Sunday, August 14, 2016

Up, up and AWAY!

So on a random day a few weeks ago I received a text...Do you want to volunteer with us at the National Balloon Classic?  We will help inflate the balloon, etc.

Me:  Sure.

LOL!  The text was from my neighbor Michelle.  She works for Wells Fargo and they were looking for another couple to help volunteer to be on the crew to help get the balloon launched and then chase and help get it back in the van, etc.  There was mention of possibly getting to ride, but I had ZERO expectations of getting to go up in the balloon.

We arrived at 5:45 AM...yep, before the sun came up!  LOL!


Most of the racing balloons drove off and launched from a location away from the field.  They were competing to throw bags at a target on the main field.  Since we were helping with an exhibition balloon, we launched from the main field, along with 3 other balloons that you could PAY to ride in a balloon.


Since my neighbor works for Wells Fargo, that is the balloon we were helping to launch.

This is Michelle and Joe holding the opening of the balloon, so it could inflate with air before we added the heat.


Below, you can see a "lump" inside the balloon.  That was the pilot.  She had gone in under the balloon to untangle some of the ropes.



So, there were riders scheduled to go up in the balloon...BUT they didn't show up.  So she was going to let part of the crew go up.  I had already flown in a balloon years ago, so I gave up my chance for those that had not flown before.  Eventually, we let Michelle and Jeff (the other WF employee who had helped the weekend before) go up in the balloon.


She was a little freaked out, but I think once she got up there had a great time!

So the pilot had mentioned that if she could find a place to land, she would and trade out riders.  I had ZERO expectations that this would happen.  However, she proved me WRONG!



She decided to land in the ditch along Highway 65 (in the ditch).  Michelle and Jeff jumped out and Joe and I jumped in.   It was just a peaceful as I remembered it the first time.

As we took off, we could see the other balloons up in the air and were following in the same direction.


The pilot was very considerate of her surroundings.  She would stay higher up when flying over any animals, so the flame wouldn't scare them and cause them to run and injure themselves.


The technology used in ballooning was pretty cool to see.  In the chase van we had an app that could track where each of us were and how fast the balloon was traveling and the roads we needed to navigate to stay ahead of the balloon.  Kevin, Michelle's husband (that didn't want to go up in the balloon) did a great job navigating!

She also had an i-pad in the balloon that indicating places not recommended to land, DO NOT land and then areas that were options for landing.  However, we mostly used our vision to locate a great place to land.  


We landed in a yard along a gravel road.  The residence were not home when we first landed, but since we were able to get the balloon deflated and put back in the van, etc without damaging the yard, we decided to proceed.  By the time we were finished the owners came home and signed the necessary paperwork allowing us permission to land.  They were pretty excited we had landed in their yard and were disappointed they had missed us.

Above is a photo of the top opened up and letting the hot air out of the balloon to get it deflated.

Overall, it was a lot of fun.  It was just luck that we actually got to ride in the balloon.  Even if we had not been able to ride, it still would have been a great experience!

So, as usually...here are some random (FUN) cards to enjoy and a Summer themed layout too!











Alright...until next time (whenever that will be).  LOL!

Darla


Friday, August 12, 2016

Doin' the Gator!

It wouldn't be a "Werts" family wedding without doing the GATOR...We hear those first few beats of "Takin Care of Business" and the dance is on!

Never done the GATOR, well it is pretty easy, but be warned...can lead to bruises on knees, elbows, etc.  LOL!

Yep...that is the bride and groom rolling around on the dance floor...along with lots of family and friends!  LOL!


We had troubles getting organized and all rolling in the same direction, so at one point Dave rolled over on Lauren's dress and she was stuck!  LOL!



My sister Dee's comment on this photo...oh look, a great shot of my shoes!  LOL!

I love the look between Dave and Lauren!  So fun and sweet!



Now this picture is simply to show the homemade mints my sisters Debbie and Dee along with mom (and maybe some other helpers???) made.  It is the mint recipe we have all had at each of our weddings and they are AWESOME!  YUM!

I might have brought home a "take home" bag of mints and have a small stash in my freezer when needed.  LOL!  SHHHHH don't tell anyone!  :)


These two were funny!  The signs around their necks were carried down the aisle by Kenton and Nolan, but these two made good use of them at the reception...looking for love!


This is a picture of me and my cousin Susan.  She is the oldest of my generation (in the Werts side of the family) and I am the youngest.  She just became a grandma!  Congrats to you Susan and your daughter Meredith and her beautiful new family!


I hope to keep up the momentum.  I have been working on getting my photos updated in Shutterfly so I can order some prints.  I have also been working on making some collages (so I have smaller photos to scrapbook with) using a few different editing aps on my phone.  So as I have worked on that, I have taken the time to work on the blog as well...and watch some olympics too!

Love me some Olympics!!!  USA!!!

So in honor of babies, olympics and just the everyday achievements...here are some cards to share!







And a few layouts in the spirit of gold medals and new (and old) "furry" babies, etc.

I can't believe Joe has worked for Hy-Vee for over 25 years.  The title of the layout says it ALL!  I don't know anyone who works harder and is more dedicated to his job more than Joe.  I am so proud of him and everything he has accomplished!



And our first "furry" baby Reilly's birthday would have been on August 1st.  It took me a LONG time to scrapbook this layout about losing my furry baby and friend, but it was important to me to create it.  He was there for me during some of the most difficult years of infertility.  My arms were empty except when I held my furry baby.  He was a great dog and friend!


It was a year and a few months before we had a new furry friend in our family. And I remember saying to Joe that first night home with her...Our house finally feels like a home now that we have a dog again.  I don't know what it is about dogs and puppies, but I can only guess that it is that unconditional LOVE they have for you. 


Taylor has been the perfect fit for our family!


Well that wraps up my posts on the wedding...back to our regularly scheduled programing...As soon as I get to it!  Could be tomorrow...could be a week...could be Who Knows When!

Darla





Thursday, August 11, 2016

#LaurenFinallyGotTheH

Ok, so I am a little behind in updating the blog.  That has been the store of my life lately, but I have a lot of things to add over the next few days/weeks...you know whenever I get to it.

My niece Lauren got married to Dave a few weeks ago.  It was a beautiful weekend/wedding!  Lauren was a beautiful bride!


Behind the scenes...this was a difficult picture to get...let's just say Nolan was not wanting his picture taken.  LOL!


And grandma came to the rescue to sew Lauren's dress back together.  It actually had to be sew several times throughout the night.


This is one of my favorite photos.



And this one too...with Lauren's grandmas.


So this seems like a good place to explain the title of this post...Lauren Finally Got the H.  Well, her new last name is Hanigan.  When she was a little girl, she would always sign her name as Lauren H. even though she didn't have an H in her name.  LOL!  She declared it her favorite letter!

Well, now she is Finally Lauren H.  


This picture cracks me up...Dave is an engineer, so I am sure he was planning out the perfect way to cut the cake.



Hope had so much fun!


My two loves dancing!


Lauren and her daddy!


Hope made a new friend that night too.  My sister Dee's co-worker's daughter Natalie.  Ironically, her grandma lives directly behind us here in Iowa.  Such a small world...and Dee knew that Hope and Natalie would hit it off.  

They have even had a play date since the wedding when Natalie came up to visit her grandma.


Well, I do have more to sure on the wedding, but it deserves a post all it's own!  So tune in next time for more fun...

As always, here are a few crafty things to share as well...




Since Joe's birthday and Father's day involved golfing...I decided to combine both events into one layout.







This was a card a made for a co-worker's wedding.


Until next time!

Darla