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, September 15, 2010

something i miss

A couple weeks ago I invited two of my old roommates over for dinner. One was recently married. We had a blast catching up on the past, sharing about the present, and dreaming about the future. And we talked about how different it is to live with a man.

Then today I saw something on facebook, written by one of those same ladies, about how much she missed living with girls.

I hear ya, sister.

I miss romantic movie marathons on chilly Saturday mornings.

I miss 2 a.m. gossip.

I miss community closets.

I miss not needing a reason to cry.

I miss exercise without the intent to burn calories.

I miss hugs.

I miss no-special-occasion brownies.

But most of all, I miss girl talk.

So to all my old roommates, I had a blast living with you!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Is there something that you always procrastinate?

For me, it's cleaning the house. I clean it every other weekend, and on those weekends I always wait until Sunday afternoon.

Unless, like this weekend, I have something planned for Sunday afternoon. Which means I cleaned the house today.

I should say I cleaned the house today, because, technically, it's still in progress. Six hours from when I first started.

I woke up this morning about 9 am and finished the movie I had started the night before. Made myself a raspberry-vanilla latte and had a piece of pumpkin pie. The breakfast of champions.

Since it's such a beautiful fall day I decided to get out some of my fall decorations, during which I noticed how unorganized the dresser in the hallway was. So I took care of that.

Then I thought I should start some laundry, too. I'm kind of crazy in that I like all the laundry to be done when the house is clean.

I'm not sure exactly why that is.

So I stripped the bed and grabbed the towels and started a load. When I was coming back upstairs I noticed the turkey fryer base was still sitting in our entry area. Brought that up with me to put in the closet and noticed how unorganized the closet was. So I threw away a ton of empty boxes and put things back where they belong.

I like to tidy before I clean, so I went around putting stuff away and clearing off the desk in our living room. There was a huge pile of receipts, so of course I had to put all those into my excel budget document. Then I had to balance the checkbook.

And then it was time to switch out the laundry.

There was a movie stub on the desk from when we saw Switch last weekend so I went into the bedroom to put it with all the other stubs I'm saving from the movies Darren and I saw together. I keep a decorative box in my nightstand for them all. While there, I figured I should go ahead and organize the nightstand.

Where I found my wedding jewelry. I decided to put that with all the other wedding things we've saved in a beautiful wood gift box our friends gave us when we got married. And then I had to look through all my mementos of that day.

I noticed the pile of library books on my dresser and decided I should finish the one I was currently reading so I could return them all to the library later today. So that took an hour. And then it was time to get the sheets and towels out of the dryer. I chatted with my aunt and uncle for about thirty minutes.

I came upstairs, made the bed, and put the towels away. Then I decided it was time to get serious and clean. I like the TV on when I clean, so I put in a movie. I cleaned the bathroom. Then I thought I needed another piece of pie. So I watched some of my movie while I ate my pie. And then I ate some carrots. Have to have balance in the diet, you know.

After that I put everyone's birthday in my new 2011 planner. It took a while. Decided since I didn't even know how old half these people were, I should try to figure out everyone's birth year. So I went on facebook. Some people, however, didn't have their year, so if I don't know how old you are when your birthday rolls around again...well, sorry about that.

Then the second load of laundry was done so I went to get it. I folded it and put it on the bed and realized I had hardly cleaned anything all day, and here it was, six o'clock already. Then I thought about the beast of procrastination and how it can just sneak up on you. And decided I should write a post about how it got the best of me today, although that seemed counter-intuitive.

But, here it is.

Now, to finish cleaning...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Really? Again?

Remember my post here about how I couldn't remember how old I was?

About two weeks later I was talking with my brother, and he said, "Wait, how old are you? Twenty-five?"

And I said, "No!" and laughed, and followed with, "I'm...uh...(mentally calculating 2010-1987) umm...twenty-three."

Really? Again?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the most brilliant idea ever

Unfortunately, it wasn't mine.

I wish.

But it's so good, it doesn't even matter that I wasn't the one to think of it! Here's what happened:

In 2006 I bought new bedroom furniture from Target. I got a bed frame, a dresser, and armoire, a desk with hutch, a nightstand, and a wall shelf. I spent a lot of money, so when the Target employee asked if I wanted to apply for a Target card to save 10% I (big surprise) said yes, please.

Target has a pretty good points program with their card. For every $1,000 points you earn ($1 equals 1 point) you will get a 10% off your entire purchase coupon good for a single day of your choice. And when you're like me and buy everything (literally, everything) at Target, it doesn't take long to spend $1,000.

Like, three months, tops. And now that I buy groceries there also, I'd say it's probably down to two months.

Unfortunately, however, Darren and I usually charge our credit card purchases to our Cabela's card, because we feel those points are more valuable. And because Darren thinks it would be "really awesome" if we eventually earned enough points that he could get a free gun.

We're almost there.

So that's the back story. And then, miracle of miracles, today I open a seemingly innocent letter from the great Target Corp out of Minneapolis, MN.

As as side note, have I ever mentioned that the Target I shop at in the cities was the FIRST TARGET EVER?! It's been remodeled so it's pretty fancy-pants, but yes, it was the first Target in the world. It's pretty much my destiny to shop there.

The first thing I notice in the letter are the words "your REDcard saves you 5% at Target - on almost anything you want, any time you shop."

You're freaking kidding me, right?

No, true story. I read the entire letter and even the disclaimers on the backside. Beginning October 17th, use your Target card at Target and save 5% on everything! (I realize the statement above says "almost anything" but the only exclusions are for things like gift cards, prescriptions, cash advances, and random things I never purchase anyway.) Now, when you're me and spend about five grand a year at Target, five percent is $250.

I can buy a lot with $250. Brilliant idea. Just brilliant.

i am selfish

I am a selfish person.

I'm also an introvert, which happens to be a large factor in this specific brand of selfishness I'm about to share with you.

It's ironic to me that the most important thing in my life is my family and friends, yet I frequently claim that I "don't need people." Which, to some extent, is true. I've never been one of those people who needs to interact with another person before I can fall asleep at night. In fact, when Darren is gone for the weekend I will frequently not speak to anyone for three days. Except perhaps the checkout clerk at Target or Cub. And that's only as long as it takes to say hello.

In high school I was the girl who stayed home on Friday nights reading and watching movies. Until my junior year when I decided to experience life. My junior and senior years of high school were a lot of fun. In college I didn't make friends with anyone except for my roommates. In fact, after four years of college there are only three people I speak with more than twice a year. Didn't experience much life there, I suppose.

I don't make friends easily. I know that and it's no one's fault but my own. In fact, I make friends the best with people who are loud and outspoken and extroverts. Probably because they can fill in the gaps. Of the six women I consider my closest friends, the women I feel comfortable telling anything to, all six of them fit in this category (hope I didn't offend any of ya'll by that; you know I love you). I am, actually, rather impressed I have six amazing friends I feel so comfortable with, considering my own introverted personality. However, half of them I know through my husband, and the other half I lived with in college, so I suppose I can't claim I went out of my way at all.

But my rambling about my friends isn't the issue here. This issue is my selfishness. My absolute desire to put myself before anyone else.

When my dad died it was a huge shock. No, shock is too calm of a word. It was disastrous, catastrophic. It was life-altering. And I needed people like never before. I realized, perhaps for the first time ever, how short life really is and how important the people in it are to me. And I told myself never, never again would I sit at home with myself and a book when I should be out experiencing the world.

That lasted for (you should see this coming) my junior and senior years of high school. And then it was college. It was new. It was scary. And I slowly (or maybe not-so-slowly) reverted back to my old ways. People became less important and I became more important.

It's hard for me to find the balance. And frequently when I finally want to spend some time with living, breathing people instead of the characters in a book or movie, no one is available.

But still, I keep trying. Darren has been a huge help in making me more sociable. You should have seen me before...In any case, I'm working towards placing more importance on spending time with people instead of selfishly guarding my time as my own. After 23 years, it can be a hard habit to break.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


When I was a freshman in college my step-father's (who was at the time my mom's boyfriend) cat had kittens. My siblings begged and begged to keep some of them. To this day I cannot believe my mother let us, because she is definitely not an animal person.

One weekend I came home from school to three cute little kitties. My brother and sister were each going to pick one, and then the other one was going to go back to Blair's. Well, that wasn't fair. I wanted a kitty, too. Besides, the one they were going to send back was the smallest, the runt. I loved her immediately.

They were so cute when they were little. My sister claimed the orange one, which my brother named Baxter. He took the black and white and named him Leroy. My cat was the runt, the gray stripe. I named her Kaia.

She was the biggest wimp alive, I swear to you. Afraid of everything.

About two years later Baxter broke his leg outside and had to have it cast. He had some other problems, so he ended up living with the local vet. (For real, the vet loved him and said he would take care of him. He's still there to this day.) The next summer Leroy got hit by a car on the road and died.

No one could believe the runt, Kaia, was the surviving cat.

Well, this past spring Kaia disappeared. We're pretty sure she got eaten by a fox or a hawk. She was pretty small; easy prey. Sadly.

In any case, we're down to one cat, Blair's cat Kiki, which is the mother of our three. Ironically, she survived all of her kittens from that litter. Maybe someday I'll have a cat again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

out west

We went out to Bismarck, ND last weekend, as I mentioned earlier.

Going out west reminds me of my father. We took so many trips west when I was a kid. My favorite memories as a child are of our family vacations.

Our first big family vacation was to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. I was seven. We took our 16' Scamp and camped in West Yellowstone to be near the park.

We went to Estes Park, Colorado several times, as it was my parents' favorite. We went to South Dakota. We went to Montana. One summer we went east to Wisconsin Dells.

Our last family vacation, the summer before my dad died, we went to Alaska. I was sixteen. We flew up and stayed in Homer, Seward, and up north near Denali National Park.

Memories from those summer vacations make up the best parts of my childhood. I will never forget all the fun times we spent and the things we got to see.

Monday, September 6, 2010

credit report

It's been a while since I wrote my post about checking your credit report (here). Actually, that was the last time I checked mine. So I figured I probably should check it again.

I went to Annual Credit Report (here) to run a quick report. It only takes five minutes, and it's free. You can run three reports per social security number per year using the three different credit bureaus. Last time I ran a report on my SS; this time I ran one on Darren's.

You can use this report to make sure no one is abusing your credit or has stolen your identity. This report will not tell you your credit score, unless you want to pay an additional fee. It will, however, give you the outstanding balances on your credit cards per month for the last year. It also tells you how many requests have been made for your credit history and by which organizations. These requests do not hurt your credit score, and the majority are by those annoying credit card companies that send you "pre-approved" credit cards in the mail.

Hate those things. We each get about two a week. From the same companies. It's ridiculous.

Anyway, for your own protection, check your credit report now!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Darren and I are watching the Vikings game from out hotel in Bismarck, ND.

We're here for the Men's National Softball Tournament. It's quite exciting.

Mostly. I did get to go shopping today. And my mother-in-law is here with me. We keep each other company.

Anyway, we're watching the Vikes play Denver. I love football.

I've always loved football. I've loved football from age eight, when my sister and I used to play it on Super Nintendo and I first learned what it meant to punt.

I've loved football since age eleven, when my brother first started playing flag. I've loved football through junior high and high school. I especially loved powderpuff games. I've loved football through college and I still love it after college.

The other night we were out with friends and we were talking about football. Darren made some comment about how I didn't know anything about football. In fact, he specifically said I didn't "know what the lines mean." I wanted to say that he didn't watch the Vikes until he met me, but I didn't.

But, just to clarify, I do understand football, and I do know what the lines mean.