Christmas 2009….

December 26, 2009

This year we had my parents come down again for Christmas and they also brought my Grandma from Boston along with them.  So far we’ve had a great time just relaxing and hanging out.  We have plenty of goodies to feed the sweet tooth and tonight we are planning on going out for dinner at Skips here in Des Moines.

Des Moines Barclay Christmas 09'

We took a family photo in front of our “fireplace” before we left to capture the moment!  (Almost looks real doesn’t it?)

After dinner, tonight on tap is a heated game of Hearts, UpWords (and any other game that we can try and beat Grandma in!!)

Gunner with a new best friend

Gunner’s had a nice time snuggling up to Grambee as well.  He always enjoys a new pair of legs to lay on whenever he gets the chance.

Wishing Everyone a VERY Merry Christmas this year and a Happy 2010!!

Building Project

December 20, 2009

During Christmas #1 of 2009, down with Bertina’s Dad, we decided to do a little building!  I’ve never put together a gingerbread house and Deb was kind enough to have purchased a little “do it yourself” kit.  So with the hard part out of the way, we just got to do the fun part and actually put it together and decorate it.

Here’s how it turned out…

Gingerbread House

The End

The morning after….Iowa “DeathStorm”

December 9, 2009

Well for the most part, the City of Des Moines, IA is shut down for the day following the aftermath that was “one of the worst winter storms in a decade”.  This morning we awoke to even more snow out there.  As I said in my early post, the wind is what got us last night, pushing some drifts to over 4ft.

Might not use the back door

DOT Trucks/Plows were actually pulled off the roads last night due to hazardous weather/road conditions.  Currently today we are looking at 30 mph winds, and -12 degree windchill.  Not sure that we are going to be getting out of the house much.

Check out my Flickr Stream off to the right for more pictures.

Time to go make some Hot Cocoa!!!

Mega Drift in the backyard

Iowa Winters….gotta love’em

December 9, 2009

Dec 8th, 2009

Not more than a week ago we were experiencing 50 degree weather.  For the end of Nov in Iowa, we’ll take that any day!  Today however, winter came jumped on our back then stomped in our faces.  7-14 inches were the predictions and whats going to be even better is the 40 mph winds that are scheduled for tomorrow on top of all the snow that just dropped.  Should make for an interesting Wed to say the least.

Thought I would share some pictures after spending an hour out in the driveway and not even feeling like I made a dent in armor.

In the driveway it was pretty much 7-8 inches and in one of the pictures you can see a 14 inch section.  (That’s right….I said 14 inches).  On one of the drifts we measured 17 inches.  That’s some serious snow people.

The thing that sucks about all of this is the development that we live in is usually the very last place that the plows will come down to.

Driveway Snowpile

Not even a Dent

Up by the front door

Anyway, it really was a pretty snow, even if I’d like to see it all disappear rather quickly.

That's right...14

Turning 30 in Vegas…

October 25, 2009

Bertina surprised me with a Vacation to Vegas to celebrate my 30th and her 29th birthday at the end of August.  Bertina has been a couple times but this was my first time.  We had plenty of things to do as she had booked a couple shows for us to see while we were there, not like there isn’t anything to do anyway.

We stayed at the MGM Grand and were in Vegas from a Thursday through Monday.

We got in around 6pm Vegas time on Thursday and needed to get something to eat.  We just decided to eat at the Rainforest Cafe in the Hotel for something quick as we were both starving.  Forget the food…..the dessert was AMAZING!  It was called the Volcano.  Check out the picture.  This thing was a mile high

Best Dessert in Vegas!

Best Dessert in Vegas!

MGM Grand in Vegas

MGM Grand in Vegas

of chocolate, ice cream and hot fudge!

We spent the rest of the night just walking up and down the strip and taking in all the sites.  What I found amazing (and tiring), was all the hotels look a lot closer together then what they really are.  I swear we walked 100 miles it seemed like.

The shows we took in were LOVE – Cirque du Soleil, we also saw Rita Rudner.  We might have been the youngest couple at the show, but she was really good!  The last show we went to was American Superstars Celebirty Tribute.  The guy that did Elvis was pretty solid!

Here are a few more pictures from the trip.  All in all, it was a great time!  It is plenty HOT in Vegas in August :).  I think the temp was 103 everyday, but I would say the thing that shocked me the most (and maybe it shouldn’t have), was how expensive everything is!  I guess long gone are the days of the super cheap buffets just to get you in the casino.  The 4 days was probably just the right amount of time to spend there.

Look who I ran into!

Look who I ran into!

Bertina and I on the Strip

Bertina and I on the Strip



The Venitian and Paris

The Venitian and Paris

Additons to the Barclay House…

August 2, 2009

We had 2 big summer projects just get completed at the Des Moines Barclay’s home.  We put in some landscaping and a fence in the backyard.  I have to give all the credit to Bertina on this one.  We had Van Ginkel Landscaping come in and put the brick down (I highly recommend them!!), and on a weekend where my folks were down, Bertina and my Mom purchased the bushes, flowers and mulch and got it all put in and they were just finishing up right when I got home from work….(now I call that perfect timing!)

Fence was done by American Fence Company and they did a great job as well.

Here are some before and after pictures….

Here is a video of Gunner enjoying his new backyard.

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4th of July Home Fireworks Show…

July 6, 2009

4th of July this year… it was kind of a crappy day to be honest, weather wise anyway.  It was overcast and actually a bit on the colder side.  I cant remember too many 4th of July’s where we were in sweatshirts or long sleeves.  Bertina and I spent the morning down with her Dad and Deb watching them play in their annual Sole Survivor Golf Tournament in Knoxville.  Bertina and I are normally their caddies for the day!  It’s always fun and they have the BEST bloody mary’s at the Club House, so it’s not a bad way to start the morning.

After getting back to the house that evening, we had a couple friends over to celebrate the 4th.  We did some grilling, had some drinks and played some games.  We also had our own little fireworks show thanks to our friend Holly who lives down in KC.  She brought some pyrotechnics with her for the weekend and we had a good time with them.

Fireworks ShowFireworks

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