the boat and eating and hanging out. The weather couldn't have been better.

Joe and Colin on the boat

Saturday evening was the big party. There were over 100 people there and Jamie's favorite part of the evening...a DJ. I even duped him into dancing at the end of the evening because the song "The Last Dance" came on which starts off slow and then speeds up in the middle of the song. He loved me for that. =)

My sister Mandy, and her bf Matt

My brother Colin and his new gf Amanda

On Sunday we went back over to do some more jet skiing and tubing. I really wanted to go water skiing because I haven't done that in years but the lake was too choppy. Jamie had never jet skiied before and discovered he really liked it. In fact, on our drive home back to Des Moines that evening he talked about wanting to buy a jet ski and asked me how much I thought they cost?? (If you're wondering, they range in price from $4000-12,000) We won't be buying a jet ski anytime soon-there really aren't many great bodies of water here in the great state of Iowa.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hy-Vee Triathlon

At the end of June, my (Rachel's) family came to Des Moines for a visit and for Colin to participate in the 2nd annual Hy-Vee Triathlon. This has become a huge event in the world of triathlons in only a year. They give out the largest purse prize of any triathlon in the U.S.-and all here in little Des Moines, Iowa. Colin participated last year and took first in his age group (15-19), around 40th overall.

This year the Hy-Vee Triathlon had a little bit of drama associated with it-as you know the city of Des Moines was underwater for a good part of June. The original race was scheduled to take place starting at Gray's Lake, biking out to West Des Moines, and then heading back in to downtown for the run. Well Gray's Lake was underwater (or well had a lot more water in it...) and they had to make a decision about what to do. They went back and forth from making it a dri-tri (run-bike-run) to moving it out to West Des Moines and then finally deciding that there was a lake they could use and it was safe to swim in out in West Des Moines. We were all very excited that it was going to be a REAL Triathlon.

We all got up at 4am to get ready and head out to the triathlon. I haven't seen 4am in a very long time (maybe since last year's triathlon...) Colin took the athlete's shuttle from Valley West Mall and we took a shuttle from the Jordan Creek Mall out to the race site. Because they moved the tri, they had to change things up a little bit. Last year, the athletes swam, transitioned to the bike (Transition area), biked, came back to the Transition area and headed out for the run, finishing at the capital in downtown. This year, they swam, transitioned to the bike (Transition area 1, T1), biked to a new location and transitioned at Transition area 2, T2, went out for the run and came back to T2 which was also the finish line. Our shuttle only took us to T2/finish but we wanted to see Colin start and do the swim and get on his bike, so we walked the 2 mile hike over to T1 in order to see him start. We made it just in the knick of time. He was about 7th coming out of the swim....and then we made the 2 mile walk back to T2.

After our walk, we all split up to get some different camera shots and to be able to cheer him on from different locations. Jamie and I took the spot as he transitioned from the bike to the run and he was about 6th at that point, still looking strong. We knew we had about a half hour before he came back from his run so we walked around and picked up some SWAG (stuff we all get-reference from The Office) from all of the different vendors. He was aiming for a total time of under 2 hours so we staked out our place to sit at the 2 hour mark.

Colin ended up doing awesome with a time of 2:03:40! He came in 13th overall and 6th in his age group (20-24). He started getting a cramp near the beginning of the run which slowed him down a bit but in the middle of it poured some water over his head and felt revived.

We stayed later in the day for the elite race which was the professional triathletes, some of whom were vying for the final spot on the U.S. Olympic team. It was a great race but it came down to Hunter Kemper winning the final spot (he's a pretty great triathlete-also a Christian).

Overall it was a great day and who knows maybe someday we'll see Colin trying to get the last spot on the Olympic team... :)