Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Piece of Childhood

It is the end of an era. :) I finally talked bribed Pete into selling our old Rainbow swing set. Over the past many years, each time I have brought up selling the swing set Pete has been very adamant about keeping it. I am not really sure why he has been not willing to let it go but I have always just let it be.

Our boys are now 22, 19 and 16... and so it has been many years since this has gotten in real use.

This summer when I brought up selling the swing set I told Pete that he could use that money to buy the new grill that he has been coveting and needing. Well, that must have done the trick, because a week later the swing set was sold and going to a new family with a couple of little boys that I am sure will love it as much as ours did!

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Jake and Drew and the brand new swing set in the backyard at our old house. Spring of 1998.

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The boys watching the movers take down the swing set to move to the new house. Spring of 1999.

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Tyler and Jake at the new house. Summer 2000.

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Yep, I think they have outgrown it! Summer 2014.

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Ribbet collage

I do have to say that this has been a little bittersweet. While I am happy to have a big piece of our yard freed up and happy to see this going to another home with little boys-- it has been a little sad to say good-bye to a big piece of the boys childhood.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Blueberry Pickin'

This is always one of my favorite days each summer. Blueberry picking day. This is the 9th year in a row that I have made the hour and 15 minute drive to Maiden Rock, Wi to the Rush River Produce Farm. It is a beautiful scenic drive along Lake Pepin and the farm itself is equally gorgeous.

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This was the first year that I didn't have my wingman. Drew has always been my faithful helper-- but this year schedules and weather didn't line up. He was very much missed but I did meet up with my Mom and my sister and her kids for a morning of berry picking.

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2 boxes equalled about 18 pounds of berries.

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I froze most of the berries, but not before I made some of our favorite Blueberry Muffins. {recipe}

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And tried a new recipe for 'The Best Ever Blueberry Coffee Cake with Lemon Glaze {recipe}
which was amazing and one that I definitely will be making again.

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And of course our favorite Blueberry Pie {recipe}.

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Now the challenge is to make the frozen berries last until the next picking season! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tennessee Road Trip {part 4}

So, besides all of the other fun stuff we have been doing in Tennessee, one of the main reasons we came here was to do a college tour for Drew at Vanderbilt.

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After the tour we headed down the scenic Hwy 100 to have lunch at the famous Loveless Cafe. This place was so much more than I was expecting! Such a cute spot and definately worth the drive for some character and good made-from-scratch Southern cooking.

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The restaurant.

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The Country Market.

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The General Store.

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Inside the lobby of the restaurant.

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Buscuits and jam; catfish, hushpuppies, fried green tomatoes, macaroni and cheese; fried chicken, mash potatoes; pulled pork, beans.... Oh my!

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I am a big fan of the TV series Nashville and one thing I had really wanted to do on this trip was to see a show at the Bluebird Cafe-- which is seen frequently in this series. Tickets for shows at the Bluebird become available one week before the show date and are sold out with in 3 minutes. I was bummed we weren't able to get tickets, but Pete insisted that we at least drive by and get a picture.

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There was a line forming out front to try and get in if there are is room or cancellations. Pete insisted we get in line and just see... I will add that we were in the direct sun in the sweletering heat!!! There were maybe 25 people in front of us with about a 45 minute wait until the doors would open.... Finally at 5pm they opened the doors and started slowly letting people in.

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We got in!!! I was so happy!

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Bluebird Cafe is a small listening room where songwriters come to perform 'in the round'.

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This was such a fun night and not having tickets beforehand actually added to the experience! Thanks Pete for insisting we stop! :)

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The next morning we were on the road leaving Nashville at about 8:30am. It was a long, long day of driving but it was a gorgeous day, with low traffic and pretty scenery.

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We pulled into our driveway 15 hours and 2,409 roundtrip miles later, very exhausted but filled with so many great new memories!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tennessee Road Trip {part 3}

We were up early because we had a lot planned for the day.

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First up was breakfast at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant which was just a couple of blocks from our hotel.

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French toast stuffed with peanut butter and banana. Yum.

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And Bubba's Eggs Benedict made with biscuits and white pepper gravy. With all of this food we were now ready to take on Nashville. :)

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We stopped at the Bridgestone Arena which is where the NHL Nashville Predators play and also home to the Tennessee Sports Hall of fame.

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Next up was a guided tour at Ryman Auditorium which was great and got me in the mood to listen to old time country. So much history here!

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Then we walked over to the Country Music Hal of Fame & Museum.

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This was a beautiful new building and was absolutely huge. It was so interesting walking around seeing all of the old costumes and artifacts.

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We walked over to the street that has a huge Johnny Cash mural to take a picture.

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Then we walked back to Broadway and had to stop in the Ernest Tubb Record Shop

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where more live music was playing.

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Then we stopped in Boot Country where I was hoping to find some cute boots.

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They are famous for their buy one get two free deal. I couldn't talk Pete and Drew into any cowboy boots though. :)

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We stopped in Miranda Lambert's store.

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We went back to our hotel and got ready for our evening out. Dinner was at The Pharmacy which has been voted to have Nashville's #1 burger. They call themselves Nashville's "Wurst-Burger" Joint because along with the burgers they also serve German wurst and are a biergarten.

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After dinner we drove over to the Opryland area and stopped in the Opryland Hotel. This place was amazing and was like a small city with streams, waterfalls, bridges, greenhouses, many restaurants, shopping...It was really unbelievable!

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Now it was time for one of the things I was most excited about for this trip...
a show at the Grand Ole Opry!!!!!

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A bunch of different groups were playing including The Swon Brothers (Later On) and Old Crow Medicine Show-- who were so great and very entertaining!

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Old Crow Medicine Show were signing their new CD out in the lobby after the show and we decided to join the crowd. :)

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Such an amazing day in Nashville and one I won't forget! 
{More to come soon.}