9.15.2014

A Bushel and a Peck…

What!?  Three days in a row!  If this was like my Nike running app it would be congratulating me for blogging three days in a row or better yet, for blogging more times this week than last week.  Maybe that’s what I need…a little motivation from the blogging voices.

Anyway, this past Saturday was a perfect fall morning.  Cool temperatures, plenty of sunshine and a trip to the local apple orchard.  Like I mentioned in my last post, Patty, another coach’s wife is showing me some of the ins and outs of southern Illinois.  This time we headed up the highway to a little apple orchard outside of Marine.  It was the full apple picking experience!

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After the orchard it was back to Greenville for a busy day.  Until I had my blonde moment, or maybe just a Megan moment.  I completely locked myself out of the house.  With Trent and our only key in Minnesota.  Trying to be extra cautious (we do live right next to a prison) I locked every single door and lock possible when I went to bed Friday night, including the one from the garage into the house.  When I left Saturday morning I went out the front door and locked it behind me planning on just using the garage code when I got back.  When I got back I was running late for Kirsten’s volleyball game, but wanted to drop my apples off and grab a quick snack.  Then it quickly dawned on me…when the door in the garage would not turn…that I had completely locked myself out of the house.  Still with Trent and our only key in Minnesota.  Panic quickly took over as I tried to remind myself that this was not the end of the world and I would in fact be okay.  Eventually I was able to get ahold of my landlord and meet up with him to get an extra key. 

A couple of things I took away from this experience…I do not know how to pick a lock.  My neighbors are the best. A spare set of keys are necessary. 

Even with Trent out of town it was a good weekend.  Sunday I used my apples to make some homemade applesauce in the crock pot and I am already planning my next apple recipe.  10 pounds of apple leaves room for a lot of opportunity!  Added bonus…Greenville won their game in Minnesota 44-9 and the defense held Minnesota Morris to negative rushing yards!  Things are looking up…

 

{The Launes}    

9.14.2014

Up, Up and Away…

Last month while the guys were busy with fall camp, one of the other coaches’ wives and I made a trip to Centralia, Illinois for their annual balloon fest.  This was my first trip to anything like this so I was excited to check things out and see the balloon glow.

Patty knows the ins and outs of Southern Illinois because she grew up not too far from here so she has been able to show me the ropes a little. 

Balloon Fest

We set up camp right in the middle of all the action…

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Up, up and away!  There were all kinds of different balloons on display…

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Such a fun and colorful balloon!

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Unfortunately mother nature had other plans as light rain moved into the area before the balloon glow started.  However, it was fun seeing all of the different kinds of balloons and getting to see some of them take off.  Definitely something worth checking out again!

{The Launes}

9.13.2014

Labor Day…

Two weekends ago we had our first official visitors!  Trent’s parents were here a couple weeks ago when they moved Kirsten back to school, but this was the first official visit for us (and Kirsten too).  And let’s just say we jumped right in to entertaining.  Trent’s grandparents, parents and his sister Naomi and her three kids made the trip out because it was a long weekend, Kirsten had three volleyball games and Trent had a scrimmage.  Our humble abode has only 2 bedrooms, but with a little creativity, we were able to sleep up to seven of our guests.   

The best part of the weekend was our pre Labor Day picnic at the park on Sunday afternoon.  We grilled burgers, played at the playground and fished.  It was the perfect evening with the perfect company!

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Landry proved that he was quite a fisherman making the top catches of the day with two fish…

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And he’s a pretty cute fisherman too, if I do say so myself!

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Lainey and Ellie tag teamed their fishing efforts showing a little sisterly love…

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Lainey caught her own fish too and was she ever excited!

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It was actually a pretty close three way tie for the cutest fisherman at Patriot Park! 

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Fish number 2 for Landry…

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…and of course we ended our evening with ice cream!

I was super excited for company as my days get a little long sometimes.  It was fun to have a little taste of home for a few days and to keep busy.  It was definitely quiet when everyone left Monday morning! 

So a big thank you goes out to the Laune clan for making the trek out for the weekend!

{The Launes}

9.04.2014

#17: Take Me Out to the Ball Game…

I’m in a slump.  Like a do I really have to change out of the clothes I’ve been wearing for the past two days?  kind of slump.  On the bright side, I do still wash my face and brush my teeth twice a day and I have knocked out 5 seasons of Friends DVDs and read 7 books since I’ve been here.  I have also had one subbing job.  I know I just need to get into a routine and get over the initial fear of the unknown world of subbing, but I have found myself getting into bed each night this week and quietly praying that no one would call me to sub in the morning.  I should be embracing it all, but instead, I am giving into the fear.  The unknown.

With that being said, there is no real excuse as to why I have not wrote about number 17 on my list: go to a Cardinal baseball game.  It was a month ago!  Well, no excuse except Friends DVDs, reading and Pinterest. 

Going to a Cardinal baseball game was kind of a when in Rome moment.  The Cards are huge here.  If there is a game (which in MLB is basically every night) then people are decked out from head to toe in their Cardinal attire.  It seems like everyone loves and follows the Cards.  I wanted a little taste of what all the excitement was about.

Therefore, on a Wednesday night in early August, we loaded up and headed to St. Louis for a game verses the Red Sox. 

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I may or may not have been more excited about seeing the arch from our seats than I was for the actual game.

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We even got our own Cardinal shirts for the game…like I said, when  in Rome.

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It was a fun game…after an hour long rain and lighting delay.   Cards lost in the 9th, but I got to check another thing off my list!

Until next time…

{The Launes}

8.03.2014

Sweet Tea and Mulligans…

Arkansas, where the sweet tea runs freely, the crickets chirp louder and good times are had.

Last weekend Trent and I took a little trip to Arkansas to visit Will, one of his friends from Concordia, and his wife Taylor.  We have definitely spent our fair share of time in the car this summer, but we had been wanting to go down and visit them for awhile.  Therefore, on Friday afternoon we once again loaded up the car, this time bound for Cherokee Village, Arkansas.

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This was my first trip to Arkansas so I was even able to check #1 off my list: Visit a new state.  This of course meant that we had to stop at the state line and take a picture in front of the Arkansas sign.

We arrived late evening so after some yummy burgers and sweet tea with a hint of mint (Will’s specialty), we spent a little time catching up.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to participate in an athletic fundraiser golf scramble for Will’s school.  Again, I was getting to check something else of my list, #30: Golf a new course.  It was meant to be.  Thank goodness it was a best ball scramble, but that really didn’t help us out too much.   We did however have lots of fun as the temperatures climbed into the 90’s.

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Trent and Will reunited at last…I won’t name any names, but two out of the 4 of us stayed up until 1:30 a.m. chatting our first night there and I wasn’t one of them!

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The gang after we tied for last in the golf tournament…

After a long day in the sun we headed back to their place, which just happens to be on a lake and the water felt amazing!  We floated for awhile and enjoyed the beautiful Arkansas day. 

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Arkansas was a fun time.  We got to relax, hang out, have fun and laugh until my stomach muscles hurt (thanks to Will’s stellar Euchre playing skills).

July was a busy month.  We put 4,000 miles on our car with all of our travels.  Appropriately this trip would also conclude by rolling over 100,000 lifetime miles on my car just as we pulled back into Greenville.

Now, it is back to the grind (for Trent anyway).  In his book, summer is over as he officially reported back to work on Monday.  I, however, am still living the dream.  Well, as close to the dream as you can get in Greenville, Illinois…

{The Launes}

#11: Take Photos of Nature…

What better place than Colorado to take pictures of nature?  Not many words are needed to describe the pure beauty that exists in these pictures. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

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My favorite picture from the whole trip.  Emerald Lake with Mount Elbert in the background.  It was so still and peaceful there.

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One thing I couldn’t help but think about on this trip was how God’s beauty is so intricate and vast at the same time.  It is impossible to capture the true beauty in a photograph. 

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

{The Launes}

 

7.25.2014

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

For vacation this year, Trent and I planned a little trip to Colorado.  My 30 before 30 list included hiking a mountain and Trent said that the Rocky Mountains are the only mountains that count.  With that as our main goal, we also planned to knock a few others out while we were there (i.e. camping and fishing)

We headed out Monday morning so we could make the drive to Leadville, Colorado in the mountains.  The plan was to camp, which I was less than excited about, but again, it was on my 30 before 30.  We set up camp at Turquoise Lake, with our site backing up to a mountain stream.  It was a fun campsite with mountains all around, a beautiful lake and state of the art mother nature all around.

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This is my “I’m happy to be camping, but it’s a little chilly” face…

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Trent is a real trouper camping (actually, maybe I am the trouper), but either way since he is the camping enthusiast in the marriage, I basically let him do it all…the cooking, the tent set up, the clean up.  If I help too much I’m afraid we will have to camp more regularly!   He is happy when he is one with nature.

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Our campsite…nothing but us and God’s creation.

The first two days were spent fishing and exploring the area around Leadville.  There were lots of scenic spots to check out.

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My first fishing license…I have yet to catch my first fish, but there’s always next time, right?

Camping was fun.  We were roughing it.  While camping I learned that a vaulted toilet is a fancy name for an outhouse…don’t be fooled.  For 2 nights I was good.  More than 2 nights and I would have complained more than I already did. :)

After two  nights of camping we headed to Frisco to stay at the Holiday Inn.  I was excited for a shower and nice warm bed.  Then, on Thursday we ventured out and took the scenic route to Aspen to explore.  It was fun being able to stop off where we wanted along the way and explore or hike a little.

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Independence Pass – the high point on the highway.  Elevation 12,096 feet…

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It gets a little chilly when you are way up there…

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There really were a lot of Aspens near Aspen…I like big aspens and I cannot lie!

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Friday was the big day…we set out bright and early to hike Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado and the second highest peak in the lower 48.  It was a perfect day for hiking as it was warm and sunny with a light breeze. 

Quite honestly, when I told Trent I wanted to hike a mountain, in my head I was picturing hiking in the mountains like we had done before.  I never expected to climb to the summit of the highest mountain in Colorado, but I guess the Laune family motto could be, “Go big or go home.”  We went big.  And I think that we would both agree that it was way harder than we expected.  First, starting out, I was pretty sure that I was going to die.  We were constantly going up, up, up (I know, what did I expect, it’s a mountain).  However, once we got above the tree line I started feeling a little better.  There were frequent breaks, but we were making progress slowly, but surely.  At one point I really felt like we were getting close.  There was a lady coming down the mountain so I decided to ask her if we were getting close.  To my surprise, she laughed at my question.  I think that was my answer.  The she went on to explain that what I could see was actually a false summit.  Once we reached the top of that, there was another steep climb to the top.  I think I can, I think I can.  We got up and continued on our way.  At no point did I want to quit or turn around, but I definitely just wanted to be at the top.  As we climbed the false summit it was so steep that I literally had to bear crawl so I would not tumble over backwards.  At one point we were stopping about every 10 to 15 feet for a break because it was that exhausting.  However, finally, we made it to the top!

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All the hard work was worth it.  It seemed like you could see forever from the top…

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The view from the top…

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Mount Elbert…Elevation 14,433

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I came.  I saw.  I conquered…

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So did Trent…

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The journey down was a breath of fresh air compared to going up.  Going up, there was literally no air!

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Back down at the bottom after a 7 hour round trip hike.  As you can see from the dark clouds,  a storm moved through when we were on our way down.  It was actually sleeting on us as we were still at pretty high altitude.  Then came the thunder and lightning.  The only time I almost cried on the hike was when simultaneously thunder rumbled as I stubbed my toe on a rock.  I think it would have been justified, but Trent agreed that I recovered quickly.  We did see one good strike of lightning down below us and heard from other hikers that they felt their hair stand up.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.  You can’t mess with Mother Nature.

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Mount Elbert in the distance…

By the time we got back to the hotel Trent was already planning our next trip to Colorado and which 14’er we would hike next.  At that point I was telling him that he would be doing it solo, however, I am starting to warm up to the idea of another hike.  Next time I will train with hills and heavy incline on the treadmill.

…Round Trip Statistics…

License plate game: 40 States

Miles: 3,000

States Visited: 5

Pairs of Sunglasses I went through: 3

30 Before 30’s Completed: 6

All in all it was a fun and memorable trip. 

Summer is fun.  Summer is busy.  Summer is my favorite.

{The Launes}