Wednesday, September 28, 2011

wordless Wednesday



{This past weekend we had to bring home a loaf of Johnnie Bread!
Love the history behind this awesome bread}

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

college football

This past Saturday, we headed to Tyler's school to visit with him, do a little tail-gating and see some football. It was a perfect Fall day, with the sun shining and cooler temps.











We lost the football game in the last 23 seconds- but it was still the perfect day!
And it was so nice to spend some time with my boy!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

weekend Lens

Picnik collage
date night :: movie 'The Help' :: dinner at Burger Jones :: tailgating :: visiting with Tyler :: college homecoming football game :: beautiful fall weekend :: apps and drinks at Porter Creek Hardwood Grill :: Sunday morning bible study with friends :: browsing at Ikea and Pier 1 :: new custom goalie pads for Jake ::
 awesome weekend

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

wrodless Wednesday


{New Women's Bible Study started this morning at my church-- and  it has been such an amazing feeling of knowing I am right where I am suppose to be at this moment! So many "God-incidences" led me to this study. Love when things happen like that.}

Monday, September 19, 2011

weekend lens

Picnik collage
Picnik collage
quiet weekend :: coffee with friends :: beef stew in the crock pot :: golf tournament for Pete:: working on my new office area :: letter jacket for Jake :: pumpkin bars

{click on the names for the link to the recipes}

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Friday Favorites

Some things that made me smile this week ::

With the cooler temps and the feel of fall in the air, my mind and my taste buds have gone pumpkin. Two of my favorite Fall treats are here.

1) The Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Of course!


2) And the Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses. Love.


3) I saw this YouTube video on Good Morning America yesterday morning and thought it was so incredibly cute and totally put a smile on my face.

4) I am reading a book right now called Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, Live Intentionally by Patti Digh.

life_is_a_verb a

From the paper it is written on, to the pictures shown and the stories told; this book is beautiful. There are different writing exercises, movements and actions that encourage you to tell your story and live more intentionally. I am really enjoying this book right now.

5) Something that put a big smile on my face this week was when Pete told me he thought I should makeover our guest bedroom into a office/sitting room for me. My very own office! It was so sweet of him to suggest that and has now gotten my mind going with all the possibilities. :) So I have been pouring over Pinterest and the Ikea catalog for inspiration. I am so excited to get started! :)


Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

wordless Wednesday

{Photos from a recent walk at Ritter Farm Park}

ritter farm park 1

Ritter Farm Park 2

Ritter Farm Park 4

Ritter Farm Park 6

Ritter Farm Park 7

Ritter Farm Park 8

Ritter Farm Park 3

Monday, September 12, 2011

MN Blog Conference

This past Saturday was the Minnesota Blog Conference. I was so excited that I was able to get a ticket to this event as the tickets went very quickly. I have been wanting to go to a blog conference for a while now and when I heard about this one that would be right here in the Twin Cities and that it was completely free; I knew that I had to go.

The conference was held at the Allina Commons in Minneapolis, which was an amazing facility and easily accommodated a conference of this size. A big thank you to Missy Berggren (Marketing Mama) and Arik Hanson for organizing such a great event and bringing over 200 Minnesota bloggers together for a day of fun, learning and networking.

The morning started with the keynote speaker; Lee Odden from TopRank Marketing. He was a fabulous presenter and spoke of lessons he has learned from his years of blog writing; Blogs to Riches. He gave us 5 great lessons for being ‘online writers.’
     1) No blog plan is a plan to fail
     2) Adapt and thrive
     3) It is not all about you
     4) Ask- recognize- repeat
     5) The end is near, let’s start. (when you think you have run out, you’ve just begun)

And a great quote that he gave to us; “Content is King, Creativity is Queen.”

From here, we broke out into different sessions.

There were so many fabulous sessions to choose from and it was not an easy decision but the first one I chose was ‘Supporting Your Blog with Photos’ presented by Mandy Dwyer from Glimpses of Soul Photography.

She talked of the difference between a photograph and a snapshot and the benefits of each. She spoke on creating a photograph by slowing down, learning to see and to shoot intentionally. I loved this. She covered lighting, composition and perspective.

And Mandy left us with a take away for getting those great pictures :: slow down :: get out and practice :: shoot often :: change up perspective :: make mistakes :: learn from those mistakes :: get feedback from others.

The next session I went to was ’15 Essential WordPress Plugins’ by Mykl Roventine.

I am working on making the switch from Blogger to WordPress and am very interested in learning all that I can on this. This was another great session- even if it did get over my head a little bit. :) The list of the Plugins can be found here on his blog.

Next up on the schedule was lunch, which was an awesome taco bar and was also included in our free ticket thanks to the great sponsors Allina Hospitals, Kare11 and TopRank Online Marketing. It was nice to have an hour break to have some time to meet some new people and also a few minutes to process all the great information already given to us.

The next session I chose was my favorite of the day. It was titled, 'Scene and Story: Make Your Writing Sing' presented by Kate Hopper. She talked of using concrete details and using our senses (sight, sound, touch, taste) to bring the reader into the experience. She told us to “get to the point grounded in detail.” We did 2 different writing exercises that really stretched us and got the creative juices flowing. This session was so great and really motivated me to practice and grow my writing skills.

The final session of the day was ‘Moving Your Blog to WordPress’ by Tim Elliot. He did a great job breaking things down so we could understand it and he has also made his presentation available online.

My only regrets from the day are that I didn’t take more pictures and that because there was so much great stuff to choose from, I wasn’t able to get to all the presentations that I wanted to. The ones I sadly missed were ‘Building Communities’ with Jen Emmert as one of the panelists and the other one was ‘Vlogging: Lessons to Learn from TV’ with Erica Mayer. Oh well, hopefully next year. :)

The day flew by and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to spend a Saturday meeting and learning with other bloggers who all have their own story to tell.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

As I sat there this morning, watching the 10th Anniversary Memorial that was being televised, I was not prepared for the wave of emotions that came flooding over me. Sadness, disbelief, horror, uncertainty…. Feelings that brought me right back to that day exactly a decade ago.

I know that I will never, ever forget those feelings of that day, and the days following.

September 11, 2001, is a day that so rocked our world, our nation and each of us individually that I know I am not alone in remembering that day in great detail.

That morning, Pete was off to work; Tyler, age nine and in 4th grade and Jake, age six in 1st grade; headed off to their 5th day of school. My boys were little and so I never had any morning news shows on and typically we left the television off before school anyway. So I had no clue what was happening in the outside world.

That morning, Drew (age 3) and I headed over to his new preschool for open house, to see his classroom and meet the teachers. We walked into the classroom, and immediately sensed something, but not sure what. A couple of friends walked up to me with somber expressions and said, “Can you believe it?” The then told me of what they had seen on the news just prior to heading to preschool. No, I couldn’t believe it.

We went through the motions of the preschool open house, all the while trying to get our minds around this tragic news, and trying to shield the preschoolers from what we could not even understand. It didn’t seem real. I couldn’t be real. This doesn’t happen in our country.

We had plans to go out to lunch with some friends following the open house but instead we all headed home. To the safety and shelter of our own homes. Home to turn the TV on and try to understand. Home to be with our loved ones.

Pete left work early and arrived home around the same time Drew and I did. I remember the hugs and I remember the feeling of wanting to go over to the elementary school and pull Ty and Jake out for the day and just have them at home with us. I wanted to, but I didn’t. When they finally did get home from school, there were more hugs.

I remember having the TV on and being glued for hours and hours to the news coverage. I think I felt if I watched the coverage enough, somehow I might be able to understand how and why this happened.


I know now, that we will never understand.
But we will always remember.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

wordless Wednesday

{an 8th grader}

{a Junior}

yesterday... was back to school

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend lens

Picnik collage
quiet weekend :: finishing up summer homework :: Drew learned to make 'egg in the holes' :: cooler weather :: dinner at Bucca with family :: hike at Ritter Farm Park :: chili dinner :: getting ready for back to school

Sunday, September 4, 2011

summer 2011 Lens

Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Ty home from college :: hockey camps :: new bistro table :: bonfires :: the 5 8 club ::
 walks around Lake Calhoun :: Tin Fish :: Project Flower Bomb :: flowers :: gardening :: beautiful sunsets :: shopping trips :: soccer refereeing :: soccer games :: baseball games :: Father's Day :: golf lessons ::
smoked pulled pork :: summer music :: fish tacos :: El Azteca :: Music in the Zoo ::
Charlie Musselwhite and the James Cotton Band :: sushi night :: Sebastian Joe's :: lawn mowing :: sun tea :: smores :: Minnehaha Falls :: Sea Salt Eatery :: farmer's market :: blueberry picking ::
Harry Potter movie :: U2 concert :: Rusty Taco :: excessive heat warnings :: Prior Lake Jazz Festival ::
new air conditioner :: Tim Mahoney :: Buddy Guy :: Chicago :: Gene & Jude's ::
 college campus tours :: family reunion :: strawberry picking :: jam making :: fireworks :: bike rides ::
picnic date :: Punch Pizza :: Blue Door Pub :: cabin time :: golfing :: fishing :: George Thorogood ::
Twins baseball games :: country pub hopping ::  peanut butter pie :: WA Frost :: Adele concert!! ::

Thursday, September 1, 2011

college move-in day

On Sunday, we packed the cars,


said good-bye to the furry one



and moved Tyler back to college.


We had lots of help, with the 5 of us and plus a couple of Ty's friends that already moved in



It made for an a quick and easy move!


 I think I ended up only bringing up a couple bags of groceries and a bag of hangers. Thank goodness for lots of strong boys! :)


It was a little chaotic to begin with- as it always is trying to fit so much into those tiny dorm rooms.


But Ty and his roomate quickly got to work lofting their beds and finding places for all the necesseties like the fridge, the futton and the TV's. :)


They seemed to have everything under control and didn't really need too much of our help


so we decided to take a walk around campus


and grabbed lunch at the picnic they have set up for families.


We headed back to Ty's room to find that they had most things set up and already had a room full of friends.


It was a little easier saying good-bye to Tyler this year, knowing that he loves his school and has some great friends. He was very excited to be back at school--
 and really what more can a Momma want for her boy, but for his happiness!


(But I still miss him like crazy! :)