Saturday, June 28, 2008


Looks like we have a bit of relief in sight today. The smoke from the fires has been pretty intense the past week and this morning when I got up, I could actually see the hill off in the distance, thanks to a little breeze blowing in from the west.

It's been pretty gross out here and to know that you're breathing in the smoky air is so disgusting. We have had numerous advisories to stay indoors and keep your windows shut, but there are still those people who you see outside running, kids playing at the playgrounds, and women pushing strollers down the sidewalk... am I being overly sensitive to the pollutants?

I'm sorry, but when there is a doctor on the news at night talking about how pieces of ash could get lodged in your lung, I'd rather not take the chances - only because something like that would happen to ME! ha ha...

I think Wednesday and Thursday were the worst days so far.

First of all, the sun had already come up by the time I left for work, but it was a brilliant orange color with a pink perimeter. It was actually really beautiful, but weird that you could look right at it, too.

Second, when we walked outside to our car to go to lunch, the smell literally burned your nostrils and hurt your eyes. My contacts are all jacked up because of it - it's like there is a little film covering them. The smell like a camp fire that you can't get away from because it's constantly lingering.

Third, when we were coming back and taking the country road, there was about a mile to mile and a half of visibility and the smoke was literally rolling on the ground, like you would see fog doing on a fall morning. Creepy.

Here are a few pictures that I took either Monday or Tuesday on my way home from work... I can't remember. To know that it actually got worse than this is mind boggling... we need the rain that the midwest has been given too much of for the last few months!

The morning sun (too bad you can't see the vibrant colors)

Heading north on my way home

Western view

On Thursday you could barely see the outline of the hill from my apt. - here it just look hazy

Friday, June 27, 2008

Movie Shorts

We went and saw Wall*E tonight after work and it was sooooo cute - I loved it.. well, I love little animated, feel-good movies anyway, but this was seriously too cute and probably made most adults (including myself) think about how we treat our Earth. I even teared up a couple of times...

The best part to some of these Pixar movies are the short takes beforehand. The clip tonight was called 'Presto'....I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time! I didn't see any YouTube things out for it yet, but I'm including my other favorite short called 'Lifted' from the beginning of Ratatouille...equally funny :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Follow Up

Here are a few pictures from the 240 that I took while I was back home :)
Noah, Mady, Marcie, Joci

Auntie and Kids

Tough Guy

I'm so cute in my new dress

April, Reagan, Marcie, Missy, Carson

Marcie & Missy

Maverick, April, Marcie, Reagan

ISU Campus from the Memorial Union

Marcie & Amber, my college roommate

Marcie & Kathy, my manager from college

Homedog (Mike) and Nut Busta

Marcie & Mom - the sun, it burns my eyes

Birthday Girl with her doggie cake & candles

Dad & I on Father's Day after church

Mark & I golfing for the reunion

Amy & Jerry (The Cable Guy) - our golf partners

Addy & me in the horse barn

Jacie, Me, and Parker

Marcie & Mom

Dad and his 'girls'

April, Marcie, & Holly

Keegan hitting the ball

Marcie & Heidi

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tripped Out

Whew! What a whirlwind 10 days I had at home last week. It was by far, the best trip I've had since becoming a "visitor"... and it was equally hard to leave.

It was great seeing green grass and green trees in Iowa - everything out here is burning up - flip on the TV and you'll see what I'm talking about. Today when I walked outside to go to lunch, my nose literally burned on the inside from the lingering smoke. It's so gross here.

Here are the highlights:

Tuesday - arrived home - you already read about that... mom had a Subway waiting in the cooler for me when we hopped in the car because I'm always starving when I fly in. Especially now since they yanked our pretzels from the plane. We drove home and sat around visiting the rest of the night and went to check out the new track at the high was so nice to relax!

Wednesday - Heidi and her boys came out to spend the afternoon with me and of course she had to 'get my hair did'... I wish she could be my personal stylist out here. She knows my head of hair like the back of her hand and nobody else can do it like she does... even with the cowlicks... while she was at the house, Kelli and her youngest daughter showed up to say hello too - my arm hurt from holding her for all of 3 minutes! She does like to eat..ha ha..

That night we went to watch my nephew play his last home game of baseball. I was so proud of him - he has a mean little arm on him and made some really good throws and does an awesome job at first base. He got a couple hits and ended up on third base at least one of those times... I could have watched him a lot longer!

Since it was Zoe's birthday, we went over to my brother's house after the game for TACO PIZZA! You know Casey's has the best... oh man, it tasted SO good... my mouth is watering just thinking about it....mmmmm.... we had some ice cream cake afterwards and the folks took off and I spent the night with the kids 'camping' in the living room. I got to sleep with Zoe (because it was her birthday - do you see a theme here?) and she fell asleep in my arm with her head up on my shoulder - I wish I could have stayed like that forever.

Thursday - my brother and I dropped the kids off at their grandma's house and I went to his work so mom could then pick me up. We swung by the old office in Clive where I used to work to say hi to the guys and Pam and get caught up for a little bit. Once we left there, we did a little shopping and picked up Evonn from work to go to lunch with us. It was so nice having her all to ourselves :) After lunch mom and I dropped in to see Holly and April before they headed home for the day and then we headed back home... I was pooped out, seriously...

Friday - I was supposed to go to Ames to meet up with my college roommate, but with the flooding, all the roads were closed that I needed to take. I was so bummed out because I was looking forward to seeing her THEN! It just didn't work out that way though. Instead, dad got the Vette out and we went for a little spin around town, which made me soooo happy! I know I got my love for speed from him... in the evening, I met up with Jacie and got to spend some time together out to eat - which ended up being, not the two of us since quite a few people would come over to say hi or welcome back... but it was still fun! We went out to her parents' house to visit some more and so I could see the boys - man, have they changed! It was the first time I got to meet 'Wheel', so I was pretty excited to see him!

Saturday - My cousin, Kari and her puppy (who is not so little) Bella stopped by early in the morning to say hi on her way through town to her parent's house. I look at her and feel like I'm looking at me! Some people can really see the resemblance (like my mom) and other's can't (like my dad). I think we have a lot of the same mannerisms and facial expressions and it makes me laugh. For not being sisters, we sure look like it! After she took off, mom and I headed out to Shonda's and take her some of mom's freaking homemade peanut butter cups... I swear, she loves peanut butter and chocolate just as much (if not more) than I do....that's the only reason she ever wants me to visit in the first place. THEN, she put us to work ('us' meaning mom) in the horse barn. Shonda's the only person I know who can look sexy in a tank top, shorts, and cowboy boots.

My 15 year class reunion took place at the golf course starting at 2:30... let's preface this by saying that I'm not a golfer, I don't enjoy golfing, and it was hotter than the hubs of hell out there. After hole 3, I wanted to go home. I had fun with my golf partners though - Mark lives in Hawaii and we had fun catching up while driving the cart around and Amy and Jerry were our other teammates. We cheated so bad. But it was so much fun and totally worth the 2.5 hours in the sun!

Chad and April picked me up so we could head over to the second half of the reunion - supper at the lake. It was so yummy and fun seeing so many people! I think we had a pretty good turnout and I even won an award - lowest golf score. I don't know who tallied that considering we didn't really keep score and the score we had was a lie. Oh least I got something :)

After part two of the festivities, the party moved to the local bar downtown... I can't hang like I used to. I was yawning and ready to go home at 11. I hitched a ride with Kelli and Ray to the bar and then had Karmyn drive me home after midnight. I was so tired and wished I had my own car so people didn't have to drive me everywhere!

Sunday - Father's Day (sorry dad, no mushy blog for you on Father's Day. Me being there was the best gift of all... I already know that...ha ha). We went to the 11am church service and I was pretty stoked to get to talk to Pr. Mike and his wife, Sally before it started. Both had some really encouraging words for me and I'm glad I had the opportunity to chat beforehand. Saw some friends afterwards and then headed back up to my brother's house for Zoe's (drum roll please) birthday party!! We played with her new dolls and 3D sidewalk chalk and had lunch and cake and opened gifts...what a day! Once we got home, we grabbed a bite to eat and then drove up to see my grandpa and wish him a happy Father's day as well while sitting outside was just beautiful outside that night...

Monday - yay, the flood waters have receded so I could make it to Ames to see Amber! I had the best time with the end of the day, we were giggling like we were 22 again :) I didn't want to go home... had lunch at Hickory Park and ran into my 'homey' while we were there - Mike stopped by our table to say hi and I was so surprised that he sat next to us the entire time and never said anything! It was so great seeing him... once we left there, we had to make a stop at the bookstore where I worked in college and say hi to my manager and get caught up on the hot happenings going on there... I miss that place... we walked around campus and then ended up driving out to our old apartment for memory's sake. Such a beautiful town...

Tuesday - Back to DM early in the morning to see April and her family before heading up to my dentist appointment - I can't believe what a happy baby that girl has! I never saw her stop smiling! ha ha...(she makes me smile just thinking about her.) I was lucky enough to meet up with Missy and her little guy for lunch AND have April come with us - it was such a relaxing afternoon walking around, talking, and shopping. Again, I didn't want the day with them to end. I miss Missy's stories and how she makes her facial expressions :)

Wednesday - Kind of bummed out this day because my friend Amy, my golf partner, was going to swing by with her girls, but one of them got sick in the night and couldn't come. I haven't seen them for a year and I was anxious to see how much they had grown! Those things happen though... I did get to go up to have lunch with mom while she was working and giggle around with Tawny while we ate together. They have the shortest lunch half hour ever! Once again, I headed back to DM and this time, went shopping with my sister in law for the afternoon. I rarely get to spend one on one time with her, so this was extra special for me! We picked up the kids and I got to have them with me on the way back to the house. They sang and recorded songs for my cell phone and I bet I've listened to them about 50 times a piece now. It's the only sound of their voice that I have and I have listened to them every night before falling asleep...

Hellooooo taco pizza for supper :) They know me too well... the kids and I went for a bike ride/walk around the block, Keegan and I played catch in the backyard and true to being my brother's son, he made fun of me for how I throw a baseball...and then kept mimicking it... over, and over, and over... acorn didn't fall too far from the tree there! Zoe and I blew bubbles, then we sat out on the patio and had some ice cream. Keegan asked me when I was moving back and then told me about all the things that he likes to do when I'm around.... it made me feel so good. When I asked Zoe what she missed about me being there, her reply was, "Ummmm...nothing." Great.... thanks for the kick in the teeth, kid. I spent the night again, but this time it was Keegan's turn to sleep with me on the air mattress! I got clotheslined in the middle of the night twice by his skinny little arm, kicked in the back, and when I woke up, the only room I had was the area in which I was laying on my side. He was snuggled up behind me with his head on my pillow just sawing logs. Glad he slept well!

Thursday - I cry every time I leave the kids when I spend the night. I hate good-byes. So, I bawled for a while, then picked up mom in DM in the morning. We did some shopping and had Evonn meet us again for lunch one last time. Got some groceries on the way home and just enjoyed the last night together relaxing and sitting around visiting.

Friday - Finished packing before heading back to CA and realized that I always have this feeling of 'doom' the day I leave. I get really quiet and don't want to talk. I think I was just going over the last week and a half and realizing how much I miss my family and my friends back home. My heart is in Iowa, but my home is in CA for now. ("Home" being used lightly of course...)

My body is in a slight detox after being there... I was fed so well - grilled out quite a bit, had homemade potato salad, chocolate pie, peanut butter cups, chips, omelets for breakfast, and anything else that I requested! Thanks, mama :)

Just think, six more months from tomorrow and it will be Christmas and I'll be doing the same thing all over again :)

I'll try to post pictures next time around...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Arrival

When I flew in to IA last week, I knew I was getting picked up from the airport by my parents. I was SO excited to finally land and when I made my way down to the baggage area, I was already searching the crowd to see their little faces standing where they usually do.
However, they weren't there. I panicked - how could they forget what time I get in? Is it possible that they're actually late for once in their lives?

I then see the side of my dad's little sparrow legs as I try to walk around a couple older ladies in front of me, but there is somebody else coming towards me. Now mom is smiling and waving and all of a sudden I hear, "MARCIE!!" and little feet come running my way... my niece and nephew were there to greet me, too!

Shocked and surprised are the only words that can describe that moment. Then the flood gates opened.

I picked up Keegan and he's got a death grip on my neck hugging me. I look down at Zoe and she has her hands in her pocket and she said, "I'm gonna be SIX tomorrow." I smile and say, "I know! I can't believe it!" I put Keegan down and pick up Zoe to give her a hug, too. Keegan says, "And I found a penny at Starbucks!" as he pulls out the coin to prove it. Zoe points out that I'm crying 'a lot' and I told her it was because I was so happy to see her - she let me know that she's not crying even though she's happy to see me too... ah, the honesty of kids...

Sunday, June 8, 2008


There is a book out there called Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure.

Last night at church, (is it just me or do I always seem to write this? Good thing I go there so I have something to write about!) our pastor was referencing this book and wanted us to think for a minute and write down our own memoir and then share it with the people around us.

A few examples that were given included:

I am the Lord Your God. (Leviticus 18:2) - God
Extremely responsible, secretly longed for spontaneity. - Sabra Jennings
A sake mom, not soccer mom. - Shawna Housman
I gave up too soon. - Anonymous
Taking a lifetime to grow up. -Mirona Iliescu
Most successful accomplishments based on spite. - Scott Birch
Cursed with cancer, blessed by friends. - Hannah Davies
Many mistakes but very few regrets. - Girl in congregation
Iowa native in California searching God. - Me

Of course I was obsessed the rest of the evening trying to think of more 6 word phrases to describe myself, but I was stuck on the one originally given.

What I came away with from the sermon on Leviticus was that God wants us to live and He wants what is best for us....He expects us to encounter His love, His compassionate holiness, and His ultimate plan and solution for us.

I guess I find a lot of comfort in those words - especially when things seem amiss at times.

It was interesting listening to others around me and what they had been through or are going through right now. We're all in the same boat together, but on different levels, it seems. Logical, sure... but sometimes we all feel like we're swimming alone, you know?

Think about it. What would be your 6-Word Memoir?

Post your comment here or email me directly and I'll anonymously do it for you :)
(My apologies to Mr. Nelson on the misprint...thanks for the correction!)