Thursday, December 31, 2009

So Long '09

I am happy to close the door on 2009. Reflecting over the last year, I must say that it was one of the most challenging in my life. We survived a job lay off and some furlough. We lost our baby. Dave's grandma died. Dave's great aunt died. We faced our own relationship ups and downs. But we've survived it all. We've learned a lot about each other and ourselves this year.

Despite our trials, we had a lot of good times in '09 (in chronological order).
I'm looking forward to an awesome 2010. A new decade. A new chapter in our lives. I'm looking forward to this fresh new start. In fact, I took today off work to get our house super clean and organized, so I can start the year off clean in every way. Big things are going to happen in 2010. First, I'm going to pass the math placement test so I can continue towards my master's. God-willing, we will get pregnant this year. But I also want to go on a mission trip to Haiti in June. Dave will be graduating. I'm seriously thinking about running a half-marathon this spring too. We'll have to see how it all works out. There are many adventures to be had this year -- it's just a matter of time to see which ones they will be.

Happy New Year to you all, my friends!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

October in pics

I was uploading photos from my camera and what a surprise I found. Apparently, I've been really lazy this fall and haven't bothered on uploading any pics. Until now. So here's a bunch of pics from October. It was a fun month for the Balows! I blogged about this stuff before, but the pics are fun to see. At least I think so!

I tagged along with Jim and Aimee to the Renaissance Festival. We tried on some hats...among other eating turkey drumsticks.

We went to the last regular season Twins game at the Metrodome! 

We went to the playoff for the playoff game with the Twins vs the Tigers. The most intense baseball game I've ever watched. EVER!

We were so happy when we won!

I took my nieces to the corn maze.

Amanda took a turn leading us through the maze.

Emily and I went trick-or-treating at Murphy's Landing. The horse-drawn trolley took us to the village.

We went to a Vikings game.


All I want for Christmas

Two years ago, Emily wanted two front teeth for Christmas.

This year, two front teeth were Amanda's wish. You wouldn't believe the bribe I had to come up with to get her to sing on camera for me. I had to sing and dance to Dancing Queen...and that video, my friends, will not be seen here! or anywhere!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, Chubs!

We did it. We found an organization that fit our needs and gave a gift in honor of our baby. Thanks for all of your help suggesting ideas. Through a friend, we learned of an organzation called, Healing Haiti. It's a small non-profit organization that helps orphans and people in Haiti. They provide food, water, education and housing. Right now they're supporting 53 orphans -- and I guess we're supporting them now too.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope that you feel the spirit of season and that your Christmas will be filled with peace, joy and love.


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Thinking back of Halloween's past, there is one that sticks out in my mind. It was 1991, and we had a huge snowstorm. I remember trecking through huge amounts snow going from house to house for trick-or-treating. And the following day, I remember riding with my dad in his brand new Chevy Blazer and him navigating through streets filled with more than 2 feet of snow so we could go to Panekoeken for breakfast.

That snow storm is why I'm excied that we're supposed to get up 20 inches of snow over Christmas -- starting tonight. If there was ever a memorable Christmas, I would think it would be one where we were stuck in our house and had to hang out in each other's company all day long. Or maybe it'll be memorable when it takes three hours to get to my cousins' house (which is normally about 45 minutes away). Either way -- snow makes things interesting and memorable.

The one thing I love about snow is that it forces you to slow down and relax. It's a reminder that you can't control things. It's a reminder to savor and enjoy each moment. A wicked snowstorm outside makes me want to stay in sweatpants and drink hot cocoa and cuddle with my family. And maybe I'll get a new book or movie for Christmas that I can enjoy. On Christmas, especially this year, I won't be in a rush. I'm going to enjoy the day with my family and appreciate a memorable Christmas in the making.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A little game called....Cool; Not Cool

Cool: Being done with the semester, which means not having class tonight and going home right after work.

Not cool: Being assigned a "reflection paper" on the last night of class and having to write it tonight because it's due tomorrow.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just about done!

Tonight is my last class for the semester! Just one presentation to give and I will be on winter break and I'm officicially passed the half-way mark to getting a Masters degree!

It was a hectic semester -- the first one I've taken two classes at once. I thought other people in my program were crazy for doing two at once, but it would definitely help speed up the time for completing the degree. The first half, I was all about balancing life, work and school, but now it seems like I've been a graduate student forever and I'm getting antsy to just complete it all. I guess we'll see what I do next spring -- but I'm pretty sure I'm going to force myself to finish the financial accounting requirement and I think that one class will be enough for me!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Help please...

One of the things that I was looking forward to this Christmas was buying presents for our baby. Earlier this week I was thinking to myself, well, maybe I could just buy some sort of present anyway -- like get a present for the next baby. But, that just didn't seem right. I thought maybe we could get a present that would give us something to remember our baby, but we already did that. So that didn't seem right either.

I started thinking about how I wish I could deliver a present to heaven and give it to our baby. But what could you give a baby who doesn't live in this world?

Then all of a sudden, I had an idea.

What if we took the money we were going to spend on physical presents for our baby and instead bought a virtual present -- per se? What if we gave a present in honor of our baby to an organization that needs our support?

Dave and I talked about it and that's what we're going to do this year. I told Dave, "We're parents without a child, so maybe we can help a child without parents."

There are lots of children in this world who don't have enough and we want to share with them. We haven't choosen the organization yet, so we might choose someplace that doesn't exclusively help orphans. We just want to help kids that need support.

I think this idea brings a smile to our baby's face. It brings a smile to mine as we've found a way to make good out of our bad situation.

Here's the criteria we decided upon:
  • A large percentage of the money we give must go to the children, not administrative costs
  • The organization must help children in need (can be a local, national or international organization)
Now here's where we need your help. We need ideas! I have a couple of ideas already, but we haven't made any decisions yet. We want to research and discuss the options to make sure our money is going to make a difference.

What organizations do you know that help kids in need?



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gettting into the Christmas Spirit

Our stocking are hung by the chimney on the curtain rods with care with hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be here.
Our Christmas tree is up and decorated. We've got a great start on our Christmas shopping. The Christmas cards have been put in the mail. Our wreath has been hung. We've been burning the holiday-scented candles. We've attended a Christmas party. Today I'm making a pumpkin pie. 

Not sure if that last one really counts as getting into the Christmas spirit, but we have a pumpkin from our CSA that needs to be transformed into a pie. 
This Christmas won't be going as I thought it would go. But we'll make the best of what we have. We share our love and time with family and friends. We'll miss those who can't be with us this year. We'll celebrate the birth of baby Jesus and we'll pray that next Christmas will bring us a new joy to our lives.

Doesn't Otis look really annoyed at me for trying to get his picture by the tree?

My Christmas pups. Some of the best of what we have.

I hope everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not your average herding dog

Winter has arrived. In full force. The school district I live in was closed yesterday because of the snow and blizzard warnings. Snow and cold weather is nothing new to Otis. With his big black fur, he prefers winter weather to the summer, when he gets so hots he hides in the shade under the trees.

Or so I thought.

I took the dogs out this morning and Otis started tip-toeing around in the snow. One of his back paws wass cold, so he lifted it up into the air and out of the snow. He balanced on his three paws like for a couple of seconds. Then switched legs because his other paw was cold. Next thing, he's sitting with his butt on the ground to give both his back paws a break from the snow and he starts wimpering. Yes, he's crying. He jumped on me like he wanted to pick me up. Sorry, Otis I'm not going to carry all 35 pounds of you back to the house.

I thought about taking a photo of him. But a) I didn't have my camera and b) when it's -1 farenheight (farenheight....not celcius) my mittens do not come off my hands outdoors.

Apparently, Otis forgot he is a herding dog. A dog that was bred to work outside. All day. Every day. In his old age of 3, he's turned into a big wimp! Silly dog!


Photo credit: Katie Mathews Photography

Monday, December 7, 2009

What is this thing? Take 2


That, my friends, is a celariac. And it was one of the vegetables found in or CSA box this week. It's also known as celery root. Apparently, its flavor is a cross between celery and a parsnip.

Unlike the romanesco broccoli, I have tried celariac once before, but I've yet to make something with it. My sister, Becky, made me celariac and potato soup once and it was so I might get that recipe from her or I might try this celeriac apple potato soup recipe. I also got potatoes and onions in my CSA and I still have a few apples from the orchard.

If you know of any good recipes that use celariac, send them my way! Thanks!

Update: I made the celeriac apple potato soup last night and it was awesome! Dave had three big bowls and he gave it 5 out of 5 jalapenos -- and he usually doesn't like soup for dinner.

And now that we've tasted it raw, I'll tell you that celeriac has the flavor of celery, but a consistency close to a carrot. It'd probably be yummy on a vegetable platter with dip.


Sunday, December 6, 2009


Whenever I'm at church, I think about Chubs more than I do the rest of the time. Not a lot more, because honestly I think about our baby a lot. Maybe I just feel closer to him there. Maybe church is one of those places where I really center myself and feel safe enough to let guard down and let my emotions run free. It just seems that whatever the sermon's topic, whatever Bible versus' we read, whatever songs we read, they just relate to our baby in my mind.

So when I left church today, I felt sad. It's weird -- my whole life church was never a place where I left feeling sad. I know it's okay for me to feel sad about this. But it's not an emotion I like to let show. It's an emotion that I fight against...because I don't want to feel sad. I have so much to be thankful for in my life and I'm hopeful that we'll have another baby. But right now, when I go to that place where I let my emotions run free, I'm still sad about our loss.

So as I was driving home from church today, still thinking about Chubs and I heard a song I've never heard before. The words, "I’ll never get to hold you, I’ll never hear your sweet voice sing," caught my attention and I turned up the radio, curious what this song was about. I listened to each word as tears rolled down my cheeks.

“One More Day (For Faith)”

I’ll never get to hold you
I’ll never hear your sweet voice sing
I’ll never get to say ‘I told you so’
I’ll never read to you, or get to teach you anything

But you’ll always be my hope
You’ll always be my first light
You’re always gonna be daddy’s little girl
You’ll always be the strength I need to make it in this world
I only wish for one more day

I’m gonna miss your first day of school
I’ll never see you turn that page
I’ll never see you in your graduation gown
And I’m never gonna see you coming of age

But you’ll always be my hope
You’ll always be my first light
You’re always gonna be mommy’s little girl
You’ll always be the strength I need to make it in this world
I only wish for one more day

Sweet angel of mercy
Coming down to comfort me
Faith, sit right here beside me
I never want you to go away

I’m always gonna wonder how you’d look
Always gonna wish I took your place up there

You’ll always be our hope
You’ll always be our first light
You’re always gonna be our little girl
You’ll always be the strength we need to make it in this world
We only wish for one more day

We only wish for one more day

(c) 2009 Wrongway/Wrongtimer Music (BMI) and Saylesound Music (ASCAP)

Here's the actual song being sung, if you're interested in hearing it...

Even though it hurts, I'm going to savor this feeling of sadness right now. I've got a candle lit. I'm going to say a prayer and read from my reflection book. I'm feeling close to Chubs right now and I don't want to let that feeling go.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is this thing?

In our last CSA box, we found this....

(Source: Wikipeia)

Our first question: What is this thing?
We had no idea what it was. It kinda looked like a cauliflower. It kinda looked like broccoli.

My second question: If I have no idea what it is, how do we cook it?

My first task on Mission Identify the Vegetable was to look up the newsletter from the CSA. Thankfully, the newsletter identified the vegetable for us. It's called romanesco broccoli. But it's sometimes called Roman caulifower or broccoflower or coral broccoli. It's a form of cauliflower.

But the mission wasn't quite accomplished. I still had to figure out how I was going to cook this new-to-us vegetable.

So I thought about it a little bit....thought about how I like to eat cauliflower and broccoli. And what do both of those veggies taste good in?? Stir-fry. So I chopped up the romanesco broccoli along with some other veggies and I made chicken stir-fry for dinner. It was delicious.

You're probably wondering what does it taste like?
Only Dave and I know and we'll never tell!

Just kidding! When it was raw, I thought it tasted a lot like broccoli. But when it was cooked, I thought it tasted more like a cauliflower.

If you ever come across the vegetable at the grocery store or a farmers' market, I recommend that you try it.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Tell or Not to Tell...

Don't worry there is currently nothing to tell...

But lately I've been thinking about what about when that day comes -- when we get another pregnancy test, will we tell people or keep the news secret until we've reached the second trimester.

For sure we will tell our immediate family again. We've decided that.

In some ways, it makes sense to keep the news to ourselves until the second trimester. It really sucks to have to untell people you're pregnant. At the same time, it's nice to feel their support.

I imagine if we had another miscarriage, I'd want to blog about it again. It really helped me this time. I'd want people to know about that baby, just like I wanted them to know about Chubs.

Probably we'd do the same thing we did this last time. We were waiting to announce it to the world until we had our doctor's appointment and heard the heartbeat. I'm switching to a new doctor though -- instead of a doctor who wouldn't see me until I was ten weeks, my first appointment was at six weeks. So really, if all goes well, we'll hear the heartbeat a whole month earlier. So maybe the first couple of weeks, we'll just tell our immediate family and then after the six week appointment we'll start telling friends and extended family.

Sharing that we were expecting was one of the highlights of the first pregnancy. Announcing the miscarriage was one of the lowlights. Of course, I'm praying that we wouldn't have to worry about announcing another miscarriage, but going through that experience will affect some of our decisions in our next pregnancy.

This is one dilemma that I can't wait to really have to face.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

This one is just because I'm flying

I'm on my way home right now. In an airplane. Flying. Right now. As I type.

I think this is cool! Our plane has free internet. Oh, it also has free TV that I can watch and change channels in the headset in front of me.

Earlier in the airport, I was watching TV right from my Blackberry.

Isn't all this technology kinda crazy?

We had a great trip down in North Carolina. The highlight being meeting the new niece in the family. She is so adorable!! It was also fun to see the nephews. It'd been almost a year since I've seen them last, so they seemed so much bigger than I remembered. Dave's sisters and brother-in-laws and parents are doing good. Of course, everyone is smitten with Lillian.

Tomorrow I'm having a birthday dinner for my mom at my house with the family coming over. I have to figure out what to make!!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Little Elves

This one is dedicated to Emily and Amanda. Happy Thanksgiving!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Day to Remember

This morning Dave and I woke up at 3:00 a.m. We had a plane to catch. Eight hours later we were in a hospital room and I watched our brand new niece -- who was just 25 hours old -- be placed in to Dave's arms. Then I got to hold little baby Lillian.

I am smitten by this little girl. She is so beautiful. She is so innocent. She is so loved. Tonight Lillian and I got to hang out just the two of us when Diana and Ed went down to the lobby to see Edwin. She was awake and got to see my face for the first time. I asked her what the highlight of her first 1 1/2 days of life was. I told her about our flight and about her good looks. She started crying and I sang Jesus Loves Me and rocked her until she fell asleep in my arms. Today I met my niece Lillian Grace and it's a day I'll always remember.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ah! I'm sitting on the couch doing NOTHING!

It's been a crazy coupe of weeks. Work has been extra busy. Weekends have been extra busy. School has been extra busy. I think (and I hope) that this last week was the peak of the busyness for a while. Tuesday night I actually had to cancel dinner plans with some friends b/c I simply did not have enough hours in the day to prepare for the speech I had to give in class Thursday night.

So today is the first Saturday in a long time where I haven't had stuff to do during the day. Don't get me wrong, there is laundry, apple crumb bars to make for tonight, a paper that needs to be written, packing for our trip to North Carolina, dishes and all sorts of other cleaning. But not of it needs to be done right now. I'm not feeling any sense of urgency. I have all weekend!

So I've been doing something I feel like I haven't done for a long time. Relaxing! And it feels so good!

I feel like I've been neglecting the puppies lately. I haven't been at home as often as normal. And they're going to the kennel Monday night for several days. So I think a trip to the dog park is what we're going to do this morning.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Adventures in food!

This winter (and next spring), my mom and I decided to buy a CSA share from Featherstone Farm. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Basically, we bought a share in a farm and every couple of weeks we get to pick up a box with all the food that's been harvested on the farm.

There are a couple of great benefits to buying a CSA share. The vegetables are grown organically, so it isn't grown with pesticides or other chemicals. The vegetables are fresher and therefore have more nutrients than what you buy in the grocery store (veggies start losing their nutrients after they've been harvested). CSAs support the local economy. CSAs are also more sustainable -- the growing practices are more environmentally-friendly and because the food travels less distance (takes less energy) to get to my table. I feel good eating my CSA food, because I know it's healthier for me, healthier for the environment, encourages us to try new foods and it tastes great.

One of the fun parts of having the CSA is the variety of food -- trying new foods and finding new recipes. Our first CSA box had broccoli, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, red onion, parsley, mustard greens, spinach, leeks and squash. Actually, in this box, the only thing I'd never tried was the mustard greens and turnips, but it's still a greater variety of food that I'd buy in the grocery store. Featherstone Farm actually has some recipes you can find in their newsletter online, but it's also fun to find your own. This weekend I made Turnip and Leek soup and Yankee Pot Roast. For the Yankee Pot Roast, I substituted squash for the rutabaga. Who knew squash was good in a pot roast? It was! Both recipes were yummy -- Dave can attest, but these fresh foods have more flavor than what you buy in the grocery store.

I'm looking forward to our next round of food from Featherstone Farm -- arriving this Friday!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life goes on...

While my heart is slowly healing, life definitely seems to keep a much faster pace. We've been busy in the last month or so. Be prepared to be bored with all the details...

About a month ago, our friends Jim and Aimee came to visit. Jim, Aimee and I went to the Renaissance Festival while Dave was at work. I hadn't been to the Renaissance Festival since I was a child, and man, those giant turkey drumsticks were just as yummy as I remembered. Despite the cold weather, we had fun watching a couple of shows, seeing a giant snake, walking through the shops and trying on some crazy viking helmets.

The second day of their visit, the four of us went to the last regular season Twins game in the Metrodome. We bought these tickets the day they went on sale, so we'd been waiting for this day for a long time. The Twins won the game and coincidently the Detroit Tigers lost enough games that the two teams played a one-game playoff to determine who was the division champions. Since we were at the Metrodome, we were able to buy tickets for the playoff game at the box office. So we went to the one-game play off with Krissy and her parents.

That game was the most intense baseball game I've ever attended. The crowd in th Metrodome was unlike that for any other baseball game. They were cheering. Waving homer hankies. Standing (even when the game went into extra innings). Most of the game we were behind the Tigers, but no one was giving up. Not one player. Not one fan (well, except Dave). Towards the end, we finally got ahead during the top of an inning and then the Tigers would tie it up. But finally it happened. We got ahead and kept the lead through the bottom of an inning and we were victorious.

Once again, we found ourselves at the Metrodome and able to buy the next round of playoff tickets right there at the box office. We really didn't have any options, except to buy tickets! Unfortunately, winning meant we had to play the Yankees in the first round of the American League playoffs. And that wasn't really a fun game to go to, so I won't elaborate. But we ended up going to the last Twins game at the Metrodome ever, and that's quite a memory on its own accord.

The next weekend, my sister-in-law, Katie, and her husband, Brian, came out to visit us. I picked them up at the airport and drove them down to Rochester (about an 1 1/2 from my house....not too far). I hung out with them for a little while, including going down to Chatfield to visit Dave's Great Aunt Hazel, who is in an nursing home with dimensia, and the cemetary where Dave's Grandma was buried earlier this year. For some reason, I really wanted to go to the cemetary to tell Grandma Louise to take care of our angel baby. I know I didn't have to go to her grave to do this...and I know she's already doing it anyway....but there was something about having the opportunity to go to the cemetary where she is physically buried to ask her to take care of our baby. I can't really explain it.

Anyway, after the cemetary I drove back to my neck of the woods and met up with my Dad, Mom, Rachel, Becky and my nieces for the hot air balloon ride adventure, which I blogged about earlier.

The next day, Katie, Brian, Dave and I hung out. We went to Murphy's Landing, obviously a place that I love! Katie took a bunch of photos of Dave and I. It's awesome having a photographer in the family. Here's a couple that she took.

And then this happened the next weekend (apple orchard with Krissy, Michelle and Michelle's daughter, Julie; and the corn maze with both my nieces; and trick-or-treating with Emily).

We're finally catching up to real time! This past weekend was Halloween. Given all that's happened above, I was completely okay with just having my parents over for dinner and to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters.

On Sunday we drove up to Duluth for Aimee's baby shower. Aimee and the twins (and Jim too) were showered with lots of presents and love. It was the first baby shower I'd been to after the miscarrige, so I was a little nervous of how I was going to feel. But it actually was fun. I'm really excited for Jim and Aimee to have their twins and was happy to be able to help the celebrate their arrival. I didn't feel sad or jealous or any of the bad feelings I thought I might feel....just genuinely happy and excited for their blessings. I know I'll get mine someday. Of course, we had to stay after the shower to watch the Vikings-Packers football game at Mike's house. By the time we got home, we'd spent close to six hours in the car.

Mind you, despite all of these activities, I've been working full-time and going to school two nights a week. So you might understand while I was feeling a little overwhelmed last month.

On Friday, I'm taking some real time off to go on a scrapbooking retreat/girl's weekend. I'm looking forward to some quiet time and some relaxing!!!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I'm trying to find comfort in that Bible verse right now. But the reality is, I'm just having a really negative day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The tide is changing

This last weekend was a lot of fun. I went to the world's largest corn maze with my nieces and a friend of theirs. I went trick-or-treating at The Landing with my niece, Emily. I went to an apple orchard with my friend, Michelle, her daughter and my other friend, Krissy.

But I just want to blog about trick-or-treating. It was probably the first time Emily and I did something just the two of us since she was probably three years-old. This is mostly due to the fact that she has a younger sister, so special outings involve both of them. She was obviously excited that the two of us got to do something together.

The Landing is a pioneer village with interpreters dressed up as actual pioneers. Each of the different houses had someone giving out treats and toys as we trick-or-treated around. It was actually kind of spooky walking around, as none of the houses have electricity. The whole village was lit by lanterns on the walking path. Emily and I had a fun time. We both dressed up. I was a farmer and she was a pirate. I'd share the picture, but overalls are not flattering! She was a little shy of the interpreters, so she needed me to talk to them at first. And I watched her get more comfortable as the night went on.

But the reality of the situation is this. They used to run into my arms and give me big hugs when I saw them. Amanda still does that, but Emily doesn't always. At one point in time, my nieces would have loved to do anything with their auntie. Well, they still do, but the tide is changing. 

On the way home, I was asking Emily what she liked and didn't like about our trick-or-treating adventure. The thing that sticks out in my mind was when she said that she likes trick-or-treating in her neighborhood better, because she can go with her friends.

And I interpret that statement as she's growing up. Her friends are becoming more important in her life. I'm glad that she enjoys hanging out with her auntie. But I know as she gets older, the more she'll rather do things with her friends. It's fun to watch her grow up into the little lady she's becoming. But it's bittersweet when the reality of it all sinks in, because I love the girl she is right now. Don't get me wrong, I'm super proud to see the girl she's grown into. She's funny and sensitive towards others. She loves singing and acting and making people laugh. She loves animals and horseback riding. She's an awesome artist. I hope that as she grows up, she'll continue to look forward to the special times we get together.

Did you know that in first grade, she said when she grew up she wanted to be an auntie? Ahh, the love!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I was trying out for a co-ed hockey team. One boy and one girl would be cut from the team. It was clear that I was the least skilled girl on the ice. But what I lacked in skill, I made up for in effort. I could actually feel myself push beyond my limits each time it was my turn. But when it was scrimmage time and when the line with all the girls except me scored a goal against the boys, I knew my chance of making the team were quickly fleeting. And sure enough, my best efforts just weren't enough. I didn't make the team. And it broke my heart. I wanted to make the team so bad. Even though I was still in front of everyone, I cried. (And I never cry in front of people.) I couldn't. stop. crying.

And then I woke up from the dream. But there were real tears.

The dream made me think about when I didn't make the traveling soccer team in fifth grade. But I vaguely remember the day, talking to the coach on the phone in my parents' bedroom. Listening to him tell me that it was close, but I wasn't going to be able to play on the team. He told me to keep practicing and that he wanted me to try out again next year.

But at that point, I wasn't really listening. After he said goodbye, I started crying. I felt like I failed. I knew it was going to be so humiliating at school the next day when my friends and teacher asked me what team I made. I'd have to tell them I didn't make any team -- or I made the "c" team as in cut. I didn't want to disappoint my parents. My dad coached and practiced with me, so I was sure that I had disappointed them even as they assured me that I hadn't. They told me they still loved me and gave me hugs.

When I didn't make the soccer team in fifth grade, I felt like an outsider. At my friend's birthday party that summer, it was basically the whole soccer team plus me. They had their inside jokes that they laughed at and I just sort of chuckled along not knowing what they were laughing at, but I didn't want to be the only one not laughing, either. I just felt like I didn't belong.

This morning as those memories from so long ago flooded my mind, the tears flew harder and faster. Why was I crying about something that happened almost 20 years ago? I looked at the clock and it was 6:00 a.m.

It wasn't the first time I was awake at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Four weeks ago, I awoke to terrible cramping and pain knowing that the time had come for my baby to miscarry. The pain was almost unbearable. I lay there whimpering as my husband slept soundly next to me. I guess I could have waked him, but he was sleeping and I knew if I woke him he would worry. So instead I said a little prayer asking God to take my baby. And I seriously felt my baby be pulled from me. And sure enough, the pain subsided and I slipped back into sleep.

Realizing the significance of the time, my dream started making a little more sense. Many of the feelings that I felt when didn't make the soccer team, I've felt since the miscarriage.

For a long, long time Dave and I have wanted a baby. I did everything I was supposed to do. I took my multi-vitamin and I didn't eat lunch meat. But something out of my control happened and I didn't make the team this season. Instead, I'm watching the baby bumps on my co-workers grow bigger from the sidelines. I'm looking at pictures of ultra-sounds and brand new baby pictures on Facebook. Believe it or not, I'm happy for every one else. Still, when I ask about the latest doctor's visit, I can feel the caution people make towards me as they talk about their baby. It's like they're hesitant and don't want to hurt my feelings. Yes, I'm sad about my baby, but I can still be happy for you. I still want to celebrate your moment with you. But please don't ignore me and make me an outsider. It hurts more to not only lose a baby, but also to feel like you don't belong.

I didn't quit playing soccer in fifth grade. I went to some camps and kept practicing. I tried out for the team again in sixth grade and I. made. the. team. Just like I overcame those struggles as a kid, we will come back and we will have our baby.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This is not a hoax

Will the media ever let the balloon boy hoax die?

Apparently, not.

Well, I, boys and girls, have two balloon boy stories to share that are real. Unfortunately, neither one has anything to do with me. Well, technically, one of these stories was made possible with a generous donation (or birthday present) from me (and others).

Story 1:
My sister, Becky, was telling me this story at lunch the other day. I could not believe that a boy actually has been stuck inside a runaway balloon once before.

During one cold Minnesota winter, a boy was inside a hot air balloon for a half-time show that the Met Stadium. The balloon was tethered to the ground when, suddenly, the rope broke and the boy and his balloon floated away. Finally the balloon descended and landed in a river. The impact of the crash caused the boy to be flung from the balloon and he was able to swim to shore despite his heavy layers of clothing. But minus the weight of the boy, the balloon went back into the air. Everyone kept following the balloon and when it crashed into a nearby field, the rescuers were surprised to find the balloon was empty. Thankfully, the boy was found and reunited with his family.

When Becky told me this story, I though it was a hoax. But she wasn't kidding and neither am I. Read the news story here.

Story 2:
My Dad and sister, Rachel, were given a hot a balloon ride for their birthday presents this year. On Saturday, they got to go on the ride. The others (myself, mom, Becky and my nieces) headed out to the field to watch. Once the balloon was in the air, my mom and I chased them across town and captured the ride on film (well, technically a memory card). Although I think the balloon ride would have been super fun, my mom and I had fun watching from the ground. Here's some of the pictures.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We are not alone

Did you know today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day? I had no idea such a day existed. But really, before September 25, 2009, I never had any reason to be aware of such a day.

Will you remember my baby with me?

Even though our loss is still so fresh to me, I don't think I could ever forget about our baby. I'll never forget how I told Dave the news. He was actually gone fishing the morning I took the test. I have to share this conversation, because I loved it. I called and casually asked him a few questions...

Me: I was just calling because I was wondering what time you think you'll be home?
Dave: Why?
Me: I have a surprise for you.
Dave: What?
Me: It's just a surprise.
Dave: Tell me.
Me: I took a pregnancy test.
Dave: What'd it say?
Me: Well, it wouldn't be a surprise if it was negative.

I'll never forget what is was like to tell my parents or Dave's parents or our sisters. I'll never forget telling my grandparents or my nieces. My niece, Amanda, asked me why I wasn't fat.

I'll never forget the day we found out and Dave and I went to Kohl's and bought an outfit for our little baby. It was a little sleeper with elephants and giraffes on it.

I'll never forget the emails we looked forward to getting each week that said the size of the baby and explained what was developing that week. It was the size of a kidney bean.

I'll never forget catching myself smiling, lost in a daydream, just being so content that our dream of becoming a real family was coming true.

I really don't need a day to remember my angel baby. I remember every. single. day. But I find comfort in the fact that right now men and women throughout the world are remembering their loss and that right now you are remember my baby with me and I know that we are not alone.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wow. 400th post.

That wasn't going to be my title, but wow, it's my 400th blog post! And I think that deserves some sort of recognition, don't you think?

Anyway, the actual title of this blog was going to be: "Once every 24 years or so, you have to deal with this..."

Yes, that's actual snow that fell over the weekend here in Minnesnowta. Only twice on record has it snowed on two separate occasions before October 15 -- like it has this year (that is if I heard the news correctly).

I think it's going to be a long winter.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A little overwhelmed...

It's been a long couple of weeks. And probably not for reasons you'd assume if you read my previous post. I've been so busy, I haven't had much time to really think about it...which probably isn't the best thing to do, but I have to keep on going with work and school and my other obligations. My fall semester is in full swing now -- for the first time I'm taking two classes. I'm not sure how people do it, but it is EXHAUSTING. And when I get exhausted, it's harder for me to keep things in perspective. I get upset easier. I get irritated easier. I think I seriously hid at least three people from my Facebook news feed because I was so irritated with their political rants or silly drama (silly according to me.)

So even though I missed my "Thankful Thursday" post, I still want to acknowledge how thankful I am for my husband. He's been so supportive of me and our family. He supports me and loves me despite my falling asleep on the couch within 30 minutes of getting home. He supports me and loves me despite my emotional breakdowns. He supports me and loves me despite my mistakes. He supports me and loves me despite my irritability. He listens. He comforts. He makes sure I know that we're going to get through this together. He's exactly what I want and need right now. I love him so much and am so thankful that he's the love of my life.

Update: Dave's mom gave Dave and I a book of reflections and prayers, When I was reading it last night, one of the first things I read was this verse, which was exactly what I needed to read. "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Today was supposed to be a great day. I'd been anxiously awaiting this day for the last ten weeks or so. Today was supposed to be the day of our first OB GYN appointment. I spent a lot of time daydreaming about the events of this afternoon -- holding Dave's hand while we walked into the clinic, going through medical history with the doctor, asking her questions, and all the while anticipating THAT MOMENT when we would hear our babies heart beat for the first time.
Sadly, that's not how today is going to go.

At approximately 3:20 p.m. Friday, September 25, we found out that today, September 30, wouldn't be going as planned. That's when the doctor came into the exam room and said, "You won't be needing your appointment. You had a miscarriage."

The ultrasound measured the baby at 8 weeks 3 days. The was no heartbeat.

Even though I had been preparing myself to the possibility of hearing those words from the doctor, it all seemed so unreal. I was supposed to be in my ninth week and looking forward to becoming a mom for the first time. And now that I've written it here, I'm at a loss for words. I don't know what else to say.

I'll say this.

The plan was that after our appointment today, after hearing the heartbeat, we'd be more public about our expected arrival. We'd tell my work, we'd tell our aunts and uncles and cousins, we'd tell our friends. Dave said he didn't want to post it on Facebook, but I imagined him being so excited that he couldn't resist. I'd post the news on my blog. We'd let the world in on our secret.

And yet, even though this day isn't going as planned. And even though we're no longer expecting a baby at the end of April, I can't help but feel the need to let the secret out anyway....just as we originally planned.

I want the world to know my baby was here.

One of the things I'm struggling with is that there is nothing tangible to say that our baby existed. No pictures. No hand prints. I never felt our baby kick. I never felt our baby grab onto my pinky finger. I haven't been able to clip off the ID tag on my wrist from the ultrasound at the hospital last Friday. It's the one thing that I have that says we've had this experience.

And this experience will impact Dave and I. It already has. This experience is a part of our story and I've been chronicling our story on this blog for more than two years now. That's why feel like I need to share the news here. This blog tells our story and this is a part of us now.

And if you're learning about this for the first time....I'm sorry you have to find out about either a) the pregnancy and/or b) the miscarriage here. I'm finding that most people don't know how to react to the miscarriage news. Dave and I don't really know how to react either. But hopefully you can understand my need to share our story. Dave and I are doing ok. I went back to work yesterday. Dave's been back at work and school too. We're sad, but we're hopeful. I've never felt so strong and so weak at the same time.

Before this, I never thought I'd be able to manage getting through a situation like this -- I want to be a mom more than anything and that's not going to happen as soon or as easily as I hoped. But I think of this as an unknown blessing...and I really understand now that God give's you the strength to get through your struggles. Our baby is in a good place now alongside some awesome great grandparents. We know we'll be parents someday...welll, I guess we already are...just not parenting the way we expected. I also know that when it happens, we'll cherish our kids that live alongside us in this life all the more after going through this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last weekend...

Dave and I took Otis and Cooper down to Minnesota City to see some of our family and visit John's farm. The farm is nestled in a valley surrounded my lush tree-covered hills. It's so peaceful and beautiful. Since it's fall harvest time (yes, FALL), we got to enjoy the fresh produce that John's been growing all summer. We had tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, grape tomatoes, ground cherries, and red and yellow raspberries. I had never even heard of ground cherries, but they were good! We got a preview of the pumpkins and cantaloupe that are growing. We walked around the hillside and toured John's prairie gardens.

While we had an awesome time eating and spending time with family, the dogs had one of their best days ever. They got to run around free for hours and hours. They got to explore the garden while Dave picked us some food. They played with Ann's dog, Minnie. You could see smiles on their faces -- not kidding. When they were tired of running, they'd take a break and lay by our feet. Then after a while, they'd get up and run around all over again. We all can't wait to make the trip again next year!

Here's some pics of our day. I already posted them on FB, but wanted to blog about our day too...since it's a fun one that I want to remember! And I got to play with our new camera!

Cooper squinting in the sun -- he's got those sensitive blue eyes.

Otis resting in the shade -- he gets hot so easily with his thick black fur.

The view from the prairie garden on the hillside.

Cooper, Otis and Minnie -- the three amigos.

Cooper resting with Dad.

Dave successfully picked an ear of corn!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Just because....

Just because it's TUESDAY...
And because my husband is the BEST....
And because my puppies are the CUTEST...
And because we got a new CAMERA....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday...

Last week, my mom and sister, Rachel, went up north to Grand Marais for a short girls' getaway. We had a fun time. My mom and I went sailing on Lake Superior. We hiked. We browsed through stores. We ate way too much food. We relaxed and read books. We visited Grand Portage and learned about the voyageurs that traveled 1,200 miles via canoe each year for trading. We saw Canada, but could not touch it (didn't have our passports). We enjoyed sunshine and endured rain. And we laughed. I laughed so hard I couldn't talk and my stomach hurt. I had a great time bonding with my mom and sister...and can't wait to do it again. Maybe next time my other sisters can join us.

This week I'm thankful for good memories and good relationships with my family.

My mom, Rachel & I at Grand Portgage

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Love

The song from Grease has been in my head all day. "Summer love somethin's begun on a summer night. oh wella oh wella uhh."

Here's my summer love and I. ( fall, winter and spring love too.)

Yesterday, August 23. Dave got glasses this weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The good and the bad...

As I mentioned in the previous post, we went camping* last weekend. The camping trip had a lot of highlights and lowlights. Let's recap.

Camping is good when it's Cooper's first camping trip ever!

Camping is bad when Cooper eats a corn cob (yes, the actual cob) and pukes all night long in our tent.

Camping is good when we eat kabobs and poor man dinners.

Camping is bad when it rains half the time.

Camping is good when Otis accidentally jumps off the dock and has to swim.

Camping is bad when there is a BAD thunderstom while we're underneath a tall pine tree in a tent and we see lighting touch the ground nearby in the wood and the thunder makes us all jump (don't ask me how your body can go airborn when you're in horizontal positioin, but it happened).

Camping is good when there is a bean bag tournament and a scavanger hunt tournament.

Camping is bad when you lose in the bean bag tournament in the first round.

Camping is good when you're enjoying the company of friends, family and a dozen dogs (ok, 7 dogs).

*Sorry no pics! Our camera is still broken...and will be until we buy a new one. :(

Case of the Pooper(s)

I have a little mystery to solve. We went camping last weekend. The dogs could do their business whenever and wherever they please. Apparently the dogs are having trouble adjusting to the fact that our house is INDOORS and it's not ok for the to poop where ever they want anymore.

When I woke up this morning there were TWO piles of poop upstairs. ONE in the hallway and ONE in the loft.

Did TWO dogs poop ONCE? Did ONE dog poop TWICE? Did ONE dog poop ONCE and then MOVE half his pile?

I thought I'd be smart and determine which dog(s) was/were the pooper when I took them outside this morning. But they BOTH pooped outside.

Now I can't say for certain who is/are the pooper(s). But honestly, I'd rather not know and not have this incident happen again!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday...

This week I'm thankful for my one-year anniversary at my current job! This year has gone by so fast. My manager even gave me flowers and a card -- if that isn't something that will make you feel appreciated, I don't know what is.

My job has given me the opportunity to broaden my marketing skills and the people I work with are awesome.

I'm truly thankful to have a gotten a new job in a rough economy and that it has panned out as well as it had. It's so true that God has a plan -- some of the jobs that I was a finalist for have gone bankrupt or have had big layoofs. I'm thankful that not only do I like my job, but company has been performing well given the business we're in.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11, 2009 -- a special day for our little pup

Cooper Joe turned two today! In honor of his b-day, we took a family walk. On the walk, we saw Lily, Cooper's girlfriend. She denied him today -- too busy looking for a squirrel that ran away. You all may think I'm crazy for saying my dog has a girlfriend, but Cooper was literally whimpering when Lily wouldn't come over and sniff him! But it all turned out okay, because we saw Otis' girlfriend Lexie, who was excited to see both Otis and Cooper. And we met a new puppy -- a little American Bulldog 14-week pup named Chaos.

Cooper's grown up so much from the little pup we first met almost two years ago.

The two little dots on his nose has grown in, but he still has the white front-right paw that we like to call "Reebok."

Here's Cooper chewing his birthday rawhide. Less than a minute later, Otis stole it.

Dave and I had lunch together today at Tavern on France (yum!). We discussed Cooper's personality. Here's what we think about Cooper.
  • Cooper's pretty laid back at home where he feels secure. He doesn't mind when Otis hoards the toys. He loves his home best and loves just lounging around and sleeping.
  • While he likes to lounge around most of the time, he's always up for play time. Just glance his way and quickly dodge your shoulders and he'll wag his tail and play chase.
  • He's protective of his house and family. This is partly because he's just a big scardy-dog and acts tough to try and scare people/things he doesn't know.
  • He's so lovable. Cooper's loved by everyone in our family. Gracie the cat enjoys playing with Cooper so much more than she does with Otis. Cooper likes to give love too with lots and lots and lots of kisses.
  • Cooper looks up to his big brother Otis and follows Otis' lead. Just like the "My Buddy" jingle from the 80's, -- "Wherever he goes, I'm gonna go."
  • Treats are the key to Cooper's heart. And "intruder" just needs to give Cooper a treat, and they'll be great friends. He loves ice cream too and licks it so politely.
  • He doesn't realize how cute he is. He doesn't realize that strangers stop their car to tell me he looks so happy. He doesn't realize that strangers are always saying he's so beautiful. He doesn't realize that he melts my heart everyday with his cuteness (and that's probably a good thing, because he doesn't realize how much he could get away with!!)
I love you, Cooper Joe! Happy Birthday, baby!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Getting an early start to my weekend...

Today we had a softball tournament at work. Supposedly. (I was working it...not playing).

It was pouring all morning. Hard. We were all completely soaked.

When the thunder started, we had to call off the tournament. Everyone cheered.

So I got to come home early. Very nice.

Tomorrow my mother-in-law is coming back to our house for the last two nights of her trip to Minnesota. She's been down in Rochester most of the week figuring things out with her siblings about their mom's estate. I'm looking forward to our day together on Sunday.

Otis and Cooper and Gracie are all taking naps in this room while I type on the computer. I think I might have to follow their example!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday...

I can't believe it's already Thursday. It's already August. Summer is going by way too fast.

Anyway, this week I'm thankful for photos. My husband has started emailing or sending me every couple of days when I'm at work. Sometimes they're a little disturbing (i.e. photos of my dogs pooping). But most of the time, they're cute. Like this one I got today. I love knowing that I'm being thought of and these pics just make me excited to get home to my family. I don't like missing out on cuddle time!!

Our real camera broke this week. :( So I won't be posting photos much on my blog until we get a new one. Not that I post photos often, but now that we lack a camera I feel like I'm going to be missing a lot of photo opportunities. *tear

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The finished product

Here's a pic of the finished dresser -- now complete with knobs! The pic is from Dave's phone....our camera doesn't seem to be working tonight. :(

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My first pet

Me and Aussie.

My first real pet. Aussie. A beautiful cockatiel. She's the first pet I had besides fish (which generally only lived a couple of hours at my house). She passed away today. She was 15. She always chirped when people came home or when the phone rang. She did this cute little dance in her cage, moving her head from side to side. Her biggest accomplishments were the couple of eggs she laid.

In my parents' old house, there was a 2-story living room. She didn't really like to come out of her cage. You'd have to grab her and put her on top of it. Sometimes she would fly up to the upstairs. She'd always chirp when after she landed -- as if surprised at what she could do. My bird's no longer confined to her little cage. She can sore now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Grandma's Dresser

One of the things I've been wanting to do for a LONG time is refinish my grandma's old dresser. It's number 66 on my 101 in 1,001 list. It was one of the only things that has been passed down to me from my mom's side of the family, so I treasure it. Even if it's a beat up old dresser. The varnish that was on it had gotten old and bubbly, I guess, the way that varnish gets when it's old. There are lots of dents and dings on its sides, water stains on the top. Anyway, in April, Dave and I finally got started on this project. It's finally done. Well, almost. It still needs some new knobs. But it's back in Gracie's bedroom...and I'm really excited about how it turned I wanted to post some pics quickly.

Before! (FYI. Gracie liked to hide in the dresser, but we didn't force her to be there. I just thought it was funny, so I took the pic. Good thing I took it....because it is the only before pic of the whole dresser! It's a really old pic from our first apartment.)

Ok. I guess you can see Dave really did most of this himself. Who am I kidding? lol.

After! The finished dresser!

And Otis and Cooper trying to steal Gracie's room. Cooper's licking his chops. They're so cute!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday...

This week I'm thankful for...Nights out. Good friends. Twins games. Fun times.

Last night we went to the Twins game with our friends Mike, Andee and Nikki. We were with great people. We had $1 dome dogs. The Twins won! We witnessed numerous beach ball parties. We cheered hard. We simply enjoyed the moment.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

He's all grown up now...

In less than two weeks, Cooper is turning two. Cooper is very much my baby and it's bittersweet to know that my pup isn't going to be a puppy anymore. (Two is generally the age when dogs start to calm down).

Today, Cooper did something for the very first time.

He lifted his leg this morning. My little pup always squats --- well, not anymore! (Otis on the other hand, was lifting his leg at 10 weeks old. I'm sure you wanted to know!)

When I saw what he was doing, I exclaimed, "Cooper!" I couldn't help myself.

He looked up at me as if he was saying, "What? I'm not a pup anymore. I'm almost two. I gotta do what the other guys do."

But in usual Cooper-style, he seemed somewhat bashful about it (I swear he was blushing underneath that fur)....and came up to me to get a scratch to let me know he will always be my baby.

Photo courtesy of Katie Mathews Photography.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday...

It's been a while since I've done a Thankful Thursday post. I keep forgetting on Thursday...and remembering on Fridays.

But for these week, I'm thankful for...

My endurance level being high enough to run a 5k. Last night, Dave and I ran the Torchlight 5K that runs through downtown Minneapolis. Prior to the race, I decided to map my current training route and it turns out the route was only 2.4 miles. That's dissapointing when you think you're running 3 miles! But I was able to run the whole 5k and I feel great today.

Good thing....since I have another 5k on the calendar for Saturday!

The best part of running the race was running with Dave. Dave and I used to run together all the time. But the last couple of years, he's been running longers races so our training schedules didn't match up so well. And, let's face it, I've gotten a little lazier with my running and a little slower, so it's harder for him to run as slow as me. It felt great accomplishing something with my husband.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The price we pay...

Yesterday I found out a guy that I went to high school with died when his jet crashed in Afghanistan.

He left behind a wife and 6 month old twin girls.

I didn't know Tom very well. I only found out today that he had gotten married and had children.

Still. My heart breaks for his family.

For his little girls that won't have any memory of their dad. Someday when they're old enough, they'll hold photos of their proud dad holding them when they here infants. They'll never hear him whisper the words, "I love you," in their ears. They'll yearn to know the sound of his voice. When they lose their first tooth, they'll wonder if their dad would have made sure that the tooth fairy visited. When their sports team wins a tournament, they'll wonder if their dad would have given them a high-five. When they perform in a dance recital, they'll wonder if their dad would have been waiting after the show with a bouquet of flowers. Their dad won't be able to teach them how to ride bikes, or take them on a big roller coaster, or confront their high school boyfriends.

For his wife, for whom "until death do us part" unfairly came too soon. She must now find the strength to comfort and protect her children even though her whole world has just fallen apart. She has to play the role of Mother and Father. She'll never be able to look over at her husband and smile as their daughters walk down the aisle on their wedding days. She'll never again be hugged by the man who makes her feel safe. She'll never get to experience the joy of her husband coming home from this deployment -- she won't be able to run into his arms and be spun around and kissed.

The one thing that these kids will grow up to know was that their dad gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. And they'll find honor in that. And they'll be proud that their dad fought to protect our freedom for another generation.

But that won't bring Tom back. That won't bring this Dad back. That won't be this Husband back. This Son. Brother. Cousin. Friend.

Each and every time a service member is killed in action...this is the price we pay. Each one is a son or daughter. A friend. Most are a brother or sister. Too many are husbands or wives. Fathers or mothers. It's a price we don't hear enough in the news. It's a price that our politicians don't consider enough when they ask our troops to go to war. But yet, it's the price that we all have to bear.

Tom, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. RIP.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vacuums. Grrr.

When I first got my vacuum, I loved it. So much I even blogged about it...on my own will!! The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. True to it's name, it erased pet hair from our floor. I used it. A lot.

But less than a year later, the piece with the bristles on it that spins wore out. Where the spinning-thing connects to the vacuum, it's made out of plastic. Friction cause the plastic to melt away and the piece didn't connect very well...which made vacuuming very loud. But I loved my vacuum and was pleased that I could just buy a new piece for it.

We've had that new piece for 7 months now. And the same thing has happened again -- it actually probably happened 2 months ago!!! I'm really annoyed this time around.

Why would Bissell make the spinner attach to the vacuum with plastic?

We vacuum quite a bit, but probably a normal amount for people with pets. And since this vacuum is called the "Pet Hair Eraser," I would infer that it's for people with pets. We have the right size belt (I bought a new one when I got the new spinner). I've been really holding back on buying another new spinner, but vacuuming is making me deaf. I've been waiting to vacuum until I see clumps of dog hair on my carpet. Prolonging the noise as long as I can. Do I buy another new spinner if I need to buy new ones every six months or do I buy a new vacuum? It's still cheaper to buy the spinner, so that's probably what I'll do. But I'm NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Growing forever

Last night, the family headed to one of our local Barnes & Nobles stores to see my dad at his first book signing and discussion for his book, Victory Principles. It's about World War II's Normandy Invasion and takes an indepth look at the mililary's leadership and how their leadership techniques can be applied to people in leadership roles today. Great for anyone who's interested in WWII history or leadership development!

Thanks for listening to that little sales pitch. Now back to our program. :)

In the car on our way home, Amanda was talking about how she loves getting birdies from Uncle Dave. A birdy is when she runs up to Uncle Dave and flaps her wings (er, arms). He throws her up into the air and catches her.

A: I miss when Uncle Dave worked at Home Depot.
Me: Why?
A: He gave me birdies every time I saw him.
Me: He gives you birdies every time he sees you anyway.
Rachel: Soon you're going to be too big to get birdies.
A: No, I'm not. Dave's going to keep growing, and I'm going to keep growing; so he'll always be big enough to give me birdies.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm back

Yes, I know I've been MIA lately.

The truth is....that's it's just been a busy and boring summer (yes, at the same time), so I just haven't felt compelled to blog.

I've been blogging for two years now (yes, I celebrated my 2-year blogging anniversary on Sunday), and there are just so many times you can blog about taking the dogs to the dog park and running and weekly thankful posts until all blogging motivation runs dry.

And honestly, my mind has been consumed with things that I don't want to blog about. Things that are difficult enough to talk with best friends and parents and sisters about...and while I've thought of blogging about some of makes me anxious exposing myself, so I've just stuck with my own private journal so that stuff can stay, well, private.

But summer has actually been very enjoyable. We had a great fourth of July weekend.

I took Dave kayaking for his first time. After he got over his fear of flipping over, he did really good.

We went down to St Peter for the Dobosenski annual party....and got our fill of brisket and yard games. But actually, now that it's been a week since the 4th, I could go for more of that brisket.

We also got back home in time to make it to Minneapolis for fireworks with my nieces. They were so excited when we surprised them at the park (Emily actually cried when I told her we weren't going to make it....although she apparently was just trying to make me feel bad. It worked).

And this last weekend we went to a Twins game with my nieces, brother-in-law and cousin. My nieces hung out with a friend of theirs for a while. Their friend loves the Twins so much -- she even set on marrying TC Bear when she grows up. For the upcoming All-Star game, their friend made goody bags for all the Twins players playing in the game, so that they'd have snacks to eat on their trip. My nieces and their friend took the goody bags to TC Bear towards the end of the game. The goody bags were well received, because the next thing I know...we all see my nieces and their friend with TC Bear on the jumbo tron! It was my first Twins game with my nieces and the Twins it was a great day.

The next couple of weeks are filled with work and training for some 5k's I'm racing at the end of the month. My mother-in-law is coming to Minnesota in the beginning of August, so we might have a visitor for a night or two...or more....I haven't heard her trip plans yet.

That's all I got for now. If I still have any blog readers, you're now up-to-date on what's been going on with me and my family. Hopefully I'll get over my blogging rut now and it'll be less than two weeks until I post again. :)