Showing posts from 2015

Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning My Fiancé Emilee and I got engaged July 4 th of 2014; we decided that we would get married June 25 th 2016. For most people this is a really long engagement but we wanted to wait until Emilee was finished with school before we got married. She will graduate from Central College in May of 2016 so that’s why we decided to wait so long. Even though we had two years to plan the wedding we pretty much started planning right away. At first we moved pretty quickly getting most of the big things booked. We booked venue for both the wedding, and the reception, booked a DJ, caterer, booked the honeymoon all within the first few months of our engagement. We were off to a great start. Once we started to get into the little details that is when things started to slow way down. The whole process has been a huge learning experience for me. There are so many things that you need to think of while planning a wedding that I would never think of. At first when we were booking m

The Bonaparte Inn

The McDowell’s enjoyed their holiday get together on Saturday, November 28 th at the Bonaparte Inn in Bonaparte, Iowa.   It had been two years since we held it at the Inn due to a change in ownership.  We rented the entire place for the night and occupied 9 rooms to facilitate the whole family.   It was great!  The place is beautiful, as it was before, with some improvements including new gathering room furniture and a big screen TV in that room.  The little kids ran a muck playing hide and go seek and spying on the adults.  The adults enjoyed a late night Rook game by the fire place, plenty of food and libations.  The Inn is not a “hotel” anymore, but referred to as a “lodge”.  We were allowed to bring all of our own food and drinks in.  There was not a soul but our family members there.  We were welcome to use the commercial kitchen upstairs, but the kitchen on the main floor was more than adequate with a large fridge, 2 stoves, 2 microwaves, large commercial size sinks and plenty


When I was a child, I always dreamed of running a cattle ranch out West. I grew up in Iowa (not really ranch country) riding horses, chasing cows, mowing hay, and fixing fence. Yes I would say that is a good start to being a cowboy.  Somewhere along the road however, I got off my cowboy fix and reality hit. I went to college, got a respectable job, fell in love, had kids, chased them around and life got busy.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, however I found myself getting lost in the heat of it all, and wondering “What if…..” A few weeks ago, I took the time to go visit a ranch in Montana. Not only did I get to ride, but in the mornings we had group executive coaching.  This is right up my ally, as I have been working with an executive coach for several years, and loved the progress I was making.  The retreat was for women only.  I can say I was a little nervous, traveling to a destination never seen before, and meeting complete strangers. The great thing was I was not travel


What is your biggest fear?   I have 2, snakes and speaking in front of large crowds.   My colleagues always say how great I am talking to customers but that is a little different than standing in front of a large group with all the focus on you.    A few weeks ago I was asked to talk in front of 300 students and staff members to present a product for the bank.   My initial thought was, ‘this is going to be great!’   Then the day before the event my mind starts to think what have you gotten yourself into, how are you going to do this, what if you lose control of 300 students, how are you going to bring them back?    The day of the event comes and I am trying not to even think about what is going to happen later, then the time comes.   I get to the school and I am a little nervous but doing ok, I have 2 other colleagues with me and they are reassuring me that I will be fine and that I can do this.   They were not offering to do it for me though. J   The principal makes the announceme