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Another Iowa Surprise!

              Yesterday morning my alarm went off at a little after 3am.  I had a 5:45am flight out of Knoxville headed for Iowa!  After a layover in Chicago I finished off my journey into Eastern Iowa around 10:30am Central time!  I came as a surprise for my older brother John’s 30th birthday!  My sisters Amy and Lisa, along with their husbands Doug and Kyle, were also in on the surprise as they made the journey from Ankeny, Iowa.  Just after 4:00pm we all began walking into John’s office.  He was stunned!  I decided last minute to be a part of John’s birthday and I’m so glad that I did.  His girlfriend Molly got BBQ from a local hot spot and along with Molly’s brother Jack we feasted on pulled pork, ribs, and all kinds of wonderful sides.  We gave him his gift (UNI Panther license plates and a new gym bag) and then read him the 30 names of John that represented a life well lived thus-far!  It was a special night for everyone involved.  John is such an important part of our family as the oldest child.  He has so many strong qualities that we all look up to.  He is the most loyal person I know and it is difficult to find a bone in his body that is not caring.  His integrity has always been easy to see and his sense of humor is worth a last minute plane trip to be around.  I’m hanging out in a local starbucks in Cedar Falls, Iowa waiting for John to finish up a meeting.  We’ll then get to hang out with his close friends for the weekend, including seeing the UNI Panthers Men’s basketball team play Saturday night (for all my Tennessee friends, the game will be televised on ESPN!).  I’m thrilled to be in Iowa spending time with my brother, whom I love and appreciate so much.  Here’s to a great weekend in the hawkeye state!  See you all on Sunday!

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