Duluth, MN

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tony and I made plans to go camping with Missy and Aaron this summer, but Missy's work schedule was extremely restrictive so we found ourselves planning a trip to Duluth over Labor Day weekend instead. We had a ball!

Friday night we took a long stroll, met up with some old friends, and finally meandered our way down to Pizza Luce. Oddly enough, while there is one in Minneapolis, Tony and I have only eaten at the Duluth location!

It was phenomenally yummy after all of our walking around, especially considering we didn't get to eat until a late 10:00 pm! For pizza we had:
  • Ruby Rae: A delicious upside down pizza pie with the red sauce on top! Spinach, fresh diced tomatoes, Italian sausage, and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkled with crushed red pepper and parmesan cheese.

  • Baked Potato Pizza: Pizza crust smothered in buttery-garlic baby red mashed potatoes and topped with broccoli, fresh diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of smoked apple hickory bacon. Served with a side of sour cream.
Yesterday we got up decently early, went grocery shopping for lunch and snacks, and then made our way to Gooseberry Falls. Tony and I love to get out and hike, so it was ideal for us. Aaron could have his own Man vs Wild show if he only had an agent, so he was definitely in his element . . . unfortunately Missy got her fill of the park a little too quickly, but sucked it up for us.

For your enjoyment pictures will be segmented as "normal pictures" and "Aaron and Tony doing things they probably shouldn't have."

The first installment being "normal pictures."

And now . . . Aaron and Tony climbing or doing things they probably shouldn't.

We had a great time!

Made you look!

Lol, I made some of you all do a double take, didn't I?!
Baby bump fully explainable by the wind tunnel created while visiting Enger Tower. :)
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Billowy empire top + strategically placed hand = pregnancy pic.

There'll be more pics coming, this was just one stop on our tour of Duluth, MN!

As if my post before weren't random . . .

Friday, August 29, 2008

I've been tagged again, by the miss kim(berly) michelle. I feel very honored to be included in her style laden list.

With all of my recent taggings you'd think that I would run out of randomness and you'd be close . . . but still wrong - because I don't think the internet can even touch on the depths of my randomness. You all be thankful, my friends in real life aren't so lucky.

1. My Mom and I have a very interesting relationship and I sometimes contemplate creating a blog just to update with the pleathora of inappropriate emails I receive from her. When I say inappropriate, I don't mean x-rated, I mean inappropriate by way of crossing every boundary that a mother and daughter should have.

Ex: She asked me if I was going to get trashed at my wedding, because my Grandma asked and she didn't know the answer . . . which meant it was totally appropriate to ask me, because you know, I drink, which meant I was an alcoholic. She still does not understand why this was unacceptable to ask and fyi, I had 4 drinks total at our reception.

2. I ate a pickle and mayo sandwich last night, just like when I was a kid, and do not find it a stretch of the term sandwich.

3. I'm extremely criticizing in real life, it's definitely a flaw of mine that I have been praying about.

4. I've only bought two articles of clothing this summer . . . one being these jeans and the striped sweater from Target that I got on clearance for $13.24 and have subsequently worn apparently almost everyday since! I bought 4 swimming suits and returned all of them. :(

5. Our downstairs bathroom is still sitting in this state and I doubt it will be remedied before Tony's reffing season starts.

6. Our lives are about to change in a big way. You know, cause it's an election year. :)


I haven't been inudated by reasons to post lately. It seems my mind has been occupied by nonblogging material, which means, let's be honest, I've been a little stressed and unhappy. That's just what nonblogging days equal to, at least in my opinion.

So just to share some of this stress . . .

Tony was hired on full time by our company! Yay! He was contracted for a year, through a hiring agency, but his time was finally up. Unfortunately, this has affected our finances as we're now adjusting from a weekly check to twice a month. That means C-H-A-N-G-E-S!

To top it off, we expected his first full two week check today . . . and got half of that amount.

Additionally, last night while going over our finances, Tony and I discovered what we thought was an error of terrible proportions, resulting in my being overpaid. The amount I've been receiving ended up being about $200 more per pay period than my salary should compute to. This morning I took the plunge, with a considerable amount of praying beforehand, and spoke with my boss about it. It ended up being correct, as we were not calculating correctly based on salary, so all of my worry was for naught, but in the end I guess it allowed me to give them a true picture of how honorable I am.

It's a good thing Tony took the Vue . . . otherwise we'd be in even more hurt right now . . . although I would be cute, comfortable and fashionable while in financial pain . . . maybe I should re-examine that!

So with all of this in mind . . . Tony and I have two huge travel weekends ahead of us.

This weekend we're taking off for Duluth, to enjoy some of the scenery of the North Shore with another couple!

And next weekend we're going to Tony's friend's cabin in WI.

I'll be trying to have fun I promise, but I'm truly my mother's daughter and stress about money, a lot.

You know I love him . . .

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

But tonight to cap off my fun-filled day, Tony left me stranded at the house!

After authorizing his approval on this blog post, I was all geared up tonight to see what if any of my choices actually looked good on a body, specifically this curvy non teenager one.

Imagine my frustration and annoyance when I stepped out to leave and viewed our empty driveway, save for the Grand Prix, which I do not have keys for.


No words necessary.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Now . . . the landscaping. Er, next year?

Breaks my heart/He's a good man.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

No one has just come out and accused me of it, and for that I'm greatful . . . but I'm afraid I've been living the life of a cat woman without documention on this blog.

Our little tikes right now consist of 3 kitters and one puppers. Those within my inner circle know my love affair of tabbies, specifically with white markings! Additionally, they'd claim that I'd take on a 4th or 5th cat if I could, but trust me, I know my limits, or at least the house's! There's nothing I enjoy more than snuggling up with one of my purring cats. Seriously, it's one of my most favorite enjoyments on a Sunday afternoon.

Which leads me up to the car ride that Tony and I took quickly this evening to my Mom's, just 5 minutes away. About 4 blocks from our house, I saw something that just broke my heart. A beautiful tabby, with white belly and legs, stretched out in what appeared to be mid stride, dead, in the opposite lane.

Tony immediately looked at me and stuck out his bottom lip, mirroring the same reaction I had. I could just tell from the positioning of it's body in the road that it was going to be struck again, if not repeatedily. I told Tony my thoughts and he asked what I thought should be done, he knew what I wanted, but needed me to ask him. So I did, I asked for the small decency that my husband move the poor cat to the side of the road. Now I'm a sucker for cats in general, be they strays or otherwise, but I could just tell from how beautiful this cat was, that it was no stray. I've never been a fan of indoor/outdoor pets and this situation just confirms my feelings, but I did not want this cats owners to find it smooshed into the concrete, beyond recognition.

We continued to my Mom's, arriving and quickly departing. I told my Mom what Tony agreed to do and she equipped him with latex gloves. As we approached the bend in the road before the cat, Tony slowed down to put the gloves on and at least provided some comedic relief, as I told him he looked like some kind of sicko to the plain observer!

The cat had not been struck again, thankfully, and Tony actually reached out to touch it in a familiar way, as he had some hope it was still alive. Such was not the case unfortunately, and I held back tears as my wonderful husband gingerly picked up the tabby's body, and placed it on the side of the road. There was a collar, but no tag. If there had been, we were prepared to place the call. In all honesty, I really had hoped for a tag. To take away their wonderment and fear.

It seems so small of an act of kindness, but tonight was one of those nights that I am extraordinarly proud to call Tony my husband.

So here it is.

The grand old MN State Fair!

Tony's foot was okay meaning he was in pain, but it wasn't going to stop him from attending the fair!

I'm afraid I wasn't the best blogger, so the contents of our fair fare will have to be without visual aid . . . but here's the rundown of what we ate:

Pronto pup
Cheese curds
Fried pickles
Dill pickle
Axel's bull bites
Dole pinneapple and raspberry swirl cone
Roasted corn on the cob
Jennie-O pulled turkey sandwich

The only item we did not share was the corn on the cob, we each get one for ourselves. :)

It was such a delicious day!

Here are some pictures . . .

Attending the fair is almost a state holiday in observance of the end of summer. And so fitting, when we returned home Friday night, after a game of Cranium at Beth and Randy's, the air was crisp and just perfect for sleeping!

MN Fall we're ready for you!

Friday's are intended for randomness.

Friday, August 22, 2008

1. Thank you for the comments yesterday/today. I truly appreciate them. Truly.

2. Amber you are such a sweetheart. Thank you for my premio dos! :) I think I got the most choked up about the fence builder accolade, Tony will beam with pride!

3. Speaking of the hubs, the text I just received:

"So Whisler* turned the cart** hard and flipped it and it landed on my foot. It's not doing well***."

*Whisler is one of his reffing buddies, they are at a benefit golf tourney.
** Cart refers to golf cart!
*** He isn't answering his phone and has not responded to the text!

I'm starting to get worried now and am writing off our plans to go to the State Fair tonight. Tony almost always underestimates or downplays things, so the fact that I originally got "it's not doing well" as opposed to "It's not so hot" or "It kind of hurts" makes me immediately jump to conclusions!

4. This is the weekend of the most broken plans in history, with the same 2 other couples. First we were to go to WI Dells, then one of the couple's family cabin's and now finally the Fair. I really doubt that will happen now. :( Poor Ton!

5. The MN State Fair prides itself as the largest state fair in the country and that you can eat anything under the sun - on a stick.

You want alligator, snickers, pickles, mac n cheese, tatortot hotdish? Sure let's just deep fry it and put it on a stick!

This year one of the new fair foods is a 1/3 lb of bacon . . . deep fried on a stick, with dipping sauce.

6. I'm driving a pretty hot mid-90's white Ford Focus right now . . . because you guessed it, my Vue is back at the dealership . . . since Tuesday. They sent it to a Saturn dealership this time, but did not find it satisfactory and sent it back today. I have no idea when this fiasco will be over, but we just paid our first car payment for a vehicle that has spent more time in the parking lot than our driveway.

I really want to hear from my husband!!!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another two things that just made my day:

This from the bride:

You were amazing on Friday and Saturday . . . I couldn't have asked for a better person to help me out! Thak you so much, and I need your address! Thanks so much again!

Is it wrong that I'm excited she asked for my address? I provided my service por gratis and was happy to do so . . . but just a little part of me hopes I have some cash coming my way, although a nice Thank You card could prove just as sweet.

Second, that I was selected by my girl Sarah for honoring me with the Brilliante Weblog Premio Award. Yes, I'm doing a fake smile and elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist action as we speak. :)

FWIW . . . Tony had a good long laugh when I told him Sarah's comment, that moi "always seems so positive and full of life - I wish I had her energy!" I'm not sure what to take from his laughter lol, but Sarah I appreciate the nod and would hope that I am similar in real life to what my readers take away of me from my blog.

Keeping in mind who Sarah already nominated, now it's my turn to nominate some other inspirational blogs and bloggers:

Melissa: A wedding/portrait/life photographer with 4 absolutely adorable children, Melissa's candor towards life and ever refreshing portrayal of her working faith in the Lord never fail to provide a great visit.

Kritta: I'm not quite sure what field or occupation she works in, but it obviously employees her mastery of our written language. Even if she is a Wisconsinite, she's a marathon running workhorse with a great sense of humor and ability to capture it in words.

Freckles Chick: Her eye is impeccable, her posts are thought provoking {at the very least creatively speaking} and she seems like a great person.

Erin: Word to wise, do not stop by if you are hungry. Honestly, this girl takes some gorgeous photographs in general, but in combination with her experimenting skills in the kitchen, there's a mean combo. Plus she's from MN and is working on her house . . . my kind of gal.

Julia: Oh my Julia, Julia. Not only do we share a common name in Lorene, she rocks my face off. A down to earth girl, who tackles life with vigor and humor. She's my inspiration to make the jump from 1/2 to full.

Kpapa: Yet another girl who can write and photograph with the best of them. She's working her way through a multi state move leaving behind her beloved MA, at times without her husband, and all while looking through a reflective comical eye. I always visit with a smirk.

Andrea: Yet another photographer, who seems like the crazy beautiful college friend that I never met. Extremely supportive, with great ideas and a beautiful family, including Bailey!

Now to those I nominated, put the logo on your blog and link to the person you received your award from. Nominate at least 7 other blogs and put links to those blogs on your site. Be sure to leave messages on the blogs you’ve nominated so they know about the award. Congrats to all!

In disguise as . . .

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm sorry, but I've been holding out on you all a small tidbit that just made my weekend. About a year ago, while trapped in a job that I hated, I was continuously made happy by being able to assist the plethora of young brides getting engaged while employed with me at Target Corp. There was no shortage, as the ratio of women to men was around 3:1. I helped by providing solicited advice, compiling vendor lists for every budget and well being emersed in wedding planning yet again.

My co-workers saw that it made me happy and would often recommend newly engaged girls to seek my help out, which I gladly gave. There's nothing that makes me more happy than matching newly engaged girls up with an event center, photographer or florist who I just know they will click and is within their budget.

Six months ago, this help took a new direction when I was asked to provide day-of-coordinating services for one of my co-workers. After a few meetings together to hammer out expectations, I was set for their wedding this weekend. Or I should say event, because it was so much more than a wedding.

Friday Lindsey and Matt had their rehearsal and dinner at The Landmark Center, as their event location was open to the public Friday and was not accessible. Instead, they "made do" with the ever impressive LC. The drinks were always full and the passed hors d'oeurves were delicious.On Saturday I joined up with the party at the MN History Center. An absolutely stunning location for a wedding, as they had their ceremony and reception both held at the same location.

Um, yeah. This is the lobby.

The ceremony was held here, with a beautiful view of the state capital as backdrop.

I had the time of my life! Going into it I was a little apprehensive of two things:

1. They didn't need me at all!

2. Everything under the sun went wrong.

Luckily a happy median was struck. As for introductions, I feel that I made a strong impression on the event coordinators, family and bridal party that they could come to me when something was needed or wrong. I was able to assert myself when I knew that vendors were not completing tasks as Lindsey had instructed, enabling her vision to actually be carried through. Additionally, I was the go-fer girl, but I was glad to do it as opposed to someone in the bridal party, who would have had to miss out on something to get whatever it was or pass on information to who ever it was.

All in all, I was able to help in 3 large ways:

1. Remedy, with the help of the event coordinators, a large broken aisle arrangement about 40 minutes before the ceremony.

2. Find the photographer, when she went "missing" for 30 minutes while she was supposed to be doing family pictures {she ran out to her car with her camera, and was subsequently stuck when it started to spotaneously rain, as she did not have a bag or any way to protect her equipment}

3. Run to the St. Paul Hotel to retreive the forgotten marriage license . . . yeah.

All in all, I would love to have the opportunity to serve as a coordinator again, but have no idea how that would come about.

Back to school shopping.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tony and I took a stroll through the mall on Tuesday, after we picked up my wedding ring from it's rhodium plating date.

I left the mall extremely depressed after realizing three things:
1. I want to go back to school shopping.
2. I could never have too much money to spend at AE.
3. I'm slightly obsessed with Navy, the color, lately.

If I had my druthers and weren't buying lumber, tiles or copper piping, I would collect the below ensemble. (image will be a lot larger if you click on it!)

Specifically these two peices.

Bear no mind that if I were to get what I wanted it would cost more than what we spend on groceries a month! Lol.

This is all very new to me to be wanting clothing again, as I worked for Target Corp in their merchandising women's knit department for 1 1/2 years. I've slowing been going through withdrawl, as I was accustomed to going home each week with at least one new article of clothing to "wear test."

Tony is not going through withdrawl at all, but he sure is annoyed that I am. He's not used to me wanting frivolous things. For evidence, he bought me a journey pendant last Christmas with his unexpected bonus . . . and I returned it so that we could use the money towards the bathroom remodel. In exchange we were able to buy our bathtub, toilet, pipe, vanity light and a ceiling fan {not for the bathroom though lol}.

Slipped my mind.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I love photography. I really truly do. I even won county fair blue ribbons for some of my pictures over the years, okay, 5 years ago. But it almost goes without saying that photography is important to me. For that reason, I duped my hubs into an agreement. Every year, we arrange a photo session.

Last year, our first year to act on our agreement, our photo session fell into our laps, literally. Our videographer and subsquently turned friend Rachel {maydaygirl} was the recipient of an adoption fundraiser put on by her talented sister and sister in law of Moments in Time. It was the first of it's kind to my knowledge, as they offered family portraits for a donation to Joey and Rachel's adoption funds {btw the adoption agency fell through, but Rachel is 25 weeks pregnant!}. Here are a few of my favorite shots from last year:

This year . . . I had a doozy of a time finding a photographer! First of all, some photographers prices are outrageous. Second of all, well, it was mainly my first of all! $400 for portraits for 30 minutes? No thank you.

Thus I was beyond ecstatic to stumble across Erica of Studio 188 Friday night, while Tony and I were being losers. :) Her talent is obvious, but I'm extremely compelled by her use of light and the overall giddiness felt in the majority of her pictures.

We've had a flurry of emails go out, the gorgeous location used in the below pictures decided on, and a date set for September 21st. We'll be bringing Allie along as well yikes. All for $150.

Obviously it is no longer spring, but I have no doubt I will be blown away by Erica's work of our shoot!


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