Family

Gage

I’m just a happy, loving, faithful Golden Retriever from Omaha, NE. I love long walks around the block and sniffing my neighbors. I recently joined the web world with my own blog, email, PackCuteness page, & Twitter. I like to call it Twoofer. So I guess you can call me Gage 2.0.

Any commands, just email me or hit me up on Twitter. gage(at)oneniner(dot)com

 


Or here’s a few pictures on Facebook. Not as many, but they’re the better ones and updated more often.

Engagement Video

Here’s the video, I’m also working on a webpage, but it’s not very pretty yet. More info to come. A big thank you to all the congratulations from everyone. We are very excited and happy to hear from everyone. Even more than once for some people. We’ve tried to thank everyone individually, but if we missed you, thanks!

We’re not sure of a date yet, but are thinking of early August. As long as it’s not during football season, I’ll be happy. 🙂 I’m actually just happy I found a girl that would marry me.

The Engagement

I know I’m kind of a techno geek, but I figured it’d be a little easier to put the story online so that more people could hear it and in case I miss any details or make it sound better every time I tell it in person. Here’s the real story.

I’ll start with some background. I’d been dating Amy, an Omaha native, for 3 years, 7 months, & 2 days. As I was corrected in front of all of our family for saying 1 day instead of 2. We met in Indianola, Iowa during her Sophomore year after the last game of the football season when I was coaching at Simpson College. That’s a good story too, but maybe I’ll save it for a later date.

As for the planning for the big day I had been working things out in my head for a couple months. Amy decided that she wanted to challenge me to a “Biggest Loser” contest. I jumped in and said, that’s fine, but whoever loses the least weight between her and I has to buy the other one a $50 gift. I did some quick math in my head and the 6 week contest would end right before when I was wanting to ask her. So I lost a little weight, but was making sure I didn’t lose more than her. If you didn’t catch on yet, this would give me an opportunity to give her a gift or take her out for a nice dinner with out any suspicion other than I was owning up to losing a bet, which by the way I don’t lose many of. 🙂 She had been hinting at wanting a dog and by the end of the contest things were falling into place nicely.

Now to the actual happenings of the day. My family came to town as they always do on Father’s day. Amy and I take our dad’s, and whoever else wants to go, to the College World Series games. We’ve done this for 3 years now. So we went to the game and the score basically made it out of reach during the 4th inning but we stayed for the rest of the game. After the game coincidentally my family had to hurry back home and her dad had a family emergency (a trip to the airport) so we couldn’t all eat out together after the game like usual. So I told Amy we should just eat out on our own. After 15 minutes of criticism about me eating all the time and wanting to spend money to do it (not really, that was a little bit of an exaggeration), Amy agreed to go eat at Spaghetti Works in the Old Market area. We’ve had some good memories at Spaghetti Works in DesMoines & Omaha. Me meeting her grandmother for the first time, dates during her college in DesMoines’ & a rehearsal dinner for one of her best friends. So it was nice place, but didn’t ruin the surprise by being too fancy. We had a nice secluded table and eat a regular dinner. Then I asked her if she’d like to go on a little walk to burn the calories. We don’t make it down to the Old Market much for dinner and decided it might be nice to enjoy the weather a little. So we walked down towards Con-Agra Park and started a little stroll around the “lake”. As we’re walking around the West towards the south side, we come across a strange package placed under a bench. Every one that had walked by it had already been looking at it strangely. As we approached it I asked her what we should do about it. I then proceeded to remove the blanket and pick up the packages. Amy says to me, “You can’t just take other people’s stuff!”. As I’m unfolding a blanket that says Newton Cardinals (my high school mascot). I unfolded the blanket and placed it on a nice little rock area in front of the fountains. She then figured out I had somehow stashed things there, but not how. I told her that I planned something a little special for losing a bet, even though there wasn’t proof that I lost. So we sat down and I gave her the 1st gift bag. She opened it to find a stuffed dog. I told her the dog was a symbol that I thought we were ready to both pick out a dog for us. She was all excited about that, almost teared up, but was ready to go. I continued conversation by asking her what she wanted to name the dog. She threw out a couple names she had already mentioned and I did the same. I then asked her if she liked the name Diamond (me already knowing the answer), she replies “No, because my uncle has a dog named Diamond.” That’s when I got onto my knee and pulled the ring out of my pocket. The next few things I said were kind of a blur. So before she can say yes, I hear a mother calling her daughters to come back to her. Out of the corner of my eye I see these 2 girls, that I would guess were around 6 come running up to Amy and I. Amy says yes, the mom grabed 1 girl, the dad grabs the other and the mom says “Congratulations!”. It was the cutest thing. I’m not sure who she was, but she was the first to tell us congratulations. We both answered thank you, then went back to enjoying the moment. We talked a little bit as she tried to put everything together. Still in shock that I pulled it off without her finding out. It was a great suprise and we are both so happy.

The pictures and video are to follow in the near future. Seriously, I had a friend stash the goods and then video tape the whole thing from a distance and I recorded everything on a tape recorder from my pocket.

So back to the part I almost forgot, we rushed back to the house to celebrate over some nice champagne I had picked up and when we walk in the house, her mom, dad, dad’s girlfriend, grandmother, and my mom, dad, and sister were all in the living room to congratulate us. They were all so happy to be included and be able to be there for the moment. We played the audio and video for them, where she had asked what each family member knew. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day. A father’s day our dads will never forget. They were crying their eyes out and the rest of our family was so happy for us.

UPDATE(06-21-2008)
Video

Let the Games Begin

Amy has for some reason decided to challenge me to a biggest loser competition. I guess she doesn’t think I’m doing well enough on my own, or maybe she just likes getting beat by me at things. After watching the last season of Biggest Losers, maybe she’s been tricked into thinking that a female will always win. About the only way she’ll win is if she pulls off the 45% or whatever it was that they did in the show.

So the rules are pretty easy. Highest precentage of weight loss in 6 weeks. No use of drugs or dietary supplements. No reason to mention exact weights, but I’m starting at 98 pounds more than her. Weigh ins are on Tuesdays, but really have no bearing until the final weigh in on June 3rd. Oh yeah and the prizes… The loser has to buy the winner a $50 gift of their choice in good taste obviously.

There are going to be a few tough distractions in that time, including our house warming party, a wedding for each of us and hopefullly some graduation parties. We are also hoping to run a 10k together during that time.

A couple possible distractions that would affect one of us more than the other, the release of Grand Theft Auto 4 vs the release of WiiFit. Hmmm, I wonder how much I’ll have to catch up from my time spent on the couch to her time working out infront of the TV. Point Amy 1-0. The next one would be the fact that she has class on Mondays & Tuesdays until schools out. Point Nolan 1-1. I have food provided at work forcing me to eat well during the day, but she eats well during the day anyways and my accessibility to food isn’t necesarily a good thing. Barely a Point to Amy 2-1. I have workout equipment provided at my work that’s free and get time during the day to use it. Amy has to pay a small fee to use their gym and it’s harder for her to get out of the office over lunch. Point Nolan 2-2. So I guess it’s going to come down to the line. A 2-2 battle doesn’t help me much, since I’ll have to lose more weight. So I guess maybe that’s to her favor, but I also have A LOT more weight to lose. It should be fun. I’ll be sure to post the winner.

Blogging

On my mind….
I’m not very good at keeping up to date with this blogging thing. I keep telling myself that I need to be more consistent. It’s gotten to the point where there’s so much on my mind that I felt I should write again. It seems like I use it as more of an escape then anything else. And since I’m sure that nobody reads it, I’m not sure why it helps me, but it does.

So I headed out to Omaha and I’m doing my thing out here now. Working at a job that I really enjoy and getting acquainted with a town that I think will be really good for me in the future. Right now I still haven’t gotten away from that phase where i miss parts of what I left behind at times. I’m sure the worst of it will be when March comes around. Coaching soccer was one of my most favorite things. I’m really going to miss it when spring rolls around. The other toughest thing about leaving was my family. For the people that know me very well, they’ve realized that I’m very close to my family. I think I’ve already explained how I ruined my dad’s knee by having him help me move out here. He ruptured his patella tendon helping me move. He had surgery and is working his way through physical therapy. Along with all the traveling to see them and spending less time with them, this holiday season I realized how lucky and thankful I am for what I have. Sometimes people don’t realize how lucky they really are until it’s too late or something happens to make them realize it. This year I got to spend thanksgiving with my family and then got the chance to have 4 Christmas’s. 1 with my mom’s and dad’s families, then 1 with Amy’s mom’s and dad’s. Things were great, I ate a ton, I got some really cool stuff, but the most important thing was I got to spend time with everybody. That was the first time this has happened for Amy and I in the 3+ years we’d been dating. In the past families celebrated on the same day or we went to Montana 1 year. So things were great, then on Christmas day I get the worst phone call I have ever received. My sister called, not even able to speak complete words let alone sentences and told me that my dad had a heart attack. Trust me, you’ll never be ready for news like that. I was more in shock than anything, I didn’t know what to do. My sister was with him at the time and then drove him to the hospital. So now I’m 170 miles away from home, without a car (since I didn’t drive to Amy’s Dad’s Christmas) and no money (which is another story altogether) and worrying for my dad’s life. So I flew back to Mercy Hospital, not literally flew, but pretty close. By the time I had gotten there, he had been life flighted to Des Moines and the operation had been completed and we were able to talk to him. It was so relieving to know that he was ok. I would’ve driving 1,000,000 miles to spend that 30 minutes with him and know that everything was ok, even though that 150 miles, seemed like forever. My dad has spent more time in the hospital in the past few months than the first 50+ years of his life. I can’t help but feel a little blame since both incidents were related to him doing stuff for me.

He was shoveling the back drive way with my sister so that I could move my appliances out of the back garage easier. They had nearly finished shoveling and he went inside to get some salt. When he didn’t return for a little while my sister went to check on him and he said that he felt like he had heart burn, but probably needed to go to the hospital. My sister frantically drove him there to shortly there after find out that he needed to be life flighted to Des Moines for an operation that had to be done within 90 minutes of his first pains. Due to my sister and mom’s quick response and timely treatment at the hospital on Christmas day everything was taken care of with time to spare. I use that term loosely it sounds like the extra time really made us feel better, but you know what I mean. My dad’s sisters were visiting each other in California for the holidays and my cousin was able to make it to the hospital to visit and inform everyone what had happen and that he was doing ok, so we could spend more time with him. While I’m thinking about it, thank you to everyone for your prayers and concerns for us during this time. My dad had a lot of people pulling for him. It was even more sad to see all the other families in the intensive care area of the hospital on Christmas and some of which probably weren’t as fortunate as we were, if fortunate is the right word.

The things that go through your mind during a time like this are unexplainable, but really makes me thankful for everything that I have and everything that the Lord has done for me. I hope my dad and family realize how much they mean to me and how much different things would be if it weren’t for their influence on my life.

So in the midst of this great holiday season and health problems with my family, the other highlight is I’m buying a house. In a month’s time my girlfriend and I have decided we’re looking for a house, looked at houses, picked out a great house, made an offer, are closing, & then moving in. Um, yes I said a month. Since it’s our first time, we are learning very fast, why it is such a big step. Everything from insurance, to inspections, to the closing process, to moving plans, to getting everyones’ family approval of our decisions, we can’t wait to get this over with and move in. It’s been “fun”, but I can’t wait till it’s all finalized.

Among all this, I fought a cold (I never get sick), this next week is the last, last day for some of my Maytag friends. I’m excited to see them again and wish them a happy retirement. 1 of which worked at Maytag for a little over 38 years!

So in my Rev. Run closing thought, be greatful for everything you have and don’t be afraid to let the people close to you know how thankful you are. Learn from life’s troubles and tribulations and make the best of them. I heard this from a football player before and NFL game this weekend, God puts just enough on your plate at all times. There’s never too much, always just enough, so fight through it and learn from the process.