Grandma Turns 90

In my lifetime, I have had the honor to meet my great-great grand-mother (100 and something) and my great grandmother (97) on my mother’s side and both lived very long lives. However, this celebration was something I was afraid I’d never see.

Last November (2012) my grandmother on my dad’s side had a medical crisis that lead her hospitalized, intubated and barely aline. My dad went to visit her and told me that he really didn’t think she’d survive and from my medical knowledge I really didn’t know either. She gave us quite the scare that month and my strong and wonderful grandmother gained back her breathing, gained back her strength, and was able to return back to her home. I was overjoyed hearing the news that months of going through rehabilitation and living away from home, she’d return.

Eleven months later, my grandmother sat in front of me talking and smiling as I wished her a very Happy 90th Birthday. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel back to Iowa (with a Chicago pit-stop) and spend time with my dad’s side of the family on this special of occasion.

During my 4 days in my dad’s home(region), I spent time at my grandmother’s assisted living facility, hung out with dad’s old friends, visited my cousin’s new farm house along with one aunt’s farm house filled with cows, billy goats and CATS, and partied at my other aunt’s farm with the entire (mostly) Lang family. During our birthday party, I spent time talking with my cousins (who are all older- some with kids a few years younger than me), aunts, and uncles, taking pictures of my grandmother meeting her newest great-grandchild (a couple months old), and even taking a ride in my uncle’s new toy- a classic car (don’t ask me what kind). I even shot a gun for the first time, well 3 different types of guns actually. It was quite fun and quite country as we were shooting a shotgun, in a corn field, drinking busch light. Talk about a fun birthday party!

It was quite the special trip returning to Iowa to honor my grandmother in her amazing life of 90 years and spending precious time with the Lang family bunch. Hopefully, my time away isn’t so long and I’ll be able to visit my grandmother again.

Home Sweet Iowa

It has been quite the month of June. I haven’t done a whole lot outside of dear sweet Aberdeen, but everything I have done in town has been of good personal growth! We will save this for another time/another blog!

This past weekend I took my first vacation from work-a whole 4 days- and returned to the state I hold most dear to my heart and where I call home! It’s not the place where I was born, nor is it the place where I grew up, but in my heart, I feel at home. This place was where I went when I decided ventured away from my immediate family, learned to grow as a young adult and reconnected with extended family.

IOWA. Corn-Feed. Corn-Breed.

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Second Half of Iowa…only 2 months late :-)

WOW…it’s been over 2 months since my last post and so much has happened, I don’t know where to start. Let’s started with the second half of my August Iowa Vacation.
 When I left the cabin with my mother, father, and brother, we headed down south-ish to Des Monies to attend the IOWA STATE FAIR. It’s the greatest fair in America and if you’ve never been I highly suggest it. We spend the day eating and wandering all the amazing booths and showing they have their and ended the night watching my cousin, Kelly, compete for the Miss Iowa State Fair Queen. She earned this chance because she won her county fair, and although she did not win Fair Queen, but looked BEAUTIFUL! While in Des Monies, we stayed at my dad’s buddy’s house and had a great time.
From Des Monies we head east to Walcott, IA to visit my dad’s mother…AKA my grandmother! It was so good to see her and I loved spending a few days with her. One night, our way home from grandma’s, we stopped to see my grandfather’s grave for the first time, I might add.  No one in my family has seen my grandfather’s grave as he past away before my parent’s were married!

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You could say that my Iowa trip was filled with family, friends, love and happiness. I love being back home in Iowa, but I diffidently do not miss the icy cold winter weather 🙂

My Weekend in Iowa

Friday
The day started out assisting my grandfather in cleaning out cabin, as his girlfriend and him were throwing a little party that evening. It wasn’t very exciting so my mother and I decided we would head to my aunt’s house in Algona. It was actually perfect for me because one of my good friends from college was getting married the next day!!! That night was spent hanging out with my family and meeting up with my lovely friends, who I haven’t seen in a year, at a local bar. I almost started crying I was so happy!!!
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Saturday
Wedding Day for my lovely friend, Ashley, who I met about 6 years ago through another friend. Her and her husband are perfect for each other and not to mention an adorable couple! I felt so honored to be invited to share their special day with them!!!
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Sunday

This day marked the first of many visits to the Cabin for my adorable little nephew, Jacob. The cabin is very important to my family and has been apart our family for almost 40 years, and now we have introduced another generation to this amazing place. The cabin is our home away from home and is the place where we gather as a family for some boating/tubing, eating, jet skiing and mostly just hanging out! Look at how much Jacob loves being here 🙂
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This Sunday also was the first time in YEARS that the majority of our cousin clan (minus Holly, the oldest) was able to gather and capture a photo, or two, with grandpa! Words cannot express how happy I am to have this photo of ALL OF US because with everyone’s schedule beginning to get more and more busy, who knows when it will happen again.
Monday/Tuesday
Nothing really exciting to report for these days. We really just hung around the cabin being entertained by mister Jacob, who went in the tube and the lake for the first time. He also got to see his very first train that flies by the cabin and let’s just say…not his favorite.
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Wasn’t a fan of the trains.
Overall, the past few days have been pretty amazing! I can’t believe I only have 7 days left in Iowa 😦

Sweet Home Iowa

Words cannot express how ecstatic I am to be back home once again in the lovely state of Iowa. It has been over a year since I was here last and since I’ve seen my Iowa friends and some of my family. Luckily for myself, some of my family  comes to AZ to visit us during the winter; my grandpa, aunt and uncle (own a winter house in AZ) and my two cousins (their parents own the house). I have been so blessed to be able to spend more time with those I love since moving away from my extended family was very difficult for me.
The best part about visiting Iowa this year is the newest addition to my life, well, I guess I should really say two additions; one, My new amazing camera and second, my little nephew’s first Iowa cabin experience (though he doesn’t get here until Saturday late night, so right now I’m just enjoying using my camera!)
See what I mean…WAY TOO MUCH FUN!
On a sadder note: this will be the second summer my family has spent at the cabin without my wonderfully amazing grandmother, who passed away Sept 2009 from cancer. What she brought to my family is indescribable an unmeasurable. She truly was a gift from god. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her brightening smile and warming hugs and I know she will be with me and my the rest of our lives as our guarding angel. It is a little strange without her here at the cabin, but my family stays in high spirits because deep down we all know that is what my grandmother would want.
If you can’t tell, I’m looking forward to the next 12 days! It’s packed full with fun-filled activities: a wedding, family cabin craziness, the Iowa State Fair, and much more. Stay tuned!!!

Family Fun In Iowa

This past week I have spent some quality family time here in Iowa. The first weekend in Iowa was spent at a 2 day Voss family Reunion in Woolstock, Iowa that happens every 3 years. The first reunion took place in 1986 and I have made every reunion since then except for the reunion in 2007. There were a total of 120 Voss’s that gathered for some food and fun in the sun, which included some horseshoes (won by my uncle and his girlfriend) and a hay ride.

I love Family. We are one good looking family 🙂

My amazing grandmother passed away in September and us cousins went to visit her. It was my first time at her grave sight and it was very emotional but I know she was there in spirit!

This photo is of my family a.k.a Leonard Voss’s Pack. We have everyone member except my cousin Ryan who is currently fighting over seas in Afghanistan.

Other than the family reunion, I got to spend the week at my favorite place on earth… My grandparents cabin. It has such a wonderful feel to be here, even though it gets pretty crowded with everyone here. There’s only bedding for 11 but we managed (thanks to my parents motor home that added another 4 spots) to sleep 16, with only 1.5 bath! The cabin is amazing because we have a boat and jet ski and tend to get pretty aggressive when we go tubbing! The only down fall with Iowa is the humidity and bugs (I have never been bitten this much in my life).

I’m the one in the yellow tube and my brother in law is in the other tube (it was his first time experiencing the Voss family cabin)

Another great thing about returning to Iowa is seeing my friends from college. I went back to Cedar Falls (UNI) to visit with my good friends. Although it was only for one night, it was so good to see everyone. I miss my college days at UNI and all the friends that I’ve made but I do love to hear about where everyone is at now a days. College life can only last so long before the real world hits. This next weekend will be just as fun too, as I am going to see more of my lovely friends!!! Good Times to come and overall I must say this was a much needed 10 days!!!!!