September 27, 2013

Ponder That

Dear Ponder - You got to England and now you aren't playing because of a fractured rib.  You better come back from that ready to kick some ass.  Annika & I argued on your behalf for the entire game last Sunday.  I might even let you play one week on my fantasy team.  I have faith in you and I'm deeply sorry that our fans get angry when we are losing and blame you instead of our horse shit offensive line (they might be to blame for your injury).  So get well soon.

Dear Vikings - I'm still really confused why you are playing in England this week... Maybe they should send one of their soccer teams here to play.  Ponder that.

Dear Kenzy, Madelyn and Kennedy - You are going to Disneyworld in two weeks.  I am soooo jealous of your trip.  I wish I could be there to see all of your faces.  When your parents fill you in on this surprise, you are going to crap your pants.  I hope it is the most magical trip ever.  Say hi to Mickey Mouse for me.

Dear Mice - I know that you found your way into our basement last fall.  Somehow one of you found their way in again even after having the wildlife management people out.  Let me tell you - J Money is not up for visitors of your kind right now.  I'm sorry you had to die and be thrown in our garage can inside of 75 plastic bags because I don't want to smell you - but hopefully that sends a message to your friends.

Dear Fireball - Thank you for your help when I didn't know how to help my husband with the mice situation.  I poured him a shot of you for his troubles and he was satisfied.  Now I need to restock.  You are just wonderful.

Dear New York City - I'm coming for you this week.  I need to find a new home so please be kind.

Now it's time to back that azzzzzzzz up.  Sorry for this song, but it's kind of ridiculous.

Venus Trapped in Mars

September 26, 2013

Autumn List

Fall is here.  This picture was from last October and it makes me so happy.  I just fall in line with the millions of people that love this season.  Not a pumpkin fan though... sorry.  Since I love lists and I love fall (plus, I didn't have much to write about) I decided to make a list of things I want to do this fall.

1.  Visit the Pumpkin Patch.  Our friends are the owners of the Anoka County Farms and we love visiting them each year.  If you live in the Twin Cities, this is a great place to bring the kids.  We will be heading there with our nieces soon.

2.  Visit an Apple Orchard.  There are so many beautiful Apple Orchards around here and we haven't ever done that together.  It might be a fun week night activity for us when we need a break from the craziness of our house.

3.  Go to Oktoberfest.   Lots of these happening right now and I need to partake in the festivities.  My dad's family is very German and I need to embrace everything about it.  Beer, Beer, Beer.

4.  Win my Diet Bet.  Just need to lose 4% of my total weight.  I know I just pretty much sang about beer in the last item, but I think one (or three) beers won't totally set me back.

5.  Spend lots of time with friends & family.  We are leaving Minnesota sometime in the next two months.  We want to spend as much time as we can with friends & family.

6.  Have a bonfire.  We have a really special fire ring (story some other day) that we have barely used.  We will be passing it off to a friend, so I want to use it one more time before we hand it over.

7.  Find a new apartment.  We are doing a little apartment hunting next week and I'm so excited to find a place that will become home.

8.  Rework my 30 Before 30 List.  There will be a few things that will become extremely difficult with our move coming up, so I will be editing just a few items on the current list.

9.  Celebrate 2 weddings, one baby shower, a brand new nephew and a few special birthdays.  We have a few really fun things to celebrate with friends and family before we leave including a brand new nephew making his debut in late October.

10.  Wear flannel, boots, scarves and love every second of the changing leaves and the beautiful weather.

Last, but not least...


There it is.  A few fun things and a few things we don't really have a choice but to get done.  As crazy as life is, I enjoy taking a little time each evening (or something lunch hour) writing on this blog and it has been great to make time.  I can't thank you all enough for all the kind words and awesome advice.

I leave you today with some of my favorite pictures from fall last year.

September 25, 2013

The Countdown Begins (Insta-Gratitude Week 38)

We have now told the world our BIG NEWS, so it makes more sense when I tell all of you that I'm so grateful for all the little things about home.  It's a little scary to know that we will have to find a new routine and new peeps in our new city.  I'm going to take full advantage of Minnesota and my family & friends for the next 45 days.

Last week, we were traveling for work, but I got a little taste of my future baseball adventures.  Miller Park is somewhere that both of us had been, but never together, so we were finally able to check it off our list.  More to come, but here is my favorite picture.  So many new ballparks in our future :)

Once we got home from work, we started working on our garage sale and enjoying each moment we have in our house.

Trust me, I'll get into the garage sale - it was entertaining.  There were so many exciting things that happened this week.  We got rid of so many things.  

I made cookies on Monday night and they were UNREAL.  Cookies & Cream out of the box.  Done and done.  I brought all the leftovers to work, which was the best thing for my diet bet.  Also, we have the best dog groomer in the world and Quincy looks amazing.  His beard got cut a little short, but he was asking for it because he was dirty.

Oh and Wicked.  I can't even go there yet.  I loved every minute of it.  I'm so grateful that we had the opportunity to go to the show.  I'm beyond excited that we will be within 20 miles of Broadway soon and these nights can happen more than once a year.

Some of the other notable things this week that I was grateful for:
  • Winning my first ever fantasy football game, but even more, emailing back and forth with Sarah. This league is full of some of my favorite people and that makes it so much more fun.
  • Dumb & Dumber coming back.
  • How I Met Your Mother coming back.  I love this show and I love even more that the season premiere showcases the differences between Minnesotans and New Yorkers... it's like my life playing out in front of me.
  • Apartment hunting online.  We have a bunch of appointments set up for next week.  HOLY CRAP THIS IS HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!
  • The amount of love and advice I got after posting our big news.  This is the greatest community out there and I meet new people every single day and LOVE IT.
Come and link up and tell me what you're grateful for this week.  I will continue to host this link up for the next few months and will have some presents for the ones that stick with me on this.  Also, I urge you to check out this link up as well:

GRAD-ITUDE 101: A Linkup By Chimerikal

Share your links.  Share the love.  Happy Hump Day!

Insert Classy Here - Gratitude

September 24, 2013

Mountains and Lakes and Views, Oh My

After our Emerald Bay hike, we headed back to our room for some hydration, a little stretching and a good breakfast before our big hike of the day.  We heard from a women working in our resort about the Shirley Lake Trail.  If you take the 4 mile trail that climbs 3000 feet to the high camp, you can take the tram back to the resort for free.  That saves us $36.00/piece for the tram and gives us the length of hike that we were looking for.

It started off as a nice walk through the woods, watching for the blue marks that kept us heading in the right direction.  We met a couple from Sacramento that does this hike often and they were my cheerleaders throughout our journey.

Pretty soon after I took my first water break, things got more difficult.  Now, I'm not in the best shape, but I'm not totally out of shape either.  This was hard.  We hit a granite slab that was just like walking up a steep ramp for what seemed like an eternity.  Thanks to our new hiking friends and my super awesome supportive husband, I didn't end up killing anyone or crying.  I just stopped every 2 minutes to drink water and rest my legs.

The thing that about put me over the edge was the "MapMyHike" app that Justin was using.  It announces how far you've come and I heard it say 2 miles... that was only halfway.  I had a small meltdown, but then we got to Shirley Lake and I found my second wind - I have a Cliff Bar to thank for that.  Well, that and the fact that my Sacramento friends advised me that there was beer at High Camp to celebrate my first big kid hike.

After our little break at the lake, I was ready to conquer the rest of the hill.  I pretty much blacked out the rest of the hike until the trees broke and the view happened.  It was worth the pain.  High camp has all kinds of fun places including a pool, a skating rink and a bar/restaurant.  We celebrated with our new friends with Heineken's and a Mai Tai and lots of water.  Then we boarded the tram for the nice quick ride back to the resort.

Turns out that a hike like that can burn up to 1200 calories.  We spent our last night in Tahoe drinking, eating and enjoying a few different lake front spots.  The problem with me waiting to write these recaps for weeks is that I totally forgot the bar we got my favorite drink at - the drink is called a Wet Woody - anyone?

OK, so get to Tahoe.  Visit Emerald Bay.  Stay at the Village at Squaw Valley and hike the Shirley Lake/High Camp trail.  Enjoy a wet woody.  And you should probably invite me to come with you.  I loved everything about our few days there.  
A Compass Rose

September 20, 2013

We have BIG news!!!

Sharing big news with people is so funny.  I've been married for 5 years, so I'm clearly not telling you that I'm engaged.  Everyone automatically assumes that I'm pregnant... which I'm not.  For Justin and I, this is the biggest thing that's ever happened to us.  We are making a big move to...

The Big Apple... well close enough.  Our company is sending us to the east coast on a temporary assignment for about 18 months.  We are beyond excited.  It was made official a few weeks ago and we have been making plans ever since.  

Remember Project Declutter?  Well, I had to put that on hold because it would have been pretty obvious that we were preparing to move, but it's coming back.  Garage sales, packing, cleaning and researching new places.

We will most likely be on the New Jersey side of the river so we are closer to our office, but we go apartment hunting in a few weeks.  I feel like I've been riding a little bit of an emotion roller coaster - I'm excited, overwhelmed, nervous, happy and extremely grateful.

Any advice on apartment hunting, cross country moves or maybe you live there and want to have a drink in a month & a half - please let me know.  Hope you all have a Happy Friday.  I'm so excited that I no longer have to keep this a secret.  Now, it's time to jam out.

September 19, 2013

Emerald Bay

We had decided on Lake Tahoe for part of our anniversary trip because of the beautiful scenery - the mountains and the lake.  We planned on doing as much hiking as possible.  Our plans changed a little when we realized how bad the smoke from the Yosemite fire was.  We had one perfect, clear day and we took full advantage of it.

We decided to get up around 6 and beat the crowds to the Emerald Bay area.  If you are planning a trip to Tahoe, you can't miss this part of the lake.  We had heard that it was a little more crowded than the rest of the lake, so leaving early was the ticket.  We picked a short walk instead of a full blown hike because we had another hike planned for the late morning.  It was just about 2 miles round trip from the parking lot to the lake and then back up to the road.

When we pulled in the parking lot, we were the only car there and it was a beautiful morning.  We didn't see another person until we were leaving around 7:45 and there were quite a few cars pulling into the parking lot.  Going early was the best decision.  This was one of my favorite parts of the vacation and I loved that it was just us.

Here comes the picture overload:

This last picture shows the smoke being lit up by the sunlight.  This was the clearest day that we had and it was amazing.  I'm telling you that it's worth doing some hiking in this area.  Pictures don't do it justice.