Monthly Archives: November 2011

A Very ‘First’ Christmas

After much deliberation, I finally agreed to getting a REAL Christmas tree.  Having grown up in a ‘fake’ tree household, I was very wary about this new notion.  Having a live tree, that I was going to be responsible for keeping alive for the next month was definitely NOT something I was looking forward to….but alas we made a trip to Bob’s favorite store (2 guesses and the first doesn’t count) Menards and picked out our very first tree! I know it’s not the whole going to the tree farm and cutting down our own….but it’s baby steps for me…one thing at a time.  (I also made Bob promise that if I still wasn’t keen on the idea after the season this year we will find a clearance artificial tree and purchase it for next year!)

Being the master tree transporter he is, I gladly took the position of photographer while Bob fastened the tree to the car!  For all who don’t know me, I have a MASSIVE fear about traveling with things hitched/hooked/ontop of the vehicle I am traveling in.  This could stem from our many misadventures camping when I was younger, which included our family pop-up camper literally popping up in the middle of the interstate while traveling across South Dakota…but anyways.  The entire 10 minute ride back to the house, my eyes were peeled to the top of the car via the side mirrors.  Bob may have had to give me a stern warning after I started yelling once when the tree shifted a few inches.

 I have to admit that I quickly fell in love with our tree and may (this might be preemptive) be a convert! We had such a fun time decorating and it was so fun to see our individual ornaments together on the tree! We also got quite a few ornaments for wedding gifts which was really special to hang our first ornaments together!

In between watching the Vikings suffer (it didn’t feel like a real Sunday without the Packers) I got most of my Dept 56 Village set up!  Bob promised for next year he will make a platform landscape to display them on…but this year the reading nook and white sheet in place of snow will do the trick!  I have gotten a new piece every year for Christmas for the past 12 years and it was so much fun looking back at all of my special pieces!

I got 2 new pieces this year…both were shower gifts! My mom gave me the Wedding Chapel and bride and groom.

Bob’s mom gave me the Scandinavian Christmas piece…both which hold special meaning to me!

We spent Sunday decorating the rest of the house…which in turn evolved into Stage One of Operation Christmas Lights.  Bob has quite the affinity for lights of all kinds, and without some semblance of a budget would go CRAZY outfitting the house.  Last year he mistakenly left lights on the front main trees and his beloved LEDs were chewed to bits by the squirrels, who must have had a liking to the orange bulbs which we found scattered at the bottom of the pine tree! So anyways, using his allotted amount, he spent wisely through a Black Friday special and now we have more than enough lights to light the entire neighborhood!

(stage 1…more updates to follow)

I am patiently awaiting Bob to come home from work today so we can start stage 2 (in the dark nonetheless) and get more of the windows and outlines of the house done! I may be enjoying this as much as Bob…but I would never admit it!  So excited for the season!!

Our First Christmas Tree!

And finally….a sneak preview of one of the many many pictures you will see…

photo by Robert Michael Photography


Our First Thanksgiving!

Bob and I are so thankful for so many things this year….

our wonderful, supportive, and HEALTHY family

friends that are always there for us

a new life together

a house that is quickly becoming a home

jobs that we love

We were able to spend Thanksgiving with Bob’s  family at the lodge.  It was so nice to have a relaxing and beautiful day to watch football and eat delicious food!  I worked Wednesday overnight and was thankfully able to get a few hours of sleep before we headed to the Lodge, where I parked myself in close proximity to the TV. (I apologize for the cell phone quality pictures…I have to get in the habit of taking my camera places!)

Each Packer game this year, I am getting more and more nervous that we are going to get beat….the Lions thankfully 🙂 weren’t able to break our streak this year!  I missed watching the game with my family, but didn’t get too much grief from my new family!

Sadly, we didn’t get a picture of the annual Ping-Pong tournament.  I was a little nervous about participating because there is a lot of pressure placed on this game.  Misti managed to be undefeated this year…to the dismay of my father-in-law!  Misti and I teamed up and managed to beat Steve and Bob AND Bruce and Cal.  Better luck next year guys 🙂 (I do give all credit to Misti though…I just tried not to mess up too badly!)

(the ‘kids’ favorite Kristian Regale)

After sleeping for a few more hours once we got home (I had to work again Thursday overnight), we decided to go to WalMart just to see how crazy things were!  I couldn’t believe the store.  Literally you could not walk in the aisles, and it took us nearly 30 minutes to walk once around the store!  We had picked out a few movies we wanted, and my ever wonderful husband went back in the middle of the night to escape the crowds and got them!

After a great night at work (which means very few calamities!) Bob picked me up and we started our shopping!  I had a list of a few stores out that we I wanted to go to.  We picked up a few Christmas gifts that I cannot divulge what they are, and then stopped at Jo-Ann Fabrics to get some fleece that was on major Clearance!  I enjoy making fleece tie blankets for new babies and couldn’t pass up this deal.  We quickly realized that the line to have the fabric cut was absolutely INSANE!  Luckily we found an express lane, and we each got our allowed 2 cuts of material within an hour.  PTL for a patient husband!

(one of the MANY blankets I have made for the special babies in our lives)

AND super exciting news! We got a sneak peek at the pictures from our photographer Robert Michael who shot at our wedding.  We are SO thankful for his talents, patience, and creative eye.  You can scroll through the (nearly) 1000 images here :

I will be doing a post soon, once I receive the disc of images from him, but enjoy!  It was such a special day for us, and we will treasure these photos forever.

We’re BACK!!

We just arrived back to the US after such an amazing week!  First off….our wedding weekend was so unbelievably amazing.  It was so much fun to have all of our closest family and friends celebrating with us!  I will do a full blog post (or 2 or 3) once we have pictures from the photographer! But for now….hopefully this site can appease you 🙂 Enjoy! And keep uploading those photos…we LOVE seeing them!!!

For our honeymoon we went on a Western Caribbean cruise and had such a wonderful time!  After opening our amazing gifts and saying goodbye to everyone, we quickly drove to the airport and hopped on a plane to New Orleans!  By the time we checked into the hotel it was after midnight and we were both EXHAUSTED!  My sister, Carrie, had booked us a room at the W in the French Quarter and we were so thrilled to stay at such a nice place in a great location!

Monday morning we did a quick walking tour of New Orleans and went to the St. Louis Cathedral and made a trek down Bourbon Street.  We ate breakfast at a cute cafe and Bob LOVED every bite of his pancakes, hash browns, and southern biscuit!  His stomach was just getting ready for the cruise 🙂

Our first full day aboard the Carnival Elation was exactly what I needed! Sun, sleep, and swimming!  I spent the best $14.99 in New Orleans when I downloaded Steve Jobs biography for Bob and I gladly sacrificed my beloved Kindle for the remainder of the trip so that I was allowed to read whenever I wanted.  I had (of course) packed a few paperbacks of my own and finished Elin Hilderbrand’s ‘The Castaways and Jennifer Weiner’s Best Friends Forever…surprisingly the only 2 novels I read cover to cover (while sneaking in a few chapters on the Kindle when Bob was not reading!)

We played a few rounds of mini-golf up on the top deck and couldn’t believe how windy it was!  We tried to use the wind to our advantage, but more often than not our balls ended up back at the beginning of the hole thanks to the breeze!  We participated in a mini-golf tournament and Bob was thrilled to come in 3rd place and won a medal (of which he was VERY proud!) That night after a delicious dinner, we hurried to a sports bar to watch the MNF game of the year! Bob was very quiet after the first few minutes and was bribed with a Grolsch beer. GO PACK GO! 9-0!

The next morning we woke up early and got off the ship in Progreso, Mexico.  We had booked an excursion to travel to Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula.  We were amazed by the sheer enormity of the Mayan ruins.  There was a HUGE pyramid situated in the middle of the site.  On one side, the stairway was made using stalactites and stalagmites which allowed for sound to be echoed throughout the entire site when made at the bottom of the stairs.  It was so neat to hear…and Bob kept clapping to hear the sound echo loudly!  We wandered around the ruins for awhile which was really neat.

Being the awesome nurse I am…just thought I’d throw in my tidbit of medical information for the day.  This tree’s sap has been used for thousands of years in Mexico to lower blood pressure and cholesterol!  Maybe it’s time to substitute some beta-blockers and -statins for some sap!

Another site at Chichen Itza was the Marketplace which had hundreds (if not thousands) of pillars spreading throughout the grounds.  This area had previously been used for trading and had been covered.  It was so neat walking through the deserted marketplace knowing how integral the space had been so many years ago.  We had a slight mishap during lunchtime.  The tour company provided us with lunch, and after I decided that I didn’t like the chocolate bar, handed it to Bob who gladly ate it.  About a minute later he started digging in the backpack looking for the Benadryl that I had packed!  He pulled out the wrapper and listed in the ingredients was ‘Cacahuete’ or NUTS!  Thankfully he hadn’t eaten that much and the Benadryl kicked in quickly!! We thoroughly enjoyed our day, but were excited for the next day!!

That night following dinner, we participated in a digital scavenger hunt throughout the whole ship.  You were given a list of ‘things’ to find (grand piano, life boat 13,  an exercise bike etc…) and take a picture on your camera.  You had a total of 20 minutes to find all of the items on the list and as many bonus pictures (a 3 tiered human pyramid, a man in a bikini, and more) as you could.  We ran throughout the whole ship and had the most points by far!  We won the coveted 24 karat gold, plastic, ship on a stick! Bob was pretty stoked!

Thursday was spent on the island of Cozumel, Mexico!  The water was so incredibly blue, both of us couldn’t believe it!  Our excursion planned for the day was zip-lining and snorkeling.  We went to a zip-lining park just outside of Cozumel and had a blast on the 12 different zip-lines!  They definitely satisfied Bob’s adventure seeking self!

Then we went to a private beach and snorkeled in the gorgeous water….I decided I had had enough snorkeling after we saw a barracuda not too far from where we were swimming.  Corona in hand, I watched from my beach chair…. 🙂

(a cute wedding gift from Mariah)

Our last day was a much needed ‘Fun Day at Sea’ where we enjoyed the sun (maybe a little too much), I finished up my book, and took a snooze on deck!  We enjoyed a final dinner in the Formal Dining room….the food was amazing each night!  I tried different things like alligator fritters, buffalo mozzarella cheese, jerk chicken, but finished each night with my all-time favorite dessert….warm chocolate melting cake.  Bob looked forward to dinner more and more each night and almost every night ordered the flat-iron steak (in addition to another choice entrée!)  I really think he was in heaven!  We were lucky enough to be seated at a table with 3 other young couples (all coincidentally from the South) and had fun each night talking and telling stories!  Both Bob and I caught each other saying ‘ya’ll’ by the end of the trip!  It was fun to have friends to meet up with at the different shows and events each day!

We will never forget this amazing trip and look forward to the many, many trips that we will take in the future together!

Share Your Wedding Photos With Us!

Hi Everyone,

Rather than hand out disposable cameras at the reception, we want to try something new.

We are having an online photo album that anyone can view or add photos to.

If you take any pictures with your smartphone or camera this weekend, please email them to (tip: save it in your phone)  The pictures will be automatically added to our online photo album for all to see.

To view the photos or add pictures via a different method (Facebook, Picasa, etc.) visit

Thank you so much for being part of our special day!