Day 1

May 24, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Posted in Photography | 3 Comments

Today was our first full day of country homeownership. So far, so good!

We’re still sleeping in Jason’s apartment, since we have no furniture at the house, but spent yesterday evening and today at the house, working. I’ll share pictures of our projects later in the week, but first I thought I’d share some pictures of the beautiful garden I’ve inherited at our new house.  I can’t wait to have our house all set up so that I can clip some of these and have fresh flowers all summer long!

We’re amazed at the wildlife near our house (though we shouldn’t be). Today we spotted hawks and Jason caught a toad and a frog. We can hear cows mooing and birds chirping from our back yard. It’s a welcome change from the neighbor’s music and airplane noise we heard in the back yard of our Minneapolis house.

We have lots of white and purple iris’ in the yard.  So pretty!

I love peonies, and there are TONS in the backyard.  I can’t wait until they bloom!

Barley loves the back yard, and can often be seen sprinting from one end of the yard to the other or rolling in the grass.



May 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Marriage, Moving, Photography | 1 Comment

Amidst a million last-minute details, boxes/furniture to be organized, and headaches to be tamed, I received this link to the wedding photo album made by our photographer, and it has had me smiling all day.  I love it!

(now it’s back to packing and organizing!  how is it Tuesday already!?)

getting ready to say goodbye

May 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Posted in Minnesota, Miscellaneous, Photography | 2 Comments

With less than a week to go before the big move, I recruited my cousin, Jennifer, to play tourist with me.  I plan to make a coffee table book full of pictures of the city to help us remember our time here, so Jennifer, Barley, my camera, and I took a tour of some of my favorite areas of town.

In the evening, I had a last meal at one of my favorite restaurants in town with a coworker who was celebrating her birthday.

My absolute favorite part of the meal:

Yep, that’s fries covered in nacho-ey goodness.  Like someone opened a chipotle burrito over a large plate of fries.  Amazing.

And the nacho-fries were closely followed with a delicious lava-cake of birthday goodness.  Delish!


May 12, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Family, Miscellaneous, Photography | 4 Comments

I haven’t been feeling particularly wordy lately.

I’ve been eagerly anticipating once again living with my favorite roommate, seriously bumming about saying goodbye to friends, family, and coworkers here, questioning what the future holds for me career-wise, and remaining hopeful that my grandma and uncle (who was recently diagnosed with leukemia) will be nursed back to health as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The weekend was spent in Milwaukee, where I got to see this guy:


Saturday, I spent time visiting with the fam, played cards with my grandma, mom, aunt, uncle, and cousin at the home my grandmother is recovering in, and went on a date with this guy (who looks significantly less scary behind a pint of beer):

On Sunday, we visited with my uncle, the godfather (because he really is my godfather), and had a nice Mother’s Day brunch with my mom.  I also enjoyed (taking pictures of) her garden, which is beginning to bloom, and Jason found a baby painted turtle in the yard.  Trevor was delighted!  Check it out:

Spring has sprung

May 5, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Posted in Minnesota, Photography | 2 Comments

With the warm (60s!) and sunny weather lately, Barley and I are feeling like we’re on top of the world.  Spring has finally come to Minnesota, and I’m hopeful that the weather will stay this warm and cheery from here on out.  Although, to be honest, beautiful days like the ones we’ve had recently make me fall even more in love with our home and it’s proximity to parks and lakes.  I can’t believe I’ll be off to a new adventure in 2.5 weeks!

spring – finally!

April 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Photography, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The weather has been beautiful here for the past week, and I’ve been sure to take advantage of it by taking Barley on long walks.  (Also?  Walks are a great stress reducer.  Much needed after the ups and downs of the past week!).  I brought my camera with me yesterday to document some of the new (and very welcome) spring greenery.  Also?  I learned a new camera trick – I can now focus on objects that are on the side of the picture while making the background appear blurred.  Very impressive, right?

Barley is panting in anticipation of a walk.  He has the biggest. doggy. tongue. ever.

A bridge over the creek near our house.

I walked closer to a willow to take some pictures of it’s branches and I found this tiny plastic baby.  I think it qualifies as one of the weirdest things I’ve seen at the park.

Okay, this one isn’t green, but I like the texture anyways.

Here’s Barley checking out the lake.  Again, BIGGEST DOGGY TONGUE EVER.


March 17, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Minnesota, Photography, Travel | 4 Comments

In an attempt to show Jason more of Minnesota before he moves 3 states away, we headed to Duluth on Saturday.

Duluth is about 2-2.5 hrs drive north of the Twin Cities, on the south side of Lake Superior.  (Here is a map for those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about: View Larger Map)

We arrived around lunchtime, and headed to Burrito Union, home of delicious southwestern food, unusual-flavored margaritas (hibiscus?  ginger?), and one waitress who kind of gave us the evil eye.  We’re still debating whether the cause of the evil eye was Jason’s cell phone conversation while we were supposed to be ordering or my incessant picture taking.  Or maybe a combination of the two?  Perhaps.

Anyways, we ordered – I tried the hibiscus margarita and Jason opted for a taste of a local microbrew.  For lunch, I snacked on some seriously. amazing. nachos and Jason opted for a burrito.  Just thinking about it makes me salivate a little.

Moving on.  The Bar was insanely cool, decked out in old metal ceiling tiles.  I also loved the orange stools in front of it.  Sort of a fun juxtaposition of old and new.

The ceiling also featured a mish-mash of old metal ceiling tiles.  I love the chandeliers (reminds me a little of my own dining room chandelier).  If I ever own a bar/restaurant/coffee shop, I think I will copy this idea.

After lunch, we headed down to Canal Park.  It was an amazing day – 55 degrees and sunny.  So we enjoyed the beautiful weather while strolling down the boardwalk along the shore of Lake Superior.  Online reviews we had read prior to our trip suggested that the boardwalk was similar to that found on the Jersey shore.  I beg to differ.  But we did see this cute little lighthouse, and it looks sort of New England-y.

After walking around for a while, we decided to do a little shopping.  We found a little antique store and Jason let me wander around for a pretty long time, despite the fact that he was overwhelmingly bored.  I’ll share my findings with you tomorrow.

After our little shopping spree, we headed back to Fitger’s, a local brewery (and maker of the beers that Jason drank at lunch).  I wasn’t all that impressed with the Brewery, to be honest.  I was expecting something a little bigger.  Also, the bun on my hamburger was not delicious.  Jason agreed – the buns sort of tasted like cardboard.  And we were seated in the kitchen.  And our table neighbors were so close that when they started up with the PDAs, their elbows nearly knocked Jason out.  Jason’s take: “mmm, it was okay.”  So clearly I am the pickier of the two of us.  But that is not a surprise, is it?

After dinner, we got in the car and drove back to Minneapolis.  With the seat heaters on.  Because we could.

Also, it’s amazing how dark night is in Northern Minnesota.  I forgot how many stars you can see when you don’t live in the city limits.  Perhaps this will be another perk to our Michigan migration?  Guess I should start looking into telephoto lenses for the camera…

Spring, are you here?

March 16, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Posted in Photography | 5 Comments

The daily high temperature here has been above freezing for the past 4 days! I don’t want to celebrate too early, for fear of being *crushed* by late March snowstorms, but ohmygosh do I hope these warmer temperatures mean spring is here to stay.

It’s amazing how tropical 35 degrees can feel after a cold, snowy winter.  I could have walked the dog for hours…  Have I mentioned that I hope this is spring and that it’s hear to stay?  Please stay, spring.  My sanity is begging you.

Of course I have more pictures of dogs.

March 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Posted in Family, Photography | 7 Comments

Why!  Thank you for asking.  You missed the dog photos yesterday?  Great, because they’re back in full force today.

I *heart* Barley, but I really hope we do something that involves me taking pictures without dogs in them soon.  Because all of this lack-of-home-improving is really turning me into that crazy dog lady.  And that is not good for any of us, especially not the three of you still reading this.

Umm… at least today’s doggy pictures are mostly someone else’s dog?

This is Comet – he is the cutest little mini-barley puggle ever!

Trevor loves his puppy.  And, he is very lucky to even have a puppy… my sister, (other) brother, and I used to nag my mom for a dog when we were little, but would she let us have one?  No.  And then sweet little Trevor comes along, asks for a dog, and suddenly, there’s a puppy under the tree Christmas morning.  I bet you can guess who is the favorite child in our family! (although, I hope to still be in contention for the title.  T’s still got some sort of pre-teen angst issues to go through, and I did do a million loads of laundry last time I visited the ‘rents.)

I kind of love this shot of the matching dogs at the window.  I am certain I shouldn’t let them up on the window like that, but it’s too cute.

On Saturday, after my family left, we picked up our new Highlander!  It was super-exciting – our first new car!  And, I was so excited that I broke one of the levers to fold down the seats, so we have to take it back in for service.  Oops.  At least we’re still under warranty!

Jason and I spent the rest of the afternoon running errands (because we wanted an excuse to ride in the car).  We left the house with 6 boxes of books and other things, and came home with 2 small boxes and $30.  (We bought the rest of our dinnerware from Crate and Barrel with giftcards from the wedding, and now I’m excited to use them.  Only, I won’t be able to use them until after the move to Michigan because there’s no room to unpack/store them in our tiny kitchen.  So, future Michigan friends, I will be inviting you over for a dinner party with matching dinnerware and silverware.)

Anyways, you don’t care about dishes, and I really can’t blame you for that.  I didn’t care about them much until I got a new, pretty, matching set.  I’m sure the novelty will wear off once I realize that I have to actually COOK to enjoy my plates.  So, pictures of our new beast:

Barley was so excited about the car that he escaped from the house and tried to get a ride in it!  We took him for a ride later that night – I covered the back seat with a blanket, and Jason carried Barley out to the car so that he wouldn’t get muddy paws all over it.  It was ridiculous.

The leather seats that I insisted on.  I think they look smashing.  Love them.

Here she (he?) is again.  So pretty!  Yay!

The Game

March 10, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Family, Photography | 4 Comments

As I mentioned yesterday, my parents and brother Trevor drove up to see brother Robby’s hockey game on Friday.

The (St. Olaf) oles were en fuego on the ice – the best they’ve been yet – but they still managed to lose a very close game to their cross-town rivals, Carleton College.  We did get to sing the St. Olaf fight song twice, which delighted Jason to no end.  He loves it when herds of Scandinavian descendants pump their fists in the air yelling, “um ya ya” over and over.  Almost pre-teen Trevor was totally un-amused the entire time.  That is, until a group of drunk college girls started falling all over (almost on) him.  Then, he threatened to kick them (to me.  He certainly would NOT talk to them about it.).

Jason was also completely unamused by the lack of creative cheering by both sides, especially so since by the time graduation rolls around, these kids will all have spent over a million dollars on their college education.  Where’s the creativity?  And the brain power to come up with good cheers for your Division 3 sports teams?

Anyways, he did smirk when the Carleton fans yelled “What’s an Ole?” and he most certainly loved that the Olaf crowd yelled back “Ugly Chi-icks” to the Carleton fans (it is rumored that St. Olaf has more attractive girls than Carleton.  I think it’s true, but then again, I might be a little biased.).  I think, though, that his favorite part of the night was when a dude in a cordoroy jacket and paisely tie tried to pick a fight with another guy, and the guy just responded, “Seriously?  You’re wearing a dinner jacket.”  Trevor thought a full-out fight was going to happen right then and there, but I assured him that kids who attend either Olaf or Carleton should be smart enough to know that they’re not going to be good at fist-fighting.

Oh yes!  And there was a hockey game, too.  Did I mention that? The reason we were in the bleachers watching all of these crazy people in the first place was because Robby was playing hockey.  See?

the team (vintage-style)

the fans (that’s my blurry dad in the background)

Robby is #11

He got sent to the penalty box.  For slashing!  Naughty, naughty.

Robby got in a fight!  Only, he was just kind of standing there, and everyone else was fighting.  He would never get in a fight.  Excuse the head in the middle of the photo, but I had to share this fight shot.

All in all, a pretty good game (nicely done, Rob!).  I am amazed by the clarity of these pictures, since I was a million rows back, hiding behind 5,000 drunk college kids.  Also, most of the shots aren’t as blurry as you’d expect given that the players are constantly moving on the ice.  I love my camera.

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