Des Moines, a Classic Book, and Insomnia

Hello everyone! The temps hit 60 degrees today and the snow is melting. Spring is here -hopefully to stay- and the sunshine is good for my soul. We just got home from Des Moines a few hours ago and I took Deuce for a walk as soon as I could. It helped with my “post Des Moines let down“.

So the reason we went down to the Ames/Des Moines area was because my stepdaughter had a basketball tournament in Gilbert which is a town 5 miles north of Ames. So we left yesterday at 6:45 am and headed down to watch. They won 4 out of 5 games this weekend so that was pretty great to see. It was also cool to see her play with this team as this is a new team for her. She hit a few amazing 3 pointers although I think any 3 pointer is amazing because I’m not exactly athletic. I used to try to take pics but I’m not good at that. They always turn out blurry. Some moms and stepmoms have awesome cameras and are like professional photographers. I’m not.

Between games, my husband and I drove to Des Moines. (Sidenote- someone mentioned that I never actually say my husband’s name. His name is James.) We had to go to Drake University to pick up his race packet so he could run the half marathon at the Drake Relays.  Our friends Tiffany and Luke were also running- Luke ran the half marathon and Tiff ran the 5K. Tiff is one of my best friends and her husband and James get along very well so it’s always fun to go and stay at their house. While we were in Des Moines, we ate at Spaghetti Works in downtown Des Moines so James could carbo load. I’m amazed at what the downtown area in Des Moines is like now. They have done such an incredible job of building up downtown in the past few years. And of course, it makes me miss it so much.

After the last game of the day, we went to Boone to Tiffany and Luke’s house and split up for dinner. Luke and James went to West Towne Pub in Ames and Tiff and I headed to Fong’s in Ankeny to meet up with 2 of my college friends Jaime and Ann.  Fong’s is one of my favorites Des Moines area restaurants because of the unusual food and the fun atmosphere. If you go, you MUST try the crab rangoon pizza.  It’s their claim to fame and it’s delicious. Guy Fieti went to the downtown Fong’s location on his show Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. I probably should have taken a pic with my friends but I was too busy laughing and talking with them. Dinner with your closest friends is the best. We were missing our other college friend Brandy because she in Florida at Disneyworld with her family. Her nephew has leukemia and he is there with the Make a Wish Foundation. She sent me a few pics and it looks like they are having a lot of fun. Anyhow, back to Fong’s. Jaime had the drink called Professor Fongs and she said it was awesome. I had a rum runner and although it wasn’t as good as the one I had in Florida, its was so good! We spent 2 hours there just having fun. I miss my Des Moines friends so much, especially as I get older. I think that’s the biggest reason I miss living in Des Moines so much it hurts. Going down every few months just isn’t cutting it lately. After dinner, TIff and I hit up Target because that’s what you do on a Saturday night in your 30’s . It’s a lot different than what we did in our 20’s. And that’s all I’m saying about that!

Professor Fong drink. 

Today we woke up super early because we had to leave the house at 6:00 for the race. During Tiff’s 5K, I hung out with her 4 year old son Liam. We went to McDonalds (not my favorite but it kept him happy!) and we took his pic with the Drake bulldog. When she was done we waited for our husbands to get done running the half marathon. My husband had his personal best time today with 1:53:16. (That’s one hour, 53 minutes, and 16 seconds.) He was pretty happy about that but then later said he thought he should have ran harder to get a better time. I think that’s a mark of a runner- never satisfied.

After the race, we headed back to their house so they could all relax and take showers. James and I left (Yes, I got teary eyed leaving my friend!) and we headed to West Towne Pub for lunch. We thought the next basketball game was at 1:30 but then found out they were playing right then! So we finished our food and went to the game in time for the second half. We had to miss the first game because of the race in the morning and we left after her second game today. James was exhausted from running 13.1 miles and I was exhausted from lack of sleep. Insomnia sucks. It really sucks…

And now after a long drive,  we’re home and I’m doing a little meal prep- making chicken, and roasting sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. I’m making it a goal to have a veggie with every meal so I get 3-4 servings of veggies in per day. I’m also hoping for a good night’s sleep. Friday night I went to bed at 10:30 and woke up at 3:00 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I read for awhile and finally got up and worked out at 5:00 am. I did the 22 Minute Hard Corps Resistance 1. I figured I’d start my day with a workout and maybe all the drive time would seem better. Then last night I couldn’t get to sleep. I don’t think I slept more than a half hour at a time and I had to get up at 5:15. Not fun. On a good note, my insomnia helped me do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I’m embarrassed to say that I am 37 years old and had never read a book that a lot of people read in high school or college. I need to do more of that so if you have any book recommendations on classics, please send them to me! Also, I really want to know why exactly Boo Radley never left his house. Not that I blame him. Sometimes dealing with people just isn’t what I want to do. On the way to Gilbert, I was talking to James about the book and mentioned that I thought the name Atticus was cool. The look on his face was priceless. I’m pretty sure he’s happy we never had a kid together so we didn’t have to argue about names. I like weird names and he, well, he doesn’t. I’ve also told him I like the name Steele. Iowa State had a quarterback named Steele Jantz and I loved his name. Again, maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t have a kid. I can hardly type this last paragraph as my dog is nudging my hand because I’m not petting him at the moment.

So that’s it. That’s my weekend. Gosh, I miss my friends and miss the Des Moines area. There’s so many great restaurants and so many fun things to do. We’re heading down in a few weeks again so that my stepson can check out Iowa State University. Being a Cyclone, I’m pretty pumped about that. I haven’t been back on campus a lot since I graduated so I’m anxious to see how it’s changed. And I’m wondering how different it will be to view it as a parental figure instead of a college student…which just makes me feel old.

And speaking of feeling old, It’s not even 9:00 PM and I’m thinking of going to bed soon. 2 nights of 4 or less hours of sleep is kicking my butt. I want to have a good week and get out of this funk I’m in tonight. Have a great week!


*** The photo of Des Moines is not mine. I found it and it had no copyright so I used it. Also the photos of the Professor Fong drink was taken by my lovely friend Jaime***


  1. Based on the picture of James finishing the race, I was over to the right one section in the front row. Next time, we need to plan to meet up. What’s the next race he’s running down here?


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