St. Thomas

St. Thomas vacation - 2016
Last month Christi and I were able to head down to St Thomas for a week (without the kids!). Mom and dad both turned 60 this year so Erica and I organized a trip and this is the spot where we all ended up. The entire USVI is probably amazing, but we were extremely happy with where we ended up.

Since Christi's mom was nice enough to come watch the kids, it enabled Christi and I to both leave the house for the first time since Natalie was born. Along with my parents, Erica and Tucker came out from CA and Gma came along as well.

The entire gang
Dad did some good research and found an amazing place to stay called Villa Amour. I almost didn't want to write this in here so it's more of a well kept secret, but the house where we stayed was absolutely amazing. Built on the side of a cliff on the NW side of the island, our views every morning/night were spectacular. Having an infinity pool that looks out to water that touches the horizon ensured that every day was a true vacation.

View out the back of Villa Amour
While the house was absolutely amazing, we ate cooked every single night at the house instead of going out, during the days we made sure to head out an explore. While hitting up most of the main tourist attractions, one of our favorite days was hopping on a boat and heading over to explore St. John and the BVI.

Relaxing on the boat ride
On our stops we snorkeled with turtles, manta rays and barracudas:

Snorkeling off of Maho Bay
Hanging out at Sandy Spit ... better known as Corona Island where they tape a lot of their commercials. It was extremely picturesque, except I had water on the outside of the GoPro so most of the pictures of the island itself were a little blurry.

Swimming outside of Sandy Spit
No matter where we went, you could just take a couple of steps and see amazing views everywhere. This was off of a lunch spot on Jost Van Dyke:

View outside of Foxy Taboo's
The absolute best part about our boat trip is that our captain was from St. John. While we were already planning to go there a day or two later he gave us some advice for good spots that aren't so touristy and one of them might be my new favorite spot in the world. Just casually, he told us to check out Oppenheimer Beach. Yep. Same Oppenheimer from the Manhattan Project. After we get off the ferry every taxi is trying to get people to go to the huge popular beaches and I finally flag a guy down to get us to go to Oppenheimer. He drops us off at an iron gate, with a big padlock on it mind you, and says, "Don't worry, just go around and head on down." Not sure what to think of that, we all bypass the gate via the trees next to it and head down a steep road. I'm really not sure what to think at this point until we hit some sand and there was a spot that opened up to the beach:

Opening to Oppenheimer Beach
This was one of the clearest and least populated beaches I've ever been on. Crystal clear turquoise water that couldn't have been a more perfect temperature made it extremely tough to leave while also tempting me to come back every day since we left. The other cool part of this beach is that they have a tire swing hanging off of a palm tree which easily lines up for some postcard types of pictures.

Tire swing at Oppenheimer Beach
Christi and I love our kids to death, but it was a great time away not having to worry about when to wake up or what people are going to eat for lunch. We had such a good time that we're trying to plan something for our 10 year anniversary next year. Hopefully will have some more cool pictures to post whenever we get that all figured out.

Two of us overlooking Magens Bay

Landscaping update

new landscaping around the house
The outside of our house is one thing that we have always wanted to update but have never really found a good time or company in the past. That all changed this summer when EcoTurf came over and updated everything for us.

They were amazing. We gave them full reign on what to update, including walkway design and plant choices, and we were completely satisfied. The best part is that we've been waiting to update our awesome door mat that my mom gave us when we bought the house, so we are proudly able to display that once again with a new one:

updated home plate door mat

another view of the house

Walk In Closet

new walk in closet

Over seven years ago when we were house hunting, we stumbled upon the place where we currently live. When I walked upstairs and saw the closets in the master bedroom my first thought was, "Why would anyone build two closets next to each other like this?" Two double-deep closets side by side made no sense to me and I told Christi at that point that if we ever bought the house that we'd tear the wall down between them and make it a walk in.

Well, it took a while, but we finally did it. I installed shelving throughout and the space that we are using now helped us eliminate one of our dressers to make our room feel even more open now. Below is a picture of what it used to look like:

what the closets used to look like

Maybe I waited all of these years so that I'd have a special helper paint the inside of it with me.

henry helping me paint

Anniversary: Part 9

nebrasketball road trip
Crazy that it has been nine years already. Even more crazy that we have spent seven and a half of those in Connecticut.

Couldn't be happier that all of these years ago I found someone crazy enough to not leave me.

How are we going to celebrate? Taking out the same car that I picked her up in for our first date over fifteen years ago.

8 years and counting

2001 Lake Powell trip
Another year in the books for the wife and I. It's crazy to think we're at eight years already and only two years away from double digits. The picture above is from our last trip to our favorite destination.

I'm pretty sure if Christi knew eight years ago that I'd come home and work for four straight hours since the NFL schedule was released tonight, she probably wouldn't have walked down the aisle with me. On the flip side, if I would have known I found a wife as perfect and understanding as her, we'd be way past eight years by now.

Here's to at least eight more babe! Redesign

redesign in sc studio
The website has finally launched! I haven't posted in months, so this is definitely a reason to do so.

Everyone battled through sleepless nights over the past few months to produce the site you see in front of you. Take some time surfing around and let me know what you think.

Updating the fireplace tile

new modern tiles
A couple of weeks ago I was getting antsy waiting for the Husker football game to start so I got a crowbar and hammer and started ripping up the chipped tiles in front of our fireplace. What happened next was a much more updated and modern feel to the centerpiece in our living room.

Since the tile saw was out ... well, I've got another post coming soon! Below is a picture of what it used to look like:

old original fireplace tile

Captain Ameer-ica

our captain ameer-ica
I am from Nebraska, meaning I love Husker football and everything that comes with it. Growing up I was also double obsessed with Marvel comics and Halloween every year. Here's how I combined the two to live a little vicariously through my kid.

Last year Christi picked the outfit and this year it was up to me. The way we look at it, when he's almost three next Halloween, he'll probably be making all the decisions on what he wears the rest of his life, so we're having fun right now while we can. We also carved up some pumpkins last night and I decided to go with a more classical route of the academic "N":

for all those academic all-americans!

How cool would this be?

alternate halloween field logo
So I might have stolen this idea from a different team, but with the Blackshirts logo, I'm really surprised Nebraska has never played this up more during Halloween. I sure know I have.

The other night I was watching ECU play their last game before Halloween and they updated their already awesome midfield logo to reflect more for Halloween:

Obviously my mocks are crude as I'm a developer, not a designer, but if someone has an "in" with the marketing department at UNL, let's run with this one! Pumpkin carving starts tonight at the Helge household and after four straight designs of Husker pumpkins (2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013), I have absolutely no clue what I'm going to do tonight!

larger field view

No posts for a couple of months, but looking to ramp that back up soon ...

Summer is here

husker chair for h
First day of summer was yesterday and H spent it rocking out in his new favorite chair.

Props to Gma H for a great gift over a year ago. Maybe we'll bring it inside for games this fall. No such thing as too much red in our house for Saturday's.