Monthly Archives: December 2011

Wisconsin Weekend!

Having to work every other holiday is one of the downfalls of being in the healthcare industry, but thankfully we are still able to spend every holiday together even if I am working.  I adjust my sleeping schedule a bit, and the day is only partially interrupted!  Having 4 days off for Christmas was a dream, and I was excited to be back in Wisconsin for Christmas after 2 years of being away!

We were able to meet up with Sharisa and Leah, who I swam with in High School…although I forgot to take pictures! It was such a fun time to catch up and visit after having not seen each other for nearly 5 years! I realized we truly are ‘grown up’ when 2 of us are married and Sharisa has a baby on the way!

We were also able to celebrate one of my closest friends, Stacy’s birthday Thursday night!  We are so thankful to have Stacy live semi-close to us that we get to see her both at home and when we both travel to our parents house in Wisconsin.

(pardon the cell phone picture)

One of our favorite things to do when we come to Wisconsin is visit the ‘J’ family!  They hold such a sweet spot in our hearts and we look forward to visiting with John and Tara as well as playing with the kiddos!  Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures….but I will put in one of my favorites from our wedding.  This will probably be a whole post later but the girls were our precious flower girls, Tara was my ever present and much needed right hand, John our wedding party driver, and the boys set up the reception hall!  Talk about being essential pieces of a wedding…we are SOOO thankful for all of their amazing and generous help! Gabriel even sat on my lap while we watched a part of a movie and my heart melted! I have been living in Minnesota since he was born, and while my connection with Team A (boys) and Team B (girls) has stayed strong, Gabriel has never been quite sure of me!

The ‘J’ Family

We were also able to go to Lambeau Field to watch my beloved Packers trounce the Bears!

Ready for the Game! (Jake, Mark, Dad, Me, Bob, & Mom)

 I keep getting asked about how painful it must have been to lose to the Chiefs 2 weeks ago, and part of me was SO disappointed that we couldn’t keep our undefeated record.  But the logical part of me is so thankful that the pressure is off! The Play-Offs are when all the money is on the table, so I hope that loss is out of our system!

My Aunt and Uncle invited us over for a wonderful meal before the game, and had a great time visiting!

The Packer fans! (Jake, Dad, Mark, Mom, Me, Aunt Su, & Uncle Jim)

The ‘kids’. (Jake, Mark, Me, & Bob)

 My cousins Jake and Mark went along with us, and my parents were kind enough to sit in the endzone seats so the 4 of us could sit on the 50 yard line!

 Before kick-0ff they announced that it was 41 degrees outside!  It is so hard to believe at the end of December it is this warm, and I was so thankful to be semi-warm during the game!

Jake and Mark

Bob and I are so excited that Jake is moving to our area and know we will be watching MANY more Packer games together!  After 5 touchdowns, no penalties, and a Victory we left Lambeau with smiles on our faces! (I did even hear Bob chant “Go Pack Go!”)

Bob & Me

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A Practical Gift

After hearing that my mom fell off her bike ONCE again this fall, Bob and I knew that we had to intervene.  My mom LOVES to bike and puts over 1500 miles on her bike each year.  She uses it to go to work, the grocery store, run errands, and anything else you can think of.  Although this might seem like a great idea, it is also a very dangerous one for her.  She is known for carrying multiple grocery bags on both handle bars and a full backpack on her back, and has had multiple accidents to prove it! Her loads have included bags of charcoal, bags of potatoes, multiple gallons of milk, and a paper cutter.  After getting the last call the Mom had taken a ‘digger’, Bob and I went online and found this:

We told her that we had spies around town and that she was NOT allowed to carry anything on her handlebars anymore! (so for those of you around….keep your eyes out for her!)

Thankfully it was warm again, and we were able to work in the garage and get the baskets attached!

Of course, she had to try it out and made a trip to the grocery store!  I got a text stating that a gallon of milk fits perfectly in either basket! Now the sky is the limit for how much she can carry!

Hopefully her accidents will be a thing of the past!


Christmas

After coming down with the stomach flu a few days before Christmas, I was praying for a speedy recovery so that our plans to go to Wisconsin for the weekend were not harmed.  Bob took great care of me while I spent a few days on the couch and we were able to venture to my parents house for Christmas!  Instead of buying each other gifts, we both decided that instead we wanted a new sound system for the TV room.  Bob was SOOOO excited about this, and of course HAD to get it installed the day it came (mind you it was a few days early!)

I watched from the couch, and when I asked if I could help with anything this is what I was handed!

A real task….installing batteries!

For all who don’t know, around the time when we were talking about the potentiality of getting engaged, Bob voiced some concern over why the woman got a gift and the man didn’t!  Knowing that I had a beautiful diamond ring in my future, stated that I would get him a nice watch.  A few weeks later, Bob must have still been thinking about this notion and asked if instead of getting a watch he could have a stove (the house had been sold without a stove due to the gas/electric debate).  Knowing that I would benefit from this, I said okay.  The following week, Bob came home from work to find one of his buddy’s old stove’s from their house in his driveway!  They had gotten a new stove and were generous enough to donate it to Bob and his desperate kitchen! So, once again, Bob engagement gift idea changed again.  This time, I had no idea what was coming my way….

Bob decided that he wanted a big screen 3D tv.

Really? A deal is a deal though, and 2 days after we got engaged Bob got his gift….although I definitely got the better end of the deal!

Anyways, now Bob’s man-cove is all set up and he told me the other day that the sole reason he bought a house has been fulfilled….after I left for work he sat watching movies with the bass turned up and no one was around to tell him to turn it down.  So easy to please!

Bob did break our rule of no other gifts, and I woke up one afternoon to this!

I LOVE to listen to music while I am in the kitchen and usually am found with my laptop perched dangerously near the sink, so I was thrilled about my new radio/CD player/iPod plug-in that was already set with my favorite Christian radio station!


Merry Christmas!

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6

Photo: Robert Michael Photography


A Holidazzle Evening

After living in Minnesota for 5 1/2 years, I had yet to experience the thrill of the Holidazzle parade.  Bob decided this NEEDED to change and planned a fun evening with friends!  One of the HUGE benefits (and one of the few) of working overnights is still having my evenings free to meet up with friends…so even though I had to work the entire weekend we still had plans every day!

Bob, Stacy, & Emily

It wasn’t too cold, but was the first time I had been out in below freezing weather for an extended period of time.  I don’t think I EVER will be used to the cold!  Bob was so excited to see the parade since it had been many years since he had been.

The Joe Mauer ‘Doodlebug’.  I couldn’t help but smile when everyone cheered when the Doodlebugs stopped and turned in a circle.

The lights were awesome, and with Bob’s affinity for anything bright and colorful he was in holiday heaven!

 Santa and Mrs. Claus brought up the end of parade!

The city was gorgeous at night and Bob led us around downtown through the SkyWay and I loved being able to get everywhere without having to step foot outdoors.  I pray that I never get lost, because having inherited my mother’s sense of direction, I would NEVER be able to get back to where I came from.

Bob and I

We also met up with some of the girls from Bob’s old Bible study group and had a fun time walking around downtown and ended up at Macaroni Grill for dinner!

Darcy, Chantal, & Bob

Bethany & I

At Macaroni Grill they put down white paper over the tables and set out crayons that are too tempting to pass up.  After a few minutes our inner kids came out and we were playing hangman!  Bob got a little upset since I beat him 3 times in a row….my Hanging With Friends App practice came in handy!

We also played the ‘Dot Game’ which was a favorite of mine from childhood.  Once again I beat Bob, but luckily the food came and he was happy! I loved their Macaroni Bites and we had such a fun evening being able to spend time with friends!


A Work in Progress

On top of Christmas cards, thank you notes, and wrapping gifts, I have been busy making a fleece blanket for a sweet baby of one of our friends that is due to arrive any day!

I love having a project to work on, but am definitely NOT the most crafty person but have realized that I LOVE making these soft blankets!

Lately, we have had only baby girls being born to friends so I was excited to switch up the pink and purple for the shades of blue!  Cutting and tying is one of the areas that has gotten MUCH faster for me and typically I can have this done in less than an hour….

Next I print out a cute clipart and pin it on to one of the corner pieces I cut from the original blanket…haha notice this one is a bit large but I made it work!

Next I pin the cut out onto one of the corner pieces of the blanket and hand stitch it into place.  This is the tedious part of making the blankets but truly puts the special touch on each one!

Voila! All finished! We are anxiously waiting to find out this sweet baby’s name so I can cut out and stitch it onto the other side!

A few of the blankets I have made….the ones I have pictures of!


Game Night!

After being cancelled at work (I had volunteered to pick up a shift and they ended up not needing me), Bob and I decided we wanted to get out of the house for the evening…it was about 9pm and knew it would be a last minute effort but Bob called Steve (his brother) and he and his girlfriend, Dani, didn’t have any plans either!

We made the short trek over, and had a fun evening playing Monopoly and Yahtzee (I ended up winning this time…Bob did NOT get a Yahtzee under my careful watch this time).

Monopoly has always been one of my favorite games, and I tend to be a pretty ruthless player.  But, unfortunately this time I started out on an unlucky streak and out of my first 5 rolls only was able to purchase one piece of property.  By this time Bob and Steve had already purchased half of the board between the two of them and Dani and I kind of knew we were in trouble….

Steve and I made an under the table transfer of property (literally) in hopes of teaming up on Bob, but Bob already had a Monopoly on gold and the houses/hotels to prove it.  So ultimately, my sacrifice proved to lead to a bankruptcy for me….

Dani and Steve

We had a fun time playing and it was so nice to have a relaxing evening with friends and family! As we are finally feeling settled we look forward to many more fun evenings with friends!

The Winner!


A Yahtzee Controversy….

My mom had been visiting and after working all day organizing and cleaning, we were looking forward to a relaxing evening once Bob got home for work.  We had tried watching a 3d movie (Tangled- which is SO cute!) but my mom fell asleep in record time.  19 minutes in, Bob looked over and her chin was to her chest! Now he finally sees where I get it from…but I promise I make it longer than 19 minutes- most of the time!

Anyways, after our failure with Tangled, we opted for Yahtzee which happens to be one of my favorite games.  A little bit of skill, but mostly luck…

After each winning a round, we decided to play a 4th round tie break and whoever won that round was the ULTIMATE winner.  For all who don’t know me well….I happen to be a tiny bit competitive and hate to lose (and that may be a little bit of an understatement).  As what usually happens, Mom and I started talking and not really paying attention to the game except for when it was our time to roll.

Halfway through the game, I was comparing scores, and Bob had a 50 in his Yahtzee box.  I quickly exclaimed that there was NO way that he had gotten a Yahtzee because I hadn’t seen him roll it! My mom chipped in that she too, had not seen him roll the Yahtzee.  Adamantly, Bob stated that he had rolled it his first turn and exclaimed ‘There it is!’ and neither of us even acknowledged….

(a different Yahtzee…. 🙂 )

I think there is a lot to question in that unseen Yahtzee, especially since that 4th round was the tie-breaker and getting a Yahtzee almost guarantees a win…

Seems a little fishy….but I guess I trust him


Week recap

I have been super busy this past week (even more so than normal) and haven’t had a moment to sit down and write a post!  Last weekend, Emily and I babysat for a family so the parents could have a weekend getaway.  On top of having the kids overnight for 2 nights, I worked at the hospital as well! Talk about being exhausted….the second night as soon as the kids were down and my head hit the pillow I fell asleep.  At 8 o’clock…and slept until we got a wake up from the middle child and had to change some sheets 🙂 Oh babysitting is so much fun!

I really miss working with kids after having babysat, nannied, and worked in a daycare through my final year of College, so any chance I get to watch friends kids I LOVE it! So Emily and I had TONS of fun things planned for the kids….not only did we have a good time they really seemed to enjoy themselves as well!  On Friday we took them to a local community center where Santa arrived on a firetruck and the kids got to meet him, have cookies, and make a craft.

The 3 year old we were watching recognized his elf immediately and called him by name!  As we were waiting in line to pet Buttons the reindeer, E said ‘That’s Mark’.  We started laughing and sure enough, the same elf had visited her preschool not too long ago!

Saturday we went to my childhood all-time favorite restaurant…Chuck E. Cheese! The kids had a blast, and after finangling a few tokens for myself, I was psyched to hit up Skee-Ball just like I used to.  5 tokens later, I still had yet to hit the corner 10,000 pocket and M (the 8 year old) was solidly beating me every time so I ashamedly hung up my Skee-Ball hat….but hopefully not forever.

Sunday we headed to brunch and church and after feeding them dinner, their parents came home and I was (thankfully) able to get a nice 2 1/2 hour nap before heading into work.  It was a fun….yet exhausting weekend and I loved getting to spend time with Emily also!

My mom came Monday afternoon from WI, and we have been busy getting the house organized since then! I am so thankful for her patience and hard work.  We got the basement organized and new shelving units up in the laundry room, and I ALMOST have a ‘finished’ picture to add here…but there is still one box left to unpack and a few stray items lying on the floor.  She brought a treadmill that she had picked up for me this summer and I am SO excited to get running again (after a busy fall, my running hiatus hopefully has come to an end).  We still have to move Bob’s weight bench (and dust the cobwebs from it) before we can get the treadmill into the spot I want but we are SUPER close to having the basement functional! Meanwhile Bob has been busy hanging blinds in the house, and getting his ‘man-cave’ out in the garage organized.

Today my mom and I decided to take a break from cleaning and organizing and made Christmas cut out cookies!  I used to look forward to this day all year when I was younger!  It was such a fun day and I was so excited to once again spend the day baking with my mom!

I also remembered how sick of frosting cookies I get after about 50 of them….but we finished FINALLY and I am so excited to have cookies for us to take to work and of course EAT!


A New Reality

Finally, I feel some semblance of a new norm.  After a really disruptive past 3 months, I have a steady roof over my head and my belongings in one place! After starting a new job in September, I moved out of my apartment in south central MN and virtually was ‘homeless’ for the next few months.   Thankfully, my roommate from college, Emily and her family took me in.  I loved living with their family and they will always hold a special place in my heart.  Their generosity including getting black out blinds for my downstairs bedroom so I could sleep once I got home from work in the morning, and making peanut butter salad nearly once a week (for my peanut butter deprived self). I survived with a minimal amount of clothing that I dug out from my boxed up belongings, and a Target run took care of the rest! It was so much fun to get to spend every day with Em after being an hour apart for so long!

Anyways, the many boxes from my apartment had been gathering dust in Bob’s our basement.  Now that I officially call the house ‘home’, I have been sooo busy unpacking, organizing, and cleaning (amid the Christmas decorating of course).  Being the type ‘A’ person, the chaos and mess absolutely overwhelmed me, but it is also a little too easy to close the door to the basement and forget what is waiting for me!  But nonetheless….I have attempted to put away things one box at a time.

Before

(and mind you these boxes had been ransacked a few times looking for certain things like printer cords and light bulbs)

After

(mind you…not finished yet) 🙂

There is still so much to do, and the things that are left are the things that I am not sure where they will end up in the long run. My mom is coming next week to help with the final organization and cleaning, and I am SO looking forward to having her here!  I am trying to decide if I want to be brave enough to have a garage sale in the summer (after I talked with my mom who said she would come and help!) or just take it all to giveaway.  We’ll see how I am feeling once everything has found its home and how much I just want to be done with it all!  I love garage saleing myself and look forward to it all winter…but having my own seems like such a daunting task.  BUT, since my mom is a seasoned expert and I did learn how to count change through our many summer sales, the idea is still weighing heavily in my mind.

Being that snow just fell last night, the next 4 months are out of the question anyways for a sale so either Goodwill will get a trailer full of housewares or our attic will be filled for the winter!  I will leave you with Stage 2 of Operation Christmas Lights and I am hoping that this might be the end (although there are still many strands sitting in the kitchen) but maybe I can deter Bob!