Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Monster Dash!


No, I am not singing the lyrics to an awful Halloween song wrong.

Nate and I hit up the Monster Dash 5K this morning. I was a little worried about it being so cold, but was yet again reminded that if you dress right 38 degrees can seem warm. Plus I got to test out my new running tights.

Anyway, it was fun. It was a great release from the week. Actually too good of a release as I had a migraine after the race..but that's just what happens somtimes

We weren't uber prepared on the costumes. But a friend of mine went with me as "The REAL Cheerios"...get it? From Glee? You know where the Cheerleading squad is called "The Cheerios.." Well if you knew that, and you knew that we both work on the Cheerios brand then it would be funny.

Trust me. It would have been hilarious.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Candy Day

Yes--Halloween is all about the candy. In fact, if it was still socially acceptable I would dress myself up and knock on doors to get some free candy. What else could be better?

Questioning the extent of my candy-loving? Check out the look in these eyes....clearly exxcited that I have EIGHT of one type of candy.




Oh the tradition of it all. Becca and I would always come home after ransacking Viroqua, dump all of our candy out on the paper, and I would being the process of very carefully bucketing each and every piece of candy. Creating a sugar inventory of sorts.

Of course I would demolish mine in one weekend, and Becca's would last until Easter.....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NANCY Express

Move over Nigella.

Nate and I needed the SURE thing today. We weren't willing to risk a dud recipe on this cold fall day.

So we headed to our Nancy (also known as Mom) recipe box, and pulled out an old stand-by-sure fire classic: Cream of Broccoli Soup.

Mmm Mmm Mmm....
And as an added bonus we made Manicotti from the Nancy box for game night. Another sure fire hit, with the super double bonus of a week's worth of lunch for Nate!!

While it is always fun to try new things, it I find comfort going back to those things the I grew up with. I am sure my Mom is rolling her eyes reading this post because I think from the age range of 10-18 I wouldn't even touch this soup, and now here I am making it on purpose.

Just another one of those moments where I realize that maybe, just maybe I am actually an adult and not still 21.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Patch

I am lucky enough to have 5, count them 5, pretty freakin fun girls on the Big G team (ok..to be fair one is a prior, but always honorary Big G mate). It isn't often that we all have a night free, let alone the same night free. Luckily, with a little enticing of the Vernon County Pumpkin Cartel pumpkins, and some well in advance planning, we were able to all get together on Thursday to partake in some festive fall activity.

I love how different everyone approaches the pumpkin carving.

You have the "uber prepared, stopped at Target to buy a special kit and special knives", KW.
The "I've never carved a pumpkin before, what do I do," JC.
The "I just want to make a basic pumpkin, but will add in some hair" DR
The "let me pick the absolute most complicated pattern in KW's book"--AW
And last but not least the " I just found out my church has the wrong date reserved for my wedding date, but let's drink some wine and carve some pumpkins anyway" KB.

And my approach--must keep with the cat theme in Lucy's honor. I did the whole 'meow with cat whiskers' last year so went with the back arching cat by the moon this year. Let's just say you can definitely tell I didn't use a template.

I had promised the girls candy corn infused vodka martini's but got a little freaked out when I realized the recipe called for egg whites. I didn't trust myself NOT to screw that up, and opted for the always fun 'make your own caramel apple bar.' Again, completely shocked that not one but TWO members of this crew had NEVER had a caramel apple before. Cleary they didn't live within driving distance of Sunrise Orchards growing up.
It is great to have friends on your work team that are so genuinely fun, get along so well and are truly friends. For how much time we all spend at the office each week it is nice to have people that you enjoy being around and can make work not seem like so much work!
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

300!!!

A kind friend pointed out to me that my next blog post would be my 300th post!!

For some reason when you quantify it like this it seems like a lot to me. 300 posts about life, about thoughts, about loves and hates, about food, and admittedly sometimes about nothing.

I owe it all to Becca really. It's the typical little sister deal...she starts something cool and I snag the idea. If she wasn't so cool I wouldn't copy her, but she is so I do. Follow?

Anyway, as I think back over the almost 2 years that I have been blogging, what strikes me is how connected I feel to everyone that comments, (and of course those people who aren't sure about the commeting deal but still keep up with what is going on). In this life where sometimes it feels like technology is taking over, and making things more complicated, demanding more out of us each day, it feels good to know that good things come from it as well.

From my friends who ask me about "Uncle Todd.." and "is he really your uncle because he is HILARIOUS", to those who say one of their favorite parts of their day is 'checking in on Nate and I', it feels good to know that even though Nate and I are up in Minneapolis, those who can't be with us in proximity, can still be with us.

Family, friends, and those who happen to stumble upon this meager blog...connected. For the person who is always quick to exclaim that "one of my favorite things ever is to have all my family and friends together in one place..." the blog helps me do that a little each day.

So thank you to all of you who keep up with us, support us, and add to our story. Without you, this blog just wouldn't be the same.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Year 2 in Review

Well, when Greta had the notion that I should be blogging too, I am not sure she had this in mind; but I doubt she'll protest. I decided that tonight, our 2nd Anniversary, I should hijack her Blog so that I can show everyone exactly how wonderful it is to be married to her.

When I was reviewing all of our pictures, I couldn't help but to have a big shitty grin on my face (Greta, you know the one don't you?) As anyone who knows us has probably witnessed, Greta and I share a lot of little moments together. Sometimes they are dorky inside jokes, silly expressions, "Oh Snap" moments, or sometimes just catching each other smiling. I love every little moment we have together and I want to spend the rest of our lives loving and laughing just like we have through the first two years. I love you Greta, Happy Anniversary. - Nate

For those of you not lucky enough to see us in action, here is a compilation from Oct 08 - Oct 09


video

PS - I didn't get a card... :)

Two

We’re back in action after a beautiful long weekend away to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. While we were only there for 4 days, it seemed like such a long trip which was great. Normally, when we travel we have a few adventures in mind, but this trip was all about Relaxing (yes, with a capital R) and enjoying our resort.




First and foremost, I breathed a sigh of relief to learn that yes, in fact Luxury Link is legit. And man did we love our little package. We got breakfast every day, and spa credit every day. Even Nate got a manicure…check out these shiny, buffed fingers. I kept telling Nate that Ryan would be so impressed with him….


We also took in the weather (which I lovingly referred to as “smog”shine, because let’s be honest in LA there is a pretty consistent coating of haze which can only be created by having 15MM people residing in one little valley) via lots of running. There was running on the trails at our resort, and running in Hermosa Beach.



We went to an AMAZING place for dinner called Street. This place bases their menu off of popular street food from around the world—tapas style. Everything we had there was absolutely incredible. If you are ever in the LA area Check-It-Out.




And, I’m not going to lie…there was some of this:



But I am happy to report that I started and finished my 10 page piece of crap ethics paper and will hand it in tonight. Nate was so proud of me for truly embracing the “B” attitude…we’ll see if it even chalks up to a B. Ugh.

So, here’s to the end of our 2nd year of marriage. I can only say that I am one lucky woman to have such a kind, caring, generous, supportive husband who lets me be me and loves me anyway. There will be a belated anniversary treat coming to the blog soon....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let the Relaxing Begin

Nate and I arrived at the Terranea Resort at midnight last night and are getting into the groove of some serious relaxing. And while we feel we won the lottery with our hotel, its location and our room...we realize now that we had an epic fail in the common sense department.

Sure, it is snowing in Minneapolis right now but you would think we would realize that the sun in CA is still quite warm and strong. Emphasis on the strong. Apparently it was actually over 90 degrees today. Typically a person would maybe put on a dab of sunscreen before laying in the sun for 3 hours. Nah....not us. We are both like lobsters...just on the front side. Back side is still a nice pasty MN white.


Anyway, day 1 of the Anniversary escape has been great. With our little travel deal we get a spa credit each day so I got a pedicure today and it was heavenly.

We drove to Hermosa Beach for dinner and ended up forgoing the nicer tapas restaurant for Los Muchachos--a hole in the wall authentic Mexican restaurant that is very Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, or at least I thought so. They brought out a fountain soda bigger than my thigh, fried tortillas and amazing salsa. And then they brought out our food.....ahhhhh so good.



Dad--I think you should move the pumpkin cartel to Los Angeles...check out these prices!!!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fly Me Away

Nate and I are outta here. We are heading to California for our 2nd anniversary. We booked this trip in March from my favorite "dreaming of vacation" website (http://www.luxurylink.com/).

It is awful timing from a work/school/life perspective but if I've learned anything in the last week it is that life is too short to sweat the stupid, trivial stuff.

So we board the plan in a few short hours and land in sunny (hopefully), warm (here's hoping) California around midnight. We have no plans, but we always manage to find ourselves little adventures to keep ourselves busy.

I'm just glad that the kid in the giant helium balloon is out of the sky so our plane can take off. Seriously.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Like a Bad Dream

I am returning to Minneapolis after almost a week away. What started as a business trip to Cincinatti turned into a surreal tragic dream.

My Uncle Arthur was killed in an accident at work on Thursday. Nate and I left as soon as I landed in Minnaepolis to be with my family. It was comforting to be with everyone, to celebrate his life, rekindle the fun memories, and shed tears with those that felt the same thing.

All I can say is that it still feels like a dream. Art was full of life, young at heart and as many said 'invincible.' I think most of the family is still in shock. I know we are blessed with so many caring and supportive people that all of us.

It's times like this that I wish I could be as eloquent as Emily S. to really bring what my family experienced this weekend, and how it will continue to affect us for years to come. When you lose someone who was such a great person, and was loved by so many it's impossible to describe that loss in words.

And so I will leave it at that and thank everyone for their kinds words, visits, help with Lucy, emails, cards, and hugs the past week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Whew....

What can I say about this week? Besides it is only Thursday and it feels like I have jammed more into the last 4 days than a sane person would in about 4 weeks. And as I sit on a plane heading to Cinci I wonder when the crash will come.

You know how when you are playing the Mario and Sonic Olympics game and if you throw the ball to hard the little green bar shoots up really fast and turns red with warning as if to say: "Keep pushing that hard and your risking breaking something?"....well that is how I feel. But I digress.

Monday Night. After work, I headed to school, where I promptly ducked out at 7PM to head to the Packer/Vikings Game!!! Even though we lost it was still fun. We saw numerous people fall down the stairs because they were wet with beer and rain. Most of them were Vikings fans, thus making it hilarious.



t was SO weird seeing Favre in a purple and white jersey. Ugh.





Enter Tuesday, where I did work, school and work after school. Fun times. Poor Nate...at least he is catching up on his video games and relaxing this week! He also greeted me with popcorn for dinner (my favorite)...so sweet.

Wednesday brought the So You Think You Can Dance tour. I went with a bunch of girls from work and it was so much fun to see all of my favorite dances from this past season in person.



And now, a plane to Cinci. ON another note, if I don't get the Swine Flu after a night in the metrodome, a night in the Target Center and two flights within 48 hours it will be a Christmas miracle. Yes, Christmas miracles can come in October. If Costco can put out their bows, and trees, and trimmings, so can the christmas miracles begin.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Badger Blast

The Badgers played the Gophers this weekend which gave all of us to act like we were 21 again. Especially Nate.

There is this little thing downtown that is all you can drink and eat prior to kick-off. I did not attend this special event because I had a paper to write for school and like 350 resumes to read for work (please leave all "you are so lame" comments below). However I was lucky enough to join Nate (and a bunch of his college buddies) POST pre-party which meant a stone-cold sober Greta with a drunk as a skunk Nate.

Not exactly the best combo. We learned that in college, and didn't need to learn the lesson again.


Later that night, Nate re-learned the lesson of how to hit the toilet when puking his guts out from a severe hangover. I didn't realize how drunk he really was until yesterday when he kept asking me questions of things we had clearly discussed the day before...

Ahhh....good times. I have to say I was quite impressed with my beer-guzzling husband as he was puking at 10PM, and up at 6AM, ready to run his 10 mile race.

It was great to see college buddies, and relive some Badger glory. Plus we won...which is always good.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

DIY

I have been in the crafting mood lately. I have lots of ideas of what I would like to do but all of the projects seems so difficult or too much time. So in a brilliant stroke of luck I happened across a DIY website that had all sorts of fun projects that were seemlingly easy with a small amount of 'ingrediants' needed.

So Katie (who happily agreed to do a girl's craft night with me) and I headed to our trusty Michael's store sure we could find some ceramic squares that we could paint to create some sweet homemade trivets. But no..no ceramics anywhere.

What are two girls to do who had a clear craft plan and no other ideas? Obviously the answer is clear...teach ourselves how to knit. We got ourselves some yarn, some needles and a little dishcloth pattern.As we settled down into the basement, snuggled in with our patterns it took about .02 seconds for us to realize we were in way over our head.

So we did what any plugged in Millenial would do. We turned on the TV, opened TiVo, and did a YouTube search on how to knit. It was actually pretty brilliant if I do say so myself.

And so after almost 2 hours, we taught ourselves how to do the long tail cast-on. The happiness is palpable.





We didn't know if we were doing it right which was a problem. And we didn't know what the next stitch was after you cast-on. And then our hands started to hurt. So we stopped and determined we needed to learn from a professional. So if anyone out there knows how to knit and wants to give Katie and I a lesson let us know!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Plagued

I have never been one to be overly concerned with getting sick. I am a relatively healthy person. I have never opted-in to a flu shot, as I am quite certain without a doubt I will be the person that gets sick from the 'dead virus.'

And being the uber-planner I am, I just can never find a perfect time in my calendar to 'schedule-in' the flu. So I leave it to chance. And for the most part it has been great. I think I maybe had the flu a couple years ago but it was long enough that I can't remember the aching, fever, just-kill-me-now feeling.

Enter in Swine Flu. And literally a jug of Purell in EVERY conference room at General Mills accompanied by signs in every public space about washing your hands like we work in a local Denny's. And co-workers actually getting  Swine Flu.

All of the sudden I am highly conscious of germs. While I refuse the Purell, I start each morning with a children's chewable vitamin (thank you Costco) and a cocktail of Airborne, finished up with a fiber loaded, vitamin C packed apple from the orchard (thank-you Mom). But there is this nagging feeling that no matter what I do, the flu will strike me down this season.

I feel weak and exposed to the millions of non-Purelled hands lurking around every doorknob, grocery cart, elliptical handle, and handshake. I've considered fashioning a big plastic bubble to roll myself around in, but I figure that would definitely deter someone from wanting to work for me, be in my group for school or in general be my friend.

Flu be damned. I will not comprimise my dislike for shots just because of some fanatical concern over your severity.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's Cookie Time

No I am not talking about Girl Scout cookies, although I could go for a Samoa right about now.

I am talking about my husband...who must have just FELT my bad day through the airwaves and welcomed me home with warm cookies tonight.

A cold, crappy, rainy, windy night that followed a hectic, stressful, frustrating day.

Cookies. With morsels of chocolate. That are still slightly melted.

(wipe away single tear)....heaven.