Category Archives: Laura

Blessings – 2018

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! It is the time of year where we are supposed to count our blessings.

I thought I would share a few of my current blessings:

I am blessed with a great family!

Sympathy - Brandon Kahler



Bethany - Boredom

Elainie - Boredom

Fear - Alexis

Anger - Johnathan

Sadness - Logan

I have plenty of friends that share my love for the Cyclones!

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Liberty Bowl Road Trip

I have a job I don’t hate going to, where I work with several people I don’t want to punch in the face.

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech

I have an amazing church family!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Pufferbilly Days Float - 2018

Critter Sunday - 2018

Easter - 2018 - Boone FUMC

I have an amazing friends family!

Anders - Fear

Shannon with her

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Maquoketa Caves Road Trip

2009 - Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

I’m blessed to share my life with Naima!

August 23, 2017

This is really just a handful of the blessings in my life! But I’m already getting this out late, so I’ll cut if off here. I’ll just end with a passage from a Rob Bell NOOMA video that really spoke to me:

“So the verse in First Timothy, it says command those that are rich to not put their hope in wealth… and then it goes on and it continues… and it says, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

That phrase, a God that richly provides us with everything. All that we have is a gift.

Food. It is a gift.

Clothes. Gift.

Roof. Gift.

That breath you just took. It’s a gift.

Now there are some that will say: No, you don’t understand. I’ve worked for what I have. I deserve it. It is mine. But like it says in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8: You may say to yourself, my power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me. But remember the Lord your God, because it is God that gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

I thank God for the embarrassment of riches in my life!

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

You may recall that I am not superstitious, but I am a littlestitious when it comes to sports. Every time I touch my camera at an Iowa State football game, things go bad for Iowa State. Therefore, I don’t have many pictures from Iowa State’s monumental victory over #6 West Virginia.

Here are a few of the pictures that I have:

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

Iowa State 30 #6 West Virginia 14

A couple of quick observations.

#!. Those black uniforms were sick! I can’t wait until they crack them out again. I’d like to see them with some kind of alternate helmet at some point. I know that lots of old people don’t understand the black uniforms. That doesn’t matter. Those uniforms aren’t for them. They are for the players and for recruits. The players and recruits love them! That is all that matters. Period. This is one of the things that Matt Campbell understands that previous Iowa State coaching staffs haven’t. It is one of the reasons why every year he puts together a new best class in Iowa State history. He is truly building something special at Iowa State. I can’t wait to see what kind of special uniforms they crack out next season. The one thing they haven’t really done yet is an alternate helmet design, besides the bugle helmet last year. I’m on record as hating Iowa State’s I-State logo. Therefore I didn’t hate the bugle as much as most people did last year. However, an alternate helmet that brought back Cy would be amazing. But what I would really love to see is a helmet that brings back the 80s cyclone design.

Click on the link below to see an Iowa State fan designed logo that I would love to see and I would buy ALL the merch for:


#2. Iowa State plays Kansas today. Kansas is wearing alternate uniforms that honor the military. So alternate uniform haters can get their hate game going today at 11 AM I wish I was able to get down there for that game, but instead I’ve decided to go see my new niece and nephews. If you haven’t heard, Nate and Laura gave birth (well, mostly Laura, but Nate helped) to a healthy set of triplets a couple weeks ago. I’m heading down to meet them with Bethany, Becca, and Jim today. Therefore, stay by your phones for baby pictures!

#3. If I were the type of person that used profanity on my blog (besides when I’m quoting somebody) I would drop an F bomb right here. It would be directed towards West Virginia head coach and noted cry baby Dana Holgorsen. He was less than a class act after Iowa State stomped his Mountaineers like maggots. He gave Iowa State no credit for dismantling his team and ending his quarterback’s Heisman trophy dreams. Then he went into full cry baby mode because Iowa State fans stormed the field. I’ve been apart of probably 10 or so field storms at Jack Trice Stadium over the years. This was the most peaceful one I’ve ever seen. Holgorsen cried about it and the Big XII fined Iowa State $25,000 dollars to placate his ego. Last week Kansas fans stormed the field after beating TCU and Oklahoma State fans stormed the field after beating Texas. Neither university was fined because TCU and Texas both have coaches that are fully functioning adults. Instead of a large man-baby. So yeah, Dana Holgorsen can go… well you can use your imagination.

Iowa State plays at Kansas at 11 AM this morning. Go Cyclones!!!

Badlands Vol. 5

The final set of pictures from my brief sojourn through the Badlands with my Mom:

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

That is it. That is the last of the Badlands pictures. Still have plenty of pictures from my trip to South Dakota to publish though. I’ll get through them all, some day.


Actually that isn’t it. I’d like to thank everybody that wished me a happy birthday on Friday.

I believe this to be the entire list:

-Sara Lockner
-Sarah Karber
-Aunt Linda

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. It was a perfectly adequate birthday. I didn’t go to work. I got to do some tenderloining. I took some pictures. I hung out with my favorite dog in the world and one of my other favorite dogs in the world. I also watched ROAD HOUSE.

The movie that perfected throat ripping and had so many great lines like:

You know, I heard you had balls big enough to come in a dump truck, but you don’t look like much to me.

You’re too stupid to have a good time.

Take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee and he’ll drop like a stone.

I got married to an ugly woman. Don’t ever do that. It just takes the energy right out of you. She left me, though. Found somebody even uglier than she was. That’s life. Who can explain it?

Calling me sir is like putting an elevator in an outhouse. It don’t belong.

That gal’s got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that.

This place has a sign hangin’ over the urinal that says, “Don’t eat the big white mint”.

And of course

Pain don’t hurt.

If you missed your chance to celebrate my birth, you have one more chance. Next Sunday night is the Union Street Theater’s monthly movie night. Here are the movies for the double feature:

Movie Night

I chose the movies this month (instead of the usual committee that picks the movies) since it is my birth month. If you are wondering why I picked KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, then do you really know me at all.

I picked REAR WINDOW because I love that movie, it is directed by Hitchcock, it is about a photographer, the photographer is dating Grace Kelly, and it is is the best movie ever made about a photographer.

A close second is BLOW-UP. Right Jay and Jesse?

Projector rolls at 6 PM. I’m not sure if there will be any special treats for that night. We’ll see.

Roundball Oracles – Year 14

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liars chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

It is done. College basketball is over for another season.

In 11 days Iowa State football will hold their Spring Game. After that, the only sports worth watching until college football kicks off in 5 months is the NBA Playoffs. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my spare time. Maybe I’ll clean my house. Now I’m really depressed.

Who isn’t depressed?

Paul Golden, that is who! For the second straight year, he is cutting down the nets for the Roundball Oracles. His name had been added to the List of Immortals:

The List of Immortals

2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

One more trophy and he will tie Willy and Mark for the most crowns ever!

I held onto Paul’s trophy from last year, when in became apparent he might win again, so I don’t have a picture of Paul with his trophy yet. But when I do, I’ll share it here.

I do however have a picture of last year’s The Sara winner:

Shannon with her
Shannon with The Sara

However, Shannon did not have the guts to come back and defend her The Sara Title. Therefore, there is a new The Sara “Winner” this year.

“Congrats” to Robert Henning for being the last place adult, that tried to win. I have went over his bracket with a fine tooth comb and even though he picked Kansas to win it all, it would seem he was trying to win in good faith. He joins the List of Mortals:

The List of Mortals

2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2015 – Sara Lockner

There were 35 entrants this year. A slight dip from past years, but that was to be expected with the lack of any local teams in the tournament. Most of us adopted Loyola as our team, since they were powered by former Cyclone Clayton Custer.

However, it was a clean, close competition. Michigan’s defeat of Loyola in the Final Four left it down to just Rachel and Paul battling it out for the trophy. Villanova’s complete shellacking of Kansas gave Paul the repeat.

But you didn’t come here to listen to any of that tommyrot. You want to see the final standings:

1 Paul Golden 248
2 Dawn Krause 243
3 Yours Truly 243
4 tim peterson 232
5 Michelle Haupt 232
6 Nate Miller 230
7 Jordan Toot 224
8 Corey Faust 223
9 Angie DeWaard 221
10 Rachel Johnson 219
11 Lowell Davis 215
12 Benjamin Baier 213
13 Derek Dohrman 205
14 Cathie Raley 204
15 Bill Wentworth 200
16 Sean G. 198
17 Linda Bennett 195
18 Jesse Howard 195
19 Olivia Baier 188
20 Toby Sebring 185
21 Russ Kennerly 184
22 Jackson Faust 182
23 Sean Clubine 173
24 Jason Baier 173
25 Micky Augustin 167
26 Brandon Kahler 166
27 Nader Parsaei 166
28 Andree Jauhari 165
29 Liz Nordeen 165
30 Carrie Baier 162
31 Laura Priest 158
32 FHMeiners 156
33 Becky Perky 152
34 Will Baier 148
35 Robert Henning 141

The good news is that next year is that the state of Iowa won’t be shutout of the NCAA Tournament. If nothing else, the first two “real” rounds will be held in Des Moines. Plus Iowa has a lot of young talent that will be back next year. Admittedly, they still have the same sub-par coach, but they should be good enough to go dancing for a short while.

Iowa State on the other hand will be one of the most interesting teams in the country. This year’s team was very young and was decimated by injuries. The only major loss from last year’s team is Donovan Jackson, which Kansas fans know, is a major loss. However, assuming Lindell Wigginton comes back (and almost everybody assumes he will), they return a future first round pick in Wigginton and fellow freshman stud Cam Lard. Plus you bring Babb and Solomon back from injuries. Bring back a big time contributor down the stretch in Zoran Talley. A much improved Terrence Lewis will fight for playing time with super impact transfer Marial Shayok and impact transfer Michael Jacobson. Then add stud freshman Talen Horton-Tucker to the mix. One guy you don’t want to sleep on is Zion Griffin. Plus they are adding Tyrese Halliburton and George Conditt. I don’t expect those 2 to contribute next year, but they will be huge in the coming years.

This will be the most talented roster since Iowa State had 5 NBA players on the roster a few years back. That team lost in the first round of the tourney. I expect much bigger things from the Cyclones next year. The future is bright in the Cyclone State!

Roundball Oracles – Year 14

It is once again time for the Roundball Oracles NCAA Tournament Pool.

I want to start by saying that Paul and Shannon, your trophies for last years accomplishment and “accomplishment” are on order. They will be in your possession by the end of next week.

Here is the proof that I ordered the trophies:

The pool is your pretty standard pool. Pick the games. Pick the final score of the championship game. Win a trophy. This year, I’ll deliver on the trophy much earlier.

The pool doesn’t cost anything, but pride, but the winner gets a trophy and the last place adult (that tried) gets The Sara Trophy.

Here is a list of past champions.

The List of Immortals:

2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

Last year 38 people took their shot at mortality. Paul Golden came home the winner. Shannon Bardole came home with The Sara.

Last Year’s Standings:

1 Paul Golden 260
2 Frank Meiners 252
3 Angie DeWaard 247
4 Michelle Haupt 242
5 shawn lockner 238
6 Jen Ensley-Gorshe 231
7 Jorge Rios 231
8 Andree Jauhari 226
9 tim peterson 226
10 Jordan Toot 225
11 Carrie Baier 225
12 Toby Sebring 224
13 Lowell Davis 222
14 JJ Baier 221
15 Logan Kahler 220
16 Jason Baier 218
17 Dae Hee Yoon 213
18 Jackson Faust 211
19 Dawn Krause 209
20 Jon DeWaard 208
21 Nader Parsaei 204
22 Derek Dohrman 203
23 William Baier 202
24 Robert Henning 194
25 Christopher Bennett
26 Bill Wentworth 193
27 Rachel Johnson 192 36
28 Russell Kennerly 190
29 Nate Miller 189
30 Michael Augustin
31 Derrick Gorshe 181
32 Elizabeth Nordeen 164
33 Laura Priest 162
34 Corey Faust 160
35 Jill Gorshe 152
36 Shannon Bardole 149
37 Olivia Baier 143
38 Benjamin Baier 121

If you are interested in participating this year, drop me an email and I’ll get you hooked up.

If this post seems kind of low energy, don’t worry, Iowa State and my passion for the tournament will be back again next year!

Relationship Goals

I hope all of you had a marvelous Thanksgiving weekend! I had a particularly great Thanksgiving weekend myself.

On Thursday morning I got up and went down to the church (Boone First United Methodist represent!) to take photos of our annual Thanksgiving. This is the second year in a row I’ve photographed the event. From the initial looks, I’d say that we served more than double what we served the previous year.

After hanging with the church family, I went to my Mom’s house for my family Thanksgiving. As usual, it was great. As usual Mom’s cooking was on point. Teresa’s French Silk Pie was delicious as usual. We watched SING and Alexis put up the Christmas tree.

Friday I got up and did some G33 classified business, but it was lots of fun. Even though the cheating was even more rampant than usual.

At noon I went to the Wal-Mart and rang the bell for the Salvation Army. One of my favorite things to do every year. For the people watching aspect alone.

Friday night I went to Boxholm and had a supper prepared by Becca and Bethany. It was kind of a surreal experience because we had the meal in Shorty and Doris’ home. All their stuff is still there, but now their stuff is accented with Tim’s style. Which isn’t bad, but it is weird. However, Bethany and Becca rocked the meal. Turkey and duck?!? Insane!

Saturday morning Dae Hee and I hit the road for Manhattan to see Nate and Laura, plus watch the Iowa State Cyclones battle the Kansas State Wildcats in football. On the way down there we stopped at a Waffle House in St. Joe’s because we were hungry and I love me some Waffle House. However, the Waffle House experience was marred with tragedy. I was mistaken for an Iowa Hawkeye fan by a group of Nebraska fans. It took me awhile to figure out that they had mistaken me for such a low beast as a Hawkeye fan because I was blatantly dressed like a Cyclone fan. It just put a pall on the entire experience. I couldn’t even properly enjoy the road waffle that Waffle House generously gifted us.

The rest of the trip to Manhattan went without incident. Mostly Dae Hee sleeping and me explaining every song of HAMILTON to a sleeping Dae Hee.

We lunched at a place called Bourbon & Baker. It is a small plate restaurant and I would recommend it. I’d highly recommend their chicken and waffles and that isn’t just my love for waffles speaking. #wafflelife

After lunch Nate and Laura dropped us off at Vampire Stadium. Nate scored us great free seats from some old retired professor dude. We sat on the 40 yard line in actual seats. Other than them being in literally the smallest rows in the history of rows and being surrounded by Purple Kansans, it was a great experience. Until the 4th quarter. When all of a sudden it was as if the Vampire had called up Bill Self and asked to borrow his personal refs.

I’m not blaming the loss on the refs. Iowa State certainly aided Purple Kansas with horrible play calling, but I can say with 100% certainty, I’ve NEVER seen a time where the referees threw 3 flags on one team and picked them all up. Not in an entire season. Not in an entire game. Not in an entire half. Not in an entire quarter. Definitely not in a 5 minute period.

What particularly hurt is when Kansas State blatantly interfered with Iowa State’s all-world receiver Allen Lazard. The refs threw the flag, because it was pretty blatant. Then got together. Picked up the flag and then tried to pretend that they were decent human beings, which they obviously are not. If they make the correct call there, the game is over and Iowa State leaves Manhattan with a victory and all is right in the world.

But I think this tweet by Lazard really puts a comedic spin on the deal:

Relationship Goals

What made the loss almost worse is the fact that Purple Kansans are so incredibly nice. At least 15 of them came up to me or Dae Hee to thank us for coming to their stadium. To tell us that we have a great team. It was a great game. In my state of mind at the time, I almost would’ve preferred an obnoxious Hawkeye or Husker or Jayhawk fan.

I’m pissed. Don’t be nice to me.

After the wave of Purple Kansas Nice finally finished washing over us, Nate and Laura picked us up and Road Rage Laura took us to dinner at the Taphouse. Another Manhattan eatery I would recommend. Their Korean Wings are delicious. Their house brewed root beer was good, but not great. Very strangely they served it on ice. Must be a Purple Kansas thing.

Then the final twist of the knife came when I got a snap from somebody that was eating pizza from The Adobe. I’ve been badly hankering for some pizza from The Adobe for quite some time now. I guess that is my own fault for not just going myself.

After dinner I cashed in my chips and called it a night. I was physically and emotionally drained.

Nate got a text in the morning from Bethany that Nora was sick. We decided to skip breakfast and hit the road.

On the way out of town we stopped at Manhattan Hill. 8 AM. The only people there were Cyclone fans. It was universally agreed upon that we were all still pissed. We hopped in the car and headed home. That little Manhattan Hill therapy session definitely helped my mood a bit.

But I really brought you here to share some photos from church’s Thanksgiving meal:

The church server 521 meals on Thanksgiving! What an incredible blessing!

The 9 Emotions Project – Laura Miller

Laura recently became the 21st person (if you count me, but you really shouldn’t) to pose for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT:


If you can’t recall, these are the 9 Emotions:










Next time we check in with THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT, we will check in with somebody very special to Laura. Just not as special to Laura as Laura is to Nate.

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest – 2017

It is the time where I reveal what photos I entered into the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but first the good news and the “bad” news.

The good news is that my sister Carla cleaned up at the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. She got 1st Place in Hidden Treasures of Boone County and Second Place for Photojournalism.

The “bad” news is that the 6 photos I entered got no love from the judge or judges. I really have no clue how they pick the awards. But I put “bad” in quotes because if I could choose to get no awards, that is exactly what I would choose. Plus, I’m super excited about Carla’s awards! Pretty sweet!

If I can get Carla to email me her submissions, I’ll post those at a later date. Like the day that she emails them to me.

Hopefully Teresa will enter some photos next year too!

Any way, you may recall that I had 6 people choose my 6 submission based on who left comments on an Instagram post. Here are those 6 submissions and the people that selected them:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2017
Dawn Krause

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2017
Laura Miller

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2017
Amber Moore

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2017
Michelle Haupt

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2017
Micky Augustin

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2017
Jim Robbins

If you would like to see the pool of photos that they had to choose from, click on the link below:

2017 Pufferbilly Days Submission Pool

If you are wondering what was selected to the submission pool here are the requirements:

1. Have never been entered into another photo contest (i.e. Iowa State Fair, Boone County Fair)
2. They had to fit into 1 of the 4 categories: Nature, Photojournalism, Photoshop, or Hidden Treasures of Boone County)
3. I had to like them, sorta.

I’ll add that this is the photo that wasn’t entered, but was chosen by Selector-Alternate Sara Lockner:


I believe that is probably it for photo contests for 2017. As things now, I will probably remain unretired from Photo Contests in 2018. See you then.