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February…Where Have You Gone?

I feel like a blog slacker these days…I keep meaning to sit down and post something, and then the time just gets away from me. Truthfully, we’ve been pretty busy and in the down moments I guess I don’t feel much like sitting down at a computer. When I was a kid, and longed to be a writer, I would tell myself that if I only had a typewriter I could write and write and write. But here I am, with computers at my disposal and I just can’t seem to find the time. Sometimes I struggle with what to write. Wondering who is reading this, why they are reading it, what I want to say. I think I’m going to challenge myself to try and post more regularly, about whatever trips my trigger. We’ll see. In the meantime, here’s a recap of recent goings on.

George turned 60 this month and Lissa, Matt, and I put our heads together and planned (and pulled off) a fun surprise party for him. We invited a bunch of his friends and family and met at a local restaurant in Boone where the Karwoski’s are known to frequent. (I can’t even tell you how many family dinners we had at the Tic Toc…it’s sort of ‘our place’ in Boone.) With the perfect rouse in place, George arrived to what he thought was going to be a small family dinner, only to find a room full of people ready to celebrate. He was visibly surprised, touched, and just plain tickled pink. We all had a great time chatting, telling stories, and listening to Grandpa pass the ‘old man’ torch and read a special poem. It was a great night, and was exactly what I had hoped it would be. I could write an entire post on George…what a great dad he is, how many lifelong friendships he has and continues to maintain, the close relationships he has with his siblings…he is genuinely an all around good guy. We’ve had our differences over the years…but in all things I have never doubted his love for his family and his good intentions. He has helped us out in so many ways these past few years, it only felt right to return the favor and give him a special night. I’m just so glad we did, it was great!!

Also this month was the Red Flannel Run, a 5K & 5Mile run/walk for the YMCA in downtown Des Moines. I had mentioned it to Amy shortly after our first 5K, and we decided to sign up to run this 5K as well. It was a chilly, cloudy morning when Blake, Amy, Matt, and I all headed downtown for the race. We unloaded Matt at the finish line with the cameras and headed across the Locust Street bridge to get in line. Blake decided to run the race too, but quickly jumped ahead of Amy and I after we started running and met us at the finish with Matt. Amy and I had agreed to run intervals again for this race and we improved our time from the first race by 3 minutes. I was pretty happy with that! It was a weird sensation, running in another race…I have to say, I think I liked it. In fact, I know I liked it. I can’t wait to run another one…and my goal is to run the entire route next time. I know I can do it…and can’t wait to prove it to myself. I can feel it…I’m kind of becoming a runner.
Weird, I know. It was a little bittersweet this time for Matt, having Blake run in the race too. He had a twinge of jealousy, wishing he could have joined us. But he sat there in the freezing cold waiting for us to cross the finish line and greeted us all with a smile. After the race we went out for breakfast together and made a morning out of it. It was fun to sit in the restaurant with our race gear on…evidence of what we had just done. A lady even approached us to ask if we had run in the race. It made me smile to say we had. I’m really looking forward to the next one.
Valentine’s Day came and went without much fanfare (other than the Daytona 500, of course!). But Matt and I traditionally don’t really do the whole Valentine’s thing. Naturally, I made his big cookie and we exchanged cards, but that was the extent of it. Pretty typical for us. We just don’t need a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ to remind us how much we love each other. I think we’re pretty good at expressing it on a regular basis. As I was contemplating what to put on Matt’s cookie, I realized this was the 18th Valentine’s Day cookie I had made him! So, that’s what I put on the cookie! And then I went back through all the years of photos to check out all the cookies…it was funny to see all the cookies and the silly things I wrote on them all…and the goofy grin on Matt’s face – so happy to get his big cookie each time.

Today George came down and took us out to lunch and then over to GNC to meet a few Hawkeye football players (Pat Angerer and Tony Moeaki) who were signing autographs. We had to wait in line for nearly an hour to meet them, but once we got up there they were both very nice. They came out from behind their table to take a few pictures with us and shake Matt’s hand. Pat even pulled him in for a one armed bro hug. It was sincere…and I could tell it really meant a lot to Matt. He mentioned later how nice he thought Pat was. I’m glad we went out on a snowy, slushy day to meet them!

And speaking of snow. Oh boy, is it ever going to stop? We got about 3 inches last night and they are calling for another 3-5 tomorrow. I can’t even say how sick of winter I am. How ready for spring I am. How tired I am of snow blowing and scooping the ridiculous mound of snow at the end of our driveway. It just makes me tired thinking about having to do it all over again tomorrow. But…it ain’t the end of the world, and I know it. Even if I sometimes act like it is.

I still think the snow plows are out to get me (somehow the entire street of snow ends up at the end of our driveway EVERY TIME)...

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