May 31, 2013

First Comes Baseball, Then Comes Marriage

Let's kick this post off with my #backthatazzup Friday song because it's one of my favorite things about Friday.  (Have you met Whitney?)  I think my song fits today.

Last week, we reviewed a story about my first real interaction with my husband.  It involved Hawaiian leis and birthdays.  Our first date involved a baseball game and a bet.  It was exactly 8 years ago today.  I'm not the most sentimental person, but I definitely still have the ticket stubs from that game.

We got hot dogs and sat down in our seats.  We enjoyed a fabulous baseball game.  During the first inning, they passed around the All-Star ballots.  This lovely boy (Justin) that I was with thought he was super funny and decided to make a bet with me.  Whoever could pick the most players on the ballot that would actually make the All-Star team that summer would win.  The loser would buy tickets to a Red Sox vs. Twins game.

Sometimes boys underestimate a girl's knowledge of the sport of Baseball or sports in general.  Justin upped the stakes and if he lost (which he was sure he wouldn't), he would buy tickets for the game in Boston.

I grew up listening to almost every Twin's game on the radio.  I sat on my dad's shoulders when the Twins celebrated their 1991 World Series title at the parade.  I watched Kirby Puckett as I waved my Homer Hanky.  I know a thing or two about baseball.

The teams were announced a few months and quite a few dates later.  I won.  Plain and simple.

So, just a few months after we started dating, we both took a risk and boarded a plane to Boston.  We spent a few days exploring the city and falling in love with Fenway and the Red Sox.  I knew from that trip that this was the person I would be watching baseball games with for the rest of my life.

Apparently, this is the week of cheesy posts for me.  SORRY, NOT SORRY.  Also, this might help you understand how we can be both Twins fans and Red Sox fans.

Venus Trapped in Mars

May 30, 2013

I'm Doing a Happy Dance

Nothing to write about today... I guess I'll skip it today.  Open Blogger to see if I have any drafts ready to post.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!  10,000 hits!!!!

I know that may seem like nothing to some of you that managed to hit that in a matter of weeks, but for me - it was a huge deal.  I just write about my life and the things I do and see and feel.  My very first link up was in January.  I didn't really start sponsoring blogs until Erin and Venus made it so fun and I've never done any sort of giveaways.  I wanted to put myself out there and my goal was to get to 10,000 before I turned 30 (it's on the list).

So thank you thank you thank you for helping me get to that goal.

On to other exciting news, one of my other favorites, Tami, sent me an email bright and early this morning letting me know that she nominated me for one of these awards that I keep seeing float around town.  So, here's an overload of information about me.  You are welcome (but really, I'm sorry).

Here's how the Liebster Award works:Acknowledge the blog that nominated you
Tell 11 facts about yourself
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created
List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that deserve some recognition
Post 11 questions for them to answer
Notify them that they've been nominated
You can't nominate the blog that nominated you

11 facts about me:
  1. Green is my favorite color.  Every shade of it.
  2. I can get a sunburn in less than 5 minutes, so I'm a walking sunblock ad.
  3. Some girls like shoes, I love sunglasses.  All day and all night.  I'm quite positive I look better with them on - no matter what the occasion.
  4. Wilson Phillips was my first CD. Thank you Bridesmaids for introducing the rest of the world to the best girl group ever.
  5. I have a weird obsession with lists.
  6. My knees are double jointed.
  7. I have no tattoos or piercings.
  8. I love a cheesy musical.
  9. I've met Andy Cohen in real life, which is awesome because I think he's a genius.
  10. My brother is my complete opposite (except that we both have the same colors hair and we're loud.)
  11. I don't like the number 11.
11 Questions from Tami:

1.  If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?  I would probably cook more or actually exercise as much as I should.  Ha.  Truth bomb, I would sleep or call it an additional Happy Hour.

2.  If you could only eat one thing every day for the rest of your life what would it be?  My Grandma's fruit salad is one of my favorite things ever.  That or Cream Cheese Wontons.  So healthy.

3.  Do your best friends/significant other/parents have any weird nicknames for you?  In college, I acquired the nickname "Bruiser" and there are still a handful of people that call me that.  Other than that, I have nothing.

4.  Link to one of your favorite blog posts you've ever written.  I am still quite proud of this moment - When My Husband is Away... and this is the cutest thing in the world - Taylor Swift is her hero

5.  Which celebrity grinds your gears the most?  I have a strong distaste for Nicolas Cage.  His voice makes me shudder and cringe.  My friends think it's hysterical to talk about him and pretend they think he's sexy just to gross me out.  Also, Kim Kardashian makes me crazy.

6. What would I find in your purse at any given moment?  Chapstick, my iPhone, my planner, at least 2 pairs of sunglasses, sunscreen and trash - because I'm too lazy to clean it out.

7.  If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would you choose?  This question involves way too much thinking to pick just one, so you get the first person that jumped in my brain.  Tina Fey.

8.. What is your blogging pet peeve?  Too many reviews/guest posts/stuff that isn't really done for the person themselves.  I love a good guest post every once in a while because it helps me find other bloggers that I wouldn't have found on my own, but I have to stop reading blogs that have 3-4 posts a week that they get paid to do or that someone else wrote.  

9.  Tell us an embarrassing moment.  I went to high school with a distant relative whose last name is the same as mine and her first name is close and when we graduated, we were in the cathedral which is huge.  I thought I heard them call my name to get my diploma, but instead it was her name and I looked like the idiot trying to sneak back across the stage to wait my turn.  Plus, I blush instantly and it's impossible to hide.  

10.  What's your favorite book?  I love lots of books, but if I can only pick one, it's the Little Prince and it has been for a long long time.  I love that book so much I even read it in French.

11.  On a guy - boxers or briefs?  Like I care, just don't adjust your nuts in public all the time.

11 bloggers I nominate:

Kelsey at Witty Wanderlust
Cathryn at Nuef Vies
Val at Wine & Summer
Rachael at Lobster Lovefest
Christelle at Christelle's Crazy Tales

11 questions to answer:

1. What is your drink of choice?
2. What is your guilty pleasure?
3. What is your favorite time of day?
4. What blogger makes you laugh every single day?
5. We are at a karaoke bar and I'm forcing you to sing a song, what would it be?
6. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
7. Name your go-to comfort food (or other comfort item.)
8. You're stranded on Gilligan's Island, what 3 people would you want with you?
9.  Star Wars, Star Trek or Star Magazine?
10. What is your favorite thing about your hometown?
11. What is your favorite color?

Whew.  I'm exhausted.  Happy Thursday!

May 29, 2013

The Cherry on Top (Insta-Gratitude Week 22)

Yesterday, we recapped Justin's 30th Pedal Pub Extravaganza so today I will recap the rest of our weekend.  Justin celebrated a milestone birthday, but for Caroline & I, it was just our 28th.  Again, I was reminded how awesome it is to share birthdays with friends.  This is year two celebrating with Caroline and she will never be able to escape us now.

After enjoying a relaxing week night at home last Wednesday, we hit the town on Thursday evening to celebrate Caroline's birthday at Psycho Suzi's.

Friday was the only sunny day we've seen in the last week.  We bought a lawn mower in the morning from Home Depot.  We walked around Target for a while and obviously tried on Super Hero masks.  We met Caroline and Kirsten for a patio lunch at Tugg's and then spent the afternoon wandering through the Sculpture Garden.  It is their 25th anniversary this year, so they have set up a miniature golf course with holes designed by local architects.  So cool!

Friday evening, I went to my birthday buddy's happy hour at the Herkimer, played some Cards Against Humanity (best game ever) and hit the pillow before midnight.

You know how Saturday went - PERFECT.  I did wake the birthday boy up at 9:30 AM so his first meal as a 30 year old could be a cupcake and a mimosa.

Sunday & Monday were awesomely lazy days.  We went to movies both mornings.  We let our geek flags fly and saw Ironman 3 and Star Trek.  Sunday, we had lunch with my mom and challenged Justin to drink Rumchata Floats and then blow into the Intox Box (tests your blood alcohol level) - he continued to blow a 0.00 - apparently Rumchata doesn't have much alcohol in in.  We rounded out the evening with Rock & Roll Bingo.  Monday, we had lunch with Justin's whole family and then decided to spend the rainy afternoon/evening starting to watch 24 again.  I've missed you Jack Bauer.

Sorry again for the overload.  I promise it was just so awesome.  To recap - here are the things I was thankful for:
  1. New aviators (and other new sunglasses)
  2. New sundresses (thanks sisters!)
  3. A new candle
  4. Awesome birthday cards, messages, FB posts and tweets.
  5. Jack Bauer
  6. Mini Golf
  7. Caroline
  8. Super Hero masks
  9. My husband and his milestone birthday

MATCHING T-SHIRTS.  These shirts obviously have the names of the bash brothers on the back (thanks Brian).  I'm clearly Fulton Reed.  We also now own the Goose & Maverick Top Gun shirts.  Not sure how Justin feels, but I think this is definitely a new tradition.  

Thanks again to all of you that sent incredibly sweet messages to myself and to my husband.  I think he felt like a rock star Friday for his first guest post.

May 28, 2013

Top Gun + Pedal Pub + 30th Bday = Danger Zone

This was a weekend to remember and there are so many pictures that one post won't do it justice.  I'm starting with the highlight of the whole weekend.  The Top Gun Themed Pedal Pub.  Sorry in advance for the long post.

What does that mean?  Let me explain.

You load up a few coolers of canned beer, put your tennis shoes on, pick a theme (that's optional, but if you don't - you suck), call up D-Box (obviously, that's our driver) and you pedal from bar to bar in Saint Paul while enjoying beers and jamming out to your ipod.

Still confused?  Fine, I'll go into more detail.  The Twin Cities Pedal Pub (website here) is literally a large bicycle for 16 people (10 pedaling seats) that rides around on different routes through Saint Paul, Minneapolis and has now expanded to other cities.  You are allowed to have beer and wine on board (no glass) and you bike from bar to bar.

My husband turned 30 this weekend (did you read his life lessons on Friday?)  I'm not sure how I pulled it off, but I managed to book this tour and get some of our friends and family together to surprise him with a pedal pub.  Best part?  It was Top Gun themed.  He thought we were meeting my parents for birthday brunch.  I told him we had to run up to Katie & Annika's apartment quick to drop something off.  The only thing he was worried about was getting iced.

We walked in and he started to realize that there were other people there... then he turns to me and says "is this one of THOSE things?"  Well yes, my dear, if you're referring to a surprise party, it is one of those things, but the best part was surprising him with the theme.  People came dressed up with special t-shirts, flight suits, bomber jackets and aviators.  It was perfect.  We played the Top Gun soundtrack and carried some red, white and blue coolers a few blocks to meet up with our AWESOME pilot, D-Box.  If you choose to do one of these tours, request her - real name is Destiny.

We hopped on the pub and started working.  I tended bar the whole time so I could have my own dance party in the middle of the pub, so my work was limited.

Because we are pokey, we only stopped at 2 bars.  The first stop was Billy's on Grand.  We had as many picture ops as possible.

After Billy's, we made the trek down Summit Ave.  There was one point that we were racing a runner (if that gives you any idea how fast this doesn't go.)  We chose Sweeney's as our next stop.

This picture was one of my favorites - that guy is NOT with our group and was the only man enjoying the quiet patio before our party came barreling through.  At least he was a good sport.  Also, please note, we did not ask him to stand there - he did that on his own.  I do not call people ugly unless they are Nicolas Cage - it's a mean word.

We got back to Katie & Annika's after our 2 hour trip and ordered so much Pizza Luce and then enjoyed a dance party - at 3:00 PM.

Finally, to all of our friends & family (who might actually read this blog),
Thank you so much for helping me make his 30th birthday awesome.  Thanks for helping me keep the secret.  Thanks for playing along with the theme.  Thanks for singing along to Miley Cyrus so I could dance out all the lyrics for you all (and everyone on Dale Street).  Thanks to those of you who celebrated with us the rest of the weekend and made him feel extra loved on his birthday this year.  

Linking up with Sami for the longest Shenanigans post ever.  SORRY, NOT SORRY.

May 24, 2013

Chick-flicks aren't just for chicks (and other life lessons from Justin)

It is officially birthday weekend and we are busy celebrating (or possibly buying a new lawn mower). My husband, Justin, turns 30 this weekend so he is going to share with you the 30 things he has learned before turning 30. Also, he knows how much I love lists.

30 Things I Learned Before Age 30
  1. HBO isn’t worth the money.
  2. Boxing is fine, UFC is stupid.
  3. There is something great about all four seasons.

  4. Cultural variety is necessary.
  5. Food tastes better without meat.
  6. Try something new often.
  7. Don’t text and drive!
  8. Enjoy your profession.
  9. Other peoples’ kids aren’t so bad, even if they all idolize Taylor Swift.

  10. Use logic on the hard decisions.
  11. Size matters with TV's and PBR's.
  12. Ninja skills are in your blood.

  13. Chick-flicks aren’t just for chicks.
  14. Chick isn’t an appropriate thing to call women.
  15. Say “yes” sometimes when you don’t want to.
  16. Minnesota should not be called “The State of Hockey” until it has a professional championship. (Justin is obviously a Kings fan, plus I love the shirt he's wearing in this picture)

  17. Be loyal to friends/family.
  18. Regardless of education, at 22 you really still know nothing.
  19. Help people if you can.
  20. Laugh.
  21. Travel – there is a lot out there to see (and remember #4 of what we’ve learned)
  22. There is always a hat that works.

  23. Stand barefooted in newly clipped grass.
  24. Go boating.

  25. Value all life, not just your own.
  26. Unfortunately, clothing styles will change – yikes, guys wearing skinny jeans.
  27. Fortunately, clothing styles will change again – when there won’t be guys wearing skinny jeans.
  28. Dogs make life better.
  29. Don’t frown – unless taking pictures.

  30. I saved the best for last. Be nice. Thanks Patrick Swayze for your words of wisdom. (10 points if you understand this.)

Hope everyone enjoys a nice long Memorial Day/birthday weekend.  I leave you with what my lovely wife refers to as back that ass up songs to help kick off your party.

May 23, 2013

I Used to Hate Birthdays

Happy Birthday Caroline!  Sharing a birthday weekend with you is one of my favorite things.  I cannot wait to celebrate with you tonight.  My lovely other half will be guest posting tomorrow (scheduled obviously) because we will be enjoying mimosas and cinnamon rolls and planning out a day of our favorite things.

Birthdays are a strange thing.  When I was a little girl, I loved my birthday - what kid doesn't?  As a teenager and in college, I didn't love it as much.  I didn't like it for the same reason that wedding showers freaked me out.  I don't like when everyone is staring at me.  I get super awkward and my whole face turns red and I kind of want to crawl under a rug.

I always had expectations of what a birthday should be because of what my friends did or received and mine never turned out that way.  One of my high school boyfriends dumped me on my birthday.  In college, we had already left for the summer when it came time for my birthday, so I usually only hung out with a few close friends.  I just felt like there was so much pressure to celebrate in some crazy awesome way, but I didn't know what to do.

This all changed 8 years ago.

Our office had a tradition of singing Happy Birthday to you and giving you a Hawaiian lei to wear for the day.  I would always take my birthday off because I was hung over to avoid being sung to.  In 2005, they decided to get me anyways and sing to me the next day.  RUDE.  They found me and sang the whole song and I'm sure my face was turned magenta and then they gave me an option of a pink necklace or a green necklace.  I took green.

They went off to torture the next person who was some guy I didn't know very well that worked in the kitchen department.  Sorry I took the green necklace dude, you got stuck with pink.  Since I was feeling extra feisty, I wished this strange boy a happy birthday and gave him a hard time about his beautiful pink necklace.  A week later, we went to a Twin's game.

This isn't from that day - but I found an old picture w/ us in Hawaiian Leis - give me some credit.
Here we are now celebrating our birthdays together.  Mine is the 24th and his is the 25th.  (Sorry, this is mushy).  Celebrating something like a birthday with your best friend is A MILLION TIMES BETTER than celebrating yourself.  Spending two days in a row doing all of our favorite things is something I look forward to all month.

In the last two years, I have made some new friends and we've added 2 more to the birthday mix - Caroline and Kinzie - and that makes it even better.  Now there is a whole weekend of fun things planned with lots of different groups of friends to celebrate.  The fun starts tonight.

May 22, 2013

I Can't Believe (Insta-Gratitude Week 21)

Work is crazy busy, I'm trying to get as much rest & relaxation before birthday weekend and I have some super random things flying through my head this week.

I can't believe I hold a bowling ball wrong - I use my thumb, my pointer finger and my middle finger.  Apparently that is wrong.  How has no one told me that my whole life?

I can't believe that birthday weekend is almost here.  Caroline on Thursday, McKinzie & me on Friday and Justin on Saturday.  This weekend will be nothing short of epic.

I can't believe that my name is showing up on Erin's blog today since she's one of my favorites to follow.

I can't believe that Kim Kardashian is still famous.

I can't believe my husband has never seen the movie Sandlot.  It's just wrong.

I can't believe I actually cleaned my shower last night.  Showers shouldn't need cleaning because you get clean in them, but I went all out last night and it sparkles.

I can't believe I just admitted that I don't clean my shower that often.

I can't believe the Twins... they have lost 7 games in a row.  Guys - this is not how we get championships. Pick it up now please.

On a separate note, here is my collection of daily gratitude pics from my Instagram (you can follow me at @stephgregerson.)

1 - Happy hour with my college roommate leads directly to bathroom selfies.  Obviously.
2 - Bowling date with Justin and a bunch of our friends on a rainy Sunday.
3 - This chocolate cake dessert was amazing - yes, that's some sort of whiskey butter next to it.
4 - Tulips.
5 - Sunset at Target Field is my favorite.
6 - My dogs, especially when they decide to snuggle with me.
7 - This recipe - I'm obsessed.

May 21, 2013

Keep Calm & Hug a Schnauzer

While sitting at my desk this morning, deciding not to blog, Kelsey decided to tell me about this video and then I had to share it.

I dare you not to cry.  Mother Nature can be terrifying.  My heart breaks for all the people in Oklahoma and others around the country that are threatened again today with the possibility of tornadoes.  I needed to see something like this this morning.

If you have never met a Schnauzer, then you really haven't lived.  Our dog, Quincy is a Schnauzer (somewhere between a miniature and a standard weighing in at 26 lbs.)  Schnauzers have a special place in my heart.


May 20, 2013

Baseball, Brothers & Gatsby

Happy Monday.  It is birthday week so I'm a little happier than most Mondays.  Also, we're looking at a four day week and then a four day weekend.  We did lots of awesome things this past weekend as well.

Friday night, we had dinner with J's parents at Granite City and then spent the cool, rainy night drinking hot cocoa and Bailey's and watching the final 3 hours of The Office on the DVR.  I teared up a little bit.  I have watched that show since the very first season and even when Michael Scott left, I stuck with it.  It was a great cast and I'm happy that it ended the way it did, but I will miss that show.  If you're looking for something to replace it with and you haven't seen Parks & Rec yet, I recommend that one... like now.

Saturday, Justin had a massage (a birthday present from the great Rick & Leah) and I went for a run.  It was so humid and I think I lost 2 pounds just from sweating.  Yikes.  After that, we went to a 3 year old's birthday party at a park called "Chutes & Ladders" which was my favorite field trip as a kid.  I hung out with my nieces and went down a few slides that were not meant for adults.

Saturday evening, we went to the Twins vs. Red Sox game with my mom, her friend, my brother and his girlfriend.  The weather could not have been better.  I ate mini donuts and cheese curds and felt like a million dollars.

Sunday morning, we went and saw the Great Gatsby.  I don't know why so many people are saying they didn't like it.  I LOVED it.  I love that book and I think the movie was done beautifully.  Baz Luhrmann's style is different and creative.  Leo is amazing at pretty much anything he does.

We saw it in 3D because that was the time that worked the best for us.  Even though we paid an extra $8.00, it was pretty cool in 3D.  The effects were subtle, but I liked it.

Sunday afternoon, we went bowling with some friends while it stormed outside.  Clearly I won (if you're playing it like golf).  I finished the night off with some quality dog time and last year's Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion.  Has anyone seen the commercial where they plant the tree?

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans.