Monday, August 31, 2009

Rounding Out the Weekend

The Keaty visit wasn't only all about the fair (although when he woke up on Saturday morning and we asked him what we were going to go do, he said "fair!").

No, we did all sorts of fun kid-friendly activities. It was really fun for Nate and I to see this whole other side of the city. I must say I was impressed with the amount of fun free stuff there was to do. least enough to fill up one weekend. It gives me hope that there will be cool stuff to do when (IF) there are Hanson kidlets.

There was the SLP Splash Pad. I always hear my friends Summer and Marie chatting about this place! And it didn't disappoint. Sure it was probably only 60 degrees and there was no chance in hell of any of us getting in the water. Finn sure didn't care. Does this look like a kid that is cold?

We also checked out this crazy park called Chutes and Ladders that is made up of all sorts of crazy climbing/sliding/playing devices. Finn was interested enough in going up. Not so sure on the going down. So I took him down on my lap. In the meantime my fat ass smooshed my camera lens and busted it. pictures.

And of course a weekend at the Hanson household wouldn't be complete without a bike ride. Nate secured a kid trailer, and all 5 of us were off. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and a super fun time. Imagine Nick on a bike. Imagine Becca on a bike. Now imagine all of us in a line with Finn squealing each of our names and us biking to catch up with Nate so Finn could see us.

Everytime that the Keaty's come and then leave it makes me want to move to Chicago. And I swear one of these times, they will pull out of our driveway and Nate and I will just leave with them. It could happen....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fair Fun

The "Great MN Get Together" was extra great this year because the Keaty's were in town for a long weekend.

We kicked things off with the Fair bright and early on Friday and Finn was already versed in saying "Fair" numerous times as asking for animals...specifically a piglet.

Lucky for us, a baby pig had just been born so Finn not only got to see one, but got to pet one too!
Props to Nick for saving me from having my foot doused by post-birth pig pee...

We also got Finn back to his small-town Viroqua roots by taking him through the Little Farm hand exhibit. I think both great-Grandpa's would have loved to see this picture of their little John-Deer farmer:

But a fair isn't a fair with only animals. You need lots of food. Fried Food. On a Stick. And so we ate.
There was the classic flour-based corn-dog, The Pronto Pup that is enjoyed by young and not as young.

Rebecca got her all-time favorite: Cheese Curds. I was pretty confident that they wouldn't have already ran out of cheese curds on day 2 of the fair, but with Becca's luck I wasn't sure. Here she is with the smile of a girl who was often denied cheese curds due to scarcity growing up:

We started the morning out with mini-donuts because they are at least "breakfasty." Right?
It's no secret that I love cotton candy. I think after the fair, it is safe to say that we have a newly converted super-fan.

And you can't leave the fair without trying something random on a stick. This year for us it was the Fry Dog. A hot dog, on a stick with a french fry coating. Mmmmm...healthy.
And there was one other glorious dish: a deep fried banana split. Which was...a banana wrapped in LEFSE, deep fried and served with ice cream, chocolate sauce and strawberries. Uff da.

Random fair rant: If you are of an elderly age, walk with a limp and need a cane, or have a broken foot you clearly should rent a motorized cart so you can aptly enjoy the fair. If you just want to get to your fair food faster, want a basket to store oodles of fair food so you can freeze it and eat it year round, and are rude to little kids that just want to have fun because they are in the way of your motorized cart, perhaps you should consider walking. I'm just saying...
More to come from the Keaty visit!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bring It

I am having one of those weeks where I am 5% snottier than I should be. At work. At home. At the grocery store. At Blockbuster. Just a bunch of Greta snot....everywhere.

Do you ever have those days where every question asked seems ridiculous? Either ridiculous because clearly the person asking just chose to not do the work themselves, or ridiculous because why would that person ever need to know that information.

I realize that 5% extra snottiness doesn't seem like a lot, but when you combine it on an already above average level, you start to get into some risky terroritory.

Good thing Nate swears that part of the reason he loves me is because of my sass. He has been getting a lot of it this week. That's for sure. Not necessarily aimed at him, but he still has to endure the air-punching of the computer because the internet is slow, the comments about the stupid thing that happened at work, or the person that I would most like to punch today is _____ (fill in the blank).

I couldn't be more happy the Keaty's are coming in for a long weekend, because word on the street Finn is starting to develop some 2 year old sass, and I hope to take some lessons from him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nigella Express: Episode 18

I have been having a guilty conscience about Nigella. It isn't that Nate and I haven't been cooking lately. If anything we have been cooking more. But the fact of the matter is: we have been cheating on Nigella.

She just doesn't have a ton of inspiring summer recipes in the book we are cooking from, and gosh darn it I want to use my fresh veggies, corn on the cob and grill while the weather is still remotely nice.

The guilt became too much this weekend and we whipped up a batch of Banana Butterscotch Muffins.

They were good, but not great. Our oven is crap so it is impossible to bake anything right. I think that is next on our list: Renovate kitchen. It's time...Nate swears out loud every time we get cooking that we need more space. Just think of the food we can crank out with a brand new swanky kitchen.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This is Why You Grow a Garden.

Homemade Salsa.

If I was known to be a woman of few words then I would leave it at that. But since I am most definitely not a woman of few words, let me tell you that this salsa is delicious. In fact I am pretty sure I dreamt about it last night and ate it the first moment this morning that I deemed acceptable to be eating salsa and chips and have it not be breakfast.

We are calling it "G&N's Garden Salsa: Mild." Very creative I know. But we have a plan for a hot salsa and it involves more than one habanero pepper. Clearly we need a lesson in handling spicy peppers because Nate took the precautionary measures a little far.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Drum Roll Please....

After three months of toiling, test-driving, debating and indecision, we have purchased a new car.

Don't be fooled. This is not our current car. It does in fact look quite similar to our old one. It is silver. It is a VW. And it is a Passat.

What can I say? We stick with what we know. Truth be told everytime we got done test-driving a different car, we would get back into our car and say "it just wasn't as good as our trusty old Passat."

So fast forward three months when we have the revelation to just buy another Passat, and found a great deal.

We are "happy." I say that with hesitation because I found a dent in it within 2 minutes of us getting home. I am going to sleep on it because we have 5 days to return it.....which I can't even fathom how you go about un-doing all of that paperwork we just sat through tonight. So we'll see.

But in the meantime, in honor of making it through 2 MN winters without heat in my car, I am going to drive around with the heat on just because I can.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Unsolicited Job Advice

To all car salespeople(used or otherwise):

Let me take this moment to recommend a skill that would be a highly effective tool to closing a deal.

It's a brilliant skill that involves both typing and talking. Sure these skills when separate are just ordinary skills that any ordinary person can do. But when done TOGETHER, they meld into an efficiency super power.

This super power allows you to both answer questions your perspective buyers have AND process an application at the same time so as to not SO completely annoy them that they don't really care how good of a deal you are offering them because they are so antsy they want to take a fork and pop their eyeball out and then run laps in the parking lot just to burn off the pent up energy it took for them to sit there and watch you type their first and last name and then stop to answer a simple question and then go back to the screen and watch you hunt and peck for where you were at in the form and then find which keys your stubby little fingers are supposed to go on.

Just a thought.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Would You Play This Game?

The answer is: No, you wouldn't. Don't lie.

I mean seriously...just look at this box. It looks like something even Laura Ingells Wilder would find tiresome. Or like something that could have quite possible drove the Donner party to feed on one another as they trekked through the mountains in their covered wagons.

But alas, the old adage: "Don't judge a book by its cover" is true once again.
That's right. I have played this game. Twice.

And enjoyed it.

Oh yeah. There is wheat. There is brick. There is log. There are sheep. And there is rock. And you have to have it all to build up your settlement and win the game.

What other game could you hear the following conversation:
Nate: I know you want my wood.
Alex: You're right. Your'e wood would be extremely useful.
Nate: You could do amazing things with my giant supply of wood.

Yes. We are immature. But let's face it. Life is too short to not giggle over the silly stuff.
And so we play this ridiculously dorky, yet surprisingly and quite emabarassingly fun games.
And we laugh.
And life is good.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Deal or No Deal: Calvin Klein Tanks

You probably thought deal or no deal was for food only.

Well let me tell you Costco's product breadth extends FAR beyond food, and I can say as we come up on our 6 month anniversary of our membership, we are just now beginning to explore beyond the food aisles.

And today I found a 3-pack of Calvin Klein tanks! Soft, and fun colors...a spectacularly random find on my weekly run.

So what's the deal:

3 tanks at Costco: $14.97
3 tanks online: $30
Yup...a 50% discount. Thank you Costco.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Biggest Loser

Thursday brought a VERY last minute (booked on Wednesday at 10AM) trip to LA for work, where I got to help oversee the product integration that is taking place on The Biggest Loser.

This is the second time I have been, but the FIRST time I got to go to the gym. For all of you gym rats out there you would be in awe of this gym and the crazy equipment they have in there. I was aching for a workout.

But I settled for fake running on the treadmill and a hop onto the massive scale.

The day started at 5:15AM in the airport and ended at 10PM in the airport. It was a TON of "air" time in one day but lunch by the ocean with a sighting of a dolphin made it all worthwhile!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Survey Says...

It's time for some reader participation...

I have been doing lots of thinking about the blog lately (note..thinking not writing), and I came to the conclusion that we need to spice it up.

This is supposed to be a blog about Nate and I forgoing the traditional nesting (get hitched, build baby, etc), but it seems to me there is a critical component missing: Nate's perspective.

So my questions to you dear readers are:
1) Do you want to hear from Nate? (of course you do..)
2) What should his weekly-ish blog post be about?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two Worlds Collide

This weekend one of my all-time favorite things happened: my family and friends (i.e. second family) were in the same place at the same time. Don't ask me why it is such a great thing for me because I guess I can't completely eloquently put it into words beyond all of the people I love in one place.

So that brings me to Katie and Ryan heading to Hayward to meet up wtih my parents. We were super excited to get Ryan up there because there are a lot of 'tall tales' being told and knew he would fit right in.

We did have some celebrating today since Katie's birthday is tomorrow (HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIE!) and my Mom delivered the perfect Martha Stewart chocolate cake with a special root beer schnapps twist. Look at this frosting: ridiculous.

Dad chipped in on the celebration by breaking out the Good Shit. It was Ryan's virgin voyage with the good shit, and he opted for a second glass. I am happy to report that we officially have found a human that can still 'normally' function after the 2nd glass.
Dad was the ultimate fishing guide taking Katie and I out for crappie fishing (de-tangling our 2+ snags on each other, getting us out of heartache and pulling out ALL stops to help Katie get a fish). He EVEN taught us both how to throw a muskie lure.

Of course, where Ryan goes some sort of hilarity will ensue...and he did not disappoint: Don't ask questions...and yes that is Nate's head back there.

Bottom line is: a good weekend was had by all. And by all I mean Nate and I since I guess I can't officially speak for everyone else. I'm sure the boys would have liked to have SEEN a muskie, but I heard from Nate there were some serious stories and tunes going so life couldn't have been too bad.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Sorry blog life has been one big massive explosion this week.

From crazy time at work, to a massive "hit-you-like-a-train" migraine this morning, nothing has really gone as planned. Including blogging.

So the only thing you really missed out on was how Nate and I cooked every single night this week without buying a SINGLE extra grocery item. It was clean the kitchen week in the Hanson household.

In other news, we leave tomorrow morning with Katie and Ryan to meet my Mom and Dad for a weekend of fishing! Wa-hoo!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Music Stylings of Mr. Finn

Singing the blues at an early age....

The kid knows his alphabet....

Bringing back the old school nursery rhymes...

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Visual Recollection

I will be a woman of few words tonight for the following reasons:

1) One doesn't need a ton of words to describe this weekend. Fun, Family, Finn, Happiness, Drumming, Dancing, Laughter. That pretty much sums it up. We keep it simple like that.

2) It is going on 9:12 and I continue to procrastinate this huge project for work.

"It's officially corn season, and this little guy could not be happier."

Riding on the Miss Viroqua Float

At the Fairgrounds for Breakfast
"Just drumming and singing a little tune on Grandpas cooler"

Mr. Sensitve. Finn started crying when his new found friend had a small melt-down because he was so sad for her. It was the sweetest thing you can imagine. But you don't have to imagine because I captured it with the above killer photograph."It's cold!"

Eating his second fudgsicle for the day. Grandpa and I are both pretty bad at saying no.

I have another really cute video I will post tomorrow. SPOILER ALERT: it involves singing.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

One Man Band

We had a great weekend in Viroqua with the Fam this weekend. Finn, of course, was the star of the show.

Becca mentioned that he has really been into pretending everything is a saxophone so I bought him a Kazoo. He figured it out in a snap.

Combine that with his love for drumming and this kid is his own One Man Band.

Note: Stick with the video until you see the Kazoo-ing and drumming together.