Monthly Archives: February 2012

Winter Wonderland

FINALLY it looks and feels like a Minnesota winter….well sort of.  After watching the weather change all night, first it rained, then it sleeted, then it started snowing.  I was terrified to drive home from work knowing my 18 minute commute would be MUCH longer….

and exactly 59 minutes later I pulled into this

If you all remember this post you will understand why I wasn’t surprised to find a perfectly snowblown (is that the right suffix?) driveway.  Of course Bob got up early so he could use his new toy and clear the driveway! I was so thankful because after slipping, sliding, and white-knuckled driving for 59 minutes the last thing I wanted to deal with was getting stuck in the driveway!

It was so gorgeous in our front yard I had to snap a few pictures to remind myself of why I live in Minnesota.

The temperature is warming up…so I am sure when I wake up this afternoon most of the snow will have melted…hopefully making my drive BACK into work tonight a little bit easier!

With the storm continuing outside….I am content cuddled up in bed reading this

Lone Wolf by: Jodi Picoult

The book came out yesterday and I am about halfway through…I have really enjoyed reading Jodi Picoult’s books and have looked forward to them coming out each year but have been a little disappointed with her past few….but I will write more after I finish as I haven’t fully made up my mind about how I feel about this new one….


Random Ramblings

Saturday morning I came home to quite possibly the most irritating noise….a chirping smoke detector!  I was immediately reminded of the Hyundai Sonata commercial

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ztg0-y29wk

And I’m sure I looked exactly like the guy too!  Wandering from room to room waiting with my head cocked to the side to hear precisely where the chirping was coming from.  I found it finally, at the top of the stairs right by our bedroom door.  Of course, Bob was still sleeping and all I wanted was to crawl in bed and sleep for the next 8 hours but no sooner than my head hit the pillow……

LOW BATTERY…..LOW BATTERY

The smoke detector started talking in a horrible nasally voice!  I could have dealt with the chirping….but no way was I going to be able to sleep with that outside of our bedroom!  Being the wonderful wife I am….I gave Bob an elbow to the ribs and he kindly (but grudgingly) somehow managed to get the smoke detector down from the steep peaked ceiling.

That evening after picking up a few batteries, I got to watch firsthand how Bob had managed this feat without a ladder.

Looks pretty harmless right? (and please disregard the Christmas lights in the windows)

I was really glad I missed this the first time….he is absolutely NUTS! The stairs are right below him….so instead of helping him out I took pictures (like I said I am such a wonderful wife)

Nearly every week before I moved to the TC I looked forward to going to my favorite thrift store and used to come home with exciting purchases nearly each time….but now that I have yet to find my little goldmine I get really excited if I find anything at all when I visit any of my new stores.

These 2 x 3 feet puzzles were my staple when I was younger!  I was SO excited to find this and bought it for when the J family was planning on coming to visit.  But, since they were unable to come…I figured my $1.61 could not go to waste!  My childhood memories came flooding in as I remembered putting together countless of these Disney puzzles!  And I justified putting the puzzle together as a 24 year old because I simply had to make sure all of the pieces were there!

I am SO excited for dinner tonight….my friend Kirstin posted a link to a recipe she found online here for Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken (easy easy! which is my favorite part!)

Just from the few tastes I may have snagged while pulling the chicken after it had been in the Crockpot all day…it tastes delicious! But I decided that a little delay of gratification would be the best idea and put the chicken back in the Crockpot to cook just a bit longer!


Red Bull Schlittentag

Once again, Bob came up with a fun event for us to attend!  I had to work this weekend but was looking forward to having plans and being able to spend time together and with friends and family!

Red Bull had yet another event hosted in the TC, although this was on a smaller scale than Crashed Ice we still had a great time at Schlittentag.  For all you who didn’t take German for over 6 years (I thought German was THE language to know), Schlittentag translates to ‘sledding day’.  Teams of 3 across the TC designed sleds using skiis, snowboards, PVC piping, and many more creative designs.

One of the surviving sleds at the end

The sleds then had to slide down a local ski tubing hill and successfully go off and land a jump at the bottom.  The sled that landed the furthest won.  Sounds simple, but then start thinking about logistics!  Steering, stability, weight….hahah it was hilarious!

We were lucky enough to get a spot right at the jump and couldn’t have had a better viewing!

Bob and Matt

Dani, Steve, Bob, and Kelly

We had a great time laughing at things like this…..

 The jump was a little disappointing….we had thought it would be a lot bigger than it was but still provided plenty of entertainment!

Red Bull of course provided great entertainment with music and their famous Red Bull Truck!

We had so much fun and I went into work with a smile on my face!  Who knows what Red Bull will come up with next!  Maybe next year we will participate as Bob has already been scheming of ‘brilliant’ ideas. I might be in trouble!


Bachelorette Party!

I have the most amazing friends, I know most people think this, but I truly do.  They have been with me through the thick and thin and I know will always be at my side. Right after Bob and I got engaged, Emily started talking about having a destination Bachelorette party….I was all for it!

With our busy lives, I wasn’t sure if it was actually going to happen, but my three closest friends Emily, Lydia, and Stacy, and my lovely sister Carrie (from NY) planned an amazing trip…and kept me OUT OF THE LOOP about everything!  I had absolutely NO idea where we were going (except that it was going to be warm) and was so excited about this!

How they all kept this a secret from me for months is beyond me, and I may have driven them crazy by asking them about it every day…but in the end it was so special to have this huge surprise!

(this of course called for pedis before we left!)

When we got to the airport, I STILL had no idea, and they managed to get me through checking in our luggage and through security and sitting at a random gate until right before our plane left! Emily had these cute shirts made that said “Where are we going? Kelly’s Bachelorette Party” on the front and then our names on the back with Bridesmaid, Maid of Honor, and Bride underneath.

Lydia, Stacy, Emily, and Carrie

Just before we boarded, they took me to our gate and I was SOOOOO excited we were going to ORLANDO! Right away I knew where one of the places we were going…..

HARRY POTTER WORLD!

Okay I know….I am like a 10 year old kid.  But Harry Potter has always been one of my favorite things…and maybe it is because I started reading the books as a 10 year old (okay maybe more like 12 year old) I have been hooked since.  After hearing in 2007 that this park was going to be opening in 2010 I knew I HAD to go! And like good friends, they all knew my dream and made it a reality!

The whole plane ride, it was like I was traveling to Florida for the first time! I was soo excited and couldn’t wait to get there!  Emily had booked us a suite at the Hilton Grand Vacation and it was sooo gorgeous!

The three bedroom, three bath, full kitchen suite was perfect!  The 5 of us were so pampered the whole time! It was wonderful…and of course we spent some time by the pool

But the girls knew my anticipation couldn’t be put on hold too long and the next day we went to Islands of Adventure (which holds the HP park)

Stacy, Lydia, Kelly, Emily (Carrie couldn’t fly in until the next day)

It was better than I had imagined….seriously like stepping into the books!

Hogsmeade

Hogwarts in all of its glory 🙂

Post Office

Flying Ford Anglia

Stopped for some midafternoon Butterbeer

Kelly, Stacy, Lydia, and Emily with Hogwarts

Inside Ollivander’s

The epic sorting hat

The Hogwarts Express

We spent most of the day in HP world and even though it absolutely poured an hour after we got there…we suffered through with wet hair and clothes and eventually the sun came out again…but no worries I had a smile on my face the whole time!

Kelly, Stacy, Emily, Carrie, and Lydia

It rained nearly every day…but we managed to get some quality putt-putt time in!

Kelly and Lydia

For transportation, we used the I Ride Trolley and at first thought it was pretty slick.  It picked us up right in front of the hotel, and would take us pretty much anywhere down International Drive.  Well, as soon as it started pouring every day, the trolley got too full and was too overbooked to pick up more guests and traffic got horrible.  So…we had a few issues with it 🙂

Still smiling while waiting!

Our last day in Orlando was spent at the most magical place….Disney.  I have always had a fondness for Disney and LOVE spending time at this wonderful park!

We saw Mickey at the parade!

Visited ‘It’s a Small World’ which is still great every time!

Lyddie having fun on the Speedway

Trying to get a good picture of the 5 of us!

Splash Mountain

You can see the backs of the shirts here! SO cute!

Kelly, Lydia, Stacy, Carrie, Emily

With Sleeping Beauty and her prince (who we thought looked like he was in High School!)

Stitch (who just happens to be the same size as Lyddie!)

Stacy, Emily, and Carrie loving Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters!

and then we got to MEET Buzz!

I never can get enough of this castle!

Being that it was right around Halloween time…Disney was throwing a Halloween party every night for an extra 50 dollars per ticket. We were not planning on going to this but a SUPER nice lady gave us free tickets since it was my bachelorette party! We had not gotten our tickets before we took the ferry over to Magic Kingdom and I was freaking out that we would have to go back across the lake, purchase our tickets, and come back again but the nicest lady helped us at Guest Services and gave us those tickets for free!  We were so excited and enjoyed the special parade….going trick or treating….and enjoying the short lines on the rides! (oh and a few extra hours at MK!)

Watching the ‘Villains’ walk in the parade…I couldn’t help but smile when the little girl standing in front of us started crying and burying her face into her mom’s shoulder! That definitely would have been me when I was little!

Such a fun day! We were exhausted when we finally got back to the hotel…

We had such a fun time and created so many memories that I will never forget and always treasure!  These girls are truly the best friends a girl could wish for!


Snickerdoodle Bread

 Since Bob is taking a class on Monday nights, I decided some quality girl time with Emily was much needed!  We have had such a fun time! We babysat all day Monday, took the kids swimming where I had a blast helping the 5 year-old NOT to be terrified of the ‘deep water’.  Last night we watched the Bachelor and it was so fun to have someone to chat with and complain about the girls with instead of watching the show alone!  This morning we went shopping at my favorite second-hand store near her house.

Emily found this for me at one of the consignment shops! Absolutely PERFECT and I can’t wait to wear it next season!

Talk about a great few days!

Emily had brought Snickerdoodle Bread over to our house a few weeks ago and I about died after I ate it….it was SOOO good! Paula Deen would approve of the butter content…and My Fitness Pal was very generous in dishing out calorie points, but definitely worth every bit!

(the key ingredient that I just had to sample before we started)

Here’s the recipe: (she found it here)

2 1/2 c. flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup butter (YES 1 cup)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup sour cream

1 package cinnamon chips (Hershey’s makes these)

the Topping = 3 tablespoons each sugar and cinnamon mixed

Instructions:

Cream butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Add eggs

Add vanilla and sour cream

Mix flour and baking powder

Add cinnamon chips

Put into bread pans of your choice

Cover with toppings

Bake at 350 degrees for 35ish minutes (we ended up baking them much longer though)

(this was after I licked the batter bowl clean)

Like always, we had fun baking together!


Snowboarding and Skiing

Bob and I found ourselves with an unplanned weekend this weekend…which is absolutely UNHEARD of with us! I work every other weekend, so the weekends I have off are usually planned to the brim of exhaustion, but nonetheless we both live for those times!

We both love skiing/snowboarding and had yet to go this season due to the crazy weather.  It is hard to believe there is NO snow on the ground, nor has their been for the majority of the winter.  This is MINNESOTA for crying out loud!  I have to admit that I am loving the warm weather, and do not miss the frigid cold that catches your breath, the wet pants that drag in the snow, and the treacherous driving.  But there is a small part of me that is missing the beautiful winter landscape and the snowy trees.

Luckily, even though there is no snow on the ground, the ski hills are able to make enough snow to keep the hills covered.  So, we decided to spend our Saturday at the ski hill!

I grew up skiing with my mom and sister but made the transition to snowboarding about 6 years ago and have never looked back.  Bob, on the other hand is a phenomenal skier and puts me to shame.  He is so patient with me though and waits without complaint as I strap in at the top of the hill and without fail waits at the bottom for me to slowly come down the hill.

To put it nicely, I am a little cautious on the hills.  I have had my fair share of nasty falls, long lasting pains, and near-misses so my adventure seeking self is a little more reserved on the hills than Bob!

(this picture is from last year since I realized we didn’t have a shot of the two of us)

Going snowboarding with Bob is a bit different, he loves to go through the terrain parks and see how much air he can get off the jumps whereas I like to keep my feet firmly against the ground and going through the terrain parks for me means winding amongst the jumps trying to avoid them with all of my might

I refuse to even take my phone along with while boarding, since I have been known to hit every single inch of my body against the ground when I fall, so Bob being the fearless one thought it would be fun to take some action shots….

I decided taking pictures inside the chalet would be best for me.  After 6 hours out on the hills we were exhausted and I think I fell asleep less than an hour after we got home!

This reminded me SO much of when I was in Garmisch, Germany snowboarding the Alps with friends on a school trip.  My friend Mariah is also fearless on skis and before we left, she asked if I would take a camera and she would take her video camera so we could get both shots.  I laughed and she didn’t quite get it until after she saw me take a nice digger and skid down the mountain, when she realized that both her video camera and regular camera were safest in her jacket

But she got some beautiful shots and I still can picture the Alps with perfect clarity and Mariah and I decided it looked just like Narnia!

Kelly and Mariah snowboarding and skiing the Bavarian Alps (January 2010)


Happy Birthday Annalisa!

We were so excited when our friends the ‘J’ family were planning on coming to visit us this weekend….and then 30 mins before they were to leave, their oldest got sick and they were unable to come.  We were disappointed but know it will work out another time!

Annalisa, number 4 in the lineup, turned 5 last Sunday and we were SO excited to celebrate with her this weekend, but alas it didn’t work out.  She holds such a special place in both of our hearts and we love her to pieces.

So Bob and I got to light the candles on her birthday cake, sing Happy Birthday in a video, and send the images to their family!

So delicious!

Purple and Pink!

There are so many things that I love and remember about Annalisa:

The first time I babysat for you, you were only a few months old and had never been apart from your mom, I was guaranteed you would sleep the whole time I was there, but you woke up less than an hour after they left.  You and Clarabella were SO upset and would not stop crying, I ended up calling Tara after I had tried everything…what a first memory

You have a love for your purple blankie like none other, searches would always be made before it was bedtime to locate this beloved blanket.

I can’t help but smile when I think about the period when naming colors was just a bit out of reach, it was so cute to hear your little voice say PURPLE! when pointing at a yellow duck 🙂

I love hearing you pray at night before you go to bed, listing off your family, purple blankie, and George (Curious George…another beloved lovie)

One of our favorite things to do was read books, I have read the special Wizard of Oz pop up book so many times even though it takes nearly an hour to get through!

You were such a brave little girl when we went sledding just before your 3rd birthday and you went down the tobaggan run!

I remember crayfishing with you and you would shriek with excitement whenever anyone caught one but would runaway when they got close to you!

When Bob came into my life, you were SO excited to meet him and since then there has been no turning back.  It is so cute to see you interact and you LOVE jumping on the trampoline with him, climbing all over him, and of course dancing!

You patiently sat for hours putting stamps on our wedding RSVPs and were SO proud of the work you did!

I will never forget how special it was to have you and your sister as flowergirls in our wedding and how much fun we had dancing at the reception (before you fell asleep in a heap of satin in the corner!)

A little trip down memory lane:

Summer 2008

Fall 2008

Winter 2009

Spring 2009

Fall 2009

Winter 2010

Spring 2010

Summer 2010

Winter 2011

Summer 2011

Fall 2011


11.11.11

As much as Bob and I wanted to have our wedding on 11.11.11, we knew it wasn’t feasible being that it landed on a Friday.  Nearly all of our guests were coming from out of town and we know how hard it is to make it to weddings that land on a Friday.  So instead, it was the anticipated day before and will always be remembered!

Emily, Kelly, Stacy

The day started off with us girls getting our nails done….one of my favorite things to do! Any excuse I have to get pampered right!

Lydia

Carrie

We then had lunch before getting ready for the rehearsal!  We took a bunch of the decorations over to the hotel’s convention center in preparation for getting things set up at night!

Lydia’s mom and sister, Maryellen and Julia joined us for pizza!

There was a TON of this going on as well! My crazy brother-in-law, Nick, wanted to document everyone’s ‘feelings’ before the big day and it was hard to go anywhere without a camera following you! He even managed to show up at the nail salon! Nick set up a recording studio in the living room and nearly everyone was interviewed at some point!

Bob and I with our precious flower girls Annalisa and Clarabella

We were so excited for our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  It was the first time all of our friends had been together at the same time!

Stacy, Emily, and Kelsey

Mike, Michelle, Brian, Carl, Robbie, and my Dad

Bob and his Mom

Isaac (the ringbearer) getting to know Clarabella and Annalisa

Misti, Dani, and Steve

The rehearsal went pretty well (surprisingly!) and we all then went on to meet at Spiedini’s where Dave and Laurel hosted a wonderful Italian buffet for our wedding party and extended family!

It was such a nice to time to have the chance to talk to all of our loved ones and eat great food!  Although my nerves were starting to kick up and I didn’t have much of an appetite!

After dinner was finished, we all drove over to the Holiday Inn where the reception was to be held the following day.  My parents hosted snacks and beverages there and we had encouraged all of our guests to join us that night when they arrived into town.

Sally, Jeanne, Steve, Stacy, & Emily (S&E’s parents, minus Mark)

I was SO excited to see people come in through the door and LOVED being able to have time to chat with people before the big day!

We decorated this evening and without these 4 we NEVER would have gotten finished! Noah and Aedan laid all of the table runners, set up the lights, and were an amazing help!  Clarabella, Annalisa, and Gabriel had stayed at home to rest up for the big day 🙂

Rob, Carrie, Nick, Kathy, and Kristi (my sister and brother-in-law with his family)

Carrie with Uncle Mark and Aunt Maryellen

Maryellen, Julia, Brittany, Dave, Robbie, Kelsey, and my Dad

Misti, Carl, Steve, Dani, and Laurel

Uncle Putsie, Cindy, Aunt Eloise, and Jenny

Aunt Su, Aleta, Jake, Mark, and Uncle Jim

Gustie Nurses! Alyssa, Mariah, Kelly, Kelsey, and Lydia

My favorite professor Heidi and her girls Claire, Sophie, and Paige

Mandy, Brian, Mike, and Michelle

Grandpa, Grandma, Mary, Aunt Jan, and Uncle Dave

We had such a great time socializing and it was awesome to have so many hands to help set up as the night progressed! Tulle was hung from the chandeliers, place cards were assembled, tables were laid out as I envisioned, and I couldn’t be more thankful to all those who helped! I truly could not have envisioned things going as smoothly as they did and I went to bed easily that night knowing that things were all ready for our BIG day!

Sorry for the picture overload….I promise I will break down the wedding into multiple posts so it won’t be as bad! 🙂


Valentine’s Day

After working the night of the 13th I was SOOO excited to come home to Bob and serve him a surprise coffee cake (his absolute favorite!) and give him his present.  I opened the garage door…and his car was gone.  What a huge disappointment…he had to go into work early and couldn’t wait until I got home 😦

After a rough ‘night’ sleep, Bob woke me up with a wonderful Valentine’s breakfast served in bed!  At 6:30pm he brought this tray up!

What a sweetheart!  And I know you can’t tell from the picture…but the pancakes and eggs were dyed pink! So cute!

He also got me these:

x2 boxes since he knows they are my favorite!

and I was so excited about this!

Which I am sure he is thrilled about…hahaha I fell in love with the Twilight series before the books became a huge hit and have been excited for every movie release (but no worries HP will always win when comparing the two!)

Finally, Bob gave me a gift certificate to make a photobook on Snapfish.  I LOVE making these and am so excited to catch up on the past few months!

Hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day!


Baking Fails at 5AM

After having been cancelled at work….I was able to sleep a few hours at night but since I had slept during the entire day before I woke up about 4 o’clock wide awake and decided to get some things done!  I made a few cards for Valentines Day, a Birthday card for a very special little girl, and watched a little TV.

I stumbled on a few recipes that I decided I wanted to try…and why not start at 5 in the morning! Bob was sound asleep so I knew there was no way my banging around in the kitchen would wake him.

So first off, I started with attempting to make Amish Bread…the dough tasted great and I LOVED being able to use my dough hook on my mixer instead of hand kneading!

I was a little leery about the dough after leaving it to rise for an hour on the stove…the dough tasted great but I was still nervous about how it looked.

And FAIL….I don’t know why the bread turned out the way it did but it was super dry on the outside and the inside was doughy so into the garbage they went.  Any hints or suggestions??

Since it was only 5:24 I decided to attempt the next recipe ‘Easy Orange Rolls’ thinking that Bob would LOVE these….and I really liked the word ‘easy’ in the title!

First I meltedthe sugar, fresh squeezed orange juice and zest, and butter

As I was opening the biscuits (which used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was younger) there was a HUGE bang and the biscuits exploded all over the counter!  I held my breath for a couple seconds and listened for Bob…but I think he could sleep through a tornado so I was safe!

I dipped the biscuits in the sugary sauce and put them in an Angel Food pan (we don’t own a Bundt pan) and here are the results!  Can you see the piece I sampled before I remembered to take a picture!

The results were average I thought…the sauce was still a little runny for me since I am used to Monkey bread with it’s carmelized topping.  I took it upstairs to Bob and he was so thrilled and said he loved it (and proceeded to it half of it!)

So one fail and an ‘average’ result….not so pleased with my 5AM trials.  Maybe next time I will try to bake like a normal person during the day! (it is now 9AM and this post is already finished! haha)