Jacob and Brita

Jacob’s aunt and uncle from Florida we’re making their way through the Midwest on a road trip this past week and stopped in Pella for the weekend to see all things Dutch. We gave them the full tour including a trip to the top of the Cordova tower to lookout over Lake Red Rock.

On Sunday, Jacob’s Dad and sister joined us for brunch and some games. We even busted out the bocce ball set and played a few games in the park.

It was a nice weekend to get everyone together and spend sometime with the family.


Jacob went camping with his college friend Kyle this past weekend in Minnesota. They enjoyed fishing for some trout as well as sitting by the campfire and telling stories of yesteryear. It sounds like they caught their fair share of fish and also rode a few miles on their bikes.

While Jacob was away Brita enjoyed having dinner with a friend. The highlight of the meal was frozen yogurt at the Mango Tree here in Pella. 

Even though we weren’t together it was nice to spend some time with some close friends. We might just have to go camping together sometime soon.

We made a trip to Ledges state park this past weekend to do a bit of hiking. Jacob’s mother always said that was one of her favorite state parks in Iowa so we thought it was worth exploring a bit.

The weather was perfect for a hike so we made the trek up to the top of the valley and enjoyed the lookout from table rock. We also enjoyed the views of the park below. Jacob enjoyed the upside down bridges that you could drive through but it wasn’t quite warm enough for him to go for a dip in the water.

Since we were so close to Boone, we stopped in to see Brita’s grandmother and did a bit of visiting. We also stopped by the Boone Valley Brewery to have a beer since we were so close. The trip wouldn’t have been complete without a trip through Ames to stop at Iowa State and go for a walk on campus. Overall it was nice getaway that was still close to home.


This year’s Tulip Time festival is in the books. We had great weather in Pella for all three days despite the forecast of scattered showers all weekend long. The parade route was packed almost all three days that we went to watch.

While we didn’t do a whole lot with the typical tulip time festivities, we did run out to the Pella airport to checkout the fly-in breakfast. Not really knowing what we were getting in to, we were surprised to see an excellent spread of breakfast food. Of course, you always know the pancakes are going to be good when they have a griddle with the pancake batter dispenser on rollers. It was really good.

After we grabbed a bit to eat, we walked through to see some of the airplanes that were already there. Our friend Rick had two planes that were on display. One he has had for a while, but he also has a Pober Pixie which is a small, single-seater kit plane. Jacob had seen it in pieces in his garage a few years back, but it was more impressive to see it all put together.

Not to worry, we also indulged in our favorite Tulip Time food, poffertjees, not once but twice over the weekend.


We had another wedding to go to this weekend as Brita’s cousin Jessie was getting married. The wedding was at Jester Park on the edge of Sailorville lake. Brita was a bridesmaid in the wedding and we both enjoyed spending time with her extended family and playing with all of the kids.

The outdoor wedding was beautiful aside from the rain shower that moved in just in time to douse all of the guests and bridal party. Someone was thinking ahead and provided the bride and groom an umbrella to use. Conveniently, as we all headed inside to enjoy dinner and dancing, the sun came out again. It was one of the more memorable weddings we’ve been to recently.

Tulip time is this week so the town of Pella will be plenty busy. We are mostly looking forward to all of the wonderful food that comes along with the annual celebration.


Jacob and Brita in Minneapolis

We headed up to the twin cities this weekend so Jacob could attend a WordPress conference for work. It was a nice escape from Pella and while Brita tagged along, she opted out of the conference festivities.

There was enough extra time to enjoy the city, so we met up with our friend Krista and went looking for trouble. Luckily, all we could find was a dinner at The Local, a trip to the sculpture garden and a drink or two at the Brit’s pub. All in all, a good time.

We also a learned a few things from our trip. The things Jacob learned were mostly related to WordPress but Brita learned that she walked 10.5 miles on Saturday and another 7 on Sunday. Needless to say, her feet are a bit tired.



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.

Back in time