Monthly Archives: August 2012

State Fair

Unbeknownst to me up until recently, the MN State Fair is a HUGE deal.  I had never gone to a fair (that I could remember), nor quite understood the excitement that was centered around this annual event.

But my Minnesota-born husband, lives and breathes the fair.  He looks forward to these ‘glorious’ twelve days with anticipation but also with dread as it marks the end of summer.  We have had such a busy and fun summer and were so blessed to be able to spend so much time with our closest family and friends, and seeing it come to a close is always a tough pill to swallow.

So off to the fair we went…and Bob had a little extra bounce in his step the entire 6 hours!  We enjoyed some great food…of course not missing the corn on the cob (which was delicious as usual!)

It is crazy to think how many ears of corn are sold during the fair….

We stopped by the Kare 11 barn where Bob posed for a picture with his fellow Husky grad Sven Sungaard and I happily got a squished penny of Eric Perkins (another anchor).  My first penny with someone’s portrait….very interesting

We met up with two of my friends from work, Liz and Carrie, but mostly just wandered around by ourselves trying different food and going on a few rides.

My favorite place is the Miracle of Birth Center where they have all kinds of baby farm animals….they are just all so cute!

The piglets were my favorite, and some of them were SO tiny because they had been born just a few hours before!

We enjoyed my favorite sweet potato tater tots from O’Gara’s (I definitely look forward to these all year!)

And tried a Red Velvet Funnel Cake (which was new this year and I will not be getting again)

Bob enjoyed his endless milk for $1

I wanted to go on these swings so badly but the line was SO long and I was not willing to wait…so maybe next year!

So instead we went on the Skywheel which is a double Ferris Wheel and is shockingly scary!  One of our favorites for sure…

I wasn’t brave enough to pull out my big camera at the top, but snapped a quick picture of the Midway….

And Midway from ground level….

We also rode this rollercoaster which I would HIGHLY recommend doing BEFORE you have a belly full of fair food… 🙂

We had a great time but my feet were tired when we got home…and it wasn’t too long before we both fell asleep!

Until next year State Fair!


Debbie and Terry’s Wedding

This past weekend Bob and I were happy to attend the wedding of our friend’s Debbie and Terry.  Bob went to college/post-grad with Debbie and they currently work together!

Debbie and Terry are so fun to spend time with and we have been looking forward to their wedding for a long time!

The handsome groom

Beautiful bridesmaids Liz and Nicole

Debbie looked absolutely beautiful but I was disappointed because I couldn’t get the perfect angle for a picture!

Debbie is originally from India and her parents were able to fly in earlier this summer and play a special role in the wedding.

Bob’s co-worker Pam’s husband played the guitar throughout the ceremony and he was fabulous!

Debbie looked gorgeous!

So did our friend Liz

Lighting the unity candle

The vows….the officiant was a really good friend of Debbie and Bob’s who they went to school with!  He and his wife (who is expecting their first baby!) flew in from California for the big day which was really special!

It’s official!

Liz, Andrew, and sweet baby Owen

Work friends!

Kylin, Phil, Owen, Liz, Eric, Bob, Debbie, Hans, Sirisha, Chris, Dan, Tzu

Bob and myself

(I think I should make a whole post of pictures of us from our friend’s weddings!)

Their reception was at a bowling alley…and we got to BOWL!  It was awesome!

I watched Owen so that the guys could go play the arcade games!  I was one happy guest!

The Mr. & Mrs!

Their head table was ON the bowling lanes…how awesome is that!?

First dance….

We were all so excited to get to go bowling and I’m sure we all looked crazy in our dress/suits putting bowling shoes on!!

I had to work that night but we fit in 2 rounds and Bob will be the first to admit that bowling is not his strong suit (nor is it mine…but at least I beat him!)

A great time was had by all and we are so happy for Debbie and Terry!

50th Anniversary

This weekend, my parents and Amma came to visit for my great Uncle and Aunt’s 50th Anniversary Party.  It had been almost 2 months since I had seen my parents and even longer since we had seen Amma so it was so nice to have time to visit!

Bob, Kelly, & Amma

We went to the Sculpture Garden and walked around for a little while.

Dad, Mom, & Amma

I got strict orders that the caption of this photo is supposed to be ‘A Rose Between Two Thorns’….gosh he is so creative!

When we got to the garden there was a wedding being held by the Cherry on the Spoon so on our way out we were able to snap a picture quick!

Saturday morning, Bob went out to get his haircut and came home with this!  I was so excited and Saturday night my parents, Bob, and I (Amma had already gone to sleep) started watching it.  Well, my mom and dad didn’t last too long, so it was just Bob and me that finished it!

I had seen the movie in theaters and just finished re-reading the book so it was so much fun to watch! Now I’m looking forward to the next one!

Sunday morning we headed to church and stopped by Panera for a quick lunch before the party in the afternoon.

Uncle Putsie and Aunt Eloise

Aunt Eloise had her dress on display as well as the bridesmaid’s dresses!  They were so pretty…and definitely the style from the 60’s!

I loved the tiara she wore 50 years ago!  In 50 years it will be so interesting to see what the styles are like and I am sure my dress will be SO outdated!

They had a band play and it was so much fun watching the little kids dance their little hearts away!

Uncle Bruce and Krista had fun dancing too!

Lukas and William

I tried to get all the ‘littles’ to get a picture together and this is what I got….

Ava, Sasha, William, Sean, Lukas, Zoe, and Mollie

It is so fun having little kids around and they were having an absolute blast playing together!

Mark, Susie, Kelly, Bob, and Jake

My cousin Mark recently started dating Susie so it was so nice finally getting to meet her and we had a great time (briefly) getting to know each other.  We look forward to spending much more time with them now that Mark has moved to the Twin Cities as well!  I love the fact that all 3 of us cousins now live here….so all we need is Carrie and Nick to move back and we will be complete!

Amma, Uncle Putsie, and Aunt Eloise

The whole ‘W’ family

Jake, Mark, Uncle Jim, Mom, Susie, Amma, Dad, Aunt Su, Bob, and me

We made a quick stop at Ikea on my parents way out and then they were on their way!  We are looking forward to September when Bob and I are going to go to the cabin and spend some more quality time with them (and the water).

Once again I am so thankful to have a handy husband because my brakes started making an awful screeching sound and Bob knew instinctively what to do.  So he is having ‘fun’ out in the garage changing the brake pads (as well as some rusted screws or something) while I am catching up on the DVR…what a great night!


I was so thrilled when my roommate from Freshman year of college called me and said she was in town!  She lives in Wyoming…so this was definitely a big deal!  Claire was such a perfect roommate to have, and the Lord truly blessed me with how wonderful our relationship was (and still is!). I had a rough first semester missing home and Claire was always by my side.

Claire and Kelly

Bob and I went over to my other college friends Kaitie and Eleanor’s house and had a great evening just chatting, laughing, and enjoying yummy food!

Ben, Emily, Kaitie, Kelly, Keenie, Brian, Claire, Chris, Eleanor, and Dan

This is the core group of friends from my Freshman Year of college and it was SOO good to see everyone again!  I hadn’t seen any of the ‘guys’ since we graduated and the girls since our wedding!! I have so many wonderful memories from our Freshman year when college was SO exciting and we did everything together!  I can’t count the number of late night caf runs, movies we watched, games of Pounce and Catch Phrase we played, and hours we spent laughing.  These girls (and guys!) will always hold such a special place in my heart

James and Chantal’s Wedding

Bob and I were happy to celebrate the marriage of our friends James and Chantal’s this weekend.  Not only were we excited to be a part of their marriage celebration, we were looking forward to seeing all of our friends!

Chantal with her parents

The groom

Our friend Darcy looked absolutely beautiful!

The ceremony was beautiful and the weather couldn’t have been better!

Chantal and James

A triple stranded cord is not easily broken

So happy for Chantal & James!

Our friends Don and Nate were groomsmen and rocked it out in sunglasses!

The flowers….

Nate and Noelle

Don and Ashleigh

Jen and Adrian

Bob and Me

Bethany, Kelly, and Jen

Bob, Bethany, Jen, and Kelly

We walked down to the nearby dam and enjoyed the water in between the ceremony and reception. It was really warm but luckily it wasn’t HOT like it has been nearly every day since May!

We passed some time blowing bubbles…and enjoyed an amazing Italian dinner catered from Donatelli’s.  Absolutely delicious!

Cutting the cake

First dance

The original small group plus spouses/sig others!

Greg & Darcy, Bob & Kelly, Chantal & James, Nate & Noelle, Bethany, Jen & Adrian

‘M’ Kiddo Pics

Emily nannies for a family that I have gotten to know very well over the years and love having fun with their kids!  When I got my new camera, I told Roxy (their mom) that I would LOVE to take their pictures….little did I know that I would have my work cut out for me!

Jenna is 6 years old and starting 1st grade this fall….she is absolutely adorable and I have had so much fun watching her grow up!

Brianna and Benjamin are 2 1/2 (they will turn 3 in October) and are so fun…but a handful!

Sweet Bri

Mischievous Ben

It was getting dark out…but we tried soo hard to get a picture of the 3 of them sitting

So sweet (they actually cooperated and held hands!)

And while the twins were running around like crazy….Jenna just smiled and smiled!

Trying to get this little guy to stand still and smile is nearly impossible!

Bri wasn’t quite as crazy as Ben but still hard to get to look at the camera!

So getting a picture of the 3 of them wasn’t really a success….we were racing against the sun which was going down fast!

Roxy was awesome at doing all kinds of crazy tricks, jumping, and running around to get them to smile…it was great!

There were 4 adults (me, Stacy, Emily, and Roxy) trying to corral the kids together and coerce them to smile…and still we were absolutely beat when we were done!

Once again we tried to get a picture of all of them….

And Jenna just kept smiling….

Bri, Stacy, Emily, and Jenna

Roxy somehow managed to stay out of pictures but this is such a cute one!  I had fun taking pictures of the kiddos and hopefully Roxy will let me do more sometime to get more practice!

Kirstin’s Wedding Shower

I am SO far behind in posting…and just realized I forgot about Kirstin’s shower!  Kirstin and I met in our FTS class at Gustavus (a first semester Freshman class) and have been friends since….we went through the nursing program together, traveled to Europe together, started our first nursing jobs together at the same hospital, and I am SO excited for her wedding this September!!

Kelly, Katie, and Kirstin (I miss working with these girls soo much!)

It is so fun to watch the bride-to-be open gifts and Kirstin got some really neat things! The shower was held at her sister’s house and it was absolutely GORGEOUS!

Kirstin with her mom and sister

It was so great to see Kirstin and Katie and Bob and I are looking forward to her and Stephen’s wedding!

LI Wrap-Up

Well…we are back in MN after a long and stressful day of traveling and my night is made while I watch the Packers first preseason game tonight 🙂

I spent Sunday at Avalon park just relaxing and reading my book…Carrie and Nick were both working and Bob had already headed into the city so it was just me

I sat by this little pond (that was green!) for about 3 hours just enjoying the peace and quiet….

This little guy kept me company

And the flowers were gorgeous.  I walked around for awhile with my camera and covered the entirety of the park but stayed in the shade for the most part because it was so hot!

Finally Carrie called and was finished with work and picked me up (I had finished my book by this time and was ready to head back!)

We came back on Tuesday night for a quick photo session also….

Nick did a great job taking pictures while Carrie was hard at work posing us and making Bob smile….

Carrie and I went to a music in the park event downtown on Sunday and enjoyed live music and our books!

My favorite part is that on the hour the wings of the eagle on the Post Office flap its wings… neat!

We ate some amazing food while in New York….but Nick really enjoyed his sliders this night as an appetizer before we went for pizza!

Earlier on Tuesday Carrie, Bob, and I had gone to the Vanderbilt Mansion for a visit and had a great day….

But on our way there we made a quick stop at the St. James General Store and got some old-fashioned candy

The store was originally built in 1857 and is such a neat place to stop!

The entrance into William K. Vanderbilt’s summer home….It is one of the ‘smaller’ Vanderbilt mansions as it only has 24 rooms but it was so neat!  I can’t imagine how amazing this house would have been back in the beginning of the 20th century.  The house has all electric lights and many ‘modern’ conveniences that must have been the newest technology at the time.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside….but some of my favorite things were the button on beneath the table where William could push to alert the staff that he needed something, and his wife’s amazing walk in closet. Her closet opened up into this huge room with glass closets and an amazing shoe holder!  Seriously every woman’s dream!

William was an avid traveler and marine biologist and brought back some really cool things from his travels.  This sun clock he replicated from one he saw abroad and it works great!

Bob and Carrie on the porch

Bob and I outside…

The view from their house was gorgeous and I can just imagine their 230 foot yacht sitting right on the harbor….William donated his yacht to WWII efforts where it was painted camouflaged but eventually was sunk during the war.

The back of the house that looks over the ocean

One really neat thing about the mansion is that all of the doors and many other things (fixtures, paintings, chairs) were bought from castles, palaces, monasteries etc…

The detail that went into building this mansion is unfathomable!

Carrie took my camera for a few shots…and I got to see the other side of the camera…hahaha!

The cobblestones that lined the driveway and entrance were bought from New York City when they paved their roads in Greenwich Village.  Mr. Vanderbilt bought 54,000 cobblestones at 8 cents each, but I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to transport all of the cobblestones!

They were beautifully laid out…

Carrie got a little tuckered out and had to stop for a break

This is Mr. Vanderbilt’s Marine Museum.  Like I mentioned before, he was a marine biologist and loved to showcase his finds.  This two story museum was full of fish and other things that he brought back from his trips.  They even had his scuba gear set up which was crazy to see!  The heavy copper helmet and weights to take him down to the bottom.

Carrie and Bob found the staircase that led to the rooftop of the museum.  Mr. Vanderbilt made the tee-off to the first hole of his golf course on the rooftop to ensure that his friends would have to see his Museum!

We really enjoyed the tour but were really looking forward to going home and watching the Olympics after a busy few days!

Leaving the estate this was our view….

I finally got everything put away today and managed to get home from the grocery store just after Bob got home from work so now it really is back to reality!


Carrie, Bob, and I had a great day in the city and came home absolutely exhausted!  Carrie and I met Bob at Penn Station because he had gone in on Sunday to spend the day with his friends Nate and Austin.

We then walked over to the Empire State Building and went up to the 86th floor

The elevator ride took less than a minute but then we had to take another elevator up 6 more floors.   There were a lot of people there but I could easily tell that it wasn’t even a ‘busy’ day for them!

We looked through their little museum and learned about the history…I was shocked to learn that the whole building took just over a year to complete!

View of Manhattan from the Empire State Building

Bob taking in all of the signts….

The South View…if you look closely you can see the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island on the right!

Close Up…or as close as I could zoom in for the Statue!  Doesn’t she look tiny in comparison to the buildings!?

Bob and I

Carrie and I (yes we do have matching sunglasses that we purchased unaware that the other had them too!)

From the bottom….so hard to get a shot of the whole building!

Then we hopped on the Subway and took it to Coney Island….

Bob and I rode the Cyclone which is an old wooden rollercoaster that was built in 1927

Carrie opted to not ride…but volunteered to take pictures instead!

We got to ride in the front and I was very impressed with the ride!  For being 85 years old…the rollercoaster was still awesome by my standards!

More of Coney Island…we eventually found the squished penny machine under the Wonder Wheel so I was a happy camper!

We had lunch at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog stand….you can see Bob ordering

His (mustard) and Hers (ketchup)

And they were oh-so-good!

It was HOT outside so we did not spend much time out on the boardwalk…but I can imagine how busy it must get on the weekends!

And the final must-see on Coney Island….

The countdown for next years Hot Dog Eating Contest!

Definitely one of the highlights from the trip…too bad Joey Chestnut wasn’t there to get an autograph!  And I was full after one hotdog so I have no idea how he could possibly eat 65 of them!

From Coney Island we hopped on the Subway again and took it to the 9/11 Memorial….

This is the new World Trade Center building that is still being built.

The 9/11 Memorial was beautiful and the two pools had the names of the victims engraved around the outer edges.

Hopefully someday I will be able to visit the site again when it is complete and visit the museum that they are almost finished with.

We were definitely hot and sweaty by this point…but Bob being the trooper still posed for a picture!

The two pools are identical with the museum situated between.  The grounds eventually will be covered in trees and will be beautiful when it is finished!

There was also a Survivor Tree that was taken from Ground Zero and nursed back to health.  When taken from the site, it was only about 8 feet tall because the rest had been demolished….you could see exactly where the tree started regrowing which was amazing!

What a symbolic tree

Next we took the Subway to Central Park and walked around there….

I loved that the park is just situated in the middle of such a busy area and I was impressed with how nice and well-kept everything was

Trump Tower is on the left


Bob and I

Carrie and I

Love the city view from here

So basically the same picture just different place

Belvedere Castle

We were beat by this point and were just looking forward to getting home!

The Shakespeare Garden was beautiful and we walked through it on our way out.

We got home just in time to see Gabby compete on bars and unfortunately we weren’t happy with the results!  I am going to be so sad when the Olympics are over…

Long Island Update

We’ve had a busy few days here on Long Island (imagine that in the correct accent)….

Yesterday Bob and I visited the Carriage House Museum and didn’t really know what to expect but were pleasantly surprised!

One of the original Wells Fargo carriages that rode across the country!

And Post Office….this is so crazy to think of how slowly mail must have traveled 100+ years ago!

Bob and one of the Vanderbilt’s carriages…talk about the Rolls Royce of the 19th century!

They had a replica carriage shop set up with working belts, an old bandsaw, and all kinds of other tools which was really neat to see!

I loved this ‘treats’ carriage!

On the grounds, there was also a one room schoolhouse where 5 year olds to 6th grade all were taught.  I loved the touch of the individual chalkboards at each desk!

The outside of the schoolhouse

This cracked me up, in one of the barns there was this ‘doggie treadmill’ that was used to churn butter by harnessing the power that the dog generated from walking!

The outside of the blacksmith shop….the whole grounds area was so neat and well preserved!

While Carrie and Nick were both at work…Bob and I decided to surprise them with an early Christmas/Birthday present and went to Best Buy to replace their ancient tv.

They came home and were both excited to find this….

We picked out a 47″ 3d tv for them…and have been happily watching the Olympics on this instead of their old one!

This is the video of Carrie walking into the living room and being completely surprised!  We couldn’t have asked for a better reaction!

Today Nick, Bob, and I (while Carrie was at work) went back to Fire Island to the awesome beach there.  I convinced Bob to have Nick take a few pictures of us before we went swimming and was happy with the results!

Which is your favorite??




After Bob, Nick, and I swam in the ocean for 4 hours we came home exhausted!  Even after 3 reapplications of sunscreen we are all burnt!  Our new boogie board got a workout, and maybe got a little too much use since we managed to snap the inside foam (but no worries it still works!)

After Carrie got home we went out to eat for an amazing dinner where Bob had per his report ‘the best steak he has ever had’.  We went onto Port Jefferson, a cute little harbor town.

Bob and Carrie shared a crumb cake while Nick and I waited it out for some peanut butter cup gelato later in the evening….and it was totally worth the wait!

The harbor was really calm and the sunset was gorgeous….

And you can see how much sun we got today!

Nick and Carrie

The four of us…can you tell who WASN’T at the beach today!?

We have had such a great time, and I am looking forward to the next few days we have with them as well!