Mandy & Dave

Hoping to Adopt (Iowa)

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Time Away

We had a lovely time with Mandy's family in Michigan for a couple of days. They live in Indiana, and although we see them frequently throughout the year, it was nice to get away for a bit. The original intent of the trip was to spend the weekend on the lake. However, 50 degrees with wind and cold do not exactly make for ideal boating weather. So, we instead we had slow mornings and explored the beautiful surrounding lakes.

Memorial Day

I've always been close with my family but having moved to be closer to Dave after college, they are a couple of states away in Indiana. We make it a point to visit often throughout the year, however. Memorial Day weekend my parents were able to visit, and we spent a weekend full of golf, walks, and plenty of good food and relaxing. My dad is a semi-truck driver and hobby farmer and my mom manages a home health clinic. We look forward to taking a trip to Indiana in the next couple of weeks to visit the rest of my family!

Looking ahead and looking back

We are finally able to get out onto the golf course again! This picture was taken on the 2nd hole where I (Dave) proposed almost 11 years ago. I had asked her to play a round of golf. She had never played before and it was time she learned. We just finished the 2nd hole and she was walking back to the cart. When she turned around to grab her club, I knelt on one knee and asked if she'd married me. We mention it every time we golf the 2nd hole. Now, Mandy has just finished her school year and is looking forward to summer break before beginning a new teaching job at a high school closer to home, and I just look forward to golfing more now that summer has arrived.

The Average Evening

We are so excited to be able to add our evening walks with the dogs into our nightly routine. On a typical evening after returning from work, Mandy will head out to the shop to work out or go for a run, and Dave watches the news or finishes any projects around the house he has started. We try and make it a point to eat supper together and catch up on our day, talking about each of our highs and lows. At some point in the evening, we will take the dogs for a walk and get caught chatting with whatever neighbor is outside at the time. Once we are home, we settle onto the couch and watch tv for the evening before getting ready for the next day. We are so excited and longing to be able to add kids to the mix, to chase after a little one, teach them to ride bikes, practice with them in the yard, and later to run to evening activities. We are excited for a new normal that kids would bring!

Spring!

The seasons are finally changing in Iowa and with that comes outdoor runs and taking the dogs for walks on the regular. This weekend one of my very good friends and I were able to take full advantage and go for a run. Her daughter, Amayah, rode along on her bike. We're so ready for warmer temps!

Pizza Making

Dave and I were always close to our extended families growing up, so it has always been important to us to be close to our nieces and nephews. This weekend we had our niece, Ayva, over to workout with me in the shop. We made pizzas for supper, then last minute decided to go to a basketball game. We only caught the last 6 minutes of the game, but we both agreed it was well worth it.

Weekend Projects

This weekend we added a backsplash to our kitchen. Dave's dad used to be a carpenter, so, growing up Dave learned a lot of carpentry skills. He really enjoys working with his hands, and whatever he doesn't already know how to do, he will watch as many YouTube videos as it takes to learn. Many of our projects begin with me saying, "Dave, you know what would look so good?", and then I proceed to tell him about my new project idea. It often takes time to convince him it's a good idea, but we haven't done a house project yet that we've regretted!

Winter

Winter in Iowa provides new opportunities. Kids in the neighborhood sled down any hill they can find, ice skate in makeshift ice rinks, and create the biggest snowmen they manage with faces made of sticks and rocks. Winter for Dave and I mean cozy winter nights at home, chilly and infrequent walks with the pups, and regular basketball games. Although come February we look forward to the coming of Spring, we are grateful for the slow pace of life that comes with cold temperatures and the occasional (and always welcome) snow day. 

Our Nursery

Over Christmas break, we were able to visit with family and finish the nursery. It's a bright room with a lot of books and love! We are excited to fill this room! 

Sunday Norms

Every Sunday we go to Dave's parents' house for Sunday dinner with his brother's family. We eat, laugh, and catch up from the past week. During quarantine, we weren't able to meet for our normal family dinner for around 3 months. We never realized how much we loved getting together every week until we couldn't. Today we celebrated Mom's birthday!  

Thanksgiving

We are so thankful for a Thanksgiving weekend filled with food, family, and football! 

'Tis The Season

When I (Mandy) was younger, my dad and I used to always go to a tree farm after Thanksgiving and cut down a Christmas tree together. We would always go just the 2 of us, grab apple cider and hot chocolate, and pick out the perfect Douglass Fir. After, we would grab ice cream. When Dave and I married, having a real tree was a non-negotiable for me. Every year since we married in 2011, we have gone the weekend before Thanksgiving to the tree farm and picked out a Christmas tree. Once we get it set up, Dave sits down to watch Hawkeye football while I decorate the tree. We’re so excited to be able to continue this tradition with our kids!

Favorite Hobby

Dave grew up golfing with his brothers and his dad and was on the golf team through high school. After college, I worked at the golf course in town and was able to golf for free. This was before I began golfing, and Dave couldn’t understand why I would never take advantage of such an amazing perk. Now that I do golf and know how much it costs, I kick myself for not taking advantage of it.  Even so, when I was working there while Dave and I were dating, he asked if I wanted to join him for a round. Of course I agreed, and he made a tee time for a Saturday morning in July. While on the green at the second hole, we finished putting and turned to walk back to the cart. I turned around to see Dave looking terrified. I asked him, “What’s wrong?”, and he knelt down on his knee to propose. Needless to say, I didn’t golf the rest of the nine holes :). Now, golf has become one of our favorite hobbies.   

Dave

Dave is thoughtful, intentional, hard-working, and kind. He will never do anything without putting thought into it, and once he decides on taking action, he puts in 100%. I am continually struck by his dedication to all that he does and the extent that he goes to help others. Because I am quite impulsive and act largely on emotion, it used to irritate me that he would take so long to make decisions. But the longer we are together, the more I value and appreciate his intention. When we were looking into adoption, I was ready to commit as soon as I found Gladney. However, I knew Dave needed to come to the decision on his own. After our orientation, when he said without hesitation, “Let’s do it”, I knew he would be unwavering. Throughout this process, not once has he gotten discouraged or second-guessed our decision. When I’m feeling weary, he reminds me that it is in God’s timing and He is in control. Dave is my rock and couldn’t imagine doing life without him.

Driving Lessons

Whenever we travel abroad, we prefer to rent a car. We like to think it adds to the adventure. My favorite memories with Dave are driving on the narrow roads of Scotland and Ireland. While he would have white knuckles from gripping the steering wheel and fried nerves, I would be wondering if we were going to lose a mirror from hitting a rock wall (the Scots don’t believe in road shoulders) or losing one from hitting an oncoming car. We’ve gotten lost, taken ferries, and navigated driving on the opposite of the road. 

Harvest Half

We ran our 10th half marathon today! Races in the midwest during harvest include breathing the crisp air and being passed by grain trucks and trailers full of hay bails all while groups of curious cows moo encouragement on the edge of fields. 

Wedding Fun

 With very few opportunities to get dressed up, we took full advantage of the one wedding we were invited to that actually happened. We were the host and hostess, and at one point it dawned on us that we are now passed the age of being in the wedding party but are considered the fun married couple people can relate to and laugh with. I will take that trade-off :). 

Summer Lovin'

Summers in the midwest, although very humid and hot, are filled with rounds of golf, comments on the growth of the corn (this is a staple conversation starter among any midwesterner), and beautiful sunset walks (it's too hot to go during the day). Dave has been continuing to work from home and I, being a teacher, have summers off. We haven't been able to travel this year but visited my family over the 4th of July! 

Quarantine Projects

The quarantine the last several months has been an opportunity to finish a lot of projects! Although we have both been working from home, not being to go out from March until the middle of May drove this doer a bit nuts. One day I started painting and I just didn't stop! The attached picture is before and after shots of our main living area. I nice refreshment :). 

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