Friday, July 30, 2010


Just drove for 8 hours in, me-Brandy- was the one pushing the pedal. I guess when you turn 20 your dad will finally let you drive your own car all by yourself ;)

My dad is quite the driver, to put it in terms that won't get me in trouble. We caravaned back to Arkansas, the King in front, my Silver Bullet taking the rear (yes I named our cars). While mom was driving she was never more than a car's length in front of us. We could wave from the front seat and they would wave back. But while dad was driving, they were never in view, or at least very rarely. It's like he's trying to beat a speed record. Can we make it back faster than we did the last time? Pretty much he's awesome.

As you may or may not know, my extended family and I just spent the past week adventuring through the Black Hills. To answer your first question, we drove. Honestly, I have never heard of anyone flying out there, it's so close to where we're from. To answer your second question, we took 3 SUVs. To answer your third question, we had a blast.

Over a three day period we visited/explored/hiked:

The Corn Palace- yes a building made out of corn, right up my alley :)
Wall Drug- counted 67 billboards advertising it.
Mt. Rushmore
Sylvan Lake- twice
Crazy Horse
Spearfish Falls
Roughlock Falls
Devils Tower- in Wyoming
Custer State Park
Horseback Ride through the Black Hills
Wind City Cave
The Mammoth Site
The Air and Space Museum
The Badlands

Under no circumstances are vacations supposed to be relaxing.

We stayed in cabins in the Badlands one night. And a lodge nestled right behind Mt. Rushmore the rest of the nights.

Pretty much, it was one of the best vacations I have ever taken. For one thing I LOVE prairies, indians, cowboys, the 1800s, and the West in general. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong century. For another, I love my family, and I don't get to spend much time with them. So my family plus the West equals pure perfection.

Wyoming was my favorite part, for the pure reason that I have an unnatural infatuation with all things Western. Wyoming is like the capitol of the West. I know what you're thinking, I love cowboys, I picked the wrong boy. Not so, I don't want to marry a cowboy, I want to be a cowboy-or girl. I want to be a cowboy that has all the resources town offers available at every given moment.

There were a lot of hilarious adventures on our trip, too many to list right now. I think my butt has gone numb. I'll post pictures on facebook

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Please, do not read this title and panick. I am, by no means, going anywhere. I just want to talk about goodbyes. Unfortunately my keyboard is sticking for some reason, so you might see some words that look like: sa i lve tis ect. Don't worry, it's going to Dad's Fix It Shop this weekend. No replacement iPads though, that's for Rylee.....

Anyway, goodbyes are interesting. I find myself wondering why they're called 'good'-byes, when 9 times out of 10 I don't want to leave the person or the place. Sadbye or dreadbye would be more appropriate.

Everybody has a different way of going about their goodbyes. There are people who like to hug and cry and hug and babble on about how much they're going to miss the person, there are people who hold it together through the hugging then let loose in the car/plane, and there are people who just put on some sunglasses and walk away nobody really knows if they're crying or not.

I don't know about you but I am definitely the sunglass type, I would even go so far as to sneak out to avoid a goodbye. Because honestly, if I love you enough that I'll cry when I leave you, I'm probably going to see you again very soon. Then it's like we never had to be separated.

Worst goodbye ever, the day we left Iowa. We had the van and the black truck parked in front of the house. Dad's whole side of the family was there. Kids were running around eating cake (I dont know why) laughing and playing. I don't really remember much, kind of like a wedding day it just happened so quick, but I do remember playing one minute and being buckled in the van looking out at my family in front of my house the next. Then it was like "wait a minute what's going on?!" Poor Rylee didn't have a clue where we were going. Then the truck and van started pulling away leaving my house and family in the rearview while my best friend chased us down the street on his bike. Almost everyone was wearing sunglasses.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Family Time

I haven't updated in a week! Probably because when I'm around Ethan I forget about phones, facebook, email, computers, pretty much everything but him.

Most of you know, I love sleep. Pretty much a bomb could go off right outside my house right before I fell asleep and I could still sleep like a baby.Very few things affect my nightly sleep. But last Saturday night I slept for maybe an hour, I was so excited to pick Ethan up from the airport!

Airports in general are tear whisperers, in my opinion. Probably because everytime I'm at an airport it means I'm leaving someone behind. I was a red, teary-eyed zombie with long curly brown hair that morning. My dad said it was just the airport.

Whenever I saw Ethan, it was like I'd never seen him before. Imagine- tall, cute boy carrying his suitcase sees his shorter tan girlfriend, drops his bag to the floor in the middle of a crowd of people, dashes 3 feet before she jumps up into his arms and they stand there hugging like the first time they ever hugged for a long 5 minutes. Then she starts crying, promising to never leave again, while he strokes her long hair.. Yeah my parents waited in the cafe.

The first night he decided to stay with my mom's parents. This is the All-American family. As in- everyone's perfect. Beautiful, smart, successful, each has perfect athleticy/musical children. There is a specific place for everything, and everything will be in that place, perfectly. Ethan loved the kids.

One day, my grampa asked if we wanted to take a load of corn into town. We agreed and followed him to the other farm on the fourwheeler. So we get there and he loads two wagons, while we stand around and look at every piece of equipment he owns. After about 30 minutes he walks over and says

"I only have one extra seat in this tractor, so Brandy you'll have to run back to the other farm."

Like as in, only him and Ethan are going. Oh this is good. But there was nothing I could do, so I jumped on a fourwheeler, went back, and nervously waited for a good hour and a half. Apparently they just talked about the land, ethanol, my grampa's property, Ethan's ambitions, nothing too damaging.

Ethan man-ed up and decided to stay with my dad at another farm. Then they became best friends. My dad is a swell guy, most boys adore him. They went and checked cattle together, they stayed up all night telling stories and sharing secrets, then they made friendship bracelets and went to the courthouse to sign the adoption papers. Umm you signed the wrong papers Ethan!!

After sitting on the gravel road watching the sunset while staring into the never-ending sea of green, Ethan promised to quit making fun of the way I talk about Iowa.

Now we're back in God's country, spending some much needed time with Ethan's family. I'm probably going to paint the shed with his awesome Mama, take his little brother out on a brother/sister date, and learn everything I didn't know from his dad. And his family is coming to town this week too!! I love love.