Monday, November 26, 2012

A Legacy of Love

 Today I have a love story to share with you.  Today also happens to be my husband Matt and I's 12 year anniversary, but this love story is not about us; it is about the Nagles, who built our house and raised their family here for nearly 50 years.  One of their daughters, Therese, has written for "The Good" before ("Home Again"), and is a faithful reader of this blog.  She has written a beautiful tribute to her parents and their love story.  When she sent it to me, I couldn't wait to share it with all of you, because it includes some of my very favorite things:  Iowa City, a sappy love story, and a house full of kids (which happens to now be my house!)  And so, without further ado, I give to you...

Destie and Jack:  A Wonderful Love Story

I love to read. Love it, love it love it. Mostly fiction, but I am a fanatic about the morning paper. I don't read romance novels. That is not my genre. I sometimes fantasize about writing a great novel, or just writing in general. But, nothing I write would do justice to what I was privileged to experience first hand. My parents – Destie Monnig and Jack Nagle.

They met decades ago in Iowa City. My Mom was an undergrad, and my Dad was in law school. There is some confusion about how it all came about. Newman Center picnic, my Grandma telling my Mom... Jack Nagle wants to go to the picnic, why don't you pick him up? My Mom, driving the family car, picking my Dad up, her younger 12 year old brother needing a ride to boy scouts and asking my Dad (in the passenger seat) for the $.05 dues. All these years later, I like the idea that my Mom was driving and embarrassed by her pesky younger brother.

Nagle wedding
The picnic is legendary! We all talk about the Newman Center picnic. The picnic started it all! At some point, they started dating. And, my Dad moved back to Davenport (his home town) and started being a lawyer. He proposed. My Mom said yes! They had a great wedding and honeymooned in New Orleans.

They settled in an apartment in Davenport. They were a family. And, they starting expanding that family. They had kids, moved a few times, had more kids, bought a bigger house, the family grew, they had more kids, and settled on building a house (which my Dad helped design) as the ultimate home.

Ok, my parents were great parents. But, but, but, they loved each other and they were the best life long partners. That was the best thing they did. They loved each other. They supported each other. My Mom did so much and my Dad supported her career pursuits. He was so proud!

Dancing to their song
My parents loved each other. They were each other's rock. There was romance. There was passion. There was - as my favorite uncle pointed out before my wedding –friendship. Friendship is what its all about.

One of my favorite stories....years ago, my parents were spending the winter in Florida. I flew down for a couple of days to spend time with them. We were out at dinner with an old client of my Dad's – a woman I had just met that evening. A song came on and my parents looked at each other and immediately stood and said “This is our song, we have to dance.” I had not known that before that night. They had a song. But, I always will have a soft spot for Tony Bennent singing about leaving his heart in San Francisco.

My parents set the foundation. There IS such a thing as life-long love stories. They were married 65 years. My Dad died last January. November 23rd would have been their 66th wedding anniversary. I like to think that my Dad is listening to Tony Bennent. And dancing.
A special thank you to Therese Nagle-Kiser for sharing the wonderful love story that was the foundation of the home in which my growing family now lives. I don't know if we will ever be as big in number (they had TEN kids!), but I pray that we will be as big in love as they were.  Today as we celebrate our twelve years together, Matt and I will be thinking of the example that Destie and Jack set.  Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Nagle. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Favorite Mommy-to-bee!!!

If you aren't aware that my best friend (Chef Laura) is pregnant, then you probably haven't been reading this blog much! :)  In a few short weeks, Laura will be welcoming her first baby--a girl!  A best friend for my little Nora, and finally a niece in the same town as me! I am SO excited!

My family and I recently threw a baby shower for miss Laura and "baby bee". (Laura's maiden name was Berneking, and in high school I always called her "Laura Bee"; the nickname has stuck!)  I have been waiting for this baby shower for so long; an opportunity to celebrate my best friend and the fact that she will soon be a mommy!

Five years worth of bee gifts :)
I have been warning Laura for a while about the abundance of gifts that I have for her baby.  When I was pregnant with my first son (FIVE years ago!), whenever we went to garage sales I would pick up things for my baby, and also things for Laura's future babies.  Any time there was anything with bees on it, I would pick it up and stash it away for her baby! 

Since that time, we have moved three times.  The box of "Laura's baby stuff" has gotten bigger and bigger, and I have successfully hauled it through all three moves.  When she told me she was pregnant, the first thing I did was have Matt get up in the attic and get the box down!  I've been planning the baby shower ever since.

bees, bees everywhere!
So, on Saturday night, I began the process of taking down Halloween decorations in my house and replacing them with everything black and yellow, bees, and baby. (Just so happens we are all Hawkeye fans, the black and yellow was a nice theme!)  When it was all ready, my aunts and my mom and I just walked around and looked at all the cuteness. So exciting for Laura!

We all dressed in black and yellow and white in honor of Laura Bee and her little bee.  It was a wonderful baby shower...not too big, not too small.  Just a nice, friendly showering of my best friend with gifts for her little bundle.

Can't WAIT to hold that little girl in December! Little Nora Jean is ready to meet her best friend! :)

Bumblebee diaper cake!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Muchas Gracias!

So, for those of you who have been waiting on the edge of your seats...

...I did not forget about that contest I had mentioned in celebration of 5000 pageviews on "The Good".  Just so happened that we reached that 5000 mark around the same time that I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl!

(Drumroll Please..........)

For those of you who have "liked" our Facebook page ( ), you will be entered for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to your choice of our two home-based businesses here at The Good:

1) Just Duckie Personalized Blankies (
2) Goodies Sweet Eats (

If you have not liked our page yet, head on over and do so!  Deadline for the contest will be Sunday, November 11.  Winner will be chosen at random and announced on the blog.  Thank you ALL for your continued support and readership!  I feel so blessed and so happy to play a part in helping you look for the good in your lives!

*Side-note:  As of today, we have almost 8000 pageviews here at The Good. Wow!