About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

It's COLD! My poor car groaned at me this morning and just about didn't make it. I let it warm up for about 15 minutes before I came in to work and I was still cold when I got here. I've been here for an hour now and I'm still freezing. The cold just seeps into my bones and won't leave!

I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas! This month just flew by. I'm excited to open my presents! I'm such a kid, I know... actually I'm really excited for Darren to open his presents. It's a total surprise for him; he's not even expecting what he's getting. I love giving people presents they don't expect, but you know they want. I won't say what it is in case he reads this, but it's a good one. :) I, sadly, know a lot of my presents since I picked them out. Always sad when there's less surprises, but at least I know I'll love what I get.

Today will be a busy day. We're going to Darren's grandma's this afternoon, then with the Fisher side for dinner, and out to his mom's parents after that. Lots of Christmas! Then tomorrow we're doing Christmas with his family early in the morning, back over to my house mid-morning, then out to his mom's parents for lunch, then back to my house later that evening. Busy, busy. :)

We're doing a personal shower/bachelorette party on Friday and Lex has had a blast planning it. She's so funny. She picked out all these games and won't tell me what they are so that I'll be surprised. She planned most of the food (except for my request for little smokies) and got prizes for the games. The weather is supposed to be evil so hopefully everyone will still be able to make it. I'm excited. I think it'll be a lot of fun. Then the church is planning a shower for me on the 3rd (saw it in the bulletin and that's how I found out!). Not sure if I'm supposed to do anything for that, though. Show up, I guess. :)

We're going down to the cities for New Year's Eve to spend some time with friends and then help some of our friends pack up New Year's day. They're moving to Iowa, so it's kind of sad. It will be fun to see them one last time before they leave. They'll be up for the wedding so we will get to see them then.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

almost done

I had a final today. One that I actually had to study for. It was okay. I think it was probably the worst exam I've taken in that class, but compared to the amount of time I spent preparing for it I probably will get what I deserve. Which is fine with me. I just wanted to be done with it.

Tonight I need to pack up my last couple things and clean my room and bathroom. My final tomorrow is at 10:30 and after that I'm out of here! I was going to run back to Glen and Danette's and grab my stuff (since I have my plant and my laptop and didn't want to leave them in my car in the frozen winter) but that will take like an extra forty minutes. So I'm actually going to bring my plant in to my final with me. And my laptop. But no one will laugh at me for that. I'm hoping with my plant in the plastic bags no one will be able to tell what it is. Or care. Oh well. I don't care, anyway. Last year I almost killed my plant taking it outside to my car without a bag around it, so I'm not going to do that again. It took forever for it to recover. All the leaves died and fell off, and some of the twiggy branches too. Sad as it is to say, at least my fish is dead so I don't have to worry about him...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

home for the weekend

I came home yesterday after my last (FINALLY) class of the semester. I have two finals next week--one that I REALLY need to start studying for--and then I'm DONE until next fall. You wouldn't even believe how excited I am. I hauled all my stuff home yesterday and unpacked and organized my room. I have a pile of stuff to go over to the house Darren and I will be living in, so I'm going to have him help me take that over there later. He has drill right now but will be home later tonight.

Last night I watched The Nativity Story and that got me in the Christmas mood. I love that movie. This morning I wrapped some presents which took a while, and it's not even half of them. Mom went over to a friend's house to do their annual Christmas baking, so I'm anticipating a sugar overload later tonight. I did manage to work out this morning, so I guess it's justified. :)

I really want to watch White Christmas today--it's one of my favorite holiday movies--but should start studying for my final. Ugh...so unmotivated. I do have tomorrow and Monday to study. :)

Blair and Trent are out on a drive. They gathered up a bunch of guys (I almost got talked into it) and are trying to drive out this beast of a deer that's injured. I guess it's pretty big, so they all would like to get it. It's kind of funny watching them: they get so intense in their planning of how they want to flush it out and kill it. Oh, the northland. Sad story...I tried to find a Gander Mountain or Fleet Farm in the cities and they're almost as far away as they are from where I live in the middle of nowhere! Crazy. We sure are a different breed up here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Alaina vs. washing machine

Today the washing machine got the best of me. It's been a little off for a while, and this morning when my load of sheets/towels/socks was done...well, it wasn't really. Everything was still soaking wet and soapy. So I tried to run it again without adding any detergent and ended up with the same thing. What followed was thirty minutes of washing a load of laundry in the bathtub. And let me say that towels and sheets are most definitely NOT the easiest things to wash and ring out in a bathtub. Or anywhere, really. It will probably taken them about an hour and a half in the dryer...maybe longer...but at least they'll be semi-clean. I have 10 days left, so I'm going to have to start being careful with my clothing choices. I did already pull my black pants and the black socks I wore today out of my dirty clothes because I need to wear them for a presentation on Tuesday. Probably going to be a little more selective about my clothing choices for the next week and a half.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I stayed up pretty late last night reading a book so I was really unmotivated this morning to go to the gym, but I used the snow on my car as an excuse. Worked well until I realized it was like a tiny little bit and I felt guilty. But oh well. I finished my book this morning and then did two hours on corporate strats. I started doing my auditing case and then my sister came over and we hung out. We also made nut goodie bars, yum! Watched a little Titanic and ate our bars once they hardened, and that's pretty much been my day. She's still here but I might try to get a little homework done after she leaves. At least some more on my auditing case. Tomorrow will be dedicated to corporate strats and I'm meeting my teammates tomorrow night around 6:30 to work on that. Only FIVE DAYS LEFT! I can't wait for this coming week to be over! Then only two finals and I'm DONE!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fast Week

This week flew by! I can't believe tomorrow is Friday. Only one more week left of school after this and then two days of finals and I'm done! Tomorrow I have a presentation, and another one on Tuesday, plus a paper due on Thursday and a big case for Auditing due as well. Then my two finals during finals week. Getting there...I was just thinking today how weird it is that I'm almost married. I've been single my whole life (obviously) and we've been engaged for so long it felt like it would never come. But in like seven weeks I'll be married!

We unregistered for our plates at Target because they were hideous. They have different ones there now that I like a lot better, but I can't register for them online because I need to make sure they are at the Target in Brainerd so people will actually buy them. :) The only problem is I won't be home until after finals, but I guess that will have to work.

I got all the invitations sent out on Saturday and my mom said there were some responses back already, so that's good. I just know there will be people who don't respond or say they're coming and they don't and it will drive me crazy. We went to a friend's wedding on Saturday at the same reception site as ours and it was fun to see it. I got some really great ideas for our reception, too. I've been buying up my Christmas presents and getting going on that. Lots to do still, though. December is SO busy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful for...

...Darren. He's changed my whole life and I can't imagine it without him.

...my brother and sister. They can always make me laugh, and I could learn something from their laid-back attitude.

...my mom. She's always taking care of us.

...good health. Every day I can get out of bed in the morning is a gift from God.

...Tina and Alli. My best friends.

...pumpkin pie. Or food in general. There are so many people starving in the world, and we have more than enough.

...a past that's taught me to value the present. You never know what tomorrow will bring, so cherish the moments of today.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Thanksgiving break started today. Well, not officially, but for me it did. I'm skipping school next Monday and Tuesday (Mom has surgery Tuesday) so I have all this weekend, all next week, and the following weekend to hang out and relax. AND work on wedding invites! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

another wedding weekend

Things I accomplished this weekend:

-finished my favors (YAY.)
-bought gifts for the bridesmaids
-made a trial hair updo appointment
-bought an aisle runner
-ordered a cake topper
-finished my part of the guest list
-wrote the ceremony program
-bought candles for the ceremony
-filled out the application for a wedding license (a little premature, but I printed it and it was right there)
-emailed my future mother-in-law about the rehearsal dinner and got that mostly figured out

So it was a good weekend for that. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

wedding makeup

Okay, so I've been trying to figure out how to wear my makeup for the weddding, and prety much decided to wear it the same way I wear it every day, only with a little more liner and another coat of mascara. So, what do you think? Ignore the red nose...I was sick. Oh, and I'll have a tan so I won't be so pasty. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why I love...

...Vanilla Bean Noel. It reminds me of snowy days and cookies. B&BW only sells it at Christmas, so it's like a special yearly treat. I stock up every year. Somehow it doesn't smell the same as Warm Vanilla Sugar.

...my $12 pair of jeans. Used and broken in, they're already a perfect fit. Great length, no baggy butt, and CHEAP!

...dark chocolate. A different taste than milk chocolate, and a little bit out-of-the-ordinary. Need I mention it's better for you? Plus, with everyone else eating the milk chocolate first, there's more dark left for me!

...chick flicks. Because even though they're incredibly predictable and have happy endings, they make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

...the movie theater. So much better seeing a movie on the big screen in the dark with popcorn and Raisinettes than in your living room. It's the experience of it.

...fall. It's the prettiest season, by far. Even though I love spring because it means winter is over, it doesn't compare to the gorgeous colors of the trees in the fall.

...Google. It's the answer to everything.

...January 24th. It's my wedding day! And the coldest day of the year, as an added bonus...didn't know that when I picked it.

...rice pudding. Sugary soft rice with cinnamon and whole milk. What's not to love?

...my big red hoop earrings. A little unexpected (they're HUGE) but go well with my Red Friday attire.

...102.9 LITE FM. 24/7 Christmas music. I countdown to Christmas from about the first of October, so I've been listening to Christmas music for a while already, and I'm tired of listening to my meager collection. It's nice to hear new songs on the radio.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Happy Veteran's Day! This day means so much more to me now that I actually know some veterans. Before it was a day that the banks and post offices were closed, but now it's special. Since Darren came into my life I've realized really how much sacrifice is required to call yourself a veteran. He's so proud of everything he's done, and I'm so proud of him. He has given years of his life to the military, and to the citizens of this country by extension. I'm so thankful for everything he and all of our veterans have done. I'm beyond proud to call myself a citizen of the United States of America. God bless our veterans and God bless America!

Monday, November 10, 2008

64 down, 200 to go

Well I worked on the favors tonight for a while. Today I was pleasantly suprised to see Hershey Kisses on sale at Target so I bought 19 bags of them. I'll need more, but it's a good start. Plus I was stupid and didn't look at the nutritional value to figure out how many were in a package, so I was just guessing on how many bags I'd need. Oh well. They're on sale all week so I'll go back. Also the jingle bells were on sale at Michael's so that was good. I assembled 64 of them...still a lot to go. It's probably actually a little less than 200. I think I'll do 250 and I have stuff for more that I can do closer to the wedding if needed. Oh man, they take forever to put together. I watched Beauty and the Beast while I was doing it. Gotta love Disney movies. I also started gathering up addresses. Most of the one's I need are from Darren and his family and they're working on those, so I just need to get a couple. I facebook messaged a lot of people tonight and hopefully they respond. I don't need them until Thanksgiving break but I always think it's better to be early than late.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Deer Season

Deer season is on my top five list of my favorite times of the year. Christmas, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Easter, and deer season. It's fun when all my family comes up and everyone is loud and laughing. We went over to my grandparents yesterday for lunch and it was fun. No one got any monsters yet, but there still a lot of time left! :) The down side is I hardly saw Darren yesterday with all the hunting. At least there's still one day left of my weekend.

I've been busy lately. School has been picking up again and I've already spent an hour this morning working on a paper that's due Tuesday. Thursday I have an exam and all my final projects are starting to take shape. I have one in every class, which I hate because I don't like group work. It always seems to take so much longer that if I had just done it myself, but oh well. What can ya do? At least everything is comign to an end. There are two weeks until I'm going home for Thanksgiving, and then two weeks after that until finals. So really only four weeks left of school. I can probably handle it. Hopefully...this year has gone by pretty quickly.

Yesterday Tina and I went down to Brainerd to have Chinese and shop at Target. I got some cute new tops and black pants, which I desperately needed. It's so hard to have to buy new clothes all the time. I mean, it's fun, don't get me wrong, but it's so frustrating because I don't have any money OR any clothes that fit. Ugh... I gave Tina two big rubbermaids and a garbage bag full of clothes to see if they'll fit her since she's preggers. I told her to give them back, though, because hopefully they'll fit me when I'm pregnant someday! :) I am excited about my new clothes, though. I think I'll wear one of the shirts today to church.

Friday, October 31, 2008

the problem with retail

Today I went to Victoria's Secret after school to buy some (ahem) "wardrobe items" for marriage. And oh my goodness did the sales people ever harass me. The second I walk in the store this one woman walks up to me, asks if I need help finding anything (to which I reply "No, I'm just looking.") and she feels the need to go on and on forever about some bra or another. "Oh, we just got this bra back in stock because everyone loves it. And blah blah blah and you can't see the lace through your shirts blah blah blah." Excuse me, I'm not even looking at bras (clearly!) and I told you I didn't need any help. So she finishes her speil and walks off. Whatever. I go back to looking. I kid you not, three minutes later I hear, "Are you finding everything okay?" Yes, I am, and even if I wasn't, I'm intelligent enough to ask for help when I need it. "Yes, I'm fine. Thanks." I wander around the store for a while, trying to avoid her, and when I finally select something (after looking FOREVER to find it in my size) here she comes again, "Do you want a bag for that..." to which I interrupt "No." while she continues saying, "...to make it easier to carry around?" Okay, it's not like it's a lot of fabric and weighs a ton. Let's face it, I'm not going to die of exhaustion carrying it around. Another time she told me that I could get a free stuffed dog with any Pink purchase. "They make good gifts." Yeah, I'm sure everyone is dying to have a pink dog. What a moron. She manages to leave me alone for about ten minutes while I find some other things and head to the fitting room. Some of it didn't fit right, but I wasn't about to ask anyone to grab me another size. If you've ever tried on this kind of stuff you can imagine the awkwardness that would create. Bad enough they see you walk in the fitting room with it. I ended up with one of the three different "outfits" I tried on, coughed up a small fortune for the complete ensemble, and on my way out got asked by three people if I found everything okay. Poor Darren got the worst of it when I called him after leaving the store. Worst experience I ever have had in Victoria's Secret in my entire life. And I even had a coupon for $10 off. I understand they are required to ask me if I need any help, but if I say "no" you'd think they would get the hint and leave, but apparently not. They must work on commission.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I've been sick all day today and yesterday with a nasty stomach virus/bug/flu/whatever. Today I've consumed a sleeve of saltine crackers, a diet 7up, half a glass of apple juice, and four hershey kisses (I don't care how sick I am, I still need chocolate!). I think I'll try to eat a little something for supper tonight, maybe soup. Something light, for sure. I haven't been throwing up so I've been able to go to school, fortunately. At least I don't have to deal with the stress of missed classes on top of being sick. So anyway, researched it on the internet this morning and got some excellent advice. Stay away from dairy (oops, had cereal with milk last night) and whole grains (probably shouldn't have had that multigrain bread for lunch yesterday) and don't take ibuprofen (okay, my head was KILLING me). But now that I'm sufficiently educated I'll drink my apple juice like a good girl and stay hydrated. If I still don't feel well on Friday I'm supposed to call a doctor, but knowing me, I won't. The plus side of living on saltines and juice is that I'll probably weigh the lowest I've ever weighed in my life tomorrow morning. Silver lining. But really, hopefully I get well soon. I'm tired of being hungry but knowing whatever I eat will only make me feel worse. Those saltine crackers are sitting like a big rock in my stomach right now, and it doesn't feel so good.

Also this morning I had the pleasure of having a female exam at the clinic. Yay. Plus, as a bonus, the nurse noticed I hadn't had a tetanus booster in almost ten years. Double yay. Not a pleasant experience, overall. Now my arm hurts and apparently will continue to hurt from 3 to 5 days. My only consolation is that now I can step on a rusty nail without fear of disease. Some prize. Along with the shot came a handy informational guide about what to do if I think the shot is giving me a headache, swelling, pain, or is going to kill me. This they handed to me about three seconds before they jabbed the needle in my shoulder.

Overall it's been a rough week, I'd say. Tomorrow is my busy day, and then Friday will be a snap, so I really only have to get through one more day this week. I can't wait for the weekend, even though I get to spend it studying for an exam and writing a paper. Last big week before finals though. I wish it was over already.

Monday, October 27, 2008

busy weekend

We were really busy this weekend, so it went by FAST. Too fast...I can't believe it's Monday already! At least it's almost over, and tomorrow is Tuesday.

Friday we met in Brainerd for dinner at Applebee's and to pick out a grill--his parent's wedding gift to us. So that was fun. Then we headed to my house to feed the animals and get the mail. My mom and Blair were gone to Tennessee so the house was cold and dark and lonely. I was afraid I'd either freeze or get abducted, so I stayed at Darren's house Friday and Saturday night. Anyway, after checking up on things at home we headed over to his house and baked a pumpkin pie! My idea...I really was craving pumpkin pie all week so I wanted to have some. His mom had some frozen crust so we didn't have to make it (fortunately) and it turned out really well. I think his dad ate about half of it, and the rest of us had the other half. :) We watched a movie and stayed up pretty late, so we slept in on Saturday for a while. Got up, made breakfast, played some cards, and then went to the casino to pick up our wedding cake samples. We were supposed to get lemon and marble, but we ended up only with marble. It was SO good, though, I don't even care that we didn't get lemon. Here's Darren tasting it. Yummy...

Darren really wanted to sit in the hot tub so we went to my house to fill it and get it going. Took forever because our pump is really slow and we hardly have any water pressure. Then my mom said if we were cold we could get the wood stove going, and Darren was bored so we did that. Way more work than we thought it would be, but we did finally get it going. We made some chicken tortellini for supper which was crazy because the recipe was absolutely insane...never heard of cooking it in a pressure cooker, but that's what it called for. (We didn't do that, by the way.) It turned out pretty good. I think we both liked it, even though it took a long time to make. I also make banana bread and rice pudding, so it was a baking/cooking weekend for us.

On Saturday we went over to Blair's house to make a list of things that needed to be done before we moved in. It's mostly just little things like toilet paper holders and light fixtures and rods for the closets, but there is some clean up work to be done outside, too. Only 89 days until we get married. It was three months on Friday, so that was kind of an exciting day for us.

Sunday my mom and Blair got home so we spent some time at my house. We got to sit in the hot tub since it had warmed up and my mom put the chemicals in. That's something to look forward to on the weekends, now. Love the hot tub! After that we went up to our first premarriage counseling session with my pastor. Darren was really nervous and kept saying we were going to fail, but it went really well. We did a relationship class this summer and for our counseling we're pretty much going to be going through the book/DVDs we used then. I'm excited because I really liked them this summer and it will be fun to focus a little bit more on them and talk about them more together. We didn't really do that this summer.

We went to Darren's house Sunday night and carved pumpkins! I was really excited because I haven't done that in years! I think Darren and his sister were slightly less exicted, but it was still fun. We played some 500 with his parents and then went to bed too late. It was hard to get up this morning and drive to the cities. The roads were kind of icy and there was snow on the ground when I left home this morning, so I think winter is finally upon us...ugh.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Remembering Dad

My dad died five years ago today. He was duck hunting in North Dakota with my uncle and another man. The boat tipped somehow and it was too windy to swim it to shore. My dad and uncle sent their friend in with a bunch of decoys and he made it. Then my dad sent my uncle in with the last bunch of decoys, and he survived only because the first man was able to help him when he got to shore. My dad was in that water for about six hours before he passed out from hypothermia and drowned.

This day means a lot to me and my family, and while I usually think of what happened during the last few hours of my dad's life and how he must have felt to know he wouldn't make it, I think of some of the good times I had with him, too.

He loved to play games with us. We played this one basketball game where he would say something like, "If I make this shot you kids have to clean the playroom." And he'd make it, and then we would have to make the same shot to cancel it out. Or we could try a new shot saying something that we wanted, like a new toy. My brother was our saving grace; otherwise my sister and I would have ended up cleaning all year long. We would play Monopoly and he was so intense and had the worst luck. My sister would end up with a big monopoly or all the railroads and he would hit them every time around the board. It's a wonder he even liked to play it. He was a mastermind at Clue; he had such a good memory and won pretty much every time. He would take my brother, sister, and I on in baseball (his favorite) and he would win every time. We would each take a turn hitting, and then when it was his turn at bat, he would get three hits to try and score a run. He could hit it so far it would take us forever to get it and tag him. He played baseball in high school and actually had his two front teeth knocked out by a ball, so they were fake. He could never eat corn on the cob because of that--always had to cut it off and eat it with a fork.

He was a hard worker. He built our house and laid our wood flooring by hand. He drove bus, he worked at a bait shop/gas station, he worked at Scamp, he worked at an auto body shop, he did anything he could to provide for us. We never had much money growing up but I never realized that until later in life because I always felt cared for. He did so much around the house it was hard to pick up when he was gone. I remember the first Christmas. Dad had always put the tree together and ALWAYS complained about what a pain it was. And then he was gone and someone had to do it. I've put the same tree up for the past five Christmases, but it's not too bad since he color-coded all the branches. :)

He hated messes. I'm a lot like him in this way, only not as crazy about it. :) Everything had it's place, and if it wasn't there, boy was there trouble. He was ultra-organized, a perfectionist, and a little bit of a pack rat, but only because he held on to things with sentimental value. He was super paranoid about being on time. He actually had two alarm clocks that he would use every day.

He loved his friends and family. I never saw my dad laugh much unless he was with friends or family. He was a jokester, but he did it in this sneaky way and it was hard to catch him unless you were paying close attention. He was always out to get you when you least saw it coming. That's a side of him I never got to know very well--I wasn't old enough, I guess--but I hear a lot about it now from aunts and uncles. He would give the clothes off his back for you if you needed them; he was generous that way.

He loved to hunt. We have a safe full of rifles and shotguns that are rarely used, two shell loaders that sit untouched, and rubbermaids full of hunting clothes. Someday my brother will take them all, but for now they sit as reminders of what once was. He hunted deer, grouse, pheasant, duck, goose, and shot crows with his friends for kicks. One summer they shot 200, and we actually have a video of the 200th one they killed. Most women don't understand or appreciate when men love to hunt, but for me, it's all I've known. My entire family is that way, and I wouldn't change it. My dad died doing something he loved, and to me, that's better than any other way to go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

back in the swing of things

Back to school today. Not exciting. My only consolation is that it's Wednesday and there are only two days left of this week. Next week will be hard. Ugh, don't think about it...at least now that first quad is over I no longer have 8:05 or 11:20 class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Which also means no chapel on those days! Yay. Since I live off-campus and don't have a class until 12:40 MWF (chapel is 10:30-11:00) I'm not required to attend those chapels. So that's REALLY nice. Basically on Monday and Friday I'll be on campus from 12:40-1:45 for my one class. Wednesday's I work at 8:15 until class (except for chapel time, so I really have a nice long hour break since I don't have to go to chapel). Now only Tuesdays and Thursdays will be evil. Well, MWF's aren't really a treat with Business Ethics, but they're better than Corporate Strats and Auditing. Especially Auditing. Ugh, kill me now.

I haven't lost weight in FOREVER so today I did 50 minutes on the eliptical while watching The OC. Yeah, go ahead make fun of me for watching that show, but I like it. Espeically Seth Cohen. SO freaking funny. One of my roommates freshman year actually gave me a big poster of him (whatever his real name is...Adam Brody maybe??) and hung it up on my wall. I didn't think I liked him THAT much, but it was nice of her to think of me...I wonder what ever happened to that?

So today I saw (gasp!) snow. Yes, it's true. Okay, maybe it was more like tiny-sleety-frozen-ice-balls, but they were white and it wasn't rain. Ugh, winter. Not ready for it. Well, I am if it means that it's January.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

possible wedding songs

Here are the songs we're thinking about for during the ceremony:

A Moment Like This Kelly Clarkson
When You Say Nothing At All Alison Krauss
It's Your Love Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Lost in this Moment Big & Rich
Bless the Broken Road Rascal Flatts


wedding stuff

Today was a day of accomplishment. I got a TON of wedding stuff done. I called my friends to tell them their bridesmaids dresses are in, I emailed the cake lady and narrowed down my cake selection, emailed the woman I need more Pampered Chef registry insert things, got more registry inserts from Target, called and scheduled an appointment for alterations, called the woman who will play piano, found songs for my soloist to choose from, totally figured out my favors, including pricing (they're 45 cents each), and bought shoes (for $20!) and jewelry. So, busy day. I was so excited those shoes were so cheap--I got them for half off. The heels are a little higher than I wanted, but it was hard to find closed-toe shoes. I don't want any snow coming in them... I'll probably have to find another pair of flats to wear at the reception, though. I have this one pair at home that will probably work. Oh, I also ordered my guestbook today through David's Bridal because the white and cornflower one was temporarily out of stock for six weeks online. It won't get here until the end of December! My dress came in three weeks, but my guestbook will take two months. Weird...

Oh, here's a picture of the favor. I think the bell adds a lot. I was standing in Michael's and there was this book with ideas, so I copied it.

I'm in the process of trying to create guest lists for showers. I can't decided whether to do a personal shower or not...tough call. I don't want people to think they have to buy a gift for a personal shower AND a regular shower. Hmm...but I would like some "personal items" because I don't really have any. Well, I have one that I got at Victoria's Secret because a friend (my soloist, actually) talked me into it. So can't decide on that issue. Plus, who even gets invited to a personal shower? I don't have that many friends. I guess it could be more low-key chill. I'm totally about that.

How ironic is it that last night I had a dream it was my sister's wedding? We were walking to the church and it was a LONG walk in the rain. We were under these storefronts but we were still getting wet and she was getting really upset. Her updo was totally falling down and when we got to the church we ended up in this dark random attic room. I had to help blowdry and recurl her hair (and I specifically remember asking for a diffuser) and I kept telling her it would be okay. Strange.

Today is the last day of fall break. Back to school tomorrow...ugh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

fall break

One more day of freedom before it's back to school. I can't believe how quickly fall break went by. I spent a TON of it at Pres Homes, so I got a lot of my volunteering done. I could finish it tomorrow if I wanted to, but I don't think I'm that motivated. I'll probably just head there for three hours or so. I've been there for 17 and a half hours since Friday after class, so I feel like I haven't really had much of a "break" but I guess it'll be nice to have this over and finished with. I have six and a half hours left of my forty, so I'm almost done. I still have to write a paper about "what I learned" but I'm not seeing that as being a lot of work. Unfortunately with all my volunteering I haven't gotten very much homework done so I'll be doing quite a bit of that tomorrow.

The wedding plans have kind of taken over my life recently. My aunt, who is also my personal attendant, is ultra-organized and sent me this monster list of questions, so now I've been thinking about those and trying to get more things organized. I did manage to make maps to the church and reception (took a while) on my computer last night, so the invitations only need to be assembled and addressed. I am still waiting for some addresses, though. Before she sent me that email I thought I was getting pretty close to being done, but I realized the only things that are done are like the five big things, and now it's time for the million little things to be taken care of. Ugh... Three of the bridesmaid's dresses made it in, so I'm having someone pick them up from David's Bridal in Duluth. I'm glad they're in already because some of them need to be altered. One of my bridesmaids is pregnant, so you can imagine she'll be needing some adjustments. :)

My uncle took me out to dinner at Fortune House, and it was good. I had the tangerine chicken--a little too sweet, but still tasty. I think I could eat Chinese every week and not get sick of it. We never had Chinese growing up. My mom didn't like it so I always assumed it was gross. (She didn't like Mac 'N Cheese either, so I should have realized the truth...) I was a freshman in college before I ever tried Chinese...what a loss of 18 years. I've made up for it now, though.

Darren's parents are buying us a grill for our wedding present. Yay! Darren loves to grill (another yay) so I'm hoping that means he'll help out with dinner a lot. I'm helpless in the kitchen. Well, I can bake. But that's bascially it. I do make a mean fried egg sandwich, and I can make anything that comes in a box but if it doesn't have pictures with the instructions (think hamburger helper and you'll understand) it's beyond me. Darren's mom is going to give me "cooking lessons" (his idea, but not a bad one!) before we get married so I'll know how to make all his favorite things. I guess some women would be offended by that, but I'm so desperate I'm only thankful.

Tomorrow will be filled with errands and volunteering and homework. I love errands but not so much the other two. I have a list of wedding stuff to do this week and I'm going home this weekend so I need to get ahead on my homework a little, so I'll be busy busy tomorrow. I've kind of relaxed the past couple days during my non-volunteering hours, so it's time to be productive again. Ugh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's feeling like fall today

Okay, so it's been a month. So much for me being better about blogging. Oh well...

Um, first off, let me just say this: it's cold. Winter is breathing down my neck and I'm not happy with it. Today my accounting professor told a funny joke: "In Minnesota we have three seasons: June, July, and winter." Haha, how true. The fall colors are gorgeous though. I actually think fall and winter are the prettiest times of the year. The trees are so pretty in fall, and then in winter when there is a fresh snowfall and the branches all have snow on them...okay, maybe winter isn't so bad. Except for the freezing temps.

Tomorrow is the last day of school before fall break, and I'm way excited. The semester is half over already! Woo-hoo! Hopefully the next half goes by as fast as the first. Unfortunately I'll be spending my fall break doing my community service volunteer work (40 hours required for 0 credits...give me a break) but at least I won't be sitting in Auditing. The only bright spot. It'll be nice to just get a big chunk of service in and be done and not have to think about it anymore, too. I have 16 hours done so far and my goal is 20 over my four-day weekend. Glen and Danette are going up north for the weekend so I'll be here by myself Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. I may as well volunteer. Darren has drill this weekend up in Hibbing so I wouldn't even get to see him if I drove home.

I've been trying to be better about spending money lately so I (finally, after years of talking about it) created a budget for this month. I haven't really made any of my goals, but this first month is kind of a rough draft to figure out what I spend and where. It definitely makes me more aware of my poor spending habits. Although I did get gas today for $2.59! Only put in $10 though because it's probably about 10 cents cheaper in St. Anthony, and I'll be there tomorrow. It's always cheaper there, so unfair.

My brother, sister, Darren, and I went to the Vikings game on Sunday, and it was really nice to see a win. It's WAY more fun being there than watching it on TV. I haven't even watched the Vikes yet this year, but I still had a great time. I'll try to upload a picture but it never seems to work out well. Oh, success!

Wedding updates:

-The flowers are completely taken care of--I sent in my deposit and don't have to think about them until closer to the wedding. Still stinking expensive, but I guess that's just how it is.
-Laura agreed to sing at our wedding! Darren didn't want to have one of the older ladies from my church sing so I asked one of my former roommates, and she said she would.
-Invites have arrived at my house and only wait assembly and addresses. I'll try to hit that hard over Thanksgiving break and hopefully we can send them out the end of November/beginning of December.
-We're meeting with the cake lady next weekend to discuss options and such. I think we're just going to do a small tiered cake and about a million sheet cakes, so it should be simple enough. Darren is supposed to be looking at toppers with me, but we haven't yet. I'm having a hard time finding one I like. Maybe I'm just being too picky, but I really want a nice traditional one and they all seem really weird.
-We bought our airline tickets to Grand Cayman for March, booked a hotel before we get to the time share, and Darren found a super cute B&B up in Duluth for our real honeymoon. I'm excited for it. We still need to rent a car for Grand Cayman.
-I've been thinking about hairstyles and will probably go and do a trial run over Thanksgiving break, since I'll have time then.
-Oh, a couple weeks ago the bridesmaids and I went up to Duluth and they all got their dresses picked out. I had everyone choose their own style and it worked out really well. Two of the dresses should be in here pretty soon and the other two won't come in until December! How crazy is that! It only took a couple weeks to get my dress. Which needs undergo major alterations, but that's another story...

It's amazing how quickly time goes by. Even though I feel like Darren and I have been engaged for forever and January is taking so long to get here, it really has been going fast. He got home from Iraq a year ago yesterday, and it definitely doesn't seem like it's been a year. So much of my life has changed, it's crazy. It's all been good changes, but two years ago I never would have pictures myself here. It's funny how life is like that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wedding Invitations 101

So who knew it was so difficult to figure out wedding invites? It's not just what they cost or what they say, it's how they look and the secret/hidden/subliminal messages they convey (think: theme, dress, etc.) Who knew it was such an art?

After reading up on all the protocols and laws I could find, I decided to toss most of them out the window and do what I wanted. My situtation is slightly more difficult in that I have to find a way to convey I am Mrs. Blair Zaffke's daughter, but not Mr.'s. So, here's what I came up with (draft number one):

Mr. and Mrs. Blair Zaffke
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of Mrs. Zaffke's daughter
Alaina Lynn Fisher
Darren Scott Bundy
son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Bundy
January twenty-fourth
two thousand nine
at three o'clock
Lakeside Baptist Church
Backus, MN

Sounds easy, right? Um, not so much. Took a while for me to get that far, and it involved the dictionary to determine the real way to spell honor. Still haven't decided for sure, but no one I know spells it h-o-n-o-u-r so I gave up on that pretty quick. And, did you know that if your wedding is in a church you should say 'request the honor of your presence' and not 'the pleasure of your company'? Nope. Lesson learned there.

After the first draft I decided I didn't want to have it sound so stuffy and formal and we wanted to go with "Blair and Garnet" and "Patrick and Shelly" instead of "Mr. and Mrs." But how do I phrase that without it sounded SUPER unformal?

Blair and Garnet Zaffke
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of Garnet's daughter
Alaina Lynn Fisher


Comments? I think it's a little too 'unformal'. My mom mentioned something about having my dad's name in there, but I don't think I'm supposed to, according to the "rules". I better do more research. Hopefully there's some way out there that will work. Ugh...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

things that tick me off

Lately I've been getting annoyed by some of my professors. Class time always runs over and it's really annoying. Heaven forbid class start twenty seconds late, but it's almost a daily occurance that we get out two or three minutes after we're supposed to. Um, excuse me, professor, is your time more important than mine? Ugh, it's frustrating. Especially because they make such a big deal about people being late and how we have to start right on time so we don't waste a single minute. One of my professors always says, "Let's shut the door so we embarass anyone who walks in late." And this is like five seconds before class is even supposed to start. I really don't like him very much...

Other things that annoy me:
-The campus shuttle bus stopping in the middle of the road every day to pick up students. No one can get by. Today the campus security drove around on the right (by the door of the bus) and other people started following and the bus driver got off and stood in the way so no one could pass. If campus security can do it why can't I? Annoying.

-How crowded chapel always is. Give me 30 skips and some of those poor people sitting on the floor can have my chair more often. Can you say "fire hazard"? Chapel also has an annoying tendency to start early and run late. Yes, I agreed to attend, but that was when I was told chapel would be a 30 minute block, not a 40 minute block. So I do homework instead.

-People stopping in the middle of the hallway/doorway/aisle/mail center/etc. to "stop and chat." Get out of the way if you want to talk. Otherwise, move.

-Traffic. Stoplights. Cars that don't move when the light turns green. Buses that stop on the dumb railroad tracks to make sure there isn't a train coming.

-Chewing with your mouth open. Case closed.

-When professors assign about four hours of homework and then never discuss it in class or have it on the exam. What's the point?

This list is hardly comprehensive. Just some things that have been annoying me lately. I probably could have just summed it all up and said "school" but it's more fun this way. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

my friends at Best Buy

Last night my computer broke. It won't bring up the desktop unless it's in some crazy weird mode (the Best Buy guy was trying to explain to me but I didn't quite get it) and I can't get on the wireless internet. Dang it. So today I hauled it in to Best Buy and waited in line for the Geek people for forever and a day, and finally this guy tells me it needs $199 work of "diagnostics and repair". That comes to $215 with tax. Ugh. So I paid him and will patiently wait a week and a half for him to fix my computer. Or, I will pay him, wait a week and a half, and then listen to him tell me why he can't fix my computer and I'm really better off just getting a new one. Time will tell.

The Best Buy people and I actually have a pretty good relationship. I've gone in there with my laptop at least twice before, so it's not like we're strangers. The first time I went in there was freshman year when my power cord had a minor short and wouldn't charge my computer. Well, unfortunately it worked when they tested it, so I didn't get a replacement. The bad part is that it still sometimes doesn't work. I've found that if I just wait a little bit, it usually kicks on again, but it's touch-and-go there for a while. Last summer I went to Best Buy because my computer is obnoxiously loud and I wanted them to fix it. It also had this nasty tendency to get so hot it would nearly melt my legs off when it was sitting on my lap. I thought it was the fan so I asked them to replace it. They did. It still is loud. It still gets hot. And I gave up. In general, I would say that giving up is really the only thing one can do when faced with insurmountable technology problems. Because really, in hindsight, the people at Best Buy didn't do a single thing to help me, and I really would have been better off pretending my problems didn't exist in the first place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

my wedding dress

When I got my wedding dress it actually wasn't really my number one choice, it was my mom and sister's favorite. I like it okay--it was my second choice--but every so often I wish I would have bought the dress I really wanted. My is simple and classic, but the one I wanted was more modern. Everyone always says, "In ten years you would have wondered what you were thinking." Probably true. Mine also needs to be taken in a little bit, and it will look better after that. Anyway, tonight I was on David's Bridal and I found my dress and I fell in love with it. I think it looks better online than on me, or maybe it's just that I can't get the whole effect at once while I'm wearing it, but it's gorgeous. Everyone says it looks really beautiful on me, and I guess maybe I'll start believing them.

Monday, August 25, 2008

city girl

I'm back to the cities for another fantastic (or not) year of school. At least it's not a full year, only one semester and then I'll get married (yay!). I came down last night and got all settled in and unpacked at my aunt and uncle's house about 10 minutes from school. Then I went to bed early and slept 9 and a half hours since I'm recovering from a cold. It was SO nice to sleep in. I don't even remember the last time I was able to. Probably not in the month of August...not even joking. Anyway, I ended up waking up pretty early this morning, so I got my stuff more organized and headed out to run some errands. I went all the way to school so I could get my parking permit and my textbooks but then (ugh) realized I forgot my student ID so I turned around and came back to pick that up. Went back to school again and got everything accomplished there. They tore out the tennis courts and built a huge new parking lot and it's way different driving onto campus than it was last year.

I went and saw some of my old roommates from last year. We visited for a while and then one of them, Laura, and I went out for lunch at Subway. We had to stop at the mall quick because I needed new bras, and I also got a little something for when I get married. Wink, wink. Laura encouraged me a little, but it was fun. After that I went and got an oil change, which took a day and a half, I swear. I should start going to Jiffy Lube or something because I always go to the dealer and it always takes forever. And it's more expensive. Well, really, Darren tells me I should "buy my own oil and change it myself". Yeah. Right.

My sister is coming down tonight to get her apartment somewhat cleaned and organized and I volunteered to help her, so I'll be washing dishes most of the night, I'm sure. I'm excited to see her apartment, though. My mom says it's cute.

It's so weird being back here. I walked through one of the buildings today and seriously felt like I was there last week. I can't believe how fast summer went. It's gone already! Sometimes when I think about the past three years of college I'm amazed at how different I am now than I was back then. If I would have know where I'd be now way back in freshman year...well, I probably wouldn't have believed it. Today when Laura and I were having lunch she was saying how amazing it is when you're little and you think, "I'm going to do this when I grow up, and I'm going to be that." And then one day you wake up and realized that that time is now. Crazy.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Last night I hardly slept because of the stupid chirping crickets. One in my room woke me up at 3:15. I spent about 15 minutes looking for it before giving up and heading to the couch. Unfortunately by then I was wide awake and couldn't fall back asleep. It didn't help the couch is uncomfortable. Finally, when I had almost drifted off, I heard another one. I wanted to tear my hair out. I would walk over to the corner of the basement and it would quiet down. Then I would go back to the couch and get all settled and five minutes later I would hear it again. It went on and on and on. I tried moving the fan really really close to my head so I couldn't hear it, but it didn't work. Then I eventually went and got my iPod to drown out the noise. That worked until I started singing instead of sleeping. I tried turning it all the way down so I only heard that faint static sound but I could hear the cricket over that. I seriously wanted to find that thing and rip its legs off. I was up until 4:45 because of these stupid crickets. I don't know what God was thinking when He created them...

Girl's night tonight. I went out to eat at Poncho and Lefty's with one of my current coworkers and one of our former coworkers. Stuffed my face and probably gained about five pounds, but it was SO good. Ugg, the weight has been depressing me lately. I was so good last week and then with the wedding this past weekend and pigging out all day Sunday I gained a little. Oh well.

I just ordered this crazy belt thing online and had to pay almost $10 for ground shipping! That's ridiculous. Anyway, the belt thing is called Invisibelt and it has this plastic-looking band with a small, thin buckle so it doesn't make your shirts bulge out. I have high hopes. I hate it when my shirt looks all weird from my belt buckle.

Well that took so long it's getting late and I have to get up early to work off dinner. Plus, I didn't sleep much last night...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

wedding update

I've been doing a lot of the wedding planning recently. Last night Darren and I went to the photographer's and we chose which engagement pics we liked the best. We got several nice pictures. I'm excited for them. I also asked her about invitations and it sounds like that might be a better deal than any of the other invites I've found so far. Plus they'd be more personal--would have our picture and everything. So that's something more to look into.

Today my mom and I went up to Bemidji to check out this floral shop that one of my coworkers recommended. The woman there was very helpful and I've pretty much decided on white hydrangeas with dark pink roses. Cotton candy roses, the lady called them. Just nice and simple. Another one of my coworkers pointed out that pink roses would complement my blue bridesmaids dresses really well, and I really liked her idea. Unfortunately, Bemidji is a long drive, so I think I'm going to look for something closer. My coworker said this woman, who is one of her friends, would give me a good deal, but I don't really think she did. Anyway, I think I'm going to look in Pequot next.

Tonight before dinner Darren and I went on the Pampered Chef website and created a registry on there. So much fun stuff! I seriously wanted everything, but we tried to keep it to a minimum. :) We're also going to register at Target. Pampered Chef didn't say anything about those handy little notices you stick in the invites, though. I really don't want to have to make my own, but I might end up doing that.

Oh, AND I called the David's Bridal up in Duluth and set up an appointment in September for my bridesmaids to find dresses. So yeah, a lot accomplished in the past two days. Once I get the flowers and cake done, I'll be (almost) home free. Invites are still left, I guess, but I'm slowly chipping away at the big stuff...

Friday, August 8, 2008

last day of vacation

Well, today was the last day in Colorado. We're leaving for home at 5:00 tomorrow morning. It should take us about 17 hours to get there, so it won't be too late when we get home. I'm excited to be home and get back into my routine. And start exercising again. I feel like I've gained about 10 pounds over this vacation. I hope it's not quite so depressing when I next get on the scale. I looked on this calories-burned website and apparently hiking burns tons of calories. And I've been doing a lot of hiking. I did eat my weight in food today, though. Ugg.

The photographer called me today and she has our engagement pictures ready for us. We're going on Tuesday night to pick out what we want and order some. And then on Wednesday my mom and I are going to Bemidji to meet with a florist who was recommended by a coworker. Hopefully she works out. I'm kind of not too sure because she's not as close as I would like, but if the price is right I'd be willing to drive longer.
One of my friends just had an adorable baby boy and I looked at several pictures of him on Facebook tonight. He's so cute! I can't wait to have kids. I know Darren really wants to have kids soon, but we've decided to wait a while after we get married. That's the plan now, anyway. Who knows how long it will last. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

i wanna see a big horn!

Still in Colorado. We haven't seen any big horn sheep yet, but we've seen a lot of elk. We've been on MANY hikes--over 26 miles worth so far, plus another four miler tomorrow. Today we did eight miles and got up at 5:20. Yeah, this is a VACATION. The hike today was more my mother's idea than either mine or Darren's. Well, it wasn't that she wanted to get up so early, it's just that it's been storming here every afternoon so we thought we should try to finish up before it rained. Anyway, it went fine. I'm glad tomorrow is another short one. I like hiking, I guess. It's just that I get so bored staring at my feet for hours on end. But only one more day. I'm ready to go home.

Today after our long hike we rested for a bit and then Darren and I went into town and took one of those old-fashioned dress-up pictures. It was fun. He's got this whole cowboy ensemble on and I'm wearing fishnet stockings and this little trampy dress. The woman who got us all posed and ready asked if I wanted to hold a whiskey bottle in the picture, and I did. It's pretty cute. I'm wearing this really crazy feather headband thing and this elbow-length gloves. Darren said his parents got one of those pictures taken when they got married and he really wanted one of us, so we did it. After that we walked around town a little and ate a delicious cookie. I forgot my camera and I'm still sad about it because there is a lot of cutsey stuff to take pictures by down there.

I keep losing the internet and it's really annoying me. Stinking wireless. It always fails just when you finish typing something. At least this website saves my blog as I type it. Facebook is being evil and my picture upload keeps failing. Of course it won't tell me why. It's ticking me off. Well I had to reselect all my pictures, but I think it's working now. Annoying thing.

It's getting late here, and I'm getting tired since I got up so early. Time for bed!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

on vacation

Oh my gosh, I'm so horrible at blogging. Half the time I forget, and the other half I'm too lazy. Or I really don't have anything interesting to say. That could be it, too...

Summer is winding down. I'm trying to get all these last-minute things in before evil school starts on August 27. I can't believe summer is almost over! It really feels like it hasn't even started yet. Only a couple more weeks and I'll be back at Northwestern. Ugg.

I'm vacationing in Estes Park, Colorado right now. My mom, Darren, and I just spent our first day out here hiking and driving in the park. We saw some really nice elk today. I should put a picture of them on here, but then I would have to get up from my comfortable seat, get my camera, and spend FOREVER getting them on my computer, just to spend another eternity uploading them to this site. Um, probably not.

Darren and I made supper tonight, and I'd have to say I can't cook to save my life. We made spaghetti. Not that hard, or so you'd think. Well, I cooked the noodles so long they started to fall apart when we ate them and eventually formed a mush. Then I was in charge of the garlic bread, but that got burned to a crisp. The list of foods I can actually cook is pretty pathetic: scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and things from a box. (Hamburger Helper, Suddenly Salad, etc.) And don't even get me started on the grill. Not sure I even know how to turn it on...Yeah, it's that bad. I really should learn to cook things. Poor Darren will be stuck making every dinner for us after we get married. I guess I can follow a recipe, because I love to bake. I just need to collect more recipes of actual meals. My friend Tina just throws things together and it comes out fabulous, but hey, she went to cooking school. She can cook. I can read recipes.

We're watching The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants right now so we can get caught up for the new one coming out this week. Darren is refusing to go see the new one in theaters with us because it's "too much of a girl movie." But here he sits, distracted by the movie. I knew he would watch it with us. He's so funny. He always claims to not like things (like ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, pickels) but then he always ends up doing them (or eating them).

Okay, well I'm getting distracted by the movie, so I'm probably going to just stop and watch it now. But, I WILL be better about blogging more often. And not just with a catch-up list, but with an actual, interesting (hopefully) story/event/life lesson.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

weekend updates

Another weekend gone by too fast. I stayed pretty busy, though. Friday night Darren and his dad went to the Twins game so I basically just hung around home. Mom and I watched a movie and then I went to bed. Saturday Darren and I had plans to head down to Brainerd early but my uncle called and needed help putting his boat lift in. I ended up getting wet doing that...had my clothes on and everything. I didn't think I was going to have to help. Anyway, then we had to stop at my house so I could change and then we went down to Brainerd. Darren bought a new pistol and I spend about $250 on clothes...yeah, a little shopping spree for both of us. But now he has a pistol I can use (the other one is just WAY to complicated for me) and I have lots of clothes that will fit me. No more complaining! :) But yeah, expensive day.

Sunday we spent most of the day out on the lake wakeboarding. Lex and I decided to try going at the same time, which was hilarious! She's so funny. Fortunately no one got hurt, although Darren has been really sore for the past two days. It was his first time out for the summer, though. Then after wakeboarding we did six hours of homework. Well, Darren did six hours of homework. I probably did about three total. I messed around on facebook a lot, and I uploaded my million wakeboarding pics. I'm trying to put one on here right now and it's just being slow, so I might give up...

Darren and I joined the Snap Fitness in Pequot, so we've been doing that a couple times a week. It takes up a lot of the evening, let me tell you. But it's good. I've been kind of depressed because my weight-losing has stalled, but I think it's because I started lifting weights. At least, I hope it is...Oh wow, that picture just appeared and it's HUGE. Well, don't know how to fix that...never mind, I figured it out. Cool.

That new resort Chase on the Lake is open up in Walker and someone dropped off a menu for The 502, the new restaurant there. Oh my gosh, it looks delicious. Tina and I decided we're going this summer for sure. We would like to bring our other halves, but Tina said Troy probably won't want to eat there. So maybe it will just be us girls. :)
This week is going by pretty fast. Tomorrow is already Wednesday. We have to go down to Brainerd after the gym to pick up Darren's gun, and then we're going to do some homework after that. Probably won't get too far, so I think we'll end up doing it Thursday night as well. And then it will be FRIDAY! :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

chit chat

Hmmm...been a while. What can I say, summer is the busiest season. Work has been going okay; there's been some drama, but what can you do about that except grin and bear it? Other than work I haven't been doing too much lately. Darren has been at AT for two weeks (he comes home tomorrow, yay!) so I've mostly been sitting around. I always tell people I'm boring without him. Not that I'm bored, because I have no problem finding things to do on my own, but just that I'm boring because the things I do on my own include watching movies, reading, baking, and exercising. That's basically it. But I enjoy it. I read a book yesterday that had been sitting in my to-read pile for a while, so that was good. I still have several more. I just have no time to read anything these days.

Oh, so another weight-loss complaint. I tried on my wedding dress for Tina and Char, and it was loose! Dang it, now I'm going to have to pay to get it altered. I didn't think it would be so bad, because it seemed tight when I bought it and I haven't lost that much since then. But then later I was looking at picture from when I tried it on and I could see that a part of it was a little loose, and now it's WAY loose. But once the halter is adjusted I might not need to have the rest fixed. We'll have to see. I'm kind of mad because altering is expensive. Especially something like a wedding gown. Probably should have waited to buy it, but I didn't think I'd have time this summer and next fall seemed too close. Plus with my classes next fall I didn't know how much time there would be. Oh well. Everything will be okay.

It's been really rainy lately and I'm SICK of it. I want the sun! Even though I don't really enjoy just sitting in the sun, I like it when it's nice out. Plus we need to dry up the puddles. I cannot believe how much rain we've gotten lately. At least the lakes will get nice and high. Well, ours is washing out the sand from the shore and causing the dock to get a little tippy, so maybe high lakes isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I've been looking at flights to Grand Cayman and they are E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E. Worse, they're going UP. They're about $150 more this week than they were last week! Well, hopefully they go down again, or I am going to be one unhappy camper. As of right now, we can fly there two days early and save about $200 per ticket. Cheaper flights + more time on the island = a good deal.

Monday, June 2, 2008

the problem with losing weight...

My clothes don't fit. Now, usually when I tell this to people they say, "Oh, but that's a GOOD thing." Let me tell you, though, it gets old. Today it took me forever to get dressed. I currently have two pairs of dress pants, a couple dresses, and about four skirts that fit me. And let me tell you, it gets difficult to create outfits to wear to work. Today I put on a skirt and it hung down so low and looked so huge I looked like a snowman. The first time I had this problem it was great! I was loving it that my clothes didn't fit anymore. But then NONE of my clothes fit anymore, and I had to pay for new ones. And then I kept losing weight and it happened AGAIN. I shrunk out of my fat wardrobe and got a skinnier wardrobe, and now it's too big for me too! Really, about every 15 pounds you lose you get stuck buying new clothes. I've lost 30 pounds now, so I'm hitting the third string of clothing. And I can't really afford it. So I'll be wearing the same clothes a lot, I guess. I lost some weight senior year of high school and I was where I am now, but I stupidly got rid of all those clothes when I gained the weight (plus some) back. So now I have NOTHING. Yes, I know it's better to be thinner and have clothes that don't fit than to be fat and have clothes that do fit, but ugh...it's annoying.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

it's officially summer

I went wakeboarding today. Granted, I wore a wetsuit. But being in the water means it's officially SUMMER. Still a little chilly, but I'm beyond caring. It's summer when I say it's summer, dang it!

This weekend went by really fast. I worked yesterday morning and then had a baby shower for my friend Courtney yesterday afternoon. Today was church, then my cousin's grad party, and then the cabin. I also watched In Her Shoes (love that movie!) and ate a HUGE root beer float because my sister wouldn't let me leave a little bit of ice cream in the container. I had to either use it all or throw it away, she said. And it's a sin to throw away ice cream. So I ate it. And it made me VERY full. At least the scale was nice to me this morning...

I miss Darren already and he won't be back for 13 days. I haven't even talked to him since Friday. Probably the longest we've gone without talking since he got back from Iraq. Ugh, the military just interrupts life like that, I guess. Better get used to it. I'm so afraid that we'll be married for like two months and he'll get deployed again. Major bummer. But likely to happen. Well, it really depends on who wins the presidency. Part of me wants to be selfish and hope for a democrat to win so he won't have to go, but the other part of me thinks that a democrat will destroy the US and will vote republican. The good news is that Darren has less than two years left. The bad news is that he can get deployed on his last day in. It's lame, I know. So you pretty much aren't guaranteed anything until it's midnight on his last day. Oh well. Can't do anything about it and I knew about it when we got engaged. Well, even when we were just dating. Really, I love it about him. It's just difficult to deal with sometimes.

I work the late shift this week. Fun times. At least I can workout in the morning and have it done with. It's so hard for me to workout later on in the day. I want to lose ten more pounds this summer. No, I'm GOING to lose ten more pounds this summer. My friend Tina and I have decided that we are. Well, to be more accurate, I told her that we both were. So yeah, we will. She has an elliptical machine, though. So jealous. I think we're planning on working out together sometime soon, if we don't get too lazy...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

today is tuesday

Work was busy today. With not working Monday, the bank was hopping as everyone tried to get their business taken care of. Plus we had loads of cash floating around from the tourist weekend. Counted so much money today...

This evening was a relaxing one. Well, I worked a little late because I couldn't get out of there, but afterwards Darren and I went and played tennis (he kicked my butt) and then we came back, ate, and played cards with his parents. Tomorrow night Tina and are are going shopping in Brainerd and I'm WAY excited. So much fun going with her.

Right now Darren is sitting at my feet playing some Xbox racing game. I tried to play it last night but it didn't go over so well. He keeps crashing, I guess, and he's hitting the bed because he's getting mad. I'm at his house typing this on his computer and his battery lasts about ten minutes, so it's about to give out on me. Well, I should head home and head to bed anyway. Early shift tomorrow...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

I love Memorial Day. And Labor Day. It's nice to have long weekends, I think. I work at a bank so I never have to work holidays, and that's amazing. This whole weekend was pretty much taken up with preparations for my brother's graduation party, so it's nice that we can relax today. Although Saturday and yesterday were much nicer outside, which is a stinker. Oh well, guess I'll have to relax indoors.

I need to get better about writing on here more often. It's been a while since I last wrote anything. Too busy, I guess.

So this morning I got on the scale and it was pretty bad. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to gain two pounds in one day...I hope. I'm blaming it on weight fluctuation. Actually my fingers are kind of chunky today so maybe I'm retaining water or something. I've totally hit a plateau in this whole weight-loss thing. I really want to lose just 10 to 15 more pounds. I've already lost close to 30. I miss the elliptical machines at school. Here I just keep doing Turbo Jam over and over, and it's not as good of a workout. Darren said last night that he's "tired of being fat" so I suggested we start working out together. I've tried that before though, and he didn't really want to. We were going to join Snap Fitness in Pequot. We went in and talking to this woman about the membership but then we never went back. I think he wants to; he just doesn't want to spend the money. Darren always really wants to do things until it comes down to spending money to do them. Which is kind of nice...but kind of not. Here I was all excited that we could be doing this exercise thing together, and now we aren't. He said he wanted to go down there and do it before AT because he knew that after that he wouln't want to, or something. But here we are with nothing. He leaves for AT on Friday, and I'm sure it won't get done this week. Back to Turbo Jam. Oh well. Going to be eating light at the family get-together today, that's for sure. I ate THREE pieces of cake yesterday...talk about calories...

Thursday, May 15, 2008


It's summer. And it's amazing. Although I'd have to say it hasn't totally sunk in yet. It still feels like I have to go back to school in a couple days. Plus I have two summer classes. That makes it feel less like summer, too. I checked them out this morning (they're independent study online ones) and one of them is going to be a ton of work, I think. Three book reports and a couple position papers. Plus two exams. The other one is going to be easy, though. At least that's something. Darren has AT at the beginning of June so that will give me lots of time to work on it. He has a summer class too and he's NOT happy about it. Finals were decent, I think. I'll have to see once my grades come out. Cleaning went really well. WAY better than last year. I think my RA last year was a crazy-clean person. Way more so than I am.

Last night Darren and I went out to Troy and Tina's and had a fire and played Buzz Word. Fun game. The ladies kicked the guys' butts. :) Well, Darren's parents are waiting for us to play some 500 so I better go. More later.

Monday, May 12, 2008

getting closer...

This morning I took my Intermediate Accounting final. I thought I was prepared. I wasn't. Well, I was prepared for the things I studied; I could do those perfectly. The final, however, consisted of tricky parts of problems that we have never talked about before. But, such is an Elfstrum final. I've spent the rest of the day washing walls and studying for my Finance final tomorrow morning. And my roommate and I adjusted my bed to the correct height, which is easier said than done. Last year we were trying to adjust one of our other roommate's beds and we bent the metal part a little bit. It's because I was jumping on the frame trying to get it out of the headboard piece and it bent when it came out. Then we had to hammer it back together, and let me tell you, that metal stuff doesn't move easily. Plus, banging on metal with a metal hammer = loud and annoying.

We're heading down to supper soon, and then afterwards I get to wash more walls and study for my Cost Accounting final tomorrow afternoon. That one is going to be a killer, too. At least my current grade is better in that class than it is in Intermediate. That means I can do worse on the final and still not murder my GPA. GPAs don't really matter anyway, except when you're trying to get a scholarship from the school. It's a 3.75 for the highest...yuck. Well, once my finals are over tomorrow it will be practially summer. After my Cost tomorrow afternoon I just have to finish all that cleaning, haul the rest of my stuff out to my car, and study for Environmental Science, which will be a piece of cake. Ahh...summer.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

finals and summer

Home for the weekend. It's the last one before I'm home for the summer! Plus it's fishing opener. Not like I care, but it's an exciting time around the area. Oficially the start of the tourist season. The weather isn't cooperating with summer, though. It's still a little on the cool side, like an early spring. And it's May for crying out loud! Where is the sun? Where is the heat? Where is the global warming? Sorry, just had to throw that in there... :) Actually, some scientists are saying the global cooling is the next big thing. I don't follow the popular fads, but I'd have to say I'm not a fan of global cooling, so I really hope they're wrong. :) To me, global warming seems like SARS, mad cow disease, whatever that weird chicken one was, and all those other the-world-is-coming-to-an-end problems. I mean, come on, has the sky hit us on the head yet, Chicken Little? Okay, enough soap-boxing...

Well, finals are next week so the mad studying has begun. Began? Whatever. I've spent nearly five hours studying for my first final on Monday, and I'm not done with it yet. Then I have to study for two on Tuesday and one more on Wednesday. But then I'm DONE! Monday will be the hardest, and Wednesday will be the easiest, so at least it's a downhill ride. But I do have to do all that cleaning at school. Don't worry, I'll be sure to document it. I told Darren's mom about all the crazy things we have to clean before we can leave, and she said, "Do they know you PAY to live there?" I thought it was funny. And no, I don't think they do. Seriously, for as much as I pay to share a room with seven other people, you'd think they could afford some Merry Maids or something.

Oh gross. I just saw a huge spider (I think it's dead...) in a spiderweb in my room. Now I have to decide whether I should pretend I didn't see it and let it slowly disintegrate or whether I should clean it up. Yuck. Tough call.

Fishing opener is this weekend in the northland and there are already tons of tourists here. I guess that's how this town survives, though. I'm so exciting for summer. I wish is would warm up. It seems weird that I'll be home for summer on Wednesday (!) and it's not even warm yet. Well, I guess it is only the middle of May. I hope this is a warm summer, because I will be very sad if it's not. I lost a bunch of weight and now I'm freezing cold all the time, so I think I'll find this summer very pleasant. If it's warm. If it's cold...well, I'll still be freezing.

Well, Darren is coming over soon so we can study/do homework (for him, lucky duck) and the shower is calling my name. I only have two parts left to study on this final, and then I can start on the next one. Joy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Well the hall meeting last night went better than planned. We got ourselves organized and figured out who needs to clean what before the end of the year. For the whole quad, I'm in charge of cleaning the hallway, which consists of cleaning the lights, washing the walls, vacuuming, and wiping down the baseboards. And then my roommate and I have to clean our bedroom and bathroom, and I'm doing the bathroom. The list for the bathroom more extensive and involves the obvious things like "clean the toilet" as well as crazy things like "clean the fan with a Q-tip". Fun times, for sure. Last year I just remember feeling sick after cleaning for like ten hours straight. Believe me, if you inhale bleach fumes and burnt vacuum belt fumes for ten hours, you'd feel sick too.

I called the DJ guy today and talked to him. He's sending a packet of information. I also called a girl I graduated with (she does photography now) and set up an appointment to meet with her on Friday. So things are getting taken care of, and it's making me feel a little bit less stressed. Although now I feel really bad because I told the photographer we'd meet with her at 2 pm on Friday and Darren can't if he has fire watch. I think he's kind of sad about it because he really loves this whole wedding planning thing. He definitely knows more of what he wants then I do. Some girls have their whole wedding envisioned and that's definitely not me. But I think he's thought about it for a while. I'm more like "let's get this done as cheaply as possible" and he wants to go all out.

Finals next week are going to be brutal. I have one take-home one that I can start right now (as soon as I'm done typing this, in fact) and the other four I have to study for this weekend and early next week. Intermediate Accounting on Monday morning, Finance and Cost Accounting on Tuesday morning, and Environmental Science on Wednesday afternoon. So one week from now I'll be feeling pretty good. Until then, not so much.

Monday, May 5, 2008

pshaw cinco de mayo...

Well today has been not-so-great. This morning I was driving to the cities at the crack of dawn and I got a chip in my windshield. Some stupid minivan in front of my threw a rock and BAM...chip. So that sucked. I already have pretty bad road rage but that didn't make it better, let me tell you. Then, I was trying to take this one supposedly faster way to get on 94 and I've never gone that way by myself (plus I'm really bad with directions) and I ended up on 94 West instead of 94 East. And it's 9 miles back to the next exit. That wasn't fun. Just about let a couple swear words slip, that's how ticked I was. I was thinking them, that's for sure.

I had to stop and feed Courtney's cats on my way to school, and while I was cleaning their litter box I busted the pooper scooper. (Sorry Courtney! I'll replace it before you get back!) The saddest part is that the kitties didn't even care I came to see them! They only wanted me for my ability to pour food into their bowls. When I finally made it to school I had to park in a spot that was literally only one parking spot away from being the farthest from my dorm. Then I had to haul my laundry and my computer and my purse and my bag all the way to my room in the heat. Sweating by the time I made it.

If it sounds like all I'm doing is complaining...well, I am. Sometimes you just have to and get it all out. I really feel much better right now, except I'm anticipating the not-fun I'm going to have at the hall meeting tonight. The mandatory hall meeting. From 10pm to 11pm. How much fun does that sound? A bunch of loud girls slowing down the end-of-the-year-let's-get-out-of-here process. I hate hall meetings. It doesn't help that they're past my bedtime. Yes, I go to bed that early. Especially on Monday nights, since I get up at 6 am to drive down to the cities.

But okay, I'm done complaining. I got it all out and I should be good to go for about a day. I'm sure tomorrow will bring many more fun challenges (note the sarcasm).

Saturday, May 3, 2008

quick update

The last couple days have been pretty busy. Thursday Darren came down to the cities and we babysat for a couple hours. Definitely an experience for him, I'd say. Friday I only had Finance class so I got to come home a little early, which was REALLY nice. I hauled home a ton of stuff this weekend, too. Took my bookcase apart at school and brought that home, as well as my little futon. I brought the cusions but the frame is in the back of Darren's truck. He has drill this weekend in Ripley so I won't get to see him until Sunday night. They get their spurs this weekend, which they've been waiting for for a long time, so he's really excited about it.

Last night my mom and I went and saw Made of Honor. It was cute, but definitely a chick flick. It was so cold when we went to the theater. This is supposed to be spring! I'm tired of winter. I think we're just going to skip spring this year and go straight from winter to summer. I'm ready for summer, though. No more school! Well, I'm taking some online classes--Lifetime Fitness and Christian Theology--so I'll still get to have fun writing papers and stuff like that.

I've been trying to contact this DJ for the wedding but he never responds! I emailed him about two weeks ago and never heard anything back, so then on Wednesday I tried calling him and he didn't answer. Plus there was no answering machine so I couldn't leave a message. He might be a little shady. A woman I work with claims he's a meth addict...it's a shady place around here sometimes. I should probably work on getting a DJ, photographer, and baker pretty soon. Mom and I went through the guest list last night and she gave me some input on who she thinks is likely to attend, so that helped a lot. The invitations are going to be spendy, that's for sure. Right now we're looking at ordering about 300 invites and having around 250 guests. At $13 a plate. So if you say you're coming you had better be there! :) I know at my cousin's wedding in March a bunch of people said they were coming and then never showed up. Real bummer, considering he had to pay for their meals anyway. The reception was at the casino (where ours is) and everyone thought it was really nice. I never heard anything bad about it, except from my grandpa, and that's because he doesn't like music. But everyone else enjoyed it. My grandma absolutely loved it and still keeps saying it was "just the nicest reception" she's ever gone to. You have to know my grandma to get a laugh out of that.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

high on life...or bleach

It's spring cleaning here at school. For the past couple weeks, we've had to deep-clean something every Wednesday night. Two weeks ago: blinds. Last week: stove/oven. Tonight: tub and tiles. By far the worst. (Although thirty minutes of windexing the blinds isn't my idea of a good time, either. And I only had to do half.) So tonight after dinner my roommate and I put on our old gym clothes and pulled out the bleach. One hour later: a thing of beauty, dry hands, and a slightly woozy feeling. At least it went better than last year. After numerous attempts of overnight bleaching the bottom of the tub and many headaches, we discovered the Mr. Clean magic eraser works wonders. It's definitely the only thing that will get the bottom of the tub clean.

Finals week we get to deep-clean the entire apartment. Last year that involved having a vacuum strapped to my back, so there's no way this year will be as rough. Whoever thought of the brilliant idea of making stressed out college students hardcore clean during finals week needs to experience it for themselves. I mean, there's clean, and then there's NWC clean. The two aren't even comparable. Northwestern takes it to a beyond-human level. I'm sure I'll have more stories in two weeks when I actually have to relive the disaster. Until then, I think for the sake of my brain cells I should stay away from the cleaning products.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

bungee cords and futons

I took apart my bookshelf tonight. Quite the project. I only ended up injuring myself twice, nothing serious, fortunately. Although I do have a nasty oozing chunk of skin half-attached to my thumb. Slap a bandaid on that and call it good, I guess. I still have to disassemble my futon...that's a project for tomorrow night. Taking this stuff apart is almost more work than putting it together. Especially if I count trying to make it fit in my car. It took some fancy manuevering on my part to get that half-together/half-apart bookshelf in my backseat. Let's just say I hope no one was watching.

Reminds me of the time my sister and I went shopping at Target and we bought our two futons and couldn't fit them in my car. Drove all the way home from Brainerd with the trunk open and a futon bungee-strapped to it. I actually had to go back in the store and buy bungee cords... Actually, I've had several instances of trying to make things fit in my car when they won't, including a bedroom furniture incident where I nearly got killed by the burning eyes of the Target employees. But hey, it did all fit...eventually. Another experience involved a mini-fridge that actually had to be taken out of its box in the Target parking lot. Yeah, those Target employees don't really like it when you try to make things fit in vehicles and they don't stand a chance. But really, I've never had anything that just wouldn't fit. Sure, I've bungee-strapped things to my trunk, taken things out of boxes, and drove two and a half hours with a decorative shelf slapping me in the face every time I took a right turn, but never had I had anything not fit. So there.

They say that men are better at spatial problems (like how to fit a couch through a door) than women. Definitely true in my case. But I have to say, I do feel a certain sense of pride every time those male Target employees tell me something won't fit and I say, "Sure it will." And it does. Of course, while I am full of pride, they are most likely laughing at me. I definitely look ridiculous. Have you ever bungee-strapped a futon to your trunk?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Well, here goes...

So I've never had a blog before, but my (awesome) friend Sarah has one and I love reading hers so much I decided to start my own. Plus it's a great place to vent my feelings when there's no one around to listen. A little about me: I just turned 21 two weeks ago, have been engaged to a wonderful man for a couple of months and am in the crazy midst of planning our wedding, live in a small hick town in northern Minnesota which I love, and am trying to finish an accounting degree. I have a year and a half left. It's a considerable source of stress in my life.

With school winding down for the year I have more free time. Right now I'm typing this while watching You've Got Mail. Definitely a classic in my book. Who doesn't love Tom Hanks? The whole story behind You've Got Mail fascinates me. I've always wondered what it would be like to develop a relationship which a man who's name you don't even know. Strange...but I'm a sucker for chick flicks.

I went home over the weekend and was greeted with a fresh snow shower. It permanently crushed a small piece of my soul. Snow on April 26th? That's more than annoying. At least I didn't get trapped at my fiance's parent's house all weekend, like I did the first weekend in April. I absolutely love spending time with his family, but I really also wanted to take a shower and put on some clean clothes.

Wedding planning takes up quite a bit of my free time. Not so much planning, but more thinking. Not really anything has been planned so far. We have a reception site and an almost-complete guest list, but that's about it. Oh, I did get my dress last week, which was REALLY exciting! :) Other than that, not a whole lot going. The nice thing is the reception site is a casino and they will do the catering as well, so that's one less thing to worry about. But I still have to find a photographer, a baker, invitations, decorations, and a million other things. The wedding isn't until January 24th so I still have a lot of time, but everyone says it will go by so fast. I hope so!