Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

June dreams

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love the word “dreams” and encourage people all around me to dare to chase their dreams every single day. I’ve worked with many people over the past 8+ years on dreaming, and I often see that people have a hard time getting started because they judge their dreams and then don’t take even the first basic steps to move forward. Some people get hung up on thinking they have to have huge “bucket list” dreams. Or they only focus on one area of their life (Matthew Kelly suggests twelve categories for dreams in his book The Dream Manager: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, psychological, material, professional, financial, creative, adventure, legacy and character). Or they don’t believe they can make them happen so they don’t ever say them aloud or take any steps.

I say just get started. Don’t worry about whether you think your dream is too big or too small. Don’t worry about whether you know how to measure it or not. Don’t worry what other people think. Or that you’re not sure how seemingly random dreams align with a life purpose that you haven’t found or embraced yet. Don’t focus on “dream” not being the word you would have chosen. Don’t get lost in telling yourself you don’t have enough time or money. Life is passing you by while you debate all the reasons why you disagree with this approach to dreaming. Just take steps every single day – the more steps you take, the more clear your dreams will become. Here are just a few ways that I relate dreaming…

This was a 3-mile round-trip walk to get coffee with Beth. Simple. Peaceful. Enjoying the outdoors. Finding time to talk. Creating space for conversation to happen. Time for just the two of us. Getting to be a bit of a foodie. Seeing more of our city. How many dream categories can you check off?

Rhubarb from our garden. Dreams like this first meant I had to plan and create a new garden. Creative. Physical. Financial. Material. Megan’s dream for 2017 was to “Grow at least 6 different edible plants in our garden”. Creative. Emotional. Adventure. Perfect. I get to bond with Megan while working in the garden. It gets us outside. We have to work hard. Legacy. Character. How many dream categories did this one touch on?

Some of my fitness related dreams this year were: to run two marathons; to finish these marathons with a smile on my face; and to not be saying at the finish line that I never want to do another marathon in my life. Running is very spiritual and reflective for me now. I think about so many things while running. I solve problems. I practice gratitude. I pray. It grounds me. And keeps me feeling good and mentally healthy. Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth is touted as one of the most scenic marathons in the country. Since I was born in Duluth, it was also special for me to run this one. We stayed in a small hotel near the University of Duluth, that also happened to be about 1/2 mile from a bus pick-up. You have to take a bus to the starting line…and it was a bit concerning that the day started out so humid and stuffy that I was already sweating just on the 26.2 mile bus ride to the start. Yikes. The weather really didn’t get any better from there…it stayed humid and got sunny & hot. The rain never came. Ick. I trained really well for this marathon and wanted to run a good race. At about mile 22 the hot weather was wearing me down, so I paused and had a conversation with myself. We decided that if my goal was to really finish this marathon with a smile on my face, and to not say “I never want to run another marathon”, then I had to slow down. So I slowed down. I walked a bit (ok, a lot). It was just too hot for me. It took me a few hours after the race to start feeling better…but I really enjoyed the experience. We had to drive home right after the race, but by the time we got to Hinckley I was ready to eat a monster meal at Tobies. Fantastic place!

My name on a car πŸ™‚

My mom’s name on a wall πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, Colleen wasn’t able to make this trip with us. But the rest of us had fun!

This is with probably 17 miles to still run in the race, and if you squint…you can just barely see the finish line down the shore of Lake Superior…almost there πŸ˜‰

Lemon Drop Hill is really the only hill in this marathon. And it isn’t much of a hill. But what is unique is that you can see this hill from probably 1.5 miles away, and it looks massive from a distance…like a wall in the road. It’s an imposing sight, but the hill is just a blip and then you get to cruise downhill for a long time afterwards. I still had lots of company at mile 21…

Beth and the kids met me about halfway up Lemon Drop Hill. This was the first time I saw them all race…great to have people cheering you on. I didn’t know it, but a peer of mine at work was there to cheer on his daughter, so he found me 3 or 4 times throughout the race – that was some unexpected fun!

Part of my running journey is to spread awareness to suicide and mental health issues. I’ve made several shirts for my races, and I’ve raised money for other races too to support these causes. I get chills every single time another runner comments on my shirt. I’ve had some powerful conversations while running. This is a cathartic and healing journey for many people. As runner Lori Culnane says, “Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles”. You won’t understand that until you train for and run a marathon. Trust the journey.

My goal was to finish with a smile on my face. That looks like a smile to me πŸ™‚

Finally I was starting to feel a bit better…beautiful day. I’m blessed to be supported by my friends and family. Dream categories: physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, creative, adventure, legacy and character. Boom. Thank you Grandma’s!

Many of my dreams focus on being a better parent, and spending time with my children. An area I feel I can always do better in. I took Megan to see Minnesota United place soccer on the 4th of July. Just the two of us. They lost but it was a good day. And Megan got a few early birthday presents…shirt and a ball…any maybe learned that when it’s just the two of us she brings more stuff home πŸ™‚

Another dream in the works for a while. Creating an outdoor space that is mosquito free, private, a bit sheltered, where we can be near our pond and watch the backyard. It turned out great. Love it.

Brand new dreamy garden space. Close to the house. Sunny spot. This is Megan’s garden. She planted all sorts of things and was very active in keeping it watered and prepped. Having it so close to the house made it much more likely that we’d actually tend to the garden. Very glad we made this happen.

Fruits of our labor!

Indy 500

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

I’ve had going to the Indy 500 on my dream list for years. With family in Indy, we had to do this sooner or later – and be part of the full experience! As a child (no matter where we lived), we watched this every year, cut drivers out of the newspaper so we could bet on them, listened to Jim Nabors sing “Back Home Again In Indiana”, waited for Mary F. Hulman to say “…start your engines!” (wow, I just watched this and these simple words still give me chills). Luckily it worked out that many others could travel and join in the fun this year too! It was an amazing trip – full of good family and many memories (Colleen had to back out of this trip at the last minute so she could get trained for her lifeguard job this summer – that was a bummer for us, but ultimately good for her). Unfortunately Aunt Beth passed away earlier this year which would have made the trip all the better, but this made for another good reason to get back together again so soon with family.

It’s hard to get to Indy from the north without driving through Purdue. We made a quick stop on campus to see some friends, eat at Triple XXX and browse at Von’s shops. It’s always great to see Ian and kids. Maybe next time we’ll get to see Wendy too πŸ™‚

Megan is our go-to for baking anytime now, and she made a HUGE oatmeal chocolate chip cookie for Grandpa when we were in Minnesota. It survived the trip but didn’t last long once we opened it! πŸ™‚

There’s never any doubt that we are always welcome by everyone in Indy. Uncle Tom and Aunt Becka always have their doors (and pool) wide open for us – along with a full fridge! We got to stay with cousin Natalie and Matt this time – so cool to get to know their kids so much better. Beautiful house – and some great time away to have really good conversations that we don’t usually get to have. Cousin Tom and his family were also around – but I guess managed to avoid our camera most of the time πŸ™‚ We are so blessed to have such great family. It’s always great to see my parents – and to be in Indy for this event made it extra special. We even had extended family stop by and bring some amazing scrapbooks from my mom’s childhood – great to see and hear some fun stories!!

This is what it’s all about!

On our way into the race track…

No trip to Indy is complete without some friendly betting. Having a driver or two to cheer on really increased the excitement – especially in the final few laps!!!

We followed Uncle Tom’s lead on where to sit, where to park, when to arrive, etc, etc, etc – nothing like having a personal guide to eliminate a few worries πŸ™‚

Lest we forget who to cheer for!

We made it! The weather forecast threatened rain for the week leading up to the race, but thankfully we had a gorgeous day – absolutely beautiful and sunny (right up until the drive home – perfect timing!).

Lots of things to keep us busy watching before the race. These dudes looked like a barrel of monkeys getting picked up. I’m still not sure the exact scenario when this would come in handy, but it makes for good entertainment πŸ™‚

We took a tour of the infield and saw pace cars, etc coming off of the track.

And we missed the helicopter doing something near the stands but instead ended up in the perfect spot to see it land up close.

I love things like this. Waving your hat to the drivers, etc before the race began. Feeling the crowd start to come alive. Waiting go hear the roar of those engines. Not quite realizing yet how fast the cars would be traveling.

This was a lot of our view for the day. We were between turns 1 and 2. Apparently this isn’t usually where a lot of crashes happen, but we luckily (or unluckily) got to see a TON of action this year. Not that you root for crashes, but if they are going to happen then I want them in front of me! And, wow, did we see an incredible crash!

This was also part of our entertainment – watching people pick up car parts, and do fence repair crazy fast!

This is the aftermath of one of the crashes – all of the cars are forced down low while they are doing the final cleanup.

Check out the huge hole in the fence directly in front of us. That fence was perfectly fine just minutes before this picture. You can see on the huge screen that they are showing pictures of the crash still. This crash was so bad that they had to put out the red flag and stop all cars.

And here’s what made that hole in the fence…absolutely incredible that the drivers walked away…

(but first, check out the guy in the yellow shirt in this first photo – maybe he’s pointing to a huge screen, but it is so funny that he’s pointing that way while this action is happening right in front of him – hee hee).

After the Indy 500, Indianapolis turns many highways and other roads into one-way paths out of the city. Fun to be driving on the wrong side of the road!!!

Wow – what a great trip! So glad we did this! Thank you Natalie & Matt for opening your home to us, Uncle Tom & Becka for everything that weekend, and Cousin Tom – you really showed us a great time! We’ll have to do it again some time πŸ˜‰

Jan – Mar 2017

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Alright…it’s November 2017 and I’m ready to post my first pics of 2017 (Jan – Mar 2017) πŸ™‚

Santa, (the santas of my childhood anyway), gave me an outdoor camera this year. Fun. Nothing exciting like bears, but TONS of birds and miscellaneous creatures and objects have showed up. The pictures helped me catch up to three deer at a time draining my bird feeder overnight (those pictures were lost during my PC crashing earlier this year – and I don’t plan to recreate them!). I knew something was up when I was filling a completely empty birdfeeder EVERY day! And it helped me figure out how the mice were getting into my hot tub. Sit still long enough and you’ll learn amazing things about the habits of all the critters running around your home! And what really happens to snow tubes, etc that the kids leave out!

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Here’s Megan with some gifts – not sure why she’s so happy after getting poop for Christmas. I’m shocked she isn’t in her new Alex Morgan jersey – it felt like she wore that non-stop for days (weeks even!) after Christmas!

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I made the 2016 highlight reel for the Eden Prairie News. The way they worded it, it almost sounds like I didn’t run Boston πŸ™‚ Here’s proof! Wow – I still feel so blessed for the insanely powerful and touching memories throughout 2016. Amazing experience – I’m so blessed to have been a part of “The Boston” and to share it with so many important people to me. Although we’d all trade back in a heartbeat the circumstances that led to that weekend, I now count that as one of the most memorable and favorite experiences of my life – that week with my parents and brother (and so many other family members and friends supporting me of course!), and then Beth joining me out there, and being part of the Samaritans – incredible all around.

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Random fun over Christmas break.

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And so it begins…how do I shut this off? It’s amazing how many letters get sent each day. And from some interesting schools that hadn’t been on our short list – e.g., Colorado School of Mines? Mimes? Makes me wonder what boxes Colleen checked on her PSAT form πŸ™‚ PSAT forms are evil! Pause for a minute to think about how much waste mail the PSATs generate. And 99% of it is completely unread. Ugh.

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Tommy Tom’s (Kristin’s husband) ticker was having trouble, so we went through the trouble of working all day (uh…well…) to make probably 1/2 dozen 100% completely original (what?? they don’t look original?) and custom signs just for him…well, it’s the thought that counts, right? The signs must have done the trick – the surgery went well and he’s doing great many months later now!

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For several years, Chris and I have gone to Fort Snelling National Cemetery with the Boy Scouts to remove wreaths from graves (each year they have a wreath-laying ceremony to honor and remember our nation’s veterans, so we are the clean-up crew months later!). This year Megan joined us too! It is quite a daunting view when you first arrive – there are green dots on white markers as far as you can see in many directions. But then you blink and scouts arrive from all over the cities to help out. Proud to help with this one.

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The cookies taste good right? Then don’t worry about our secret steps to make them taste so good πŸ™‚

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I wore a wrist band for several years since one of my Make-A-Wish children died. It broke on Valentine’s Day this year. “Sir Kolors” was knighted by the VWO (Vikings World Order). They are an amazing group of die-hard fans that took Andres under their wings. This article only very briefly mentions Sir Kolors, but it speaks to the good that they bring to the world. Skol Vikings! https://thearchers82.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/this-is-what-its-all-about/

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Eerily beautiful morning. Peaceful and creepy at the same time πŸ™‚

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I’ll have to dig up a picture of what these three looked like 5+ years ago. I’m sure they haven’t changed a bit!

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Here’s what I did with that free poster that Boston Marathon participants received. I added just a few things to it. This is hanging in my office at work. It’s not just about my ego πŸ˜‰ It’s a constant reminder of so many things – all related to dreaming big, chasing your dreams, and making each day count! What are YOU waiting for?

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Here’s Chris with his presentation at the science fair. Our kids may have a connection to getting easy access to Beth’s lab, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to earn their science fair project! Beth makes them work hard! Colleen, and now Christopher, have each won their age group/category for the annual science fair – way to go Chris!!! He also seemed to have a good sized crowd around his booth the whole time. He did a great job!

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Peace. Stillness. Winterly world of white.

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Our white house is occupied by someone who puts down women, minorities, disabled, etc, etc, etc in very insulting and vulgar ways. There’s no excuse for that. He does it in public and people cheer louder and defend it. It’s got stop. I will NEVER vote for someone who would ever say or think those things about my wife or daughters. It’s not ok. It’s. Not. Ok. Repeat after me, it’s not ok. It’s NOT ok. I can’t relate to the pressures and judgment that women and girls in our society are faced with every single day – but I know it’s real and more prevalent than I’ll ever see. I don’t have any stories or experiences in my life for being felt inferior, threatened, judged, assaulted, mistreated, or losing opportunities because of my gender. But I’m sure every woman/girl I know has felt this way many times in their life. As a friend posted so simply on Facebook, “#metoo is too real we all have to do better“. TODAY is the day for you to help stand up for injustice and inappropriate behavior from anyone – especially our leaders (president, film industry, business, etc). It’s not ok. Stand up for what’s right and make sure ALL those around you are treated with respect. Beth, Colleen and Megan – you are valuable, and powerful, and deserving EVERY SINGLE DAY! Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. I love you, and I’m sooooo proud of you – every single day.

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Speaking of a few of my valuable, powerful, and deserving women…

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Anyone registering early for Grandma’s Marathon got a bonus gift..here’s my jacket! And once again I was training outdoors in cold and snowy weather. I have a love/hate relationship with marathons…Grandma’s would be my 3rd one in two years. They keep me in shape, give me structure, keep me focused, keep me sane…but I’m still not quite convinced this is 100% good for me πŸ™‚ Stay tuned to hear how this one turned out…and the one that followed it…

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Almost December???

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Argh – two months later on this site, and I still haven’t found my posting rhythm again. In a bit of my defense, I did post a few times to DreamyDream and/or Facebook. But I need to get regularly posting family pics again!!!

I took Chris and Megan to play Foot Golf near the end of summer. I don’t know how this “sport” will ever last – especially if they are trying to attract soccer players. It is expensive (because it is at golf courses and uses the same fairways) and relies on the softest touches because the ball rolls and rolls on hilly fairways and greens. You would never use these same light touch moves while playing soccer. It was still great to be outdoors and we had fun – and I got a hole in one on one of the holes when I couldn’t even see the cup.

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One of Megan’s dreams this year (actually, the past few years) has been to paint her room. We settled on a color that wasn’t near as dark as what she was originally thinking – but she loves it now. Sadly we painted over the stenciled pattern that Beth did so many years ago for our little babies.

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I brought the kids with me to Des Moines when I did a quick trip to run a 5k with my college roomies. It’s on my dream list to do a 5k with at least one of them each year. West Des Moines treated us well – Fong’s Pizza (and Tiki Bar) was awesome – I definitely recommend it! And on the way back we stopped at the Iowa State fair for several hours. It wasn’t near as cool as Minnesota’s state fair – not even close (sorry, don’t get mad at me east side desmoiners). But we still managed to leave there with full tummies.

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Megan and I did lots of biking over the summer and into the school year. On this trip we came across several fawns (although they started hiding behind their parents when we stopped and got the camera out). It was cool to see them walking about all covered in white spots – lucky us!

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Yikes – and here we are away from fawns and instead near trucks! I love the gloves that Megan got with a birthday gift certificate – so cute! (but don’t tell her I used that word).

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Colleen and I went to the Stomp Out Suicide 5k again this year. I think I’ve been just about every year that they’ve had it – either with Colleen, or with Kristin. We put a picture of Katherine on their memorial clothesline. Way too many photos on display. They take tons of pictures each year and somehow they’ve never ever captured me on film. Maybe next year – if they’re quick. We also released balloons in memory of Katherine. They have turned this into quite the event away from the metro area – it drew a big crowd even in rainy weather this year.

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Found this little dude on our garden fence. The wind would make him sway back and forth but he never released his grip or moved. Megan kept checking on him. Stayed there all day…but was gone by morning. We’ll just keep telling ourselves that he flew away to a warm, happy place.

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Minnesota State Fair! These two love this ride – and also the swings way up in the air. Christopher wasn’t so lucky with the water gun race game in the midway this year. But I’m sure he’ll bring more money to burn next year πŸ™‚

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Skol Vikings!

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The girls were supposed to be in the chair behind Beth but someone on a roundtrip ride didn’t get off…so they’re back there somewhere.

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This is always our favorite stop on the way up to Grand Marais. The New Scenic Cafe consistently turns out high quality food – love their mission fig appetizer – yummy! Plus a decent beer selection doesn’t hurt anything πŸ˜‰ This helps ease our transition from city to up north living. And then, of course, we hit them on the way back home a few days later.

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And then our favorite stop up in Grand Marais – the Angry Trout Cafe. Fresh veggies & fish, amazing chowder, great salads & pasta for the kids, just enough of a beverage selection, and focus on being environmentally friendly – love it every year!

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Another stop on our way up some years to Grand Marais…Gooseberry Falls. It never gets told to climb and crawl over this rough and wet terrain.
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Whoa!

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Monkey see…

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It’s hard to tell but they are way off the ground in this picture – hope those old skraggly roots hold fast!

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Our first night back up in Grand Marais…and a quick trip to Artist Point…and dipping their toes into the chilly water.

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Peace. Remember to take time for yourself and dream.

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Here’s Chris over the devil’s kettle. No one knows where the water goes – some say straight to the devils kettle!

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A day on Two Island Lake

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Megan looks surprisingly calm considering neither of Colleen’s feet are touching the ground πŸ™‚

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And of course our trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop to take our annual picture of the kids. I think it’s been raining the past two years as we’ve done this on the way home. Still a great quick hike to end our trip!

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Still not quite complete in this picture…and the basketball hoop wasn’t up yet…but here’s a glimpse at the new patio that we are loving!!!

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Apple picking with Chris and Megan, followed by a stop at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store!

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In its first year Megan got to pick apples from her tree. Yummy! And another dream from her list!

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Happy Sweet Sixteen Colleen! Super yummy Nothing Bundt Cake!

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I’m back

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Ok, I’m back. I was posting to www.dreamydream.com/blog for months while I trained for the Boston Marathon and raised $20,000 (thank you once again for all of the incredible support from everyone). What an adventure! Amazing! But now I need to share pics on this site from the past many months. Sorry for the overload now…and most of my comments are short…just got to get this posted!!!

Check out slick with his birthday cake πŸ™‚ The day he turned 13 was the same day he first started wearing gel. He’s a great kid – if anything, he’s offering to help out MORE as a teenager!

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Colleen spent a week in Kentucky working on houses with an ASP (Appalachia Service Project) trip with our church. Here she is learning how to use a saw. It was a good trip for her. I still find it odd and a bit frustrating that we send people to Kentucky instead of working to help people in our own state, but I’m glad we help regardless.

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Us, and the sky, in St. Louis.

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Megan loves playing her saxophone. She is great at it and got invited to play in this special concert. Amazing how much better these instruments sound when finally one of our kids actually practices! Looks like Megan will be our first band kid.

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Something bigger than a bunny was in our yard. Fox? Coyote? Wolf?

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This is only a few days after planting our seeds. Amazing that this is how a 1000lb+ pumpkin starts!

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The universe listens so be careful what you ask for (in my case, I asked for just enough money for a fire pit and somehow Great Uncle Bill responded from beyond). You were a great man Great Uncle Bill – thanks for your service to our country and love to our family!

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Our garlic crop/harvest was our best yet this year. Here’s the Megs with a scape.

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And here’s our full harvest drying to be used later!

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Happy Marathon to me! I made a little poster/tribute with mementos from the race. Cool that my name is on the poster!

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I said just one bite…wonder who they learned that from?

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I’ll do a future post on Beth’s 3-minute-thesis. After she gave her most recent presentation, we did a quick trip through the science museum where she was presenting. Lucky (?) for us the museum staff said we just happened to be there on a rare occasion when they had the “vaults” open that are filled with tons of things rarely on exhibit. How could we miss that? We followed a path through their storage area and suddenly weren’t sure we had made the right decision. They had things in jars (e.g., deer fetus), all sorts of bones and dead things, and we even had the opportunity to put a clothespin on our nose and skin our own rat. How fun!?!?! Especially before our “date night” dinner. The best part was how excited the museum staff were to show off their crazy displays. Ick.

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Helpers?

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Ta-da!

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See what happens when you put things on your dream list? Megan’s apple tree πŸ™‚

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Happy Mother’s Day from the kids. She got this, and on Father’s Day I got Colleen coming back from a week away at ASP.

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My favorite part of this pic is trying to figure out where the soccer ball is following the penalty kick, and wondering how it got there. Guess we’ll have to work on our wall πŸ™‚

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Ahhh, foaming. Rabies?

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We had a great time at Niagara Falls. Our timing was perfect – 2nd to last boat of the night – it was mostly empty so we could go wherever we wanted. The boat was fun, but the cave of the winds walk and hurricane deck were even better! So glad we got rain coats and shoes for this πŸ™‚ We’ve been talking about doing this for years on our trip – glad we FINALLY made it happen. And only one of us got pooped on by the seagulls – not bad (nope, wasn’t me, keep guessing).

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One of our favorites – Parker’s Maple Barn! And fun to have Sarah and Rose with us too. Yummy maple everything (including the coffee)! Except no fresh maple donuts for Beth this time πŸ™

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We stopped by my sister’s best friend’s house – so great to see Heather and her family. Their house is hundreds of years old and the type of place where you feel like you could just hang out on their porch all day while your worries blow away in the breeze. Heather feels like such an important piece of my sister’s history and life – words never quite express everything wrapped up in that. Always so great to see her – hopefully we get to see Mike again at some point too!
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Our visit to New Hampshire involved lots of chipmonk catching, escaping, transporting and releasing. Seemed like we were in a roadrunner cartoon at times. The best was when the first chipmonk ran in the cage, ate most of the food, and for some reason wasn’t quite tripping the door to shut on him. Fun times.
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Rockport, MA is one of my favorite little artsy towns to visit. It was a beautiful day for a quick trip there, lobster rolls, chowder, a local beer, and then off to Wingaersheek beach.
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Two pics are jammed into this one. The bottom half is the girls staring at their reflection. The top half is what they are giggling at.

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Blueberry picking in Hollis, NH. I think we ate twice as much as what you can see in the first picture. Yummy!
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Throw Colleen’s name in the hat for one more person who wants the Cougar πŸ™‚ Except we don’t have a garage big enough to fit it.
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Merrimack Brewery. I swear those aren’t all mine πŸ™‚
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Well…we got almost everybody to cooperate for this one. Man those Clydesdales are big!!

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Love me some strawberry rhubarb pie on my birthday!
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And here’s the newest addition to our house. We have two Axolotls now. I call them Axel and Ottle, but Megan has other names for them that I can never seem to remember. We feed them each 10 salmon pellets every other day. But you have to get their attention and then drop the pellets right on their head so they can suck them down. But don’t get your fingers too close or they’ll try to suck that down too. And if they are still chewing or not ready, then you have to reach into the tank to pick up the old pellets and try again. Any volunteers to feed them the next time we’re on vacation?
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End of summer 2015

Monday, October 5th, 2015

So…I let Christopher log into my library account so he could reserve a few books…I swear I left him unattended for not even 20 minutes. How much trouble could he cause with a library card??? He got a little carried away. Here are the two trips he had to make the next week for all of the books he reserved!!! He’s been working through these over the past month – and loving it! I guess there are worse problems I could have with him πŸ˜‰

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Here’s Megan at her garden plot from her summer classes the past few months at the Chanhassen Arboretum. Check out her out-of-control dill that she’s holding. Eggplant, beets, sunflowers, peppers, you name it. She absolutely loved this class and bringing food home each week that she grew. She has quite the green thumb!

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Here’s one of her veggies that they dubbed, “running carrot” πŸ™‚

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Running Megan. What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? A carrot.

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Check out the sign that Colleen painted for us. So cool! Love it! It’s hanging in our living room now. Step 1: Paint sign. Step 2: Live these rules every day πŸ™‚

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Colleen ran the Stomp Out Suicide 5k with me this year. We ran into Baymax and Hiro while we were up there. It’s a great race for a great purpose in a smaller city north of the Twin Cities. Every year it has been growing and growing. This year’s featured speaker before the walk was John Moe. He did an awesome job talking about suicide and depression and his struggles and the loss of his brother. My favorite quote was that “depression hates matching shirts” – gotta love it at an event like this. Depression hated everything about the fun and joy and sunshine and matching shirts that day. Fight it every day and spread the word!

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For the first time ever we took off a day of work to go to the first day of the Minnesota State Fair. We turned into “those people”, but we did it for the right reason – we got to see Colleen march in the parade.

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Swinging at the fair

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And here’s Colleen at a high school football game. She dances throughout the game (and of course half-time) and it has been a TON of fun for us to watch. The football team is good, but the dancers are better!!! I proudly wear my bedazzled “Dance Mom” sweatshirt everywhere I go. Well…I would if I had one.

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This was right after a kick sailed out of bounds and surprised the dancers at how close it came to them.

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We had another great trip up to Grand Marais. Peaceful. Relaxing. Nice weather. No bugs. Great donuts. Fun times. Love my family. Good food. New brewery. Tons of walking and hiking. Kayaking. We would still love it if others joined us in an upcoming year. It is the perfect little town to relax, kick back, engage in conversation, and not get distracted by a million other things that will rot your mind. Who’s in?

Cold water in Lake Superior! This is our first night in Grand Marais this year. We are way out on Artist Point and the kids are at the farthest point on some large rocks jutting into the lake. Another step or two and they’d be in over their heads!

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“The” annual photo. Kids have grown just a bit since so many years ago.

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Megan and I go here every morning. Our special trip together to get donuts, muffins, skizzles, bismarks, pullaparts, turnovers, roundups, and coffee. World’s best!

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Awesome dry river bed. I kept looking back expecting to see a wall of water rushing at us. Guess that only happens in the movies, but still, that would have been cool!

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We don’t always go mini-golfing…but when we do, we do it with goats on a platform. Yep, goats. Climbing up and down a ramp to get food that kids like Megan torment them with. Megan figured out that she could jiggle the machine to get handful after handful of goat food. And that’s what she did.

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Psycho eyes. Creepy. Quit looking at me.

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Lake Superior is insanely cold. But that never stops Megan…who lures the other two into it too. Wait for it…

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We just about had all of Two Island Lake to ourselves. Beautiful day – from foggy start to sun later in the morning. We saw a loon and a few different kinds of ducks. So peaceful. Loved it.

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Morning webs

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Guess we watered this too much – yikes!

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We’re being followed!

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Not sure that I’d recommend either of these, and definitely not the combination again πŸ™‚ Mini-Donut Beer (this was ok – complete with sugar on the rim) and Maple Bacon Apple Tipsy Pie (this was a bad combination of apples, bacon, booze, and syrup – not good).

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Chris at the fair. He was confident he would win at this game.

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And he did! He won a monkey.

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He was confident he could win again.

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He won a bigger monkey! Just what we need…another monkey in the house.

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Summer road trippin’

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

This was the view from our back patio. Under attack? Preparing to handle the protesters-who-can’t-logically-express-what-they-are-fighting-for at the state fair this coming weekend? Blocking streets near your own neighborhood is one thing. Trying to disrupt 100,000 drunks who just want their cheese curds could lead to a riot of epic proportions. Sigh, just wish I’d hear a reasonable, civilized argument in between all the news showing crap burning and neighborhoods getting shot up.
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The bucket of water that was meant to put out the fireworks took one for the team. Uh…safety first.
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Our firework technicians at work. Boom!
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Here’s the dance team. Freshmen in the back. Seniors up front. Lots of rules like that. Tradition? Hazing? Do the right things for the right reasons and all will be well.
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Look who else made the dance team. Hmmm…I don’t remember trying out.
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And she didn’t think she’d ever be a “dance mom”. Somebody could use a ProSpangle Bling Machine for Christmas!
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Birthday pies for daddy!!! Stay away. Mine.
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How many bunnies do you see in the picture? Seriously??? Laying down??? You’re too fat, lazy, and confident to even stand up to eat under the bird feeder now??? That’s right next to our patio – Orca obviously isn’t doing her job!!!
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Mom – did I ever thank you for the birthday glasses? No? Good. Heh heh.
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We have a bumble bee hive in an old stump in our backyard. Bumble bees are everywhere. I looked online and it said that bumble bee hives are very rare and that we should consider ourselves lucky. We are! They are awesome to watch bumbling around.
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Colleen has been busy painting signs. Megan is going to wear this around her neck all year at school I think.
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Megan asked for EVERY one of the different swimming fish in this series for the pool. It’s insane in the pool when she turns them all on at once. Things are attacking you from every side!
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Wonder where she got her love of pies from? We kept getting so many berries from the garden, along with our rhubarb, that Beth couldn’t help but keep making super yummy pies πŸ™‚
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On our road trip to Kentucky for Beth’s mom’s side’s family reunion, we stopped in Iowa. Our typical rant about Iowa involves hitting deer or getting stuck in snow storms. This time we drove on back roads, gravel roads, windy roads, roads through small towns, etc – and we loved it. I had an urge to drop everything and become a farmer. So close – but we kept driving. It was beautiful. Our first stop was at the Field of Dreams. We watched this movie as a family a week prior to the trip (we must have set the bar so low describing this “old” movie to our kids and how boring it would be that they all said they actually liked it – hee hee). The baseball field is exactly how you’d picture it from the movie. It was the perfect stop to get our trip started. And it’s surprising how popular it is 25+ years later (and they don’t charge admission – awesome!).
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The start of me and my minions!!! Watch out world – here we come!
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Just passing along this picture for anyone looking for ideas on remodeling their kitchen. Is this what they call Kentucky charm???
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I’m very secure in my urges toward quilting. Are you?
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So much to do outside the Quilting Museum we didn’t even see what was inside (maybe on our next trip to Paducah)?
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Dam sign
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Dam trash cans
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Dam daughter
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Dam son
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Christopher showing off his new glasses. What are you lookin’ at.
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This is my story to sum up Kentucky. I’m standing near the 6-pack of Kentucky Ale in the liquor store and the clerk was right there. I wanted to know if that beer was popular down there so I asked him, “Do people drink this here?”. He turned to me, 100% serious, and said (as if I was the dumb one he needed to educate), “Sir, you can’t drink in the liquor store.” Uh…huh? I didn’t even respond. Maybe this is a common daily question he gets. I just bought ma’ beer, said “See yinz later”, and I burned rubber leaving the parking lot like everyone else does down there.
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Months ago when I asked Christopher what was on his dream list this year, he said to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kentucky. He got to eat lots of Kentucky-fried chicken (because that’s what the buffet had in the one spot that we could all eat each night at the reunion). The reunion was 20 miles from the big city of Paducah, but we did find this KFC on our way out of town. Livin’ the dream!
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We stopped in Bloomington, Indiana to see Leanna w/ her kids, and to walk around IU’s campus. We all ate lunch at Mother Bear’s Pizza. Not that I would ever judge or compare schools in Indiana but this shows the quality of an education in Bloomington. We ordered the right amount of food for lunch – 3 huge mistakes (including a repeat mistake) later by the “morons in the kitchen” (as our waiter called them) and Leanna had a pile of food taller than her! We would go back there in a heartbeat. Order something slightly different from what is on the menu and you’ve hit the jackpot of free food. Our problem was how to get them to stop making mistakes in the kitchen so we could just leave the place. Guess you’ve got to be good at something, huh? Campus was beautiful as I remembered it – we keep wanting to show Colleen schools that we pass.
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We had an awesome quick visit in Indy. Amazing hosts as always! Great to catch up with everyone and to see all of the kids – wow how they’ve all grown!!! Thank you Egolds!!!
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Don’t think for a second that Beth had any better luck than I did.
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Pizza with Phil and Pat. Great to see them and to see Aunt Pat up and about and looking great. Always great to stop and catch up on things in Rochester.
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It is hard to not think about Rochester and “the flag pole” but this little trailer and VW Bus served the best ice cream we’ve ever had in Rochester. Too bad that the flagpole is putting the flagpole out of business. This new place is easy to miss as you drive by but I recommend that you stop there!
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We must have caught Dave and Beth on laundry day – why else would you wear those t-shirts? Aunt Beth sounded like she’d love a Purdue blanket from us – not sure what she would do with it but she said we could send her one. It was great to see Aunt Beth and Uncle Dave, and to see that Aunt B is doing well. We are thinking of you all the time and continue to send happy thoughts and prayers to everyone in Rochester. Boiler up!
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Hail, hail to old Purdue! All hail to our old gold and black!
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Harry’s Chocolate Shop near campus.Home of the world famous Baltimore Zoo.
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The next pictures in future blog posts won’t be so small of our cute little pumpkin (weeks later she’s already past 100 lbs – more to come next month).
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And here’s the start to our cute little pumpkin’s vine.
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A beautiful arrangement of buds from the cute little pumpkin’s vine.
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Where did May go?

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

What a good boy – bringing a flower to mommy on Mother’s Day weekend. Christopher has been playing flag football in the spring. It’s been fun for him but I think he’s ready for the real deal in the fall again. Next week he starts a strength training camp put on by the football team – I think I started playing around with weights about his age – great life long habit to get into. I think he’s doing anything he can to finally be able to beat me up πŸ™‚

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And of course our standard Mother’s Day lunch at Convention Grill. Mmmmm,mmmmmm, goodness. Yummy burger, great fries, and all washed down by a super thick chocolate banana malt.

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Sprinkler under the trampoline was a new one – kept him cool and wet but it makes it a lot harder to bounce.

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Megan’s dream this year has been to plant an apple tree. You know I can’t resist supporting someone’s dream. So we planted two apple trees in our yard (the price was right, only $25 per tree from a local plant sale). Megan loves taking care of plants – she was a big help digging this hole! Now we just wait about five years for our efforts to pay off!

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This is what spring soccer looks like mid-May in Minnesota – ha! Ok, it was unusually cold that day, but guess whose child only wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt while all the other kids had on hats, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and ear muffs? Even Megan was cold after this one.

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So I see this big polyphemus moth (what, that’s not what you call them?) on the ground in the parking lot when I get to work. Not moving. And he’s in pretty much the same spot when I leave 9 hours later. Not moving. It is cold. There is no shelter or vegetation around. And we had a similar moth a few years back emerge from a cocoon in one of our bushes. So I pick him up and put him on my jacket in the seat next to me in my car and head home. About halfway home he starts moving a bit and then starts beating his wings a ton. I still didn’t think he would be strong enough to fly but before I knew it he took flight and started flying all around my car. It got me cracking up as I wondered if anyone in the cars next to me could see this enormous flying whatever going all around me and my car πŸ™‚

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Some things haven’t changed at all in the past 35 years. Christopher’s buddies have all started solving the rubic’s cube so finally Christopher gave in and we started playing with it too.

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Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool. This is a well deserved break. Grandma and Grandpa T hardly rested at all when they were here. I loved the visit and we had a great time staying busy working around the house, talking, see a soccer game, going out for dinner & ice cream, going to church, visiting the farmer’s market, sewing (thank you!), etc, etc, etc. Thank you for everything – it was great seeing you. Love you all!

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Cheers at Maynards on the water while Grandma and Grandpa are in town!

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Last time Grandma and Grandpa T were in town we got a new ladder because someone didn’t think my old $10 ladder from an estate sale was safe enough. It’s been laying by the campfire ever since so this time we burned it. And of course how can you resist not standing it up in the fire?

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Christopher has been in a leadership club all year that culminated with a presentation to the principal and other teachers. I had to laugh when they sent a picture that night and he was wearing a skull shirt that day – and his buddy didn’t show up so he had to present alone. Fun times.

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Grandpa forced us all to go to Freeziacs. Thank you Grandpa.

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We changed the rules up a bit to play “speed monopoly” which ended up being a lot of fun for everyone. Everyone quit before we could declare me the winner (get your own blog if you don’t like how I summarize things – heh heh).

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This first picture is what the water tower looked like the whole time Grandma and Grandpa were here. Grandpa kept saying they are painting the tower. I said that was dumb and that this was a magic show. And if not a magic show then one of those giant swing rides at the state fair. Grandpa insisted they were painting it. Uh…check out the 2nd photo…don’t you feel dumb now…it’s very obviously a magic show…and then look at the 3rd picture…ta da!

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Abracadabra

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And it’s gone – totally amazing. It’s not painted – it’s just gone. That’s magic! How do they do that?!?!?

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Rumor has it that when Christopher first showed this to mommy she thought it was a tank – hee hee. Don’t mess with us or we’ll send over our killer turtle tanks!

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At what point do you realize your career is a bit off track when you are spending 241 hours putting 68,827 legos together to make a giant peacock for the arboretum. And whose job was it to count those legos? I swear I have never seen this kit at the lego store in the Mall of America. (note: Our local paper had an article on this a few days after I typed this post. Little did I know that there is an elite group of only 12 professionals in the WORLD recognized by The LEGO Group for their constructing skill and enthusiasm – and we have been blessed to see Sean Kenney’s work who is one of this elite group. I love it that they say they certify for not only skill but also “enthusiasm”. Dude, you got mad Lego building skills but for a 40-year-old you just didn’t show enough enthusiasm to the art – maybe you should stick with the kids jumbo blocks instead.)

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We got to watch some turtle log rolling at the arboretum. Just when a few turtles would get balanced on this log, another turtle would come along and get the whole log spinning again. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

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Schooner Days came a weekend early this year so it beat Beth’s birthday by a bit. In the first picture if you look very closely and let your eyes focus on the right hand side (just below where those bars cross to make an “x”) you can see the carnies kid playing with his toys inside of the fenced in area (he blends into the background) – he was just feet away from the swinging cars of this ride. Insane. We couldn’t watch him – we were all afraid he would stand up or get distracted. And then check out Megan’s expression in the second picture – she doesn’t get that from me πŸ™‚

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Hot Cold Hot Cold

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

What a crazy month it has been. Sunny one day and snowing the next. 70F one day and then 20F the next. My snow tires are gone, the ducks are back, and green stuff is sprouting everywhere! We have been busy, even for us. In one week in April all of the following happened: Christopher had a birthday; Beth’s parents came to visit; Beth flew to Washington DC to present at a conference; I interviewed at a local college for a certificate program; Colleen tried out for & then made the high school dance team; and Colleen had a dance competition. Everyone was crazy and running around except for Megan πŸ™‚

Happy Easter!

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The first thing Megan does every morning is spritz all of the plants in her room and then feeds her fish. She loves growing things. She has a grow light, heating pad, etc in her room. I have a friend who grows GIANT pumpkins (e.g., > 1000 lb pumpkins). He gave me some seeds (check out how big just the seeds are!) and Megan & I are going to try our luck at growing a State-Fair-winning pumpkin. We filed our seeds. We soaked our seeds. We planted our seeds. Now we wait πŸ™‚

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Megan and I found some recipes from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes book. The Frobscottle didn’t taste so bad (I think Beth and I enjoyed it more than the kids) and thankfully didn’t have the intended gassy results as happened in the BFG book!

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Colleen’s #1 dream for the past few years has been to work very hard and do everything that she could to make the Eden Prairie Dance Team. Tryouts were this month and she made all of the teams that she tried out for. So she’ll be dancing at all high school football and soccer games this fall, and doing competitions this winter. She is crazy excited about this. Way to go Colleen! This is the big time – Eden Prairie has won the state title in football the last 4 years straight and our coach was national coach of the year in 2014.

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Not quite sure what this logo is, but the kids tried to get me to sit on this bench first – stinkers πŸ™‚

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We spent a beautiful morning picking up trash around Purgatory Creek. Megan found two amazing treasures – one was a pacifier and the other was a small statue of the Hindu god Ganesha still wrapped in bubble wrap. She even took that one in for show and tell to show off her trash treasure! We had a fun morning and picked up lots of stuff. We were supposed to meet up with the scout troop but we got there late and never quite caught them. Funny how we followed where they had been and still managed to pick up tons of things – interesting πŸ™‚

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Grandma and Grandpa Schmidt were in town, guess what that means…

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Colleen and I were shopping at the running store and I found a few things with “Brooks” on them…I’ll show you which one I bought when you visit!

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This was right after my 18-mile run. I ran 8 miles with a co-worker and we timed it just right to then start Goldy’s 10-mile run right as that race started. It went great (way better than my 19-mile run two weeks later for some reason). This race ended with us running into the Gopher’s football stadium and stopping on the 50-yard line. Hopefully my 20-mile run coming up goes smoothly – and then that’s my last long run before the marathon on May 31st. Crazy how far I’ve come in just a few months (and that the farthest I ran total in 2014 was only about 4 miles!). I’ve lost some weight while training (I’m intentionally watching what I eat) and my clothes aren’t fitting the way they used to. It seemed odd when my underwear also starting fitting kind of funny – they weren’t baggy but instead it seemed the waist was sitting lower (did Beth buy me sort of new hip-hugger, low rise weirdness?). I kind of shrugged it off but it took us a few weeks to realize that Christopher and I have to start doing our laundry completely separately or we’ll never keep our underwear straight!

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I’ll have to do Christopher’s birthday questions next month. We had cake but he hasn’t had a party with friends yet – hopefully we can pull that off in the next few weeks. He’s thinking one of those sky-zone type of places followed by a sleep over.

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The day before and the day after were beautiful and sunny (in fact, the next day was when I did my 18-mile Goldy’s run). Out of no where it started snowing like crazy for just a little while – just about everybody in the building had their noses pressed to the windows staring out dumbfounded.

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I want to see this snowman try to shop for clothes that will fit!

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Sad picture. Poor Frosty. See you next year.

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I know I’ve written before about how much I love trampoline pictures. Always crack me up. The kids jump every day but they are always doing things to make it even more fun (dangerous?). Dog? Balls? Craziness!

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Medusa hair!

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The ducks are back! They stop by the pond several times each day. Not yet sure if they’ll lay eggs near our pond again but it’s always fun to have them visit so much and be so comfortable there (despite Orca’s behavior toward them – bad doggie!). We’ve also been hearing pheasants again. We haven’t spotted them yet but they are hiding somewhere in or near our backyard.

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Do you recognize her with glasses? Can you believe we already received mail making us aware of when driving classes start!!!!

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Spring break. The pictures are backwards but we first went to Chicago and then stopped at the Wisconsin Dells for 2 days on our way back. These are the bar stools in Wisconsin that Beth wants in our house some day. And some big animal heads on our wall too!

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We had an amazing time in Chicago. I got to run several days (I always love running through the city streets early in the morning as everything wakes up and the city comes to life). It was windy along the shore for a 13-mile run but I made it. Funny – as I was running I started seeing more and more people with race #s. I eventually came to the start of a 16,000 person 8K run that was happening. Had I planned ahead I would have signed up for that possibly. We bought City Passes which made it so much more enjoyable to see the Field Museum (natural history), Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and the John Hancock Tower. It was a whirlwind tour but we saw tons of places and also got to eat so much great food. Beth and I ate at Alinea again – absolutely amazing. The best meal of our lives. Wow was it great!!! It was only 16 courses the night we went but somehow we still got enough food (plus the 11-wines in my wine flights).

Should we have been scared that this was by our night stand in our hotel? Having lived downtown Chicago for many years we aren’t surprised by noises of the city.

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The kids had more fun in the lobby of the John Hancock (throwing rubber bouncy balls in an empty lobby late at night) as they did at the top of the building.

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Watch out – here come the dolphins right behind you!

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Check out the next two pictures – only a few difference in the past seven years πŸ™‚

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Chris and Sue!

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One dessert is never enough…so we ordered four! This was at Topolabampo. It is a restaurant that Rick Bayless runs (he’s there nearly every day). Rick has three restaurants and this is his most upscale of the three. It was ok but we would never go back for the price – instead we would go back to his Frontera Grill in a heartbeat every single time instead. It has wonderful food. Live and learn. Glad we went there but once was enough.

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Random randomness

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

It’s interesting (but not so much jolting now as it was a year ago) when a moment from the past with Katherine collides with the present. One of the great gifts she got me years ago was a trip to a local brew-your-own-beer place. I’ve been there 2 or 3 times to brew beer and am signed up for the newsletter. I’m not sure if I noticed in the past or if they are personalizing these letters differently now…but this is how the one from last month came to me:

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I guess Katherine thought that was pretty cool because she sent me another sign via a sweating gin-and-tonic glass on my back patio πŸ™‚

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Who’s on my dad’s team? Anyone wearing red, white, and blue!!! We heard that message loud and clear several times on our Washington, DC trip. I have a huge regret of not taking a picture of one of the first members of dad’s team we saw in Ocean City, Md – a nice young gentleman (picture Kid Rock but more strung out), covered in tattoos and wearing red, white, and blue socks, shorts, shirt, and bandana. We have had some good laughs finding dad’s team members spread out all over the country. The state fair also had some fun team members proudly wearing their colors – and again, I missed my chance to take pictures. So…when I came across this member of dad’s team I wasn’t gong to miss my opportunity again. He ran the State Fair Milk Run…and believe it or not…I saw him two more times that same day amongst the 100,000 people at the fair (how did I know it was him you ask?). I changed clothes after the 5k so I would be more comfortable all day at the fair…but he wouldn’t dare change out of his team uniform! Eyes have been blocked to protect the guilty – who would dare make a grimacing face like that just because someone’s silky running shorts are a little too short and tight?

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Found some pictures on my phone from our summer trip to Grand Marais. We love New Scenic CafΓ© on the way up to Grand Marais. This is when we first relax a bit, sip a beer, drive along the lake, and have some tastes of absolutely wonderful food. Braised black mission figs, honey, walnuts, sage, bleu cheese. Yummy!

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I recently read something about photo faux pas and that you shouldn’t ever post pictures of half-eaten meals…so here’s what this looked like before we started:

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World’s Best Donuts EVERY morning in Grand Marais. Possibly followING a jog, and followED by a walk out to Artist’s Point.

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Megan and I biked to Culvers. I ordered my turtle sundae with chocolate custard as always. I saw them making it with vanilla so I tried to stop them. They ended up giving that one to someone behind us in line for free. And then they gave me mine, apologized for making me wait (it was no more than 2 minutes and I could have cared less), and they loaded up my sundae with twice as much frozen custard as we usually get to say thank you to me. Thank you Culvers πŸ™‚

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We saw a Minnesota Vikings preseason game played at the University of Minnesota’s stadium. Beautiful night for a game outside. Vikings won. We could see where Beth works from our seats too.

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Find the one that isn’t a bobble head πŸ™‚

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Yes, I know, I have many talents, including graphic art.

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After the game Megan was struggling to express her emotions so I got to spend time with her while everyone else went to Beth’s lab for a quick tour. Her self-imposed punishment was to wedge herself into this newspaper rack and stay there a while. Ahhhh, fun times.

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Remember the wrestler Bill Goldberg? Insanely overgrown trapezius muscles? Speared people and snarled at everyone? He has always been one of my heroes – been a member of his fan club for years and I have a poster on the back of my door. So…we’re walking down a side street at the state fair this year and there is a trailer with no line and they say you can meet Bill Goldberg. I look over and see what looked to be a tiny guy sitting there who kind of looked like him. But how could there be no line to meet Bill Goldberg? Insane – I know. We watch a video and then afterword sure enough this tiny guy wasn’t so tiny as he posed with us.

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State Fair. Kristin, Tom and Big A (aka Boog) came up again to enjoy the fun and food with us again.

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Funny that the person taking the group selfie (groupie? ussie?) isn’t in it. Was that by design?

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Even I’m confused about who’s holding which beer…all I know is the beer was free because Beth has connections at the fair πŸ™‚

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Megan loves, loves, LOVES the corn at the state fair. Sweet. Buttery. Yummaliciousness!!! Love this picture.

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Megan got her wubbabubbaball. It is just like on the commercial – bouncy, wobbly, weird sounding…fun for a few weeks and then we had several families over to meet our intern and afterwards we found it popped and hidden under a pillow πŸ™ I sent it in to get repaired…which seems to be their plan.

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First day of school for everyone 2014. I haven’t talked to Gen about posting her picture on my blog…I’ll make sure she’s fine with that and will maybe share some pictures with her in a future post.

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Colleen’s cross country meet. It is rare to get a non-grimacing face from any runners this close to the finish line. Great job Colleen!

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Christopher is having a fun season playing football. He’s #73 and has green sleeves sticking out in most of these pictures which makes him easier to find.

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Solo tackle!!

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I didn’t notice the names on the jerseys until I was looking at all of the pictures afterwards. How cute.

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This is how Megan entertains herself with the water hoses while at the football games. Shocking that she’s the only one doing this, huh?

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Megan is having a great season playing soccer. She scored two goals in this game. See the ball in the first picture below? Keep looking – you’ll see it. Straight past the goalie from far out and into the net!

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Celebrating the goal. Probably asking her friend not to pick her up again πŸ™‚

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Guess what happens next with this one? Let’s just say that Megan earned ice cream PLUS a topping for this game πŸ™‚

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