Grandpa Louie

At the end of last week, I headed to Iowa for John’s Grandpa’s funeral. As it turns out, I ended up missing almost the entire funeral due to flight problems. I pulled up to the graveside service right as the “Taps” was being played (it was a military funeral). I didn’t know John’s grandpa well, but I could tell he was very loved by his children and grandchildren.

Grandpa Louie had dementia and consequently I don’t think he had any clue who I am. Over Christmas, he was talking to me about his grandson John (aka my husband) and how John just got married. I told him that I was actually John’s wife. He just looked at me and laughed 🙂

There are a lot of people who I don’t know very well who have shaped my husband’s life, and for them I am truly grateful.

Gma and Gpa U
This picture was taken in December with Grandpa Louie and Grandma June at our wedding Open House in Iowa.
Grandpa Louie’s descendants at the funeral luncheon.
John and I stopped by Grandpa Louie’s farm on the way back from the funeral luncheon. I LOVE this picture – the lush corn, the thick clouds, and one handsome man!



California :)

My last work trip for the U.S. Chamber was to Los Angeles, California. For the last four years, I’ve headed to California for work in July. The weather is beautiful and it’s a welcomed change from the humidity of the east. This trip was especially fun because John was able to meet up with me at the end and visit my great aunt Fannie. John was also in California for work the same week, which worked out very nicely.

Fannie and I with a beautiful backdrop of the pretty paintings in her living room.

We were also able to grab a bite to eat with John’s cousin Mike.

Cousins 🙂

One of my favorite parts of this work trip each year is when we go out on a yacht to celebrate those graduating from the Institute program. This year the boat ride once again did not disappoint.

Me, Karyn, and Shelby – the two great ladies I traveled with to each site.

On the last night of the Institute program in L.A., our team traditionally holds a small, special event for the staff and a few others. This year we were at the Bel Air Bay Club. John was actually able to join us as well after he kindly drove up from San Diego during rush hour.

Institute staff in California.
Me and my favorite person.

John and I took the red eye home from California on a Friday night, and the next Tuesday I started my new job. It was great to end my U.S. Chamber/Institute experience with this trip.

June 2016 Moments: My 100th Blog Post

This is my 100th blog post! While I don’t have anything special to share, I’ve learned that simplicity and consistency are two of the greatest blessings of life. Life is calm and simple right now, and I appreciate that.

During the last few summers, my summer plans have revolved around my work travels. In fact, as I type this, I am on a plane heading to L.A. for work. I’ve enjoyed meeting different chamber of commerce and association professionals throughout my travels. In June, I headed to both Madison, Wisconsin and Athens, Georgia for work.

We forgot to take our traditional staff selfie at the Big Bash, so we took one afterwards in the parking lot.
We forgot to take our traditional staff selfie at the Midwest Institute Big Bash, so we took one afterwards in the parking lot.
Having fun at the Southeast Institute Big Bash.
Having fun at the Southeast Institute Big Bash.

Over the last few months as my husband and I discussed our future goals, including buying a house, I felt it was time for a change in my professional life. My current commute is about an hour and a half each way, which means I am gone from 7 to 7 each day. I’ve been at the U.S. Chamber for almost five years and I’ve loved my time there. I wanted to take the next step in my career and find a job that wasn’t so far away from our current home and new home. Earlier this month, I accepted a job as the professional development manager for an association near where I live. My last day at my current job is July 18, and I start my new job the next day.

As I mentioned in my last post, another exciting change in my life is the new home John and I are building. We finished making all the selections for the home and signed all the necessary paperwork…there was a lot! We are so excited to watch our house be built 🙂

Near the end of this month, I celebrated my birthday. I was in Athens, Georgia for the actual day and was sick. My coworkers and I were supposed to have dinner with a group of board members that night, but I ended up eating Chick-Fil-A in my hotel room. That night one of the board members sent me a video of everyone at dinner singing me “Happy Birthday” with a big coconut birthday cake on the table. It was so sweet! When I returned home, John and I celebrated by going to Maggiano’s. We also had a family celebration with my family and John’s sister on the Sunday after I got home.

Maggiano’s put candles in my dessert and even brought us an extra dessert – very sweet!
We also spent some time at the Air and Space Museum in Dulles. Here we are in front of the SR-71 spy plane.
We also spent some time at the Air and Space Museum in Dulles. Here we are in front of the SR-71 spy plane.
In front of the Discovery space shuttle.
In front of the Discovery space shuttle.