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Thursday, January 28, 2010

TFT: Who would you call?

Yesterday morning, on my drive to work, I heard this Kris Allen song (I didn't know it was Kris Allen {whoever he is} until I looked it up at the office) - it's called "Live Like We're Dying".  Somewheres in the song he spits the lyrics:
And if your plane fell out of the skies
Who would you call with your last goodbye?

It got me thinking... who would I call?
So my question, my Thoughts For Thursday, is: You have time for one goodbye... who do you call?

Other TFT's today:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Minnesota is my calling

Plinky Prompt: What's the biggest factor for you in deciding where to live?

Once upon a time I was seriously considering moving out of state. Many things factor in as to why I hate Minnesota, mostly the long dark winters; they're enough to drive anyone into depression. It really does help us appreciate the other 3 seasons so much more though.

Anyhow - the main focus behind my leaving Minnesota was a relationship. I could always come home when I wanted and I'd be away from the things I disliked. People would understand; love is a force and something worth changing for. I knew it would be hard to be away from my family, but it was something I was willing to try.

July 21, 2007 - Enter Jordan Lu, my sweet, adorable, loving niece. She is born and my life seems to take a turn. I'm a role model for someone, I'm someones God Mother, I love this kid way too much... how could I ever leave her?

Things become confused in my mind.

I begin to develop strong bonds with my cousins, bonds more than a family tie, bonds that are lasting and real; friendship bonds. How could I ever give this up and move away from people who mean so much to me?

I have a job with part of my family; how do I quit something that was offered to me out of love, appreciation, and knowing I'm right for it?

For some reason, after considering all of these family ties, I still believe I can move and be happy. I still think people would understand, so I continue to think about it, I continue to ponder everything it means.

Somewhere along the lines the relationship ends and thinking back on it, I'm not sure if I could have found true happiness away from my amazingly crazy and beautiful family, maybe it wasn't the right time or maybe I never could.

Jordan continues to grow and develop into her own little person; there is nothing like walking in the door to see her face light up and yell "AUNTIE!!!!!" There is something real special in having a real conversation with a 2.5 year old child.

I don't know what I'd do without family on holiday's; the big Christmas snowstorm scare of 2009 gave me a brief taste of what Christmas Day might be like if I weren't with my family (Thank God I didn't have to find out).

My summers wouldn't be the same without a new annual tradition of going up North for MSA weekend with my beautiful cousins: drinking, eating, laughing, singing Karaoke and getting guys down on one knee asking us to marry them.

My family keeps me here and I'm pretty sure they always will.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monster Trucks 1.23.10

Is it wrong to invest such emotion in a team that you actually lose sleep over it?  Let's not even go there...

Before the football season ended on Sunday, the weekend was full of Monster Trucks!  I'd never been to a monster truck show and every time I'd hear they were in town, I'd have plans and never be able to make it.  Well Saturday I had plans to knit in the morning/afternoon, so I did that, but left with enough time to make it to the Monster Truck Pit Party.  The Pit Party itself was kind of lame... just a bunch of big trucks on the floor of the Dome, with their drivers standing around signing autographs for the kiddies.  You've also got a bunch of derby cars for flipping, racing, and destroying.

Apparently the little ones are quite into the monster trucks; I never was when I was a kid, but who am I to judge?  I never realized there was such a following of this sport (can it be called a sport?), but the fans are pretty into it and dedicated!  That was neat to watch.

Our seats were assigned on the upper level but we didn't like them very much, so we moved around a bit, staying on the upper level as the lower bowl was sold out (!).  I figured this would be a good time to slap on my zoom lens and try my hand at it.  I actually got some neat pictures.  It started with the roll competition; they set up a ramp and cars drive up one side of it at full speed in attempt to roll it as many times as possible.  It was pretty sweet:

As it turns out, there is an actual point to monster trucks... it's a competition.  The trucks make a full lap, which includes 3 jumps, and the fastest time moves on to the next round.  That part was pretty boring.  I tried to get into it more as it went on.. but my heart just wasn't in it.  Somewheres along the lines I  stopped taking pictures; my big lens is manual focus and pretty heavy, so my arm was pretty tired and my pictures started to lack a bit, cause in all honesty, how many pictures can you have of a monster truck jumping over the same jump?  Answer: you can have WAY too many.

They had some trailer racing in between the monster truck events and that was pretty funny... derby cars pulling trailers with something on them.  One trailer had a couch, one had a snowmobile, one car was pulling an actual pop-up trailer... it was hilarious.  It got super messy as cars were driving over each others trailers, things were falling off around corners... oh man, it was great, this is how it all ended:

As the night went on, they opened up the floor to freestyle driving.  That started out lame as all the drivers were being pretty cautious with their trucks... until the end when the big dogs hit the floor.  Part of me wishes I would have grabbed my camera back out, but I'm glad I didn't because I tend to enjoy things less and miss out on more when I'm living through my cameras eye.  The monster trucks were rolling, flipping, falling apart... it was absolutely amazing, and thrilling!  I was so excited and fully enjoyed watching the last 20-30 minutes of the show.

Would I go again?  Well... we paid $20/ticket,  so that's not that bad, but I wouldn't pay that again to be there the whole time, specifically not the pit party, but I'd maybe think about arriving a bit later and watching some of the stuff.  It was definitely an interesting experience, and I'm glad I went!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hawaii 2011: Deciding to do it

So, if you checked out my 2009 Photo Review you may remember me saying that I need to get better about taking pictures... well, so far I've failed.  First of all, if you haven't checked it out yet, do it now, because, as it turns out... 2009 was simply amazing - rarely do I go back and look at my own posts, but for some reason I find myself looking at that one over and over.  Second of all... if you have looked at it, you should probably go look again, 'cause it's awesome!  Pretty sure 2010 is off to a great start as well, with no pictures to prove it, but I do have a huge poof on the top of my head today that I may need to take a picture of.

My 2010 has consisted of research... travel research.  Steve and I had talked about going to Twins Spring Training down in Florida, I looked into New York some, I looked into South Padre Island... tons and tons of price shopping, date shopping, etc.  Then it hit me.  Why not save some cash and do a real vacation?!  So I asked Steve... What if we skip the Spring vaca, do our camping thing in the summer, and hold off on talking about anything for the fall and book a trip to Hawaii for next winter?!  I was pretty serious about the idea when I suggested it, but I kind of thought he would reply with something like yeah, okay.. whatever you say and not really be down for it.  You see, I tend to be a dreamer and, over the past several years, have developed severe wanderlust.  I feel like I need to travel at least twice a year even if my budget doesn't allow for it.  So when Steve inquired about my travel habits and asked if I'd be able to wait, I thought Oh crap... maybe he really would do this?!  I explained to him that I felt there would be enough going on to hold me over and having thoughts of Hawaii would hopefully make it easier.  He finally said that he thought Hawaii would be a blast and that he's game for it!

I've asked him probably 20 times since then if he is serious about it, each time he has said yes... so I'm pretty sure we'll be going to Hawaii next winter!!

Now we have a year or so to save money, research EVERYTHING, find travel deals, talk to people... and just get everything in order to make the long flight to the Islands!  So far (and it's only been a few days since this was decided) I've thought about it, first thing, when I wake up in the morning and throughout the days.  I'm absolutely overjoyed by this... I CANNOT wait, but I have to.  I'm finally sharing it with you, my loyal readers!  I'll keep you updated as plans are made and as it goes along, cause hell, I'm going to need to talk about this ALOT over the next year!

So YAY!  I'm going to Hawaii :)

...until we meet again...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thoughts For Thursdsay: Saying I Love You

Let's just talk about family here; I think this will be short and sweet.
There is that song by Garth Brooks, I think I mentioned in another post once upon a time... If Tomorrow Never Comes, words are so true.  If you died today, would the people around you know how you felt about them?  Would you even care?

I've grown up my entire life telling my family I love you, so it comes very naturally when I have to say it.  I was driving home yesterday thinking about traditions and things you say and how they become so 'normal' that you don't really think about it after awhile, like the words I love you... I've said them my whole life to my mom and dad, but they've become so normal that I don't really think about what I'm saying - hell, I've even shortened it to just Love you or Love you too.  Is that okay?  Does it take away from what I mean?  I don't think it does.. maybe though.
Then sometimes you have a lost tradition that you recall and it just makes you warm.  When I was little our bedtime saying was "Night, love you, see you in the morning, see you tomorrow".  It actually brings a tear to my eye thinking about how that has been lost in time.  I don't know if it happened when my dad left, or if it was gone before that... wait, this is kind of off-topic.

My point is, telling my family that I love them is one of the most important things I do in my life.  I want them to hear it each and every time we talk or see each other and I love to hear it back!  I feel though, that this is not the case with everyone - sure you want them to know it, but do you say it?  Have you always said it?  Is it easy to say?  Or maybe it's just not important to you?  Maybe you feel you show your family they are loved in another way?
What about the flip side; does your family say it to you?  Is it important for you to hear it?

So, my {summed up} Thoughts for Thursday are this:  Do you say "I love you" to your family?  Does saying it come easy or is it difficult for you?  Is it important to you that you say it and that it's said back to you?  Why or why not?  Feel free to share any other thoughts surrounding the topic... I'm all ears!

(btw, don't you just LOVE my new sign off?!  I'm pretty sure it's the best addition to my blog yet.)
...until we meet again...

2010 Handbook

I got this in email form, from my friend Jen - thought it was one worth sharing.  Why have resolutions; just follow the 2010 Handbook:



1.     Drink plenty of water. 
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. 
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.. 
4.       Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy 
5.       Make time to pray.
6.       Play more games . 
7.       Read more books than you did in 2009 . 
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day 
9.       Sleep for 7 hours. 
10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile. 


11.    Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 
12.    Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment. 
13.    Don't over do it. Keep your limits. 
14.    Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 
15.    Don't waste your precious energy on gossip. 
16.    Dream more while you are awake. 
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.  
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness. 
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others. 
20.    Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present. 
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you. 
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime. 

23.    Smile and laugh more. 
24.    You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree... 


25.   Call your family often. 
26.    Each day give something good to others. 
27.    Forgive everyone for everything.. 
28.    Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of  6. 
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day. 
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business. 
31.    Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.   Your friends will.   Stay in touch. 


32.    Do the right thing! 
33.    Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. 
34.    GOD heals everything. 
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 
37.    The best is yet to come.. 
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it. 
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

...until we meet again...

'Why Girls Are Weird' Giveaway!

Giveaway?  What?!  HUH?  Am I serious?!  No, I'm Angela - but there is a book being given away, and that's pretty awesome.

I'm not an avid reader, wish I was, but just can't get into it.  However, I'm very curious about this book and want to pass on the information to those of you our there who are avid readers!  Pretty sure I could get into a book that has a title like this :)
My new homie Krysten over at After "I Do" is giving away this book - check out her post HERE for more info on on how win this book :)
I'm not much for giveaways, but if something peaks my interest, I'm all over it :)

Good Luck to all who 'enter' and may the best blogger win (ME!) ;)

...until we meet again...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jersey Shore

Plinky Prompt: Write a haiku about your favorite TV show.

The Situation

Snooki, J-woww, Pauly D

I can't turn it off

My Favorite Breakfast

Plinky Prompt: What are the components of your ideal breakfast?

I used to believe that the only breakfast I could make myself was a delicious breakfast sandwich - which is still a great option.. but not the best. I tend to be pretty traditional; why mess with a good thing?

Eggs - Sunny Side Up
I can't seem to quite master the sunny side up eggs on my own... Steve has though and they are delicious. So the first thing on my plate is Eggs (3), sunny side up. Runny eggs are the BOMB!

While I LOVE me some bacon, I think I'd rather have sausage! While the eggs are being made, I'm right there cooking up some sausage, 3 links each. Hormel Little Sizzlers Links are the best, they are the perfect amount of salty in my breakfast!

I'm pretty open to any sort of bread in my breakfast, but I do like the bagel for it's solidness. You can toss those runny eggs right on top of the bagel and take a bite! The bagel also serves as a great runny yolk soaker when all your eggs are gone.

Last, but far from least, I need coffee to complete my balanced breakfast. 'nuff said.

Once it's all ready to eat, you plop your behind on the couch and watch cooking shows! Good inspiration for dinner ideas ;)

Banner 1/9/10

I don't imagine this banner will last very long (it's very plain and boring to me), but with the extreme cold we're having in Minnesota, I feel it's fitting.  I spent about 20 minutes making it on Saturday, following a Photoshop tutorial... it's suppose to look cold; wuddaya think?
Plus, it had been quite some time since I had a new banner - though I did have this one for about a month:

...until we meet again...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Random - v.10.1

Welcome to the first 2010 installment of my random thoughts!  Good thing it dawned on me before I posted.  Generally before I post a random blog I go into my list of posts and find the next number... upon doing that this morning, I realized Hey... it's a new year, 2010 {said Twenty Ten, not Two Thousand Ten}, time to start a new random number series!  For whatever reason, this is extremely exciting to me.  I've always been told that my random blogs are the favorites of many... not sure why; they can be pretty stupid at time.  Either way, the numbering system is fun for me.

Moving right along...

Over the holiday season (I use the word 'holiday' because I speak of Christmas AND New Years) I spent a lot of time attending parties.  I swear the older I get, the more appearances I have to make!  I'm far from complaining about this :)  The true benefit of this is I get to try a bunch of delicious food that I may have gone my entire life without eating!  The biggest discovery of the year, you ask?  Strawberries covered in Almond Bark - OMG!  Steve's mother made them for Christmas and I swear I ate 20, we {all}went through the plate  so fast, his brother had to go out and buy more strawberries!  Then on New Years Day, she made them again... I tried to restrain myself that day, probably only 15 ;)
If there were a Facebook Fan Page for them... I'd be a fan for sure!

The other day, Steve and I joined a new gym (YAY us!) - I have a feeling I'm going to be starting some sort of Tales from the Ladies Locker Room series on my blog.  The last gym I belonged to had individual changing rooms, so I haven't experienced a locker room for quite some time... and I forgot how amazingly ripe they are with stories.  It's hard not to stare!  Stayed tuned for more on this ad it develops...

I mentioned on my Facebook status the other day that I've been seeing a lot of negative statuses from people {Krysten, you are excused from this paragraph as you have a right to be negative right now ;)}... what's up with that?!  It's a new year, time for positivity... time for new beginnings... time for a friend clean-up?

On the negativity note, I have a small rant:  How do we determine if our lives are more important than someone else's?  We don't, right?  We just assume our lives are more important.  I'm quite frustrated with people contacting me about a certain event (or whatever it may be), looking for a commitment from me but not returning the favor when it's me looking for that commitment.  I understand and try to respect that fact that people have lives, busy ones at that, but to not reply or say 'maybe' because something better may come up?!  Seriously?!  Tell me no if you're not interested, it's not going to hurt my feelings.  2010 is going to be the year that I change how I view these situations, in the past I've held back from planning or waited on people (and maybe nagged them at times), no more!  My life moves on, period.  I'd like to tell myself it's just because I'm a woman and I need to plan things, but it's both women and men who do this.

...until we meet again...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My {first} Award

I received my first blogging award this week... I've never much been into this type of blogging thing, but with a new year comes new experiences.  My new blogging buddy, Krysten @ After 'I Do' has given me the "Lemonade Stand Award".

Now upon reading Krysten's blog and realizing that the meaning of this award has been lost in translation, I decided to look it up.  I found that this award is to be passed to "bloggers who demonstrate great attitude and gratitude".  Quite fitting for me, I'm sure ;)
The other rule about said award is that you have to pass it on... now, I don't have a great blog community around me, but I do have some people who I feel are deserving of this award.  Rules state to pass to 10 people, but I may not give all 10 out as I only follow a few blogs.  If you are listed here, your job is to pass this award on to those you see fit to receive it.  Ready?

Kristi manages like 50 blogs (including Photo Hunt Challenges, where I do my photo hunts), teaches like 5 classes (what seems to be full time), continues to develop her photography skills, and keeps a great attitude through it all.  I've had the pleasure to know Kristi (in real life) for several years now, and she is just a great person all around.

Lovi @ Yutopia -
Lovi is a friend from High School and a mother of an adorable little girl (soon to add another, boy or girl).  The one thing I've always admired about Lovi is her positive attitude on all things.  If for nothing else, that is worthy of this award.

Terri has been a friend of mine, personally, for several years now.  She lives in AZ, so we don't see each other that often, but we sure know how to have a blast together when we do.  Terri has walked the Phoenix 3-Day 2 (or is it 3 now?) years in a row now and has been very involved in raising money in support of breast cancer awareness and research.  Walking 20 miles a day for 3 days straight is worthy of any award.  Plus, I'm hoping this will bring Terri back into the world of blogging as I miss her very much!

Dana is a blogger I had the pleasure of meeting face to face last year.  I've enjoyed following her blog for quite some time now.  The reason Dana is receiving this award today is because of her loyalty and positive attitude concerning Brett Favre joining the Vikings.  She remained a Vikings fan first and never gave up hope when the deal was being made (I, on the other hand, had a hard time with it).  Kudos Dana and SKOL VIKINGS :)

Erin and Ben @ We Got Served -
I know they probably don't follow my blog, but I follow theirs!  It's local restaurant reviews, right up my alley!  They are honest and that is all I can ask for.

Okay... Five seems like a good number to stop at :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

December Hunt COMPLETE!

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that I've posted all my photos to the photo hunt for December.

HERE is my link
HERE is a link to all that have entered, thus far.


If you like coupons, you'll love this site!
Groupon has daily deals and it very cleaver in the way it works... they post a deal online, daily, if enough people 'buy it' the deal is on and people are charged.

For example, today's deal is: for $7 you can get $15 worth of food at The 5*8 Club (home of the Juicy Lucy).  So the deal only needed 30 people to buy it in order for it to be a valid deal.  It's up past 1,000 now.  Had it not reached 30 people interested, no one would be charged and the deal would be cancelled.  It's not always restaurants either!

Go Check it out, sign up for the daily email, if you'd like (it's not just the Twin Cities either!) - I just know that everyone is trying to save money these days, and this site gives you the chance to still do things, but at a fraction of the cost!


I love awesome websites!

2009 Photo Review

Well... another year has come and gone; did anyone see it pass by?

I haven't been as good this year about taking pictures of things I do, but rather found myself taking pictures for photo scavenger hunts and just trying to be artistic with photography in general.  I turned to my tagged pictures on Facebook and did some digging through my files as well to come up with all these wonderful memories. Turns out it's hard for me to pick and choose photos to post here, I wanted to add them all!  As I went through them I realized that 2009 was one hell of a year for me!

So we ended 2008 with a hair donation and a fun NYE celebration and moved quickly along to make some more moments that stand out as favorites; this one will be longer than last year, for sure!  Click on any picture to enlarge (I'm going to post them in the smallest option to try and save some space).

Winter 2009:
Going to the St. Paul Winter Carnival with Pam and Jen, in below zero temps:

Spending hours upon hours with these folks on the weekends, trying to stay warm:

Meeting a fellow blogger, face to face, finally:

Keeping a Valentine's Day tradition alive (Fuddruckers with Kristi, Erick, Rich and, this year, Brandon):

Girls Weekend & HOMEBOY, 'nuff said:

First EVER Green Beer for St. Patty's Day:

While I didn't get pictures with everyone, reuniting with some old faces from my first job:

Yankee Stadium in the Spring (even though the Twins lost all the games we went to):

My Missouri Family and my first time model experience:

Many Twins games over the summer:

A summer full of trips to the North Shore and TONS of camping!

Finding a gem of a malt shop:

Organizing a special gift for my gma's 85th birthday:

Halloween (and having the most awesome hair-do EVER!)!!!

Vikings Games:

Coloring the Thanksgiving Turkey with my cousin, Shannon, even though it was a "Let down":

My work Christmas party... and seeing helping Bob get really drunk:

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family:

Spending time with so many good friends:

Spending time and making real friendships with my outcast cousins:

Growing closer with a very special guy in my life:

Last, but certainly not least... watching my niece develop into her own little person, talking up a storm, and loving me almost as much as I love her!


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