The Windy City…

In all my thirty years, I have never been to Chicago.  I’ve been to the airport.  Both Midway and O’Hare, but never outside those walls.  Last Saturday, on a whim, I drove a little over three hours north to meet up with Trent who was working at a football camp at Olivet Nazarene University.  We spent the evening (and wee hours of the morning) with our friends, the DiSandros, who moved up there last winter.

Then Sunday morning Trent and I decided to take the train into the city and explore Chicago a little.  It may have been the shortest trip on record to Chicago, but we managed to squeeze in some fun.


Number one on my list was the Bean.  It was crazy busy around the Bean at Millennium Park, but I managed to snap a couple of pictures.



We stopped for lunch at Giordano’s for some Chicago style pizza.  If you are ever in the Chicago area, I would recommend Giordano’s at Navy Pier.  I think they were the friendliest wait staff I have ever encountered.  And the pizza was uh-mazing, too!


A view of the city from Navy Pier…a little gloomy and cool, but still a nice view!



And then came the rain.  Trent is clearly thrilled that I thought this picture was necessary.  Just as we were ready to head back to the train it started to rain.  Nearly thirty minutes in the rain left us riding back on the train most likely smelling like wet dogs.

With less than three and a half hours in the city we were able to see the bean, Navy Pier and eat at Giordano’s.  Like I said, it may be a record for shortest visit to Chicago, but we got to dip our toes into big city life for a few hours.  Now I just have to convince Trent to go back…

Until then…

{The Launes}


Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now…

The first weekend in May I was back in Nebraska.  Again.  Lately I’ve been back in Nebraska more weekends than I’ve been in Greenville.  Not that I’m complaining, I love being home.  All the traveling just wears on a person a little.   However, my reasons for being back were extra special. 


The first was to celebrate my pretty momma’s birthday! 


The birthday girl and her sweet grandbaby…


This girl will be walking without assistance in no time…


Presents and cake!  I lied on my last post when I said that on my next trip there wouldn’t be cake and I’d have to run 13.1 miles.  I did have to run 13.1 miles, but I also got cake.  Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? :)


Morning coffee with this cutie is fun.  So is the mug. 


This girl loves going for a bike ride!  And she is about as cute as can be in her little helmet.  Safety first!

The second reason for my trip was to run the Lincoln Half Marathon.  Jamie had high expectations early on in the training, but by the day of our expectations weren’t too high.  The only things that were going to be high were the temperatures and the humidity.  With a high temperature of 86 degrees plus high humidity my new goal was to finish in one piece.  Happy and healthy.


I got this note from my sweet friend Heidi.  It totally made my day and kept me going during the race.


Pre race dinner at Toast.  Best French Dip in the Midwest!


A little hardware to add to my collection…


After the race.  Let’s just say I look a lot better than I feel… We definitely didn’t set any records, but we had fun.  Or as much fun as 13.1 can be.


And then came the not so fun part.  I did finish the race happy, but didn’t quite meet my healthy goal.  I spent the next few hours “talking to dinosaurs” as Jamie would say, before I reluctantly told Trent that I probably needed to get fluids.  It was a flashback to the 2012 Lincoln Half Marathon.  All is well again, but my attempts at my “serious” running might be over.  We shall see…

Overall it was a fun weekend!  Anytime I get to see my family is a good time.  Plus there was cake.

Until next time Nebraska…

(The Launes)



One is Fun…

Little miss Audrey turned one last Saturday.  I can’t believe it has already been a year since I gained this sweet niece!  It has been fun watching her grow and seeing her new tricks each time I visit. 

While I’m sure I could go on and on sharing stories from the trip, I will let the pictures do most of the talking.  :)



The girl was obsessed with balloons.  All day long she played with her balloons.  From the time she woke up until she went to bed she had a balloon in her hand or her eye on one close by…


Nothing says happy birthday like a little girl in a yellow tutu…





The trip centered mostly around Audrey’s birthday, but on Sunday I got to catch up with Marissa at her bridal shower.  Her Colorado wedding is just over a month away!


While it was a quick trip, by the time I got home, my countdown was already on for my next trip.  Tomorrow night I leave again for another weekend trip.  Only this time there won’t be cake and I’ll have to run 13.1 miles.  The Lincoln Half Marathon is on Sunday so it will be all work and no play!  Actually, the only work will be the run and the rest will be play!


{The Launes}



Weekend Fun…

Last week while Trent was in Philly I decided to make a quick trip home to Nebraska for the weekend.  I hadn’t been home since Christmas so it was a trip long overdue.   I will try to keep the words to a minimum, but please prepare yourself for a picture overload!  The memory on my phone is like 99.99%  full after this trip.  Not that I took that many pictures just on this trip…my phone is two and a half years old and on its last leg.  It was most likely 98.99% full when I left Illinois…


The trip started out with a 9 mile “fun” run Friday morning followed by Caribou coffee.  We decided to get the work out of the way early so the rest of the trip could be spend playing.  And did we ever play!


Some bunny is excited for Easter!  Or she is just trying to get those darn bunny ears that Auntie Megan put on off her head…



Seriously, the girl was all tongue, all weekend long!


Splish, splash!  Swimming lessons are fun!


How big is Audrey?  So big!


What does an owl say?  Hoo…hoo!


Sunday afternoon I got to see this middle school BFF at her grandpa’s 80th birthday party.  She lives in Alabama now and I really have no idea how many years it has been since I’ve seen her.  It was fun to catch up, even if it was only for a little bit!


Chicken noodles!  Thanks mom for making the yummiest meal ever.  We had to celebrate with a selfie.  In a valiant effort to get everyone in the picture, it just wasn’t possible.  And about 3.5 seconds after this picture was take Audrey head butted the table and that was the end of that. 


Rip wanted to be part of the fun too!  He just couldn’t help himself.   He took advantage of the extra room on the picnic table to join the picture.  Such a good looking group, right!?


That face!  He is just so handsome :)


We took advantage of the beautiful March day with lots of time outside and a nice little walk.



Only a few more days until I see these faces again!  A long Easter weekend is right around the corner. 

Until then…

{The Launes}