Thursday, June 28, 2012


Okay, so I've been telling Ashley that I would do a guest blog post for more than a year. Easily. Every time something interesting happens in our lives she's asked me to write one, but I never pull through. I know it is ridiculous because I've always enjoyed writing. I feel like I can throw a paragraph together, but each time I just made excuses until the topic faded into oblivion.

Yesterday, she asked me to write one after the evening that we had, and I felt it was finally time to come through. Better late than never right? I've been known to procrastinate, but this one has been sitting on the shelf for about two years. Last night we took a trip to Harlan, Iowa, and I finally got my first tattoo.

I suppose it might be a good thing that it has taken so long to finally get it though. Everyone I talk to says to give it at least a year once you've decided on something. That way you will be absolutely sure that it's something that you'd be willing to have for the rest of your life. After two years and not changing the design, I was pretty confident that I'd be happy with my decision.

I've been in contact with the fine folks at Oz Tattoo for the past few weeks nailing down all the details. The tattoo artist, Jodi Wendt, has designed artwork for several people that I know so there was never really a question of where I would be going. Jodi did Ashley's lip tattoo, as well as, Chris's sleeve.

The design has been pretty much set since July, 2010. I wanted to get a remembrance piece, and I wanted it modeled after this image. The image is the artwork found on the cover of a Murder By Death album that was released after a close friend of the band passed. Late last month Ashley and I started talking about everything again, and I decided that it was finally time to do it. We were out to lunch on a Saturday afternoon, and she made me call Jodi before we could leave the restaurant's parking lot. A few weeks later an appointment was scheduled, and then we were on our way to Harlan.

I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't nervous. I'm pretty sure every ten minutes or so I asked Ashley how bad it hurt, or if she could compare it to something else that happened to her. She just laughed and then reassured me that it would hut but I'd probably live. In all seriousness though, I'm pretty sure I was more excited than scared.

We arrived at Oz a little after 6:30 PM. Our appointment was at 6:30, but we were running a little late due to traffic. We got into the parlor, Jodi had me fill out all the paperwork, and then showed me the final sketch. After we agreed on a size and location, she pointed us in the direction of a few magazines and told us to wait as she got things prepped. She called me back after a couple of minutes and proceeded to shave my arm.

Prior to getting started she told me a story about a couple of girls that were in the shop earlier that afternoon. They were also getting their first tattoos and wanted to know what it felt like and if it really hurt. She kind of laughed about how a tattoo is one of those things that can be approached in several different ways. You can either be scared of it, or you can treat it as an opportunity to grow as a person. I'm glad she made that comment because it really put things in perspective.

I knew as soon as she started that it was going to be fine. The feeling can best be described as a minor annoyance. The only point during the whole process that I felt any real pain was when she got very close to my armpit. The whole experience was amazing, we talked about a ton of different subjects, and it was over in an hour and a half.

I'm really glad that I finally went through with it. Getting a tattoo has made me realize that there are probably other things in life that aren't as scary as I've built them up to be. For the past few months, I've been trying to approach things in a new light and not take myself so seriously. It has become important for me to allow things to happen in my life and be okay with the fact that I don't have as much control as I previously wanted to. Yesterday was just another building block.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Nick and Emily came to visit! Hooray! I love it when they come to visit. Their criteria for a good time always involves things that Andrew and I were planning on doing anyway. But this way, we get to do it with them. I love friends.

Card games and pizza
Lunch at Leo's Diner in Benson (we will be going back!)
Ice Cream Truck (I was beyond excited!)
Bags, bags, and more bags
Grilling out
Walks with Coby
Hero Quest! - Custom quests by Nick are the best!

The Skeeball machine never being open at Beercade
The vet visit that consumed most of Saturday morning

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I would like everyone to meet the newest member of the Flater family. Say hello to Coby!

Picture courtesy of Emily R.

Andrew and I adopted him on Wednesday. We tried to get to him on Tuesday, but were a little late to the Humane Society. So, when I took a lunch break on Wednesday, I went straight there to meet him. After that, it was only a few hours before we got to take him home. Of course, Andrew had to meet him before everything was final. But after we spent about 10 mins in the meet and greet room with him, we knew we weren't going to leave without him.

Our first pic! Waiting for the paperwork!

He is a big boy! A chocolate lab weighing in at 152 on the day of adoption. He is housebroken, lived with kids and cats, and knows his basic commands. After doing a routine check up at the vet, she said that he would need to lose a few pounds, but otherwise he was pretty healthy.

Bags mascot!

The cats weren't too thrilled to meet their new roommate, but they have been warming up to the idea. At the time of this post, Erin is sleeping in the same room as him. I'd say that is pretty darn good.

We are over the moon about our new guy! I'm sure you will be seeing much more of him in the future.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Last Sunday evening, I got quite the surprise! My brother and my dad rolled up to my house with a brand new grill for us. It was a house warming gift from my parents. Aren't parents the best? It's almost like they read our minds. That same day, Andrew and I decided to buy a gently used grill off craigslist, but my parents had something else in store for us!

Andrew was in Des Moines for the night to visit friends so I had to patiently wait for his return to fire it up. Oh, we couldn't be happier! Immediately after work, we went to Lowe's to pick up the propane and Hy-Vee for some grub. I'm so happy that Andrew won't have to bend over a tiny little cooker on a tiny little balcony to prepare our delicious BBQ anymore. I think we will have to do this more often!

Thanks, Mom and Dad! You guys are the bomb.

Monday, June 18, 2012


This weekend, Andrew's parents came to see our new house and to celebrate Father's Day. I ate and drank way too much, but it was all worth it.

- Drinks on the patio
- Awesome dinner at Cantina Laredo
- Casino! I came out $5 ahead!
- Chatting with the neighbors on our porch
- Lunch at Pitch
- Dinner with both sets of parents and Pops at Farmer Brown's for my mom's birthday
- Deciding to put paint samples up after a few beers
- Going to my parents house to celebrate Father's Day on Sunday

- The center diamond coming loose in my engagement ring. I saved it though! And it's being repaired now.
- We still don't have a microwave...

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Last load of stuff.

 Last weekend we said goodbye to our apartment. We grabbed the last of the boxes, took one last look around, and locked it up for good. Although most of me was relieved to finally be done with it (moving, sharing walls with our neighbors, and terrible landlords), another part of me was really sad to leave. A lot has happened in our lives since we have lived there. As a couple, we got engaged and married, shared many fun nights with friends, and watched more movies than I can count over the two years we called that little box home. Sure, there were few bad times too. But even those times made us grow and learn.

Us at our closing!

I'm so happy to be moving into my first home with Andrew. It's an exciting time. I'm sure this house will bring many great new memories, new challenges, and more adventure. And I can't wait! Before and after pictures coming soon. I can't wait to show you guys all the craft ideas I have in store. (This is where a slyly rub my hands together and do a sort of evil laugh.)

On a side note, this morning I questioned whether we actually got everything from the apartment. Like all of the little things that slipped between the counter and the fridge. What are those things, and what will become of them?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I did it! I took the plunge and chopped it off! It's all gone, and I'm really happy about it.

I used Carey Mulligan for my inspiration. I would classify her hair as a longer pixie in this picture. I wanted a pixie, but I thought this might be a tad safer in case I learned that I hate pixies and wanted to just grow it out. But now, I'm not afraid, and I think next time I want to go even shorter (a la Ginnifer Goodwin).

I've gotten a pretty good response from most people. Others remembered an early lesson that everyone should learn... if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. But the thing is, I don't care! If I was even a little on the fence about it, I would feel hurt if someone saw my new do and didn't say a word. But guess what? It's just hair, it grows back, and it's mine. No harm, no foul.

It's almost two weeks since I chopped it off, and I already feel like it's too long in the back. I didn't think I would be saying that so soon! How often do people trim pixie cuts anyway?

Monday, June 11, 2012


I know it feels like Memorial Day weekend is but a distant memory, but I still need to tell you about our weekend. Our good friends, Sarah and Ryan, came to visit us, and we were able to have a pretty great weekend!

Beercade and Krug Park (I really love Benson!)
Not golfing and just driving the cart and chatting with Sarah
Zoo - The baby monkey was the real highlight. Oh, and we got to see the bears and the sea lions get fed!
Espana - A tapas restaurant. I will def. be going back here. 
Chats and beers on the balcony
Not having to drive home on Sunday

It was so hot. So, so hot. 

What did I miss? Check out Sarah's blog for everything else.

Friday, June 8, 2012


After seeing one of Robyn's songs featured on Girls, I have been listening to her nonstop. And now, I'm obsessed with these little girls and their cover of Call Your Girlfriend. Lennon and Maisy! How cute are those names?!? And why couldn't I be this cool/talented in my youth? Seriously! Also, the closest Robyn will be coming to Omaha is WI. Anyone want to road trip?