Happy birthday Nebraska!! You don’t look a day over 100! To celebrate Nebraska’s sesquicentennial, check out some photos from our almost 49 years of existence. #NE #Happy150NE
A post shared by LeadershipCenter Aurora (@tlcaurora) on Mar 1, 2017 at 6:58am PST

It’s an exciting day in my adopted home state. Nebraska turns 150. Happy birthday, Nebraska.
I moved to the great state of Nebraska a little over 8 years ago to start my job here at The Leadership Center. My husband, John, and then exchange student, Ilya, moved here shortly after. Since then, Aurora, Nebraska has been home. Not just to John and I, but 7 of our exchange students and our son, Chaz, who was born in Hastings in 2010. We love it.

In celebrating Nebraska’s sesquicentennial, I wanted to share just a few things I happen to love about the state I call home.

  1. It’s beautiful. For many years I fell victim to the assumption this state was flat. My goodness, in my travels for work and adventures with my family, I have found not only is Nebraska not flat, its beauty is stunning.
  2. The people are wonderful. In the work we do here at The Leadership Center, we have the opportunity to serve guests from every county in the state. It has been an incredible experience to meet and get to know so many people.
  3. Agriculture isn’t just a living, it’s a passion and a way of life. This is an aspect I love. Not just because we work with the Nebraska FFA Association or because Aurora Cooperative is a tenant of ours, but having grown up on a farm in Minnesota and my husband on one in Wisconsin, it’s refreshing to live somewhere where agriculture is celebrated.
  4. This state is ‘art’ rich. The appreciation for art, be it music, paint, theater, dance and everything in between, is evident in nearly every small town or city you drive into in Nebraska. Just here in Aurora, we have galleries, artists displayed in several businesses and an art walk. You travel just 15 minutes from here, you have the Art Farm. That’s just a drop in the bucket.
  5. Oh the places to run. So my family and I all love to run. Nebraska has trails, hills and just wonderful places to explore and enjoy while in a pair of running shoes.
  6. The community pride that is evident everywhere you go. Whether it is local pride or native Nebraska pride, the people who live here absolutely understand and appreciate why Nebraska is more than nice, it’s the good life.
  7. Entrepreneurship is celebrated. IT could be a restaurant, a micro brew or new vineyard, an irrigation company or something else, communities rally to support.
  8. Education is top rate. Our state may be a rural majority, but that doesn’t hinder the opportunities our students have for educational opportunities.
  9. Football! So I love football and living in the middle of Husker Nation is a pretty great place to be. It isn’t just college ball either. I love that we get spend our Friday night’s cheering on our local high school team. It’s not just football. I think it might go back to community pride. My family is out to cheer on our community at all sorts of events, sporting, musical and otherwise.
  10. Coffee. I love coffee. Many folks have heard the story of how I fell in love with Nebraska over a cup of coffee from The Mill in the Lincoln Hay Market one October Saturday many years ago. It’s true. I love exploring the private shops throughout the state and meeting the owners. It’s one of the many awesome “perks” of my job you could say. So whether it’s a cup of coffee from the Art Bar in Hastings or the Dragonfly Cafe in Milford to Serendipity in Plainview or Cultiva Coffee in Lincoln, Nebraska has some great coffee.

So that’s just ten of things I love about Nebraska. There are so, so many more.

Happy birthday, Nebraska. Here’s to 150 years of curating the good life for so many and continuing to do so for many more years to come.

Happy birthday!
-One of your big fans,Maile

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