Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas...Drinking Season :)

It has been TOO LONG since I have blogged.  As we say at work... "SLACKER!"  I guess I've gotten wrapped up in the holiday season...okay I'm just going to use that as an excuse :)  I have had the opportunity to see a lot of friends recently, and I am basking in the glory of how amazing my friends are.  

My sorority sister Megan was in town on the 16th and I went over to our friend/sister Anna's to see her and do some chatting.  She is someone who I have really grown to respect and admire.  She is such a passionate person and truly follows her dreams no matter what anyone tells her.  She was just home from an internship in St. Lucia (I know, jealous, right?!) so we got to hear about her experiences there, what is left of her grad school, and of course some good old-fashioned gossiping.  We might get to have her in Minneapolis soon!

At my bachelorette party 

Next comes Christmas weekend.  Woof!  We headed to my parent's place on Saturday to start the weekend.  That night, we headed in to town for a party bus, Litchfield.  Carmen got a bus into Litchfield and we hopped on for a super fun night.  We picked up whoever we could at the VFW in Litchfield and cruised to Zorbaz in Spicer for drinks, dancing, and lots of talking.  It was a fun mix of HS friends in about a 4 year range, and some of Carmen's friends from college.  I caught up with a friend I taught in drumline, a friend who lives out in Montana, and of course plenty of others!  We had such a fun night!!  Let's just say, "dirty Litch kids" know how to party.  The bus dropped Mike and I off at home, too :)  It's never boring when we all get together and I always have a blast with them!

Jake, Haakon & Bryce
Mike, Brad, Paul & Katie

Hilary and Katie
On the 23rd, my brother brought his girlfriend over so we could meet her for the first time.  My mom and I were under instructions from Mike and my other brother to be nice and behave we did.  Boring, right?!  She was pretty quiet, but everyone is when they first meet the parents.  The good thing is my brother was acting normal, so I'll take that as a good sign.

Christmas Eve we always go to my grandma's house to open gifts and have dinner with my mom's family.  Only her brother's family comes now, but we will leave that for another blog.  We had delicious hotdish (my gma makes the best), the usual goodies, and my grandma made CRANBERRY SALAD!!  I freaking love that stuff, mmmm!!  She made it just for me too :)  I'm Special!  I forgot to grandpa has a slot machine in his office.  Like a real one.  That he bought online.  Ahhh, to be old.  Hah!  So we indulged in that a bit, too.  It was a laughter filled night and we enjoyed ourselves.

My bearded men, Mike & Dad
Christmas morning...AKA Mike's 26th BIRTHDAY!  This is our first time in 5 years spending Christmas and his birthday together.  It pretty much made my year :)  My mom mad french toast from actual french bread, wow...that was delish!  We opened presents with just my parents (Jake was busy) and it was such a fun day.  We got some games, a card table and chairs, and some other good stuff, too.  My parents really did a great job this year with gifts!  I am known as being an ungrateful gift receiver :( but this year was awesome!  We played the game Trouble for hours and enjoyed the day together.

A short week of work brought us to this weekend.  I'll keep this one short.  Friday we went out with my high school girls to celebrate Anna finishing her Master's in Occupational Therapy (woohoo!).  A friend in med school who we don't get to see often came and it was so great to see her.  We hung out in Uptown and had an easy night catching up and laughing.  I always have a sore face after I leave because we laugh so much.  Congrats Anna!!
Anna, Katie, Carmen & Brittany

Saturday consisted of laundry and cleaning, as usual.  Our friend Jake, who lives in Denver called us up and invited us out.  His family and extended family are in town for the GB/Vikes game (going on now, Vikings are winning currently) so we got to meet a lot of his cousins.  Meeting his family...explains everything.  Haha!  They were a fun bunch and we hopped around DT Minneapolis for a few hours.  I'm so glad he included us!

Jake and Mike, love you guys!
Needless to say, I've gotten my fix of needing some friend time.  And it has been absolutely fantastic.  And I would love some more!  We don't have plans for New Year's Eve and I don't care.  We have spent some amazing time with friends and family lately and I feel so lucky to have such amazing people in my life!  

I hope that everyone's holidays were as great as ours and that you got to spend time with people you love!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I am really grateful for the people in my life.  Especially Mike, my family, and a few of my great girlfriends.  I really love weekends.  Like a lot.  I absolutely love being home all day with Mike and Lola.  In our home.  I also love going out and trying new things with friends.  I love trying new restaurants and occasionally getting my dance on.  I am hoping to be seeing a lot of my friends in the next few weeks.  Let's deck the halls with MEMORIES!!

On Friday, one of my bestest friends and bridesmaids came through Minneapolis.  She moved to South Carolina in October to live with her aunt, get experience in the dietetics program there, and follow her heart to try something new on the east coast!  I have been so excited to see her, and it was all I expected!  Of course, she has to come back to snow...which will make her never want to come back again, ugh!  We met for dinner at Black Sheep Pizza and caught up with gossip, each others lives, and what comes next. She has been such a great friend to me over the past...4 years now I suppose.  She is someone who always lets me be me.  My sarcasm, my honesty...and she truly appreciates me for the way I am.  Even though she is completely different than me in style, friends, etc, we fit perfectly as each others friends.  You mean a lot to me, Lex!!

Friday Night

And now for my Mikey.  He truly treats me like a princess.  I am so lucky to have found someone to put up with my whining and impatience (and my good qualities, of course, haha!).  If it weren't for my brother having a short stint at NDSU, I wonder if Mike and I would have ever met...but I'm so thankful we did.   I was completely content with my 5-year-plan that began my junior year of high school.  4 years of college, move back to Litchfield, get married, a house and start popping out babies...all with a certain twin I was dating at the time.  It sounds bad when I say I had a boyfriend when I met Mike, but clearly my persistence (just to clarify, Mike did not persue me, I went after him) toward Mike was a good choice on my part!  I will never forget being at our first LDS/TKE exchange and proclaiming myself single for the first time and all the guys gave a good laugh, knowing my heart was already taken up by Mike :)  I am so glad he drug me out of my rut and opened me up to a "new world".

October 14, 2007...the 2nd time we saw each other
June 2012, Costa Rica on our Honeymoon
We have now officially known each other for a bit over 5 years and have been dating a tad over 4.5 years.  And it has been fantastic!  We have lived together in Moorhead, Downtown Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Bloomington, Burnsville, and now Apple Valley :)  Lola has bee along for the ride for over 2.5 years as well.  There have been LOTS of ups and downs, but with Mike's patience and my persistence, we have made it through.  And again, I feel so lucky!

Saturday we had Mike's Holiday Party for work.  We ate family style at the Ginger Hop (wow, delicious) and headed back to their office for dessert and three new home brews from their kegerator.  Yes, they have one in their office.  And beer in the fridge...and can indulge any time they want.  Lucky, I know.  And they have a rooftop deck on their building they can use during the summer.  SPOILED.

Mexico work trip 2011, Cancun
Anywho, it was a great time to catch up with the spouses and his coworkers and prime up for their "Strategic Planning Retreat" in January...AKA our work trip to MEXICO!  We are going to Puerta Vallarta this year for 5 days, yippee!  This is also only 2 weeks before I go to Maryland for 4 days to see my cousin Aria.  I have a very exciting new year ahead of me :) !

I am a lucky, lucky girl, and although things don't always go my way, at least I've got great company along the way.  I love you all who make my life fantastic  :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

To Baby...or Not To Baby

I'm sure that many of my friends can soon as you get a ring, the baby questions start flowing.  Nope...we're waiting.  Wedding...Nope, we're still waiting.  6 month anniversary...nope still no babies.  No intention of babies.  nobabiesnobabiesnobabies.  You get it, right?

Kate Middleton is pregnant.  FINALLY.  Hah.  I don't actually care, but it's breaking news, I'm sure my BFF Lexy is peeing with joy, and it brings up some interesting topics.  Apparently it is customary for royals to give birth/become pregnant within their first year of marriage.  It seems very common among us commoners, too.  But if you think about it...why?  All I want to do right now is enjoy being a WIFE!  After 5 years, I still love spending time with just my Mikey.  I still feel like we're in the honeymoon phase, and I want to riiiide that out as long a possible.  (Sappy, I know)  But really, I want us time before we become parents with opposite schedules who never see each other and only spend time with our child/children.

I AM NOT SAYING ANYTHING AGAINST YOUNG PARENTS/FRIENDS WHO HAVE KIDS!!  Trust me!  But, for me...I have no interest in becoming a parent right now.  That's just me.  And I have mad respect for my friends and classmates that have children.  I don't think I could do it.  I can barely contain Lola (our rabbit).  Haha!

I also found this article on the best age to have a baby.  The trends have been changing...I feel anyway.  It seemed popular to have kids young a few years ago, and now I feel as though the average age is going back up again.  I always wanted to get married and have kids right away.  Obviously, that has changed.  I see people in their thirties and I think, get going, people!  But according to the article, it's becoming safer and more preferable to wait until your thirties.  Obviously there are studies everywhere telling you what you want to hear, but this one provided lots of info from different sources.

From the article, linked above--- "You could also define "best" as meaning the best chance for the health of the infant, rather than the health of the pregnancy itself. With that definition, according to Mirowsky, one California study concluded that the "best age" for first birth, in terms of lowest rates of birth defects, is 26."  And in the next paragraph--- "Put it all together, he said, and the optimum age at first birth in terms of the mother's long-term physical well-being was 31 years old."  There are benefits for you, your baby, your pregnancy, and your health after the birth.  Depending on which is most important, the age varies from early twenties to 34 years old.

Needless to say...pick the age that is best for you.  And if you don't know, then WAIT!  I think about babies all the time, but have decided a dog is a good place to start...and that won't even happen for a while.  So, hopefully, this doesn't all come back in my face...karma, you know!  I told a friend this week, I do enjoy friends my age having babies, that way I can learn from them and they'll always be there with advice :)  I truly am so proud of people my age with children, and they are all great parents!  I will join you some day!

Violet Cole
For now...I will share some ADORABLE pictures of my "niece", my sister-in-law's sister's daughter, born the day after Thanksgiving :)  

Smiley Sweetheart :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Life

This is my life.  And today, I celebrated 6 lovely months of marriage with my amazing Mikey!  It feels so great and I cannot wait for 60 years :)  It sort of snuck up on us... I was telling a story this afternoon, my memory was jogged and I burst out "It's our 6 month anniversary!".  This was the perfect way to top off a great weekend.

FIRST...I'll catch you up on Thanksgiving!  We went to North Dakota to be with Mike's family on the first big holiday since Carol passed away.  The 7 hour drive never gets easier, especially after working all day, but I really enjoyed my time on this visit.  We arrived after midnight and crawled into bed.  Thanksgiving day, we had lunch prepared by Mike's dad and uncle at his uncle Arthur's house.  Mike's sister and her boyfriend have really come out of their shells and were talking to everyone.  I talked to them more that weekend than I have in the past five years!  It was a nice change to hear what they are up to and chat.  

That night, we headed in to big ol' Max (Mike's hometown of 300) to spend some time with Mike's high school friends.  We don't get to see them often since they are over 8 hours away :(  We went to Cody & Randi's to start some drinking and do some wedding talking (they are tying the knot in July, and Cody was in our wedding).  After a few hours we all went over to Luke's house to join them, their cousins visiting, and Katie, who was home from Italy! I whooped them all by over 50 points in Wii Bowling...booyah!  After little Adam was put to bed, I drove the 90 minutes home, ugh.  *Special congrats to Luke and Belinda who welcomed their new baby girl on November 26th!  We just missed her arrival!  Saturday morning, I met with a sorority sister for coffee, and it was so great to catch up!  Saturday night, Cody and Randi stopped through Bismarck, and we had a few more drinks and some fun story time.  Needless to say, Thanksgiving weekend was a fun time, as we got to see lots of friends and spend good time with family.

My new arrangement :)
Some of my goodies!
THIS weekend, we drove home on Friday for my mom's birthday, and surprised her.  She loved it! But mostly she was happy that she could drag me to all of the bake sales at 7am the next morning with grandma!  I actually roused myself out of bed...okay, mom woke me up...haha.  We went to 2 churches and the Little Red Schoolhouse, and ended with breakfast at Cricket Meadow, yum!  It was very fun to spend time with my grandma and be out beginning all of the "Christmas-ing".  I snagged some decorations from my mom and gma's to bring to our new place.  After a quick nap, we headed in to town for the rival hockey game between LDC and Willmar...we lost, but it was fun to be back there!

Our Tree
Today, after the Vikings lost, we got to decorating at our place.  

We're feeling festive!  We got up our tree, and my decorations from family.  I am usually a grinch about Christmas, but this year I'm giving in.  After all, Mike was born on Christmas...what's not to celebrate!?

The holidays are treating me well, and I'll post more soon about being thankful.  I want all of the people we've seen lately to know that they mean a LOT to us and we enjoy spending time with you!  


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Say "Yes" to the Yes

Sorry it's been a while!  I have a few posts set up and I've been waiting and deciding which one to write.  This one just happens to encompass a lot of things I'm thinking and going through right I guess it's time for this post!

I am going through a "rough" (it's not really rough, I just don't know a different word for it) time right now finding my place in many friendships.  I came across this article, which applies to a lot of the topics I'm exploring.  It is called "18 Things You Should Say Yes To".  You should all read it.  :)  (The title is linked)

Concerning Number 4:  I took the "help" here as advice...learn to take advice.  I have been told by many people that one of the reasons they love me as a friend is because I will be totally honest with them at any time, whether they like it or not.  So when people need the tough love, they come to me.  But when they don't want to hear the truth, then they just avoid me.  Don't tell me what's going on.  But then if they need my advice, they use me for it.  That hurts.  I do not claim to know everything...but it is frustrating when people know what they need to do and just won't do it!  I really hate being out of the loop just because they can't handle me being honest with them.  A true friend will ask and listen, at any time, not just when they feel it is convenient.  It is time people grow up and stop playing games with their relationships, including friendships.

Concerning Number 7:  I talked in one of my earlier posts about people being busy.  Thinking they're busy.  I understand that I'm not working 2 jobs, volunteering, going to school, what have you...  But there are at least a few nights a week/month that you can make time for friends.  I confirmed my sane-ness at work today when my 35-year-old-single-mom-coworker assured me that now is the time to be seeing friends, doing things, and making memories.  I want to see people.  Do things.  (Even if "things" involves only wine and gossip!)  Please, people.  It's obvious at this point that I am chomping at the bit just to TALK to people outside of work.  Hence, my slowly-newly rekindling of a long lost best friendship.  We were close when we were younger, drifted in college, and have slowly been making our way back to a great friendship.  I really am missing that die hard friendship.  Lots of people seem so preoccupied with themselves lately and I need at least one person that will be there for ME.  When I need something, or someone.

Concerning Numbers 9 & 11:  Alright, enough of the super serious stuff (I hope I haven't lost you already).  I am me.  I'm never going to change.  I've been the same short, honest, outgoing person forever.  And I have finally given in to my curls.  UGH.  I have insanely curly hair.  But Mike, my mom, and my grandma all insist that I look better with my curls.  I have gotten myself to go out, like, to BARS without straightening my hair.  Yikes.  It sounds strange, but that is a big step for me!  *Confession---It also takes a long time and curly hair is easier and faster to do before work.  Haha.

Also, I have been on money lockdown since the wedding.  We paid for everything ourselves and in cash.  Let's just say, it came out to be several thousand more than we expected!  So, me being anal money saver that I am, have been TIGHT on my spending for the last several months to get my nice cushy savings back.  And it's been eating at me to SHOP.  So Saturday after Thanksgiving, I headed to Target in Bismarck and did the deed.  I spent $100...which, if you know me, is an insane amount for my penny-pinching @$$.  I got some awesome stuff, and I'm really jazzing about my two new dresses!!  In. LOVE.

Lastly...Concerning Number 18:  This is pretty much my mantra right now.  And I'm trying to get everyone on board.  Seriously people, THINGS WILL WORK OUT.  All you can do is breathe, walk forward, and go along for the ride.  But're driving!

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving.  I'm going to post about that soon :)  Cheers!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


We had our "housewarming" party last night, though we cleverly disguised it as a house party so we could drink and act ridiculous.  Well done, friends, well done.  It was SUCH a fun time!  Most of our friends are good at being busy all of the time, so we planned it over a month ahead to time and we actually had an awesome turnout.  We made the cop-out decision to furnish the goodies from Sam's Club, but it saved time and worked out nicely.

We got to use a few wedding gifts:  our dip set, and glass bowls, woohoo grownups!  I brought up a large trash can from downstairs for recycling and it ended up full by the end of the night.  We. Like. To. Party.  We like, we like to party.  (I hope you caught that song reference..if not, you're not cool at all.)  We also got to FINALLY crack open a bottle of white zinfandel my mom got us a few years ago.  It was a 2007, and super tasty!  But it was 1.5 Liters of wine, hence why we've had no feasible reason to delve into it.  Thanks for helping me almost kill it, ladies!

Mike and I have quite a few groups of friends
down here,my high school friends, sorority friends, and college
friends...and Mike's college friends and intern friends.  We usually have to pick and choose which "group" we're going to hang out with, but with our party, we went all in.  It turned out to be quite the HS reunion for me (which I absolutely love) with a few samplings of Mike's college friends and my college friends.  We had a few "small world" moments of people knowing each other outside of Mike and I, which was fun!

The fraternity boys ended up in the basement, with no furniture, playing P&A.  Classy!  We were graced with the presence of The Kai Hansen for the first time in years and we managed to roust grandpa Peter from his abode.  We were a few cronies short, but my high school friends can always have a good time when we get together.  After we graduated, we all became really close and can genuinely enjoy time with each other now, even after we all made it through college.  It makes me very grateful to have grown up in a small town where we were all so close together.  Although we don't all talk on a regular basis, we can easily fall back in to the good ol' days and love to catch up with each other.

All in all, it was a fantastic night to spend time with friends.  Catching up and consuming some beverages.  Hopefully we can do this more often.  Like I've said before, I'm really trying to make a big effort to see friends more!  I am looking forward to some happy hours coming up and hopefully keeping up with everyone's busy lives.

THANK YOU to everyone who came over last night and made it such a fun time.  We had a blast and hope to see you all again soon!  (Eh hem, KAI!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pinterest Prodigy

Okay, so I'm not a prodigy, but I had to get you here somehow!  I'm going to give you a break from my preaching!  A friend of mine did a post about her Pinterest adventures and I'm going to follow suit.  Thanks Bridget :)  ...Actually I think Bri did, too.  Thanks both of you!  I have been on the Pinterest train for over a year now, and now that I have time and more space, I've been getting to do/make some fun stuff.

(I will link my pins in the titles)

1.  One of my favorites is super easy...putting a frame around your thermostat!  I got this wood frame super cheap at Michael's.  I mixed a dark green color by hand with my acrylics from college and painted it.  I LOVE the way it looks!

2.  Delicious pumpkin seeds, I made the Zesty :)

3.  Cleaning the dishwasher.  It seemed to get rid of some smells which was nice.  You can also "defunk" your towels using one cycle vinegar, one cycle baking soda.  Who knew nasty vinegar was so nice?

4.  Cleaning old pans.  This did NOT work for me and I was super bummed!

5.  Doily Artwork.  Mine obviously looks a lot different, but it matches our loft decor.  I now officially own Mod Podge, yippee!

6.  Greek Yogurt Dip.  I made the chocolate kind, obviously.  We ate it with cinnamon graham crackers :)  Hint:  Do not use fat free Greek yogurt, it gets very sour.

7.  Overnight Cold Oatmeal.  I made these for Mike and I to take to lunch.  Without the flax seed because I am a cheapo ;)  Mike actually really like them, score!  Super cheap and easy.

8.  Meet the Maids & Men.  I made a slideshow for our guest to get to know our wedding party with fun facts, current info, and memories with Mike and I.

9. Nutella Mug Cake.  I finally caved and made a mug cake a while back.  Just as promised, they are easy and delicious!  I preferred the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough one, Mike liked the Nutella.  Sooo good!

10.  Chicken/Spinach/Pasta Bake.  I have made this a few times, and took it to a potluck which worked nicely for a main dish.  I even used canned/shredded chicken to save time.  Very yummy!

Okay, there's a good ten for you  :)  Moral of the story...USE PINTEREST!  I have a few projects lined up to make, but saving some money for now. Show me your goodies!  You don't have to be a wife to enjoy decorating and cooking/baking.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Piggyback Couseling

I got a lot of great feedback on my Positivity post, which is great, because I have more to share!  I've been helping a few friends through some hard times lately.  I have always considered myself a person who gives good advice (even though, as you all know, it's SO hard to take your own advice at times).

So here are my tips and thoughts :)  How have I gotten to this positive attitude after so long?  Two things are my new mantra:  It could be worse, and Let it go.  Those two phrases are getting me through pretty much everything right now, it works, I promise!  The first part I talked a lot about in my last post.  The very situation that you are in that is upsetting you/ruining your LIFE...could be worse.  Always.  This applies to your money situation, friend situation, work frustrations,  The second part is something more recent for me.  I have always been a person who is too empathetic and takes other people's problems into my realm and lets them eat me up.  I let THINGS I CAN'T CHANGE upset me.  WHY??  That doesn't make sense people, come on.  I know others do that, too.  It's crazy!

Now, I'm all for changing yourself and becoming a better person.  Trying new things, meeting new people.  It's a great thing.  Keeps you interesting and interested.  There are always new things to see and learn.  BUT there is change that I am against.  I cannot stand when people change themselves for others!  I admit, I act a bit different depending if I am with my high school friends (Katie, I just shit myself) or college friends (OMG I can't believe we stayed up until 5am taking shots), but I am still ME.  I am 23 years old and have a good idea of who I am.  Why would I change that for "friends"?  If you do not like the way that I am, then move on.  Let it go.  Let them go.  People need to accept YOU and you should not have to censor or change yourself to be with them.  I really feel like this is an issue for a lot of people I know.  It's time to make that change.  A good change.  The right change.

You should not have to work to have fun with or trust your friends.  It shouldn't be an effort.  Just be you.  The only effort I have been making with my friends is to see them more.  And I hope they are noticing.  I've been driving around the state and around the twin cities.  And it is SO WORTH IT.  Now is our time to have fun and be us, without school/kids/blah in the way.  We are not as busy as we all think we are, come on!  There is always time for good conversation with friends and I am hoping my friends and your friends will take the path of making time for the ones who are important to you.  And deciding who is not worth that effort.  It's time to stop dragging old friends along just because you've been friends forever or whatever stupid reason you use to validate it.  Not worth it.  Be smart and decide who is worth it to you.

Who is worth it to you??

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Attitude. You...Better.

This is a post I've been WAITING to write, but I held off a while so as not to start on such a heavy idea.  I have never been a person that has had a positive attitude.  Ever.  I am literally a person that will sit and count the bad or negative things that have happened recently.  And then say, oh this-this-this happened, life sucks.


I also am a person that cannot stick to anything.  I can't stick to a schedule, diet, reading a book, etc.  But my new attitude is sticking!  I am getting better.  And it feels fabulous.

I have been trying to work on my attitude forever.  Sometimes Mike would even say, "Stop being so negative".  Something you never want to hear from your boyfriend/fiance/husband.  Having a negative attitude truly affects the people around you.  Now that I have "made the change" so to speak, I can SEE that I was that person bringing others down.

Who wants to be THAT PERSON?!

Not me.  And this is why I have finally FINALLY turned my attitude around. And it feels fabulous.  Seriously, I can really feel a change.  Mike has noticed, coworkers have noticed, friends have noticed.  And that is really satisfying.  I have finally stuck to something!!  Yay me!

Now, here is the version of positivity that has worked for me.  It's looking at things as though "they could be worse" and being thankful for what you do have.  While Lance Armstrong was going through all of this USADA drug doping allegations, his removal of all titles since 1998, and losing most of his endorsements, someone asked him how he was doing, and he said "I've been better, but I've been worse."  Wow, that's great!  That I can get on board with.

I tried the whole "think it to be true and it will come to you" and didn't have success, only lots of frustration.  So I have turned my frown upside down, literally.  If something gets messed up at work, I fix it, and move on.  I used to get very frustrated and complain at work, but it gets you NOWHERE.  It could always be worse, I mean, at least I have a job!  With friends and family, I do my mental venting and MOVE ON.  You can't change others, you can only change yourself and the way you choose to live.

Then I came across this article written by one of the actresses from Chasing Mavericks.  You can read it HERE.  She talks about facing fears, growing, and SHOWING UP.  Even when it's tough, when you have nothing left, when you're frustrated, when there's things holding you back...Show.  Up.

Show up.  LIVE.  We all have things to live for and be grateful for.  I have made a major change in the way I think about things and react.  Try it, it worked for me :)  And I am so much happier, healthier, and loving to others around me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wicked Disappointment

Today is Halloween, our first holiday in our new place.  Since we now live in a very residential area, and have a front door, we were THRILLED to be able to hand out candy to cute kids!  We are such nerds that asked the owners of our home what to expect.  We came home from work as quickly as possible.  We filled our bowl, lit the candles, lit the pumpkins, indulged on my delicious homemade ZESTY pumpkin seeds, turned on Hocus Pocus and dimmed the lights.


...Waiting.         Nothing.


I am SO depressed.  What a letdown!

In any case, it is still exciting for us :)  We had a fun night pretending to be grown ups.  We realized that this is Lola's third Halloween with us, which is also exciting.  She is a spaz and doesn't like to be held, therefore no costumes are allowed.  But we still like to make fun of her, hehe.

By the way, back to Hocus Pocus...why does that movie NEVER get old??  What a great movie, the definition of a classic!

Hope you all are having a fantastic evening, and welcome to NOVEMBER already!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We got the keys to our new place on our 4.5 year anniversary in early September and gradually moved in over a week's time due to weddings on three consecutive weekends! We moved from the "Heart of the City" in Burnsville to northern Apple Valley.  Thanks to Zach for helping us load and unload the U-Haul!

We are in a cul-de-sac type development named, fittingly, Nordic Woods, in a huge, gorgeous townhome.  Needless to say, we absolutely LOVE it.  We are almost all settled in and are still in awe of how much we love it.  It is so nice to be married and out of an apartment.  It really feels like it's ours and it is HOME right now.  Again, we are not interested in buying a house right now (that's for a later post) and we are happy with this transition space until we ARE ready to buy!

We are in a 3 level house with 2 bedrooms, a big loft, 2 bathrooms, and a 2 car garage.

Kitchen from the dining room
Living room as you walk in

It has been so nice having space for all of our things.  I loved decorating, hanging photos and art, and organizing everything into its new space.  Mike is my master picture hanger :)  We are still in need of some extra furniture (for the basement, mainly) but we will get there in time.  We almost have too much space!  

We have been grilling a lot, enjoy having a garage for both of our vehicles, washing laundry in our own place.  Ahh the little things...  I can't imagine how exciting it will be when we DO get our very first home!  Again, I'm a domestic nerd.  I love having our new place!  A few friends have already come to visit and I cannot wait to see more!  We actually have room for the guys and girls to have their own space, room to sit and eat, etc.  I am looking forward to having a girls' sleepover, to be honest!

And of course, Lola loves her new house, too :)  (She loves to play with socks!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Parents Becoming Children

They always talk about how when your parents age, you pay them back for raising taking care of them.  My mom is always taking my grandmas shopping, to lunch, etc.  Getting them out of the house, just like they used to do for my parents when they were growing up.  As your parents age, you are the one taking them to their doctor's appointments, hosting holidays, paying their bills, etc.  It really is the "circle of life", if you will.

I think it is such a great thing and I'm happy to be jumping in to it already.  My dad said after our wedding that he really wants to see us more and "do things" together.  It was sort of weird coming from my dad (that's totally not like him), but I completely agreed.  We only live about 90 minutes from my parents, grandparents, and a lot of my extended there's no reason we shouldn't be seeing them!  Mike's family lives at the least, 7 hours from us, which is a long way, but we commit to a few holidays a year there, a few summer trips, and we are trying to get them to come down to the cities more often.

Mom & Dad in the back seat at Sonic!
So...back to my dad's preposition.  We really ARE trying to see our parents more and "do stuff".  After we got settled in to our new place, we invited my parents to come stay.  They brought us a few leftover things that were being stored at their house and we sat down for a great day.  Being the spaz that I am, I had to put the items away...end tables, rugs, etc.  Mike and Dad got restless and powered up my brother Nick's old XBox that they had brought us.  Literally, this thing is it's in even an XBox 360 or whatever they are these days.  But it provided a few hours of truck/atv/dirt bike racing entertainment while Mom and I decorated and laughed at their ridiculousness.

We wanted to do something a little different for food so we took them to SONIC for their first time.  It was rainy outside so our options for daytime entertainment were slim.  But leave it to the Barnes-Olsons to make it a good time anyway.  They didn't understand we had to eat in the car, we couldn't all see the menu, so Mike stayed in the car while we all walked outside and looked at our own menus.  Oh, those poor employees.  My dad finished the order with a hardy "10-4!"

Totally.  Normal.

The crew from the loft.
We returned home to the normal chatting, story telling, blah blah.  They decided to stay the night, which meant we had to entertain ourselves for a few more hours.  We pondered bowling,  We settle on playing card games.  Old school style.  We have no board games (hint hint).  If it doesn't get more exciting than card games, woo!  But we surprised ourselves.  After teaching the parents P&A, them teaching us Euchre, cleaning out the fridge of most beers, and a few laughing fits that brought us to tears, we finally all crashed to bed at 1 AM!  It was such a ridiculous and fun night.  Good ol' bonding time.

Moral of the story is:  it was fun.  And I hope we can continue to show them new things, foods, activities...incorporate them into our big-kid-married-lifestyle.  Now is the time to enjoy all of us being healthy adults, together!

Take them time NOW to enjoy your parent's company, wisdom, and ideas.  Soon, we will be advising them on their health, finances, etc...but for now, we want to enjoy being with them.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Couples Conundrum


Married life is fabulous.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I absolutely LOVE being a wife, having Mike as my husband, and our life together.  If only others would join us!  (If they're ready, of course.)

We attended a ton of weddings this summer, mostly people our age, which is great!  I am SO happy that we have friends who are married, but it seems that either one spouse works a lot, is never around, or is not a social person.  (I'm not speaking about anyone specifically here, promise!)  So, often it turns out with just "the wives" or just "the husbands" hanging out.  Fabulous, seriously. But I am really craving some couples interaction!  It sounds silly to say that I just want to go on a double-freaking-date, but it's TRUE!

Although we are major homebodies, we make a huge effort to see our friends as often as possible.  Especially after the wedding/funeral/summer/moving has calmed down, we are really making time for friends and enjoying time outside of ourselves.  The thing's either me with Mike's friends, him with mine, or hanging out with our own friends (which is TOTALLY necessary and we both take advantage of, I'm not saying to not do so!).  But...I really want to hang out as US, the married couple...with OTHER married couples!  I'm not saying that marriage changes your dynamic, makes you special, blah blah, but there's something about that union and commitment that others cannot relate to.  I want to have a married conversation.  Call me crazy, is anyone else getting me right now?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Starting Over

I've been looking for something to occupy a bit of what "free time" I have without too big of a commitment.  After re-reading my entire Norway Blog, I'm thinking I will try this all again.  I really loved being able to go back and re-live all that I went through and I'm thinking that would be a great thing to have from this time in my life!

A year ago October 19th, Mike proposed to me, and 8 months later we were married in the most meaningful ceremony.  It was an amazing and memorable day.  We made such great memories and really took in every moment.  We made the choice to include only people we wanted to and do only things we wanted to.  It was truly US.

Sadly, a month after our wedding, Mike's mom lost her fight with Pancreatic cancer.  We were there, and it was one of the hardest experiences ever.  Thus began life with a smaller, but closer family.  It is hard to know our children will only have one grandma, but Carol fought so hard and it was so nice to finally see her at peace.

That brings me to...NOW.  Life as Mrs. Olson.  We have passed the 4 month mark already and have been through so much.  We took our Honeymoon to Samara, Costa Rica, which was ridiculously hot, humid, and AMAZING.  We planned to not plan.  We relaxed, we talked, we drank.  We were us, married.  And it felt great!

It FEELS great.  I was always a person who wanted to marry young and start a family.  I now know that I do not want a family right now (see THIS hilarious article that perfectly explains why), but I am thrilled to have found Mike and been able to call him mine for over 4.5 years (Thanks, Nick!).

We have accomplished a few other "married couple things", most importantly...finally getting our first place that's not an apartment!  We don't have interest in buying a house right now, and have found an amazing townhome to start our lives in for now.  It is a HUGE 1,805 square feet and have plenty of room for us, Lola, and more.  Our biggest pleasures are the two car garage and washer & dryer...ahhh, the luxuries.  Okay, I'm a nerd...I KNOW!  I get excited about small things, like having place for lamps, having a water softener, having a FRONT DOOR :)

Go ahead, call me domestic, I'll take it.  I love it!  I love being a wife.  I love being with Mike in our own place that we can call home.  Cleaning on the weekends, taking the trash out on Fridays.  It really is a great feeling and exactly what I want right now.  We are happy.  TOGETHER.

Nick's Wedding, September 29, 2012
Hopefully I can keep this up.  My plan is to let my thoughts, questions, and daily frustrations fill up these posts.  Please...come along for the ride!