Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Andrew and I celebrated Halloween over the weekend by going to see my cousin, Jenna, at her bar and going to another cousin, Renee's, Halloween party. We thought we were being so clever with this year's Halloween costumes. Maybe a little too clever! Only one person knew who we were... Success?

I think we pulled it off pretty well. What do you think? Can you guess who we were?

Stumped? You are not alone! We were two of the members of the Portland Adult Hide-and-Seek League from the show Portlandia. Here the is skit!

Coby was begrudgingly a cowboy. This is the cycle. We put on his cowboy hat. He shakes it off. We put on his cowboy and tell him no when he starts to shake his head. He stops trying to shake the hat off but puts his head down and looks like the saddest chocolate lab you have ever seen. I can't stand it so I just take it off. Next year, he will def. be something that doesn't have a hat. Suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Sunday marked the official end to the Fourth Annual Flater/Reed Halloween Weekend. There was a couple of trips to Side Door Lounge (Friday and Saturday), a dance party, brunch at Wheatfields, Vala's Pumpkin Patch, a nice nap, meatloaf, pumpkin carving, Hero Quest, a few beers, and a Packers win. And here are a few pictures to mark this wonderful occasion!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Labrador Loaf - Three Dog Bakery

Yesterday, Coby turned 7 years old. And what kind of birthday would it be if there wasn't cake? After we all had dinner, we took a walk down the street to Three Dog Bakery. He liked sniffing all of the good smells and making a mess of their water bowl.

Happy birthday, buddy! We love you so much and are so glad to have you as a part of our family. We are looking forward to many, many more years of fun! Thanks for being so awesome!


Mom and Dad

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


This weekend was another road trip! You know how much we love those. We graced Des Moines and Ames with our awesome presence, and had so much fun seeing our friends.

Andrew, pumpkin beer, brie, Gavin, Emily listening to Andrew read scary stories
Brie en Croute with pumpkin butter (might be the best thing I have ever eaten)
Pumpkin beers
Early breakfast with Mal and Max
Meeting Gus and seeing Gavin Emmett (Alex and Kelly's dogs)
ISU game
El Azteca in Ames
Olde Main
Baseball games

5 am wake up call on Saturday
Hillside seats for the ISU game (we won't be making that mistake again!)
Forgetting my toiletries bag at Nick and Emily's

Thursday, October 11, 2012


On Monday, I got an extra special treat. Andrew took the night off, AND we got to the First Aid Kit concert at The Waiting Room. What a great show!

First Aid Kit is a sister duo from Sweden. I'm not sure how we first stumbled upon their music, but I'm glad we did. I think I can speak for both of us when I say that our favorite part was when they performed one song with only their voices and a guitar. No drums, no piano, no microphones. It was such an intimate moment! Everyone was so quiet...

After we left the show, I told Andrew that I can only describe their voices as hauntingly beautiful. I'm convinced these girls were born in the wrong decade, but I'm glad that I get to enjoy them now.

Friday, October 5, 2012


There is a project that I have been working on the last few months that has been consuming a lot of my thoughts. I wish that I could say that it has taken up a lot of my time, but it hasn't and that's why I can't stop thinking about it.

In June, we adopted Coby. In his papers, it said that his family surrendered him to the Humane Society because they could no longer afford him. Just by looking it his size, it's easy to see why. That boy can eat! Which got me thinking... I can't imagine how painful it would be to have to give up a pet (a member of the family) because you couldn't afford their food, medications, etc. Coby wasn't the first dog to be given up for this reason, and he won't be the last. Just thinking about it breaks my heart.

I started doing some research. I found numerous pet food banks across the country! Many cities with more than one, but I couldn't find anything in our area. I contacted the NE Humane Society, and they said they didn't know of anything like it in the area. That's all I needed to hear. I immediately got to work determining what I needed to get one started. That's when I found a brick wall...

To start accepting donations (food, money, etc), you need to have nonprofit status. To get this, you need to file forms, and prepare articles of incorporation, and assemble a board, and the list goes on and on. I quickly realized this was going to be no easy task. I contacted a couple of lawyers. At the cost of over $5,000, I could have this started in no time. But where was I going to get that money? I can't raise funds until I have the status, and I can't get the status until I have money. See the dilemma? Ugh.

Bring in the Omaha Community Foundation! They were my first glimmer of hope. They are essentially a nonprofit that helps nonprofits. And they could help me! With them, I can file an application, and if I'm accepted, I can use their nonprofit status to get the pet food bank up and running. This means that I start raising money (and food!) and apply for grants!

I thought it might be a good idea to meet with the Food Bank for the Heartland to see if they would be able to help in anyway. At this point, I would be so thankful for even some good advice. But luckily, Susan Ogborn, the president of the Food Bank for the Heartland, agreed to meet with me, and we were able to talk about how they might be able to help. Yes!

Now for my next dilemma. The OCF application isn't exactly a walk in the park... The application has challenged my patience, my determination, and writing abilities. I plan on just muddling my way through the best I can and try to keep my hopes up.

Before today, I was really hesitant to tell too many people about this dream of mine. I think mostly I was afraid to say that I failed if it didn't work out. But I really, really want this to work. I want to make this a reality and make a difference in my community. Trying to stay positive is probably the hardest part. Not everyone has been supportive, and numerous people have told me that it sounds like too much work. There have been more than a few tears shed, but I don't want to give up. I think maybe I just need a little encouragement (and a lawyer, accountant, and business writer) and maybe a few prayers for the project and my sanity.

Thanks for listening!

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” 

- Theodore Roosevelt