Jacob and Brita

We had a week of warm weather this past week and a bit of rain turned everything green. It also got the tulips to bloom and so it looks like we’ll have an early tulip time this year in Pella.

We also had a wedding to go to this past weekend. It was a barn wedding which was really unique. It provided a unique backdrop for the couple to tie the knot.



We are ready for spring in Iowa. The recent stretch of nice weather made it easy for us get outside and enjoy what spring has to offer this weekend.  We even took the time to go for a walk at the lake.

It is probably a bit early, but we decided to dive into the garden and get it ready to go. We really enjoy spinach and kale which are both early season vegetables. We went ahead and got that planted and prepped the rest of the garden. We’ll probably wait a bit longer for the tomatoes and peppers that we usually plant. Hopefully we are lucky enough to have a nice harvest from the garden this year.

Grandma Oyen

Jacob’s grandmother passed away the day after valentines day in Florida. She lived to the age of 98 which is impressive. She was such a wonderful person with great stories. We are fortunate that we had the opportunity to visit her for Easter last spring.

The funeral was Friday in Dubuque. Jacob was a pallbearer along with the rest of his cousins. They had the visitation right at the church before the funeral which was really nice to not have everyone driving all over town. The funeral was well attended considering Grandma hadn’t lived in Dubuque for about 30 years. Even Jacob’s great-aunt Marion who is 92 made the trip down from Platteville, Wis. for the funeral. I think it is safe to say that the Northaus genes carry quite a bit of longevity in them.

It was really the first time we had the chance to see the Oyen extended family since our wedding. We also had the chance to catch up with everyone at the funeral dinner including the Klein family. The Oyens don’t get together very often since everyone lives all over the country so the funeral was a family reunion.

It was great to celebrate her life with the family and we know that she’s looking down on us now.

Oyen cousins

Here are all of Jacob’s cousins.


We celebrated Valentine’s Day together today without a lot of fanfare. We took a trip to Des Moines to take in the home show as well as run some errands.

The highlight of the day was grabbing a bite to eat at Kaldera, a local restaurant in Pella. We’ve had a gift card there since the wedding and figured now was as good as time as any to use it. Brita enjoyed her salmon and I indulged in a piece of cheesecake for the occasion. All in all it was a nice Valentine’s day.

2015 Christmas

We headed down to Kansas City for part two of our Christmas escapades. We enjoyed some time with family and friends as well as a short excursion to do a bit of shopping. Gifts were exchanged and I think everyone ended up very jolly! We even had a chance to snap our annual family photo.


We had a wonderful Christmas in Boone, Huxley and Pella with Brita’s family. It’s nice to catch up with everyone and hear stories from their younger years.

It was fun playing with the kids and seeing what Santa brought them. As usual, the home cooked food was excellent and we now have a few calories to burn off.



We had a nice Thanksgiving weekend with our families. Turkey dinner was in Des Moines at Two Rivers Grill. Neither of us thought the food was particularly noteworthy but, it was nice to spend time with family. We then jetted up to Boone to see the rest of Brita’s family.

We also made a trip to Kansas City to see Jacob’s family. We got to do a little shopping with Sarah since she was looking for a sweater. On Saturday we made a trip to IKEA but that was about all the shopping we could handle for the weekend.

Christmas is fast approaching so we are looking forward to more family time and some time away from work.


We made a brief trip to Iowa City and Cedar Rapids this past weekend. Jacob really wanted to go see some bike racing and stand in the cold and Brita was excited to see her parents and spend some time with them.

Jingle Cross is one of the largest races in Iowa and attracts some of the top professional racers from around the country. Jacob opted out of racing this year since he hasn’t been riding his bike as much, but he did stand outside in the cold. It’s amazing to watch the pros do things like nose-wheelies going around steep off-camber descents:

It snowed Saturday night in Cedar Rapids so we stayed in at Brita’s parents house. We ended up with about three inches of snow but that didn’t stop Brita from enjoying some time with her parents. I think she liked  her mother’s home cooked meals the most. All-in-all it was a pretty good weekend away from Pella.


Jacob headed out to Portland this past week for work. He seems to come back exhausted but enthusiastic with all the new things that he has learned. While he was there he did a poster presentation on some software that he is using. The poster project was probably a little more work than he was expecting but a learning experience at the least.

While he was there he had a chance to take in all of the sights of the city. It sounds like he had a nice time trying out some of the doughnut shops. He even made some time to take in a cyclocross race. The highlights of the trip included checking out Powell’s books as well as some of the local breweries.

We have most of the busy fall season behind us. It will be nice to catch the last of the fall colors.


Brita snagged a couple of tickets to the Iowa State football game this last weekend so we headed up to Ames to do a little tailgating and watch a little football.

It was a beautiful day for the game and we even had a chance to walk around campus briefly. It was great to hang out with her cyclone friends and family.

Back in time