Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend O' Birthdays...

We had a really fun weekend. It definitely went by too fast!

Friday after work, I head to Brits for happy hour in honor of my friend Melissa's birthday.

Then I had to go home and rescue the dogs. As Dave pulled in the driveway from his drive home from work, I hopped in the car and we went to Champ's to eat dinner with our friends, Beth and Dave.

Saturday, we had to wake up early and pack up the dogs in the car. Cooper Joe had his first sleepover at his cousin's house. Otis and Cooper got to hang out at the Millers where Nels was also visiting while my parents are on vacation. After we dropped off the dogs, we picked up Andee and Bryan and headed to Duluth for Jake's surpise golden birthday. Jake was totally surprised and we all had a great time. Jody did an awesome job planning the party. Here's some photos. I'll also upload them to my flickr account, so if you want to see more (and/or order them for pick up at Target), just click on my slideshow on the left.

Sunday morning, I had to get up to pick up the boys from their sleepover. Then later in the day, the Millers came over for dinner and swimming. They also brought Nels over, because my parents are still on vacation and they're going camping tomorrow. So now the dogs out number the people. Add in the cat and they're twice as many animals as people! Good thing the Millers took good care of the dogs, because all they've done today is sleep!

Emily and Amanda are turning into little fishes. They like to practice all the strokes they've learned at swimming lessons and Emily likes to swim under my legs (Amanda swam under her mom's legs for the first time today!) They also love me to throw them. Exhausted, we all walked back home so we could make and eat dinner. Dave grilled hamburgers and corn on the grill, and they tasted awesome! It was a really nice day, so we ate dinner outside.

I love summer weekends. They're always so much fun! I love enjoying time with friends and family, especially when the weather is nice, and most especially when there is something to a birthday or two!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where the Kloeber house once stood...

My grandparents built their 3-bedroom, 1 1/2-bathroom home in Saddle River, NJ more than 50 years ago. When they built their house, Saddle River was a fairly rural area. In the time since, the area became one of the premier locations for New York's wealthy people to build large estates that were still close to New York City. So back a couple of years ago, they sold their modest home along with their next-door neighbor to a real estate developer, who tore down the two houses and built a ginormous mansion.

Guess who bought the house?

Mary J. Blige. Yep, she has the same exact address as my grandparents.

It was surreal to drive past her home a couple of months ago, knowing that in the same exact spot my grandparents' house once stood where my dad and my uncle grew up and where I spent many Christmases and vacations. (I refrained from pulling in the driveway and knocking on the door to ask if my grandparents where home.)

I was telling my friends at lunch today about the house, because Monte asked me the name of the town where my grandparents lived. He saw this article in USA Weekend about Mary J. Blige that mentions her new house (I had told him this story about her house before).

So that got me Googling when I got back to my desk to find the story. And then I found this. A slideshow of her house that shows both the inside and out. It's pretty cool. The builder decided not to reuse the shag carpet that once covered the house (actually, I think my grandparents got rid of that a while ago too). And way fancier than anything my grandparents would ever own. Definitely not the 1960's era furniture that they still have to this day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 24, 2006

Two years ago, Dave and I were married. I spent a lot of time today thinking about the past year. I spent time looking back at my blogging over the year to remember all that we've done together. Looking at the photos of our camping trip last August. Looking at the photos from time spent with our families. Looking at the photos of when Cooper Joe joined our family. Thinking about all the joys and all the struggles we've gone through. So much can happen in a year, and I am really proud of how much our relationship has grown in the last year. Gone are the days of being newlyweds. We've both had lots of learning experiences of what marriage is in real life. Me learning it's no longer just about me. And Dave learning it's no longer just about him. It's about us. Our marriage. And today, I am incredibly happy. I feel so blessed to have Dave as my husband and my friend.

Tonight, we also spent time watching the video Stevie made of our wedding. I teared up more listening to Pastor Terry give her sermon on our marathon marriage than I did on our actual wedding. It just seems more relevant now as we've had a good start on the journey of our marriage. I teared up more listening to Mark and Jody sing and listening to the toasts from my dad, from Pappy, from Krissy and Mike and Rachel. Seeing the smiles (and tears) on our parents' and our sisters' faces. Again I felt blessed. This time because I was realizing how truly fortunate we were to have so many of our friends and family with us. Parents. Grandma Louise. Sisters. Aunts. Uncles. Nieces and Nephews. Cousins. Friends. Our grandparents and others who were there in spirit. Katie made it all the way from North Carolina with her broken bones. We had the best and cutest ring boy and flower girls. Great Aunt Ginny was there. And Hazel was there and looking healthy. We all had a great time dancing and celebrating. Dancing with Dave. And my Dad. And dancing in circles with Gavin. Emily asking me why Dave was putting his head up my dress as he was grabbing the garter. Our wedding was absolutely perfect....well, except for the DJ being a jerk (minor issue). But it would not have been complete if our family and friends were not there witnessing our vows and promising to support us throughout our marriage.

On me and Dave's wedding anniversary, I am not only grateful for our marriage, but I am grateful for all our family and friends that are part of our lives (including everyone I didn't specifically mention). Thank you for being part of our wedding day, thanks for being part of our first two years of marriage, and thanks for being part of the days yet to come.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Race times

My race time was 2 hours 28 minutes for the 1/2 marathon.
Dave's race time was 4 hours 51 minutes for the full marathon.

We did it!

Both Dave and I finished our races today. I can mark #3 and #43 completed on my 101 in 1,001 list (well, I edited #3 so I can mark it done. I did my best, even if the time didn't break my time record)!

I am very happy with my race. It wasn't a personal best, but it was my second best. Eight minutes faster than last year. I am very satisfied with that. I'm actually most proud that I kept a great attitude going the entire race. Last year ended up being really miserable. I cried. I didn't want to do it. I got really down on myself. There was one particular word I said in every sentence (starts with an F and ends with a K).

After the race, I was disappointed. I knew that I could have done better. I knew I could run faster. I knew I could have a better attitude. I think I decided right after the end of the race last year as I was sitting on a bench with Dave, giving Bobby the finger as he was taking our photo that I needed to do this race again. To prove to myself that I can. So I could be happy, proud of my hard work.

I did that this year.

This year I got on the bus that takes you to the start line all by myself (Dave had to get on a different bus to go to the marathon starting point). My cousin, Ginny, was looking out for me at the start so we started the run together. We ran the first half together. I felt great the whole time. We got to talk and it was fun to run with her....a great bonding experience. Her knee was bugging her though, so she slowed down and I kept going. The next couple of miles were good too. It was all pretty much great until I decided to walk through one of the water stops. My right knee started popping when I started running again. But unlike last year, this year I chose to stay positive despite the pain. And even though I had to slow down, I kept going, step by step. And as I crossed the finish line, I pumped my arms high in the air proud that I did it. Proud that I gave it my all. Proud that I did my 2nd best time. Proud that I ran with the right attitude.

Now that I am done and satisfied with the results. I think I could easily retire from 1/2 marathons. If I do, I'll go out on a good note. But if I decide to run again, I'll once again do it the way I did today.

Stay tuned...


Dave did it too! So really unfortunately for him he rolled his ankle on a crevice in the road right after the race began. But he and Bryan pushed on. I am really proud of Dave for staying in the race. Especially when I first saw him after the race....Trish was on one side, Andee was on the other...using them as crutches. But I also want to thank Bryan for staying with Dave the whole time. Bryan probably didn't get the time he wanted, but loyally stayed next to his friend's side and that means so much. Thank you!

Dave's taking a nap on the couch right now. He's got ice on his ankle for the third time since the end of the race. It's pretty swollen, a little bit bruised on the outside, and really tender. He'll probably have to go to the doctor next week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

This time tomorrow...

About this time tomorrow, I'll be watching Dave and Bryan cruise through the finish line at Grandma's! Just finishing my last half-hour of work before I run one last errand and the go home to load up the car. Then Dave will come home, we'll take the dogs to their favorite vacation destination (Camp Bow Wow), then we'll pick up Krissy and will be on the road to Duluth.

Dave just called me and he's super pumped up to run. Reminded me to keep drinking water. Said we're going to do great tomorrow. He's ready to go. He's enthusiastic. ENTHUSIASTIC.

Be thinking of us tomorrow and hopefully you have either signed up for the text alerts or are going to be cheering us on in person. Grandma's website will have a database with the race results later tomorrow. My race starts at 6:30 a.m. CST and Dave's starts at 7:30 a.m. CST. So when you're waking up tomorrow comfortably in your own bed, we'll already be on the road running towards Canal Park.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

4 more days...

Ok. With all the posts about the 1/2 marathon that I am sure you are getting tired of, I'm probably not the only one who is excited for it to be done and over. A distant memory.

The good news is that Dave and I did a 4-mile run and I did all four miles in 36 minutes (9-minute mile pace). While I don't think I'll be able to maintain the pace the whole way through, I am a little more confident about obtaining a new personal best. And on the run, Dave was telling me he thinks this is the most ready I've been. I tried to counter that I was better prepared the first year. He countered back and said he re-calculated our long runs (9-miles). Well, it turns out they weren't 9 miles after all. They were only 7. So he may be right that this is the most ready I've been to run the race.

I am ready to run. Ready to be FINISHED. Ready to get my personal best. Ready to cross of two things of my 101 in 1,001 list (#3 and #43).

Let's do it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Final Countdown...

The Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon is only 5 days away. And needless to say, just like every other year, I do not feel as ready as I should be. Maybe it's just nerves, but honestly, my love for procrastination and the need to diligently train for a 1/2 marathon don't really work well together. And I woke up to a slight sore throat this morning. Luckily, it's dissipated throughout the day. So I'm not 100 percent confident that I'll be able to pull off a personal best, but it'll be close. The weather forecast is looking pretty good:

Only a couple days left to get some shorter runs in and to drink lots of water to prepare for the big event. Time is running out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June = Busy

The last week or so has been so busy for me! You may have noticed I have not blogged in a while. And I haven't spent any time training for Grandma's either. It's been a week of way too much time away from home and too many late nights and early mornings. I spent Wednesday and Thursday at an off-site meeting for work, and then spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the 2008 DFL State Convention. Since Sunday afternoon, I've been trying to recover from my exhaustion, which is hard since I've had to work the last two days and interviews both days. Not complaining though. I had great times at the off-site and at the convention and interviews are always great things to have.

At the off-site meeting, we stayed at the St. Paul Hotel. Guess who was staying there with us? The band REM. Also, last Wednesday was the last game of the Stanley Cup finals when the Red Wings clenched the title. A bunch of the people from work live in Detroit, so it was pretty fun watching them celebrate.

The DFL Convention was fun too. Friday night was Becky's birthday. Sisters Becky and Rachel and my mom went down to Rochester. I got to go see Grandma Louise, Aunt Ann and Uncle Joe Friday after the opening speaks and before the convention really got started. You might see some of my photos on my slide show on the right. We got photos with Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybek, former Senator Mark Dayton, the DFL Senate candidate Al Franken and was cool to be so close to all Minnesota's top politicians. I've been trying to post the photos on here...and last night I got them on Flickr, but fell asleep before I had a chance to post them here.

That's really the highlights for now. I'm just glad to be back home and to have an almost normal schedule again. Oh, Dave got a new job! He's working at Gold's Gym now. The latest his shifts go are 7:30! Hooray! And he gets one weekend day off every week. Double Hooray!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This was the moment...

"Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment - this was the time - when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America."

~Barack Obama
2008 DFL Nomination Victory Speech
June 3, 2008

Tonight was AMAZING! Barack Obama came to St. Paul, Minn., to give his nomination victory speech. Dave and I. We were there. We were part of this moment. We were two of the 17,000 people inside the Excel Energy Center loudly cheering him on (and there were 15,000 more people outside that didn't get in). We waited in a line miles long weaving in and around downtown St. Paul. It was so incredible to be in the venue where he declared, "Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States." I will remember this moment for the rest of my life!

And I got my photo with Barack!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Otis!

Today's a very important day for our family. It's our little man's birthday! He's two years old today! I hope he has a great day!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Everything's going to be all right...

It's quite liberating, but I really feel like everything is going to be all right. I have another interview in a little bit (actually in less than an hour). I feel like I should be nervous or I should be under pressure to get a new job. But I don't. I am free from the pressure and that makes me more energized about the interviews. I am confident in the fact that something good is going to happen soon. And even if it doesn't go the way I want it to go, I know we will be all right, and that it's the way it's supposed to be. And I really can't explain it, but now more than ever, I really feel like someone is watching over me. And everything's going to be all right!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Get Grandma's Marathon Race Updates!

The registration for the text or email updates for runners in Grandma's Marathon (and half-marathon) is open! I just filled out the registration form online, so I'll get updates on Dave and Bryan as they run the race and I'll know where to go find them on the course after I'm done with my race. The form is easy to fill out. Here's the link.

Muy Delicioso!!

Thursday night after a long afternoon of interviews (5 hours), Dave and I decided to use our birthday gift cards and go to Kincaid's for dinner. It was so spectacular...words can not even give justice to how good the food was. Dave summed it up pretty well when he tasted my meal and said, "That's the best fish I've ever tried in my life." We started the meal with glasses of wine (Riesling) and the hot king crab and artichoke dip (my all-time favorite artichoke dip, so we had to get it). Dave had the prime rib and I had asiago-crusted halibut with garlic mashed potatoes and veggie trio. Like Dave said, it was the best ever. Of course, our meal at Kincaid's would not be complete without dessert -- burnt creme (aka creme brule). That's another one of our favorites at Kincaid's.

This may sound like a shameless plug for Kincaid's, but it's not. It's rare that we get to go out for fancy dinners at places like Kincaid's and we always have great food there. Actually, that's misleading that I say it's rare I go to Kincaid's. I actually used to work in the office building where the Kincaid's in Bloomington is located, so I've been to plenty of lunches and happy hours there. But my office moved, so it was the first time all year I've been there. And it is indeed rare that we go there for dinner, so it's a real nice treat when we do. my mouth is watering and I'm hungry!